Montgomery County Executive Isaiah Leggett's budget proposal for the Fiscal Year 2011 recommended a 24 percent cut in funding for Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). Leggett advised that the council eliminate staff positions, decrease hours of operation and reduce the budget for library materials.
For a bill authorizing the Montgomery County Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) to vote on school boundary changes and closings, the budget and collective bargaining failed to pass in the Maryland Senate before the legislative session ended on April 13.
At Blair, students have learned to comply with discipline policies or at least accept the consequences. Students in many Texas school systems, however, now face a far more sinister punishment.
When President Obama signed the final part of his healthcare bill on Tuesday, a fervent crowd lauded him for finally achieving his campaign promise to expand coverage to uninsured Americans.
Seniors Jacob Hurwitz and Jennifer Wang took first place in the senior division of the Montgomery County Science Fair held March 19 - 21. Judges awarded Hurwitz and Wang with an expense-paid trip to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
In a memorandum sent to employees March 5, MCPS Superintendant Jerry Weast announced that he plans to eliminate 252 teacher positions to accommodate county budget cuts. Blair will reduce its teaching staff by 3.2 classroom teachers, one media specialist, one teacher assistant position and several special education teachers, according to Principal Darryl Williams.
Feb. 18 - Software engineer Joseph Stack crashed his single-engine plane into an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office building, killing one person and setting off a fire that prompted the evacuation of over 200 employees.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D) inspired hope within the Maryland gay community Wednesday after declaring that the state will now recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) officials have implemented additional computer security measures following the Jan. 27 discovery that students at Churchill High School accessed teacher grading accounts on school computers.
On Jan. 29, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that their foundation will provide $10 billion to research, develop and distribute vaccines to impoverished nations in Africa and Southeast Asia. Let me repeat that colossal figure, just in case your eyes didn't register it on the first read: $10 billion.
Senior Yifan Li was recognized as a finalist in the national Intel Science Talent Search (STS) competition on Wednesday. He is one of 15 Intel semifinalists from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).
Jan. 12 - A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday, killing an estimated 50,000 people and trapping thousands under the wreckage.
In an automated phone call sent Friday evening, Principal Darryl Williams announced that Blair will hold graduation at the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. on June 4 at 10:00 a.m.
On Dec. 9, 2009, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendant Jerry Weast released his budget recommendation for the fiscal year 2011. Crafted with the hope that the school system will survive the recession unscathed, Weast's $2.2 billion budget proposal has nonetheless become the target of criticism from concerned parents and students.
A third-floor fire alarm sounded today during 5A lunch, prompting students and faculty to evacuate the building until fire and rescue workers conducted a search of the school.
Dec. 16 – Police in Northern Virginia arrested 38 people suspected of dealing heroin and prescription drugs to high school students and young adults in Prince William and Fairfax Counties. The police sting was launched in response to the recent overdose deaths of Matthew Mittong and Mindy Weakly in Prince William County.
When 58-year-old Donald Gates walked out of an Arizona prison Tuesday morning with all his worldly possessions contained in a single cardboard box, he didn't express the bitterness or indignation one would expect from a man wrongly convicted of rape and murder.
The Blair administration and security team reopened bathrooms on the second and third floors during 5A and 5B lunches at the beginning of last week, according to Principal Darryl Williams. Security team leader Cedric Boatman implemented the lunchtime bathroom closures to prevent students from skipping classes in the upstairs bathrooms.
Nov. 19 - In a Nov. 18 Senate hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. defended his Nov. 13 decision to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators, alleged masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to a civilian court in the Southern District of New York for criminal trials.
In a meeting held Nov. 17, the Blair Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) narrowed the list of potential graduation venues down to the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) Cole Field House and the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
English teacher Sandra Jacobs Ivey and English Department Head Vickie Adamson discovered graffiti that conveyed a racist message in the teacher parking lot Monday evening. The vandal, who has not been identified, wrote the offensive message in red paint in one of the parking spaces near the track field.
An MCPS work group will submit a formal report to the Board of Education (BOE) within the next couple of months recommending a repeal of the Loss of Credit (LC) policy for the 2010 - 2011 school year.
Shock swept the crowd gathered in Chicago when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) eliminated the city as host in its first round of voting.
With obesity-related deaths second only to those caused by tobacco, one would expect Congress to jump at the opportunity to reduce the consumption of drinks linked with weight gain.
In a Feb. 24 address to Congress, President Obama identified heath care as a pressing concern for his administration. He spoke of his commitment to insure the 30 million Americans currently without coverage and cut waste and inefficiency plaguing Medicare and Medicaid. Obama evoked a sense of urgency, declaring that "health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait and it will not wait another year," and called on health care providers, doctors and policymakers to initiate negotiations.
In a memo sent to the Blair administration on Tuesday, the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Public Information Office announced that the Board of Education approved the appointment of Peter Ostrander as Coordinator of Blair's Math, Science and Computer Science Program. Ostrander, who currently serves as the secondary program supervisor for the MCPS Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction, will fill the vacancy left by former Magnet Coordinator Dennis Heidler.
A woman sweeps a brush across a set of cheekbones, adding color to an otherwise ashy complexion. Next comes a rosy blush, followed by a shimmering eye shadow to accentuate the eyes. Such is the work of gym teacher Brooke Franceschini, who doubles as a beauty consultant at Mary Kays to earn extra money.
Senior Jose Sarmiento received a $25,000 college scholarship from the Chris Cooley Education Fund, a charitable organization that awarded eight low-income students from area high schools scholarship money to put towards higher education. Cooley, a Redskins tight end and founder of the organization, will honor the recipients at a June 9 ceremony held in Washington, D.C. from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Pixar soars to new heights with the release of "Up," an animated masterpiece that speaks to the redemptive power of love as a means to cope with loss and hardship. Director Pete Doctor ("Monsters, Inc.") delivers a gripping narrative that comes to life with vivid 3-D imagery.
In a recently released 15-page report, the MTA detailed the disadvantages of constructing a Purple Line tunnel along Wayne Avenue, giving credence to a unanimous Montgomery County Council vote that indicated local preference for a light-rail system.
May 20 – Four men were arrested Wednesday after allegedly planting explosives outside two synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York. U.S. Magistrate Lisa Smith ruled Thursday that suspects James Cromitie, David Williams and Onta Williams be held in jail without bail until a court hearing scheduled for June 5.
Blair's It's Academic team clinched first place in the D.C. Metropolitan Regional Championship held Saturday morning at NBC studios in Washington, D.C., winning a plaque, trophy and $5,000 scholarship for the school, according to sponsor James Schafer.
Hector Hernandez, 20, who was arrested in November after firing three shots on a Ride On bus and killing Blair freshman Tai Lam, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on May 1 before Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Michael Mason, according to Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office spokeswoman Emily White.
In an unexpected turn of events on Capital Hill Tuesday, Senator Arlen Specter (R - Pa.) announced his intention to run as a Democrat in the 2010 congressional election. So what's the big deal?
Wootton junior Tim Hwang defeated Richard Montgomery junior Jiayi Yang in a county-wide election held Tuesday and Wednesday to determine the 2009-2010 Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB), according to an announcement on the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Student Affairs Office website.
A group of 68 students competed in the biannual Knowledge Master Open (KMO) last Wednesday during fifth period, leading Blair to a fourth place standing out of 652 high schools around the globe. Students earned 1780 points during the two-and-a-half-hour event sponsored by the Blair It's Academic team, according to junior team member Jeremy Fallick.
The annual Blair Fair will be held in the front parking lot this Friday from 4 - 8 p.m. to promote the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) Silent Auction scheduled for 5:30 - 9 p.m. in the Student Activity Center (SAC), according to Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President senior Jessica Arce. The annual Poetry Slam will take place from 6 -7 p.m. in the media center, followed by the Mr. and Ms. Blazer competition in the auditorium at 7 p.m.
The steady beat of the drum signals the arrival of the procession as they march down Blair Boulevard. Some students stare at the army-print ensembles with mild fascination; others rush to join the parade as the line makes its way into the Student Activity Center (SAC). Confusion erupts in the lunchroom when one of the soldiers breaks rank, running to locate a captive in the audience and drag him onto the stage.
In 1998, Congress appended a series of partisan and seemingly arbitrary "riders," additional provisions that had little connection to the subject matter of a bill, to the Fiscal Year 1999 budget designed by the D.C. Council. Some of the more outlandish restrictions included provisions preventing unmarried couples from adopting children and banning the use of D.C. funds for needle exchange programs. But the most egregious "riders" were those provisions that prohibited the D.C. local government's campaign for more equitable representation in Congress.
The 2009 winter sports award night was held Monday at 7 p.m. in the Blair auditorium. Coaches and event coordinators presented awards to athletes in recognition of their athleticism, sportsmanship and academic performance.
Blair senior Kekura Musa (130) earned second place at the 4A West Regional Interscholastic Wrestling Tournament held Friday and Saturday at Sherwood High School. Musa secured a spot in the state tournament to be held March 6 and 7.
The girls' varsity basketball team (10–10) triumphed over the Walter Johnson (WJ) Wildcats Tuesday night, building a solid lead in the fourth quarter to cement their win, 65–51. The Lady Blazers' aggressive man-to-man defense, hard-fought rebounding and efficient ball movement lead to the overwhelming victory.
"Jumper." "Wanted." "The Incredible Hulk." Although "Push" may appear to share a storyline with these lamentable box office flops – all of which involve genetically enhanced super-humans fighting against a corrupt secret organization – this riveting sci-fi thriller is founded on a novel premise: Nazi experiments during World War II caused genetic mutations, creating a race blessed with supernatural powers. Despite needlessly complicating the plot, the directors of "Push" succeed in transporting the viewer to an engaging fantasy world filled with intrigue and deceit.
Blair's varsity wrestling team triumphed over Watkins Mill in a decisive senior night victory on Tuesday, bringing their record to 4-9 to end the regular season. Strong performances by senior co-captains Kekura Musa (130), Carlos Eyzaguirre (215) and Alhaji Janneh (171) as well as forfeits made by the other team enabled the Blazers to trounce the Wolverines, 49-30.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley released his budget proposal for the fiscal year 2010 in a Jan. 21 press conference, advocating a 1.3 percent reduction to the state's operating budget. In his proposal, O'Malley recommended firing 700 state employees, abolishing 1,000 vacant government positions and reducing funding for primary public education and other state programs to alleviate a $2 billion budget shortfall.
In March of 1985, Kirk Bloodsworth was sentenced to death in Baltimore County for the brutal rape and murder of nine-year-old Dawn Hamilton. He was granted a new trial through the Maryland Court of Appeals due to exculpatory evidence withheld by the prosecution, but his sentence was only reduced to two life terms without parole. Eight years later, with the advent of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) DNA testing, Bloodsworth was acquitted and released from prison on June 28, 2003. Bloodsworth's eight-year incarceration and near-execution for a crime that he did not commit exemplifies a flawed capital punishment system in Maryland.
The Blair Student Government Association (SGA) collected 2,023 non-perishable food items from receptacles placed in first period classrooms as part of the annual holiday canned food drive, according to SGA President junior Sibyl Brown. Most of the non-perishable items will be donated to the Rainbow Community Development Center, a Silver Spring organization that collects donated food for local families in need.
A large water main broke on River Road in Bethesda at 8 a.m. yesterday, stranding about 15 people in water more than four feet deep. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) sent helicopters to rescue the motorists, many of whom were treated for hypothermia and other minor injuries at local hospitals.
The Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously on Tuesday to close county schools on Jan. 20, 2009 for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. The resolution, introduced by board member Christopher Barclay on Nov. 18, designates all future presidential inaugurations official school holidays.
Arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated film adaptations since the "Harry Potter" series, "Twilight" is a thrilling journey into the twisted romance shared by the unlikeliest of lovers: a lonely human girl and a bloodthirsty vampire. The film is a poignant reminder of the enduring resiliency of love, and will resonate well with die-hard fans of the book.
Maryland citizens approved two referendums on Nov. 4 that amended the Maryland State Constitution to allow early voting up to two weeks before an election and to authorize the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission (VLFLC) to issue up to five video lottery licenses to qualified applicants at specified locations. The referendums passed by a margin of 72 to 28 percent and 59 to 41 percent respectively, according to the Washington Post.
Blair's fall play, "Pride and Prejudice," will premiere this Friday in the Blair auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Highlights of this year's production include ballroom dance scenes and a revolving set, according to Director Kelly O'Connor.
I walked into the store last week looking for the perfect low-cost Halloween costume – I was thinking a checkered shirt, jeans, shiny gold badge and boots for the classic cowgirl look – when a glimmer of red, green and gold diverted my attention. The adjoining aisle was flooded with winter holiday decorations: festive white lights wrapped around a massive fake Christmas tree, red ribbons festooned the shelves and an inflatable plastic Santa Claus towered over electric reindeer with noses lit bright red.
The Blair field hockey team (5-6) triumphed over the Northwood Gladiators on Wednesday, combining in the offensive third to score seven goals in a decisive 7-0 senior night victory. The Lady Blazers dominated the entire game, controlling possession at midfield and distributing the ball wide to create scoring opportunities in the shooting circle.
Blair's JV field hockey team (2-7) fought valiantly against the Walter Johnson Wildcats in a 2-0 loss on Monday, rushing to block corner plays and throwing fierce tackles on players advancing at midfield. The Lady Blazers too often resorted to knocking balls straight down the middle and failed to keep pace with Wildcat forwards, who scored both goals in the second half. Despite a strong outing, Blair was unable to take advantage of opportunities within the scoring circle.
The Blair JV field hockey team (2-4) suffered another devastating loss Friday, falling 6-0 to a confident Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) squad. Defensive miscommunication and failure to mark offensive threats enabled the speedy B-CC forwards to hammer in six well-placed shots for the win.
The Blair junior varsity field hockey team (1-4) fought an onerous battle against the Poolesville Falcons Thursday afternoon, struggling valiantly to maintain possession of the ball. A resilient Blair defense thwarted many dangerous advances but could not prevent a potent Poolesville attacking force from hammering three shots into the cage, bringing the final score to 3-0.
The Blair junior varsity field hockey team suffered their first loss of the season Wednesday, falling 3-0 to a skillful Damascus squad. Miscommunication, team disorganization and failure to mark offensive threats left the Blazers vulnerable to the Hornets' explosive attacking force.
Auditions for Blair's 2008 winter play, "Pride and Prejudice," will be held Wednesday and Thursday of this week starting at 2:30 p.m. in room 6. Director Kelly O'Connor will hold call-back auditions this Friday and post a cast list identifying the students selected to play the 18 speaking roles and ensemble parts by Monday, Sept. 15.
Memorial services for former Blair teachers Leslie "Les" Rogers, Magnet Earth Systems Science teacher, and Barbara Hofman, math teacher, will be held this weekend at the Blair labyrinth memorial site and sundial memorial respectively. The service for Hofman, who died July 24, 2007 after fighting breast cancer, will take place Saturday, Sept. 6 at noon. The ceremony for Rogers, who died on July 24 of this year after a six-year struggle with a brain tumor, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 3 to 5 p.m.
President Bush recently signed a bill granting immunity to telecommunication providers that complied with National Security Agency (NSA) edicts to turn over American client records. Approved by the Senate last Wednesday with a decisive 69 - 28 vote, the law will broaden the scope of U.S. counter-terrorist intelligence measures while increasing congressional oversight. The new legislation arose from concerns that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 was ineffective at checking government power, a fear that was confirmed when a 2005 New York Times article revealed the existence of an invasive government-run domestic wiretapping program. Although many liberals have reproached the bill as a heinous violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights, the law will better equip U.S. intelligence agencies to anticipate and eliminate terrorist threats - and does much to ensure that civil liberties are not compromised in the process.
A meeting was held at 7:30 p.m. this Monday in the Blair Student Activity Center (SAC) to discuss graduation venues for the rising senior class. The discussion, led by Principal Darryl Williams and Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) co-President Robert Gillette, centered on defining the steps that should be taken to secure a graduation date at the University of Maryland College Park's Comcast Center and reduce the estimated $13,000 expense that Blair would be required to pay for use of the facility. Williams suggested cooperation with Sherwood High School to reduce the cost to both schools as a possible solution.
With gratuitous violence, a few transparent punch lines and one big-name celebrity, "Hancock" makes a half-hearted attempt to join the ranks of classic super-hero movies – "Spiderman," "Batman," "Superman" – that have long appealed to movie-goers of all ages. The film's only salvation are the striking special effects, evocative of the James Bond movie line, that appear in the form of bullets, breaking glass and scorching explosions to startle and excite audiences.
A young man sits at a crowded desk in the Business and Entrepreneurship Office, flipping through pages of student reflections found in a lopsided pile of journals. Eyebrows furrowed in concentration, he reads a student's account of relatives faced with nearly insurmountable debt — a financial burden that could have easily been avoided, had they taken a business course. When the student begins to express her gratitude for the financial acumen she has developed through his business class, Kevin Murley's deep blue eyes brim with a newfound resolve to teach.
Consumers would have been taxed one cent per ounce on these sugar-sweetened beverages had House lawmakers added the proposal to the healthcare reform bill.
Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) counts down the days until "The Rescue," an April 25 rally that will be held in the district to protest child soldiers in Uganda.
Senior and co-captain Alhaji Janneh attempts to pin his opponent after a takedown
The JV field hockey team battles with Walter Johnson for possession of the ball. The Blazers lost, 2-0.
The JV field hockey team defends against a strong B-CC squad. They lost the match 6-0.
Blazers hustle back on defense to prevent the Falcons from scoring. Poolesville claimed the win, 3-0.
Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) co-President Robert Gillette, left, and Principal Darryl Williams, second from left, lead a discussion on Blair's graduation venue options for next year.
Murley poses in his entrepreneurship and business classroom.