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Green Central Blog — Enter Stage Right

So … a new blog huh? Indeed the Office of Envi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity will be oper­at­ing this Live­G­reen­Howard Blog to talk about envi­ron­men­tal issues through­out Howard County and the work to cre­ate a cul­ture of sus­tain­abil­ity through­out. My name is Joshua Feld­mark – I am the Direc­tor of this Office and one of five writ­ers for this blog (I’ll intro­duce the oth­ers in a moment).

We did not start this blog lightly, and as a fairly reg­u­lar blog reader (mostly national but local as well) I real­ized pretty quickly that blogs in gen­eral pro­vide a fair amount of chal­lenges but a gov­ern­ment run blog has many more. Nobody wants to read a blog filled with infor­ma­tion you can get in a press release, newslet­ter or news­pa­per arti­cle. Most gov­ern­ment blogs seem to fall into that cat­e­gory and we are going to work hard to instead pro­vide broader con­text on the issues we are deal­ing with and talk much more about the why’s and less about the who what when where. For those of you blog nerds out there, think Orszag as head of CBO.

Addi­tion­ally, and this may just be a per­sonal pref­er­ence, think blog as story telling medium. Besides being a great way to give con­text, to explain the why, I just plain like hav­ing sto­ries told to me and believe that true of oth­ers. There­fore, the hope is that many of our posts will relay infor­ma­tion via the story.

Each of the blog­gers have spe­cific sub­ject areas we work on which will obvi­ously guide our post­ing but, as should be expected, we also have broad inter­ests and knowledge-bases not nec­es­sar­ily con­fined by our work­load. Besides me, the reg­u­lar blog­gers are:

Lind­say DeMarzo – Lind­say splits her time between the Office of Envi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity and Plan­ning and Zon­ing in the Resource Con­ser­va­tion Divi­sion. Lind­say is Co-Chair of Green­Fest, one of the authors of both the Water Resource Ele­ment and the County Green Neigh­bor­hoods checklist/guidance doc­u­ment, and the coor­di­na­tor of our green HOA program.

Laura Miller – Laura splits her time between the Office of Envi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity and Recre­ation and Parks in the Nat­ural Resource Divi­sion. She is pri­mar­ily the tree pro­gram expert and is respon­si­ble for new pro­grams like the 2,010 trees and well estab­lished pro­grams like Stream ReLeaf. She also has a back­ground in solid waste hav­ing worked for Howard County’s recy­cling divi­sion and the North­east Waste Authority.

Elissa Rei­neck – Elissa is new to Howard County Gov­ern­ment and is serv­ing as a Vol­un­teer Coor­di­na­tor. Elissa came in strong with the cre­ation of the 20-minute clean-up pro­gram and assist­ing local com­mu­ni­ties with clean-ups. She too has a waste man­age­ment back­ground hav­ing worked for Bal­ti­more County recycling.

Chris Rus­sell – Chris is Howard County’s new Energy Man­ager. Chris has a back­ground in energy man­age­ment by way of eco­nom­ics (as opposed to engi­neer­ing) and is charged with reduc­ing the County’s energy usage and over­all car­bon foot­print as well as guid­ing the com­mu­nity as a whole to do the same.

We will also occa­sion­ally have some guest blog­gers both folks within the gov­ern­ment and folks within the com­mu­nity so stay tuned for that. Finally, a word on com­ment­ing: We will, very soon, have mod­er­ated com­ments allowed on this site. Com­ments, who can make them and what they have to pro­vide before they make them, is a topic of lengthy dis­cus­sions through­out the blo­gos­phere, espe­cially of late in the local blogs. After much delib­er­a­tion we are lean­ing towards allow­ing anony­mous post­ing of com­ments but all com­ments will be mod­er­ated and approved. The aim is not to sti­fle hon­est free-flowing dis­cus­sion and most of the gov­ern­ment run blogs I have/do read do not allow com­ments at all. This was a com­pro­mise that we felt com­fort­able with.

I hope you enjoy, and of course you can always email me at jdfeldmark@howardcountymd.gov with any thoughts or suggestions.

Jd Feld­mark

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