Stop drilling for oil and gas near...


Stop drilling for oil and gas near the bay

Your recent articles regarding Texaco's exploration for oil an gas along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay were timely. Many people are unaware that this multi-national company has spent tens of millions of dollars in an intense petroleum search throughout portions of tidewater Virginia and Maryland.

Texaco has diverted attention away from the long-term ramifications for the Chesapeake Bay. If oil is found, there will be a great potential for oil spills into the bay as crude is transported over its waters in barges and tankers and along its shoreline and under its waters by pipeline. In addition, we can expect oil refineries, tank farms, storage deports and other petrochemical facilities. Air pollution, surface water pollution and ground water pollution will result. The industry's track record for severe damage to the environment in which it drills and processes petroleum products is well documented throughout the world.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will take legal action to stop the oil drilling. Our chances for success, however, can be greatly improved if bay area residents contact their elected officials and clearly demonstrate their opposition to the location of petrochemical facilities on the bay's shore.

William C. Baker


The writer is president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 9

Costly offices

The short article concerning the closing of the Tokyo office of the state of Maryland has intrigued me (Evening Sun, Jan. 23).

The reported cost of this office has been $500,000 per year, presumably including the $146,000 salary of Michael Grose, although the article was unclear on this point. It was interesting that the functions of this office, although unsuccessful in producing sufficient revenue to pay its way, were transferred to the state's Hong Kong office.

The above makes me curious, and I must ask the question: Why didn't your reporter follow up to determine if the Hong Kong office is producing revenue to pay for itself or, indeed, for the consolidated activities of both offices?

It seems to me to be a natural for an investigative reporter to find the facts on all of the state's foreign offices, not just one in Tokyo. My guess is that there are millions of dollars being spent and possibly wasted in the same manner in European, Asian, African and other offices of our state.

May I suggest that this may be a bigger story than the few lines given to it?

William S. Boykin


Teachers are key

At least one local elected official is to be commended for not governing by talk show. Mayor Kurt Schmoke, whose academic credentials far surpass those of the leaders of the surrounding counties, clearly recognizes that the cornerstone of education is the teacher.

The mayor lashed out at the notion that any future state aid to education not be spent on teacher pay raises.

Where did this attitude develop that teachers don't deserve more money? If people saw what our teachers went through, it would be clear that they are worth what we are paying them. They may be worth double what we're paying them.

Dennis Sirman


The pros have it

Editorializing belongs on the opinion page, not in headlines. A photograph Jan. 22 accompanying an article about demonstrators on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision showed a woman holding a baby and arguing with another woman. The photo caption described the woman with the baby as "pro-choice" and the other woman as "anti-abortion." Why do you refuse to call those who are against abortion "pro-life"? That is exactly what we are.

I always call those in favor of abortion rights what they want to be called. Is it asking too much to have the favor returned?

Continue to call them "pro-choice," but also call us "pro-life."

Mary M. Shaffrey


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