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Rapid Transit Roundtable on October 3rd


To the Norbeck Citizens Association:

I would like to extend an invitation to your community association to attend a roundtable we are co-hosting to discuss the proposed rapid transit development along the 355 corridor. It is an opportunity for members of the Montgomery County community to learn more about the proposal and for them to voice their questions. We would love if you could forward this to your members. Feel free to email me back with any questions. All are welcome and we hope to see you there!

*We hope you can join us for a community discussion about the proposed Rapid Transit line for 355. Please find the details and RSVP below. *

355 Rapid Transit Roundtable ; An educational community discussion about Montgomery County’s proposed
Rapid Transit System for stakeholders along the 355 corridor.

Thursday, October 3 | 6:00 PM | Cafeteria of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD (Metro: Rockville)

Click here to RSVP

As population and traffic continue to rise, how can we design the 355 corridor to move more people and connect our communities all the way from Friendship Heights to Clarksburg? Join residents, local businesses, institutions, and stakeholders of all kinds to learn about the County’s Rapid Transit proposal, get your questions answered by County officials, and engage in a collaborative discussion about Rapid Transit and other solutions for turning 355 into a safe, sustainable, multimodal boulevard of
the future.

*Speakers: *Casey Anderson, Montgomery County Planning Board, Larry Cole, Montgomery County Planning Department, Chuck Lattuca, Rapid Transit System Development Manager for MCDOT.

*Refreshments will be served.*

*This event is co-sponsored and facilitated by Coalition for Smarter Growth and Communities for Transit . Our co-hosts include Montgomery County Sierra Club, TAME Coalition, the White Flint Partnership, and Friends of White Flint.*

*Please forward along!*

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County Announces Annual Deer Kill


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New Tax on Shopping Bags


The county’s new tax on use of shopping bags starts January 1.  Starting next year you will be charged an additional 5 cents for each bag you receive from a retail store.

For details:

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Current Redistricting


The state is in its current round of redistricting, as the governor adjusts voting boundaries to comply with recent federal census changes and reward political benefactors.  As the current plan reports, our voting district is changing again so that we can be gerrymandered out of where we live and represented together with our common interests all the way up to the Pennsylvania state line.  While the map is low resolution and difficult to confirm, I believe we’re now in a proposed area that stretches around Baltimore and up to the top of the state.

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Rapid Transit


Mark Elrich’s June 2011 newsletter outlines a number of topics.  Rapid Transit caught my eye, as the county looks at a very long term (finished 2040!) plan to add dedicated bus lines through the county.  I suppose by the time its finished we won’t be able to afford gas or will have retired out of the county, but the details can be found in the newsletter.  The information on the amount of money the county has given Wheaton Plaza was also interesting, given the budget pressures at hand.

While Mark is an at-large councilperson and not directly representing our neighborhood, I find his newsletters to be well written, informative, and filled with important information about the council activities.

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More on Pepco


From Nancy Floreen’s regular correspondence, she offered these facts and commentary on the dismal state of affairs that is local power distribution in Montgomery County.

Pepco Work Group Releases Survey Results
The results are in. The County’s Pepco Work Group received nearly 12,000 responses to the survey it conducted in January and February. A total of 10,895 residents responded, while 654 businesses completed the survey. Among the findings reported by Pepco customers taking the survey are:

  • Almost 95 percent reported they had experienced at least one outage of more than five hours in the past year. Just over 50 percent also reported that they had experienced non-major-event-related outages of more than one hour in the past year.
  • The economic costs of long outages experienced in the past year can be estimated, based on reports obtained from survey respondents, from $22.9 to $114.6 million for residents in Montgomery County and $21.1 to $211 million for businesses. Pepco’s Montgomery County customers appear to be incurring outage-related costs that are on the same magnitude as Pepco’s 2010 earnings of $139 million.
  • Of the respondents who experienced outages of longer than five hours, almost 65 percent reported calling Pepco more than twice to check the status of the outage. Only 5 percent of Pepco’s residential customers reported that they did not attempt to call Pepco at all. Of those who experienced long outages, 85.5 percent incurred costs or other economic losses that they otherwise would not have incurred.
  • A full 609 commercial respondents, or 94.9 percent, experienced one or more outages of longer than five hours in the past year. Of those who experienced long outages, 83.3 percent incurred costs or other economic losses that they otherwise would not have incurred.

Progress on reliability continues to be complicated, so here’s a refresher:

  • Last summer, Pepco disclosed that it ranked in the bottom 25 percent of utilities for two common measures of day-to-day reliability, and the company released a Reliability Enhancement Plan.
  • On August 12, the Maryland Public Service Commission opened an investigation into the reliability and quality of the electric distribution service of Pepco.  A key element of the investigation was an independent consultant’s review of Pepco’s system reliability.
  • In the recent State legislative session, legislation was adopted requiring the PSC to establish reliability standards for the delivery of electricity to retain customers and to establish penalties for poor performance.
  • The Pepco Work Group’s Report, which was issued on April 20, will be conveyed to the PSC to inform its work over the next year on the reliability standards and other issues associated with its oversight of Pepco.
  • We hired Stanley Balis, a nationally recognized attorney with more than 30 years specializing in utility regulation and related issues, to represent our interests in a number of cases coming before the Public Service Commission, including the investigation into Pepco’s reliability.
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PEPCO Announces They Don’t Know When Power Will Be Restored


7 hours after power went out for most of the county, PEPCO is currently providing the following notice on their web site:

Important Message

Our crews are assessing the damage caused by a powerful thunderstorm that hit our service territory. We will be working around the clock until everyone is back in service. If you see a downed wire, stay away from it and call 1-877-PEPCO62. At this time, we anticipate the restoration effort will last for multiple days.
Their interactive map provides this information:
To paraphrase, they don’t know why the power is out, or if someone is working on it, or when it will be back on.  The radio has announced it will take several days for power to be restored.
The phrase “storm of the century” has not been used yet, but we expect it to be used shortly.
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NEWS: County spends a ton on unused service


Ouch!  The county apparently spent 100,000 on vehicles for sharing by county employees that go mostly unused as employees prefer their own county vehicles.  Perhaps they should haveidentified who would be giving up vehicles first?

Thanks to WUSA-9.

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State Ban on Leg Hold Traps


Del. Kirill Reznik sends this new in his regular correspondence:

One bill in particular that I have received many constituent emails about is HB 831 or local bill MC 922-09. This bill will prohibit the use of leg hold traps in Montgomery County. As I have mentioned before, these traps are an inhumane way to trap animals and I am glad to report that after some strong deabte and a contentious hearing, we voted the bill out of local Delegation with no amendments. I appreciate the heavy constituent input to vote the bill out with no amendments and I am glad that we were able to do so.

No leg traps in the neighborhood, please.

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County Executive on Closing the Budget Gap


A press release received this week outlines the County Executive’s statement on the current budget woes in Montgomery County.  The entire message is posted below in the more section - apparently it takes several months for this press releases to be posted on the County Executive’s web page (current 5 months behind).  Tough times ahead for fans of county spending.  And an interesting take on the phrase “closing the gap”, where we see a $587 million budget gap is closed through a 1.9% increase in spending.

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