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Country star to bring The Big Noise to Bethesda Blues and Jazz. B-5



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 cents

Founder could lose group home — and her own Sandy Spring homes to be sold n




Anura Arachchilage (center) and his wife, Yamuna (left), get help from lead navigator Sue Mathews in the Rockville office set up to help people work their way through the process of signing up on the state’s insurance exchange to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act.

A single candle burns in each window of Hattie Washington’s empty Sandy Spring house. “It says I still have faith ... that somebody will save us,” she said. Washington is the founder of Aunt Hattie’s Place, a group home program that once housed disadvantaged boys in Sandy Spring. A group home is a residence with staff who provide care and services to people in specific age groups, with specific needs. The Sandy Spring

Residents turn to county navigators to help sign up for health insurance to comply with Affordable Care Act BY




riday the 13th was a good day for Paula Kahla of Sandy Spring. Since Maryland’s online health exchange opened Oct. 1, the self-employed real estate agent already had made three trips to Rockville for help finding affordable health insurance, and had made daily attempts to sign on. Until Friday, “all the other

See GLITCHES, Page A-17

Advocates for ‘ex-gays’ allege discrimination for being excluded



times the system was frozen” or couldn’t verify her username and password, Kahla said. Friday Kahla arrived at the county health center in Rockville at 9:50 a.m. and by 1 p.m. she had found and selected a plan. It will cost her $430 per month — far less than the $985 per month that she has been paying for a plan that covers her pre-existing degenerative disk disease, high blood pressure and

See HOME, Page A-12

Nonprofit seeks federal probe of school system n


location served up to eight boys at a time, up to age 18. The boys who came to her were often victims of abuse or neglect, and many had been moved from group homes to foster homes and back within the span of months. The specific locations where the boys were moved are not released, Washington said. The child care program at the Sandy Spring location was suspended this summer after the state’s Department of Human Resources denied the group home a renewal of its contract. Washington and the organization’s pro bono lawyer, Emily Vaias of Linowes and Blocher, made multiple appeals to the state, but they

There are three ways to sign up: 1. Go to and complete the online enrollment process. 2. Call the Maryland Health Connection at 1-855-642-8572 (toll free) or 1-855-642-8573 (TTY) and sign up over the phone. 3. Meet in-person with a navigator to complete enrollment. Visit for a list of sign-up locations and times available.

Upcoming sign-up events: n 10 a.m. Saturday: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Event, Montgomery County Health and Human Services, 8818 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring. n 10 a.m. Saturday: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Event, Montgomery County Health and Human Services, 12900 Middlebrook Road, second floor, Germantown.

A Virginia nonprofit advocating for “ex-gays” has filed a discrimination complaint with the federal departments of Justice and Education against Montgomery County. The group — called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, or PFOX — contends that Starr made denigrating comments at a public meeting that hurt students. The group also said county public schools stopped a flier distribution program in middle and high schools, denying them access to students in a move reminiscent of the “1950’s Jim Crow

South.” Montgomery County officials have declined to discuss the details of the case, saying they don’t comment on pending litigation. However, school district spokesman Dana Tofig said in an email that the county still lets fliers be distributed under the newest policy, even if the superintendent objects to the message. PFOX bills itself as a group that advocates for “ex-gays,” or people who change their sexual orientation, something gay and lesbian advocates say is essentially impossible. According to PFOX’s complaint, the group distributed fliers about its mission to Montgomery County public high school students for the last five years, complying with

See NONPROFIT, Page A-12

Kentlands man goes high-tech with seasonal show Hourlong show features more than10,000 lights



After being mesmerized by Christmas light shows at Disney World, Mikel Draghici wanted to re-create the magic at his own home. The Kentlands resident is currently hosting his second annual “Draghici’s Christmas,” which includes an hour-long

holiday light show that is synchronized to a festive mix of music. From Dec. 1-24, more than 10,000 lights dance across the front of Draghici’s home as holiday and occasional rock music play on a speaker that sits outside. The music is also broadcast on the FM radio station 89.9 so that viewers can enjoy the show from inside their vehicles. The show runs from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night at 202 Little Quarry Road. Draghici hosted his first light

show December 2011, when he created his first controller board that holds the electric circuitry for the lights. A computer inside of the home sends commands to the controller board that, in turn, triggers the lights. While he’s now more easily able to build the controller boards, Draghici admitted the project involved a steep learning curve. “Thank God for Google,” Draghici said, adding that he learned a lot from a group called “Do It Yourself Christmas.” “I

had to make the boards, learn what to buy, how to buy it, from who to buy it.” Draghici said his new challenge is figuring out how to make the materials and new additions to the project blend in with his home. “I want to make this unobtrusive as possible,” he said. “I don’t want people to think this house will light up the sky.” The project required a lot of Draghici’s time, and he said


POISED FOR SUCCESS After several winless seasons, Blake’s ice hockey team is on the rise.



See SHOW, Page A-12

Automotive Business Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please



Mikel Draghici’s Little Quarry Road home in the Kentlands in Gaithersburg offers a Christmas light show synchronized to music.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

PEOPLE& PLACES More online at

Family helps foster kids during holidays and beyond The Scheers of Darnestown have a special place in their heart for society’s less-fortunate children. Rob Chasteen-Scheer and his husband, Reece Scheer, adopted four foster children — and want to help other kids in the foster care system, too. Amaya, 9, and Makai, 7, are siblings and were adopted by the Scheer family when they were 4 and 2, respectively. Greyson, now 6, was almost 2 and Tristan, 5, was 4 months old when they were adopted. They also are siblings. One memory really stuck with Chasteen-Scheer: the trash bags with red handles the children brought when they moved to their new home and family. “They came carrying trash bags. ... Everything looked like it had been used a thousand times,” Chasteen-Scheer said. He told his business partner they needed to do something different for not only the holidays but every month. Now, Chasteen-Scheer’s business, CoesterVMS of Rockville, is teaming up with the National Center for Children and Families of Bethesda, asking the community to help foster children. On Saturday, more than 100 volunteers, including children, showed up at CoesterVMS, where they accepted from the public donated items for “comfort cases”: small suitcases, duffel bags or backpacks, with a pajama set, blanket, toothbrush and toothpaste, stuffed animal, athletic

shorts or sweatpants, hairbrush and comb, deodorant, lotions and soaps, coloring books and crayons, pens and pencils, and a journal. The comfort cases will be donated to the national nonprofit. By the end of the day, they had 364 cases ready for kids. In addition, Fairhaven United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg agreed to donate 200 blankets every month next year from its quilting group. Chasteen-Scheer said comfort case drives are planned next year in March, June, September and December; the March drive will be in the company’s offices in Virginia Beach, Va., and the others will be Rockville. “Children come to the foster care system every month,” Chasteen-Scheer said. Besides being their adoptive father, Chasteen-Scheer has a special bond with his children: He, too, was a foster child. He lost his parents when he was 10 and said the trash bags lugged around by foster children immediately brought back memories. “I remember going into my foster home and everything that I own was in trash bags,” he said. Chasteen-Scheer recalled when his daughter got her own brandnew Cinderella nightgown. “I remember my daughter taking the Cinderella nightgown ... just the smile on her face,” he said. Rob and Reece were the 20th gay couple to be married in Washington, D.C., and moved to Maryland before the state legalized same-sex marriage. They wanted to give their children more space and better schooling, Chasteen-Scheer said.


Churchill’s Izzy Wu (right) tries to steal the ball from Wootton’s Rebecca Sissman during a game on Friday. For more, go to GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Rob Chasteen-Scheer helps his daughter Amaya Scheer, 9, pick out donated items to pack in a case for foster children Saturday in Rockville during a volunteer event organized by Chasteen-Scheer, who was once a foster child. The cases will be distributed to foster kids through the National Center for Children and Families of Bethesda. More information is at www.

Gaithersburg senior center wins grant from hospital The Gaithersburg Upcounty Senior Center recently won a $1,000 grant from Suburban Hospital in Bethesda to partner on a wellness program called “January Jump Start.” Kicking off the first week in January, the program was created by the senior center to encourage its members to be active, participate in different activities offered by the center and begin the year with healthful resolutions. The program challenges mem-


House, 6-8 p.m., Fitness Together and

Women Business Owners of Montgomery County Networking Event, 11:30

a.m.-2 p.m., Rockville Hilton, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville. $28. 301-365-1755.

Inaugural meeting for Potomac Youth Volunteer Association, 4:30-5:30

p.m., Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac. Free. 240670-4595.

The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness, 5:30-7 p.m., Go

Performance and Fitness, 22530 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg. Free. 301-540-8500.

Damascus High School Chamber Singers Dinner Fundraiser, 6 p.m.,

Damascus High School Cafeteria, 25921 Ridge Road, Damascus. $20 for general admission, $15 for kids 12 and younger and seniors, free for ages 4 and younger. 301-253-2091.

the Mindful Healing Spa, 6708 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. Free. 301-656-3904.

Potomac Community Village Program and Potluck Dinner, 6:30-8:45

p.m., Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac. Free, bring a dish to share.

SATURDAY, DEC. 21 Fenton Street Holiday Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Veterans Plaza, 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring. Winter Solstice Celebration, noon-5 p.m., Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. $5. 301-962-1480.

Maryland Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker, 1 p.m., Robert E. Parilla Per-

forming Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. $23-$33. 301-608-2232.



SPORTS Winter sports are underway. Check online throughout the week for coverage of basketball games. A&E Grapelines: Gift ideas abound for the wine-lovers on your list

For more on your community, visit

bers to increase participation in activities such as exercise classes, educational programs and trips. Members will earn points for each activity they participate in and, if they earn enough, they will win a “January Jump Start” T-shirt.


Gaithersburg middie at White House menorah lighting

Are those single-serve brewing pods called K-Cups recyclable?

Naval Academy Midshipman 3rd Class Joseph Chilbert of Gaithersburg attended the blessing for the lighting of the menorah Dec. 5 at the White House. Naval Academy Rabbi Joshua Sherwin led the recitation of the blessings.

Liz turns to Keurig to brew up this answer.





Send items at least two weeks in advance of the paper in which you would like them to appear. Go to and click on the submit button. Questions? Call 301-670-2070.

Holiday Health and Healing Open





A Dec. 4 candidate profile of Del. Charles E. Barkley had an incorrect date for the general election, which will be held Nov. 4, 2014.

Live Nativity, 5-8 p.m., Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene, 8921 Warfield Road, Gaithersburg. Free. 301-540-6008.




Maryland Encore Chorale Holiday Concert, 3 p.m., Montgomery College

Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Free. 301-261-5747 Celebration of Lights, 3-4 p.m., Marilyn J. Praisner Public Library, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. Free. 240-773-9460.

Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music’s Holiday Concert, 5-6:30 p.m., The

Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 6201 Dunrobbin Drive, Bethesda. $20 general admission, $10 for students and seniors. 410-446-9450.





Get complete, current weather information at

Holiday Open House and Concert,

Maryland Zoomobile, 1:30-2:15 p.m., Davis Community Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. Free. 240777-0922.


1-4 p.m., Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville. Free. 240314-8620. Rockville Concert Band, 3 p.m., F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville. 240-314-8620. Photos with St. Nicholas, 5-6 p.m., Lifechurch of Maryland, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown. 240252-5514. An Evening of Christmas Musical Delight, 5-6:30 p.m., Christ Evangeli-

cal Lutheran Church of Bethesda, 8011 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. Free. 301-652-5160. We Kare-eoke for Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation, 7 p.m.-midnight,

Mobile Download the Gazette.Net mobile app using the QR Code reader, or go to for custom options.

GAZETTE CONTACTS The Gazette – 9030 Comprint Court

Union Jack’s, 4915 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda. $10 suggested donation. www.stoneandholtweeksfoundation. org.

Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Main phone: 301-948-3120 Circulation: 301-670-7350





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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page A-3


City won’t support financing for apartment complex plan n

Developer wants to build market rate units at Y site in Gaithersburg BY JENN DAVIS STAFF WRITER

The Gaithersburg City Council voted Monday not to support a developer’s request for financing for a new Olde Towne apartment complex through the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. After a lively discussion, the Gaithersburg mayor and city council voted 3-2 to adopted the resolution. City Manager Tony Tomasello said the city was recently notified that RST Development, the developer of The Crossing at Olde Towne, submitted an application to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for financing through low-income housing tax credit programs. The proposed complex, located at the Y site at 200 Olde Towne Avenue, is a multifamily unit development that will have a housing mix of 105 low/ moderate income units and 94 market-rate units. The state department’s policy requires that it consult with the city while considering the developer’s application, according to Tomasello. Gaithersburg can indicate whether it supports, opposes or has no position with regard to the project. As a result of the mayor and council’s decision not to support the financing, the developer will have to withdraw its application from the financing programs. RST officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday about how the vote will impact their development plans. Councilmembers Henry Marraffa, Jud Ashman and Cathy Drzyzgula supported the resolution, maintaining that the city should not support funding help for this project.

Marraffa said more affordable housing would be dangerous to the economic development of Olde Towne. “As long as we continue with affordable housing, businesses won’t want to come here,” he said. “They want to see a movement upward.” Drzyzgula agreed with Marraffa that more affordable housing units would not benefit the city. She also said the developer won the rights to develop on the land from the city with the idea that the project would include all market-rate units. “The winner proposed an upscale, market-rate apartment project and negotiations for the sale of the property, including attachment to the existing city garage, reflected the city’s desire to see such a project be built on the site,” she said. “It would not be fair to the other applicants or to our taxpayers for the city to offer support for a new subsidy after the process has concluded.” Conversely, Councilmen Mike Sesma and Ryan Spiegel said they thought the city should choose to take no stance on the financing of the project. Spiegel said while he wasn’t thrilled with the project’s design plans, he thought the city should stay neutral. He said part of his reasoning came from the fact that the developer had already received site approvals from various city departments. “We shouldn’t be using a DHCD tax credit process as an opportunity to reopen debate over a project that has already received its land use entitlements,” he said. Referring to the recently completed Frederick Avenue Corridor study’s finding that the city is has too many multi-family rental units,” Spiegel said he believes “that’s a policy question for us to explore on a going-forward basis for new proposals.” Three residents spoke on the topic at the meeting, and all three of them said they felt the city should not support the financing.

A lifetime of love for Olney couple Jack and Adele Spiegelman die weeks apart n



A local couple who were married nearly 67 years and shared with Gazette readers their secrets to their lifelong commitment died within weeks of each other recently. Jack and Adele Spiegelman had been married nearly 67 years, before they both died two weeks apart in late October and early November. The Gazette featured the couple in a Valentine’s Day story in 2008. In the 2008 interview, Jack Spiegelman said their marriage had lasted because they really did get along. “Don’t get into an argument before you go to bed,” he said. “And if you do get into an argument, know that you are going to lose and that your wife will always win.” He admitted that he sometimes did get mad, but knew to just walk away. “You just have to put up with it; that’s it,” said Adele Spiegelman. “We were lucky, but it was also a different time.”


Adele and Jack Spiegelman had been married nearly 67 years before they died two weeks apart recently.

The Spiegelmans lived at Willow Manor senior apartment community in Olney until mid-October. Their daughter, Fern Masters of Brookeville, said that her mother, at age 94, had grown very weak, and was having a hard time taking care of her father, who was 91. The couple moved into Brookeville House, an assisted living facility in Sunshine. Adele died Oct. 24, one week after moving in. Jack died Nov. 7, two weeks to the day after losing his wife. “Neither one of them were sick,” said Masters. “But once my mother knew that my father would be taken care of, she said she

was going to die, and a week later, she did.” Masters said her mother always watched television during the day, and her father watched in the evening. Once her mother died, her father sat in silence with the television off. “I just think it was really sad for him,” she said. “Once he saw that she had died, he was done living, too. They had been together forever.” Their love story began in Montreal, when Jack and Adele were introduced through a mutual friend. They went to a nightclub on New Year’s Eve for their first date. They married Nov. 16, 1946. They lived in New York and Florida before moving to Maryland about ten years ago, to be closer to their daughter. Masters said she always felt like it was a little game her parents played, each of them saying, “You die first. No, I am not going to die first, you die first.” The couple was buried side by side at Judean Memorial Gardens in Olney. Masters said they stood on her mother’s grave to bury her father. Jack and Adele Spiegelman are survived by three daughters, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Dollar General coming to Poolesville, town leaders say Design will include elements from town hall n



Construction on a new Dollar General store in Poolesville will start next fall, according to a company representative. Dan MacDonald, a spokesman for Dollar General, said the store will have 7,200 square feet of sales floor. It will be built on the vacant lot at 19718 Fisher Ave., which the company owns. Information about the sale of the property was not available. Discount retailer Dollar General of Tennessee has about 10,000 stores nationwide. Kelley Coey of Zaremba Group, representing Dollar General, said at a Poolesville Planning Commission meet-

ing Dec. 11 that the company has secured a parking variance for the store. According to Town Commissioner Chuck Stump, Poolesville’s parking regulations generally require businesses to have many more spaces than they need. The planning commission is working to rewrite those regulations. The Dollar General store will have about 30 parking spaces, Coey said. The current town regulations would have required them to have one parking space per 100 square feet of sales floor area, but the newly proposed regulations would only require one space per 300 square feet of sales floor. The typical Dollar General has six to 10 employees, MacDonald said. At previous planning commission meetings, residents were concernedthatmorechainstores would change the town’s atmo-

sphere. Dollar General has made changes to the planned facade of the store, taking ornamental elements from Poolesville’s town hall, redesigning the store’s sign and making the lighting outside the store less obtrusive. One Poolesville resident spoke up at the planning commission’s public hearing last week on Dollar General. Tom Kettler, president of Kettler Forlines Homes at Brightwell Crossing, said he’d like to see more uniform lighting for commercial buildings along Fisher Avenue. But overall, he said he was “excited” about more commercial development in town. MacDonald said Dollar General stores are “part of the fabric of small-town America.” “We understand small towns very well,” he said. Jim Brown, president of Pool-

esville’s town commissioners, said residents have “cherished” its small town atmosphere even as chain stores such as McDonald’s, Subway and CVS thrive. “They’veprovidedgoodsand services the town has needed,” he said in an email. “Poolesville will always be a small town, and only certain types of companies can make a business plan that makes sense for our area.” Over time, Brown said, town commissioners would like to see more “vitality” in the commercial district along Fisher Avenue. They are reviewing revisions of the town’s zoning code that would help attract more businesses to that area. “The development of critical mass through business investment is probably our best path towards a healthy downtown environment,” he said.



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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

AROUND THE COUNTY Delaney donates portion of congressional salary


(From left) John Kleiderer, Mercy Health Clinic’s executive director; Rep. John Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac; Dr. James Ronan, founding medical director and volunteer cardiologist; and Colleen Rodak, clinical director, chat after Delaney gave the Gaithersburg clinic part of his salary earned during the government shutdown in October.

After pledging to donate the portion of his salary earned during the government shutdown in October to a Gaithersburg clinic, Rep. John Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac followed through on his promise Nov. 26 when he stopped by the center to present the check. Delaney, who was reported in July to be worth at least $51 million, donated some of his $174,000 annual congressional salary to Mercy Health Clinic. Executive Director John P. Kleiderer said it was just more more than $7,600. “This clinic has a tremendous impact on the community,” Delaney said. “So, particularly in context with the shutdown, I wanted to donate to a place that is doing good work. Symbolically, this represents volunteers coming together to do good things in light of the shutdown where Congress wasn’t doing anything.” Kleiderer said the clinic, at 7 Metropolitan Court, Suite 1, was “ecstatic” to receive the contribution. The clinic is a nonprofit community health center that serves uninsured low-income residents of Montgomery County. With more than 150 volunteers, the clinic offers free services in 20 specialty areas to its patients. — JENN DAVIS

Sen. Nancy King to submit bill seeking MSA waiver n

Also calls for report on potential penalty



Parents and teachers who don’t want students to take the soon-tobe phased-out Maryland School Assessment tests this year have gained an ally in the state legislature. State Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Dist. 39) of Montgomery Village said Monday she is drafting emergency legislation that would direct the Maryland State Department of Education to apply for a waiver from the federal government so schools can bypass the test this year. The bill will be submitted the first day of the General Assembly’s session, King said. The annual test has been used to assess elementary and middle school students’ performance but Maryland is now transitioning to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers test, a new state assessment that aligns with the Common Core State Standards. The PARCC test — which will be piloted in some Montgomery County schools this year — will not be fully implemented in Maryland until next school year. King said she has heard from teachers, parents and others who

are concerned that the MSA tests don’t align with schools’ curriculums — which are based on the Common Core standards — and will waste instructional time and won’t benefit the students. “It’s exhausting for these kids to take these tests,” she said. “They take so much time preparing for it.” Her proposed legislation also will call for a report by the end of February stating whether the state would face a penalty if it did not give the tests and how much that penalty would be. If the penalty costs less than the amount it costs to implement the tests, King said, it would be worth it to cancel the test. State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery wants the state to stick with the MSA this year to measure student performance. The assessment data will be useful for instruction and professional development purposes, she said. The state education department, Lowery said, is in the process of sending representatives to local jurisdictions in part to talk about how schools can use the MSA data. Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) of Burtonsville — who will act as the lead house sponsor of the bill — said he is concerned about the loss of instructional time and thinks the test should be part of a broader conversation about school reform in the state. “Given the comments from the

state department of education, I am not optimistic that they will voluntarily go back on the [MSA] test, but I am optimistic that, given the broad support for changing this paradigm among the community, that we can see some changes over the long term,” he said. The Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations — which includes about 50,000 members — has also joined the call to cancel the test this year. The council’s board of directors adopted a resolution Dec. 5 that directed the group to write a letter to Lowery and the Maryland State Board of Education urging them to request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. The council board also voted to send a letter to the county school board urging them to advocate for the test’s cancellation. Janette Gilman, the PTA council’s president, said the council’s board thinks “it doesn’t make a lot of sense” for kids to take the test if the results don’t show what they’re learning. She said another important question, however, is the potential financial implications. Tiferet Ani, a social studies teacher in the Quince Orchard cluster, started a petition titled “Cancel the MSA,” which — as of Tuesday — had grown to include about 768 signatures from around the state, up from about 400 signa-

tures in early November. Luedtke said he supports Ani’s petition and King said she had seen the petition on Facebook. Ani, who has administered the test four times, said she thinks the test would be a waste of time and resources this year. William Reinhard, spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, said that local school districts don’t have any flexibility on whether they give the test. 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. Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the county school system, said in an email that Superintendent Joshua P. Starr is concerned about giving tests that don’t match what students are learning. “If we have to give the tests, we will do so — that’s not a choice we have,” Tofig said in the email. “But, we want our community to understand that the tests as they are now do not provide meaningful insight into how our students and staff are performing.”

Report finds no fault in Dellabrooke subdivision approvals Property owners claim planners conspired against them, call for federal probe n


Several property owners in a Sandy Spring community are questioning a new report clearing Montgomery County park and planning staff of improper behavior in approving a subdivision, and are calling for a federal investigation. The issue centers around the approval process for the Dellabrooke subdivision near Brooke Road in Sandy Spring. Several property owners in a largely black community in the area claimed that planners for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission refused to recognize a gravel farm road that provided their homes with access to Brooke Road and had refused to issue them addresses for their properties. The planning board agreed in July to assign addresses to 11 prop-

erties along the farm road after staff said there was enough evidence to support doing so. In a series of lawsuits, the property owners claimed that planning staff conspired with developers and others to conceal the existence of the farm road by removing it from maps, deeds and other planning documents because it interfered with plans for the Dellabrooke subdivision. The report by Douglas M. Bregman, a principal at the Bethesda law firm of Bregman, Berbert, Schwartz & Gilday, found no proof of improper conduct by planning staff related to the Dellabrooke approval or the approval of a conservation easement related to the project. Maps by the U.S. Geological Survey from 1908 and 1923 show a road that goes across the property from Brooke Road to Gold Mine Road through the general area where the development would later go, according to the report. But a Geological Survey map from 1944 and subsequent maps reportedly don’t show such a road. Steve Kanstoroom, an advocate for the owners of several properties affected by the dispute, was skepti-

cal of Bregman’s report. “The Commission’s report created by its contract attorney is neither independent nor does anything to assist the Farm Road community [in] regaining its stolen property rights,” Kanstoroom wrote in a statement to The Gazette. “The Commission’s relentless efforts to rewrite history and deny the irrefutable facts, all at taxpayer expense, constitute a further reckless use of taxpayer funds.” Judy Penny, whose family owns property along the farm road, wrote in a statement that she wasn’t convinced by Bregman’s report. “Mr. Bregman and the Commission’s attempts to persuade the public that it was conducting an independent investigation will not survive scrutiny. The truth will eventually come out, despite the Commission and its crony’s best efforts to hide it,” Penny wrote. The planning commission has refused to turn over documents that Bregman was basing his report on, she said. “Consequently, the community now intends to prevail upon high ranking officials to seek US Attorney General [Eric] Holder’s help,” she

wrote. “It also intends to avail itself of other methods of bringing Maryland’s dirty secrets flowing from the Commission into the national spotlight.” Francoise Carrier, chairwoman of the Montgomery County Planning Board, said Bregman’s investigation was thorough and “did not leave a stone unturned” in looking into the situation. “To my mind, it fully answers the questions that were raised,” she said. The commission responded to a records request from Penny and told her it wouldn’t be providing documents as they were provided to Bregman to avoid compromising privileged information that was part of the investigation, she said. The documents are being scanned electronically and should soon be available online, Carrier said. Meanwhile, the county has been working with the property owners to try to determine a route for a road leading through the community that meets everyone’s satisfaction, she said.


Holiday Giving program accepting donations With the December holidays almost here, Gaithersburg’s Holiday Giving program is preparing to serve more than 2,000 families and is encouraging the community to make donations. The greatest need is for monetary donations and Target gift cards in $10 and $20 denominations. In November, the program served hundreds of families through various events. About 300 families were directly sponsored by schools, churches, businesses and individuals, while another 300 households received donations of food at a large distribution event held at Bohrer Park’s activity center before Thanksgiving. For more information, visit or call 301258-6395.

Multiple vacancies on county boards Montgomery County is seeking county residents for several committee vacancies. Two vacancies are open on the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee for owners or operators of commercial farmland in the county. The committee is responsible for promoting awareness of the Rustic Roads Program and reviewing development proposals, road classifications and county policies. The Animal Matters Hearing Board is seeking applicants for three vacancies. The board needs one licensed animal fancier as an alternate, one primary public member and one alternate public member. The five-member board holds hearings on appeals and complaints related to incidents in the county. Four vacancies are open on the Historic Preservation Commission. Applicants should have expertise in history, architecture, preservation or urban design, or should represent a geographic area or special interest in the county. Owners of historic homes and residents of historic districts are encouraged to apply. The nine-member commission approves Historic Area Work Permits and recommends historic sites and districts for placement on the county’s master plan. The commission meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in Silver Spring. All committee members serve three-year terms without compensation, but they are eligible for travel reimbursements and dependent care for meetings attended. Residents can’t serve on more than one board, committee or commission at the same time. Applicants should send a brief cover letter and resume to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe St., 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD 20850. Applications may also be sent to Applicants should include their home and employment addresses, contact phone numbers and email addresses in their submissions.


Complete report at The following is a summary of incidents in the Damascus, Gaithersburg, Germantown and Olney area to which Montgomery County police responded recently. The words “arrested” and “charged” do not imply guilt. This information was provided by the county.

Armed robbery • On Nov. 29 at 7:24 p.m. atWashington Express Gas Station, 14300 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring. Subject with weapon threatened victim and took property. Strong-arm robbery • On Nov. 27 at 8:42 p.m. in parking lot of Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg. Subject assaulted victim and unsuccessfully attempted to take property. • On Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. near intersection of Travis Avenue and Southern Night Lane, Gaithersburg. Subject is known to victim. • On Dec. 1 at 6:45 a.m. in 3600 block of Bel Pre Road, Silver Spring. Subject assaulted victim and took property. Aggravated assault • On Nov. 26 at 3:17 p.m. at American Beauty Academy, 11006 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton. Subject is known to victim. • On Nov. 26 at 10:55 p.m. in parking lot of Village Café and Bar, 19230 Montgomery Village Ave., Montgomery Village. Subject is known to victim. • On Dec. 1 at 6:05 a.m. in 19400 block of Brassie Place, Gaithersburg. Subject is known to victim. Commercial burglary • On Nov. 30 between 2 and 8:15 p.m. at Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and Nova Tours, 19803 Executive Park Circle, Germantown. Forced entry, took property. Residential burglary • 22100 block of Fair Garden Lane, Clarksburg, between 8 a.m. Nov. 25 and 8 p.m. Dec. 1. No forced entry, took property.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

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Upcounty residents call for community facilities Recommendations to be sent to county executive




Upcounty residents are calling on the county executive to dedicate funding to new community centers for Clarksburg and Poolesville. The Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board met Monday evening to finalize its recommendations to send to County Executive Isiah Leggett about ongoing projects in the Capital Improvements Program. The board is asking Leggett to fund a feasibility study for a community center or indoor pool in Clarksburg, and a com-

munity center or senior center in Poolesville. The board is also calling for expanded restroom facilities at the Germantown library as the nearby Germantown Town Center Urban Park nears completion. Board members are anticipating increased need for the library’s facilities as the park starts to see visitors. According to county documents, the park will be completed in 2014 or 2015. The board also requested the county’s attention to transportation projects that would affect upcounty residents. According to Catherine Matthews, director of the Upcounty Regional Office, the board voted to rate the county’s Midcounty Corridor Study a top priority.

Members of the board generally support the concept of a road between Clarksburg and Shady Grove, but decided not to support a specific route, or alternative, until the study is complete. Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board Chairman Cherian Eapen, a Clarksburg resident, said the board wanted to “get up to speed” on the Midcounty Highway extension issue before making a decision. The board’s recommendations also include funding the construction of the Md. 355 bikeway project, which will connect Clarksburg and Germantown. The board is also asking that the county expand MARC service along the Brunswick line, ensure the timely construction of Stringtown Road and

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Snowden Farm Parkway extensions and lobby the Maryland Transit Administration to accelerate funding for the Corridor Cities Transitway. In the Gaithersburg area, board members are asking the county to assess traffic in the Washingtonian Center area near Sam Eig Highway since more development is planned, especially in the new Crown community. Board members’ recommendations apply to the county’s Capital Improvement Program for fiscal year 2015 through 2020. Leggett will hold public forums around the county in January to seek input on the fiscal year 2015 operating budget.

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In a nearly unanimous vote of his school board colleagues, Phil Kauffman became the Montgomery County Board of Education’s new president on Thursday. “I’m honored and a little scared,” Kauffman said. Student board member Justin Kim voted for board member Michael A. Durso to serve as president. The board holds elections for the president and vice president positions each year. Long-time board member Patricia O’Neill was voted to replace Kauffman as the board’s vice president. O’Neill of Bethesda has served in both the president and vice president positions multiple times in the past. She has served on the board since 1998. Christopher S. Barclay — who Kauffman called his mentor — had served as president for the past year and continues to serve on the board. Kauffman of Olney has been a board member since 2008 and, among other PTA positions, once served as the area vice president for the Sherwood Cluster and Northeast Consortium on the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations board of directors. Kauffman said he takes the board’s top position as the school system faces another year that will bring “renewed challenges” such as growing enrollment. “We will have to carefully consider how best to prioritize our limited resources to meet the needs of our diverse student body,” he said. Kauffman and O’Neill’s colleagues voiced their support for the board leaders. Durso said Kauffman’s perspective as a retired lawyer has been helpful. Kauffman is “always probing in terms of how and why we do things,” he said. Referencing O’Neill’s longtime presence on the board, Durso said she returns to an official position at an important time when the school is facing a series of challenges at the local, state and national level. Board member Judith Docca congratulated Kauffman as well. “He doesn’t speak unnecessarily but when he does he has researched and thought about it,” Docca said. O’Neill has been a mentor to her, she said. Board members also thanked Barclay for his service as board president. School board member Shirley Brandman told Barclay she thought he had demonstrated “strong, forceful leadership.” “You bring such integrity and passion to this position,” Brandman said. Durso said Barclay led the board through “some very tenuous and challenging situations.” Barclay said that it is “a wonderful opportunity” and an honor to represent the school

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Rice wants to expand cooperation with D.C., Prince George’s County ‘All of these problems are regional,’ says new council leader BY


Montgomery County’s new council president wants to seek more opportunities to work with

the county’s neighbors on certain projects, after Montgomery successfully banded with Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., to pass increases in the jurisdictions’ minimum wages. Council President Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said on Dec. 10 that he’s met with several members of

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background checks and preventing people from getting jobs. A bad decision shouldn’t keep someone from getting a job, Rice said. Fewer people unemployed would also put less of a strain on county programs and services, he said. “It’s better for us to make sure this person has a job,” he said. Prince George’s County Council Chairman Mel Franklin (D-Dist. 9) of Upper Marl-

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Page A-7

Starr proposes $2.28B school spending plan LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr recommended a $2.28 billion operating budget for fiscal 2015 to the county school board Thursday. Starr’s budget sits about $56.4 million above this fiscal year’s budget and about $17 million over what the county is required to provide under state law. Among other changes, the budget includes new positions aimed at helping low-income, English for speakers of other langugages and special education students. Starr said, in his recommended budget, he sought to address growing enrollment, “re-energize” efforts to close achievement gaps and support schools as they adjust to the Common Core State Standards, new state assessments and other changes. In the current budget, the county turned down the school board’s request to exceed by $10 million the minimum funding level. The County Council voted the school system use its reserve funds for the extra funds instead. Maryland’s “maintenance of effort” law requires counties to provide their school systems with the same amount or more per-pupil from one budget to the next. Starr said he thinks the economy has stabilized and the school system needs the funds he has recommended in part because “so much has been cut for so long.” “There is very little ability for us to continue to support the level of excellence that our community expects without this investment,” he said. Larry Bowers, chief operating officer for the school system, said the county has directed the school system to generate savings for the past several years. The school system used $27 million from its savings for this year’s fiscal budget and Starr’s budget for next fiscal year assumes the use of another $27 million from the reserves. “Now that we’ve gotten into the habit, we’ve got to continue generating savings or else we’re going to have a (budget) shortfall,” Bowers said. County Councilman Philip Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said Thursday he thinks it would be irresponsible for the county to go above maintenance of effort to fund the school system until the state law changes. “It’s not related to how good the economy is right now,” he said. “It’s related to the law that was passed by the state.” The County Council needs to protect its flexibility to handle different fiscal challenges down the road and protect taxpayers, he said. It is “worth considering” if the school system should take the $17 million requested above maintenance of effort from its reserves, he said. County Council President Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said he understands the school system is trying to address on ongoing challenges it faces such as the achievement gap. “We’re going to have to make some tough decisions,” Rice said. “I certainly understand the school system is trying to put its best foot forward.” The County Council, however, needs to balance school needs along with others in the county, he said. Starr said the budget attempts a balancing act as well. “Everything we do is about those two sides of the coin: ensuring that our kids have what they need for the future and ensuring that everybody is supporting those kids who need a little more to get there,” he said. With the school system facing dramatic enrollment growth, Starr said 85 percent of the budget is directed toward needs associated with the extra students and includes new positions. The new positions include 178 elementary and secondary teachers, 75 positions working with special education students, and eight positions working with students who speak English as a second language.

a group including counselors, staff development teachers, reading specialists and media specialists that were cut in recent years. Eleven of those positions were restored this year. About $800,000 in budget funds would go toward implementing a program that provides incentives to teachers who stay in or move to a high-needs school. An additional $300,000 would go toward extra support services to schools in the Innovations and Interviews Schools Networks. Two components of Starr’s

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Page A-8

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Rice outlines schedule to name Ervin’s successor on council n

Jan. 8 deadline set for letters and resumes BY


Anyone interested in replacing Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) on the Montgomery County Council will have to send materials to the council by early January. Letters of interest and a resume should be submitted to Council President Craig Rice by Jan. 8. The council plans to make a decision by Jan. 31. Ervin, of Silver Spring, will

resign Jan. 3 to become executive director of the New York-based Center for Working Families, a nonprofit advocacy organization. All applicants must, like Ervin, be a resident of District 5 and be registered in Montgomery County as a Democrat. Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said in a press release on Dec. 11 that the council intends to appoint someone who does not intend to run for election for a full term in 2014. Resumes should include the applicant’s professional and civic experience, party affiliation, home and work telephone

numbers and email addresses, according to a county release. The applications, letters of recommendation and resumes will be made public. Applicants also must fill out a confidential financial disclosure statement. Only the disclosure form of the person who is ultimately appointed will be made public. Applicants are not required to send letters of recommendation, although the council may ask for that information at a later date, said council spokesman Neil Greenberger. After the applications are received, the council will decide

who to bring in for interviews. Interviews will be scheduled for 2 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the Council Office Building in Rockville. If needed, other interviews will be held at 2 p.m. on Jan. 22 and Jan. 24. Greenberger said his office has gotten numerous phone calls from people asking about the position. “I think it’s going to be a pretty spirited position of interest,” he said. Ervin said Thursday that she’s thought long and hard about who she’d like to replace her and has someone in mind,

but feels it would be premature to announce who it is because that person hasn’t resolved the issue with their employer yet. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Meanwhile, the race to win a full term to the seat in November’s election has gathered steam since Ervin’s announcement. Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Gabriel Albornoz said he expects the race to fill the seat for a full term next year to attract plenty of interest. Ervin’s announcement

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“I think it’s going to be a pretty spirited position of interest.” Neil Greenberger, council spokesman comes early enough for people to organize a credible campaign for the June 24, 2014, Democratic primary, Albornoz said. Both Del. Tom Hucker (DDist. 20) of Silver Spring and Board of Education member Christopher S. Barclay confirmed that they are interested, while Evan Glass, chairman of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, announced in November that he planned to run for Ervin’s seat. Takoma Park Democrat Terrill North has been exploring an at-large bid for the council, but said Thursdsay that he’s been urged by supporters to run for the Distict 5 seat and is considering his options. Hucker said Thursday he’s considering running for the seat, which would mean leaving his seat in the House of Delegates. Hucker said he loves being in the House, but the chance to serve on the council is an important opportunity. “I’m trying to give it the consideration it deserves,” Hucker said. He filed in October to seek re-election as delegate. Barclay said he’s “definitely interested” in taking Ervin’s spot on the council. “I have a few more decisions to make, but we’ll see in the near future,” he said. Barclay said he is close friends with Ervin and will keep in touch with her as she moves on to her new position. The Board of Education has been a springboard for political candidates in the past, including Ervin and Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (DDist. 4) of Silver Spring, Sen. Nancy King (D-Dist. 39) of Montgomery Village and Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Dist. 18) of Chevy Chase. Former council members Marilyn Praisner and Blair Ewing also served on the school board first. Rice has said he hopes the appointee would be able to take the same committee assignments as Ervin, who chaired the council’s Education Committee and served on the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. The appointee likely would become a member of the Education Committee. One of the other two members — Rice or Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg — would become chairman, Rice said. Council Vice President George Leventhal (D-At Large) of Takoma Park lives in District 5, along with fellow at-large Councilmen Hans Riemer (D) and Marc Elrich (D). All three said they hadn’t given any consideration to running for the district seat instead of an at-large council seat. “I like having the broad view of what’s going on around the county,” Elrich said.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page A-9

Hydorn won’t seek presidency again in Montgomery Village in March Hydorn was foundation board leader for seven consecutive one-year terms n


Montgomery Village Foundation President Robert Hydorn announced Friday that he will not seek re-election when his one-year term expires in March. He shared his decision in a letter to the editor sent to The Gazette. Hydorn, 64, has been president for seven consecutive oneyear terms, beginning when the Montgomery Village Board of Directors first elected him to the post in 2007. “I just think it’s time for other people to step forward and take the responsibility,” Hy-


“I just think it’s time for other people to step forward and take the responsibility. Robert Hydorn, Montgomery Village Foundation President dorn said in an interview. “I’m a believer that at some point we need to change.” He also cited the desire to spend more time with his family as a reason for not seeking another term. When his presidency ends, Hydorn said he will stay on as a

board member until March 2015 to finish out his three-year term on the board. At that point, he will have completed three terms as a board member. After that term, he said he will no longer serve on the foundation’s board. According to the foundation’s bylaws, the Board of Directors must choose a new president by majority vote to replace Hydorn. Board member Scott Dyer said Hydorn has played an important role in leading Montgomery Village to a stable and successful future. “I think that his leadership has certainly helped Montgomery Village reach where it is, in great financial shape and with a great number of accomplishments,” Dyer said. “He leaves very big shoes to fill.”




Page A-10

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Taxpayers league questions schools’ top financial officer Bowers talks operating budget, data sharing





The topic was Montgomery County Public Schools’ finances and there was no lack of questions. Larry Bowers, the school system’s chief operating officer, met with Montgomery County Taxpayers League members and others on Thursday to answer questions on the school system’s operating budget, data sharing and auditing process among other subjects. Fred Stichnoth — a county schools activist and former president of the Gifted and Talented Association of



Montgomery County — asked Bowers to further explain components of Superintendent Joshua P. Starr’s recommended operating budget for fiscal 2015 that would add teachers in schools with high levels of poverty and implement a program that offers incentives to teachers who work in the high-needs schools. Bowers said the school system is working to attract and retain high-performing teachers to these schools. The program in Starr’s budget would offer grants to teachers so they could work on special projects at the schools, Bowers said. Bowers later said the school system has not done as good a job closing the achievement gap as it would have liked. “We have a ways to go yet,” he said. “There’s no question

about that.” Gordie Brenne, one of the group’s directors, said there is no “crosswalk” in Starr’s recommended budget between the proposed expenditures and the strategies described in the school system’s strategic plan for addressing various issues. Those connections, Brenne said, are important for those looking to the budget to make decisions, including taxpayers. Bowers said that Starr, in his presentation to the county school board, had “chunked [the budget] into some big areas,” including student services and community engagement. Bowers also discussed the school system potentially sharing financial data as part of the county’s open-data initiative, saying that the system is talking with county officials.

“We’re continuing to work with [the county] ... in terms of our level of participation,” he said. One question, he said, is how much money it would take for the school system to participate. Yale Wiesberg, the group’s treasurer, asked Bowers if the school system would be open to hiring someone in an inspector general-like position to conduct audits. “I’m all for accountability,” Bowers said. “I just don’t think that’s the way to go.” The school district’s operations are examined by the county’s Office of Legislative Oversight, Bowers said. “They have done an extensive amount of work looking at” the school system, he said.

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Page A-11



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Page A-12


price of $3.6 million. Most of the money from that sale, if there is a buyer, will go toward paying the debts for the group home, Washington said. “This is our baby,” she said. “I never thought it would come to this point, where we’d have to sell this boys’ home.” Aunt Hattie’s Place signed a 10-year covenant with the county in 2010. If the county agreed to help fund the home’s construction, Washington would agree to keep it open as a group home for the next decade. The state denied a second request from the organization for a $1.5 million grant in 2008. The county released Aunt Hattie’s Place from the covenant this fall, Vaias said. Aunt Hattie’s Place continues to operate a Baltimore group home that cares for 12 boys. But, like the Sandy Spring home, a third group home in Baltimore County was forced to close after losing state funding.

Continued from Page A-1 were denied. During the past five years, the state has reduced the number of beds in group homes by 67 percent, from about 1,890 to 620. The state’s “Place Matters” initiative assesses care providers through “performance-based measures” and strives to keep children in homes with their relatives. Although the state is not requiring Aunt Hattie’s Place to close its Sandy Spring home, state funds accounted for most of its operating budget. A visit from Department of Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas in September did not change the state’s decision not to fund the Sandy Spring home, Washington said. Its state funding ran dry at the end of June. Washington has made appeals to local churches, restaurants and community groups to get support for the group home, but their donations weren’t enough to pay the $17,000 monthly mortgage bill, utilities and thousands of dollars in accumulating late fees.

Losing a home The group home, which is on Norwood Road, took six years to build and was completed in 2010. Washington said the project cost about $3 million. The eight-bedroom house sits on the same lot as Washington’s own home, a four-bedroom rambler.


Continued from Page A-1 he often stayed up late after his family went to bed to work on the show. Synchronizing the songs with the lights is one of the most time-consuming tasks, according to Draghici, taking about 1.5 hours for each 30 seconds of music. Even with the spike in electricity use, Draghici said he


Hattie Washington hangs a Christmas ribbon on a lamppost outside her Sandy Spring home. Her house and the group home, Aunt Hattie’s Place, visible in the background, are for sale. Washington put her own house up as collateral when the group home’s construction costs exceeded initial estimates of just more than $1 million. When the home was constructed, the state and Montgomery County contributed $1.4 million, according to Vaias. Washington took out a loan from Sandy Spring Bank for $1.8 million, and has

doesn’t look at the electric bill — his wife does — and he doesn’t worry about it either. Aside from hosting the show, Draghici is also raising money for the national Arthritis Foundation with proceeds from his donation box that sits outside his home. Now fighting his own battle with Lupus, Draghici said he was initially diagnosed with arthritis, a symptom of Lupus, many years before. “I just felt that I wanted to

been working to pay it back since 2010. Without enough funding, she’s losing her home as well as the group home. But rather than let the homes fall into foreclosure, Washington said she worked with Sandy Spring Bank to try to sell the homes. Both have been on the market for the past three months, at an asking

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Continued from Page A-1 Fri. Dec. 27, 9-7pm Sat. Dec 28, 9-3pm

Mikel Draghici’s Little Quarry Road home in the Kentlands in Gaithersburg offers a Christmas light show synchronized to music. Synchronizing the songs with the lights is one of the most time-consuming tasks, according to Draghici, taking about 1½ hours for each 30 seconds of music.


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Washington said building the Sandy Spring house took “a great personal sacrifice.” She stepped down from the position of vice president at Coppin State University to focus on providing a home for foster kids. Now, as a professor at the university and more than $1 million in debt, she’s worried about her own future. “Aunt Hattie may be homeless,” she said. Washington said she still has faith that someone — “someone like Oprah [Winfrey] or one of those football play-

ers; someone with too much money” — will help Aunt Hattie’s Place get the Sandy Spring home back on its feet. Washington received the property through the will of Robert H. Hill, the first black man to sit on the board of Sandy Spring Bank. He was a self-made man known for his generosity to the community, she said. Hill bequeathed his rambler and five-car garage to her with the intention that she use the property to build a home for disadvantaged children. She helped contractors break ground for the group home on that lot four years later. “This house was his legacy,” Washington said. Eight months after she started her battle for the boys’ home, she breaks into tears at the thought of the sale sign on the Norwood Road property. “This [group] house was built, with every brick and mortar, with love for these kids,” she said. Vaias said the home is meant to serve others. “Our hearts would like to see it go to some other organization that serves underprivileged people,” she said. Brokers have expressed interest in the property, Washington said, but none have signed a contract yet. For now, she’s keeping a single candle lit in each window of her home, a symbol of hope in a long struggle that may cost her everything. “I would do it again in a heartbeat, because I believe the kids are worth it,” she said.

give back further,” he said. Next year, Draghici hopes to come back with three 20-minute shows to give viewers the option to come at various times throughout the evening. He is in the midst of designing a website for the event,, to get the word out to more people and share information about the show.

Lancaster County Dutch Market Regular Hours: Thurs. 10am-6pm, Fri. 9am-7pm Sat. 9am-3pm

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

the school system’s policies. In February 2012, according to the complaint, the group similarly distributed fliers. At a town hall around that time, Starr called PFOX’s actions “reprehensible and deplorable,” and sending a “disgusting” message, according to the complaint. PFOX alleges that Montgomery County is discriminating against students who might respond favorably to the group’s message. The complaint comes on the heels of a similar complaint PFOX made to the Montgomery County Board of Education, which denied it in November 2012. The Maryland State Board of Education denied the group’s appeal of the board’s decision. In February 2012, the school board reconsidered its flier policy, and recommended a ban on nonprofit fliers in April 2012. Previously, nonprofits in secondary public schools could send home fliers four times a year if they conformed to certain criteria, such as stating that

the fliers were not approved or endorsed by the school system. After controversies over PFOX’s fliers, the school system decided to ban sending home fliers to secondary school students. PFOX’s fliers bore messages such as “sexual orientation is based on feelings and is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration.” Now, only Montgomery County Public Schools, government entities or parent-teacher organizations can distribute informational materials at any time during the year. Nonprofits still may display materials in a designated location at all schools, as long as the material conforms to policy and regulations, according to MCPS’s revised policies. Critics of PFOX say the group’s complaint is without merit, and the latest actions of a group propagating harmful pseudoscience. Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, said claims from organizations like PFOX that a person’s sexuality was something people could change was “scientifically and physiologically not true.”


Evans said such messages had caused “incredible hurt and harm” to young people struggling to fit in at school and understand their sexuality. David Fishback, advocacy chair for the Washington, D.C., chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), said that at its core, PFOX’s message amounted to: “Don’t label yourself because it’s wrong to be gay, and if you push yourself into the closet ... things will work out.” “That’s a very disturbing message,” he said. Tofig said fliers still may be distributed in elementary schools. “Under our previous policy for [fliers] and informational materials, any [nonprofit] could distribute a [flier] to students in backpacks four times a year in all schools. Nobody restricted PFOX from distributing the [fliers] at all,” Tofig wrote. “In fact, Dr. Starr said very clearly that, even though he disagreed with PFOX, he would enforce the policy. However, the policy changed a year or so ago. Now, distribution is only allowed in elementary schools, not secondary schools.” He was not aware of any PFOX sending any fliers to elementary schools, he said. In the complaint, Regina Griggs of PFOX accused the school system of changing its policy “in order to prevent exgays from participating” in distributing the flyers, and compared the actions by MCPS to “the 1950’s Jim Crow South.” The Gazette was not able to interview Griggs. She did not respond to messages sent to her email and Twitter account, and a number listed on PFOX’s website was not working. The group says it is not a therapeutic or counseling organization practicing “conversion therapy,” the largely derided practice that claimed to be able to turn gay people straight. But on its website, the group offers advice on selecting therapists to help try to change sexual orientation. The largest group which espoused that theory, Exodus, shut down earlier this year, apologizing for “years of undue suffering and judgment” that it had caused. Medical experts have rejected the idea of homosexuality as being abnormal. According to the American Psychological Association, “several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding.”


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page A-13


Biggest employer? Whom are you asking? Walter Reed, FDA did not lose 3,000 jobs, county official says n



The basics of economic development — the practice of attracting and retaining businesses — can be an inexact science, with some results coming down to factors beyond officials’ control and just plain luck. Apparently, so can the tabulation of how many employees large employers have. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development recently released its annual lists of the top employers in counties and statewide. The list for Montgomery County showed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with 8,500 employees this fall, more than 3,000 fewer than the Bethesda center had a year ago. The state totals for federal and military facilities like Walter Reed exclude contractors when possible, while embedded contractors may be included. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with headquarters in Silver Spring, had 8,200 employees this year, according to state figures — also more than 3,000 fewer than a year ago. It was a tough year for the federal government with sequester budget cuts and a shutdown, but those government agencies did not lose more than 3,000 jobs apiece in the past year, said Steven A. Silverman, director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. “I would know if the FDA or Walter Reed lost 3,000 employees. That would be major news,” Silverman said. “I don’t know how the state comes up with these figures.” DBED has done the surveys for a number of years, with researchers compiling them using employer surveys that start in September, said Karen Glenn Hood, a DBED spokeswoman. The lists are posted to DBED’s website. A draft for each county’s top employers are reviewed by some


county officials, Hood said. But Silverman said he had not seen Montgomery’s figures before they were released. “Some data can shift in the time between our start and completion,” Hood said. There also could be some differences in methodology in how employers count workers from year to year, she added. Juli Ann Putnam, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said that as of Thursday, the agency had 10,856 employees in Montgomery. That is some 2,650 more than the most recent DBED survey indicated. A year ago, the FDA had 11,306 employees in Montgomery, according to both the FDA and DBED. A spokeswoman for Walter Reed could not be reached for comment.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY’S TOP TEN EMPLOYERS 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30


Excludes state and local governments. Employee counts for federal and military facilities exclude contractors to the extent possible; embedded contractors may be included.






+15.7% H


0.0% D






-12.3% -9.8%

-27.3% -27.5% 2013




F. Adventist HealthCare


B. Walter Reed



G. Lockheed Martin



C. Food and Drug Administration



H. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin. 4,600


D. Marriott International



I. Montgomery College



E. Booz Allen Hamilton



J. Kaiser Permanente



A. National Institutes of Health

2013 2012 5,669


Others say figures aren’t accurate Adventist HealthCare of Gaithersburg had 5,330 employees in Montgomery as of mid-October, about the same as a year ago, said Tom Grant, a spokesman for the medical network that includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. The state put Adventist at 4,972 employees this fall, a decline of about 700 from a year ago. Hospitals have openings at various times during the year, so that might contribute to some of the difference, Grant said. Some employers also could count part-timers as full-time workers, rather than add them together as full-time equivalent employees, or include seasonal workers, contributing to discrepancies. Giant Food has 3,150 employees in Montgomery, about the same as a year ago, said Jamie Miller, a spokesman for the grocer. The state listed Giant with about 3,000 employees in Montgomery, a decline of 500 from a year ago. “While the number of Giant Food associates periodically fluctuates, depending on the season and customer needs, our data indicates the number of associates we’ve employed in Montgomery County over the past year has remained relatively consistent,” Miller said. Montgomery College had 2,928


Have a new business in Montgomery County? Let us know about it at newbusinessform

New Panera Bread opens in Bethesda A branch of the Panera Bread restaurant chain has opened at 7201 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. Lemek LLC, a franchisee of Panera Bread, opened its 51st Maryland bakery-cafe on Dec. 4, according to Jenny Hurley, marketing manager. The shop is in a space previously used by bd’s Mongolian Grill, Hurley wrote in an email. Jason Smith is the general manager of the new Bethesda location, which hired about 60 employees and has four assistant managers, Hurley wrote.

State Farm office opens in Gaithersburg Christian Durand State Farm Agency has opened at 18237 Flower Hill Way, Suite D, Gaithersburg. The agency provides insurance and financial services to individuals and businesses. More information is at

Montgomery County chamber names vice president of public affairs


State figures claim Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda lost 3,000 jobs in 2013, however, a county official disputes these numbers. employees in November, about 50 more than a year ago, said Elizabeth S. Homan, a college spokeswoman. The state listed 3,189 employees for the college, some 700 more than a year ago. The college’s figures include full- and part-time faculty and staff, but don’t include casual temps or student assistants, Homan said. The college slowed or froze hiring at various times during the recession, sometimes keeping positions vacant for several years, she said. But those are starting to fill, Homan noted. Kaiser Permanente’s figures also were off by about 500 from what DBED had this year, said Caitlin Er-

vin, a spokeswoman for the health care organization. The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda was Montgomery’s top employer again this year, with almost 17,000 employees, about the same as a year ago, according to DBED. The lists do not include state or local government agencies such as school districts. Fort Meade was again listed as the top employer in Maryland with 56,780 employees, about the same as a year ago. The University System of Maryland was second with 37,620, up 700 from a year ago.

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce named Ilaya Hopkins of Bethesda vice president of public affairs, overseeing the chamber’s communications and its government affairs at the federal, state and local levels. Hopkins most recently was executive director of Maryland Leadership Workshops, running the statewide nonprofit and its core summer programs for three years. She served on the Western Montgomery Citizens Advisory Board, the county executive’s Base Realignment and Closure Implementation Committee and numerous civic, education and community organizations. Earlier, Hopkins was an organizational development consultant for high-tech clients in Silicon Valley, managed external affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and was a presidential management intern in the federal government. She has a master’s in Western European studies and economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s in international relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the chamber, she succeeds Jonathan Sachs, who in June joined Adventist Healthcare of Gaithersburg as director of public policy.


Page A-14

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

SCHOOL LIFE Can you tell me about Crossroads Community Food Network?


It is an offshoot of Crossroads Market [at the meeting place of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties near New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard]. In 2007 they had the idea of an open-air market where you could interact with the farmer and accept all forms of payment: food stamps, WIC coupons, etc., making healthy, fresh foods available to everyone. It was started by the people who worked at the Takoma Park market. I started in May 2008 as market manager, in charge of set-up and break down and organizing cooking classes. It’s more than a market, it’s a community gathering space, a place to make food and nourish people.

Michelle Dudley n Age: 32. n Job title: Food educator and program manager for Crossroads Community Food Network, Takoma Park. n Hometown: Portville, N.Y. n Education: Bachelor of arts in Spanish language, literature and culture, Syracuse University; master of arts in intercultural communication, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages; working on certification as a nutritional counselor.

So how did that work transition into an involvement in the schools?

I piloted the first program in 2010 at Rolling Terrace Elementary School [Takoma Park]. I am still there and at Piney Branch Elementary School [Takoma Park], working mostly with fifthgraders. I consider myself a food educator. I bring in foods from our vendors and we talk about them and where they come from. It’s important for kids to have a connection with the food that sustains us. I have farmers come into the classroom, too. Then we cook. It’s an afterschool program at Rolling Terrace and at Piney Branch they fit it into their mid-

n Hobby: Growing vegetables. n Lesson to live by: Eat a rainbow; make one-half [of] your plate green or vegetables; drink one-half [of] your body weight in ounces of water daily and cut out sugary drinks.

day curriculum. I’m there every week but there are so many classes the students don’t get [the class] every week. I think it’s important to think about food and think about the people who grew it. There was a period when it wasn’t cool to farm and have farming as a career. I live on a farm. It’s a livestock farm but my hobby is growing vegetables. Do you have a favorite vegetable?

They all are ... beets, kale, garlic. There is one kind of kale I bring into the classes, it’s called “dinosaur kale” [because of its bumpy leaves]. I try to make it fun and make it colorful. We do more prep than cook, they all get into it together. I don’t go away with any leftovers so I’m often surprised. One thing they most respond to is the fresh taste. It’s cool for the kids to see that. Do you have plans to continue or expand this program?

We would definitely like to continue to do this but we’re not sure how to make it sustainable. It’s free and we have to limit it to 20 students per class. At Rolling Terrace where we piloted the program we worked with the Spanish Immersion program. We felt it was such a successful program that we wrote a grant through the city of Takoma Park and got accepted so we could start the program in English at Piney Branch. My program is not connected through the school lunches, that

doesn’t feel like an easy in for us. You can’t just show up and say put this in your cafeteria, though in 2011 Rolling Terrace started a salad bar. What do you see for the future of this program or others like it?

My vision would be to help people in the Crossroads Community reconnect with their traditional, cultural foods. They are mostly Latino and African communities. My wish would be to help inspire people to eat better. Our American diet is awful. Anything is healthier than processed or packaged foods. I think the statistic is that the American diet is 75 percent packaged or processed. It’s been a long food journey for me. I am the granddaughter of farmers, I went through the college food and body image [problems]. Now I like to connect with people around food. It’s basic: food and people. Do you have advice for kids?

Eat a rainbow. Eat some kind of raw or cooked vegetable every day. “Voices in Education” is a twicemonthly feature that highlights the men and women who are involved with the education of Montgomery County’s children. To suggest someone you would like to see featured, email Peggy McEwan at

EDUCATION NOTEBOOK Computer coding: Solving the puzzle for young users Carlos Sampson and Brayan Fuentes Lara, fifth-graders at Glen Allen Elementary School

in Silver Spring, had one Angry Bird trying to catch a naughty pig on their computer. The problem was they had to tell the computer how to move the bird to catch the pig. No moving a cursor — they were the brains behind the game. “We talked about how we were going to do it, but it didn’t work,” Carlos said. “So right now we are trying to figure out what to do,” Brayan said. Carlos and Brayan, along with all their schoolmates, from kindergarten through fifth grade, were participating in the Hour of Code, a worldwide initiative to introduce students to computer programing. The Hour of Code is sponsored by, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting computer science education, “The initiative asks schools, teachers and parents across the country to help introduce more than 10 million students of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week, December 9-15, 2013,” according to the Code. org website. It is part of a movement to institutionalize computer science in education, according to Pat Yongpradit, director of education for and himself a former Montgomery County schoolteacher. Of the county’s 25 public high schools, 20 offer computer science, but very few middle schools and almost no elementary schools do, Yongpradit said. “It’s a pure elective,” he


Agiira Ndahendkire (left) and Jaidalyn Montalvo, fifth-graders at Glen Allen Elementary School in Silver Spring, work together writing code for a computer game on Thursday. said. “Students don’t get any core credit that leads to graduation for it.” He hopes that will change and computer science counts as a math credit, he said. Change may be imminent. On Monday, the Maryland State Board of Education acted on a mandate from the legislature requiring the addition of a fourth year of high school math as a requirement for graduation. Two computer science classes are listed as meeting that requirement, although local school systems determine the content and credits for each course, according to William Reinhard, spokesman with the state education department. Back in the computer lab, the Glen Allen fifth-graders were working in pairs to help Angry Bird chase the pig through a progressively difficult maze. Each team was working to get from level one to level 10 in their Hour of Code. “It’s really fun when you try

to get the code,” Beatriz Padilla said. “You try and try and try,” said her partner, Khanhlinh Ma. The commands were simple: turn right, turn left, move forward. Students decided which steps to take when they dragged them into place and told the program to run. Sometimes the Angry Bird hit a wall and had to start over; other times it landed at the pig, just where the students wanted it to be. After high-fives and other demonstrations of their exhilaration, they moved on to the next level. Marcela Perez and Francesca Gasasira were the first to finish. “It’s pretty easy,” Francesca said. “The commands we had repeated.” With all the classes at Glen Allen, the Hour of Code was planned for the whole Computer Science Education Week, but two snow days interrupted the schedule and it spilled over to this week. Zulay Joa, a science, tech-

nology, engineering and mathematics teacher, was in charge of coordinating the hour for each grade level and adapting the classes for each grade level. “I was very excited about Hour of Code. We have been working on this for quite a while now,” Joa said. “I did an introduction to the first-graders to see what their reaction would be and to see if there were problems.” She said she learned that the younger students were more successful using computers with a mouse than the laptops with touch pads. “It was cool. It’s like a game and it’s teaching you stuff,” fifthgrader Damon Beckford said. “It was hard when I got to [level] eight and 10 but I just played it for a while and I did it.”

Tilden students reach out to others Students at Tilden Middle School in Rockville participated

in the school’s first Community Service Day on Nov. 27. The all-school effort grew from a call to families to donate items to support a number of charities. “We had an overwhelming response and Tilden families were excited about the opportunity to host a meaningful morning of giving back before the Thanksgiving Day holiday,” parent volunteer Yvonne Levine wrote in an email. Staff, students and parent volunteers worked together to accomplish a number of different projects in just a few hours: • Preparing 200 breakfasts, which included fruit, a granola bar, juice and a bagel with cream cheese, for a local men’s shelter. • Assembling more than 100

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Student’s concert benefits Philippine relief Amanda Muniz, a seventhgrader at Cabin John Middle School in Potomac, presented a fundraising concert, “Sing to Save,” on Thursday, raising $1,300 for UNICEF’s efforts to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The storm hit the Philippines in early November, affecting more than 10 million people, killing, injuring or displacing thousands, according to the American Red Cross website. “I saw pictures of people in need and wanted to do something,” said Amanda, 12. The concert, with Amanda playing guitar and singing, was held at the Pony Express restaurant in the Bolger Center in Potomac. Amanda said she was not nervous about performing in front of family, friends and strangers, even though this was her first concert for charity. “I have done recitals and performances at school, so I was not nervous,” she said. Amanda said she has taken guitar lessons for two years with a private instructor and has been singing since she was 3. She said she has had voice lessons and sung with her school choir while living in southern California. Before this fundraiser, Amanda and a friend operated a lemonade stand for UNICEF at the Seven Locks Elementary School International Night, making money selling cookies and lemonade. “I picked UNICEF rather than another charity like the Red Cross because it was committed to children and I wanted to help [children],” she said.

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care packages for soldiers that will be sent overseas through • Making almost 400 dog chew-toys for pets with disabilities. • Creating hundreds of origami butterflies and cards for the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health. • Writing cards and letters and creating origami for troops recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. • Making friendship bracelets for the hurricane relief in the Philippines through UNICEF. • Making placemats for distribution by Meals on Wheels. In addition, the students raised more than $1,000 through Ize’s Foul Shot Contest. For the contest, students earned $1 for charity for each foul shot made. The first $300 was donated by Ize’s Deli and Bagelry in Rockville; the rest was provided by an anonymous donor. Those funds will be donated to the Children’s Inn at NIH. “Our very first Community Service Day provided every single Tilden student with the opportunity to have fun, to laugh and to spend quality time with friends and their teachers, while making a significant difference in the lives of other,” Principal Irina LaGrange wrote in an email. “As students rotated between their four classes, they were able to engage in various meaningful activities. Through each one, their hard work, kindness, thoughtfulness, and creativity allowed them to bring a smile to another person’s face. Needless to say, they did an exceptional job and they made us so proud, as they always do! I could not think of a better way for us to begin this holiday season.”


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

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CELEBRATIONS RELIGION CALENDAR CHRISTMAS SERVICES Damascus United Methodist Church, 9700 New Church St., Da-

Jacobini, Nash Caroline Alexandra Jacobini and Daniel William Nash were married on Sept. 28, 2013, at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club in Rehoboth, Del. Caroline is the daughter of Charles and Dianne Jacobini of Potomac and Lewes, Del. Daniel is the son of Lawrence and Robin Nash of Northfield, Ill. Caroline graduated from the Richard Montgomery High School IB Program in 2002. She received her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. From 2006 until 2010 she worked at Epic Systems in Madison, Wis. She worked at Google from 2010 until 2012 in Ann Arbor and New York City. She currently works at Multi Care of Seattle, Wash., and lives in Manhattan. Daniel graduated from New Trier High school in Winnetka, Ill., in 1999. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2003, and his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2012. From 2003 until 2010 he worked at Epic Systems in Madison, Wis. He currently works at McKinsey & Company in Manhattan. Following the wedding the couple honeymooned in Hawaii, on the Big Island.

mascus, will offer its Advent services and events: Sunday School Christmas Program at 9:45 a.m. Dec. 22 in the sanctuary; DSG Home for Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 22; Christmas Eve Worship Services at 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 24; Living Christmas Tree Concerts at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 28. For more information, visit Emmanual Lutheran Church, 7730 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda, offers the upcoming Christmas services: Service of the Word at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 22 (fourth Sunday of Advent), Holy Communion Service at 11 a.m. Dec. 22; Czech Christmas Service at 3 p.m. Dec. 22; Light of the Luminaries, 4:30 p.m. Dec. 24; Family Christmas Eve Service at 5 p.m. Dec. 24; Holy Communion at 9 p.m. Dec. 24; CandleLight Holy Communion Service at 11 p.m. Dec. 24; Christ Mass at 10 a.m. Dec. 25. Liberty Grove United Methodist Church, 15225 Old Columbia Pike,

Burtonsville, offers the upcoming Christmas season services: Traveler’s Christmas Eve at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; Family Christmas Eve Service at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 24; Handbell Concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 24; Christmas Eve Candle lighting service at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 24. Neelsville Presbyterian Church, 20701 Frederick Road, Germantown, welcomes all to attend its upcoming Christmas Events: Christmas Jazz Services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Dec. 22; Christmas Eve services on Dec. 24 — Family Service at 5 p.m., Jazz and Candlelight Service at 7 p.m. and Candlelight and Communion Service at 11 p.m. Northgate Community Church, 20300 Pleasant Ridge Drive, Montgomery Village, invites area residents to come and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas at a special Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Worship at 7 p.m. Dec. 24. www. Providence United Methodist

Church, 3716 Kemptown Church Road, Monrovia, will offer the upcoming Advent season services: Church Cantata at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 22; Christmas Eve Family Service at 7 p.m. Dec. 24; Candlelight Service at 11 p.m. Dec. 24. Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, will offer the following Christmas services: Family Holy Communion at 6 p.m. Dec. 24; pre-service Christmas music at 8 p.m. Dec. 24; Festival Holy Communion at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 24; Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion at 10:45 a.m. Dec. 25. www. Geneva Presbyterian Church, 11931 Seven Locks Road, Potomac, will offer a Lessons & Carols by Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 7 p.m. Dec. 24. For more information, visit

ONGOING Damascus United Methodist Church, 9700 New Church St., Damas-

cus, offers traditional Sunday morning worship services at 8:15 a.m., a youth contemporary worship service at 9:30 a.m. and a service of liturgy and the word at 11 a.m. with Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. for all ages during the school year. Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 7730 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda, offers services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. each Sunday, with Sunday School for all ages scheduled at 10 a.m. Child care is offered from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. A fellowship and coffee hour follows the 8:30 a.m. service. 301-365-5733, www. Liberty Grove United Methodist Church, 15225 Old Columbia Pike,

Burtonsville, conducts Sunday morning worship services at 8:30, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday school, nursery through adult, is at 9:30 a.m. 301-4219166. For a schedule of events, visit “MOPS,” a faith-based support group for mothers of children, birth through kindergarten, meets from 9-11:30 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Frederick Church of the Brethren,

201 Fairview Drive, Frederick. Childcare is provided. This year’s theme, “A Beautiful Mess: Embracing Your Story,” focuses on remembering that beauty can come out of chaos and that your past, present and future can be used for good with God’s love. For more information call 301-662-1819. Email Neelsville Presbyterian Church, 20701 Frederick Road, Germantown, has returned to its Fall worship schedule, with services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays. Sunday School for all ages at 9:40 a.m. Providence United Methodist Church, 3716 Kemptown Church

Road, Monrovia, conducts a contemporary service at 8 a.m. followed by a traditional service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings, with children’s Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and adult Sunday school at 11 a.m. For more information, call 301-253-1768. Visit www. Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, conducts services every Sunday, with child care from 8 a.m. to noon and fellowship and a coffee hour following each service. 301-881-7275. For a schedule of events, visit

Chancel choir auditions and rehearsals, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at Lib-

erty Grove Methodist Church, 15225 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. Call 301-421-9166 or visit “Healing for the Nations,” 7 p.m. every first and third Saturday of the month at South Lake Elementary School, 18201 Contour Road, Gaithersburg. Sponsored by King of the Nations Christian Fellowship, the outreach church service is open to all who are looking for hope in this uncertain world. Prayer for healing available. Translation into Spanish and French. Call 301-251-3719. Visit Geneva Presbyterian Church, potluck lunches at 11:30 a.m. the second Sunday of each month at 11931 Seven Locks Road, Potomac. There is no fee to attend. All are welcome to bring a dish to share; those not bringing dishes are also welcome. Call 301-424-4346.

HEALTH CALENDAR WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18 Pre-operative Spine Class, from 2-3 p.m. at Suburban Hospital, 8600 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. Spine patients — lower, mid-back and neck (cervical) — learn about pre-operative preparation and postoperative care prior to surgery. Free.

Triplett, Gibbons Ashley Michelle Triplett, daughter of Robert and Melodie Triplett of Lexington, N.C., is engaged to Patrick Michael Gibbons, son of Michael and Cindy Gibbons of Frederick. The bride has a bachelor’s degree in history from Appalachian College. She is currently employed by the Washington Animal Rescue League. The groom graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland. He is currently employed by Audi of Rockville. A date is currently set for April 2014.



FRIDAY, DEC. 27 Safe Sitter, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Suburban Hospital Lambert Building (second floor), 8710 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. A comprehensive training course teaching 11- to 13-year-olds the essentials of babysitting. Course includes tactics in handling emergencies basic first aid and child care skills. Registration required. If you are interested in becoming a Safe Sitter instructor, please call 301-

896-2999 for more information. www.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 8 A Suburban Lecture featuring Dr. Daniel Valiki, orthopedic joint surgeon,

is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase. Valiki will help guests understand knee and hip replacement treatment options, including knowing when it’s the right time and how to select the best treatment choice. Free. Registration requested.

ONGOING New Mothers Postpartum Support Group, 10-11:30 a.m. Mondays at

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, 18101 Prince Philip Drive, Olney. Ever wonder if you are the only one

feeling stressed and alone now that a baby has joined your family? Wasn’t it supposed to be easier? If you are finding yourself feeling sad, anxious, angry or irritable, group support can help. Group led by two therapists who specialize in the postpartum period. Babies are welcome. Free; registration required. 301-774-8881, Senior Fit, meets from 9-9:45 a.m. once a week at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, 18101 Prince Philip Drive, Olney. Free 45-minute exercise program designed for seniors age 55 and older. Senior Fit focuses on increasing strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance. Exercise is an important factor in preventing falls, managing chronic illnesses and improving quality of life. Classes are ongoing and a physician’s consent form is required to participate. Free for people over the age of 55. 301-774-8881,

The Gazette prints engagement and wedding announcements, with color photographs, at no charge, as a community service. Copy should be limited to 150 words and submitted in paragraph form. Announcements are subject to editing for space. Please include contact information, including a daytime telephone number. Photos should be professional quality. If emailing photos, file size should be a minimum of 500 KB. Wedding announcements should be submitted no later than 12 months after the wedding. Send to: The Gazette, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, or email Montgomery County celebrations are inserted into all Montgomery County editions.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The Gazette Karen Acton, President/Publisher

WRITE TO US The Gazette welcomes letters on subjects of local interest. Please limit them to 200 words. All articles are subject to editing. No anonymous letters are printed. Letters are printed as space permits and are limited to one per person per month. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Send submissions to: The Gazette, attention Commentary Editor, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877; fax to 301-670-7183; or email to numerous programs for our county’s underserved populations because of the forgone revenue of not allowing teams to rent pool time at the county’s facilities in order to maintain RMSC’s monopoly. Swimmers in the upcounty are certainly making their mark in county swimming — it’s just too bad that so many of them can’t access the great swimming resources in their community.

Mike Knapp, Germantown

Deer bill a bad idea Possibly in Burtonsville, where developments are more spread out, Del. Eric Luedtke’s bill would be better suited, but I am concerned that a change in the law without more defined details would be misinterpreted by many individuals who are not deer friendly [“Montgomery delegate’s bill would add lands to deer hunting,” Dec. 4]. I am appalled that Luedtke, as a teacher and parent, would consider relaxing the current 150-yard requirement of hunting from a residence. I know in our neighborhood, we have hunting ongoing and many of the individuals I spoke with are not keen on this, even though they may not embrace the deer as much as I do. One party was particularly unhappy to come home from holiday and find a mature buck dead against their back door, shot by a bow hunter and dead as a doornail. The hunter neither tracked the shot buck, nor harvested him. Instead, this family had to deal with disposing of a decomposing body. Who would have

Andrew Schotz, Assistant Managing Editor Nathan Oravec, A&E Editor Ken Sain, Sports Editor Dan Gross, Photo Editor Jessica Loder, Web Editor

paid for the damage to the door and house had the buck crashed through the sliding door? Who will pay for these damages? The hunters? Del. Luedtke? The county? No, like vehicles, it will be the homeowners insurance. As for deer being hit by vehicles, it comes as no surprise that Washington, D.C., has not only the worst traffic in the nation, but terrible drivers who speed incessantly. Deer are no more invisible than teenagers who insist on wearing dark clothes at dusk. Drivers need to learn to slow down and be aware of their surroundings. It would also help if Montgomery County spent some of their largesse on replacing burned-out street lamp bulbs along wooded areas (I have written to the county about lights out along the Beltway bordering Rock Creek Park where deer are often hit and killed) and rural roads. It might cut down on carnage. Repairing downed fences that let deer out on to the roadways is also warranted.

Dollar General and Tractor Supply should not be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but as part of an economic-development strategy, a long term vision for Poolesville, and the needs of local residents. Until now the Poolesville commissioners have shied away from welcoming big chain realtors (with the exception of CVS and McDonald’s for which there was a need not being met by small businesses). The loss of Selby’s Market represents the loss of another need no longer being met in Poolesville — a grocer. The commissioners should be working to attract a replacement for Selby’s, not attracting a big chain realtor that contributes what exactly to Poolesville. Sure, there are a few farmers that will be spared having to cross the Potomac to Leesburg’s Tractor Supply and the store will create a handful of local jobs. And yes, a few TS customers will stop by the McDonald’s or one of our gas stations. But at what cost to local mer-

Puller Lanigan, Silver Spring

Dennis Wilston, Corporate Advertising Director Doug Baum, Corporate Classifieds Director Mona Bass, Inside Classifieds Director

Virginia Sheard, Kensington View

Poolesville doesn’t need Tractor Supply

9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 | Phone: 301-948-3120 | Fax: 301-670-7183 | Email: More letters appear online at

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It is true that sector plans include very few actual requirements — only goals and recommendations. But once approved a sector plan creates expectations — not architectural styles but preferred functions and activities at specific locations within the plan. The driver for the fast-tracking of the Wheaton’s Lot 13 redevelopment is not to hurry and get the promised Wheaton town center opened and functioning. No — the driver for the proposed Lot 13 project is to speedily permit the construction of the necessary office building in Wheaton so the Park and Planning Department can vacate their Silver Spring location — because that is what the selected development team is primarily interested in. Redevelopment of Wheaton’s Lot 13 is just a means to this end. … Lot 13 should be the central destination place in Wheaton, a dynamic mix of uses around a “town center” that is a large, flexible open space suitable for the Taste of Wheaton, performance music events, and the like year round. Instead we are offered a pseudo town center with a small portion on one side of Reedie Drive and a larger part on the other side where the current Regional Services Center is located. This is not what stakeholders were led to expect. … I am angry that this is another example of the bait and switch by ourgovernment—approvingasector plan that sets up expectations of Wheaton’s evolution into a vibrant, exciting mix of uses, people spaces and activities as a destination place — and then so easily ignoring these recommendation to accommodate a private development team that has only eyes on the prize, 8787 Georgia Ave. property. And Lot 13 is just a means to that end. If this project goes forward, Wheaton’s future is being designed by the special interests of private developers using public land. I am disappointed that public and private voices stronger than mine have not become involved in righting this injustice. That few others seem to care about achieving a collaborative vision rather than accepting a mediocre design for the short term gain.

Swim club holds monopoly on pools As the former County Council member representing the upcounty and father of two daughters who swim competitively, it was great to read the article recognizing the growth of swimming in Northern Montgomery County [“Northern county swimming improves,” Sports, Dec. 11]. It has been an exciting transformation to watch. The Germantown Indoor Swim Center is a beautiful facility that is used by many of our residents, and I was pleased to advocate for its construction. I must take exception with the article’s assertion of the role that GISC has had in improving the youth swimmers in our community. Unfortunately, the GISC, and I believe all pools that are owned by Montgomery County, can only be accessed for training by one swim team in the county even though there are numerous swim teams that train thousands of swimmers throughout our community. The taxpayers of Montgomery County subsidize the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club by providing free pool access to this team at each of the county’s facilities while not even providing any other swim club the opportunity to purchase pool time. It is wrong that the county has a policy of excluding other teams from accessing public facilities like GISC. It is particularly troubling that during the recession the Department of Recreation was forced to cut

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Lot 13 plan is a bait and switch

Defeating truancy

The best educational methods and curricula don’t accomplish much if students don’t come to class. Montgomery County is taking a personal, restorative approach in trying to combat “habitual truancy,” which is defined as missing 18 days in a semester or 36 days in a school year. The public school system has a Truancy Court Program, in which chronically absent or late students talk to a panel that might include a prosecutor, a District Court judge and a law school student. They ask questions about the factors behind their attendance problems. The program is voluntary; families decide whether to participate. It’s easy, but simplistic, to assume that missing school is a pattern to stamp out through punishment, such as detention or suspension. Truant students often grow up amid misfortune and dysfunction. Maybe there’s only one parent, who is overworked. Maybe the family is poor and the children are hungry or anxious. Perhaps, children are being abused, or they are forced to raise and take care of themselves. When you think of what can topple a child’s world, it becomes easier to figure out why he is no longer on the right educational track. Montgomery County’s “it takes a village” approach is sensible and caring. Students are seen as whole, and possibly troubled, people, not just troublemakers. And the program could have long-term benefits, according to a Nov. 27 story by Gazette reporters Lindsay A. Powers and St. John Barned-Smith about the county’s effort to combat truancy. “I thought if we could take a bite out of truancy, we would reduce youth-related crime,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said. Although it’s a reasonable supposition, authorities say they don’t have exact numbers on how the program has changed juvenile crime rates. But a 2009 report created for the U.S. Department of Justice shows truants are much more likely to commit a serious property crime or to report having been arrested. On this score, McCarthy’s instincts are probably right. When it comes to parents, though, Maryland law sometimes drives the process in a more punitive direction. State law requires that all children 5 to 16 years old attend school. Parents or guardians who violate the law can be prosecuted and face a fine of up to $500. Furthermore, the parent can go to jail. McCarthy said charges are only filed in the “most egregious cases” of parents repeatedly refusing to follow the law. That included a mother who reportedly was contacted at least 27 times to send her daughter to school and appeared before a truancy review board three times. The woman’s daughter missed 48 percent of the school year. The mother was sentenced to serve a week in jail and must serve a year of supervised probation. In their story, Powers and Barned-Smith said prosecutors estimated that they had brought charges against 25 to 30 parents this year. A 2010 Montgomery County Office of Legislative Oversight report said the state’s attorney’s office had prosecuted 55 parents and guardians for truancy since 2005, equal to about 1 percent of all cases. Even at a seemingly low rate, this is a shocking response to a community concern. We don’t question the determination of school officials who pressure families to get their kids in school, but we wonder about treating truancy as a criminal matter, with jail time. We’re more interested in a tactic that Montgomery County uses little, if at all, according to the 2010 report — the Child in Need of Supervision designation. A court could find that a CINS student should be on probation or be placed in other custody. The OLO report indicated that Prince George’s County, for example, relied on CINS more than 1,600 times from fiscal years 2005 to 2008. Montgomery County didn’t use it once. The report says Montgomery County’s Department of Juvenile Services considers truancy to be “a family problem that is most appropriately addressed” by the school system. So, how does jail time solve the problem? How do young children prepare and get to school while their mother is incarcerated?


Jean Casey, Director of Marketing and Circulation Anna Joyce, Creative Director, Special Pubs/Internet Ellen Pankake, Director of Creative Services

chants like Poolesville Hardware that already meet the majority of locals? And the hard-to-measure impact on the image people have of Poolesville? And what’s next, a Wal-Mart? The current growth and residential development in Poolesville does not suggest a potential customer base for a company like TS, but they must see it as viable or why pursue it? Obviously they see a customer base in Montgomery County that does not want to go east to the Mount Airy TS or west to Leesburg. But how does the TS bottom line benefit Poolesville? And again, at what cost? Increased traffic congestion? The demise of a longstanding local merchant? Instead of surrendering to the TS and Dollar General lobbyists, the commissioners need to focus on a vision for Poolesville that includes preservation of whatever small town charm we have left, and on attracting merchants that meet the needs of the people that live here.

David Tobin, Boyds

POST COMMUNITY MEDIA Karen Acton, Chief Executive Officer Michael T. McIntyre, Controller Donna Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources Maxine Minar, President, Comprint Military Shane Butcher, Director of Technology/Internet


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

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Union: State could try to rein in counties’ minimum wage hikes n

Brinkley: Montgomery, Prince George’s can have their increases



Despite denials from state lawmakers, union leaders claim a move to override Montgomery County’s recent minimum wage increase is brewing in the General Assembly. Joslyn Williams, president of the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO, said Thursday the union council

heard from a reliable source that business-friendly lawmakers are preparing a “compromise” to raising the statewide minimum wage. The compromise would revoke the higher wages passed recently in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in exchange for a higher statewide wage. Williams would not name who informed the union, saying the individual feared retaliation. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have both approved plans to gradually raise their minimum wage from the current statewide level of $7.25 an hour to $11.50 an hour by 2017. The Washington, D.C., coun-


Continued from Page A-1 risk of glaucoma. “It took a while and gas and time, [and] it’s still not cheap, but I’m happy with that,” Kahla said. “You can’t call and say, ‘Is the system working?’” Kahla said. Besides, she noted, it could have crashed by the time she got there. Friday it didn’t crash and that gave Anura Arachchilage of Rockville a chance to find health insurance he hopes he can afford for his family of five, but he doesn’t know the cost yet. Until recently, Arachchilage was paying $72 per week for coverage through one of his employers. But, he left that job because its schedule was not steady and made it difficult for him to help his wife care for their new baby and two other children. “We don’t make that much money,” Arachchilage said. He said tenants are sharing part of his house — which is now valued at less than when he purchased it at the height of the market in 2006 — to help pay expenses. Arachchilage said he believes the Affordable Care Act — which requires most people to buy insurance that meets new federal standards or pay a penalty — will be “very helpful for middle-class people.” But not everyone agrees. Santos Vasquez Lopez said he is not sure that he is willing to pay $207 per month for a health insurance plan to cover him. Vasquez Lopez, 38, who said he


cil also has approved an increase in the District’s minimum wage. A Dec. 6 article on the union’s website quoted Bob Ross, president of the Prince George’s County NAACP, describing the compromise. Ross said he does not know which lawmakers are behind the rumored effort, saying he got wind of the rumor at a hearing about raising minimum wage in Washington, D.C. Both Ross and Williams said they are trying to track down the original source. Williams said his source warned to focus on “the leadership” and make sure the com-

works as a warehouse foreman for a construction company in Hyattsville, said $207 is more than twice as much as he thinks he can afford. He said he may opt to pay the penalty rather than buy insurance coverage for the coming year, but probably will take the next three months, when the penalty is being waived, to decide. Waiting out the three-month grace period seems to be the strategy that 75 percent to 80 percent of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties’ residents who have chosen a plan are leaning toward, said Mary Anderson, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. That department is the administrator for Capital Health Connection, the local “connector entity” that is handling sign-up assistance for residents of the two counties. Roughly 25 percent of residents who find they qualify for free coverage through the expansion of the Medicaid program in Maryland are hesitating over concerns such as whether they would be able to continue seeing their current physicians, Anderson said And most who plan to buy insurance are choosing plans with high deductibles, she said. For months after Maryland’s online health exchange opened Oct. 1 — to withering reviews as it froze or failed to allow users access — navigators have resorted regularly to offering paper applications supplied by the federal government, said Nina Smith, press secretary for Gov. Martin O’Malley. Paper forms have added another step because the written information

promise does not get traction at the leadership level. Senate Minority Leader Sen. David Brinkley said he was not aware of the possible compromise, but hoped such a proposal is not brought forth. “If Montgomery and Prince George’s feel so strongly about having a higher minimum wage, let them have it and leave the rest of us alone,” said Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market. Having Montgomery and Prince George’s counties move ahead leaves little reason for the rest of the state to support a hike in the statewide wage, he said. During the Montgomery

must to be entered into the computer for the application to be processed. Even as workers at local “connector entities” began typing information from paper into the system, they found more trouble. They discovered that the paper and online applications didn’t match, so they had to call persons who had filled out paper applications and ask more questions, Anderson said. Getting answers often required several phone calls and “was a very laborious process” that has required many of the 80 navigators hired by the two counties and their private, nonprofit partners to put in extra time, she said. The state has worked around the few differences and is working on producing and getting a grant for paper applications that include all questions in the online application, Smith said. And while would-be shoppers on Maryland’s online health exchange have sought navigators’ intervention to help them get past problems such as frozen screens or blocked access, “there have been situations where the portal that people can read from home has worked better than the portal that is open to navigators,” Anderson noted. “Unfortunately, in many cases, we weren’t able to do more for them than they were able to do for themselves,” Anderson said. That was nearly the case on Dec. 7 when several heavily publicized health insurance sign-up workshops were held in Montgomery and Prince George’s. That day, doors opened at sites in Germantown and Silver Spring at 10 a.m. to a steady stream of folks look-

County Council wage debate Nov. 26, Councilman Hans Riemer (DAt Large) of Takoma Park said a county senator told him in confidence that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. had a message for the council: the higher the new wage, the more likely the state would try to take away its wage-setting authority. Asked for a comment, Miller (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach expressed respect for Montgomery County’s right to set its own wage level. All eight county senators denied knowledge of such a warning. “While I believe that one uniform wage is the most effective for

ing for help in getting affordable health insurance but, at about 10:45 a.m. the Maryland health exchange computer system went down. For Cleveland Frater of Gaithersburg, the trip to Germantown marked the second bus trip to try to sign up for insurance for his wife and himself. Frater said he had established a username and password, but he had been unable to get access to complete the application. Rather than wait in Germantown for the system to work, he said he would try without help again from home. Some who traveled to the Germantown workshop for help, only to be stymied by the state’s computer system, made appointments to meet with navigators later in the week and some took paper applications. “This is stone age stuff — everybody uses the Internet,” said one woman, 29, scoffing at the paper application and at deficiencies she had seen, from her home computer, in the Maryland Health Connection website. Monday, O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced that their administration hired Optum/QSSI to improve performance of the Maryland Health Connection website. The Columbia company is the firm that the federal government hired in October to improve the performance of Before Maryland’s online exchange opened to the public Oct. 1, it was tested by running 5,000 concurrent simulations and performed to expectations, according to a response from the governor’s office to a Gazette reporter’s

the state, if Montgomery County chooses to proceed in this manner, they are within their rights to do so,” Miller said in a statement. “We have different formulas for school funding and other matters in our state because of the high cost of living and I can understand why urban areas feel a need for wages to be higher there than in Southern Maryland, Western Maryland or the Eastern Shore.” Gino Renne, first vice president of the AFL-CIO Metropolitan Washington Council, said the session will flush out those behind the alleged compromise. “And rest assured that we will go after them,” he said.

question. However, due “to a limited amount of data on the Federal Data Services Hub test site, Maryland was not able to load test the self-registration component prior to launch,” Smith responded in an email. Glitches in the system have been related primarily to the software, Smith wrote. To help get those wanting to enroll through the system, Carefirst has agreed to extend to Dec. 27 the deadline for enrolling in its plans to begin coverage by Jan. 1, according to the O’Malley administration. Other carriers also agreed to extend the deadline, from Monday to Dec. 27, the administration announced Tuesday. Anderson said navigators and assisters in the two counties are working hard to get everyone who wants to get coverage by Jan. 1 through the enrollment process by next week. So far Anderson estimated that 3,500 Montgomery and Prince George’s counties residents have started the enrollment process through navigators. Of those, 400 have completed the enrollment process through navigators. Estimates of those residents completing the process on their own are expected but not yet available from the Maryland Health Exchange, Anderson said. Friday, lead navigator Susan Mathews said she is seeing much improvement in the system and that glitches that navigators find are being resolved “very quickly.” “I’m really impressed with how the public has been very understanding and appreciative,” Mathews said.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z



SPORTS NORTHERN MONTGOMERY COUNT Y | Wednesday, December 18, 2013 | Page B-1

For Clarksburg sisters, speed runs in the family n

Sibling duo thrives in hurdle events BY




James H. Blake’s Aidan Bittinger-Esser passes the puck while playing against the D.C. Stars at Cabin John Ice Rink in Potomac on Friday.

BLAKE HOCKEY Bittinger-Essers leading Bengals in what they hope will be big year




At some point, streaks of any kind begin to take on a personality of their own. And for James H. Blake High School’s coop ice hockey team, that personality was miserable for a long time. Unable to win a game for six years, and rarely able to tie, Blake went winless for the first 66 games in program history. Sixty-

After graduating star point guard, Bulldogs embrace the 3-point shot BY


Bruce Kelley didn’t mince words when explaining how his Bullis School boys’ basketball team has been so successful over the past several seasons. It began with the point guard. For the previous few years, with Anthony Thompson handling the ball, that much was obvious. The only thing likely faster than Thompson’s rapidfire manner of speaking was



Alexus Pyles of the Clarksburg High School track and field team sprints around the track during team practice Thursday at the school.

gomery County Public Schools meet in Landover, Alexus recorded top finishes in the 55 hurdles (8.40) and the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches). Alexus started running when she was 8, competing against

See SISTERS, Page B-3


three losses, three ties and constant disappointment. But last season, in resounding fashion, the Bengals won their first game. And then went on to win three more, totaling four wins in a single campaign under coach John Drzewicki. Now, a mere four games into the 201314 season, Blake has two wins and is looking to improve greatly upon last year’s win total. And helping the Bengals to do so are a pair of hockey lifers in Aidan and Sage Bittinger-Esser. The brothers — Aidan’s a senior and Sage is a sophomore — have

been playing the sport since they were 5 years old, a passion passed down to them by their Wisconsin-born father. “We were so bad for so long and then, finally, we’re starting to show signs of being OK,” Aidan said of Blake. “I always thought we’d get better as we went along and I knew that my brother would eventually be on the team. We just had to keep working hard.” Even though Sage wasn’t on the ice

See BLAKE, Page B-3

how quickly he could break the press. It got to the point that, when asked how to press a team with Thompson, Georgetown Prep coach Herb Krusen said “you don’t.” With Thompson now in college at Holy Cross, where he is averaging 23.8 minutes per game, many might have expected a void in the backcourt. But in fact, this team may be more dangerous and more explosive than any Thompson-led group because unlike him, every player suiting up in the backcourt can score 20 or 30 points on any given night. Thompson was never re-

See BULLIS, Page B-3


Stone Ridge School for the Sacred Heart junior Katie Ledecky competes in the breaststroke leg of the 200-yard individual medley relay during the 2013 ISL Swimming & Diving Championships at Maderia School.

Ledecky’s star on rise, still same Katie

Bullis builds a ‘fun’ brand of basketball n

At 5 a.m. three or four days a week, Clarksburg High School’s Alexus Pyles heads to the Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness Center in Germantown for an early morning workout. But not alone — she’s joined by her parents as well as her two younger sisters for the family routine, which is already paying dividends for Clarksburg’s indoor track and field team. Pyles, a sophomore, has been one of the top runners in the county this indoor season while her freshman sister, Brionne, hasn’t been far behind. “Having each other, [we make] sure that we’re putting forth our best effort,” Alexus said. In Saturday’s Howard County Winterfest meet, Alexus finished second in the 55-meter hurdles in 8.67 seconds, three places and a half-second ahead of Brionne. In the Dec. 7 Mont-

Stone Ridge junior Olympian holds multiple American and world records n



Andre Walker (top) of host Bullis School takes a jump shot above defenders from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Friday in Potomac.

To fans of swimming across America and likely the world, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart junior Katie Ledecky is a superstar. While she’s not yet 17, she has completely rewritten the sport’s record books in the distance freestyle events since breaking out of relative obscurity as a 15-year-old Olympic gold medalist in London in August 2012 — she broke a 23-year

American record en route to her win in the 800-meter freestyle. But Ledecky doesn’t act any differently — except that she might appear a bit more comfortable in front of the television cameras. She certainly doesn’t flaunt her continually growing list of accolades, though — sometimes it seems if she weren’t prodded, she might not mention them at all — and she doesn’t seem to expect any special treatment. “Swimming is something Katie grew up with and she became very good at it. She’s worked very hard to get where she is,” Stone Ridge swimming and diving coach Robert Walker

See LEDECKY, Page B-3


Page B-2

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z


Player of the Year

Coach of the year


Seneca Valley High School’s Juanita Craig dribbles the ball against BethesdaChevy Chase’s Lexi Hopkins on Monday.

S. Valley senior dials up shots from distance Craig has helped Screaming Eagles to a hot start in 2013 n



Seneca Valley High School girls’ basketball player Juanita Craig excelled after moving into the starting lineup a few games into her junior season, but something was still missing from her game. “It’s kind of embarrassing,” the 5-foot-5 guard said. “It was hard for me to shoot [3-point shots].” But not anymore. After struggling from long range in her first three years of high school basketball, Craig has added a 3-point shot to her repertoire. And her newly discovered jumper has helped the Screaming Eagles to a 3-0 start. “I’ve been working hard at doing what I do, and just playing smart and making sure I have a good shot,” Craig said. Over the summer, the senior focused on improving her range by training with coaches and playing with her younger brother, William Craig. The extra time is paying off — Craig is averaging 20 points through three games this winter and shooting an impressive 9-of-16 from beyond the arc. Craig scored 26 points and hit five 3-pointers in Seneca Valley’s 74-46 win over Quince Orchard in the season-opener earlier this month. In Seneca Valley’s 55-52 over Gaithersburg on Friday, she scored a gamehigh 23 points and converted three 3-pointers. Craig’s long distance shooting is a welcome addition to the offense, said senior guard Erin Gary. “It gives you confidence. If I have to drive and kick it out to her, the fact that she can shoot and make a three, that really helps,” Gary said. Craig played for Quince Orchard as a freshman before transferring to Seneca Valley her sophomore year. She said she

got a decent amount of playing time in her first season with the Screaming Eagles, but then saw a major boost in minutes last year when she became a starter. “Really I just wanted to prove myself, why I should be able to start,” Craig said. She did. The Screaming Eagles went 14-8 last season and have returned their entire starting lineup this season. The senior-laden team has developed chemistry and the players are familiar with each other’s playing styles, Craig said. “I know who likes to drive, who likes to be down low, who is going to go up. ... We’re just jelling and we’re just going off of that,” Craig said. Despite going through multiple coaching changes — Jennifer Hoffmann is Seneca Valley’s third coach in as many years — the players have a solid understanding of the system, Hoffmann said. “They’ve got pretty good basketball IQs,” Hoffmann said. “That makes it easier on me.” While Seneca Valley has benefitted from an improved offense, the defense has been on point too, said senior CeAyra Brown. The Screaming Eagles surrendered an average of 47 points through their first three games. “If we can keep up our defense like it was, I really don’t think we have much that can stop us,” Brown said. The team will rely on the Craig-Gary backcourt duo which will continue accounting for a significant portion of Seneca Valley’s scoring. “The two of them together — it’s just awesome,” Hoffmann said. “They’re very good at being able to adapt quickly.” The Screaming Eagles won their first and only state title in 2010 after a 27-0 season. Craig is hoping this team can earn the school a second championship. “My goal is to be state champions. To be able to make my coach proud,” Craig said.

Mike Neubeiser

Gaston Cooper

Northwest Third year

Paint Branch Senior QB

Third-year coach has done a remarkable job reviving the Jaguars, having turned a 1-9 team into the 4A state champions in just three seasons. Northwest defeated Suitland in state title game to capture county’s first football championship since 2008.


Paint Branch High School quarterback Gaston Cooper is The Gazette’s 2013 Player of the Year in football.

First team

Second team Offense

QB: Mark Pierce, Northwest RB: Isaac Boyd, Avalon RB: Chris Dawson, G. Counsel RB: Jake Funk, Damascus WR: Steven Kelly, B-CC WR: Matt Watson, Northwest OL: Jemal Averette, G.Counsel OL: Austin Herbert, S. Valley OL: Justin Herron, Bullis OL: Vince Gorgone, G.Counsel OL: Patrick Stewart, G. Prep K: Christian Reyes, N’wood


DL: Bruno Anyangwe, C’burg DL: Jon Bateky, Poolesville DL: Jonathan Holland, Bullis LB: Yonis Blanco, Blair LB: Samer Manna, Northwest LB: Nicholas Miller, G. Counsel LB: Tatah Ndeh, Springbrook DB: Kyle Gregory, Q. Orchard DB: Kevin Joppy, Q. Orchard DB: Johnny Littlewood, P.B. DB: Alec Perez, Sherwood Return: Tavis Holland, C’burg

Honorable mention Nana Yaw Amankwah-Ayeh, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, RB; Doudly Aujour, Sherwood, OL; Sherwyn Benjamin, Springbrook, DB; Jake Bradshaw, Damascus, DL; Daequan Brooks, Clarksburg, OL; Malcolm Brown, Quince Orchard, DB; Jovon Burriss, Seneca Valley, DB; Tayahd Campbell, Blake, LB; Kamonte Carter, Gaithersburg, DL; Anton Casey, Whitman, WR; Malleh Ceesay, Clarksburg; A.J. Coleman, Churchill, OL; Dage Davis, Georgetown Prep, RB; Nick DeCarlo, Gaithersburg, QB; Sam Ellis, Wootton, QB; Tyler Fenslau, Clarksburg, RB; Tinashe Gwashavanhu, Gaithersburg, DL; Brandon Hungerford, Northwest, OL; Lucas Kane, Northwood, OL; Zephaniah Langley, Northwood, DB; Stephen Johnston, Georgetown Prep, WR; Mike Murtaugh, Quince Orchard, QB; Nick Newsham, Whitman, DB; Logan Portes, Wootton, OL; Calvin Reighard, QB, Seneca Valley; Dominique Seagears, Landon, RB; Rodney Snider, Northwest, DB; Chase Williams, Damascus, QB; Khalil Wilson, Einstein, RB; Jaron Woodyard, Watkins Mill, R; Jibri Woods, Wootton, WR; Chris Young, Paint Branch, OL.

Zac Morton

Charles Lyles

Devonte Williams

Javonn Curry

Josh Gills

Anthony Combs

Walt Whitman Senior RB

Poolesville Senior RB

Bullis Junior RB

Paint Branch Senior WR

Northwest Senior WR

Gaithersburg Senior OL

Versatile star ran for 1,499 yards, had three INTs.

Carried offense with 1,623 yards, 16 TDs.

Ran for 1,581 yards, two TDs on punt returns.

Caught 70 passes for 1,170 yards, 16 TDs.

Played several positions and did it all.

Athletic lineman cleared lanes for run attack.

David Forney

Sam Madaras

Sam Mustipher

Chris Whalen

Marvin Galdamez

Jesse Aniebonam

G. Prep Junior OL

Good Counsel Senior OL

Good Counsel Senior OL

Damascus Senior OL

Kennedy Senior K

Good Counsel Senior DL

Six-foot-3, 290 pounder dominated at the line.

One of the strongest at 6-3, 306 pounds.

Great size (6-4, 290), committed to Notre Dame.

Anchored one of county’s top offenses.

Made kicks from 38, 42 and 45 yards.

The 6-foot-5 star is committed to Maryland.

Daniel Appouh

Adam McLean

Avery Taylor

Rasheed Gillis

Stephon Jacob

DeSharnte Thompson

Seneca Valley Senior DL

Quince Orchard Junior DL

Gaithersburg Senior DL

Northwest Senior LB

Damascus Senior LB

Good Counsel Senior LB

Gave offensive coordinators nightmares.

Recorded seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss.

Active in passing lanes, put pressure on QBs.

Made plays all over the field for state champs.

Consistent twoway playmaker for Hornets.

Playmaker on one of county’s top defenses.

Jalen Christian

Elliott Davis

Trevon Diggs

Kobie Walker

Elijah Spottswood

Damascus Junior DB

Quince Orchard Senior DB

Wootton Sophomore DB

Good Counsel Senior DB

Sherwood Senior Returner

Shutdown CB ran for five TDs and caught four.

Speedster was equally impressive offensively.

Two-way star hurt teams from all over field.

Kentucky recruit had a stellar season.

Top-notch returner was also strong RB, CB.

Notice of opportunity for public hearing Montgomery County government hereby notifies the general public and other interested parties that a three-week period has been established during which they may request a public hearing on the FY 2015 Ridesharing / Commuter Assistance Program grant application in the amount of $372,070 from the Maryland Transit Administration and Federal Transit Administration. This three-week period will commence on December 18, 2013 and end on January 8, 2014 at 5 PM. If requested, the public hearing on the above mentioned program will be held on January 13, 2014 at 3:00 PM in the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor Conference Room, Rockville, Maryland 20850.


The request for a public hearing must be submitted in writing and received by the Division of Transit Services no later than 5 PM Wednesday, January 8, 2014. Any request received after January 8, 2014 will be returned to sender. Request for this public hearing must include your name and address, and if any, organization or business name, reason(s) or issues of your request, and sent to:


1905990 1905989

Carolyn G. Biggins, Chief Division of Transit Services 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor Rockville Maryland 20850 (12-18-2013)

Dual threat signalcaller blossommed in final high school season, throwing for 40 touchdowns and running for 22 more and leading the Panthers to the Class 4A state semifinals, one of the best seasons in program history.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z


Continued from Page B-1 for Aidan’s first two seasons, he was in the arena. He felt the sting of every loss. And it just so happened that the first game he played for Blake — and first game with his brother at the high school level — was that historic win. Now, the pair has the opportunity to play on the same team for a second season and lead the Bengals to what could be their most memorable year yet. “The whole team has de-

cided that we’re really going to stop the losing and turn a new page and build a winning program,” Sage said. “This year we have a lot of seniors and that guidance from the veterans has really helped out.” Aidan, a captain this season, sets the tone for the team with his work ethic on the ice sheet. He’s constantly winning battles for loose pucks and digging in the corners. It’s an attribute of his game that Drzewicki admires greatly. “I’ll call Aidan the whirling dervish because he never stops,” Drzewicki said. “He just plays so

hard and he’s so rugged. He’s got a high motor. He’s more of a two-way player and his brother is a pure offensive machine.” Sage, as Drzewicki alluded to, is a pure scorer with a wicked right-handed shot. As of Monday night, he led the Montgomery County 1A league in points with nine goals and five assists. Of his nine goals, three were of the shorthanded variety as the speedster, who also plays for Team Maryland, can glide in open ice with the best of them. “My game is speed,” Sage said. “There’s a lot more open space and I love penalty killing. It

Page B-3

works with my style. It takes the other team by surprise when I rush the puck up a little bit more. “As you grow older you realize what your strengths are and where you can both make the most difference on the ice.” Of course, as is likely the case with any sibling relationship, the desire to succeed not only stems from wanting to win as many games as possible, but from wanting to out-perform the other brother. “I think it’s a good bonding experience and it’s pretty good to push each other, too,” Aidan said. “I know I don’t want my

little brother to be playing better than me and he probably wants to show me up.” Said Sage: “We kind of feed off of each other. When he’s there I usually play a lot better because I always want to do better than he does.” So far, both have done a remarkable job and it has Blake, a team that still only has two full lines and a roster of 14 players, in position to turn in an historic season if they keep at the current pace. “I think our kids are having a good time,” Drzewicki said. “I hope that we will win more than


Continued from Page B-1 ally known for lighting up scoreboards — though he certainly could — rather setting up teammates to do exactly that. Aaron Briggs, this year’s de facto point guard, has much the same ball control as Thompson, but he’s not afraid to let it fly either. “I mean, I’d want to say me,” Briggs said when asked who the best shooter on the team is. “But the thing is, it could be somebody new every night. Yesterday it was Jamaal (Greenwood) and today it was probably me.” Nobody would be able to fault Briggs for labeling himself as the team’s most dangerous 3-point-shot threat. He made 20 3-pointers in the Bulldogs’ first seven games, hitting at least two in each. The next closest is Greenwood, a senior in his second year at Bullis, who has made 12 and is tied with Briggs as the team’s leading scorer with 13.4 points per game. “We probably shoot 30 to 35 threes per game,” Briggs said. “We’re focused on driving and kicking because we have a lot of shooters this year. We’re a 3-point shooting team.” But what happens when a team like that goes cold? Shots from 20-25 feet are far less likely to go in than a layup or a dump in the lane. “We just pick up the press on ‘D,’” the guard said. “We’ll play a full court press and get points on the other end, get and-ones, easy layups.” Of course, with four marksmen — Briggs, Greenwood, Russell Sangster and Brian Kelley, Bruce’s son — deco-


Russell Sangster (left) of Bullis School passes the ball in a game against visiting Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Friday in Potomac. rating the perimeter at all times, it’s unusual for all of them to go cold at once. Seven different players have made a 3-pointer thus far, and five from that crew have made more than six, which averages out to nearly one per game from at least five players.


Continued from Page B-1 said. “You can be on the outside looking in and think maybe [her life] isn’t normal, but this is her world and it’s just normal to her.” As a seemingly permanent fixture on Team USA, at least for the foreseeable future, Ledecky has become a world traveler. She was in Barcelona, Spain just before the start of school for the world championships and is off to Glasgow, Scotland this week to represent the United States against a compilation of some of the top Europeans in the Duel in the Pool. But after every trip oversees, every gold medal, every prestigious award and every television appearance, Ledecky returns home and gives just as much of herself to her peers, her Stone Ridge teammates. There was never any question she would, Ledecky said. After all, she, at the root of it all, is just a high school junior who wants to compete on a team with her friends and classmates and represent her school in the best way possible. In 2012-13, she led Stone Ridge to its first Independent School League title since 2003 and fourth place at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming


Continued from Page B-1 older children while on the Maryland Titans Track Club. She wasn’t great when she first started, she said. “I kind of had a disadvantage of always having to run up,” Pyles said. But she kept with it and has developed into a talented and versatile runner. She said the experience with the Titans helped her mentally prepare for her freshman season with Clarksburg. “It gave me practice to run with girls who are more experienced and have been doing it longer,” she said. Now, she is thriving in multiple events while competing against older competition. “She learns very quickly,” Clarksburg coach Scott Mathias said. “She takes it all in, it doesn’t go in one ear and out the other like it does with some kids.”


Stone Ridge School for the Sacred Heart junior Katie Ledecky.

and Diving Championship, the Gators’ best showing in recent years and quite an accomplishment for one of the field’s smaller teams. Ledecky said she is hopeful the team can achieve equal or better results this winter. “[Her commitment to the Stone Ridge team] just shows how grounded she is, it shows her character and the type of person that she is,” Walker said. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what happened to Ledecky in the summer of 2012, but that Olympic gold was just the beginning of what has been a spectacular two years in her blossoming swimming career — it seems like

Alexus and her sisters were connected to Clarkburg’s track and field program long before they were officially part of the program. Their mother, Rhoshanda Pyles, Clarkburg’s assistant principal, would take her three young daughters to watch the team practice, Mathias said. In spite of Alexus’ training and background, her stellar freshman season came as a bit of a surprise, Mathias said. As a freshman, she was selected to the All-Gazette second team for the 100-meter hurdles in the spring and the 55-meter hurdles in the indoor season. “I knew that she was talented and I knew she had the opportunity to be good,” Mathias said. “But I think she achieved at a higher level than anybody could have expected, really.” It’s hard for anybody to match Pyles’ first-year achievements. Brionne, though, has shown promise so far in the hurdle events. On Saturday, the siblings

Sangster foresaw this change in style coming before Kelley had to say anything. He knew Thompson would be gone, Briggs would be stepping in, his scoring would be concentrated from the perimeter and the shots would be flying. “It was comforting knowing we had

she breaks a new record every time she competes these days. This summer, she won four gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Spain, setting world records in the 800-meter freestyle and 1,500-meter freestyle (by more than six seconds) and an American record in the 400-meter freestyle. Her results earned her the FINA Trophy for the highest scoring woman in the competition. At the 2013 AT&T Nationals earlier this month, she broke the American mark in the 1,650yard freestyle by nine seconds, won the 500-yard freestyle and finished runner-up to Missy Franklin in the 200-yard freestyle. “I think [my breakout] was just an accumulation of a number of things,” Ledecky said. “It’s been a lot of hard training. My coach [Bruce Gemmell] this past year has been great, I have a great training group made up of mostly juniors and seniors from the area that push me every day. After London, I increased my dry land and had a more structured dry land program [that is geared toward flexibility and strength, not weight lifting] that really helped my strength.” Ledecky said her success hasn’t resulted in any added pressure, though her rapid improvements do become harder teamed up with Brionna Palmer and Taliah Hardie to place ninth in the 800-meter relay. Rhoshanda said watching her daughters compete can be “very nerve-racking.” “We hope the best for all of them and we want them to do their best,” she said. The third sister, Cierra, is in eighth grade. She too takes part in the family workouts led by their father, Terrance Pyles, and may join her older sisters on the team next season. “It’s definitely been a journey for the entire family,” Rhoshanda said. Long term, Alexus said she wants that journey to result in a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college. As for now, she is hoping the Pyles sisters can pull off a top-two finish this season. “Anything’s possible. I’m hoping that if we both work hard, we can take one and two,” Alexus said.

[Thompson] because he was going to make the right decision every time,” said Sangster, who has made eight 3-pointers and is third on the team with 10.8 points per game. “But we’re all shooters. We can all score. Sometimes we can go on 15-0 runs, 20-0 runs. Ev-

to top. Every record she has set serves as motivation to continue dropping time and finding new ways to get better, Ledecky said. It seems unlikely that anyone will beat Ledecky in high school competition but there doesn’t seem to be any bitterness from area swimmers. Sure, everyone wants to win races, but the opportunity to share the pool

the four games we won last year. But we don’t win games unless we are playing perfectly.” Even after practice on the ice, the Bittinger-Esser’s naturally spend plenty of time playing on their street as well, constantly trying to one-up each other. But they’ve also got a younger brother, Quinn, who’s 12. He plays hockey too. “Sometimes we got outside and shoot around,” Sage said. “But it’s always me and Aidan against Quinn. You’ve got to beat up on your little brother.”

erybody on the court is a lot quicker. We create a lot of matchup problems. It’s a fun time to be on the court.” Fun is exactly how Kelley branded his team. “It’s a fun style of basketball,” he said. “You’d enjoy watching it. There’s a lot of action.” Of Bullis’ first seven wins, five have come by more than 20 points and the Bulldogs have eclipsed 60 in every game but one, a 48-46 victory over Westtown (Pa.). In their lone loss, to Genesis Academy, Bullis still put up more than 70 and were within a 3-pointer of a perfect 7-0 start. “I see this team being very dangerous,” Briggs said. “Last year we started out 4-3 in the first seven games. This year we’re already 6-1.” Of course, this gun-slinging bunch is aided by the 6-foot-10, Hofstra-bound presence inside in Andre Walker. He essentially single-handedly ensures defenses won’t resort to 3-2 zones, which limit open looks from beyond the arc, but leave the post open and vulnerable. Said Kelley: “We can beat teams multiple different ways.” But he’s not impressed — not yet. Per usual, he’ll take his team down south for the holidays — Myrtle Beach is the destination this year as compared to Miami last year — where they will match up with some of the best competition on the East Coast. Then comes the heart of the Interstate Athletic Conference schedule, where Bullis will be tested. “We’re not great, we’re good,” the coach said. “But it’s a fun brand of basketball to coach.”

with one of the world’s greatest swimmers is one Washington, D.C.-area high school swimmers seem to have embraced. Maybe it’s because this region is used to international-level talent, Walker said. Or maybe it’s because despite Ledecky’s rising star, she is still just the Katie they grew up training with. “You want people like that

there, you don’t want to push those people away,” Walker said. “You get to say Katie Ledecky swam at Metros and no one else gets to say that. I don’t see the negativity at all. We are all talking about the same thing, she is bringing swimming into the picture.”


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Georgetown Prep’s wrestling team full of youth With 11 freshmen on the roster, talented Hoyas will learn as they go



Georgetown Prep wrestling coach Mike Kubik always has been forthcoming when it comes to describing his team, for better or worse. The Little Hoyas once again have started the year with high hopes, as is perennially the case

at the North Bethesda private school, but things are a little different this time around. While a majority of teams in high school sports tend to have a similar roster construction: heavy with seniors, a solid crop of juniors, sophomores behind them and a sprinkling of freshman, the Hoyas have inverted that pyramid with their 2013-14 group. On Kubik’s varsity team are 11 freshman, followed by four sophomores, six juniors and three seniors (one who’s out for the year). “I’d say it might be the best freshman class I’ve ever had. It’s

very good,” Kubik said. “We’re just incredibly young. But the kids are getting better every time they step in the room.” Two First Team All-Gazette wrestlers return for Georgetown Prep in senior Michael Sprague (138 pounds) and junior Colin Kowalski (132). Sprague took second in the state last season and went 45-7 while Kowalski placed seventh at National Preps. That duo, along with senior Patrick Stewart (285) and superstar freshman Eric Hong (120) form the nucleus of a squad that, while still learning at a rapid rate, has the

potential to be very dangerous come March. Behind them, freshmen Joe McCord (106) and Bryant Boswell (170) have jumped into starting roles and are performing well while juniors Paul Triandafilou (220) and Spencer Gottshall (152) help balance out the blend of experience and youth. “Some of the kids are getting better in the six minutes of every match they wrestle,” Kubik said. “You can watch them improving as they go on from period to period. It’s hard for the coaches because we still have some horses and we’re still pretty good, but

there will be a lot of learning.” One of Prep’s “horses,” naturally, happens to be a freshman. Hong, a resident student from Pittsburgh, won five consecutive Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Championships and earned seven career medals in 10 tournament appearances. He’s started this season off with a 6-3 record. “He’s so good you forget that he’s a young guy,” Kubik said. “Even though we’ve got guys who are inexperienced at the high school level, there’s still a lot of experience in the room.” As a freshman, Sprague re-

members the impact the senior leaders made on him as he attempted to learn the intricacies of practice. Everything from the school’s pre-match traditions to executing the most basic moves. Now that he’s in a similar position of leadership, he’s relishing the opportunity to make a difference. “I remember when I was a freshman and I definitely looked up to the seniors, so I’m trying to be that same type of role model for them now,” Sprague said. “We’re teaching and helping them all learn how we do things, and we’re starting to see that stick.”

Magruder senior recommitted self for wrestling season Barnes, after overcoming injury and attending camp, set for solid year



During the offseason, Col. Zadok Magruder High School wrestler Andrew Barnes — as so many high school athletes on the verge of their senior seasons do — made a commitment to himself that he was going to improve his form. He was going to get stron-

ger, faster and better prepared to handle the rigors of the sport he’d been playing since he was 6 years old. But instead of simply putting in longer hours at the gym, or working the moves a few extra times against his older brother, Kamen, he took things one step further. He enrolled in the J RobinsonIntensiveCampatEdinboro University — a program run by University of Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson aimed at pushing participants to the limits of their physical and mental abilities. Barnes woke up at 6:30 a.m. every day, worked out for 30 min-

utes, ate breakfast, practiced and learned various techniques for the mind and body, ate dinner, worked out for another 30 minutes and went to bed at 11 p.m. For two weeks, that was his life. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Barnes, 17. “They taught me that wrestling isn’t about only wrestling, it’s about becoming a man. I learned different philosophies, responsibilities and discipline. It made me mature and got me a lot stronger.” Barnes, the Colonels’ captain, is going to need that additional strength if he hopes to lead Magruder to a successful 2013-14

campaign. “That camp built him up mentally,” said Magruder coach Andrew Tao. “He came back this year with a different mentality and that’s good because he’s the only captain of the team right now.” Barnes’ father was a wrestler during high school in Florida and coached at the Montgomery Village wrestling club for many years. He encouraged his sons to join the sport and they both took a liking to it. “In middle school I thought about not doing it anymore, but I wanted to continue. It’s the one thing that I did that I loved. So I

just kept going on,” said Andrew Barnes, who competes in the 126-pound weight class. Barnes nearly was pushed to the brink of giving up during his injury-riddled sophomore season. He partially separated his labrum and missed half the season while recovering. Then, as he was working his way back to full strength, he contracted pneumonia and was forced to miss the rest of the year. It all adds to his accumulation of overcoming difficult situations. One moment, in particular, is his favorite of any on the mat so far. While competing in the Hub

Cup tournament last season, he was hit in the face and broke his nose during the third- and fourthplace match. After a lengthy delay, with blood everywhere, they bandaged his entire face and he was able to continue. A few minutes later, Barnes ended up taking third. “I love the challenge,” Barnes said. “I love going out there and wrestling people I’ve never wrestled before. And when you’re wrestling someone and you feel them give up and you know that you won, that’s a great feeling too.”

Swimmers’ focus during championship season could change BY JENNIFER BEEKMAN STAFF WRITER

Sports, by nature, are unpredictable. It’s part of their appeal. When two high school basketball teams face each other there is likely one favorite, on paper, but it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen on game day. Timed sports, such as swimming, however, fall into a different category. Race results can, to some degree, be predicted. While certain competitions, varying envi-

ronments and facilities can bring out different times, chances are athletes will not be able to shave more than a few seconds off their times in a matter of days. For the past four years it was all but guaranteed that former Our Lady of Good Counsel High School star Jack Conger would win any event he chose to contest — he currently holds Metros records in five of 11 swimming events. But the graduation of Conger — who, as a freshman at the University of Texas has already achieved automatic NCAA championship qualifying times in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-backstroke — as part of an overall talented Class of 2013, has

100-yard freestyle, six of the top 10, also are gone. The 500-yard freestyle, won by Conger a year ago, looks to be the most stacked with six of the top 10 returning and all of them are national-caliber talents. Seven of the top finishers in the 200-yard individual medley are also back and not much separated them last winter. Of course, there’s no guarantee where anyone will be swimming during championship season in February. Good Counsel senior Brady Welch has finished in the top four of the 500yard freestyle each of the past two years but said he hasn’t settled on contesting that event in two

months’ time. “It’s definitely a possibility for me and a lot of the other swimmers to change up what the status quo is and go after other races,” Welch said. “There are a lot more openings in the shorter distances. In years’ past the focus has been mainly on the 50 and 100 free but this year there is going to be a huge shift with the attention toward the 500 because of the amount of talent there this year. ... You have to be on a high national level just to make the final.” The second week in February seems like it’s eons away, but preparation for Metros and championship season started on the first day of the 2013-14 season.


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Athletes in all sports aim to peak as they head into the postseason and swimming is no different. But to contest certain events at Metros, athletes must achieve certain qualifying times throughout the course of the season. Montgomery County Pubic School swimmers are also then restricted to compete at the season-ending state championships in whichever events they race at the regional meets the prior week. “There are a lot of openings and there are going to be people swimming different events if there is an opening to win those events,” Walt Whitman coach Geoff Schaefer said.




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opened up some opportunities for returning high school athletes this winter. “I think there are kids now that are going to have the spotlight on them that didn’t before because they were overshadowed by Jack,” Walter Johnson coach Jamie Grimes said in the preseason. “I do think we lost a lot of senior depth in a couple events. It will be interesting to see what the county has left on the boys’ side.” Coaches agreed the sprint freestyle events seem to be the most up in the air at this early stage of the season. The top eight finishers in last year’s 50-yard freestyle, and nine of the top 10, were seniors. The top three in the


Graduation of several swimmers has opened doors for this year’s athletes n


The Gazette’s Guide to

Arts & Entertainment



Second installment moves a little faster. Page B-9


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Page B-5





Country music legend talks about Christmas, life and her famous family n

Country music legend Wynonna Judd will be performing holiday favorites Dec. 23 at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. KRISTIN BARLOWE


get really simple for me.”



The Irish Tenors will sing some of their greatest hits along with holiday classics during two shows on Saturday at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda. From left are Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan. THE IRISH TENORS




After traveling through the eastern United States since late November, the Irish Tenors will be heading home for Christmas once they perform two Saturday shows at the Music Center at Strathmore. But before they fly back to Ireland, they plan to have a grand time with the audiences at the music center in North Bethesda, said tenor Anthony Kearns. “It’ll be a great day’s fun — people will enjoy

it,” said Kearns, who will be performing an afternoon and evening show with fellow tenors Finbar Wright and Ronan Tynan. Formed in 1998, the world-famous group tours twice a year — first in March, and again in November and December. The show will open with Irish classics, said Kearns, who will be singing “How Are Things in

See TENORS, Page B-9

Thirty years ago, Wynonna Judd broke onto the country music scene with her mother, Naomi. Within eight years, the Judds released six studio albums, won five Grammy Awards and had 25 songs on the country music charts. Wynonna went on with her solo career after her mother retired in 1991. With 20 No. 1 singles and eight of her own albums, including a holiday record, Wynonna is set to wrap up her “A Simpler Christmas” tour with her band The Big Noise on Monday at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. As quick-witted as ever, Judd makes sure folks around her know she means every word she says and holds no punches. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done,” Judd said of her Christmas show. “It makes complete sense from where I’m at in my life, which is we’re all pretty jaded and we’re all pretty spoiled rotten and we have what we need. I wanted WYNONNA to get back AND THE BIG to simplicity because my NOISE: own children A SIMPLER are grown … I just see how CHRISTMAS lucky we are. n When: 8 p.m. … I wanted Monday this tour to be joyful, I n Where: Bethesda wanted it to be Blues and Jazz about music Supper Club, and not about 7719 Wisconsin production Ave., Bethesda with wardn Tickets: $60-$90 robe changes and lights. I n For information: wanted it to 240-330-4500; be just me sitbethesdablues ting on a stool using my Godgiven talents.” Judd spent a good portion of her childhood with her mom and sister, actress Ashley Judd, in Kentucky without much in the way of money. In fact, Judd said one year the girls bought their mother a hammer for Christmas because they didn’t have enough for anything else. Despite that, Judd said they had enough food and were thankful for what they had. That’s why when the holidays

See WYNONNA, Page B-9


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z



The Rockville Concert Band will perform its “Holiday Traditions” concert on Sunday at the Rockville Civic Center Park.

Concert ‘Traditions’

up Christmas

The Rockville Concert Band will perform its “Holiday Traditions” concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville Civic Center Park. Founded in 1957, the

nonprofit band, 70 members strong, is under the current leadership of John Saint Amour. Band members from all walks of life volunteer their services, with rehearsals occurring once every week. Suggested donation is $4. For more information, visit

Vocalist Integriti Reeves will perform Christmas Jazz Songs at 11 a.m. Friday at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda as a part of the Artist in Residence Alumni series. The singer, who has drawn comparisons to Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole and performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Eperanza Spaulding and Stevie Wonder, was a huge success last season as a Strathmore Artist in Residence and returns to sing some holiday classics. For more information, visit


The Rockville Chorus Singers, directed by Bryan Seith, performed at the Peerless Rockville historical society open house on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Classical ‘Night’ LIVE GARRA THEATRE

The Rockville Chorus will present “Holiday Classics for a Winter’s Night” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville Civic Center Park. The program will in-

Lyricist Keisha Orr will speak during Live Garra Theatre’s “Crazy Wisdom” play reading series this weekend.

clude “Schubert Mass in G,” featuring accompaniment by local string musicians, as well as soloists from within the chorus. Also featured will be “Ding Dong! Merrily on High,” arranged by Kirby Shaw; “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light” and “Cold and Fugue Season,” by Johann Sebastian Bach; “Ocho Kandelikas” by Flory Jagoda, as arranged by Joshua Jackobson; “Chanukah Madrigal” by Herbert Fromm, and “Seasons of Love” from the musical “RENT,” by Jonathan Larson as arranged by Roger Emerson. Composed of 81 members, The Rockville Chorus is directed by Bryan Seith. Admission to the concert is free. Donations are appreciated. For more information, visit

‘Crazy’ art


Integriti Reeves, a Strathmore Artist in Residence last year, returns for a Christmas concert Friday morning.

Drive-in theater


The Maryland Encore Chorales will present their holiday concert this weekend.

Encore, encore The Maryland Encore Chorales of the Schweinhaut Senior Center, Asbury Methodist Village and Washington Conservatory of Music will present their holiday concert at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring.

Conducted by Encore Creativity for Older Adults founder Jeanne Kelly, more than 100 singers — age 55 and older — will perform holiday standards and seasonal favorites, in addition to a few surprises, accompanied by special guest The Ron Hicks Project and vocalist Margo Hope. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, visit


Live Garra Theatre will present its play reading series, “Crazy Wisdom,” Dec. 1921 at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring. “Grandma’s Christmas” by Joy Hunter Carroll and “Tea Leaves” by Louise V. Gray kick off the celebration at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by encore performances Friday and Saturday. A play about interracial coupling, Bless ji Jaja’s “Devil’s in Bed-Stuy,” will be read Friday, followed by Jack Wibbe’s “Monteggia Fracture” on Saturday. Also this weekend, visiting lyricist Keisha Orr, of Harlem, NY, will share a musical memoir, “The Journey: Love to Live and Love Again.” Admission is “pay what you may.” For reservations, call 855575-4834.


The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition and the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection will host a special screening of a new documentary film on auto sales fraud tonight at the Silver Spring Civic Center.

The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC) and the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection will screen “Driven to Defraud” at 7 p.m. tonight in the Fenton Room of the Silver Spring Civics Center, 1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring. The film documents the scams some car dealers use to abuse Maryland car purchases and instructs consumers how to protect themselves when they buy a new or used car. The film explains how yo-yo sales, interest rate mark-ups, rebuilt wrecks and other scams work through the eyes of car-buyers who have been victimized, consumer advocates and honest auto dealers working to stop the fraud. Admission is free. The film was directed and edited by John A. Spillane and produced by the Megaphone Project for MCRC. For more information, visit


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page B-7

Grapelines: Further holiday gift ideas for the wine lover on one’s list The holiday catalogs abound with numerous gifts ideal for the wine-lovers on your list. In addition to a nice bottle of bubbly or a Pinot Noir from Oregon or the Russian River Valley, consider some other ideas that will not spill or require decanting.

GRAPELINES BY LOUIS MARMON Continuing with last month’s literary gift theme, the first suggestion is the latest edition of “The World Atlas of Wine, 7th Edition” by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. A perfect synergy of entertainment and detail, this volume is an abso-


lute must for anyone passionate about the fruit of the vine. Few writers have Johnson’s vast experience combined with an impeccable charm and ability to explain and entice without pretense about a subject so often considered intimidating. Robinson, who has been a co-editor since the fifth edition in 2001, is among the worlds most gifted and articulate wine critics and oversees a team of other experts to collect and assimilate the diverse and evolving information collected so superbly in this volume. Many new and updated maps are highlights as are the extensive evaluations provided by the editors. As a reference, on a coffee table or displayed among the prize bottles in your

cellar, “The World Atlas of Wine” is the penultimate wine book and an ideal gift. Earlier this year, Robinson also published a wide-ranging evaluation of winemaking in the United States. Co-authored with the well-regarded wine writer Linda Murphy, “American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States” is a perfect gift for those

who prefer the wines of the new world. As the fourth largest wine producer, the U.S. is deserving of such a well-written and comprehensive examination that includes not only the familiar regions of California, Oregon and Washington State but also New York’s Finger Lakes, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas and

elsewhere in America’s heartland that is also creating quality wines. Replete with maps and nearly 200 photographs, this book is a thorough assessment of the ever-changing and vastly improving U.S. wine industry. Since a cork was first utilized to seal a bottle, enjoying wine has also been associated with gadgets. Old corkscrews are collector’s items and it seems that every few years a new device is created to deal with the issues of opening and conserving the flavors of wine. The latest (ingenious) approach is the Coravin Wine Access System, which features a hollow needle attached to a can of inert gas that is heavier than oxygen. The device is placed atop the

bottle, with the needle passing completely through the cork, allowing the gas to fill the space between the liquid and the bottom of the cork. This prevents oxygen from entering the bottle while allowing the wine to pour out via the needle. Dispense as little or as much as desired then remove the device, causing the cork to re-seal itself, preserving the integrity of the closure and permitting the wine to remain basically undisturbed. At $300 (plus the subsequent cost of refill gas containers), it is an expensive gift ideally suited for those whose cellar contains ex-

ceptional bottles — but perhaps only if the giver is assured an opportunity to try some of these special wines, as well. Other gifts for wine lovers are those that can adorn a table. Wine decanters not only enhance a wine’s flavors (especially younger ones), but also provide an interesting visual accent. A retired wine barrel is too large for most homes, but recycled circular tops and bottoms (called heads) make wonderful and rustic “Lazy Susans” and serving trays, while the staves can become candle or votive holders.


Hollywood Ballroom, Dec. 18, International and Standard Latin Night with Paul Huston, workshop from 7:30-8:30 p.m., dance from 8:30-11 p.m. ($16); Dec. 20, dropin lessons from 7:30-9 p.m., West Coast Swing Dancing with Dance Jam Productions at 9 p.m. ($15); Dec. 21, Hand Dancing Institute, lesson from 6-8 p.m., dance at 8 p.m.; Dec. 22, free El Paso lesson at 7 p.m., Social Ballroom Dance at 8 p.m. ($16); Dec. 25, Christmas Night Dance, 7-11 p.m. ($16); Dec. 26, Tea Dance from 12:30-3:30 p.m. ($6), 2126 Industrial Highway, Silver Spring, 301-326-1181, Glen Echo Park is at 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Blues, Capital Blues: Thurs-

days, 8:15 p.m. beginner lesson, 9-11:30 p.m. dancing to DJs, Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom Annex, $8, Contra, Dec. 20, Sargon de Jesus calls to Morrison Brothers; Dec. 27, Bob Isaacs with Perpetual e-Motion, 7:30 p.m. lesson, 8:30 p.m. dance, Glen Echo Park Spanish Ballroom, $10, Contra & Square, Dec. 22, Janine Smith calls with Morrison Brothers Band; Dec. 29, Anna Rain with Perpetual e-Motion, 7:30 p.m., Glen Echo Park Spanish Ballroom, $12 for general, $9 for



Legendary comedian Bill Cosby is coming to Strathmore. Due to overwhelming demand, and after selling out an originally scheduled Jan. 31 performance, a second and final show has been added to the calendar. Show time is 8 p.m. Jan. 30 and tickets ($49.50 to $89.50) go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday at the box office. For more information, call 301-581-5100 or visit members, $5 for students, www. English Country, Dec. 18, Caller: Anna Rain, 8 p.m., Glen Echo Town Hall (upstairs), www. Now and Then Dance Studio, Saturday ballroom dances, second and fourth Saturdays, beginner group lesson at 8 p.m., open

dancing at 9 p.m., $10 cash at door (all men admitted at halfprice throughout October), 10111 Darnestown Road, Rockville. 301424-0007, Scottish Country Dancing, 8-10 p.m. Mondays, steps and formations taught. No experience, partner necessary, T-39 Building on

NIH campus, Wisconsin Avenue and South Drive, Bethesda, 240505-0339. Swing, TBA, lesson at 8 p.m., dancing at 9 p.m., Glen Echo Park, $15, Waltz, Dec. 29, Terpsichore,

See IN THE ARTS, Page B-8






Page B-8

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

One voice

Fairfax high school singers join Washington Chorus for holiday performances n



The Washington Chorus continues its annual holiday tradition this year with five performances of “A Candlelight Christmas” at The Kennedy Center and the Music Center at Strathmore. The two Strathmore shows will take place tomorrow and Monday night. Founded in 1961 as the Oratio Society of Washington, The Washington Chorus has a roster of 200 singers and averages between eight and 10 projects a year. The chorus often appears at the invitation of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as the National Symphony Orchestra and is a part of a subscription series at The Kennedy Center. “[We do] projects with contemporary music and new music. We do a lot of projects with living composers,” said Julian Wachner, music director for The Washington Chorus. “We also have a really active educational program as well; both our Sideby-Side program ... and also our Junior Washington Chorus, which is some talented high school students who shadow the activities of the adults.” Now in its 22nd year, the Side-by-Side program is specific to the chorus’ “A Candlelight Christmas” performance. At the beginning of every summer, The Washington Chorus selects one or two distinguished high school choruses with which to partner. Students have the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside some of the region’s most talented singers. This year the chorus selected the Robinson Singers from the James R. Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Va.


Continued from Page B-7 2:45-3:30 p.m. lesson, 3:30-6 p.m., dance, $10,

MUSIC & DANCE Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, Gotta Swing Dance Night

with The Cutaways, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; Joyce Lyons, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; Holiday Tango concert with


n When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Monday at The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda; 1 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St NW, Washington, D.C. n Tickets: $15-$70 n For information: 202-342-6221,

“One of my goals for the kids ... after they move on from high school is that they continue to have choral music be a part of their lives,” said Robinson music director Mike Horanski. “I think that this gives them a really direct experience of how they can continue to be a part of singing choral music at a high level in their lives.” Horanski and his chorus were notified of their selection at the end of last school year. According to Wachner, choruses are chosen based on submitted materials and The Washington Chorus’ own research. “We have so many music educators singing in The Washington Chorus now that we’re really pretty connected to what’s going on in the community and in the high schools,” Wachner said. Once Horanski and his chorus of 36 students were selected, they began rehearsing the music at the beginning of this school year. Just a few weeks ago, the chorus began rehearsals with The Washington Chorus. “The students were pre-assigned a buddy, one of the adult singers in the choir,” Horanski said. “The first rehearsal we rehearsed all of the music that the students are singing with The Washington Chorus which is essentially two-thirds of the program.” Roberto Pomili Orchestra, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Daryl Jr. Cline with Julia Nixon and the Recliners, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 21; Ori Naftaly Band, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22; Wynonna & The Big Noise: A Simpler Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 23; Jamison & Double O Soul, 8 p.m. Dec. 27; Freddy Cole’s Christmas Show, 8 p.m. Dec. 28; Christmas Jazz Brunch w/Freddy Cole, 11 a.m. Dec. 29; The Nighthawks: Back to Bethesda/Psychedelly, 8 p.m. Dec. 29, call for prices, 7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. 240-330-4500, www.bethesdab-


Musical director Julian Wachner conducts the Washington Chorus in the 2012 Candlelight Christmas Show.


The Robinson Singers were chosen as a part of The Washington Chorus’ “Side-by-Side” program to rehearse alongside the chorus and then perform with them at their “A Candlelight Christmas” shows. For the “A Candlelight Christmas” performance, the Robinson Singers will perform a 12-15 minute showcase on their own before joining The Washington Chorus for the rest of the show. Music from the repertoire includes “Here We Come

A-Caroling,” “The Orient Christmas Skies,” and an arrangement of “Deck the Halls.” The evening always ends the same way, with a rendition of “Silent Night” and “Hallelujah Chorus.” “The end of the program is kind of locked into place now,”

Park, 301-960-3655, www.imtfolk. org.

BlackRock Center for the Arts,

Holiday Swing with Daryl Davis and Gotta Swing, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; Lloyd Dobler Effect, 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 21, call for tickets, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown. 301-528-2260, www.

Institute of Musical Traditions — Takoma Park, Ensemble Galilei,

7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Takoma Park Community Center, call for prices, times, Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Ave., Takoma

Institute of Musical Traditions — Rockville, TBA, Saint Mark

Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, call for prices, Strathmore, Afternoon/Specialty Teas, 1 p.m. Dec. 18, 28; Coral Cantigas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 23; AIR: Integriti Reeves - Christmas Jazz Songs, 11 a.m. Dec. 20; Ricky Skaggs, 8 p.m. Dec. 20; The Irish Tenors: The Premiere Irish Holiday Celebration Tour, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 21; National Philharmonic: Washington Symphonic Brass, 4 p.m. Dec. 22; Bohemian Caverns Jazz, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 22; Salute to Vienna, 3 p.m. Dec. 29, call for venue, Locations: Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda; Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, 301-5815100,

Wachner said. “It’s a winning combination and it’s what the audience has come to expect.” Beyond the musical lessons students can learn through the Side-by-Side program, the young singers also have the opportunity to get a behind-the-

ON STAGE Adventure Theatre, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” to Dec. 30, call for prices, times, Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, 301-634-2270, Do or Die Mysteries, TBA, 6:30 p.m. buffet, 7:30 p.m. show, $47.50 buffet and show, Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle, 4844 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 443-422-3810, www. Imagination Stage, “Lyle the Crocodile,” to Jan. 10, call for prices, times, Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda, www. Olney Theatre Center, “The King and I,” to Dec. 29; Olney Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 13-24; “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas,” to Dec. 29, call for prices, times, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, 301-924-3400, www.olneytheatre. org.

scenes look at the making of a professional production. “I think they get to see what it takes to put together a professional show at The Kennedy Center,” Wachner said. “And also, throughout their own presentation, it gives them a real focus of aiming for excellence to perform in a public place like that. It’s different than just performing for their family and friends at their school.” Horanski said his students have been enthusiastic about the opportunity since the moment they found out about their selection. “They’ve been very excited throughout the whole experience,” Horanski said. “It was great to see their reaction and hear their comments about how excited they were and how exciting it is to sing on a stage like The Kennedy Center. It’s a really great experience for them and I’m thankful for the invitation.” The Puppet Co., “The Nutcracker,” to Dec. 29; Tiny Tots @ 10, select Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, call for shows and show times, Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo Park’s North Arcade Building, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., $5, 301-634-5380, Round House Theatre, Bethesda, “The Lyons,” to Dec. 22, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. 240-644-1100, www. Round House Theatre, Silver Spring, “Meena’s Dream,” Jan. 8-14, call for show times, 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, $15 for general admission, $10 for subscribers, patrons 30 and younger and seniors, 244-6441100, www.roundhousetheatre. org. Silver Spring Stage, “A Christmas Carol,” to Dec. 22, Woodmoor Shopping Center, 10145 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, see website for show times, The Writer’s Center, TBA, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, 301-6548664,

VISUAL ART Adah Rose Gallery, John James Anderson and Mei Mei Chang, to Dec. 28, 3766 Howard Ave., Kensington, 301-922-0162, www.

The Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum, TBA, hours are 10 a.m. to

4:30 p.m. Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10001 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. 301-897-1518. Gallery B, December Exhibition: Eric Garner, to Dec. 28, gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E. www. Glenview Mansion, Rockville Art League Juried Members’ Show Varied Media, to Dec. 30, Rockville Civic Center Park, 503 Edmonston Drive, Rockville. www.rockvillemd. gov. Marin-Price Galleries, William Woodward, to Dec. 24, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 7022 Wisconsin Ave., 301-718-0622. VisArts, Michael Sellmeyer: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, That Mostly Go Together, to Jan. 12, Common Ground Gallery; Lauren Boilini: Rabid Habits, to Jan. 12, Gibbs Street Gallery,155 Gibbs St., Rockville, 301-315-8200, www.


Mediterranean Grill Classic Greek Food including Chicken Souvlaki, Lamb Shank, Kabobs, Greek Gyro Salad, Stuffed Flounder & more. Great selection of beer & wine available Closed Monday 8371 Snouffer School Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20879



We deliver. Call or stop by today. Carryout, dine in & catering

LUNCH SPECIAL 11-3 • TUES-FRI $5.00 Gyro Sandwich Dine in or Carryout. T-F. Expires 12/31/13


With purchase of two entrees Dine in only. Not valid with other specials. Expires 12/31/13

Scott Fitzgerald Theater

603 Edmonston Dr. Rockville, MD 20851

240-314-8690 Rockville Concert Band Presents

The Greatest Generation’s Holiday Enjoy holiday music from the World War II era in this afternoon concert. Sunday, Dec. 22; 3 p.m. No tickets required, Suggested donation: $5

Washington Printmakers Gallery, “Land Lines,” Clare Winslow,

Rockville Chorus Holiday Concert

Rockville’s Adult Chorus celebrates the season Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. No tickets, join us afterwards for punch & cookies!



w No ing! w Sho F.


to Dec. 29, meet the artist from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, second floor, 8230 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, www.washingtonprintmakers. com.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page B-9



Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo in the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

Continued from Page B-5


Jackson picks up the pace in latest ‘Hobbit’ BY



One year and several hundred films later, I confess my mind isn’t over-full of vivid memories of director Peter Jackson’s first “Hobbit.” It did the job, in its leisurely, fill-out-the-trilogy fashion, albeit looking like clinically detailed crud when viewed in 48 frames-per-second digital projection. Maybe my eyes will catch up to the glories of this alleged improvement. Maybe not. Format aside: Why so much “Hobbit,” when the book itself supplies just enough story for one, maybe two movies? Here’s a bit from last year’s review. “Turning the relatively slim 1937 volume ‘The Hobbit’ into a trilogy, peddling seven or eight hours of cine-mythology, suggests a better deal for the producers than for audiences. When, in Jackson’s film, someone describes a character’s

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG n 3 stars n PG-13; 182 minutes n Cast: Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace n Directed by Peter Jackson

‘love of gold’ as having become ‘too fierce,’ you wonder if the warning might apply to ‘The Hobbit’ in other ways.” Now we have the sequel. And you know? It’s livelier and better than its predecessor. The first movie’s harrumphing throat-clearing has given way to a swift, imposing adventure boasting several wing-ding action sequences. My favorite is the bit where the dwarves do battle with a

near-endless supply of enemies, while speeding down a raging river atop their stolen barrels. It’s exciting, improbable, funny in its derring-do and a reminder that Jackson, as a filmmaker, can do many things, including finding the precise way to send arrow after arrow through skull after skull, while tossing in a few beheadings, and yet somehow maintain a PG-13 rating. And the right spirit. At its best, “Hobbit 2,” which carries the subtitle “The Desolation of Smaug,” invites comparisons to Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” threesome. Bilbo Baggins, again played by Martin Freeman, is sidelined a bit in this middle chapter. The script interpolates sections of “The Quest of Erebor,” one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s so-called “Unfinished Tales,” setting up an alliance between Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and our old pal Gandalf (topbilled, not yet visibly bored

Ian McKellen). The dwarves want their kingdom back, and Smaug is the dragon in the way. Benedict Cumberbatch, who now rules the world, provides the voice of Smaug. Whatever one’s personal investment in the Tolkien mythology, the dragon on screen is one hell of a dragon. Smaug’s first closeup finds the beast asleep beneath mountains of gold coins, and when we see one eye open, it’s a wonderful, awful sight. Elsewhere there’s a truly scary giant-spider sequence, a little long — everything’s a little long in “Smaug” — but more than enough to give younger viewers some fairly bad dreams. Much of Part 2 unfolds in the coastal burg of Laketown, which has fallen on hard times since Smaug took over Lonely Mountain, or Lonesome Valley, or Honorary Dragon Way, or whatever Tolkien called it. We’re left with the threatened decimation of Laketown. Part 3 opens Dec. 17, 2014.


‘Mary Poppins’ tale owes its zing to Thompson BY


No feathers, animated or otherwise, will be ruffled by “Saving Mr. Banks,” director John Lee Hancock’s genial fictionalized account of how Walt Disney seduced “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers into allowing, for 5 percent of the gross, the supernatural caregiver to become a shiny Disney version of herself. Mainly the film is a testament to Emma Thompson. She’s swell as Travers, the Australian-born resident of London who travels to Los Angeles in 1961 for a couple of contentious weeks in the pre-production life of the film released three years later. There are other fine actors on screen, among them Tom Hanks as Disney and, in a fabricated role of a limo driver and horn-rimmed sounding board, Paul Giamatti. But Thompson’s the show. Each withering putdown, every jaundiced utterance, lands with a little ping. Then she makes you cry, by gum. If Thompson wins an Academy Award for “Saving Mr. Banks,” well, sometimes these Oscars go to elevator operators — performers who lift routine material to a higher floor. Travers went into Disney negotiations for her stories’ film rights with certain rules in mind. No animation of any kind. An all-English cast. As little overt sentiment as possible. She had script approval and, though the movie fudges this, her own script treatment in development. But Disney won out. The songs, in part, won her over. Travers left L.A. with wildly mixed emotions but pleased with the financial prospects, and “Mary Poppins” became a monster hit. With diagrammatic purpose, “Saving Mr. Banks” breaks down its hard-shell

Continued from Page B-5

SAVING MR. BANKS n 3 stars n PG-13; 125 minutes n Cast: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak n Directed by John Lee Hancock

protagonist’s exterior with a series of interlaced flashbacks, revealing how, and why, young Georgia Goff became Pamela Travers. Saddled with a charming but alcoholic father (Colin Farrell) and a despondent, suicidal mother (Ruth Wilson), the Goff girls living in the remote turn-of-the-century Australian outback were saved by the presence of their stern but loving aunt (Rachel Griffiths). This was the Poppins prototype, the savior figure in the young Travers’ life. “Saving Mr. Banks” turns Disney into a Missouri-born version of Sigmund Freud, doggedly solving the riddle of his reluctant author’s unhappiness to secure her legal approval to shoot “Mary Poppins” the Disney way. The writing scenes make for some rich high comedy. As Disney house songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak act as puppy dog foils. Screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith treat everyone gently and with the utmost respect. The sharper edges of the Disney/Travers relationship, well-documented by various sources, have been rounded off, but the actors suggest what they can, where they can. Travers’ personal life is not dealt with. There’s a single oblique reference to her own son. Some of this relates to streamlined storytelling; some of it, I think,

roll around, Judd takes the time to give back. “It’s a time of year when things get really simple for me,” Judd said. “I don’t rely on a lot of gifts. I give to charity and I send cards and say, ‘Merry Christmas, I love you,’ and that’s it. It’s the end of my year. I’ve worked 364 days … I have more than I need and it’s a chance for me to give back and sing the music I grew up listening to as a child. “It’s a big, big deal to me. I get home, I think, on Christmas Eve. Then I’ll wear my pajamas for a week.” Judd’s life changed forever in August 2012. Her husband, musician Cactus Moser, was in a motorcycle accident and lost his left leg and his left hand. Judd said that, if anything, the accident brought them closer together. “We have a tolerance for one another that can only come from being in this kind of adversity,” Judd said. “He’s such a comedian and a blessing to so many people. I met him when I was 20 and was in love with him then. Mom got sick and I ended up going with her to the Mayo [Clinic] and he went out to L.A. to be a drummer, so we lost touch for awhile, but we reconnected. “When this happened, I literally stood with him in the shower being his left side. It was not easy for me. It was not something I ever dreamed I would have to do. It bonded us for life.” Moser still has his sense of humor, which Judd admits she has a hard time understanding how he can be so funny. “The other night he was on stage during a song and he did a little soft-shoe — and I mean shoe,” Judd said. “He started to laugh and I’m like, ‘You know what, only you can have this kind of sense of humor.’ Me? I don’t know if I could have that. … He has such a positive attitude — it’s almost irritating at times.” Once the holidays come to a close, Judd will put the finishing touches on her next album, which she said she’s having a blast recording in a little shack. It will also sound a little different to her fans.


Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers in “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney. has more to do with avoiding potential ruffled feathers. This is, after all, a Disney film, in large part about Walt Disney, to whom Hanks lends gravity, sincerity and high, true motivations for getting at Travers’ secrets. Director Hancock knows

a few things about directing crowd-pleasing heartwarmers, having made “The Blind Side.” This one wouldn’t work without Thompson. Happily, she and Julie Andrews have something in common as performers: a sparkle, and a wizardly combination of wiles and ease.

Glocca Morra?” a song about being homesick for Ireland that was part of the Broadway show “Finian’s Rainbow.” “It’s about green glens and comely maidens,” he said. “It’s the Hollywood version of Ireland, which is sadly no longer there.” The tenors will also be singing spiritual songs such as “How Great Thou Art” and “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” Then in the second half comes the “upbeat, fun stuff,” he said. People sing along and clap along” to songs such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Jingle Bells,” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” said Kearns. Also on the set list is “Fairytale of New York,” a song popular in Ireland and England about an Irish immigrant in New York, written by the Celtic punk group The Pogues in the mid1980s. Kearns said he knew when he was a child growing up in a village in County Wexford in southeast Ireland that he wanted to become a professional singer. “It was my goal since a very early age,” he said. “I loved singing and I love music.” Kearns sang in school and entered singing competitions, slowly making a name for himself. He knew he was good, but he also soon discovered that it’s tough breaking into the entertainment world. “I had confidence in myself but I didn’t have the right connections,” he said. Then, in 1993, Kearns won a national radio competition for tenors to celebrate the country’s issuance of a new 10-pound note (a “tenner”). His success at singing “Danny Boy” and “The Impossible Dream” for the show lead to an appearance on Irish national TV. “That was my lucky break — I was on my way,” said Kearns, who went on to study singing privately and the Leinster


Country music legend Wynonna Judd will be performing holiday favorites Dec. 23 at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.

“I’ve done the three backup singers and the horns and the production [before],” Judd said. “I’m doing what we call the Dave Grohl [of the Foo Fighters] garage band thing where we’re making the record in one of those sheds that you use to put your lawn mower in. And we’re having the best time. … We laugh until we can’t see straight and we have the best time because we have joy and nothing to prove since we’ve been doing this for 30 years.” Judd has plenty of stories to tell, which she said she does regularly on stage. She has a lot from which to work — her time on “Dancing with the Stars,” her famous family, and her numerous appearances on TV just to name a few. She’s able to find humor in almost any situation, which she said is a blessing in the face of adversity. “When I talk about the human stories,” Judd said. “Ashley and I living on a mountain top with no TV and no telephone … and I make jokes about how I would tie Ashley up and leave her there for hours and say, ‘I’ll be right back,’ and come back and she’d be screaming and I’d say, ‘This is going to help you with your acting career!’ People just die laughing because they know I’m telling the truth and they know because they’ve been there themselves. “I could do a whole standup comedy routine on [my family].”

THE IRISH TENORS n When: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday n Where: Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda n Tickets: $36-$78 n For information: 301-581-5100

School of Music and Drama in Dublin and the College of Music in Cardiff, Wales. Kearns said he also loves performing in operas, being part of a production that tells a story “from start to end.” “It’s a fairy tale kind of world,” he said. “For five or six weeks, you’re one big family. You do four or five performances and then you pick up and go on again.” In 1998, Irishman Bill Hughes and several other producers got the idea of forming a group modeled on the three Italian tenors — Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo — whom they had seen performing at the Cannes Film Festival. Kearns joined forces with tenors Wright and Tynan, and they soon started performing specials for the Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S. In 2001, they filmed their third special, “Live from Ellis Island,” a tribute to U.S. immigrants with actor Martin Sheen, whose mother, MaryAnn Phelan from Tipperary, was Irish. “It was a huge success,” said Kearns, about the collaboration with PBS. “It raised over $10 million [for PBS].” Today, the tenors pursue their own solo careers while also continuing to tour. Kearns said despite the traveling, he never tires of singing. “I could be bleary-eyed … but once you put on the suit, it transforms you,” he said. “You’re out on stage and see the smiling faces — you have to pinch yourself. I’m very, very fortunate.”

Page B-10


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z


Page B-11

Call 301-670-7100 or email


Randolph Village Senior Apartments "Affordable Independent Living For Seniors 62+." Income Restriction Applies

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OL N E Y : Furnished Bsmt Apt for 1 tenant, priv ent, full Kitch & Ba, $1200 util incld except WIFI & Cable, N/P N/S 301-503-6167

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Lrg Br $475 + util shared bathroom/kit GERMANTOWN: NS/NP Avail Now Male/Female Rm with pvt ba & INT $600 util Call: 240-271-6776 inc+1mo Sec Dep Aval GAITHERSBURG: Immed. 301-916-6163 Male, master BR w BA $399. Nr Metro/Shops GE RMA NT OWN : NP/NS. Avail Now. rm for rent in condo, nr bus/shops, utils, cable, Call 301-219-1066 incld $500 301-9724535 Available 01/01 WHEATON:1 Room w/pvt BA $700/mo incl. GERM: Male only 2 utils, Cable & WIFI. BRs $400 each + utils Near Metro & Bus in TH NS/ND. Near Call 240-286-7142 bus & shops. Sec Dep


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+ subject to credit approval


14431 Traville Garden Circle Rockville, Maryland 20850




•New Appliances, Kitchens & Baths* •Large Kitchens & Walk-In Closets* •1, 2 & 3 Bedroom Apartments •Free Free Electric Included •Pet Friendly •Short-Term Leases •Free Parking •Minutes to I-270 & Metro Bus & Rail •Housing Choice Vouchers Welcome •Se aceptan vales de eleccio'n de *Select Apartments vivienda



• Garden-Style Apartment Homes • On-Site Laundry Facilites • Kitchen w/ Breakfast Bar • Private Balcony/ Patio • Free Parking • Small Pets Welcome • Swimming Pool


301.622.7006 (Fax) Email:


Cider Mill



Page B-12

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

matter who you Martin, Fender, bought it from! 800Grestch, Epiphone, 934-5107 Guild, Mosrite, Rickenbacker, Prairie State, D’Angelico, DIRECTV - Over 140 Stromberg, and Gibson Mandolins/Banjos. channels only $29.99 a month. Call Now! 1920’s thru 1980’s. Triple savings! TOP CASH PAID! 1$636.00 in Savings, 800-401-0440. Free upgrade to Genie ***OLD ROLEX & & 2013 NFL Sunday PATEK PHILIPPE ticket free!! Start SavWATCHES ing today! 1-800-279WANTED!** Dayto3018 na, Sub Mariner, etc. TOP CASH PAID! 1REDUCE YOUR 800-401-0440 CABLE BILL! * Get


a 4-Room All-Digital Satellite system installed for FREE and programming starting at $19.99/mo. FREE HD/DVR upgrade for new callers, SO CALL NOW. 1-877388-8575.

Fine Art, 1 item Or Entire Estate Or Collection, Gold, Silver, Coins, Jewelry, Toys, Oriental Glass, China, Lamps, Books, Textiles, Paintings, Prints almost anything old Evergreen Auctions WRAP UP YOUR 973-818-1100. Email HOLIDAY SHOPevergreenauction@hot PING WITH 100%


1990 WHEEL HORSE 8 sp garden

tractor, 16 hp 2 cyl ONAN engine, 35" single stage snow blower, rear tire chains. Dependable & strong, runs GREAT! Email: johnkarl@


Blue Sectional Sofa with Built-in Recliner Sofa section contains queen sleeper and loveseat section contains a built in recliner. Hardly been used. $850 301-412-0215

Mixed Firewood $100 half cord $150 per cord Call Adrian 301-309-0062 240-506-4326


$250/cord $150 per 1/2 cord µ Includes Delivery µ Stacking Extra Charge Ask for Jose 301-417-0753 301-370-7008

$2,000.00+ Per Week! New Credit Card Ready Drink-Snack Vending Machines. Minimum $4K to $40K+ Investment Required. Locations Available. BBB Accredited Business. (800) 962-9189

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M M M M Popular College Counselor M M & School Admin., M Travel, Sports, Museums Await 1st Baby. M M M Expenses Paid M M 1-800-513-0931 M M MAnnie & DavidM M M GP2341 MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM


cover Shoppers Needed \\ $300/DAY Typing Companies AdvertisBASEBALL SPEED ing Online. We proAND PERFORMvide the training & the ANCE TRAINING: jobs to perform. GenRun Faster, Move uine Opportunity. Quicker, and Become PT/FT. Experience More Agile. Become Unnecessary. An All Around Better www.HiringLocalHelp. Athlete. Ages 10- 14. com 3 Locations 4 times: Teams, Groups or individual ball players com, e-mail:coachb@


PREMIUM ALL SEASONED HARDWOODS Mostly Oak $175 a Cord Split & Delivered 240-315-1871


NOW HIRING!!! $28/HOUR. Under-

ing alternative to unplanned pregnancy. You choose the family ONE CALL, DOES for your child. Receive IT ALL! FAST AND pictures/info of RELIABLE waiting/approved couPLUMBING REples. Living expense PAIRS & INSTALassistance. 1-866LATIONS. Call 1236-7638 800-796-9218

MEDICAL ALERT ONE CALL, DOES MEDICAL OFFICE GUARANTEED INCOME FOR FOR SENIORS IT ALL! FAST AND TRAINING 24/7 monitoring. RELIABLE ELEC- PROGRAM! Train to YOUR RETIREMENT. Avoid market FREE Equipment. become a Medical OfTRICAL REPAIRS risk & get guaranteed FREE Shippng. Nafice Assistant. No Ex& INSTALLAincome in retirement! tionwide Service. perience Needed! CaTIONS. Call 1-800908-8502


reer Training & Job Placement Assistance at CTI! HS Diploma/GED & Computer needed. 1-877649-2671

CALL for FREE copy of our SAFE MONEY GUIDE. Plus Annuity. Quotes from A-Rated compaines! 800-6695471

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begin here - Get FAA GET FREE OF approved Aviation OUR EXP NANNY CREDIT CARD Maintenance training. IS AVAILBLE: Over DEBT NOW! Cut Housing and Financial GUARANTEED 25 yrs exp. TrustworINCOME FOR payments by up to thy, own trans, Exc. Aid for qualified stuYOUR RETIREhalf. Stop creditors refer. 301-693-2086 dents. Job placement DISH TV RETAILassistance. CALL Avi- MENT. Avoid market from calling 877-858risk & get guaranteed ER . Starting at 1386 ation Institute of Mainincome in retirement! $19.99/month (for 12 tenance 800-481CALL for FREE copy mos.) & High Speed 8974. of our SAFE MONEY Internet starting at LIVE IN HSKPR: GUIDE. Plus Annuity. $14.95/month (where Min 2yrs Experience. Quotes from A-Rated CASH FOR available) SAVE! Ask AIRLINES ARE Potomac. Legal. Drive. HIRING- Train for UNEXPIRED DIAcompaines! 800-669About SAME DAY InCook. 301-887-3212 hands on Aviation BETIC TEST 5471 stallation! CALL Now! Maintenance Career. STRIPS! Free Ship1-877-992-1237 FAA approved proNANNY ping, Friendly Service, LIVE-IN gram. Financial aid if HSKPR NEEDED BEST prices and 24hr CUT YOUR qualified- Housing In Potomac 5 days payment! Call today ALL THINGS STUDENT LOAN available. CALL AviaSalary: $400/per week 877-588-8500 or visit BASEMENTY! payments in HALF or tion Institute of Mainte- more. Even if Late or www.TestStripSearch. English/Spanish, drive Basement Systems nance (877)818-0783. com Espanol 888-440- Call: 240-485-8525 Inc. Call us for all of in Default. Get Relief 4001 your basement needs! FAST. Much LOWER Waterproofing? Finishpayments. CAll Stuing? Structural Redent Hotline 877-295pairs? Humidity and 0517. Mold Control FREE ESTIMATES! Call 1888-698-8150

Daycare Directory


SAVE 67% - PLUS 4 FREE Burgers - Many Gourmet Favorites problems? Viruses, ONLY $49.99. ORspyware, email, printer DER Today 1-800issues, bad internet 870-8335. Use code connections - FIX IT 49377CFX or NOW! Professional, www.OmahaSteaks. U.S.-based technicom/holiday34 cians. $25 off service. Call for immediate help 1-866-998-0037


FIREWOOD FOR SALE 100% Oak $150 half cord $225 per cord

Veenu’s Family Day Care

WSSC Adopts New Regulation for the Disposal of Scrap Metal and Surplus Goods

On November 14, 2013, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) approved a new regulation to establish the authority, responsibility and procedures associated with the disposal of Commission scrap metal and surplus goods. Copies of this regulation may be obtained by contacting the WSSC Communications and Community Relations Office at 301-206-8100 or the HAVANESE PUPPIES WSSC Logistics Office at 301-206-8585. In addition, this docuHome raised, AKC, best health guarantee ment may be viewed on WSSC’s website, Call: 262-993-0460

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Children’s Center of Damascus

Lic. #:31453



Elena’s Family Daycare

Lic. #:15-133761 301-972-1955


Debbie’s Daycare My Little Lamb Childcare

Lic. #:15-127060 301-540-6818 Lic #: 51328 301-990-9695

20876 20877

Kids Garden Day Care




Affordable Quality Child Care Susanna’s Day Care

Lic. #:156840 Lic #: 105189

301-330-6095 301-933-7342

20886 20902

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Thursday, March 27, 2014, 9:00-1:00pm This is the event for companies to showcase their organization, school or career training opportunities. Whether you are actively seeking LOCAL qualified applicants for current openings, searching for professionals seeking a new career path or sharing potential business opportunities Career Expo 2014 is the right event!



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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page B-13

Careers 301-670-2500


Real Estate

TRAINING IN JUST 4 WEEKS Now Enrolling for January 6th & February 3rd Classes

Silver Spring

Work with the BEST!

Be trained individually by one of the area’s top offices & one of the area’s best salesman with over 34 years. New & experienced salespeople welcomed.


Pharmacies/ hospitals now hiring. No experience? Job Training & Placement Assistance Available 1-877-240-4524

Must R.S.V.P.

MORNING STAR ACADEMY 101 Lakeforest Blvd, Suite 402 Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Call: 301-977-7393

301-388-2626 301-388-2626 • Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.


PLUMBER IMMEDIATE Position Avialable for Plumber. MUST have 2 yrs exp. Great hourly pay, commission, weekly bonus & insurance. Drug free, customer oriented, and motivated. Only qualified applicants apply. 301-670-1944 - Gaithersburg


Provide non-medical care and companionship for seniors in their homes. Personal care, light housework, transportation, meal preparation. Must be 21+. Must have car and one year professional, volunteer, or personal experience Home Instead Senior Care To us it’s personal 301/588-9023 Call between 10am-4pm Mon-Fri

Skilled Trades

Maintenance Technician




CARE XPERT ACADEMY 13321 New Hampshire Ave, Suite 205 MORNING & EVENING CLASSES Silver Spring, MD 20904 Call: 301-384-6011


Call Bill Hennessy



Seeking full performance Registered Dietitian to provide clinical nutritional care services to adolescent clients in Residential Treatment Center located in Rockville, Maryland, a State Agency under DHMH with full benefits. Duties to include performing nutritional assessments & education in accordance with individual treatment plans developed by health care professionals by health care facility standards and policies. Involves supervision of personnel engaged in food production and meal service. Full and/or Part-time; Salary negotiable based on experience. Must possess current license and registration from State of Maryland. Mail Resumes to: John L. Gildner RICA, Office of Human Resources, 15000 Broschart Road, Rockville, MD 20850; fax to: (301) 251-6815 or e-mail: Fair Practice Employer

Is Interior Decorating your Passion? Do you find yourself rearranging your friend’s furniture and accesories?

Is your home overflowing with Decorating Magazines? If you answered YES to even one of these questions, then you own it to yourself to find out how North American’s largest home decorating companyDecorating Den Interiors, can change YOUR world.

Join us for a decorating business information session on Saturday, January 11th- 10am-Noon

Germantown, MD

Experience Required. Fax resume to 301-540-3447 or email For more info call 301-540-1162


10426 Fawcett Street Kensington, MD 20895

RSVP to or call 301-933-7900



Auto. Tech & Experienced Service Advisor

Up to $27/hr, (paid daily) Gaithersburg Area, min. 5 yrs exp. computer literate, must be able read wiring diagrams, own tools & a reliable vehicle w/GPS. On calls 8 am to 8pm 7 days/wk, FT or PT, ASE preferred. A plus to have lap top with up link capability. Background check is required. Please call: 281-679-0000

MD State Inspection certificate is a plus. Montgomery County Pls. Call: 301-769-1121 or 240-277-1035




Min. 1 yr exp. in commercial masonry. Job in Ashburn, VA. Bilingual a plus. $12 to $14/hr. based on exp. Drug-free workplace. EOE & E-Verify 301-662-7584


FT position to assist a care giver at a small home child day care center in Kensington, Md. Must love children!! Pay is $13/hr, 8am-5pm. Will pay for CPR, first aid, SIDS training and a security check. Paid vacation and off all major holidays and MC School closings. See my website for details: Contact Adrienne at: (301) 530-7980

Editorial Staff Supervisor/Reporter Comprint Military Publications has an immediate opening for a full-time, Editorial Staff Supervisor/Reporter in its Joint Base MyerHenderson Hall Virginia office. News writing background, InDesign knowledge, & digital camera familiarity, and experience supervising an editorial team a must. Familiarity with military a plus. We offer a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, pension, 401(k) and tuition reimbursement. E-mail resume, writing samples and requirements to: Position Location: Pentagram Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall 204 Lee Avenue Building 59, Room 116 Fort Myer VA 22211-1199 EOE


Pharmacy/ Phlebotomy Tech Trainees Needed Now

Sales - Outside

James A. Wheat and Sons has immediate opportunities for Plumming Salesman. Commission, Bonus & Allowances. Target areas are Montg Co. & DC. Experience required. Resumes can be sent to or call 301-670-1444

Dental/ Medical Assistant Trainees Needed Now Dental/Medical Offices now hiring. No experience? Job Training & Placement Assistance Available 1-877-234-7706 CTO SCHEV

MEDICAL ASSISTANT/RN FT/PT busy Allergist’s office in Germantown & Rockville. Experience required in giving allergy shots & skin testing. Fax resume to 301-983-6062

Local companies, Local candidates Get Connected



Accounts Receivable Assistant Gaithersburg Construction Office Must have transportation. Duties include: computer accounting program, excel spreadsheets, receivable collections, filing, answering phones. Accounting experience and excel experience a must. Spanish speaking a plus! Email resume to

Design/Office Asst.



IMMEDIATE Position Avialable for NATE and/or Journeyman HVAC service technicians. MUST have 2 yrs exp. Great hourly pay, commission, weekly bonus & insurance. Drug free, customer oriented, and motivated. Only qualified applicants apply. 301-670-1944 - Gaithersburg

Foster Parents

Treatment Foster Parents Needed Work from home!

Small Interior Design Firm, PT, seeks a flexible, creative, motivated & organized candidate. Will work on all aspects of design projects, price, order & track products, update files, organize & design library. Comp. exp is req’d on MAC w/Photo Shop a plus. Involvement in updating of files, organize design library and help create marketing materials as well as social media. To apply visit Part-Time

Work From Home

National Children’s Center Making calls Weekdays 9-4 No selling! Sal + bonus + benes.

Call 301-333-1900

û Free training begins soon û Generous monthly tax-free stipend û 24/7 support

Call 301-355-7205 Healthcare


Busy Rockville Doctor’s office. Must be a team player, dedicated, & career oriented. Serious applicants only. Willing to train. Excellent salary & benefits. Fax resume: 301424-8337

Counter Sales /Warehouse R.E. MICHEL COMPANY, INC., FT in Beltsville, MD. Req’d: Exp. in wholesale distribution and/or HVACR knowlege, good customer service skills, a clean driving record & Pre-screening. Starting $21K-$30K/yr. Full benefit package. WWW.REMICHEL.COM. Send resume: or stop by: 10726 Tucker Street, Beltsville MD 20705. No telephone calls please.

Recruiting is now Simple!

Get Connected!



Sheehy Ford Lincoln in Gaithersburg is looking for qualified professional to work at our Truck center location as a Diesel Technician. Competitive Pay, NO weekends or holidays and great benefits includes 401k, life insurance. Short term and long term disability and more! Apply online @, on our Careers page.


Basketball Referees Youth & Teen Leagues Friday nights and Saturdays beginning January 2014. Must be at least age 16 to apply. Basic basketball experience and knowledge required. Prior officiating experience preferred. $7.25 to $15 per hour depending on experience and league. EOE/M/F Call 301-258-6350 for details. Apply online at by January 3, 2014 City of Gaithersburg Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture. GC3140A


$22.00/hr. Min. 5 yrs commercial exp. Job in Ashburn, VA. Bilingual a plus. Drug-free workplace EOE, E-Verify



Deliver Phonebooks in Maryland Suburban including Silver Springs, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Oxon Hill. Stop by: 1251 West Montgomery Ave Rockville, MD, 20850 Or 4420 Lottsford Vista Drive Lanham, MD 20706 Call (877) 581-0555

Local Companies Local Candidates

Page B-14


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z


Page B-15

Call 301-670-7100 or email 2006 CHEVY UPLANDER: 84K miles,

very good cond., MD Inspected, DVD/MP3, $4499 301-674-5011


$$$$$ PAID! Running or Not, All Makes! Free Towing! We’re Local! 7 Days/Week. Call 1-800-959-8518



Any Make, Model or Year. We Pay MORE! Running or Not. Sell DONATE AUTOS, Your Car or Truck TO- TRUCKS, RV’S. LUTHERAN MISDAY. Free Towing! SION SOCIETY. Instant Offer: Your donation helps 1-888-545-8647 local families with ANY CAR ANY CONDITION Deals and food, clothing, shelter. WE PAY TOP DOLLAR-FAST FREE PICKUP! Wheels Tax deductible. MVA licensed. SELL YOUR CAR TODAY! CALL NOW FOR AN to advertise LutheranMissionSociet call 410-636-0123 or 301.670.7100 toll-free 1-877-7378567. or email



(301) 288-6009



$6,000 OFF 2013

Jetta esels 2013 Jetta HDiyb rids

2013 Clearance Sale!

59 Available In




down payment

2014 JETTA S

# 7373771, Power Windows, Power Locks, Keyless Entry

MSRP $17,810 BUY FOR



#7234651, Automatic Power Windows, Power Locks, Bluetooth

MSRP $25,155 - $6,000 OFF



OR 0% for 60 MONTHS


#13525611, Automatic, Power Windows, Power Locks, Keyless Entry

MSRP $25,235





due at signing


security deposit

2013 GOLF 2 DOOR

#3131033, Automatic, Power Windows/Power Locks, Keyless Entry, Heated Seats, Bluetooth, Cruise Control



1st month’s payment

2014 PASSAT S 2.5L

#9013380, Automatic, Power Windows/Power Locks, Keyless Entry, Cruise Control

MSRP $19,990




stock units on ly




OR 0% for 60 MONTHS


MSRP $23,035 BUY FOR



2013 GTI 2 DOOR

#2828260, Power Windows/Power Locks, Auto

#4125692, Automatic, Power Windows/ Power Locks, Keyless Entry

MSRP $25,790

MSRP $26,095




OR 0% for 60 MONTHS


#9114095, Automatic, Power Windows/ Power Locks, Sunroof

MSRP $29,615 BUY FOR



OR 0% for 60 MONTHS




OR 0% for 60 MONTHS


#9548323, Automatic, Pwr Windows, Pwr doors, Keyless

MSRP $33,360 BUY FOR



OR 0% for 60 MONTHS

OURISMAN VW WORLD AUTO CERTIFIED PRE OWNED 23 Available...Rates Starting at 2.64% up to 72 months

2008 Dodge Avenger ..............#V684468A, Blue, 86,493 miles.........$8,995 2007 Passat Wagon Komf......#VP0005,White, 87,642 miles............$11,995 2011 Hyundai Elantra..............#V116884A, Silver, 62,959 miles........$12,995 2008 GTI 4DR HB......................#V005145A, Gray, 86,187 miles.........$12,999 2011 Jetta Sedan.....................#V030129A, Silver, 31,885 miles........$13,995 2010 New Beetle Coupe.........#V277280A, Red, 35,522 miles..........$14,995 2012 Jetta SE...........................#VPR6112, Blue, 38,430miles.............$15,495 2012 Jetta SE...........................#VPR6113, Silver, 34,573 miles…..…$16,495 2012 Beetle...............................#VP0016, Silver, 10,890 miles.............$16,495

2013 Passat S..........................#VPR0016, Gray, 37,800 miles.............$16,991 2012 Jetta Sedan SE ..............#V024331A, Grey, 24,504 miles...........$16,995 2010 Jetta Sedan TDI..............#V298226A, Red, 39,859 miles............$17,492 2011 Honda Accord.................#VP0014,White, 48,543 miles..............$18,995 2013 Jetta Sedan SE ..............#VPR0011, Silver, 4,491 miles..............$18,999 2013 Passat Sedan..................#V007492A, Gray, 10,420 miles...........$18,999 2013 Jetta Sedan Se...............#VPR0010, Gray, 5,083 miles...............$18,999 2012 CC LUX PZEV ..................#V50296A, Silver, 35,175 miles............$21,995 2012 CC LUX.............................#V540037A, Gray, 27,601 miles...........$22,995

All prices exclude tax, tags, title, freight and $200 processing fee. Cannot be combined with any previous advertised or internet special. Pictures are for illustrative purposes only. See dealer for details. 0% APR Up To 60 Months on all models. See dealer for details. Ourisman VW World Auto Certified Pre Owned financing for 60 months based on credit approval thru VW. Excludes Title, Tax, Options & Dealer Fees. Special APR financing cannot be combined with sale prices. Ends 12/31/13.

Ourisman VW of Laurel 3371 Fort Meade Road, Laurel

1.855.881.9197 • Online Chat Available...24 Hour Website • Hours Mon-Fri 9 am-9 pm • Sat 9 am-8 pm

Selling that convertible... be sure to share a picture! Log on to

Gazette.Net/Autos to upload photos of your car for sale


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page B-16

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z


#E0263, 32K Miles, 4 Speed Auto, 4 Door Coupe



2007 Jeep Wrangler

#325118A, 4WD, Manual, 111k Miles

#E0259, 5 Speed Auto, 38K Miles, Polished Slate



#429003A,60.5kMiles, 1-Owner


2013 VW Passat SE



2008 Land Rover LR2

#438356A, 96K Miles, 4WD



2009 Ford EscapeHybrid



2010 Volvo XC60 3.2L

98 Toyota Camry LE #472117A, $$ 4 Speed Auto,



4-Door, Green Pearl

2010 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ

2009 Nissan Xterra X

#N110008, 62k Miles, 4WD, Sport Utility


2008 Ford Mustang GT

#326024A, Premium, M/T Car Coupe, 46K miles, 5 Speed

2012 Mazda Mazda 6


#426021A, 6 Speed Auto, 37,6K Miles, Taupe Gray Metallic

07 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS #364333A, $$ 5 Speed Manual, 1



Owner, 44k Miles

2008 Cadillac STS

#N0270, 58K Miles, Navigation 6 Speed Auto

#P8750, AWD, Electric Silver, Metallic, Certified

1995 Volvo 850


#426026A, 62k Miles, 4 Speed Auto, Dark Green, 1-Owner......................

2012 Toyota Yaris




#N0279, 17k Miles, 6 Speed Automatic, 1-Owner


2012 Hyundai Sonata LTD


#E0277, 42K Mile, 4 Speed Auto, Polar White........................................

#326082A, Navigation, 3K Mile, Crystal Black Pearl...............................

2006 Volvo V70

2012 Toyota Highlander

#E0211a, 72k Miles, 2.5L, Black, Turbo w/ Park Assist...........................

2012 Volkswagen Jetta



#E0278, 32K Mile, 6 Speed Auto, Gray Metallic.....................................

2008 Volvo S80

#P8842, 68k Miles, 3.2L, Blue Metallic....................................................

2009 Volvo XC90


#P8834, 103k Miles, 1 Owner, Shadow Blue Metallic..............................







13 Toyota Camry LE #R1739, $ 6 Speed Auto, 12.7k $

miles, 4 Door, 1 Owner



15401 Frederick Rd, Rockville, MD



Hatchback Coupe


2011 Toyota Corolla LE........ $13,800 $13,800 2008 Toyota Tacoma............ $22,800 $22,800 #472115A, 4 SpeedAuto, 37K miles, 1-Owner, Black Pearl #465002A, 5 SpeedAuto, 49k Miles, 1-Owner

#327208A, 6 Speed Auto, Caspian Blue, Certified.................................



4 Door, Silver Metallic

2011 Toyota Camry LE......... $13,800 $13,800 2011 Toyota Avalon............. $19,800 $19,800 #P8867, 6 SpeedAuto, 1-Owner, Gray Metallic, #478001A, 6 SpeedAuto, 4-Door, Silver Metallic, 1-Owner


#P8825, 6 Speed Auto, Ice White, 4WD, 1-Owner, Certified...................

See what it’s like to love car buying.

13 Hyundai Velostar #467009A, $ 6 Speed Auto,1 Owner, $

12 Ford Focus SEL #351136A, $ 6 Speed Auto, $

2007 Honda Odyssey EX-L. ... $13,800 $13,800 2012 GMC Terrain SLE-1...... $19,800 $19,800 #460048A, 5 SpeedAuto, 2WD, Gray Metallic, 1-Owner #460033A, 2WD, 6 SpeedAuto, 1-Owner, 45k Miles


2011 Volvo XC60 T6 2012 Volvo XC60

10 Toyota Prius III $$



$11,800 2008 Toyota Tundra............ $18,800 $18,800 2011 Scion XD.................. $11,800 #355050A, 4 SpeedAuto, 4DR, 1-Owner, Espresso #369083A, 5 SpeedAuto, 4WD, Desert Sand Mica


#429002B, 11,421K Miles........................................................................

2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ 4x4


08MercuryGrandMarquisLS $$

$10,800 2009 Toyota Venza.............. $16,800 $16,800 2007 Toyota Camry LE......... $10,800 #472097A, 5 SpeedAuto, Turquoise Metallic #378091A, 6 SpeedAuto, 1-Owner, Blue Green


#327217C, 63K Miles..............................................................................

#472145A, 4 Speed Auto, Silver Metallic

#453007A, 4 Speed Auto, 1-Owner, 4WD


2001 Lexus RX300............... $8,800 $8,800 2011 Honda Accord LX-P....... $16,800 $16,800 #470267A, 4 SpeedAuto, 4WD, Sport Utility, Black Onyx #472112A, 5 SpeedAuto, 39K miles, 1-Owner, Metallic Metal

#N0276, 6 Speed Auto, 22.5K Miles, 1-Owner, Gray Metallic.................

2013 Honda Civic E-XL

04 Honda CR-V EX $$


09 Toyota Camry LE #355058A, 5 Speed $ $ Auto, 4-Door

#P8805, 4 Door, CVT Transmission, 45k miles


#3364498A, 4 Speed Auto, 2WD, Spectra Blue

09HyundaiVeracruzLTD #364523A, 6 Speed $ $ Auto, 1-Owner, Sport

2013 Lincoln Navigator









CERTIFIED #N0271, 8k Miles, Sunroof, 6-Speed Auto


04 Toyota Rav-4 $$

04 Honda Element EX #362045B, 4 Speed $ $ Auto, 1-Owner, 4WD

See what it’s like to love car buying

1-888-831-9671 1-888-831-9671 15625 Frederick Rd (Rte 355) • Rockville, MD | OPEN SUNDAY


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z

Page B-17


2011 VW Jetta

2003 Nissan Altima S

See what it’s like to love car buying.

#3446030A, Auto, 4 Door, 1-Owner





#P8751A, Wolfsburg Edition, Leather, Sunroof, Manual

2014 NISSAN VERSA$17,115 NOTE MSRP: Sale Price: Nissan Rebate: NMAC Bonus Cash:



$14,995 -$500 -$500

2012 Nissan Versa SV

SV Hatchback #11614 2 At This Price: VINS:370976, 370059

2013 NISSAN SENTRA S MSRP: $17,560 Sale Price: NMAC Bonus Cash:


#12013 2 At This Price: VINS: 794572, 797360

2014 NISSAN ALTIMA 2.5 S MSRP: $23,640


Selling for Looking

Your Car just economical got easier!


2008 Nissan Altima 2.5S Coupe #346486A, Auto Transmission, Alloy Wheels, Sunroof


W/ Bluetooth, #22213 2 At This Price: VINS: 142237, 141453



$19,495 -$500 -$500


$26,995 -$1,000 -$1,000


$ G558440





2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class #P8800B, 3.7L, 4WD, Sport Utility, Auto



With Bluetooth, Rear View Monitor #13114 2 At This Price: VINS: 154860, 155602

Sale Price: Nissan Rebate: NMAC Bonus Cash:

Sale Price: Nissan Rebate: NMAC Bonus Cash:

2009 Nissan Versa #341206A, 1.8L SL, 1-Owner, CVT Trans

$14,995 -$500

Sale Price: $19,495 Nissan Rebate: -$1,000 NMAC Bonus Cash: -$1,000 Nissan Holiday Bonus Cash: -$500




#E0269, CVT Trans, Silver, 1-Owner

2003 Ford Thunderbird #N0275, Hard Top Convertible, Low Miles



2012 Nissan Altima #446003A, Automatic, 1-Owner, Low Miles

#25014 2 At This Price: VINS: 609748, 602755

DARCARS NISSAN of of ROCKVILLE ROCKVILLE 15911 Drive • • Rockville, Rockville, MD MD (at (at Rt. Rt. 355 355 across across from fromKing KingFarm) Farm) 15911 Indianola Indianola Drive 888.824.9166 ••

Prices include all rebates and incentives. NMAC Bonus Cash requires financing through NMAC with approved credit. Prices Pricestax, include rebates incentives. NMAC Bonusand Cash requires financing through NMAC with approved credit.with exclude tags, all freight (carsand $780, trucks $725-$995), $200 processing charge. *Lease payments are calculated Prices exclude tax,$200 tags,processing freight (cars $810,and trucks $200 processing charge. valid only onthrough listed tax, tags, freight, charge first$845-$995), payment dueand at signing, and are valid withPrices tier one approval VINS. See dealer for details. Offer expires 12/24/2013. NMAC. Prices valid only on listed VINS. See dealer for details. Offer expires 10/22/2012.



2012 Nissan Sentra #342035A, Navigation, Sunroof, 1-Owner



2013 Nissan Cargo Van #E0283, Auto, Low Miles, 1-Owner


$ DARCARS NISSAN of ROCKVILLE 15911 Indianola Drive • Rockville, MD (at Rt. 355 across from King Farm)

888.805.8235 •


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36 $

NEW2 AVAILABLE: 2014#470127, COROLLA LE 470156

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4 CYL., 4 DR., AUTO

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Page B-18

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 z



Gaithersburg northgaz 121813  
Gaithersburg northgaz 121813