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This Week in Potomac 12-6-06

Planning Board Hearing for Proposed Koh Property Rezoning

On Thursday, December 7 at 1:00 p.m., the Montgomery County Planning Board will hear the application by the Koh family to rezone 5.6 acres of residential land to Country Inn Zoning. The proposed plan will allow for the construction of a country inn, a restaurant and additional unspecified commercial space. The West Montgomery Citizens Association has formally objected to this project previously and George Barnes will testify on their behalf, citing vague and nebulous language as to the specific details of the project that fails to meet the standards required for the Country Inn Zoning. The meeting is open to the public.

Support Potomac Community Center at BB&T Bank’s Grand Opening

BB&T Bank at Potomac Village, 9812 Falls Road, Potomac will hold a grand opening on Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:30-8 p.m. Bring a friend or two, or three — for each person who stops by, the Potomac Community Center will receive a donation of $25. This is the old Potomac Deli space, and the event will be catered by Potomac Deli.

Potomac Library Holds Book Sale

Friends of the Potomac Library are sponsoring a book sale at the library at 10101 Glenolden Drive on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Most hardbacks are $1, and paperbacks $.50. Call 240-777-0690 or visit www.montgomerylibrary.org.

Maryland Classic Orchestra Performs at Strathmore

The Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra will perform at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. The performance will include Meyer’s “Dragonhunter,” Schubert’s “Rosamunde Overture,” and Saint-Saens’ “Bacchanale,” and will feature the Chamber Strings, Young Artists and the Symphony.

On Sunday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m., Olivia Gutoff will retire from the podium after 25 years of animated music-making, potent advocacy and all-around consciousness-raising. One final concert at Strathmore, featuring the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece by Michael Morgenson, entitled “Chapter Final,” will be the culmination of her many years as an artist, teacher and conductor. This performance will feature the Sinafora, Harp Ensemble and Philharmonic. Admission $8/children and senior citizens available in-person or by phone. Visit www.mcyo.org.

Geology Along the Billy Goat Trail

Join Geologist Callan Bentley to explore the constantly changing landscape that we call Great Falls and Mather Gorge on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

The bedrock of the region tells a story of an ancient sea that was later destroyed in a tectonic collision, rising up the Appalachian Mountains. Hikers will examine rock exposures which have been interpreted as the floor of this ancient ocean, and other rocks which were partially melted by the incredible temperature of mountain building.

The three-hour hike will cover the entire Billy Goat Trail, plus portions of the Berma Road. Be prepared to scramble for 4 miles up and down a very rocky landscape. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, and carry water.

This excursion is limited to 15 people and requires a reservation.  Call the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center by 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 to reserve a spot. The hike is not handicapped accessible.

The hike begins at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, C & O Canal National Historical Park, at the intersection of Falls Rd. and MacArthur Blvd. For more information about hike and the park, call 301-767-3714.

Har Shalom Hosts Hanukkah Happening

Congregation Har Shalom’s annual Hanukkah Happening is a family event will be held on Sunday, Dec. 17, 4:30-7 p.m. at the synagogue, 11510 Falls Road, Potomac. Parents, grandparents and kids of all ages are invited to a fun-filled evening of arts and crafts, games, moonbounce, singing, dancing and a dairy dinner (lots of latkes!).  Bring your Hanukkah for a group lighting ceremony.  Advance admission for the event (before Dec. 12) is $7 per adult, $5 for each child and a per-family maximum of $25; after Dec. 12 or at the door it will be $8 per adult, $6 per child and a family max of $30.  Reservations strongly recommended.  For more information, call the synagogue’s program committee at 301-299-7087, ext. 2321.

Critical Blood Shortage

The National Institute of Health Blood Bank has announced an urgent need for type O blood donors. Both local and regional inventories of this blood type are dangerously low. If you are a donor with blood type O, please donate today by visiting the NIH Blood Bank located on the first floor of the Clinical Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda. Hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Please call for an appointment or directions at 301-496-1048. Convenient, free parking is available for blood donors.

If you have not donated blood before and are not sure if you are eligible, please visit www.cc.nih.gov/dtm/html/donrinfo.htm to learn more about being a donor at NIH.

Legacy Open Space Advisory Group Members Sought

The Montgomery County Planning Board seeks individuals to serve on the Legacy Open Space Advisory Group. The group provides public input on which irreplaceable natural resources, watershed lands and historic properties are purchased and preserved for future generations.

The Legacy Open Space Advisory Group reviews the program to protect identified Legacy Open Space sites; reviews new nominations of sites for protection under the program; comments on park management plans for already acquired properties; and identifies other funding sources, such as private donations and foundation grants.

Advisory Group applicants must be residents of Montgomery County with an interest in the future of the County’s parks and green spaces; have the ability to attend four evening meetings per year; and have an interest in learning more about natural resources, historic sites, green space preservation, and urban open space issues. Experience with these issues is a plus, but not necessary.

To apply, please send a letter expressing your interest to: Brenda Sandberg, Legacy Open Space Program Manager, 1109 Spring Street, Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

For more information on the Legacy Open Space program and the Advisory Group, please contact Brenda Sandberg at 301-650-4360 or Brenda.sandberg@mncppc-mc.org.

Community Offers Reward After Mailbox Vandalism

in the wake of extensive vandalism to numerous mailboxes in the River Falls neighborhood between Sept. 30 and October 1, the Community Association of River Falls is offering a private reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of those responsible for the destruction of mailboxes in their community. The reward will be offered until Dec. 16.

Police received reports for nine incidents: four on Masters Drive, one on Buckboard Court, two on Bridle Lane, one on Bridle Court, and one on Brickyard Road. The victims last saw their mailboxes intact between 3:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. Community members believe many more mailboxes were damaged, but the incidents were not reported to the police.

Anyone who has information in reference to these vandalisms should call the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County tip line toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). The Crime Solvers phone line guarantees anonymity.

Blindness Prevention Fundraiser, Free Glaucoma Screenings at Behnke Nurseries

Behnke Nurseries is partnering with the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington (POB) for a fundraising campaign to benefit POB’s sight-saving programs.

Between Nov. 16 and Dec. 24, Behnke Nurseries will donate $1 from every purchase made at its garden centers to the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington, as well as provide locations for free glaucoma screenings.

The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington will be sponsoring free glaucoma screenings at Behnke on 9545 River Road, Potomac, on Sunday, Nov. 26 and Saturday, Dec. 16 in Potomac from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Montgomery Democratic State Central Committee Seeking Nominees for Key Posts

The Montgomery Democratic State Central Committee (MDSCC) will elect two members to the Committee and will nominate three members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections to the incoming Governor of Maryland.

One of the new members of the MDSCC will be an at-large voting Central Committee member and will replace Andrea Eaton who has resigned; registered Democrats of any gender from anywhere in Montgomery County are eligible to fill this position.

The other opening on the MDSCC is for a female registered Democrat voting member of the Maryland Democratic Party State Central Committee and non-voting member of the MDSCC to provide for gender balance in accordance with the rules of the Democratic National Committee; registered female Democrats from anywhere in Montgomery County are eligible for this position.

The two new members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections will be voting members and one will be a substitute member. Montgomery County registered Democrats are eligible for nomination.

Applicants should submit a letter of application with a resume by 12 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee by mail to 3720 Farragut Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895, Fax to 301-946-1002 or e-mail to MontgomeryDems@msn.com. Applicants will be interviewed by a Nominations Recommendation Committee at the Central Committee at 7:30 p.m. either on Thursday, Dec. 7, or Monday, Dec. 11. Applicants are also requested to attend the Dec. 12 meeting at 7:30 p.m.

For further information, contact Elliot Chabot at 301-871-1113.