Friday, February 27, 2015

Local Civil Rights Leaders in Black History Month Tribute

Six long-time residents of Montgomery County, each of whom played a key role in civil rights changes that impacted the County, told their personal stories as they were honored by the Council as part of Tuesday's Black History Month commemoration event. See the terrific video of these residents talking about Montgomery County history as they lived it. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

No Boundaries with Chris Van Hollen

Congressman Chris Van Hollen and I sat down at Black's Market Bistro in Garrett Park to tape the most recent episode of No Boundaries, an innovative program by County Cable Montgomery that's designed to cross jurisdictions and seek common ground. No Boundaries features local leaders in an open exchange of perspectives, concerns and ideas. The congressman and I talked about our families, our early careers and the people who influenced us along the way. See the program.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Town Hall Meeting for Faith Community Postponed

The Montgomery County Council’s planned special Town Hall Meeting for leaders of the County’s faith community scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26, has been postponed. A date to reschedule the meeting has not yet been determined.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Letter to The Gazette about Regulating Electronic Cigarettes

Check out my letter in today's Gazette explaining why we must regulate the use of electronic cigarettes in Montgomery County. For your convenience, I have reprinted it below:

It is hard to keep up with the mounting evidence that electronic cigarettes pose more risks than their marketers would like us to believe, especially for children and teens.

Although electronic cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, they do contain nicotine and other dangerous chemicals. That’s why I introduced a bill in the Montgomery County Council to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in public spaces where traditional cigarette smoking is banned, including in public buildings and restaurants. The bill also would prohibit use of electronic cigarettes by minors and would require child-resistant packaging for them.

The use of electronic cigarettes, commonly called “vaping,” has grown dramatically since the product’s introduction in 2007. The practice has become so commonplace that the Oxford Dictionary selected the word “vape” as its 2014 “Word of the Year.”

Perhaps swayed by the belief that electronic cigarettes are safe, or emboldened by the fact that e-cigs have little odor that parents could detect, teens who have never tried traditional cigarettes are using e-cigs. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that e-cig use has tripled among teens in just two years. These young people are unwittingly putting themselves at risk for nicotine addiction and nicotine poisoning, as well as potentially graduating to harmful tobacco products.

What exactly is in an electronic cigarette? It is hard to say. In addition to the most common ingredients — propylene glycol, nicotine and flavorings — studies have revealed a lot of unsavory things, like carcinogens, heavy metals and even silicon fibers in some e-cigs. But with 90 percent of electronic cigarettes being manufactured in China, where production lacks even the most basic of regulations, they could contain just about anything.

Many states, including Maryland, prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. Municipalities including New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, also have enacted restrictions on their use.

While the Food and Drug Administration is currently considering regulations to address electronic cigarettes, it is not clear when those regulations would be finalized or take effect. In the meantime, I’m not willing to gamble with the health of our current generation of young people. We must put some protections in place, and we must do it now.

Nancy Floreen, Garrett Park
The writer is vice president of the Montgomery County Council.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Holiday Schedule for Presidents Day

Here is our holiday schedule for Presidents Day on Monday, February 16:

  • County Offices – closed
  • Libraries – closed
  • County liquor stores – closed
  • Recreation – aquatic facilities and community centers open; aquatics programs will meet as scheduled; all other classes and programs cancelled; administrative offices and senior centers closed; Senior Active Adult Programs that meet in community centers are cancelled.
  • Montgomery Parks -- all Parks facilities are open. For operating schedules, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks, tennis centers, trains and carousels, visit
  • 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 – open
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – free
  • MCPS Administrative Offices – closed
  • State offices and courts – closed
*Collection provided one day later for remainder of week (last collection day is Saturday).

Friday, February 6, 2015

E-cigarette Bill on Channel 9 News

Why did I introduce a bill to regulate electronic cigarettes? Find out in my interview today with Andrea Roane on the WUSA channel 9 news.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Town Hall Meeting for Faith Community

Following our tradition of regular town hall meetings, we will will hold a special meeting for leaders of the County’s faith community on Thursday, February 26, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting, in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room, will start at 8 p.m. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria.

The Council is working with the interfaith community and the Interfaith Community Liaison associated with the County’s Office of Community Partnerships in organizing the meeting, which is open to the public. It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 faith community leaders representing many different religions throughout the County.

Faith leaders who wish to attend the meeting are asked to RSVP by calling 240-777-7931. The meeting will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery and rebroadcast at various times in the weeks following the meeting. Susan Kenedy, a producer for the County station, will moderate the meeting.

The meeting will provide the participants with an opportunity to let Councilmembers know how they feel about specific issues and also will provide the opportunity to ask questions of the Councilmembers in an organized, but informal, setting.