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This Week in Potomac 9-1-04

School Budget Forums

The Montgomery County Board of Education will hold three community forums in the fall as part of a new process to involve the public in the early stages of the development of the school system’s operating budget.

The forums are scheduled for 7-10 p.m. on Sept. 9 (focus: "Ensure the Success of Every Student"), Sept. 23 ("Provide an Effective Instructional Program") and Oct. 7 ("Strengthen Productive Partnerships for Education and Create a Positive Work Environment in a Self-Renewing Organization"), in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center at 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

No advance registration required. Comments may also be posted to www.mcps.k12.md.us/community/forums or mailed to the Board of Education at 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.

The Board of Education also will conduct its regularly scheduled budget hearings on Jan. 13 and 20, 2005.

Gearing Up for Potomac Day

The Potomac Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual Potomac Day celebration, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30.

The chamber seeks nominees from the public for the awards of Citizen of the Year, Businessperson of the Year, and Youth of the Year.

* The Citizen of the Year must be an individual or organization in Potomac that has made a contribution to the welfare of the citizens of the local, regional or national communities.

* The Businessperson of the Year must work or do business in Potomac, be a member of the Potomac Chamber of Commerce, and have made contributions to the welfare of the community.

* The Youth of the Year must be a senior-high-school student who resides in Potomac and has exhibited scholarship, leadership and community service attributes.

Many activities are planned for Potomac Day, including a car show, parade, art show and the annual Potomac 5K Fun Run. Sponsorship is needed on a variety of levels to get the day running as planned.

For more information, visit www.potomacchamber.org.

Recalling Summer Vacations

Almanac readers are invited to send in photos of their summer vacations. As we do on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we will print as many of these photos as we can in the weeks before and after Labor Day.

Please include a sentence or two about what is happening in the photo, including where the photo was taken and identifying all the people pictured. Include your name and address. We will print the names of the people in the photo and their towns of residence.

We will accept prints or digital photos. If you include a self-addressed stamped envelope, we will do our best to return hard-copy photographs, but please do not sent us anything irreplaceable.

Photos can be mailed to Potomac Almanac, Summer Vacation Photos, 10220 River Road, Suite 303, Potomac, MD 20854. Digital photos can be sent on CD, or e-mailed to photop@connectionnewspapers.com.

Voter Registration Drives

The Montgomery County Board of Elections will conduct voter registration drives on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at local libraries during the next several months. The deadline for registering to vote in November's General Election is Oct. 12. There will also be demonstrations on how to use the voting machines.

Following is a schedule of the drives:

*Sept. 18 at Chevy Chase Library, 8005 Connecticut Ave.; 301-986-4313; TTY 301-657-0830; at Little Falls Library, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda; 301-320-4880; TTY 301-320-8813;

*Sept. 25 at Potomac Library, 10101 Glenolden Drive; 240-777-0690; TTY 3011-765-4083

*Oct. 2 at Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda; 240-777-0922; TTY 301-897-2203

*Oct. 9 at Friends of the Library Bookstore, 4886 Boiling Brook Parkway, Rockville; 301-984-3300

For additional information, call Gilberto Zelaya at 240-777-8532, or e-mail at Gilberto_Zelaya@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Know a Big Tree?

The Montgomery County Forestry Board is opening nominations for the county's eighth annual Big Tree Contest. The Forestry Board invites residents to nominate any tree they think may be the biggest tree of its species in the county.

The last Big Tree contest resulted in the discovery of 30 new champion trees. Montgomery County is home to one national champion tree and 34 state champion trees. Information about measuring a tree and a nominating form can be found at www.mcforest.sailorsite.net. Forms can also be found at county libraries or by calling 301-924-3123.

Completed nomination forms should be sent to the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center, 5110 Muncaster Mill Road, Rockville, MD 20855. They will be accepted through Nov. 30.

Night Sewer Work

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) begins nighttime sewer work in the Heritage Walk community, located off Tuckerman Lane near I-270 in Montgomery County. The sewer main work takes place overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. for approximately 10 days starting Sunday, Aug. 29. Crews will open manholes in these areas to monitor wastewater flows to determine if groundwater is infiltrating the sanitary sewer.

<sh>Hospice Needs Helping Hands

<bt>A three-day course will be offered during October by Montgomery Hospice at 1355 Piccard Drive, Rockville. The course teaches the practical basics of being a Hospice volunteer. Applications are due Sept. 20. To apply, call 301-921-4400 or visit www.montgomeryhospice.org.

Assisted Living Ombudsman

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Aging and Disability Services, is looking for volunteers for the assisted living ombudsman program. Ombudsmen work with residents, families and the more than 70 providers of assisted living and group home services for the elderly. Volunteer ombudsmen also provide community education to assist consumers in making informed choices about selecting a group home.

A training session for volunteers is scheduled for Monday through Thursday, Oct. 4-7, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration for the training is required. Volunteers are asked to commit four hours per week for at least one year. Training and ongoing support are provided by experienced professionals.

For more information or to register for the training, call Mona Pollack or Anita Lieb at 240-777-3910.

Conservation Corps Reunites

The Montgomery County Conservation Corps (MCCC) celebrates its 20th anniversary on Monday, Sept. 13 and is searching for former members and graduates who want to join the celebration. The anniversary celebration, hosted by the Friends of the MCCC, takes place 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Lathrop E. Smith Center for Environmental Education, located at 5110 Meadowside Lane, Rockville.

The celebration includes refreshments, corps member demonstrations of tools and work projects, auction of wood products made by corps members and an award ceremony. For more information about the anniversary celebration, call the Conservation Corps at 301-929-5559.

Spanish Speakers Needed

Montgomery County's Board of Elections seeks Spanish-speaking individuals to serve as election judges at polling places on General Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 2.

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, be a U.S. citizen and be 18 or older by Nov. 2. Judges do not need to be residents of Montgomery County to serve. Training will be provided, and all judges will be compensated for training and for Election Day.

To apply or for more information, call Dr. Gilberto Zelaya at 240-777-8532 or gilberto.zelaya@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Help Others Read

In support of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County and in recognition of International Literacy Day on Sept. 8, 10 area book stores will be donating a percentage of their receipts on Saturday, Sept. 4 to the Literacy Council of Montgomery County.

The bookstores participating include Big Planet Comics, 4908 Fairmont Ave, Bethesda; Bonifant Books, 11240 Georgia Ave., Wheaton; Book Alcove, 15976 Shady Grove Road, Gaithersburg; Booktopia, 4701 Sangamore Road, Bethesda; Cricket Book Shop, 17800 New Hampshire Ave., Ashton; Georgetown Book Shop, 4710 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda; Kensington Row Bookshop, 3786 Howard Ave., Kensington; Olsson's Books & Records — Bethesda, 7647 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda; Russia On-Line, 3800 Howard Ave., Kensington; Silver Spring Books, 938 Bonifant St., Silver Spring.

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County is a nonprofit educational organization that trains volunteer tutors to help adult residents learn to read, write and/or speak English up to a fifth-grade level.

For more information, call 301-942-9292 or e-mail info@literacycouncilmcmd.org. Visit www.literacycouncilmcmd.org.