June 21, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Independence Day, July 4

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Independence Day holiday, July 4:

Montgomery County Host Fireworks Shows in Germantown and Kensington

Montgomery County Recreation is hosting two fireworks displays on Wednesday, July 4.

The Independence Day celebrations will take place at the following locations:

Germantown Glory at South Germantown Recreational Park located at 18041 Central Park Circle in Germantown (Boyds); Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School located at 11135 Newport Road in Kensington.

Germantown Glory kicks off at 7 p.m. with a concert by Gringo Jingo performing the best of Santana. Follow the signs for free on-site parking. Mid-County Sparkles begins at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by Quiet Fire, a soul, rhythm and blues, a rock band that covers hits from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Parking for individuals with disabilities will be available on-site at Einstein High School. Free parking and shuttle service will be provided from Westfield Wheaton, which is located at 11160 Veirs Mill Road. Parking at Westfield Wheaton opens at 6 p.m. Event-goers who park at Westfield Wheaton prior to 6 p.m. may be subject to towing by the property owner. Shuttle service will begin at 6:15 p.m.

The firework displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. at both celebrations. The rain date for the fireworks display only is July 5.

For more information, call MC311 at 311 or 240-777-0311 or visit the Montgomery County Recreation website.

Preliminary Primary Election Returns Will be Available on County Website the Evening of Primary Election Day

Up-to-the moment Election Day results for the June 26 Primary Election will be available on the County’s Board of Elections website after the polls close on June 26.

Votes cast during early voting are counted on Election Day and released shortly after 8 p.m. Known, unofficial, results from Election Day are scheduled to be available beginning at 9:20 p.m. and are updated every 25 minutes. Absentee and provisional ballots will be counted beginning June 28 with complete, unofficial results expected by July 10.

Statement by County Executive Ike Leggett on Stormwater Management Capital Projects

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett made the following statement on the County Council’s intent to reform the stormwater management program.

“I am pleased that the County Council signaled its intent to approve the reform of our stormwater management construction program, which will enhance our ability to meet important environmental goals and will support projects designed to meet our State-mandated MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit.

Upon final approval by the Council, it will keep Montgomery County as the leader in protecting the environment, giving us the most efficient and cost-effective method to meet our MS4 permit requirements with minimal delays and without an increased burden on our taxpayers.”

Montgomery County Minimum Wage Increases on July 1

Minimum wage is set to rise in Montgomery County on July 1. The size of the increase is determined by the number of workers employed by the business. The bill states that County businesses with 51 or more employees must pay workers $12.25 hourly. Employers with 50 or fewer workers must pay employees $12 hourly.

County Executive Ike Leggett signed Bill 28-17, concerning Human Rights and Civil Liberties – County Minimum Wage, on November 17, 2017.

Effective date
Large employer
Mid-sized employer
Small employer
July 1, 2018
July 1, 2019
July 1, 2020
July 1, 2021
July 1, 2022
$15+ CPI-W

CPI-W = Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers

An employer who provides "home health services" or "home or community-based services" and receives at least 75 percent of gross revenues through state and federal Medicaid programs, may apply to the Office of Human Rights for designation as an eligible services provider subject to an adjusted implementation schedule.

The minimum wage does not apply to employees younger than 19 years old who work fewer than 20 hours per week. However, an employer may pay a wage equal to 85 percent to employees under the age of 20 years for the first six months that the employee is employed.

More information about Bill 28-17, visit County website.

Enforcement of the law is handled through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Free Foreign Film Series Comes to Montgomery College

Montgomery College has a full lineup of entertaining foreign films as part of its Monday evening film series. All films begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. The films are shown at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center located at 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville.

Visit the website to see the summer schedule, which continues through August 27.

Free Concerts Available All Summer

Summer concerts are a perfect way to end a long day or get a jump start on the weekend. Pack a picnic and take advantage of the many concerts located throughout the County.

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County has put together a comprehensive listing of concerts to ensure that you don’t miss a show.

Online Form Available for Employers Required to File Minimum Wage Report for Tipped Employees

minimum wage increase effective July 1st, 2018.
The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights has announced an online form is available for all employers who are required to file quarterly wage reports for tipped employees.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council passed Montgomery County Code, Chapter 27-Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Section 27-69 to establish a base pay for tipped employees in 2015. The law requires that each qualifying tipped employee is paid the minimum Tipped Credit Wage of $4 an hour and must be paid an additional amount to equal, in total, the current minimum wage during each quarter. Employers are required to file a wage report within 30 days after the end of each quarter.

The online form is available at the Office of Human Rights website. More information is available on Montgomery County’s minimum wage and overtime law, or see the minimum wage transition table.

Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Accepting Nominations for County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

If you know an exceptional person, team, or organization who has strengthened our community through arts and humanities, here is a way to get them the recognition they deserve. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is accepting nominations for the 2018 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

To nominate a deserving artist or organization for these awards, visit the online nomination site and submit your nomination by Sunday, July 15.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the following awards:
  • Education Award
  • Community Award
  • Volunteer Award
  • Outstanding Artist or Scholar Award
  • Business or Individual Patron Award
  • Emerging Leader Award
This is the 17th year for this special ceremony, which will be presented on Monday, October 29, at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center located on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. More information is available here.

Montgomery Parks’ Host Free FIFA World Cup Watch Party on Saturday, June 23

Montgomery Parks will host a FIFA World Cup Watch Party on Saturday, June 23. The free event is located at the at the Wheaton Sports Pavilion located at 11751 Orebaugh Avenue. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. with kick-off slated for 11 a.m. This matchup, between Mexico and South Korea, will be shown on a blow-up big-screen in a family-friendly atmosphere.

The Open House offers visitors an up-close look at the facility and provides an opportunity to meet representatives from the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, Shadow of The Almighty (S.O.T.A.M.) Futbal Academy, and Play It Again Sports.

Food trucks will be on-site, and there will be children’s games to keep the young ones happy.

More information, visit montgomeryparks.org/events/wheaton-sports-pavilion-world-cup-viewing-party.

Calling all Painters, Potters, Poets and Photographers; Beacon Newspaper Art Contest for Amateur Artists 50 and Older

In whatever arts you shine, you are invited to enter your works in the Beacon's online Celebration of the Arts — a competition for amateur artists 50 and older.

Winners will receive awards, cash prizes (up to $100), as well as the opportunity to exhibit in one or more area galleries. In addition, photos of all artists and their works will be published in a special “Celebration of the Arts” section to be printed in an upcoming issue of the Beacon.

For complete rules and to enter the competition, go to Beacon Arts Celebration. This online competition is open through June 29.

Gaithersburg Ranked Among Top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers

Based on data collected by Livability.com, a website that explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities ideal places to live, the City of Gaithersburg ranked in the top 10 of a 2018 listing of Best Cities for STEM Workers, coming in at No. 6. The site analyzed data from 2,000 cities and towns across the country, looking at such factors as the share of total jobs that fall into the STEM category, the median income for those jobs, and the median income for STEM jobs in relation to overall median income within each city. Number one on the list was Huntsville, Alabama.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs in 2015, with that number expected to grow by 13 percent through 2025. The national average salary for STEM jobs is $87,570.

June 6, 2018

Montgomery County Council Approves County’s $5.6 billion Operating Budget and $4.5 billion six-year Capital Budget; Prioritizes Education and Public Safety

The Montgomery County Council has approved the County’s $5.6 billion Fiscal Year(FY) 2019 Operating Budget, the FY19 Capital Budget, and the FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The Council approved a $4.5 billion FY19-24 CIP to fund school construction, infrastructure improvements and community projects.

The operating budget funds Montgomery County Public Schools and supports Montgomery College, the County’s Police Department, the Fire and Rescue Service and essential health and human services programs. The Council agreed to add nearly $6.7 million to the operating budget to maintain existing service levels and to minimize call response times for residents during emergencies. The budget also sets aside funding for the County’s FY19 revenue goal of 9.4 percent of adjusted governmental revenues. Funding for this financial obligation helps the County retain its AAA bond rating.

See the full approved FY 19 budget.

County Executive Ike Leggett Vetoes Line-Item in the Capital Improvement Budget

For the first time in his nearly 12 years as County Executive, Ike Leggett has vetoed a line-item appropriation of the Capital Improvement Program approved by County Council. Leggett vetoed appropriations for the Montgomery County’s Clean Water and Permit Compliance Program.

In his recommended FY19 Capital Budget, Leggett recommended a Design/Build/Maintain approach for future stormwater management projects.

The proposed method is a contracting approach, which procures a single contractor to design, build and maintain projects. Currently, the County uses separate contracts for design, construction, and maintenance and tasks the work on a project-by-project basis. Leggett stated that contracting reform is necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the County’s construction of stormwater management projects and to hold down increases for the taxpayer. Council voted 5-4 against Leggett’s proposal.

On June 1, Leggett submitted a memorandum to County Council President Hans Riemer which outlined why he exercised the veto. The authority for Leggett’s veto is in accordance with the provisions of the County Charter.

Leggett stated in the memorandum “I regret that you and the Council majority have made this veto necessary. Playing politics with a critical environmental issue, doubling down on a costly and inefficient status quo, and kicking the proverbial can down the road will never be confused with effective governance.”

League of Women Voters Presents Voters’ Guide 2018 Primary Election

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County publishes the Voters’ Guide that includes information on voting, as well as candidates’ responses, in their own words, to questions on a variety of issues. The Voters’ Guide can assist you in your decision-making process as you prepare to vote in the Primary Election on June 26 or at early voting locations from June 14 to June 21. This primary 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, a non-partisan organization of women and men who promote informed participation in government, does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

There are three ways to get the Voters’ Guide:
  1. Online at vote411.org - an interactive guide for voting information and comparisons of all the candidates’ responses. 
  2. A print copy is available throughout Montgomery County at locations such as libraries, service, senior and community recreation centers. This Guide contains fewer responses of candidates in competitive races, than in online versions.
  3. Two printable Voters' Guides in PDF format - one contains all candidates’ responses and the other is the same as the paper copy is available online at lwvmocomd.org.

Senior Safety Forum in Recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Did you know that in Montgomery County age 60-and-over senior population is increasing faster than the County’s total population?

On Thursday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the County will hold its 8th annual Senior Safety Forum in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It takes place at the Holiday Park Senior Center located at 3950 Ferrara Drive in Silver Spring. Over 50 exhibitors will provide resources for Montgomery County seniors. There will be presentations on topics such as personal safety, financial safety and safe driving tips for seniors. There will also be live musical entertainment, lots of raffle prizes, blood pressure checks and FREE box lunches while supplies last.

This is the perfect opportunity to build senior safety connections that are both importantly factual and fun. Here is more senior safety information.

Heritage Days Return to Montgomery County

Heritage Days is a countywide festival featuring programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. The event takes place on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 from noon to 4 p.m. Programs will feature Civil War and agricultural history, the stories of local railroads and trolleys, historic African American communities and more.

Local arts and culture as well as outdoor recreation, including biking, hiking, and walking tours, are also highlighted. Many venues offer musical entertainment, children’s activities and refreshments.

This is Heritage Montgomery’s 21st year for hosting this celebration. For a complete list of all the locations and scheduled events, download brochure.

NOTE: The Heritage Days program at the Red Brick Courthouse in Rockville has been canceled due to unexpected construction at the courthouse.

Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation is Hiring

The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is hiring for various correctional/public safety positions. These are great career opportunities for individuals interested in public safety, medical, social work/counseling and food services to name a few.

Spread the word about these career opportunities - great pay and benefits. Foreign-language proficiency is a plus! For more information, contact DOCR’s Human Resources Section directly at 240-777-9759, MC311 or visit the Department’s website.

The Atlantic Hurricane and Summer Storm Season Has Begun

“When thunder roars, go indoors!” The Atlantic Hurricane and Summer Storm season began on June 1 and will run through November.

Do you know the difference between a Severe Thunderstorm “Watch” and a “Warning?” The County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has provided important safety tips and information to help keep you and your family safer during the summer storm season. Take some time to review and prepare before the storm.

Most important, make sure that you are signed up to receive the emergency warnings from the County’s Alert Montgomery system.

Health Officials Urge Residents to Take Steps to Protect Against West Nile and Zika Virus; Reduce Mosquitoes — Get Rid of Breeding Sites

Now that we are into the warmer months, health officials urge residents to protect against mosquito bites.

Residents can help themselves and the community by getting rid of mosquito breeding spots. Mosquitoes breed in small amounts of water. Eliminate standing water in and around your home. Throw out or frequently empty and scrub items that hold water such as buckets, planters, toys, pools, and birdbaths.

Dispose of trash such as plastic bags, bottle caps, open drink cans or bottles, disposable cups and food wrappers where water can pool.

Keep mosquitoes out of your home by using air conditioning if possible. Make sure windows and doors have screens on them and those screens are in good repair. Clean out roof gutters and down-spouts. Ensure tarps and swimming pool covers are positioned so water drains.

More information about controlling mosquitos is available at montgomerycountymd.gov/mosquito.

Award-winning Author Dinaw Mengestu Joins the Contemporary Conversations@ MCPL Series and Big Read Montgomery

Award-winning author and MacArthur Foundation Fellow Dinaw Mengestu is the featured speaker for Montgomery County Public Libraries’ Contemporary Conversations and Big Read Montgomery event. The program will be held at the Silver Spring Library located at 900 Wayne Avenue on Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Registered guests are invited to a reception at 6:30 p.m. to meet the author. Refreshments will be served.

Mengestu will discuss his personal immigrant experience and his award-winning, debut novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears. The book tells the story of the immigrant experience in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia universities, Mengestu came to the United States at the age of two; a move that reunited his family after his father was forced to flee their home in Ethiopia. Mengestu has published in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal.

This event closes a two-month celebration of Big Read Montgomery, which featured varied programs that celebrated the diverse immigrant experiences of residents through discussions about The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.

More information, including registration information, is available online.

Montgomery County to Host 22nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration with a Barbecue, Entertainment and Award Ceremony

 download flyer
The County’s 22nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 15. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:25 p.m. The event will be held at the BlackRock Center for the Arts located at 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown.

The free event, hosted by County Executive Ike Leggett, highlights the contributions of African Americans who are living legends in our community. The program focuses on the service of the honorees whose contributions are in various fields including business, health, media, sports, education, law, ministry, community organizations, medicine or the arts. These residents have shaped the cultural heritage and richness of our African American community.

After the ceremony and program, an old-fashioned barbecue dinner will be served, followed by a special presentation of the acclaimed movie Marshall. The film looks at the achievements of young Thurgood Marshall whose legal genius in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, paved the way for the most impactful victory in the quest for freedom and equality in the history of the United States since the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Throughout the program, Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological & Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) winners of the Montgomery County NAACP Branch will provide entertainment.

For more information and registration go to montgomerycountymd.gov/humanrights.

Office of Consumer Protection Warns Residents to Avoid Purchasing from Door-to-Door Meat Vendors

It is the start of the summer barbecue season and that means that door-to-door meat salespeople are again making their rounds in neighborhoods across the County. The County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) warns residents to be wary of purchasing meat from a salesperson who comes knocking at your door.

Each year OCP hears from multiple county consumers who state they have been taken advantage of by door-to-door meat vendors. OCP is currently investigating a complaint from a resident who reports she was cheated out of $800 from a salesman who sold her bad beef. OCP advises residents that even though it may seem like a good deal, that it is best to not purchase from someone who shows up at your door with meat for sale.

WAMU 88.5, a local news radio station, recently talked to OCP Director Eric Friedman about how to protect against a door to door meat sellers. 
OCP is responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws (Chapter 11 of the County code), which prohibit unfair and deceptive business acts to ensure a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses. The OCP website has a listing of other current consumer scams and other information to protect consumers.

OCP recommends against the purchase, however, if you decide to take the risk, the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service has developed a safety information sheet with information that is available here.

Montgomery County’s Liquor Control Improves Online Ordering Platform

The Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) has improved its iStore, the online ordering platform that businesses within the county use to order beer, wine, and spirits.

The enhanced system is a modernized online marketplace to provide business customers with a smoother user experience.

For additional information on iStore or to sign up for training, go to the DLC website.

Montgomery County Council Approves $5.3 Million Budget for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Council approved more than $5.3 million for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) to use to fund arts and humanities throughout the County.

AHCMC will allocate the funds through multiple grant categories that support the County’s nonprofit arts and humanities sector. Funding is available for Operating Support Grants; small and mid-size organizations, creative projects, arts education, and Individual Artist and Scholar Grants; Advancement Grants; AHCMC administration; Arts and Humanities Matching Fund; grants to support the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District; and the Public Arts Trust. Cultural institutions that received grants in FY18 include the Adventure Theatre MTC, Olney Theatre Center, Imagination Stage, and Arts on the Block.

The AHCMC FY19 budget, which goes into effect on July 1, also includes over $1.8 million for Capital Improvement Grants. A portion of the Capital Improvement Grants funds will mitigate costs associated with the March 2018 fire that affected Adventure Theatre MTC and the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture.

May 21, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Memorial Day, Monday, May 28

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.
  • County Offices – Closed 
  • Libraries – Closed 
  • County Liquor stores (DLC) – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m
  • Recreation – aquatics programs and facilities open; all other classes and programs canceled. Administrative offices, senior centers, and recreation centers are closed 
  • Montgomery Parks - for special programs, events and operating schedule, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, and tennis centers, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org
  • Ride On – Sunday Schedule 
  • Metrorail – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • Metrobus – Information available at www.wmata.com
  • TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center – Open
  • TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store – The Silver Spring TRiPS store will be open on Memorial Day, but the Mobile Store will be closed
  • County refuse/recycling pickup – no collection, all collections for the week will be made one day later than normal with Friday pickup on Saturday.
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station – closed
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – Free
  • State offices and courts – Closed

Statement by County Executive Ike Leggett on the Council Announcement of a Tentative FY19 County Operating Budget

“I appreciate the hard work and leadership the Council demonstrated on the FY 19 Operating Budget. The Council approved virtually all of what was initially recommended, including full funding for Montgomery County Public Schools — our shared top priority.

“I am concerned, however, that the Council has increased ongoing expenditures by $14 million over and above my recommended budget.

“In addition, by a 5 to 4 majority, the Council opposed the reform of our stormwater management construction program – a decision that threatens our ability to meet important environmental goals and will certainly delay projects designed to meet our State-mandated MS4 permit -- I intend to veto this line item in the Capital Budget.

“We need to make this program more efficient and cost-effective. And we need to be responsive to County taxpayers who – without changes – will be paying more in stormwater management charges to get less. The status quo is unacceptable.”

Most County Outdoor Pools Open on May 26; Long Branch Outdoor Pool Postponed Due to Weather-Related Construction Delays

Most Montgomery County Recreation’s outdoor pools are scheduled to open for the summer season at noon Saturday, May 26. The pre-season (weekends and Memorial Day) runs from May 26 through June 15.

The Long Branch Outdoor Pool, located at 8700 Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, has been delayed by recent rainfall that resulted in construction delays. Necessary repairs to the pool, which require warm and dry weather conditions, were delayed over the last two weeks due to rain.

The department is working to complete work at the pool and expects repairs to be completed by Saturday, June 9, weather permitting.

The wet weather has also delayed the opening of the “baby” (wading) pools at the Germantown Outdoor Pool, located at 18905 Kingsview Drive in Germantown and the Sergeant Hector I. Ayala Wheaton Glenmont Outdoor Pool, located at 12621 Dalewood Drive in Wheaton. All other pools at Germantown and Wheaton locations will be open to the public for Memorial Day weekend. Work on the baby pools is expected to be completed by Saturday, June 2.

Because safety is always the priority for the Recreation Department, the department will host a free Water Safety Day event on Saturday, June 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Sergeant Hector I. Ayala Wheaton/Glenmont Outdoor Pool located at 12621 Dalewood Drive in Wheaton.

The event will include swim skills assessments, mini swim lessons with County police officers, and scuba diving and life-guarding demonstrations. There will be a special session for swimmers with disabilities from 4 to 5 p.m.

Children are at high risk for water-related accidents and it is important that they are always closely supervised while in and around the pool.

County outdoor pools are located at: (see the map of all locations)
  • Bethesda Pool, Little Falls Pkwy. and Hillandale Rd.; 
  • Germantown Outdoor Pool 18905 Kingsview Rd.; 
  • Long Branch Pool 8700 Piney Branch Rd., Silver Spring; 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Outdoor Pool, 1201 Jackson Rd., Silver Spring; 
  • Sarah E. Auer Western County Outdoor Pool, 20151 Fisher Ave., Poolesville; 
  • Upper County Outdoor Pool, 8211 Emory Grove Rd., Gaithersburg; and 
  • Sergeant Hector I. Ayala Wheaton/Glenmont Pool, 12621 Dalewood Dr.

For more information, call 240-777-6860.

Voter Registration and Party Affiliation Change Deadline Nears

Montgomery County citizens who wish to vote in the 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election must complete and submit their voter registration application no later than Tuesday, June 5 at 9 p.m.

To vote in a political party’s primary election, you must be registered with either the Democratic or Republican Party The only non-partisan offices which may be elected in the 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election are the School Board; any voter may vote for these offices.

Is your voter registration up to date? Is your political party affiliation correct? Do you wish to change your political party affiliation or make any othare er changes to your voter registration? Make sure you update your registration prior to June 5, 2018, so you are ready to vote.

Registering to vote requires that you are a U.S. citizen, live in Montgomery County, Maryland, and are at least 18 years of age on or before November 6, 2018.

For more information go to www.777vote.org, or register online.

Montgomery County Unveils Veterans Memorial Wall

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett unveiled the Montgomery County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Memorial Plaza in Rockville on Monday, May 21.

The Memorial includes the names of 130 service members from Montgomery County who lost their lives or were reported missing in action in Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. There are four Montgomery County residents who remain missing.

Dozens of Vietnam War veterans attended the dedication ceremony, including Everett Alvarez, one of the longest-held prisoners of war, who provided remarks.

During the dedication ceremony, Leggett unveiled a Vietnam Era Honor & Gratitude plaque to pay tribute to all the Montgomery County veterans who served our country during 1955-1975.

For more information about the 130 service members whose names are etched on the Memorial Wall, visit the Commission on Veterans Affairs website.

Read more about the ceremony here.

For more photos of the dedication ceremony, visit Montgomery County’s Flickr page.

To view a recording of the event, click here (ceremony starts at minute 17:40).

Montgomery County Public Libraries Extends Summer Weekend Hours at Five Branches

Montgomery County Public Libraries extends weekend evening hours for the summer at five branches: Connie Morella (Bethesda), Gaithersburg, Germantown, Rockville Memorial, and Silver Spring beginning June 1.

These branches will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer. The extended weekend hours run through August 25.

Information about all MCPL branches is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Free Summer Outdoor Movies Return to Bethesda and Strathmore

Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival
The Bethesda Urban Partnership Bethesda Outdoor Movies: Stars on the Avenue returns for a week of free movies. Five evenings of major motion pictures in a variety of genres will be showcased, including new releases, classics, drama and comedy films.

The outdoor film series will take place at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. Moviegoers are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs.
  • Remember the Titans - Tuesday, July 24 
  • Casablanca - Wednesday,July 25
  • The Big Sick -Thursday, July 26 
  • Mean Girls - Friday, July 27 
  • The Post - Saturday, July 28 
The Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival returns to Strathmore in August. The event features four nights of free flicks benefitting the National Institutes of Health Children’s Charities. The gates open and activities begin at 7:30 p.m. The movies begin at dusk.
  • Coco - Thursday, August 23
  • Black Panther - Friday, August 24
  • The Lion King - Saturday, August 25
  • Wonder Woman - Sunday, August 26
For more information, go to Bethesda Outdoor Movies or Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival.

Hometown Holidays Returns to Rockville Over the Memorial Day Weekend

The City of Rockville presents the 30th annual Hometown Holidays over the Memorial Day weekend. The event includes a Music Festival, Taste of Rockville and 74th annual Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade. The event is located at Rockville Town Center.

The festival will feature performances by more than 30 local, regional and national performing artists, from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27. The festival spans six city blocks with four stages, kids amusements and the return of “the beach” sand pile.

Taste of Rockville, which opens at noon on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, offers a taste of diverse offerings from Amici Miei, Armand’s Pizzeria and Grill, Botanero, Brooklyn’s Deli & Catering, Dawson’s Market, Fresh Baguette, Golden Samovar, Mellow Mushroom, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pandora Seafood House & Bar, Pinstripes, Saffron Indian Cuisine, Spice Xing and Trapezaria.

More information on the schedule of activities is available at the new, mobile-friendly website at www.rockvillemd.gov/HTH.

Montgomery County Recreation to Host Youth Summit

Montgomery County middle and high school students are invited to participate in a free Youth Summit from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 31. The event is located at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place.

This free event is sponsored by members of the County Executive’s Youth Advisory Council to give young people an opportunity to share their experiences, insights, and solutions with County Executive Ike Leggett, Montgomery County Recreation and other representatives from Montgomery County Government.

For more information, call 240-777-8080.

Department of General Services Leads the Region with Sold Out State of the Infrastructure Conference

The County’s Department of General Services, featuring Architectural Engineering Institute and Construction Institute, hosted a 2018 Regional Government Conference on Monday, May 21 at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

This sold-out event brought together professionals from government, private sector, and academic settings to collaborate on best practices in building and improving infrastructure. The sessions emphasized the importance of collaboration and management of projects with focus on cost effectiveness, quality control, risk management and sustainability.

The event included opening remarks by DGS Director David Dise. Dr. Joseph Martens served as the keynote speaker who spoke on innovative ways to manage projects and deliver actionable solutions and strategies to help program and project managers be more impactful and influential. 

Following the keynote speaker, industry professionals led group panel discussions and encouraged discussions and idea sharing.

In addition to Montgomery County six regional counties sponsored the event including Arlington, Fairfax, Frederick. Howard, Loudoun, Prince George’s and St. Mary counties. 

Registered sponsors for the event included MBP; O’Connell & Lawrence, Inc.; Pype; Arcadis U.S., Inc.; The Robert B Balter Company; Noresco; The Catholic University of America; Facility Dynamics; and Keller Brothers, Inc.

May 11, 2018

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Dedication Ceremony Set for May 21

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will unveil the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at a dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 21.

The Memorial Wall includes the names of 130 service members from Montgomery County who were killed or reported missing in action during the Vietnam War.

The dedication ceremony will take place at Memorial Plaza, adjacent to the Executive Office Building (101 Monroe Street) and the Courthouse Annex in Rockville.

Montgomery County invites the public to attend the dedication ceremony.

For a list of County residents who lost their lives or were declared missing in the Vietnam War, visit the Montgomery County Veterans Affairs website and click on the queue titled, “Fallen Heroes.”

Family and friends of the 130 fallen heroes are encouraged to RSVP to Community Outreach Manager Betsy Tolbert Luecking at the Commission on Veterans Affairs. Luecking can be reached by telephone at 240-777-1256 or by email at Betsy.Luecking@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Montgomery County’s Green Government Report Confirms Sustainable Operations are Strong Across County Departments

Montgomery County’s Department of General Services (DGS) has published the fiscal year 2017 Montgomery County Green Government Report, which reports the County’s progress with energy efficiency, green buildings, smart growth, water conservation, biodiversity, waste reduction, green transportation, renewable resources, and resiliency.

A highlight of the report is that the County is now a carbon-neutral government through energy efficiency, renewable energy investment, and energy purchases. This puts the County on track to save $70 million over the next 20 years through energy efficiency improvements, negotiations with energy suppliers and solar energy generation on County facilities.

All County departments and agencies play a significant role in greening County government, with the DGS Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) as the hub for these efforts. OES is managed by Eric Coffman who was named to the Energy Manager Today 75 list on May 1. The list, selected by the Editorial and Management team at Business Sector Media, recognizes the nation’s top 75 executives in energy management.

For more details, or to review the report go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dgs-oes.

Registration for Recreation Summer Programs Now Open

Got summer plans? The 2018 Summer Guide is your source for activities, classes and programs. Registration for Montgomery County Recreation’s summer programs is available at activemontgomery.org.

County Releases Health Report; Compares County to State and National Outcomes

Health officials have released the first health status report for Montgomery County that includes information and data about a diverse set of health conditions such as life expectancy, chronic diseases and infectious diseases. The report, Health in Montgomery County 2008-2016, A Surveillance Report on Population Health, highlights where Montgomery County stands in comparison to state and national health outcomes.

The report completes a core function of public health: surveillance and data collection, analysis and interpretation for disease prevention and control. While there are different data sets available that highlight different statistics, there isn't a central source that reports the County health statistics across a broad set of health conditions and concerns. The goal is to present the data to the community so that it can serve as a source of knowledge, bring attention to areas of success and weakness, and potentially serve as a basis for further analysis by stakeholders to design appropriate programming and interventions to address gaps in outcomes.

Though health outcomes in Montgomery County performed better than state and national averages, there are several health conditions with increasing trends and disparities by race/ethnicity, age, sex and geographic areas that warrant special attention.

Findings of the report include: 
  • The County's population is becoming more diverse over time; the non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations have increased while the non-Hispanic White population has decreased. 
  • Births to adolescent mothers in the county have decreased over time and the county's rates are consistently lower than those in Maryland and the U.S. 
  • The leading causes of death in the county were cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, accidents and chronic lower respiratory disease. 
  • Though heart disease mortality has decreased in the County; heart disease-related emergency room (ER) visit rates increased; however, the County had lower rates of mortality and ER visits than those in Maryland. Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest mortality and ER visit rates. 
  • Tuberculosis rates in the county were consistently higher than in Maryland and the U.S. Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest rates. 
  • Though substance-abuse related ER visit rates were consistently lower than in Maryland, the substance-abuse related ER visit rates and drug-induced mortality rates in the county increased over time. Non-Hispanic Whites and person ages 18 to 34 had the highest rates. 
  • Motor vehicle-related mortality and hospitalization rates decreased in the County. County rates were consistently lower than in Maryland; non-Hispanic Blacks and person ages 18 to 34 had the highest ER visit rates. 
The report serves as a companion to the County's 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment, which is available HERE.

Move More Montgomery Festival Set for May 12

Montgomery County Recreation, in partnership with the City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery Parks, will host the third annual Move More Montgomery Festival on Saturday, May 12 from noon to 4 p.m. The free event is located at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm 506 S. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg. Leashed dogs are welcome!

The Move More Montgomery Festival, a field day type of festival, will feature a community walk, sport and fitness demonstrations, active performances and mini-classes, interactive wellness booths, children’s activities including a play area, and the Fido Fitness Arena. The event will be held rain or shine.

The Move More Montgomery Festival is also the culminating event for the Move More Montgomery 100 Mile Challenge. Residents who completed the challenge by walking or running 100 miles in 100 days will be recognized at the event.

More information is available at the Move More Montgomery Festival’s website.

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts

The popular Downtown Silver Spring Thursday night summer concerts return to Silver Spring June 21 through August 9. These family-friendly concerts take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at Veterans Plaza, located at 1 Veterans Place. The concerts are free and feature a variety of styles of music, dancing and face painting and games for the kids. In addition, there is a free raffle with prizes for the adults and toys and gifts for the younger crowd.

The concert lineup includes:
  • Bobby & the Believers June 21
  • Built for Comfort Band June 28 
  • MoCo’s Got Talent July 5 
  • Gary and the Groove July 12 
  • Sweet Saludos July 19 
  • Route 66 July 26 
  • Josh Christina August 2
  • Soul Crackers August 9 

Live from the Lawn, Strathmore's free outdoor concert series will be held on Wednesday evenings on July 11 through August 29.
More information on the Downtown Silver Spring concert series is available HERE.
More information on the Strathmore concert series is available HERE.

Results from the April 2018 Prescription Drug-Take Back Day

On Saturday, April 28, Montgomery County participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 15th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Across the country, 4,683 law enforcement agencies participated, providing 5,842 collection sites and receiving 949,046 pounds of turned-in prescription drugs. In Montgomery County, the law enforcement agencies participating included: Montgomery County Police, Maryland State Police, Rockville City Police, Gaithersburg Police, Takoma Park Police, Chevy Chase Village Police and the Sheriff’s Office.

From 15 collection sites within Montgomery County, 48 bags weighing 1,099 pounds were received. In addition, the City of Rockville held a more-than-one day turn-in event which collected 19 bags weighing 489 pounds.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days address a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. With the current prevalence of opioid overdoses, safely deposing of opioid drugs can play a major role in helping to curb their life-threatening abuse.

Participating in Drug Take-Back days provides an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Until the next Prescription Drug Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday, October 27 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., follow these important drug-disposal tips. Drugs should not be thrown in the trash unless specific safety precautions for safe disposal are followed. The County’s Division of Solid Waste Services offers these suggestions:
  1. Place unwanted or expired medication into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty containers with a lid to prevent liquid medications from leaking out. 
  2. Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.) 
  3. Seal the bag and/or container. 
  4. Crush pills or tablets. 
  5. Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash. 
  6. Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle. 
  7. Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue County recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can also be recycled in recycling bins.

Schedule Your Free Deck Inspection in May

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the Montgomery County Council have proclaimed the month of May as Building Safety Month. The theme for this year’s public awareness campaign is “Building Codes Save Lives.”

As part of Building Safety Month, the Department of Permitting Services is offering free, deck maintenance inspections. Residents can schedule a free deck inspection by calling 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311 during the month of May.

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

Montgomery County Government Earns 2018 Alliance for Workplace Excellence Awards

Montgomery County Government has earned the 2018 Alliance for Workplace Excellence Workplace (AWE) Excellence Seal of Approval; the 2018 AWE Health & Wellness Seal of Approval; the 2018 AWE Eco-Leadership Award; the 2018 AWE Diversity Champion Award; the 2018 AWE Certificate of Recognition: Best Practices Supporting Workers of All Abilities; and the 2018 AWE Certificate of Recognition: Best Practices Supporting Workers 50+.

Montgomery County will receive the awards at the Alliance of Workplace Excellence Annual Awards Celebration on Friday, June 8. The ceremony will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center. The award-winning companies represent organizations of all sizes and all industry types from across the United States. See the full release HERE.

Taste of Wheaton to Take Place in a New Location This Year

The 23rd Annual Taste of Wheaton returns on Sunday, June 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free event will take place on County Parking Lot 17 at 2320 Price Avenue (the corner of Price Avenue and Fern Street). This year’s venue has changed due to ongoing construction on the Wheaton Revitalization Project. The location is one block east of the Wheaton Metro station.

The festival features samples from the diverse restaurants in downtown Wheaton. There will be a full day of family and children’s activities, exhibitors, a beer and wine garden and entertainment including four bands.

Detailed information about the event is available at www.wheatonmd.org/events/item/taste-of-wheaton4.

Taste the World in Fenton Village Returns to Silver Spring

Dozens of restaurants featuring cuisine from around the globe will be showcased at the Taste the World in Fenton Village. The event is scheduled for Sunday, May 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. Fenton Village is located just south of Downtown Silver Spring between Wayne, Georgia and Burlington Aves. and Fenton St.

Taste the World in Fenton Village is the largest restaurant crawl in the D.C. area. The event provides an opportunity for attendees to try delicious food from across the globe while supporting locally-owned, small businesses and exploring Fenton Village.

For more information, including a map of participating restaurants and other event details, go to https://fentonvillage.org/taste-the-world-in-fenton-village/.

Author Edward Alexander to Speak at the May Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable Meeting

Edward Alexander will discuss his book “Dawn of Victory: The Breakthrough at Petersburg” at the monthly meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable on Thursday, May 10 at 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Gaithersburg Hilton located at 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested.

United Way’s Do More 24 Day Encourages Donations to Nonprofits

Join over 600 Maryland, Virginia and D.C. nonprofits for Do More 24, the region’s largest online day of giving, powered by United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA).

Do More 24 will take place during a 24-hour period from 12 noon on May 17 to 12 noon on May 18 and is expected to raise more than $2 million. This year’s Do More 24 campaign asks the community to think locally and #reclaimkindness by donating to one of the hundreds of participating nonprofits ranging from animal welfare to workforce readiness, environmental causes, financial stability, education, homelessness and housing, plus many more. More information is available at www.domore24.org.