Monday, February 11, 2008

east county in review: skipping class edition

Sen. Barack Obama just spoke to a full house at the Comcast Center in College Park. I am twenty minutes late for class, so I can't say anything else about it. Here's a look at what's going on in East County:

- Councilwoman Marilyn Praisner, who passed away two weeks ago, will soon see her name on the Fairland Library and Fairland Community Center, both located on Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville. County Executive Ike Leggett announced his intentions to re-name the buildings at Praisner's memorial ceremony last Saturday. The new facility will collectively be called the Marilyn J. Praisner Center.

- The managers of Downtown Silver Spring have issued a swift apology after photographer Chip Py reported being accosted by security guards for handing out political flyers on Ellsworth Drive last Friday. PFA, a partnership of the Peterson Companies and Foulger-Pratt (who built the complex), sent a statement to local activist (and frequent JUTP guest blogger) Adam Pagnucco, who contacted them immediately after the incident. After a previous controvery over free speech in Downtown, Montgomery County made it clear that First Amendment rights were in full effect on Ellsworth even though it is being maintained by the developers.

"We apologize to the community if anyone felt that our precautions were inappropriate, however briefly they may have occurred," writes PFA in the letter. " . . . It is our hope that the public understands, once again, that any rules and regulations are painstakingly considered and then enacted only with the rights and needs of the public, our tenants and the community at large in mind."

The whole statement can be read at Maryland Politics Watch.


Almost 50 said...

I went to the Obama rally today. Nothing new as far as the speech but I was swayed to vote for him. I think he is walking in the steps of greatness that we seldom see and need more of -- MLK, RFK.

Is America ready for the tough choices though? The tax increases needed to bring about universal healthcare, better education, etc.? The personal sacrifices needed to avoid a catastrophic climate change? I don't know. But I decided Obama has a better chance than Hillary.

I probably will be home tomorrow. I was going into work with Katherine but we both have sore throats/cough.

katmere said...

Ok, the PFA apology wasn't really an apology. It was a brush off.

The County declared that it expects and protects first amendment rights on Ellsworth. PFA says they carefully consider their rules and are sorry if their rules are offensive. They did not say that what they did was wrong, or that they won't do it again. PFA is NOT abiding by what MoCo and Ike Legget's office determined was necessary this July, and they are just hoping we won't notice.

They want to but down the rabble and go on because they don't take the issue or those who support public rights in public space seriously. We are right back where we were in July, with a bullying and managing management company taking advantage of the county and it's citizens through a public private partnership.

Anonymous said...

Next time you get misted by Silver Fountain think of Mayor Lane expressing his free speech.