Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Round Up

Sunday Round Up

Looking back, my decision to write today instead of yesterday was a bad one, at least in terms of output. Sure, I caught up on some work around the house and spent a good amount of time enjoying the warm weather, which is really starting to test my nerves (and make me worry that my Weatherman Accountability feature is going to flop, if hasn’t already). But today is suddenly full of “real” stuff for me to do—blogging, apparently, doesn’t count.

Anyway, all I’ve got time for today is a News Round Up. If you haven’t already read my long-winded post on Doughoregan, it is sure to keep occupied until I get more time to write.

Speaking of Doughoregan, here’s a good story about a meeting held Friday to discuss the future of the colonial estate, and I’ve got a couple thoughts on what happened. First, it’s unfortunate that the only mention of transferring development rights involved the county and/or state purchasing them from the Carrolls. Second, there seems to be growing discontent over the Carrolls’ insistence of keeping the land private, and it surfaced in some pointed remarks. While the feelings are understandable—indeed, the Carrolls appear to be asking a lot and willing to sacrifice little—antagonizing won’t help find a solution. As Preservation Howard County president Mary Catherine Cochran said, "I want to see the Carrolls rewarded for 300 years of stewardship,” which is more than we can say for many other rural landowners.

Here’s a run down of who’s got what—“who” being politicians, and “what” being money. Of course, if you read Howard County Blog #1 (which you should), you would have known this already. He is consistently ahead of the local papers in breaking down political contributions.

Speaking of Howard County Blog #1, he’s got the skinny on another candidate for county executive. A recently retired state official, Tom Snyder, of Ellicott City, plans to run as an independent. Interesting.

The Columbia Association Board of Directors has endorsed the proposal to have 20 percent of new housing in Town Center set aside for moderate and middle income families; the proposal divides evenly the affordable housing among the two groups. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you probably know that I think relying strictly on such percentage-based set asides is not the long-term solution to affordable housing. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see 20 percent of downtown housing dedicated to lower income households; I just don’t know how much good it will really do. What I really find interesting about the story is the fact that the measure was approved 5 to 4 with two abstaining, and all we’re told is how two of the board members voted. We need more details! (If you know them, please let me know. I’d also like to know why some voted against something that seems relatively inconsequential but still good image-wise).


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