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Votes

Community Notes

<lst>To have an item listed mail to 10220 River Road, Suite 303, Potomac, MD 20854, e-mail to almanac@connectionnewspapers.com, or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. Unless otherwise noted, all events are in Potomac. If you have any questions, call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6476.

The Montgomery County Police Department is currently accepting applications for future sessions of the Citizen Academy. The program is free. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and either live or work in Montgomery County. Participants who are selected for the program are required to attend 12 out of 16 classes to be eligible for graduation. Some of the topics covered include: Maryland Traffic Law, Major Crimes investigations, drug identification, scams and frauds, firearm safety, canine demonstration, DWI/underage drinking and the procedures of the Emergency Response Team. Academy members have the option of touring the Montgomery County Corrections Facility, participating in a ride along with a police officer, and attending Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes.

Sessions of the Citizen Academy are held in the spring and are scheduled to begin in February. Those interested in learning more about the Citizen Academy and applying for future sessions may contact Michele Smith at 301-840-2771.

With the holiday season approaching, Montgomery County residents who receive County-provided pickup of refuse or recycling materials are reminded that they can sign up to receive electronic reminders about holiday collection schedules. Residents can join the Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) email notification list by visiting www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste.

Traffic enforcement increases during the holiday season, through the first week In January, for impaired drivers. Montgomery County Task Force members will be watchful for aggressive and impaired adult drivers, as well as impaired teen drivers There will also be officers who are certified as Drug Recognition Experts to aid in apprehending drug-impaired drivers.

JSSA (Jewish Social Service Agency), a partner agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, has launched "The Warm Line," a unique program designed to offer guidance to religious school directors who may be confronted with complex student or family situations outside the realm of their professional expertise. For information on the Warm Line, contact Natalie Merkur Rose at 301-255-1997 or e-mail nmrose@jssa.org.

Mom's Club of Potomac offers activities for stay-at-home mothers and their children and meets on the third Monday of every month at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road at 10:30 a.m. Playgroups meet weekly and there is a full calendar of activities every month. E-mail or call Jennifer Klein at momspotomac@gmail.com or 301-299-2711.

"Time for Tots" designed for children from birth to 2-years-old at 10:30 a.m. at Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave. Features stories, rhymes, music and songs and held on the second Monday of the month. No registration required. 240-773-9490.

Free parking for customers of the Bethesda Library is now in effect. However, commuter parking is strictly prohibited. Earlier this year, the Montgomery County Executive and County Council adopted a policy of free parking at all Montgomery County public libraries. Signs have been erected in the Bethesda parking lot and meter heads have been removed by the County. The signs indicate that no parking is allowed before 9 a.m., Monday-Saturday, and vehicles found in the lot prior to that time will be ticketed.

Coffee club for all members meets on the third Tuesday of the month at White Flint Mall Eatery, 11301 Rockville Pike North, Bethesda. Meet in front along the side. Come out, have a drink, chat and walk. 301-309-2444.

Speakers of languages other than English can now find information about Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in one click from the MCPS Web site's home page.

Web sites have been created in Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese to enable non-English-speaking families to more easily find news, documents, and information about services. Links to the sites can be found just below the featured story on the MCPS home page. Each site also can be accessed via the following Web address (simply replace the language name after the slash to go to another language site): www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/chinese.

Each language site links to the Navigating the System guide for parents, Parent Connection newsletter, and Aim High booklets. Each site also features links to streaming video of the Our Schools Today TV program and to the QuickNotes e-mail newsletter. Visitors also will find links to Web sites for English as a Second Language/Bilingual Programs, the Downcounty Consortium, and the Middle School Magnet Consortium. This is the first phase of a project to improve access to information in other languages on the MCPS Web. Information and links on these sites will grow in future months. Suggestions and comments can be e-mailed to the Web Services Team at webmaster@mcpsmd.org

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) is pleased to announce that it is the new home of the Maryland Center for the Book (MCFB), one of 50 state affiliates of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Since 1996 the MCFB has operated under the auspices of Howard County Library. The new statewide Center at the Maryland Humanities Council will include satellite branches at Howard County Library and the Talbot County Free Library, extending the reach of the Center to the Eastern Shore. Visit the Web site at www.mdhc.org.

The Montgomery County Police Department would like to remind the community of the importance of not leaving cars unattended while running/warming up.

The colder temperatures make it tempting for drivers to want to warm up their cars in the morning, and then leave them running when they are making short stops. That practice is an open invitation to car thieves.

Leaving a car running and unattended on a public street is a violation of the State of Maryland Vehicle Law, Article 21 Section 1101 (a). The penalty is a $60 fine and one point on a driving record.

The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) invites residents to subscribe to its E-mail notification service which sends reminders approximately one week before a holiday to explain whether or not that holiday will cause collection days to shift. When weather-related changes are announced, E-mail alerts are sent out immediately. The announcements apply to county-provided collection service. Residents who contract for trash collection from a private hauler should check with their community manager or hauler to find out how holidays and winter weather are handled. DSWS staff report that feedback from subscribers has been positive. To subscribe to the email notices, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste. Subscriptions for Household Hazardous Waste Collection and solid waste facility announcements and a monthly article service for newsletter editors are also available.

To secure food sources and discourage raccoons and rodents, homeowners are advised to make sure trash lids are secured and locked tightly, eliminate all other external food sources that are attracting the animals and leave a rag soaked in ammonia inside the trash can as a deterrent to any food-seeking animals. Another option is trapping; however, this can be more costly. Private trapping services are found in the Yellow Pages or at the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife line at 877-463-6497. As a resident of Montgomery County, trappers must have a free permit from DNR advising the homeowner of trap and release regulations. For additional questions on trapping or if the animal involved may be a suspected rabies case, contact Animal Services 240- 773-5960.

A newly updated version of "Getting There," a free guide to facilities and services accessible by public transportation in the North Bethesda, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown areas, is now available. The guide features information on both transit and bike trails. Includes maps of the public transportation connections to major areas of interest such as retail centers, recreation and community facilities, post offices and more. For copies call 301-770-POOL (7665), e-mail commuter.express@montgomerycountymd.gov, or visit www.montgomerycounty.md.gov/commute.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center and the Little Falls Library join efforts to help residents access county services and learn about county programs. A representative from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center will visit Little Falls library, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda every fourth Tuesday from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information about the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcc.

Li-Ming Toastmasters Club welcomes guests in developing communications and leadership skills 10:15-11:45 a.m. at the staff lounge, room 119 of Julius West Middle School, 651 Great Falls Road, Rockville. Free to newcomers. Call 301-762-7978 or visit liming.freetoasthost.net.

Tally Ho Toastmasters Club meetings are every first and third Mondays of each month from 8-9 p.m. at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac. Contact Sue Schick for more information at info@tallyho.freetoasthost.com or 301-838-4703. Visit tallyho.freetoasthost.com for more.

Income guidelines for Montgomery County’s Working Parents Assistance Program have been increased to reflect local cost-of-living increases. In addition, eligible families will also receive greater subsidy amounts. Changes to the program were effective July 1. For information or to receive an application, call 240-777-1155 or 240-777-1009 (TTY). Applications may also be picked up or dropped off Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Child Care Subsidy Programs Office, located at 7300 Calhoun Place, Suite 700 in Rockville.

In recognition of its readiness – by residents and first-responders, alike – to respond in a timely manner to emergencies caused by severe weather conditions,

Montgomery County was designated a StormReady community by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). To be recognized as StormReady, a community must:

Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; Have multiple ways of receiving severe weather forecasts and warnings and of warning the public; Create a system to monitor local weather conditions; Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, including training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Montgomery County Public Safety Memorial was held today at the Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA) in Rockville. The orb-shaped memorial will be a tribute to the 28 men and women from the County’s public safety agencies that have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1928. The $300,000 memorial – which will feature a granite fountain and five stone walls engraved with the names of the public safety officers who lost their lives – will be built near the entrance to the training academy off Great Seneca Highway.