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Board of Education Candidates' Forum

Editors from Silver Chips, the Montgomery Blair HS newspaper, will help moderate the Board of Education Candidates’ Forum to be held on March 15 at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans' Plaza beginning at 7:30 p.m. The forum is sponsored by the Montgomery County Civic Federation.

For more information, visit www.montgomerycivic.org.

Proposals, Comments Invited on the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District

Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the re-designation of the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, located at 4805 Edgemoor La., Bethesda.

In 2002, Bethesda was designated as an Arts and Entertainment District for a 10-year period.  Because the designation was highly successful, the County intends to apply for re-designation.

Comments will be heard by representatives from Montgomery County who will submit a recommendation to the County Executive and County Council.  They, in turn, will submit a request to the State to apply for a re-designation.

Those wishing to speak at the public hearing should call Stephanie Coppula at 301-215-6660, ext. 120. Written comments may also be emailed to scoppula@bethesda.org.

New Parking Garage Opens in Silver Spring

A parking garage, located below the new Galaxy Apartments in Silver Spring, at 8025 13th St., brings a total of 368 parking spaces to the area -- 160 of which are available for public parking, while 208 are set aside for Galaxy residents.

The garage is part of a public-private partnership that created a 195-unit, five-story apartment building with 82 affordable units and an underground parking garage on the site of a former County surface parking lot. 

Rates at the new garage, known as Garage 16, will be 75 cents an hour for short-term parking of four hours or less and 60 cents an hour for long-term parking of more than four hours.

Parkers also have the option of using a Parking Convenience Sticker (allowing unlimited parking on any all day meter in Silver Spring), which costs $113 a month, or a Daily Parking Permit for $7.20 a day. 

To view all the public parking options available in Silver Spring, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/parking

More People Leaving the Driving to Ride On 

Ridership on the Division of Transit Services’ Ride On bus system for the first six months in FY12 (July through December 2011) grew by 1.3% compared to the same period in FY11.  The most significant growth occurred in November and December when the system realized growth of 5.4 and 6.1% respectively.

In January 2012, ridership again trended higher by about 2 to 3% compared to the same month in 2011.  And, February’s preliminary ridership figures were up about 3.5% compared to February 2011 levels.

For information about the nearest Ride On route to you, visit Division of Transit Services’ website or call 311 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Your Chance to Serve: Openings on Boards, Committees and Commissions

Public participation contributes to the work of County government and provides an important service to the community when a variety of issues, concerns and viewpoints are presented. Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply.

Currently, there is an opportunity to serve on any one of the following County boards, committees and commissions:

  • Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs
  • Library Board

The deadline for applying is March 19Get details about each group.

An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be mailed to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe St., 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD  20850, or emailed to countyexecutive.boards@montgomerycountymd.gov. Home and employment addresses, as well as contact phone numbers and email addresses should be included. If appropriate, applicants should indicate the position for which they are applying.

Still Time to Provide Feedback on Streamlining the Development Process  

County Executive Ike Leggett recently announced a new cross-agency effort that will further streamline County government operations by making meaningful changes to the development application process. 

The objective is to improve the process and be more user friendly without compromising substance.  For example, an initial step consolidates construction inspections currently being done by the Department of Permitting Services and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services. This will save time and money for businesses needing these inspections.

Meanwhile, the County is seeking input from stakeholders on where plans, permit reviews and inspections can be consolidated, redundant reviews minimized and inconsistencies eliminated. Staff from multiple agencies will receive the comments, observations and recommendations about experiences with development approvals in getting a project from idea to occupancy.

A dedicated website has been created to provide each stakeholder a place to submit open ended comments to identify problem areas in the development process. Comments may be posted on the site through March 31.

CATEGORIES: Arts , Transportation , Community Forum
POSTED: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 2:00:00 AM |

Local Jazz Star to Headline Silver Spring Jazz Festival


In case you’ve been wrapped up with earthquakes and hurricanes recently and missed the news, jazz keyboardist and Silver Spring resident Marcus Johnson will headline this year’s all-star jazz line-up at the eighth annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival to be held Saturday, September 10, from 3:30 to 9 p.m., at Veterans Plaza at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place (at the corner of Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street).

The free, outdoor program that attracted thousands of music lovers last year will also feature Project Natale, Sheila Ross and La Leyenda. Johnson will perform with special guest “Juris” featuring Young Pulse.

A talented jazz keyboardist and composer who performs a blend of contemporary jazz stylings and hip-hop rhythms, Johnson describes his music as “instrumental R&B with a D.C. bounce.”   He launched the highly successful Three Keys record label and has released four albums.

Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation – the Silver Spring Metro (Red Line) is two blocks away – and to bring a blanket and/or beach chair. Food vendors will be available onsite. Free parking is available in public parking garages in downtown Silver Spring.

In addition to the Wayne Avenue and Town Center garages, attendees should check other public parking garages in Silver Spring that may be less crowded, including Garage 2 at Spring and Cameron sts; Garage 4 at Fenton St. and Silver Spring Ave.; Garage 21 at Spring St. and Colesville Rd.; and Garage 5 at Bonifant St. and Dixon Ave.

The Silver Spring Jazz Festival is presented by the Celebrate Downtown Silver Spring Foundation and Montgomery County Recreation.

For more information, call 240-777-6821.

POSTED: Thursday, September 08, 2011 | 6:00:00 AM |

Noteworthy Notes - 2

Driver Alert: New Ramp Open from US 29 to Fairland Road

A reminder to motorists driving southbound on US Route 29 (Columbia Pike): a new ramp has been opened by the State Highway Administration (SHA) that provides access to both directions on Fairland Road. Motorists will no longer be able to make right or left turns directly onto Fairland Road from US 29.

A new flashing beacon at Fairland Road from the relocated southbound US 29 ramp will guide motorists to either east or westbound Fairland Road. The beacon will flash red for motorists on the ramp and yellow for motorists on Fairland Road. This new configuration is part of SHA’s $2.5 billion Intercounty Connector project.

For more information on the new ramp, including a helpful map, visit SHA’s website.

Get a Sneak Peek of The Fillmore Silver Spring

Local residents eager to check out The Fillmore Silver Spring can now get a sneak peek inside the venue thanks to the official Preview Center, located at 908 Ellsworth Dr. The center educates visitors on the historical legacy of The Fillmore, the construction of The Fillmore Silver Spring project and the amenities that guests can expect at the new venue.

The center will remain open until The Fillmore Silver Spring opens mid-September. The Preview Center will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday, noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.

The Fillmore Silver Spring will be the first venue with its historical namesake to be developed from the ground up. The 23,000-square foot, 2,000-capacity music venue will offer leading industry technology in audio, lighting and video as well as share fiber-optic connectivity to American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre located across the street.

Step Right Up! Fillmore Silver Spring Box Office Now Open

The news that local concert goers have been waiting for. The new Fillmore Silver Spring box office is open for business at 908 Ellsworth Dr. in Downtown Silver Spring (between DSW and Borders). There is a $1 service fee for all tickets purchased on site. The box office opens on Sunday and weekdays at 11 a.m. and on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Tickets are now on sale for the opening night show on September 15 with Mary J. Blige, plus other shows to follow. Tickets are also available at www.LiveNation.com, and all Ticketmaster locations. To charge by phone, call 800-551-7328.

Sign-up to receive a newsletter for show announcements and pre-sale opportunities at www.FillmoreSilverSpring.com.

Hold Your Place in the Holds Line at the Library

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is now offering a new feature to help library customers manage holds through their MCPL online library account.

If a customer is going on vacation, has an emergency, or knows in advance that they will be unable to pick up requested materials but want to maintain their position in the holds list, they will be able to use the “Suspend Holds” feature to delay their hold for the dates they will be unavailable.

Under the new feature, customers will keep their place in the holds queue for the item while their request is suspended. Meanwhile, other customers behind them in the queue will be able to receive their item(s) placed on hold.

In addition, customers can choose the date they would like to begin suspending their hold, as well as assign an “End Suspend Date,” by using the calendar icon.

This option is not available for e-books and MARINA and OCLC interlibrary loan requests.

For more information and instructions on using this new feature, visit: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Sign Up! Become a Maryland Senior Olympian

More than 100 events in 21 sports will highlight the 2011 Maryland Senior Olympics to be held from August 13 through November 6 at venues in Montgomery and Howard counties. New this year will be a trial run with bocce ball.

Registration is easy. Just download the full 2011 MSO Registration Guide and get all the information about events, dates and locations. Or, download the registration forms for individual and team sports. Sorry, there is no online registration. You must register 30 days prior to your event.

Participants must be aged 50 and above. Maryland Senior Olympics welcomes out-of-state athletes, too.

For further registration questions, e-mail info@mdseniorolympics.org or call 240-777-8080.

Good Reviews for Community Use of Public Facilities Newsletter

From Ginny Gong, director of the Community Use of Public Facilities, comes word of good reviews for their newsletter. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our Summer Newsletter. Would it be possible to put a link in the next Paperless Airplane?” Ginny asks.

Glad to oblige. Here’s the link http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/cupf/documents/newsletter.pdf.

Remember, if you belong to an organization or group that uses public facilities for your meetings and/or events, check out the Summer issue. You’ll learn about the new rates for school use beginning September 1 and new fees for the use of fields that take effect January 1, 2012. Also in the latest issue is information on new sites for rent around the County (see “From the Director”) and details about what’s happening at the Civic Building in Downtown Silver Spring.

Heritage Montgomery Brings Grant Dollars to Local Heritage Groups

The Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery) has announced the following the local recipients of FY 2012 Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) Grants totaling $163,000:

  • $47,000 Capital Grant to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for the restoration of the Poole (Seneca) Store in Poolesville;
  • $9,000 Non-Capital Project Grant to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for Oakley Cabin Archeological Analysis & Interpretation in Olney;
  • $7,000 Non-Capital Project Grant to Heritage Montgomery for Heritage Days and Civil War Programs; and
  • $100,000 Management Grant to Heritage Montgomery.

MHAA oversees 12 locally administered, state-certified Heritage Areas that work with local non-profits, governments, and businesses to preserve and promote Maryland’s historic sites, unspoiled natural landscapes and enduring traditions.

For more information, contact Peggy Erickson at the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County at 301-515-0753 or email director@HeritageMontgomery.org.

Consumer Protection Asks: Did You Know…?

You should look carefully at the signs around parking lots to make sure that it’s OK before parking your car. If your car is towed and you believe that the warnings were inadequate, pay the towing charge to avoid storage fees, then contact the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) to file a complaint.

OCP is the Montgomery County agency responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws that prohibit unfair and deceptive business acts to ensure a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting , Arts , Transportation , Library , Senior , Consumer
POSTED: Friday, August 12, 2011 | 2:00:00 AM |

New Civil War Documentary on Website

In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Heritage Montgomery has produced a 60-minute documentary film on the history of the Civil War in Montgomery County. Entitled Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War, the video features historic and contemporary images of local heritage sites, Civil War re-enactors, and panoramas of unchanged rural landscapes.

The documentary was produced by Heritage Montgomery, written and directed by Barbara Grunbaum of G2 Media, and is enhanced by a soundtrack containing performances by the Washington Revels.

Life in a War Zone can be downloaded via iTunes from the Heritage Montgomery website -- www.HeritageMontgomery.org. The accompanying 32-page booklet, “A Guide to the Civil War in Montgomery County” is currently available under the “Sites” tab at the Civil War Sesquicentennial dropdown.

Paper copies may be requested by calling Heritage Montgomery at 301-515-0753 or emailing lori@heritagemontgomery.org.

POSTED: Friday, March 18, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |

And the Awards Go to…


The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) has announced the winners of the 9th Annual Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

The honorees will receive their awards from County Executive Ike Leggett and Mrs. Catherine Leggett at a special ceremony on Monday, October 18, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.

Included on the program will be performances from Montgomery County arts and humanities organizations and recognition of more than 122 individuals and organizations that have received grants for FY10 and FY11 from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.  The event is free and open to the public.

More information, including a list of 2010 recipients, is available at www.creativemoco.com/executives-awards.

POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 | 9:00:00 AM |

Downtown Silver Spring to Celebrate Opening of New Civic Building at Veterans Plaza

What’s being called “a joyous community celebration” on Thursday, July 8, will mark the Grand Opening of the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza located at Fenton St. and Ellsworth Dr. The celebration begins at 1:30 p.m. with entertainment coordinated by Silver Spring Town Center Inc. The opening ceremony, led by County Executive Ike Leggett, will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the first Silver Spring Swings Summer Concert with the Fabulous Bel Airs from 7 to 9 p.m. in Veterans Plaza.

But, if you want a sneak peek, take a virtual walk-through of the new building now at www.silverspringdowntown.com.

To see details of the project, visit Silver Spring Civic Building webpage.

CATEGORIES: Arts , County Executive
POSTED: Thursday, July 01, 2010 | 8:00:00 AM |

Silver Spring to Host First-Ever Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival

Take more than 400 artists from 50 nations, add over 200 events in 40+ venues for three full days in April (23-25) throughout downtown Silver Spring and you have the excitement and impact of the first-ever Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival.   

Each day will include a variety of events including visual art shows, new media events, performance art, spoken word, theater, book readings, panel discussions, film, music, hands-on workshops, art walks from exhibit to exhibit, participatory parades, international foods, etc., all centered on raising awareness of human rights issues. Venues will include local restaurants, art spaces, theaters and community spaces.

American television writer and producer, Norman Lear (All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude) is the executive producer of the festival.

County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin and Duchy Trachtenberg are members of the festival’s Honorary Committee, along with state delegates, and U.S. senators and members of Congress.

For all sorts of details about the festival and Amnesty International, visit the festival website at www.humanrightsartfestival.com.

Volunteers Needed 

More than 200 volunteers are needed to help before and during the festival, April 23-25. Sign up and be part of this exciting, first-time event. For details, contact Dori Cantor Paster, volunteer coordinator, at doreencp@earthlink.net or visit the festival website at www.humanrightsartfestival.com.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 09, 2010 | 3:00:00 PM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010