Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Ivyees Everything Honey closes at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

Ivyees Everything Honey
has closed at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The raw honey-derived health and beauty product boutique had only opened last December. On Tuesday, the shop was dark during its business hours. Shelves inside were empty, and packing boxes were stacked in a corner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Wes Moore only Democratic candidate for Maryland governor surging in new poll, 42% still undecided

A new poll in the Maryland Democratic primary race for governor conducted for Wes Moore for Maryland by Garin Hart Yang Research Group could be seen as a positive for many candidates ahead of the July 19 vote. With 42% of Maryland Democratic primary voters still "undecided," there are a lot of votes out there for the taking in the next eight weeks. And despite a very quiet spring, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot finished first in the poll with 19%. But Moore's campaign, which has been gaining momentum in endorsements and straw polls in recent weeks, is energized by the finding that Moore is the only candidate to surge in the results since GHYRG's November 2021 poll; Moore increased his support from 7% to 13%, giving him a second place finish.

"Wes Moore is the ONLY candidate who has increased his support and as a result he has moved into second place, within striking distance of the lead," the polling firm wrote in a memo to the Moore campaign. The memo declares Franchot's campaign "stagnant, with literally NO movement since last September." Poll results show former Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker holding steady at 11% in third place, and former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, and former U.S. Education Secretary John King essentially tied for fourth, within the +/-4.1% margin of error.

The firm surveyed 601 likely Democratic primary voters between May 5 and May 9, 2022, with the exception of Mother's Day. Results also showed that Moore's voters are more committed (54%) than Franchot's (45%) to supporting their candidate "strongly" in the primary. And among voters who have heard of Moore, he is beating Franchot 27% to 19%. 

“Wes Moore for Maryland is the only campaign moving forward in the polls and we are the only campaign with the momentum, the resources, the path, the vision, and the leaders to win this primary in July and the general election in November,” Moore's campaign manager Ned Miller said in a statement. “We have the momentum and a unique opportunity to win and build a more inclusive, safer, and prosperous Maryland, and we are going to continue connecting with voters across the state in the next two months," Moore said after his campaign released the poll results. 

Poll graph courtesy Garin Hart Yang Research Group

Sexual assault reported at Rockville hotel

Rockville City police officers were called to a hotel after a sexual assault was reported there Sunday morning. The victim reported having been groped at a hotel in the 14900 block of Shady Grove Road at 9:13 AM, according to crime data. There is a Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites hotel on that block.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Marc Elrich endorsed by transit union in Montgomery County Executive race

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) has been endorsed by the Amalgamated Transit Union  Local 689 in his run for reelection in the July 19, 2022 Democratic primary. It is the latest labor endorsement for the incumbent, who is already backed by the Montgomery County Education Association, the Service Employees International Union 32BJ and Local 500, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 868. 

"I am very grateful for their support and trust in my leadership," Elrich said in a statement. "ATU Local 689 is comprised of over 13,000 members and retirees performing occupations within the many skilled transportation crafts for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and MetroAccess, among others. I have been committed to supporting our workers and expanding and improving transit opportunities is part of that commitment." Elrich is running against Democrats David Blair, Peter James and Hans Riemer in the primary. Shelly Skolnick and Reardon Sullivan are running for the Republican nomination in the race.

Rockville HDC to review demolitions at Montgomery County jail

Rockville's Historic District Commission will review the proposed demolition of seven unutilized structures at the Montgomery County Detention Center campus at 1307 Seven Locks Road at its meeting this Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 7:00 PM. The Montgomery County Department of General Services is seeking the demolitions, to clear the way for a potential Montgomery County Public Schools school bus depot. 

No formal proposal for the bus depot has been submitted to the City as of yet. The HDC will consider the potential historic significance of the seven buildings. But under the mandatory referral process for government projects, the City can only advise changes; it cannot stop a County project from moving forward.

Rockville LensCrafters store opening soon

The sign is up at the future LensCrafters location at 901 Rose Avenue at the Pike & Rose development in Rockville. Last night, it was already lit. The eyewear retailer had planned an April 4 opening for this store, but that date came and went. LensCrafters will soon square off against competitor Warby Parker, which is also opening a store at Pike & Rose this year. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Wes Moore wins, Doug Gansler a surprise second in Western Maryland Democratic Summit straw poll

Wes Moore (right) and running mate
Aruna Miller after winning 2022
Western Maryland Democratic Summit
straw poll in MD governor race

Democrat Wes Moore continues to gain momentum as he attempts to break away from a crowded field in the July 19 Maryland gubernatorial primary, taking first place with 153 votes in what many consider the first major contest in a statewide race, the 2022 Western Maryland Democratic Summit straw poll. That might not have been too shocking, but the real surprise was the second-place finish by former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who beat once-assumed-to-be-frontrunner Peter Franchot 7 to 1 in the poll with 71 votes.

Former Montgomery County Councilmember and U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez took a distant third place with 48 votes, John King with 45 votes, Peter Franchot in a big dropoff at only 10 votes, Ashwani Jain at 5 votes, Rushern Baker and Jon Baron tied at 2 votes apiece, and Jerome Segal bringing up the rear with a single vote.

"Today's straw poll results from the #WesternMaryland #DemSummit2022 speak for themselves," Moore tweeted after the vote. "Our movement is strong statewide, and Marylanders are excited about the opportunity our vision presents. Together, we will build a state where we leave no one behind."

Doug Gansler

The Gansler campaign was thrilled with the result, which it did not find as surprising, because their candidate has been gaining notice locally for having a presence west of Hagerstown in this campaign. “Candidates like former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, a Democrat, and Kelly M. Schulz, a Republican, former state delegate and labor secretary under Gov. Larry Hogan, have come through the region during the course of the campaign” the Cumberland Times-News editorial board opined. “[M]ost [of the other candidates] have been ghosts, relegated to the eastern half of the state, more a series of pictures and words than person.” 

Gansler and running mate Candace Hollingsworth, a former mayor of Hyattsville, thanked voters for the strong show of support at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, Maryland. “I’m grateful to all the Western Maryland Democrats who cast their vote for Candace and me in today’s straw poll, and as governor I will make sure the rural parts of Maryland help lead the way as we build a better, safer and greener future for our state,” Gansler said in a statement. “This is a two-person race, and crime is the number one issue voters care about. As a former prosecutor and attorney general, I am the candidate best-equipped — in fact, I am the only candidate at all equipped — to address the massive rise in crime across our state and make Maryland safe.”

“Peter Franchot’s entire rationale for his candidacy just completely fell apart; he is not the candidate who runs strongest statewide. Doug beat Franchot 7 to 1 in a region of the state where Franchot himself claims to be strong,” Gansler campaign manager Shaun Daniels said after the vote. “This is the first public poll where Democrats put pen to paper to publicly declare their choices. Doug Gansler placed second, far outpacing the next place finishers. It is obvious the field is narrowing. We have more than a million dollars on hand and every Democrat in Maryland is going to know that Doug and Candace are the best candidates, not just to take on Kelly Schulz in November, but to keep us safe.”

Gansler has been endorsed by Western Maryland’s only Democratic Senator, Sen. Ron Young.