Montgomery in Focus Masthead
October 2009


Hearing From Seniors - back to top

floreen talkinig to seniorI've been visiting senior housing communities with my fellow at-large councilmember, George Leventhal, over the last several weeks. With trips to Willow Manor, Asbury Methodist Village, Classic Residence by Hyatt, Charter House and Ring House (soon), we heard from seniors on a variety of topics, including ambulance fees, rent control, utility bills, cable issues and Upcounty hospitals. I enjoy the opportunity to hear what our older residents have to say, and I hope they find that Mr. Leventhal and I deliver valuable information. If you would like us to visit your community, just call 240-777-7959 or e-mail me at


What Do You Think?--The Courage of Planning - back to top

In his September 19 Washington Post article, The Courage of Planning, Roger K. Lewis makes poignant observations about what goes into and what should come out of a master plan, paying particular attention to the balance of current needs and future growth management.

For example, he says, "Perceiving that increased density means increased traffic congestion, voters are understandably skeptical about any plan calling for higher densities, even if the plan calls for transportation improvements." He adds that "visionary master plans are necessary to create a reasonably durable framework prescribing the location and form of new development and redevelopment for generations to come."

Certainly we must apply a delicate mix of art and science to try to respect current communities and anticipate the needs of communities whose residents have not even been born. Visit my blog to see the article and let me know what you think.

Remember, we have a busy year for master plans. We've just completed the Germantown Sector Plan, and we will undertake the Gaithersburg West Master Plan, the White Flint Sector Plan and the Kensington Sector Plan over the next several months. We have gotten a lot of input from residents so far, but it's not too late to voice your opinion. E-mail me at


Foreclosure Issues on Council Close Up - back to top

for-sale signTune in to County Cable Montgomery (CCM) this month to learn about foreclosure rates, homeowner resources and community remedies. Guests from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the County's Department of Housing and Community Affairs join me on Council Close Up to discuss the ongoing crisis and what you can do to protect yourself and your community.

You can find CCM on Comcast 6, RCN 6 and Verizon 30. You can get the full schedule and view episodes by visiting CCM online.


Grants Advisory Group Now Open - back to top

Apply now for our Grants Advisory Group. The County Council believes that a strong partnership with non-profit organizations is critical in meeting the County's needs, so it has established a grants process in which the Council accepts applications from non-profit organizations. We count on the Grants Advisory Group for advice and insight when making decisions about which applications to fund, so this is an important group. Get your application in by November 4.


Enjoy to Your Arts Content - back to top

Visit Strathmore at the intersection of art and life.  The non-profit arts center right here in the heart of Montgomery County presents a lively and diverse program of art exhibitions, concerts and performing arts programs as well as literary lectures and events.  There truly is something for everyone.  I say this not just as a board member but also as a frequent visitor.  I particularly enjoy events in the concert hall and look forward to Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder this month.  If this concert isn’t your thing, check out the rest of the concert schedule or try some of the programs and events by Strathmore’s resident partnersBaltimore Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic, Washington Performing Arts Society, Levine School of Music, CityDance Ensemble, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra and interPLAY. Remember, it's easy to take Metro to Strathmore.


Fast Fact - back to top

Did you know that the County Police Department has an online Citizen Reporting System (CRS)? The new program is designed to make it easier and more convenient for you to file a police report without leaving home. It can only be used to report certain crimes, including thefts under $10,000, vandalism, identity theft and lost property. The police remind us to call 911 in an emergency or if there is a crime in progress.


Note to Newsletter Editors - back to top

Did you find something useful in this e-newsletter? Some people have asked me if they can use the material from my newsletter in their own civic association or HOA newsletters. The answer is yes. I provide this information to help residents find what they need and participate in the legislative process, so feel free to use it.


Green Tip of the Month - back to top

Big hair is back now that you can recycle empty hairspray cans and other aerosol cans like those used for whipped topping, spray cooking oil, deodorant and shaving cream. Also under the improved program, residents of single-family homes can recycle coated paper items like milk and juice cartons, frozen food boxes, cardboard ice cream containers and lids, paper coffee and drink cups, wax-coated fruit and produce boxes and drink boxes. You also can recycle Rubbermaid-type durable reusable plastic containers and lids.