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Aging residents and county service access

mccivicfedThe first time I called the county government for a "special trash" pick-up was about forty years ago.  I was twenty some years old, and living in a home in Takoma Park that I had rented with four friends who were former college chums.  As I recall, we called for the pick-up in order to dispose of an old, beat-up sofa and a few other items too large to fit in the can used for our "regular" weekly trash pick-ups.

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Coming up next in the market

house real estateIt’s no secret that the pace of home sales has slowed during 2014.  So what’s ahead for real estate and the housing market?  If you really want to know, Irwin Kellner, Chief Economist for MarketWatch, has some advice.  In his August 19th MarketWatch.com piece (Opinion: Don’t count on U.S. consumer to save economy) he eloquently and succinctly said, “If you are trying to discern where the economy is heading, look at the consumer.”  And this applies directly to real estate too.

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Don't try to cut a deal with police

gavel2It is not unusual when watching police dramas to see a suspect in the interview room talking about cutting a plea deal. In the real world, plea negotiations can only happen when a defendant is communicating with the prosecutor, which in Maryland would typically be an Assistant State’s Attorney. This was made clear by a recent opinion from Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals called Ottus Savoy v. State.

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Introducing the Federation

mccivicfedAs I have been involved with the Montgomery County Civic Federation (MCCF) for several years now, it always comes as a surprise when I happen upon a county resident who does not know of the group's existence or function.  For those readers who may not be familiar with the MCCF, allow me to introduce you to the organization.

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Millenials and home ownership

house real estateIt used to be easy to figure out the strength of the real estate market, all you had to do was look at reported housing indices and it all made sense.  Statistics were often verified and corresponded to other indices as well.  However, since the financial crisis, there seems to be a disconnect between national and local housing indicators; gauging the market has become confusing – understanding what the indices measure and imply is often tricky. 

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Out of state tickets still count

gavel2Many people who hold a Maryland driver’s license may think that if they get a speeding ticket while driving in another state, they can just pay the fine and not worry about the violation affecting their Maryland driver’s license. Just how wrong that is was discussed by Maryland’s highest Court in an opinion this week in a case called Motor Vehicle Administration v. Salop.

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Police force and violence

PencilPaperIn Missouri this week law enforcement officers lobbed tear gas canisters and shot rubber bullets at enraged protesters after police shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in suburban St. Louis.

Witnesses say the boy was “shot like an animal” for no reason at all. The resulting conflagration in St. Louis resembles – more than anything else – the Deep South in the late 50s and early 60s.

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A letter to Planning...

mccivicfedThe following are portions of a letter sent to the Planning Board on July 14 by Ulysses Glee, a self-described small minority developer in Montgomery County.  Dr. Glee details the problems his staff had using the new ePlans software program now required for electronic submission to the Planning Department of all developer project plans and, in his case, requested changes to an already approved plan.  The letter shows dissatisfaction with government processes is not limited to county residents.  Fortunately for him, on July 24 the Board approved Dr. Glee's request.

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A letter to Planning...

mccivicfedThe following are portions of a letter sent to the Planning Board on July 14 by Ulysses Glee, a self-described small minority developer in Montgomery County.  Dr. Glee details the problems his staff had using the new ePlans software program now required for electronic submission to the Planning Department of all developer project plans and, in his case, requested changes to an already approved plan.  The letter shows dissatisfaction with government processes is not limited to county residents.  Fortunately for him, on July 24 the Board approved Dr. Glee's request.

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