Monday, October 12, 2020

What’s Up?

 This recent announcement from the Columbia Association piqued my curiosity:

On Saturday, October 10 at 9am, CA's Board of Directors will discuss ways to better understand and respect our individual values, while also increasing collaboration to reflect the values of Columbia and CA. If you'd like to listen in virtually, please email Ginny Thomas at

I reached out to Dannika Rynes, Senior Manager of Media Relations and Communications, for a bit more of an explanation. She was kind enough to get back to me right away:

In the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, the CA Board has decided to carve out some time to take a deep look at their own individual values as board members and their perceived values for the organization as a whole. This meeting will provide an open opportunity to discuss those ideals with the hope of reaching a better understanding of shared goals and perspectives moving forward. In a time when it's tough to connect, the Board is looking forward to the opportunity to grow as a team through this extra time together.

It looks like a staff retreat of sorts. Team-building?  Having spent my career writing narrative student reports that attempt to put a positive spin on significant challenges, I may be reading this with a somewhat jaded eye. It looks like it could be saying “the CA Board isn’t getting along well with eachother and they could use some help relating to the community as well.” 

Public relations-speak can be hard to decipher. 

Anyway, whatever it is they are doing I wish them well and in particular I commend them for making the information public and inviting the public to observe. That’s a good thing. 

Other notes from CA:

The Ice Rink in Oakland Mills has reopened, or at least they are holding hockey practice. I’d feel more excited about this if the crowd of teens and their parents outside the rink had been more compliant in physical distancing and mask use. I hope the folks inside the rink are reinforcing boundaries for this, because it looked pretty terrible out front. The last thing we want the Columbia Ice Rink to be is a host for superspreader events. 

I was very exited to see that the Columbia Art Center in Long Reach is reopening, albeit with limited hours and programming. The Art Center is a local treasure and I’ve been worried about it over the last months. As the Long Reach Village Center is evolving into an arts hub, the continued success of the Art Center would mean a lot to the overall success of that initiative. (My two cents.)

Also new on the scene, CA appears to be running daily Columbia history trivia challenges on its social media accounts. I immediately struck out because I incorrectly guessed that Columbia was established in 1967. Nope. It was 1964, thus showing yet again that I haven’t lived here long enough. Oh well, I learned something new and that’s the point, yes?

To see more of what the Columbia Association is up to, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.(columbiaassn) If you’re curious about that staff retreat, it has already happened, but perhaps it was recorded. Contact CA Board Member Ginny Thomas to find out more.

Despite the physical and economic challenges of the pandemic, the folks at CA look to be hard at work doing what they can with what they’ve got. It’s clearly a rough ride for everybody. The Columbia Association is not immune. I’ve been disappointed at a lot of the wholesale dumping on CA since March. I wonder if any of the people I’ve seen ranting have ever voted in Village or CA elections. Or run for a spot on their Village or CA Board? 

Elections happen every Spring. If you have ideas about how to make things better, start planning now for your campaign. Nothing would make me happier than to see more people want to get involved and then actually do something about it. 

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