Monday, December 31, 2018

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Community Meeting Sat Jan 19 10am - noon

Wondering how changes to allow more 'Accessory Dwelling Units' (which can also be an unattached second house on a lot, added to a yard) will affect street parking availability, school crowding and other issues?

Councilmember Hans Riemer (At-large) is holding a Community Policy Forum on Jan 19th at the County Council Building, 100 Monroe Street, Rockville in the council hearing room, 10am to noon.

Council Office Building - 3rd Floor Hearing Room
100 Maryland Ave

To RSVP go here.

Below is text from an email sent out by Councilmember Riemer:

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Picture an apartment over a garage, or a basement apartment ("English basement"), or a "tiny house" on a side lot. An Accessory Dwelling Unit has a full kitchen and a bathroom and a separate entrance. It is a second unit in a house or on a lot.

Why are ADU's [sic] beneficial?
ADU's [sic] are an important housing solution because they provide
  • Housing for children or grandchildren to live separately but close by.
  • Housing for parents or grandparents to live separately but close by.
  • Additional income for retirees or young families to make housing more affordable.
  • More affordable housing in areas of the County that have become prohibitively expensive.

Why do we need to change the rules for ADU's? [sic]
Montgomery County's current zoning code views ADU's [sic] more as a nuisance to be prevented than a beneficial solution to be encouraged. ADU's [sic] are not allowed unless an expensive driveway is built, or if there is another ADU down the block, or if the house is newly constructed. We need to look at ADU's [sic] as desirable housing and align our policies to support them.

San Diego School District Hacked, Thousands of Employees and Students Possibly Affected

The personal information of San Diego Unified students, former students, and employees may have been compromised in a data breach that officials believe happened in January, the school district announced Friday.
The breach could affect as many as 500,000 students who attended San Diego Unified schools as far back as the 2008-2009 school year, officials said.
The breach may have affected personally identifiable student and staff information such as addresses and dates of birth, as well as discipline, health, scheduling, and grade information, according to an email sent to school families on Friday. Social Security numbers were also affected.
About 50 staff members’ accounts are known to have been compromised and have been reset, according to the district...

Monday, December 24, 2018

Anne Arundel school board halts Shady Side cellphone tower

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted 6-3 last week to halt the proposed cellphone tower project at Shady Side Elementary School...

...“What I still fail to understand is why we, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, is in the cell tower business,” Schallheim said. “I don’t understand how it supports our mission to elevate all students, eliminate all gaps. Other jurisdictions have banned cell towers from school grounds.”
District 33 board member Eric Grannon has been sympathetic to cell tower opponents, said Mike Shay, vice president of South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development. Grannon introduced the Wednesday motion to pause the project that won over the majority of the board...

Friday, December 21, 2018

Breaking: "Dangerous" Artificial Turf Issue Closes Richard Montgomery High School Field

The Parents' Coalition has learned that the brand new Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf field was closed in November due to "dangerous-turf" issues.  
The Richard Montgomery High School (RMHS) replacement artificial turf field opened on August 24, 2018, and by the end of November the field was closed for "dangerous-turf" issues.  For those following the many issues surrounding the replacement of this plastic field the "dangerous-turf" issues come as no surprise.

To date, we have documented the following issues surrounding the replacement of the RMHS artificial turf field:

If the RMHS artificial turf replacement field is state of the art and would not harm students, why was the field closed in November, three months after installation? 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Damascus HS holds meeting for JV football players, parents to discuss locker room sex assault case

- Nearly two months after an alleged locker room sexual assault that led to five Damascus High School junior varsity football players to be charged, a meeting was held between school administrators, members of the junior varsity team and their parents at the school Tuesday night.
Investigators say the sexual assault happened at around 2:30 p.m. on Halloween inside a school locker room just before football practice. The alleged victim told police the lights were turned off and he was held down and...

E-Mail from MCPS Re: Damascus High School

"...voter dissatisfaction is why the citizens of Burlington, Vt., repealed ranked-choice voting in 2010"

Should Montgomery County voters get to rank their second-choice candidates?
...But researchers studying the system in San Francisco, where ranked-choice voting has existed for more than 20 years, and in Maine, which has used ranked-choice voting for some local contests since 2010 and tried it for a congressional race for the first time this year, say the benefits of ranked-choice voting are limited.
“Changing the rules isn’t going to necessarily change the outcomes,” said Jason McDaniel, a political science professor at San Francisco State University. “People should be aware of the limits and weigh those with the possible negative consequences.”
Ohio State University professor Vladimir Kogan studied four races in which the system was used, including the 2010 Oakland, Calif., mayoral race. He found that candidates struggled to win majorities and that huge numbers of ballots had to be discarded in the redistribution process.
In a few other races, the first-place finisher won a plurality of votes and was defeated because the next runner-up collected more votes in the runoff rounds, causing voters to question the election’s legitimacy, experts said.
In Maine, Republican congressional candidate Bruce Poliquin won the popular vote but lost to Democrat Jared Golden after ­second-choice votes were counted.
Poliquin challenged the voting rules in court as unconstitutional, but the judge tossed the case. Poliquin is appealing.
University of Maryland professor James Gimpel, who testified on Poliquin’s behalf, said voter dissatisfaction is why the citizens of Burlington, Vt., repealed ranked-choice voting in 2010.
“They wound up with a result where the candidate with the most first-choice votes didn’t win,” he said. “They felt like the wrong person had won.”..

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ranked Voting: Voters are not required to select multiple options, so ballots with only one candidate are simply removed if that selection falls out of the running.

...There’s no indication that it actually does [benefit voters],” Eberly said. “Advocates for it see it as this beautiful cure-all, that people wouldn’t waste their vote, they would feel more comfortable voting for third parties, there would never be a plurality winner. Ranked choice voting comes with its own set of flaws that our plurality system has.”..

State legislature to consider proposal that could give Montgomery County new ranking system for local races

Detectives Investigate Report of Inappropriate Touching of Child at Rockville Memorial Library

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department-Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) are investigating the report of a man inappropriately touching a five-year-old girl at the Rockville Memorial Library.
The incident occurred at the Rockville Memorial Library located at 21 Maryland Avenue on Saturday, December 15, at approximately 6:00 p.m.  The suspect, described as a white male with a possible thin goatee and a medium build, approached the child in the children’s section of the library, pulled down the girl’s pants, and touched her inappropriately.  The child screamed and went and told her parents, who then called police.
Investigators reviewed library video surveillance and observed a possible suspect lingering in and around the children’s section for approximately thirty minutes before this incident occurred.
Anyone who was in the library on the date this incident occurred and observed any part of this incident or believes he/she may have information pertinent to this investigation is asked to call detectives at 240-773-5448.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rockville City Council studying options that would not stifle development but could crowd school

In an emerging debate over economic growth and school crowding, Rockville City Council members seem split on a proposal that would allow hundreds of additional students at Richard Montgomery High School.
New enrollment-growth projections for the school could trigger a moratorium on residential building and Rockville City Council member Mark Pierzchala has suggested increasing a cap so development could advance.
At a Monday night public meeting, the idea drew concerns...

Monday, December 17, 2018

Under director of schools Dr. Shawn Joseph, the lawsuit says Lindsey began to encounter what it calls "a policy and practice ... of selective enforcement of Metro rules and protection of certain individuals."...One of those investigations involved former Metro Schools administrator Mo Carassco, a longtime friend of Joseph.

New lawsuit filed in MNPS sexual harassment scandal

...Under director of schools Dr. Shawn Joseph, the lawsuit says Lindsey began to encounter what it calls "a policy and practice ... of selective enforcement of Metro rules and protection of certain individuals."
"There appeared to be a pattern, not just a pattern, but a practice of improper investigations -- investigations that were improperly influenced presumably because of certain persons who were favored in one way or another," Blackburn said.
One of those investigations involved former Metro Schools administrator Mo Carassco, a longtime friend of Joseph.
The lawsuit claims that the number two person in the HR department, Sharon Pertiller, "threatened" Lindsey when a victim came forward with a formal complaint against Carassco.
"She told Mr. Lindsay that the director of schools, Mr. Joseph, was aware of this and that he expected it to 'turn out right' and there would be difficulties for him if it didn't turn out right," Blackburn said.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has previously reported that school board member Amy Frogge had informed Joseph a few months before that there was an unnamed woman who had come to her with a complaint of being sexually harassed by Carassco.
Instead of ordering an HR investigation, Joseph went to Carassco to let him know about Frogge's allegation.
The lawsuit claims that when the victim, Vanessa Garcia, finally made an official complaint, Joseph ordered HR staff to keep the investigation quiet...

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Former BOE member Jill Ortman-Fouse exposes clueless staffer who thinks that putting data online can allow people to change the data

Posted on Facebook by Jill Ortman-Fouse

I think you’d be surprised at how outdated the systems are and how little people there know about how things are done in other places. 

I pleaded to one of the staffers, who has a law degree from a prestigious university but has been working with MCPS a very long time —like many, many of the people in central office, to help me advocate to get our data online. She responded that then people could change the data. She seriously didn’t understand how it worked. In her position I couldn’t imagine that she hadn’t looked at databases on-line and done reports to inform her decision-making. 

Look, if I told you all the processes that I found out about that are still done on paper instead of submitted on-line, you would be shocked. This is one of the first thinks [sic] Dr. Smith picked up on when he came to Carver. The explanation that was given was we invest as much money and focus as possible on classrooms, so systems got left behind.

Former BOE member Jill Ortman-Fouse exposes extremely dysfunctional staff

Posted on Facebook by Jill Ortman-Fouse

Do you have any idea how many processes there are? From changing bus routes for road work to turning in hours for home teaching staff—both done on paper. What is your obsession with names? There are around 800 people in central office. Many have been working there decades. They are unfamiliar with the processes used by outside institutions including other school systems. Humans fear change. 
You don’t change processes by bullying. It takes time and energy. You commit to the work to make it happen. You can’t pass a resolution if you don’t have the votes. You don’t get the votes if staff don’t trust your idea and aren’t supportive to your colleagues. I started to write a response to your other question I can’t find now, but my phone died. 
There are two ways to get questions answered. One, board members ask follow-up questions at the board table, if staff don’t answer it at the table, board staff record it and eventually you get a staff response. Two, board members submit questions to the chief of staff of the board office, that person “bucks the question”to the appropriate department. You may or may not get an answer eventually to your question as it was asked. 
I recommended that we have a tracking system like other school systems use where all board members questions are openly recorded so that all board members can see what questions their colleagues are asking, and ensure that those questions were answered. Our chief of staff did not implement that process while he was serving our office as they had other processes I guess he preferred. 
Also, as I have posted here previously, I requested for years that all of those answers to board questions be posted online so constituents could see the answers. Apparently it was a very laborious process for staff to figure out how to do that. There were questions around keeping the documents secure so that people could not manipulate them (which I couldn’t understand), And I also requested that they be searchable so constituents would not have to know the title of the response to be able to find it. Apparently this was another big challenge. 
Some of the staff answers were quite substantive and detailed to commonly asked questions. I believe that constituents would benefit by seeing these comprehensive answers. Some answers opened up the doors to more questions, and I thought constituents should be able to see those responses as well. They were able to post all the memos back to June of this year. But there are likely hundreds more responses that would give excellent historical context to a lot of issues if they were able to post them. I hope that happens eventually.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Councilmember Riemer's austerity in 2018

One bedroom, deluxe suite, two nights.  $900.35 of taxpayer money.

Irvine Students Launch Historic Second Cube Satellite Into Space!

Irvine students successfully launched a second cube satellite, Irvine02, into space aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket today, December 3, 2018, at 10:31 a.m. PST from Vandenberg Air Force Base.  This historic launch comes on the heels of Irvine students’ first launch of Irvine01 on November 11. 

This is the first-time ever that students from the same school district have launched two cube satellites in one year and it is the largest satellite ridesharing mission ever launched from the U.S. with 64 satellites from 34 organizations representing 17 countries.  Additionally, it is the first time SpaceX has attempted to send one of its rocket boosters into space for a third time.

Irvine02 is a more advanced twin version of Irvine01, containing electric thrusters and a high power laser for rapid transmission of data down to the Earth ground station. Once in lower Earth orbit, the cube satellite will take photos of stars and other celestial objects.

To watch a playback of this morning’s launch, including pre-launch programming, visit  To watch just the launch, click here.

To read the whole story of how students at the Irvine Unified School District built these satellites and sent them to space, go here.

Also, as a reminder, NASA has its headquarters right here in Maryland, in Greenbelt. Here's a map showing the distance from Montgomery County to NASA headquarters, in case anyone's interested.

Bus driver mistakenly takes Rockville student with special needs to Baltimore

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. -- Montgomery Co. officials say a student with special needs from Montgomery Co. public schools ended up in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon after a major mishap.
According to police, the Rockville High School student boarded his bus between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to be dropped off at his home in Silver Spring. However, for unknown reasons, the student never got off at his stop and the bus driver and bus aides continued their normal route to Baltimore where it usually drops off another student...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It’s a Briefcase! It’s a Pizza Box! No, It’s a Mini Satellite

From the New York times. Full story here. Reporter William J. Broad.

Orbiting instruments are now so small they can be launched by the dozens, and even high school students can build them.

High school students and faculty from Irvine, Calif., conduct tests that simulate the harsh conditions of space. Their latest tiny satellite, IRVINE02, went into orbit on Dec. 3.CreditCreditKain Sosa

Recently, officials in California announced that the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history, had been fully contained. The achievement was made possible through the hard work of firefighters on the ground, with some help from above: a swarm of tiny, orbiting satellites that represent the next phase of the space age.
The satellites are operated by Planet Labs, a company in San Francisco that runs the world’s largest fleet of Earth-observing satellites. Its craft number around 140. All of them carry cameras and telescopes. In size, most rival a loaf of bread.


On Monday Dec. 3, a SpaceX rocket in California sent aloft 64 satellites made by Planet Labs, and a total of 17 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Finland, Italy, Jordan, Poland, South Korea and Thailand. The rocket also carried IRVINE02, the second mini-satellite built by students of the Irvine school district.

This is how @MCPS 6-yr enrollment forecasts performed recently: all ~200 schools.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ABC7 EXCLUSIVE: Security guard injured during fight at Clarksburg High School. Police say guard suffered "deep scratches" to his scalp.

How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location

In the New York Times, story by reporters Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Natasha Singer. Full story here, with additional directions. Accompanying article here.

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

Hundreds of apps can follow your movements and share the details with advertisers, retailers and even hedge funds. Here’s how to limit the snooping.

Which apps gather and share location?
There isn’t a definitive list. Our tests identified instances of certain apps collecting precise location data and passing it to other companies in the moment. But apps can also gather and save the data, and not sell it until later — something tests wouldn’t catch. Your best bet is to check your device to see which apps have permission to get your location in the first place.
The apps most popular among data companies are those that offer services keyed to people’s whereabouts — including weather, transit, travel, shopping deals and dating — because users are more likely to enable location services on them.
How do I stop location tracking on iOS?
Some apps have internal settings where you can indicate that you don’t want your location used for targeted advertising or other purposes. But the easiest method is to go through your device’s main privacy menu.
In the device’s privacy settings, apps provide brief explanations of how they will use location data. Do not rely on these descriptions to tell you whether the location data will be shared or sold. The Times found that many of these descriptions are incomplete and often don’t mention that the data will be shared.
If you want to disable location tracking entirely, toggle the “Location Services" setting to off. With location services switched off entirely, you may not be able to use certain services, such as finding yourself on a map.
If you have apps you no longer use, you may want to delete them from your device.
How do I stop it on Android?
These instructions are for recent Android phones; Google provides more instructions here.
Google, a prominent collector of location data, lets users delete a segment of that information called their Location History. To do that, go to this page, then hit the Delete Location History button. Click it again when prompted. You can delete another segment of location data associated with your Google account by logging in and going to My Activity. Then click on Activity Controls and turn off Web & App Activity.

Monday, December 10, 2018

After Election, Report on Embezzlement of County Funds Finally Released. It was just a "misapproriation."

Later that same day, the Consultant/BHI CEO e-mails the DED COO “Houston…We have a problem!” Page 93. 


" ... top-level DED management oversight was extremely weak." Page i


"Former DED Directors used a 2006 agreement with a public entity to escape oversight by County government and create a standing reserve fund for use by the DED Director. The fund's availability increased the risk of improper financial transactions. Essential segregation of duties was absent within DED, and top-level DED management oversight was extremely weak. Over an eleven year period, the DED COO took advantage of control weaknesses to divert at least $7.2 million from the County's Incubator Program without apparent detection or impact on program operations. In implementing the BioScience initiative, DED management used public entities to fund the development and operations of a BioHealth intermediary without executing a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Contract. " Page 5

The IG Report:

The report states on Page 5: 
Four individuals served in the position of Director of the Department of Economic Development between 1995 and 2016:
DED Director 1 served from 1995 until 2006 during the creation of the Incubator Program2 , and subsequently served as Maryland Secretary of Business & Economic Development, as a Senior and Executive Vice President with different banks, and currently with Scheer Partners Management, Inc. (Scheer), a commercial office real estate firm and a sub-contractor to DED with whom he has served as a Senior Vice President since 2011. Former DED Director 1 was replaced as department director during the government transition that followed the election of County Executive Isiah Leggett.  [That would appear to be Henry Bernstein
DED Director 2 succeeded DED Director 1, and served until 2009,
• The Former DED Director served between 2009 and 2015,
[That would appear to be Steve Silverman
• A person we will refer to as the Former Acting DED Director, who had served previously as the Director of the Rockville Economic Development Inc. (REDI) and as the former Deputy Director of DED, served as Acting DED Director from January 2015 until the DED was dissolved and replaced in 2016 by a non-profit, public-private partnership, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) created with the recommendation of the County Executive and vote of the Council.
[ That would appear to be Sally Sternbach ]

References to "former DED Director" in IG Report:

Page 8:
In a voluntary interview during August 2018, the Former DED Director described his management of DED as “Hands Off”. Other evidence we located indicates that the Former DED Director was not engaged in daily DED operations. In a June 2009 e-mail, the DED managers were advised to go through the Former DED Director’s calendar and send him “a BRIEF e-mail updating him on any issue(s) that may be discussed during his meetings for that week.” The purpose of the “bulleted” e-mails was to be sure that the Former DED Director was aware of what the staff reported they were doing in a concise fashion. This change followed an earlier message in which the DED COO had been directed to reduce the Director's weekly meeting with the department managers from one hour to one half-hour. Politically appointed Directors are often short-tenured, focused on executing the policy objectives of an administration, and may not be either willing or qualified to manage career staff in a governmental organization...

Page 9:
The Former DED Director acknowledged that he had provided his password to the DED COO and possibly to other staff members, although he could not specifically remember with which other staff members he might have shared his password. Access to the shared password would have given the DED COO the ability to log on to the County information technology system as the Former DED Director and conduct transactions, such as sending e-mails, under the Former DED Director’s name.

Page 14
During his tenure, the Former DED Director was in a position to detect the existence of the shell company.

Page 15
It is somewhat surprising that the Former DED Director never reviewed financial statements of the incubator programs since, as he told us, he had to become personally involved in managing issues related to licensees whose past due rent payments were putting a financial strain on the program.

Groundbreaking study examines effects of screen time on kids

If you have kids and wonder if all that time they spend on their smartphones endlessly scrolling, snapping and texting is affecting their brains, you might want to put down your own phone and pay attention. The federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, has launched the most ambitious study of adolescent brain development ever attempted. In part, scientists are trying to understand what no one currently does: how all that screen time impacts the physical structure of your kids' brains, as well as their emotional development and mental health.
At 21 sites across the country scientists have begun interviewing nine and ten-year-olds and scanning their brains. They'll follow more than 11,000 kids for a decade, and spend $300 million doing it. Dr. Gaya Dowling of the National Institutes of Health gave us a glimpse of what they've learned so far...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Once again, Damascus HS students take and post on Internet humiliating picture of a classmate.

Board of Education Allows MCPS Staff to Block Parents on Social Media. Then Administrators use Social Media to Send Out School Notices?

When your superintendent makes more than the governor: public education's priority problem

The American education lobby is caught in a pickle.
On one hand, advocates and influencers are trying to convince people that public education is chronically underfunded, even going so far as to claim that schools are “starving.”
On the other hand, watchdogs have documented countless examples of waste and misuse of funds—everything from the McKinney school district’s $70 million high school football stadium to the La Joya school district’s $20 million water park to the Brownsville school district’s 65-foot, state-of-the-art digital scoreboard that is “the largest of its kind in Texas.
Other examples exist too, but perhaps the most instructive involves superintendent pay packages. After all, leadership starts at the top...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Did Councilmember Evan Glass really take the bus to work?

Newly installed county councilmember Evan Glass did today what the other council members are always telling constituents to do, but never do themselves.

Glass actually rode a bus (actually two buses each way) from his home in Silver Spring to his office in Rockville.   He also survived crossing US 29.  And he anticipates taking the bus to work whenever practical.  

(Video courtesy of Montgomery County Council)

Springbrook High School Student Arrested and Charged with Possession of Unloaded Handgun on School Property

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit have charged 17-year-old Solomon Henderson of Silver Spring as an adult with offenses related to the possession of an unloaded handgun on school property.
Today shortly after 10:30 a.m., administrative staff and security personnel for Springbrook High School, located at 201 Valley Brook Drive in Silver Spring, received information that Henderson was in possession of a handgun.  The School Resource Officer (SRO) was notified.  An unloaded .40 caliber handgun and an empty magazine were located in Henderson’s gym bag.
Henderson was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old, and possession of a firearm on school property.  Bond information is not available.
At this time, detectives have not identified any type of threat or intention by Henderson to harm other students or staff.
Investigation has determined that the handgun was legally purchased and is registered to Henderson’s father.
Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the Firearms Investigations Unit at 240-773-6400.

New statewide rating system reveals remarkable differences in MCPS schools

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Councilmember Hans Riemer's plans for housing "the next generation"

Where Councilmember Hans Riemer wants "the next generation" to live (choose a room).

Where Councilmember Hans Riemer lives. 
4 beds, 2 baths, 2631 sq. ft + 500 sq. ft. finished basement on over 1/3 acre.
  Zillow estimated value $956,338
(He owns another house as an investment.)

Miller Announces Senate Committee Assignments

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) on Friday announced the full committee lineup for his chamber, and other key assignments, for the upcoming General Assembly session.

Miller picked committee chairmen and vice chairmen earlier this year.

Miller has yet to announce who will be Senate president pro tem or majority leader in the coming term. The 47-member chamber will have 18 new senators in January.

“Committee compositions are determined with an intent to balance a variety of issues including geography, race, gender, knowledge areas, and other considerations,” Miller wrote in a letter to his colleagues Friday. “I am proud that our Senate leadership reflects the diversity of our state, with women composing half of our standing committee chairs, and with people of color representing one-third of our Senate committee leadership.”

What follows is a look at the four standing committees. An asterisk denotes a new member of the committee.

Senate Budget &Taxation Committee

Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery), Chair

Sen. William C. Ferguson IV (D-Baltimore City), Vice Chair

Sen. Addie Eckardt (R-Middle Shore)

Senator George C. Edwards (R-Garrett)

Sen.-elect Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel)*

Sen.-elect Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George’s)*

Sen. Guy J. Guzzone (D-Howard)

Sen.-elect Cory V. McCray (D-Baltimore City)*

Sen. Douglas J. J. Peters (D-Prince George’s)

Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s)*

Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County)*

Sen. Andrew Serafini (R-Washington)

Sen. Craig Zucker (D-Montgomery)*

Senate Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee

Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), Chair

Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D-Baltimore County), Vice-Chair

Sen.-elect Jack Bailey (R-St. Mary’s)*

Sen.-elect Mary Beth Carozza (R-Lower Shore)*

Sen.-elect Arthur Ellis (D-Charles)*

Sen.-elect Jason C. Gallion (R-Harford)*

Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan (D-Montgomery)

Sen.-elect Clarence K. Lam (D-Howard)*

Sen.-elect Obie Patterson (D-Prince George’s)*

Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel)

Sen. Ronald N. Young (D-Frederick)

Senate Finance Committee

Sen. Delores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County), Chair*

Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery), Vice-Chair

Sen.-elect Malcolm Augustine (D-Prince George’s)*

Sen.-elect Pamela G. Beidle (D-Anne Arundel)*

Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George’s)

Sen.-elect Antonio L. Hayes (D-Baltimore City)*

Sen. Stephen S. Hershey Jr. (R-Upper Shore)

Sen. J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County)

Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County)

Sen.-elect Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery)*

Sen. Edward R. Reilly (R-Anne Arundel)

Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee

Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), Chair

Sen. William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery), Vice-Chair

Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City)*

Sen. Robert G. Cassilly (R-Harford)

Sen.-elect Katie Fry Hester (D-Howard)*

Sen. Michael J. Hough (R-Frederick)

Sen. Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery)

Sen. Justin D. Ready (R-Carroll)

Sen.-elect Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery)*

Sen.-elect Mary L. Washington (D-Baltimore City)*

Sen.-elect Christopher West (R-Baltimore County)*

Here are announced assignments to other committees:


Monday, December 3, 2018

Rockville Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges - Man posed as modeling agent on chat applications

A Rockville man pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges last week after posing as a modeling agent and obtaining sexually explicit images through internet-based chat applications.
Stephen McGrath, 44, is charged with coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity in order to produce child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.
McGrath faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for the enticement charge and a maximum of 10 years in prison for the possession charge. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm set McGrath’s sentencing hearing for March 29...

Principal: Long-term sub taped second-grade student to chair

PASADENA — A Maryland substitute teacher who a principal says taped a second-grade student to a chair has been suspended.
News outlets cite a letter this week from Lake Shore Elementary School Principal Julie Little-McVearry that says the long-term substitute told the student she would tape him to his chair if he didn’t return to his seat. The principal says the student “found the remark funny” and the teacher proceeded with the taping.
Little-McVearry says she learned of the incident from a parent, and contacted human resources. The teacher won’t be placed in an Anne Arundel County school until the matter is resolved, and the school is looking for another long-term substitute for the class.
Police have been notified...

Grand Jury Indicts Four Damascus High Students in Reported Rape Case

The four Damascus High School students facing rape charges for allegedly assaulting four fellow junior varsity football players have been indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury.
Fifteen-year-olds Jean Abedi, Kristian Lee, Will Smith and Caleb Thorpe were each indicted Thursday night in Montgomery County Circuit Court on eight counts, including one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted first-degree rape and four counts of conspiracy to commit rape, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office .
Abedi, Lee and Smith were initially charged with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of attempted first-degree rape and two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape. Thorpe was initially charged with four counts of first-degree rape and four counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape...

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Local Organizations Receive State Grants To Improve Child Abuse Investigations

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention on Monday awarded more than $250,000 in grants to 21 organizations across the state, including two in Montgomery County.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Montgomery County received $10,000, and the Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County Maryland Inc. received $3,088 in funding intended to improve the investigation, prosecution and judicial handling of child abuse and neglect cases, particularly child sexual abuse and exploitation cases, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention...