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Question A: Here’s What the Ballot Looks Like

On November 2, voters will have the opportunity to vote either for or against County Question A: Emergency Medical Services Transport Fee. Below is the sample wording for County Question A as it will appear on the ballot:

What does this mean?

A vote FOR will allow the County to bill residents’ insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid for ambulance transport. County residents would not pay anything additional. Residents without medical insurance would not be billed. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service will continue to serve anybody in need, regardless of ability to pay.

A vote AGAINST would mean the County could not seek reimbursement from residents’ insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid for ambulance transport and the County would continue to pay the full cost for all. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service will continue to serve anybody in need, regardless of ability to pay

CATEGORIES: Election , EMS
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 8:00:00 AM |

Area Fire Chiefs Tout Successes of EMS Fees in Respective Jurisdictions

Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers (at podium) was  recently joined by (from right to left in photo) Frederick County Assistant Fire Chief Richard Himes, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones, District of Columbia Chief of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Dennis L. Rubin; Stafford County Fire Chief J. Robert Brown, Jr. and Prince William County Assistant Fire Chief Brett Bowman to discuss the success of their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) revenue recovery programs.

Montgomery County voters will decide on November 2 whether to approve County Question A, which will allow County Council Bill 13-10: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Transport Fee to become law.

See Washington Post article for details about Fire Chiefs support (pdf). See more info about Ambulance Reimbursement. For a video presentation go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9PT1xWmiww.

CATEGORIES: EMS , Election
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Community Action Board Votes to Support Ambulance Fees

The Montgomery County Community Action Board (“CAB”), which advises the government regarding the needs of Montgomery’s low-income people, voted at its October 26 meeting to support the passage of Ambulance Fees, concluding that low-income families would not be adversely affected by the passage of Ballot Question A.

The CAB expressed its concern regarding the need to maintain funding for critically needed safety net services during a very difficult budget year. The board noted that it is not possible to further reduce the budget without seriously harming the County’s low-income and working poor families, who continue to struggle to make ends meet during this recession.

CATEGORIES: EMS , Election
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

Ready, Set…Vote!

For any information about the upcoming election procedures, polling places, absentee ballots, etc. go to www.777vote.com.

CATEGORIES: Election
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Montgomery County is Choice of Choice

Governor Martin O’Malley, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and City of Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio recently announced that Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH), one of the world’s largest lodging companies currently headquartered in Silver Spring, signed a letter of intent with the State, County and City to move its headquarters to Rockville when its current lease expires in 2013.

Since mid-2008, the company has been looking for a new headquarters of 130,000 square feet or more in the Capital Region to accommodate a growing number of employees and is in negotiations to lease office space in Rockville Town Center.

Once at their new location, the company plans to add 75 new employees, adding to its current base of approximately 400 employees in Maryland. Also under consideration is a Cambria Suites hotel near the proposed headquarters site to accommodate an estimated 10,000 stays per year generated by employee and franchisee training programs, as well as other community, vendor and hotel developer events.

Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,000 hotels, representing more than 490,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 35 other countries and territories. Read more.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 4:00:00 AM |

WORTH NOTING

A Correction to Note

Anyone who has received a paper copy of the 2010 General Election Voter’s Guide published by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County (LWVMC), take note.  There is an error on page 3 under the Governor’s race.  The Ehrlich/Kane ticket should be listed as the Republican party.  The LWVMC notes that the online version is correct.

Police Remind Drivers, Pedestrians about Upcoming Time Change 

Residents are reminded that daylight savings time will take place on Sunday morning, November 7 at approximately 2 a.m. when clocks will need to be set back one hour to 1 a.m.  This means that nightfall will occur earlier in the evening, so Montgomery County Police urge increased vigilance by motorists and pedestrians to help to reduce the possibility of pedestrian involved collisions. 

Montgomery County Ride On Announces Modified Schedules for Upcoming Holidays

Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system has announced a new operations schedule for Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11; M.L. King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 17, 2011; and Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 21, 2011.

On these holidays, Ride On will operate a special modified schedule that will provide fewer bus trips during the day on most routes, while still providing passengers service on every Ride On route. Routes will start and end at about the same times as a regular weekday schedule.

The following 13 routes will not be affected by the special modified schedule and will operate on a regular weekday schedule with no changes: 3, 4, 7, 32, 36, 44, 52, 63, 66, 67, 81, 93 and 98.

For schedule information, go to Ride On’s website at www.RideOnBus.com or call 311.

Nominations Sought for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Awards

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee is seeking nominations for the Humanitarian Award and the Children of the Dream Awards to be presented at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on January 17, 2011. All winners and honorable mentions will be acknowledged during the ceremony to be held at Strathmore Music Center, 5301 Tuckerman La., North Bethesda. Nominations must be received by Friday, November 26.

For details about each award or to request a nomination form, contact Kimberly Ham by mail at Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, 21 Maryland Ave., Suite 330, Rockville, MD 20850; by phone at 240-777-8478; or email kimberly.ham@montgomerycountymd.gov.

DEP’s Website Adds Interactive Maps – Residents Can Learn More About Neighborhood Streams, Watersheds and Water Quality Conditions

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) website now has three Google-based map applications that are designed to help County residents identify their local streams and watersheds and learn more about their local water quality.

To use the interactive maps, residents type in a street address, city or zip code, or simply click on a location to see the local watershed and a summary of its water quality conditions. The names of streams can also be identified by clicking on them. The interactive maps provide information about the aquatic species found in the stream and their sensitivity to pollution (sensitive, intermediate, or tolerant), as well as a narrated description of the watershed, providing information about key watershed stressors; stream restoration activities and their results; anticipated watershed projects; and reasons, if any, for declining water quality.

To view the interactive maps, go to DEP’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DEP,click on Water, then select from three maps.Each map option contains more background information and videos on watersheds in the County.

Forest Glen Road Train Crossing is State’s First ‘Quiet Zone’

Trains moving through an at-grade railroad crossing at Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring -- approximately one-quarter mile north of I-495 -- will no longer be required to blow their whistles, thanks to the work of the County’s Department of Transportation. The department’s efforts to provide noise relief resulted in the at-grade railroad crossing being declared the first “Quiet Zone” in Maryland starting November 1.

Although the Forest Glen Road crossing has minimal pedestrian and vehicle traffic, it was still subject to federal rules that require all trains to blow warning whistles when approaching the crossing.

The County has added protection for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers through a series of safety measures to implement the Quiet Zone. Lighting and signage near the location have been enhanced. In addition, the County installed new lights above the tracks and provided appropriate signage nearby. A median barrier was installed to keep cars from going around the gates that are deployed when a train is coming. The County’s Department of Transportation is planning a sidewalk for either side of the tracks to make the area more walkable.

The Quiet Zone designation is the result of lobbying efforts by local residents and Councilmember Valerie Ervin who first wrote to the State Highway Administration in October 2008 about the concerns of those living near the crossing.

“This is an example of how all branches of government worked together with our residents to implement a long-awaited change to enhance the quality of life for one local community,” said Ervin. Read more. 

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 3:00:00 AM |

MAKING NEWS

Family Justice Center Receives Avon Foundation Grant

The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $50,000, one-year grant to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at the Family Justice Center (FJC) to create and fund the Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program for domestic violence survivors. The program is designed to provide survivors with guidance and assistance to create independent, violence-free lives.

The Montgomery County Family Justice Center is one of 32 grant recipients selected from nearly 150 applicants nationwide. It is a collaboration of public and private agencies dedicated to finding innovative programs to preserve the safety and dignity of families. Co-located at the FJC are representatives of the Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office, Police Department, Department of Health and Human Services, The House of Ruth Maryland and other private agencies.

For more information on the Montgomery County Family Justice Center, call Hannah Sassoon at 240-777-7099. For more about domestic violence services, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online at www.ndvh.org.

County Employees Recognized with Community Builder Awards

The Interagency Coordinating Committee for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (InterACC/DD) facilitates communication and cooperation between public and private agencies providing services for persons with developmental disabilities. It is a coalition of more than 30 public and private agencies that provide a variety of mostly adult services to County residents with developmental disabilities.

Each year, InterAcc/DD member agencies each honor one public servant (usually elected or appointed) and one staff person with a Community Builder Award in recognition of their contributions to advancing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in the local community.

This year, four Montgomery County employees were among those recognized.

Lauren Newman is the administrator of Developmental Disability Services in Aging and Disability Services, Montgomery County Health and Human Services. She is a long-time advocate for staff and understanding the challenges and gifts that staff have to contribute. InterACC calls her “a real hero in Montgomery County for 20 years.”  Her award came from CALMRA, Inc., a community-based nonprofit that provides homes and services to adults with cognitive disabilities in Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Also receiving the award from CALMRA was staff member Dorcas Olaleye.

Art Wallenstein is Director of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He was recognized as “a tremendous advocate for employment of people with disabilities who has assisted over 15 people with developmental disabilities to become successfully employed.”  His award was received from Community Support Services, Inc. (CSS), a nonprofit committed to providing quality, community-based services to children and adults disabled by autism and other severe developmental disabilities. The staff person receiving the CSS award was Allen Barnes.

Uma Ahluwalia is Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. She provides a support and understanding of the issues of the agencies providing the services through policy and financial support. Her award was presented by Jubilee Association of Maryland that provides opportunities and support for people with developmental disabilities to live in and enrich their community while fulfilling their personal, family, and spiritual needs. The Jubilee staff award was presented to Margaret Kuenzli.

Steve Silverman is Director of the Department of Economic Development. He has worked with local nonprofits and recognizes their contributions that are vital to the area economy. His award was given by SEEC,  a nonprofit agency providing individualized, community-based supports to people with developmental disabilities to help them realize their version of The American Dream. Yemny Brazoban received the SEEC staff award.

CATEGORIES: Making News
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 2:00:00 AM |

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day program and Dedication of Veterans Plaza @ the Silver Spring Civic Building, corner of Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St. Dedication Ceremony and Proclamation 11 a.m. – noon; Panel Discussions and Workshops, 12:30-4 p.m.; Reception 6-7 p.m.;  “A Tribute to America’s Veterans” Concert 7-10 p.m. Free. See flyer at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/veterans.

Saturday, November 13 – Preparing for Success. A seminar for high school girls planning to attend college or enter the workplace. Montgomery College, Rockville campus, 51 Mannakee St. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Topics include Life After High School and How to get a Job and Keep It. Also The “Right Look” Fashion Show. Free. Registration in the Theatre Arts Bldg. Free bus service from seven high schools around the County. For details, and/or to register, go to www.preparingforsuccess.org.

Saturday, November 13 – Celebrate America Recycles Day Shredding and Recycling Event. Bring confidential papers for shredding and recycling and/or donate clothing and household goods in working condition.  Gaithersburg High School, 314 S. Frederick Ave. Noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine.  Sponsored by the Division of Solid Waste Services (Dept. of Environmental Protection). For more details and guidelines, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling or call 311

Sunday, November 14 – Celebrate America Recycles Day Shredding and Recycling Event. Bring confidential papers for shredding and recycling and/or donate clothing and household goods in working condition.  Montgomery Blair High School, 51 University Blvd. E. (Colesville Rd. parking lot), Silver Spring.  Noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine.  Sponsored by the Division of Solid Waste Services (Dept. of Environmental Protection). For more details and guidelines, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling.

Tuesday, November 16 – Veteran’s Day Program -- “A Conversation with Everett Alvarez Jr.” @ Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave. 7 p.m. A Rockville resident, Alvarez was the first American aviator shot down over North Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for eight and a half years.  Hosted by Montgomery County Public Libraries, in partnership with the County’s Commission on Veterans Affairs.  Read more.

Wednesday, November 17 -- Online chat with County Executive Ike Leggett. Noon to 1 p.m. This online interactive forum allows residents in Montgomery County to send questions directly to County Executive Leggett. You may submit questions anytime. Answered questions will be available at the beginning of the live session and selected questions will be answered during the scheduled discussion time.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 – Wheaton Redevelopment Community Workshop @ Crossway Community, Inc., 3015 Upton Drive, Kensington. 7 to 9 p.m. For local residents and business leaders who want to learn about the development team’s process for creating a concept plan and provide their personal input. Share ideas for redevelopment of downtown Wheaton in small-group, breakout sessions covering topics such as small business retention, uses of public space and sustainable development. For more about the County’s overall plans for Wheaton redevelopment, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/wheatonredev.

Wednesday, November 17 – Public Meeting re Olney Manor Skate Park @ the Olney Indoor Aquatic Center, 16605 Georgia Ave. 6:30 p.m. Information will be provided on the transition from the Recreation Department to Montgomery Parks (Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) scheduled to take place in 2011. Also included will be operational information such as fees and park hours. To request ADA program accommodations as far in advance as possible -- but no less than three full business days prior to the day of the meeting -- call 240-777-6875, or email judy.stiles@montgomerycountymd.gov.  Other information, call 240-777-6870.

CATEGORIES: Calendar
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 1:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010