Democracy Dies in Darkness – The case of Delegate Carolyn J.B. Howard.

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Delegate Carolyn J.B. Howard (D-24-Mitchellville)

While test scores in the states second largest school district remain among the lowest in the region, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and some of the county’s elected School Board remain in a bitter power struggle over control of the school system, its budget, and the current Superintendent “the CEO”.
PG -402-17 introduced by the Delegate Carolyn Howard and Senator Muse representing Prince George’s County at the request of County Citizenry and to oppose the role of the County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III.   However, on February 22, 2017, Delegate Carolyn Howard who is the Deputy Speaker Pro Tem and a Member of  Ways and Means Committee  decided to sabotage the bill and engage the issues in the dark.
First, the meeting was advertised as being held on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 8:30am, room 218 Lowe House Office Building. But it was held instead in room 318 at 9am. During the meeting, it became clear that Delegate Carolyn Howard has decided to sideline Senator Muse and she is now supporting the Current CEO. As a result of the sabotage of PG -402-17 by Delegate Carolyn Howard in which she stated to be working closely with the CEO’S office in Prince George’s County, Senator Muse has now decided to introduce another bill to help fix the issues and address the issue in original bill. Delegate Carolyn Howard seem to be working in the dark  with others to kill democracy in Prince George’s County while keeping things hush hush. Several questions come to mind:
  • why did Delegate Howard fail to post the meeting and the agenda  here ~~>>http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=cmtepage&stab=03&id=hru&tab=subject3&ys=2017RS
  • Why change rooms of the meeting as advertised for February 22, 2017 from room 218 to room 318 in Lowe House Office Building and fail to inform the public of the same?
  • What role are the Prince George’s County based unions playing in sabotaging democracy in Prince George’s County?
  • What role is the CEO’s office playing to undermine democracy in Prince George’s County?
  • Why is an important bill such as  PG -402-17 being discussed in the dark?
  • What role is Delegate Howard playing in connection with the liquor board in prince George’s county of which her husband is a member?
  • Does her position as an elected official create a conflict of interest to the people she is supposed to serve?  The liquor board, known officially as the Board of License Commissioners, regulates more than 600 liquor stores, restaurants and other businesses in Prince George’s County.

Well, With the crowning of Delegate Carolyn J.B.Howard as the Deputy Speaker Pro Tem, the election cycle appears to have come full circle. Many supporters of an elected school Board with a strong Inspector General (IG) position are understandably disappointed and angry. A truly historic opportunity has been missed. But there are many positive lessons to be drawn from this experience, and there are many reasons to be optimistic when it comes to the future of the democratic revolution in the Prince George’s county. First and foremost, we must keep the long view of history in mind. It is an undeniable fact that interest in change in governance and the fight against corruption since the arrest of a few elected officials has hit the mainstream. The significance of this development, especially in a county that has been subjected to decades of corruption hysteria which continues regularly, should not be underestimated. It appears the plum government jobs and corruption in the state of Maryland will continue to ensure the wealth of local politicians unless something is done to change the status quo. We will continue to ask tough questions until the light shines through.

In the meantime, county residents needs to call her and ask her to stop playing games with the future of the county schools and to do what is right for the families and students of prince George’s County. Write or Call her and let your voice be heard. This is not a time for cowardice. The enduring symbol of the United States is not the barbed wire fence, it is the Statue of Liberty. So, be encouraged. She can be reached at the following address;

House Office Building, Room 301
6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3919, (301) 858-3919
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3919 (toll free)
e-mail: carolyn.howard@house.state.md.us
fax: (410) 841-3925, (301) 858-3925

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Two PGCPS teens shot while waiting for bus at PG County Metro stop, one critically injured

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Terrifying moments in Hillcrest Heights when two teenagers were shot while waiting for a bus at the Naylor Road Metro Station.

“It could have been me or one of my friends, it could have been any of us, that’s crazy,” said 13-year-old Osharra Pittman, as she waited with her friends for a bus Saturday afternoon.

According to police, a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were shot around 2:00 a.m. Saturday as they waited inside a bus shelter. The window was shattered, and the teens were rushed to the hospital, where they were last listed in stable condition.

“It’s sad, it’s really sad. It’s just so many guns out here on the street,” said George Hazeal, as he waited for a bus.

Investigators said a male suspect opened fire and left the scene on foot, but a motive was still unclear.

Busses and trains were up and running Saturday, but police tape covered the bus shelter and shards of glass covered the sidewalk.

Darshea Robb and her family were left shaking their heads and praying for the young victims.

“I feel like it’s because with the weather getting warm people feel like they can just do whatever they want,” Robb said. “You got to protect yourself and make sure your kids aren’t out here at that time.”

Police have not released any other information on the suspect, who is still on the loose, at this time. They said they are reviewing surveillance video to try and get a better idea of what led to the shooting.

Via WJLA

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PGCPS Mother Shoots, Kills Teenage Son After Argument, Police Say

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Mother Shoots, Kills Teenage Son After Argument, Police Say,Angelique Chase is charged with killing her 17-year-old son.

Mother Shoots, Kills Teenage Son After Argument, Police Say | NBC4 Washington

Police say a mother shot and killed her teenage son after they got into an argument Thursday night.

Officers were called to the 6200 block of Buckler Road in Clinton, Maryland, about 9 p.m. When they arrived, they found 17-year-old Christopher Perry suffering from a gunshot wound.

He died at the hospital a short time later.

Police believe Perry and his mother, 48-year-old Angelique Chase, got into an argument prior to the shooting. Chase was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and assault.

She is being held on a no-bond status.

She is being charged with second degree murder along with assault charges. She was arrested at the scene.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text, “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgpolice.org and submit a tip online.

Via NBC4,      wusa9 princegeorges1

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MD House Ways and Means Committee to hear classroom digital device safety bill

screensandkidsPress Release
House Ways and Means Committee to hear classroom digital device safety bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2017

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) The House Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland General Assembly will hear legislation on Friday, February 24th at 1:00 that directs the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to craft safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in Maryland public schools.

Delegate Steven Arentz (R-District 36) has sponsored the legislation, House Bill 866, “Primary and Secondary Education – Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures – Digital Devices.” The bill has 25 co-sponsors and broad bi-partisan support. An identical bill has been cross-filed by Senator Steve Hershey (R-District 36), co-sponsored by Senator James Brochin (D-District 42) and Senator Susan Lee (D-District 16). It has been referred to the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

HB866 aims to protect Maryland students from the health hazards that medical experts have for many years associated with daily use of digital devices. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had regulations governing the use of computers for office workers since the 1990s, but schools have no medical oversight.

“More and more experts are proving that there are serious risks to our kids’ health because they spend every day on a digital device,” Delegate Arentz said. “Maryland students need to get the most out of this technology, so we want medical professionals to lead us in a safe direction.”

Researchers have shown that many of the same health issues addressed by OSHA are now facing students who use digital devices every day in school. Retinal damage from blue light emissions, myopia, sleeplessness, muscle and joint pain, headaches, blurred vision, obesity, anxiety and addiction have all been associated as health risks facing students because of daily digital device use.

The bill has substantial support from the state’s medical community. The Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), which represents all of Maryland’s doctors, voted to support the legislation at their most recent meeting, according to Gene Ransom, MedChi’s Executive Director. One of the co-sponsors, Delegate Clarence Lam, is a physician who leads Johns Hopkins University’s preventative medicine residency program.

Believed to be the first of its kind, the Maryland bill also has the attention of several large health groups across the country. The nation’s leading vision health organization, Prevent Blindness, supports the Maryland bill. Senior Vice President Jeff Todd wrote a letter commending Maryland’s “efforts to ensure children’s vision, eye health and safety is at the forefront of any statewide effort related to childhood development.”

Optometrists from around the country have also sent support to the General Assembly urging passage of this legislation, including J. Scott Sikes, O.D., a NC Optometric Society Education Trustee and Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, OD, FAAO, an Associate Professor at the Illinois College of Optometry and an attending optometrist in the Pediatrics/Binocular Vision Service of the Illinois Eye Institute.

“Protecting eyesight when it comes to the progressive use of digital technology and screen time addiction in young people is our number one priority” said Justin Barrett, CEO of Healthe, a company that creates products “to reduce exposure to harmful digital UV and High-Energy Visible (HEV) blue light emitted from such devices.” “We hope the lawmakers will pass this important legislation to set a precedent for other states in the protection of all students.”

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, PhD, LCSW-R, a nationally recognized addiction expert and author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids, writes: “I commend the screen safety effort in Maryland and strongly encourage the General Assembly to pass HB 866 and SB 1089 to mandate medically sound classroom regulations.”

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is a national advocacy organization with nearly 50,000 members, including 1,000 in Maryland. The group has asked Maryland lawmakers to give HB866 their “complete endorsement.” In a letter to the Ways and Means Committee, CCFC Executive Director, Josh Golin, writes, “It is critical that medical professionals develop clear, research-based, age-appropriate guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools.”

Citing its 30-page research document released in August, Parents Across America (PAA) is another national advocacy group endorsing HB866/SB1089. PAA notes that it “has prepared extensive materials about the harmful effects on children’s academic, intellectual, emotional, physical and social development when digital devices are misused and overused… We applaud the Maryland lawmakers who have responded quickly and appropriately to this critical situation.”

Maryland parents have rallied to support the classroom screen safety bill as well. Leslie Weber, Co-Founder of Advocates for Baltimore County Schools (ABCSchools), the largest public education advocacy coalition in the county, says, “This bill is greatly needed, especially in Baltimore County, where one of the nation’s largest 1:1 digital initiatives is underway. Children as young as 5 are in front of screens most days — objective guidelines from the DHMH are needed to ensure the safety of these students.”

Janis Sartucci, a member of the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County, said, “This bill is long overdue. Our children need to be protected from a variety of health risks that could affect them for a lifetime. We must get DHMH involved to be sure kids aren’t hurt.”

Queen Anne’s County parent, Cindy Eckard, has testified and written extensively about the need for medical oversight of classroom digital devices. Her Op Eds have appeared in both the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. During a recent radio interview Ms. Eckard told WBAL Radio reporter Robert Lang, “Of course we want our kids to master technology; we just don’t want them harmed in the process.”

Ms. Eckard also noted that teachers have a legal duty of care to protect students from known hazards in the classroom. “This bill will help teachers too, giving them statewide, uniform safety guidelines, from medical professionals and specialists at DHMH.”

Links to medical research; recorded General Assembly testimony; a screen safety press conference held in Annapolis with actress/comedian Paula Poundstone, and detailed information regarding the legislation are available on the website www.screensandkids.us or email Ms. Eckard at screensandkids@gmail.com.marylandmap2

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PGCo Voters – Time To Take Back Our School Board!

rushernsegunkevin-1050x722By LORRAINE YURIAR on February 18, 2017

Yesterday, while potential candidate for governor, County Executive Rushern Baker was announcing the renewal of PGCPS CEO Kevin Maxwell’s contract, a bill was introduced in the House of Delegates to repeal the County Executive’s control of the school board.

HB 1565 will repeal sections of the 2013 HB 1107, allowing the PGCPS Board to return to an elected-only board.  Of course the school board, minus elected members Borroughs & Ahmed, has declared their opposition to this bill.  The board itself, especially County Executive Baker’s appointees, has plenty of scandal and corruption in it’s history.  While we the people have the ability to hold the elected members responsible for their actions at the ballot box, we have no way of holding the County Executive’s appointees responsible for their actions.  Add to that, County Executive Baker’s appointments have been less than stellar, getting involved with the misuse of credit cards, and even scamming free lunches from the school system.  And of course there is the matter of the County Executive hiring his former brother-in-law, Segun Eubanks, to be the Chairman of the board. Not only is Mr. Eubanks related to the County Executive, he is a director with the NEA, the largest teacher’s union in the country. One could question whether his loyalties lie with the students he is supposed to be caring about, the teachers he is paid to look out for, or his family, which includes his brother, Musa Eubanks, the Director of Community Relations in the County Executive’s office.  There is a whole spider web of connections within the County Executive’s office that look suspect, including having a sitting Delegate, Del. Dereck E Davis, working for the County Executive’s office, whose wife just happens to be the Deputy CEO of the PGCPS system.

Just to be clear —  Monique Davis was hired by CEO Kevin Maxwell, who was hired with the help of Segun Eubanks, who got his position because of a bill passed by the Maryland Legislature, a bill for which Del. Dereck E Davis voted.

The cronyism and corruption in the county run deep, and it all ties right back to the County Executive’s office.  This is why we must take the control of the school board back, out of the hands of an office that has been plagued with corruption for decades.  Doing so will give the citizens of our county the ability to hold the school board members directly responsible for the issues in the school system.  Issues like the cover-up of the problems in the Head Start Program and the sexual abuse of children – including special needs children that had PGC citizensthe local NAACP chapter, and even some PGCPS board members calling for the ouster of several board members, including CEO Maxwell.

HB 1565 needs to get the support of all Prince George’s County voters.  The bill has been sent to the House Rules and Executive Nominations committee. Please call your representatives, and the members of that committee and urge them to support this bill.

Read more at http://redmaryland.com/2017/02/pgco-voters-time-to-take-back-our-school-board/

Read more >>>  Kevin Maxwell, PGCPS CEO, gets four more years in Suspicious Circumstances

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Update: HB1107 Hearing in Annapolis Maryland postponed

14925273_10209778694056391_220817217610615058_nUpdate: The hearing concerning bill PG -402-17 which was to be held on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 8:30am, room 218 Lowe House Office Building has been postponed. Please check these links for the future hearing and dates.

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=cmtepage&stab=03&id=hru&tab=subject3&ys=2017RS

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=01&id=hb1565&tab=subject3&ys=2017RS

School Board and CEO
If you are interested in testifying in support of PG-402-17, to return to an all elected school board, keep checking back to the links above.

We received this information late. You might want to call your elected officials concerning this bill.

See bill text at https://www.princegeorgeshousedelegation.com/legislation/bill-history?local=PG%20402-17

Read more >>> Kevin Maxwell, PGCPS CEO, gets four more years in Suspicious Circumstances

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Kevin Maxwell, PGCPS CEO, gets four more years in Suspicious Circumstances

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Kevin Maxwell, Prince George’s County schools chief executive officer, speaks at a 2016 press conference regarding an abuse case. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, left, seen with Board of Education Chairman Segun C. Eubanks, extended Maxwell’s contract Friday. (Mark Gail/For The Washington Post)

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) announced Friday he was extending the contract for Kevin Maxwell, the schools chief executive officer, giving the educator another four years to continue reform efforts despite recent abuse scandals that led to calls for Maxwell’s resignation.

It is the first time in nearly 25 years that a superintendent in Prince George’s County will get a second term. Before Maxwell, the state’s second-largest school system had seven superintendents in less than two decades.

Maxwell is paid just under $300,000 a year. He was appointed by Baker in 2013, shortly after the state legislature awarded the county executive broad new power over school-system governance.

His leadership is a central part of Baker’s plan to overhaul and stabilize the system after years of scandal, poor performance and dwindling public trust.

Maxwell, who grew up in and began his career in Prince George’s County, has seen graduation rates reach record highs at some schools. Enrollment and some test scores also have increased.

 He expanded full-day prekindergarten and language-immersion offerings, and increased participation in dual-enrollment programs that allow high school students to take college-level courses.

But the system faced sexual-abuse and child-abuse cases last year involving school personnel, including a one-time aide who now faces decades in prison. The allegations led to a federal investigation and the loss of control by the school system of millions of dollars in Head Start funding.

Maxwell cited letters he has received from grateful students, the number of strategic business and philanthropic partnerships that school officials have brokered and a more than $44 million increase in the value of scholarships offered to county graduates in 2016.

More than three dozen business, government, philanthropic leaders and school board members attended the announcement, giving Maxwell a standing ovation as he ticked off his administration’s accomplishments.

Absent were at least three elected members of the Board of Education, including Edward Burroughs III, one of Maxwell’s most strident critics. He led calls for Maxwell to step down following revelations that a Head Start worker forced a child to mop up their own urine and texted a photo to the child’s mother.

Amid the fallout, Maxwell asked his chief of staff to resign over an email that appeared to suggest that school administrators tried to keep the Head Start scandal quiet.

There were separate allegations of abuse, involving a school bus aide accused of molesting students.

Baker, who is term-limited in 2018, said he “never lost confidence” in Maxwell through all the “bumps and stumbles.”

“Have we had problems? Yes,” Baker said. “The question is how we react. . . . I want him to continue the work he is doing.”

via Washington Post 

OPINION

There has been a complete lack of accountability under County Executive Rushern Baker III that extends to CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell. Mr. Baker came in with promises of an Inspector General (IG) style oversight program because of all the illegal and ethics issues within the county leadership. He also said judge him by school performance but he has been failing and only being protected by Maryland politicians.

Maxwell and the Board of Education for Prince George’s county were among the first people notified by the mother when the teacher forced the son to mop up urine. There have been scapegoats but no accountability at the highest levels for the loss of 6 million dollars. What they have done is “study” the issue with the strategy of waiting for the news cycle to shift away from the rampant abuse in schools and loss of funds. The County also lost over a million dollars in state funds when Maxwell started his tenure. He said things like that would never happen under his watch, but it has gotten worse. Many of us in the reform movement are disappointed, not on the concept, but on the disrespect to the democratic process, violation of rights, unjust enrichments, conspiracy involving well connected political leaders advancing corruption,  the tortious interference of legal process and counsels in prince George’s county inter alia  #HB1107 #Rushhour

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