October 2006 Newsbriefs

Oct. 10, 2006, midnight | By Adam Yalowitz | 17 years, 4 months ago

Additional funds secured for Old Blair Auditorium

U.S. Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski announced the addition of $200,000 to a federal appropriations bill for the Old Blair Auditorium project in July, according to the project's newsletter. These funds supplement a $2,400 management assistance grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council to help the project organize a donor database.

Over the summer, a needs analysis concluded that more than 22 organizations would benefit from the restoration of the auditorium. Also during the summer, political officials and candidates from District 20, which includes Silver Spring and Takoma Park, toured the auditorium.

Leggett defeats Silverman in the Democratic primary for county executive

Isaiah "Ike" Leggett won the Democratic primary for Montgomery County executive over Steve Silverman with a 61 to 36 percent victory on Sept. 12, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Hours were extended at polling locations in Montgomery County on Election Day because of problems with voting machines. Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan is now requesting the county's top elections officials be fired, claiming that they were responsible for the voting chaos during the primary elections.

Blair looks to improve recycling

Recycling efforts at Blair have intensified this year, with building services implementing a new program designed to make recycling bins more readily available to students and staff.

Under the plan formulated by building services manager Yakubu Agbonselobho, new multi-port containers for disposing aluminum cans, trash and recyclable materials will be located along every hallway. Each floor will have an estimated seven containers, plus additional ones at each locker base along Blair Boulevard. Agbonselobho believes that these new receptacles will make it easier for students to properly dispose their garbage. "How many students have the patience to walk all around the hallway to recycle? Out of sight is out of mind," he said.

Blair is currently waiting for the containers to arrive, according to business manager Jim Funk.

The county has been interested in implementing multi-port containers, and Blair is a potential candidate for a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of the more expensive receptacles, according to MCPS Environmental Safety Coordinator Lynne Zarate.

Agbonselobho's proposal aims to improve on past county recycling evaluations, which have consistently been poor.

Middle school students injured in van crash

Eleven White Oak Middle School students were injured when a van hit them while they were waiting at a school bus stop on Piney Branch Road on Sept. 1. Ten were hospitalized for non-life-threatening conditions while another was treated and released at the scene.

According to White Oak officials, the victims did not appear distressed. The driver of the van, Sebastian Vasquez, 29, of Hyattsville, said that the van slipped and spun out of control and that he did what he could to avoid hitting anyone. The bus stop was on the 9300 block of Piney Branch Road, between Carroll Road and New Hampshire Ave. Many parents responded with complaints that the bus stop should not be on a major road.

Immigration rally draws thousands

An immigration rally in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7 drew thousands of people including high profile speakers such as Ted Kennedy, NAACP president Bruce Gordon and National Capital Immigration Coalition president Jaime Contreras, all of whom urged Congress to take immediate and comprehensive action for immigration reform.

The speakers focused mainly on the importance of passing a comprehensive immigration policy, which would represent the millions of immigrants living in America. The rally was politically significant because of the upcoming November elections. Kennedy, stated that if Congress is unwilling to address the issue of immigration fairly, then it is time to elect a new Congress. Contreras mentioned what he described as the overwhelming number of legal immigrants who declined to vote in the last election, and said that it could and would not happen again.

New elementary school opens

Roscoe Nix Elementary School, named after a prominent civil rights leader, opened on Aug. 28 in Silver Spring. The school, built in response to an increasing school-age population in Burnt Mills, Hillandale and Oakview, holds classes from pre-kindergarten through second grade. Third- through fifth-graders will attend nearby Cresthaven.

Nix was president of the Montgomery County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1980 to 1990. He also served on the Board of Education for four years.

Important Dates

Oct. 9 - Columbus day, parent visits

Oct. 13 - Homecoming Game Football v. Wheaton, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 14 - Homecoming Dance, 7 - 11 p.m.

Oct. 20 - No school for students and teachers, MSTA convention

Oct. 31 - First marking period ends

Nov. 1 - No school for students, Professional day

Nov. 7 - Holiday, General elections


The National Merit Semifinalists from Blair were: Isaac Arnsdorf, Jonathan Berger, Jon Brookstone, Anthony Burnetti, Olivia Buzek, Jessica Cutler, Andrew Durnford, Ruosi Fan, Jordan Fein, David Goode, David Gootenberg, Rebecca Graber, Jeffrey Guo, Mark Harding, Timothy He, Alexander Hyder, Erica Irving, Kathleen Jee, Baijia Jiang, Julia Kaufman, Audrey Kubetin, Cyril Lan, Brian Lawrence, Rachel Lee, Timothy Lee, Benjamin Li, Amanda Liebrecht, Christie Lin, Hailey Lin, Matt McCutchen, Jason Meer, Neil Mendhiratta, Levon Mkrtchyan, Ishaan Mukherji, Alexandra O'Hora, Anjali Parekh, Pawel Przytycki, Ethan Schaler, Henry Scher, Benjamin Strauss, Eric Su, Yian Sun, Jeffrey Tseng, Justin Vlasits, Rebecca Vogel, Louis Wu, Joshua Yanovski and Allen Zhang.

Magnet senior Matt McCutchen won a silver medal for Team USA at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) on Aug. 20. The competition, held in Myriad, Mexico, from Aug. 13 to 20, consisted of six program prompts over two five-hour periods, as well as an initial practice round to help participants get accustomed to the expectations of the contest. Seventy-five teams from all over the world participated.

Additional reporting by Courtney Burtraw, Hareesh Ganesan, Kathy Jee, Amanda Pollak and Jasleen Salwan.

Adam Yalowitz. Adam Yalowitz is just silly. You may find him asking you how much sleep you got last night and then smirking when you say "five hours," because he's always slept less, no matter what. When he does sleep, he dreams of Barack Obama, Tastee Diner … More »

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