Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems - Address: PO Box 124, Westminster MD 21158 410-259-6403 Runner, writer, artist, fire & police chaplain Mindless ramblings of a runner, journalist & artist: Travel, art, artists, authors, books, newspapers, media, writers and writing, journalists and journalism, reporters and reporting, technology, music, culture, opera... National & International politics For community: For art, technology, writing, & travel:

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

Kevin Dayhoff Art: (

Saturday, September 24, 2005

20050923 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

Kevin Dayhoff Art

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 Kevin Dayhoff Art

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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