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MAY 2016
Newsletter of the Kensington Heights Civic Association
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>>May 11 Executive Committee Meeting -- All Are Welcome
The monthly KHCA Executive Committee will be held Wednesday May 11 at 7:30 pm in Ann and Alberto Arevalo’s home, 10801 Torrance Drive.  
>>Yard Signs to Discourage Speeding 
As highlighted in a recent special message from KHCA, we have ordered 25 signs to help remind those driving through our neighborhood to SLOW DOWN and WATCH OUT for our kids. By ordering them in bulk, we received a special discount price of only $10 per sign. We would like to offer them to anyone in KHCA, and we especially hope those of you living on the busiest streets will place one prominently in your yard.  You should be starting to see them out on some streets but we’d like to get them all out so everyone will recall this is our neighborhood they are driving (not speeding) through!
We are asking for a $10 donation to reimburse the KHCA treasury, but we won't turn you down if you can't afford it. The signs are at the home of KHCA President Karen Cordry (10705 Torrance Drive). She's generally available before 8 am or after about 7:30 pm to pick up a sign and drop off a donation. Or you can email her at and she'll put a sign out on the porch for you to pick up whenever it's convenient for you; you can drop the donation through her mail slot. Checks should be made to Kensington Heights Civic Association.
So, let's see how fast we can use up this order -- and help make our streets safer!  Thanks for participating!

>>Montgomery County Civic Fed to Honor Costco Gas Station Opposition 
Every year the Montgomery County Civic Federation gives out awards to community activists for their work on behalf of the citizenry. This year, the 2016 Sentinel Award is being made to the Stop Costco Gas Coalition and Kensington Height Civic Association.The Sentinel Award is sponsored by the Montgomery Sentinel newspaper and awarded to an individual or group for a significant contribution to good government at the local level.   The awards will be presented at a reception to be held on June 9 at McGinty’s Public House at 911 Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. The cost of the reception is $35 if purchased by May 31, and $40 at the door.  The price for a couple is $60.  This is a wonderful honor for KHCA and the numerous people from KHCA who worked so hard to achieve the victory.  We salute the Coalition too which was a leader in the Opposition from the early days. We hope many of you will be able to attend and receive that deserved recognition. Click here to link to the ticket form.  
The article in the Civic Fed Newsletter notes that the Opposition fought one of the largest corporations in the country, Costco, and has prevailed at each step so far, preventing a large-scale gas station from being built next to residential neighborhoods in the Wheaton/ Kensington area. In addition, their work resulted in changes at the county level, forcing the County Council to pass a zoning text amendment in 2012 (and in 2015!) requiring buffers between large gas stations and schools, outdoor recreation areas, and homes.This not a “NIMBY” issue; rather it is a NOBY (No One’s Back Yard) issue because this size station shouldn’t be in anyone’s back yard but Costco and other operators retailers could have used approval of this Mega Gas Station as a precedent for the establishment of comparable facilities at other locations that similarly fail to provide an adequate buffer zone. After hard fought battles at the county, the Montgomery County Board of Appeals rejected Costco’s planned mega gas station in March of 2015.  
As noted in earlier newsletters, that decision was appealed to the Maryland courts. The first level of appeal to the Maryland Circuit Court was denied in December 2015; the second level of appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals will be briefed this summer and the arguments will be held in January2017.  We remain cautiously optimistic that the outcome will be the same.

May 21 Gaithersburg Book Festival
MCPS is proud to be a partner in the 2016 Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF) on Saturday, May 21, from 10am to 6pm on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall. The GBF has a great lineup of authors and activities for children of all ages. Several members of the MCPS community will be conducting readings at the festival and there will be many programs, workshops, and activities in the Children’s Village that are designed to promote interest in reading and writing. Among the authors scheduled to appear are Diana Hutts Aston, Cece Bell, Martina Boone, and Lori Goldstein. Some of the workshops will cover creative writing for teens, getting your poetry published, and writing children’s books. For more information about the event, click here.
Sign Up for 2016 Summer Youth Programs
Montgomery College is offering more than 200 programs for youth from kindergarten through 12th grade on all three campuses (Rockville, Germantown, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring). Classes include Tiny Chefs Culinary Arts, Digital Fab Lab Camp, Circus Camp, and Joy of Arts.The summer program runs from June 27 to August 15. Before- and after-care is provided to accommodate parent schedules. Some financial assistance is available to families who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. The deadline to apply for financial assistance is May 20. Register online. The Summer Youth Programs brochure is available by clicking here
Financially Independent Teens (FIT) Bootcamp 2016
Experts from the Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls will provide this unique and age appropriate workshop of financial tips for young women ages 13-17. The program will be offered 9:30am-12pm at White Oak on July 11-14 and Gaithersburg on July 18-21. Register by clicking here
Finding Summer Job or Internship for Teens:
Thinking about a summer job? As more people continue to compete for fewer openings, you'll need to start looking early, do your research, and apply to more positions. So it's more important than ever to have a job search plan. More info
 [Submitted by Shruti Bhatnagar, Chair, Education Committee]

>>May 9 -- Monthly Meeting of Montgomery County Civic Federation  
Time: 7:45pm
Location: Lobby Lelvel Auditorium, Executive Office Bulding, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville (Directions)
Program: Senior Villages and Senior Services in Montgomery County
Speakers: Debbie Billet-Roumell, Executive Director of the Silver Spring Village, and Shawn Brennan, Montgomery County’s Transportation and Mobility Coordinator for Seniors and People with Disabilities
This meeting should be a great complement to the growing activity of the Villages of Kensington (see below) which is part of the Villages movement being discussed by Ms. Billet-Roumell. We’ll report back on what is being done to help all of the baby boomers  age gracefully in place. (Noted by KHCA President, Karen Cordry, who just hit her Beatles year – “When I’m 64!”)
ALSO, the Civic Fed Newsletter has a wealth of information on upcoming issues in the County including reports on the pending 2017 fiscal year budget proposals documents. There are hundreds of pages of light reading there but for anyone who’s not quite up to that task. Click here for the County’s summary of the highlights of next year’s proposed budget. One major issue will be the size, if any, of a property tax hike for next year. The County Executive’s original proposal has already been scaled back substantially but there are many increases still proposed.
>>May 12 -- Deadline for Comments on County's Plans to HUD
Montgomery County's Consolidated Annual Action Plan will be submitted for approval to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in May. The Plan serves as Montgomery County's application for CDBG, HOME and ESG funds for County Fiscal Year '17. The document can be viewed online. Written statements may be submitted until 4:30 p.m., May 12, 2016.  For more information:  contact Matthew Greene, AICP, Dept of Housing & Community Affairs via email matthew.greene@montgomerycountymd.go or by phone 240-777-3631. 
>>April-May Street Cleaning 
Sarting April 18, Montgomery County's residential roadways began receiving a spring cleaning with the launch of the annual street sweeping program focused on about 4,000 of the County's more than 5,000 curb miles of roads.  Brightly colored signs are posted in neighborhoods a few days before street sweeping begins.  You can help by finding alternative parking while your street is cleaned.   Daily updates detailing which areas are scheduled for street sweeping are available online. Additional information is available by calling 311..
>>Wheaton Library Interim Site Scheduled to Open on May 19
Montgomery County Public Libraries announced that the Wheaton Library interim site will open on May 19 at 9am. The interim location for the Wheaton Library is 2400 Arcola Avenue, in the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Grand Ballroom. The staffed interim location will be open 68 hours a week, including evenings and weekends (Mon-Thu, 9-9; Fri-Sat, 10-6;Sun, 1-5). The Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center is scheduled to be completed in Summer, 2018. Information and updates on progress of the construction are available by clicking here
>>County Urging Public to Protect Against Mosquitoes as Summer Approaches 
The County Executive, Council President and various County agencies are initiating the “Fight the Bite” progrsm so that families can protect themselves against Zika. More info
>>Commission for Women Launches Listening Tour: Coming Soon to Wheaton 
The County Commission for Women is hosting a series of listening sessions to discuss issues important to County residents. Topics raised during the listening tour will help to shape and influence the work of the Commission for Women.
The listening sessions will be held at each of the five Montgomery County Regional Services Centers. The next one is scheduled for May 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Wisconsin Room at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda.  Be on the look out for upcoming announcement for a listening session at the Mid-County Regional Services Center in Wheaton. For more information about the Commission for Women, visit their website or call 240-777-8333.
>>Villages of Kensington Forges Ahead! Want To Volunteer?
    VoK’s Open House on January 31 was attended by 85+ guests including County Executive Ike Leggett, Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman, and several State delegates.  Since then, we’ve been offering free transport (in partnership with VillageRides) and a variety of monthly social activities to our Charter Members.  Full-year membership begins on July 1; watch for our announcement in the next couple of weeks regarding services to be offered, costs to join, and how to volunteer to provide the expanded services!
    VoK is seeking two additional Board Members to help with our increasing responsibilities.  Our Board meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at the Kensington Park Senior Living Center in Rock Creek Hills, Kensington.  Board meetings are open to all.  To discuss the Board ‘job description,’ please contact VoK Board president Donna Savage at or 301-942-2447.
    We also welcome anyone who’d like to serve as a volunteer committee chair or committee member to help with member or volunteer services and social and educational activities.  Volunteers will receive training and the full support of our Board to ensure you’ll enjoy your work and find it rewarding, as well as a way to make new Kensington-area friends.  Examples of coordinator positions or committees you might find interesting and fulfilling include co-coordinator of volunteers (computer skills needed), outreach to other community organizations to set up partnerships, fundraising activities, organizing social events, and marketing to make sure everyone in 20895 knows about VoK.
    If you are looking for an opportunity to make a difference in our community or for more info, please contact Donna Savage at or 301-942-2447. 
    Visit the VoK website to learn more about this exciting, new, all-volunteer nonprofit community organization!

    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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