Cumberland Times-News

Letters

June 22, 2013

Float it, and they will come

I want to commend Gary Clites of Carpendale, W.Va., for his excellent readers commentary on June 16, titled “Develop the waterway.”

Mr. Clites’ letter was so well thought out and historically accurate that I am asking Nick Scarpelli, the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce and Bill Atkinson of the State Planning Office to rethink what this gentleman is saying.

Mr. Clites’ claim that from 1840 until 1930 the 3.1-mile section of the Potomac River was a boating mecca is historically correct, for I have many old postcards that depict such activity.

Furthermore, the solution of canoe boats that want to travel past the existing dam is a bypass portage system that is currently used on hundreds of dams in this country.

For many years, the Allegany County Preservation Society not only fought against many aspects of urban renewal, we fought to save the Queen City Station and the Bell Tower Building that currently houses the Allegany County Chamber, but we have also tried to get the canal rewatered from the terminus down to Candock and get the ballfield site at the terminus cleared for park development.

We always felt that a rewatered canal would promote canal boat tour rides and really make Canal Place a destination stop for tourist.

When the economic downturn happened in 2008, I personally gave up on the idea of rewatering because Andy Vick could not see any way to fund such a project.

While, I would still like to see the canal rewatering occur in my lifetime, Mr. Clites’ insight has inspired me to write this letter before it is too late.

What if the Canal Place area would now include this 3.1-mile stretch of the Potomac River basin with the dam left intact and using this section for canal boat or paddle boat rides?

Can you image the attraction from the bridge of Interstate 68 looking down on a riverboat with a big paddlewheel? Surely, that sight by itself would draw people off the Interstate to Canal Place!

In addition, since I was successful in helping promote to Frostburg Mayor and Council Mike Griffith’s idea for a hydroelectric station coming down off Big Savage, I feel the same concept could be adopted in Cumberland using the dam.

All we would have to do is put four to six slots in the top of the dam and insert pipes that would be hooked to turbines at the base of the dam. This would give the city or county a source of electrical power most of the year, if not all of the year.

Lastly, I am not an engineer, but I watched the water come down Will Creek during the last major flood.

Standing next to the concrete wall at the train station and watching the water flow through flood control system I realized that the dam on the Potomac River was playing a part, too, in holding back the current flow of the Potomac River just enough to allow that massive amount of water from Wills Creek to exit safely without causing a backing up effect that may or may not occur with the dam being removed.

The old adage, “If it is not broken don’t fix it” should apply to this debate. I hope that leadership involved making this decision will listen to the good counsel of Gary Clites.

Once the dam is gone it will be gone just like the Queen City Station. I hope that both sides of this debate can have their voices heard before it is too late.

Bernard W. Miltenberger

Frostburg

1
Text Only
Letters
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • Which approach to the school makes sense?

    What exactly is the long-range plan, according to the Allegany County Commissioners?
    I’ve read in the Cumberland Times-News that the current County Commissioners intend to spend $9 million to construct a new high school.

    April 16, 2014

  • H.O.G. Rally coming to Cumberland in June

    Let me introduce myself. My name is Francine Kraft and I am the Maryland/Delaware State H.O.G. Rally Coordinator for 2014.
    With a team of seven others, we have put together a rally for June 19-22 to be held in Cumberland.

    April 16, 2014

  • Access to trout ponds hard for those who have trouble walking

    I took my 5-year-old grandson Easton, who lives in Cumberland, to the Evitts Creek three ponds on March 31, the day it was stocked with trout.He had the joy and excitement of catching his first trout and two more. I have a Maryland fishing license and trout stamp.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wait long enough; they will die off without being cared for

    The letter to the editor of April 14 (“Military veterans have few friends in Washington, D.C.”),  I am afraid, hit the nail on the head — sort of — about this next set of returning veterans.

    April 16, 2014

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads