Students hold Gun Control Protest at NRA office in Virginia

Students hold Gun Control Protest at NRA office in Virginia
March and Rally for Science held in DC
Trump Signs Executive Order for National Guard to assist with Border Protection
Sarah Sanders on talks of Tariffs between USA and China

Montgomery County in Pictures

Local News

Concert set to help raise opioid awarene…

13-04-2018 Hits:527 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

The Music Center of Strathmore will host a benefit concert for Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates on April 17. COURTESY PHOTO  The opioid epidemic first hit home for Carin Miller after both her husband and son became addicted to painkillers. The struggles of her family to deal with addiction led Miller, a resident of Mt. Airy, to start her own nonprofit foundation to help raise awareness for the issue and to help those addicted to opioids seek treatment. “My children are good people with a bad disease and I would just like everybody to know that my children did not choose to become addicted,” Miller said. On April 17, the Music Center at Strathmore will host a benefit concert for Miller’s organization, Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates. H. David Meyers, professional oboe player and Miller’s boss at AgriSmart, a Rockville-based agricultural company, helped organized the concert arranging for his musician friends to perform in order to raise awareness for opioids.

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Chen to plead guilty to carrying a gun i…

11-04-2018 Hits:417 Local Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

Alwin Chen. FILE PHOTO  ROCKVILLE — Alwin Chen, the Clarksburg High School student who brought a loaded Glock 19 handgun to school, is expected to plead guilty on a charge that could send him to jail for three years. Chen, 18, entered into a plea agreement April 5 to carrying a handgun on school property and will learn of his fate in a hearing before Circuit Court Judge John Maloney on April 24. He can be sentenced to 90 days to three years. In exchange for his expected guilty plea, two other charges were dropped, including possession of weapon by a minor and bringing the handgun to school on other days. Chen has been in jail since his Feb. 15 arrest, when the gun was found in his backpack.

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County Council holds forum on workplace …

10-04-2018 Hits:639 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

ROCKVILLE — For months the “Me Too” movement was among the biggest stories in the nation. Reporters, politicians, movie producers and stars were all accused of sexual harassment – something all industries learned that they were not immune from – including the Montgomery County government. On Tuesday, representatives from the County’s departments gathered to talk about workplace harassment more than a month after custodial staff accused Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel of making sexist and racist comments toward them. “So I think kind of given the climate of the, you know, the nation and what’s going on right now, I do think we need to take a closer look,” said Shawn Stokes, director of the Office of Human Resources for Montgomery County. Other County department heads and human resources managers joined Stokes on the panel in order to summarize their department’s policies on harassment and mandatory workplace training required for all department employees. While the particulars of each County department differ, all County employees are required to go through some sort of workplace harassment training.

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State News

Advocacy groups make final push as sessi…

10-04-2018 Hits:216 State Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

As the 2018 Maryland legislative session enters its final days, state advocacy groups are making a final push for the passage of legislation. “While there are a few bills still alive that we’re still supporting, unfortunately most of the major environmental legislation this year was either voted down or amended down into a non-sensitive form,” said Elaine Lutz, staff attorney for the Maryland office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an organization which advocates for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding waterways. Lutz said the CBF’s primary focus during this session was strengthening the Forest Conservation Act, which she said designates certain areas in the state as priority forests and calls for them to be preserved, but provides few specific criteria or guidelines towards accomplishing that goal. “We are seeing the loss of some of our best contiguous forests,” Lutz said. “The legislation we introduced this year would have provided specific, transparent criteria for preserving the forests and reforestation requirements, but after opposition from some of the counties and the development community, the senate amended it into a more task force-oriented bill to find out where the forests are being lost and require certain recommendations to be made.”

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State song may soon be demoted to histor…

03-04-2018 Hits:397 State Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

“Maryland, My Maryland,” the Civil War battle hymn that refers to “Northern scum” soon may no longer be the state song. But rather than replace “the embarrassing, outdated and racist song,” as Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-17) called it, the State Senate opted last week to demote the song to historical status. “It will be designated as historical. We are putting it aside,” said Kagan, who stressed that her preference for the new designation is “historical, not historic. ‘Historical’ means that’s what we used to believe.” The lyrics, which are from a poem written in the early days of the Civil War by James Ryder Randall, “are offensive and outdated,” she said, explaining why she has been trying to repeal and replace the song since 2016. Before the song is officially downgraded, the House of Delegates must agree. An official vote in the House has not yet been scheduled.

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Statistics show gun violence rising in M…

31-03-2018 Hits:800 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

With a renewed push to enact gun control legislation taking this place last weekend in Washington, some state politicians are saying Maryland could serve as model of gun control reform for the nation. Since the murder of 17 people in Parkland, Florida, students and gun control advocates have staged walkouts and protest marches in hopes of pressuring Congress to enact new gun control laws such as banning assault weapons which Maryland did through its legislation in 2013.

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Democrats face a messaging problem

13-04-2018 Hits:270 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

The biggest issue facing Democrats as they head toward the 2018 midterm elections and their quest to retake both the House of Representatives and the Senate is to identify what Democrats are for and not just against. The search is for a rallying issue, so to speak.The difficulty is that it is sometimes a bit challenging to distinguish the two especially when dealing with such a destructive force as the CONmander-in-Chief.There are a couple of good places to start, however. First, simply look at all of the Obama Administration actions that have been, item by item, undone by the current administration. Re-entering the Paris Climate Accord since we are the only nation, and I said only nation thanks to Trump, who is not a signatory is one easy issue to adopt for Democrats. Climate change, by the way, is real, and not being part of the solution implies we are part of the problem. Current efforts to roll back automobile emission standards are a prime example.Rescinding President Obama's executive order on DACA, Deferred Actions on Childhood Arrivals, only served to create an unnecessary crisis. How this issue will ultimately be addressed remains to be seen, but it is likely that...

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The battle between the press and the Pre…

11-04-2018 Hits:218 Editor's Notebook Brian Karem - avatar Brian Karem

Of the two comments I’ve heard most regarding media activity in the White House press room, the most ridiculous comment I hear is “Why don’t you guys all get up and walk out?”This comment assumes almost the same kind of mindset attributed to the president: The press is a monolithic group of reporters working in unison to create a narrative. The president believes we’re trying to create a false narrative or are unfair in the way we cover his administration; everyone else just thinks we’re often full of it.

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We all should be "Mad as Hell"…

05-04-2018 Hits:536 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz - avatar Paul K. Schwartz

“What's that you say?”“Come again?”“I can't hearrrrr youuuuu!”That is, in essence, what our state legislators have said to taxpayers in the state of Maryland. Basically, their message is: I can't hear you, and even if I did, I don't really care!As previously mentioned in this column, the recently-released federal tax plan hits the taxpayers of high-taxed states such as Maryland particularly hard. It is estimated that, as a result of the federal tax plan, Maryland taxpayers will see an increase of approximately $400 million in state taxes owed for the 2018 tax year.What to do, what to do, what to do? Well, the state legislature has apparently decided to spend it and not return it to the taxpayers who, if nothing is done, will see an associated increase in their state tax bill come April 15, 2019.Using the 2014 Personal Statistics of Income from the Comptroller's table for itemized deductions, the average increase in state and local returns for Marylanders with an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less would average about $1000 in additional state tax per return.

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B-CC lands on top at gymnastics tri-meet…

18-04-2018 Hits:257 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

B-CC’s Frances Leadman placed first all-around, first in bars, beam, and floor, and third in the vault during the gymnastics tri-meet at Blake High School. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  SILVER SPRING — A quintet of Bethesda-Chevy Chase gymnasts shined on Tuesday at Blake High School. Frances Leadman, Majalene Wright, Paige Moffitt, Emily Haight, and Tina Siyoum helped lead Bethesda-Chevy Chase to first place honors over Blair and Blake. Their performance helped the Barons’ earn their first top finish in a meet this season. “It feels amazing,” said Bethesda-Chevy Chase head coach Mary Ingram, whose team has already earned a pair of second-place finishes this year, “and I’m really proud because my girls had a great day and it feels good that they’re rewarded with a win after having a good day at a competition.”

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Blair girls win LAX Battle of the Boulev…

17-04-2018 Hits:135 Sports Eva Paspalis - avatar Eva Paspalis

SILVER SPRING — The 2018 high school varsity lacrosse season may only be a few weeks old, but Blair senior attacker Markeeta Reed has already had her favorite moment of the season so far. Reed turned in a five-goal performance Monday that helped the Blair Blazers earn their first win of the year in the Battle of the Boulevard against the neighboring Northwood Gladiators, 12-7. “I don’t want to see my team lose; it’s not a good feeling,” said Reed. “It’s a relief to win. I made a couple goals to help the team and we worked together to get those goals.” The game started off close at the beginning as both teams traded leads and tied the score twice in the first half. The Gladiators showcased their multiple threats as five players all scored throughout the course of the evening.

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Wheaton wins double victory in doublehea…

17-04-2018 Hits:743 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

On fire against rival Kennedy, Kelvin Pedroza pitched all five innings in the Wheaton Knights’ 15-2 win of game two. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  SILVER SPRING — The Wheaton Knights varsity baseball team won both games of a doubleheader Saturday with neighborhood rival, the Kennedy Cavaliers. Wheaton claimed an 11-1 victory in the first game and captured a 15-2 win in the second game. The Montgomery County high schools are separated by a two-mile stretch on Randolph Road. “Everyone went to the same middle school so we’re all friendly,” said Kennedy head coach Josh Creighton, whose team fell to 0-7, “but it’s definitely a huge rivalry in every sport – Battle of Randolph.” The visiting Knights outscored the Cavaliers en route to their second and third wins of the season. “Our whole team performed good – from top to bottom,” said Wheaton senior captain Anushka Fernando. “Everyone performed well. We came out and we put out a performance against our rivals.”

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Finding adventure by traveling down the …

15-03-2018 Hits:447 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Beloved characters come to life in Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.” COURTESY PHOTOAlthough dancers learn to smile onstage – other than during tragic moments in the plot of a ballet – Genevieve Pelletier was concerned she had perhaps overdone it in her last role. She was the lead in the Marzipan dance in Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Then along came a role in which an oversize smile fits perfectly. The 17-year-old Quince Orchard High School senior will be playing the Cheshire Cat. “I love the Cheshire Cat, who smiles all the time,” she said. “It fits in with my personality.” Every year Metropolitan Ballet Theatre presents a different full-length ballet during the spring. This year it’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

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Israeli Dance Festival attracts diverse …

15-03-2018 Hits:392 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Ilana Preuss and children in 2016 Israeli Dance Festival DC. COURTESY PHOTO  You don’t have to be Israeli – or even Jewish – to love Israeli dancing. Margaret “Peggy” Antonisse, 66, is neither, but she attends Israeli dance sessions open to the public a few times a week. She also serves on the planning committee for the annual Israeli Dance Festival DC, which showcases Israeli dance performing groups of all ages in the area. “It also cultivates an appreciation of the rich culture of Israeli dance and encourages participation of people from all backgrounds, ages and skill levels,” said Abby Kerbel, one of the co-chairs. Israeli dance is diverse in and of itself – drawing on Arabic, Yemenite, Latino and Eastern European roots. It incorporates line and circle dances, and sometimes couples’ dances. “I first developed an interest in Israeli dance as part of international dance in college,” Antonisse said. “It was great aerobic exercise and had a wonderful sense of community – when you hold hands in a circle and the group is moving as one in the same direction.”

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Latest Dance Exchange project zeroes in …

22-02-2018 Hits:657 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Andy Torres, pictured in the foreground, is a collaborator in the Dance Exchange project “Growing Our Own Gardens.” COURTESY PHOTODance involves not only movement and music but community involvement. That’s the viewpoint of Dance Exchange, a Takoma Park-based, non-profit arts organization devoted to dance-making and creative practices that engage individuals and communities of all ages to cultivate a deeper understanding of one’s world. “Dance Exchange collaborates across generations, disciplines, and communities to channel the power for performance as a means for dialogue, a source of critical reflection, and a creative engine for thought and action,” said Matthew Cumbie, associate artistic director. One of the communities Dance Exchange is now exploring is the D.C. area’s queer community. With the collective title of “Growing Our Own Gardens,” the organization has created an ongoing project that promotes “dialogue and action about issues faced by LGBTQ+ communities and centers the stories, lives, and questions of LGBTQ+ throughout history,” Cumbie said. “We’re looking at the history of these communities but bringing the conversation into the modern day.”

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