Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 30, 2013

Might as well test the water both above and below the dam

It appears that Dee Dee Ritchie executive director of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, has signed on to the Cumberland Ridgeley dam removal effort being forced on the city by outside interests (“Canal Place wants to test river’s water,” April 26 Times-News, Page 1A).

The difference is that unlike past proponents, she at least has a plan — a plan to do long overdue water quality testing of the river’s water and a plan to create access to the potential historical boating use of this waterway.

The problem with their plan is the historical waterway did not exist below the original C& O Canal Dam, but above the dam.

The water above the dam is far more useful as a boating area for family use than the water below which being not as placid would be more useful to experienced canoeists.

According to Brian Dicken from the health department, the water quality test is a very simple and inexpensive test Would it not be logical therefore to sample the water above the dam as well as below to determine the water quality in that area?

If this simple test is not conducted above as well as below the dam, then any pretext of considering differing views on the dam removal issue is a farce.

Removal of old, possibly unsafe, useless dams from the country’s waterways is a laudable effort.

The Cumberland Ridgeley Dam hardly fits this criteria. In the 1950’s when as part of Cumberland Ridgeley Flood Control Project, the Canal Dam which existed for over a hundred years was removed.

A gift was then given to the Cumberland area — the gift of a quality concrete dam constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers and built to last decades.

For those of us who crossed the old Blue Bridge countless times and witnessed the open sewer that was then the Potomac River, the return of this waterway to its current clean state is a miracle.

But to then see efforts to destroy what we have waited for decades to see, the return of historical boating to this pristine, nearly three-mile long waterway to its former glory.

I know that there are many who share this vision but who remain silent. Silence and indifference equal approval. It is time for other voices to be heard and a true debate to occur with the best interests of the communities involved to be the goal.

It is this same silence and indifference that allowed much of historical Cumberland to be destroyed in the 1970’s in the name of progress.

Gary Clites

Carpendale, W.Va.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Research cost of watershed plan before implementing it

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Prayers in the Park’ event slated Aug. 18 in Johnstown

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other groups get county funds, so should CHCO

    At a recent county commissioner meeting, members of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. and Pastor Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Cumberland attended to request from the commissioners $5 dollars of marriage license money be permanently allocated to the CHCO (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • No public funding for extremist organization

    Once again, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization has asked the Allegany County commissioners for public funding (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why are fair officials targeting firefighters?

    The Allegany County Fair has been known for its Demolition Derby for a long time. Several years back the operation of the derby was awarded to the local Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department.

    July 28, 2014

  • Here’s a time when W.Va. law took precedence over Md. law

     There may be an applicable precedent concerning any assumption that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority (PHAA) can choose to ignore West Virginia territorial state laws.

    July 28, 2014

  • Citizens don’t want Terrapin Run; remove it from the plan

    July 28, 2014