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Special Thanks on Behalf of a Grateful Community

In the wake of the hostage incident on September 1 at Discovery Communications headquarters in the heart of downtown Silver Spring, County Executive Ike Leggett visited Silver Spring Fire Station #1 the next day, to thank the County’s public safety responders for their actions that helped resolve the situation with no loss of hostages and took follow up action to ensure that the building was safe for employees to re-enter the next day. The County Executive was joined by Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Fire Chief Richard Bowers and Incident Commander Capt. Darryl McSwain.

Also on hand to express their appreciation to the first responders were 8th District Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and from the County Council: President Nancy Floreen, Vice President and District 5 representative Valerie Ervin, and at-large member George Leventhal. Read County Executive's statement.

CATEGORIES: County Executive , Public Safety
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 11:30:00 AM |

Leggett Testifies Before Maryland Public Service Commission on Reliability and Quality of Pepco Service

At a public hearing in Rockville late last month, County Executive Ike Leggett provided his perspective on the frequent and extensive power outages in the Montgomery County portion of the Pepco service area. Below is an excerpt from that testimony.

“I recently met with Pepco Holdings, Inc. Chairman Joseph Rigby and expressed my concerns and frustration regarding the frequent and extensive outages.  I impressed to him and his senior executives the importance of developing a more stable and reliable electricity service in the County.  In short, I emphasized the following four major concerns:

  • Pepco’s contracting and operational procedures and practices for bringing additional resources to bear in emergency situations need reconsideration; 
  • Pepco’s preventive maintenance and tree trimming programs need review and revision;
  • Pepco’s inability to effectively communicate useful and accurate information in a timely manner to customers; and
  • Practices regarding coordinating activities with the County under emergency conditions needs improvement.

I further advised him that I am committed to working with him, and anyone else with a stake in this issue, to correct these shortcomings. Click here for full text

CATEGORIES: County Executive , County Council
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 11:00:00 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 |

New Star Rising: Ground Broken for Fillmore Silver Spring

The latest star in Silver Spring’s arts and entertainment crown was forged on a warm day in early September when The State of Maryland, Montgomery County, Lee Development Group and Live Nation broke ground for the construction of the long-awaited new music hall, Fillmore Silver Spring.

Several hundred people gathered on the construction site off of Fenton Street, behind the historic J.C. Penney façade on Colesville Road, as County Executive Ike Leggett, Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Lee Development Group President Bruce Lee and Live Nation’s DC President Ted Mankin joined other local elected officials and arts and business community members to turn the first shovels of dirt to begin construction of the Silver Spring Fillmore, set to open in the Fall of 2011.

The Fillmore Silver Spring will have a capacity of 500 to 2,000 and will feature crystal chandeliers, hardwood floors, dark painted red walls, historic rock art posters – and the iconic barrel of complimentary apples at the door. It will be inspired by the original Fillmore in San Francisco, which launched the careers of such rock, soul and jazz legends as Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Miles Davis and Otis Redding.

The project will boost business in Silver Spring and is projected to return $1.7 million in public benefits annually for the County and State from the start – over and above construction costs.

For additional information on The Fillmore Silver Spring project, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fillmore

CATEGORIES: Economy , News
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 9:00:00 AM |

NCI Comes to Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently joined Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Harold Varmus, Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels, General Services Administration (GSA) officials, representatives from The JBG Companies and other officials to mark the start of construction on a new, $200 million satellite campus at the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center for 2,100 employees of the National Cancer Institute.

The JBG Companies was selected to develop the complex as twin, seven-story buildings with a parking garage and shops on nine acres overlooking a large pond. JBG will register with the U.S. Green Building Council, and will pursue LEED Gold certification. A transit stop on the future Corridor Cities Transitway will connect to the Shady Grove Metro station, which will be critical to the success of this transit-oriented project.

Read more details on press release.

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 8:00:00 AM |

Helping Kids Stay Safe


To promote pedestrian safety, as nearly 142,000 local children are back in school, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that new fixed pole speed cameras have been installed at White Oak Middle School, where speeding has been a chronic problem for many years. Two cameras were installed at the school – one for each direction of traffic on New Hampshire Ave. These are the first new, fixed pole cameras to be installed since 2009.

Police also announced that they will be enhancing traffic enforcement activities in school zones during the first few weeks of school.

Fixed pole speed cameras were first installed in Montgomery County in 2007. They have proven to be a deterrent to unsafe driving by reducing speeding. Montgomery County also uses mobile and portable cameras throughout the County in residential areas with speed limits of 35 mph or less or school zones. All locations are marked with “Photo Enforced” signs. A list of the speed enforcement areas is available on the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/safespeed.

Read more, on press release including safety advice for parents and kids. Plus, additional tips from the County’s Fire and Rescue Service.
CATEGORIES: Public Safety
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

September is National Preparedness Month; Residents Urged to Prepare for Hurricanes and Other Emergencies

September is National Preparedness Month, and residents are encouraged to be prepared for severe weather and other emergencies. With two more months remaining in the 2010 hurricane season, more storms could still bring high winds, flooding and power outages to the area.

Anyone who has not already signed up for the County’s Alert Montgomery notification system is encouraged to do so by going to https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov and selecting the types of emergency alerts they are interested in receiving regarding weather, severe traffic, schools, park and government facilities, athletic fields and public events; along with the devices they would like the messages sent to (cell phones, text pagers, wireless PDAs, home and work emails).

Read other tips and important phone numbers

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

More Emergency Information Online

A new flyer on emergency procedures for residents is now available online.

Entitled “What You Should Know When an Emergency Strikes in Montgomery County,” it includes information to help you prepare for a coming storm, provides tips for getting through a weather emergency and includes helpful phone numbers to call for assistance.

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Beat the End-of-Summer Blues

If you’re disappointed that summer is coming to an end and you have to say goodbye to vacations, trips to the outdoor pool, and cook-outs – here’s how to beat those end-of-summer blues.

Start the fall with a rousing good time at the Department of Recreation’s Back to Recreation fun-filled Open House on September 12, from noon to 4 p.m. There will be activities, demonstrations, games, prizes and tours for all ages. 

This sneak preview of all the fall activities offered by the Department of Recreation will be held at the following community centers: Bauer Drive, Damascus, Germantown, Longbranch, Marilyn Praisner and Potomac. 

Once you’ve seen everything that’s being offered this fall, you should register early to make sure you have your space reserved in the class or program of your choice. Registration is now open and it’s as easy as finding the Recreation and Parks Programs Guide online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec. Or, pick up a copy at community centers, aquatic centers, senior centers and County libraries.  

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 4:00:00 AM |


Free Community Shred Event Comes to County September 11

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Solid Waste Services reminds residents that they can shred personal confidential papers free of charge at the next NBC4 Safe &Secure Community Shred event on Saturday, September 11 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus, Lot #13 at the intersection of Route 355 (Hungerford Dr.) and Mannakee St.

Residents may bring up to five cardboard boxes and/or paper bags of personal papers for shredding. Cars must be in line by 11 a.m. All paper will be shredded on site. However, in the interest of safety and traffic flow, residents will not be able to observe their paper being shredded.

For details about what can be brought for shredding, plus other information, go to
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste and click on “Community Shred” paper shredding event.

Primary Election Results Online

Up-to-the moment election results for the September 14 Primary Election will be accessible on the Montgomery County home page to anyone with Internet access.

Early Voting returns will be tabulated on Election Day and will be available as soon after 8:00 p.m. as possible. Returns from Election Day polling places will be available beginning at 9:20 p.m. on September 14 and will be updated every 20 minutes. Citizens who do not have Internet access are invited to visit the Board of Elections, 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg, where election results will be displayed in the lower level training room as the votes are counted.

Results may be found at www.777vote.org, or at montgomerycountymd.gov/elections where an election-related logo will provide a link directly to the Board of Elections return page, as well as links to the Prince George’s County, state, and national election returns. The direct link to the Board of Elections returns page is www.777vote.org/electionresults/elec_results.html.

It’s the Smartest Card You Can Have

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) wants to make sure that local children have the smartest card of all – a library card. 

Activities for children and families at MCPL during Library Card Sign-up Month include preschool story-times, puppet theater performances and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. 

Getting a library card is easy.  For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit any Montgomery County public library, call Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001 or visit the library online at montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Round Up Dollars for a Good Cause

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Round Up program allows customers to round up their bills to the nearest dollar so that the proceeds go to help needy families that cannot afford their bills.

To learn more about the program, visit http://www.wsscwater.com/home/jsp/content/roundup.faces.

Volunteers Needed to Lead Bone Builders Classes in Wheaton, Silver Spring and Germantown

The County is looking for volunteers to teach free Bone Builders classes in several locations. The daytime classes help prevent and slow the development of osteoporosis and help regular participants increase bone density naturally.

Volunteer leaders are needed twice per week. Leaders receive a full day of free training and ongoing supervision by a master trainer. Training is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton.

Bone Builders is sponsored by Montgomery County’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Aging and Disability Services.

For information or to register for the training, contact Shawn Brennan at 240-777-1350 or shawn.brennan@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Ride On Service Changes Begin Sunday, September 5

The following changes in Ride On service will go into effect on Sunday, September 5:

  • Route segment eliminations on Routes 7, 22, 32, 33, 43
  • Frequency reductions on Routes 1 (Saturday only), 15, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 34, 36, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 56, 57, 60, 61, 70, 83, 93, 97, 100
  • Some shifts in trip times, but no change in the total number of trips operated, on Routes: 31, 39, 41, 45, 51, 63, T2 (Saturday and Sunday service operated by Ride On)

Riders are advised that the changes are likely to result in more crowded buses, but overall service
has been preserved.

Timetables and more information are available at montgomerycountymd.gov/rideon or by calling 311 (from within the County) or 240-777-0311 (outside the County).

FY11 Budget Information Online

The FY11 approved operating budget and capital budget books are available.

RainScapes Rebates Available for Eligible County Residents, Businesses, Faith Organizations, Private Schools

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) invites the public to participate in the RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program, which is designed to reduce stormwater impacts on the County’s streams and waterways.

The program rewards eligible residents, businesses, faith organizations, and private schools for installing rain gardens, conservation landscaping, canopy trees, permeable pavers, green roofs, cisterns, rain barrels or dry wells. New this year, pavement removal and replacement with vegetation is also a rebate eligible technique.

Residents can receive a maximum rebate of up to $1,200 per property. Commercial, multi-family and institutional properties can receive up to a $5,000 rebate per property

For more information about the program, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rainscapes, call Susan Koenig at 240-777-7702 or call RainScapes Rewards Coordinator, Ann English at 240-777-7759.

To apply online, go to RainScapes.application@montgomerycountymd.gov.

County Departments Become More Paper-less    

As directed by the County Executive, last year the County launched a paper and printing reduction initiative intended to reduce costs while reducing the environmental impact of government operations and building on the County’s strong track record of environmental leadership. The goal was to cut paper use 15% in a year and reduce the environmental impact of the approximately 66 million sheets of paper, thereby saving the County roughly $1 million. 

Through the hard work of County employees, the initial goal has been exceeded. In FY10, County departments achieved a 20% reduction in direct paper purchases and a 40% reduction from the original FY10 budget in print and mail expenditures, for a savings of $2.09 million.

A Chance to Give Back: Community Service Day October 23-24

How will you be a part of the 24th Annual Community Service Day? Plan a project now for October 23 or 24 and help make a difference in your community.

If your group already has a project planned for the weekend, tell us here. If your team is interested in signing up for a project, the list will be posted September 15! Tell us about your team, and a reminder will be sent the week of the 15th. For more information or questions, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteer or email servicedays@montgomerycountymd.gov.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 3:01:00 AM |


The Latest on Silver Spring’s Hit Parade

As urban parks go, it looks like the new Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring is a hit.  Take a look at http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=6718.

Department of Technology Services Receives National Recognition from Center for Digital Government

Montgomery County’s Department of Technology Services (DTS) received a 2010 Digital Government Achievement Award from the Center for Digital Government for its “H1N1 Flu Vaccine On-Line Appointment Booking System.” Montgomery County is one of only five award winners nationwide in the Government-to-Citizen County government award category.

The H1N1 system was developed by DTS in close collaboration with the County’s Department of Health and Human Services. It is among the first on-line flu vaccine scheduling systems developed by a jurisdiction within the State of Maryland. The H1N1 application supplements an existing telephone-based flu vaccination scheduling process.

The H1N1 system is accessible from home or office, and requires no special software or plug-ins to operate.

The Digital Government Achievement Awards recognize outstanding agency and department websites and projects at the application and infrastructure level. Fifty awards were given.

County’s Resource Recovery Facility Earns Gold Award

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has presented its 2010 Gold Waste to Energy Excellence Award to the Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) in Dickerson.

This marks the third time since 1998 that the County’s RRF has earned the award that honors the highest level of excellence among the nation’s nearly 100 waste to energy (WTE) facilities, and it is the fourth major award earned by the facility operated for the County by Covanta Montgomery, Inc.

The award recognizes all aspects of the facility, including engineering design systems and technologies, environmental impacts and regulatory compliance, performance, program planning, worker safety, economics and cost effectiveness, utilization of equipment/systems and technologies, public acceptance, appearance and aesthetics, and innovation and creativity. Read more.    

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 2:00:00 AM |


Friday, September 17, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  -- Effective Resume Writing presented at the Commission for Women’s offices, 401 Hungerford Dr., First Floor, Rockville.  Learn how to design a resume that is best suited to your skills, experience and employment goals. Topics will include various resume formats, using transferable skills, references and valuable tips to make your resume a successful marketing tool. Presented by Elena Chiru, M.Ed. Register and pay the $20 fee online using VISA and Mastercard. Since seating is limited, this is the fastest way to reserve a place in the seminar. To register and pay online, click here. To register and pay over the phone by credit card, call 240-777-8300. Print out the brochure, fill out the registration form and mail it to us along with your payment. Click here to print form

African Heritage Month Activities – Throughout September. Sunday, September 5, 10 a.m. – African Heritage Month Labor Day Event at the Viking Center, 15212 Dino Drive, Burtonsville; Saturday, September 18, 4 to 9 p.m. – Pan African Cultural Festival at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring; and Tuesday, September 21, 5 to 10 p.m. – Africa Leadership Congress, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. Montgomery County was the first in the nation to proclaim the month of September as African Heritage Month.  For more information, contact the Office of Community Partnerships at 240-777-2584.

POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 1:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010