Editorial Board’s “Open Space” is Between Their Ears
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 22nd January 2017

December 15, 2016 6:36 pm ET

Paper launches clueless, biased attack against Hogan, Franchot, and Salling

Source: Editorial Board’s “Open Space” is Between Their Ears

Photo credit/Vector Images

The Baltimore Sun’s (liberal and biased) editorial board criticized Governor Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot for their vote on the controversial equestrian center, as well as the input from Dundalk’s Senator Johnny Ray Salling, without doing their homework (or should that be “hoof work”?) and leaving out many important details.

First, we need to understand the term open space. The reason I’m bringing this up is because of this quote in the Sun’s editorial titled: “Hogan’s tightening ‘rein.’” (Click on above link to read the piece.)

Oops, sorry about that, there is no link because the county official I called did not return my call.

In said editorial, the Sun makes reference to the following: “By withholding $2.3 million in Program Open Space funding from the state, Governor Hogan and his reliable co-conspirator (Peter Franchot)…” we have to ask ourselves one important question, what exactly is open space?

Now if you clicked on that link, you understand how the state views the term open space. At least for me, I did not see any hoof prints in that definition.

With that said, let’s look at the county’s definition of the term open space per its own booklet on the matter.

Oops, the county doesn’t have one that I could find and this equestrian center is covered. Again no paper work on that issue either.

Now there are other opportunities for those elitists who can afford a horse to stable them and ride till they get saddle sores … or fall off one of them like Mr. Homan did, as I reported in my last column/blog.

If the Sun would have done some research, like I did, someone might have come across one of the paper’s own articles, like the one about a facility geared toward what Kamenetz and Homan want—a full-service equestrian center.

I know that won’t be as close to Cockeysville, with grid lock now engulfing Towson and the surrounding areas.

Here are some other equestrian centers around town.

I called Baltimore County’s Recreation and Parks and tried to find out exactly what the center is all about, i.e. where the plans are and whether there is at least a concept for the community to review.

It’s getting to the point that calling Baltimore County is a sure route to a PIA request rather than someone answering a simple question. A PIA could take 30 days or more to resolve, but I guess the powers that be would rather go that route.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at some of the other lame issues the Sun raises in its editorial boondoggle.

The Sun mentions the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation pertaining to helping veterans. That is noble; however, veterans need good medical care, jobs, and places to live, as a good number are homeless.

The SWHF only offers vets a three-day venture into horse riding.

Additionally, the SWHF only has two locations in the country today—Saratoga, New York and Aiken, South Carolina.

Now if you look at other options for vets involving interactions with animals (particularly dogs), here is a program that has a far greater impact on vets suffering from multiple injuries.

Let’s take that one step further.

If you Google “Disabled vets and dogs,” you get 157 million plus hits.

Now if you Google “Disabled vets and therapeutic horse riding,” you get 750,000 hits.

This is not rocket science, so do the math. Which is more beneficial to our disabled war heroes?

OK, let’s move on.

The Sun also brought the Dundalk Government Center into the editorial with these remarks:

“It’s a win-win situation and far cheaper than renovating the school,(North Point) not only promoting development in economically-challenged Dundalk but saving taxpayers millions of dollars.”

Now that is the dumbest damn (sorry, slip of the keys) thing I have ever heard.

Has the Sun ever heard of the Yorkway Development? How about TradePoint Atlantic?

I think the term that best fits those is corporate welfare.

Let’s just focus on the GC the Sun alludes to, shall we?

Look at the agencies displaced: the North Point Precinct, the Alliance (for the handicapped), Support Operation’s for the Police Department, and Councilman Crandell’s office. And for what were they abandoned? Another shopping center that the county lied about when they falsely announced who was supposed to locate at the GC site.

Now here is another Sun error found in Michael Dressers’ article in which he is quoted as writing, “The building no longer houses government offices but is used by some community groups.” Sorry Mr. Dresser, the second floor is still occupied by the police Support Operations Unit.

Let’s get down and dirty with the cost factors. If I’m not mistaken, the cost of the new Dundalk Police station has risen from $8 million to $18 million, an overrun of $10 million. If I’m wrong, there is a comment section at the bottom of this column.

Now how much did it cost for Crandell’s new digs at Eastpoint Mall? How much did it cost to renovate the police headquarters building in Towson to take in the Support Operations Division, which is still at the NPGC because there is no room for the division members to park at the Towson facility?

Did I mention the new parking garage that will need to be built at headquarters? My sources tell me there is no money for that mess because the current garage is not sound enough to accommodate an addition.

Did the Sun bother to ask Dundalk United about the 7,000 people who signed a petition against the Merritt Pavilion Shopping Center, or ask Bob Stabb who three years ago documented 170 vacant stores in Dundalk? One of the main objections of Dundalk United was the selling of taxpayers parkland to developers thus setting a dangerous precedent.

Best Buy is closing its Dundalk (7th District) Location, while Merritt Park Shopping Center, which sits directly across the street from the GC, still has not leased all its space. Eastpoint Mall is still on life support, and Diamond Point SC has been vacant for more than 20 years.

Did the Sun ever check retail wages to see if they meet the standard of living wages?

I didn’t think so.

And last, but not least, is this little ditty from the Sun:

In the 46-year history of Program Open Space, which is aimed exclusively at financing local parks, open spaces and conservation, no Baltimore County request has ever been turned down, no matter the party affiliation of the governor or county executive. Mr. Hogan has thus set a troubling precedent that strongly suggests the kind of small-minded politics voters profess to hate has sunk its barbs into Maryland like a horse tick.

That is a mouthful coming from the Sun concerning one of the most corrupt counties in the state, at least according to one attorney who I’ve spoken with in the past.

Let me leave you with one more parting thought. I know the perfect place to put this equestrian center. There is a big open space right in the heart of Towson called the now deceased Towson Row, where the land is already flattened, so it would be an easy fit.

I’ll take my 172 shares (and rising) for Senator Salling’s insight against the mere 81 total votes on the What MD Thinks section of the vaulted Sun website, for which I pay top dollar to access, yet I am banned from making a comment.

I guess my opinions don’t pass the liberal and uneducated sniff test.

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