August 7, 2010

Two killed in Bethesda crash

BETHESDA, Md - Two people were killed in a head-on collision Saturday morning. A mini-van and a station wagon collided in the southbound lanes of Old Georgetown Road near the Beltway, according to Montgomery County Fire and EMS. One person was in each vehicle, both of whom lost their lives on scene. Old Georgetown Road remained closed in this area for sometime while Montgomery County Police investigated. SOURCE: FOX DC

Saqib Ali attacks Nancy King again and again in District 39 Senate

Metro brawl at L'Enfant on Friday night

At about 11:00 p.m. on Friday night, a fight -- in fact, a brawl -- broke out on the Metro. Some 70 people were involved in a fight that led to three arrests and five injuries at L'Enfant Metro Station. Metro Transit Police Department officials initially responded to a disorderly conduct call at Gallery Place Chinatown. The crowd dispersed after the police arrived. Minutes later, Metro Transit Police received another disturbance call from L'Enfant Plaza Station. Police arrived to find some 70 teens and young adults engaged in a brawl. Police arrested three individuals -- all D.C. residents -- including Angelo Nicholas, 18, whom they charged with disorderly conduct. Police also charged one 16-year-old man with disorderly conduct and charged another 16-year-old man with simple assault.

Five people received emergency medical services and were taken to the hospital. Two teenagers and two adult men received minor injuries, and one of the men has been released. One woman who received an injury not directly related to the fight received treatment at the hospital and has been released. Another man remains in the hospital with serious injuries. The man's serious injuries may be the result of a stab wound, according to an early report from Metro Police Department. Investigators from Metro Transit Police are conducting the investigation and discovered no weapons on the scene. SOURCE: NBC Washington

Are Montgomery County bloggers turning their backs on Leggett?

This is from the owner of Wheaton Calling, a blog about Wheaton:

I headed over to Jackie's Side Bar in Silver Spring last night for a farewell happy hour for Dan Reed, the creative genius behind just up the pike. It was great to meet Dan in person after reading his blog for years now. I also spent some time chatting with local photographer Chip Py, and Casey, a local Silver Spring resident. As a relative newcomer to the Silver Spring area (going on six years now), I was really impressed by everyone's knowledge of and involvement in local politics. I definitely learned more about Ike Leggett's political past than I've ever wanted to know (and I'll just leave it at that). This was the first time I've met with local bloggers, and everyone was very welcoming. I definitely hope to stay in touch with this group who is so enthusiastic about our area and where it's headed in the future. Thanks, guys!

Voting for Bob Ehrlich kills the Purple Line

By TENEILLE GIBSON One year ago today, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced his support for a light-rail line over a rapid bus system that would link the Bethesda and New Carrollton Metro stations. Now, that decision could cost him votes in November. The Purple Line’s original opponents are looking to O’Malley’s opponent to reopen their cause, according to the Washington Examiner. Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob Ehrlich promises to kill current light rail plans in favor of the bus rapid transit system. Ehrlich’s spokesman, Andy Barth, told The Washington Examiner that a bus route is more cost-effective and will mean fewer trees along the trail will be lost.

“I’d vote for Ehrlich in a heartbeat,” a registered Democrat in Chevy Chase told the Examiner.

“It’s a deal breaker, as far as I’m concerned,” said another Chevy Chase resident.

O’Malley did admit last year that a rapid bus line would cost a third as much as light rail and would steer clear of the popular Capital Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring. But he also said light rail emerged as a better option because it’s more cost-effective and rider-friendly. And O’Malley does not appear shaken or stirred by the possible loss of votes. His spokesman Mark Giangreco said in an e-mail that “O’Malley stands with business community and with the thousands of families that need this long term commitment to transit and sustainable development.”

It’s been a 20-year effort to get public transportation between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties without having to pass through the District. Right now, the Purple Line project is awaiting permission from the Federal Transit Administration to enter the next phase of the project -- preliminary engineering.

“It’s really not the time to reopen this issue,” Stewart Scharwtz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, told the Examiner. “It’s going to be hard enough to get funding for new transportation projects.” And if the Purple Line receives federal funding, construction could begin in 2013/2014. It would likely take three to five years to complete construction. SOURCE: NBC Washington

August 6, 2010

Over 1500 foreclosures in Montgomery County last quarter

Foreclosures in Maryland increased 5.3 percent during the second quarter of 2010, according to new statistics released Friday. A report by RealtyTrac shows the state’s foreclosures numbered 15,637 over the past three months, giving Maryland the 11th-highest ranking for homeowner default in the nation. The rate was 67.8 percent higher than the second quarter in 2009. Overall, a total of 895,521 foreclosures were filed in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2010, RealtyTrac statistics show, down 3.9 percent over first quarter 2010 figures. One in every 144 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the second quarter.

Baltimore City foreclosures totaled 2,066 default notices during the second quarter, a 172 percent increase over the same period last year. The largest number of home defaults in the state occurred in Prince George’s County, where 4,331 filings took place from April through June, up 13.5 percent over the first-quarter default figures. The town of Bladensburg was listed as a foreclosure “hot spot” by RealtyTrac because there was a concentration of 35 home defaults recorded there. There were 1,583 foreclosure filings in Montgomery County in the last quarter, and 1,854 recorded in Baltimore County.

Overall, the RealtyTrac report said, Maryland lenders purchased 2,740 foreclosed properties during the second quarter – the highest quarterly rate since the first quarter of 2006. The foreclosure filing picture could look radically different in the third quarter: The flood of foreclosure filings in Maryland slowed to a trickle when the new mediation law went into effect July 1, The Daily Record reported Thursday.SOURCE: Maryland Daily Record

Rockville mother accused of trying to kill kids

Montgomery County (web | news) police say a Rockville woman charged trying to kill her sons told detectives that she was listening to voices in her head. Authorities say Dina Lemus' 5-year-old son told a social worker last month that his mother tried to choke him while he was sleeping. Police say detectives later learned that 30-year-old Lemus tried to smother her 11-year-old son by holding a pillow over his head as he slept. Both boys survived. Lemus is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault. An affidavit indicates Lemus heard voices commanding her to kill the children. On Thursday, a judge ordered her to undergo a mental health evaluation. She is being held in a Montgomery County jail. Both children are staying with relatives. SOURCE: WJLA

Shane Robinson is strong newcomer in District 39

One of the strongest challengers to emerge in the District 39 Delegate race is nonprofit management professional Shane Robinson. Robinson finished college with degrees in biology and Spanish with the intention of becoming a biologist, but his 3 ½ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Zambia put his life on a different track.

“Since the Peace Corps my goal has been to improve people's lives,” he said.

Much of Robinson's nonprofit work has been in advocacy and government relations, and those experiences led him to believe that he would be an effective legislator for District 39. Robinson's endorsements include the MCEA, SEIU Local 500, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, Progressive Maryland, the ATU Local 689, the Washington DC Metro Council AFL-CIO, the Montgomery County Youth Slate, the Maryland State Education Association, the Montgomery County Public Schools Retirees Association, and the People for the American Way. Robinson and his wife Mary live in Montgomery Village. They are expecting their first child in November. In addition to Robinson, Bob Hydorn, Arthur Jackson, and Tony Puca are Democratic Candidates vying for the open seat in District 39. The Republican Candidates are Jim Pettit, Al Phillips, and Bill Witham.

Shane Robinson for Delegate
(301) 337-7284.

Crime alert in Montgomery County for day crimes

Since the beginning of July there have been 10 residential burglaries of single family / town homes in the beat. These incidents have occurred on multiple days and during all time periods, however, most occurred during the day time hours. The suspects forced entry or broke doors/windows in seven of the incidents and four of the residences were ransacked. Cash, jewelry, tools, televisions, computers, stereo equipment and handguns were targeted. Several of these burglaries are similar to the previous pattern in this area,that also crossed over the line to the J1 beat in our 4th District∑ MORE

Joy Nurmi. Director, Eastern Montgomery Regional Service Center
3300 Briggs Chaney Road. Silver Spring, MD 20904. Tel # (240) 777-8414/ Fax # (240) 777-8410.

Howard County barn collapses

Although this is not in Montgomery County, it is worth seeing that barns collapse from time time. Montgomery County has barns in it, too.

Fenty loses important straw poll to Gray

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Last night, the ward where Mayor Adrian Fenty began his career decided it is time to end it. Rival Vincent Gray beat Fenty in a high-stakes Ward 4 straw poll by a wide margin, with an unofficial tally showing Gray with 581 votes to Fenty’s 401. While Gray did not hit the 60 percent threshold required to win a formal endorsement, that’s beside the point -- it was a crippling blow to the flailing Fenty campaign. A huge crowd gathered outside the venue in the hours before the event began, and Ward 4 Democrats President Deborah Royster repeatedly admonished the energized throng during the candidate forum before the vote.

During the debate, Gray accused Fenty of putting in 9-to-5 work days, saying, “I don’t see you around at midnight,” and said at one point, “You’re the most credit-taking mayor I’ve ever seen in my life!” Gray challenged Fenty to put his notes away and debate without them, but the mayor ignored him. Fenty hit Gray over his refusal to say what he would do with schools chief Michelle Rhee. Fenty said of Leo Alexander, who has vowed to fire Rhee, that while he doesn’t agree, “at least he takes a stand.” Gray feebly replied that Rhee “has decided she won’t be working in a Gray administration. I haven’t.”

But the winner of the debate was Gray. Fenty was booed when he trotted out his familiar criticism of Gray’s tenure as head of the Department of Human Services in the early 1990s. WTOP’s Mark Plotkin asked Fenty what had become of the upbeat candidate of four years ago, and suggested he’d had a “personality transplant.” And minor candidate Sulaimon Brown even used his closing remarks to tell the crowd to back Gray over Fenty. With 40 days to go, Fenty needs to do something drastic to turn this race around. While a straw poll is hardly scientific, this is a stunning repudiation in a ward that elected Fenty twice and gave him nearly 70 percent of the vote in the 2006 mayoral primary.

An interesting subplot of the evening was the result of the straw poll vote for At-Large Council member. While incumbent Phil Mendelson won with 389 votes, D.C. shadow senator Michael D. Brown received a stunning 330 votes, with Clark Ray at 199. While Brown has been a vocal advocate for D.C. voting rights, his Council campaign has been nearly invisible compared to Ray’s aggressive effort, and it seems many voters may have confused Brown with Council Member Michael A. Brown. Another Brown – Council Chair candidate Kwame – won 524 votes in his race, with Vincent Orange receiving 385. SOURCE: NBC Washington

August 5, 2010

More on Sarah Palin endorsement of Maryland's Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy, a little-known Republican candidate for Maryland governor, unexpectedly won an endorsement Wednesday from one of the biggest names in national politics: Sarah Palin. Palin's decision to side with Murphy over former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) in September's GOP primary prompted plenty of head-scratching in Maryland political circles. But it remained unclear what impact the endorsement might have in a state where the "tea party" movement has not packed nearly as much punch as elsewhere. Murphy, 33, a business investor from Montgomery County, has tried to position himself as a more conservative alternative to Ehrlich on issues including taxes and gun rights. But prior to Wednesday, Murphy's candidacy had been considered so much of a long shot that most pollsters had not bothered to measure his support.

Ehrlich boosters, meanwhile, argued that being shunned by Palin could actually help him in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 2 to 1. To defeat Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in the November general election, Ehrlich will need to draw significant support from Democrats and independents, some of whom harbor great antipathy toward the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. In recent months, Palin has thrown her support behind more than two dozen candidates, a mixture of tea party favorites and more established Republican types, with decidedly mixed results.

In a posting Wednesday on her Facebook page, Palin called Murphy "a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment common-sense conservative and a firm believer in the free market and the cause for energy independence."

"Brian has the private sector experience that is so lacking in government today," Palin said in the posting. "He knows how to incentivize industry to get our economy moving again."

Murphy, who has never sought public office before, said he was "humbled and honored" to receive the support of "an icon." He said Palin's people had first reached out to his campaign about a possible endorsement several months ago. Murphy, whose investments include a small bakery on Smith Island, has portrayed himself as having more business acumen than Ehrlich. Murphy has also sought to lump Ehrlich and O'Malley together on taxes and spending issues, arguing that he represents a clean break from the past eight years. Ehrlich has, for the most part, ignored Murphy. While Maryland's Republican establishment has rallied behind Ehrlich, Murphy has made inroads with some conservative activists, including James Pelura, the former state party chairman. SOURCE: Washington Post

As Kagan is confirmed, Senate Democrat laughs at Republicans like SNL

When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out his opposition to Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination, someone in the chamber appeared to be moving around in his chair, gasping and rolling his eyes. It was Sen. Al Franken.

Moments before Kagan’s confirmation vote Thursday, the Minnesota Democrat was presiding over the Senate — and the Kentucky Republican thought the freshman senator was mocking his speech. Upon the conclusion of his remarks, a very irritated McConnell removed his microphone, approached the dais and confronted the former comedian.

"This isn't ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Al," McConnell told Franken sternly, according to people who overheard the exchange.

Franken later apologized to McConnell.

“The leader thought I was disrespectful while he was giving his speech on General Kagan,” Franken said in a statement to POLITICO. “He is entitled to give his speech with the presiding officer just listening respectfully. I went directly to his office after I was done presiding to apologize in person. He wasn’t there, so I’ve sent him a handwritten note.” SOURCE: Politico

Murphy exposes Ehrlich's conservative problems

CROFTON, MARYLAND – Yesterday, Brian Murphy, Republican Candidate for Governor of Maryland, received the endorsement of Governor Sarah Palin. Bob Ehrlich, Murphy’s opponent, replied to the endorsement with a statement confirming Ehrlich’s intention to distance himself from Republican voters and Republican ideals.

"Ehrlich did not seek out [Palin's] endorsement… [Ehrlich] has never been captive to one particular ideology,’” read an Ehrlich campaign release.

Today, Murphy issued the following statement:

“Bob Ehrlich has distanced himself from every core Republican principle, even though it is those principles which will mend Maryland’s economy. Maryland’s ‘stagnant economy’ and ‘tax-and-spend cycle’ are by-products of the reckless policies of the last eight years,” said Murphy.

“This is exactly the problem with American politics. Bob Ehrlich continues to say whatever he thinks the people want to hear. He claims to have fought for lower taxes and smaller government, but as Governor he raised taxes by $3 billion and grew our government more than any governor in history,” said Murphy.

“Further, Ehrlich refuses to pledge not to raise taxes. Maryland can’t afford four more years of Ehrlich-O’Malley tax-and-spend culture,” said Murphy.

An Evening with Christine Thron, District 8 candidate

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Christine and company will hold an event at Timpano Restaurant on August 7th at 6:00 pm. A $30 entrance donation to the campaign efforts will be collected per person at the door. Appetizers will be served and two drink tickets per person will be provided, good for beer, wine or soda. Please join us to talk with and hear from Christine about current issues. She would like to hear what is on your mind.

When: August 7, 2010 6:00pm-8:30pm. Where: Timpano Restaurant. 12021 Rockville Pike. Rockville, MD 20852-1603. (301) 881-6939. Who: Friends and supporters of Christine. What: Meet and Greet/Fundraiser. Please reply back to this email to RSVP by Wednesday August 4, 2010.

Montgomery County says 'no' to skateboarders

When it opened a few weeks ago, the new Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza quickly became a mecca for dozens of skateboarders who flock downtown daily to perform tricks and flips for crowds of onlookers. But Montgomery County officials banned the boarders from the plaza July 26, saying that the area is showing undue wear-and-tear from the grinding and scraping of skateboards.

"Skateboarding is a tremendously healthy activity," said Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center. "At the same time, there is unintentional -- underscore unintentional -- real damage being done to the railings and the wooden benches and some of the concrete steps."

The county-owned building and plaza, touted as "Silver Spring's living room," is designed to host community meetings and activities, such as the Silver Spring jazz festival, weekly concerts and art showcases. The plaza and rooms also are available for rental to private parties, such as for weddings and bar or bat mitzvahs. Luckily for the throng of tweens, teens and adults who need a safe, open space in which to skate in peace, a new county-operated skate spot opened July 30 at Woodside Park, at Georgia Avenue and Spring Street, Rodriguez said. The park is about a half-mile from Veterans Plaza and is adjacent to basketball, handball and tennis courts.

But when county staff members and local skateboarders met July 28 to discuss the future of skateboarding in Silver Spring now that the plaza ban is in place, some skaters said the new venue is not big enough to hold more than seven skaters at a time. The meeting ended with an agreement that the skaters would present Rodriguez with a letter detailing their needs so that both sides could find a solution. The decision to ban skating in the plaza came from County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), Rodriguez said. The county has the right to control activity in a public space if the activity has a negative impact on the safety and welfare of residents, he added. SOURCE: Washington Post

Man arrested in synagogue vandalism

With a police officer approaching, Ian Baron appears to have tried to get out in front of the story early Sunday morning at a McDonald's in Montgomery County.

"Is it about the synagogue?" asked the 22-year-old with Nazi tattoos on his arm and chest, police said. He went on to explain why his fingerprints would be found on cans of spray paint outside a desecrated synagogue half a mile away, according to police accounts filed Wednesday.

Baron's explanation didn't wash, said police, who arrested him on three charges related to $15,000 to $20,000 in damage at the B'nai Shalom Synagogue in Olney a week ago. He was being held on $5,000 bond Wednesday. Baron grew up in Olney, 10 miles north of the Capital Beltway. In recent years, he has shown an affinity for drinking and violence, according to court records, and made no secret of his neo-Nazi views. Officers who worked the Olney area knew him as homeless. He was recently caught drinking at a bus stop and had been sleeping in a friend's vehicle and in a shack with "White's Only" painted on the front door, according to court records and police sources.

Court records show he has not yet retained an attorney in the case. A call to a defense attorney who has represented Baron in the past was not returned Wednesday. Sometime the night of July 25 or early July 26, the synagogue was spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas on its exterior walls, retaining walls, light posts and in a parking lot. Also, loose change was scattered near the entrance. Among the markings were "Juden raus," which means "Jews out" and was used by Nazis, and "Work will set u free," a reference to a sign over the Auschwitz concentration camp. SOURCE: Baltimore Sun

COUNTY EXECUTIVE'S OFFICE: Be prepared for more White Flint taxes

A quiet week is predicted. The biggest question for the White Flint Sector Plan remains the Montgomery County Executive’s proposal to raise taxes on all White Flint residents to pay for needed infrastructure (the Planning Board had recommended a far different proposal, with most funds coming from a special tax levied only on new commercial development in the area and no new residential taxes). Vacation schedules are impeding progress, and the upcoming September primary elections make it unlikely that most County officials will spend significant time on this topic. But, thanks to Dave Freishtat, Friends of White Flint Board member representing the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, and also expert in financing policy, here’s a brief update:

County Executive: No financing plan will be possible without the active participation of the County Executive, so his views are critical. Ike Leggett’s chief staffer on this issue is Diane Jones, who described the earlier proposal to tax all existing White Flint residents as only a “very rough and virtually unvetted draft.” The Executive’s office is holding “stakeholder” meetings on the draft. As of the end of last week, no more fleshed-out proposal was forthcoming.

County Council: Despite several promises to have financing legislation introduced by the end of July, the Council can’t proceed without the County Executive’s draft. So the Council is into recess now, with elections upcoming, and little is likely to happen in the next few weeks. Friends of White Flint will hold a community meeting when (and if) a financing plan is introduced. But in the absence of a concrete response from the Executive’s office, that meeting has not been scheduled. We’ll let you know when we hear something. SOURCE: Friends of White Flint by Barnaby Zall

SUV drives over police car in Silver Spring, Maryland

Habitat for Humanity achieves No. 8 on the 'Builder 100' list

GAITHERSBURG, MD (August 4, 2010) – May, 2010 marked a historic month for Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates. Habitat achieved the rank of No. 8 on Builder magazine’s Builder 100 list, marking the first time the nonprofit has been among the top 10 biggest builders in the United States.

“Habitat for Humanity affiliates have been working in more than 1,500 communities in the U.S. to ensure that more than 5,200 families had a new or renovated affordable home to live in last year,” said Mark Andrews, senior director of U.S. Operations for Habitat for Humanity International. “We could not have accomplished this work without the sustained support of local leaders, volunteers and donors.”

In 2009, Habitat affiliates in the U.S. rehabilitated 710 homes, up from 621 homes in 2008. Around the world, Habitat for Humanity helped 61,005 low-income families by building 23,657 new homes and rehabilitating or repairing 37,348 homes. In Montgomery County, MD, 13 vacant foreclosed homes were rehabilitated in the last 12 months through Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County’s (HFH-MC) Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Green building techniques such as enhanced insulation, draft stopping, Low E windows and Energy Star appliances contribute to energy savings. Homes are re-sold to low-income families with a long term zero interest mortgage. Homeowners must contribute a minimum of 200 hours of “sweat equity” prior to purchasing their home.

“Achieving the rank of No. 8 on Builder magazine’s Builder 100 list demonstrates the focus and commitment that Habitat affiliates throughout the country have to eliminating poverty housing” said John Paukstis, HFH-MC Executive Director.

Builder magazine’s annual Builder 100 List compiles data provided by the nation’s builders, including their closings. To view the complete Builder 100 List visit Builder magazine’s website at

About Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County MD (HFH-MC)

HFH-MC is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Since 1982, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County has been partnering with the community to build simple, decent, affordable housing for low-income families. In the last 4 years, HFH-MC has built or rehabilitated 37 homes for local families and has several more homes in progress. HFH-MC supports the notion that good, stable housing matters for neighborhoods. Better quality of living leads to stronger citizens and families. Habitat for Humanity is about changing lives, one home at a time. Visit our website at www.habitat-

August 4, 2010

Montgomery County news blurbs

Metro Board to Meet with NTSB Members - The Metro Board of Directors and members of the National Transportation Safety Board will meet at 2:30 pm on Monday, August 9, at Metro headquarters. The groups will discuss last week‚s NTSB findings and recommendations related to the June 22, 2009, accident. The meeting will be held at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth Street, NW, in downtown Washington.

Weekly Crime Summaries - Rockville City Weekly Crime Summary - August 2, 2010. To view go to

GODSPELL - A musical production by Musical Theater Center for ages 8 and up at Randolph Road Theater, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring. Shows on August 14 and August 15, 2010. Tickets are $8:00; call 301-251-5766 today to reserve your tickets to this amazing performance.

Rockville's Cable Channel 11 is Looking for Interns - The City of Rockville's cable channel, Rockville 11, is seeking qualified interns for Fall 2010. Interns will have the opportunity to write, report, produce and edit at Rockville 11 as well as work across all mediums within the Communication Office (print, web, public information). This is an unpaid internship. For more information go to:

MCPS - First day of school is Monday, August 30, plan ahead with the school calendar; learn how to enroll your child go to:

Deloitte Consulting Federal IM Golf Tournament - Please join us on September 21st for a great day of golf to benefit The Children's Inn at NIH Falls at the Road Golf Course, 10800 Falls Road, Potomac, MD! The event will include a 4-person scramble, lunch and an awards reception. Golfers can purchase mulligans to enter a raffle to win a once in a lifetime golf experience at the Homestead's Cascades Golf Course in Hot Springs, Virginia. For more information go to:

Six Montgomery County Public Libraries Begin Year-Round Sunday Service - Beginning August 15, the following Montgomery County public libraries will be open on Sundays year-round -- except on certain major holiday weekends -- from 1 to 5 pm: Bethesda, Germantown, Marilyn J. Praisner, Rockville Memorial, Silver Spring and Wheaton. For more information go to:

Rockville Councilmember Gajewski to Host Townhall Meeting Aug. 19 - Rockville City Councilmember Piotr Gajewski will host a Townhall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 8 pm in the Mayor and Council chambers at Rockville City Hall. The agenda for the meeting will include a discussion of recent Mayor and Council action items, as well as an open forum for residents to ask questions or share their views on Rockville-related issues and projects. The meeting will not be televised. The meeting will be held at Rockville City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave. For more information, call the City Clerk's Office at 240-314-8280.

Coffee & Conversation - Stop by and chat with Ken Hartman, Director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. Find out about programs and services in Montgomery County, learn more about the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board and their role in the community, or just bring your concerns for your community to discuss. Any time between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon ˆ Friday, August 6, 2010.

Sarah Palin endorses Brian Murphy over Bob Ehrlich

WASILLA, ALASKA and CROFTON, MARYLAND -- Today, Brian Murphy, Republican Candidate for Governor of Maryland, received the endorsement of Governor Sarah Palin. In endorsing Murphy, Governor Palin acknowledges the national implications of Maryland’s Gubernatorial Race.

“I’m honored to endorse Brian Murphy for Governor of Maryland. Brian is a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment commonsense conservative and a firm believer in the free market and the cause for energy independence. As a former energy industry executive and current small business owner, Brian has the private sector experience that is so lacking in government today. He knows how to incentivize industry to get our economy moving again. Together with his running mate for lieutenant governor, Mike Ryman, Brian will provide Maryland with principled and results oriented leadership.

Please join me in supporting Brian by visiting his website at and following him on Facebook and Twitter.” In response to Palin’s endorsement, Murphy issued the following statement:

“I am humbled and honored to receive Governor Palin’s endorsement. Governor Palin has served her city, her state, her country, and her party with distinction. Governor Palin has always been led by principle, conviction and character. I look forward to working with her as we unify the Republican Party in Maryland, and around the country, on its core principles. Governor Palin’s endorsement is an honor and a privilege,” said Murphy.

August 3, 2010

Vovak calls ambulance for doctor

I was just with a doctor for the past 30 minutes who got excessively dizzy by a Starbucks. Out of the blue, he asked me to get him some water, which I did. Then I sat on a bench with him, waiting for his wife to arrive. Later he asked me to call an ambulance. I hope he is okay.

'Night Out' in Montgomery tonight

As is their annual custom, Montgomery County's police chief, top prosecutor and top elected official will load into the police chief's car to visit anti-crime gatherings Tuesday evening as part of National Night Out. The nationwide event highlights neighborhood watch programs and police-community partnerships. The trio of officials -- Chief J. Thomas Manger, State's Attorney John McCarthy, and County Executive Isiah Leggett -- are slated to make their first stop in the Watkins Mill community at 4:10 p.m. and make stops over the next 4-plus hours. Here is their itinerary of stops and other National Night Out gatherings in Montgomery this evening.

Montgomery County news blurbs

Connected Communities Crime Summary - Weekly Crime Summaries for all six police districts, Rockville City, and Takoma Park were published July 26 to July 29. Summaries are published in Weekly Crime Summaries:

New Signs on Fare Machines will Clarify Fares for Riders - Metrorail‚s second phase of fare changes will take effect Tuesday, August 3, as Metro makes sign changes to clarify the fares posted on the signs on fare vending machines and station kiosks. For more information go to:

RainScapes Gazette - Mid Summer Special Edition, July 2010 - To view go to: Rainscapes Rewards Rebates .  Applications are ready for use! New Techniques added to the program.  Pavement Removal

The new FY 11 RainScapes Rebate applications are now available. Residents are encouraged to review the new application process, requirements, and criteria guidelines as well as the new approved rebate amounts. Applications can be downloaded by visiting: or on the rebate page go to

Public Advised Nighttime Work at the Silver Spring Transit Center to Begin the Week of August 23; Work Will Continue Every Other Week Through January ˆ Beginning the week of August 23, residents and employees in the vicinity of the Silver Spring Transit Center (SSTC) site ˆ bordered by Colesville Road, the Metro Red Line Station, Wayne Avenue and Ramsey Avenue ˆ are advised that crews will begin nighttime concrete deliveries between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. every other week through January. For more information go to:

EPA Announces Nation‚s Top 50 Green Power Organizations - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named the 50 green power partners using the most renewable electricity. For more information go to:!OpenDocument

Summer in the City - We all love the lazy days of summer ˜ maybe you‚re going to take a few days off to unwind; make new friends at summer camp; take in a community event; or spend time with friends and family- or maybe you‚re looking for something new to try. For more information go to:

County-wide Food Drive at the 2010 Montgomery County Fair August 13th-21st - Bring a non-perishable food donation to the Montgomery County Fair in Gaithersburg on August 13-21. Manna volunteers will be on hand at the entrance gates to collect the donations. Demand for emergency food assistance remains at record high levels and this winter is predicted to be the most challenging yet for families struggling to put food on the table. Your donations will help Manna restock our shelves so Manna can provide food to our neighbors in need.

MOCO FUTURE? Rolling firehouse brownouts begin in Philly

The city has started temporarily closing fire stations in order to balance its budget. The rolling "brownouts" began with the closing of three fire companies as of 8:05 a.m. Monday. Union members hosted a news conference as Engine 57 shut its doors for the day in West Philadelphia. Union officials said the closures are creating unsafe conditions in affected neighborhoods. The city says these rotating brownouts will not have an impact on public safety and firefighters from those companies will be redeployed to other companies or will undergo training.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said in the past, five companies a day were closed to training. But now only two companies per day will go to training.

"This is a game. This is moving pieces around in order to affect protection," said Firefighters Union President Bill Gault. "Sooner or later its going to bite them in the butt."

During an afternoon news conference, Mayor Nutter repeated his assertion that the plan does not compromise safety and said the union is simply fighting to retain overtime for its members. Nutter insists that the use of rolling closures at fire stations to cut costs is an accepted practice throughout the country that will not impact the safety of residents. He it was "an insult" to firefighters for the union to suggest otherwise.

"Not one firefighter, not one, has lost a job here. Everyone is working. This is about overtime. That's all its about," Nutter said.

The city expects to save approximately $3.8 million a year in overtime costs with rolling brownouts or closures. But firefighters said they are already cut to the bone following the permanent closures of five fire companies and two ladder companies last year. The firefighters union, Local 22, is planning to send a formal letter to city council asking for an investigation into the closures. A spokesman said the fire department did "no research in deciding which stations to close." The union is planning to post "closed" signs on the affected stations as a form of protest. SOURCE: CBS Philly

At Kemp Mill Elementary, is aggressive principal to blame or accused teacher?

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Was a popular Montgomery County elementary school teacher fired because he inappropriately touched a child, or because he was leading a group of ten teachers in filing complaints about the principal? Dan Picca, a fifth grade teacher at Kemp Elementary School, is adamant he did nothing wrong in April when a student fell and hurt his shoulder while waiting for a bus. Since the school nurse had left for the day, Picca checked the child for injuries.

"I was checking out his shoulder to make sure his shoulder was not dislocated. And as I was doing that, another teacher walked into the room," Picca says.

That teacher filed a report with principal Floyd Starnes.

"She basically stated that she walked into the room, that there were kids around, that he was standing in front of me, and that I was checking out his shoulder, which is absolutely correct," Picca says.

In the incident report filed Starnes, a different picture emerged. "(The report states) Starnes had [the boy] sitting in my lap and I was 'massaging' his shoulder," Picca says. The boy's mother, Hedy Ross, says her son was questioned by Starnes, and she believes he was coached. Ross bases that on language in the written statement , which she says her son was told to write. One word jumped out at her: "massage." Ross says she has never known her son to use it, and it was spelled correctly, while other words like "sitting" were misspelled. Ross' son told her Starnes told him to write the word.

Ross says she was never told her son had been questioned.

"It's a totally false statement," Ross says. "The fact that that statement was used to terminate a teacher - that there was a hearing that I didn't even know about, where my son was used as evidence - really makes me angry, and I'm still shocked about it."

Picca says he's being targeted by Starnes because 10 teachers at Kemp Mill Elementary filed complaints about the principal with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The complaints range from claims of a hostile work environment to allegations that Starnes sexually harassed teachers, including Picca. Both male and female teachers complained that Starnes would call them "baby," "doll," and "sweetie," language they felt was demeaning and uncomfortable. Picca claims when he first brought the complaints to the principal, Starnes told him not to go through with the complaints because Starnes had "personnel information" that could harm Picca's job status.

Picca does have a record that includes two investigations in the 90s. In February of 2000, he was warned by Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast that his behavior involving male students was "...inappropriate, unprofessional and highly suspect." Child Protective Services was contacted in those cases, according to Picca. Picca maintains he did nothing wrong. He says if there were any basis to the prior investigations, "[Weast] would not have sent me back into the classroom, which he did, and which is where I was for ten years, incident free." SOURCE: WTOP

Brandon Rippeon launches commercial for Montgomery County Council at-large

Building crashes into car in Silver Spring

I thought that headline was funnier than "Car crashes into building in Silver Spring"

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Montgomery County (web | news) Police say a car has collided with a building in Silver Spring. It happened just before 6 a.m. Monday in the 3100 block of Industrial Parkway. Officials say there were no injuries, but the building was damaged. The cause of the incident is unknown, but police say it was accidental. SOURCE: WJLA

Montgomery Council is grandstanding, not happy with Leggett

Montgomery County Council members are expected to spend the last month before the Sept. 14 primary touting their austerity, a reversal for political leaders in the affluent suburb, used to promising bigger budgets, government services and employee benefits. The new message comes on the heels of a $1 billion budget deficit this year, when council members turned to their first overall spending reduction in four decades, furloughs of county employees and service cuts at libraries and parks to fill the unprecedented gap. But critics, including some who work for the council, say the group is claiming too much credit with voters.

"It's almost surreal how everyone is promoting their spending chops," said one council official, who refused to be identified while speaking openly about the politicians. "Keep in mind, these are the same people who spent like there was no tomorrow. I must admit it's a bit disingenuous for them to act now like they're the poster children for financial restraint."

The council recently approved a six-year spending plan that calls for balancing budgets without one-time funding. And they lashed out at County Executive Ike Leggett over an arrangement that would grant nearly 9,000 government employees extra time off next year.

However, some say it is nothing more than political grandstanding.

"With a billion dollar deficit they had no choice," said District 1 Democratic candidate Ilaya Hopkins. "It is no accident that we are hearing this new message in an election year. We need to look at the whole four-year term, when the opportunities were missed to get a handle on this spending." SOURCE: Washington Examiner

August 2, 2010

Grover Norquist and Pelura speak on behalf of Brian Murphy for governor

Crofton, MD – Yesterday, Jim Pelura, former state chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, and his wife, Marianne, held their fourth annual "Picnic Under a Tent" in Davidsonville, to benefit Republican gubernatorial candidate, Brian Murphy. Approximately 150 gathered for the $75 per person fundraiser to hear Brian Murphy and his Lt. Governor candidate, Mike Ryman, share their vision to balance Maryland’s budget, without raising taxes, and to ensure Maryland’s spending programs minimize waste, fraud, and abuse. Murphy received the Peluras’ endorsement in April, when they announced they were both backing the businessman in the republican primary over GOP contender Robert Ehrlich. “It’s time to bring in some new blood,” said Jim Pelura. “It’s time to stop relying on career politicians.”

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, addressed the crowd on Murphy’s behalf. Norquist commended Murphy and Ryman for signing ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a promise to oppose any tax increases. Norquist pointed out Murphy’s opponent, Robert Ehrlich, refused to sign the pledge in prior races, and has not signed the pledge in this race. In addition to signing a no new tax pledge, Murphy is the only Gubernatorial Candidate:

To propose a three-year plan to eliminate Maryland’s punitive corporate income tax; Who is 100% pro-life; Who has committed to making Maryland a “shall issue” state in defense of 2nd Amendment rights; Who supports implementing in Maryland legislation similar to Arizona’s SB 1070 to combat illegal immigration; modeled after 287(g), a program already implemented in Frederick.

Murphy recently announced that his campaign has also received to date the support of: Frank MacKay, Chairman of the Independence Party of America (IPA), the nation’s largest political organization of independent voters Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, one of Maryland’s most respected law enforcement leaders in Frederick County; successful leader in combating illegal immigration and author of 287(g), (; 2nd Amendment Maryland advocates: Paul Dembowski, President of Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., and Henry Heymering, former-President of Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.

Brian Murphy and Robert Ehrlich are running in the Republican Primary on September 14. Governor Martin O’Malley is running in the Democratic Party Primary on September 14. The winners of the respective parties’ elections will square off against each other in the November 2 General Election. Brian Murphy is a successful Maryland businessman with a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is founder of the Plimhimmon Group, whose first investment, the Smith Island Baking Company, has been featured in The Washington Post, the Wharton Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, BusinessWeek and other publications for its principled approach to job creation in Maryland.

For more information on the Brian Murphy for Governor campaign, see To set up a media interview, please contact Karla Graham at or (410) 924-4577.

Metro delays fare hike for one day

District 14 Meet & Greet for candidates on August 23

Meet and Talk with your Republican State Candidates Night on Monday, August 23, 7:30 PM at the Buffington Re/Max Building, Community Room. 3300 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Olney.

State Senate Candidate: Eric State Delegate Candidates: Patricia Henry Maria Peñ

Agenda: 7:30 Informal Meet the Candidates
8:00 Introductions of all Candidates. Dist 14 State Candidates statements- 5min.
8:30 Questions and Listening session with audience
9:15 Adjourn- Informal Meet the Candidates. Come, bring your neighbors and meet.

For more info, contact Larry Lauer, District 14 coordinator at or 240-447-2278.

Steve Abrams dies; top Republican in 2006

NOTE: Steve Abrams was the top Republican vote-getter in 2006, when he was elected to the GOP Central Committee, before switching parties.

A longtime veteran of the Rockville City Council and the Montgomery County school board died Sunday of a brain tumor that was diagnosed in January. Stephen N. Abrams, 67, served five terms on the Rockville council from 1980 to 1989 and on the school board from 1992 to 1996, 1998 to 2002, and again from 2004 to 2008. He was also a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee and former chairman of the county Republican Party, although he later switched to the Democratic Party.

Abrams was diagnosed with glioblastoma while visiting his daughters early in the year in New York, his friend Alvin Lorman said in a statement released Sunday on Abrams' death. In addition to his Montgomery County affiliations, Abrams served as a senior federal lobbyist with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee from 1995 to 1997, as well as in numerous positions with the federal government. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed Abrams deputy assistant secretary for food and consumer services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After he retired from government service, Abrams worked as a registered securities broker and financial planner. He served as president of Eagle Management Partners Inc. Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Judy Goldscheider Abrams of Potomac; daughters Elisia Abrams of New York, N.Y., and Jennifer Stier of Brooklyn, N.Y.; son-in-law David Stier, and granddaughter Sidney Stier. Funeral services are Tuesday at noon at Congregation Har Shalom, 11510 Falls Road in Potomac. Burial will be at Judean Memorial Gardens in Olney. SOURCE: Gazette

O'Malley camp in Montgomery County pushes diversity leadership council

Dear Friends-

This week will be a very busy one for the O'Malley/Brown Campaign in Montgomery County.  On Wednesday the 4th at 1pm, the Maryland Democratic Party will announce the formation of its Diversity Leadership Councils, a new initiative this election year to promote diversity in the state.  The Diversity Leadership Council program celebrates diversity as one of Maryland’s greatest strengths in order to cultivate Democratic activism in the many cultural and social communities in the state.  The announcement will take place at 1pm in front of the Austin Grill in downtown Silver Spring (919 Ellsworth Drive), and will feature speakers Lt. Governor Brown, Representative Elijah Cummings, and Maryland Democratic Party Chair Susan Turnbull. Please come and show your support of Lt. Governor Brown and the Maryland Democratic Party! In addition to the Diversity Leadership Rally, we also have our regular campaign events:

Monday (today). Phone Bank. What: Voter contact phone bank. Where: MCDCC (3720 Farragut Ave Suite 303, Kensington) When: 5:00pm - 8:30pm. Notes: Please bring a cell phone and laptop if you have one.

Tuesday (tomorrow). Phone Bank. What: Voter contact phone bank. Where: MCDCC (3720 Farragut Ave Suite 303, Kensington) When: 5:00pm - 8:30pm. Notes: Please being a cell phone and laptop if you have one.

Wednesday. Bethesda Metro Stop. What: Join Lt. Governor Brown as he meets voters at the Bethesda Metro Station. Where: Bethesda Metro Station (7450 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda). When: 7:00am - 8:00am

Phone Bank. What: Voter contact phone bank. Where: MCDCC (3720 Farragut Ave Suite 303, Kensington). When: 5:00pm - 8:30pm. Notes: Please being a cell phone and laptop if you have one.

Thursday. Phone Bank. What: Voter contact phone bank. Where: MCDCC (3720 Farragut Ave Suite 303, Kensington). When: 5:00pm - 8:30pm. Notes: Please being a cell phone and laptop if you have one.

Friday. Phone Bank. What: Voter contact phone bank. Where: MCDCC (3720 Farragut Ave Suite 303, Kensington). When: 5:00pm - 8:30pm. Notes: Please being a cell phone and laptop if you have one.

Saturday. Lit Drop. What: Distribute campaign literature to "undecided" and "lean" voters. Where: Germantown Panera (19820 Century Blvd, Germantown). When: 10:00am - 1:00pm. Let me know if you can make it to any of these events, and I hope to see you this week!

Adam Cohn
Montgomery County Coordinator. O'Malley Brown Campaign. (443) 473-0760

Olney's 17th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday

You won't want to miss Olney's 17th Annual National Night Out this Tuesday, August 3 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at its new location, the Montgomery General Hospital Grounds. This annual event focuses on crime prevention and police awareness. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Olney Police Satellite Station, the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department, the MD National Capital Park Police and Crime Solvers.

This year's event will include demonstrations and information from local police, sheriff, and fire departments to include rappelling, drunk driving simulation, Park Police horses, and more. Music from DJ Good Vibrations will entertain the crowd while visiting exhibits highlighting local businesses, free child id provided by the US Secret Service, free kids games and crafts from the Longwood Community Center, the Olney Chamber raffle table and more. Visitors can also enjoy great food from Mamma Lucia, Urban BarBQue, and Rita's of Olney in the food court.

Volunteers are still needed to help with parking. If you can help out at anytime during the event please call the chamber office at 301.774.7117. Click here for a flyer with a list of sponsors and event information.


Special Thanks: The Chamber would like to thank Electric Advisors for last week's Lunch and Learn. Those who attended learned how to save money on their energy bills at home and at work. Virginia Mauk, Executive Director of the Chamber, signed up during the lunch. It just takes minutes. For more information visit .

New Show at the OTC: Get your tickets now for The Savannah Disputation-A Divine New Comedy at the Olney Theatre Center. The show is about a Pentecostal missionary that gets more than she bargained for when she drops in on two Catholic spinsters, sweet, susceptible Margaret and feisty, high-spirited Mary. Get your tickets now to find out what happens in this spirited comedy by calling the box office at 301.924.3400 or visit Start Your Day Off Right: The Tavern now serves breakfast starting at 7:00 a.m. Come in for all your breakfast favorites and a cup of coffee. The Tavern is now located at 18200 Georgia Ave. in the Hillcrest Shopping Center. For more information call 301.260.0500.

Jazz at the OTC: The Olney Theatre Center presents an evening of jazz on Saturday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. Featured artist will be Nate Birkey, trumpet player and jazz singer from New York. Visit for tickets.

Mary Kane cancels another scheduled political event

Apparently, Mary Kane has cancelled another event in Montgomery County, Maryland. Kane, who is making herself into the (unreliable) Sarah Palin of Maryland Republican politics, cancelled three events last week, too, "forgetting" that she had church to attend. Does Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown regularly cancel scheduled events? Me thinks she is heading into a trainwreck for former Governor Ehrlich, even though he still only lags Gov. O'Malley by a few points, following a predictable bounce from Ehrlich's smart late announcement.

Original release

Please join Mary Kane at the 2010 National Night Out in Germantown, August 3, 2010, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), is designed to generate neighborhood support and participation in crime prevention efforts and to enhance police and community relations. Along with the traditional display of outdoor lights and front porch vigils, many communities across the county will celebrate with a variety of events to help neighbors get to know one another and to build community spirit. This is the 27th year of National Night Out observances that demonstrate a community’s commitment to keep their neighborhood free from crime. The National Night Out in Germantown will be held at the Black Rock Center for the Arts at 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown. There will be displays and food. SOURCE: Montgomery County Daily and Young Republicans

John Wagner of Washington Post asks some fun questions

This morning, we're asking you to do more than read. Below, you'll find a dozen questions relevant to the future of Maryland politics -- all of which will have answers that shouldn't leave much to quibble over. We're interested in your thoughts, whether they wind up being right or not. Send your answers to me in an email at Your responses will be stuck in the vault until which time a winner can be declared. At that point, we'll use this space to let the world know how smart you are. So let's get started...

1) When the current fundraising period closes on Aug. 10, will the ratio of Gov. Martin O'Malley's cash-on-hand to former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s cash-on-hand be closer to 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1?

2) What percentage of the vote will Brian Murphy win in the Republican primary for governor?

3) On what date will a TV ad for a candidate for governor first air in the Washington market?

4) On what date will President Obama first come to Maryland to campaign for O'Malley?

5) On what date will Ehrlich reach 50,000 fans on Facebook?

6) Of the four Montgomery County state senators facing primary challenges from sitting or former delegates, how many will lose? How many of the two Prince George's senators facing such challengers will lose? Bonus points: Name the losers.

7) Will the ratio of Comptroller Peter Franchot's age to that of his GOP opponent in the general election be closer to 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1?

8) How much cash-on-hand will the unopposed Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler have as of Aug. 10? Bonus points: How much of that will he spend between now and November?

9) How many times will O'Malley and Ehrlich debate between now and November?

10) During their first debate, assuming there is one, how many times will the candidates say "jobs?" Will the ratio of the word "jobs" to the word "progress" be closer to 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1?

11) Will Ehrlich's share of the general election vote in Baltimore County be closer to the 61 percent he received in 2006 or the 51 percent he received in 2002?

12) After November, how many members will there be in the Republican caucus of the 47-member Maryland Senate? Will it be enough to sustain a filibuster? SOURCE: Washington Post

Pepco and political pandering

August 1, 2010

Letter to Jim Shalleck on Maryland Republican leadership


It is with great respect and political pain that I share this open letter to you with Republicans in Maryland. Perhaps there is no better way to begin this than for me to make it clear that I have abundant respect for you and your leadership within Montgomery County Republican political circles. At all times when we have spoken, I have felt trust in you in what we have shared. This is of particular importance because it is difficult for any person to grow in standing in our weak Party. Often volunteer Party jobs, like yours, only provide a demonstration of "turf and title," which someone of your tenure has repeatedly witnessed.

During this election cycle, I made a decision to run for an office, unsure initially of which position was the right fit for me. After considering a few political positions, I began seriously considering challenging Rep. Chris van Hollen for the District 8 seat that was formerly held for 16 years by Republican Congressman Connie Morella. That is when I respectfully contacted you because of your job as the Republican nominating chairman for positions in Montgomery County.

Thankfully, you have a clear understanding of the subtle importance of being a nominating chairman, which became evident as we spoke over the next few months. At the time, there was no other person rumored to want to challenge Van Hollen since Steve Hudson (the 2008 GOP primary winner) had relocated to Virginia. In passing, you also mentioned that Bruce Stern could seek the seat again, though he initially indicated to you that he was undecided about it. Almost as an aside, you told me that you would speak with Stern about his future, though at the time you doubted that he had any interest in the job.

Moving forward, I made contact with the NRCC and had a meeting with Congressman Jack Kingston during a trip to Savannah. Only days later, I received a surprise phone call from Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (a member of the NRCC nominating committee) when I was at Sundance, promoting my movie The Blue Dress, a comedy about President Bill Clinton, starring Paula Jones. Consequently, it was clear to me that I had national support for a run for the District 8 seat.

Upon returning from my trip we spoke again and you told me that Stern had made a decision to run, which draws me to a critical point in this letter. Loyal to you, I had always delayed making any official decision until I knew if I had your political blessing, since you were the Montgomery County nominating chairman. Not long after that, I spoke with you again and learned that Stern decided to enter, leading the way to our talk about the open Republican seat for Montgomery County Executive. It is then, with your blessing, that I entered the Montgomery County Executive race against Ike Leggett. (In fact, I even welcomed Bruce Stern into the congressional race with a press release!)

To an outsider, our respectful conversation may seem like small talk, but actually it is the work of your superb leadership, Jim! All it took was a few phone calls between Republicans and we achieved a peaceful September in Montgomery County. Such is your work as an excellent nominating chairman, especially in how you encouraged me to run for Montgomery County Executive!

I only wish the leadership of the Republican Party followed your perfect example when you considered a run against Doug Gansler for attorney general. Why didn't our "leadership" make a few phone calls on your behalf? Why didn't someone pave the way for you, as you did for me?

You would have been an excellent attorney general, Jim, and would make a fine new chairman for out Party, too (be in Montgomery County or the Maryland GOP). In a State which is the weakest State in America (along with Hawaii) for electing statewide Republicans, you are a man of leadership and vision. Sadly, I am disgusted in how you were treated by Republicans this past week. Unfortunately, I also know how it feels to receive a flank attack from my own Party. At least in November, you can count on one write-in vote from one loyal Republican who has immeasurable respect for you. And with Bruce Stern's vote, that gives you two write-in votes from Maryland's largest county! I only hope other Republicans see how no other lawyer in Maryland has your leadership and integrity to put service above self and lead by example!

Daniel Vovak,
Candidate for Montgomery County Executive

Al Phillips (Dist. 39 candidate) launches website

I am a candidate for Maryland State Delegate because I believe that Marylanders need better representation in Annapolis. For far too long, they have been over regulated and over taxed to the point that they aren't getting what they are paying for. The power of the state government has been gradually expanded in recent years, and this needs to stop. All governments, whether national, state, or local, should be restricted to the powers that they are allowed to have under the United States Constitution. Maryland also needs to be business friendly, and should be able to draw major corporations to it, rather than Virginia. As previously mentioned, over taxation and over regulation play a major part in this as well. If elected, I would vote for common sense measures that would restore liberty and prosperity to all, and help ensure that individuals and businesses have an incentive to move to Maryland.

Our economy is improved and our citizens are happier if we have lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. This will also give people a reason to stay here, since several people that I know moved to states which had lower taxes and less regulations. Raising taxes when a recession is occurring is not a good idea, but somehow, it still occurred. I , as a lifelong Maryland and Montgomery County resident, have gradually seen our freedoms erode and our rates of taxation increase. In order for Maryland to be competitive with other states across the board, things need to change at the state level. However, this will remain the same as long as we keep sending the same career politicians to Annapolis. Those same politicians that have a tendency to put their own interests above those of their constituents. The same politicians who have willingly participated in the culture of corruption. Those same politicians who will not hesitate to expand the power of the government at the expense of the citizens simply because they have the votes to do so. Last, but not least, those same politicians who will vote for tax increases to fund their pet projects. As a Maryland state delegate, I plan to be an effective counter to all of the negative aforementioned things. We as a people don't need them, and firm opposition is needed. If elected, I plan to be a citizen legislator, and not a career politician.

Go to his website here!

Miss India DC Pageant scheduled for September 18

The 16th Annual Miss India-DC Pageant is on Saturday, September 18th, 2010 at 6.30pm at GW's Betts Theatre 800 21st Street, NW. Washington DC. The purpose of this show is to provide the younger generation a platform to showcase their talents and an opportunity to participate in something culturally enriching. The Pageant consists of 3 main segments:

4 Indian Dress Competition
4 Evening Gown Competition
4 Talent Cometition

The five finalists are then selected to participate in the Question-Answer segment. The second runner-up and the first runner-up are announced. And Finally, the winner of the 2006 Miss India-DC Pageant is announced! The Winner along with the first and second runners-up will go on to the National Pageant, held in NY, to compete against top girls from other states in the United States. The winner of the National Miss India Pageant, will go on to compete in the International pageant, where she will compete with winners from other country pageants!

"Winning the pageant has provided me with an avenue through which I can reach Indian American girls and encourage them to build their confidence, to believe in themselves, and to grow from every experience."
-Tania Mukherji, Winner of 2001 Pageant

Along with the Pageant, the evening features an extravagant Fashion Show, showcasing unique designs, and a host of performances by talented local artists.

"The Miss India DC pageant has been amazing fun, and it is extremely rewarding to see everything i've worked for over the years pay off."
-Jaya Rao, Winner of 2004 Pageant

"When you think you have something and you are 100 % sure, you usually don't have it. When I used to take exams in high school, everytime I thought I did well I would end up getting a bad grade so I decided to just have fun and do the best I could! I didn't worry too much about winning and I ended up getting first runner up which is much better then I thought I would do. The pageant was a great experience and I enjoyed every minute of it."
-Sapna Desai, First Runner Up of 2004 Pageant

"The feeling of turmoil throughout the weeks of waiting for the pageant to come are now over and the after effects have lead to a great outcome and immense excitement. I am so lucky to have placed and even more lucky to have met such wonderful and smart women throughout this experience."
-Karishma Amin, Second Runner Up of 2004 Pageant. SOURCE: Miss India DC

One Killed in 2-vehicle Crash in Burtonsville

BURTONSVILLE, Md. - One man is dead and another is in serious condition after a two-vehicle crash in Burtonsville Thursday night, Montgomery County (web | news) police said. Investigators say a Toyota pickup and a Kia Sportage collided about 9 p.m. along Route 29 at Blackburn Road. Both drivers were taken to the hospital, where one was pronounced dead. Neither vehicle had any passengers. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435. SOURCE: WJLA