September 23, 2016

What You Need to Know About Montgomery County’s New “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law” That Goes into Effect on October 1

Montgomery County’s new Earned Sick and Safe Law goes into effect on October 1. It will require most employers in the County to provide earned sick and safe leave to employees for work performed in the County.

The intent of the law is to provide employees with paid leave or time off to take care of things such as sickness, family illnesses or domestic violence. It helps to ensure that workers do not have to make a choice between keeping a job and going to work sick or not being able to have time to find a safe living environment. The bill is expected to provide support to our lowest income and most vulnerable workers.

The legislation requires employers to provide earned sick and safe leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours an employee works in the County up to 56 hours in a calendar year. To help small businesses, an employer with fewer than five employees would have to provide an employee with up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year plus an additional 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave. Many County employers already meet or exceed the benefits required by the new law and are unaffected by the new law.

Employers are required to give employees written notice that they are entitled to earned sick and safe leave under the new law. The notice must include a statement of how sick and safe leave is accrued, the permitted uses of earned sick and safe leave, a statement that the employer must not retaliate against an employee for exercising the rights established by the law.

County Young People Invited to Share What is On Their Minds at County Council Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, October 5


The Montgomery County Council will learn what is on the minds of younger residents when it hosts its sixth annual Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, October 5, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting, in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room, will start at 7:30 p.m.

A pre-meeting reception, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria, will offer an informal gathering for students and Councilmembers to talk.

For more information about the event, check Council press release.

Register to Vote – Time is Growing Short


Montgomery County citizens who wish to vote in the November election will need to complete and submit their voter registration application no later than Tuesday, October 18 by 9 p.m.

The best place to find out what you need to know to be ready for the election is at the Board of Elections website where you will find information on early voting, polling locations, how to serve as an election judge and much more.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Enroll First Students in Career Online High School Diploma Program


Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, joined by Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton and Karen Radulovich from Gale Cengage Learning, officially recognized the first enrollees in MCPL’s recently-launched Career Online High School Diploma on September 7. MCPL is the first library system in Maryland to launch the Career Online High School, which is the world’s first accredited, private online school district.

This past June MCPL began accepting applications for the program. Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. Currently, more than 60,000 adults over the age of 25 in Montgomery County lack a high school degree or equivalent.

Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each student with an Academic Coach, who assists with developing an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors, and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform.

Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students have 18 months to complete the program; however, by transferring in previously-earned high school credits, students may complete the program in as few as six months.

More information about Career Online High School is available from MCPL website.

Portion of Maryland Route 97 Dedicated in Honor of Fallen Police Officer Noah A. Leotta


County Executive Ike Leggett along with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan dedicated a portion of Maryland Route 97 (Georgia Avenue between the Inter County Connector and Emory Lane) in the Olney area to honor fallen Police Officer Noah A. Leotta. A drunk driver struck and killed Officer Leotta while he conducted drunk-driving enforcement in December of 2015. Following his death, Officer Leotta’s family, friends and fellow officers worked with state-elected officials to pass Senate Bill 945, the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016 which is known as “Noah’s Law”. The governor signed the bill to go into effect on October 1.

Countywide Community Meeting about the Agricultural Reserve


Councilmember Craig Rice will host a countywide community meeting to discuss concerns or questions about the Agricultural Preserve. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 10 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at The Universities of Shady Grove located a 9630 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville in the Bethesda/Gaithersburg Meeting Room in Building II.

Montgomery County is nationally recognized for its land preservation which benefits not only County farmers but also ensures that our future generations can enjoy open space. The meeting will be a time for those who are familiar with the reserve as well as those who wish to learn more about the over 93,000 acres which make up the County’s Agricultural Reserve.

Taste of Bethesda Annual Food and Music Festival Set for Saturday, October 1


The Taste of Bethesda will take place on Saturday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is located on Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell, Del Ray and Auburn Avenues in the heart of Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle.

Five stages will showcase musical and cultural performances, and a children’s area will feature art and craft activities. Balloons and face painting will provide additional entertainment for young visitors. More than 45,000 attendees have enjoyed the Taste of Bethesda in previous years.

Several new restaurants who will join the lip-smacking food line-up this year are Duck Duck Goose, Fish Taco, Gold Leaf Bakery, Modern Market, Quincy’s and Tropical Smoothie CafĂ©. Returning favorites such as Georgetown Cupcake, Jaleo, Louisiana Kitchen & Bayou Bar, Mussel Bar, Olazzo, Ruth’s Chris and many more will also be in attendance this year.

The sounds of 8 Ohms Band, Black Masala, Elikeh, Justin Jones (2016 Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards Winner), Margot MacDonald, Oasis Island Sounds, Olivia Mancini and Verny Varela will fill Woodmont Triangle during Taste of Bethesda. The cultural music and dance stage will feature Coyaba, Furia Flamenca, Jayamangala, Lesole Dance Project and Teelin Irish Dance Company.

Read more about the event at www.bethesda.org/bethesda/taste-bethesda

Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies Announced for two Montgomery County Recreation Facilities

Residents will have two new recreation facilities to enjoy just in time for the cooler temperatures.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the Nancy H. Dacek North Potomac Community Recreation Center is scheduled for October 22 at 10 a.m. The facility is located at 13850 Travilah Road, Rockville. The new facility, located on 17 acres, will be a full-service community recreation center and senior center. The center will include a gymnasium, exercise room, social hall, kitchen, senior/community lounge, arts/kiln room, game room and more.

The reopening of the Ross Boddy Neighborhood Center located at 18529 Brooke Road Silver Spring will be marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 29 at 10 a.m. Renovations to the Center include a new athletic field, court games, playground and additional parking.

Hands-On Family Activities and Inventions at Maker Faire Silver Spring

Montgomery County Government invites the community to participate in interactive activities at Maker Faire Silver Spring on Sunday, September 25, 12 to 5 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Place. Admission and activities are free to the public.

Maker Faire is a unique festival featuring the work of inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. Projects range from robotics and electronics, to metal working and larger-than-life interactive artwork.

Summer of Safety Campaign Wraps Up


All good things must come to an end….and so it is with the summer season. On Thursday, September 22, the autumnal equinox occurred at 10:21 a.m. That seasonal passage also marked the conclusion of the 2016 Summer of Safety A to Z campaign. The hope is you benefited from the daily-throughout-the-summer safety messages delivered through the County’s social media and compiled on the Summer of Safety webpage.

The final safety message takes us back to where we started, “A” for Alert Montgomery. It is vital not just during the summer, but all year long. Please sign up for the County’s emergency warning system. It is the best way to know where to go, what to do and how to stay informed in emergency situations. You can have those messages delivered to your cell phone, land-line home or work phones, email account or text pagers during a major crisis, emergency or severe weather event. So before you get too involved in raking up those autumn leaves, go online and sign up at: alert.montgomerycountymd.gov.