Saturday, July 30, 2022

Spirit Halloween to open store in Burtonsville for 2022

Spirit Halloween
will be haunting Burtonsville this year. The seasonal chain will open a store at 15791 Columbia Pike, at Burtonsville Crossing. A tour of Spirit Halloween has become a Halloween activity and tradition in itself. New animatronics this year include Lord Raven, Bog Zombie, Monty the crazed cymbal-wielding monkey, Lucky Bottoms, Bag o'Bones, and Nozzles the Clown.

Blair still ahead of Elrich as vote-counting continues in Montgomery County Executive race

Businessman David Blair is still ahead of incumbent Marc Elrich by a nose in the Democratic primary contest for Montgomery County Executive. Montgomery County Board of Elections results reported after another day of counting Friday at 8:11 PM now show Blair remaining in first place with 46,824 votes (39.32%), and Elrich right behind with 46,693 votes (39.21%). After a day off Thursday, counting is scheduled to continue for three consecutive days through Monday, resuming at 10:00 AM this morning at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College, but election officials have warned that a final tally may come as late as August 12. Mail-in ballots were actually still being accepted as late as yesterday if they were postmarked by July 19, which means as of today, there will be no additional ballots being added to the pile of still-to-be-counted votes.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Maryland governor candidate Wes Moore to appear in Silver Spring August 1

Wes Moore
, the Democratic Party nominee for Maryland governor, will appear at a rally in Silver Spring Monday night, August 1, 2022 at 6:00 PM. The rally will be held at Veterans Plaza at 1 Veterans Place in downtown Silver Spring. Also scheduled to appear, are U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Democratic Maryland Comptroller candidate Brooke Lierman. The event is scheduled to run from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

David Blair maintains lead in latest Montgomery County Executive election results

Businessman David Blair is still in first place in the 2022 Democratic Montgomery County Executive primary race, after another day of vote canvassing at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College. When the Montgomery County Board of Elections released the latest totals at 11:00 PM last night, Blair was up to 44,722 votes (39.33%), and runner-up Marc Elrich still a close second at 44,577 votes (39.21%). Believe it or not, no votes will be counted today! Canvassing of mail-in ballots will resume Friday at 10:00 AM at the college.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Sneak peek: Miss Toya's Creole House in Silver Spring (Photos)

Miss Toya's Creole House
has been expected to open before the end of this month at 916 Ellsworth Drive at Downtown Silver Spring. The restaurant's Instagram page still says "July 2022." While we're waiting for an official announcement of the opening date, here's a sneak peek inside the newest dining addition at the Peterson Cos. development:

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

David Blair regains lead in Montgomery County Executive race

Incumbent Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich fell behind challenger David Blair in the Democratic primary election results Monday. After another day of counting mail-in votes, Blair moved back into the lead with 42,705 total votes (39.33%) as of 11:00 PM Monday night, and Elrich dropped to second place with 42,571 votes (39.20%). Elrich continues to lead in mail-in votes, but enough came in from Blair-friendly precincts yesterday to put him back on top.

As you can see, the vote remains too close to call with only 134 votes currently separating the two men, and the total number of mail-in ballots that will have to be counted before a final tally is still unknown. There will also be provisional ballots to be examined, and you can bet those are going to be scrutinized even more closely with the tightness of this race.

Please note, there will be no counting of votes today. It is a scheduled day off for volunteers, according to the Board of Elections calendar. Canvassing will resume at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College on Wednesday. So another day of suspense, and this time, it is Blair supporters who are feeling a boost of optimism.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Snipes to open Silver Spring location

will open a new store at 13800 Outlet Drive at the Briggs Chaney MarketPlace shopping center in Silver Spring. The German sneaker and streetwear chain is the largest of its kind in Europe. Snipes currently has a store at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, as well as in Glenarden and Bowie.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Tom Perez on media calling Maryland governor race for Wes Moore: "Not so fast"

A number of news outlets declared Wes Moore the victor in the Democratic Maryland governor race today, and the campaign of Tom Perez is pushing back. "Put simply, it’s too early to call this race," Perez campaign manager Sean Downey said in a statement. "Yesterday was the first day of counting for the 212,962 recorded and received vote-by-mail ballots and it was a huge day for Tom Perez. He flipped multiple counties from election day and made major vote gains statewide, all while as many as 80,000 votes remain in Montgomery County — the largest remaining vote share and Tom's incredibly strong base."

Perez has led the race decisively in Montgomery County since vote-counting began Tuesday night, at times hold double the number of votes Moore had in the jurisdiction. A resident and former county councilmember in Montgomery, Perez is now clearly counting on a hometown mail-in vote bonanza to even up the statewide race.

Moore has led statewide in the early voting and Election Day counts. In addition to the over 200,000 mail-in ballots, there are also 15,630 provisional ballots to be reviewed and counted. The winner will face off against Green Party candidate Nancy Wallace, Libertarian candidate David Lashar, and Republican nominee Dan Cox in November.

Nike Unite store to open at Downtown Silver Spring (Photos)

Nike will open one of its new Nike Unite concept stores at Downtown Silver Spring before the end of the year. It will be located at 910 Ellsworth Drive at the Peterson Cos. development. Nike Unite is presented as connecting members of the community through sport, and having each location reflect the city it is in. Cutting through the corporate boardroom speak and virtue signaling, some wonder if it is simply a new way for Nike to bump mom-and-pop sneaker shops out of local markets.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

David Blair remains ahead of Marc Elrich in too-close-to-call Montgomery County Executive race

David Blair

Counting of mail-in ballots
to begin today

Despite the counting of all early voting and election day ballots, a winner cannot yet be declared in the Democratic race for Montgomery County Executive. David Blair has led the contest by a thin margin for most of the hours since the polls closed Tuesday night. As of right now, Blair leads incumbent Marc Elrich 39.63% to 38%. But more than 20,000 mail-in ballots remain to be counted, and that tabulation will begin this morning. 

Third-place finisher Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer conceded the race in an interview with Bethesda Beat yesterday, and later on Twitter. "Earlier today I conceded," Riemer tweeted. "I did so full of gratitude and optimism. Gratitude to our incredible supporters. Optimism because of what we accomplished together - Ushering in a new era of progressivism in our County. Our work continues — to say YES to progress!" 

The full impact of Riemer's campaign won't be known until a winner is declared. His respectable current 20.40% showing bests any of Elrich and Blair's 2018 competitors in the executive race. Businessman Peter James is at 1.98% in last place as of this morning, and Republican Reardon Sullivan has decisively won his primary for County Executive.

Leaders in the Democratic County Council races as of this morning are as follows:

At-Large: Evan Glass (18.26%), Will Jawando (17.27%), Gabe Albornoz (15.50%), Laurie-Anne Sayles (13.39%)

District 1: Andrew Friedson (100%) [unopposed]

District 2: Marilyn Balcombe (46.98%)

District 3: Sidney Katz (57.98%)

District 4: Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart (44.52%)

District 5: Kristin Mink (40%)

District 6: Natali Fani Gonzalez (53.55%)

District 7: Dawn Luedtke (31.47%)

All Democratic Council primary winners except Friedson will face Republican opponents in the November election: 

Christopher Fiotes, Lenard Lieber and Dwight Patel (At-Large); Dan Cuda (District 2); George Hernandez (District 3); Cheryl Riley (District 4); Kate Woody (District 5); Viet H. Doan (District 6); and Harold C. Maldonado (District 7). 

Copper Canyon Grill in Silver Spring repairing fire damage to restaurant

Copper Canyon Grill
at 928 Ellsworth Drive at Downtown Silver Spring remains closed after the restaurant was damaged by a fire on the morning of July 12. Sixty-five firefighters were needed on scene to extinguish the kitchen blaze, which traveled through the ductwork of the restaurant, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer said. Heavy smoke drifted up through the roof, and the odor of smoke was detected by residents as far away as Four Corners. 

A major part of the repairs will be to the grease duct in the kitchen. As the name suggests, the grease duct vents grease-laden vapors that are flammable from kitchen equipment. They require regular maintenance to avoid buildup of grease residue that can cause fires. A sign in the restaurant window does not mention the fire as the reason for the current closure, nor an estimated timeline for reopening of the business.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Dan Cox wins GOP nomination for Maryland governor as Donald Trump hands foe Larry Hogan an embarrassing defeat

Dan Cox will be the 2022 Republican nominee for governor in Maryland, based on election results at this hour, with 2048 out of 2074 election day precinct vote totals counted so far. Gov. Larry Hogan was handed a doubly-embarrassing defeat, as Cox was endorsed by Hogan's likely 2024 presidential election rival Donald Trump, and Hogan's endorsee Kelly Schulz was rejected by a majority of Republican voters statewide. Wes Moore has a comfortable lead in the crowded Democratic race at this hour. 

Cox's win was authoritative, currently standing at 56.23% over Schulz's 40.26%, with mail-in ballots still pending. He even won 52.23% support among Montgomery County Republicans, in current voting results here. 

The numbers indicate that Trump is, if anything, even more popular among Maryland Republicans than when he first ran in 2016. In Montgomery County, an increasing trend of moderate GOP voters switching parties to vote in the Democratic primary for County offices may have also benefitted Cox to the detriment of Schulz - the impact can be seen in Cox's decisive win, and in former Republican David Blair's slight lead in the Democratic race for County Executive.

Hogan's increasingly-caustic attacks on Trump over the last six years, which helped him earn bipartisan support and reelection in a blue state, have finally caught up to him. The results so far are a rebuke of Hogan by the Maryland GOP base, who also opposed his school closure lockdown policies during the pandemic. Some are also asking why Hogan spent the final days before the election campaigning for president outside of Maryland, instead of barnstorming the state with Schulz. If Hogan can't carry Republicans in his own state, his 2024 GOP primary prospects elsewhere in the country look bleak indeed at the moment.

Cox helped himself in the final weeks by pressing kitchen table issues like inflation, schools, and gas prices alongside his other popular talking points, and by giving one of his strongest speeches of the year during a tele-rally with Trump, which had a huge audience of voters and media listening. Experts are currently predicting another surge in the price of oil in October, in the closing weeks of the general election campaign. That could help Cox with independents, as could the questionable ability of President Joe Biden to give any boost to the Democratic nominee among independents by campaigning here in the fall. But Cox will face tropical-force winds from the national and local press, whose headlines are already dominated by the attacks Hogan and Schulz deployed in the primary against him.

In the Democratic race, Moore's outsider resume, energetic campaign and Oprah endorsement have boosted him statewide so far. He is currently in first place with 36.75%. Unlike the jurisdictional harmony in the GOP race, Montgomery County Democrats supported county resident Tom Perez over Moore 2 to 1, in results so far. Moore is currently is 2nd place in Montgomery County results. 

Peter Franchot has had a day almost as miserable as Hogan. Franchot was cast as the shoo-in favorite in the Democratic race years before the first vote was cast, and before Moore was even on anyone's radar. On paper, Franchot's slightly more moderate views and teamwork with Hogan made him seem to be a solid choice in a state where Republicans have a real chance to take the governor's seat every time. In the actual election, however, Franchot is a distant third currently in both county and state results.

Photo via Dan Cox for Governor

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Democratic Montgomery County Executive race too close to call in early election results; Sullivan walking away with GOP race

David Blair

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and his leading challenger, businessman David Blair, are in a tight race for victory in the 2022 Democratic primary tonight. Blair had staked out a slight lead in early voting and in initial results from in-person voting today, but as more precinct report totals, Elrich and Blair are neck-and-neck at 38.30% and 38.53%, respectively. Blair has led from the beginning to this point, however small the margin. County Councilmember Hans Riemer is currently in third place with a respectable 21.36%, and businessman Peter James is bringing up the rear at 1.81%.

Marc Elrich

Republican voters are showing more of a consensus in early results. Businessman Reardon Sullivan is currently cruising to victory over attorney Shelly Skolnick, with 62.83% of the vote. 120 of 258 election day precincts have been counted statewide so far.

Reardon Sullivan

Trump-endorsed Dan Cox leading in GOP governor race in early Maryland election results, Perez staking lead among Democrats

President Donald Trump is showing he may be more popular now among Maryland Republicans than ever before, at least in the precincts where votes have been counted as of this hour. Trump's hand-picked candidate, Delegate Dan Cox, is leading in the GOP race for governor in early election results. Cox's strength is showing across the board, in both early voting and today's in-person results. There is electricity at the Cox Election Night party in Emmitsburg; as of 10:40 PM, Cox is leading Kelly Schulz 50.63%% to 42.25% for the Republican nomination.

Tom Perez

On the Democratic side, Tom Perez is racing out to a massive early lead over his crowded field of competitors. Like Cox, Perez is dominating in both today's tally from polling places, and in the early voting results. He holds a 46.70% lead over Wes Moore, who is currently in a distant second place with 23.09%. Peter Franchot, long considered the frontrunner in the race, is struggling to rack up even half of Moore's total so far.

"So far" is the operative phrase, of course. Only 85 of 258 election day precincts have been counted statewide so far. Depending which counties are further ahead in their counts, the results may change by morning, and into the rest of the week. 

Toys R Us to return at Macy's in Bethesda, Gaithersburg & Wheaton for holiday shopping season

Toys R Us
will attempt to make a nationwide comeback this holiday season, the brand announced yesterday. The toy store will be largely found at malls across the country, but not in its own space. Instead, there will be Toys R Us stores inside of every Macy's department store, including those here in Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, and at Westfield Wheaton Plaza mall. The first pop-up stores are expected to open by the end of this month, with the rest making their debuts by mid-October. 

Toys R Us photo of new concept
store inside Macy's nationwide

Toys R Us closed in Rockville in 2014. It briefly operated a downsized Toys R Us Express store at Montgomery Mall ten years ago. The last Toys R Us in Montgomery County closed in 2018, in Gaithersburg. This new Toys R Us won't offer the experience kids enjoyed in the past: a cavernous warehouse space with nearly-endless aisles of toys, bikes, ride-on vehicles and video games, with a car trip around back to the loading dock area for special pickup of a big item.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for Montgomery County

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for a large area of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, stretching from Lynchburg, Virginia to lower New York and Western Connecticut. All of the Washington, D.C. region, including Montgomery County and Prince George's County, are under the watch until 10:00 PM tonight. This follows a Flood Watch for much of that area that is in effect until midnight tonight.

Between now and 10:00 PM, severe thunderstorms are possible. These storms may spawn tornadoes, isolated ping-pong-size hail, and scattered wind gusts up to 70 MPH. The first storms appear to be impacting northern Montgomery County - including Potomac, Germantown and Damascus, and parts of Northern Virginia and Frederick County, including Mount Airy and Urbana. Specifc severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for those areas.

Be prepared by ensuring flashlights and radios have fresh batteries, and that your phone is fully-charged. Bring any objects that could become airborne inside from yards and balconies. Move to a lower level or interior room if a thunderstorm warning is issued for your area.

Map courtesy National Weather Service

Flood watch issued for Montgomery County

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for large portions of the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas. A possibility of severe thunderstorms during the late afternoon and early evening hours tonight, along with potential rainfall rates of 1-2" per hour, may cause flash flooding between 4:00 PM and midnight. Jurisdictions under the flood watch include Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Washington, D.C., Arlington County, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Bowie, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Carroll County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Jamie Raskin endorses Marc Elrich for Montgomery County Executive

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin (D - 8th District) has endorsed incumbent Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich for reelection in this Tuesday's Democratic primary contest. Raskin made the announcement at a get-out-the-vote canvassing event yesterday, standing side-by-side with Elrich. “I had quite a week defending democracy against the coups, and the insurrections, the political violence, and the attempt to usurp the will of the people,” Raskin told the crowd, "so I thought I would just swing by to tell everybody that I'm voting for Marc Elrich, who is making democracy work here in Montgomery County."

Raskin and Elrich have a long history together. Both are from the highly-politically-active Takoma Park community, where Elrich served on the City Council, before being elected to the Montgomery County Council (At-Large) in 2006. “I have known Marc for most of my life," Raskin said yesterday. "He's always the same Marc. You know what you're going to get with Marc Elrich. We can count on him, and we counted on him through COVID-19, where Montgomery County became one of the leading counties in America to get people vaccinated and promote public health, And for that reason alone, we owe you a debt of gratitude."

COVID-19 has been a hot topic in this year's election, as some parents and businesspeople have organized behind Elrich's opponents on the very issue of pandemic policies that were instituted or proposed during his term in office, such as school closures, intervention in private school operations, and lockdowns of businesses. Others felt Elrich's policies were on-target, and have praised him for limiting the impact of the virus on the community before vaccines were widely available.

Raskin also saluted Elrich's successful efforts to raise the minimum wage, and his support of abortion rights. “There are two kinds of politicians out there," Raskin said. "There are power politicians, and there are justice politicians. Marc Elrich has always been the quintessential justice politician."

The endorsement comes at a key moment in a contentious race at the top of the County ballot. Elrich is facing three opponents in the July 19 primary: businessman David Blair, County Councilmember Hans Riemer and businessman Peter James. Blair has poured millions into his two campaigns, and Riemer has a campaign chest of grassroots donations and public matching funds that top $1 million.

Raskin has never had more name recognition among the public than today, thanks to his high-profile TV role in the impeachments of President Donald Trump, and on the January 6 Select Committee in Congress. The voters who support his work on those committees are very much in play in this Tuesday's election, giving Elrich a needed last-minute boost from another progressive who has the ear of his target voter.

“I am honored to have Congressman Raskin’s support in our campaign for re-election; he has been a fearless defender of democracy at the national level, and tireless in helping his constituents back home,” Elrich said in a statement this afternoon. “I thank Congressman Raskin for his relentless defense of democracy. I am grateful for his vote and support. I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of Montgomery County residents.”

Friday, July 15, 2022

Silver Spring company's Caribbean-inspired drink mixers net big Texas distribution deal

They say everything's bigger in Texas. And Zurena, a Silver Spring-based start-up, just got a big boost in the Lone Star state. The company's line of Caribbean-inspired drink mixers will now be carried in 400 H-E-B grocery stores across Texas. Add them to any spirit, beer, wine, club soda or juice to create instant cocktails and mocktails for "a getaway in every glass," Zurena promises in a press release. You don't have to travel to Texas to find them; locally, Zurena mixers are carried at Montgomery County government-run liquor stores, Central Wine & Liquor in Washington, D.C., LAX in Beltsville and the District, and Maryland Farms Liquors.

Photo courtesy Zurena

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Donald Trump slams Hogan on COVID test debacle, casts doubt on Maryland election integrity on Dan Cox tele-rally

"I don't believe the elections are
straight in the state," Trump says of

President Donald Trump bashed nemesis - and potential 2024 rival - Gov. Larry Hogan (R), and cast doubt on election integrity in the state of Maryland, in a wide-ranging stump speech on a tele-rally for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Dan Cox last night. Settling political scores from coast-to-coast, Trump had just finished campaigning against another never-Trump GOP critic, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in Alaska. Turning his attention back to Hogan in Maryland, Trump zeroed in for the first time on one of the most-controversial issues in Hogan's term, the governor's purchase of South Korean COVID-19 testing kits. The kits arrived with much fanfare, as Hogan suggested he was providing what Trump would or could not, but were later deemed an $11.9 million bust by state health officials who found them unusable.

36,735 voters joined the tele-rally by phone last night, the Cox campaign reports. At the conclusion of the call, a poll was taken in the Maryland governor race. Perhaps not surprisingly on a Cox phone event, Cox won the poll with 85.2% of the vote. More surprisingly, Trump drilled down with more-specific criticism of Hogan's tenure, and for the first time challenged Maryland election integrity.

Cox opened the call by challenging the narrative that he will not have bipartisan appeal in the general election. He argued that his support stretches "across party lines. [E]ven the Democrats, thirty percent of them are saying that this is exactly what they want. Because, why? Because their issues are children, careers, and community safety. That is what is driving us right now. That's what our economy is showing everyone. They go to the pump, and they see that their careers are in jeopardy, they're paying a third of their income for gasoline right now. They're looking at rising taxation, and they're looking at the inflation that's eating up their grocery budget.

"And then they look at their children going to school here in Maryland, and what do you have? You have really egregious things being taught behind the parents' backs. They have women's sports being degraded. They have really a problem with divisive anti-Americanism."

"Our great police officers are under attack. I've been defending them in the [Maryland House] Judiciary Committee. I passed, I helped pass, the bill for $10 million dollars for more police in Baltimore City with Hopkins University."

"That's why I am so honored, and just privileged beyond belief, that President Donald J. Trump would join us tonight. [H]e's stood for us. He's a patriot. He's a gentleman who has graciousness to everyone, and unbelievable fortitude. He stands for our values, our liberties, and our freedom."

Cox then turned the call over to Trump, who began by speaking warmly of the Old Line State. "Hello, Maryland. It's a great state. I have so many friends there. I love the place. We're going to work really hard to do something special with Dan."

Trump exhorted voters to turn out at the polls Tuesday, in what is expected to be a low turnout primary amidst summer vacations. "I'd like each of you to get out and vote, bring your friends and bring everybody you can." As expected, Trump lashed current Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who has hammered Trump and is exploring a potential run against him in the 2024 presidential race. 

"You'll get rid of a lousy governor," Trump said of Hogan, who was in New Hampshire this week to lay the groundwork for a 2024 campaign. "You're gonna get rid of somebody that was just, I think he was absolutely terrible, the job he did. He's just absolutely terrible, and a terrible representative of the state."

Trump again lauded Cox as a "respected and tough lawyer, a smart businessman." And he again denounced Hogan-endorsed Republican candidate Kelly Schulz as a "RINO. Her boss, Larry Hogan, locked down your state, destroyed your freedoms and turned his back on the great people of Maryland. He did it as bad as the Democrats. He locked the place up."

"You don't want his annointed successor," Trump warned. "He's working hard to get her in. And anybody he wants, frankly, I'd be against just on that basis alone."

Trump touted new poll results favorable to Cox, which he said he had just seen before the call. "Dan, I'm happy to tell you the poll is very good," Trump said. "But we can't rely on that. You have to get out and vote. He's the only candidate who has my complete and total endorsement. I've gotten to know him. He's a winner and he's a great guy. He loves the state, and he loves the country."

"Dan will work hard to stop inflation, bring back lower gas prices - can you believe what's happened?" Trump asked, reflecting on how low gas prices were during his term. "We were at $1.87. Now it's going to be well over $5.00, I understand, over the next couple of weeks...But we had it down to the right number, and everybody was happy. Everybody was happy about everything."

Trump then segued into further reminiscing about his time in the Oval Office versus the current state of affairs. "Even if you talk about Russia going into Ukraine, that would have never happened if I was in office...So many things have happened, so bad." He bashed President Joe Biden's botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. "We left Americans behind, thirteen soldiers were killed, many, many horribly injured. And, of course, leaving $85 billion dollars' worth of the best military equipment in the world [in the hands of the Taliban]." 

"We were independent, everybody was happy," Trump recalled of America's energy output during his term. "Right now, as we speak, [Biden is] going to Saudi Arabia begging - a country that is unthinkable that he would go to - begging for oil."

Trump promised that, as governor, Cox would "stand up to the radical left-wing mayors and local officials who are destroying your Democratic-run cities, and restore law and order to Maryland. He'll cut taxes - very big. I gave you the largest tax cut in the history of our country, larger than even the Reagan tax cuts." Trump then further touted his own record of cutting regulations, record job growth, and reaching reciprocal trade agreements with foreign partners.

While dicussing foreign trade, Trump reflected on his relationship with former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated last week. Trump called Abe "a wonderful gentleman...a great, great gentleman. He was a fantastic man, I'm so sad to see that happen."

Turning back to Maryland, Trump assured callers that Cox would "stop the radical left's war on the American family. He'll ban critical race theory. He'll champion school choice, and he'll keep men out of women's sports. A lot of people - and it's not politically correct to say that, but we'll say it - he'll keep men out of women's sports."

Cox would call for a "full, forensic audit" of the 2020 presidential election, Trump said, before casting doubt on election integrity in Maryland. "I know the state so well, I know so many people. I don't believe the elections are straight in the state...Dan's looking into it very strongly."

"I know him. I like him. He loves that state, and he loves our country, and he'll work harder than anybody you've seen, and he's going to do a fantastic job," Trump said in making a closing argument for Cox, before turning his ire back to Hogan. "You're losing somebody who is not a good representative of your state, and certainly not a good Republican," he said of Hogan. "I can tell you that from personal experience."

Trump said his administration had provided much to Hogan during the pandemic, "and we got nothing but negative statements [in return]." He noted Hogan's controversial purchase of COVID-19 tests from a South Korean firm that turned out to be virtually useless. "What he did with the testing, how bad it was, and where the tests came from, from South Korea - there's a whole lot of things that Hogan did that are terrible, and he was just not a good representative. Dan Cox will be fantastic."

"I'll see you soon, we love your state. Bye, everybody," Trump said before leaving the call.

Photo courtesy

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Tobacco King to open Burtonsville location

Tobacco King
is expanding to Burtonsville. The rapidly growing smoke shop chain will open a store later this year at Burtonsville Village Center at 15500 Old Columbia Pike. Tobacco King sells a variety of - believe it or not - tobacco, CBD, kratom, cigar, vaping and hookah products, supplies and accessories. It will square off against Tobacco Hut, which opened at the Burtonsville Town Center in 2021.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Donald Trump to join Republican Maryland governor hopeful Dan Cox for tele-rally Wednesday

President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Delegate Dan Cox for Maryland governor in the July 19, 2022 primary, will join Cox for a tele-rally tomorrow, Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30 PM. The phone number to join the audience and hear Trump and Cox speak will be 301-822-2946. Trump is making the final push to help Cox, who polling has found is essentially tied with Kelly Schulz, who has been endorsed by incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan. 

If Trump's last call into a big Cox rally in Hampstead is any indication, expect him to again lower the boom on Hogan, with whom he has feuded for several years. Hogan is expected by many to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination for president in 2024. Trump sees the Maryland race as an opportunity to add another notch to his endorsement victory belt with Cox, while dealing Hogan a blow ahead of the presidential contest.

New Ride On Route 27 to begin July 17

A new Ride On bus route, Route 27, will begin on July 17, 2022. It will connect the Hillandale Transit Center with the Tech Road Park and Ride lot. The primary stop along the way will be the Adventist Healthcare White Oak Medical Center at 11980 Healing Way in Silver Spring. Don't forget that on August 1, 2022, you'll have to again pay to use Ride On. The Montgomery County Council has set the fare at $1.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Weller's Dry Cleaning building for lease in Silver Spring (Photos)

The Weller's Dry Cleaning building at 8237 Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring is now available for lease. A great example of the wonderful Googie (not Google!) style of architecture of mid-20th-century America, it also features the local quarry stone you find on many older buildings in lower Montgomery County, and that nice retro signage. Charles Weller operated the business for more than sixty years, before he passed away in 2016. The World War II veteran was 101.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Signage installed at Flip'd by IHOP at Downtown Silver Spring (Photos)

The sign is up at Flip'd by IHOP at 8537 Georgia Avenue at the Downtown Silver Spring development. It looks like someone needs to smooth down a couple of the corners of it, though. Inside, work continues on the kitchen space. The emphasis at this new concept by IHOP is on takeout and delivery, as opposed to dining indoors.