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Sharpsburg briefs

April 05, 2005

Vendors get booted from annual parade


SHARPSBURG - Balloons, flags and other toys will not be for sale at this year's Memorial Day Parade, to be held May 28, as council voted unanimously Monday night to ban street vendors at the event.

"I do not feel that I would like to see the town's residents go back into that situation again," Councilwoman Patti Hammond said before sponsoring the motion to block street vendors.

Several years ago, council opted out against the merchants because many of the sales people were too overt with their sales tactics, and parents would end up shelling out money to buy their children the parade merchandise, Hammond said after the meeting.

Hagerstown merchant Michael Guessford, who had sold merchandise at the parade for about two decades and inherited the role from his uncle and grandfather, asked the council to lift its ban experimentally and to impose regulations on the vendors.

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"I didn't want to bring them back totally, it got out of hand," Guessford said of the past parades with street sales. He offered to donate the profits of one of his carts to the Little League and to pay a fee for the right to vend from his second one.

"What I'm suggesting ... maybe allowing them to set up two carts, behind the crowd, stationary, just as a test."

In the end, council voted against, with members saying they fearing that if they let Guessford vend at the event it would open the door to others, and by consequence, the problems of old.

"I just personally think the fair thing to do is to not do it at all," Councilman Russell Weaver said. "It's a Memorial Day parade, number one, and, number two, we just don't want it to get out of hand like it did a number of years ago."

Officials keeping their eyes on trash


SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg officials are keeping a sharp eye on the trash following the recent deposit of an unprotected bag of hypodermic needles left at the curb for trash collection, Town Attorney Charles Wagaman said Monday night.

"Someone was bringing them in and dropping them," he said.

Wagaman said he does not believe the debris was left curb-side by the resident who lives there, and that resident is now taking his trash out on the morning of the collections instead of the night before.

Wagaman said town officials will need to be on the lookout for future bio-hazard deposits, both for the safety of trash collectors as well as the public. Residents are reminded to put such debris in enclosed boxes.

"It's got to be stopped," Mayor Hal Spielman said.

Council considers parade parking ban


SHARPSBURG - The Town Council on Monday considered, and then discarded, a resident's request to ban parking along the Memorial Day Parade route after determining it was not a big enough problem to grapple with.

"For the number of vehicles that would have to be moved, it's minimal," Councilman J.W. Eichelberger said.

Signs in alleys won't warn of children


SHARPSBURG - Motorists soon will have to stop while driving along Sharpsburg's alleys, but they won't be alerted by signs to the presence of children.

Sharpsburg officials have ordered and received several signs to be placed along its alleys to prevent cut-through traffic, with locations to include one between Md. 65 and Mechanic Street, but the town is not permitted to put up the Watch Children signs it wanted to along other alleys to likewise slow speeders.

"That's not a state-approved sign. They don't have them," Sharpsburg Mayor Hal Spielman said, seeking alternative suggestions.

In fact, Spielman said when asked, the state does not have any signs alerting motorists to children.

"Do they have anything close?" Vice Mayor Ralph Hammond asked.

"No, they don't have anything about children," Spielman said.

Instead, Spielman will look into installing 10 mph speed limit signs in an effort to curb speeders.

Fishing rodeo will have safety measures


SHARPSBURG - The line and sinker are not the problem, but anglers at Sharpsburg's annual fishing rodeo, to be held May 7 at 8 a.m., will need to watch their hooks.

"We are going to put a few safety measures in this year," said Councilman J.W. Eichelberger. "I think it was one kid who hooked another kid last year. This year, it's going to be bait fishing and no fishing within 15 feet of the bank."

Eichelberger said the child in that incident was not seriously injured. Because of that incident, though, he said those fishing this year will be prohibited from fishing if they cannot abide by the rules.

"They don't like it, they don't have to fish," he said.

- Daniel J. Sernovitz

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