Racial Equity in County Classrooms; Speed Camera Tickets; Support for Small Business

Racial Equity in County Classrooms; Speed Camera Tickets; Support for Small Business

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.


‘It Won’t Change Until We Address It’

Decades after the nation’s highest court ruled schools must allow white and black students to attend schools together, Montgomery County leaders say critical conversations are just beginning to put an end to lingering “de facto segregation.”


  • It may be possible to improve school diversity on the margins, but it really is unrealistic, and goes against the basic concepts of capitalism, to force diversity onto a countywide school system where people have essentially self segregated based on income. Diversity is terrific. But, you can’t have a student body in a Potomac high school look exactly like a student body in Silver Spring.
  • It is intellectually dishonest to suggest segregation is happening today. Blacks are not prohibited from buying a home. Jews, seeking a home loan, are not turned away by banks. Only economics prevents someone from buying a home in my neighborhood. I welcome anyone of any race, creed, or color to move right next door. Love-to-have-you-the-barbecue-is-on-Saturday. Crying “racism” might fire up your base but, at the end of the day, demonizing others because you desire to take what they have built, and push them to use insufficient facilities you deem appropriate sounds like the strategy employed by colonists. I’m watching my mailbox for a blanket infected with smallpox.
  • Since discrimination in housing has been illegal for decades, but the claim here is of “de-facto segregation”, then I guess they think that such discrimination still occurs as opposed to people choosing to buy/rent in a specific neighborhood. So if that’s the case, what steps is the County taking to further monitor and enforce existing housing anti-discrimination laws? Or could it bet that people indeed are making a choice to buy or rent in certain neighborhoods, and the county doesn’t need to get involved in trying to engineer the school boundaries to counteract the free-will choices of their residents?
  • If our schools were close to equal, redistricting would be much less controversial. But they’re not equal. The fact of the matter is that across our schools, as the percentage of non-white students increases, average teacher salaries decrease. That’s a disparity that needs to be addressed.


County’s Lead-Footed Drivers Rack Up $16 Million in Speed-Camera Citations

Nearly a quarter of the $64 million collected in Maryland from speed camera tickets in 2018 came from Montgomery County, according to a new report from AAA Mid-Atlantic. The county’s 12-year-old speed camera program collected $15.95 million from 398,871 citations, and both categories led all jurisdictions in Maryland.


  • With the almost total absence of police stopping people for speeding, these cameras are pretty much all we’ve got. I would love to see that threshold lowered by five mph, and more cameras. And hopefully that money is used for transportation issues like driver education programs to try to reverse Maryland’s toxic driving culture, and funding public transportation initiatives. Of course, road design is another culprit. Traffic calming like narrower lanes really works.
  • Montgomery County runs some of the most predatory for-profit ticket camera rackets in the country. Yellow intervals on the lights are deliberately and maliciously set too short for the actual conditions to increase camera racket profits. Speed limits are deliberately set below the safest levels to increase camera racket profits. The only way these rackets will end is for all ticket cameras to be banned by law statewide.
  • They are 100% about boosting revenue. Trying to tell us otherwise is insulting.


County Launches Small Business Assistance Hub

A new program to help support small businesses in Montgomery County is being rolled out at a regional services center and could be expanded throughout the county within a year. The Business Connect program — which will offer free training, workshops and individual counseling sessions — was announced by County Executive Marc Elrich as part of his efforts to diversify economic development.


  • This article made me laugh and not in a good way. MoCo does everything it can to make it impossible to successfully run a small business and then they open an incubator? Talk about your feel-good, do-nothing, spend-money moves.
  • “The tour is designed to find and remove barriers faced by small business owners and entrepreneurs in the county that are abnormal compared to other jurisdictions, (County Executive Marc) Elrich said.” That about says it all. Never mind all these programs that give the pols more power. Reduce mandates, reduce your power, reduce the possibility of misconduct and just get out of the way.
  • Elrich was the main proponent of the legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour. That’s the most anti-small-business thing I can think of. Isn’t it sad that the county has so many regulations that they need to set up a center to help new businesses navigate all the regulations? How about just reducing the regulations?


Police Pledge ‘Transparency’ in Racial Slur Investigation

The county police department is pledging “openness and transparency” in response to a letter signed by all nine County Council members that demands a thorough investigation into a video of an officer using a racial slur during a call about black men loitering outside a White Oak fast-food restaurant last week.


  • You see what has happened in Baltimore after the Freddie Gray fiasco where the whole police department was demoralized by being called racist and out of control? Homicide in Baltimore has skyrocketed to record levels of 400 a year. Majority being African Americans killing African Americans. This is ridiculous to call this officer racist and go through this once again. You Social Justice Warriors are going to have the police so constrained that they won’t be able to do their jobs at all. Or won’t care to.
  • Once again, Bethesda Beat conveniently fails to mention that [the officer] was responding to one of the men using the exact same racial slur. It seems clear to me that she was making a point to him that his language was inappropriate. However, what she did was wrong, and she should be educated/reprimanded.
  • “State law and the the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights prohibits putting out these details.” The county is right on the law. The Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights is a state law. I don’t think state law appropriately balances privacy and accountability. There’s something wrong if neither the names nor any personnel actions taken can be released. If the names are not released, what is there a privacy interest in the personnel actions? And why are adverse personnel actions protected information at all? Prohibiting release of that information only protects officers who have engaged in misconduct, to the detriment of officers with clean records.


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

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