Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Round Up...

Was it just me?

Perhaps. I was pretty tired yesterday.

But Sunday's Sun -- my favorite of all local news pages -- left me feeling uninspired; for instance: a profile of the county’s outgoing communications director, an update on our very own Hatfield-McCoy feud (more of the same -- they should really just flip a coin and make the loser move.), and a piece on married couples working together at Howard High School. Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of these stories – indeed, I rather enjoyed reading all of them. But simply because a story is worth reading doesn’t mean it’s worth blogging. I have high standards, after all.

So, what is blog-worthy? Uh...

Normally, if there’s snow on the ground, it’s safe to assume that I tracked the predictions and prognostications of our local weather folk to grade their performances (a.k.a. Weatherman Accountability). Unfortunately, there were almost no variations among forecasts and the consensus view before the “storm” (1” of snow) verified. No need for further examination.

Of course, it’s also reasonable to assume that I was out taking numerous pictures of our transformed local landscape and would then post at least one here. Alas, I went skiing yesterday and didn’t get back until well after dark. But, what the heck, here’s a picture Abbzug took of the dog through our kitchen window.

But what about real news, not my boring personal life?

Right Well, here’s a story about the case involving the Plaza Tower. The point of the story is to tell us that a ruling is expected today (Monday) determining whether opponents have legal standing to challenge the project. Hmm. This is kind of an important decision, right? And not just for this specific case. 

This story is basically stock boilerplate that can run – with only a few name changes – whenever a new governor takes office. Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Meanwhile, of real interest, vultures are becoming quite the pests around here, unless you’re the type of person who likes them (for instance, me), in which case they’re a welcome addition to the landscape.

Anyway, earlier this year the mixed kettle (venue?) of Turkeys and Blacks was bothering parts of Long Reach and now they’ve moved to my neighborhood, Oakland Mills. For the past couple months I’ve seen them circling above the high school towards sunset as they get ready for a night of tearing the roof off the sucker (literally!).
If you've driven by Oakland Mills High School in the early morning or evening, you might have noticed strobe lights flashing from the roof.

The lights are a way to repel about 100 turkey vultures that roost on the roof and rip away patches of material in the process.

The vultures started showing up in November, and school officials are illuminating the strobe lights every day from 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The story says “turkey vultures,” but the group is mostly made up of their close relatives, black vultures, which used to be uncommon this far north (draw your own climate change conclusions). And this gives me a chance to include another photo of my dog, this one from last week when we came across the group feeding on a squirrel near the village center.

Finally, this looks like an interesting thing to do on Saturday:

Barbara Kellner, director of the Columbia Archives, will offer coffee, dessert, conversation and a film about James W. Rouse and Columbia from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 28.

The event will be held at Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia.

The program, "Columbia: Share the Vision," is sponsored by the Town Center Community Association.

Kellner will share stories about Rouse, the town's founder, and the early days of Columbia.

Reservations are requested.

Information or to reserve a place: 410-730-4744.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These part-of-the-year residents, who spend time in our area, typically from December through April each year, and their brethren roost in locations throughout the county.

A few years ago a venue of them roosted in Deering Woods, bathing communally each morning in the adjacent stream valley Deering Woods overlooks. They'd then fly freshly washed together back up to their rooftop perches, each bird alighting on a separate furnace exhaust pipe. Again together, they'd all stand on their individual pipes, facing the morning sun, wings spread in six-foot spans drying from the rising heat and warming sun, watching passersby below.

Pests? Hardly. Just more of the wonderful diversity Columbia should celebrate.

Some who couldn't appreciate these neighbors took it upon themselves to harass the birds, firing starter pistols at them on what seemed like a daily basis from news reports. Was that in violation of state law that prohibits such actions against wildlife? Aren't there also laws requiring notification or approval from residents within a 150 foot distance, too?

I don't believe those questions were asked at the time. Even Channel 11 covered these actions and didn't ask similar questions.