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PRSTD STD US Postage Paid Permit No. 145 Waldorf, MD

Thursday, March 29, 2007 • St. Mary’s County, Maryland

Sheriff’s Office Expands Policing To Country Lakes

Established 2006 • Volume 2 • Issue 13 • FREE

Limited School Sites Leaves County in a Bind

By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The Country Lakes community in Mechanicsville will get a sheriff’s deputy specifically assigned to their community to pinpoint crime problems in their neighborhood. Residents in Country Lakes said the extra police presence would be Photo by Adam Ross welcome; they say crime is on the Parked airplanes at St. Mary’s Regional Airport await their next flight. Growing skepticsm from pilots over the approach pattern in relarise. “Ride through Country Lakes tion to St. Mary’s County Public Schools’ new school, SMCPS 0606, and its location in zone 4 of the Airport Environs overlay should be and you’ll see, kids are beating down answered in April. mailboxes all over,” said Mary Walsh, a 13-year resident. “It’s been getting By Adam Ross though a [new] high school might be six or eight years Staff Writer off, it’s now.” bad the past couple of years.” Throughout the March 19 meeting, Clements and Walsh said drugs are a constant Despite a new growth policy that if passed by the Kimberly Howe, capital planning supervisor for St. problem in the neighborhood and that she has run off people she suspected St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners would re- Mary’s County Public Schools, chalked up the lack of of dealing drugs on her street in front open the Development District to construction, the pub- school sites in the Development District to wetlands, of her house twice since December lic school system is having an impossible time locating steep slopes, corrodible soils, reforestation, agricultural high school sites in development areas, according to J. overlay, endangered species, air installation compatible of last year. “They drove up in a car and Bradley Clements, chief operating officer for St. Mary’s use zones (AICUZ) and airport environs zones. “There are 41 items in the state review we have to handed something to someone and Schools. “It’s impossible for a high school site, and very dif- complete before we submit for a school site,” Clements they handed money back,” she said. ficult to find an elementary site,” Clements said to the told the County Times Friday during a telephone inter“What do you think it was?” The incident that shook the com- Board of Education during a March 19 meeting. “Even See School Sites page A- munity the most in recent memory was back in January when a home was on the receiving end of gunfire.

things, and then they have to have hearings and we have to send staff up there,” Raley said. “It’s more efficient for local jurisdictions to approve those actions, and you can save time and money in the process.” Raley used the most recent example of extending the terms for Metropolitan Commission officials from three to five years, calling it “cumbersome” to send that type of See Task Force page A-

See Budget page A-

Commissioners Index Appoint Forms of Government Task Force Development A-5

Baseball B-1 Op.-Ed ..........Page A - 4 Obits .............Page A - 6 Police ............Page B - 5 Classifieds.....Page B - 7

For Continual News Updates Visit: Local Weather Friday Sunny 59° Saturday Partly Couldy 63° Sunday Mostly Cloudy 62°

The St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners approved the appointments of a 15-member task force Tuesday to evaluate moving from a commissioner form of government to a code home rule. Commissioner Daniel H. Raley (D- Great Mills) asked his fellow commissioners last week to at least

investigate the two other forms of government allowed under Maryland law. Under code home rule, county commissioners would still have autonomy to lead local government, but would eliminate some of the bureaucratic processes that force the commissioners to receive state approval for minor issues. “Over half of the things we send up [to Annapolis] are really minor

By Adam Ross Staff Writer Facing a $64.7 million price tag for post employment benefits, and an $8 million increase over last year’s Board of Education budget request, the St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners put fourth what some are calling a fiscally responsible budget proposal Tuesday that addresses both requests without tax hikes. Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) alone is throwing state and local governments, public school districts, public universities and other governmental entities countrywide for a loop, leaving most in the dark on how to fund millions of dollars for post retirement healthcare benefits. Last year the county commissioners led by then President Thomas F. McKay set aside $3.5 million for OPEB at a time when most governments and municipalities were still coming to grips with the exorbitant price tag. However, this year’s board is planning an even more aggressive funding campaign for OPEB, by paying $10 million into a trust, and changing the vesting structure from 16 to 25 years. Both moves will save the county $5.1 million annually, according to Elaine Kramer, chief financial officer for the county. “I’ve been on the bandwagon on taking care of the structural deficit with post retirement benefits,” Kramer said to the commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting. “You stepped right up to the plate, and have provided the funding that’s needed on actuary studies, to make sure money is there when people retire.”

See Country Lakes page A-

By Adam Ross Staff Writer

Public Schools’ Come up Short, Post Employment Benefits Win Out in Board’s Budget Proposal

Police On The Lookout For Local Optometrist By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Law enforcement officers in both St. Mary’s and Prince George’s counties are looking for a Charlotte Hall optometrist who went missing over the weekend in Hillcrest Heights. Prince George’s County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Clinton Copeland said that Marcel William Brooks, who operates an optometry business in Charlotte Hall, made a phone call to his wife March 24 from his other place of business at Iverson Mall’s Pearl Vision Center that he was going to get some lottery tickets but never made any other contact. “That’s the last she heard from him,” Copeland said. From there his wife called St. Mary’s County sheriffs and the search began in conjunction with Prince George’s police. Brooks, 60, is listed as a critical missing person because he is under a

doctor’s care for a thyroid condition for which he takes medication. Brooks is well known in the Charlotte Hall area for his health care work and for his pleasant and compassionate demeanor. Co-workers and friends of the family were shocked to hear that he had gone missing and could not understand why. “He was a very nice person, very nice,” said Stephanie Lancaster, a phlebotomist at St. Mary’s Hospital’s Health Center in Charlotte Hall, where Brooks rented office space. “He’s taken care of my daughters’ eye exams, he’s taken care of my exams. “He’s very compassionate; he takes his time.” Prince George’s Police, who’ve taken the lead in the investigation, say they have no evidence of foul play in the investigation of Brooks disappearance. See Missing page A-

Courtesy of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office

Marcel Brooks, 60, of Charlotte Hall went missing March 24 from one of his places of employment in Hillcrest Heights at Iverson Mall and police in St. Mary’s and Prince George’s County have been searching for him since then. Brooks is a well known optometrist in the county who has helped young children through free eye examination clinics, friends of the family say.

The County Times

Section A - 

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Summer Camp for Deaf Youth

In Your Community Bargain Barn The vendors at The Bargain Barn in Hughesville would like to let everyone know that they are still open for business. The bypass, even though it is not completely finished yet, is making access to the buildings much easier and plenty of parking is available. They are open 9

a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon – 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Egg Hunt Hughesvillle Baptist Church will be having a Spring Festival and Egg Hunt 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. on April 1. The event will be held at the church located off Rt. 5 South in Hughesville. This event is

free and open to children in the community grades three to five. For more information contact Ms. Ronla Henry at 301-274-3672.

Dance Performance The Modern Dance Collective of Southern Maryland will hold it’s annual concert “Throwing Caution” on April

Lion’s Club President Daniel Dixon announced the club’s intent to send one deaf resident from St. Mary’s 14 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Mary’s County to Lion’s Camp MerHall at St. Mary’s College. in Nanjemoy, Md. To rick The performance will include dance pieces by local and re- be eligible to apply, the child gional artists as well as origi- must be between 6 and 16 nal music and live accompa- years of age, have normal niment. Tickets are $10 for bowel and kidney function adults and $5 for students and control, be able to take care seniors. For more informa- of any devices upon with the tion or special needs, call Su- depend and have independent self-help skills. Applicants san Knott at 301-373-3412. seeking this sponsorship will

Easter Lily

be required to submit an essay outlining who they are, their accomplishments and goals, and how they think a camp experience will assist them in fulfilling their goals. Essays complete with the applicant’s name, age and phone number must be submitted by April 14 to: Hollywood Lion’s Club, Essay Contest, P.O. Box 233, Hollywood, MD 20636. Additional information can be found at or 301-645-5616.

Miss St. Mary’s County Farm Bureau




2 for $5.00

Brittany Cusic was selected as the 2007 Miss St. Mary’s County Farm Bureau Saturday, March 10 at the Bureau’s Annual Banquet. Cusic helps to raise horses and cattle on her family’s farm in Clements. She is currently a junior at Chopticon High School where she is active in sports. She is also active in 4H and a member of the Southern Maryland Horse Council. Brittany will represent St. Mary’s County in the competition title of Miss Maryland Agriculture at the State Fair in Timonium this August. Brittany is the daughter of Susan and J.H. Cusic of Clements.



Economic Growth Forum


2 for $5.00



The College of Southern Maryland invites the public to join local panelist for a discussion on economic growth and its impact on St. Mary’s County Saturday from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. Panel member will include John K. Parlett Jr., president of CMI General Contractors, Inc., Joseph Wood, owner of Forest Hall Farm & Orchard, John Savich, St. Mary’s County administrator and St. Mary’s County Commission President Francis Jack Russell. For more information call 301-934-7542 or 240-725-5499, Ext. 7542.

Hyacinth Tulips

Florist Mums 6”



Women’s History Month The county’s Commission for Women will commemorate Women’s History Month, by hosting a banquet to honor the Women of St. Mary’s County Thursday. The cost is $15 per person and will be held at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center in Leonardtown at 6:30 p.m. Please reserve your seat by calling Cynthia Brown at 301-475-4200, Ext. 1849. Nominations are being sought for extraordinary women to be recognized at this event. Please mail nomination to the Division of Community Services, P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Original Stage Play The St. George Catholic Church drama team will perform Golgotha: An original Stage Play Friday and April 1 at 7 p.m. The play is a rich moving musical score, displayed with stunning effects to make this a memorable event. Written and produced by a county resident. Performance is free, but tickets are required. For more information and tickets call 301-994-0607.

Basket Bingo

Route 245 Hollywood, MD 20636

301-475-2531 Route 5 & Mohawk Drive Charlotte Hall, MD 20622


Route 246 & Great Mills Rd. Lexington Park, MD 20653


Wildewood Shopping Center California, MD 20619


The Southern Maryland Volunteer Fireman’s Association Campaign Committee will be hosting a Super Basket Bingo on Friday at the St. James Church Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m., and bingo begins at 7 p.m. Cost is $20 per person. Tables can be reserved for six or more people at 301-872-5671.

Teen Only Lock-In Night Join the teen only lockin night Saturday at Dave & Busters, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle Hanover, MD. This is an up-all-night event. This is also a bring-a-friend event. There will be lots of fun and activities. For more information contact or go to the website to view the flyer and register; homepage.html.

The County Times

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Annapolis Buzz By Adam Ross Staff Writer In the last few weeks, The County Times has profiled a number of bills Sen. Roy P. Dyson (D) is sponsoring in the 423rd legislative session. This week, bills Dyson is co-sponsoring are profiled, some of which have passed on the Senate floor and moved to the House of Delegates. Bills are taken verbatim from the Maryland General Assembly webpage.

Senate Bill 1 Entitled: Elective Franchise – Early Voting and Polling Places Synopsis: Authorizing the General Assembly to provide by suitable enactment a process to allow qualified voters to vote at specified polling places, and on specified days prior to specified election dates; providing that provisions of specified Acts of the General Assembly may not take effect; repealing provisions of law; and submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State of Maryland for their adoption or rejection. Action: Passed Senate with a 31 to 16 vote. Hearing to be held March 29 in the House.

Senate Bill 2 Entitled: State Employees’ Rights and Protections Act of 2007 Synopsis: Requiring the Secretary of Budget and Management to designate specified positions in State government as special appointment positions; requiring the Secretary to provide information on special appointments; providing that personnel actions regarding special appointments in State government be made under specified circumstances; providing that specified special appointment positions may be filled with regard to specified criteria; etc. Action: Passed Senate with a 42 to 5 vote. A hearing was scheduled in the House for March 27.

Senate Bill 66 Entitled: Electric Cooperatives – Standard Offer Services Supply Contracts Synopsis: Authorizing specified electric cooperatives to supply their standard offer service load through a portfolio of blended wholesale supply contracts of short, medium, and long terms under specified circumstances; prohibiting the Public Service Commission from setting or enforcing a termination date for the procurement of supply through a specified managed portfolio; etc. Action: Passed Senate floor with a 47 to 0 vote. A hearing was scheduled in the House for March 20.

Senate Bill 88 Entitled: State Board of Architects – Architecture Licensing Exam – Time Requirements Synopsis: Prohibiting the Board of Architects from adopting time requirements for completing architectural licensing exams that begin running before the completion of any internship or training programs required by the Board. Action: Withdrawn

Senate Bill 100 Entitled: Motor Vehicle Excise Tax – Active Duty Military Personnel Who Become Maryland Residents Synopsis: Allowing an active duty member of the military who becomes a Maryland resident a motor vehicle excise tax credit for a vehicle previously titled and registered in another state if the member of the military has not been a Maryland resident for more than 1 year; etc. Action: Passed Senate floor with a 43 to 0 vote. A hearing is scheduled in the House March 29.

Senate Bill 110 Entitled: Base Realignment and Closure Subcabinet Synopsis: Establishing the Base Realignment and Closure Subcabinet in State government; providing for the membership, chair, and staffing of the Subcabinet; providing for the duties and responsibilities of the Subcabinet; etc. Action: Passed Senate floor with a 47-0 vote. A hearing was scheduled in the House for March 27.

Senate Bill 137 Entitled: State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program – Eligibility for Enrollment and Participation Synopsis: Allowing employees of the Southern Maryland Regional Library, the Eastern Shore Regional Library, and the Western Maryland Regional Library to enroll and participate in the health insurance benefit options established under the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program under specified circumstances; requiring a regional library to pay specified costs to the State; requiring a regional library to make a specified determination; etc. Action: Passed Senate floor with a 46 to 0 vote. A hearing was scheduled in the House for March 27.

Section A - 

BRAC Funds Face Capitol Hill Test By Patricia M. Murret Capital News Service WASHINGTON - Close to $450 million in military construction funds needed by Maryland this year for 2005 Base Realignment and Closure changes are on the line in a Senate vote expected early next week. If the funds, slashed last month, are not restored, BRAC-related projects expected to bring 45,000 jobs to Maryland by 2011, won’t proceed or finish on time. Funds for the design and planning of a new and modernized joint-forces central medical facility in Bethesda are in danger. The facility has long been scheduled to replace the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, recently criticized for housing critically wounded soldiers in dilapidated and unsafe buildings. Also in jeopardy are dollars allocated for renovation, construction and personnel projects at Frederick County’s Fort Detrick, Anne Arundel County’s Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County. “We received our marching orders on BRAC in May 2005. And we’ve received subsequent direction as time has gone on,” said Aberdeen Proving Ground spokesman George Mercer Friday. “And we really want to make this work.” Many BRAC changes are reliant on other BRAC changes, so timing of funding and construction is key to success, Mercer said. The BRAC process is “a really long drawn-out process that means a lot of planning and coordination, and a lot of funding,” he said. “We really want to make it right, and getting funded helps.”

Nationwide, 178 BRACrelated projects landed in limbo last month, when the Senate passed a temporary spending measure to keep the government operating, after Congress failed in 2006 to pass all but two government spending bills -- a Defense bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a Homeland Security Bill. The continuing resolution cut $3.1 billion, or 55 percent, from $5.8 billion requested by the president to support military construction and implementation of 2005 BRAC decisions. Restoration of the funds has been under debate on Capitol Hill for more than a month as those with an agenda on the war have tried to influence the decision. Last week, the House passed its own emergency supplemental bill that fully restored the missing military construction funds, while providing more funds for the war in Iraq and other national interests. Now everyone is looking to the Senate to see what happens. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced Thursday that the Senate version of the emergency supplemental spending bill also restores the $3.1 billion in military construction funds slashed in February. The bill is expected to go to the floor early next week. Mikulski’s office had previously said in a written statement that Maryland’s portion of the BRAC-related funds excised from the national budget was “over $300 million.” New numbers supplied to Mikulski’s office by the Defense Department have

shown that Maryland’s stake is $448.77 million. That funding includes: $1.37 million for the planning and design of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. That move means shuttering the existing Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District, and merging its operations with Bethesda’s Joint National Naval Medical Center in new, modern buildings -- $389 million for Aberdeen Proving Ground to move mechanic and maintenance personnel from the Army base’s Ordnance School to a new facility at Fort Lee in Virginia; to renovate the school’s existing buildings, for a new training facility for other combination support soldiers; and, to improve facilities and move personnel from Fort Monmouth, N.J., for the Command Control Communication Center for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including a new research and development facility. In addition, the funds would help shift Aberdeen’s Army Test and Environmental Command personnel, who oversee development of testing of weapons and equipment, to their new station in Texas -- $42.8 million for Fort Detrick, including $13.8 million to design and build a new Armed Forces Reserve Center, and $29 million for design and preliminary planning of a new lab for the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases -$15.6 million for Fort Meade to upgrade utilities and for a classified materials conversion facility.


Extreme Makeover

Senate Bill 184 Entitled: Vehicle Laws – Drivers’ Licensing of Illegal Aliens – Restrictions Synopsis: Prohibiting, in order to facilitate compliance with the federal Real ID Act, the Motor Vehicle Administration from issuing a new driver’s license to an individual who cannot provide specified documentation certifying that the individual is lawfully present in the United States in accordance with federal law, except under specified circumstances; etc. Committee: Judicial Proceedings

Task Force Continued from page A- action to the assembly. “It’s time consuming and I feel we could be a little more efficient,” Raley said. “I’ve looked at the success with Charles County and had conversations with them and [code home rule] has worked fairly well to make government more responsive to citizens on a timely basis.” The 15-member task force is made up of a variety of community members, including developers, entrepreneurs and other county council members. Commissioner Francis Jack Russell (D- Point Lookout) appointed Anne Bell, Dr. Kathleen O’Brien and Elmer Brown. Commissioner Thomas A. Mattingly Sr. (DLeonardtown) appointed John Mattingly, Patty Robrecht and Judith A. Spalding. Commissioner Kenny Dement (R- Callaway) appointed Dan Rebarchick, John L. Madel, Jr., and

Richard Gass. Commissioner Lawrence Jarboe (R- Golden Beach) appointed Clare Whitbeck, Doug Ritchie and Patricia A. Woodburn. And Commissioner Daniel H. Raley chose Dr. Francine Dove-Hawkins, Patrick Murphy and John K. Parlett Jr. County Administrator John Savich said Tuesday that all but one of the members appointed last week has been accepted into the task force to date. The group will come investigate both the advantages and disadvantages to home rule and charter home rule and make recommendations to the commissioners. Regardless of what the commissioners propose after the task force makes it determination, any change would have to be passed by a two-thirds majority in a countywide referendum. Raley said constituents have approached him for years, frustrated that they

cannot get legislation that only pertains to St. Mary’s County out of committee in the General Assembly. Jarboe said he was skeptical of charter but willing to look at code home rule. Currently, St. Mary’s County is awaiting decisions on 13 legislative proposals, according to Colin Keohan, a county attorney. With nearly 2,300 bills passing through the assembly’s chambers this session alone, Mattingly said he was skeptical of how well some of the local delegates and state representatives educated themselves on “the issues we have at home.” Of the 23 counties in Maryland, eight are commissioner controlled, nine are charter controlled, and six are code controlled. A date for the task force to begin will not be set until each appointee signs his or her appointment letter.

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The County Times

Section A - 

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Editorial & Opinion majority of Democrats, had no love for the Republican Governor and were more than willing to help their party out by preventing key legislation that Ehrlich could then claim credit for as the election drew nearer. It would also not be the first time partisan politics have played a role in the passage or defeat of legislation. It is one of the oldest political tricks in the book. Therefore, it seems clear that the legislators have had no epiphany regarding the gravity of sex offenders, but rather that they are finally willing to move forward with key legislation because they got their way and have one of

their own in the Governor’s Mansion now. This is a sad state for us, the citizens, as it means we can only look forward to getting the legal protections we need when the “right people” are in place. The non-passage of this law last year is akin to a child throwing a tantrum to get his way. And having O’Malley in is like the toy the parents give that child to stop him carrying on. This is not an acceptable way for the government to carry out the business of the people, and must be carefully monitored and watched. The citizens of the state have been done a great injustice here for the sake of party politics, and should let our legislators know we are not pleased. Because in addition to depriving citizens of necessary legal recourse from terrible

crimes, in addition to leaving our children more vulnerable to sexual predators, the legislators are also using bills like Jessica’s law to exercise control over the populace. It is as if they are standing in front of us and saying “If you want this bill, you had better vote for the right guy. Otherwise, you get nothing.” These legislators are elected to work for us, not the other way around. And we need to be alert for abuses like this one and be ready to firmly remind our elected officials just who is really in charge here. And we should not tolerate any delay when it comes to legislation necessary to protect ourselves and our families from the worst criminals alive.

find a site in the Development District, and sporadic at best everywhere else. It’s like school site alphabet soup, and finding the right combination of letters is about as likely as Otis Redding getting up from that dock of the bay and utilizing his time. But then again, if we give into our needs and build a high school in the Rural Preservation District (RPD), it sets a bad example for future Board of County Commissioners. But there’s no choice, Southern Maryland has a sensitive ecosystem and an equally sensitive infrastructure. County government has placed divides everywhere; RPD versus the Development district, Pax River and its air installation compatible use zones, St. Mary’s County Regional Airport and its Airport Environs overlay zones, an agricultural overlay zone, wetlands, marshes, and so on. If I had to guess, I would say the decision was made, and

St. Mary’s County has or is on the verge of reaching its limit. I hate to harp on this issue, but watching these county officials go through one meeting after another to address the tailspin debacle that is growth, when there just isn’t enough room, is like staring at this computer all day – it’s exhausting, and it hurts my eyes. This county is unique, maybe more so than any other I have seen, and locked in an ideological quagmire: without new schools, and without Pax River, St. Mary’s County is at an economical standstill. Yet, with a further push for new schools, and retention of Pax River, St. Mary’s County will have no choice but to disturb its lines and push its limits. Enjoy the RPD while you have it, if the ground is flat and dry enough, no matter which district it falls under in the future, it will be primed and used for development. That is

because the county is dead set on growing, on allowing its most valuable asset, Pax River, to thrive. Nothing is more important to the county, not you, not me, and not the RPD. Pax River will be protected for years to come, and it will be fed whatever it needs. If that means more affordable housing, than so be it, and if that means more schools, than so be it. These other mitigating factors, in my estimation, will be nothing more than a slight cough at the line of a growing epidemic. And while the county commissioners have set aside land as rural legacy preservation, and done well by the county in doing so, it might not be enough ultimately to settle the residents that have been here there whole lives. Finding that balance is going to be the most interesting development of them all.

A Step in the Right Direction After allowing sexual predators to walk free too often, the Maryland legislature has finally taken action to safeguard the victims of these terrible offenses. Last year, we were treated to a watered down version of Jessica’s Law, one which required minimal mandatory sentences and allowed the practice of judges reducing sentences to continue. As of March 24, the General Assembly has voted to require minimum mandatory sentences for sexual predators of 25 years and to disallow judges from suspending these sentences. The new version of Maryland’s own Jessica’s law also eliminates the possibility

of parole for these offenders, which is a necessary step to protect our children’s safety. For whatever the reason, the legislature did not see fit to offer these protections one year ago, when they were called upon to do so. It begs the question of why? What has changed since the last legislative session to encourage our elected representatives to take this action? Last year, there was such opposition to the bill that it never passed in any form during the General Assembly. It took then Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich to call for a special session during the summer to pass Jessica’s Law, and what we got was so watered down

as to be useless. But here we are in a new year and with a new government, and suddenly, things are getting done. Most of the legislators in the General Assembly this year are the same from last year. The biggest difference is in the Governorship, which is now held by former Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley. Could this political shift be behind the change in our legislators’ attitudes? Well, last year was an election year, and almost everything done was geared at getting elected/ re-elected. It is not a stretch to imagine that the General Assembly, which is dominated by a greater than two-thirds

Big City Boy, Small Town Heart School Site Alphabet Soup By Adam Ross Staff Writer A couple of weeks ago I addressed certain issues facing St. Mary’s County, and how they could be foreshadowing an inevitable growth slow down. As county government continues to grapple with its growth allocation for resi-

dential development, another more pressing issue faces the county. An issue that, from what I gather, will never be solved: school sites for future county high schools. Time and again, I have heard directly from the two most responsible people for finding school sites at the St. Mary’s County Public Schools administration division, Kim-

berly Howe and Bradley Clements, high school sites are becoming increasingly difficult to come by. And that’s not just in the Development District. It’s everywhere. For the county to find a plot of land not impacted by a variety of mitigating factors, or owned by someone who has no interest in selling, it is more or less impossible to

Spring Cleaning Made Profitable more organized and easier to keep clean she said. Well done! Now that you’ve gotten rid of those useless items, let’s look at some chores you can do around the house to make it more livable, and more to the point, sellable. Since you have emptied out a lot of stuff from the attic, how about raising the ceiling in your home? I know it sounds complicated, but in speaking with a local contractor I found it’s easier than it sounds. If you live in a home with an attic you can easily make your home feel larger by raising the ceiling in some rooms. The kitchen and the living room/family room are your best bets. With this larger feel, you can now add more

stuff back into your home, but please don’t give in to the temptation. Another great idea is to install new flooring. This is made easier by the fact that there are not a lot of items piled up on the floor and tables now that you are organized. Many people like wood floors. Many people like very plush carpet. Many people have children and pets that make these two items less than appealing. Try wood laminate. Yes, I said laminate. I know that laminates have been looked down upon in the past, but today’s laminate achieves a similar look to wood floors without the hefty price tag. New flooring can really brighten up a room. Okay, now if raising the ceiling or replacing the floor

is a little more exhaustive than what you are looking to start with how about the following items for a starting point: Grab your refrigerator and pull it away from the wall. Hopefully all the stuff on top of the fridge has been removed so you can do this safely now. See all that dust? It is killing the people in your home with allergies. Vacuum the floor and the back of the fridge. Your refrigerator will run better and your nose will run less! Since you did the fridge, how does it look behind the stove? Is there a microwave on your counter? If so, be sure to move it and clean under there. If the size of your kitchen permits, buy a bakers rack and place your microwave on that. This will allow for more counter space

and make it easier to keep the kitchen clean. “Hey look over there, I can see my air vents for the HVAC unit.” Now is a good time to change the filter in your unit. Also, vacuum the vents. Sometimes dust and debris will settle in them and make them less efficient. Also, test your air conditioner. If there is a problem, you will have an easier time getting a repairman out than if you wait until everyone else tests theirs. How about the closets? Are they organized now that you threw stuff out? If not, take a look at them and see if a closet organizer could help. Organizers are a relatively cheap and easy way to add equity to your home. This will also allow you to find items in your closet, and you will actually be able to keep more stuff!

Smoking Ban: The Big Lie

people find jobs? Does the government really want to lose this lucrative source of revenue by banning smoking in all areas? Where will we get the tax revenue that was originally supplied by the tobacco industries and their product users? Who will be the real losers? Tobacco has been an excellent source of tax revenue. People chose to smoke. There is no other product that is so overpriced or heavily taxed as tobacco products. Has any doctor ever

signed a death certificate stating; died as a result of smoking or second hand smoking? So we shoot ourselves in the foot. Ban smoking and suffer the consequences. Are we taxpayers a bunch of idiots with no free will?

Must every thing in out life be the result of a law that has passed to guide us through this perilous journey in life? Are we a bunch of robots who must be governed by a list of laws that tell us what we can and cannot do? Let us use our

Patrick Dugan O’Brien Realty Welcome back. After last week’s article on throwing stuff out I was amazed to see how many e-mails I got supporting the idea. One reader said that she implemented my recommendation years ago, and to date she has donated or disposed almost the entire contents! Better yet, her house was

To the Editor

The simple solution is to outlaw smoking. And if that hapRegarding the March 8 pened, no government should front-page article “Smoking get the revenue associated Ban for Local Restaurants with raised taxes on the toand Bars a Closer Reality,” bacco industry. It is very intriguing. What concerning a statewide initiative to ban smoking in bars is going to happen after tobacand restaurants, a Leonard- co is no longer a threat to our health and our nations’ intertown resident: farmers and tobacco est? The A smoking ban for local industries will no longer be in restaurants and bars is nothbusiness. Where will these ing but a political football.

That should be enough to keep you busy for this week. I have to get home and do all this to my house before my wife asks me why I have such great ideas but don’t put them to good use. If you see my wife this week, don’t mention anything about cleaning the gutters, I still haven’t gotten to that one, and it was on my fall to-do list. If you would like the full list of home maintenance tips or have any other comments, suggestions or questions, email them to me at patrick. Happy cleaning!

own minds, our own free will. We can think! But maybe we are idiots, as we elected our own brilliant lawmakers. Daniel J. Wilson Leonardtown

Letters to the Editor If you wish to send a letter to the editor, please include your name, address and phone number for confirmation purposes. We will only publish your name and city of residence. We can withhold your name by request if circumstances merit it. We must receive all letters by Monday morning for publication in the next issue. Any letter received later than Monday will be held for the following issue.

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The County Times

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Section A - 

Ramblings From A Country Girl Country Stores me

Terri Bartz Bowles Contributing Writer There aren’t many left. Not even the buildings in most cases. Capt. Leonard’s in Oraville used to be one. Pat’s Antiques in Oakville, and Apple Basket in Laurel Grove had their times too. Buzzy’s in Ridge is still holding on, but I

fear not much longer. There was one in Dameron, and one on Thompson’s Corner Road. The country store, they used to dot the landscape – they were often on the corner of two intersecting roads. But times change, life changes, the county changes and country stores have been replaced. The long view of life tells

they’re more necessary now than ever, but it’s too late. If you noticed, the country stores I mentioned are all in small places. Country stores sprang up where they were necessary. Folks didn’t used to have the means or time to travel far for the very necessities these stores offer. The country store was a part of what we now call “community,” but back then we probably wouldn’t have a label for it. It was the just the area you lived, where you were from. The country store had meat, groceries, hardware

items; all of your normal, everyday needs. But you didn’t go there just to buy necessities. You got the neighborhood news. You kept up with friends and acquaintances – you learned who was sick and who was better. You heard about marriages, births and deaths. It was the no-kidding, really local news, news. You slowed down and talked to people you knew just because it was a pleasant thing to do. I remember very distinctly two country stores from my childhood. The first was Thompson’s Store, which sat at the corner of Thompson’s Corner Road, and Route 236. It was owned by Henry and Nina Oliver Thompson. Mr. Thompson died and his wife

ran the store alone for a few years before selling it to Francis Williams. I remember it fondly when Mr. Williams ran it. There were a line of cedar trees, a front porch and a wooden screen door on a spring that slammed behind you. The floors were wooden as were the low shelves. The counter was propped in one corner, but by the counter, along the wall, there were a couple of chairs. Some of the older gentlemen from the area would sit. A regular was Mr. Barber who often offered to buy me a piece of candy. The other store I remember is Harding’s Store; it’s now Pat’s Corner Antiques. It wasn’t even an eighth of a mile from the house where I grew up. I remember Mr. and Mrs. Harding who seemed old to me when I was a child; my memory says they had white hair from the day I set eyes on them. Harding’s Store also had a wooden floor and wooden shelves and a low counter in the front corner, right by the front door. Their house was attached to the store, it was all one building. I remember the ice cream case where the

coveted Fudgesicles sat alongside the Dixie ice cream cups with the little wooden paddle spoon. I also remember that Mr. Harding butchered meat and would grind a pound of hamburger fresh for you. He had a big walk-in freezer and we would get blocks of ice from him for our weekend fishing trips. When you’re a kid, you don’t think about losing something that’s such a natural part of your life. Eventually, Mr. Williams sold the building and it was converted to a house, and then later torn down. There’s a house on the land there now. The Hardings retired. I wonder whatever happened to the big Harding’s Store sign that hung on the front of the building for so many years. I wish I could walk back into that old store on Thompson’s Corner Road and tell Mr. Williams and Mr. Barber what sweet memories stayed in the mind of this shy little child. And I wish I could walk through the front door of the Harding’s Store and buy a Fudgesicle, and thank them for being part of my happy childhood that to this day feeds my soul.

Development plans have mobile home park residents worried By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Residents of National Mobile Home Park don’t exactly know what fate will befall their homes now that a developer has proposed a commercial site that would have many of them relocate. And it’s the lack of knowledge that worries them. Since the development plans became public last week in both the local media and from the county government, residents and management staff there haven’t stopped talking about it. “This is where we live, they’re our landlords,” said Renae Hall, a 12-year resident. “Why don’t we know anything?” The management, likewise, said they know next to nothing about Potomac-based developer CRG’s plans to build a commerce center on the property that would include seven retail pad sites, one of which would be a 98,200 square-foot department style store. The proposal is only “in its infancy” according to county planner Bob Bowles, of the Land Use and Growth Management Department, and planners are busy reviewing it now. The county planning commission has yet to review the proposal, he said, and it has not been approved. Management staff said they first heard about the proposal last week in the local media, and so did the mobile home park residents. “It was a shock to us,” said Lynn Edick, rental agent at the

mobile home park. “This isn’t an average trailer park. “We check on the residents if we’re concerned about them,” she added. Calls from tenants had been coming in since Friday, Edick said, to her officer asking for information, but the she was able to tell them nothing. “I’ve had beaucoup calls asking as to what’s going on and I can’t tell them anything,” Edick said. “All of them are concerned… there’s so many rumors going around it’s hard to tell what’s true and not true. “I know the’re upset because they don’ t know what’s going on.” Valerie Foster, manager at the trailer park, said she had been in her position for almost 19 years and had come to know many of the residents in the trailer park personally. She was afraid for them if the development became a reality because she was unsure where they could go to get an affordable home. “To find affordable housing in this area… it’s pretty slim,” Foster said. “There’s not enough. “It’s not my job I’m concerned about, it’s the tenants.” Currently there are 94 slots available for trailers and about 70 are occupied. If the development becomes a reality, then 29 of them could be allowed to stay. Bowles said that the developer CRG would have to come up with a relocation plan that would be approved by the county before the project could even start to go forward and that residents would have

one year after being officially notified of the development’s coming to find a new home. Karen Everett, spokeswoman for the county government, said the county would work with the residents to ensure any relocation went smoothly. “We’ve had success with relocations in the past,” Everett said, mentioning the relocation of about 100 families from the Lexington Manor homes over the past two years. “We are concerned for the welfare of the residents and we want to provide as much information and assistance as is possible in [any] relocation.” Andrew Ettinger, representative for CRG said that they were “aware of the sensitive nature” of their buying the property and said they would assist residents in fully understanding their plans for the development and the relocation. He also said that his company and the owners of the property, National Mobile Home Park LLC, were “in the final stages of closing the transaction” and would share the details of their plans with the residents once the sale of the land was completed. Long-time residents like Hall say they are happy to stay where they are and were dismayed that they hadn’t heard of the development proposal from the owners of the property first. “I’ve lived here for 12 years and I don’t want to leave,” Hall said. “I love my spot now; I love living here. Jennifer Butler, who lives across the street from Hall, hasn’t lived there a full year

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yet but she’s already become attached to the place, especially since many of her relatives live there as well. “It’s all family all through here,” Butler said. “It’s peaceful and quiet.

Photo by Guy Leonard

Renae Hall, a 12-year resident of the National Mobile Home Park on Route 235 near Buck Hewitt Road talks about the possibility of being relocated if a Potomac-based developer is allowed to build a commercial and retail center on the property. She and other residents complained that they were not informed of the possibility first before it was reported in the local media last week.

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The County Times

Section A - 

Obituaries Deborah Lynn Bowen, 52 Deborah “Debbie” Lynn Bowen, 52, of Hollywood, MD, died March 21 at Washington Hospital Center. She was born September 7, 1954 in Fort Belvoir, Va., to LaRue H. and Irving Bowen. She is survived by her sister Barbara Rodda and her husband Rusty of St. Leonard, Md., her niece Selena Kidwell and nephew Robby Kidwell, both of St. Leonard, Md. She moved to St. Mary’s County in 1964 from La Plata, Md. and was a graduate of Green Holley Special Education, Class of 1975. Debbie was a client at Center for Life Enrichment in Hollywood, Md. The family received friends on Sunday, March 25, at the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown, Md. A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, March 26 in Hollywood United Methodist Church, Hollywood, Md. with Rev. Sheldon Reese officiating. Interment followed in Joy Chapel Cemetery, Hollywood, Md. Pallbearers will be: Bill Bowen, Franky Bowen, Dale Norfolk, Carl Bowen, Maurice Cox and Donald Bean. Contributions may be made to Center for Life Enrichment, P.O. Box 610, Hollywood, Md., 20636 and/or Special Olympics of St. Mary’s, 25089 Three Notch Road, Hollywood, Md. 20636. Arrangements provided by Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home of Leonardtown, Md.

Eileen Olive Clements, 88 Eileen Olive Clements, 88, of Clarkston, Mich., formerly of Lexington Park, Md. died March 19 in Clarkston, Mich. Born January 16, 1919 in Great Mills, Md., she was the daughter of the late James Luther and Sarah Ellen Purcell Pegg. She was the loving wife of the late Charles Louis Clements who preceded her in death on November 7, 1990. She is survived by her daughter Carrie “Diane” Chick of Waterford, Mich., her grandchildren Bryan and Angela Chick both of Waterford, Mich. and three great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her siblings; Carrie Rebecca Biscoe, Daisy Pegg, Ada Pegg, Herbert Pegg, Wilbur Pegg, Luther Pegg and Harvey Pegg. She was a graduate of Great Mills High School and was a member of Lexington Park Methodist Church. The family received friends on Monday, March 26, in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, where prayers were said. A funeral service was held on Tuesday March 27 at 10:00 a.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Ken Walker officiating. Interment will follow in Ebenezer Cemetery, Great Mills, Md. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Frederick Edmund Guy, 81 Frederick Edmund Guy, 81, of the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall, Md. died March 23, after a lengthy illness. Born November 16, 1925 he was the son of the late Claude Eugene Guy and Mary Agnes Abell Guy. He is survived by his brothers, George Aloysius Guy of Leonardtown, Md. and Albert Francis Guy of Clements, Md., and his sisters, Dorothy Elizabeth Emig and Anna Gertrude Haden both of Leonardtown,

Md. He is also survived by his God-children, Sarah Jean Pingleton, Karen Guy and Raymond Guy. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Joseph Stanton Guy, Claude Byron Guy and Charles Perry Guy, and his sisters Mary Agnes Hammett, Laura Cecelia Gass, Nellie Evangeline Patrick and Claudia Abell Yates. Mr. Guy was also predeceased by a God-daughter, Lynn Merson Burroughs. A Southern Maryland native, “Freddie” graduated from high school from the Charlotte Hall Military Academy in June 1943. He served in the military in the US Marines, 1944-1946. As part of his time in military service, Freddie attended Dartmouth College, being one of two persons chosen from the Pacific Theater to participate in the College V-12 training program. After serving his duty, Freddie graduated in Washington, D.C., June 1948 from the Georgetown University. Upon graduation from college he returned home to Clements and assisted and managed the family store “Guy Brothers Store” 1948-1962. He later sold the store business and went to work at the National Institutes of Health, then in 1967 he was reassigned as a Staff Assistant in the Office of the Surgeon General. Later he became a Grants Management Officer until his retirement in 1980. He later returned to what he called “Home” Charlotte Hall Military Academy which is now known as the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in 1986. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council #1470. His very special “Love” of life was his MUSIC. The family received friends on Tuesday, March 27 in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, where prayers were said. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, March 28, in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Morganza, Md. with Fr. Keith Woods officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were: Howard “Butch” Hammett, Al Guy, Raymond Guy, Glenn Guy, Perry Guy, Frankie Merson, Francis Guy and Bill Guy. Contributions may be made to Hospice House of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, Md., and/or charity of your choice. Arrangements provided by the MattingleyGardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Tracy Lynn Hardin, 46 Tr a c y Lynn Hardin, 46, of Leonardtown, Md., formerly of Avenue, Md., died March 18 at Washington Hospital Center. Born December 5, 1960 in Leonardtown, Md., she was the daughter of John Howard Gass of Avenue, Md. and the late Agnes Bernetta Gass Owens. She is survived by her children; Charles Knott and Sherry Knott both of Avenue, Md., grandchildren; Curtice Knott, Dalaynee Knott, Rebecca Wathen and Tyler Wathen, all of Avenue, Md. and her brother Timmy Gass of Ridge, Md. She was a life long St. Mary’s County resident and graduate of Chopticon High School. The family received friends on Saturday, March 24, in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home. A Graveside service followed Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown, Md., with Fr. John Barry officiating. Pallbearers were Charles Knott, J.C. Oliver, Gary Quade Jr., Brian Windsor, Stuart Didsbury and Bobby Gass. Arrangements provided by the MattingleyGardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

in the Pacific. He then participated in the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll in 1946, flying safety Thomas and rescue missions. Raymond His next assignment was Hebb, 62, of with Operation Highjump in Leonardtown, 1947, an exploratory and mapMd. died March ping project of Antarctica. 24 in St. Mary’s Kreitzer Glacier was named Hospital, Leonfor him, as were Kreitzer Bay ardtown, Md. and Kreitzerizen, which was Born Octonamed by the government of ber 22, 1944 in Helen, Md., he Norway. was the son of the late John T. He spent one year as a Hebb and Mary Frances Dystudent at the Naval War Colson Hebb. Raymond loved school lege in Newport, Rhode Isand attended St. Joseph’s land, and later taught there for School in Morganza, Md. un- two years. From 1949 to 1951 til the 8th grade. He worked he served in a utility squadron on the farm at home for a at the Navy base in Guantafew years before working on namo, Cuba. He served one Virgil H. Mast farm in Hel- year as navigator aboard the en, Md. After many years of aircraft carrier USS Tripoli working on the Mast’s farm, in the Atlantic and Pacific he left and started working for oceans. He spent three years the county. He spent 11 years in the office of the chief of naworking for the county, but val operations in the Pentagon had to retire due to his dis- and two years at the Naval abilities. After Raymond re- Hydrographic Office making tired, he said “I can’t sit I have charts and graphs. He retired to do something,” so Ray- as commander in 1968. Following his retirement, mond went to work part-time for Wayne Mast on his farm. he earned a bachelor’s degree Raymond loved to played from George Washington bingo and watch sports. His University, a master’s degree favorite sports teams were from American University the Baltimore Orioles and the and completed work for a doctorate from George WashingBaltimore Ravens. He leaves to cherish his ton University. He also comsister, Sarah M. Roach of Lex- pleted an internship in cliniington Park, Md., two broth- cal psychology at Springfield ers, William Lawrence Hebb State Hospital. He began a second career of Clements, Md. and Francis as a school psychologist for Aloysius Hebb of Loveville, the St. Mary’s County pubMd., two sisters-in-law, Shirschools. He also provided lic ley Hebb and Alice Hebb, and psychological therapy serbrother-in-law, Nat Roach. In addition to his par- vices for a youth organization ents, he is preceded in death and taught psychology at St. by three brothers, Joseph M. Mary’s College of Maryland. Hebb, James Junior Hebb, and In addition he conducted a Bernard A. Hebb and two sis- private psychology practice ters, Margaret Theresa Hebb in St. Mary’s County. Later he was a psychological consuland Anna Mae Baker. Family will receive friends tant in the emergency room at on Friday, March 30, from St. Mary’s Hospital. Following a second re9- 10:00 a.m. in St. Joseph’s tirement, he and Madeleine Catholic Church, Morganza, joined the Peace Corps and Md., with a Mass of Christian spent two years in Belize, beBurial celebrated at 10:00 a.m. tween 1986 and 1988, where Father Keith Woods will be he worked as a psychologist the celebrant. Interment will follow in Charles Memorial and Madeleine worked in a free medical clinic. Gardens, Leonardtown, Md. His hobbies included Serving as pallbearers travel, beekeeping and stewill be Wayne Mast, John photography. For a reographic Mast, Donald Russell, Richtime, he owned and operated a ard Hebb, David Hebb, and beekeeping supply business. Wayne Hebb. In addition to his wife, Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, Madeleine, he is survived by P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, their seven children; Susan Norlund of Sky Forest, Ca., Leonardtown, Md. 20650. Condolences to the fam- Thomas Richard Kreitzer of ily may be left at www.brins- Lovettsville, Va., Nancy Kreitzer of Huntingtown, Md., Joan Ellis of Kingston, N.Y., Boyd of Leonardtown, William Rutherford Kre- Katy Md., Robert E. Kreitzer of itzer, 88 Bangor, ME and Janet Kreitzer of Santa Cruz, Ca., 10 William grandchildren and eight greatRutherford grandchildren. In addition to Kreitzer, 88, his parents, he is preceded in of Town Creek, death by his brother, James Md. died Frederick Kreitzer. March 25 at his The family received residence. friends on Wednesday, March Born Octo28 from 4:00 -6:30 p.m. in ber 25, 1918, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Savannah, Ga., he was the son Catholic Church, Lexington of the late William Clausen Park, Md.. A Mass of ChrisKreitzer and Elizabeth Ruth- tian Burial will be celebrated erford Kreitzer. on Thursday, March 29, 2007 He graduated from Sa- at 10:30 a.m. in Immaculate vannah High School in 1936 Heart of Mary Church foland enlisted in the U.S. Navy lowed by refreshments in the as an apprentice seaman and parish hall. Father Jack Kenserved aboard the USS Ten- nealy will be the celebrant. A nessee. After two years of military service with full honduty he entered the Naval ors and interment will take Academy Prep School in Nor- place on Wednesday, May 30, folk, Va. After a year at the 2007 at 3:00 p.m. in Arlington U.S. Naval Academy he spent National Cemetery, Arlingtwo years at Georgia Tech. He ton, Va. then re-enlisted in the Navy, Arrangements by the went through flight training Brinsfield Funeral Home, and was commissioned as P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, an ensign on May 15, 1942. Leonardtown, Md. 20650. He married Madeleine Moon Condolences to the famKreitzer on October 23, 1943. ily may be left at www.brinsAfter qualifying as a na- val aviator the next month, he joined Patrol Squadron 202, Benny Franklin Smith, and conducted antisubmarine 78 flights in the Gulf of Mexico and the mid-Pacific during Benny World War II. He flew 1,500F r a nklin mile flights toward Japan Smith, 78, of aboard PBM seaplanes to preSt. Inigoes, vent surprise attacks against died U.S. forces. This part of the Md. 24 war effort started at New March Guinea and proceeded up the in Southern Pacific from atoll to atoll. As Maryland HosMarines landed on each atoll, pital Center, seaplane squadrons arrived Clinton, Md. Born February 3, 1929 and established a system of in St. Mary’s County, Md, he buoys to tie up and begin flights. He was awarded three was the son of the late BeneAir Medals for his activities dict F. Smith, Sr. and Marie Clayton Smith.

Thomas Raymond Hebb, 62

Thursday, March 29, 2007 His parents taught and practiced the Catholic religion with him. He was a graduate of Cardoza High School in Washington, D. C. The most significant part of his education was learning the trade of upholstery, which he made his life’s work. He owned upholstery shops in Washington D.C. for several years. His clientele covered all social and income levels from everyday people to members of Congress. Benny was a perfectionist and because of the superior quality of his work, his work advertised itself. Benny continued his work in upholstery until family needs required him to return home to St. Mary’s County until his eventual retirement. Benny had many interests. Amongst them were baseball and boxing, which he participated in for a few years. The most significant of his interests was his family to whom he devoted much of his time and self. Benny was a kind-hearted, humorous person who could be stern in his dealings with others while almost in the same breath cause people to laugh. Generosity was a virtue to Benny as he donated his time, money and skills to those he saw he could help. Benny was an independent person who preferred to help rather than be helped or to give rather than to receive. Benny was also devoted to reading scripture. Benny was well received and respected by his friends, business partners and associates, customers, and most important of all his family. Benny had a special bond with his family, especially the children. Everyone has his or her own special memory of “Uncle Benny”. Uncle Benny always had something funny to say or a way to create a smile. He is loved and remembered by his son, Mark Briscoe of Upper Marlboro, Md., brothers, John Smith of Fort Washington, Md. and Emanuel Butler of Baltimore, Md., sisters, Ann Peterson of Washington, D.C. and Theresa Cassagnol of St. Inigoes, Md., two grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends who hold him dear to their hearts. Benny joins in Heaven, his parents, his brother, Joseph Martin Smith, and his sisters, Rose Elizabeth Butler and Florence Dodd. The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 31, 2007 from 9- 10:00 a.m. in St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, St. Inigoes, Md., with a Memorial Mass celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Father Damian Shadwell will be the celebrant. Inurnment will be private. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Condolences to the family may be left at

tirement in 2006. She served as Chairperson to the Commissions on the Environment for St. Mary’s County and also served as a Lobbyist to Congress on Acid Rain. She is survived by her two children, Brenna J. Savage and William R. Savage, both of Lexington Park, Md., two sisters, Victoria A. Smith of Olmsted Falls, OH and Sandra J. Smith of Cohoes, N.Y. A Memorial Service was conducted on Saturday, March 24, at 11:00 a.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s City, Md. Inurnment will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 207, St. Mary’s City, Md. 20686. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, Md. 20650. Condolences to the family may be left at

Eleanor Ross Hendrick Uglow, 83

Eleanor Ross Hendrick Uglow, 83, of Lexington Park, Md. died March 6, 2007 in St. Mary’s Hospital, Leonardtown, Md., following a long illness. Born September 30, 1923 in Campbell, Mo., Eleanor was the daughter of the late John William and Minnie (Perry) Hendrick. She graduated from Holcomb High School, Missouri in 1942 and then attended Business College in Memphis, Tenn. It was here that she met her future husband, Norman R. Uglow, of Chambersburg, Pa., who happened to be in Memphis attending a Navy ordnance class. They were married December 3, 1944 in Oakland, Ca. As a military wife and homemaker, she enjoyed assignments with her growing family in California, Hawaii, Florida, Maryland, back to Hawaii, back to Maryland, and in between these assignments were frequent trips back home to Missouri and Pennsylvania. Their final military move brought them to Patuxent River Naval Air Station in 1957 where they settled down in Ridge. Eleanor worked at Pax River and jokingly said she was “just a secretary,” though she knew her efforts were truly appreciated by the people for whom she worked. After retirement from civil service in 1989, Eleanor began volunteering at Ridge Elementary School, the same school her children and many of her grandchildren attended throughout the years. She assisted as a teacher’s aide in the first-grade class for 15 years and made many little friends. She took great pride Nancy Paige Smith, 60 in her volunteer work and loved spending time with the Nancy children, whom she loved and Paige Smith, cared about very much. Many 60, of Lexingof the children there that first ton Park, Md. year have long since gradudied March 21 ated from college. In addiin St. Mary’s tion to her volunteer work, Hospital, she also enjoyed watching Leonardtown, Jeopardy, working crossword Md. puzzles, traveling, books, and Born November 20, delving into her family his1946 in Lorain, OH, she was tory. She was committed to the daughter of the late Paul helping build the World War White Smith and Emogene II Memorial in Washington, Elizabeth Duddington Smith. D.C. and contributed much Ms. Smith graduated from time and money toward that Lorain High School in 1964, effort. where she was a member of She is survived by her six the National Honor Society. daughters; Terry Dunn and She was a 1968 graduate of her husband, Louis of LexBaldwin Wallace College in ington Park, Md., Kathryn Berea, OH, where she was a Bridgeman and her husband, member of the Alpha Gamma Randy of Lexington Park, Delta Sorority. She also spent Md., Susan Uglow of Forest, a year in France studying the Va., Sharon Harwood and her French language. In 1969, husband, John of St. Inigoes, she went to Vietnam to teach MD, Letty Cyrus and her English to the Vietnamese. husband, Ray of Ridge, Md. After returning to the United and Tracey Uglow and Bob States, she returned to col- Chapman of Dameron, Md., lege to obtain her PhD from 11 grandchildren, 21 greatColumbia University in New grandchildren, and one sister, York City in 1973. In 1981, Johnnieve Whitmore of KanMs. Smith joined the faculty sas City, Mo. In addition to at St. Mary’s College, in St. her parents, she is preceded Mary’s City, Md. in the Politi- in death by her husband, Norcal Science Department as a See Obits page A- college professor, until her re-

The County Times

Thursday, March 29, 2007

School Sites Continued from page A- view. “A variety of factors narrow down our possibilities.” “If you are going to look for attractive lands, and a land mass in the Development District large enough, you start finding land only in the Rural Preservation District,” added Howe. The limitations have left capital planning members sifting through hundreds of sites, which often end up in one form or another insufficient for a new county high school. Superintendent Michael J. Martirano emphasized that SMCPS is in contact with more than 100 property owners throughout the county, adding that finding school sites is a “collaborative effort.” Still, future middle and high schools are likely to be built in the Rural Preservation District (RPD) because it is the only area where there is enough large habitable land. “In the Development District we have looked at every aspect of this,” said Howe, “what can we live with and what we can’t, what properties meet the needs, and there are very few opportunities for a high school. The challenge of locating school sites in the Development District has led the Board of Education to consider what some characterize as risky locations, namely, the site for the future SMCPS 0606 Elementary School, and a former

munitions site located north of Hollywood off Route 235. The new elementary school site slated for Wildewood, has been criticized by local pilots for being too close to the approach path of the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport. During a Planning Commission meeting in January, Ken Studt, a pilot from Great Mills, said in addition to the dangerous approach pattern, aircraft noise could negatively impact the school. The airport was approved for a runway expansion of 1200 feet, which will accommodate larger aircraft and enable the airport to handle commuter aircraft according to Gary Whipple, an engineer with the Department of Public Works and Transportation. Larger aircraft will cause more noise, but Howe said the school was incorrectly pointed out on a map during the January meeting, and might not be in the approach path. SMCPS is currently in talks with the Department of Public Works and Transportation and two consultants to assess the noise continuation from overhead aircraft on the school, and the possible dangers of the approach pattern, Clements said. The report should be finalized in the upcoming weeks and presented to the Planning Commission on April 9, he added. The 55-acre site is ap-

proximately 1.25 miles from the center of the runway, and depending on weather conditions, an aircraft approaches at 45-degrees to the center. During a January Board of Appeals meeting, Dave Baden, a pilot of nine years from Mechanicsville, said that pattern would put an aircraft close to the school site. The school is located in the air environ overlay 4, which labels schools as acceptable use. However, the site received a “Normally Compatible,” classification under the ordinance’s four categories, which is defined as “exposure to accident potential is great enough to be of some concern, but density of people and structures, when properly planned, will allow the accidental potential environment to be acceptable.” St. John’s School, Hollywood Elementary School, the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center and Starmaker Learning Center all fall within that same zone. Now the Board of Education is grappling with the idea of purchasing a large plot of land north of Hollywood as its next school site. The kicker is, the site was once a munitions factory that over the years left remnants of storage and fuel tanks, shells and other explosive materials. Martirano has staunchly opposed the site saying there are a lot of “inherent risks” that accompany it. “On every front it’s going to be an issue for many years to come,” Martirano said. “Maybe we should put it to rest.”

An airplane approaches St. Mary’s Regional Airport Friday, on a sunny afternoon.

Section A - 

Clements said it was his interpretation that consideration of the site was ended at the March 19 meeting. “The board has had previous discussions over the site for two to three years,” Clements said. “I think they nixed the idea.” Martirano said the 619acre site, located in Hillville, was originally suggested as a possible school site by the Board of County Commissioners. However, Commissioner Daniel H. Raley said Friday that the commissioners never publicly, or in executive session, suggested that the BOE consider using the site for a high school. “It was a complete surprise to me that the [BOE] said that,” added Raley. “Maybe one commissioner said it, but I don’t know who.” From 1998-2002, when Julie B. Randall was president of the commissioners, the county went to court over a study to make sure the munitions site had been properly cleaned, but according to Raley “the county really didn’t’ win.” “There is a possibility in one small of area of having live munitions, greater than anywhere else,” he said. “But all 600 acres was not considered risky as far as munitions go.” The site operated as an ordinance manufacturer in the 1950s, and then in the early 1980s was identified as a cleanup site. According to a county report, more than 300 pounds of net explosive weight was removed at that time.

Photo by Adam Ross

Budget Continued from page A- Of the $10 million, approximately $3.1 million will go to the Board of Education, and $165,000 to the county libraries for their OPEB responsibilities. Kramer said the county’s annual pay into OPEB would be $4.6 million. “We have identified the cost, determined a funding plan, and made progress knowing it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Kramer. “We’ve made a lot of progress.” Meanwhile, the Board of Education’s request for nearly $8 million over its Bridge to Excellence agreement with the county, to fund a variety of initiatives including the Chesapeake Charter School, and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy was cut short by roughly $2.5 million in the commissioners budget recommendations. However, Kramer said that the funding shortage was the result of the county’s new healthcare procurement, which did not result in fee increases, and allocated back $1 million to the BOE’s budget. Further, the BOE’s technology funding request of just over $1 million can be exempt financed, saving that amount from this year’s budget as well, Kramer added. The commissioners funding recommendation may have come up $2.5 million short, but after revising the BOE’s budget, Kramer said it should meet the schools’ need. Chief Financial Officer for the Board of Education, Daniel L. Carney said after Tuesday’s meeting the BOE would take a close look at the particulars, and find a way to balance its budget. The BOE’s Capital Improvement Plan was fully funded, according to Kramer. The increased allocation of funds went principally into

funding public safety, public education and OPEB said Kramer. The Office of the Sheriff received just over a 15 percent budget increase from fiscal year 2007. “This year I believe the concern was to address OPEB, and while not glamorous and it doesn’t make headlines, it’s significant,” said Commissioner Daniel H. Raley (DGreat Mills). The county’s property, income and other local taxes will go unchanged in fiscal 2008, if the board’s budget recommendations remain as they are. However, a new “Environmental Fee,” which would assess a $60 annual fee to each residential property owner to pay for trash disposal through 2009 is expected to balance the budget. The fee should translate into nearly $2 million in revenue, the amount needed after prior budget work sessions rendered the $173 million budget short of revenue. Some of the commissioners didn’t like the idea of a trash fee, and said they would be reaching out to local residents for other suggestions. The commissioners set an outstanding debt goal to not exceed 2 percent, and based on future debt capacity calculations are well underneath their target. The budget’s next step is a public hearing, which will be held April 24 at Leonardtown High School from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Raley encouraged residents to come out and speak up, saying the public’s comments play a significant role in crafting the final budget. “It’s not our money, it’s their money,” Raley said of residents’ stake in the budget.


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The County Times

Section A - 

Country Lakes Continued from page A- That incident had sheriff’s deputies combing the community for suspects and they eventually nabbed a suspect in connection with the crime, but talk of the shooting did not stop. “I felt like ‘Oh my God, are they doing drive-by shootings in the neighborhood?’” Walsh said. “I never heard of it [a drive-by shooting] hap-

pening before here. “It’s definitely not the country place it used to be.” Walsh said that reports of home break-ins and property destruction are commonplace and that at least twice this year items have been stolen from her yard. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office announced the program expansion this

Thursday, March 29, 2007

month after they started the Community Service Officer program in January in the nearby Golden Beach community. Lt. Edward Willenborg, commander of the sheriff’s Special Operation Division, said that property crimes and vandalism were a part of life in Country Lakes but said that the crime situation in Country Lakes seems to be getting better. For the first three months of this year there have been 187 calls for service in the

Photo by Adam Ross

Country Lakes subdivision in Mechanicsville is seeing an increased number of vandalism acts, including smashed mailboxes.

Photo by Adam Ross

The community of Country Lakes nestled in Mechanicsville is now the second community to get a sheriff’s deputy assigned as a community service officer. This will allow residents to give their complaints about crime and other problems to one officer who can then help coordinate policing efforts there more effectively with an eye towards enforcement, sheriff’s say.

Missing Continued from page A-1 Lancaster said she knew of no reason why anyone would have a grudge against Brooks. “He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Lancaster said. Alice Gaskin, of Ridge, and a friend of the family, said the report of Brooks disappearance shook her deeply. “[I’m] devastated,” Gaskin said. “It’s too overwhelming. “I just pray we find something or hear something.” Gaskin said that Brooks, who often helped young children by providing eye care at

free clinics through the county health department, was instrumental in trying to save the eyesight of a young man she knew. A diabetic, the young man had lost his eyesight, could not work and was without health insurance. Brooks, though, saw the man and got him enrolled for eye surgery and John’s Hopkins University Medical Center, Gaskin said, and helped restore some of his sight. “Now there’s hope for him to see,” Gaskin said. “And Marcel did that for absolutely nothing. “That’s just the kind of person he was.” Assistant Sheriff Capt. John Horne said there was

nothing to indicate a personal reason for Brooks to disappear of his own accord. County sheriff’s a say Brooks was operating light brown 1997 Chrysler Town and Country Van with a Maryland registration of M005413. He’s described as an African American male, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. Law enforcement officials are asking anyone with knowledge of Brooks whereabouts to contact either the Prince George’s County police at 301-749-5064 or St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 301-475-4040.

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community, but that is down from the 291 calls during the same period last year. Still, the fact that crime was a continuing problem there showed that county patrols were not making enough of an impact, so the community service officer program would be used to pinpoint the problems and the deputy overseeing the Golden Beach/ Country Lakes area would be able to bring in whatever resources he or she needed to make arrests and clean up crime problems.

“If it’s a concern of theirs it’s a concern of ours,” Willenborg said. With only about 122 sheriff’s deputies to cover a county of nearly 100,000 people, allocating resources effectively was a top priority, Willenborg said. “Our patrolling units are overtaxed; they’re running from call to call… they’re basically slaves to the radio,” Willenborg said. “The [community services deputy] will establish a rapport with the community and give them a

name and face they can call to report problems and he’ll have time to focus on the issues there.” Willenborg said that initial reports after the program’s first trial run in Golden Beach might show it to be a success. For the month of January there were 19 reports of criminal activity in Golden Beach according to Willenborg. But for February there were only five such reports.

County Sheriff’s Have First Officer Involved Shooting This Year By Guy Leonard Staff Writer For the first time this year a county sheriff’s deputy has fired his service weapon in defense of his life, in this case against an alleged knifewielding suspect. The shooting occurred after a deputy engaged a motorcycle rider in a short chase after the deputy tried to pull over the motorist March 24 at about 7:30 p.m. in Leonardtown. The suspect, Steve Todd Coryll, 40, of Leonardtown, is in stable condition at Washington Hospital Center in The District, according to Capt. John Horne, assistant sheriff. “It’s an unfortunate incident for all around, both the deputy and the suspect,” Horne said. “But the suspect’s actions dictated what actions the deputy had to take.” Horne said a warrant has been issued for Coryll’s arrest once he has been released from the hospital. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave

Obits Continued from page A-7 man R. Uglow, who died on January 9, 1992, an infant son, and a brother, Earl Hendrick. The family received friends on Friday, March 9 from 5- 8:00 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel, Leonardtown, Md. Prayers were recited at 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Service was conducted on Saturday, March 10 in First Friendship United Methodist Church, Ridge, Md. Reverend Keith Schukraft will conduct the service. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were grandsons; Patrick Dean, Kevin Dean, David Goddard, Carl Dunn and nephews; Ken Brunner and Ben Dansberger. Honorary pallbearer will be littlest grandson, Nicholas Uglow. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, Md. 20650, First Friendship Methodist Church, P.O. Box 133, Ridge, Md. 20680 or Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 456, Ridge, Md. 20680. The family wishes to thank the many friends and family who assisted in her

and the State’s Attorney’s Office has started an investigation into whether the deputy acted properly in the shooting incident. The deputy has been provided legal counsel by the Fraternal Order of Police, Horne said. Coryll allegedly pulled a knife on the sheriff’s deputy as he tried to explain roadside tests to the motorist; according to sheriff’s reports the deputy suspected the man on the motorcycle was under the influence of an unknown substance. Once the suspect allegedly produced the knife the deputy fired his weapon once, hitting the suspect in the abdomen and stopping him. The deputy was not injured, Horne said. Other law enforcement officers were able to stop the suspect when he attempted to flee after being shot, sheriff’s office reports said. The deputies administered medical aid and the suspect was transferred to St.

Mary’s Hospital and then to the Washington Hospital Center to treat his wounds. The only other person to have been shot by law enforcement personnel in recent memory was James Emerick Dean of Hollywood back in December of last year. Dean, a U.S. Army Ranger who had served in Afghanistan, barricaded himself in his home in Hollywood Christmas night because he was distressed about having been reactivated to return to duty in the war in Iraq. During the standoff, Dean had opened fire and hit several police vehicles but no deputies or state troopers were injured. Dean eventually came out of his home after the long standoff with police, who had tried to use tear gas to extricate him from the abode, and began to level a weapon at law enforcement officials Dean was shot and killed by a Maryland State Police tactical officer.

later years, especially Melanie Sanchez. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, Md. 20650. Condolences to the family may be left at

nesota, Patricia O’Neill of Baltimore, Md. Linda Sullivan and Joseph Van Kirk, both of Mechanicsville, Md., 13 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and two greatgreat grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her loving husband, Norman E. Van Kirk who passed away February 2nd 1993, three brothers, Rodney Buckmaster, Carroll Buckmaster and Wesley Buckmaster and two sisters, Sylvia Buckmaster and Margaret Mack. The family received friends on Wednesday, March 28 in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel, Leonardtown, Md. Prayers were recited at 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Service will be conducted on Thursday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. in the funeral home chapel. Reverend Sheldon Reese will conduct the services. Interment will follow in Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham, Md. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hollywood Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 79, Hollywood, Md. Condolences to the family may be left at

Lola May Van Kirk, 89 Lola May Van Kirk, 89, of Sandgates, Md., died March 25 in St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Leonardtown, Md. after a lengthy illness. Born on January 30, 1918 in Annapolis, Md., she was the daughter of the late James Buckmaster and Effie Parks Buckmaster. She lived in Baltimore, Md. for nearly 50 years where she worked, married and raised her family until their move to St. Mary’s County in 1972. She enjoyed cooking, playing cards, going to bingo, crabbing, going on vacation and spending time with her family. She is survived by six children; Jeanne Szymborski of Baltimore, Md., Sylvia Behr of Mechanicsville, Md., Dorothy Simon of Min-


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