Letters to the Editor - June 23

June 23, 2012

There is a third way to clean up the Bay watershed

To the editor:

I’m a Sharpsburg resident and subscriber to The Herald-Mail, and have been reading with interest the coverage on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) Phase II and the projected costs for the county and city, mandated by EPA and the State of Maryland’s plan.

I have testified before the Maryland Senate and made comments on the WIP during the public comment period, as well as attended the public meetings held by the Maryland Departments of Environment and Agriculture. Until now, the conversation has been an “either or,” “us vs. them” situation, with one side saying we must spend billions to regulate, restrict and limit things in order to “save the Bay” and the other side saying that would destroy farming, businesses and economic development.

Neither side is right, and the press has missed the biggest story on this issue: There’s a third way, actually cleaning the Bay. I work for a company that does consulting for the U.S. government in Systems Engineering and Integration approaches to solve problems in the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and NASA. During our work, we came across a set of technologies that shows great promise for “cleaning the Bay” in that removes problem nutrients from the water.

Current approaches are merely regulatory in an effort to prevent the nutrients from entering the water. Dr. Patrick C. Kangas at the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has worked for many years with this technology and has a current pilot system operating at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. For less than $500 million, we could clean the Bay watershed. That is for the entire watershed, and at a price lower than currently projected for Washington County alone.

Edwin “Ned” Taylor

Editorial cartoon was a poor choice

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the editorial cartoon of Sunday, June 17, that implied advocates of photo ID for voters really were advocating a return to Jim Crow laws. I recall that just before the House of Representatives voted on the health care bill, the Congressional Black Caucus paraded through a tea party gathering on Capitol Hill, followed by a video camera, hoping to provoke someone into hurling racial epithets that could be recorded.

Many of the tea party themselves recorded the event on cell phones. No one has found even one verifiable utterance of a racial slur. Of course, this did not stop liberals from asserting that the event proved that all tea partiers were racists. Is this not a perfect example of stereotyping and then prejudging based on the stereotype?

The Herald-Mail is guilty of the same error the mainstream media made in the case of the black caucus parade through the tea party: In both cases, there was an extremely negative implication unsubstantiated by the least shred of evidence. In the first place, it is racial stereotyping to conclude that only black people would have difficulty obtaining photo ID. In the second place, one ought not to assume that there are any registered voters who cannot obtain a photo ID until one sees actual evidence of at least one such case. 

If it is morally reprehensible to utter racist views, it is equally morally reprehensible to falsely accuse others of uttering such things. That is to say it is just as wrong to assert that tea partiers and advocates of photo ID for voters are all racist as it was to tell children they should always wash fruit before eating it because a black person might have touched it.

As a Marine officer, I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I have never been relieved of the obligation of that oath. I invite The Herald-Mail to acquaint its readers with the 15th Article of Amendment to that Constitution, which forbids any state to deny the right to vote based on race, color or previous condition of servitude, and explain how the courts and the national Legislature have sought to enforce it. Then, in collaboration with as many opponents of photo ID for voters as you may find convenient, show me in what particular way I have been unfaithful to my oath.

James H. Warner

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