Thursday, January 31, 2019

Friday Feb. 1st: County Council to Meet Off Camera #Retreat

Super Size Me!

Work required at the gigantic mega-school on Tilden Lane and Marcliff, Tilden Middle School and Rock Terrace. MCPS and the Board of Education can't build 'em big enough! No neighborhood schools for you!

Exclusive: The Voices of the Victims of Sexual Abuse by MCPS Teachers, Coaches and Staff. The John Vigna Sentencing. "And the children that came in here and testified and disclosed to child services and the police had to shoulder past adults, 40 people in the courtroom, outside the courtroom, saying things, comments, pushing through to come in and tell everyone about what Mr. Vigna did to them." @mcps @mocoboe

This is the second in the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD series of posts that give the victims of sexual abuse by MCPS teachers, coaches and staff a voice.  
These courageous children and adults have spoken up in public courtrooms about the crimes committed against them while they were students in Montgomery County Public Schools.  Often the courtrooms are empty and these statements are not covered by the press.  No one from the Montgomery County Board of Education ever attends these sentencing hearings.  To date, no past or present Board of Education member has ever formally spoken up in support of these victims.  
Below is the statement from the Montgomery County State's Attorney presened at the sentencing of MCPS teacher John Vigna (Cloverly Elementary School).  Note that in this case many MCPS administrators knew about the suspected sexual abuse of students by this teacher, but none of them reported these documented reports to the police or Child Protective Services. It took a child to speak up and put an end to the decades of sexual abuse by this MCPS teacher. 

August 4, 2017 
2:54 PM
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Montgomery County State's Attorney Sentencing Remarks 

...our comments will be brief. Because nothing could explain the devastation that this defendant has caused quite like the parents of these children and what they have endured at the hands of this defendant.

We've heard a lot about Mr. Vigna from the sentencing memorandum that the defense has submitted with numerous statements from the members of this community.  It is clear that what he did has divided this community.  He has supporters here and they were present here for the trial. And they have had the opportunity to observe the evidence and understand some things.

But it's no surprise to the State or to the Court or to many of us who are well informed about how sexual abuse occurs that Mr. Vigna is very popular. That maybe 97% of the people he has interacted with would think that he was awesome, the best person they could possibly think of,  the most trustworthy, the most endearing, all of those things.

Because those of us who know about sexual abuse know that is the person most likely to be the abuser.  If he looks like the bogeyman you are not going to leave your child with him every single day.  He has to be trustworthy.   So that is what Mr. Vigna really has mastered is the manipulation, is the grooming, and it's not just of these victims, it's not just of the children.  It was a grooming of the parents, of the PTA, of staff and of this community over years and years and years.  The Mr. Vigna, the most popular teacher, everybody wanted to be in his class is not surprisingbecause that is how he was able to access his victims and that's what he was using.  He uses his trust to exploit these children. And that's what he did to 4 victims in the course of 15 years.

And the harm that he has done to them can not be undone.  It can not be made right and that is why justice requires sentencing him to the top of the guidelines.  And I think the families have explained that better than we ever could.

What we hope in going forward and having him incarerated to the maximum possible penalty allowed by the guidelines is that will remove him from the community. We will protect this community and other victims from what Mr. Vigna does and what Mr. Vigna did.

And the children that came in here and testified and disclosed to child services and the police had to shoulder past adults, 40 people in the courtroom, outside the courtroom, saying things, comments, pushing through to come in and tell everyone about what Mr. Vigna did to them.  And they weren't just brave in those moments.  But they were brave because they were willing to do all that they had to do to make sure this didn't happen to someone else.  And that was the sole motivator. 

And despite all of that this community has not come together and shown any support for these victims or for their families.  But we hope that in imposing the sentence today the community will be able to go forward and upon some reflection of their conduct here in the courtroom, with what they have observed, with what they have participated in, that there will be some understanding of being able to support these families and these children and the victims and this community.

Because we can't move forward and truly protect this community, not just by removing this defendant, but by understanding how crimes like this happen and how children are being victimized.
Because it is concerning that in looking back and seeing all of the behaviors that may have been present that the community still doesn't recognize the power of this manipulation.
Hopefully one day that will come forward.

The statistics from the Department of Justice are that 1 in 4 girls under the age of 14 will be sexually abused.  And that 90% of them are abused by someone who is a family member or someone who is very acquainted with them.  And that's something that I assumed most people were aware of.  And it is concerning to us that the treatment of these victims and the communities response to these crimes has been what it has been. 

But we hope that this will render some closure to the victims families, to this community and that we'll move more informed into the future with more support for the victims.

So we are asking the court to impose the executed sentence at the top of the guidelines of 52 1/2 years of executed incarceration.  Allowing the remainder to be suspended if and when he is released.  The maximun period of supervised probation.  That he be required to register for life as a sex offender.  And that if, and when, he is surredered for parole and probation that he attend an ___ certified therapist for sex offense therapy with polygraphs and a ________ as well.

We would like to just in closing cite to some of the statements that the children submitted to the Court.  Which I know the Court has read.

[Victim #1]
I am embarassed and I am ashamed.  I am in my room and I don't want to talk to anyone.  Most of my school friends I don't talk to anymore.  I am embarassed.
She doesn't trust people at school and she can't focus on school.
Her dreams aren't good and she can't get comfortable.
How does she feel about the person who did this to you?
I don't understand why.  And he acts like he did nothing wrong.  But he did.  Why does this happen?   He needs to know that what he did was wrong.  He needs to go away and never do it again. 
[Victim #2]
I am also having thoughts about dying.  Like I just don't want to be here anymore.
Now I am feeling more sad because of what Mr. Vigna did to me. Somedays I wake up feeling sad and most days I feel sad during the day.
I cry alot. I am alone in my room because I want to be alone.  And I feel sad and mad.  And I get mad at my family because I am sad.
What makes me feel this way is because of what Mr. Vigna did and going to court.
I had to start going to therapy.

Nothing can be more powerful that those statements from these children, your honor.  Knowing that these small children are going through all of this, and have lost their innocence and their trust in adults and their confidence in themselves, their desire to go to school, and some of them are questioning even their desire just to survive at this point is a testament to how this man systematically, psychologically, broke these children down in order to sexually abuse them in the manner in which he did.

Given that it was 4 victims, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders over the course of 15 years we would ask for the court to impose that maximum sentence under the guidelines.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Exclusive: The Voices of the Victims of Sexual Abuse by MCPS Teachers, Coaches and Staff. The Michael Riley Sentencing.

"What he did to me was a betrayal of our school system, where children should be safe from predators."

Today the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD begins a series of posts that give the victims of sexual abuse by MCPS teachers, coaches and staff a voice.  

These courageous children and adults have spoken up in public courtrooms about the crimes committed against them while they were students in Montgomery County Public Schools.  Often the courtrooms are empty and these statements are not covered by the press.  No one from the Montgomery County Board of Education ever attends these sentencing hearings.  To date, no past or present Board of Education member has ever spoken up in support of these victims.  

We begin with the Victim Impact Statement presented at the sentencing of Michael John Riley.  Mr. Riley was sentenced on October 17, 2018.


In Regards to M. Riley – Rockville High School Statement read in court on 10/15/18

This past spring, the Michigan State University travesty with the gymnast girls inspired me to send a letter to Mike Riley’s employer.  His employer passed the letter to the police and I finally had the guts to press charges.

In the Fall of 1983, I was a happy Junior in high school and on the Homecoming court and had plenty of teenage boys that wanted to date me.  I went to Homecoming with a senior and all was good.

Then my basketball coach decided to court me.  After the first time he kissed me in Dec 1983, I would not date or like another boy in high school.

I was only 16 and he was 29.

I was a child and I was manipulated. We had a 15-month affair.

Mike Riley said that if I went to UMBC he would move close to me so that we could be a real couple. We talked about marriage. He wrote me love letters and gave me gifts. I was completely infatuated with him.

He had another girlfriend the entire time – one that he told me he had broken up with. I’ve come to realize that rarely did we meet and not have sexual relations. This sick man used me for his perverted pleasure.

When he said we couldn’t see each other any more, he quickly became engaged with another teacher at the school. I was devastated but I would not tell authorities because “I loved him”. When I told my Mom, she said we would brush it under the rug and not tell my Dad. During the Spring of my senior year in high school, I cried myself to sleep every night because of him. I remember my eyesight was terrible.

For the next couple of years, I suffered severely from the stress and depression caused by him.  There was a lot crying. During my freshman year at college, I would call him when drunk and sad. He would take my calls and continued to tell me he loved me – this was his ploy to keep me “loyal” to him.

From college, I sent a letter to his fiancé and told her what he did to me. She called off their engagement, but they still married.

For 30 years, this man has been walking around high schools as an Athletic Director. He was completely unscathed from what he did to me. I know about 3 other girls he assaulted at Rockville High. When I finally moved to the anger phase and contemplated pressing charges, I didn’t because he had little kids.

His arrest this past May was liberating to me. It validated the hurt and anger that I’ve carried with me over the years. What he did to me was a betrayal of our school system, where children should be safe from predators.  I was the victim of sexual abuse during a time when parents brushed it under a rug to prevent public embarrassment.

He haunted my dreams for 20+ years. The long-term impact on me was that no matter how well I did at anything in life, I constantly battled low self-esteem. I am a strong, smart, successful woman with a husband and 2 kids. But, needless to say, the hurt has been psychologically damaging to me throughout my life.  For example, until recently I would have episodes of intense anger and then debilitating hurt if someone lied to me or if I felt betrayed.

Beyond justice, I want Mike Riley’s sentencing to be an example to teachers and coaches to leave teenagers alone both physically and mentally.  It’s wrong, causes life altering damage, and illegal.

I also hope any girls who hear about this case will learn two things:  1) do not be afraid to press charges, and 2) no, he doesn’t love you – he’s only using you for sex.

Exclusive: Dance asked to surrender superintendent licenses in Maryland and Virginia

As part of the fallout from his perjury convictions last year, former Superintendent Shaun Dallas Dance surrendered his superintendent licenses to Virginia and Maryland state education departments after given the option to either do so voluntarily or have them revoked.
But before he consented to canceling his certifications with Virginia’s State Department of Education (VSDE), he asked administrators to consider his 20 years in education service and to weigh that against poor decisions he said he made while leading Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS).,,
...In Maryland, Dance asked for leniency from Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Superintendent Karen Salmon, requesting that his licenses be reinstated after two years, at the conclusion of his probation which is a condition of his sentencing.  His request was denied, but he will be eligible to reapply in 10 years...

Group calls for increasing Md. taxes to support education spending

A left-leaning budget policy think tank is calling for sweeping changes to the state’s tax code to pay for billions in increased public education spending.
Experts with the Maryland Center on Economic Policy said the changes they recommend would result in an $1.9 billion increase in state revenue — enough to pay for what the organization believes will be the state’s portion of recommendations from the Kirwan Commission. The organization said the current state of Maryland’s tax system doesn’t collect enough money to pay for expected increases in education spending.
“Together, these shortcomings create a revenue system that doesn’t keep up with Marylander’s needs that further concentrates wealth and power in a few hands and does nothing to reduce the economic barriers that hold back many Marylanders, especially people of color,” said Christopher Meyer, a research analyst for the organization...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

WTOP: When the phone is down, grades go up

WASHINGTON — Ever since smartphones became so ubiquitous in everyday life, the tempting distractions have complicated teachers’ work.
The result: Some high schools and middle schools have changed their policies when it comes to student phones, fueling a debate about whether access to such devices should be controlled in the classroom.
As one might expect, recent studies show that a phone-free environment can benefit performance, said Ann Dolin, president of Educational Connections tutoring. One study from the London School of Economics, she said, found that in schools with a cellphone ban, students earned overall higher exam scores...

Monday, January 28, 2019

NEW: The 32yo man in the blue suit/shirt/tie was just sentenced in Montgomery County Circuit Court for repeatedly trading heroin for sex with a 15yo girl.

TODAY: Montgomery County Delegation's Metropolitan Washington Committee meets at 7pm this evening (Mon 1/28/19) to discuss and potentially vote on smart meter legislation.

The Montgomery County Delegation's Metropolitan Washington Committee meets at 7pm this evening (Mon 1/28/19) to discuss and potentially vote on smart meter legislation. WSSC, the municipal water utility serving Montgomery and Prince George's Counties plans to spend $100M to automate its meter reading operations by installing AMI smart meters. Delegate Al Carr has introduced MC/PG 101-19 that would require a study of the cost effectiveness of AMI smart meters and place a temporary moratorium on their implementation at WSSC.

The meeting location is room 218 of the Lowe House Office Building, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

WSSC opposes the bill. The Delegation received testimony supporting the bill on the grounds of cost, privacy, health and the impact on the labor force. The ACLU, AARP and AFSCME 67 all support the bill. The hearing was held in Rockville on December 3, 2018.

Tonight's meeting is open to the public. The members of the Metropolitan Washington Committee are: Del. Al Carr (chair, D18), Del. Kathleen Dumais (D15), Del. Gabe Acevero (D39), Del. Lorig Charkoudian (D20), Del. Sara Love (D16) and Del. Julie Palakovich Carr (D17).

Link to meeting agenda:

Text of the bill:

Fiscal and Policy note:

Sponsor testimony:

Link to WSSC's AMI smart meter FAQ page:

Contact info for members of the Montgomery County Delegation:

From Delegate Al Carr:

SUPPORT (MC/PG 101-19)

I ask for your favorable consideration of MC/PG 101-19, entitled Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission – Moratorium and Study on Advanced Metering Infrastructure.

This bill will place a 5-year moratorium on WSSC’s implementation of smart meters (AMI) and require a study of their cost effectiveness by the Department of Legislative Services. Nothing in the bill prevents implementation of a less complicated automation system called Automated Meter Reading (AMR).

WSSC is planning to spend around $100M to implement smart meters (AMI).

Constituents have raised privacy and health concerns about smart meters. But my concern is an economic one. WSSC’s water and sewer rates have increased every year, for more than a decade, faster than inflation and are currently much higher than rates in Fairfax County.

WSSC’s modernization efforts are well intended, however projects should be done cost effectively. Baltimore County, Howard County, City of Rockville and the City of Bowie have all chosen to automate their meter reading using AMR.

Passage of PG/MC 101-19 will help ensure that the ratepayers’ interests are served before this large expenditure is undertaken.

Jennifer Alvaro, "THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW"

Child sexual abuse is an issue which affect us all.  It is present in every neighborhood, in every socioeconomic group, every racial group, every ethnicity, every religion, from the least to the most highly educated among us.  It affects the famous as well as the forgotten. It can happen to infants as well as teens.    Experts in the field have found anywhere from 1/3 of girls & 1/6 of boys to 1/10 of all children will experience child sexual abuse sometime before they turn 18.   

Most children never report being abused.   
Most people who abuse are never caught.   
90% of victims are abused by someone they know, like, love or live with.
We can, as a society, prevent most childhood sexual abuse.  
For the times we cannot prevent abuse, we can help to end it sooner.  
 Please commit to helping end child abuse.
The first step is by raising awareness and becoming educated about the issue. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Is crumb rubber a source for pollutants and harmful effects in the marine environment?

For our elected officials who still need to be 'educated' about the deadly environmental effects of crumb rubber artificial turf fields.

Paper by Claudia Halsband-Lenk,of the NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, delivered at the Norwegian Environmental Toxicology Symposium, March 2018.

Link here.

In Norwegian coastal communities, rubber microplastic granules (≤ 5 mm in size) derived from discarded vehicle tires are used in large quantities on outdoor synthetic turf sports pitches. Through transport by waste water effluents and terrestrial runoff, these rubber particles are considered a significant source of MPs to the marine ecosystem. In the here presented interdisciplinary project we study the composition, degradation and environmental impacts of these rubber granules from locations in northern Norway and Svalbard. Their persistence and residence time in the Arctic marine environment is unknown. These rubber particles pose a potential health risk for arctic wild life through direct ingestion, especially at the base of the marine food chain, but may also provide an exposure route for toxic additive chemicals present in tires to marine organisms. Furthermore, the rubber particles may act as a vector for other persistent organic and heavy metal pollutants already present in the marine environment. Arctic marine environments present special abiotic conditions for the degradation of these particles, with cold water temperatures and long periods with unlimited sunlight. During a 12 months period, rubber crumbs were placed out in the ocean in stainless steel containers and sub-sampled continuously for the measurement of persistent organic pollutants, metals and additives. Hydrophobic persistent organic pollutants such as PAHs, PCBs, DDTs, bisphenols, as well as metals were measured to establish the adsorption and leaching kinetics in seawater under in situ conditions. Samples were extracted using ultrasound and nonpolar solvents, followed by GPC and SPE clean up. Chemical analyses using pyroGC/MS, GC/MS/MS and LC/HRMS were done in the laboratories of NILU, Tromsø and SINTEF, Trondheim. Exposure experiments with rubber leachate were also conducted and high mortality rates were found for different marine zooplankton species.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

MoCo Judge Lets MCPS Aide out on $3,150 bond on Sexual Abuse of Child Charge, Aide Disappears. Is Aide Working with Children Some Place Else?

'Teachable moments': How to talk to kids about sexual abuse

Jennifer Alvaro has never met anyone who's had to escape a burning school building.
But as a parent, she's grateful students are taught about fire safety and how to react in the event of a fire.
She does, however, know thousands of people who have either been sexually abused or have friends or family members who've been victims. There's not a doubt in her mind it's "the largest public health problem facing our children."
"The fact that sexual abuse is such a more prevalent problem than any of the other things we educate kids on, that needs to be corrected and there's a safe way to do it," she said.
Based in Montgomery County, Alvaro is a licensed clinical social worker in Maryland and Virginia as well as a certified sex offender treatment provider in Virginia. She began her career in 1994 and specializes in the field of child sexual abuse.
Most recently, Alvaro has been a facilitator for Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children program which teaches adults about preventing, recognizing and reacting to child sexual abuse.
A 2004 report prepared for the U.S. Department of Education states that the most accurate data available indicates "nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career."..

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Editorial: Live stream Maryland General Assembly floor sessions

...It is an excellent opportunity for the public to participate in the legislative process, and it doesn’t require a trip to Annapolis to do so.
When it comes to regular sessions and debates in Annapolis, however, things aren’t quite so transparent.

Maryland remains one of just a handful of states that does not offer live streaming video of debates on the floor of its two chambers: the Senate and House of Delegates. It does offer audio of these sessions, but because of a rule that prohibits the use of personal names, it is practically impossible to know who is saying what.
The state does live stream and archive videos of committee hearings, but committee voting sessions where members actually debate the bills are not recorded or archived.
Efforts to change this have stalled in recent years. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and others have pushed for legislation to outfit the 120-year-old Maryland State House with video cameras in order to live stream these proceedings and have them archived in the name of government openness and accessibility. Last year, Hogan’s Transparency Act of 2018, received an unfavorable report in the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and never made it out of a Senate Committee.
The argument, primarily coming from Democratic leaders in Annapolis, against live streaming has been that it costs too much. According to an article from on last year’s Senate committee hearing on the legislation, the $1.1 million price tag was again the concern from committee Democrats. Much of that is one-time costs in the first year to purchase the equipment and have it installed. In out years, the costs ranged from approximately $200,000 to $217,000 for staff to operate and maintain the equipment...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

@ABC7News FLOODING AT WHEATON HIGH SCHOOL: A sprinkler burst for what is believed to be weather-related reasons Tuesday morning in a stairwell at Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, forcing the building to be evacuated.

Swastika painted on Rockville high school

Police investigating case at Richard Montgomery as hate crime

From Bethesda Beat, Reporter Caitlynn Peetz. Full story here.

A swastika was spray-painted on the side of Richard Montgomery High School and authorities are considering the case a hate crime.

In a letter to parents and students, Principal Intern Kiera Butler said the bright orange swastika was found over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and has been removed.


According to a county police report, 31 of Montgomery County’s 112 – or about one-fourth – reports of bias incidents in 2017 occurred at schools and generally involved vandalism. The majority of reports included anti-Semitic language or swastikas. In 2016, 21 bias reports involved schools.

Of the 51 bias reports determined to have been motivated by religion, 74.5 percent were considered anti-Jewish, according to the report.

Inside the Governor’s $438 Million ‘Go-Ahead’ for Schools

A look at the elements of the Governor’s fiscal 2020 capital budget proposal for public school construction.
The Governor’s 2020 capital budget includes a new program for school construction funding — the Building Opportunity Fund — and a pledge to provide $3.5 billion in five years to school construction.
School construction is a major element of county capital budgets, who partner with the state to provide Maryland’s students with superior learning environments.
The State provides capital funding for school construction through several grant programs. Most of these are grant programs established by legislation, however the Building Opportunity Fund represents a new initiative of this Administration.

Here is the breakdown of the $438 million total announced in the Governor’s budget propoal for FY 2020:..

Monday, January 21, 2019

Senator says he has received complaints about HOC operations. Oversight of HOC LONG OVERDUE!

...Sen. Ben Kramer said he introduced a bill in the Maryland legislature after receiving complaints from constituents and HOC employees alleging waste, fraud and mismanagement in the department.
“There tends to be a sentiment that HOC rides roughshod over the community. And I have heard with enough frequency that this was something we should take a closer look at, and it seems the best way is to empower Montgomery County’s inspector general over HOC in the same way they do over county government,” said Kramer, a Democrat who represents parts of Rockville, Aspen Hill and Wheaton...

Friday, January 18, 2019

Open forum on new zoning for accessory dwellings Sat Jan 19 10am County Council Office Building

From Councilmember Hans Riemer:

Dear resident,
I wanted to remind you that tomorrow I am hosting a policy forum on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in Rockville beginning at 10am. The details are below.
So many of you have RSVP'd to come that we will now be offering a live video stream of the event on YouTube. The stream will begin at 10:00am on Saturday, January 19. If you are interested in learning more about ADUs but aren’t able to make it in person, I encourage you to watch the live stream.
Hope to see you there or on YouTube.
Warm regards,
P.S. Our County video team put together a great preview of the policy forum. Check it out!

Listen to @Media_Doug's full interview with @jennifermalvaro, a child sex abuse expert, on #MontgomeryTalkPodcast.

"I think that Montgomery County Public Schools have created an atmosphere, where they are reactive instead of proactive to larger issues in society, and to current issues in the schools," said Alvaro. "I think when you have [an] intense culture of achievement and success in sports or academics, [when it comes to these issues], it's not a matter of 'if' they're going to happen, it's 'when.'"  ~ child sex abuse expert Jennifer Alvaro

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Former Landon teacher abused students, school says in letter to families

A yearlong investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at an all-boys private school in Bethesda uncovered several years of abuse by a former teacher, school leaders announced Thursday in a letter to parents.
In December 2017, the Landon School hired a private firm to investigate allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior by Ward Bates, a teacher who was employed with the school from 1946 to 1962 after two alumni came forward with claims of abuse.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

...the girl was a human trafficking victim within the ‘Pinos Locos’ clique of MS-13, which made the suburban town of Wheaton its hub for illegal dealings.

Police: 'MS-13 associate' pays gang $100 to have sex with trafficked 14-year-old girl

...Detectives explain the girl worked as a cocktail waitress at Lilly’s Restaurant in downtown Wheaton. Her primary duty there was to “conduct cocaine and marijuana sales, and serve alcohol to customers,” a high-ranking MS-13 member would ultimately tell detectives in exchange for more favorable treatment. “A lot of money was made for her services.”

In one instance, the girl attempted to quit. She was later summoned to a home along Valley View Avenue in Kensington and beaten in the backyard with a baseball bat. The girl recalled more than 25 excruciating blows to her body. Such attacks were used as a form of “motivation” to keep girls in line, the same high-ranking MS-13 member explained.
“Many of the victims are under the age of 18 and have been reported by their families as missing persons,” police outlined in court documents. “Often, these females are brainwashed into believing that they need to depend on the gang for survival.”..

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A teacher who worked at a private after-school program operating in several Montgomery County elementary schools entered an Alford plea to a sex offense.

Private After-School Program Employee Enters Alford Plea to Sexually Touching Underage Boy in Maryland

A teacher who worked at a private after-school program operating in several Montgomery County elementary schools entered an Alford plea to a sex offense.
Rayshad Golwalla, 37, is scheduled to be sentenced in March in Montgomery County Circuit Court. A charging document in Golwalla’s case said he sexually touched an underage Gaithersburg boy inside a private residence in February 2018...

Monday, January 14, 2019

Will MCPS food services roll back the healthy foods too?

The Trump administration is planning to roll back Obama era healthy food regulations for school meals. Will MCPS also roll back the healthy food now being served? We understand that MCPS has said while it will not go back on many of the old rules, they will go back on some.  For example, they will return to using white flour pasta and get rid of the whole grain pasta.

Check your child's school menus to see what MCPS is feeding them.

From CBS News, reporter Steve Frank:

New School Lunch Rules Could Mean More Salt, Sugar, and Fat. Full story here.

The dairy industry "says children don't drink as much milk if its not flavored and they really like that extra fat, the taste of it," said Mulvaney. (author's note: Lydia Mulvaney, food and agriculture reporter who co-authored the Bloomberg study, found here)

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who was once a consultant to milk producers, announced early on a relaxation of the rules. Higher fat chocolate milk was back, along with more white breads and pizza. "I wouldn't be as big as I am today without chocolate milk," Perdue told reporters at the time.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Off-Site, Off Camera County Council Meeting on Monday, January 14, 2019


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Accessory Apartments Zoning Text Amendment introduced

On Tuesday Councilmember Hans Riemer will introduce a proposed amendment to the Zoning Text which would pretty much eliminate barriers to any size attached or detached apartments in a residential zone. The public hearing for this amendment is Feb 26, 7:30 pm. Consider the parking needs, additional traffic on neighborhood roads, and school overcrowding and please read the below.

The proposed change would, among other things:

"remove the requirement for additional use approval for all accessory apartments"
"change the measure of the size of an accessory apartment from 50% of gross floor area to 50% of habitable floor area"
"delete the absolute maximum size of an accessory apartment" (currently 1,200 square feet)
"delete the maximum size of an addition that can be used as an accessory apartment" (currently limited to 800 square feet)
"delete the requirement that a detached accessory apartment be on a lot at least 1 acre in size"

20190115_4A by on Scribd

Friday, January 11, 2019

Attorney General Announces New Phone Hotline to Report Child Sex Abuse

@ABC7Kevin NEW: This 'MS-13 associate' paid gang leaders $100 to have sex with a 14yo girl, and then secretly filmed the encounter, MoCo police say.

Marc Elrich speaking now at MC Delegation streaming live

A last minute change in the delegation meeting which was just emailed this morning. Marck Elrich is on the agenda. Link here:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Reactive vs. Proactive Parenting in the Digital World with Safe Tech Committee Member Lisa Cline

Boy Injured by MCPS School Bus Will Get His Day in Court

The boy’s mother, Bertha Forgwei, of Silver Spring, said her son became scared after he left the bus at the wrong Aspen Hill stop in October 2015 and began to run after the bus as it pulled away, according to the lawsuit.
As he ran alongside the bus, which was moving at 6 mph, the boy tripped and tires ran over his legs, causing injuries that confined him to a wheelchair for several months and forced his parents to quit their jobs to provide care, the lawsuit claims...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Friday Morning House Delegation Meeting to be streamed 1/11 9:30am

The Montgomery County House Delegation will meet Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.  The agenda has been posted to the calendar page of the website:  January 11th House Delegation Agenda
Also, please be advised that Friday morning House Delegation meetings during the Legislative Session will now be live streamed via this House Delegation Facebook page (link can also be found on the website homepage).  PLEASE NOTE that this Facebook page’s only purpose is to live stream these Friday morning House Delegation meetings.  There will be no other postings/communication through this Facebook page, and all other information will continue to be found on the Delegation website.
On the agenda:
Voting Session: Committee Change
Universities at Shady Grove: Stewart Edelstein, Executive Director, and Michael Knapp, Chair of the Board of Advisors
Maryland Department of Transportation, Regional Traffic Relief Plan: Greg Slater, State Highway Administration and Jaclyn Hartman, Chief Financial Officer