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Trone speaks at local BBQ on his new bid for Congress

  • Published in State

David TroneDavid Trone speaks at a Smokey Glen Barbecue. PHOTO BY CAROLYN KOMATSOULIS   At a barbecue at Smokey Glen to promote his run for the 6th congressional district, David Trone called to mind his simple farm beginnings and progressive ideas in the hopes of his message resonating with Maryland voters.

“You know I’m in a farm, we learned a couple of things, most important thing is hard work,” said Trone. “What we do on that farm, whether it was shoveling chicken manure, literally 13 tons of manure every day, that would be good practice in Washington.”

“We also did a lot of time feeding hogs. That could be good practice in Washington too,” said Trone.

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Interfaith Works opening

  • Published in Local

The daily shoulder-to-shoulder throngs of people waiting for Interfaith Works Clothing Center in Rockville to open its doors each morning is finally a thing of the past. With Monday’s ribbon-cutting, the nonprofit that provides low-income families with free clothing, linen and other items now operates out of a larger and much cheerier, sunlit space.

The center will continue to operate in the former Edward W. Broome Junior High School, which still has the dank look and smell of a high school gym. However, everything has moved upstairs, where there is more space and even windows.

There, director Monica Barberis-Young along with the center’s small staff and 1,000 volunteers take the mounds of donated clothes, shoes and household items and sort them.

Everyone who qualifies, mostly due to low-income levels, is welcome to fill a large blue bag of items and carry out one large item once a month.

The clothing center that helped 13,500 people last year also is adding to its services and now will also offer its clients help with their legal, medical, housing and educational needs.

“In as rich a county as this,” there often are 50 or 60 families waiting for the center to open its doors Tuesdays through Saturdays, Barberis-Young said.

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Shay named MCPS 'Teacher of the Year'

  • Published in Local

MPI MoCoTchr 0010Nancy Shay, 2017 Montgomery County Teacher of the Year, strives to bring out the best in her students. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Nancy Shay sat perched atop her chair, encouraging her Richard Montgomery High School students not just to sing “Happy Birthday” to a fellow student, but to do it with as much feeling as they could possibly muster.

Whether it’s a simple song, a book the class is reading or a review of a movie they just saw, Shay, who was just named Montgomery County Public School Teacher of the Year, is determined to challenge every single one of her teenage students.

And her students know it.

“Her intonation, the way she gives life to books and films, and the way she is passionate” are the things that make Shay such a good teacher, said Emma McLeond, a junior.

“She’s always energized,” said junior Skyler Bozeman.

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Board of Education discusses restorative justice

  • Published in Local

MoCo BOE

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Board of Education discussed restorative justice April 22 as part of an effort to improve student relations and reduce suspensions and other punitive measures.

“Restorative justice really is about a change in mindset from one in which we think the only way to address issues that students may present in school is through the use of student code of conduct,” said Dr. Jonathan Brice, an Associate Superintendent at the MCPS Office of Student and Family Support Engagement.

Discussing the numerous advantages of restorative justice techniques, Brice emphasized that the approach allows students to learn social and emotional skills by understanding harm that can be caused by certain kinds of behavior.

“We’re changing a mindset from wrongdoing and misbehavior on one where there are opportunities to learn about social and emotional skills like empathy and compassion and to really repair the harm that has been done in the school community,” said Brice.

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Berliner says budget aggression will not stand

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner reassured activists and professionals in the Jewish community last week that the County’s proposed budget that includes a 1 percent cut in funding for nonprofits will not stand.

“It just simply can’t stand, and I know my colleagues feel the same way,” Berliner told the 60 participants at the 12th annual Jewish Community Relations Council’s Montgomery County Advocacy Day on April 6.

The reduced funding is proposed to come out of the Department of Health and Human Services Non-Developmental Disabilities Provider Services Contracts budget, which many nonprofits rely on to provide services to County residents.

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Parents and teachers express education concerns

  • Published in Local

GERMANTOWN – Teachers, parents of students and family members of teachers said at a budget meeting Feb. 15 they were concerned about items such as minimum wage, allocation of staffing, availability of materials and class size.

County Council member Craig Rice (D-2),chair of the education committee, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith led the town hall at Northwest High School.

Rocky Hill Middle School teacher Lisabeth Belman said she wanted their concerns to be heard.

“My issue is that teacher voice,” said Belman.

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Leggett proposes investing $2 billion in new school construction projects

  • Published in Local

Calling it a critical investment for schools, infrastructure and housing, County Executive Ike Leggett last week released his capital budget for fiscal year 2018.

In his proposed Capital Budget, Leggett said he wanted the County to invest $2 billion in education, most of which would go to school construction during the next six years.

 “This FY18 Capital Budget and amended six-year Capital Improvements Program represent critical investments in schools, jobs, transportation and housing while also being prudent with future borrowing,” said Leggett in a statement.

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Letters to the Editor published July 7, 2016

Road rage, road signs and road kill

To the editor;

County Council member George Leventhal’s measure to prohibit all temporary advertisement signs on rights-of-ways is right-on. How many multiple numbers of road sigsn does it take to sell mattresses, cleaning services, junk removal, sport enrollments, gutter cleaning, travel agencies, turtoring services, Realtor new development alerts and other road sign advertisements?

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Letters to the Editor published June 30, 2016

Privilege, Power and the Government

 

To the editor;

I wholeheartedly agree with your editorial about the lack of transparency in Government. It seems the mentality of Politicians and government public servants is that they have 'won the lottery' of privilege and power and they are now somehow 'above' being responsive and accountable to the public. Instead it is a privilege to serve, and if they fall this far short they should be removed from their position and replaced by someone (much) better. There are many, many more competent folks out there who are ready and more able to do a good job.

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New school chief begins

  • Published in Local

superintendent JackSmith-courtesyMCPSNew MCPS superintendent Jack Smith. COURTESY PHOTO 

Jack Smith, the new superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools, said he will not turn a blind eye on one of the school system’s continuous goals: reducing the achievement gap between racial groups.

Smith brings more than 25 years of experience in education, including 2.5 years at the Maryland State Board of Education.

Smith’s term began July 1, the start of the MCPS fiscal year. Smith hasn’t said how he plans to reduce the achievement gap but said he plans to prioritize it.

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