The Silver Spring Regional Center occasional "e-blast"                
(Reemberto Rodriguez, Director)
Released Thursday, February 25, 2021 Noon

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 


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 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.


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!


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.

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

County Council, Health Officials To
Host Vaccine Town Hall


Thursday, February 25th at 7pm


The Montgomery County Council will hold a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. focused on the COVID-19 vaccination program in our community. Joining the meeting will be Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Health Officer and Chief of the Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Dr. Earl Stoddard and other public health representatives.

This town hall will provide the latest information about the ongoing vaccination efforts in Montgomery County, describe the latest priority order for vaccinations provided by the state government based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and give residents a forum to get their specific questions answered directly by public health representatives.

“This is a great opportunity for the public to hear directly from our County’s top health officials and get their questions answered surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine,” Council President Tom Hucker said. “It is important to have these discussions so that we can hear our residents' concerns and provide clarity on what the County is doing to ensure an equitable and efficient rollout of vaccines for Montgomery County residents.”

“The County’s elected leadership and health officials remain dedicated to the well being of our entire community,” said Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz. “It is vital that we continue to engage in open dialogue with our residents and maintain a transparent and equitable distribution of vaccines in order to safeguard public health for all.”

The members of the 19th Montgomery County Council include: Council President Hucker, Council Vice President Albornoz and Councilmembers, Andrew Friedson, Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice, Sidney Katz and Hans Riemer. You can learn more about the Council and each of its members by visiting the Council’s web page at .

The virtual town hall will be held through a Zoom webinar. Community members are encouraged to attend and ask their questions and voice their concerns. Interpretation services will be provided for community members who speak Spanish. The meeting will be moderated by the Council's Communications Specialist Susan Kenedy.

Answers to frequently asked questions from the previous town hall meeting can be found here.

Community members must register ahead of time to participate in the virtual town hall through Zoom by going to:

The Council must receive your registration by Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. Residents will receive an email confirmation with the appropriate Zoom information to participate. Residents without internet access can call 240-777-7931 and leave a message with their full name, phone number and email to register.

The virtual town hall meeting will be televised on County Cable Montgomery on channels 30 (Fios), 1056 (RCN) and 996 (Xfinity). The meeting will be streamed on Facebook (MontgomeryCountyMdCouncil) and YouTube (MoCoCouncilMd). Residents also can listen to the virtual town hall meeting by calling 240-777-3333.

For more general information about the meeting contact Juan Jovel at or call 240-777-7931. If you need assistance to participate in this meeting or in any Council activity, please contact the Council as far in advance as possible at 240-777-7900 or send an email to

Montgomery County to Host
COVID-19 Economic Revitalization and Recovery
Virtual Town Hall on
Friday, March 5, on
Legal Advice Program
for Small Businesses
During the COVID-19 Crisis

Friday, March 5th at 12:00pm

“Legal Advice During the Pandemic” will be the theme from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, March 5, 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 Judy Stephenson, the County small business navigator, and Marla Bilonick, the executive director and CEO of the Latino Economic Development Center.

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 March 5 town hall, Ms. Stephenson and Ms. Bilonick will share information on a new legal advice program that the County will sponsor. In addition, the Latino Economic Development Center will provide information on the program to small businesses. The new program will include legal clinics and webinars.

Among the topics the legal program will cover will be rent issues, renegotiating contracts with vendors, renegotiating contracts with clients, renegotiating loans, employee/personnel issues, insurance concerns, starting a business and closing a business.

If business owners, employees or residents have questions they would like to see addressed at the March 5 town hall, they can be submitted by Wednesday, March 3, to

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


El Condado de Montgomery presentará, el viernes 5 de marzo, Foro Virtual sobre Asesoramiento Legal para Pequeñas Empresas durante la crisis COVID-19

"Asesoría Legal Durante la Pandemia" será el tema a abordar el viernes 5 de marzo desde el mediodía hasta la 1 p.m., cuando el programa de Revitalización Económica y Recuperación COVID-19 del Condado de Montgomery continúe su serie de reuniones virtuales para mantener a las empresas informadas sobre estrategias para hacer negocios a medida que continúa la crisis de salud. El próximo encuentro contará con Judy Stephenson, navegante de pequeñas empresas del Condado, y Marla Bilonick, Directora Ejecutiva del Centro de Desarrollo Económico Latino.

El Ejecutivo del Condado Marc Elrich inició la serie de foros virtuales que se celebran cada dos viernes como una forma de compartir actualizaciones oportunas sobre los temas de interés de COVID-19 para la comunidad empresarial. Las reuniones dan a las empresas la oportunidad de escuchar directamente a los líderes del Condado. Jerome Fletcher, Subjefe Administrativo del Condado para el Desarrollo Económico, es el anfitrión de las sesiones. También proporciona actualizaciones sobre los programas de subvenciones disponibles para las empresas del Condado y ofrece ideas que pueden ayudar a la recuperación económica.

Durante el encuentro del 5 de marzo, la Sra. Stephenson y la Sra. Bilonick compartirán información sobre un nuevo programa de asesoramiento legal que el Condado patrocinará. Además, el Centro de Desarrollo Económico Latino proporcionará información sobre el programa a las pequeñas empresas. El nuevo programa incluirá clínicas legales y seminarios web.

Entre los temas que cubrirá el programa legal estarán temas de alquiler, renegociación de contratos con proveedores, renegociación de contratos con clientes, renegociación de préstamos, problemas de personal, problemas de seguros, inicio y cierre de un negocio.

Si los propietarios de negocios, empleados o residentes tienen preguntas que les gustaría ser contestadas en el foro virtual del 5 de marzo, pueden ser enviadas antes del miércoles, 3 de marzo, para

El foro virtual será retransmitido en directo a través de la plataforma digital Teams. Para unirse a la emisión, haga clic en este enlace

El encuentro se transmitirá por el Canal de Cable del Condado Montgomery (estación de cable CCM), que está disponible en Comcast y RCN (canales 6 y HD996) y Verizon (canal 30). El foro también se puede ver en vivo a través de las redes sociales del Condado en

Los foros quedan grabados y disponibles durante 90 días en el Portal de Negocios del Condado de Montgomery en

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.

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!