Maryland Watershed Stewards

I was recently appointed to the Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy‘s Advisory Committee and yesterday was my first meeting. I wanted to take a minute and discuss this program and the value it adds to the community. As I have talked about before, most of Maryland’s land drains into the Chesapeake Bay. Accordingly, it is important that our streams and waterways that drain into the bay are clean and healthy. If not, it can lead to fish kills and eutrophication. And that’s if we don’t just turn the Bay into hazardous waste. The Watershed Stewards are volunteers who help protect

Testimony on the Long Reach Redevelopment

Last night, I testified in favor of CR98-2017 and CR99-2017. These resolutions are part of the final steps to kick off the Long Reach redevelopment plan. See my testimony below. Chairman Weinstein and members of the Council, good evening. I am Dr. James Howard and I am here to testify in favor of the Long Reach Redevelopment Plan. Thank you for the opportunity to speak, tonight. And, please excuse me Chairman Weinstein, I also want to thank the four members of the Council who passed CB 2009-29, Dr. Ball, Ms. Terrasa, Ms. Sigaty, and Mr. Fox, which allowed for a

The Long Reach Redevelopment and Master Plan

The legislation supporting the redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center has been submitted to the Howard County Council. It leads me to want to share some of the things we talked a lot about during the Master Plan process. This is based solely on my recollection and should not be considered official. The Boundary First, we had a very difficult time establishing the boundary of the Village Center. There’s an apartment complex, now known as the Timbers at Long Reach just behind the shopping center, down Cloudleap Court. Back in the mid-2000s, it was called Lazy Hollow and I

The Board of Appeals Seeks a New Member

As I’ve said before, I don’t often talk about land use. But here’s a bit of news. The Board of Appeals has an opening and the County Council has put out a call for applications. Short version of the details is that you should apply by June 5th. The Board of Appeals has two roles in Howard County. In the first role, cases for conditional uses, sometimes called special use permits, are heard by the Board of Appeals Hearing Examiner. Under some circumstances, parties may appeal a decision of the Hearing Examiner and the case will then be heard by

The New Long Reach Village Center

This evening, the kids and I walked over to the Long Reach Village Center, where got to see the new plan for the Long Reach Village Center. I will say here what I said there. A long time ago, I sat on the Master Plan Committee for Long Reach and wanted to see something open, inviting, green, but also viable. I think they’ve nailed it. But I was just a minor player. The Village Board, the County, and several bidders, all did a lot of work to pull this off. The plan is beautiful and hopeful in a place that’s

The Land of Milk and Honey

Last night, and tonight, Howard County Council is debating CB-9, a bill to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship status in County affairs. Here’s my testimony: Good evening, Chairman Weinstein and members of the Council. Thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight. I am Dr. James Howard and have spent most of the last five years as a consultant in law enforcement at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There, my work focused on southern border security, counternarcotics, and countertrafficking. I have also been a consultant to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, working in fraud detection. I am here tonight to