January 14, 2016

Holiday Schedule for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 18:
  • County Offices – closed 
  • Libraries – closed Sunday, January 17 and Monday, January 18 
  • County Liquor stores – closed 
  • Recreation – aquatics programs and facilities open; all other classes and programs canceled; Administrative office, senior centers and community centers closed 
  • Montgomery Parks - for operating schedule, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org
  • Ride On – Modified holiday schedule (check schedules at www.Rideonbus.com)
  • Metrorail – Will operate from 5 a.m. to midnight on a Saturday schedule. Off-peak fares all day and free parking at all Metro-operated facilities. 
  • Metrobus – Metrobus will operate on its Saturday supplemental schedule. MetroAccess will operate normal hours with subscription trips cancelled unless specifically requested. Additional information available at www.wmata.com.
  • 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 Schools and Administrative Offices – closed 
  • State offices and courts – closed 
*Collection for Friday provided one day later for remainder of week (last collection day is Saturday)

County Executive Leggett Announces Six-Year Capital Construction Budget; Focus on Education, Job & Business Creation, Affordable Housing, Transit, Road Maintenance

County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended $4.4 billion FY17 Capital Budget and six-year FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) on January 15. The budget includes nearly $1.9 billion for education, including $1.57 billion for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the highest funding level ever provided, as well as $305 million for Montgomery College.

For more information read FY17 Capital Budget and six-year Capital Improvements Program.

Deportation Threats Against County Residents

Our nation faces a significant humanitarian challenge in how we deal with the thousands of children and families fleeing violence in Central America. Current conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras merit granting special temporary protection to these children and parents who have legitimate reason to fear for their lives if returned to their countries. Read more here English or Spanish

Four Examples of How Local Liquor Control Protects Against Products Aimed at Underage Drinkers

Montgomery County’s local liquor control provides $30 million every year to fund schools, roads and more. They system also allows the County to prevent the sale of products targeted at underage drinkers from being sold in the County – despite pressure from the liquor industry. Read more here

Leggett Named As A Washingtonian Of the Year

County Executive Ike Leggett has been named one of the “Washingtonians of the Year" by Washingtonian Magazine. Leggett’s generosity, compassion and creativity were positive traits identified in making our community a better place to live. Read the complete story at Washingtonians of the Year.

Hundreds of Residents Stand Up Against Gun Violence

Hundreds of residents joined community leaders to stand up against continued gun violence. The rally held on Sunday, December 20 in Rockville, included speaker Cathy Mitchell, who lost her son Billy to gun violence in 2011. Additional speakers included: County Executive Ike Leggett, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Robert Disney from the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence and Police Chief Tom Manger. The peaceful rally ended with music and the lighting of hundreds of candles.

Rally against gun violence

To read more about the rally go to:

Recreation Department to Kick Off 100 Mile Challenge

Montgomery County Recreation will kick off the 100 Mile Challenge at the Holiday Park Recreation Center, 3950 Ferrara Drive, Wheaton. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, January 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. Featured speakers will include Mt. Everest climbers Nicky and Bob Lowry, currently in training to tackle the world’s highest peak again this spring.

The event will include a healthy tasting reception, teen fitness activities, a Zumba dance group activity, a teen/intergenerational movement activity, and tee shirts and doggie bandanas. The 100 Mile Challenge is sponsored by ABC7, Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat.
Montgomery County Recreation is committed to healthy living through healthy eating and physical activity. The department formed the Wellness Fitness and Performance Institute to provide a framework for all its health, wellness, fitness, and performance initiatives. The wellness mission is to increase the physical activity and healthy eating practices of residents.

For information, call 240-777-6840, or go online to montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

County Executive Requests Residents’ Feedback to Determine Priorities for the FY17 budget.

County Executive Isiah Leggett will host the final three budget forums in the upcoming weeks. The purpose of the meetings is to gather resident input on their priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17)budget. All residents are invited to attend.

The meetings open with an informational presentation. To review the outline of the presentation visit  FY 2017 Budget Briefing

All resident suggestions and ideas in the six forums will assist the County Executive to prepare for FY 17 Budget. The budget will be submitted to County Council on March 15.

Upcoming budget forums:
  • Wednesday, January 20, Silver Spring Regional Services Center, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring. 
  • Thursday, January 21, Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring 
  • Monday, January 25, BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown. 
For more information on the upcoming meetings go to Budget Forums.

Twinbrook Branch of Montgomery County Public Libraries to Reopen

County Executive Ike Leggett will hold a ceremony to officially reopen the Twinbrook Library on Saturday, January 23 at 10 a.m.

The Twinbrook Library is the first MCPL branch to be “refreshed” under the County Executive's Library Refurbishment Level-of-Effort initiative in his Capital Improvement Program budget. Results of theTwinbrook Library refresh include an enhanced preschool children’s space, two collaborative/conference spaces, an outdoor programming space, enhanced Wi-Fi, additional power outlets, and new technology to include a mobile device charging station, laptops for in-house use and loan and a 3D printer.

For more information about the event go to Twinbrook Library Grand Reopening.

No Veteran is Homeless in Montgomery County

Montgomery County has ended veteran homelessness after a collaborative campaign to establish an effective process for serving the housing needs of veterans who may be struggling to find permanent housing after their military service.

The Council’s Health and Human Services Committee led by Councilmember George Leventhal restored $500,000 to fund the housing resources needed to develop a primary focus on the rapid exit of veterans from homelessness to permanent, sustainable housing.

The community collaboration group who worked together to achieve this goal included the County’s Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Bethesda Cares, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs DC Medical Center and others.

Read more about the announcement at:

Renewing the Dream: Hope In Today’s Times

County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee will present a Tribute and Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King. The free event will be held at The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda on Monday, January 18 at 3:30 p.m.

The multi-cultural program engages diverse and talented performers and award honorees who serve their communities unselfishly. For more information or to reserve tickets go to Renewing the Dream.

Montgomery County Plans Day of Service To Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

Multiple volunteer service opportunities are available to honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on January 18. The Montgomery County Volunteer Center will coordinate indoor, family-friendly service projects. Volunteer opportunities include packaging meals for area food banks, tying paracord bracelets for members of the military, creating fleece blankets for Montgomery Hospice and children of Syrian refugees, decorating holiday cards for seniors and assembling care kits for foster children. Project locations will be scheduled in North Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Silver Spring.

All activities are approved for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours through Montgomery County Public Schools.

For more information about volunteer opportunities go to Martin Luther King Day of Service

Volunteer in Parks in Honor of MLK Day of Service

Volunteer in your parks and community in recognition of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service! Several volunteer events – including park and stream cleanups and the removal of non-native invasive plants – will take place in parks around the county. Events are open to the public and volunteers of all ages, including students who will be able to earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours. MLK Day of Service volunteer events are scheduled at parks in various communities including Bethesda, Silver Spring, Aspen Hill and White Oak. For more details on dates, times, locations and to sign up please visit www.MontgomeryParks.org/MLK or contact the Volunteer Services Office at 301-495-2504.

Advocate for the Aging Award Presented to Austin Heyman

Chuck Short and Austin Heyman
Austin Heyman was awarded the 2015 Advocate for the Aging Award from the Jewish Council for the Aging® (JCA). The award was presented at the JCA’s Annual meeting on October 8.

Heyman is a longtime advocate for seniors and intergenerational programs. His visionary leadership in Montgomery County led to his founding of Interages, a non-profit organization that seeks to build bridges and relationships between generations. Austin served as Interages' Director from 1986-1997. In addition to his work with Interages, Austin has been deeply involved with numerous community groups; working on educational and youth issues. Heyman’s contributions to our community have earned him numerous honors. Also, Heyman is the moderator of two television programs on Montgomery County Cable: Seniors Today and Montgomery Citizens Agenda.

Photo credit: Harvey Levine

Ride On Begins Service Changes

Beginning January 10, Ride On will make schedule changes to 15 bus routes. Most of the changes modify the bus schedule to more accurately reflect the time it takes for a bus to run its route based on traffic and other conditions.

To read more about the changes go to Ride On Service Changes

Commission on Women to Host Annual Women’s Legislative Briefing

The Montgomery County Commission for Women will host the 36th Annual Women's Legislative Briefing, Pioneering Justice for Women and Girls through Advocacy, Policy and Legislation, on Sunday, January 31. It will be held at the Universities at Shady Grove, Building II, 9630 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville.

The Women's Legislative Briefing provides information about legislative proposals before the Maryland General Assembly and the U.S. Congress of special concern to women. To learn more or to register, go to https://wlb2016.eventbrite.com/