This Week in Potomac 6-30-04

This Week in Potomac 6-30-04

Fireworks Illegal in Montgomery

All fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County. That’s the message being deliverd by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue service with renewed vigor.

Fireworks are the most dangerous devices in America, according to the National Fire Protection Association, based on a rate of injuries per hour of exposure. In the 1990s there was a period of seven years with no fireworks related injuries in Montgomery County. In the past five years there have been about half a dozen injuries and fire investigators have confiscated more than 30,000 pieces of illegal fireworks.

Comment Sought on ICC

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Montgomery County Planning Board will hear two hours of public testimony on the Maryland State Highway Administration’s three alternatives for the Intercounty Connector, known as the ICC, Thursday, July 15 at M-NCPPC’s auditorium, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. Residents, landowners, civic associations and others have an opportunity to express their views on the proposed alignments, parkland impacts, transportation efficiency, engineering and design, the associated bikeway and other concerns. Since public testimony is limited to two hours, all those wishing to testify in person are advised to sign up in advance by calling the Commission’s Community Relations Office, 301-495-4600. Written testimony may be sent to Derick P. Berlage, Chairman, Montgomery County Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910, by fax, 301-495-1320, or e-mail

For assistance with special needs, such as sign language interpretation, large print materials, listening devices, etc., contact Marion Joyce, Community Relations Manager, 301-495-4600, TTY 301-495-1331 or the Maryland Relay Service, 1-800-735-2258.

Blanket and Towel Shortage at Humane Society

The Montgomery County Humane Society has a shortage of blankets and towels that are used to keep the animals comfortable. The homeless animals need people to drop off their donations as soon as possible. Take clean blankets, towels and linens to the animal shelter located at 14645 Rothgeb Drive in Rockville. Donations are tax deductible.

Summer Food Service Offers Toll-Free Hot Line

The Center for Poverty Solutions, with grants from Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland State Attorney General's Office, will operate a toll-free hot line throughout the summer to direct callers to the nearest Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The SFSP offers sites throughout Maryland for children under 18 to receive well-balanced meals as well as to participate in fun summer activities.

The hot line will be open weekdays through Aug. 27, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. The number is 1-877-731-9300.

County Ride On Fares Change

Montgomery County’s Ride On program has changed its fares to coordinate with the introduction of a new fare structure by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metro system. The Ride On fare changes are designed to make transfers between Metrobus and Ride On simpler and less confusing by keeping fares for the two bus systems compatible. Changes include an increase from $1.20 to $1.25 in Ride On’s base fare to match Metro’s. Ride On will decrease the cost of the Ride About Two-Week pass from $12 to $10. The 20-trip ticket will increase from $13 to $18, which is still a discount of 28 percent compared with the regular base fee. Other Ride On fees remain unchanged. For more information, call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-RIDE or visit

Call Center for MCPS Inaugurated

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) inaugurates a new telephone call center on July 1. The MCPS Call Center is designed to provide families and community members with a one-stop resource for accurate and timely information about school operations, programs, enrollment, tests and reports, and other information about the school system. The MCPS Call Center telephone number is 301-309-MCPS (6277). The center will be in operation on weekdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., with the exception of holidays and other days when the MCPS administrative offices are closed.

The MCPS Call Center will provide answers to community questions in English and Spanish. Callers speaking other languages will be referred to the Cambodian, Korean, Vietnamese, French and Chinese language lines in the MCPS Division of ESOL/Bilingual Programs. The MCPS Call Center also is accessible to individuals with disabilities by utilizing the relay system.