Issuu on Google+

& ALL HAIL SLAYER The Gazette Fillmore welcomes the enduring sound of metal royalty. B-5 DAMASCUS | CLARKSBURG DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, November 13, 2013 25 cents Veterans share memories of service, valor Comin’ around the bend Damascus High School Chamber Singers perform at ceremony n BY VIRGINIA TERHUNE STAFF WRITER Memories of comrades lost during World War II and the Korean War more than 50 years ago still bring tears to the eyes of Ray Luhn, 87, of Damascus. “It brings a lot of sadness,” said Luhn after a Veterans Day ceremony on Monday at American Legion Post 171 in Damascus. “But it’s definitely a way to honor them,” said Luhn, who fought as an Army infantryman in the Battle of the Bulge against the Germans in 1944-45. After coming home, Luhn co-founded Tom and Ray’s Restaurant in Damascus. Sitting next to Luhn in a wheelchair on Monday was friend Orman Rippeon, 94, who also served in the Army infantry and twice was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. Rippeon spent more than two years in Army hospitals before returning home to run a car repair shop in Damascus before moving to Clarksburg. The post was full of veterans and their families on Monday as members conducted their annual Veterans Day ceremony. This year the Damascus High School Chamber Singers returned to sing under the direction of Brian Isaac, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who See VETERANS, Page A-10 BRIAN LEWIS/FOR THE GAZETTE Christian Mendez, 3, of Damascus watches O-gauge trains in a display by Bob Fry of Monrovia at the annual Train Day on Friday at the Damascus Library. The event, a community favorite, is sponsored by the Friends of the Library Damascus Chapter. It returned to the library for the first time since 2010, Green pastures elude sod farmers Teacher: MSA tests a waste of time n Hundreds sign petition, but state officials say exams will continue BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER A petition started by a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher calling for the state not to administer the Maryland School Assessment tests this school year has gained hundreds of signatures from around the state. Tiferet Ani, a social studies teacher in the Quince Orchard cluster, said that with the county — and state — implementing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers test and no longer looking to the MSA tests to track student progress, she thinks it is a waste of time and resources to administer the annual test to elementary and middle school students this year. PARCC, which aligns with the Common Core State Standards, will be fully implemented in the school system next school year. As of Friday afternoon, about 400 people had signed the petition titled “Cancel the MSA.” Ani, in her seventh year of teaching in the school system, said she has administered the test four times. The test is administered over a two-week period during which teachers lose instructional time, Ani said. Ani said she wants to see the state choose not to administer the test — which she said doesn’t match up with schools’ new curriculum based on Common Core — to save instructional time as well as taxpayer dollars. She said she plans to deliver the petition to the school board on Nov. 12 and try to meet with Superintendent Joshua P. Starr face to face. She will also try to hand-deliver the petition to Annapolis, she said. However, when asked if local districts have any flexibility on the matter, Maryland State Department of Education spokesman William Reinhard said, “They don’t have any.” Maryland must continue to test students with the MSA this year based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which requires that certain students be tested each year on reading and math with the state-approved assessment, Reinhard said. The state intends to follow the federal law, he said. Reinhard said the test, while on its way out, will still provide important information about student subgroups. “It is not a useless test,” he said. “It’s imperfect, but it’s important to continue testing See MSA, Page A-10 Growers struggle against synthetic turf n BY SYLVIA CARIGNAN STAFF WRITER Keith Patton Jr. and his father work a 620-acre sod and grain farm on River Road in Dickerson, a farm their family has operated since the 1950s. The two farmers are the remnants of J.T. Patton and Sons, a much larger sod business that shuttered a few years ago. With a decline in the housing market generating less demand for pristine, emerald landscapes, Patton said business has been slow for the handful of sod farm- See SOD, Page A-10 BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Keith Patton on his farm in Dickerson, where he grows sod. Rockville landscaping company to be acquired in $1.6B deal The Brickman Group of Rockville had about $900 million in revenues last year. 2005 FILE PHOTO Brickman has 10,000 employees nationwide n BY KEVIN JAMES SHAY STAFF WRITER The Brickman Group has agreed to be bought by global investment firm KKR & Co. for $1.6 billion in a move made to position the Rockville commercial landscaping company for further growth, executives said Monday. NEWS SPORTS Montgomery has eye on environment as she seeks another term in state office. Clarksburg football returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. SENATOR SIGNS UP FOR SECONDS A-3 PAST STRUGGLES JUST THAT B-1 The deal is a strict ownership change that will retain the headquarters of Brickman — one of the nation’s largest landscaping companies — in Rockville, said LaNella Hooper-Williams, a Brickman spokeswoman. Los Angeles private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners is now privately held Brickman’s largest investor, acquiring a majority stake in 2007 for $847 million. “It will be business as usual,” Hooper-Williams said. Brickman was founded in 1939 in Around the County Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please A-4 B-13 A-2 A-13 B-10 B-5 A-14 A-12 B-1 the Chicago area by Theodore W. Brickman Sr., a horticulturist for the Chicago Park District. His son, Theodore “Dick” Brickman Jr., joined the family business in 1954, and the company started opening branches on the East Coast in the 1970s. Scott Brickman of Potomac, Dick Brickman’s son, joined in 1986 and became CEO in 1998. Former Aramark Corp. executive Andrew Kerin took over See DEAL, Page A-10 See Our Ad Inside! RECYCLE 1906187

Damascusgaz 111313

Related publications