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This Week in Potomac 1-26-05

Town Meeting

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8th) will convene a town hall meeting for current and retired federal employees of the Eighth Congressional District. He will discuss the activities of the 108th Congress that affected the federal workforce and provide an overview of what can be expected in the 109th Congress. Van Hollen will answer questions and respond to comments from the audience on Monday, Jan. 31, 7:30-9 p.m., at Winston Churchill High School 11300 Gainsborough Road, Potomac. Call 301-424-3501 with questions.

Ogens Chairs Fire and Rescue

Potomac resident Ronald L. Ogens, Esq. was named chair of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Commission, effective Jan. 1. Ogens is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Washington College of Law of the American University. His is a principal in the Bethesda law firm of Deckelbaum Ogens & Raftery, Chartered. Ogens, who is a public member of the Fire and Rescue Commission, has previously served as Fire and Rescue commissioner, secretary, and vice chair of the commission, chair of the Operations Committee of the commission, and chair of the Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Service Master Plan Task Force. He also served as a member of the county government’s Ethics Commission.

The seven-member Fire and Rescue Commission is a quasi-judicial body and an agency of the Montgomery County government, charged by county law with approving or disapproving all generally applicable policies and regulations by the county’s fire chief.

Commercial Burglary

* Dollar World, 15130 Frederick Road, Rockville, on Jan. 12, at 9:38 p.m. Broke side window, took cash register and cash.

* 6500 block of Seven Lock Road, Bethesda, between Jan. 12 at 11 p.m. and Jan. 13 at 8 a.m. Broke door, took live goat that was housed in the basement.

* 4800 block of Montgomery Avenue in Bethesda, between Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. and Jan. 6 at 8:15 a.m. Entered open garage and took mountain bicycles.

* 6300 block of Newburn Drive in Bethesda, between Dec. 24 at 5:15 a.m. and Dec. 29 at noon. Entered door, nothing taken.

Residential Burglary

11200 block of Willowbrook Drive in Potomac, on Jan. 14, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Broke window, took electronic equipment.

Keeping Kids Out of Trouble

"The Pal Program (Police Activities League) — Keeping Kids in School and Out of Trouble," with keynote address by Cpl. Terry Gloster of the Montgomery County Police Department, is the subject of the Task Force on Mentoring/The Mentor Network forum on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 a.m. The forum takes place at the County Council Building on the sixth floor, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. For more information, call 301-330-0330 or 240-777-7816.

Leggett to Run for County Executive

Ike Leggett recently announced his intention to run for county executive on his Web site. Leggett served four terms as an at-large member of the Montgomery County Council from 1986-2002, serving as the council’s president three times, and he was chair of the Maryland Democratic Party from 2002-04.

Legislative Action in Annapolis

* Grants are available for individuals, local governments and businesses to offset the cost of photovoltaic (solar energy generation) or solar water heating projects. The grants are the product of legislation sponsored by Sen. Rob Garagiola (D-15) and signed into law by Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) in April 2004. For a brochure with more details about the program, call Tim LaRonde at 410-260-7539 or e-mail tlaronde@energy.state.md.us.

* Garagiola introduced the “Assault Weapons Criminal Penalty Enhancement Act of 2005” along with 20 Senate colleagues on Jan. 18. The bill would expand the list of weapons that enhance criminal penalties if used in the commission of a felony or crime of violence.

Caregiver Volunteers

Training for volunteers in the new Telephone Reassurance for Caregivers Program takes place Thursday, Jan. 27, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. Prospective volunteers need to apply for entry into the program, schedule a screening interview and make a reservation for training. Topics that will be covered in training are a program overview; volunteers' roles, responsibilities, reporting, support and self-care; program policies and procedures; issues of caregiving; effective listening/communication; and caregiver resources and referrals.

The Telephone Reassurance Program for Caregivers serves Montgomery County residents who are the primary caregivers of another senior, a grandchild or a person with developmental disabilities under the age of 18. Trained volunteers will be matched with a caregiver whom they will call at least once a week for approximately one year. Volunteers can make the calls from their own home or workplace. The program lets caregivers know someone cares about them and helps to alleviate their isolation, loneliness, fear and depression. Having regular contact with a caring support person helps the caregiver stay connected with the community; provides companionship; stimulates mental capacity; and encourages self-care and utilization of other available resources.

Volunteers will receive training, monthly support group meetings, continuing education and ongoing support and consultation. To apply for a volunteer position in the program, call 240-777-2611 to request an application packet and schedule a screening interview. To refer a caregiver, call to request a caregiver referral form.

Good News: No News

Eugene Roesser of Cabin John Volunteer Fire Department reported there were no major rescue operations in the past week, despite two snowstorms. “Usually when the weather hits, we tend to get pretty busy,” Roesser said. Cabin John responded to one or two fire alarms each day last week, but all the local ones were false alarms, which are sometimes set off by inclement weather. “Nine times out of ten, it’s some type of trip in the electrical system that sets these off,” Roesser said.

Wootton Grad Performs ‘… Art of Dreams’

David London, a 2000 graduate of Thomas Wootton High School, performs “… Art of Dreams,” a theatrical exploration of the hypnagogic state — the point of consciousness between wakefulness and dreaming. Performances are 8 p.m. Feb. 3-5 at the Warehouse Theater, 1021 7th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. Tickets are $15. Visit www.artofdreams.net or e-mail AODtickets@yahoo.com for ticket information.

Churchill’s Hall of Fame Gala

Join Winston Churchill High School alumni, parents, administration and coaches for the Churchill High School Athletes’ Hall of Fame Gala at Bethesda Country Club on Friday, March 4. Events include a cocktail reception, silent auction, slide show, Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dessert. Admission is $175 per person, and proceeds will benefit the CHS Fields Renovation Project. For more information and a registration form, visit www.mcps.k12.md.us/schools/churchillhs/athletics/ and click on “Boosters.”