February 27, 2017

Montgomery County Recreation to Host Summer Camp Fair

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Montgomery County Recreation will offer its first ever Summer Camp Fair on Sunday, March 12 from noon to 4 p.m. The free event will take place at the Nancy H. Dacek North Potomac Community Recreation Center located at 12650 Travilah Road in Rockville.

Kids will love the fun games and activities, contests, prizes and snacks. T-Rec, the Recreation mascot will also be making an appearance. Parents will learn more about the full line-up of exciting quality summer camp programs, eligibility requirements for financial assistance, payment plans and more. On-site registration will be available.

Montgomery County Recreation offers a wide variety of exciting summer programs throughout the County with an emphasis on safety, convenience, affordability, and most of all...FUN! With more than 150 summer programs designed to appeal to a variety of campers there is something for everyone!

For more information, call 240-777-6840 or En Español 240-777-6839.

New Montgomery County Travel Guide is Available from Visit Montgomery

Visit Montgomery, the County’s official tourism website, recently released a new travel guide. The slick new brochure provides visitors with exciting tourism information and is a great resource for residents who wish to enjoy the local destinations that out-of-county visitors travel for miles to experience. The travel guide gives information on the entertainment districts, museums, shopping, great dining and more. The online magazine is available at this website.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Will Kick Off a New Speaker Series with National Public Radio Host Kojo Nnamdi

Beginning in March, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, will offer a new speaker series called Contemporary Conversations @ MCPL. The series will focus on cultural and current issues with journalists, authors and other relevant speakers.

Kojo Nnamdi, one of the most well-known interviewers and talk show hosts in the Montgomery County/Washington, D.C. area, will be the first speaker in the new series. The free event will take place on Saturday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Library located at 18330 Montgomery Village Avenue.

Host of the National Public Radio “The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” Nnamdi is celebrated for his knowledge on a wide range of social, political and cultural issues relevant to the nation’s capital and beyond. With a reputation for versatility and exhaustive preparation, Nnamdi has received several awards, including Washingtonian of the Year in 2016 and was named one of the one hundred fifty most influential people in the metropolitan area.

David Ignatius, best-selling author and prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, who has covered the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years, will be the second speaker participating in Contemporary Conversations @ MCPL. He will speak on April 1 at 7 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Library.

For registration information go to library website.

Open Houses On US 29 Bus Rapid Transit

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation will hold three public Open Houses to provide information and gather community input about the Bus Rapid Transit Service (BRT) on US 29. See the flyer in pdf format. At the Open House you will learn more about the planning and implementation of the BRT on US 29 and meet with project staff to provide valuable input.

Schedule for the Open Houses:
The US 29 BRT will be the first to open and will be a comfortable, reliable, NEW transit option for Montgomery County. Visit getonboardbrt.com for more information.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Offer “Fake News: How to Spot It” Program

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is offering a program, “Fake News: How to Spot It” to help residents determine the kind of fake news that exists and provide tools to evaluate news for reliability and truth.

Fake news is as old as the news industry itself—misinformation, hoaxes, propaganda and satire have long existed. But in this new digital era, fake news can spread quicker than ever and there has been a lot of recent discussion about what is considered real and fake news.

The free program, presented by the Enoch Pratt Free Library/Maryland's State Library Resource Center, is scheduled:

Third Annual GreenFest Takes Place on May 6

The 3rd annual Montgomery County GreenFest will take place on Saturday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event will be hosted by the City of Gaithersburg at the Bohrer Park and Activity Center located at 512 South Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg.

Exhibitor, plant and food truck vendor registration is now open. Exhibitors may be for-profit or nonprofit organizations who focus on the environment. To apply, exhibitors can go to www.montgomerycountygreenfest.org/become-an-exhibitor. For priority consideration, prospective exhibitors/vendors should submit applications by March 1.

GreenFest, the County’s largest one-day environmental celebration, is a free, family-friendly event dedicated to help County residents explore paths to a greener and economically vibrant life by connecting with neighbors, local and national environmental leaders, and green businesses and products. In addition to the family-friendly activities and workshops, this year’s event will introduce a new “Kids Pavilion” which will feature water-themed games and activities.

For more information on GreenFest go to montgomerycountygreenfest.org.

Lifelong Learning Opportunities for Older Adults

Older adults in Montgomery County have access to many free and low-cost educational opportunities. The Lifelong Learning Opportunities for Older Adults fact sheet is a new resource developed to give a concise list of educational opportunities available for older adults. The resource provides options for seniors to learn something new, rekindle an old interest, build job skills, and stay engaged in the community. The Lifelong Learning Opportunities for Older Adults fact sheet is available for downloading (pdf).

Montgomery County Ranked Most Culturally Diverse and Named one of the Best Places to Live

Montgomery County continues to earn national rankings as one of the best places to live. In a recently released report, 24/7 Wall Street named Montgomery County as the 14th best county in the country based on three social measures — educational attainment, poverty rate and life expectancy.

Montgomery County’s rich cultural diversity has earned recognition for four of the County’s municipalities. A 2017 Wallethub study ranked Germantown as the nation’s second most culturally diverse city. Gaithersburg was ranked as the third, Silver Spring as the fourth and Rockville ranked ninth.

The Wallethub study compared 501 of the largest U.S. cities using three key metrics: racial and ethnic diversity, language diversity and U.S. region-of-birth diversity. The recent analysis highlights Montgomery County’s commitment to be a community which values and welcomes cultural differences and backgrounds.

Montgomery County’s Office of Human Rights Adds Two Special Programs for the Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience

Two unique events have been announced for the Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience, which is an annual civil rights historic bus tour that retraces the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heroes. The two exceptional programs accentuate the violence and struggles of those who steadfastly fought for social justice and human rights.

Prosecuting Attorney Doug Jones will tell the gavel-to-conviction story of the trial of the murderers who bombed the Sixteen Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963. The bombing killed four innocent young girls preparing for Sunday School.

The Carl Reece Memorial Mass Choir will perform an inspirational concert exclusively for those on the Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience tour. More than 50 years ago, the Choir sang at the Sixteen Baptist Church Mass Meeting inspiring the Birmingham Freedom Fighters to keep fighting for freedom. Today the choir continues to lift its voice with the songs of freedom and justice

For more information, visit website.

Free Employment Expo for Adults 50 and Older Returns to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on April 3

Mark your calendar for the 50+ Employment Expo that will be held on April 3 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.

Employer registration is available at 50+ Employment Expo.

Public Invited to Attend Special Pedestrian Bicycle and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee Meeting on March 2

The Pedestrian Bicycle and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (PBTSAC) will hold a special meeting to discuss the development of a Two-Year Vision Zero Action Plan and other actions to implement Vision Zero in Montgomery County. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the 1st floor Lobby Auditorium of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville.

Vision Zero is an initiative adopted in many U.S. communities and abroad to develop and implement a plan to prevent traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries among vehicle occupants, bicyclists and pedestrians. The ultimate goal is to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries. The Montgomery County Vision Zero Action Plan will expand upon the Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

The office of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is preparing the draft of the Vision Zero Action Plan. At the March 2 meeting, the PBTSAC and members of six working groups will convene for the first time, as a committee, to review and discuss their comments related to the draft.

Based on the PBSTAC review, the Vision Zero Team will address the committee's comments for potential edits to the plan. That updated preliminary Two-Year Vision Zero Action Plan will then be shared with the broader public. Members of the public and community organizations are invited to listen and observe at the March 2 special PBTSAC meeting; and will be invited to offer their comments and suggestions regarding the revised Montgomery County Vision Zero Action Plan at a subsequent public meeting, as well as online. After final revisions, the Two-Year Vision Zero Action Plan will be submitted to the Montgomery County Council for approval.

Montgomery Parks Wants to Hear from YOU! park

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) needs your help. Parks staff are planning for future parks and want to hear what you would like to see in your parks. 

People may submit ideas via a new online open town hall, the centerpiece of this interactive outreach campaign, “Parks of the Future: Voice Your Vision.”

A public meeting will be held on February 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission Regional Office Building Auditorium located at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring. Other channels for providing input include email and mail.

The information provided will impact the future of parks as determined by three park plans: the 2017 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, a new county-wide Energized Public Spaces Functional Master Plan and the Capital Improvements Program update—which takes place every two years.

For more information on the “Parks of the Future: Voice Your Vision” campaign please visit www.Montgomeryparks.org and click on the Open Town Hall in the Quick Links on the left hand side of the web page.

February 10, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Presidents' Day, Monday, February 20.
  • County Offices – closed 
  • Libraries – closed 
  • County Liquor stores – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Recreation – aquatic facilities and community centers open; aquatics programs will meet as scheduled; all other classes and programs cancelled; administrative offices and senior centers closed; 55+ Active Adult Programs are cancelled 
  • Montgomery Parks - visit www.MontgomeryParks.org
  • Ride On – will run a special Holiday Schedule. Click on route number in this link to see the timetable for each route: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT-Transit/SpecialHoliday.html
  • Metrorail – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed
  • County-provided refuse/recycling pickup – no collection, all collections scheduled on or after the holiday will be made one day later in the week. Monday collections on Tuesday; Tuesday collections on Wednesday; Wednesday collections on Thursday; Thursday collections on Friday; and Friday collections on Saturday 
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station - recycling and trash drop-off open with normal hours. Recycling Center and administrative offices closed 
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Schools and Administrative Offices – closed
  • State offices and courts – closed

Montgomery County Reaffirms Commitment to Community, Diversity and Inclusion and Tout Immigration Resources

In a joint statement released on January 30, County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council members reaffirmed their commitment to continue to speak-up on behalf of all residents to promote our County’s values of acceptance and inclusion for everyone. The statement addressed community concerns about safety, discrimination, legal status and harassment.

In a February 8 news conference, which discussed the County’s response to recent federal immigration initiatives, Leggett reconfirmed that Montgomery County will continue to ensure that everyone in Montgomery County feels safe and has the support they need to thrive in an inclusive community. The County Executive highlighted County publications that list resources available for County residents.
  • Montgomery County Legal Immigration Service Providers Directory (English)
  • Community Guide for Immigrant Residents in Montgomery County, MD (English | Español)
  • Joint Statement of County Executive and County Council Reaffirming Community Values (English | Español).

Montgomery County Offers Multiple Transportation Options for Older Adults

Montgomery County offers many transportation options to serve residents who are older or disabled to get around. Updated factsheets are available that include descriptions of the range of services, including eligibility, access and contact information. Additional information on free and reduced fares for Ride On, Metrobus, and Metrorail; MetroAccess service; volunteer-provided transportation services; taxi service - including discounted taxi fares; and, free transportation to/from senior centers for those who live nearby. The factsheet also includes contact information for Connect-A-Ride, a service that residents can call to learn about transportation options most relevant to their needs.

County Executive Ike Leggett to Present Fiscal Year 2018 Recommended Operating Budget

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will present his proposed recommended operating budget for fiscal year 2018 on Tuesday, March 14 at noon. The presentation will take place at the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Lobby Level Auditorium in Rockville.

Robert Dorfman Confirmed as New Director for the Department of Liquor Control

Robert Dorfman,
Director of Department of Liquor Control
Robert Dorfman officially became the new director for the Department of Liquor Control (DLC) following confirmation from the Montgomery County Council on January 31. Dorfman brings years of executive-level experience in business operations and management of liquor sales.

Dorfman’s impressive resume includes several senior-level positions at Marriott International. Among those, he was President of Host International, the world leader in airport, travel plazas and sports and entertainment food and beverage operations (responsible for $1.5 billion in annual income and 25,000 employees.) He was the nation’s second largest franchisee of Five Guys (operating 35 locations in Florida, Texas, and Ohio), and was President and Chief Operating Officer of TrustHouse Services Group, the sixth-largest contract services company in the United States.

Most recently, he served as Managing Partner of two World of Beer franchises in Virginia.

As Director, Dorfman will lead the DLC, a department which generates nearly $21 million annually in profit to County taxpayers while better protecting public health and public safety.

Montgomery County Innovative Public-Private Partnership to Bring Microgrids to County Key Public Facilities

Montgomery County has entered into an innovative public-private partnership with Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables to construct microgrid systems at two of the County’s critical public safety buildings; the Public Safety Headquarters and Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Clarksburg by mid-2018. The microgrids generate clear power using solar energy systems and natural gas generators.

This will permit these public safety buildings to operate independently of the electrical grid, ensure uninterrupted public services during emergencies, replace aging equipment, and install cybersecurity measures, without any upfront costs to the County. The Microgrids will provide more reliable and efficient power and improve resiliency for Montgomery County following major storms or extended outages.

The microgrids are a natural extension of Montgomery County’s successful deployment of advanced renewables and other eco-friendly technologies on County facilities. This includes 11 solar arrays already installed as part of a project that will generate a total 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year (enough to power more than 1,100 single family homes) and save $15 million in utility costs over the next 20 years. The County also successfully implemented a combined heat and power system at the County’s Pre-Release Center last year.

To learn more visit the County Department of General Services Office of Energy and Sustainability website. Read full press release.

See recent article in the Washington Business Journal http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2017/02/10/montgomery-county-is-taking-two-large-buildings.html

Montgomery County Department of Recreation Director Gabriel Albornoz Selected to Participate in Presidential Leadership Scholars Program

Gabriel Albornoz
Director of Department
of Recreation
Montgomery County Department of Recreation Director Gabriel Albornoz has been selected to participate in the Presidential Leadership Scholars program. This unique leadership development initiative draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

After a rigorous application and review process, Albornoz was selected based on his leadership growth potential and the strength of his personal leadership projects aimed at improving Montgomery County.

Over the course of several months, Albornoz will travel to each participating presidential center to learn from former U.S. presidents, key administration officials, and leading academics.

Read more from press release.

Montgomery County Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program Named Maryland CIT Program of the Year

Montgomery County Police Department’s (MCPD) Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
The Montgomery County Police Department’s (MCPD) Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program received the CIT Program of the Year at the 1st Annual Maryland CIT Conference, held on January 26 by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration.

A Crisis Intervention Team is a specialized form of community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis.

The MCPD recognized the need for specialized training in this area and created its first CIT program in 2001. Since that time, the program has expanded and evolved as have the needs and concerns of the mental health field. There were 6,449 calls for service in Montgomery County in 2015 that involved mental health issues. The MCPD CIT includes three officers and one social worker from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

Over 2,000 sworn and non-sworn personnel have taken the MCPD CIT training. Working with the County’s Crisis Center and due to the increasing demand and attention to Crisis Intervention, MCPD training has expanded to include the department’s School Resource Officers, County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff, social workers and surrounding police jurisdictions. Everyone comes away with a new understanding of mental illness and how it affects all facets of communities. Last year, the MCPD CIT was requested to be part of a blue ribbon panel for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to raise awareness of mental health concerns impacting law enforcement agencies across the country.

The MCPD CIT mission of focusing on building partnerships and increasing mental health awareness continues to advance and provide better-informed service beyond the boundaries of Montgomery County.

Montgomery County’s Inaugural Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Summit Comes to Silver Spring

Councilmember Hans Riemer cordially invites the public to the County’s first Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Summit to be held on Sunday February 26 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. The summit will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Place in Silver Spring. This free event and opportunity, that will help build the County’s STEM community, is open for educators from pre-K to college; business leaders and employers; County leaders and service providers, industry practitioners, interested parents and students. The summit will showcase best practices, lay out a vision and ask for input on an effective STEM engagement strategy for Montgomery County. For more information including agenda, please visit: councilmemberriemer.com/stem
  • Attendees should RSVP here.

Shop Maryland Energy Tax-Free Weekend to Save on New ENERGY STAR Appliances

During Presidents’ Day weekend, shoppers across Maryland will get a break from the state’s 6 percent sales tax on qualifying ENERGY STAR products. Shop Maryland Energy (February 18-20) is a statewide sales tax holiday that highlights the importance of energy efficient appliances to the environment and residents’ pocketbooks.

Eligible ENERGY STAR appliances and lighting include: air conditioners, clothes washers, clothes dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, standard-size refrigerators, LED light bulbs, dehumidifiers, boilers and programmable thermostats. For a full list of exempt items visit, Shop Energy Maryland. Residents using the weekend to upgrade appliances may have the advantage of additional rebates to recycle old appliances, such as old working refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners or dehumidifiers. Prior to purchasing new appliances, residents can contact their electric utility to see if they are eligible for rebate and pick up of the old appliance. Each appliance may be eligible for up to $50 in rebates.

During Maryland Energy Tax Free Weekend, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection staff will have informational tables at three County appliance stores to provide residents with energy saving tips and information on local programs and rebates available through utility suppliers, including BGE, Pepco and Potomac Edison:
  • Bray and Scarff Bethesda: Saturday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon 6801 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase
  • Nolan’s Apache Appliance: Saturday, Feb. 18 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 13866 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring
  • Bray and Scarff Rockville: Monday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 831C Rockville Pike, Rockville
For more information, go to Shop Energy Maryland website.

Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks Spring Programs Registration to Open on February 13

Spring is right around the corner! Don’t miss out on spring classes and programs with Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks. Registration for spring programs begins February 13 at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org

RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program Offers Free Tax Preparation

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center's RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program is providing free tax preparation assistance available to low-to-moderate income taxpayers who live or work in Montgomery County. Special attention is given to those age 60 and older.

There are 20 locations across Montgomery County where volunteers can assist with simple federal and/or state tax forms. The program begins the second week of February through Tuesday, April 18.

For more information or to schedule an appointment on-line go website or call 240-777-2577.

County Executive Leggett and Department of Technology Services Celebrate Chinese New Year

County Executive Isiah Leggett joined the Department of Technology Services to celebrate Chinese New Year. Members of Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute to celebrate Chinese New Year performed a traditional lion dance that is thought to bring good luck in the new year.