You are here: NEWSLETTERS > TROT News February 2002Trail Riders Of Today
A R E M I N D E R F O R T H E
Potluck Dinner and Annual Meeting
Date: February 16, Saturday
Time: doors open 5:30 pm
Place: Howard Co. Fairgrounds 4-H Building
Directions: Rt. 144, 1 mile west of Rt. 32 and I-70 exit 80.
Menu: A-E Desserts,
F-L Salads/Side Dishes
M-Z Main Dishes
Come join old friends and meet new ones! Bring your friends! Bring a new member! Meet your county's representatives and fellow riders, share ideas, make plans to ride new trails and revisit old ones. And come with an appetite!! We'll see you there!
The Agenda of the TROT Annual Meeting was detailed in the last newsletter...here are just a few highlights and the announcement of our speaker.
The agenda is informal with several things scheduled to be accomplished, besides eating!
After filling your plate, President Gale Monahan will address any special concerns or news that pertain to all present. The Treasurer and perhaps Membership will give brief reports. The SAR Team will say a few words as to their activities, and we may hear from the Mapping/GPS folks on their plans.
A nomination and election of new TROT Board Members will be held. The final item of the Annual Meeting (well, yes, along with dessert) is a guest speaker. Our guest speaker will be Henry Heymerin, C.J.R., R.M.F. The topic of interest will be "Hoof Health." Mr. Heymerin has 28 years of horse shoeing experience and is President of the Guild of Professional Farriers. He has been inducted into the International Horse Shoeing Hall of Fame! Also an author, you may check out his book Hoof Care for Horses, published by Storey Country Wisdom which sells for about $4.00. He has also written many articles for popular horse magazines.
As a matter of fact...TROT needs MANY MORE VOLUNTEERS! Please give of your time. The rewards will be astonishing...you'll meet new friends to ride with and become more knowledgeable about the entire horse industry in our area...from riding to trails to horse health. Get involved today! You'll be glad you did! Contact Gale Monahan, President 301/854-3852.
The following excerpted information was supplied by the American Horse Council:
The American Horse Council has submitted comments opposing regulations governing the provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).
As the AHC reads this Act, it was intended to prohibit employers, unions and health insurers from denying health insurance coverage based on a worker's pre-existing medical condition or participation in various recreational activities. The legislative history of the Act states that the law "is intended to ensure, among other things, that individuals are not excluded from health-care coverage due to their participation in activities such as motorcycling, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicle riding, HORSEBACK RIDING [emphasis added], skiing and other similar activities."
It is important that the riding public understand the effect of these proposed regulations. They do not permit an insurer to peremptorily deny claims for riding injuries under existing plans. The new regulations will apply to group health plan years beginning in the future, not existing group health plans. If benefits for riding injuries are covered now, riders should expect that they will remain covered through the life of the particular group plan. Nor is this a federal regulation that prohibits employers or insurance companies from providing benefits coverage for riding and other recreational injuries; any such coverage could continue to be a part of the negotiations between employers and health insurers when plans are designed in the future.
The ramifications of these proposed rules are important. They are a statement by the federal agencies charged with enforcing HIPAA that it is a violation of the Act if an employer, union or health insurer denies participation in a group plan to riders and other enjoying recreation, but it is not a violation of HIPAA if a group health plan includes a provision limiting or denying benefits coverage for injuries suffered in connection with riding and other recreational activities.
The AHC is working with other recreation groups to explore the possibility of seeking Congressional changes to these regulations. The AHC would appreciate hearing from anyone in the industry if their new health insurance policies do not provide benefits coverage for riding injuries because of the new HIPAA rules.
Your comments may be forwarded to Jay Hickey, President of the AHC, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In any event, it may be worthwhile for you to check your current health insurance coverage!
AFTER A WINTER TRAIL RIDE
When your horse works up a sweat in cold, snowy weather, he's at risk for a chill when he stops exercising. Keep him warm and healthy with these post-ride tips from competitive trail riding veteran Judy Wise-Mason.
The above tips were reprinted with permission from
By Celeste McGee
Here is something that my barn did to help the victims of the Pentagon that I thought might be of interest. I know we all want to help...
After the September 11 tragedy and the ensuing anthrax attacks, I feel so fortunate to be healthy, alive and riding. As a local Washingtonian and a rider/instructor at Camp Olympia, in Rockville, MD, I wanted to be able to give something back to those who lost so much. So I organized a Ride-A-Thon among my students and boarders. I recruited about 40 riders to participate over the course of three cross country trail rides: October 5, 13 and 14. We had gorgeous weather and lots of enthusiasm!
We are pleased to announce that we raised over $4,200 for the "Survivor's Fund" of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. It is a fund to support the long term educational, health and rehabilitation, grief counseling and general support needs of the individuals and families in the metropolitan Washington region. It is based on a similar fund created after the Oklahoma City bombing.
Camp Olympia and all of our riders and parents are very excited and proud about our contribution! If anyone else out there would like to do something similar, please feel free to give me a call [(703) 734-5092] and I will be happy to share with you my research and experience.
TRAIL NEWS FROM MONTGOMERY COUNTY
by Naomi Manders
My apologies for such a long absence from the TROT newsletter. You can be assured that trail construction is proceeding more rapidly than I can keep up with. Without the help of many wonderful volunteers, it would be impossible. Now is the time for you equestrians to become involved; we have plenty of hikers and bikers.
Following is a list of County Park trails projects. Most trails formally exclude mountain bikers but it is hard to hold the line when so many bikers are lobbying and volunteering. From a maintenance viewpoint, horses cause as much damage to the trail as bikes (it's just a different kind of wear and tear). It also matters how many horses or bikes use a trail. Whatever, it costs more to build a trail environmentally correctly for horses.
Seneca Creek Greenway Trail (SCGT)
Approximately 17 miles of trail is in place from the Potomac River to Route 355 built by a coalition of hiking groups for hikers. The "horse trails" from the Potomac up to Black Rock Road were just ignored. TROT (via Tim McGrath) is now trying to formalize some of these paths. This is a STATE PARK so contact Tim (email@example.com) to volunteer. Currently no biking allowed on SCGT.
Trail from Route 355 parking lot to Watkins Mill Road (3 miles) is County owned, open to horses and hiking and very beautiful. Please go slow as there are some narrow forested areas. Do not tread on boardwalk or small bridges - both stream crossings can be forded carefully on the west side of the hiking crossings. TRAIL MAPS AVAILABLE FROM www mc-mncppc.org (Go to "What's new", look under Biking/Hiking Trails to download maps.)
To volunteer for continued construction and maintenance: www Senecatrail.org.
Seneca Trail Hawkins Creamery Road area
New subdivisions, new Park acquisition, new trail. If you ride this area, please get in touch with John Wood (301/428-1138), who is helping with planning and maintenance. We need to get this section under control while the builders and new homeowners are out there. The last piece of acquisition to complete the big SCGT trail up to Route 108 lies due south of Hawkins Creamery.
Rachel Carson Conservation Park / Hawlings River
Several years have passed since the Master Plan some of you worked on was approved. It was recommended in the Master Plan to establish a volunteer monitor and maintenance group and by the time you read this, we will have had our first workday, on Saturday, January 19. Quite a few TROT members have already volunteered and we hope to get the group organized into a formal program to assist Park Staff in maintaining the Park. Only equestrian/hiking use is permitted.
TRAIL NEWS cont'd
We would like to see this "conservation" park look a lot healthier in the future. Several eroded trails have been closed and brushed over; new alignments take you to the same destinations. The new trails need to be stailized but we must wait for dry ground so please do your best to stay off them when wet. The "exercise loop" is completed in the field at the north side of the woods east of Zion Road. You may trot and canter but stay away from the tenant house. I hope to get signs up soon. A trailhead and major bridge are also coming. An access road to the pond will be built this spring and then we must wait for more funds.
Would you like to join "Friends of Rachel Carson Conservation Park"? Call or email me (www Naomi.firstname.lastname@example.org) with your address, phone, email, etc.
Fairland Regional Park
A short piece of trail was built by volunteers from MORE (mountain bike organization) to connect from the parking area/playground off Greencastle Road down to the ridge across Little Paint Branch. Horses are permitted, signs will go up soon. This trail avoids the bike path and is part of a much larger vision for natural surface trail in this Park. If you have interest, call Mary Angevine, your PG Coordinator (301/937-0014), who is doing a fabulous job of protecting your trail interests.
Muddy Branch and Blockhouse Point Potomac Area
The Master Plan for Muddy Branch contains both hard surface and natural surface trail proposals; the plan is on hold while the County faces opposition to the hard surface. Six field walks open to the public for input are scheduled for February, March and May. If you have concerns about these trails, please call me. MORE has been very actively lobbying for access and the environmentalists argue why bikers should be banned when horses are allowed. Callithea Farms will participate in a volunteer monitor/maintenance program. Park Police Mounted Volunteers: Please put us on your schedule; I'm willing to guide anyone through the park.
Woodstock Equestrian Park
This is a 700 acre tract bisected by Route 28 between Beallsville and Dickerson. It is to be an eventing center, open to the public and hosting all kinds of equestrian activities. The trail system will be well worth visiting and opening it up now rests upon decisions of State Highway about the entrances on Route 28. Again, volunteers including TROT, Potomac Hunt and Potomac Polo, have testified to the Planning Board that they will maintain the trails. What we need first, is a safe entrance, trailhead parking and permission to ride existing trails. Bikes will not be allowed in this park.
Connections to Woodstock from Seneca State Park, Sugarloaf, C&O Canal, etc. are being explored. If you have knowledge which could be helpful with these connections, please call BUCKLODGE FOREST (Tim McGrath 301/428-1050). Connection to BLACK HILL REGIONAL PARK (to be accomplished by easement over new subdivision).
Agricultural History Farm Park, Pope Farm, Derwood Area, Upper Rock Creek Corridor, in the Masterplan of Trails '98
Plans for the northward extension of the Percheron Trail are in progress. You should shortly be able to cross the back of the Hoover Property (new subdivision) and be in sight of Route 108. Ultimately you will cross 108 at the light at entrance to the landfill. If you want to see the model for equestrian underpasses in the future, contact Sally Bradbury (301/570-5752) or John Fredlund (301/938-3007) for a guided tour. Although there is no formal trailer parking lot, parking can be arranged by calling the manager, Doug Ludwig at 301/948-5053.
Best wishes for you and your mounts' enjoyment of new trails. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible through the volunteer program!
PLEASE REPORT TRAIL PROBLEMS PROMPTLY TO PARK POLICY...PARKWATCH, call 1/800-825-PARK; Park Police Special Operations 301/929-3010
And I Quote:
"Horses stay the same from the day they are born until the day they die - they are only changed by the way people treat them."
TOM SMITH (1939), trainer of the legendary racehorse, Seabiscuit
"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears."
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways."
Feb 16 Sat TROT Annual PotLuck Dinner and Meeting, Howard Co. Fairgrounds, Rt. 144 1 mile west of Rt. 32, off I-70 at exit 80. Doors open 5:30 pm
Feb 20 Wed TROT Board and Members Meeting, 7:30 pm, all TROT members are always welcome. Call Gale for place and directions (usually her house on Mink Hollow Road in Howard Co.) This will be the election of officers from the current and newly elected Board Members. 301-854-3852.
Mar 17 Sun Paint Branch Ride, Mont. Co. These trails were the beginning inspiration for TROT. Come ride the Paint Branch, the Gum Spring, and the Good Hope tributaries. If time allows, we can also ride the connecting trail to the Rocky Gorge Watershed. Time about 2 to 3 hours, moderate pace (walk, trot, possibility some cantering depending on the group). These are stream valley trails with river crossings and the possibility of mud this time of year. A snack or lunch for after the ride would be a good idea, especially if we go over to Rocky Gorge. Contact Mary Prowell at 301/607-8061 or Boprow@aol.com.
Mar 23 Sat Morgan Run Park, Carroll Co. Ride through woods into open fields in this Carroll County park. Call Doris Kulp for the particulars, at 301/271-0226. Rain date Sunday, March 24.
Apr 6 Sat Patuxant River State Park, How. Co. These trails are some of the most extensive areas of trails you can ride. They hook up to the lower Patuxant trails and may eventually have a safe access all the way to the Tridelphia and Rocky Gorge Reservoir trails. These are also the home trails of the hunt clubs. The pace will be mostly walk/trot and ride time will be up to 3 hours. These are stream valley trails with river crossings. Contact Sue Carbonneau at CharbonneauS@NCIFCRF.gov or 301/865-3399 for maps and info. Rain date April 7, Sunday.
Apr 13 Sat Little Bennett Regional Park, Mont. Co. This interesting park has woods, fields, a Boy Scout Campground, and a one room school house with a swinging bridge. This park is a very popular riding destination. Call Mimi Ernst for more information at 301/416-2388. Rain date, April 14, Sunday.
Apr 21 Sun Union Mills, Carroll Co. This lovely park has many varied trails - woods, streams, some hills, and expansive views north to Pennsylvania farmland. Ride for 2 to 3 hours at a walk/trot pace. If people want to ride a bit faster will possibly have a group for that too. May have one road crossing. Contact Cathy McElroy at 410/857-3540.
Apr 27 Sat Rocky Gorge Reservoir, P.G. Co. Come ride these gorgeous trails! The views are spectacular as each bend and turn yields a new vista of the river stretching away in the distance. These trails will really make you feel you are far from the maddening crowd, with the possibility of seeing deer, fox, beavers, Osprey and even Bald Eagles. There will be a walking group and another faster group when the terrain allows. Contact Terry Ledley at 301/776-2661 for more information. Rain date April 28, Sunday.
May 4 Sat Potomac Riverside Farm to the C&O Canal, Mont. Co. This ride leaves Anna's historic working farm and travels over the fields, past the Polo field, through the woods, and down to the C&O canal towpath, and the Potomac river. There are usually three groups - walk, trot, and canter - with a possible snack break at the White's Ferry Store. Anna treats everyone to a cookout at her farm after the ride. Call Anna Slayman at 301/972-8187.
May 11 Sat Sugar Loaf Mountain, Fred. Co. These trails should be quite pretty at this time of year with wild flowers in bloom and very nice views. Most of the trails are fine but there may be some rocky places going from one set to the next so recommend front shoes or easy boots. There can be some climbs up the mountain as well. There is the possibility of different groups at different paces, but otherwise expect slow to moderate. Ride time will be 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Contact Monica Breland at 301/972-7454.
Hello fellow trail riders... From Mary Prowell
Participation in the TROT Trail Ride program has been declining for the past two years. Some rides are being well attended and others being basically ignored. So, we'd like to get some input from our membership! Do you have any input on why this is occurring? Is the pace of some rides a problem? Are the trail locations undesirable? Is the time of year bad for you? Or is it just time and weather related? Tell me what you want.
Kudos to the TROT trail ride leaders, who are really great to volunteer. They spend a considerable amount of time ensuring the trails are in, at least, moderately good shape. And their commitment to provide information to the riders, select the location and lead the ride is awesome and greatly appreciated. From the leader's point of view, last minute interest is frustrating. Advance notice would make them feel needed and inspired! Rides frequently depend on weather or work schedules, but without interest from the TROT membership, the leaders may cancel and do something else themselves! And, people who don't arrive on time are equally as frustrating...for the leaders and everyone else waiting. Allow extra time if you're not sure how long it's going to take for you to drive to the trail head. Groom your horse before you leave. If you make it just in the nick of time, saddle up quickly and everyone will appreciate it. If you arrive early, you can be sure the lead rider will already be there!
A note about weather, too. Most of us that lead are perfectly willing to lead these rides even if we don't have perfect riding conditions. Don't think that just because it is calling for possible showers or it is a cloudy or cold day that we won't go. If you don't want to take a chance on the weather, give us a call if you aren't coming...then the ride won't be held up waiting for your arrival.
Our rides are always under control and usually at a moderate pace. This makes them a good place to introduce a green horse or rider to trails and group rides. That does not, however, mean that horses and riders without basic skills are going to fit in. Perhaps a discussion with the ride leader about your, and your horse's, skills would be prudent...especially if any trotting, cantering, mud or water crossing will be an issue for you. While most of us are eager to help with a balky horse at a water crossing, this isn't an appropriate time for a training session over water. Most training of this nature is better accomplished with a trainer and perhaps one other rider.
I hope you will forward me your comments on how we may increase participation in our rides. Please feel free to include your suggestions on improvements. Most importantly, please volunteer to contribute your time to help these improvements get in place!
We are very lucky to have lot of lovely and varied trails in the suburban Maryland area. TROT members should take advantage and ride as many as possible. If you've seen one, you haven't seen them all! The terrain, views, flora and fauna vary from place to place. And, you can meet really nice people that can show you other areas to ride in.
TROT needs more trails and ride leaders. If you ride in a specific park that you think would make a good 2 to 3 hour ride, and we aren't leading a ride there, let me know. Better yet, volunteer to lead it! Or find someone who will.
Lastly, I am planning on retiring from the Trail Ride Coordinator position soon. I'd love to see the job go to an active trail rider. This is the perfect opportunity to get involved with TROT in a way that will be beneficial and fun. It does involve phone calls and some scheduling, but nothing too difficult. Hope you are interested...or know someone who is!
Send your comments to me! Boprow@aol.com. Happy Trails.
HORSE LOVER'S DREAM--2 bdrm, full bsmnt, 1-1/3 acres, separate garage apt. to generate income, 2 car garage, fully fenced, 3 horse barn, lush pasture, miles of trails out your back door. Bowie (301) 262-2666.
SERVICES--Lime & fertilizer spreading, Land clearing and Tree & stump removal, Trucking, hay & straw, firewood, sawdust, Pasture renovation. Call 301-423-5806, lv message. And wanted: cars, trucks, equipment for parts or rebuilding.
FOR SALE--Arab bay gelding, age 13, 15.2 h. ECTRA bronze metal. Looking for a good home. $3500 OBO. Phone 301/432-6853.
FOR SALE--16 h. Dark Bay Thoroughbred/Appaloosa Gelding. Very athletic. Good on trails. Knows dressage. $2500. Call 301/681-6184 day/evening.
KIWANIS HORSE TRAILER RAFFLE
TO HELP CHILDREN
The Woodbridge Kiwanis Foundation, Inc. [501(c)(3)] is holding a raffle of a 2-horse trailer to raise funds that will go toward the purchase of a Mobile Dialysis Unit for Potomac Hospital. The unit will travel throughout Prince William County helping children and adults who cannot reach in-house dialysis facilities.
100 raffle tickets will be given out for a donation of $50 per ticket. The trailer is a 1998, Adam, 2-horse Thoroughbred trailer. The interior height is 7', there is a full escape door in the front, and the center partition on the step up can be removed to accommodate hay or a mare and foal. The trailer has a current Virginia inspection sticket, mats, and comes with a custom waterproof cover.
Please send a check made out to the WKF, Inc., and a SASE to: Trailer Raffle, c/o 1543 Colonial Drive T3, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192-2443. The drawing will take place not later than May 1, 2002, or as soon as all tickets are distributed. (The Foundation reserves the right to cancel the raffle and return donations if all 100 tickets are not claimed.) For additional information, call 703/490-6344 or email email@example.com.
SUNDAY HUNTING IS B A C K
Sunday hunting legislation is back in the Maryland legislature. At press time, January 25, this was the status.
House Bill 9 had been introduced. Among other provisions, it states "The deer firearms season shall be at least 21 days, including three Sundays." The bill excludes certain populous counties from Sunday hunting.
Needless to say, we are opposed to any Sundays anywhere - if they get three this year, you can bet they'll be back for more next year and even more the year after, etc. The same goes for the counties. There is no doubt that the ultimate goal is for hunting on all Sundays during hunting season throughout Maryland. And, we are certainly concerned about "at least" 21 days of deer firearms season. "At least" could be used to establish firearms for the entire four-and-a-half-month deer hunting season!
On January 18, we learned that the House Environmental Matters Committee would be hearing testimony on the bill on January 23. I testified on behalf of the TROT Board of Directors in opposition to the bill. The Maryland Horse Council also testified, asking that "at least" be changed to "a maximum of" and that all references to Sunday hunting be deleted. We do not know what the final wording of the bill might be or when it will be voted upon. When you receive this newsletter, there may still be time for you to contact Committee members to voice your concerns.
But, in any case, you can certainly contact your own delegate.
There will be a Senate bill, but it had not yet been introduced at press time. You should definitely contact members of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, who will be studying it on the Senate side - as well as your own Senator - and let them know your views. It is extremely important you contact members of the Senate Committee because their vote will be a crucial one.
Attached to this newsletter you will find a copy of our "Sunday Hunting Alert." The reverse side contains information on how to look up bills in the House and Senate and how to contact legislators. Keep your letters, faxes or e-mails short, direct and factual, and speak from the heart about your concerns. The same with phone calls.
Do come to the Annual Meeting on February 16 to hear the latest. If you need information in the meantime, give me a call.
Anne Bennof 301/829-0949
SUNDAY HUNTING ALERT!
House Bill 9, which will repeal the current prohibition on Sunday hunting, has been introduced in the Maryland Legislature. A similar Senate bill will no doubt be introduced soon. There are many reasons why you should oppose these measures, regardless of whether your county is directly affected. You ride all over, right?
Many who enjoy the outdoors do not feel safe doing so in the presence of hunters armed with lethal weapons. As one horseback rider put it: "How safe would you feel riding through the woods on a brown animal?" But, it is not only horseback riders who are endangered. Bird watchers, hikers, bikers, joggers, Scout groups, canoers/kayakers, families, orienteerers, dog walkers, landowners - all have expressed the need for at least one day a week when they can safely enjoy the outdoors during hunting season.
Claims that hunting does not endanger non-hunters are unsubstantiated and skewed. No reporting is required. Many people who would otherwise be in the woods, stay away.
Non-hunters deserve at least one weekend day to enjoy outdoors during hunting season. For most working people, weekends are time for leisure activities. Presently, hunters get to enjoy Saturday; everybody else gets Sunday. Organized events & activities - trail rides, hikes, birding walks, bike rides, picnics, orienteering tests, canoe/kayak trips, etc. - are currently scheduled on Sundays to avoid hunters.
The shared weekend system that currently exists seems the best compromise. Non-hunters should be able to at least continue to enjoy the status quo - one day, Sunday.
The statewide deer hunting season lasts from mid-September through January (hunting for other species goes beyond). During hunting seasons - some of the most beautiful times of the year - hunters are out six days a week.
It has been estimated that knowledgeable deer hunters can take nearly 30 deer each if they hunt throughout the state using various weapons - bow, firearms, muzzleloader - and avail themselves of special hunts, crop damage permits, etc. Therefore, there are ample hunting opportunities without Sunday hunting. The Sunday hunting bill has nothing to do with herd management. It is entirely a matter of allowing hunters another day to enjoy their sport.
Don't let them take away your Sunday!
Contact committee members and your legislator (especially if a sponsor)
See the reverse side of this sheet.
HOW TO CONTACT THE MARYLAND LEGISLATURE
If you have a computer, log on: http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us
HOW TO FIND AND CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR
Click on: General Assembly
Click on: "Find" in "Contact or Find a legislator"
Click on: Look up form (which will allow you to list your address)
Click on: Name of your Senator and your Delegate in the MD General Assembly. You will get a full page of information on each and how to contact them. You'll get address, phone, fax, e-mail - use what is most comfortable for you. Just remember, personal contact means the most.
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HOW TO CONTACT MEMBERS OF
THE HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS COMMITTEE
THE SENATE EDUCATION, HEALTH & ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Click on General Assembly
In paragraph beginning: "The Maryland General Assembly meets in Annapolis each year for 90 days..."
Click on Maryland General Assembly
Click on Committees
Click on House Standing Committees
Click on Environmental Matters Committee
Click on Senate Standing Committees
Click on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
Click on each name for information about that committee member
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HOW TO READ AND FOLLOW PROGRESS OF BILL
Click on General Assembly
Insert HG9 and Click on Submit (Watch for Senate bill in Subject listing)
Note bill sponsors. Your legislator? Make extra effort to contact, as well as committee. If full text of bill does not appear, try clicking on "First Reading" near bottom
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If you don't have a computer, visit your local library. Library staff will help you look up the information. Or phone the Department of Legislative Services at 410/946-5400.
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