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This Week in Potomac 10-5-05

DEER HUNTS IN BLOCKHOUSE, MUDDY BRANCH

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced plans Monday to expand its managed deer hunt program.

New hunt locations include the Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park and Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac as well as the Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park in Poolesville, portions of the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park and North Germantown Greenway Park in Goshen.

This decision follows recommendations from an inter-agency work group commissioned to help reduce deer-related traffic accidents and other negative impacts.

Hunts in Potomac will take place at the Serpentine Barrens and Muddy Branch Parks, and Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (an existing hunt location) Tuesdays Nov. 8 and 22 and Dec. 13.

The parks will be closed from sunrise until sunset those days, and closure notices will be posted.

For more information, visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/deer/index.shtm or call the Commission’s deer information hotline at 301-495-3585.

PAGE'S RUN BENEFITS CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION

Join the first annual Page’s Run 5K, a 5-kilometer race and quarter-mile fun run through the neighborhoods around Winston Churchill High School on Oct. 16. Page’s Run honors Kimberly “Page” Whetsell, who died of cystic fibrosis at the age of 22 on June 3, 2005. Proceeds will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Call race director Steven Bettis, Churchill’s cross country coach, at 301-343-5633, e-mail coachbettis@yahoo.com, or visit www.pagesrun.com.

POTOMAC MAN ENTERS SENATE RACE

Entrepreneur Josh Rales, a Potomac resident, formally announced his run for U.S. Senate on Oct. 3.

Rales, 47, made a fortune investing in real estate in the Washington and Atlanta areas. As a philanthropist, he has backed the Ruth Rales Comcast Kids Reading Network, a tutoring program in Montgomery County Public Schools, and organizations like the Jewish Social Service Agency.

He enters an already crowded field vying for the Democratic nomination to replace Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who will retire in 2006 after 30 years in the Senate. Declared candidates include U.S. Rep Ben Cardin (D-3rd), former Congressman and NAACP head Kweisi Mfume, American University professor Allan Lichtman and forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren.

The presumptive Republican candidate is Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, though Steele has not announced a bid. Rales himself switched to the Republican party in the mid-1990s and supported George Bush in 2000, but said he became disillusioned and switched back to the Democratic Party shortly before the 2004 elections.

Rales was profiled in the Almanac Aug. 3. See www.potomacalmanac.com.

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT HONORS C&O VOLUNTEERS

U.S. Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton presented volunteers and employees of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park with a “Take Pride in America” Federal Volunteer Program award, the highest designation for a federal agency volunteer program, on Friday, Sept. 30. The Canal’s award is for its Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) Program.

“Take Pride in America” is a national partnership program that engages, supports and recognizes volunteers who work to improve the nation’s public lands.

"You have touched others with the gifts of your time and talent," said Norton. "Your efforts at stewardship on behalf of public lands in this country are a testament to the value that volunteers provide to all Americans."

Over the last year the Canal’s VIP program grew from 1,847 volunteers to 2,396 volunteers, who contributed an estimated value of $840,041 to the park. One staff person directs the Canal’s VIP program with the help of an intern who works with the Canal’s five visitor centers. The Canal’s VIP program has been designed to run virtually independently in order to allow park staff to concentrate on other necessary duties.

POTOMAC DAY TO HELP KATRINA VICTIMS

The Potomac Chamber of Commerce will donate proceeds from Potomac Day 2005 to Hurricane Katrina relief.

"Every year we choose a charity and we try to get local charities, but this year with the catastrophic level of Katrina, we though our resources would best be used there," said Chamber president Andrea Alderdice.

A specific charity has not yet been selected, though Alderdice said the American Red Cross and Salvation Army were likely candidates.

Potomac Day is a free event for community members, but raises money through the business fair and registration fees for the 5K fun run. The Chamber uses that money to cover event costs and donates the rest to charity — usually $5,000 or more.

"I think it may be more this year," Alderdice said. "We've gotten bigger and better every year."