News Archive

Envision Frederick County is compiling an archive of news articles, editorials, columns and letters to the editor, from a range of local and regional publications.  The archive will grow to include more than 2,000 entries, from the last decade or so. If you want to search the archives using a combination of tags, you can type multiple tags into the "Search this site" box to the right. If you find a bad link, please let us know, and keep in mind that you can search for the item by using the headline on the site of the publication. PLEASE NOTE: Click on the headlines below to open the individual items in a new window.

Blaine and Co. bad for Frederick County

Frederick News Post
George Wenschhof
07/07/2013
The 4-1 vote recently to sell the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Care facilities and disband their board of trustees, illustrates the latest example of Frederick County government behaving badly. Immediately following the 2010 election, new board of county commissioners’ president Blaine Young (R) proclaimed Frederick County “Open for Business.” Joining Young as newly elected Republicans on the five member board were Kirby Delauter, Billy Shreve and Paul Smith, who I quickly dubbed with the moniker; “Blaine and Co.,” the moniker resulting from their like ideology and the carte blanche votes Delauter, Shreve and Smith gave to Young on anything Young would propose. Fueled by “tea party” fervor, prevalent across the nation, that promoted less government and less spending, Blaine and Co. wasted no time in promoting these ideals, a disturbing pattern of governing that clearly illustrates how following ideology often trumps reasonable representation. The resulting action from Blaine and Co. was felt immediately after their election, when they moved to eliminate $2 million in county funding for Head Start, a proven and effective federal program that helps children in need during the critical early years of development. What has followed over the next 2 1/2 years has been a continued move to follow an irresponsible privatization path in governing.

Young supports Frederick County sheriff despite controversies

County renews controversial federal immigration program
Gazette
Ryan Marshall
07/05/2013
Potential gubernatorial candidate Blaine R. Young (R) said he stands by his sheriff amid several recent controversies and a renewal of the county’s participation in a controversial federal immigration program. Young, the president of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners, said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins (R) is the latest in a long line of fine Frederick County sheriffs. “I think we have an outstanding sheriff’s department,” Young said, adding that Jenkins has been effective in both law enforcement and fiscal responsibility. Jenkins has found himself under fire in recent years for the county’s embrace of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 287(g) program, which brings together local and federal law enforcement to enforce immigration policy. Frederick is the only county in Maryland to participate in the program. It has used it since 2008. On June 27, the sheriff’s office renewed its participation in the program for another three years, through 2016, Jenkins said Tuesday.

Ivory tower government

Frederick News Post
Linda Norris-Waldt
07/05/2013
I just read yet another letter to the editor from a local elected official who says he finds it good policy to walk out of meetings when he is afraid he’ll get mad. I suppose he and those he learned it from consider it adult behavior to walk out of every uncomfortable situation because he is afraid he will lose his temper. Is this “counting to 10,” or is it simply a way of putting your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes and chanting “nah nah nah nah” because you don’t want to listen? People elect county-level representatives — those closest to the people — expecting them to seek opinions and alternatives on issues, weigh them equally, and come up with the best possible answer for the most possible people. Instead, we see...
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Calls for local boycotts ill-advised

Frederick News Post
07/05/2013
Some major decisions by the Frederick County Commissioners have been received poorly by many in the community. Obvious examples include constructing a waste-to-energy incinerator and the decision to sell Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living. We understand the emotional reaction of those who oppose these moves, and the need they feel to act. A recent letter to the editor from a local business owner, however, discusses a form of action that, like him, we think is inappropriate. Calls have been issued on several locally created Web pages to boycott businesses owned or operated by Commissioners President Blaine Young — as well as businesses that sponsor Young or are customers of companies or services owned by the commissioner.

Let's follow Carroll County's lead on incinerator

Frederick News Post
Patrice Gallagher
07/04/2013
The No Incinerator Alliance wholeheartedly supports the recent decision by the Carroll County Commissioners to withdraw from the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator project. With this decision, those commissioners are recognizing the fact that the old technology of burning waste is not a good business plan when less costly alternatives are available. The NIA encourages the Frederick County Commissioners to take this opportunity to re-examine the assumptions on which the incinerator project was based. The financial projections made by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority are unrealistic and not a basis on which to commit Frederick County to decades of burdensome debt (see no-incinerator.org for details) and exorbitant operating costs.

Let’s follow Carroll County’s lead on incinerator

Frederick News Post
Patrice Gallagher
07/04/2013
The No Incinerator Alliance wholeheartedly supports the recent decision by the Carroll County Commissioners to withdraw from the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator project. With this decision, those commissioners are recognizing the fact that the old technology of burning waste is not a good business plan when less costly alternatives are available. The NIA encourages the Frederick County Commissioners to take this opportunity to re-examine the assumptions on which the incinerator project was based. The financial projections made by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority are unrealistic and not a basis on which to commit Frederick County to decades of burdensome debt (see no-incinerator.org for details) and exorbitant operating costs.

Prepping For The Primaries – The Faces Behind Frederick’s Political Landscape

Frederick Gorilla
Emily Holland
07/03/2013
The filing deadline for candidates in Frederick’s primary election has passed, and Fredericktonians will be faced with more than a dozen names of candidates. For the aspiring-to-be-informed citizen, there’s a lot of homework involved. But don’t be afraid just yet: Frederick Gorilla is making the task easier with a preliminary, informative kick start guide to the candidates and the election itself: The Lay of the Land: Six candidates are vying for the mayor’s seat in the primaries, with a breakdown of three Republicans, two Democrats and one unaffiliated. The competition includes an unusual mix: two former mayors, one incumbent, two current aldermen and one current delegate. Seven Republicans and eight Democrats are in the race for five aldermen seats. Eleven of those candidates have never held an elected office, while two are former aldermen and an additional two are incumbents.

Six former or current politicians, one resident run for Frederick mayor

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
07/03/2013
One familiar face and one newcomer to Frederick's political scene filed to run for mayor Tuesday, the last day for candidates to file in this year's election. Alderwoman Shelley Aloi (R) and resident Carol A. Hirsch (D) will have their names on the Sept. 10 primary election ballots. Aloi announced her bid in front of family and friends on the steps of City Hall. Hirsch slipped into City Hall to file without a public announcement. Hirsch, who lives on Madison Street, has never run for office in Frederick. She did not respond Tuesday to an email request for comment. She will take on District 3A Delegate Galen Clagett and Alderwoman Karen Young in the Democratic primary. Aloi, 52, will challenge Mayor Randy McClement and former Mayor Jeff Holtzinger in the primary. Former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty is running unaffiliated and will compete only in the general election Nov. 5.

Frederick County schools rank first in Maryland achievement report

Frederick News Post
Rachel S. Karas
07/02/2013
Frederick County Public Schools scored the highest of any Maryland school district in a state report analyzing educational success. The 2012 Maryland Report Card school progress index released last month gave Frederick County a rating of 1.0558 for its academic achievement, growth, college and career readiness, and reduction of the gap between its highest- and lowest-performing students. A score of 1 or higher means a school district met the index's standards for achievement, according to the index's website. Maryland Report Card data is compiled annually by the state's Department of Education to compare the two most recent calendar years of standardized test results. This is the first year the report has included a school progress index. Stephen Hess, the county's former director of research, development and accountability, said the standing is not something to be taken lightly. Success comes from the hard work of teachers, parents and students and a countywide dedication to progress, he said.

Citizens/Montevue fate sealed before hearing

Frederick News Post
06/30/2013
To no one’s surprise the Frederick County Commissioners wasted little time in selling Citizen Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Facility following a five-hour public hearing Tuesday evening. It’s now clear the public hearing was nothing more than a “go-through-the-motions” sham and validated claims by opponents that the meeting was being held because of a legal requirement and not because there was any chance the commissioners were interested, much less willing, to change their minds. A standing-room only crowd of more than 400 people crammed into the Jack B. Kussmaul Theater at Frederick Community College in a last-ditch attempt to stop the commissioners sale of the government-owned nursing home and assisted living center that have served needy local residents for about 140 years. But four of the county commissioners, lead by President Blaine Young, had already made up their minds.

Two More File for Alderman as City of Frederick Candidate Deadline Nears

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/29/2013
With The City of Frederick candidate July 2 filing deadline only days away, two more filed for the board of alderman. Former, one term alderman, Republican Alan Imhoff and Democrat Kevin Greene made their entry into the race official on Friday. Imhoff’s entry makes it six Republican candidates, ensuring a contested primary for Republican voters, who will choose five to move on to the General election. Greene is the eighth Democratic candidate to file for alderman. At the time of publication, Geene had not responded to my inquiry as to why he was running for office.

Trio of Development Projects Still Proposed

Urbana Town Courier
Sally Alt
06/28/2013
Three proposed development projects will play a significant role in shaping the Urbana and Monrovia communities. Currently, developers for the Monrovia Town Center and Urbana Town Center are seeking approval for zoning and site plans for these residential and commercial developments. The 457-acre proposed Monrovia Town Center development includes 1,510 single-family and multi-family units. The development, which will be located east of Ed McLain Road and north of the intersection of MD 80 and MD 75, needs zoning approval before starting the site plan review process. The Urbana Town Center/Northern Mixed Use development between MD 355 and I-270, south of Park Mills Road, will include up to 2 million square feet of office space and some commercial development, according to Denis Superczynski, a principal planner for Frederick County. He said the developer, Urbana Investment Properties II, LLC, plans to submit for review a site plan and preliminary subdivision, which will be focused initially on the residential portion of the project. A site plan for commercial development at the MD 75-80 Dragway property in Monrovia includes grocery stores, retail, offices and restaurants. The site plan for this development, which will be integrated with the Monrovia Town Center, is currently under review, according to Jim Gugel, the planning manager for the Community Development Division in Frederick County.

Carroll preparing to pay $3 million penalty fee to avoid building incinerator

Carroll County Times
Christian Alexandersen
06/28/2013
While the Carroll County Board of Commissioners still hopes to avoid building a proposed waste-to-energy incinerator project with Frederick County, it has begun preparing itself to pay a $3 million penalty fee. The board voted 3-1, with Commissioner Doug Howard abstaining, to set aside $3 million to pay the penalty fee that would be needed only if Frederick cannot find a replacement for Carroll’s 40 percent partnership in the incinerator. The $3 million penalty would come from the county’s Fiscal Year 2013 reserve for contingencies fund.

Two former mayors now in running for Frederick's top spot

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
06/28/2013
Frederick’s last two mayors and current mayor are now in the running to lead the city for the next four years. Jeff Holtzinger, who was mayor from 2005 to 2009, filed Wednesday to run against Mayor Randy McClement in the Sept. 10 Republican primary election. Jennifer Dougherty, who was mayor before Holtzinger, is also in the running. She has registered as an unaffiliated candidate and will compete in the general election Nov. 5. State Delegate Galen Clagett, D-District 3A, and Alderwoman Karen Young have also filed to run for mayor. They will square off in a Democratic primary. Candidates have until July 2 to file for the primary.

Two former mayors now in running for Frederick’s top spot

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
06/28/2013
Frederick’s last two mayors and current mayor are now in the running to lead the city for the next four years. Jeff Holtzinger, who was mayor from 2005 to 2009, filed Wednesday to run against Mayor Randy McClement in the Sept. 10 Republican primary election. Jennifer Dougherty, who was mayor before Holtzinger, is also in the running. She has registered as an unaffiliated candidate and will compete in the general election Nov. 5. State Delegate Galen Clagett, D-District 3A, and Alderwoman Karen Young have also filed to run for mayor. They will square off in a Democratic primary. Candidates have until July 2 to file for the primary.

Farm-to-Fork Frederick

Urbana Town Courier
Sarah Withers
06/28/2013
A new project is coming to Frederick that aims to bring food directly from Frederick farms to forks via some favorite local restaurants. Farm-to-Fork Frederick is coming to the area in August and is slated to bring more than 18 chefs at about 12 restaurants together with 10 locals farms and five award-winning Frederick County wineries. The participating chefs and restaurants have committed to using at least 60 percent locally sourced, locally grown and raised products and to showcase the best Frederick County has to offer.

Carroll County officials to consider departure from incinerator pact

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
06/27/2013
Carroll County commissioners today might map their exit from a partnership with Frederick County on a regional waste-to-energy incinerator. Though several Carroll County commissioners want to bow out of the project, the timing of a potential withdrawal is a point of contention. Some board members want to call it quits despite possibly incurring a $3 million penalty, while others hope to hold off until they can avoid the cost, said Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild. Today's board meeting will allow commissioners to discuss whether to set aside funds for a potential penalty payment should they end their involvement with the incinerator. Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young said he would bear no ill will toward Carroll County leaders if they opt out of the project to build an incinerator. But Frederick County needs Carroll County to decide one way or the other, he said. "Their problem is they want to get out of the responsibility of paying anything. It doesn't work that way," Young said.

Holtzinger Files for Mayor

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/27/2013
The long anticipated entry into the City of Frederick mayoral race by Jeff Holtzinger is now official with his filing for the office at city hall. The former one term mayor will face incumbent Randy McClement in the Republican primary. The race for mayor promises to be the one to watch in the city election where voters will elect a mayor and a five member board of aldermen. Already in the race for mayor, are Delegate Galen Clagett and alderwoman Karen Young who will face each other in the Democratic primary. Rounding out the familiar faces is former Democrat Jennifer Dougherty, another one term mayor, who on her fifth run for the office, has filed as an unaffiliated candidate. The Republican and Democratic primaries will be held on September 10 and Dougherty, who will not have a primary, receives a free pass to the General Election to be held on November 5.