Cumberland Times-News


December 19, 2012

Be involved

Edwards urges local leaders to speak up

State Sen. George Edwards gave some sound advice last week when he urged local community leaders to speak out loud and clear on state issues that affect Western Maryland.

“We all need to work together. ...  You need to tell these people when you disagree and why,” Edwards said. His comments were made at the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce’s annual prelegislative breakfast. He was referring to the need to let the Maryland General Assembly know when the interests of Western Maryland differ from those in other parts of the state.

He commented that the state chamber of commerce sometimes takes positions that are at odds with local chambers and the needs of Western Maryland. If a state chamber leader testifies in Annapolis, legislators may not realize there’s a diversity of views within the chamber. “The Baltimore/Washington corridor runs this state,” Edwards said. “You’ve got to be involved and you’ve got to speak up, which helps us,” Edwards said.

Fighting for equity has always been a challenge for rural counties. But over the last year, the rural counties have stepped up efforts to band together and vote in a bloc to counter the power plays of Baltimore City and suburban Washington counties. A newly-formed rural coalition is now comprised of Allegany, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Kent, Somerset, Washington and Wicomico counties, representing 939,980 rural Maryland residents.

While the coalition promises to have a major impact on decisions made in Annapolis, the man-in-the-street still needs to make his voice heard. When General Assembly members convene their 90-day legislative session Jan. 9, citizens would do well to closely follow legislative bills and issues and let their elected officials know their opinions. A new General Assembly website (,)  just launched this month, will make it easier than ever to track bills and see how legislators vote.

A phone call, letter or email from a constituent just might help sway a legislator’s vote. If the silent majority continues to stay silent, then we get the government we deserve.

Text Only
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014