Students hold Gun Control Protest at NRA office in Virginia

Students hold Gun Control Protest at NRA office in Virginia
March and Rally for Science held in DC
Trump Signs Executive Order for National Guard to assist with Border Protection
Sarah Sanders on talks of Tariffs between USA and China

Montgomery County in Pictures

Local News

Clarksburg High School senior sentenced …

24-04-2018 Hits:233 Local Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

Alwin Chen, the Clarksburg High School senior who was charged with carrying a loaded handgun with him into school, was sentenced to the maximum of three years in jail, with all but four months of that sentenced suspended. Chen, 18, who has been in jail since his Feb. 15 arrest said, “What I did was stupid. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”

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Former PTA treasurer sentenced for embez…

24-04-2018 Hits:191 Local Kathleen Stubbs - avatar Kathleen Stubbs

ROCKVILLE – A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge sentenced a former PTA treasurer, who pleaded guilty to embezzling and misappropriating PTA funds, to nine months in jail Tuesday. Judge David A. Boynton sentenced former Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations treasurer Lisa Betts, 46, to five years in jail, with all but nine months suspended. In addition, Boynton ordered Betts to pay the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations $1,000 for their insurance deductible, pay $44,000 to the Greencastle Elementary School Parent Teacher Association and $27,000 to the Travelers Insurance Company.

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Gaithersburg Presents Environmental Awar…

21-04-2018 Hits:399 Local Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

GAITHERSBURG — Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council presented the city’s annual Environmental Awards at City Hall Monday Night. First given in 2002, the awards ceremony recognize businesses, nonprofits, individuals, schools, and other organizations for their environmental conservation efforts. Ashman described Brown Station Elementary School, one of the honorees, as near to his heart, as his own children attended the school. “Brown Station Elementary recently reopened and its students are enjoying the eco-friendly design features of the new campus,” Ashman said. “The school involves its students in many environmentally-responsible activities, including the recycling efforts led by the green team of fourth- and fifth-graders. Students have also been studying pollution in watersheds. In the fall, they took a field trip to learn about food production, waste, and the water cycle and the implications for the Chesapeake Bay.”

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State News

Advocacy groups make final push as sessi…

10-04-2018 Hits:253 State Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

As the 2018 Maryland legislative session enters its final days, state advocacy groups are making a final push for the passage of legislation. “While there are a few bills still alive that we’re still supporting, unfortunately most of the major environmental legislation this year was either voted down or amended down into a non-sensitive form,” said Elaine Lutz, staff attorney for the Maryland office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an organization which advocates for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding waterways. Lutz said the CBF’s primary focus during this session was strengthening the Forest Conservation Act, which she said designates certain areas in the state as priority forests and calls for them to be preserved, but provides few specific criteria or guidelines towards accomplishing that goal. “We are seeing the loss of some of our best contiguous forests,” Lutz said. “The legislation we introduced this year would have provided specific, transparent criteria for preserving the forests and reforestation requirements, but after opposition from some of the counties and the development community, the senate amended it into a more task force-oriented bill to find out where the forests are being lost and require certain recommendations to be made.”

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State song may soon be demoted to histor…

03-04-2018 Hits:448 State Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

“Maryland, My Maryland,” the Civil War battle hymn that refers to “Northern scum” soon may no longer be the state song. But rather than replace “the embarrassing, outdated and racist song,” as Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-17) called it, the State Senate opted last week to demote the song to historical status. “It will be designated as historical. We are putting it aside,” said Kagan, who stressed that her preference for the new designation is “historical, not historic. ‘Historical’ means that’s what we used to believe.” The lyrics, which are from a poem written in the early days of the Civil War by James Ryder Randall, “are offensive and outdated,” she said, explaining why she has been trying to repeal and replace the song since 2016. Before the song is officially downgraded, the House of Delegates must agree. An official vote in the House has not yet been scheduled.

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Statistics show gun violence rising in M…

31-03-2018 Hits:890 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

With a renewed push to enact gun control legislation taking this place last weekend in Washington, some state politicians are saying Maryland could serve as model of gun control reform for the nation. Since the murder of 17 people in Parkland, Florida, students and gun control advocates have staged walkouts and protest marches in hopes of pressuring Congress to enact new gun control laws such as banning assault weapons which Maryland did through its legislation in 2013.

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Creatures of scary habits

20-04-2018 Hits:561 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

Somewhere in Potomac tonight there is a family sitting in a home that cost more than $1 million, upset with the noise coming from commercial aircraft flying into Reagan National Airport and they’ve convinced the county to spend $150,000 to an aviation expert in order to come up with alternative flight plans into Reagan.Putting aside that it is still hard for me to swallow that there is an airport named after the president who took a giant squat on air traffic controllers, I’ll happily sign up to take the money from the county because I can tell you there can be little if no change in the traffic pattern at National.That’s not something those people living in multi-million dollar homes want to hear, but it’s something that’s going to be said.

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Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Washington

20-04-2018 Hits:280 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Senate's combined hearing by its Judiciary and Commerce Committees, during which Facebook owner and creator Mark Zuckerberg fielded some five hours of questions.Clearly the concern of the some 42 senators was user privacy and the protection of personal information in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the personal information of some 87 million Facebook users was improperly taken and used for unauthorized political purposes during the 2016 presidential election.While a comparison was made by some Republican senators to the voter targeting done during the Obama presidential campaigns, the difference here is the deliberate flood of misinformation done by Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 Trump campaign.Certainly user privacy and the protection of personal data are a concern of major proportions. Facebook is an enormously large company with over $40 billion in annual income, more than 25,000 employees and more than 2 billion monthly active users.However, as I listened to the testimony I couldn't help but think that the true overarching issue is more than privacy; it is responsibility. What is the responsibility of platform providers to manage the content of those platforms?

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Democrats face a messaging problem

13-04-2018 Hits:315 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

The biggest issue facing Democrats as they head toward the 2018 midterm elections and their quest to retake both the House of Representatives and the Senate is to identify what Democrats are for and not just against. The search is for a rallying issue, so to speak.The difficulty is that it is sometimes a bit challenging to distinguish the two especially when dealing with such a destructive force as the CONmander-in-Chief.There are a couple of good places to start, however. First, simply look at all of the Obama Administration actions that have been, item by item, undone by the current administration. Re-entering the Paris Climate Accord since we are the only nation, and I said only nation thanks to Trump, who is not a signatory is one easy issue to adopt for Democrats. Climate change, by the way, is real, and not being part of the solution implies we are part of the problem. Current efforts to roll back automobile emission standards are a prime example.Rescinding President Obama's executive order on DACA, Deferred Actions on Childhood Arrivals, only served to create an unnecessary crisis. How this issue will ultimately be addressed remains to be seen, but it is likely that...

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Landon boys narrowly defeat archrival G…

25-04-2018 Hits:104 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

Landon’s Joey Epstein (1) makes his move to intercept Georgetown Prep’s Jake Giulieri (8) who’s on his way to his fourth goal of the game. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  NORTH BETHESDA — The visiting Landon Bears met the Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas on the gridiron Friday in the latest installment of the area’s top boys lacrosse rivalry. Landon senior Joey Epstein scored four goals to lead the Bears to a 6-5 road victory over the Little Hoyas. “I don’t care what the sport is,” said Landon head coach Rob Bordley, “whenever Landon plays Prep, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, it’s going to be a dogfight.” That was evident as Landon rallied from a 1-0 deficit early to take a 3-2 lead into intermission.

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Whitman girls remain undefeated with vic…

24-04-2018 Hits:868 Sports Eva Paspalis - avatar Eva Paspalis

Whitman’s Abby Waldvogel (11) fires the goal past Quince Orchard’s Kate Faraone (23) and goalie Josie Juhring (18). PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  GAITHERSBURG –Whitman girls varsity lacrosse continued their perfect season Monday as the Vikings defeated Quince Orchard 12-4 at the Cougar Dome improving to an 8-0 record on the season. Nine different players were responsible for Whitman’s 12 goals, with seven players scoring in the first half alone. Vikings head coach Katie Bitonti said that the group effort mentality is one of her team’s main focuses in practice. “From start to finish, we need everyone working together. We don’t like to rely on one player,” she said. “We like to keep the ball moving on attack. We have a very well-balanced team and they work well together. They like feeding the ball to each other.”

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Star pitcher leads Damascus to victory o…

24-04-2018 Hits:228 Sports Matt Cohen - avatar Matt Cohen

POOLESVILLE — Damascus head coach Scott Frye said he had “no doubt” about sending Connor Manion out to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning, protecting a one-run lead against Poolesville. The decision worked out perfectly for the visiting Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets, as Manion slammed the door shut in the bottom of the seventh, sealing a win for Damascus. Manion’s bottom of the seventh finished off a complete game for the senior pitcher, a performance which led the Swarmin’ Hornets to a 5-4 victory over the Falcons. Poolesville and Damascus are regarded as two of the top three teams in Montgomery County, and thus it was no surprise to see each team to put star starting pitchers on the mound. For Poolesville, it was preseason all-state selection and High Point commit Brady Pearre, while Damascus chose St. Mary’s commit Manion. “It’s preparation throughout the week,” Frye said of facing Pearre.

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Finding adventure by traveling down the …

15-03-2018 Hits:490 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Beloved characters come to life in Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.” COURTESY PHOTOAlthough dancers learn to smile onstage – other than during tragic moments in the plot of a ballet – Genevieve Pelletier was concerned she had perhaps overdone it in her last role. She was the lead in the Marzipan dance in Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Then along came a role in which an oversize smile fits perfectly. The 17-year-old Quince Orchard High School senior will be playing the Cheshire Cat. “I love the Cheshire Cat, who smiles all the time,” she said. “It fits in with my personality.” Every year Metropolitan Ballet Theatre presents a different full-length ballet during the spring. This year it’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

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Israeli Dance Festival attracts diverse …

15-03-2018 Hits:439 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Ilana Preuss and children in 2016 Israeli Dance Festival DC. COURTESY PHOTO  You don’t have to be Israeli – or even Jewish – to love Israeli dancing. Margaret “Peggy” Antonisse, 66, is neither, but she attends Israeli dance sessions open to the public a few times a week. She also serves on the planning committee for the annual Israeli Dance Festival DC, which showcases Israeli dance performing groups of all ages in the area. “It also cultivates an appreciation of the rich culture of Israeli dance and encourages participation of people from all backgrounds, ages and skill levels,” said Abby Kerbel, one of the co-chairs. Israeli dance is diverse in and of itself – drawing on Arabic, Yemenite, Latino and Eastern European roots. It incorporates line and circle dances, and sometimes couples’ dances. “I first developed an interest in Israeli dance as part of international dance in college,” Antonisse said. “It was great aerobic exercise and had a wonderful sense of community – when you hold hands in a circle and the group is moving as one in the same direction.”

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Latest Dance Exchange project zeroes in …

22-02-2018 Hits:698 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Andy Torres, pictured in the foreground, is a collaborator in the Dance Exchange project “Growing Our Own Gardens.” COURTESY PHOTODance involves not only movement and music but community involvement. That’s the viewpoint of Dance Exchange, a Takoma Park-based, non-profit arts organization devoted to dance-making and creative practices that engage individuals and communities of all ages to cultivate a deeper understanding of one’s world. “Dance Exchange collaborates across generations, disciplines, and communities to channel the power for performance as a means for dialogue, a source of critical reflection, and a creative engine for thought and action,” said Matthew Cumbie, associate artistic director. One of the communities Dance Exchange is now exploring is the D.C. area’s queer community. With the collective title of “Growing Our Own Gardens,” the organization has created an ongoing project that promotes “dialogue and action about issues faced by LGBTQ+ communities and centers the stories, lives, and questions of LGBTQ+ throughout history,” Cumbie said. “We’re looking at the history of these communities but bringing the conversation into the modern day.”

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