Nay: If you're a parent of a student in Frederick County Public Schools, it's got to be frustrating to see the rules changing seemingly every week.

Thursday morning, the board rescinded its April 14 decision to implement three feet of social distancing and to expand a hybrid model to four days a week at elementary schools. The decision came just days after the school system's employee unions filed a grievance and the Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association issued a no confidence vote against the board. The groups said the reopening decisions violated a Memorandum of Understanding they had signed with the board in February.

That agreement, which among other things said that six feet between students and employees must be maintained, can only be voided if all emergency protocols related to COVID-19 are lifted. The agreement expires June 30.  When the board made changes last week, it didn't consult with the unions, and that didn't sit well with them.

Now the board is delaying a decision on a four-day week for elementary students and other social-distancing reductions to get the unions on board. We would have thought, given that there was a signed MOU, the board would have known to include them in the discussions before taking that initial vote. Sure would have saved us all some grief.

We should also point out that this latest stumble by the board comes in the same week that it announced plans to keep Sabillasville Elementary open another year. The board had originally decided to close the school in November and then, in March, reversed that decision to review the matter. 

Yea: Who knows if the Biden administration and Congress will be able to come to an agreement on a national infrastructure plan. But Frederick is getting ready if it does pass and money becomes available locally.

On Tuesday, the city and the Downtown Frederick Partnership announced they are looking for input on ways to improve the downtown's streetscape. The idea is to look for design ideas that could improve city life for pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and others who visit the downtown area, a city press release said. A public workshop is scheduled for early May.

A goal would be to have a plan in place by this summer in case federal money is available. 

We're interested in seeing what kind of ideas will come out of this study and what, if any, consensus there might be for change. It's always nice to ask people what they think, and this is a great opportunity to do that. 

Nay: Frederick County reached a heartbreaking milestone last weekend with the death of the 300th local resident from COVID-19. 

It's a staggering number when you think of it — that this many local people have died in the 13 months since the pandemic began. There have been more than 19,000 confirmed cases. Statewide, more than 8,300 have died and more than 436,000 have contracted the virus as of earlier this week. 

We post these numbers in our news pages every day. We hope that these numbers compel people to follow the latest social distancing guidelines and to get a vaccine.

But we also have to remember that these are more than numbers. They are real people who are victims of this virus. As the count grows every day, we need to keep this top of mind.

In terms of vaccines, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that we are nearing the point where there will be no lines and no wait to get a vaccine. In part, that's because more vaccines are available and also, sadly, due to vaccine hesitancy among some. We saw some evidence of this when a local church held a vaccine clinic and had plenty of leftover shots to give.

Yea: The love Christine and Jack Lillard have for their two daughters who died in a 2013 house fire is found everywhere in Sophie and Madigan's Memorial Playground, which was officially unveiled Tuesday.

From the castle with long blond hair falling out of a window to the colorful rainbows on the ground or the other decorations associated with Disney -- their favorite family vacation spot -- the new playground on Butterfly Lane is not only a tribute to their two daughters but a wonderful way to celebrate the wonders of childhood.

“The design itself is things that we know they loved,” Christine Lillard told our reporter Jillian Atelsek.

The playground, which will cost about $1.5 million when it's done, was created by the Lillards to bring that love to the rest of the community. It will be a great place for families to bring their children for years to come.

“We’re super happy that we made it to this point, and then we’re heartbroken that we can’t share it with [Sophie and Madigan],” Lillard said.

We are as well. And we appreciate the Lillards' gift to our community.

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to letters@newspost.com.

(3) comments

barrykissin

Perhaps from the fatigue associated with decades of struggle against massive mainstream delusion, I have refrained from publicly questioning the dislocation supposedly necessitated by COVID 19. Here we have the FNP editor referring to 300 Frederick County deaths in the past 13 months as a "staggering number." What? I am sorry for the deaths. I wish we all were immortal. How many of this 300 were near death apart from COVID, due to old age and/or co-morbidities? 250? 225? Of course in the same breath, the editor feels compelled to refer to the current cause of all of our woes, "vaccine hesitancy," as if Big Pharma's number one priority is "the safety and well-being of the people who use [their] products." This last quote comes from a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), reported in the April 21 edition of the FNP. J&J covered up for decades the cancer-causing presence of asbestos in its baby powder, and recently was found criminally responsible for our ongoing opioid epidemic.

gabrielshorn2013

Your last few sentences are why ambulance chasing lawyers prefer jury trials over bench trials. There has not been a conclusive and scientific link of cancer caused by J&J baby powder. Asbestos co-occurs with talc deposits, and the J&J incoming raw materials were screened for the presence of asbestos. If found, the raw material was rejected. However, said ambulance chasers play on the heartstrings of the jury, pointing our the poor, poor victim of the big bad company. Of course the defendant is guilty! Our client was sick, wasn't she? No need for evidence. A judge would have never found for the plaintiffs.

barrykissin

Just read: "Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder" A REUTERS INVESTIGATION Dec. 14, 2018

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/

Then please acknowledge your error.

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