Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Friday, October 28, 2005

20051028 Vice President Cheney Robins AFB Remarks

For Immediate Release: Office of the Vice President October 28, 2005

Vice President's Remarks at a Rally for the Troops

Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia

2:36 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) That's not bad. (Laughter.) Well, thank you very much, General Collings. And let me thank you for your introduction, and let me thank all of you for that warm welcome.

I'm delighted to be here today, and to spend time with the men and women of the Robins Air Force Base -- a great event, though I'm guessing it was a little more exciting when Jessica Simpson and the Dukes of Hazzard came to visit. (Laughter.) Control yourselves. (Laughter.)

Let me thank Congressmen Westmoreland and Kingston for joining us today, as well. I also want to acknowledge Major General David Tanzi. And I want to thank General Collings for inviting me. It's an opportunity to say thanks to each and every one of you for the vital role you play today in the defense of the nation. I know that the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center goes by the motto "People First, Mission Always." (Applause.)

You've got a great group of people here. You carry out your mission with uncompromising standards of quality. And you've built a record of tremendous results all across the board.

The jobs we've assigned to this base are large and complex. The nation looks to all of you to keep the Air Force flying, to move supplies and people in theaters of operation, to support and maintain the jets flying CAP for homeland security, and to provide combat communications across great distances. The work you do here -- every day and around the clock -- is sustaining the United States military in the war on terror. That war goes on, and thanks in part to all of you, it's a war we are going to win. (Applause.)

Military service, whether active or reserve, requires a family commitment, and I'm delighted to see family members have joined us today. All of our military families make many sacrifices, here at Robins and in communities all across the country. And I want all of you to know that you have the respect of your fellow citizens, and the gratitude of your Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush. (Applause.)

Let me also thank the good people who live throughout Warner Robins and Houston County, Georgia. This is a generous, patriotic community, and a source of tremendous support to those who serve. As the saying goes, "Every Day in Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day." (Applause.)

Each time I visit a military installation I come away with renewed confidence in the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States. Each one of you has dedicated yourselves to serving our country and its ideals, and you are meeting that commitment during a very challenging hour in American history.

Some challenges have arisen close to home, as we have seen recently after the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. I want to thank those who have provided hurricane relief support including members of the Air Force Reserve, the 78th Civil Engineers Group (applause); the Fifth Combat Communications Group (applause); and 116th Air Control Wing of the Georgia National Guard. (Applause.)

These units have been skillful and swift in a time of need for fellow citizens, and you have our gratitude.

The people of America and the people of Pakistan are grateful to the efforts of the Warner Robins ALC. After the recent earthquake you helped airlift the first relief supplies from the U.S. to the people of Pakistan in less than 48 hours. (Applause.) And your continuing effort to provide airlift supplies to Pakistan is greatly appreciated.

Our nation counts on our military to preserve our freedom and to defend our interests. And in this young century you are repaying that confidence every day that we fight the war on terror. When this conflict began on a terrible September morning four years ago, President Bush said that struggle would be lengthy and difficult, would require our best effort and unfailing resolve. It is tough and it is dangerous to fight enemies who dwell in the shadows, who target the innocent, and who plot destruction on a massive scale. And in this fight some of the most urgent and difficult duties come to the men and women of our armed forces.

In the four years since our nation was attacked and we lost 3,000 of our fellow citizens, members of our military have been deployed on many fronts in the war on terror, from the Horn of Africa to the broader Middle East. In this period, units based at Robins have deployed more than 31,000 personnel; airlifted 5,000 tons of cargo; and played a key role in keeping thousands of American aircraft flying. (Applause.)

Time and again, on every measure of performance, the Warner Robins ALC has been absolutely superb. You've adapted quickly to changing circumstances, and won awards for excellence. Our entire military counts on you, and you can be very proud of the job you've done.

I also want to express the nation's appreciation for the other vital units based here at Robins. We're grateful to the Black Knights of the 19th Air Refueling Group, which is a constant presence in all over the world. (Applause.)

And as I mentioned, of course, we're grateful to the Fifth Combat Communications Group conducting operations worldwide, from the Middle East, to our own Gulf coast.

We're grateful to the 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron -- which recently completed a deployment in Iraq. (Applause.) And during that deployment, eight members of the unit earned the Bronze Star for combat heroism. (Applause.)

We're grateful to the 78th Security Forces Squadron, recently deployed to Iraq and Kyrgystan. And we're grateful to the 116th Air Control Wing - National Guard, active duty Air Force -- a unit that has been constantly deployed in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, flying the J-STARS aircraft to locate, classify, and track ground targets. (Applause.)

All of you are part of a team that continues to make history -- removing threats to the United Nations -- to the United States and other free nations, and bringing new hope to a troubled region of the world. As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, each of you defends this country, and represents the best that is in it. And by your achievements you've made one thing very clear: The day you decided to serve in uniform was a great day for the United States of America. (Applause.)

There's still difficult work ahead, because the terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in the war against the civilized world. We are dealing with enemies that recognize no rule of warfare and accept no standard of morality. They have declared their intention to bring great harm to any nation that opposes their aims. Their prime target is the United States. So we have a responsibility to lead in this fight.

Although we've been in the struggle against terrorism for four years now, the terrorists were actually at war with us long before 2001. But for a long time, they were the ones on the offensive. And they grew bolder in their belief that if they killed Americans, they could change American policy. And they did. In Beirut in 1983, terrorists killed 241 Americans. Following the attack, the U.S. withdrew from Beirut. Time and again, for the remainder of the 20th century, the terrorists hit America and America did not hit back hard enough. In 1993 we had the killing of American soldiers in Mogadishu, the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York; murders, in 1995, at the Saudi National Guard Training Center in Riyadh; the killings at the Khobar Towers, in 1996; the bombing of two embassies in Africa, in 1998; the USS Cole in 2000. The terrorists came to believe they could strike America without paying a price.

And so they continued to wage those attacks -- making the world less safe and, of course, eventually striking us right here at home on 9/11. Now they're making a stand in Iraq -- testing our resolve, trying to shake our commitment to democracy in that country. If the terrorists were to succeed, they would return Iraq to the rule of tyrants, make it a source of instability in the Middle East, and use it as a staging area for ever greater attacks against America and other civilized nations. As President Bush has said, the only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon our mission. But this nation has made a decision: We will stand by our friends. We will help Iraqis build a nation that is free and secure and able to defend itself. We will confront our enemies on this and every other front in the war on terror. And with good allies at our side, we will prevail. (Applause.)

The progress we've seen in Iraq has not come easily, but it has been steady, and we can be confident going forward. By voting in free elections, ratifying a constitution, and preparing for elections later this year, the Iraqis are showing they value their own liberty and are determined to choose their own destiny. And by staying in this fight, we honor both the ideals and the security interests of the United States. The victory of freedom in Iraq will inspire democratic reformers in other lands.

In the broader Middle East and beyond, America will continue to encourage free markets, democracy, and tolerance -- because these are the ideas and the aspirations that overcome violence, and turn societies to the pursuit of peace.

And as the peoples of that region experience new hope and control over their own destiny, we will see the power of freedom to change our world, and a terrible threat will be removed from the lives of our children and our grandchildren.

Each one of you is helping to write a proud chapter in the history of freedom. At times you may wonder if your fellow citizens truly realize the extent of your achievements, and how hard you're working and how urgent and dangerous your business can be, how it feels to put in 12-hour shifts in desert temperatures. I want you to know that Americans do realize it, and they're very grateful. (Applause.)

This is not a country that takes its military for granted. We are a democracy, defended by volunteers who deserve all the tools and the support we can provide. Americans appreciate our fellow citizens who go out on long deployments and endure the hardship of separation from home and family. We care about those who have returned with injuries, and we have a responsibility to help on the hard road ahead. And our nation grieves for the brave men and women whose lives have ended in freedom's cause. No one can take away the sorrow that has come to the families of the fallen. We can only say with complete certainty that these Americans served in a noble and a necessary cause, and their sacrifice has made our nation and the world more secure. We will honor their memory forever. (Applause.)

None of us can know every turn that lies ahead for America in the fight against terror. Yet the direction of events is plain to see, and this period of struggle and testing is also a time of promise. The United States of America is a good country, a decent country, and we are making the world a better place by defending the innocent, confronting the violent and bringing freedom to the oppressed. We understand the continuing dangers to civilization, and we have the resources, the strength, and the moral courage to overcome those dangers and lay the foundations for a better world.

You, the men and women of Robins Air Force Base, have met every challenge with focus, with great effectiveness, and, above all, with honor. You have brought credit to yourselves and to the nation. Your Commander-in-Chief and your fellow citizens are very proud of you, and it is my great honor to bring that message to you today. Thank you for what you've done for all of us. (Applause.)

END 2:55 P.M. EDT

Cheney - Vice President Richard Cheney

Thursday, October 20, 2005

20051019 WE Politics of personal destruction puts limits on future leaders

Politics of personal destruction puts limits on future leaders

A reprint of my October 19th, 2005 Westminster Eagle column:

Politics of personal destruction puts limits on future leaders

By Kevin Dayhoff


In the scalding criticism and politics of personal destruction that passes for contemporary political realism and the social commentary of the day, not a day passes when we don't read scathing criticism of someone who has taken time away from his or her family to try and make our community, county or nation a better place.

One can be sure that this certainly doesn't encourage other good folks to step forward and contribute time for our community.

On an equally disturbing note, I recently read a letter to the editor that criticized Spanish-speaking workers in our community. Ultimately, we are talking about are fellow human beings who have come to this country - just like us - to make a better life for their families and work hard in a foreign land.

In October 1833, in the area we now know as Carroll County, a vote was taken as to whether or not we should form Carroll County. Did you know that the ballots for that vote were printed in German, and English, for all the non-German speaking citizens?

Our Spanish-speaking workers will learn English, just as German-speaking Carroll Countians eventually did. Perhaps we should extend a helping hand, instead of backhanding them.

Many were aghast to read a recent letter to the editor that contained an unkind and unflattering critique of a community leader that had recently passed away. Have we no humanity? Are we so insecure with our beliefs and our feelings that we have to malign the dead in order to promote ourselves?

Recently the mainstream media has begun to run articles about the incredibly flawed reporting that quickly became the accepted "truth" about the response to Hurricane Katrina. When will we start hearing apologies from the newspaper newsrooms and anchors of broadcast news for maligning local, state and national leaders trying to respond to an historic disaster? How can we measure the damage that has been done to all us for reporting hyperbole, exaggeration and rush to judgment? Why would anyone want to assume the difficult roles of leadership in the wake of such treatment?

Any community leader, whether we agree or disagree with his or her ideas, needs to be respected for sticking their head above the crowd and trying to make a difference and contribution. It is important to confine our disagreement to their ideas - and leave the personal attacks out of it.

Selective quotations and trivialities trumping substance in an obvious attempt to distort the facts seem to be the rule of the day. It is always the source of amazement to observe folks who, in the same utterance, plead for understanding and tolerance of their views, then demonize anyone who doesn't agree with them.

A rule among classier community leaders prohibits promoting oneself by personally sniping at someone or a group of individuals who hold a different point of view than yours. It's not only bad form, but smacks of bullying and could wind up hurting your own cause, as you only look like someone with the warmth and humanity of a water moccasin.

Discussion, dialogue and honest disagreement in the pursuit of resolving political, social and economic problems enhance the strength, transformation and stability of a community. Our families and community cannot prosper if individual leaders fail to step forward to lead.

Martin Luther King said it best; "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

The worst thing that can happen to a community is that everybody thinks the same way all the time. It will be catastrophic if potential leaders are unwilling to step out of the comfortable cocoon of their lives to assume a leadership role or proffer a different point of view for fear of the politics of personal destruction.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at:

©2004 All rights reserved. Contact us at All other trademarks and Registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

20051015 Mar-Va Theatre Pocomoke City Maryland – October 15 2005

20051015 Mar-Va Theatre Pocomoke City Maryland – October 15 2005

October 15, 2005 by Kevin Dayhoff

Former Pocomoke City mayor Curt Lippoldt, a member of the Mar-Va Theater Board and former Westminster mayor Kevin Dayhoff talk over the progress of renovations of the old theater in downtown Pocomoke City. © Caroline Babylon photo – October 15, 2008.

Former Pocomoke City mayor Curt Lippoldt, a member of the Mar-Va Theater Board and Caroline Babylon look over the old Pocomoke City Mar-Va Theater. © Kevin Dayhoff photo - October 15, 2005.

The Mar-Va Theater which opened in 1927, with 720 seats, for vaudeville and silent movies; is being renovated. Once it re-opens it is sure to be a cultural and entertainment showcase for the Delmarva Peninsula. For more details go to

Caroline and I visited the Pocomoke City to review the renovation of the old theater on October 15, 2005, in order to prepare for making a presentation on the economic benefits of art and culture venues and programming, February 25, 2006 at the annual famous chicken and dumplings membership dinner, at the Pocomoke Fire Hall.

Everyone has a role to play in “Setting Delmarva's Stage for a Brighter Tomorrow.” Bringing to life the 1927 art-deco Mar-Va movie theater as an arts and cultural center in Pocomoke City can play a key and critical role in economic development, revitalization, and attracting community employment and tax base to the lower shore.

Kevin Dayhoff October 15, 2005

20051015 Mar-Va Theatre Pocomoke City Maryland – October 15 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Kevin Dayhoff: Many forms of government in Carroll County Maryland’s history

Many forms of government in Carroll’s history

October 12, 2005 by Kevin Dayhoff

Throughout Carroll County’s history we have faced many challenges and had many different forms of government. Through it all we faced our challenges by coming together, rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.

Much of this column came from old notes in my files, of which unfortunately, I had not cited the source of the information.  However, I used two great books for fact checking: “Carroll County Maryland – A History 1837-1976” by Nancy Warner et al, and “Legacy of the Land” by Carol Lee.

From 1659 to 1837, the eastern half of Carroll County was governed by Baltimore County.  From 1695, Prince Georges County governed the western portion of Carroll County until 1748 when Frederick County was formed.

When the property, “Whites Level”, that later become part of Westminster was first purchased in 1733, it was in Prince Georges County.

As early as 1785, citizens petitioned Maryland Governor William Paca to form “Paca County” from parts of Frederick and Baltimore Counties.  In the November 25, 1813 issue of the “Engine of Freedom,” a newspaper in “The Forks,” later to be known as Uniontown, wrote that a petition was being forwarded to the Maryland General Assembly to form “Union County,” with the county seat in Uniontown.  Both petitions were rejected.

On March 2, 1833 a bill passed the Maryland General Assembly authorizing a vote on the issue of forming Carroll County in October 1833. The vote failed, 593 to 554; although it was later speculated that it failed because of voter irregularities in the Baltimore County portion. 

Manchester, which had been against the idea of forming a separate county, “exultantly fired [a cannon] in the direction of defeated Westminster” after the vote was taken.

Finally a bill was introduced in 1835 and passed the General Assembly on March 25, 1836 to form Carroll County.  This act was confirmed on January 19, 1837. It only took about fifty years, but Carroll Countians had finally changed their government.

From 1837–1851 the governing body of Carroll County was called the “Levy Court.”  It consisted of nine individuals; one from each of the nine existing election districts in Carroll at the time and they were appointed by the governor of Maryland.

The Maryland Constitution of 1851 changed the “Levy Court” to the “Commissioners of Tax” and from 1853 to 1891, there were three at-large commissioners elected to two-year terms. 

From 1893 to 1921, according to Charles W. Albert’s excellent reference book, “Carroll County Election Results 1837-2000,” the county elected one commissioner every other year for a six-year term.

After another transition, in 1926, “the county went to electing three commissioners for four-year terms.”

In 1968, the voters of Carroll County rejected both charter government and code home rule. In 1984, code home rule was defeated. In 1992 charter government was defeated at the ballot box. In 1998 the voters rejected a referendum to increase the Board of Commissioners to five at-large members and rejected a charter form of government. 

On December 8th, 1999, Delegate Don Elliott brought the five-commissioner idea back up at a joint meeting of the county's state delegation and the commissioners. On November 2nd, 2004, the voters of Carroll County approved the idea. 

Change in Carroll County seems to take a long time. At least we have whittled the time to implement change down from fifty years.

Most agree that the voters in Carroll County are a lot smarter than many give them credit.  Carroll Countians have discussed a change in government for thirty-six years and we have finally made a decision to change it.  Perhaps, by now, we should be ‘getting it’ and respect that the voters have an interest in a change.

We face many serious challenges in Carroll County. The voters have made a decision.  Let’s get on with it and get to work. 

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster.

Kevin Dayhoff: Many forms of government in Carroll County Maryland’s history


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

20051012 Evergreen Tree Canker Diseases

Evergreen Tree Canker Diseases

Downloaded 20051012

A large number of cankers occur on evergreens that cause dieback. These are more common on stressed trees planted in marginal sites or infect poorly maintained trees. Young cankers are slightly darker in color than adjacent bark and appear slightly sunken.

As cankers enlarge they kill the living woody tissue within the trunk or branch. Canker growth may cause the bark along the edges to crack and fall away, exposing the dead wood underneath. After a canker enlarges enough to girdle a branch or trunk, the portion beyond the canker dies. Small twigs are killed more quickly than larger branches. Symptoms may include progressive upper branch dieback, disfigured branch growth, or target shaped areas on trunks with concentric rings of dead bark.

Seiridium Canker

Seiridium canker is a fungal disease that can attack cypress and junipers. The most common landscape plant in Maryland that is infected is Leyland cypress.

This disease is caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale. The first symptoms usually appear in the spring or early summer, as a fading or yellowing of the foliage on branches, or the tops of trees. These symptoms gradually lead to browning of affected parts. The fungus causes girdling lesions around the bases of branches or main stems, and these lesions characteristically exude large amounts of resin. Trees may be killed if many small cankers occur or if large enough to girdle the main stem. The reproductive spore forming structures (acervuli) appear as small black dots embedded in the bark near the canker margins. During wet weather the infective spores are dispersed by rain, but they can also be spread by wind, insects and pruning tools.

Management: There are no chemical controls for this disease. The best strategies for disease prevention are avoiding stresses to the plants. Provide adequate water during dry periods, avoid over crowding of trees, and don't over mulch or plant too deeply.

Cytospora canker

A common canker disease of both blue and Norway spruce trees is Cytospora canker. Typical symptoms include poor growth, profuse sap flow and pitch accumulation (white resin patches) on lower branches, and eventual dieback of lower branches. Diagnostic symptoms are revealed after cutting into pitch coated bark and finding dark resin soaked wood along with small black dots just under the bark. These small black dots, are the spore producing structures. In wet weather, the infectious spores ooze out as small yellowish threads, that can be spread by rain to other branches in the tree.

Management strategies: There are no chemical controls for cankers and they cannot be stopped once they become extensive. Pruning off affected branches back to healthy wood is the only control measure available. Drought stressed trees should be watered during dry weather to promote better tree vigor.


Agriculture Nursery Stock and Landscaping Plant Diseases

20051011 What is a Consumer Confidence Report?

20051011 What is a Consumer Confidence Report?

What is a Consumer Confidence Report?

Retrieved October 11, 2005

Consumer Confidence Reports

What is a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR)?

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments require all community water systems to report annually to their customers regarding the quality of their drinking water and any risks associated with contaminants detected in the water. Water systems must report data for the previous calendar year by July 1 of each year.

What Information Does a CCR Contain?

Water systems may include any appropriate information to enhance their reports, however the reports must contain the following information:

  • the lake, river, aquifer, or other source of the drinking water;
  • a brief summary of the susceptibility to contamination of the local drinking water source, based on the source water assessments that states are completing over the next five years;
  • how to get a copy of the water system's complete source water assessment;
  • the level (or range of levels) of any contaminant found in local drinking water, as well as EPA's health-based standard (maximum contaminant level) for comparison;
  • the likely source of that contaminant in the local drinking water supply;
  • the potential health effects of any contaminant detected in violation of an EPA health standard, and an accounting of the system's actions to restore safe drinking water;
  • the water system's compliance with other drinking water-related rules;
  • an educational statement for vulnerable populations about avoiding Cryptosporidium;
  • educational information on nitrate, arsenic, or lead in areas where these contaminants are detected above 50% of EPA's standard; and
  • phone numbers of additional sources of information, including the water system and EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

In addition, some water systems may include public notifications for violations of monitoring or other requirements.

How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Water System's CCR?

Most water systems mail the reports to their customers before the July 1 deadline each year, however systems may deliver their reports through newspaper advertisements or other means.

Some systems make their reports available on their internet websites. Website links for some larger systems are available below. If your water system is not listed, please contact the system directly for a copy of the report.

Allegany County

Anne Arundel County

Baltimore City

Charles County

Dorchester County

Frederick County

Harford County

Howard County

Montgomery County

Prince George's County

Talbot County

Washington County

Worcester County


If you have additional questions, please contact the Water Supply Program at or 410-537-3729, or call EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act Hotline at 1(800)426-4791.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

20051005 Three Tentacle columns on Hurricane Katrina

Three Tentacle columns on Hurricane Katrina

October 5, 2005
Kurosawa's History of Hurricane Katrina
Kevin E. Dayhoff
American Anthropologist Ernest Albert Hooten once said: "History is principally the inaccurate narration of events which ought not to have happened." How will history record Hurricane Katrina? …

September 14, 2005
Katrina – Who Did What and When?
Kevin E. Dayhoff
The intemperate criticism directed at the Hurricane Katrina response – the rescue and recover efforts – is more polluted than the floodwaters of New Orleans and contributes nothing to a noble American tradition of coming together at a difficult time and helping fellow Americans in a time of need…

September 9, 2005
Shut up and call the cavalry
Kevin E. Dayhoff
Compassion exceeds all else in importance on the Gulf Coast in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. Only the truly heartless can be left untouched. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the rescuers…

2005 Aug 23-30 2005 Hurricane Katrina

20051005 Three Tentacle columns on Hurricane Katrina

2005 Aug 23-30 2005 Hurricane Katrina

Urban sprawl is no good for all, but don't ignore the legal realities

Urban sprawl is no good for all, but don't ignore the legal realities

10/05/05 By Kevin E. Dayhoff

Recent articles and letters in local publications regarding water allocation, land use and municipal annexation are well intentioned - but clearly indicate a basic lack of understanding of the laws and past court decisions that govern these activities.

That's understandable, because since the early 1950s these areas of law in Maryland have be-come complex by bizarre, byzantine proportions.

In reality, many public officials don't understand the labyrinth of land use law, or they would be more careful about posturing in front of a public that is understandably clamoring for relief. Many pronouncements and promises are great for applause and votes, but woefully short on being legally possible.

In the end, often there is little a public official can do, retroactively, about water or property rights assigned to a property by a legal process put in place decades ago - unless they opt to spend valuable taxpayer dollars (losing) in court.

The next time anyone considers criticizing the City of Westminster about water allocation, bear in mind that you are preaching to the choir. Westminster painfully understands that it must find more water.

Also, understand that you are criticizing the wrong branch of government. For the most part, allocating Westminster's water was taken out of the hands of local officials, by the courts, almost 40 years ago.

In 1964, the city purchased the water system from a private company, which had historically provided water outside the city limits.

In 1966, the Maryland Court of Appeal (Bair v. Mayor and Council of Westminster, 221 P.2d 642 1966) declared the water system a "public utility" as opposed to a "municipal water supply" and made a ruling that forces the city to provide water to any property near any existing water line or "reasonably within its range of performance" - whether or not that property is annexed or in the city limits.

The 1966 Westminster water case is unique and is still used as national precedent. (In fact, it was used as recently as 1995 in a case before the Florida Supreme Court.) Attempting to overturn it may very well not be a wise use of taxpayer dollars.

As far as future land use, growth and development in Carroll County, planning needs to take place long before the housing development is in the public hearing stage or the subject of a costly moratorium.

A discussion needs to take place long before the business of a farm has been rendered unprofitable.

The debate needs to occur before a property owner has been awarded certain legal development rights - which can take the form of a legally enforceable contract, or in any event usually involves at least an implied contract between government and a property owner.

Sadly, the reactionary conversation - often involving unpleasant public hearings, uninformed conspiracy theories, political spinelessness and personal attacks - distorts and polarizes the collective discourse to such an extent that it renders many citizens skeptical about any discussion over growth and development.

The reality is this: You cannot take away a person's property rights or void a legal contract by plebiscite, politics or screaming mob.

That's just one of the reasons it is important that folks attend the community Grassroots Gatherings ( that are scheduled for residents to get involved in the Carroll County Comprehensive Plan. Go, and ask questions. Many of Carroll County's public servants are the brightest land-use experts in the state.

We may not be able to do much about past land use contracts and court decisions, but the future is up to us. For the sake of that future, a majority of Carroll County residents long for a sober, clearly-worded, intelligent and nonpolitical explanation of farm profitability and the legal issues involving development and growth.

If we don't have that discussion now, our environmental future and the future of our green Carroll County way of life will be history.

Kevin Dayhoff may reached at kevindayhoff AT or visit him at