May 12, 2022

Message from the County Executive


Dear Friends,

This week is National Nurses Week. I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to all nurses serving our County residents, including the approximately 300 nurses we have working in our Health and Human Services and Corrections departments and at the public schools. Over the last two years, nurses have been on the frontline, working non-stop to deal with the COVID-19 health crisis. They did this while also serving the sick and injured from treating a cold to educating a patient about their diabetes or assessing an older adult's ability to care for themselves. Nurses never stopped taking care of our most vulnerable residents.

Nursing is a difficult job with long hours and intense conditions—while also being overworked and often under compensated. Our nurses deserve to be appreciated every day, and I encourage everyone to please reach out and thank the nurses in their lives this week.

‘No Matter What Happens Elsewhere’: $1 Million Fund Recommended to Ensure Access to Maternal Health

This also is National Women’s Health Week, and unfortunately, as we celebrate the contributions of nurses and women’s health week, there is a political and legal assault on the reproductive rights and health of women. Nurses face the threat of being jailed in parts of this country for doing what we are honoring them for this week—caring for others. This is absurd.

No matter what happens elsewhere, we must act to protect reproductive choice and women’s health here. Even though abortion will remain legal and safe in Maryland and Montgomery County, we will not be able to avoid the residual impacts of this ruling from neighboring states—like West Virginia—and the impact it will have on our maternal health system. Planned Parenthood leaders in Montgomery County say we are already seeing women come from states like Texas to remain healthy and free from persecution and prosecution.

This week, I recommended a supplemental allocation of $1 million to create a fund that will ensure increased access to maternal health, family planning and abortion services. This funding for our nonprofit providers in our County will help serve the growing need by:
  • Assisting with wraparound services—for those who are using abortion services as well as those who choose to have children.
  • Providing grants to organizations in the County that provide abortion services.
  • Supporting organizations focused on comprehensive family planning, reproductive health, and maternal health.
  • Providing aid to organizations that are fighting legal battles on behalf of women.
I am confident that the County Council will approve this funding and I very much appreciate their support and the unity on this issue. I also want to thank our State and Federal elected officials who are working to support women’s health and women’s fundamental rights while addressing the detrimental impacts of this potential court ruling. Fortunately, led by Montgomery County legislators, the Maryland General Assembly just enacted a new State law that expands eligibility of providers and training for them. Unfortunately, despite multiple requests, the Governor will not begin funding this training early.

Current COVID-19 Case Surge Lasting Longer Than Expected

Our COVID rates continue to climb and now exceed 200 cases per 100,000 residents. Our current case rate is as high as we were at the end of the Omicron surge in January and there is currently more transmission of the virus in our community than anytime last fall.

Our current surge in cases is lasting longer than expected, meaning more people risk being exposed to COVID as it remains more prevalent in the community. With many families gathering last weekend for Mother’s Day and with graduations, proms and other end of school year celebrations on the horizon, I am concerned that this rise in the cases may continue to worsen.

Our COVID-related hospitalizations remain low at 4 percent of hospital beds, but there are 63 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Montgomery County and acute care occupancy has doubled since last week. Among those hospitalized in our County, unvaccinated patients outnumber the vaccinated 3 to 1. We continue to encourage everyone to stay up today on their vaccinations and especially boosters. You can get a booster at http://www.govaxmoco.com/.

We have seen a 19 percent increase in testing over the previous week at our Health and Human Services sites. We continue to distribute free take home rapid tests at our libraries, and this past week, we went over one million rapid tests distributed to our residents since we started in January. Please remember to stop by any County library and ask for a rapid test if you or family needs one. The best way for us to reduce transmission is to test and isolate if you test positive.

Rental Relief Applications Reopen Starting Monday, May 16

Our COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will reopen for applications starting Monday, May 16. Eligible Montgomery County renters can soon apply for additional COVID-19 rent relief through the fourth phase of the program, which provides financial assistance for tenants who have experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding for this fourth phase comes from U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance, or E-RAP, in direct allocations to the County. We have already helped more than 10,000 Montgomery County residents struggling to pay their rent because they lost their job or had to take time off unexpectedly because of COVID-19. The County has helped coordinate $78 million in rental assistance.

To apply for funds, households must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements. Household members must:
  • Have experienced COVID‐19-related financial hardship.
  • Have a household gross income from either your 2020 or 2021 tax return or the previous 30 days that is at or below 50 percent of AMI.
  • Have resided in Montgomery County since at least August 2021.
  • Have an obligation to pay rent, formally or informally.
  • Be behind on their rental obligation by at least two months.
If people have questions about qualifications or anything else regarding rental assistance, they can call 311 for more information.

It is important to note that this program will accept applications starting Monday, May 16, through June 30.

Visit www.mc311.com/rentrelief to apply online.

Applicants will be asked to answer questions about COVID-19’s impact on their household and some questions about household members, income and rent. Applicants should be prepared to upload supporting documents and have the landlord’s information available.

People in households without internet access or who need assistance completing the application should call 311 (240-777-0311) to get connected with County staff or partners who can assist them in completing an application. Renters facing an immediate loss of housing should also call 311 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday to be connected with DHHS’ Housing Stabilization Services.

Addressing the economic impacts of the pandemic will take a sustained and intentional effort by governments at all levels. We want our most vulnerable families that have been negatively affected by COVID-19 to be able to stay in their homes. This fourth phase of rental relief funds will help us do just that. I am very appreciative to our State and Federal partners who have helped our County in this collective work to keep our families whole.

Wish MCPD a Happy 100th at Police Community Day

MCPD’s Police Community Day Montgomery is Saturday, May 14. Community Day will be a family friendly event to mark the MCPD’s 100th anniversary. It all begins at noon at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg. This event is a great opportunity to meet our officers and to talk to them about the work they are doing. The event will feature many free activities for families including live music. There will be food trucks on site. Come join us for a day of fun. Parking will be free.

‘IgnITe Hub’ is Here!

Are you or your family members or kids interested in coding, computer technologies or becoming the next Steve Jobs? If so, then you may want to join me, Councilmember Craig Rice, Montgomery College and MCPS at Montgomery College in Rockville from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, for the Grand Opening of “IgnITe Hub." IgnITe Hub is a 21st Century space to collaborate and innovate, to spur entrepreneurship, solve community problems and spark career interests.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the IT field is set to grow by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030 – higher than the average for all occupations. IgnITe Hub is an innovative and important project that will engage students of all ages to improve their skills, become career-ready and help local nonprofits and small businesses with application development support. The project is a win for our economy, the educational system, local entrepreneurs, nonprofits and any residents who want to expand their knowledge and expertise in the IT fields.

Please join us on Saturday by registering here.

Building Safety Month

May is Building Safety Month, with the goal to help residents understand what it takes to create and sustain safe structures. Over the past year we have had several building safety issues grab headlines here in Montgomery County. Last summer, we saw multiple deck collapses cause injuries. Just a few months ago, a mistake by a plumber resulted in an explosion at Friendly Garden that thankfully did not seriously injure anyone, but displaced many residents.

Building Safety is something that this County takes very seriously, and I want to thank our departments and employees who play a role in ensuring that County’s codes and regulations are upheld, and inspections are performed, in order to save lives.

Please watch this video created by the Department of Permitting Services about Building Safety Month.

Ride-On Drives to Make a Difference

Our Ride On buses go hundreds of thousands of miles each year, but their most important “drive" of the year is next week. Montgomery County Ride On bus riders can donate non-perishable food to the County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Ride On food drive from May 15-22. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off on all Ride On, extRa, Flex and Flash buses. A food donation bag will be available next to the farebox.

We must ensure that no one in Montgomery County goes hungry. Food insecurity was prevalent before the pandemic hit—and COVID-19 made it even worse. Many people lost jobs and higher food prices continue to make it exceedingly difficult for families to make ends meet. I am grateful to the County Department of Transportation and the Manna Food Center for this important effort and I encourage residents to donate non-perishable food items as they use buses next week.
 
As always, my appreciation for all of you,






County Executive
Marc Elrich

May 10, 2022

Fourth Phase of COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Will Soon Be in Place, with Applications Available Starting Monday, May 16

Fourth Phase of COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Will Soon Be in Place, with Applications Available Starting Monday, May 16
Eligible Montgomery County renters can soon apply for additional COVID-19 rent relief through the fourth phase of the County’s Rent Relief program, which provides financial assistance for tenants that have experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Administered by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the program will accept applications starting on Monday, May 16, through June 30.

“Addressing the economic impacts of the pandemic will take a sustained and intentional effort by governments at all levels,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We want our most vulnerable families that have been negatively affected by COVID-19 to be able to stay in their homes, and this fourth phase of rental relief funds will help us do just that. Thank you to our state and federal partners who have helped our County in this collective work to keep our families whole.”

Funding for the fourth phase comes from U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance funds in direct allocations to the County and as a sub-grantee to the State of Maryland. In the previous three phases of the program, $78 million in rental assistance has been distributed to approximately 10,500 Montgomery County households.

To be eligible for funds, households must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Have experienced COVID-19 financial hardship.
  • Have a household gross income from either their 2020 or 2021 tax return or the previous 30 days that is at or below 50 percent of area median income.
  • Have resided in Montgomery County since at least August 2021.
  • Have an obligation to pay rent, formally or informally.
  • Be behind on their rental obligation by at least two months.
To apply for relief funds, visit www.mc311.com/rentrelief.

Applicants will be asked to answer questions about COVID-19’s impact on their household and some questions about household members, income and rent. They should be prepared to upload supporting documents and have the landlord’s information available. Applicants will need an email address to complete the application. If they do not have an email address, they should consider setting one up or connect with the property manager or landlord ,who can apply on their behalf.

People in households without internet access or who need assistance completing the application should call 311 (240-777-0311) to get connected with County staff or partners that can assist them in completing an application.

Renters facing an immediate loss of housing should also call 311 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday to be connected with DHHS’ Housing Stabilization Services. For more answers to frequently asked questions about Phase Four, visit www.mc311.com/rentrelief.

County Executive Elrich Announces He Will Seek to Establish $1 Million Fund to Ensure Access to Abortion Services

County Executive Elrich Announces He Will Seek to Establish $1 Million Fund to Ensure Access to Abortion Services

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced this week that he will ask the County Council for supplemental funding of $1 million for services and support to ensure access to abortion, family planning, reproductive and maternal health providers in the County. The funding will ensure that nonprofit providers in the County and assisting organizations will be able to serve the growing need by:
  • Assisting with wraparound services to those who are accessing abortion services to providers, as well as to those who choose to have children.
  • Providing grants to organizations in the County that provide abortion services.
  • Support organizations focused on comprehensive family planning, reproductive health and maternal health.
  • Provide aid to organizations that are fighting legal battles on behalf of women.
“We live in a time where people’s rights are under attack from the Supreme Court to the halls of Congress, to State Houses throughout this nation,” said County Executive Elrich. “We must do all we can to protect women’s health and their personal rights. With this allocation of funds, we are helping ensure that any woman who needs assistance will be able to access it. I want to thank our nonprofit partners, doctors and nurses who are so critical to our efforts. In Montgomery County, we are committed to working in partnership to stand up for all people and will continue to do so.”

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro said she supports the County Executive’s request.

“The County Executive’s initiative is in great alignment with the County Council’s resolution on reproductive rights, which I spearheaded,” said Councilmember Navarro. “The resolution affirmed our commitment to ensuring that health care organizations that provide reproductive health services have the appropriate supports and capacity to safeguard the reproductive rights of residents in our communities. As the lone woman Councilmember on the Council, I will continue to do all I can to support the County Executive and the County Council in doing the right thing—protecting our reproductive rights and safeguarding the welfare of all our residents. I also call on Governor Hogan to support reproductive rights in Maryland by releasing the $3.5 million earmarked by the legislature for training.”

Council Vice President Evan Glass, a member of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, also said he will support County Executive Elrich’s proposal.

“I want to thank the County Executive for working with me and the Council to expand access to safe and legal abortions in Montgomery County,” said Council Vice President Glass. “These funds will support our most vulnerable residents, who are at risk of becoming even more vulnerable by the Supreme Court. We must do everything we can to protect them and a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare.”

County Jurisdictions Receive $300,000 in Grants to Boost Walkable, Bikeable and Transit-Oriented Communities

Transit-Oriented Communities

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) has approved 11 planning and design projects totaling $636,000 in technical assistance through its Transportation Land-use Connections (TLC) program. Montgomery County jurisdictions were granted five of the awards totaling $300,000, nearly half of the funding available. The funds will go toward projects that support walking, biking and transit-oriented communities.

The TLC program is a long-running annual grant program that funds small projects that coordinate transportation and land use. The awards fund planning and engineering of small projects that would not otherwise be able to move forward and help advance the region’s goals of being multimodal and more walkable.

The five Montgomery projects that received grants were the Olde Towne to Washington Grove Bicycle Connection (City of Gaithersburg); the Montgomery County Streetlight Standards program; the Fleet and Monroe Streets Complete Streets Feasibility Study (City of Rockville); the Takoma Park Metropolitan Branch Trail Upgrade (City of Takoma Park) and the City of Takoma Park New Avenue Bikeway.

Projects are submitted from local jurisdictions that are members of COG, which houses and staffs the TPB. Members apply for amounts between $30,000 and $60,000 for planning projects and up to $80,000 for 30 percent of design projects.

“These awards will help us in our ongoing work to make neighborhoods more accessible and walkable, which is vital to our County’s environmental and diversity goals,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Transit-oriented and walkable neighborhoods help us move toward our climate action goals, reducing single-occupancy vehicles, Green House Gas emissions and they have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of our residents. I appreciate the support from our regional partner, the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, for funding these initiatives.”

For this application cycle, $630,000 was available, which was drawn from the departments of transportation of three states. The Maryland Department of Transportation contributes additional funding so that additional projects in the State can be funded.

Applications are submitted at the beginning of the year, announced in early spring and spending can begin on July 1. Funds are available for one year and have to be spent by the end of the fiscal year, which would be June 30, 2023. Project consultants are contracted through the TPB to make for an easy process to get the projects completed quickly.

“It is great to see other MWCOG members getting involved and submitting for projects that will undoubtedly have a positive impact within the communities where they are based,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We look forward to working with them on these projects that we would not otherwise have funding for.”

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has applied for and received funding through the TLC program in past years. The project currently underway from last year’s funding cycle is a bike and pedestrian plan for Connecticut Avenue, within the Town of Kensington. The year prior, the funds allowed for a regionally recognized study on Pedestrian Navigation for the Visually Impaired in Urban Centers. However, the County receiving funding for five projects is unusual.

Below are details on the five programs in Montgomery County that received TLC awards:
  • Olde Towne to Washington Grove Bicycle Connection (City of Gaithersburg), $60,000.
The funds will go to the conditions and feasibility study to increase bike access to residents in neighborhoods and transit stations surrounding the City of Gaithersburg MARC Station and the Shady Grove Metro Station.

Montgomery County has planned for a bicycle route along Crabbs Branch Way, linking Shady Grove Metro Station to the Town of Washington Grove at Brown Street. Currently, there is no safe, low-stress bicycle link between the City of Gaithersburg MARC Station and the Shady Grove Metro Station. The TLC project will study extending the bicycle infrastructure route to Olde Towne Gaithersburg. The project will complete a conditions and feasibility study to increase bike access to residents in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as to the transit stations.
  • Montgomery County Streetlight Standards (Montgomery County). $50,000.
The grant will help provide an upgrade to Montgomery County’s existing Streetlight Standards to advance the County’s Vision Zero Initiative and its Complete Streets Design Guidelines principles. The County needs the upgrades to effectively convert existing lighting infrastructure to create safer, properly illuminated walking and cycling areas in line with a Safe Streets context. The project will provide updated streetlight standards for both corridor and intersection illumination, helping increase reaction time and reduce crash probability and severity. These standards will be tailored to different land use patterns, recognizing that the needs are different in urban settings compared to suburban or exurban areas of the County.
  • Fleet and Monroe Streets Complete Streets Feasibility Study (City of Rockville). $60,000.
The study will assess construction alternatives of Complete Streets facilities along Fleet and Monroe Streets, approximately one half-mile of roadway in the City of Rockville’s Town Center neighborhood. The project will weigh the values of three alternatives to improve these streets, which currently do not have bike facilities and have limited sidewalks. The alternatives to be examined include bike lanes, bus lanes, wider buffered sidewalks and traffic calming infrastructure. Recommended improvements would increase access to Metro, MARC and Amtrak stations, as well as to a high school.
  • Takoma Park Metropolitan Branch Trail Upgrade (City of Takoma Park). $60,000.
The City of Takoma Park is responsible for the care and maintenance of a nearly half-mile stretch of the Metropolitan Branch Trail that runs between the Washington, D.C., border and Silver Spring. The existing path is in disrepair, lacks pedestrian-scale lighting to allow for safe passage in the dark and does not have safe pedestrian crossings to the municipal park and Montgomery College facilities across the street. The stretch of the trail serves as the only major link between the growing networks of bikeways in both the District and Southern Montgomery County. A full upgrade of the trail is essential to make it comfortable, safe, accessible and ADA-compliant.
  • City of Takoma Park New Ave Bikeway – District Connector (City of Takoma Park). $70,000.
Building on past support from the TLC Program, this project is part of a larger effort to transform New Hampshire Avenue into a multi-modal corridor. The project will complete the design work for a bikeway that will extend from the Langley Park Transit Center to existing bike lanes on Kansas Avenue in the District of Columbia. TLC will fund 30 percent of the design for one of two possible alignments for bike infrastructure that will run through low-traffic neighborhood roads to create a continuous bikeway facility.

“We need more than just recreational spaces; we need to connect our neighborhoods and make them walkable and bikeable in order to expect residents to use them in place of using a car,” said Director Conklin.

‘Bike to Work Day’ Will be Held on Friday, May 20, with Montgomery County Once Again Fully Involved

Bike to Work Day

The Washington Region’s annual support of national Bike to Work Day will be held on Friday, May 20, and Montgomery County intends to be fully involved once again. Registration for the event is now open. The first 15,000 bicyclists who register and participate will get a free T-shirt and are automatically entered into a raffle for a chance to win a new bike.

The event is held across the nation on the third Friday of May to celebrate bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work. Bike riders in Montgomery County can stop by one of the six pit stops sponsored by the County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) for refreshments, to listen to music and visit local vendor displays during varying times on May 20. MCDOT’s pitstops will all begin at 6:30 a.m. and run until either 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. There will be free raffle prizes throughout the morning and two new bikes will be raffled off as grand prizes at each MCDOT-sponsored pit stop. Registration is required. Teleworkers and leisure riders are encouraged to participate.

"With the change in weather and rising gas prices, biking to work is a great way to save money and get exercise,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “It’s a healthy and fun way to travel and it is good for our environment. Biking can help expand mobility in the County while reducing carbon emissions. I encourage residents to give it a try—even for a short trip.”

The Metropolitan Council of Government’s Commuter Connections, a network of transportation organizations in which MCDOT participates, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) are the co-organizers of the Washington Region’s Bike to Work Day event. All participants should visit the Find Your Pit Stop Map to plan a route in advance.

MCDOT-sponsored pit stops will be at the following locations:
The events from the previous two years were modified to avoid gathering because of COVID-19. Giveaways were distributed through 15 bike shops throughout the County in place of the lively pit stops.

“We are glad to get back to our traditional celebration this year,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “This is a fun event that we hope residents will enjoy participating in. Our County has over 100 miles of bike lanes, with over five miles of protected bike lanes, and that network is growing. With spring coming, Bike to Work Day is a good reminder to get your bike cleaned up and ready for use this season.”

All riders are encouraged to wear a helmet.

Maggie Nightingale Library in Poolesville to Reopen on Saturday, May 21

Maggie Nightingale Library

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will join Poolesville residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, to celebrate the grand reopening of the newly refreshed Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) Maggie Nightingale branch located at 19633 Fisher Ave. in Poolesville.

“I am pleased the Maggie Nightingale Library will reopen its doors to the community who have been waiting patiently for this critical community resource to return,” said County Executive Elrich. “With innovative upgrades as well as more accessibility for those with disabilities, the visitor experience at the Maggie Nightingale library has been greatly improved. I encourage all residents to come see and experience this newly refreshed library on May 21.”

The refresh includes the replacement of all flooring, new shelving in select areas, a new service desk, painting throughout, additional lounge seating and replacement of the entry doors. Work also was performed to bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We are so excited to reopen Maggie Nightingale Library to its community members, who we know have been eagerly awaiting this day,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “I hope they will be as pleased as we are about all the new refurbishments.”

Twilight Tuesdays’ Will Have a Wide Range of Free Music and Entertainment on Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring Throughout the Spring

‘Twilight Tuesdays’ Will Have a Wide Range of Free Music and Entertainment on Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring Throughout the Spring

A wide range of free music and entertainment will be featured on Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring throughout the spring in the “Twilight Tuesdays” series presented by Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.

Each Twilight Tuesdays event will run from 7-9 p.m. Veterans Plaza is located at One Veterans Place in Silver Spring, adjacent to the Silver Spring Civic Building. Parking is available nearby and the plaza is an easy walk from the Silver Spring Metrorail Station on the Red Line.

The schedule for Twilight Tuesdays will include:
  • May 17: Evil Kitty Comedy Showcase. Hosted by Walter Gottlieb.
  • May 24: TV John and the Legendary Band (rock originals).
  • May 31: Silver Spring Flow Arts Night. Hosted by James Small. Music by DJ Gatleeng (electronic house, funk, bass and modern Latin dance).
  • June 7: Latin dancing with AM Salsa and Danceintime (part of First Tuesday events).
  • June 14: Special performance for Silver Spring Blues Week.
For more information on Twilight Tuesdays and other Silver Spring events, go to www.silverspringtowncenter.com.

‘Travelogues X: Gastronomic Discoveries Around the Globe’ with Lisa Martin to be Presented Virtually on Friday, May 13

Gastronomic Discoveries

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. series Travelogues Series: Gastronomic Discoveries Around the Globe will continue on with an online presentation from 5-6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13, with host Lisa Martin. The free series allows participants to share travel stories related to memorable culinary moments.

During the event, those wishing to share their experiences can post photos and a story of a special place they have visited. Photos should include one photo of the individual plus up to five others. They also will have an opportunity to tell others about their trip and the food they found.

To register for the event, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvcu6qrzoqG9PM6jxeuGSoSsZjPp4y4YVN

To be part of the discussion, participants should:
  • Pick your five to six photos of one special place/destination in the world you have visited.
  • Include a photo that includes you at the site.
  • Then share with a three-minute or less story.
During the share and tell time, the participants also will be enjoying an international happy hour, so they should join being prepared with a cocktail (or other beverage) from a special place in the world. Consider pairing it with an appetizer or early dinner, since the series will be talking food.

Space for "presenters" is limited. Others who may not want to share an experience are still welcome to join. However, everyone must register in advance to participate.

Ms. Martin has more than 25 years of experience working with arts and cultural organizations on both U.S. coasts, as well as across Europe. She has served as executive director of Silver Spring Town Center Inc since November 2011.

Ms. Martin is recipient of the 2016 Montgomery County Executive's Award for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities for Community Leadership She is an avid traveler has visited more than 30 countries and more than 40 of the 50 states.

‘Vintage Auto Travel in the Maryland State Archives Special Collections, 1910-1965’ Will Be Featured Topic in Maryland History Virtual Presentation on Tuesday, May 17

Vintage Auto Travel

“Vintage Auto Travel in the Maryland State Archives Special Collections, 1910-1965” will be the featured topic at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, in a virtual presentation sponsored by Maryland History. Maria Day, the senior director of special collections, conservation and library services at the Maryland State Archives, will host the presentation.

The forum will take a virtual field trip back in time to the early 20th Century to an era that Marylanders explored historic and scenic wonders of the State by automobile. The talk will include maps, photographs, commercial art, tour guides and other items from Maryland State Archives Special Collections, the State's holdings of private documents and culturally significant records.

The presentation spans a cross-section of automobile history across the State, from the earliest cars and paving of The National Road to post-war leisure travel and the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

To register for the webinar, go to Webinar Registration - Zoom.

Annual Montgomery County Ride On Bus Food Drive to Run from May 15-22

Ride On Bus Food Drive
Montgomery County Ride On bus riders can donate non-perishable food to the County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Ride On food drive from May 15-22. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off on all Ride On, extRa, Flex and Flash buses. A food donation bag will be available next to the farebox.

“We must ensure that no one in Montgomery County goes hungry," said County Executive Marc Elrich. "Food insecurity was prevalent before the pandemic hit—and COVID-19 made it even worse. So many people lost jobs and higher food prices continue to make it exceedingly difficult for families to make ends meet. I am grateful to MCDOT and Manna Food Center for this important effort and encourage residents to donate non-perishable food items on all of our buses between May 15 and May 22.”

MCDOT has conducted the food drive for more than 30 years in partnership with Mana Food Center, although the effort was suspended during the two-year COVID-19 health crisis. This year, the food drive also has partnered with Montgomery County Public Libraries and the County’s five Regional Services Centers, which are also taking in non-perishable food donations.

“We are asking those who have the means to help to donate to this food drive,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Food insecurity is prevalent, but often goes unnoticed. Before the pandemic hit, one in 12 people in Montgomery County were estimated to experience food insecurity. One in three elementary school students qualify for free and reduced meals and 20 percent of the County’s seniors, 55-64 only, live below the self-sufficiency standard.”

In addition to County buses, food donations will also be accepted at the following locations:
  • Executive Office Building:
    101 Monroe Street
    Rockville, MD 20850
    240-777-5880
  • County Council Office Building:
    100 Maryland Avenue
    Rockville, MD 20850
    240-777-5870
Regional Service Centers:
  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Service Center:
    4805 Edgemoor Ln
    Bethesda, MD 20814
    240-777-8200
  • East County Community Recreation Center:
    3310 Gateshead Manor Way
    Silver Spring, MD 20904
    240-475-6527
  • Mid-County Regional Service Center:
    2425 Reedie Drive
    Wheaton, MD 20902
    240-777-8103
  • Silver Spring Regional Service:
    One Veterans Place
    Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
    240-777-5300
  • Upcounty Regional Service Center:
    12900 Middlebrook Road
    Germantown, MD 20874
    240-777-8000
County Libraries:
  • White Oak Library:
    11701 New Hampshire Avenue
    Silver Spring, MD 20904
    240-773-9555
  • Olney Library:
    3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road
    Olney, MD 20832
    240-773-9545
  • Long Branch Library:
    8800 Garland Avenue
    Silver Spring, MD 20901
    240-777-0910
  • Davis Library (North Bethesda):
    6400 Democracy Boulevard
    Bethesda, MD 20817
    240-777-0922
  • Gaithersburg Library:
    18330 Montgomery Village Avenue
    Gaithersburg, MD 20879
    240-773-9490
Manna Food Center Locations:
  • Manna Food Center Warehouse:
    9311 Gaither Rd
    Gaithersburg, MD 20877
    301-424-1130
  • Manna Food Center, Administrative Office:
    12301 Old Columbia Pike
    Silver Spring, MD 20904
    301-424-1130
All food donations will go to Manna Foods Center to help community members in need. Last year, Mana Food Center supported more than 45,000 residents with 5.3 million pounds of food.

Fare for all riders remains free at least until July 2.

All passengers are encouraged to wear face coverings when traveling by public transportation. All MCDOT buses have a supply of face coverings for those who cannot provide their own. Buses will continue to be cleaned by the County’s Department of General Services daily with hospital-grade viral disinfectant. Bus filter and ventilation systems also are treated each night with a disinfectant.