Sunday, June 3, 2018


Two stories from the Baltimore Sun, listed back to back in my Twitter feed:

Police investigating human skeletal remains found in Columbia  - - Sarah Meehan

Iconic Ellicott City clock found, retrieved from muddy Patapsco  - - Andrea K. McDaniels

These stories are completely unrelated but they seemed to sum up my mood succinctly.

Somehow it feels as though the whole last week in Howard County has been about dirt, and mud, and loss.   I started trying to post links to fundraising events and GoFundMe pages then quickly became overwhelmed by the number of them.  A  heartfelt HoCo Holler to Ilana Bittner of HoCoMoJo for putting this together:

In only one week the impact on the political scene has become apparent. We have some folks pitching in to help while others may be hoping to find their way into a useful photo op. There’s much public discussion on how we got to this place again after less than two years. Some feel it’s too soon to have those conversations. Some: far too late. I suspect there are candidates would just like to get back to campaigning as usual, because the primary is looming and it’s hard to deviate from a plan.

But there’s no way that the primary or the general election are going to go ’according to plan’.I keep thinking about this piece from NPR about the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina. (And of course that brings to mind a more recent story.) I offer these stories not to suggest that there will necessarily be more fatalities, although, in the case of elderly citizens who have lived through these catastrophic experiences twice over the last several years, it is a possibility. And something we should keep in mind as we move away from the actual event.

Why are these stories on my mind? They highlight the long-term consequences to people’s lives. Newspaper articles are filled with dollar amounts and lists of material possessions and buildings that have been damaged. It is harder impossible to calculate the human damage. Anyone who is running for public office in Howard County right now is, whether they like it or not, being subjected to a test of their true desire to be a public servant.

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