The T-Bolts are going to the playoffs

SILVER SPRING – The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts knew there was one spot left in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League playoffs as they headed into a double header Friday against the Loudoun Riverdogs at Blair Stadium.

The formula to earn that coveted sixth seed was simple in theory: Win out, and you’re in.

The T-Bolts left nothing to chance as they swept the Riverdogs, winning the first game by a score of 6-3.


Esposito walks off as Big Train beats T-Bolts, 7-6, in thriller

JGS 4733 Vinny Esposito scoring the winning run on a walk-off home run as the Big Train defeat the Thunderbolts 7- 6. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH   BETHESDA — One night after clinching the South division and a first-round bye, the Bethesda Big Train (29-9) looked to keep the momentum going at home against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (15-22) of the North division.

This game went back and forth but ended with Big Train star infielder Vinny Esposito walking off in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift his team to a 7-6 victory.

The Thunderbolts got things going in the top of the first when designated hitter Garrett Stonehouse hit an RBI single to drive in catcher Benito Santiago and give his team an early 1-0 lead.


Bullis tops Georgetown Prep in the first round of the MD Elite Summer League playoffs

ROCKVILLE — In the first round of the MD Elite Summer League playoffs, the Bullis Bulldogs beat the Georgetown Prep Hoyas, 63-45, in a rematch of the 2016-17 IAC boys basketball championship game.

Bullis received the fifth seed in the MD Elite Summer League playoff bracket, while Georgetown Prep was the 12th seed.

The game stayed very close in the early stages, both teams matching the other’s baskets. The lead swung back and forth on seemingly every possession. Bullis’ Louis Wilson converted an and-1 to give Bullis 13-11 lead about mid-way through the first half.


Delaney tries to tackle crumbling infrastructure

When it comes to corporate tax breaks one ordinarily thinks Republican and one would ordinarily be correct in doing so.

However, what if the corporate tax break was not part of the usual “trickle down economics” substanceless rhetoric but was actually applied directly to a specific undertaking that clearly benefited a particular community or communities?

That brings us to Democrat Congressman John Delaney of Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

Congressman Delaney has offered a plan to use corporate tax breaks in a manner that funds infrastructure development.

Congressman Delaney has stated that his plan “could create upwards of ten million construction, manufacturing and service jobs in ten years while also addressing some $3 trillion in infrastructure needs across the nation.”

According to Congressman Delaney, “rebuilding America’s infrastructure should be one of our top domestic priorities. Smart infrastructure investment is a triple bottom line for the country: 1) it boosts economic growth 2) creates good-paying jobs and 3) improves our quality of life."

Congressman Delaney has led the effort in the House to upgrade our roads, bridges, transit and water systems, airports and energy grid.

Few of us will dispute that locally, the need is great since I-81, I-270 and Metro all need major upgrades and improvements.

The Congressman is clear that “our aging infrastructure is a daily drain on the productivity of Marylanders, who are spending too much time commuting.”

After working on this issue for over four years, Congressman Delaney is convinced that the only way we can tackle this problem is to pair international tax reform with infrastructure.

This, he claims, addresses the single biggest obstacle – funding – while also solving a major problem in our tax code.

The Congressman further points out that “an estimated $2 trillion of U.S. corporate cash is overseas and companies do not repatriate their earnings back to the U.S.; they keep their profits abroad”.This, he makes clear, is “bad for the economy because it blocks economic activity here and it’s also bad for public services and our fiscal health, because its tax revenue that we don’t collect. This also encourages companies to invert and to move operations abroad."

Whether you are a conservative, a progressive or somewhere in the middle, you this is a concern.

The essence of the Congressman's plan is to lower the international tax rate but, most importantly, to direct some of that newly collected tax revenue to fund infrastructure development.

The critical element of the Congressman's plan is the creation of the American Infrastructure Fund which would be funded by this tax revenue from the collection of the corporate taxes we are not currently collecting.

This revenue would provide financing to state and local projects and, in so doing, encourage the expansion of public-private partnerships.

The expansion of public-private partnerships is critical to the plan's success because, as the Congressman continually points out, overly relying on private capital, as the Trump infrastructure plan does, “will prove to be insufficient an inadequate.”

“It’s a triple bottom line for our country” according to the Congressman: “a better tax code, more domestic investment and the jobs and growth created by more infrastructure investment.”

The Congressman's plan has received bipartisan support with over 40 Democrats and 40 Republicans cosponsoring the proposed infrastructure legislation over the last several years.

The issue now is whether having a Republican controlled Congress and a Republican White House will open up a door that might actually enable Congressman Delaney to make his vision on infrastructure development attractive to those in power since it includes both infrastructure development and tax incentives?

With a Republican controlled federal government and a plutocrat in the White House, corporate tax breaks will be a top priority. Finding a way to ensure that these tax incentives result in tangible benefits to the rest of us should be a requirement for any tax incentives and Congressman Delaney's vision seems to incorporate that concept.

In the post 2008 recession our economy can no longer tolerate “trickle down” concepts without actual substance.

The extent to which Congressman Delaney's tax plan would achieve the goal of tying tax incentives to specific projects that benefit the general population is certainly subject to debate, but if he is able to gain some traction in the current political environment and achieve any progress in rebuilding our decaying infrastructure then hats off to him.


Matthew Balanc’s dominant performance carries Springbrook to blowout win over Einstein

ROCKVILLE — In a battle of two teams on pace to qualify for the Maryland Elite Summer League playoffs, Springbrook Blue Devils star point guard Matthew Balanc (20 points) carried his team to a 66-48 rout over the Einstein Titans.

Balanc started the game for the Blue Devils, but started off extremely cold, in fact the entire Springbrook team struggled to put the ball through the net, not making a field goal for the first five minutes of the game. Einstein started the game on fire however, leading 10-1 with 10:12 remaining the first half.

With 8:25 remaining in the first half, Balanc collided with teammate Cam Rucker and went down hard. Holding his head, Balanc lay on the ground for around a minute. Balanc was helped up by Springbrook head coach Darnell Meyers, but walked off on his own power. Just 18 seconds of game time later, Balanc re-entered the game, and everything changed for Springbrook there.


No matter the age, chasing the baseball dream gets stuck in your system

In Montgomery County, the dream of being involved in baseball lives on for umpires Chazz Smith, 68, and Steve Murfin, 62, of the Ponce de Leon Baseball League.

Ponce de Leon Baseball is a recreational league for fast-pitch baseball for men and women over 30 years of age who play in Montgomery County and Northern Virginia. Some of their fields are Wheaton Regional Park, Blair High School and Martin Luther King Park. Registration for the league is open for spring, summer and fall seasons.

But what about the umpires?


Quigley and Douglas bring home belts

WASHINGTON – Gerome Quigley, Jr., improved to 17-0 and captured the United States Boxing Organization’s welterweight championship Saturday with a unanimous decision over a rugged Luis Hernandez from Puerto Rico, 16-5, at the Sphinx Club in downtown D.C. in front of a loud and boisterous crowd.

Quigley, who hails from Germantown, did not have the resume of tough opponents coming into this fight. His fans wanted to see if he could handle a top-notch guy. He did that and more.


Local inventor wants to change your ballgame going experience

BETHESDA -- Ever sit at a baseball game eating a slice of pizza, and not know what to with the plate once you’re done? You probably shoved the plate on the ground below your chair, assuming the janitors at the stadium will pick it up for you. Brian Kelley, 22, has an invention to change that.

The idea started during a group project in his entrepreneurship class during his senior year at The Bullis School in Potomac. The students were assigned to create a business idea and pursue that idea. “Going to a lot of games growing up, I’ve noticed the amount of trash that accumulates,” Kelley said. “So this idea came up in my head, I thought ‘Let’s get a better way for being able to throw out trash.’”

Kelley wanted to create a more efficient way for people to throw out their trash and for cleaning crews to collect the trash. To do this, Kelley started by taping paper bags onto the bottom of chairs. The bag makes cleanup after the game easier, as all a janitor would have to do is pick the bag off the chair, instead of pick up the trash off of the floor.


Some students still want to get “Lost in Space”

Brad Gurda’s seventh-grade students at Parkland Magnet School for Aerospace Technology in Rockville are in for a surprise when school starts again in September. Their teacher will be wearing the blue flight suit he was given while attending the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy program this summer.

Gurda spent five very intense days in Huntsville, Alabama, learning not just about space and what astronauts experience but also how to make science interesting to his students.

“It was remarkable,” said the 31-year-old teacher, who lives in Frederick. For five days, he joined a group of teachers from 45 states and 33 countries as he participated in classroom lectures and laboratory and field training. He worked with a team of 15 teachers who performed many of the same exercises that astronauts do.

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