Monday, May 21, 2007

Going Public

Though I really don't take great pains to conceal my true identity, I do enjoy authoring my posts as wordbones. Taking on this blogger persona has been liberating in a sense

That being said, I've also enjoyed the opportunity to explore the connections with my community that the local blogging scene has afforded me. The dialogue and banter has mostly been good. Mostly being the key word here.

The problem is that not enough folks are tuned in. At least I don't think they are. It is hard to really gauge who is actually reading these community blogs beyond the usual suspects (numbersgirl, tomberkhouse, Jim Adams and so on). I strongly suspect that the majority of visitors just drop by for a quick scan and then move on. If your blog stirs up a little controversy with a post you are likely to get more visitors.

I further believe that more visitors and posters would be a good thing. The more folks we get involved in the dialogue the greater chance we have for understanding each other. Not necessarily agreeing with each other just having maybe a trace more empathy.

So, to further the cause of local community blogging in Howard County, I have decided to publicly out myself. I am going to do it in that other media known as print.

And you can play along too!

I am writing my column for June right now (working title is "I Am Wordbones"). If you want to put in your own two cents about the Howard County blog scene or this particular blog, post it here, anonymously or otherwise and I may use some of it in my piece. I do reserve the right to pick out what I want. Do it soon though. My deadline is this Wednesday night.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Last One Out...Turn Off The Lights

Last Wednesday the Howard County Economic Development Authority hosted it's 7th Howard County CORE Tour. This is an event that occurs every eighteen months and features a bus tour (three buses actually) of all the major commercial real estate projects in the county. Before boarding the buses, the 175 or so attendees were treated to breakfast at Maple Lawn.

The featured speaker for breakfast was Anirban Basu, the Chairman and CEO of the Sage Policy Group. Mr. Basu is an economist who analyzes national and local market trends and their potential impact. In this case he spoke about the economic health of Howard County as it relates to both our region and the nation. It should come as no surprise that he was generally bullish on on our prospects. He did express some concern about the number of proposed office projects in Northern Virginia (in excess of 16 million additional square feet) and the ability of that market to absorb all of that space. He suggested this may cause a spillover effect on office rents in the Maryland.

One of his more intriguing oberservations was his belief that Laurel and its environs is going to become an increasingly attractive market for homeowners and businesses in the coming years. This of course is largely due to it's location. Apparently he is not the only one to think this. The attendees were also given a handout with a Population Projection for the seven regional planning districts in Howard County that was recently (January 2007) put out by the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning.

The Population Projection table broke down the seven regional planning areas (Cookesville, West Friendship, Ellicott City, Clarkesville, Columbia, Elkridge, and Laurel) and projected their populations out to the year 2030. The Columbia Regional Planning District is projected to peak at 99,573 in 2010 and will begin to actually decline after that. The table projects a Columbia population of 98,844 in 2020 and a further drop to 98,317 by 2030. At the same time, the population in the Laurel (Howard County portion) is projected to grow to 37,640 by 2010, 45,538 by 2020 and 48,662 by 2030.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A New Columbia Blog

A New Columbia Blog

Thanks to Jessie over at the Hometown Columbia blog, I have just been made aware of a new local blog called Columbia Talk.


It is always good to add another voice to the local blogging community.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

John Waters Is Coming To Columbia

The "delightfully wicked genius" filmmaker John Waters is coming to Columbia on Friday, May 11th as part of this years Columbia Festival of the Arts. John Waters has produced and directed camp classics "Pink Flamingos", "Hairspray" and "Serial Mom." He will offer a humorous perspective on the inspirations for his works and other comments of growing up in Baltimore.

Actually, it is ironic that John Waters is coming to Columbia since much of his work is seen as a satire on suburban living. In fact he actually grew up in Lutherville so his suburban credentials are well earned.

The evening will include a formal dinner (catered by Linwoods) and cocktail reception and will be held in the Spear Center atop the General Growth building in Town Center. Tickets are still available. The cost is $150.00 per person. This evening is a fundraiser for the festival and the money raised will help support the many free programs in the festival like LakeFest.

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I serve on the Board of Directors of the festival. If you are interested in tickets for this event, please call the festival office at (410) 715-3044.

The actual festival runs from June 6th through June 23rd. The line up this year features just about something for everybody too. Please check out the website to see all that is coming. It is nice to have this caliber of world class arts and entertainment in our own backyard.