Your Views

“Libraries Matter” — No More Cuts

To the Editor:

[On Jan. 10] the county executive, [Isiah] Leggett, held an open forum at the regional government offices in Germantown to present the details of the county’s financial budget and the problems he and his administration are facing due to the shortfall in revenue during the current financial recession.

Local volunteers from Quince Orchard Library and other county libraries were present, not only to listen, but to demonstrate on behalf of local library card holders. With more than six out of 10 county residents holding library membership cards, this has the potential to be a strong voice in the library needs. Last year alone the expenditure on county libraries dropped by more than 20 percent compared with an average cut of only 5 percent for other agencies.

As part of their “Libraries Matter” NO MORE CUTS campaign, the volunteers asked Mr. Leggett whether he had plans to close libraries in the county and, if so, which ones. He refused to be drawn and reiterated that everything was still on the table.

During the meeting, [I] held up a sign that read “KEEP THE LIBRARY LIGHTS ON” as well as a small, white, battery-operated lighted candle; this highly effective visual demonstration caused much laughter and applause.

The library volunteers came away from that meeting very satisfied that they had been able to effectively make the case that cuts in library funding would profoundly affect the services that they can offer and that closures should definitely not be considered at this time.

— Richard Etches

Our Dog Duty

To the Editor:

I struggled to come up with a clever and funny way to inject humor into a matter that happens every year when the weather changes. The trouble is there is nothing humorous about a pile of poop sitting there on the sidewalk or in the grass in all its glory. It only makes our otherwise well maintained neighborhood unsightly.

Folks, the rules don’t change. They remain the same here and everywhere. Just because the cold weather arrives and bad weather hits, dogs still need to go out to do their business, and cleanup still needs to be performed. That’s what we agreed to when we got our furry friends, and it’s the law.

In the summer, it stays light out later and lots of folks are out walking about. I know that our stand-up citizens would say something to the offenders if he/she didn’t pick up after their pet. But because it gets dark earlier and the weather is colder, it happens mostly at night when dog owners selfishly let their pooch out because its too cold to accompany them or because they think that they can get away with it because its dark and no one is watching.

Walking is the way of life here in the Kentlands. Let’s take pride in our neighborhood all year long, no matter the season. Don’t be afraid to say something or offer a bag to an offender.

I’m asking all dog owners to be stand-up citizens and use your sense of decency when walking your dog. Please clean up after your pooch. Do not allow your pet out without your supervision. Your dog will choose a neighbor’s yard over his own to do his business. That’s just wrong. Do your “dooty” — pun intended.

— Karen Palman