Excerpt from today's Hagerstown-Mail , regarding recent arsons (includes Tom Clemens' comment)...
The torching of four townhouses in this rapidly growing western Maryland city highlights the spread of a radical environmental movement associated largely with the western United States. The Earth Liberation Front, which claimed responsibility for the weekend fires, is growing through exposure via the Internet to its philosophy and methods, said Kelly Stoner, executive director of Stop Eco-Violence!, which monitors vandalism linked to environmental and animal-rights groups.
The fires set early Sunday at the Hager's Crossing subdivision destroyed one nearly finished town house and damaged three others under construction, causing losses estimated at $225,000 to $235,000, according to developer The Rachuba Group, of Eldersburg. Rachuba and the project's two builders, Ryan Homes and Patriot Homes, announced a $25,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Several local groups have publicly opposed the development of open space near Hagerstown, a city of 38,000 about 70 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Leaders of two such organizations, the Save Historic Antietam Foundation and the Frederick Regional Action Network, said Tuesday they condemn the use of arson to fight sprawl.
"Whether it's someone's home or just a shell under construction, vandalizing or destroying it is criminal, period. It's reprehensible on so many levels," said Kai Hagen, executive director of the Frederick Regional Action Network.
Thomas G. Clemens, president of Save Historic Antietam, said ELF hurts the environmental movement. "The advocacy of these criminal acts gets attributed to anybody who wants to influence or have a voice in the regulating of the growth. It embarrasses the rest of us and it's detrimental," he said.
Entire article is online at:
POSTED BY: TOM SHAY
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