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RAT PACK is BACK & Revue stirs memories of legendary entertainers. A-13 The Gazette OLNEY DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Laytonsville VFD to open new station Spanish immersion teacher Sandra Castellon teaches science Monday in a fourth-grade class at Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park. n TERRI HOGAN STAFF WRITER Parents voice school health concerns Aging, broken HVAC system played part in mold outbreak allergy and asthma symptoms. School officials attribute the mold outbreak to a combination of factors, including the humid summer and an old, malfunctioning HVAC system more than 25 years old. Mold has been cleaned from classrooms and other areas. After testing the building’s air quality, school system staff are monitoring the building’s temperature and humidity. Renovations have been moved up in the county’s capital budget, said James Song, director of the school system’s Department of Facilities Management. Some parents, however, said they think the school has not provided enough information and want the school to survey families to see how many students are experiencing symptoms. Rolling Terrace parent n LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER When students and staff returned to Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park after the Labor Day weekend, they were met with classrooms sporting growth more suited to a science experiment petri dish. On Sept. 3 and 4, mold was found in more than 30 rooms — “the majority of the building,” Principal Jennifer Connors said. Weeks later, Rolling Terrace parents say they are frustrated by a lack of communication from the school and concerned that some students have shown Bridgette Kaiser said her fourthgrade son’s allergies have gone “out of control” since he returned to school after the Labor Day weekend. He has mild asthma, she said, and this was the first time his normal treatment couldn’t get it under control so she took him to an urgent care center. Kaiser said she doesn’t know if her son reacted to the mold or the cleaning the agents the school used. Some teachers found a few spots of mold they returned from summer vacation on Aug. 21 and 22, but the spots did not seem to be a cause for a concern, Connors said. The school was cold with a lot of moisture that made the floors damp, Connors said, so staff used dehumidifiers, opened doors and raised the thermostats. Then they returned from the Labor Day weekend. “It was pretty intense,” she said. The day after Labor Day, after the kids left, a school system mold remediation team cleaned the building until around 3 a.m., she said. The next day a few more classrooms had mold, she said, bringing the total to about 30 affected classrooms. The staff lounge, two offices and the art room were also affected. The school sent a letter home in both English and Spanish to families on Sept. 6, Connors said, and a meeting was held for parents and school staff to discuss the issue on Sept. 16. Days after the meeting, PTA president Mindy Kassaraba See HEALTH, Page A-8 Call continues for holiday school closures Students, others say they face hard decision n BY Expansion and renovation will improve facility to today’s standards BY DAN GROSS/ THE GAZETTE BY 25 cents LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER Standing in front of the Montgomery County Council Office Building in Rockville, Northwest High School senior Anhar Karim said he is one of many students in the county who have faced a hard decision related to two Muslim holidays. Karim said that when a holiday conflicts with school, he can either celebrate and miss class or go to school and miss the celebration. “We are forcing our students into an unreasonable decision,” said Karim, who is president of the Montgomery County Muslim Student Association. Karim and other speakers urged Montgomery County Public Schools to close SPORTS JUST THE RESULTS B-CC’s two-way football star doesn’t have the numbers, but has the results. B-1 when classes fall on Eid al-Adha and Eid alFitr during a Monday press conference held by the Maryland chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations and the Equality for Eid Coalition. Eid al-Adha celebrates sacrifice to God and falls on Oct. 15 this year. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and was Aug. 8. The dates of the holidays change because of the Islam lunar calendar. The coalition, which is sponsored by the council, formed about a year ago to pursue a long-standing goal for the school closures. The speakers also called for school system students and staff to skip school on Oct. 15 and celebrate Eid al-Adha instead. Zainab Chaudry — vice president of the council’s Maryland chapter and a co-chair of the coalition — said the initiative is not See CLOSURES, Page A-8 Automotive Calendar Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE B-15 A-2 B-11 A-4 A-13 A-10 B-8 B-1 A new chapter will begin Sunday when the Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department breaks ground on a project to modernize and expand the fire station. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the station, at 21400 Laytonsville Road, beginning at 2:30 p.m. According to Chief Buddy Sutton, the existing station has not been renovated since it was built in 1966. The project includes an expansion of almost 2,800 square feet, with the renovation of the current 3,000-square-foot station’s living and working areas. Through community donations and fundraising efforts such as dinners, breakfasts and birthday parties, the department has raised approximately $600,000. Construction TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE See STATION, Page A-8 Brookeville gives approval to state sidewalk project More opportunities for public input as project moves forward n BY TERRI HOGAN STAFF WRITER Samira M. Hussein, a family service worker with Montgomery County Public Schools, addresses attendees at the “Equality for Eid” press conference outside the Council Office Building on Monday. is expected to cost $1.5 million, with additional funding needed to furnish the facility. Department Vice President Greg Albrecht said he expects the total cost to come in under $2 million. Del. Craig Zucker (D-Dist. 14) of Brookeville is expected to attend the groundbreaking ceremony, and will present a state bond bill for $150,000, which requires matching funding. Albrecht said they have received no county funding. The station will borrow the balance of the project cost from Damascus Bank. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2014. Much has changed since the department began in 1952. Town residents and community leaders purchased Woodmen’s Hall as the site of their first station, located on the corner of Laytonsville Road and Howard Street, and then bought “Minnie,” a 1930 A sidewalk project along High Street got the thumbsup from the Brookeville Town Commission, clearing the way for the State Highway Administration to get started on it. In July, the highway administration presented to the town a proposal for sidewalk construction in Brookeville between Salem United Methodist Church and Longwood Community Recreation Center. The Brookeville Planning Commission unanimously backed the plan and now the town commission has too. Commission President Michael Acierno said after consideration of comments and discussions, the commissioners voted at their Sept. 9 meeting to ask the SHA to continue working on this sidewalk proposal. “The Town’s Master Plan has called for sidewalks as a way to provide safe access toward Olney and enhance the walkability of our village,” Acierno wrote in a letter sent to residents. “The Commissioners believe that this is an opportunity that we should not let pass. We agree with the Master Plan and the Planning Commission that installation of sidewalks is in the best interests of Brookeville’s current and future generations, enhancing safety and promoting physical activity.” Not all residents were supportive of the plan, stating concerns regarding water management, snow removal and the loss of property and trees. Acierno said as the process moves forward, there would be additional opportunities for See SIDEWALK, Page A-8 SPECIAL SECTION GAZETTE HEALTH Special Women’s Issue What would you do if you found out you had the ‘breast cancer gene’? One woman tells her story. Plus: why women lose their hair; the latest on the risks and benefits of aspirin; the value of vitamin D FALL HOME SERVICES INSIDE FOCUS ON LAWN & TREE SERVICES LOCAL JOBS INSIDE ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906627

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