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Gaithersburg Book Festival draws large crowd despite rain showers

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — Thousands of people braved Saturday’s drizzle to attend the ninth annual Gaithersburg Book Festival. 

Mayor Jud Ashman, then a member of the City Council, founded the festival in 2010. Held every May on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall, the festival invites several fiction and non-fiction authors to read from their works and meet their readers.

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Proposed elementary school could mean the end for G-Burg’s Kelley Park

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Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — A proposed elementary school on the grounds of Kelley Park is causing concern for thousands of residents here.

On March 22, The Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s recommendation for the construction of a new elementary school in the Gaithersburg Cluster, where several elementary schools are operating well over capacity. The proposed site is on the grounds of Kelley Park in the Saybrooke neighborhood of Gaithersburg. The city-owned park features playgrounds, a stream, walking trails and baseball diamonds which host games for the Cal Ripken Collegiate League in the summer months. As the park is city property, the City Council has final approval over any construction plans.

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Immigrants plead case to Gaithersburg government

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Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — Several immigrants and their advocates came to City Hall Monday night to ask Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council to pass a “restoring community trust” ordinance to provide protection to immigrant communities and assuage their fears of interacting with government agencies.

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Gaithersburg Presents Environmental Awards

  • Published in Local

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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BOE approves Gaithersburg school plans

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ROCKVILLE — On March 22, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s recommendation for the construction of a new elementary school in the Gaithersburg cluster as well as an amendment to expedite the boundary study to accommodate the concerns of area residents.

The proposal calls for the construction of an elementary school on the grounds of Kelley Park, a city property in the Saybrooke neighborhood. Construction is projected to be complete in fall of 2022.  School construction has long been a top priority in Gaithersburg, where several of the extant county elementary schools are operating well over capacity.

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Gaithersburg residents object to school plans

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — More than two dozen city residents came to City Hall Monday night to voice opposition to a proposal by Montgomery County Public Schools to construct a new elementary school on the site of Kelley Park.  Located in the Saybrooke neighborhood on the city’s east side, the park includes green space, playground and baseball diamonds which are used in the summer by the Cal Ripken Collegiate League.

School construction has long been a hot button issue in Gaithersburg, where many of the MCPS elementary schools which serve the city are operating over capacity.

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Gaithersburg Receives Legislative Update

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG With one-third of the state legislative session remaining, Gaithersburg officials were alarmed by the recently-introduced General Assembly bill to strip local governments of their authority to regulate placement of small cell towers. 

Monday night Legislative Affairs Manager Monica Marquina joined lobbyist Moira Moynihan to brief Mayor Jud Ashman and the rest of the City Council on legislative issues of concern to the City.

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G-Burg fathers take retreat to discuss city’s future goals

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Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — At Gaithersburg’s annual planning retreat, held Monday night at the Casey Community Center, the heads of various city departments presented Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council with their goals and strategies for the coming fiscal year.

Britta Monaco, director of the Communications and Public Relations Department, said her department would focus on new means, such as increased social media presence, to promote the city’s activities. But one of her department’s objectives – leveraging existing community groups such as homeowner associations, neighborhood watches and other groups as “Citizen Influencers” to promote city events – sparked some questions from the Council.

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High school senior gets serious with environment

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wootton internBenjamin Bowman, a senior at Wootton High School, takes a water sample to test for chloride as part of his work as an intern at the Izaak Walton League of America. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKThe road salt that makes it safer to drive in winter is causing the Muddy Branch Stream in Gaithersburg to register chloride levels above levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a Wootton High School senior who is spending this school year testing various chemical levels in that stream.

Benjamin Bowman has been interning 10 hours each week with the Izaak Walton League of America, a nonprofit environmental organization located along the banks of that stream.

The 17-year-old, who is a pitcher for the Wootton Patriots varsity baseball team, regularly gathers a water sample from the stream. For the first few months of his internship, the chloride level never rose above the recommended 230 parts per million levels for chloride, he said. The average readings he found between October and early December averaged around 145 parts per million.

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Apartments a problem in Gaithersburg elections

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — The members of Gaithersburg’s Board of Supervisors of Elections discussed the past and future of the city’s electoral processes at the City Council meeting Monday night. 

Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council convened for a work session, during which City Attorney Lynn Board and Elections Clerk Lauren Klingler presented a “debrief” of last fall’s municipal election, outlining changes made to the city’s electoral process and proposals for future modifications.

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