Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CCFC: Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy

Summer is the perfect time to start understanding & protecting yr child's sensitive data. Our toolkit can help!

Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy: The Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy will help parents understand what data gets collected at school, how it's protected (or not), and what they can do to help ensure their child's sensitive information stays secure.


Inside the toolkit, you'll find: 
  • An overview of the federal laws that govern student data privacy;
  • Tips and resources for protecting your child's privacy at school and at home; 
  • Questions to ask districts, principals, and teachers about student privacy; 
  • Suggestions for parent advocacy and organizing;
  • A guide to understanding privacy policies; 
  • Sample opt-out forms and letters to share with your district;
  • and more! 

WAMU: MCPS Gives More Students A Chance At ‘Gifted’ Status

A new program at the Montgomery County Public Schools is giving more kids a shot at enrichment programs.
After a 2016 report found white and Asian American students were more likely to be accepted and enroll in these programs than black and Hispanic students, or those from low-income households, the school district began re-examining the way it identifies gifted students.
A new pilot program aimed at redressing the imbalance has proved so successful that the school district plans to expand it system-wide in the fall. That means all third graders will be evaluated for enrichment programs. And the county will open three new enrichment centers to serve more students.
One big reason for the racial and income disparities, school administrators have concluded: parents.
Making them responsible for applying to have their children admitted to gifted programs “may have really been a barrier for families who couldn’t meet the timeline who may have even known about the process but didn’t know if their child was a right match for the program,” said Jeannie Franklin, who works for the school district.
At a school like JoAnn Lelack at Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, that can be a factor, agreed Principal Harold Barber. Nine out of 10 students there qualify for free or reduced-price meals, he said. Many come from households without strong ties to the school system. “We have a very transient population,” Barber said...

Civil War-era law used to sue Mississippi over school system

Four mothers are challenging Mississippi’s public education system, saying the state is violating a legal promise it made a century and a half ago to keep a “uniform system of free public schools.”

The lawsuit, filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the state’s top officials, is using a unique legal theory to challenge inequities in the system, saying Mississippi is failing to keep its promise, made as a condition to rejoin the Union after the Civil War.

But since then, Mississippi has broken that promise many times, starting with the adoption of the 1890 constitution, said Jody Owens, managing attorney in the center’s Jackson office. “The state’s education system is shamefully inequitable and anything but uniform.”...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Montgomery County Public Schools posts 80 percent increase in reports of sexual harassment

More than 200 incidents of sexual harassment of students were reported in Montgomery County’s public schools in the last academic year, a one-year jump of more than 80 percent, according to new data from the Maryland school system.
The numbers show that reports of such misconduct — including inappropriate physical contact, written messages and verbal remarks — rose for a third straight year, to 214 in 2015-16. That was 96 more than the previous year’s total.
School officials said Wednesday they plan to look into the issue and will move to a new process in the next school year that will provide clearer data on serious incidents, including sexual harassment...
...But some advocates in Montgomery say that while a reporting increase would be a positive step, more needs to be done to keep students safe. They view the increase as a sign that serious sex-related incidents may have gone unreported in the past.
“There are still too many incidents, and I don’t think the culture has changed enough,” said Susan Burkinshaw, a parent and community advocate who served on a school district advisory group that examined child abuse issues.
The new numbers, provided in response to a public records request by The Washington Post, come as Montgomery officials have scrambled to respond to a string of sex offense allegations...
...The data show that last school year a total of 247 sex-related incidents were reported, including two rapes, 24 sexual assaults, seven incidents of sexual activity and 214 of sexual harassment. Police were contacted in 64 cases...
...Jennifer Alvaro, an activist on sexual abuse issues who also served on the district’s child abuse advisory group, called for greater transparency and more urgency on the issue.
She said she is troubled by the surge in harassment reports for several reasons, including that the definition is so broad it is impossible to tell what kinds of reported incidents are on the rise. “You can’t correct a problem if you don’t know what the problem is,” she said...

Daily Record: Top Md. court sides with Prince George’s residents seeking more info on deal. #PublicInformationAct


Commercial leases voluntarily submitted to counties cannot be totally and automatically shielded from public view, Maryland’s top court has unanimously ruled in a case involving the Whole Foods in Prince George’s County.
Rather, judges can prevent only the public release of information that the submitting party does not “customarily” release, such as trade secrets and commercial and financial information of benefit to competitors, the Court of Appeals said Monday in siding with county residents seeking additional information about the upscale supermarket’s lease in Riverdale Park.
The high court said its decision strikes an appropriate balance among the public’s need for information, the landlord’s desire to protect proprietary figures and the counties’ goal of ensuring companies remain willing to provide information voluntarily...
http://thedailyrecord.com/2017/05/24/md-top-court-sides-with-prince-georges-residents-seeking-more-info-on-whole-foods-deal/

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I, on April 6, 1917. Over 4,700,000 American servicemen and women went to war in Europe and over 116,000 died either in battle or from disease or other causes.

The British poet Wilfred Owen wrote this poem. He was killed in action on November 4, 1918. He was 25 years old.

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

MCPS school bus fire causes $100K in damages

 Fire investigators in Montgomery County, Maryland are working to determine the cause behind a costly bus fire at the Montgomery County Public Schools bus depot on Crabbs Branch Way near Shady Grove Road.
The fire broke out around midnight Saturday morning and it was extinguished about half an hour later.
“When units arrived on scene they encountered a school bus fully engulfed in flames,” said Pete Piringer, a spokesman with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.
One school bus was completely destroyed and others were damaged.
“There was some collateral damage to two buses that were parked nearby,” Piringer said.
Piringer described the bus depot as “a secure parking lot, monitored by cameras and videos.”
Investigators are still trying to figure out how the fire started, although Piringer said nothing suspicious has been found and the cause is believed to be accidental.
The fire caused more than $100,000 in damage.
The cause of fire is under investigation....

Berliner Gets Tobytown a Gate. Cemetery Fence to Be Removed. No Acknowledgement of Unmarked Graves.


HOC proposed gate to nowhere.
On February 23, 2017, Councilmember Roger Berliner asked the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County to restore the cemetery in Tobytown “to a dignified state and to develop a plan for its on-going maintenance.”

In response to that request, HOC presented plans to the residents of Tobytown on May 23, 2017, for a gate for the Tobytown cemetery.  A drawing of the proposed gate is shown in the image to the left and the plans for the gate are shown in the documents below.  

In addition to a gate, HOC staff announced that the existing fence around the Tobytown cemetery would be removed.  The gate structure would not be connected to anything and the boundaries of the cemetery would no longer be marked under this proposal.

Many of the graves in the cemetery are unmarked and HOC staff did not present any plans to mark the graves or memorialize those that are buried in this historic cemetery.  

HOC did not present the residents with any plans for ongoing maintenance of the cemetery. 

When asked about the administration of a cemetery, the HOC staff at the May 23rd meeting refused to discuss the permitting or oversight process for Maryland cemeteries.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

What it looks like when a Board of Education Member Talks with Parents #CellTowers #AdminLeave #Volunteerism #NotMoCo

This is not happening in Montgomery County, this is Prince George's County.




Prince George's County School Board Member to host meetings on Administrative Leave, Volunteerism and Cell Towers. 

Link is here

Roundtable Discussions on PGCPS Schools 


  • Administrative Leave on Saturday, May 27th at 9:30am


  • Volunteerism (Background Checks, Fingerprinting and Training) on Tuesday, May 30th at 6:30pm


  • Cell Towers on Thursday, June 1 at 6:30pm

Friday, May 26, 2017

Exclusive e-mail Shows how Local Parks Funding was used to Pay for Blair High School Defective Artificial Turf Replacement

On May 15, 2017, the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD revealed how Montgomery Parks shifted funding from Local Park projects to the Blair High School emergency artificial turf project.  The Blair High School artificial turf field was replaced without any public notice and without any public process.  The procurement was another behind closed doors purchase of a plastic playing surface.

Here is the e-mail that explains how the Blair artificial turf was to be purchased.  Note that the Director of Montgomery Parks was to be briefed on this funding change.

BCC High School: Gas fumes into Hallway, Students Evacuated.

A message from BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE HIGH
Hello B-CC Families,
At approximately 2pm today, we were notified that there were gas fumes coming from one of the construction machines located outside, adjacent to the basement. The smell from the gas remained in the E hallway, but did not enter the classrooms. As a precaution, we evacuated the following classrooms to the auditorium: E030 (Ms. Lizarazo), E031 (Mrs. Welton), E033 (Mr. Graham), and E034 (Mr. Herner). All students were released at 2:30 p.m. once the final bell rang.
We spoke in great detail with the lead construction foreman and he ensured us that the source of the gas smell was corrected and that he would do his best to ensure this does not happen in the future.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact me at 240-740-0400 or sharif_k_robinson@mcpsmd.org
Best,
Sharif Robinson 
 
Sharif Robinson
Assistant Principal
BCC High School
4301 East West Hwy.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(240) 740-0400

Ritchie Park Elem. Odor of fuel in building. Major response. Evacuated. Responders evaluating kids @WUSA9


HAZMAT scene at Ritchie Park Elementary School in Rockville. Officials say 14 students/staff evaluated amid smell of gas/odor @ABC7News





MCPS Student Gets 44 Day Suspension for "attacking a school security officer."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Montgomery County School Principals, Administrators Set To See Salary Bump

Montgomery County School Principals, Administrators Set To See Salary Bump: Employees will shoulder higher medical, prescription copays as part of negotiated agreement

Montgomery County principals and administrators will see their salaries climb with a step increase and a 1 percent cost of living adjustment.
The county school board on Monday signed off on a three-year negotiated agreement with the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals....

Will Montgomery County Parks Join the Class Action Lawsuit?

...“The synthetic turf installed by FieldTurf in 2009 has been steadily breaking up for the past several years,” said Dr. Scott Penland, Cherokee Central Schools superintendent.  “It has an eight year warranty.  We asked them to come in a couple of years ago and address our concerns.  They did come and make some corrections, but did not attempt to fix the fibers that were breaking up.”
He added, “I found out that several other schools were suing FieldTurf because they knowingly installed a ‘faulty’ product at that time.”

Dr. Penland contacted attorneys involved in a larger class-action lawsuit who visited Cherokee.  “Once they saw it, they agreed to add us to the ‘class action’ lawsuit at no cost to Cherokee.  If successful with the case, the attorneys will get a percentage of the amount we are awarded.  It is a win-win for us.”...

https://theonefeather.com/2017/05/new-turf-being-installed-at-cherokee-lawsuit-filed/

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Architect Presents Initial Drawings of New Tilden Middle, Rock Terrace School

Architect Presents Initial Drawings of New Tilden Middle, Rock Terrace School: Plans would put greenhouse, culinary arts space in 235,000-square-foot building

Audit: HOC of Montgomery Co. 405 housing quality standards violations, including 89 violations that needed to be corrected within 24 hours because they posed a serious threat to the safety of the tenants. HOC to Reimburse $44,887 to HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General audited the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County, Maryland in 2016.  Below are the findings of the HUD Inspector General and a link to the full audit. (Note: This audit came out one month after the Silver Spring explosion.)







and


and



Click the link below for the full audit report and the HOC of Montgomery County response.

https://www.hudoig.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2016-PH-1008.pdf

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WUSA9: Cell Towers Could Be Built at Dozens of PG County Public Schools



USA9 Reports on the Milestone Communications Cell Tower Deal: Cell towers could be built at dozens of Prince George's Co. schools
GREENBELT, MD (WUSA9) - A cell phone tower developer is backing away from a proposal to put a tower at Greenbelt’s Eleanor Roosevelt High School. The decision comes as scrutiny is mounting over the company’s confidential lease with the Board of Education that allows tower development at 73 of the county’s 208 schools.
Milestone Communications has told Prince George’s County Public School’s CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell that it will withdraw its application to put a tower at Eleanor Roosevelt H.S. Maxwell criticized the company saying it has “not met our desired standards for transparency, communication and community engagement." Maxwell made his comments in a letter to Board of Education member Lupi Quinteros-Grady, who opposed tower development at Roosevelt.
Even so, the school system in 2016 renewed a lease with Milestone that gives the company rights to develop as many as two towers at dozens of county schools. At least six schools are already cell tower sites. 

Bullying and Depression Are Concerns Expressed by Students During Town Hall

http://www.mymcmedia.org/bullying-and-depression-are-some-concerns-expressed-by-students-during-town-hall/

Monday, May 22, 2017

Psychology Today: Growing Up in a False Reality

This guest post is by Cindy Eckard, a Maryland parent who has spearheaded legislation in her state (link is external) to create medically-sound safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in public schools. 
Many people are focused on reducing screen time for children; I'm one of those people. The health risks are enormous for our kids, in a variety of ways, from their vulnerable, undeveloped eyes to their growing bodies and minds. And while I am the first to advocate for schools and parents to limit the amount of time our children spend on digital devices, per se, I am also growing increasingly convinced that our emotive relationships with these machines - which correlates to screen time - needs more exploration. What psychological needs are these digital devices filling - and what price is being paid when they dominate our lives?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201705/growing-in-false-realityhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201705/growing-in-false-reality

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How Google Took Over the Classroom

From The New York Times, reporter Natasha Singer. To read the full story go here.

How Google Took Over the Classroom: The tech giant is transforming public education with low-cost laptops and free apps. But schools may be giving Google more than they are getting.

CHICAGO — The sixth graders at Newton Bateman, a public elementary school here with a classic red brick facade, know the Google drill.
In a social-science class last year, the students each grabbed a Google-powered laptop. They opened Google Classroom, an app where teachers make assignments. Then they clicked on Google Docs, a writing program, and began composing essays.
Looking up from her laptop, Masuma Khan, then 11 years old, said her essay explored how schooling in ancient Athens differed from her own. “Back then, they had wooden tablets and they had to take all of their notes on it,” she said. “Nowadays, we can just do it in Google Docs.”
Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the United States, with about 381,000 students, is at the forefront of a profound shift in American education: the Googlification of the classroom.
 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Baltimore County school board role, political ambitions clash for one member

The vice chair of the Baltimore County school board may have to choose between her role as a member of the Board of Education and her political activities.

Marisol Johnson, vice chair of the Baltimore County Board of Education, will likely have to choose between continuing in that position or giving up her seat on the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee and an expected run for the county council.

Johnson’s current role and her political ambitions, which appear to include a run for the Baltimore County Council, conflict because of a 2014 law that establishes how members of the county’s board of education are selected. That law created a hybrid school board with seven of the 12 members being elected from the county’s council districts.

Johnson did not respond to calls or an email seeking comment.

School officials were also not immediately available for comment.

Robbie Leonard, past chair of the central committee, said he became aware of the legal conflict late last week after reviewing a 2014 law creating the county’s hybrid elected-appointed school board...

http://thedailyrecord.com/2017/04/25/baltimore-county-school-board-role-political-ambitions-clash-for-one-member/

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Whitman, Einstein slated for new artificial turf fields amid health, cost concerns

Montgomery County is inching forward on a $4.9 million project bringing artificial turf fields to Einstein, Whitman and Julius West Middle after the council approved funding Tuesday.
Montgomery Soccer, Inc. would cover installation costs as part of a public-private partnership yielding the youth sports organization about 1,000 of the estimated 2,400 hours in annual access per field for 10 years. The agreement stems from a legal settlement after MSI sued MCPS for using an unlawful process that granted fields to clubs serving “only a limited fraction — the wealthiest — of the County’s youth.”


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Breaking: Board of Ed. Puts Cell Tower on Northwest HS in Violation of Own Policy

At yesterday's Montgomery County Tower Committee meeting MCPS staff put forward an application for a cell antenna to go on the roof of Northwest High School. 

The application was put forward in direct violation of the MCPS regulations requiring PTSA/community approval of these applications.

On May 9, 2017, during the Public Comment portion of the Board of Education meeting the Northwest PTSA made the BOE aware of MCPS staff's attempt to put this cell tower up without following MCPS regulations. 

The Montgomery County Board of Education was clearly aware of the proposal to put a cell tower antenna on top of Northwest High School and let their staff proceed with bringing this application before the Montgomery County Tower Committee for approval.  With the seal of approval from the Board of Education, the application to put the cell tower antenna on the top of Northwest High School was approved.

This will be the first cell tower antenna to be constructed on a MCPS school building and the first cell tower construction project to ever move forward with the consent of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

All previous cell towers that were constructed on MCPS property were done when Jerry Weast was superintendent and were constructed without a public presentation to the Board of Education.

2017:  The year the Montgomery County Board of Education turns public schools in the county over to cell tower vendors for commercial use, and the year that the Board of Education makes it very clear that parents and guardians are not partners in their local public schools.

Here's who to congratulate on this ground breaking move:

Michael Durso
Judith Docca
Jeanette Dixon
Shebra Evans
Patricia O'Neill
Jill Ortman-Fouse
Rebecca Smondrowski
Eric Guerci

http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/boe/members/


Forbes Mike Ozanian on Twitter: Here's a recent bad report on Field Turf field. #BlairHS @mocoboe






High School Student Parking Spills Onto Streets, Driveways in Montgomery County



http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/High-School-Student-Parking-Spills-Onto-Streets-Driveways-in-Montgomery-County-421397513.html

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

County, Schools Arrive At Plan For Fully Funding Board of Education Budget

County, Schools Arrive At Plan For Fully Funding Board of Education Budget: Reimbursement from the state will help close .1 million funding gap

...The council’s decision on Monday wouldn’t increase the county contribution from the amount recommended by County Executive Ike Leggett. The $1.663 billion funding level suggested by the county executive is about $19 million above the state-required minimum, but it still left a roughly $2 million hole in the school board’s budget plan.


Officials addressed this shortfall with money from the state, which provided a one-time reimbursement for costs related to the county’s state pension contribution. MCPS received about $4.1 million in fiscal 2017 and was able to carry over about $2.1 million to next year’s budget, which goes into effect July 1, according to a staff report...

Montgomery County Public School Security Employee Charged with Sex Offense

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) have arrested Mike Anthony Lievano, age 21, of University Boulevard in Silver Spring, and have charged him with having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School female student while he worked as a security employee at the school.  Montgomery County Public School administrators placed Lievano on administrative leave as soon as they learned of these allegations.
On Thursday, May 4, SVID detectives were notified of the allegations.  Detectives interviewed the victim who told investigators that she and Lievano communicated via text messages and started dating on March 29, 2017.  During that time, Lievano engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with the victim at her home and at his home.
On May 5, Lievano was interviewed by detectives and made admissions relating to the allegations.  Detectives continued to investigate and a warrant was obtained for Lievano’s arrest, charging him with sexual abuse of a minor, a third-degree sex offense, and fourth-degree sex offense.  Lievano turned himself in to investigators late last night and was transported to the Central Processing Unit.  He is being held on a $10,000 bond.
Anyone who believes that his/her child may have been victimized by Lievano in a similar way should call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.

Montgomery Co. Tower Committee Set to Rubber Stamp Cell Towers Today, Including Northwest High School Cell Tower

COMCOR 02.58E.01.06.c.3. provides for the Tower Committee to “review other relevant information” when it reviews TFCG applications. Due to the size of the agenda, my limited access to the records, and time constraints, I was only able to conduct a limited review of the records. However, I did identify a number of issues that are germane to the Tower Committee’s review. As a result, I am providing the following relevant information about applications that are on today’s agenda.

1)            Each of the following TFCG applications fails to meet the TFCG requirement of documenting all legal authorizations for its proposed attachments to be affixed to the structure and/or occupy the intended space, and is therefore deficient. In 2011, Mitsuko Herrera filed Reply Comments with the FCC, representing you, CIO/Director Emanuel, and herself. Page 19 of those Reply Comments discusses various reasons that the Tower Committee rejects TFCG applications. Reasons include when “the property owner has not agreed to the lease” or “approved the attachment.” See https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7021712395.pdf . The Tower Committee practice of rejecting applications that lack proper authorizations is consistent with the TFCG Regulations. It serves to minimize impacts upon citizens and surrounding areas. It also limits the impacts upon other County agencies, which can prevent administrative congestion, and thus, streamline the processing of deserving applications. Please reject the following applications for being deficient for lacking needed authorizations for attachment:
A.           agenda item 3. – application #201704-14
B.           agenda item 4.– application #201704-15
C.           agenda item 5.– application #204704-16
D.           agenda item 7.– application #204704-29
E.            agenda item 14.– application #204704-36
F.            agenda item 18.– application #204704-40
G.           agenda item 20.– application #204704-43
H.           agenda item 21.– application #201705-01
I.             agenda item 26.– application #201705-14
J.            agenda item 39.– application #201609-10
K.            agenda item 40.– application #201609-11
L.            agenda item 41.– application #201609-13
M.          agenda item 43.– application #201609-15
N.           agenda item 45.– application #201609-17
O.           agenda item 46.– application #201609-18
P.            agenda item 47.– application #201609-19
Q.           agenda item 48.– application #201609-22
R.           agenda item 50.– application #201609-24
S.            agenda item 51.– application #201609-25
T.            agenda item 54.– application #201609-28
U.           agenda item 57.– application #201611-05
V.           agenda item 59.– application #201704-17
W.          agenda item 60.– application #201704-19
X.            agenda item 61.– application #201704-20
Y.            agenda item 62.– application #201704-23
Z.            agenda item 63.– application #201704-26
AA.         agenda item 64.– application #201704-27
BB.         agenda item 65.– application #201704-28

2)            All of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57 are deficient. Each of these applications says, “see construction drawings,” to provide the reviewing agency with more complete information. However, in each application, the drawings that are attached are not construction drawings. The attached documents, by their own admission, are unreliable because, as noted, they are only drafts. The documents rely upon no structural analysis. Also, the depictions provide are misleading because they are not to scale, and notations on the drawings themselves indicate that the drawings should not be relied upon. In addition, these drawings are not signed or sealed, and in most cases, no attribution is even provided. Per Maryland Article-Business and Professions, §14-103(a), “drawings shall be signed, sealed, and dated by the professional engineer who prepared or approved the documents.” Please reject all of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57.

3)            All of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57, indicate plans to attach signage to their sites that would be deceptive and represent the type of subterfuge that the media have reported Mobilitie as engaging in throughout the United States. The applications provide intent to mislead the public by identifying the owner as “Interstate Transport and Broadband.” Please reject all of the Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications that appear on the regular agenda, agenda items 39 through 57.

4)            The following Technology MD Network Co/Mobilitie applications for having provided inaccurate or contradictory information about pole construction, which appear as agenda items 40, 41, 43, 44, 50, and 51. Please reject these applications.
A.           201609-10 – identified as steel, but appears to be bronze. (This application also appears to have misidentified the pole owner in the application.)
B.           201609-11 – identified as steel, but appears to be spun aluminum
C.           201609-13 – identified as steel and as concrete; appears to be spun aluminum
D.           201609-15 – identified as steel, but appears to be spun aluminum
E.            201609-16 – identified as both wood and steel
F.            201609-24 – identified as steel, but appears to be spun aluminum
G.           201609-25 – identified as both bronze and steel

5)            Several applications site facilities next to residential uses, even when there are alternatives for co-locations at the approximate locations that would not abut residential uses. Per COMCOR 02.58E.01.05, the Tower Coordinator’s Application Review must be based, in part, on “co-location options” and “potential impacts on the surrounding area.” And this regulation was adopted, among other reasons, to “minimize adverse impacts upon citizens.” Please table the following applications for their further modification and/or review or reject them.

A.           Agenda item 47. - 201609-19 –The applicant states that the utility pole is in the Montgomery County PROW. But this pole is behind the sidewalk, and it may be on the property owner’s land. The proposed location is a short distance between the main artery, New Hampshire Avenue, and Martin Luther King Park. Surely, Mobilitie could re-evaluate its co-location options and select another utility pole or other site that would not have such an adverse impact upon citizens.

B.           Agenda item 48. - 201609-22 – This attachment abuts a single family residence in an R-60 zone. On the opposite side of the street and very nearby the proposed pole, the Washington  Metropolitan Transit Authority is the owner of a parcel of property (District - 13 Account Number - 02064398) where there is also a Pepco pole. That nonresidential use is more a more appropriate property upon which to co-locate the small cell site, especially in this neighborhood of small, R-60 properties.

C.           Agenda item 60. - 201704-19, item 61. - 201704-20, and item 62. - 201704-23 – With a little effort, T-Mobile could diminish the effects of its DAS poles on this residential community. On Piney Branch, it could, for example, shift down a short way toward the gas station. On Arliss, for example, it could instead of replacing the pole in the sidewalk, in front of the apartments (which could increase barriers to persons with disabilities), it could replace the pole nearby, which is in front of the public library. And, for example, rather than replacing a pole abutting the apartments on Gilbert Place, a pole could instead be replaced at the commercial area that is in back of the apartments, which fronts on University Blvd, E.

6)            There are some typographical errors in the agenda and in the applications. Some of these typos are insignificant, such as misidentified location nodes, and misspelling “Derwood.” However in the case of agenda item 47, the application and agenda incorrectly identify the cross street as Kenwood, which is a street in Bethesda. And in the case of agenda item 63, there are two roads that have the name University Blvd: University Blvd E. and University Blvd W.; failing to specify is problematic and makes the address incomplete.

A.           201609-19 – The street coordinates were misidentified in the application and on the agenda. The correct streets are Jackson Rd. @ Kerwood Rd., Silver Spring.

B.           201704-26 – 925 University Blvd, Silver Spring – There are two University Blvd. Without specifying East or West, this address is incomplete.

7)  COMCOR 02.58E.01.05.b. Requires the Board of Education as the land-owning agency for Northwest High School, which is agenda item59, application 201704-17, to:
               1.   Review the site application in accordance with the agency's siting standards and policy.
                              2.   Receive and evaluate public input as part of the agency's decision process.
The Board of Education has not done this. Please reject this application.

Thank you for considering these issues.

Sue Present