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This Week in Potomac 7-18-07

Bethesda Burglary, Auto Theft Investigated

Montgomery County Police 2nd District Detectives are investigating a nighttime residential burglary in Bethesda that occurred on July 11.

On July 11, at approximately 8:00 a.m., officers from the 2nd District were called to the 10600 block of Montrose Avenue in Bethesda for a burglary. Officers arrived at the scene and were advised by the homeowner that when she awoke in the morning, she discovered that her purse was missing. The homeowner continued to check her home and discovered that numerous items were missing. She also discovered her 2007 gray four-door Pontiac G6 bearing Maryland registration 9CHM15 was missing.

The homeowner believed she had locked her doors before going to bed for the night. The victim’s car has not been recovered, and is listed as a stolen vehicle.

Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112.

MCPS Ranked No. 5 in Nation

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the fifth-best school district in America in terms of delivering high student performance at a low cost, according to a new analysis published in Forbes magazine. MCPS ranked the highest of any school system in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region on the list of 97 districts studied by Forbes.

The Forbes rankings, published in the July 23, 2007 edition, are available online at www.forbes.com/schoolratings.

A Day for Our Wounded Military Personnel

Ron and Joan Furman would like to provide wounded military personnel at local military hospitals with a chance to spend a day in a country, park-like environment with swimming, volleyball, horseshoes, badminton, darts, ping-pong and a picnic lunch on Sunday, July 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Furmans are planning this activity with The American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. They will provide transportation for these events, and seek volunteers for this day, especially volunteers who can provide entertainment on that day.

Join the Furmans for an organizational meeting on Sunday, July 22, at 1 p.m. Monetary contributions to help with this effort would also be appreciated; make checks payable to the American Red Cross and specify "For Camp Furman." The money will be used for equipment and supplies for these outings.

For further information contact Ron and/or Joan Furman at 301-948-7000, or e-mail furman@anproperties.com or joananpi@yahoo.com.

Montgomery College Board Seeks Applicants for Nominating Committee

The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants for a two-year term on the nominating committee for the Board of Trustees of Montgomery College. Nominations must be submitted by Wednesday, July 25.

The committee’s immediate business will be to fill the seat of Trustee Robert C. Maddox, whose term expires in September 2007.

The committee reviews applications for vacancies on the Board of Trustees of Montgomery College and submits recommendations to the Governor, who makes the appointment.

County residents who are registered voters and have knowledge of, and interest in, meeting higher education needs of the County, and who have demonstrated an active interest in civic affairs may apply.

Applicants should send a letter expressing interest, including a resume listing professional and civic experience, to: Council President Marilyn Praisner, County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Letters of application must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25. It is the Council’s policy not to consider applications received after the deadline. The names of all applicants are published and available for public review. Interviews are open to the public.

Ready for Reading Road Trip?

Young readers in Montgomery County are invited to take a "Reading Road Trip" by participating in the 2007 Summer Reading Club that began on June 14 in Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL). The annual program, a cooperative project of the Maryland State Department of Education and public libraries in Maryland and the District of Columbia, is designed to encourage reading among young people of all ages.

Children who sign up for the program will receive a "gameboard" to keep track of their reading and a suggested reading list. To fit this year’s travel-related theme, the "gameboard" includes a map of the United States with interesting facts about the states featuring a variety of cultures and landmarks, "Wacky Facts," "Rules of the Road," and fun travel games. During the summer children will be able to receive various prizes and be able to purchase T-shirts with the "Reading Road Trip" imprint for $5, while supplies last.

Smoother Driving Ahead

The Montgomery County Police Department is once again participating in the "Smooth Operator" campaign, which began on Saturday, and will take place one week out of each of the summer months. The Smooth Operator Campaign targets aggressive drivers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Aggressive driving behaviors include: speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changing, failing to yield the right-of-way, and running red lights and stop signs.

The campaign for 2007 will consist of four, one-week-long waves in Aug. 5-11 and Sept. 2 -15. During these waves, Montgomery County Police will be especially committed to enforcing aggressive driving laws and traffic violations, to include a focus on the aggressive driving behaviors of teen drivers.

The Montgomery County Police Department wants to remind all motorists to be aware of their responsibility to obey all traffic laws and to always use caution when operating a motor vehicle. Montgomery County police and City of Rockville police are using automated speed enforcement cameras in some residential areas with speed limits of 35 mph or less and in some school zones. For more information about the Safe Speed program, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/police and click on the Safe Speed icon.

Wanted: Volunteers at Lockhouse 8

The Potomac Conservancy is looking for river history buffs to help maintain and staff the River Center at historic Lockhouse 8 on the C&O Canal. This year, the River Center will feature a new exhibit, Backyard to the Bay, which will educate visitors about the Potomac River, its connection to the Chesapeake Bay, and what they can do in their own backyards to protect these resources. The full docent description is available at www.potomac.org/join/volunteer.html. Volunteers who wish to help staff the River Center should contact Judy Welles at weles@potomac.org.

Volunteer at a Local Park

Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission seeks volunteers at local parks in the area. For a full listing of all the opportunities available, contact Jayne Hench at 301-495-2504 or e-mail jayne.hench@mncppc-mc.org.

Recreation Department Offers Courses

Art classes for toddlers, karate, dance and magic-trick lessons for children, fencing lessons for teens and yoga for adults are a few of the courses offered by the Montgomery County Recreation Department at Potomac Community Center. Elsewhere in the county, the Rec Department offers courses from skateboarding to yoga to cooking to youth art. Pick up the Montgomery County Recreation Department Guide a Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac, call 240-777-6840 or visit http://montgomerycountymd.gov, then click "Departments," then "Recreation," then "RECord" for course information.

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, 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. 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, visit www.cc.nih.gov/dtm/html/donrinfo.htm to learn more about being a donor at NIH.

Info on Nursing Homes Available Online

An updated and redesigned resource to help Marylanders select a nursing home is now available on the Web. The "Maryland Nursing Home Guide" includes information on more than 200 comprehensive care nursing facilities and 34 continuing care retirement communities. Among the types of information available are quality of care assessments and results of recent inspection visits. The guide, developed by the Maryland Health Care Commission, is located by clicking on ‘Consumers’ on the commission’s Web site at www.mhcc.maryland.gov.