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Good government begins with the vote

mccivicfedFor decades now, media pundits have bemoaned the influence of special interests over elections, as well as the functioning of government in general.  No sooner had Congress approved the McCain-Feingold Act to close Federal election finance loopholes, and the President signed the bill into law, than special interests invented a creative new way to circumvent the law and funnel soft money to their chosen candidates for elected office.

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Rockville resident recalls the Master Plan and the politics of the city as a matter of civic honor and pride

PencilPaperTen years ago the residents of East Rockville made a contract with City of Rockville when the Mayor and Council approved their Neighborhood Plan.  This plan was the contract, and it was developed in careful, thoughtful, and deliberate partnership with residents as a guide to protect the character and quality of the East Rockville neighborhood.

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The four-way stop sign and the Ebola virus

PencilPaperSo, there I was in Rockville driving 30 mph as the sign says I should. I was nearing a speed light camera and I was third or fourth in line at the four-way stop sign when the young woman behind me began honking her horn. Then she pulled around me, flashed me the most famous finger which is either an insult or a proclamation and headed on down the road.

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Including citizens in government decisions

mccivicfedFive years ago I would never have dreamed that the community, developers, the advisory board and urban district could cooperate on anything.  By a fluke of fate, my community was given an opportunity to collaborate with a developer of a commercial property which abuts a residential neighborhood of single family homes.  The success of this collaboration led our community to pioneer a process of community inclusion which I call Micro to Macro©. 

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A multi-generational homestead

house real estate“Wait long enough and it will come back in style” is a saying that typically applies to clothing styles and fashion.  And unlike fashion trends, which typically relies on pop culture, fads, and a designer’s vision; home design trends are more practical and rely on changing life styles, advances in building technologies, and the development and/or use of new construction materials.

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Suing for witholding evidence

gavel2There have been a number of cases since the advent of DNA testing  where, often times many years later, a person who has been wrongfully convicted has had his conviction overturned when evidence is later tested. Whether the wrongfully convicted person can obtain damages from the government officials who participated in the prosecution was explored by a three judge panel of the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in an opinion last month in the case of James Owens v. Baltimore City State’s Attorneys’ office.

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