Can the Catholic Church finally begin the healing process? It’s time to pass plastic bag bill; Memorial Day is a celebration


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Oct 05, 2023

Can the Catholic Church finally begin the healing process? It’s time to pass plastic bag bill; Memorial Day is a celebration

Where is my church? For the past several weeks after release of the Maryland

Where is my church?

For the past several weeks after release of the Maryland attorney general report on clergy abuse in the Catholic Church, we have been inundated with an average of two newspaper articles and two to three nightly news reports per week, plus numerous TV ads for lawyers soliciting abuse victims to sue the church.

My parish has said one prayer of the faithful for abuse victims. The only thing the diocese has said publicly is that the media is not covering the story fairly. So where is my church in response to the onslaught of bad press it is receiving? Does leadership they still have their heads in the sand and hope it all blows over? If so, I think they need a new public relations person.

Calls to Archbishop Lori have yielded no results in getting his audio apology to be played at all masses in all parishes on a given Sunday. I think this apology is more deserving of mass air time than the Catholic Appeal yearly message.

If the church can't discuss the issue, maybe we should stop funding its financial recovery. If the church's position is that this has occurred before and we got through it, I think it is wrong. Today's news travels instantly. The diocese website is not known by most.

The diocese needs to tell its apology and amends both to the public and to parishioners. If not, I question whether the church will still be around for future generations. The issue of clergy abuse is an example of mismanagement by the church's leaders and has caused a loss of respect for church management – not a loss of faith.

Acknowledgment of mistakes and apology are different. The latter is healing. The abuse victims and church need to heal. Can church leadership now get us started?

Lenny Wanex, Annapolis

The author of the recent article on the Archdiocese of Baltimore's response to the Attorney's General's Report on Sexual Abuse voiced concern over "lack of context." This is most ironic when you consider three crucial facts that would have provided context and a more fair and enlightening journalistic response.

First, none of the incidents mentioned in the Attorney General's Report took place after 2002. Without diminishing the concern for anyone abused or otherwise harmed by acts of the clergy, it would seem reasonable to assume the church has taken measures to address this most difficult issue.

Second, according to Archbishop Wiliam Lori's biography, "In 2002, in recognition of his role as an emerging leader on the church's response to the sexual misconduct crisis, Archbishop Lori was appointed to the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse. He was instrumental in drafting the landmark Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." Clearly this is a leader who takes matters seriously.

Third, Lori became the head of the archdiocese in 2012 well after the incidents in the report. I have met Lori and found him to be a caring, warm-hearted individual. He inherited this situation and is attempting to address it as best he can given that none of these problems in the diocese were of his making.

Thomas Connelly, Annapolis

As the Zero Waste lead for the Anne Arundel Group of the Sierra Club, I have been closely following the progress of Bill 19-23 as it has been considered and amended by the Anne Arundel County Council for several months now.

I would like to allay the fears of Glen Somes (Maryland Gazette, 5/24), who is worried he will not be able to purchase bagged ice in Anne Arundel County if the Bring Your Own Bag Plastic Reduction Act passes as currently amended on June 5. Somes’ fear is baseless, as a careful reading of the bill will make clear.

The plastic carryout bags the bill proposes to ban are only those bags offered at point of sale, i.e. the cash register. "Plastic carryout bag" does not include a plastic bag used to contain, package or wrap bulk items nor any items not conducive to the use of anything other than plastic bags.

Bagged ice would certainly qualify as a bulk item, as well as an item not conducive to sale without a plastic bag. Therefore, the bill does not need to be amended to itemize all groceries, including ice, which were pre-wrapped in plastic.

The Bring Your Own Bag Plastic Reduction Act will rid our county of the nuisance plastic bags we all witness hanging in trees, blowing across roadways, floating in our cherished waterways and clogging landfills. The residents of Anne Arundel County have already been shopping without plastic carryout bags at Aldi's, Lidl's, Sam's Club, BJs, Costco and more stores.

We all can do our part by bringing reusable bags to the store to keep our county clean, attractive and environmentally healthy. The support at County Council meetings has been overwhelming, from both sides of the aisle. Let's pass this important bill!

Bernie Robinson, Glen Burnie

To those who think we should not have celebrations on Memorial Day, I really think you should let us celebrate those who sacrificed, sometimes by paying the ultimate price. We will do so with joy, happiness and thankfulness for those who cared so much about the rest of us to make the sacrifice they did.

For me, this weekend is a time to celebrate my father, Donald A. Travers, Sr., who served in Korea. It is a time to celebrate my brother, Donnie, who served in Vietnam, and who paid a very heavy price during his service there and afterward for the rest of his life. For me, it is a time to say "Thank you, Dad!!!!!!" "Thank you, brother Donnie!!!!", JOYFULLY with LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of exclamation points!!!!!! With HAPPINESS! With THANKFULNESS for all they and others gave and sacrificed of their own free will.

For me, maybe it is a good time to go down to the Broadneck Cantina with my wife, who knew them both and enjoyed their company many times on my father's boat, and order a PBR, as they would do in the best of times, back in the day when it was called Bebo's. Many were the day we spent this day on my father's boat celebrating all the good we have been blessed with.

Memorial Day is the day to remember, thankfully, and celebrate those who served. If you think it is appropriate to mourn and go about with a sad face, fine. But please don't tell others like myself, not to celebrate those who served and show our thanks that they did.

To me, mourning is about ME feeling loss. To me, not to celebrate all that they and others who gave in service would be disrespectful, not to mention ungrateful. Mourning is me being sad because they are no longer here. It's all about me.

They have done their duty and volunteered to do more than many. Many, like my father and my brother, and my uncles, who also served. have gone to their reward. Let us celebrate that. After all, is not the whole point of "Memorial" Day to REMEMBER and MEMORIALIZE the good things our vets have done?

Why would anyone not celebrate them and the sacrifices they made? So for this person, let the joyful music begin! Crack open your dad's or your brother's favorite brew! Cook those steaks, almost as well as dad used to.

Send up a few fireworks, or more than a few. Perhaps they will see them high up wherever they are now, and smile. With every sip of beer, with every bite of perfectly done steak, with every boom of the fireworks, with every smile of every person you gather with today, say "Thank you!" in your mind, if not shouting it out loud.

Some of us believe that those whom we came to know, but who are elsewhere now, will know what we feel in our minds and our souls. So please don't tell those of us who think those who served and sacrificed should not be celebrated on this day.

As with all people, if you do not wish to have a celebration on this day in honor of those who served, do as you wish. We each are free to choose that for which we are grateful for and that for which we are not. I personally, have much to celebrate.

On Memorial Day, all the good things that I enjoy because of those who chose to serve, is what I should celebrate.

Michael Travers, Cape St. Claire

The Anne Arundel County Region Plans are community-driven, land-use documents that build on the work of Plan2040 — the countywide general development plan — in smaller areas. The region plans will evaluate community assets and need and present a shared vision for the next 20 years.

These plans will make specific recommendations about planned land use, zoning, environmental protection, transportation improvements and community assets. The region plans will be used as a reference for informing future requests that directly affect our community. They are an opportunity for you to shape your neighborhood and the surrounding resources we all use and enjoy.

The Region 2 Stakeholder Advisory Committee is comprised of citizens from the Laurel, Jessup, Hanover and Maryland City communities. This past year, the committee has been listening to the needs of our community and developing a regional plan focused on affordable housing, protecting the environment, smart transportation solutions and strategic growth for our area. Now is the time for the public community to apply for zoning changes and provide their feedback on the Region 2 plan.

Please visit to learn about what is happening in your region and provide your feedback on this process. It has been an honor chairing the Region 2 Stakeholder Advisory Committee and I look forward to seeing what our vision for western Anne Arundel County is moving forward.

Joe Franco

Chair, Region 2 Stakeholder Advisory Committee

My son was a member of the MD State Boychoir (MSB) from 2011-2015. It was a fantastic experience that helped him grow in many different dimensions. As a member of the Tour Choir and then the Changed Voices Choir, he commonly performed more than 30 times a year and went on multiple local, national and international tours and training retreats.

Besides all the fantastic musical training, as a parent I was consistently impressed with the MSB's strong protocols to ensure the safety of all the choristers in all settings. My son's time with the MSB taught him self-discipline, the excruciating attention to detail necessary for excellence and how to get along with a truly diverse set of choristers and in a wide range of situations.

I will be forever thankful to Frank Cimino for creating this unique organization and I will continue to support the current directors, board members and parent volunteers with my donations.

Christiana Logansmith, Annapolis

Each time I have one of our vehicles inspected at a VEIP facility, I depart quite puzzled. Even though I’m a supporter of environmentally compliant vehicles, I depart wondering why there isn't a test that ensures the safety of vehicles.

Quite simply, why isn't there a similar level of concern for a vehicle's brakes, lights and tires? I guess that means I could be riding on bald tires and have bad brakes — but that's OK just so long as I’m environmentally compliant.

Tom Jurkowsky, Annapolis