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As Long as We Remember...

Al Duke

December 31, 2003
Urbana Region Plan Process Revealed Code Shortcomings
Al Duke
While watching the joint meeting of the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) and the Frederick County Planning Commission (FCPC) on Adelphia Channel 19 on the subject of the Urbana Region Plan, I was struck by several observations. (As an FCPC member, I was unable to be present because of a medical condition.)

November 20, 2003
100th Anniversary of the First Flight: How They Did It!
Al Duke
When my wife and I were in Nags Head, North Carolina, this summer, we planned to stop in at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, but the place was packed every day. Gloria and I then decided to go there again at the beginning of October. But Isabel had something to say about that date. We finally made it there last week.

October 30, 2003
Regulatory Issues Highlight Farm Forum
Al Duke
Delegate Paul Stull and County Commissioner Mike Cady co-sponsored a Farm Forum at Libertytown Fire Hall on Saturday, October 25.

September 5, 2003
You Don't Have To Be A Superpower To Police The Neighborhood
Al Duke
The recent demise (Saturday, August 16) of exiled Ugandan President for Life Idi Amin brings to mind the military campaign that deposed him from power in 1979. As Teddy Roosevelt might have said, it was a splendid little war.

August 4, 2003
Citizens Zoning Review Committee Work Is Done! Comments?
Al Duke
If you are looking here for some meat on what the Citizens Zoning Review Committee is reporting and recommending to the Board of County Commissioners, then I'm sorry. That information will not be found in this article. The CZRC's Report will be released to the public at the same time it is presented to the BOCC.

June 24, 2003
Red Light Cameras
Al Duke
State Sen. Alex Mooney (R., 3rd) was interviewed on Blaine Young's Frederick Forum on WFMD on Saturday. The discussion on red light cameras was most enlightening.

April 15, 2003
What Are The True Facts About This War?
Al Duke
I had to laugh when I saw Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on television last Friday evening discussing headlines about the War in Iraq with great astonishment at their tone.

March 26, 2003
The Fourth Verse: An Anthem For Our Time
Al Duke
When I first graduated from college, many years ago, I taught in a Catholic mission school in Jamaica associated with the local church. One evening I was invited over to a parishioner's house for dinner, along with several other American teachers.

February 17, 2003
Slots Are Okay, But With A Caution!
Al Duke
Gambling is a pretty standard human activity across most societies, locales and times. Horse races, draws of the cards, sports and many other events are now and have been the occasion of wagers.

January 29, 2003
Another Study Would Be Redundant: Ban The Death Penalty
Al Duke
There are just too many problems with the death penalty. It has always been truly said that it is better for a guilty man to go free than for an innocent man to go to prison. Then, should not we equally say that it is better for a guilty man to spend his life in prison than for an innocent man to die?

December 16, 2002
Preserving the Bill of Rights
Al Duke
The Bill of Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) are all about individual rights and government action. The Bill of Rights seems to note, in a straightforward manner, which rights belong to individuals and which to the states. But in practice, when individuals, governments, and events come together, the interpretation of these rights can be complex indeed.

November 4, 2002
But Wait, There Are Other Questions On The Ballot!
Al Duke
In addition to the Code Home Rule question on the general election ballot, there are three other questions about proposed amendments to the Maryland Constitution that appear on the November 5 ballot.

October 24, 2002
Coming Off The Fence On Code Home Rule
Al Duke
In the several years that Iíve been actively following the events in the political arena in Frederick County, Iíve come to appreciate the County Commissioner form of government that is operative in the county today. It can be very messy. There is probably not a single commissioner from the last several boards who would disagree with that.

September 26, 2002
Moderately Priced Dwelling Units Proposed for Frederick County
Al Duke
The Frederick County Board of County Commissioners is currently considering a proposal to establish a Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) Program. This program would be similar to the Montgomery County MPDU Program that has been in operation since 1973.

September 4, 2002
Where Have All The Letters Gone?
Al Duke
As a fairly regular reader of the local press, I had expected that - with so many interesting competitions in the upcoming primary election - there would be many, many letters to the editors of the various media (including However, those that I do see, though informative to read, are small in number.

August 7, 2002
Warning, Spam Isn't Just A Meat Dish Anymore!
Al Duke
Spam is one of the most irritating aspects of being on-line. University degrees, investment information and stock tips, and loans are just a few of the subjects of this harassing inbox filler. Not to mention the possible outright scams that may come your way - I received one recently entitled "Your account information."

July 5, 2002
The Glorious Second
Al Duke
John Adams said it best, in a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776. "The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epoch, in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the Great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

June 13, 2002
In the Interest of the People
Al Duke
This is one of those phrases that cause the alarm bells to go off in my head. Whenever I hear it, I look around to find the source and to understand the situation and regularly discover that what the speaker means is that it is "in my best interest."

February 25, 2002
Planning by Referendum Raises Questions
Al Duke

The bill to hold a referendum on zoning issues in Frederick County should not move forward in this session of the General Assembly. 

February 2, 2002
Raise Commissioners Salaries
Al Duke

The recurring proposal to increase the salary of the next Board of County Commissioners is apparently dead.  The next time we may be able to raise the salary for the commissioners would be for the board that takes office in December 2006.

January 11, 2002
Politics and Civility in Frederick County
Al Duke

·         Public hearings before various boards and commissions at which unsupported allegations of collusion are made, as well as threats of electoral defeat and outrageous statements about those on the other side of the issue

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