Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday LINKS

It has been a little harder for me to get my flow back than I had originally thought.  I have a good guest post that I may save for Monday, but in the interim, here are some links about what's been going on around town.


I hate to say it, but I think it is very possible that someone could have attended Tuesday's Spring Party without noticing the central message of the event - we changed our name.  The Columbia Foundation is now the "Community Foundation of Howard County" or CFHoCo (most likely to be referred to into the future as "the Foundation").  As noted repeatedly throughout the opening announcement, the Foundation really isn't "changing" much of anything in terms of its focus, spectrum of interest, or donor base.  The new name is a recognition that the Foundation has always been Howard County's community Foundation and should wear a title recognizing as much.  As you may expect, there was some controversy surrounding the name change, but the overwhelming majority of feedback has been positive, including the transfer of at least one fund from outside Howard County to the Foundation.  Check out the website here and remember that 10 Funds in 10 months is still ongoing, with $500 available to anyone who sets up their fund through this blog.  If these funds are not established, the matching dollars go unlocked.

It's a new day for Wilde Lake.  Watching the pictures from the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday, I thought to myself that this would definitely be something Dennis would have wanted to attend.  Wilde Lake was his home Village.  He followed the redevelopment discussions step by step, pushing back on those whom he felt were standing in the way of progress.  For everyone with a golden shovel, I'm quite sure that Dennis loved being your teammate.  Congratulations.

With Frank Aquino in attendance, and a slightly different make-up this year, the Annual Capacity Chart passed the Board of Education without much trouble - 6 to 2.  As you may recall, this Chart takes five votes to pass and in 2012, with the absence of Mr. Aquino and Allen Dyer voting against it, the chart sat in limbo for a week, failing to pass on the first try with a 3-4 vote.  As with many other things the Board of Education handles, the avoidance of one problem creates a legion of others.  Without passing a new configuration for where to put students, they continue to flood into "open" schools despite new-found capacity in previously "closed" schools.  In 2012, this would have worked to over-crowd Wilde Lake Middle School.  So all in all, this was the right vote.

Did you know there is a cancer prevention study in Howard County?  Ken Ulman is trying to recruit 1,000 Howard County residents to sign up for CPS-3 to "better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which will ultimately save lives."  I signed up yesterday and will have my preliminary examination in early June at Howard County General Hospital.  No, I'm not particularly excited about completing 20-30 years of surveys, but I am very excited about participating in a research study that could end up being a huge stride in our collective fight against cancer.  Don't wait until this horrible disease changes your life or the life of someone you love.  To quote the Ulman Cancer Fund - "Cancer changes do WE!"

Baltimore Raven linebacker Rolando McClain has retired from the NFL at 23.  That was fun.

The University of Maryland Board of Regents has approved a 2.3% tuition increase, which will amount to the difference of hundreds of dollars per semester, and thousands of dollars over a four year term.  I am waiting for someone on the right to relate this to the DREAM Act, but there is no connection.  Oh wait, it's in the comments.

The campaign for County Executive seems to be in full swing for Anne Arundel County, with one candidate receiving a $70 fine for sign-waving near a highway.  Most jurisdictions are a little more careful about assessing criminal or civil penalties for political activity, particularly those that may have had a recent scandal involving the police department, political signs, and the County Executive's office.  I would love to be a fly on the wall for the police supervisor's next chat with this patrol-man. 

Featured Blog Post of the Day: This Is Water is one of my favorite commencement addresses of all time (and we are well into the swing of those "life instruction book" speeches right now).  Check out TJ's link to the new video clip paired with an analysis of the message.  Here's my favorite quote from the speech:

"If you worship money and things - if they are where you tap real meaning in life - then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already - it's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power - you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart - you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out."

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