Yes and no | Editorials
The gateway to a city should be a welcoming sight. It’s like putting that wreath on your front door.
Although it pains us to say it, Frederick’s entrance along East Street isn’t really a front door. Coming off Interstate 70 towards town, you have to go through an unattractive gap before you get to South Street and the start of town. We have often wondered why.
It is therefore gratifying to see that the city is working with a consultant to review the area and suggest options for redesigning and redeveloping the area along and around East Street.
At the moment, there are no details and, frankly, no promises that anything will change. But a $60,000 grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will help Frederick explore some options.
“This corridor offers exceptional access and development opportunities,” said Aditya Inamdar of Kittelson & Associates, the consultants the city has hired for the initiative. A recent public meeting was held to solicit comments, with another scheduled for April. A final report to the mayor and aldermen is expected in June.
We agree. Of course, we would like to see ideas before following them. But a chance to dream a little about the “what ifs” is always a plus, especially for a place like this East Street gateway. Weighing options are long overdue.
It’s been two long years for our local restaurants, many of whom have been strained by the pandemic and need our support more than ever. While we’re all hoping the worst of the pandemic is in the rearview mirror, these major players in our local economy and cultural ecosystem can still use a boost.
Frederick Restaurant Week, which is presented by Visit Frederick and The Frederick News-Post in partnership with the Downtown Frederick Partnership, runs March 7-13 and is a great way to show your support while trying limited-time specials in some establishments.
The week-long event features a variety of restaurants offering prix-fixe menus – ranging from multi-course fine dining to a three-course dessert menu for two. Reservations are strongly recommended. Enjoy your lunch!
Every year at this time, the city of Frederick—along with hundreds of other towns and cities across the country—is participating in a one-time count of the area’s homeless population.
And every year we hope to see those numbers go down. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the January tally.
In January, 235 homeless people were counted in the municipal survey, against 225 the previous year. Everyone involved in the process will tell you that these numbers aren’t perfect, but they are “directional” in that they give us an idea of whether we are making progress in solving the problem.
And it’s a complicated question at that. Helping the homeless goes beyond finding shelter. Often that means finding employment help, mental health care, and ways to deal with addiction.
But what the investigation has shown is that we have a problem to solve. And according to the numbers, it’s not getting better.
Outside of temporary locations which popped up here and there (and which just as quickly disappeared), Frederick lacked a medium-sized concert hall for all ages, much to the chagrin of local artists.
That’s why we were thrilled to learn this week that the Frederick Arts Council’s converted religious space at 5 E. Second St., aptly called the Center for the Arts, will begin hosting music performances for all. ages next month. The first show is scheduled for April 8 with artists Grace Vonderkuhn, Dosser and Alien Subculture.
Since its opening in the fall of 2020, the Arts Center has continued to expand its offer. It has hosted art exhibitions, attracting artists from across the region and beyond; it serves as a gathering space for local arts groups; and, more recently, the third floor has become the Creative Lab, with tables to work on, armchairs, an art library, and occasional hands-on workshops.
Let’s not forget that we also have CAF to thank for Sky Stage, the unique outdoor venue in downtown Frederick that has won national awards for its design, creative venue design and historic preservation. So a big thank you to our local arts council for helping grow Frederick’s art scene and supporting our local artists.
Yes and No is a weekly op-ed column from the editorial board of the Frederick News-Post. Send your suggestions to [email protected]