Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Update on Silver Spring Apartment Explosion and Fire

Tune in to County Cable Montgomery at approximately 1:45  today to see the update on issues relating to the August 10 explosion and fire at the Flower Branch apartment complex on Arliss Street in Silver Spring where seven people were killed in the blast and ensuing fire and 39 others were injured. If you aren't able to watch the meeting live, you can get it on demand about 24 hours later.

Among those expected to provide information on the Flower Branch apartment building fire are Earl Stoddard, the director of the County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein, County Police Chief Thomas Manger; Clarence Snuggs, the County’s director of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs; Uma Ahluwalia, the County’s director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board, which has taken over the investigation into the cause of the explosion, and Washington Gas also have been invited to attend.
Several federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the NTSB, investigated the explosion. ATF concluded its field work on August 19, and determined that a natural gas leak in a basement meter room caused the explosion and fire. NTSB then took over the investigation. It is expected to issue a report in nine to 12 months.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Early Voting October 27-November 3

Mark your calendar early voting October 27-November 3, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.  Any registered voter may cast a ballot at any one of ten sites on the same voting equipment used on Election Day. Many voters find that early voting is more convenient than voting at their assigned polling place on Election Day.

The locations are:

  • The Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg
  • Damascus Community Recreation Center, 25520 Oak Drive, Damascus
  • Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville
  • Germantown Community Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown
  • Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase
  • Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
  • Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring
  • Potomac Community Recreation Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac
  • Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring
  • Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad, 2401 Arcola Avenue, Silver Spring
For more information about early voting, visit the Board of Elections at www.777vote.org. If you prefer, you can also vote by mail.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sick and Safe Leave Law Effective October 1

Montgomery County's Sick and Safe Leave Law takes effect October 1. Under the new law, an employer must provide each employee with sick leave for a variety of reasons, including personal illness, preventative care, a family member's illness, a public health emergency or domestic violence.

Employers with fewer than five employees must provide up to 32 hours of earned paid sick and safe leave and 24 hours of unpaid earned sick and safe leave in a calendar year. An employer with five or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave in a calendar year. In either case, employers are not required to allow an employee to use more than 80 hours of earned sick and safe leave in a calendar year.

See the frequently asked questions or get the informational poster for more information.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Town Hall Meeting for Students

This year we will hold the always-popular Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, October 5, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting will be held in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room beginning at 7:30 p.m. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria.

The October meeting is open to high school, middle school and local college students. 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.

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 13, 2016

Vote by Mail Applications Available Now

Here's the full press release from the Board of Elections:

Any registered voter who wants to vote by mail may request an application online to vote in the Presidential General Election as long as they have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card. If you request a vote by mail ballot, it will be your official ballot and you will not be able to vote on the paper based, digital image scan voting system at the polls on Election Day on November 8, or during Early Voting, October 27 – November 3.

To apply for a vote by mail ballot, visit our website – www.777vote.org – and select Vote by Mail. Follow the instructions for completing the application which may be mailed, faxed (240-777-8560) or e-mailed absentee@montgomerycountymd.gov) to the Board of Elections. To obtain an application for another person, please call 240-777-8550 for detailed information.

The deadlines for receipt of your completed application are as follows: 

  • If you want your ballot mailed to you, your deadline is Tuesday, November 1, 2016. If you mail or deliver this form, your election office must have it by 8 pm. If you fax or email it, they must have it by 11:59 pm. 
  • If you want to print your on-line delivery ballot from the State Board of Elections’ website, your deadline is Friday, November 4, 2016. If you mail or deliver this form, your election office must have it by 5 pm. If you fax or email it, they must have it by 11:59 pm. 
 After the aforementioned dates, absentee ballot applications need to be requested in person at our office – 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, in Gaithersburg. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During Early Voting, October 27 – November 3, the office is open from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 and November 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on October 22 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sunday October 23 and November 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections wishes to remind voters that impersonating another voter or casting a ballot on behalf of another person is a crime. If you see or hear of any attempted vote fraud, contact the State Attorney’s Office at 410-576-6300 or 1-888-743-0023 toll free in Maryland or via TDD at 410-576-6372.

For more information on voting by mail call 240-777-VOTE, visit www.777vote.org, our mobile app at m.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections, the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at http://elections.state.md.us, or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.

Your Time, Your Voice, Your Vote!

Media Contact: 240-777-8625

Friday, September 2, 2016

Pop Up Programs in the Parks

Stop by one of these free Montgomery Parks' Pop Up programs scheduled this fall for various urban parks:

  • September 1, 8, 15 at 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Seated Massage, Caroline Freeland Urban Park, 7200 Arlington Road, Bethesda
  • September 10 and October 1 at 10 a.m. - Noon: Tai Chi, Fairview Urban Park, 8900 Fairview Road, Silver Spring
  • September 17 and 25 at 11 a.m.- Noon: Bollywood Dancing, Elm Street Urban Park, 4600 Elm Street, Bethesda
No registration is required, just show up!