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This Week in Potomac and Civic Calendar 3-30-05

POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN

Montgomery County Police Detectives from the 1st District are asking the public for help as they continue to search for a man missing from Potomac.

Dr. Scott Nathan Labaer of the 8700 block of Seven Locks Road last had contact with his wife yesterday evening at 4:30 p.m. During the phone conversation with his wife, Labaer told her he had to return to his Rockville office for two appointments due to arrive at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Labaer did not return to his office for his evening appointments and has not returned home at this time. Labaer is a 39-year-old white male, 6' tall, 175 pounds, with blue eyes and short light-brown hair. He suffers from depression. He was last seen wearing a beige trench coat, light-blue shirt, red tie, and khaki pants. He was driving a silver 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible with a black cloth top, and Maryland registration KXL-808.

"There is no evidence of foul play," said Montgomery County Police spokesperson Lucille Baur. "He seemed to be carrying out his normal business activities and nothing that he did on the day that he was reported missing aroused suspicion on the part of those who saw him."

"The critical factor here is the suffering from depression," Baur said.

Anyone with information about the possible location of Labaer is asked to call Detective J. Bowers at the 1st District Investigative Section at 301-279-1602 or the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number of 301-279-8000.

CRYOR MEASURES ADVANCE

A bill sponsored by Del. Jean Cryor (R-15) that would allow sales-tax free purchases of clothing and shoes for one week each year passed the House of Delegates March 25, 127-0. House Bill 37 removes sales tax from most clothing and shoes up to $100 per transaction during the traditional back-to-school shopping week of Aug. 24-28.

Cryor said that the bill benefits working parents and will stimulate the economy and keep Maryland shoppers from traveling to other states, especially Delaware, which has no sales tax.

Missouri, New York City, Texas, Georgia and Florida have passed similar legislation.

Another Cryor bill, House Bill 1392, passed the Judicial Proceedings Committee last week and is expected to move to the House floor. The bill increases the possible civil fine for knowingly furnishing alcohol to minors from $500 to $1,000 for the first offense and $1,500 for subsequent offenses.

BRONROTT APPOINTED TO COG

Del. Bill Bronrott (D-16) has been appointed to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' (COG) Board of Directors as a representative of the Maryland General Assembly. He was also was named an alternate to COG's regional Transportation Planning Board. Both positions are effective immediately.

COG is an independent, non-profit organization comprising members of 19 Washington area local governments, plus area members of the Maryland and Virginia legislatures, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bronrott chairs the Montgomery County House delegation's transportation committee and serves on the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee. Since his election to the Maryland General Assembly in 1998, Bronrott has been known as an advocate of pedestrian and driver safety. During the 2005 legislative session, he has successfully advanced through the House several bills aimed at protecting teenage drivers following a rash of fatal accidents involving teens late last year.

BIOTECH BILL PASSES HOUSE

Del. Brian Feldman's (D-15) bill to spur increased investment in the Maryland’s biotechnology industry and attract biotech firms to the state passed unanimously in the House of Delegates March 29. The Biotechnology Investment Incentive Act allows Maryland-based investors to claim an income tax credit on investment in the biotech industry. The credit is available to individuals, corporations and venture capital firms. The act is a response to aggressive tax and investment initiatives in other states intended to attract biotechnology start-up firms — and the tax revenue and jobs they generate. Maryland is among the top biotechnology centers in the country, but lags well behind in venture capital investment, according to Feldman.

STRATEGIST JOINS VAN HOLLEN TEAM

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8th) announced March 25, that veteran campaign strategist Mike Morrill has joined the exploratory team helping him examine the possibility of running for United States Senate in 2006. Sen. Paul Sarbanes has announced he will not run for reelection.

Morrill was the campaign manager for Sen. Barbara Mikulski's successful reelection campaign last year, and has been active on numerous campaigns throughout Maryland for nearly 20 years.

SERVICE ACADEMY FORUM

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen's office has organized an information forum for students interested in entering the military service academies in July, 2006. The forum will take place April 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Executive Office Building Cafeteria, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Prospective applicants and their parents will be able to meet with representatives and current students from the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Applicants to the service academies must apply simultaneously to the congressman's office and to the academies themselves.

For more information, call 301-424-3501.

FACILITIES POLICY COMMENT SOUGHT

May 9 is the deadline for public comment on the Montgomery County Board of Education's proposed changes to Policy FAA, which deals with long range facilities planning — including school construction, school closures, and redistricting — and public comment in the planning process.

Copies of the draft policy and an operational framework containing proposed regulatory language are available from the MCPS Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391 or on the MCPS web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org.

Written comments should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850.

A CAPPELLA GROUP WILL PERFORM

Out of the Blue, an all-male a cappella group from Oxford University will perform special concert at the Potomac Presbyterian Church on Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m.

Since its inception by Potomac's own Derek Smith in 2000, Out of the Blue has toured to eight countries and over 30 cities, recorded four albums, and has given command performances to Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela.

The group sings a diverse range of music from 1920s barbershop to rock and pop hits.

Potomac Presbyterian Church is located at 10301 River Road in Potomac. call 301-299-6007 for more information. Out of the Blue's Web site is www.ootb.org.uk.

COMMUNITY CENTER SEEKS STUDENTS

The Potomac Community Center Advisory Board is recruiting two student board members. The board is looking for either a current freshman or sophomore willing to serve two years. Submit a letter of interest to Larry Chloupek, Chair, PCC Advisory Board, 11315 Falls Rd., Potomac, MD 20854 no later than March 31. For more information, contact Larry Chloupek at 301-469-6514.

CHURCHILL FOOTBALL REUNION

The 1977 and 1978 state champion Churchill football teams are holding a reunion April 8-10 at Pooks Hill Marriott. For more information, call Jay Dove at 240-643-0046 or Jim Hamm at 301-983-0446.

CIVIC CALENDAR 3-30-05

Thursday, March 31

Deadline for application submissions for the Jonathan T. Deutsch Memorial Award for musical creativity. The award is open to all high school students who either live or attend school in Montgomery County. Entries for the $500 award must include a tape, a written statement and an application available from the Potomac Community Center, which includes entry details. Send submissions to: Potomac Community Center Advisory Board, Jonathan T. Deutsch Musical Arts Memorial Fund 2004-2005 Excellence in Jazz and Creative Music, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac, MD 20854. Questions: Call Penny Heltzer of the Potomac Community Center Advisory Board at 301-983-9624.

Tuesday, April 5

At 1:30 p.m., County Council hearing on three special appropriations to Montgomery County Public Schools, including $1.6 million for lead abatement.

At 7 p.m., the first of four public hearings on County Executive Doug Duncan's proposed FY06 Operating Budget and amendments to the FY05-FY10 Capital Improvements Plan.

At the Council Office Building, 3rd floor hearing room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. To testify call 240-777-7931.

Wednesday, April 6, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Public hearings on County Executive Doug Duncan's proposed FY06 Operating Budget and amendments to the FY05-FY10 Capital Improvements Plan.

At the Council Office Building, 3rd floor hearing room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. To testify call 240-777-7931.

Thursday, April 7, 7 p.m.

Public hearing on County Executive Doug Duncan's proposed FY06 Operating Budget and amendments to the FY05-FY10 Capital Improvements Plan.

At the Council Office Building, 3rd floor hearing room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. To testify call 240-777-7931.

Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m.

The Montgomery County Planning Board and the Montgomery County Recreation Advisory Boards invite the public to participate in a forum on park and recreation projects to be included in the proposed fiscal year 2007-2012 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring. Those who wish to testify may sign up in advance to speak by calling 301-650-2890 prior to noon on April 7. If space is still available, speakers may sign up at the forum. Public testimony will be limited to 50 speakers. Written comments may be sent to Derick P. Berlage, Chairman, Montgomery County Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. Fax comments to 301-495-1320 or e-mailmcp-chairman@mncppc-mc.org. For more information or for assistance for those with special needs, contact Marion Joyce, community relations manager: 301-495-4600, TTY 301-495-1331.

Monday, April 11, 7 p.m.

County Council hearing on County Executive Doug Duncan's proposed FY06 Operating Budget for Montgomery County Public Schools.

At the Council Office Building, 3rd floor hearing room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. To testify call 240-777-7931.

Monday, April 18, 7 p.m.

April meeting of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory board at the Glen Echo Town Hall, 6106 Harvard Avenue, Glen Echo, 301-320-4041. The meeting agenda has not yet been announced.

Monday, May 9

Deadline for public comment on the Montgomery County Board of Education's proposed changes to Policy FAA, which deals with long range facilities planning — including school construction, school closures, and redistricting — and public comment in the planning process. The current version and proposed revision of Policy FAA, including draft regulatory language are available from the MCPS Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391 or on the Montgomery County Public Schools Web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org. Click on "Board of Education" on the left side and then on "Board Policies." Written comments should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850 or e-mail to boe@fc.k12.mcps.md.us.