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& CAPITALCONNECTION A cappella group blends voices for BlackRock show. B-5 The Gazette OLNEY DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Pepco sustains push for rate hike 25 cents Ervin to leave seat in January Twice as nice on ice n Utility seeks $4.80 per month increase from its average customer BY n BY Calling it one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make, Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin will leave her seat in early January to take over a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for working families. Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring said Tuesday that she would resign her seat on Jan. 3 to become executive director of the Center for Working Families. “I want to continue to make a difference, in a new way,” Ervin said. No one has been a stronger voice against inequality than Ervin has, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said Tuesday at a press conference at the Council Office Building in Rockville. Along with several other speakers, Leggett referenced Ervin’s direct way of dealing with issues. Ervin has been a friend and political supporter, but also one of his most vocal critics when they disagreed, he said. State Sen. Jamie Raskin (DDist. 20) of Silver Spring said he’s also been on both sides of conflicts with Ervin. But he praised her Tuesday for her passion, as well as her dedication to justice and solidarity. “Valerie Ervin is a justice politician,” Raskin said. Council President Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said Ervin has been like a mother to STAFF WRITER See PEPCO, Page A-12 NEWS SAYING NO TO COAL Dickerson power plant makes the move to cleaner energy. A-4 RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER KATE S. ALEXANDER Just months after it was given higher rates and granted Maryland’s first upfront surcharge, Pepco is asking yet again for more from ratepayers. Pepco filed a case with the Maryland Public Service Commission on Dec. 4 for $43.3 million more in base distribution rates, a hike of $4.80 a month on the average customer bill. This is the company’s third rate increase request since 2011. Pepco is seeking the increase to recover the cost of providing service and to give a fair rate of return on capital to its investors. The monopoly utility, which serves 540,000 customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, is asking to increase its allowed rate of return for investors from 9.36 percent to 10.25 percent. Pepco’s request comes less than five months after the Public Service Commission raised the utility’s base rates and broke with precedent to grant it the first tracker, or upfront surcharge, in the state. In July, the PSC granted Pepco $27.9 million of a $60.8 million rate increase request as well as $24 million of a $192 million request for a surcharge. Together, the decision tacked $2.47 a month on the average customer bill starting in July. Disappointing to both Pepco and its opponents, the July ruling is under appeal in Baltimore County Circuit Court. To Pepco’s critics, this latest request for more money is not surprising. Joseph M. Rigby, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Pepco Holdings Inc., told investors in November it would seek another rate hike. “It just seems to be endless,” said Abbe Milstein of Powerupmontco, a listserv for electric utility issues. “There seems to be no finality because the commission has no control here. The utilities are controlling the commission.” Milstein founded Powerupmontco after the June 2012 derecho left her neighborhood in the dark for eight days. If the past is any indication, a large portion of Pepco’s request should be rejected, Del. Heather Mizeur, a 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said in a County councilwoman taking position with New York nonprofit DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Megan Carbone, 10, (left) and Erin Carmody, 12, both of Olney, stack two tubes to make the ride more exciting down a hill behind Olney Elementary School on Tuesday. Area snow totals fell short of predictions for Tuesday’s storm. See story, Page A-4. AP test scores see slight drop 2013 marks highest number of exams taken n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER Montgomery County students took a record-high number of AP exams but earned a smaller percentage of college-ready scores in 2013 compared to 2012, according to College Board data the school system released Friday. About 17,000 students took about 33,600 AP exams in spring 2013, marking a 2 percent increase in the number of exams from last year when about 16,800 students took about 32,000 exams. This year’s students earned a score of 3 or higher — or a college-ready score — on about 73 percent of their exams, which is two percentage points lower than last year. The exam takers still slightly outdid their peers from 2011 who earned college-ready scores on 71.8 percent of their exams. The test is scored on a range from 1 to 5, and a score of 3 or higher indicates a student is qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement. Maryland students overall earned a 3 or higher on about 60.4 percent of their tests and students across the nation earned college-ready scores on about 57 percent of their TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Councilwoman Valerie Ervin, who cosponsored legislation that would increase the county’s minimum wage, will lead an organization that advocates for working families. him since he joined the council in 2010. Rice said he can’t thank her enough for all of the ways she’s helped him be a stronger council member. Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, who served with Ervin on the council and on the county’s Board of Education before that, said it was Ervin who first encouraged her to run for the school board. She said she’s happy that Ervin will be going on to another level with the new job. “I cannot think of anyone better than you to lead,” she said. Since the vacancy caused by Ervin’s departure is occurring after Dec. 1 of the year before an election, no special election will be held, County Attorney Marc Hansen said Tuesday. The council will have 30 days to appoint a new member See ERVIN, Page A-12 “Valerie Ervin is a justice politician.” State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring See TEST, Page A-12 Supper nets $11K for Brookeville War of 1812 events Money will offset commemoration expenses planned for coming year n BY TERRI HOGAN STAFF WRITER The Madison Supper — part of the town of Brookeville’s celebration of its role in the War of 1812 — raised more than $11,000. The event, organized by town resident Sandra Heiler and her War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, was held Oct. 27 at the Inn at Brookeville Farms. The Brookeville Town Commission heard the update during its monthly meeting on Monday. In addition to a period menu, the evening featured a speech by a reenactor portraying President James Madison and a silent auction. Nearly 300 people attended, including Gov. Martin O’Malley. who arrived in period attire, portraying Gen. John Mason. “In addition to the money we raised, it made a lot of people aware of Brookeville,” Heiler, who did not attend the meeting, said during a phone interview. “It was a lot of fun, and I think everyone had a good time.” The money raised will be put into a general fund, most of which will be used for the large culminating event — the War of 1812 commemoration planned for Aug. 30-31, 2014. Heiler SPORTS JAGUARS RETURN TOP TALENT Northwest’s indoor track and field teams expect big seasons. B-1 said the expenses will include costumes, visitor services, shuttles and interpreters. Several events are planned leading up to the August event. The Montgomery County Historical Society will include a War of 1812 track at its annual history conference at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus in Rockville on Jan. 25. Brookeville will hold its own seminar in March, focusing on the burning of Washington. On May 3, the town will host an historic house tour as another fundraiser, and in June, The White House Historical Society will sponsor a play for local children. A documentary about the events of Automotive Business Calendar Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please Aug. 26, 1814, is also in the works. Heiler said the town has been awarded several grants to help to pay for the commemoration events. The money raised at the supper and upcoming house tour will help offset additional costs. Sharing holiday spirit Town residents gathered for the annual holiday party on Dec. 7 at the Brookeville Academy. “The party was another success,” Commission President Michael Acierno said. “The turnout was really good, and people seemed to have a See SUPPER, Page A-12 B-15 A-13 A-2 B-11 A-4 B-5 A-16 A-14 B-1 RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906206

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