Image from Maryland Municipal League 2015 annual convention literature.


Dear Readers,

A FOX sighting in Takoma Park! The local FOX television channel will be broadcasting live from the Takoma Park gazebo and other locations Friday morning, July 3. Starting at 7:00 AM they will talk to various merchants, Mayor Bruce Williams, the “Child of the Day,” and other civic wonders.

The Old Town Business Association nervously added to its announcement: “Note: Local Fox 5 has no affiliation with Fox News.” They know Takoma Park is crammed with FOX News haters. In other words, “please don’t spoil our lucrative PR moment with your em-BAR-assing protest signs and heckling.”

No worries! Takoma Parkians would NEVER do that! When have they ever done anything like that?


Oh, right, THAT”S when! Photo of Sammie Abbott and activist friends from Historic Takoma.

Whoop, whoop!

Meanwhile the Takoma Park city council is whooping it up this week at Ocean City, MD. That’s where the annual Maryland Municipal League convention is. For the council and city staff “Whooping it up” consists of staying after the “Planning Commission/Planning Board/Board of Appeals Training” workshop to have a giddy, caffeine-fueled chin-wag about proper standards for special exceptions and variances. Makes your heart pound, doesn’t it?

NORMAL people would return with salt water taffy. The council will return with assorted nutty ideas. There are workshops on Strategic Planning: Being Deliberate About Your Community’s Future, Conducting Effective Meetings,  Basics of Risk Management, How to Conduct Walking Meetings, Five Things Any Municipality Can Do To Improve Community Health and Complete Town Planning – The Energy Element.

You KNOW the city council will zero in on that last one, Dear Readers. The description mentions micro-grids, full-spectrum energy planning, and resiliency. “Emerging technology options . . . will allow Smart Communities to become Resilient Communities.”

Yeah, we don’t want to be just a Smart Community – that is SO last year. We want to be a RESILIENT Community.

No doubt the city council will be all fired up to tell us how in the very latest jargonese.


And this is all under the weak shadow cast by the convention’s slogan “CALM yields Civility.” CALM stands for “Courtesy, Align, Learn, Move Forward.”

So, . . . shouldn’t that be “CALMF?”

Was it all that difficult to come up with a four verbs instead of three verbs and a noun? Hello? Parallel construction, anybody?

It is almost as annoying as the city’s “Strategic Plan” goals: “Sustainable, Livable Community, Engaged, Responsive and Service-Oriented Government” – an example of unparalleled construction, made ten times worse by the city’s style of Capitalizing Everything Because You Never Know When 19th Century Grammar Conventions Will Return.

H&W-300X250The Takoma Voice/Silver Spring Health & Wellness Guide lists local merchants who support your locally-owned, independent news publication. Please support them!

How can anybody remain CALMF knowing the council is heading home like seven grinning Manchurian Candidates, eager to share the “Snap Learning,” “Buzz Learning” and “Flash Learning” techniques they learned.

Time, Dear Readers, to PANIC and run away.

Your Gilbert is running to nearest gloomy corner to crouch in, drink and curse lame brains.

No Ferguson here

Far from it, says Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg. At the June 22 Discussion of Police Community Relations he assured the council that when it comes to community relations (i.e. race relations), “I think we’re going most things right, I think we’re doing most things better than others.”

We’ll find out. The council voted to hire a police-community relations consultant.

Councilmembers brought up constituent complaints, particularly objections raised about the police practice of photographing teenaged minors stopped for questioning. Police say they have responded to parents’ objections, though they continue the practice. They contact minors’ parents as soon as possible, said the chief, to avoid any misunderstandings.

Such photos, said the chief, have led to arrests. They show the photos of minors – and adults – snapped around the time crimes were committed to victims and witnesses. Sometimes photos of the perpetrators are among them.

– Gilbert


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About the Author

Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.