I’ve subscribed to The News-Post for a couple of decades. I’ve rarely made the move to speak out in a letter. Today is different.
I rely on the paper for important, useful, reliable information about our community. I’m very disappointed that you would publish an article Jan. 3, and feature it prominently on the front page, not to educate and inform the public regarding the recently signed county legislation on balloon releases, but to reference a website that has chosen the legislation as something to mock. Of the 14-paragraph article, five referenced the group. With the exception of one paragraph, I learned very little about the legislation but a lot about the group.
For those interested in knowing more about the bill, you may be surprised to learn we’re not the first in Maryland to pass it. Baltimore, Ocean City and Queen Anne’s County already have them. In fact there are laws around the country and much pending legislation in state houses and local jurisdictions. Laws are already on the books in VA, CT, FL, VA, AZ, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, ME, TX, CA, TN, Louisville, Kentucky, and Huntsville, Alabama.
The all-Republican commissioners in Queen Anne’s County unanimously passed the legislation last year. They did so after receiving numerous complaints about the debris. When non-biodegradable balloon debris eventually lands, some pieces may end up in our backyards and we’ll pick it up or it’ll blow into someone’s yard. But it can also clog waterways and ensnare or scare animals. On farmland, it can scare animals, distract farmers or clog machinery. It’s essentially littering, it’s unnecessary, and it’s a small, easy step we can take to care a little more about the environment we all share. We’re realizing decades later exactly how problematic plastic products are. A 2018 study in Virginia recorded 11,441 pieces of balloon debris on surveyed beaches between 2013 and 2017.
I rely on The News-Post for reliable, useful news about our community. I rely on Josh Smith for humor (and if I were a sports fan, I would for that, too). Josh is wildly funny in his column “Real Dads Wear Yoga Pants,” and I read him faithfully. You are not wildly funny when you waste limited news space where relevant community news should be. You can be better than this.