The Silver Spring Regional Center occasional "e-blast"                
(Reemberto Rodriguez, Director)
Released Friday, February 19, 2021 4:00 a.m.

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



Thanks to the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce for the graphic above



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.
Montgomery County Government is vaccinating people in Tier 1* of Priority Group 1A* and 1B*. Priority Group 1B* includes teachers, childcare workers, essential workers, and individuals with developmental disabilities. People in Priority Group 1C*, Tier 1* (65-74 years old) are also invited to preregister. For more detailed answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccinations in Montgomery County, please visit the County's Vaccine and Priority Group Information website. Or sign up for Vaccine Updates.

Montgomery County is committed to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine equitably.   Montgomery County Health and Human Services - MD  is vaccinating healthcare workers, and those 75 and older. Those 65 and older, frontline workers (teachers), 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 




for some virtual events coming up

(Scroll down or link takes you to more info in this newsletter)
Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Committee Meetings
Virtual Skill Share
Silver Spring Today - Presentation and Staying in Touch
Campaign Launched to Save Long Branch Restaurants: ‘Pledge to Preserve’
County Council Calendar
The Black Community and the COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall
Montgomery Planning Board February Online Events
Montgomery County to Host COVID-19 Economic Revitalization and Recovery Virtual Town Hall
County to Host Online Conversation Focused on Pediatric Wellness in the Time of COVID-19
Nominate a Volunteer Today!
Montgomery County Recreation Announces Return to Limited In-person Programs; Spring Registration Now Open
The Maryland-National Capital Park Police survey
Middle Eastern American Authors Series at Montgomery County Public Libraries
Montgomery County Food Access Survey

Online Process to Request Food Assistance Resources Available 24/7
Internet to Go - Mobile Hotspot Lending Program
*Montgomery County Press Releases*


Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Committee Meetings

Monday, February 22nd at 7 p.m.

The Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board has three Committees:

  • Neighborhoods
  • Commercial Economic Development (CED)
  • Transportation, Environment, and Energy (TREE)

The full Board meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. The Committees meet the fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. The Committees usually meet in separate venues - whether in person or virtually.  Participants will join a Zoom meeting room where the chairs will introduce their topics for the evening and then we will utilize breakout rooms to host the three meetings simultaneously.  Guests will be able to choose which meetings they attend.

  • Neighborhoods - Will be doing a deep dive on the Long Branch and Takoma Park neighborhoods
  • CED - Will discuss COVID-19 Impact on Businesses
  • TREE -  Will provide an opportunity for MCDOT to explain to the community what they are planning for pedestrian improvements between Four Corners and downtown Silver Spring as part of the US 29 Mobility Study.

You must register at this link before joining the meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Virtual Skill Share
Sunday, February 28 at 1:45 - 4:30 pm

Join us for the SkillShare 2021 hosted by the Silver Spring Timebank on Sun Feb 28 via Zoom (and streamed live to the SSTB Facebook page).

It is all FREE, of course, and we will ask folks to pre-register for Zoom.

All of our speakers are Silver Spring Timebank members and this event is being put on by SkillShare 2021 hosted by the Silver Spring Timebank -- it is open to ANYONE in the world to watch!

The SkillShare Schedule:
1:45 - Introduction to Silver Spring Timebank
2:00 - Fred Shuback: Find Your Unclaimed Property
2:30 - Beth Gingold: Let's Take Action on Microplastics
3:00 - Christine Tetrault: How to Brew Homemade Kombucha
3:30 - Tanya DeKona: Creating Reusable Gift Boxes
4:00 - Robin Buck: How to Make Bone Broth

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Silver Spring Today - Presentation and Staying in Touch
The Planning Department put together a wonderful presentation for their Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities plan process. They included a history section that is a must watch for all Silver Spring activists, new, and old residents. Please view this presentation:

Also, please stay connected and stay involved in the plan:

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


The Black Community and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Town Hall

Monday, February 22 at 7pm - 8:30pm

Click the flyer to register!

Montgomery Planning Board

February Online Events

The Montgomery County Planning Board and the Montgomery County Planning Department, both part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), have announced their February 2021 calendar of online meetings. For more details, review the list of events below and visit

During this time of social distancing in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Planning Board will continue to hold public meetings online while Montgomery Planning’s new headquarters (2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD) is closed to the public. Community members may sign up to testify and provide comments to the Board, during the meeting, on specific agenda items through Microsoft Teams or phone. Written testimony may be submitted in advance of the meeting. The February schedule of events is subject to change based on the ongoing response to the COVID-19 virus.

There are many ways to participate in Planning Board meetings:

  • Watch the Planning Board meeting live online and on demand.
  • Listen live over the phone to the Planning Board meeting by calling: 866-774-0898 Password: 24252020
  • Sign up to testify via phone during the Planning Board meeting. To testify, fill out the Sign Up to Testify form by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting. On the afternoon before the meeting, you will receive an email with a phone number to call during a designated time to provide your testimony for a specific agenda item. Submitting this form online by the deadline is the only way to testify on meeting items.
  • Email your written testimony with comments on specific Planning Board agenda items to by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting.
  • If you have questions, send an email to or leave a message at 301-495-4605 and a staff member in the Planning Board Chair’s office will contact you.

February 23 – The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing for the Shady Grove Minor Master Plan Amendment. Visit the Council’s website to learn more about the hearing and how to get involved.

February 24 – The Historic Preservation Commission will hold its meeting online. Consult the HPC meeting webpage for agenda information. Watch the meetings online via live stream or review previous meetings on demand.

February 25 – The Planning Board will hold its meeting online. The Board will hold its nineth work session for the Thrive Montgomery 2050 plan. The work session will focus on plan implementation. Consult the Planning Board’s agenda, posted 10 days before the meeting for more information. Watch the meetings online via live stream or review previous meetings on demand.

Montgomery County to Host
COVID-19 Economic Revitalization and Recovery
Virtual Town Hall on Friday, Feb. 19,
with Focus on
‘Human Resources Issues During the Pandemic’

Friday, February 19th at 12:00p.m.

“Human Resources Issues During the Pandemic” will be the theme from noon-12:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, when Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Economic Revitalization and Recovery program continues its series of virtual town hall meetings to keep businesses informed on strategies for doing business as the health crisis continues. The upcoming town hall will feature Silvia Kinch, the County’s chief of the Division of Labor Relations and Public Safety in the Office of the County Attorney.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich initiated the series of town halls held every other Friday as a way to share timely updates on COVID-19 topics of interest to the business community. The town halls give businesses an opportunity to hear directly from County leaders. Jerome Fletcher, the County’s assistant chief administrative officer (ACAO) for economic development, hosts the sessions. He also provides updates on grant programs available to County businesses and offers ideas that can help economic recovery.

During the town hall, Ms. Kinch will focus on human resources topics that businesses may be grappling with during the pandemic. The Feb. 19 town hall overall will address how employers should prioritize and incentivize employees for getting vaccines and whether vaccines can be mandatory. The town hall will be broadcast live via Teams. To join the broadcast, go to

The town hall will be broadcast on County Cable Montgomery (cable station CCM), which is available on Comcast and RCN (channels 6 and HD996) and Verizon (channel 30). The town hall can be viewed live via County social media at

Town halls are recorded and available for 90 days at the Montgomery County Business Portal at

If business owners, employees or residents have questions they would like to see addressed at the Feb. 19 town hall, they can be submitted by Wednesday, Feb. 17, to

County to Host Feb. 24 Online Conversation Focused on Pediatric Wellness in the Time of COVID-19

Residents are invited to join a free online event on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for a conversation about Pediatric Wellness in the Time of COVID-19.

The session is part of a series, Wellness Community Events: Healing and Holding On - One Conversation at a Time for the Community, which is focused on mental health and wellness issues affecting the community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

During the conversation participants will learn about overall pediatric wellness, such as proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise; as well as the need to maintain regular check-ups and routine vaccinations. Tips about dealing with social isolation will also be included. The discussion will also focus on new issues related to COVID-19, including vaccinations and new CDC recommendations.

Dr. Dominique Foulkes, medical director, and chair of pediatrics at Suburban Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in Bethesda will lead the conversation. Dr. Foulkes has been with Suburban’s Pediatric Center in December 2003. The Shaw Pediatric Center at Suburban Hospital is an innovative combined emergency and inpatient unit. The child friendly unit deals with a wide range of pediatric medical and mental health emergencies. 

The virtual meetings are held every other Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The events are free and open to the public and no registration is required. Join the conversation on Teams Live at or view it live on County Cable Montgomery and the County’s Facebook page.  

For more information, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and click on mental health resources or email  

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

Montgomery County Recreation Announces Return to Limited In-person Programs;
Spring Registration Now Open

Montgomery County Recreation will begin offering a limited number of indoor, instructor-led sports and fitness activities at four community recreation centers beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16. The program, RecFit-Limited, is the first in-person recreation program offered at community recreation facilities since last March when the facilities closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This has been a hard year on everyone and getting our residents safely back into our programs is our highest priority,” said Montgomery County Recreation Director Robin Riley. “While it is not business as usual; we are excited to launch these safe small group, instructor-led fitness classes as a positive step toward our goal.”

RecFit -Limited will be offered evenings at Bauer DriveNancy H. Dacek North PotomacPlum Gar and White Oak community recreation centers. Programs are available for youth and adults. Early registration is encouraged as the activities are expected to fill. Registration is available on the ActiveMontgomery website.

Registration for spring programs opened on Monday, Feb. 8. The Spring Guide features a full lineup of virtual and in-person classes and programs designed to help participants stay active and have fun. All in-person activities, offered in the Guide, will take place outdoors.

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.

Internet to Go - Mobile Hotspot Lending Program


Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is pleased to announce the launch of "Internet to Go," our mobile hotspot lending program for the public. MCPL has a collection of 250 Verizon Mifi Mobile hotspots that are available at all MCPL locations currently providing public service. Customers may place a hold on a hotspot via MCPL's catalog or by calling Ask A Librarian at 240-777-0001 and schedule a pickup at their library of choice. Hotspots will be lent for 2 weeks with no renewals.

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!