Montgomery in Focus Masthead
October 2012


White House Asks for Our Perspective on Job Growth

white houseWe need all hands on deck to move our economic development agenda forward. Federal, state and local governments must work together, and I’m glad to have been invited to be a part of these important conversations at the White House on September 19 as a representative for the National Association of Counties.

The special, invitation-only forum, Building Blocks for Economic Development and Job Growth, focused on the role of the public sector in making strategic investments to support private sector job creation and economic opportunity. The goal of the event was to bring together senior White House and agency officials with regional development organization leaders and county officials to highlight noteworthy practices across the nation.

The event included updates from senior administration officials and group discussions about specific topics and lessons learned. It also showcased local communities that are partnering with federal and state officials, plus the philanthropic and private sectors, to make the investments needed for the future.

What was particularly interesting is that we all (from every corner of the country and without regard to party affiliation) agreed that streamlining processes and infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure should be national priorities.


County Honors World War II Veterans

Nancy FloreenBoris Osheroff graduated with honors in chemistry from St. John’s Pharmacy School. When he entered the U.S. Army in 1943, he did not understand why a screening left him assigned to a group in New York City that hardly seemed like a military mission. It turned out he was selected to work on the Manhattan Project, and for much of the war, he was part of the team that developed the first atom bomb.

Mr. Osheroff, who is 90 and has lived in Silver Spring since 1956, was among more than 150 World War II veterans who attended Montgomery County Honors World War II Veterans. The event is believed to be the biggest Washington area tribute to World War II veterans since the opening of the National World War II Memorial.

Alyce Dixon, who turned 105 on September 11, also attended. The still-active Ms. Dixon was one of the first employees at the Pentagon from 1940-1943, working as a civilian. She entered the Army in 1943 and became one of the first women to join the military as a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).

George Boggess, 100, who served in Europe with General George Patton’s Third Army was in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded. Among his military awards were the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. His post-war life included serving with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on three civil rights campaigns, including the famed march from Selma to Montgomery.

Ted Koppel, the longtime host of Nightline, emceed the event. If you were not able to see it live, I encourage you to see the video of the moving tribute on CCM’s website.


Town Hall Meeting for Students

Nancy Floreen with studentThis year we will hold the always-popular Town Hall Meeting for Students on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The meeting will be held in the Council’s Third Floor Hearing Room beginning at 7 p.m. A pre-meeting reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the building’s second-floor cafeteria. RSVP by calling 240-777-7931.

The October meeting is open to high school, middle school and elementary school students from public and private schools around the county. The meeting will allow the participants to let Councilmembers know how they feel about specific issues and also will provide the opportunity to ask questions of us in an organized, but informal, setting.

We will, for the first time, use Twitter to bring more young people into the discussion. Some questions will be taken during the Town Hall Meeting using the hashtag #mocoyouth, and students tweeting about the event are encouraged to use the hashtag, as well.

The event will be broadcast live on County Cable Montgomery (CCM—cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and rebroadcast at various times in the weeks following the meeting.


Zoning Code Rewrite Now Being Reviewed

The Planning Board is now reviewing the consolidated draft of the Zoning Code rewrite which was released in July. This draft reflects comments received from the Zoning Advisory Panel, County agency representatives and other stakeholders.

The Planning Board will review the draft by topic over the course of the next several months. It will hear public testimony during public sessions, and written testimony is also encouraged.

September was devoted to background and the commercial zones. The Board will spend October on residential, agricultural and industrial zoning districts. You can download the draft and view the schedule of upcoming meetings at the Montgomery Planning website.


Early Voting and Voter Registration Deadline

Montgomery County will open five Early Voting Centers from October 27 through November 1, from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. (Sunday hours noon–6 p.m.) at these locations:

~ Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville

~ Germantown Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown

~ Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville

~ Montgomery County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville

~ Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veteran’s Plaza, Silver Spring

If you want to vote in the 2012 Presidential General Election you must register by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16. Get your application by calling 240-777-VOTE or by visiting a county library, regional services center, any office of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Motor Vehicle Administration, or any U.S. Post Office. You can also download the application at or register in person at the Board of Elections.


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and since the program began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined. One in eight women in the United States—or 12 percent of women—will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life, making breast cancer the most common cancer among women except for skin cancer. This year I will again present a County Council Proclamation in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Stop by or tune in to County Cable Montgomery on October 16 to help us honor breast cancer support groups in Montgomery County.


New Civil War App for Montgomery

iPhone heritage montgomery appAs a history buff, I love Heritage Montgomery’s new smartphone app: A Civil War Tour of Montgomery County, Maryland. This free smartphone app, available for both Android and iPhone, allows you to stream or download historic tours of Civil War sites throughout Montgomery County.

As the Civil War unfolded across our nation in the 1860s, the residents of Montgomery County lived in a war zone. Strategically located next to the District of Columbia and across the Potomac River from Virginia, Montgomery County and the State of Maryland were of vital importance to the security of our nation’s capital. Thousands of soldiers from both sides passed through the area; spying and smuggling made trusting your neighbor difficult; staples grew scarce as the war progressed; and the sound of cannon fire from across the Potomac River in Virginia created a tension felt by all. Martial law was imposed throughout Maryland, a slave-holding state until November 1, 1864.

The Heritage Montgomery Civil War Tour app takes you to a wide variety of unique historic locations and tells the story of local life in the 1860s. Interactive GPS maps that include your current location and all points of interest on the tours allow for easy navigation. The full-color video and slideshows and compelling narrative share the history of the sites you are seeing. Contact information including websites and phone numbers for each location delivers all the information you need for each tour stop.


Fast Fact

Got a question about planning? Wondering about that sign advertising pending development in your community? Curious about how forest conservation works? Residents and others with questions about development, community plans, zoning, transportation, or environmental issues may find the answers they seek on a new M-NCPPC HELP page. The page features links, an online employee directory and an online question/comment section.


Green Tip of the Month

Enjoy bird watching? Our friends at the Nature Conservancy have put together some of the best bird watching sites for the fall. Thanks, for the tip.


Let's Talk

Is your community organization hosting a public meeting?  Please let me know how I can help. I am happy to assist residents in understanding pending bills or in finding ways to get involved in the political process. Even more important, I want to hear about what matters to you.  Send your meeting notices to or call 240-777-7959 if you would like me to address a particular topic with your group.