I've been struggling with a mean cold the last few days, which is my excuse for not writing more. But what's yours. Seriously, the local blogosphere seems to have shut down. Are we all just too busy shopping for the holidays or attending parties?
Well, some of silence might be related to the fact that there's not much going on.
With that in mind, let's throw fuel on a smoldering situation.
Ulman got an earful from 32 speakers at his first charter-required budget hearing Wednesday night at the George Howard building in Ellicott City, including a continuation of the argument over a proposed community center building at the planned North Laurel Community Park.
A small group of residents who live near the park site, behind Laurel Woods Elementary School near U.S. 1, oppose plans for a large community center there similar to one recently opened in Western Regional Park in Glenwood.
Debbie Clark, the group's leader, said she was notified only recently of the $13.3 million center and suggested that Ulman could use money intended for the park to satisfy some of the other requests.
"We actually came here asking you to withhold funding," Clark said. The proposed building would be too big and would replace woods that buffer her Heather Downs community off Whiskey Bottom Road from the "criminal element" in the area, she said.
If the parkland is developed as planned, "the criminal element will have a paved way to our homes," she said. "I implore you to at least postpone funding."
The story, ostensibly about a recent budget hearing, goes on to provide feedback from several residents who support the community center. But why highlight reasonable arguments, when ones based solely on fear are so much fun?
Granted, I don't know the whole backstory, but I do know that appeals such as these are a good way to make me tune out the rest of what you have to say.