Rockville files suit against opioid companies

Seal of Rockville MdFollowing the lead of cities and counties across the United States, the City of Rockville has joined a statewide class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The City is seeking retribution for what Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton called a public health emergency.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis,” said Newton in a statement. “It’s time to hold the doctors, manufacturers and distributors accountable and change the way the industry does business. Pain management is an important part of healing, but overprescribing has put an enormous burden on families and ruined countless lives.”

The City’s attorneys filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Rockville, and the City will now join the cities of Bowie, Caroline, Frederick, Garrett and Harford Counties and the mayor and council of Westminster in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that opioid manufacturers and distributors have used illegal marketing techniques to make their drugs seem safer than they really are. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that opioid manufactures and distributors have failed to report suspicious purchases.


Takoma Junction residents make final push in redevelopment

takoma park logoTAKOMA PARK — With the City Council set to vote on the Takoma Junction redevelopment July 25, supporters and opponents made their final bids in front of their locally-elected officials.

“The development is too big,” Susan Katz Miller, a Ward 3 resident, said during an outdoor protest prior to the City Council’s weekly evening meeting Wednesday. “They [the Council] have taken all the public space; they’re squeezing out the [Takoma Park-Silver Spring] Co-op [and] endangering our most vibrant, diverse retail enterprise.”

Miller gathered with approximately 20 other protesters outside the Sam Abbott Citizens Center with a large sign depicting a tractor-trailer to protest the proposed redevelopment project to turn a city-owned parking lot at the intersection of Grant, Carroll, and Philadelphia Avenues into a two-story building with street-level retail and office space along with an underground parking garage.


Metro union votes to authorize strike

metro logoMembers of one of Metro’s unions voted Sunday on whether they authorize union leadership to call for a strike.

Metro released a statement in response to the strike authorization vote Monday afternoon, which stated, “The Authority does not want customers to suffer from additional service interruptions. Dialogue is ongoing between Management and Union officials to identify common ground on these matters, while keeping Metro safe, reliable and affordable for the region.”

David Stephen, spokesperson for the union Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said the union voted in favor of authorizing a union strike.

Although members agreed to authorize a strike it does not guarantee they will strike.

On Thursday, Stephen sent reporters a copy of a petition requesting removal of Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld from Metro.


Council reviews police internal affairs policy

countysealIn the wake of a Montgomery County police officer shooting, the County Council held a committee hearing to review Montgomery County Police Department’s internal affairs-investigation process.

While the June 11 officer-involved shooting, in which Montgomery County Police officer Anand Badgujar shot and killed unarmed African-American man Robert Lawrence White, is being investigated by prosecutors in Howard County, the Montgomery County Council Public Safety Committee held a hearing Monday to review how MCPD conducts its internal affairs investigations.


Not John Waters’ Pink Flamingos but still a powerful statement displayed in Kensington

A local Kensington couple uses their collection of plastic lawn flamingos to call attention to social ills, such as this tableau illustrating the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. PHOTO BY PETER ROULEAUA local Kensington couple uses their collection of plastic lawn flamingos to call attention to social ills, like this scene illustrating the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. PHOTO BY PETER ROULEAUKENSINGTON — Pink, plastic lawn flamingos are regarded as a tacky decoration by some, but for one local couple, they have become a medium for public expression.

For several years, Michael Laythan and Mandy Golden have arranged large and small flamingos in their yard in exhibits designed to call public attention to social ills and to protest policies.

“When I first met Mandy in 1990, she was wearing flamingo earrings,” Laythan said. “She gave me one, and I hung it on the mirror in my car, and they’ve been sort of a theme for us ever since. Ten years ago, I was finishing up a year-long treatment for Hepatitis C, and Mandy asked friends of ours to buy a flamingo or two. When I woke up the first morning after the treatment was finally done, the yard was just full of flamingos. Since then, the ‘mingos have come out off and on. We find it’s a good way to make known our opinions about what’s happening in the world.”


Gaithersburg receives survey results

Gaithersburg SealGAITHERSBURG — The Gaithersburg Planning Commission joined Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council at Monday night’s City Hall meeting to hear the results of a public survey on how to best utilize a stretch of land along Route 355.

The Corridor Development (CD) Zone was originally created to implement the 2001 Frederick Avenue Corridor Land Use Plan. A 2013 study by the city determined that the 355 Corridor did not need a new zone to foster development; instead, the study found that the CD Zone should to be refined and made the primary zone in the Corridor.


Takoma Park addresses junction redevelopment

Takoma Park Govt logoTAKOMA PARK — With the vote to approve the Takoma Junction Redevelopment site plan approaching on July 25, the City Council continues to resolve questions regarding the project.

After the unveiling of the site plan in April, traffic studies associated with the project were released in June, analyzing potential traffic changes the project could have on the surrounding area.


Minimum wage hike affects local businesses in MoCo

When Ron Newmyer closed his family restaurant for good right before the July 4th holiday, it marked the end of a popular restaurant that had been serving customers in the Silver Spring area since 1989.

Newmyer blamed several factors that led him to shuttering Armand’s Chicago Pizza on Seminary Road, including the County’s decision to increase the minimum wage each year between now and July 2022.


Metro Board may increase service at selected Red Line stations

metro logoMetro’s Board of Directors may approve an increase in rush-hour service on part of the Red Line during its meeting Thursday, a change the board requested three years ago.

If all Red Line trains that would normally start or terminate at Grosvenor-Strathmore Station instead traveled past Grosvenor to Shady Grove, as in the proposed change, that would double the service to Shady Grove and three other stations.


Man charged with stabbing girlfriend in their home

Dwight Perry 240x300 COURTESY OF POLICEPolice arrested and charged Dwight Perry, 35, of Gaithersburg with first- and second-degree assault in the stabbing of his girlfriend Tuesday. PHOTO COURTESY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICEMontgomery County Police arrested and charged a 35-year-old man with first- and second-degree assault after he admitted to stabbing his girlfriend in their home Tuesday.

The commissioner placed Dwight Perry of the 700 block of West Side Drive in Gaithersburg, on no-bond status Tuesday night, said police spokesperson Officer Rick Goodale. Police transported him to Montgomery County Detention Center in Clarksburg. 

Police said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel on Tuesday afternoon responded to the Gaithersburg home following a report of a domestic stabbing. They found the stabbing victim, who is Perry’s girlfriend, and transported her to a local hospital for treatment of a minor stab wound.