October 10, 2018

Leggett Legacy Forward Event

County Executive Ike Leggett will complete his term and leave elected office on December 3 after serving as County Executive for the past 12 years. Enjoy this video that overviews Leggett’s nearly 40 years as a Montgomery County public servant. The video premiered at a special event that celebrated Leggett and his wife Catherine Leggett. The event was held at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda on Sept. 23.

Leggett is the first African American elected to the Montgomery County Council and to hold the office of county executive. Prior to his three terms in the executive position, he served 16 years as an at-large county council member.

He served as professor of law at his alma mater, Howard University Law School from 1975 to 2006, and as assistant dean of the law school from 1979 to 1986. He is a decorated military veteran, having served as a captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict. After service, he became an administrative aide for Congressman Parren Mitchell (MD 7th congressional district), worked as a Social Security Administration claims examiner, and served as staff attorney for the Department of the Navy. In 1977, he was selected as a White House Fellow under President Jimmy Carter.

The full Leggett Legacy Forward event can be viewed here.

More video coverage from Montgomery Community Media:

Montgomery County Council Wants to Hear from Youth

The Montgomery County Council hopes to hear from community youth at a youth town hall scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Council’s third floor hearing room at the Council Office Building third-floor at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for a pre-meeting pizza reception for students and councilmembers in the building’s second-floor cafeteria.

More information is available here.

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration Opens the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center

Hundreds of residents turned out to celebrate the opening of the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center on Saturday, Oct. 6. The new facility is in the Good Hope Local Park located at 14715 Good Hope Road in Silver Spring.

The 14,000-square-foot center doubles the size of the previous facility. The building features a full-size gymnasium, social hall, kitchen, multipurpose room, fitness, and weight room and more. The park amenities include a playground, softball fields, a lighted baseball field, tennis and basketball courts.

Montgomery County Recreation and the Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc. are partnering to offer community arts programs.

The Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center is open Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed Sundays and Mondays. For the facility’s specific hours of operation and programming information, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Maryland Voter Registration Deadline

Montgomery County citizens who wish to vote in the 2018 Gubernatorial General Election need to complete and submit their voter registration application by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, to vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Is your voter registration up to date? Is your political party affiliation correct? Do you wish to update your political party affiliation or address? Make sure you update your registration prior to October 16, so you are ready to vote. Registering to vote requires that you are a U.S. citizen, live in Montgomery County and be at least 18 years of age on or before Nov. 6.

The Montgomery County Board of Election has more information here.

League of Women Voters Presents Voters’ Guide Available for 2018 General Election

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County publishes the Voters’ Guide that includes information on voting, candidates’ responses to questions on issues in their own words, and information to help you make sense of the Ballot Questions. The Voters’ Guide may assist you in your decision-making process as you prepare to vote in the General Election on Nov. 6 or at early voting locations from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1.

This election includes voting for candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Governor, State Senate and House of Delegates, County Executive, County Council and Board of Education.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization of women and men that promotes informed participation in government. The do not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

Three Ways to get the Voters’ Guide:
  • Online interactive guide for voting information and comparisons of all the candidates’ responses is available here.
  • Paper copy - at Montgomery County libraries, regional service, senior and community centers, etc. Contains all candidates on the ballot, but due to space limitations, a few offices have only some of the candidates’ responses that are available in vote411.org
  • The printable copy of the Voters’ Guides in a PDF format is available here.

Montgomery County Ranked 4th Biopharma Centers in the Nation

The BioHealth Capital Region, including Montgomery County, is ranked #4 on the list of top U.S. biopharma centers by Genertic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). GEN ranks regions based on National Institute of Health funding, venture capital investment, patents, lab space and jobs in biotech.

Learn more about the BioHealth Capital Region here.

Resources for Sexual Assault Victims and Survivors in Montgomery County

Recently, much of the nation’s attention has been focused on sexual assault, sexual harassment, reporting laws, and the impact sexual violence has on our society.

The Montgomery County Commission for Women encourages victims and survivors of sexual assault, who are ready, to reach out for assistance. Your fear is normal, your assault was not.

Montgomery County has excellent resources to help victims, including the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program. The Special Victims Investigations Division of the Montgomery County Police Department has a Sexual Assault Unit, which is highly trained, victim-centered, and also ready to assist as needed.

The Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP) assists victims of crimes such as rape/sexual assault and provides crisis and ongoing counseling, information and referral, advocacy and support and compensation for victims of crimes committed in Montgomery County or crime victims who live in Montgomery County.

More information is available here.

World of Montgomery Festival Celebrates the Cultural Heritages of Montgomery County

Montgomery County celebrates the global cultural heritages of Montgomery County at the annual World of Montgomery Festival. The festival will be held at Montgomery College (Rockville) on Sunday, October 21 from noon to 4 p.m.

The free festival includes ethnic foods, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music and fun interactive activities for the whole family.

Montgomery County has become one of the most culturally diverse communities in the nation. Today, one-third of our one million-plus residents were born in other countries. Among the 156,000 students enrolled in our public schools,138 distinct languages from 157 different countries are spoken at home.

More information on the festival is available here.

Register for Youth Basketball Leagues

Registration is now underway for Montgomery County Recreation’s youth basketball leagues.

The recreation department offers instructional, recreational and competitive leagues for children in grades K - 12.

For more information, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Call for Nominations for the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame

Nominations are open for the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame through Oct. 17. Nominations should be individuals – either living or deceased – whose ongoing work, service and contributions have positively impacted human and civil rights in the county.

A select number of nominees will be recommended for the Hall of Fame by a panel of current Human Rights Hall of Fame member judges. The inductees will be honored for the great personal sacrifices and contributions made to human and civil rights in Montgomery County at an induction ceremony scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29 at the BlackRock Center located at 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown.

Nomination forms are available here, or by calling the Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8450.

Montgomery County Departments of Liquor Control and Police Relaunched the “I/We Take It Personally” Drunk-Driving Prevention Public Awareness Campaign

The fall season of celebrations has begun and quickly leads into the busy holiday winter season. The timing is right to renew public awareness about the importance of personal investment in preventing drunk driving.

Recently, County Executive Ike Leggett was joined by Department of Liquor Control (DLC) Director Robert Dorfman, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and other officials and members of law enforcement to relaunch the nationally-recognized “I/We Take It Personally” anti-drunk driving campaign.

The goals of this nationally-recognized campaign promote personal involvement to help prevent drunk driving, discourage patron over-consumption and confirm the personal commitment of public safety officers who are enforcing drunk driving laws.

The next public step of the campaign, originally introduced in the summer of 2017, features 30 DLC delivery trucks and two vans “wrapped” with a police anti-drunk driving message poster. The program encourages people who are going out and consuming alcohol to plan a safe ride home. This effort supports the County’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce severe and fatal collisions among vehicle occupants, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

We hope that every driver will say, “I Take It Personally,” and never drink and drive.

Learn more about the program here.

Montgomery County Department of Police Community Outreach Program Receives Federal and State Recognitions; Vice and Intelligence Unit also Honored by State

Recently the Montgomery County Police Department’s Autism, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities, and Alzheimer’s (AIDDA) Outreach Program was recognized for its outstanding contributions to community policing. The Department’s Vice and Intelligence Unit was also honored for its investigative work into human trafficking at the same state recognition ceremony.

Officer Laurie Reyes, who leads and originated the AIDDA program, accepted the awards on behalf of all the officers in the department who take special training to better understand the needs of and better serve individuals with these challenges.

Officer Reyes was one of 25 law enforcement officers and deputies from 12 jurisdictions across the country to be recognized by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Justice Department leadership as recipients of the Second Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing.

The Montgomery County Police Special Investigations Division’s Vice and Intelligence Unit with assistance from the Rockville City Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit, received a Governor’s Citation from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for their seven-month investigation into specifically-reported massage spas acting as “houses of prostitution.” The originally targeted spas were in Rockville, but related spas were found in Derwood and Gaithersburg. Through the investigation, it was learned that approximately 30 Asian female workers were rotated through the spas and that they were brought into the Rockville area from Flushing, New York, a nationally-known Asian human trafficking hub. All the investigated spas have now been permanently closed for business.

Officer Reyes also received a Governor’s Citation for creating the program, training police officers and community members on how best to support those with Autism, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities and Alzheimer’s, especially when they go missing. She was honored for her positive contributions on behalf of the safety of our Maryland citizens.

If your family could benefit from support from the AIDDA Unit, or if you know someone who could learn more about the program at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/lifesaver.

Consider a Career in Public Safety; Application Process Open Now for Public Safety Emergency Communications Specialists

The very first emergency responders are the men and women who answer the emergency calls to 9-1-1 and then expertly dispatch them to police officers and/or fire rescue personnel. It is a career that is challenging and rewarding and affords the opportunity to provide a vital service to the community. It is a unique responsibility in a fast-paced environment requiring careful attention to detail, multi-tasking, and good communications skills.

If you have a heart for service and a head that stays calm under pressure, see if you have what it takes to join this caring and a highly competent team of public safety professionals. The application process is open through Friday, November 14. Learn more about the requirements and benefits and apply here online.

County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) will host the 2018 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities on Monday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center.

These annual awards honor community leaders whose work in the arts and humanities has positively impacted Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and First Lady Catherine Leggett will present the awards during the special ceremony, which will also feature performances by several AHCMC grantees.

For information about the nine award winners, see the AHCMC news release. For tickets to attend this free event, click here.

Heritage Harvest Festival Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20

The Heritage Montgomery’s Harvest festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. The event will take place at farms located throughout the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve.

For a list of participating farms and more information about the event go to www.heritagemontgomery.org/heritage-harvest/

Beacon 50+ Expo Returns to Silver Spring

The Beacon's 19th Annual 50+Expo will take place on Sunday, Oct. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. The fair will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Place in downtown Silver Spring. Montgomery County Aging and Disabilities Services is a key sponsor.

The free event includes exhibitors and resources, health screenings, entertainment, flu shots, giveaways, and door prizes.

The Primary Care Coalition Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Primary Care Coalition is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a special symposium on Wednesday, Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event takes place at the University of Maryland in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center located at 7801 Alumni Drive in College Park.

County Executive Ike Leggett will join Primary Care Coalition President and CEO Leslie Graham for remarks.

Registration and event details can be found here.

Eugene Meyer Will Speak at the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable

Former Washington Post reporter Eugene Meyer will speak on his new book “Five for Freedom” about John Brown’s 1859 Harpers Ferry raid at the October meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable. The meeting will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 8 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Hilton located at 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested.

September 13, 2018

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service MD-TF1 Deployed to Aid in Hurricane Florence Relief

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service's Maryland Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue Team was deployed on Wednesday, Sept. 12, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Columbia, South Carolina, in advance of Hurricane Florence.

Montgomery County is proud to share the expertise of these highly trained men and women with an area of our country predicted to be hardest hit by the expected path of Hurricane Florence. 

Read more press release.

County's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Monitors Hurricane Florence's Impact to County

Montgomery County's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) staff continue to monitor the potential effects of Hurricane Florence in Maryland and in Montgomery County. As this publication goes out, the NWS predictions indicate a much less damaging scenario for the County.

However, while the track of the storm is trending south, Montgomery County as well as much of the state, may still see some localized areas of heavy rain. Chances of heavy rain may be renewed on Monday and Tuesday as the remnants of the storm could move into Maryland.

OEMHS will continue to monitor as the storm progresses. Residents are asked to be aware that there is still a possibility for trees down on roadways and power lines, power outages, and localized flooding. If you haven't registered for Alert Montgomery to receive emergency messages. You can do so online at alert.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Reminder: FEMA Coordinating National Test of the Wireless Emergency Alert and Emergency Alert System

Notification was provided in the previous issue of the Paperless Airplane that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission plan to conduct a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert and Emergency Alert System. It is currently scheduled to take place on Thursday, Sept. 20, between 2:15 and 2:30 p.m. The Wireless Emergency Alert system could be used to transmit messages pertinent to Hurricane Florence. If the system is being used for that or any other emergency affecting a portion of the United States, the test date will move to Oct. 3. Please follow the social media posts on Montgomery County’s twitter: @MontgomeryCoMD, to see if a change is required.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Scheduled for the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center

Residents can look forward to the opening of the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center just as the fall temperatures arrive. The Center will reopen on Saturday, Oct. 6., with a ribbon-cutting event at 10 a.m. The facility is located at 14715 Good Hope Road in Silver Spring, within the 13.7-acre Good Hope Park.

The Department of General Services is finalizing the new 14,000 square-foot facility, which doubles the size of the previous neighborhood center.

A new arts facility operated in partnership with Strathmore is included in the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center. In addition to the recreation center’s sports and fitness programs and social activities, the art facility will enhance the recreational offerings by adding innovative art/music and educational activities.

The outdoor areas include a playground, two softball fields, a lighted baseball field, lighted tennis courts, and basketball courts.

The opening day festivities include a speaker’s program, ribbon-cutting, refreshments and many activities for the whole family.

Farm Tour and Harvest Sale Video

Nineteen farms participated in the County’s annual Farm Tour & Harvest Sale which took place the last weekend in July. Montgomery’s County Office of Agriculture and the Farm Tour and Harvest Sale are featured in a video produced by County Cable Montgomery.

The County’s Agriculture Reserve encompasses 93,000 acres and includes hundreds of farms and thousands of horses.

KIDfest Comes to Downtown Silver Spring Sunday, Sept. 23

KIDfest is a place where kids can meet an advanced robotic seal that responds to voice and touch, use wildflowers to create paints, explore an on-site inflatable planetarium, build electronic circuits, play handcrafted musical instruments or many more innovative hands-on activities. This family festival is coming to Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring on Sunday, Sept. 23 from noon to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

This festival, in its sixth year, is hosted by the KID Museum. More information about KIDfest is available here.

Department of General Services Does a Community Good

Dozens of leaders from our Department of General Services showed up with their loppers, rakes, hammers and hearts to revive a local group home property in need of significant landscaping and outside repair. The team transitioned the property from a yard and garden overgrown with weeds and a dilapidated deck to a manicured, landscaped home for the residents to enjoy the outdoors.

The crew spent the hot, humid day weeding, lugging, drilling and hauling but in the end it was worth the hard work to ensure the tenants could enjoy their outdoor space.

The work was done for a home owned by Jubilee Association of Maryland, which provides community-based residential services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities. About fifty individuals are served in fifteen group homes/Alternative Living Arrangements (ALUs) in our local community. Live-in counselors and Community Living Assistants staff each home; levels of staffing are based on the needs of the individual.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival Coming Oct. 13 and 14

Once again downtown Bethesda will transform into an outdoor gallery of arts and crafts when the free Bethesda Row Arts Festival returns on October 13 and 14. Over 190 selected artists will showcase their museum-quality works of all different types, including ceramics, drawings, fabrics, glass, graphics, jewelry, metalwork, paintings, pastels, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood, and 2D and 3D mixed media.

The event is held rain or shine. Bethesda Row is located on Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues, Elm Street and Bethesda Lane, east of Arlington Road, and is within walking distance from the Bethesda Metro station. Free parking garages are also located around the site. Admission is free. More information is available from www.bethesdarowarts.org.

Some proceeds from the event will go to benefit the NIH Children’s Charities.

September 6, 2018

School is Back in Session; Make Sure You Know and Obey the School Bus Law

As the new school year begins it is vital that everyone know and follow the Maryland School bus law. The danger to school bus-riding students remains a great concern. Far too many drivers have received citations. Last school year from Sept. to mid-August, 34,778 citations were issued. This means that more than 34,000 times a driver put our children at risk by disobeying the law.

The law is clear, in Maryland, drivers must stop, and remain stopped, for a school bus that is stopped with red lights flashing and stop arm activated. A driver may not proceed until the flashing red lights go off and the bus begins to move. The only time a driver doesn’t have to stop is if the vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction of the bus and there is a physical median/barrier separating the lanes of traffic.

These numerous camera citations confirm a lack of compliance to the law and it is only a matter of time before a child is seriously injured or killed. Make sure you know, understand and obey the school bus law. Let’s work together to decrease these violations this school year.

Learn more about school bus safety here. Please share the Understanding the School Bus Law information flyer with friends and family. Let’s do all we can to keep our kids safe.

Silver Spring Jazz Festival Returns to Silver Spring on Saturday, Sept. 8

The 15th annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8 at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring.

Dianne Reeves, a five-time Grammy winner headlines the festival. Other musical acts include the Jazz Academy of Music, The Charles Woods Quintet, Akua Allrich and the Tribe, and Marcus Johnson.

The free festival takes place from 3 to 10 p.m. in front of the Silver Spring Civic Building.

For information about the schedule, parking and visitor services, visit the downtown Silver Spring website.

Don’t Gamble With Your Life; Use the Cross Walks

During the last few weeks, several pedestrians have died after being hit while crossing main roads in our County. In response, Montgomery County has been stepping up efforts to educate pedestrians, particularly in the areas where people have been hit recently.

Please don’t gamble with your life or the lives of others. Pedestrians and drivers each have important responsibilities to keep our roadways safe.
  1. Pedestrians: When crossing the street, do not forget to be alert, be visible, use the pedestrian crosswalk, and wait for the walk signal. 
  2. Drivers: Slow down, yield to pedestrians, be very alert when making turns, and avoid distractions. 
Together we can make sure everyone in Montgomery County makes it home safely.

Visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/walk for more information.

Zoning Text Amendment Public Hearing Scheduled for Sept. 25

At the request of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, the County Council introduced Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA 18-11) to address deployment of 5G small cell antennas in residential areas. A public hearing will be held regarding ZTA 18-11 on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor hearing room of the County Council Building located at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

More information about ZTA 18-11 is available here. Anyone interested in testifying at the meeting can sign up, no later than Sept. 11.

Visit montgomerycountymd.gov/towers for more information. 

Friendship Picnic to Celebrate Diverse Cultures and Faiths

The sixth annual Montgomery County Friendship Picnic brings people of diverse cultures and faiths together to make new friends and discuss ways to build a stronger community. The event will be held Sunday, Sept. 23 from noon to 4 p.m. The free, family event will take place at the Wheaton Regional Park located at 2000 Shorefield Road.

All are welcomed to this inclusive gathering, which includes traditional, Kosher, Halal and vegetarian lunch options. There will be a wide range of activities for children and adults including music, dancing, a moon bounce, face painting, carousel, train rides and more.

Free parking and shuttle service is available to and from the Wheaton Ice Rink and athletic fields located at 11717 Orebaugh Ave.

More information about the event can be found here.

FEMA to Conduct Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert System this Month

WEA messages are transmitted through an individual’s cell phone. The WEA capacity is installed by the manufacturers of cell phones. They produce a loud alert signal, which if you haven’t heard it before, could come as a surprise. The alert volume can be controlled by individual cell phone settings. The text message will be: “This is a test. No action is needed.”

This past April, through the Metropolitan Council of Governments, emergency managers throughout our region, planned and conducted a regional test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system (WEA). Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of both WEA and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The primary date selected is Thursday, Sept. 20. If a real emergency were to occur on that date, the secondary date for testing is Oct. 3. The WEA test would take place at 2:18 p.m. and the EAS test is scheduled to follow at 2:20 p.m.

The test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public during an emergency or disaster. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems is also a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure required for the distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.
The EAS test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and is made available to EAS participants including radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers. The message begins with: “This is a test of the National Emergency Alert System.”

Learn more from FEMA’s press release.

Montgomery County High School Students Come in First in Global Robotics Competition in Mexico City

Five County school students from the Wizards.Exe robotics team represented the United States in the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge, which took place August 15-18 in Mexico City, Mexico. The team’s robot, “G-Wiz,” won the FIRST Global Challenge Silver Medal and the Gold Medal for the Zheng Hang Award for Engineering Design. The robot won all eight matches in which it participated.

In June, Councilmember Craig Rice honored the local team with a Council proclamation after they won the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Inspire Award, recognizing excellence in robotic design, engineering and outreach to the community.

The June 2018 County Cable new story shows the dedicated journey of the team on their way to earn the national championship.

Experience and Explore the World at the World of Montgomery Festival

The World of Montgomery Festival celebrates and displays the rich cultural heritage of our area. The festival will be held at Montgomery College Rockville located at 51 Mannakee St. on Sunday, Oct. 21, from noon to 4 p.m.

The free festival includes an international village, traditional arts and crafts demonstrations, ethnic food, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music and plenty of fun interactive activities for the whole family.

Major event sponsors include Montgomery County, Fund for Montgomery, KID Museum, Montgomery College, and City of Rockville.

For more information visit the website.

Montgomery County Procurement Forum Set for October 5

Registration is now underway for the third annual Montgomery County Procurement Forum, which is set for Friday, Oct. 5. The event takes place at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place.

This free event is for businesses to learn about procurement opportunities around the County. At the forum, meet procurement experts from the public and private sectors, and network with your peers and develop new connections at the Exhibitor Showcase. The Procurement Forum also features educational sessions on a variety of topics including certification, marketing and writing effective business proposals.

For more information about the forum, visit the Office of Procurement website.

“I Take It Personally.” to Prevent Over-Service and Drunk Driving

To prevent drunk driving and discourage alcohol over service, the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control is relaunching a public awareness campaign titled, “I Take It Personally.” The campaign is designed to encourage personal accountability for alcohol servers and patrons consuming alcohol.

Last year, the nationally recognized ads ran on 40 busses and bus shelters over the late summer months. This year, the campaign will focus on bars and restaurants with signage, ID checking tools, waist aprons, drink coasters, and bar tools with safety messaging. The campaign includes a social media push using the hashtag #ITakeItPersonally.

Look out for these materials in your community this fall and please show your support by following @MoCoDLC and liking and reposting these safety messages on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up Now to Participate in the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade

Montgomery County is accepting applications from those who want to participate in the televised Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade, which takes place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 in downtown Silver Spring.

The County is looking for talented community groups and organizations to march in the parade.

Applications to participate in the parade are due by Monday, Sept. 17.  For more information, visit the downtown Silver Spring website.

Sept. is National Preparedness Month; Disasters Happen. Residents Urged to Prepare Now, Learn How

Sept. is National Preparedness Month and everyone is encouraged to set aside time to make plans and prepare for emergencies.

The County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) takes a leading role in County government preparedness and preparedness education for our residents. A wide variety of emergencies can and do happen; sometimes with little or no warning.

Make a plan for family and pets in advance of an eventual emergency. Throughout this month, tips will be provided for how to plan/prepare in advance of potential hazards through social media posts on the County and OEMHS websites.

OEMHS is conducting and supporting many events during the month to help communities better prepare for potential disasters. A listing of those events is available on the OEMHS website. Check back frequently as events may be added throughout the month.

Learn more here about emergency preparedness. And, if you aren’t already signed up to receive Alert Montgomery emergency warnings, subscribe at alert.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Community Livability Survey Explorer

Just last year, Montgomery County Government commissioned the National Research Center to conduct its standardized “National Citizen Survey” in the County with eight themes: Built Environment, Community Engagement, Economy, Education and Enrichment. Mobility, Natural Environment, Recreation and Wellness, and Safety. To quickly explore the survey’s data, check out the interactive Montgomery County Community Livability Survey Explorer.

Free and Low-cost Fitness Options for Older Adults

There are many reasons why regular exercise and physical activity are important to everyone, including older adults. Regular physical activity and exercise can produce long-term health benefits and that is one reason health experts recommend that older adults are active every day to maintain their health. Even moderate exercise can improve the health of people who are frail or have diseases that accompany aging.

This updated factsheet describes free and low-cost fitness classes, weight rooms and other options available for older adults in Montgomery County. 

Visit the senior website for more information.

Plan Now for Community Service Week

Montgomery County’s annual Community Service Week is coming the week of Oct. 22 through 28. You can choose from a wide range of service activities to make a difference in the community.

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is organizing activities for the event and encourages groups to plan projects that can be included. For instance, PTAs could set up a day to paint a mural in the school cafeteria, neighborhood associations might organize a landscape cleanup, and businesses could coordinate a food drive to fight hunger in our community.

Complete the Community Service Week Project Form to add your group’s project and/or to get assistance with planning your project or applying for funding for supplies.

Individuals can visit the Volunteer Center’s online calendar of opportunities to find activities that appeal to them and sign up to participate. Check back frequently throughout the next few weeks as more projects are added.

If you have questions or need help brainstorming project ideas, call the Montgomery County Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600 or email servicedays@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Maryland Public Service Commission to Hold Public Hearings for Washington Gas Rates and New Five-Year Gas System Infrastructure Improvement Plan

The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing in Montgomery County on the requests by Washington Gas Light Company to increase its rates by $56.3 million and implement a new five-year gas system infrastructure improvement plan (STRIDE), funded by ratepayers, at a cost of $394 million over five years. Washington Gas delivers natural gas to 484,000 customers in six Maryland jurisdictions including Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

The Montgomery County meeting will be held Monday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the third floor Hearing Room of the Montgomery County Council Office Building located at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

The rate request would result in a 10.7 percent increase on the average residential heating customer bill. The requested STRIDE surcharge is estimated to be about 37 cents per month for residential heating customers.

More information on the meeting or how to provide written comments is available here.

“You Can’t Understand A Battlefield Until You Walk It” with Ed Bearrs is Topic for Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable

Ed Bearrs, Chief Historian Emeritus for the National Park Service and premier Civil War historian will speak on “You Can’t Understand A Battlefield Until You Walk it” at the September Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable. The event will be held on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Hilton located at 625 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested.

Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame Scheduled for Oct. 30

The seventh annual Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame will take place Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Universities at Shady Grove located on Gudelsky Drive in Rockville.

The event recognizes outstanding Montgomery County business leaders have a positive impact on the local corporate environment and support ambitious students on their journey to excellence in higher education.

More information about the Maryland Business Hall of Fame and the event is available here.

August 13, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Labor Day, Monday, September 3

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Labor Day holiday, Monday, September 3:

Public Hearing on Small Cell Antennas in Residential Neighborhoods Scheduled for Sept 25

At the request of the County Executive, the County Council introduced Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA 18-11) to address deployment of 5G small cell antennas in residential areas. A public hearing will be held regarding ZTA 18-11 on Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor hearing room of the County Council Building located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

More information about how ZTA 18-11 will impact residential neighborhoods is available here. Under ZTA 18-11, replacement of tall streetlights would be allowed without a public hearing; replacement of shorter streetlights in neighborhoods with underground utilities would continue to require a public hearing.

Anyone interested in testifying at the meeting can sign-up here, no later than Sept. 11. For more information, visit montgomerycountymd.gov/towers.

“Leggett Legacy Forward” Event Helps Underrepresented County Students

Leggett Legacy Forward” is an event to raise money to help underrepresented County students go to college through the Achieving College Excellence and Success program, a partnership of Montgomery College, the Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Universities at Shady Grove. Sponsored by County Executive Ike Leggett and Mrs. Catherine Leggett, the event will be held at The Music Center at Strathmore on September 23. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m., the program will begin at 4 p.m. Admission is free, though advance registration is required.

Those unable to attend may show support with a donation to The Ike and Catherine Leggett Scholarship through the Montgomery College Foundation and/or donate through the Universities of Shady Grove Foundation.

More information is available here.

Visit Montgomery’s Insider’s Guide to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

One of the largest county fairs in Maryland, the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair has been a major draw for locals and visitors since 1949, with activities, more than 5,000 farm animals, food, and carnival rides for all to enjoy. Sitting on 62 acres, this year’s fair began August 10 and will run through August 18 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds located at 501 Perry Pkwy in Gaithersburg.

To help you make the most of your visit and for a break down of what you need to know before you load up on cotton candy and funnel cake, check out Visit Montgomery’s guide here.

Support for Caregivers

Family caregivers are a vital part of our community. Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services offer individuals and their caregivers a fact sheet with information about resources and how to access support.

Register for Fall Parks and Recreation Classes and Programs

Registration is now underway for Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks activities, classes and programs that are featured in the fall issue of the Guide.

The Guide is available online. Look for hard copies at local Parks and Recreation facilities, including aquatic centers, libraries and recreation centers.

Inside the Guide you will find a wide variety of classes, part-time employment opportunities, programs for active adults and so much more. The aquatics offerings range from swim lessons to lifeguard training to water fitness classes and more.

Register at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org.

American Film Institute Latin American Film Festival Celebrates Ibero-American Cultural Connections

This is the 29th year for the American Film Institute Latin American Film Festival. This long-running event showcases Latin American cinema, including films from Spain and Portugal during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Highlights from this year's slate of early announcements include Sundance Film Festival award winners The Queen of Fear (Argentina) and Time Share (Mexico); acclaimed genre-bending Brazilian werewolf movie Good Manners; Colombian graphic novel adaptation Virus Tropical, winner of this year's SXSW Audience Award; Peruvian drama Retablo, winner of the Crystal Bear and Teddy Jury Award for Best First Feature Film at the 2018 Berlinale; and the U.S. premieres of Puerto Rican drama Silence of the Wind and historical epic Morazán, the first official Academy Awards submission for Honduras.

The complete schedule of approximately 45 films is expected to be announced in late August. More information on the festival and the schedule can be found here.

August 1, 2018

Putting the ART back in pARTnership – Montgomery County and National Park Service Sign 10-year agreement for Shared Management of Glen Echo Park

Montgomery County and the National Park Service have signed an agreement sharing the management of Glen Echo Park for the next 10 years. Under the new agreement, Montgomery County is responsible for operation, maintenance and day-to-day management of the park.

The County will continue to work with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture to provide public art programs, studio exhibits, performances and social dances, which have made Glen Echo an attraction and destination for tens of thousands.

More information on the partnership agreement is available here.

A schedule of events held at the park is available at glenechopark.org.

35th Annual National Night Out

Mark your calendars, 2018 National Night Out annual observances will take place on Tuesday, August 7. If you aren’t familiar with National Night Out, it is designed to generate neighborhood support and participation in crime prevention efforts and to enhance police and community relations. It was originally sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

There will be many celebrations throughout the County to help neighbors get to know one another and build community spirit. Please check out the listing of locations that are coordinated with Montgomery County Police here.

Additional events have been coordinated with other law enforcement agencies that serve the County.

Montgomery County Recreation Fall Guide Registration Begins Aug. 13

The Fall Guide for Montgomery County Recreation and Montgomery Parks programs will be available online Friday, Aug. 3.

The Guide features hundreds of activities and programs for all ages and interests, including aquatics, arts, sports, therapeutic recreation, tours and trips.

Look for print copies at aquatic facilities, recreation centers, park facilities and public libraries beginning Monday, Aug. 6. Registration opens Monday, Aug. 13.

For more information, visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.