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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lake Kittamaqundi yesterday morning

Trump the "Mob Boss"

Mob Boss Trump Just Put Out A Hit On The Whistle Blower, L.A. ...

      Listening to Trump talk at his rally last week about how he told 'his people' to slow down the testing for Covid-19 I couldn't help but remember how Mob bosses talked.  Like so much of how Trump talks and acts it reminds us how comfortable he has been dealing with criminals like the Mafia.
     This is how Michael Cohen describes how Trump operates:

    "Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates. In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie."

     The website Vox discussed Trump's longtime connections to the Russian Mob this way:

     "Longtime journalist Craig Unger opens his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin, with this anecdote. The book is an impressive attempt to gather up all the evidence we have of Trump’s numerous connections to the Russian mafia and government and lay it all out in a clear, comprehensive narrative.
The book claims to unpack an “untold story,” but it’s not entirely clear how much of it is new. One of the hardest things to accept about the Trump-Russia saga is how transparent it is. So much of the evidence is hiding in plain sight, and somehow that has made it harder to accept.

But make no mistake: Trump’s ties to shady Russian figures stretch back decades, and Unger diligently pieces them together in one place. Although Unger doesn’t provide any evidence that Trump gave the Russians anything concrete in return for their help, the case he makes for how much potential leverage the Russians had over Trump is pretty damning."
   Finally, Trump has had no trouble dealing with the NYC Mob in getting his buildings built in New York.   Is it any surprise that so many people around Trump have been convicted of a crime and the only thing that may have kept him out of jail is being President.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Latest information on Covid-19 in Howard County

Latest from Howard County Executive:
"We are pleased to keep our community data-informed through this pandemic. Today’s 7-day rolling average positivity rate shows a 4.74% rate in Howard County, with a 4.89% rate in the State of Maryland. The lower positivity rate indicates that fewer residents are testing positive. When communities have less than a 10% positive rate, infections are easier to track and allow for better isolation of the virus.
There have been a total of 28,669 tests administered in the county to date, with 2,706 tests administered in the past week. This represents a 9.4% increase in testing since last week. As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, the total population tested in Howard County is 7.9%
While we are resuming normal activities, please continue to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings when interacting with others, and frequently wash hands.
For more data, visit our COVID-19 dashboard here:  "


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Message for bikers (and pedestrians)

    Cyclist kills pedestrian; does calling “on your left” not work ...

     It seems like I post this issue every year but here it is again.  Running or walking along Columbia's paths it seems that many bikers find it inconvenient to call out their passing on the left.  This is particularly dangerous when they are flying downhill.   Bells are hard to hear especially when rung too far back.  Bikers can't assume that pedestrians will stay in their lane to allow safe passage.  It is the biker's responsibility to have a safe passage, not the pedestrian's.

     As a biker also, I also have to remind pedestrians that having headphones up on a high volume is not helping the safety situation.  Especially when walking down the center of the path.  I leave one earbud out just to hear anyone coming up behind me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Clyde's and the Soundry to close

    After over 40 years of being a cornerstone of the lakefront, Clyde's will close by July 19th.   The Lakefront might see a transformation in after the pandemic is over.  I have wondered for a while if the development at Crescent will pull activities there that have traditionally been held at the Lakefront.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

School Supplies Connection Donations needed

Prepare for Success – School Supplies Connection

     I know this past school year has been the strangest one anyone can remember.  The year 2020 started out like any other with hopes for a prosperous and healthy year.  Boy was that wrong!  As we look at some uncertainty to the new school year starting we can be sure that there will be a number of Howard County students who will be in need of school supplies.  For years the Community Action Council has been raising funds for school supplies for low-income students.   The program now goes by the name of "School Supplies Connection."  Roy and Susan Applebee have been Co-Coordinating this program as volunteers for many years.  Now is the time to donate to this cause as I have.  Go to the Community Action Council web page at and click on the "Donate" tab and look for the "Donation Restriction" box where you will see the "General Fund."   Use the drop-down menu to select "School Supplies Connection."


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Latest on Covid 19 in Howard County from County Executive

No photo description available.

     On this Status Update Sunday, we are pleased to announce that our Howard County Health Department has reached an important milestone of 45 contact tracers available. Cited in our HoCo RISE plan, the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated 15 contact tracers per 100,000 population needed, and we are close and continue to onboard others.
Having robust contact tracing, a stable supply of PPE at more than 30 days, and an increase of tests administered per day, a stark increase from 116 in April to 657 in June, puts us in a good position to allow further easing of restrictions on opening or operation of businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities.
Our preparation is showing in our data, which is progressing in the right direction. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate peaked on April 29th at 28.2%; and, as of today, the seven-day rolling average positivity rate is 5.58%, below the state average of 6.72%.  
The seven-day rolling average for ventilator utilization has decreased from 24.4% a week ago to 12.0% today. The ICU utilization rate has remained flat at 63.3%, and acute care utilization has decreased from 91.3% to 81.9%.
I strongly encourage residents to continue practicing physical distancing, wear face coverings when interacting with others, and frequently wash hands.
For more data, visit our COVID-19 dashboard here:


The cold hard truth about Confederate symbols

Postcard Confederate Flag – CootersPlace

   Recently the Confederate symbols have once again come under scrutiny as symbols to be rejected. When people talk about the Confederate flag only representing a historical tradition and culture it is important to remember that the Confederacy only lasted 5 years.  The flag was resurrected during the 1950s and 1960s to oppose integration.   

  The same thing is true with the erecting of Confederate statues.  The chart above shows the surge in erecting statues that happened in the early 1900s and the 1960s that reflected the racial tensions of both times.  The popularity of the statues and the flag are tied to the message that each sends about slavery, white superiority, ownership of other humans and not some genteel way of life.  Just remember when you see a statue of a Confederate general that they were fighting for a system that took children from their parents and sold them to other slave owners like any other commodity.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Links to latest information on Covid-19 in Howard County

   The latest information from the Howard County Health Department shows that the rate of hospitalization and use of ventilators has decreased to some extent from the highs of April and May.  The reality is that there are still many active cases of the disease in our community and as we move into new phases with less social distancing we may see a return to the higher numbers.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Undercover granny warning!

  We all know that Trump needs to have an enemy identified to feed to his supporters to hate.   In 2016 it was the immigrant caravans coming from Mexico.  We haven't heard much about them recently since Trump has found a new group to feed his supporters.  The new group is Antifa.  Particularly the undercover elderly members of this group.   While the far-right terrorist groups are the number one terrorist threat, the Washington Post has helpfully given us a guide to identifying if our grandparent is secretly a possible Antifa terrorist.  Here are some of the things to watch out for:

1) For your birthday, she knits you an unwanted scarf. To be used as a balaclava?
2) She is always talking on the phone with an “aunt” you have never actually met in person. Aunt TIFA????
3) He “trips” over and breaks your child’s Lego police station when walking through the living room in the dark.
4) Suddenly, for no reason, will appear or pretend to be asleep
5) Carries peppermints (chemical irritant?) in purse at all times.
6) Is taking Centrum Silver. But for what reason? Surely to build up strength for the coming confrontation.
7) You gave her a Precious Moments figurine of a law enforcement officer, but she hasn’t displayed it.
8) She claims not to know how to use her phone, yet always appears upside-down on FaceTime, which should be impossible without hacking capabilities.
9) Remembers things from the past in incredible, exhausting detail, but recent ones only sporadically? Cover of some kind.
10) Gathers with loose-knit, disorderly group of figures you have never met to play “mah-jongg,” governed by mysterious “rule cards” issued annually from a nebulous central authority.

     You have now been warned.  I am sure these warning signs will soon be posted on the overhead signs along our interstate highways.  Give another definition of a Silver Alert.  Maybe this one could be called a "Golden Alert."

     Besides tornadoes here is another reason to avoid Oklahoma

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lesson 101 in tense social interactions

     Watching the confrontations the past couple of weeks between police and demonstrators I am reminded of one of the first lessons from treatment foster care training.  DON"T ESCALATE A CONFRONTATIONAL SITUATION!  One of the necessary things to learn when you are given any type of authority is that you are expected to be the mature adult when others are acting in an immature manner.  Any mature person has to remain in control of their emotions even in difficult situations.  Force can only be used in relation to the level of the threat.  Striking someone who is yelling in your face is an inappropriate response. Giving a weapon to an immature person in authority is asking for trouble.  Ask any parent who has been pushed to their limit by an acting out child how difficult it is to remain as a mature parent.
      Some of the problems with policing today maybe the way police are recruited.  Recruiting former military personnel to become police may not be the best way to have police seen as part of the community.   Training to look at people as the enemy to be confronted with force will be problematic in any community.  This is especially true when 80-90 percent of police work is more related to social services than crime.  Add to this that many police departments have received military equipment that has been surplused from the Iraq and Afganistan wars.  The problem with policing today is not the "bad apple" but the culture that sees the community as the enemy to be controlled.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Bad Apples

Image may contain: one or more people and closeup, text that says '"I know being a cop is hard. I know that shit's dangerous. I know it is, okay? But some jobs can't have bad apples. Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Like pilots. Ya know, American Airlines can't be like, "Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains." Chris Rock'


Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get his picture taken in front of a church while he was holding a Bible.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Another example of why Columbia is special

Thousands march peacefully in Columbia to protest police killings ...

   Yesterday 4-5,000 people marched in a Black Lives Matters march to protest the murder of George Floyd.  What was amazing was the number of people who turned out and that everyone wore a mask.  Masks were handed out to those who showed up without one.  What a "civil" thing to do to protect our community.  But then again our County has "Choose Civility" as our motto.  Special community-special people.