August 12, 2016

How to Help Victims of the Fire/Explosion at Flower Branch Apartments

Many people are reaching out to help the victims of the deadly fire at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring. Read more on how you can help.

See in En EspaƱol.

Independent Report on County Police Officer TASER Use

County Executive Isiah Leggett and Police Chief Tom Manger were presented with the findings of a report on the County police officer usage of Electronic Control Devices, commonly known as the TASER. Leggett commissioned the report from an independent consultant, Dr. Geoffrey P. Alpert from the University of South Carolina’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

The report noted room for improvement in the area incorporating decision-making skills by way of scenario-based training, but praised the overall training and performance of officers.

Dr. Alpert recently completed a major study on police officer decision making funded by the National Institute of Justice, and an investigation of racial profiling for the Miami-Dade County, Florida Police Department. He is working on a use-of-force study that focuses on less-lethal technology and the effectiveness of their applications.

  • Download full report (pdf)
  • Watch press event from YouTube.

Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks Programs registration to open on August 15

It's time for Fall adventures! Don't miss out on fall classes, nature programs, aquatics, basketball, tennis lessons, yoga and more with Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks. Registration for fall activities begins August 15 at

Registration Dates

  • Tuesday, August 9 - Registration begins for S.O.A.R. and F.E.E.T. Travel Trips
  • Monday, August 15 - Registration begins for most programs and activities
  • Tuesday, August 23 - Registration begins for Ice Skating/Ice Hockey and Tennis Fall 1
  • Thursday, October 27 - Registration begins for Ice Skating/Ice Hockey and Tennis Fall 2

Public Libraries’ Celebrate Local Olympic Athletes

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) are offering County residents a way to show their support for the four County athletes who participated in the Summer Olympics. Every library branch has established a station for residents to deliver fan mail or messages to the athletes.

Montgomery County is home to four of the 11 athletes representing Maryland on the 2016 U.S. Olympic roster.
  • Jack Conger from Rockville a swimmer competed in the 4x200m freestyle swimming event. Conger graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in 2013. 
  • Katie Ledecky, former gold medalist from the 2012 Olympics competed in the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle. Ledecky, from Bethesda, graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 2015. 
  • Ashley Nee from Bethesda competed in the Canoe Slalom. Nee graduated from Northwestern High School. 
  • Helen Maroulis, a former Col. Zadok Magruder High School student, is a wrestler whose event is the Freestyle 53 kg. 

Residents can stop by any of the library branches located throughout the County to drop-off their letters or cards. The fan mail stations will be available during regularly scheduled hours through August 21. The letters will be delivered to the athletes after the Olympics.

For more information on MCPL go to

Athletic Field Reservations Is Open Now

Facility reservation requests for County athletic fields located at the following sites for the fall season (August 16 - November 30) began July 15. These sites include:
  • MCPS Elementary and Middle Schools
  • Montgomery Parks Local Parks
  • Montgomery County Recreation Community Recreation Centers
Please note that the field time at many sites is assigned directly to sports leagues and organizations. Community Use of Public Facilities recommend you contact your organization directly with any practice or game field needs before submitting a facility reservation request via ActiveMONTGOMERY.

Montgomery County School Bus Camera Enforcement Expands

Here’s something everyone should know before the Montgomery County Public School system begins its fall session on August 29: Maryland law requires drivers to stop for a school bus with its stop-arm signal and flashing lights activated. That applies to motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus, as well drivers approaching the bus from the opposite direction UNLESS there is a physical barrier, such as a median. When traveling in the opposite direction, it may help to remember that Paint (the line markings painted on the roadway) Doesn’t Protect (children who may be about to cross the street).

Beginning with this school year, the school bus camera enforcement program, which began on January 2, 2014, is expanding from 25 cameras to up to 100 cameras expected to be installed on buses by the first day of school. Within 18 months the number of buses with cameras is expected to grow to 500.

It is believed that when a driver passes a stopped school bus with red flashing lights, it is because he/she is uninformed about the law, is impatient, or is distracted. County government, law enforcement and school officials are dedicated to continuing public education outreach. However, with the greatly expanded number of enforcement cameras on County roadways, drivers who violate the law can expect to receive a citation with a $125 fine. The goal is voluntary compliance to keep our students safe!

Bethesda and Potomac Identified as Most Educated in Country

The financial website NerdWallet has named Bethesda the most educated city in the country. Potomac has been named number four. NerdWallet conducted the study using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

NerdWallet analyzed Census Bureau data on education levels achieved by residents over 25 in more than 17,000 places with populations of at least 25,000. The places at the top of the list have the most residents with degrees including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional.

Summer of Safety Update

It is hard to believe it is time to head back to school. For many families with athletes, tryouts and practices for most fall sports teams began this week. If you or anyone in your family participates in a sport, now is a good time to look at the Summer of Safety information on understanding and recognizing concussions and safety tips for young athletes.

Or, if you are getting away for a last summer trip to the beach before school starts, there is great Summer of Safety information about ocean currents at and jellyfish.

Whatever you are up to during these prime August weeks, please remember to stay safe and take time to review any/all of the tips available at:!

Beacon 50+ Expo Returns to Silver Spring

Mark your calendar for the Beacon's free, annual 50+Expo, which will return to the Silver Spring Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring on Sunday, Sept. 11.

The keynote speaker is Lt. Joe Kenda, former homicide detective and star of "Homicide Hunter," on the Investigation Discovery channel.

The event will feature government and nonprofit and business exhibitors, health screenings, flu shots (free with Medicare card), technology training, entertainment, giveaways and door prizes.

This year's grand door prize is a trip for two to China, including airfare from Washington, most meals, luxury hotels, guided tours and more.

For more information, call 301-949-9766 or visit

August 1, 2016

Safetrack Surge #6 Begins on the Red Line

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) first surges to affect the Red Line have begun. Surge #6 will take place August 1 through 7 and Surge #7 is scheduled to occur August 9 to 18. These surges, especially Surge #6, are expected to cause major delays on the entire Red Line -- the Metrorail system’s busiest line. Metro is urging commuters to find alternatives, particularly during weekday, peak travel hours.
  • Surge #6, August 1-7: Red Line trains will continuously run on a single track in both directions between the Tacoma and Silver Spring stations causing major disruptions throughout the entire Red Line. 
  • Surge #7, August 9-18: Red Line trains will continuously single track between the Twinbrook and Shady Grove Stations; with only one third of regular service available during peak hours. 
The following information can help you plan during this necessary maintenance work:

The County is Working to Ease the Impacts of Safetrack # 6

MC311, Montgomery County’s informational call center, will be open an additional two hours each weekday during Metro’s SafeTrack Surges #6 and #7. From Monday, August 1 through Thursday, August 18, representatives will be available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, to help commuters navigate the changes in Metro’s mass transit schedules.

Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) expanded services to assist travelers during SafeTrack. For the complete list go to:

County Executive Ike Leggett Joined by Dozens of Other Municipal Leaders in Calling for Immigration Reform

County Executive Ike Leggett, joined by nearly 60 other municipal leaders and mayors from around the country, issued a letter to the next president to commit to immigration reform within the first 100 days of the presidency.

The letter, signed by leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties, highlights the urgency of the need for immigration reform and outlines a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Read the entire letter.

County Executive Ike Leggett Working with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to Ease Congestion on I-270

On June 28, County Executive Ike Leggett joined Maryland Governor Larry Hogan at a press conference as the State announced approximately $230 million would be apportioned to help relieve traffic congestion on the I-270 corridor. Traffic congestion frustrates thousands of residents daily and directly hampers economic growth and development.

I-270 is one of the most traveled roads in Maryland. According to a State of Maryland press release, the 35-mile, I-270 corridor carries from 79,400 vehicles a day on the north end of I-270 to 261,200 vehicles a day near the Capital Beltway. By the year 2035, these volumes will increase to 107,000 to 290,000 vehicles a day. Other officials attending the event included Council President Nancy Floreen, Councilmembers George Leventhal and Roger Berliner, State Senators Cheryl Kagan and Brian Feldman and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

For more on the news conference go to

Community and Police Working to Build Mutually Respectful Relationships

Town Hall Meeting with Police

Hundreds of people attended recent town hall meetings to encourage a public conversation to build a County free of violence and hostility. The meetings, held at the Silver Spring Civic Building and the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, were facilitated by James Stowe, Office of Human Rights director.

The panel, made up of Mansfield Kaseman of the County's Faith Community Working Group, Police Chief Tom Manger and Linda Plummer, president of Montgomery County NAACP, opened the meetings with a pledge to listen and an invitation to all to share concerns. Residents shared personal perspectives of race relations and law enforcement. Stories and experiences differed from person to person but a common theme was the importance of mutual respect and communication. View photographs from the meetings here.

Council Makes Plea to Governor to Provide Critical Safety Improvements to Veirs Mill Road/Turkey Branch Parkway Intersection Following Another Fatal Accident

Following a second fatal accident, within a few months, at the Rockville-area intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Turkey Branch Parkway, the Montgomery County Council have asked Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, State Secretary of the Department of Transportation Peter Rahn and Administrator of the Maryland Highway Administration Gregory Johnson to take “more aggressive action to resolve the serious safety deficiencies at this intersection.

The complete text of the letters written by the County Council on July 20 and by Councilmember Nancy Navarro on Jan. 6: (pdf)

Local Athletes Going for the Gold at the Upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics

For many of us, getting cardio-fitness a couple of times a week is a stretch, literally and figuratively. Three County residents, far surpassing the goal of a quick jaunt to the gym, have achieved the greatest of athletic aspirations. These tremendously accomplished athletes are going for the gold at the upcoming Summer Olympics.

Montgomery County is home to three of the 11 athletes representing Maryland on the 2016 U.S. Olympic roster.
  • Jack Conger from Rockville will be competing in the 4x200m freestyle swimming event. Conger graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in 2013. 
  • Katie Ledecky, former gold medalist from the 2012 Olympics will compete in the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle. Ledecky, from Bethesda, graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 2015. 
  • Ashley Nee from Bethesda will compete in the Canoe Slalom. Nee graduated from Northwestern High School. 
You can stop by Rockville Town Center at the Rockville Town Square stage to wish our two local Olympic swimmers, Jack Conger and Katie Ledecky, good luck. Residents are invited to sign two giant flip flops that are on display at Rockville Town Center as part of the community effort to show how proud we are of our extraordinary athletes. Both Conger and Ledecky began swimming on local teams in the County.

When signing the flip flops, tweet ‪#‎MoCo2Rio to give the athletes an opportunity to follow our hometown support and excitement, from Rio, as they go for the gold!

National Night Out Festivities Return to Montgomery County

Mark your calendars for the 33rd Annual 2016 National Night Out annual observances scheduled for Tuesday, August 2. National Night Out is a night to promote community-police partnerships and neighborhood solidarity. The evening brings attention to the importance of communities working together to build safer neighborhoods and enhance police and community relations.

As in previous years, there will be many celebrations throughout the County to help neighbors come together in community spirit.
Please check out the County's listing of locations.

Respect the Space Disability Parking Campaign Begins New Initiative

This month marks the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and is the beginning of a new phase of the County’s “Respect the Space” disability parking campaign.

A new campaign goal is to ensure that signage for all disability parking spaces in Montgomery County complies with Maryland’s Accessibility Code adopted under the Public Safety Code. A beginning step is to ensure that parking lot managers know their legal obligations. All parking lot managers are encouraged to review the legal standards, and take necessary action to make their parking lot signs compliant.

County Cable Montgomery “Neighborhood Niches” Explores What Make Wheaton and Somerset Special

The latest edition of the County Cable Montgomery “Neighborhood Niches” provides a fresh look at the uniqueness of Wheaton and Somerset. The episode shares unconventional facts about the communities. Who knew Wheaton is home to the longest escalator in the United States and has a music store frequented by some of the world’s top artists, such as Stevie Wonder? And the Town of Somerset was founded in 1890 by five scientists and its 1,200 residents live in an area less than one-quarter mile wide.

In the show County Councilmember Nancy Navarro talks about the ongoing revitalization of Wheaton, a part of Council District 4, which she represents. Council Vice President Roger Berliner who represents District 1 talks about the character of Somerset.

The 15-minute show can be viewed numerous times on CCM (Montgomery Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). Upcoming viewing times include Sundays at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.; Mondays at 9:30 p.m.; and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Police Adventure Camp Completes 9th Successful Year

The Montgomery County Police Department’s (MCPD) community outreach “Police Adventure Camp” program brought officers and 25 campers to learn and have fun with one another. Held July 11 through 15 at Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville. The program is a partnership between MCPD, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Linkages to Learning program.

The day-camping experience provided the 3rd- through 5th-grade campers with a unique opportunity to better understand the work of police officers and allowed the campers to get to know some of the officers in supportive and mentoring roles. The Officers facilities conflict resolution, team work and good-decision making activities. Campers viewed demonstrations by MCPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers, K-9 teams, and Maryland-National Capital Park Police – Montgomery County Division Horse-Mounted Patrol. Former Redskin Charlie Brown provided football drills and Baltimore Blast soccer team member Levi Houapeu led soccer clinics.

Photographs and more information is available police website.

Summer of Safety Update

Can you believe it is already the first of August? And how about the heat! It was 100 degrees on Monday, July 25, the first time that’s happened since 2012, and the heat indices were up to 112 degrees. Summer of Safety tips during a heat emergency can be life-saving.

Please read and share the many safety tips on cooling, hydration, sun and pool safety. Find all the

Summer of Safety A to Z tips at It is also important to check on elderly neighbors and vulnerable family members.

It is never safe to leave a young child, an elderly person or a pet unattended in a car during warm weather, even for a few minutes. There have been recent news of children and pets dying in hot cars. Researchers at San Francisco State University found that the inside of a car can reach 115 degrees in an hour when it is hotter than 70 degrees outside. Imagine how hot it gets inside a car when it is 80/90-plus degrees outside.

Review following hot weather tips;