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Concerned grandmother

I posted a comment on a letter, Blatant racism is unconscionable for Harford County Public Schools, that appeared in the Aegis on Oct 20, 2017.

I appreciate your concerns and would like to share your hopes.  As a society, we need a much greater awareness and willingness to confront the problem head-on.  The extent of segregation, discrimination and doublespeak is getting worse and requires a forceful, unified challenge.

We need to observe very closely which of our public officials acknowledges the seriousness of this issue and which dismiss and laugh about it.  We have seen both kinds following this and other incidents in Bel Air and Harford County.  We need to keep the light shining, and support one another in working for change.

Written by a grandmother who persuaded her daughter to move to Bel Air, and is now ashamed of the recent racist incident that took place at the high school, the letter made me think about the book we discussed last night at our book club, The New Jim Crow. How naive so many of us have been and how urgently we have to get out of that if we hope to change things rather than talk about how we hope to change things and find two generations later that things are worse than when we started.

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When Carly stood up for me

A new librarian smiled from behind the children’s desk.   New to me – she had been working there for some time.  Maybe because they rearranged the children’s section or maybe because my daughter was now a volunteer, I no longer found myself approaching the children’s desk with her in tow, and had not properly met some of the newer librarians.   Little did I know that it was I, not my daughter, who would receive invaluable help from her.
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Amy Chmielewski sworn in as Town Commissioner

Amy Chmielewski was sworn in as Town Commissioner today.  We look forward to working with her on the various issues Bel Air faces.

Town of Bel Air election results

The results are in!  Congratulations to Patrick Richards and Amy Chmielewski.  We look forward to working with you and setting strong expectations for improving life in our community.

The Final and Official Election Results are: Read more…

Vote for Bel Air Town Commissioner

Dear daughter, who has attended and spoken at several Town Hall meetings, took the initiative to write to the candidates running in the 2017 election for Town Commissioner.

Read more…

Speaking of Racism in Bel Air

Background:
Seven Bel Air High students disciplined for racist photo
from the Aegis, October 12, 2017

Town Council Meeting, Oct 17, 2017

At the beginning of the public comment period the mayor said that they had received a number of letters and that they all agreed that what happened was unacceptable. Of course they said that they have no control over the school and encouraged us to take it to the Board of Ed, which we plan to do. We in turn tried to talk about what they could do as commissioners and what the town needed to do as a community to combat prejudice, bullying and a climate that promotes racial injustice. Read more…

Laughter, applause and “Amen!” as Kathy Szilega dismisses SPLC data on discrimination

Though our book club was scheduled to discuss “Hope in the Dark” by Rebecca Solnit, Pam proposed and others agreed that we reschedule it so as to be able to attend a public meeting concerning a development coming up in Joppa which was known by various names – River Run, Old Trails, and “Muslim housing.”  The issue was:  “Is this neighborhood going to be Muslim-only?”
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Stand for Net Neutrality

We joined the National Day of Action for Net Neutrality, taking up the suggestion to hold actions at train stations.  Here we are at the Edgewood station greeting morning commuters and summarizing the issue in song: Read more…

In the Press: Bel Air officials respond

The Aegis

News  Maryland  Harford County  The Aegis 

Fracking opponents seek support on a Maryland ban from Bel Air officials, who appear willing to oblige

David Anderson Contact ReporterThe Aegis Jan 4 2017

Harford County opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to capture natural gas and shale petroleum deposits picked what at first appeared to be a curious venue to go public with their concerns: A meeting of the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners.
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Bel Air Town Council hears people call for a resolution supporting a Maryland ban on fracking … but do they listen?

Concerned townsfolk and friends from around the county and neighboring Cecil and Baltimore counties rallied outside the Town Hall in Bel Air and called for a statewide ban on fracking in Maryland.  After some rousing Christmas carols, the group heard from Tracey Waite, President of Harford County Climate Action, Brooke Harper of Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Steve Mogge of Citizen Shale in Garrett County which would be one of the first to be affected if the Maryland moratorium on fracking was allowed to expire without a ban to replace it.

Rally to Ban Fracking, Bel Air Town Hall.

Rally to Ban Fracking, Bel Air Town Hall.

Then we went inside to speak to the Mayor and Town Commissioners directly and hear their response to our concerns. Read more…