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

Wheaton Arts Parade and Festival Marches in on September 24

The inaugural Wheaton Arts Parade and Festival is coming Sunday, September 24, with hand-pulled floats; a “Rhinestone Einstein;” giant puppets; costumes; masks; dancers and marching bands. The procession will march up Georgia Avenue in Wheaton beginning at 10 a.m. The festival will follow with artists displaying their work; live music and dance performances; films; storytellers and poets; food; and more at nearby Veterans Park on Reedie Drive. Watch the parade near the Wheaton Metro on the east side of Georgia Avenue. The event will be fun for the entire family and best of all it's free! For more information, go to

Transportation Services Make Getting Around Montgomery County Easier for Older Adults

 download pdf
Transportation is an important service for seniors and people with disabilities, especially those who do not drive. To help residents stay active, Montgomery County offers a range of transportation and mobility options. For more information on transportation services, go to senior transportation website or check latest Beacon AD.

Office of Consumer Protection Alerts Residents to the Potential Risk of Coupon-based Air Duct Cleaning Services

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) released a consumer alert video to alert residents to possible deceptive practices by air duct cleaning services. This Consumer Alert Air Duct Scams Video warns consumers about coupon-based air duct cleaning firms that engage in deceiving marketing by promoting misleadingly low prices, making unsubstantiated health claims and up-selling additional services.

The video highlights a two-step “deceptive dance” prevalent in this industry. First, coupon-based air duct cleaning firms typically gain access to a consumer’s home by advertising that they can provide a service at an extremely low cost, and then attempt to scare a consumer into purchasing hundreds or thousands of dollars of additional services by representing that dangerous conditions are present in the ducts.

For more information, call the OCP at 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website at

Montgomery County Public Libraries Offers Creative Writing Workshop for Veterans, Active Service Members and their Adult Family Members

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will offer a creative writing workshop for veterans, active service members and their adult family members to help shape and tell their stories. The program is appropriate for beginner-and intermediate-level creative writers.

The workshop is focused on the elements of writing fiction and non-fiction including scene, setting, dialogue, narrative structure and plot. Participants will create new works and can share their work to receive feedback from participants and the workshop leader.

The Veterans Writing Workshop is led by Iraq War Marine veteran Dario DiBattista from the Veterans Writing Project, a non-profit founded by veterans and family members. A commentator on National Public Radio, SiriusXM, and for the British Broadcasting Corporation, DiBattista’s work has appeared in Washingtonian Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The free six-sessions program will take place on Saturdays, September 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Avenue. Registration is limited and required – via MCPL website Calendar of Events or by calling 240-777-0140.

Sixth Annual Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame Scheduled for October 24

The sixth annual Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame (MCBHOF) will be held on Tuesday, October 24 at The Universities at Shady Grove. This event, co-founded by Grossberg Company LLP, CPAs and Revere Bank, successor to Monument Bank. It celebrates people who have made a positive impact on the Montgomery County business community. The celebration begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed by a luncheon and induction of nominees.

The five inductees for the 2017 MCBHOF are: Kevin Beverly, President & CEO, Social & Scientific Systems; Norman Dreyfuss, Executive Vice President, IDI Group; Terry Forde, President & CEO, Adventist HealthCare, Cidalia Luis-Akbar, CEO & Owner, M. Luis Construction Co., Inc.; Natalia Luis, COO & Owner, M. Luis Construction Co., Inc.

Since its inception, MCBHOF has raised over $685,000 for the USG scholarship fund through donations and through the induction event. All net proceeds from the MCBHOF benefit the scholarship programs at The Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland’s regional educational center which brings nine Maryland public universities and more than 80 academic degree programs directly to Montgomery County. The same type of vision that led to the creation of USG – to do something truly unique and extraordinary – is the type of vision our honorees all share.

For more information go to

M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks Seeks Public Comments on North Branch Hiker-Biker Trail

M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks seeks public comment on possible locations for a proposed 15 car parking lot and trail head as part of the Planning Board-approved North Branch Hiker-Biker Trail project. The meeting will be held Wednesday, September 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center located at 5110 Meadowside Lane in Rockville.

Parks staff will present the project history, overall trail alignment, connectivity to adjacent trails, and overall project schedule and phasing, in addition to the two parking lot alternatives.

For additional information on accessibility to the parks and access programs, visit park projects webpage.

Author Kenneth Serfass Portrays General Ulysses S. Grant

Retired Marine Sergeant Kenneth Serfass portrays General Ulysses S. Grant at the September meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday September 14 at 8 p.m.

The presentation will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested.

August 21, 2017

Free Vaccinations Offered at Health Clinics for Students Entering Seventh Grade

Montgomery County health officials urge parents or guardians of students entering seventh grade to show proof their student is vaccinated against Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) and Meningococcal meningitis (MCV4) prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Students not in compliance with Maryland vaccination requirements are excluded from attending school until they provide documentation of the required Tdap and MCV immunizations. The requirements are in place throughout the State of Maryland.

Free Tdap and MCV4 immunizations will be offered to incoming students at the following locations:

School Health Services Center
4910 Macon Road, Rockville
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Dennis Avenue Health Center
2000 Dennis Avenue, Silver Spring
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Germantown Health Center
12900 Middlebrook Road, 2nd floor, Germantown
Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Thursdays 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Silver Spring Health Center
8630 Fenton Street, 10th floor, Silver Spring
Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

A copy of the child’s immunization record must be presented to staff to receive vaccinations. For more information on immunizations, call the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ Immunization Program at 240-777-1050 or School Health Services at 240-777-1550.

Downtown Wheaton Businesses Helped by Innovative County Program During Construction of New County Office Building and Town Plaza

More than 90 businesses in Wheaton that may be impacted by the construction of a new, 14-story Montgomery County office building and an adjacent town plaza will have an opportunity to receive an innovative form of help from the County to stabilize their businesses during the three-year construction period.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the Montgomery County Council created a Small Business Assistance Program to provide technical and financial assistance to qualified Downtown Wheaton businesses who can demonstrate an adverse financial impact since construction began in June on the “Wheaton Town Plaza” project. The unique aspect of the County program will be that businesses owners will be eligible for financial assistance—up to a maximum of $75,000 over the construction period—for documented declines attributable to the project.

Businesses can apply for assistance to the County’s Department of Finance, which will oversee the program, starting Sept. 5. Applications will soon be available through the department’s website at

More information is available in the press release at More than 90 businesses in area continue to operate during three-year construction project. More information on the plan to revitalize Downtown Wheaton can be found at

Small Antennas and Shorter Telecommunications Towers

The County has released a draft zoning text amendment (ZTA) to revise the County’s zoning code to address deployment of smaller antennas on streetlights and lower height buildings. The ZTA and summary can be found at Public comment is being accepted and a September public meetings are scheduled as following;

You Can Help Reduce the Risk for Trash Fires

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Department of Environmental Protection Director Lisa Feldt held an event  to increase awareness of the importance of the safe disposal of household waste materials that could become a fire hazard when discarded in the trash. 
The Department of Environmental Protection is raising awareness about ways to safely dispose of hazardous household materials. It is important that residents know what materials should not go into the trash, and as equally important for residents to know how to safely dispose of those materials

The Household Hazardous Waste program, located at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station is open to all County residents. The provides opportunities for residents to discard many materials as safely and environmentally responsible as possible.

Careful attention should be given to ensure that items are safe to be placed in the trash. The following items SHOULD NOT go in the trash:
  • flammable or combustible liquids (such as gasoline, oil-based paints, or kerosene);
  • hazardous materials (including items such as ammonia, bleach, pool chemicals, pesticides, etc.);
  • canisters containing propellants (like butane or propane);
  • rechargeable batteries (which contain heavy metals, including lithium, nickel cadmium, or lead-acid)
  • cylinders containing compressed gas (such as propane, helium, oxygen, acetylene, or fire extinguishers); 
  • ash (from fireplaces, fire pits, or barbeque grills); or
  • any unknown substances
When certain liquids or gases mix, there is a risk they could become a fire or explosion hazard. The Department of Environmental Protection’s Household Hazardous Waste collection program provides an appropriate way for residents to discard many volatile items. The Household Hazardous Waste program is open to all County residents.

For more information, read the Press release.

Free Fares on New MD 355 Ride On extRa Service during October 2017

Ride On extRa

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced at the Montgomery County Fair that the new, faster Ride On extRa rush hour service beginning October 2 on Route 355 will be free, on an introductory basis, during the month of October.

Ride On extRa will run only during peak periods, Monday through Friday, 5:30 – 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. It will provide service from Lakeforest Transit Center in Gaithersburg to Medical Center Metro in Bethesda – running every 10 minutes and making just 12 stops. The service will connect to half of the bus routes in the County, as well as Metrorail and MARC rail.

Ride on extRa vehicles will have many amenities that promote comfort and faster service. For example, the vehicles will have traffic signal priority and passengers will have low-floor boarding, free WiFi, USB charging ports and padding on seats.

Starting in November, this service will be available for a regular Ride On fare, via SmartTrip card, pass or cash. Fare cards may not be reloaded on these buses.

Ride On extRa stops will include Lakeforest Transit Center, Summit Ave., Westland Dr., Shady Grove Metro, Montgomery College, Rockville Metro, Edmonston Dr., Halpine Rd., Marinelli Rd., Security Ln., Tuckerman Ln., and Medical Center. There will be new bus shelters and bus stop flag signs to identify Ride On extRa bus stops.

Montgomery County Friendship Picnic to Bring Together Communities with Diverse Cultures and Faiths on September 17

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 17 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, train rides and much more.  

Registration is strongly encouraged for this free event. More information and registration is available here.

Biotechnology Company Expands Headquarters in Gaithersburg Brings New Jobs to Montgomery County

Altimmune, Inc., a clinical-stage immunotherapeutics biotechnology company, announced it will relocate new employees acquired because of its merger with Pharmathene, as well as its existing Gaithersburg employees, to a new 14,000 square-foot location in Gaithersburg. The new, larger location at 910 Clopper Road will include the company’s research and development facility, and the move is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2018. Altimmune currently has 14 full-time employees in Gaithersburg. The expansion will add 45 new jobs over the next four years.

Altimmune designs and develops immunotherapeutic products tailored to address a wide range of diseases, including acute respiratory infections, chronic viral infections, and cancer. The company’s lead product, NasoVAX, an intranasally administered recombinant flu vaccine, is expected to begin Phase 2 development in the coming weeks. HepTcell, the company’s second clinical program, is an immunotherapy for treating patients chronically infected with the Hepatitis B virus. The company’s two complementary fully government-sponsored anthrax vaccine programs, SparVax-L and NasoShield, are ongoing with continued updates and data announcements expected in 2018.

To assist with project costs, the Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $150,000 conditional loan through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF). In addition, Montgomery County is providing a $100,000 conditional grant through its Economic Development Fund. The company is also eligible for a grant up to $50,000 from the City of Gaithersburg’s Economic Development Toolbox Program, as well as various state and local tax credits, including Maryland’s Job Creation Tax Credit.

To learn more about career opportunities with the company, visit

Read the full press release from MD Department of Commerce.

The American Film Institute of Silver Spring to Host Free Silver Screens Outdoor Film Festival

The American Film Institute of Silver Spring is hosting the second annual Silver Screens outdoor film festival on Friday evenings. The free movies will be held in Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring.

The free weekly screenings begin at 8 p.m., rain or shine. The festival ends September 1. Moviegoers are invited to bring their own seats.

Upcoming moves will include:
  • Aug. 25: “Purple Rain” 
  • Sept. 1: “School of Rock”

Become a Volunteer Tutor or Mentor!

Download Flyer

As the kids start to think about going back to school, the timing is perfect to consider volunteering as a tutor or mentor. Montgomery County has many appealing opportunities for adults to become volunteer tutors and mentors to area youth. Inter generational volunteering can prove very rewarding for students and volunteers alike.

Volunteer tutors help students learn to read and build study skills. Volunteer mentors provide guidance and support with day-to-day challenges. Some volunteer roles include both tutoring and mentoring.

For more information on volunteer tutoring or mentoring opportunities go to Become a Volunteer Tutor or Mentor

Department of Permitting Services to Host eServices Open House

The Department of Permitting Services (DPS) will host an eServices Open House on Monday, August 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held at the DPS office located at 255 Rockville Pike on the second floor.

The event will provide the opportunity to set up accounts and receive training to learn to apply online and submit plans electronically. Beginning September 11, Commercial Solar, Residential New Construction, and Sign permits will only be accepted electronically. Currently, Electrical, Fire Alarm, Fire Protection, Fence, Residential Solar, New Commercial Building Construction, and Utility permits require electronic submission. The open house will prepare you for the upcoming transition to paperless permitting!

Visit Permitting Services website for more information.

Community Use of Public Facilities Accepting Requests for Use of Public School Facilities

The Community Use of Public Facilities began accepting general reservation requests for use of indoor public school facilities for the 2017-2018 school year on August 15. This includes before and after-school enrichment programs, evening use, weekend use, etc., regardless of room type. For more information, visit:

Resources for an Age-Friendly Montgomery County

Age-Friendly Montgomery County is an initiative to enhance the County as a wonderfully diverse Community for a Lifetime--a place where all residents can age, thrive to their full potential, and contribute as a powerful resource in making our County a better, stronger, more inclusive community for everyone.

Keeping our Kids Safe by Obeying the School Bus Laws

The Montgomery County Public Schools school year begins Tuesday, September 5. Please help us get the word out about the importance of knowing and obeying school bus laws. School bus enforcement cameras are generating a concerning number of citations for drivers who either fail to stop, or stop for a moment and then drive on before the red lights are deactivated.

The Law:
  • Two Lane & Multi-Lane Roadway: Motorists travelling in both directions -- regardless of how many travel lanes or the presence of a turn lane -- must stop and remained stopped until the bus red lights go off. Remember, “Paint (the line markings on the roadway) Doesn’t Protect” (children crossing the street).
  • Multi-lane Roadway divided by a Median Strip: The only time a motorist does not have to stop is when travelling in the opposite direction of a bus on a multi-lane highway that is divided by a physical barrier such as a grassy or paved median strip. In that case alone, only traffic following the bus must stop. Drivers travelling in the opposite direction on the other side of the median strip may proceed with caution.
County government, law enforcement and school officials are dedicated to continuing public education to gain voluntary compliance. You can help by spreading the word to your co-workers, friends and family members. Help us protect our kids!

July 27, 2017

National Night Out Is an Evening of Community Events to Fight Crime

National Night Out events will take place in communities throughout Montgomery County on Tuesday, August 1. National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch to generate neighborhood support and participation in crime prevention efforts and enhance police and community relationships.

More information and a list of locations coordinated with the Montgomery County Police Department is available from website.

Other local law enforcement agencies serving municipalities in Montgomery County have coordinated additional Night Out events.

JBG SMITH to Locate New Headquarters in Montgomery County

JBG SMITH, the new publicly traded real estate investment trust formed from the merger of The JBG Companies and Vornado Realty Trust, will locate its new corporate headquarters to 4747 Bethesda Ave. in Bethesda. This will bring hundreds of new jobs to the County.

JBG Smith is the region’s largest development company and has contributed to the region’s community-building and economic vitality. The newly combined company will have 425 employees who will be housed in a new 300,000 sq. ft. building at the corner of Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues.

This latest news follows the recent announcements that Marriott will remain in Montgomery County and build a new, $600 million headquarters in downtown Bethesda, and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline will make Rockville the home for its new global vaccine R&D center.

More information is available at:

Montgomery County Launches Business Portal

Montgomery County has a new business portal that will make it easier for businesses to interact with County government. 

The business portal is a gateway to County-government services and information related to doing business in Montgomery County. It is modeled after national, best practices and based on input from an extensive survey in 2016 on improving government services for businesses. Integrating information from multiple County departments, the business portal is a single point of entry that aims to further streamline County services and operations to make it easier to start and grow a business in the County.

The portal is available at:

For more information on additional Second Quarter 2017 Economic Development Highlights (pdf).

Montgomery’s Newest and Largest Solar Panel Project Unveiled at the County’s Correctional Facility

County Executive Ike Leggett unveiled the County’s largest solar project to date at the County’s Correctional Facility in early July. With more than 2,600 solar panels the complex can operate independently from the power grid in an emergency loss of electricity.

The project is expected to produce 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to provide more than 60 percent of the electricity used by the facility. By the end of 2018, solar projects on County property are expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 1,000 single-family homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as planting 200,000 trees each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Designed with a 20-year, power purchase agreement at a low, fixed cost, these solar projects give the County independence from the rising cost of electricity.

You May Be Eligible for a Property Tax Credit

Modest income homeowners and adults over age 65 may qualify for a property tax credit. To receive the tax credit for this year, you must apply by Sept. 1. For more information view or download brochure.

Another Top-10 Digital Finish for the County

Montgomery County was ranked as second place in the 2017 Digital Counties competition, which is sponsored by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties. This is the fourth year in a row that the County has been ranked in second place for Counties whose populations exceed 500,000. Montgomery County is the only County with a population exceeding 500,000 to be ranked in the Top 10 each year since the inception of the survey in 2003. Read more here.

Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Accepting Nominations for County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

It is that time of year! The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is accepting nominations for this year’s County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. Now in its 16th year, the County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities honor individuals and organizations that have made a difference in Montgomery County through the arts and humanities. 

County Executive Ike Leggett and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County invite you to nominate an outstanding member of the community for the 2017 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities in the following categories:
  • Education Award
  • Community Award
  • Volunteer Award
  • Outstanding Artist or Scholar Award
  • Business or Individual Patron Award
  • Emerging Leader Award
If you would like to nominate an organization and/or individual for an award, please click here. The deadline to submit your nomination is Monday, July 31.

The 16th annual County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities will be held on Monday, November 6 at Round House Theatre in Bethesda.

Department of Recreation Director Graduates from Presidential Leadership Scholars Program

Gabe Albornoz, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Recreation graduated from the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program in Dallas, Texas on July 13. He was one of 60 scholars from across the country and shared the stage with President William Jefferson Clinton and President George W. Bush.

The leadership training series is designed to develop a new generation of leaders from varied backgrounds who are committed to facing society’s greatest challenges. The program seeks participants who have the desire and capacity to take their leadership strengths to a higher level to help their communities, and embolden them with the practical skills needed to drive solution-oriented action. By including a roster of presidential centers – two Republican and two Democratic –the program created a rare opportunity to instill in scholars a brand of principled leadership that transcends diverse backgrounds.

The PLS program enhances the impact of leaders who are creating change in their communities, our nation, and the world. A first-of-its-kind curriculum and unparalleled opportunity to join a diverse network of change-makers sharpens participants' skills and exposes them to new ideas and thinking. They are led through an exploration of principles that directly help them address a need in society.

Albornoz oversees 39 recreation facilities including community recreation centers, aquatic centers, and senior centers; more than 3,000 employees; and manages the department’s $33 million budget. County Executive Ike Leggett appointed Albornoz to serve as Director of the Department of Recreation in January 2007. At age 30, Albornoz became the youngest cabinet-level appointment in the history of Montgomery County.

For more on the PLS program go to or read press release.

I Take It Personally, New Campaign to Prevent Over-Service and Drunk Driving

The County’s Department of Liquor Control and the Department of Police launched a new public awareness campaign to encourage everyone in the County to do what they can to limit alcohol over-service, over-consumption and drunk driving. The campaign titled, “I Take It Personally,” includes messaging over the summer on Ride On buses, bus shelters, County liquor stores and private establishments serving alcohol. The County’s social media and fliers will also be used to outreach on this important information. 

Part of the program includes a partnership with local transportation services to provide reduced cost safe rides via mobile apps. To learn more from press release.

Visit Montgomery Offers a Full Line-up of Events for Residents and Visitors

Visit Montgomery, Montgomery County’s official Conference and Visitors Bureau, is more than a great resource for travelers, it also provides heaps of information for residents looking to find activities locally. Whether you are into hiking, camping, enjoying restaurants, visiting galleries, or attending a performance at a theatre, you’ll find it all, and more, in Montgomery County.

With more than 33,000 acres of parkland in 345 parks, 60 galleries, 22 theatres, 50 historical venues, visitors and residents enjoy superb amenities throughout the year.

Check out the calendar at to see a full line-up of special activities and happenings. Many of the events are free!

Summer of Safety Provides Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe

Hopefully everyone is taking advantage of the safety tips resource, “Summer of Safety: A to Z”, located on the County’s website at:

Throughout the summer safety tips are highlighted on the site through tweets with #MoCoSafety and posted on the County’s Facebook page. We may also tweet out important safety-related information using that hashtag. This is important information to keep our community members safe, so please continue to follow the #MoCoSafety tweets. Most importantly, if you haven’t already signed up to receive Alert Montgomery emergency messages go to or visit Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security website.

Your Input Needed on Long-Range Transportation Plans

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board wants to hear from residents about their daily commuting experiences. The information will be used to develop Visualize 2045, which is a long-range transportation plan for the National Capital Region. The plan will show the projects and improvements the region’s transportation agencies are planning through 2045—both what they can afford now and what they would build if they had more funding.

Visualize 2045 will focus on regionally significant road and transit projects, and highlight bicycle and pedestrian projects and key land-use issues facing the region. The plan will take a multimodal approach, relying not on any one travel mode to accommodate future population growth and address the region’s diverse transportation challenges.

The plan will show the current regional projects and how those projects will affect future travel patterns and conditions. In doing so, it will paint a picture of where the region’s current planning and funding decisions will get us. The aim is to help elected leaders, regional planners, and the public better understand the kinds of decisions we need to make today to realize a more desirable transportation future.

One of the best ways to participate in Visualize 2045 is to take a brief online survey. This is to better understand what affects your daily travel and what can make your experience better. Your answers will help inform discussions among elected leaders and regional planners about the planning and funding decisions we should be making to improve the region’s transportation future. The survey is available through July 31.

To take the survey now go to

Police Adventure Camp Connects Youth to Police

Campers, counselors, officers from the 1st District, and special guest former Washington Redskin wide receiver Charlie Brown, at today’s graduation for the 9th Annual Police Adventure Camp
“Police Adventure Camp” provided 35 children with an opportunity to get a better understanding of the work of police officers and emboldened the campers to get to know some of the officers in supportive and mentoring roles. The participants received guidance in conflict resolution, team work, and good-decision making. They viewed demonstrations by MCPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers, K-9 teams, and Traffic Division officers.

The program, held June 26 through 30 at Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville, was offered in partnership by the Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Linkages to Learning program.

Two special events were provided by Former Redskin Charlie Brown who facilitated football drills, and Baltimore Blast soccer team member Levi Houapeu who led soccer clinics. More information and photos available.

Community Action Board Accepting Applications for Community Advocacy Institute

The Community Action Board is now accepting applications for the Community Advocacy Institute (formerly the Leadership Development Institute). Participants must be Montgomery County residents with a household income of $54,000 or less. This FREE program includes workshops featuring elected officials, local advocates, and issue experts. Apply online HERE by August 25.

June 28, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Independence Day, July 4

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4.
  • County Offices – closed 
  • Libraries – closed 
  • County Liquor stores – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Recreation – Indoor and outdoor pools open, Germantown Indoor Pool closes at 3 p.m. all other pools close at 6 p.m.; Administrative offices, senior centers and recreation centers will be closed.
  • Montgomery Parks - Information available from website.
  • Ride On – will operate on a Saturday schedule. Information is available from website
  • Metrorail – Information available at
  • Metrobus – Information available at
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – no July 4 collection. Collection will slide by one day. For information on slide schedule go to website.
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station - closed 
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Schools and Administrative Offices – closed
  • State offices and courts – closed

Montgomery County to Host Two Independence Day Celebrations

It is that time to bring out the red, white and blue, fire up the grill and chow down on yummy picnic food. Again this year, Montgomery County’s Recreation Department will light up the skies with two dynamic fireworks displays on the evening of July 4.

Germantown Glory will be held at the Maryland SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park located at 18041 Central Park Circle in Germantown (Boyds). Mid-County Sparkles will take place at Albert Einstein High School located at 11135 Newport Road in Kensington. Both firework displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Germantown Glory will kick off at 7 p.m. with a concert by Quiet Fire, a soul, R&B and rock band that covers hits from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Mid-County Sparkles begins at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by Gringo Jingo performing the best of Santana. Only parking for individuals with disabilities will be available on-site at Einstein High School. Free parking and shuttle service will be provided from Westfield Wheaton. Parking at Westfield Wheaton will open at 6 p.m.

Shuttle service from Westfield Wheaton to Einstein High School will begin at 6:15 p.m. Shuttles can be accessed between the North Building and the CVS. Follow event parking/shuttle signage.

Low lawn chairs, blankets and coolers are welcome at both events. Food vendors will be on site. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted. The rain date for fireworks only is July 5.

See more information in press release.

Keep You and Your Family Safe on July 4 by Leaving Fireworks to the Professionals

An important reminder from Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) is to Leave Fireworks to the Professionals! What seems like great fun unfortunately has the potential for great injury. Each year, locally and across the country, people of all ages are injured by fireworks.

Here are some safety tips to keep you and your family safe.

County Executive Ike Leggett Celebrates Opening of New Mixed Paper Processing Facility at the Recycling Center

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Department of Environmental Protection Director Lisa Feldt participated in an open house for the recently operational Mixed Paper Processing Facility at the Recycling Center on Tuesday, June 27. The facility located at 16105 Frederick Road in Derwood opened in May 2017. Maryland Environmental Service with Colossal Contractors, a minority-owned business firm, operates the facility.

The open house included a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility to see where the approximately 200 tons of paper and cardboard received per day is sorted and baled. Once processed the paper is sent domestically and internationally to be recycled into reusable materials such as cereal boxes, printer paper, paper bags, cardboard boxes and pizza boxes.

Prior to the opening of the new Mixed Paper Processing Facility, the County paid to have paper sorted, hauled and sent to a separate recycling processing facility. The opening of the new facility makes it possible for the County to capture the revenue, which is used to offset the operations and programming costs. The annual sale revenue for the baled paper is approximately $3 million.

The mixed paper facility added nine new jobs, for a total of 57 workers employed at the Recycling Center.

Visit website for more information about the new facility.

Montgomery County Council Building Will Begin New Safety Measures

New safety measures are set to begin on July 5 at the Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Visitors will enter at one of two designated, ADA-accessible public entrances. One is in front of the building near the second-floor cafeteria. The other entrance is adjacent to the first-floor auditorium near the parking garage adjacent to the building. Signs will be posted that identify the two public entrances. The safety enhancements will include screening stations and security personnel.

Screening stations will be in operation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Public access to the Council Office Building will not be available outside of these hours.

For public hearings and meetings attended by many visitors, those coming to the building may experience a line to enter and are asked to plan accordingly. For Council public hearings, visitors may want to base their arrival time on the order of the speakers’ list, which is available online by 11 a.m. the day of the hearing for afternoon hearings, and by 3 p.m. for evening hearings.

More information is available at Council Office Building Security Video and Press Release.

Director of Montgomery County Public Libraries Parker Hamilton Announces Retirement Date

Parker Hamilton
Parker Hamilton has announced that she will retire at the end of July. Hamilton served as Director for Montgomery County Public Libraries for 12 years.

County Executive Ike Leggett made the following statement on the retirement of Parker Hamilton

“Parker Hamilton is a remarkable woman and Montgomery County will miss her terribly.

“After almost 37 years of service to the County -- and twelve years as the Director of Public Libraries – she will be retiring and moving back home South, to Alabama.

“Parker began her working life in South Carolina as a domestic worker, and ended it running one of the most innovative, progressive public library systems in America. Prior to earning her BA and MLS from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, she worked as a telephone operator and provided customer service in a pawn shop. In addition to working in public libraries, she has worked in school, military, and business libraries.

“Under Parker’s leadership, our County libraries were able to survive some tough times during the Great Recession when budgets had to be cut to the bone, without sacrificing quality, hours, or customer service. With Parker at the helm, County libraries received 19 National Association of Counties awards, and innovation awards from Urban Libraries Council, including the 2016 Top Innovation Award.

“Plainly put, Parker has made a difference for all County residents. We’ll miss her but we wish her a retirement rich in everything that matters.”

Healthy Montgomery Seeks Community Comment on Community Health Improvement Plan

The Healthy Montgomery Steering Committee invites residents to review and make comments on the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP provides a summary of priorities that will guide the work of Healthy Montgomery for the next three years. Residents are asked to provide comments by Friday, June 30. A copy of the report and the feedback survey can be found online at HealthyMontgomery.Org.

For more information, check press release.

Air Conditioner Safety Tips to Help You Beat the Heat

Air conditioners can bring welcome relief to scorching hot summer days. However, the same appliance that cools you down can burn your house down if not properly maintained.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Public Information Officer Pete Piringer recently appeared on Good Morning America to remind everyone that air conditioners that are overworked and overheated can strain air conditioner units and become safety hazards.
  • Properly maintain the unit
  • Ensure an adequate power source
  • Clear the space around the unit
  • Have the unit checked twice per year by a certified HVAC technician
Piringer also reminded viewers of the risk that ineptly installed air conditioning window units can cause by falling out of a window.

To see more safety information on a variety of topics go to MCFRS Safety Tips.

Silver Spring Thursday Night Concerts Through August 3 at Veterans Plaza

The Silver Spring Summer Concerts can turn an ordinary evening into a summer celebration. The free outdoor concerts take place on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building on Veterans Plaza, at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive. Silver Spring’s Summer Concerts are family-friendly, with dancing, face painting, games for the kids and music in a variety of styles. The concert series features a raffle that gives away prizes for adults as well as toys and gifts for kids. The raffle opens at 6:30 p.m. and is awarded at intermission. Make a full evening and bring a picnic or purchase food at one of the many nearby restaurants.

2017 Concert Schedule:
The concerts are sponsored by Discovery Communications, Live Nation, the Silver Spring Urban District, Montgomery County Recreation and the Foundation to Celebrate Downtown Silver Spring. Performances will be canceled if it is raining at 7 p.m.

For more information, call (240) 777- 0311, visit or download flyer from here.

Farm Tour and Harvest Sale Celebrates 28th Anniversary

The County’s annual Farm Tour & Harvest Sale celebrates its 28th anniversary with a variety of agricultural operations open to the public on July 22 and July 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seventeen farms will participate in the event.

Many people do not realize that about one-third of the County’s land is agricultural. Most of the farms in the County are family-run operations, which employ more than 10,000 residents. The County has 540 farms in Montgomery County, many of which produce crops that help feed residents.

The Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale helps the County promote its farms by making residents aware of the diverse agricultural industry and products that are locally available during the growing season. The Farm Tour provides a way to link County residents to farming operations.

For more information on participating farms and operational hours for the farm visits see the website at

Summer Read and Learn Program is Now Open at Montgomery County Public Libraries

The Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Summer Read and Learn Program kicked off on June 10. This year’s theme is “Build a Better World.” Children and teens can sign up online or at any branch through September 10.

The program offers children exciting reading and educational activities. Participants can earn online badges and prizes (while supplies last) or raffle entries for completing tracks. Teens are also encouraged to participate in the program by reading and completing book reviews to earn badges and prizes.

Summer Read and Learn will include many different activities and events such as music, storytellers, science and animal themed activities. Schedules of programs are on the library’s calendar of events at

June 7, 2017

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for the Wheaton Revitalization Project

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Wheaton Revitalization Project was held on June 4. The project will transform the existing Mid-County Regional Services Center building and adjacent parking lot into a County office building, Town Square civic space, underground parking garage, Triangle Lane retail space and ultimately, a residential building. The new development will remake the downtown Wheaton Triangle which is located at 11219 Grandview Avenue.

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is leading the effort for the project. The 308,000-square-foot office building will house six Montgomery County departments and agencies and the headquarters for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The first level of the building will add more than 11,000 square-feet of new retail space along Triangle Lane. The project will include an underground parking garage with 397 public parking spaces and a 35,000 square-foot Town Square. Other amenities will include a stage, amphitheater-style seating, publicly available WiFi, a community water feature, an art sculpture and open space for community gatherings and activities.

For more information about Wheaton Revitalization, visit

County Executive Ike Leggett Joins Thousands of Leaders Who Say “We Are Still In” on Paris Climate Agreement

On June 5 County Executive Ike Leggett joined more than 1,000 U.S. governors, county executives, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities in declaring their support for U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions.

The leaders sent a strong signal to the international community and the 194 other parties to the Paris Agreement about their continued ambitious action on climate change absent leadership at the federal level. To read the letter go to

Montgomery County has always been a leader in reducing emissions and is nationally recognized for its best practices in increasing energy efficiency, growing renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gases as much as possible.

To reduce its own footprint, County Government has increased the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in its fleet, installed solar energy panels on many County buildings, and continues to be one of the nation’s largest local government purchasers of renewable energy. For details on these and other initiatives and accomplishments in energy sustainability in County facilities, see the FY16 Sustainable Government Operations Report.

The County has adopted a transportation policy that considers ecosystem and climate impacts, reduces and prevents waste and pollution, and focuses on reducing energy consumption. The result is a balanced approach that includes extensive transit, ridesharing, bicycling and walking opportunities that serve all County residents, visitors and workers. For details on this policy, see Sustainability Policy: Moving Forward Together.

To help businesses and residents in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the County has established innovative financing tools to increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades through the implementation of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, and by becoming the first County in the nation to establish a Green Bank. For details on these and other initiatives and accomplishments to promote sustainability in the County in collaboration with residents, businesses and other community-based organizations, see the 2017 Office of Sustainability Annual Report.

Calling all Film Fans! Free Montgomery College Summer Foreign Film Festival

A free foreign film festival is coming to Montgomery College this summer. The Monday evening film series will explore the 1960’s. The films will be shown at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center located at 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville.

All films begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Visit website for more information.

Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Budget for Fiscal Year Beginning July 1

The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a $5.4 billion County operating budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, a 2.8 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 17 on May 25. The budget strongly supports Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the County’s public safety programs and the safety net services provided by the County and non-profit organizations. The Council gave preliminary approval to the budget on May 18.

The budget will go into effect on July 1. Find more about the updated information available.

County Executive Ike Leggett’s Statement on Lawsuit Brought by Montgomery County to Recover Costs Associated with Delivering a Safe and Durable Silver Spring Transit Center

County Executive Ike Leggett made the following statement about the lawsuit brought by Montgomery County to recover costs associated with delivering a safe and durable Silver Spring Transit Center.
"I am pleased that the County has settled the lawsuit we brought to recover taxpayer costs associated with the repair and remediation of the Silver Spring Transit Center. This is very much in the public interest. The $25 million payment to the County will cover 90 percent of the hard costs we incurred to deliver a safe and durable Silver Spring Transit Center.”

Local Elected Officials Request the Federal Aviation Administration to Address Airplane Noise

County Executive Ike Leggett joined by Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Ben Cardin, Representative John Delaney, Representative Jamie Raskin and County Council President Roger Berliner are working together to relieve the increased air traffic noise that is impacting more than 20,000 homes in Montgomery County.

The increased air traffic is caused by the 2015 implementation of the Washington, D.C. Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex. These procedural changes shifted flight patterns into Ronald Reagan International Airport, which caused the increased noise.

On May 5, the officials sent a letter to Federal Aviation (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta requesting a thorough review of the increased aircraft traffic caused by the shifted flight paths and all documents relating to the environmental review.

Concerned residents have formed the MC Quiet Skies Coalition, which is an alliance of concerned citizens and community associations in the County who are living under newly formed flight paths. The group is committed to work with residents, elected officials, the FAA and others to resolve the excessive levels of noise, air pollution, and health and safety risks imposed on our communities by the FAA’s flight paths and procedures at Reagan. Visit website for more information on the coalition.

Montgomery County to Host a Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Zoning Changes to Address Small Cell Antennas in Neighborhoods

Change is coming to wireless technology at a swift pace. On one hand, we all welcome the coming transformation that will allow us to stream information and videos at high speed in our homes and businesses, but on the other hand, many of us are questioning the need for the antennas and equipment that will deploy this technology in our residential neighborhoods.

Montgomery County is on the forefront of these challenges for two important reasons: 1) Montgomery has recently received an unprecedented number of applications to deploy these small cell antennas in residential neighborhoods around the County, and 2) the Federal government (Federal Communications Commission - FCC) is right now considering preempting local governments’ zoning authority over siting these antennas. It is this local zoning authority that allows local governments across the country to regulate how and where these antennas are placed in residential neighborhoods and commercial areas.

In May, County Executive Ike Leggett took a delegation of County technology experts, Councilmember Hans Riemer, Congressman Jamie Raskin and representatives from the offices of Senators Ben Cardin, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman John Sarbanes and Congressman John Delaney to the FCC to meet with Chairman Ajit Pai and his staff. Leggett strongly advocate against federal preemption of local zoning authority, and asked Pai to help allay the public’s health concerns about these small cell antennas by updating the federal RF emissions standards, which have not been revised since 1996.

Leggett requested the County’s Department of Information Technology Services (DTS) to work with the County Attorney to develop zoning regulations to protect residential neighborhoods from a proliferation of small cell antennas while still allowing wireless providers to deploy their new technology in the County. Federal law is clear on this matter: local governments cannot put regulations in place that would prohibit providers from providing service.

The County will hold an information meeting for the public on these proposed zoning changes on June 14 at 7 p.m. in the Cafeteria at the Executive Office Building at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.

View the County Executive’s letter to the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Office of Community Partnerships Middle Eastern American Advisory Group Denounces the June 3 Terrorist Attack in London

The Middle Eastern American Advisory Group -- volunteers with the Montgomery County, Maryland Office of Community Partnerships serving as advisors to the County Executive made a statement denouncing the June 3 Terrorist attack in London. Read the full statement (pdf).

For more information, visit Middle Eastern American Advisory Group website.

Get Ticked Off About Lyme Disease; Here’s What You Need to Know to Protect You and Your Family

deer tick
As summer moves into full swing, County health officials urge residents to learn about Lyme disease and how to protect themselves when they are outdoors.

Lyme disease is an illness caused by the Borrellia Burgdorferi bacteria and is spread by the bite of a tick infected with the bacteria. Symptoms of Lyme disease may include headache, fever, muscle and joint-aches, fatigue and a rash often characterized by a distinctive “bull’s-eye” appearance. If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress to more serious problems, including joint and muscle-swelling and heart disease.

Read more about how to protect yourself and your family from Lyme Disease at

Montgomery County Department of Recreation’s “MoCo’s Got Talent” is a Winning Event

Montgomery County’s Department of Recreation held the grand finale performance for the fourth annual MoCo’s Got Talent contest on Sunday, May 21. The Recreation department’s Youth Development Team hosted the special event at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. This unique talent competition took place throughout the spring as more than 70 youth competed to earn a spot in the finals. The emphasis of the show was to promote the importance of keeping the Arts alive and thriving in the County for all young people.

Winners were selected by local art professionals who rated finalists on the following criteria: creativity, originality, quality, audience appeal and skill level.

See photos from flickr album.


Music Category

  • 1st-Leanna Rathbun, junior at Sherwood HS
  • 2nd-Lancie Kear, freshman at Paint Branch

Dance category

  • 1st-Tribal Dancers from Blair, Wheaton, Springbrook and Watkins Mill HS
  • 2nd-Unique Image, Gaithersburg HS

Visual arts awards

  • Middle School-Larisa Kachko from Rosa Parks MS
  • High School-Will Flaig from Northwest HS

Created with flickr slideshow.

Montgomery County to Hold Seventh Annual Senior Safety Forum in Recognition of Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The seventh annual Senior Safety Forum will be held on Wednesday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rockville Senior Center located at 1150 Carnation Drive. The free event is for older adults, their families and caregivers for seniors. Activities are planned to raise awareness of not only general senior safety, but also elder abuse and neglect and exploitation.

The event will include presenters, exhibitors and workshops on a variety of important health and safety topics relating to senior citizens. Enjoy free bag lunches while supplies last, as well as raffle prizes, free blood pressure checks and police and fire and rescue demonstrations.

To learn more about the event, go to the press release.