November 15, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Thanksgiving Day, November 23

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23.

Road Closures Planned in Silver Spring for Thanksgiving Parade; Portion of Georgia Avenue Will Be Closed in Both Directions

The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is set for Saturday, November 18, in downtown Silver Spring, and residents and business owners are asked to plan accordingly because there will be several road closures and detours in the area. If you are planning to watch the parade, organizers strongly encourage you to take the Red Line to the Silver Spring Station.

As a security precaution, all the northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue will be closed between East-West Highway and Colesville Road from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the parade.

Below, is a list of the roads that will be closed between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., for the parade:
  • Northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue between East-West Highway and Colesville Road 
  • Cedar Avenue between Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue 
  • Pershing Drive from Cedar Avenue to Veterans Place 
  • Veterans Place from Pershing Drive to Ellsworth Drive 
  • Ellsworth Drive from Georgia Avenue to Cedar Avenue 
  • Roeder Road from Fenton Street to Cedar Avenue 
  • Fenton Street from Colesville Road to Wayne Avenue 
  • Wayne Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Bonifant Street from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Thayer Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Silver Spring Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation is posting road closure and detour signage along the roadways impacted by the parade route.

The following streets and the Town Center Parking garage must be cleared of parked vehicles for units to line-up or pass beginning at 2 a.m. on Saturday, November 18:
  • Cedar Avenue 
  • Pershing Drive 
  • Roeder Road 
  • Ellsworth Drive 
  • Georgia Avenue 
  • Veterans Place 
In addition, the Wayne Avenue Garage closes at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 18.

If you have questions about these road closures or parking, call MC311 at 3-1-1. If you are telephoning from outside of Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311.

The Thanksgiving Parade officially begins at 10 a.m. and continues until noon. More than 130 units are expected to participate, including colorful floats and inflatables, marching bands, police, fire units, and more.

For more information about the Thanksgiving Parade, visit here.

County Executive Ike Leggett Signs County Law Raising Minimum Wage to $15

On November 13 County Executive Ike Leggett signed into a law a bill passed by the County Council to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years.

Leggett made the following statement about the County Council’s action on the minimum wage bill.

“Montgomery County has a long history of programs and policies designed to increase opportunities for low-wage workers – more than just about any other jurisdiction. That includes prior increases in the County minimum wage, a law requiring County government contractors to pay a ‘living wage’, a County earned income tax credit and paid sick leave requirements – among others.

“Montgomery County residents who work hard to support themselves and their families need and deserve yet another increase in the minimum wage. The question over the past year has been how much, within what time period, and how we mitigate possible negative impacts on our small businesses and on youth employment. Good intentions are not enough. That is why I vetoed the bill passed 5-4 by the Council last January.

“Based on the changes from the original bill, what the County Council approved today is close enough to the conditions I laid down for my support that I will sign the measure into law.”

Read more at Bill 28-17.

Residents Can Learn More About the US 29 Bus Rapid Transit at an Open House

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on US 29 will be the first of its kind in the State of Maryland. Join the Montgomery County Department of Transportation at an open house to learn how the BRT will provide an easier, faster, more reliable, and less stressful way to travel. This family-friendly event will include a children’s activity area.

The open house will be held:
The 13.5-mile BRT will operate between the Silver Spring Transit Center and Burtonsville along the US 29 corridor. The BRT will feature limited stops, off-board fare collection, priority signaling, Wi-Fi and level-boarding through all doors to provide a faster ride. Stations will have real-time travel information. Learn more about BRT at

County Council “Town Hall” for County Youth on November 29

The Montgomery County Council wants to hear from young residents at their upcoming MOCO Youth Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled for November 29 at 6 p.m. in the County Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

The event will open at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Council Cafeteria, followed by the Town Hall Meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room located on the third floor.

Participation is also available on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information, call 240-777-7926.

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline is December 15

There are several changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but health insurance coverage is STILL available through the ACA. The enrollment period is December 15, so residents must enroll early to not miss the chance for affordable health coverage. You can browse and compare plans at Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. Find out what documents you need to enroll at

Registration for Department of Recreation Winter Classes and Programs is Open

Registration for the Department of Recreation winter classes and programs is now open. Among the many offerings are aquatics, art classes, sports, therapeutic recreation services, active adult senior programming and much more.

To view the guide and register online, go to Print copies are available at community recreation centers, park facilities, aquatic centers, senior centers and public libraries.

Free Employment Expo for Adults 50 and Older Returns to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on April 16

Mark your calendar for the 50+ Employment Expo that will be held on April 16, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Recruiters from dozens of employers, including nonprofits, government, healthcare, retail, technology and more will attend the expo. The event will take place at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center located at 5701 Marinelli Road in North Bethesda.

Seminars and continuing education sessions on topics such as completing applications, preparing resumes, changing careers, job training, optimizing online employment resources and more will provide job seekers tools to assist with an effective job search.

For additional information contact Micki Gordon at

Enforcement Underway for Regional Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign

Each spring and fall, the Washington region, through the Council of Governments, launches a Street Smart educational and enforcement campaign to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. This year’s fall campaign introduced a new educational theme, “Shattered Lives.” The concept focuses on the fact, that when a serious injury or fatality occurs in a traffic crash, the lives of all who know and love the victim are shattered. The hope is that this message will resonate with our community members and encourage drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to be watchful for one another and obey the protective laws for all who share our roadways.

Compliance with the laws is supported by increased police enforcement in Montgomery County and throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. Learn more about safety tips, laws and the Street Smart campaign. #BeStreetSmart

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Participates in Environmental Summit

County Executive Ike Leggett recently participated as a speaker at the Transforming Communities: Trash-Free Solutions for Healthy Lives, Clean Land, Safe Water Summit (Trash Summit) sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The event was held at the Nationals Park, Norfolk Southern Club in Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III joined Leggett to speak at the event. Leggett presented awards to two Montgomery County residents, Beth Rogers and Kevin Kearney, for their work to advance the County’s anti-littering and trash-free programming goals.

The Trash Summit brought hundreds of community members, business leaders, elected officials and partners to explore topics of waste reduction, litter prevention, and community cleanups. The event included a variety of round-table discussions, panels with local leaders, presentations, and an awards ceremony.

Winter Wonderland Comes to Bethesda

The Bethesda Urban Partnership will kick off the holiday season at Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. Veterans Park is located at the corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues in Bethesda. The free celebration features holiday performances, a live ice sculpting presentation and a visit from Santa Claus.

Other activities include holiday choral performances from local school groups. Academy of the Holy Cross, Chevy Chase Elementary School, Georgetown Preparatory School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Seneca Valley High School, Washington Episcopal School and Westbrook Elementary School.

For more information visit

Montgomery County Awarded National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” Grant

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) received a National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” grant in partnership with the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC), Montgomery Community Media, and the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

The goal of the “Big Read” is to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and spread the transformative power of literature. The featured book, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu, tells the story of the immigrant experience in Montgomery County and the Washington metropolitan area. The book is available at your local MCPL libraries in print and downloadable formats and for purchase at the FOLMC bookstores.

“Big Read” community events will be held from April to June 2018. A full calendar will be available at later.

October 30, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Veterans Day Observed on November 10

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Veterans Day, Friday, November 10.
  • County Offices – closed.
  • Libraries – closed.
  • County Liquor stores – all County liquor stores will be open normal hours.
  • Recreation – aquatic and community centers open as scheduled except for Germantown Indoor Swim Center, which is closing at 2 p.m. on November 10 and closed all day on November 11 for a swim meet. Other classes and programs will meet as scheduled; all senior programs canceled, and administrative offices and senior centers closed.
  • Montgomery Parks - For operating schedule, visit the website.
  • Ride On – will operate on a special modified schedule holiday.
  • Metrorail – Information available at
  • Metrobus – Information available at
  • TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center - open 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store – not operating.
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – Regular schedule.
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station – Regular schedule.
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free.
  • State offices and courts – closed.

Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe on Halloween

Halloween can be a spirited day of tricks and treats but it is important to keep safety in mind. Montgomery County public safety personnel offer the following tips to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible when you head out on Halloween. Read more at Montgomery County Public Safety Agencies Provide Halloween Safety Tips

Neighborhood Leaf Collection Begins November 6

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services is conducting its annual vacuum collection of leaves in the southern part of the County now through mid-December.

Residents should look for posted signs along the streets for information about pick-up dates. For more information visit

County Businesses in the Power 100

What do Discovery Communications, MedImmune and Marriott International have in common? Besides being in Montgomery County, these businesses and their influential leaders made the Washington Business Journal’s 2017 Power 100 List. Check out the entire Power 100 list, which includes even more familiar Montgomery County business leaders.

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and Public Schools Team Up to Protect the Environment

Fifth-grade students from Strathmore Elementary School teamed up with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection to complete four Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) rain gardens. 

The four projects are a cost-effective, environmentally-efficient way to capture the muck that comes from storm and pollutant runoff. Prior to the implementation of these projects, stormwater runoff from the impervious surfaces (parking lots, rooftops, etc.) on these school properties ran directly into the streams. These projects now redirect the runoff into the rain gardens where it filters through plants and soil before replenishing the groundwater.

County Executive Isiah Leggett, MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith, DEP Director Lisa Feldt, Strathmore Elementary School Principal Tivinia G. Nelson and Principal Intern Carrie Zimmerman joined the students for the event, which took place at Strathmore Elementary School located at 3200 Beaverwood Lane in Silver Spring. The other three schools which got the projects included: Argyle, Newport and Sligo Middle Schools.

For more information go to the press release.

Cornerstone Montgomery Celebrates Ike Leggett

Cornerstone Montgomery held its inaugural “Celebrating a Legacy” event on October 17. The gala honored County Executive Ike Leggett for his support of individuals living with mental health disorders.

Cornerstone Montgomery is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization which provides comprehensive, community-based mental health services.

More information is available at

Are You Paying Too Much for Prescription Drugs?

Do you feel you are paying a lot more for your generic or off-brand prescriptions? Then the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Education Fund (MCHI) want to hear from you. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh may be able to take legal action to help you if your situation falls into the criteria of Maryland's new prescription drug price gouging law. For more information, go to

MCHI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization created in 1999 with a mission to educate Marylanders about sound ways to achieve quality, affordable health care for all.

Public Meeting on the Wall Local Park Interim Plan

Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks is having a Public Meeting to discuss the interim plan to improve Wall Local Park in North Bethesda. The meeting will be held at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver Swim Center located at 5900 Executive Boulevard in North Bethesda on Monday, November 13 at 7 p.m.

Under the guidance of the current White Flint Sector Plan, staff will present the interim plan to improve the park area as well as review future park plans. It will feature the realignment of Executive Boulevard and Market Street to allow a new parking garage to be built.

For additional information visit the Wall Local Park Project page at

Author Eugene D. Schmiel Will Speak on the Life and Times of Union General Jacob D. Cox

Author Eugene D. Schmiel will speak on the life and times of Union General Jacob D. Cox of Ohio at the November meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, November 9 at 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton located at 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested. For more information, call 301-253-3485.

October 16, 2017

Leggett Conducts National Anthem at the Opening of National Philharmonic

County Executive Ike Leggett conducted the National Philharmonic at Strathmore in the playing of our country’s National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open National Philharmonic's 2017-2018 season held at The Music Center at Strathmore. Video and Photo by Jay Mallin.

Community Service Week Spotlights Montgomery County’s Volunteer Spirit

County residents are invited to give a few hours of their time to join Montgomery County’s annual celebration of community service by volunteering for one or more of the many projects planned for the 31st annual Community Service Week, which begins Sunday, October 22, and runs through the following Sunday, October 29.

Community Service Week is organized by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. And, features all kinds of service projects sponsored by a wide range of non-profit organizations, schools, and government agencies. This year’s activities include opportunities to clean up streams and parks, collect canned goods for needy families and prepare meals for a homeless shelter. There are also opportunities to serve as event staff at fundraisers, assist nonprofits with outreach efforts, and visit with nursing home residents.

Visit the Volunteer Center website to see the complete list of service projects available and to sign up to help. Check back frequently as projects are added daily.

For more information, call 240-777-2600 or email

Art and Humanities Award Winners to be Honored at the Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities Ceremony

County Executive Ike Leggett and Mrs. Leggett will honor eight community leaders for their contributions to the County’s art and cultural community at the Annual County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities ceremony. The event will be held Monday, November 6 from 7– 9 p.m. at Round House Theater in Bethesda located at 4545 East-West Highway. This free event requires tickets, which can be obtained at Executive's Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made a difference in Montgomery County through the arts and humanities. More information on the event is available at

Free Employment Fair Offered by East County Regional Services Center on November 2

The East County Regional Services Center will host a free employment fair on Thursday, November 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. The community event will be held at the East County Community Recreation Center located at 3310 Manor Way in Silver Spring.

The event is an opportunity for job seekers to connect with employers. Applicants are asked to bring their resume and dress in business attire to meet with recruiters from public and private employers.

The event will include three employment workshops:
  • Resume Review and Interviewing Skills (2 to 3 p.m.)
  • Uncovering the Secrets of Finding & Applying for Jobs in the Federal Government (4 to 5 p.m.) 
  • Starting Your Own Business Time (5 to 6 p.m.) 
Participant registration is available by email at or by calling 240-777-8411. Pre-registration is encouraged for the job fair; however on-site registration is available. For more information about the job fair call 240-777-8411.

Employers who are interested in participating in the job fair can register online. For questions about employer registration email

Montgomery County to Participate in Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 28

Please save the date: Saturday, October 28 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the 14th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This is a good opportunity to safely dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs that have accumulated in your medicine cabinet. The biannual event is organized by the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and is coordinated in our County by the Montgomery County Department of Police (MCPD) and the County’s Department of Health and Human Services.

MCPD and its allied County law enforcement agencies will provide anonymous drop off sites throughout the County. According to the DEA, unused and/or expired medicines that are stored in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, abuse...and accidental poisonings and overdoes. A list of all the take-back location sites will be available on both the Montgomery County and MCPD websites later this month.

See the press release for more information.

County Executive Ike Leggett Gives Thumbs Up to Mobike, a new Dockless Bike Share – While Celebrating the New Protected Bike Lanes in Silver Spring

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett cut the ribbon for a new protected bike lane and announced a County agreement for the new bike share program, to become available in Silver Spring later this month. He was joined by Casey Anderson, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, County Council Vice President Hans Riemer, Peter Gray, board member of Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Al Roshdieh, director of MCDOT, and Jillian Irvin, head of U.S. Government Affairs for Mobike

Montgomery County has a new protected bike lane and an agreement for a new bike share program, to become available in Silver Spring starting in the next few weeks.

The agreement with Mobike is a pilot project to test the concept of dockless bikes in Silver Spring. To use Mobike, individuals will download the Mobike app to register and locate a nearby bike, then unlock it by scanning the QR code, after arriving at the desired destination, the bicyclist can park the bike in an approved area and lock it, making it available for the next user. These bikes are powered by unique high-tech features including smart-lock technology, non-puncture airless tires, bike status sensors and built-in GPS locators.

More information is available at the Press release.

County Council Committee Supports Leggett’s Changes to Minimum Wage Hike Proposal

The County Council Health and Human Services Committee last week approved amendments to the minimum wage hike proposal, now before the Council, that reflects changes requested by County Executive Ike Leggett. In a September 13 memo to the Council, Leggett listed the changes necessary to win his approval. Leggett vetoed legislation in January that narrowly passed the Council.

The Committee voted 2 -1 to lengthen the timeline to provide large and small businesses an additional two years for implementation. The amendment would also redefine a "small business" from 25 employees to 50 employees or less.

The proposal is tentatively scheduled to go to full Council for action on November 7.
A recent Washington Post editorial expressed concern about the proposed increase in the minimum-wage hike. Read the full article.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmember Sidney Katz announced a Countywide campaign to raise public awareness. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional and financial abuse and affects people of all age, gender, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The outreach campaign will include advertisements on Ride On buses and bus shelters, social media, and other communications throughout the month of October.

Individuals encountering domestic violence are encouraged to call the Family Justice Center (FJC) at 240-773-0444 to access multiple services in one location, or to call the Abused Persons Program (APP) at 240-777-4673 for counseling and services to help end the cycle of violence. The FJC and APP coordinate support services, so individuals can dial either one to get needed help. However, in case of emergency, people should never hesitate to dial 9-1-1.

More information is available from the press release.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Host World War I Programs

Montgomery County Public Libraries will commemorate World War I (WWI) with two free special programs held at the Olney Library during October. The library is located at 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road.

A WWI traveling exhibit is on display during scheduled library branch hours through October 31. The display, provided by the Maryland Library Association, includes five paintings by Bob Horvath of WWI airplanes. The paintings are on loan from the U.S. Air Force Museum in Washington D.C.

A special presentation called “The Grit and Gusto: Farmerettes and Suffragettes on the Homefront in WWI” will be held on Sunday, October 29 from 3 to 4:45 p.m. Judith Welles, author of the book, “Cabin John: Legends and Life of an Uncommon Place,” will present the special program.

More information is available from the press release.

County Executive Ike Leggett Joins Walk to School Day

Walk to School Day promotes pedestrian safety, physical activities, and environmental preservation. County Executive Ike Leggett and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith joined in the event held at Ronald McNair Elementary School in Germantown. Hundreds of MCPS students, staff and community members on October 4.

Upcoming Public Meeting on the Oaks Landfill Solar Photovoltaic Project

Community members are invited to participate in a discussion on the development of a Photovoltaic solar system, at the former Oaks Landfill. The public meeting will take place on October 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Laytonsville Elementary School located at 21401 Laytonsville Road in Gaithersburg.

Photovoltaic pulls energy from the sun and converts it to electricity. Solar is already an important part of the County’s strategy for renewable energy. Use of solar and other advanced energy technologies in County facilities not only improves energy independence, it is cleaner energy that saves money.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2018. This is a joint project with the County’s Departments of Environmental Protection and General Services.

More information about the project, visit County's website.

Register Now for Youth Winter Basketball Leagues

Are you ready for some hoops?

Registration is now underway for Montgomery County Recreation’s Youth Winter Basketball Leagues program.

The season runs for eight weeks beginning in January of 2018, and the program is geared for boys and girls in grades K – 12.  Register online by November 3 from

For more information, call 240.777.6870.

WorkSource Montgomery Announces New Partnership to Address Need for Nurses

WorkSource Montgomery has announced a new partnership with the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing at Universities at Shady Grove (USG) to expand career opportunities for nurses in Montgomery County. The new collaboration provides a way to increase career opportunities for residents and address the critical nursing shortage in the County.

Along with providing scholarships, WSM and the HIF will work with the health industry, education and community partners to leverage current resources and realign existing programs to expand clinical rotation opportunities.

For more information, check the website.

MCDOT’s Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations Recognized for Implementation of Cost-Saving Idea

Pictured (from left to right) are MCDOT Deputy Director Emil Wolanin, Team Member (TM) Rudy Ramirez, Team Leader Vincent Subramaniam, MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh, County Executive Ike Leggett, Office of Human Resources Director Shawn Stokes, TM Dewa Salihi and TM Kamal Hamud. Other team members not pictured are Aweis Hassan, Lee Kennedy, Gary Morningstar, Eileen Normand, Pramod Patel, Joe St. Laurent, Greg Whitener and Steve Young.
A team from MCDOT’s Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations (DTEO) was recognized by County Executive Ike Leggett for participation in the Rewarding Excellence Bonus Incentive Award Program designed to encourage and promote new, innovative ideas, concepts, and strategies for the cost-effective delivery of County services and products. Front-line employees find cost savings and half of the first year’s savings are distributed to them. 

DTEO found a way to recover costs incurred in replacing traffic signal equipment damaged by traffic crashes, contractors, utilities, construction projects or in other ways by billing the responsible parties. It is estimated that about $9,400 a year in County costs will be recouped through the new DTEO process. 

See press release for more information.

Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Announces Songwriter Contest

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District has announced the annual Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards. The competition is seeking the best local songwriters and will award one talented songwriter a Grand Prize of $10,000 and 25 hours of recording studio time with Innovation Station Music.

The competition also includes a young songwriter category for aspiring songwriters, who are 18 years old or younger, to win $2,500.

Entries must be received by Monday, November 6. For more information on guidelines and information on the competition go to

Nonprofit Montgomery's Eighth Annual Dialogue Between Non-profit Leaders and Montgomery County Government Department Directors

Local non-profit leaders are invited to participate in Nonprofit Montgomery’s Eighth Annual Directors Dialogue. The event will be held on Monday, October 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington located at 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville.

This is a community conversation between executives in the non-profit community and the Directors of Montgomery County's Departments of Health and Human Services, Recreation, Economic Development and Housing and Community Affairs.

This annual meeting provides an opportunity for the County Department Directors to share budget and policy priorities and see where their departments are heading in the next year. This also provides non-profit leaders a chance to share what they are seeing and experiencing in the community. Register online.

September 28, 2017

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Provide Support to Areas Devastated by Recent Hurricanes

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) workers have returned safely after deployments to assist Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida following the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

Maryland Task Force 1 (MD-TF1) was made up of 27 personnel who served with eight other Federal Emergency Management Agency teams. They worked around the clock to support the relief efforts. In addition to the search & rescue work, they are providing welfare inspections, assessing infra-structure damage and providing logistical and incident management.

A team of six stress counselors supported the mental health services in Collier and Monroe Counties in Florida.

This rescue effort comes just a few weeks after the team had been deployed to support Texas after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the gulf coast.

The groups are highly specialized and trained to respond to catastrophes such as natural disasters, large-scale accidents and terrorist attacks. Personnel keep their skills honed by training year-round at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Gaithersburg.

There are about 200 persons who are members of the MD-TF1, most are associated with MCFRS. The team participates in realistic training scenarios, mostly hands-on at sites around the County, National Capital Region and Federal training locations in other regions. MCFRS is in the process of building and constructing a specific and enhanced training area 'rescue mall' at the new Public Safety Training Academy. This objective is will be accomplished through a private/public partnership and donations are welcome.

The MD-TF1, Urban Search & Rescue Team headquarters is based out of a warehouse in Rockville. The space provides ample meeting areas, equipment storage, including the large vehicles and a cache of specialized search and rescue equipment.

Rock-n-Relief Concert Raises Over $5,000 for Hurricane Victims

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation’s Rock-n-Relief youth concert, held Sunday, September 17, at AMP by Strathmore, exceeded its fundraising goal, bringing in over $5,000 for hurricane victims in Florida and Texas.

Radio personality Angie Ange from 93.9 WKYS hosted the two-hour concert that featured five bands and four soloists. Many of the young musicians who performed were previously involved with the Recreation Department’s MoCo’s Got Talent program.

Partnering with the Recreation Department were: Bach to Rock, Strathmore and the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA).

The hurricane relief funds will be distributed to communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, through the Houston Parks Board Foundation, and to communities in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma, through the Florida Recreation and Park Association, via the MRPA, which serves as the trustee.

Many people continue to want to help our neighbors in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and beyond who experienced widespread devastation from the recent hurricanes. The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted and reputable organizations. FEMA is offering guidance on providing support for people directly impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as well as Hurricane Maria.

Fox 5 TV Moves to Montgomery County; Will Bring Approximately 200 Jobs

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) announced that Fox 5 TV, a unit of Fox Television Stations, plans to move from its current location in northwest Washington, D.C. to Bethesda. The television station will occupy a new 57,500 square foot, state-of-the-art studio, newsroom and office space. This will bring approximately 200 jobs into the County.

Fox Television Stations, which locally encompasses WTTG Fox 5 and WDCA Fox 5 Plus, will move in the second quarter of 2021 to Carr Properties planned 937,000 square foot, mixed-use development under construction at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, one of the most highly acclaimed Trophy Class new buildings in the area.

For more information go to

Montgomery County Adopts the International Green Construction Code

Montgomery County is taking a major step forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate protection goals with the unanimous Council approval of Executive Regulation 21-15 AMII, which adopts the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) establishing green building code requirements. The requirements of the IgCC will take effect on Dec. 1 in Montgomery County.

With adoption of the IgCC, Montgomery County establishes a baseline requirement that new, non-residential construction and additions of 5,000 square feet or more must be designed and constructed to reduce building energy use by at least 50% over the average commercial building energy consumption in the base year of 2000.

In addition to reducing energy consumption by 50%, projects must mitigate heat island impacts associated with development and divert at least 50% of construction and demolition waste material from landfills. This green building code is a critical step in meeting the County’s commitment to implementation of the County’s Climate Protection Plan.

For more information, visit the Department of Permitting Services website.

Montgomery County Procurement Forum Set for October 5; Showcases Public and Private Sector Contract Opportunities

The second annual Montgomery County Procurement Forum takes place on Thursday, October 5 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place. The event, the largest hosted by the Office of Procurement, will feature more than 30 panelists and speakers, along with 20 exhibitors.

Local and regional government officials along with business leaders will provide remarks at the forum. In addition, the forum will feature an exhibitor’s showcase, breakout sessions and business development activities designed to guide participants through every aspect of the Montgomery County procurement process. One of last year’s popular sessions about opportunities provided by public/private partnerships in the region will return. New sessions have been added on “green” sustainability, and the nonprofit sector.

For more information and to register online, visit the event’s website.

County Executive Ike Leggett to Celebrate Success of Key Commercial Revitalization Projects in Burtonsville

Join Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Department of Housing & Community Affairs Director Clarence Snuggs, property and business owners and community representatives to celebrate the completion of several significant façade improvement projects in Burtonsville. The program will be held on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m. at the Burtonsville Village Center located at 15500 Block of Old Columbia Pike.

Following the speaker’s program, the celebration will continue with the Taste of Burtonsville until 4 p.m. The Taste of Burtonsville will include a variety of food from some 15-20 restaurants, live music by three bands, face painting, balloon animals and several actors dressed as popular children’s characters.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Section’s Façade Improvement Program (FIP) helps property owners with costs to implement building and site improvements. Managed by DHCA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Section, the FIP encourages commercial property owners to update and enhance their property exteriors by offering up to a 50% reimbursement for costs for exterior building and site improvements, typically in exchange for a 15-year easement which controls the property’s exterior appearance.

DHCA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Section worked with three property owners as part of the Burtonsville Commercial Revitalization Program: Katz & Company Property Management; Site Realty and family-owned Seibel’s Restaurant. Nearly twenty businesses in leased or owned space benefitted from the improvements. The Department has also implemented a similar façade improvement program in Colesville, which it hopes to expand there as well as throughout the County.

More information about this FREE event and the Façade Improvement Program is available from County Calendar.

Department of Transportation Works Hard on White Flint Pedestrian Safety Initiatives

County Executive Ike Leggett participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of dozens of pedestrian safety improvement projects recently completed or planned in White Flint that support the area’s continuing transformation into a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community. Hosted by leaders from Friends of White Flint and Coalition for Smarter Growth, the celebration included Council President Roger Berliner and Montgomery County Transportation Director Al Roshdieh.

County Executive Ike Leggett participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of dozens of pedestrian safety improvement projects recently completed or planned in White Flint by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) that support the area’s continuing transformation into a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community on Wednesday, September 27.

Joining Leggett were County Council President Roger Berliner, MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh, Friends of White Flint Executive Director Amy Ginsburg and Coalition for Smarter Growth Montgomery Advocacy Manager Pete Tomao.

To read more about the MCDOT projects that are scheduled to enhance walkability, bikeability and access to high quality transit options in White Flint, check press release.

County Seeks Input on Proposed Zoning Changes to Address Deployment of Microtowers and Small Cell Antennas

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is requesting public input on a draft Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to revise the County’s zoning code to address deployment of small antennas on streetlights and lower-height buildings. A community meeting for this input will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Monday, October 23 at the Stella B Werner Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd Floor Hearing Room in Rockville. The meeting will be carried live on County Cable Montgomery on Verizon channel 30 or Comcast/RCN channel 6, Facebook and YouTube.

Because wireless technology is evolving, Montgomery County has recently received an unprecedented number of applications to deploy small cell antennas in residential neighborhoods as well as commercial areas around the County. Federal law is clear that Montgomery County cannot pass zoning laws that would have the effect of prohibiting service throughout the County. Therefore, the proposed ZTA is intended to allow providers to provide service while protecting the character of both our residential neighborhoods and commercial areas by regulating how and where these antennas can be placed, and how they should be screened or camouflaged.

The ZTA, an interactive map, and links to submit public comments can be found at

Unity Walk is Opening Doors to Interfaith Understanding

On Sunday, October 8, hundreds of people from all faiths will walk together on New Hampshire Avenue that is known as “the Highway to Heaven” because the three-mile route has more diverse faith traditions than anywhere else in America. The Unity Walk is free as is the Resource Fair with 15 exhibits beginning at 1 pm at the Chinmaya Mission 46 Norwood Road in Silver Spring.

The Unity Walk will feature seven houses of worship opening their doors in welcome and offering understanding of how faith traditions have been worshipping for thousands of years. People will also learn about community service programs including the beautiful Community Clinic at the Muslim Community Center serving thousands and enjoy musical performances.

The Resource Fair will include free Henna painting and arts (block-painting and coloring), registry to vote opportunity, information on our Basic Human Rights, programs welcoming refugees and immigrants and a Sukkah will be built for people to join in celebrating the Jewish Sukkot Holiday (October 4-11).

More information is available at

TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store Launched

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Transportation leaders launched the first Mobile Commuter Store in Maryland. The Mobile Commuter Store will bring transit information and resources directly to customers throughout the County, including Metrorail, Metrobus and Ride On SmarTrip cards and passes, MARC tickets, Bikeshare membership and keys, schedules and other information for travelers.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced the launch of the new TriPS Mobile Commuter Store. The TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store replaced the mobile commuter store formerly located in Friendship Heights. The new store will provide the same services, but with flexibility to go directly to customers throughout the County.

The Mobile Commuter Store provides Metrorail, Metrobus and Ride On SmarTrip cards and passes, MARC tickets, transit information, Bikeshare membership and keys, schedules and other information for travelers.

World of Montgomery Festival Celebrates Diversity Through International Music, Food, Dance, and Arts

The World of Montgomery Festival is held each year in October to celebrate the rich diversity of the area through international music, food, dance, culturally authentic arts demos, hands-on activities, and more. The event will be held on Sunday, October 15 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Montgomery College Rockville campus.

The ninth annual family-friendly event will inspire multicultural appreciation and understanding by spotlighting the cultures of China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India, which are the four largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County. All four nations have established Sisters City relationships with the County.

There will be a wide variety of hands-on activities, including traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, dancing with a Chinese dragon, henna art painting, and craft-making. Two performance stages will spotlight dancers and musicians and dancers from around the world.

A main attraction of the event is the Parade of Cultures led by the feet pounding rhythms of traditional African drummers, Latin American dancers, and Asian performers in native dress who encircled the festival grounds.

Is there Something About the Word “STOP” that People Don’t Understand?

Montgomery County has had a school bus safety enforcement camera program since January of 2014, and have continually reminded drivers that it is the law to stop and stay stopped for school buses with flashing red lights with the STOP arm extended. Now with less than one month into the new school year, the citations generated from 500 cameras are running approximately 125 per day.

Please make sure your driving friends and family members know and obey the law. The only time drivers going in both directions of the bus do not have to stop, is if there is a physical barrier (median) separating lanes going in the opposite direction of the bus.

It is not a quick stop and then proceed, drivers must stay stopped until the flashing red lights go off, the stop arm is deactivated and the bus begins to move.

Please learn and share the details that you will find at: Bus Safety. The real goal is voluntary compliance, but the fines are $250 from a camera citation, and $570 with three points on the license from an officer-issued citation. However, the cost of an injury or death to a child because you didn’t stop is incalculable.

Montgomery County Becomes First County in the Nation to Sign Memorandum of Understanding with Under2 Coalition

On Sunday, September 17, on the eve of Climate Week NYC 2017, it was officially announced that Montgomery County had become a member of the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Coalition. The coalition is an international pact of cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences to the environment.

Montgomery County became the first county in the nation to join this global organization. For more information see press release.

In June of this year, County Executive Isiah Leggett joined more than 1,000 U.S. Governors, county executives, mayors, businesses, investors, colleges and universities to declare support for U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions. press release

20th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival Will Bring Outdoor Art Gallery to Downtown Bethesda on October 14 and 15

National artists will showcase their original works October 14-15 when downtown Bethesda becomes an outdoor art gallery. The free event will feature glass weaving by an imaginative innovator in Michigan, mystical digital collages from a Nashville photographer, sculptural furniture from a Georgia native, and watercolors reflecting a life in Ghana by a Southern transplant.

This year, the 20th Annual Festival will again bring together 190 world-class artists in an open air outdoor gallery that transforms the streets of Bethesda Row in Bethesda. Bethesda Row is located on Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, Elm Street and Bethesda Lane, east of Arlington Road. The Festival will take place, rain or shine, Saturday, October 14, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. More information is available at or or by calling 301-637-5684. A special art sale will benefit the NIH Children’s Charities, thanks to generous donations from participating artists.

Kathie Durbin From Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control Receives National Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award

Kathie Durbin, chief of licensure, regulation and education at the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control, is the recipient of the Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award.

The award recognizes a specific program, agency or person who oversees the alcohol industry and promotes public safety.

Durbin received the award at the Center for Alcohol Policy’s Advisory Council 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference in Chicago, Illinois on September 6 – 8. This is the first time a representative from a County agency has been selected for this award.

For more information about the Department of Liquor Control go to

The Sheriff’s Office Wants to Make You Aware of a Scam

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin is alerting residents to a telephone scam where Montgomery County residents have been called with a false claim that they owe money for non-existent arrest warrants. Residents report that the caller has claimed to be from the sheriff’s office and said that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and will be served unless payment is made immediately.  Montgomery County Deputy Sheriffs will never call and threaten to arrest you unless you immediately send an electronic payment.

Read more about how to protect yourself at “Information on Scam Phone Calls.”

Jewru Bandeh Receives Panfest-USA Award

Jewru Bandeh, director, of the County's Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, received a 2017 Panfest-USA award for recognition of his contributions and service to the African community in Montgomery County and in Maryland. The award was presented by the Pan African Festival Committee at the Pan African Festival held in downtown Silver Spring on September 23.

Bandeh began his career in Montgomery County as the Assistant Director of the Upcounty Regional Service Center Director in 2006. He served as Vice Chair of the Governor of Maryland’s Commission for African Affairs from 2009 – 2015 advocating for the needs of the African and diaspora communities in Maryland. He established the African Affairs Advisory Group to advocate for the needs of the African community.

VisArts Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a Launch Party

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, VisArts invites everyone to a free 30th Anniversary Launch Party. The special event will be held at 155 Gibbs St., Suite 300 in Rockville on Sunday, October 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.

All activities are free and will include special workshops for students of all ages, artist talks, demonstrations and much more.

VisArts has grown into a progressive art center since it humbly began in a converted garage. Today it is a state-of-the-art facility located Rockville Town Square. VisArts serves residents, art lovers, professional artists and others who have an interest in the arts.

For more information about the celebration go to or call 301-315-8200.

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County Honors Bruce Adams and Kenneth Hartman

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC) will hold its annual award Peacemaker Gala on October 9 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held at the VisArts Center located at 155 Gibbs Street in Rockville.

This year CRCMC will honor Montgomery County's Director of Community Partnership, Bruce Adams, as its Peacemaker of the Year for 2017. Adams will be recognized, in part, for his support of nonprofits and years of service to our community.

Kenneth Hartman, director of the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Service Center, will receive the Center’s Executive Director's Award. Mr. Hartman will be honored for his commitment to CRCMC.

Ann Goodman will be honored with The Volunteer of the Year” award for her significant contributions to CRCMC’s work.

For tickets or to learn more about CRCMC go to

It’s Not Too Late to Take Some Time to Prepare for an Emergency

National Preparedness Month is coming to an end but the importance of being prepared is not. With the start of school and fall sports programs, some families just didn’t have time to focus on emergency preparedness. The good news is, there is still time. Fall is a great time for emergency planning, making an emergency kit and coordinating which elderly family members and neighbors you might be able to assist during an emergency.

You can get the basic information you need at press release. More detailed information can be found at the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management website at:

Don’t forget to sign up for Alert Montgomery while viewing the website. Remember, “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can!”

Historian Larry Koch will speak on “The Humor of Abraham Lincoln”

Historian Larry Koch will speak on “The Humor of Abraham Lincoln” at the October meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, October 12 at 8 PM. The presentation will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested. For more information, call 301-253-3485.

September 11, 2017

We Must Never Forget

Today, we pause to remember those who were lost and recommit ourselves to working, every day, for justice, freedom, peace, and tolerance.

September 8, 2017

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Purple Line

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined Senator Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Governor Larry Hogan, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, and members of the Montgomery County Council for the groundbreaking for the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line - a 16.2-mile Light Rail project with 21 stations. The Purple Line will improve accessibility to jobs and provide low- and moderate-income households more exposure to employment opportunities. See more photos from the event.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined Governor Larry Hogan, U.S. Secretary Elaine Chao, Senator Chris Van Hollen, members of the Montgomery County Council and other dignitaries to launch construction of the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line - a 16.2-mile Light Rail project with 21 stations.

The long-awaited Purple Line will improve transit, bring new jobs and get thousands of cars off roads. The Purple Line will extend from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County. It will provide a direct connection to the Metrorail Red, Green and Orange Lines; at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton. The Purple Line will also connect to MARC, Amtrak, and local bus services.

The Purple Line will be light rail and will operate mainly in dedicated or exclusive lanes, allowing for fast, reliable transit operations.

To learn more go to the Purple Line project website.

Statement by County Executive Ike Leggett on Presidential Decision to Phase Out DACA Program

“I am disappointed by President Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. These young people are in the United States in an undocumented status through no fault of their own – and they deserve better. I urge the President to work with both parties in the House and Senate to craft as soon as possible a common-sense program to protect these young men and women.”
See the full statement.

“Renters Have Rights” Campaign Informs Tenants of Stepped-Up Apartment Inspection and Expanded Tenant Advocacy

Pictured (l to r): County Council Vice President Hans Riemer; Councilmember Marc Elrich;
County Executive Ike Leggett; and Councilmembers Tom Hucker and Nancy Floreen. 

On September 7, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett launched a “Renters Have Rights” campaign of stepped-up inspections and outreach to tenants. The campaign lets renters know they have a voice and that the County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) is available to help.

An important part of the mission of the DHCA is to maintain a marketplace that is fair to both tenants and landlords. Toward that end, DHCA is responsible for inspecting apartment buildings for certain safe-housing conditions and promoting tenant rights. DHCA is ratcheting up efforts that benefit everyone. Over the next two years, DHCA will inspect every apartment building in the County, looking at a percentage of units in each building, and if warranted, inspecting every unit.

The “Renters Have Rights” outreach campaign directs people to call 3-1-1 to learn how Montgomery County can provide free, confidential, anonymous help to ensure housing safety, mediate conflicts and otherwise advocate for tenants. The updated law also includes funding for additional tenant advocacy staff. See press release..

For more information visit DHCA’s Tenant Rights website, which includes tenant rights, responsibilities, DHCA services, and more.

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Earns Blue Ribbon for Best Educational Exhibitor at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) won the blue ribbon for “Educational Exhibitor” at the 2017 Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. A team of judges selected the DEP booth from 140 vendors. The award recognizes excellence in educational activities and was received for exhibit presentation and the interaction of exhibitor with fair visitors. More information is available at press release.

Annual 50+ Expo Returns to the Silver Spring Civic Center on Sunday, September 10

The Beacon's free, annual 50+ Expo, will return to the Silver Spring Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring on Sunday, Sept. 10 from noon to 4 p.m..

The keynote speaker is Matthew Quinn, a principal of Quinn's Auction Galleries, and a seven-year veteran appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. Appraisers from Quinn's Auction Galleries will be available for verbal appraisals of paintings, Asian art, prints, autographs, glassware, crystal, knick-knacks, rare books, jewelry and other items which can carried in hands.

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. The grand door prize is a trip for two to China.

For more information, go to