Speak Out

November 13, 2005

ISSUE: County officials are weighing whether to require building permits for farm buildings that are used for public purposes. County permit and licensing officials say they are concerned about the health and safety of visitors to farms.

Many in the agricultural community say the cost of bringing old barns up to modern building codes might be prohibitive and lead to the extinction of traditional activities such as field trips by school groups.

A task force of farmers, county officials and other agriculture leaders is reviewing a section of the code that pertains to agriculture buildings.

Should farm buildings used for public purposes be required to have building permits?

Permit issue is a `non-problem'

I believe the world has gone completely crazy and Harford County is in the forefront. In our litigious society and political correctness we are now attempting to solve a non-problem. What this law will do is completely shut down agritourism. On the one hand, the county is trying to preserve our farmland and promote agriculture, and on the other the county is trying to destroy it. I thought Republicans are supposed to be for less government, not more. Once elected officials get in office they are all alike, catering to that which gets them re-elected no matter what the price for many of those affected -- usually a much smaller voting population.

Dan O'Neill Bel Air

We want your opinions

ISSUE:

The Harford County school board is considering starting and ending the high school day 15 minutes earlier to alleviate on-time problems buses are experiencing because of traffic.

Buses on some routes are having difficulty getting high school students home in time to return and pick up middle school pupils. An extra 15 minutes in the morning would increase to 45 minutes the window between dismissal for high-schoolers and middle-schoolers.

The proposal calls for starting the high school day at 7:30 a.m. Dismissal would move to 2 p.m. Pickup for high school students would begin at 6 a.m., while pickup for students in magnet schools could be as early as 5:40 a.m.

School officials say the change would cost an additional $400,000.

YOUR VIEW:

Should the high school day start 15 minutes earlier to ease transportation difficulties? Tell us what you think. Send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout@balt sun.com. A selection of responses will be published next Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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