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Local News

Counterprotesters overwhelm a failed ‘Un…

13-08-2018 Hits:317 Local Abby Cruz - avatar Abby Cruz

Counterprotesters stage their own march against the Unite the Right 2 march and rally held by white nationalists at Lafayette Square in Washington D.C.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than 25 white nationalists who arrived Sunday afternoon to march, speak and stage their “Unite The Right 2” rally at Lafayette Square found themselves overwhelmed by thousands of counterprotesters from groups like Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement, and finally left before the rally was scheduled to begin. “I hope this shows the white nationalists that we are willing to fight back,” said Prince George’s County resident Larry Hutchison, 31, who was one of a number of participants with handmade signs. “We are not just going to remain silent.”

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Takoma Park hardware store fights employ…

13-08-2018 Hits:1679 Local Nickolai Sukharev - avatar Nickolai Sukharev

Employees of the Old Takoma Ace Hardware Store are at odds with the store owner over the formation of a union. PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVTAKOMA PARK — Attempting to form a union, the employees of a locally-owned Takoma Park hardware store find themselves at odds with their employer. “They have declared war on us,” said Madeline Hale, 27, a sales associate at the Old Takoma Ace Hardware Store, which is involved in the effort. On Thursday, Aug. 2, the employees of the store publicly announced the formation of a union and their intent to seek recognition as a local branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Six days later store owner Gina Schaefer, who owns 12 Ace Hardware stores across Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia sent a memorandum, with the advice of the company’s attorneys, asking the employees to “Vote no” on the unionization efforts.

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Vigil held on two-year anniversary of Fl…

11-08-2018 Hits:165 Local Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

Candles are ready to be lit in memory of lives lost two years earlier during a fire at the Flower Branch Apartments. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  SILVER SPRING — It’s been two full years since Kenya Mayorga and her three children heard the loud boom and watched flames engulf a section of the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring, resulting in the death of seven tenants. No one in her family sleeps through the night, and they all still panic whenever they hear a fire truck siren, she said. “Honestly, I am not” over the gas explosion and fire on Aug. 10, 2016, at the apartments on Piney Branch Road. “I am not feeling better. I don’t feel safe,” she said, adding she remained there so her children can attend the area schools. “It’s traumatic,” agreed Anna Martinez, lead organizer at CASA de Maryland. Residents at the apartments “don’t have the certainty it won’t happen again.” In memory and in honor of those who died, were injured or displaced, a vigil Friday was held at the scene. “We are here to show our respect and our solidarity,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA president.

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State News

Hogan vows to step up efforts to halt hu…

10-08-2018 Hits:470 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

Human Trafficking hands grabbing nettingROCKVILLE – Calling Maryland a hotbed for human trafficking, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced several initiatives to combat the problem plaguing the state. Hogan signed an executive order Thursday creating the new position of anti-human trafficking director, an appointed position to help combat the problem. In addition, Hogan announced new funding for a variety of programs to help research and develop solutions to human trafficking. Finally, Hogan said he would support a bill, which legislators will introduce on the first day of the 2019 legislative session in January that will increase time served for some felony human traffickers. Hogan said three regions in Maryland are hotspots for human trafficking: Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County. “The chilling reality is that Maryland’s central location and access to major highways and airports like I-95 and BWI make our state a hotbed for human trafficking,” Hogan said.

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Gov. Hogan continues to enjoy high appro…

10-08-2018 Hits:932 State Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) at the dedication of ICC in 2017. FILE PHOTOIn progressive Maryland, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, Gov. Larry Hogan currently enjoys a 70-percent approval rating. He’s politically outnumbered in the House of Delegates, where 90 of the 141 delegates are Democrats. But since taking office on Jan. 15, 2015, as Maryland’s 62nd governor, Hogan has achieved, at least in part, many of his campaign promises, including cutting tolls, regulations and taxes.

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Jealous lays out plan for Maryland as ne…

09-08-2018 Hits:7154 State Abby Cruz - avatar Abby Cruz

Ben Jealous, Democrat candidate for governor. FILE PHOTOThere are three key issues that Ben Jealous wants the residents of Maryland to know he stands for: education, healthcare, and building a better economy. “Our focus is on fully funding education, making sure that we have a healthcare system that works better for everyone, and building a more robust economy,” Jealous said during a phone interview last Friday. Jealous, who represents the Democratic candidate nomination for governor, says he is very focused on speaking to the people who support him and to the rest of the people, who are getting to know him for the first time. “Healthcare premiums have skyrocketed on Larry Hogan’s watch,” said Jealous, “we have the worst economic growth in the region, Hogan is the first governor in decades to lose a Fortune 500 company, and our schools have fallen from first to sixth [in the country] on his watch,” said Jealous. “Also, there is a need for a governor who will actually stand up to Donald Trump!” he said.

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Columns

Holding three of a kind

10-08-2018 Hits:301 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

“Excellent Smithers. Release the hounds.”Or, if you prefer, “The die is cast.”New or ancient reference, the bottom line is there’s a three-way race now underway for County Council.Marc Elrich, the Democrat is squared off against Republican Robin Ficker - the notorious gadlfy popular for a variety of things, including yelling at professional basketball players and getting a term limit measure leveled on county councilmembers.That move alone has earned Ficker a huge following as county voters, unable to move themselves into a voting booth, can now rely on term limits to automatically kick out the best, the worst and the mediocre councilmembers after three consecutive terms.Ficker hopes to turn his popularity into a trip to the County Executive’s chair and guess what? He has a better chance than most Republicans in this very blue county at getting the results he wants.The reason is twofold. It isn’t just that voters love the idea of automatically kicking out the rascals.One of those rascals, Nancy Floreen (a Democrat) has apparently obtained enough signatures to enter the race as an independent.

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President’s analyst is definitely missin…

09-08-2018 Hits:373 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

I will readily admit that I am not a trained, certified psychiatrist. I haven’t even played one on TV, although I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express not to mention my car insurance is with GEICO.However, when it comes to psychoanalyzing one Donald J. Trump, it’s not that difficult a task. The only question, really, is whether to use the term “psychoanalysis” or “analysis of a psycho.”To quote Mitt Romney, something I never thought I would ever do, “Donald Trump is a fraud, a phony.”That he is, but now for the psychoanalysis.

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The basic lessons need to be remembered

02-08-2018 Hits:575 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

Despite the best efforts of Congressional Republicans to call for an investigation into the “Hillary Clinton Administration,” the reality is that there is no Hillary Clinton Administration.Hillary Clinton was not elected president on November 8, 2016. Hillary Clinton, to the detriment of America and its ideals, lost the election and Donald J. Trump sits in the Oval Office of the White House. I am made eminently aware of this sad fact every time I attend the daily White House press briefings and, at times, witness Trump attempting to read from the teleprompters at a ridiculously embarrassing third-grade reading level.His reading level, though, is the least important of all of the embarrassments he brings to the presidency. Our descent from the world stage and the loss of status as the leader of the free world along with the loss of respect by our allies is quite a bit higher on the embarrassment list.So how do we fix this catastrophe? How do we learn, or rather re-learn, the lessons of the 2016 presidential election as we approach the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election?Let's start with something we learned in the two elections of Barack Obama as president of the...

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Sports

Warrior Dash obstacle course makes its M…

13-08-2018 Hits:156 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

Participants use different strategies to maneuver through the mud pit and barbed wire section of the 2018 Warrior Dash obstacle course in Clarksburg.    PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  CLARKSBURG — The Warrior Dash made its Montgomery County debut over the weekend. Dozens of weekend warriors made the trek to spacious High Point Farm Saturday to participate in one of the nation’s dirtiest events. Runners from all around the region and points beyond competed in the 5k obstacle course race and festival that attracts more than three million participants worldwide.

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Redskins looking forward to coming seaso…

10-08-2018 Hits:153 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

Simmie Cobbs, Jr. (15) makes a catch as safety Troy Apke (30) tries to cover at Washington Redskins Training Center on Fan Appreciation Day. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  RICHMOND, VA. — Washington Redskins diehards got a chance to watch their beloved Burgundy and Gold during Fan Appreciation Day Saturday at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Fans lined up one by one outside the facility before practice to get a glimpse of the NFC East title contenders. “It’s awesome,” said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. “The fans come out here, we’re very appreciate of our stay here in Richmond. They have been great to us. Bon Secours has been excellent to us, the Omni has been great so, it’s a first-class organization here and we’re happy to be part of it.” Redskins defensive end Jonathan Allen, who was selected with the 17th overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, enters his second season with high expectations. He was glad to see the fans in attendance. “Oh I love it, man,” said Allen. “I love D.C. fans and it’s kind of crazy just ‘cause, like five or six years ago, that was me out there when we had the camp back in Ashburn. So, just being...

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Jackals Field Hockey helps students prep…

10-08-2018 Hits:1376 Sports Harry Lichtman - avatar Harry Lichtman

Attendees hone their skills during the 2018 MC Jackals High School Field Hockey Prep Camp. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  20 years ago, Jenna Ries, a former University of Maryland field hockey player, had an idea for a pre-high school club for the sport she played. Today, that organization is known as Jackals Field Hockey Club. “When it started 20 years ago, our county did not have a lot of opportunities for traveling high school sports teams,” Ries said. “Now it goes as young as seven or eight years old.” The Jackals Club, founded by Ries in 2000, is the preeminent field hockey program in Montgomery County. There are girls that will come from different recreation-level teams and try out for Jackals to make the top level training for college. Jackals also train kids at the college level, during their high school training, and when they’re getting set to be college-ready. “It’s true development to get athletes prepared for college,” Ries said.

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Features

Area arts centers continue Leonard Berns…

13-08-2018 Hits:279 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

As part of a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, this photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson capturing the late composer-conductor’s energy and vitality will be featured in the National Portrait Gallery. COURTESY PHOTO  There may not be a bouncing ball, but the upcoming presentation of the movie “West Side Story” at the AFI Silver will include lyrics to the songs in subtitles on screen. At which point, audience members will be invited to sing along. The screening is part of a centennial celebration of the birth of Leonard Bernstein – composer, conductor, pianist, author, music lecturer, and teacher – born on August 25, 1918, said Todd Hitchcock, AFI Silver’s director of programming. “West Side Story” and two other films to which Bernstein contributed the music are the American Film Institute’s contribution to the celebration. One is “On the Waterfront,” a dark drama about a stevedore who confronts the mobster who rules the docks, starring Marlon Brando; the other is the film version of the Broadway musical “On the Town,” about three sailors who find love while on leave in New York. AFI is one of many arts organizations in the D.C. area presenting concerts, stage shows, and other events to pay tribute to Bernstein, who...

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Free Space art exhibit invites audience …

10-08-2018 Hits:177 Entertainment Matt Hooke - avatar Matt Hooke

Jackie Hoystead’s ‘MixMatchV3’ at Betty Mae Kramer Gallery in Silver Spring. COURTESY PHOTO  No two visits to “Free Space,” an interactive art exhibit at Silver Spring’s Betty Mae Kramer Gallery, are the same. Each time a visitor walks into the eight-year-old gallery and looks at a piece like “MixMatchV3” by artist Jackie Hoystead, it is unlikely that the 780 acrylic discs velcroed to four different 4-foot-by-40-inch PVC panels will remain unchanged. The constant transformation is not due to Hoystead being a finicky perfectionist constantly changing her work, but rather to the audience. She invites the viewers to alter the piece according to their own whims, to create their own patterns and designs. “I think people don’t spend a lot of time looking at artwork anymore,” said Hoystead. “They come into an exhibition, and they think it’s daunting. But by integrating the audience into your work, they spend more time with it. They think about it, and they have a say in the artwork."

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‘Grandmother of Hip Hop’ reflects on ban…

06-08-2018 Hits:1593 Entertainment Matt Hooke - avatar Matt Hooke

Carolivia Herron displays her children’s book “Nappy Hair.” PHOTO BY MATT HOOKE  TAKOMA PARK — Washington, D.C. resident Carolivia Herron, clad all in purple, carefully leans into the microphone at Takoma Radio. One moment the 71-year-old Howard University professor praises the 17th-century writer John Milton; at another, she laments the loss two years earlier to gun violence of young local rapper Douglas Brooks, known by his stage name “Swipey.” Unfortunately, this year is a dubious one for Herron, as it marks the 20th anniversary of her children’s book “Nappy Hair” being banned by New York City Public Schools. The ban occurred in 1998, after a white teacher taught the book to her third-grade class. Although the students enjoyed the book, protests broke out, as some considered the book racially insensitive. According to Herron, the majority of parents who complained about the book did not have children in the class. “They felt a white teacher had no business teaching about black hair,” said Herron. “Because the word nappy had been used as an insult in their families, but it was never used that way in mine.” The book itself is an uplifting story, telling African American girls to take pride in their natural hair. Nappy Hair...

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