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April 10: This Week in Potomac

Potomac Rummage Sale

<bt>St. Francis Episcopal Church will hold its annual rummage sale this Saturday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items include clothing, toys, furniture, books, small appliances, decorative items, household goods, and bargains in the Nearly New Shop of Clothing and Treasures.

Call 301-365-2055. St. Francis is located at 10033 River Road in the Village.

<sh>Sixth Pedestrian Fatality

<bt>Bethesda resident Alan B. Richmond, 75, became the sixth pedestrian in 2002 to die after being hit by a motor vehicle. There have been 16 motor vehicle related fatalities in Montgomery County this year.

On Thursday, March 28, Richmond, of the 4900 block of Battery Lane, was struck by a 1999 Ford pickup truck turning from Battery Lane onto southbound Woodmont Avenue. According to police reports, investigators learned that Richmond entered the crosswalk against a red pedestrian signal and walked into the path of the truck.

Richmond was transported to Suburban Hospital where he died from his injuries at 1:05 a.m. on April 4. The driver, Gerald Edward McLaughlin, 60, of Germantown, remained at the scene. Montgomery County Police's Collision Reconstruction Unit is still investigating the accident.

<sh>Drought Emergency Issued

<bt>Maryland governor Parris N. Glendening declared a drought emergency for central Maryland, following one of the most severe winter droughts in the state's history. In addition to imposing mandatory restrictions for Central Maryland — excluding the Baltimore City service area — he also urges all residents and businesses in Maryland to reduce water use by 10 percent.

Several steps Marylanders can take, include: repairing leaky faucets, toilets or pipes; landscaping using drought-tolerant plants; and using a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks, decks and other hard surfaces.

Rainfall and winter snow accumulations are at least ten inches below normal for the period since Sept. 1, 2001. In addition, stream flows and groundwater levels have reached record seasonal lows in many parts of the state.

From Nov. 1, 2001 through Jan. 31, 2002, MDE received 270 well-replacement requests as compared to 126 the previous year. In the Washington suburbs, the Potomac River has been reaching historic seasonal lows.

Portions of northwestern Montgomery County that are not served by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) are in a drought emergency. While these restrictions are not mandatory in Potomac and other areas served by WSSC, residents are still urged to conserve water as much as possible.

The following are some of the restrictions imposed: watering lawns; washing paved surfaces and vehicles; using sprinklers and other automatic watering devices.

A complete list of restrictions is available at www.mde.state.md.us.

Call the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), toll-free, at 1-877-4-DROUGHT (1-877-437-6844).

<sh>Village Clean and Green

<bt>Potomac Clean and Green will meet on Saturday, April 13 from 9-11 a.m. for a spring community clean up of Potomac Village. Meet at the edge of the parking lot near the Safeway bus gazebo. Wear boots or sturdy shoes, long sleeves and gloves. Litter bags will be provided. Call Peggy Dennis at 301-983-9738.

* Many of the 65 flower tubs lining Potomac Village are available for adoption. Those with a green thumb can plant any flower or plant arrangement to their liking and will be responsible for the watering and upkeep of their tub.

Call Elie Pisarra Cain at 301-983-1537.

<sh>Repairing the Wrath of Hurricane Agnes

<bt>A Potomac resident donated a $100,000 matching gift earmarked for the repair of the towpath along the Widewater area that was severely damaged by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

The March for Parks celebration on April 13 will help raise funds to match this gift.

March for the Parks is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 13 at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. A four-mile round-trip hike along Widewater from Great Falls Visitor Center to Angler will begin at 10 a.m. There will also be a two-mile canoe or kayak race as well as canoe and kayak lessons for beginners.

All participants will receive a gift bag.

A minimum donation of $25 is suggested for hikers and those participating in the canoe/kayak race, and a $40 minimum donation is suggested per person for the canoe/kayak lessons.

The first 300 people to register will receive a T-shirt. Register by calling 301-767-3706 or emailing Christine_Droske@nps.gov

The park entrance is located at the intersection of MacArthur and Falls Road.

<sh>One False Alarm Every Four Years

<bt>Montgomery County police officers responded to approximately 18,000 fewer alarm calls in 2001 than they did in 1994, according to police reports.

Montgomery County has the lowest reported residential false alarm dispatch rate of any jurisdiction in the country, according to the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. On average, residential alarm users experience only one false alarm every four years.

Since the enforcement of the alarm law in 1995, the number of alarms to which police must respond was reduced by 41.9 percent. During 2001, provisions in the alarm law resulted in 2,469 requests for police response to an alarm that were denied as a result of the violation status of the alarm user or alarm business.

Police officers were not dispatched when an alarm business failed to provide all required information to 911 call takers or if an alarm user was in violation status for failure to register, failure to pay a false response fee, or failure to upgrade the system to meet county installation standards.

The Montgomery County Department of Police False Alarm Reduction Section (FARS) completed its sixth year of enforcement in 2001.

<sh>Earth Day Celebration

<bt>An energy-efficient car and exhibits and demonstrations on recycling, waste reduction, composting and recycled products will be some of the highlights of an Earth Day celebration, scheduled for April 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the lawn of 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

Children's activities include craft-making and magic shows.

Call 240-777-6400 or visit www.MCRecycles.org, which will post updated information in case of inclement weather.

<sh>Online Council Agendas

<bt>Agendas for County Council sessions and Council committee meetings, which include analysts' packets that council members use to make decisions, are now available on the Council's Web site. Packets for individual Council agenda items typically include the text of bills or appropriation requests, analysis by Council staff, and opinions pro and con on the particular items, as well as charts and maps. Materials are generally available two days before the Council session or committee meeting..

Visit www.co.mo.md.us/council, click on "Agendas and Minutes," click on "Current Council or Committee Agenda with background materials."

<sh>Environmental Expedition on Water

<bt>The Potomac Sojourn is a week-long canoeing and kayaking expedition featuring educational programs, riverside camping, restoration projects, meetings with elected officials, and more. Novice and experienced paddlers can enjoy a on-the-water experience aimed to elevate awareness of the Potomac River's importance to the region and to encourage local residents to play an active role in its restoration.

The 2002 Potomac Sojourn begins on Sunday, June 23 in Shepherdstown, W. Va., and continues to Washington, DC with overnight camping stops. Participants can paddle a portion or the entire trip. Non-paddling portions are also offered.

Call Karen Fligger at 301-984-1908, x103 or by e-mail at kfligger@icprb.org.

<sh>Potomac Rotary Awards

<bt>Each year, the Potomac Rotary Club honors an area citizen with its Citizen of the Year Award. The association seeks nominations from residents for this year's award.

Nominations should be submitted no later than April 15 to the Rev. Anne Benefield, Geneva Presbyterian Church, 11931 Seven Locks Road, Potomac, Md. 20854.

Call Rev. Benefield at (301) 424-4347 for information.

<sh>Tour the Charity Canal

<bt>Free training programs for the 6th annual Tour de Canal, the country's longest off-road charity ride, will start Saturday, April 20 at Carderock Park, at 7:45 a.m.

The Tour de Canal, a 184.5 charity ride that benefits the programs and services of the Alzheimer's Association, National Capital Area, is scheduled for Sept. 21-22, 2002 along the C&O Canal, from Cumberland to Georgetown.

Participants can join other bikers for trips of increasing lengths, starting at 12-15 miles and ending in late August with rides of 60-80 miles. Training rides will continue every Saturday through June 8 at C&O Canal at Carderock Park, off the Clara Barton Parkway, starting at 7:45 a.m.

Completing a free, 50-mile qualifying ride is mandatory to participate in the 184- and 100-mile rides on Sept. 21-22. Qualifying rides will take place at Carderock Park on Saturdays, June 8, Sunday, July 14 and Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7:45 a.m. Riders can also take part in the 100-mile and 10-mile portions of the race.

For information, e-mail tourdecanal@together.net, visit www.alz-nca.org or call toll-free at 1-866-259-0042.

<sh>Civic Calendar

<cal1>Wednesday, April 10, 8 p.m.

<cal2>West Montgomery County Citizens Association's monthly meeting. Speaker is attorney Norman Knopf, who will speak on large institutions, like churches and schools, operating in residential areas. 8 p.m. Potomac Elementary School, 10311 River Road. Visit West Montgomery at www.wmcca.org.

<cal1>Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.

<cal2>Western Area Recreation Advisory Board Meeting, Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac.

<cal1>April 11 - May 2

<cal2>Council committee worksessions on aspects of the FY03 Operating Budget. County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 240-777-7900. Visit www.co.mo.md.us/council for a complete listing of committee times and agendas.

<cal1>Monday, April 15, 7 p.m.

<cal2>Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board Meeting, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Services Center, Room A, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda.

<cal1>Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

<cal2>Public Hearing, Department of Liquor Control Budget. Public hearing on the county executive's FY 2003 Recommended Operating Budget for the Department of Liquor Control. Written testimony on the executive's $24 million proposed budget for DLC may be mailed to Ron Berger, Office of the County Executive, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd floor, Rockville, Md. 20850. Call 240-777-1915.

<cal1>Wednesday, April 24, 9:30 a.m.

<cal2>The Board of Appeals will hear Marriott Senior Living Services' request for a special exception to operate a continuing care retirement community on Burdette Road near River Road. Board of Appeals, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Md. 240-777-6600. See www.co.mo.md.us/council/board.html

<cal1>May 6-17, 2002

<cal2>Full County Council Budget Worksessions. 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 240-777-7900. More specific information will be provided by the Council the week of worksessions. Visit www.co.mo.md.us/council.

<cal1>May 23, TBA

<cal2>Council action on CIP, Capital and Operating Budgets. 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 240-777-7900.

<cal1>May (tentative)

<cal2>Public meeting — not yet scheduled — to be held by the Western Area Recreational Advisory Board on the issue of age restrictions imposed on use of the roller rink at the Potomac Community Center.