Jealous lays out plan for Maryland as next governor

Ben Jealous, Democrat candidate for governor.  FILE PHOTOBen Jealous, Democrat candidate for governor. FILE PHOTOThere are three key issues that Ben Jealous wants the residents of Maryland to know he stands for: education, healthcare, and building a better economy.

“Our focus is on fully funding education, making sure that we have a healthcare system that works better for everyone, and building a more robust economy,” Jealous said during a phone interview last Friday.

Jealous, who represents the Democratic candidate nomination for governor, says he is very focused on speaking to the people who support him and to the rest of the people, who are getting to know him for the first time.

“Healthcare premiums have skyrocketed on Larry Hogan’s watch,” said Jealous, “we have the worst economic growth in the region, Hogan is the first governor in decades to lose a Fortune 500 company, and our schools have fallen from first to sixth [in the country] on his watch,” said Jealous. “Also, there is a need for a governor who will actually stand up to Donald Trump!” he said.


Developer buys Ellsworth Place mall in downtown Silver Spring

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.


Maryland awarded opioid assistance grant

Maryland FlagIn hopes of easing the impacts of the opioid crisis in the state, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded Maryland $1,975,085 grant fund to help former addicts find employment.

Maryland, along with six other states, is receiving a combined $22 million in grant money, as part of the federal government plan to help lessen the effects of the opioid crisis.

The funding will help people affected by the opioid crisis, often through addiction or a close relative that has become addicted, find employment through training and education and help match prospective employees to employers.


Elrich and Ficker begin fall campaign for County Exec

Elrich FickerMontgomery County executive candidates Marc Elrich (left) and Robin Ficker. FILE PHOTOSDemocratic and Republican nominees for Montgomery County Executive, as well as a potential independent candidate have begun campaigning for November’s General Election. 

Republican candidate Robin Ficker, an attorney and political activist from Boyds, has begun a social media push that takes aim at bringing awareness to something he calls the “Takoma Park Trapezoid.” 

Ficker, who was born in Takoma Park and grew up in Silver Spring, said that the southeastern portion of the County, which includes Takoma Park and Silver Spring has too much influence, citing that three of the four Democratic nominees for County Council atlarge are from either Takoma Park or Silver Spring. In addition, Ficker’s opponent for County Executive, Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large), lives in Takoma Park.


Takoma Park cop injured in DC shooting

Takoma Park MD PoliceTakoma Park police Sgt. Charles Hoetzel is on administrative leave after being injured in a shootout that also left a suspect injured. 

The shooting occurred in Washington D.C. after Hoetzel began chasing 19-year-old Kenneth Carroll of Northeast D.C on July 25th around 7 p.m.


Ashman backs a second term for Hogan

Jud AshmanGaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman. COURTESY PHOTOGAITHERSBURG — Mayor Jud Ashman has endorsed Governor Larry Hogan in his bid for reelection this fall.

While Gaithersburg, like many other Maryland municipalities, has nonpartisan elections, Ashman is a registered Democrat. 

Formerly a Republican, Ashman switched his party affiliation in the mid-2000s.

“I was disenchanted by the policies of the George W. Bush administration,” Ashman said. “I started voting Democratic, even before I changed my registration. I believe the last Republican I voted for was [former Representative] Connie Morella. Whether I’ve been registered as a Republican or a Democrat, I’ve always been a centrist.”


Takoma Park approves junction plan

Takoma Park Govt logoTAKOMA PARK — After nearly four years of debate, the Takoma Park City Council approved the Takoma Junction site plan in a 5-2 vote in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“The vote last Wednesday on the resolution allows the draft site to move forward to the county planning board as well as the [State Highway Administration] for review,” said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. “We're looking forward to working on this project and [with] residents across the city to ensure that this project is one that reflects Takoma Park.”


Benefit raises 10K for Capital Gazette survivors

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.


Metro continues plan to subway car safety

metro logo

Metro’s chief safety officer reported to the Federal Transit Administration that the railcar barriers between the new 7000 series railcar will be installed on all 7000-series trains by May 2019.

In 2016, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority made its own determination on how to address the between-car-barrier safety issue. WMATA chose as its remedy to install on the 7000-series cars the chain-barrier system that it uses on its older railcars. Now FTA is requiring that WMATA follow through on its own plan and commitment to install the chain barriers.

In May this year, a woman with vision impairment used her cane to search for the doorway on a train that was a 7000 series, but mistook the space between the railcars for the doorway and fell onto the tracks.

Instead of chains between the railcars, which FTA and Metro call between-car barriers, the 7000 series railcars have rubber panels attached to the ends railcars alternating with the chains. Henrika Buchanan, FTA’s acting associate administrator for the Office of Transit Safety and Oversight, wrote in June the woman’s fall indicated the alternate between-car-barriers are unsafe for riders with vision impairments and ordered their replacement with the chain-like barriers.


Cardinal McCarrick resigns after allegations

McCarrick COURTESYCardinal Theodore McCarrick. COURTESY PHOTOPope Francis on Saturday accepted a cardinal’s letter of resignation from the College of Cardinals following a child sexual-abuse allegation.

It is unclear at press time as to whether or not the Cardinal will face criminal charges.

The pope suspended Archdiocese of Washington Cardinal Emeritus Theodore McCarrick from ministering in public and ordered him to pray and do penance until his canonical trial is completed.

“Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial,” the Vatican press office said Saturday.

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