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:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

20061127 Be the best you can be.

Be the best you can be.

Overcoming obstacles

Pictured above: George Dennehy, right, plays first-chair cello at Oak Knoll Middle School in Hanover County, Va.. George, born with bilateral upper-limb deficiency, has no limbs beyond his shoulder blades and has learned to do almost everything with his feet. (Lindy Keast Rodman, Associated Press)

Although I have a reputation for reading (too) many newspapers, I’ll tell ya a secret – I really scan the articles and just look at the pictures. Often the articles have too many big words for me.

In all seriousness, I am a newspaper photograph junkie and I had noticed Lindy Keast Rodman’s work in the
Richmond Times-Dispatch some time ago.

I found this picture in “
The Day in Pictures” section of the Baltimore Sun web site. I recognized the name of the photographer and went to the Richmond Times-Dispatch web site to try and find the picture on the web site…

I did not find the picture, but I found the
article for which the picture may very well have accompanied. The article, “With feet and toes, young cellist makes beautiful music,” By HOLLY PRESTIDGE, Richmond Times-Dispatch; is worth a quick read. You can find it here.

It begins:

HANOVER, Va. - George Dennehy sits first chair in the cello section of the string orchestra at Oak Knoll Middle School in Hanover County.

As he leans back slightly on a stool, the toes on George's right foot move over the cello's strings as the toes on his left foot control the bow.

George's feet are his hands; his toes are his fingers. He was born with bilateral upper-limb deficiency, so he has no limbs beyond his shoulder blades.

He has learned to do almost everything with his feet _ typing on the computer, eating, setting the table, opening doors, playing the cello.

Read the rest here. (I do not know if the Richmond Times-Dispatch uses permalinks – so if you are accessing this post and the link is dead, e-mail me at kevindayhoff(at) and I’ll load the rest of the article…)

Thank you Richmond Times-Dispatch, Holly Prestidge and Lindy Keast Rodman, for a great and uplifting story.

This great picture of Mr. Dennehy provides a bit of a springboard to mention the importance of Special Education programs in our school systems and the subject of mainstreaming.

When at all possible, I believe passionately about mainstreaming, i.e., integrating children with disabilities or special needs into the classrooms as much as possible. The rewards for all the children and society in general far outweigh the expense.

Give a child a chance and they will engage, adapt and overcome every time; provided they are given the proper opportunity to excel; given proper support and allowed to develop compensatory approaches to many of the day-to-day activities we tend to accept as routine.

And this is win-win for everyone.


20061127 An incredible story about an amazing swimmer

An incredible story about an amazing swimmer
November 27th, 2006

For a related post, please see, "2oo61127 Be the best you can be,"

Top photo: Paralympian Jessica Long holds multiple swimming world records. "I like being chased," she says. (Sun photo by Doug Kapustin) Nov 17, 2006 For the Related story, please see: Catch me if you can in the Baltimore Sun.

Bottom photo: Paralympian Jessica Long, 14, of Middle River, holds multiple swimming world records. "I like being chased," she says. (Sun photo by Doug Kapustin) Nov 27, 2006

“Catch me if you can,” From the Baltimore Sun By Paul McMullen, Sun reporter, November 27, 2006
At 14, Jessica Long of Middle River is winning gold and setting records with the U.S. Paralympic swim team

Jessica Long's proficiency in the pool is apparent after a few strokes. Bobbing up and down on the breaststroke, she's indistinguishable from the practice partners in her lane, but something seems missing from her otherwise impeccable freestyle form.

The less splash swimmers make with their hands, the faster they go, but Long's kick leaves a curiously scant trail.

The 14-year-old from Middle River has mastered the pull and push of water well enough to set multiple world records, but her athleticism is fully comprehended only on the pool deck. A double amputee below the knees, Long walks on prosthetic legs.

On Thursday morning, Long left her parents and siblings for Thanksgiving in Chicago, joining the other members of the U.S. Paralympic swim team.

20061127 The US Census Bureau breaks society down into five core generational segmentations

The US Census Bureau breaks society down into five core generational segmentations

Hat Tip: Mrs. Owl

I’ve always been fascinated with some of the communication dysfunction that occurs between men and women, different races and cultures and between generations.

Mrs. Owl was kind enough to e-mail this brief overview as to communication between generations. I enjoy speaking to young adults in the Carroll County Public Schools… and with that and in my role as an uncle, I have always liked to think that I do a fairly good job at reaching the youngest generation; however, I never-the-less worry that I need much improvement.

Anyway, I hope that you agree that the following is an informative introduction to the subject of intergenerational communication…

Listening – Generational!
By Dr. Jeffrey Magee, PDM, CSP, CMC

Executive Summary: Listening to individuals from the generational footprint they bring to the conversation can drastically change the outcome – connect with them at their level and attain success, insist upon communicating from your level solely and your guaranteed failure!

With the diverse environments you live and work today, there is something more important than just gender and race when it comes to really communicating and listening to others for success. Consider the five diverse generational segmentations (COACHING for IMPACT ©2003 by Dr. Jay Kent-Ferraro and Dr. Jeffrey Magee, in the work place today, and some of the similarities and more importantly the enormous difference between how each one operates and processes.

Effective leaders merely make observations, not judgments of right versus wrong or good versus bad, in reflecting upon the differing age segmentations in an organization and thus ways to better connect with each.

The United States Census Bureau breaks society down into five core generational segmentations (birth through death) and if we are to simply use these same five segmentations in the work place, we could segment individuals (yes we are making generalizations here, and there can always be an exception!) into categories with unique traits or characteristics, which could serve as guide posts of how to frame your communication exchange to solicit greater listening and awareness.

Consider the five generational segmentations and the ABCs (Attitudes, Behaviors, and Characteristics) of each for better connections:

1. Centurion (those over 55 years of age; exit point employees) – more structured, formal, conservative, dedicated, and loyal, identity is rooted in what one does, change resistant …

2. BabyBoomers (those from 38 to 55 years of age) – more status driven, materialistic driven, opinionated and ego driven, live to work …

3. Generation X (28 to 38 years of age) – entitlement expected, more outgoing and impatient, question authority and norms more, self indulgent, live for the now …

4. Generation Y (22 to 28 years of age) – More social and relationship driven, work to live, not as class conscious, highly educated, more liberal, change accepting …

5. Generation MTV (17-21 years of age; entry point employees) – looking for association causes to be dedicated to, more structured and accepting of others and situations, concerned for the future and consideration of their peers, live for the now with a reflection on the future, very tech savvy …

When listening to others, listen from the vantage point of the generational segmentation as a footprint from where they come from and you will have a greater awareness of why one says what one says and how to connect with them more effectively.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

20061121 WE Giving thanks WE

has George Washington's Proclamation of Thanksgiving from The Massachusetts Sentinel, October 14, 1789 – here.

shares a Psalm for Thanksgiving here.

Maryland Conservatarian
is “unabashedly thankful for having the good fortune to be an American.”

The Baltimore Reporter
hopes “you have a good one!”

Go here for Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation
from Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

And Monoblogue
is mumbling something about helicopters, WKRP and flying turkeys.

Hopefully you have spent Thanksgiving with family and loved ones. Please be sure to say a special prayer for all our men and women in uniform, in harms way.

Giving thanks for history, and future, of America

11/21/06 By Kevin E. Dayhoff

This Thursday, America celebrates the American version of the "Harvest Festival," gathering families together and watching football; though it should be noted that this annual holiday originated as a celebration to give thanks for the annual harvest.

Of course, outside the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday is known as "Thursday," or "Jueves" in Taneytown.

Muchas personas piensan del d’a de acci—n de gracias como una maravillosa celebraci—n, que les permite tener un largo fin de semana disfrutando de una suculenta cena.

Today, there is no holiday that is more quintessentially American than Thanksgiving, according to many people -- including Hampstead Mayor Haven Shoemaker, who shared his comments in English.

Our household has once again extended a warm invitation to Martha Stewart to join us for Thanksgiving. We're happy that she is out of the Big House, as it is imperative that America make room for more congressmen; especially since the last election has provided us with so many more great new prospects for "Club Fed."

In honor of the holiday, homage is paid to Ms. Stewart by delivering each and every paper to your door folded in the shape of a turkey.

(If yours did not arrive this way, call the editor immediately. And tell him I said, "Happy Thanksgiving!")

The layout for the newspaper was made-up of joyous and colorful words cut out of old political ads. To deliver your paper, I got up extra early, around 10 o'clock, and made an exact replica of the first Rural Free Delivery wagon used by Edwin W. Shriver to delivery mail in Carroll County on Dec. 20, 1899.

I constructed it out of scrap wood gathered from leftover stakes for political signs Ð and a glue gun.

I then created a jackass to pull the wagon, using some DNA lying around from the last election.

Thanksgiving in America was actually first observed at Berkeley Plantation, by the Virginia Colony on Dec. 4, 1619.

In the beginning of another American Thanksgiving tradition, 102 Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, in July 1620 to escape religious persecution.

They came to the New World as illegal immigrants to find a better way of life and persecute others who don't believe as they do or speak their language. But essentially they wanted to practice their religion without government interference, and since the ACLU did not exist at the time, they were allowed to do so.

The trip to the New World was planned by a government committee, which meant they arrived in December, without frozen food, Wal-Mart tents, replacement batteries for their laptops or ice cream.

The winter of 1620 to 1621 was unforgiving and half of the original boat-people died.

Although the local native Wampanoag Indians immediately passed a resolution that the illegal immigrants needed to learn the Wampanoag language; other more broad-minded Native-Americans kept the rest of them from perishing.

The pilgrims thanked the Native Americans by giving them smallpox and alcohol.

Later, as the New England colonists continued to annex Wampanoag land and build housing developments, the King Philip's War erupted, 1675Ð76, and the colonists exterminated the Native Americans and seized the rest of their lands.

Today, the tradition of King Philip's War is re-enacted in the form of public hearings in which the personal character and integrity of public officials is exterminated and all rules of civility seized.

Another American tradition began in 1621, when the New England pilgrims celebrated a feast of thanksgiving by giving thanks to God after a successful harvest.

Today, the Lord's Prayer has been replaced in school and public meetings by a moment of silent bewilderment, and any celebration of God has been systematically removed from public discourse and replaced by a greater conversation as to why our great country has lost its moral bearings.

Hopefully, this Thursday, you will spend the day with loved-ones and family.

Let us reach out to the xenophobic and to those in need of food, shelter, common sense and words of hope.

May we also remember our men and women in uniform in harm's way.

And may we ask that we be given patience, understanding, resolve, and wisdom in all that lies ahead for our great nation.

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

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20061122 Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney

Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney

November 22nd, 2006

Hat Tip: Soccer Dad and special thanks to Crablaw.

Some clean up from earlier in the week.

Wow, where did this week go?

Earlier in the week, Soccer Dad very kindly called to my attention this link to an article on Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, on the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal.

Actually, the piece in the Wall Street Journal, called to my attention by Soccer Dad, is a review by Allen C. Guelzo, of a book by James F. Simon, titled “Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession, and the President's War Powers.”

(I guess I should note that two generations of my wife’s family have earned degrees from Gettysburg College… For more information on Professor Allen C. Guelzo, go here and hereProfessor Guelzo is quite an asset and he works just up the road from all of us. Looking over the material on Professor Guelzo’s work and presentations, I think that I will look forward to traveling up the road a little more frequently in the future to absorb some of his expertise…)

As an historian, I am fascinated with conflicted historical characters and what made them do the things they did. Certainly one of the most complicated, among many complicated historical actors is Chief Justice Taney.

This was wonderfully nice of Soccer Dad to call this article to my attention and I really appreciate it. In a week like this one, I would have missed it.

For those who are also intrigued by Chief Justice Taney, you may wanna take a quick look at Crablaw’s reflection on Chief Justice Taney. And never mind that Taneytown history stuff…, we got that solved… here and here.

When the Court Lost Its Conscience

The man behind Dred Scott, and his clash with Lincoln.

By Allen C. Guelzo

Mr. Guelzo, the author of "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation," is the director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. You can buy "Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney" from the
OpinionJournal bookstore.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Even the most reasonably literate American may find it difficult to name more than three of the past chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. But of those three, one of them will almost certainly be Roger Brooke Taney, the author, in 1857, of the court's most reviled decision, Dred Scott v. Sandford.

Born in 1777 into an Annapolis family that had held land and slaves in Maryland since the 1660s, Taney had what one fellow lawyer, William Pinckney, irritably called the "infernal apostolic manner" of a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But Taney was also a talented lawyer, rising in 1827 to become attorney general of Maryland; three years later, he was named U.S. attorney general by President Andrew Jackson.

It may seem odd to find Taney allied politically with Jackson, the paladin of the American common man. But the Jacksonian democracy was administered by the cream of America's planter aristocracy--and that included Taney. In 1833, Jackson declared political war on the Second Bank of the United States, a fight that was the keystone of Jackson's populist strategy to turn back the tide of the Industrial Revolution in America. And Taney was the only man in the president's cabinet who supported Jackson's move to defund the bank (by withdrawing federal tax-revenue deposits). The attorney general's reward was a Supreme Court nomination in 1834 and confirmation as chief justice in 1836.


Read the rest here.

Thanks Soccer Dad and Crablaw. Great conversation. Have a great Turkey Day.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

20061121 Blade Runner Welcome to the Machine

Good Morning – Welcome to the Machine

November 22, 2006

“Do androids dream of electric sheep?”

This is a “trailer” for the 1982 cult sci-fi classic by Ridley Scott, “Blade Runner,” set to the music of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine.”

What a combination. What a way to start the day. Put the headset on and enjoy.

I found it at:

It was described as:

Welcome to 2019” – “If Vangelis hadn't provided such superb music for Blade Runner, then I think we might have been inclined to turn to Pink Floyd for the soundtrack. To see why, download this excellent composition of Blade Runner movie clips edited together by Patrick Meaney to the Pink Floyd track "Welcome to the Machine". This is a 10.8 Mb .wmv file.”




Tuesday, November 21, 2006

20061121 Yikes


November 15th, 2006 – November 21st, 2006

Yikes, I take my eye off the ball for a couple of days and chaos has ensued…

And recently my life has not been my own…

Anyway, about a week ago or so, Crablaw posted a discussion of the unfortunate matter in Taneytown, whereby the city’s elected leadership, by a 3 – 2 vote, if I am not mistaken, have decided to “pass a resolution declaring English its official language but stopped short last night of a proposed change to the city charter,” according to an article in the November 14th, 2006 Baltimore Sun by Laura McCandlish

In the past, I have worked with most of the current elected leadership of Taneytown and they are a great group of folks, who are quite committed to their community and put in long hours.

I do not know Taneytown Councilman Paul E. Chamberlain Jr. In all candor, when Councilman Chamberlain first brought up the “English first” issue, I though it was campaign rhetoric in his bid to be relevant in his bid to unseat the popular Maryland Senator David Brinkley.

I consider Senator Brinkley to be a good friend and I have really enjoyed working with him for a number of years. I have not a clue as to what Councilman Chamberlain was thinking when he decided that he was going to jump from Taneytown councilmember to Maryland State Senator – and unseat Senator Brinkley?

The English First initiative sends the wrong signal to folks outside of Carroll County. Whether the legislation is a “statement” without force of law or just a publicity stunt, it is not a true signal of what we are as a greater community.

It has caused a “media storm” of unwanted attention to Carroll County for all the wrong reasons. We do so many things well in Carroll County. This legislation is a “damn shame.”

Historically Carroll County is a welcoming community.

By way of our roots, either as innkeepers and provisioners to travelers on their way west, or as shopkeepers or as folks looking to expand our economic base in the golden age of Carroll County’s small towns in the first part of the 1900s as communities looked to expand their economic base and attract folks to move to the country. Not too mention Carroll County’s agricultural roots, in which a visitor to the farm in the days before automobiles was a holiday and folks were welcomed with open arms.

Why even when Carroll County used German POWs for agricultural labor during WWII, there are plenty of stories and anecdotes about the German prisoners eating at the family dinner table on the farms…

A solution in search of a problem.

But Councilman Chamberlain’s continued pursuit has presented to those of us who are somewhat familiar with Taneytown, to be a solution in search of a problem.

I have not attempted to talk with Councilman Chamberlain, but I have played phone tag with Councilman James L. McCarron. Councilman McCarron is the gold standard of a locally elected official working hard for what is best for his city. I have served on several Maryland Municipal League committees with Councilman McCarron and we both served on the MML Board together.

I have some insight as to his thinking process when it comes to municipal government and I gotta tell ya, it means something to me when he says, as he as quoted in Ms. McCandlish’s article:

Councilman James L. McCarron denounced the measure. In his more than 22 years on the council, he said, no one ever came forward with a comment or complaint who didn't speak English.

"I have no problem making English the official language of the state of Maryland or even America, but to make it the official language of Taneytown is simply a nonissue," McCarron said. "It's not a unity resolution. It's a disunity one."
When someone is an elected community leader, one of his or her main responsibilities is to see to it that taxpayer dollars are handled as frugally as possible.

Introducing and pursuing municipal legislation, such as “English First” is a waste of taxpayer money and a waste of time for municipal elected and appointed officials.

On October 19th, 2005, I wrote a column in the Westminster Eagle titled, “20051019 WE Politics of personal destruction puts limits on future leaders

In that column I touched upon a number of “civility” matters…

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

I guess I’ve been guilty of being silent on this issue. As I mentioned above, I thought it was so much election bluster…

I respectfully disagree with Councilman Chamberlain… Ultimately he need not answer to me. He has to answer to his constituents and provide leadership for Taneytown as he sees fit…

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.

Spanish-speaking workers in our community.

Ultimately, we are talking about are fellow human beings who have come to this country - just like us or our ancestors, at some point in time - to make a better life for our 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.



20061121 Hoby Wolf weighs in on Taneytown English First issue

Hoby Wolf weighs in on Taneytown English First issue

On of my Westminster Eagle columnist colleagues has weighed-in on the Taneytown English First initiative:

Logic of press reports from Taneytown seems foreign to me

11/21/06 By Hoby Wolf

Nothing warms the cockles of a former public relations man's heart like watching the press getting sucked into a non-story; mostly because of the young liberal reporters who sense blood -- when it's really a dry field.

This, to me anyway, is the non-story that got Taneytown some national press this past week.

The town council Taneytown voted 3-2 to pass something it called the English Language Unity Resolution, which asserts that all city government business will be conducted in English.

According to press accounts, there is no penalty for breaking the resolution, nor does it conflict with federal laws requiring interpreters to be provided when necessary.

But that didn't stop people from objecting to it, of course. Why, we even had quotes from a high official from a local jurisdiction on how shameful that action was!

I say two things:

Read the rest of his column here.


Monday, November 20, 2006

20061119 Reel Fanatic

Reel Fanatic

November 19th, 2006 Labels: , , , 

“Reel Fanatic” left a great comment on my “20061118 Cruise and Holmes why should I care” post.

Curious, I went to his web site.

What a great web site. Check it out.

His profile indicates that his life was altered by seeing the movie “Spinal Tap.” I can relate.

Also, check out his post: “Spectacular spy flicks.”

“39 Steps” and “La Femme Nikita,” are also some of my all-time favorite movies - - and the rest of the movies on the list in the post are all great movies.

The top of my list (of movies in general) includes, to name a few: “Betty Blue,” “Blue Velvet,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “The Marriage of Maria Braun,” “Lili Marleen,” “The Tin Drum,” “Veridiana,” "Rashomon," “Wings of Desire,” and “Blade Runner.”

Some of the best lines are in “Blade Runner.”

“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams ... glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost ... in time, like tears ... in rain. Time ... to die.” (Roy Batty)

I’ve been hooked on movies since, as a young lad; I would watch “westerns” with my Dad. Great childhood memories. There for awhile, I would keep a log as to what I watched and when, with my comments. Geez I wished I still had that log.

Later, in my twenties, I again started to keep track of the movies I got to see. I was a regular at “The Charles Theatre” and the “Biograph Theatre” at
2819 M Street, NW, Washington, DC

I think my record was something like 65 movies in one year. I would go to New York for movies (and Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway) not available in the Baltimore – DC area.

I think that it was in New York that my co-conspirator in these endeavors started to balk when I “made” her sit through four Woody Allen movies in a row.

Then I topped it off on another occasion with Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s “Ludwig - Requiem für einen jungfräulichen König,” (“Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King,” with a few Rainer Werner Fassbinder movies sprinkled–in for overkill.

Great web site Mr. Keith Demko. I’ll be sure to visit frequently.


Friday, November 10, 2006

20061110 Is it time for Charter government in Frederick County?

Is it time for Charter government in Frederick County?

And for that matter, Carroll County too?

November 10th, 2006

In Thursday’s November 9th, 2006 edition of the Gazette, there is an article by Sherry Greenfield, “Brinkley pushes for alternate form of county government;” which reports that Maryland State Senator David R. Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market is taking a hard look at the form of government in Frederick County.

This is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that members of elected delegations to Annapolis have been historically reluctant to embrace such changes as it has been perceived in the past that it diminishes their power.

One could argue that position; however, these days there are plenty of pressing statewide issues for which state elected officials to focus their time.

Senator Brinkley however is not known for short-sighted approaches to what is in the best interests of the citizens he serves. For Senator Brinkley it seldom is about himself and it is consistently all about what is in the best interests of Maryland, Frederick County – and Western Maryland.

I served on the Committee for Charter Government in its beginning exploratory stage, in Carroll County in the late 1980s and although that effort may have been, in hindsight, a bit premature, the time will come, and not in the too far distance future, that Charter Government will be what is best for Carroll County also.

I remember well the discussions in 1967 that led to Code Home Rule being put on the ballot in 1968. That effort was defeated and yes - Code Home Rule is not Charter Government, but amazingly, many of the issues that were brought forth in 1967 are still issues today. (Anyway, after a great deal of study, I have determined that Code Home Rule is not the answer. Charter Government is the answer...)

Certainly the time for Charter Government has come for Frederick County - and in Carroll County it would be wise to start taking a hard and intelligent look at Charter Government for future serious consideration..

On the bigger picture, this last election has seen folks get elected to the Maryland General Assembly that will, if you can believe it, take that august body much further to the left.

In the last several sessions there has been a serious erosion for “local courtesy” and the time may be just on the horizon when that august liberal body will be increasingly intolerant of the needs and wants of the counties in the state that need to take local lawmaking to Annapolis.

Numerous examples are available. One awkward moment came in the last session when the Maryland General Assembly played games with a bill brought forward by the Carroll County Delegation to Annapolis over designation of the five districts for which to elect five commissioners. The bill never passed.

Although this delighted Carroll County Democrats and various moderate Republicans - - and gave them wonderful sound bites for the election as to the degree of capability and effectiveness of the delegation; it is a slippery slope that may come back to haunt all of us.

It was very bad precedent for all commissioner forms of government counties throughout the state. It was particularly interesting to see folks who complained in the past of local citizens going to Annapolis to encourage the Maryland General Assembly to not pass certain legislation; do the very same thing with the “five district” legislation…

The Gazette has been consistent as to matter of Charter Government in Frederick County. See here to read the paper’s July 28th, 2004 editorial advocating for a change: “20040728 Time to change Frederick county government gazed.”

Another interesting read is Frederick and Washington County Delegate Richard B. Weldon Jr.’s Tentacle column from October 16, 2006: “The Case for Charter:”

“The debate about the form of governance employed by Frederick County has raged back and forth for decades. Voters have weighed in several times, always voting to retain the current form, the Board of County Commissioners.”

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile Frederick County has changed a great deal in the last 100 years. Just before World War I - in 1900, the county had a population of 51,920. Agriculture was king and Frederick County led the state in the production of wheat and corn. The county economy was good and local jobs plentiful with 353 manufacturing industries, but there was never-the-less, a clamor to attract more local jobs and industry.

In light of today’s computer technology, almost fifty years after a commissioner form of government was established in Frederick County, the first typewriter made it into the Commissioners’ office in 1898. In 1917, the first auto theft was recorded in the county.

Just before World War 1, one of the biggest citizen complaints was the road system. Alright, perhaps some things have not changed… The tax rate in 1903 was 87 cents; however the 1909 to 1911 Board of Commissioners raised the rate to $1.18.

Since World War 1, the form of government in Frederick County has changed several times.

From 1748 to 1851, the form of government was a Levy Court appointed by the governor every year. In 1851, it changed to five commissioners elected every two years. In 1934 the number of commissioners changed to three, only to be changed back to five in 1974, where it has remained to this day.

Considering the increase in population since 1974, not to mention, the increase in the complexity of the challenges facing local government these days, perhaps it is time to change the form of government again to join the other eight counties in Maryland who have Charter government.

Ms. Greenfield begins her Gazette article:

State Sen. David R. Brinkley wants the new Frederick Board of County Commissioners to consider changing the county’s form of government.

Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market, is interested in changing from the current commissioner form of government to a charter, which calls for local voters to create and approve a document that describes how the government will be run.

‘‘I’m encouraging them to get the ball rolling, so if there is a change that has to take place [the Frederick delegation] can be there to help them do it,” Brinkley said.

The idea that the county should change its form of government has been batted around for some time. The current boom in population has spurred it along further.

In the late 1950s and again in 1991, county residents voted down a charter. In 1991, 67 percent opposed a charter government.

‘‘There has always been discussion of changing our form of government,” Brinkley said. ‘‘...There are those that claim they don’t want to go through the delegation and they want a single person at the top running things.”

Read the rest of her article here.

And stay tuned for the rest of the “Charter Government” story as it continues to unfold, as I have it on good authority that this story is not going to go away anytime soon for either Frederick County or Carroll County.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster Maryland USA. E-mail him at: Westminster Eagle Opinion and Winchester Report has moved to

20061110 Happy Birthday USMC

Happy Birthday USMC

See also:

20061110 Today of the birthday of the United States Marine Corps

November 10th, 2006 by Kevin Dayhoff (909 words)

November 10th is the birthday for the United States Marine Corp.

Yes the Marine Corps was born in a bar. It was on November 10, 1775, that the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise several Battalions of Marines. Nicholas established a recruiting station at “Tun Tavern” in Philadelphia.

Carroll County has a role in Marine Corps history. It was on June 11, 1898, according to local historian Jay Graybeal, that United States Marine Sgt. Charles Hampton. Smith from Smallwood was killed during the capture of Guantánamo Bay in the Spanish-American War.

In a 1996 published account, Mr. Graybeal wrote that Sgt. Smith was born near Smallwood, Carroll County on January 15, 1867. He had left the county and joined the Marine Corps in 1893 after a brief stint with a Baltimore insurance firm.

Dr. Milton D. Norris, who maintained a medical practice in Eldersburg for so many years, also served as “Acting Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Volunteers, during the Spanish-American War. Another “Acting Assistant Surgeon,” John Blair Gibbs was killed on June 11, the same night that Sgt. Smith was killed. Marine Privates William Dumphy and James McColgan, along with Sgt. Smith were the some of the first U. S. casualties of the war.

Another Carroll Countian, Harry Huber, “dubbed “Westminster’s Sailor Boy,” by the Democratic Advocate, according to Jay Graybeal, participated in the Spanish-American War. On May 14, 1898, the paper published two letters detailing his participation in naval engagements at the beginning of the war.

The Marines refer to a portion of the military actions to capture Guantánamo Bay as the “Battle for Cuzco Well,” and the battle is commemorated every year to this day at the sprawling American Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba

On the base at McCalla Hill, there is a monument dedicated to the Marines that died, including Carroll Countian Sgt. Smith. The accompanying picture was taken from the June 16, 2006 Guantánamo Bay Gazette which covered this year’s observances. Mr. Graybeal has reported that the “monument consists of a captured bronze cannon and a bronze plaque bearing the names of the five Marines and the Navy surgeon killed in action.”

It was in April 1898 that the tension between the United States and Spain over the fate of Cuba erupted into the Spanish-American War. A revolution had broken out on the island of Cuba in 1895 and President William McKinley was under great pressure to defend the 50 million dollars' worth of American investment in Cuba, primarily in the sugar, tobacco, and iron industries. A very young Winston Churchill traveled to Cuba in 1895 to observe the fighting.

Originally President McKinley (R) was against the war. He was supported by the Speaker of the House, Thomas Reed (R.) But in March of 1898, Democrats, religious and business groups joined forces with a changing mood in Congress and demanded action on humanitarian grounds, which at the time, was a unique departure for countries to go to war.

In an April 19, 1998 article in the Carroll County Times, Jay Graybeal wrote that in Carroll County, “local reformer” Mary B. Shellman, Georgia Buckingham and Denton Gehr promoted the cause of “Free Cuba” in 1898 “in a play at the Westminster Odd Fellows Hall.”

The very first ground military action occurred on June 10, 1898 as Marines were sent in to establish a base at Guantánamo Bay. It was on the second day of military operations that Carroll Countian Sgt. Charles H. Smith was killed. Total combat casualties for the United States were 379 troops lost however, over 5,000 American military personnel dies from disease.

The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first “media war.” Newspapers owned by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst had agitated for war for quite sometime in an effort referred to by history as “yellow journalism.”

Additionally, it was in 1898 that the very first use of film as propaganda was used. A ninety second film was produced in 1898. Entitled, “Tearing Down the Spanish Flag;” it was a rudimentary propagandist film developed for the purpose of inspiring patriotism and hatred for the Spanish.

The Spanish-American War is also significant as it marked the arrival of the United States as world power. Spain, which had been in economic chaos before the war, never recovered and after three centuries of world influence, the war ended its role as a super-power. The 1898 war helped avert a civil war in Spain at the time, only to see the country deteriorate into a disastrous civil war in the 1930s.

For the Americans, most of the combatants were sons of northern and Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War. The 1898 war helped with a difficult reconciliation process that had only begun to take place in the early 1890s.

Not often reported is the fact that 33 African-American seaman died in the destruction of the USS Maine on February 15, 1898. In the subsequent military actions, African-Americans gained a great deal of respect among military elite, for their conduct and valor during the war.

Since 1775, Marines have been involved in every armed conflict in American history. There are many Marines in Carroll County and of course we understand that, as was the case in the Spanish-American War, the Marine Corps was established to always faithfully be available to show the way and pull the Army and Navy’s behind out of the fire.

Happy Birthday Marines. For Corps and Country, Semper Fidelis.



Friday, November 03, 2006

EMA’s Shocker: Kanye Stage Invasion!

EMA’s Shocker: Kanye Stage Invasion!,” on the MTV United Kingdom site:

The Best Hip Hop winner lashes out after missing out on Best Video award...

22:47, Thursday, 2 November 2006

Click here to watch Kanye's stage invasion...

Watch the EMAs again on Overdrive now...

Kanye West unleashed an amazing outburst after failing to take home the gong for 'Best Video' for his 'Touch The Sky' promo at the EMAs.

Crashing the stage as friends of the winners Justice V Simian collected their silverwear for 'We Are Your Friends', the hip hop star spat, "F*ck dis! (My video) cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it, I was jumping across canyons and sh*t! If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility. Nothing against you (J&S), but hell man."

His verbal tirade left audience members gasping but it didn't end there.

After the show the offended star continued to vent his spleen in the press conference.

You simply must read the rest of the account, here: EMA’s Shocker: Kanye Stage Invasion!

This is priceless. You can’t this kind of stuff up. If I had included such a scenario in a short work of fiction, I would be berated because it failed to suspend disbelief…

Civility, Music, Music West Kanye

20061102 sdsom EMAs Shocker Kanye Stage Invasion

Update: Journalists Burns-Kenneth Burns, Music Swift Taylor,
My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County: