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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

Gaithersburg Presents Environmental Awar…

21-04-2018 Hits:372 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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Takoma Park approves contract for reside…

21-04-2018 Hits:265 Local Carlos Alfaro - avatar Carlos Alfaro

The Takoma Park City Council has approved awarding a contract to have a resident survey done. The last time the city held a resident survey was in 2007, 2009 and 2014. The contract would be given to National Research Center, Inc., who has done resident surveys for the city in the past. There was no significant backlash, but many Council members had input to improve the survey taking form previous years. “In the past I’ve voted against these surveys quite often because of my concerns that we’re getting the answers we want to hear and not the feelings of the community,” said Council member Terry Seamens.

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Local businessman leads efforts to stem …

20-04-2018 Hits:871 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

NORTH BETHESDA — H. David Meyers, a Rockville-based businessman turned on the local news one day and saw his secretary Carin Miller. Miller, founder of the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, was on television raising awareness for a cause that is personal to her – the opioid epidemic. While Meyers knew his secretary was an advocate, it was not until he saw her on television that he came up with an idea – to host a benefit concert for her organization. On Tuesday, Meyer who is a classically-trained oboist along with 67 other musicians played a benefit concert at Strathmore Music Center to raise awareness for opioid and heroin addiction – something state, local and federal officials have called an epidemic. All proceeds from the concert will go to MHAA, which helps those addicted to opioids and heroin to seek treatment and promote awareness for the issue to combat the stigma of drug abuse. “We have several fundraisers throughout the year, this is a grand event that I never would have thought would happen, but Mr. H. David Meyers was kind enough to host this beautiful concert for us,” Miller said.

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State News

Advocacy groups make final push as sessi…

10-04-2018 Hits:249 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:442 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:864 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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Columns

Creatures of scary habits

20-04-2018 Hits:501 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:274 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:311 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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Sports

B-CC lands on top at gymnastics tri-meet…

18-04-2018 Hits:349 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

B-CC’s Frances Leadman placed first all-around, first in bars, beam, and floor, and third in the vault during the gymnastics tri-meet at Blake High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  SILVER SPRING — A quintet of Bethesda-Chevy Chase gymnasts shined on Tuesday at Blake High School. Frances Leadman, Majalene Wright, Paige Moffitt, Emily Haight, and Tina Siyoum helped lead Bethesda-Chevy Chase to first place honors over Blair and Blake. Their performance helped the Barons’ earn their first top finish in a meet this season. “It feels amazing,” said Bethesda-Chevy Chase head coach Mary Ingram, whose team has already earned a pair of second-place finishes this year, “and I’m really proud because my girls had a great day and it feels good that they’re rewarded with a win after having a good day at a competition.”

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Blair girls win LAX Battle of the Boulev…

17-04-2018 Hits:187 Sports Eva Paspalis - avatar Eva Paspalis

SILVER SPRING — The 2018 high school varsity lacrosse season may only be a few weeks old, but Blair senior attacker Markeeta Reed has already had her favorite moment of the season so far. Reed turned in a five-goal performance Monday that helped the Blair Blazers earn their first win of the year in the Battle of the Boulevard against the neighboring Northwood Gladiators, 12-7. “I don’t want to see my team lose; it’s not a good feeling,” said Reed. “It’s a relief to win. I made a couple goals to help the team and we worked together to get those goals.” The game started off close at the beginning as both teams traded leads and tied the score twice in the first half. The Gladiators showcased their multiple threats as five players all scored throughout the course of the evening.

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Wheaton wins double victory in doublehea…

17-04-2018 Hits:861 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

On fire against rival Kennedy, Kelvin Pedroza pitched all five innings in the Wheaton Knights’ 15-2 win of game two. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  SILVER SPRING — The Wheaton Knights varsity baseball team won both games of a doubleheader Saturday with neighborhood rival, the Kennedy Cavaliers. Wheaton claimed an 11-1 victory in the first game and captured a 15-2 win in the second game. The Montgomery County high schools are separated by a two-mile stretch on Randolph Road. “Everyone went to the same middle school so we’re all friendly,” said Kennedy head coach Josh Creighton, whose team fell to 0-7, “but it’s definitely a huge rivalry in every sport – Battle of Randolph.” The visiting Knights outscored the Cavaliers en route to their second and third wins of the season. “Our whole team performed good – from top to bottom,” said Wheaton senior captain Anushka Fernando. “Everyone performed well. We came out and we put out a performance against our rivals.”

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Features

Finding adventure by traveling down the …

15-03-2018 Hits:486 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:431 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:690 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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