I wonder if Governor Larry Hogan, then Governor-elect, regrets saying that the Ferguson, MO decision to not indict police officers really doesn’t impact Maryland? If Hogan is going to govern Maryland into a forward progression, he must take stock of Maryland’s current situation in relation to what’s happening locally, nationally, and globally. Never miss a chance for a self-check. It’s not to say that the Baltimore uprising over the death of Freddie Gray wouldn’t have happened, but had Hogan taken Ferguson a little more seriously, maybe he wouldn’t have been at a podium lying about how he was waiting on Baltimore’s mayor to call him before he could declare a state of emergency. He had the statutory right to declare the state of emergency on his own or didn’t he think another Black man’s death at the hands of police would “impact Maryland?” Now Baltimore’s entire police force will be investigated by the Department of Justice to see if there is a pattern of excessive force and discriminatory policing that violates the civil rights of Americans.
I just had to put that out there. I’m trying to keep up with the shenanigans of our public officials. It’s daunting sometimes. There’s so much. Ha! Our beloved County Executive Rushern Baker is still
meeting on a promotional tour for his plan to increase taxes in an effort to raise revenue to fund schools. See the Central High School town hall meeting with the County Council from Tuesday April 21st HERE. For those of you who are like me and can’t attend these meetings in person, follow the Prince George’s County Council on Livestream. The next two meetings are May 12th 6-8 P.M. University Park Elementary 4315 Underwood Street University Park, MD 20782 May 13th 7-9 P.M. Tayac Elementary School 8600 Allentown Road Fort Washington, MD 20744.
For the record, I am against raising taxes. We are allowing the ripe areas around our metro stations to lay in waste until some hipsters deem the space worthy to gentrify. Oh yes, I’m saying it how I feel it today. Don’t get me wrong, I understand Baker’s motivation for wanting to raise the taxes. He has seen the slug-like pace of what we call progress in education and wants to immediately remedy that. I get that, but throwing money into a house on fire won’t put out the fire. Currently, Maryland outspends Virginia on per-pupil costs. We have money. What we need is someone unafraid of cutting off the head of the monsters that make permits/licensing/business taxes/better education a NIGHTMARE to accomplish. County residents can’t keep being taxed for more money when education funding has seemingly been mismanaged into it’s current state. And again I say, transit oriented development will generate money from areas that are laying in waste.
Speaking of laying in waste, The Boulevard is losing another business. Timothy Dean’s TD Burger is closing, according to Washington Business Journal, due to crime and the dwindling amount of people who visit The Boulevard. I don’t believe that. The burgers and fries just weren’t that good, the service was slow, albeit from some very nice young people. I’ve been to TD Burger at least 3 times. Each time I hoped for the best but always ended up wishing I’d gone to Five Guys. Note: Before you write me about my low-brow taste in burgers, check yourself. My palette was seeking the divine long before the Food Network converted the masses.
Another cited reason is that The Boulevard, in part, is closing down to make way for the new Regional Medical Center. Timothy Dean said he didn’t know that retailers at the The Boulevard weren’t renewing their leases, “Had I known they weren’t going to be renewing leases — Lens Crafters, Next Day Blinds and these other big-name stores — I probably wouldn’t have selected that location,” Dean said in a phone interview.” Dude, before purchasing my first and current home, we researched to know what was the 5-year plan for the area. Coalition for Smarter Growth has great update on the Regional Medical Center HERE. It’s really on the way folks. Wow.
A brief bit from the update: “When the county reached an agreement to locate the Regional Medical Center on land next to the Largo Town Center Metro station [in 2013], it made a deal to trade some of the land with the main leaseholder, Retail Properties of America, Inc (RPAI), which owns the lease for The Boulevard at Capital Centre. RPAI is now in the process of preparing for a phased redevelopment of the property over time, to take advantage of the new activity generated by the Regional Medical Center, and create a mixed-use environment.”
Purple Line advocates are dragging a cardboard cutout of Governor Larry Hogan along with them to tour stops along the proposed new Purple Line light rail system. Purple Line Now and others in favor of the light rail system are trying hard to sway the Governor before he issues his final word on whether the state will provide funding. Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn said the 16-mile light rail system could be built for 10% less than estimated. Maryland state senator Michael J. Hough (Carrol & Frederick Counties) sent a letter to Hogan saying that the Purple Line shouldn’t be funded at all. He says take the money and expand I-270.
In the meantime, the real Governor Hogan and the Maryland Transportation Authority put measures into place to reduce tolls on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from $6 to $4, eliminate E-Z Pass monthly account fee for Maryland residents, reduce toll rates on the ICC/MD200 and I-95 ETL for all pricing periods by $.03 per mile (trip from I-270/I-370 to US 1 on the ICC goes from $4.40 to $3.86 (E-ZPass), and a host of other reductions. See the full list HERE to know what changes go into effect in July 2015 and January 2016. Hogan is making good on his campaign promise to fund road and bridge projects. It’s not looking like he’ll support the Purple Line, according to quotes from the Washington Post article. See WBAL’s story on the toll reductions and how you have to be a E-ZPass person to really benefit HERE.