Friday, September 28, 2012

Town Hall Meeting for Students

This year we will hold the always-popular Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting will be held in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room beginning at 7 p.m. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria. RSVP by calling 240-777-7931.

The October meeting is open to high school, middle school and elementary school public and private students from around the county. The meeting will allow the participants to let Councilmembers know how they feel about specific issues and also will provide the opportunity to ask questions of us in an organized, but informal, setting.

We will, for the first time, use Twitter to bring more young people into the discussion. Some questions will be taken during the Town Hall Meeting using the hashtag #mocoyouth, and students tweeting about the event are encouraged to use the hashtag, as well.

The event will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery (CCM—cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and rebroadcast at various times in the weeks following the meeting. Susan Kenedy, a producer for the County station, will moderate the meeting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Register to Vote by October 16

If you want to vote in the 2012 Presidential General Election you must register by 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16. Get your application by calling 240-777-VOTE or by visiting a county library, regional services center, any office of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Motor Vehicle Administration, or any U.S. Post Office. You can also download the application at or register in person at the Board of Elections.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apply Now to Discovery Impact: Creating Change

Non-profits, get your creative juices flowing for the 3rd annual Discovery Impact: Creating Change initiative being held on November 15th. Based on an application process, selected nonprofit organizations will be matched with teams of Discovery employees who--during a 12 hour creative marathon--will donate marketing, communications, creative and business services to you. In addition, all applicants (even if not selected for the project session) will be invited to attend a conference covering a range of similar topics. Get your application in by Tuesday, September 25 (extended from the original date of September 21).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

See Video of World War II Veterans Event

I was so impressed with yesterday’s Montgomery Honors World War II Veterans, emceed by Ted Koppel. More than 150 local veterans attended the event, and many shared fascinating stories about their experience. If you couldn't catch the tribute live yesterday, you can see the video on CCM’s website.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Start Warming up Your Business Pitch Now

Make a four-minute pitch about your business and meet with venture capitalists, angel investors and other leaders of the innovation economy at the Pitch Across Maryland Competition. Videos of the pitches will be uploaded to a social networking wesite and available for public voting on the best pitch in one of many categories. The eight companies with the highest score become the Great 8 and qualify for a month of coaching in preparation of a live pitch event.

The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development is partnering with Startup Maryland, a regional initiative of the Startup America Partnership, which initiated this state-wide startup tour and business pitch competition with a two-week bus tour across the state. The bus tour culminates in an afternoon celebration of entrepreneurship at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Catch the bus in Montgomery County:

~ Monday, September 24, 12:30-4:00 at the Bethesda Green Incubator
~ Tuesday, September 25, 9:30-11:30 at the William E. Hanna, Jr., Business Innovation Center at Shady Grove
~ Friday, September 28, 9:00-11:30 at the Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference—Montgomery County Conference Center

Friday, September 14, 2012

More Than 150 WWII Vets to be Honored Wednesday

Boris Osheroff graduated with honors in chemistry from St. John’s Pharmacy School. When he entered the U.S. Army in 1943, he did not understand why a screening left him assigned to a group in New York City that hardly seemed like a military mission. It turned out he was selected to work on the Manhattan Project, and for much of the war, he was part of the team that developed the first atom bomb.

Mr. Osheroff, who is 90 and has lived in Silver Spring since 1956, will be among more than 150 Montgomery County-area World War II veterans who will be honored at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Silver Spring Civic Building at Montgomery County Honors World War II Veterans. The event is believed to be the biggest Washington area tribute to World War II veterans since the opening of the National World War II Memorial opened in Washington, D.C., in 2004.

Ted Koppel, who for 25 years hosted the ABC News show Nightline, will be the event’s host and one of the speakers. The event will be simulcast live on many of the County’s public cable television channels that compose the PEG (Public, Education, Government) Network, including County Cable Montgomery, Montgomery Community Media, Montgomery College Television, Montgomery County Public Schools TV and Rockville 11.

Among those who will be attending is Alyce Dixon, who turned 105 on Sept. 11. The still active Ms. Dixon was one of the first employees at the Pentagon from 1940-43, working as a civilian. She entered the Army in 1943 and became one of the first women to join the military as a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).

Also attending will be George Boggess, 100, who served in Europe with General George Patton’s Third Army. He was in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded. Among his military awards were the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. His post-war life included serving with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on three Civil Rights campaigns, including the famed march from Selma to Montgomery.

World War II veterans who have committed to attend the event have been involved in some of the best known aspects of the war, including the D-Day invasion of Normandy, the Battle of Bulge, the Battle for the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine River, the Battle for Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Coral Sea. One veteran served on a destroyer that sank more enemy submarines than any other. Veterans who served in segregated units of all black soldiers and all Japanese-American soldiers also will be attending, as will veterans who played key roles in military intelligence and counter intelligence.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Zoning Code Rewrite Now Being Reviewed

The Planning Board is now reviewing the consolidated draft of the Zoning Code rewrite which was released in July. This draft reflects comments received from the Zoning Advisory Panel, county agency representatives and other stakeholders.

The Planning Board will review the draft by topic over the course of the next several months. It will hear public testimony during four separate public sessions, and written testimony is also encouraged.

The zoning code was last comprehensively rewritten in 1997. You can download the draft and view the schedule of upcoming meetings at the Montgomery Planning website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

White House Wants Our Perspective on Job Growth

We need all hands on deck to move our economic development agenda forward. Federal, state and local governments must work together, and I’m glad to have been invited to be a part of these important conversations at the White House on September 19 as a representative for the National Association of Counties.

The special, invitation-only forum titled “Building Blocks for Economic Development and Job Growth” will focus on the role of the public sector in making strategic investments to support private sector job creation and economic opportunity. The goal of the event is to bring together senior White House and agency officials with regional development organization leaders and county officials to highlight noteworthy practices across the nation.

The event will include updates from senior administration officials and group discussions about specific topics and lessons learned. It will also showcase local communities that are partnering with federal and state officials, plus the philanthropic and private sectors, to make the investments needed for the future.

I will share details about the critical role Montgomery and other counties play in economic development and job creation with senior White House and agency officials.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will attend the event, along with representatives from the White House Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Civil War App for Montgomery

I love Heritage Montgomery’s new smartphone app: A Civil War Tour of Montgomery County, Maryland. This free smartphone app, available for both Android and iPhone, allows you to stream or download historic tours of Civil War sites throughout Montgomery County.

As the Civil War unfolded across our nation in the 1860s, the residents of Montgomery County lived in a war zone. Strategically located next to the District of Columbia and across the Potomac River from Virginia, Montgomery County and the State of Maryland were of vital importance to the security of our nation’s capital. Thousands of soldiers from both sides passed through the area; spying and smuggling made trusting your neighbor difficult; staples grew scarce as the war progressed; and the sound of cannon fire from across the Potomac River in Virginia created a tension felt by all. Martial law was imposed throughout Maryland, a slave-holding state until November 1, 1864.

The Heritage Montgomery Civil War Tour app takes you to a wide variety of unique historic locations and tells the story of local life in the 1860s. Interactive GPS maps that include your current location and all points of interest on the tours allow for easy navigation. The full-color video and slideshows and compelling narrative share the history of the sites you are seeing. Contact information including websites and phone numbers for each location delivers all the information you need for each tour stop.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Council Back in Session Next Week

The Council will be back in session next week. If you would like to follow along, you can find our full council and committee agendas on our website. For background material, click on packets and meeting summaries. To sign up to speak at a public hearing, call 240-777-7803.