Cooperation Led To Calendar ChangeOn behalf of the Jewish...


December 05, 1993

Cooperation Led To Calendar Change

On behalf of the Jewish Community in Harford County, including our synagogue, Temple Adas Shalom, its board, the youth groups, the Ladies Auxiliary, B'nai B'rith and the Harford Jewish Council, I want to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to our many friends who have helped us in our efforts to help keep our culture and heritage alive and well.

Words cannot adequately express the support received from the Baltimore Metropolitan Jewish Community and Jewish Council in this effort.

Without support from organizations such as the Harford County Education Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and our other friends, opening the door to eliminating cultural conflict from the school calendar process would not have been achieved.

I would be remiss if a special acknowledgment of thanks did not go out to certain elected officials who took the time to either work behind the scenes on our behalf or stood in the sunlight shoulder to shoulder with us by attending meetings and/or writing letters to the school board.

These very special people are the Harford County Human Relations Commission, Iriam Rivera, director and Janet Beavers, chairwoman; council President Jeffrey Wilson, and fellow council members Theresa Pierno and Joanne Parrott.

It goes without saying, that without the eventual support of our school superintendent Ray Keech, Percy Williams and the fellow school board members' vote on Nov. 8, the door would not have been open for us as a cultural heritage to be recognized as part of the multi-dimensional quilt that makes up the fabric of our culturally diverse county.

Robert Frost in one of his poems, "The Road Not Taken," talked about two roads converging in the woods, one was heavily traveled and one was not. We have taken the road less traveled together. In the end, we will all benefit from our journey. As in Frost's poem, the journey will not be easy. For us, it means relying on each other's strength and commitment. In the end, we'll all look back and say, I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference.

Stuart Jay Robinson

Bel Air

The writer is a member of the board of trustees of the Harford Jewish Center, Havre de Grace.

Short Memories

On Nov. 15, the town of Bel Air voted to change the annexation agreement governing the land on Route 24. Commission members Mark Decker, Russell Poole, Joseph Brooks and Mayor W. Eugene Graybeal all voted for the change. Commissioner Susan McComas abstained from voting. The change was made under the pretense (and influence) of Upper Chesapeake Health Systems that a hospital was to be built at this location. The most alarming portion of this change involved the removal of the "principal use" requirement of a hotel/inn/conference center (or a hospital).

Now there is "no principal use" associated with this property, and the commissioners can approve basically any use without being governed by the compromise that the citizens of the area, the town of Bel Air and the landowner negotiated in 1988. It is interesting to note the following:

* Only one of the five current commissioners served in 1988, when the annexation was approved. During the recent public hearing, there was no interest expressed by the commissioners in the level of prior public involvement. I guess we can now expect that the public trust in the Bel Air governmental process is valid for one term.

* The most prevalent question or concern expressed by the commissioners was the financial status of the developers with regard to this property. I have never heard of a land-use case being determined by the financial need of the landowner. Yet, based upon the line of questioning, it appears as if the town of Bel Air might be writing a new chapter in the land-use book.

* There is still not a firm commitment from Upper Chesapeake to use this site as a hospital. I hope the town has not acted too brashly in its eagerness to bend over backward to accommodate a hospital which may or may not materialize. Perhaps if Upper Chesapeake does not build the hospital here, it will assist the community in revising the annexation agreement back to its original form. I would hate to think that the hospital would want to be involved in a total breach of community trust.

Obviously, the commissioners had determined their positions on this matter prior to the public hearing. The taxpayers of the town need to be very careful of politicians who vote based upon the financial need of a landowner, as it raises questions regarding integrity and fairness.

Additionally, the taxpayers and voters of the county need to ensure that these four commissioners are never elected to a higher office where they could continue to make such decisions which would then affect an entire county.

Michael V. Treherne

Bel Air

Don't Lengthen Canada Geese Hunting Season

I would like to add my voice to those vehemently opposed to extending the Canada geese hunting season.

These magnificent birds are a wonderful sight and sound for all of us.

I want my future grandchildren to be able to enjoy them on a daily basis as I do. Please, let's not make them a rare sight!

Also, as a rural resident, I am upset that the period in which I must be cautious about walking on my own property has been extended. I love to walk and enjoy nature, especially the sounds of Canada geese honking. But, now I must beware of hunters' guns for 35 days!

Let's change this in 1994 and make the season 18 days or less.

Ann Marie McLaughlin

Bel Air

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