Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thursday Round Up: Undefeated (Baby!) Edition...

That’s right, undefeated. The Orioles are undefeated after two games for the first time in six years. Get in your enthusiasm while you can…we’re sure to be out of it by summer.

Anyway, on to the news…

The Flier runs down the candidates for Town Center Village Board. Interestingly, many were prompted to run by this thing that’s apparently going on in Town Center – something about a “charrette” or master plan. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

First they get the Sportspark – complete with skate park, batting cages and a mini golf course – and now Harpers Choice gets a tot lot with a putting green. That’s totally not fair. What do they need a putting green for anyway? Isn’t Hobbits Glen right around the corner? What about the East Side – are we just Second Class Columbians? Seems so.

On a more serious note, the police department is concerned, as it should be, about the gang MS-13 establishing a presence in our county. Unlike our existing “wannabe” gangs – those comprised of neighborhood kids emulating what they see on television – MS-13 is a well established national franchise that began in east Los Angeles. However, unlike “real” gangs – those that exist for a purpose, usually to make money, albeit in a roundabout, illegal and violent way – MS-13 apparently just likes to beat people up – no drugs, no chop shops, no crime syndicate, nothing but violence and intimidation, the most pathetic of all motivations. Apparently, they haven’t established a foothold yet, but they are present in Montgomery and Prince Georges County and Baltimore City.

I promise, one of these days I’m going to write something on the capital budget. For now, however, keep yourself occupied with Howard County Blog #1’s coverage – or you could just read the day-late, nickel-and-dime version in the Flier.

Oh, shoot, I can’t resist. In this post by HCB1, he asks why we’re spending so much money (he says $25 million) on improvements at our wastewater treatment facility if many of these improvements are needed specifically to accommodate the new Dreyer’s Ice Cream factory. Well, from the Flier today, it seems the county is actually spending $15 million for the needed expansions caused by Dreyer’s and $25 million because of new regulations from the state Department of Environment. While the expansion needed to accommodate Dreyer’s is costly, it represents a permanent expansion in capacity that we’ll need eventually anyway, and I’d say it’s better to spend that money on an Ice Cream factory than it is on more inefficient development.

Finally, via the Baltimore Examiner, the Howard County Police Department will honor auxiliary officer Pieter Lucas during it’s annual awards ceremony (which may be tonight or tomorrow – the Examiner’s website is so screwed up that in addition to looking bad and being a beast to navigate, it posted this story today but dated it for tomorrow). Active in both the police and fire departments, Lucas, you may recall, was struck by a car while directing traffic several months ago. The injury was so severe that his leg had to be amputated. At 22, Lucas is finishing his studies at the University of Maryland and still plans on joining the police force. He is more than deserving of this honor.

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