Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Round Up: Busted Brackets edition...


The Sun released its highly-anticipated annual Hometown Howard Guide today. If you don't know enough about Howard County -- which I'm guessing is not the case if you're reading this blog -- you can read one of many generic pieces on "restaurants, attractions, recreation spots and cultural activities in the county, together with features on education, people, religion, landmarks and trends in the area."

Going through the entire list of stories is obviously too much for me to do now. So here is a few of the more interesting ones.

There are more, but that should keep you occupied for now. Now, on to the real news.

From this week's Politics, Shmolitics we learn about an increasingly crowded race for the District 2 county council seat; two more candidates -- one Democrat and one Republican -- have announced their intentions to run, bringing the total number of hopefuls to four -- two from each side of the aisle. We're still awaiting word from incumbent councilman David Rakes, who, regardless of if he announces something, is likely to change his mind several times before the actual election.

Also in Politics, Shmolitics (for background on the name, see here) is a discussion of a recent fundraiser for county executive and state senate candidate James Robey. Although the event netted over $100,000 for the candidate, that's not what I'm concerned about.
Robey unveiled a big banner advertising his "Team 13" ticket, an alliance with incumbent Dels. Shane E. Pendergrass and Frank S. Turner and County Councilman Guy Guzzone in the heavily Democratic legislative District 13 in which he is running.
I'm probably about as superstitious as the next person -- which is to say, not very -- but calling your slate of candidates "Team 13" strikes me as tempting the wrong kind of fate. I know they're campaigning to represent District 13, but do they really need to make large banners and otherwise draw attention to the cursed number?

In other news, Larry Carson writes what appears to be an article for the Hometown Guide about growth and its implications in the upcoming elections. There isn't really anything new in the story, but I thought this point, which closes the article, is worth repeating...
Courtney Watson, a school board member and former APFO committee member who is running for County Council, said people frustrated with growth are responding to the cumulative effects of development over time, not just to what's happening now or in the last few years.
Because of our tight growth control measures in this county, much of the development that is occurring now was approved many years ago. Just as the development being approved now won't be built for several years because all of the housing allocations available for the next couple of years are spoken for -- and the backlog keeps growing. Those who say we do a poor job of controlling the rate of growth in this county are either dishonest or uninformed or both.

Growth is not something we can just control through county-level action; obviously, we can, to some extent, manage growth, but preventing it and all the assorted "bad" stuff that comes with it is beyond the power of our government and elected leaders, even if we rezoned the entire county to "NG: No Growth." In order to find the best way to manage it, however, we have to drop the utopian ideal of a static (rather, stagnant) community.

Two bits on Doughoregan: A history lesson and a look at the future, but nothing new.

Finally, probably as part of the Hometown Guide, The Sun published the Maryland State Assessment test scores for all of Howard's schools. I'm sure the formatting in the print edition is much better than what online readers get. For instance, see elementary, middle and high school scores and try to make sense of them.

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