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Editor's Notebook

It's not about cost - it's about control

 

dz2gtehqd5egzttnjc6lMake no mistake about - County Councilman George Leventhal claims to be the driving force behind two bills under consideration in the legislature that could destroy the last few remaining independent newspapers in this state - including The Montgomery County Sentinel.

The bills are being sold as cost saving measures and needed because public notices, at least in the eyes of Leventhal are a “vestige of last century and big cost to taxpayers as fewer newspapers are published,” Leventhal said in a tweet Tuesday.

He also said "The Sentinel has tiny readership and the Post is prohibitively expensive." He has never inquired as to the size of our readership, so one must ask him how he decided our circulation size. And if we are small and growing to fill the gap left by the demise of the Gazette - why would he not support an independent press? 

He has also never asked us what our costs are to provide our services so he can objectively determine if the County can do it less expensively. Saying so without investigating it is simple conjecture and scare tactics used to hide his real intent - the destruction of independent thought and news gathering.

That's the issue.  And there are several dozen papers across the state in the same boat. But government - and Leventhal - don't care about that. They've love to have fewer critical voices around - not more.

As for the stated cause for the legislation: The state should not end the historic requirement to publish this vital information in a secure format that is most likely to be read by the greatest number of citizens and is the most financially efficient for local governments.

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The mentally ill hypocrisy

I walked into District court Tuesday to testify in a burglary case. Back in October someone broke into my car and took cash and some private items – but thankfully left behind my credit card and driver’s license.

A Rockville police officer found my personal property and some of the cash when he was investigating another burglary. The plain clothes officer and his partner rousted a homeless man found asleep under an overpass on Gude drive near Rockville Pike and during the course of questioning the young man they got consent to search and found my property.

According to the defense attorney assigned to the case and according to police officers, the young man has an arrest record and has mental health problems.

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The snow chronicles

Friday afternoon as the snow began to fall a few of us gathered at a nearby pub in Rockville and toasted the oncoming “Snowmaggedon,” or “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowzilla” or “Snow-Nino” or whatever funny little catch phrase, jingoistic name my peers in the hallowed halls of television journalism had decided to come with to describe our oncoming doom.

We stayed through happy hour and then my partner-in-crime (my wife for those who don’t understand my own jingoistic jargon) took off in the big Ford F-150 to find pubs that would stay open during the storm. We started at The Outta the Way Café because Chip and Brian never close. We weren’t disappointed.

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Please remember Officer Noah Leotta

Ofcr Leotta Funeral-49This week the Montgomery County police buried one of their own.

Noah Leotta, 24, described by Police Chief Tom Manger as “one of the best. The kind of young officer our community can be proud of,” died after an alleged drunk driver struck him while Leotta worked the Holiday Task Force - trying to cut down on drunk drivers.

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Nothing to Fear but Loathing

 

statueoflibertyGive me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

- The Statue of Liberty

The inscription on the Statue of Liberty cannot be blunter. The actions of some of our country’s governors, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan cannot be more obtuse.

Out of fear that some Syrian refugees could be terrorists there are governors of some of the United States who would defy federal law about the entry of these refugees to our soil.

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Welcome to the Mizzou Nightmare

 

5641956dc46188e85b8b4590Nothing is more infuriating than ignorance. Nothing is more unacceptable than hypocrisy.

So imagine the combination of hypocritical ignorance.

That describes the scene at my alma mater – The University of Missouri this week.

In a nutshell the infuriating and unacceptable actions occurred among protesters at Mizzou who were angry about racial problems on campus.

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