THUMBS UP: The generosity and ingenuity of those who want to help others in the coronavirus fight continues to amaze us. We gave a thumbs-up last week to groups creating cloth masks to give to those who need them most and, on Wednesday, we brought you the story of how Tomlin Technology, Down the Street IT and Carroll Community College were turning their technological skill sets, as well as their 3D printers, toward making high-tech personal protective equipment. Melissa and Alex Turski, owners of Down the Street IT, along with the Freedom District Lions, are collaborating to print and distribute plastic face shields to nursing homes and doctors offices. Tomlin Technology owner Zach Tomlin set up a confederation of 3D printing operations to produce face masks to donate to those who need them; firefighters, health care workers and possibly the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. And at Carroll Community College, professor of Digital Design and Fabrication Scott Gore is produce the same types of masks Tomlin is printing, but at a higher volume. Tomlin and Gore are working together, to distribute masks printed at the college to multiple fire companies, Lorien in Taneytown, the Carroll County Department of Social Services and Penn-Marr Human Services. Gore spoke for all when he told us, “My real priority was making sure our county could be addressed. Big companies are helping on a national level, which is great, but that national need is going to go Washington, D.C., New York, California, not Westminster, Maryland.”
THUMBS UP: The Board of Commissioners on Thursday unanimously voted to reopen the Northern Landfill in Westminster to residential haulers a week earlier than had previously planned, beginning Monday, albeit with reduced hours and other restrictions. This came a week after the commissioners discussed closing it for a month and voting to close it for two weeks — and also after receiving feedback from the public that let them know people did not like the decision and that there were ways to keep it open without putting employees and customers at risk of the coronavirus. “We’ve gotten some tremendous ideas from folks across the county on what we can do to get the landfill up and running 100%,” Commissioner Stephen Wantz said Tuesday. Jeff Castonguay, director of Public Works, presented the commissioners with options on how to proceed at Thursday’s board meeting. Residents dropping off waste can come between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, or all day Saturday. Plexiglas barriers at inbound and outbound stations were installed, weigh masters will be wearing face masks, a system to scan driver’s licenses to ensure only county residents are served, and bullhorns for staff to use when people get too close to each other are among the changes being made, Castonguay said. We’re glad the commissioners reconsidered their earlier decision and took steps needed to reopen before garbage started to pile up or be dumped illegally throughout the county.
THUMBS UP: Hampstead musician Brandon Tomlinson was planning on paying a number of shows this spring to promote a new release, but the coronavirus put his plans on hold. Since he also wanted to help his friends in the Critical Care Unit of Carroll Hospital and their co-workers, he figured out a way to do both. He did a livestream to introduce his new original tracks to anyone who wanted to tune in and, which turned out to be more than 1,700 people, and, in doing so, Tomlinson was able to raise about $2,000 — significantly more than he expected. “It was awesome,” he told us. “We were super surprised.” It was a family affair as Tomlinson’s wife, Rachel, controlled a four-camera set-up that let them switch between angles, their son DJ’ed the backing tracks for his dad to perform over, and their daughter was an operator for one of the cameras. The littlest sibling enjoyed the concert through a pair of earphones. Tomlinson had planned to deliver a meal to the hospital staff, but found a more practical way of doing it by partnering with Greenmount Station restaurant in Hampstead. At half price, Tomlinson purchased a Greenmount Station gift card for all of the 70 members of the critical care staff to be able to use to buy a dinner at their convenience. The remainder of the money went into a Dunkin’ gift card to the unit’s manager to use at her discretion to keep them supplied with coffee. It was a win-win. “To share songs with people, but also do good, that for me is what its really important,” Tomlinson told us.