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Crime Down Again in First Quarter of 2011

County crime statistics just released by the Montgomery County Police show crime in the County is down 4.6 % for the first three months of 2011. This follows a drop in crime of 7.5 % in 2010 and, overall, a 12 % drop in County crime between 2007 and 2010.

Read more.

CATEGORIES: Public Safety
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:43:00 PM |

Leggett Proposes Curfew for Underage Youth

County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed establishing a curfew for youth under 18 years old in Montgomery County.

In his transmittal memo to the County Council, Leggett noted that he was sending, for introduction, a bill “… intended to address issues relating to increased gang activity, violence, and crime involving minors in the County. It imposes a curfew from Midnight to 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the remaining days of the week.”

The Executive’s bill is similar to curfew laws in existence in Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia.


CATEGORIES: Public Safety
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:42:00 PM |

It’s Back! Kids Ride Free Returns

The Kids Ride Free program is back, offering free rides on County Ride On buses and certain Metrobus routes within Montgomery County to students ages 18 and under on weekdays between 2 and 7 p.m.

The program will operate year-round. Students should show their school photo identification cards (IDs) when boarding buses. The Montgomery County Division of Transit Services will print a special ID for elementary, home school and certain private school students who do not have school photo IDs. Those without IDs should contact their school first or for more information call 311.

Get more details on Kids Ride Free and other transit programs.

CATEGORIES: Transportation
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:41:00 PM |

Ground Broken for Leggett’s First “Smart Growth Initiative” Construction Project

Smart Growth Initiative Construction Project

With the turn of a shovel, County Executive Ike Leggett (center in photo) saw the first of his Smart Growth Initiative (SGI) construction projects -- that will eventually revitalize an old industrial area by creating an urban village near the Shady Grove Metro – take a major step toward becoming a reality.

The $36.7 million Equipment and Maintenance Operations Center (EMOC) project is a collection of 13 buildings that will serve the Department of Transportation’s divisions of Transit Services and Highway Services and the Department of General Services, plus provide a Day Labor Center.

The facilities include administrative buildings; bus parking for 200 buses; bus service lanes; bus wash facility; fare collection area; bus service maintenance bays; parts room; heavy equipment storage shed; soil/gravel storage area; Highway Services bays; compressed natural gas fast-fill, gasoline and diesel fueling stations; and employee and visitor parking.

EMOC’s environmentally-sensitive design increases the size of existing facilities within a smaller footprint by using multi-story buildings. Many acres of green space provide for stream buffer protection and forest conservation. The overall project is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by incorporating innovative features. A pilot project, which is the first in the State of Maryland, will reclaim, treat and reuse rainwater for toilet flushing and bus washing, reducing water use by 80 percent. Seventy-five percent of the building roofs, more than four acres, will have green roofs to decrease stormwater runoff.

Leggett’s SGI is a cost-neutral strategy that will provide substantial economic opportunities for future growth while implementing the goals of the Shady Grove Sector Plan.

See more details.

CATEGORIES: County Executive , Environmental
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:40:00 PM |

Three Little Words with Big Meaning for Outdoor Workers This Summer: Water, Rest, Shade

Water, Rest, Shade

The bad news is heat illness can be deadly. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die.

The good news is there’s a simple way to prevent heat-related illnesses and it boils down to three little words – water, rest, shade.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in the U.S. Department of Labor has initiated a nationwide outreach campaign designed to let employees and employers know about the hazards faced by outside workers exposed to summer heat.

For more information, visit osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness.


CATEGORIES: Health , Senior
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:39:00 PM |

Hot Cars and Kids -- a Deadly Combination

Across the country, July is typically the deadliest month for child fatalities in hot cars and that’s why Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) officials are reminding busy parents that it’s never okay to leave a child unattended in a car for any length of time or at any time of year.

This time of year, even with a window cracked, the temperature in a car can beome life-threatening within minutes. As temperatures rise, so does the risk of children being forgotten in vehicles, still strapped in their carseats, and dying from excessive heat exposure. Moreover, the body temperature of children rises three to five times faster than adults which means children are much more vulnerable to heat stroke.

Busy parents have a lot on their minds, so MCFRS has compiled a list of tips for parents, family members and caregivers to review.

Those tips include:

  • To avoid forgetting your child, always put your cell phone, PDA, gym bag, purse or briefcase, and anything else you'll need that day, on the floor of the backseat. When you retrieve it at the end of the ride, you'll see your child.
  • Take your children inside the home, and then unload groceries, dry cleaning and other items.
  • Before putting a child in a car that has been parked in a warm/sunny spot, check the temperature of the carseat or upholstery. Hot interior surfaces of a car can burn a child’s skin
  • Keep a teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty. When you put your child in the seat, move the animal to the front passenger seat to remind you that your baby's on board
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately

To see the complete list of tips, visit the DFRS homepage and click on MCFRS Blog.

CATEGORIES: Public Safety , Health
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:38:00 PM |

Changing of the Guard at Montgomery County Public Schools

Words of farewell from outgoing superintendent Jerry Weast and greetings from new superintendent Joshua P. Starr.

Dear Friends,

When my career in education began in a small Kansas town more than four decades ago, I could not have imagined the journey that would lead me to Montgomery County. Yet, every day over the past 12 years, I have been so very grateful that my path landed me here.

Working together, we have simply built the best school district in the nation and today, on my last day as superintendent, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to those who have made it happen.

Jerry Weast, Ed.D.














Thank you to the Montgomery County community that has made a quality school system its highest priority. You have invested money, resources and time in making sure that all children—not just your own—receive a world-class education. Even in difficult economic times, education has remained your top priority, and that substantial investment will pay dividends for generations to come.

Thank you to our community and political leaders, including the Board of Education, the County Council, the business community, and so many others. You have given selflessly year after year and your work is an important legacy for our community. Like all families, we have had our disagreements from time to time, but, for the most part, we have remained civil and focused on what matters most—the education of our children. I appreciate the Board of Education's confidence in me 12 years ago when they handed me the keys and asked me to lead this wonderful system. Together, we have built a system upon the premise that all children can learn at high levels. In addition, we are fortunate to have a supportive business community working hand in hand with us. Without a doubt, the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education has helped our system become a more effective and efficient organization.

Pull out quote.. As I have said many times, for the
past 12 years, I have been the coach of the best team in America

Thank you to the incredible staff of Montgomery County Public Schools. Whether you are in the classroom or the cafeteria; the front office or the central office; the bus depots or the band rooms, every success we have had has been the direct result of your work.Over the past few years, we have asked you to make sacrifice after sacrifice, and you have done so willingly and continued to deliver outstanding results. As I've said many times, for the past 12 years, I have been the coach of the best team in America. My sincerest thanks also go to our employee associations—MCEA, MCAAP and SEIU Local 500—for their collaborative spirit in good times and bad. And, of course, my heartfelt thanks to my leadership team, most notably Mr. Larry Bowers, our chief operating officer, and Dr. Frieda Lacey, deputy superintendent of schools, who have been with me throughout my time at MCPS and have improved the future of countless students during their combined 70-plus years in this district.

Jerry Weast and students Thank you to all of our parents. Your daily involvement in our school system is what has allowed us to continue to thrive even as our district has faced many changes and many challenges. Your support, your honesty and, yes, even your occasional criticisms have held us accountable and we are better for it. And, of course, thank you to our students. Over the past 12 years, I have had the privilege to sign more than 100,000 diplomas and watch countless students cross the stage at graduation and enter the world excited and prepared for what is to come. You are why we do what we do and, each year, you make me prouder and prouder. Continue to learn, explore and grow—and remember to return home to the community that gave you a great start. We need you here.

Tomorrow, Dr. Joshua Starr takes over as your next superintendent. Being the leader of Montgomery County Public Schools is a demanding, difficult job, as it should be. During the past few months, I have had the opportunity to get to know Josh well. He is the right person to lead this system to the next level of excellence. He will need your ongoing support to continue the work we have started together. I know you will welcome Josh and his family to Montgomery County with open arms, just as you did my family 12 years ago. Together, we have built an amazing system of schools in Montgomery County and together, you will continue to improve upon that success for years to come.

I wish all of you health and happiness in the future and I thank you for all you have done for me and, most importantly, for our children.


Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


To the Staff, Students and Community of Montgomery County Public Schools,

Today, Josh Starr[July 1] I officially begin my tenure as the superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). I am excited, honored and humbled to be chosen to lead this exceptional school system and I thank the Board of Education for providing me with this opportunity. There is no question that MCPS has had enormous success and is a national model on numerous fronts. As I have said, it is clearly a district that is doing many things right and so there is no need for radical quick fixes or big changes. But that doesn’t mean that we can stand still and admire past achievements. All successful organizations continually push themselves to reach higher levels on the path to greatness. I believe that MCPS is well-positioned for greater success if we continue to focus on what matters most – ensuring that high quality teaching and learning is happening in each and every classroom, every day. Together, we are going to work to make sure that every child who graduates from MCPS leaves us with a promising future ahead.

I already have met so many dedicated staff members, and I cannot wait to visit with many more of you to hear about your hopes and dreams for our school system. I will be spending the next few months listening, learning and meeting with staff, students, parents, community members, business leaders and many others to find out about not only what’s going right, but about where we have room to grow and improve. I also have established a transition team made up of both internal and external leaders who are helping me learn, as quickly as possible, about the areas that need the most focus to accelerate our progress in closing the achievement gap and raising standards.

Finally, I want to thank Dr. Jerry Weast for his extraordinary service over the last 12 years. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Dr. Weast and all that he and the school system have accomplished. It truly is a privilege to follow such a dynamic and extraordinary leader.

I look forward to beginning our dialogue about strengthening this great system and working together to fulfill the promise we have to all students to give them our best so that they can be their best.



POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:37:00 PM |

County Offers New Bike Map and Bike Rack Installation at Public Buildings

To make biking more convenient, the County has produced a new bike map which is available online, or for those who prefer a traditional map, by mail from Commuter Services.

To encourage more bicycle commuting, Montgomery County is providing free bike rack installations at workplaces or other public locations. Priority is given to sites with access to public buildings within County right-of-ways that are adjacent to schools, libraries, employment centers, recreational and civic buildings.

The rack is an “inverted u” style. Once it’s installed, the rack becomes the property of the authorizing facility owner/firm/agency.

Request a bike rack.

CATEGORIES: Transportation
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:36:00 PM |

New Mid-County Community Center Opens its Doors

Mid-County Community Center Openning

The new Mid-County Community Recreation Center is officially up and running, much to the delight of the surrounding community.

County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmember Nancy Navarro joined residents for a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony to officially open the center located at 2004 Queensguard Road in Silver Spring. Participating in the unveiling of the dedication plaque were (from left in photo): County Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Phil Andrews; Leggett; Navarro; and General Services Director David Dise.

The new 25,000-square-foot center features a full-sized gymnasium, exercise room, weight room, spacious social hall, kitchen, multi-use community room, arts/kiln room, game room and conference room. Outdoor amenities include a large multi-purpose athletic field and a large hard surface play area suitable for basketball and volleyball. The center has ample free parking.

For more information about the new center, call 240-777-6820.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:35:00 PM |

Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale

Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale

Montgomery County will celebrate its agricultural heritage, promote local farms and indulge in seasonally fresh food during the 22nd Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale, Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All farms will be open Saturday, with most also participating on Sunday. The tour will be held rain or shine, but some events and activities scheduled at the farms may be delayed or cancelled if it rains.

The Farm Tour provides people with an opportunity to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and other local products.  Several farms have hayrides, pony rides, music, demonstrations and other fun and educational activities planned for people of all ages.


For more information on the Farm Tour, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/farmtour or call 301-590-2823.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:34:00 PM |

Some Last Summertime Hurrahs for the Kids

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation is the perfect place to find some summer fun for your kids.

The department has nearly 900 summer camps, programs and activities.  Magic, Robotics, Sports, Art, Theater, Horseback Riding are just a few of the many of the types of camps offered.  As summer is winding down it is the perfect time to give the kids one last hurrah as many summer camps are continuing through August 26.

For registration information, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.


CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:33:00 PM |

U.S. Open: A Winner in Many Ways

In addition to Rory McIlroy’s record-setting performance in the 111th Annual U.S. Open held at Congressional Country Club June 13-19, the Montgomery County and the local economy were winners, as well.

According to the United States Golf Association (USGA) figures, a total of 229,574 people attended the Open championship -- from practice rounds the 13th though 15th and the actual championship the 16th through 19th. The highest daily attendance – 48,088 – was recorded on Saturday. Attendance figures came from the entrance gates and were measured by hand held scanners.

The USGA estimates the total economic impact to be between $130-$150 million.  

The USGA also gave high marks to the Department of Transportation and all Montgomery County support personnel during the week of the event.

The following came from Dan Hubbard, the USGA’s Assistant Director of Communications: “I wanted to say thanks to each and every one of you…for your professionalism and for your dedication to making the 2011 U.S. Open a success. We have worked with many state, county and local government partners over the years and I don’t feel it is a stretch at all to say that your team was one of the best. You were on top of things the entire time and helped us execute a very successful transportation plan that withstood a number of challenges throughout the week.

"Congratulations, well done, and once again, my sincere thanks.”

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:32:00 PM |

"Thanks for looking out for my boy”... Lifelong Memories of the U.S. Open for Two County Police Officers

No one would argue that this year’s U.S. Open Championship at Congressional Country Club wasn’t memorable. The fact is, it was downright historic. Twenty-two year-old Rory McIlroy took a dozen new records – and one of the most prestigious titles in professional golf -- home with him to Northern Ireland.

But, for Montgomery County Police Officers Lawrence (Larry) Haley and Thomas (Tom) Chuckerel, it was memorable for other reasons.

First, they were part of a four-man security detail assigned to McIlroy during the final round of the U.S. Open. And, they continued on with him as he conducted post-championship interviews at the Media Center and the Clubhouse at Congressional.

But their day with the champ wasn’t over. Haley and Chuckerel (with glasses in photo) were invited to an exclusive dinner which included not only the young champion, but his father, caddie, two friends from Ireland and members of his management team. And, what was on the menu for the new U.S. Open champion? Chicken, French fries, mashed potatoes, rice and corn.

Officer Haley said everyone at the dinner was friendly. “His father said to me, ‘Thanks for looking out for my boy.’”

Officer Chuckerel said he spoke with McIlroy’s father about a relative [of Chuckerel’s] who had gone to medical school in Ireland. “It was really, really cool,” he said. “The entire world’s eye was on Congressional that week, and to be there with him in such a small intimate setting, maybe 12 people, that’s something I never expected.” But, for Chuckerel, a martial arts enthusiast, there was an added attraction. He met Shane McMahon, formerly of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fame, who is now an executive with McIlroy’s management company.

Both men were impressed by the champion’s down-to-earth character. Officer Haley commented, “In person he is exactly as he has been described -- nice, respectful, cordial…a genuinely nice person. I hope he doesn’t change, and I don’t think that he will.”

Officer Haley summed up his day. “This was by far my favorite work assignment, and I’ve had some great assignments with this police department!”

And, Officer Chuckerel enthused, “The whole experience was totally amazing!”

Officer Haley and Rory McIlroy  Officer Chuckerel and Rory McIlroy

Although both Haley and Chuckerel are golfers, they said they weren’t able to pick up any tips from the young Irishman’s game. They were too busy focusing on their job of player security, which meant watching everything around them except McIlroy’s historic performance.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:30:00 PM |

Fire and Rescue Service Hits it Big on Facebook

From Bill Delaney, the County’s Fire and Rescue Service’s (MCFRS) technical guru, comes the following message:

 “Was just checking on the number of views our Facebook page has gotten from January 1, 2011 until Sunday (July 10). Was stunned to see the following: 1,167,080.   Yes, that is one million, one hundred sixty-seven thousand, and eighty!

Not so surprising when you consider all the helpful information -- and sometimes, breaking news items related to MCFRS responses -- posted on their FaceBook page

Take a look if you haven’t checked it out.

In addition, you can find MCFRS on MCFRS Blog, Twitter, and Linkedin.


CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:29:00 PM |

County Receives Grant for Bikesharing Pilot Program

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board recently approved a $1.3 million grant to Montgomery County, in partnership with the City of Rockville, to establish a bikesharing pilot program that will bring 200 bicycles and 20 bikeshare stations to the Rockville and Shady Grove areas.

The pilot project will test:

  • Whether bikesharing is feasible in suburban centers outside a central city setting; and  
  • Whether bikesharing can provide another transportation option to low-income residents and employees.

Low-income workers who meet program guidelines will receive a free, one-year bikeshare membership; coverage for a certain level of user fees; a bike helmet; training classes in bicycle use and safety; and assistance with routing on safe bicycle routes.

Proposed locations for the bikeshare stations include the Rockville and Shady Grove Metro stations; Rockville Town Center; other employment centers along Maryland Route 355/Rockville Pike; the City of Rockville; the Shady Grove area; Montgomery College, Rockville campus; The Universities at Shady Grove; and Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery County campus.

Read more.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:28:30 PM |

The Right Prescription

Montgomery Rx Prescription Discount

The County’s Montgomery Rx Prescription Discount Program has saved residents more than $20 million since it began in December 2004 and in that time more than 1.2 million prescriptions have been filled by County residents.

The program, a partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), provides an average 24 percent savings off the retail cost of commonly prescribed medications. Montgomery County was one of the first pilot programs in the United States. There are now 1,400 counties participating in NACo’s Prescription Discount Card Program. The program is administered by CVS Caremark.

Celebrating the success of the program with County Executive Ike Leggett (2nd from right) are (from left) National Association of  Counties Executive Director Larry Naake; County Health Officer Dr. Ulder J. Tillman; and Caremark Director of Community Programs Aaron King. 

Residents can pick up a discount card at Montgomery County Public Libraries or by calling 311.

For more information, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rx .

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:28:00 PM |

Citizen Advisory Boards Host Capital Improvements Program Budget Forums

Individuals and groups are invited to provide input into the County’s next six-year capital construction budget by attending upcoming public forums being held throughout July. The forums will help define construction and planning priorities for the various regions in the County as officials begin developing the Fiscal Years 2013 to 2018 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget.

The CIP includes costs for new or renovated major projects such as roads, public schools, Montgomery College facilities, water and sewer lines, parks, libraries, health and recreation facilities, and other public buildings and projects.

The schedule for the remaining forums is listed below:

  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase – Monday, July 18, 7 p.m. Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor La. 240-777-8200;
  • Mid-County – Tuesday, July 19, 7 p.m. Mid-County Regional Services Center, 2424 Reedie Dr., Wheaton. 240-777-8100; and
  • Eastern County – Wednesday, July 20, 7 p.m. Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Rd., Silver Spring. 240-777-8400.

Suggestions and comments from participants will be considered by the regional citizen advisory boards for inclusion in the funding priority lists they submit to the County Executive.  The lists will also be shared with County departments and agencies for their consideration as they formulate the CIP for their departments.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:27:00 PM |

Shoppers for Seniors

The Senior Connection’s Shoppers Program helps seniors who are unable to get their groceries into their homes on a regular basis. 

The program matches individuals 60 years and older -- with incomes of $30,450/year or less for singles and $34,800/yr for couples -- with a volunteer shopper. Seniors and shoppers are matched on a one-to-one basis and will shop either for or with a senior.

Volunteer shoppers are needed to escort a senior to the grocery store and assist with reading product labels, reaching stock, handling carts and once home, help put away groceries.  Volunteers may also shop for an individual from a prepared list and put groceries away upon returning.  Some may also provide companionship for seniors.  Commit to serving two to three hours a week for six to 12 months.

For more information about the Senior Connection’s Shoppers Program or to volunteer as a shopper, contact Program Director Greg Muncill at 301-942-1049 or email greg.muncill@seniorconnectionmc.org.
CATEGORIES: Worth Noting , Senior
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:26:00 PM |

It’s All About Numbers: 311 Calls Hit Half Million Mark

Montgomery County 311

To mark the one-year anniversary of the County’s online and telephone information system. Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined MC311 staff and answered several incoming calls.  Just days before the June 17 anniversary, the call center recorded its 500,000th service request from a caller with a question pertaining to building a storage shed and setback requirements.  

Trained representatives who speak Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and French are available at MC311, in addition to a language interpretation service for other languages.  A TTY line is available at 240-773-3556.         

The MC311 Customer Service Center operates Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The self-service website, http://www.MC311.com, is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. 

For more information about MC311, call the Office of Public Information at 240-777-6507, or visit http://www.MC311.com.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:23:00 PM |

Ambulance Fee Instituted in Prince William County

Prince William County (VA) has joined many other local jurisdictions by instituting its new ambulance fee (July 1). This means that the county is now billing insurance companies for emergency services. Since transport services are already included in insurance premium calculations, the county felt by not billing for these services already paid, it was losing legitimate revenue. 

The county’s website says "any remaining co-payment or deductible, after the insurance company is billed, will not be charged to the county resident." A waiver policy addresses situations in which there may be an inability to pay or that involve other special circumstances.

The fees are expected to generate $3.1 million in fiscal 2012.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:18:00 PM |

Ground Broken for New Boeing/DRT Facility in Germantown

County Executive Ike Leggett recently joined Boeing developer Trammell Crow Company and building owner Multi Employer Property Trust (MEPT) to celebrate the start of construction on a new five-story, 162,000 square-foot office and manufacturing facility at Milestone Business Park in Germantown.

Boeing will lease the majority of the building, which has been designed to house the evolving manufacturing and engineering needs of Boeing subsidiary Digital Receiver Technology, Inc. (DRT).

Acquired by Boeing in 2008, DRT develops hardware and software products for wireless surveillance and tracking equipment for federal government and law enforcement customers. About 400 current DRT employees will move from existing office space in Germantown to the new facility, which should be completed in 2012.

Learn more.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:17:00 PM |

Consumer Protection Asks: Did You Know?

Montgomery County Consumer Protection: Did You Know

About Monitoring Your Credit:   Under federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report, once a year, from each of the three credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  In addition, Maryland has a separate law giving its residents the right to a free annual credit report from the three reporting agencies.  This means that you can view your credit report six times during a year for free.  Visit the Maryland Office of the Attorney General’s Credit Reports page to learn how to access your free credit reports.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:16:00 PM |

The New York Times Article Lauds County School System’s Teacher Evaluation Program

Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) Peer Assessment and Review (PAR) teacher evaluation program was featured in a recent piece by Education columnist Michael Winerip entitled “Helping Teachers Help Themselves.”

The article points out that although the program has “worked beautifully” for the past 11 years, it has failed to garner dollars for MCPS from the federal Race to the Top program.

Winerip’s column states this is because MCPS former Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast “…said he would not take the money because the grant required districts to include students’ state test results as a measure of teacher quality. ‘We don’t believe the tests are reliable,' he said. 'You don’t want to turn your system into a test factory.’ ”

Winerip went on to say that "Race to the Top aims to spur student growth by improving teacher quality, which is exactly what Montgomery County is doing. Sad to say, the district is getting the right results the wrong way.”

POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:07:00 PM |

Three Companies Honored for Making Commuter Connections Work

Three Montgomery County companies have been honored by Commuter Connections for providing outstanding commuting options and alternatives to their employees -- the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., Bethesda; B. F. Saul Company, Bethesda; and Clean Currents, Rockville.

Commuter Connections is a regional program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that focuses on making alternatives to drive-alone commuting practical and attractive.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) received the Incentives Award for offering a wide variety of commuting incentives to encourage the use of public transit, ridesharing, bicycling and teleworking.

B. F. Saul Company, a privately-owned real estate firm, won the Marketing Award for their innovative approach to promoting alternatives to drive-alone commuting to their employees.

Clean Currents, winner of the Telework Award, provides residential and commercial power options in the Mid-Atlantic Region and supplies renewable energy credits to businesses nationwide.

Montgomery County Commuter Services works with businesses to set up commuting benefits programs that are tailored to a company’s needs and implements Commuter Connections’ programs throughout the County

POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:06:00 PM |

County Receives 18 Awards from National Association of Counties

Montgomery County has received 18 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards for outstanding programs.

The following departments and programs received awards:

  • East County Regional Services Center – IDA Sector Community Partnership;
  • Health and Human Services – Montgomery Cares; Housing First Initiative; When I Get Out: A Healthy and Safer Lifestyle;
  • Housing and Community Affairs – Cordell Place; The Argent Apartments;
  • Human Resources – Partnering for Maximum Performance, Interagency Training Team;
  • Permitting Services – Permitting Services Case Management Program;
  • Police – Elder/Vulnerable Abuse Task Force;
  • Recreation – Camp Long Branch;
  • Silver Spring Regional Services Center – The Community Living Room Initiative; and
  • Technology Services – Automated Systems Management; Enterprise Architecture Data Warehouse and Metrics; Internet County Contract Search System; Performance Dashboard; Cloud Security Architecture and Enterprise Offering; Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) Access and Monitoring Network; and Storm Management Operations Map.
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 4:05:00 PM |

Mark Your Calendar

July 23 --U.S. Navy Cruisers, a specialty unit of the United States Navy Band and a high-energy group of eight of the Navy’s most dynamic performers, will provide contemporary rock entertainment. BlackRock Center, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 7 p.m. on the lawn. Free. 301-528-2260.

July 30 --Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Melanie Mason will perform her soothing sounds of folk and indie-rock. BlackRock Center, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 7 p.m. on the lawn. Free. 301-528-2260.

Daily through September 18 -- “Wings of Fancy” Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit at Brookside Gardens, 1500 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the South Conservatory. Surround yourself with hundreds of African, Asian, Costa Rican and North American species of butterflies flying freely inside the conservatory. Learn about their life cycles and how you can attract native caterpillars and butterflies to your backyard. Adults, $6; ages 3-12, $4. Purchase the Frequent Visitor Pass at Brookside Gardens and enjoy unlimited return visits. Individual, Dual and Family Passes on sale in the gift shops at the gardens. Groups of 15 or more by appointment only, call 301-962-1467 for reservations. For more information, call Wings of Fancy information line: 301-962-1453 or visit www.brooksidegardens.org.

POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 | 3:57:00 PM |
News and Information from Montgomery County Government, Public Information Office.
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Last edited: 11/8/2010