The storm on June 29th left many of us without power for several days-some of us were in the dark for more than a week. At the peak of the power outage, more than 443,000 residents were without power, and the highest level of outages was reported for Pepco service to Montgomery County. At the same time, our region also experienced one of the hottest and longest-lasting early summer heat waves in U.S. history. States of emergency were declared in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. I believe that a week-long power outage is simply unacceptable.
In the aftermath of the storm, my office answered many of your phone calls and e-mails voicing concerns over Pepco's inadequate response and lack of accountability. While our Council has no direct control over Pepco, we have worked hard on your behalf to push the Public Service Commission (PSC)-the State entity with oversight responsibility-to hold Pepco to a better and more reliable standard.
Our county deserves top performing utilities, and we will not rest until we get it. For that reason, I invite you to attend a debriefing on Thursday, July 19 at 12:30 p.m., where the Council will gain a better understanding of Pepco's performance in the aftermath of the storm. This special Council meeting will take place in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM-Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be available via streaming through the County website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
Present at this debriefing will be Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Doug Nazarian. He will be asked to explain how the PSC plans to asses Pepco's performance in restoring power to its customers. Maryland State Delegate Brian Feldman and State Senator Rob Garagiola, who sit on the General Assembly committees with jurisdiction over utilities, will also be invited to share their perspectives. Pepco representatives have also been invited to be a part of this conversation.
On July 6th, 2012, the PSC announced they will conduct legislative-style hearings on Thursday, September 13, 2012 and Friday, September 14, 2012 (if needed) to review reports submitted by electric utilities and to assess their performance during the storm. The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Commission's 16th Floor Hearing Room, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. Prior to this hearing, the PSC is working on scheduling eight evening public hearings in the month of August. Specific dates and locations are pending.
Please contact my office if you need assistance during future storm events, or if you have an ongoing issue that has yet to be resolved. My staff and I are always available to assist you.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT STORM?
The County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has a list of indispensible "things to do" to get ready:
1. Sign up for Alert Montgomery by clicking HERE
2. Make a Plan
3. Make a Kit
4.Get Involved by helping neighbors and friends prepare.
BEWARE OF SCAMMERS!
In mid-June, a 4th District Community Services Officer was given information on a possible victim of a home improvement scam in Olney. In mid-June a resident of Olney Mill Road in Olney answered his door and was met by a male and female who convinced him that his chimney needed repairs.
The officer was able to identify the female suspect, who has not yet been captured, as Virginia Breeden, age 49, of Spotsylvania, Virginia. If you have information on Virginia Breeden's whereabouts, please call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000. The suspect drives a 1986 Ford pick-up truck, red in color, Virginia registration: XNR-6929.
The Montgomery County Police Department wants to again warn residents of home improvement scams and the Office of Consumer Protection advises homeowners to use only licensed contractors. The need to remove trees from property and repair homes after this last storm provides a perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people. Be cautious of door-to-door solicitors and if you encounter people who do not seem to be providing a legitimate and legal service, call the police. Also be mindful of senior family members and neighbors, who may be more vulnerable to these types of scams and report suspicious activity to the police.
WASHINGTON GAS UPCOMING PROJECTS IN DISTRICT 4
Washington Gas' approach on their work includes:
- Notifying affected constituents by mail about the project work. Letter includes contact information, should they have questions;
- Appropriating traffic control, as needed; and,
- Restoring yards and roads into the condition in which they were found.
If you have questions, need more information about these projects, or smell gas, contact Washington Gas at 800-752-7520.
Community Bulletin Board
Salvadoran American Festival
The Salvadoran-American Transnational Communities and Montgomery County Invite you to the Salvadoran-American Festival at 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902 (just steps away from the Wheaton metro) For more information, contact 202-667-9449 or go to www.cotsa.org
Sunday, August 5, 2012
2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902
Come and enjoy this FREE event which includes:
The 1st Annual Latino Health Fair at the Salvadoran American Festival will provide health screenings and important health information in Spanish on how to access state and community-based services.
The Salvadoran Consulate will be offering help with the renewal of passports. Traditional foods, crafts, and activities for children, and live music from local and international bands including K-Risma!
TGIF Summer Concert Series
Date: Fri, July 13th 2012 - Fri, August 24th 2012
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: Wheaton Triangle, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902
Kick-off your weekend with great music in downtown Wheaton!
Enjoy live music from top musicians in the DC area every 2nd and 4th Friday June through August from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Bring a blanket, chair and your family and friends -- And don't forget to grab a bite to eat from one of our great local restaurants before or after the show!
July 27 Trio Caliente (Latin)
August 10 Soul Crackers (Motown)
August 24 The Nighthawks (Blues, Roots Rock)
for more information
Boards and Commissions Vacancies
As always, thank you very much for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. As we continue the budget process, I will keep you updated on the Council's actions and my top priorities. If you ever need assistance or have any questions, please don't hesitate to call my office at (240) 777-7968 or e-mail email@example.com.
Council Vice President
Councilmember, District 4