Tag Archives: maryland

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.

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:








How to Improve Your Black and White Photography

On June 14, 2017 I attended a Photography Meetup with the Montgomery County Photographers Meetup Group. The meetup was hosted and organized by Lester Picker.

Picker started off the evening talking about why even bothering with black and white photography. He mentioned the historical case for it — it started a long time ago. However, it wasn’t really until the Civil War photographer Matthew Brady that it took off and became popular. Then, he mentioned several pioneers in black and white photography. Those pioneers included Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

Picker then mentioned some of the modern masters of black and white photography. Those include Sebastio Salgado, Nick Brandt, and Patrick Demarchelier.

Picker also talked about color as a distraction, abstraction in black and white images, how black and white photography reveals the soul, and how black and white images are evocative.

Finally, he gave some tips:

  • Immerse yourself (read, go to exhibits)
  • Practice shooting in black and white
  • Practice looking at the light
  • Go way too far; have fun
  • Make “Test Prints”


Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

One of my favorite summertime activities is going to the local county fair, seeing all the farm animals and eating a funnel cake. The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair opens a week from today and runs through Aug. 22.

Of course there are rides and activities:


And all of the fried fair food:


And lots of carnival prizes:


But don’t forget about the Ag Education, such as the Moo-Ternity Ward & Milking Parlor:




And the contests, such as a Twitter Photo Scavenger Hunt returning for the second year in a row this year. Big surprise, I’m going to play and enter again this year!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic


Last month while I was home for the weekend my dad and I had breakfast at a restaurant we like. My maternal grandpa moved in with my mom and I when I was a junior in high school. We, and sometimes my dad, would eat at this restaurant with my grandpa. My grandpa liked to order their french toast. Every time I eat at this restaurant it conjures up memories of my grandpa.