Holly Neck plan circumvented zoning process

The Sun's article "Bayfront proposal roils quiet community" (Aug. 11) about the Holly Neck development was very well done, but missed the point. The dispute is not about Leonard P. Berger and whether or not he is building a great development. It's about whether an area that has been identified as a Chesapeake Bay Critical Area should have any significant development.


Our community is very concerned that this first development is too dense for a critical area and that it will open the door to more and more development in the future. And the way the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management (DEPRM) and the County Council handled the development plan and the passage of the bill that facilitates this development has done nothing to reduce our fears.

DEPRM Director David Carroll worked with the developer to cluster the 110 units to limit their environmental impact, but the development was never reviewed by the zoning or planning departments to determine if 110 was the correct number of homes. And it never had to face the other safeguards which are in place to make sure a proposed development is appropriate for the existing community.


We have been assured that all of this will be reviewed as the process moves forward. But the bill the council passed grants every variance needed to build this development. This bill will make it very difficult to alter the current plans.

And this law may have much wider impact than intended. Its language is limiting, but the approach could be devastating. Allowing the council to redefine the use of a property within a zoning area will undermine existing zoning processes and safeguards.

Whether or not the bill stands, the Holly Neck community will participate in the planning process with the goal of minimizing the impact of this development and future development on our rural community and the critical area in which it sits.

Ronald Belbot


The writer is development committee chairman for the Holly Neck Conservation Association.

Ehrlich's golfing just par for the course

Give me a break. The implication of The Sun's editorial "Off the fairway" (Aug. 12) is that because the governor is using a benefit of his office in the form of access to a top-level golf course that somehow he is going to be influenced on some impending contract or piece of legislation.


I say plainly and bluntly: That is pure bunk. The fact that the leader of our state has an opportunity to play a nice course is a nonissue except to The Sun's editorial board.

If the governor was golfing with the owners of a construction company with a pending state contract or the CEO of a company that is looking for legislative relief, that might be a story.

But he's not; he's just playing golf. He's even paying his own greens fees.

Stop wasting your ink and my time with editorials that are written to imply some wrong is being done by this Republican governor.

Jim Caffey



The Sun's editorial board "brain trust" has shifted from pathetic to silly in its anti-Ehrlich posturing.

Surely, Sun editorialists have more weighty matters to consider than Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. playing three rounds of golf at a facility conceived as an economic development tool for Greater Baltimore and Maryland.

Robert L. McKinney


I think The Sun's editorial staff has too much time on its hands if it knows how many times Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has played golf this summer.

Robert Stevenson Sr.



Busch gave governor chance to cut funds

House Speaker Michael E. Busch is either utterly naive, inexcusably irresponsible or a closet conservative.

Everyone knows that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., as a dedicated conservative Republican, will follow his party's agenda -- decimating government, especially cutting social services to the underclass and needy and the health care safety net.

Mr. Busch should have known that blocking the slots plan of a "no-tax" governor gave Mr. Ehrlich the perfect opening to make his intended draconian cuts and to penalize students and bash children, the needy and the ill ("Still unbalanced in Maryland," editorial, Aug. 8).

Shame on Mr. Busch, whose stubbornness and neglect permitted the governor to gain his Republican conservative objectives despite a Democratic-controlled state legislature.


Harry E. Bennett Jr.


Failing to confront militant Islam

In "Chaos in Indonesia commands attention" (Opinion Commentary Aug. 7), Richard Halloran describes various sources of Indonesia's troubles, then tops them off with "the inability of President Megawati to confront ... many disorders ... has caused dismay."

But I am dismayed by his own inability to confront Indonesia's main "disorder" -- the increasing strength and aggression of militant Islam.

Mr. Halloran approaches, but doesn't quite reach, the obvious truth with the euphemistic phrases such as "terrorist organizations," "extremist networks," "battleground in struggle against terrorism and radicalism" and "religious frictions and ethnic violence."


His evasive rhetoric rivals that of our government, which has yet to directly and boldly identify the actual enemy that both we and Indonesia (and many other countries) face.

Nelson L. Hyman


Passivity poses greater danger

In "A stinging analogy" (Opinion Commentary, Aug. 12), Kenneth Crossman decries the unintended consequences of President Bush's policy of pre-emption, without examining the consequences of the alternative -- inaction.

There are, of course, unintended consequences for every action taken, including the choice not to act.


We do not know the full ramifications of Mr. Bush's policy of pre-emption. But Sept 11 illustrated the unintended consequences of passivity.

Those like Mr. Bush who understand the nature of the threat believe it is infinitely better to meet the challenge on our terms and deal with the inevitable consequences.

John Voss

Burke, Va.

Industrious families make country strong

Thank you to reporter Gary Dorsey for the uplifting article about the Chizmadia family and their business, the Candy Box ("Opening A Door," Aug. 6).


Operating a successful small business is one of the most difficult activities in our society. Failure rates are enormous and decisions must be made daily that impact the daily and future operation of the business. To overcome these odds as well as a son's disability is a remarkable outcome.

In these days when our populace is obsessed with reality TV, we should all be reminded that it is people like the Chizmadias who make this country what it is.

Laurence Aaronson