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.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Career Firefighters Smoke it Up for Muscular Dystrophy

Career Firefighters Smoke it Up for Muscular Dystrophy

 On October 12 – 13, 2012, the Montgomery County, Md. Career Officers and Montgomery County Local 1664 are teaming up to raise money for MDA through the 2nd Annual High Point BBQ Battle. 23 teams will be competing and have been sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society and the Governor O’Malley as a sanctioned championship event. The event will be held at High Point farm in Clarksburg, Md. The farm is located at 23730 Frederick Road, Clarksburg, MD.

This competition is similar to those seen on the popular TV series, BBQ Grillmasters. Friday evening at 7 p.m., there will be a free concert for the public featuring Mark and Da Sharks, a Jimmy Buffett cover band. Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., there will be free moon bounces and games for kids, plenty of food, and watching the teams prepare their entries for judging beginning at noon. Teams will be competing for over $2300 in prize money.

There is no charge to the public to enter.

Car Sharing Now Available in Montgomery County Urban Centers

Car Sharing Now Available in Montgomery County Urban Centers

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) today announced a significant expansion of commercial car sharing services in the County at no cost to the County. Car sharing provides County residents, visitors and businesses with increased access to convenient transportation options that reduce parking demand and traffic congestion in the County’s urban centers.

“We are pleased to welcome the expansion of car sharing in Montgomery Countywith Hertz on Demand and Zipcar,” said MCDOT Director Art Holmes. “Car sharing protects the environment while enhancing our smart growth and sustainable transportation initiatives – and does so in a cost-effective way.”

To increase car sharing, MCDOT has provided public parking spaces for car sharing vehicles. The companies are paying established parking rates for use of the County parking spaces.

Two car sharing companies, Zipcar and Hertz on Demand, were selected following a competitive bid process that allowed vendors to choose locations that best fit their service areas and the types of vehicles they offer. Twenty-six vehicles have been made available at 13 locations in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Montgomery Hills and North Bethesda.

The new car share locations are prominently marked by signs and are listed below:

          Metropolitan Garage, 7601 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda
  • Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont Avenue and Arlington Road, Bethesda
  • Cordell Avenue between Woodmont Avenue and Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda
  • Ellsworh Drive between Fenton Street and Veterans Place, Silver Spring
  • Fenton Street between Colesville Road and Cameron Street, Silver Spring
  • Cameron Street between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street, Silver Spring
  • Wheaton Market PlaceLot, 11219 Grandview Avenue, Wheaton
  • Parking Lot, Seminary Road and Sutton Place, 1920 Seminary Road, Montgomery Hills
  • Executive Boulevard between Rockville Pike and Woodglen Drive, North Bethesda

Hertz On Demand

  • Metropolitan Garage, 7601 Woodmont Avenue Bethesda
  • Middleton Lane Parking Lot, 4538 Middleton Lane, Bethesda
  • Bonifant/Dixon Garage, Silver Spring
  • Fenton Street between Wayne Avenue and Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring

Car sharing provides commuters or other travelers who primarily rely on transit, car/vanpooling, biking or walking access to a car when needed and can also save them money. The availability of car sharing may help some residents go“car free” or provide a second car for multi-driver households that only need occasional access to a second vehicle.

More information on using car share vehicles is available at and For more information on the County’s programs promoting alternatives to driving alone –including car sharing – visit call Commuter Services at (240) 777-8380.

Nomination Sought for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

Nominations Sought for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards;

Humanitarian and Children of the Dream Award Nominations Due Nov. 16

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee is seeking nominations for the Humanitarian Award and the Children of the Dream Awards to be presented at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Sunday, January 20, 2013. All winners and honorable mentions will be acknowledged during the ceremony to be held at StrathmoreMusic Center,5301 Tuckerman La., NorthBethesda. Nominations must be received by Friday, November 16.

Humanitarian Award applications must provide a short narrative explaining the nominee’s contributions to Montgomery County residents, including:

  • The community-based or civic activities for which the nominee is being recognized;
  • Whether or not the nominee is paid for the activities listed above;
  • The specific period of time the nominee has been involved in these activities; and
  • Other contributions of a humanitarian nature made by the person to the community.

Children of the Dream Awards will be presented to one male and one female student in grades 9 to 12, or a group or club, which demonstrates outstanding character and community/school involvement. Volunteer activities may include a single significant project or an on-going effort and must be above and beyond routine class work or school or community projects.

Montgomery County, the City of Gaithersburg, the City of Takoma Park and the Town of Garrett Park are co-sponsors of the celebration.

Nomination forms are available at For more information, contact James Stowe, director of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, at 240-777-8491.

Sample Ballot - It Saves Your Time


The Montgomery County Board of Elections will soon begin mailing sample ballots for the 2012 Presidential General Election to all registered voters in Montgomery County. The County’s five Early Voting Centers will be open from October 27 – November 1, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Sunday, October 28, from 12 – 6 p.m.) and, on Election Day (November 6), voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Voters should review sample ballots carefully for the following information:

§ Early Voting Center names and addresses

§ Election Day polling place name and address

§ Instructions on how to use the Touchscreen voting machine

§ Directions on how to use the review screen on the Touchscreen voting machine prior to casting a ballot

§ Screen shots of the ballot that will appear on the Touchscreen voting machine

§ Official ballot language for numerous ballot questions –take time to carefully read the ballot language so you are familiar with it before you get to your polling place

Voters may experience lines during Early Voting and, most likely will, at their polling places on Election Day, particularly during peak hours immediately before work

(7-9 a.m.), during the lunch hour (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), and immediately following work

(5-7 p.m.). To facilitate the voting process, the Board of Elections encourages all voters to mark their sample ballot in advance of arriving at their polling place.

To avoid lines during Early Voting, the Board of Elections encourages voters to visit our website –– to view the wait time scroll bar and for voting information.

For further information on the voting process, call 240-777-VOTE.

Residents Invited to Participate in Online Chat With Consumer Protection Director

Residents Invited to Participate in Online Chat With Consumer Protection Director

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection Director Eric Friedman will conduct a live, online chat on Tuesday, October 9 from noon to 2 p.m. This online discussion is part of the“Consumer Ed CafĂ©…Food for Thought” series of online chats and will focus this time on what consumers and towing firms need to know about towing laws in MontgomeryCounty. The State of Maryland has enacted a new trespass towing law which will operate in tandem with Montgomery County’s trespass towing law. This online chat is part of OCP’s efforts to help clarify which provisions of each law will be enforced in Montgomery County.

Residents interested in participating in the online chat can enter questions prior to or during the live discussion through the County’s website by going to clicking on Live Discussion. Questions and answers will be available for viewing both during and after the chat.

“Finding your car towed away without your consent is an extremely upsetting and expensive experience,” said OCP Director Eric Friedman. “With approximately 35,000 cars towed in Montgomery County each year, non-consensual towing complaints are one of our top complaint categories.”

For more information, call the Office of Consumer Protection at 240-777-3636.

Public Testing of Electronic Vote Tabulation System for Early Voting

Public Testing of Electronic Vote Tabulation System for Early Voting

The Montgomery County Board of Elections will conduct a public parallel testing of the voting system to be used during Early Voting on Friday, October 19, at 10:00 a.m. This testing will take place at the Elections Office, 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 107, Gaithersburg.

Anyone planning to attend the testing is asked to call 240-777-8562.

Election Judges Needed for 2012 Presidential General Election

Election Judges Needed for 2012 Presidential General Election

Montgomery County’s Board of Elections is seeking individuals to serve as election judges at polling places for the Presidential General Election to be held on

November 6, 2012.

In accordance with the Election Code, judges must be registered to vote in the State of Maryland. They must also be able to speak, read, and write the English language, and while acting as a judge must not hold, or be a candidate for, public or party office. In addition, election judges may not serve as a campaign manager for a candidate or as treasurer for any campaign financial entity.

Election judges bilingual in Spanish and election judge alternates are needed throughout the county. Training will be provided and all judges will be compensated for Election Judge services.

To apply, or for more information, visit our website at and select the Election Judge Program link.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

World of Montgomery County Festival



World of Montgomery Festival Partners with KIDMuseum to Bring an International Village to the Festival


WHAT: Fourth Annual World of Montgomery Festival Press Conference


WHEN: Thursday, October 4 11:00am


WHERE: Parking lot in front of the Mid--‐County Regional Center Grandview Avenue & Reedie Drive 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton


WHY: Come get a taste of what people will see and hear at the World of Montgomery Festival on October 21.

Press will have the chance to hear how this countywide event has been dramatically enhanced, meet and interview local international chefs, photograph international dress and see international performers.


WHO: Dignitaries who will be on hand for interviews:

County Executive, Ike Leggett

Office of Community Partnerships, Bruce Adams

LEDC Executive Director, Manny Hidalgo (invited)

Co--‐Founder  KIDMuseum, Cara Lesser

Chair, Fund for Montgomery, Keith Haller

Local chefs and international performers

Twilight Tuesdays

Silver Spring Town Center Inc presents

Twilight Tuesdays

A performance showcase featuring

area musicians playing music from around the globe every Tuesday evening, April - October!

Featured in October:

* Gangnam Style Flash Mob * Funk *

* Afro-Venezuelan Carnival Music * Pop * Rock *

* Jazz * Classical * Hip Hop * Irish Bodhran Drumming * Drum Circle * and more!

Support Grows for Question B as County Republicans and Democrates Urge "For Question B" Vote on November Ballot

The Montgomery County Republican Party has unanimously voted to urge a vote “FOR” Question B.

A vote FOR Question B supports the County law, passed unanimously by the County Council, which eliminates “effects bargaining” that gave Police Union leaders the power to demand that the Police Chief bargain everything about running the Montgomery County Police Department -- inhibiting innovation, accountability and efficiency.

The action by the Montgomery Republican Central Committee followed a September 19 decision by the Montgomery County Democratic Party Precinct Officials and the Central Committee, who voted by an overwhelming 109-14 margin to urge a vote "FOR Question B" in the November election.

These endorsements will be included on both parties’ sample ballots sent to all registered Democrats and Republicans and distributed at the polls on Election Day.

“The message couldn’t be any clearer,” said Patrick Lacefield, Director of the Montgomery County Office of Public Information. “Who do we want to run our Montgomery County Police Department? The Police Chief or Union Leaders? Democrats and Republicans may disagree on many issues, but the fact that both political parties overwhelmingly are urging a vote ‘FOR Question B’ says a lot. Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative or somewhere in the middle, voting FOR Question B just makes sense.”

“Effects bargaining” was included in the police labor relations law enacted in 1982. Since that time Police Union leaders have used that right to stall department innovations and diminish accountability and efficiency. No other Police Union in the State of Maryland has effects bargaining. No other County employees union has it in their contract.

Under effects bargaining, Police Chief Tom Manger has to bargain anyissue about running his department if Police Union leaders demand it. That has included the distribution of critical police equipment, the redeployment of officers to crime hot spots, and even the revised policy on “Use of Force” – important to protecting the public and officers alike– which was sent to the Police Union for their “approval” on June 27, 2008 – over four years ago.

In all, 15 Police Department policies are awaiting Unionleaders' “approval” – 12 of them for over two years. Under effects bargaining, police officers still don’t have to“sign” their electronic time cards. The Police Chief could not even require that police officers have County email accounts – or check their email. It took months to negotiate that.

The repeal of effects bargaining does not affect the fully supported and continued right of the Police Union to bargain wages, hours, working conditions, benefits, and safety issues. It would also not affect officers’ schedules and leave, the details of which are already spelled out in collective bargaining agreements agreed to by the Police Department and the Union.

A “FOR” vote on Question B is a vote that lets the Police Chief run the department in the most efficient and productive way to protect the lives and property of County residents -- and still protects the full range of collective bargaining rights enjoyed by all other police unions across the State and all other County unions.

For more details about Question B, go to

Health and Human Services Holds Forum on FY2014 Operating Budget

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services is holding a community forum to gather input from the public on the department’s FY2014 operating budget.

The forum will be held on Monday, October 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Children’s Resource Center in Rockville. A representative from the Office of Management and Budget will present an overview of the County’s fiscal forecast for FY2014, followed by HHS Director Uma Ahluwalia, who will review the department’s priorities. Following the briefing, participants will have an opportunity to help identify services that will help ensure the department’s goal of building a safe, healthy and strong community.

Participants will have three minutes to speak. To sign up to speak, call 240-777-1211(voice) or 240-773-3556 (TTY) by October 10.

The Children’s Resource Center is located at 332 W. Edmonston Drive in Rockville.

Those requiring special aids or services to participate in this event should call Alma Laxa at 240-777-1211 (voice) or 240-773-3556 (TTY) or email Sign language interpreter services and language interpreter services are available. Requests for assistance must be made by October 10.

Those unable to attend are encouraged to provide written comments addressed to Director, HHS, 401 Hungerford Drive, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20850or email to:

Ama tu Vida/ Love Your Life

“Ama Tu Vida/Love Your Life”

Health Festival

Sunday, October 7, 2012

12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Rain or Shine

1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910

(Corner of Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring)

FREE medical screenings

(blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.)

• Information to help you stay healthy

• Live entertainment • Raffles

For additional information call: 240-777-4173

New Library Book Repair Project at County Correctional Facility Highlighted at Open House

New Library Book Repair Project at County Correctional Facility Highlighted at Open House; rogram Provides a Second Chance for Library Books and Inmates

Older, well-worn library books are finding new lives back on the shelves at Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) branches thanks to the helping hands of inmates working with the Library Book Repair Project at the County’s Correctional Facility (MCCF) in Clarksburg.

Under the Workforce Re-Entry project, inmates are trained by MCCF to professionally repair damaged books that can then be returned to circulation instead of being discarded from the system. MCCF is also funding the materials necessary for the pilot. Start-up supplies cost $3,300, and no additional costs have been incurred since the project began.

Inmates selected to participate in the program can earn “good time credit”toward reducing their sentence while acquiring new work skills.

Currently, books in need of repair will be taken to the MCCF from six MCPL branches– Kensington Park, Marilyn J. Praisner, Noyes (Children’s Library), Rockville Memorial, Silver Spring and Wheaton. The first boxes, delivered from Wheaton and Praisner branches in late April, contained a total of 42 books. MCCF staff reports that, on average, repair work takes from six to 10 days per box.

The most common problems encountered in book repairs are: broken or detached spines; pencil marks on pages; and ripped, loose or torn pages.

The program was the brainchild of Warden Rob Green who said he came up with the idea last year “in an attempt to reestablish our job shop and workforce development

programs inside the jail.” He had heard of a similar corrections-based program some years ago, but a recent check found no other currently in operation.

Green approached MCPL Director Parker Hamiltonwho agreed to participate with MCCF.

“Partnering with MCCF again was an easy decision to make,” Hamilton said. “We currently have an outstanding library at MCCF and through another component of the Re-Entry Project, every person leaving MCCF receives a library card valid for 60 days.

“This new program saves books and helps us maximize County funds. For example,”Hamiltonexplained, “in the first set of books sent to MCCF by one branch, the monetary value of repaired books was $415.52. The real value is the fact that the books are now back on the shelves and are being checked out again. Our staff members have called the repairs ‘perfect’ and‘fantastic.’”

Warden Green noted, “Collaborative partnerships like this provide the Detention Services Division an opportunity to give back to our community in very meaningful ways. The work skills learned by the participating inmates is essential to their return to a very challenging job market, while the in-kind service provided to our public libraries reflects real dollars in extending the life of the investment we make in books. It is a win/win”.

MCCF’s Re-Entry Unit Manager Gale Starkey and Workforce Supervisor Sgt. Gary Powell and many MCPL personnel “did the work to get it nailed down and running,” according to Green. He said, “Parker's staff created the entire process flow and tracking piece.”

Green calls it “simply a fantastic collaboration.”

Montgomery County Board Vaccancies

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:

· Citizens Review Panel for Children

The deadline for application is October 19, 2012.

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, MD 20850, or by email to 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 individuals selected for appointment are made public as part of the confirmation process.

Leggett Seeks Applicants for Citizens Review Panel for Children

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill six vacancies on the Citizens Review Panel for Children. Three vacancies are for voting public members, and three vacancies are for non-voting technical professional advisor positions. Two incumbents are eligible to apply for reappointment.

The purpose of the Citizens Review Panel is to implement State law regarding local citizens review boards, and evaluate state and local agency response to child protection needs. Panel members review cases of child abuse and neglect and they serve as an oversight group to both state and county officials, and to the administration in the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services.

The Citizens Review Panel for Children has 9-14 members. TheCounty Executive appoints up to 12 members. Two members are appointed by State agencies. Members must be volunteers who exercise their own free will in all deliberations of the Panel and do not represent any agency or organization. Non-voting members provide technical and professional advice to the Panel about Child Protective Services. County or State employees, or spouses or domestic partners of County or State employees, may not serve on the Panel.

Members serve three-year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. The Citizens Review Panel must meet at least once every three months or at the call of the Chair.

Montgomery County Recreation Offers Fun Halloween Activities

Montgomery County Recreation is offering the following, safe and fun-filled age-appropriate Halloween alternatives for children and young teens during the Halloween season:

  • Halloween Happening – Friday, October 26. MarilynPraisner CommunityRecreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free. Features DJ, moon bounce, games, crafts and treats. For kids 12 and under.
  • Haunted Forest– Friday, October 26 through Wednesday, October 31. Damascus Community RecreationCenter, 25220 Oak Drive. 7 to 9 p.m. $12. Recommended for those who enjoy being scared; not recommended for children under 12.
  • Halloween Magic Show – Friday, October 26. Mid County Community RecreationCenter, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring. 7 to 9 p.m. Free. A high-energy magic and comedy show. Refreshments and craft activities after the show. Appropriate for all ages.
  • Halloween Extravaganza – Saturday, October 27. East County CommunityRecreation Center, 3310 Gateshead Manor Way, Silver Spring. Noon to 2 p.m. Free. Games, prizes, face painting, costumes, crafts, candy counting contest, etc. For kindergarten through fifth grades.
  • Halloween Hoot Dance – Wednesday, October 31. Holiday Park SeniorCenter, 3950 Ferrara Drive, Silver Spring. 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. Admission, $2 at the door. Music by the Night and Day Band; costumes welcome but not required. Ages 55+.
  • Fall Harvest Fest – Saturday, November 3 at the WheatonNeighborhood Recreation Center, 11711 Georgia Avenue. 3 to 6 p.m. Admission, $3 per person (five and under free). Family fun activities to celebrate autumn. Appropriate for all ages.

For more information about these activities, call 240-777-6840 or visit

Leggett to Host Town Hall Meeting in Olney

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will host a Town Hall Meeting in Olney on Tuesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Rosa Parks Middle School, 19200 Olney Mill Road. Previous town meetings have drawn thousands of residents who have taken advantage of the opportunity to voice their concerns to the County Executive.

“Town meetings present an excellent opportunity for me to find out what’s on the mind of our residents,” said Leggett. “A cornerstone of my administration has been to make sure ‘everyone has a seat at the table’ and these public meetings provide a forum for our residents to share their ideas and concerns.”

The town meeting is free and open to all and will be videotaped by County Cable 6, the County government channel, for future airing.

Sign language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible, but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If these or other services or aids are needed to participate in this activity, please call240-777-6507, TTY 240-777-6505 or email a request to

For more information about the town meeting or the cable television program schedule, call 240-777-6507.

Absentee Ballot Deadline Nears for November 6 General Election

The deadline for receipt of an absentee ballot application for the November 6 Presidential General Election is Tuesday, October 30. Written requests must reach the elections office by 8:00 p.m. or, if already registered, may be faxed to240-777-8560 or e-mailed to absentee@montgomerycountymd.govno later than 11:59 p.m.

The absentee ballot application may be found online at the Board of Elections website at or Follow all instructions, and return the completed, signed application by mail, fax, or e-mail. Ballots will be mailed within three business days.

Requests must include the following information: name, date of birth, Montgomery County address, the address to which you want your ballot sent (if other than your Montgomery County address), daytime telephone number, and signature. The absence of any of this information could result in a delay in processing the application.

For anyone wishing to pick up a ballot in person, the elections office will be open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, October 13, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, October 28, from 12 to 6 p.m.; October 29 – November 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Applicants who wish to pick up their ballot must appear in person, and they must pick up their own ballot unless they have an agent. Call 240-777-8550 for details about serving as an agent. The elections office is located at 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg.

Once you receive your absentee ballot, consider the following:

· Do not allow anyone to assist you in voting unless it is a family member, trusted family friend, or Board of Elections’ representative;

· Do not allow anyone else to fill out your ballot;

· Do not give your ballot to a stranger – mail it yourself so it is postmarked no later than November 6, 2012; and, finally

· Report any suspicious calls or circumstances to the State Attorney’s Office (410-576-6300 or 1-888-743-0023 toll free in Maryland and via TDD at 410-576-6372).

For more information, call 240-777-8550, or e-mail