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This Week in Potomac 11-8-06

Environmental Lawsuit over Inter-County Connector

Environmental Defense and the Maryland Sierra Club are planning to file a lawsuit in an attempt to stop construction of the Inter-County Connector (ICC), a $2.4 billion, 18-mile proposed highway that would connect I-370 near Rockville to I-95 near Laurel and would likely require a toll of $7 per roundtrip. The ICC would provide a quicker commute between Mntgomery County and Prince George's County, but detractors say it would wreak havoc on the environment and increase sprawl. In the lawsuit, Environmental Defense and the Maryland Sierra Club will cite the federal Clean Air Act and the fact that the Washington region already fails to meet clean-air standards.

Wootton Presents ‘The Revenge of the Space Pandas’

Thomas Wootton High School presents “The Revenge of the Space Pandas” at the Wootton Center for the Arts, 2100 Wootton Parkway, Rockville. This David Mamet play by is a spoof on the dimension of time. Mamet’s zany characters stop time and spin off into space into one of the craziest adventures of theater. It is a one-act play suitable for all ages.

Performances are on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. All seats are general admission, $10 adults, $5 students. For tickets visit www. montgomeryschoolsmd. org/schools/woottonhs/ or visit the Box Office Nov. 1-10 from 3-6 p.m. (closed Nov. 7 for Election Day), or two hours before showtime on performance dates. Call 301-279-8581 for information.

Churchill Presents ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

Winston Churchill High School Theater presents “Singin’ in the Rain” on Nov 11, 17, 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov 12 at 2 p.m. in the Bish Auditorium at the school located at 11300 Gainsborough Rd, Potomac. This zany, light-hearted romantic comedy is set in 1920s Hollywood, about the early days of sound film, when many a movie studio found itself scrambling to salvage the career of its chipmunk-voiced silent picture star.

Admission is $10 for adults and $ 8 for children under 10. For tickets, visit www.churchillhs.org and click on “Singin’ in the Rain” in the sidebar on the right. Tickets are also available at the box office, next to the auditorium, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 30 minutes before and after dress rehearsal (approximately 6-6:30 and 9-9:30 p.m.); Wednesday, Nov. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; and one hour prior to each performance.

Sarah von Schrader Speaks at Garden Club Program

The Little Farms Garden Club of Potomac will be having its Annual Fall Program at the Potomac Community Center.  The event will be held on Monday, November 13 at 2:00 PM.  The featured speaker will be Sarah von Schrader, owner of Urban Petals of Washington, DC.  She will be presenting "Color, Texture, Shape, Utility and Gratitude".  She will be creating floral designs which will be auctioned during the program.   The admission is $20 and reservations are suggested. Those interested may call Marijke Young at 301-424-4580.

School Board Tentatively Approves Middle School Policy

The Board of Education met on Monday, Oct. 23, and tentatively approved a revised policy on middle school education. The policy is designed to support the formulation of a comprehensive plan for middle school that increases and sustains student achievement. The revision was developed with the collaboration of a steering committee comprising community, parent, and student stakeholders, as well as representatives from school and administrative offices. Policy IEB provides direction for a rigorous and challenging middle school education program that improves teaching and learning, promotes continuous improvement in all middle schools, and ensures that all students are prepared for a successful high school experience.

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. 24th, 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.

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.

What to Say When Calling 9-1-1

When somebody calls 911 for help, the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service respond. Certain types of injuries, illness and even structure fires seem to occur more often around this time of the year. The end of the summer season and impending fall weather can mean busy times for area firefighters and emergency medical first responders.

Injuries are typically those associated with slips, falls or vehicle collisions, more often than not related to changing weather conditions, while the illnesses may be associated to predisposing medical conditions related to stroke or heart disease. Over seventy percent of the calls for help are associated with emergency medical services.

Whatever the need for emergency services, Montgomery County emergency call takers will ask specific questions in order to send the most appropriate help. In doing so for medical emergencies, dispatchers use a special screening process called Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD). The 911 call taker will normally ask a series of questions to come up with an appropriate level of response based on the information provided by the caller.

The first and most important bits of information required are the address and phone number, in case there is a disconnect or other issue during the 911 call process.

If a medical call is being reported, call takers will ask questions such as age and gender, and the exact problem being reported. Next, a series of questions that may follow, for a sick person: Is he/she breathing normally? Does he/she have chest pain? Is he/she bleeding or vomiting blood? Does he/she have a history of heart problems?

The number of questions needed to produce the most appropriate response increases with the seriousness of the medical problem. These additional questions are essential in determining whether the scene is safe for victims and emergency responders, if hazardous conditions are present, or if additional or specialized rescue equipment may be needed.

Additionally, if a patient is in cardiac arrest or childbirth is imminent, there are Pre-Arrival Instructions that fire and rescue dispatchers can give to help the caller in providing life-saving actions such as CPR and childbirth assistance. These instructions follow the protocols set forth by the State of Maryland Medical Protocols.

All of these questions can take time to ask, and at times to the caller it may seem that fire and rescue personnel may not be acting quick enough to send help. However, in most cases when there are additional questions being asked or instructions given, the call has already been sent via computer to be dispatched. Often units are alerted to respond and enroute while additional information is gathered over the telephone.

The Montgomery County Public Safety Communications Center (PSCC), Fire and Rescue Emergency Operations Center (ECC) is staffed entirely by uniformed firefighters (one of only a few in the United States) all of whom are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), including some specially trained as Paramedics, critical incident stress management, search and rescue, hazardous materials, foreign languages and other special skills. All fire and rescue communication personnel are nationally certified as Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) personnel. Fire and Rescue communication personnel dispatch an average of nearly 375 emergency calls a day or over 100,000 per year.