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The Tentacle


January 4, 2010

A New Year Dawns

Michael Kurtianyk

I remember my days on the Board of Directors at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. We struggled through some changes and did our level best to ensure that the Weinberg remained solvent.

 

So, it was great to read recently that 90% of the $1 million capital campaign has been raised. The current board, its current director, John Healey, and Stephanie Miller, the marketing and development director, should all be commended for their efforts. It’s great to see the Weinberg continue to grow.

 

I’d also like to congratulate Brian Runkles, chairman of the capital campaign, for spearheading this effort. Maybe Mr. Runkles could help with the city and county budget deficits!

 

On Del. Galen Clagett’s initiatives….

 

I commend Delegate Clagett for reintroducing several bills, including banning phosphorus in lawn fertilizer for residential use. I do think that promoting the use of clotheslines could help reduce energy usage, but like the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" program, it really has to be everyone doing this in order to make a significant impact.

 

It is my belief that green initiatives only make a slight impact unless it’s done by everyone (or nearly everyone). We have local, state, and national leaders who are doing great work in promoting green initiatives. However, our leaders must work together to continue insisting on these initiatives.

 

It is not enough for some people to do some of these things. Personal lifestyle and purchasing choices are positive moves toward the good. Also, the simple acts of raising awareness and making connections, along with supporting the development of green products and distributors, are beneficial.

 

However, this is not enough. By themselves, these personal practices done by only a few will make little impact. A sustained, concerted effort by many is the first step. We need to look at our schools, churches, businesses, etc., for a sustained, macro-level effort. One may buy energy-efficient bulbs for their house, but one house, one neighborhood, even one town, isn’t enough.

 

Gov. Martin O'Malley has called for the state to reduce energy use by 15 percent by 2015. We as citizens should do all that we can to reach, and surpass, this achievable goal.

 

Getting back to Delegate Clagett, he is also reintroducing a bill requiring the use of hands-free devices for drivers using cell phones. Personally, I am not crazy about the government involved in this issue for one reason only: when does it stop? In the future, will the government look at eating while driving? Playing the radio? I don’t mean this to be facetious, or an example of an ad absurdum argument, but that question should be asked.

 

Let’s hope Delegate Clagett brings back some legislation that works for Frederick County. Let’s also hope that all parties work well together in 2010.

 

Things I hope to see in 2010….

 

A reduction in the city and county budget deficits...

 

More businesses growing in Frederick County…

 

More businesses expanding in Frederick County…

 

A rematch between the Voltaggio Brothers for Top Chef, with Mr. Brian Voltaggio the new winner…

 

A free bagel offered to all who buy a $300 brick at the Weinberg Center’s Walk of Fame…

 

More cooperation between the Board of County Commissioners and the municipalities…

 

More cooperation between the Board of County Commissioners and the state…

 

Fewer Tiger Woods jokes…

 

More breakfasts with my fellow Tentacleers…

 

Fewer foreclosures and short sales…

 

A new book by Michael Connelly…

 

Four hours daily of Blaine Young (and less of Glenn Beck)…

 

Four hours daily of Bob Miller (and less of Michael Savage)…

 

Four hours of Katherine Heerbrandt on Saturdays…

 

A cooperative effort between Frederick City’s new mayor, Board of Aldermen, and chief administrative officer as they face their many challenges…

 



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