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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Howard County to the rescue

   Howard County Government posted some pictures of Parks and Recreation employees who went to Florida to help with the clean up after the hurricane.

 Travelling back from Charlotte this weekend we saw caravans of utility trucks from Delaware that were coming back from Georgia. Talking to one of the men at a rest stop they were going back to Delaware but waiting to possibly head for Florida in another week.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

With hack of Experian it is time for Social Security to protect our SS numbers


     Anyone who has tried to lock their credit with the three credit agencies has been met with frustration in getting to anyone at those agencies.  The phone line at Experian just tells you to call back.  The other credit agency lines just leave you on hold.  It was just a matter of time before one of these companies was hacked.  Our Social Security numbers will all be available to criminal hackers now.  So who is to blame?  The credit agencies of course but Social Security also shares a great deal of blame too.  We have lived in a world where identity theft has existed for a long time.  Our Social Security numbers are now to currency that hackers need to steal identities.  What has Social Security done to protect our numbers?  NOTHING!  They act like it is not their problem but it is.  They have been neglectful in not devising a way to give us additional protection for our identities.
    So what should Social Security do to protect our identities?  One step might be what banks do with debit cards and require a pin number to use the card.  Social Security should give us the option of setting up a pin number for use of our Social Security number.  The pin numbers that banks use are never stored where the rest of our banking information is stored.   If you have ever tried to get a pin number changed you realize how the banks are very careful of who can change the number.
      There maybe other better ways to secure our Social Security numbers but it is imperative that Social Security take responsibility for the central role they play in identity theft.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Texan dietary "no-no"

    Before Hurricane Harvey struck Houston there was a run on grocery stores and the shelves quickly emptied---that is except one area.  Care to guess the area?

The vegan section of the grocery store!  Guess that is understandable in cattle country.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Orchard Development selected to redevelop Long Reach Village Center

   From the Howard County Government:

"Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today signed the purchase and sale agreement with Orchard Development for the Long Reach Village Center, completing another major step toward redevelopment of the aging center.

Kittleman said his team reached an agreement with Orchard Development to sell the 7.7-acre parcel for $3.4 million and also for the company to deliver a village green for community use during the early stages of the project.

“Orchard’s proposal was the hands-down favorite of the selection committee and was unanimously supported by the Planning Board. This plan is innovative, economically sustainable and encompasses key components requested during the Re-Imagine Long Reach process,” Kittleman said. “Given the tremendous support from the selection committee, Planning Board and Long Reach Village Board, I expect residents will be thrilled when the project is completed.”

Orchard’s redevelopment plan received positive reaction when presented to the community in May. The conceptual plan includes a village green, community space with pavilion, approximately 37,500 square feet of retail space, 17,500 square feet of medical office space, 20,000-square-foot food incubator and 19,500-square-foot vertical garden. The plan also calls for 132 units of market-rate multi-family housing, 120 units of senior multi-family housing, 52 for-sale townhomes and structured and surface parking for 960 vehicles.

"The Village Board is excited to see the Orchard team's development plan take shape in our Village Center,” said Nina Basu, Chair of the Long Reach Village Board. “We have worked closely with the County to ensure that resident input was included and are very much looking forward to the implementation of a dynamic, cutting edge plan, which includes great community amenities like the amphitheater, village green and dog park. We are especially excited to be a catalyst for reimagining space in an environmentally beneficial and cutting-edge way through the innovative vertical farm included in the plan."

Howard County purchased the Long Reach property in 2014 under a previous administration with the goal of revitalizing what had been designated a “blighted” property. Orchard’s proposal was selected after an extensive community input period that included five public engagement meetings and the development of the Re-Imagine Long Reach Village Center plan.

The redevelopment plan must still go through multiple steps before the County can close on the sale, which will officially transfer ownership to Orchard Development and allow construction to begin. These steps include the Village Center Community Planning Process and the zoning approval process, which together will take about a year, said Amy Gowan, Deputy Director of the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning. Two more community meetings will be scheduled this fall as part of the Village Center Community Planning Process, she said.

Gowan added that after the County closes on the sale, the developer will begin construction of the first phase of the village green for community use. Orchard anticipates delivering the first buildings in the redeveloped center in 2020.

Details of the proposal and other information regarding the Re-imagine Long Reach project can be found at "


Monday, September 11, 2017

Trump is trying to play his "get out of impeachment" card


   For anyone surprised to see Trump deal with the Democrats on legislation this past week you only have to look at it from Trump's survival perspective.  He is looking at an expanding investigation from Robert Mueller that could provide the basis of impeachment hearings if the Democrats take back the House of Representatives next year.  Trump can hope that if the Democrats control one or both houses of Congress they will prefer to deal with a president who will compromise than one like Mike Pence who will push the conservative agenda more successfully than Trump.  For Democrats the choice of a Pense presidency or a newly moderate Trump presidency suddenly looks like a no brainer.  This shouldn't be a surprise when you remember that survival is the only consistent personal quality that Trump has ever shown.  The extent that Trump will go to survive was shown when he was willing to "launder" Russian oligarchs money when all the banks would not loan him money to save his real estate empire.
     With Trump's need to "deal" look for more deals with Chuck and Nancy.