Dear Bay Weekly:
Like Goliath, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has thrown his considerable weight into the ring in efforts to derail a planned Safeway in the Southern Anne Arundel County community of Deale. Miller's legislative prowess, coupled with a zealous local environmental group, seems to be crushing the corporate giant's plans. Unwittingly, even a nesting eagle has played a hand, upping the odds against the proposed development.
We've heard from Safeway opponents, witnessed their affronts to the county executive, felt their fervor. They've got considerable muscle in their organized ranks: attorneys, committed environmentalists and well-versed professionals, many of whom are used to getting their way.
Safeway proponents, on the other hand, tend to be a mix of rank and file: old-timers and newcomers and seniors, folks looking for choices, even employment, but without an organization.
I recently asked a longtime area resident why Safeway proponents, apparently some 2,000 strong, who signed a petition that was delivered to Miller's office earlier this year weren't more vocal. "They're afraid," she said.
So, now, fear collides with fervor, further dividing an area once called the "sweetest place on earth" by local legend, teacher and historian Ethel Andrews, whose name many newcomers may have never heard. Now, a proposed grocery store divides Deale and neighboring communities. Pitted against each other are those who say they fear speaking up and those who put up posters and effigies. All this as if we were frozen in time. As if "16 acres of commercial land at a crossroads in a growing area will sit there forever," according to one observer.
It's hard to wrestle with an 800-pound gorilla, er ah, Goliath with political clout. And we've yet to find a "David" in County Executive Janet Owens, whose own roots go deep in fertile Southern Anne Arundel soil. With one politician playing hardball and another having difficulty stepping up to the plate, at least 2,000 Deale area residents remain voiceless and intimidated. Their wishes deserve to be represented.
-D.C. Bourne, Churchton
TV Troubles in Calvert
Dear Bay Weekly:
On March 24, I began experiencing interference on television reception. The interference is coming from the radio transmission for 92.7fm. The transmitter is located at the old Mount Hope School on Rt. 2 just north of Prince Fredrick.
I suspect that the power level is being exceeded as the transmitter has been in service for some time, and I've not noticed this much interference for such a long time. I tried to report this problem to the FCC, but they won't handle it. Their cure is for residents using antennas to go to the additional expense of purchasing filters.
Please inquire with your readers for similar experiences.
-James Estep, Owings