Volume XVII, Issue 34 # August 20 - August 26, 2009


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, 1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 •E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on-line by clicking here.

Writers Mourn Burton

Dear Bay Weekly:

I returned from my father’s 84th birthday celebration in the Tehachapi Mountains in California to this time of mourning for the Bay Weekly community.

From what my arrival meant to my father, I know Bill Burton was fortunate to have his family with him as he celebrated his last birthday in December and in the months that followed.

My introduction to Bill was about eight years ago when we met by chance. About the same time, I submitted my first story, about meeting the Bay “Up Close and Personal,” to Bay Weekly. My story filled Bill Burton’s column space in his brief absence [http://www.bayweekly.com/old-site/year01/issue9_33/burton9_33.html].

That was a memorable time, for instantly I became part of the Bay Weekly community and open to Bill Burton’s inspirational lifetime of wisdom and yarns. I understand his questions about life because I use the same formula. It’s a good thing to know one’s true face because that’s what makes us whole.

Thank you, Bill Burton, for your words and lifetime of sharing, and thank you, Bay Weekly, for being there to provide us good visions to live by.

–Albert ‘Abby’ Ybarra, North Beach

Dear Bay Weekly:

Big Bill’s passing has put me in a funk all week. I know he had a great life and that he went out with a smile and grace, but the world is a smaller and less interesting place with the loss of yet another old newspaperman and friend.

–Steve Carr, Annapolis

What Was Steve Carr Thinking?

Dear Bay Weekly:

First let me say that I have been an avid reader of Bay Weekly. However, I found the subject of Steve Carr’s “To Swim or Not to Swim?” in the August 6 edition alarming.

Two men drive their boat across the shipping channel late at night and jump in the water, leaving the boat unmanned in two-foot swells, and continue to drift aimlessly back across the shipping channel for two hours. Neither man, according to the description, wearing life jackets and drifting untethered to their boat.

I can’t think of a more irresponsible act in the open water of the Bay. Lately the news has had all too frequent stories of accidents and death on the Bay due to failure to follow basic safe boating rules, most importantly not wearing life jackets. Not only were these two men risking their own lives in the case of a large ship moving up or down the channel at 15 to 20 knots, but the minute they jumped in the water and left their boat unattended they became a hazard to both merchant vessels and any other boats in the area.

Being in the water drifting along on their backs staring at the sky, there was little to no chance that they would spot an approaching merchant vessel in time to catch up to their boat, climb back on board (if they managed to do that without one or both getting bonked unconscious), get under way and get out of the way. And what if another pleasure boat, a fast boat, were to come along? The person manning that boat has the first job of avoiding a collision with another boat, not thinking the boat empty and unattended and certainly not watching out for two people in the water.

And the whole purpose of the story, it seems, was to convince the reader to ignore public health warnings about swimming in the Bay, especially if you have an open wound.

–William Wilson, Shady Side