Marc on Keswick and the media



When I got back from Cape Hatteras last week, I was driving down Roland Avenue and saw all these signs saying “Stop Keswick.” I thought maybe all the retirees and senior citizens who live at Keswick Multi-Care Center had run amuck in the streets or became merry senior pranksters.


Then I went through a weeks worth of local papers to find out Roland Park was up in arms because the old Baltimore Country Club wants to sell its grounds for $14 million to Keswick Multi-Care Center to build their nursing home on new grounds.


You could dismiss it as wealthy North Baltimoreans whining over losing a bit green space to run their dogs or play Frisbee. It is more than that. Our green space is limited. It keeps getting eaten up by development deals and ever expanding businesses. Yes, we need business but there is plenty of room to expand without eating one more acre of green. Our uniqueness as a town and our quality of life is at stake.


It is not just the neighborhoods of North Baltimore. In the inner city there are vast tracts of brown dirt fields where houses once stood, not to mention the  acres of useless and unredeemable housing. Some are whole blocks and some just the width of a house or two. Why not turn these into green spaces as parks or urban farms or unique architectural landscaped oases for people to bask in?


It is all connected. The problem is that our communities are not connected. Each pocket whether in Roland Park, or Hampden, or Guilford Avenue or Forest Park goes it alone. Each fighting their individual battles to save their open space. They often lose because they go it alone.


Leave the green alone in on Falls Road and build gardens in the devastation of West Baltimore. Communities need to come together to support one another and determine what our urban landscape should be.



Media and the Campaign


Most of the political pundits in print and on the airwaves seem obsessed with guessing whom McCain and Obama will pick as their running mates. Take a breath; we will all know that answer right around Labor Day.


Cable talk, radio talk, even respected columnists keep talking about the insult of the week. How much longer can we talk about Wesley Clarke insulting John McCain, or whether Obama is moving to the center and do white men like him, or all the clap trap about Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain, and now we will hear ad nauseum about Jesse Jackson’s latest ridiculous comment about Obama. … STOP ALREADY!


There are serious issues facing America. Our commentators and pundits seem to all have taken the yellow journalism pill of “gossip is the news”. We deserve better. Can my colleagues in the media please focus on issues of substance?


Where is the debate over the candidates positions on FISA and wiretapping American citizens? Our economy is in a tailspin. What are their responses to the ever deepening mortgage crisis? Rising oil costs do not just effect gas prices but the cost of most of what we consume in the carbon powered economy of ours. What are are their plans?


Both candidates tax and spending proposals will drive our nation further into debt. Obama’s less so than McCain’s but who is asking them the tough questions about our future.


Both candidates want to boost military spending, add numbers to the Marines and Army. Ideas may differ on how they spend it but who is asking them about this and its implications?

The chances are we may not get to interview Senators Barak Obama or John McCain (we will try) but we will talk to their issue people and political leadership to hear what they have to say about their candidates’ vision for America. Forget gossip, the horse race and the specious scandal of the week, we need answers about the future of our nation.


What do you think?