Emergency Comm Systems ‘Hanging by a Thread;' Male Prom Queen Challenges ‘Gender Norms;’ Cyclist Critically Injured after Crashing on River Road

Emergency Comm Systems ‘Hanging by a Thread;’ Male Prom Queen Challenges ‘Gender Norms;’ Cyclist Critically Injured after Crashing on River Road

A sampling of reader feedback on Bethesda Beat stories

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A weekly sampling of reader comments culled from trending Bethesda Beat stories


Montgomery Emergency Communication System ‘Hanging by a Thread’

A “major disruption” in the county’s emergency communications system on Mother’s Day weekend knocked out about 75% of the radio channels used by dispatchers and first responders for several hours over two days. The two lengthy outages, which apparently did not occur during any major emergency incidents, are raising fresh concerns about the condition of the 20-year-old network and chronic delays in installing a new, $110 million system.


  • I typically do not post criticism of local government because I am never sure that I know all of the details. But this story is stunning to me. To think that Montgomery County, Maryland with its affluence and high level of intellect can ignore such a critical system this long, is unconscionable. Next I expect to learn that we are using 10 year old police cruisers which are breaking down when officers are being called to a crime scene. No business that I know of would tolerate such horrible communications – and they’re not charged with protecting the public.
  • Safety has not been MoCo’s priority for a long time. There has been incident after incident in threats to public safety. MoCo County Executive and Council President pose for photo-ops and identity politics discussions, while there is no mature and sober leadership focused on public safety issues. But the reality is that is who the voters elect; so the majority of voters also don’t consider public safety to be a priority. MoCo is going to have to face this issue and change in country values and mores someday.
  • Having been involved in public safety in Montgomery County for over 37 years, it does not surprise me. There is more concern over the aesthetics of the towers and paying for social programs than for critical infrastructure. Our mobile data system was called PS 2000. That was when it was supposed to be operational. It was not fully functional for more than 10 more years. There are vocal minorities in the community that will hold up projects like this because of an unsightly tower yet will complain when the fire rescue, police or EMS response is delayed due to an aging communications system or failure of a 911 center. The 6th District police station project was to have been completed in 2009/10. The building has never been built and the officers are still housed in a rental property that was supposed to be temporary for no more than 2 years. I know because at the time I was the 6th District Commander.


Cyclist Critically Injured after Crashing on River Road

A cyclist on a Saturday morning excursion was seriously injured after crashing her bike during an encounter with a SUV driver in Poolesville.


  • The issues for drivers and bikers “sharing” the roads are multiple, but the most basic is to actually share the road. Some bikers and drivers are equally to blame for horrible crashes like this one. I travel River Road frequently and sharing the road with cyclists can be a challenge, especially when the cyclists do not ride single file which many groups do not do. On weekends, it’s especially treacherous with so many groups on the road. Considerate drivers will hang back until it’s safe to pass but many are not so thoughtful. Cyclists really don’t have much of a shoulder to ride on because much of the shoulders on River are in bad and dangerous condition which means they have to use the road. If both groups can be more thoughtful of the other and observe basic courtesy, these kinds of accidents will occur less often.
  • Hate to say this but too many bikers are out to prove a point. They block traffic, cut ahead of cars and want to be treated like a car but won’t obey the rules. I’m a biker too but I won’t block traffic or act like the rules of the road don’t apply to me. Every time I see a biker on River Rd. It’s like they are dating someone to hit them. Most bikers don’t stop at stop signs on the roads or bike paths. They cross the road like the stove signs don’t apply to them. It’s ridiculous and will result in more accidents no doubt.
  • The simple rule is that bicyclists have equal right to the roads. It’s not a requirement that they ride single file. I’m pretty sure there’s a 3′ separation requirement for vehicles passing bicyclists although can’t find the specific law. A bicycle is equal to an Amish wagon, a farm combine, or similar. Except that it’s obviously not. Certainly, with respect to its protection of the rider; or danger to the vehicle. And, for some reason, how motorists perceive and often treat them. A sad testament to some who are unwilling to feel the simple rule applies to them. Hopeful the SUV driver can be identified and the rider fully recovers.


Male Prom Queen Challenges ‘Gender Norms’

At Northwood High School in Silver Spring, the student body elected its first-ever male prom queen.


  • No doubt this will cause a lot of pearl clutching warnings about the end of civilization.
  • And Dems announced a bill this week that forces schools to allow men who identify as women to play on women’s sports teams. This is the focus of the Dem party. Nothing more important to tackle apparently
  • So heroic. I’m in tears..


Elrich Wants Legislation To Preserve Affordable Housing

County Executive Marc Elrich is pledging to introduce legislation that would protect affordable housing when neighborhoods are redeveloped.


  • Elrich’s proposal will perpetuate the housing shortage and probably make it worse. The market needs to be allowed to decide what kind of housing to produce. That means some areas will become higher income areas than they were before new construction.
  • Elrich has saved more affordable housing as a County Councilman than the market will EVER produce on its own.
  • Marx Elrich is clueless. Supply, Demand… Basic math. Basic intellect. He supports increasing the cigarette tax to lower demand for cigarettes. He, like some leftists, seems to get that higher prices lead to less demand. But in housing? No comprende for Marx. Make middle class housing unaffordable…make new construction more pricey…and somehow that won’t lead to less demand and mobility? Economic illiteracy hurts MoCo big time.
  • Too bad so few developers actually pay those impact taxes since every year Hans and the County Council find a new category of waivers for developments to exempt. Only Bethesda is paying any substantial impact taxes. Not Silver Spring. Not Gaithersburg. Not Wheaton. Not Rockville.. Ask the Department of Finance if you want real facts on how little is actually collected, instead of just regurgitating industry lobbyist slogans. The amount collected doesn’t even begin to cover the infrastructure costs of new development that the existing residents are funding through their property and income taxes.


Full text and additional comments accompany the individual online stories and updates.

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