Reconsider Panel On Status Of Women
When I went to the County Office Building on Jan. 22 to listen to constituents' opinions about possible new legislation, I took with me my conservative's bias against the proposed county Commission for Women. I'm sick and tired of constantly expanding tax demands and the very title of this group (which reportedly sought county authority and, possibly, county funding) rubbed me the wrong way.
Two hours later, I left that building sort of ashamed that I'd prejudged the proponents of this idea.
I was impressed to learn from Rachelle Hurwitz that Carroll County State's Attorney Tom Hickman endorsed this commission with the belief that it may prove useful in the fight against the ever-increasing instances of domestic violence. (This issue is of primary importance to me; I deal with it almost daily as a prosecuting attorney outside the county.)
Other speakers revealed their personal experiences as single parents, their struggles to avoid welfare dependency, find job training and secure child care. I learned that commission-type activities had been instrumental in helping these folks with self-sufficiency. That means fewer of my tax dollars were needed to support them.
Finally, it took guts for some of these ladies to stand up and say their piece in front of what seemed to be a somewhat hostile audience. . . .
There are few things of greater value to a community than the presence of well-meaning, committed volunteers who give of their time to better the lives of their neighbors. The folks who have striven for the establishment of this commission are such people. We should be grateful for their efforts, not endeavor to impugn them.
I am convinced that the proposed Commission for Women would be good for the county. I give it my support and I encourage the members of the delegation to reconsider their position on this matter.
The writer is a candidate for the state House of Delegates in District 5 and is an assistant state's attorney for Washington County.
I am very troubled to learn of Ridge Engineering's request for a permit to discharge treated wastewater containing toxic contaminants into the sewers leading to the wastewater treatment plant in Hampstead. A recent Sun article disclosed that if this permit request is approved, Ridge Engineering would be authorized to discharge acidic, toxic effluents, including copper, nickel, zinc, silver, lead, cadmium, cyanide and other toxic organic compounds. . . . I am very concerned about the personal and public health risks and the environmental degradation associated with these extremely toxic effluents being released into our water supply.
Safe, clean, healthy water for the people of Hampstead and its environs is a right, not an elective privilege to be regulated or bargained away. The area's water supply belongs to all of us, not just to the local industrial community. If we are to ever stop mutagenic and carcinogenic contaminants like these from finding their way into the food chain and into our own metabolisms, we must first stop them from being introduced into our water supply at the local level. . . .
If Ridge Engineering must utilize these extremely dangerous substances in the course of its operations, then it must also be made to accept fully the responsibilities and the costs associated with their safe and proper handling, recycling and/or disposal. Perhaps the principals at Ridge Engineering will find themselves motivated to consider safer, non-toxic or significantly less-toxic production methods when they are required to incorporate these costs into their operating budget. . . .
Timothy M. Hurley
This is a copy of a letter sent to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Take, Take, Take
Something must be done about the increasing tax burden and state government's propensity for devouring its citizens' tax dollars. There appears to be no end in sight at the national and state levels.
In an era of steadily increasing voter apathy, W. David Blair's common-sense approach to fix what is wrong with state government is refreshing. Candidate Blair's view is that government cannot do everything nor should it try. He supports a vision of more businesslike government with managed competition for selected functions and services.
Mr. Blair is a longtime resident of Carroll County. I am convinced he understands the problems our state faces. He has a plan for positive and decisive action to limit the expansion of government that takes more and delivers less.