The Committee for Ethnic Affairs advises the Montgomery County, MD County Executive and County Council on public policy that relates to ethnic affairs; promotes maximum involvement of all ethnic groups in the County in government, business and community affairs.
The event was held August 16, 201 at the County Executive Building in Rockville, MD with County Executive, Ike Leggett. It was well attended by a number of the county and state government officials such as Attorney General, Doug Gansler, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Councilmember at Large George Leventhal.
The event was co-sponsored by Montgomery County Muslim Council and Montgomery County Muslim Foundation.
Do you wonder if it's safe for your children or pets to play in Muddy Branch and other neighborhood streams? Fertilizer, car fluids, pet waste, sewage overflow, and many other pollutants wash into our streams every time it rains and these pollutants can be dangerous in high levels.You can check the water quality in your neighborhood – and get that information to people who can help clean up your waterways, and we can show you how.
In partnership with the City of Gaithersburg and the Muddy Branch Alliance, the Izaak Walton League will host a “Save Our Streams” Workshop on Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You will learn to collect underwater insects and crustaceans – indicators of water quality – with minimal environmental impact. You will also learn to test for basic chemical properties, such as the amount of dissolved oxygen available for fish, and how to share your results through the Izaak Walton League’s user-friendly website.
At the end of the training, participants will learn about sites that need monitoring on Muddy Branch.Extra training will be available for those who want to engage children in learning about stream ecology with fun and simple hands-on activities.
The workshop will be held at the Izaak Walton League National Conservation Center, 707 Conservation Lane off of Muddy Branch Road in Gaithersburg.An early bird registration fee of $20 includes lunch, snacks and all books and workshop materials (a $40 value).After September 1, the registration fee increases to $30.
To register, visit http://sosworkshopmd.eventbrite.com.For more information on the workshop contact Leah Miller, Izaak Walton League Clean Water Program Director, at 301-548-0150 x219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information on the City of Gaithersburg’s environmental initiatives please visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov/environment or call 301-258-6330.
Qualified residents in the Gaithersburg area may be eligible to receive discounted internet service and an option to purchase a pre-configured computer at a discounted price through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program.
Part of a nationwide program to help low income families get connected to the Internet, the Internet Essentials program is open to families that have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program.Internet service will be available for $9.95 a month plus tax, and a low cost computer can be purchased for $149.99 plus tax upon enrollment in the program.Free internet training is also available.
Applicants must live in areas where Comcast internet service is available, they cannot have subscribed to Comcast internet service within the last 90 days, and they cannot have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.Other restrictions may apply.
For Internet Essentials information and an application call 1-855-8-INTERNET.Details are also available at www.internetessentials.com.
Please note that Internet Essentials is not a City of Gaithersburg program.This information is being distributed at the request of Comcast, a cable television franchise in the City of Gaithersburg, in order to distribute the program’s details to eligible households.
The public is invited to attend a “September 11 Community Remembrance” ceremony on Friday, September 9 at 12:30 p.m. in Courthouse Square Park in Rockville.This year marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the ceremony is planned as a time for remembrance and tribute to the victims, their families, emergency responders and members of the military.
Local elected officials, including County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Council President Valerie Ervin and City of Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, will participate in the program that will include remarks by a family member of one of the Montgomery County victims.Musical selections by the Montgomery County Police Gospel Choir will complete the program.Members of Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) and the Montgomery County and City of Rockville Police will also participate.The MCFRS Pipe and Drum Corps will perform.
“As we approach the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we should all take a moment to remember and honor all of the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks,” said Leggett.“Our community was directly affected by the terrible loss of life that occurred on that day.Eleven Montgomery County residents lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon, and I ask all of our residents to join me to reflect on those lives that were cut tragically short by that senseless act of hatred.This is also a time for us to honor all of the brave men and women who serve in the military and in the field of public safety.These dedicated individuals put their lives on the line every day for each of us, and as we approach this anniversary we should stop to reflect on their bravery and commitment to protecting the lives of others.”
The “Memorial to the Events of 9/11/01” park designed by Gene and Susan Flores of Plainfield, MA, consists of 11 benches, each dedicated to one of the lost residents.Each bench is engraved with lines from a poem, song or thought selected by family members, and the victim’s signature is inscribed in stainless steel on the end of their bench.At one corner of the park, a pavilion stands housing a plaque bearing the names of the
11 victims who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks.Each year on September 11, from approximately 9:15 to 10:50 a.m., sunlight passes through a lens in the roof of the structure to highlight each of the 11 names.
An interfaith prayer service will be held on Sunday, September 11 at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, located at 100 Welsh Park Drive.The service is open to the public and to all faith groups, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, as well as secular groups.For more information about the interfaith prayer service, call Rev. Lynn Strauss at 301-762-7666.
For more information about the memorial park or the ceremony, call Judy Stiles in the Department of Recreation, at 240-777-6875.
In the FY2012 budget, the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council approved the launch of a new initiative to provide additional funding to address community and human service needs in Gaithersburg.Up to $50,000 from the City’s contingency budget will be available for the New, Innovative and Emerging Community Needs Fund.
Qualified nonprofit organizations can apply for funds from this source at any time during the current fiscal year, pending availability.Applications must demonstrate that it would be detrimental to wait until the City’s next regular grant/contract funding cycle.
The Gaithersburg Community Services Division will review applications for technical compliance, after which they will be submitted to the City’s Community Advisory Committee for evaluation.Favorable applications will then be forwarded to the City’s elected officials for final approval.Notification will be made if the fund is depleted prior to the end of fiscal year on June 30, 2012.
The Community Advisory Committee, made up of volunteers from the community, is charged with exploring gaps in services for residents and making recommendations to the Mayor and City Council for providing funding to nonprofit agencies that can meet these community needs.The group meets monthly and is currently seeking additional members.
For complete details on how to join the committee and on the grant fund application process, please visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov/communityservices, call 301-258-6395 x1, or e-mail email@example.com.
Since the early 1980’s the City has blocked off several streets in its Olde Towne community for a rousing street festival.Celebrate Gaithersburg in Olde Towne is now marking its 30th anniversary with more activities, diversions and amusements than ever.It all happens on Sunday, September 18 from Noon to 5 p.m. in and around the intersection of Summit and Diamond Avenues.Come out for a day of music, food, arts, crafts, and amusements and join thousands of area residents in celebrating all that is great about Gaithersburg.
Enjoy the amazing abilities of Gaithersburg’s young people in the Gaithersburg Top Talent Music and Dance Competition.Five talented individuals and groups and three dancers/troupes will be competing for prize money and studio rehearsal time in this dynamic competition.You’ll have a chance to vote for your favorite group, and you just might be witnessing some future superstars!
Your taste buds can explore the world without leaving your own backyard at the Taste of Gaithersburg.Enjoy delectable samples from more than a dozen unique, local restaurants, including Jamaican, Filipino, Middle Eastern and American fare.New this year is the Festival Beer Garden, featuring craft brewed beers from Growler’s of Gaithersburg.
The Festival kicks off with a very special tradition as dozens of local residents take an oath to become naturalized United States citizens.This moving, patriotic ceremony will be followed by the announcement of Gaithersburg’s Distinguished Citizen, Outstanding Organization and Distinguished Friend, presented each year by the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council.
Pat McGee headlines the entertainment at our Uptown Stage near the Train Station.He’ll be performing at 3:15 p.m., following an opening act, Attraction Band, which will be performing from Noon to 2 p.m.At other locations in the festival you’ll enjoy martial arts demonstrations, step teams and dance troupes, the island sounds of a steel drum band, and Andean pipe music from South America.
Our educational Green Zone is full of environmental information and family fun.Enjoy performances by Flumpa and Friends Live! and demonstrations with real boa constrictors, iguanas, turtles, and more.You can also explore the undersea world at a touch tank, learn interesting facts about wild animals, discover the world of science with hands-on experiments, and learn from local vendors how you can help the environment by going green.
Take a ride through our historic neighborhood on a wagon drawn by Belgian draft horses.Climb a rock wall.Test your skills in an inflatable obstacle course. Or try your hand at all kinds of carnival games.$5 buys you a wristband that allows you unlimited access to all fee-based amusements within the festival.But please note that while there is a fee for some amusements, most of the activities within the festival are absolutely free.
Youngsters of all ages are in for a special treat with activities galore, including face painting, balloon sculptures, puppet making, a juggling school, pony rides, and a petting farm.Stop by the Gaithersburg Community Museum in the middle of the Festival to explore interactive displays about Gaithersburg’s history and marvel at a unique N gauge model railroad display.Also keep your eye out for amazing Art Cars, strolling entertainers, hula hoop demonstrations, clowns, a Unicycle Lady, and other costumed characters.
Scattered throughout the festival you’ll find local and international artisans, crafters and importers selling unique jewelry, textiles, and one-of-a-kind hand crafted treasures.There will also be dozens of vendors offering information and resources for Montgomery County residents.And in celebration of our 30th festival birthday, we’ll be giving away special prizes.Stop by the giant inflatable birthday cake to enter for your chance to win.
Free shuttle service is available to and from satellite parking at Lakeforest Shopping Center.A bike valet parking service will be available near City Hall off of South Summit Avenue.Limited free parking is also available at the public garage on the corner of South Summit and Olde Towne Avenues.Additional parking is available at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, less than a quarter mile from the festival area.Please note that no alcohol, skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles, or pets are allowed at the event.
The World of Montgomery Festival is seeking exhibitors and craft vendors for this year’s event on Sunday, October 16.The festival, which celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity of Montgomery County, will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at the Wheaton Triangle located at Grandview Ave. and Reedie Dr. in downtown Wheaton.
This free, outdoor event will feature music and dance performances, international food and craft vendors and a health fair.The International Village, a hands-on cultural education area for families and children, will showcase performances, demonstrations and exhibits related to the County’s diverse array of cultural and ethnic communities.The festival will also serve as the kick-off event for Montgomery County Community Service Week, with volunteer opportunities available on event day and throughout the week.
Applications for food and craft vendors are now being accepted, with preference given to vendors who are both unique and relevant to the diverse theme of the festival.Limited exhibitor space is also available for nonprofit organizations and Montgomery County agencies.
For more information on the event, visit www.worldofmontgomery.com.For more information on how to get involved with Community Service Week, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteer.
The City of Gaithersburg announces that the collection of recycled materials for residents whose regular recycling day is Monday, September 5, 2011 will take place the PRECEDING Saturday, September 3.This includes newspaper, mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, and commingled materials, as well as brush, branches, grass clippings, leaves and other yard trimmings, picked up by the City’s recycling contractor.
Regular trash and garbage collection for City residents is handled by private contractors. Please contact your HOA or your private contractor regarding the holiday collection schedule for these materials.
Leggett Leads Montgomery County Delegation on Visit to El Salvador Home to Over 50,000 County Residents; Exchange Agreement Signed with State of Morazán Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett last week led a local delegation to the Department (State) of Morazán, El Salvador from July 23 – 30, meeting with government officials and signing a “Sister City” agreement under the guidelines of Sister Cities International.The delegation also met with people from the local communities, visited schools, organizations, and historic places, and engaged in community projects.
The effort is designed to foster cooperation between the two jurisdictions on a people-to-people basis and to support already ongoing work by Salvadorans living in the County to support development projects in their home country. “It is estimated that 50,000 Montgomery County residents hail from El Salvador,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “This trip gave all who participated a unique perspective on the situation in their homeland. It opens up opportunities for Montgomery County residents to collaborate with the residents of Morazan -- to learn and to lend a hand.”“The United States is a land of immigrants,” said Councilmember George Leventhal. “I have no doubt that this generation of Salvadoran immigrants and generations to come are making and will make valuable contributions to County life. The United States has much to atone for in fueling the Salvadoran civil war. It’s very important to start helping to clean up our mess. Sometimes you have to see the challenges and talk to people on the ground. I returned home with a great appreciation for the challenges ahead and how we might contribute in our own way.”“For the Salvadoran people we met, this encounter was so important,” said State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, who originally hails from El Salvador. “The real relationship has to be people-to-people. We are bringing two cultures together.”“I was very honored to go along,” said former Congresswoman Connie Morella, who last visited El Salvador with a congressional delegation in 1988. “I wanted to see what people had been through and how they are rebuilding their lives. This can help to make a difference.”
About 70 individuals participated in the trip.All participants paid all their own expenses.The delegation from Montgomery County included County ExecutiveLeggett and his wife, Catherine; former U.S. Congresswoman Connie Morella; Montgomery County Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez;County Councilmember George Leventhal; Public Information Director Patrick Lacefield, Silver Spring Regional Services Director Reemberto Rodriguez; Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kathleen Boucher; Office of Community Partnerships Director Bruce Adams, County Latino Liaison Karla Silvestre, and Recreation Department Director Gabe Albornoz. In addition to the County representatives, 11 individuals represented Montgomery County’s Habitat for Humanity and helped build a home for an impoverished family in the town of Jocoro, the first of 38 planned in Morazán by the group.Montgomery “MoverMoms” -- a group of mothers and their children, ages 9 – 17 – spent the week performing community service at a school and a Centro Materno in the town of Perquin.Members of two of the Salvadoran hometown associations traveled with the group to support their communities--the Guatajiagua Association, which purchased land to build a training center in Guatajiagua, and the Joateca Association, which has helped to build a multi-purpose community center in Joateca.“I was very proud to go on this trip,” said Neftali Granados. “I have raised three children here in Montgomery County and built a small business. This program can help a lot and I’m ready to work hard.”
The five-day whirlwind schedule focused on the northeastern Department of Morazán, the poorest Salvadoran state with 174,000 people and rates of 30 percent illiteracy and 36 percent extreme poverty. Leggett toured the cathedral and market at San Miguel, the country’s second largest city, before meeting with the AMC bank, which finances microenterprises and cooperative ventures and which recently opened its first U.S. branch in Wheaton.Leggett also visited a cooperative milk processing plant established outside town with AMC foundation support in route to Morazán. Following a community festival in the colorful plaza fronting the state capital San Francisco Gotera’s colorful church, Leggett joined Morazán governor Miguel Ventura and about 800 residents in signing an agreement for the two local jurisdictions to engage in cooperative efforts and exchange. They were joined by United States Ambassador to El Salvador Mari Carmen Aponte, who made the trek to Morazán to lend support to the agreement. While in San Francisco Gotera, Leggett visited the local High School and also the hospital, the only hospital for the State of Morazán’s 174,000 residents. Leggett spoke with hospital doctors and nurses and toured the pediatric ward where many children were two to a bed, one in a hammock hanging over the other. The Association for Educational Development in El Salvador worked with delegation members to bring books donated by County residents to establish a library at Gotera’s San Jose Elementary School. Bouncing over mountain roads that snaked around forest-covered peaks, Leggett, Leventhal, and Morella helped inaugurate a new park in the plaza of the village of Joateca. Nearly all the 900 residents turned out to celebrate and a Salvadoran Army band offered up their country’s national hymn and the Star-Spangled Banner. Joateca has another 600 natives who live in Montgomery County, the most of any jurisdiction in Morazán. Leggett and the delegation walked through the town to pay their respects to the family of Sara Ramos, a County resident who was slain by the Beltway snipers in 2002 as she waited for a bus in Leisure World to take her to work. Leggett and the delegation also paid their respects at what one delegation member called “perhaps one of the saddest places on Earth”-- El Mozote.
In 1981, during Salvador’s dozen-year Civil War, an elite U.S.-trained Salvador army battalion massacred 1,200 unarmed men, women, and children at El Mozote, where a memorial and children’s garden now stand. In Guatajiagua, known for its unique pottery made from black clay, the County delegation met with the mayor, visited with the Lenca indigenous community, and went to a site purchased with the help of Montgomery’s Guatajiagua hometown association to build a job training center. A visit in the far north of the department – to Perquin, the guerrilla stronghold during the Civil War -- included the presentation of a check for nearly $2,000 to the town’s mayor, raised by County residents through the “Hungry for Music” project, to buy musical instruments for young people.
Recreation Director Gabriel Albornoz also brought soccer balls donated by DC United. The delegation also toured the Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution, also in Perquin. Leggett, Leventhal, Morella and others also visited Montgomery’s Habitat for Humanity volunteers, hard at work in a blazing sun constructing a cinderblock home on the outskirts of Jocoro.“Habitat for Humanity has built over 10,000 houses in El Salvador over the past decades,” said Montgomery County director John Pauksis. “This will give a teacher who is widowed and raising a grandchild a home of her own, paid off by her over 10 years with a mortgage.”“I came back blown away,” said County Recreation Director Albornoz. “Half the population in Morazán is under 16. They are not just the future; they are the present. This trip gave me a much greater appreciation for the kids in our programs here and for those Salvadorans who work on my staff.”Returning to the capital, San Salvador, with over two million residents, the delegation met with the United States Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte and with the President of the National Assembly, Sigifredo Reyes, both of whom hailed the delegation’s efforts and the signing of the Sister City pact. Some delegation members, including Leggett and Morella, took in a soccer game at the capital’s massive Cuscatlan Stadium, watching the professional U.S. soccer club from Dallas beat El Salvador’s “Alianza” club by a 1-0 mark. Before leaving, delegation members paid their respects at the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador’s Metropolitan Cathedral in the teeming downtown. Romero, a voice for peace and an end to repression, was assassinated by a right-wing death squad while saying Mass in March 1980 as the country’s civil war was getting started. Leggett and Morella also visited the small chapel where Romero was killed on the grounds of the Divine Providence hospital, where he also lived. They also paid respects at the Central American University where six Jesuit priests were murdered by an elite Salvadoran army unit during the FMLN offensive of November 1989.
The Montgomery Sister Cities Inc. is an independent community association associated with Sister Cities International. Morazán, El Salvador is Montgomery County’s first Sister City and Bet Shimesh in Israel is set to become the County’s second Sister City. The purpose of the program is to encourage and foster friendship, partnership and mutual cooperation through educational, cultural, social, economic, humanistic and charitable exchanges between the people of Montgomery County and communities of other nations.Morazán was selected for partnering because El Salvador is the number one country of origin of Montgomery County’s immigrant population and many Salvadorans came here from the eastern part of El Salvador.There are currently several active hometown associations in Montgomery County which support projects in Morazán.
County Executive Isiah Leggett is committed to representation on all of the County’s boards, committees, and commissions that is reflective of, and responsive to, our County’s residents. Public participation contributes to the work of County government and provides an important service to the community when a variety of issues, concerns, and viewpoints are presented. Currently, there is a valuable opportunity to serve on the following:
Adult Public Guardianship Review Board
Alcoholic Beverages Advisory Board
The deadline for application is August 19, 2011. Please share this notice with anyone who may be interested. You may access vacancy announcements for boards, committees, and commissions through the following link.
Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be sent by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD20850, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Home and employment addresses, as well as contact phone numbers and email addresses should be included. If appropriate, applicants should indicate the position for which they are applying.
Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. Members of these boards are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Leggett’s appointments are subject to confirmation by the County Council. Applications of those selected for appointment are made public as part of the confirmation process.
August 1st was the first day of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims, which ends Aug. 29 with an Eid festival. You will find a link below connecting you to a list of Ramadan community events for your own cultural learning and connection with other communities.You may directly contact the event organizers to RSVP.
As a new annual tradition that started about two years ago, there is a special Ramadan Iftar (breaking of the fast) celebration this year on Aug. 16 hosted by the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation on Tuesday, August 16, at the Executive Office Building Cafeteria, 7:30 pm -8:45 pm.The County Executive and the Council will issue a joint proclamation at the event.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will join Mental Health Association of Montgomery County (MHA) Executive Director Sharon Friedman and other community partners to celebrate a new initiative designed to strengthen and coordinate community-based resources for troops, veterans and their families in Montgomery County.The Troops and Family Care Project is made possible by a four-year $500,000 matching grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The project is an initiative of the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, in collaboration with Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region and other local partners.
Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will co-host a free workshop on Monday, August 8 from 3 to 8 p.m., to assist those faced with possible mortgage foreclosures.The workshop will take place at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring.
The workshop will provide information about the State of Maryland’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program.The program is designed to help homeowners who have lost income due to involuntary unemployment or medical problems and have fallen behind on mortgage payments. Funding for the program is limited and applications should be submitted as soon as possible.
To pre-register for the workshop, go to www.mdhope.org and click on “Attend the Montgomery County EMA Workshop,” or call 410-514-7324.