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County to Provide Kiosk Library Service for Olney during Main Library Renovation

To ensure that the Olney community would have convenient access to some form of partial library services during the remainder of the renovation period for the Olney Library, County Executive Ike Leggett last month directed Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) to explore options for creating such a service.

In response, MCPL has collaborated with the Department of Recreation and the Department of General Services (DGS) on a kiosk library that would provide the following services:

  • Circulation of current titles for both children and adults in a book vending machine;
  • Circulation of media (DVDs, potentially CDs) in a media vending machine;
  • Pick-up of customer holds in a materials locker system; and
  • Drop-off of library materials via an internal book drop.

MCPL and Montgomery County Recreation have identified the Longwood Recreation Center, 19300 Georgia Ave. in Brookeville, as the best location for the library kiosk.

The advantages of the Longwood site are:

  • a safe indoor location monitored by County staff;
  • plentiful parking;
  • an ADA accessible facility; and
  • sufficient space for the library system to provide materials for checkout, holds fulfillment and the return of materials.

MCPL estimates that completing the required procurement processes, then staging and installing the related equipment, will be accomplished in the first quarter of calendar year 2012.

For more information about the Olney project, and to see updates on the Olney interim service project, visit the Olney Library page.

POSTED: Friday, December 16, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |


Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month -- September 15-October 15 -- Montgomery County is hosting numerous local events geared for all ages. Programs include musical presentations, book discussions, poetry readings, a health fair, mortgage foreclosure prevention counseling and a Latino Festival.

See the complete calendar listing in English and in Spanish.

Calling All Teens: "Picture It @ your library®"

Begun in 1998, Teen Read Week (TRW) is now barely a teen itself.

But in its 13 years of existence, TRW -- sponsored by the American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association -- has presented special events and programs that encourage teens to read for pleasure and to visit their libraries for free reading materials.

TRW is celebrated this year from October 16 to 22, and, through the theme "Picture It @ your library®," teens are invited to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, seek out creative books or imagine the world through literature, just for the fun of it.

TRW is also a great chance to let your school or your public library staff know how important teen services are.

Get specific information about TRW in Montgomery County Public Libraries.

"Where's Ike?"

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) announces the launch of "Where's Ike?", an online, interactive campaign to increase awareness of and appreciation for the amazing public art pieces located around Montgomery County.

Each week through October, AHCMC will release a new snapshot of County Executive Ike Leggett and a piece of public art on the AHCMC Facebook page (http://facebook.com/creativemoco). Visitors will be invited to guess where the public art piece is and share any personal stories they have about the piece.

At the end of the week, AHCMC will reveal the location and details about the piece by posting an updated picture of "Ike's Public Art Passport."

Germantown Indoor Swim Center Reopens after Renovations

The Germantown Indoor Swim Center at 18000 Central Park Circle in Boyds, has reopened after being closed since early May for renovations. Repairs included removing old paint and repainting the ceiling over the center's three pools.

For more information on this facility or on classes and programs, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

A Healthy Way to Start the Day

Join thousands of students, parents and community members throughout Montgomery County in celebrating the simple act of walking and bicycling to school on International Walk to School Day, Wednesday, October 5.

International Walk to School Day brings community leaders and children together to promote more walkable communities, safer streets, healthier habits and cleaner air. For those who live too far from school to walk, drive part of the distance, park and walk the rest of the way.

For more information about Walk to School Day or organizing an event at your child's school, contact Nadji Kirby, 240-777-7169, email nadji.kirby@montgomerycountymd.gov, or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/saferoutestoschool.

How the Changing Face of Montgomery Impacts Local Government's Service Delivery

Anyone who has lived in Montgomery County for any length of time realizes the face of the community is changing in many ways. Basically, we know how these changes affect us personally, but do any of us stop and consider how our local government is affected?

A recent power point presentation to the County's Quarterly Leadership Forum entitled "The Impact of Changing Demographics on Service Delivery in Montgomery County" shows in charts, graphs, tables and text how the County looks today and will look in the future. It is a bellwether for the County and a basic guideline for elected officials and administrators as they plan appropriate programs and services.

The Quarterly Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for discussion and professional development among County managers, the County Executive and the Chief Administrative Officer.

County Cable Montgomery's New "No Boundaries" Show Features Local Leaders

Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin and Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker are both from military families. They are also both originally from the southern parts of the U.S. Both are now influential leaders in Maryland.

In the second episode of County Cable Montgomery's (CCM) new show, "No Boundaries," Ervin and Baker talk about how their upbringings led them to devote their lives to public service, why they share a passion for improving education opportunities and the importance of their two counties working together on key issues.

The 30-minute show is broadcast on CCM on Sundays at 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. throughout September and October.

County Cable Montgomery (CCM) -- Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon -- created the show to allow local leaders to express their views in an informal atmosphere.

A New Website Address -- and More -- for the Volunteer Center

The County's Volunteer Center website has a new address, www.montgomeryserves.org, a new look and some new features.

New to the site are:

  • A Share Your Story feature that invites volunteers to relate their experiences with a paragraph and a photo that tell how they are making an impact in our community. Stories will be displayed throughout the website; and
  • A Volunteer Toolkits site that provides step-by-step instructions about how to plan and lead a volunteer project from the participants' experience.

The center's online database also has a new look. You can still search by location, interest area or organization to find opportunities that interest you. Volunteer accounts were not moved to the new database. If you used to log on to the old system to express interest in opportunities, you still can, you just need to create a new account on the new database. Create a new account or start searching.

Organizations already registered with the Volunteer Center that are wondering how these new changes can benefit them are invited to attend the upcoming October information session to learn more about how to use the new database and other features of the website. See the Orientation schedule for details.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting , Volunteer , Library
POSTED: Friday, September 30, 2011 | 3:00:00 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 |

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Mark National Library Week with Customer Survey

To help determine the effectiveness of its services and programs, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) has announced that it will conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey in its 20 branches during National Library Week, April 10-16.

This year’s survey, for library customers 12 years of age and over, will be an online questionnaire available through the library website, montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

The survey will also be available in Spanish and Chinese.MCPL administrators will use the results to help plan future strategies for all aspects of the system wide operations.

The survey will ask customers to:

  • rate their library experience and evaluate the library system’s customer service;
  • evaluate their satisfaction with collections, materials, programs and technology;
  • evaluate building amenities, such as space for reading and study and building layout and signage;
  • provide feedback on how well they believe MCPL is accomplishing its mission; and
  • describe how using the library has impacted or influenced their lives.

Volunteers are needed in each library branch to help direct customers to the survey computers. If interested, contact the manager of any MCPL branch.

Read more.

POSTED: Monday, April 11, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |


Leggett Announces “Safety & Health” Provisions for New County Construction Contracts

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that all solicitations for County construction contracts are factoring in company records on employee safety and health – and the existence of strong workplace safety programs.

This means that contractors seeking to be qualified to construct County facilities will lose “points” for inadequate safety and health results or for the lack of strong health and safety prevention programs.

In addition, Leggett rolled out a new County website -- http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/workersafety -- to provide informationm tothose working in the County about workplace safety and health, as well as information and forms necessary to lodge complaints with the Maryland Office on Safety and Health (MOSH).

The Executive also appointed an ongoing Commission on Workers Safety and Health to advise him on further policy changes as part of the County’s Workers Health and Safety Initiative.

“Pay-by-cell” Program a Success; More Meters to be Added this Spring

In early 2010, the Division of Parking (Dept. of Transportation/MCDOT) began a pilot project to test a “pay-by-cell phone” system at selected parking meters in Bethesda. The test was successful, and now, MCDOT has decided to expand the system this spring to 11,000 meters in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Montgomery Hills and North Bethesda.

A great feature of pay by cell is the ability to receive a text message reminder when your parking time is about to expire. If this happens and you need more time, simply extend the parking session by phone, as long as the maximum parking time on the meter is not exceeded. There is a 35 cent transaction fee for each parking session.

For more information on the pay-by-cell initiative or to register for an account, visit the Division of Parking's website.

Silver Spring Parking Garage Partially Closed for Repairs

The Bonifant-Dixon Garage (Garage 5) in downtown Silver Spring is partially closed for approximately12 months for deck restoration. The Dixon Avenue Entrance will be closed during construction. More than 950 parking spaces remain open and can be accessed using the Bonifant Street Entrance. Just follow detour signs to the BonifantStreet Garage Entrance.

The garage serves the Silver Spring Metro Rail Station as well as surrounding businesses.

Lunar New Year and Black History Month Programs at Public Libraries

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) welcomes the Year of the Golden Rabbit and celebrates Black History Month with a variety of programs throughout February.

Lunar New Year began this year on February 3. According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves.

Programs at various branches include an introduction to customs behind the Lunar New Year, traditional dances, hands-on art activities, storytelling, shadow puppet shows, arts and crafts activities, Chinese yo-yo demonstrations, workshops and traditional Chinese lion dance performances.

Black History Month is a nationwide observance that provides an opportunity to reflect on the significant contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history.

Local speakers and authors will discuss the history of African Americans in Montgomery County in a five-part series of community discussions entitled, “Journey through African American History” to be held at branches around the County.

Other programs include Discovery Theater’s live performances of “Black Diamond: Satchel Paige and the Negro Baseball League” for young audiences about the struggles and triumphs of early African American baseball players, and African dance and drumming by the Soul in Motion Ensemble

For complete schedules of Lunar New Year and Black History Month programs, visit “Spotlight” at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Spring into Activity with Recreation, Park Classes: New Guide Now Out

Registration for the Recreation Department’s spring classes will begin Monday, February 14, followed by registration for swim classes on the 16th. The new Spring Guide of Recreation and Park Programs lists a wide variety of classes from yoga and Zumba to pottery, cooking and ballroom dancing. Copies of the Spring Guide are at public libraries and community, recreation, aquatic and senior centers throughout the County.

Register in any one of four ways: by mail or fax (240-777-6818), online or in person at the Recreation Department offices, 4010 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.

For more information, call 240-777-6840 or visit the Recreation Department website.

County History Book Updated Online

What is the County’s official bird? Blossom? Who was Richard Montgomery? And, why does our County bear his name? What was the original name of the County Seat (now, of course Rockville)? Which Washington, DC neighborhood was once part of Montgomery County?

The answers to these and just about any other questions you might have about any aspect of Montgomery County’s history are found in “Montgomery County, Maryland Our History and Government,” a 30-page booklet, just updated, following the most recent election. From the earliest days to the present, it’s a handy, brief look at what and who has shaped Montgomery County.


Caregiving, Finances, Nutrition featured on latest “Seniors Today”

County Cable Montgomery’s (CCM) latest “Seniors Today” features discussions on three topics of special interest to seniors and their families -- caregiving, financial management and nutrition.

Hosted by Austin Heyman, “Seniors Today” is seen weekly on Sundays at 2 p.m., Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.,and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on CCM -- channel 6 for Comcast and RCN subscribers and channel 30 for Verizon subscribers. To watch online, go to “Seniors Today” at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/seniors.

The show is produced by Montgomery County’s Office of Public Information and the Commission on Aging.


Applicants Sought for Charter Review Commission

The County Council is accepting applications for membership on the County's Charter Review Commission. Applications for the four-year appointments are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2.

The commission researches and evaluates Charter issues raised by the County Executive, County Council, other government officials and the public. Commission reports are submitted no later than May 1 of every even-numbered year. These reports contain recommendations concerning any proposed Charter amendments.

Get more details or call 240-777-7979.


Online Application Makes Applying for Rainscapes Rewards Rebate Program Even Easier

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has streamlined its RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program application by creating a new, online interactive format that is more user-friendly and provides a faster rebate turn-around time.

The program is designed to reduce the effects of stormwater pollution on the County’s streams and waterways.

Residents interested in the latest information about RainScapes can sign up to receive the RainScapes Gazette by visiting the County’s e-subscription page.

For more information about the program, including projects and resident eligibility or to apply, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rainscapes or contact RainScapes Rewards Coordinator Ann English at 240-777-7759 or RainScapes.application@montgomerycountymd.gov.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting , Senior , Environmental , Library , Transportation
POSTED: Thursday, February 10, 2011 | 3:00:00 AM |

Development Team Named for Mixed-Use Project Next to New Silver Spring Library

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that a development team led by The Donohoe Companies and Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) has been selected to develop a mixed-use project adjacent to the new Silver Spring Library.

The nearly one-acre site, located at the corner of Fenton and Bonifant streets, is adjacent to a future Purple Line station and will include a mix of commercial and residential uses.

The project is a joint venture between Donohoe, one of the region’s most respected developers, and MHP, a private, nonprofit developer of affordable housing in Montgomery County. Others on the development team are architect, VOA Associates; civil engineers, Loiederman Soltesz Associates; and landscape architects, Parker Rodriguez.

Read more.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | 6:00:00 AM |

The Next Step Toward a New Silver Spring Library

A crowd of about 100 people gathered at the corner of Wayne Ave. and Fenton St. in late August to celebrate the official groundbreaking for the new Silver Spring Library building. Among the participants were (from left in photo) Jeanie Dunnington, chair of the Disability Resource Center Library Advisory Committee; Montgomery County District 18 Senator Rich Madaleno; District 20 Maryland State Delegate Sheila Hixon; County Council President Nancy Floreen;  Eleanor Beavin, daughter of Silver Spring Branch Manager Dan Beavin; County Executive Ike Leggett; Martha Brookway Ewing, widow of County Councilmember Blair Ewing; Council Vice President/District 5 representative Valerie Ervin; Silver Spring Library user Shannon Parkin; Pyramid Atlantic Board Chair Amy Kincaid; and County Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg.

In addition to the library that will occupy three floors, current plans for the building also include a coffee bar and an art store, gallery, offices and classrooms for Pyramid Atlantic, a Silver Spring-based nonprofit dedicated to the creation and appreciation of handmade paper, printmaking, digital arts, and the art of the book. Plans also call for the County’s Dept. of Health and Human Services to have offices in the building. Large and small public meeting rooms would occupy one floor. “Green” roofs will be located on the top level and at the entry level, a pavilion roof will be visible from the children’s floor.

Site construction, including undergrounding and relocation of utility lines, will begin immediately and take about 10 months to complete.

During her remarks at the ceremony, County Council Vice President Valerie Ervin, whose District 5 includes downtown Silver Spring, announced that she supports a pedestrian bridge at the new Silver Spring Library, championed by County Executive Ike Leggett but previously defeated by the Council. Ervin said she plans to present to the Council an amendment to the Amended Silver Spring Urban Renewal Plan that would add the bridge back into the design for the building.

More information on the project is available online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/neighborhoodprojects and through the Building Projects link on the MCPL website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 10:00:00 AM |

Now Official: It’s Rockville Memorial Library

County Executive Ike Leggett (2nd from right) and approximately 100 others gathered in the Rockville Town Square Plaza on Friday of the Memorial Day weekend for the official ceremony marking the renaming of the Rockville Library to the Rockville Memorial Library.
Included among the attendees were Gayle Selkin-Gutman and Jacques Gelin, Friends of the Library, Rockville Chapter; County Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Duchy Trachtenberg; former Rockville City Councilmember Anne Robbins; Irwin Cohen, community activist and advocate for renaming the library to honor local service people who lost their lives in the line of duty; Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio; and Bill Gray, chairman of the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs. See Press Release for more info.  

POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 4:00:00 AM |

Renaming Ceremony Set for Rockville Library: We Honor, Remember and Reflect

A formal, public ceremony marking the official renaming of the Rockville Library to the Rockville Memorial Library will be held on Friday, May 28 at 11 a.m. at the Town Square entrance of the building at 21 Maryland Ave.

On November 10, 2009, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed a proclamation declaring that the name of the library be changed to honor “those who have given their lives defending the principles of freedom [during every major military conflict since the County was created in 1776] and will be deserving of the highest gratitude and honor by the people of Montgomery County.”

The new library identification sign, centered on the angled beam at the front of the glass canopy above the front entryway, will be unveiled as part of the ceremony.

In addition to local elected officials, others on the program include veterans from past wars and representatives of the Montgomery County families who have lost loved ones. Bagpipe selections will be performed, and the ceremony will conclude with Taps.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010