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Check http://montgomerycomd.blogspot.com for new location of Paperless Airplane.
POSTED: Tuesday, August 07, 2012 | 2:58:00 PM |

It Just Keeps Coming… and Coming… and Coming


Tree debris from the storm is unloaded at the Transfer Station.

A worker is dwarfed by a small mountain of tree debris.

A load of mulch is topped off. The mulch is picked up by Grant County Mulch and eventually sold commercially.

That would be truckload after truckload of tree debris from the derecho that struck our area on June 29 arriving daily at the County’s Processing Facility and Transfer Station. There are still about 600 - 700 vehicles/day dropping off above-average amounts of large tree debris.

All in all, more than 80,000 cubic yards have come into the Transfer Station, alone, since the storm. Enough, so far, to fill about 1,000 53-foot tractor trailers.

And, still, there’s more to come.

POSTED: Friday, July 20, 2012 | 9:00:00 AM |

Storm Aftermath: Use Caution Hiring Contractors to Repair Damage

The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) warns county residents to be cautious when hiring contractors to repair damage caused by the recent severe storm and advises consumers to do their homework before signing a contract for any home repair or improvement, or tree service work.

Among the tips offered to residents by OCP are:

Don’t panic and hire someone because they are the only company that can come out to the house right away. Make sure the home improvement contractor is licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) by calling 410-230-6309 or check online.

For tree service or removal, check to see if the business is a licensed tree expert with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources ( DNR), Forestry Division at 410-260-8521 or online at www.dnr.maryland.gov.

See more tips and details.

POSTED: Friday, July 20, 2012 | 8:00:00 AM |

Celebrate the Fourth at Home with Glory and Sparkle

Montgomery County will again host two Independence Day fireworks displays on July 4 -- Germantown Glory at the SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds and Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Rd., Kensington.

Both fireworks displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

The rain date for fireworks only is July 5.

See details for parking, entertainment and directions.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 9:00:00 AM |

County Holiday Schedule for Independence Day

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4:

  • County Offices – closed
  • Libraries – closed
  • County liquor stores – open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Recreation – Aquatic facilities will be open. Germantown Indoor Swim Center will close at 3 p.m. and all other aquatic facilities will close at 6 p.m. Aquatic classes will meet as scheduled; all other programs and classes are cancelled; administrative offices and senior and community centers are closed.
  • Ride On – Saturday schedule
  • Metrobus – Saturday schedule
  • Metrorail – 4th of July special service
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection*
  • Transfer Station – closed
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Administrative Offices – closed
  • State offices & courts – closed

*All collections scheduled on or after the holiday will be made one day later that week.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 8:00:00 AM |

County Launches New Website with Different Look, Improved Features

The web address for the County’s newly launched website may be the same -- www.montgomerycountymd.gov.-- but that’s where the similarity to the previous site ends. The redesigned site has a fresh look, new and enhanced features, and easier and more straightforward navigation tools.

Designed by the County’s Department of Technology Services and Office of Public Information, the new site was upgraded in response to users’ requests for certain improvements. One of the enhancements is greater accessibility for disabled and non-English speaking constituents.

Other improvements include:

  • maintaining consistent branding while improving navigation and usability;
  • utilizing more screen real estate;
  • supporting popular desktop and mobile devices and browsers;
  • incorporating and/or interfacing with emerging technologies including a new content management system, C311, social networking sites and cloud services to more cost-effectively collaborate with and deliver content to user communities; and
  • improving the County’s competitive standing to better attract residents and businesses.

For more information, call 240-777-6507.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 7:00:00 AM |

Open for Business: White Oak Community Recreation Center

The County’s newest recreation center is open for business following its dedication and grand opening ceremony on June 23.

The center, that sits on 10 acres at 1700 April La. in Silver Spring, provides a spacious social hall with full-service kitchen, community rooms and an expansive arts and crafts studio.

Exercise and fitness amenities include a full-size gymnasium, state-of-the-art exercise and fitness room, outdoor athletic courts and playgrounds, skate spot, multiple purpose athletic fields and Montgomery County Recreation’s first rock climbing wall.
An additional unique feature of the center is the dedicated space that will serve as the White Oak Community Senior Center.

For more information, call Montgomery County Recreation at 240-777-6820, or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 6:00:00 AM |

“The right vote” -- The Gazette’s editorial, May 16, 2012

“The County Council made the right call Tuesday in approving County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposal to resurrect a controversial “fee” for ambulance service — despite the fact that voters overturned a similar measure through referendum in 2010.

“Opponents of the bill — which consist mostly of volunteer fire companies whose members fear the legislation will soften their ability to raise money — have pledged to again take the measure to referendum.

“However, if the bill does go to referendum in November, voters likely will approve it this time. The firmer, 6-to-3 support of the council for the measure, along with a promised effort by Leggett to better inform the public what the bill actually does — as opposed to what opponents claim it does — should be enough to convince voters they have nothing to fear.

“As several council supporters of the bill made clear before the vote, the term “fee” is a misnomer. Montgomery County residents already pay for ambulance service through their taxes and through the premiums they pay to health insurers

“The bill will not require county residents having to cough up cash for an ambulance ride. It merely allows the county government to seek reimbursement from insurance companies for the cost of ambulance rides, just as hospitals seek reimbursement from insurers for treating patients.

“Nearly all of Montgomery’s neighboring jurisdictions collect such reimbursements for ambulance service, while Montgomery effectively leaves that money sitting on the table. The only people who would directly pay for ambulance rides in Montgomery would be out-of-county residents who have no insurance, though they would be eligible for a hardship waiver.

“Billing insurers would generate roughly $72 million over the next four fiscal years that the county otherwise wouldn’t collect, according to the executive’s office. That money would go to the county’s fire and rescue service.

“Critics of the bill — particularly County Councilmember Phil Andrews — have accused Leggett of disregarding or circumventing the people’s will by reintroducing the bill less.

“But Leggett rightly pointed out when he resurrected the measure in April that the county’s fiscal situation has changed since the vote. Most importantly, Montgomery is facing the cost of shouldering a larger chunk of the cost of public teacher pensions, which the state historically has paid.

“(The General Assembly was working out the details of the pension shift in this week’s special session in Annapolis; during the regular General Assembly session, Leggett estimated the shift would cost Montgomery $125 million in the next three fiscal years.)

“In explaining their vote on the bill, several supporters on the council said they were swayed by amendments Leggett offered that would create an education campaign designed to explain the legislation to residents and a patient advocate in the Office of Consumer Protection to handle complaints and service problems related to the reimbursement.

“Several also criticized what they called a ‘misinformation’ campaign opponents mounted during the 2010 referendum battle that sought to convince voters that passage of the bill would mean that residents would be forced to pay out-of-pocket fees for ambulance rides.

“Leggett clearly learned lessons from the bruising referendum battle of 2010 and this time made an effort to meet some of the opponents concerns and to ensure that residents are clear about what the bill achieves — and, just as importantly, what it doesn’t.

“Kudos to the council for not bending to the false assertion that passage of this bill somehow subverts democracy in Montgomery County.”

POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 | 8:00:00 AM |

Taste of Wheaton: A Treat for the Senses

Downtown Wheaton will host the 17th annual Taste of Wheaton on Sunday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Grandview Ave. and Reedie Dr. 

This year’s line up of restaurants will include longtime favorites Hollywood East Café, Moby Dick Sushi, Los Cobanos and Marchone’s Italian Deli, plus newcomers The Limerick Pub and Green Plate Catering.  All will offer food samples at prices ranging from $1 to $5 per “taste.” Wine and cocktail pairings with menu items from selected restaurants will also be featured.

In addition to a variety of food, there will be live music and entertainment.

All of Triangle Lane and portions of Grandview Avenue will be closed during the event

CATEGORIES: News , Calendar
POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 | 7:00:00 AM |

Retool, Recharge, Reinvent at the 50+ Employment Expo with News4’s Pat Collins

News4’s general assignment reporter Pat Collins will be the keynote speaker at this year’s 50+ Employment Expo that will also provide day-long seminars and numerous other opportunities for job searches for those over 50. The free expo will be held on Monday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Rd.

Recruiters representing dozens of employers -- including non-profits, government, healthcare, retail and technology – will be on hand to talk about opportunities. In addition to seminars on Online Applications and Changing Careers, there will be resume help and tips and how-to’s on surfing the internet for jobs and website lists.

See the flyer. 

Register online.

For more information and/or ADA accommodations, email mgordon@AccessJCA.org or call 301-255-4209.

POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 | 5:00:00 AM |

Website Gets New Look; Feedback Invited

Montgomery County’s award-winning website has been redesigned with a fresh look, new and enhanced features, and easier, more straightforward navigation tools.

Designed by the County’s Department of Technology Services and Office of Public Information, the new site was upgraded in response to users’ requests for certain improvements. For example, there is now greater accessibility for the disabled.

During this soft launch period, visitors to the site are encouraged to respond to a brief user survey about the site. The survey can be found on the soft launch site (look for the big yellow check mark). Comments will be read and evaluated and further changes to the web portal will be made before it is officially launched in the coming months.

Website users can view and use the “soft” launch site at http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov

For more information, call 240-777-6507. 

POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 | 4:30:00 AM |

Urban Park will Enhance Germantown Town Center Area

The Germantown Town Center Urban Park, that will be a key element in completing the Germantown Town Center, took one more step toward becoming reality when a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony was held recently for the project.

The 8.8-acre urban park -- located on land adjacent to the Germantown Library --  will include open space, trails, boardwalks, gathering areas and enhanced wetland areas for education.

Public art components, created by artist David Hess, will complement the cultural setting of the library and the nearby BlackRock Arts Center while serving as gathering spaces.

Hess will create three large pergolas, using more than 14,000 feet of twisted stainless steel material, formed atop six large natural boulders. The pergolas will create gathering places within a raised plaza overlooking a formal lawn and the existing wetlands. Hess will also build sculptural handrails and benches within the park.

The park is slated for completion in 2014.

POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012 | 3:30:00 AM |

Another Show Debuts on County Cable 6

“Mosaic: An African American Perspective,” produced by the Office of Public Information, debuted on County Cable Montgomery on April 23.

Produced monthly, the 30-minute show is hosted by Deborah Milo. The initial show focuses on the life and legacy of the late Roscoe Nix, a civil rights leader, NAACP president and past member of the Montgomery County Board of Education. Special guests Odessa Shannon, Ruby Rubens and Dr. Paul Vance discuss their personal memories of Nix and his legacy of leadership as a fearless and tireless advocate for educational excellence and social, economic and political justice.

Future episodes will focus on the Office of Human Rights’ annual civil rights bus tour and interviews with African American leaders in the community.

“Mosaic: An African American Perspective” can be seen on Channel 6 on the Comcast and RCN cable systems and Channel 30 on Verizon.

Check the schedule of show times or see it online.  Click on Schedule or Programs and look for Mosaic.

For more information about the show, call 240-777-6507.

POSTED: Thursday, April 26, 2012 | 5:00:00 AM |

Remaining Focus Group Meetings Scheduled for Community Input About Future of Comcast Cable Television Services

Montgomery County has rescheduled three of the previously scheduled free focus group meetings seeking community input to help determine what kinds of cable services the public is interested in receiving as part of a new cable television franchise agreement with Comcast. The company’s current 15-year franchise agreement with the County expires on July 1, 2013, and the County will begin negotiations with Comcast this summer for a new franchise agreement which will address past performance, customer service and new technologies.

The three rescheduled focus groups will take place as follows:

  • Youth Focus Group – Tuesday, April 17, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place;
  • Consumers Focus Group – Tuesday, April 17, 7 – 9 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place; and
  • Spanish-Speaking Community Focus Group – Thursday, April 19, 6 – 8 p.m. at  the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity, 2424 Reedie Dr, First Floor, Wheaton.

To register for a focus group, go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SGYF9KH, or contact Marjorie Williams at 240-777-3762; email Marjorie.williams@montgomerycountymd.gov.

POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 5:00:00 AM |

Recent Groundbreakings Signal Start of Work on Two County Facilities

Animal Shelter

Ground has been broken for the new Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center, to be located at the intersection of Muncaster Mill and Airpark roads in Derwood. The new facility, which is expected to open in the summer of 2013, will replace the current outdated shelter on Rothgeb Drive that lacks sufficient space and equipment to meet current needs.

In Fiscal Year 2011, the Police Department’s Animal Services Division and the shelter operator, the Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS), received 12,561 animal-related calls for service and the shelter staff handled 7,713 domestic and wild animals. In addition, MCHS reunited 1,163 lost pets with their owners and coordinated adoptions of 2,811 domestic animals to new homes.

At 49,160 gross square feet, the eventual three-building complex will greatly expand the County’s ability to safely and hygienically care for animals; as well as serve as a public adoption center and community education resource for animal care issues.

Read more details.

Plum Gar Recreation Center

The renovated center, scheduled to open in the summer of 2013, will serve the East Germantown area and provide recreation and leisure services to all residents.

Facilities will include a full-size gymnasium, 150-seat social hall, catering kitchen, conference room, game room, weight and exercise room, multipurpose activities room and computer lab. Programs will include a wide range of activities and classes for all ages, an after-school program, senior program, open gym sports, drop-in games and more. The center is located on Scenery Dr. in Germantown.

See more details on the project

POSTED: Friday, February 03, 2012 | 8:00:00 AM |

The Bag Law Arrives with the New Year

As everyone knows by now, January 1 brought not only football, resolutions and parties to Montgomery County, but the new carryout bag law. Under the law, a five-cent charge is placed on each paper or plastic carryout bag provided by retail establishments in the County to customers at the point of sale, pickup or delivery. However, shoppers can avoid the charge by bringing their own reusable bags.

The revenues that are collected -- above administrative costs -- will go to the County’s Water Quality Protection Fund that pays for things such as stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up. Plastic bags are one of the top four items found in County streams and stormwater controls. And, taxpayers bear the financial burden of cleaning up or removing this litter -- more than $3 million a year in Montgomery County for code enforcement, street sweeping and litter clean-up. That’s why the more people who use reusable bags and the less revenue the County receives the better it is for taxpayers who save money on cleanup and for our waterways that can then remain clean and healthy. It’s not about the money, it’s about doing the right thing for the environment.

On January 3, County Executive Ike Leggett handed out hundreds of reusable bags to shoppers at the Safeway in Hillandale, while Council President Roger Berliner and volunteers distributed hundreds more around the County. Throughout that one day, nearly 1,000 bags were given out among sites at: downtown Bethesda, Little Bitts cake and candy supply store in Wheaton, Walmart in Germantown and the Safeway at King Farm. All told, more than 40,000 bags have been distributed so far, with another 30,000 to come.

Various local businesses have stepped up to donate bags which have gone, primarily, to low-income families/individuals and seniors through local non-profits and other organizations serving these populations. Thanks to the retailers who have helped as many residents as possible receive bags and to the volunteers who gave out bags at each site.

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 6:00:00 AM |

Why Paper Bags, Too?

From the time the bag law was proposed by the County Executive in March and passed by the County Council in May, residents have come forth with a range of questions, which are now found in the FAQs on the bag website – www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bag.

One question is “Why are paper bags included?”

Short answer is that both paper and plastic bags consume enormous amounts of natural resources and cause significant pollution. Statistics indicate that each year, Americans use about 10 million paper bags and some 14 million trees are cut down annually for paper bag production. In addition, chemicals are used to process wood pulp to paper, and paper that isn’t recycled and ends up in landfills cannot completely degrade due to the lack of water, light and oxygen.

A more detailed, graphic explanation simply entitled “Paper or Plastic?” was presented in The Washington Post’s “More Than Meets The Eye” feature back in 2007.

 See for yourself and decide. 

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 5:50:00 AM |

How Healthy are Reusable Bags?

Another point raised in some blogs, emails and letters to the editor is about the cleanliness and health of reusable bags.

A study done in June 2010 by the University of Arizona in Tucson and Loma Linda University in California presented evidence of various forms of bacteria such as E. coli in reusable shopping bags.

Not as many people, however, seem to know about a study done by Consumer Reports (CR) in response that reveals some interesting findings about the Arizona and Loma Linda study.

  • For starters, it was funded by the American Chemical Council, the advocacy group for plastics manufacturers.
  • And, CR found no strains of Salmonella and Listeria nor any E. coli that could make one sick. In fact, Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union noted, “A person eating an average bag of salad greens gets more exposure to these bacteria than if they had licked the insides of the dirtiest bag from this study. These bacteria can be found lots of places, so no need to go overboard.”

But, read more about the Consumer Reports study and make up your own mind.

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 5:40:00 AM |

Seattle Gets on the “Bagwagon”; Bans Plastic Bags, Charges a Nickel for Paper Grocery Bags

Long known as a pioneer in environmental issues, the City of Seattle, in late December, passed a new law that bans all plastic single-use bags and institutes a five-cent charge for paper grocery bags.  Like Montgomery County’s law, the Seattle legislation applies to grocery, retail and convenience stores.

An earlier version of the legislation that carried a 20-cent fee for paper and plastic bags was defeated.

Read about the Seattle law.

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 5:30:00 AM |

Will Shoppers Change Their Habits and Bring Reusable Bags?

According to a WJLA-Channel 7 online poll “Montgomery County bag fee: Will it change your habits?” nearly 78% percent of those who responded said they would bring their own bags, while 22% said they’d pay the nickel per bag.

POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 5:20:00 AM |

Leggett Announces Cross-Agency Effort to Streamline Building and Land Development Process

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has announced a major cross-agency effort that will make meaningful changes to the development application process by streamlining reviews and inspections.
As an initial step, the County is consolidating construction inspections currently being done by the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS). The Montgomery County Planning Board (MCPB) is kicking off this effort with a change in how it reviews DPS-issued building permits
Leggett explained the need for the initiative. “Currently, it takes from one to three years to get through development review and zoning approvals, and obtain building permits. This lengthy time frame ultimately impacts the costs of housing and commercial space and affects residential and commercial end users. Our objective is to eliminate redundant and inconsistent reviews and to shorten the time it takes to navigate the process without compromising quality.”
Photo. Joining Leggett  (at podium) were (from left) Council member and PHED Committee Chair Nancy Floreen, County Council President Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier, Director of Department of Permitting Services Diane Jones and Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers.
POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 5:15:00 AM |

If You Gave a Bag, You Got a Bag

During this season of giving, Montgomery County firefighters from Station 23 on Rollins Ave. in Rockville, their friend Sparky and Fire Chief Richard Bowers (in white shirt) found a way to help spread the word about the County’s new bag law that takes effect January 1 while doing a good deed for families in need.

Participating in the annual FOX 5 Stuff-A-Truck campaign, held at Giant food locations throughout the area the first weekend in December, the County firefighters took donations at the Montrose Crossing Shopping Center on Rockville Pike. In return, the donors received a reusable shopping bag from the County to use before and after the new bag law goes into effect.

Under the law, retailers will charge customers 5 cents for each plastic and paper bag they receive at checkout. Four cents of the five will go to water quality protection and litter cleanup in the County and help to defray the $3 million per year spent by the County to clean up litter.

We hear that the "give a bag/get a bag" effort was very popular with folks stopping by the event to donate bags of food, and Chief Bowers gave out some holiday safety tips, as well.

POSTED: Friday, December 09, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |

Free Webinars on Bag Law Still Available for Retailers

To help inform retailers about the carryout bag law (Bill No. 8-11) that begins January 1, 2012, Montgomery County is continuing to offer free webinars with County staff.  To participate, a retailer will need a computer connected to the internet to view the presentation and a telephone to connect toll-free to hear the audio portion.

There is one more in December and two in January (additional sessions will be added if needed):

  • Tuesday, Dec. 20, 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 10:30 a.m.

For more details on how to participate in the webinars, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/BAG and click on the Retailers page. 

CATEGORIES: News , Code Enforcement
POSTED: Friday, December 09, 2011 | 4:00:00 AM |

The World of Montgomery Comes to Wheaton

If you want to travel without leaving the area, then plan to be in Wheaton on Sunday October 16, when the sounds, tastes and crafts of the world go on display at the World of Montgomery Festival to be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Wheaton Triangle, Reedie Dr. and Grandview Ave. It's just one block from the Wheaton Metro station on the Red Line.

The festival celebrates, explores and shares the diverse cultural heritages which play an active role in the lives of Montgomery County residents and communities. There will be music and dance performances by County-based artists, food and craft vendors, and a hands-on cultural education area and health fair. Local non-profit organizations and County agencies will also be represented.

To apply as a craft vendor or exhibitor, download the application in Word or PDF.
To apply as a food vendor, download the application here.

For general questions regarding the event, click here or contact Sidney Cooper at 240-777-8106.

POSTED: Friday, September 30, 2011 | 6:30:00 AM |

Supporting a Good Cause: County's Family Justice Center Foundation Benefit

On Sunday, October 2, the Montgomery County Family Justice Center Foundation will hold its 2nd annual benefit at the Hilton Rockville, 1750 Rockville Pike, to support the vital work of the center which -- as part of an international network of more than 60 family-friendly centers -- provides victims of domestic violence and their children essential services all under one roof -- from care to court -- free of charge.

The event, chaired by Catherine Leggett, will honor four award recipients for their support of domestic violence prevention and those in need. In addition, Mrs. Leggett also will announce that the Family Room at the Family Justice Center will be named for the late Judge James Stephen McAuliffe, Jr. as a tribute to his commitment to reducing domestic violence.

For information about Benefit tickets, or ongoing contributions, e-mail mcfjcfoundation@yahoo.com, visit the Foundation's website at www.mcfjcfoundation.org or contact Resa Levy, Foundation executive director, at 301-509-6832.

POSTED: Friday, September 30, 2011 | 3:30:00 AM |

September 11, 2001: Montgomery County Remembers

Community Remembrance, September 9

The public is invited to attend a “September 11 Community Remembrance” ceremony on Friday, September 9 at 12:30 p.m. in Courthouse Square Park in Rockville. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the ceremony is planned as a time for remembrance and tribute to the victims, their families, emergency responders and members of the military.

Local elected officials, including County Executive Ike Leggett, County Council President Valerie Ervin and Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, will participate in the program that will include remarks by a family member of one of the Montgomery County victims.

Musical selections by the Montgomery County Police Gospel Choir will complete the program. Members of Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) and the Montgomery County and City of Rockville Police will also participate. The MCFRS Pipe and Drum Corps will perform.

For more information about the memorial park or the ceremony, call Judy Stiles in the Department of Recreation at 240-777-6875.

Interfaith Prayer Service, September 11

An interfaith prayer service will be held on Sunday, September 11 at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, 100 Welsh Park Dr. The service is open to the public and to all faith groups, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, as well as secular groups.

 For more information about the interfaith prayer service, call Rev. Lynn Strauss at 301-762-7666.

Germantown Remembers…, September 12

“Germantown Remembers … A Commemoration of 9/11” will be held from noon to 12:30 p.m. at BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr.

The program will feature remarks by County Executive Ike Leggett and Ground Zero survivor Peter Ahearn.

The National Anthem will be performed by the Seneca Valley High School Chamber Choir, under the direction of Michelle A. Searle. The colors will be presented by the Montgomery County Police (MCPD), Sheriff’s Office, Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, and Fire Rescue Service color guard. The Invocation will be presented by MCPD Volunteer Chaplain Sean Libby and other faith leaders of the community.

CATEGORIES: News , Calendar
POSTED: Thursday, September 08, 2011 | 7:00:00 AM |


Sheriff’s Office K-9s to Benefit from Steelers Quarterback’s Foundation

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced the first grant of the 2011 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund has been awarded to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

The Sheriff’s Office will use the grant to purchase four “K-9 Storm” bullet-proof vests to help protect the department’s four highly specialized canine teams. All members of the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit are trained as dual purpose K-9s for the detection of explosives as well as patrol functions.

 See our K9 stars and their officers.

County Sheriff Darren M. Popkin said, "The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation program recognizes the importance of well-trained K-9 teams as part of our overall law enforcement efforts. Montgomery County Sheriff's Office K-9 dogs are cross trained for search, patrol and explosive detection duties. The grant funds will provide our dogs with vests that protect them from attacks with firearms and knifes while engaged in their duties."

The foundation is distributing grants to police and fire departments in Pittsburgh and in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers in the 2011 season. Police and fire departments in the nine away-game cities were invited to submit proposals detailing their needs. The Steelers play the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday, September 11.

For more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund visit www.bigben7.com or www.givingback.org.

Patch.com Lists Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Volunteers and Staff as One of its “Picks”

Citing people who help make Rockville great in a recent edition, Patch.com  (Rockville) included the volunteers and staff of the Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). In a nod to MCPL’s 60th anniversary celebration, the write-up said, in part: “County libraries offer thousands of books that can be borrowed by county residents with a free library card. They also offer a quiet study environment, children's story hours, meet-the-author events and other free programs.”

 Check out the full writeup.

The Senior Connection Recognized for Expanded Service Delivery

The Senior Connection, a nonprofit agency that helps adults age 62 and over live independently in Montgomery County, has been recognized for the second time by the "2011-12 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington" for its efforts that expanded service delivery by 37 percent over the past year and now assists seniors in Gaithersburg and Germantown.

Based in the Holiday Park Senior Center on 3950 Ferrara Dr. in Silver Spring, the agency helps senior adults live independently by connecting them with volunteers who provide free transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, social visits and other basic support needs.

Read more about the Senior Connection’s honor.

CATEGORIES: News , Senior , Public Safety
POSTED: Thursday, September 08, 2011 | 2:00:00 AM |

Field of Miracles -- It was Built so They may Play

A warm, sunny summer day and lots of sunny smiles were the order of the day as the Washington Nationals Miracle Field located in the South Germantown Recreational Park became a reality. Gathering for the ribbon cutting ceremony were state and local elected officials; Washington Nationals players/coaches, mascot, broadcaster, members of the Lerner family; and enthusiastic children/players and proud parents.

The Miracle Field is the new home for the Miracle League of Montgomery County that provides children -- in the County, as well as Maryland, the District and Virginia -- with mental and/or physical challenges the opportunity to safely play baseball. The field features a cushioned synthetic turf that allows children using wheelchairs and walkers to "run" the bases without fear of injury.

Construction of the field was funded in part by private contributions from the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Bethesda, in addition to public funds from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Miracle Field is part of the larger park, located at 17950 Germantown Park Dr., which also includes the Maryland SoccerPlex, a swim center, an archery range and a driving range.

POSTED: Friday, August 12, 2011 | 6:00:00 AM |

Crime Down in County for 2010 – Lower Rates Part of a 12 Percent Decrease over Past Four Years

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger has announced that total crime for 2010 decreased 7.5% from 2009 and Part I violent crimes decreased by 13.5%. 

The new figures contribute to a 12% decrease in total crime reported in the County in the past four years (71,491 crimes in 2007 to 62,944 crimes in 2010).  The data also shows a 15% decrease (25,629 to 21,739) in the Part I violent crimes recorded during this same period. This is in spite of a population increase of nearly 4% in the County from 941,491 people in 2007 to 971,777 in 2010.

Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for year-end 2009 compared to year-end 2010 show:

  • Part I Crime   decreased by 13.5% (from 25,131 to 21,739)
  • Part II Crime  decreased by 3.9% (from 42,895 to 41,205)
  • Overall, Total Crime (Part I & Part II) decreased by 7.5% (from 68,026 to 62,944)

Part I crimes are defined as: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. 

Part II crimes are defined as: minor assaults, arson, forgery-counterfeiting, bad checks, embezzlement, stolen property, vandalism, weapons offenses, prostitution, sex offenses, controlled dangerous substance violations, gambling, family offenses, juvenile offenses, liquor law violations, disorderly conduct, suicide and non-traffic offenses.

Read the entire rundown of categories.

CATEGORIES: Public Safety , News
POSTED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 9:00:00 AM |

The U.S. Open Championship Returns to Congressional CC

Montgomery County is proud to welcome the 2011 U.S. Open Championship, being held through June 19 at Congressional Country Club. Conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA), the 111th Open is expected to draw large crowds each day.

Since there will be no general spectator parking onsite or around Congressional Country Club, three parking sites with shuttle bus service have been designated to serve spectators. The two Montgomery County sites are at the Fairgrounds and at the Crown Farm, both in Gaithersburg. Signs will direct spectators to both sites.  The third site is at Dulles Airport.  Spectators using these lots will go through security screenings before boarding the buses.

For information on transportation options, traffic impacts and other U.S. Open information, visit the County’s homepage at www.montgomerycountymd.gov and click on the U.S, Open icon.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 8:30:00 AM |

We’re Open Discount Card Available through June 30

To help welcome visitors coming to the County for the U.S. Open and to encourage visitors and local residents to dine, shop and stay in the County via a targeted discount card program, the County has introduced the “We’re Open” campaign.

The major component of the campaign is a discount card program that allows anyone with the card, or a U.S. Open ticket, official badge or discount card printout, to take advantage of a variety of discounts from an array of participating local businesses through June 30.

The discount card will be distributed to local residents, spectators and volunteers of the 2011 U.S. Open Championship. In addition, the cards will be placed in each of the nearly 10,000 hotel rooms in Montgomery County during the U.S. Open Championship.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 8:00:00 AM |

Ground Broken for Judicial Center’s New Annex

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, County Council members Nancy Floreen, Phil Andrews, Marc Elrich and Craig Rice, John W. Debelius III, administrative judge for the Montgomery County Circuit Court and Sixth Judicial Circuit, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony held recently for the Judicial Center Annex, located next to the existing Judicial Center at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

The project will add to the Judicial Center Circuit Court Building 10 additional courtrooms, administrative space, one level of underground parking and a top level for mechanical equipment.  Participating were (from left): retired Judge Ann Harrington, Judge Debelius, County Executive Leggett and County Councilmembers Floreen, Andrews,  Elrich and Rice.

See plans of the project.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |

Villages Blueprint – How to Start a Senior Village

Montgomery County’s “Village Blueprint,” a step-by-step guide created to support communities within the County and throughout the region that want to start a Senior Village organization in their neighborhood, is now available at all branches of Montgomery County Public Libraries. Senior “Villages” provide grassroots services to combat social isolation, improve mobility and enhance access to services for seniors.

The Village Blueprint is a “how-to” manual on starting, organizing, administering and sustaining a Village. In addition to public libraries, copies of the Blueprint are available at the County’s five regional services centers. Download Village Blue Print: Building a Community For All Ages (PDF). 

Villages are a national movement that began in Beacon Hill, MA. A Senior Village is a grass roots organization created to provide older adults with lifestyle choices that include continuing to live in their own homes.

According to an AARP study, nearly 90 percent of adults 50 and older want to stay in their current home and community as they age. The Village movement supports “aging in place.” County Executive Ike Leggett has been actively engaged in and committed to supporting the growth of Villages in Montgomery County.

First released in September 2010, the Blueprint was produced in partnership with Family & Nursing Care, a local resource for private duty home care since 1968.

CATEGORIES: Senior , News
POSTED: Friday, May 06, 2011 | 3:00:00 AM |

Pepco Work Group Presents Final Report to Leggett; More Than 50 Recommendations Listed

Pepco Final Report to Mr Leggett

The Pepco Work Group, appointed last October by County Executive Ike Leggett to investigate causes for Pepco’s frequent and lengthy electricity outages in Montgomery County, has presented its final report to the Executive.

Included in the 192-page document are 30 recommendations for Pepco, six to local governments and 20 for the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) that regulates public utilities in the state.

Leggett commended the Work Group members for their diligence and dedication to addressing the issues associated with their task. “Given Chairman Norman Augustine’s results-oriented background and the credentials of the group as a whole, I knew this final report would present some viable options for solutions to the issue at hand. And, I am pleased with the blueprint that this report presents for action.

“I also want to thank everyone who responded in some way and provided feedback to the Work Group,” Leggett said. “Your responses have been instrumental in helping the members of the group formulate their recommendations.”

The Work Group’s transmittal letter to Leggett, signed by Chairman Augustine, said, “While much needs to be accomplished, largely by Pepco itself, the single most important action that can be taken by those outside the company is to establish a carefully considered, aggressive package of financial incentives and punishments that appropriately align Pepco’s priorities with those of the community.”

For more details on the Work Group and the County’s past interactions with Pepco, visit the Pepco Reliability page.

CATEGORIES: County Executive , News
POSTED: Friday, April 29, 2011 | 8:00:00 AM |

Executive Introduces Carryout Bag Legislation; Environmental Programs Would Benefit

County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed new legislation that would place a five-cent charge on each paper or plastic carryout bag provided by retail establishments in the County to customers at the point of sale, pickup or delivery. Retailers would receive a one-cent rebate on each plastic bag to help cover administrative costs. The new law would take effect January 1, 2012.

Revenues from the tax -- estimated at about $1.5 million in the first year -- would be directed to the Water Quality Protection Fund (WQPF) that pays for things such as stormwater management, watershed restoration and litter clean-up. Plastic bags are one of the top four items found in County streams and stormwater controls. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff said that in 2009 the County spent approximately $3 million for litter prevention and clean-up programs.

To read the law and see other facts about plastic bag pollution, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/trashfree. Also, see news release.

CATEGORIES: County Executive , News , Tax
POSTED: Friday, March 18, 2011 | 9:00:00 AM |

Full Service Website Now Available on New Zoning Laws

Residents are invited to learn more about the new zoning laws that will go into effect on April 24 that are designed to help protect and maintain the residential character of neighborhoods by checking out the new “Being Good Neighbors” website.

From there, you can connect to:

  • the informational brochure with information on each of the news laws, plus enforcement procedures
  • the legislation and
  • more than half a dozen resources with links to more information on the various new laws

Also, see the brochure in Spanish.

CATEGORIES: Public Safety , Code Enforcement , News
POSTED: Friday, March 18, 2011 | 8:00:00 AM |

New Civil War Documentary on Website

In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Heritage Montgomery has produced a 60-minute documentary film on the history of the Civil War in Montgomery County. Entitled Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War, the video features historic and contemporary images of local heritage sites, Civil War re-enactors, and panoramas of unchanged rural landscapes.

The documentary was produced by Heritage Montgomery, written and directed by Barbara Grunbaum of G2 Media, and is enhanced by a soundtrack containing performances by the Washington Revels.

Life in a War Zone can be downloaded via iTunes from the Heritage Montgomery website -- www.HeritageMontgomery.org. The accompanying 32-page booklet, “A Guide to the Civil War in Montgomery County” is currently available under the “Sites” tab at the Civil War Sesquicentennial dropdown.

Paper copies may be requested by calling Heritage Montgomery at 301-515-0753 or emailing lori@heritagemontgomery.org.

POSTED: Friday, March 18, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |

A New Look at Montgomery County on WETA

The WETA Guide to Montgomery County, a new local documentary from WETA TV 26, explores the communities, cultural offerings, activities and history of Montgomery County. The latest in The WETA Guide series, the one-hour local production film looks at the County’s bustling cities, smaller towns and rural landscapes and explores more than 20 different features of the County.

The show offers ideas for day trips, adventures or an evening out. From Bethesda to Damascus and Olney to Sandy Spring, the program showcases the communities, arts and cultural offerings, activities and history of the area.

To learn more about the documentary, take a “favorite things” poll, see a map of the featured locations and more, go to: http://www.weta.org/tv/local/wetaguide/montgomery.

A complete WETA program schedule is available at www.weta.org.

Viewers can watch WETA TV 26 over the air on channel 26.4, and on Comcast 26 and 267, Cox 26 and 802, Dish 8076, FiOS 26 and 471, and RCN 164. WETA HD is available over the air on channel 26.1, and on Comcast 220, Cox 726, FiOS 526, Direct TV 26 and 26-1, and RCN 613.

POSTED: Friday, March 18, 2011 | 4:00:00 AM |

Putting ARRA Funds to Work – Transportation Projects Spell Local Improvements

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation has received nearly $15.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding designed to help local governments jumpstart their economies. The funded projects -- designed to help improve the County’s economy and transportation infrastructure -- have either been completed or are underway.

The Division of Highway Services (DHS) received about $6.7 million to improve seven roadways that, due to their deteriorated condition, were designated as high priority projects under DHS’ inventory of Countywide roadway conditions. These paving projects will upgrade:

  • More than 10 lane miles of Shady Grove Road from I-270 to Darnestown Road;
  • Nearly 10 lane miles of Barnesville Road from Mt. Ephraim Road to Maryland Route 117;
  • About four-and-one-half lane miles Randolph Road from east of Nebel Street to Rock Creek Bridge;
  • About 3.6 lane miles of Forest Glen Road from Maryland Route 97 to Brunett Avenue;
  • More than 10 lane miles of Old Columbia Pike from Maryland Route 198 to U.S. Route 29, Columbia Pike on-ramp;
  • Nearly five lane miles of Travilah Road from Dufief Road to River Road; and
  • 3.7 lane miles of Wightman Road from Brink Road to Goshen Road.

Repairs include removing and replacing defective curbs and gutters; removing and replacing defective sidewalks; full-depth pavement patching; removing and replacing pavement surfaces; and installing pavement line markings and raised, reflective pavement markers. All seven projects should be completed in fall 2011.

The Division of Transit Services (DTS) received $6.55 million to replace existing buses with 12 energy efficient, diesel-electric hybrids and one clean diesel bus. The buses will be delivered in September. DTS also received $350,000 to purchase new bid/dispatch software that will increase efficiency in managing work assignments and daily dispatching.

The Division of Traffic Engineering (DTE) received nearly $1.75 million for four projects to improve traffic flow and traffic and pedestrian safety. DTE has:

  • Completed upgrading deficient and substandard guardrail end treatments throughout the County along Federal roads eligible for aid;
  • Completed installing traffic signal power backup units Countywide to minimize the effect of power outages on traffic flow;
  • Completed traffic warning sign upgrades Countywide to improve visibility at night and during poor weather conditions; and
  • Begun installing streetlights along Maryland Route 124 to improve traffic and pedestrian safety. The project is expected to be completed in the spring.

Information about other ARRA funds awarded to the County is available on the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recovery.

CATEGORIES: Transportation , News
POSTED: Thursday, February 10, 2011 | 9:00:00 AM |

Wanted: Feedback from Residents, Businesses on Pepco Service; Take Online Survey

The Pepco Work Group appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett is conducting an online survey of residential and business customers in order to receive the broadest possible range of feedback about their experiences with the electric utility company.

Two different surveys, one for business customers and one for residential customers, are offered. If both apply, customers are asked to complete each one.

To take the survey(s), just click on the appropriate link(s) below:

  1. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PEPCOBUSINESS
  2. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PEPCORESIDENTIAL

The surveys will be available through Monday, January 31.

The surveys are designed to obtain information on how the public views Pepco’s service, the extent to which customers have experienced outages, the economic impact of those outages and some insight as to what additional costs customers would be willing to incur in exchange for improved service.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | 9:00:00 AM |

Take Heart: Summer Can’t Be That Far Away

Certainly not according to the Recreation Department that has just released its guide to Summer Camps and Programs for Ages 3-21. Rec officials urge residents to register early because many of the camps fill up fast and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. What a better way to spend these cold days than to plan summer time activities from the comfort of your home. Check out the guide now (PDF).

POSTED: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | 8:00:00 AM |

Celebrate Winter on Ice in Silver Spring

An official dedication of the newly opened ice rink at Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring (corner of Fenton St. and Ellsworth Dr.) will be held on Saturday, January 8, at noon. County Executive Ike Leggett will join other elected officials, community leaders and local residents for skating, refreshments, entertainment and raffles.

Skating will be free for a 50-minute session for those who bring a donation of a winter coat (all sizes) or canned foods. Donated items will be collected by local non-profit organizations serving those in need in the community.
The rink is open to the public Monday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Individual and family season passes, group rates and admissions discount cards are available. Skating lessons are available at the ice rink throughout the season.

For more about Downtown Silver Spring’s newest attraction, visit www.silverspringiceskating.com.

CATEGORIES: Community Forum , News
POSTED: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 | 5:00:00 AM |

A Day of Service and Celebration

Montgomery County will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a Day of Service and a Tribute and Musical Celebration on Monday, January 17.

The Day of Service activities include the annual program held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Rd., North Bethesda from 1 to 3:30 p.m., a countywide food drive to benefit the Manna Food Center and additional service project sites around the County. The activities have been organized and coordinated by the County’s Volunteer Center. The volunteer projects are all approved for Student Service Learning credits.  Online pre-registration is requested for all locations by going to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mlk.

The Tribute and Musical Celebration will be held at the Music Center at Strathmore beginning at 4 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public. Persons without tickets who arrive at 3:45 p.m. will be admitted until all seats are filled.   For more information call 240-777-2570.

Read more about it from Press Release.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 | 4:00:00 AM |

County Unveils New Online Map for Residents to Track Progress of Snow Plows

County Executive Ike Leggett and Department of Transportation officials have announced the launch of a new, online tool that will make it easier for residents to decide when to safely venture out following a snowstorm and to monitor snow clearing progress.

The map tool will show the progress of snow plows throughout the County and indicate when emergency roads, primary neighborhood streets and neighborhood streets have been cleared. A zoom feature allows residents to focus on the plow status of their immediate neighborhood and surrounding streets and then zoom out to check on an entire trip route.

Also, during storms, check the Winter Storm and Information Updates page for the latest information about closures, service schedules, etc.

CATEGORIES: Snow , News , County Executive
POSTED: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Council Approves Leggett Plan to Proceed with Glenmont Fire Station Relocation; Georgia Ave./Randolph Rd. Interchange can Move Ahead

Glenmont residents, area commuters or anyone else whose travel routes take them through the Georgia Ave./Randolph Rd. intersection with any regularity will agree, the intersection has long needed improvement.

However, before the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) could proceed with plans to build a new grade separated interchange at the intersection, the current Fire Station No. 18, located at Georgia and Randolph, needed to be demolished and relocated.

Action on November 30 by the County Council now clears the way for a 19,000 gross square-foot replacement fire station to be built on the approximately 2.61-acre WMATA site adjacent to the planned parking garage on the west side of Georgia Ave. across from Glenallan Ave. Getting the relocation project on track, thus enabling the state to begin work on the interchange, has been one of County Executive Ike Leggett’s top priorities.  “Not only will there be a new Station #18, located on a better site, but the interchange project will improve pedestrian and vehicular safety in this densely populated area of the county,” Leggett said.

The recommended station is designed to meet current operational requirements and accommodate modern fire fighting apparatus. The project includes living and administrative areas, gear storage, decontamination, electronic equipment rooms, and three apparatus bays.

Total estimated cost for this project is $13,032,000. The project will be funded from General Obligation Bonds.

The property acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The design phase of the project is expected to take approximately 15 months with construction to start in summer of 2012. The County anticipates completion of construction by the end of 2013.

CATEGORIES: News , County Executive
POSTED: Monday, December 06, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Pepco Work Group Named to Identify, Investigate Frequent Outages in County

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced the names of residents selected to serve on the new Pepco Work Group that has been formed to identify and investigate causes for the frequent and lengthy electricity outages, and to recommend solutions.

“It is incredibly important that we do not go through again what we experienced in February and July and August, “Leggett said. “We have to figure out why Pepco power outages occur regularly, on even the nicest of days, threatening life, inconveniencing families, and costing our businesses millions.”

The 12-member group will be chaired by Norman R. Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed Martin and Montgomery County resident, whose numerous leadership positions include having served as Under Secretary of the Army, Chairman and Principal Officer of the American Red Cross and President of the Boy Scouts of America.

The group is expected to submit a final report, with recommendations, within the next three to six months. Read the group’s work plan and issues to be addressed.

CATEGORIES: County Executive , News
POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 | 10:00:00 AM |

And the Awards Go to…


The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) has announced the winners of the 9th Annual Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

The honorees will receive their awards from County Executive Ike Leggett and Mrs. Catherine Leggett at a special ceremony on Monday, October 18, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.

Included on the program will be performances from Montgomery County arts and humanities organizations and recognition of more than 122 individuals and organizations that have received grants for FY10 and FY11 from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.  The event is free and open to the public.

More information, including a list of 2010 recipients, is available at www.creativemoco.com/executives-awards.

POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 | 9:00:00 AM |

Leggett Unveils Blueprint for Senior “Villages” to Provide Network of Neighbor-to-Neighbor Connections

County Executive Ike Leggett recently unveiled a blueprint for community-building strategies aimed at providing neighborhood groups with tools to start senior “Villages” that will provide grassroots services to combat social isolation, improve mobility and enhance access to services for seniors.

A Village is a grass roots organization created to provide older adults with lifestyle choices that include continuing to live in their own homes.

Participants in Leggett’s 2009 Senior Summit identified the need to encourage and support the creation of Villages in Montgomery County. Neighbors in Bannockburn, Chevy Chase, Burning Tree, Cabin John and Somerset have created Villages and communities that serve their residents. Other communities in Montgomery County are beginning work on Villages.

Electronic copies of the Blueprint are available by calling the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at 240-777-8200.

CATEGORIES: Senior , County Executive , News
POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Step Right Up and Get Your Flu Shot

County health officials today announced the 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccination clinic schedule and urged residents to protect themselves by getting vaccinated. Montgomery County clinics will offer FREE vaccinations by appointment only.

The 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against the H1N1 virus, along with influenza A and influenza B strains, so there will be only one vaccination needed this year.

The clinics begin on October 23 and will be held at locations on various dates through December 9.

For more information about the flu and to make an online appointment, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/flu. Those without Internet access can call 311 to make an appointment.

CATEGORIES: News , Health
POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

Give Back on Community Service Day... It’s Easy

Local residents are invited make plans now to give a few hours of their time to the community by joining family, friends, neighbors, fellow students and co-workers for Community Service Day weekend – October 23 and 24.

There are many options for volunteering. Groups can develop their own projects or select one of the many opportunities offered by nonprofits through the Volunteer Center’s website, which also has a list of organizations hosting collection drives of food, clothing and other items.

For more information on how to sign up for Community Service Day weekend projects, visit the Volunteer Center’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteer and click on the Community Service Day link at the top of the page.

POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 | 4:00:00 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 |

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 |

Eligible Residents Urged to Apply for Property Tax Relief Prior to November 1 Deadline

Eligible Montgomery County residents are encouraged to apply for the Maryland Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit program, which limits the amount of property taxes a homeowner must pay based on income.

An additional County supplement and a senior tax credit will automatically apply to eligible County residents. For a senior tax credit, residents must be age 70 or older.

No additional application is required for either the County supplement or the senior tax credit.  The deadline for the state application submission is November 1, 2010.

In order to be eligible, a homeowner must have:

  • A combined household income of less than $64,000;
  • Lived in their home for at least six months, or will live in it for the next 12 months; and
  • A combined net worth (of everyone in the applicant’s household) of no more than $200,000. This does not include the value of the primary residence or the cash value of any qualified retirement savings or individual retirement accounts.

To apply for the property tax credit program, eligible homeowners must fill out an application form each year.

To get an application form, call the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 1-800-944-7403, or download the form and instructions from the SDAT web site at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

CATEGORIES: Economy , News , Tax , State
POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Do the Barnyard Boogie

It's August and that means fair time. The 62nd Montgomery County Agricultural Fair began August 13 and runs through Saturday the 21st at the Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg.

There will be more than 40 carnival rides, pig races, Carrie McQueen the stilt walker, Steve Trash the Rockin' Eco Hero, Equipment Expo, Trailer Racing, the popular So you think you can DANCE? contest and so much more.

Check out what’s happenin’ at the Fair this year at www.mcagfair.com.


CATEGORIES: News , Community Forum
POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |


National Recognition for Liquor Control’s “Keeping It SAFE…” program

The Keeping it SAFE (KIS) Coalition on Under 21 Alcohol Use Prevention has been selected by the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) for its 2010 John W. Britt Community Service award.

The NLLEA is a non-profit association of law enforcement personnel dedicated to the enforcement of liquor laws and regulations

The award will be presented as part of the Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon during the NLLEA conference in Anaheim, CA later in August.

In an effort to warn youth about excessive alcohol consumption, the coalition has distributed educational posters to every Montgomery County high school and liquor store that warn of the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.

The poster contest was the idea of Stephanie Quinn, a student intern in the Montgomery County Police Department and a member of the Keeping It SAFE Coalition. Four posters selected from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Richard Montgomery and Walt Whitman high schools were reproduced and delivered to every Montgomery County high school.

 For more about KIS and KIS partners, call 240-777-6652 or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/kis.

Police Explorer Post 1986 Makes Us Proud

Montgomery County Police (MCP) Explorer Post 1986 is pleased to have won two Trophies and two Top Ranking Certificates during competitions held at the 2010 National Exploring Conference held at Georgia Tech in Atlanta in July.

MCP Explorer Post members took part in four team and 12 individual competitions.  They won a Second Place Trophy in the category of Crime Prevention and a Third Place Trophy in the category of Community Service.

They also earned a Certificate for placing in the top 10% for those competing in the team category of White Collar Crimes and a Certificate for placing in the top 10% for those competing in the team category of Crime Prevention.    

There are 42 members in Explorer Post 1986, led by Senior Post Advisor Officer Charles Carpenter.  They meet weekly from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville.  Experts from the department attend each meeting to expose Explorers to the various aspects of police work.  An Open House for new members will be held on September 29. 

County Program Receives National Aging Innovations Award

The County’s Better Living at Home program, a program of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Aging and Disability Services, has received an Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Begun in November 2008, the innovative, cost-effective program was recognized for its outstanding contribution to the quality of life for older adults.

Utilizing occupational therapists, social workers and community health nurses, the program works to help maximize what individuals can do for themselves, rather than becoming dependent on others for supportive services. Read more about Better Living at Home.  

POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 2:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010