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Editorial: Thumbs up to a golden business, a field reopening, a town bucking trends, EAC winners

THUMBS UP: It’s not easy to become a successful business — making any anniversary worthy of celebration — but Tuck’s Service Center in Union Bridge turning 50 deserves special recognition. It was in 1968 that Perry Jones Sr., known as “Tuck,” decided to open his own shop. He opened the business just after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and, as far as Perry Jones Jr. — who has been working there since the beginning — knows, it was the first licensed, black-owned business in Carroll County. Tuck’s is still a family affair. Since Tuck died in 1980, Perry and his brother Archer, and now nephew Archie, have continued the tradition of repairing vehicles from the small service center on Main Street. Perry Jones Jr. said he didn’t realize this was the golden anniversary year for Tuck’s until he saw a documentary on the 50th anniversary of King’s death and made the connection. Fifty years. Quite a feat. “It’s kind of hard to do in a small town of 1,000 people, but we have some very good customers that have been with us the entire time that we’ve been here,” Perry Jones Jr. told us. “Union Bridge is like a family rather than a business because we’ve been here so long and everybody relies on us and we rely on them.”

THUMBS UP: There’s absolutely no reason for one of the best-conditioned sports fields in Carroll County to sit unused, so we commend the Board of County Commissioners for voting on Thursday, June 28, to open up the former North Carroll High School’s stadium and field to the North Carroll Recreation Council. The field’s grass is still cut weekly and, although there is an active fundraiser supporting a turf field at the site, county staff and commissioners agreed at the commissioner meeting that keeping people out of the school goes against goals to keep its amenities as a community resource. Department of Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Degitz said fundraising for the turf field has been slow and that community use would not interfere with the county putting a turf field there in the future. Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, said he supported opening up the stadium and field — but not for practice, only for games, to keep it special and to protect the field from wear and tear.

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THUMBS UP: In an era when cities and towns are frequently phasing out parades and other types of celebrations because of the onerous cost, it’s refreshing to see the Town of Sykesville going in the other direction — Sykesville is hosting its first Independence Day parade Sunday, July 1, after its regularly scheduled farmers market at 9 a.m. and the third annual Coolest Mile on Main Street race at 1 p.m. The parade will start at 2 p.m., beginning at Sykesville Middle School and proceeding down the length of Historic Main Street, with floats and vehicles accompanying the approximately 30 participants marching in units and organized groups. “We have had many, many requests in the years past about [a parade],” Julie Della-Maria of the Downtown Sykesville Connection told us. It took volunteers and sponsors, but they got it done. And, they’re just getting started. Sykesville is considering adding fireworks to future Fourth of July celebrations, perhaps as early as next year.

THUMBS UP: On Wednesday, June 20, the Environmental Advisory Council set aside the first portion of its meeting to recognize the five recipients of its 2018 Environmental Awareness Awards. On a biennial basis the Carroll County Board of Commissioners and EAC choose candidates from various categories — individual, institution, student, agriculture and business — who they feel make a difference in the community by instituting or forwarding positive environmental thought and action. The winners are: Nancy Bittler, adult supervisor to the 4-H Green Outdoor Environmental Science Club, for the individual award; Bryan Shumaker, Carroll County Public Schools STEM coordinator, for the institution award; Stella Schoberg, an environmental leader at her elementary school, for the student award; Carolyn and Mike Krome of Persimmon Tree Farm, for the agriculture award; and Legacy Septic and Excavation LLC for the business award.

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