2010 Census "Whistle Stop Tour" Features Three Community Rallies

On Saturday, March 27, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, County Council President Nancy Floreen, and former members of Congress and co-chairs of the County Executive’s 200-member Census Complete Count Committee Connie Morella and Mike Barnes will participate in a three-stop “whistle stop tour” across the County, encouraging residents to fill out and return their 2010 Census questionnaires. 

Free rallies at each stop – in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and Langley Park -- will feature entertainment, food and family activities.  Census forms were mailed to all residents the week of March 15 and should be returned by April 1.  

For details about the rallies or the Census, call the County’s Office of Community Partnerships at 240-777-2570, or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/census.

Leggett’s Procurement Reform Legislation Passes Council

County Executive Ike Leggett’s successful completion of his commitment to overhaul the County’s procurement system in his first term has come about with the County Council’s passage of Executive Regulation 19-09AM, Revisions to Procurement Regulations. In effect, the regulation makes it easier for businesses to respond to contracting opportunities with the County.

Leggett’s full 10-point plan to improve the procurement process was introduced in 2008. It included the elimination of bid request and bid subscription fees, making it easier for businesses to respond to contracting opportunities with the County; more outreach to MFD businesses; and more information available on the County website.

The changes take effect April 1, 2010.  A summary is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/procurement

It’s Spring Cleaning Time for County Roadways

Montgomery County residents are advised that over the next couple of months, the County’s 5,000 curb miles of roads will be getting a spring cleaning through the annual street sweeping program. 

This joint effort between the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is expected to help remove more than 3,000 tons of abrasives and other debris left behind after the winter snow season that could otherwise be swept into County streams.

Brightly colored signs will be posted in neighborhoods a few days before street sweeping begins.  To improve the quality of service and the effectiveness of the sweeping program, residents are urged to find alternative parking while their streets are cleaned. Daily updates detailing the areas scheduled for sweeping will air on County Cable Montgomery (Channel 6) during the morning and afternoon rush hours when the channel provides live coverage of local traffic conditions.

Online information about the schedule is found at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcdot, then go to Highway Services. For more information, call MCDOT’s Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000.

County, State Announce Milestone Investments in Zyngenia, Inc., Headquartered in Gaithersburg

Montgomery County, the State of Maryland and Zyngenia, Inc. recently announced the official start of the build out of laboratory and office space at the company’s new 14,000-square-foot headquarters in Gaithersburg. The company is focusing its early research and development on creating therapies for patients who have unmet medical needs in cancer and autoimmune diseases. 

The strategic public/private partnership behind the announcement is a component of the County’s recently unveiled Bioscience Strategy, which aims to enhance the environment for entrepreneurship and creation of new life science companies in the County. Read more on Press Release.

Summer’s Coming! And So Are Rec Camps

We think and hope that spring is here, and if this is true, then summer can’t be far behind. That’s why you should know that the County’s Department of Recreation is accepting registrations for its popular summer camps and programs. 

There are so many fun, interesting camps from which to choose. Like nature, art, drama and dance, sports and therapeutic camps, and a variety of teen activity programs.  Or, how about cooking, horseback riding, AquaSports, plus history camps with the Montgomery County Historical Society?

Don’t put off signing up. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. Summer Camp Guides are available at public libraries and community and aquatic centers.

To view the guide online, and/or to register, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.  Also, register by mail or in person at the Recreation Department Administrative Offices at 4010 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.

Donate Food, Ride Free

Ride On bus passengers in Montgomery County can help needy families and receive free bus rides by donating canned or nonperishable food during Ride On’s annual food drive from Sunday, April 11 through Saturday, April 17.  Food collected through the drive goes to Manna Food Center, which feeds 3,000 hungry families a month. 

All food donations, regardless of the number of cans, will be valued at the regular fare rate of $1.45. Passengers who transfer buses will need an additional food donation to ride free on the second bus.

Get more details.

Tax Refund Loans Alert; Free Tax Preparation Assistance Provided

With the filing date for federal and state income taxes just weeks away, Montgomery County’s Community Action Board recommends that consumers avoid Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) -- one- to two-week loans made by banks, facilitated by tax preparers and secured by taxpayers’ expected tax refunds. However, if tax refunds don’t arrive as expected, taxpayers are responsible for the unpaid debt.

County residents who need income tax preparation assistance are encouraged to make an appointment [link to 3/15 release] with the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offered by Montgomery County’s Community Action Board.

To find free community and military-sponsored VITA programs, call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040. For information on free tax help for seniors, call the RSVP-AARP Tax-Aide Program at 240-777-2577.

Residents Encouraged to Join Volunteer Efforts in April in Honor of Earth Day

County Executive Ike Leggett has once again proclaimed April as “Earth Month” in Montgomery County and is encouraging residents to celebrate by volunteering for projects that will improve the environment. April 22 is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day.

There are many ways to get involved and make a difference.  Individuals, groups and businesses may create their own projects, sign up to volunteer with existing projects or pass along information to members, employees, friends, family and others.

For a list of opportunities, visit the Volunteer Center’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteer.

Green Your Business by Earth Day, April 22

Apply now to become a Montgomery County Certified Green Business, get certified by April 19 and join a growing number of other local businesses that have made a commitment to the environment. By becoming certified before Earth Day, businesses  reap the benefit of being included in the County’s Earth Month publicity.   The Green Business Certification Program is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery College.  It assists and recognizes businesses that are taking voluntary steps to go above and beyond basic green measures to reduce their ecological footprint.

For more about the application process and the checklist of actions required of a Green Business, visit www.mcgreenbiz.org.

Training Courses

Montgomery College provides on-going courses to assist businesses in making the changes necessary to get certified. To learn more, including schedules, fees, etc., visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/bits/goinggreen.html.  

Follow the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce through its Certification Journey

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce invites Facebook “fans” to follow them in their quest to become a Certified Green Business by Earth Day.  See http://www.facebook.com/pages/Montgomery-County-Chamber-of-Commerce-Md/239377858769?v=app_2373072738#!/topic.php?uid=239377858769&topic=24380  

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED AT: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | 2:30:00 PM |
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