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Rural villages proposal is murky at bestAn...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Rural villages proposal is murky at best

An awful lot of people in Carroll County will be affected, for better or worse, by a proposed amendment to the county master plan called the Draft Rural Villages Element. Residents in the up to 35 areas under consideration for designation as rural villages have been notified of the proposed change.

However, the exact nature of the change isn't clear from the letter. There is mention of money for preserving historic sites. Having lived in the Berrett area for more than nine years, we are unaware of any historic site in Berrett.

There is the promise of future state funds, if needed. For what? We already have excellent local services, including mail, fire protection, police and school buses.

When we moved to the Berrett area more than nine years ago, we chose it because of its rural nature, no sidewalks and our own well and septic system. In a word, few restrictions.

After checking the Draft Rural Villages Element at the local library, we are unable to determine what such a designation would eventually mean for Berrett.

Before discussing the pros and cons at public hearings scheduled through early May, residents of these 35 areas should be able to see printed an explanation of the proposal.

The letter assures us there will be no change in zoning or taxes. In what, then?

Donald Davidson

Joan Davidson

Sykesville

More citizens need to get involved

I'd like to address the article by James Coram on April 22, "Planners balk at commercial development." It is true that at the hearing, Jack Tevis had agreed to extend the sidewalk from the proposed convenience store to the high school property, but the sidewalk would be put along Route 32 to the athletic fields.

It is not being put there for the safety of the schoolchildren who walk to school, but to encourage people using the fields to walk to his planned store.

This is not a decision he made out of the goodness of his heart, but because it was strongly requested by the county.

I'd remind everyone in Carroll County, and especially in Eldersburg, if you are concerned about a project in your community, get involved. Keep informed, call the county, ask questions, write letters, attend Board of Zoning Appeals hearings and planning commission meetings if your schedule allows.

The only way this county will take a hard look at a project is to be sure that citizens are looking over their shoulders.

Be sure the Board of Zoning Appeals and planning commission has the "whole story" on a project, not just what the developer would want them to know.

Donna Slack

Eldersburg

FACPC resignation was a surprise

I would like to clarify several points about the resignation of Barry Marsh from the Freedom Area Community Planning Council because I nominated him as vice chairman when FACPC was formed several years ago.

I did this based on his reputation as a leader in getting things done for his community homeowners association.

Frankly, his resignation came as a surprise to us all as Mr. Marsh had conducted the March meeting in the absence of our chair.

In the past 12 months, he has been present at only three meetings, hardly enough to get a feel for what the group is doing and certainly not enough to provide even a minimum of the leadership with which he was entrusted.

Mr. Marsh is entitled to his opinion about remarks in our paper. However, I would point out that in two years, he has yet to contribute even a single article to our newspaper, the Freedom Fighter. It is easy to be an armchair quarterback.

Gene Edwards

Eldersburg

Zoning officials show lack of vision

The approval by the Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals to forward Bernard Robbins' project for commercial development at Londontown Boulevard and Route 32 reinforces the lack of vision our county officials reveal on a near daily basis these days.

I am personally offended by board member Hoby Wolf's comments in an April 21 article as well as those in previous reporting on county matters.

Why do citizens in this county accept the attitude held by Mr. Wolf and other influential government representatives that citizens are stupid and inept?

The Freedom District is a benchmark for the success or failure of this county to compete with neighboring Baltimore and Howard counties.

How many times can you swing and miss before you realize you can't see the ball?

Joel H. Hassman

Eldersburg

Offering a hand to help at Hospice

Two years ago, I became a volunteer with Carroll Hospice. I was looking for a way to give to our community.

I wanted to feel like I was helping someone and that my time was worthwhile. I was given 37 hours of training and became an integral part of a care-giving team.

Hospice is a special way of caring for the dying and their caregivers.

Staff members and volunteers focus on the whole person, not the disease, and strive to meet the patient's physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs as well as the needs of the family.

Hospice takes a team approach. Each member offers a specific set of skills. Our hospice team includes nurses, social workers, physicians, spiritual caregivers and many other professionals, but volunteers are the backbone.

Hospice volunteers make this special way of caring possible. Simply put, we are there to take care of whatever needs to be done.

We are there to hold a hand and listen or to take the patient to their favorite place in the park.

We are there to run an errand, pick up a prescription or the right watercolor needed to finish a masterpiece.

We are there to take the dog for a walk, play the patient's favorite music or read a favorite book.

We are there to step in when a family member needs a break from caring for their loved one.

And, we are there for the family after their loved one has died.

In the past two years, I have worked side by side with members of this community on the hospice team. I have been witness to the work of truly special people who deserve heartfelt appreciation.

Nationwide, more than 95,000 volunteers provide more than 5 million hours of service to the dying and their families. The average volunteer will undergo hours of intensive training to prepare for all aspects of patient care. Locally, 140 persons donated their services to Carroll Hospice.

People often ask, "Isn't it depressing?" I tell them, "I'm getting more out of it than what I give!"

For more information, contact Carroll Hospice at 410-871-8000.

Mary Gill

Westminster

Pub Date: 5/03/98

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