No time to waste on finding site for homeless...


October 05, 1997

No time to waste on finding site for homeless center

Citizens of Westminster and Carroll County have become increasingly aware of the impasse of our elected officials regarding the location of the proposed center for homeless persons in our community.

As persons concerned about resolving personal and family stresses through the ministry of Hope Family Center, Inc., we on the board of directors believe that these differences can and must be promptly resolved for the following reasons:

One, the need for this facility is urgent. With an uncertain employment picture and a shaky economy where jobs and economic security are constantly threatened, individuals and families can become caught in traumatic change frequently requiring temporary housing and assistance. This trend is certain to continue for some time to come.

Two, the timing is urgent. Delays resulting from the inability of the county commissioners and the mayor and City Council to resolve differences regarding location cast doubt on whether we will ever be approved to receive the much-needed grant. This cannot happen in a county which values caring for persons caught in circumstances beyond their control.

Three, leaders are elected to provide moral leadership in meeting the urgent emergency needs of all citizens requiring assistance. This is a public trust which must transcend the needs of special interest groups.

Rev. Dr. Bernie Zerkel


The writer chairs the board of directors of Hope Family Center, Inc.

Yates' zoning picks reason to yank him

The bigger problem related to the Carroll County Planning Commission versus the county Board of Zoning Appeals debate is the composition of each. Unfortunately, the latest picks of Commissioner Richard T. Yates leave much to be desired.

Citizens groups and individuals had asked Mr. Yates to appoint local activist Carolyn Fairbank to the BZA so her effectiveness could be channeled in the direction Mr. Yates publicly states he wants. Instead, he appointed a self-proclaimed comedian who would "bring one-liners" to the BZA. Is it any wonder there is conflict?

The fact that Mr. Yates could not have foreseen this and exercised better judgment is simply another reason to "yank Yates" in the next election.

Gene Edwards


Age has nothing to do with causing pollution

It is interesting to note that the new vehicle emissions-testing regulations exempt drivers over 70 years of age who drive less than 5,000 miles a year.

You would think that the amount of driving one does would be the contributor to pollution, not the age of the driver. Are we to assume that 30-year-olds who drive less than 5,000 miles a year generate more pollution than the old folks?

Emily Johnston


Spend on libraries, not on Olympics

I am referring to the letter on whether money should be spent on libraries or on the Olympic Games. I think it should be spent on libraries. The games are only here a couple of weeks, then they will be gone.

And all the money that could have been spent on the libraries goes to waste in just a couple of weeks.

Jim von Hagel


Government changes hurt the mentally ill

Since the 1980s, the U.S. economy has been recoiling as a result of irresponsible business investments and the faulty policy of Reaganomics. That and drastic shifts in global power caused Americans to struggle with questions concerning the nation's finances.

In matters outside our borders, two acceptances prevailed. We are living in a safer world. However, our world is growing smaller and smaller, and competition is greater than ever.

In matters within our borders, two accepted concerns also existed. The first is a debt accruing interest at an astronomical pace. The second is that ours has still been a less-than-strong economy.

Both matters of foreign and domestic concerns have affected each American. Government deeply cut the defense budget. Government has the NAFTA agreement. Government still courts new members into the European alliance. And, today, Americans know of the bipartisan agreement for a balanced budget. Each of these accomplishments casts a greater hope.

However, with another acceptance of catch phrases such as "downsizing" and "mergers and acquisitions," what did America sacrifice over these past several years for the sake of streamlining the economy?

Here in Carroll County, before the changes in health care, the mental health department coordinated and oversaw the implementation of services to the needy. With the health department closed, what remains is a mishmash of profit and nonprofit organizations.

The effect of changes and shifts is great on the mentally ill community. Most worrisome is the difference in available crisis intervention resources.

I suffer from chronic mental illness and have been frustrated and concerned with changes in crisis intervention services. I have found that to remain in contact with those health care workers working with me, I must sometimes wait through four and five minutes of voice mail.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.