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This Week in Potomac 3-16-05

CORRECTION

The letter addressed to U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen concerning tree cutting on the Snyder property near National Park Service property in Potomac that appeared in the Almanac March 9, was not fully attributed. The letter was to Van Hollen from West Montgomery County Citizens Association and written by Ginny Barnes in her capacity as environmental chair on behalf of the association, not as an individual.

NEW LAWYER IN LEE CASE

A status hearing for Gujan Asimlee Lee, who is charged with the first-degree rape, first-degree sexual assault and robbery of a 19-year old Potomac woman was postponed last week after the entry of a new defense attorney in the case.

Lee, who is currently incarcerated at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility had been represented by Rene Sandler, a Rockville attorney, but Sandler had to drop the case due to illness. Lee will now be represented by Assistant Public Defender Barbara Graham.

Graham said at the March 10 status conference that she had not yet received any information about the case.

Lee is scheduled for a March 21 motion hearing and a four- day jury trial beginning April 11 in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

KAYAKER'S REMAINS IDENTIFIED

Montgomery County Police detectives have received confirmation that skeletal remains recovered in the District of Columbia in the first two months of this year are those of the kayaker reported missing in Montgomery County on Oct. 19, 2004.

The District of Columbia Medical Examiner's Officer, along with personnel from the Smithsonian Institution have confirmed that a human skull found Jan. 1 and skeletal remains found on Feb. 3 near the C&O Canal towpath just south of Chain Bridge are those of Todd Joseph Andrew, 35, of Spearfish, S.D.

Andrew, an experienced kayaker had come to the Great Falls area of the Potomac as part of a nationwide kayaking trip. He was last seen at approximately 2:15 p.m. Oct. 19. Later that day, his kayak was recovered, along with personal items, such as booties and a life jacket that were believed to belong to him.

After a lengthy search, Andrew's body was not found, and he was presumed drowned.

FACILITIES POLICY COMMENTS SOUGHT

The deadline for public comment on the Montgomery County Board of Education's proposed changes to Policy FAA, which deals with long range facilities planning — including school construction, school closures, and redistricting — and public comment in the planning process.

Copies of the draft policy and an operational framework containing proposed regulatory language are available from the MCPS Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391 or on the MCPS web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org.

Written comments should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

CRYOR BACKS MILITARY INSURANCE

Del. Jean Cryor (R-15) received written praise from U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for a life insurance bill that will benefit Maryland military serving in war zones.

"Today's military deployments bring great stress to the military family. Del. Cryor's commitment to championing legislation to improve the benefits they rely on and reduce their out of pocket expenses could be very helpful in reducing the financial stresses associated with serving in the military during these very difficult times," McCain wrote.

The bill will cover Maryland active military serving in Department of Defense-designated combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq. To defray the cost of purchasing a $250,000 life insurance policy, Cryor's bill provides for a 50 percent Maryland tax credit for any organization, business or individual who pays the premium.

The Maryland Insurance Commissioner has testified that the insurance premium for these residents would be approximately $16.25 per month on such a policy.

"When we see the televised reports of families saying good-bye to its

military member, particularly when we see the fearful faces of young children and their brave parent, one wants to do something to lessen at least one of their fears. The survivors benefit of $250,000 may help a Maryland family to get through one of the most difficult challenges it will ever know. For our families, for our Maryland residents who have put themselves in danger, we as a state can help," Cryor said.

Illinois and New Mexico have already enacted similar provisions.

COMMUNITY CENTER SEEKS STUDENTS

The Potomac Community Center Advisory Board is recruiting two student board members. The board is looking for either a current freshman or sophomore willing to serve two years. Submit a letter of interest to Larry Chloupek, Chair, PCC Advisory Board, 11315 Falls Rd., Potomac, MD 20854 no later than March 31. For more information, contact Larry Chloupek at 301-469-6514.

RIDES FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program 's St. Patty's Day SoberRide program will be in operation on Thursday, March 17 from 4 p.m. until 4 a.m. the following morning

During this 12-hour period, area residents celebrating St. Patrick's Day with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number, 800-200-TAXI, and a receive a free trip home, up to a $50 fare. Cingular Wireless customers can dial #-TAXI for the same service. Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.

SoberRide is offered throughout Montgomery County as well as in the District of Columbia, Prince George's County, Fairfax County and other areas

Since 1993, WRAP's SoberRide program has provided 29,416 free cab rides home to would-be impaired drivers in the Greater Washington area.

For more information, visit www.soberride.com.

POTOMAC THEATER COMPANY PLAY

The Potomac Theater Company performs "What’s a Wolf to Do? The Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks & The Three Little Pigs" March 19, and 20 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. at the Bullis School, Blair Family Center for the Arts, 10601 Falls Road, Potomac. Tickets are $10. For reservations call 301-299-8571 and leave a message.

CHURCHILL FOOTBALL REUNION

The 1977 and 1978 state champion Churchill football teams are holding a reunion April 8-10 at Pooks Hill Marriott. For more information, call Jay Dove at 240-643-0046 or Jim Hamm at 301-983-0446.