Comparison of state category spending between HCPSS and others

Here is a comparison of state category spending between HCPSS (in the middle column) and other neighboring school districts(Baltimore County, Frederick County, Arundel County, Montgomery County) over the last five years. At the current budget level, a 1.0% of HCPSS budget is 9 million dollars.

I believe it is important for the school board and the school system to

  1. Develop a long-term (five-year?) plan if the school system only gets an MOE (Maintenance of Effort) level funding from the county for the next several years. For example, is there any structural spending problem? If yes, how to fix it. If no, how to fix the budget issue by restructuring them. We have been facing funding shortage in the last several budget cycles.
  2. Develop a plan if HCPSS gets above the minimal MOE level, how to use that extra money for classroom support, teacher compensation improvement, instructional materials, etc.
  3. Continue with the established plan to pay down the health fund deficit ( around 32 millions now)
  4. Partner with the community and stakeholders, advocate a larger share from the county and state funding into HCPSS. This is the most critical part since BOE does not generate money. We are only managing the money allocated for the school system and we have to balance the budget. Without a growing pie, every year’s budget cycle is painful.
  5. Attract more funding from other resources (grant, HCPSS fundraising, etc)

Another comparison I would love to get is the K-12 funding level for each county over the years.

MD Educational Equity Policy

Attached is the MABE sample policy on Educational Equity. As all MABE member school boards format and configure their policies in different ways, this sample policy is offered as an aid to MABE members for the creation or revision of that member’s State Board required policy on Educational Equity. This sample policy aligns with the requirements of the new COMAR 13A.01.06.01-05 – Educational Equity.
This sample policy is not required to be adopted in the current format, as it needs to be formatted and configured in light of your school system’s policy requirements and the specific educational equity concerns of each local board. Additionally, there are portions of the sample contained in [brackets] that may or may not be included in your school system policy at the discretion of your board.
MABE’s strategic plan for 2019-2024 calls for the Association to assist member boards in developing a shared understanding and vision of educational equity; by helping them to formulate and implement an equity policy that provides educational equity for each student by creating and maintaining equitable, inclusive, and diverse environments. The MABE Board of Directors and Ad Hoc Equity Committee appreciate your consideration of this important topic.
MABE does not offer legal advice, only information, and urges each member board to seek the advice of your legal counsel.

Superintendent Struggle Part 2

What is happening with our superintendents recently?

  1. Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose resigned with 1.6 million dollars’ package in 2017.
  2. Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance first resigned without any early notice and now was jailed for greed, bribery and lie in 2018.
  3. P.G. County Superintendent Kevin Maxwell retired with 800,000 package in 2018. Under his leadership, PG county systematically inflated student grades to meet graduation requirements.
  4. Montgomery County could not find a superintendent for a long time since 2015.

These four school systems are very large. The superintendent struggle probably tells us something unique to our school system. The Council of Great City Schools, which researches tenure, salaries and characteristics of school superintendents, found in a 2014 report that 3.2 years was the average tenure among superintendents in cities with populations of more than 250,000. Ref:

In order to prevent the superintendent position as a cash cow in the future, we need give the school board the authority to fire the superintendent. In my opinion, the firing needs a super majority, not a simple majority.  We need push our state legislatures to update our law.


Follow the law, simple and straightforward

I got the permission to post this letter from Stu Kohn, President of Howard County Citizen Association. As humble as an ordinary citizen, we just simply ask our County Council Members, who are making law for everyone in this county, to follow the law first.

Many people may remember the farce that the County Council passed APFO last winter and then they found out the legal time span to vote on the bill expired. How awkward and wrong!!!

They are not new council members. Four of five council members have been on the seats continuously for almost 12 years.  By the way, if our ordinary citizens do not pay attention, this probably continue to happen. On the hand side, if we go back to the last 12 years and examine those bills/resolutions passed before, we may find more violations.

I am not talking about the Erickson Senior Living project at all. Our River Hill Village Association Board had many discussions and sent our opinion to the DPZ already.

I am simply asking our elected County Council Members to follow the law.

Date:  16 July 2016

Subject:  CB59-2018 Erickson Proposal – Expansion of the PSA

Dear Council Members – My name is Stu Kohn and I am the President of the Howard County Citizens Association, HCCA testifying on their behalf.  This proposed Bill is not about any marketing on Erickson’s part or any campaign donations.  It is about the expansion of the Planned Service Area, PSA and only this.  Unfortunately the Planning Board did not adhere to this mandate announced by Val Lazdins, Director of DPZ when it was heard in April.  You will hear from other Associations that we are very infuriated we are even here to discuss CB59.  We should not be here.  This is because the Howard County – Code of Ordinances under TITLE 16 – PLANNING, ZONING AND SUBDIVISIONS AND LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, SECTION16.211 – COUNCIL MANIC ELECTION YEARS clearly states the following:

“In any year in which members of the County Council are elected, the incumbent Councilmembers, shall not take final action on any zoning application after the date of the primary election as set by law and until the newly elected County Councilmembers have qualified and taken office. The enactment of this section shall not in any way prevent the Zoning Board or the County Council from acting on zoning matters which are considered, in the discretion of the Council or the Board, to be emergency matters that could be injurious to the County or any of its citizens.”

There is absolutely no interpretation required as the aforementioned states you are not permitted to discuss any zoning changes during the specified period of time.  This is by all means a “Zoning Matter.”  Just refer to the contents of this Bill on page 1, lines 27-30.  It states, “WHEREAS, the proposed expansion of the Planned Service Area is a part of a specific zoning proposal to rezone the Property from RC-DEO to CEF-M for the stated purpose of providing a continuing care retirement community (“CCRC”) to consist of independent living units; assisted living; and skilled nursing care.” This clearly is a zoning change request!

 In fact you clearly state exactly this in the proposed CB56 which you all support on page 3, Lines 2 thru 4.  It states, “Because the County Council is prohibited from taking any Zoning action until January 2019, it is imperative that the County have sufficient time to consider and act on any recommendations concerning zoning changes in the Tiber Branch Watershed.” Furthermore you declared CB56 via a Resolution an Emergency situation.  So in order for CB59 an Emergency must be declared by this body via a Resolution before you even think about public testimony.  In addition, the sad thing is that CB59 and for that matter CR119 was not Pre-filed or Late-filed when you conducted your Legislative Hearing on 2 July.  Why not?  How was the public to be properly informed?  On the County Website regarding Pre-filed it states, “Legislation that will be introduced at the next legislative session is pre-filed 11 calendar days before that legislative session. During these 11 days, you will be able to view pre-filed legislation on this page.”  Where is the transparency? 

In conclusion you as Councilmembers have no choice but to tell the applicant that the Expansion of the PSA cannot be discussed by us because we would be wasting everyone’s time as we are not permitted to take final action because of an election year as stipulated in Title 16, Section 16.211.  If the applicate wants to pursue then it is incumbent for you to tell them their proposal will have to wait until at least January 2019.  We simply ask you to fulfill your duty as our representatives. 

Thank You,

 Stu Kohn

HCCA, President


Every Vote Counts. Yes

I did not think of “every vote counts” very much before. Now it comes to us so closely. There are three important, very very close races in the 2018 Primary Election in Maryland. This is an eye-opening moment.

  1. Howard County Council District 1, Democratic Candidate Race
    1. Liz Walsh (3173 votes) led Jon Weinstein (3171 votes) by 2 votes
    2. absentee/provisional vote: Liz: 125, Jon 82
    3. There is a 0.054% difference
  2. Baltimore County Executive, Democratic Candidate Race
    1. John “Johnny O” Olszewski ( 27804) led Jim Brochin (27795) by 9 votes
    2. absentee/provisional vote: John: 953, Jim 1290
    3. There is a 0.032% difference.
    4. The primary race winner will be the next county executive since Baltimore County is highly blue.
  3. Montgomery County Executive, Democratic Candidate Race
    1. Marc Elrich (37529) led David Blair (37449) by 80 votes.
    2. absentee/provisional vote: Marc: 2629, David 3041
    3. There is a 0.21% difference.  This difference is a little larger and Blair has difficulty to flip the race.
    4. The primary race winner will be the next county executive since Montgomery County is deep blue.

Now everything comes to the absentee/provisional votes. Invalidating/validating votes will take some time. The candidates probably need/will hire election lawyers to sit there side by side.


National Gun Violence Awareness Day Proclamation

It is kind of shame we could not stop the continuous mass shooting around the country. More than ever, every parent now has a fear of their children’s safety at school.

CA board approved the following proclamation during last week’s board session on 4/26/2018. Please join their effort ( Moms Demand Action of Howard County) to advocate gun violence awareness. There was a Baltimore Sun report on them (Ruth Hughes, leader of the Howard County section of Moms Demand Action, said in the meantime children are being “literally caught in the crosshairs.”):

CA national gun violence awareness day


Columbia’s Sister Cities Show at the Mall

We have four Sister Cities, Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain; Tema, Ghana; and Cap-Haitien, Haiti. Another new sister city from China, Liyang is under the board consideration now.

Ongoing High School Exchange Program

There are three amazing opportunities for Howard County high school students to travel abroad next summer and experience the life of a teen in one of Columbia’s three sister cities: Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain or Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

We are connecting people and building friendship.

Lisa Cameron Schuster shared a valuable picture (from Columbia Flier) when she joined a CA sister city trip to France long time ago.

Mitigate plane noise from Nextgen

Tonight I received a call from Lisa Hosinski from Orange County, California (Citizens for No Plane Noise). They knew from my website that Maryland Citizens are concerned with the extra plane noise created by the new Next-gen FAA routing policy at BWI. They want to exchange some information with the group here, leading by Paul Verchinski.

I am sharing their slides here and they proposed a solution too. I wish the coordinated effort across the country will mitigate plane noise from Nextgen soon.

The slide is here: Citizens for no plane noise

Magnetic High Speed Train to DMV?

Got this from our councilman Dr. Calvin Ball’s newsletter. Thanks for his effort informing the community. This is great news.  

Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) Project

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential impacts of constructing and operating a high-speed superconducting magnetic levitation (SCMAGLEV) system between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD with an intermediate stop at BWI Airport. The EIS is being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and other applicable regulations and procedures. For more information on what a SCMAGLEV system looks like, click here.


As part of an ongoing effort to keep stakeholders informed and gather input throughout the planning process, the second round of Open Houses concludes on Saturday, April 8, 2017 10am-12pm – Courtyard Marriott Washington, DC/U.S. Capitol, 1325 2nd Street NE, Washington DC. Public comments are also being accepted via email. Send written comments:  SCMAGLEV Project, c/o John Trueschler, Maryland Transit Administration, 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Inhumane and unbelievable of US visa application

I am trying to ask our elected officials to help with a visa application for a family whose son was brutally murmured in Bowie, Maryland. The victim’s family want to attended their son’s funeral and the US consular denied their visa application. Just read how the visa application was denied in five seconds, the process sometimes is inhumane and unbelievable wrong.

Our state senate Susan Lee called me back and offered to help. I really appreciate her effort.

Dear our elected Asian American Caucus,

(Their email is

We need your urgent help for a visa application.

There was a triple murder in Bowie, Maryland in January. The news is here:

I just heard that the victim’s family members of Mr. Jin Chen in China applied for visa to attend the funeral in Maryland and were denied the visa. They were thinking of applying for the visa again on this Friday (Feb 24) at the US consular at Guangzhou, China. It was reported that Chen’s family member was asked a question whether Mr. Chen was married.  After the family member replied with a “yes”, then the visa application was denied immediately. I just could not think of a situation like this. A visa to attend a family funeral in a terrible murder case was denied without any sound reasons.


Can any of you do something to help their family members to get a visa? You can write to the state department and the US consular at Guangzhou, China to express your support to grant a visa to Mr. Chen’s family member.  Such kind of letters usually help.

Thank you very much.

Dr. Chao Wu

A resident from Howard County, Maryland

MABE’s Objection to the Legality of Governor Hogan’s Executive Order(01.01.2016.09)

September 12, 2016
Adam D. Snyder, Esq., Chief Counsel
Opinions, Advice and Legislation Division
Office of the Attorney General
St. Paul Plaza, 200 St. Paul Place

Baltimore, Maryland  21202
Subject:   MABE’s Objection to the Legality of Governor Hogan’s
Executive Order (01.01.2016.09) to Mandate Starting the
School Year After Labor Day and Ending No Later Than
June 15.

Dear Mr. Snyder:
On August 31, 2016, Governor Hogan signed an Executive Order mandating a post-Labor Day start for all of Maryland’s public schools beginning in 2017. The Order further mandates that the school year end by June 15th.  MABE strongly opposes this initiative as outside the scope of the Governor’s executive authority and contrary to the principle of state and local board of education governance of education policy as provided in numerous provisions of state law.
The Executive Order is Outside the Scope of the Governor’s Constitutional Executive Authority
The Executive Order references being issued under the authority vested in the Governor by the Constitution and laws of Maryland; authority which neither the Constitution nor laws of Maryland provide.
First, the Constitution provides the Governor with the authority to issue an Executive Order as follows: “The Governor may make changes in the organization of the Executive Branch of the State Government, including the establishment or abolition of departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, and the reallocation or reassignment of functions, powers, and duties among the departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Executive Branch” (Article II, Section 24, Maryland Constitution).  The Executive Order lies outside this scope of authority because the Maryland State Department Education (MSDE) is not a state agency within the Executive Branch of the State Government. Section 8-201 of the State Government Article defines the Executive Branch of the State Government to mean “not more than 21 principal departments” and enumerates 19 principal departments, including: (1) Aging; (2) Agriculture; (3) Budget and Management; (4) Commerce; (5) Disabilities; (6) the Environment; (7) General Services; (8) Health and Mental Hygiene; (9) Housing and Community Development; (10) Human Resources; (11) Information Technology; – 236 – (12) Juvenile Services; (13) Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; (14) Natural Resources; (15) Planning; (16) Public Safety and Correctional Services; (17) State Police; (18) Transportation; and (19) Veterans Affairs.
Under Section 8-201 of the State Government Article, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is not a department within the Executive branch. Therefore, the Executive Order exceeds the scope of executive authority granted a Governor under Section 24 of Article II of the Maryland Constitution.
To further support this position, and to distinguish MSDE from state agencies within the Executive Branch, Section 8-203 of the State Government Article provides that “The head of each principal department is a secretary, who shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.” This law does not apply to MSDE or the office of the State Superintendent of Schools. By contrast, the State Superintendent is appointed by the State Board of Education, not the Governor, and has the general powers and duties provided in Subtitle 3 of the Education Article. In this context, the Executive Order exceeds the Governor’s scope of authority.
The Executive Order Conflicts with the Authority of the State Board of Education under State Law

The Executive Order conflicts with the scope of authority granted the State Superintendent and State Board of Education under Section 2-205 of the Education Article. Section 2-205(b) provides: “The State Board shall: (1) Determine the elementary and secondary educational policies of this State; and  (2) Cause to be carried out those provisions of this article that are within its jurisdiction” Under Maryland law, it is the State Board of Education which “shall adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations for the administration of the public schools.”
Maryland’s highest court has consistently found that Section 2-205 of the Education Article confers comprehensive “visitatorial power” upon the State Board. This “visitatorial power” has been recognized for more than a century, and is typically described in the same manner prescribed by Maryland’s highest court in Board of Education v. Heister, 392 Md. 140 (2006):
The totality of [the Education Article] provisions has been described as a visitatorial power of such comprehensive character as to invest the State Board “with the last word on any matter concerning educational policy or the administration of the system of public education.” The broad sweep of the State Board’s visitatorial power has been consistently recognized and applied since the principle was first enunciated in 1879 in Wiley v. School Comm’rs, 51 Md. 401.
The court, in Heister, went on to explain the scope and purpose of the State Board’s visitatorial power:
We think it beyond question that the power of visitation vested in the State Board is one of general control and supervision; it authorizes the State Board to superintend the activities of the local boards of education to keep them within the legitimate sphere of their operations, and whenever a controversy or dispute arises involving the educational policy or proper administration of the public school system of the State, the State Board’s visitatorial power authorizes it to correct all abuses of authority and to nullify all irregular proceedings.

The Executive Order Conflicts with the Authority of the State Superintendent of Schools under State Law
The State Board of Education’s authority is to be exercised through the State Superintendent. Section 2-205(g) of the Education Article provides that: “(2) Through the State Superintendent, the State Board shall exercise general control and supervision over the public schools and educational interests of this State”; and further that “With the advice of the State Superintendent, the State Board shall establish basic policy and guidelines for the program of instruction for the public schools.” In these ways, the Executive Order conflicts with the legal authority established for the State Superintendent and State Board of Education under the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The Executive Order Conflicts with the Authority of Local Boards of Education under State Law
Under Section 4-108 of the Education Article, “Each county board shall: (1) To the best of its ability carry out the applicable provisions of this article and the bylaws, rules, regulations, and policies of the State Board; (2) Maintain throughout its county a reasonably uniform system of public schools that is designed to provide quality education and equal educational opportunity for all children; (3) Subject to this article and to the applicable bylaws, rules, and regulations of the State Board, determine, with the advice of the county superintendent, the educational policies of the county school system; and (4) Adopt, codify, and make available to the public bylaws, rules, and regulations not inconsistent with State law, for the conduct and management of the county public schools.”
This statute delegates broad policy-making authority to each local board of education, subject to the Education Article and the regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. The Executive Order purports to violate the scope of authority established under enacted statutory law for each local board of education.
School Calendar is an Illegal Subject of Bargaining within the Sole Purview of Local Boards
The authority of each local board to determine the annual school calendar is clearly indicated by the law’s definition of the scope of collective bargaining. Section 6-408 (c)(3) and 6-510 (c)(3) limit the scope of bargaining to exclude school calendar and class size. The statute provides: “A public school employer may not negotiate the school calendar, the maximum number of students assigned to a class, or any matter that is precluded by applicable statutory law.” By logical implication, the only rationale for stipulating the illegality of subjecting the school calendar to the bilateral bargaining process is to preserve this topic for the local board’s unilateral decision-making authority. The Executive Order shifts the status of the school calendar from a subject matter within the sole purview of each local board, not even subject to negotiation with employee organizations, to one governed by parameters established solely by the Governor.

Local Boards Are Not Units of State Government
Maryland’s local boards of education are not units of state government. Maryland’s highest court has held that local boards of education are not defined as units of state government (Chesapeake Charter, Inc. v. Anne Arundel County Board of Education, 358 Md. 129 (2000)).

The Waiver Process Impedes Local Board Duty to All Students  
In addition, the Executive Order imposes a new legal impediment to the ability of each local board to exercise authority under Section 4-108 to “Maintain throughout its county a reasonably uniform system of public schools that is designed to provide quality education and equal educational opportunity for all children.” By imposing rigid parameters for the beginning and ending of the school year, and providing an annual waiver process based on “compelling justification”, the Executive Order would force a local board to seek a waiver in order to fulfill its statutory duty to make decisions, including the adoption of a school calendar, in a manner “designed to provide quality education and equal educational opportunity for all children.” This impediment would foreseeably have a disproportionate impact on students defined under Maryland education law as deserving additional educational resources: students receiving special education, students eligible for free and reduced price meals, and students with limited English proficiency.
Local Board Authority to Set Calendar During 10-Month Period
The Executive Order directly conflicts with the authority vested in each local board of education, under Section 7-103 of the Education Article, to ensure that each public school “Shall be open for pupil attendance for at least 180 actual school days and a minimum of 1,080 school hours during a 10-month period in each school year.” The statutory authority assigned to each local board to set the school calendar during a 10-month cannot be exercised within the less than 10-month period mandated by a post-Labor Day through June 15 school year. For example, in 2020 when Labor Day falls on September 7, and school could not commence until September 8, the June 15 deadline for the end of the school year would require a school year much shorter than 10 months. Again, unless the statute is amended, the Executive Order stands in direct conflict with the 10-month school calendar parameter delegated to each local board.
For the above stated reasons, MABE requests the Office of the Maryland Attorney General to issue an opinion finding the Executive Order (01.01.2016.09) to mandate starting the school year after Labor Day and ending no later than June 15 to be illegal as outside the scope of the Governor’s Constitutional executive authority.
For more information on this matter please contact MABE’s Director of Legal and Policy Services, Stephen C. Bounds, at; or MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations, John R. Woolums, Esq., at

Brig.Gen. Warner I. Sumpter (Ret.) USA


Traffic Noise Barrier Request from River Hill Community (MD 32)

Residents in our neighborhood are requesting a noise barrier and the following is a copy/paste answer from SHA. Our community organization sent similar requests to state and county too.

Two flaws in the answer:

1) The car speed will go up dramatically after West 32 is expanded. I believe the noise will go up too.  SHA seems to keep a blind eye on this critical factor.

2) SHA should consider noise barrier while building/expanding new highways at the start. After those constructions are done, the money is used up. It takes another several years/decades to build a noise barrier. However, at the same time, many people’s life have been negatively impacted for a long time. Just see they are building one barrier after another along Route 29. It really affect the traffic for years while building the noise barrier.

Dear xxx,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding traffic noise impacts to your community of River Hill, located near the interchange of Great Star Drive and MD 32 (Patuxent Freeway) in Columbia, Maryland.  More specifically, we would like to address your concerns regarding traffic noise impacts to your residence at 6381 Morning Time Lane in Howard County.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) State Highway Administration (SHA) considers the need for noise barriers in two circumstances, designated as Type I and Type II.  In Type I situations, barriers are considered when a new highway is being built or an existing highway is being expanded to add capacity.  On May 5, 1989, when the relocation/expansion of MD 32 was originally in planning, a document (FHWA-MD-EIS-72-07-FS) was approved, which included noise impact studies of the undeveloped areas along MD 32.  These areas would become the future residential community of River Hill.  This document concluded projected maximum traffic noise levels for the adjacent noise sensitive areas would not reach the 66-decibel threshold for residential development, and noise mitigation was not suggested.  New development after the “Date of Public Knowledge” was not included in studies for noise abatement as part of project planning.  Our research shows the majority of homes in the River Hill community, in particular those along Morning Time Lane, were built in the mid 1990’s.


In July 1996, soon after construction of MD 32 and at the request of area residents, SHA performed noise measurements at 22 different locations along MD 32 in the area of Great Star Drive.  Measurements were taken again in October 1996, concluding traffic noise at those locations did not reach 66 decibels and, verifying the noise analysis, noise levels were not high enough to warrant noise barrier construction.  The SHA did agree to provide additional landscaping and earthen berms to address concerns about the view shed.


Your correspondence also mentioned the planned project to widen MD 32, from MD 108 to Linden Church Road.  Noise analysis for this project did not include your community and ended just south of the MD 108 interchange.  Additional construction and widening of the roadway to the north of your community will not increase the overall capacity of MD 32 in your area and, therefore, Type I analysis was not required.  In addition, SHA has no plans at this time to further improve the capacity of MD 32 south of MD 108, which would warrant a Type I noise barrier analysis.


Communities may also be eligible for our Type II, or Retrofit Noise Barrier Program, when a highway already exists and is not being expanded.  The intent of the Type II Program is to address areas of noise impact to communities predating either the original construction of the highway, or the inclusion of environmental analyses in the highway development process. Our records indicate the majority of homes in the vicinity of the MD 32 and the Great Star Drive interchange were built in the mid 1990’s.  Your residence, in particular, was built in 1996.  Based on this information, your residence is not eligible for our Type II Noise Barrier Program.


Thank you again for your interest in this important matter.  If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at 410-545-8629, toll-free 1-888-228-5003, or via email at







Cornelius C. Barmer, P.E.

Assistant Division Chief

Office of Highway Development

State Highway Administration

Maryland Department of Transporation

707 N. Calvert Street

Mailstop C-102

Baltimore, MD 21202


Montmogery County’s Giant Tax Hike


I subscribed to Prof. David Lublin‘s blog. It is a very interesting read. Recently it posted several articles on Montgomery County’s Giant Tax (9%) Hike.

Since our county hires many administrators from Montgomery County, it is informative to have some understanding of the so-called Montgomery experience.  It applies to BOE board members, superintendents and other county government officials.

I am just listing two of his articles here:

  1. MoCo’s Giant Tax Hike, Part One,
  2. MoCo’s Giant Tax Hike, Part Six,

Van Hollen endorsed by 80-20 DC PAC

It is election season again.

80-20 DC Chapter Endorses Chris Van Hollen for the US Senate

80-20 Initiative DC Area Chapter is endorsing Chris Van Hollen for the United States Senate, call Asian, especially Chinese Americans in Maryland to vote in the democratic primary on April 26, 2016.
Why should the Chinese American community support Chris Van Hollen as the Democratic Party candidate for the open Senate seat?  First Chris Van Hollen has worked for many years for the Chinese American community.  We know he is one politician that has always been willing to help Chinese Americans.  Secondly, Chris Van Hollen in Congress has always been sympathetic to policies that we supported.  He has always listened to our views and will continue to do so in the future.  Thirdly, Chris Van Hollen has been a supporter of research and NIH.  The Chinese American vote may play a decisive role in this election, this primary in particular.  Chris Van Hollen’s opponent is Donna Edwards.
The primary election will be a very close one .  Every vote weights a lot. In 2014, only 23% eligible voters voted in Maryland’s primary.  
What do you need to do?  First, you need to register as a Democrat before April 5. Only through the political parties will your vote count. And the registration can be done online at Maryland’s Online Voter Registration System (OLVR).  Second, vote for Chris Van Hollen on April 26 at your polling station.  In a democracy, like ours, your voice will only be heard if you participate in the political process.

Traffic Light request for Linden Linthicum Lane and 108

There is a survey distributed from the county executive Mr. Allan Kittleman’s office:

The survey will be open through March 11, 2016, and can be accessed directly at  If you wish to make comments directly or have questions regarding the FY17 priority letter, please email Jefferson Miller at or call the Howard County Office of Transportation at 410-313-3130.

The actual survey link is :

However, there is no project description for this traffic light. So you need send emails to the following email address for this project

For larger impact, send emails out to the following recipients: 

One sample email can be as following:

TitleTraffic Light Request for the intersection between Linden Linthicum Lane and Clarksville Pike (108)


At the intersection of Linden Linthicum Lane and 108, there were two collisions on 2/22/2016, one involving a school bus.  There was also a serious collision at that same intersection 2/21/2016.  There have been many more accidents before.

The traffic is really bad during the rush hour. Drivers from Linden Linthicum Lane could not get into 108 and drivers from Clarksville Pike could not make left turns. The backup could be as long as one mile. There are River Hill High School and Clarksville Elementary School nearby. There are two churches nearby. There is Columbia Gym nearby. There are a lot of businesses in the River Hill Village center. All of them are within 0.5 miles or closer.

Please facilitate the process for building a traffic light before more accidents happen.


Put your name and street name (or exact address) there too.