No Need for Me to Tell You
President’s Letter – by Susanne Lee
UNLESS YOU ARE TRULY ESSENTIAL – PLEASE JUST STAY HOME AND STAY SAFE !!! And if you are essential, like my sister at the NIH Clinical Center, or my niece who is an ER doctor, or the clerks at the grocery stores and pharmacies, and so many others, we thank you very much.
What irony that as the pandemic surrounds us our natural world is exploding with the best flower displays ever. Or is it just that because we are stuck at home, we are actually really noticing Spring this year. Outdoor exercise is a critical element in keeping us healthy and sane. The throngs that are out and about in our local, state, and national parks are a testament to that need and the treasured natural resources of the Potomac Subregion. But given the sheer numbers of people, it appears the best is to stick – as the Irish are doing – to within 2 km (a mile and a quarter) of our homes or best yet to our gardens. We are so fortunate that so many of us have garden space – perfect for therapeutic self isolating.
There is no question that for so many reasons the best thing I can do for myself and the universe is to stay home and garden safely. We at WMCCA will continue to work on issues important to the Potomac Subregion using all available electronic means. With the exception of our legal expenses, our financial needs are small and because we are all volunteers we are not faced with wrenching decisions to cut back on staff or activities, except our General Meetings. But in addition to staying in place, we encourage you to support local businesses in any way you can and to consider donating to the many domestic and international social service and conservation organizations that are addressing the adverse impacts of the virus while revenue sources are dropping.
Montgomery County Pesticide Law Submitted by Barbara Hoover
Springtime reminder that Montgomery County has a law that bans the cosmetic use of pesticides on your lawns. For more information: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/lawns/law/. Specific bans include:
NO Weed & Feed Products: These products contain both a fertilizer and pesticide and none of them are allowed for use under County law on lawns.
NO “EPA Reg. No.” on Label: Most products with an EPA registration label contain chemicals that cannot be used on lawns, playgrounds, childcare facilities, or mulched recreation areas. There are a few exceptions. Check the above website for a description of the exemptions that apply.
Legislative Roundup Submitted by Carol Van Dam Falk
The Maryland General Assembly adjourned its session three weeks early on March 18th due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a roundup of what happened:
Lawmakers passed a sweeping education reform plan proposed by the Kirwan Commission, a $440 million revenue plan to fund the reforms and several emergency bills to curb coronavirus cases in the state.
660-plus bills were passed between Sunday and Wednesday (March 15th – 18th).
Debate in the final hours of the House centered on a proposed constitutional amendment that began in the Senate which would allow the Legislature the power to move funding around in the state budget, thereby diminishing the powers of the Governor. Republicans vehemently opposed it and so did one Democrat (Velentino Smith-Prince, George’s County). The bill passed 95 to 39.
A measure to guide compensation for prisoners wrongly convicted of a crime sailed through the House (123-9) but a Republican Senator’s filibuster kept the measure from passing this year.
A bill banning cabinet secretaries from lobbying in Maryland for 12 months after leaving the government passed. House Bill 315, backed by Del. Vaughan Stewart (D-Montgomery), was amended to include the Hogan administration priority of increasing the penalties that can be levied against elected officials convicted of bribery.
Lawmakers also approved legislation that prohibits price-gouging on food, fuel, cleaning products, medical supplies, and other items. It also extends unemployment benefits to people who are quarantined or whose employers have ceased operations because of COVID-19. Other bills that were approved would enshrine the main elements of the Affordable Care Act into state law and authorize the Maryland Stadium Authority to float $375 million in bonds to overhaul Pimlico Race Track.
Unfortunately two synthetic turf-related bills crafted by Montgomery County Safe Play Activists, (HB 1098 and HB 1042) one to regulate the disposal of used synthetic turf playing fields, and the other to ban the use of public money to buy and install more synthetic turf fields, did not pass this year. There’s always 2021.
2020 ELECTION OF WMCCA OFFICERS AND BOARD of DIRECTORS: The election of the WMCCA Officers usually occurs at our May General Meeting. However, because the May meeting is being cancelled, the election will occur at our next General Meeting on October 14th. The Nominating Committee proposes the following slate of Officers and Directors to the membership for their vote in October. Nominations may also be made from the floor.
President: KEN BAWER
Immediate Past President: SUSANNE LEE
President Elect: CAROL VAN DAM FALK
Vice President: BARBARA BROWN
Treasurer: BARBARA HOOVER
Secretary: JILL PHILLIPS
Newsletter: NANCY MADDEN
Nominees for a Two-Year Term: GINNY BARNES, SAMUEL STAVIS
To Serve 2nd Year of their Two-Year Term (no action needed): GEORGE BARNES, LEROY MILLER, KATHY PETITT.
In response to the need to practice “Social Distancing” – our May 2020 Newsletter will be distributed only by e-mail to all members who have supplied their e-mail address. Everyone is welcome to send their e-mail address to membership@WMCCA.org to receive the Newsletter and to stay in touch with WMCCA updates and responses to your concerns. As always, our Newsletter is available on our website.
WMCCA is actively looking for volunteers for:
Website Assistance Needed by Peter Poggi:
WMCCA is looking for someone to help modernize our website.
While the current http://www.wmcca.org website has served us well since 2003, it is built upon an outdated Microsoft Frontpage 2003 platform, written entirely in HTML using frames, and reliant upon one individual. Our objectives are twofold. First and foremost, we need to have a trained backup who will share responsibility for maintaining the current site alongside our current website administrator. Once familiarized with the site, this responsibility will require a minimal time commitment of less than 30 minutes monthly. Our second goal is to identify and begin transforming the site to a more maintainable, perhaps template driven platform. This will require gaining an understanding of the existing website structure and working closely with the WMCCA Board and website administrator to come up with a suitable design.
Interested candidates should have a current background in current document management type website design and development methodologies, and a familiarity with available hosting options. Please contact Peter Poggi, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any issues or concerns in your neighborhood, please contact WMCCA. We appreciate the input from our neighbors and are glad to review and address issues as they affect the Potomac Subregion Master Plan, zoning, and environmental threats to the “Green Wedge”, our creeks and water supplies, and the Agricultural Reserve.
West Montgomery County Citizens Association Newsletter
P. O. Box 59335
Potomac, MD 20854-9335
President – Ginny Barnes 301 762-6423
Newsletter – Lois Williams
The Newsletter is published monthly, and the Board of Directors meets each month. We welcome any suggestions for upcoming meeting topics and ways to further utilize our web site (www.wmcca.org).
Check the web site for information on issues we are working on.