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 www.wmata.com
  • Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • 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 www.silverspringdowntown.com 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 montgomerycountymd.gov/farmtour.

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 www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

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 www.montgomerycountymd.gov/wheatondev

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 wearestillin.com.

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 montgomerycountymd.gov/lymedisease.

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.

Montgomery County Encourages Residents to Participate in Second Annual Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmember Craig Rice will proclaim the second week in June as Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week in Montgomery County. The designation is intended to increase awareness of the importance of the Chesapeake Bay in Montgomery County and throughout the metropolitan area. 

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) works all year to protect and improve the County’s air, water and land. Residents are urged to take advantage of the dozens of services and outreach activities offered to help anyone looking to improve the environment. Every effort, whether small actions such as taking a reusable bag when shopping, or a much more time-intensive action such as organizing a large stream clean-up can make a difference in the health of the Bay.

For more information about Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s water quality programming and how you can get involved, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/water.

Free Outdoor Movie Series Returns to Bethesda

The 12th annual outdoor movie series will return to Bethesda with five blockbusters. The free movies will begin at 9 p.m. at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. A limited number of chairs will be provided and attendees are invited to bring their own lawn chairs. The movies are presented by the Bethesda Urban Partnership. For more information go to http://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/bethesda-outdoor-movies.
  • Tuesday, July 18: The Wizard of Oz
  • Wednesday, July 19: Field of Dreams
  • Thursday, July 20: Dead Poets Society
  • Friday, July 21: Hidden Figures
  • Saturday, July 22: La La Land

County Earns 31 National Association of Counties Awards

Montgomery County received 31 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards this year for outstanding programs.

The following departments received awards:

  • Correction and Rehabilitation - “A Comprehensive Stress Management Program for Correctional Employees”; “Department Intranet and Web Board”
  • Environmental Protection - “Montgomery County GreenFest”; “Stakeholder-Designed Energy Benchmarking Program”; “Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant Program”
  • Finance and Environmental Protection – “Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program”
  • Finance and Risk Management - “Risk Management Safety & Health”
  • General Services - “Sustainable Government Communication Initiatives”
  • Health and Human Services - “Community Action Board’s Leadership Development Institute”; “Maternity Partnership Oral Health Initiative”
  • Housing and Community Affairs - “Licensing and Registration System”; “Multifamily Loans Portfolio Management System”
  • TechnologyServices- “CALMS – Case and Licensing Management System”; “Greenscapes; Expert GIS Map Creation in the Hands of GIS Novices”; “Mobile Bikeways”, “searchMontgomery”
  • Libraries - “Building Community Bridges During Crisis”; “Connecting Communities through Social Media”; “One Student, One School & One Library Card at a Time”; “What Do I Check Out Next?”
  • Recreation - “Chill”, “Food, Fun, Fitness and Fundamentals”; “100 Mile Challenge”; “Safe Walk Home”; “Tech Connect”
  • Police - “Montgomery County STEER”
  • Transportation - “GIS Data Collection of Culverts”; “Mobile Automatic Vehicle Locator”; “Nebel Street One-Way Separated Bike Lanes Project”; “Ride On Route 301 – Tobytown Isolated Community”; “Uninterruptable Power Supply / Battery Backup for Traffic Signals”

More information, about the awards, check NACO website.