Yea: We doubt there is anyone who likes being told to wear a mask out in public. Of course, we also never liked it when our parents told us to eat our vegetables. But like it or not, we knew then that eating vegetables was a healthy habit the same way we know that wearing masks are a healthy habit now.

So we understand — and support — the reasons why Gov. Larry Hogan has required us to wear masks outside when social distancing isn’t possible. Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen way too many situations where people have congregated outside without masks. Scenes in Ocean City come to mind.

Data taken from contact tracing indicates an upswing in cases that can be attributed to outdoor parties, family gatherings and the like. Hogan himself said he’s been lax when taking part in these family get-togethers too.

“This expansion of the mask wearing order is fact based, apolitical, and solidly grounded in science,” Hogan said. “And while it can be an inconvenience, especially in the heat, wearing masks is the single best mitigation strategy that we have to fight the virus, and the science and the data are very clear.”

Again, we might not like it. But it’s hard to argue with science. At least that’s our view.

Nay: We look forward to the fall for a lot of reasons and not because everything has a pumpkin spice flavor added to it. Frankly, that might land high on the list of things we don’t like about fall.

No, we like the fall because it’s the beginning of the high school sports season. But this coming season, high school sports such as football, soccer and field hockey are on hold. The coronavirus spread and the recent decision to make public high schools in the county virtual until at least January brought sports to a halt.

It really wasn’t a surprise. A quick look at the troubles happening on the pro-sports scene should be evidence enough that sports can’t go on until we have the virus under control.

And though we really should give the school system a thumbs up for taking this step, we’re going to give an emotional “nay” to the situation, if only because we enjoy those crisp fall Friday nights sitting in the stands watching a game while drinking a warm cup of cider. Without the pumpkin additive, of course.

Yea: One of the pleasures of the summer is getting a chance to go to some of the many farmers markets in and around Frederick County. And now the County Council is workshopping legislation that could potentially add more.

Council member Steve McKay’s bill would permit farmers markets in more zoning categories. This has led to an unfair playing field at times.

“We’re in a situation where certain businesses or entities are being allowed to hold farmers markets,” McKay said at a work session Tuesday. “Others are not, based upon zoning differences and yet we have nothing close to a definition of farmers market in our zoning ordinance.”

The changes would essentially define a farmers market and allow a zoning commissioner the ability to issue a permit if certain criteria has been met.

Makes sense to us.

Yea: We’ve shouted for years on these pages that the Frederick area needs more affordable housing. We know many of you agree. So we were heartened to learn earlier this week when County Executive Jan Gardner asked for proposals from developers to build either senior or workforce housing on two pieces of property that the county has deemed surplus.

The projects would have to offer housing at below-market rates. Gardner said the number of units, the kind of housing and other details would be left up to the developers to include in their proposal. The good news for developers is that both sites present good opportunities and are situated in places with adequate infrastructure, county officials have said.

While projects such as this often take years to open, it’s good to see that Gardner is looking to increase the number of affordable units in the area. Anyone who’s looked for a moderately priced apartment in Frederick will tell you, there aren’t a heck of a lot of options.

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.

(4) comments

DickD

Schools are closed until January - for now. If vaccine is not available then schools probably will be closed for the rest of the school year.

As far as cheap housing is concerned, it is a noble idea but has never turned out good, mostly because low income owners or renters do not maintain the property. Add repairs and maintenance or expect a slum ten years from now.

Dwasserba

Affordable housing can be well managed, I happen to know it's not "never".

FrederickFan

What's proposed is moderately priced housing so teachers, firefighters, nurses and others can afford to live here and don't have to commute from somewhere else. Why would anyone be upset about that?

TomWheatley

I remember my first townhouse community was in transition from the first owners to second like me and/or first owner to renter. I wound up renting since Germantown was being built and it was hard to sell an older town home. Very few original owners were there and the place was looking shabby. 10 years later, Montgomery County placed a police substation there due to the high incidence of crime.

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