Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I tried, honestly...

So, I’ve been reading these three stories and trying to come up with full posts for each one. But I can’t. I just can’t.

It’s not that they aren’t important stories—one deals with the on-again, off-again issue of the Belmont Conference Center and another focuses on CA’s capital budget. I’m just not inspired by any of them.

And as is the case whenever I’m not inspired, I fall back on the cheapest trick in my arsenal…say it with me: YEEHAW!

Okay, even with the easy provisions of the Round Up feature, I don’t really have much to say about the Belmont Conference Center controversy. It seems like Howard Community College has made good faith efforts to placate the residents who oppose disrupting the historic nature of the property. However, we’ll see tomorrow night, when the revised master plan for the property is unveiled at HCC.

Here’s what happens when you build lakes in a state where no natural ones exist: You spend over $8 million to have them dredged. I have no complaints, however. Columbia’s lakes are great amenities—I long for the days when I used to live on one—and if spending a couple million dollars every decade is required to keep them in good shape, then so be it. It would also be nice if we could find a way to slow the sediment from flowing into the lakes in the first place, but that’s an unlikely proposition given the realities of property rights, non-point source pollution, and financial resources. It’s still good to think about, though.

Although I generally disagree with CA board member Barbara Russell, she’s got pretty good accuracy with her hammer on this issue:

“I’m very concerned that will all the development planned for downtown, Lake Kittamaqundi could just become a giant silt pond,” said Russell, who represents Oakland Mills village. “You can dredge it and then have silt get into the pond from all the building, and until I am assured that will not happen, I’m really questioning this decision.”
Despite the illegality of it, construction sites are absolutely horrible at controlling sediment (silt) runoff. Russell is right to be concerned about this. However, holding up this dredging project because of such concerns is wrong. The reality is that the lake will have to be dredged again in another couple of decades. And if we wait for all the Town Center construction to be finished before doing so, we’ll be talking about swamp reclamation and not lake dredging.

Finally, looking to pad your resume—I mean, make a meaningful contribution to the community? Here’s how.

Sadly, that concludes another edition of Round Up.

Come back soon!

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