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Friday, September 28, 2018

Butterflies at Audubon Gardens in Mt. Airy

  I had a great visit to the Audubon Gardens to photograph butterflies (and one closeup of a fly!) today.  There were some tagged butterflies in the bottom picture.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Where is the red line for adolescent impulse control?

    I hesitate to get into the Kavanaugh hearing controversy but many of the questions being raised deal with what you can expect from adolescent boys especially when they have been drinking.  Boys will be boys.  The statement seem to assume that immature drunk hormone fueled boys should somehow be excused for their excessively violent behavior.  The question becomes where is the red line for what would we accept? Should we be accepting if someone beats their girl friend in a drunken state?  Forcing yourself on someone against their will is an act of violence just as much as beating them.  Like most men who do this they are never charged or have a criminal record.
      A couple of points to remember in this "his said/she said" situation.  Christine Ford's therapist has valided that she had this situation happen to her and Dr. Ford has passed a polygraph test.  Will Kavanaugh take a polygraph test? Don't hold your breath.

      The Republicans didn't need to be dealing with another situation that could driving away women before the mid term election.  Comes with the territory of having a leader who acknowledges being able to assault women because he was a celebrity.  Giving up the high moral ground can hurt you on election day.

P.S. 1
     So the Republicans are upset with the Democrats trying to delay a vote on confirmation.  I seem to remember a Republican 10 month delay on filling this Court seat.

Friday, September 21, 2018


Image result for bridges to housing stability

    Even in Howard County many people struggle to afford housing.  One organization has been working to insure that people of all economic means can afford to live in Howard County.  Now it is our turn to support Bridges in this endeavor.

 Tino's Italian Bistro & Wine Bar 8775 Centre Park Drive Columbia, MD 21045

    A night of excellence including a gourmet four-course meal, several intriguing auction items, and premiere Orin Swift wine tasting. Proceeds from this event will support Bridges to Housing Stability whose mission is to provide a path to self sufficiency through housing solutions and advocacy to prevent and end homelessness in Howard County.

     Sponsored by The Howard Hughes Corporation. 

Tickets are $65. Event & ticket information can be found at
Call or text 240-328-8254 for additional information
   Proceeds from this event will support Bridges to Housing Stability whose mission is to provide a path to self sufficiency through housing solutions and advocacy to prevent and end homelessness in Howard County.

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

Image result for ellicott city flooding 2018

      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.