Letters to the Editor
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Preserve Tobacco Barns
Dear Bay Weekly:
After reading Margaret Tearman’s article “Barn Razing” in Bay Weekly’s Jan. 19 issue [Vol. xiv, No. 3], I felt compelled to express the need of preserving barns in Southern Maryland.
As a young girl growing up in the mid-1950s in Camp Springs, I lived next to a tobacco barn. I have pleasant memories of watching our neighbor plow the fields with a draft horse and of watching the way tobacco was harvested and air cured. When my neighbor retired from farming, the barn sat vacant for a number of years. By the late ’60s, the barn was demolished to make way for a housing development.
For the past eight years since I moved to Calvert County, I can look out my front window and smile. Across the street, in the corner of my neighbor’s field, is a beautiful barn. This tobacco barn is approximately 100 years old, and my neighbor has maintained it well. The sight dredges up memories of my youth and presents a lovely, bucolic setting.
I believe the programs that are being put in place to promote barn preservation could be beneficial. Preserving these unique structures can help symbolize fading tradition that once dominated Southern Maryland: tobacco farming. Barns offer not only aesthetic value but also historical and cultural education to present and future generations. Who knows? Maybe a barn dance might once again become a reality.
—Linda A. Coty, Chesapeake Beach
Serving Out Shares of Our Fish
Dear Bay Weekly:
With the onslaught of anti-commercial fishing sentiment from the recreational fishermen in the United States and their justification of why they should get the majority of the marine resources, it is time to recognize another user group: the consumer of wild-caught fresh seafood.
The general public who consume U.S.-caught wild seafood far outnumber recreational fishermen. If this group is denied access to fresh seafood, it will create a precarious situation for recreational fishermen. With recreational fishing-license revenues dropping in most states along the East Coast because participation from the next generation of recreational fishermen is steadily declining, and the demand for access to fresh seafood staying constant or even increasing due to population increases, recreational demand for a greater share of the resources will become a losing battle.
Recreational fishermen in this country should be a little more hesitant when asking for more share of a marine resource or even getting game fish status for a particular species. In the long run, this will turn and haunt them. When the recreational fishermen claim that “97 percent of the users get three percent of the resource,” they purposely leave out the consumer. They know this share is bigger than the whole recreational community combined.
As commercial fishermen take their catch to market, whether it be a wholesaler or a direct user, they should be sure to let the consumer know that their right to enjoy fresh seafood is being threatened by a user group that thinks their right to entertain themselves is more justifiable.
—Steve Zimmerman, Owings
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