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September 4, 2002: This Week in Potomac

<sh>Missing Potomac Man

<bt>Trung Ton Bui, a 33-year-old Potomac man, was last seen with his mother at a pharmacy in the 600 block of University Blvd. East in Silver Spring at approximately 10 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30.

According to police, Bui is autistic, suffers from seizures and seldom speaks. He does not have his medication with him. Family and friends are concerned because when he does go off by himself he always returns home the same day. Bui's home is in the 9700 block of Pleasant Gate Lane, in Potomac.

Bui, 33, is an Asian male, 5-foot-3, 105 pounds, with brown eyes, short black hair and a white discoloration on his face. He was last seen wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt and tan pants.

Anyone with information regarding Bui or his whereabouts is requested to contact the Montgomery County Police 3rd District Station at 301-565-7740 or the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.

<sh>Deadline for Club Friday

<bt>Potomac Community Center begins its 11th year of Club Friday youth acitivities on Oct. 4. Applications, which were distributed at area schools and are available at the Center, will be accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 10. The Center is located at 11315 Falls Road.

Call 301-983-4471.

<sh>Hazmat Team

<bt>Three people on the staff of Falls Road Animal Hospital were treated and released from Shady Grove hospital for a similar rash, itchy skin and respiratory concerns after the clinic treated a dog that was brought in with an unknown yellow powder on it.

"They did a great job in isolating the dog and keeping contamination to a limited area," said Pete Piringer, of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.

The dog came from a residence on the 100 block of Pasture Side Place in the King Farm subdivision of Rockville. Fire and rescue services as well as members of the hazardous material team from the National Institutes of Health went to both the animal hospital and the residence of the dog's owners to try to determine what was covering the dog, said Piringer.

Originally, it was thought that the powder was some type of pesticide. The dog was euthanized and Falls Road Animal Hospital was decontaminated. Animal custody took custody of the euthanized dog, which was sent to the Maryland Department of Agriculture's animal sciences lab in Frederick.

<sh>Back to School Speeding

<bt>The moral of this back-to-school story: slow down.

Police issued 72 traffic citations in school zones surrounding Churchill High School, Quince Orchard High School and Stonebridge Elementary School on the first day of school, Tuesday, Aug. 27. The highest speed recorded was 55 m.p.h. in a 25-mph zone.

Over 215 citations were issued at schools zones in five districts of the county, including 27 that were issued around Bethesda Chevy Chase High School.

"Montgomery County police are noticing an increase in evidence of aggressive driving, speeding and inattention to pedestrians by drivers throughout Montgomery County," said Lucille Baur, spokesperson for Montgomery County police. "We desperately want motorists to be aware of their responsibilities and to protect county children and all pedestrians."

Exceeding the speed limit in a posted school zone with flashing warning lights or notice of double fines sings ranges from $100 with one point for speeding for exceeding the speed limit by one to nine miles per hours and up to $1,020 and five points for exceeding the speed limit by 40 miles per hour and over.

The "Back to School" Traffic Safety Law Enforcement Campaign will be continued by the police through Friday, Sept. 20 to make the public aware of the importance of laws for not passing sopped school buses and not speeding in school zones. Officers will vary the schools they target throughout the campaign.

<sh>50 Cars Vandalized

<bt>One adult and two juveniles were arrested for a series of 50 car vandalisms that occurred in the Bethesda area in June, according to police reports.

According to police reports:

Between June 15 and June 30, over 50 vehicles and several homes in the Bethesda areas of Mohican Hills and Cohasset were vandalized during the evening and early morning. The suspects, who were armed with rocks, cinder blocks, fire extinguishers, wine bottles and a baseball bat, usually targeted vehicles parked on the streets and broke out windshields or windows or sprayed cars fire extinguishers. Investigators learned on July 2 that 14 commercial fire extinguishers had been stolen from the Summer Highlands apartment complex, 4500 block of Sangamore Road, several days earlier.

On July 23, police arrested and charged a 16-year-old juvenile from Bethesda with felony destruction of property, misdemeanor destruction of property, reckless endangerment and theft under $500. He was released into the custody of his parents. On Aug. 19, police arrested and charged Eric Winston Smith, 18, of the 3200 block of Harness Creek Road in Annapolis, with first degree assault, felony destruction of property, misdemeanor destruction of property, reckless endangerment, theft under $500 and contributing to the conduct of a child. He was released from the Montgomery County Detention Center after posting bond. On Aug. 21, police arrested a 15-year-old male juvenile from Washington, D.C. with second degree assault, felony destruction of property, misdemeanor destruction of property, reckless endangerment and theft under $500. He was released into the custody of his parents.

The investigation is continuing.

<sh>Citizens of the Year

<bt>The Potomac Chamber of Commerce encourages nominations for the Potomac citizen, youth and businessperson of the year. The awards are given annually by the Potomac Chamber and the winners will be featured in the annual Potomac Day Parade on Sunday, Oct. 26. Award plaques will be presented to the winners at the chamber's Awards Banquet on Nov. 16, at TPC at Avenel.

* The Potomac Citizen of the Year can be a private individual or organization in Potomac that has benefited the local, regional or national community.

* The Potomac Youth of the Year must reside in or attend high school in Potomac and must have exhibited scholastic, leadership and community service attributes. Youth must be nominated by their school principals or counselors.

* The Potomac Businessperson of the Year and his or her company must work or do business in Potomac, be a member of the Potomac Chamber of Commerce and must have benefited the community.

The Potomac Chamber Board of Directors will vote on the nominees in early October.

The deadline for entries is Sept. 27. Nomination forms and guidelines may be obtained from Fred Goldman at 301-294-0007. Entries should be mailed to: Potomac Chamber of Commerce, Inc., 9812 Falls Road, Suite 114, Box 320, Potomac, Md. 20854.

<sh>Country House Tour

<bt>The 47th annual Potomac Country House Tour, sponsored by St. Francis Episcopal Church, will feature four Potomac area homes on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6 from noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets are available at St. Francis' church office, 10033 River Road. Advance tickets are $15 and $20 the day of the tour. Call 301-365-2055.

Other activities will take place at the church, 10033 River Road, both days, including:

* Boutiques of St. Francis — all vendors donate a percentage of each sale to charities supported by St. Francis Episcopal Church

* Cottage Shop — crafts, clothes, toys and decorative items for the home and garden

* The Bottom Line Silent Auction.

* The Luncheon — A la carte buffet lunch will be available on both days from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in St. Francis Hall.

Proceeds from the house tour benefit over two dozen local, national and international charities and social ministries.

Call 301-365-2055.

<sh>Child Safety Seats

<bt>Over 74 percent of child safety seats checked in Montgomery County were used incorrectly, according to data from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

The County opened a permanent child safety seat inspection location on Aug. 29. The inspection center will be staffed by nationally certified child passenger technicians from Fire and Rescue Services, Division of Consumer Affairs, Health and Human Services and other volunteers. Trained safety specialists will check car seats for proper installation, age/size appropriateness and to determine if seats have been damaged or recalled.

The inspection station, located at the Department of Fire and Rescue Services Building, 14111 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, is one of 30 new centers opening in the United States and the only one in Maryland. The station will be open by appointment Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 a.m. to noon, and the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call the County's Division of Consumer Affairs, 240-777-3636, for appointments.

Car seat safety checks are also currently held monthly at various locations, including Fitzgerald's Auto Mall, 5501 Nicholson Lane, in Rockville.

Children under four weighing 40 pounds or less must be transported in a child safety seat. Since 1996, there have been 15 reported cases in Montgomery County where children involved in automobile crashes were saved from injury because they were in a car seat installed by a child passenger safety technician.

<sh>Potomac Burglary

<bt>According to police reports:

Golf clubs and a cell phone were taken from a residence on the 7900 block of Horseshoe Lane, in Potomac, between 6:15 a.m. and 6:25 a.m. on Aug. 19. Burglars entered an open garage.

<sh>Reward Offered

<bt>A 25-year-old Chevy Chase resident was walking in front of the Montgomery Grill restaurant, 7200 block of Wisconsin Ave., at 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, when he accidentally bumped into two intoxicated men who were leaving the restaurant, according to Crime Solvers of Montgomery County. The two men then physically assaulted the victim, repeatedly striking him on the face and head. Though the victim was able to flee the scene, he was treated for serious injuries including facial fractures and is recovering from reconstructive surgery.

A cash reward is offered for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of two men responsible. The suspects are described as white males, 20-25 years old, 5-feet-10 to 6-feet tall who weigh 175 to 200 pounds.

Anyone with information about the assault should call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-800-673-2777. Visit www.mccrimesolvers.com. Callers may rename anonymous.

<sh>Civic Calendar

<cal1>September 2002

<cal2>Park and Planning is scheduled to publish the staff draft of the Blockhouse Point Master Plan. To send comments about the park master plan in writing, or to get on the mailing list to receive information about the Blockhouse Point Master Plan, address letters to: Blockhouse Point Master Plan, 1109 Spring Street, Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

<cal1>September 2002

<cal2>Park and Planning has tentatively scheduled a public meeting, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, to solicit comment and input on the staff draft of the Blockhouse Point Master Plan. Visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/blockhouse_mp/blockhouse_mp.htm

<cal1>Saturday, Sept. 7, 6-8 p.m.

<cal2>Fundraiser for Del. Jean Cryor (R-15), home of Bill and Diana Conway, 10600 River Road, Potomac. $100. RSVP 301-983-6124.

<cal1>Tuesday, Sept. 10

<cal2>Primary Elections will be held. Voter registration applications are available from the Elections Office, 751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville. Call 240-777-8500 and leave a message at the 24-hour voter information line at 240-777-VOTE.

<cal1>Thursday, Sept. 12

<cal2>Montgomery County Council resumes committee worksessions after its annual recess, which began on July 31. Regular Council worksessions begin the following Tuesday, Sept. 17.

<cal1>Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.

<cal2>County Council Public Hearing on Councilmember Nancy Dacek's Bill 26-02, which would prohibit pedestrians from standing in a travel lane, roadway median or intersection, or approaching a motor vehicle in a travel lane to solicit or sell anything to occupants of the vehicle. County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Call 240-777-7900 to testify.

<cal1>Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.

<cal2>Western Area Recreation Advisory Board Meeting, Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac. Call 301-983-4471.

<cal1>Saturday, Sept. 14, 5-7 p.m.

<cal2>Fundraiser for Sen. Jean Roesser (R-15), at the home of Janet and Bill Phillips, 13301 Manor Stone Drive, Darnestown. $75. For information, call Fran Ichijo, 301-972-7561.

<cal1>Tuesday, Sept. 17

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

<cal1>Tuesday, Sept. 17

<cal2>County Council Public Hearing, Zoning Text Amendment 02-21. Exemption provision — private schools on land owned or leased by a religious institution. County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Call 240-777-7900 to testify.

<cal1>Tuesday, Nov. 5

<cal2>General Election.

<lst>Send items for the civic calendar to Potomac Almanac managing editor Ken Moore, 10220 River Road, Suite 330, Potomac, MD 20854; call 301-983-2600; e-mail to PotomacAlmanac@hotmail.com; Fax to 703-917-0991.

<sh>Accessible Voting Precincts

<bt>Registered voters with disabilities who reside in precincts where the polling place is not accessible may be assigned to an alternate polling place in a precinct that has a ballot identical to the one where the voter is registered.

Check Voter Notification Card for the accessibility status of the assigned polling place or call the Elections Office at 240-777-8500.

If a satisfactory substitute polling place is not available, or if the voter with a disability does not wish to be reassigned, voting by absentee ballot is an alternative. Applications for absentee ballots must be submitted to the Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on Sept. 3. Call Absentee Voting Department at 240-777-8550 or e-mail absentee@co.mo.md.us.

<sh>Voter Deadline Nears

<lst>The voter registration deadline is 9 p.m. Oct. 15, 2002, for the Nov. 5 general election.

Voter registration applications are available from the Elections Office, 751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville. Call 240-777-8500 and leave a message at the 24-hour voter information line at 240-777-VOTE.

Forms are also available at all Montgomery County public libraries, Montgomery College, public high schools, U.S. post offices and county government regional service centers.

The form can be printed from the state elections Website at www.elections.state.md.us and mailed back.

<sh>800 Election Judges Needed

<bt>Montgomery County's Board of Elections needs 800 election judges at polling places on Primary Election Day, Sept. 10, and General Election Day, November 5. Judges must be registered to vote in Montgomery County. They must be able to speak, read and write the English language, and must not hold office or be a candidate for a public or party office.

There is a special need for bilingual judges. In addition, alternates are needed throughout the County. Training will be provided and all judges will be compensated for election day.

To apply, call the Board of Elections. Democrat election judge recruiters can be reached at 240-777-8570, Republican election judge recruiters at 240-777-8575, and non-affiliated voters can call 240-777-8527.