"HE'S AN environmental watchdog, a one-man crusade to protect the water."
That's what Melody Kestenbaum, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. representative, says about Monroe Haines.
Last year, Haines won the BGE Volunteer of the Year award, and a $1,000 award was presented to the charity of his choice, Westminster Fire Department. Recently, he was first runner-up, an honor that allowed him to present a $500 award to the charity of his choice, and once again he's giving it to the volunteer Fire Department.
"I feel no one does any more for this town than the Westminster Fire Department," Haines said.
"All this dumping must be stopped," said Haines, who has made the cleanup of Longwell Run in Westminster his personal crusade. "I guess when I look at our water conditions I see that our water is bad, bad, bad. We have some of the worst processed water in the state of Maryland," Haines said.
"I don't have a lot of money," he added, "but I've spent enough on this creek."
Haines said he has removed 11 dump-truck loads of pollutants from Longwell Run, including "steel pipes, concrete pieces, a bicycle, half of an auto, trash, car seats, blankets, mattresses -- you name it."
BGE says Haines spent 1,200 hours of his time in 1996 working to improve water quality in his hometown.
Haines' work has not always gained him approval. In 1995, he was arrested and charged with harassment when he stationed himself outside a business to monitor the waste he said was being dumped in a nearby stream.
"Fertilizer has been dumped. Flea dips, liquid from mulch yards, degreaser from two or three businesses in town. I've been after the Health Department to do something about it, but they don't. I've been told they wish I would just stay out of their area. But I'm not going away."
Haines has won awards from BGE for five of the past six years and has donated $2,700 in prize money to Westminster Fire Department. He also won the Governors Award in 1993 as a state Volunteer of the Year.
"I've gotten more aggressive," Haines said, "and I'm planning to stay that way. I'm proud, because my little creek is cleaner than it's been in 45 years."
Concert in the park
On Sunday, the third concert in "A Month of Sundays," a series of summer concerts, will be presented at Westminster City Park on Longwell Avenue.
The five-member group, Mama Jama, will present music combining the tropical rhythms of Africa and the Caribbean. The name Mama Jama means "mighty big jam," and that is what this group aims to provide.
The summer concert series is presented with the help of many area businesses, Human Services Programs of Carroll County, Community Foundation of Carroll County and Carroll County Department of Parks and Recreation.
No admission is charged but donations for the needy are encouraged. Canned goods, personal care items, disposable diapers and other nonperishable items will be used in local homeless shelters. Monetary donations will be accepted to offset the cost of the concerts.
Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic food and enjoy the sounds of summer in the city park. If you can't make the Mama Jama presentation, maybe you can catch the last concert in the series, the July 27 performance of The Coasters. The Coasters have sold 11 million copies of best-selling hits, including, "Poison Ivy," "Charlie Brown," "Love Potion #9," "Along Came Jones" and "Searching."
All concerts begin at 7 p.m. No pets or alcohol are allowed in Westminster City Park. Information: 410-857-2013 or 410-876-5407.
Pub Date: 7/14/97