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NEXT STOP: HEAVEN & British rockers bring a love for the road to Fillmore. B-5 The Gazette GERMANTOWN | POOLESVILLE | BOYDS DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Poolesville shopping for grocery store 25 cents Mother works to save teens Mini-monsters Town’s only grocer closed almost two years ago n BY Parent and Safe Kids Worldwide speak out against distracted walking n SYLVIA CARIGNAN STAFF WRITER After waiting almost two years for a grocery store to move into town, Poolesville residents are rallying to find a solution. Selby’s Market, formerly at 19610 Fisher Ave., closed in January 2012. The building has remained empty since Selby’s moved out. “It doesn’t speak well for the town,” said Poolesville resident Bob Cissel. Cissel said he would like to see another grocery store in the Selby’s space, but it’s too big for the kind of small-business grocer they need. Through social media, Cissel is spearheading an effort to get a grocery store into Poolesville. He and other residents are working to identify businesses that would be the right size for Poolesville, then connecting them with the owner of the former Selby’s space. About 50 residents have shown their support for Cissel’s effort by “liking” his posts on the town’s Facebook group. Cissel, a retired marketing executive for North Face, said residents need to help commissioners and the landlord attract the business it needs. Poolesville commissioner Brice Halbrook commended Cissel and residents who are taking the initiative to search for a new business. “Somebody’s gotta take it and run with it,” he said. The town’s commissioners considered a financial incentive to help attract a new business — tax abatement for a year — but the idea has been abandoned, Halbrook said. A grass-roots effort like Cissel’s may find businesses the commissioners or landlord might have missed. Ultimately, the owner of the Poolesville shopping center, which is anchored by the Selby’s space, will have the last word. The landlord, Perry Cho, did not return calls for comment. “Most residents of the town would love a grocery store,” Hilary Schwab, president of the Poolesville Area Chamber of Commerce, said in an email. “The commissioners did try to attract every possible grocer in the area, and no one was interested due to the town’s See STORE, Page A-16 BY STAFF WRITER GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Poolesville resident Mandy Maver walks her kids Reagan (left), 22 months, and Maddox, 4, who were dressed as characters from the movie “Monsters, Inc.,” onto the stage for a costume contest Saturday during the fall festival at Whalen Commons in Poolesville. A bout 300 residents and several scarecrows attended a fall festival held Saturday at Poolesville’s Whalen Commons. The scarecrows were part of a community contest, where the straw men were set up by families, churches and businesses in the area and judged at the festival. The winner of the scarecrow contest’s community group category was “The Sermonator,” created by the Poolesville Presbyterian Church. The winner in the family group category was “Edgar Allen Crow,” created by the Stone family. Children’s costumes were also judged in multiple catego- Starr proposes $1.55 billion capital improvements program budget Proposes 14 new classroom addition projects n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said he prioritized adding classroom space in his newly proposed $1.55 billion Capital Improvements Program for fiscal years 2015 to 2020. “We are bursting at the seams,” he said Monday at Highland Elementary School in Silver FALL BACK This Sunday at 2 a.m., set your clocks back one hour for the end of daylight saving time. PEGGY MCEWAN Spring, which is at maximum capacity. Starr said the school system needs $2.2 billion to cover all of its capital improvement needs for the six-year period. He is proposing a $1.55 billion program, he said, because the county is currently facing “fiscal restraints” and the school system is not getting the funding it deserves from the state. The proposed program is about $184 million higher than the current program, which covers fiscal years 2013 to 2018. Starr said the program addresses the school See BUDGET, Page A-16 Around the County Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please A-4 B-14 A-2 A-13 B-10 B-5 A-14 A-12 B-1 RECYCLE ries, with an owl, she-devil and mouse in a trap winning top honors. The event also featured a charity walk for Western Upper Montgomery County Help, Inc., which helps individuals and families gain access to basic needs upcounty. — SYLVIA CARIGNAN There are no markers, no cross, flowers or stuffed teddy bears along Md. 118 in Germantown where Christina MorrisWard, 15, died a year ago after being struck by a car. But part of her mother’s heart is there. Gwen Ward is working for pedestrian safety so no other parent will go through what she has. Ward has partnered with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and with Safe Kids Worldwide in a campaign against distracted walking, which Christina was doing before she was hit. The campaign is called “Moment of Silence.” Students are urged to put down or turn off their electronic devices as they are about to cross a street. During school lunch breaks and after school, Ward has stood on the same corner where Christina died to remind students to take that moment of silence and be aware of their surroundings when they cross the street. She has passed out reflectors for them to clip onto their jackets or backpacks. “It’s been difficult, but it’s been therapeutic,” Ward said. “[I’m involved] to help prevent this from happening again.” Ward said she was at work on the morning of Oct. 31, 2012, when her son called to say Christina had been in an accident and he was going to the hospital. That was all she knew when she arrived at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. It was not long before she heard the bad news that her daughter had died. “Our kids are precious, and to lose someone that young is really devastating,” Ward said. “I never expected my daughter would not come home.” Ward said that after putting stories together from witnesses and the police, she learned that Christina was wearing dark See TEENS, Page A-16 Bill to help working families approved n Will increase county supplement for low-income households BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Montgomery County is restoring a tax break for low-income working families. The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill requiring an increase in the county’s Working Families Income Supplement, which provides money to taxpayers working at or near the poverty level. The increase could help people make a car payment they otherwise might have missed, which could have jeopardized their ability to get to work and put their job at risk, said Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At Large) of Silver Spring, who sponsored the bill. Many community groups in the county strongly supported the bill, Riemer said. A county memorandum on the issue reported that representatives of Catholic Charities, the Justice and Advocacy Council of Montgomery County, Progressive Maryland and Maryland Hunger Solutions, among other groups, supported the bill at a July public hearing. Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) of Garrett Park said she’s always voted for a full match by the county, and she hopes the county will be able to do more in the future in other areas. “I’m fine with this solution, but I’m hopeful See FAMILIES, Page A-16 SPECIAL SECTION ALL ABOUT PETS Is fostering a pet right for you?; why some dogs need regular professional grooming; how to know when to take your pet to the emergency vet See Our Ad Inside! INSIDE TODAY 1906646

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