Thursday, August 28, 2014

Labor Day Activities

Opportunities abound this Labor Day, according to Visit Montgomery. Here are their highlights. Also, check my blog for Montgomery County's holiday schedule.

Town of Brookeville
U.S. Capital for a Day
August 30, 10:00-7:00
Sunday, August 31, 12:00-6:00

Join the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 as Brookeville commemorates U.S. Capital for a Day. The Town of Brookeville will recreate the life and spirit of August 1814 with living historians playing the roles of local scientists, engineers, teachers, tradesmen and craftspeople. Costumed volunteers and horses will re-enact the extraordinary events, including the arrival of President Madison guarded by 20 mounted militiamen.

Labor Day Art Show at Glen Echo Park
August 30-September 1, 12:00-6:00

Visit the Labor Day Art Show in the Spanish Ballroom Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The exhibition will feature the work of more than 250 artists from the mid-Atlantic region. The show will include works in a wide range of artistic media, such as sculpture, painting and drawing, ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber arts, photography, furniture and works on paper. Also check out the Irish Music and Dance Showcase in the Bumper Car Pavilion Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1 from 1:00 to 5:00 each day.

Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade
September 1, 1:00

The City of Gaithersburg celebrates the unofficial end of summer with its annual Labor Day Parade. Participants in this year's parade include an assortment of fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, clowns and more. This year's parade is dedicated to the law enforcement community in honor and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Gaithersburg Police Department.

Kensington Labor Day Parade
September 1, 10:00-3:00

Celebrate Labor Day with a parade and festival. The Kensington Parade begins at St. Paul's St. and Plyers Mill. The festival is located along Howard and Armory Avenues. Enjoy a day of family entertainment with a parade, live music, arts and crafts, food and kids activities.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Holiday Schedule for Labor Day

Here's the holiday schedule for Labor Day on Monday, September 1:

  • County Offices – closed
  • Libraries – closed
  • County liquor 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 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 operating schedules, 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).

Friday, August 22, 2014

County's Message for a Safe School Year

Montgomery County Public Schools will be back in session on Monday, August 25, and now is the time to review some important back-to-school safety tips.

On January 2, 2014, Montgomery County began implementation of an automated school bus camera enforcement program. Every driver should know that when approaching a stopped school bus with activated stop sign and flashing red lights, Maryland law requires that all traffic from both directions must stop and remain stopped until the stop sign and lights are de-activated. That includes when driving on a two-lane roadway, a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane and a four-lane roadway without a median separation. The only exception is for a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation. The lanes of traffic separated by the median and going in the opposite direction from the bus do not have to stop. Traffic going in the same direction of the bus, does of course, have to stop.

The automated school bus camera enforcement program continues to expand and is designed to allow the cameras to be moved throughout the county as needed. These violations are reviewed by the police department’s Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit (ATEU) and citations are mailed to the registered owner. The fine from the automated enforcement is $125.00. No points are associated with a citation issued through this program. If a driver is stopped by a police officer for passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights, the fine is $570 and 3 points.

Montgomery County Police remind drivers that it is very important to obey the posted speed limit and pay close attention to their surroundings at all times.

Safety Tips for Parents, Motorists, and Children

  • Expect delays near schools.  Know your route, start early, and drive the posted speed limit.
  • Motorists not involved in dropping off or picking up students should consider adjusting their route or schedule in order to avoid arrival and dismissal traffic in front of schools.
  • Park only in lawful areas. Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk is against the law and can obstruct visibility for both pedestrians and motorists.
  • Unload school children onto the sidewalk or the right side of the vehicle.  Unloading school children into a traffic lane could put a child in harm’s way.
  • Always obey the directions given by an adult school crossing guard and a student safety patrol.
  • Instruct children to remain alert and look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
  • Students should walk on a sidewalk if available or if one is not available, walk facing the traffic
  • Pedestrians should not use cell phones to talk or text or wear headphones when crossing the street.
  • Students riding bikes to school must follow all traffic rules and signs, i.e. stop signs and traffic lights.
  • Ride on the right side of the road and come to a compete stop before crossing a street.
  • By law, all children under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet (positioned level on the head to cover the forehead) when riding or being carried on a bicycle while riding on a public street, right-of-way, or on a bicycle path.
  • The start of school is also a good time to remind children of basic safe practices.  Children should not speak to strangers and, once they are home, they should not open or answer a knock at the door if an adult is not present without first determining who is there. Children should have a list of parents’, neighbors’, and/or relatives’ phone numbers that they can call for assistance. Children should also know when it is appropriate to call 9-1-1 and 301-279-8000, the police non-emergency number.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

School Bus Safety

Everyone knows you have to stop behind a school bus with its lights flashing. But do you have to stop if you approach the bus from the front? What if there is a median strip? And what's the fine for those who fail to stop? Get the answers to these questions as well as school bus safety tips in this new public service announcement from County Cable Montgomery. As the video reminds us, kids can be unpredictable, so we have to be extra cautious.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Apply Now to Police 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 2014 fall session of the Citizen Academy is scheduled to begin on September 16 and run through February 3. Applications from those wishing to enroll in the fall session must be received by August 15.  Once the fall session is full, all other applications will be held for potential enrollment in future Citizen Academy classes.  The 2015 spring session of the Citizen Academy will begin in March. To learn more about the Citizen Academy or to download an application, please visit our Citizen’s Academy page.