Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what's up the pike: reviews finally over (updated)

Well, midsemester reviews are over - and what good timing, because a lot's happened in the time I was gone. Here's a look at what's happening Up The Pike:

- Barely a year and a half after becoming the University of Maryland's VP of Administrative Affairs, former County Executive Doug Duncan has resigned. "We will miss Doug's ability to navigate the complexities of local, county and state development issues," says college president C. Dan Mote in a statement released today noting Duncan's many achievements during his brief tenure - among them, shepherding along the redevelopment of Maryland's East Campus into a mixed-use community.

Of course, the letter doesn't mention how Duncan claimed that a Purple Line route through campus would disturb scientific experiments, which was eventually refuted - or how he stabbed MoCo in the back by to wrangle state funding from the Silver Spring Music Hall to East Campus after the Birchmere agreed to move there instead.

- Speaking of U-Md.: check out this week's column in the D'Back.

- The East County Community Job Fair will take place Thursday, November 6 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the East County Community Center on Briggs Chaney Road. Over fifty "local businesses and employers" (we're unclear how "local" is local) will be there, says this County press release. Those looking to clean up their resumes can attend a workshop on October 16 (why, that's today!) at 10 a.m. at the Regional Services Center, which is right next door.

- Just Up The Pike's been listed on the Wheaton Urban District's new website, which promotes the Wheaton CBD and all of the ethnic- and mall-based goodies within. We're the only blog there so far, which reveals a big gap in the East County blogosphere. There are a handful of blogs from Wheaton - Thomas Hardman's MoCo Mojo up in Aspen Hill; Life in Scenic Wheaton and, of course, Maryland Politics Watch's Adam Pagnucco, who lives in Forest Glen. While all three do write about the changes it's currently undergoing, I wouldn't say that there's a "definitive blog" about Wheaton that discusses events or local development in the area.

JUTP writes about Wheaton, but not as much as we could if we actually lived there. Of the well over a dozen East County blogs, all but a few are based out of Downtown Silver Spring. The New York Times wrote last year that gentrifying or redeveloping neighborhoods are usually the bloggiest - and given how much Wheaton's about to change in the coming years, I'm hoping that we'll see more blogs to document what happens.


Adam Pagnucco said...

We've run about as much Wheaton material as you have.

Thomas Hardman said...

I'm fairly certain that JUTP got listed mostly because of the generally almost apolitical or at least fair-and-balanced nature of Dan's reporting and commentaries. Also, it might have to do with the fact that he's also in print media as well as in the blogosphere.

I can't imagine that there's any case in which they'd link to my personal blog; I'm blatantly political (can you say "perennial, if hopelessly so, candidate"?) and furthermore, my reporting is widely viewed as unfair-and-unbalanced. I deny the "unfair" part.

Dan makes a fascinating observation. However, if he's expecting to see lots of blogging from Aspen Hell, he can probably forget it.

If his observation is correct -- that neighborhoods that are most rapidly/thoroughly gentrifying or revitalizing are the bloggiest -- then one might conversely predict that Aspen Hell is sliding rapidly into utter social decay and slumification, because I'm the only person even trying to blog it.

Seriously, google up "blog" and "aspen hill". Good luck with that. Or go onto Facebook or MySpace and search for "aspen hill". Nothin' there except boneheads declaring gangsta-4ever and comparable txtspk illiteracy. Even searching on the Spanish websites for "aspen hill" brings up nothing. Even the County can't quite figure out where it is, other than that it's somewhere north of Wheaton and south of Olney and sort of east of Rockville and west of Colesville, "I think, does anyone actually know" (to quote assorted media reporters).

So, I usually don't cover Wheaton, and like everyone else, mostly try to avoid mentioning Aspen Hell, which is rapidly becoming the County's greatest failure and embarrassment.