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DANCE CARD & Comedian Engvall takes break from competition to stop by Strathmore. B-5 The Gazette GAITHERSBURG | MONTGOMERY VILLAGE DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, October 2, 2013 25 cents Open FOR business Mass furloughs expected in Montgomery BY JENN DAVIS STAFF WRITER Federal agencies slash operations, national parks close n Crown welcomes homeowners; Starbucks already serving customers n Downtown Crown has officially opened its doors to business with a new Starbucks open and more retailers soon to follow, while the new community is already home to several families who moved in over the last few weeks. Starbucks began adding its caffeine to Crown on Friday, according to Crown spokeswoman Tammy Murphy. A Starbucks spokesman did not return phone calls to find out how the new store is doing. LA Fitness plans to open its doors by the end of this year to capitalize on the post-New Year’s workout frenzy, and Harris Teeter is looking to welcome customers in January 2014, Murphy said. Restaurants like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, La Tagliatella, Asian Nine and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill will eventually join Starbucks, according to Crown’s website. A few retail stores, like Verizon Wireless, also will come to the center soon. Businesses are not the only thing to have moved into the development. Crown West, a residential section that lies in the middle third of the Crown area, is now a functioning neighborhood with several families already moved in, Murphy said. About 50 homes have been sold so far, and since Aug. 22, seven households have closed on their townhomes, which were the first units to go up in the neighborhood. “Crown is officially a neighborhood now with people occupying some of the homes,” Murphy said. BY STAFF WRITERS Thousands of federal jobs and employees call Montgomery County home, but many were not working Tuesday after Congress’ inability to compromise on the federal budget, shutting down most government operations. Exactly how many Montgomery County residents were forced to stay home was unclear, but most agencies in the county were slashing operations and mandating that DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE City aquires former government testing facility Consumer Product Safety Commission space will be used for recreational purposes n BY JENN DAVIS STAFF WRITER The former Consumer Product Safety Commission laboratory testing facility on Darnestown Road now belongs to the city of Gaithersburg, after City Manager Tony Toma- See FURLOUGHED, Page A-18 Starr pushes for later high school start time Work continues at the Crown development and several families have moved into the first section to be completed. See OPEN, Page A-18 KATE S. ALEXANDER AND KEVIN SHAY most employees stay home. Employees who are furloughed are required to not work and will not receive pay. Montgomery is also home to many companies that contract with the government. Those companies could see employees furloughed and delays in contract bids and awards. Eighteen federal agencies and installations are in the county, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institutes of Health. When Congress failed to sello signed the deed of transfer Tuesday. Terms of the deal require that the city use the space for recreational purposes, but the city isn’t sure what the outdoor amenities will be just yet, according to Tomasello. Details about what is being called a “deed of transfer” were not immediately available. “We think it might have some potential parkland, but it also has some pretty useful buildings, including a fairly modern warehouse with tall ceilings and an open expanse,” he said. “We have the chance to do something pretty unique there.” Tomasello said he believes the space will be a positive addition to the city. “For a city our size, one of the most difficult things to acquire is open space,” he said. “In short of demolishing buildings on an existing site, it’s hard to find open spaces. This is a unique opportunity.” After the federal government labeled the area a “surplus property,” the city applied in 2012 to take ownership. Since then, it has conducted an environmental review of the n First bell would ring at 8:15 a.m. BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER High school students in Montgomery County Public Schools may be one step closer to getting more time to sleep before they wake up for school. Superintendent Joshua P. Starr announced Tuesday his recommendation to move the start time for the school system’s high schools back 50 minutes, from 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Starr is also recommending adding 30 minutes to the elementary school day to match the length of the high school and middle school days, and moving middle schools’ start time 10 minutes earlier to 7:45 a.m. Start and end times would not change until the 2015-16 school year at the earliest, Starr said. Starr said at a press conference Tuesday that the school system will study the feasibility and practicality of his recommendation, partially through engaging students, families, staff and the community and partially through estimating costs. “We’ve heard from some but not all of our community,” he said. He said there’s “a clear link” between sleep and students’ health and well-being, See START, Page A-13 See FACILITY, Page A-12 A new chapter in fight over government legal ads Sides disagree on most efficient ways Digital to get information to the public overnment n The first in a two-part series INSIDE n High-speed Internet access is available to more than nine of every 10 households in the county, making it one of the nation’s most connected communities. A-15 NEWS CARE TO COMMENT? The Humane Society will have more time to address issues surrounding its planned headquarters. A-4 BY ANDREW SCHOTZ STAFF WRITER Lawmakers and government groups are resuming a fight with media representatives over a requirement to buy newspaper advertisements. Known as “legal notices,” the ads are mandatory an- nouncements of certain government proceedings, such as public hearings and zoning requests. They are a revenue source for newspapers and a longstanding way to inform the public. The main questions: Are these ads the best way to publicize government workings? SPORTS Should government bodies be forced to buy the ads? The Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Association of Counties argue that the current legal-ad system is inefficient and wasteful; government bodies have better, cheaper ways to reach constituents. But the Maryland-DelawareD.C. Press Association, a media SIZE DOESN’T MATTER Rockville High quarterback lacks traditional size, but is putting up impressive numbers. B-1 See ADS, Page A-15 Automotive Calendar Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please B-15 A-2 B-11 A-4 B-5 A-16 A-14 B-1 RECYCLE DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr talks to the press about a report from the Bell Times Work Group, which looks at pushing back school start times. FALL HOME SERVICES INSIDE FOCUS ON LAWN & TREE SERVICES LOCAL JOBS INSIDE ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906631

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