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Country star to bring The Big Noise to Bethesda Blues and Jazz. B-7



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 cents

Bill will target state’s school assessment test Measure also calls for report on potential penalty n




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

Parents and teachers who don’t want students to take the soon-to-be 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

See WAIVER, Page A-14

Nonprofit seeks federal investigation of school system n

Residents turn to county navigators to help sign up for health insurance to comply with Affordable Care Act BY MARGIE HYSLOP SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE


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

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 GLITCHES, Page A-19


WAYS TO SIGN UP 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.

Advocates for ‘ex-gays’ allege discrimination for being excluded BY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITER

A Virginia nonprofit group 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


Takoma Park apartment residents ‘have been going through hell’ Building owner says tenants’ complaints are being addressed




For the past six months, residents of the Parkview Towers apartment building on Maple Avenue have been living in something of a construction zone as the building undergoes

extensive renovations. Residents claim construction workers have come in early in the morning to do work and have left holes in the walls and ceilings and nails and tools on the floor. Leaks and flooding have caused water damage that looked to be growing mold in some units. Residents also reported feeling disrespected by construction workers and management staff. “We have been going

through hell,” said Susan Hartley, president of the building’s tenant association. “It has been rough.” Robert Goldman, president of Montgomery Housing Partnership, which owns the building, said that since hearing tenants’ complaints in early November, the organization has been working to rectify the issues residents face. For the next phase of construction residents will be moved out of their apartments, he said.

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


Automotive Business Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please






Some residents of Parkview Towers are upset about living conditions, such as this hole in the bedroom ceiling of one of the units, during renovations at the apartment complex in Takoma Park.

Mike Nemo, project executive with Hamel Builders, said the company has a long track record of successful tenant-inplace renovations in the area. Company policy dictates proper cleanup following work and for workers to enter apartments with management staff. Montgomery Housing Partnership, a local organization that provides affordable housing in the area, bought


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

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 ChasteenScheer: 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


Churchill’s Izzy Wu (right) tries to steal the ball from Wootton’s Rebecca Sissman during a game on Friday. For more, go to 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 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. 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 brand-new 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, ChasteenScheer said. More information is at www.comfortcases. org.

general admission, $10 for students and seniors. 410-446-9450.


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.

THURSDAY, DEC. 19 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.

Holiday Health and Healing Open House, 6-8 p.m., Fitness Together

and the Mindful Healing Spa, 6708 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. Free. 301656-3904.

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-




Holiday Open House and Concert, 1-4

p.m., Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville. Free. 240-

MORE INTERACTIVE CALENDAR ITEMS AT WWW.GAZETTE.NET forming Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. $23-$33. 301-608-2232. Maryland Zoomobile, 1:30-2:15 p.m., Davis Community Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. Free. 240777-0922.

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

ConsumerWatch Are those single-serve brewing pods called K-Cups recyclable? Liz turns to Keurig to brew up this answer.


WeekendWeather FRIDAY




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.



We Kare-eoke for Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation, 7 p.m.-midnight,

Union Jack’s, 4915 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda. $10 suggested donation. www.stoneandholtweeksfoundation. org. Rockville Chorus Performance: Classic Songs for a Winter’s Night,




Get complete, current weather information at

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


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

7:30 p.m., F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville. 240314-8620.

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Rockville seeking Watts Branch property for parkland Earlier talk of trading the property or building on it is nixed




Rockville is trying buy land from Montgomery County to add to an existing park. The mayor and city council previously discussed buying vacant property at 175 Watts

Branch Parkway and holding onto it until they decided whether it should become part of Woottons Mill Park or whether they could trade the property for parkland elsewhere. Following testimony from area residents, however, officials decided to stick with the original plan of buying the property to enlarge Woottons Mill Park. “We’ve compiled all the correspondence from residents to the Mayor and Council email

address; it’s about 50 pages of emails,” said Jenny Kimball, assistant city manager. The mayor and council voted 4-1 Monday to ask the county to let the city add the property to the park. Councilman Tom Moore voted against the proposal. At a previous meeting, Moore said he was uncomfortable with promising to keep the property parkland without studying other uses for the site.

The county is expected to consider proposals for the property from Rockville and other agencies sometime after the first of the year.

More RainScapes rewards on the way Rockville is planning new incentives for property owners to install environmentally friendly landscaping.

The city is adding new rebate categories to its RainScapes program, which provides funding to residents to defray the costs of installing rain barrels or landscaping that reduces stormwater runoff. Soon, property owners also will be able to get rebates for removing pavement and mixing soil with compost, which helps rain soak into the ground rather than running off into storm drains. Residents could apply for $2

Gumdrop construction on display at NIH

to $4 for each square foot of soil improved or pavement removed. Project sizes could vary between 100 and 600 square feet, depending on the rebate category. The city is expected to begin accepting applications around the first of the year. More information about the city’s RainScapes Rewards program is available on the city’s website or by calling 240-314-8877.

School board requests plan to address funds at Rock Terrace n Starr expected to provide recommendations within next month BY



Cmdr. Leslie Wehrlen (left), a research nurse at the National Institutes of Health, and Alyson Ross, a post-doctoral fellow in the NIH nursing department, check out entries in the gingerbread house competition at NIH.

“NIH Brainbow” is an entry from the Office of the Clinical Director in the NIH competition.

Sugar and spice and everything nice — that’s what these houses are made of. Forty-nine gingerbread houses are on display through Jan. 5 at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Building 10. They’re anything but traditional. These works of bakery art include a replica of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Castle, the old man’s house in the movie “Up” and local treasures such as the Children’s Inn at NIH and the National Mall. Certificates will be presented to the top three houses by votes in person and the house with the most “likes” via the NIH Clinical Center Facebook page, according to Molly Hooven, a clinical center spokeswoman. The center is at 10 Center Drive, Bethesda. — KRISTA BRICK

The Montgomery County Board of Education has asked Superintendent Joshua P. Starr to come up with recommendations or a proposed plan to address funds that were withdrawn from Rock Terrace School student bank accounts, according to a Dec. 9 letter to a school parent from the county school system’s chief operating officer Larry Bowers. The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office is currently investigating how Rock Terrace staff handled money students earned while in a work-study program that went into bank accounts at the Education Systems Federal Credit Union. Montgomery County Public Schools and the state’s attorney’s office began investigating the Rockville school after parents raised allegations that staff misappropriated funds their children earned. The school serves developmentally disabled students. Bowers said in the letter that he expects Starr will report back to the school board with his recommendations within the next month. The board has also asked Starr to explain the school’s work programs and provide “information on the status of the funds deposited into and withdrawn from student banks accounts set up in connection with work experience programs,” according to the letter. “In our oversight role as a Board we are trying to be as thorough as possible,” board member Rebecca Smondrowski said in an email. At least two parents of Rock Terrace School students have received notification from the county State’s Attorney’s Office that records from bank accounts under their children’s names have been subpoenaed for a grand jury investigation.





Choosing a competitive asking price, bringing your home up to pristine showing condition, and working with an experienced REALTOR® are all essential factors that make a successful sale possible. However, if your home is not easy to view, all of your hard work could be undermined. When preparing to take a buyer around to see homes, a REALTOR® usually makes a list of available properties based upon the buyer’s preferences. Since buyers remain in some homes longer than others, a planned schedule can easily be derailed. Buyers need to visit homes at their own pace to effectively compare properties and make a final decision. That’s why REALTORS® might favor homes that are equipped with a lockbox and do not require an appointment for viewing. You want to make it as easy as possible for your potential buyers. Having a lock box lets them see your home on their own time schedule.


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E-mail: WEICHERT, Realtors


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Short list chosen for White Flint post office Agency still looking for North Bethesda location



The U.S. Postal Service is considering four locations for the new White Flint office. According to a Dec. 10 letter to Bethesda Regional Services Director Ken Hartman from Richard Hancock, real estate specialist for the postal service, the four sites under review are as follows: • 5420 Edson Lane. • 5000-5060 Nicholson Lane, Nicholson Plaza. • 11760-11796 Parklawn Drive, Parklawn Commerce Center. • 11601-11631 Nebel St., Flint Hill Building. The post office inside the White

Flint Mall has to move because of plans to tear down the mall, which is owned by Lerner Enterprises, and redevelop the property. The postal service’s lease for the site expires May 31 and Lerner has elected not to renew the lease, according to the agency’s statement. “We’re under the gun right now because the landlord of the mall is kicking us out,” Hancock told The Gazette. The postal service wants to pick a preferred site to consider from one of those four sites. The postal service is still taking public comments into consideration in its search, Hancock said. “This is the investigatory phase,” he said. Hancock said the mall redevelopment will not be completed for two or three years and it is not operationally feasible or economically viable to operate a postal facility in

a construction redevelopment site. Sites that have been rejected by the postal service include a location in the White Flint Mall and 1152011560 Rockville Pike, Metro Pike Center. The Metro Pike Center location was nixed because that building is slated for redevelopment and the landlord will only lease space for two years there or until the redevelopment project starts, according to Hancock’s letter. Hartman said the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee is reviewing the locations and will provide feedback to the postal service. “I can say they are very much interested in retaining the post office near the White Flint Sector Plan Area and that it is walkable to the thousands who work and live in there,” Hartman wrote in an email to The Gazette. A preferred site will not be an-

nounced for a minimum of 30 days, Hancock wrote in his letter. Any comments should be mailed to: Richard Hancock, USPS Eastern Facilities Service Office, P.O. Box 27497 Greensboro, NC 27498-1103 or The postal service is also hoping to find a space for a new Bethesda retail post office, but hasn’t had any luck yet. In a separate letter to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services director, dated Dec. 5, Hancock wrote that after “extensive investigations” in Bethesda, “no economically viable and operationally feasible properties have been identified.” Hancock told The Gazette that the postal service will keep looking for a site in Bethesda in hopes that one will open up. “Things change constantly in real estate,” he said.

InBrief East county citizens board seeks members Montgomery County is inviting residents to serve on the East County Citizens Advisory Board. Applicants must send a brief cover letter and resume by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe St., 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD 20850, or by email to countyexecutive. For information on vacancy announcements for boards, committees and commissions visit

Silver Spring project gets underway Developer Tower Cos. of Rockville has hired Design Collective of Baltimore to design the first two residential towers of the 27-acre Blairs redevelopment in downtown Silver Spring. The project’s first phase includes an underground parking garage, about 470 marketrate apartments, 15,000 square feet of indoor resident amenities, and a series of private courtyards and surrounding public gardens, according to a Tower news release. Demolition of the existing Blair Towers is expected to begin next summer, with the first building expected to open in the fall of 2016. The whole project consists of about 450,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and 3.4 million square feet of residential space.

Curb and sidewalk repairs in North Bethesda

Charlotte Lee’s model of the proposed mural for the side of the city’s police station.

Joy Wulke’s model of the proposed mural for the building.

Rockville planning art for new police station Four finalists don’t include any local artists n



The Rockville City Police Station is expected to get an art display on its facade, and the city is asking for public input on the designs. The police station, which opened last year, is made up of a renovated historic post office building and a new annex building. The city is planning for some kind of artwork to hang on the northeast side of the annex. Renderings of the four finalists are now on display at City Hall and on the city’s website. The public can comment on the designs through Friday. Betty Wisda, the city’s arts program supervisor, said a Rockville ordinance requires one percent of


Team Delgado & Duarte’s model of the proposed mural (left) and David Hess’ model for the side of the city’s police station. each new city construction project to go to a public work of art. “For the Rockville City Police Station, when the annex was constructed, one percent of the construction costs was set aside for the work of art,” she said. In April, the city put out a call for entries to local, regional and national artists, who submitted images

of previous artwork and resumes, Wisda said. An artist nomination committee narrowed down the list of applications to four finalists. “The theme was the public safety, and [it will be] a representational piece of art for the police station,” Wisda said. The four finalists are Roberto Delgado and Yamilette Duarte of

Los Angeles; David Hess of Phoenix, Md.; Charlotte Lees of Solon, Ohio; and Joy Wulke of Stony Creek, Conn. The proposed designs incorporate shields or tree motifs fashioned in materials including steel, glass, aluminum and ceramic tiles. “The artists are saying, ‘That’s our vision of what can go up and represent public safety and the police department,’” Wisda said. The budget for the project is $75,000, including construction and installation costs. Wisda said the art is expected to be installed within the next year. The public can view and comment on the proposed artworks at The Mayor and Council, which has the final authority to approve the art designs, is expected to take up the proposal Jan. 6. For more information, call 240-314-8681 or email

Cashell Elementary School wins state honor Rockville school was the only one in Montgomery named Blue Ribbon winner n



Cashell Elementary School in Rockville was named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School in a ceremony at the state Board of Education offices in Baltimore on Dec. 11. It was the only Montgomery County school to earn the award this year. “It was a wonderful, shocking surprise,” Cashell Principal Maureen Ahern-Stamoulis said. “It’s really nice to be recognized.” Maryland selects six schools each year for the state Blue Ribbon Award, the same number the state can nominate for the national Blue Ribbon Award, which is presented

by the U.S. Department of Education, Darla Strouse, director of the Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools Program said. “Each year we select six schools that we think should be national Blue Ribbon Schools,” she said. “We look at standards across the state and they have to be in the top, at least, 15 percent when compared to other schools in their [grade] level in reading and math.” Those data are based on state assessments, Strouse said. The state also looks at the progress of subgroups within the schools’ populations, groups such as English language learners and students receiving free and reduced meals, she said. “Subgroups had to be in at least the top 40 percent,” she said. ”You can have a school that most students are doing well but we also look at the subgroups.” Data are the first cut in select-

ing the Blue Ribbon schools but, she said, officials also talk to communities about their schools and how they feel their schools are doing with community engagement, student involvement, parental engagement and innovative programs. “One way to look at it is does the school look like it is improving,’ she said. ‘What everyone is hoping is they are getting better and here are six schools that show us they are doing better.” Other schools receiving the state award: Frost Elementary School, Allegany County; Linthicum Elementary School, Anne Arundel County; Western School of Technology & Environmental Science, Baltimore County; Northern Garrett High School, Garrett County; and the Robert Goddard French Immersion Elementary/Middle School, Prince George’s County.

Representatives from all of the schools will be honored March 10 in Annapolis, “I am so proud of our students and staff and so grateful for the support we receive from our parents and our community,” Ahern-Stamoulis said in a press release. “We appreciate this recognition from the state and will continue to offer our students our very best every day.” Cashell Elementary School serves 326 students from pre-K through fifth grade, and has four classes serving 3- to 11-year-olds with special needs, according to a press release from Montgomery County Public Schools. In addition to a strong academic program, Cashell has a strong integrated arts program. The arts team collaborates on several student productions throughout the year and the Cashell chorus has performed in several Washington, D.C., venues, including the Cherry Blossom Parade.

The county division of highway services expects to begin repairs this month on curbs and sidewalks in the Parkside subdivision of North Bethesda. The work will take about two weeks, weather permitting. All work is scheduled to be done between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. There may be minor traffic delays due to temporary lane closures, parking restrictions and flaggers directing traffic through the work zone. Access to homes will be maintained at all times. More information is available from project inspector James Jackson, 240-777-7639, or program manager John Birton, 240-7616. They can be reached by email at


Complete report at The following is a summary of incidents in the Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville and Silver Spring area to which Montgomery County, Takoma Park and/or Rockville city police responded recently. The words “arrested” and “charged” do not imply guilt. This information was provided by the county, Takoma Park and Rockville city police media services offices.

Armed robbery • On Nov. 29 at 7:24 p.m. at Washington Express Gas Station, 14300 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring. Subject threatened victim with a weapon and took property. • On Nov. 30 at 6:45 a.m. in the 2400 block of Colston Drive, Chevy Chase. Subjects threatened victim with a weapon and took property. • On Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the unit block of Hunters Gate Court, Silver Spring. Subjects threatened victims with a weapon and took property. • On Nov. 30 at 11:40 p.m. in the 500 block of Domer Avenue, Silver Spring. Subject threatened victim with a weapon and unsuccessfully attempted to take property. • On Dec. 3 between 8:25 and 9:03 p.m. in the 100 block of West Montgomery Avenue, Rockville. Complainant reported she was walking to her residence when two unknown subjects approached and surrounded her. One displayed a knife and demanded money. Complainant took cash from her pocket, threw it on ground and fled toward her residence. Subjects fled in an unknown direction. • On Dec. 4 at 12:15 a.m. at Montgomery Mall, 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. Subjects threatened victims with a weapon and took property. • On Dec. 4 at 9:05 p.m. in the 2100 block of Veirs Mill Road, Rockville. Complainant reported that she was walking toward bus shelter when she saw a woman walking behind her. The complainant noticed a man standing at the bus shelter who displayed a knife and demanded money. Complainant got away from subjects. As a bus approached shelter, subject fled toward 7-Eleven on Atlantic Avenue. Assault • On Nov. 26 at 3:17 p.m. at American Beauty Academy, 11006 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton. Subject is known to victim. • On Dec. 8 at 6:42 p.m. in 7400 block of New Hampshire Avenue, Takoma Park. A woman assaulted a man during an altercation that turned physical. No injuries, no charges. Auto theft • On Dec. 8 at 7 a.m. in the 1300 block of Elson Place, Takoma Park. Unknown subject(s) unsuccessfully attempted to steal an unlocked green 2004 Chrysler Pacifica. Bank robbery • On Dec. 2 at 1:45 p.m. at PNC Bank at Giant, 12051 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Commercial robbery • On Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Safeway, 4701 Sangamore Road, Bethesda. Subject threatened victim and unsuccessfully attempted to take property.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

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Starr proposes $2.28B school operating budget for fiscal 2015 Spending plan includes positions to help low-income, ESOL students n



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 languages 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. The budget also includes about $977,000 for 15 focus teachers in high schools aimed at helping reduce English and math class sizes in some schools. About $252,000 would create new team leader positions in some elementary schools with high numbers of special education and ESOL students. Other new staff members in the budget include 5.5 elementary school counselors, four school psychologists

and three pupil personnel workers. The budget would restore eight positions that are part of 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 budget remain undetermined. The school system is currently negotiating new contracts with the county teachers union, the Service Employees International Union, Local 500; and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals. Compensation increases from those contracts have not been factored in the budget yet. State funding will also remain unclear until January when Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) releases his budget.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Rice outlines plan to find 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 Coun-

cil 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 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 (D-Dist. 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 (DDist. 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.

Rockville ‘toy shop’ distributes gifts to families with limited resources Volunteers help make holiday drive a success




A holiday redecorating party was underway at the Elwood Smith Community Center Friday afternoon. In the center of the room, volun-

teers decorated tables and sorted gifts for children in different age groups. Off to the side, students assembled 3-D paper snowflakes. Tall tables stood ready to act as gift wrapping stations. The goal was to turn the community center into a cheerful “toy shop” for families who would be visiting over the weekend to pick out gifts for their children. Carlos Aparicio, Rockville’s com-

munity services manager, said more than 630 children were expected to receive gifts from the toy shop this year. “We needed to collect about 1,200 toys,” he said. Over about two months, the community responded by setting up donation bins in their congregations, businesses and schools, Aparicio said. They sent in money for city staff to buy more gifts and donated gift cards for teens. Toys for Tots

also contributed some toys. The students set up the toy shop as part of Rockville’s annual holiday drive, which collects and distributes food and toys to families in need during the November and December holiday season. Parents of the children could visit the community center and pick out two toys and stocking stuffers for each child. Volunteers would also wrap the gifts, if the parents wanted, and help

sneak them into the car so the children couldn’t see them. The holiday drive also distributes food baskets during Thanksgiving and asks community groups to sponsor families by buying gifts tailored to their specific needs, according to a city news release. Last year, the holiday drive provided toys for 939 children.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Page A-7

White Oak Science Gateway plan could head to County Council soon Planners to meet Thursday on proposal n



As the county narrows in on its vision for the White Oak Science Gateway transportation and traffic issues continue to be the main focus of debate. The Montgomery County Park and Planning Board Commission is scheduled to meet again Thursday to decide whether or not they have enough information and specific recommendations to forward the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan to the Montgomery County Council. The plan would transform the White Oak section of the eastern part of the county into a new area for medical and life science research allowing a doubling of commercial space, jobs and housing, establishing the area as a major center of growth that could rival the Interstate 270 biotech corridor. OnDec.5,thecommissionaddressed requests stated in a letter written on Oct. 2 by then-County Council president Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) about the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan. In the letter, Navarro asked planners to consider a balance between land use and transportation, and enough roads and transit capacity for people to get to and from places. The former county council president asked for planners to include a recom-

mendation to increase the traffic threshold and forward the proposal for as an amendment to the Montgomery County Subdivision Staging Policy. But the planning department staff only recommends raising traffic standards if “high quality transit options are available, which is not the situation in the east county at this time,” according to a Dec. 9 report from the planning department. As of now, the acceptable traffic congestion in the Fairland/White Oak policy area is a threshold of 1,475 conflicting traffic turning movements at an intersection per hour, which means whether a driver is making a right or left, going north to south or vice-versa. The new master plan recommends an increase to 1,600 traffic movements as acceptable when development of the an approved White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan gets to “stage 2” where there would be evidence of additional transit infrastructure. “County planning policy permits higher levels of auto traffic congestions in areas where travelers have a higher quality transit service. The rationale for doing this is that the transit service is considered a viable alternative to automobile travel,” Eric S. Graye, planning supervisor at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, wrote in an email to The Gazette. Planning officials said if the development goes forward there

will be more people moving to the area and therefore more transit activity. Officials said they are willing to accept a higher level of traffic movements in the area, whether it is people walking or driving, as long as residents have more transit options such as sidewalks and bus routes. “Think of it as a ‘balancing’ between auto and transit service. For example, in an area like downtown Silver Spring- which has metrorail service- a higher level of auto congestion is permitted. At the other extreme, in an up-country area like Damascus- where there is only very limited local bus service- a lower level of auto congestion is allowed,” added Graye. According to planning department officials, the letter addressed important issues but planners must make sure they “are not creating an unreasonable congestion,” said Mary Dolan, chief of the division of functional planning and policy and the Montgomery County Planning department. Development would occur in stages along the possible Bus Rapid Transit on Md. 29, New Hampshire Avenue, Randolph Road-Cherry Hill Road and other corridors. The importance of the rapid bus system was underscored in a draft report to the Planning Board on the county’s subdivision staging policy, which showed that the roads in the White Oak-Fairland area could fail adequacy standards by 2022.


(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 federal government shutdown in October.

Delaney donates portion salary to clinic BY JENN DAVIS STAFF WRITER

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. The money will go toward the clinic’s ongoing health services and educational programs, according to Kleiderer. He said the money will also help support the services provided by the clinic’s referral nurse, who can access a network of partner agencies to assist patients in accessing specialty care outside of the clinic. “We are serving people who have nowhere else to go,” Kleiderer said. “This money will directly go to all of those people in the waiting room. It helps our patients get access to health care.”



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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Taxpayers league questions school system’s top financial officer n

Bowers discusses operating budget, data sharing BY


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 sub-

jects. 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 sys-

tem 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.

Gubernatorial candidates spend their day in a Montgomery state of mind Six who are in the 2014 race speak at Bethesda breakfast




Six gubernatorial hopefuls met on the same stage Monday to convince a packed house of Montgomery County movers and shakers to back their campaign aspirations. Answering questions spe-

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day. The event was held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. Noting the race’s potential historic significance for the county, Gansler appealed to the audience as one of them and as a candidate of change. He advocated for lower corporate taxes, action on transportation projects and a more businessfriendly Maryland. “If you like the status quo, if you think it is what we need to have in the future, then you shouldn’t vote for me,” he said. Mizeur, the self-appointed “adult” in the race, said she is deliberately starting difficult conversations through her campaign, taking on issues like decriminalizing and taxing marijuana to fund education and creating a living wage. “We need a candidate will-

ing to have bold conversations,” she said. “Promises made need to be promises kept” she said, encouraging the audience to keep her accountable. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, the third Democrat in the race, promised to build on the progress of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) administration. Touting accomplishments in job growth and education, Brown said “more needs to be done.” He detailed plans to grow career and technology education programs and improve infrastructure, so businesses will want to locate in regions like Montgomery County. In the last few weeks, Brown has come under fire for the problems implementing the new federal health care law in

Maryland. He said he is taking responsibility and working to make sure Maryland gets it right. Among the Republican field, candidates at the breakfast catered to Montgomery’s strong support of education while calling for fiscal reform in Annapolis. Pledging to fight any bad policy as an enemy, former political action committee head Charles Lollar called for controlling state spending and a taxpayers’ bill of rights. Maryland, he said, needs to stop the exodus of jobs to other states. He said Montgomery residents have the right to demand that more of what they send to Annapolis in taxes comes back to the county. Of every tax dollar collected from Montgomery County, Maryland returns about 20 cents, county officials have said.

Del. Ronald A. George said the county can get more of its tax dollars back if the state grows the tax base in Baltimore City, where most of the money goes. The additional tax money coming back would boost Montgomery’s economy, said George, a businessman from Arnold who represents District 30. Harford County Executive David R. Craig advocated an open-door policy for the entire state to be heard on issues. Montgomery should remain an economic engine of the state, Craig said. He noted that people often move to Maryland and areas like Montgomery for its schools. Investing in school construction and maintaining education funding also will help strengthen the county, he said.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Page A-9

Bethesda nuclear company Kauffman to lead school board plans to file for bankruptcy O’Neill elected vice president


USEC says it plans to continue its uranium enrichment operations n



Facing continued quarterly losses, Bethesda enriched uranium supplier USEC — one of Montgomery County’s largest companies by revenue — plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early next year, executives said Monday. In the past 11 quarters, USEC has reported a profit only once. In the first nine months this year, losses did narrow to $87.2 million from $116.3 million in the same period of 2012. The $44 million loss in the most recent quarter was largely due to non-production expenses related to ceasing enrichment work at a plant in Paducah, Ky., said John K. Welch, USEC president and chief executive officer, in a recent conference call. “We are preparing the facility for return” to the U.S. Department of Energy, he

said. USEC is also building a $350 million uranium enrichment plant in Ohio that is largely funded by the federal government. But “significant challenges” remain for continued funding to complete that plant and commercialize the American Centrifuge technology, Welch said. “We continue to evaluate our options concerning the project and could make a decision to demobilize or terminate the project in the near term,” Welch said. “Such actions could have significant adverse impacts on the company.” USEC expects to file for bankruptcy in a Delaware court by March 31, but executives do not expect that to affect operations, suppliers, customers and research programs. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to continue to operate as it sheds debt and usually reorganizes finances through a courtapproved plan. In particular, the 84 employees at the Bethesda headquarters will not be affected, said Paul Jacobson, a company spokesman. USEC had 1,770


total employees as of Jan. 1, about 100 fewer than a year earlier, according to its annual report. USEC had $1.9 billion in revenue last year, up from $1.7 billion in 2011. Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Host Hotels & Resorts and Discovery Communications are among the few companies based in Montgomery County with more annual revenue. USEC agreed with some bondholders to replace about $530 million in convertible notes that are scheduled to mature in October with $200 million in new debt. Under a restructuring plan, bondholders will get 79 percent of the new equity as common stock. USEC’s current board of directors will oversee the restructuring process until the effective date of the plan, when a new board will be named. Shares of USEC’s stock fell 57 percent by late Monday afternoon to $3.79. The company’s stock price has been on a downward path since July 29 when it exceeded $29.


In a nearly unanimous vote of his school board colleagues, Philip 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

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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 system as president. Kauffman is “very well prepared to take over” and lead the board through a period of transition for the school system. “As (Kauffman has) come to find out there’s a lot that is not seen in the job of being a board officer,” Barclay said. “It is not a glory job.”

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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 ParentTeacher 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

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Page A-10

Rice: Counties must work together ‘All of these problems are regional,’ council’s new president says




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 the Prince George’s County Council and plans to meet with members of the D.C. city council in coming weeks to discuss working jointly on several social justice issues.

“All of these problems are regional and affect us all,” Rice said. One such area he suggested for cooperation would be working with the counties’ delegations to the General Assembly to prevent misdemeanor drug possession convictions from showing up on employment 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 Marlboro said he thinks there are several opportunities for the jurisdictions to work together, such

as universal pre-kindergarten, making sure prisoners returning to their communities are able to find a job and ensuring strong public transportation to make sure people can get to work. While the Washington metropolitan jurisdictions have worked together in the past, Franklin said the cooperation needs to happen on an ongoing basis. It’s largely a matter of issues that lend themselves to cooperation arising when the respective jurisdictions have leadership willing to collaborate, he said. “The opportunity for regional partnerships has always been there,” he said. Rice attended a Maryland Association of Counties conference in Cambridge last week, and said he was looking forward to meeting with colleagues from Frederick and Howard counties to talk about areas where they could collaborate with Montgomery.

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Updated plans for Wheaton redevelopment are unveiled Residents responded positively to adjustments to new county building and town square n



Developers are moving forward with a revised design for downtown Wheaton that could have county staff moving into the regional services center building there by 2018. Developers presented updated preliminary designs Dec. 11 for a new town square and Mid-County Regional Services Center in the Wheaton Triangle. The plans addressed residents’ concerns from meetings earlier this fall, and were received favorably by many at Wednesday’s meeting, according to meeting organizers. “I’m actually really excited about [the plans] because I think they responded to a lot of the community’s concerns,” Ana Lopez van Balen, director of the Mid-County Regional Center, said. Residents had complained that a past design of the services center building looked “like a downtown office building,”

and a “glass box.” Developers StonebridgeCarras and Bozzuto responded with a style many agreed better matched Wheaton with walls that alternate between glass, aluminum surfaces, and fiber cement panels. Designs showed more variety in the surfaces with these different materials, as well as slight angles in the walls, and some surfaces protruding further than others. Siding also serves as a rain screen, which along with a green roof, on-site stormwater retention and treatment, and building systems efficiency, should earn the building LEED gold certification. Developers also widened the sidewalks along Triangle Lane and proposed ideas for play areas. Many residents liked the idea of having a water feature — such as a fountain kids can play in. The new design moved the hearing room to the second floor of the county building and the parking garage entrance to Grandview Avenue. Both of the changes will allow for more retail spaces on the ground floor of the building. But some, like Danila Sheveiko, remained unsure of the plans. Sheveiko was skeptical that there is enough room for

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the green space shown along Reedie Drive and as part of the town square. He also wanted to see more greenery as part of the building. “Wheaton needs an iconic building,” Sheveiko said, one that reflects the area’s aspirations. He didn’t think this fit the bill. Al Roshdieh, deputy director of Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the project, said county staff and developers will draw out plans and begin contract negotiations in early 2014. The design phase will take about two years and the department expects to begin construction in 2016. They hope to finish construction in 2017 and begin moving county staff into the new building in 2018. As for the green space that could be part of the town square, county staff and developers have been in conversations with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which owns the land, about using it as public green space. “So far it’s moving in a favorable direction,” van Balen said.

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Test-score hacker draws three months Aspiring doctor tried to alter his MCAT scores n


A motivated but hapless Rockville man hoping to go to medical school was sentenced to three months in federal prison Friday for trying to improve his test scores — by hacking into computer servers to alter them. Bosung Shim will also have to serve seven months in community confinement and three years of probation, and pay more than $30,000 in restitution, according to a statement detailing his sentencing, which was in U.S District Court for the

Eastern District of Virginia. His attorney, Jeffrey Marc Hamberger, said Shim would pay the restitution in full by Wednesday. In October, Shim pleaded guilty to computer intrusion. Shim, whose parents are physicians in South Korea, moved to Canada when he was 14, according to court documents. Shim studied at the University of Michigan, while his brother studied at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. According to Hamberger, Shim’s parents are currently working as Christian missionaries in Albania. He said Shim was raised with “high morals and upstanding values.” “Unfortunately, he lost track of those values and succumbed

to the self-imposed pressure to become a doctor,” Hamberger said. In Shim’s plea, he admitted to accessing computers at the University of Michigan and the Association of American Medical Colleges, as well as trying to trying to change — via hacking — his medical school application test scores. When he failed, he hired other hackers to try to change the score, paying them more than $6,000. Court documents show that he began trying to change his grades at the University of Michigan in June 2011. Shim also tried to forge his transcript, Shim spent $1,000 to buy paper in bulk from China that resembled the paper that transcripts

from his university were printed on. Over a four-year period, Shim took the Medical College Admission Test seven times, according to the court documents. He waived his scores five times. The two times he accepted the scores, they were 22 and 25. The top score is 45, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Most competitive medical schools look for a combined MCAT score of at least 30, according to the website of the Princeton Review. Shim’s scores were in the 28th to 51st percentile. Hamberger said Shim was in good spirits. “He fully intends, after he fulfills his sentence, to pursue an upstanding life and a productive career,” he said.

Rockville man arrested in D.C. bank robbery Holdups took place over span of five days n


The bank robber had a method that appeared to work: He walked into PNC banks in Montgomery County with a note demanding cash, took the money from tellers and fled. But days later, after pulling a similar tactic in Washington D.C., a 47-year-old man found himself in police custody, charged with three bank robberies. According to Metropolitan Police, Leonard Forrest was arrested after robbing a PNC bank

in the 7600 block of Georgia Ave. NW on Dec. 6. On Dec. 11, Montgomery County police identified Forrest, of Schuylkill Road in Rockville as the man they believe committed the two Montgomery bank robberies, the first of which took place on Dec. 2 at a PNC Bank in a Giant Food grocery store in Rockville and another which took place on Dec. 4 at a PNC bank in Bethesda on Old Georgetown Road. Surveillance cameras filmed the robber, dressed in a puffy red jacket, a black beanie, sunglasses and a thick beard. In a photo accompanying a statement about his arrest, Forrest was pictured wearing glasses and sporting a closely

cropped goatee. In one of the Montgomery County robberies, he implied he had a gun, but did not display one — a tactic D.C. police say he is accused of using in the Dec. 6 robbery. Metropolitan Police notified Montgomery detectives after arresting Forrest, which enabled investigators to link him to the Montgomery robberies, according to a statement regarding his apprehension. According to the statement, Forrest is still in custody in D.C. Online court records show that he is being held there without bail and that he has been charged with robbery there. Andrew Crespo, his public defender in D.C., was not imme-

diately available for comment Wednesday afternoon. Hewillbeservedwithanarrest warrant here after D.C. authorities return him to Montgomery County, according to county police. Authorities have charged him in Montgomery County with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, according to online court records.





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Two teenagers face armed robbery charges in Rockville n

Police: One boy pointed replica handgun at arresting officers BY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITER

Two Rockville teens have been arrested and charged with armed robbery, according to Montgomery County police. Joseph D. Simonson, 17, of Monroe Street, and Chavarus A. Bradshaw, 16, of Baltimore Road, have both been charged as adults, police said. The charges date from Nov. 27, after a 17-year-old boy was robbed on Bauer Drive. According to police, the boy told them that two people had accosted him and one of them pointed a handgun at him. Both demanded property and stole his wallet and iPod, before ordering him to run away. On Tuesday, after focusing on Bradshaw and Simonson as suspects, plainclothes officers tried to stop the pair after they

left Bradshaw’s house. Montgomery County Police Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti said she didn’t know how the two had been identified as suspects. According to police, Bradshaw pulled what appeared to be a handgun — which later turned out to be fake — out of his pocket and pointed it at the officers. Police disarmed Bradshaw, and used a police dog to track down Simonson, who had run away, according to a statement detailing their arrests. Police also found a butcher’s knife that Simonson threw away as he was fleeing from police. Police have charged both teens with armed robbery. Police also charged Bradshaw with first-degree assault. The two were being held on $500,000 bail. Police also said they found a replica AK-47 in Bradshaw’s home. Attorneys for the two boys weren’t listed online.


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Man sentenced to eight years in prison for Wheaton robberies n

Judge calls punishment a ‘last opportunity’ BY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITER

Who was Joseph R. Urrutia — a dangerous career criminal or a man overcoming an addiction-filled past? Defense attorneys and prosecutors wrangled over that question Thursday, before a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge sentenced Urrutia to eight years in prison on armed robbery charges. In January, police arrested Urrutia, 48, of Benson Terrace, and charged him with robbing

a Wheaton convenience store and a Capital One bank a few hundred feet apart on Georgia Avenue. According to prosecutors, Urrutia was a “major career criminal,” with 35 arrests and 25 past convictions. Urrutia stormed into a local business wearing a balaclava — a mask covering most of his head and face — and sunglasses and holding a gun, then assaulted a 62-year-old shopkeeper, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Eric J. Nee. Soon after, Urrutia robbed the Capital One bank branch, court records show. Police arrested Urrutia the same day in a barbershop nearby. He was covered in red ink from exploded dye packs

that were in bags of money from the bank, police records show. “He has to prove to the parole board that he’s not a threat to society,” Nee said, asking that Urrutia receive a 16-year sentence. Urrutia’s attorney, Andrew V. Jezic, said Urrutia’s actions stemmed from a childhood made brutal by abusive parents and from the trauma of watching his twin brother shot to death in front of him. Despite the dozens of arrests his client had incurred, Jezic said for the most part, Urrutia had been a non-violent offender with convictions for disorderly conduct and loitering. “He is not the monster the list of charges makes him out to be,” Jezic said.

He said Urrutia had tried to use his time in jail productively by attending therapy and addiction-treatment programs, working as a food preparer, and trying to obtain his GED. Urrutia, Jezic said, turned his life around after marrying his wife, Nilda, in 2007. “This is not someone who deep in their soul wants to live an assaultive ... life,” he said. In court, Nilda Urrutia said she married Urrutia — who she had known in her youth — while recuperating in Washington, D.C., after being flown from Iraq in 2003. He had cared for her and supported her through the many surgeries she had to treat her war wounds, she said.

“He’s been my rock,” she said. He started to turn his life around, she said, but descended into the grips of addiction to Oxycontin he had been prescribed for back pain. “Things in the house started disappearing,” she told Mason, at times breaking down as she recalled how he sold her jewelry to fund his drug habit. “What he did was so stupid and idiotic. I’m so sorry for what he did,” she said. Joseph Urrutia, who pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery in July, said he committed the robberies in part because he hadn’t believed he was smart enough to get a normal job. It wasn’t until marrying Nilda, he said, that he finally began to be-

lieve in himself. In apologizing for the robberies and everyone who has been affect, he said, “I know I impacted their lives.” As he imposed the sentence, Mason noted Urrutia’s past and the trauma it had caused. “I can’t ignore the crimes you committed,” he said. Urrutia likely would be eligible for parole in four years, Mason said, calling the sentence a “last opportunity.” “If you don’t come to grips with your addiction, if you don’t get the help you need ... if you come back before the courts ... you may spend the rest of your life in jail,” he said.

Activists say stray electricity is a risk n

Parents of teen who died in Baltimore warn of charges running through fences, poles BY



Nancy and Anthony “Bubba” Green of Randallstown speak to reporters in Montgomery County on Dec. 11 about dangerous high-voltage zones caused by decaying underground wires. Three zones like the one that killed the Greens’ daughter, Deanna, in 2006, when she touched a fence, have been identified in Montgomery County.


Neighborhood kids called it a “funny fence,” but nothing about the safety fence at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore city suggested to former Baltimore Colts player Anthony “Bubba” Green or his wife, Nancy, that it was lethal. When their 14-year-old daughter, Deanna Camille Green, touched the fence in

2006, 277 volts of electricity leaching from faults in underground wires coursed through the teen’s body, killing her. “I never, ever thought I would go to a softball game and not take my daughter home, simply because she touched a fence,” said Nancy Green, who lives in Randallstown. “I live to this day with the thought that I failed my daughter.” Reliable-power activists say similar electrified areas are now in Montgomery County. Powerupmontco founder Abbe Milstein and Eric Hensal of Public Power for Montgomery County joined the Greens on Dec. 11 at a press conference in Rockville to raise awareness

of the potentially lethal zones and to call on Montgomery County leaders to pressure Pepco and the Maryland Public Service Commission to fix the problem. Pepco, which serves 560,000 customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, identified 190 acres in the Bethesda Central Business District, 186 acres in downtown Silver Spring and 69 acres near Courthouse Square in Rockville as risk areas for contact or stray voltage, known as “contact voltage risk zones,” according to a January 2012 document Pepco sent to the Public Service Commission. Pepco does not serve Baltimore City where Deanna Camille Green died. Contact voltage can occur when decayed or damaged underground wires electrify objects such as fences, manhole covers, streets signs and even asphalt, Milstein said. But Myra Oppel, Pepco Holdings Inc.’s regional communications vice president, said identification of a contact voltage risk zone does not mean the underground wires in the area are decayed or damaged. Rather, contact voltage risk zones are simply portions of an electric company’s territory that are served by an underground electric distribution plant and that have substantial pedestrian traffic or population density, whether permanent, seasonal, or varying by time of day, Oppel said. Maryland passed the Deanna Camille Green Act of 2012, which laid out steps for identifying and surveying contact voltage risk zones to determine if stray voltage may exist. When volts are detected in an object, the law also requires electric providers or the responsible property owners to make the area safe. Oppel said Pepco has no reported incidents of contact voltage in its service territory. “Safety is our top prior-

ity. ... We build our system to National Electric Safety Code standards, and our system is designed to deliver safe and reliable electric service,” Oppel said. “Our system is safe for our customers and employees and has caused no injuries from contact voltage. This is not something the public should be worried about.” Courtney Nogas, a regional director of communications for Pepco, said in an earlier email that the utility tests its facilities “on a 3-year basis” as part of ongoing inspections. “Pepco is in full compliance with the contact voltage rules handed down by the Commission,” she said. “Those rules require Pepco to file a plan with the Maryland Public Service Commission identifying our zones and method of testing for voltage, both of which the Commission approved.” But activists are calling for more action. Hensal said residents must pressure local lawmakers to put their weight behind fixing the contact voltage problem and push for a feasibility study of a publicly owned electric utility. Laws like the one named for his daughter might prevent other contact voltage deaths, Anthony Green said, but more transparency is needed to make the public aware of risk zones and fix the problem. “This is going to happen again,” he said, adding that wires were decaying as he spoke. “We pray it won’t. ... We want to it be prevented now. We know where the problem is. We know how to fix it. It’s just a matter of the utility companies working with us and getting it done.” Milstein said there should be more work to identify the zones, as well as more public education of the risk of contact voltage and public reporting of any observed voltage.

Police call body near Beltway ‘suspicious’ Investigation in Silver Spring ties up traffic





A body was found on the side of the Capital Beltway Tuesday morning and Montgomery County police are investigating. Maryland State Police notified county police about a man’s body found along the side of the roadway past Georgia Avenue before Colesville Road about 9:22 a.m. Tuesday, according to county police spokeswoman Angela Cruz. Police are calling it a “suspicious death.” Traffic was tied up around the investigation, which had the far right lane of closed, Cruz said. The deceased man has not yet been identified. Additional details were unavailable.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r


Michael Higgs is the new chairman of the county’s Republican Central Committee.

New GOP chairman in Montgomery looks to enlist candidates Committee eyes several races as election approaches in 2014 n



Montgomery County’s new Republican Party chairman plans to focus on finding conservative candidates and promoting conservative principles as the county prepares for November’s elections. Michael Higgs, a lawyer at the Potomac firm of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, was elected Montgomery County Republican Central Committee chairman on Nov. 26, replacing Mark Uncapher. Higgs said he plans to work on recruiting well-qualified conservative Republican candidates and educating residents on why conservative philosophies, such as free-market principles and individual liberties, work better for everyone. The central committee will run several forums for candidates and bring in consultants to talk about topics such as how to run an effective campaign and how to talk about issues, he said. The committee also will concentrate on basic political activities, such as fundraising, grassroots organizing and getout-the-vote efforts. James Shalleck, a Montgomery Village attorney who plans to seek the Republican nomination for county executive, said he knows Higgs a little and described him as enthusiastic and dedicated to working hard to get Republicans elected. Uncapher, the committee’s chairman since 2008, didn’t challenge Higgs for the chairman’s spot and was instead elected as treasurer. Uncapher said House of Delegates Districts 14 and 15 will be priorities for the committee

in the upcoming election. Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly three-to-one in Montgomery, with statistics from the State Board of Elections showing 345,449 registered Democrats to 125,185 Republicans as of the 2012 presidential election. But in Districts 14 and 15, Democrats only hold an advantage of about two-to-one, by far the closest ratio in the county. As of Dec. 17, four Democrats — including all three incumbents — had filed to run for delegate seats in District 14. No Republicans had filed. The same was true in District 15. All three current delegates have filed to run, along with one challenger — all Democrats. The Republican Party also will look at mounting a challenge for the District 2 County Council seat held by Council President Craig Rice (D) of Germantown, which Uncapher said has historically been a more centrist seat. Gaithersburg Democrat Neda Bolourian has filed to run in District 2, but no Republicans had filed as of Tuesday. Higgs confirmed Uncapher’s targets, but said the party intends to field strong candidates in all General Assembly and County Council races. There are no Republicans representing Montgomery at the county, state or federal levels. Higgs said the committee would stay away from endorsing candidates in primary battles, but could try to avoid stiff primary challenges if possible by guiding candidates to open seats. The county’s proximity to Washington, D.C., offers a base of Republicans with deep political experience that the party can tap into, Uncapher said. And Higgs said that even though they’re outnumbered, there are a lot of Republicans in the county. “We’re not alone here,” he said.

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Continued from Page A-1 the building in December 2010, knowing it would require a lot of renovations. The organization often buys older buildings to offer affordable housing to those who qualify based on income. According to residents, rent for one- and two-bedroom apartments in the 11-story building runs, on average, a little more than $1,000 per month. There are 125 units in the building and the organization is investing $8.87 million in the renovations, financed by a number of local public and private organizations, according to the Montgomery Housing Partnership. The renovations are being coordinated between Montgomery Housing Partnership, which owns the building; Equity Management, which manages day-to-day needs of the building and residents; and Hamel Building Inc. construction company. The project is expected to be complete in June 2014. Goldman said that after hearing of residents’ complaints in early November, he held a meeting with tenants on Nov. 12 to discuss their concerns. Since then, the organization


Continued from Page A-1 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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

has assigned three tenant liaisons to coordinate between residents and construction workers. Last week, contractors were working on closing all holes with temporary ceilings and walls. Equity Management did not respond to requests for comment on this story. Goldman said “it’s a difficult call” whether it was appropriate to do the renovations with the tenants living there. “In hindsight, we can say it became more extensive and complicated than we originally thought,” he said. “We’re going to change our system and our plan moving forward, so that the residents don’t face this,” Goldman said. For the next phase of construction, Montgomery Housing Partnership will move residents out of their apartments, two floors at a time. Tenants will be moved into vacant units in the building, and if necessary, nearby hotels, paid for by the organization. Temporary walls now cover holes that some residents reported had been open or covered by plastic sheeting for months. Pools of water had gathered in plastic in some residents’ ceilings, leaking and developing an orange residue. A hole remained open from

the ground floor to the 11th floor for at least a month, where pipes ran vertically, according to residents. Taye Esubalew, a resident, was nervous that his 2-year-old son would fall into the hole. Another resident, Nana Okore, found tools and nails left on his apartment floor, which his 4-year-old daughter picked up. In his bedroom, his and his wife’s bed was pulled away from the wall, a crib hugging its side, to make way for construction around the perimeter of the room. Piles of clothes sat atop furniture because tenants had to move them out of closets for construction. Dust fell from holes in closet ceilings. Some residents complained that excessive dust was making them sick. In response to tenants’ reports of tools and materials left in their apartments, Goldman said: “That should never have happened, absolutely. That’s not an overall plan problem. That’s a problem with the contractor and that concerns me.” Nemo said the company “had procedures in place to come behind and check things,” and clean the apartments. Hartley said that since residents started complaining, she has

seen more attention given to cleaning up behind workers. She added that after living in the building for 23 years, she understood how badly the building needed renovations. “A lot of people are grateful that this is being done, but it’s just how they did it was the problem,” Hartley said. According to Goldman, work was needed on pipes and the heating system and the boiler needed to be replaced. The next phase of construction will include electrical work and updates to kitchens and bathrooms. In response to residents’ complaints about early start times for construction, contractors, building management and Montgomery Housing Partnership agreed to move the time when residents would need to vacate their apartments on certain days from 7:50 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. “We were trying to balance the needs of the residents with the reality of the contractors,” Goldman said. Takoma Park law requires 48 hours notice before management or workers enter the apartment. Residents received construction schedules for their unit, which workers did not follow in some cases.

Zewede Tefre works at a bar and often returns home late at night to be woken up early in the morning. “I really don’t like to go home,” she said. Other residents said they have been walked in on while changing or showering in their apartments. Goldman said that building staff had been told to knock several times, waiting several minutes in between, allowing residents to answer the door if at home before entering. Makda Semere, a resident who has multiple sclerosis and arthritis, said she has felt harassed by construction workers and management staff who have asked her to leave the apartment, especially after recently returning home from the hospital. She said she has found her clothes thrown in piles on the floor and has spent many nights sleeping on the couch because her bed was moved, and propped up against the living room wall, to make room for renovation work. Semere and her family, like many others, have decided to move. Such vacancies have left empty apartments that residents will move into during the next phase of construction. Montgomery Housing Partnership is

also offering residents credit for half a month’s rent. Some residents have withheld rent in protest of living conditions. Some residents also claimed that construction workers had keys to their apartments, and that their front doors had been left unlocked and ajar. Nemo said it is company policy for management staff to allow workers into apartments and communicate construction plans to tenants. He said he did not know whether policies had been violated. Recently, the Takoma Park City Council has become involved, along with city staff. The council was trying to help solve tenants’ concerns and direct them to file formal complaints. The council became aware of the situation when tenants raised concerns during the Nov. 25 council meeting. Resources on tenant-landlord issues can be found on the city website. Tenant-in-place renovations were scheduled to wind down this week. Workers were ordered to cease renovations, except for a few cases where they are finishing pipe installations and in response to problems reported by tenants.

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 Mary-

land 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 signatures 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 stateapproved 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.”


Continued from Page A-1 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 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 ma-

terials 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 ex-gays 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 Twit-

ter 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 that espoused that theory, Exodus, shut down 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.”

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Biggest employer? Depends whom you ask 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, Lemek’s 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 Panera Bread, 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.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

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.

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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.

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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Tilden students reach out to others

• Assembling more than 100 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.”


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Zulay Joa, a science, technology, 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.”


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

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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

Douglas Tallman, Editor Krista Brick, Managing Editor/News Glen C. Cullen, Senior Editor Copy/Design Meredith Hooker, Managing Editor/Internet Robert Rand, Managing Editor/Presentation

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 r

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Union: State could try to rein in counties on minimum wage hike Brinkley: Montgomery, Prince George’s can have their increases n



Despite denials from Annapolis, 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., council also has approved an increase in the District’s minimum wage. A Dec. 6 article on the union’s website quoted Bob


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

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 compromise 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

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

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 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

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-

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 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

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 health coverage 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

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. Renne also is president of United Food and Commercial Workers/Municipal and County Government Employees Organization (MCGEO) Local 1996. Ross gave a similar warning. “We want them to know in no uncertain terms that we cannot turn back the clock to lowering the wage to less than what the two have counties done,” he said.

governor’s office to a Gazette reporter’s 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, insurance carriers have agreed to extend the deadline for enrolling in their plans to begin coverage by Jan. 1 from Monday to Dec. 27, the O’Malley 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 r



SPORTS SOUTHERN 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


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r


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. 1905986

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: 1905987

Carolyn G. Biggins, Chief Division of Transit Services 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor Rockville Maryland 20850 1890804


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 r


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

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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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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


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Kentlands man goes high-tech with annual Christmas light show Hourlong show features more than 10,000 lights



After being mesmerized by Christmas light shows at Disney World, Mikel Draghici wanted to recreate the magic at his own home. The Kentlands resident is currently hosting his second annual “Draghici’s Christmas,” which includes an hourlong holiday light show that is synchronized to a festive mix of music. This month through Christmas Eve, more than 10,000 lights are dancing 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 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 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 timeconsuming 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 doesn’t look at the electric bill — his wife does — and he doesn’t worry about it either.

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


“I had to make the boards, learn what to buy, how to buy it, from who to buy it,” Draghici says of his Christmas light show that’s synchronized to music.


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Winning startup focuses on social media charity n

Two founders create online platform BY JENN DAVIS STAFF WRITER

When brainstorming a more effective recipe for organizations and individuals to raise funds, childhood friends Ryan Chacon and Ben Bunk decided on a bake sale — held on social media websites. BakeSale, an online fundraising platform, won first place in November at the second annual Eastern Shore Business Plan Competition in Salisbury. The Gaithersburg business is unique because it allows social media users to learn about different charities and make a donation without ever leaving the social media website. “We are trying to simplify the process by putting the whole campaign inside of the Facebook page, Twitter page or blog,” said Chacon, 26. He explained that fundraising advertisements incorporated into social media often link to campaigns that are on a separate site and pull the user from the social media page, causing people to drop out.

“This campaign is right where users spend the most time and the impulse to donate is at its highest,” he said. Beating out 12 other competitors, BakeSale won a $20,000 cash prize — and bragging rights — at the contest, which was hosted by the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center and Maryland Capital Enterprises. First-place perks also include automatic qualification for the semifinal round of the InvestMaryland Challenge 2014 and free entry to compete in the MassChallenge 2014 contest. In the first round of the competition, a business plan was required to be submitted for each venture. Five finalists advanced to the second round and had to give a presentation on their business. Michael Thielke, executive director of the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center, said the competition is intended showcase the Eastern Shore as a good place to do business and encourage entrepreneurs to locate and base their business operations there. While both Chacon and Bunk, 27, are from Montgomery County, Thielke said the competition officials traced the roots of the business back to the Eastern Shore due to Chacon’s recent grad-


BakeSale, an online fundraising platform that allows social media users to donate directly through the social media site, won first place in November at the second annual Eastern Shore Business Plan Competition in Salisbury. uation from Salisbury University and his involvement with the community. The strength of the pair’s business plan and their well-prepared formal presentation stood out to Thielke. “It was a solid business plan. Their marketing strategy and financial strategy were good. I think those are the two

most critical parts of a plan,” he said. “They were also really, really prepared for the presentation. It was concise and specific.” The duo came up with the idea for the business in January after noticing a market of organizations looking to fundraise through social media. The

venture was launched Dec. 3 to coincide with “Giving Tuesday,” a national initiative that promotes charitable activities that support nonprofits. To create a campaign, an interested party must submit a YouTube video and written information detailing the organization and the fundraising cause. BakeSale’s first live campaign is for Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., according to Chacon. The business has some other campaigns in the works, but Chacon said this period is being used as a time to monitor the campaigns and collect feedback. Chacon said he and Bunk will use the prize money to iron out any potential kinks on the site and add the finishing touches on the project as it operates through the initial starting phase. Aside from the money, Bunk said the ultimate reward was receiving encouragement from other business leaders. “As entrepreneurs and founders of a startup, one of the hardest things you can ever come by is validation about your idea and concept, and especially your pitch,” he said. “Winning this competition really tells us, ‘Hey, you’ve got a great idea and a great plan to make it happen.’”

Office construction minimal as federal leasing hits brakes n

GSA trying to cut square footage per employee to less than half BY SONNY GOLDREICH SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE

The office construction pipeline in Montgomery County is nearing a standstill as new federal leases have been restricted to short-term extensions, according to a new report by broker Jones Lang LaSalle. “The supply-demand dynamic has reached a relative standstill,” the report said. That suggests a dismal 2014 as federal agencies continue to consolidate and reduce demand

for space. Most federal deals have been short-term extensions, such as the five-year lease announced last week in White Flint for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That will give the agency time to develop a new consolidation plan after it was lambasted by members of Congress for committing to leasing a new 358,000-square-foot building for $350 million when it needed less than half that space at its headquarters campus. Mirroring the slowdown in the rest of the Washington, D.C., region, the broker reported that “construction pipeline is below 1 million square feet, and only a handful of federal leases

have barely broken the 100,000 square foot mark.” The biggest speculative office construction is happening at 4500 East West Highway, where D.C.-based Carr Properties is adding 220,400 square feet next spring on the site of a former McDonald’s two blocks from the Bethesda Metro station. Rockville-based Federal Realty Investment Trust is also adding 80,000 square feet of office space next year to its Pike & Rose complex in the White Flint sector. The firm also plans to break ground next year on the first of two office buildings totaling 475,150 in the second phase of its redevelopment of Mid-Pike Plaza. At the moment, the biggest

ongoing project is the redevelopment of existing HHS space in Rockville. The Chevy Chasebased JBG Cos. expects to deliver by next summer on the 935,000-square-foot Parklawn Building near the Twinbrook Metro Station. Throughout the D.C. region, federal agencies are adapting to budget constraints, creating a transitional period, when leasing decisions will be driven by cost savings and efforts to shrink the government’s real estate footprint, according to the report. “The impact all these changes will have on the market remains to be seen,” Joe Brennan, managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle, said in

a press release. “Leases up for renewal may no longer favor the incumbent landlord, so it is imperative that ownership groups stay on top of what is happening with the federal government’s leasing efforts.” The General Services Administration is trying to cut the square footage allotted to each government employee to 125 square feet per person from 280 square feet. That’s reflected at the GSA’s headquarters building in D.C., where 4,400 people now work from the same amount of space that used to house 2,500. Regionwide, 82 percent of federal agency overall leasing activity was extensions and renewals. At the same time, net

effective rents in the D.C. area have fallen 12.5 percent from their levels. By comparison, net effective rents have risen 11 percent nationwide since 2010. But federal tenants remain a prize for landlords, as reflected in building sales. “In 2013, GSAleased buildings have sold at a rate that nearly doubles the average price per square foot for building sales nationwide,” the report said. Looking forward, the report said the federal government is likely to expand its sale of agency-owned property and increase the use of public-private partnerships, such as the effort to relocate the FBI headquarters from downtown D.C.

‘Mac’ McGarry, longtime host of ‘It’s Academic,’ dies at age 87 BY


‘Mac’ McGarry, a Potomac resident and charismatic host of “It’s Academic,” died Thursday. at age 87. McGarry, whose name

was Maurice, retired from the world’s longest-running quiz show in 2011. He had been its host for 50 years. McGarry moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1950 to become an announcer at NBC’s affiliate, WRC. Arch

Campbell, a television personality and host of his own WRC show, worked with McGarry. “It was full of huge personalities, and Mac was one of the hugest,” Campbell said. At the office, McGarry was the man who took the time to learn everyone’s names, and always knew the latest news, he said. His contemporaries were personalities such as Ed Walker, currently host of WAMU’s “The Big Broadcast,” and the late network news anchor David Brin-

kley. McGarry started as the first host for “It’s Academic” when his boss asked him to be part of the new show in the 1960s. Students from around the area, including Montgomery County schools, sent teams of three students to answer questions about a variety of subjects on the weekly show. McGarry’s wife, Babette, said he loved his job. She said he felt students should be honored for their academic achieve-

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ments. She said her husband saw himself as a performer. On “It’s Academic,” he was the vivacious, all-knowing host who rattled off questions about everything from pop culture to World War I history. “He was large and in charge,” Campbell said. The Gazette interviewed McGarry in 2012, a year after he retired from “It’s Academic.” “From the time I was about 8 years old, I wanted to be a broadcaster,” McGarry told The Gazette. McGarry grew up in New York City and attended Fordham University. He enjoyed singing and had a love of big band music.

“He lived a colorful life,” his wife said. Hilary Howard, a WTOP anchor, currently hosts “It’s Academic.” She is scheduled to speak at a service for family and friends on Wednesday. McGarry’s children have created a scholarship to honor their father. Donations can be sent to the Mac McGarry Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 61152, Potomac, MD 20859. Scholarships will go to students in “It’s Academic” clubs in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas, Babette McGarry said. Besides his wife, McGarry is survived by four children and six grandchildren. He will be buried Thursday at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Potomac.

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Rockville City Police say they have arrested the individuals who have been robbing women as they walked home from the Twinbrook Metro Station. On Friday, Rockville police arrested Jermaine Huntley, Jr., 23, of an unknown address, and Maria Engrasia Sandoval Bonilla, 20, with a last known address of the 1100 block of Scott Avenue in Rockville, according to Rockville police Monday. Huntley is being held on $250,000 bail, according to online court records. He is charged with 21 separate crimes, including robbery, theft, unlawful use of another person’s credit card, and other charges. Bonilla was released on her own recognizance. She faces 16 charges, including conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit assault, illegally receiving a credit card,

and other charges. The robberies took place over several evenings from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8. In the first robbery, which occurred at about 7:55 p.m. near Ridgeway Avenue and Lemay Road, a person struck a woman from behind, knocking her down, and then fled with the woman’s purse, according to police. Two days later, a robber struck a woman near Stanley Avenue and Matthews Drive shortly after 9 p.m. and fled with her purse. The next day, at about 8:45 p.m., police said a woman was walking near Lemay Road and Holland Road when someone knocked her to the ground and dragged her until the robber was able to take her purse from her. Rockville City Police found evidence from the Dec. 5 robbery at the home of a relative of one of the suspects, according to the release. Court records did not list Huntley’s attorney. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 10. Bonilla’s next court date is not listed online.


The Gazette’s Guide to

Arts & Entertainment



Second installment moves a little faster. Page B-11


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Page B-7





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-11

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-11


Page B-8

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r



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 r

One voice

Fairfax high school singers join Washington Chorus for holiday performances n


Page B-9


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. “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

A CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS 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


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. 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.” 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,” 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-thescenes 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 pre-

sentation, 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.

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“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.”


Page B-10

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Grapelines: Further holiday gift ideas for the wine lover on one’s list GRAPELINES

BY LOUIS MARMON some other ideas that will not spill or require decanting.

Bring in 2014 at el GOLFO LIVE Music Featuring MOXIE BLUES ROCK BAND starting at 8:30 p.m. • Three course PRIX FIXE with live music, dinner package $50. per person • Includes non alcoholic beverages, party hats and noise makers • Free champagne toast to ring in the New Year • BIG screen TV to see the ball drop at mid-night • Certificates and Tequila bottles will be raffled throughout the night

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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 absolute 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 exceptional 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.

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

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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

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!

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


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

7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Takoma Park Community Center, call for prices, times, Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Ave., Takoma Park, 301-960-3655, www.imtfolk. org. Strathmore, Afternoon/Spe-

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. 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 ELITE ENTERTAINMENT

cialty 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,

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, 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,


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Page B-11



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

Continued from Page B-7


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-7

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-12


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r


Page B-13

Call 301-670-7100 or email


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

WEDNESDAY OPEN HOUSE COFFEE SOCIAL 11AM-1PM AMENITIES: *Health Care Facility *Physical Fitness Center *Sun Filled Solarium *Community Media Room *Plenty of Parking Randolph Village Apartments

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*Library *Resident Socials *Beautifully Landscaped Grounds

877.907.5577 (Office)

501B S. Frederick Ave #3 Gaithersburg, MD 20877

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340 N. Summit Ave. • Gaithersburg, MD



It’s BRAND NEW at Amber Commons 7 McCausland Place, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 “If you are looking for the distinctive, the uncommon, the out of the ordinary then welcome home to Amber Commons where we have the perfect blend of tradition: brick, mature landscaping, and gracious space combined with the best of brand new: GE clean steel appliances, energy efficiency and more!”

Advertise Your apartment community here!



TH, 3BR, 2.5BA. $1300 + utils. Avail 1/1/14. 240-751-5497. kirkmccarthy1@yahoo .com

1600+ sq foot patio home 2BR + Den with Large 2 car garage + attic. New kitchen appliances/counters. New carpet and paint. Buyer brokers are welcome. $365,000. Call: 301-977-0635 GAITH/AMBERFLD Lux 3lvl EU/TH, Gar 2MBR, 2.5BA, LR DR, FR, FP,EIK, Deck $1800. 301-792-9538



3Br, 2.5Ba TH, fin bsmt, nr bus/shops, NP/NS $1700 HOC Call: 240-643-0932


3BR, 1.5BA, NS/NP. Walk to Metro, W/D, $1700/mo + utils. Kanu 301-670-6844


3BR, 2BA, 2-1/2BA. Fin Bsmt, New Deck, Shops/Trans. $1850 + utils. 301-814-0340

RENTALS House, Townhome, Condo whatever “HOME” means to you; call Marlene if you are in the market to buy, sell, invest, or rent. Direct:

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Marlene Dufresne-Smith

GAITH/MV: 3 bed, 2

1/2 ba TWH freshly painted $1550 central heat/AC , all appliances, wood floors assigned parking fenced patio HOC ok call Nick 301-412-4522

GE R M: EU 3lvl TH

3Br 3.5Ba big deck fnsd w/bsmt fncd yrd nr I/270 bus,schl,shop. $1645. 240-246-6686


Lrg 4BR, 2.5BA TH. Wood Flrs, W/D, Eat in Kit, Nr Shops, 355, 270. HOC Ok. 240-383-1000




3Br, 2Ba, SFH w/ porch, house completely renovated w/ all NEW everything! Call: 410-435-5626 or 410-599-3971

SFH 4 BR/3 BA Updated,Light-Filled, Quiet St. near Park. $2490 301-538 -4638



3Br, 2.5Ba TH, fin bsmt, nr bus/shops, NP/NS $1750 HOC Call: 240-643-0932

GAITHER: 2 months

FREE rent on a 1bedroom apt with a 14 month lease. Across from the Rio/Washingtonian Center, Call Oakwood Gaithersburg today! 877-566-6910


Half Month Free Large 1 or 2 BR Apts Short/long term leases Utilities Included

Great Prices

301-948-0087 N. BETH: In home

Apt Lg 1Br w/priv entr Fpl, Patio, woodland view NS/NP $1300 uti inc. avl Jan 1st Call: 301-530-4883

kBalcony Patio

Rice (301) 670-2667



Apt. $1250 incl util, CATV, Free Parking Avail now. NS/NP CALL: 301-424-9205

ROCKVILLE: 2BR, 2BA. Cls to Metro. 24 Hr Security. $1850/mo incls all utils. 301-3250550. Avail Now!

GERM: 2Br, 2Ba new

crpt/paint, h/d flr, W/D, fitness center, near shops & restaurants $1295 + SD Mike Remax Pro. Please Call: 301-674-2371

(301) 460-1647 3004 Bel Pre Rd., Apt. 204, Silver Spring, MD 20906

Several furnished, individual offices in a Class A building available for sublease with shared reception, conference room, and administrative support in Gaithersburg next to 270. Call 301-972-4430.


Condo in Parkside. $1900 util incl. Avail Jan 1st. 301-233-5721


3 Bedroom + den, 2 Bathroom, renovated, Sec 8 welcome, Util incl 410-800-5005


2 bedroom, 1 bath in Potomac Oaks condos, all utilties are included Please Call 301 326-9884

GAIT H: Penthouse

LG condo 1bd/1ba wood floor, 24hr security, all util incl HOC OK 240-383-1000



2 BR in TH, $485 & $525 both incl utils. N/S, N/P. Avail immed CALL: 240-361-3391


LG Furn BR in uppr lvl $500 util & laundry included. Sec. Dep Req. Call: 301-605-5199


1Br, 1Ba, Shr Kit, cable/int, N/S N/P, $550/month includes utils 240-643-4122

rm for rent in condo, nr bus/shops, utils, cable, incld $500 301-9724535 Available 01/01


GERM: Male only 2

Bsmt Br, $500 , Upstairs room $500 util inc for both, nr bus Call: 240-848-4483


Male, master BR w BA $399. Nr Metro/Shops NP/NS. Avail Now. Call 301-219-1066

OLNEY: 1BD in TH. Priv BA. Shared Kit. NP, NS. $450 util incl. Female. 240-528-1434 OR 240-406-6991 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


Horse farm. Lg BD, private entrance, BA, Kitch, shared laundry. $700. 301-407-2226

GAITH:M BRs $435+ ROCKVILLE/OLNEY Lrg Single Fam Home 440+475+555+ Maid Ns/Np, nr 270/370/Bus Small effi apt, own bath & kit all utils, shops, quiet, conv.Sec cbl & int incl $745 Dep 301-983-3210 No pets, no smoking uppr lvl of Sfh $600 uti/Inet inc. ns/np nr Walmart 301-7062722 301-978-1542


ADELPHI: 1 Br + den 14th floor . $1245 uti inc + SD & Move In Fees, Front Desk. Ref req. 240-418-5693

TH Bsmt Apt pvt entr $750/mo util incl.Near Shops/Metro 240-3887552 or 240-370-0272

G E R M A N : 1 BR in


Beautiful Sunny Studio Apt w/BA W/D all utils incl off street parking Avail 01/01 $850 301906-1350

kSmall Pets Welcome

Contact Ashby

remodeled 3/4 bed, 2 full bath, great location, available immediately 301-467-0586


kSpacious Floor Plans

BRs $400 each + utils in TH NS/ND. Near bus & shops. Sec Dep Req. 240-476-6224

GERM: TH 1 room

Available Now!


SIL SPG: 3BR basement apt w/priv BA & kitchen. Separate Entrance. $1,200 util incl. 301-758-5079 SILVER




Room for Rent $415 shared kitchen, bathroom and utilities W/D 301-404-2681 Rooms avail in SFH, nr Metro/Shops, rent incl utilties 202-7041768 or 301-942-2161

SS: NEW 1BR Apt 1st

floor private ENT, KIT, BA, PARKING. $1200 quiet and Sunny! call 301-879-2868

S.SPRING: Downtown, furn/unfur shrd apt, priv Ba, nr metro $775 utils incl + SD NS/NP 240-604-5815

w/pvt BA $400/mo w/utils & int. Nr Walmart & 270/355 WHEATON: 1Br in SFH CALL: 240-744-2421 $650 incl util D/W,W/D Smoker Ok, CATV Nr Bus, Avail Now. WHEATON:1 Room w/pvt BA $700/mo incl. Call 301-503-1753

utils, Cable & WIFI. Near Metro & Bus Call 240-286-7142


On Georgia Ave. 1 MBR w/prvt ba. $650 util incl Nr Metro & Shops. Npets 240-441-1638

DEEP CREEK LAKE water front, across frm WISP Resort,3br/3ba Th,deck,dock,fp,Jacz wd, cbl. 301-916-3077

kFamily Room kFull Size W/D in every unit kSwimming Pool

to advertise Realtors & Agents call 301.670.2641

to advertise Rentals & for sale by owner 301.670.7100 or email

To Advertise Realtors & Agents Call 301.670.2641 Rentals & For Sale by Owner Call 301.670.7100 or email


4bd / 3ba EOG $2400 month many upgrds, avail immed. Call 410781-7339

TH 3 lvl, 3 BR, 2 1/2 Bath, W/D, 1st fl hardwood floor, fenced yrd 2 pkg spaces, near 270/70 and route 40. Avail Jan 1. Call Ben 240-994-0865 cell

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and reach over 206,000 homes!

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Cider Mill



Page B-14

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

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 & 2013 NFL Sunday ***OLD ROLEX & ticket free!! Start SavPATEK PHILIPPE ing today! 1-800-279WATCHES 3018 WANTED!** Daytona, Sub Mariner, etc. TOP CASH PAID! 1REDUCE YOUR 800-401-0440 CABLE BILL! * Get


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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

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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, ment may be viewed on WSSC’s website,

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

Page B-15

Careers 301-670-2500


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

Dental/ Medical Assistant Trainees Needed Now

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



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

Dental/Medical Offices now hiring. No experience? Job Training & Placement Assistance Available 1-877-234-7706




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

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






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 Sales


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.

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




Construction/Bricklayers 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

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


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



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

Foster Parents

Treatment Foster Parents Needed Work from home!

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

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

Call 301-355-7205

Perform preconstruction geotechnical engineering studies, analysis & planning under licensed engineer. Provide QC oversight of projects & prepare reports. Req. Master in Civil Engineering w/6mo exp. 40hr/wk. Resume EMC2, Inc 10110 Molecular Dr Ste 314, Rockville MD 20850

Pharmacy/ Phlebotomy Tech Trainees Needed Now


Maintenance Technician Germantown, MD

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

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.

Real Estate

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

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


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

Silver Spring

Work with the BEST! Must R.S.V.P.

Call Bill Hennessy

RSVP to or call 301-933-7900



10426 Fawcett Street Kensington, MD 20895

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

Accounts Receivable Assistant

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.


Work From Home

Recruiting is now Simple!


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

Is your home overflowing with Decorating Magazines?



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.


Do you find yourself rearranging your friend’s furniture and accesories?

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

Counter Sales /Warehouse

Skilled Trades

Is Interior Decorating your Passion?

Design/Office Asst.

Call 301-333-1900

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

Geotechnical Engineer


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


Large commercial construction company is looking for experienced Bricklayers for the DC, MD, VA areas. Please call 301.937.0580, ext 266 & 280.

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


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

Get Connected!

Local Companies Local Candidates

Page B-16


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r


Page B-17

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

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


Any Make, Model or Year. We Pay MORE! Running or Not. Sell Your Car or Truck TODAY. Free Towing! Instant Offer: 1-888-545-8647


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

Deals and Wheels to advertise call 301.670.7100 or email




Your donation helps local families with ANY CAR ANY CONDITION food, clothing, shelter. WE PAY TOP DOLLAR-FAST FREE PICKUP! Tax deductible. MVA licensed. SELL YOUR CAR TODAY! CALL NOW FOR AN LutheranMissionSociet 410-636-0123 or toll-free 1-877-7378567.


(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 $



security deposit

2013 GOLF 2 DOOR

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




OR 0% for 60 MONTHS




1st month’s payment

2014 PASSAT S 2.5L

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

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 $




due at signing

MSRP $19,990




stock units on ly




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 r

Page B-18

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r


#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 r

Page B-19


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



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 •


Search Gazette.Net/Autos for economical choices


36 $

NEW2 AVAILABLE: 2014#470127, COROLLA LE 470156

2 AVAILABLE: #470197, 470218



4 DR., 4 CYL., AUTO


4 DR., AUTO, 4 CYL., INCL.

NEW 2014 SCION XD 2 AVAILABLE: #453002, 453010

NEW 2013 HIGHLANDER 4X2 2 AVAILABLE: #363223, 363435








4 CYL., 4 DR., AUTO

NEW 2013 RAV4 LE 4X2 BASE 2 AVAILABLE: #364556, 364568

NEW 2014 CAMRY LE 2 AVAILABLE: #472091, 472090

36 Month Lease $


4 DR., 4 CYL., AUTO


2 AVAILABLE: #377728, 377729



2 AVAILABLE: #472020, 472063

0% FOR 4 DR., AUTO, 4 CYL.,









On 10 Toyota Models

See what it’s like to love car buying



AUTO, 4 CYL., 4 DR




15625 Frederick Rd (Rte 355) • Rockville, MD n OPEN SUNDAY n VISIT US ON THE WEB AT




Page B-20

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 r

01 Saturn LW-300


07 Dodge Gr Caravan SXT $6,750


#KP78808, AT, MD INSP’D, E-Z TERMS $1,378 OFF KBB

03 Dodge Ram 1500 PU




05 Nissan Armada SE $11,990

12 Chevy Impala LT

#KP24038, SHARP! DVD, $1,314 OFF KBB

UNDER $10,995



#KP66966, MNRF FAC WARR, $1,054 OFF KBB


02 Honda Civic LX............................$1,950

06 Chevy Equinox LT.......................$9,890

05 Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD...........$11,988

10 Hyundai Sonata LTD.................$15,988

05 Nissan Sentra 1.8S.....................$5,995

09 Scion TC......................................$9,997

05 Cadillac STS..............................$12,995

12 Dodge Journey SXT..................$17,988

08 Saturn Astra XE..........................$7,969

02 BMW 330Ci Convertible...........$10,488



04 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT.................$9,588 #KP40271, “HEMI” TRUCK LOVERS! LTHR, 20,S CHROME


#KP49192, STO&GO, $1,833 OFF KBB



05 Toyota Avalon XL......................$10,988




06 Dodge Charger..........................$13,470


11 Ford Econoline..........................$18,470





11 Dodge Grand Caravan..............$15,850

08 Hyundai Vera Cruz...................$18,988

Rockville southgaz 121813  
Rockville southgaz 121813