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Skewed zooEditor: Your feature article on Plumpton...


Skewed zoo

Editor: Your feature article on Plumpton Park Zoo in the Sunday Sun Magazine [June 25] was an example of slanted journalism and inadequate research. Mr. Plumstead's problems with at least two of the recent administrations of Cecil County, Md., result not from the "poverty" of the county and the shortsightedness of the commissioners and citizens but instead from Mr. Plumstead's insistence on using public funds, donations and volunteer efforts to support what is essentially a private enterprise.

The basis of the lawsuit and subsequent loss of county financial support was a poorly written lease which could have caused the taxpayers of Cecil County to pay for any operating expenses and capital expenditures that the zoo was unable to pay for. Given the need for perimeter fencing, replacement of internal fences and housing, as well as electrical repairs which would be required to get the zoo up to certain standards, this could have been quite a bit more than the supposed 25 cents per resident per year figure Mr. Plumstead reported. No county in Maryland, regardless of its wealth, could justify such a commitment.

No, despite the drift of your article, Cecil County is no poverty-stricken center of unemployment; county officials are not shortsighted penny-pinchers, and Ed Plumstead is definitely no Dr. Doolittle.

John H. Kilby Jr.

Colora Editor: We were pleased to see The Sun's profile of Tunis Mills in the June 25 edition of the Sun Magazine. Bob Allen captured the essence of what is likely one of the most picturesque and historic villages in Maryland.

The article credits the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy with conserving 14,000 acres around Tunis Mills. In fact, 1,400 acres around the village have been protected through the donation of voluntary conservation easements to the two land conservation organizations.

The Trust's Rural Historic Village Protection Program, which assists landowners in conserving land in historic rural areas, has worked with village residents over the past five years to ensure Tunis Mills' future as a rural water town. The program's partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy has been responsible for protecting a significant amount of land around Tunis Mills. The protected properties include the Wye House, the Colonial plantation that was the slave home of Frederick Douglass.

We are glad to see the revival of the "Postmark" column and looking forward to reading about Maryland's other historic rural areas in the future.

zTC Thomas D. Saunders

Director, Maryland Environmental Trust

Robert J. Etgen

Executive Director Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Impressive issue

Editor: Bouquets and kudos to the editor and staff for the April 30 issue of the Sun Magazine. From cover to cover it was just terrific.

My friends and I were impressed with "On the Hot Seat" by Dave Barry. Some out-of-town visitors told me that after reading "In-town Inns" they are going to try one of Baltimore's bed and breakfasts. The other articles deserve honorable mention.

Joseph Lerner


Letters to the editor should include name, address and daytime phone number. They may be edited for space, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed or faxed. The address is Sun Magazine, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278; the fax number is (410) 783-2519.

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