Frederick’s Next Dead Mall

Frederick Gorilla
Matt Edens
09/30/2013
Well, that’s settled: We’re getting another Walmart. In July, the Board of Aldermen approved the controversial rezoning that will make way for a new Walmart Supercenter in the middle of what was once Frederick Towne Mall. Opinions varied widely in the often acrimonious debate leading up to the vote. The most outspoken proponents promised that the big box retailer would be the boost the area needs to reclaim its past glory as a shopping destination. Meanwhile, the direst opponents painted the supercenter’s grand opening as a dark day that would bring the Golden Mile — and maybe America — one step closer to oblivion. By and large, I doubt either prediction will come to fruition. In fact, that’s primarily why I opposed the rezoning. Choosing general commercial over the mixed-use model that’s been the key component of at least half a dozen successful shopping center makeovers in the region essentially preserves the status quo. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that in 10 years the Golden Mile will remain what it is today: a struggling retail strip, albeit one with a Walmart. I doubt it will have a Kmart, however.

Roundtable Discussion with Frederick’s Mayoral Candidates (VIDEOS)

Frederick Gorilla
08/01/2013
On July 8 Frederick Gorilla and WFMD Radio, assisted by the Young Democrats and Young Republican clubs of Frederick County, kicked off the contest for City Hall’s top office by hosting a roundtable with the candidates for Frederick’s mayor. Candidates who participated included Randy McClement, Shelley Aloi, William J. (Jeff) Holtzinger, Galen Clagett, Karen Lewis and Jennifer Dougherty. Of note, Carol A. Hirsch, who is deaf and also running for mayor was unable to participate in the roundtable due to a last-minute cancellation of her interpreter. The forum was moderated by Pattee Brown.

Prepping For The Primaries – The Faces Behind Frederick’s Political Landscape

Frederick Gorilla
Emily Holland
07/03/2013
The filing deadline for candidates in Frederick’s primary election has passed, and Fredericktonians will be faced with more than a dozen names of candidates. For the aspiring-to-be-informed citizen, there’s a lot of homework involved. But don’t be afraid just yet: Frederick Gorilla is making the task easier with a preliminary, informative kick start guide to the candidates and the election itself: The Lay of the Land: Six candidates are vying for the mayor’s seat in the primaries, with a breakdown of three Republicans, two Democrats and one unaffiliated. The competition includes an unusual mix: two former mayors, one incumbent, two current aldermen and one current delegate. Seven Republicans and eight Democrats are in the race for five aldermen seats. Eleven of those candidates have never held an elected office, while two are former aldermen and an additional two are incumbents.

A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Public blasts commissioners over impending sale of Citizens and Montevue

Frederick Gorilla
Emily Holland
06/26/2013
Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young and the rest of the board members processed through a crowd that was not only unsettled, but irate. People shouted, noisemakers and cowbells rattled and clanked, and a gentleman with a megaphone spearheaded the cries. Public hearings rarely become this heated, especially in a smaller town environment, but yesterday’s event at Frederick Community College’s Jack B. Kussmaul Auditorium brought a spectrum of deep-seated emotions to the forefront. At issue was the impending sale (privatization) of the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center (CCRC) and Montevue Assisted Living (MAL), both of which are currently subsidized by the county. The vast majority of the crowd had gathered to oppose this motion, rallying with indignant gusto. CCRC and MAL are the latest manifestations of the Rosemont Avenue property’s covenant “for the Benefit of the Poor of Frederick County and no other use, intent, purpose whatsoever forever” (as stated in the 1828 deed). CCRC was constructed in 1975, and MAL followed in 1987. New, state-of-the-art facilities were completed in 2012, but in November of that year, the Board of Commissioners announced they were looking into selling the facility to a private management firm. These plans became less speculative and more concrete with the dawn of 2013, and by June, a purchaser had been identified, Aurora Health Management, LLC

Putting More Local Foods Back On Frederick’s Plate With Farm-To-Fork

Frederick Gorilla
Lloyd Thompson-Taylor
06/19/2013
The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000.” These opening remarks of Food, Inc., a 2008 documentary that followed foods as they made their way from the farms to the grocery stores, got marketing guru and mother Miriam Nasuti thinking about Fredericktonians and their food. Nasuti’s thoughts translated into action: Farm-to-Fork Frederick, a City of Frederick and Frederick County event taking place from Aug. 23 to Sept. 2. It’s all about connecting area restaurants with farmers under the goal of providing fresh, nutrient-rich and locally sourced food to consumers, and bringing farmers and restaurants together to foster close collaborations and new business relationships. And those relationships involve the consumers as well.

Develop-Mental: GIMCRACK MILE?

Frederick Gorilla
Matt Edens
06/10/2013
The big box is out of the bag. Matt Edens questions the merit of transforming Frederick Towne Mall into a “power center.” The big box is out of the bag. After months of rumors, the owners of Frederick Towne Mall have finally ’fessed up: They want to build a Walmart. Whether the city’s Board of Aldermen will overrule the recommendations of the planning commission and grant the mall’s owners the zoning change they need to build the big box, I don’t know. But I personally think it would be a damn shame.

Burnin’ Down The Waste

Trash Talk
Frederick Gorilla
Kelly Brook
04/27/2012
“No Incinerator!” scream the signs. If you live or work in Frederick County, you’ve seen them in windows, on lawns and in cars for years. You can’t help but notice them. When you see them, maybe you cringe from the vision of soaring incinerator smokestacks spewing a black, smoky, noxious sludge of particulates, carcinogens, and climate-altering acids. Or maybe you roll your eyes imagining the “tree-hugging, peace-loving, Common Market-shopping” conservationist who might have posted it. If you’re like most people, though, you take a moment to acknowledge your concern for the environment, worry for a moment about how this will affect your taxes, wonder what the heck this incinerator debate is all about—and then forget about it and get on with your day.