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

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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.