August 21, 2010

Negative economic report removed from Md. Web site

A state report on federal unemployment numbers released Friday that ran counter to a far more positive job-growth assessment offered by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) was pulled Friday from a Maryland state Web site, drawing condemnation from Republicans who charged the administration was playing games with official state jobs reports. The bullet-point style document characterized Maryland's economic recovery as having "faltered in July," according to six people who viewed it before it was removed from the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation's Web site.

An administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity who was familiar with the removal of the report characterized it as an "innocent mistake." The official said the report was an internal document prepared by a 30-year state analyst that was never supposed to be posted online. The official said that once state officials recognized the error, they removed it. The document was posted for about five hours, the official said. However with O'Malley on Friday touting a fifth-consecutive month of Maryland job gains, Republicans seized on the seemingly contradictory internal report, and it's disappearance from the state Web site.

"As a record number of Marylanders remain out of work, Martin O'Malley appears to be playing games with the state's official jobs report," said Maryland Republican Party spokesman Ryan Mahoney. "Marylanders deserve to hear the truth rather than O'Malley's out-of-touch campaign rhetoric."

Andy Barth, a spokesman for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich (R), O'Malley's likely challenger in November, said "you can draw your own conclusions" about the administration's motives for removing the report. O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said Republicans were using the removal of the report to skew the facts that Maryland gained 500 jobs in July.

"Regardless of how others want to discourage the progress that Maryland has been making with respect to job gains, no one can deny the fact that Maryland is outperform the rest of the country when it comes to job creation," Adamec said. "The data is indisputable, regardless of how others want to spin it in an election year."

Nonetheless, the disappearance of the report amounted to a rare gaffe by O'Malley's administration sure to draw more scrutiny of state unemployment figures. SOURCE: Washington Post

August 20, 2010

NO PROBLEM! Montgomery County finds $3.2 million for Fillmore

What wasn't entirely clear on Wednesday is as clear today as this morning's weather: The Fillmore music hall is $3.2 million over budget, and Montgomery County is footing the entire bill. A letter from David Dise, director of the Department of General Services, to County Executive Ike Leggett — dated Aug. 18, the same day I interviewed Dise and reported on the cost overruns — calls the total project budget of $11.2 million "a reasonable price," noting that the original estimate of $8 million was eight years old and "had not been escalated and which was based upon preliminary design work."

"Ironically," says Diane Schwartz Jones, the county's assistant chief administrative officer, "the hard costs of the project came in very close to that $8 million."

Unfortunately, that figure was meant to include soft costs, too, like design and engineering. And now someone — guess who! — needs to make up the difference. According to Dise's letter, the county has found nearly $2.7 million in Department of Recreation projects that are either below budget or were canceled. Live Nation, the Fillmore's lessee, will front the remaining $750,000, which will be subtracted from their already generous rent of $3.26 million over 30 years. That brings their monthly rent down to about $7,000 — for, it bears repeating, a 23,000-square-foot rock club.

Jones notes that the project budget includes a contingency of nearly $1 million, that the assumed interest rate on the project's debt is lower than expected, and that the state sales tax has increased from 5 to 6 percent. "There are fiscal assumptions that are different and we're going to run those," she says, "and I think they're going to show that this is a very, very positive project." SOURCE: TBD

The Universities at Shady Grove Community Day Celebration

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special Community Day event. Neighbors, families, friends and students are invited to discover USG’s wide variety of unique resources found on the campus as they commemorate their success of the past decade. The event will feature interactive workshops, demonstrations, food and games, including culinary demonstrations, a children’s health fair and more.

The event is on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at The Universities at Shady Grove. 9636 Gudelsky Dr. Rockville, Md. 20850.

It's free, too! Contact: Joe Bucci, 301-738-6356,

Vovak releases 'winning' yard sign for Montgomery County Executive race

Daniel Vovak, a candidate for Montgomery County Executive, has released his yard sign for the election. Vovak, of Bethesda, has fashioned his campaign using the winning tactics of Connie Morella, who was elected in liberal Montgomery County for 16 years as a Republican congressman. Furthering that point, Steve Barrios, a volunteer host of Channel 16's Municipal Notebook has said that Vovak is a "Republican who believes in working with Democrats, rather than against them."

Regarding his yard sign, Vovak said, "I like the colors Governor O'Malley used in his yard sign and am confident people will have my winning sign in their yards next to O'Malley's signs. Now Ehrlich's supporters will also be 'going green' in Montgomery County! I remember when Nancy Pelosi was first made speaker of the House, Republicans and Democrats both applauded her enthusiastically, though for different reasons. Similarly, both Democrats and Republicans will put my sign in their yards to unite around the issue that we need a young county executive to bring new jobs to Montgomery County and build the Purple Line."

True to his commitment to work with Democrats, Vovak has stated he will appoint Democrat Mike Knapp (Upcounty) to the position of Chief Administrator Officer, the county government's top-paid job. Soon he plans to also release a renovation of his website: To order a yard sign, email Vovak at

Ehrlich pledges to restore transportation budget reduced by O'Malley

As part of his plan to get Maryland working again, Bob Ehrlich today announced that his first budget as Governor will restore 25 percent of the local transportation aid that Governor Martin O’Malley raided last year. The restoration will equal approximately $60 million and will help local governments maintain deteriorating roads, improve public safety, and strengthen Maryland’s economy. Ehrlich’s announcement comes two days after Martin O’Malley told The Frederick News-Post he couldn’t restore local transportation aid and five days after he told NPR that “there was no more room to build roads” in Maryland.

“We can’t get Maryland working again if our commuters are languishing on unsafe, deteriorating roads,” Ehrlich said. “The severity of the O’Malley Administration’s fund transfers needlessly puts commuters at risk, squanders economic productivity, and shortchanges the local governments charged with keeping our roads safe and well maintained for residents. I fully recognize the budget crisis facing our state, yet I also recognize we will not get our economy moving again with residents traveling on unsafe roads.”

As Governor, Bob Ehrlich enacted an ambitious plan that generated $247 million in new transportation funding per year and helped launch 123 new road, bridge, and transit projects statewide. The O’Malley Administration has failed to enact any similar plan in four years. According to The Gazette Newspapers, Montgomery County’s share of the highway user funds went from $39 million to $1.3 million. Prince George’s County’s share dropped from $33.5 million to $1.2 million. Frederick County’s dropped from $16.4 million to $563,000. Baltimore County’s portion plunged from $37 million to $1.2 million. St. Mary’s County’s went from $6.9 million $223,000. Baltimore City had its share cut by $66 million. Somerset County saw its transportation aid drop from $2.9 million to $96,000. SOURCE: Bob Ehrlich campaign

Meet Candidate Robert Broadus

You are cordially invited to a meet-and-greet event for Robert Broadus, 2010 candidate for U. S. Congress, MD-4.

Sunday August 22, 2010 4-6pm. heavy appetizers, desserts, drinks, wine & beer will be provided

Katie Holland. 8527 Second Avenue. Silver Spring, Maryland (this is downtown Silver Spring across from the Silver Spring Metro and the Rubin District Court of Maryland) a county parking garage at the corner of Cameron and Second is free on weekends

please join us RSVP: 301 495-4812 or

People in Maryland with diabetes need special care during hot weather

Temperatures this August are expected to sizzle, and could reach a searing 95 degrees. Unfortunately, many people in Maryland with diabetes may be unaware that this kind of intense summer heat can raise their risk of experiencing serious illness. People with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to heat and humidity because their bodies are less capable of adjusting to increases in temperature. In fact, these individuals often have a reduced ability to sweat, which, in hot, humid weather, can further impair the body’s capacity to regulate sugar levels in the blood. In addition, nerve damage – a common effect of diabetes – affects sweat glands and other organs, making it harder for people with diabetes to cool down.

Despite this fact, a recent study from the Mayo Clinic found that one in five people with diabetes said they would not take any preventive measures until it was more than 100 degrees – which is often too late to avoid serious complications. That’s why it is critical for people with this disease take steps to avoid potentially life-threatening heat-related illnesses. If you or a loved one has diabetes, remember to take proper precautions during this heat wave.

➢ Avoid extended exposure to the sun. Wear plenty of sun block to avoid sunburn, which can tax your body and cause blood glucose levels to rise.
➢ Check your blood sugar levels often. Many people tend to be more active in the summer months, and changes in activity and heat levels can affect the insulin needs of people with diabetes.
➢ Drink plenty of water. It is important to avoid dehydration, which places further stress on the body and affects glucose levels.
➢ Stay cool. If possible, take breaks from the heat in air-conditioned areas or designated cooling centers.
➢ Keep medication and supplies as cool as possible, and away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures can cause insulin and other supplies to break down or become less potent.
➢ Avoid caffeine and alcohol in high temperatures. Both alcohol and caffeine can increase the risk of dehydration for people with diabetes.
➢ Be alert for signs of heat exhaustion. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists these signals as common signs of heat exhaustion: heavy sweating; paleness; muscle cramps; tiredness; weakness; dizziness; headache; nausea or vomiting; and/or fainting.

Remember to be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and seek medical attention right away if you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms.

Deneen Vojta, M.D, is senior vice president of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization, and co- creator of UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA). The DPCA is an innovative partnership between UnitedHealth Group, YMCA of the USA and retail pharmacies beginning with Walgreens, to combat Type 2 diabetes. The DPCA is based on research funded by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health that demonstrated that lifestyle intervention and exercise can reduce the chances of developing diabetes.

About UnitedHealth Group UnitedHealth Group ( is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of health benefit programs through UnitedHealthcare, Ovations and AmeriChoice, and health services through Ingenix, OptumHealth and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide.

August 19, 2010

Neil Cohen for U.S. Senate releases campaign video against Barbara Mikulski

Dr. Neil Cohen is a Moderate. His website is

GGCC Welcomes New Board Member

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) has a new addition to its Board of Directors. David Denton, Executive Director of Asbury Methodist Village will join the Chamber board this month. The Board shapes the future of the Chamber and works very hard to make the GGCC an outstanding organization. “Asbury Methodist Village is a valued member of the Gaithersburg Community and we are honored to have David join our Board. He is a strong business leader and cares deeply about our community,” stated GGCC President Marilyn Balcombe. For more information on the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber please visit the GGCC website at

Robert Dyer, at-large candidate for Council, on Montgomery County defecit

Robert Dyer, Republican candidate for the Montgomery County Council At-Large, delivers his opening statement at a debate sponsored by 17 Asian-American organizations. Robert reveals a shocking statistic about Montgomery County's structural deficit, and discusses the devastating impact of the County Council's historic energy tax increase. The debate was held at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, and focused on issues of interest to the Asian-American community in Montgomery County.

PMPSC to hold hearing on Pepco

Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to Hold Evening Hearing for Public Comment on Pepco Quality and Reliability - The Maryland PSC has announced an evening hearing to receive public comments on the reliability and quality of Pepco‚s distribution service. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 30, at 6 p.m. in the Council Office Building‚s Third Floor Hearing Room. For more information, including how you can testify, see the PSC‚s announcement .

Montgomery County is battleground for swing votes

The state's largest, wealthiest and arguably most liberal jurisdiction is broke. County leaders wrestled to plug a roughly $1 billion budget deficit this year. Ehrlich has made the county a focal point in his campaign. He announced he would challenge Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley in Rockville, the county seat. His running mate, former Maryland Secretary of State Mary Kane, is from Potomac, one of the county's plushest communities.

Local council members - all Democrats - haven't done O'Malley many favors at home. As their own financial woes grew, they've routinely accused O'Malley of treating the county like a piggy bank. They often note that Montgomery County gets back roughly 17 or 18 cents in state aid for every tax dollar their residents pay, whereas Baltimore City gets $1.03 back for every tax dollar spent. While all say they'll support O'Malley's bid for re-election, several admit they hoped for more from a governor who grew up in their county.

Councilman Phil Andrews of Rockville, a Democrat who served as council president from 2008 to 2009, said O'Malley has done well as governor, but some state funding changes that occurred during his administration have hit Montgomery County hard.

"It's because he could have done better here and because the economy has been so tight that it has created an opening for a comeback from Governor Ehrlich," Andrews said.

Other county leaders accuse state officials of ignoring changing demographics, which include a growing number of poor, immigrant residents.

"I think he's completely taken us for granted," said former Council President Mike Knapp, a Democrat from Germantown who led the body from 2007-2008.

Their list of complaints includes a decision by leaders in Annapolis to create a state millionaire's tax, set to expire at the end of this year. Some Montgomery leaders believe the tax drove at least a few of their wealthiest residents to leave the county. According to county data, there were 851 fewer people filing tax returns with annual income of $1 million or more, a drop of 28 percent in the first year the state implemented the millionaire tax. SOURCE: Business Week

August 18, 2010

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

The fair is in town! Well, Gaithersburg but it is our county fair and a quick show up 270 to get there. It opened Saturday afternoon and remains open to the end of next Saturday. The fair is close to central Gaithersburg and is just off of Diamond Road at Route 355. Parking is available at the fairgrounds, but there is also free parking at Lakeforest Mall with free shuttle service to and from the fair. The fair opens at 10am and is open until midnight with an entrance fee of ten dollars for adults and children under 11 are admitted free.

It is pretty sizable once you enter the fair. At one end, you have arts and crafts with a few shops. In the middle, you have several animal barns containing cute rabbits, cows and llamas among others. At the far end is the carnival and umpteen rides that are designed to make you spin around as much as possible while kids scream with glee all around you. The rides are not free, most operate on a ticket system. Tickets are a dollar each, with the best deal being 24 tickets for 20 dollars. Most rides require 3 tickets per person, though a couple clock in at five tickets.

There is also a small arena. Each night, the fair hosts events such as tractor pulling and monster trucks. Next Friday and Saturday there will be a demolition derby. These events cost approximately 12 dollars to attend. There are plenty of ATMs and food options. I had my first ever fried Oreo yesterday. Only in America would someone take a cookie and fry it. We bought 6 for 5 dollars and they actually tasted pretty good. I am told its typical fair food for Americans. There are also umpteen other carnival foods available (think cotton candy, Italian ice, gyros, chicken, nachos). SOURCE: What's Up Wheaton

Rock Creek overflows

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August 17, 2010

Washington Nationals win 4-2, then my friend Steve and I watch fireworks

Kagan out-raises long-time incumbent

(Rockville MD, August 17, 2010)—Continuing her record of broad and deep financial support, District 17 State Senate candidate Cheryl Kagan today released a report showing a 3:2 fundraising edge over her incumbent opponent, an advantage built on small donations from individual donors. Kagan’s receipts (excluding in-kind receipts) totaled $37,259 this filing period (January 14 - August 10), while her opponent, 32-year incumbent Jennie Forehand, raised fully one-third less ($23,944.35). Like last year, Kagan received roughly three times as many donations as Forehand.

“As pleased as I am by the total amount donated to my campaign, I am even more proud that it came from my friends and neighbors,” said Kagan, whose district encompasses Rockville, Gaithersburg and Garrett Park. “Returning government to the people is one of the themes of my campaign, and the best place to start is by taking the influence of big money out of politics.”

The average contribution to Kagan’s campaign was $85.26, reflecting her reliance on individual supporters (97.3% of all contributions) over large corporations and PAC’s. (By comparison, Forehand relied on larger donors with an average gift of $153.49.) Two-thirds of Kagan’s contributions have come from Montgomery County, and three-fourths have come from Maryland.

Kagan kicked off her campaign last year with a voluntary “Clean Seventeen” pledge: the maximum donation she accepts is one-half the legal limit. She has returned money that exceeded this self-imposed cap. She has called on all candidates in District 17 to take the pledge, but so far none have joined Kagan in this attempt to lessen the influence of special interests in the political process.

Over the entire campaign cycle, Kagan’s campaign has received an impressive 1,062 donations. Current cash-on-hand as of this report was $96,996.44.

Scary crash at Montgomery County Fair on amusement park ride

How unemployment has spread in America

Hey, notice how the Washington, D.C. area never totally goes black!

Montgomery County Young Republicans announce District 8 candidate Night on August 31 at 7-9 PM


The Montgomery County Young Republicans and the County Chapter of Americans for Prosperity are proud to offer two more opportunities to hear from the candidates.  Attached you will find the advertisement for the upcoming Debate with the Candidates of Congressional District 8 on August 31st at Earle Wood Middle School in Rockville.  You will also soon receive the subsequent follow up advertisement for the Debate with the Candidates of Congressional District 4 on September 7th.  Both evenings will provide an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. These events are free and open to everyone!  So please pass this along to all interested parties.

August 16, 2010

Vovak interviews on Channel 16; pushes for Purple Line

BETHESDA, MARYLAND -- Daniel Vovak, a candidate for Montgomery County Executive has released a video of his interview on Channel 16, conducted by Steve Barrios, a long-time volunteer host of Municipal Notebook. Barrios emphasized that Vovak is a Republican who will "work with Democrats," and "not against them."

During the 28-minute interview, Vovak was interviewed on a array of topics, including Vovak's inclusion on The Washington Post's list of Power Players, which includes President Obama, President Reagan, and Sarah Palin. Vovak was also asked for his opinion on the Purple Line, Governor Martin O'Malley, former Governor Bob Ehrlich, and Democrats' literal monopoly in Montgomery County.

Vovak said he will govern like former Congressman Connie Morella or former Councilman Howie Denis. Naturally, he was also asked about current County Executive Ike Leggett and his abuse of Montgomery County's budget by hiring four bodyguards, funding a personal toilet for $65,000, and seeking to remove local port-a-poties. Then, Ike Leggett raised taxes and sought furloughs for thousands of county workers. Moreover, Leggett's push for furloughs created a near-lawsuit by the Montgomery County Public Schools against the county.

Vovak stated that he supports the Purple Line and will resist former Governor Bob Ehrlich's attempt to kill the Purple Line, saying Vovak will resist him "every step of the way." Barrios also emphasized that Vovak has made jobs the "centerpiece of his campaign," with Vovak's initiative to bring satellite international companies to Montgomery County.

In addition, Vovak stated his support for international funds for the Purple Line, his support for the legalization of marijuana (though Vovak stated he has never been a user), and his disdain for Leggett's new cell phone and electricity taxes. Vovak also stated that he is against Maryland's "ugly" new license plate, "glamorizing war." The interview establishes Vovak as a viable candidate against Ike Leggett and opens the door for future debates against Leggett, following Montgomery County's one billion dollar deficit. It should be noted that Leggett has served on county council (and in the office of county executive) longer than anyone else elected in county government. Vovak's website is

BELOW TOPICS: Vovak's nickname; Balance needed on Council; Annapolis keeps too much money; Connie Morella; Billion dollar deficit; Mike Knapp as CAO; Furloughs were absurd.

BELOW TOPICS: New electric fees; New cell phone tax; Marijuana legalization; More teachers needed; Montgomery County Public Schools offer international education; Too many school administrators; School lawsuit against county government; Independents needed; President's Obama's call for government transparency.

BELOW TOPICS: Vovak supports Purple Line; Vovak will resist former Governor Ehrlich regarding Purple Line and agrees with Governor Martin O'Malley; International funding for Purple Line; America needs to move towards trains and away from oil; Metro escalator breakdowns; Montgomery County needs to get its financial share from Annapolis; Voter anger.

BELOW TOPICS: Jobs are center of Vovak's campaign; Economic development needed; Satellite business offices wanted in Montgomery County; Hollywood and AFI; Maryland's ugly license plate; Vovak is anti-war; Washington Post named Vovak as a "Power Play" along with Reagan and Obama; Sarah Palin is a model not a presidential candidate.

Sever Thunderstorm in effect in Maryland

The National Weather Service has issued a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH for counties in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. The primary threat with these storms include extremely heavy rain, large hail, lightning, and isolated tornadoes. Those with outdoor plans this evening should monitor the skies and be prepared for threatening weather. Lightning is the number one severe weather killer in the US. If you are outdoors and storm approaches, seek safe shelter indoors. A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH means conditions are favorable for severe storms in and close to the watch area. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes with little or no advanced warning. Residents should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. SKYWARN activation has been requested and spotters are asked to relay any reports to the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, and the National Weather Service office in Sterling, VA. SOURCE: FOX DC

Upcounty Police Officers, Firefighters & Paramedics Honored for Bravery and Service by Local Business Community

Gaithersburg, MD (August 13, 2010) – Over 150 people gathered at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on Friday, August 13th for the Annual Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards Breakfast. “It has been a difficult week for many people with power outages and downed trees, so it was even more inspiring to see so many people come out to support the men and women who keep us safe,” stated Marilyn Balcombe, President, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

At its Public Safety Awards program the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce recognized several members of the City of Gaithersburg Police Department, Montgomery County Police 5th & 6th Districts, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue and Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association for bravery, distinguished service and meritorious service. This annual awards program provides the business community with an opportunity to publicly thank those who help maintain the quality of life in the Gaithersburg and Germantown area.

Randy Scritchfield of Randy Scritchfield, CFP and a GGCC Board of Director was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Scritchfield asked for all non public safety officials to stand as he read “He Answered the Call” by DKB Sergeant of the Norfolk, VA Police Department. The poem was eloquently read and quoting one of the verses “He went without fear, into the darkness of night bringing comfort to some, to some others light”, was a fitting tribute to the 58 honorees.

“As Senator Garagiola said, it is both important and appropriate --- as a Community --- that we pause to acknowledge those who ‘serve and protect’ us on a daily basis. We should always take every opportunity that we have, both public and private, to do so,” stated Scritchfield.

Government Officials in attendance were District Attorney John McCarthy, Representing Governor Martin O’Malley’s office Kristen Mahoney, Executive Director Governors Office of Crime Control & Prevention, Representing Congressman Chris VanHollen’s office Karen McManus, Outreach & Constituent Services, State Senator Jennie Forehand - District 17, State Senator Rob Garagiola - District 15, State Senator Nancy King – District 39, State Delegate Charles Barkley - District 39, State Delegate Craig Rice - District 15, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews, Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Chief of Police Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Fire Department Chief Richard Bowers, Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department Executive Director Eric Bernard, City of Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz, City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Jud Ashman, City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Cathy Drzyzgula, City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel, City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Michael Sesma, City of Gaithersburg City Manager Angel Jones, Deputy Sherriff Darren Popkin, the newly appointed Montgomery County Police, 5th District Commander Luther Reynolds, Montgomery County Police, 6th District Commander Willie Parker-Loan, newly appointed Gaithersburg Police Department Chief of Police Mark Sroka and Germantown Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. Chief Joe Chornock.

Each awardee was presented a citation of appreciation from Representative Chris Van Hollen & State Senator Rob Garagiola; as well as a gift card courtesy of Potomac Pizza. Boy Scouts of America Executive Director of Montgomery County Ben Lacey presented the colors for the event and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling was the Title Sponsor of the event. For more than 40 years, Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling craftsmanship and care has helped families and businesses overcome the devastating setbacks inflicted by fire, flood and wind.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the safety awards breakfast for another year,” said Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling President Tom Plant. “We’re always gratified to be a part of a ceremony that awards our true heroes in Montgomery County, MD.”

Other Public Safety sponsorships were provided by Adventist HealthCare, Capital Bank, Citizens for Craig Rice, City of Gaithersburg, Comcast Spotlight, Hughes Network Systems, Johns Hopkins University, OBA Bank, Sam's Club, Sandy Spring Bank & The Gazette. The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce is located at 4 Professional Drive, Suite 132, Gaithersburg, MD. To see photos from the event or to learn more about Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber visit them on the web at

Strasburg calls out Harper

Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg had some pointed words for fellow No. 1 draft pick Bryce Harper, who has until midnight Monday to sign with Washington.

Strasburg says, "If he doesn't want to play here, then we don't want him here."

If Harper fails to sign by the deadline, the Nationals lose his rights and he will be available in the 2011 draft. Strasburg waited until the final seconds of last year's deadline before signing a record $15.1 million contract. SOURCE: TBD

Baltimore City Sheriff candidate David Anthony Wiggins issues statement on Maryland Republican Party

The following is an email I received regarding my article on failures in Republican leadership.

Mr. Vovak;

I feel your pain as a Grassroots Republican, I wish that I had 1/100,000,000 of the support you have from Republican leadership in the Maryland / Baltimore City Republican Party.

Our campaign has received no official support from the Maryland GOP even though I'm running unopposed for the Office of Sheriff for Baltimore City, which is a sanctuary city for illegal aliens who are working on government subsidized contracts and with businesses that receive tax credits from the State and City governments.

Our campaign can hold the democrats responsible for 40 years of Jim Crow in Blackface in Baltimore and not be called racist. Our campaign is comprised of individuals that have "street credibility"; our Campaign Chairwoman, Ms. Vicki Harding, who blew the whistle on the Test Score Cheating Scandal at George Washington Elementary School which was awarded a National Blue Ribbon based on the fraud associated with those test scores.

I have been told that the party is broke, I've been told that voter registration is not important or effective; however, I know that the people in Baltimore who have nothing less to lose based on their loyalty to the democrat party that has served them up Jim Crow in blackface, have everything to gain by switching parties to those who are willing to hold democrats accountable for their violations of the Rights of the People in Baltimore City.

Maybe you can respond and tell me why Michael Steel and the Republican Party in Maryland are afraid to address issues which effect the black majority city that is suffering directly because of illegal aliens and democrat public official corruption.

Maybe you can assist us

Thank you David Anthony Wiggins, Republican, Office of Sheriff for Baltimore City
Chairwoman: Vicki Ann Harding
Treasurer: Ed Brown
Chairwoman: Vicki Ann Harding
Treasurer: Ed Brown

Plane that killed Sen Stevens had 2 Montgomery County residents on it

A Potomac father died and his son was injured in the Alaska plane crash that killed four others, including former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. William "Bill" Phillips, 56, and his son William "Willy" Phillips, Jr., 13, were going to a fishing lodge when the plane crashed Monday, according to Alaska State Police and news reports. Bill, a former Chief of Staff for Stevens, worked as a partner with Utrecht & Phillips, a law firm in Washington, D.C. Willy is in eighth grade at Mater Dei School in Bethesda.

Bill is also survived by his wife, Janet, and three sons who play collegiate football; Andrew, a fifth-year senior at Stanford University; Colter, a sophomore at the University of Virginia; and Paul, an incoming freshman at Indiana University. All three graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda. A spokesman for the school declined to comment. The family lives just off River Road, near Bretton Woods Golf Course.

"I know everybody loved them. Generally loved them," said neighbor Monika Palmore, 47, of Potomac.

The Phillips family has lived her neighborhood for a long time and they are known for their Christmas celebrations, Palmore said.

"They were wonderful. There is no question about it," Palmore said.

Barnaby Zall, a friend of the family, said Phillips was "an accomplished lobbyist and a good family man." SOURCE: Gazette