In or out? Up or down? Left or right?

one way signsIn today's world of social media and the multitude of outlets for public discourse, how disturbing is it that much of our public discourse has been reduced to a dialog that consists of either being for or against without any consideration for the many nuances and issues that fall between those two extremes?


For whom the tax credit tolls, it tolls for thee

100 dollar billsI spent a rather interesting day last week, and by day I mean the entire day, waiting to testify before the Ways and Means Committee in Annapolis in support of House Bill 822.  This bill is being sponsored by Delegate Frush and is designed to provide a tax incentive for purchasing long-term health care insurance. (There is a comparable bill in the Senate, SB6, sponsored by Senator Klausmeier.)


A Crab Ball clash leads to opportunities for enjoyment

basketball on floorGaithersburg senior guard Anthony Tarke and River Hill senior forward Charlie Thomas IV crossed paths for the first time during Saturday’s second annual Maryland Crab Ball Classic.

Tarke finished with four points and six rebounds in 13 minutes of action while Thomas scored seven points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in Baltimore’s 113-108 win over the Washington squad.


Sustaining Civic Engagement

mccivicfedIn the last year did you: testify at the County Council? Send an email to the County Executive about an issue? Read a county budget? Read a county council staff report?  Participate in a local meeting about your community? Attend a Civic Fed monthly meeting? We at the Civic Fed extend our thanks and welcome you to the world of civic activism – welcome to our world.


Prepare now for a low inventory market

house real estateAs the weather warms, many home buyers are venturing out making themselves known; only to be greeted with low inventories and higher list prices.  The National Association of Realtors® March 23rd press release indicated that nationwide low housing inventory is pushing home prices to grow rapidly; average home prices across the country increased 7.5 percent during February compared to the same period last year ( 


Prepare to get spammed

gavel2All of us have been frustrated by the receipt of unsolicited email of “SPAM”. Maryland in 2002 enacted the Maryland Commercial Electronic Mail Act (MCEMA) to prohibit the sending of “unauthorized, false or misleading information.”  The limits of how this law can be used to try to prevent unwanted SPAM are illustrated by a case last month from Maryland’s intermediate appellate court called Jeffrey Walton v. Network Solutions.


A long way to go and no way to get there

PencilPaper“I really think WMATA has a long way to go to improve its transparency and its communication in order to maintain public confidence.” - Montgomery County Council Member Tom Hucker (D-5)

In a nutshell, the ongoing problems with the local subway system continue to bedevil the managers at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and those managers have no one to blame for their problems but themselves.


The pearl in the county oyster

mccivicfedThis year is our 90th year as the premiere umbrella group for civic organizations countywide.  Yes, the Civic Federation was founded in 1925.  What else was happening in 1925? Calvin Coolidge had just taken office to become the 30th president of the United States. Sears and Roebuck, after 32 years of catalog sales only, opened their first bricks-and-mortar store, in Indiana.  Scotch tape was invented. Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman governor, of Wyoming. And, our Civic Federation was formed by a group of active individuals.


Now the time for post-winter maintenance

house real estateDid you know that enduring a harsh winter can make you more resilient?  At least that’s what University of Buffalo researcher Mark Seery believes.  His research on stress and coping reveals that negative events and adversity promotes adaptability and resilience, which benefits your overall wellness (


Making a false bomb threat is still illegal

gavel2In this age of potential terrorism, all of us take very seriously a statement or threat made by anyone regarding any type of explosive device. Maryland has a specific statute criminalizing that behavior, as illustrated by a recent opinion from Maryland’s intermediate appellate Court called Gary Ross Latray v. State.

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