Thursday, August 29, 2013

Holiday Schedule for Labor Day

Here's our holiday schedule for Labor Day on Monday, September 2:

County Offices – closed

Libraries – closed

County liquor stores – all retail stores open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Recreation – outdoor aquatic facilities will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Olney Indoor Swim Center and Martin Luther King Jr. Indoor Swim Center will be open normal hours, all other indoor aquatic facilities will be closed. Administrative offices, senior centers and community centers are closed.

Montgomery Parks – for holiday operating schedule on Parks’ facilities, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit

Ride On – Sunday schedule

Metrobus – Sunday schedule

Metrorail – Sunday schedule

TRiPS Commuter Stores (Silver Spring and Friendship Heights) – closed

Refuse/recycling pickup – no collection*

Transfer Station – closed

Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free

MCPS Administrative Offices – closed

State offices & courts – closed

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

Silver Spring GreenFest October 5

Mark your calendar for the second annual Silver Spring GreenFest on Saturday, October 5, 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. at Veteran's Plaza and the Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring. GreenFest is a fun-filled day for the whole family, featuring environmentally themed vendors, non-profits, speakers, activities, games and educational opportunities.

Building on last year’s success, this year’s festival will feature a full day of educational lectures and panel discussions by national and local environmental leaders.  It will also include a showcase of green businesses, solutions to environmental challenges, and games for all ages.  For a full listing of the day’s activities, visit the Silver Spring GreenFest Web site.

Come shop, play and learn about local green issues and actions you can take to make Montgomery County a national sustainability leader.

Labor Day Weekend Activities in the Parks

Looking for fun and educational activities the whole family will enjoy this Labor Day weekend? Try these free and low-cost events offered by Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission:

Friday, August 30, 2013:

Campfire and Nature Walk at Locust Grove Nature Center, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Bring your own hot dogs and buns for a picnic by the fire, and parks staff will provide fixings for s’mores afterwards. Then take a nature walk under the stars. Registration is $6 (Course #237855).

Saturday, August 31, 2013:

Underground Railroad Free Guided Hike at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Join talented volunteer conductors on a simulated Underground Railroad Experience hike along a two mile trail. You’ll learn about various techniques freedom seekers used to elude trackers, find food and navigate their way north to freedom.

The annual Monarch Fiesta Day at Black Hill Regional Park,10 a.m. – 3 p.m. A free celebration of the Monarch butterfly and its amazing annual migration to Mexico, featuring Monarch tagging and release, tours of the Monarch Waystation, an insect hunt, Monarch movies and more.

Sunday, September 1, 2013:

Can You Canoe at Black Hill Regional Park at 9 a.m. Spend two hours with an expert instructor learning various ways to use a canoe. Canoes, paddles and vests are all provided with registration fee of $16. Register for Course #245960.

Kingsley Schoolhouse Free Guided Tour at Little Bennett Regional Park, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Take a free tour of this one-room 1893 schoolhouse and learn from trained docents what it was like to attend school in the 1920s.  Visit History in the Parks for more information.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcome Stephen Brimer

I am pleased to welcome Stephen Brimer to my team as a Legislative Senior Aide. Stephen is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and will be handling scheduling issues, providing constituent services and answering the phones. Stephen previously worked for a legislative monitoring firm in Virginia and on several political campaigns in various capacities. A self-described "political junkie" originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Stephen also enjoys reading history and playing soccer. Stephen is currently training to run his first marathon in Rhode island later this year. Say hello the next time you call or come by the office.

New Farmer Pilot Program

Check out these new farmers getting started in Montgomery County with a little help from their friends. With 100,000 acres of farmland in the county, we can really benefit from this new farmer pilot program that provides land matching and mentoring to those who want to get growing.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Apply Now to MCPD's Citizen Academy

The Montgomery County Police Department is currently accepting applications for future sessions of the Citizen Academy. The program is free, but participants must be 18 years of age or older and either live or work in Montgomery County.

Participants who are selected for the program are required to attend 14 of the 18 classes to be eligible for graduation. Some of the topics covered include: firearm safety, Maryland traffic law, investigating major crimes, drug identification, scams and fraud, prostitution, forensics/crime lab, physical/sexual child abuse, a canine demonstration, DUI/underage drinking, and the procedures of the Emergency Response Team. Academy members also have the option of touring the Montgomery County Detention Center and participating in a ride-along with a police officer.

The first Citizen Academy was held in January of 1994. It was developed as an extension of the Department’s community policing efforts. Community members who went through the program came out with a greater awareness of the functions of the police department, the various roles of police officers, and a better understanding of why and how officers do their jobs.

Each year two sessions (spring and fall) of the Citizen Academy are held at the Public Safety Training Academy located at 9710 Great Seneca Highway in Rockville. Classes are offered on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for 18 consecutive weeks.

The 2013 fall session of the Citizen Academy is scheduled to begin in September.  Applications from those wishing to enroll in the fall session must be received by August 23. Once the fall session is full, all other applications will be held for potential enrollment in future Citizen Academy classes. The 2014 spring session of the Citizen Academy will begin in March. To learn more about the Citizen Academy or to download an application, please visit the Citizen’s Academy page.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Local Bioscience Research in the News

An investigational malaria vaccine has been found to be safe, to generate an immune system response, and to offer protection against malaria infection in healthy adults, according to the results of an early stage clinical trial. Learn more about this very exciting work going on right here in Montgomery County and being reported on by CNN.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week

From the Maryland Comptroller: The second Sunday of August to the following Saturday is designated as Shop Maryland tax-free Week each year. That means qualifying apparel and footwear $100 or less, per item, are exempt from the state sales tax. Accessory items are not included. The tax-free week for 2013 will occur Sunday, August 11, through Saturday, August 17.

Monday, August 5, 2013

How Does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect You?

Curious about how the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect you? Check out any one of a series of community forums sponsored by the Montgomery County Regional Service Centers and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services in August and September.

The forums will address the impact of the ACA on residents ages 18 to 64 and will give you a chance to learn more about the insurance coverage and potential assistance available through Maryland Health Connection.

The forums are scheduled for:

Monday, August 19
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Silver Spring Civic Building
One Veterans Plaza
Silver Spring

Wednesday, August 21
7 to 8:30 p.m.
East County Regional Center
3300 Briggs Chaney Road
Silver Spring

Thursday, August 22
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Upcounty Regional Center
12900 Middlebrook Road

Tuesday, September 3
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mid-County Community Recreation Center
2004 Queensguard Road
Silver Spring

Thursday, September 5 -- rescheduled to September 12
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane

A brief presentation will be provided outlining the key components of the ACA, as well as how you can prepare for enrollment beginning October 1, 2013. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Registration is not required.