Maryland State Delegate for
Legislative District 12B
This marks the last e-news message I will send out as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. With the exception of a four year vacation given to me by the voters in 1990, I have held public office since the winter of 1977. As I mentioned in a previous message, many of you have requested that I continue with my e-newsletter, and I have decided to do so. Clearly the perspective will shift somewhat since I will no longer be in public office.
I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve as a member of the Howard County Council, County Executive, and Maryland House of Delegates, and now it is crystal clear to me that I want to make my contribution to this world in other ways, including writing.
The timing of my leaving public office less than a year after Zach took his last breath on this earth is so fortuitous. His spirit is truly with me all the time and I find it very inspiring. I can hear him as clear as clear can be telling me shortly after he learned that he had another brain tumor and that the docs were not able to remove it all during surgery "Grandma, I realize that I'm in a position to inspire people, and I intend to use it." Use it he did, and there is no clearer living example of that than my own life.
From my pillow at night I can turn my head in two directions and see the moon and stars.
On the windowsill just beside my bed, I have created what can best be described a small altar. Central to it is a photo of Zach, some quotes from his memorial service, and two from the multitude of cards we received after Zach left this earth. One is from “The Little Prince”:
“In one of the stars I shall be living
In one of them I shall be laughing
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.”
The other is unattributed:
“Surely now he’s the one giving light to the stars.”
He is surely giving light to my life, and it’s my intention to pass it on to others. Lloyd and I had lunch today with some dear friends, one of whom asked how she could make a contribution to the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation. We all thought it would be a good idea to put it in the newsletter. www.zachingagainstcancer.org
Who better to lead this "focus group of the people for the people" than Elijah Cummings. We have had the opportunity to experience firsthand his keeping in touch with his constituents both by keeping us informed of what's going on in Congress and by soliciting our views. Those of us who have him as our Congressman are truly fortunate.
The passing of Ben Bradlee is a reminder of the decline of the printed media.
We who could so easily take for granted having the Post at our doorsteps throughout all our lives know what an excellent editor he was. His "standard of truth-telling” is so much needed today.
Although Howard County is not mentioned in this Baltimore Sun editorial, we are as much in need of more "sunshine" in our government as the State of Maryland and some other jurisdictions.
The two articles below are good examples of frustration for me and a minority of legislators. They reflect what we were saying before these two budget items -- a large subsidy for the film industry and the Inter-county Connector (ICC) -- were approved. It seemed so clear that they were not good public policy decisions and now that they have been implemented the results speak for themselves.
Jim Rouse's new town of Columbia in the news. This article in The Sun is hopefully good news. Now that more than 50 percent of the properties in downtown Columbia is in one ownership, decisions should be made more clearly and in a way we the people can follow and understand. That clearly will require more transparency. More openness would indeed be good news for the long term impact on subjects such as traffic and some moderately priced housing units.
It was a labor of love for Stan to cover sports in the new town, and he put his heart and soul into it. He invited Lloyd and me to sit at his table when he was inducted into the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame a few years ago. Even we, who have known Stan from the beginning, were amazed at the breadth of his coverage. His knowledge of sports history from the inception of Columbia showed up in each edition and helped readers understand this history. One example was the very early development of Columbia as a soccer center for competition on the east coast. I had the honor and privilege of working with Stan on this when I was County Executive.
Thank you, Stan. Although we will miss your weekly sports coverage, we look forward to seeing you around town.
Flier Letter to the Editor
“Pivotal Time for Columbia Came 40 Years Ago”
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the induction of the first Columbia residents into the Howard County Council: Dick Anderson, Ruth Keeton, Lloyd Knowles, and Ginny Thomas. These four along with Tom Yeager from Fulton, set Columbia on the path to become an exemplary community in which to live, work, and raise a family. I kept looking for a mention of this history, and when none appeared, I decided to send a letter to the editor before the year ended.
Hopefully wisdom will ultimately prevail as Columbia continues to grow. More transparency will definitely be necessary in order for that to occur.
Happy Holidays to you and your family.
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