Thursday, July 30, 2009

what's up the pike: special thursday edition!

Rejoice! You are reading Just Up The Pike's 800th post! Thanks for putting up with me over the past few years and here's to a hundred more.

Yesterday was a huge news day on the east side, and I knew y'all weren't going to wait until Friday to find out what happened (which, of course, you already did via other blogs/listservs/the Post). But anyway:

- As you may know, County Executive Ike Leggett has asked to keep the Sligo Creek Golf Course open another year while forming a commission that will explore how to make it permanent. It was slated to close October 1 after being transferred to the Parks Department, which is forbidden from operating anything that would compete with the county Revenue Authority's public golf courses. Save Sligo Golf, a group whose name is self-explanatory, says that the course is a respite for women and minority golfers who don't feel comfortable at more elite facilities.

- On Tuesday, the County Council voted not to allow a pedestrian bridge to be built between the new Silver Spring Library and the Wayne Avenue Garage across the street, despite claims from the disabled community that doing so would make it difficult for them to go there. To provide accessible parking for handicapped patrons, Planning Department staff proposed a "three-phase" solution in which six parking spaces would be placed on the site of a future residential building next to the library, then moved to Bonifant Street while that building is under construction before permanent spaces are created in an underground garage.

- Yonata Getachew, one of two Springbrook High students who conspired to bomb their school and assassinate the principal in April, plead guilty to arson last week. Meanwhile, Nelson Torrance, whose family says Getachew "coerced" him into the scheme, will have his case reviewed by Juvenile Court.

- Felipe Anuel, who runs the box office at Montgomery College, left a comment yesterday saying that while YES, ticket sales did begin on Monday for Aretha Franklin's show their at their new Performing Arts Center, but there are "still some left." Thanks, Felipe! I hope you haven't had any fans camping out.


Cyndy said...

Wow, 800 posts! Congratulations, and thanks for keeping us informed.

C. P. Zilliacus said...

Dan, regarding Sligo Creek Golf Course, there is (in my opinion) a bigger policy issue here.

How park and recreation services are delivered in most of Montgomery County to its residents.

We have the M-NCP&PC Montgomery County Parks Department that runs the parks and owns land under some facilities operated by other agencies.

We have the Montgomery County Recreation Department, which reports to the County Executive.

And we have the Montgomery County Revenue Authority which runs an assortment of "self-supporting" activities.

Again in my opinion, our sister county, Prince George's County, delivers these services much better by combining much of the above into the M-NCP&PC Prince George's County Parks and Recreation Department. For context, it is important to note that because of M-NCP&PC's nature as a creature of the State of Maryland, the Prince George's County tax-limiting TRIM amendment does not apply to M-NCP&PC.

I assert that it's high time that the Montgomery County Council and County Executive (at least) consider the adoption of a similar model. Consider that in Fairland Regional Park, on the Prince George's County side, there is the ice facility and the aquatic center. Both of them are gorgeous (as in Gorgeous Prince George's, I suppose) and are well run. And we have nothing like them in Montgomery County.

Who knows - I think the residents of Montgomery County would be better served with such an institutional arrangement, and we might actually save the taxpayers some money with a consolidation, too. What a concept!