TOMORROW, OR MAYBE FRIDAY, WE DON'T REALLY KNOW: Just Up The Pike sits down with County Councilman Marc Elrich (D-At Large) for a super-brief chat about schools and cautious - very cautious - growth.
Two years ago, Silver Spring protested the County's plans to eliminate an ice rink from the proposed Civic Center, but less than a year after the "temporary" turf lawn we've all grown lo love has been installed, residents came back asking to keep it green, and it looks like those in charge have listened. Both the Penguin and the Scene report that Park and Planning doesn't want an ice rink in Downtown Silver Spring after all, concerned that it wasn't the best use of precious public open space.
It looks like Silver Spring residents may have won the battle to keep "the Turf," but will they reconsider? The point of keeping the ice rink was to provide an additional draw to the Downtown area and show that Silver Spring really was worthy of such a large investment, but if it's not worth the expense, what does that say about Downtown?
I'm happy we're keeping "the Turf." It's a boon to the community and shows that, while we are a very fickle people, we certainly can't pass up an afternoon lying on our backs watching the clouds go by - especially in weather like this. Here's hoping that global warming continues to make an ice rink economically unfeasible. (I kid: who knows what I'll get for saying that here.)
What can I say? This is great news, but I wonder if residents really will be happy if the County follows through and finds a way to keep "the Turf" or even real grass on the site. The community fought tooth-and-nail to retain an ice rink in the plans, despite the higher cost. When winter comes, will they be saying we made the right decision?
IN OTHER NEWS: The Wheaton Plaza 11's added two screens for indie films, but moviegoers are still flocking to the AFI Silver; a redevelopment plan for Burtonsville Town Center will crystallize after an "East County Market Study" is completed later this spring; MCPS is smarting after Ike Leggett offers them less money than expected in next year's budget (more on that later); and speed cameras will be deployed on a trial basis at several locations throughout East County, including ones on Calverton Boulevard, Briggs Chaney Road, and Randolph Road.
Hey, go outside today! It won't be like this again for a little while.