Showing posts from March, 2018

The Craziness Returns

What with the interesting political hocus pocus going on in Annapolis this week, I thought it was significant that this post came up in my memories for today on Facebook.

The Craziness Continues

At the heart of that post:

I'm of the opinion that these meetings allow for greater transparency and accountability. In Howard County the community struggle with our school system over these issues has taken on almost epic proportions. Citizens continue to testify in Annapolis in favor of a bill to ensure meaningful compliance with MPIA requests, yet legislators in Annapolis don't think our Superintendent should need to articulate capital budget priorities in an open meeting. 
For heaven's sake, right now Howard County is practically the definition of why these meetings need to be open. We have students and staff who have suffered long term health problems due to mold issues in their schools. All the while those in power denied there was any problem at all and there was no one holding …


If yesterday’s blog post proved anything whatsoever, it would be that Dave Yungmann has plenty of women friends who are willing to give him testimonials. That’s great. It’s good to have friends, and it looks like he has some of the best.

Things that these testimonials focus on:

Dave Yungmann is a great guy. I don’t dispute that. My blog post wasn’t about that at all.

Dave Yungmann did a lot during the BOE campaign that you don’t know about. I don’t dispute that either.

That’s just how people write campaign literature. It’s no big deal.

He wouldnever erase women. He’s not like that.

Here’s the deal. As a writer, albeit an amateur, I naturally focus on how people use words. So my blog post was an analysis of how Mr. Yungmann was telling his story to the public. In a political campaign, once you put stuff out there, the public will read it and give feedback. That’s how it works.   And there’s nothing innately unfair about commentary on political campaign posts. You are responsible f…

Wait, What?

Into every successful movement, spearheaded and supported largely by women, will come one man who will take credit for the whole thing.

I was noodling around on Facebook, looking at candidate pages,when I took a look at the page of David Yungmann. Yungmann, a Republican, is running for County Council in District 5. My eye caught this sentence:

David became a leader in the movement for new school system leadership, successfully electing a new Board of Education and installing a new Superintendent.

Wait, what?

I rubbed my eyes. I shook my head. I read it again.

David became a leader in the movement for new school system leadership, successfully electing a new Board of Education and installing a new Superintendent.

While I was aware that Mr. Yungmann supported the campaigns of two of the BOE challengers, I had no idea he was responsible for both the new board and the new superintendent. That’s pretty impressive.

In fact, it’s a such preposterous claim that I clicked on the photo hoping that it …


All text printed in italics is from this article in the HoCo Times by Kate Magill:

Howard County looks to add door locks, 4 officers to bolster school security 

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced Tuesday that he is committing $1.1 million in his upcoming budgets for school security initiatives, including more door locks at high schools and additional police officers for middle schools.


Three new school resource officers, and a supervisor, would join the three officers assigned to serve six middle schools: Mayfield Woods, Patuxent Valley, Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice, Lake Elkhorn and Oakland Mills.

Stephon Clark

Until the additional school resource officers arrive, Gardner said the department will mandate all patrol officers to add public and private schools in their beats to their regular patrol rounds. Tamir Rice 

“So the role here is for our road officers, in their beats, to make at least one check per day of going in, checking in with school administration …

Last Call

I was there on Sunday when the store employee held up his phone to play bagpipe music and tell people to bring their purchases to the cashiers up front. He had been doing that every Sunday at that time for many years, but this particular time it was different.

“Please bring your purchases to the front to pay. Thank you so much, and have a good evening. And a happy life.”

The customers laughed a bit, then applauded.

On a Sunday, March 25th, Daedalus Books and Music Outlet Store closed its doors for the last time. There will be no more browsing, no more discovering new music heard while shopping, no more great finds which snatch gift-giving victory from the jaws of defeat. The new owners will continue an online presence from their headquarters in Ohio but our hometown store will be no more.

We all know that, in the age of Amazon, bookstores are a dying breed. Yet somehow I thought that our little funky, off-beat local place would last forever. As a teacher I found books to use in the classr…

The Sweet Spot

I had a conversation the other evening about development in Howard County. I confessed that I have found myself to be conflicted on this issue. In fact, I have shied away from writing about it in the recent past because I have felt that my stance of conflict was of no use to anyone. I thought that, after doing my homework, I should be able to choose one side or the other.

I haven’t. If you’ve ever wondered why I didn’t weigh in on APFO, this is why. Or make a definitive statement about the Columbia TIF.

On the one hand, I know what communities look like when businesses feels that they are no longer commercially viable. Developers are no longer motivated to engage. It can be a vicious cycle. A lack of willingness to invest can be the kiss of death. And I know that we need a push for affordable housing and decent “starter” housing. We need to make that a priority.

On the other hand, I do see quite clearly the overcrowding in schools that continued development has brought to our area. It se…


Boy, that Kindness Rocks craze sure went south in a hurry, didn’t it?

Pennsylvania school wants to arm students with rocks to protect them against active shooters
It wasn't that long ago that we were encouraging young people to use their creative impulses to decorate rocks, add inspiring and welcoming words to them, and hide them for others to find. Create, hide, find, hide again, share again. Spread a positive message. Bring joy through the unexpected discovery of something beautiful.

And now comes the suggestion to turn those rocks into weapons. How low have we sunk in this country that adults charged with protecting children are willing to look anywhere rather than at the true solutions to a problem and, instead, give their vulnerable charges a bucket of rocks? This is not a solution, it is an abdication. Rocks (and sticks) figure prominently in many childhood stories. Rocks are everywhere, they are free; one can use them in many different ways. Sticks and stones may break your bone…

Basket Bingo (Not What You Think)

Easter is coming and some of you will be making Easter baskets. If Easter is not your holiday, you may have an occasion to celebrate the coming of Spring, or a birthday, or even a wedding. A gift basket could be just the thing.

I have an idea. What if you filled your basket with items from Mom and Pop businesses in Howard County? Here are a few ideas:

Try some delicious sweets and treats From Momma’s Kitchen.  The selection of flavors is amazing and her presentation is always over the top gorgeous.

Head over to the Breezy Willow Country Farm Store and noodle around to find just the right things to tuck in your basket. They have some wonderful handmade soaps that would bring some delightful Springtime fragrance to your gift.

A jar or two of Neat Nick Preserves would easily fit in a basket. Perhaps you could tuck in a fresh baked loaf of bread from River House Pizza?

I made my first visit to Su Casa in Ellicott City on Thursday evening. I always thought that they were just furniture. Was I e…

Words of Wisdom

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to be surrounded by snow, slush, and cold weather on my birthday. Here in Columbia, Maryland, it’s a bit of a surprise. No matter. It’s my birthday and the weather won’t get in the way of my celebration.

I’m going to indulge myself by doling out a bit of birthday wisdom today. Humor me, will you?

Probably the most important thing I have learned in recent years is how important it is to find friends who challenge your thinking. If I have done anything that will contribute to a slowdown in the aging of my brain, this is it.

In light of that, here’s the person who has done the most to transform my views on race and how that affects all of us in Columbia/Howard County.

In case you don’t know, this is Candace Dodson Reed, co-host of the podcast Elevate Maryland and a part of the HoCo Forward slate for Democratic Central Committee. I was fortunate enough to bump into her last night at a local event (more on that this weekend) …