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Monday, September 3, 2018

What Labor Day should mean for children today

      The picture above was taken in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania in 1911.  Nanticoke is about 20 miles from where my Grandmother grew up in Pittston, Pennsylvania.  She told me about boys going off to work in the mines when she was going off to school. Child labor laws weren't passed until 1916 when she was 9 years old.  The laws outlawing child labor and work place safety weren't changed because of benevolent business owners but from the work of labor organizers and child advocates.  The 40 hour work week, health care benefits, paid vacations and sick leave were all first negotiated by unions.  Today union busting advocates maybe prefer to go back to an earlier time.  Today is a good time to look at the picture above and say a thank you to unions that our children today don't have to face the reality of the children pictured above in 1911.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Ellicott City choices

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      With two floods within two years that took lives in both cases, addressing the problem with flooding has caused the County to look at significant measures to insure that we won't see the same flooding in the future.  After the first flood it was assumed that we were looking at a rare event that could be managed with some basic water divergent measures.  The second flood caused a much more radical solution with the controversial component of tearing down some historical buildings.  While property damage is concerning the fact that there were lives lost in both floods was probably the precipitating reason a more radical approach was looked at this time.  After the two floods most of us would look at the weather forecast before heading down to Main Street.  Unlike the Patapsco River flooding which gives plenty of time to evacuate, flooding caused by the two tributaries that flow along Main Street can turn deadly in minutes.  Any possible threat of thunderstorms would cause most people to avoid the area and cancel reservations.
     While the causes of the flooding remain controversial (over development and climate change)  for the County come up simply with a water diversion plan this time would have been negligent.   As much as historical preservation is important, the reality is that some of the buildings along Main Street are situated in places that can never be adequately protected from flooding by a water diversion plan. I would hope that the lesson of the two floods is that not endangering lives always trumps endangering buildings.  Main Street Ellicott City has survived other transitions (i.e. retailers moving from Main Street to Route 40 in the 60's and 70's) and there are possible opportunities in the new plan that have the potential to create a new vitality to Main Street.  It is a mistake to be so stuck in what has existed in the past that you miss new, better opportunities in the future.  Change is healthy, even for places like historical Main Street.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

The consequences of ripping children from their parents

  Having any child removed from their parents can damage that relationship in ways that leave lingering impact.  Here is what one mother experienced when she was reunited after having been separated from her son when she sought asylum in the United States.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

When Truth and facts get in the way of making your case

  Image result for george orwell

     I first read George Orwell's books in high school a long time ago.  Animal Farm and 1984 have always been on my best books list.  We are now living in a time where what Orwell wrote about is being seen in our news.  When truth and facts are as seen as relative you know that what Orwell wrote in the 1940's is relevant today.

    Am I the only one who finds it strange to hear a President admit to playing off a porn star as OK because it wasn't from campaign funds.  Elect a reality show actor and we shouldn't be surprised we get to watch a reality show every night on the news.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Real reason military parade was cancelled

Image result for soldier with bone spurs

     Rumor has it that Trump's military parade was cancelled after Pentagon officials explained to Trump that marching down Pennsylvania Ave. might cause bone spurs in some soldiers feet.