2018 National Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 28, 2018 was Memorial Day, when all of us pause to remember and honor the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces to defend our way of life. The nation’s largest single event on the holiday is the National Memorial Day Parade down Constitution Avenue NW in Washington D.C. I volunteered for the parade for the second year in a row. This year I was a photographer. You can check out some of my pictures below:

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2018 Alumni Weekend

Alumni Weekend was recently held at my alma mater, St. Andrews University (formerly St. Andrews Presbyterian College) and this year I was able to attend. I haven’t been able to go back to visit my alma mater since Alumni Weekend 2014, so it was nice to go back and spend time with my classmates, beloved faculty, and see the changes that have taken place.

William Henry Belk Center:

 

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Katherine MacKay Belk Bell Tower

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One of the new barn cats:

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Community Garden:

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Community Garden:

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Montgomery County Executive debate held at Olney Theatre Center

LRM_EXPORT_20180306_225213.jpgThe candidates for Montgomery County executive faced off in a two hour debate on Monday, March 5, 2018 in Olney, MD.

Participating in the debate were Democratic candidates Roger Berliner, David Blair, Marc Elrich, Rose Krasnow, George Leventhal, and Republican Robin Ficker. Democratic candidate William “Bill” Frick  could not attend due to commitments in Annapolis.

The debate was hosted by the Greater Olney Civic Association. Debate moderator was past GOCA President Barbara Falcigno. About 225 people attended the event.

The Amazon bid for a new headquarters and the county’s economic development dominated the discussion during the debate.

“We need to grow our economy, not increase taxes,” Berliner said. “I was very much a part of the Amazon bid and I am a firm believer in our Amazon bid. I believe we have a decent shot at getting Amazon. If we don’t get it, from my perspective it illuminates our path forward. The economy of the future is an innovation economy and so what our county needs to do is position itself for an innovation economy.”

“It would be wonderful to land Amazon, not only for all the high paying jobs, but also because it would bring millennials to our county,” Krasnow said. “Right now the fastest growing population is people over the age of 65. But, in order to land them we really need people to sit down with them and talk business. If they sense they’re not liked they won’t come here.”

“I love HQ2 because it’s going to bring in 50,000 jobs, $100,000 a piece, it’s going to bring in people who have visions for the future, upward mobile, because that’s where the county is going under my administration, it’s going up,” Ficker said. “Amazon is a wonderful company and it belongs in the number one county.”

The discussion on Amazon also included what would happen if Amazon chose somewhere else.

“If we don’t get them, to use a baseball analogy, I would want to invest in the “farm teams” so we can get the next Amazon,” Blair said.

The candidates were asked to provide a few specific areas of where they would increase revenue and where they would cut costs and if they would increase taxes if they were elected county executive.

“I would go through the budget from the bottom up,” Blair said. “I would not increase taxes. We need to start creating jobs here. We need to start expanding the economy. I say that for a couple of reasons. One, we have 10 million sq. feet of unoccupied commercial real estate today. That is a staggering amount. What Rose said is absolutely right. Small businesses will be the success of Montgomery County. We need to do a better job of buying local. We should be supporting our local businesses.”

Other things mentioned at the debate included:

Blair said Ride On costs $120 million to operate but only takes in $20 million. He’d offer the bus service for free, or replace the large buses for smaller, less expensive ones.

Berliner touted his efforts to hold Pepco accountable.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 26th, 2018.

Olney Chick-fil-A Grand Opening

Equipped with tents, blankets, pillows, multiple layers of clothing, and crossword puzzles and books to stay entertained, Matt Bernhard and Ian Robinson, had everything they needed to camp through a chilly December night.

But the Olney, MD residents weren’t camping at an ordinary campground. Instead, they, along with many others are in the parking lot of the new Chick-fil-A in Olney, MD as part of the fast food chain’s First 100 initiative, which promises the first 100 people 52 free meals. The restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m tomorrow, Thursday, December 7, 2017. It is located at 18115 Georgia Ave.

Matt and Ian arrived at 5:15 a.m today and were the 17th and 18th people in line.

“I am doing this for the experience,” Matt said.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the low 30’s tonight.

Franchise owner Erik Amik is supporting two organizations as part of his grand opening celebration. The First 100 campers are assembling 10,000 meals to be donated to Nourish Now. The restaurant is also collecting non-perishable food items in support of the Manna Food Center.

Spirit of Autumn

Today I had the opportunity to visit ARTECHOUSE newly opened exhibit “Spirit of Autumn”.

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The drawing room

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This is a room in the back of the exhibit where visitors can color in a leaf or two with markers. Once you are done designing your leaf, it is scanned and readied for projection onto the walls of the main gallery area.

Autumn Dance Room

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The gallery floor and wall fill with swirling gushes of fall colors through your gestures and moves. I made this light on the wall by pointing.

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The exhibit is open through Nov. 5. TICKETS: $8-20.

 

 

 

 

2017 Maryland Renaissance Festival

Yesterday I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. From the moment you drive onto the grounds, there are people dressed up in elaborate “period pieces” from the most authentic to the most outlandish. There are hundreds of activities for kids and adults. Shops adorn the paths between activities with intricately designed costumes, swords, and jewelry. Multiple stages throughout the festival showcase performances of all types, including singing and dancing.

Please enjoy this brief look into my day:

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