Wednesday, November 25, 2009

H1N1 Clinic for Young Children

I know everyone is really thinking about turkey, but I wanted to take a moment to alert you to another upcoming H1N1 clinic. I've pasted the press release below. Happy Thanksgiving.

County to Hold Upcoming H1N1 Clinic for Very Young Children; Limited Doses Available by Appointment Only for Clinic on Wednesday, December 2
Mass Vaccination Clinic Planned for Sunday, December 20

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services will offer an H1N1 clinic for very young children, ages six months to 35 months, by appointment only on Wednesday, December 2. Both nasal spray and injectable vaccine will be available, and vaccinations are free. The location of the clinic will be given when appointments are made. Appointments can be made on Monday, November 30 between 3 and 4 p.m. by calling 240-777-4040. Callers will be asked for name, phone number and doctor’s name when making an appointment.

Montgomery County, in cooperation with Montgomery College, will also hold a vaccination clinic on Sunday, December 20 at Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clinic will target those individuals in the high risk groups, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:Children and young adults ages six months to 24 years; Pregnant women; Adults 25 to 64 years with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS or cancer; Adults who are caretakers of infants younger than six months of age, and Health care and emergency medical services workers.

Both nasal spray and injectable vaccine will be available. Vaccinations are free. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be 5,000 doses available. The clinic will be located in the Physical Education Center ( for directions) located on the North Campus Drive side of the Rockville Campus. Residents are encouraged to dress warmly and bring a chair, snack and activities for children, as the waiting line will be partially outdoors.Check Montgomery County’s website,, for up-to-date information about vaccine availability and sign up for email updates about H1N1 by clicking on the “Public Health Alerts” icon. The Flu

Information Line # 240-777-4200 is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another H1N1 Vaccination Opportunity

This one is different from the one I posted on Wednesday. The clinic is Sunday, so don't wait to read the details below.

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will hold an H1N1 vaccination clinic on Sunday, Nov. 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clinic is limited only to the following target groups: Children ages 6 months to 24 years; Pregnant women; Parents/Caregivers of children less than 6 months of age; adults 25 to 64 with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease; and Health care workers and emergency medical service workers. The clinic is located at the Physical Education Building, Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville, MD 20850. Vaccine is available on a walk in basis to the first 5000 individuals listed above. You should dress appropriately for the weather as waiting will be outdoors. Families can assign one person to wait in line, while others wait in the car.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

County Thanksgiving Schedule

Here's the County's schedule for Thanksgiving Day(Thursday, November 26):
County Offices -- closed
Libraries -- closed
County liquor stores – closed
Ride On – Sunday schedule
Metrobus – Sunday schedule
Metrorail – Sunday schedule
Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
Refuse/recycling pick-up – no collection*
Transfer Station – closed
MCPS Administrative Offices – closed
State offices & courts – closed

*collection provided one day later for remainder of week (last collection day is Saturday)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

H1N1 Shots for Adults with Chronic Illness

If you are an adult 18 to 64 years old who has a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS or cancer, you can get your H1N1 shot on Tuesday, November 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. You must make an appointment. Call 240-777-4040 on Monday, November 23 between 3 and 4 p.m. Call takers will ask you for your name, phone number and your doctor’s name, and they will provide you with the location of the clinic.

You can get more information at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services website. The Flu Information Line is 240-777-4200.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Views on the Proposed ICC Tolls

They are too high! We urge changes to the proposed toll structure for the Intercounty Connector in order to achieve its primary purpose--relieving congestion on nearby local streets. Today, my colleagues unanimously supported the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee’s three recommendations.

First, we believe the tolls should be lower than the proposed range of $0.25 to $0.35 per mile for peak periods and $0.20 to $0.30 per mile for off peak periods. We also think that phasing in the rates, rather than implementing the full toll once the first segment opens, will encourage drivers to start using the highway right away, and will help ease the pain.

Second, we encourage the State to offer a discount pass for frequent users, as is the case with other toll facilities in Maryland. Again, making the ICC a truly viable option for commuters and other heavy users is our best bet for congestion relief on our arterial roads.

Finally, we request that tolls be set so that exiting the highway at Georgia Avenue or Layhill Road will cost the same amount. This will discourage through-traffic in Longmead Crossing.

Representatives from the SHA attended today’s Council meeting and heard our recommendations. We will follow up with a formal letter to the SHA stressing our desire to make maximum use of the ICC and our recommendations for making that happen.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Appearing at the Literary Luncheon Series

When I got married 35 years ago, I never imagined that my husband, David Stewart, and I would appear together to discuss our lives as an author, an elected official and a couple. But that’s just what we're going to do at the Friends of the Library's Literary Luncheon Series on November 19 at the Mansion at Strathmore.

David, a constitutional lawyer turned author, has published two books and is working on a third. The Summer of 1787 traces the struggle at the Philadelphia Convention to create the world's first constitutional democracy, while Impeached explores the fiery story of the first presidential impeachment in 1868. What's he working on now? Come to the lecture to find out.

David says of our life together, “It probably helps that we fell in love long before she became a politician and I started writing books.” Maybe he's right, but I like to think our demanding careers give us some really interesting things to talk about at the dinner table. To register for the lecture, luncheon and book signing, visit the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How to Keep Seniors Safe

Seniors already have enough to worry about. Health, finances, and grandchildren are just a few. Our seniors shouldn’t have to worry about being the victim of a scam. Recently, the Montgomery County Police documented a number of scams targeting seniors. These types of crimes against seniors occur more often in elevators of buildings housing medical offices and grocery stores, but can happen anywhere and do not discriminate on whether the victim is male or female.

Usually, but not always, scammers will work with an accomplice to distract the victim by asking for help, or physically bumping into the victim while the other pickpockets the victim’s wallet or purse. In grocery stores, the victims are predominately female, but the scam works the same way. For instance, someone posing as a shopper may ask you to help read a label because they are allergic to peanuts. While you’re distracted by reading the label, the scammer has swiped your wallet or even the whole purse. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to keep you and your family safe:

Men should carry wallets inside a coat or in a front pocket, not the back pocket. Wrapping a couple heavy rubber bands around it will make it more difficult for a pickpocket to extract.

Watch out for jostling and physical and/or verbal distractions that may be staged.

If you’re aware that you’ve been targeted, don’t be afraid to yell out or call for help!

Women shouldn’t leave their purses in a shopping cart. Always carry your purse with you and make sure it is buckled or clasped.

Set up fraud protection with your credit card companies so they can alert you of suspicious usage if a theft occurs.

Make copies of both sides of your cards and keep them in a safe place at home so you have the information available if they are stolen.

If you are a victim of a scam, call 911 immediately!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What’s the Story with the Lights?

Unbelievable. I’ve scheduled a committee meeting on the morning (9:30) of December 6 to look at the causes, impacts and lessons learned regarding last week’s failure of the central computer responsible for the timing of more than 700 traffic signals. Very few of us avoided the frustration of being stuck in the mess created by off-peak signal timing.

The Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee wants to know how a new $35 million upgrade will affect reliability in the future. Can we accelerate the project, and in this economy, how can we pay for the quicker pace of implementation? We’ll also look into whether the County’s response, including the free Ride On bus service and the frequency of public updates, was adequate to the problem.
Join us for the briefing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Volunteering at the Ear

Have you heard about the Metropolitan Washington Ear? I recently volunteered to read aloud for the non-profit’s dial-in service that enables visually and physically disabled individuals to “read” (hear) the morning paper.

The Ear’s free services strive to substitute hearing for seeing, improving the lives of people with limited or no vision by allowing them to be well-informed, fully productive members of their families, their communities and the working world. In addition to the dial-in service, the organization offers radio reading and web-cast, audio description, tactile large print atlases and look-up service.

I wasn’t sure what some of these services entailed until I volunteered. I enjoyed my time at the Ear, and I encourage you to pass the information along to anyone you know who could use the services. Better yet, volunteer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Support for the Equal Benefits Bill

Yesterday, I was proud to stand with a majority of my colleagues in support of Councilmember Navarro’s Bill that will extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners of County contractors and subcontractors. Montgomery County has a longstanding practice of extending equal benefits to same-sex partners of County employees, and it’s only right that the partners of those who work for us get the same rights too. The benefits extended include bereavement leave, family medical leave, sick leave, health benefits, dental benefits, disability insurance, life insurance and retirement benefits.

Montgomery County is made up of so many different types of families, including same-sex couples and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals. It’s our diversity that makes this County so great. Unfortunately, LGBT Marylanders are too often left behind. My colleagues and I stood together yesterday to show our support for full equality under the law for all people, including our LGBT friends and neighbors. This Bill is good for the individual, but it is even better for working families struggling through these tough times. I hope that in the future we can all work together so that every Marylander will enjoy the same equal rights. A public hearing for Bill 37-09 is scheduled for December 1, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.