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This Week in Potomac 4-27-05

MURDER ACCESSORY SENTENCED

Roger M. Greenberg, 62, of the 11500 block of Seven Locks Road in Potomac was sentenced April 20 to five years in prison for his role as accessory after the fact to the murder of a Bethesda therapist.

Greenberg pled guilty Feb. 7 to his role in the murder of Dr. Joyce Hadl, 71, including helping the accused killer, Susan Lynn Sachs of Chevy Chase, clean up the bloody crime scene and hide the body at the Carroll County, Md. farm of David Kaufman, who also pled guilty to an accessory role.

Sachs is charged with one count of first degree murder but was found not competent to stand trial in a Feb. 15 hearing. She is currently being held at a Maryland mental health facility. Kaufman is scheduled for sentencing July 22.

Greenberg was sentenced by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Louise G. Scrivener. Five years was the maximum possible sentence.

PROM-SEASON SAFETY

County officials held a press conference April 25 to encourage teens, parents, and local businesses to play a role in making the 2005 prom and graduation season safe and alcohol-free for county teens. Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, County Council President Tom Perez, Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill, Dels. Bill Bronrott and Adrienne Mandel, Police Chief J. Thomas Manger; and Fire Chief Thomas Carr held the event at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington.

“Each one of us has a role to play in helping our young people remain safe during this season, [including] parents, older siblings, the hospitality industry, limousine company staff and establishments licensed to sell alcohol,” Duncan said.

Montgomery County has not had an alcohol-related fatality during prom and graduation season for more than 10 years. Through the efforts of Project Prom/Graduation and Drawing the Line on Underage Alcohol Use, alcohol-free after-prom parties are planned at 23 public and 12 private high schools in Montgomery County. Project Prom/Graduation was developed in 1992 to offer teenagers a safe, alcohol-free environment in which to have fun.

Parents and other adults who provide alcohol or allow individuals under 21 to drink alcohol in their private home are subject to prosecution and fines up to $1,000. Six limousine companies have completed a county-sponsored program to train drivers on the importance of a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking.

“We’ve lost far too many young people in preventable traffic collisions. Let’s all make a firm commitment to work together to prevent any more injury or loss of life during two of the most memorable events in high school, prom and graduation,” said Manger. “Let’s have fun and enjoy the great times ahead and do whatever it takes to prevent another unnecessary tragedy.”

Police saturation patrols will be held Friday and Saturday nights near where proms are being held and where alcohol is sold. The police also manage the “Parents Who Host Lose the Most” program, providing parents with information on holding alcohol-free parties and operating the Party Information Line (301-670-SAFE) to report knowledge of a planned party. Those with information about a party already in progress should call 301-279-8000.

VAN HOLLEN TOWN HALL MEETING

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8th) will hold a town hall meeting for residents of the eighth congressional district Monday, May 9, 7:30-9 p.m. The congressman will report to residents about the activities of the 109th Congress, including issues such as Social Security, education, health care, homeland security, and transportation. All residents of the are invited to participate.

The meeting will be held at Forest Oak Middle School,  651 Saybrooke Oaks Boulevard,  Gaithersburg. For more information, call 301-424-3501.

DISTRICT 16 REPS WILL REPORT

Maryland’s District 16 legislative team — Sen. Brian Frosh  (D), Del. Bill Bronrott (D), Del. Marilyn Goldwater (D), and Del. Susan Lee (D) — will report to constituents on the 2005 Maryland General Assembly session at a town hall meeting Monday, May 2, 7:30-9 p.m. The meeting will be held at Davis Memorial Library, 6400 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda. The district includes part of Potomac as well as Bethesda and Chevy Chase.

The Maryland General Assembly Web site is http://mlis.state.md.us.

DRUNK DRIVING FILM AT AFI

The public is invited to a free screening of the HBO Family documentary "Smashed: Toxic Tales of Teens and Alcohol" on Monday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring. The 55-minute screening will be followed by a discussion led by local youth and community leaders. Seating is limited to the first 200 guests.

Last year, 15 people died in Montgomery County in automobile crashes involving drivers under age 21. Forty percent of the crashes involved alcohol.

The screening is sponsored by the County’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council and the Caron Foundation, a residential substance abuse treatment organization. Through interviews and sometimes-graphic footage, "Smashed" explores the devastation alcohol-related crashes can cause.

Teenagers and adults involved with children and youth, including parents, teachers, coaches, counselors and mentors, are encouraged to attend. Due to the graphic images included in the documentary, the film is not appropriate for children under the age of 13. The AFI Silver Theater is located at 8633 Colesville Road in Silver Spring. Public parking is located within walking distance of the theater.

To reserve free seating, call Dorothy Moore at 240-777-1116.

DANCING DAYS

The Potomac Dance Ensemble presents “Dancing Days” a ballet choreographed by Dawei Zhang and “Just Dancin’ a tap, jazz, and modern dance production choreographed by Marilyn York, Alvin Mayes and William Coates May 6 at 8 p.m. and May 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The performances will be at the Winston Churchill High School auditorium, 11300 Gainsborough Drive, Potomac. Tickets are $15, $12 for students. For more information, call 301-299-7504.

BIRD DAY AT LOCUST GROVE

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s (M-NCPPC) Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning staff invites visitors to celebrate spring with “Happy Bird Day,” Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Locust Grove Nature Center in Cabin John Regional Park at 7777 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda.

The event will include live birds, guided bluebird walks, games, crafts, exhibits and more bird-related fun. Park naturalists and volunteers will be on hand to share facts about birds and teach visitors about their ecologic role and habits

There is $2 fee. No reservations required. For more information, call Locust Grove Nature Center, 301-299-1990.

SCHOOL BOARD MEETING PLANNED

The Board of Education will meet with Churchill Cluster parents and community members May 9 at Cabin John Middle school, 10701 Gainsborough Road, Potomac, 7:30-9 p.m.

May 9 is the deadline for public comment on the Montgomery County Board of Education's proposed changes to policy FAA, which governs school construction and closure, boundary changes, and community input.

May 20 is the deadline for public comment on proposed changes to Policy BFA, which determines how policies are developed and set.

Copies of the existing and draft policies are available from the MCPS Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391 or on the MCPS Web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org by clicking "Policies" under "Board of Education."

Written comments should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Md. 20850 or e-mailed to boe@fc.k12.mcps.md.us.