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Volume 15, Issue 14 ~ April 5 - April 11, 2007

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here

Green Fund Misses the Point: Corporate Agriculture

Dear Bay Weekly:

Thank you for quoting me in your article on the Chesapeake Bay Green Fund legislation [Vol. vx, No. 12: March 22]. I am opposed to this bill. As you reported, I object to the fact that it is an unfair tax on my business.

There is a larger point that has been lost in all of the discussion about this bill. I am not opposed to improving the Bay. In fact, I was delighted when I read the first draft of the bill because it identified the biggest source of nutrient pollution in the Bay: agricultural runoff. The problem is that the bill does nothing to correct it. Additional fees on homebuilding may be popular; heavy traffic and overcrowded schools affect us all. The point here is that the Bay is in desperate condition and taxing my industry to help fund a bunch of government programs that have proven their ineffectiveness is not the way to fix it. Agricultural runoff needs to be controlled, and this bill does nothing toward that end.

Corporate agriculture — Tysons Foods, Purdue Chickens, Central Sod Farms and others — is responsible for pouring massive amounts of nitrogen-rich pollution in the Bay and is killing it. If agriculture interests were responsible for half the runoff control and mitigation that the homebuilding industry is, the problem would be greatly reduced. With the myth of the family farm on their lobbyists’ lips, corporate agriculture is given a pass on runoff control. The Green Fund is just another tax that will drive up the cost of housing and swell government without doing anything meaningful for the Bay.

—Richard Howard, Edgewater

Good Advice Lives on On Line

Dear Bay Weekly:

I have read with great interest the educational article about hurricane Isabel [When Will the Bay Flood Again? Understanding the ups and downs of the Chesapeake: Vol. xiii, No. 36: Sept. 8, 2005]. Kat Bennett has made me understand what happened and why it did the damage to my home on the Magothy River. So many factors were involved. I bought my lot in 1948 and have survived all the hurricanes until Isabel. Ms. Bennett’s writing makes me realize the vulnerability of flood plain waterfront living. The views are wonderful, but one must be watchful and informed. I am taking steps to protect myself from the forces of nature now that I know.

Thank you Kat Bennett.

—Joseph Sernocky, Pasadena

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