Montgomery, 2 School Unions Make Deal
Two of the three employee unions representing Montgomery County public school personnel struck tentative agreements with the school system yesterday on salary increases and workplace improvements.
Details of the three-year contracts will not be released until union members vote on them next week, but officials said they reflect flush times.
"It's better than we've had in many years in the cost-of-living adjustment," said Board of Education President Patricia O'Neill (Bethesda-Chevy Chase). "Obviously, fiscal times are more favorable than they were in the early '90s."
The two unions, the Montgomery County Association of Principals and Supervisory Personnel and the Montgomery County Council of Supporting Services Employees, together account for 8,500 employees.
The teachers union, the 10,000-member Montgomery County Education Association, is still negotiating a contract.
Suspension Spent in Closet Spurs Meeting
Prince George's County School Superintendent Iris T. Metts has scheduled a meeting with the parents of a 12-year-old Greenbelt Middle School student who served an in-school suspension in an open closet, the attorney for the family said.
Jerry and Yvonne Bell, parents of seventh-grader Jarmise Bell, were notified of the meeting yesterday after Metts's office telephoned their attorney, Ted J. Williams. The meeting has been set for Tuesday in Metts's Upper Marlboro office.
The Bells faxed a letter to Metts on Wednesday seeking an investigation into their allegation that Jarmise was required to spend the day in an open closet at school on Jan. 13 as punishment for fighting with another child.
Jarmise was given a five-day suspension, but school officials allowed him to serve the suspension at school, said Yvonne Bell. She had thought he would be placed in an empty classroom, but none was available, a school system spokeswoman said.
Arundel Denies Waiver for Supermarket
Anne Arundel officials denied a waiver yesterday to a developer who was planning to build the first supermarket in tiny Deale, a small but increasingly suburbanized town on the Chesapeake Bay.
Residents of Deale and nearby Shady Side and Churchton have been locked in debate for years over the proposal for a Safeway supermarket. At a meeting late last year, more than 500 people turned out, most of them convinced that the store would strip the area of its charm.
The county denied the waiver on the grounds that the development would plow under too much of the property's sensitive wetlands. Safeway can appeal the ruling.
Snow Forecast Closes Montgomery Dumps
Montgomery County landfills in Damascus and Poolesville will be closed this weekend because crews normally working at the sites will be assigned to snow-plowing duties.
The two sites are usually open Saturday and Sunday to accept large trash items. But with snow on the ground and in the forecast, the work crews will plow streets and remain on alert through tomorrow because of anticipated storms.
The county transfer station at 16101 Frederick Rd. in Rockville will be open today and tomorrow to accept large trash items. For more information on hours of operation, call the transfer station at 301-840-2370.
Sierra Club Plans Cellular Tower Protest
Members of the Washington chapter of the Sierra Club say they will hold a demonstration in Rock Creek Park today to protest the installation of a 130-foot Bell Atlantic cellular telephone tower in the park's maintenance yard.
The group sees the tower as a blight on the park and a hazard to migratory birds. Commuters, including some members of Congress, had complained that their cell phone conversations were interrupted while driving through the park.
Construction of two towers in the park was approved by the National Capital Planning Commission despite opposition from President Clinton, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and many D.C. residents.
The tower at the maintenance yard will be the second of two erected. A 100-foot tower has been put up at the tennis center near 16th and Kennedy streets NW.
Waste Facility Panel to Hear Testimony
The D.C. Solid Waste Transfer Facility Site Selection Advisory Panel will hear testimony today from residents, trash haulers and station managers on developing standards to help decide where transfer stations may be located.
A year ago, the D.C. Council overrode a veto by former mayor Marion Barry and passed a tough law regulating trash transfer stations that many residents claim fill their neighborhoods with foul odors and rats. The law called for creation of the advisory panel.
Today's hearing will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Israel Baptist Church, 1251 Saratoga Ave. NE. A second hearing will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 29 at River Terrace Elementary School, 34th and Dix streets NE.
Antiabortion Tactic Angers Delegate
State Del. Clifton A. "Chip" Woodrum (D-Roanoke) didn't appreciate seeing the names of his three children on a list distributed by a delegate who gave an antiabortion speech.
"I find it personally offensive," a scowling Woodrum said on the House of Delegates floor.
Del. M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights) listed the first names of the children of all 100 House members--243 names in all--on a sheet of paper placed on each delegate's desk. He mentioned the list during a speech marking today's 27th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Woodrum said he doesn't use his children's names in his political campaigns, and he resented other people using them to promote a cause. Cox said he used the names so his speech would have a more personal impact on his fellow delegates.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"They come in on Monday morning and put in legislation based on what they'd seen Morley Safer and Ed Bradley tackle the night before."
-- Timothy F. Maloney, a former delegate to the Maryland General Assembly from Prince George's County, on legislation concerning subjects seen on such programs as "60 Minutes.