Monday, August 31, 2020

Nine Districts for MoCo is on the ballot - and so is a poison pill from the Montgomery County Council

“The government closest to 
the people serves 
the people best” 
- Thomas Jefferson

The citizen group Nine Districts for MoCo's petitions have been approved by the Montgomery County Board of Elections, meaning that voters will have the chance in the November election to vote to change the structure of the Council from 5 district and 4 at-large seats to 9 district seats. Two key reasons the proposed question received strong support from residents were the oversized, gerrymandered districts that sprawl across the County, and that a majority of the Council all live in the same vicinity of Takoma Park, leaving upcounty voters in particular with less representation on the Council. Fearing the ballot question would be approved, the Montgomery County Council ginned up its own ballot question on the Council structure in the dark of night, to serve as a poison pill if voters approve the Nine Districts Question D.

The Council's Question C proposes to keep the Council as it is, but add an additional two district seats, at great additional annual cost for staff and operations. On its face, it would appear to be merely a selfish attempt by the current members to preserve their seats. And it certainly is that. But the Council above all seeks to sabotage the voters' will through Question C, just as it infamously did with the ambulance fee.

Even the order of the questions has been rigged by the corrupt Council. Note that its undemocratic ballot question, which was rammed through at the end of a session with no public process, input or comment, was placed before the citizen-endorsed Nine Districts Question D on the November ballot.

The farther down the ballot an office, question or referendum is, the less likely it is to be voted upon by less diligent voters. But the Council isn't merely hoping you'll tire out before you to get to Question D.

In fact, they're not worried if you vote for both - because if their poison pill Question C and the Nine Districts Question D both get approved by a majority of voters, likely out of confusion, the matter of changing the Council structure would then go to the courts. And we all know the Montgomery County cartel almost never loses in any court within the borders of Maryland.

This is why it's essential, if you are dissatisfied with the current Council, to vote FOR Question D and AGAINST Question C.

We all know that even if the Nine Districts Question D passes, that the Council will try its darnedest to once again gerrymander the districts to ensure that only one party can possibly win. They may be shaped even more absurdly than the wacky ones splattered across the map today.

But even these gerrymandered nine new districts would, by the rules of mathematics, have to be geographically smaller. Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest thinkers in human history, said, “The government closest to the people serves the people best.” No longer would one tiny area within the downcounty have the power to control up to six out of the nine seats on the Council. And it would be far less likely for seven of the nine councilmembers to live downcounty, as they do now.

It's virtually unprecedented in County history to have a poison pill ballot question designed to sabotage another, where a victory by both sends the entire matter into legal oblivion. But then this Council increasingly has fought an unprecedented ideological war against the very constituents it represents.

So unpopular are its policies that residents approved term limits. And when energetic protesting of Council actions (and inaction) became too embarrassing in 2016-17, the Council literally locked its constituents out of the Council building permanently, turning 100 Maryland Avenue into a secure fortress. A Council of the People, a Council not suffering from paranoia and megalomania, doesn't have to lock out the public.

If locking the People out wasn't enough, the Council took another unprecedented step - it refused to engage in the all-American, democratic process of debating its political opponents in the last election. Civic associations were successfully pressured by the Montgomery County cartel to cancel all of their general election debates in 2018. Washington Post reporters Jennifer Barrios and Robert McCartney were fully aware of this, but chose not to cover it. In fact, they mysteriously never wrote a single sentence about the general election Council races in 2018.

Democracy dies in darkness, indeed.

It is once again time for the citizens to shine a light into that corrupt darkness, by voting FOR Question D to create nine compact districts, and AGAINST Question C.

The Council is again attempting to sabotage an election, this time by confusion. Just remember this handy guide to defeat them: "D" stands for democracy. "C" stands for corruption. Vote FOR Democracy and AGAINST Corruption, by voting FOR D and AGAINST C.

Photo via National Archives

Friday, August 28, 2020

Rockville City Attorney resigns

Rockville City Attorney Debra Yerg Daniel has resigned. City spokesperson Marylou Berg said Daniel is now on administrative leave until September 14.

Deputy City Attorney Cynthia Walters is Acting City Attorney, until a replacement is named. Berg said all communications related to Daniel's resignation, such as a resignation letter, are part of Daniel's personnel file and are considered confidential.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Democratic congressional candidate Maxwell Bero charged with sexual abuse of 14 y.o. MCPS student

A Democratic congressional candidate who currently works as a teacher at Watkins Mill High School was arrested by Montgomery County police yesterday, and charged with multiple sexual offenses involving a former student when he was employed at Col E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring between 2014 and 2015. Maxwell Bero, 30, of Clarksburg ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for Congress in Maryland's 6th Congressional District earlier this year.

On Wednesday, Bero was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, and multiple counts of committing a third-degree sexual offense. His alleged victim was a 14-year-old girl at the time, and is now 19. The sexual interactions Bero is accused of took place on school property, police said. Bero also allegedly exchanged "inappropriate sexual materials and messages" with the girl.

Police are concerned Bero may have additional victims. Detectives of the Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) are asking anyone who believes that he/she is a victim of Bero to call SVID detectives at 240-773-5400. Montgomery County Public Schools has placed Bero on administrative leave. Bero's bond information was not released by police yesterday.

Rockville City Hall lights up for Women's Equality Day (Photos)

Rockville City Hall was lit in purple last night to recognize Women's Equality Day. August 26 was declared such by Congress in 1971, as an annual commemoration of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The amendment gave women the right to vote. Among the observers taking in the light show last night was a deer, seen in the photos above and directly below.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

$10,000 Mega Millions winning ticket sold in Rockville, still unclaimed

Someone who bought a Mega Millions ticket on Rockville Pike has won $10,000, and hasn't claimed their cash yet. The winning ticket was sold at Rockville Service Center at 1900 Rockville Pike on August 20, 2020, according to the Maryland Lottery.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Spirit Halloween to return to Rockville for 2020 in new location

Spirit Halloween, the king of seasonal Halloween retailers, is returning to Rockville for the 2020 Halloween season. Last year, they used REI's old space on Rockville Pike. This year, they're relocating a few blocks south of there. The props and costumes store will pop up in the old Five Below space at Federal Plaza this time.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Gyuzo Japanese BBQ sign installed, lit at Rockville Town Square

The sign is up at Gyuzo Japanese BBQ at Rockville Town Square, and last night it was lit. Construction inside appears to be nearly complete, but the restaurant says it won't be opening until October. Gyuzo touts itself as the first Japanese BBQ restaurant in Maryland, where diners will cook their meals on a personal-size grill at their tables, making this a dine-in oriented establishment.

Friday, August 21, 2020

New BMW of Rockville dealership building opens (Photos)

German car brands continue to set the design standards for auto dealerships in Montgomery County. The latest dealership facility to complete construction is BMW of Rockville's at 1450 Rockville Pike. Customers will be greeted by one of the Ultimate Driving Machines out front, and many more inside the multi-level showroom and service building.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Barnes & Noble emptied out at Montrose Crossing (Photos)

Now that Barnes & Noble has moved up Rockville Pike to Congresssional Plaza, let's take a look at the abandoned ruins of the original Rockville location at Montrose Crossing. Despite the store opening a Starbucks B&N Cafe at the new location, the Starbucks next to the old location remains open.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Home Depot Design Center sets opening date at Montrose Crossing in Rockville

The former Golf Galaxy space at the Montrose Crossing shopping center at 12087 Rockville Pike has been leased by a Home Depot Design Center. An opening date has been set for September 7, 2020. In contrast to a full-scale Home Depot big box store, this concept focuses on design and remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms. This will be only the second of this concept store in the country, following the first in San Diego. Here's a sneak peek:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Wentworth Gallery reopens, Elite Jewelers coming soon at Montgomery Mall

Wentworth Gallery, an art gallery featuring works by celebrity artists, has reopened at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The gallery is located on Level 2, right outside of Nordstrom.

Coming soon to Montgomery Mall will be Elite Jewelers. The chain features GIA-certified diamonds, handmade Italian 18k gold and platinum jewelry, and high-end watches like Movado, Bulova and pre-owned Rolexes. Elite Jewelers will be on Level 2 near Auntie Anne's.