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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prince George's County's 19th century land use plan

When it comes to protecting the environment, to enhancing quality of life for everyone, Prince George’s County recently seems to have gotten off the train and begun walking backwards towards the past. First it decided that placing a waster transfer station right next to and slightly overlapping an nationally, as well as state recognized critical area and wildlife habitat, ½ mile from one of the Chesapeake Bay’s major tributaries is a great idea. In deed this site was specifically noted in the general plan for Prince George’s County has part of the rural tier not suitable for industrial development. So of course the county decided using 19th century mentality to place the waste transfer station in the most environmentally sensitive location they could find.

This placement was a 19th century land use decision; land is to be used, it is a blank worthless canvas unless we can put the artifices of man on top and tame unruly nature. Of course such thinking did not consider where drinking water or clean air might come from, because, 19th century thinking knew that clean air and clean water came from God at no charge. The 19th century also thought that some people deserved to work in bondage, or begrudgingly, work and live in an apartheid society, a situation remembered in family lore, but paved over for shopping malls, because the land is cheaper in the rural tier, and endless, why pay more in the city when you can pave over history and the environment at the same time?
The 21st century, seemingly foreign to this county idea that the environment enhances quality of live and that, for instance, biologically harmful, not readily degradable, black trash bags arriving un-beckoned from the composting facility with its state of the art wire mesh protection device are a signal of far worse destruction to come. The bags blow on the wind with the usual litter and will make a perfect landscape addition for guests at the proposed hotel and neighborhoods in the vicinity of Upper Marlboro across from the waste transfer station.

Did I mention community ambiance the smell will create for the new cutting edge up-scale strip mall just north of the waste transfer station? Of course the county will say, “Don’t worry about the odor at Crain Corner, in the rural tier, on currently residential zoned property. We are siting the strip mall just far enough away that you will not be able to smell anything and besides the prevailing winds will mostly ensure that the bags, debris and litter will not make it north to the brand new, yet-another, much needed strip mall.

and just in a report from the news media:

Residents skeptical of retail center near Marlboro Meadows
Developer stresses community input
by Greg Holzheimer Staff Writer


Anonymous said...

You know, people are going to be a little bit perturbed when the trash transfer station is up and running and you can't smell anything.

The ONLY concern with siting a hotel there is the traffic impact. Smell is a non-starter, because the environmental impact of transfer stations can be easily monitored, and data is available from the hundreds of transfer stations around the country that show that, properly constructed, these things have minimal impact other than traffic.

It is difficult for the community to fight against the traffic impacts of the transfer station, which are real, when so much of the arguments against it are based on suppositions and hysteria based upon environmental impacts that are imaginary (and have proven to be minimal).

Arguments based in fact and reality work so much better than those based upon ignorance and emotion.

John Peter Thompson said...

On the other hand when they can smell it they will likely be even more perturbed. Of course smell is the least of the concerns envrionmentally as it only will effect human residents; the main concern is the damage to the river and the wetlands. The smell is truely inconsequnetial to the damage that will be done to the river ecosystem and its services. I have walked the perimeter of the current mulching facility that is suppose to be state of the art and climbed over and through the garbage and plastic floating down to the Patuxent River. This plus run-off will trump any smell.