Poll finds support for nude beach

February 23, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - A poll last week showed nudes beating prudes in the battle over whether to allow naked sunbathing on Assateague Island.

About 48 percent of Marylanders said they would support a nude beach in a well-marked and isolated area of Assateague, while 40 percent were opposed, according to a Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies poll. The rest were undecided.

In Western Maryland, nude sunbathing was less acceptable, with 51 percent opposed; about 44 percent thought it would be OK.

The American Association for Nude Recreation has begun lobbying lawmakers on the issue this year, even though there is no proposed legislation.

Lobbyist Don Murphy, a Republican who championed the medical marijuana issue when he was in the House of Delegates, said many lawmakers privately are open to the idea, but need time to get comfortable with going public.

Bill would prohibit driving ice-laden car

ANNAPOLIS - In five previous legislative sessions, Del. Joseph Bartlett, R-Frederick, has tried without success to pass bills to minimize deer-car collisions, help home-schooled students, give farmers tax breaks and ban pornography from prisons.

This year he's taken on a new pet project in hopes of getting his first bill passed.

Bartlett, who represented Washington County until the 2002 redistricting, wants to prevent motorists from driving with an "unreasonable amount" of snow and ice on their cars.

Flying chunks of snow and ice are a highway hazard, he said.

"It's really a simple little bill. I don't know why anybody would oppose it," he said.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, has a March 16 hearing in the House Environmental Matters Committee.

Shore senator is lobbied on school

ANNAPOLIS - House Appropriations Committee Chairman Norman Conway, D-Eastern Shore, said last week that his arm is sore and a local lawmaker is to blame.

Rolling his eyes and looking at Del. John P. Donoghue, Conway said, "If he says one more thing to me about an education center in Hagerstown ..."

Interesting timing, considering that last week Hagerstown City Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire criticized Donoghue, D-Washington, for not attending public events in Hagerstown.

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