December 31, 2013

Holiday Schedule for New Year’s

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for New Year’s Day on Wednesday, January 1:
  • County Offices – closed 
  • Libraries – all branches will close at 6 p.m. on December 31; closed on January 1 Olney Express Service will be closed through January 1
  • County liquor stores – closed
  • Recreation – all facilities closed January 1; senior centers and community and neighborhood recreation centers are closed through December 31; aquatics programs operating on a modified schedule, contact each facility directly.
  • Montgomery Parks – all Parks facilities are closed on January 1. For operating schedules during the holidays, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit
  • Ride On – Sunday schedule
  • Metrobus – Sunday schedule
  • Metrorail – Sunday schedule 
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed 
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection*
  • Transfer Station – closed
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free 
  • MCPS Administrative Offices – closed
  • State offices & courts – closed 
*Collection provided one day later for remainder of week (last collection day is Saturday).

Options for a Safe Ride Home

In an effort to help prevent drunk driving in Montgomery County during the New Year’s holiday and beyond, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) is promoting local drunk driving prevention programs.

The “Be My Designated Driver” (Be My DD) program provides professional, experienced drivers dressed in formal business attire. Drivers are personally interviewed, background screened and insured. A personal driver service, a pick-up service and designated drivers for events are offered. DLC has partnered with BeMyDD to offer Montgomery County participants a free $25 annual membership.

Reservations can be made online at or by calling 1-877-U-BEMYDD (877-823-6933). BeMyDD also offers a mobile app.

DLC also has been a long-time supporter of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s (WRAP’s) SoberRide, offering free taxi rides – up to $30 – in the Washington Metro area for adults, 21 and older, from 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Anyone needing a ride home from the District or surrounding counties, including Montgomery, can call SoberRide at 800-200-TAXI.

Looking Ahead to the New Year

Mark your calendars now for some traditional January events. More details in the next edition of The Paperless Airplane.

Monday, January 6 -- County Executive’s Kickoff for Public Forums on 2015 Operating Budget. BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 7 to 8:30 p.m. The annual meetings are designed to get comments and suggestions from residents, businesses and organizations about operating budget priorities. See schedule for other forums.

Monday, January, 20 -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day marked by Volunteer Activities at several locations and a Musical Program at The Music Center at Strathmore.
Day of Service Activities. The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is organizing and coordinating indoor family-friendly service projects at locations across the County. Check locations and times.
Musical Celebration. The 20th anniversary of the County’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Musical Celebration features the theme “Honoring the Legacy: Celebrate, Serve, Remember.” 3 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman La., North Bethesda. The 2014 recipients of the Children of the Dream, Humanitarian and Literary Arts Awards also will be announced.

Sunday, January 26 – 2014 Women’s Legislative Briefing. The Universities at Shady Grove, Bldg II, 9630 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Program 12:30 to 6 p.m . Keynote by Joanne Bamberger, author of Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. New this year, special seminars for teen girls. Plus, panel discussion and seminars on women’s issues.

For more events, check

Leggett Announces Improved Outreach and Services for County Veterans at Local Colleges and Universities

The Montgomery County Veterans Education and Benefits Partnership recently launched by County Executive Ike Leggett will provide improvements to education, social services, career development, benefits support and counseling to U.S. armed forces’ veterans enrolled at Montgomery College, The Universities at Shady Grove and Montgomery County’s Johns Hopkins campus.

The partnership will bring access to those individuals who need benefits and services at higher education campuses in Montgomery County. In addition, the Universities at Shady Grove recently opened the Office of Veterans Resources to provide additional support for veterans and their families. Montgomery College’s Combat2College program provides academic and social opportunities, as well as support services for veterans and active/reserve service members.

For more information about the program, contact Michael Subin in the Office of the County Executive at 240-777-2530.

Read the news release.

Read The Gazette article.

New Life for Live Christmas Trees

Montgomery County residents are reminded that when the holidays are over, they can recycle their live Christmas trees.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) says residents of single-family homes may recycle Christmas trees at the curb on their regular recycling collection day. Businesses and residents of apartments and condominiums should check with their property/business managers or representatives for specific Christmas tree recycling instructions.

After being composted or chipped for mulch, the trees are given a new life, so be sure to recycle them in a natural state.

Metro Extends Route K9 Bus Service along New Hampshire Ave. to FDA

One year after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) created the K9 limited-stop bus service from the Fort Totten Metro Station to Northwest Park, it has extending the service to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Federal Research Center. The service, which began December 29, will further help relieve crowding along the New Hampshire Avenue corridor, providing buses every 16 to 18 minutes during morning and evening weekday rush hours.

“The extension of Metro’s K9 bus route will make a tremendous difference on busy New Hampshire Avenue, which has the third highest bus ridership in Maryland,” said County Executive Ike Leggett.

See more information on the K9 Route.

M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks Approves Deer Management for Cabin John Regional Park

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has announced the expansion of its 2013-14 deer management operations to include Cabin John Regional Park, one of 29 other parks in the Parks’ system selected for managed hunts during the fall 2013 – winter 2014 season.

The deer management operation at Cabin John will take place January 10 to February 28, from 6 p.m. through 6 a.m., when the park is closed to the public. Information about the hunts will be posted on signs throughout the park, on the Montgomery Parks’ website homepage and communicated via Park Police patrols. All deer harvested through the effort will be donated for consumption at local soup kitchens. The operation will recur annually as necessary.

The park located in Potomac has been selected to address damage caused by an increasing population of deer, including deer-related automobile accidents, damage to natural resources and increased potential of communicable diseases such as Lyme disease. Recent estimates indicate deer population in this park is nearly four times the recommended density for an area this size. The decision to add Cabin John to the deer management operations was made after review of resident complaints and input, and with strong support from the community.

Local Moving Company Fined for Violating County’s Consumer Protection Law

A Montgomery County District Court judge has fined Adam Shaikh, doing business as Big Brothers Moving in Gaithersburg, $3,000 covering six civil citations issued by the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) for violations of the County’s consumer protection law.

The violations included holding goods hostage, failure to state if a moving estimate is binding or non-binding, misrepresenting services included in estimates and charging extra for these services, and misrepresenting on the company’s website that Big Brothers Moving was licensed and insured.

OCP advises consumers in Montgomery County to do the following when hiring movers:
  • Review OCP’s complaint records on a moving company before getting an estimate. 
  • Get written estimates based upon onsite inspections. Moving companies are required to provide all consumers with written estimates stating if the estimate is binding or non-binding. 
  • Ask about the mover’s liability for damage or loss. Consider buying additional insurance to cover all loss or damage. 
  • Visit OCP’s A-Z Consumer Advice on Moving and Storage Companies for recommendations on preparing for a move. 
For additional information or to file a complaint, contact the Office of Consumer Protection at 240-777-3636 or email

Police Chief Manger Appears on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to Discuss Federal Gun Laws

Police Chief Tom Manger, representing the Major Cities Chiefs Association, recently was a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, discussing a law enforcement perspective of the federal gun policy with Richard Stanek, president of the Major County Sheriff’s Association, and host Pedro Echevarria.

The show aired on the first anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Watch the show (under Featured Journal Segments/December 14, 2013 ).

Brace Pharmaceuticals Locates U.S. Headquarters in Rockville

Governor Martin O’Malley recently announced that Brace Pharmaceuticals, an investment company created by Brazil’s largest domestic pharmaceutical company, EMS S/A, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County and plans to invest $200 million into the new operation.

Located in the Rockville Innovation Center, Brace is focused on the late-stage clinical development of pharmaceutical products with the potential for near-term commercialization. Brace invests in research and development companies’ efforts to successfully complete their clinical trials and seek FDA marketing approval.

"I congratulate the Governor and his team on this economic development achievement," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "We welcome Brace Pharmaceuticals to our large and growing family of life sciences firms in Montgomery County."

Read more.

County’s Resource Recovery Facility Processes 10 Millionth Ton of Solid Waste

Montgomery County has marked a milestone at its award-winning Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) which has recently processed its 10 millionth ton of post-recycled municipal solid waste to recover clean, renewable energy.

By processing 10 million tons of waste at the RRF, the County has:
  • Produced 5.7 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy in the form of electricity, enough energy to power all the single-family homes in the County for two years; 
  • Offset about 10 million tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent to taking about two million cars off the road; and 
  • Recycled 260 thousand tons of metal, enough steel to replace more than 1,100 miles of railroad tracks running from Washington, DC to New Orleans. 
Read more.