Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Reporting on Sun Reporting

I feel bad that I didn't participate in the Bucket List Blog Fest.  I will try to get to it today.  Yesterday was a heavy work day and the "legislature of abdication" really took the wind out of my sails.  Sorry Mo.

It doesn't look like the Howard Section has hit the interwebs just yet, so let's start there.

Larry Carson reports that census numbers have indicated the Councilmanic district populations are as follows:

D1: 62,416
D2: 54,886
D3: 52,039
D4: 56,353
D5: 61,391

This cracked me up:
Courtney Watson, commenting on the difference between D1 and D3: "That's huge...Think about that from a workload perspective.  That's a huge difference."
Jen Terrasa: "The number of people doesn't necessarily represent the workload."

The article states that the ideal size of a Councilmanic district is 57,417.  In light of the fact that D1 has no connection with D3, there is no easy fix (not that party politics would have ever allowed for such an easy solution).

Larry's Notebook also states that Ken Ulman, Courtney Watson, and Calvin Ball all have fundraisers on the calendar.  I will presume my invitations were lost in the mail.

Speaking of invitations, mark your calendar for the Hope for the Homeless 5K on May 7th!  This is to benefit the Route One Day Center and is co-sponsored by Calvin Ball.  This is about one week after the Gettysburg Marathon, but I am still going to register.  Even if I have to walk, I will be there.

The Sun also has a piece about HoCo speed cameras.  I have to admit that the more I read about these cameras, the less I oppose them.  Ken Ulman was on the Kojo Nnamdi Politics Hour this past week speaking about the cameras and creating a "culture of slowing down":


I think the idea that this is just a money grab has a shaky foundation.  Two mobile cameras aren't exactly "cash cows," and to the extent they are, an in-person stop by a police officer would cost much much more.  My only lasting objection is my first one, which is that I don't like the idea of turning law enforcement into a video game, controlled by cameras and flashing lights.  I don't fault Ken for this plan and I don't much disagree with proponents who say "If you're going 12 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, I don't much care if you're fined one hundred and forty dollars so long as you learn your lesson."  But we can't dismiss slippery slope arguments slip by slip.  Remember that this started with red light cameras...in limited areas...and now they are everywhere.  Speed cameras started with school zones, but now they're on the Beltway.

David Simon (one of my favorite authors/commentators/etc. etc. etc.) writes a fantastic piece about the "war on drugs" in light of Felicia Pearson's arrest.

When I saw this piece about HBO filming the McCain/Palin movie "Game Change" in Baltimore, I thought about Howard County.  We have acres of farmland that are being "preserved" via County subsidy, which could otherwise be used for any number of theatrical purposes.  I understand that movie productions, like grocery stores, cannot be plucked out of the sky and planted into the ground, but I do wonder if the folks in the Ulman Administration that pulled in VirginFest may also be able to work the wires for some of the Civil War films that are in the pike during the 150th Anniversary.  Just a thought.

That's all for now.  Looks like I will get a weekend after all.