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Community Notes

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.

Mom's Club of Potomac offers activities for stay-at-home moms and their children. Come to a summer party on Monday, July 24 10:30 a.m. at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road. There are playgroups that meet weekly and a full calendar of activities every month. For more information call Carrie Lee at 301-299-6917.

Learn how to preserve the singing voice with opera singer Chrissellene G. Petropoulos on Thursday, July 20 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the lobby of the Rockville Civic Center. She will choose participants by e-mail to sing, but the event is open to everyone. Singers who have the courage to share their vocal challenges are encouraged to participate. To be one of the singers to participate, send an email to contactrmt@hotmail.com and describe vocal challenges. For more details, see the RMT website, http://www.r-m-t.org/.

Come to the next meeting of Socrates Café, a philosophical discussion group exploring life’s "big questions" and based loosely on the Socratic dialogue method on Saturday, July 22, 7–9 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, 100 Welsh Park Drive, Rockville. Coffees, teas and light refreshments will be served. Free and open to all. Call 301-762-7666 or go to www.uucr.org for directions and more information.

The ASCE Toastmaster Club meets Saturday, July 22 at 9:20 a.m. at the Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. Become a better public speaker and newcomers always welcome. Contact Bernard Gogel (bggogel@hotmail.com) at 703-524-8038 or Kin Wong at 202-366-0626 for information.

Li-Ming Toastmasters Club welcomes guests in developing communications and leadership skills on July 23, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20 from 10:15-11:30 a.m. at 16039 Comprint Circle, 2nd floor, Gaithersburg. Free to newcomers. Call 301-762-7978 or visit www.li-ming.org/toastmaster.

Montgomery County Public Libraries is holding a first-ever reading program for adults ages 18 and up entitled "This Summer, Read the Book You’ve Always Meant to Read." Participants will read a book of their choice and fill out a form describing why they chose that title. Entries may be submitted in person at the participant’s local library or online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library. The program will run through September 9. Prizes will be awarded to a randomly chosen entrant from each library and to one online entrant. For more information, contact a local library or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Montgomery County's Board of Elections seeks individuals to serve as election judges at polling places on Primay Election Day, Sept. 12 and General Election Day, Nov. 7. Judges must be registered to vote in Maryland and must be able to speak, read and write the English language, and must not hold or be a candidate for any office. To apply or for more information, call 240-777-8533 or Democrats should e-mail democrats@montgomerycountymd.gov or Republicans, e-mail republicans@montgomerycountymd.gov.

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.

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.

A community-wide campaign to raise money to replicate the C & O Canal boat at Great Falls, has gotten a boost from the Potomac Area Newcomers Club. The social and philanthropic organization has donated all proceeds from the sale of their 40th anniversary cookbook, "Recipes to Remember," totaling $5,000. With dollar for dollar matching funds from DRS Technologies of Gaithersburg, the total cash contribution of $10,000 is supplemented by $2,000 in cook book inventory, the proceeds of which go to friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern.

After the Tuesday, Jan. 24 shooting at a Germantown daycare center, Montgomery County Police want to remind community members that there is a free gun lock distribution program available to Montgomery County residents. Firearm owners should keep guns and ammunition in separate locked containers, but using a gun lock provides an additional important safeguard. Anyone wishing to receive a gun lock should come to any of the Montgomery County Police District Stations or Police Headquarters with personal photo identification and proof of Montgomery County residency. The cable-style gun locks come with safety information, and the lock is designed to fit on most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns. These gun locks are provided at no charge to Montgomery County residents on a first-come, first-served basis; with a maximum of two gunlocks to a resident. www.montgomerycountymd.gov/police.

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.

Adventure Theatre, a children's theater in Glen Echo Park, is getting a new stage, new theater seats, classroom and rehearsal spaces, offices and restrooms. The federal, state and county governments are funding the exterior and structural rehabilitation of the Old Arcade Building, which houses the theater. The interior construction and outfitting is left up to Adventure Theater. Adventure Theater began its Campaign for Tomorrow at the start of 2005 and is more than two-thirds of the way to its goal of raising $1.5 million. Adventure Theatre is now appealing for help from the thousands of families who over the years have brought their children to its main stage weekend performances, summer musical theater workshops, after-school classes and workshops for Scout troops. To donate in person: Adventure Theater, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301-320-5331 or www.adventuretheater.org.

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) received 2006 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards for three programs: "Expanding Library Services for Seniors;" "Reader’s Café: A Virtual Meeting Place for Books and Readers;" and "English Conversation Clubs." NACo’s annual awards program recognizes efforts by local jurisdictions that promote responsible, responsive, and effective county government. To learn more about these and other library services and programs, including library locations and hours, visit or call a local library 240-777-0001, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

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.