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Local student receives new scholarship named for late Gaithersburg activist

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Linda Hanson Gburg Mayor Jud AshmanThe late Linda M. Hanson and Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, seen here in 2015 receiving a certificate of recognition. Ashman joined members of the Gaithersburg Rotary Club on Monday to honor the first recipient of a scholarship named for Hanson. COURTESY PHOTOGAITHERSBURG — At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jud Ashman joined members of the Gaithersburg Rotary Club to honor the first recipient of a scholarship named for a city resident and activist. They named Kiana Taylor, a recent graduate of Quince Orchard High School, the winner of the Linda M. Hanson Scholarship. 

Hanson, a professional music teacher who passed away in January 2017, was an active member of the Gaithersburg Rotary Club, had served on the Gaithersburg Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, and at the time of her death, was executive director of Gaithersburg HELP, a nonprofit organization that provides food, transportation and medical services to underprivileged citizens and families.

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Immigration advocates push Gaithersburg to be Freedom City

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Gaithersburg SealGAITHERSBURG — Members of the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream came to City Hall Monday night to urge Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council to designate Gaithersburg as a “Freedom City.” 

The group’s organizers cited as an example Austin, Texas, which recently declared itself a Freedom City in response to the state legislature passing Senate Bill 4, which permits police to ask the immigration status of anyone arrested or detained. Austin passed an ordinance requiring officers who ask immigrants their status to also state that these questions need not be answered.

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Gaithersburg receives survey results

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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.

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Gaithersburg considers code changes

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Gaithersburg logoMembers of the Gaithersburg Planning Commission joined Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council at Monday night’s meeting to discuss a proposed amendment to the city code to clarify the types of businesses allowed to operate in the city’s Central Business District (CBD). The CBD includes all of Olde Towne, a historic neighborhood on Gaithersburg’s east side. The economic revitalization of Olde Towne has long been cited as a priority by city officials. 

Tom Lonergan, Gaithersburg’s economic development director, and Laura Howell of the city’s Planning and Code Administration discussed the proposed change to Chapter 24 of the Code.

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G-Burg authorizes Kelley Park negotiation

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Gaithersburg SealGAITHERSBURG — The Gaithersburg City Council voted unanimously to grant City Manager Tony Tomasello the authority to negotiate with Montgomery County Public Schools over the proposed construction of a new elementary school on Kelley Park.

On March 22, the Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s recommendation for the construction of a new elementary school on the grounds of Kelley Park, a city-owned property on the east side of Gaithersburg, which features a playground, walking trails, a tennis court, and baseball fields that are used in the summer by the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. The school is intended to reduce overcrowding in the Gaithersburg cluster, where several of the elementary schools that serve city residents are operating well over capacity.

The vote and the prospect of the new school have been divisive issues in Gaithersburg. Some residents feel that the school would provide much-needed relief to the city’s elementary schools, whereas others have argued that the construction and operation of the school would deprive residents of a valued community gathering and recreational area, negatively impact property values, worsen traffic congestion as a result of parents picking up and dropping students off, and provide negligible relief to the schools.

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Gaithersburg mulls variety of projects

  • Published in Local

Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG – City advisory committee staff told Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council Monday night of concerns about public perception of Olde Towne, updates on art projects in the City and plans for the 2018 Book Festival.

At a work session that evening, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council heard reports and plans from the staff of several of the City’s advisory committees.

For many years, the economic revitalization of Olde Towne has been one of the most contentious issues in the City. Lenny Levy, chairperson of the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, said that the City had made progress on that front recently.

“Archstone, Hidden Creek and other Olde Towne apartment communities are over 90 percent leased,” Levy said. “16 South Summit is in design to be our new police headquarters and several new restaurants are open, including Rincon Peruano and Greene Growlers, which used to be Growlers.”

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Award-winning author speaks at Gaithersburg High School

ngozi adichieChimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26, as part of the One Maryland, One Book program. COURTESY PHOTO  GAITHERSBURG — Award-winning and world-renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke to an audience of about 1,000 people at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26 as part of the One Maryland One Book program.

Adichie is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award and her work has been translated into over 30 languages.  She divides her time between nearby Columbia and Lagos, Nigeria.

The Maryland Humanities Council established the One Maryland One Book program 10 years ago to encourage Marylanders to read and discuss a certain book every year. A committee with the council chooses a book that aligns with the year’s theme. This year’s book is “Purple Hibiscus” by Adichie and the theme is “Home & Belonging.”

This year, there are 350 programs in the state focused on this book, including three events with the author, said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

“Purple Hibiscus” is a coming-of-age novel that follows the account of 15-year-old Kambili as she navigates a fraught relationship with her abusive father during political upheaval in Nigeria. Kambili and her brother spend time together living in two different homes: one with their parents, and another with their aunt who, while having less money than Kambili’s family, has a home full of laughter and life. The novel tackles themes such as colonization, religious hypocrisy and gender and family dynamics.

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Monroe seeks full term in G-Burg

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Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG — Yvette Monroe, the most junior member of the Gaithersburg City Council, is seeking a full term this fall.

Monroe and her husband moved to Gaithersburg from Philadelphia 27 years ago for work. Her interest in civic affairs in the city began when she attended the 2010 State of the City Address.

"I had been president of the Watkins Mill PTA, and I was interested in staying involved in education issues after my daughters graduated," Monroe said. She joined the city's Education Enrichment Committee and became its president in 2013. She also joined the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee in 2016. At the 2016 State of the City Address, Monroe received the city's Distinguished Citizen award.

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