On Saturday, there was an explosion in a lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Montgomery County, which injured a security officer. But in a lab where lots of chemicals are handled, that sort of thing must be par for the course, right? Not exactly, it turns out. Read More →
Last week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts showed up in a Maryland courtroom… but not necessarily in the capacity you might expect. Read More →
Back in January, a Montgomery County couple came under investigation by Child Protection Services for letting their kids make the one-mile walk home from school without adult supervision. Yesterday, the Meitiv family and CPS intensified, as the family’s two children were taken into custody (and then returned). Read More →
Montgomery County Child Protective Services visited the Meitiv family home in Silver Spring a few days before Christmas. They were worried about the family’s two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. The problem? The children had been seen walking home from the park unaccompanied by an adult. Read More →
One day in 1975, Katherine and Sheila Lyon vanished after going to a Kensington shopping mall. The girls were 10 and 12 years old, respectively. Authorities announced two persons of interest in the case just last year. Now, they’re looking to dig into a Virginia mountain in hopes of finding the girls’ remains. Read More →
Today marks the first day that marijuana is decriminalized in Baltimore, but don’t just go smoking a joint in the middle of the street–unless you’re in Montgomery County, that is.
What do you do when a French rail company that transported 76,000 Holocaust victims to concentration camp — and has never paid reparations — bids on a $6 billion contract to operate Maryland’s light rail Purple Line? Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Montgomery) sponsored a bill that would force Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF), the majority owner of Keolis North America, to pay reparations before being considered for the contract.
Unfortunately, that bill could violate the Federal Transit Administration’s rule “against imposing conditions on a single bidder.” That means federal funding for the project (up to $900 million) could be lost. Read More →
In 2011, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a law that requires rail companies bidding on jobs in Maryland to disclose their ties to the Holocaust. At the time, Paris-based Keolis, whose majority owner Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français “historians say was paid to transport nearly 77,000 Jews and other Holocaust victims during World War II,” was bidding to operate MARC trains.
That same year, the company issued a formal apology for its role in the Holocaust, while maintaining that its trains were seized by Nazis during the occupation.
Now, Keolis is again bidding on a Maryland contract, this time to build and operate the light rail Purple Line. The Washington Post notes that the deal — valued at $6 billion — would be one of the state’s biggest contracts ever.
For some, the company’s connection to the Holocaust may seem abstract, but at least one Baltimore resident can recall actually escaping from an SNCF rail-car. Leo Bretholz, 92, finds it “reprehensible” that “this company, which put me on a deportation train bound for Auschwitz and demanded payment to do so, to now seek public contracts — paid for by my tax dollars — while steadfastly refusing to pay reparations and to do what is morally right.”
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