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News Briefs

Budget Forums

News Briefs

Budget Forums

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will hold five budget forums in January and February to solicit input from the public about the Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget priorities. Residents can attend the forums and provide input; predicted budget shortfalls are likely to result in cuts to county services.

Leggett is scheduled to propose his operating budget on March 15.

The County Council approves the FY 14 operating budget at the end of May.

Forums are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Jan. 24, BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown

  • Jan. 28, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Service Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda

  • Jan. 29, Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring

  • Feb. 4, Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring.

Call at least three days in advance to request sign language interpreter services or other adaptive aids at 240-777-6507, TTY 240-777-6505 or email a request to karen.falcon@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Manual Transmission Stalls Carjacking

An attempted carjacking stalled Sunday, Jan. 6, when two suspects were unable to operate the manual transmission of the vehicle they carjacked, according to Montgomery County Police.

Rockville City Police arrested a 20-year-old Potomac man, of Victory Lane, and a 21-year-old who lives on Vista Street in NE Washington D.C.

According to Montgomery County police, the driver of a food delivery vehicle and his passenger made a delivery in the 1600 block of Yale Place at approximately 8:50 p.m. in Rockville.

When the driver walked back to his vehicle, two adults approached him and demanded the vehicle as one displayed a handgun. The other victim in the vehicle fled, but the suspects couldn’t operate the manual transmission of the vehicle, according to police.

The suspects fled the scene, but police located both suspects shortly after as well as a discarded backpack owned by one of the suspects which contained a black semi-automatic replica BB gun.

Both suspects are currently being held on bond and were charged with armed carjacking, conspiracy to commit armed carjacking and motor vehicle theft.

Increased Bullying at Schools

Montgomery County Public Schools confirmed 487 cases of bullying, harassment or intimidation during the 2011-2012 school year.

“Bullying among children and teenagers has often been dismissed as a normal part of growing up,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin. “Our attention needs to focused on the devastating effects of bullying and the connection between bullying and other forms of violence. Silence is no longer an acceptable response to bullying.”

More than half of students in the county agreed that bullying is a problem in their schools.

More information on bullying can be found from the MCPS web site at: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/bullying/

The Montgomery County Council approved a resolution in December to increase efforts to prevent bullying through the enhancement of multi-disciplinary teams that will develop collaborative prevention strategies. The Council will request increased funding from the Maryland General Assembly during the 2013 session for anti-bullying efforts.

Who Speaks for the Trees?

The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on two bills on Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m., County Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

The Urban Canopy Bill discourages the common practice of clearing trees from small lots during redevelopment, according to Ginny Barnes of West Montgomery County Citizens Association. “This bill focuses on the continued canopy depletion in urban areas where the loss of individual and small stands of trees has been both significant and cumulative,” she said.

Additional legislation recently introduced by councilmembers Roger Berliner and Marc Ehrlich would require county permits for any work done in the county right-of-way that damages trees. The Montgomery County Streets and Roadside Tree Protection Bill will require that the Department of Permitting Services to work with the Chief of Tree Maintenance in the county’s Department of Transportation to determine if a tree can be saved, or if the applicant would contribute to a tree fund to ensure its replacement.

See www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council

To testify call 240-777-7803

$1 Million for Artificial Field?

A public hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. for the supplemental appropriation of $1.1 million for an artificial turf playing field at Wootton High School in the MCPS FY13 Capital Budget and amendment to the FY13-18 CIP $1,100,000.

The hearing is scheduled to take place in the Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

See www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council

To testify call 240-777-7803

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The annual Tribute and Musical Celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held at the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. The free event features musical and dance acts, and winners of this year’s Children of the Dream, Humanitarian and Literary Arts awards will be announced. Tickets are required and may be reserved through Strathmore’s website at www.strathmore.org.

Unclaimed tickets will be released to the public at 2:45 p.m. on the day of the show.

County activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, Jan. 21 coincide with the 2013 Presidential Inauguration festivities.

President Barack Obama has asked Americans to participate in service projects that weekend to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King.

Montgomery County’s Volunteer Center will coordinate indoor family-friendly service projects on Monday, Jan. 21 at the North Bethesda Marriott Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, from 9-11 a.m. Projects include preparing bagged lunches for county shelters, making snow-day lunch boxes for Meals on Wheels, constructing fleece blankets for Montgomery Hospice, writing pen pal letters and skyping with students in Uganda and attending a workshop of the Conflict Resolution Center. Participants can learn more about opportunities with local organizations at a volunteer fair.

The Volunteer Center also seeks event staff volunteers at the Bethesda location to register participants, run craft tables, answer questions and for setting-up and closing down. See www.montgomeryserves.org.

All activities are approved for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours through Montgomery County Public Schools.

Manna Food Center will hold Help the Hungry food drives on Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20 at Giant grocery stores. See www.mannafood.org or call 301-424-1130. Non-perishable food donations will also be collected on Monday at the service project sites in North Bethesda.

River Center Cleanup

The Potomac Conservancy seeks volunteers to remove invasive plants, prune vegetation, pick up trash and repair the towpath and trails. The event is part of the National Park Service's Canal Stewards program, which engages volunteers to become long-term caretakers of a site within the C & O Canal National Historical Park.

Meet at the River Center at Lock 8, 7906 Riverside Drive in Cabin John on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Contact Lien Vu at vu@potomac.org or 301-608-1188, x215.

Birding for Beginners

The Potomac Conservancy offers a bird walk along the C&O Canal on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 1-2:30 p.m. Meet at the River Center at Lock 8, 7906 Riverside Drive, Cabin John. Learn basic birding techniques from National Park Service Ranger Kelly Fox. Contact Lien Vu atvu@potomac.org or at 301-608-1188.