September 25, 2019

Marcus Jones To Be Nominated by County Executive to Lead County Police Department

Marcus Jones
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will nominate Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones to serve as Montgomery County’s new police chief. Jones has been with the Montgomery County Police Department for 34 years and served as the acting police chief since June 2019.

Prior to taking over as acting police chief, Jones served as the assistant chief of the Investigative Services Bureau. He also served as the 3rd District commander, Director of Major Crimes, Drug Enforcement Commander and created an award-winning diversity training program. He is on the board of the Governor’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the Montgomery County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Advisory Council.

Jones is an adjunct instructor for the Leadership in Police Organizations three-week training course sponsored by the International Association Chiefs of Police. He is a former chair of the National Black Police Association and served on the Board of Directors for the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the Task Force on Mentoring in Montgomery County. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is currently enrolled in the National Executive Institute.

The County Executive will formally submit Acting Chief Jones’ name to the County Council as his nominee for Chief of Police. If approved, Jones will become Montgomery County’s 17th police chief and the third African American to hold the position.

Discover New Places, People and Activities During Montgomery County’s Active Aging Week

Fitness classes are among the free, fun events offered during Montgomery County's Active Aging Week, which takes place the first week of October. Check out what’s happening and plan to participate in a group walk, Tai Chi, book discussion, line dance, card games, yoga, tech class, conversation, pickleball or something else!

Everyone is invited to the Active Aging Week kickoff event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Brookside Gardens.The free event includes a stroll around the park and many activity demonstrations such as Zumba and Tai Chi. Food will be available for purchase.

There are dozens of other events happening throughout the week. For a list, visit the County’s senior site and click on “Senior Calendar” (in the left column).

More information is available here.

On the Business Beat

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich spent the last few weeks of summer on the business beat. He visited several businesses in the County, met with the president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and addressed the Maryland Women Business Center’s training and networking event at the Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg.

Calling All Hoops Fans

Registration for Montgomery County Recreation’s winter basketball clinics and leagues (K – 12) is underway.

Learn the basics of dribbling, passing, shooting and rebounding, as well as the fundamentals of defense. Sign up opportunities will be available the elite programs for the more experienced youth players.

Check out the winter programs online and register today.

September is Suicide Prevention Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there is a death by suicide every 12 minutes. The Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that public safety employees are three times more likely to die from suicide. County staff came together to raise awareness of the risk of suicide on Sept. 18.

The CDC identifies suicide as the second-leading cause of death among school-age youth.

The County, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools, launched a suicide prevention campaign in 2017 to highlight information for teens and others about how to help someone who may be thinking about suicide. The website, was designed by local resident Ray Crist and includes information useful for teens, as well as family members and adults.

To learn more about how to help someone in jeoparady of attempting suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Montgomery County Crisis Center also offers free 24-hour telephone and walk-in help at 1301 Piccard Drive, Rockville.

Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame Inducts First Class

More than 200 people attended the inaugural ceremonies of the new Montgomery County Hall of Fame at the Silver Spring Civic Building. County Executive Marc Elrich was among the speakers and sportscaster Dave Johnson emceed the event.

The Class of 2019 included four-time Olympic medal-winning gymnast Dominique Dawes; five-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Katie Ledecky; Maryland’s all-time winningest high school football coach Bob Milloy; Churchill High School alumnus and member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Bruce Murray; former NFL and Springbrook High School star Shawn Springs and late Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson.

Ultimate Guide to Fall Festivities in Montgomery County from Visit Montgomery

The leaves are starting to change, the air is crisper and pumpkin-spiced treats are popping up everywhere. That’s right – fall is here and Visit Montgomery, MD has a rundown on fall festivals in our area.

September 11, 2019

9-11: We Remember

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich statement on September 11th Observance:

It has been 18 years since the horrific September 11 terrorist attack. Today we remember the nearly 3,000 victims, including 11 from Montgomery County, who tragically had their lives taken by a senseless act of evil and hatred.

Today, and every day, we here in Montgomery County remember: 
  • William Edward Caswell;
  • Gerald Paul Fisher;
  • Lawrence D. Getzfred;
  • Michele M. Heidenberger;
  • Angela Marie Houtz;
  • Teddington Hamm Moy;
  • Darin H. Pontell;
  • Scott A. Powell;
  • Todd Hayes Reuben;
  • Patricia J. Statz; and
  • Ernest M. Willcher
They were our County brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon.

We remember the bravery of those who heroically fought against their attackers on Flight 93, and the courage of the first responders who charged forward to the rescue, willing to put their lives on the line.

I hope everyone will join me in remembering the victims and their families who continue to grieve and miss their loved ones.

Montgomery County's 9/11 Memorial Park is a place you can go to reflect and pay respect. The park gives tribute to the 11 County residents who lost their lives. The names of these victims are inscribed on a plaque covered by two doors.

Eleven benches located throughout the path are dedicated to each of the victims. Family members chose the inscription to honor and reflect on the character of the person. The park is located at the corner of East Jefferson and Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

Ribbon-cutting Opens Montgomery County’s First Combined Library and Community Recreation Center

Hundreds of residents turned out to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center and Wheaton Local Park. The 92,000-square foot building, located at 11701 Georgia Ave., is the County’s first combined multiplex to include a library, community recreation center, Friends of the Library bookstore, and local park.

The multifaceted design blends literacy and leisure into a unique facility making it possible to participate in yoga, reading, playground activities, pottery, basketball, story time, purchasing of used books and fitness workouts at a single location.

By sharing the use of spaces such as lobbies, meeting rooms, and restrooms, the facility use is optimized. The high-performance and environmentally-friendly facility will receive at minimum LEED silver certification. Green features include a vegetative planted roof and a high-performance mechanical and lighting system that feature LED lights, controls and sensors.

More information about the new facility is available here.

Kids and Adults Can Invent the Future at FutureFest on Sunday, Sept. 15

Kids can spark their imaginations and families can celebrate their collective power to invent the future from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15. This free family event takes place at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at Veterans Plaza.

FutureFest features hands-on activities that build skills, in addition to innovative and immersive cultural exhibits designed to inspire kids and adults alike.

More information, including a full schedule is available on the website.

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and it is a good time for you and your loved ones to prepare for an emergency. Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) joins with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in promoting this year’s national preparedness campaign themed "Prepared, Not Scared."

OEMHS is providing and supporting dozens of events throughout the month to help residents with emergency planning. The 2019 national preparedness campaign has four unique themes:
  • Sept. 1 - 7: Save Early for Disaster Costs
  • Sept. 8 - 14: Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
  • Sept. 15 - 21: Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
  • Sept. 22 – 30: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness
The Montgomery County Business Connect program will present a workshop titled, “When Disaster Strikes – A Guide to Preparing Businesses”. This free workshop led by OEMHS experts will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Upcounty Regional Services Center located at 12900 Middlebrook Road Germantown.

Small businesses are especially vulnerable to disaster with 43 percent of businesses impacted by a disaster never reopening and 29 percent closing permanently within two years of a disaster. The class will help ensure you are prepared to react and recover when the unexpected happens.

Many Single-Use Plastic Drink Cups Surprisingly Cannot Be Recycled

Football season and endless fall events often lead to many types of parties. However, those who are environmentally conscious and intend to recycle single-use plastic drink cups made from polystyrene (often blue or red) should be aware that those cups are not recyclable in many jurisdictions, including Montgomery County.

In fact, placing cups in recycling bins that have No. 6 recycling symbols on the bottom cause interruptions in the recycling process because—like other items designated as unacceptable for Montgomery County recycling—they must be manually separated from recyclable items.

Montgomery has become a national leader in recycling. The County has improved its waste reduction and recycling rate to more than 60 percent of all solid waste generated. However, some items that can appear suitable for recycling should instead be placed in the trash.

The plastics industry has a voluntary system in which plastics are categorized into seven categories by Resin Identification Codes (RIC). They are classified by numbers 1 through 7. In Montgomery County and many other jurisdictions, No. 6 plastics cannot be recycled. The RIC numbers of many plastic items, including most cups, can be found on the bottom of the items.

Many cups that are red and blue on the outside and white on the inside are made of polystyrene or No. 6 plastic and cannot be recycled. In addition, some other single-use cups are made of No. 6 plastic and cannot be recycled.

DEP Director Adam Ortiz urges residents to use recyclable alternatives, such as cups made of No. 1 or No. 5 plastics—or made of recyclable paper in this video.

More information about the Montgomery County recycling program can be found on the DEP website.

Rebuilt Gold Mine Road Bridge in Brookeville Dedicated

Commuters in Brookeville now have a new bridge on Gold Mine Road over the Hawlings River. The new bridge expands traffic flow from one to two lanes and improves pedestrian and bicycle safety by including an eight-foot wide shared path. The new design alleviates conditions that led to bridge flooding several times a year following heavy rains.

The $3.5 million bridge project, which was supported by funds from the Federal Highway Administration and Montgomery County, was finished on schedule by the Department of Transportation—in time to allow for school buses to pass through the neighborhood for the opening of the 2019-20 school year. The construction on Gold Mine Road—which provides a connection from Georgia Ave. (Route 97) north of Olney to New Hampshire Ave. (Route 650)—required the closure of the road at the bridge location since October 2018.

Read more about the new bridge here.

Friendship Picnic Returns to Wheaton Regional Park on Sunday, Sept. 22

The Friendship Picnic brings people of diverse cultures and faiths together to make new friends and discuss ways to build a better community. The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22, at Wheaton Regional Park, located at 2000 Shorefield Road.

The free picnic will include traditional, Kosher, Halal or vegetarian lunch options. A wide-range of activities for children and adults will include music, dancing, moon bounce, face painting, train rides and much more.  

Registration is strongly encouraged for this free event. More information and registration is available here

Take the 4Business Climate Survey

Do you have an opinion about doing business in or with Montgomery County? Share it!

Montgomery County has launched a new survey, the 4Business Climate Survey, as part of its 4Business: Benchmarking to Be the Best for Business initiative. This is the next step in gathering information to evaluate Montgomery County’s business environment. Responses will help inform the County about actions it can take to encourage businesses to locate, expand and thrive here.  Survey responses will also be used to enhance business and County relations. 

The 4Business Climate Survey includes four sections: general background about businesses; feedback on the business environment in the County; experience with the County procurement requirements; and ease of access to government. There are 55 questions and the survey takes about 20 minutes to complete. The survey was developed with support and input from focus sessions with the business community.

Business owners and residents can find the 4Business Climate Survey by visiting the County’s 4Business website.  The survey will be available on the County’s website through Sept. 30.

Montgomery Parks Reports Elevated Microcystin Levels at Lake Needwood; Visitors Asked to Use Caution

Lake Needwood
Montgomery Parks officials advise residents to use caution when recreating on or near Lake Needwood and Lake Frank located within Rock Creek Regional Park. Testing indicates elevated levels of microcystin, a toxic substance produced by some species of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), in Lake Needwood. Signs have been posted along the lakes and trails to alert visitors of the elevated microcystin levels.

Microcystin, a hepatotoxin, can cause harm to the liver of humans and pets if ingested. Of particular concern are dogs that are off-leash and may swim and/or drink from the lake, despite park regulations.

Montgomery Parks urges visitors to take the following precautions:
  • Avoid direct contact with water while boating or fishing.
  • Swimming is prohibited in lakes at all times.
  • Keep dogs on leash (as is regularly required at the park) and do not allow them to drink or be in contact with the water.
  • Wash hands thoroughly prior to eating, drinking, or smoking if coming in contact with the water.
  • Only eat properly cooked muscle meat of fish that are caught in the lake.
Recreational activities including boating and fishing will remain open at the lake.

For updates, or more information, visit the Montgomery Parks website.

Learn About 'Thrive Montgomery 2050' at Upcoming Events Around Montgomery County

Staff from the Montgomery County Planning Department will promote “Thrive Montgomery 2050” at several upcoming events in September and October. The objective is to get feedback to update Montgomery County’s General Plan for the future.

Through "Thrive Montgomery 2050", Montgomery Planning is asking for the community’s help to ensure that, over the next 30 years, the County can be a vibrant, welcoming and economically healthy place where all can thrive.  Montgomery County’s existing General Plan was last comprehensively updated in the 1960s.

More information about the events, visit the Thrive Montgomery 2050 website.

Dogs Rule the Pool at Montgomery County Recreation’s Annual Pool Pooch Party

Montgomery County Recreation welcomed dogs to the pool for their end-of-the season annual Pool Pooch Party for a weekend of romping, jumping and splashing. The annual event, held the weekend after Labor Day, give dogs the chance to make a final splash before the pools are cleaned and closed for the outdoor swim season.

Enjoy this photo mix of the tail-wagging fun.

Photo credit: Jenny Dover, Montgomery County Recreation