The Silver Spring Regional Center occasional "e-blast"                
(Reemberto Rodriguez, Director)
Released Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Noon

Please visit our more robust directory of
"All Things Silver Spring"
for much more information, links, and contacts.





Coronavirus COVID-19 info

for the latest, please see the Press Releases.

Coronavirus Vaccine Information


Who is currently receiving vaccines?

  • County staff are vaccinating frontline health care workers and first responders (those who come into contact with ill and injured residents)
  • The State is providing vaccines to hospitals, who are administering vaccine to their staffs
  • federal contract through CVS and Walgreens is providing vaccine directly to nursing home staff and residents.
Vaccination clinics operated by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) are now offering COVID-19 vaccine to residents 65 to 74 years old, as well as essential workers, a priority group which includes transit workers, teachers, child care workers and individuals with developmental disabilities as vaccine supply allows. Community providers, including hospitals and retailers continue to vaccinate residents 65 and older, as well as educators and child care workers. The community-based providers are independent of the County-operated vaccination clinics.

Those 65 and older, frontline workers, and those with high risk medical conditions can preregister:  
For much more:
visit the County’s
main website and/or the COVID-19 website 
follow Montgomery County on 
Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo 


We have activated the Silver Spring Covid Community Committee
(modeled after the highly successful Census effort)
to focus on getting vaccination to people in our community*
that might otherwise be left out.

*For example: People living in lower income areas where the vaccine information may be more challenging to disseminate; people of color that have traditionally been more hesitant to be vaccinated; immigrants with limited English proficiency that may be most subjected to scams.

Will you help us?
Send me an email!




for some virtual events coming up

(Scroll down or link takes you to more info in this newsletter)
*Montgomery County Press Releases*


Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Meeting

Monday, March 8th at 7:00 PM

Virtual Meeting. Registration required.*


Join us Monday Night! for your Citizens Advisory Board Meeting.  This month’s full Board meeting features: (a) A Conversation with Councilmember At-Large Gabe Albornoz; and, (b) A Conversation with 3rd Police Precinct Commander Darren Francke.

The Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board is tasked with providing advice to the County Executive and County Council on issues affecting Silver Spring and Takoma Park. These issues include transportation, economic development, housing, youth activities and the environment. All meetings are open to the public and we encourage community participation.

The Board represents residents who live in the Silver Spring Region, which includes the area between Rock Creek Park & the Prince Georges County line, the area south of I-495 to the District of Columbia, including all of the City of Takoma Park, & all of Four Corners, including the Four Corners neighborhoods north of I-495. More on the Board from links at


*Register in advance for this meeting: 


Safe Silver Spring Zoom Meeting with MCPD

Wednesday, March 10th at 7:30 PM
The first 2021 Quarterly meeting with the Third District Police Commander, Darren Francke, and his staff is next Wednesday at 7:30 pm via Zoom.  

This is the Zoom link:

Please help to make this program a great success by inviting friends, neighbors and colleagues to our program.

if you want to use it to invite others use this Facebook INVITE: 

NOAA Open House Weekly Virtual Open House Events

Each week in March 2021, join the NOAA Live! Virtual Open House webinar series, and “visit” a few places where NOAA works across the country. Explore the hangar where NOAA keeps hurricane hunter planes, come inside the nation’s oldest public aquarium, sniff seafood at a NOAA seafood inspection lab, visit “mission control” where NOAA commands satellites in space, dive deep into an underwater sanctuary, and more - all from home!  

These free events are geared toward 2nd-8th graders, and they’re perfect for classrooms and families. All webinars are moderated and feature an American Sign Language interpreter.

Register now! Space is limited. Visit for more details.


Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities

Plan Updates

Join us for Virtual Visioning Sessions this March!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Visioning Phase! This is the phase where the Montgomery Planning team works with you to craft the vision for the future of Silver Spring. We will start in mid-March with the goal of arriving at a draft plan by the fall of 2021. There will be many ways to participate!
To get started, we will host five community virtual Visioning Sessions. These sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. throughout March and April. All of these sessions will be interactive - we will 'sketch' a plan and gather virtual sticky notes full of ideas for different areas of the plan. Because of the interactive format, we will be capping attendance at 40 people for each session.
We are organizing this initial stage of sessions by "Visioning Districts" to help us focus the discussion on each of these areas; all of the work from these sessions will be pulled together into one cohesive vision for the plan area. Please refer to the map below to understand how these “districts,” which are only a tool for the Visioning Sessions, are organized.
To register, click the links below (all events will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.):
March 23 - South Silver Spring
March 30 - Metro Center/Ripley District
April 6 - Fenton Village
April 13 - Adjacent Communities
April 20 - North Silver Spring
If you register, you will receive a reminder 48 hours before the event, and a request to let us know if you cannot make it, so we can ensure we are not holding spots for those who are unable to attend. All sessions will be recorded and posted on the website.
We recommend participants join these sessions via computer or tablet, as it will be more challenging to follow the session on a smartphone. Participants will be allowed to join via phone, and facilitators will work to include them in the event, even if they cannot see the screen.


Join the CREATE Arts Center Board of Directors

Bring your passion for volunteerism and community engagement to CREATE Arts Center as a member of our Board of Directors!

CREATE is looking for energetic self-starters who are passionate about making a difference in our local community. We are seeking a candidate for Board treasurer, along with individuals with skills in finance/accounting, networking, and fundraising. We welcome all candidates who are interested in being a part of a fast-growing organization committed to providing quality arts programs and art therapy/mental health services to people in Montgomery County and across the DMV.  Board members do NOT have to have a background in art.

As an officer of the corporation and member of the Board, the primary responsibility of the Treasurer is to oversee the reporting of the organization’s finances. In this position, the Treasurer works closely with our Executive Director to review budgets and audits, and monitor our financial health. The Treasurer is expected to attend all Board meetings (virtually). 

CREATE provides art education programs for all ages, community arts partnerships to strengthen community ties, and art therapy services to people living with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities. Board Members should be willing, able and enthusiastic about utilizing their expertise and community networks to further the organization’s mission and goals. 

Please direct inquiries to Linda Marson, Executive Director,

Silver Spring Downtown (Real Estate) Developments Recently Built, Under Construction, and Approved Presentation

Meeting Recording

A Special Presentation by the Planning Department in collaboration with the Regional Director on the major projects recently built, under construction, and approved in the Silver Spring Region

Through the years the Planning Department has done these informative presentations highlighting what is happening in the real estate market in Silver Spring. This year, Elza Hisel-McCoy, DownCounty Chief Planner and Stephanie Dickel, Area 1 Supervisor,  made the presentation. Please catch the replay and the presentation above!

Campaign Launched to Save Long Branch Restaurants:

‘Pledge to Preserve’


This February, residents of the Long Branch neighborhood began signing on to a campaign to save their neighborhood restaurants. The campaign, called Pledge to Preserve, was launched Feb. 5 by the Long Branch Business League and MHP.

Zeroing in on the many restaurants in the Long Branch neighborhood that have suffered enormous financial losses over the past year of pandemic-related damages, the initiative asks community members to voluntarily commit to purchasing meals at least three times a month from any Long Branch restaurant.

At the end of the campaign’s first week, already twenty-eight local residents had signed on to the campaign.  “If we can get every person on our list to convince one friend to pledge, we can double that number soon,” said Catherine Rytkonen, the Business League’s marketing manager.

The Pledge to Preserve webpage lists the 15 participating Long Branch restaurants — along with their cuisine type, menu, and social media connections.  

The initiative represents a local Long Branch response to a wider national crisis. According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), one in four jobs lost during the pandemic have been in the food and beverage industry. That’s the equivalent of 5.9 million jobs lost.

According to the same study, if no direct aid is provided some 85 percent of independent restaurants will likely close by the end of this year.

The pandemic-related crisis hit a small business sector that could ill afford such a challenge.

“Even in normal, non-pandemic years it is difficult to run a restaurant and keep it in the black,” the Pledge to Preserve webpage points out.  “Many restaurants generate as much as half their annual income from  weddings, parties, and  holiday-related events (Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Christmas). This year all that has been cancelled.” 

What is more, even though Long Branch’s restaurants have so far managed to keep their doors open, there is no guarantee they will all survive the coming months without vigorous and, indeed, greatly increased support from private persons and the public sector.

County Council Calendar

Click the image below for more information

Click the image above for more information

Call for Board Nominations!

Dear members of the Crossroads community,

Are you or someone you know passionate about building a more equitable local food system? Then apply or nominate someone to join the Crossroads Community Food Network board of directors. Board members serve a 3-year term and commit to sharing 3-5 hours of their time per month; meetings are held every other month, and committee meetings are held in alternating months. Currently all meetings are virtual but we plan to resume in-person meetings in Takoma Park as soon as it is safe to do so.

To support our work in building a healthier, more inclusive local food system, we are seeking people with some of the following experiences, characteristics, and skills:

  • Knowledge of food system landscape in Maryland
  • Experience as or with immigrant community members
  • Experience creating spaces of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Lives and/or works in the Takoma/Langley Crossroads
  • Bilingual
  • Expertise in these areas: legal, human resources, finance, policy advocacy, use of technology, or small business management

We strongly encourage applications from immigrants and people of color.

For more information on board member responsibilities, please visit:

To apply, please complete this online nomination form by Sunday, March 7th, 2021. We will review all applications and invite top candidates to meet with our nominating committee.

Have questions? Please contact Board Chair Michelle Nelson at or Executive Director Lauren Goldberg at  

Thank you for helping to identify our next group of organizational leaders!

Renter Town Hall

Thursday, March 11, at 7:00pm

The Renters Alliance will host its next Renter Town Hall (RTH) Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m. The RTH will include county officials from the departments of Housing and Community Affairs and Health and Human Services, and will provide updates on county rent relief programs, eviction protections, vaccine distribution, renter protection legislation updates, landlord/tenant and code enforcement. Stay connected and informed. Join us.  Register HERE.

Nominate a Volunteer Today!
Nominations are now open for the Montgomery Serves Awards, our county's highest honor for volunteerism. These annual awards recognize individuals, businesses, and groups that have demonstrated remarkable commitment to direct volunteer service in our community.

Nomination deadline: Friday, March 12
  • A Montgomery Serves Awards selection panel will review and select winners that have demonstrated commitment and dedication to direct volunteer service in each award category. 
  • Nominations will be evaluated based on volunteer service performed in 2020 (or throughout the nominee’s lifetime for the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award) as detailed in the nomination narrative. The narrative is limited to 1,000 words. See the nomination form for narrative guidelines.
  • Nominees must either live, work, or serve in Montgomery County.
  • Nominees’ volunteer service must have been performed outside the context of their paid employment (i.e., it cannot be part of their job).
  • Nominees should not be nominated for their financial contributions.
  • Past winners are ineligible to win in the same category. Current members of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging are ineligible for the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award.
  • Nominators will be notified of their nominees’ status once all honorees have been selected.
  • Nominations must use the appropriate nomination forms and submitted no later than Friday, March 12, 2021 at 5:00 PM

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police survey

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division, is committed to working in partnership with the community to provide quality public safety services in a professional and timely manner.  Therefore, your on-going feedback is vitally important to us as we evaluate our performance in meeting that expectation while simultaneously seeking to ever improve.  Please help us in this endeavor by completing the short survey available at this link:

La Policía Nacional-Capital, División del Condado de Montgomery, está comprometida a trabajar en asociación con la comunidad para brindar servicios de seguridad pública de calidad de manera profesional y oportuna. Por lo tanto, sus comentarios continuos son de vital importancia para nosotros a medida que evaluamos nuestro desempeño en el cumplimiento de esa expectativa y, al mismo tiempo, buscamos a mejorarnos. Ayúdenos en este esfuerzo completando la breve encuesta a continuación.

Todas las respuestas son opcionales

Middle Eastern American Authors Series at
Montgomery County Public Libraries


In partnership with the Office of Community Partnerships’ Middle Eastern American Advisory Group (MEAGG), Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will offer a series of programs focusing on various Middle Eastern American authors and illustrators.

The free virtual author series will take place monthly on the third Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. February through July. The events will be moderated by Debbie Trent, MEAGG chair, or Karen Leggett, co-chair of the Maryland Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt). Registration is required for the free programs.

Hena Khan; March 16

Hena Khan, award-winning Pakistani-American children’s author, whose works include Amina’s Voice, named a Best Book of 2017 by the Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews and NPR, and its sequel Amina’s Song.

Rashin Kheiriyeh; April 20

Rashin Kheiriyeh, internationally recognized author/illustrator, who has published more than 80 books in the U.S, Europe, and Asia, including her native Iran. 

Nadia Hashimi; May 18

Nadia Hashimi, Montgomery County pediatrician turned novelist, whose parents came to the U.S. from Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and author of Sparks Like Stars.

Susan Muaddi Daraj; June 15

Susan Muaddi Daraj, author of A Curious Land: Stories from Home, a short story collection which won the 2014 AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and a 2016 Arab American Book Award.

Pauline Kaldas; July 20

Pauline Kaldas, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA and author of Looking Both Ways, a collection of essays and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature.

Montgomery County Food Access Survey

Today, the Food Council launched a short 8-question COVID-19 Community Food Access survey seeking input from residents to guide Montgomery County food security initiatives in 2021. Residents’ feedback on how the County can best serve our communities and improve food access during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is essential to informing program implementation, policy development, and future funding priorities.

The deadline for survey responses is Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. The survey is currently available in English and Spanish, and we will be launching the survey in French, Amharic and Mandarin in the coming weeks. 

Residents who complete Part I of the survey will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift card, and residents who complete Parts I and II of the survey will be entered to win a $50 gift card. 

Online Process to
Request Food Assistance
Resources Available 24/7

Residents looking for information on food assistance resources can now request help by completing a simple online form. Available in seven languages (Amharic, Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese), the form is reviewed by a trained resource specialist, and residents receive a return phone call within one business day. The specialist will determine a resident’s individual food needs and help them locate food assistance in their community. No Personally identifiable information is needed to get help.

Information is available about free food distribution sites, free meal and grocery delivery, SNAP (Food Stamps), local food assistance providers, and other resources in Montgomery County. Residents can also call 311 and ask for the Food Access Call Center to get help with their food needs.

The Food Access Call Center opened in June 2020 and has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to address the increasing need for food assistance across the County. As of mid-December, the Food Access Call Center has responded to more than 2,000 calls/referrals.

If you live in Takoma Park, you can also visit the City's link:
Si vives en Takoma Park, también puedes visitar el enlace de la Ciudad

Please visit our more robust directory of
"All Things Silver Spring"
for much more information, links, and contacts.

Silver Spring Civic Building
One Veterans Plaza
Silver Spring, MD  20910
comments, ideas, and/or suggestions?  e-mail HERE
See you around Silver Spring!