August 13, 2015

Recreation, Parks Launch New One-Stop Registration System for Classes, Programs; Eliminates Need for Two Accounts


On August 17, Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks will launch a new registration system called ActiveMONTGOMERY, which will replace ParkPASS and RecWeb, the two separate registration systems currently used by Montgomery Parks and Montgomery Recreation.

The new system allows customers to use one website, one username and one account to register for both Recreation and Parks classes, programs, etc. ActiveMONTGOMERY also has new features such as easier search functionality, mobile-friendly registration access, Google maps location services and convenient credit card registration.

To begin using ActiveMONTGOMERY, users must set up new customer accounts at www.activeMONTGOMERY.org.  Account set-up will take approximately five minutes and will enable customers to view upcoming activities and programs and register.

Log in instructions:
  1. Go to www.activeMONTGOMERY.org
  2. Click on “Create an Account”
  3. Fill out all forms: Name & Address, Contact Information, Personal Information, Emergency Contact and Account Information
  4. Click Create Account
  5. You will receive a confirmation email. Activate your account by clicking on the link provided in the email.
Questions? Call 240-777-6840.

Back-to-School Safety Tips from Summer of Safety Campaign to be Featured Beginning August 24


While the official last day of summer is September 22, for families across the County the Fall season starts when local schools open on August 31.

That’s why the Public Information Office’s Summer of Safety awareness campaign’s back-to-school tips will be the featured topic the week of August 24.

There will be information to share with students about safe walking, biking and riding the bus to school. There are also reminders about safe driving (don’t forget to stop for school buses with the stop arm out and lights flashing), latchkey kids and required school inoculations. In addition, you will learn how to register, if you haven’t already, for “Alert Montgomery,” the County’s electronic emergency warning system.

Online Pet Licensing Services Now Available


Pet licensing services are now available to County residents online.

The new user-friendly service makes it easier for pet owners to comply with Montgomery County law that requires a pet license for all dogs and cats four months of age or older. All that is needed is a current rabies vaccination certificate and a credit card.

A license is still required even if a pet is always confined on private property, remains indoors exclusively or lives on a farm. The fine for an unregistered/licensed pet is $100. The fine for not having a dog or cat vaccinated for rabies is $500.

In addition to the new online licensing program, residents can obtain a license through the mail or in-person at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center, 7315 Muncaster Mill Rd., Derwood, as long as they have written proof of a current rabies vaccination.

See details about the Love Them, License Them campaign.

Hispanic Gala Funds Futures for Hispanic Youth

The annual Montgomery County Executive's  Hispanic Gala brings together stakeholders and organizations that are committed to assist Hispanic youth to achieve a high level of education while building strong, diverse and united communities in Montgomery County and Maryland.

This year’s event will be held on September 10, from 7 to 11 p.m. at The Fillmore Silver Spring 8656 Colesville Road.

Funds raised this year will provide scholarships for 60 outstanding Latino students enrolled in Montgomery County and Maryland higher education institutions.

Get more information and buy tickets at www.montgomeryhispanicgala.org.

Bringing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to Montgomery County

Montgomery County is developing plans for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that can offer a fast, reliable alternative to driving by providing more transit options and shorter commutes. BRT also will connect more people to more jobs, bringing economic growth and expanding the County's tax base.

A similar BRT, called Metroway, recently started running in Alexandria, VA. Soon, it will expand to Arlington.

Take a look at this video about the "public transportation with an exclusive feel," located just across the Potomac River.

A Happy-Ending Story Thanks to Consumer Protection

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) enforces laws to prohibit unfair and deceptive practices and works to ensure integrity in our marketplace. A recent occurrence demonstrates how that happens.

OCP Investigator Michelle Escobar handled a complaint from a Bethesda resident who had signed a home improvement contract for a new roof. The contract did not contain the 3-day cooling off disclosure required by law nor any notice about a “restocking” fee.

Due to an unforeseen financial problem, the consumer had to cancel the contract and postpone replacing her roof. However, the merchant refused to return the customer’s full deposit and stated they were going to impose a “restocking” fee.

OCP Investigator Escobar explained to the merchant that the consumer was entitled to a full refund because the contract was improper.

Thanks to the work of Escobar, this story had a happy ending for the consumer. But, circumstances like this one are why OCP reminds consumers to carefully read all contracts, confirm that the contractor is licensed and obtain more than one estimate.

See the story unfold on the video clip of “Refund Roadtrip” featured on the latest episode of OCP’s “Consumer Compass” on County Cable 6 (Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN; channel 30 for Verizon subscribers).

Satyajit Ray Film Festival at Montgomery College to Feature Works of Award-Winning Indian Director

The works of award-winning Indian director Satyajit Ray will be featured in a film festival to be held at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the Rockville campus of Montgomery College, 51 Mannakee St., beginning September 3.

The initial showing in the Satyajit Ray Film Festival will feature Pather Panchali – Song of the Little Road at 7:30 p.m. Other notable works by Ray will be shown from the 4th to 6th and 10th to 13th. The films feature English subtitles.

Admission is free but tickets are required. Call the Box Office at 40-567-5301, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Festival highlights will include a reception on the 4th with Michael Jack, professor of film history at George Mason University and former programmer for the American Film Institute at the Kennedy Center.

Regarded as one of India’s top three most important directors, Satyajit Ray’s first movie, Pather Panchali  (1955), won several International Awards and helped establish his reputation as a world-class director. Ray, who died in 1992, was named the 25th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly and in 1992 received a lifetime achievement award at the Academy Awards.