Howard County Maryland Blog

Convention of States in Maryland

Archive for the ‘Merdon’ Category

Howard County Election Turnout (Preliminary)

Posted by Ed C on Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Still waiting for final results to be posed by the Howard County Board of Elections, but there are some additional numbers in that allow a rough comparison of voter participation in the 2006 election compared to past elections.

According to the Baltimore Sun’s article Absentee ballots leave results unchanged there are 2271 provisional and overseas ballots to be counted. The current state 2006 results for Howard County are here.

If all 2271 ballots are valid, there were 105,651 votes cast in the 2006 Election.

Using 2004 as a baseline:

Year Votes % Change

2006 105,651 + 9.5 Gubernatorial – Ehrlich / O’Malley

2004 132,221 + 37.0 Presidential – Bush/Kerry

2002 96,508 Gubernatorial – Ehrlich / Townsend

In 2004

53,260 votes – Governor Ehrlich.

42,438 votes – Kathleen K Townsend.

In 2006 (without provisional votes) compared to 2002 results

Votes Change % Change

50,888 votes (49.2%) – Governor Ehrlich -2372 -4.5

51,401 votes (49.7%) – Martin O’Malley +8963 +17.4

How did this affect the race for County Executive? Well, according to the Sun, currently Chris Merdon is more than 8000 votes behind.


Posted in Ed C, Ehrlich, Merdon | Leave a Comment »

The Critic

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, November 9, 2006

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who errs, and comes short again and again (but)… who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt (1910)

Posted in County Executive, Merdon | 4 Comments »

Ken Ulman’s Final Desperation

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, November 7, 2006

In a continuation of his negative campaign tactics Ken Ulman has taken to targeting neighborhoods with flyers targeted specifically to development issues in those neighborhoods. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in County Executive, Merdon, Ulman | 2 Comments »

No Merit

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, November 3, 2006

CA Board of Directors Find No Merit in Claims Against Board Members
Released on: 11-3-2006

The Columbia Association’s Board of Directors found no merit in the claims brought forth by Mr. Santos against Ms. Russell and Ms. Coyle regarding their political endorsements. The Board also found no merit in the claims against Mr. von Schlag by Ms. Coyle regarding his prior political involvement. In addition, the Board received a legal opinion that indicated there was no violation of Internal Revenue Service Rules.

Press Release

Posted in County Executive, Howard County, Merdon | Leave a Comment »

Blogger Forum County Executive

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, November 3, 2006

I don’t want to rehash the whole forum issue.  However, please indulge me a bit.

The Blogger forum was sponsored by four of the Howard County blogs, who attempt to provide almost daily commentary on local issues and campaigns. 

Many of the questions asked of the candidates were standard forum fare – education, growth, transportation, etc.

Wallis answered and Merdon answered.

Ken punted.

Posted in County Executive, Merdon, Ulman | 4 Comments »

Columbia Association Ethics Meeting Report

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, November 3, 2006

David Wissing and Evan Coran both attended this meeting as did I.  Evan and I both spoke briefly. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in County Executive, Merdon, Ulman | Leave a Comment »

More Laptops

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Ths subject produced a lot more dialogue than I thought it would.  Here are some research materials for those who are interested.  Courtesy of Talbot County School System

Learn more about the value of technology in today’s education, what other school districts are doing with “One to One” computing and what the experts say by visiting a few of the sites listed below.

TCPS External Evaluation of One-to-One Laptop Initiative -Review the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Center for Technology in Education (CTE) initial evaluation of Talbot County Public School’s laptop program at:

Partnership for 21 – The leading advocacy organization infusing 21

eSchool News – Where K-12 education and technology meet. Review articles and reports relating to 1 to 1 computing at:

America’s Digital Schools 2006 – Learn about the landmark study conducted this spring that asks superintendents, curriculum directors, and technology directors the important questions about the future of ed tech as a learning tool:

Apple 1 to 1 Learning – Browse plenty of information about 1:1 programs:

Read The Metiri Group’s review and analysis, learn about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative and other school district and state programs, or watch educator-created videos of 1 to 1 learning in action. – Laptop Computing – anywhere, anytime. Learn more by downloading the “1:1 Computing Guidebook” with free registration.

K-12 Computing Blueprint – This web site is a resource for education leaders and others interested in implementing one-to-one anytime, anywhere computing in K-12 education. View articles or download reports (requires free registration).

National Education Technology Plan – Official site of the National Education Technology Plan for the U.S. Department of Education, the plan lays out a framework for transforming education. Browse success stories, action steps or the plan itself.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) – Located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) – ISTE is dedicated to providing leadership and service to improve teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in K-12 education and teacher education.

Bill Gates Speech – National Education Summit on High SchoolsRead what Bill Gates had to say regarding technology and education – find the entire speech on his take on the state of America’s high schools.

Posted in Howard County, Merdon | 6 Comments »


Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Talbot County, Maryland instituted a laptop computer program for its incoming Highschool freshman. In doing so they contracted with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education to act as an external evaluator of the 1 to 1 Laptop program.

The Star Democrat (the local Easton paper) endorsed the program saying citing 450 school systems across the country that have implemented similiar programs:

The Talbot County Council considers an issue today that is important now and for the future of the county’s public school students and for the future growth and development of the county’s workforce.

On October 24th the AP and The Star Democrat (calling the results “extraordinary”) reported the following:

EASTON, Md. (AP) – Talbot County’s program giving laptop computers to all high schoolers got high marks from a recent Johns Hopkins University study.

The school system’s 1 to 1 Laptop Initiative put the computers in the hands of all ninth-graders.

According to Lynne Harper Mainzer, head of the university’s Center for Technology in Education, the ninth-grade laptop students had “significantly higher” scores on the algebra portion of the High School Assessments.

The 480 laptop students also scored “significantly higher” than the non-laptop class of 2008 students in their algebra I classes, Mainzer said.

Ninety-three percent of the students rated their computer skills as intermediate or higher. From the mid-year review to the year-end evaluation, there was a 25-percent increase in the number of students who rated their skills at the expert level, The (Easton) Star Democrat reported.

The Star Democrat reported some sample quotes from teachers regarding student use of the laptops:

    • “Students are more involved in class.”
    • “Instant feedback in algebra has increased student performance.”
    • “More interest in the topic and desire to further study on their own at home.”

Parents also have noticed a difference, according to responses to a survey:

    • “I see her using the computer doing things she didn’t know how to do.”
    • “He was able to catch on to work that he was having trouble with. He didn’t mind reading things on the computer, and he hated to read.”

Students are using the laptops for writing, taking notes, completing homework assignments, keeping organized, communicating with classmates and teachers, and researching on the Internet.

I post this knowing that there are some concerns about Chris Merdon’s proposal to provide laptops as part of his committment to education and making Howard County the best school system in the nation.

Posted in County Executive, Merdon | 18 Comments »

For The Record

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Mary Catherine Cochran sent this open letter to me and Hayduke regarding the 22 Democrat and Independents who endorsed Chris Merdon on October 23rd.

I was hoping that all of this would just blow over… silly me. You may use this, unaltered, if you like… or ignore it- as you wish.

For the record….
It was I who cut and pasted names and comments and titles that were submitted to me into the press release. The inception of the idea, the organization of the press conference and the creation of the press release was done in the space of about 36 hours. There was no single organizer… it was more of a coming together of right minded activists.

Most participants remembered to tell me their names and comments, but neglected to tell me titles or party affiliations. I filled in the blanks from what I knew. I thought the titles were an important means of identifying what issues or areas of the county that each person represented. I thought it was great that we had folks from Columbia and that we had farmers and attorneys and environmentalists. I believed it showed a diversity of background and I thought the titles showed credibility- we weren’t neophytes, we’d been in the trenches of advocacy for a long time.

It never occurred to me that, if we were speaking as individuals- which I made clear at the very beginning of the press release- that there was any issue in listing the organizations to which we were connected. It simply never entered my radar. I looked up the correct title for Barbara and for Cynthia on the CA website. Of course I spelled Cynthia’s name incorrectly. I knew that Rebecca was associated with the new coalition, but did not know of her other Columbia connections and in fact, met her for the first time at the press conference. I made about 20 copies of the press release and handed it out to reporters at the site and gave a copy to Chris Merdon. I told Mr. Merdon he was welcome to use it in an ad. He used the information exactly as I gave it to him.

I know it’s more exciting to believe in conspiracy and evil strategy, but the simple truth is that we were just trying to let voters know that this small group of hard-working community activists supported Merdon for County Executive. I take full responsibility for the content of that list of names.

The fallout and outrage has been way out of proportion.

People’s jobs and livelihoods have been threatened, their ethics have been called into question.

We need to get a little perspective on this. No matter where you fall in this argument, I encourage you to check your heart for your motives. If it isn’t a partisan issue, then there is plenty of time to review the circumstances and to create new regulations, if necessary. But a hastily scheduled special meeting that may or may not be closed to the public is not the right path towards change and it is far more dangerous precedent to our democratic tradition than any endorsement could ever be.

mary catherine

Posted in County Executive, Howard County, Merdon | 1 Comment »

Independent and Demcorats and Republicans!

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, October 30, 2006

Talk about committment.

Mary Catherine Cochran, President of Howard County Preservation, continues her very public support of Chris Merdon for Howard County Executive.

She has announced that she will be holding an open house in her home for those who have not made up their mind on the County Executive race.

Saturday, November 4th between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m.

  • affordable housing
  • agricultural preservation
  • historic preservation
  • environmental issues
  • education
  • development and zoning

Post a comment here and I will forward to the host.

On another note I spent Sunday afteroon repairing GOP campaign sigs that blew down during the wind storms.  We were pretty lucky in that most survived.  I didn’t see many Democratic signs being repaired.

Merdon has updated his 4X8s as Dave Wissing pointed out.

Posted in County Executive, Democrats, Howard County, Merdon | 4 Comments »