Ralph Jaffe answers questions ahead of Maryland Gubernatorial Race

Ralph Jaffe answers questions ahead of Maryland Gubernatorial Race
Press Secretary talks North Korea relations during press briefing
Montgomery County holds its 4th Annual GreenFest
Produce from Local Farmers on Display at Central Farmers Market

Montgomery County in Pictures

Local News

Gaithersburg Book Festival draws large c…

26-05-2018 Hits:187 Local Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

GAITHERSBURG — Thousands of people braved Saturday’s drizzle to attend the ninth annual Gaithersburg Book Festival.  Mayor Jud Ashman, then a member of the City Council, founded the festival in 2010. Held every May on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall, the festival invites several fiction and non-fiction authors to read from their works and meet their readers.

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Council approves additional funding to L…

26-05-2018 Hits:140 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved an additional $14.8 million to the budget on its reconciliation list as the Council is set to give final approval to the budget Thursday. The $14.8 million is a part of the Council reconciliation list, spending that was not originally included in the County Executive’s proposed budget and that the Council’s various committees voted to add through their weeks of meetings.

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Rockville passes budget with no tax incr…

26-05-2018 Hits:198 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

The Rockville Mayor and City Council adopted their 2019 fiscal year budget, keeping property tax rates the same for yet another year. Rockville’s $136.2-million budget is a 4.5-percent increase from last year’s budget, which will help supplement the 4.5-percent wage increase City employees are set to see under the new budget. The increases allow the City to add several new positions in City government, including two additional police officers, one GIS/Asset Management support specialist, one urban forestry maintenance worker, and one information systems security engineer.

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State News

Hogan sets up scholarship fund to offset…

18-05-2018 Hits:375 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

A recently-passed Maryland law will make attending community college more affordable for state residents. Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed a bill that will help cover the cost of tuition for some state residents attending community colleges. The bill allocates $15 million in state funding to provide scholarships up to $5,000 for students whose family earn less than $150,000 a year or for adults with an income of $100,000 a year or less.

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Gubernatorial candidates speak in Freder…

12-05-2018 Hits:910 State Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

FREDERICK — Six candidates seeking to replace Governor Larry Hogan this fall came to make their cases at a candidate forum Friday night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Frederick. The forum was hosted by the Maryland chapters of the Federation of National Active and Retired Federal Employees and the Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW).  Present were Democratic candidates Jim Shea, a former attorney and chairman of the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents; Krish Vignarajah, former policy director for First Lady Michele Obama; and James Jones II,. Former NAACP director Ben Jealous was represented by his running mate, Susan Turnbull, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III was represented by his running mate, Elizabeth Embry. Libertarian Party Candidate Shawn Quinn, a retired Navy veteran and Newport News, Va., law enforcement officer, also attended. Declared candidates who were invited but did not attend included Hogan, Green Party candidate Ian Schlakman, and Democrats Rich Madeleno, Ralph Jaffe, Kevin Kamenetz, and Alec Ross.

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Mr. Hogan goes to Washington

27-04-2018 Hits:1215 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

Governor Larry Hogan stands next to Sen. Ben Cardin on his visit to D.C. earlier this week. PHOTO BY NEAL EARLEY  WASHINGTON -- When Gov. Larry Hogan (R) walked out of his meeting with Maryland’s Congressional Delegation last week it seemed it could not have gone better -- at least that's what he said. Speaking at a brief press conference, Hogan and the delegation gave the impression after the meeting that their party affiliation did not matter. Like political allies, each Maryland politician repeated and reiterated their shared priorities and objectives -- to save the state from a slew of federal cuts to the management of the Chesapeake Bay, healthcare, and transportation. “I think it was a very productive meeting on really important shared priorities that are important to the people of Maryland,” Hogan said.

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The New Normal is neither

25-05-2018 Hits:142 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

Today’s “New Normal,” isn’t new and it isn’t normal.Sixteen-year-old baccalaureate student Nimah Nayel is a victim of the old racism and hate, long existent and awful in its scope.This vile hatred, the antithesis of the American Spirit stayed dormant and seemingly was swept away into the dustbin of history where it belongs until the minions of Donald Trump took his racist and hate-filled rhetoric primetime and brought back the hatred with a vengeance.

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A threat to the federal government is a …

23-05-2018 Hits:316 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Steve Lenkart address a room full of federal service retirees and his message to them should be of the greatest concern for us all.Steve has spent the last thirty years in and around the federal government with a specific focus on workforce policy. Among his many roles (not rolls, Mr. President), Steve served as the Executive Director of the Merit Systems Protection Board, to name just one. Steve is also running for president of NARFE.NARFE stands for National Active and Retired Federal Employees and is an organization that has been at the forefront in the fight to protect the earned benefits of federal employees both active and retired since its inception way back in 1921.Steve’s presentation was extremely informative and disturbing as well, as it shed light on the threat faced by federal employees from the current administration and Congress.What should also be noted is that any threat to federal government employees impacts the effectiveness and efficiency of the running of our government and that impacts every American.

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Nobody’s fault but mine or ours

17-05-2018 Hits:384 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

The only thing worse than a Republican is a Democrat. One is venal and vile. The other is clueless.I was discussing the problems of politics with a candidate’s surrogate the other day and it dawned on me there are people who still do not understand why Donald Trump got elected to the highest office in the United States.Many want to merely dismiss his supporters as being stupid. Some want to dismiss their neighbors as being racists or misogynists for supporting him while still others who love Trump are labeled as traitors.The Trump supporters on the other hand have labeled those who oppose Trump traitors, racists, misogynists and stupid – but in fairness so has the president. While both sides of the aisle retreat to their side of the sandbox and act like toddlers with loaded diapers, some of us are still scratching our heads and wonder how this all came to pass.

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B-CC Barons’ baseball championship bid e…

26-05-2018 Hits:501 Sports Matt Cohen - avatar Matt Cohen

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons' Joe Eisenberg checks out the scoreboard for what would turn out to be the final score, 5-3, against the Howard Lions in the 4A state semifinal game.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — It had been 29 years since B-CC last advanced to the state semifinals. This season, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons won two playoff games on walk-off hits, and finally once again reached the state semifinals. However, at Shirley Povich Field on Wednesday the magical run ended, as the Barons fell to the Howard Lions of Howard County, 5-3. “The character of the guys,” Barons head coach John Schmidt said on what he took away from this season. “Say what you want about talent; I remember how you take care of yourself on the field. Even in a win or a loss, I thought we carried ourselves very well.”

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Churchill boys LAX lose heartbreaker to …

26-05-2018 Hits:114 Sports Eva Paspalis - avatar Eva Paspalis

The Severna Park Falcons' Colin Shadowens (14) and Churchill Bulldogs' Merrick Willeford (1) battle for the ball during a face-off in the 4A state championship game played Wednesday in Mustang Stadium at Stevenson University. The Bulldogs would lose a heartbreaker to the Falcons 8-7 in overtime, repeating last year's outcome. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHOWINGS MILLS – The rematch. The almost perfect season. Trailing early, leading late. One overtime period, one final Severna Park goal and the heartbreaking sting of defeat. One team with the county’s eyes upon it, still waiting for its first lacrosse state championship. There wasn’t much else Churchill could have done Wednesday to secure a victory. The Bulldogs strode into Mustang Stadium at Stevenson University as an undefeated team that still had something to prove, even after three finals appearances in four years. Churchill gave the two-time defending champion Falcons a rough ride, beating Severna Park in face-offs, total shots and groundballs. In the end, with a late goal reminiscent of last year’s walk-off winner, sophomore Michael Harmeyer raised his stick over his head and gave Severna Park its eighth lacrosse championship in school history by a score of 8-7. A few Bulldogs sat on the field in stunned silence...

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Blair falls to Howard in softball region…

22-05-2018 Hits:156 Sports Carlos Alfaro - avatar Carlos Alfaro

Despite the Blair Blazers' 8-2 victory against the Urbana Hawks earlier the same day (with pitcher Courtney Wyche seen here on the mound), the Blazers would fall in a second game against the Howard Lions for the regional championship. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  SILVER SPRING — No one could say that the Blair Blazers varsity softball team didn’t give it their all Monday night, but after a thrilling victory against the Urbana Hawks earlier that day, the Blazers lost to the Howard Lions in the regional championship, 2-0. A team that came in with only two losses to their name, playing at home (the game counted as away for Blair but took place on Blair’s home field) after a resounding 8-2 win over the Urbana Hawks the same day, could not get over errors in the first inning that led to the only two runs the Howard Lions scored the entire game. Part of it could definitely be chalked up to exhaustion: the Blazers came out of a brief hiatus due to a streak of rained-out games to play a doubleheader in humid weather. The game against the Hawks gave them the brunt of the heat. Meanwhile, the Lions came into the game...

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Artist and children’s book author chosen…

25-05-2018 Hits:449 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Raya Salman, one of the juried artists at Rockville’s A-RTS festival, poses in front of her booth. COURTESY PHOTO  For a time, despite her devotion to it and training at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, Raya Salman “couldn’t afford to live on art.” Still, Salman, who was born in Lebanon and later relocated to England with her three children before landing in Montgomery County in 1991 and remarrying, wasn’t ready to give up on a professional art career. Now that her children are 35, 32, and 28 – she also has two grandchildren – she is making up for lost time. “I paint religiously two times a week,” she said. “One day a week I devote to marketing and social media.” Her efforts have been recognized. Salman is one of seven Montgomery County artists selected by a jury to participate in A-RTS, a free annual outdoor arts festival at Rockville Town Square, which took place earlier this month on May 5 and 6.

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Silhouettes are an outline of an ancient…

18-05-2018 Hits:220 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Partially three-dimensional maypole dance by a contemporary artist is a part of an exhibit on silhouettes currently featured at the National Portrait Gallery. COURTESY PHOTO  Silhouettes have been around since ancient times – think of those shadowy figures on Grecian urns. But it was in the 19th century that the art form of cut-paper profiles took on new life. “They were a hugely popular and democratizing form of portraiture, offering virtually instantaneous likenesses of everyone,” said Asma Naeem, curator of an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery devoted to silhouettes. “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” reveals the complexities of an art form that was once ubiquitous but is little known today, Naeem added. The exhibit explores the historical roots of silhouettes and contemporary iterations.

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Bethesda-based art gallery celebrates 25…

08-05-2018 Hits:763 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Carol Leadbetter (left) and Grace Peterson, chair Waverly Street Gallery’s silver anniversary celebration. COURTESY PHOTO  Though she was always interested in taking pictures, Carol Leadbetter became a professional photographer later in life. That was after a formal course in photography motivated her to earn an associates’ degree at Montgomery College, specializing in portrait photography. Now she does a great deal of what’s called “photographic transfer,” or alternative printing. “With transfer, each piece is done individually and looks different,” Leadbetter said. “It’s not making 100 copies of the same thing.” Grace Peterson always loved art; first she became a self-taught oil painter and later worked in stained glass until arthritis kicked in. She then returned to oils, also obtaining a degree from Montgomery College. Peterson exhibited and entered competitions, but felt the lack of an artist’s “home base.” After Strathmore sent her a list of area art galleries, she found Creative Partners, a precursor of the Waverly Street Gallery. Leadbetter also found her home base at the Gallery.

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