Construction of Transit Center scheduled for fall
Construction of the Silver Spring Transit Center, an effort by transportation authorities to renew the city's transit programs, will begin this fall. The Transit Center will consist of three levels with bus and rail access built on the public land now occupied by the Silver Spring Metro Station, according to Tom Pogue, community outreach manager for the Department of Public Works and Transportation. In a joint agreement, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Montgomery County have leased the land to private builders, who will build residential towers and a hotel and create retail space. Pogue described the merger as a mix between public and private sectors that will benefit all commuters.
The center is one of several transportation efforts by County Executive Doug Duncan, who said Governor Bob Ehrlich has not provided all of the promised funding. "The state has contributed a substantial amount, but they are at the moment $5.6 million short of commitment," said Pogue.
Students and staff knitting afghans for soldiers
Blair students and staff are knitting rectangles to make afghans, or knitted quilts, for wounded American soldiers. Participants will each create six-by-nine inch rectangles, said Media Center Specialist Susan Madden. "Students should bring their own yarn and needles if they can, but we can provide some materials," said Madden. "You should make the rectangles out of acrylic yarn because some people are allergic to other types of yarn." The finished afghans will be packaged at a monthly meeting called a Put Together Event and then given to patients at Walter Reed Hospital. The last Put Together Event was held on April 1.
SMOB finalists chosen at nominating convention
Juniors Sarah Horvitz and Lindsay Abbet, from Springbrook and Quince Orchard, respectively, were elected as the final nominees for the 29th Student Member of the Board (SMOB) at the SMOB Nominating Convention at Northwest on March 2. Over 250 delegates from secondary schools across Montgomery County voted in the selection process. The nominees were chosen from five initial candidates after two rounds of balloting. All middle- and high-school students will vote to elect the SMOB on April 25.
Blair Music Program honored at New York festival
The Blair Music Program won the Festival Sweepstakes award and the Instrumental Sweepstakes award at the Heritage Music Festival in New York from March 31 to April 1. The Symphonic Orchestra earned a Gold rating and placed first. The Symphonic Band received a Gold rating and first place. The Jazz Band received a Gold rating and third place. Chamber Choir placed third and Women's Choir receieved a Silver rating.
Renovations continue in Old Blair auditorium
County executive Doug Duncan has budgeted $310,000 for renovating the Old Blair auditorium in addition to the $190,000 approved by the County Council for this year, according to Stuart Moore, a community activist. In the last three years, it has received $500,000 from the county and $600,000 from the state. The Old Blair auditorium was left sitting in disrepair when Blair moved to its current location in 1998.
Blazer places third in Intel Talent Search
Senior Chelsea Zhang won third place in the 2006 Intel Science Talent Search and received $50,000 in scholarship money. Her research project examined the molecular genetic mechanisms related to heart disease. Zhang implicated CX3CL1 molecules as contributing to plaque build-up in the arteries, a discovery that could help develop new medicines to treat atherosclerosis. Senior Minh-Phuong Huynh-Le, a finalist, did not place in the final round but received $5,000 for placing as a finalist.
Blair student publications win awards
Several of Blair's student publications have recently been honored with numerous regional and state awards. Silver Chips received a Silver Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at the organization's journalism conference held from March 15 to March 17, as well as several Gold Circle awards for individual staffers. The 2004-2005 edition of Silver Quill, Blair's literary magazine, is one of 10 finalists for the National Scholastic Press Association's Pacemaker Award in the magazine category. Silver Chips Online is a finalist in the online category. Silver Chips Managing Features Editor senior Jody Pollock was named Maryland's high-school journalist of the year by the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association.
Newsbriefs compiled by Adam Yalowitz with additional reporting by Bridget Egan, Lucy Fromyer, Eric Hysen, June Hu, Natasha Prados and Becca Sausvillle.
Resource counselor Marcia Johnson reminds students to study for their AP exams, administered May 1-12.
• April 8 — ACT administered
• April 8-17 — No school, Spring Break
• April 19 — Report cards distributed
• April 25-26 — SMOB elections
• April 28 — Blair Fair and PTSA Silent Auction
• April 29 — Instrumental Music Concert, 7:30 p.m., the SAC
• May 1-12 — AP exams
• May 6 — SAT I and II administered
• May 10 — Spring choral coffeehouse, 7 p.m., the SAC
• May 17 — Spring choral concert, 7:30 p.m., auditorium
• May 18 — Instrumental Music Concert, 7 p.m., auditorium
• May 18-19 — Senior exam review days
• May 22-26 — HSAs and senior exams
•Blair media teacher Shay Taylor and her Electronic News Gathering class won first place and a $1,000 grant from MCPS on March 17 for a public service announcement about drunk driving.
•Junior Maureen Raj competed in the final round of the Washington, D.C., area Shakespeare Speech competition against 40 other high-school students at D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre on March 6. Raj did not win the final round of the competition.
•Blair seniors and juniors won over 35 awards at the 50th Montgomery County Science Fair, held at the Montgomery County Fair Grounds from March 10 to March 12. Senior Alice Li was one of four to receive the grand award, and senior John Silberholz was named first runner-up.
•Senior Jeremy Goodman received third place in the poster session of the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.
•The Blair Computer Team placed second in the 16th annual University of Maryland Computer Programming contest held March 11. Juniors David Goode and Matt McCutchen and seniors Mitchell Katz and Mike Luo were coached by computer science teacher Karen Collins.
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