Wednesday, August 03, 2005

All Together Now...

Last night, my community was one of many that participated in National Night Out, which is held annually, on the first Tuesday in August. It was a success, as the turnout was good, particularly as it was a humid, sticky evening. The coordinator was pleasantly surprised, as folks hadn't e-mailed him to notify him whether they were coming. (Oops!) The important thing was to get together to have a good time and demonstrate community solidarity en masse, which we did. All's well that ends well.

Across town, the city of Langley Park also had a successful National Night Out event. Perhaps too successful, as it's been reported that members of the MS 13 gang said that they were keeping an eye on that event. Hmm...

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For the first time, I saw one of the Guardian Angels on the subway. She almost appeared to have come from another car in the train; maybe there's some special cooperation agreement with Metro, as passengers are not allowed to walk between train cars, for safety reasons. She seemed quiet, and not overbearing. I hope this experiment works out.

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Speaking of community development, some state legislatures are fighting back against the recent Supreme Court decision (Kelo vs. New London) that allows state and local governments to seize homes for private development. [Finally, some politicians have developed a spinal column.] Alabama and Delaware are the first sates to limit the use of eminent domain, and other states have such plans in the works (Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Oregon).

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A fun way of preserving and improving communities includes the easy suggestion in today's Washington Post: Buy Fruit, Save A Farm. The article explains how the growth in farmers' markets has enabled farmers to keep their land as farmland, make improvements to their property, put children through college, etc. What the article didn't mention, explicitly, was how the markets also benefit the urban and suburban communities where they are held on a regular basis--humanizing the landscape, easing the city-country divide, etc.

Like the farmers, I do have to get out in the sun today (but unlike them, for only an hour or so). Keep cool.

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