So, it's not gorgeous, but how about the new layout? What began as a fairly minor request for a "Recent Comments" box morphed into an all-day Html-athon.
In addition to the recent comments feed, I've added (supposedly) live feeds from several local blogs on the left sidebar. The top link will take you directly to the blog's front page, and the link underneath is pointed to the most recent post. Unfortunately, the recent comments feed does not seem to be updating very quickly, and I'm worried we may encounter the same problem with the blog feeds. Let me know if they update for you.
I also added a link to the blog of Ian Danger, a local UMBC (Go Retrievers!) student who's been writing more about local politics as the elections approach.
Finally, because I want to leave you with something of substance, the Voices of Visions forum. The Baltimore Sun's story about the lecture -- with the understated headline, "Columbia: 'Grow or Die'" -- is well worth a read. Vernon D. Swaback, the night's speaker, had some pretty strong and, I would imagine, controversial things to say, such as:
Opposition to greater height and density is often pervasive on elected and appointed officials, he said, but the result isn't always good, he said.And:
"You preclude the worst, you preclude the best and you just lavish the attention on all of the mediocrity that you can get," Swaback said in the interview. "Public protests and codes and ordinances can do a pretty good job of keeping bad stuff from happening. But they also can keep good stuff from happening."
"There are certain things that we absolutely know are happening," he said in the interview. "We know that the Earth is adding 200,000 people net every day. We know that we're building the equivalent of something like 50 cities of a million people every year. We know that globalization is changing how we think about supremacies, goods and services, each other. ... And we are really threatening the ability of the planet to sustain life. We've been playing fast and loose ... and this whole movement right now of smart growth, green architecture, sustainable design is like a revolution in values. The words might end up being a fad, but the direction won't."The next Voices forum is scheduled for November 16 and will feature Ann Forsyth, a professor from the University of Minnesota. The full schedule of forums is available here.
There is another reason for downtown Columbia to change, he said: "Grow or die."
"That doesn't mean if you have 100,000 residents today that you must have 200,000 next year," he added. "It simply means it stays alive. It stays healthy. And to stay healthy, it must change."