The county's delegation to the state legislature is holding a public hearing tonight on state bill HB 104 (similar to county delegation bill MC 24-15), which would allow the County to set up an independent transit authority (ITA). If the bill gets passed, the County Council then would have to enact its own legislation it it wanted to create the ITA. The Council has not taken a position on the state bill. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the County Council Third Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. You can watch the hearing live on County Cable Montgomery.
Friday, January 30, 2015
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Less than a year after being named a CNN Hero, A Wider Circle founder Mark Bergel has been named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine—one of nine leaders selected for their good works and generous contributions to the Washington area. Founded in 2001, A Wider Circle aims to end poverty one individual and one family at a time through the provision of furniture and household items, job preparedness training, life skills workshops, and long-term support. The Silver Spring-based non-profit provides beds and other furniture for the homes of more than 4,000 families a year with the average income of those families being $12,000 per year, including all forms of assistance. You may remember Mark and A Wider Circle from the award-winning documentary The Unseen Montgomery, which highlighted the hidden poverty in Montgomery County.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Tune in at 2:15 p.m. today for the Council's semi-annual meeting with the Montgomery Business Development Corporation. The board advises the County Executive and the Council on economic development and related matters. Robert Brewer, chair of MBDC's Board of Directors, and Holly Sears Sullivan, MBDC's president, will present an update on MBDC's current efforts related to business retention; marketing and communications; data and research; and career pathways. Don't worry if you can't catch the meeting live; you'll be able to get it on demand starting 24 hours after the meeting.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Kudos to the countywide student newspaper, MoCo Student, for the great article on my bill to regulate the use of electronic cigarettes. Since the bill focuses largely on the use of e-cigarettes by minors, I'm glad to see student reporter, Isabelle Zhou, giving the subject this coverage. Ms. Zhou does a great job not only of getting the facts straight but also of including a youth perspective, noting "because e-cigarettes release vapor instead of smoke and leave no smell, it is easier for kids to conceal their use of these products from parents or guardians." Ms. Zhou also accurately reports that there is a public hearing on the bill on January 22. To testify, call 240-777-7803, and yes, we welcome testimony from students.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Here's our holiday schedule for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, January 19:
- County Offices – closed
- Libraries – closed
- County liquor stores – closed
- Recreation – aquatics programs and facilities open; all other classes and programs canceled; Administrative office, senior centers and community centers closed
- Montgomery Parks -- all Parks facilities are open. For operating schedules, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org.
- Ride On – Modified holiday schedule
- Metrobus – Saturday supplemental service
- Metrorail – Saturday holiday 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 and courts – closed
Do you want to watch tonight's public hearing by the Maryland Public Service Commission on the proposed merger of Pepco Holdings and Chicago-based Exelon Corporation but don't want to go out in the cold? Good news. County Cable Montgomery will televise the hearing live starting at 6 p.m.
In April 2014, Chicago-based Exelon Corp., which owns Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., proposed a $6.8 billion merger with Pepco Holdings, which owns three electric and gas utilities (Pepco, Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power). Pepco serves customers in parts of Maryland in the District of Columbia.
The merger was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in November, by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in October and by Pepco shareholders in September. However, the proposal still requires approval by the U.S. Department of Justice and public service commissions in Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia and New Jersey.
The Maryland Public Service Commission can eventually approve the proposed merger, reject it or impose conditions.
The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by both companies' boards of directors.
If you plan to attend in person and would like to speak, you can sign up in the lobby of the Council Office Building prior to the hearing.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Did you receive a Golden Shovel award from me, or did you nominate someone who did? If so, join me, along with County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Sidney Katz for a press event promoting the Safe Sidewalks campaign on Monday, January 5, at 10 a.m. on the front steps of the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. The Safe Sidewalks campaign is designed to remind residents they are required by law to clear sidewalks in front of, and alongside, their properties within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. The campaign also asks residents to check up on older adults and vulnerable people who may live nearby and especially those who live alone. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.