September 28, 2017

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Provide Support to Areas Devastated by Recent Hurricanes

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) workers have returned safely after deployments to assist Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida following the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

Maryland Task Force 1 (MD-TF1) was made up of 27 personnel who served with eight other Federal Emergency Management Agency teams. They worked around the clock to support the relief efforts. In addition to the search & rescue work, they are providing welfare inspections, assessing infra-structure damage and providing logistical and incident management.

A team of six stress counselors supported the mental health services in Collier and Monroe Counties in Florida.

This rescue effort comes just a few weeks after the team had been deployed to support Texas after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the gulf coast.

The groups are highly specialized and trained to respond to catastrophes such as natural disasters, large-scale accidents and terrorist attacks. Personnel keep their skills honed by training year-round at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Gaithersburg.

There are about 200 persons who are members of the MD-TF1, most are associated with MCFRS. The team participates in realistic training scenarios, mostly hands-on at sites around the County, National Capital Region and Federal training locations in other regions. MCFRS is in the process of building and constructing a specific and enhanced training area 'rescue mall' at the new Public Safety Training Academy. This objective is will be accomplished through a private/public partnership and donations are welcome.

The MD-TF1, Urban Search & Rescue Team headquarters is based out of a warehouse in Rockville. The space provides ample meeting areas, equipment storage, including the large vehicles and a cache of specialized search and rescue equipment.

Rock-n-Relief Concert Raises Over $5,000 for Hurricane Victims

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation’s Rock-n-Relief youth concert, held Sunday, September 17, at AMP by Strathmore, exceeded its fundraising goal, bringing in over $5,000 for hurricane victims in Florida and Texas.

Radio personality Angie Ange from 93.9 WKYS hosted the two-hour concert that featured five bands and four soloists. Many of the young musicians who performed were previously involved with the Recreation Department’s MoCo’s Got Talent program.

Partnering with the Recreation Department were: Bach to Rock, Strathmore and the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA).

The hurricane relief funds will be distributed to communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, through the Houston Parks Board Foundation, and to communities in Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma, through the Florida Recreation and Park Association, via the MRPA, which serves as the trustee.

Many people continue to want to help our neighbors in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and beyond who experienced widespread devastation from the recent hurricanes. The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted and reputable organizations. FEMA is offering guidance on providing support for people directly impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as well as Hurricane Maria.

Fox 5 TV Moves to Montgomery County; Will Bring Approximately 200 Jobs

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) announced that Fox 5 TV, a unit of Fox Television Stations, plans to move from its current location in northwest Washington, D.C. to Bethesda. The television station will occupy a new 57,500 square foot, state-of-the-art studio, newsroom and office space. This will bring approximately 200 jobs into the County.

Fox Television Stations, which locally encompasses WTTG Fox 5 and WDCA Fox 5 Plus, will move in the second quarter of 2021 to Carr Properties planned 937,000 square foot, mixed-use development under construction at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, one of the most highly acclaimed Trophy Class new buildings in the area.

For more information go to

Montgomery County Adopts the International Green Construction Code

Montgomery County is taking a major step forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate protection goals with the unanimous Council approval of Executive Regulation 21-15 AMII, which adopts the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) establishing green building code requirements. The requirements of the IgCC will take effect on Dec. 1 in Montgomery County.

With adoption of the IgCC, Montgomery County establishes a baseline requirement that new, non-residential construction and additions of 5,000 square feet or more must be designed and constructed to reduce building energy use by at least 50% over the average commercial building energy consumption in the base year of 2000.

In addition to reducing energy consumption by 50%, projects must mitigate heat island impacts associated with development and divert at least 50% of construction and demolition waste material from landfills. This green building code is a critical step in meeting the County’s commitment to implementation of the County’s Climate Protection Plan.

For more information, visit the Department of Permitting Services website.

Montgomery County Procurement Forum Set for October 5; Showcases Public and Private Sector Contract Opportunities

The second annual Montgomery County Procurement Forum takes place on Thursday, October 5 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place. The event, the largest hosted by the Office of Procurement, will feature more than 30 panelists and speakers, along with 20 exhibitors.

Local and regional government officials along with business leaders will provide remarks at the forum. In addition, the forum will feature an exhibitor’s showcase, breakout sessions and business development activities designed to guide participants through every aspect of the Montgomery County procurement process. One of last year’s popular sessions about opportunities provided by public/private partnerships in the region will return. New sessions have been added on “green” sustainability, and the nonprofit sector.

For more information and to register online, visit the event’s website.

County Executive Ike Leggett to Celebrate Success of Key Commercial Revitalization Projects in Burtonsville

Join Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Department of Housing & Community Affairs Director Clarence Snuggs, property and business owners and community representatives to celebrate the completion of several significant façade improvement projects in Burtonsville. The program will be held on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m. at the Burtonsville Village Center located at 15500 Block of Old Columbia Pike.

Following the speaker’s program, the celebration will continue with the Taste of Burtonsville until 4 p.m. The Taste of Burtonsville will include a variety of food from some 15-20 restaurants, live music by three bands, face painting, balloon animals and several actors dressed as popular children’s characters.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Section’s Façade Improvement Program (FIP) helps property owners with costs to implement building and site improvements. Managed by DHCA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Section, the FIP encourages commercial property owners to update and enhance their property exteriors by offering up to a 50% reimbursement for costs for exterior building and site improvements, typically in exchange for a 15-year easement which controls the property’s exterior appearance.

DHCA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Section worked with three property owners as part of the Burtonsville Commercial Revitalization Program: Katz & Company Property Management; Site Realty and family-owned Seibel’s Restaurant. Nearly twenty businesses in leased or owned space benefitted from the improvements. The Department has also implemented a similar façade improvement program in Colesville, which it hopes to expand there as well as throughout the County.

More information about this FREE event and the Façade Improvement Program is available from County Calendar.

Department of Transportation Works Hard on White Flint Pedestrian Safety Initiatives

County Executive Ike Leggett participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of dozens of pedestrian safety improvement projects recently completed or planned in White Flint that support the area’s continuing transformation into a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community. Hosted by leaders from Friends of White Flint and Coalition for Smarter Growth, the celebration included Council President Roger Berliner and Montgomery County Transportation Director Al Roshdieh.

County Executive Ike Leggett participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of dozens of pedestrian safety improvement projects recently completed or planned in White Flint by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) that support the area’s continuing transformation into a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community on Wednesday, September 27.

Joining Leggett were County Council President Roger Berliner, MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh, Friends of White Flint Executive Director Amy Ginsburg and Coalition for Smarter Growth Montgomery Advocacy Manager Pete Tomao.

To read more about the MCDOT projects that are scheduled to enhance walkability, bikeability and access to high quality transit options in White Flint, check press release.

County Seeks Input on Proposed Zoning Changes to Address Deployment of Microtowers and Small Cell Antennas

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is requesting public input on a draft Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to revise the County’s zoning code to address deployment of small antennas on streetlights and lower-height buildings. A community meeting for this input will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Monday, October 23 at the Stella B Werner Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd Floor Hearing Room in Rockville. The meeting will be carried live on County Cable Montgomery on Verizon channel 30 or Comcast/RCN channel 6, Facebook and YouTube.

Because wireless technology is evolving, Montgomery County has recently received an unprecedented number of applications to deploy small cell antennas in residential neighborhoods as well as commercial areas around the County. Federal law is clear that Montgomery County cannot pass zoning laws that would have the effect of prohibiting service throughout the County. Therefore, the proposed ZTA is intended to allow providers to provide service while protecting the character of both our residential neighborhoods and commercial areas by regulating how and where these antennas can be placed, and how they should be screened or camouflaged.

The ZTA, an interactive map, and links to submit public comments can be found at

Unity Walk is Opening Doors to Interfaith Understanding

On Sunday, October 8, hundreds of people from all faiths will walk together on New Hampshire Avenue that is known as “the Highway to Heaven” because the three-mile route has more diverse faith traditions than anywhere else in America. The Unity Walk is free as is the Resource Fair with 15 exhibits beginning at 1 pm at the Chinmaya Mission 46 Norwood Road in Silver Spring.

The Unity Walk will feature seven houses of worship opening their doors in welcome and offering understanding of how faith traditions have been worshipping for thousands of years. People will also learn about community service programs including the beautiful Community Clinic at the Muslim Community Center serving thousands and enjoy musical performances.

The Resource Fair will include free Henna painting and arts (block-painting and coloring), registry to vote opportunity, information on our Basic Human Rights, programs welcoming refugees and immigrants and a Sukkah will be built for people to join in celebrating the Jewish Sukkot Holiday (October 4-11).

More information is available at

TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store Launched

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Transportation leaders launched the first Mobile Commuter Store in Maryland. The Mobile Commuter Store will bring transit information and resources directly to customers throughout the County, including Metrorail, Metrobus and Ride On SmarTrip cards and passes, MARC tickets, Bikeshare membership and keys, schedules and other information for travelers.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced the launch of the new TriPS Mobile Commuter Store. The TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store replaced the mobile commuter store formerly located in Friendship Heights. The new store will provide the same services, but with flexibility to go directly to customers throughout the County.

The Mobile Commuter Store provides Metrorail, Metrobus and Ride On SmarTrip cards and passes, MARC tickets, transit information, Bikeshare membership and keys, schedules and other information for travelers.

World of Montgomery Festival Celebrates Diversity Through International Music, Food, Dance, and Arts

The World of Montgomery Festival is held each year in October to celebrate the rich diversity of the area through international music, food, dance, culturally authentic arts demos, hands-on activities, and more. The event will be held on Sunday, October 15 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Montgomery College Rockville campus.

The ninth annual family-friendly event will inspire multicultural appreciation and understanding by spotlighting the cultures of China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India, which are the four largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County. All four nations have established Sisters City relationships with the County.

There will be a wide variety of hands-on activities, including traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, dancing with a Chinese dragon, henna art painting, and craft-making. Two performance stages will spotlight dancers and musicians and dancers from around the world.

A main attraction of the event is the Parade of Cultures led by the feet pounding rhythms of traditional African drummers, Latin American dancers, and Asian performers in native dress who encircled the festival grounds.

Is there Something About the Word “STOP” that People Don’t Understand?

Montgomery County has had a school bus safety enforcement camera program since January of 2014, and have continually reminded drivers that it is the law to stop and stay stopped for school buses with flashing red lights with the STOP arm extended. Now with less than one month into the new school year, the citations generated from 500 cameras are running approximately 125 per day.

Please make sure your driving friends and family members know and obey the law. The only time drivers going in both directions of the bus do not have to stop, is if there is a physical barrier (median) separating lanes going in the opposite direction of the bus.

It is not a quick stop and then proceed, drivers must stay stopped until the flashing red lights go off, the stop arm is deactivated and the bus begins to move.

Please learn and share the details that you will find at: Bus Safety. The real goal is voluntary compliance, but the fines are $250 from a camera citation, and $570 with three points on the license from an officer-issued citation. However, the cost of an injury or death to a child because you didn’t stop is incalculable.

Montgomery County Becomes First County in the Nation to Sign Memorandum of Understanding with Under2 Coalition

On Sunday, September 17, on the eve of Climate Week NYC 2017, it was officially announced that Montgomery County had become a member of the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Coalition. The coalition is an international pact of cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences to the environment.

Montgomery County became the first county in the nation to join this global organization. For more information see press release.

In June of this year, County Executive Isiah Leggett joined more than 1,000 U.S. Governors, county executives, mayors, businesses, investors, colleges and universities to declare support for U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions. press release

20th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival Will Bring Outdoor Art Gallery to Downtown Bethesda on October 14 and 15

National artists will showcase their original works October 14-15 when downtown Bethesda becomes an outdoor art gallery. The free event will feature glass weaving by an imaginative innovator in Michigan, mystical digital collages from a Nashville photographer, sculptural furniture from a Georgia native, and watercolors reflecting a life in Ghana by a Southern transplant.

This year, the 20th Annual Festival will again bring together 190 world-class artists in an open air outdoor gallery that transforms the streets of Bethesda Row in Bethesda. Bethesda Row is located on Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, Elm Street and Bethesda Lane, east of Arlington Road. The Festival will take place, rain or shine, Saturday, October 14, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. More information is available at or or by calling 301-637-5684. A special art sale will benefit the NIH Children’s Charities, thanks to generous donations from participating artists.

Kathie Durbin From Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control Receives National Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award

Kathie Durbin, chief of licensure, regulation and education at the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control, is the recipient of the Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award.

The award recognizes a specific program, agency or person who oversees the alcohol industry and promotes public safety.

Durbin received the award at the Center for Alcohol Policy’s Advisory Council 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference in Chicago, Illinois on September 6 – 8. This is the first time a representative from a County agency has been selected for this award.

For more information about the Department of Liquor Control go to

The Sheriff’s Office Wants to Make You Aware of a Scam

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin is alerting residents to a telephone scam where Montgomery County residents have been called with a false claim that they owe money for non-existent arrest warrants. Residents report that the caller has claimed to be from the sheriff’s office and said that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and will be served unless payment is made immediately.  Montgomery County Deputy Sheriffs will never call and threaten to arrest you unless you immediately send an electronic payment.

Read more about how to protect yourself at “Information on Scam Phone Calls.”

Jewru Bandeh Receives Panfest-USA Award

Jewru Bandeh, director, of the County's Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, received a 2017 Panfest-USA award for recognition of his contributions and service to the African community in Montgomery County and in Maryland. The award was presented by the Pan African Festival Committee at the Pan African Festival held in downtown Silver Spring on September 23.

Bandeh began his career in Montgomery County as the Assistant Director of the Upcounty Regional Service Center Director in 2006. He served as Vice Chair of the Governor of Maryland’s Commission for African Affairs from 2009 – 2015 advocating for the needs of the African and diaspora communities in Maryland. He established the African Affairs Advisory Group to advocate for the needs of the African community.

VisArts Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a Launch Party

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, VisArts invites everyone to a free 30th Anniversary Launch Party. The special event will be held at 155 Gibbs St., Suite 300 in Rockville on Sunday, October 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.

All activities are free and will include special workshops for students of all ages, artist talks, demonstrations and much more.

VisArts has grown into a progressive art center since it humbly began in a converted garage. Today it is a state-of-the-art facility located Rockville Town Square. VisArts serves residents, art lovers, professional artists and others who have an interest in the arts.

For more information about the celebration go to or call 301-315-8200.

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County Honors Bruce Adams and Kenneth Hartman

The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC) will hold its annual award Peacemaker Gala on October 9 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held at the VisArts Center located at 155 Gibbs Street in Rockville.

This year CRCMC will honor Montgomery County's Director of Community Partnership, Bruce Adams, as its Peacemaker of the Year for 2017. Adams will be recognized, in part, for his support of nonprofits and years of service to our community.

Kenneth Hartman, director of the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Service Center, will receive the Center’s Executive Director's Award. Mr. Hartman will be honored for his commitment to CRCMC.

Ann Goodman will be honored with The Volunteer of the Year” award for her significant contributions to CRCMC’s work.

For tickets or to learn more about CRCMC go to

It’s Not Too Late to Take Some Time to Prepare for an Emergency

National Preparedness Month is coming to an end but the importance of being prepared is not. With the start of school and fall sports programs, some families just didn’t have time to focus on emergency preparedness. The good news is, there is still time. Fall is a great time for emergency planning, making an emergency kit and coordinating which elderly family members and neighbors you might be able to assist during an emergency.

You can get the basic information you need at press release. More detailed information can be found at the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management website at:

Don’t forget to sign up for Alert Montgomery while viewing the website. Remember, “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can!”

Historian Larry Koch will speak on “The Humor of Abraham Lincoln”

Historian Larry Koch will speak on “The Humor of Abraham Lincoln” at the October meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, October 12 at 8 PM. The presentation will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested. For more information, call 301-253-3485.

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.