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!