Friday, April 28, 2006

Doug Duncan started this. Time to hold him accountable

The Seven Locks community was minding its own business, content with its 40 year-old, non-crowded school and not asking the school system for anything, when all of a sudden County Executive Doug Duncan asked Superintendent Jerry Weast for some school land in the area so he could build a high-density housing project.

Weast is also Secretary-Treasurer of the Board of Education.

Somehow, Duncan has escaped responsiblity for the terrible mess he has caused.

In the past month, he's been backing away from it and passing the buck.

His supporters should help him clean it up now - for good - or the issue will snowball into a scandal that will consume him and some of his allies.

Weast: Liquidating Seven Locks will save twice his annual salary & perks

Suddenly conscious of dollar costs, Superintendent Jerry Weast says that that MCPS will save $750,000 a year - twice his annual salary and perks - by abolishing Seven Locks Elementary School and dispersing its students among four other schools.

Weast favors erasing Seven Locks School completely after the school's PTA voted to defeat his Kendale school scheme.

MCPS pays Weast a combined total of $358,846 per year.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Spokesman: MCPS 'playing games' with school

"They're just playing games," County Council spokesman Patrick Lacefield says about the school board's decision to erase Seven Locks Elementary School and scatter the kids to four other schools.

"It’s not changing anything on the ground [at the County Council]," he says in the Almanac.

"Ultimately we sign the checks. . . . There are not the votes on the Council for Kendale and there’s not the votes on the council to close Seven Locks and disperse other places."

According to the Almanac, Lacefield observed, "When the inspector general said there were these less expensive options, [the Board] said, 'Oh, well money isn’t everything,'" and that now it is emphasizing how much Kendale supposedly will save the taxpayer.

School board process a 'circus,' says student member

"I’m uncomfortable with how antagonistic this entire process is becoming and it’s becoming kind of a circus," says the 17 year-old student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

The student representative, Sebastian Johnson (pictured), says in the Almanac, “There is a way that we can do this and work with the County Council.”

By his statements and actions, Johnson appears allied with the two school board members - Valerie Ervin and Nancy Navarro - who have been demanding that MCPS be accountable to the public.

Abramoff attacks Inspector General yet again

School board member Steve "Abramoff" Abrams enters Month 4 of his jihad against Inspector General Thomas Dagley.

At the April 20 board meeting, Abrams "admonished the inspector general for what he has repeatedly described as wrongly-motivated and incompetent work," the Almanac reports.

"County Councilmember Michael Subin said effectively the same thing in an April 11 memo in which he said that he would not seek a peer review of the inspector general only to avoid prolonging a fight that is detrimental to school children," according to the Almanac.

"But in the future, he said, 'I will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to prevent any power grabs in any part of government.'"

(Photo: Steve Abrams at the King Banana eating contest.)

'The community is stunned'

"The community is stunned. We can’t imagine why they did this. It’s inconceivable," said Sandy Vogelgesang, a community leader and head of the Save Seven Locks Coalition.

“The [County] Council had offered a face-saving solution [for the school board] and the thanks they got for that face-saving gesture was the two options that were the most unacceptable,” Vogelgesang says in the Potomac Almanac.

Council member rips 'ridiculous set-up' of public

“Was this a monkey court that we had the County Council put together?” asks Council member Valerie Ervin, who has blasted how the county and school board rigged the Seven Locks/Kendale process.

“We’re setting up the public once again to wait while we monkey around with the process to get in the end up with what it appeared that we wanted in the first place," Ervin says in the Almanac. "I think this is such a ridiculous set-up of people in our community.”

WEAST'S REVENGE: MCPS to scatter Seven Locks kids

Retaliating against the Seven Locks community just as county insiders had warned, Superintendent Jerry Weast has recommended the drawing and quartering of the Seven Locks community and scattering the children to four different schools.

Weast issued a notice April 26 describing his intent to partition Seven Locks Elementary School by gerrymandering Churchill Cluster boundaries.

Weast will disperse the children to the overcrowded Potomac and Bells Mill schools, and the Beverly Farms and Wayside schools.

The effect will be to tear apart the Seven Locks community of families by separating the children from one another, and excising the core of that community by razing the school.

MCPS officials intend to replace the school with a high-density housing project.

Where will the new high-density housing kids go to school?

If the current kids from Seven Locks Elementary School (SLES) are to be scattered among the Bells Mill, Beverly Farms, Potomac and Wayside schools, where will the kids go who will move into the big high-density housing project being planned for the SLES site?

Citizens urged to testify on May 1

Citizens opposed to the abolition of Seven Locks Elementary School and partitioning of the community are urged to testify at the Board of Education hearing on Monday, May 1.

To reserve a spot to testify, call 301-279-3617.

Malice aforethought: BoE calculated this move to destroy a community

The school board's decision to abolish Seven Locks Elementary School completely, instead of building a "replacement" school on Kendale Road or compromising with a modernization of the existing school, was a calculated and malicious attack on the community.

For more than 40 years, the school has united several different and diverse neighborhoods who otherwise would have little in common.

But the community wouldn't let Weast and the school board have their way, so, like Saddam Hussein burning his own country's oil fields, they would rather destroy an entire school if they can't have their way.

This is out-of-control government at its worst. It transcends party lines. It's time to see what's behind it all.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A clash of views or a clash of values?

The Gazette reports an "ideological split" on the Montgomery Board of Education concerning the Seven Locks/Kendale scandal.

It shows Republican Steve "Abramoff" Abrams pitted against Democrats like Valerie Ervin.

Ideology has nothing to do with the crisis. Abrams is supporting a plan requested by County Executive Doug Duncan and implemented by Superintendent Jerry Weast, both Democrats. Abrams has attacked the inspector general, who found wrongdoing.

Abrams is strongly opposing Republican County Councilman Howard Denis' amendment to find a compromise between the school board and the community by building a new MCPS-desired school on the PTA-desired Seven Locks school site.

The PTA membership spans liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans, who are united on the issue. The Seven Locks Coalition and local community associations have similar diverse memberships, and are also united against the Duncan/Weast/Abrams plan.

So there's no partisanship here. The fight is between people who want accountablity in government versus officials who want impunity. Open agendas vs hidden agendas. Honesty and transparency vs something else.

Weast admits his plan has no public support

Superintendent Jerry Weast admits that he has no public support for his plan to close down Seven Locks Elementary School.

"Again, I would want to make the record clear that the two options we’ve put forward, that the County Council has expressed their intent, at least in the last meeting I was with them, that neither of those are favorable from their eyes and so did the community," Weast said in the Gazette.

Weast opposes six plans that would keep the current school open, and has presented only two options - both of which would require shutting down the current school.

School board melting down over the scandal it created

The Montgomery County Board of Education is ripping itself apart over the Seven Locks/Kendale scandal.

A board member who has been leading the fight against the Inspector General's investigation of alleged wrongdoing got into a shouting match with a colleague who has called the Kendale project a scam.

Steve "Abramoff" Abrams, a Republican who is running for state Comptroller, ripped into Valerie Ervin, a Democrat who is one of the only board members calling for the school system to be held accountable to the public.

At the board's April 20 meeting, Ervin alleged that officials further rigged the Kendale process after the county council heard unanimous public opposition to the school board's plan.

"Was this a monkey court that we had the County Council put together with [board President] Charles [Haughey] and you, Dr. Weast?” Ervin asked Superintendent Jerry D. Weast.

According to the Gazette, Abrams cut her off: "No, it was a kangaroo court at the County Council, Mrs. ... Valerie."

"You have had your time ad nauseam [to] address this board," Ervin shot back.

The usually sleepy Haughey cut in: "Mr. Abrams, you are out of order."

Abrams went on with his rant about Inspector General Thomas Dagley's investigation, which found official wrongdoing: "It was a kangaroo court, with the inspector general."

"When the IG’s report came out, had you not done what you did, Mr. Abrams, we might not be sitting," said Ervin, in apparent reference to Abrams' letter that the IG had no business investigating citizen complaints about alleged MCPS wrongdoing and corruption.

Abrams went below the belt, haranguing Ervin: "Are you speaking as a staffer, or are you speaking as a board member?"

Ervin replied, "And I knew you were going to go there because that’s the way you are."

Abrams has a good idea: Investigate conflicts of interests

School board member Steve "Abramoff" Abrams has a good idea: His colleagues should reveal any conflicts of interests concerning MCPS decisions.

People continue to wonder about the hidden agenda that's driving the school board's obsessive campaign to shut down the Seven Locks Elementary School on the very valuable corner of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard.

According to the Gazette, Abrams accused one of the only school board members opposing the secret deal - Valerie Ervin - of having a conflict of interest.

He strongly opposes public oversight of the school board's internal workings, or even those of the Montgomery County Public Schools system itself. He says the Inspector General has no business investigating allegations of wrongdoing and corruption within MCPS.

Now he's trashing his own colleague for raising questions.

In attacking Valerie Ervin for alleged conflicts of interest - she is a staffer for County Council President George Leventhal - Abrams opened up a new can of worms for himself and his other colleagues.

"It was a kangaroo court, with the inspector general," Abrams foamed during a heated argument at the April 20 sbhool board meeting.

He assailed Ervin for criticizing him: "Are you speaking as a[county council] staffer, or are you speaking as a board member?"

He shot at Ervin, "you . . . have to avoid any conflict of interest."

One of the main school board figures behind the Kendale scandal, Sharon W. Cox, asked the school board's ethics panel to examine whether Ervin's council job and her school board membership presented a conflict of interests. The panel did not issue an opinion, and the county Ethics Commission gave her a waiver.

Abrams says his attack on Ervin was premeditated: "I think we wait and see how this plays out. I did not make the comment lightly or casually.”

Now: Let's look at potential conflicts of interests among the other board members. How could any honest official object?

Friday, April 21, 2006

School board member Ervin says Weast's numbers are phony

Board of Education member Valerie Ervin says the school system's Seven Locks/Kendale cost figures are meaningless.

"Some of these numbers are funny to me," Ervin (pictured) told her colleagues in the recent school board meeting to discuss Kendale, "because they're not competitively bid. They're just estimates."

But the board majority insisted on building Kendale or abolishing the Seven Locks community school completely. The Gazette reports that Ervin and fellow board member Nancy Navarro - the only two members not in lockstep with the board majority on Kendale - left the meeting.

The school board endorsed only the options that did away with Seven Locks Elementary School.

(As he did with the inspector general, school board member Steve "Abramoff" Abrams immediately questioned Ervin's motives. He interrupted her with a taunt that she might not be speaking as a supporter of public schools but as an employee of County Council President George Leventhal.)

MCPS rejects all options that do not shut down Seven Locks

With a vindictiveness against the community that some county officials had warned about, Superintendent Jerry Weast and the Board of Education have scrapped all options that do not force the closure of Seven Locks Elementary School.

Weast and the board ignored the communities' compromise to build the new school that MCPS wanted, but on the existing Seven Locks site.

They reduced the options to an all-or-nothing choice: Either build the "Seven Locks replacement school" at Kendale as MCPS had planned all along, thus freeing up the valuable SLES property for other, unspoken purposes; or abolish the Seven Locks Elementary School completely and disperse the kids to the other, already-overcrowded schools in the area.

"Though the joint report offered several options for addressing the Seven Locks issue," the Washington Post reports, "school board members voted yesterday to seek comment on only two - the Kendale replacement school of the closure of Seven Locks and reassignment of its students."

Local observers of public corruption say that the board/Weast decision reinforces suspicions that someone badly wants the valuable SLES campus on the corner of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard in west Bethesda for purposes other than education.

[NOTE: It is commonly mis-reported that Weast pledged not to surplus Seven Locks Elementary School. Weast made no such pledge. Instead, he said he would he would "not recommend any such surplusing of that school site." Of course, someone could recommend it for him, and he would merely comply.]

Is this honest school stewardship?

Do the following incidents suggest an honest school board and school system that truly puts the interests of the kids first?

* Retired teacher decries 'culture of intimidation' by 'bully superintendents.' (Potomac Almanac)

* 'Extraordinarily combative' MCPS officials. (Washington Post)

* 'Ferocious and bizarre' MCPS and BoE actions. (Washington Post)

* Threat against Seven Locks witness. (Potomac Almanac)

* 'Scorched earth' retribution policy. (Potomac Almanac)

* Bells Mill teachers 'harassed, muzzled and threatened'. (Washington Post)

* MCPS official accuses parents of caring for their property more than their children (Washington Post)

* Board of Education starts 'whispering campaign' against dissenters (Washington Post)

* 'Chilling effect' on parents. (Washington Post)

* Subin threatens to halt SLES progress if citizens press fraud issue. (

Sounds like somebody's trying to cover up some wrongdoing.

Another lie from the superintendent

Building on a dunghill of falsehoods, Superintendent Jerry Weast now claims that the Kendale school will provide more space for Seven Locks kids.

A month ago, a top MCPS official falsely stated that it didn't matter if kids couldn't walk to Kendale, because there were no sidewalks leading to the Seven Locks school.

Now, Weast claims that a school that's almost triple the capacity of Seven Locks on a usable lot that's only 60 percent the size of the current school is somehow making more room for Seven Locks children.

"Weast said that if the school system moves forward with lans to build on the Kendale Road site, the new school could be in place by December 2007," the Washington Post reports.

"In addition to providing more space for Seven Locks students, it would ease overcrowding at nearby Potomac Elementary," the Post says, paraphrasing Weast.

The "providing more space for Seven Locks students" rationale is not only inaccurate: it is a lie. Here are the facts:

* Seven Locks Elementary School is not overcrowded and the students do not need more space.

* The Seven Locks PTA has said repeatedly that there is plenty of room in the current school building and playgrounds.

* The proposed Kendale "replacement" school is located on a tract of land whose usable space is only 60 percent the size of the current Seven Locks site. . . .

* . . . yet MCPS wants to add kids from another school, Potomac Elementary, on that same cramped site, meaning a much more crowded schoolyard than before.

* Seven Locks has two outdoor baseball fields, two or more soccer fields, a large paved basketball court area, an even larger paved play area, and many open green spaces and play equipment for the kids.

* The Kendale Road site has only one soccer field with two baseball diamonds superimposed over it - a cramped playground for up to three times as many kids.

Leventhal is firm: 'Council will not support Kendale'

County Council President George Leventhal is adamant that his legislative body, which controls the purse strings of MCPS, will neither support construction of the Kendale school nor the closure of Seven Locks.

"Given the total lack of community support for Kendale and the full range of problems with the Kendale site, the council will not support a Kendale solution," Leventhal says in the Washington Post.

He adds, "I believe there are also not sufficient votes on the council to approve the closure of Seven Locks Elementary School and the dispersal of all its students to other schools."

MCPS provokes 'further turmoil,' says Washington Post

The MCPS decision to stick with its unpopular and possibly illegal Kendale project has thrown "an already contentious debate into further turmoil," the Washington Post reports.

By its insistence on unilaterally shutting down Seven Locks Elementary School and its unwillingness to compromise, MCPS has deepened public concerns that the Kendale project is motivated not by service to area school children, but by corruption or other wrongdoing.

Weast boasts that panel rubber-stamped his policy

"The [joint county council-MCPS committee] report confirms my original recommendation that the Kendale replacement school is the best option," boasts Superintendent Jerry Weast. "It saves time and it saves money."

"The pronouncement drew immediate and angry reaction from community members who favor construction of a replacement school at the current Seven Locks site," according to the Washington Post. "That position was buoyed by a report released by the county's inspector general in February that criticized the process the school system had followed in reaching its conclusion to move to Kendale Road. . . ."

Seven Locks PTA chief: 'I'm stunned'

The president of the Seven Locks Elementary School PTA says she is shocked by Superintendent Weast's decision to shut down her school and relocate it to the controversial Kendale Road site.

"I'm stunned," Harlivleen Gill tells the Washington Post. "I'm completely stunned because my PTA has firmly rejected the Kendale option. We want to keep Seven Locks where Seven Locks is."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Abrams is butt of jokes at Seven Locks post office

School Board member Steve Abrams was observed at the West Bethesda Post Office stuffing what appeared to be multiple packages of documents into the mail system the week before the board finalized its decision to move ahead with the Kendale project.

This blogger was in the long line at the automated postal machine along with other Seven Locks-area residents on April 8, waiting as Abrams fumbled with at least a half-dozen large document packages.

He seemed oblivious to the huge line he was creating.

People commented about the guy who was hogging the machine. A man identified the culprit as an elected public official.

One wag joked that Abrams was leaking secret MCPS documents to Inspector General Thomas Dagley.

"Hey, Steve," this blogger called to Abrams. "Sending more documents to the IG?"

"What?" said Abrams, making a sheepish grin. This blogger repeated the question. Abrams said nothing and made a quick exit, waddling as fast as he could to his black Cadillac.

Abrams, a lawyer, wrote a five-page opinion for the Board of Education claiming that Montgomery County Public Schools is off-limits to county checks and balances, and that the Inspector General has no authority to investigate alleged MCPS wrongdoing.

Ironically, the former location of the West Bethesda post office was across the street from Seven Locks Elementary School.

Criminal conspiracy? Weast pushes Kendale project despite near-total opposition

Giving the finger to the PTAs of the two schools directly affected, Superintendent Jerry Weast is proposing construction of the Kendale Road school in a still-secret memo.

Even though Weast had claimed all along that the Kendale school, as currently designed, was needed to relieve overcrowding at Potomac Elementary, the superintendent is believed to be pushing for a smaller school on the site.

It is believed that he wants to reduce the size of the Kendale project to save the $3 million that the County Council refuses to spend on construction - thus circumventing the council and its purse-strings authority.

Such a reduction would expose the lie that the Kendale project was really intended to relieve overcrowding, instead of the unstated agenda to tear down Seven Locks Elementary School and turn the property into high-density housing.

Some Seven Locks parents who uncovered the wrongdoing that led to the Inspector General investigation are now poised to call for a criminal investigation of Weast, certain members of the Board of Education, and certain MCPS officials.

HTTP 403 FORBIDDEN: MCPS blocks Weast memo from website

MCPS is again blocking public notice on decisions concerning the Kendale school.

This time it has blocked public access to Superintendent Jerry Weast's memo recommending construction of the unwanted facility on Kendale Road.

The link to the memo is supposed to be:

However, the link is dead. As of this posting, attempts to find the report by going to the generic board of education meeting agenda page,, show the following notice: "HTTP 403 (FORBIDDEN) You are not authorized to view this page."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Washington Post: Teachers 'harassed, muzzled, threatened' for bucking MCPS

MCPS officials reportedly have threatened Bells Mill Elementary School teachers for speaking out against respiratory health hazards portable classrooms.

The portables have been the MCPS answer to the county's uncontrolled growth over the past dozen years or more.

The Washington Post reports: "Teachers who have spoken up about air quality in their classrooms say they have been harassed, muzzled and threatened with reassignment.

"All three fifth-grade teachers found anonymous notes in their boxes last month, advising, 'You need to keep your mouth shut,'" according to the Post. "[Principal Jerri] Oglesby called the missives 'disgusting' and said her teachers have not been silenced."

The report fits a pattern of MCPS bullying against teachers and school system officials who have been critical of the controversial Kendale project and other policies.

In February, a retired MCPS teacher wrote a stinging article in the Gazette, in which she decried a "culture of intimidation" by "bully" superintendents and their minions in the system.

The hazardous portable classrooms are the result of conscious MCPS policy to pack public schools with kids, without adequate long-term planning. Some 17,000 MCPS students are forced to study in portables.

MCPS has an official Harassment or Intimidation (Bullying) Report Form to document incidents. The form is intended for students, but citizens are urging harassed teachers and other MCPS employees, as well as parents, to use the form to report bullying from public officials. For a copy, click here.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Clarksburg deal won't stop IG probe

A deal to settle wrongdoing at Clarksburg Town Center won't stop Inspector Thomas Dagley's probe of alleged corruption in the county government, the Washington Post reports.

"Clarksburg remains a very active investigation for us, and rightfully so," Dagley said in the Post. "We are committed for the long haul . . . and our timetable is very different than others', such as those who have a goal for the mediation process."

The Clarksburg case is important to the Seven Locks community, as it represents what appears to be a pattern of wrongdoing by county officials. The Save Seven Locks School Coalition has joined forces with the community leaders in Clarksburg who discovered the waste, fraud and abuse of trust.

MCPS-approved group threatened to stalk children of critics

A leader of an MCPS-endorsed activist group has threatened to stalk the children of political opponents in Montgomery County.

The executive director Casa de Maryland, a Silver Spring-based organizer of the April 10 illegal immigration rally in Washington, DC, threatened to stalk MCPS children whose parents oppose the organization's political agenda.

"We are going to picket their houses, and the schools of their kids and go to their work. If they are going to do this to us, we are going to respond in the same way, to let people know their neighbors are extremists, that they are anti-immigrant. They are going to hear from us," said Casa de Maryland Executive Director Gustavo Torres.

Asked for comment, Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal on March 7 criticized Torres' threat to picket residents homes and their children's schools as "totally uncalled for and wholly inappropriate."

But, Leventhal added, Torres said he was sorry and the group does good work, so the county should continue to fund and support Casa de Maryland nevertheless.

Torres accompanied County Executive Doug Duncan on his 2005 trip to El Salvador.

Rally for illegal immigration is MCPS version of community service

Demonstrating in Washington on behalf of illegal immigration is a form of "community service" for which Montgomery County students should receive credit, according to MCPS.

"Maryland students are required to put in 60 hours of community service to graduate from high school," according to the Washington Post. "They can undertake a number of activities - including work for political campaigns - as long as the work is done for a secular, nonprofit community organization that is tax-exempt and that school officials have approved."

MCPS says the illegal immigrant protest fits the "community service" criteria.

Protest organizers include Casa de Maryland and Mexicans Without Borders.

Another MCPS endorsement of lawbreaking

MCPS is showing a pattern of disregard for the law.

First it was the refusal to recognize the authority of the Montgomery County Inspector General to investigate allegations of MCPS waste, fraud, abuse and other wrongdoing.

Then it was its violation of Maryland state law concerning the county's health education curriculum.

Now it is the decision to grant school credit for participating in the April 10 demonstration in support of illegal immigration.

Weast paints critics as bigots

Defending the MCPS decision to give credit to students attenting a rally for illegal immigration, Superintendent Jerry Weast commented on a torrent of telephone calls from angry citizens. As is becoming a pattern at MCPS, Weast paints the critics as a bunch of bigots.

He used the abusive or uncharitable language from some of the callers as a hook to smear all the critics.

"In a memo sent to Board of Education members," the Washington Post reports, "Weast said that 'callers were abusive to school system staff, using derogatory ethnic comments in expressing their views.' He added, 'This is not the first time the national debate on immigration policy has engendered harsh commentary for the school system and staff as a target for political purposes.'"

[Blogger's note to Weast and others: This blog is run by an immigrant family whose foreign-born members came to this country legally. So quit the race-baiting, please.]

Washington Post: MCPS judgment in question

Critics of the MCPS decision to grant school credit to student protesters "has some questioning whether the school system is allowing an outside group to push its political agenda on students," according to the Washington Post.

"I'm taken aback by it," says parent Melissa Andersen. "I think it's poor judgment."

"It's the wrong thing for the schools to be pushing," says another parent, Brad Botwin. "This is way outside the balance. You can send kids to a nursing home, but a rally? This is not learning."

Abrams accuses critics of opposing free speech

School board member Steve Abrams is defending the MCPS decision to grant credit to students who demonstrate under the auspices of an illegal-immigrant advocacy group.

He implies that critics oppose freedom of speech.

"The last time I checked, the First Amendment is not a right to question what the speech is," Abrams says in the Washington Post. "I'm sure if students were participating in a tax cap rally, these same people would not be objecting to that."

Abrams is a Republican who is seeking this year to be elected Comptroller of the state of Maryland.

MCPS-approved group includes radicals who killed US servicemen

Casa de Maryland, the MCPS-approved group sponsoring the April 10 demonstrations in Washington, was set up in the 1980s to provide sanctuary for immigrants from Central America - particularly members of a Cuban-backed guerrilla group whose death squads murdered four off-duty US Marines, at least two American businessmen, an American Jesuit priest and others.

Members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) of El Salvador have been heavily involved with Casa de Maryland since the beginning. The FMLN was an extremist guerrilla group that used death squads, political assassinations, car bombings, and sabotage of public schools and infrastructure in its bloody civil war to turn El Salvador into a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary regime.

Among the Americans killed by FMLN gunmen was Army LTC David Pickett (pictured) and CW4 Daniel Scott. The FMLN executed them in 1991 after they survived a helicopter crash. Casa de Maryland was advocating for the FMLN here in Montgomery County at the time.

After a peace agreement, the FMLN demilitarized and became a legal political party, which it remains as today. However, the FMLN has not shed its extremist ideology and remains a radical transnational revolutionary organization.

In El Salvador on April 6, the FMLN sponsored demonstrations in support of the April 10 demonstrations across the United States. The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is the main US front organization for the FMLN.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Praisner: Public confidence is at stake

Public confidence in the school system depends on a quick and transparent resolution of the Seven Locks/Kendale issue, County Council member Marilyn Praisner says.

A task force of County Council and MCPS officials is to study eight options for building a large school in the Potomac/Seven Locks area to relieve Potomac's overcrowding, and the panel is due to report its recommendations within four weeks.

Community groups and local PTA members expressed concern that MCPS cronyism on the task force would result in punitive solutions against the Seven Locks community.

But Praisner warns that the compromise task force or MCPS won't have the last word. "Nothing precludes the council from saying, 'No, we don't like any of your options. Go back and find something else and start over," Praisner says in the Washington Examiner.

The task force's findings, she adds, should be made public as soon as they are sent to county lawmakers and the school board, in order to "maintain the confidence of the community."