Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anita Riley - Out of Touch With Carroll County

Former Democratic candidate for House of Delegates Anita Riley is what they call a whackadoodle.  If ever there has been someone who is out of touch with local politics, it is Anita Riley.

In a letter to the editor to the Eldersburg\Sykesville Advocate, she pens a editorial titled A Tradition of Getting Nothing.  It is no secret that South Carroll is overwhelmingly Republican.  As people get older and have kids, they tend to become Republican.  Have you ever heard the saying, "If you're Republican and you're under 30, you have no heart.  If you're a Democrat and you're over 30, then you have no brain"?  Carroll County tends to be God-loving middle class families over 30 with children.  They tend to be Republican.  No anecdotal evidence to the contrary, please.

Candidate Riley reminds readers that the 2013 Maryland legislative session has ended and the net result is that the local politicians, all Republicans, brought home no money to their constituents.  I find it sad that some people measure the success of our politicians by the amount of money they bring home to their district.  What are they, pirates???

Candidate Riley then states the following:

What party do they represent? What party dominates the Maryland state government? Gee, I cannot image for one second why they continue to bring back the same old nothing from Annapolis all these past many years. I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to see something for my tax dollars once in a while.

We'll ignore the fact that Candidate Riley, who commanded a paltry 26% of the vote in 2010 against Delegate Susan Krebs, made comments are that condescending and snarky.  What does Candidate Riley want for her tax dollars?  A prison?  A drug-rehabilitation center?  A senior center?  We have one of those.  How about an arena to lure an NBA team. The Eldersburg Raptors.  I can hear it now.

Candidate Riley then invites us to call her a crazy butt.

" You can call me crazy, but..."

Candidate Riley - you are crazy.  The rest of her comment is as follows:

"You can call me crazy, but when you continually send an R down to Annapolis to do a D’s job, you get what you wish for –- year after year -- nothing."

Obviously Candidate Riley never wants to be elected in Maryland for any office.  You send a Republican to do a Democrat's job???  What they heck is that all about?  She suggests that we elect Democrats instead of Republicans if we want to bring more tax dollars back from Annapolis.

It is true that Annapolis has no love for South Carroll.  Why else would they try to bust up the Congressional districts in our area in addition to that of Western Maryland?  But for her to suggest that we elect Democrats is preposterous.  We elect people that represent our beliefs and ideals, whether we think the rest of the elected officials agree with us or not.  We're not going to elect someone who wants to raise taxes, tax our rain, allow illegal immigrants to attend our colleges with in-state tuition and obtain valid drivers' licenses.  We don't want representatives who will bend over backwards to silence the vote of 35% of Marylanders because they belong to the wrong political party.

Candidate Riley may be frustrated, but she lives in Carroll County, not Montgomery County.  If she wants to find an elected office, she may want to move to an area where the residents share her political beliefs.  But she has no business telling us how we need to vote.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Closing in Eldersburg - Big Lots

With the upcoming closing and demolition of Carrolltown Center, we know all of the stores will be closing.  So it pleases me to write those words.  Big Lots is closing!  I haven't been in that store in years.  And there is a reason.  It's yucky!

Here's a picture of the infamous lights-out on their sign.  I like BIG TS!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Carrolltown Center OUT - Eldersburg Commons IN

Well, now we know.  Unless you've been hiding under Martin O'Malley's rain tax, you know that Carrolltown Center will be razed and rebuilt with a Super Wal-Mart as the anchor.  The name of the shopping center will be called Eldersburg Commons.

Last night County Councilman Doug Howard held a Town Hall Meeting at the newly built Sykesville Freedom Fire Hall.  There was a lot of talk about the county budget, the rain tax, the county sheriff, the library, the Veterans' Association, and the fire department.  But more on that later.

Carroll County Commissioner Doug Howard.  Photo Courtesy of mdduckman
Black Oak Associates partner Dixon Harvey and property manager Ray Keil joined several hundred Eldersburg and Sykesville residents for this town hall meeting, easily the largest meeting seen in South Carroll since the court trial when old man Jenkins got caught with Estelle in his jalopy.

Black Oak partner Dixon Harvey.  Photo courtesy of mdduckman
Mr. Harvey unveiled his plans for a new $50 million shopping destination that, as I mentioned, will be anchored by Super Wal-Mart, with approximately 20 surrounding stores.  Negotiations are on-going for the other stores, but it appears that they may be in the order of a Bed, Bath, & Beyond, a clothing store such as Ross, a beauty store, a vision eye care center, several restaurants, including an Italian restaurant and a Mexican restaurant, probably something similar to a Chipotle or a California Tortilla.

photo courtesy of mdduckman
The obvious first observation is - there's already a Wal-Mart, why do we need a Super Wal-Mart?  But as Dixon Harvey explained it, without Super Wal-Mart, this project doesn't happen.  He emphasized that they did reach out to Target several times, and even flew to Minneapolis to meet with them trying to get them to come to Eldersburg.  But, alas, Target doesn't seem to be interested in Eldersburg.  As I thought about it, I realized that this is not Dixon's fault.  If no other anchor's want to come to Eldersburg, what is he supposed to do?  Hold out for another 12 years? Is that what we really want?  It's not what I want.

photo courtesy of mdduckman
Furthermore, the second obvious question is, "What is going to happen to the old Wal-Mart?"  Mr. Harvey said that he can't speak for Wal-Mart, but he would assume that another or several mid-sized retailers would fill the spot, retailers such as an arts and crafts store (read Michael's) or an electronics store (H.H. Gregg?).  He said that he asked about purchasing the property from Wal-Mart, but they declined.  Perhaps Wal-Mart will hold onto it to make it a Sam's Club?  I honestly think that's too much saturation of similar shopping experiences for both to survive in a town the size of Eldersburg.  We're Eldersburg, not Bel Air or Columbia.

photo courtesy of mdduckman
As you can imagine, there was a lot of hostility in the crowd.  "Why aren't you building a Target?"  He already stated that they weren't interested.  One woman crowed that the old Carrolltown Center was a great place for her kids to go hang out.  What does this new shopping center have for them?  Mr. Harvey politely responded that this is a shopping center.  And I agree with him.  Why is he obligated to build a playground for our children?  He owns retail spaces.  He's not the benevolent overseer of our children.  He's no more responsible for building a place for our children to hang out than McDonald's, Radio Shack, or Bank of America would be.

Some people were asking for the old Wal-Mart to be razed and turned into a park.  As I mentioned, Wal-Mart owns the property.  What do you think the chances are that Wal-Mart will 'give' the land to Carroll County?  You know Carroll County won't be able to buy it. The budget is already tight.

There were a lot of people that were getting angry at this development. 'We moved here because it was a small town.  We don't want all this development.  If you want all of those things move to Columbia!'  I agree with them, but you have to be realistic.  Whether you like it or not, the Baltimore suburbs are expanding, because no one wants to live in a city that murders nearly 300 people per year and the schools are worse than the prisons.  Baltimore County is now doing a pretty darn good impression of the city.  Lots of people are calling Eldersburg home and commuting to D.C., Baltimore, and areas in between.  It's obvious that Eldersburg will grow with it.

Another resident got up and asked what is going to happen to all of the existing wonderful shops.  Seriously?  That's why the mall is considered a dead mall.  Any mall that has a church, a fitness room, any dollar store, and a batting cage is a dead mall.  Those stores knew what they were getting into.  Mr. Dixon did not hide any truth from them.  They were on short-term month-to-month leases.  I wish them the very best, but they do not belong in a new revitalized shopping district.  Perhaps they could move to the Liberty Exchange.  I hear there is a lot of dead space there.

The meeting then got really interesting when some of the old timers started asking if there was going to be a bus line from Randallstown.  Something was said about 'keeping those people from crossing the bridge'.  Yikes!  Felt like I was in a meeting in Mississippi in 1952.  I harp on providing stores that cater to people that the meet the local demographics, and I certainly make fun of Randallstown, but I don't say that publicly in a meeting when 200 plus people are looking at me.

So that's the meeting in a nutshell

What are your thoughts given the 'facts'?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1984 Comes to Boston

These homeowners voluntarily allowed the police to search their homes, right?  At gun point?  With assault weapons pointed at their heads?  Using assault weapons that Congress doesn't want us to have?  Because without these same weapons we're safer?  From whom?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Carrolltown Mall - Town Hall Meeting

It's official.  The good folks at Black Oak Associates will be meeting with the residents of Eldersburg and Sykesville on Monday April 22nd at 7pm at the Sykesville Freedom Fire Hall.  Everyone is excited or anxious to know what's going to happen.  But honestly, we already know.

The rumors have been rampant for a year now.  And we've actually tricked people into giving us the answer.  The rumor is that a Super Wal-Mart is moving in.  One of my friends asked a manager at Wal-Mart when they were going to move into the new Super Wal-Mart at Carrolltown and he said he wasn't sure, indicating that, yes, that is what is going to happen.

So for all of you that thought a Target was coming, or a movie theater, or great restaurants - you can all put those thoughts to rest.  There are no great restaurants that are going to move onto a property that also has a Super Wal-Mart.  We'll probably get another Subway, something like a Sbarro's, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, maybe a Checkers or a Long John Silvers.  We're not going to get a P.F. Chang's, nor a Chipotle, nor a Red Lobster, nor an Outback, nor a Damon's.  Black Oak most likely is effectively bringing a lower tier retail destination to the higher-income Eldersburg area.

There are some humorous comments on the various local news blogs.  One said 'why would they build a Super Wal-Mart at Carrolltown Mall when there's already a Wal-Mart right down the street?'  Uhhh......I think they'd close the Wal-Mart, which then creates another several thousand foot void in our town.  Another effectively said that if they build a Super Wal-Mart, then the undersireables from Randallstown will be moving in.  They may be shopping here, but I doubt they'll be moving in.  Yet.

Other comments said that we need to turn Eldersburg into another Columbia or Westminster.  If people wanted to live in an area with all of the amenities of Westminster and Columbia, then why did they move to Eldersburg???  You move to towns like Eldersburg so that you don't have to sit in Saturday traffic to get anywhere.  I lived in Bel Air and traffic is HELL - pretty much all the time.  I don't want to live like that.

As I've said before, if a Super Wal-Mart comes to town, that will be the death knell for Shopper Food Warehouse.  Eldersburg cannot support another grocery store.  I told another friend that if it's a Super Wal-Mart I expect a fishing section complete with tanks of live shiners and minnows and live archery and target firing section.

Would you support a Super Wal-Mart?  Are you going to the meeting?

Eldersburg Plaza Church - Work Stop Order

You know that Church that was going in the old beer and wings (Buffalo Beer & Wings???) restaurant in between Cobblestone and Total Discount Liquors in the Eldersburg Plaza?  Well, it ain't happening for a while.  

I went to the liquor store (of course) to resupply and saw this notice on the door.  Apparently they were doing renovations without a permit.  Not sure if this will prevent the Church from taking roots between the liquor store and the bar.  But it goes to show you - don't mess with the Carroll County Government Bureau of Permits & Inspections.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dunkin Donuts - Time To Make the Donuts

I went to Dunkin' Donuts in Eldersburg on Sunday, presumably the busiest day of the week for donut sales, and guess what?  They didn't have any donuts.  NO donuts.  DONUTS!!!  How is this possible?  Isn't your name Dunkin' DONUTS?  You're not Dunkin' Bagels.  Or Dunkin' Coffee.  You are Dunkin' Donuts.

There's an expression "You have one job to do and you need to do it right."  Dunkin' Donuts FAILED.

Sunday.  The day where people go to Church, then go to Dunkin' Donuts to get a dozen donuts for their family.  In this case, I guess everyone went to Martin's or Shopper's for their donuts.

Dunkin' DONUTS - you should be ashamed of yourself.  I don't care what your excuse is.

Tax Day

Did you remember to file your taxes today?  It's Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's favorite day of the year.  Money-money-money-money.  

Actually, when you really think about it, April 15th has little significance to tax collection.  The government collects taxes all year long.  It's just April 15th when you have to file the claim.  And most people get a refund because they pay too much in taxes throughout the year.  Every year I say the same thing - it's best to owe the government a little money.  That way you're collecting interest (what little of it banks provide).  Otherwise, the government is getting a free loan from you.  Do you really want to loan more money to the government for free?  I didn't think so.

Coming to Eldersburg - T-Bone & More

The former Plazuelas now has a new tenant.  And a new sign.  It will now be occupied by T-Bone and More.  I thought restaurant (assuming this is a restaurant) was related to T-Bonz of Ellicott City, but that does not seem to be the case.

So this sight has been a Pizza Hut, a Chinese restaurant (China House?), Plazeulas, now T-Bone & More.  Did I forget any?  What's up with the font on this sign?  Word Perfect?  It looks like they've toned down the bright colors for more subtle Earth tones.

I wish them well.  I'll check it out when they open.  Do you know anything about them?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sequestration Does Not Impact White House Mega-Party

Would you like to take a tour of the White House?  It's easy.  All you have to do is write to your Congressman and ask for tickets.  Oh, wait.  They cancelled White House tours in the name of sequestration.  Then Obama flip-flopped, but only special groups can get a tour.  And most likely you're not special.  Flip-flopping - it's Obama's favorite trick.  Let's evaluate this.

The White House tours our conducted by......volunteers.  So you're not saving any money by getting rid of them.  Officially the White House claims that the cancelled tours are due to the security guards being reassigned to other posts.  Yadda-yadda-yadda.

Meanwhile, the King of Hypocricy, Lord Obama, who announced that he paid only 18% in taxes this year, has thrown a high-dollar Hollywood-style music concert in the White House complete with some of the biggest names in Memphis soul music.  Of course this is done at tax-payers expense.  If I'm not mistaken, they used some of the money saved from furloughing thousands of government employees to pay for the concert.  "Hey, look at all of this money we're saving by not paying federal employees.  Let's have a concert and only invite celebrity guests!"  Sounds like a great idea to me.

It is unclear how much the concert cost.  But you figure that they had to bring in all of the set-up including chairs, tables, lights, food, drinks, speakers, cocaine, stage, flooring, ambiance, strippers, security, organization, planning, etc...  Entertainers included Sam Moore of Sam and Dave, Justin Timberlake (because of his legendary contributions to Memphis soul music), Alabama Shakes, Ben Harper, Cyndi Lauper (because of her legendary contributions to Memphis soul music), Mavis Staples, Charlie Mussellwhite, William Bell, and Queen Latifah (because of her legendary contributions to Memphis soul music).

The concert was praised by Rolling Stones magazine and The Huffington Report, both of which are quick to criticize Republicans and just as quick to turn a blind eye on the Democrats.

And since Chris Van Hollen is now my Congressman, I did a quick Google search to count how many articles were written about him criticizing this wasteful spending.  I counted zero articles.  My conclusion?  Chris Van Hollen endorses wasteful spending by the White House.

Why do I feel that we, the tax payers, are constantly losing the battle of fairness?  It no longer appears to be a government by the people, for the people.  It's more and more becoming a government of the elite, against the people.

Piney Run Park Fishing Report - April

This is our fifth fishing trip to Piney Run Park this year.  And for the fifth time this year, we walked away with no fish.  No bites.  And less tackle than we brought.  I don't think there are any more fish in this lake. They're all gone.

I think I see the Loch Ness Monster out there on the water.  Do you see him?

Nature is so cool.  We found this on our way down the path to the water.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

You Might Live in a Country Run By Idiots

I didn't write this, but this is mostly what I've been saying for years. It's floating around Facebook and getting a lot of Likes and Shares.  For those of you NOT on Facebook (all 2 of you), enjoy....

1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.
2. If you have to get your parents permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but not to vote, … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

5. If, in our largest city, you can buy "two" 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

6. If an 80-year-old woman and 3 yr old child can be stripped searched by the TSA, but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

7. If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

8. If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is cute, but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable, … you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

9. If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes…, you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

10. If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

11. If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor buys iPhones, TVs and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

12. If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more safe according to the government,… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Does Martin O'Malley Hate Air Traffic Controllers?

Everyone has been talking about the sequestration and the doom and gloom that are certain to follow when the federal budget is cut.  It seems that according to Democrats, babies will starve, criminals will not be freed from prison, and old people will be kicked out of retirement homes and forced to live on worms and Funyuns.  Republicans, on the other hand, say that cutting the military's budget will result in the Chinese marching across the mid-west and taking all of our guns from us, and forcing us to buy all Chinese-made products   Oh, wait.  All of our products are already made in China.  And this reminds me of the joke my daughter told me: if God made everything, then he must be Chinese.

What are we to believe?

What we really should be concerned about is that fact that sequestration is shutting down air traffic control towers all across the country.  Towers in Maryland that are closing include Glenn L. Martin Airport in Essex, Easton Newnam Field in Easton, Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport, Frederick Municipal Airport, and Hagerstown Regional Richard A. Henson Field.  If I'm not mistaken, the only airports left with control towers are BWI, Naval Air Station Patuxant River, and Andrews Air Force Base.

I'm not a fan of closing air control towers. This HAS to make our skies less safe, right?  There's no one to guide take-offs and landings.  The first plane or helicopter accident will result in a massive outcry and a demanding of someone's head.  So I got to wondering, 'who is going to stand up against evil government and keep the airways in Maryland safe?'  Our magnanimous governor Martin O'Malley, right?!!!

I did a quick Google search to find articles about him speaking out against the closing of the air traffic control towers in his state.  Guess how many articles I found?  ZERO.  Check it out here.  Why does Martin O'Malley not care about safe air travel?  Why does he not care that these important and hard working people in his state are going to lose their jobs?  Why is he at least not making a nominal protest to be
on record?  The only conclusion that I can determine is that Martin O'Malley hates air traffic controllers.

What do you think?

Monday, April 01, 2013

Plazuelas Reopening?

I friend of mine asked if Plazuelas was reopening.  What?  He said he thought he saw a sign in front of the restaurant.  I drove by the other day to find out for myself.  While the sign declaring that the place was for lease was still there, a new Now Hiring sign blew in the wind at the front of the property.  Is this for Plazuelas?  Or for a different restaurant?

Piney Run Early Bird Fishing Tournament and the Return to Piney Run

My son and I signed up for the Piney Run Early Bird Fishing Tournament last Saturday.  It was officially the first day of fishing for the park.

The tournament cost $40 per person and $20 for a boat rental.  The start time was 6am and ran until noon.  The flyer that we got said that they would open the gates at 5am, but you couldn't start fishing until 6am.  We got there at 5:45am and were greeted with.......a long line of idling cars on Martz Road waiting to gain entrance to the park.  I soon realized that there were 2 lines, one using the entrance, the other using the exit.

Soon a park employee walked down the line and some cars moved into the exit lane.  The right lane was for boaters and the left lane for shore anglers and renters. Off we went into the left lane.  After about 15 minutes of more waiting in line, another park employee walked by and asked if we had already registered.  Ahhh...... that is why it is taking so long.  There should have been a line for idiots who wait until the last minute to register and another for people who are responsible and registered before the event so that they can just drive in and start fishing.

Upon dropping our gear in the boat, we realized that the entire boat was lightly frosted. There's nothing like sitting your buns on ice cold aluminum.  As I hoofed and rowed, great billows of frozen breath lingered in the air behind me.  It was cold.  31°.  Why are we fishing?  Are the fish really smarter than us?

I took this picture with my cellphone (hence the glare of my misplaced finger).  It was certainly darker than this picture makes it out to be. I guess the lens was open for a bit longer allowing in more of the light than was really there.  You can see the white lights across the surface of the lake.  These are the lights of the other boats.  I estimated about 50 boats were on the water.

I think we won the Charlie Brown prize.  For six hours worth of fishing, all we caught was a stick.  And not too many other people caught fish.  We saw a couple of big catfish that were caught.  The leader for a long while was a 19" striped bass.  A few people caught yellow perch. And a half dozen caught some trout.  It was a tough day for fishing.  I basically paid $100 to row a boat for the day.

On Monday we went back.  It was a lot nicer.  Or so we thought.  The temperature was over 50°, which relative to recent days is really warm.  However, as you can see, it was quite windy.  I've never seen it this windy at Piney Run Park.  White caps?  I thought those were for the Bay!  The greatest workout ever would be to let the wind drift you to the dam, then fight the wind and row back to the docks.

Sadly, our fishing lasted an hour and the results were the same as Saturday, less the stick.  Warm weather - please return!!!

Vote No'Malley Endorses Martin O'Malley for President




DAY !!!!

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