Saturday, February 28, 2009

Towson Expanding!? Oh, No!

I found an article in the Towerlight about Towson being one of the "growth campuses" among other Maryland institutions. It's not really related to my topic, but it affects current commuters and incoming commuters directly.

Towson already has a huge affect on the surrounding neighborhood. It's just too small of a campus to hold such a large student body. House Bill 693 "applies to institutions designated as growth campuses for the University System of Maryland that have student bodies larger than 14,000. Towson University is the only school that the bill would impact." Advocates of the bill are qucik to speak out about how negatively Towson students have affected the surrounding communities and OVERFLOW PARKING WOULD LEAD TO NEIGHBORHOOD PERMIT REQUIREMENTS.

I don't understand why Towson wants to grow. For the MONEY maybe. They are trying to add 600 more beds to West Village. Towson should try to re-build their reputation with the neighborhood before they do anything and maybe ADD MORE GARAGES FIRST!

Monday, February 23, 2009

How To.....

I have decided to do a "How To" story for my multimedia story. I think this will probably be the easiest way for me to do this story. This type of story will also be helpful for commuters who are having problems with finding parking at Towson or dealing with traffic on the way.

I want to get a quote from someone at Parking and Transportation Services about what commuters should do to avoid traffic and get a decent parking spot. I also want to get a quote from a Senior commuter at Towson. They could talk about their experiences and maybe give some advice too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

WSJ Formula: "Trapped in Their Own Homes"

I found a very interesting feature story in the New York Times, called Trapped in Their Own Homes. This article was about various Long Island residents trying to sell their home, but are unable to because of the current real estate market. The article starts off saying, "ON May 1, 2007, a very different economic era, Janet Faello put her former marital home on the market for $829,000. She and her husband were divorcing."

Although it takes awhile, the 6th graf tells what the article will be about. "Would-be sellers in New York City’s suburbs understand her pain, whether they are trying to sell a Cape Cod for $300,000 or a center hall Colonial for $1 million. In a housing market characterized by eroding home values, high inventory and tight credit for borrowers, many feel stuck in a place they don’t want or can’t afford. As the recession becomes more severe and unemployment mounts, they fret each week their properties remain unsold, and fear losing equity. While buyers hunt for exceptional values, sellers feel like hostages. And their pain is sometimes drawn out when deals that seem to be done blow up just before the closing."

The article is two pages and the the last two paragraphs ends with the person they started with at the beginning of the story, Ms. Faello. "In spite of the months without a buyer, Ms. Faello of Dix Hills is still optimistic that her house will sell, if she can just find the right approach. First she listed with a broker, then switched to an online multiple listing service that charged a flat fee. She also listed the property on Craigslist, which cost her nothing, and on, which charged. Recently she began interviewing new real estate agents.
'I feel as if I get a little sharper each time,' she said. 'The amazing thing is, they’ll see your home and come up with a number they justify by saying they’ve sold homes for that in the area. But list with them, and they’re ready to drop the price.'

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Commuters Need Their Exercise

Overflow parking at the Towson Center

Most commuters at Towson know that there are more students than there are parking spaces. Some even say that Towson sets it up like that so you can go park at the Towson Center and walk about 2 miles to campus or catch the shuttle. Recently there have been a lot of complaints found in the Towerlight from commuters. Pamela Mooney, director of parking and transportation services, wrote a letter to the editor saying that commuters have "unrealistic expectations and lack of understanding" about the parking issues at Towson. She also says that commuters should just go straight to the Towson Center instead of circling around the garages and increasing emissions and congestion; take the walk to better health.

"Frankly, I don't care if Towson doesn't get state funding for parking services,"said Milan Wiggs, a sophomore at Towson. "The parking and the traffic is ridiculous. I get out of class at 12:15, I don't get home until 1:20 and I only live 20 mins. away. Towson can start by reducing the number of students they accept every semester and every year. It seems like they're all about the money."

According to Sheila Tilghman, Towson will add one or more garages in the coming years, which means the cost of parking permits will increase. I agree with Milan. Whether Towson gets state funding or not for parking, there still shouldn't be more commuter students than there are parking spaces. Towson keeps accepting more and more students, going past their limit, and we're running out of room. It's not all about the money Towson.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feature and Summary Leads:Whats the Difference!?

Feature Leads doesn't cram all of the 5W's and 1H into one sentence, not even into one paragraph. Feature Leads try to paint a descriptive scene for the reader. These leads try to "tempt" you to read more and they also leave to you wondering. Tell describe whats is to come further along in the story. Anecdotal leads, narrative leads, descriptive leads, question leads and many other types of feature leads that are used in feature stories. Summary Leads are very specific, concise, use active voice and tells you the most important information first. If your summary lead is good, then your reader will want to read the rest of the story. Summary Leads are ususally found in chronological stories, but you can also use them in feature stories.

I found an example of a feature lead on the New York Time's website. The article's, For Dinner (and Fast), the Taste of Home, lead paragraph says, "ALTHOUGH Gladys Puglla-Jimenez came to this country from Ecuador 30 years ago, her kitchen on Putnam Avenue in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn is still intimately connected to her homeland, from her stocks of spices like achiote pepper powder to the tropical green of the walls." Another example of a feature lead can be found on the Baltimore Sun's website. The article is called Harford County farmer sings the praises of the green roof movement. The lead says, "Five generations of the Snodgrass family have prospered at Emory Knoll Farms in northern Harford County. Its 365 acres have evolved from a 19th-century dairy operation to a crop farm for most of the 20th. Now Ed Snodgrass runs a 21st-century roofing business - one that is environmentally friendly and has nothing to do with slate, tin or asphalt."

Monday, February 9, 2009

To Commute or Not To Commute

We all know that commuting is a BIG PAIN and it doesnt appear that the commuting problem is getting better. There are now "Pay-To-Park" meters all along Cross Campus Drive. Why should you "Pay-To-Park" when you already paid $275 for a parking permit!? Most commuters dont complain because they know there is no way to fix the commuting and parking problem at Towosn.

I found a letter to the editor in The Towerlight about a commuter's frustration with Towson's parking. Here's an excerpt from the letter: "On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my first class begins at 12:30 p.m. I usually wake up at around 10 a.m., get ready and leave at around 10:30. It takes about 10 mins. to get to any of the parking garages from my Timonium. Today I spent almost half an hour in each of the garages hoping to get lucky; nothing. I remember that Lot 24 is right next to the Glen Garage so I decided to give that a try.....I park and go grab a quick lunch and head off to class. After my classes I return to find a ticket on my car....I obviously wasn't taking up anyone's space, so why do I have to pay $75 for desparately trying to get to class on time?"

I definitely agree with this person's complaint. Last semester I had an 11 a.m. and I didn't even try to look for parking spaces in any of the garages. Instead, I just drove on over to the Towson Center. I refused to waste time or gas. I dont see why there is a problem with students parking in Faculty and Staff lots. There are OBVIOUSLY MORE STUDENTS THAN FACULTY so what's the big deal? If you are a commuter and feel the same way as this commuter did then you can go to and sign the online petition. You can read this and more letters from frustrated commuters at

Monday, February 2, 2009

Parking and Commuting

This is a map of Towson U's parking garages across campus.

For my beat topic, I decided to cover Commuting and Parking at Towson. This will be a very easy topic for me to cover since I commute to school everyday. For one of my MCOM 257 papers, I covered a story about parking at Towson and found out that Towson will be making some major changed to their policies and garages. I think my blog would be helpful and interesting for students who commute.

My information will come from the Towson's parking website ( and The Towerlight ( Hopefully the information that I cover will be important to everyone else as it is to me.