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This Week in Potomac 7-25-07

18th Annual Farm Tour

The 18th Annual Montgomery County Farm Tour and Harvest Sale takes place July 28 and 29. The event will offer hay rides, pony rides, local produce for sale, live music, arts and crafts and other activities for children and adults. Thirteen local farms located in the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve will take part: Blue Ribbon Alpaca Breeding Co, Butler’s Orchard, Heyser Farms, Inc., Homestead Farm, King Barn Dairy Mooseum, Lewis Orchards, Phillips Farm, Rock Hill Orchard, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Camp Olympia, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, Red Wiggler Community Farm, and Star Gazing Farm. The event is coordinatd by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. For maps and general information on the tour call 301-590-2833 or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DED/Ag Services/agfarm tour.asp.

A Day for Our Wounded Military Personnel

Ron and Joan Furman are providing 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 seek volunteers who can provide entertainment on that day.

Monetary contributions to help with this effort would also be appreciated; make checks payable to the American Red Cross and specify “For Camp Furman.”

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

Canal Docents, Superintendent Awarded

Volunteer Docents and the Superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historical Park became 2007 Take Pride in America National Award recipients. The Awards were given at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Friday, July 20. Eighteen awards were given nationally.

The Riley’s Lockhouse Docents were awarded the Youth/Youth group award. For more than 30 years the volunteer docents have trained Girl Scouts USA troops who then served as volunteer interpreters at Riley’s Lockhouse near Seneca on the C&O Canal.

Since 1976 a small group of docents have coordinated a variety of activities at the lockhouse that have taught all visitors, especially children and Girl Scouts, about the history of the Canal.

C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt was awarded the Federal Land Manager award for the National Park Service. Superintendent Brandt has consistently promoted volunteerism as a way for the park to build stewardship and to further the park’s mission. Under Brandt’s guidance, 2,461 volunteers contributed 53,228 hours in 2006 alone. The value of this time is estimated at $960,233. Under his leadership the program has won the 2005 Take Pride Award for the most outstanding volunteer program in the Federal government, and numerous awards for individual and group volunteer efforts.

The annual Take Pride in America National Awards recognizes specific volunteer projects and efforts in a variety of categories, including youth organization, corporation, public/ private partnership and individual, among others. These awards recognize events, projects and programs targeted at maintaining or enhancing public lands such as parks, rivers, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds and other recreation areas.

Armed Robbery in Bethesda

A woman was robbed at gunpoint while walking in Bethesda on Sunday, July 22, according to a press release from Montgomery County police. The 25-year-old woman from Bethesda reported to Montgomery County police officers that while she was walking in the 5000 block of Brookdale Road in Bethesda at approximately 11:40 p.m. when she noticed an older-looking white Crown Victoria (police model) parked on the street, according to police. As she walked past the stopped car, a man got out of the car and displayed a handgun, police said, and he demanded the victim’s property. According to the police description, a second suspect also got out of the car and took part in the robbery, and upon the completion of the robbery the suspects entered their car and drove away.

Police describe the suspects as black males, 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-2 tall. One of the suspects is described by police as having a thin build. The suspect’s car is described by police as a white Ford Crown Victoria, four-door model, with “Sheriff’s Office” decals that appear to have been removed or very badly faded on the left side of the trunk lid.

Anyone who has information about this incident and/or suspect is asked to call the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112, or the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.

Summer Reminder: Trees and Storms

During the summer, severe storms can cause tree damage. For downed trees due to high winds, report those on Montgomery County property to the Division of Operations at 240-777-6000. To report trees that have fallen on utility lines, contact the local utility companies. “Hot” wires or sparking wires — especially those across roadways — may be reported by calling 911. Trees that have fallen on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. The county’s Division of Consumer Affairs advises homeowners to deal with established tree removal businesses only, and to call Consumer Affairs first to check on a business complaint record. Consumer Affairs can be reached at 240-777-3636.

Floreen named to State Panel

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen (D—At-Large) has been named to the Maryland Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group, which is charged with supporting Governor Martin O’Malley’s newly-created Climate Change Commission.

The Maryland Commission on Climate Change is charged with advising the Governor and the General Assembly on matters related to climate change. Specifically, the Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group will evaluate and recommend goals to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and will develop a Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Footprint Reduction Strategy. The working group will hold its first meeting on July 27.

Councilmember Floreen is the chair of the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee. She also chairs the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Climate Change Steering Committee.

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.

Cabin John Crab Feast

Cabin John’s 38th Annual Crab & Chicken Feast is slated for Saturday, Sept. 8, from 2-6 p.m. at the Clara Barton Community Center, 7425 MacArthur Blvd. A local tradition since the late 1960s, the community feast allows the Cabin John community to celebrate its economic and social diversity in a relaxed manner. Features include delicious food and refreshments, children’s bike parade to the feast; live music, children’s entertainment, and Cabin John memorabilia and T-shirts for sale. Tickets are available for $11 at the door, and $10 if bought in advance. For info or to volunteer, call 301-221-7827 or email cjcrabfeast@aol.com. For advance tickets, call 301-320-2685.

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.