Menu

Vigil held on two-year anniversary of Flower Branch fire

  • Published in Local

Candles stand ready to be lit in memory of the lives lost two years earlier during a fire at the Flower Branch Apartments. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKCandles are ready to be lit in memory of lives lost two years earlier during a fire at the Flower Branch Apartments. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  SILVER SPRING — It’s been two full years since Kenya Mayorga and her three children heard the loud boom and watched flames engulf a section of the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring, resulting in the death of seven tenants. No one in her family sleeps through the night, and they all still panic whenever they hear a fire truck siren, she said.

“Honestly, I am not” over the gas explosion and fire on Aug. 10, 2016, at the apartments on Piney Branch Road.

“I am not feeling better. I don’t feel safe,” she said, adding she remained there so her children can attend the area schools.

“It’s traumatic,” agreed Anna Martinez, lead organizer at CASA de Maryland. Residents at the apartments “don’t have the certainty it won’t happen again.”

In memory and in honor of those who died, were injured or displaced, a vigil Friday was held at the scene.

“We are here to show our respect and our solidarity,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA president.

Read more...

Hogan breaks ground on development project in Bethesda

  • Published in Local

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan throws ceremonial dirt at the groundbreaking in Bethesda. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKMaryland Gov. Larry Hogan throws ceremonial dirt at the groundbreaking in Bethesda.  PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  BETHESDA — Nine months after construction began in Bethesda for a Purple Line Metro station and two towers for office and residential space, officials, including Gov. Larry Hogan (R) joined together Aug. 9 for a groundbreaking ceremony.

The huge hole at the 7200 block of Wisconsin Avenue near its intersection with Elm Street marks the future spot of a new entrance to the Red Line; a Purple Line station; and 937,000 square feet of office, retail and residential space.

The project also includes a tunnel for the nearby popular Capital Crescent Trail.

The development includes 360,000 square feet of office and retail space, two residential towers with 456 residential units and 750 parking spaces.

When asked why the groundbreaking was held after work was well under way, Olive Carr, CEO of Carr Properties, the real estate investment trust backing the project, said it took “a lot of coordinating to pull this together.” He said the timing for the groundbreaking coincided with last week’s signing of WTTG Fox 5, the office space’s first tenant.

“Amazing things are happening on this corner,” Carr said, calling the development “an incredible partnership” between the state, Montgomery County and private companies. “It does take a village."

Read more...

Silver Spring residents gather in vigil for Robert Lawrence White

  • Published in Local

Robert White vigil 20180805 183846About 150 people listen to speeches, and then later walk during a vigil for Robert White, the unarmed Silver Spring man who was shot dead by a County police officer. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKSILVER SPRING — Irene Thompson, the sister of Robert Lawrence White, the Silver Spring resident shot to death by a County police officer on June 11, thanked the 150 people who attended Sunday’s vigil for her brother. While holding back tears, she declared, “There is no justice. We knew the officer would not be prosecuted.”

Thompson referred to the Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County’s ruling that Police Officer Anand Badgujar was justified in shooting 41-year-old White, who was unarmed.

Read more...

Gov. Hogan continues to enjoy high approval ratings

  • Published in State

Gov. Larry Hogan at ICC dedicationGov. Larry Hogan (R) at the dedication of ICC in 2017. FILE PHOTOIn progressive Maryland, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, Gov. Larry Hogan currently enjoys a 70-percent approval rating.

He’s politically outnumbered in the House of Delegates, where 90 of the 141 delegates are Democrats. But since taking office on Jan. 15, 2015, as Maryland’s 62nd governor, Hogan has achieved, at least in part, many of his campaign promises, including cutting tolls, regulations and taxes.

Read more...

Developer buys Ellsworth Place mall in downtown Silver Spring

  • Published in Local

Ellsworth Entrance 1Ellsworth Plaza has a new owner. COURTESY PHOTOA commercial development and investment company in Tennessee recently purchased Ellsworth Place in downtown Silver Spring for $92 million.

GBT Realty Corporation acquired the five-story mall, which is located at Fenton Street, Ellworth Drive and Colesville Road. Ellsworth Place is across from Regal Majestic Stadium movie theater and the Silver Spring Civic Center.

Besides the retail center, which features such stores at Burlington Coat Factory, Dave and Busters, Ross Dress for Less, Guitar Center, Michaels, Ben & Jerry’s and many low-end retailers, the sale also included air rights to potentially build 250,000 square feet of office space atop the stores.

Read more...

Benefit raises 10K for Capital Gazette survivors

  • Published in State

Capital Gazette fundraiser 1Supporters watch live music at Sunday’s Capital Gazette Family Fund fundraiser in Annapolis. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZThe music was upbeat, but the cause was anything but at a Sunday fundraiser for the family members of the survivors of the Capital Gazette shooting that cut short the lives of five newspaper employees.

Supporters contributed in excess of $10,000 at the event at Fado Irish Pub in Annapolis. Besides money collected from the entrance fee and silent auction, contributions included $2,500 from Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director.

Read more...

Comfort Cases provide ‘dignity’ to foster children

  • Published in Local

comfort casesComfort Cases founder Rob Scheer stands by shelves of his cases ready for inspection and delivery to children in the foster-care system. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKROCKVILLE — It all started with a simple trash bag, the kind most people use, don’t give any thought to and then toss into the garbage. But for foster children, who move from place to place, that plastic trash bag holds all their possessions.

Rob Scheer knows this all too well. He spent part of his youth in an abusive, drug-oriented household before entering the foster-care system when his parents died. He carried a trash bag, and he continued to carry it as he aged out of the system and become homeless.

Read more...

Local man recuperates from copperhead bite

  • Published in Local

CopperheadSnakeBiteRockville resident and volunteer firefighter Jimmy Hemmig, 22, displays the snake bite from a copperhead that sent him to the hospital. COURTESY PHOTOJimmy Hemmig was walking back from a fishing trip by the dam at Lake Needwood in Derwood when he felt a sharp pain and thought he had hooked himself with his own fishing rod.

Then, the Rockville volunteer firefighter looked around. He saw a snake “one or two feet away,” but not just any snake; Hemmig quickly identified it as a venomous copperhead.

“It hurt pretty good, but it wasn’t the worst [pain] I ever had,” he said of the snake bite he received on the evening of July 9.

Read more...

Homeless memorial held in Rockville

  • Published in Local

Homeless memorial 1Rabbi David Shneyer urged the crowd never to be complacent during a memorial service for the 27 people who died during the past year. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKROCKVILLE — A marine, a chef, a hippie and an artist were four of the 27 homeless people who died in Montgomery County during the past 12 months. Wednesday morning, County officials and nonprofit employees who work with the homeless gathered to pay their respects in a memorial service at the Executive Office Building in Circuit Court Plaza.

The service marked the kickoff of the County’s campaign to end homelessness in 2020 for families with children.

Read more...

Group reaching out to homeless makes moves to better organize effort

  • Published in Local

Homelessness often is just one part of a downward spiral in which people lose not just their sense of worth but also benefits and opportunities that rightly should be theirs. 

Sleeping on a park bench can lead to an arrest, which creates a virtual red flag that stops employers from hiring you. Not having all the necessary paperwork or knowing where to submit it can mean the disqualification of veterans’ or medical benefits. Each indignation piles atop a previous slight.

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed