County’s Stormwater “Bump Outs” Help Bump Up the Economy

Chesapeake Bay Foundation photo.

As stated recently in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s award-winning Bay Daily blog, “Stormwater ain’t a sexy subject. But, it’s a critically important one because runoff from suburban and urban areas is the fastest growing source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay….”

In “Stormwater Control Projects Lift Economy and Give Jobs to Unemployed,” Bay Daily touts the environmental and economic benefits of the County’s three-and-a-half-year, $305 million program that is building hundreds of "bump outs" and other stormwater devices designed to control runoff.  By the way, a bump out is (as defined in the piece) “…a grassy area built by the side of the road, with openings at either end to catch and filter rainwater as it flows down the gutter."
But, the good things about this project don’t end with helping to end pollution in the Bay.  The blog also details the positive economic impacts of this and similar projects – like creating 3,300 jobs in the County, alone, over the next five years. This is according to a report, entitled “Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment,” released by the Economic Policy Institute and an advocacy group, Green for All.
The blog is a good read that explains the problems and solutions in laymen’s terms, including some quotes from Steve Shofar, chief of the Watershed Management Division in the Department of Environmental Protection.

We’re #1! Montgomery College’s Lady Knights Claim National Division III Soccer Title 

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently honored the Montgomery College Women’s Soccer team, The Lady Knights, for winning their first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III title with a 4-0 victory over Monroe Community College of New York. 

The team finished the year with an impressive 17-3 record, outscoring their opponents 65-15.  Coach Kelly Wakeman (holding the proclamation with Leggett) was named the NJCAA Division III Soccer Coach of the Year.

Read more about the Lady Knights’ title and other honors.

Another Success for the Literacy Council: Recent Grad Writes Autobiography


At age 52, Milton Whitley was unable to recite and print the complete alphabet.  Now, just five years later, he’s a published author.  Thanks to the help of Mary Ellen Friedland, a tutor from the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Whitley gained the literacy skills he needed to change his life – and to then tell his story.

Whitley’s autobiography, Learning to Read at Age 52, details his life story from a difficult childhood, problems in school, homelessness and coping with addictions to the joys of his new life, which resulted from learning to read.

For most of his life, the Gaithersburg resident tried to hide his inability to read and write.  He felt embarrassed and frustrated and believed he was “unteachable.” 

Now he says, “I’m a brand new man.  I can read road signs.  It’s easier to understand things.  I know how to look words up in the dictionary.  I can balance a checkbook and write a check.”   He graduated from the Literacy Council’s program in 2011 and is taking classes at Montgomery College in preparation for the GED exam.

Learning how to read has not only changed Whitley’s life but has impacted the lives of everyone around him.  He has become an advocate for adult literacy and currently is employed by a men’s shelter where he once lived.


For more of Milton Whitley’s story, contact the Literacy Council of Montgomery County at 301-610-0030, extension 205 or

Thumbs Up for 311 Website

A recent Customer Service Web Site Survey of thousands of users of the County’s 311 website showed more than 76 percent of users were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their overall MC311 website experience. The survey also showed that about 77 percent were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their ability to find the information they were looking for on the MC311 website and more than 78 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the ease of using the site. 

Since Montgomery County’s 311 system was launched in June 2010, calls coming into the call center continue to increase, with an average of 48,000 calls per month. The 311 web portal,, which allows residents to find answers and check on the status of service requests 24/7, has consistently averaged more than 29,000 views per month. More than 20,000 online service requests were received last year.

For more information about MC311, call the Office of Public Information at 240-777-6507, or visit  

POSTED AT: Friday, February 03, 2012 | 2:00:00 AM |
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