Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday Round Up: Choose my adventure...

I had hoped to write more today, but the best laid plans and all that. Instead, here's another lame Round Up.

Bobby Guv was in town today to announce plans for a major new development on the parking lots of the Savage MARC station. Details, from The Sun:

The project would put pedestrian-friendly, urban-style communities on the 15-acre parking lot and encourage train use in a corner of Howard County that has long been targeted for upscale redevelopment.

...If the Savage Towne Centre concept is accepted by state and county governments, the state-owned station parking lot would be the site of 260 apartments in two high-rise buildings, a hotel, two restaurants, 53,000 square feet of retail space, a 145,000-square-foot office building and a five-story parking garage for 1,000 vehicles, according to a state fact sheet.
Leaving aside the horrible name with its pretentious spelling and poor grasp of geography (the site is nowhere near the "centre" of Savage) the plan sounds interesting, if possibly overly ambitious. Although it is near Fort Meade, a highway and transit (good things), the site is currently surrounded by lots and lots of industrial buildings and the county wastewater treatment plan, making me question how appealing it will be to buyers.

Then again, with a development like this sprouting up, can we really expect the industrial character of the area to persist forever?

More info and maps here.

I don't want to pile on, but reading this story from yesterday's Sun made me realize (again) how silly the whole Lake Elkhorn tot lot fence process has been. For instance:
Almost immediately, parents called for a review of safety measures at the playground, and the CA board responded, allocating up to $20,000 for a study and $30,000 for a fence, if needed.

But the study - a six-page report from the National Program for Playground Safety - found "no compelling need to place a fence" around the playground at Lake Elkhorn.

Angry parents denounced that finding, and the CA board, convinced that some barrier was needed, agreed to build a fence or landscape buffer. As recently as March, CA officials were predicting that construction would be completed in time for summer.

In the intervening months, however, the board has:

  • Reviewed seven design options, ranging from leaving the playground as it is to putting a fence around the entire perimeter.
  • Made a motion to approve the perimeter fencing plan after two board meetings of discussion.
  • Scrapped the fence plan entirely and voted unanimously to close the Lake Elkhorn tot lot and remove the play equipment.
  • Reversed itself once again and agreed to leave the lot open - and unfenced - after a meeting at which members were berated by a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 angry parents and concerned residents.
Got that?

Have you noticed the poll on the right? Republicans are far outnumbering Democrats. What, I get no love from my own party? Seriously. I'm feeling a little lonely. And what about the Libertarians? HoCo Exile, you out there?

Finally, choose my adventure. The way I see it, I have two options for tomorrow night and I'll let you decide what I do. The first is attending the first meeting of the BRAC task force at 7 pm in the county office building. The second is moutain biking.

Now, if I go to the meeting, I probably wouldn't write about it until Thursday or Friday. If I go mountain biking, I'll write about the BRAC meeting on Friday, assuming the Sun writes a story about it (I'm counting on you, Larry).

I think the meeting would be interesting, informative and worthwhile, but not as enjoyable as moutain biking, which I haven't done in a week (a week!). Since I'm bad at making decisions, I'll let you decide. If, however, there's an insufficient number of votes, I'll just do whatever feels right tomorrow evening (which, in case you didn't notice, is really just my ambiguous escape clause).

UPDATE: I was just reminded by a reader that our Gov also announced today that Route 108 will be dedicated to the late Senator James Clark, who passed away last Friday. He also formally announced the renaming of Route 175 to the Jim and Patty Rouse Parkway. I saw Patty today with a large street sign that had her name on it. So, I guess she was there for the press conference.

10 comments:

mary smith said...

(gently) This site is not as user-friendly as some others. Posts are dropping and that's not good! Also, when you were anonymous, Hayduke, you had stronger opinions. Now that some know your name and profession, it's not as easy for you to take a position. Democrats who don't take a strong position are, well, that's why republicans are outnumbering in the poll. Republicans are talking, pointing fingers, saying things that evoke responses. Facts are nice, but a discussion is often what prompts fact-finding.

We need to see the more liberal side view issues, and sometimes that means opinions should be encouraged.

Hayduke said...

When you say the site is not as user-friendly as others, is that a reference to the registration requirements? Also, posts are dropping? The number of posts that I write or are comments of yours disappearing instead of getting posted? I've never moderated a single comment on this blog.

There are enough opinions...facts are in short supply.

mary smith said...

Also, participants might for a response to their message, from anyone. That certainly keeps readers engaged.

Mary Catherine said...

(respectfully but adamantly)

I disagree with Ms. Smith. While the registration process likely limits discussion on posting.. I doubt it limits readership. I don't see a lack of opinions portrayed here. I do see an abundance of respect, thoughtfulness and consideration. A refreshing change in a politically charged atmosphere.

Bubbaish posts are not a benchmark of a good blog. Nor is the annonymity of the Smiths and Bubbas and evil twin sisters. Blogs are over-represented by WAMs (White Angry Males). You don't belong in that club.

Hold the line. Stick to your principles. Advocate without rancor. Insight- not incite.

Peacefully,

mary catherine ;-)

mary smith said...

Mary Catherine!

You espouse one thing and in the same post, break every rule for the thing you espouse.

Matter of opinion, I'm sure.

But if you're going to "advocate without rancor" and promote "consideration" credibly, you might consider restraint in pointing fingers (at Bubba), and claiming to know who is angry, white, and male on these blogs. That is beyond a stretch; now you're the blog therapist capable of these diagnoses? Smiths and Bubbas are alias' you do not think make a good blog; I guess a good blog is only populated with those that have your name and family history, and is not angry white and male? What are you trying to say here?

This attitude is the very thing that has Jim Robey putting his hand in people's faces.

So much of what you've said is contradictory. How would I know who you are just by the name Mary Catherine, when Livesay did not know who Mary Catherine is? Did you use an anonymous? So many questions....

Mary Catherine said...

I encourage you to reread my post. I indicated that this blog was thoughtful and considerate. (as in "considered" not as in "nice). I did not indicate nor imply that others were not.

You advocate for: "pointing fingers, saying things that evoke responses. Facts are nice, but a discussion is often what prompts fact-finding."

I believe that we have enough of that in the political process. I prefer factual discussion. And I prefer a clear and transparent exchange of ideas. How can we expect our government to be clear and transparent when we are unwilling?

I don't hide my identity. If you ask me I will tell you my last name. I won't dodge the question as others have done. You know who I am- so it obviously isn't a secret.

I wouldn't really care about anonymity for those who post thoughtful questions and dialog. But when people use it as a means to slam and run... well.. it's not exactly forthright.

You are right to call me out on WAMs. It is a derogatory term... but it is a political term- the new "soccer mom" which is why I used it. (I don't think Mr. Keelan is a WAM- he offered to stand me a pint! I am less sure about Bubba. He does seem a little mad.)

Mary Catherine

mary smith said...

Hayduke,

I was momentarily distracted, with a hopelessly logical response falling on deaf ears no doubt. Phishooey(slumping, head down).

So, to get back to your response: I made a post, and any other time I would see the post appear after a refresh. But it didn't. I posted in another location on this site as a test, and that one did appear, so I refreshed again and the post was still delayed.

The post did eventually display, not sure what happened.

mary smith said...

I'm not sure how far to take this, I'm already tired, and there are so many many things to address.

You believe we have enough of the finger pointing and need more civility, but you point fingers at Bubba, do ya really not see that?

Using a nom de plume to hit and run, as in me letting Hayduke know about the user-friendly issue? That's hit and run? And who is running?

I stand firmly on my first response; you are well known and have had the benefits of this local celebrity but are unable to take an honest assessment of that fact by supporting Livesay. He knew who you were, did you a favor, and now you're returning. If there was ever something we have enough of in our offices, it would be favors for some, lawlessness for some (Hatch act etc), and the rope for others.

And there is nothing, nothing you can ever say that will make me want to print my innocuous name.

But keep trying, that was the most entertaining part!

Mary Catherine said...

I never said I supported Livesay. You would be incorrect in that assumption.

A hit and run would be something like:
"I guess a good blog is only populated with those that have your name and family history"

or

"I have heard from his new neighbors that they are not exactly pleased to have the xxxx sharing a residence among them. I wonder if he loses, he’ll move to some other distract where he might have a chance to continue his career at the expense of the citizens of Howard County."

I can provide other samples - if this is insufficient?

Mary Catherine said...

I never said I supported Livesay. You would be incorrect in that assumption.

A hit and run would be something like:
"I guess a good blog is only populated with those that have your name and family history"

or

"I have heard from his new neighbors that they are not exactly pleased to have the xxxx sharing a residence among them. I wonder if he loses, he’ll move to some other distract where he might have a chance to continue his career at the expense of the citizens of Howard County."

I can provide other samples - if this is insufficient?