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Wednesday, November 7, 2018 9:57 AM

A THANK YOU FROM KAREN

A well earned thank you party by Karen and her supporters. We loved working for you.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018 9:56 AM

A MESSAGE FROM KAREN

Well, it's over. For those of you who haven't seen the preliminary numbers, we pulled in 35.30% of the vote to my opponent’s 64.56%. Simply put, Harford County has spoken. For now.

For me the loss at the polls was offset by all that I gained through the experience of running. All of you who supported me and will now remain my friends. All of you from TWW, who stood as the dawn of a new day for Harford County Democrats, many of whom had simply given up all hope of even putting a campaign together. We now know that we can pull campaigns together by moving forward together and with a record number of women entering the Congress, we will.

This isn't the end, it's a new beginning. Hey! We recaptured the House, and there is still much work to be done promoting a progressive rather than a regressive agenda! The one Democrat who did succeed in getting on the county council, Andre Johnson, will need all the support we can continue to muster. He's going to have a tough job, being the lone Dem on the Council.

None of what I was able to do would have happened without you. Some of you made cash donations. Others offered your homes for events. And still others were generous with their emotional support.

A very special thank you to my campaign manager, George Harrison and my treasurer, Rita Scharmann. Thanks to Gary and Larry for running around putting up signs. Thank you JoAnna and Bonnie, for the use of your homes, and last but not least, thank you for all the canvassing you did. We certainly met a lot of wonderful people.

The future beckons, DJT is still in the White House and 2020 is just around the corner. There is work to be done and winners never quit! The face of the nation and of Harford County will continue to change. Let's do all we can together, to make that change one of hope, prosperity and courage.

My very best to you all,
Karen


Sunday, November 4, 2018 12:55 PM

CELEBRATING A HARFORD COUNTY HERO

 

I attended the 3rd Annual Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton Memorial Luncheon at the Ames United Methodist Church.

Sgt. Hilton is the ONLY Harford County recipient of the Medal of Honor.
E. Debra Levy (L) and Constance Rosser (R) were part of the Women’s Auxiliary, Post 55, American Legion, hosting the luncheon.


Saturday, November 3, 2018 10:10 AM

SELFLESS & INVALUABLE

 

That’s what the men and women are who serve with the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Assn.

At a candidate’s forum I learned from Tony Cilia, Board Director (L), and Bill Dousa, VP of the association (R), that the citizens of Harford County are reaping major substantial benefits from its all-volunteer fire, rescue and EMS system.

To provide the same level of service with full-time paid personnel in the fire, rescue and EMS stations would require at least $61 million each fiscal year for personnel wages. Thank you for your service!


Sunday, October 21, 2018 2:25 PM

WHAT’S IN HARFORD COUNTY’S FUTURE?

1,000s of More Houses and Numerous Commercial Units!

 

 

 

In it’s final session, the Harford Council voted to pave the way for ramped up development, which includes 3,249 homes, 64 commercial units and 481 industrial acres!       ( clickhere)

I love the scenic beauty of Harford County and how it adds to our quality of life. However, if the continuation of --- negligent, reckless, irresponsible --- decisions by Harford County’s elected officials is not stopped, our community will become another overly built, traffic-congested nightmare.

More development costs taxpayers more money because of the infrastructure needed to support it. Think tax increases.

I don't want that to happen and that's why I'm running for County Council, District C.

We need to stop rubber stamping deals for large donors and special interests and put the community first. It’s time to get rid of the entrenched “Good Ole Boy’s Club.”

Vote Nov. 6th and help me save our quality of life. Early voting starts Oct 25th.


Thursday, October 11, 2018 7:51 AM

COMING SOON TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD: MEGA PROJECTS, TRAFFIC CONGESTION & INCREASED CRIME

I attended the community meeting where the proposed project plans for the former Auto Auction site on Baltimore Pike was presented.

Over a hundred citizens crowded into the room at the Abingdon Library to hear a Washington, D.C. developer’s plan for a 45 acre project that would include 131 villas, 100 apartments, a convenience store with gas pumps and two commercial buildings, one 21,000-sq-feet and the other 12,000-sq-feet.

Residents brought up the fact that traffic on Baltimore Pike is already on over load. They referred to the stretch of Bel Air Road from the Auto Auction site down to Winters Run as “suicide hill” because of how dangerous it is, especially in the winter with snow and ice.

“There are five gas stations already in the area,” another woman pointed out. “Why do we need another?”

While the two lane highway is already congested, residents from Ponderosa Estates, which is on the back end of the site, fear that the egress and ingress on Baltimore Pike will become so untenable that the neighborhood will be forced to open a dead end street for access, destroying the quiet enclave and increasing the potential for more crime.

“ I never thought this could happen to my neighborhood,” one resident said. A sentiment repeatedly being echoed throughout the county.

I love the scenic beauty of Harford County and how it adds to our quality of life. However, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic and seeing the growth of haphazard development made me realize that if the continuation of --- negligent, reckless and irresponsible --- decisions by Harford County’s elected officials is not stopped, our community will become another overly-built, traffic-congested nightmare.
I don't want that to happen and that's why I'm running for County Council, District C.

For almost 20 years, an entrenched administration has kept citizens in the dark, while perpetuating favoritism to special interests and large donors. The County Council has fully supported this travesty.
Our citizens need an advocate on the Council who will insist upon transparency and putting the needs of the community first. An elected official, who will question how proposals will impact our quality of life and strive to make the right decisions to prevent costly fixes by taxpayers in the future.

I am the person who can do this. With my extensive experience and track record I will introduce innovative ideas and dynamic leadership to save our quickly fading quality of life.

I have 30-plus years in business, government relations and non-profits. I have worked with national, multi-million dollar corporations, served as vice president for a 5,000 member employer organization, whose members employed over 2 million workers and oversaw a legal committee that participated in cases from state level up to the U.S. Supreme Court. I am also an environmentalist, who worked on developing a cutting edge green economy, which resulted in the creation of half-million new jobs.

Vote for Karen Kukurin on November 6th.


Saturday, October 6, 2018 8:15 AM

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT KAREN KUKURIN....

 

AEGIS LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...

Kukurin For County Council District C

Editor:

In April, before the primary election, I emailed Karen Kukurin to congratulate her for being the only candidate running for Harford County Council District C to respond to the Friends of Harford (Citizens Voice for Responsible Land Use) candidate questionnaire. At that time, I also questioned the other candidates (Patti Parker, Susan Burdette, Tony “G” Giangiordano) publicly asking why they didn't respond… not a single Republican candidate answered my inquiry, only Karen Kukurin.

By simply viewing local neighborhood listservs and comments on social media, you can glean the sense of apprehension about current and future county expansion projects. Traffic and overdevelopment need to be addressed aggressively. As such, the concerned citizens of Harford County Council District C won’t settle for anything less than bold leadership from our next elected public servant.

If any candidate running thinks that they can just slide into this elected office without answering to their potential constituents, they are sadly mistaken. That is why I am supporting Karen Kukurin for Council District C.

Sera Matteo-Boring
Bel Air

To read Karen’s responses to the questionnaire sent by Friends of Harford County go to:

Karen Kukurin,
Harford County CouncilDistrict C

1.What improvements are needed for your district?

A focus on the zoning of the area previously slated for the Walmart project. It's still zoned for commercial use and any major, high-traffic producing project would devastate the area. It would have a huge impact on traffic coming from 924 and 24. Traffic: The morning and evening rush hour traffic is already at a crawl. The bumper-to-bumper traffic throughout Harford County on two-lane highways is a daily reminder of years of poor planning by Harford County and insufficient coordination with the State Highway Administration. Congestion not only impacts the environment, but also our quality of life. Time is a valuable commodity for residents and they should not have to waste it, sitting in their cars. Neither Citizens nor the environment have an advocate on the County Council to respect the environment and the needs of all citizens.

2. What legislation do you plan to introduce for your district?

First, I'd like to introduce legislation that would benefit the entire County by extending the time a bill is introduced and voted on to 60 days, so residents have more time to study proposed bills and determine if they support or oppose them. Also, adding new amendments, as the bill is being voted on, is unacceptable. Citizens need an opportunity to review them. In addition, developers are continuously “pushing” the Development Envelope trying to go outside of it.
The Development Envelope was established to create boundaries for the area which is intended to absorb most new development and the infrastructure to accommodate it. The Master Plan, which is the long range strategy forthe County's future growth, development and preservation, is very general. It doesn't dictate what could happen on any specific property and while a property's zoning does, it is constrained by the Master Plan. Residents need more protection and the Master Plan needs to be enforced either by the Council or new legislation.

3. How would you include or engage more people to provide more input into the county councils decisions.

Part of my background is in public relations/public affairs and I have developed outreach programs for multi-million dollar corporations and various community groups. When I'm seated, I will develop a plan of action to engage more people, which I think is crucial. I’m already involved in the community and concerned about preserving our environment and our quality of life in Harford County. Currently, I'm a member of Friends of Harford, Citizens Voice for Responsible Land Use, Harford County Land Trust, Ma & Pa Heritage Trail, and a supporter of the Susquehannock Wildlife Society. I'm on the Advisory Board of Together We Will (TWW), an 800-person organization that is community oriented and is developing outreach through education and public forums on a variety of issues. They have shown an interest in participating in county councilmeetings. I also participated in the Harford County Green Infrastructure Plan (GIP).

4. Would you be willing to explain your voting decisions on the dais for each bill you voted upon?

Yes, it's important for citizens to know what is behind a council person's decision.For example:Is the decision putting people above politics? Often decisions are based on big donors and not the best interest of the community.

5. Would you support better ways to provide the public with user-friendly notification of decisions by DAC and the Zoning Board of Appeals? If so, how?

DAC and Zoning Board appeals are significant and citizens should know in a timely manner when the meetings are being held and what the decisions are. First, the signs posted at the site should bemore substantial, they barely can be seen. I would also recommend a citizen advisory committee to be formed to flesh out shortcomings and suggest ways to better inform residents. A communications tree could be developed with various organizations that have a vested interest.

6. Would you vote in favor of term limits for County Council members?

Yes.

7. How do you propose to solve the County's traffic problems in your district?

Unfortunately, because of poor planning and lack of oversight, there are at least 10 roadways that fail to achieve an acceptable level of service. Numerous studies have been done on the congestion in some of these areas, but remedies, such as with Maryland 22 and Thomas Run Road, would be exorbitant, requiring land be taken to expand. As our land use continues to change from rural to semi-urban and new development stretches further into once remote areas, we must plan ahead, learn from mistakes, and change traffic assessment. Lastly, any further development in these congested areas should be looked at with extreme care.

8.What parts of the zoning code do you feel need to be changed?

I suggest the council considering requiring periodic review of the zoning code to revise certain ambiguities and to make any changes that could mitigate issues unforeseen when the codes were last reviewed and approved. An example would be the issue with the former Bel Air Walmart site. If a special exception had been required for a project of that size a lot of time and effort could have been avoided.

9.Do you feel it's time for noise and lighting legislation in Harford County?

Yes. Light pollution is real and is a growing problem throughout Harford County, adversely affecting residents, farmers and small business. The current zoning code has a subjective, unenforceable “not too bright” requirement that is based on a subjective opinion, not on objective, measurable numbers. An outdoor ordinance should be developed to include measurable results. I think there's a balance between having a property owner beable to develop their property for their purposes but also negating the environmental damages that their development does.

10.Do you approve of General Industrial (GI) zoning adjacent to residential communities or within a Village District? If your answer is No, how do you reconcile your disapproval with HarfordNEXT and recent Comprehensive Review decisions?

District C has few open places to be zoned GI. If it is being considered for other areas, there should be careful consideration of its impact including traffic, noise and light pollution. There is an erroneous belief that more development always generates new money to fix existing infrastructure and service shortfalls. Many times development costs taxpayers money and a reduction of quality of life. There should not be a bias of individual rights over the community rights.

11.Do you agree with the reduction in the number of County inspections on construction sites when only 34% of contractors are in compliance with the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance?

No. This is a perfect example of trying to save money only to have the taxpayer and community pay for it down the road. Ordinances are in place for a reason and they should be enforced.

https://friendsofharford.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Candidate-Questions-Kurkurin-County-Council-District-C.pdf

Election Day is Nov 6th.
Early voting begins October 25th.


Thursday, September 27, 2018 5:10 PM

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE !

With two mass shootings in the past 12 months in Harford County, I recently participated in a special Civilian Active Shooter Training session sponsored by the Sheriff's Office.

Taught by Deputy Tom Wehrle, a SWAT/Sniper Team Coordinator, the session was part of an update for alums of the Harford County Citizens' Police Academy. As a resident of Harford County and a candidate for County Council District C, I attended the Citizens' Police Academy because I feel it's important to know the workings of a community, especially departments that take up a large part of the budget and offer vital services.

I was eager to engage in the update training. As the advice was presented, it struck me as being similar in ways to the advice offered by many famous people on how to be successful in life.

The overall message in the course was to be pro-active. Start by checking out your environment before an incident occurs. At work, where are the exits, how do the windows work, where are the light switches, are there fire extinguishers ( they make good weapons), can doors be locked? How do they open? Barricading the door doesn't work if it opens towards the shooter. These things should be considered in other places where applicable, such as a hotel, school, theater, restaurant, etc.

Hiding is not the first option. Most of the time, you're setting yourself up to be a fish in a barrel. You need to take action.

The number one thing to do is RUN. You are eight to nine times more likely to survive by running than if you stay put, according to Deputy Wehrle.

The four-hour session was packed with valuable information and at times, it was unsettling because of the difficult choices you may have to make. How true of life.
The good news is that this training is now available to the public. For more information on the Shooter Training or the Police Citizens' Academy, call Special Operations at 443-409-3262.

I hope I never have to use this information, but in the meantime I am practicing at least one of the major tenets, by not hiding, but RUNNING for office as a candidate for Harford County Council, District C.

Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C


Sunday, September 16, 2018 5:13 PM

SNOWBALLS ARE FLEETING, BUT VOTING IS NOT

 

I headed to the Bel Air’s First Friday
festivities to meet up with friends, do some shopping, enjoy the music of live bands and have dinner.

With the searing heat and humidity that has been plaguing us lately, the thought of a snowball was most appealing. The long list of choices was daunting, not to mention I could get it in a cup that changed colors while I consumed it.

Wearing my campaign tee shirt prompted a conversation that led to the discovery that the young person staffing the concession truck didn’t get involved in politics. 

“Not really interested,” he said. But as an afterthought he added, “ I do care about affordable health care.”
Just like the long list of flavored snowballs, there are a lot of choices in life, and one of them should be voting.

With a government elected by its citizens, voting affects every aspect of our lives from building development to schools to homeland security.

Your choice of a snowball is fleeting, but who gets into office is not. Take the time to learn who is going to be representing our district and acting as a steward to guide our community into the future.

I’m running for County Council District C because I want to preserve our quality of life and prevent Harford County from becoming an overly built, traffic congested nightmare.

For more information go to my website at: www.Kukurin4districtC.com

The general election is November 6th. Early voting is Oct 25th through Nov 1st.

You can register to vote by going to MDV in person or on-line by going to
https://voterservices.elections.maryland


Sunday, September 16, 2018 5:11 PM

ROUTE 40 BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

 

I was invited to a forum along with other local candidates to the Water’s Edge by the Route 40 Business Association for the purpose of introducing myself to the public and telling my vision for Harford County. I’m running for County Council District C and in case you missed it, this was my presentation:

I have 30 plus years’ experience in business, government and nonprofits.

As a business executive and an environmentalist, I joined Governor Schwarzenegger's team to help create a cutting edge green economy, which resulted in the creation of a half-a-million green jobs. It was innovative, it was controversial, it was visionary and it worked.

In earlier years, I worked for several prestigious public relations/ marketing firms creating promotional campaigns for multi-million dollar corporations, such as Target, Merle Norman and my favorite the Tournament of Roses. I'd like to add Harford County to my list.

I also served as vice president for a 5,000 member employer organization, whose members employed over 2 million workers.

Lastly, I owned my own business. No business school could prepare me when the realization hit that it was up to me to meet payroll, nor that gut feeling I had as I signed away my life for loans and leasing agreements.

I want to nurture and grow small businesses in Harford County. They contribute and add to the character of the community.

Harford County is known for its scenic beauty, rural landscape and historic significance. I don’t want to see it become a haphazardly built, traffic congested nightmare like so many other places.

Saving this precious asset is a key to Harford County’s economic success that includes Route 40, which we must redevelop and revitalize, instead of creating more sprawl. We have to look at the big picture. Everything is connected. One of the reasons Clorox moved here is because the general manager liked the rural countryside.
Companies are making decisions on where to locate based, among other things, if the quality of life of a community meets future trends.

Pittsburgh, my hometown, is in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters. It was leaked that the secondary requirements they had --- undoubtedly influenced by millennials --- included a good bicycle system and hipster coffee shops.

Because of visionary elected officials, Pittsburgh over the years has developed a Heritage Bike Trail connecting the city. It may be what lands them a $5 billion project. In the meantime, it's worth noting that nationally, bicycle tourism brings in $71 billion a year and Pittsburgh is getting in on the action.

Harford County isn’t Pittsburgh, but we must be strategic on how we use one of our biggest assets, our quality of life. We must be visionary in our approach to our community's future. Over the years, I have worked with visionaries, I am a visionary and I would like to put all my experience and talent into preserving our quality of life while supporting our business community and creating jobs.

We need to ask ourselves, how do we want Harford County to look 20 years from now. That is where we begin.

Karen Kukurin
County Council District C


Friday, August 10, 2018 1:52 AM

NEW ERA IN EDUCATION

Welcoming in a new era in the education community, I attended a reception at Rockfield Manor to meet Dr. Sean Bulson, the newly appointed superintendent of Harford County public schools.

Dr Bulson told me his first steps involve addressing the immediate needs of the district and beginning a plan for the future. With students returning on September 4, he wants to ensure the district’s readiness for a safe, organized, and energized school opening.

Dr. Bulson will also begin a listening and learning tour to become acquainted with the community. He plans to complete the first phase of this process in early fall. It will produce a comprehensive summary of district strengths, opportunities, and recommendations for next steps while also establishing a foundation for ongoing productive relationships with key stakeholders.

Dr. Bulson holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University, a master’s degree in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Instruction from Marymount University, and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from George Washington University.


Monday, August 6, 2018 9:02 PM

πŒπ€πŒπŒπ€ πŒπˆπ€, πŒπ€π‘π“πˆππˆπ’ 𝐀𝐍𝐃 πŒπ€π π…π‘πŽπŒ 𝐔𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐄’𝐬

 

I decided to take a break from the campaign trail and have lunch with my gal pals followed by a matinee to see the sequel to Mamma Mia. We stumbled upon Uncle’s Hawaiian Grindz and I was pleasantly surprised to learn the restaurant is committed to serving only the highest quality ingredients from local farms. In fact, the farms are listed on the menu.I met the owner Tommie Koukoulis (he’s Greek and his wife is Hawaiian) and he went on to add his food is antibiotic and chemical free and pasture raised. He also supports sustainable agriculture and participates in several programs that saves food from landfills and mentors kids for jobs in the food industry.

It’s wonderful to live in Harford County where surrounding farms not only provide fresh food, but scenic views that contribute to our quality of life. I don’t want to lose them and that is why I’m a member of the Harford Land Trust and also a candidate for County Council District C.

You are aware of the abundance of haphazard buildings and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Negligent, reckless and irresponsible decisions made by the county council through backroom deals and putting special interests needs over the community, are turning the county into a overly built, traffic congested nightmare. I want to preserve our quality of life and with my extensive experience, shepherd it into the future. I also want to see more small businesses like Uncle’s, which supports our environment and our community, as well as provides character and diversity, unlike the average chain store establishment. We live in a beautiful place. Don’t let special interests and the continuation of an entrenched administration destroy it.

If you want to save our quality of life,
support my campaign by contributing or volunteering at: www.kukurin4DistrictC.com

In the meantime, the lunch was delicious, the movie was uplifting, especially if you like ABBA music and happy endings. And by the way, Uncle’s makes a killer martini.


Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:18 AM

DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

 

One of the highlights of my career was working as a Deputy Director for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and helping to create a robust green economy. Our work created over a half million jobs and started a trend to save the environment. As a candidate for County Council C, I want to bring forward thinking and innovative ideas to our community to save taxpayers and businesses money, while preserving our quality of life.

See video on California hitting its goal early...

https://www.facebook.com/YearsOfLiving/videos/569486800119681/


Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:51 PM

HARFORD COUNTY'S FARM FAIR A MOO-ving EXPERIENCE

The rain stopped, the clouds parted and I made a dash for Harford's County 31st Farm Fair.

I love county fairs because they highlight the proud tradition of farming and remind me of our country's heritage. While life goes speeding by, propelled by technology and daily demands, the Farm Fair provides a welcomed escape and a truly down-to-earth experience. From blue ribbon pies, to the largest watermelons, to the prettiest quilts, to the hugest cows, the Farm Fair reflects a way of life slowly fading from our mists. This is why I'm a member of the Harford County Land Trust. I want to preserve the scenic beauty of farmland in our community, not destroy it with condos and strip malls. This is also why I'm running for the District C seat on the County Council.


I love the scenic beauty of Harford County and how it adds to our quality of life. However, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic and seeing the growth of haphazard development made me realize that if the continuation of ---negligent, reckless, irresponsible ---decisions made by Harford County’s elected officials is not stopped, our community will become another overly built, traffic-congested nightmare.

For almost 20 years, an entrenched administration has kept citizens in the dark, while perpetuating favoritism to special interests and large donors. The County Council has fully supported this travesty.

This cannot continue, and I will make sure it won’t.

Our citizens need an advocate on the Council who will insist upon transparency and putting the needs of the community first. An elected official, who will question how proposals will impact our quality of life and strive to make the right decisions to prevent costly fixes by taxpayers in the future.

I am the person who can do this.

If you want to preserve our quality of life, support my campaign with a contribution or volunteer to post a sign at: www.Karen4DistrictC.com


Wednesday, July 4, 2018 8:25 PM

A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR FALLEN HEROES

Telling the truth can be a dangerous thing. We all suffer when journalists die for doing their job.

I started my career as a newspaper reporter, and as the wife of a retired, award-winning journalist, I wish to applaud the Society of Professional Journalists and other news organizations across the country in their call for a moment of silence at 2:33PM EDT on Thursday, in remembrance of the five employees of the Capital Gazette, who were gunned down in their newsroom in Annapolis.

 

God bless those who seek out and present the truth to preserve the freedoms we all hold so dear.


Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:43 PM

A TRIBUTE TO MOMS

Heavy metal and pearls. This is my Mom, Dee Kukurin (r). Widowed at 28 with two kids and one on the way, she became one of the first women contractors to run her own company in Pennsylvania. On the left, Catherine Zell, one of the first women to be appointed VP at a major bank. They did business together. Dee’s advice: Never give up, Bull doz through it, dig under it, rise above it. She instilled in me a sense of moral obligation and justice, which is why I’m now running for office. She’s now 87 and lifting weights at the gym!

 

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on my website home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.


Monday, May 7, 2018 5:01 PM

YOU’VE MARCHED WITH ME, NOW COME WALK WITH ME...

 You know me from TWW. I’ve posted stories seeking action and arranged events from Teas to Twitter parties to encourage members to get to know one another. I wanted to help create a community of like-minded people, who were forward thinkers and I did.

I’m now going to the next step and running for County Council District C because I want to maintain our quality of life and natural beauty in Harford County by stopping irresponsible development. I also care about people and want to change the culture. I have no tolerance for intolerance. So come walk with me and make a difference. It doesn’t matter where you live, when I’m seated I will represent everyone.

No experience is necessary to tell my neighbors in Bel Air why they need to get out and vote. Meet at my house at 9:30 a.m. for a light breakfast, introductions & instructions, grab a tee shirt and brochures and we will be finished in two short hours with plenty of time for you to enjoy the rest of the day. A bonus is you’ll meet new forward thinking people. First walk is Saturday, May 19th. PM me, call (410) 838-4874 or e-mail KAKukurin@gmail.com

Come walk with me and together we can make a difference in Harford County.
Karen

Can’t walk? sign up for other volunteer activities at:www.Kukurin4districtc.com
#karenwalk

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on my website home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018 8:06 AM

STOP HARFORD COUNTY FROM BECOMING LOST IN SPACE

Board Member Sally LaBarre (L) and I review various projects being planned in Harford County.

I recently attended the annual meeting of the Friends of Harford, Inc., an organization who has become the voice of citizens for responsible land use. I’m a member.

Established over two decades ago, the organization focuses on Harford’s land use issues, working for a fair balance between the rights of those wanting to develop a property, and the rights of neighbors who might be impacted by that development.

The Friends’ annual report was unsettling, as it detailed the growth of haphazard development as the result of negligent, reckless and irresponsible decisions made by Harford County’s elected officials. It’s quite clear that if they are not stopped, our community will become another overly built, traffic-congested nightmare.

Land use is controlled by the County Executive and County Council members. For almost 20 years, an entrenched administration has kept citizens in the dark, while perpetuating favoritism to developers and large donors. The County Council has fully supported this travesty.

In District C, a Walmart project the size of EIGHT football fields and attracting 20,000 cars would have decimated the area and while the project was shelved because of public outcry and money, there is still nothing to stop another monster project from taking its place.

Various other examples of poor planning or abuse of proper zoning were cited at the meeting.

Board member Bill Onorato talked about how zoning for the Eva Mar development was changed to meet the needs of one developer under the cover of darkness. “When challenged, the County Council response was that’s the way things are done in Harford County,” he said.

Once a farm, the four story, 500 unit senior residential project takes up 47 acres. It was plopped down in the middle of a residential neighborhood and is equivalent to a major commercial operation. There will be further development of 144 single family homes of the remaining 154 acre property.

Morita Bruce, co-president of the group, pointed out that under current procedures, amendments may be added to a bill on the day it is to be voted on, completely changing the focus of the bill without allowing citizens time to review it.

This is not the way to run our county.

I love the scenic beauty of Harford County and how it adds to our quality of life. This is why I have decided to run for County Council, District C.

Our citizens need an advocate on the Council who will insist upon transparency and putting the needs of the community first. An elected official, who will question how proposals will impact our quality of life and strive to make the right decisions to prevent costly fixes by taxpayers in the future. I am that person.

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on my website home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.


Saturday, April 28, 2018 5:46 PM

READING AWAY INCARCERATION ONE BOOK AT A TIME

 

I had a delightful afternoon at the Annual Spring Talk luncheon sponsored by the Liriodendron Foundation. Book lovers, librarians, and teachers gathered at the historic mansion to hear the latest recommendations by staff librarians for new books and old favorites.

There was something for everyone, from adults to kids. Reading a book opens the door for so many opportunities and introduces the reader to new worlds never dreamed of. Since I was a kid, I have always been a voracious reader.

Can you imagine what it would be like if you couldn't read or write? The many opportunities lost that we take for granted because of our reading skills.

I was shocked to learn at the recent forum “Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline” put on by Together We Will (TWW) that 85% of all juveniles, who come into contact with the juvenile court system, are functionally illiterate. So are 60% of all prison inmates. Some studies show even higher rates.

When inmates received literacy help, the return rate to prison was 16% as opposed to 70% for those who received no help. An article from InvisibleChildren.Org projected costs to taxpayers at $25,000 per year, per inmate, and nearly double that for juveniles in their juvenile justice systems.

One of my favorite bumper stickers reads, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

Properly funding education includes underwriting our library system, which provides numerous outreach programs for both children and adults and helps to supplement school curriculum. In the class rooms, we need to have in place safety nets to make sure those falling behind, aren't left behind.

I believe in getting to the root of a problem, rather than plastering it over with Band-Aid remedies that just let the problem continue to fester and grow. We can continue to spend money locking people up, only to have them return, or we can invest money in getting rid of the problem --- illiteracy.

For me, education is a better return on our investment.
When is the last time you read a book? What was it?

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.


Thursday, April 5, 2018 11:37 AM

BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO THE ENVIRONMENT AND COUNTY COUNCIL

 

Determined to plant my first tree in Harford County in observance of Arbor Day, I ignored the forecast for heavy rain and headed to Annie’s Playground in Fallston.

Tree planting festivals are as old as civilization and the tree has appeared throughout history and literature as the symbol of life, and there is a good reason for it. Life could not exist on earth without them because they produce our oxygen. Trees are like the lungs of the planet, they breath in carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide from the air and release oxygen.

In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

However, while trees can help to offset pollution created by over development and the rise of traffic congestion in Harford County, they can’t alleviate the frustration and visual blight we all experience.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic on two lane roads is a daily reminder of years of poor planning by Harford County and the insufficient coordination with the State Highway Administration, which is one of the reasons I’m running for Harford County Council, District C. I love the scenic beauty of this area and I don’t want to see it become another concrete, pollution-filled jungle. We need better planning and tougher rules on the impact of traffic on development.

As for that tree, after I finished planting and got into my car, the burgeoning, dark clouds that had been looming released a downpour of rain. Pleased at how lucky I had been to avert disaster and achieve my goal, I realized that Harford County will need more than just luck to enjoy a beautiful, well-planned community for the future. The Environment needs a friend on the County Council, and that friend is me.

In the meantime, I frequently walk the trails at the playground and will be regularly checking in on the progress of my tree. However, after all the work of putting the little tree into the ground —- walking three miles to plant it, preparing it and feeding it mulch —- I feel it needs a name.

Any Suggestions?
Karen

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.



Sunday, April 1, 2018 7:18 AM

REACHING OUT TO SNAKE YOUR HAND

 

Onyx, an adorable ambassador from the Susquehannock Wildlife Society, reached out and charmed me during a wonderful Arbor Day of environmental activities and exhibits at Annie’s Park in Fallston.

Onyx and most snakes help to keep our natural ecosystems working, as the feeding habits of snakes act as a natural form of pest control. They even help to reduce the spread of Lyme disease. Keep this in mind when you are thinking about your kids and pets.

This is one of the many reasons why I believe it’s important to keep our environment front and center when considering development in Harford County. The Environment needs a friend on the Harford County Council, and that friend is me.www.Kukurin4districtC.com

In the meantime, the friendly rat snake, escorted around by Gabby, the volunteer handler, will be on hand with other critters at the Third Annual Night in the Wild Gala. The event will benefit the non-profit Susquehanna Wildlife Center, a first-of-its-kind hub for wildlife education, research and rehabilitation in northern Maryland. For tickets visit:Susquehannockwildlife.org

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.



Thursday, March 29, 2018 12:15 PM

CANDIDATE KAREN KUKURIN LEADS ENVIRONMENTAL CHARGE IN HARFORD COUNTY

 

 

 

Today, I became the first candidate in Harford County to sign a pledge presented to me by Tracey Waite (L) from the HC Climate Action group to agree not to take contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries and instead prioritize people over fossil fuel industry profits.

I have a track record of being concerned about preserving the environment, and one of my proudest achievements was being involved in the effort to pass the landmark “Global Warming Solutions Act,” which sparked a clean energy revolution in California and beyond. It was the first program in the country to take a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change and do so in a way that aims to improve the environment while maintaining a robust economy.

The environment needs a friend on the County Council and that friend is me.

Karen Kukurin for District C, HARFORD County Council

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.


Monday, March 26, 2018 2:48 PM

ENSURING A BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW FOR HARFORD COUNTY

Keynote speaker was Bill Leah, director of Maryland Environmental Trust, and afterwards I compared notes with him on the status and challenges we both have faced over the years to protect treasured landscapes and natural resources.

 

Preserving Harford’s rural beauty, that’s what the Harford Land Trust’s mission is and that’s why I’m a member.

I attended its 26th Annual Membership Meeting held on the Galbreath family farm in a renovated historic barn turned into the Falling Branch Brewery. The organization had many proud accomplishments to report, including permanently preserving the 104 acre Otter Creek Woods in Edgewood and securing funds to purchase the Perryman Forest. In celebration of the past year's achievements, the brewery introduced a new ale called "Preservation" and handed out keepsake glasses with the HLT logo on them.

Since my college days at Penn State, I have been concerned about our environment and have worked to protect and defend it with some programs that had national and international impact. That is one of the reasons I’m running for the District C seat of the Harford County Council.

I love this County and I moved here because of its idyllic charm of rolling green hills, towering trees, the miles of cornfields, and the rushing waters of creeks and rivers. However, I have started to see encroaching development that’s not planned and doesn’t respect our way of life. Zoning and land use development is the purview of the County Council. Once the damage is done, it’s expensive, if not impossible to reverse. We cannot stop economic development, nor should we, but we can control the way it arrives.

I put People over Politics. The environment needs a friend on the County Council, and that friend is Me.

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018 4:19 PM

KAREN KUKURIN LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR COUNTY COUNCIL SEAT, DISTRICT C

Karen Kukurin officially launched her campaign for Harford County Council, District C, Sunday with a fund raiser at the Bel Air home of Joanna and Gary Ambridge.

Veteran Campaign Manager George Harrison told guests that people don’t realize the large percentage of registered Democrats there are in the region. “They are now energized and are ready to change the ways things are done in Harford County and with Karen Kukurin they now have a reason to vote.”

Addressing the crowd, Karen said, It’s time for elected officials to put people over politics, “That’s their job and that’s what I will do, not spend time trying to appease the Administration”

She expressed her concern over Harford County becoming another Los Angeles. “My husband and I had planned to move back to Towson, where he had previously worked on air at WMAR-TV, but we were shocked the town had turned into a concrete jungle. I’m beginning to see haphazard development creeping into Harford County and it concerns me.”

“The Council wanted to abdicate their responsibility to oversee zoning, one of their primary responsibilities,” she said. “Are they acting with the best interest of Harford County in mind?”

I’m fiscally responsible, but not conservatively stupid, she said. I’ve repeatedly seen how elected officials boast about saving taxpayers money by not investing in programs, which down the road cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars more. If you did this in business you’d be fired.”

Karen said she had recently participated in a workshop for the development of the Green Infrastructure Plan for the county, but expressed her dismay at the attitude of the current council regarding climate change. “The council president not only denies science, but gets his facts from sources paid to push the denier view and the rest of the council goes along with it. This is how they run the County?” Actions like this violate the public’s trust, and that’s why we need someone on the council, who is forward thinking and has a fresh perspective to lead the County into the future, and that person is me.”

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018 2:55 PM

KAREN KUKURIN RESPONDS TO HARFORD COUNTY COUNCIL PRESIDENT’S REMARKS THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS FAKE NEWS AT RECENT MEETING

 

At last Tuesday’s meeting, Council President Richard Slutzky spoke at some length about global warming, saying it is inevitable and fueled largely by fake news. His words were disappointing since the County is currently developing a Green Infrastructure Plan --- which I contributed to recently --- to provide climate change resiliency that includes coastal defense, and critical infrastructure protection. The council will be voting on this plan in the fall.

As former Deputy Director for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, I worked for years on passing the Global Warming Solutions Act, the first program in the country to take a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change that aims to improve the environment, while maintaining a robust economy.

Contradicting at least 3,000 or 97% of experts in the field, including those from NASA, the Pentagon and the American Medical Association, Mr. Slutzky claimed he had found scientists on the Internet that are highly regarded and that refuted global warming. A quick search showed that at least one of the people he cited had worked for the oil industry. Another expert climate denier had been denounced by MIT, the institution he purported to represent. People have dedicated their lives to studying global warming, yet after a few hours on the Internet, Mr. Slutsky has become an expert.

Mr. Slutzky’s argument that carbon dioxide is not harmful to the planet is also wrong. The real science and not the propaganda from big oil, tells us that deforestation and human production of carbon dioxide are principle contributors to climate change. His cherry picking of facts is a perfect example of fake news.
I have a question to climate deniers: If you were going to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and 97% of the world’s top engineers predicted it would collapse, if you crossed over, and 3% said it wouldn’t, would you cross the bridge?

Accepting fake news and ignoring the science, Mr. Slutsky says we should DENY the science and cross the bridge.

I would ask Mr. Slutszky to reconsider his position and to make an amendment to the record.

Full disclosure. I am a candidate for the county council, however, as someone, who has worked on protecting the environment and who is concerned about Harford County’s future, I would be here regardless.

Thank you for your consideration.

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.



Monday, February 12, 2018 8:04 AM

KEEPING HARFORD COUNTY GREEN

 

Smitten. That’s what I was when I saw the lush green trees on the Ma & Pa trail, the acres of rolling hills carpeted in green, the rushing waters of the Gunpowder and the golden fields of giant sun flowers at Broom’s Bloom Dairy farm.

Harford County is a beautiful place and that is one of the reasons I moved here from Los Angeles.

But to keep it that way we need a determined effort that includes private and public sector groups, including local government to make it happen.

I have worked on landmark legislation with the governor of California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote green technology and rally for renewable energy. Coming from that experience, I was delighted to participate in a recent workshop to contribute and help a coalition of organizations and the County government determine the most important goals and strategies for developing a Green Infrastructure Plan (GIP).

With a financial grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adm. (NOAA) and the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), the Susquehanna Wildlife Society and the Conservation Fund are collaborating with the county to identify opportunities and make recommendations to protect and restore our valuable resources and to connect them into a “green network.”

A “green network” not only creates a healthy ecosystem, which includes preserving forests, streams and aquatic wildlife, but also provides recreational opportunities and promotes walkable communities for jogging, walking and cycling. It also increases the County’s economy relating to farming, forestry, recreation and tourism. In addition to the social interaction among disparate groups, studies have shown a green infrastructure also lowers stress, reduces anxiety, improves ADD/ADHD, air and water quality, and increases overall life satisfaction in people of all ages.

A draft of the Green Infrastructure Plan is due later this year and it will be up to the County Council to determine what aspects will be accepted and implemented. However, the county currently DOESN’T envision seeking stronger environmental protections through regulations.

Without proper regulation we leave everything to chance and that does not bode well for our lifestyle in the future.

I already see the results of poor planning in unsightly overbuilding and traffic congestion. I don’t want to see Harford County turned into another Baltimore suburb like Towson. It can happen if we don’t do something about it.

Our environment needs a friend on the Harford County Council, and with my experience and as a committed stakeholder, that friend is me.

Take a stand and help invest in your community by joining my campaign. You can volunteer or contribute by going to the tabs on this website’s home page. Keep informed by liking and following my Facebook page: Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C.



Authorization, Friends of Karen Kukurin, Treasurer Rita Scharmann

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