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This Week in Potomac 10-25-06

Hate-Based Vandalism at Bethesda/Chevy Chase High

Police are conducting an ongoing investigation into hate-based vandalism perpetrated at Bethesda/Chevy Chase High School after a football game against Walt Whitman High School on Oct. 13.

On Oct. 12, vandalism was reported at Whitman High that consisted of the letters "BCC" sprayed over the Whitman insignia. In the varsity football game on Friday, Oct. 13, Whitman won with a score of 42-0. At some time between 10 p.m. Friday night and 11 a.m. Monday morning, vandalism occurred on the B-CC campus.

According to county police spokesperson Lucille Bauer, school administrators, school security officers, and a Montgomery County Police educational facilities counselor observed "42-0," "Go Vikings," "[expletive] BCC," and stick figure versions of Whitman's Viking mascot and B-CC's Baron mascot in an "inappropriate graphic rendering" spray painted on the field and on banner advertisements.

Later, school officials and the police counselor observed "Holocaust 06" and swastikas spray-painted on the athletic track and on an advertising banner. The police department subsequently designated the vandalism hate-based after consulting with school administrators at B-CC High School.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the investigative unit at 301-657-0112. Those who wish to provide information anonymously can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Potomac Day Approaching

Potomac Day, an annual parade and outdoor community fair, will be held on this Saturday, Oct. 28, with events beginning at 9 a.m.

The annual celebration includes a children’s fair, 5K race, parade, and numerous local vendors and entertainers setting up outdoor booths. The race will kick off at 8:30 a.m., and parts of River Road and Falls roads will close for the parade at 10 a.m.

The 2006 Grand Marshal is Linda Barlock, director of the Potomac Community Center.

The Potomac Chamber of Commerce has named Carla W. Satinsky as Citizen of the Year; Businessperson of the Year is Steve Krensky of Country Squire Cleaners, and Student of the Year Shaneke "Shani" Weerakoon of the Landon School. They will be honored at a Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner at Normandie Farm on Nov. 17.

Board of Elections Seeks Judges

Don't let the term fool you — you don't have to be an attorney to be an election day judge. The Board of Elections needs check-in judges, voting unit judges, and assistant chief judges. To learn more about the positions, visit http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/elections/questionnaire.pdf. Democrats interested in volunteering can call the Board of Elections at 240-777-8570 or e-mail democrats@montgomerycountymd.gov. Republicans and all others can call 240-777-8575 or e-mail republicans@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Johnsons’ Haunted Forest Returns

The Johnson family invites the community to attend their 10th annual Haunted Forest at 11930 Cragwood Way, Potomac, on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 28 from 6-9 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and the Johnsons will have plenty of treats and surprises scattered throughout the trail. Please note that for the first time the trail will not be open on Halloween night; this will enable the family to have a rain date and keep road traffic to a minimum on Oct. 31. As in the past, there is no admission. However, the family accepts donations for charity, which will go to the Breast Cancer Coalition and the Brian Song Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Halloween Happening at Potomac Community Center

A costume parade, prizes, carnival games, arts and crafts and Halloween bingo will all be part of the Halloween Happening at the Potomac Community Center on Sunday, Oct. 29, 1-3 p.m. Ages 12 and under, admission is free. Call 240-777-6960 for more information.

Daylight Saving Time Ends

Daylight Saving Time Ends on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 2 a.m. Remember "Fall Back" when changing clocks, and change the batteries in smoke detectors. Crime and collisions typically increase due to the increased periods of darkness.

Potomac Man Arrested for Armed Robbery

Montgomery County Police officers have arrested Richard Genies for armed robbery which occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 in Germantown.

Officers were responding to an armed robbery in the area of the 18100 block of Metz Drive. According to police, the victim, a 14-year-old male, was approached by Richard Genies, age 23, of the 12600 block of Tobytown Drive in Potomac. Genies displayed a gun and told the victim to give him his shoes, the victim gave Genies his shoes and Genies fled the area in a silver Nissan, according to police reports. The victim observed the vehicle stopping in front of a nearby home and a female leaving the home and getting into Genie’s vehicle, and then gave officers the address that the female came from, according to police. Through further investigation, the officers obtained the license plate number for the vehicle and located Genies in the vehicle in front of the registered owner’s address. The victim's property was found in the vehicle along with a handgun and marijuana, according to police. Genies was arrested and is being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

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.

Candidate Forum in Potomac

On Nov. 5 from 7 to 9:30 p.m., candidates for statewide and county level offices serving the Gaithersburg, Potomac, Rockville and Bethesda areas of Maryland will be available to meet and greet community members at a candidate forum to be held at Congregation B'nai Tzedek, 10621 South Glen Rd., Potomac, MD 20854. Candidates fairs in previous years have brought more than 300 community members out to meet candidates for county and state-wide offices.

Community members will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with participating candidates for Montgomery County Council (at-large and districts 1, 3 and 4), county executive, state senate and delegate (districts 15, 16 and 17), state's attorney, attorney general and comptroller. In addition, candidates for Maryland Governor and U.S. Senate have been invited to speak and take questions from community members during the fair. More than 18 candidates have confirmed their attendance to date.

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.

Deer Hunts Scheduled

The Montgomery County Department of Parks plans to continue its deer management strategies this fall and winter. These initiatives will include carefully managed shotgun hunts in which only hunters who meet the highest level of state and county safety standards are permitted to participate.

Each participating park location will be closed from sunrise until sunset on hunting day(s). Appropriate park closing notices will be posted throughout each park. Expertly trained Park Police officers will conduct sharpshooting operations at some of the parks. Those parks will be closed to the public from 5:30 p.m. until sunrise from January 1 through March 31, 2007. Appropriate park closing notices will be posted throughout those parks as well.

Management shotgun deer hunting is scheduled in Blockhouse Point Conservation Park on Tuesday, Nov. 14. For further information and a complete list of parks where hunts are scheduled, visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/deer/index.shtm or call the Department of Parks’ deer information hotline at 301/495-3585.

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.