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

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Agriculture’s new social contract

Agriculture’s new social contract

September 29, 2005 by Kevin Dayhoff

More than ever, agriculture in Carroll County understands that, like it or not, it now has a new "social contract" with the greater community to operate.

Agriculture understands that simply feeding us, at prices below the cost of production, is not enough and that in today’s world; farmers are obligated with paying for and providing non-farming Carroll Countians with a great view and open space.

Well, I have a surprise for you. There is no such thing as a free lunch or a free view. This is a two way street and non-farmers also have a social contract obligation to become better informed about state mandated water and sewer master plan allocations, land use, zoning laws and the comprehensive planning process.

Economics, population pressure and market forces from outside of Carroll County are going to continue to drive up the value of farm land and ultimately we are all going to have to dig into our pockets and put more money into agricultural land preservation or pay for roads and schools and infrastructure. Read: Roads, schools and other infrastructure costs a great deal more then investing in agricultural land preservation.

For more information on these dynamics, please see two excellent columns written in the Carroll County Times by columnist Tom Harbold on August 30, 2005 and September 27, 2005.

The time to discuss future land use, growth and development in Carroll County needs to take place long before the housing development is in the public hearing stage or the subject of a moratorium. The discussion needs to take place long before the business of a farm has been rendered unprofitable or a property owner has been awarded certain legal development rights.

It is important that folks attend the community meetings, entitled Grassroots Gatherings (, which 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.

Folks need to comprehend that a contract is an agreement between two parties in which both parties have obligations. Unless we want many of these great views to become great houses, we are all going to have to contribute.

The end users of agricultural products are now so far removed from the actual production of food that the public is no longer familiar with the day-to-day struggles of food production.

Non-farmers seem unwilling to give farmers any logical leeway in understanding a farmer's stewardship for the environment; the impact on profitability of increased regulations and bureaucratic expense or how a farm is to remain profitable in the face of increased urbanization.

Many agree that Carroll County is no place for urban sprawl development in the middle of farmland, far from any municipal infrastructure. Not only for the obvious reasons, but because most of the folks who move into these developments are horrible neighbors for farmers and contribute to the domino affect of the farm next to it becoming unprofitable and ultimately sold, for you guessed it, more houses.

We can start by increasing the funding for agriculture land preservation and increasing the funding of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, both of which are the immediate life preservers for the business of agriculture in the state.

If we can fully fund the $1.3 billion Thornton school aid plan, we can fully fund the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and agricultural land preservation. If Maryland can use its bond rating for a low interest loan program for first time homebuyers, we can bond out a low interest-borrowing program for first time farm buyers.

Most Carroll Countians certainly understand that “more” houses means more schools, roads and infrastructure, and increased demand for government services and before too long, someone wants into our pockets to raise our taxes to pay for it all.

Market forces and population pressure from outside of Carroll County are going to continue to drive up the value of the land and ultimately we are all going to have to dig into our pockets and put more money into agricultural land preservation or spend a greater amount for roads and schools and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the more farms that are put out of business, the more we increase development pressure by way of putting that many more acres of land on the market for growing houses instead of food.

In the next 20 years, Maryland's population will increase by another million. Not all one million new folks have to live in Carroll County, but if we make the land available, they will come.

Here’s where the conversation slips into “The Twilight Zone.” Friends take me aside and tell me; “Kevin, people gotta live somewhere.” My response is that they all don’t need to live in Carroll County. Development needs to take place in municipalities because that is where the infrastructure is but the new houses don’t pay for the increased infrastructure needed and the increased demand for services.

I believe that incentives, such as fast-tracking need to be in place to encourage commercial and employment tax base development in the municipalities so as to provide revenue stream. But when one approaches Mr. or Mrs. Nimby and say how about an employment campus so that you don’t have to travel so far on inadequate roads for a meaningful job, the answer is I want it to be a farm. Well, the tract of land in question, farming is not profitable and can’t pay the bills so that it can remain a farm. Most likely because you hassled the farmer or killed a bunch of her cows by throwing your trash into her hayfield.

You go to the developer and say, how about developing an employment campus, with high end architectural and design standards and lots of trees and landscaping. The developer says I can’t because it is not zoned for that and I can’t get the zoning changed because the neighborhood became an angry mob when that idea was suggested.


(Originally from: 20050909 Outtakes Civility Listening session Gathering Places - C:\Media20040630WE\20051005 WE ListSessionP2 Urban Sprawl Hurts us All)

20050929 Agricultures new social contract

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mr Moose with bagel flying home from San Diego CA

Mr Moose with bagel flying home from San Diego CA

September 23, 2005 Kevin Dayhoff

Mr. Moose enjoys a bagel while flying home from San Diego, California.

20050923 Mr Moose with bagel flying home from San Diego CA

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

20050921 Carroll Airport outlook good

Carroll Airport outlook good

Westminster Advocate:

Historical Perspective: Carroll Airport outlook good

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

(586 words)

One board of commissioners after another, since the 1940s, has helped bring the Carroll County Regional Airport to the first-class facility that we know today, worthy of being named Maryland “Airport of the Year.”

The journey has been hard and not without controversy.

In the early 1970s, I would tag along to breakfast at Baugher’s with community leaders such as Bobby Warner, Scott Bair Jr., Jim Erb and Tom Senseney Sr. The airport was the often the center of contentious debate.

The Democratic Advocate reported on July 15, 1971, private developers wanted to take it over, and Commissioner John D. Meyer would have nothing of the idea. In September 1971, Meyer went on WTTR and said the county intended to develop its own land for an airport. On November 29, 1971, the Advocate said developers offered the commissioners $150,065 for the airport.

In a controversial decision, the commissioners said no.

Meyer announced: “I feel the county needs an airport for the proper economic development of the county … Nothing we do benefits everyone, and there are those that will disagree. But I feel aviation is just like TV; it’s here to stay. I feel it’s very important to the future growth of the county.”

The county forged ahead, and by the late 1970s, a 2,290-foot runway was constructed. In the mid-1980s, a 20-year master plan was adopted. The runway was extended to 5,100-foot runway by 1994.

Vivian Laxton and Gary Horst helped me bring the airport story up to date. I also interviewed some pilots. Horst has done an excellent job shepherding the airport to profitability and excellence in the last number of years.

In one of my favorite stories about Horst, on April 9, 1997, Max Bair, Horst and I flew out of the airport to do a site visit on a solid waste bioconversion facility in Tennessee. We flew down in a very small plane, sort of like being strapped to a surf-board with two lawn mowers attached for propulsion …

Today, the 5,100-foot runway is the sixth largest non-military runway in Maryland and handles about 100,000 flights a year. The airport has struggled financially in the past, but any initiative of this significance will have its setbacks. The airport is operated from its own enterprise fund, not through the county’s general fund, and a profit is projected for the 2006 fiscal year from nearly $2 million in gross revenues.

What is to be applauded is the perseverance on the part of the commissioners to plow ahead. Forget about any past mis-steps, real or imagined, and let’s concentrate on the lessons learned, the achievements and the future.

For Carroll to continue to attract economic development in today’s extremely competitive landscape, it is imperative that we capitalize on niche assets in place. The airport is a huge draw for new tax base and high-paying jobs.

I am looking forward to the completion of the airport’s Technical Advisory Committee’s new master plan. Carroll will greatly benefit from more corporate hangars, replacing the 20 by 80 foot retrofitted tin construction shed that currently serves as its terminal and extending the runway to 6,500 feet.

This committee, comprised of Martin Pittenger, Donald Vetter, Douglas Pollard, Brian Stites, Bonnie Jones, Jeffrey Smith, Edward Goldman, Peter Welles, Kevin Utz, Wray Mowbray, David Taylor and Tina Thomas, has worked hard for all us, and we owe them a big “thank you.”

The airport is critical to our economic future, and we must move forward, with all due, well-planned and thoughtful speed.

Cross posted.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster.

E-mail him at kdayhoff(at)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Kevin and Mr Moose in San Diego California

Kevin and Mr Moose in San Diego California

The Adventures of Mr. Moose

September 18, 2005

Kevin and Mr. Moose take a moment to rest in the shade in San Diego, California, September 18, 2005

20050918 SD Southpark KED Moose
Kevin Dayhoff

Friday, September 09, 2005

20050908 Loose pigs no longer terrorize Marston

Loose pigs no longer terrorize Marston area

By Carrie Ann Knauer, Times Staff Writer

Carroll County Times

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Residents in Marston say they haven't seen any loose pigs in their neighborhood since the county Right to Farm Reconciliation Committee made its ruling five months ago stating that the loose pigs were probably wild.

Elizabeth Cavey, of Bowersox Road, said she had seen the pigs last winter when they were running loose and tearing up people's lawns, but said she hasn't seen any since the reconciliation committee meetings. Cavey, who said she never believed the pigs were feral, thinks local landowners may have shot and killed all of the loose pigs.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the Marston area about six weeks ago in search of feral pigs, said Bill Powel, county ag preservation administrator and supervisor of the ag reconciliation committee. Four people searched the woods and farms in the area for several hours and were unable to find any pigs or recent evidence of pigs, he said.

The USDA officials have offered the county to search the area again later this fall to look for more evidence. Powel said the date of that investigation has not been set.

Powel said that he has not had any residents call him to report loose pigs or other livestock roaming through their yards. He said it's possible that between the Humane Society of Carroll County trapping the pigs and the local landowners shooting them, there may not be any more feral pigs.

Richard Spriggs, a Marston Road resident, said he has lived in the area for more than 30 years and he had never heard of wild pigs living in Marston before this case came up last winter. Spriggs said that regardless of where the pigs came from, he hasn't seen any in a long time.

While Marston residents haven't reported any more problems with loose pigs or other livestock coming from the Schisler farm, the Schislers have still had problems with their neighbors. On Aug. 28, the Schislers reported to the Maryland State Police that someone had shot one of their cows.

According to the police report with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Carroll Schisler Sr. said he was walking through his field at about 2:20 p.m. on Aug. 28 when he saw a calf standing near a Brahman cow that was lying on its side. Schisler told the police he approached the cow to investigate its health and saw that it had been shot in the head. He called the police to report the incident, which is still under investigation.

The Schislers could not be reached for comment regarding the incident, but Carroll Schisler Sr. did testify during the ag reconciliation meetings that he had had problems during the winter with neighbors shooting his livestock on his property.

Powel said he had not heard about the Schisler's cow being shot, and said he was sorry to hear that the incident had happened. Assistant County Attorney Tim Burke said that the law states that people may not shoot trespassing animals unless the property owners are in imminent danger, and shooting animals that are not trespassing is not allowed.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call Deputy Sherri Martin at 410-386-2900.

Story so Far

More than a dozen residents gave testimony to the Right to Farm Agricultural Reconciliation Committee between January and March about loose pigs trespassing on their property, uprooting their grass with their snouts and chasing the homeowners and their children.

Residents testified that they believed the pigs were coming from Carroll Schisler Sr.'s farm in the 2500 block of Marston Road. Several residents said they had confronted the Schislers about the pigs and the Schislers offered to shoot the pigs for them, which residents took to mean that the Schislers owned the pigs and were responsible for them.

Agricultural experts from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension testified that the pigs in the photographs provided by neighbors did not look like the quality of pig a farmer would raise to make money from, and said that the pigs possibly were feral, probably having escaped from a farm at some time and reverted to a wild state.

In addition, the two experts visited Schisler's farm and examined his pigpen. They determined that it was an adequate pen that should be able to contain his pigs.

The reconciliation committee decided that the pigs were likely feral pigs. However, regardless of whether the pigs belong to Schisler, the committee ordered the Schislers to repair their fence to the standards appropriate for the types of animals he pens - sheep, goats, horses and cattle - to the recommendations of the cooperative extension.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

20050907 If technology Available Why Not WiFi?

If technology available, why not Wi-Fi?

Westminster Eagle

09/07/05 By Kevin E. Dayhoff

I've been fascinated with public Wi-Fi and all the possibilities it can provide Carroll County.

On Aug. 15, Silver Spring, in Montgomery County, announced that it now has public Wi-Fi - this put my random access memory into overdrive.

Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) is a wireless high-frequency local area network that provides Internet access.

In June 2004, Newsweek previewed a sampling of 10 places in the world that are currently utilizing Wi-Fi. What caught my attention was the example of Hermiston, Ore., where the service covers 600-square-miles for a population of 13,200.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be anywhere in Carroll County and be able to go online for directions, restaurant menus or just to have access to information about all the exciting shops and businesses in the area?

Or download the latest corrections to your PowerPoint presentation from Bangalore, India, just before a meeting - just by powering up your laptop, Web browser enhanced cell phone, PDA or even a hand-held game device?

With the talent we have in Carroll, I would say that if it can be done in Hermiston, Oregon or Montgomery County, we could do it too.

Montgomery County is in the middle of an aggressive Wi-Fi initiative. The county is starting with the higher population areas first and then steadily expanding the coverage. The same approach would work in Carroll.

Alisoun Moore, Montgomery County Department of Technology Services Chief Information Officer, said that in Silver Spring, 10 unobtrusive antennae located on traffic signals, light poles and buildings provide the Wi-Fi service. This serves all downtown Silver Spring, (which is larger than the Main Street area of Westminster from Washington Road to McDaniel College).

Remember years ago when Silver Spring was a nondescript stretch of bypassed suburbia? Not so anymore. Go visit and see for yourself.

An Aug. 15, a Montgomery County press release stated, "The redeveloped Downtown Silver Spring, known as a hotspot for entertainment, dining and shopping, now is also a hotspot for wireless internet accessÉ

"The Community Wi-Fi initiative is designed to É (provide) no-cost community Internet access where it currently does not exist - in our open-air public places. É This endeavor demonstrates Montgomery County's commitment to the substantial benefits that broadband information access bringsÉ"

When I asked Moore how Montgomery County did it, the first words out of her mouth were music to my ears: "It's a private-public partnership. The county has very little money in it."

Atlantech Online provides the technical component in return for a $1,700 per year fee from the county. Atlantech is a local Internet Service Provider and for them it's a marketing piece.

Moore noted that, "Montgomery County did not want to get anyway near É competing with the private sector." This service is for public areas only.

Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan said in a release, "The successful revitalization of downtown Silver Spring is a national model for urban redevelopment. After years of delays, I am proud that we were able to break the gridlock and get this project moving.

The area is now an arts and entertainment destination in the Washington, D.C. region, and our Wi-Fi agreement ensures that Silver Spring will remain on the cutting edge."

The consensus of an informal survey conducted locally was, yeah, there are questions to be answered; but let's roll up our sleeves and do it.

Wi-Fi presents unlimited opportunities for Carroll County.

Since the initiative would need to start in Carroll's municipalities, I contacted the Carroll County Maryland Municipal League Chapter President, Hampstead Mayor Haven Shoemaker.

Haven put it best: "I have many questions, but I'm willing to investigate any cost-effective private-public technology initiative that will stimulate economic development and quality of life for our citizens."

Taneytown Mayor Pro Tem Darryl Hale agreed, and Mount Airy Council President John Medve added that, "anything which enhances communication and access to government is a good thing."

I couldn't agree more.

Opportunities multiply once they are seized. The future is here, and Wi-Fi is a great opportunity for Carroll County.

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

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

20050828 Politics fills space around judicial vacancy by David Nitkin and Jennifer Skalka

Some say Ehrlich wants friend on list of nominees; Allegany seat empty since 2004

Politics fills space around judicial vacancy

Criminal cases are piling up in Allegany County, where a political standoff has left the District Court operating with one full-time judge since late last year.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who selects judges, was given the names of three candidates for the county's judicial vacancy by a nominating panel in December. But nine months later, he has yet to interview any of the finalists. As a result, Allegany County now has the longest-standing judicial vacancy in the state.

Some Republican leaders and court officials in Western Maryland say the holdup isn't because of who was nominated but who was not. The list does not include the name of Kevin Kelly, a Democratic state delegate from Allegany County and a longtime Ehrlich friend. Kelly applied for the position, but his candidacy was rejected by the panel.


John N. Bambacus, a former Republican state senator who teaches political science at Frostburg State University, called the District Court situation "a circus."


The episode provides a glimpse into the often-hidden world of judicial politics. On one side is a local power structure that has coalesced around a favored candidate. On the other is a first-term governor who does not back away from fights and rarely demonstrates a taste for compromising or deal-making.

Stuck in the middle are the users of the court system in Allegany County. The criminal docket is being scheduled into January, when normally cases would be heard in November, court officials say.

"The governor's first responsibility is to serve justice, not his friends," said Del. Kumar P. Barve, the House majority leader from Montgomery County. "He needs to appoint someone qualified very quickly. If he's delaying appointing somebody because he wants Kevin to be a judge, that's wrong. I can't think of any other reason why he hasn't appointed somebody by now."


"It would appear that Governor Ehrlich has lost control of the judicial nominating commission," said Bambacus, the Frostburg professor.


Sun staff writer Jennifer Skalka contributed to this article.,1,6997695.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

20050828 Politics fills space around judicial vacancy by David Nitkin and Jennifer Skalka