Tag Archives: Politics:

PGCPS student robbed after being dropped off at wrong bus stop

pgcps-busesLANDOVER, Md. – A Prince George’s County middle school student says after orientation day at his new school, his bus driver dropped him off at the wrong stop and he was robbed of his new Nike sneakers and cell phone.

The seventh grader’s mother says her son was left at Kenilworth Avenue and Eastern Avenue on Tuesday, which is nearly two miles from their home in Fairmount Heights.

Tameika Jackson didn’t want her 12-year-old son to be identified, but she let him speak with FOX 5 about what happened. He says a group of men approached him soon after he got off the bus.

“This one guy, he came up to me and then he said, ‘Give me your phone and then your shoes,'” the boy said. “And they were at least 20 years old, so I didn’t know what else to do. So I gave them my shoes and my phone. And after that, there was this one girl at the [Metro] bus stop, I walked up to her and asked her if I could use the phone to call my mom.”

The boy said he had told the bus driver where he lived, but was dropped off there anyway. Jackson says she is furious.

“I picked him up, he was barefoot, no shoes on,” she said. “And there was a bunch of junkies out there. He was upset, he was shaking and I just told him everything was going to be fine, but I will get to the bottom of it. And I brought him home. He says he doesn’t want to go back to school tomorrow.”

Jackson says she called FOX 5 because she couldn’t reach anyone at G. James Gholson Middle School in Landover where her son attends.

A Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson says they are now investigating what happened and alerted the school’s principal to the situation.

The principal later called Jackson and apologized, saying she will personally make sure the boy is on the correct bus headed to the correct location on Wednesday and in the days to come. The transportation director also contacted Jackson by phone Tuesday night.

Jackson says she never got bus information in the mail prior to the start of school, so her son’s father drove the boy to school Tuesday and spoke to school staff about which bus he was supposed to be on.

She says the child got on the bus he was told to ride. Jackson says she has an older child who attended Gholson and he got dropped off at a bus stop two blocks from their home.

“I’m to the point now that I don’t want to go to work the rest of the week because I want to make sure that he feels comfortable getting on the bus and getting off the bus,” Jackson said.

School officially starts on Wednesday in Prince George’s County, but some students had orientation on Tuesday.

via Fox5DC

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Lawmaker wants to censure Md. Senate President Mike Miller for Bad leadership

An African American state senator from Maryland wants to censure Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. for his defense of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, whose statue was removed from the State House grounds last week.

Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s), who is running for county executive in 2018 and would give up his Senate seat if he won, said the legislative chamber needs to send “an unequivocal message” to Miller (D-Calvert) that it does not agree with his support of Taney. The justice’s 1857 opinion said blacks could not be U.S. citizens and had no rights other than those given by whites.

“In light of the tragic and violent events in Charlottesville and concerns about promoting and inciting a climate of racial hatred and division in our nation, I would hope that the majority of my colleagues will join me in strongly rebuking the senate president’s remarks as well as those expressed by President Trump and others who would defend what Justice Taney stood for,” Muse, who introduced a measure to remove the statue last year, said in a statement.

Jake Weissman, a spokesman for Miller, declined to comment.

Miller, the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote.

He sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) arguing that the panel, which traditionally votes by email, should have held a public meeting to discuss removing the statue.

Miller, an avid reader of history, also defended Taney’s character, describing him as a man with a “complex” past.

“Unlike George Washington who freed his slaves upon his death, Taney freed his slaves early in his life,” the letter said.

“Roger Brooke Taney was not a Confederate officer and he remained loyal to the Union until his death in 1864,” Miller wrote. “Many historians have debated the conflicting anti-slavery words and works of Roger Brooke Taney.”

Miller said he agreed with an 1864 editorial in the New York Times that Taney’s decision, “wrong as it was, did not spring from a corrupt or malignant heart.”

Via Washington Post 

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Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has been changing Maryland for the better. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, whose statue was removed from the State House grounds last week, the removal of the statue is the step in the right directions.

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Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote. Under Miller, institutional racism has been very high especially within state agencies.

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Rushern Baker says he stands by PGCPS Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell

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Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker

MITCHELLVILLE, Md. – One day after the Prince George’s County NAACP sent a letter to County Executive Rushern Baker demanding that Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell’s new contract be put on hold as an investigation on allegations of grade fixing and fraud within the school system will be conducted, Baker said that he is standing by Maxwell.

Baker spoke to FOX 5 after holding his first campaign event for his run for Maryland governor.

“I made the decision that he was doing a good job for the county and when I reappointed him and sent him to the school board, I have all the confidence in the world that he is moving the school system in the direction it should be,” Baker said. “I have not changed that. My mind has not changed on that. I stand by him and I stand by the work that he has done.”

We asked if Baker would recommend the termination of Dr. Maxwell’s contract if the upcoming investigation finds the allegations are true. He said, “If it turns out that happened, there are a lot of things we will have to deal with. Not just Dr. Maxwell’s contract. There will be a lot of things, including the school board’s role in all of this.”

The investigation of Prince George’s County Public Schools comes on the heels of a FOX 5 investigation where teachers and parents were interviewed making the alarming assertions.

Baker does not believe the grades were changed.

“In order for what they are alleging to happen, that means thousands of teachers would have had to participate in this,” said Baker.

The county executive for Prince George’s County also released a statement earlier on Thursday saying:

I applaud Dr. Maxwell and the majority of the Board for asking the State Board of Education to conduct another investigation into the allegations of grade changing. Clearly they understand that these allegations are overshadowing the tremendous improvements our schools have made over the last 4 years. We have expanded all day Pre-K, provided more language arts and specialty programs, enrollment has steadily increased, 2 of our 29 high schools have made U.S. News and World Report’s Top High School list for two years straight, philanthropic support in our schools has increased and just this year, our graduates received $151,000,000 in college scholarships and our student’s college readiness for community college is now 3% less than the state average among first year community college entrants. Thanks to the hard work of our teachers, principals, parents and students we have made significant progress.

At the heart of the NAACP’s letter is their concern about these allegations and resolving whether they are true. Now that the MSDE will be investigating this matter, I am confident Dr. Maxwell and his staff will fully cooperate with the investigators as they look into this matter and resolve this matter once and for all.

via Fox5

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Statement by the four fearless and selfless school board members on the school graduation controversy in PGCPS.

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This is the statement by the four fearless and selfless school board members on the school graduation controversy in Prince Georges County Public Schools (PGCPS). It looks many whistleblowers are coming forward to substantiate their concerns after their letter to the governor requesting an investigation of PGCPS graduation rates, and the response from the CEO and other board members.  Keep up the good work David Murray, Edward P. Burroughs III, Raaheela Ahmed and Juwan Blocker.

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June 20, 2017

As elected school board members that represent one-third of the county’s electorate plus the student body, it is our responsibility to look into issues brought to us by our community. Over the past few months, various teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and students felt the need to come to us with concerns about graduation rates, and we did our due diligence to look into them and speak the resulting truth. After all, as we teach our kids, if you see something, say something.

We saw enough to say something confidentially to an authority that we had hoped would listen to our concerns and take them seriously. What happened as a result? Denial and retaliation. Our CEO has called our plea ‘politically-motivated’ and denies any systematic issue, and the majority of our colleagues have asked for our resignation. It’s disheartening that the board would come out with this position before thoroughly reviewing the evidence from all sides, as we did. It is this kind of dismissal that we feared would occur had we gone to local leaders first. It’s proven to be true.

If this is the backlash we, as board members and elected officials, receive for trying to speak up on an issue, we can only imagine the kinds of backlash our system employees would receive in speaking up.

We were absolutely unaware that MSDE had done an investigation on the matter earlier this year. Neither the CEO nor Board leadership informed us of it previous to yesterday evening, when it went out as a blast to school system stakeholders and the media. We now have an additional concern that this investigation was hidden from us, similar to how Head Start was hidden from us. Doubt arises on how many more investigations have occurred that the board is not aware of.

Upon review of the MSDE report, it appears that investigative findings were made without input from school-based individuals that live the day-to-day operations at our schools. Rather, the investigation was largely one-sided, led by statements from the accused – Dr. Maxwell – and his central office staff. We are asking MSDE to re-open its investigation and work with other authoritative entities, like the Maryland Attorney General, to allow a safe avenue for whistleblowers to come forward so that an even more thorough and objective investigation can occur.

We are all recent graduates of our system; we care deeply about it. It is this passion that drove us to serve on the School Board in the first place, and it is with this determination that we work to ensure a quality, honest, and ethical education for all our students. Let’s be clear: legitimate student success is worth every ounce of celebration, but if a school’s math proficiency on standardized testing is in the single digits when graduation rates are over 90%, then what are we really celebrating? As representatives of the community, we have a responsibility to be transparent about where we are and work to right the wrongs; we have a responsibility to do what’s right and speak truth to power. We understand there is a price to pay when exposing wrongdoing – and we are prepared to pay that price. That’s our commitment to PGCPS.

via Facebook

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Drama At Prince George’s County High School Graduations – Sign the Petition

Find out exactly who was behind the disruption, why and what has been done as a result on this installment of Politics963 with Harold Fisher.

Recently there was drama at two area high school graduations involving Prince George’s School Board Member Edward Burroughs.

Student leaders were selected to speak at Oxon Hill graduation but the mics were cut off. Burroughs forfeited his time to speak so that the students could. They were never given the opportunity to speak to their classmates during the ceremony.

At the Potomac High School’s graduation Burroughs was surrounded by police officers upon entering the ceremony at Showcase Arena. He left without incident.

via WHUR RADIO

>>>Listen to the entire WHUR Radio podcast here

Sign the Petition >>> Demand an Apology from PGCPS Deputy Superintendent and CEO >> Sign up here

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Prince George’s School Board Member Edward Burroughs with Radio Host Harold Fisher for WHUR.

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Prince George’s County Council Upset Over Unspent Litter Funds

CountyCouncil2017.jpgUPPER MARLBORO – The department of public works and transportation (DPW&T) is one of the more visible government agencies, responsible for street repair, snow removal and TheBus service. As the county council reviews their budget request for this year, they want to make sure residents see the results of those investments.

At the Transportation, Housing & the Environment (THE) committee work session on April 19, council members grilled DPW&T staff about initiatives they had funded last year which, some council members felt, were not seeing appropriate progress. Several members brought up the $2 million litter clean-up initiative included in the fiscal year 2017 approved budget. The money was intended to pay contractors to go out into each councilmanic district and pick up trash – but, as of the meeting, none of it had been spent, with only two and a half months left in the fiscal year.

“This is your operating budget. This isn’t something we wanted to see over two and three years. We are drowning in litter. It is everywhere. I cannot see any rationale- this is not a high-level activity, picking up litter – I can’t see any rationale why we have not spent that budget,” Mary Lehman, the committee’s vice-chair, said. “I personally wanted to see all of that $2 million spent by now. I really don’t understand it. I feel like we would have been better spent giving it to the department of corrections or somebody else. It’s just not acceptable.”

Darryl Mobley, director of DPW&T, said contract delays are the reason the money remains unspent. He said the department began the bidding process in September, with a Request for Proposals (RFP). But, the bidders who submitted during the first round were unresponsive, so a second round had to commence.

Gwen Clerkley, associate director for the office of highway maintenance, said the department is currently negotiating with the one bidder who was responsive to get the bidder to come up with a new plan that falls within the $2 million budget.

“They are going back, reviewing their numbers. They based their estimate solely on providing four crews of four for every council district. We asked them to go back and structure a program that would allow them to go back and meet the need,” she said. “It is our hope to have services in place by May 1.”

Mobley added that although that specific pot of money has not been spent, the department has staff out in the field “every day” cleaning up litter.

“The department of public works and transportation continues to pick up litter every day, in conjunction with the department of the environment. We work very closely with the department of corrections,” he said. “We have collected approximately three-and-a-half million pounds of litter as of February, when we reported the numbers to the office of audits.”

Councilwomen Deni Taveras echoed Lehman’s concerns about trash in her district, specifically around bus stops that do not have trash cans.

“A lot of times people will just tie a bag there, and it just overflows. At the end of the day, we just have trash everywhere,” she said. “We’re in a desperate state in terms of litter in my district.”

Last year’s budget also included $20 million for street resurfacing projects, with the FY18 proposal calling for another $10 million. Lehman expressed dissatisfaction with the progress of street resurfacing projects as well, saying the RFP did not go out until December (halfway through the fiscal year).

“This was not meant as a CIP (capital improvements program) project. This is operating money. So what happens to it?” Lehman asked. “My constituents want their roads resurfaced in real time, in their lifetime. And they’re waiting for years.”

Clerkley explained that the contractors don’t work on one road at a time; rather, they complete the first step on every road on their list, then move to the next step, and so on.

“Contractors don’t really work on a per-road basis. And I think that’s part of the miscommunication,” she said. “For now, it is more expeditious and cost-effective… for the roads that we’ve assigned to them, they go through and do all of their concrete work, then they will mill the road and do the resurfacing.”

She added, “I hear your frustration.”

The FY18 budget proposal for the department totals $29.9 million, which is an increase of about 13.5 percent over last year. Some of that- $204,400- comes from the addition of five staff members to help implement the county council’s updated taxicab regulations passed last year. DPW&T is also working to refresh the seat cushions and covers on its bus fleet, as well as purchase new vehicles to replace the current ones, which the department says are rapidly aging. $1.2 million is projected for bus replacement in FY18. Money has also been set aside for new infrared technology to handle potholes and as well as a system that will allow the department to track its vehicles in real time during snow events. The automatic vehicle location system is budgeted for $450,000.

DPW&T is also responsible for rolling out the BikeShare program in the county, which is projected to cost $1.4 million for the first phase. However, Mobley said they are pursing grants to cover as much as $740,000 of that total. In all, the department is seeking to increase the amount of outside grants it receives by $1.6 million.

The department anticipates approximately $600,000 of overtime related to snow and ice removal, equipment repairs, and debris removal, which Mobley said was calculated based on historical trends.

Via Sentinel 

OPINION

Prince George’s County’s staggering and tragic corruption will not end until leaders with integrity and ZERO vested interests in the system replace thieves.

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Democrats in Disarray; Delegate Calls Miller and Zirkin “Democrats in Name Only”

IMG_9557.JPGDemocrats have fallen into complete disarray as they’re now turning fire on each other. More than a dozen House Democrats walked off the floor today and held a press conference outside of the State House to fight for the “Maryland Trust Act” also known as the Sanctuary State Bill.

Delegate Joseline Pena-Melynk (District 21, Prince George’s County) went after Senator Bobby Zirkin (District 11, Baltimore County) and Senate President Mike Miller (District 27, Southern Maryland). This is a clear case of mainstream Democrats looking for bipartisan solutions by listening to the people being taken hostage by an increasing number of extremists in their party.

She said, “Senator Bobby Zirkin is a DINO, a Democrat in Name Only. As 2018 approaches, people you are going to hear us tonight in the news. Who lives in his district? Shame him. We don’t need a Democrat like that. We need someone who is going to protect everyone. Who’s not going to compromise. How can you not be a true Democrat? You killed the bill. Shame on you and I hope your district takes you out.”

“Senator Miller, this is a priority for the Democrats…Did we need an issue like this, absolutely so the people know what we stand for. Act like a Democrat. We don’t need anyone who’s not a true Democrat. These people behind me have a spine and not everyone can say that.”

It’s unfortunate that extremist Democrats have held reasonable ones hostage because they listened to their districts. When Senate President Miller looks like the most reasonable person in the room, how extremist are the Maryland Democratic Party now?

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Maryland’s Senate president said a bill that added protections for people in the United States illegally won’t pass the Senate in its current form. 

You can watch the whole video here: https://www.facebook.com/bpsears/videos/10154449969122286/

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