Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Attn Parents: Montgomery County Police Child Safety Meeting Wednesday November 1st, 7:15 PM

Child Safety Meeting
Since the arrest of Mr. Jonathan Oldale, many parents have expressed concern about his interaction with children in the community. The Montgomery County Police Department will be hosting a community meeting this Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at the National 4H Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 at 7:15 p.m. to provide residents with information and resources available to discuss the situation with their children. We will have representatives from the Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) available to respond to questions.  The National 4H Center has ample parking and is located between Bradley Blvd and East West Highway on the western or southbound side of Connecticut Avenue.   
SVID is now conducting the investigation of Mr. Oldale.  If you should have an immediate concern about your children, please email Lieutenant Sheila Sugrue (sheila.sugrue@montgomerycountymd.gov) and she will respond to you.  Due to fact this is an active investigation, it may not be possible to comment on certain specifics of the case.  The Police Department will do its best to provide what information it can, help the community understand the process moving forward, and provide contact information for members of the community if they suspect their child may be a victim of a crime.

ABC7 broke this story:  http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2017/10/police-father-hides-pinhole-spy-camera.html

California: Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes bill easing permits on cell phone towers

Gov. Jerry Brown late Sunday vetoed a bill backed by the cell phone industry that would have made it easier to install microwave radiation antennas.
Senate Bill 649, authored by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego and co-authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, proposed to scale back the permitting process for antennas and other equipment in an effort to meet demand for wireless services.
In a signing statement, Brown wrote that while he saw the value in “extending this ​innovative technology rapidly and efficiently,” the bill took too much control away from cities and counties.
The bill was primarily supported by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the main trade group for the U.S. wireless telecommunications industry. The group said SB 649 would help boost the economy.
Yet the bill had alarmed many local government officials around the state. They worried if SB 649 became law, it would cap how much they could charge phone companies for leases to $250 a year. Others raised concerns about the risk to public health from cell towers.
Grass-roots activists and scientists said that if SB 649 became law, a projected 50,000 new cellular antennas would be installed on public buildings and utility poles in California neighborhoods, creating a risk to public health because of the dangers of radiation and electromagnetic frequencies emitted by cell towers...

Monday, October 30, 2017

County Parks Dep't. wants to colocate telecomm equipment in 3 parks. Two are in Silver Spring.

[Note: The tower in the outfield at Blair High School is empty.  This is not a colocation.  This is the new placement of a cell tower antenna. The Parks Department is not being honest with the public.]

On Telecommunications Applications

Montgomery Parks is seeking approval from the Montgomery Planning Board on three telecommunication applications seeking to colocate equipment in existing park facilities - two of which are in the Silver Spring Regional Area! - to improve the wireless system in the Montgomery County area.

The public is encouraged to post comments on the Montgomery Parks.org Open Town Wall web page * prior to the November 9, 2017 Planning Board Session when the applications will be reviewed.  Please share the following notice with resident and community groups.


  • Wonderful new tool to facilitate providing input!
  • Check it out on-line

Former security guard at MCPS high school sentenced for sexual relationship with student

ROCKVILLE, Md. (ABC7) — A former security guard at a Montgomery County high school is getting 18 months in prison and will register as a sex offender after he had an ongoing sexual relationship with one of the school's female students.

Mark Yantsos, 58, was the former head of security at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville when he was first arrested for have a sexual relationship with a then 17-year-old student in April.

He was arrested a second time in May after meeting with the student again and allegedly having sex with her...

Police: Man hid camera in bathroom at Montgomery Co. gymnastics facility

WASHINGTON — Police have arrested a parent they say attempted to record people in the bathroom of a Montgomery County gymnastics and fitness facility earlier this year.
Montgomery County police arrested 54-year-old Jonathan Oldale on Oct. 18 after they say, on May 5, he put a backpack containing a camera in the unisex bathroom at the Silver Star Gymnastics and Fitness Club located at 2701 Pitman Dr. in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Oldale is a parent whose children are enrolled in gymnastics classes at the studio, police said.
An employee called police after he saw a backpack under a “Wet Floor” sign on the floor of the bathroom and noticed a camera inside what appeared to be a car’s key fob inside the backpack. The camera “was hot to the touch” and its light was on, indicting that it was recording, the employee told police...

Police: Father hides ‘pinhole spy camera’ in bathroom of Silver Spring gymnastics center

SILVER SPRING, Md. (ABC7) – While two siblings attended gymnastics class, their father placed a hidden camera inside the facility’s restroom in hopes of recording children, Montgomery County Police say.
Authorities have charged Jonathan Oldale, 54, of Bethesda, with one count of visual surveillance-prurient intent.
According to court documents, on the evening of May 5, an employee at the Silver Stars Gymnastics and Fitness Club in Silver Spring located a backpack stashed underneath a wet floor sign in a lobby-area unisex restroom. The sign was positioned directly in front of the sole toilet...

Friday, October 27, 2017

Chevy Chase Man Accused of Placing Hidden Camera in Kids’ Gymnastics Center

Chevy Chase Man Accused of Placing Hidden Camera in Kids’ Gymnastics Center: Police say downloaded videos of children urinating were on his computer but were not recorded locally

school board to pay over $3M to students molested by teacher -- 12 years later

The Palm Beach County school board is about to pay four students more than $3.5-million 12 years after they claimed their teacher molested them inside Coral Sunset Elementary School.
Four girls, who were third graders at the time, said their teacher Blake Sinrod inappropriately touched them.
One of the victims told police at the time that Sinrod put his hands on her private parts and placed her hand on his...
...Now over a decade later, the school board is set to vote to settle the lawsuit for millions.
Court documents from February show the school board deployed a defense it claims to use often, known as comparative negligence.
Writing in court filings indicate the “plaintiffs were old enough to appreciate the consequences of their own actions and to be held accountable for them.” It went on to say that the “plaintiffs conducted themselves in a careless and negligent manner and such negligence was a contributing and or the sole proximate cause of their injuries and damages.”...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Smith’s CIP Recommendation Includes Two New Elementary Schools in Clarksburg & Boundary Studies in Germantown

Superintendent Jack R. Smith presented his recommended Capital Improvement Program recommendations to the Board of Education at Monday evening’s meeting. The plan includes two new elementary schools in the Clarksburg cluster, as well as boundary studies in both the Clarksburg area and in Germantown to determine boundaries once the new Seneca Valley High School is completed...


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Former MCCPTA Treasurer Charged With Embezzling Organization’s Money

Former MCCPTA Treasurer Charged With Embezzling Organization’s Money: Silver Spring resident scheduled for Nov. 17 plea hearing

Concussions in Teenagers Tied to Multiple Sclerosis Risk

From the New York Times, October 18,  2017, reporter Gretchen Reynolds. To read the full story go here.

Here’s yet another reason to protect young athletes from head trauma: A large-scale new study found that concussions in adolescents can increase the risk of later developing multiple sclerosis. The risk of multiple sclerosis, or M.S., an autoimmune nervous system disorder with an unknown cause, was especially high if there were more than one head injury.
The overall chances that a young athlete who has had one or more head injuries will develop multiple sclerosis still remain low, the study’s authors point out. But the risk is significantly higher than if a young person never experiences a serious blow to the head.
The drumbeat of worrying news about concussions and their consequences has been rising in recent years, as most of us know, especially if we have children who play contact sports. Much of this concern has centered on possible links between repeated concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a serious, degenerative brain disease that affects the ability to think.
But there have been hints that head trauma might also be linked to the development of other conditions, including multiple sclerosis.

Indictment: Md. coach abused 5 more victims after police investigation began

WASHINGTON — A Charles County coach sexually abused five children and exploited three more while he was being investigated by police for having inappropriate contact with a student, court documents reveal.
WTOP has followed the rapidly growing case against Carlos Bell, a former track coach in Charles County who was charged in July 2017 with sexual crimes against five children. An indictment in August outlined dozens of child victims and the crimes against them, including sexual abuse, solicitation and child pornography. An indictment handed up last week added charges and victims, bringing the total number to 42 children exploited by Bell over a three-year time frame...

Blair's portables address student overflow but present new problems. Addition will put Blair at 3,600 Students.

At the far end of Blair, past the SAC doors and the student courtyard, sit four brand new portables, a mass of beige and wood lazing in the afternoon sun. The portables, a result of Blair's expanding student population, are a new addition meant to help with the increasing Blazer population. 

The new Blair building, which first opened for the 1998-1999 school year, was meant to hold only 2820 students, but currently holds about 3100 students and 307 staff members. According to Blair principal Renay Johnson, Blair's student population will continue to increase each year. "I've been told that every year we get 200 more students until we get up to 3600 students, and then it may stabilize a little bit," she says. 

After Blair reached its capacity last year, MCPS assigned four new portables to Blair that would help alleviate the classroom shortage. "We got brand new portables; sometimes the county refurbishes them from different schools, but these were brand new, constructed on site and they put decking in the front," Johnson explains. 

The recent increase in high school students is a result of an influx of students from elementary and middle schools nine years ago. Student enrollment has gone from 2900 students to 3100 students, and is expected to reach 3300 students by the 2018-19 school year. To help with the second wave of new students, Blair will receive four more portables next year. 

In order to address the growing number of enrolled students, Blair has met with architects and has plans to be renovated and receive additions sometime in the near future. "We had a meeting last April with architects, and they showed us some plans of what it would look like to expand Blair so it would be 3600 students without portable classrooms...

...The time it takes for students to get to the portables has definitely been an adjustment for teachers such as math teacher John Giles who teaches in portable four during periods one, three, seven, eight and nine. He finds that a lot of his students show up late to ninth period because the shortened passing period leaves little time for students to get all the way out to the parking lot on time, sometimes from the complete opposite end of the school. "It's a hike to get here so unless they're like lined up at the door ready to bolt the second the bell rings it is kind of hard for them to get here in five minutes, so they are kind of routinely late," Giles says...

...Agbonselobho Yakubu, the building services manager, described the portables as an increase in the work that is already asked of the building services staff. "It's an extension of what we are doing already, we take on the new workload, that's what it is," Yakubu explains...


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Superintendent Releases Proposed Attendance Map for New Elementary School in Rockville

Superintendent Releases Proposed Attendance Map for New Elementary School in Rockville: Plan would increase initial capacity of building from 602 to 740 students

An elementary school under construction in Rockville could pull students from four surrounding schools and become home to a Chinese immersion program, with an attendance plan released Monday.
Superintendent Jack Smith’s recommendation relies on building Richard Montgomery Elementary School #5 with room for 740 students, about 140 more than previously planned. His proposal is a tweaked version of one presented to parents from Beall, College Gardens, Ritchie Park and Twinbrook elementary schools during a study process that began in November 2016.

Alert: Do you have questions about US Dept of Ed removal of documents regarding IDEA and RSA?

If you have questions about the guidance documents that OSERS (US Dept. of ED) removed from operation, please join this conference call today to learn more they will take note of the # of people who called in <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> TODAY: US Department of Education public call regarding rescinded IDEA (Individualities with Disabilities Education Act)and RSA (Rehabilitation Services Administration) guidance documents: Be on the call to hear what is said and to show the Department the level of interest and concern that exists about this process. They will take note of the numbers of participants. OSERS (Office of Special Education Resources Administration) Acting Assistant Secretary Kim Richey, OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) Acting Director Ruth Ryder, and RSA Acting Commissioner Carol Dobak will host a call to provide further information regarding the announcement on Friday, October 20, 2017 that 72 guidance documents relating to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective. Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Time: 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT Phone: 1-800-369-1982 Passcode: 6213421

Whitman HS: Multiple English classes undergo curriculum changes. Fiction dropped.

The English department adapted the traditional AP Language and Composition and Honors English 12 curricula this year to fit new MCPS and Whitman standards.
AP Lang teachers returned to the basics of the curriculum, focusing strictly on argumentation and rhetoric. Changes include forgoing novels previously taught and replacing them with individual excerpts, Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” and famous 20th century speeches. Classes will still read the anthology “A World of Ideas.”
“It was the hardest thing to do, but we ended up dropping most of the fiction work we do,” English teacher Matthew Bruneel said. “This sense of using speeches, using essays, using political cartoons, using images all as rhetorical exercises, those are the real ideas of the course. AP Lang is just about rhetoric, about making good arguments, understanding what a good argument is and being able to have a voice in the world.”
Honors English 12 also underwent two major changes this summer. First, the curriculum no longer includes studying a core text. Instead, students will read books of their choice in literature groups relating to themes the class is studying, such as truth and perception, navigating colliding cultures and gender roles...
...The second change for English 12 is that Whitman no longer offers an on-level version of English 12; all English 12 classes are now honors courses. The county will eliminate the on-level course next year, but Whitman implemented it this year to coincide with the new curriculum...
...“Generally the data says that kids rise,” Leslie said. “When you are in a pool swimming with someone who’s a little faster than you, you get faster...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week Ahead: MCPS Superintendent to Present Capital Budget Recommendations

Week Ahead: MCPS Superintendent to Present Capital Budget Recommendations: Plus: Community meeting on small cell tower antennas Monday; Nice fall week predicted

Open Letter to Superintendent: MCPS has yet to correct the flaws, loopholes and shoddy implementation of the policy and regulations regarding child abuse and neglect.

From: jennifer alvaro 
Date: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 10:32 AM
Subject: Child Sexual abuse in MCPS
To: "Smith, Jack" , MCPS of Education
Cc: "Harris, Darlene M" , "Napoli, Sandra L" , "Gray, Martha M" , "Turner, Derek G" , Donna Hollingshead ,

Dr. Smith and County School Board Members,  

Please be aware over the past year,  despite numerous contacts with MCPS (in the form of  personal conversations with Dr. Smith, emails to Dr. Smith and email exchanges with MCPS staff, radio appearances with MCPS staff) MCPS has yet to correct the flaws, loopholes and shoddy implementation of the policy and regulations regarding child abuse and neglect. 

Two recent examples are presented here.   First, the Personal Body Safety Lessons are still not being implemented correctly in schools. One example is last week at Cloverly elementary school the counselor ran a parent meeting to discuss the PBSL.   The counselor  stated numerous times she only had to teach one lesson to each grade.  When a parent read the information below (supplied by your staff),  the counselor continued to assert she had the discretion to change the lessons as she sees fit.

It should be obvious to those who stay informed on this issue, if there is any school in the entire county who should be embracing teaching this program correctly, it should be Cloverly.   John Vigna was only caught due to a brave child reporting her abuse after taking this program.   As you know, MCPS did an internal investigation of his abusive behaviors in 2008, another internal investigation in 2013 and must have reviewed all the information again in 2015 after Dr. Starr's December memo to review all files for suspicious / abusive behaviors.  Yet, despite all that, Vigna was left in the classroom.   

In a school where victim blaming and shaming was rampant in meetings and court, it becomes even more critical for the PBSL and parent meetings to be run with compassion and with fidelity.  

I have asked you before, and I will ask you again, will you please immediately issue a directive to all school staff with specific instructions this program must be taught at all grade levels, every year?    The program itself has serious flaws (for example: at some levels it is a "one and done" which is not best practice, and it is not taught every year to every student as you state) but never the less, you do have clear proof it is keeping children safe.

A second glaring example of the way MCPS is handling abuse is this month alone, two MCPS staff members have been arrested for sexually abusing students.   One of them worked at Carderock Springs elementary school for over a year.   A letter went home to Carderock parents stating parents should share information they have with police.   No such letter went home to parents at Pyle Middle school where former Carderock Springs students are enrolled.  Don't parents of former students deserve to have this information so they may act? 

I have been asking since 2012 for these issues to be addressed appropriately and thoroughly.   I will continue advocating for the flaws, error, loopholes and mismanagement of this to be corrected.   Children are currently being left at risk and will suffer as a result of both your action & inaction.   

I welcome the opportunity to speak to you all further about these concerns. 


Jennifer Alvaro 

From: "Hollingshead, Donna"
To: jennifer alvaro 
Cc: "Napoli, Sandra L" ; "Harris, Darlene M" ; "Gray, Martha M" ; "Turner, Derek G"

Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 5:17 PM
Subject: RE: Follow-up to your Message to Dr. Smith
Good Evening Ms. Alvaro:
This message is in response to your email to Dr. Smith, in which you requested clarification regarding our personal body safety lessons (PBSL) at Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).   As you are aware, in our effort to play an active role in preventing child abuse and neglect, MCPS staff members, in conjunction with partners, developed PBSLs to complement the Comprehensive Health Education curriculum.
As noted in the May 31, 2017 response letter to your Maryland Public Information Act request, counselors work under the direction of principals and in coordination with the Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement. They are provided with lessons that they are expected to use in their schools. However, as the December 8 memorandum titled “Action: Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Personal Body Safety Lessons for Students” indicates, counselors in Grades 6-10 have the option of where to implement the lesson.  These options include during Health classes, other classes or in small groups.  I have spoken to Mr. Turner and he regrets if he misspoke during the phone conversation with the students.
Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a clarification to your reference of “the full 3 session curriculum.”  Included for your reference below is a chart of the PBSL lessons requirements by grade for the 2016-2017 school year.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hogan then declared, “None of them [school board members] should be re-elected.”

Approximately 150 people gathered Sunday evening to thank Gov. Larry Hogan for his support of the Jewish community in an event sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
Following his remarks at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, dozens of people lined up to thank him for allocating money to area Jewish agencies, strengthening economic ties between Maryland and Israel, opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and supporting funds for scholarships to private schools.
But when a few people told Hogan they were disappointed he had moved up the starting date for public schools until after Labor Day, thereby causing County school officials to rework their calendar and possibly eliminate days off for Jewish holidays, Hogan’s demeanor changed.
“I’m outraged by the Montgomery County schools making the suggestion,” he said. “That’s nonsense.”
Hogan then declared, “None of them [school board members] should be re-elected.”
There are still 180 school days on the calendar, he said, noting it would be preferable for members of the school board to look at the nine teacher workshop days and “get rid of two of the nine days” instead of eliminating days off for religious holidays.
Following the one-hour event, Hogan said he believed he had a good relationship with the County...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Police said the counselor, Colin S. Black, 33, who has worked at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, had consensual sex with the women and then forced them to perform sex acts they did not want to do.

Counselor at Md. high school arrested on sex offense charges with women he met on Tinder
A counselor at a Maryland high school was arrested Thursday on sex offense and assault charges after allegedly forcing himself on adult women during two incidents, each involving acquaintances he met on the social media app Tinder.
Police said the counselor, Colin S. Black, 33, who has worked at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, had consensual sex with the women and then forced them to perform sex acts they did not want to do.
School Principal James G. Fernandez sent a letter to school families Thursday, informing them of the arrest and noting that the charges did not involve students or minors, or happen on school property. He said student safety remains a top priority.
“These charges are deeply troubling,” he wrote. “This type of behavior does not reflect the principles of MCPS or our community, and it will not be tolerated,” a reference to Montgomery County Public Schools.
In court papers, detectives alleged that one woman went to Black’s Rockville apartment March 24 and that the two had intercourse. Afterward, Black allegedly ignored the woman’s pleas as she repeatedly told him to stop other sex acts, according to documents filed in court.
Police said other allegations also have come to light about an alleged assault from December 2016...

Police Left Counselor in Einstein HS for 6 Months After First Complaint


Officials from Montgomery County Public Schools said they were unaware police had been conducting an investigation of a local high school guidance counselor for sexual assault allegations until the man was arrested this week. The investigation began nearly seven months ago, according to Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti.
"We just learned of the investigation and arrest yesterday," Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala said.
Colin S. Black, 33, a guidance counselor at Albert Einstein High School, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of second-degree sexual offense and second-degree assault, according to an Oct. 19 MCPD press release...

Friday, October 20, 2017

Police Blotter: Girl with Knife at Wootton High School Arrested

Police Blotter: Burglars Swipe TV from Apartment, Hit Another Car While Driving Away; Girl with Knife at Wootton High School Arrested: Crimes reported to Montgomery County and Rockville police from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

Concealed weapon at Wootton High School
Police arrested a 15-year-old girl accused of possession of a concealed weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon on school property at Thomas S. Wootton High School at 9 a.m. on Oct. 2. She allegedly had a knife.

Kirwan Commission considers large-scale tutoring plan to close proficiency gaps

Maryland has one of the highest household incomes in the U.S., but only 40% of its students met proficiency standards in reading and math on the PARCC assessments in 2017, a Johns Hopkins University researcher told the Kirwin Commission last week.
A $1.46 billion plan using one-on-one and small group and tutoring would help close the gap between top performing students and those who struggle to keep up, Robert Slavin, Johns Hopkins University Director of Research and Reform in Education said.
“Nobody wants more taxes,” Slavin said. “But it’s not to the moon. It’s not something Maryland can’t do. The proposal outlines a statewide approach intended to enable virtually all students in Maryland to reach the proficient level on PARCC.”
The proficiency standard on the standardized test Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which is used in third-through-eighth grades, is defined as a score of 750, Slavin stated. But Maryland’s average score is 740, 10 points below the average...

Work group looks to streamline Md. school construction

ANNAPOLIS — Members of a Maryland legislative task force want to streamline the school construction process by removing the oversight of one government agency.
A work group that is part of the 21st Century Schools Facilities Commission voted to recommend to the full commission eliminating a requirement that school systems submit construction or renovation plans for review by the Department of General Services. Supporters of the recommendation say that such efforts are often either redundant or increase costs by slowing down approvals needed to start projects that must be completed before schools re-open...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ponce Flores is in 11th grade at Thomas Edison High School

MS-13 Members Stabbed Man More Than 80 Times in Silver Spring Park, Prosecutor Says: One suspect charged with murder was victim’s best friend, mother told police

Einstein High School Guidance Counselor - Suspect Charged With Committing Sexual Offenses Against Two Adult Female Victims

Detectives from the Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) have arrested Colin Sime Black ,age 33, of Clemson Court in Rockville, for committing sexual offenses against two adult women.  Black is a guidance counselor at Albert Einstein High School in the Kensington area.


Oct. 23rd County Meeting on Cell Towers: County Seeks to Remove Public Notice and Public Hearings

The county says "the proposed ZTA (Zoning Text Amendment) is intended to allow providers to provide service while protecting the character of both our residential neighborhoods and commercial areas by regulating how and where these antennas can be placed, and how they should be screened or camouflaged"  however all the ZTA does is make sure the microwave antennas are camaflouged. 

The proposed zoning ordinance removes
 public notice and public hearings. 

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is requesting public input on a draft Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to revise the County’s zoning code to address deployment of small antennas on streetlights and lower-height buildings. A community meeting for this input will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Monday, October 23 at the Stella B Werner Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd Floor Hearing Room in Rockville. The meeting will be carried live on County Cable Montgomery on Verizon channel 30 or Comcast/RCN channel 6, Facebook and YouTube.

Because wireless technology is evolving, Montgomery County has recently received an unprecedented number of applications to deploy small cell antennas in residential neighborhoods as well as commercial areas around the County. Federal law is clear that Montgomery County cannot pass zoning laws that would have the effect of prohibiting service throughout the County. Therefore, the proposed ZTA is intended to allow providers to provide service while protecting the character of both our residential neighborhoods and commercial areas by regulating how and where these antennas can be placed, and how they should be screened or camouflaged.

The ZTA, an interactive map, and links to submit public comments can be found at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/antennaZTA.
 - View this from Paperless Airplane blog - 

Community Meeting Information 

Monday, October 23, 2017 Stella B Werner Council Office Building 100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd Floor Hearing Room Rockville, MD 20850 7pm – 9pm 

Please be aware of the following: The Council Office Building has new security measures in place for your safety. All visitors will pass through a metal detector and hand-held items including but not limited to bags, briefcases, cell phones, containers, laptop computers, and purses, will pass through an X-ray machine. Individuals who are unable to go through a metal detector will be screened by security personnel using a hand-held electronic wand. If you have health issues that prevent you from passing through a metal detector or coming in close contact with an X-ray machine, please alert security personnel. During public hearings and meetings attended by many visitors, you may experience a line to enter the building, so please plan accordingly. Parking Information Council Office Building Garage Entrances: E. Jefferson St & Monroe St. - Rates: $1 first hour; $2.50 per hour after - Hours requiring payment: Mon – Fri 8 am - 6 pm Jury Lot Entrance: Monroe St. - No restrictions after 930 am

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


A community meeting has been set for Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett to receive public comments on small antennas on streetlights and lower-height buildings.
The meeting will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, in the Third Floor Hearing Rom at the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville.
The meeting will focus on a proposed zoning text amendment that would revise the county zoning code to address small cell antennas and microtowers....

They blamed the Gaithersburg teen for the death of their clique’s leader,

MS-13 members threatened to cut off teen’s fingers and burn her, prosecutors say. Then she was killed.
One MS-13 member clicked a cigar cutter open and closed with a metallic ring, while another told the 15-year-old they would cut her fingers off, the prosecutor said. Another gang member asked where the gasoline was so they could burn the girl up.
Ten members and associates of MS-13 lured Damaris A. Reyes Rivas to a Springfield park in January because they wanted revenge. They blamed the Gaithersburg teen for the death of their clique’s leader, Christian Sosa Rivas, whose body had been dumped in the Potomac about a week earlier.
Venus Romero Iraheta, 17, who was Sosa Rivas’s girlfriend, told Damaris her fate would be the same.
“Venus told her she was going to die that day as Christian did — in the cold,” Fairfax County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Katherine Stott said in a Fairfax County courtroom Tuesday...
...Damaris’s killers were remorseless, capturing her final minutes in gruesome cellphone videos...
...There was no mention of MS-13 on Thursday, but fear of the gang, known in El Salvador as Mara Salvatrucha, was everywhere. At least six Gaithersburg police cars were positioned around the St. Rose of Lima church. Plainclothes police attended the funeral — their guns bulging beneath suit jackets — and uniformed officers watched over the burial from a distance.
Perhaps because of the fear of violence, the pews were mostly empty. About 50 people attended, primarily family members plus a few of Damaris’s friends and teachers from Watkins Mill High School...


Police arrested two Montgomery County Public Schools staff members last week in separate incidents involving child sex abuse charges. 
Police charged Cory Boatman, 27, a teacher and an assistant football coach at Montgomery Blair High School, Oct. 6 with sexual abuse of a minor for an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student...

‘Excessive force’: Judge rules in favor of children who were handcuffed at school

A Kentucky sheriff’s deputy who handcuffed an 8-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl at school violated the children’s constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled, labeling the move “excessive force” and an unnecessary reaction to their misbehavior.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on the children’s behalf, said last week’s ruling vindicates its position that schools should not use police officers to deal with misbehaving students, particularly children with disabilities. The children who were handcuffed had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition that made it difficult for them to focus and follow instructions.
“This judge drew a line in the sand and said this conduct is unconstitutional, and we think that this is helpful in our efforts to advocate against the criminalization of children,” said Claudia Center, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU. “It’s a terrible policy from our view, particularly in elementary schools.”...