Friday, December 15, 2017

Shop Talk

This is one of those mornings where I can think of a variety of things to write about, but my brain is just not awake enough to perform the intellectual operations necessary to do them justice. The good news: tomorrow starts my Winter Break and I will have much more time to write.

A little plug this morning for the Breezy Willow Farm Country Market.  I stopped by on the way home from work to pick up some Neat Nick Preserves to give as gifts. I highly recommend this place. In addition to all kinds of locally grown/made foodstuffs, they are offering a variety of lovely holiday gifts. They’re on Frederick Road across from the Rita’s. You can park right next to the store. Service is friendly and helpful.

I’d tell you more about what I bought but some of the gift recipients might be reading this post...

I discovered last night that Home Slyce delivers, and I am now in serious trouble. They are the only place in Howard County that makes a decent baba ghanouj. I ordered online at six, the delivery was due at seven. It arrived at six thirty-nine. I had amazing baba ghanouj and a deliciously spicy chicken calzone and I have lots of leftovers. If you haven’t tried Home Slyce, you should. They are located on Snowden where Azul 17 used to be.

Local bakery Renata’s Tasty Bites made the news this week:

Great news to share with you!
Some months ago we were approached by Shake Shake burger joint to provide some seasonal pies for their new store location at the Columbia mall. Our pies would be mixed with their frozen custard (concrete).
We are pleased to let you know that we are now official vendor for them and making our first delivery next week for their new store opening on December 20th.
We are looking forward to work with them and hope you'll stop by to welcome them in our town.
When you are there make sure you look for a frozen custard Pie Oh My made with our pie.

I am looking forward to noodling around Main Street in Old EC with HoCoHouseHon next week. I can’t wait to visit Sweet Elizabeth Jane in their new location, and I’ve been hearing good things about a new restaurant called Georgia Grace CafĂ©.

Have a wonderful Friday.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wintry Tweets

As we move into the winter season, there is one thing you can be sure of. If it snows in the evening, students will be on Twitter begging hcpss for a delay or a cancellation. This is the first generation who can use social media to petition for such a favor, and they haven’t been idle. They send photographs, video clips, anecdotes of slipping and falling, and generally do their best to wheedle and convince.

I could be wrong but I don’t think that their wild protestation of weather woes have any impact on school closures. None whatsoever. But, as long as they aren’t outright rude or threatening, it’s pretty much a harmless pastime. I suppose all those tweets remain out there for future employers to search and evaluate, so maybe you don’t want to make a complete fool of yourself.

Just a thought.

This will be Interim Superintendent Michael Martirano’s first winter season at the helm. I wonder how he will take the sudden onslaught of interest in his twitter account every time the flakes start to fall. Will he take it with good grace? Will he show a sense of humor about the whole thing? From what I have observed so far, he’ll probably check to make sure his snowflake socks are ready to go, then he’ll tweet out an inspirational quote about how snow days are so much more joyful if you have put in the effort to complete your schoolwork the night before.

We’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, good news from Stevens Forest Elementary School in Oakland Mills:

From PTA Board Member, Jessica Mahajan —

Thanks to the efforts of some great community members, 400 hand-knit hats were donated to SFES (along with many other hats, gloves, and coats). All students were given a chance to choose a hat today, so don’t be surprised if your kiddo comes home with some stylish new winter gear. 

I love this. If everyone gets to choose a hat, no one sticks out as the “less fortunate”. The hats become not just protection against the cold, but community unifiers. “We’re all in this together.”  What a remarkable statement of love made visible.

Now, that’s some snow days news I can get excited about.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In Her Own Country

This morning my Facebook feed is full of black women from Alabama with “I Voted”stickers and white people from all over the country celebrating. My Twitter feed is full of information that makes it clear that black women truly made the difference for Doug Jones in Alabama. And that this is not a new thing.

@ShamekaErby: Don't just thank Black women.

Respect Black Women
Protect Black Women
Hire Black Women
Pay Black Women

Local writer and sometime blogger Candace Montague responds:

 @urbanbushwoman9:Let the church say...? #Amen

The time to be celebrating the talents, widom, and persistence of black women is long overdue. But it seems to me that we’re more comfortable celebrating their successes when they happen somewhere else. What about right here in Howard County?

Since the presidential election a number of groups have sprung up locally to promote Progressive causes. Local activist Maureen Evans Arthurs caused some uncomfortable self-reflection for (almost exclusively white women) members by pointing out the stunning lack of diversity in these groups. Not to mention the fact that these groups were founded without an adequate understanding of African American advocacy groups that were already established and functioning.

Elevate Maryland Co-host Candace Dodson Reed, herself the founder of the African American Community Roundtable—with support and guidance from Regina Clay— has expressed dismay at the casual dismissal and sometimes outright hostility by local members of her own political party. Good grief. If a member of the Democratic Central Committee can’t get respect “in her own country” then we are not getting the lesson we need to be getting.

A prophet is not without honor save in [her] own country...

Celebrating the work of black women “over there” but not making room for it “over here” is just more of the same entrenched racism from self-described white allies that perpetuates white privilege. And it destroys any credibility we might have in the African American community. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s who we want to be.If we find ourselves saying, “oh, aren’t they inspiring!” nationally, followed by “why are they always harping on those same issues?” locally, then we have some uncomfortable self-reflection ahead of us.

Let’s end the disconnect.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Everything Old

One year, I believe it was in 1966, my mother put her foot down and said no more messy Christmas trees. I was in the second grade and I was not happy about it. I loved the smell of pine in the house, the feeling of hanging ornaments on the prickly, bendy branches. But my mother was tired of being the one who had to water the tree and pick up the falling needles. Or she was tired of nagging her three children to keep up with that chore. I guess we forgot. A lot.

It was our first year in Columbus, Ohio, in a newly-built house, in a newly-built subdivision. Everything in my world was changing. The fancy holiday dresses with scratchy petticoats that tied in the back with a big sash were pushed aside for slim, sleek mini-dresses. Popular culture was obsessed with the Beatles and the British Invasion. 

Aluminum trees were new and daring and my mother somehow got a bee in her bonnet that we were going to have one. At the time I felt that this put us at odds with Charlie Brown and Linus in the Christmas special that had debuted the previous season. I didn’t want a “shiny aluminum tree.” I wanted a real tree.

But I was not so much a purist as to boycott the new tree altogether. I was there for its first unboxing. I listened to the magical “whoosh!” as each shiny branch came out of its paper tube. I helped to decorate it and admitted, grudgingly, that it looked good as the color wheel cast its ever-changing glow. But I clung to a loyalty to real trees in my heart.

As an adult I have almost always had real trees. And I realized over time why my mother had gotten tired of the watering and the endless cleaning up of needles. But I’ve never warmed to the second generation, green, “lookalike” Christmas trees. I don’t know why. I just don’t care for them.

Over the last few years I have begun to feel the stirrings of nostalgia for an aluminum tree. If I was going to put aside the joy of a real tree, if even for one year, I wanted it to be for something truly over-the-top, retro, quirky, bold. But my family was dubious. And the cost of vintage aluminum trees was staggering.

Then, when I had pretty much given up hope, a friend from all the way across town in Harper’s Choice let me know that he had one he was willing to part with. At a fair price. And so I finally got my aluminum tree. And not just any aluminum tree, but a gorgeous, full-sized tree with all pieces intact and in pristine condition. With a color wheel. And a rotating stand that plays “Silent Night.”




Perhaps nostalgia gets us all in the end. My heart was full and my mind was filled with so many memories of that first Christmas in the new house in what felt like a whole new world. It wasn’t all happy. Much was uncertain. Just like today, I guess.

Many thanks to my friend for bringing me so much Christmas joy this year, and to my family for being willing to try something new. Now they know how much fun it is to pull each shiny branch out of its paper tube. “Whoosh!”

Monday, December 11, 2017

Transforming the Message

Greetings from Twitter-Land this morning. As a part of my quest to promote school music programs on social media for HCPSM, I spend time daily reading all tweets mentioning “hcpss”. There’s probably a way to set up a system to do this. I pride myself on doing it “by hand”. It doesn’t take all that long, and I learn quite a bit about what’s happening in our schools.

During the past four years or so, the message coming from Central Office and individual schools was full of educational buzz words. There were daily, if not hourly, references to World Class Education, College and Career Ready, data, rigor, grit, Gallup Strengths Finder, and testing, testing, testing. And let’s not forget Vision 2018.

Controlling the message was a hallmark of the previous administration. It was clear the school administrators felt pressure to conform when composing tweets meant to inform their school communities. Day after day the educational gobbledegook flowed from every source. I often wondered if other parents found it as mind-boggling as I did.

There has been a noticeable shift in what is being shared since the advent of Interim Superintendent Michael Martirano. This is only to be expected. His own Twitter account has focused on kindness, equity, and inclusion. He exhorts the community to be willing to do the hard work necessary to make those things happen. And, naturally, school accounts have reflected his priorities.

But a greater change has been how individual schools are reporting on daily happenings. Admin are reporting on a greater variety of things that show learning, whether academic, social-emotional, arts experiences or physical development through sports. They appear to have much more freedom to simply inform the public of what they judge to be “share-worthy” experiences.

Of course it’s all a part of a larger goal of public relations, but it looks much more like truth to me. As a teacher, I read the hcpss twitter feed with much more joy these days. As a parent, I’m being given a chance to see what is actually going on, instead of strings of eduspeak. I’m seeing a system that celebrates individual school communities, and values the ability of administrators to choose which stories to share.

Yes, there’s an overall unity in priorities. We are a school “system”, after all. But I’m feeling a loosening of the grip when it comes to how The Message is shared.

Truth in advertising: all of my observations here are made as an outside observer. No actual school system employees were consulted for the writing of this piece. So there is plenty that I do not know.

I do know that it’s a whole lot more fun to do the hcpss Twitter scan these days. Our schools are doing some pretty cool stuff. Do you follow your child’s school on Twitter? You should. These days, you migh actually learn something.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Columbia’s Best Ambassador

Once upon a time, back when I was much shyer than I am now, I ventured out to an event at the Columbia Archives. This was back when it was in its old home in the American City Building. I can’t remember the particular exhibit that was being debuted that evening. I do remember being overwhelmed by the number of attendees all of the same generation, who all knew one another, and who, I supposed, had all known Jim Rouse.

They clumped together chummily in the small space. They lingered over the photographic display, sharing personal anecdotes. It was easier to back up and out of the way. I left feeling that 1) I hadn’t really done the exhibit justice, and 2) maybe it wasn’t really meant for me, anyway. 

I felt defeated. I was intrigued by the archives and had great admiration for its director, Barbara Kellner. But that evening suggested to me that perhaps Columbia history was the property of the Pioneers. At any rate, I came away feeling that my attendance didn’t truly matter.

I was wrong.

Unbeknownst to me, Ms. Kellner had noticed me there that evening. And it mattered to her that I was interested enough in the archives to show up in person. I don’t know how she was able to spot me in that crowded room, all while she was giving personal attention to so many enthusiastic guests. Attention to detail is a hallmark of good archivists, clearly.

Anyway, some years later Ms. Kellner was willing to sit down with me at Comptoir at the Lakefront and answer my questions about the history of Symphony Woods, her thoughts on the ongoing process of the Inner Arbor Trust plan, and many other things as well. I learned so much that day and I was very grateful to her for giving her time and expertise to bring a local blogger up to speed.

Back when the Columbia Association discovered social media and everyone got their own account on  Facebook, my favorite was the Columbia Archives account. Ms. Kellner seemed to instinctively know how to use the new platform to engage, pique interest, inform, and build connections. When CA reversed course and shut all those individual accounts down, they made a huge mistake in de-activating the Archives account. It was by far the best ambassador for all things Columbia that they had going. It was Excite Columbia before it was cool.

I had heard this summer that Ms. Kellner was retiring and, despite the time I have had since then to process it,  I still can’t wrap my brain around it. I’m guessing that she would not want the Archives mission to be associated so closely with her that it couldn’t go on in her absence. It’s crucial that the Columbia Archives not be merely “Barbara Kellner’s archives”. If they are to live on along with the New American City, we need to think of them as our archives. No matter what our ages. No matter when we moved here.

Please go read more about Ms. Kellner in this article by Janene Holzberg:

Over quarter century, Columbia archivist made her own mark in history

This quote from archivist Robin Emrich says it all:

Barb is the key liaison between Columbia history and the public. There is no Columbia ambassador equal to her.

The best of wishes to Ms. Kellner in her retirement. We ought to give you the key to the city. But I have a feeling that, if there is one, you already have it. In the Archives.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

In the Picture

You may recall I had some serious reservations about the stock photo used to promote the Columbia Association’s newest outreach to Millennials. Not too old, not too young, not too brown, not too white...and yet all in the very same socio-economic range. Hmm...

Well, here’s a picture to clear your visual palate, as it were. How’d you like to hang out and discuss Columbia with these folks? I would.


Of course I’d want to put some women at the table. But wouldn’t you rather join this bunch? Don’t they look like real people? That’s because they are. They’re in the following post from a relatively new local establishment:

Nourishing Journey Wellness Center & Cafe!! 

The perfect place to stop by and have a delicious Smoothie,Coffee, Snack or Meal. 
After work or school with friends and family! 
Our cafe is the perfect place to bring your computer and lounge while enjoying any of our snacks and treats! 
Stop by with Co-workers to have a laid back meeting. 
We offer same day room rentals! 
Call or Stop by today!
410 - 992 - 3001
8975 Guilford Road #170
Columbia, Maryland, 21046

Truth in advertising: I haven’t been to Nourishing Journey. I can’t endorse their business but I can say this post made me want to visit. When I do I’ll be sure to write about it. If these fellows are there I suspect they’d be friendly enough to let me sit at their table. (If I weren’t too shy to ask, that is.)

I have seen some negative writing recently about young people in Columbia and I am deeply troubled by what looks like piling on and fear-mongering in some corners. Publications like Patch are motivated to put out there whatever will stir you up and make you click. That’s not a model that serves the good of the community. I find that to be deeply disappointing.

When I look at the photo above it brings to mind how beautiful our young people are and how full of possibility and promise. We should be taking every opportunity to lift them up, not write them off.  Repeating rumors that characterize entire groups of people in negative stereotypes harms not in the students but their families and our community. It makes it harder for schools to do their jobs and for students to believe in themselves and each other.

The young men in this photo appear to me to me early college-age? late High School? At any rate, I do hope that CA talks to people like this as they reach out to younger residents. They know things that I don’t. They have experienced things that I haven’t. And they have needs and hopes and desires that are important to Columbia’s future.

Comments are welcome here:

https://www.facebook.com/VillageGreenTownSquared/?ref=bookmarks








Friday, December 8, 2017

ISO


The Columbia Association wants YOU.

Actually, from what I know about who is reading the blog, probably not you. Or me. And that’s a good thing. Let me try that again.

The Columbia Association wants Millennials!

We are seeking volunteers between the ages of 17 and 35 to be part of the new Millennials Work Group. This is a unique opportunity for younger Columbians to make their voices heard on the kinds of programs, activities and venues that should be offered in Columbia — and to express their ideas about how to attract younger residents to engage with and serve the community.

This is a great idea. I have long been clamoring for more outreach to younger residents.  (Did I miss their outreach to Gen X’ers?) The positive response to the children’s dance parties at the Chrysalis this summer showed how eager young parents were for new local programming. It’s important to include people like them at the table.

I had to smile when I saw the age range listed because both of my daughters fit the description. I wonder if I can convince them to jump in and have their say? I’ll have to run the ad by both of them and get their feedback. After all, since I have my own focus group of two, I can get to work right away in gathering some useful data...

Just kidding.

Reaching out to younger folks is awesome. Using social media to make the pitch is smart. I have one lingering question on my mind. In the past, CA has been known for believing that people should just come to them. They haven’t been exactly anxious to find where the people are and go there. So, aside from a push on Facebook (and perhaps other social media channels) how are they working to connect with Columbia residents from age 17 to 35 who aren’t already connected with them?

In other words, are we willing to go out and find Millennials in their natural habitats? A workgroup made up of people who already know about CA is not going to have the depth of one that includes a wider cross-section of residents.  The folks at CA may already have a plan to do this. I promise I will follow up to find out.

In the meantime, where do you suggest that they go to connect with younger residents? If they really had to get off social media and leave CA headquarters, where would you send them to meet up with Columbians aged 17-35?  I know one place that wouldn’t be a good bet: Village elections. But that’s another story altogether.

One more thing: the stock photo they used is just plain creepy but I can’t quite put my finger on why. I’m open to your ideas on that.


Three cheers to CA for looking to bring younger folks in. I hope this effort is wildly successful. I wonder what will happen when they say things that older residents don’t want to hear...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Uncomfortable

I’d like to begin by congratulating the Columbia Flier for having only one error page this week. Gives me hope.

Howard County is going to be introducing shade areas in parks and I am looking forward to those reliable haters who will jump out and say this is the action of a Nanny State who is taking away parents’ rights and responsibilities. Any minute now. Or maybe not since we have a Republican County Executive.

Oh, and a post script: added sugar is still a public health issue.

Speaking of health, mine is not so great and I am phoning around trying to get a sub. In the meantime, I am passing along this excellent TED talk which was recommended to me by Elevate Maryland's own Candace Dodson Reed.

“Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable” , Luvvie Ajayi

When are you willing to take that risk and be the domino? Have you ever done it? How did it turn out? Would you do it again? Any advice for the rest of us who hate being uncomfortable?

You know where to leave your comments:

https://m.facebook.com/VillageGreenTownSquared/



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mom Takes Over

Sooner or later, the Mom instinct takes over. Welcome to the department of shameless promotion. My daughter’s choir is participating in this contest to win money to support Choral programs at her school. There are a few other local schools participating, so if you already have loyalties, I understand. But just in case you don’t...

Here’s an explanation from a very excited high school student:

 Vote for River Hill’s 12 Days of Christmas on http://www.mix1073.com/choir/ !! If we win we win $5000 for the entire River Hill Choir department!! This means a lot to us so if you could vote that would be awesome!! You can vote once a day for today, tomorrow and Thursday!! Voting closes at 5pm Thursday! Give it a listen and make sure to vote! Thank you!

When you get to the contest website, there will be a gallery of four pages of entrants. Look for: River Hill Twelve Days of Christmas. Make sure you listen to their entry. If you have time, listen to other ones as well. An excellent reminder of some of the joy that music brings to education.

So here’s the deal. If you are so inclined, vote once today and once tomorrow. That’s it. You can support Choral singing and help these kids win a chance to perform on the Jack Diamond morning radio show as well. 

In case you’d like to see them in person, the River Hill High School Choirs will be performing at Clarksville Commons on Tuesday, December 12th at 6:00 pm. Come on out to enjoy their choral and acappella groups performing a mix of seasonal and pop songs. Plus, support local businesses like YOU Pizza and Kupcakes & Company. 


Just two clicks. Make a mom happy. Support local music. And your regularly scheduled blogger will return tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Happy Anniversary

It is hard to believe, but it has been a year. A year since I wrote this:


Now We Begin

There's  a countdown ticker running over at the Better Board of Ed website. Right now it reads eleven hours, forty six minutes. When the countdown runs its course a new Board of Education will be sworn in and a new era in the Howard County Schools will begin.

It has been a long, long slog to get to this day. Those engaged in the work of bringing change to the school system might be forgiven for thinking that today is the long-awaited end to the process. Finally, finally, the majority has changed. The 5-2 voting machine has been broken, and the status has shifted.

Finally. It will be time to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

But when the counter runs down and the long wait is over we will be not at the end, but at the beginning. At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious: we haven't yet begun the journey we have set our sights upon. We didn't elect a better Board of Education so we could go back to ignoring what goes on and let someone else take care of it.

No matter how good they are, they will need our help. They need our voices, and our participation. Things like transparency, accountability, and responsiveness are a two-way street. They thrive when there are constituents who are consistently engaged in the process. It's true that we don't have to worry that they'll be so outrageously awful that we need to watch them every minute. But that does not give us a free pass to check out.

Part of electing a better Board of Education was doing the work of making things better. Nice job, Howard County. Now keep doing it.

11:14...tick tock...

One year ago tonight a new Board of Education was sworn in. New leadership was elected. Former Board Chair Christine O’Connor resigned, Dr. Foose sued the School Board. These have been truly eventful times for the school system. Swearing in a better BOE was just the beginning of the struggle.

Where are we now? Dr, Foose was persuaded (by a huge monetary settlement) to drop her lawsuit and go away. The school system has an interim superintendent, Dr. Michael Martirano, whose goal appears to be building bridges instead of cultivating an inner circle. We have lived through a tumultuous season of redistricting.

You may not like everything that this Board has done. They can’t please all of the folks all of the time, of course. But I would argue that they are functioning at a much higher level in terms of responsivensss, transparency, and accountability. And they work together in a more respectful way than we have seen in Howard County in quite some time.

Happy Anniversary, BOE. And a tip of the hat to Board Chair Cindy Vaillancourt for taking the helm and steering the ship during a time of great change. It hasn’t been easy, and she has been   unfailingly willing to engage with the public and to examine many differing opinions and a host of warring priorities. She has worked through a year of challenging health issues of her own and has never stopped making our schools, teachers, students, and parents her first priority.

In a year of great change, one thing remains constant:

No matter how good they are, they will need our help. They need our voices, and our participation. Things like transparency, accountability, and responsiveness are a two-way street. They thrive when there are constituents who are consistently engaged in the process. It's true that we don't have to worry that they'll be so outrageously awful that we need to watch them every minute. But that does not give us a free pass to check out.  

Oh, and thanks to you, Howard County, for electing a better Board of Education. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A HoCo Hop-Around

A bit of this and that today.

Stopped by One Dish Cuisine in Ellicott City yesterday with HoCoHouseHon, who eats Gluten Free and had a hankering for a Reuben Sandwich. Almost every table was full for a late Sunday lunch, plus a table of twelve was reserved for a birthday party. I was thrilled to see they had gingerbread men, my favorite holiday cookie. As a person who doesn’t need to eat gluten-free, I’d still recommend them. One Dish serves both gluten free and dairy free menus.

A change in plans at our house resulted in a chance for my husband and I to enjoy a dinner date. We went to Mint in Clarksville. It was our second visit. I liked it even better this time. I have heard that their food is altered to suit American tastes, and that may be so. Nevertheless my tandoori chicken was delightful and I would definitely order it there again. The addition of a variety of grilled vegetables and a cucumber raita sealed the deal for me. The garlic naan was delicious, too.

This Friday marks nine years in business for Oakland Mills’ Second Chance Saloon. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood to raise a glass or get some of their delicious wings. More info is here. Actually, it’s worth a trip out of your own neighborhood to come and celebrate a true Mom and Pop business that keeps on making it in a town full of pre-fab dining options. Did you know they also host Columbia’s only drag show?

Finally, a chance for you to help a neighbor. A Columbia family has been put out of their home by a fire and is in need of assistance. Here is their Go Fund Me page. A friend observed, “I can't imagine facing this during the Holidays. 1,000 people give $5 and the goal is reached.  Please donate and share.”

Giving five dollars is the easy part. Getting 1,000 pairs of eyes on their request takes a little more effort.  I hope you will help.





Sunday, December 3, 2017

Renewed Recommendations

[first lines]
Charlie Brown: [Charlie Brown and Linus stop at a wall on their trip to the pond for ice skating] I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel. 
[begins to walk with Linus again]
Charlie Brown: I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed. 
Linus Van Pelt: Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. 

I’ve got a case of the holiday blues this morning. While I’m trying to get my head on straight, here’s a post from a year ago that is 100 percent fresh and relevant. These four women continue to offer delightful and high quality products to our community. Get your shopping done and buy local.

A Holiday Quartet (December 16, 2016)

If you are like me you have made a dent in your holiday shopping but you still have a few things to get. There are are people on your list for whom a special item is necessary, and you haven't found it yet. I have some recommendations today. The following four women are local entrepreneurs who have something special to offer.

Kristen Carrasco--Kikiverde Handmade.

Kristen is an artist/artisan and sometime blogger from Laurel. Her specialties are jewelry, beautifully designed prints of inspirational quotes, and her amazing signature Christmas ornaments. (We own one.) Kirsten is also an avid gardener and photographer.  Take a look at the link above which will take you to her Etsy shop. Her attention to detail and use of color is exceptional. There's something about her work that makes you feel rested and refreshed. 

Susan Coghlan--Posh Mama Said So

Susan and I know each other from our days working for the Howard County Public Schools. From Columbia, Susan has started her own business selling Perfectly Posh products. The company describes itself as "pampering products made in the USA using only the best ingredients." Susan's enthusiasm in building her business is awe-inspiring. A friend who is a customer of Susan's said, "
"I highly recommend them - good products, quality ingredients, smells oh so good. Can you tell I am addicted?" 

Nicole Paterson--Neat Nick Preserves

Nicole Paterson lives both in Columbia and Ellicott City. (I still don't understand how that works.) Her business is the newest on the list, but she's been taking the local foodie crowd by storm with her sweet and savory preserves. Little French Market has even created a signature sandwich using her peach preserves. Her products are available at the Little French Market in Ellicott City, and Rooster + Hen Store in Catonsville. It's also easy to contact her through her business Facebook page. Click the link above to see a complete list of what she is whipping up these days. The Brown Sugar Apple Butter sounds like a perfect choice for some breakfast toast on a cold Winter morning.



Monica Rogers Williams--From Momma’s Kitchen 

Monica lives in my awesome village of Oakland Mills and was once a teacher at my daughter's elementary school. Her cookies are amazing and the variety of flavors and options are plentiful. Click on the link above the see her holiday offerings at her website. Not only are her baked goods fresh and delicious every time, her gift wrapping is gorgeous. I've written about her before--look at the photos. And Momma doesn't just do cookies. She's also well-known for brownies, pound cake, and a killer banana pudding. If you need a gift that will wow from the outside to the inside, Momma has got you covered.

Support local businesses as you finish up your holiday shopping. And don't forget to head over to Old Ellicott City, too.






Saturday, December 2, 2017

Give

Let’s just get one thing straight before I go any further.

Gift is not a verb.

No, not ever.

Gift is a noun. You can make a gift, get a gift, buy a gift.

You want a verb?

That would be give.

I do not now, nor do I ever, wish to see references to:

  • They gifted us with...
  • ...suitable for holiday gifting...
  • Happy Gifting!
This piece from NPR is more philosophical and forgiving about this linguistic abomination. I’m a big NPR fan, but I can’t support their open-mindedness in this case. “Gifting” is slimy, impersonal, and just plain bad usage.

This year make a contribution to the good of the world and the American language by making a commitment to give.

  • Give your time.
  • Give your friendship.
  • Give your attention.
  • Give love.
  • Give presents.
  • Give money to causes you care about.
Don’t let me catch you gifting. You’ll end up on Santa’s Naughty List for sure.







Friday, December 1, 2017

Something Small

Now the first of December was covered with snow...

Not in Howard County, though. Just on the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston. In Howard County we got an earthquake on the eve of December 1st. Sure. Why not?  I missed it because I was driving home from work. It was fun to relive the experience on social media once I got home. I use the word “fun” because this was a small enough earthquake that no one was hurt and no major damage was done. It was just something to talk about. Like snow on the first of December.

Something else to talk about:

River Hill High School Choral Concert, tonight, 7pm. Free admission. Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Chamber Choir, Leading Ladies, Talon Tones, and Chorale. Come early to make sure you get to try out the new comfy auditorium seats recently installed in the front portion of the hall. (Oh, and you can make a donation if you wish to help fund seats for the rest of the hall.)

Midnight Madness in Old Ellicott City. Begins at 6 pm. There’ll be a periodic parking shuttle to save you some steps. Please go and report back on your experiences. I’ll be at the aforementioned concert, so you do the shopping for me, won’t you?

In closing, a thought that stopped me in my tracks yesterday.


What can you do today that will change the future?



Thursday, November 30, 2017

Closer to Home

In recent episode of the podcast “Elevate Maryland”, co-host Tom Coale suggested that recent national scandals concerning sexual harassment were bound to show up on a more local level. I think he’s right.

That reminded me of his own post on HoCo Rising in 2015:

Get Your (Stuff) Together, Annapolis! 

And, the piece that started it all, by Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland:

Annapolis Mad Men

Despite the avalanche of evidence that sexual harassment and just plain old sexual assault have been poisoning women’s experiences in the workplace, I keep seeing mealy-mouthed excuses that “society’s attitudes about certain kinds of behavior have changed.” I suppose that is meant to say, “It wasn’t wrong when I did it. I’m only catching flack now because the world has changed.”

Um, no. Those behaviors have always been wrong. What has changed is that people are believing the victims. And, in an environment where victims will be listened to and believed, more victims will take the risk to tell their stories. In the past silence was maintained by the fear that the victims themselves would be punished by telling the truth. They would not be believed, their characters would be questioned, their careers would be ruined.

What a radical shift we are witnessing that the actual perpetrators of the crimes are being held responsible. It seems so simple. For some it may seem that we are witnessing a world turned upside down.

In fact, at long last, it has finally been righted.

Now, about those local stories. Mr. Coale seems pretty certain we’ll be hearing them. I wonder if there are some men in Howard County and around the state who are beginning to realize that there will be consequences for their actions.

Being responsible for one’s own actions. What a concept.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Dean of Girls’ Sports

Kudos to BaltSun for putting Jacques Kelly in charge of writing Carol Gralia’s obituary. It’s beautifully done. Take the time to read it here

It occurs to me that the importance of the passage of Title IX in 1972 cannot be underestimated when we look at the number of local young women that Ms. Gralia covered  during her career.

Title IX:

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Howard County was extremely fortunate to have someone who treated the coverage of young women’s sports with the same dedication and focus as those of young men. I imagine that the presence of a local journalist who truly understood sports, who worked collaboratively with area coaches, and who made sure that those names got in the paper had a significant impact as girls’ sports programs got off the ground and strengthened during the seventies and eighties.

“She was the dean of girls’ sports in Howard County,” said Stan Rappaport, a former Baltimore Sun sports reporter and later a Howard County Times news editor. “She was impressively thorough and kept terrific records. She would surprise a coach by saying, ‘You just won your 100th game.’ She cared that girls received the same amount of coverage as boys.”
It’s clear to me that the synergy between Title IX reforms and Ms. Gralia’s progressional leadership created a positive and healthy environment for young women’s sports programs to thrive. This is not to say that she gave them preference. She simply accorded to them an equal place in the community spotlight. 

Lest you think that all such inequities have been squared away since 1972, here’s an interesting article Lexington County, South Carolina to ponder.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Extravaganza

Who: High School Students 
What: WBAL Concert for Kids
When: Saturday, December 2nd at 1:00 pm and 7 pm
Where: Oakland Mills High School
Why: to support WBAL Kids Campaign
How Much: $12.00 and $8.00 matinee; $20.00 evening

If the Macy’s Parade and displays at area stores haven’t clued you in, the arrival of the WBAL Concert for Kids at Oakland Mills High School will surely convince you that the holiday season is upon us. This weekend will be their tenth anniversary presenting the best in local entertainment which is given by kids for kids. Orchestra Conductor Philip Hale describes the event:

The Oakland Mills Performing Arts Department believes that, in addition to the direct contributions made through the Concert for Kids, our students learn the joy and gratitude that comes from doing good in our community.  This is a learning experience for our students and all who contribute to our efforts. We believe our community has benefited far beyond the monetary donations to the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign.

Choose the matinee performance if you have kids on the younger side. There’ll be pictures with Santa, a craft to do, and the program is shortened and formatted with little ones in mind. The evening performance is the entire extravaganza. They’ve sold out for the last two years and hope to do so again.

Featured performers this year are CJ Cunningham (OM alum) and Lauren Tait as dance soloists, as well as Sequina DuBose and Bryan Jeffrey Daniels as vocalists.  Santa also puts in an appearance, as will personalities from WBAL Radio.

Another fun feature of this event is the Holiday Boutique. Look for some new shopping opportunities this year, including new vendors and a silent auction featuring restaurant gift cards, fitness gift cards and other beautiful items for the home.  For the second year there will be featuring a painted violin for auction; painted by OM alum Charlotte Mann.  In addition, the National Art Honor Society is providing a number of pieces of art for sale along with the school color tassel ornaments.

Since this concert made its first appearance on the local scene, students have raised $67,000 to help kids in need. The goal for this year is to raise $15,000 for the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign. 

What you need to know: it’s just a fabulous experience, a joyous celebration of the best in high school musical and dance performances. There’s nothing else in Howard County like it.

Learn more and buy tickets here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Light Reading

In what is most certainly a first for my family, we got the entire bunch together to see Symphony of Lights during its opening weekend. Last year we kept dithering about dates and missed it all together. So that means we hadn’t been for two years, due to its one-year hiatus.  I was particularly curious to see the layout this year since I had witnessed some of the early set-up right after Halloween.

A few notes: you can buy tickets in advance online now.  If you come with cash you will pay five dollars more. They have set up separate lanes at the entrance to expedite this process, so worry not. My husband and son-in-law were sad that the “spot the letters” quiz is no more, but the rest of us were fine. They have done away with the paper program, which is great from a conservation standpoint, but there’s a good bit more talking on the special radio channel to make up for that.

Oh, and you can access Symphony of Lights both from LPP as well as the old way on Broken Land. As we entered my husband pointed out that we were on Dennis Lane.

Feedback from a car of two middle aged parents, two Millennials, and two teens was entirely positive. The lights have been updated and refreshed. Some new pieces have been added. The layout is an amazingly creative use of limited space. Because of this, at different points along the way, you get brief glimpses of things that you will see later on. If you are familiar with the landscape you will find yourself gasping as you realize just exactly where you are. They’ve done an excellent job of incorporating the buildings around Merriweather Post Pavilion, for instance.

A brief moment of hilarity was caused by the placement of a poor ice-fishing penguin, who now appears to be peeing in the lake. It must be the angle.

The Symphony of Lights display is a fundraiser for Howard County General Hospital. You can learn more here.

One last thing: I’d have to say that a highlight for me was the sight of the Chrysalis, gently lit, as we drove through the display. It fits right in to the neighborhood.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Strange Disappearance

I enjoy following a Facebook page called Western Howard County Shares. It gives me a taste of life “way out West”, if you will. Earlier this month I smiled when I saw this post:

Wild turkey strutting and chasing cars down Daisy Rd this afternoon.


It was followed by comments like:

That was the same one that stoped my car today. It kept blocking us from going by. Kids were cracking up.

I think he is the neighborhood watch turkey.

We love our neighborhood turkey!

Yeah, that thing tried to square off with my car and I literally had to push him off the road!

He was doing a great job enforcing the STOP sign the other day. I finally had to get out of the car to move him away from the front bumper. He better check his calendar!

I was wondering how long it would take for him to appear on Facebook lol.

Kinda hoping he stayed off FB he might be tempting to a unethical hunter.

And then, bad news:

On the 17th I shared a post/photo of a wild turkey walking along Daisy Road.  Turns out she/he “lived” in the area and had become a sort of a mascot.  I just read an update  to the post detailing how 2 men were seen catching the turkey, putting her/him in their trunk and driving off.  

I am so sorry if the post on WHC Shares had anything to do with the @#$$ who needed to stroke their egos and treat an animal like this.

I will no longer share photos of non-domesticated WHC animals that could even remotely inspire similar cowardice and cruelty.    

We really try to keep this a positive, informative and fun social media platform for the WHC community...more importantly we try to post responsibly and with sensitivity.    Clearly we need to be sensitive to the fact that there are cruel-to-animals, opportunistic jackasses out there.

This is so sad. Who would do such a thing? Apparently a witness saw the men run the turkey over first, before absconding with it. Neighbors are hoping that someone can help to bring these two to justice. Here’s how:

Probably too late for this turkey, but if someone could provide enough description to DNR for them to ID the culprits they could be in a world of trouble.  Wild turkey fall season was 10/28-11/04/2017.  By taking a wild turkey out of season they would pay a hefty fine and possibly more as sentences for hunting are stiffer in many cases than other crimes.  Real hunters don't take game that acts out of character for the species, thinking it may be sick, or as in this case, habituated to humans.  Let alone hunt out of season.  Please folks, if you saw anything, contact  MD DNR.

So there you have it. This may very well be a case of internet fame gone wrong. Or it may be a hit and run - - but then why would you take the victim with you? I’m mightily suspicious about their intent, given the time of year.

A tip of the hat to Western Howard Shares for telling the stories that people like me in Oakland Mills would never know otherwise.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Remembering Carol Gralia


Did you know that former employees of Patuxent Publishing have their own alumni page on Facebook? This company photo is from that page, and it’s probably as close as I will ever get to knowing what the inside of that iconic building looks like. Look at all the people in this photo. In an age when newspapers are continually thinning staff, this picture speaks volumes about a world that is most likely gone forever.

The alumni of Patuxent Publishing lost one of their own this week: former sports editor Carol Gralia. Ms. Gralia came to Howard County in the late 1970’s, working as a sports writer. She eventually became Sports Editor. If your children played on local teams during those years, you already know her name. She retired in 2012, and in 2013 she was named to the Howard County Community Sports Hall of Fame. In her retirement she trained and received certification as a yoga teacher, with additional certification in yoga for Seniors. She went on to serve on the board of the Retreat Center of Maryland.

What I want to share with you today are the words of Ms. Gralia’s colleagues. Some of them may even be in this photograph. Their tributes speak to the excellence of her work, her dedication, her work ethic, her generosity of spirit.

Matt Owings:

Local/community journalism often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. @HoCoTimesSports was better for having Carol Gralia steer the ship for so long. Condolences to those who knew her so well at Baltimore Sun Media Group.

Sara Toth:

This is the saddest news. Carol was a guiding force for everyone in the newsroom. She was no-nonsense, but so kind, and an incredible resource when it came to the community. She taught me so much by just doing, and being.

From a longer piece by Jack Gibbons:

She covered and directed coverage of sports in Howard County for more than 30 years  and earned a place in the community's Sports Hall of Fame. What she earned even more was the devotion of readers. She made sure that girls and boys sports were covered equally -- a trademark of her predecessor and dear friend, Karen Brelsford -- and that there were no favorites among schools, rec councils or athletes. She covered games, edited the work of others and produced an award-winning weekly sports section for the Howard County Times and Columbia Flier.

David Hobby:

Carol was a wonderful person, a great sportswriter, the consummate community journalist, and a tireless advocate for gender equality in sports long before it was cool. I was lucky enough to work with her for ten years right out of college.

Matt Palmer:

Carol Gralia was an incredible advocate for equality in sports and sports journalism. Howard County has lost one of its brightest lights. Rest In Peace, Carol.

I was a little hesitant to bring you this story because I did not know Ms. Gralia and because it’s clear that there are so many local journalists more qualified to bring you her story. But here’s the thing: I don’t think any of them still work for the entity which now produces our local newspaper. Will the Howard County Times give her the tribute she deserves?

I hope so.

Comments are welcome here:

https://www.facebook.com/VillageGreenTownSquared/


Friday, November 24, 2017

Great and Small

I’d like to bring two worthy causes to your attention this morning. The first is quite simple. A friend of mine has taken on a charitable project to benefit residents at Grassroots. Here is her appeal:

I will be collecting body wash for Grassroots. I have a goal of collecting 100 bottles. Please help. Just drop it off on my porch.  (Or find the list on amazon and you don't even have to leave your house.) https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1B768FBYUZFTM?type=wishlist&filter=unpurchased&sort=default

I will be collecting through December 2, 2017. 

Mission: Grassroots provides supportive and professional 24-hour crisis intervention, suicide prevention, shelter, and outreach services to individuals and families experiencing a personal, situational, mental health, or shelter crisis.

Something so simple as being able to get clean can mean so much when your life is in crisis. Readers of the blog obviously won’t be dropping anything off at her house, that’s meant for close friends, but you can take advantage of the Amazon link to support her cause.

The second is more far-reaching. Former Columbia Patch writer Lisa Rossi (remember this?) is raising funds to support the training of journalists in her native Iowa. While Iowa is pretty far afield for us to contemplate, I would suggest that good journalists beget more good journalists, and that’s something we all should support.

Here is her appeal:

For Christmas and Hanukkah this year, I'm asking for donations to Iowa Watch, an organization that trains the next generation of investigative journalists and provides news to underserved areas. My goal is to raise $1,000 for an organization that teaches and distributes unbiased, factual journalism. This year, each donation up to 1,000 will be matched by News Match. They are also tax deductible.

Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support. I've included information about Iowa Center For Public Affairs Journalism below. 

The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism's mission is to maintain an independent, non-partisan journalistic program dedicated to producing and encouraging explanatory and investigative journalism in Iowa, engaging in collaborative reporting efforts with Iowa news organizations and educating journalism students. Our goals are: • To produce short-term and long term multimedia projects for the Center's Web site, IowaWatch.org, and to post other information and data that will be accessible to all readers and news outlets in Iowa; • To establish collaborative relationships with other news organizations and educational institutions for the sharing of stories and information and for the joint production of individual journalistic projects; • To focus its reporting efforts on public affairs issues and problems in government, health, consumer affairs, education, the environment, sports, criminal justice and other subjects relevant to the people of Iowa; • To give journalism students the opportunity to learn by working under the supervision and instruction of seasoned professional editors; • To help journalism students and young professionals enhance their employment potential by giving them the opportunity to build a portfolio of professional work.

You can donate here.

The holiday season will bring many charitable appeals your way. Most of us have limited resources; we do what we can. I wanted to bring these two to your attention because the women involved have moved me by their sincerity and sense of purpose. Please help if you can.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

No Day Off

Racism doesn’t take a day off for Thanksgiving.

Three years ago, twelve year old Tamir Rice was killed by a police officer while playing with a toy gun in a park. He should be celebrating Thanksgiving with his family today. His killer went free.

In an end of the day announcement from Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis yesterday the public learned that “he has dismissed administrative charges against Sgt. Alicia White, the last officer facing discipline in the Freddie Gray case.” (Quote from Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun)

No one will bear the consequences for Gray’s death. No one.

Yesterday a friend shared this video, “Groundhog Day for a Black Man”. I’m embarrassed to say I couldn’t make it to the end; I found it so upsetting.

Thanksgiving, which we now know to be founded upon both little lies and bigger ones, has become more difficult for me through the years. This is not because I have nothing to be thankful for. It is precisely because I am no longer able to ignore how my many blessings have been established and perpetuated by systemic inequality and violence. Until very recently that was invisible to me, and I was thought it was simply “normal”.

Today I will celebrate with family and I hope you will, too. I don’t begrudge anyone a day to be filled with gratitude, to feel delight in food and family. Just don’t forget how highly controlled those freedoms are in this country. We don’t allow them to everyone.

Looking that in the face makes a traditional Thanksgiving more difficult.






Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Table Talk

Well, not the serious news. But news just the same. These might be more fun to talk about at the dinner table tomorrow than national news.

From Twitter:

Howard County, MD. 
approx. 4:06pm. 
7 adolescent boys seen pouring ice down their driveway and sledding down it on trash can lids.

Anyone out there who is the parent of an adolescent boy should feel free to explain this to me. I’ve just had girls and the craziest thing that has happened so far involved our dining room light fixture and a makeshift Xena Warrior Princess “staff” fashioned from an old broom handle.

From Facebook: 

At the Board offices- a small herd of lovely black horses gallop across the ARL and through the BOE yard.  When I left the police had traffic stopped, the horses were calmly munching grass, and the security and risk management people were looking for rope.  I would pay money to see them lassoing those sweeties.  As long as they are safe, all's well that ends well.

UPDATE:
The horses were quietly wrangled and are home safely. 

From Columbia Patch:

Howard County Executive Wants Input On 2019 Budget

Poor man. He doesn’t get to have any input on the budget? 

Oh, wait.

He wants your input on the budget. I was feeling sorry for him for a minute there.

Longtime HoCo Blogger Bill Woodcock of The 53 is apparently contemplating winding down his blogging years, to conclude with coverage of the 2018 election. I don’t plan anything that far in advance!

HoCoMoJo mogul and producer of the Elevate Maryland podcast Ilana Bittner led a spirited discussion on Facebook by asking this question:

That bread dish that you cook inside the turkey, sometimes made from cornbread. What do you call that?  #thanksgiving #linguistics

That could be a pleasant a relatively painless topic of conversation. See also: gravy boats.
 
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. 



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Few Moments of Your Time

Doing an unscientific survey today, folks.

  • What local blogs do you read?
  • What local podcasts do you listen to?
  • Newspapers? (Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Maryland Daily Record...)
  • What do you get from blogs that you don’t get from traditional news sources?

I’m pondering the place of hyperlocal voices this morning. You can chime in here:

https://www.facebook.com/VillageGreenTownSquared/

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mirrors and Windows

Matthew Winner is a Howard County educator who is probably more well known nationally than around town. I first became aware of him when I was traveling to different locations around the school system. Mr. Winner is a Media Specialist at Swansfield Elementary. He’s also the creator of the All the Wonders podcast, where he interviews authors and illustrators of children’s literature.

I’m sharing a guest post from Mr. Winner written for Kurt Stroh’s blog in his “Power of the Picture Book” blog series for November (picture book month). 

The Power of a Picture Book

He writes:


The more I talk of picture books being mirrors and windows to readers, the more I've realized how many books I read that are mirrors of my own culture and experiences. The more I realize the books I read aloud at school are mirrors of my own culture and experiences. The more I realized the books I was featuring on my children's book podcast were mirrors of my own culture and experiences.

The problem with surrounding yourself with mirrors is that soon you can't see anything else.

As we refocus our efforts in the Howard County Schools to address issues of equity, Mr. Winner’s observations here are especially relevant. When you open a book, who do you see? What does that mean, and why does it matter?


Sunday, November 19, 2017

What to Do?

This morning I’m pondering this seasonal urge I have to “hunker down” this time of year. Who am I kidding? I’ll usually take hunkering down at any time of year. I’m looking out the back window where I can see beautiful blue sky and the tops of trees still clinging to brightly colored leaves. I hear the sound of wind whistling around the house. I contemplate a day of crafting, of ordering the few groceries I need and having them delivered.

The urge to “hunker” is strong.

All the more reason to read this post from HoCo blogger Mike Hartley, who is making the case for why I should Get Out. Mike writes the blog Threw Mike’s Eyez. “Get out,” he writes. “It’s a great idea.”

This morning is the last Farmer’s Market of the season in Oakland Mills. This afternoon is the Dazzle Dash which kicks off the Symphony of Lights. And another thought: when I recently asked readers what their new favorite store was in Old Ellicott City, no one had an answer. So, maybe get out on Main Street and noodle around?

There’s a Holiday Craft Shop at the Hawthorn Center in Hickory Ridge today from 2-5. And the Friends and Foundation of the Howard County Library System is having a meet-up at Hysteria Brewing Company at 4:00. There are also events at Historic Belmont and the Robinson Nature Center.

Or you can just bundle up at take a walk around the lake of your choice.

Perhaps you want to pop in to the Mall and see the Poinsettia Tree before the place becomes too crazed with holiday shoppers. Just a thought.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Parade by the Numbers

According to the most recent census, Howard County is:

62.2% white, 17.5% black or African American, 14.4% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 2.0% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.8% .

According to the HoCo Gov website, Howard County has approximately 20,000 military veterans.

You can find information about the breakdown by race/ethnicity of Howard County veterans here.

You can view photographs and video footage of this year’s Veterans Day parade in Old Ellicott City here.  This is County Executive Allan Kittleman’s Facebook page. You’ll need to scroll down past more current posts.

One thing I noticed after looking at all the videos and photographs was how really, really white this event is. Look at who is marching. Look at who is lining the streets. Look at the officials giving speeches. If one were to imagine Howard County from these pictures alone, I don’t think we’d come close to picturing the actual diversity we have here, both in the overall population and amongst veterans.

Why do you think that is? This is a genuine question. I am not ascribing any exclusionary intent here. I am not offering criticism, just an observation. 

Mr. Kittleman offers this statement about the event:

PLEASE WATCH AND SHARE:  So many great moments and memories at today's Veterans Parade in Ellicott City.  This was just the third year for the parade and the crowd was very impressive.  Next year's parade is sure to be even bigger and better and hopefully, a new Ellicott City tradition is growing right before our eyes.  If you were there, you might spot yourself in this video.

So it’s a relatively new event and next year offers possibilities of improvement. That’s good to hear. Maybe our community can find a way for this parade to bring more people together so that we are honoring and supporting veterans in a way that shows the reality of who we are as a county.


Comments are welcome here:

https://www.facebook.com/VillageGreenTownSquared/?ref=bookmarks