March 20, 2010

How a bill gets passed (or not)

Montgomery County Daily doesn't comment on national issues, as we believe local trumps national. Yet who could miss all the federal babbling of late. Therefore, please watch this comic strip video I watched as a child. It's a "School House Rock" video, which so applies to what is happening right now. Watch it and enjoy the way the process really works.

March 19, 2010

Bill would make dialing a mobile phone number in your car illegal


Pipkin.jpg"This makes criminals out of virtually everyone in this state." -- Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's), objecting to a bill on the Senate floor that would prohibit the "use of a driver's hands to use a handheld telephone other than to initiate or terminate a wireless telephone call or to turn on or off the handheld telephone."

County Executive on Proposed Budget Cuts for MC

WASHINGTON - Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined us on FOX Morning News about his proposed reduction in government spending for the first time in more than 40 years.

Leggett proposed a $4.3 billion budget Monday. It calls for cuts across the government, including libraries and other services. The plan also gives schools $137 million less than required by the state.

Leggett is calling for an energy tax that would cost about $3 per month for the average household. He has called for an ambulance fee that has been rejected by the county council in the past.

To close one of the largest projected budget deficits in the region, Leggett is proposing no pay increase for county employees. He would eliminate 200 currently filled jobs and impose 10 days of furloughs for non-public-safety employees.


Montgomery County home sales

These sales data were provided by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. To find sale and assessment records for homes elsewhere in the Washington area, visit

Aspen Hill area

BAUER DR., 14113-H.W. and Donald M. Morton to Sara Hanne and David E. England, $400,000.

EADES ST., 4704-Laura H. McNeely to Maria Cristina and Witold Golab, $250,000.

FRANKFORT DR., 4211-Jalaika and Basam Hasan to Moon Yew Lee, $290,000.

JASMINE DR., 4924-H.M. and Luciano P. Montanaro to Nancy Mayer Whittington and Bryan Whittington, $603,000.

MELINDA CT., 4932-F.P. and Robert D. Brown Jr. to Delphine Crevola and Edouard Al Dahdah, $480,000.

Bethesda area

ARIZONA CIR., 10223, No. 47-Mary Alice C. Silverman to Yeonjung and Ki Yong Kim, $460,000.

BATTERY LANE, 4970, No. 108-Wendy Jan Zweig Schwartz, trustee, to Nataly Schwartz, $230,000.

BELHAVEN RD., 9825-Pourandokht M. Knight, trustee, to Ignacio J. Alvarez, $540,000.

DAVENPORT TERR., 6111-Marjorie R. Nohowel to Karin G. and William F. Weber, $1.11 million.

EXETER RD., 7612-Exeter Land Trust Corp. to Ronald D. Kaplan, $1.42 million.

HIGHLAND AVE., 4405-Paul De La Croix to Maria Gabriela Gonzalez, trustee, $1.47 million.

MASSACHUSETTS AVE., 6206-Scott J. Luka to Sue A. Marcum, $625,000.

MAYFIELD DR., 10011-Bronagh M. Murphy to Dayananda Ka and Anoma Kulathunga, $439,000.

MONTROSE AVE., 10613-N. and Leopoldo Villar to Miyesser Gul Gokpinar, $300,000.

OLDCHESTER RD., 7730-Mahmood P. Pashazadeh Monajemi to Vena Annisa Dilianasari, $769,000.

OSCEOLA RD., 5902-Masayoshi Takahashi to Zhiquan Dong and Yabo Mao, $773,000.

POLLARD RD., 5507-M.E. and George B. Hotchkiss Jr. to Kimberly Sharp and Chad Bishop, $900,000.

RIVER QUARRY PL., 8224-River Quarry Inc. to Gail K. and Gary Kushner, $650,000.

STILL SPRING CT., 8300-Deborah R. Croft to Stephanie Kayden, $750,000.

SWANSONG WAY, 7217-M.R. and Kambiz Majidi to Sam Majidi, $400,000.

TOWN GATE PL., 7807-Leslie S. and Peter W. Estelle to Liya A. and Ronald S. Coopersmith, $1.03 million.

WELBORN DR., 6200-John L. Call Family Corp. to Katherine L. and Patrick M. O'Connor, $829,000.

WESTWOOD DR., 5209-J.A. and George S. Harris to Todd M. Weiss, $1.29 million.

WHITLEY PARK TERR., 5450, No. 509-E.B. and Joshua S. Rosen to Chana Fuchs, $440,000.

Boyds area

OLD BALTIMORE RD. W., 14901-Anne Koehler to Beth Reed and Joseph A. Johnson, $510,000.

Brookeville area

HERITAGE HILLS DR., 19028-S.K. and Guillermo A. Oliva to Rixie L. Scott, $400,000.

Burtonsville area

DUNWOOD TERR., 4241-Theresa and Michael Trigiani to Lemlem K. Yeterawork and Chanie B. Negash, $270,000.

SILVER SPRUCE CIR., 3631-James M. Castonguay to Raquel T. Eligado, $275,000.

Calverton- Colesville area

BETTY LANE, 13206-S.D. and Fred L. Lutes II to Kimberly A. and James S. Fortney, $449,000.

CASTLELEIGH RD., 3008-Erasmo D. Lemus Tejada to Idahor P. Ogba, $365,000.

CRESTLINE RD., 1506-Ana Cruz to Tung Vu, $315,000.

MONTCLAIR DR., 12701-Ann M. and Shane E. West to Jessica and Aaron Kelley, $375,000.

MUSICMASTER DR., 13288, No. 280-Jacqueline D. Wilson to Roberta L. Boyd, $205,000.

OLIVE BRANCH CT., 13108-Daniell D. Harris to Tajinder K. Singh, $433,000.

RABBIT RUN TERR., 11506-Almaz Goshu to Emilia O. and Francis C. Okoye, $360,000.

TRACY DR., 1026-Xinge Wang to Lola and Scott C. Lastrapes, $406,895.

Chevy Chase area

ALDEN LANE, 4-Eleanor T. and Donald E. Clark to Eleanor F. and Matthew A. Nader, $815,000.

CONNECTICUT AVE., 8101C-George J. and J.M. Meiburger to Melinda R. and Timothy A. Schilling, $570,000.

FAIRFAX RD., 6689, No. 81-Margaret H. Henoch to Mary and Michael Cuff, $540,500.

OAKRIDGE LANE, 4200-Rachid and G. Sijelmassi to Jeffrey B. Bingenheimer and Catherine M. O'Connor, $920,000.

WALNUT HILL RD., 8802-Francisco Xavier Valencia to Andrea O. and Robert K. Magovern, $650,000.

Clarksburg area

ARORA HILLS DR., 23112-Hovnanian Homes to Debra and Jeffrey Voiner, $554,267.

BENNETT CHASE DR., 23802-Miller & Smith Homes to Shawn M. Denman, $460,000.

CLARKSBURG SQUARE RD., 13137-Christopher and Heather N. Lorenzo to Julia and Meisam Izadjoo, $590,000.

GRAND ELM ST., 12738-Carol S. and William A. Tomeo to Thanh Du and Yudha Rustaman, $699,900.

ROBERTS TAVERN DR., 23226, No. 1348-US Home Corp. to Malina Heng and Eric Blanton, $343,990.

TURTLE ROCK TERR., 23013-NVR Inc. to Christopher L. and Lee S. Nicholson, $570,725.

WINGED ELM DR., 23047-Helen Sherman to Lesley and Kevin Pascoe, $420,000.

YELLOWWOOD DR., 23114-Beazer Homes Corp. to Bonnie Y. and Anthony Q. Tang, $484,622.

Cloverly-Ednor area

FARMCREST PL., 14501-Carla S. Gales to Windiarini and William L. Rodgers, $205,518.

TWIN RIDGE CT., 17304-Douglass S. and F.H. Abramson to Ann May Lee Travis and Eric J. Travis, $635,000.

Damascus area

JOHNSON DR., 26301-Nancy L. Hays to Christina Elias and Vinicius D. Lima, $325,000.

SHELLDRAKE CIR., 10083-Timothy L. Walley to Jeffrey O'Keefe Pike, $225,000.

Derwood area

BOWIE MILL RD., 17851-Samuel B. Perez to Massimo Vazzana, $250,000.

EPSILON DR., 7525-B.M. and Charles E. Towles to Karen M. Padilla and Rodrigo J. Alegria, $470,000.

KEYPORT TERR., 7706-Alden A. Dima to Gail N. and Christopher R. Valle, $385,000.

MILL CREEK DR., 18021-J.A. and C. Richard Maple to Yelena and Vladimir Salita, $470,000.

Four Corners area

BRANCH DR., 415-C. and Harry L. Sumner to Cynthia A. and Patrick B. Donnelly, $374,900.

CADDINGTON AVE., 1302-B.F. and Alexander W. Geyger to Carol F. and Stephen O. Omokehinde, $325,000.

COLESVILLE RD., 9511-Helen C. Barry to Monica L. and Jeremy D. Price, $543,750.

DENNIS CT., 1112-Jennifer A. Myers to Amina Braimi and Jorge Laure, $284,000.

KIMES ST., 8903-Rehanar Boodoo to Lisa M. Stechschulte, $310,000.

MERWOOD LANE, 9804-Marie Lacouture to Amber J. Mathur, $330,000.

RENFREW RD., 10033-B.L. and Amerigo R. Manzi to Timothy Gaul, $400,000.

SAYBROOK AVE., 9406-Neopito C. Pardo to Larrissa and John R. Strout, $300,000.

SLIGO CREEK PKWY., 9039, No. 705-Linda C. Albright Iverson to Walter I. Ray Jr., $155,000.

STOCKTON RD., 5-John M. Hatton to Rita Carreon and Jason M. Patnosh, $455,000.

Gaithersburg area

BRIARSTONE LANE, 17-Francisco R.C. Perales to Zhong Li, $220,000.

BRIGHTON DR., 5-Freddie Mac to Xiaofei Li and Jeremy Lee, $303,900.

BRISTOL DOWNS DR., 206-Denise C. Loutoo to Klaudia and Nathan Youell, $384,000.

DUVALL LANE, 100, No. 104-Jose F. Carranza to Meital R. and Joseph Mosli, $48,500.

EMORY WOODS CT., 122-Ann Namkung to Don Paul Kovarcik, $320,000.

GARDENIA WAY, 18344-A.K. and Michael W. Byrne to Pamela N. and Chad E. Peterson, $387,000.

HAZELCREST DR., 17700-Aaron P. Nocjar to Niharika Singh and Rakesh Kumar, $352,500.

HUMMINGBIRD TERR., 9229-Lynn G. and Peter A. Tozzi to Loriann Behm, $266,000.

KILDONAN DR., 19406-F. and Erick O. Casasola to Martha A. Lainez and Jorge E. Lainez Vallecillo, $244,000.

STREAMSIDE DR., 18328, No. 304-Alejandro Lara Jr. to Fabio C. Pinto, $121,000.

TULIP DR., 111-Shannon E. Gnall to Tracey Ann Bodo Slotta and Douglas James Slotta, $290,000.

Germantown area

COUNTRY RIDGE DR., 13269-Residential Value Corp. to Jennifer and Daniel G. Walter, $250,000.

CROSSTIE DR., 13813-Household Finance Corp. to Roshni J. and Jignesh B. Patel, $232,000.

LITTLE STAR LANE, 18607-Changyu Chae to Annet Banura, $349,888.

METZ DR., 18125-Bruce N. Curtis to Hui Feng Pan, $225,000.

NOBLE OAK DR., 19010-Pak Y. and Yik F. Lau to Jose A. Menendez, $520,000.

PINEY POINT PL., 18929-Jessica K. and William E. Martin to Angineh Babakhani, $193,000.

QUAIL WOODS DR., 12300-Catrina M. Posley to Nicole and Se Jin Park, $225,000.

ROCKINGHAM RD., 13808-Cheoleon Lee to Emanuel Assurian, $550,000.

ROSEBAY CT., 12, No. 406-Brad Suchy to Margaret Snowel, $344,000.

WATERLOO CT., 19928-Michael D. Ewing to Susan Chirchir, $250,000.

WATERSIDE DR., 20226-Linda M. Rubenstein to Zhuang Ma, $270,000.

Kensington area

DEWEY RD., 11107-Randy L. Canubas to Diane and Daniel Adams, $327,000.

FARRAGUT AVE., 3407-Kenneth W. Baumann, trustee, to Judith R. and Matthew J. Jankowski, $780,000.

UNIVERSITY BLVD. W., 3333, No. 501-Mary J. Kamprad, trustee, to Kimberly M. O'Connor and Joseph J. O'Connor, $228,000.

Laytonsville area

SUNDOWN RD., 6620-Janet and Lawrence Dosik to Wanda Q. and Joseph L. Rogers, $640,000.

VISTA RIDGE RD., 25110-Katherine D. Constantinou to Jennifer C. and Robert C. Calabro, $775,000.

Montgomery Village area

BLUE TEE TERR., 10109-Elizabeth and Robert Burke to Desiree Swain, $200,000.

FOREST VIEW PL., 9906-Donald K. Sassaman to Maria Del Pilar Delgado, $137,000.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY DR., 8509-Paul M. and Valentina Grossman to Naomi B. and Kurt A. Shenk, $335,000.

SAILFISH TERR., 9817-Benton L. Markowitz to Jesse Myers and Catherine Convey, $165,000.

TINDAL SPRINGS DR., 8531-Patricia Vogt to Courtney H. and Mauro Adiel Torres, $348,000.

Norbeck-Layhill area

BRAMBLEWOOD DR., 15430, No. 22B-Patricia S. Nolan, trustee, to Helen W. and Donald M. Morton, $320,000.

CHESTERWOOD DR., 3844-Yazmin and Enrique Borroto to Danielle M. Medina, $164,900.

ENGLISH ORCHARD CT., 12645-V.M. and Stuart Strauss to Crystal T. Levy, $275,000.

INTERLACHEN DR., 15101, No. 121-Greta D. Pignone to Queen E. Hunter, $105,000.

LEESBOROUGH CIR., 11617-Centex Homes to Hitelia and Hernan Castellanos, $416,592.

LEISURE WORLD BLVD. N., 3200, No. 1011-Sue M. Wilson, trustee, to Rajinder S. Sekhon, $150,000.

LEISURE WORLD BLVD. N., 3310, No. 514-Janet C. Halperson to Joyce E. and Jack L. Sandler, $185,000.

MCVEARY CT., 2519, No. 9A-Jeffrey Paul Melia to Jamillah S. Russell, $209,900.

MENTONE RD., 11817-Olga L. and Oscar M. Flores to Delmy Recinos Gonzalez, $210,000.

PONDSIDE TERR., 2333-Rebecca A. and Mark Garfinkle to Aroon and Vanaja Padharia, $435,000.

SELFRIDGE RD., 12322-Residential Value Corp. to Sabrina J. and Bennie Robinson, $256,000.

North Potomac area

APPLE SEED LANE, 56-Neil Kram to Karem M. Carpio and Adolfo Carpio Escobar, $325,000.

ATHENS PL., 9661-101 Geneva Corp. to Phillip Selleh, $468,400.

BAYRIDGE TERR., 914-Robert J. Hinz to Bernadette M. Logose, $275,000.

BUCKSFIELD RD., 101-Lauren A. and Elan J. Sheintal to Liam P. Corballis, $385,000.

COUNTY CT., 15, No. 8-Lauren E. and Bradford M. Goodwin Jr. to Raihan Amin, $259,000.

FERNSHIRE RD., 11920-Evelyn Hansen to Sveylana Konovalova and Dmitriy Krepkiy, $350,000.

FLAGLER DR., 803-Mark T. Blizzard to Vijaya U. Mahamuni, $324,900.

GLACIER CT., 15810-William J. Tyson to Olga and Sergey L. Yefimov, $490,000.

GLEN RD., 12900-Burke & Herbert Bank, trustee, to Shauna and Thomas W. Arata Jr., $1.37 million.

KENDRICK PL., 114, No. 28-David S. Braithwaite, trustee, to Traci J. and R. Michael Smullen, $250,000.

Olney area

FAIR HILL RD., 4801-Pulte Homes Corp. to Diana D. and John F. Kyber, $827,254.

FOUNTAIN GROVE WAY, 18302-Cynthia A. and James S. Pappas to Christy and Brady Darrington, $554,000.

O'HARA CIR., 18014-Reynold Thrasybule to Patrick Corridon, $270,000.

ROLLING MEADOW WAY, 18232, No. 27-Connie Jo Rogers to Christine A. Mahoney, $245,000.

TOTHILL DR., 4813, No. 45-MHP Scattered Site Inc. to Shirley Clarke, $146,026.

Poolesville area

SPATES HILL RD., 17229-S. and Gregory Skenderis to Susanne and Thomas Porch, $548,500.

Potomac area

JEB STUART RD., 8116-E.C. and Gary A. MacDonald to Christopher L. Koefoed, $542,000.

LARKMEADE LANE, 10828-Barbara S. Friedman to Eric A. Pollack and Shannon R. Zlotnik, $1.18 million.

PAISLEY PL., 8116-Charles E. Vela to Halley F. Ascher, $795,000.

PINEY MEETINGHOUSE RD., 13103-D&M Corp. to Mahdieh and Mohammad Emam, $1.5 million.

SUNNYMEADE CT., 12-Roya Sadry to Dilshad Fakroddin and Kenneth R. Bromund, $564,000.

THRUSH LANE, 9417-Joseph Halow, trustee, to Melissa M. and Michael J. Halow, $870,000.

Rockville area

BOU AVE., 5750, No. 1911-Midtown Montrose Corp. to Mojdeh Pashai, $505,000.

BRAXFIELD CT., 12311, No. 432-Linda and Scott Zakszeski to Bartholomew J. Balderston, $139,800.

CARTER RD., 818-Edward L. Tiffey to Katherine O. and Robert L. Tiffey, $440,000.

FOREST LANDING CT., 27-Lin Zhang to Daorong Liu and Chenghong Wei, $365,000.

HARDWICKE PL., 14-J.E. and Jack L. Sandler to David Benish, $507,000.

INMAN PARK CIR., 5821, No. 902-Joel S. Harvey to Jaimee Dong, $250,465.

LYNN MANOR DR., 332-S.S. and Brian F. Hardwick to Olga A. Mandrugina and Charles A. Burge, $495,000.

MAGIC MOUNTAIN DR., 5701-Morton S. Gottlieb, trustee, to Ronit Jolles and Yariv Mazor, $815,000.

NELSON ST., 609-Joel J. Danshes to Aaron M. Faust and Rachel K. Alpert, $538,000.

OLD GEORGETOWN RD., 11800, No. 1415-Toll Brothers to Robert Papineau, $420,981.

PLANTATION LANE, 7118-M.L. and Stephen M. Smith to Andrew K. Swentzel, $665,000.

PLEASANT DR., 1014-Kim Q. Randall to Shila Mashadishafie and Shahram Amin Darolzarbi, $600,000.

POTOMAC CORNER LANE, 14808-Potomac Corner Corp. to Seukli Kim and Joseph S. Son, $640,000.

REDLAND BLVD., 303, No. 13R-Phillip Smith to Priyanthi Fernando, $325,000.

VANDERBILT CIR., 10001, No. 14-Mary M. Koppenhafer to Russell Rufkin, $305,000.

WICKSHIRE WAY, 10905, No. G2-Robert F. Papineau to David W. Parrish, $550,000.

WICKSHIRE WAY, 11014, No. A2-S.V. and James W. Johnson to Dorothy Unger, $520,000.

WILD OAK TERR., 1316-Jeffrey M. King to Samir Benachenhou, $620,000.

Seneca Park area

ALDBURG WAY, 11550-Doksha H. and Haresh A. Laheri to Chandria Jones, $221,000.

LITTLE FOX LANE, 11105-Jason M. Gordon to Prudential Relocation Inc., $280,000.

SHAKESPEARE DR., 20704-Thomas J. Nucci to Prudential Relocation Inc., $365,000.

Silver Spring area

GRUBB RD., 8333, No. G203-Muriel F. and Richard M. Owens to Christopher R. Owens, $265,000.

WASHINGTON AVE., 2200, No. W202-Brian C. Vandell to Mollie and John R. Davis, $266,750.

Takoma Park area

ALLEGHENY AVE., 6508-John N. Verdi to Joanne K. Dawson and Zachary T. Paquette, $290,000.

ASPEN AVE., 7410-Patterson B. Howell, trustee, to Lindsey T. and John J. Tessada, $475,000.

GARLAND AVE., 7307-Craig L. Dean to Anita and David M. Gibson, $680,000.

PARK AVE., 236-Kathy Lynne Brooks to Tara Lan and Chad Lee Blaise, $807,175.

Twinbrook area

ATLANTIC AVE., 13107-Jill L. Russ to Eric Calvo, $350,000.

BROADWOOD DR., 1512-Edward M. Clark to Chan Tha and New Nwe Win, $290,000.

DEAN DR., 317-Sidney B. Stephens III to Marlin W. Pierce, $326,500.

THORNDEN RD., 1220-Laverne L. Hill to Alexandra Vidas, $350,000.

Wheaton area

ARVIN ST., 2714-Brads Corp. to Nancy L. Lamon Kritikos and Michael N. Kritikos, $369,000.

DALEWOOD DR., 12012-Ema M. Nunez to Fasil Adane, $180,000.

GEORGIA AVE., 11611-Centex Homes to Stephanie Streat, $387,095.

HILLSBORO DR., 723-Maurine B. Yost, trustee, to Michael A. Thompson, $320,000.

LESTER ST., 10738-Raymond Pepper to Dana Rico, $295,000.

LINDELL ST., 2703-Carol J. Martin to Jose L. Quintero, $250,000.

OREBAUGH AVE., 11702-Maria E. and Emilio Montenegro to Caryn and Daniel Y. Moshinsky, $400,000.

SEAPORT WAY, 3331-Metasebia Gizaw to Christopher A. Crognale, $317,500.

March 18, 2010

EDITORIAL: Future of MC school chief in limbo

DISCLAIMER: Montgomery County Daily does not support or deny this editorial, yet publishes it to show a viewpoint.

IMAGINE a corporation with a chief executive officer whose vision and management skills resulted in unparalleled product improvement. Imagine the company about to face some of its biggest challenges. No one would think it a good idea to change leadership. Yet, that is what is about to happen to the Montgomery County school system if officials don't figure out a way to hang on toSchools Superintendent Jerry D. Weast.

Mr. Weast is soon to enter the final year of his third four-year term. Under conditions of his contract, he has until Feb. 1, 2011, to tell the school board if he wishes to seek another term, and the members have a month after that to let him know if they are interested. Mr. Weast has led people to believe he is ready to retire, having accomplished much as one of the longest-serving superintendents in the country. His detractors, as The Post's Daniel de Vise wrote last year, were counting the days to his departure. Some board members are impatient to start a search, and the issue is sure to figure in this fall's school board elections.

FULL STORY: Washington Post

'Your Dog's Friend' searches for space for dog classes

Your Dog's Friend is searching for space for training classes for well-managed dogs. Having previously been in a large space in Rockville, the non-profit company is looking to sign a lease!

Your Dog's Friend is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose goal is to help keep dogs out of shelters by educating and supporting dog owners.Your Dog's Friend offers advice before you choose your dog, after you bring home your new pet, and when you have questions about your dog's behavior. We want to see your dog become your lifetime companion! We believe that fewer dogs will be given up to shelters if we can help dog owners understand what their dogs need and how their dogs learn. Your Dog's Friend is based in Montgomery County, MD. To read a long story about Debra's work with dogs, click here for a story in the Gazette.

WEBSITE: Your Dog's Friend

Bethesda weekend parking: Still free, still too crowded

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett wants to increase parking tickets to help close the County's $800 million budget gap. If the County is looking for parking revenues, it should also look at its overflowing weekend parking in Bethesda.

Photo by Daquella manera.
There are two public parking lots most convenient to most shops in Bethesda: the surface lot at Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, and the garage inside Bethesda Row with entrances on Elm Street and Bethesda Avenue. Nearby are many pay garages charging $7 for an evening, but the public garages are free, even on busy Saturday nights.

As you might expect, the Woodmont lot is always full on weekends. Any time I've tried to park there, there are typically 3-4 other cars circling around looking for spaces. As soon as someone gives up, someone else comes in. In the garage, it's almost as bad during the day, and just as bad at night. Worse yet, the garage gets backed up with traffic from drivers crawling up the ramps and then, in some cases, right back down again.

SOURCE: Greater Greater Washington

March 17, 2010

2010 NCAA bracket

Click here for NCAA men's bracket. FYI, don't forget to pick #4 Maryland to win.

Montgomery's inspector general says county officials have interfered

Montgomery County's inspector general said Tuesday that unnamed county officials have withheld information and interfered with several investigations by his office, including some that have proved embarrassing for county government. Inspector General Thomas J. Dagley, meeting with County Council members, cited problems with two cases involving the county's police department and a third looking into payments by the county's Department of Health and Human Services to Centro Familia, a nonprofit that offers services to preschoolers and trains in-home child-care providers.

Dagley, whom the council appointed in 2009 to a second four-year term, said he is worried that his office's ability to make "timely and objective reports" has been harmed. He told a council committee that the problems had intensified in the past year and that as recently as last week, whistleblowers were expressing similar concerns. Montgomery is one of the few local governments in the country with its own inspector general, whose job is to root out waste, fraud and abuse and to audit county spending.

SOURCE: Washington Post

Unions knock Leggett budget for its layoffs, furloughs, wage freezes

Some Montgomery County union leaders are lashing out at County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) because his $4.3 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2011 includes layoffs, furloughs and wage freezes. Walter Bader, chief negotiator and past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 35, says Leggett illegally denied police officers the pay raises they were to receive in their negotiated contracts.

"He's required to put in what's in the contract," Bader said of Leggett. "He's required to do that. If he doesn't then he is in violation of the law." Under Leggett's proposed budget, released Monday, as many as 232 county employees could lose their jobs, and most government employees will be forced to take 10 days of unpaid leave.

SOURCE: Gazette

March 16, 2010

Man, 19, stabbed at Rockville Metro station

A 19-year-old man was stabbed Saturday at the Rockville Metro station after a dispute that began several miles away turned violent at the busy transit hub, Rockville police said. The man was taken to a hospital with an abdominal wound that was not considered life-threatening, Maj. Michael England said. A 17-year-old who was with the victim suffered a cut to his abdomen, England said. The trouble began late Saturday afternoon at Lake Forest Mall in Gaithersburg, England said. Two groups, strangers to each other, began arguing and took the quarrel onto a Ride On bus bound for Rockville.

FULL STORY: Washington Post

Blair athletes honored at winter sports ceremony

The Blair winter sports ceremony was held in the auditorium Monday night from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to celebrate the achievements of Blair athletes during the winter sports season. During the ceremony, each coach gave a speech commending their respective teams for the hard work they put in during the season. Trophies were handed out to athletes across sports and in many categories. The ceremony began with opening remarks from Athletic Director Dale Miller, followed by a welcoming address made by Patsy Hedrick of the Blair Boosters. Acting Principal Myriam Rogers then took the podium to recognize the 134 scholar athletes during the winter those who maintained a GPA of 3.25 or higher, including 36 athletes who earned a 4.0 GPA.
Wylie Conlon
Dale Miller leads a cheer for the athletes at Blair.
FULL STORY: Silver Chips

March 15, 2010

OPINION: 17 reasons Bob Ehrlich is out for governor; Ripken in?

MARYLAND - In 2006, now-Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's top counties/cities for votes were Montgomery County (190,873), Prince George's County (162,899), Baltimore County (135,567), and Baltimore City (115,136). Then-Governor Bob Ehrlich's top counties for votes were Baltimore County (143,870), followed by Montgomery County (112,071), Anne Arundel County (106,897), and then a giant drop-off to Harford County (57,882). In all, Ehrlich lost in 2006 by almost 117,000 votes. The following is a list of reasons why former-Governor Bob Ehrlich is not running for governor in 2010:

1. Bob Ehrlich has not signed the papers to enter the governor game. Since July 6, 2010 is the filing deadline, he remarkably sit on the bench for 16 more weeks, waiting for the weather to change to win.

2. Ehrlich has not started Spring training to declare he is running for governor.

3. Ehrlich is 100% undecided about playing the governor position in 2010. This explains why Ehrlich is so confessional in public about his reluctance to reenter public service. Further, he has plausible deniability that he ever was running for governor in the first place because he has always always always said he was undecided.

4. Ehrlich is an excellent switch-hitter, and not a one-dimensional person. He is a lawyer, a current talk show host on WBAL, a Princeton graduate (and captain of Princeton's football team), a loyal husband, an energetic father, and a former governor.

5. Ehrlich (along with most other players) wants a nearly-guaranteed win. Otherwise it is not worth the personal sacrifice to lose and be forever rejected by state and national political teams.

6. Ehrlich's support from Maryland voters is shallow, because the State's Republican bench is weak. Since he had almost 60% approval entering Election Day 2006 and somehow lost, even some people who like Ehrlich don't vote for him.

7. Ehrlich doesn't have the cash to recruit a winning roster. This is especially difficult since there is a recession, and the fans can't pay for enough tickets to start a financial wave.

8. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is (thankfully) off the roster. In 2002, Bob Ehrlich's top counties were Baltimore County (170,920), Anne Arundel County (113,968), Montgomery County (113,680), and Harford County (63,553). Kennedy's top counties/cities were Montgomery County (180,576), Prince George's County (150,927), Baltimore City (120,070), and Baltimore County (106,195). In the good 'ole days, Ehrlich won by 66,170.

9. Montgomery County's Executive is O'Malley's perfect scapegoat to watch during a rain delay. In a state run with a Democrat monopoly (and in the midst of facing massive budget problems), some Democrat must be the fall-guy caught sitting on the toilet. In 2010, the witch hunt will not be Baltimore City's problems, but Montgomery County! Facing a current (and growing) budget shortfall of $762,000,000, Ike "The Bathroom" Leggett is no political ally of O'Malley. Besides, Leggett says he can't go to his office bathroom in Montgomery County without needing a policeman to hold his hand! According to The Washington Post: "Leggett's aides said yesterday that his security detail did not want him using the public restroom because walking to and from the facility could expose him to harm. The shower was included [with the $65,000 bathroom and sitting room], an aide said, because Leggett lives about 40 minutes away from the Rockville office and regularly attends evening events without having time to freshen up at home."

10. Governor O'Malley has not given Ehrlich a major issue to rally around. (The budget is not enough).

11. President Obama can help from Maryland's AAA farm team (Washington, D.C.). A rally in Prince George's County can be planned spontaneously by the Commander in Chief. A rally at Navy headquarters is also possible. A rally at Camden Yards will never happen!

12. Tea is not one of Ehrlich's concessions. Ehrlich seems to me more like a coffee or beer man.

13. Candidates on the DL did not have proprietary information. Mike Pappas, Pat McDonough, and Larry Hogan, when they exited the Republican Primary for governor, did not have private declarations from Ehrlich. The bizarre (and false) theory is that they would not have exited the primary contest unless they knew Ehrlich was running. Politics does not always work this way, though it normally does. Sometimes wild pitches and passed balls happen.

14. The coaches should know the facts, not the media. It is out of a genuine respect for Ehrlich that people do not badger him with follow-up questions about his forever-delayed entry. (For instance, his radio contract with WBAL allows him to easily exit, should he desire to do so.) Interestingly, Republicans and reporters allow him to stand behind that (understood) veil of respect. Then again, it is not a reporter's job to push Bob to declare that he is not running. Instead, that job is exclusively part of the job description of party leaders like RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Maryland Republican Chairman Audrey Scott.

15. Ehrlich can respectfully ask for a pinch hitter. What will be Bob's excuse when he decides not to run for governor? My guess is some version of this (which is the truth): "After reviewing my 2002 and 2006 campaign numbers and comparing them to trends within Maryland's borders, I have decided Maryland is essentially the same state that elected Martin O'Malley in 2006." Then, he will politely thank everyone who has asked him to run and wish Republicans luck in 2010. That's probably when he will say that he loves his wife and kids (which he does). Yes, some inside-Republicans will be hurt, but in 2012 or 2014, or in 2022 (when he is 64), most Republicans will forgive him, even begging him (again) to return to the game. The reason is that Bob Ehrlich is one of only a handful of All-stars of the Maryland Republican Party. (God, I miss Connie Morella; and Roscoe Bartlett won't quit the game until death retires him!) Let me throw in some inside-politics trivia that (injured-prone) Jim Pelura made painfully obvious. Pelura whispered the truth to nearly-deaf listeners: In 2006, Bob Ehrlich was the only incumbent governor in America who lost reelection. For that comment, Pelura was ejected for good. Then on his way out, he even had the gall to babble that Ehrlich even lost Baltimore County in 2006. For that, Pelura's name is now cursed, as he will only be a legend if Ehrlich actually (temporarily) retires.

16. Just because there is a stadium, doesn't mean there is a player in it. Didn't Indiana's Republicans learn a great (and ironic) lesson when Senator Evan Bayh from Indianapolis taught them that filing for office is all that matters. Thus, having small campaign staff does not necessarily mean that a candidate exists.

Well, who then can fill Bob Ehrlich's shoes? Cal Ripken, a Republican (believe it or not)! Ripken's issues are ideal for Maryland, and he isn't just a baseball hero, but a man with amazing timing and longevity. Let me just close with one horse story about him.

17. One Baltimore man loves a colt. On May 2, 2009 Ripken and his wife attended the Kentucky Derby, as they do every year. In this race he placed a bet on Mine That Bird, claiming the horse's name appealed to him given his career with the Orioles along with the jockey's name, Calvin Borel. The gelding also wore a saddle with cloth number "8" post position, and had odds set at 50 to 1. Well, that there dark horse actually won that there race! It was the first time since 1913 that a horse won the Kentucky Derby after being given such odds. Although I have no proof of it, my guess is Ripken won more than $66,170, which is the amount of votes Ehrlich won in 2006.

DC offers $25M for Northrop Gruman

The cost of landing Northrop Grumman's headquarters in tax breaks and other public assistance could exceed $25 million. So how have economic development officials in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., determined it's worth dangling that much before the military contractor's executives in the heated competition to lure this latest corporate plum from Los Angeles? Montgomery County conducted an analysis to estimate the direct fiscal impact of having Northrop's headquarters in the county, said Steven A. Silverman, director of the county's Department of Economic Development. That includes the income taxes from the company's 300 executives and property taxes on buildings the company would lease or own, he said.

"We don't do an indirect economic analysis, one where you try to determine how much 300 people with high-paying jobs will spend in the local economy," Silverman said. "A lot of that is intuitive. Those types of studies are easy to poke holes in." FULL STORY: Gazette

Agencies Brace For Deep Cuts In Montgomery County

(AP) - Montgomery County agencies are bracing for the worst as County Executive Ike Leggett unveils his budget proposal for the coming year. The county's projected deficit of $760 million is the worst in the region. Leggett is scheduled to propose his budget on Monday. County schools Superintendent Jerry Weast already is proposing cuts of 252 positions and increased class sizes. Hundreds of other county jobs are expected to be eliminated as well.

In Virginia, Fairfax County has a similar operating budget and is facing a $257 million shortfall. Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors, says residents would rather see higher taxes than drastic cuts to schools and other services. Still, the county may give the schools $98 million less than the school board requested. SOURCE: WJZ

March 14, 2010

MC's hiring 'freeze' proves to be bogus; 1300 employees added

Montgomery County added 1,300 employees at a cost of $25 million to $30 million to its payroll during a two-year hiring freeze, according to a government employees union. Though most of the new hires have been for public safety officials or seasonal summer workers, the county added more than 300 new full-time workers who aren't in public safety, according to county staff. Municipal and County Government Employees Organization President Gino Renne said the county had "no business" hiring those 300 new employees with the county's finances so bad. The county faces a budget gap of more than $760 million, and the union expects "hundreds" of layoffs, wage reductions and possible furloughs in County Executive Ike Leggett's proposed budget. "They called a hiring freeze ... but they ignored it, and they just kept hiring and they're still hiring," Renne said. SOURCE: Washington Examiner