Gov. Parris N. Glendening does not support a new crossing of the Potomac River in western Charles County.

So said the Democrat in a May 27 letter to Charles County commissioners, who had written him to express their dismay that the idea is resurfacing, nearly a decade after it was defeated in a series of public meetings.

Glendening said Maryland authorities "are concerned about the potential growth management and environmental impacts associated with such a crossing."

He said Maryland will insist upon taking part in any study of a new crossing.

Early this year, the City of Alexandria won a pledge of federal backing for a study of a new Potomac crossing. In return, the city dropped its lawsuit against the construction of a new span to replace the Wilson Bridge, which carries the Capital Beltway across the Potomac.

The location most often mentioned for the Maryland end of a new highway crossing is in the Chicamuxen area south of Indian Head. Such a bridge would come ashore in Virginia near Quantico in Prince William County.

Charles County is already the site of the only crossing of the Potomac south of the Wilson Bridge. The Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge in southern Charles links Maryland and Virginia.

Tally of Garbage Trucks Sought

Charles County commissioners say they are concerned about the increase in garbage hauling through the county, as solid waste is trucked to large landfills in Virginia.

Now they will get some help in figuring just how many trucks are at issue.

Reacting to a May 4 letter from the commissioners, the Maryland Transportation Authority said it "would be happy to assist Charles County on this important issue."

The Transportation Authority said that beginning June 1, it will count refuse trucks at the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge. The count will take place at the toll plaza, which collects money from vehicles heading south across the Potomac River.

The bridge takes vehicles to King George County, Va., site of a huge commercial landfill that is a final destination for trash from throughout the region.

Annual Fowler Wade-In Sunday

If it's mid-June, it must be time for former state senator Bernie Fowler's annual Patuxent River Wade-In. The 12th edition of the event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Broomes Island.

Fowler leads an entourage into the water each year as a way to draw public attention to the health of the river. He walks into the murky water until he can no longer see his sneakers. He calls the depth at which they disappear the Sneaker Index. Last year, that was 35.5 inches.

The success of Fowler's environmental stunt has generated an army of respectful imitators. Last year, several similar wade-ins were staged for the first time on several other streams around the state, and this weekend's schedule appears likely to wrinkle soles all over Maryland.

In addition to the Broomes Island event, seven other wade-ins are planned up and down the eastern and western shores of the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday or the following Saturday. A "fish-in" is planned Sunday on the Upper Potomac at Rocky Gap State Park.

Closer to home, two wade-ins are set in or near Southern Maryland in addition to Fowler's. State Del. George W. Owings III (D-Calvert) will lead waders into Herring Bay at Owings Cliffs in Anne Arundel County, just across the border with Calvert County.

In Charles County, the Lower Potomac Tributary Team will host a wade-in -- its second -- from the grounds of Pepco's Morgantown Power Plant.

The event, set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, with the wade-in at 2 p.m., will include environmental education and family activities. Pepco will offer tours explaining how the power plant works.

The Lower Potomac Tributary Team, one of 10 such teams across the state, reviews water quality issues within Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's counties. Its work has focused on reducing nutrient pollution, primarily excess nitrogen and phosphorus, often associated with fertilizer and animal waste runoff.

Room at the Inn for Prayer

When it comes to prayer in Calvert County, a subject that has been much discussed in recent weeks, County Commissioner John Douglas Parran (At Large) says he knows where he can pray with abandon: the Holiday Inn.

Parran told the other commissioners this week that he attended a dinner last Saturday night at the Holiday Inn in Solomons. The dinner was held by the Daughters of the King, a group he described as a "religious organization."

"We had dinner and did some praying," said Parran, who attended the fete to present a proclamation to the group. "It's one of the last places you can still pray -- in church and at the Holiday Inn."