November 13, 2014

Memorial Plaza Dedicated


In observance of Veterans Day, the new Memorial Plaza located on the Government Complex Center Terrace between the new Courthouse annex and the Executive Office Building in Rockville was officially dedicated and the eternal flame unveiled on November 10.

The ceremony was an opportunity for the County to show its appreciation and support for those people who put their lives on the line, domestically and abroad, to ensure our continued safety.

The plaza is part of the Judicial Center Annex construction project that began in 2011 and involved an addition to and renovation of the existing Judicial Center. The  annex is a six-story building with one level underground parking and one level mechanical penthouse.

The plaza and green spaces were redesigned to invite public use of the space. The area features a water fountain, new landscaping, bench. A Memorial Walkway will display the plaques that were relocated from the original Memorial Garden to allow for the construction of the annex.

View more photos from our flickr album.

Holiday Season Comes to the County with a Flair



The 2014 Holiday Season will kick off locally in colorful style on Saturday, November 22 in Silver Spring when the Annual Thanksgiving Parade steps off at 10 a.m. from Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St. and proceeds south on Georgia Ave., ending at Silver Spring Ave. The parade will be held rain or shine.

The line-up of more than 100 parade units features the inflatable turkey, which is the Montgomery County parade logo, as well as a 12-foot inflatable Silver Spring penguin, a Teddy Bear toy float, and more drum lines and colorful dancing groups than ever.

For more information, call 240-777-6821 or visit www.silverspringdowntown.com or download flyer in pdf format.

One of the entertaining marching units that make the Thanksgiving Parade a fun event for all ages.
Photo by Ken Stanek.

Annual Leaf Collection Underway in Southern Part of County


The Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) is conducting its annual vacuum collection of leaves in the southern part of the County now through mid-December

The leaf vacuum collection district is bounded by I-495, I-270, the Rockville City limits, Norbeck, Bel Pre and Bonifant roads, Northwest Branch Park, and the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County lines.

Residents should look for signs posted along the streets for information. DHS crews are posting new, larger, more informative signs this season that will direct residents to DHS’s website for more information about collection dates.

Leaves should be placed in piles or containers on the grass or behind the curb, off the road pavement, but near the street. Placing leaves in streets or alleys can disrupt traffic, negatively impact drainage infrastructure, hamper snow removal operations, pose a risk of fire hazard for automobiles parked over them, limit the availability of residential parking and pose a safety risk to pedestrians of all ages.

The leaf collection program is restricted to leaves only. Tree debris, sticks, branches or coarse garden debris should be placed in containers or tied in bundles no more than four feet long and placed where yard trim is regularly picked up.

Residents who miss the two scheduled vacuum collections can still have their leaves collected by placing them in paper yard trim bags or reusable containers for pick up on their regular yard trim collection day. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be accepted.

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance begins November 15; Residents with No Insurance Urged to Sign Up

Residents without health insurance coverage are urged to sign up through the Maryland Health Connection when open enrollment begins November 15.

Consumers can now go to www.marylandhealthconnection.gov and browse the site to compare prices and plans available during open season, as well as get an estimate of financial assistance that may be available to help pay for insurance premiums.

Residents who enrolled during the first year of open enrollment (October 15, 2013 to March 15, 2014) need to re-apply on Maryland’s new website by December 18 or risk losing any financial assistance they received to help pay the insurance premiums.

Health navigators, assisters and insurance brokers will be available to answer questions and help consumers browse the website and preview available health plans on Saturday, November 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at three locations in Montgomery County:
  • UpCounty Regional Services Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown 
  • Piccard Drive Health Center, 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville 
  • Silver Spring DHHS Services Center, 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring 
Residents are also invited to attend free information sessions on the 15th about "The Importance of Health Coverage and Choosing A Health Plan." Sessions will be available in English, Spanish and Amharic:

  • 10 to 11 a.m.
  • 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown (English) 
  • 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville (Spanish) 
  • 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring (Spanish) 

  • Noon to 1 p.m. 
  • 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown (Spanish) 
  • 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville (Spanish) 
  • 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring (Spanish) 

  • 2 to 3 p.m. 
  • 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown (English) 
  • 1335 Piccard Dr., Rockville (English) 
  • 8818 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring (Amharic) 

The Maryland Health Connection’s call center will open on Sunday, November 16 at 10 a.m. for residents to apply by telephone. Call toll free 855-642-8572 (TTY 855-642-8573).

Beginning Monday, November 17, in-person assistance will be available at more than 30 locations throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

For details on sign up locations, go the Capital Health Connection website at www.capitalhealthconnection.org or call 240-773-8250.

For additional information on eligibility guidelines and the documents needed to apply, go to www.capitalhealthconnection.org

“Recipes for Success” Cooked Up for Restaurant Entrepreneurs


The County’s new “Recipes for Success” program is designed to help individuals planning to open a new restaurant or expand an existing restaurant navigate the County’s permitting and licensing process quickly and efficiently.

“Recipes for Success” includes a free, pre-design consultation at which representatives from all County agencies involved in restaurant approvals will be available to explain the requirements to open or expand a restaurant. Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services (DPS) is partnering with the departments of Economic Development, Liquor Control, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Fire and Rescue Service, as well as the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

Every Tuesday prospective and existing restaurant owners will have the chance to meet with representatives from the departments at one time to review their plans and learn how to open or expand a restaurant in the County.

The “Recipes for Success Welcome Packet” will be available at all County regional services centers or online. Business owners can also schedule a free pre-design consultation meeting by calling 311 or 240-777-0311 from outside the County. To download the preliminary design consultation application packet, visit the DPS website.



Handy New Booklet for Seniors Tells How to “Get Out & Stay Active”




With a copy of “Get Out and Stay Active: Living and Thriving in Montgomery County,” seniors can learn about programs and services in the County such as: active adult programs for those 55+; senior centers; fitness and sports; travel; tips and tours; volunteering; and transportation options.

The 22-page booklet was published by Montgomery County Recreation in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Aging and Disability Services.

See the booklet.

Police Chief Manger to Lead Major Cities Chiefs Police Association

Police Chief Thomas Manger has been elected to serve as president of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association (MCCA) for the next two years, beginning January 1, 2015.

MCCA is a professional association of chiefs and sheriffs representing the largest cities in the United States, Canada and the UK. MCCA membership is comprised of the 66 largest law enforcement agencies in the United States, nine largest in Canada and one in the UK. The MCCA provides a forum for urban police, sheriffs and other law enforcement chief executives to discuss common problems and to share information and problem-solving strategies.

The current president of MCCA, Chief Charles H. Ramsey, Police commissioner of Philadelphia, will complete his two terms in office at the end of December 2014.

Read the news release.