Gaithersburg detective appears on HBO comedy show
July 21, 2004

In case you happened to catch Da Ali G Show Sunday night on HBO, you may have recognized a familiar face from around town.

Gaithersburg Police Department Detective Patrick Word, a well-known gang expert in the area, got some practice holding back both laughter and frustration while taping a show with spoof interviewer "Ali G."

The show, which airs Sunday nights at 10:30, features "Ali G" and his two alter egos interviewing a series of serious professionals in various fields. The catch is, the interviewees don't always appear to know what's in store.

Word said when the producers of the show first approached him, he really had no idea what it was all about.

"It took me a while to catch on to what he was trying to do," Word said Monday.

Word attempted to answer "Ali G's" questions about gang hand signs, but the questions got increasingly ridiculous and included inquiries like "Is it dangerous for people to do shadow puppets in the ghetto?"

But Word held it together, with only the occasional smirk. He said during filming in Gaithersburg, which was a couple of months ago, he asked "Ali G" to stop several times and encouraged him to ask serious questions.

Word said he did not get upset with the show host, but instead thought the program might be a good way to get real information out to young viewers.

"I went with the flow," Word said.

In the same episode, "Ali G" asks Daryl Gates, former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, what it's like to head up the NYPD. In an interview with dog trainers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "Ali G" asks how long it takes a bomb-sniffing dog to defuse a bomb after it has located one.

City representatives

won't attend charette

Gaithersburg City Manager David Humpton announced at Monday night's City Council meeting that city officials and employees would not attend the community planning meetings for the Casey property.

The series of meetings, which are scheduled to be held this week and next at a Gaithersburg hotel, will give residents the chance to tell developers what they think should be built on the site.

The property is the site of the proposed Parklands development. The Eugene B. Casey Foundation, which owns the 125-acre property west of Interstate 270, and BP Realty Investments, the developer of the property, filed a lawsuit against Gaithersburg relating to the development of the property in Montgomery County Circuit Court on April 4, 2003. Two counts in the case have been dismissed, but litigation is ongoing.

Because litigation is still pending, city staff and officials have determined it would be "unwise" to participate in the charette, Humpton said.

Peter Henry, of BP Realty Investments, spoke during the public comment session of Monday night's meeting and announced an updated schedule for the charette.

"We want to make sure the citizens know about this," Henry said.

A meeting was set for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are also scheduled for tonight, Thursday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

All meetings will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott, 805 Russell Ave.

Today and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., residents can also stop by the hotel's design room and ask questions and give input.

Arts panel bylaws approved

The City Council Monday night voted to approve the articles of incorporation and the bylaws for a volunteer committee that will raise money for arts and revitalization efforts in the city.

Called the Gaithersburg Arts and Monuments Funding Corp. Inc., the group will seek gifts, grants and donations and will work closely with the city's Art in Public Places, Cultural Arts Advisory and Olde Towne Advisory Committees.

The council voted to form the committee on May 17.

The City Council Monday also voted to confirm Mayor Sidney A. Katz's appointments of the five members on the committee.

Debbie Flickinger, Linda Hanson and Julius J. Persensky were all confirmed for three-year terms. Steve Walker and Connie Ross were confirmed for two-year terms.

Councilman Henry F. Marraffa Jr., Olde Towne Coordinator Cindy Hines and Denise Kayser will serve as staff liaisons to the committee.

Youth center to be

environmentally friendly

Gaithersburg will pay CAY Group International Inc. $70,000 to manage the construction of the planned Gaithersburg Youth Center and to ensure it is an environmentally friendly project.

The company will make sure that the project meets the requirements of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which is a certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition to regular construction quality control, CAY Group International will do such things as recycle building waste and use materials from renewable sources, said city Public Works and Engineering Director Jim Arnoult.

The Gaithersburg Youth Center will be the first city-owned project built to meet LEED certification requirements. Green buildings such as this save the city money in the long run on such things as energy costs, said Assistant City Manager Fred Felton.