June 16, 2015

Celebrate Independence Day with Family, Fun and Fireworks

Montgomery County will again host two Independence Day fireworks displays on July 4 -- Germantown Glory at the Maryland SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Germantown (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.

Germantown Glory will kick off at 7 p.m. with a concert by the Tina Turner Revue featuring Suzette Dorsey. To reach the South Germantown Recreational Park from I-270, take exit 15B (Route 118 south) toward Germantown; go approximately two and a half miles and turn right on Richter Farm Rd. Go one mile and turn left onto Schaeffer Road. The park entrance is 0.3 miles on the right. Free parking is available.

Mid-County Sparkles activities begin at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by Gringo Jingo performing the best of Santana. Since there will only be handicapped parking – no other on-site parking will be available at the school or at adjacent properties – two shuttle bus stops are available, beginning at 6:15 p.m., at Westfield Wheaton Metro Parking Garage adjacent to the JC Penney Department Store and the north building parking lot adjacent to Macy’s Department Store.

Check the news release for more information.

Other traditional celebrations will be held in larger municipalities around the County, including Gaithersburg, Rockville and Takoma Park.

Public Forum on Best Ways to Push Forward with a County Rapid Transit System

The Montgomery County Executive’s Transit Task Force will host a public forum on Wednesday, June 17 at 6 p.m. in the County Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, where residents will express their views on subjects before the Transit Task Force. The group has been reconvened to review the prior legislation and recommend how best to organize and finance implementation of a high-performance Rapid Transit System (RTS).

As of the release time of this edition of the newsletter, the list of speakers totaled more than 50 people of diverse viewpoints.  No more speakers are being accepted, but residents can submit their views in writing at Transit 2015 Contact Us.

To help residents understand the importance of a Rapid Transit System and how it can help re- shape the future of transportation in the County, consider the following benefits RTS will provide for riders:
  • Speedy transit often in dedicated road lanes;
  • Frequent runs along busy routes;
  • Quick passenger boarding via wide doors and no steps;
  • Sheltered stations; real-time schedules; and
  • Reduced carbon footprint (fewer cars).
Other advantages include:
  • RTS can be built more quickly and cheaply than other options to reduce traffic congestion. RTS can be built for one-fourth of the cost of light rail, one-eighth of the cost of new highways and one-fifteenth of the cost of heavy rail, e.g., Metro.
  • RTS can connect more people to more jobs. With RTS in place, an estimated 100,000 new jobs and up to $26 billion in economic growth can be expected by 2030.
  • RTS will enable more people to commute to/from work in a shorter amount of time. This would help many commuters, including those in poverty, as commuting time has been found to be the strongest factor in the odds of people escaping poverty.
  • A system that can mitigate road congestion and improve transit options benefits everyone.
Read The Washington Post editorial.

For more about County’s Rapid Transit System, visit the Transit Authority website.

The public hearing will be aired live on County Cable Montgomery -- channel 6 for Comcast and RCN subscribers and channel 30 for Verizon customers. It will also be streamed live and be available for on-demand viewing after the event.

County Has Lowest Unemployment Rate in Seven Years

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) and the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have reported that Montgomery County's unemployment rate in April 2015 was 3.7 percent, marking the first time it has been below 4 percent since December 2008, when it was 3.8 percent. The last time the rate was at 3.7 percent was in October and November 2008.

Montgomery and Howard County tied for the lowest rates in Maryland.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) has numerous services, resources and initiatives to help local businesses succeed. For more information on business opportunities within the County go to DED’s website.

Silver Spring Summer Outdoor Concert Series Begins June 18

The 2015 Silver Spring Summer Concert Series, presented by Montgomery County Recreation, will kick off on Thursday, June 18 at 7 p.m. on Veterans Plaza at the Silver Spring Civic Building, Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St.

The free, outdoor concerts, sponsored by Discovery Communications and Live Nation, feature a wide range of music and musicians for the whole family. They will be held on Thursday evenings through August 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. Performances are cancelled due to weather only if it is raining at 7 p.m.

A raffle, with prizes for children and adults, is held at each concert. Attendees may bring picnics or get food from one of the many nearby restaurants.

For more information, call 311 or 240-777-0311 outside of the County.

Community Public Paper Shredding, Recycling Event to be Held June 20

Montgomery County, Montgomery College, NBC4, Allstate and Shred-It are once again providing County residents the opportunity to have confidential papers shredded, then recycled.

The latest paper shredding event will be held Saturday, June 20 from 8 to 11 a.m. in parking lot 13 of Montgomery College, Rockville campus, at the intersection of Hungerford Dr. (Rt. 355) and Mannakee St.

See more information on what types of papers to bring, onsite driving directions, etc.

Experience, Explore, Enjoy the County’s Heritage

Thanks to Heritage Montgomery, 21st- century families can experience and explore the County’s rich past at the 18th Annual Heritage Days Weekend to be held Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28 from noon to 4 p.m.

Heritage Days Weekend features more than 35 sites all around Montgomery County representing the history, culture, and natural beauty of the area.

Visit the 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve and find rural roads and landscapes looking much as they did in the 19th and early 20th centuries; hear stories of the Underground Railroad and early Quaker communities of the 1800s; explore the C&O Canal along the Potomac River…the possibilities go on and on, and it’s all right here, close to home.

Plus, all events are family-friendly and free.

Check the flyer for more information or visit www.HeritageMontgomery.org.

Notice to Capital Crescent Trail Users

Several improvement projects are on their way on the Capital Crescent Trail that will affect access and regular use of the trail. Montgomery Parks and a private firm will perform ongoing tree work on the Capital Crescent Trail from Dorset Ave. to Woodmont Ave. throughout June. The work should not limit trail access, however, trail users are urged to use caution around work areas.

Also, a portion of the Capital Crescent Trail just south of Bethesda Ave. will be closed for about two weeks to allow for trail improvements that are a part of the Lot 31-apartment building construction project, the Flats. Trail users will be directed onto a detour along a new public pathway. Pedestrians will be able to access to sidewalks on Woodmont Ave., and bicyclists will be able to use the newly marked bike lanes.

For additional information on the scheduled projects, visit www.MontgomeryTrails.org or call 301-495-2595.