This holiday, buckle up childrenMy memory is haunted by...


November 14, 1999

This holiday, buckle up children

My memory is haunted by the helplessness of innocent injured/dead children who were unbuckled victims in automobile accidents. What had seemed like a harmless lapse to the parents not making sure the kides were buckled up had become the most devastating mistake of their lives.

Every day children are needlessly injured and killed on our state's roadways because adults failed to make sure their children were buckled up. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death to children in America.

That is why the Carroll County Sheriff's Office is joining thousands of law enforcement agencies across the nation in the next "Operation ABC Mobilization: America Buckles Up Children."

During the Thanksgiving holiday week, Nov. 22-28, deputies will be looking for and ticketing irresponsible drivers; adults who, despite the widespread attention to child passenger safety, fail to take responsibility for protecting children by not making sure they ride buckled up.

Since we've waged these nationwide crackdowns over the last two years, child fatalities have dropped by 12.3 percent and restraint use among toddlers has climbed from 60 to 87 percent. In Carroll County and Maryland, child fatalities have decreased over the same period.

To advance our progress, it's time that the community joins law enforcement in declaring zero tolerance for unbuckled children. It will take the collective attention of everyone to educate irresponsible drivers who don't make sure their children are protected by proper restraints in vehicles. No one should ignore children at risk. People concerned about children must make sure relatives, friends and neighbors understand that letting children ride unbuckled, no matter how short the ride, is always life-threatening and never worth the risk.

The law enforcement community will no longer tolerate children being injured and killed because adults fail to use the proper child restraint devices. The Carroll County Sheriff's Office has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy for this offense during the ABC Program and throughout the year.

Kenneth L. Tregoning, Westminster

The writer is Carroll County sheriff.

Rural and urban are interlinked

Thanksgiving is a special time to reflect on the bounty that we enjoy, and this year is no exception. As Americans, we enjoy an abundant and safe food supply made available to us by farmers, processors, brokers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers. Although the overall economy has been strong, the agricultural economy has been depressed and many producers are facing serious financial hardships.

National Farm-City Week, Nov. 19 to Nov. 25, is designated to emphasize the successful partnerships between rural and urban resident that make our food and fiber system the envy of the world. The ongoing theme for the week is "Partners in Progress."

We are partners -- farmers, factory workers, truck trivers, marketers, cashiers, supermarket managers and consumers. The farm-city connection accounts for more than 22 million jobs in the food and fiber industry. In order to continue to have a viable food system, we need all our partners to be strong.

Farm numbers continue to decline in the United States and yet we still have an abundance of high quality, affordable food and fiber to offer our citizens and sells broad. The efficiency of American farmers is also a tribute to the bonds made with their rural communities and city cousins.

Farmers rely on purchased inputs, such as fertilizers and crop protectants to raise grain, while processing companies generate additional economic activity by hauling and shipping processed farm commodities. While production agriculture accounts for just less than 2 percent of the United States population, one American farmer produces enough food to feed 129 people each year.

City cousins need to realize that agriculture is a part of their life each and every day, starting with their morning paper to the evening bowl of ice cream. The abundance that starts on the land and is cared for by our farmers is an important aspect in the success of not only our economy, but also our culture.

Working together since 1955, the National Farm-City Council has been telling the story of interdependence from the farm to the city. Help us celebrate National Farm-City Week by remembering we are all "Partners in Progress."

As we enjoy our Thanksgiving feasts this year, we need to be especially mindful that the families producing the food may be struggling. Although it may not provide relief to those families, may we at least express our sincere gratitude for the job they do year after year. And that goes for all the other "partners" throughout the food and fiber chain. National Farm-City Week provides all Americans with the perfect opportunity to say "thank you."

Jean Knoll, Mount Airy

Montessori school wants to be good neighbor

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