Friday, May 29, 2009


The first firefly was spotted on Searl Terrace last night.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Walk-a-thon Raised Funds to Cover Medical
Expenses for Damascus Crash Survivor
Another Exclusive!
Last week, on my way to Mt. Airy, I saw an announcement on the electronic sign in front of Damascus High School. It said there would be a fundraiser - "Walk for Brittany Jones" - at the school on May 27.

You may remember the horrific auto accident last fall, in which Damascus H.S. student Ryan Didone was killed and several others were seriously injured. One of those survivors is Damascus sophomore Brittany Jones. She has made a tremendous effort toward a full recovery, but her insurance company is refusing to pay for the 6 weekly rehabilitation sessions she needs to complete her recovery by the end of 2009.

That is where we are able to assist her and her family by donating to the medical fund established to cover those costs. Once again, it is not our health care system which is flawed, but our insurance companies which deny access to treatment. It's outrageous.

Anyway, I got there later in the afternoon. I suspect there was probably a official ceremony when the event started at 7:00 AM. But by this time, there were just supporters walking around the track, and other people hanging out.

I went to the donations table, but there wasn't anybody sitting there. So I filled out the form and put my donation in the big jar. There weren't any instructions about what to do, either, so I just went ahead and took a couple of laps around the track. I haven't been on a track since I was in high school. I'm in much better shape now than I was then, that's for sure.
I took a short video - a pan around the stadium, so that those of you who weren't able to attend would have a chance to be there. You can watch it now at on the Robert Dyer Channel. I also took some photos, which you can enjoy there as well. It was an opportunity to get some shots of the water tower from the vantage point of the football stadium, as well as of the venerable scoreboard and bleachers. Damascus may not be the newest or fanciest high school in the county, but it has plenty of character, and has fielded a huge number of outstanding athletes over the years.
There was music playing over the stadium speakers, and the concessions stand appeared to be open. Right before I left, a man came down from the press box (or whatever you call that thing) and manned the donations table. The crowd was increasing the whole time I was there.
Dark clouds appeared in the sky at one point, but it was a false alarm. By 6:00, the sun was shining, and that was appropriate on this day.
You can help by sending a donation to:
Brittany Jones Medical Fund
c/o Chevy Chase Bank
26001 Ridge Road
Damascus, MD 20872

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day weekend may be over, but you can still remember those who fought in past American wars at my website, There you will find new photos from a reenactment of a French and Indian War encampment in Hagerstown, Maryland. Of course, the French and Indian War was not technically an "American" war because we were still under British rule at the time (1754-1763).

You might not have heard much about this war in school, but you've heard of some of the people who were involved in it... George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, General Edward Braddock... So despite the lack of attention, it was a very important historical conflict.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Exclusive Coverage of Domestic Violence
Ice Cream Social Not Found in Local Papers;

Another Exclusive!!

Now that the Washington Post Monday Metro and Thursday Montgomery Extra have been published... and the Gazette published on Wednesday... it is confirmed that only brought you exclusive coverage of last Sunday's Ice Cream Social in Kensington. Only on did you have the full story, including video and photos. The local papers did not even mention the event.

And it was a significant event, raising funds to furnish the Children's Waiting Area at the new Montgomery County Family Justice (Domestic Violence) Center. There were many prominent members of the community there, as you can read in Monday's entry:

As the area's liberal Democrat house organ newspapers collapse, is growing in features, size, and readership each day. is now the place to go on your computer or phone to find out what's really going on in Montgomery County.
And speaking of exclusive coverage, head over to now to watch the newest exclusive video: magician Alain Nu performing at the event!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


What was I doing in Mt. Airy yesterday? The Damascus High School chapter of the Future Farmers of America was selling student-grown plants at the grand opening of the Mt. Airy Farmers Market. You might be surprised - as I was - to find out that the DHS chapter is the only Future Farmers club in all of Montgomery County. One of many crises we have in our county is that the majority of our farmers are older, and there are very few young farmers to replace them. Aside from county and state policies that are greatly contributing to this decline, a lack of interest in farming has been a deterrent for young people in choosing a career. Future Farmers of America is one of the few successful programs addressing this issue. Because the Damascus chapter is the only one we have right now, we really need to support their program. So I decided to head up to Mt. Airy to buy some of their plants.

This required the usual monster commute on 270 (including an accident that closed all of the local lanes and 2 right lanes south of exit 9). Which made the Washington Post article yesterday all the more laughable - the one that claimed, with a straight face, that traffic congestion has greatly improved recently. One of those Council of Governments/chamber of commerce-type groups was making the claim. I'm wondering how often these people get outdoors.
Anyway, up Route 27 I went, to beautiful downtown Mount Airy. This was the grand opening of the Mt. Airy Farmers Market for 2009, in the municipal parking lot. Damascus may be the pearl in the oyster of Route 27, but I do like all of the towns along this road up to Westminster. Mt. Airy is a real American town like Damascus and Westminster, and the part on Main Street that burnt down has been rebuilt.
There were several types of tomatoes, herbs, and flowers for sale. All were grown by students in the greenhouse at Damascus High School. I bought one heirloom tomato plant, one roma tomato plant, and a set of 6 verbena "obsession mix" flower plants. I've got pictures of all of these, and a short video showing the whole selection. The video is online now on the Robert Dyer Channel at It's interesting that among the 35 members of the Damascus FFA chapter, only 4 actually live on farms. The rest are just interested in agriculture, which is certainly a positive development.
I stopped by a new shopping center (another great shopping center, without mixed-use development, I might add) to get some shots of the Mt. Airy water tower. It's unique in its own way. But it has nothing on the Damascus water tower. The Mt. Airy tower has a taller stem, and actually says "MOUNT AIRY" in an interesting font on the tank. But it just can't compete with the otherworldliness, and sheer bulbousity of the Damascus tower. In short, the Mt. Airy tower doesn't instantly make any photo it appears in interesting. But, like I said earlier, I do love Mt. Airy, and of course, you will be able to see my photos of the tower.
Even the destroyed Laurienzo's Brick Oven Café is open for business again in Mt. Airy's revitalizing Main Street historic district. Along with the California Tortilla restaurant - which also includes outdoor dining - Mt. Airy seems to be following the downtown Frederick model of redevelopment.
But I am digressing here. The real story is that we cannot preserve farmland through Big Government regulation and land seizures. Farming needs to be profitable, and we need farmers to do the farming. I believe it can be done with more programs like the FFA and getting government off the backs of farmers in Montgomery County. You can do your part by electing the right people to public office every four years, but also right now by supporting the Damascus FFA chapter at events like this.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More video from Sunday's Ice Cream Social to benefit the Children's Waiting Area at the new Montgomery County Family Justice (a.k.a. Domestic Violence) Center...

You've seen the "celebrity scoopers" introduced in yesterday's episode; now watch them in action. Plus a tour of all the desserts that were laid out for fundraiser attendees.

Switch your computer or phone over to the Robert Dyer Channel now at to screen this new video - and there is more to come!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yesterday, I attended a fundraiser to furnish the children's waiting area at the new Montgomery County Family Justice Center in Rockville - which officially opens this morning. This event was organized by the Montgomery Alliance for Community Giving.
It collected donations of books, stuffed animals, and money to furnish the children's waiting area at the new Montgomery County Family Justice Center. This center houses services for victims of domestic violence in one location, including the ability to transmit video to the Courthouse via Verizon-donated equipment.
The fundraiser was held at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington, who donated the use of the room. The St. Paul's Methodist Men's Club also donated $200 to the cause.
"Celebrity Scoopers," who served ice cream at the event, included Republican former Maryland Secretary of State Mary Kane, Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger, Montgomery County NAACP President Henry Hailstock, AFI Silver Theater Director Ray Barry, UFCW Local 1994 President Gino Renne, Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman, Montgomery County First Lady Catherine Leggett, and Stewart Edelstein of the University of Maryland at Shady Grove.
There weren't many people there at the beginning, but many arrived as the afternoon went on. Before the crowds arrived, I talked briefly with Chief Manger, Mary Kane, and Mr. Hailstock about my project to get more Republicans involved in the cause of domestic violence. I also discussed the latest on the police disability retirement issue (in which some of our elected officials are trying to deny retirement benefits to disabled police officers, if you are new to this blog) with Gino Renne. Two of the biggest proponents of that shameful effort were in attendance, Council President Phil Andrews, and Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg. Later, I spoke with Kensington Town Councilmember John Thompson, who also attended.
I got some photos and video, which I will be uploading this week, starting this morning. There was a great magician, Alain Nu, who performed for free for this cause. I think he made State's Attorney John McCarthy disappear, because he was absent from the event despite being billed as a "celebrity scooper." Maybe the "fire truck display," too, because I don't recall there being a fire truck outside, as promised. But there were some pretty good door prizes, and lots of ice cream (vanilla or chocolate), cookies, etc. Also, plenty of hand wipes for these swine flu times we live in.
The great part about the donations, is that each child who waits for a parent at the Family Justice Center will receive one of these stuffed animals or books to take home with him or her.
The first video should be up this morning on the Robert Dyer Channel at and there will be more in the next few days.
In conclusion, this was a great day for a great cause.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I have uploaded 2 new photos of the two C&O Railroad cabooses attached to Western Maryland train 202 at the Hagerstown Railroad Museum. You can see them at right now.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


In the worst of economic times, with families struggling to make ends meet, the Montgomery County Council voted to increase your water bill by a whopping $9 a month.

Instead of holding accountable the WSSC leadership past and present, who took your money and spent it on other things besides maintaining the water system, our county council decided to make YOU pay for the incompetence of the WSSC brass and their own failed leadership.

It's outrageous.

At least their Democrat friends on the WSSC board will have more money to spend to posh evenings out on the town - and you'll pick up the tab.

Speaking of water, you might want to watch the new videos I uploaded from the lake at City Park in downtown Hagerstown, Maryland, at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Office of the Executive Uses Taxpayer Funds to
Advance a Legislative Proposal That is Not Current Law
Another Exclusive!!

Ike Leggett's Public Information office has done it again. County Cable Montgomery is currently airing a one-sided pro-Ambulance Fee infomercial produced at taxpayer expense. The dangerous Ambulance Fee has not even been passed into law by the County Council yet!

But here is a program touting all the phony baloney talking points for a fee that targets senior citizens and our volunteer fire departments countywide.

Just like the fancy brochures I brought to your attention last year, this program is simply propaganda for a legislative initiative.

Let's say I'm on the council or am county executive. I have a crazy idea that everyone in the county should have to wear a purple shirt on Tuesdays. It has no popularity among the public. Would it be ethical or legal for me to use county taxpayer revenue to produce fancy brochures and TV commercials touting my arguments for purple shirts? I dare say, No.

Even worse, Leggett is using unlimited taxpayer funds to tell his side of the story, while our volunteer fire departments are being forced to use their valuable funds to inform the public about the dangers of this Ambulance Fee!

It's outrageous!

And, as usual, you heard about it here first, not in the Washington Post or other local media!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Visit to see the new photos of the 1912 Western Maryland steam locomotive 202 from my trip to the Hagerstown Railroad Museum. And on the Robert Dyer Channel, you will find new videos posted over the weekend - including a vintage steam engine and a new episode of the Damascus series, featuring the world-famous Jimmie Cone.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Elected Officials' Scheme to Deny
Disabled Officers Retirement Benefits
May Result in New Take-Home Vehicle Plan
...And Those Same Politicians
Are Complaining About That, Too!

Some of our county elected officials are complaining that the new, expanded police department take-home vehicle plan defeats the purpose of the original concept. Namely that police cruisers parked in residential driveways make neighborhoods safer. (I personally have always felt that a take-home vehicle was also simply an appropriate benefit that every officer should be allowed to have - regardless of their place of residence). Now some of those vehicles might improve safety in other counties, as the new plan allows officers to live and/or drive within 15 miles of the county line.

To some extent they are correct. However, the new plan resulted from the reopened collective bargaining between the executive and the police union. Had the executive and council simply honored the original labor agreement, the take-home vehicle program would have remained unchanged.

My response to those councilmembers who are complaining is:

First, you got yourself into this mess, as I explained above.

Second, the 15-mile plan does have a different safety benefit in that some officers who already live in Frederick County - for example - will now be able to respond to emergencies immediately upon crossing the county line. Currently, they may have to drive their own vehicle to a county parking lot where their police cruiser is parked. The new plan would reduce response times and the inconvenience of having to shift all of their equipment from one vehicle to another.

Finally, instead of complaining that officers will leave the county... ...why not make it more affordable to live in Montgomery County by reducing the massive, draconian tax burden? And the cost of living created by fees, parking costs, etc.?

I don't think any officer prefers to have a longer commute from out of the county. If everything was equal, they would obviously want to live here. So our elected officials need to examine our county's immoral property and income tax rates, and oversized Big Government regulations and interference in every aspect of our lives.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


It turns out that Elvis shared (or shares, if you believe he's still alive) my fondness for John Deere tractors...

For some of my own photos of John Deere tractors, visit my website at and the April 19, 2009 entry on this blog.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I hate to say I told you so, but I and Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson have been vindicated. It turns out that the WSSC did have the money to upgrade its system, but chose not to spend it on that. This was confirmed in yesterday's Washington Post.

Our Montgomery County Executive and Council have insisted that we must pay more - up to $20 a month more on water bills. Instead, it is time that the top brass is finally held accountable at the WSSC. Mismanagement at a monopoly utility, willfully ignored by our elected officials who have served as enablers for incompetence (all the while fighting their counterparts on the Prince George's Council, who have advocated on behalf of citizens in this mess), is not the fault of the taxpayer and water customer.


I have two new videos for you on the Robert Dyer Channel: one is of a 1912 Western Maryland steam locomotive, and the other is of the Weis Markets store (both mentioned in the previous blog about my trip to Hagerstown). Watch them right now at!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Technical Difficulties

The weather appears to have affected internet service; I have been unable to upload new videos and photos over the last 2 days.

Please keep checking back, as they will be up as soon as possible on

In the meantime, have you watched the Groundhog video yet?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Yesterday, I was at our Maryland Republican Party Spring Convention in Hagerstown, representing the Republican voters who elected me to our county Central Committee.

It only took about an hour to get there on I-70, being very early on a Saturday morning. For all of the talk from our Planning Board, my trip only reinforced my perception that the view from 270 and 70 is far more beautiful in Frederick County than here in Montgomery County. Granted, a small part of that is that Frederick is more mountainous. But only a small part.

You know you're reaching a higher elevation when your ears close, like what happens on an airplane. Then it is all silent for a while. The Maryland rest stop is CLOSED! Heck of a job, O'Malley!! The helpful sign tells you there's another rest stop in 41 miles. I guess if you're falling asleep, the Governor recommends you turn up the radio, open the window, and repeatedly slap yourself in the face for the next 41 miles. Have a nice day.

You also know you're in the real America when there are signs for Waffle House and Cracker Barrel on the side of the highway.

I finally arrived at the Clarion Hotel, and what did I find is directly across the street? A Weis Markets store! The grocery store is a different design from the one in Damascus. I will upload a video of the exterior to the Robert Dyer Channel soon.

Our convention took a surprise twist when my Central Committee colleague, Pat Fenati, introduced an amendment to table the controversial "regional chairs" amendment. This resulted in a series of votes which tabled all of the smaller counties' proposals to weaken the larger ones until after the 2010 elections. Finally, we can actually do the people's business at the remaining two conventions of my term of office.

We also elected Kelly Schulz of Frederick County as our new 3rd Vice Chair, finally ending the all-white-male hold on executive officer positions in our state party.

Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold spoke as well.

After the convention and lunch, I went to City Park where there is a railroad museum. I took plenty of photos, and one is already up - you can find it by going to There are real train tracks next to the museum, but I only managed to see one Norfolk Southern freight on the overhead tracks. And of course, by the time I ran over with my camera, the two locomotives had already passed out of range. The one great thing at the museum is the preserved 1912 Western Maryland steam locomotive 202, which serviced Hagerstown and now is there on permanent display. That is the first picture I've uploaded.

Around the historic Hager House, there was a French and Indian War encampment set up. (Don't worry, I've got photos of that, too). This was really interesting because I have an ancestor who fought in that war.

There was also a beautiful lake with ducks and swans, and a fountain out in the middle. If only there were more trains going past... I'm not aware of a park like this, with trains running through it, around here in the Washington area.

Most of downtown Hagerstown is a bit rougher than you'd expect.

After having little success catching any real trains on film passing by, it was time to head back to Montgomery County. Stay tuned for videos and photos from my trip.

Speaking of videos, I have just uploaded a new one starring a groundhog. Yes, a real groundhog. Go watch it now on the Robert Dyer Channel at