Thursday, March 04, 2010

In This Months Business Monthly

One year ago I joined Facebook and subsequently wrote about the experience in my March 2009 column. One year later Facebook provided me with inspiration once more when it assigned me the title “creator” for setting up a page promoting Howard County as potential test site for Google’s fiber project.

That has to be the best title I’ve ever been given.

True, the hurdle is pretty low for becoming a creator on Facebook. It probably isn’t even fair to call it hurdle. Still, the notion that someone could be labeled a creator started me thinking.

Creators are truly a special breed.

In my mind creators tend to be optimists. They are seldom content with the status quo and seek to make things better.

I suppose you could also make the argument that Russ Swatek is a creator. He did create Taxpayers against Giveaways. On the other hand, his group isn’t really creating something; they are attempting to undo something. That’s not real creator stuff in my book.

You can read this month’s column here.


HoCoRising said...

You just "created" 8-10 instances of high blood pressure. Ha ha.

Very interesting column. Certainly reads like a homily...and you did it without demonizing the opposition. I think the TAG folks may respond that they do not oppose the redevelopment on the whole, but rather the three measures listed on their petition. Well, I shouldn't speak for them, because I imagine there will be a torrent of comments in the very near future.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen that Topeka has stepped up its effort to attract Google...

Anonymous said...

Looks like my link to Topeka got truncated, so will try again with HTML:

Topeka/Google, Kansas

Anonymous said...

HoCoRising, saying that "TAG folks may respond that they do not oppose the redevelopment on the whole, but rather the three measures listed on their petition" is like saying I don't oppose a car, just the wheels, engine and doors. The entire package works together. Asking for about$100 million in afordable housing, art, transportation, etc, is built upon a model of making a certain amount.

I'm not suggesting TAG's argument is your argument. Just trying to get you to really look at it all and be honest with yourself and really analyze the truth.

They oppose development in downtown. By saying don't build 5500 units, build 1200 and give us the same community benefits, they are saying don't make the $ needed to pay the price we demand. Then, the get reasonable people like you to say, they just want to scale it back a little.

HoCoRising said...

Fair enough, but I don't think you can say that you weren't attributing their argument to me in the same paragraph that you say I need to "be honest with myself and really analyze the truth." All I said is what I would presume the TAG people to counter.

I understand that by suggesting TAG is not made up of kooks and anarchists, I will be painted as being an advocate for their positions. I'm not. I simply feel that those who disagree with them have taken convenient outs of ad hominem attacks and dismissal.

The Council has already voted, and for all we know that may be the final bell on this whole thing. If it's not, and there is a referendum, I want there to be as much "on the record" as possible from both sides. We won't get that by presuming TAG is unreasonable from the start.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go back to lying to myself and analyzing the funny pages.

PZGURU said...

WB - maybe you should try viewing TAG as "preservationists" who are simply looking to preserve the community they chose to live in.

A better name for you is PROPAGANDIST. You try to paint a very distorted picture that Columbia dead/dying, when the reality couldn't be farther from the truth. You distort the situation to try to rationalize your actions/beliefs. If you were truly an optimist, shouldn't you be viewing Columbia TC as being "half full" instead of "half empty"?

You obviously think that all change is good and that changing for the sake of changing is automatically an improvement. Hogwash. Sometimes change is good. But, there's also a saying if it ain't broke, don't fix (change) it.

Even worse, you feel like you have the right to force your change down everyone else's throats. Think of the people who bought condos in those buildings that surround the mall. You know, the buildings that are not more than 6-8 years old. Is it fair to those owners that they might soon be looking out their window and all they'll see is the back side of some new highrise? Or, where there is currently grass, there will be a new road.

It's one thing to have an urban area proposed from scratch, like the Konterra Development just south of Laurel, but to try and redesign an existing area into an urban area is like pounding a square peg into a round hole. It just ain't gonna work.

If GGP wanted to, they already had the ability to (1) do additional development and redvelopment of TC within the scope of the existing FDP for Columbia New Town and (2) to make safety/aesthetic improvements to TC. If they were truly a partner in the community, they wouldn't need to extort this zoning approval as the price for making those kinds of improvements in the community that they have already profited so much from. If there is a need for sidewalks or better pedestrian circulation, why not just do if it's the right thing to do? Why do they need 5000units to then agree to make those improvements? If the community wants theaters or art studios or social amenities/destinations, why not just do it? Can't GGP lease or build space that could be used by a performing arts business? I believe it falls into the permitted use list on the old FDP. So, what was holding them back?

What if the "greenspaces" proposed don't really live up to people's expectations? What then? Would GGP have to remove some of the new units?

Too many questions and too much uncertainty, in my opinion.

wordbones said...


"Certainly reads like a homily..."

Chalk that up to a Jesuit education.


HoCoRising said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoCoRising said...

I deleted my previous post, which was "me too, go Hall!" because I remembered that Calvert Hall is LaSallian. I then proceed to slap my knuckles with a ruler.

wordbones said...


now that's funny...


Anonymous said...

I don't have the patience to read that whole post by self-appointed planning and zoning guru. But I LOVE his referring to the plan opponents as "preservationists!" As a plan supporter, I actually agree. The only problem is that they're trying to preserve something that is currently failing! If they really want to "preserve" the "community" they'd be willing to change it so that it remains viable.

Anonymous said...

PZGURU. Glad you mentioned Konterra. Is it your opinion that Columbia should just raise the white flag and let PG County take over as the place to live and work? That's what's happening all around us.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Columbia is truly screwed. Sell now and move out...unless you want to join in with a long, messy, downward slide into lifestyle oblivion with lowered property values.

I'm so glad that I'm not involved in this.

Anonymous said...

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been 25 years since my last confession.

During that time I pridefully purchased a gargantuan house that took my family into bankruptcy. But before that I also owned a mountainous SUV that overshadowed even the mcmansion, gluttonously used gas and roads, ran into a few pipsqueak cars and racked up a lustful amount of damages. That made me overly angry, and I began envying everyone who was at peace which depleted my energy turning me into a sloth at work where I had a hellion boss that was now my master (rather than the Lord). My greed surfaced for one last hurrah when I maxed out my credit cards to the tune of $200,000, knowing I could never pay it back.

What’s that you say? 500 Hail Marys and 10,000 our Fathers? Oy vay.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff:

See how 7 deadly sins are distributed among poll takers