July 31, 2010

MIss Iowa Katherine Connors throws first pitch for Washington Nationals

Pepco says outages down to 2,400

Power outages are down to 2,400 for Pepco's customers in the Washington region, the company says. Outages have fallen to 956 in Montgomery County for the first time since customers lost electricity following last Sunday's thunderstorms. In the District, about 1,000 customers remained without power, and about 400 in Prince George's were without electricity according to Pepco's estimates. SOURCE: Washington Post

Montgomery County officer injured in stolen vehicle crash

A Montgomery County Police officer was injured when a stolen car crashed into a cruiser during a police chase in Gaithersburg; two men were arrested, one after fleeing on foot; a third is at large.

Miss Iowa Katherine Connors to throw first pitch for Washington Nationals

Funeral service for Carl Henn

Funeral Services for Carl Henn Set for Saturday - A funeral service for the public to remember and celebrate the life of longtime Rockville resident and civic activist Carl Henn will be held at 9:30 am, Saturday, July 31, at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre at Rockville Civic Center Park, 603 Edmonston Drive. For more information go to: http://www.rockvillemd.gov/news/2010/07-july/07-29-10.html

Understanding Pepco outage

After hearing on the PEPCO hotline yesterday afternoon that it would be Friday before our power was restored, it was a pleasant surprise when our electricity came back on yesterday around 6pm. How did you survive the power outage? Are you still waiting for PEPCO to restore yours? I got out for a bike ride last night while my house was cooling down for the night. I saw a higher-than-average number of people out enjoying the nice weather, especially in Sligo Creek Park. Personally, I didn't mind the power outage, other than the loss of power to our refrigerator, which was a bummer. The PEPCO outage map is showing just over 1000 Wheaton residents without power, down from over 7000 yesterday when I checked.

In other news and notes, I saw an article today about the new library that has opened in Shaw. I think this is an example of the sort of community hub that we could have had with a new library in Wheaton's downtown. Regardless of your opinion on what Wheaton should have, I think you can agree that the residents of Shaw are getting a beautiful addition to their neighborhood.

The Gazette had a few Wheaton-related postings today. A local developer, B.F. Saul, was awarded a contract by the county to redevelop the 12 acres of land around the metro. I work in the architectural field and I have never heard of this developer before. I checked out their website, and all I can say is...barf. And apparently all they can say is, "We love to build large boring buildlings without any distinguishing characteristics. Yay. Go us." They better get one hell of an architect to work with them on this, because I don't see anything in their portfolio of work that would indicate they can pull off a major redevelopment effort in Wheaton.SOURCE: Wheaton Calling

July 30, 2010

Over resident objections, Montgomery County welcomes another Costco

Costco is coming to Wheaton, regardless of whether the county approves its 16-pump gas station. This news was transmitted from Costco attorneys to county officials earlier this week after Costco officials said for several months the gas station would make or break their decision to bring a Costco wholesale store to Westfield Wheaton mall.

"There will be a Costco in Wheaton," said county spokesman Patrick Lacefield. "The only question is whether it will have a gas station or not have a gas station. They're prepared to move ahead whichever way it goes." County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed in March fast-tracking zoning approvals on the gas station because he feared the standard, lengthier zoning process might cause the county to lose the Costco deal that could reinvigorate the struggling shopping center. But many neighbors — some of whom live 150 feet from the proposed station — adamantly opposed the gas station, saying the environmental, traffic and sound impacts were unreasonable.

Now, county officials and Costco representatives have reached an agreement, Lacefield said. Costco will no longer seek the accelerated approvals, he said. Instead, the wholesaler will pursue the lengthier route of going through the Planning Board, the Board of Appeals and the Council. This route usually takes nine months to a year, and the applicant must prove that there is a need for their project in the community, said Montgomery's director of the department of economic development Steve Silverman. SOURCE: Gazette

Campos cancels fundraiser after relapse of campaign manager

The following is an email I received from the campaign of Dan Campos. Since I have had the chance to speak with Tricia several times over this past year, I find this news tragic.

Dear Friend,

It is with regret that I inform you that my fundraiser which had been planned for this Saturday, July 31 has been postponed. My campaign manager, Tricia Donnelly, was in a serious automobile accident earlier this month. She broke her nose, suffered a severe concussion, and lost a great deal of blood. She managed to attend a couple of events; however, has had a relapse because she did not follow the bed rest directions of her doctors. She continues to suffer from severe headaches, nausea, blurred vision, and dizziness. She has been unable to be involved in the planning of this event to the extent to which we both would have liked. Therefore, we have come to the difficult yet thoughtful decision to postpone the fundraiser until September.

The outpouring of support was extremely gratifying and I am disappointed to have to cancel; however, I hope you understand. I also hope that I can count on your support in September and throughout the campaign. Thank you for your understanding and I welcome your involvement in my campaign. As always, please contact me with any concerns or questions you may have.

Best wishes,
Daniel R. Campos
Candidate, Maryland House of Delegates. Legislative District 17 - Gaithersburg, Rockville, & Garrett Park. www.DanCampos.org E: Dan@DanCampos.org T: 301.300.4687

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter !

Meyer Marks now running or District 16 Delegate

Below is a message from Meyer Marks:

Dear Friend,

As you may know, after an opening come up in the House of Delegate seat in District 16, I am proud to let you know that I will now be standing for election to House of Delegate in District 16. With this seat being an open seat gives Republicans the best chance in many years of winning this Delegate seat. As it is for a House of Delegate race, the top three vote gitters win a seat in House of Delegate. For those that supported me for the State Senate race, I remain committed to issues that brought me into this race from the start. Thanks for all your kind and generous support. Best Regards!

Meyer Marks
Md. House of Delegate District 16. Ph 240-476-5533

GGCC / RCC Hold Candidate Forum

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) and the Rockville Chamber of held a District 17 Candidate Forum at the Crowne Plaza Rockville on Thursday, July 29, 2010. Forum Candidates Included: State Senator Jennie Forehand – District 17. Honorable Cheryl Kagan

This was a great opportunity for Chamber members, local businesses and the public to discuss with the Candidates their concerns. Attendees heard from the candidates on various issues impacting the business community in the County, and the State; including transportation, education and the current state of affairs pertaining to job employment and growth. The format was opening remarks from the Candidates, followed by formal Q&A from our moderator, Christopher Zindash, General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Rockville and the Vice-Chair of Legislative Affairs for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber. For more information on the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber please visit the GGCC website at www.ggchamber.org

PICTURE: Pictured above (l:r) Andrea Jolly, Executive Director Rockville Chamber of Commerce; State Senator Jennie Forehand; Christopher Zindash, General Manager Crowne Plaza Rockville; Marilyn Balcombe, President Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce and the Honorable Cheryl Kagan at the District 17 Candidate Forum on July 29, 2010.

Mary Kane forwards video, helping Bob Ehrlich with "future dinners"

I just got this video from Mary Kane (of Potomac, Maryland), supporting Bob Ehrlich. I think it may be a stretch for Ehrlich to over-push his "future" push, saying that the crabs are "future dinners." Seriously, I'm still laughing at that rather awkward statement.

MORE WAR? Newt Gingrich wants attacks on Iran and North Korea

Murphy and Pelura invitation for 4th annual Republican event in Davidsonville, on 8/1

Dr. Jim and Marianne Pelura cordially invite you to The 4th Annual with Special Guest Republican Candidate for Governor Brian Murphy (of Chevy Chase).

Sunday, August 1st. 3:30 to 6:00 pm. $75 person/children under 16 free. Endless Call Farm, 3725 Tanglewood Lane. Davidsonville, Maryland 21035. 410-956-0793 * jpelura@verizon.net

Solar Energy Power educates people on solar power; forum 7/31

Jessup, MD., July 23, 2010 – Solar Energy World announces it is hosting a Save with Solar workshop on July 31, 2010 at 10:00am at Greenavise, featuring solar expert Michael Steigerwald. Steigerwald, Solar Analyst – one of the leading solar experts in the region – will share valuable information on solar power for homeowners. He will also share his experience and knowledge about topics such as: how solar power works, how to receive long-term utility savings, and understanding how to take advantage of federal, state and local tax incentives. Solar Energy World is hosting the workshop at the offices of Greenavise at 9321 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, Maryland.

“We are pleased to be able to help homeowners understand solar power” said Geoff Mirkin, Solar Energy World Vice-President.

“It is important to us to be an environmental leader and make a contribution in educating the community about renewable energy and the associated savings.”

Solar Energy World will be hosting the Save with Solar workshop on Saturday, July 31, 2010 from 10:00am to 11:30am. Interested persons should reserve their space by calling 301-497-3232.

About Solar Energy World

Solar Energy World is the Washington DC/Baltimore area’s leading provider and installer of solar panel systems and solar hot water systems. Offering homeowners a complete turnkey solution to solar, Solar Energy World installation teams have more than 74 years of combined experience in electric and home renovations. For more information, contact Solar Energy World at 301-497-3232 or www.solarEworld.com

Stern Supports Extension of Bush Tax Cuts

Rockville, Maryland (July 29, 2010): Republican Congressional Candidate Bruce Stern today announced his support for an extension of the Bush tax cuts which are set to expire on December 31, 2010, including an extension of the tax cuts for families earning over $250,000 per year. Mr. Stern believes that an extension of the tax cuts for at least two years is necessary in order to grow the moribund economy. He also believes that if the cuts are allowed to lapse job growth will be negatively impacted.

Mr. Stern stated: "If Congress allows the Bush tax cuts to expire, it could have a severe negative impact on the economy and job creation. With the economy still weak, that is the last thing we need to happen. I am a firm believer that long term economic growth and jobs are going to come from the private sector and not from more government spending. To get the economy back on track, we need to ensure that small business owners have the capital they need to grow, expand and put Americans back to work. And we can help do that by keeping their tax rates at current levels. If these individuals have to pay more in taxes, they will have less money to grow their businesses and hire employees."

Mr. Stern continued: "I understand and appreciate that by extending the tax cuts, the Treasury is losing revenue it might otherwise collect from taxpayers. However, with the economy so fragile and unemployment so high, we need to take actions that will help spur economic growth. And keeping tax rates low is a proven way to do that. As a result, I believe we need to extend the tax cuts for at least two additional years. At that point in time, we can reassess where we are with the economy, unemployment, and our debt reduction efforts."

Mr. Stern further stated: "My prospective opponent, Chris Van Hollen, has called Republicans who support extension of the tax cuts "deficit chickens," implying that they are not serious about debt and deficit reduction efforts as they claim. This silly comment, however, reflects the partisan divide Mr. Van Hollen promotes as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and ignores the fact that members of his own party support an extension of the tax cuts. Reduction of our $13 trillion national debt and $1.4 trillion deficit are critical issues which will affect the future of our country. Congress needs to get beyond the name calling and members need to work together to address debt and deficit reduction. If they do not, the consequences for this country will be very severe."

Mr. Stern, 45, is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives' seat representing Maryland's Eighth Congressional District. He is a practicing attorney and the principal of Stern & Associates, a Montgomery County law firm. He is also the owner of Peninsula Settlements, LLC, a real estate settlement company based in Montgomery County. He lives with his wife Nicole, a Psychologist, and their three daughters, in Gaithersburg. Additional information on Mr. Stern and his campaign is available online at www.sternforcongress.com.

Lightening hits community activist; should Obama and Robin Ficker be worried?

This is a sad story, of the death of Carl Henn, a well-known community activist in Rockville, who was struck by lightning on Sunday. Yet in the sorrow of an Act of God, I had to put out a shout out to other community activists, like President Obama and Montgomery County's Robin Ficker, who probably holds the county record for being on the ballot more than anyone else.

Redskins Albert Haynesworth Fails Conditioning Test

After second thought, Montgomery County won't descriminate against Christian

Montgomery County, Maryland has a long and distinguished history of opposing its own citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights. Between the county’s long-running and unsuccessful fight to discriminate against an after-school Bible club, its school curriculum that disparaged denominations that considered homosexual conduct to be contrary to Scripture (until a judge held that the county’s anti-religious fervor was so strong that it actually violated the Establishment Clause), and its ongoing attempt to force pregnancy resource centers to tell women they should probably go elsewhere, this DC suburban county is not likely to win any awards for its protection of free speech and religious liberty. As a Washington Post writer said, in liberal and wealthy Montgomery County, “separation of church and state is virtually a religion.” But with respect to its treatment of one Christian owner of a childrens’ museum in Bethesda, even Montgomery County is acknowledging that it went too far.

In June, a Montgomery County elementary school decided that it would cancel a field trip to a privately owned children’s museum in Bethesda. When the owner of the Be With Me Playseum, who had expended time and money in preparation for the visit, asked the principal of the school for an explanation, he informed her that statements on the Playseum’s website were the problem and that if she would remove them, the field trip could be reinstated. What were the offensive website comments? Under its “Values” the Playseum lists the following: “Life – Every child is God’s gift to this Earth” and more damningly, “God – Giver of breath and we endeavor to honor Him in all of our affairs.” These were deemed both offensively pro-life and too religious. Ms. Seebachan refused to scrub her website of these statements. “I said, I'm sorry, I won't take my values off my Web site. … I didn’t know it was a sin saying ‘God’ in America.” And although the County’s attorneys now dispute what the principal told Ms. Seebachan, an acting county superintendent told the Washington Post, “Based on what I saw on the Web site, if we had to come down on one side or the other of the church-state issue, I have no idea where we would have gone."

Evidently, after consultation with counsel, the county now knows “where [it] would [go]” in the future and has decided that there is no “church-state issue” with a public school patronizing a business operated by an admitted Christian. In response to a letter sent by an ADF allied attorney, Tim Bosson, and Rob Showers, both of the firm Simms & Showers, the county’s attorneys now state that we can “be assured that it is not the position of the school system or Westbrook Elementary School that the personal religious references on your client’s website provides a basis for denying patronage of her business.” In most places, this is hardly a newsworthy acknowledgment. But then again, Montgomery County isn’t like most places. While it is disappointing that the county’s hyperactive suspicion of all things religious denied these students their field trip and besmirched Ms. Seebachan and her Playseum, perhaps future classes of Montgomery County kids will now be able to experience and learn at her museum. SOURCE: Christian Post

July 29, 2010

Author and Professional Violist, David Basch, Joins The Potter Violin Co.

Bethesda, Md. – The Potter Violin Company, (www.pottersviolins.com), is proud to announce a newly expanded instrument consultation service for its customers. David Basch, author of One Step Up, A Buyer’s Guide to Stringed Instruments has joined the staff to offer Potter Violin Company customers private consultations for instrument and bow selection. This service is particularly helpful to everyone from customers who wish to “step-up” their current instrument to those who are looking for their first stringed instrument. The private consultation service builds on the already existing personalized service that the company offers to all customers.

“We are delighted to welcome David to our team and believe our customers will appreciate the private, one-on-one assistance he can offer,” said L. Dalton Potter, owner and founder of The Potter Violin Company. “Purchasing an instrument is a significant investment and no one’s needs are exactly alike. Now our customers will have access to the professional advice David has given many around the world who have turned to him when they are looking for that next perfect instrument.”

A Washington, D.C. area resident, Basch is a professional violist. He began his career in the instrument business in 1977 with Jack Weaver and moved to Bethesda with Bill Weaver in 1981. The Weavers operate the Violin House of Weaver, where Potter also started his career. Potter took over the retail and service operations from the Weavers, which became The Potter Violin Company in 1996. While playing overseas in 1991, Basch helped a friend search for a step-up viola which led to articles co-authored with Dan Whitman in Strad Magazine, an international publication for players of stringed instruments. In 1992, Basch published One Step Up, A Buyer’s Guide to Stringed Instruments.

The consultation service costs $50 per half hour. The cost of the consultation may be applied toward the purchase of an instrument through The Potter Violin Company or may be paid at the time of the appointment. In addition, The Potter Violin Company also carries Basch’s book for $12.

For additional information or to make an appointment, please contact the store directly at 800-317-9452 or e-mail Basch at david@pottersviolins.com.

About The Potter Violin Company: The Potter Violin Company is the largest purveyor of fine stringed instruments in the Mid-Atlantic region. Founded in 1996, it is among the most comprehensive shops of its kind in the country, specializing in sales, rentals, and repairs of bowed stringed instruments. The Potter Violin Company also offers a wide variety of popular accessories and sheet music. The company takes pride in its professional staff, several of which are working musicians performing with the most prestigious musical organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. The company’s passion for high-quality customer service stems from personal knowledge, expertise and experience. For more information about The Potter Violin Company, visit www.pottersviolins.com.

Sligo golf remains open

Signs popped up in front yards around Silver Spring about a year ago: "Save Sligo Creek Golf Course." The date for the closing of the greens was pushed back a few times. It was ultimately scheduled to close on Nov. 30, 2010.

But in a meeting of the Montgomery County Council Tuesday, the Revenue Authority made moves toward keeping the Sligo Golf Course open and reducing operating costs.

The nine-hole course on Sligo Creek Parkway is staunchly defended by golfers and those that don’t even play the sport. For golfers, it's a friendly, welcoming place to gather for the game. You don’t have to be wealthy to play there. It doesn’t have a country club atmosphere. More than half the golfers are older than 50. Beginning golfers and kids are also welcome to learn the game.

For non-players, it's more about preserving 65 acres that double as a wildlife habitat. So golfers and "green" residents teamed up with petitions and the aforementioned yard signs to put pressure on the County Council to keep the venue open.

For the origins of the battle to close the course, just follow the money. The task force found that from 2000 to 2008, golfing at the Sligo course was down 26 percent in number of rounds played. Other county golf courses were only down eight percent. Sligo was also down three percent in revenues. All other Montgomery County public courses were up 39 percent. It was estimated that the Sligo course lost about $679,000 during those years. SOURCE: NBC

July 28, 2010

New Names for Argy GroupS

McLean, VA — July 28, 2010 —Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, P.C. (Argy), a rapidly-growing certified public accounting and business advisory firm, is pleased to announce that Johnson Advisors, LLC, has changed its name to Argy Accounting Solutions, LLC and Argy’s Family Wealth Management Group has changed its name to Family Tax Advisory Group.

“We realized the former names didn’t reflect the services provided by these groups which too often created confusion in the marketplace” said Paul Argy, President and CEO. “So we decided to change the names to better reflect the services each of these groups provide. We believe the new names help clarify the services provided by these two Argy groups.”

The groups’ leadership, personnel, and services have not changed. The new Argy Accounting Solutions, LLC name makes it clear that this group offers outsourced accounting support services and solutions, while the new Family Tax Advisory Group name clarifies that the group provides unbiased and objective advice when working with individuals, families and closely held businesses and is not in the wealth management business. Both name changes are effective immediately and new website pages, signage, etc. will be rolled out soon to reflect these changes.

About Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, P.C.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, with offices in Maryland and Florida, Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, P.C. (Argy) provides a vast array of specialized tax, accounting and business consulting services. With over 230 employees, the firm serves a broad base of clients including government contracting, technology, nonprofit, real estate, medical, publishing, professional services and hospitality sectors. Argy has been named one of the “Best Accounting Firms to Work for” and one of the “Top 100” accounting firms in the U.S. and recently moved up to 13th largest accounting firm in the D.C. region. Its exceptional service and consistent rapid growth have been recognized by such publications as Inside Public Accounting, American City Journals, Accounting Today, Public Accounting Report and Forbes. For more information, visit www.argy.com.

Fillipo Leo, the Owner of Marchones Italian Delicatessen speaks about his Legacy to his family.

On this day, in the life of the world, this shop owner was gracious enough to allow me to interview him about the history of his family's business. He speaks with great candor about what Wheaton Maryland was like back in 1955, how his uncle passed the business on to him, and how he beleives current challenges affect the daily operation of his business.

He also speaks about the future of the small family business model in the modern world, and how his sons will have an even tougher time in this current environment., yethe remains hopeful that one of his children will take over when the time comes for him to retire. This is one of those businesses where the customers are not only patronising the establishment, but know the owner and his family on a first-name basis, and really depend upon Marchones for their specialty groceries, and imported delicacies; which can't be found elsewhere without travelling a great distance.

Mr. Leo also shows his tender heart, and sincere beleif that he's got the best job in the world--making people happy every day, and that it's the interaction with his patrons which motivates him to provide the finest Italian Cuisine. Proof that hard work and a little faith can still make something special!

OBVIOUS: After ICC is built, Council now back Purple Line

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 27, 2010— The Montgomery County Council today unanimously approved revisions to the Purple Line Functional Plan that address station locations, alignment of some portions of the route and adding access points the adjacent Capital Crescent Trail. The Purple Line is a proposed 16-mile rapid transit line extending from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County. It will provide a direct connection to the Metrorail Red, Green and Orange lines. The Purple Line will also connect to MARC, AMTRAK and local bus services.

The original draft of the Purple Line Plan was submitted by the Montgomery County Planning Board. Recommended changes to the plan have since been offered by the public, the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environmental Committee and the full Council. Among the recommended changes the Council approved today are:

Adding specific station locations east of the Silver Spring Station. Building the Capital Crescent Trail, that is to run parallel to the Purple Line from Bethesda to Silver Spring, on the north side of the tracks rather than on the south side between Bethesda and Rock Creek. Adding more access points to the trail, creating a total of more than 20 locations for residents to enter the trail. Relocating the Sanders/Woodside Station, honoring Harry Sanders, the “Father of the Purple Line,” from Spring Street to 16th Street. Showing a potential future station on Wayne Avenue near Dale Drive in East Silver Spring, but not building the station without further consensus from the community. The Council also indicated its intent and desire, should the station ever be built, that it not be a predicate for up-zoning the single-family residential neighborhood around it.

Majority of Democrats now support wars in Afghanistan & Iraq, 308-114

DOUBTFUL: Leggett doesn't agree with his own DOT??

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett doesn't agree with his own administration's policies, or at least that's what he said in his responses to a questionnaire by the Action Committee for Transit. ACT asked,

Do you approve or disapprove of County traffic engineers' current policy of giving equal priority on the road to autos that carry a few people and buses that carry many people?

And Mr. Leggett replied,

I disapprove. My policy is to favor transit over roads.

ACT was referring to the County DOT's position on bus priority. The State Highway Administration agreed that, in principle at least, it makes sense to design roads and intersections to move the most people, not the most vehicles. If there's an intersection where a "queue jump" lane could let a bus carrying 40 people skip ahead of a queue of 20 single-passenger cars, it makes sense to let the bus cut the line. If there's a traffic signal where buses frequently turn onto a main road from a side road or out of a transit station, it makes sense to build in a sensor in that light to let the buses go without having to wait 2 minutes or more since the light is otherwise timed to give the vast majority of time to the main road.

But the Montgomery County DOT doesn't seem to think so. MCDOT Director Arthur Holmes dismissed suggestions of this nature from ACT in February, and refused to suggest any alternate improvements of his own. Instead, he talked about the need to "balance" the transportation system for "all users" in a way that made it clear he doesn't believe bus priority is "balanced."

If Mr. Leggett really believes in favoring transit in the County's transportation policy, why hasn't he asked Holmes to be more amenable to bus priority? Or perhaps Mr. Leggett just didn't understand the question. Based on his wording about favoring "transit over roads," whereas bus transit goes on roads, maybe he didn't recognize they were talking about bus priority. In general, Mr. Leggett doesn't seem to devote much attention to transportation policy, and therefore is led astray by his old-fashioned LOS-centric transportation department.

I suspect if Mr. Leggett thought more about this issue, he'd come to the same conclusion as Neil Pedersen and realize Mr. Holmes is stuck in the 1960s. Now would be a good time for him to start paying attention and tell Mr. Holmes to give serious attention to bus priority, one of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve mobility in Montgomery County and the entire region.SOURCE: Greater Greater Washington

Montgomery County Daily passes 25,000 hits; 2,000 repeat visitors

BETHESDA, MARYLAND -- Today, Montgomery County Daily will surpass 25,000 total hits since its inception, and has already had over 2,000 repeat users. A daily news site, Montgomery County Daily mostly covers news about Montgomery County, Maryland, though it sometimes uploads stories about the State of Maryland and issues of national interest.

Daniel Vovak, editor of Montgomery County Daily, began the website in February 2010 and has posted 742 stories, ranging from business coverage, weather, sports, politics, deaths, schools, and general interest. Though Vovak is a Republican, he has also befriended a number of local Democrats through the website, posting online about their campaigns, in addition to the political work of a handful of Republicans in the county who have a following.

"It would be helpful to add a part-time reporter, cameraman, and an advertisement salesman," says Vovak. "I believe that Montgomery County Daily is the largest general news interest blog in Montgomery County that does not have a print addition. I am still looking for stories and have accepted a variety of news from a diverse following."

Vovak says his Google listings are rather high, because of his focus on Montgomery County, Maryland.

"We have a local following, which I can tell from the cities listed by IP address," says Vovak. "Every month's stats have double the previous month, which is quite an accomplishment since it has happened five times already. It won't be long before Montgomery County Daily becomes the preferred news source for most residents in the county. By the end of the year, we should be at 100,000 hits, all the while helping people to prosper in Maryland's largest county."

Vovak says he plans to begin a weekly video address about the county and conduct live interviews with notable locals.

Pepco: 42,000 still without power days after storm

WASHINGTON (AP) - Pepco says about 42,000 customers are still without electricity days after thunderstorms knocked out power for hundreds of thousands. Most of those outages are in Montgomery County. The utility says crews expect to have power restored to most customers by Thursday. More than 300,000 Pepco customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia lost power after thunderstorms on Sunday. Pepco says crews are working around the clock, and 400 workers from outside its service territory have been brought in to help. Meanwhile, Baltimore Gas & Electric reports that power has been restored all but about 100 of the more than 120,000 customers who lost service. Dominion Virginia Power says about 200 northern Virginia customers without power, down from 94,000. OURCE: WRIC

NTSB: Failure of Train Signal Led to Metro Crash

July 27, 2010

Montgomery County news blurbs

Habitat Restaurant Week: July 26-30 ˆ Participating restaurants are donating a percentage of a night‚s proceeds to the Montgomery County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Go to http://habitat.montgomery.md.us/index.html to print tickets and see the schedule of participating restaurants.

County Offers Tips on Keeping Food Safe During Power Outage - Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Ulder J. Tillman today urged residents who remain without power to take steps to ensure that food left in the refrigerator and freezer is safe. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=6777

Board of Education Approves Parent and Family Involvement Policy and part of Comprehensive Master Plan - The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, July 26, and, among other items, approved the updated Policy ABC, Parent and Family Involvement. The Board also gave preliminary approval to a part of the school system‚s Comprehensive Master Plan and approved the appointments of eight administrators. For more information go to: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/press/index.aspx?page=showrelease&id=2800

FREE Small Business Counseling Sessions! ˆ On Thursday, July 29th, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (B-CC RSC) with the SCORE „Counselors of America‚s Small Business‰ will be offering free one-on-one small business counseling sessions. Call 240-777-8200 to schedule your free one-hour counseling session! The B-CC RSC is conveniently located one block from the Bethesda Metro Station at 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. Visit us online at: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcc

Operating Hours to Change September 1, 2010 at HOC's Two Customer Service Centers - The Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) announced that as of Wednesday, September 1, 2010, the hours of operation at both of HOC‚s customer service offices will change. The new hours will be 8 am ˆ 5 pm, Monday ˆ Friday, at the Gaithersburg HOC Customer Service Center and the Silver Spring Customer Service Center.

Jazz Concert - Vocalist Julie Mack & jazz instrumentalists at the BGR The Burger Joint, 4827 Fairmont Ave. 6-8:30 pm on August 2nd. Concert is free for more information call 301-358-6137.

SAVE THE DATE! 62nd Montgomery County Agricultural Fair - Friday, August 13 to Saturday, August 21 - You'll find loads of entertainment, such as; Demolition Derby, Rodeo, Monster Trucks, Tractor Pull, Stilt Walker, Fair Idol, musical entertainment, community performances, KidZone, remote control car racing, carnival rides and much more. For more information go to: http://www.mcagfair.com/default.asp

3rd Annual Back to School Fair, August 28th - This year, more than 140,000 MCPS students and their families will be invited to kick off the new school year at the third annual Back-to-School Fair. For more information go to: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/familycommunity/fair/

SUMMER STORM UPDATE FROM MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 3 pm - Montgomery County residents, employees, businesses and frequent visitors are urged to sign up for Alert Montgomery, which sends emergency messages to cell phones, text pagers, wireless PDA‚s and home and work emails. These direct and timely electronic alerts about severe weather, traffic problems and emergencies keep residents informed about the latest developments, especially during emergency situations. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=6778

27th Annual National Night Out - Neighborhoods throughout the City of Rockville will participate in the annual nationwide crime prevention initiative, National Night Out Against Crime. The neighborhood events will take place from 6-10 pm, Tuesday, Aug. 3, in more than three dozen communities throughout Rockville. For more information go to: http://www.rockvillemd.gov/police/nno.htm

NIH Community Orchestra - Join the 50 members of the National Institutes of Health Community Orchestra for a family-friendly evening of symphony music under the stars on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 7 pm at the Concert Pavilion in Gaithersburg. Music includes Sousa marches and patriotic pieces, Cole Porter Medley, James Bond Movie Theme Medley and much more. For more information go to: http://www.nihco.org

Weekly Crime Summaries - Weekly crime summaries for all six police districts and Rockville City, and Takoma Park were published July 20 to July 22. Summaries are published in Local Crime Reports. To view reports go to: http://connectedcommunities.us/forumdisplay.php?f=81

Department of Permitting Services to Open in Temporary Location on July 28 Until Power is Restored to Regular Facility - The Department of Permitting Services (DPS) will be open Wednesday, July 28, 2010 from 8 am to 4 pm at the following temporary location: Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Lobby Auditorium Rockville MD, 20853. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=6780

Montgomery Council Unanimously Approves Revisions to Purple Line Plan. Changes Address Station Locations and Alignment; Will Improve Access to Capital Crescent Trail - The Montgomery County Council today unanimously approved revisions to the Purple Line Functional Plan that address station locations, alignment of some portions of the route and adding access points the adjacent Capital Crescent Trail. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Council/PressRelease/PR_details.asp?PrID=6779

HAPPY: Leggett gives Montgomery County workers 3-6 days off

Maybe you've taken some time off to get your life back together after the weekend storms knocked over half your backyard. Maybe you've taken time off -- involuntarily -- because of the economy. In Montgomery County, you're about to get paid to go on vacation. Government workers and police officers are being offered 26 hours of additional paid leave. Firefighters will get 48 hours, the equivalent of six more days off.

Why the freebie? Morale.

That's according to Isaiah Leggett, Montgomery County Executive, who said he wanted to do something to lift the spirits of government workers in these times of tight budgets, furloughs, and frozen pay. Leggett likes people to know that he listens to constituents. He personally addresses most of their complaints. So perhaps the county's chief executive was moved by this government worker who wrote to him in May regarding furloughs:

"It seems clear to me that the message you are trying to send is that our hard work and dedication to our jobs is not valued or appreciated. How disappointing, since I, for one, give my 'all' to working with Montgomery County's special needs population." Leggett said the city council does not need to check off on the move. By his accounting, paid leave for 8,700 employees won't cost the county a penny. Plus, making a county employee feel valued? Priceless. SOURCE: NBC Washington

Thousands still without power

18 candidates, including Neil Cohen, Eric Wargotz & Jim Rutledge face Mikulski

SOURCE: Washington Post
By Ben Pershing, Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, July 26, 2010; B01.

Most people are familiar with what it takes to make a real run for president: months of work, hordes of volunteers, and dozens of trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. But what about running for the U.S. Senate from Maryland? No campaign workers are necessary to get on the primary ballot, and neither are petitions or even yard signs. Just a check for less than $300 -- about what it costs to buy the latest iPhone -- and a desire to be heard. That low barrier to entry helps explain why 18 candidates are seeking the Republican or Democratic nominations this year, including Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D), who is widely expected to win her fifth term.

"I can't honestly tell you that I expect to win, but I did put my $290 down so I could have my say," said Barry Steve Asbury, one of 11 Republican candidates.

Asbury publishes the small Consumer's News Guide newspaper in northern Baltimore County. The race also includes multiple lawyers, a scrap metal worker, a self-described criminal intelligence analyst who dabbles in motivational speaking (or vice versa), at least two doctors and a behavioral scientist. Chris Garner, a Severna Park engineer who campaigns in what he calls "Bob the Minivan," said he is running as a Democrat to advance his "disincumbentization program" -- to oust Mikulski and every other legislator from office. "The reason I'm running is because of the way the Democratic elite have been running this state and a lot of the government. They're running away from their natural constituency, which is the working people of this state," Garner said.

Potomac dentist Neil Cohen, a self-described moderate Republican, suggested that his day job has helped prepare him to be a good Senate candidate. "The skill that I have is being able to listen to people and solve their problems," he said.

Blaine Taylor, a Democrat and former congressional aide from Towson, said he is running "to give the voters of Maryland an alternative to Senator Mikulski's pro-war votes in the United States Senate." Taylor was one of 18 Democrats in the 2006 Senate primary, getting 1,848 votes. Ten Republicans also ran for the seat, which was won by Benjamin L. Cardin (D).

Concerning the state requirements, "Maryland's got quite low filing fees compared to other states," said Richard Winger, the editor of Ballot Access News. Only a handful of states have filing fees lower than Maryland's for getting on the primary ballot, he said. Some states require a lot more cash. Florida's filing fee is $10,440 for party candidates and $6,960 for nonpartisan candidates (despite that, 22 people are running for Florida's open Senate seat). In California, candidates need to come up with $3,480 or 10,000 signatures. And in 2008, Virginia asked Senate candidates for $3,386.

Maryland's fee may be low, but the system isn't perfect, Taylor believes -- because he still had to show up in person in Annapolis. "I don't see why we should physically have to go somewhere to file in these days of computers," he said. The Senate field has a lot of candidates, but it doesn't appear to have many who can mount a serious challenge to Mikulski, who won with 65 percent of the vote in 2004 and 71 percent in 1998.

Among the Republicans, Eric Wargotz has gotten the most attention, both for being a public official (he's a Queen Anne's County commissioner) and because of his hefty bank account. He has lent his campaign more than $500,000 and had $606,000 in the bank as of June 30. Of the large field of hopefuls, Wargotz said: "I suspect it has to do with dissatisfaction with Washington and the incumbent. I think people are sensing that there may actually be an opportunity to actually unseat her."

Lawyer Jim Rutledge has received some conservative grass-roots support, and he and Wargotz are the most frequently mentioned potential GOP nominees on blogs and other groups.

Mikulski is running as though she faces heated competition. Her fundraising e-mails have taken note of the candidates running against her, and as of June 30 she had amassed a war chest of nearly $3 million.

"We see it as democracy in action," Mikulski campaign manager Simone Ward said of the large field. "We do believe it's a competitive race. The senator is taking the campaign seriously. . . . We're not taking anything for granted."

PICTURE: Neil Cohen and his wife with President H.W. Bush

Attorney says council can't block time off for workers

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett's plan to grant thousands of government employees extra time off next year doesn't require further approval, according to an opinion from the jurisdiction's top lawyer. In a letter obtained by The Washington Examiner, acting County Attorney Marc Hansen writes, "We are not aware that granting the leave would be contrary to any appropriation or budget resolution or contrary to an existing law. Therefore, this provision of the agreement may be implemented by the executive branch without any affirmative act by the council being necessary."

Leggett has signed off on an arrangement granting general government employees and police officers 26 hours more in paid leave next year. Firefighters would receive an extra 48 hours away from the office. Council members -- and their attorneys -- argue that lost productivity and a backlog of leave time would cost the county millions of dollars.

Some council members called the development a direct challenge to their authority and refused to comply with Hansen's opinion, citing the precedent it would set.

"That didn't make any sense," said Councilman Phil Andrews, D-Gaithersburg/Rockville. "I think the executive is wrong on every count. He's wrong on the law. He's wrong that it doesn't have a fiscal impact, and he's out of touch with the public." A report by the Office of Legislative Oversight found that granting the nearly 9,000 employees extra time off would cost the county $7 million next year or the workload of about 120 employees annually. And the executive branch's own oversight agency concluded a 1 percent increase in worker availability would net the equivalent of nearly 100 additional workers. The workers would take the additional leave while county residents pay roughly $250 in new taxes.

Council members told The Examiner they will still vote on the bargaining agreements this week. A majority of the legislative body has come out against the plan, and a council committee will review the arrangement Monday. SOURCE: Washington Examiner

July 26, 2010

Water restrictions lifted

Pepco: Still more than 150,000 without power

As he stood on the lawn on Blossom Drive in Rockville on Monday, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said the fallen tree in resident Martha Lufkin's yard illustrated the "large amount of damage" caused by Sunday's intense storm. Lufkin and her family were in their living room in the 600 block of Blossom Drive during the storm, which struck about 3 p.m.

"My husband said, ‘Here it comes,' and I turned and bolted," Lufkin said. "The tree fell right in front of the house."

Lufkin said the storm left her family unscathed, but without electricity. Lufkin's family was far from alone. At its peak, the storm left more than 200,000 Pepco customers without power, in addition to a few hundred Baltimore Gas and Electric and Allegheny Power customers in the county.

By 5 p.m. Monday, some 26 hours into the outages in many areas, about 156,000 Pepco customers still were without service in Montgomery County, and 25,000 Pepco customers were without power in Prince George's County, said David Morehead, a spokesman for the utility. Meanwhile, Allegheny Power reported on its website that 241 Montgomery customers were without electric service and that 13 Frederick County also lacked service. SOURCE: Gazette

Average citizen helps with Montgomery County traffic waving

Vovak buys new domain name for campaign 'www.ChangeMontgomery.com'

Daniel Vovak's campaign for Montgomery County executive (against Ike Leggett) will now use the domain name www.ChangeMontgomery.com. Please reflect this is all future media mentions.

Montgomery County news blurbs

2010 National Night Out Events - The 2010 National Night Out annual observance will take place on Tuesday, August 3. National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), is designed to generate neighborhood support and participation in crime prevention efforts and to enhance police and community relations. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Police/News/NA_details.asp?NaID=5551

Summer Storm Update From Montgomery County ˆ 2:45 pm - A major storm has caused widespread power outages. About 164,000 Montgomery County customers remain without power. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=6769

Metro Demonstrates Safety Commitment, Compliance with NTSB Recommendations, including Replacement of 1000 Series Rail Cars - Metro received a formal pre-award approval letter today, July 26, from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the procurement of the 7000 series rail cars from Kawasaki using Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) funds, allowing Metro to move forward with a notice to proceed. For more information go to: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=4579

Power Outages Necessitate Water Restrictions, Summer Camp Cancellations ˆ A powerful line of storms Sunday afternoon that struck Montgomery County has caused hundreds of thousands of power outages and numerous felled trees. For more information go to: http://www.rockvillemd.gov/news/2010/07-july/07-26-10.htm

Judges Needed for 2010 Elections - Montgomery County's Board of Elections is seeking individuals to serve as election judges at polling places for the Gubernatorial Elections to be held on September 14 and November 2, 2010. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/eletmpl.asp?url=/content/elections/ElectionJudge/notanelectionjudge.asp

Metro Sets August Weeknight Track Maintenance Schedule - On most weeknights in August, Metro employees will replace rail, cross ties, weld new rail on the tracks, repair concrete slabs underneath the rails, repair station platforms and install communications cables in an effort to maintain the rail system in a state of good repair and help provide reliable service. For more information go to: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=4578

More on death of Michelle Humanick, by falling tree

This story is heart-wrenching. She and her husband just seemed to be nearly-perfect people!

MAJOR UPDATE from Montgomery County government

A major storm has caused widespread power outages. About 164,000 Montgomery County customers remain without power. The latest update on conditions include:

Water Restrictions: * Mandatory water restrictions remain in effect for all Montgomery County and Prince Georges County residents on public water systems until water supplies are recharged. This includes Rockville residents.

* Residents and businesses are urged to use water only for essential indoor uses so sufficient water will be available for hospitals, emergency services and fire fighting.

* Residents on private wells are unaffected by the mandatory water restrictions.

Water customers should: *Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools

*Use water only as necessary – i.e., shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands

*Limit toilet flushings (do not flush after every use)

*Limit washing machine and dishwasher use (wash full loads only)

Traffic: * About 225 traffic signals remain without power and 90 streets remain blocked by downed wires and trees.

* Police officers are directing traffic at 60 intersections and the County’s Department of Transportation has erected temporary stop signs at some others.

* Many additional intersections without power have no officers or stop signs. It is essential that drivers exercise extreme caution and treat all intersections without power as a four-way stop.

Ride On: * Expect some delays on Ride On due to blocked streets and signal outages. Five routes have detours. Check Ride On’s website at www.rideonbus.com for more information.

Recreation: * The Western County, Germantown Indoor and Outdoor, Upper County, and Olney Swim Centers are open.

* Damascus and Lawton Recreation Centers are now open, in addition to the Upper County Neighborhood, Germantown, East County Neighborhood and Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Centers All other Montgomery County Recreation facilities are closed today.

* All other Recreation sites are closed, including the main administrative office.

* All summer camps, summer fun centers and Recreation summer classes are cancelled for today.

Libraries: * Closed all day: Little Falls, Wheaton, Kensington Park, Aspen Hill, Davis, Potomac, and Silver Spring

* Open: Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Damascus, Germantown, Long Branch, Olney, Poolesville, Praisner, Quince Orchard, Rockville, Wheaton, and White Oak.

* All of the branches will close at 8 p.m. this evening.

Shelters: * Three shelters are open: Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville; Seneca Valley High School, 19401 Crystal Rock Drive, Germantown; and the East County Recreation Center located at 3310 Gateshead Manor Way, Silver Spring.

* Individuals planning to go to a shelter should bring all medications and personal supplies with them. Pets are not permitted at shelters except for service animals.

* Residents cannot bring pets to the shelter. Residents are urged not to leave their pets alone at home. Instead, call Montgomery County Animal Services at 240-773-5900 to make arrangements for pet care.

Parks: * The following Montgomery Parks facilities are open and Parks classes and programs in these facilities are running on schedule: Cabin John Ice, South Germantown Splash Park and Miniature Golf, and the Tennis and More and Week in the Park summer camps at Wheaton Regional Park.

* Crews are working to restore power to all Parks facilities affected by the outages. To find out if a facility is open, Parks patrons should call the facility in advance to confirm operating hours. Visit www.MontgomeryParks.org for a facility directory and updated information.

Montgomery College: * Montgomery College Rockville campus will be closed today. Takoma Park and Germantown campuses will be open.

Other County Facilities: * Montgomery County Department of Finance Treasury office located at 255 Hungerford Drive is closed.

* Montgomery County’s Permitting Services will be closed to the public.

* The Occupational Medical Service unit is closed and all appointments are cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Report Power Outages and Downed Trees: * To report power outages, call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662, , Allegheny Power at 1-800-255-3443 or Baltimore Gas and Electric at 1-877-778-2222.

* To report “hot” wires or sparking wires, especially those across roadways, call 9-1-1.

* To report downed trees in the public right-of-way, call 3-1-1 from within Montgomery County or if Montgomery County residents are outside the County, call 240-777-0311.

Check www.montgomerycountymd.gov for updated information on Montgomery County facilities, services, and programs.

Any annoying comments about Pepco? Tell us your story!

Place them in the COMMENT box here, to tell your Pepco annoyance story!

Report ranks Baltimore strong to weather recession

The Baltimore region’s economy has demonstrated relative strength in weathering the recession when compared to others in the nation’s Top 100 metropolitan regions, according to a June MetroMonitor report from Brookings Institution. Overall, the Baltimore region ranks among 19 regions that were rated as the “second strongest” metropolitan areas to have weathered the Great Recession. (Click here to read the full report.)

The report measured economic outputs – the Gross Metropolitan Products (GMP) – of the Top 100 U.S. metropolitan regions during the recession. It also measured performance for other key economic indicators including employment levels, unemployment rates, housing prices, and the number of foreclosed properties that fail to sell at auction. Among Mid-Atlantic regions, only one – the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region – was among 21 regions rated as the overall “strongest” to weather the recession. Three other metros from Mid-Atlantic States – Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Virginia Beach – also ranked with the Baltimore region in the “second strongest” group.

That’s the good news. Less uplifting are the report’s findings that, while most U.S. regions registered gains in economic output from pre-recession peaks to the end of 2009, these economic rebounds were not matched by employment rebounds. For example, the Baltimore region registered a 4.8 percent increase in GMP from its previous peak in the 2nd quarter of 2008. However, employment in the Baltimore region remains at just 95.3 percent of its pre-recession level, and has yet to make a turn upward. Greater Baltimore was among 32 regions that have recovered their pre-recession levels of economic output. But neither Baltimore nor any of the top 100 regions has fully recovered their previous employment levels. The lower employment statistics have been accompanied by tenaciously elevated unemployment rates, significantly reduced housing prices, and elevated levels of foreclosed properties that mortgage-holders have been unable to sell.

The Baltimore region ranks 4th among all regions for economic recovery since 2008, but it ranks 30th for employment growth during the same period. More disconcerting is that the Baltimore region’s 0.3 percent employment drop in the 1st quarter of 2010 ranks 60th among the 100 regions measured in the Brookings report. Here’s how the Baltimore region performed on other key indicators measured by Brookings:

• Unemployment rate. The region’s 8.0 percent unemployment rate ranks 21st best and is less than the 10.2 percent U.S. average. Its 4.4 percentage-point unemployment rate increase over the last three years ranks 29th. The region’s one-year unemployment rate increase of 0.8 percentage points ranks 36th.

• Housing prices. The Baltimore region’s 20.4 percent decrease in housing prices during the last three years ranks 69th. The national average for that period was a 17.4 percent decrease, while the average decrease for all measured metro areas was 21.4 percent.

• Real estate-owned properties. In March 2010, the Baltimore region had 3.97 per 1,000 foreclosed properties that failed to sell at auction. This ranks our region 68th, and was slightly more than the national average, but less than the average for all regions measured by Brookings.

Donald C. Fry is president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. He is a regular contributor to Center Maryland. SOURCE: Center Maryland

Man hit and killed near MARC station

Montgomery County police say they have found a man's body on train tracks near the Kensington MARC station. Police say officers and emergency responders found the man at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday between the eastbound rails. They say evidence indicates the man was struck by a CSX train. Detectives and CSX officials continue to investigate the death. SOURCE: Hometown Annapolis

More storm damage discovered in Montgomery County; Michelle Humanick dies

Complaints against Pepco are increasing. Hundreds of traffic lights still out.

The woman who died in her vehicle on Rhode Island Avenue, near Odessa Road in College Park, was described as being in her 40s. Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’;s fire and EMS department, said the woman’s mother, who was also in the vehicle, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. .. Rescue workers had to cut the top of the vehicle off to pull out the injured person. (Washington Post)

Later, I came to know more about the woman from Dist 1 councilman Patrick Wojahn.

“The woman’s name was Michelle Humanick. Some of you may know Michelle – she was active in the Neighborhood Watch in College Park Estates and Yarrow, and was married to Clay Gump, who has long been active in the City. This is such a tragedy – in addition to her husband, Michelle leaves behind two young girls. Michelle’s mother was also in the car and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries”

True, this is such a loss for our entire community. Michelle’s husband Clay Gump runs popular RethinkCollegePark website. The storm also caused a massive power blackout in the area, cutting off power from roughly 53,000 people in our county. The storm has also made quite a bit of damage several Seven Springs apartments located in Cherry Hill. Michelle Humanick dies in College Park. SOURCE: Kabir Cares

Newest Chick-fil-A Restaurant Opening July 29 in Silver Spring

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 29, 2010) – The Chick-fil-A® restaurant chain and its renegade Cows have two events to celebrate on July 29 in metro Washington, D.C. with its newest in-line Chick-fil-A restaurant opening at 6:30 a.m. at 12289 Tech Rd. in Silver Spring, Md. and a ground “mooving” ceremony being held at 10:30 a.m. in Arlington, Va. at 2200 Crystal Dr. for the chain’s third in-line location in the market.

The chain will celebrate the new Silver Spring July 29 opening by awarding a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals (52 certificates) to each of the first 100 adults in line, age 18 and older with identification at the new location. Started more than six years ago as an idea for an Arizona restaurant opening, Chick-fil-A’s First 100 celebration has become the signature event of each grand opening around the country. The chain’s loyal customers often arrive 24 hours in advance of the opening -- no matter the location or weather conditions.

The line at the new Chick-fil-A restaurant at Tech Road in Silver Spring will officially open at 6 a.m., Wednesday, July 28, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, July 29, sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. If there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle. www.chick-fil-a.com for complete rules.

The new in-line Chick-fil-A in Silver Spring is one of 78 new locations the chain plans to open this year and includes the new Crystal City streetscape in-line restaurant in Arlington. The company opened its first in-line concept in August 2004 in Silver Spring, with the Crystal City location bringing the total to 11 for the chain. The Crystal City location is projected to open in November and will be operated by Chick-fil-A franchise Operator/Owner Natalie Yang, who is moving to the area from Georgia. The openings of the two locations in metro Washington, D.C. will bring upwards of 130 new jobs to the area.

Despite the nation’s economic challenges in 2009, Chick-fil-A continued to expand, increasing the number of locations initially projected for the year. The chain opened 80 new restaurants and reached $3 billion in sales for the first time.

“Thanks to our family of Operators and restaurant team members who provide freshly prepared food and going-the-extra-mile customer service, Chick-fil-A is fortunate to be able to continue to grow,” said Dan T. Cathy, President and COO, Chick-fil-A, Inc. “We are very fortunate to be blessed with not only committed Operators and team members but also with a tremendous following of loyal customers. They are the reason we do what we do every day.”

The First 100 event at each restaurant opening is one way Chick-fil-A both thanks and celebrates its customers, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to participate. Extreme weather conditions or distant locations do not dampen the enthusiasm of those who bring tents, electronics, and other gear to pass the time until the restaurant opens. Chick-fil-A has awarded more than $11.2 million in free food at restaurant grand openings, with nearly another $1.8 million to be given away in 2010. Once Cathy saw customers willing to camp out in Chick-fil-A parking lots, he decided to join in the fun with his own tent and sleeping bag. December 2009 marked Cathy’s 100th overnight campout with customers at Chick-fil-A grand openings.

About Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Truett Cathy developed the original Chick-fil-A boneless breast of chicken sandwich in his 24-hour Dwarf House® diner near Atlanta in the early 1960s, and he opened his first Chick-fil-A® restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967. Since then, the chain has grown to include nearly 1,500 locations in 38 states and Washington, D.C. In December 2009, Chick-fil-A, Inc. reached $3 billion in sales for the first time – marking its 42nd consecutive year of sales growth. The chain plans to add 78 locations this year, including 66 stand-alone restaurants, two mall/retail outlets, and 10 licensed outlets in non-traditional locations such as college campuses. This year, the chain also will spend millions in reinvestment dollars on existing business markets to remodel and re-design 171 stand-alone and shopping mall outlets across the country. More information about Chick-fil-A is available on the chain’s websites, located at www.chick-fil-a.com , www.facebook.com/chick-fil-a, www.chick-fil-a.com/pressroom or www.truettcathy.com .

Cristine Thron for Congress kickoff tonight versus Chris van Hollen

Christine and Company will hold a reception at La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant on the square following the Formal Announcement of her Candidacy. Please join us to celebrate the official kick off of her Campaign. Those who Donate $50 to participate will receive two drink tickets and will enjoy shared appetizers. Beverages include: sangria, beer, house wine and all non-alcoholic drinks. Appetizers Include: spinach croquettes, Pan Catalana (Bread), Fried Eggplant, Fried Shrimp and Grilled Chicken Skewers.

Christine's Formal Announcement: Monday July 26, 2010. 6:00pm-7:00 pm. Rockville Town Square Plaza. Off of Beall Ave. Rockville, MD 20850.

Celebrate with the Candidate!. July 26, 2010. 7:00pm-9:00 pm. 141 Gibbs Street, Unit A. Rockville, MD 20850. Register now

Candidate Eli El for delegate in Dist. 20 has 'Terrapins For Eli' support

Candidate Eli El for delegate in Dist. 20 has 'Terrapins For Eli' support. You have to admit, this is pretty funny!

Montgomery County news blurbs

Hot Weather Conditions Unsafe for Animals - Whenever the National Weather Service issues an Excessive Heat Warning for Montgomery County and surrounding areas, the Director of the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division may authorize enforcement of Executive Regulation 5-01, Anti-Cruelty Conditions for Dogs, Section 11-C. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Police/News/NA_details.asp?NaID=5550

MCPL - Friday, July 23: Access to the library catalog, user accounts, and online resources has been disrupted by a power outage. We are working to restore service.

Percentage of Region's Commuters Driving Alone Declines, While Share for Telework, Transit Grows - More people in the metropolitan Washington region are taking transit to work or teleworking than at any point in the past ten years, according to findings presented today by Commuter Connections at the July meeting of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). For more information go to: http://www.mwcog.org/news/press/detail.asp?NEWS_ID=464

Montgomery County Board of Education to Meet on July 26 - The Montgomery County Board of Education will meet on Monday, July 26, 2010. The meeting will be held in the Board of Education Meeting Room in the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville, MD. For more information go to: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/press/index.aspx?page=showrelease&id=2797

Dance with the Stars at The Rooftop - Spend an evening Dancing with the Stars at The Rooftop from 7-9:30 pm, Sunday, July 25, when the night will feature Big Band hits from the '30s and '40s. Night and Day Band will perform Big Band Ballroom and Swing music. Admission is free. For more information go to: http://www.rockvillerooftop.com/calendar-events/july-25-dancing-with-the-stars

FREE Small Business Counseling Sessions! ˆ On Thursday, July 29th, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (B-CC RSC) with the SCORE „Counselors of America‚s Small Business‰ will be offering free one-on-one small business counseling sessions. Call 240-777-8200 to schedule your free one-hour counseling session! The B-CC RSC is conveniently located one block from the Bethesda Metro Station at 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. Visit us online at: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcc

Lunchtime Concert Series - Willow Garden Theatre lunchtime concert series, from August 4 - August 25. At the corner of Wisconsin Ave. & Willow Ln., Wed., 12-2pm, concerts are free for more information call 301-352-5387.

SAVE THE DATE! Car Free Day ˆ 9/22/10 - Join us for part of a worldwide movement and celebrate sustainable transportation on Car Free Day, Wednesday September 22, 2010. For more information go to: http://www.carfreemetrodc.com/

REMINDER - 21st Anniversary of the 2010 Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale in Montgomery County, Maryland - Montgomery County will celebrate its agricultural heritage, promote local farms, and indulge in seasonally fresh food during the 21st Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale. Fourteen farms will participate this year on Saturday July 24, 2010 and then will reopen for a second day on Sunday July 25, 2010. For more information go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=6690

Rockville Good Neighbor Nominations Due Monday, Aug. 30 - The City of Rockville will host the ninth annual Good Neighbor awards in which residents nominate their neighbors for improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods. For more information go to: http://www.rockvillemd.gov/news/2010/07-july/07-22-10b.html

Some storm damage & electric problems in Montgomery County

Utility crews worked through the night and into Monday morning to fix widespread power outages after one of the most violent and destructive thunderstorms in years ripped across the region, knocking down trees and power lines, starting fires, damaging houses and causing at least two deaths. A 6-year-old boy, Eric Lawson of Sterling, was killed when struck by a falling section of a tree in Loudoun County about 3:15 p.m. Sunday. And a woman was killed when a tree fell on a minivan in College Park about 3:30 p.m.

Power was cut off to a WSSC plant that supplies 70 percent of the water for Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Authorities asked residents to curb consumption and refrain from any outdoor use. A spokeswoman for Pepco, the region's hardest-hit utility, said the company was borrowing crews from other utilities working in 12-hour shifts to free lines and poles pinned beneath toppled trees. It was too early to predict a return to normal service, spokeswoman Mary-Beth Hutchinson said Monday morning, but the company is expecting a "multi-day restoration."

"The volume of work is staggering," Hutchinson said.

Montgomery County closed most of its recreation centers, and the parks and recreation department canceled all summer camps, classes and other activities for Monday. Montgomery College's Rockville campus was also closed. As of 9:00 a.m., roughly 175,000 customers were without power in Montgomery County, about 53,000 were without power in Prince George's County, about 22,000 were without power in the District and about 9,600 were without power in Northern Virginia.

Traffic lights remained out at dozens of intersections around the region. Officials were telling motorists to treat dark intersections as four-way stops. SOURCE: Washington Post

Candidate Robert Dyer (council at large) offers structural deficit plan

July 25, 2010

Pepco power outage for Montgomery County

Pepco power outage grid. Click here

Montgomery farm's open for visitors this weekend

Welmoed Sisson delicately wrapped strands of fragrant lavender between ribbon under the shade of a white tent at Star Gazing Farm on Saturday morning. The bound bushels, called "lavender wands" were on their way to the Boyds animal sanctuary's gift shop, she said. It was all preparation for Montgomery County's 2010 Farm Tour and Harvest Sale. Fourteen farms were open to visitors on Saturday, and 10 farms are participating Sunday. The tour aims to celebrate the county's agricultural heritage. There are 561 farms and 350 horticultural enterprises in the county.

Spring and Peter Swineheart of Boyds stopped by Star Gazing on Saturday.

"I think it's great to bring awareness to the Agricultural Reserve and what there is to offer," Spring Swinehart said. The couple had just finished a tour of the sanctuary's housing area, where they scooted around billy goat horns and got up close to a llama.

Germantown brothers Christian, 5, and Steven, 7, hovered near Oscar the barn cat. Christian said "seeing kitties" was his favorite part of the tour. Jody and Steve Hursh brought their grandchildren to Star Gazing early Saturday afternoon. They had stopped at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, also part of the tour, where Steve was left with a "souvenir" of dried pig mud on his pant leg.

Jody Hursh said Star Gazing would be the group's last stop.

"We're going to be wilted after this," she said, partially hidden from the sun's glare by a tree. SOURCE: Gazette