September 23, 2016

What You Need to Know About Montgomery County’s New “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law” That Goes into Effect on October 1

Montgomery County’s new Earned Sick and Safe Law goes into effect on October 1. It will require most employers in the County to provide earned sick and safe leave to employees for work performed in the County.

The intent of the law is to provide employees with paid leave or time off to take care of things such as sickness, family illnesses or domestic violence. It helps to ensure that workers do not have to make a choice between keeping a job and going to work sick or not being able to have time to find a safe living environment. The bill is expected to provide support to our lowest income and most vulnerable workers.

The legislation requires employers to provide earned sick and safe leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours an employee works in the County up to 56 hours in a calendar year. To help small businesses, an employer with fewer than five employees would have to provide an employee with up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year plus an additional 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave. Many County employers already meet or exceed the benefits required by the new law and do not have to provide any additional leave to their employees because of this law.

Employers are required to give employees written notice that they are entitled to earned sick and safe leave under the new law. The notice must include a statement of how sick and safe leave is accrued, the permitted uses of earned sick and safe leave, a statement that the employer must not retaliate against an employee for exercising the rights established by the law.

County Young People Invited to Share What is On Their Minds at County Council Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, October 5

The Montgomery County Council will learn what is on the minds of younger residents when it hosts its sixth annual Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, October 5, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting, in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room, will start at 7:30 p.m.

A pre-meeting reception, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria, will offer an informal gathering for students and Councilmembers to talk.

For more information about the event, check Council press release.

Register to Vote – Time is Growing Short

Montgomery County citizens who wish to vote in the November election will need to complete and submit their voter registration application no later than Tuesday, October 18 by 9 p.m.

The best place to find out what you need to know to be ready for the election is at the Board of Elections website where you will find information on early voting, polling locations, how to serve as an election judge and much more.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Enroll First Students in Career Online High School Diploma Program

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, joined by Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton and Karen Radulovich from Gale Cengage Learning, officially recognized the first enrollees in MCPL’s recently-launched Career Online High School Diploma on September 7. MCPL is the first library system in Maryland to launch the Career Online High School, which is the world’s first accredited, private online school district.

This past June MCPL began accepting applications for the program. Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. Currently, more than 60,000 adults over the age of 25 in Montgomery County lack a high school degree or equivalent.

Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each student with an Academic Coach, who assists with developing an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors, and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform.

Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students have 18 months to complete the program; however, by transferring in previously-earned high school credits, students may complete the program in as few as six months.

More information about Career Online High School is available from MCPL website.

Portion of Maryland Route 97 Dedicated in Honor of Fallen Police Officer Noah A. Leotta

County Executive Ike Leggett along with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan dedicated a portion of Maryland Route 97 (Georgia Avenue between the Inter County Connector and Emory Lane) in the Olney area to honor fallen Police Officer Noah A. Leotta. A drunk driver struck and killed Officer Leotta while he conducted drunk-driving enforcement in December of 2015. Following his death, Officer Leotta’s family, friends and fellow officers worked with state-elected officials to pass Senate Bill 945, the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016 which is known as “Noah’s Law”. The governor signed the bill to go into effect on October 1.

Countywide Community Meeting about the Agricultural Reserve

Councilmember Craig Rice will host a countywide community meeting to discuss concerns or questions about the Agricultural Preserve. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 10 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at The Universities of Shady Grove located a 9630 Gudelsky Dr., Rockville in the Bethesda/Gaithersburg Meeting Room in Building II.

Montgomery County is nationally recognized for its land preservation which benefits not only County farmers but also ensures that our future generations can enjoy open space. The meeting will be a time for those who are familiar with the reserve as well as those who wish to learn more about the over 93,000 acres which make up the County’s Agricultural Reserve.

Taste of Bethesda Annual Food and Music Festival Set for Saturday, October 1

The Taste of Bethesda will take place on Saturday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is located on Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell, Del Ray and Auburn Avenues in the heart of Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle.

Five stages will showcase musical and cultural performances, and a children’s area will feature art and craft activities. Balloons and face painting will provide additional entertainment for young visitors. More than 45,000 attendees have enjoyed the Taste of Bethesda in previous years.

Several new restaurants who will join the lip-smacking food line-up this year are Duck Duck Goose, Fish Taco, Gold Leaf Bakery, Modern Market, Quincy’s and Tropical Smoothie CafĂ©. Returning favorites such as Georgetown Cupcake, Jaleo, Louisiana Kitchen & Bayou Bar, Mussel Bar, Olazzo, Ruth’s Chris and many more will also be in attendance this year.

The sounds of 8 Ohms Band, Black Masala, Elikeh, Justin Jones (2016 Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards Winner), Margot MacDonald, Oasis Island Sounds, Olivia Mancini and Verny Varela will fill Woodmont Triangle during Taste of Bethesda. The cultural music and dance stage will feature Coyaba, Furia Flamenca, Jayamangala, Lesole Dance Project and Teelin Irish Dance Company.

Read more about the event at

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Announced for the Nancy H. Dacek North Potomac Community Recreation Center

Residents will have a new recreation facility to enjoy just in time for the cooler temperatures.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the Nancy H. Dacek North Potomac Community Recreation Center is scheduled for October 22 at 10 a.m. The facility is located at 13850 Travilah Road, Rockville. The new facility, located on 17 acres, will be a full-service community recreation center and senior center. The center will include a gymnasium, exercise room, social hall, kitchen, senior/community lounge, arts/kiln room, game room and more.

Hands-On Family Activities and Inventions at Maker Faire Silver Spring

Montgomery County Government invites the community to participate in interactive activities at Maker Faire Silver Spring on Sunday, September 25, 12 to 5 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Place. Admission and activities are free to the public.

Maker Faire is a unique festival featuring the work of inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. Projects range from robotics and electronics, to metal working and larger-than-life interactive artwork.

Summer of Safety Campaign Wraps Up

All good things must come to an end….and so it is with the summer season. On Thursday, September 22, the autumnal equinox occurred at 10:21 a.m. That seasonal passage also marked the conclusion of the 2016 Summer of Safety A to Z campaign. The hope is you benefited from the daily-throughout-the-summer safety messages delivered through the County’s social media and compiled on the Summer of Safety webpage.

The final safety message takes us back to where we started, “A” for Alert Montgomery. It is vital not just during the summer, but all year long. Please sign up for the County’s emergency warning system. It is the best way to know where to go, what to do and how to stay informed in emergency situations. You can have those messages delivered to your cell phone, land-line home or work phones, email account or text pagers during a major crisis, emergency or severe weather event. So before you get too involved in raking up those autumn leaves, go online and sign up at:

Pike District Fall Fest Comes to Rockville

Mark your calendar for the inaugural Pike District Fall Fest. The event is scheduled for October 8 from 12 to 2 p.m. at the intersection of Rockville Pike and Marinelli Road. The event will feature live music played by The Nighthawks and will include food trucks and fun activities for all ages. For more information, go to

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Auto Theft

The Montgomery County Police Department wants you to know that auto theft and theft from vehicle consistently are high-volume crimes in the County. The good news is that there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of becoming a victim. You can start by removing valuables and any spare keys from your vehicles and then making sure that you lock your vehicles each time you park and leave them.

Having your vehicle or property stolen can be costly and lead to additional victimization. If a criminal is able to obtain personal information from items or papers left in your vehicle, you have become susceptible to identity theft. In addition, it is common for thieves to steal easily obtainable vehicles (unlocked with key inside) and use them in the commission of other crimes.

Please take a moment to learn more about how to prevent becoming a victim.

Montgomery County Board of Election Is Nationally Recognized for its Best Practices

The Montgomery County Board of Elections (BOE) received national recognition for their Precinct Performance Report. The document is a formalized review procedure which evaluates and develops election judge performance and ultimately improves the voters experience at the polls.

The award is presented by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission which supports and identifies best poll worker management practices from around the country.

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County Honors Catherine Leggett

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC) will hold its annual award Peacemaker Gala on October 20 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held at the VisArts Center located at 155 Gibbs Street in Rockville.

Two important awards, The Peacemaker of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year, are presented at the Gala. This year the Peacemaker of the Year award will be presented to Catherine Leggett for her mentorship of at-risk youth and years of service to our community. Larry Bernard will be honored as Volunteer of the Year.

The ceremony is scheduled annually during the third week in October to coincide with Conflict Resolution Day. For tickets or to learn more about CRCMC visit website.

Montgomery County Coalition Adult English Literacy to Celebrate Family Literacy Week September 26 through October 1

The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy will celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week with a special event. The event is scheduled Friday, September 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ana G. Mendez located at 11006 Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton.

The event will include free pizza, children’s activities and information on how to enroll in English and literacy classes. The location has free parking and is metro accessible.

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy in order to leverage resources to support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media and the community.

More information about the event is available on website.

Community Meeting to Discuss Outdoor Tennis Court Policy to Be Held on September 28

Public Notice Outdoor Tennis by Public Information Office on Scribd

A community meeting on the Outdoor Tennis Court Policy will be held on Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. at the Olney Manor Swim Center located at 16605 Georgia Avenue.

The public is invited to listen to the tennis courts policy recommendations. Final staff recommendations will be heard by the Planning Board at a later date. A copy of the current policy is available for viewing here. 

For additional information, please contact Montgomery Parks.

September 6, 2016

Silver Spring Jazz Festival Featuring David Sanborn  

David Sanborn and the Sanborn Electric Band will headline the 13th Annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 10, from 3 to 10 p.m., in Downtown Silver Spring on Veterans Plaza at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive. Joining Sanborn and the Sanborn Electric Band will be local popular favorite Marcus Johnson & Urban Jam Band, Tamara Wellons Band, Todd Marcus Quintet and the Jazz Academy of Music. Download flyer in pdf. 

School Bus Camera Enforcement Expands

One of our top priorities is getting our kids to and from school safely. Beginning with this school year, the school bus camera enforcement program, which began on January 2, 2014, is expanding the school bus camera enforcement program.

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).

Montgomery County Council to hold Town Hall Meeting for Olney area at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Rosa Parks Middle School

Residents will be able to express views, ask questions of Councilmembers at a Town Hall Meeting starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The meeting will be held at Rosa Parks Middle School located at 19200 Olney Mill Road in Olney.

The Montgomery County Council holds Town Hall Meetings throughout the County in its efforts to find out what issues most concern residents. For more information, view Council press release.

International Overdose Awareness Day

County Executive Ike Leggett joined family members who have lost a loved one to drug abuse to acknowledge International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger Records White House Video to Save Lives

Major Cities Chiefs Police Association President Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen recorded a video, produced by the White House, about how to administer naloxone and how it can save lives so people can get the treatment they need. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration identifies Naloxone as a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for overdose.

Montgomery County Friendship Picnic to Bring Together Communities with Diverse Cultures and Faiths On September 25

The Friendship Picnic will bring people of diverse cultures and faiths together to make new friends and discuss ways to build a better community. The event is scheduled for Sunday, September 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Wheaton Regional Park, located at 2000 Shorefield Rd. in Wheaton.

The free picnic will include traditional, Kosher, Halal or vegetarian lunch options. A wide-range of activities for children and adults including music, dancing, moon bounce, face painting, trail rides and much more.  

This event is endorsed and supported by the Montgomery County Committee on Hate/Violence (COHV), the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission, the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships, and the Montgomery County Executive’s Faith Community Working Group.   

Registration is strongly encouraged for this free event. Register here. 

WorkSource Montgomery, the County’s New, Non-profit Workforce Development Agency, Releases Draft of Local Area Workforce Plan 

WorkSource Montgomery, Inc., the workforce development resource for Montgomery County businesses and job seekers, recently released its draft Local Area Workforce Plan, which is available online for public review and comment now through September 15.

The plan is to be finalized for final submission to the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation by September 30, in accordance with the federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

To review the draft Local Area Workforce Plan or for more information about WorkSource Montgomery and its services, visit

Beginning October 1 Montgomery County’s public, education and government TV channels are going High Definition.

Montgomery County’s community cable PEG (Public/Education/Government) television stations will be sharpening up their operations on October. 1 when they begin to air their broadcasts in high definition (HD) to subscribers of Comcast and RCN services. Subscribers to Comcast or RCN, will be able to watch new HD services featuring hyperlocal news, education and entertainment programming from their local Montgomery County channels.

More information on these improvements are available at website.

September is National Preparedness Month; Preparedness Classes Offered to Public

The month of September is designated by presidential proclamation as National Preparedness Month. In Montgomery County, the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) takes a leading role in County government preparedness and preparedness education for our residents. A wide variety of emergencies can and do happen; sometimes with little or no warning.

During September, everyone is asked to set aside some time to make plans and prepare for emergencies. Learn more about emergency preparedness planning from press release. And, if you aren’t already signed up to receive Alert Montgomery emergency warnings. Sign up online at

In recognition of the importance of advance planning for emergencies, OEMHS, the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service have collaborated to offer a series of free Community Emergency Preparedness classes on

For further information and required pre-registration see:

Office of Consumer Protection Recognized as National Experts on Consumer Fraud and Scams

Every day it seems we hear about a new or different scheme from crooks who try to cheat us. Today’s swindlers are getting more sophisticated and often target people when they are the most vulnerable.

Many of us have been the target of the Internal Revenue Service-impersonation scams and received threatening telephone calls. A recent Washington Post article reiterates that the con is growing and restates the fact that the IRS will never call and threaten jail.

The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is an excellent resource for residents looking to stay informed about ways to protect you and your family. Recently, OCP Director Eric Friedman was a featured expert for a U.S. News and Report Article on how consumers can protect themselves from scammers.

Popular Pool Pooch Party Returns to Montgomery County Recreation 

It is that time of the year, when Montgomery County Recreation goes to the dogs and becomes “Mutt-gomery” County Recreation. The Pool Pooch Party is scheduled for Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual event takes place at the Wheaton-Glenmont Pool located at 12621 Dalewood Drive.  

The pool will be closed to humans and open to canines with current proof of rabies vaccinations. Dogs will be allowed to swim, romp and frolic at the pool before it is closed and cleaned for the winter. Each dog must be accompanied by a responsible adult.  Registration is available from website.

Early Returns Signal Initial Success for County’s “Rock Spring Activation” Project

Rock Spring Business Park
Montgomery County has started an innovative pilot program designed to transform the Rock Spring office park by augmenting transit options. The office park is home to some of the largest employers in the County.

County Executive Ike Leggett initiated a dedicated express bus service (phase one), the Rock Spring Express on Monday, July 25, from the Grosvenor Metro station to the Rock Spring office park, and the initial returns are promising. The free service runs at 10-minute intervals from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. with no stops between the two locations. The new express option supplements already existing regular Ride On bus service. Read more from press release.

Summer of Safety Update

For many families the start of school signals the end of summer. But on the calendar, summer doesn’t officially end until September 21. You can count on receiving Summer of Safety tips right through then.

Back-to-school tips take prominence and we hope you make time to read them at You can also find great tips from Montgomery County Public Schools at

With September as national Preparedness Month there will be lots of #MoCoSafety tweets about emergency planning.

As these final weeks of summer come to an end, make sure you do your best to enjoy them safely!

Final Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic of 2016

Mark your calendar. Sunday, September 18 from 8 to 10:30 a.m., is the final free rabies vaccination clinic of the year. These clinics are a public service by the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center. The vaccinations are free with the purchase of a Montgomery County Pet License. These are the two most important things a pet dog or cat owner can do to keep their pets safe…and it is the law. Share this information with your pet-owning friends and family.

For more information, visit County's animal services website.

A Tour and History of Col. John Mosby’s Operations in Loudoun County is the topic for the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable

Don Hakenson and Charles Mauro will speak at the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on: A Tour and History of Col. John Mosby’s Operations in Loudoun County on Thursday, September 8 at 8 p.m.

Hakenson and Mauro are noted local historians who have written numerous books and are actively involved in numerous historical associations. The presentation will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway.

North Bethesda Market Hosts Montgomery County’s First Tomato Festival September 10 

Maryland’s tomatoes are in season, and it is the perfect time to enjoy all things tomato - from zesty sauce and heirloom varieties to inspired chef creations. To celebrate this flavorful fruit, North Bethesda Market will host its first Tomato Festival Saturday, September 10. 

The Tomato Festival at North Bethesda Market, the first festival of its kind in Montgomery County, takes place outdoors, at 20 Paseo Drive, North Bethesda. The Festival is scheduled for 12 noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The event is free and open to the public.  

For more information on the event go to