July 21, 2015

CyberMontgomery Forum to Promote Local Cybersecurity Sector

Cybersecurity will be a major growth engine in the region for many years to come. Even with solid federal government, industry and academic assets already in place locally, there is still a need to bring them together so that they can coalesce and elevate the cyber ecosystem to a level of national prominence.

That’s the purpose of the second annual CyberMontgomery Forum to be held on July 30, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center, in Building II, on the campus at 9630 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville.

The program will provide a full day of sessions and networking with attendees identifying opportunities in the rapidly growing cybersecurity sector anchored in Montgomery County and making meaningful connections to accelerate success in the cybersecurity marketplace.

Register online until July 29 at 11 a.m.

The CyberMontgomery Forum was developed jointly by the Department of Economic Development and the Federal Business Council in conjunction with leaders from federal and local government agencies, industry and academia. Montgomery County is home to over 18 federal agencies including NIST, FDA, NOAA, and the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

Council Approves Leggett’s Plan to Privatize Economic Development

The County Council has approved County Executive Ike Leggett’s initiative to privatize County economic development efforts in order to boost business attraction and retention and further strengthen the growth of good jobs in the County.

Under the legislation (pdf) a non-profit, private-sector corporation would be created to lead future economic development efforts.

“Montgomery County is competitive – but we need to be more competitive in order to meet the dynamic challenges that face the Washington DC metropolitan region,” Leggett said.

“To continue moving forward, I believe it is necessary to eliminate even more barriers to remain competitive regionally, nationally and globally.”

 See more in the news release.

County Earns 30 Achievement Awards from National Association of Counties

Montgomery County has received 30 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards this year for outstanding programs.

The following departments and programs were honored:
  • Consumer Protection – Permit Pirates – Exposing Unlicensed Contractors; 
  • Correction and Rehabilitation – ServSafe Training for Food Service Workers: a Correctional and Restaurant Foundation Partnership; 
  • County Executive’s Office – Montgomery County Maryland Financial Transparency Suite; SCALE: Safe Community Alert Network; 
  • Economic Development – Creation of BioHealth Innovation, Inc.; 
  • General Services – Strathmore Concert Hall Humidification/HVAC Systems Performance Upgrade; Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program; 
  • Health and Human Services – Implementing an Electronic Health Record in a Health/Human Services Agency; Senior Hunger: Reaching Those Who are in Need; Creating a Culture of Equity Workshop; Integrated Practice Model – Intensive Teaming; 
  • Housing and Community Affairs – Burtonsville Commercial Revitalization Program; 
  • Libraries – Libraries and Communities: Collaborative Partnerships for Success; Data@Your Finger Tips: dataMontgomery & Montgomery County Public Libraries, MD, Taxonomy; Marrying Technology with Traditional Learning: The Go! Kits for Young Children at Montgomery County Public Libraries, MD; 
  • Management and Budget – Montgomery County Grants Portal; 
  • Permitting Services – One-Stop Shop Fire and Life Safety Permitting and Inspection; 
  • Police – Managed Search Operations Program; 
  • Recreation – Montgomery County Recreation’s Senior Center Transportation; Montgomery County Recreation Food, Fun & Fitness; Montgomery County Recreation Emergency Management Communication Plan and Exercise; 
  • Technology Services – Tax Assessment System; GIS Web Portal; Moving to the Cloud Montgomery County’s Transition to Office 365; 
  • Transportation – Improving Pedestrian Safety in Parking Lots; Traffic Signal System Modernization; Social Solutions of Public Works; Ride On Realtime; YOLO (You Only Live Once) High School Pedestrian Safety Ed Program; and IFB Generator Application.

Enjoy a Taste of the County: 26th Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale

Celebrate the County’s agricultural heritage, promote local farms and indulge in seasonally fresh food during the 26th Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale to be held – rain or shine -- July 25 and 26 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Nearly 20 local farms will participate in the tour on Saturday, with more than a dozen open to visitors on Sunday. As always, this year’s farm tour will feature tractor rides, pony rides, pick-your-own produce, music, picnic areas and food booths.

Hours vary from farm to farm, so check the list of farms for a schedule and the map of farms for locations.

Nominations Open for Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

The public is encouraged to nominate deserving individuals for the 2015 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, the most prestigious honors conferred by Montgomery County on individual artists, scholars, organizations and cultural patrons.

Nominations for any of the six categories are due by Friday, July 31.  Learn more about the awards and nomination process at www.creativemoco.com/2015-nomination-form.

Submit nominations online.

For questions about the nomination or award process, call the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County at (301) 565-3805 or email info@creativemoco.com

Free Balance and Fall Prevention Program

County residents are invited to register for the Stepping On program, a free balance and fall prevention program that meets on seven consecutive Mondays, beginning August 3 in Gaithersburg. The two-hour class meets from 10 a.m. to noon at the Benjamin Gaither Center, at 80A Bureau Dr. Class will not meet on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day). Participants must commit to attending all seven classes and, if possible, the final booster session in December.

The program is recommended for older adults who walk unassisted, use a cane indoors and out, or use a walker outside only; who have fallen one or more times; who limit their activities because of a fear of falling; who are cognitively intact; who speak English; who live in their own home or other independent living facility; or who are known to be at risk of falling.

The class is sponsored by Montgomery County Health and Human Services, Aging & Disability Services. For more information or to register, call Phyllis Elperin at 240-773-8268.

“Service Beyond Our Walls” Program Earns Public Libraries a National Innovation Award from Urban Libraries Council

Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) “Service Beyond Our Walls” outreach program has been recognized with an Honorable Mention Award in the “Positioning the Library” category from the Urban Libraries Council (ULC).

Through “Service Beyond Our Walls,” MCPL has expanded the library’s presence outside its physical buildings through the eight-member Outreach Team that extends the reach of MCPL resources, services and collections to non-users, potential customers and new Americans where they live, gather and meet.

Using the elements of surprise and improvisation, team members have implemented “pop-up” libraries at commercial malls, farmer’s markets and other sites, actively engaging customers in the communities, bringing valuable feedback to MCPL.

The members split their time between providing library services at their branches and planning and conducting outreach visits in their respective communities. Since 2013, team members have participated in more than 500 events and have reached out to approximately 40,000 people.

Read more in the news release.

Variety of Summer Performances at Rockville’s F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre.

A musical comedy and a pair of ballet performances will entertain audiences this summer at Rockville's F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre.

An eight-performance run of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," presented by Rockville Musical Theatre, continues through July 26.

Theater patrons can now purchase tickets with a new, easy-to-use online ticketing system at www.rockvillemd.gov/theatre

Get more details about scheduled performances in the news release.

Leisure World Chosen Best Retirement Location in Maryland

Leisure World of Maryland, located along Rossmoor Blvd. in Silver Spring, has been named the best place to retire in the state by Tripping.com, the world's largest vacation rental site that highlighted the top 55+ community in each state.

Check out the entire list.

Two County Public Libraries Make Washingtonian’s “Best of Washington” List

Obviously, Montgomery County Public Libraries are getting noticed around the metro area, as two branches made Washingtonian’s annual “Best of Washington” list this year.

The recently-opened Silver Spring Library , at 900 Wayne Avenue, earned honors as the “Best New Reason to Read.” The accompanying description began by saying that “this striking new library may become the heart – and brain – of Silver Spring’s downtown.”

And, Davis Library, at 6400 Democracy Blvd. in Bethesda, is home to the KID Museum, named the “Best New Creative Zone for Kids.” The write up noted that “the new center challenges kids to build something out of anything: paper, metal, textiles, Legos, battery-powered circuits, computer code or words.”

And, the Emmy Goes to…”Made in Montgomery”

Made in Montgomery,” one of the newest shows on Montgomery County’s government television station County Cable Montgomery (CCM), recently received a local Emmy from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The program, nominated in the category of “Short Format Programs,” is the first CCM program ever nominated for a Chesapeake Chapter Emmy.

The award-winning episode featured segments on two startup businesses that display the entrepreneurial spirit the County is seeking to encourage as part of its economic development strategies and that emphasize the environmental progress the County Council has actively addressed.

The two businesses are:
  • Rent a Coop, the Potomac-based business that rents chicken coops and chickens to families for their temporary backyard use; and
  • Solar Mowing, which uses only battery-powered equipment to mow and trim lawns in the Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Silver Spring area. 
Watch the show.

Read more in the news release.

First Local Jurisdiction to Create a Green Bank

Montgomery County recently became the first local jurisdiction in the country to create a Green Bank when the County Council unanimously approved Bill 18-15, sponsored by Councilmember Roger Berliner. A green bank is an innovative approach to low–cost financing to increase residential and commercial solar, support energy efficiency improvements and kick-start new green technologies.

Bill 18-15, Environmental Sustainability-Montgomery County Green Bank, authorizes County government to designate a green bank to promote investment in clean energy technologies. It also specifies the processes to designate a nonprofit corporation to function as a green bank, establishes a Green Bank Work Group and generally defines the nature and powers of a green bank.

See more in the news release.

Read about Montgomery County in the Brookings online piece “Green banking goes local.”

Brookside Gardens Chosen Maryland’s Most Beautiful Place in Recent Poll

Visit Montgomery recently tweeted the following bit of news:

#Thrillist has named the most beautiful places in each state; Maryland’s most beautiful place is Wheaton’s Brookside Gardens.

Residents and tourism boards from each state were polled to determine what that one “ must-hit” (and “must-Instagram”) spot is.

Leggett Names Fausto R. Bayonet as Montgomery County’s Newest WSSC Commissioner

County Executive Isiah Leggett has named Rockville architect and businessman Fausto R. Bayonet as the newest commissioner to represent the County on The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC) governing board.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Bayonet came to the Washington area in 1971 to further his architectural studies at the University of Maryland. For more than 20 years he held positions in various capacities for a number of architecture firms, working on a variety of residential, commercial and public projects.

Bayonet replaces Gene Counihan who recently retired after eight years of service as commissioner, in addition to his more than 50-year career serving the people of Montgomery County and Maryland.

See the full news release.

Maryland SoccerPlex and Discovery Center Named County’s Hospitality Company of the Year

The Maryland SoccerPlex and Discovery Sports Center, located in the South Germantown Recreation Park has received the Hospitality Company of the Year award from the Department of Economic Development. The award was presented at the 3rd Annual Montgomery County Small Business Awards Luncheon.

The primary criterion for consideration is economic impact on the local region. The Maryland SoccerPlex annually welcomes 650,000 visitors and pumps $24 million dollars into the local economy.

The Maryland SoccerPlex, which opened in 2000, is considered a model for public-private partnerships. It is a non-profit organization operated by the Maryland Soccer Foundation to provide opportunities for all children to participate in sports regardless of skill level, gender or economic means.