Carroll's right-to-farm law is flawedI appreciated Mike...


September 15, 1996

Carroll's right-to-farm law is flawed

I appreciated Mike Burns' July 28 column about the peacocks and the Carroll County Right-to-Farm Ordinance.

Among its several flaws, the ordinance is unfair to a person who purchased property before an objectionable agricultural practice was started nearby. This feature of the ordinance is especially inequitable where there was no reasonable expectation that adjoining property would be used for agricultural operations. An example would be adjoining land that is zoned conservation and is forested at the time the residential property is purchased, but that could later be converted to an agricultural operation and protected under the ordinance. As a result, the value of the residential property could be lowered, even though the purchaser of that property was not "on notice". I pointed out this fundamental flaw to the commissioners at the time the ordinance was under consideration, but my advice was ignored. (The public was given an unreasonably short time to comment on the ordinance.)

Richard E. Geyer

Mount Airy

In support of skateboarders

As the mother of a skateboarder, I feel compelled to respond to Elmer Lippy's view of skateboarders (Carroll Viewpoints, "Why Don't People Like Skateboarders? Well ," Sept. 1.)

I agree that skateboarding does destroy property and some skateboarders do litter. Could some of the arrogant and destructive behavior be a result of frustration and negative interaction with some adults?

I do not condone any of these behaviors. However, if a facility was available for youths to practice this sport, Mr. Lippy wouldn't have such a point of view. What he has observed is the result of not having an adequate facility for this sport. On several occasions, I have taken my son and his friends to Columbia, Pa., to an indoor skateboarding facility. They skated on various ramps and all of their trash was put into trash receptacles. They weren't arrogant nor did they destroy any property. His friends' parents have done likewise. Skateboarding is a lucrative business. Skateboarders and their parents spend a lot of money on this sport. And their parents, as well as some of them, do vote.

Mr. Lippy, please explain how these skateboarders are supposed to practice their sport? Who knows, one year a skateboarder could make the people who don't like them proud by bringing home a gold! (The Olympic Committee does recognize skateboarding as a sport). All youths need to feel that their wholesome endeavors are respected and important, and adults will be supportive in these endeavors.

I do hope that Mr. Lippy will attain his goal of selling the council on constructing a ramp(s) at Westside Park by actively and aggressively pursuing it.

Sieglinda Habersham


Wine grapes good alternative crop

One item in the August 17 article about promoting small crops in Howard County was only briefly mentioned: Wine grapes are a very profitable commodity and one currently in great demand in Maryland by amateur winemakers and commercial wineries, who presently have to go out-of-state to meet their ever-increasing needs.

A ton of grapes can be produced in as little as a quarter-acre and bring in close to $2,000, depending on variety. It is an ideal crop for hobbyists, agriculture-minded persons with limited acreage and full-time farmers looking for adjunct or replacement crops. And judging from the increasing popularity of state wine festivals, the end product has a lot more appeal than bok choy.

Jack Johnston


The writer is with the Maryland Grape Growers Association.

Looking back with rose glasses

I see again readers jumping to conclusions when they read two different articles. "Somehow they must relate?," the reader asks and then interprets the meaning to his or her own prejudice. Such was Selma Pollack's correlation between women getting better jobs and the increase of drug use among teen-agers. (Letters to the editor, "Drug use related to women working," Aug. 31).

I would like Selma Pollack to think of a few other things. The 1950s may be an anomaly. Before then, many mothers worked. They worked in the canning factories, they took in laundry, they did "homework," and they were domestics. Most of these women were from the working-class backgrounds and much of their work was not recorded. But they did work and they did have families and they did not seem to face the drug problems we have today.

Let us shift forward to the late '50s, the '60s and '70s when young people by the droves turned on, tuned out and tried ever more drugs. Today, many of these people are respected citizens. Yet no one wants to suggest the sins of the fathers and mothers.

This is not a partisan issue, nor a gender issue. It is a problem that needs solutions and owning up to our own drug past that many look back on as the "better days."

Barbara O'Brien


County owes a big debt to farmers who didn't sell

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