With thoughts of spring, don't forget to cross your fingers for the groundhog

NEIGHBORS

February 01, 1994|By MAUREEN RICE

The other day, while listening to the radio to determine whether schools would be closed or merely delayed, I heard words of truth from the overworked station employee whose job it is to report on school closings.

"Here it is folks -- not news, just a way of life. Schools closings and delays are . . . "

It's terrible, but it's true.

Even the Boy Scouts have been driven into their cozy homes.

The Klondike Derby, an annual Scouting event that celebrates winter and the fun it brings, has been postponed two weeks in a row.

If I were a groundhog, I'd be running scared right now.

Even Scouts don't want him to see his shadow tomorrow, the day that lets us know how long we must endure these arctic conditions.

I am given to wonder about the life expectancy of any groundhog who dares to show his face tomorrow.

I know what my husband would like to do to the critter.

He, in fact, plans to make a fortune selling T-shirts decorated with a groundhog surrounded by snow and ice, with hailstones, sleet and snow swirling about, underneath the caption "Kill the groundhog -- Feb. 2, 1994."

*

It's not over yet.

The discussion of the proposed 200-foot-tall communications tower to be built on the Hollenberry Road site in Sykesville continues.

Despite the ugly weather and closed schools, Thursday at the county office building about 25 people who oppose a site variance for the tower faced the handful of representatives of the corporation requesting the variance.

Representatives of West Shore Communications argued at great length the need for a tower, calling expert witnesses to say there are gaps in emergency communications for fire and ambulance coverage in Sykesville -- but that any site within a three- or four-mile radius of Sykesville could solve the problem -- and that they had carefully studied the area to choose this site.

James Schumacher, Sykesville town manager, presented a map showing an approved subdivision that will be built in the immediate area of the proposed tower, and requested the application for zoning variance be denied on the basis of the proximity of these homes.

Because only two of those opposing the variance had the opportunity to speak at the hearing, another is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday in Room 7 of the county office building at 225 N. Center St.

"It's good that we have this second day of the hearing, because the communications company spent so much time talking about the need for towers that we didn't have a chance to discuss whether this was an appropriate site," said Kathy Heisch, a Sykesville resident who was attended the hearing.

"Now we have the opportunity to present our case, that while a tower may be desirable somewhere near Sykesville, this is entirely the wrong place to put it."

Neighbors of the Hollenberry Road site plan to argue that the tower would reduce the property values of their homes, and that electromagnetic/microwave transmissions from towers such as these may be a health hazard.

Monday's hearing is open to the public.

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