What's the Scoop on The Town Crier article and the Market Square Charrette?

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OK, so what is the story behind the resignation of Diane Dorney as editor of the Town Crier, the news article describing an upcoming Market Square planning charrette to coincide with the original Kentlands charrette 15th anniversary (the article that supposedly triggered...something), the roles played by the KCA board members, the Gaithersburg City Council, DPZ, other stakeholders? Does anybody have a side of the story that they would like to share?

-- David P. Fishback (david.fishback@smiths-aerospace.com), April 28, 2003


I only read Diane Dorney's side of it (in her editorial). I also read the article she posted online. I was appalled that the KCA board would censor an article describing a community charrette. This is just the kind of article that the Town Crier should run. I gather that Michael Watkins was somewhat critical of the design of the commercial areas of Kentlands, and I assume that's why the KCA board censored it. As this forum shows, many of us have criticisms of the design of the commercial areas - if we don't talk about it, nothing will ever be improved. My own opinion is mostly in agreement with Michael Watkins - the commercial areas were not developed in a new urbanism style, but rather in a typical strip development style, with acres of parking and stores too widely separated to make walking attractive. If there is any way to fix this in the future - for example, by putting in multi-story parking and pulling the stores closer together - I think that would be terrific. Washingtonian Center shows that it works.

-- Steven Salzberg (salzberg@tigr.org), April 29, 2003.

David -

I'm inclined to agree with Steven's conjecture. Why don't you contact one or two KCA board members and ask them to post on this forum the reason for their decision to censure.

-- Robin Caldwell (caldwell121@comcast.net), April 29, 2003.

On page 3 in last month's (May's) Town Crier, there is an explanation of the board's action regarding Diane's article on the planned charrette. The disagreement was apparently over their request that she postpone her article, to allow for a piece that more fully represented all of the activities being planned around the 15th anniversary celebration of the original Kentlands charrette. This was not censorship, in my opinion, but a fair and reasonable editorial decision. ( I have posted more on this in another thread, i.e., "Why pay for the Town Crier now that we have the Town Courier?")

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), June 25, 2003.

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