Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Say what you will but when a institution of higher learning creates a real quad, then you have a campus. Howard Community College opens a new student services center that finishes the frame of that quinessential collegiate outdoor space. All we need now is a Frisbee!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Both Maryland House and Senate have now passed resolutions apologizing for past slavery. Here's what The Post reported today:
"The House broke into applause after delegates approved the resolution, 130 to 6. The Senate passed the same measure unanimously this month. Maryland would become the second state -- after Virginia, earlier this year -- to express regret for slavery if one of the two measures is passed by the other body.
The Maryland resolution says slavery 'fostered a climate of oppression' not just for slaves and their descendants but also for other people of color who moved to Maryland after slavery was abolished and has 'afflicted the citizens of this state down to the present.'
The lack of debate underscored how dramatically the politics of the issue has changed in the past decade.
After a 1998 tour of Africa in which President Bill Clinton expressed regret about the slave trade, he was accused by some conservatives in the United States of pandering to African Americans.
Sen. Nathaniel Exum (D-Prince George's), the bill's sponsor in the Senate, said he was pleased that 'we can come to a recognition that we participated in something that was morally wrong.'
Exum said he hopes that the apology resolution is just the beginning of a discussion about race relations and the steps that need to be taken to address the 'lingering effects' slavery has had on African Americans."There's plenty of reminders around these parts about the state's past. Columbia Association, for instance, has hired a firm to restore a small stone building once used as slave quarters on an eastern Howard County farm known as Woodlawn. There's talk of tying the $230,000 restoration into the creation of a interpretative walking trail.
Monday, March 26, 2007
The Howard County Police Department is alerting owners of Honda Civics and Acura Integras
manufactured before 2001 of a recent vehicle theft trend affecting these models. Nearly 24
percent of all vehicles stolen in Howard County this year were one of these two models.
These cars are more vulnerable to theft because models manufactured before 2001 do not offer ignition immobilizer theft-deterrent systems, which require a properly coded ignition key be used for the engine to start. If an improperly coded key or other device is used, the engine’s startingcircuit is disabled.
Also, owners of these types of cars often add after-market equipment, which can be valued in the thousands of dollars. This makes these vehicles even more appealing.
Protecting vehicles with anti-theft devices is a proven way to deter car thieves. Effective devices include steering wheel and column locks, electric security systems, fuel cut off switches, vehicle identification number (VIN) glass etching and GPS recovery systems. Drivers also can
participate in the “Watch Your Car” program, which provides decals for owners to voluntarily
display on their vehicles to alert police that their car is not normally driven between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Civic and Integra owners should park in a locked garage if one is available. If not, police recommend blocking the vehicle in the driveway with another vehicle.
The police department and the Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee will host a free VIN
etching event April 21 at the Kings Contrivance Village Center in Columbia from 9 a.m. to 1
p.m. Drivers will also be able to enroll in the “Watch Your Car” program at the event. For more
information, visit the police department’s Web site at www.HCPD.org.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wheelchair track star Tatyana McFadden, 17, continues her campaign to be able to compete fully in state high school sports meets, filing a new lawsuit against Maryland educators, according to the Columbia Flier. She's already won the right to compete along with non-wheelchair athletes and she wants to be able to score points to contribute to her team's success.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
WaPo this morning tells us that 22,000 new jobs are projected to come to Fort Meade (a euphemism for NSA and other secret stuff). That doesn't count the contracting workforce that's likely to follow. County officials said part of that estimate is based on reports The Fort is leasing 540 acres outside of its security fence to developer Trammell Crow Co. to build office and retail space and two golf courses for the installation.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Four random items caught our eye in the Columbia Flier: A front page story on a man who wants the Columbia Association to allow golf carts and other electric conveyances on the bike paths. Diane Brown's profile of 80-year-old Tina Cole, a longtime Columbian who walks everywhere and moved here because she bought into the village concept and the fact that you could live close to schools and shopping. And finally two news briefs. One about council member Calvin Ball's proposal to expand county property tax credit for residents who install energy-saving devices in their homes. The other about Ken Ulman's environmental commission to recommend "green" initiatives---this run by Columbian Joshua Feldmark.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Some folks in Annapolis say they want to close an interesting tax loophole: Some big companies avoid paying real estate fees when they sell property by structuring the deal so that they never exchange the deed to the land. Instead, they merely sell a controlling stake in the firm that owns the property. Since no deed changes hands there is no recordation or transfer fees to pay. In 2002, according to the Sun, Rouse Co. used this method to sell 11 shopping centers in Columbia to a New York firm, depriving Howard of about $2 million in tax revenues. Opponents of closing the loophole say it will hurt lots of real estate types who use these transactions in the normal course of developing subdivisions and such. Some company buys the land and then sells controlling interest to a builder to build the houses. If they had to pay a tax on each transaction, they would be paying transfer fees twice (on the purchase of the land and the transfer to the builder)--and passing the cost on to you-know-who. Or, the Sun implies, taking their development to West Virginia, where the business climate is more favorable.
There's lots of fodder for debate in this one. What could $2 million buy? Here's the superintendent's budget request this year for elementary school resource people....
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
We had to chuckle about a line in this Sun conversation with Ken Ulman, in which he shakes his head about constituents who pull out their laptops and give him their PowerPoint presentations. Meanwhile, there was this intriguing item in one of the Towson papers about papa Ulman changing firms to be closer to his home here in Howard.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
It was sad to see Create-A-Hobby depart the mall; Columbia Talk was a longtime Warhammer, toy train, coin collecting customer. Now comes news that a Hollister will fill its space. It'll be interesting to see if the new store will have the same staying power as the old one. From the folks who brought you Abercombie & Fitch, Hollister is for the "trendy" teenager who likes the surfer look, always a fickle bunch. The chain recently posted a 9 percent monthly decline in same-store sales. Also coming to the Mall: clothier White House/Black Market, shoe place Clark's, another athletic footwear store called Footaction, and a Wetzel Pretel. Ann Taylor is getting a facelift.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
|Subject:||korean language materials|
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Drugs and Alcohol
410-313-6202 - Addiction Services Center
410-663-1922 - Alcoholics Anonymous
410-832-7094 - Al-Anon and Alateen
Monday, March 5, 2007
Demand for Howard County's office space appears to be waning some. Vacancy rates have been ticking up for a couple years (they now stand at 12.1 percent in Columbia/Ellicott City, according to a recent report) and more than 600,000 square feet of space is under construction, which could push the rate up further.