Maryland early voting starts Thursday

Starting Thursday, people who wish to vote in person can vote at any for early voting poll location in their county. Designated Polling places will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., through and including June 21 for early voting. Maryland residents can also vote in person on election day at their assigned voting location for their residence from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  The Maryland Board of Elections recommends residents try to vote between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to avoid delays on election day. A list of designated early voting locations is available at



District 20 candidates show few differences

TAKOMA PARK — Seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent District 20 voters in the Maryland House of Delegates found themselves mainly in agreement as they spoke to voters at a forum Tuesday evening.

With little daylight between them, the candidates gave similar responses to questions on a variety of topics, including Interstate 495 traffic, taxes, education, economic development, and the environment.

Hosted jointly by the Women’s Democratic Club, The District 20 Breakfast Club, The Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club, Montgomery County Young Democrats, Montgomery Green Democrats, and the District 20 Caucus at Takoma Park Middle School, and moderated by former State delegate Karen Britto (District 16), the event featured incumbent delegates David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins, immigration attorney Fatmata Barrie, community activist Lorig Charkoudian, data analyst Malik Lendzondzo, labor organizer Darian Unger, and lawyer George Zokle.


Takoma Park corrects boundaries at former Adventist School

takoma park logoTAKOMA PARK — As the Potomac Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church prepares to sell the former John Nevins Andrews School property, the Takoma Park City Council discovered discrepancies in the boundaries surrounding the parcel.

The former school building, located at 117 Elm Avenue, occupies a 123,425-square foot property adjacent to the City-owned Spring Park. Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, City Manager Suzanne Ludlow explained, the City discovered that a 11,296-square foot portion, consisting of two separate tracts of the former school’s parking lot, was located on City-owned land.


Examining the history of Brookeville’s “Rescue Street”

street signThe intersection of Rena Court and DuBarry Drive previously was the site where Civil Defense Administration personnel learned what to do in case of nuclear attack. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Just a mile or two from historic Brookeville, which served as the U.S. capital for a day, lies the site of a bombed-out area where the Civil Defense Administration trained its staff on what to do if nuclear weapons rained down on an American city.

Six partially-completed concrete-and-brick buildings were built on what became known as Rescue Street. The buildings had neither windows nor doors. No one ever lived in this ghost town, but it was an active place. Two-week training courses, which occurred daily, featured scenarios with lots of fake blood, smoke, and the saving of frantic, injured people. These “victims” were often students from nearby colleges.


Women of color forum held in Silver Spring

women of colorPanelists pose together following their Montgomery County Women Candidates of Color forum in Silver Spring. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKSILVER SPRING — Seventeen women of color who are running for local political office urged those attending a panel discussion at the Silver Spring Civic Center June 7 to elect minority candidates so that members of County Council, school board, judicial bench and Democratic committee will be more representative of the population at large.

“When you look across the table, you see all beautiful women, of all shades,” said Brandy Brooks, a candidate for County Council at large. “Then think who’s on council now,” she said at the two-hour forum.


County Executive candidates lay out housing agendas

County Executive Candidates 1County Executive candidates talk housing issues PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVKENSINGTON — With just weeks until the June 26 primary election, five candidates vying to succeed the term-limited Isiah Leggett as the next County Executive explained their agendas on housing issues to voters at a forum Thursday evening.

While expressing commitment to the County’s housing needs, the candidates outlined differing approaches to issues such as land use, public housing, and rent regulation.

“This consistently never seems one of the top issues in the County of great concern, but that’s because the people that most need it are not the people most involved in our political process,” said current Montgomery County Planning Department deputy director Rose Krasnow as she opened the event.


Metro faces problems caused by Virginia funding law

WMATA metro logoMontgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says he doesn’t agree with a Virginia law that seeks to limit input from Metro alternate board members. 

Tom Bulger, an alternate Metro board member agrees with Leggett. 

Virginia’s dedicated funding bill passed in the state legislature earlier this year prohibits alternate board members from giving input in committee meetings or participating in executive sessions.


Unarmed Black Man Shot Dead

Police officer placed on leave after 41-year-old with previous mental health issues killed

Officer Anand Badgujar.  COURTESY PHOTOOfficer Anand Badgujar. COURTESY PHOTO  Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger placed Officer Anand Badgujar – a two year police veteran – on paid administrative leave this week after the officer apparently shot and killed an unarmed 41-year-old African American man in Silver Spring Monday afternoon.

Police identified the victim as Robert Lawrence White. As recently as November 2015 a local district court judge committed White to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for “examination as to competency to stand trial” in a misdemeanor trespassing case.

The court found “good cause to believe the defendant may be incompetent to stand trial” per an evaluation by the pretrial supervision unit.

The Sentinel has requested a copy of the findings from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene following the court ordered evaluation. The report was not made available by press time.

Badgujar, 32, is a former sergeant on the Baltimore police force where he served for five years. He is currently assigned to the Montgomery County Police Department’s 3rd District patrol division.


County Executive race sees its first attack ad

A clip from the ad released by County Council member Roger Berliner attacking fellow County Executive candidate David Blair.  COURTESY PHOTOA clip from an ad released by County Council member Roger Berliner attacking fellow County Executive candidate David Blair. COURTESY PHOTO  BETHESDA — As the primary approaches, democrats running for County Executive continue to try and jockey for position attempting to appeal to local voters and to be gain attention, one candidate ran the first “attack ad” against an opponent.

Recently, County Council member and candidate for County Executive Roger Berliner (D-1) released an ad attacking one of his opponents, businessman David Blair, with the narrator in the ad saying Blair is a “another rich guy with zero experience, spending his millions to buy this election,” with a black-and-white photo of Blair morphing into a photo of Donald Trump.

But when a new resident to the County asked Berliner at a forum in Bethesda about who was most progressive and who was most conservative among the candidates, Berliner decided to answer the question by giving positive aspects of each candidate – including Blair.

“David Blair has been a successful businessman,” Berliner told the forum, running through the accomplishments of each one of his Democratic opponents.

This is one of the first ads in the County Executive race to directly attack another opponent.


Local Caps fans join the D.C. celebration

Local Caps fans were among the thousands in downtown D.C. this week to celebrate the Stanley Cup.  PHOTO BY MIKE WILLIAMSLocal Caps fans were among the thousands in downtown D.C. this week to celebrate the Stanley Cup. PHOTO BY MIKE WILLIAMS  WASHINGTON, D.C. — A sea of red-and-white jerseys filled the streets of downtown D.C., with thousands gathering to celebrate the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Victory. Fans chanted “Let’s go Caps!” and “Champions!” while wearing hats, T-shirts, and towels emblazoned with the Capitals logo.

“Thank God for the Caps” read the cardboard sign made by Antonio Cabbagestalk, a born-and-raised native of Washington D.C., who said he has waited his entire life for a moment like this.

“I’m 51 years old, about to be 52 in August and I’ve been waiting for this all my life. I’ve been a Caps fan all my life,” Cabbagestalk said, and added that he had to get multiple napkins when the Caps won the championship games because of his tears of “joy.”

“Most definitely, most definitely, most definitely, this is the best dang thing to happen in D.C. in a long time, and we got more championships to come!” said Cabbagestalk.

Cabbagestalk also said the number of people in attendance made him felt great, and he is thrilled that they shared their time to support the District. “It feels good to know that out of everything that’s going on in D.C., we got people to come out here and actually support the sports fans,” he said. “I mean to come out here to the nation’s capital to support one of the best teams here; it feels great.”

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