Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Columbia Association Logo (Thursday LINKS)

Today is the roll out day:

I like it.

The new logo incorporates CA's past, while introducing a "kick" of modernity.  I think we can expect some people to hate it for the simple fact that it is "change".  Sure, they will deny that as the reason, and probably say things like "What does it mean?" or "I don't like the way it makes me feel", but behind those soft objections normally lies the core complaint:

You didn't ask me first.

I think that is a legitimate concern here.  CA decided to move forward without soliciting proposals from the community.  While Columbia residents were a high priority throughout the process, they were not a decision-maker here.  That was a risk and one I think the CA Staff overcame with a successful product.

The fact of the matter is that a crowd-sourced logo could have been plain awful, surpassed in offensiveness only by its permanence.  As with many other decisions by "Columbia Residents", it would have been driven by the invested few to the ignorance of the divested many.  We often come together with a false sense of public sentiment in these decisions, which can be more oppressive than anything Staff-driven, regardless of "public" participation.

Instead, we have a product of well-qualified professionals, using the tools available to them to gauge resident interests, and I think the final logo fits the bill.

And best of all, they didn't even ask me first.


Janene Holzburg has a neat article about a local road-side BBQ truck turned award winner.  I do love me some road-side cuisine.

An Israeli Defense contractor, currently making products for the armed services of over 50 countries, will be setting up shop in Maple Lawn.  The facility is projected to grow to 25,000 feet and start out by creating 100 new jobs.  Kudos to whomever pulled this one together.

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of UMBC, has been named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People.  Jane obtained her Masters from UMBC back in 2007 and I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Hrabowski speak.  He is a truly impressive individual and we are fortunate to have him in the state university system.

Senate President Mike Miller is now denying that the expanded gambling bill derailed the State Budget last week, blatantly contradicting statements made shortly after the end of Session.  When you're in a hole, Mike, stop digging.

Baltimore City has a new vegetable garden in Druid Heights thanks to the work of take-out owner Abdu Muhammed and the Power in Dirt campaign.  It certainly seems like the civic engagement is there in Baltimore City.  You just have to wonder if the government is doing enough to enable its citizens.

City and State lawmakers are once again fighting the bottle-tax battle, this time with teachers, students, and parents coming out strongly in favor of the measure, which has been successfully opposed by the liquor lobby on at least two previous occasions.  The article seems to suggest that Baltimore City funding is a figment on top of a pipe dream: "Rawlings-Blake has proposed combining the proceeds of the bottle tax — an estimated $10 million a year — with 10 percent of the revenue from the planned slots casino and $12 million in other school system savings to float $300 million in bonds."  And then I found $5 (hundred million) dollars.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Village Green/Town Squared takes a look at bullying in the blog commenter context in a piece entitled "Where the Killers Come From."  I hesitate to string teen suicide with a snarky commenter, but I understand where Julia is coming from.  You all would probably be surprised to hear about how much I think about comment moderation.  It is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" proposition.  The other day I saw a commenter say that it was "unfortunate" that someone else's comment had "received publicity" for their "ignorance."  I thought to myself "Are they saying I should take this comment down?  Am I doing something wrong by doing nothing?"  I think we need to use discretion when deciding when to weigh in against the Anonymi.  "Someone" is always going to be wrong on the internet.  But when you come in aggressively, expect aggression to come back ten-fold.  Anonymity emboldens bad ideas by their ease of abandonment.

That's all for today.  Have a great Thursday doing what you love!