October 31, 2013

The Capacity Crisis in Our Schools: Leggett, Council, Schools, County Delegation to Seek Additional Construction Funds

To address double-digit school enrollment, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today joined County, school and State officials in urging the State to jumpstart a public school building program to increase capacity. Pictured (from left to right) are Delegate Sam Arora, County Councilmember George Leventhal, Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, Delegate Sheila Hixson, Council Vice President Craig Rice, Delegate Charles Barkley, Councilmember Roger Berliner (partially obscured), Leggett, Councilmember Valerie Ervin and Council President Nancy Navarro.  See Press Release and Remarks of Janette Gilman, President, Montgomery County Council of PTAs.

County Executive Ike Leggett joined County, school and State officials in urging the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly to support legislation -- similar to a bill passed last year for the Baltimore City Public Schools -- that would benefit Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The legislation would jumpstart a public school building program to increase capacity and modernize facilities in response to MCPS’ double-digit enrollment surge that is expected to continue unabated into the future.

As Baltimore City did, the County would seek $20 million from the State of Maryland to leverage a $40 million investment by the County. The funds provided in the legislation would supplement the County’s share of new state authorizations for school construction, which has historically been only 11 to 12 percent. The $60 million revenue stream would support a bond issuance of about $750 million, which would fund construction projects over the next five years. The funding would provide for construction of 56 projects to add capacity at severely impacted schools.

From 2000-2012, MCPS grew by 14,599 students -- more than the growth of Anne Arundel, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties COMBINED over the same period. The County’s unprecedented increase in enrollment is the highest in the State and nearly half of MCPS schools are projected to have seat deficits by the 2018-2019 school year.

Read more.

County Maintains Coveted Triple-A Bond Rating

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that Montgomery County has maintained its Triple-A bond rating from three Wall Street bond rating agencies -- Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. The announcement came a week after Leggett, Council President Nancy Navarro and other County officials met with the agencies to brief them on the County’s fiscal situation and future plans.

The three agencies affirmed the “AAA” rating – the highest achievable -- for the County. and termed the outlook for Montgomery County as “stable.”

The Triple-A bond rating enables Montgomery County to sell long-term bonds at the most favorable rates, saving County taxpayers millions of dollars over the life of the bonds. The rating also serves as a benchmark for numerous other financial transactions, ensuring the lowest possible costs in those areas as well.

Read more.

See The Washington Post report.

New Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center Opens

County Executive Ike Leggett joined local transportation and transit officials to mark the opening of the new David F. Bone Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center (EMTOC) in Rockville.

The EMTOC is named for the late David F. Bone, Ride On’s senior planner from its creation in 1973 until 2000. He was the chief architect of Ride On’s service philosophy, route design and structure, creating the concept of Ride On as a neighborhood feeder system to Metrorail and Metrobus. Bone’s widow and two daughters were also present to help open the building.

This is another of the Executive’s Smart Growth Initiative (SGI) projects that is revitalizing an old industrial area by creating an urban village near the Shady Grove Metro station. Leggett’s SGI is a cost-neutral strategy that will provide substantial economic opportunities for future growth while implementing the goals of the Shady Grove Sector Plan.

The collection of 12 buildings serves the Department of Transportation’s divisions of Transit Services and Highway Services and the Department of General Services’ Division of Fleet Management. The onsite facilities include administrative buildings; parking for 200 buses; bus service lanes; bus wash facility; fare collection area; bus service maintenance bays; parts room; heavy equipment storage shed; soil/gravel storage area; salt barn; Highway Services bays; compressed natural gas fast-fill, gasoline and diesel fueling stations; and employee and visitor parking.

The Shady Grove Sector Plan, approved by the County Council in 2005, calls for transitioning the area around the Shady Grove Metro station from light industrial uses to transit-oriented development, including affordable and workforce housing.

To accomplish this goal, the County Service Park facilities, which are located in the heart of the planning area along Crabbs Branch Way, must be relocated. The facilities being moved include the former Equipment and Maintenance Operations Center, which contains the Highway Maintenance Depot; the Department of Liquor Control Headquarters and Warehouse; Montgomery County Public Schools Food Distribution Center, Bus Depot and Facilities Maintenance Depot; County Radio Shop; and Park and Planning Facilities Maintenance Depot.

The departments of Police and Fire and Rescue and the Office of Homeland Security have already moved to the Public Safety Headquarters building, which is also home to the divisions of Highway Services and Traffic Engineering in the Department of Transportation.

Read more in the news release.

End of Daylight Savings Time is Time for Pedestrians and Drivers to be Cautious

Because pedestrian collisions have typically spiked by nearly 40 percent in Montgomery County during October, November and December, pedestrians are asked to be extra cautious. The end of Daylight Savings Time -- on November 3 this year -- brings fewer daylight hours. According to federal safety officials, 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen during the night time hours.

This week, the regional Street Smart Campaign launched its fall outreach to raise awareness in drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Last year in the Washington region, 72 pedestrians and bicyclists died in traffic collisions. Montgomery County averages more than 400 pedestrian collisions a year.

See safety tips for drivers and pedestrians.

Annual Leaf Collections to Begin November 4

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) will conduct its annual vacuum collection of leaves in the southern part of the County from November 4 through mid-December. DHS makes two collections on every street in the collection district during the fall.

Residents should look for signs posted along the streets announcing the collection dates in their neighborhoods. Green signs indicate the date of the first collection and red signs indicate the second collection.

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.

Read more about putting out leaves for pickup.

Volunteers Needed for 100,000 Homes Campaign

Montgomery County is now a part of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign, a movement of more than 200 communities working to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronic and medically vulnerable homeless Americans. The local campaign will prioritize those most in need of permanent housing and improve access to permanent supportive housing and services for homeless individuals.

During the 100,000 Homes Campaign Registry Week -- November 3 to 7 -- 300 volunteers will be needed to help in various capacities. Most will conduct the surveys of homeless individuals. However, others are needed to prepare survey materials, assist at volunteer headquarters or serve on a campaign subcommittee.

Food and drinks will be provided to volunteers at the training session and during volunteer shifts. Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, email the campaign at 100khomesmc@gmail.com.

To support the campaign by donating or becoming a sponsor, contact Campaign Manager Herb Smith at hsmith@mcch.net or 301-917-6648.

Register to volunteer.

Homeless Resource Day Event

Individuals and families experiencing homelessness can access needed benefits, medical care and counseling, in addition to a variety of other community services at Homeless Resource Day 2013 to be held on Thursday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg.

The event is co-sponsored by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz.

Get more information at montgomerycountymd.gov/hrd.

Amharic Language Materials Added to Silver Spring Library Collection

County Executive Ike Leggett (center) joined Montgomery County Public Libraries Director Parker Hamilton (left of Leggett) and members of the Ethiopian community to announce the addition of an Amharic language books and materials collection at the Silver Spring Library.
Included in the new collection will be children's and young readers’ stories and language learning materials, adult fiction and nonfiction, and a limited number of compact discs.

Amharic, a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia, is the second-most spoken Semitic language in the world after Arabic. According to the 2010 U.S. Census and 2011 American Community Survey, more than 58,000 of Montgomery County’s residents were born in Africa. Ethiopians make up the largest segment of the County’s African immigrants.

Read more.

Literary Contest and Visual Arts Show for Students Announced

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee is seeking entries for its literary arts contest and visual arts show in observance of the life of Dr. King. The contest is open to all elementary, middle and high school students in Montgomery County.

Entries must be received no later than Friday, December 6.

Ger more details from the news release or download the flyer (pdf).

Improve Your ‘Green Savvy’ Gardening Skills, Knowledge: Become a Master Gardener

County residents interested in learning environmentally sound gardening practices and sharing the information with others can apply now to join the 2014 Montgomery County Master Gardeners training program.

The course begins January 21, 2014, and continues through March 7 (depending on possible snow days). Classes meet Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Maryland Extension, Montgomery County office, located at the Agricultural History Farm Park, 18410 Muncaster Rd., Derwood.

The training fee is $300 and includes a manual and other materials. Horticulture lectures cover ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables and herbs; identifying common pests and diseases; and proper fertilization and watering practices.

Registration deadline is December 31, 2013. Class size is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To be placed on the application list, or for more information, call 301-590-2836.

See news release.

County Offers Tax Incentive Program for Local Cybersecurity Sector

The County’s recently passed Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit Supplement Program is aimed at spurring job and business growth in the ever-critical cybersecurity sector.

Local companies designated as a Qualified Maryland Cybersecurity Company that receive a final tax credit certificate for the Maryland cybersecurity investment tax credit are eligible for the local supplement the following year.

The County’s new tax incentive program takes effect in January 2014. Get additional information.

Read more in The Post article by Steven Overly.

Everyday Heroes Recognized for Life-saving Actions

Shown at the ceremony in Rockville are (l to r) Lohr, Andrews, Uniformed Services University Second Lieutenant Weymouth and Ensign Hunt, Leggett and Montgomery College security officers Rodriquez and Wilson. Not pictured is hero Walter Lopez.
Five ordinary people who took extraordinary actions to save lives and help others in three separate incidents were recognized recently as “everyday heroes” by County Executive Ike Leggett, County Councilmember Phil Andrews and Fire Chief Steven E. Lohr.

During the derecho in June 2012, Walter Lopez rescued a woman trapped in her car after a tree fell on it. She was bleeding profusely and could not lift her head due to the crushed roof of the vehicle. Lopez pulled her through the passenger side window and drove her to Suburban Hospital. He used towels and clothing to make a compress to slow the bleeding. The Bethesda resident survived and has since recovered from her head injuries.

In March of this year, Montgomery College (Rockville Campus) security officers Yasmel Rodriquez and Jeff Wilson arrived on scene to assist an unconscious student. They quickly assessed the situation and, using the Automatic External Defibrillator they had brought, immediately began CPR on the student who survived and is doing well today.

In July, a vehicle drove though the front of Sam’s Club in Gaithersburg striking two men who were in the food court. One suffered a severe leg wound. Uniformed Services University Ensign John Hunt and Second Lieutenant Wells Weymouth, who happened to be in the store, arrived to help. Using their belts to try and stop the bleeding, they stabilized the victim until paramedics arrived. Their quick actions were instrumental in the man’s survival.

See media coverage of the event by Channel 7; Channel 4; and WTOP.

Chief Administrative Officer Wins Visionary Leadership Award

Montgomery County’s Chief Administrative Officer, Timothy L. Firestine, has received the 2013 Visionary Leadership Award from the Institute for Regional Excellence (IRE). The prize recognizes top government officials for their outstanding contributions to metropolitan Washington and their home jurisdictions.

Firestine was also praised for his leadership at the national level. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions on matters of critical importance to local governments, specifically in the areas of finance, taxation and municipal debt, and has provided guidance to legislators on the impact of the nation’s fiscal crisis and on regulatory matters. He currently is president of the national Government Finance Officers Association and has served as president of the Maryland Government Finance Officers Association.

Read more.

World of Montgomery Festival Highlighted in MetroLatinoUSA

An article and photo spread in MetroLatinoUSA, entitled “Montgomery County Extends a Hand to the Immigrant,” reflects the many moods, colors and facets of the World of Montgomery Festival held recently in Wheaton.

One photo that captured the essence of the event shows a Chinese resident trying a serving of papusas.

It seems a good time was had by all.

Monday, November 11 – 5th Annual Tribute to America’s Veterans Concert.

Silver Spring Civic Building. 6 p.m. Free. Presented by Silver Spring Town Center in collaboration with Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs. Guest entertainers Doc Scantlin and the Palmettos with Chou Chou celebrate music and dance of the WWII era. Military and vintage dress optional.

Saturday, November 16 – Sister Cities: Morazán/Montgomery Fiesta

Silver Spring Civic Building, Ellsworth Dr. and Fenton St. 6-11 p.m. Live music by Oscar Perez with Quimbao. Dancing and dinner. Event supports education and a new community college in the County’s Sister City of Morazán, El Salvador. $30 per person, includes dinner. Children under 12, free. Call 301-213-0857 or 240-777-2525.

Tuesday, November 19 -- Online Chat with County Executive. 1 – 2 p.m.

Residents will have an opportunity to submit questions on issues of concern to County Executive Ike Leggett either before or during the chat. You may submit questions at any time, and questions will be answered during the scheduled discussion time.

Tuesday, November 19 -- 50+ Vital Living Through Volunteering.

Bethesda Library 7400 Arlington Rd. 2-3 p.m. Learn how to give back to your community and about the County resources and programs available to help you get involved in a variety of ways. Presented by the Vital Living Network in partnership with the Jewish Council for the Aging and the County Volunteer Center. To request sign language interpretation or other deaf/hard of hearing services for library-sponsored programs, email MCPL.DeafAccess@montgomerycountymd.gov, preferably with three business days’ notice. To request other accommodations, contact the library hosting the program, at 240-777-0970.

Sunday, November 24 -- The 28th Annual Montgomery County Executive’s Ball Benefitting the Arts & Humanities

Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Rd., North Bethesda. 6 p.m. Tickets $125. Creative black tie. Receive more information and order tickets at www.mocoexecball.org.

October 14, 2013

The World of Montgomery

The many rich cultural heritages of Montgomery County will be showcased and celebrated at the annual World of Montgomery Festival, on Sunday, October 20 from noon to 5 p.m. at Westfield Wheaton Plaza Mall parking lot (across from the Wheaton Metro station) at 11160 Veirs Mill Rd.

The festival provides interactive experiences where participants are able to engage in creative projects from the diverse communities that make up some of the largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County and the DC area.

Sponsored by the Fund for Montgomery and organized by the KID (Kids International Discovery) Museum, the festival includes an international village, a global kitchen with chefs demonstrating traditional ethnic food, a craft market, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music, opportunities to find out about connecting with the community through service, traditional arts and fun activities for the whole family.

Admission to the festival is free and free parking is available nearby. Participants may also take the Metro to the Wheaton station, which is located two blocks away from the festival grounds.

Find more information, visit website.

Donate Blood, Save Lives

A blood drive in memory of Montgomery County firefighters Carlos Alfaro, Sr. and Carlos Alfaro, Jr. will be held on Sunday, October 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station 16. The station is located at 111 University Blvd., E. in Silver Spring. You can help save lives by donating blood. For an appointment, call Steve Mann at 240-438-2461.

Leggett Mission to China Advances County Business & Investment Aims

County Executive Ike Leggett and Governor Jiang Liang renew a Memorandum of Understanding to increase economic cooperation between Montgomery County and Shanghai.

County Executive Ike Leggett returned recently from a 10-day, 4-city trip to China aimed at advancing Chinese jobs and investment in the County and opening doors for County businesses there, as well as establishing a “Sister City” relationship with the city of Xi’an, with eight million residents and home to the famous Terra Cotta Army.

Packed with visits to businesses and high-tech centers, educational institutions and hospitals, as well as government meetings, the delegation’s itinerary reflected the mission’s strong focus on education and business development. Multi-level partnerships were developed on education, healthcare, and business fronts.

The visit was featured prominently in The China Daily, the official English newspaper for all of China: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2013-09/24/content_16989823.htm

“I was very pleased with the Mission,” said County Executive Leggett. “It will result in more jobs and investment in Montgomery County and more business for County companies in China. Our County is competing, especially in biotechnology and health sciences, with other states, cities, and counties that are also looking to tap into the Chinese market. For a tiny investment, we have made a significant impact.”

Sponsors of this mission trip include Marriott International, Choice Hotels International, the Mid-Atlantic Petroleum, US Pharmacopeia, the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association, and the Maryland China Business Council. Law firms Shulman Rogers and Linowes and Blocher sponsored two information sessions prior to the trip.

All Montgomery County government employees on the delegation, including the County Executive, paid all their own expenses for the Mission and took vacation time, except for Department of Economic Development director Steve Silverman, Mission lead organizer Lily Qi, Director of Special Projects in the Office of the County Executive, and a bilingual assistant. The total for travel, food, and lodging costs paid by Montgomery County was $7,500.

Read more details on the mission.

Community Service Day Projects Available for Volunteers

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is offering a variety of volunteer service opportunities to celebrate Community Service Day on October 26. Many organizations are seeking volunteers to help complete projects during the week of October 20 – 27 in recognition of Community Service Day, now in its 27th year.

The annual event and week of activities will be kicked off this year with the World of Montgomery Festival on Sunday, October 20 at Westfield Wheaton shopping mall.

Projects this year include packing after-school snacks at Dawson’s Market, removing invasive weeds from local parks, painting a homeless shelter, winterizing gardens in Damascus and Poolesville, recycling electronics at Verizon in Silver Spring and organizing a holiday drive for the City of Rockville. Manna Food Center will again hold food drives at 27 Giant grocery stores on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional opportunities can be viewed on the Volunteer Center website, www.montgomeryserves.org.

Easy Access to Cable Shows Available on Smartphones, Other Mobile Devices

Residents can now easily access and view live and recorded Montgomery County cable shows directly from their smartphones and other mobile devices from the County’s mobile website at http://m.montgomerycountymd.gov

This includes all of the shows cablecast on County Cable Montgomery, the County government channel (Channel 30 on the Verizon cable system and Channel 6 on RCN and Comcast). The shows range from the County’s weekly half-hour news show, “County Report This Week,” to “Council in Brief,” “Seniors Today,” “My Green Montgomery,” and County Council sessions, along with a variety of other interview and magazine-style shows, town hall meetings, and Spanish language programming.

To watch County cable shows using a smartphone or mobile device, go to the mobile site and tap on “apps and sites,” then “sites,” then “County Cable Montgomery,” and finally “programs,” where the shows are listed in alphabetical order by name. Tapping the show name brings up a brief description with air times on the cable channel, and a listing of individual episodes. Tapping the arrow next to the episode launches the show for viewing.

See what other features are on the mobile app.

Seniors, Families and Friends: Need to Get Around? Here’s How

A new flyer listing the variety of transportation options for older adults in Montgomery County is available both on online at the Senior Site or in a downloadable format (pdf). The listing is geared to seniors, their families and caregivers.

In addition, County Executive Ike Leggett has been distributing copies as he visits senior centers to discuss the Affordable Care Act with residents.

Copies will be available in County facilities such as senior centers, libraries and regional services centers in the near future.

Open Houses at Fire Stations Mark Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month and fire stations around Montgomery County will be hosting many educational, family-oriented activities and Open House events throughout the month.

This year’s theme focuses on the importance of preventing kitchen fires. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. While there can be “too many cooks in the kitchen,” having no cooks in the kitchen can be potentially far more dangerous.

All Open House events are free and will feature many activities, including tours of the station, fire safety activities, educational information/handouts, and demonstrations of emergency equipment.

See a schedule of Open Houses.

New “Montgomery Mosaic” Radio Show Featured on WOL-1450 AM

Montgomery County’s Office of Public Information is launching a new radio show on WOL-Radio 1450 AM. Starting October 16, the monthly, half-hour “Montgomery Mosaic” show will air live from 10:30 – 11 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month.

The new show will include interviews with local elected officials and community leaders about topics of interest to the African American community. The show will be co-hosted by Deborah Milo, host of the County’s “Mosaic” cable show and WOL-Radio’s Ron Thompson.

The radio version extends the reach of the County’s cable show, “Mosaic: An African-American Perspective” to a broader audience. The cable show can be found on the Montgomery County government access channel, County Cable Montgomery (Channel 30 on the Verizon cable system, and Channel 6 on RCN and Comcast). Episodes are available for viewing on demand at http://montgomerycountymd.gov/CCM/mosaic.html.

Film Festival, Presentations, STEP AFRIKA! Highlight Montgomery College’s Humanities Days

Two days of free student work, poster sessions, moderated films, faculty presentations and writing workshops at all Montgomery College Campuses on October 16 and 17 will celebrate the humanities and their effects on society.

Organized by The Global Humanities Institute and the Paul Peck Humanities Institute at Montgomery College, Humanities Days will culminate with a performance by renowned dance troupe, STEP AFRIKA!, Thursday, October 17 at the Cultural Arts Center on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Tickets are free, but reservations are required for the STEP AFRIKA! performance.

See a complete list/schedule of activities.

AARP Driver Safety Course Scheduled at Germantown Library

A four-and-a-half hour AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) Driver Safety course that will help tune up driving skills, teach safe driving strategies and update information on the rules of the road will be held at the Germantown Library on Wednesday, October 23 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. The library is at 19840 Century Blvd.

Information will be presented about normal age-related physical changes and how to adjust driving to allow for the changes. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate. Some insurance companies operating in Maryland consider drivers who take the course qualified for a reduced auto insurance premium.

Registration is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members and will be collected on class day. AARP members should bring their membership cards to class, and all participants should bring a check payable to AARP and a pen.

Registration is required and available online and the deadline is October 22 at 5 p.m.

For staff assistance, call the Germantown Library at 240-777-0110.

Registration Open for Semi-Annual Senior Spelling Bee

Montgomery County residents 55 years of age and older are invited to participate in the semi-annual Senior Spelling Bee, hosted by Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC), on Saturday, November 9 at the Little Falls Library, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda. All spellers must register by October 25.

The registration fee is $25 per person, and participants may seek sponsors to cover the fee. Sponsors will be acknowledged in program materials and at the event.

Persons may register by downloading an application at www.folmc.org/senior-spelling-bee/, calling 240-777-0020 or emailing staff@folmc.org.

County’s Solid Waste Services Division Earns Multiple Awards for Outreach, Education Campaigns

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) recently received seven awards in two international competitions -- the Telly Awards and the Hermes Creative Awards -- for its outreach and education efforts.

Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards honor excellence in local, regional and cable TV commercials, non-broadcast videos and TV programs. The 34th Annual Telly Awards received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.
Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs and emerging technologies.

Nominations for the DSWS campaigns were submitted by TRI (Technical Resources International) a Bethesda-based firm which provides support assistance to DSWS in its communications efforts. 

Montgomery County Designated as Citizen-Engaged Community

Montgomery County has been designated as a 2013-2015 Citizen Engaged Community (CEC) by Public Technology Institute (PTI) for its MC311 online and telephone information system. PTI created this annual designation program to recognize excellence in multi-channel contact centers and best practices for the use of Citizen Relationship/Records Management (CRM) systems, 311 services, web portal technology, telephone systems and mobile communications infrastructure.

In addition, a recent Customer Satisfaction Survey of hundreds of users of the County’s MC311 call center showed that more than 85 percent of callers were satisfied with their overall 311 experience.

Montgomery County was one of 13 jurisdictions with populations of more than 300,000 to be selected for this distinction.

Read more.

October 30, 2013 - Public Meeting on a Proposed Pilot Urban Dog Park in Ellsworth Park

M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. 7 – 9 p.m. Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is seeking input from the community about a proposed urban dog park in Ellsworth Park on Colesville Rd., just north of the Silver Spring Library. Park planners will answer questions and take ideas from the public for this and future urban dog park sites. Visit www.ParkPlanning.org for more information or contact the Project Coordinator, Dominic Quattrocchi at 301-650-4361.