September 14, 2012

On the Ballot: Question B
Who Do You Think Should Run the Montgomery County Police Department? The Police Chief or Police Union Leaders?

Under “effects bargaining,” Police Chief Tom Manger has to bargain everything about running his department with Police union leaders, such as distributing critical police equipment, redeploying officers to crime hot spots and even the revised policy on “Use of Force” -- important to protecting the public and officers alike -- that was sent to the Police Union for their “approval” on June 27, 2008.

In all, 15 Police Department policies are awaiting union leaders' “approval” -- 12 of them for more than two years. Under effects bargaining, police officers still don’t have to sign their time cards. The Police Chief could not even require that police officers have County email accounts – or check their email. It took months to negotiate that.

That makes no sense.

That’s why the County Council and the County Executive -- all pro-labor -- unanimously repealed “effects bargaining” – without affecting the continued right of the union to bargain wages, hours, working conditions and benefits on behalf of their members.

No other Police union in the entire State has “effects bargaining.” Neither does any other County union have it in their contract.

The issue will be on the November ballot.

A “FOR” vote on Question B is a vote that lets the Police Chief run the department in the most efficient and productive way and still protects the full range of collective bargaining enjoyed by all other Police unions across the State and all other County unions.

An “AGAINST” vote preserves union leaders’ power over the ability of the Police Chief to run the Police Department, impairing the effective and productive running of the department.

That’s what Question B is all about.  Vote FOR Question B.

Read the Washington Post editorial: “Unshackling Montgomery’s Police”

See the list of Police policies dating back to June, 2008 that are awaiting Fraternal Order of Police “approval” before Chief Manger can implement them.

See a list of facts about Question B. 

For more information, go to the Question B website.

September is Falls Prevention Month -- Leggett Highlights County Safety Initiatives for Seniors

County Executive Ike Leggett, Fire Chief Richard Bowers and Grass Roots Organization for the Well-Being of Seniors (GROWS) President Susan Wranik recently announced a number of safety initiatives aimed at the County’s growing population of seniors.

In 2010, with nearly 120,000 seniors living in Montgomery County, there were 3,294 calls to 9-1-1 attributed to falls by individuals over the age of 60.  In turn, nearly 2,100 of those falls were by individuals over the age of 80.  While falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency room visits and hospital admissions for Marylanders over the age of 65, they are highly preventable.

The County has partnered with GROWS to promote educational activities and events throughout September, Falls Prevention Month. Check out a  schedule of remaining activities.

In addition, the departments of Health and Human Services and Recreation sponsor Bone Builders classes that help seniors increase their strength and balance.  For a schedule, visit the County’s Calendar page and enter Bone Builders in the search function.

The Fire and Rescue Service also provides the “Safety in Our Neighborhood” program which has firefighters visiting communities, going door-to-door to check smoke alarms, helping residents develop escape plans and pointing out potential “trouble spots” in a home.  Firefighters will point out tripping hazards and offer suggestions on making homes safer such as installing grab bars, repairing hand rails and adding night lights.

Are You Ready? Get First-Hand Information on Being Prepared for Emergencies

The Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) is helping show residents, first-hand, how they can prepare themselves, their families and their communities for emergencies such as the derecho that hit the County in late June.

OEMHS staff will be at the following events, talking to residents and distributing helpful information on emergency preparedness and inviting them to sign up for Alert Montgomery.

  • Burtonsville Day – Saturday, September 22
  • Oktoberfest at the Kentlands – Sunday, October 14
  • World of Montgomery in Wheaton – Sunday, October 21

See more information about being ready.

Leggett, Councilmembers to Participate in Hearing about On-The-Job Safety And Health Challenges Faced By Immigrant Workers

County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmembers Nancy Navarro, Valerie Ervin, and George Leventhal will participate in the public hearing on September 21 held by the Montgomery County Worker Safety & Health Commission on “Safety & Health Challenges on the Job Faced by Immigrant Workers.”

The hearing will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building, at Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St.  It follows Montgomery County’s adoption of a regulation strengthening worker health and safety on County-funded construction projects.

Among those testifying will be the widow of a worker killed on the job in the County and other workers injured on the job.

See more information.

Ted Koppel to Host Event Saluting Local WWII Veterans; Two Local Congressional Gold Medal Winners, Lifelong Friends Among Attendees

John Henry Chaney of Boyds and Charles Frazier of Germantown, lifelong friends who served together with the Montford Point Marines --the first blacks to serve in the Marine Corps -- and were recently presented with belated Congressional Gold Medals, will be among the attendees at the Silver Spring Civic Building on Wednesday, September 19, as Montgomery County salutes the men and women who served the nation in World War II.

Ted Koppel, who for 25 years hosted the ABC News show “Nightline,” will be the host and one of the speakers. Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown also will be among the main speakers.

County Executive Ike Leggett, Council President Roger Berliner and the County Council will lead the special ceremonies that will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Civic Building located at One Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring.

The event will be simulcast live on many of the County’s public cable television channels that compose the PEG (Public, Education, Government) Network. In addition, the PEG Network will record the stories of many of the veterans for a documentary that will be broadcast on the cable stations.

Learn more about the event.

Have a World of Fun at World of Montgomery

Fun for the whole family is the best way to describe the World of Montgomery Festival coming to downtown Wheaton on Sunday, October 21, from noon to 5 p.m. The free event will be held in the Wheaton Triangle at Grandview Ave. and Reedie Dr., one block from the Wheaton Metro station at 2424 Reedie Dr.  Plenty of nearby free parking is available.

Tour the International Village, produced by the KID Museum, featuring China, El Salvador, Ethiopia and India.  Enjoy music, entertainment and food from around the globe.  There will be a Pupusa Cook-Off organized by LEDC (Latino Economic Development Corporation) and an International Youth Film Festival. Crafts and community service projects will be available for kids, and there will be an array of international crafts from the Fenton Street Market.

See the festival flyer (pdf).

Leggett Responds to Councilmember on County’s Involvement with Pepco

On August 30, Leggett met with Pepco’s senior leadership at his office in Rockville – reviewing their recent performance and making crystal clear the County’s expectations for improved reliability.
In response to comments by County Councilmember Nancy Floreen that the County should have a “clear roadmap of what it is asking from Pepco or the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC),” County Executive Ike Leggett assured her that “the County has been actively involved in several matters regarding Pepco’s performance before the PSC….”

In a September 10 memorandum to Councilmember Floreen, Leggett said the County is “currently a party in the case to review their [Pepco] handling of the Derecho storm” in June.

Read entire memo (pdf).

Police Department Celebrates 90th Anniversary with a Public Safety-Community Blood and Food Drive

In honor of 90 years of outstanding service by the men and women of the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), the Police and the American Red Cross are asking residents to donate blood and non-perishable food items for the needy, with the goal of having 90 blood donors.

Donations can be made in honor of a MCPD or other Law Enforcement/Fire and Rescue Fallen Hero, or an Armed Forces Veteran who has served with pride during the 90-year history of the department.

The blood drive will be held at the Montgomery County Public Safety headquarters at 100 Edison Park Dr., Gaithersburg. Information on the event date and time are currently being finalized and will be available the week of September 17 on the police website at and the Red Cross website at

Once the date and times have been finalized, donors must make a reservation to schedule a time to donate blood.  No reservation is necessary to donate food items. Needed items for the Food Pantry include packaged stuffing, canned gravy, jelly, peanut butter, coffee and other non-perishable food items.

To reserve a time to give blood, go to, and follow the scheduling prompts: click in blue box to “Make a Blood Donation Appointment” and enter Sponsor ID: 05314796.  Go to Donor Login and enter your UserName and Password, click login.  Select your preferred time to create an appointment.   Walk-in donors will be accepted but the preferred method is to sign up on line.  Donors are reminded to: bring a photo ID, double up on fluid intake 24 hours before the event and eat regular meals.


Vehicle Donations Needed for Automotive Education Program

The Automotive Trades Foundation (ATF), also known as The Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit foundation established by Montgomery County Public Schools and the local business community to promote automotive education through a student-run licensed used car dealership.

This method of training high school students for skilled positions in the automotive field offers hands-on instruction. Students also are introduced to potential employers with available automotive positions in technical service, customer service, sales and management. They receive valuable on-the-job training that prepares them for higher educational opportunities or direct entry into the automotive job market.

The automotive education program currently is in need of vehicle donations so the program, begun in 1978, can continue.

Donated vehicles allow students to learn through the "Mini-Dealership" model, a student- run business that evaluates and refurbishes donated vehicles to be marketed by students and resold back to the public.

The donated vehicles should meet the following criteria:
  • Runs under its own power (unless the customer is willing to tow in)
  • No major accidents (such as a bent frame)
  • Has a clean unmarked title and lien release (if the vehicle had a loan)
Donors must also complete a Donation Authorization Form.

For more details visit and go to Donate Your Car at the top of the website.

A Green Move: Council Passes Bill to Prohibit Use, Sale of Certain Coal Tar Products

The Montgomery County Council has unanimously approved Bill 21-12 that will prohibit the use and sale of certain coal-tar products that are generally used as sealants on driveways.

With passage of the legislation, Montgomery is the first county in Maryland, and one of the largest counties in the nation, to prohibit the sale of the sealants, which have been recognized to contaminate soils, lakes and homes as they disintegrate and run off after application.

The U.S. Geolological Survey and the American Chemical Society have explained that sealcoat does not stay on a pavement permanently. Sealcoat manufacturers generally recommend re-applications between one and five years, depending upon the product used. The particles can be washed off the roadway by rain and carried through storm drains into streams, ponds and stormwater management devices. Other particles can be blown away by wind or tracked indoors on the soles of shoes.

The Department of Environmental Protection will oversee enforcement of the law.

Read more.

Transportation’s 2012 Annual Report Online

Past accomplishments and future initiatives are among the topics found in the Department of Transportation’s new 2012 Annual Report now available online.  The report also contains a special supplement on the County’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative.

New “Community Cornerstones…” Brochure from Heritage Montgomery

The stories of 24 unique, historic African American churches and their Montgomery County communities are highlighted in a new brochure “Community Cornerstones: A Selection of Historic African American Churches in Montgomery County, Maryland” produced by The Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery).

The 34-page booklet can be used as a guide to draw attention to sites that residents may have passed on a daily basis, unaware of their meaningful history, or it can serve as a handy reference for anyone interested in seeing the churches.

View Community Cornerstones online.  Paper copies are available from the Heritage Montgomery office, 12515 Milestone Manor La., Germantown MD 20876 or at heritage sites around the County.

Read more about the brochure.

Take a Look at… Other Sources of News about the County

Montgomery County Volunteer Center
Any time of the year is the right time to get involved, give back to your community and volunteer.  “Montgomery Volunteer,” the Volunteer Center’s online newsletter, keeps readers up on the latest opportunities for all ages and interests.

See the newsletter.

Consumer Protection Wants You to Know about… Scholarship Scams

Need money for college? Doesn't everybody. Unfortunately, in their efforts to pay the bills, many students and their families are falling prey to scholarship scams.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, unscrupulous companies guarantee or promise scholarships, grants or fantastic financial aid packages. Many use high pressure sales pitches at seminars where you are required to pay immediately or risk losing out on the "opportunity.”  For advice on what to look out for, visit the FTC online.


Councilmember Ervin, DC Councilmember Mendelson Speak Out on the Plight of Area Service Workers

A recent Washington Post editorial talks about “A measure of security for some of Montgomery’s lowest-paid workers.” It highlights measures that the neighboring jurisdictions of the District and Montgomery County have taken – or are about to take – to help afford some security for the many service workers in our community.

Read the entire Local Opinion piece.

DEP’s Eric Coffman Receives Maryland Clean Energy Award

Each year, the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) recognizes a few individuals, who have done outstanding work to advance clean energy and energy efficiency in Maryland, for their leadership, partnership, advocacy and overall championship of the sector.

Eric Coffman, senior energy planner with the Department of Envidronmental Protection (DEP), has been selected by the Maryland Clean Energy Center to receive the 2012 Maryland Clean Energy Bright Light Award.  The award recognizes an individual or group that shines for their contribution in support of MCEC efforts to remove barriers to success, promote the MCEC mission and bridge gaps between industry and policy.

MCEC’s “Current” (newsletter), cites Eric as “…a beacon in the clean energy and energy efficiency field in Maryland for more than half a decade, helping to make Montgomery County and the state of Maryland one of the leading clean energy areas in the entire country.”

Read Eric’s award-winning accomplishments.

This year, nine individuals and one organization have been honored in 10 categories.  The awards will be presented at the Maryland Clean Energy Summit, September 17-19 at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Located at the Universities at Shady Grove, the Maryland Clean Energy Center was created in 2008 to encourage the transformation of the energy economy with programs that catalyze the growth of business, increase related “green collar” jobs and make clean energy technologies, products and services affordable, accessible and easy to implement for Maryland residents.

September 4, 2012

County Honors Local Olympians

County Executive Ike Leggett hosted a reception in the Executive Office Building in Rockville honoring Montgomery County’s 2012 Olympians. Two of the five local athletes who competed in London -- Scott Parsons, three-time Olympian in the men’s slalom kayak event and Katie Ledecky, Gold Medal winner in the 800-meter freestyle swimming event (shown with the Executive) -- attended the reception.  

Julie Zetlin (rhythmic gymnastics), Caroline Queen (women’s slalom kayak) and David Banks (rowing) were unable to attend the reception.

In his remarks, Leggett noted, “That each of you made it to this level in your respective sports is indeed a major accomplishment and something you will always treasure."

The auditorium was filled with County employees who took the opportunity to talk to and be photographed with the Olympians.  Both Katie and Scott graciously obliged everyone asking for photos and/or autographs. 

Move and Groove at the Silver Spring Jazz Festival

The Silver Spring Jazz Festival returns to the heart of Downtown Silver Spring on September 8 for its 9th year of unique sounds and jazz vibes to get you on your feet to move and groove.

The event is free and will run from 4:30-10 p.m. at Veterans Plaza at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

This year’s headliner is Grammy award-winning and Academy Award-nominated artist, Sergio Mendes. Known for his bossa nova/jazz/funk musical style, Mendes has produced several Gold and Platinum hits that have reached the top of Billboard charts throughout his 50-year career.  He has collaborated with artists such as, Stevie Wonder, Erikah Bahdu, Justin Timberlake and countless others.

Also performing at the festival will be Marcus Johnson, the Bruce Swaim Quartet and Elliot Levine.

Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation – the Silver Spring Metro (Red Line) is two blocks away – and to bring a blanket and/or beach chair.  Food vendors will be available onsite. 

Free parking is available in public parking garages in downtown Silver Spring. In addition to the Wayne Ave. and Town Center garages, festival goers may want to check other public parking garages in Silver Spring that may be less crowded, including Garage 2 at Spring and Cameron sts.; Garage 4 at Fenton St. and Silver Spring Ave.; Garage 21 at Spring St. and Colesville Rd.; and Garage 5 at Bonifant St. and Dixon Ave.

For more information, call 240-777-6821.

Watch Marcus Johnson’s interview on “Mosaic.”      

Salvadorian Independence Festival Coming to the Fairgrounds

The color and traditions of Salvadorian food, music and culture will come alive for all ages at the 7th Annual Salvadorian Independence Festival to be held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on September 9 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

More than half a dozen well-known Salvadorian artists will perform throughout the day on the live sound stage. A Kid Zone play area will feature clowns and music for the younger set form noon to 6 p.m.

For more details visit

In-Depth Interview with County Executive on County Cable’s “Mosaic”

County Executive Ike Leggett talks with “Mosaic” host Deborah Milo about his beginnings, the importance of  "perseverance" and his style of governing, among other topics.

Chat Online with County Executive

Residents will have the chance to express their opinions about any local issue or topic with County Executive Ike Leggett during his next online chat on September 19 from 1 to 2 p.m.

You can submit questions anytime. Answered questions will be available at the beginning of the live session and selected questions will be answered during the scheduled discussion time. 

Hours to be Restored for Several Public Libraries

Beginning September 16, several Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) branches will be open longer hours.

On that date, all libraries with Sunday hours will open one hour earlier -- at noon -- and remain open until 5 p.m. The libraries are Bethesda, Gaithersburg Interim (Lakeforest Mall), Germantown, Marilyn J. Praisner, Rockville Memorial, Silver Spring and Wheaton.

Also under the new hours, the following branches will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.Bethesda, Germantown, Quince Orchard, Rockville Memorial and Wheaton. Friday and Saturday hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at these branches remain unchanged.

Emphasizing the importance of the added hours of operations, County Executive Ike Leggett said, “I am very pleased that this fiscal year, we were finally able to provide funding in the budget to restore hours for at least several branches.  Our libraries are one of the most important services we, as a County, provide and their impact on residents of all ages is tremendous."
“It is thanks to the fact that County Executive Leggett recommended and the County Council approved funding in the budget that we can return hours to some of the branches within the Montgomery County Public Libraries system,” said MCPL Director Parker Hamilton.  “The additional 47 hours per week will mean more opportunities for our customers to access all the resources of these libraries such as books and materials, programs, teen events, study areas, trained library staff and wireless and public computers.”


Section of Woodmont Ave. in Bethesda to Close during Construction Project

On or about September 7 at 9 p.m., Woodmont Avenue between Bethesda and Miller avenues will close for about 20 months during construction of a public-private partnership project.  When completed, the project will more than triple the number of public parking spaces available on the former surface parking lot located at the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues.

 The adjacent Capital Crescent Trail will remain open during the entire construction project.

Judicial Center’s Maryland Avenue Entrance to Close during Renovation

The Maryland Avenue entrance to the Montgomery County Judicial Center will close September 10, 2012 until March 10, 2013 during renovations of the building.

With the Maryland Avenue entrance temporarily closed, all employees and visitors will enter through the Monroe Street entrance, which is off the traffic circle adjacent to the Executive Office Building’s (EOB) main entrance, 101 Monroe St.  Visitors also can enter the Judicial Center through the cafeteria located on the Terrace Level of the EOB.

The construction of the new Judicial Center Annex is expected to be completed in August 2013, and renovation of the existing Judicial Center will be completed in November 2014.

Volunteer Leaders Needed for Bone Builders Classes

Volunteers are needed to teach free Bone Builders classes in Brookeville, Cabin John, Cloverly, Sandy Spring, Takoma Park and White Oak.  The daytime classes are designed to prevent and to slow the development of osteoporosis and help regular participants increase bone density naturally, an effective option for those who may not wish to use anti-osteoporosis medicines.  Each one-hour session includes balance and weight training.

Leaders receive a full day of free training and ongoing supervision by a master trainer. The next training is scheduled for Friday, September 14 at the Mid-County Community Recreation Center 2004 Queensguard Rd., Silver Spring. Space is limited.  

Bone Builders is sponsored by Montgomery County’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Aging and Disability Services. 

For more information or to register for the training, contact Shawn Brennan, program manager for Senior Health Promotion, at 240-777-1350 or  

Take a Look at …Other Sources of News about the County

Thanks to ever-improving technology, the number of ways we’re able to communicate is increasing accordingly.  And, in Montgomery County, there are various ways for residents to receive information about County programs, services and events.

Here’s one example:

If you’re interested in the local business sector, you might check out e-Biz Update published bi-monthly by the Department of Economic Development. It highlights the latest local private-sector, federal agency and County incubator company newsmakers along with DED and partner-initiated events, local federal contracting awards, etc.  Sign up for the newsletter.

In the next Paperless Airplane, we’ll feature more newsletters that might be of interest.

Montgomery County Says “Welcome” -- New Visitors Guide On-Line

It’s all about Montgomery County. It’s the Conference and Visitors Bureau’s new “Visitor Guide” that’s now online.

The guide is a handy reference for residents -- both new and long-time -- who want to find out what there is to see and do in their own backyard, or for visitors to the area.

There’s more than you know, so take a look at the Guide and see how easy it is to plan a “staycation” or a vacation in Montgomery County.


"Rewarding Excellence" Program Featured in Governing Magazine

Montgomery County’s gainsharing program, "Rewarding Excellence", was featured in the August issue of Governing magazine.  Begun in 2009, "Rewarding Excellence" has so far resulted in five successful proposals from front-line employees that are expected to save the County approximately $850,000 annually.  Other projects are in various stages of approval.

Gainsharing program ideas are generated by teams of eight to 12 people, plus one or two facilitators, who receive special training. The teams then meet regularly to brainstorm new, money-saving ideas, develop detailed proposals, then present them to senior management and union representatives for approval.  Team members are rewarded for successful programs with one-time bonuses of up to $5,000, depending on the amount of money the program saves.

Gazette interview with County Latina cable producer and businesswoman

In an interview with The Gazette’s Clyde Ford, Cuban-born Lorna Virgil, a County Cable producer, radio host and media liaison, talks about how a change of pace and direction in her life has enabled her to  “carve out her own niche” in a County and state with an ever-increasing Hispanic population.

Lorna co-hosts “County Report This Week” on County Cable Montgomery and is the host of “Montgomery Al Día” which is broadcast live each Tuesday at 2 p.m. on Radio America 1540 AM. The show also airs on County Cable Montgomery. Visit and click the “Montgomery Al Día” icon. For a listing of viewing times on County Cable Montgomery, go to the schedule on the right side of the website.


September 10 -- Nominations deadline for Montgomery County Office of Human Rights’ (OHR) Seventh Hall of Fame. Nominations should be for individuals – either living or deceased – whose ongoing work, service and contributions have positively impacted human and civil rights in the county. Read more about the Hall of Fame. Nomination forms are available online, or by calling the Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8456.

September 14 – Talent call for performers in the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Auditions for individuals and groups. 5:30 to 9 p.m. Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, Room 124 in the Music Building. Musical and dance performers, as well as instrumental selections, spoken word and skit performances are sought. RSVP to in order to receive an audition time. A three-minute audition will be required; all members of the group must be present at the audition. Contact Susan Peevy at or Yvonne Stephens at Montgomery College’s Office of Equity and Diversity, 240-567-4203, or

September 21 – Public hearing on “Safety & Health Challenges on the Job Faced by Immigrant Workers.”  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Silver Spring Civic Building, Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St. Free.  Local immigrant workers and occupational safety and health authorities will testify. Opening remarks by County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmembers Valerie Ervin, Nancy Navarro and George Leventhal. Convened by the Montgomery County Worker Safety & Health Commission. The commission will use the testimony to plan future programs and initiatives with state and federal government officials. More information, call the Office of Public Information, 240-777-6507.

October  27 – Community Service Day. Join thousands of county residents who will volunteer in order to make a difference on the County’s 26th annual Community Service Day. For more information about serving on CSD or anytime during the week of October 22-28, visit