World champion of updog. duffell on Metafilter.
2168 stories
·
12 followers

Bar on Ballard Avenue, 1970s

1 Share

Seattle Municipal Archives posted a photo:

Bar on Ballard Avenue, 1970s

5102 Ballard Ave., possibly Trader Van's Tavern. Item 179227, Historic Building Survey Photograph Collection (Record Series 1629-01), Seattle Municipal Archives.



Read the whole story
jad
3 days ago
reply
Rockville, MD
Share this story
Delete

Moon Country Club Bill Could Generate $10 Million for MoCo

1 Share

By Adam Pagnucco.

A local bill introduced by Delegate David Moon (D-20) that would end property tax breaks for country clubs would eventually generate $10 million a year for Montgomery County Government according to General Assembly analysts.  That’s welcome news for the county, especially considering its current budgetary difficulties.

Under current state law, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is allowed to strike agreements with country clubs having golf courses to cap the assessed value of their land.  To be eligible for such agreements, the clubs must have at least 100 members who pay dues averaging $50 or more annually for each member; restrict use of their facilities primarily to members, families, and guests; have at least 50 acres of land; and have a golf course with at least 9 holes and a clubhouse.  In practice, the agreements limit assessed land values to $1,000 an acre.  In return for the assessed rate, a club with an SDAT agreement must agree not to sell its land for subdivision and to not discriminate on race, color, creed, sex or national origin.  If a club with an agreement does sell its land for subdivision, it must pay back taxes equivalent to what it would have been paying without an agreement.

Not long ago, your author asked SDAT for all of its agreements with country clubs in Montgomery County.  SDAT sent us ten of them but we later learned that there are actually fifteen of them in the county.  One of them was signed in 1980 and three more were signed in 1981; all four of these are fifty year agreements.  Two more were transferred from prior owners.  One agreement, for the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, was signed in 2017.  In tax year 2016, when the agreement was not effective, the club’s 175 acres had an assessed land value of $1.94 million.  Once the agreement takes effect, the club’s assessed land value will be $175,000 – a 91% reduction.

Moon’s local bill would abolish such agreements with country clubs in Montgomery County as of their expiration or June 30, 2029, whichever date is earlier.  Because Maryland’s state constitution requires uniform rules for the assessment of land, Moon’s bill takes the form of a constitutional amendment carving out MoCo country clubs and golf courses from that requirement.  The amendment would have to be approved by voters.  We understand that Moon may also introduce a statewide bill to deal with SDAT agreements everywhere.

The fiscal note on Moon’s bill indicates that MoCo country clubs with SDAT agreements have a combined 3,000 acres currently assessed at $3 million.  In the absence of the agreements, the fiscal note estimates that the club’s assessed land value would be $983.3 million.  So once the agreements are all gone by Fiscal Year 2030, the fiscal note estimates that the state would collect an additional $1 million a year in property taxes from the clubs and the county would get an additional $10 million annually.

That’s right, folks – if the country clubs simply pay property taxes at the same rate the rest of us do, the Montgomery County Government would get an extra $10 million a year.

Delegate Moon’s country club bill is the biggest no-brainer of all time.  There is no justification for the richest of the very rich to get a property tax break that no one else does.  And if they are required to pay the same as everybody else, the county government would get a nice revenue bump to help it deal with our significant and increasing needs.

We hope every single MoCo Senator and Delegate will join David Moon and support his bill.

Share

Read the whole story
jad
9 days ago
reply
Rockville, MD
Share this story
Delete

Lost in Potomac: Stuart Rothenberg Eviscerates the Trone Campaign

1 Share

National Political Pundit Stuart Rothenberg wrote a devastating account of his meeting David Trone:

Maryland Democrat David Trone, who is running for Congress in the 6th Congressional District, came to my Potomac community to talk about his candidacy – and he brought plenty of wine for residents to sample while they chatted with neighbors before turning their attention to the candidate. . . .

What made all the politicking odd is that my community is not in the 6th District but rather in the 8th, currently represented by Democrat Jamie Raskin, who beat Trone in the Democratic primary last year. In other words, Trone touted his credentials, talked about his views and supplied wine to a roomful of people who could not vote for him next year.

Oops.

But it gets even worse:

[My] second question involved my doubts that he is suited to being a lowly freshman who would have little influence. I noted his self-funding and his previous race, as well as the fact that he had flirted with running for county executive before deciding on a second race for Congress. I also noted that his earlier comments about leadership, about the county government and about his experiences in the private sector suggested he would be more effective in an executive position.

Trone seemed to dislike the question. He turned away from me and addressed others in the audience, insisting that his wealth was an asset not a liability, emphasizing that he would be politically independent, and promising that he could bring change. He was passionate, certainly, but he didn’t address my concerns about his temperament, district-shopping and suitability for a legislative office.

Trone took another question but suddenly had to run. He never stressed his Democratic label, instead embracing the “no labels” movement in response to a question and talking about his pro-business bent.

Running as the “no labels” candidate in a Democratic primary gives the impression that he thinks he has it sewn up. No voter likes being taken for granted or having his questions given the “talk to the hand” treatment–something you would think someone who runs a business with excellent customer service would know.

Rothenberg concluded his analysis with some sage advice for Trone:

His odds will improve if he campaigns among voters who actually live in the district where he is running.

I’d be glad I owned a liquor store after reading this piece.

Share

Read the whole story
jad
9 days ago
reply
Rockville, MD
Share this story
Delete

AfroArt: fantastic portraits of African American kids with “unique natural hairstyles”

5 Shares

Afroart

Afroart

Afroart

Afroart

Afroart

Husband and wife photographers Regis & Kahran Bethencourt have been working on a project called AfroArt “to showcase the beauty and versatility of afro hair”. It features African American kids and young adults photographed in different settings (futuristic, Baroque, etc.) with natural hairstyles.

We feel that it is so important for kids of color to be able to see positive images that look like them in the media. Unfortunately the lack of diversity often plays into the stereotypes that they are not “good enough” and often forces kids to have low self-esteem. We try to combat these stereotypes in our photography by showing diverse imagery of kids who love the skin they’re in, their own natural curls and their culture. Stories like this are important to show so that we can shatter the current standards of beauty.

It was really tough to pick just three four five of these portraits…go check out the lot. Oh, and prints are available in their online store.

Tags: Kahran Bethencourt   photography   Regis Bethencourt
Read the whole story
jad
14 days ago
reply
Rockville, MD
macjustice
18 days ago
reply
Seattle
Share this story
Delete

Entrepreneurship, inequity, and throwing darts at the carnival

2 Shares

In a reply to an article called Entrepreneurs Aren’t A Special Breed — They’re Mostly Rich Kids, Hacker News commenter notacoward wrote:

Entrepreneurship is like one of those carnival games where you throw darts or something.

Middle class kids can afford one throw. Most miss. A few hit the target and get a small prize. A very few hit the center bullseye and get a bigger prize. Rags to riches! The American Dream lives on.

Rich kids can afford many throws. If they want to, they can try over and over and over again until they hit something and feel good about themselves. Some keep going until they hit the center bullseye, then they give speeches or write blog posts about “meritocracy” and the salutary effects of hard work.

Poor kids aren’t visiting the carnival. They’re the ones working it.

That’s a pretty succinct summary of the “born on third base and thinks they hit a triple” effect…and it doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurship or being rich.

Update: In response to Forbes’ most recent 30 Under 30 feature, Helen Rosner replied:

My take is: all 30 Under 30 lists should include disclosure of parental assets

Tags: business   Helen Rosner
Read the whole story
jad
19 days ago
reply
Rockville, MD
macjustice
23 days ago
reply
Seattle
Share this story
Delete

Simpler Times

1 Comment and 5 Shares

Read the whole story
jad
29 days ago
reply
Rockville, MD
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
MaryEllenCG
30 days ago
reply
Life goals.
Greater Bostonia
Next Page of Stories