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This Week in Potomac 11-22-06

Rice Wins Delegate Seat

Craig L. Rice has won the third state delegate seat for District 15, joining fellow Democrats Kathleen Dumais and Brian Feldman. Incumbent Republican Del. Jean Cryor, who represented Potomac for 12 years in the House of Delegates, lost her seat by 152 votes, about two-tenths of a percent. Unofficial, but likely final, results show Rice with 20,202 votes to Cryor’s 20,050.

The Potomac Chamber of Commerce honored Cryor with a Lifetime Achievement Award last week, see story page 16.

Be Part of the Children’s Almanac

During the last week of the year, the Potomac Almanac publishes the Children’s Almanac, a collection of artwork, photographs, reviews, stories, poems and other creative writing created by students. We invite submissions from individual students, from art classes, from teachers and schools who have collected material from their classes, from public schools, from private schools, from nursery schools and high schools, from homeschool families. Submissions for the Children’s Almanac are due in the first week of December.

Mail submissions to The Potomac Almanac, Children’s edition, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102. Digital photos of artwork, and word or text documents for creative writing are preferred, but all submissions are welcome. Contact editor Alex Scofield with questions at PotomacAlmanac@hotmail.com, or 703-917-6453.

Police Identify Victims in Fatal Bethesda Collision

Detectives from the Collision Reconstruction Unit are continuing to investigate a fatal collision that occurred on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 19 in Bethesda.

Second District officers and Fire/Rescue personnel responded to a serious personal injury collision at approximately 2:11 a.m., near the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Old Seven Locks Road in Bethesda.

According to police, preliminary investigation revealed that a burgundy 2005 Jeep 4x4, was traveling southbound on Seven Locks Road approaching Old Seven Locks Road, when for unknown reasons the vehicle crossed over the double yellow line and struck a silver 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer head-on.

The driver of the Mitsubishi, Ceferino Esguerra Regalo (male), age 45, of the 10500 block of Willowbrook Drive in Rockville, and his passenger, Fe Dimaculangan Palabrica (female), age 45 of the 1900 block of McAuliff Drive in Rockville, were both deceased at the scene. The 19-year-old driver of the Jeep, Sean Patrick Mayhew, of the 10200 block of Sweetwood Avenue in Rockville, was transported to Suburban Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and was released.

According to police, no determination has been made yet as to whether or not the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident. That will be determined during the course of a full investigation, which is currently underway.

Investigators are requesting that anyone who may have witnessed the collision contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435.

A determination of charges will be made in cooperation with the State’s Attorney’s Office after the completion of the investigation.

Two Churchill Students Arrested and Charged with Burglary and Theft

Two 16-year-old juvenile males were arrested last week in connection with a series of recent robberies in the neighborhood surrounding Winston Churchill High School located at 11300 Gainsborough Road in Potomac.

Both teens are students at Churchill and Potomac residents. On Oct. 19 the two forged notes to excuse themselves from school before allegedly breaking into multiple homes, which they did by first knocking on the front doors of homes to make sure that no one was present within, according to police. They only entered unoccupied houses.

"The proximity of the break-ins [to Churchill High School] was a factor," that led police to suspect that Churchill students were the culprits, according to Lucille Bauer, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Police

According to police, two teens, who were not identified because of their status as juveniles, reportedly committed nine robberies between Oct. 13 and Oct. 26. Both face multiple charges of burglary, theft, and destruction of property, according to police. They have been released to the custody of their parents.

Start Making ‘Nunsense’

The Potomac Theatre Company presents “Nunsense,” Nov. 17-Dec. 3, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Blair Family Center for the Arts, Bullis School, 10601 Falls Road, Potomac. Join the Little Sisters of Hoboken as they stage a benefit revue to raise money to bury a group of nuns accidentally poisoned by their own convent chef. Winner of four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Off-Broadway Musical. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors. Visit www.potomactheatreco.org, call 301-299-8571 or call Marilyn Shockey at 301-977-7712.

Former Potomac Resident Arrested for Sexual Offenses, Child Abuse

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Family Crimes Division have arrested, for a second time, a Rockville man on multiple charges relating to illegal sexual activity in two separate incidents involving minors. The current charges are for crimes allegedly committed in March 1980 and April 1985.

Arrested was Stanley David Schwartz, age 64, of the unit block of Calabash Court in Rockville.

A now 39-year-old woman from Rockville recently reported to police that on March 31, 1980, when she was 13 years old, she spent the night at the home of Schwartz, which was in the 12700 block of Lincolnshire Drive in Potomac. As she lay on a bed watching television, Schwartz climbed onto the bed and touched her inappropriately, according to police.

In a second investigation of Schwartz, a now 36-year-old man from Rockville recently reported to police that, sometime between April 1 and April 30, 1985, when the victim was 15 years old, Schwartz had sexually assaulted him. According to police, the preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was visiting Schwartz’s home on Lincolnshire Drive on an overnight visit, the victim rose in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and on his way back to bed, Schwartz approached the victim, and had sexual contact with him.

Two separate arrest warrants were obtained on Nov. 14, charging Schwartz with third-degree sex offense and custodial child abuse for each crime. He was arrested without incident on Nov. 14, and was briefly held on $50,000 bond for each incident, at the Montgomery County Detention Center. He paid bond for both crimes and was released on Nov. 15.

Schwartz was also arrested by detectives from the Family Crime Division on Oct. 3, 2006, as a result of an investigation that began on Aug. 29, 2006, into the sexual abuse of a minor.

According to police, it was learned through the course of the investigation that the victim, a 15-year-old male foreign exchange student, was spending the night at the Schwartz home on Aug. 26. Schwartz, who sometimes served as a “host parent” or “respite host parent” for a youth exchange program, according to police, had agreed to act as a temporary respite host for the victim for the evening. A police press release said that the victim was directed to sleep in Schwartz’s bedroom, and at some time during the night, Schwartz got into bed with the victim and sexually assaulted him. The victim contacted his host family, and they reported the alleged incident to police.

Police are asking for the public’s help in establishing if there are more victims. Anyone who may have information about additional victims, or about these crimes or others that may have occurred, is asked to contact Detective Jordan Satinsky of the Family Crimes Division at 240-773-5421, or the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Legacy Open Space Advisory Group Members Sought

The Montgomery County Planning Board seeks individuals to serve on the Legacy Open Space Advisory Group. The group provides public input on which irreplaceable natural resources, watershed lands and historic properties are purchased and preserved for future generations.

The Legacy Open Space Advisory Group reviews the program to protect identified Legacy Open Space sites; reviews new nominations of sites for protection under the program; comments on park management plans for already acquired properties; and identifies other funding sources, such as private donations and foundation grants.

Advisory Group applicants must be residents of Montgomery County with an interest in the future of the County’s parks and green spaces; have the ability to attend four evening meetings per year; and have an interest in learning more about natural resources, historic sites, green space preservation, and urban open space issues. Experience with these issues is a plus, but not necessary.

To apply, please send a letter expressing your interest to: Brenda Sandberg, Legacy Open Space Program Manager, 1109 Spring Street, Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

For more information on the Legacy Open Space program and the Advisory Group, please contact Brenda Sandberg at 301-650-4360 or Brenda.sandberg@mncppc-mc.org.

Community Offers Reward After Mailbox Vandalism

in the wake of extensive vandalism to numerous mailboxes in the River Falls neighborhood between Sept. 30 and October 1, the Community Association of River Falls is offering a private reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of those responsible for the destruction of mailboxes in their community. The reward will be offered until Dec. 16.

Police received reports for nine incidents: four on Masters Drive, one on Buckboard Court, two on Bridle Lane, one on Bridle Court, and one on Brickyard Road. The victims last saw their mailboxes intact between 3:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. Community members believe many more mailboxes were damaged, but the incidents were not reported to the police.

Anyone who has information in reference to these vandalisms should call the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County tip line toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). The Crime Solvers phone line guarantees anonymity.

Blindness Prevention Fundraiser, Free Glaucoma Screenings at Behnke Nurseries

Behnke Nurseries is partnering with the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington (POB) for a fundraising campaign to benefit POB’s sight-saving programs.

Between Nov. 16 and Dec. 24, Behnke Nurseries will donate $1 from every purchase made at its garden centers to the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington, as well as provide locations for free glaucoma screenings.

The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington will be sponsoring free glaucoma screenings at Behnke on 9545 River Road, Potomac, on Sunday, Nov. 26 and Saturday, Dec. 16 in Potomac from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Montgomery Democratic State Central Committee Seeking Nominees for Key Posts

The Montgomery Democratic State Central Committee (MDSCC) will elect two members to the Committee and will nominate three members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections to the incoming Governor of Maryland.

One of the new members of the MDSCC will be an at-large voting Central Committee member and will replace Andrea Eaton who has resigned; registered Democrats of any gender from anywhere in Montgomery County are eligible to fill this position.

The other opening on the MDSCC is for a female registered Democrat voting member of the Maryland Democratic Party State Central Committee and non-voting member of the MDSCC to provide for gender balance in accordance with the rules of the Democratic National Committee; registered female Democrats from anywhere in Montgomery County are eligible for this position.

The two new members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections will be voting members and one will be a substitute member. Montgomery County registered Democrats are eligible for nomination.

Applicants should submit a letter of application with a resume by 12 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7], to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee by mail to 3720 Farragut Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895, Fax to 301-946-1002 or e-mail to MontgomeryDems@msn.com. Applicants will be interviewed by a Nominations Recommendation Committee at the Central Committee at 7:30 p.m. either on Thursday, Dec. 7, or Monday, Dec. 11. Applicants are also requested to attend the Dec. 12 meeting at 7:30 p.m.

For further information, contact Elliot Chabot at 301-871-1113.

Cold Weather is Here: Are You Fire Safe?

Time to Check Home Heating Systems and Smoke Alarms.

As cold temperatures embrace the Metro area, the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service offer some safety tips. The fall season and the approaching winter months are typically the busiest time of the year for firefighters. Cooking, home heating systems, heating equipment and associated electrical systems, as well as holiday decorations too close to a heat source continuously are a significant factor in structural fires in Montgomery County. Many of these fires can be prevented. The following fire safety tips and information can help you maintain a fire-safe home and business this winter.

* Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon build-up. Inspect electrical systems for overloads.

* Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuel such as kerosene, coal or propane, for (example) produces deadly fumes.

* Keep young children safely away from space heaters -- especially when they are wearing nightgowns or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited. Give space heaters space!

Kitchen Fires. Most kitchen fires occur because food is left unattended on the stove or in the oven. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, take a spoon or potholder with you to remind you to return to the kitchen. Never cook with loose, dangling sleeves that can ignite easily. Heat cooking oils gradually and use extra caution when deep-frying. If a fire breaks out in a pan, put a lid on the pan. Never throw water on a grease fire. Never use a range or stove to heat your home.

Space Heaters. Buy only Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) approved heaters. Use only the manufacturer's recommended fuel for each heater. Do not use electric space heaters in the bathroom or around other wet areas. Do not dry or store

objects on top of your heater. Keep combustibles away from heat sources. Give space heaters space!

Smoking. We prefer that you don't smoke at all, but if you must - Don't leave smoking materials unattended. Use "safety ashtrays" with wide lips. Empty all ashtrays into the toilet or a metal container every night before going to bed. Never smoke in bed. Don't smoke when drowsy.

Candles. Keep burning candles out of children's and pet's reach; keep matches and lighters out of sight and locked away. Make sure they are in stable holders. Do not leave candles unattended and especially around children or pets.

Do not place candles near draperies or anything that might easily catch fire.

Make sure you put out candles when you go to bed or leave the home.

Fireplace Ashes. Remember never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house. Have your furnace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. Chimney tar build-up can ignite your chimney, roof and the whole house.

Change Your Clock and Change Your Battery. Recently, on Oct. 29, when we changed our clocks from Daylight Saving Time back to Eastern Standard Time and it was a good time to get into a lifesaving habit - when you Change Your Clock Change Your Battery. It’s not too late!

It is important that all residents know to have a working smoke alarm on each level of a home, have an escape plan (know how to get out quickly) and call the fire department from a safe area, preferably a neighbor's house. Do not delay. Do not return back in to your house. Call 911 right away.