As a minority liberal in a rural and very conservative part of the county, I’d like to share what I see as a shift in the thinking of some conservative friends and neighbors, who usually avoid talking with me about anything except vegetable gardens, pups, grandkids, runaway chickens and wildlife.
A neighbor who works in law enforcement, and up to now has been a true believer in 287(g) and Inter-governmental Service Agreements and all they represent, has recently expressed concern — grief, actually — about the separation of dependent children and others from family members arrested and detained for nonviolent civil infractions currently being labeled crimes. And a nearby family who once waited nearly an hour for the sheriff’s office to respond after a fatal incident of domestic violence, have questioned the time, personnel and funds being devoted to the search for and apprehension of peaceful and productive undocumented members of the community.
We all share the desire to protect ourselves, our children and other loved ones from criminal acts by violent people. But we have differing views about which children belong in the category “our children,” and which pose a real versus imagined threat to them and the community.
And we do disagree about the difference between actual facts and alternative ones; between just and unjust laws; between legitimate use of power, and abuse of power and human rights; and about when that abuse reaches a level that requires putting the public good ahead of political interest. And finally, perhaps most relevant to the difficult challenges currently facing our elected governing officials and their advisers: We disagree about what it means to use the letter of the law to betray its spirit, which has nothing to do with power and its privileges and everything to do with justice.
With respect for the fact that opposing views may result from equally sincere beliefs, my fellow “troublemakers” (aka “scofflaws”) and I are still hoping against hope that the honorable and capable officials mentioned above will find the personal and political will to lead us all in a better direction — a more conservative direction, really — than the unchecked extreme one we’ve been allowing the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to take us in for more than a decade now. We can continue to hope this because in so many other ways, those same officials have been valiantly leading us toward a better, more humane and livable Frederick.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the relatively small minority of the Walkersville Heritage Farm Park Yard Waste Center users who have so abused the facility that Frederick County had no feasible alternative but to close it down. There is no need to call out any of you by name since you very definitely know who you are.
I originally felt anger toward the county for eliminating yet another important and convenient tax-supported service, but after more thought, felt that the anger and frustration was better focused toward the source of the problem, rather than at the county that has been forced to try and deal with the continued abuse. While there are alternatives to closure, all would certainly involve significant additional expense to the county (and associated tax impact) so I ultimately have to agree with the county’s decision for closure.
It’s unfathomable to me that we, as members and supposed contributors to the well-being of the broader Frederick County community in which we live, can’t adequately follow, abide by, and self-enforce the very simple rules for use of the facility. A sign, visible at the facility entrance, clearly states acceptable and unacceptable items for deposition in the facility. It also clearly states that the facility is for household use only and that it is off-limits to commercial dumping. It’s evident that a small segment of our community believes that the rules do not apply to them and as a result, after Nov. 29, we will no longer have a facility on the north side of the county in which we can dispose of household yard waste.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve personally witnessed commercial use of the facility, dumping of unacceptable items, and other abuses. I’ve tried on numerous occasions to politely remind abusers of the rules and have usually been told in no uncertain terms to “mind my own business.” When I explain that it is all of our business, the dialogue quickly becomes defensive and ultimately achieves nothing. I’ve sent pictures of commercial vehicles dumping at the facility to the county and even removed some unacceptable items dumped by others. What concerns me the most is that certain segments of the population refuse to exhibit common decency or respect for their neighbors by following rules that are actually designed to improve the lives of everyone.
Let’s hope that the closure of the Walkersville Heritage Farm Park Yard Waste Center becomes a lesson to all of us on what it means to be a good neighbor and a productive and supportive member of the community.
The article in the Oct. 31 News-Post about the Hawks’ win over the Patriots in the girls Field Hockey 3A West Region 1 final was lacking an important component. That component was credit to the Patriots for playing tough defense against the Hawks.
The article was one-sided and made multiple excuses as to why the Hawks didn’t play their best game. Let’s face it, they didn’t expect to face such a tough defense! They didn’t expect our goalie to make 32 saves that night. Not sure if your reporter was at the same game as the Patriot fans, but our girls were playing in the rain, too. The Patriots’ hair was “drenched” and “tousled,” their sticks were wet, and we had “little experience playing in inclement weather,“ too. Actually, the Patriots were at even more of a disadvantage because Gov. Thomas Johnson High School doesn’t have a turf field for our girls to practice and play on.
The Hawks are most definitely a very skilled field hockey team. The TJ girls went into that game not expecting to win. Their determination and fight on the field may have gone unnoticed by your reporter, but it was inspiring to the Patriot fans and their coaches.
Next time, give credit where it is due, and don’t make unnecessary excuses.
Thank you to the Lamberts for their many years of bringing their carriage rides to Frederick. We went on the Cinderella ride and loved it!
It was so nice to see the lights of downtown in a comfortable carriage at a leisurely pace. We can’t help but wonder if one of those protesters got angry because they had to follow a slow-moving carriage instead of being able to zoom through town. Once again, we have let a few people dictate what we are allowed to do — or not to do — in this case.
Shame on you.
Vicki and Mike Moser