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Auto Drive: Redesigned Civic gets jolt of excitement; Volvo's aging crossover still has some strengths

Honda Civic2016 Honda Civic Touring sedan. COURTESY PHOTO

Many Honda Civic owners are determinedly loyal, gravitating toward the latest car to wear that familiar 44-year-old name. Honda hasn't always rewarded their loyalty with a best-in-class product, but the all-new 2016 model is a true standout that merits serious attention among compact economy cars.

You can't miss the changes. Long and low, the redesigned body is curvy and edgy, all the way from its chrome-clad snout to its angular-crescent-moon taillights. And while the last Civic's driving dynamics settled for mild-mannered adequacy, the 2016 model strives to seriously impress, and it succeeds.

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Comptroller advocates competition

 

Comptroller Peter Franchot spoke to a half-filled room with the Civic Federation on Nov. 9 at the County Council Building. Speaking of his role on the Maryland Board of Public Works, which he said has approved 18,000 contracts accounting for $85 billion in state spending since he rose to the position from being a delegate from Takoma Park, Franchot emphasized his independence from partisan politics as comptroller.

 

Franchot portrayed the Board of Public Works as a “court of last resort” against “machine politics,” citing his ability to stand up to the Democratic Party in Baltimore County as a champion of Dundalk Citizen groups regarding a development proposal that he voted against.

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Rain Tax Part II

 

Residents of Montgomery County pay multiple taxes justified in the name of the Chesapeake Bay, including a “bag” tax, a flash tax and water quality charge. Well-intentioned residents who genuinely would like to preserve the bay would be hard-pressed, however, to explain how all that money has made a difference.

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Montgomery Co. Positioned to Take the Lead with PACE

 

 

Commercial building owners in Montgomery County have a new opportunity, unavailable in most of the rest of the state, to retrofit their buildings with energy improvements, with no upfront costs.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is an alternative to traditional debt financing enabled last year by the Maryland General Assembly. Montgomery is one of two counties that have enacted the local ordinances required to implement PACE. Anne Arundel is the other.

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Barve seeks a step up to Congress

KumarPortraits 270The field of candidates for the soon to be vacant Congressional seat of Congressman Chris Van Hollen has been taking shape over the last several months. One such candidate is Delegate Kumar Barve, a former Maryland House Majority Leader and currently the chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee.

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The quest for affordable housing

house genericEvery community needs affordable housing whether they recognize it or not. The current requirement is that 12.5 percent of any new construction in Montgomery County must be set aside for moderately priced housing, but is that enough?

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