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Helpful Information for Any Kind of Weather

For the latest in traffic conditions, snow removal operations, the status of County government programs and services, etc., consult the County's website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Also, remember for emergencies and to report “hot” wires or sparking wires, especially those across roadways, call 9-1-1. The Police non-emergency number is 301-279-8000.  For more information about snow removal operations visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/snow or call 240-777-6000.

Residents who experience power outages should call their service provider: PEPCO at 1-877-737-2662, Allegheny Power at 1-800-255-3443 or Baltimore Gas and Electric at 1-877-778-2222.

CATEGORIES: Snow
POSTED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Leggett Explains Budget Challenges to Council in Special Session

County Executive Ike Leggett and Chief Administrative Officer Tim Firestine met with County Councilmembers on February 23 to present updated information on the County's budget challenges for the coming year (View Presentation in PDF format). Leggett will release his Recommended Operating Budget for the coming fiscal year on March 15.

CATEGORIES: Budget , County Council , County Executive
POSTED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

Digging Out

Buried under a record 40 inches of snow with more than 80,000 County households and businesses without power at one point and hundreds of downed trees, Montgomery County government responded aggressively on a number of fronts to provide service to County residents. That response included highway plowing and clearing operations, assisting PEPCO workers with snowplows and tree crews to help in restoring power, establishing shelters, responding to the public safety needs of residents, recruiting volunteers for transport duty and communicating to the public.

Building on extensive planning and preparation, Montgomery County deployed 1,200 vehicles – up from 550 for the December storm – to clear 900 miles of primary and secondary routes and 4,128 lane miles of residential roads. The County called in contractors from as far away as North Carolina and Florida to tackle the clean-up, reflecting County Executive Leggett’s determination to use whatever resources necessary to dig out County neighborhoods.

County call takers handled 31,000 phone calls and email service requests. Maryland National Guard personnel and 20 Humvees assisted County Fire & Rescue (FRS) in reaching seniors and others with special needs. During the period from Sunday, February 7 to Friday, February 12, FRS made 325 welfare assistance calls. Nearly 70 volunteers with four-wheel drive vehicles also pitched in to help the County. Thanks to excellent work by the Department of General Services, only two percent of County vehicles involved in the massive operation had breakdowns or were pulled out of service during the massive effort – a striking contrast to some other jurisdictions.

"I believe Montgomery County did a good job with these recent storms," said County Executive  Ike Leggett. "But I also believe  we can always improve our performance."

As with any weather event of this magnitude, the effects and impacts on residents, work crews, first responders, businesses, and government programs and services are many and in some instances, not necessarily short-lived. The work of hauling away banked snow and ice continues. And, of course, the winter is not yet over. 

Caution Still Advised for Motorists and Pedestrians

Even now, area motorists and pedestrians should still be alert and aware of possible situations when driving and/or walking.

For example:

  • With snow melting during the daytime hours, if temperatures drop below freezing at night, black ice can occur during the night and caution in driving and walking is advised.
  • Proceed with extreme caution when approaching an intersection where the line of sight may be blocked by mounds of snow.
  • Stay alert for pedestrians walking in the roadways. Some pedestrians may be wearing hats and hoods that impede their vision and hearing, and those wearing dark clothing can be difficult to see during evening hours.

Sidewalks & Snow

This last series of storms produced record breaking snow falls and more is being forecast.  We must work together to reclaim our sidewalks and provide safe pedestrian pathways. For more on how to do this, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/walk.

Getting the Word Out

The County website helped many residents make decisions in dealing with the two major, record-breaking snowstorms that hit the Washington DC metropolitan area between February 5 and 10.

The storms brought a 46% increase in the number of page views of the Montgomery County website.

The number of page views for the Department of Transportation increased 204%, Emergency Management was up by 203% and the press release views rose by 537%.

Leading up to, during and following the storms, the County regularly issued winter storm updates to help the public weather the extraordinary situation. Updates included snow plowing status, Ride On updates, and information regarding power outages, trash and recycling collections, opening of shelters, government facility closures and winter safety tips.

Over 150,000 subscribers to Alert Montgomery received regular, continuous updates. If you aren’t on board yet, you can subscribe now.

Additionally, Montgomery County tweeted winter storm advisories to its 2,127 Twitter followers, posted a winter storm update with weather-related safety tips on YouTube, posted numerous press releases to its 1,084 Facebook fans and emailed a Special Winter Storm Update to another 70,000 County homes.

CATEGORIES: Snow
POSTED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Calling All Potholes -- We're Out to Get You

The aftermath of our recent record-breaking storms has meant that pothole season is here -- waiting to wreak havoc on our vehicles and bones.

However, there is something you can do to help everyone get through this. If you either encounter or know of potholes along your daily routes, you can report them at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/dpwt/pothole/Pothole.asp or by calling 240-777-6000.

CATEGORIES: Snow , Transportation
POSTED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 4:00:00 AM |

WORTH NOTING

More Federal Dollars for Local Transportation Projects

Thanks to the $14.8 million Maryland will receive under the competitive TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program, three projects benefitting Montgomery and Prince George's counties will be constructed: the Takoma Langley Transit Center, a major transit hub for Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system, and priority bus corridor enhancements along University Boulevard and Veirs Mill Road. Read Press Release.


County, Johns Hopkins University Sign Memo of Understanding to Advance Biosciences Industry, Higher Education and Workforce Development in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 24 that reflects Montgomery County’s and JHU’s shared objectives and vision of advancing the biosciences industry, higher education and workforce development. It will help develop collaborations between private industry, public and private higher educational institutions, and government interests involved with the biosciences industry.

The MOU is a component of the County’s recently unveiled Bioscience Strategy that recommended enhancing bioscience educational opportunities and expanding the higher education presence in Montgomery County.  The memorandum is the latest in a series of progressive, proactive initiatives by the County to support and grow the local economy.  Read Press Release


Wheaton Library: “Leave it where it is,” Leggett says

From the beginning, County Executive Ike Leggett said that his decision on where to site the Wheaton library would be based on six factors:

  1. The wishes of the current library customers;
  2. The future needs of the library in its current location versus selecting another site and constructing a new building;
  3. Comparative costs of the two options;
  4. How the project fits into the broader needs of the Wheaton community in general;
  5. Potential future use of the current library building; and
  6. The suitability of the current site to the needs of the community.

After receiving a wealth of feedback – pro and con – and reviewing the factors, Leggett has announced that the County and the community will be best served by leaving the Wheaton Library right where it is.

The County will work on a timetable for planning, design and construction of a new library building on the current site in the next Capital Improvements Program.


Volunteers Needed to Assist Sexual Assault Victims, Families

Volunteers are needed to assist sexual assault victims and their families through the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. Interviews are now being conducted for the March 2010 training session which all volunteers must attend.

For more information about the training, requirements for volunteers or to arrange an interview, call the Montgomery County Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program at 240-777-1355 or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/vasap.


Professional Jobs in County on the Rise

December figures recently released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, show that professional services jobs increased in Montgomery and Frederick counties from 126,400 to 136,800 – or by 10,400 – from December 2008.

The increase in professional jobs offset losses in retail, construction and financial services resulting in a total of 3,100 more jobs in both counties compared to December 2008.

Montgomery County’s unemployment rate -- at 5.3% in November -- was the lowest in the State and dropped from 5.7 percent in June.


Senior Nutrition Hotline

Seniors and their caregivers can get diet and nutrition questions answered by a registered dietitian by calling the County’s free Senior Nutrition Hotline at 240-777-1100. The service is available Wednesday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m.

The hotline is sponsored by the Senior Nutrition Program of the Department of Health and Human Services.


 Pay Equity Advocate Lilly Ledbetter Speaks to Women’s Legislative Briefing

The 650 attendees at the recent 30th annual Women’s Legislative Briefing (WLB) heard pay equity advocate Lilly Ledbetter recount her struggle to achieve pay equity on her job at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden, Alabama, where she was employed for more than 19 years. Her story led to the introduction of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, which passed the House and Senate in January 2009 and was the first bill signed into law by President Obama in January 2009.

Coordinated by the Montgomery County Commission for Women, the WLB was sponsored by 85 women’s and community organizations. Among the attendees were County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President Nancy Floreen, Vice President Valerie Ervin and District 4 Councilmember Nancy Navarro.


Nominations Open for Governor's Volunteer Service Awards 

The Governor's Volunteer Service Awards are presented each year by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV). The awards recognize significant contributions of Maryland residents to the life and health of the State and its people. The awards are presented during National Volunteer Week, April 18 - 24, 2010.

Nominations are due March 1.  Guidelines and the nomination form are on the GOSV website www.gosv.state.md.us.  For more information contact GOSV's Jeanne Hegarty, at 410-767-1821 or at jhegarty@gosv.state.md.us.  


Office of Consumer Protection Annual Report Online

In FY 2009, the County’s Office of Consumer Protection  (OCP) received more than 1,800 written complaints and 11,740 information calls and obtained more than half a million dollars in restitution for residents and 28 settlement agreements.  

OCP also earned high marks from the public for its performance, with more than 80 percent saying they would be likely to use the office’s services again and 88 percent stating they were satisfied with the speed of the resolution of their complaints.  More than 90 percent stated they were satisfied with the level of the expertise of the staff. 

All this information -- and more -- about the award-winning agency is in OCP’s 2009 Annual Report. Other sections include complaint resolutions, legal action, legislative advocacy, Council collaboration, and awards and feedback.

 Pay Equity Advocate Lilly Ledbetter Speaks to Women’s Legislative BriefingCounty, Johns Hopkins University Sign Memo of Understanding to Advance Biosciences Industry, Higher Education and Workforce Development in Montgomery County
CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 3:00:00 AM |

Mark Your Calendars

Dates to keep in mind.

March -- Christylez (“Chris-styles”) Bacon, a 2010 Grammy nominee, with Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, for “Best Musical Album for Children,” will perform his eclectic blend of classical, jazz and hip-hop arrangements on various dates at several Montgomery County Public Libraries between March 4 and 11. Made available by a grant from Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Maryland Inc. Check out dates and locations

March -- Lunar New Year celebrations at Montgomery County Public Libraries for all ages welcome the Year of the Tiger. Music, dance and special performances will feature sights and sounds of the Asian culture, plus, hands-on art activities, storytelling, shadow puppet shows, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese yo-yo, workshops and the traditional Chinese lion dance to chase away evil and usher in a year of good luck. Check out the schedule.

Monday, March 15 -- County Executive submits FY2011 Operating Budget. Noon. Live on County Cable 6 (channel 6 for Comcast and RCN subscribers and channel 30 for Verizon customers).

Wednesday, March 17 -- Online Chat with County Executive Ike Leggett. Noon - 1 p.m. Submit your questions now.

CATEGORIES: Calendar
POSTED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 | 1:00:00 AM |

MAKING NEWS

Best Wishes for One of the Best and Brightest

A Montgomery Blair High School Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program senior, Yifan Li of Rockville, has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search 2010 competition.  

The Intel Science Talent Search is the oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition in the country, and the Montgomery Blair High School Magnet Program has the only Intel Finalist in Maryland.

Li will compete with 40 other finalists from around the country for more than $630,000 in awards from the Intel Foundation.   Judging will take place at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, March 11-16.

Montgomery County extends best wishes to Yifan.


Home Depot Partners with County to Help Job Seekers

A recent recruitment effort (Gazette)  conducted between the County’s Division of Workforce Services (DWS) in the Department of Economic Development (DED) and The Home Depot resulted in part-time jobs for a number of local workers.

The positions, at the Gaithersburg and Germantown Home Depot stores, were for sales associates, cashiers, freight team members and lot attendants.

Through MontgomeryWorks, the DWS facilitates recruitment fairs for County businesses and provides targeted employment training, job listings and workforce readiness seminars for local job seekers. More information on DWS is available at www.SMARTmontgomery.com.

CATEGORIES: Making News
POSTED: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | 2:00:00 AM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010