Thursday, July 5, 2007

You Can Buy Peoples' Rights for a Buck??

First just to be clear. I'm an engineer, not a journalist. I have never said I was a journalist. I write this blog to get the "news" of what's going on in East County and the Briggs Chaney area out to the public, yes. However, this "news" is not and never will be "Fair and Balanced." It is tainted with my personal opinion.

Disclaimer said I will move on.

It seems (as we all know) that DT Silver Spring is NOT a public space. At least not in the eyes of the developers. We all know about the Photo Walk. I was there, as were many other (and may I add better) bloggers (Just Up the Pike, Silver Spring Penguin, Silver Spring Scene), so I'm not going to beat a dead horse here. I would like to note that the Fourth of July was a great day for this. Also, did I mention this took place on Independence Day? A NATIONAL HOLIDAY?? Why, then, was the only US Flag to be seen in Silver Spring the one that is always there? Did the Peterson Cos FORGET that it was the Fourth of July? Oh wait maybe they did, given that they FORGOT that the public has rights in public space. Hell the People's Republic of Takoma Park goes all out decorating for the Fourth. I was rather dismayed and slightly offended that Silver Spring wasn't decked out in red, white, and blue.

In my opinion, this photo walk was good. I'm glad it happened and I think that maybe, just maybe, a few more people know what happened to Chip and the stance of the Peterson Cos. However, I hope it doesn't stop there. As a tax payer I would like to know why the Peterson Cos even THINK that Silver Spring is all theirs. Yes, I understand that this lease with MoCo more or less says that they can do as they please but someone please tell me why that was ever allowed to happen? We, as tax payers, are paying for policing, paying for trash pick up, paying for snow removal, paying for street upkeep. If MoCo had sold that block to Peterson, fine. I understand that the company would want to set their own rules on their own property. I'd even fully support that. The thing is MoCo DIDN'T sell them the land. Peterson is LEASING it. This isn't the end of this battle I fear. Yes, we can go and take pictures for now. (It should be noted that Peterson manages to capitalize on the photo walk by sponsoring a Silver Spring Photo Competition. No doubt this was the idea of newsman-turned rights sucking parasite lawyer IJ Hudson. I'm sorry the man spoke at my High School graduation now.) But if someone on the County or State level doesn't step in and make it clear that this land was developed and is maintained with tax payer dollars, PUBLIC FUNDS, the Peterson Cos will continue ignoring our rights for their own financial gain.

In closing, I urge everyone that took pictures at the photo walk (you can see the rest of our photo walk photos here) NOT to enter their pictures in the Silver Spring photo contest. Doing so, I feel, would deeply undermine anything (no matter how small) that was accomplished yesterday.

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