November 15, 2017

Holiday Schedule for Thanksgiving Day, November 23

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23.

Road Closures Planned in Silver Spring for Thanksgiving Parade; Portion of Georgia Avenue Will Be Closed in Both Directions

The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is set for Saturday, November 18, in downtown Silver Spring, and residents and business owners are asked to plan accordingly because there will be several road closures and detours in the area. If you are planning to watch the parade, organizers strongly encourage you to take the Red Line to the Silver Spring Station.

As a security precaution, all the northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue will be closed between East-West Highway and Colesville Road from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the parade.

Below, is a list of the roads that will be closed between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., for the parade:
  • Northbound and southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue between East-West Highway and Colesville Road 
  • Cedar Avenue between Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue 
  • Pershing Drive from Cedar Avenue to Veterans Place 
  • Veterans Place from Pershing Drive to Ellsworth Drive 
  • Ellsworth Drive from Georgia Avenue to Cedar Avenue 
  • Roeder Road from Fenton Street to Cedar Avenue 
  • Fenton Street from Colesville Road to Wayne Avenue 
  • Wayne Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Bonifant Street from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Thayer Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
  • Silver Spring Avenue from Georgia Avenue to Fenton Street 
Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation is posting road closure and detour signage along the roadways impacted by the parade route.

The following streets and the Town Center Parking garage must be cleared of parked vehicles for units to line-up or pass beginning at 2 a.m. on Saturday, November 18:
  • Cedar Avenue 
  • Pershing Drive 
  • Roeder Road 
  • Ellsworth Drive 
  • Georgia Avenue 
  • Veterans Place 
In addition, the Wayne Avenue Garage closes at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 18.

If you have questions about these road closures or parking, call MC311 at 3-1-1. If you are telephoning from outside of Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311.

The Thanksgiving Parade officially begins at 10 a.m. and continues until noon. More than 130 units are expected to participate, including colorful floats and inflatables, marching bands, police, fire units, and more.

For more information about the Thanksgiving Parade, visit here.

County Executive Ike Leggett Signs County Law Raising Minimum Wage to $15

On November 13 County Executive Ike Leggett signed into a law a bill passed by the County Council to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years.

Leggett made the following statement about the County Council’s action on the minimum wage bill.

“Montgomery County has a long history of programs and policies designed to increase opportunities for low-wage workers – more than just about any other jurisdiction. That includes prior increases in the County minimum wage, a law requiring County government contractors to pay a ‘living wage’, a County earned income tax credit and paid sick leave requirements – among others.

“Montgomery County residents who work hard to support themselves and their families need and deserve yet another increase in the minimum wage. The question over the past year has been how much, within what time period, and how we mitigate possible negative impacts on our small businesses and on youth employment. Good intentions are not enough. That is why I vetoed the bill passed 5-4 by the Council last January.

“Based on the changes from the original bill, what the County Council approved today is close enough to the conditions I laid down for my support that I will sign the measure into law.”

Read more at Bill 28-17.

Residents Can Learn More About the US 29 Bus Rapid Transit at an Open House

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on US 29 will be the first of its kind in the State of Maryland. Join the Montgomery County Department of Transportation at an open house to learn how the BRT will provide an easier, faster, more reliable, and less stressful way to travel. This family-friendly event will include a children’s activity area.

The open house will be held:
The 13.5-mile BRT will operate between the Silver Spring Transit Center and Burtonsville along the US 29 corridor. The BRT will feature limited stops, off-board fare collection, priority signaling, Wi-Fi and level-boarding through all doors to provide a faster ride. Stations will have real-time travel information. Learn more about BRT at

County Council “Town Hall” for County Youth on November 29

The Montgomery County Council wants to hear from young residents at their upcoming MOCO Youth Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled for November 29 at 6 p.m. in the County Office Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

The event will open at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Council Cafeteria, followed by the Town Hall Meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room located on the third floor.

Participation is also available on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information, call 240-777-7926.

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline is December 15

There are several changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but health insurance coverage is STILL available through the ACA. The enrollment period is December 15, so residents must enroll early to not miss the chance for affordable health coverage. You can browse and compare plans at Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. Find out what documents you need to enroll at

Registration for Department of Recreation Winter Classes and Programs is Open

Registration for the Department of Recreation winter classes and programs is now open. Among the many offerings are aquatics, art classes, sports, therapeutic recreation services, active adult senior programming and much more.

To view the guide and register online, go to Print copies are available at community recreation centers, park facilities, aquatic centers, senior centers and public libraries.

Free Employment Expo for Adults 50 and Older Returns to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on April 16

Mark your calendar for the 50+ Employment Expo that will be held on April 16, 2018 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.

For additional information contact Micki Gordon at

Enforcement Underway for Regional Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign

Each spring and fall, the Washington region, through the Council of Governments, launches a Street Smart educational and enforcement campaign to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. This year’s fall campaign introduced a new educational theme, “Shattered Lives.” The concept focuses on the fact, that when a serious injury or fatality occurs in a traffic crash, the lives of all who know and love the victim are shattered. The hope is that this message will resonate with our community members and encourage drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to be watchful for one another and obey the protective laws for all who share our roadways.

Compliance with the laws is supported by increased police enforcement in Montgomery County and throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. Learn more about safety tips, laws and the Street Smart campaign. #BeStreetSmart

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Participates in Environmental Summit

County Executive Ike Leggett recently participated as a speaker at the Transforming Communities: Trash-Free Solutions for Healthy Lives, Clean Land, Safe Water Summit (Trash Summit) sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The event was held at the Nationals Park, Norfolk Southern Club in Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III joined Leggett to speak at the event. Leggett presented awards to two Montgomery County residents, Beth Rogers and Kevin Kearney, for their work to advance the County’s anti-littering and trash-free programming goals.

The Trash Summit brought hundreds of community members, business leaders, elected officials and partners to explore topics of waste reduction, litter prevention, and community cleanups. The event included a variety of round-table discussions, panels with local leaders, presentations, and an awards ceremony.

Winter Wonderland Comes to Bethesda

The Bethesda Urban Partnership will kick off the holiday season at Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. Veterans Park is located at the corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues in Bethesda. The free celebration features holiday performances, a live ice sculpting presentation and a visit from Santa Claus.

Other activities include holiday choral performances from local school groups. Academy of the Holy Cross, Chevy Chase Elementary School, Georgetown Preparatory School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Seneca Valley High School, Washington Episcopal School and Westbrook Elementary School.

For more information visit

Montgomery County Awarded National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” Grant

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) received a National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” grant in partnership with the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC), Montgomery Community Media, and the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

The goal of the “Big Read” is to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and spread the transformative power of literature. The featured book, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu, tells the story of the immigrant experience in Montgomery County and the Washington metropolitan area. The book is available at your local MCPL libraries in print and downloadable formats and for purchase at the FOLMC bookstores.

“Big Read” community events will be held from April to June 2018. A full calendar will be available at later.