Second item, this one regarding transparency. Apparently the UK has launched an open data site, that, according to the article, by Marshall Kirkpatrick, puts our federal data.gov to shame. Wonder how it compares to our Montgomery County "efforts" at transparency. Read the article here, at ReadWriteWeb. Or see for yourself, at data.gov.uk. Here's what the home page of this site says:
"We’re very aware that there are more people like you outside of government who have the skills and abilities to make wonderful things out of public data. These are our first steps in building a collaborative relationship with you."...and by the way, they have a link to a wiki on their homepage, yes, the UK government website wants to hear from its citizens.
Finally, we see that WSSC once again wants to raise our rates, this time a whopping 9.5 percent. This may be the most incredible article of all this weekend. Read it here, in the Washington Examiner, and kudos again to Mr. Suderman for continuing to follow these 'breaking' stories. WSSC is incapable of even the most basic monitoring of our dangerous watermains. Many of these watermains were manufactured by Interpace, the company that was run out of business because it went bankrupt due to so many catastrophic failures of its PCCP pipes nationwide. WSSC has stalled and seems unable to provide even the most basic data about these pipes. WSSC still has not completed step one in a safety plan. That would be compiling a map showing where all these mains are located. The recent comprehensive article in Bethesda Magazine quoted one firefighter on the scene at the River Road failure, saying that he didn't know there was a watermain on that street. The article also quoted WSSC officials who said in the case of a water pressure drop, the first action is to increase the flow, i.e., to raise the pressure. Well, that explains a lot. Is there a watermain running under the street at your school? It would be prudent to check.
Have a great end of the weekend!