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Interesting and thought-provoking. A great post. Nice writing, Jim.

how in the hell could a trail affect that area negatively?

also, some better day in the distant future, the notion that an individual person can "own" land will be as perverse as the thought that people used to own other, "lesser," people. or as perverse that a lawyer "makes" more money than a school teacher or janitor...

all resources are social, through and through. how they are used is always a social decision -- if we value rationality and democracy. one man standing in the way of any project or movement is an insult to the larger body politic. and an affront to human response-ability and potentiality.


The previous reader comment clearly missed the crux of a fine article. Sorry for him that he also misses the balance and integration of individual/group privilages and rights.

To the author, thanks for pointing out differences in a positive manner.

Great read, Jim...and a good history lesson!

Leave it to me to say which statements I disagree with in a great article, but the only statement I disagree with is:
"But people usually do not launch campaigns or bring in the NRA when officials are treating them with respect and soliciting win-win arrangements."
Maybe Mr. Meyer is not one of those people, but treating trail opponents fairly does not always correlate with withdrawal of opposition in my experience. Lack of notice or respect can make things worse however.

I was one of the County officils who dealt with Buz. We did treat him with great respect and tried on many occasions to work with him and the Meyers family. To speculate that we did not is just false. We had many opponents to our trail system in Anne Arundel and we won many of them over. Buz and his brother Bob, two of my favorite people, just were not among them.
Dave Dionne

"one man standing in the way of any project or movement is an insult to the larger body politic."

We will be coming to harvest your organs very soon. They are urgently needed in the war effort against Eurasia.

One of the all-time great posts here.

he was a moron. well- intentioned, and sincere, but a moron.

he was the classic examplar of the case made in "What's the Matter with Kansas?"...

Double plus good, Guez.

Thanks to all for the kind comments.

I emailed Dave Dionne to see whether he could provide some of the missing facts that led me to say that we do not know what the county's position was when Mr. Meyer launched his campaign. I placed calls to 5 current officials hoping to elicit the factual information that would allowed me to tell the story--rather than stating the uncertainty range that Dave calls "speculation". But all I was able to get was assurances similar to what Dave says here.

This article was meant to be a story about Buz Meyer and the advocates, not a commentary about the county. I would love to tell the County's side of the story in a future post.

Dave raises another related issue (which Jack raises to some extent). There is a big difference between "failing to treat with respect or trying to work with him" (Dave's words) and treating someone with the deference that we would have when we are asking someone a favor and looking for a win-win solution (my words). In the latter case it is clear that "no" means "no" though perhaps the no will become a yes at a higher price. In the former case, it is often not clear whether a no will be the end of the matter. I do not know whether the County had made it clear to Buz Meyer that it would take no for an answer, so contrary to what Dave says, the "speculation" is not false but rather an accurate reflection of the publicly available facts. But I'd love to put the speculation to rest with the facts.

I'll skip over most of the dialogue that Mike initiated, except to note that Mr. Meyer also addressed that issue:


I can say I own that land, [but] that's just a pompous attitude. I don't figure I am an owner. I figure I am just a steward of it.

no, owning the land has necessary legal ramifications -- that can land the "owner" in jail, if the land were used for illegal purposes.

as i said: he was a well intentioned fool. he was uneducated and miseducated; and fearful of change -- both practical and moral. i kinda admire folksy people like him; theyre much more tolerable than the "anything goes" liberals that abound...whose "tolerance" is afforded by their comparative privilege and $$ affluence.

his comment about stewardship is so sweet...it's also political, posturing bullshit. he had every opportunity to give that land anyway; turn it into a community trust; etc., etc..

beautiful story. thanks.

Bill Kelly-Here!, Thanks for posting the info on the WB&A Trail into AA-CO. Jim Titus and Dave Dionne were right on the mark as I remember the history. I worked along with Morris Warren when he got the PG-Co(Sorry) side of the WB&A up and going. The Trail should be called the Morris Warren Trail. Thanks for keeping history alive, Bill kelly

Excellent article. I'm new to this debate, and a recreational cyclist who knows I'm spoiled with some of the nice trails around our area. Initially, I want to be mad at this guy, but reading more and more, and finding this article, I think a little harder about things. Mr Myer seemed like a guy I would have liked to know. Hopefully his family can navigate this debate to the best of his wishes and to the overall community. With that being said, I'd be just fine with a detour

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