Recognizing the 2018 Good Scout award-winner

We should not get any further into the new year without recognizing an important event that occurred Dec. 5, 2018.

At the Pleasant Valley fire hall, site of many notable happenings, the 2018 Good Scout Award Breakfast was served. Each year the Boy Scouts of America recognizes an outstanding individual for dedicated service to his community.


This year the Carroll District of the Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, selected Dr. James E. Lightner. Dr. Lightner was the 28th local citizen so honored. He joins a list that includes two college presidents, bank presidents, state and local officials, business people and others who care and work for the betterment of the community.

Dr. Lightner was chosen for the many ways he exemplifies the qualities enumerated in the Scout law, especially loyalty, helpfulness and kindness.

He first came to Westminster, from where he grew up in Frederick, to attend Western Maryland College (now McDaniel), graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1958.

Ten years later, after earning his doctorate at the Ohio State University, he was back at his alma mater where he began a 36-year career teaching mathematics.

Well-known in the world of mathematics, Dr. Lightner also made contributions to the community through the many musical organizations to which he contributed his talents, the Westminster Rotary Club, the Carroll County Historical Society and the Westminster Boys and Girls Club.

The morning began with the presenting of our nation’s flag and Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop 883, chartered by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Eldersburg,

Following breakfast, Dylan Kalmbach, a new Eagle Scout from Troop 883, shared some of his experiences and what scouting has meant to him.

The introduction of the honoree included quotes by a colleague, a former student and a fellow trustee.

In his acceptance remarks Dr. Lightner said that he had been a Cub Scout in his youth but it had taken him many decades to become a Boy Scout.

Events such as this raise funds to support the Scouting programs of nearly 1,600 young people in our county alone.

With the more than 200 people attending plus more contributions honoring Dr. Lightner, $22,300 was raised.

Carolyn Scott


End use of negative labels associated with substance abuse

I was pleased to read that Commissioners Rothstein and Bouchat both spent time at MACo learning about and better understanding one of our nation’s most deadly epidemics: opioid substance use and the disorder associated with its abuse.


There are many people in our community who suffer from issues in this regard and their fight is a difficult one, but not necessarily a fight they sought out. At some point, many of them were legally given an opioid for an ailment of some kind and became addicted to it in that process. It is important to remove the blinders of our ignorance in this regard and educate ourselves away from societal stigmas associated with opioid use. A hard-working man or woman could have fallen and gotten hurt on the job; a young person could have been playing sports and gotten hurt on the field of competition; an older person could have slipped on the ice over the winter and broke their hip. These are regular examples of individuals who would then go to a physician for healing and help with managing their pain and in the end, became addicted to the medication that was prescribed to help them.

The sufferers are our family members, our friends, our neighbors, and people within our community. We can assist in bringing these individuals true healing and put an end to negative labels by choosing to think differently about those with substance use disorder. They need our support and compassion, not our negativity and acerbic judgment.

Shauna Bere