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This Week in Potomac: Sept. 12, 2012

Falls Getting Old

Nearly 120,000 seniors lived in Montgomery County in 2010 and 3,294 calls were made to 911 due to falls by individuals more than 60 years old. People more than 80 years old accounted for nearly 2,100 of those calls, according to statistics from Montgomery County.

Preventable falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency room visits and hospital admissions for Maryland residents over 65, according to County Executive Isiah Leggett, who was joined Monday, Sept. 10 by Fire Chief Richard Bowers and Susan Wranik, president of Grass Roots Organization for the Well-Being of Seniors (GROWS).

They highlighted a number of safety initiatives aimed at the county’s growing population of seniors over the age of 65.

“Preventing a fall makes infinitely more sense than dealing with the consequences, financially and from the standpoint of quality of life,” according to Wranik. “Agility, balance and coordination are the ABC’s of healthy aging.”

“Preventing falls among seniors is key to helping them stay healthy and enable them to live independently,” said Leggett, in a press conference at the Executive Office Building

“Seniors are among the most ‘at risk’ populations in the community," said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service began a focused door-to-door outreach effort several years ago to connect and interact with residents to provide important safety information and address any potential home hazards and fall prevention.

The county has partnered with GROWS to promote educational activities and events throughout September, Falls Prevention Month. A complete schedule of activities can be found on the county’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

The county’s Department of Health and Human Services and Recreation Department also sponsor classes that help seniors increase their strength and balance. The Bone Builders Program began six years ago with four classes; 15 classes are scheduled throughout Montgomery County, including Potomac Community Library. See http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcg/calendar.html and type in Bone Builders in the search function.

Gude Landfill Investigations

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Solid Waste Services will discuss recently completed and upcoming environmental investigations at the Gude Landfill at a public meeting Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Service Park Building, 16641 Crabbs Branch Way in Rockville.

The meeting will include a 30-minute presentation by Department of Environmental Protection followed by a 60-minute question and discussion forum open to community members.

The primary topics to be discussed include: landfill background, Waste Delineation Study and exchange of land with Park and Planning, Nature and Extent Study, an overview of the findings, and assessment of corrective measures.

Information on each of the topics is available in the Newsletters and Factsheets section on the Gude Landfill Remediation website.

Visit http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/swstmpl.asp?url=/content/dep/solidwaste/facilities/gude/index.asp

Crash Course in Planning

The Montgomery County Planning Department will host an Open House to teach citizens how it creates and plans communities.

Tour the headquarters, learn about the latest projects approved by the Planning Board, see what’s planned for Montgomery County communities, talk with planners, and bring children for a “build-a-box-city” activity.

The Planning Smarter Open House is planned for Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Park and Planning Headquarters, 8787 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring. See

www.montgomeryplanning.org/planningsmarter

Special Olympics

Potomac resident Pam Yerg is the area director for Special Olympics-MD Montgomery County and the director for TOPSoccer program, an outreach program MSI partners with to offer soccer to elementary, middle and high school children with disabilities.

Georgetown Prep and the Bar Association of Montgomery County will host the First Annual Inspiration Walk, 1500M and 5K Run to benefit Special Olympics. The Montgomery County Road Runners Club will manage official timing of the events.

On Monday, Oct. 1, Special Olympics-MD Montgomery is scheduled to host the 11th Annual Montgomery Masters Golf Tournament and Raffle, the major source of funding for the Special Olympics area programs, according to Yerg. The tournament will be held at Montgomery County Club and there are openings for foursomes and sponsors.

See www.somdmontgomery.org for information on both events.

Wootton High School will host the 12th Annual Meredith Cup TOPSoccer Festival on Sunday, Oct. 28. Montgomery County youth volunteer as “buddies” to train with, play with and build friendships with the TOPSoccer athletes. The opening parade of athletes is scheduled for noon and events continue through 3:30 p.m. at Wootton High School, 2100 Wootton Parkway, See www.msisoccer.org.

Contact Yerg at jeyclan@verizon.net or 301-424-3083.

Civil War Camp

Civil War reenactors are needed to set up a Civil War encampment for the National Park Service’s Park after Dark benefit on Oct. 13. Reenactors are invited to camp overnight at Great Falls the night of the event.

Contact Becky Curtis at curtis@canaltrust.org or 301-745-8889.

Last year’s inaugural Park After Dark sold out. Tickets for this year’s event on Oct. 13 will benefit the C&O Canal National Historic Park.

The grounds of the historic Great Falls Tavern in Potomac will be the setting for an evening under the stars around the bonfire, listening and dancing to music and enjoying food and beverages. Silent and live auctions with special "experience packages," will be offered.

See www.canaltrust.org to purchase tickets. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible. For more information or to become a sponsor, contact info@canaltrust.org.

Birding at Pennyfield

The fall birding season is approaching.

Jim Nelson will lead a bird walk at Pennyfield Lock on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 8-10 a.m. Nelson lead a walk with the Canal Trust in the spring, sharing flora and fauna expertise between bird sightings.

Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Contact Becky Curtis at curtis@canaltrust.org.

Climb Carderock

The National Park Service and Mid-Atlantic Climbers seek volunteers to clean up the Carderock Climbing area on Saturday, Sept. 29, National Public Lands Day.

Visit www.MidAtlanticClimbers.org

Potomac’s Got Talent

The Potomac Community Center will kickoff its new season with a new talent show to be held in conjunction with the Potomac Family Fun Fest on Friday, Sept. 28 from 4-9 p.m. at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road.

“Does your family, or your child, have a talent that you'd like to show off? Our community talent show is the perfect place to try,” according to the Potomac Community Center. “We're looking for individuals and groups to show off their talents (singers, bands, musicians, anything) and compete for prizes at our talent show.”

See www.potomacsgottalent.com to sign up and describe your act.

Call the Potomac Community Center at 240-777-6960 for more information about the Potomac's Got Talent competition.

Family Fun Fest is open to the entire community — members, non-members and families with youth or adults of all ages. The event will include carnival rides, an obstacle course and wrecking ball, the Squeals on Wheels Petting Zoo, music from Electric Entertainment and the Potomac’s Got Talent event.

Club Friday

The Potomac Community Center’s Club Friday program begins its 22nd year at the Community Center on Oct. 5, the week after Family Fun Fest (see above).

Activities for students in third through sixth grades include basketball, Bingo, dances, ping pong, gym hockey, soccer, crafts, movies and special theme nights.

The weekly evening event takes place from 7-9 p.m., and the Center will open the snack bar at 6:30 p.m.

Online registration is underway at https://www.recweb.montgomerycountymd.gov

After Hours meets the first Friday of every month from 9:15 to 11 p.m., and also runs through March 1, 2013.

The program is available for sixth through eighth grade students.

Call the Potomac Community Center at 240-777-6960.

Great Falls Stewards

The Park Service and Canal Trust seek volunteers to come to Historic Great Falls Tavern on Sept. 22 and Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers, 12 and older, will paint, rake, clean and clear debris from the Tavern and the surrounding areas.

For more information or to sign up, contact Becky Curtis at 301-745-8889, or email her at volunteer@canaltrust.org.

High school students can receive Student Service Learning hours.

Honoring WWII Veterans

World War II veterans will be honored Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Silver Spring Civic Building at One Veterans Plaza. County Executive Isiah Leggett, Council President Roger Berliner and the County Council will lead ceremonies starting at 10:30 a.m.

Speakers will include veterans who served in various aspects of World War II.

The County’s public cable television channel will simulcast the event life. In addition, the PEG Network will be recording the stories of many of the veterans for a documentary that will first be shown on Veterans Day.

Montgomery Honors WW II Vets event organizers seek contact with more veterans. Call 240-777-7929.

C&O Canal 5K

Last fall, the inaugural Runners for the C&O Canal (Run 3.1 Miles…Preserve 184.5!) to benefit the C&O Canal National Historical Park raised more than $1,200 to support the park (nps.gov/chch) and its non-profit partner, The C&O Canal Trust (www.canaltrust.org).

This year’s race begins Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8 a.m. at Meadowbrook Park (Candy Cane City), 7901 Meadowbrook Lane in Chevy Chase, and follows flat shady trails through Rock Creek Park.

See canaltrust.org or the race website at cando5K.weebly.com

Democracy in Action

The Montgomery County Board of Elections seeks students from sixth grade through senior year of high school to serve as Election Day Student Aides during the 2012 Presidential General Election.

Interested students will be required to attend training with their guardians and will be placed on Election Day in neighboring precincts according to their home addresses, The effort would qualify as Student Service Learning credits.

The election takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

Students with bilingual and American Sign Language skills are encouraged to apply.

Register before Oct. 1, 2012 at www.777vote.org.

Fluent Election Judges

The Board of Election also seeks election judges who are fluent in Spanish.

Election judges must be U.S. citizens, registered to vote in Maryland, and 18 years or older. Election judges must also be able to speak, read and write in English. Montgomery County residency is not a pre-requisite to serve.

All election judges will be compensated for training and for Election Day service.

Contact the Board at 240-777-8532, download an election judge questionnaire from www.777vote.org or e-mail Dr. Gilberto Zelaya at gilberto.zelaya@montgomerycountymd.gov.