This time, it’s for real.
We haven’t had a Round Up around here in a while, and with summer’s onset slowing things down a bit, now seems like a perfect time to lasso some news.
More Wegmans: The Sun describes the thinking of county zoning and legal officials that opened the door for the mega-grocer to locate in Columbia’s sought-after Snobbin Shopping District. It’s interesting, if a bit wonky. What’s of more interest to me are the quotes from County Executive Ken Ulman and others about the future of our village centers.
County Executive Ken Ulman said, "Even without Wegmans, I have concerns about the future of some of the village centers. The problem is more about people's changed shopping habits."I got into some of this in Monday’s post about Wegmans, while the no-longer-anonymous-but-still-pseudonymous Wordbones tackled the subject in April with much greater acumen.
Ulman said the county "needs to create zoning that allows the village centers to evolve. They may be different, with more residential, recreation, convenience retail."
The Giant Food store in Wilde Lake closed last year without a Wegmans on the scene, McLaughlin pointed out. "Ignoring the market doesn't make things any better," she said.
At the same time, she said, she is concerned about Columbia's village centers. "There are a variety of new players in the grocery market. Recognizing current realities is more realistic than acting like the world is the same as when the village centers were first built."
Going home again: I’ll leave aside my griping about the county's affordable housing lottery system and just say that this is a great story:
As Howard County officials prepare to choose buyers for two heavily discounted new garage townhouses today, Patricia Tolson still is trying to get used to her good fortune.Wow! And not only do her parents live there, two of her brothers also own houses on the same street. Occurrences like this make it impossible for me to not believe in some great big cosmic something or other (yeah, that’s a vague, cumbersome sentence, but it’s as much as you’ll get from me on matters of faith).
Tolson's name was chosen at random from among 28 qualified applicants for the right to pay $200,000 for a 42 percent share of a large, renovated home on Columbia's Pamplona Road -- the same street where she grew up and where she and her 14-year old son, Anthony, have been living with her parents.
"Is it for real then?" the 35-year-old former soldier said Monday, describing her reaction to winning the housing lottery.
"I wake up every day and say, 'Mom, was it a dream?' I'm trying to explain to my son that it's not free. I have to pay for it."
My house backs (sort of) to Pamplona and I’ve seen Anthony around a bunch. He stops by on occasion to play with the Mutt and was a regular – along with myself – on the local sledding hill. I’m glad to see he and his mom will be able to stay in Columbia.
Where's the party at: The 40-day Columbia party really gets kicking this weekend, with a lot of free music, entertainment and other activities beginning tomorrow night as part of the Festival of the Arts’ Lakefest. Pyromaniacs can also join the fun as fireworks are scheduled for both Friday and Saturday nights (woo-hoo!). See here for more information on Lakefest and here for a schedule of Festival of the Arts events.
And for those of you with Columbia stories to share, the Archives and Library are collecting oral histories from residents on both Saturday and Sunday.
Finally, while organizers seem upbeat, there is a wrinkle that might prevent the City Fair from going off as planned. Apparently, the
That's it for now. Let's hope my shed (PDF) gets approved tonight! Also, don't forget, every Thursday is comedy night at the Fire Rock Grill. Assuming it doesn't take all night to approve the shed, I'll be there for at least a little while.