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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prince George's Political Leaders have only one vision and it isn't green

Prince George’s County’s current political leadership has only one vision for county growth. Lacking any other idea it believes that pavement is the answer to everything. Attacking those who would preserve open space, the elite want to pave their way towards prosperity. While neighboring counties get ready for week long celebration of agriculture and open spaces, ecology and the environment, Prince George’s Plans to remove more acreage from the rural tier. Instead of addressing the needs and challenges of existing communities, the county’s leaders set out to add demand upon the already stressed county infrastructure adding demand to police and fire, health and education. And who will pay for these costs? The very communities that are already under serviced.

In the name of economic development, Prince George’s County commits future infrastructure resources to the rural tier instead of supporting established communities. In doing so, it also grinds up and destroys the fragile ecosystem services that supply clean air and clean water to the county. And who will pay? The established communities that lie forgotten and ignored. Where do we put our money for new libraries, at the same time that we cannot keep old libraries open the entire day? We look to the newer communities needs and forget the old. The county builds the new libraries because now the new communities rightfully point out that they too are under served and need county wide service that provide quality of life amenities and enhancements.

Some leaders in Prince George’s County feel that property owners in the rural tier who oppose development are doing so for self interest. The political class notes that rural tier property owners have their piece of heaven and don’t want to share. However the leadership’s plan would be then to destroy the very thing they think they are arranging to share. Better to obliterate nature than to allow a few to serve as stewards of our diminishing resources is the new way backwards of Prince George’s County. In partnership with this thinking are some owners who feel that the rest of the county owes them sewer road and water improvements; that the established communities should pay to pave under the rural tier makes no sense but the facts on the ground seem to validate this new Prince George’s County vision for yesterday’s tired future: an upscale Target at every corner; a 7-11 for every neighborhood, and plenty of parking so we can drive more cars.

Prince George’s County’s leaders are proudly looking to the past for ideas as they think they claim to move forward. While the rest of the world begins to address ecosystem services, this county thinks that ecological considerations are someone else’s problem. Instead of reinvigorating established neighborhoods we build new neighborhoods and ask the old one’s to support the enhancements in the name of progress. While some counties celebrate open space and quality of life, Prince George’s County’s leadership plans to pave it under, and then go visit county fairs in other jurisdictions complaining that we can’t have these quality attractions here

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