Category Archives: Howard County

Two different reports on Sanctuary City Debate in Maryland

There are two reports. The first one is from Washington Post two months ago. The link is

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/these-first-generation-chinese-americans-are-loudly-opposing-sanctuary-laws/2017/03/17/92728e94-09db-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html?utm_term=.ff5b0f5c2aae

This week, another one is from New York Times. The link is

 

 

2017 Pool Study by CA and County Government (Sharing the lane)

Apparently, I was not aware that CA and County Government did a pool study before. I really appreciated that one CA staff shared the study result with me.

Three primary findings are ( 50-meter pool)

  1. CA or the county government do not have land for 50-meter pool,
  2. The construction cost is around 14-20 million dollars,
  3. The operating cost yearly is around 1 million dollars.

2017 Pool Study by CA and County (sharing the lane)

Findings/Recommendations

Based on the Work Team’s analysis and research, the most common size for indoor pools that are used for competition is the 25-yard pool (Option B). This option would provide a competition level pool that is less costly to construct. Option A (the 50-meter pool) would provide a higher level of competitive pool, more lane capacity, and operate and provide lane configuration options of 50 meters as well as 25 yards.

Capital Investment Sharing

The actual details of an investment agreement would have to be worked out. The starting point would be equal investment by all parties. However, that would need to be modified based on further detailed analysis and also on land acquisition roles.

Facility Operation

The Work Team finds that the most appropriate option would be for one organization to operate the new indoor aquatics facility while the other entity (or entities) would participate in cost-sharing through a grant. Given the County’s more favorable liability terms, the Work Team finds that it may be more advantageous for the County to operate the facility. However, if a facility were built on campus at HCC, another option would be for the college to operate the facility.

Land

No suitable, existing CA or County lands for such a facility were identified by the Work Team. In the future, should HCC funding for an HCC athletic facility become available, the potential for an aquatics facility partnership with HCC for an on-campus location should be more thoroughly investigated.

Timeframe

In the short-term — five to ten years — the County, HCC and CA have committed their limited discretionary dollars to other capital and operating priorities. CA has large planned and programmed capital investments in a number of its facilities, which are older and must be updated to maintain and extend their useful life to serve the Columbia community. These include more than 42 buildings, many of which are over 40 years old. Related to aquatics, CA has made a commitment to renovate its threepool, 11-lane indoor Columbia Swim Center to extend its useful life for another 10 to 15 years. This is 11 CA’s largest indoor aquatics facility. This reinvestment will allow time to explore other options to expand indoor aquatics facilities and continue to explore a future shared aquatics venue with the County. The County has many competing interests for capital dollars for everything from public safety and schools to storm water, transportation and library facilities. Capital projects are already planned and programmed for the next several years. Related to recreational investments, several large projects are underway and must be completed, including Troy Park and Blandair Regional Park. In response to the continued, steady increases in enrollment at HCC, the college has established priorities for academic buildings and other capital investments and these take priority over a new athletic/aquatic facility.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while there is a spirit of cooperation between CA, the County and HCC, the Work Team finds that there are challenges to overcome to a potential partnership approach, including lack of identified capital and operating funding and operational protocols. The Work Team also finds that the earliest possible construction timeline, given the other financial commitments of the organizations, would be 10 years into the future (2027) and perhaps beyond that date. Should a location be identified for the facility and a decision made to move forward with funding obligations, then the Work Team suggests that planning and engineering for the facility begin three years prior to the desired completion of construction. The Work Team recommends that this potential partnership approach for an indoor aquatics facility be revisited again in three to five years to monitor changes and opportunities.

Please refer to my previous post on the 50-meter pool study. https://chaowu.org/2017/05/05/50-meter-pool-is-needed-in-hoco/

 

50-meter pool is needed in HoCo

I do see there is a need for a 50-meter pool in our county or Columbia.

Recently several parents told me there was a need for a 50-meter pool ( indoor). They have to drive their kids for a hour for training. Today,  I received an presentation from Michelle Grey, Columbia Masters Swimmer.

It convinced me that both the county government and CA should work together to build such a facility to meet our residents’ need.

Attached is the presentation. 2017 Need for a new pool v3 It is a very informative presentation.

I am looking forward to your feedback.

My thoughts on CB30 (citizen election fund)

I was interviewed and then wrote to support the 2016 Howard County Election Fund System Amendment and got around 5000 views last year, see https://chaowu.org/2016/10/06/2016-election-two-howard-county-charter-amendments-on-ballot/.  I believe I might help contribute several hundreds to several thousands supporting votes on this bill by my effort. The pass is not a huge margin (52.6%/47.4%, total 7500 out of 144524 total votes, around 5 percent).  That means 3750 votes can flip the election result.

I still believe the election fund system will help create competition for county executive and county council seats.

Furthermore, I believe if we can combine the tax money (70%) with voluntary contribution (30%) for the whole fund, we will get much more broader support.  It will reduce the tension among citizens. For those who actively support this measure, they can also help financially by contributing to the fund. That is one way for CB30 supporters to convince those CB30 opponents who claimed that CB30 supporters just want to spend others’ money.

I wish in the future, any amendment should have a 66% threshold. A simple majority is too easy to be manipulated. For this local county bill, four college girls from (West?) Virginia came to promote this amendment at the Clarksville Middle School during my half day campaign for several BOE board members. That’s a lot of effort thinking about more than 100 polling locations ( I did not know the situations in other polling locations).

We need a more stringent threshold to pass laws, just like 51 votes for supreme court judge is not right. That is not good for the whole country.  However, in this highly partisan period, everything can be justified by each side unfortunately.

First OneHoward Steering Committee meeting summary 2017-04-19

Time: 6:00-8:00PM, April 19th, 2017. There were round 25 people. Both County executive Allan Kittleman and councilman Jon Weinstein showed up,. Three HCPD officers joined.  David Lee, ‎Director of Constituent Services and Community Partnerships chaired the meeting.

1: Foreign Born Individual Policy Update from HCPD

  1. Police chief Gary Gardner: policy review is still under draft, related to immigration issue. police run data through federal NCIC database when stopping somebody. For immigrant, only interested in ppl with criminal warrant. civil deportation is not executed by HCPD. gang members, MS-13, involves many criminal activities, will be reported to ICE.
  2. Gang members related to MS-13 used to hang out around long reach, salvage, Ellicott city. I was surprised to hear that since I thought MS-13 mainly stayed in Montgomery County.
  3. For victim witness service , HCPD works closely with FIRN.
  4. Foreign born individual policy.  The policy will shared with the group probably by the end of the month.
  5. 25K will be allocated for this effort from county government the following year.
  6. hate-bias crime is not in the check box in the report card ,but reported by the victim.
  7. sometime policeman fills in the form at their discrepancy, for example, race.
  8. I discussed a case . A friend told me what happened last night to his African American coworker, who working in Ellicott City, but lived and stopped by the policeman in Silver Spring.  Police searched him extensively, even called backup, but did not find anything. Those police even did not apologize to him and made him very frustrated and angry.
  9. Mr. Gardner told me that police usually give a reason to search your car, if not tell you before, they will tell you the reason for search after. If the person who are searched feel they are badly/unjustly treated, they should file a complain to the policy department.

2: Review county executive executive order 2017-01.

Three community dialogues are going on now: Columbia Association, Howard County library, OneHoward from County Government. check www.onehoward.org for details.

Listening to different opinions and have a conversation are the key.

Two training courses are offered now: 

a) culture proficiency training three days may/2,5/3,5/4,(8:30-3:30, north laural community center)

 b) then facilitator training offered by the county

Contact David Lee if you are interested in it.

3: Reviewed http://www.onehoward.org website

4: Discussed what is our committee’s result after one year?

  1. encourage community members to share your stories at the website
  2. register a dialogue and bring conversation together

HoCo Voting Analysis Series Prologue

When I find out that we have residents who are between 90-110 years old were still voting, and they voted in the 2016 primary election, not in the 2016 general election,  I try to understand what is behind this voting pattern.

Furthermore, I will use the deep learning technique to predict who will vote in the 2018 election cycle. I will use Google’s TensorFlow framework this time. This is my first try to apply TensorFlow on social events in my spare time.

I will also make some predictions on the 2018 Howard County Executive and County Council elections based on my deep learning approach.

Keep tuned.