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Newsletter of the Kensington Heights Civic Association
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>>February 17 KHCA Executive Committee Meeting -- All are Welcome
The monthly KHCA Executive Committee meeting will be held at 7:30 pm February 17 at Ann and Alberto Arevalo's home, 10801 Torrance Drive. 
>>Passing of Viviane Pescov 
Viviane Pescov, an active opponent of the Costco gas station, passed away on January 20. Her joie de vivre and steadfast support of the Kensington Heights neighborhood will be much missed. Services were held January 28 at Temple Emanuel in Kensington. Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St., N.W., Washington, DC 20037 or to a charity of your choice. 

>>Costco Gas Station
It’s the calm before the storm: Costco has filed its notice of appeal and other paperwork, but we don’t have a schedule yet for the briefs. Costco will go first, and we’ll find out if they stick with the belated argument that they raised before the Circuit Court or if they will try yet another new approach. Circuit Court Judge Gary Bair agreed with the County and the Opposition that their main argument last fall was both untimely and without merit but that may not stop them from continuing to push forward with it.  In the meantime, KHCA and the Stop Costco Gas Coalition will work with the County’s new attorney, Kathryn Lloyd, to help her get up to speed with the massive record in the case. (The prior attorney, Barbara Jay, has now moved over to work for the County Board of Appeals.) Arguments in the case will be held in Annapolis, but they are likely several months down the road at this point. We’ll update you as we get further information.
In the meantime, we leave you with the usual reminder about the need for donations to cover the necessary attorneys’ fees as Costco continues to force the community to spend additional time and money to beat this proposal yet again. So far, we’re 5 and 0; we look forward to being 6 and 0 at the end of this latest appeal.  To help get us there, please make a tax-deductible contribution by sending your check made out to Washington Peace Center (memo line:  Benefit of KHCA Legal Defense Fund) to Erl Houston, 10723 St. Paul Street, Kensington, MD 20895 or donate online (online donations are non-deductible).     
[Submitted by Karen Cordy, President, KHCA]
Dr. Jack Smith Conditionally Appointed as Next Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools
The Montgomery County Board of Education conditionally selected Dr. Jack R. Smith as the next Superintendent of Schools for MCPS. Dr. Smith is currently the Maryland interim state superintendent of schools and previously served as superintendent of schools in Calvert County Public Schools. Pending approval from the state, Dr. Smith will begin his tenure on July 1. More info.
February 10 Webinar -- Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers  
MCPS will present a webinar on Wednesday, February 10, from 7 to 8 p.m. During the webinar, staff will provide an overview of PARCC assessments, as well as information on upcoming changes for the 2016 administration of the tests. Instructions for accessing the webinar click here
Montgomery Councilmember Rice, MCPS Interim Superintendent Bowers, MC President Pollard to Host 5 Forums on Education Budget Beginning February 17
Montgomery County Council Education Committee Chair Craig Rice, Montgomery County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers and Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard on Feb 17 will host the first of five public forums to provide information, and seek input, on the programs & budgets of the County’s public school system and its community college. The County Council in May will adopt the budget that will go into effect on July 1.The first forum will take place in Germantown on Wednesday Feb 17, at Bioscience Educational (BE) Center, Room 151, Germantown campus of Montgomery College at 20200 Observation Drive in Germantown. The second forum will take place in Kensington on Wednesday Feb. 24, at Einstein High School at 11135 Newport Mill Road in Kensington. For more information on the remaining upcoming forums click here.
 [Submitted by Shruti Bhatnagar, Chair, Education Committee]

>>"Debrief" on  County Storm Preparedness: Postponed from February Until March
In early February, Council President Nancy Floreen’s office announced a prepardedness debriefing meeting for February 9. The background provided includes the following explanation: “For those who have concerns with the responsiveness of the County’s Division of Highway Services, the data provided on the snow map and the MC311 call system, all of these issues and more will be reviewed by the County Council on February 9 at 11:00 a.m. I have requested that Executive Staff from all departments involved in storm operations participate in a debriefing with the Council so we can better understand the decisions made by the department heads and staff who are responsible for these activities. While many aspects of the recovery efforts worked well, some issues need to be addressed. There is always room for improvement. You can watch this meeting live or on demand on County Cable Montgomery.”
Due to the snow predictions for February 9, this session was pushed back into March. KHCA’s next newsletter will include information on this event. For everyone who has concerns with the aftermath of the storm including the schedule for street clearing and the accuracy of the plowing maps (Yes, we heard you, Burtonhill Drive!), this will be a chance to find out what went right and what can be done about what went wrong.
> Sign Up for County Alerts
Don't wait for the next emergency to sign up for county alerts. Alert Montgomery is a free service that allows you to stay informed in emergency situations. Alert messages can be received by email, cellphone, or text. When you register, you can control/manage the types of alerts you receive. Be the first to know about delays and detours caused by inclement weather. For more information and to sign up, click here. You can also receive customizable service information about bus transportation and metrorail through MetroAlerts.  
>February 13 Montgomery County Recreation Will Hold "HERtime2shine" Expo
Where/When: Westfield Montgomery Shopping Center, 7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda -- 11am to 2pm, February 13.
The HERtime2shine Expo complements the nationwide celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which recognizes and celebrates the advancement of females in sports. HERtime2shine emphasizes the benefits of active sports participation for girls, regardless of their ability, for ages ranging from kindergarten to high school. The event will provide an opportunity for local sports leagues, fitness oriented companies, instructors, and all other athletic themed businesses to showcase their programs and services. The event will connect girls interested in participating in sports programs with the wide-range of recreational and competitive sports programming available in the county.The program will include demonstrations, entertainment and informational booths.There will also be a scavenger hunt-style contest for participants to discover all the unique sports opportunities available to them.  
For information click here. You may also contact Trish Walsh by phone (240-777-6872) or email, or contact Stephanie Eyler by phone ( 240-777-4939) or email.
>>February 17 Veirs Mill Corridor Advisory Committee
The Corridor Advisory Committee held its most recent meeting on January 20. Tom Strawbridge attended and represented KHCA. Veirs Mill Road has been the focus of the MD 586 BRT study, and as a heavily traveled route is being targeted for enhancements and modification.  Currently, four options remain under consideration (known as Alternatives 1, 2, 3 and 5B), and various components are being studied in detail. More information, including specifics about the alternatives as well as meeting summaries, is available online.The next meeting will be February 17. A meeting in March will also be scheduled. 
>>Clothing Drive for Stephen Knolls School
The Stephen Knolls School now has a clothing donation collection bin in its parking lot. All are welcome to donate no-longer-needed goods. Your donation is especially helpful because the school will receive a percentage of the value based on weight of the donations. 
>>Success!! Villages of Kensington Opening Party Held January 31
    The Villages of Kensington Open House/Opening Party was wildly successful!  It was held January 31 at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, and we thank the party-planning gods that we had not scheduled it for the weekend before!  More than 80 guests attended from various Kensington neighborhoods, supporting VoK as we open for business.  A short formal program included a few words from County Executive Ike Leggett, County Villages Coordinator Pazit Aviv, Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman, and a representative from Congress member Chris Van Hollen’s office.  All speakers expressed their support of our mission: to assist seniors so they can remain in their homes and to help all 20895 residents be fully engaged in their community.  We signed up many Charter Members and people willing to volunteer – VoK is now “open for business”! 
    •  If you’d like to volunteer for Kensington’s neighbors-helping-neighbors organization, please use the Volunteer Form. All volunteers must undergo a standard criminal background check and, for those who volunteer to provide transportation, a standard driver’s license check. Details are on our website.
    • If you’d like to join as a Charter Member, please use the Membership Form.  
    • If you’d like to support VoK financially, you can either join as a member or make a contribution. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization so your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We are 100% volunteer-run and ask for membership fees and donations only to defray our expenses such as insurance, costs of activities, and website fees. Click here to donate. 
    >>Other News, Opportunities and Alerts
    The Montgomery County Council is considering appropriating additional funds for the Wheaton Town Center per a recommendation from the County Executive. More info.

    President:                            Karen Cordry (Torrance Drive)
    Vice President:                     Mark Meszaros (Peregoy Drive)
    Secretary:                            Wendy Core (Torrance Court)
    Treasurer:                             Erl Houston (St. Paul Street)
    Immediate Past President:     Danila Sheveiko (Melvin Grove Court)
    Communications Chair:          Shruti Bhatnagar (McComas Avenue)
    Education Chair:                    Shruti Bhatnagar (McComas Avenue)
    History Chair:                        vacant
    Land Use Chair                     Donna Savage (McComas Court)
    Safety Chair:                         vacant
    Traffic Chair:                         Andrew Fraser (McComas Avenue)
    Newsletter:                           Christine Taylor (Torrance Drive)
    Kensington Heights Civic Association
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