Friday, April 27, 2007

Discovery Layoffs, Part Deux (and Trois?)

- Will even more Discovery employees be granted "eternity leave" by the company? The rumors of impending layoffs on April 9th proved accurate, and now the word on the street is that new CEO David Zaslav's next round of housecleaning is scheduled for May 6th 7th. To add to DCI employees’ angst, there is allegedly a third round of cuts planned for August. Good luck and Godspeed to you all!

UPDATE: Supposedly this next round of layoffs has been delayed due to administrative reasons, so those affected may be be getting a temporary reprieve.

Also around town:

- While Discovery may have now have some square footage to spare, the outlook for additional office space elsewhere in Silver Spring just got a little bleaker. The plan to build new office space at Studio Plaza was deep-sixed, reducing my future chances of getting a job that I can walk to and continuing to move Silver Spring toward being more of a bedroom community. Even though office space in Silver Spring is "highly desired" and hard to come by, all that seems to go up around here are new condos

- The good news: they have finally started to re-pave the northbound lanes of 29 after leaving them bare for two weeks. The bad news: they've stripped the southbound lanes of their pavement and who knows how long they'll take to resurface them. I don't know how many more manholes my car can hit before it falls to pieces.

- A teacher at Argyle Middle School in Silver Spring exposed himself to a busload of Catholic schoolgirls. Did he really expect to get away with this?

- If you are planning on taking the Metro anywhere from Silver Spring this weekend, its going to be a pain in the ass.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

Ahhhh, it's almost the weekend and for once it looks like it will be a nice one. I don't have anything particularly substantial to write about, so here are a few miscellaneous tidbits...

- Watching this past Wednesday's episode of South Park, "Night of the Living Homeless", all I could think about was the parking lot at the old downtown Silver Spring McDonald's. If you were around back then, you know what I'm talking about.

- I really hope they are planning on resurfacing the northbound lanes of 29 just after Four Corners soon. I don't know how many more times my car can take going over the protruding manhole covers without breaking apart.

- Why does the vending machine at the Silver Spring Giant stock Ravens helmets exclusively??

This is Redskins territory, dammit, notwithstanding the disgusting display of bandwagon behavior that followed the Ravens' Super Bowl victory.

- Speaking of supermarkets, it is already well established that Silver Spring's Safeways suck royally, but to my knowledge, none of them have been assigned clever nicknames like their counterparts in the District (Soviet Safeway, Social Safeway, etc.). Have any suggestions for nicknames for the Silver Spring Safeway locations? Extra points will be awarded for alliteration, although it probably isn't too difficult to think of "s" words to use as adjectives when describing these stores...

- If you see "The Big Lebowski" scrolling across the marquee at the Silver Theatre anytime soon, you'll know I was the winner of the "Program the Silver" sweepstakes.

- A Flickr user has photo documented MoCo cops' flagrant disregard for parking laws in downtown Silver Spring.

- A Metro bus driver was fired for giving a passenger a hug on the Silver Spring - Montgomery General route. What's wrong with a little hug? At least he didn't run her over.

- I love the proposed look for the Birchmere. (from Silver Spring Forward)

- If you want to do something for Earth Day, why not participate in the Friends of Sligo Creek's Spring "Sweep the Creek" on Saturday and/or Sunday.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Sibling for Silver Spring?

I was recently visiting a European country (hence the no posting) and found it interesting that even the tiniest of towns had signs listing their sister cities, or “twin towns” as they are called over there. The EU promotes this between European towns, but many of the signs I saw listed sister cities in the USA. It got me to thinking… why doesn’t Silver Spring have a sister city?

Rockville been Pinneberg, Germany’s sister city for 50 years. It’s on the signs posted at the city limits. (I wonder if North Bethesda will inherit Pinneberg when Rockville disappears off the map.) It’s not just for show, either: they actually do stuff with them. On the other side of the District, Arlington has three sister cities - Coyoacán, Mexico, Aachen, Germany and Reims, France. Meanwhile, Alexandria has FOUR to our zero - Dundee, Scotland, Caen, France, Gyumri, Armenia, and Helsingborg, Sweden. Not cool.

Of course, with regard to Silver Spring acquiring a sister city, there are three questions that need to be addressed:

1. As Silver Spring is not technically a town or city (rather an “unincorporated area”) is it even eligible to get a sister city?

2. Assuming that it is eligible, what authority in Silver Spring/MoCo can formalize a sister city agreement? Unfortunately, this is not me.

3. What should Silver Spring’s sister city (or cities) be?

Ignoring the first two, lets concentrate on what municipality will earn the distinct honor of becoming Silver Spring's sister city. Ideally, it should share a lot in common with Silver Spring, so we should focus our search on finding a geographically vague, highly populated, locally disrespected suburb of a national capital. I don't happen to know of any offhand, so I am hereby soliciting suggestions for potential twin towns.

Note that there's no limit to how many sister cities we can have, so we can even select more than one. The Sister Cities International site even has a list of cities looking for a twin if we can't come up with our own. Any ideas???