Tag Archives: historic preservation

In miniature, August 8

  • MoCo Executive Leggett stifles a plan to make county dealings with labor unions more transparent [Bill Turque, Washington Post]
  • “Shank: Criminal justice overhaul will lead to better outcomes in Maryland” [Herald-Mail]
  • “Why in the world would the P.G. police dept. choose this particular cop to host a ride-along with a reporter?” [Radley Balko]
  • Baltimore’s regulatory blockade: lawsuit challenges grip of historic preservation laws [Nick Zaiac, Market Urbanism]
  • Been there. “Replacing Maryland E-ZPass transponder is not so easy” [Len Lazarick]
  • It’s something [that] shouldn’t be done by either party in any state.” Larry Hogan talks gerrymandering [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post]
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A downtown Frederick hotel and conference center? No public funds, please

Plans are now well afoot to use tax money and Maryland Stadium Authority public bonding to build a new conference center and hotel in downtown Frederick. I have no opinion (nor is it really my business) whether such a conference center and hotel deserve to get built, but if they do, they should stand on their own feet financially and not draw on taxpayers or their guarantees:

* I think the (R) majority of the county’s delegation in Annapolis are wise not to support a hike in the county’s hotel tax — paid by innkeepers and their customers county-wide, from New Market to Middletown to Emmitsburg — intended to channel funds to a conference center that would disproportionately benefit one downtown hotel.

* A public-sector Maryland Stadium Authority is not a proper function of government to begin with and letting it get into funding conference centers and the like makes everything worse. If the calamitous money pit that is the Baltimore Hilton convention center is not enough to give this sort of public bond-backed project a bad name in our state, what ever will? Just say no to MSA.

* Preservationists are up in arms about the project’s possible impact on one of Frederick’s chief tourism, lifestyle, and relocation selling points, its nationally famed, beautifully human-scale historic district. Without prejudging this debate, I would just note that in other cities, publicly funded trophy projects have badly hurt historic downtowns, leading to regret later.

If private demand for conference services is not sufficient to call forth private financing on the scale desired, maybe that should be a flashing amber light about the project as currently conceived.

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Filed under Policy

In miniature, July 12

  • Peroutka fallout continues [Jonathan Hutson/Huffington Post, earlier]
  • Hogan is making sense: Hobby Lobby controversy “doesn’t really have anything to do with being Maryland governor,” especially since, under the Supreme Court’s ruling in City of Bourne v. Flores, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in question doesn’t apply to actions of state and local governments;
  • Sociologist David Jernigan, Bloomberg’s guy on alcohol marketing issues at the liberty-unfriendly Johns Hopkins School of Public Health: “I am an advocate. I am an interested scientist. I actually am fairly skeptical of pure objectivity in science…my research questions have always been driven by what the policy opportunities are in the moment or what policy opportunities I can promote by doing research that will support people being able to make change.” [audio on Johns Hopkins site] Two other questions: were JHSPH the ones who dreamed up the “sexual assault” rationale for the new grain alcohol ban? [Tim Mak, Daily Beast] And given how many college officials have backed the relatively liberty-friendly Amethyst Initiative (rethink the 21 drinking age), how does Jernigan’s project get away with “we speak for college officials” ventriloquism?
  • Try a California-style jungle primary? It could hardly be worse than what we’ve got [Blair Lee]
  • Socially conservative Latino church leaders serve as pawns in Prince George’s Democratic infighting [Kim Propeack, Seventh State]
  • State-certified arts and entertainment district in Easton? Some nice benefits but oh, the paperwork [Josh Bollinger, Star-Democrat via Maryland Reporter]
  • See you at Tawes.

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