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Peerless Offers Programs on Glenview and Schools During Segregation

Peerless Rockville presents free events in February looking at the history of a city landmark and at Rockville’s place in the history of African-American education.

The latest installment of the Glenview Mansion and Peerless Rockville Speaker Series, Glenview: From Farm to Mansion, is an illustrated presentation on the history of the property that has become one of Rockville’s most romantic sites. Learn about Glenview’s transformation from a working 19th century farm to elite summer retreat and the residents who called it home. Hear about the architec­tural and landscape changes that came to be today’s Civic Center. Due to ongoing construction at the mansion, this program will be held from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive.

Rockville’s Role in the Education of African-Americans, is a Black History Month talk by historian Ralph Buglass and co-sponsored by Friends of the Library, Rockville Memorial Chapter, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave.

Until the mid-20th century, schools in Rockville – as well as Montgomery County – were segregated. Rockville has played a major part in ever-increasing educational opportunities for African-American students, from a post-Civil War Freedmen’s Bureau school in a church basement to the only high school for black students in the county. In between, William B. Gibbs, Jr., a Rockville educator, and his then-little-known attorney, Thurgood Marshall, paved the way for equal pay for black teachers in one of the first legal challenges to segregated schooling. Buglass recounts this important chapter in American history. Learn more at http://bit.ly/BlackHistoryMonth2019.

Spring Sports — Now Registering

Youth coach-pitch baseball, T-ball and soccer, and adult basketball, softball, volleyball and soccer are just a few of the sports all ages can take part in this spring.

Registration for spring sports leagues for youth and adults is open. The registration deadline is Thursday, March 7, with a discount for early bird registration by Friday, March 1.

Practices for youth track and field begin at the end of March, with meets beginning in mid-April. Practices for youth soccer, T-ball, and coach-pitch baseball begin in early April, with games beginning mid-April.

Registration deadlines for adult league players and teams are in late March.

Coaches are needed for the spring season. If you’re interested in taking part, contact sports@rockvillemd.gov. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/recreation/sports for league details and registration information, or call 240-314-8620.

Save with Energy-Saving Products and Energy Rebates

Tax-Free Presidents Day Weekend Returns

Homeowners thinking about upgrading an appliance, replacing a water heater, or even changing a light bulb, can do so tax free on Presidents Day weekend.

From Feb. 16-18, purchases of the following energy-efficient Energy Star products are free from Maryland’s 6 percent sales tax:
• Air conditioners.
• Washers and dryers.
• Furnaces.
• Heat pumps.
• Boilers.
• Solar water heaters (tax exempt at all times).
• Standard-size refrigerators.
• Dehumidifiers.
• Programmable thermostats.
• Compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Learn more about Energy Star products at www.energystar.gov.

Learn more about the tax-free weekend by visiting www.marylandtaxes.com and searching “Shop Maryland Energy.”

In addition, Pepco offers customers rebates on Energy Star appliances. Learn more at http://homeenergysavings.pepco.com/appliance-rebate-program.

Washington Gas also offers residential and commercial rebates, including, for residential customers, rebates on furnaces, gas clothes dryers and standard or tankless water heaters. Learn more at http://washingtongas.com/rebates. Energy assistance may be available for customers having trouble paying their utility bills. Visit bit.ly/utilityassistance.

Find more energy-saving tips at www.washingtongas.com/safety-education/
education/winter-preparedness.

Rockville Seeks Environmentalists to Be Recognized During Earth Month

Feb. 22 is Deadline for Nominations for Environmental Awards

The City of Rockville’s Environmental Excellence Awards recognize individuals and organizations that contribute to Rockville’s environmental health and sustainability.

Nominations are being accepted in the following categories through 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 for awards to be presented during Earth Month in April:

• Outstanding Individual Environmental Stewardship.
• Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Practices.
• Outstanding Achievement in Green Building Technology/Design.
• Outstanding Environmental Education and Academic Achievement.

Eligible individuals must live, work or study within the city. Eligible organizations must have an office in Rockville or must be able to demonstrate significant operations within the city limits. Building projects considered as part of a nomination must be within the city.

The awards are presented to an individual or organization by the Mayor and Council. Nominations and supplemental materials are received by the Environment Commission, which reviews the materials and recommends awards to the Mayor and Council.

For more information about the award categories and guidelines, application forms and eligibility, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/environment/awards, email environment@rockvillemd.gov, or call 240-314-8870.

City to Launch Campaign to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Rockville is preparing to launch a sustained, communitywide effort to fight back against the crisis of opioid overdoses gripping communities across the United States.

The city’s awareness campaign will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre with a program featuring Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player and recovery advocate who founded Herren Project, a nonprofit serving individuals and families impacted by substance use and the disease of addiction.

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Meet a Rockville Employee: Laura Fawks Lapole

This month, “Rockville Reports” talks to Laura Fawks Lapole, who on Jan. 2 took over as Croydon Creek Nature Center’s new assistant supervisor.

Tell us about yourself.
I am from Waynesboro, a small town in Pennsylvania nestled at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. I grew up spending most of my time outdoors and going on adventures with family. I decided to go to Malone University, in Ohio, where I obtained a bachelor’s in zoo and wildlife biology. I’ve worked at a variety of institutions including wildlife rehabilitation centers, zoos and parks. It’s been my privilege to work with over 200 species of animals and some amazing professionals in the field. Once I discovered environmental education and interpretation, I knew I’d found my calling. In my spare time, I love to spend time outside, read and work on recording wildlife videos.

What will you be doing at Croydon Creek?
As assistant supervisor, I’ll be helping things run smoothly at Croydon Creek Nature Center. Every day is different, so some days I’ll be caring for animals, others teaching programs and planning for future activities. I hope to utilize my experience with both animal care and education to help Croydon Creek continue to flourish!

What’s it like joining the nature center?
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work at Croydon Creek. It’s a wonderful center, tucked back in the Hayes Forest Preserve in Rockville’s Civic Center Park. Guests can enjoy several miles of trails while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Inside the center, we have 13 different species of animals, including reptiles, amphibians and an owl. Whether you are coming for a casual visit on a weekday, having a birthday party with special animal guests or attending one of our many programs, there’s something here for everyone!

Croydon Creek, at 852 Avery Road, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Find out more about the nature center at www.rockvillemd.gov/croydoncreek or follow it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/croydoncreek.

Enduring Hope

Rockville honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 21 with community service and a celebration with a theme of “Enduring Hope, Enduring Progress.” Honored during the ceremony were Gideon Wikina (at left), who received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Award, and Adam Hoffman (second from left) and Julie Ryan-Silva, (third from right), accepting the F. Michael Taff Award on behalf of Main Street Connect Inc. Also pictured are (L to R): state Sen. Cheryl Kagan, Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and Courtney Proctor, chair of the city’s Human Rights Commission. Find full coverage of the celebration at www.youtube.com/cityofrockville and all this month on Rockville 11 (channel 11 on county cable).

Homestead Property Tax Credit Available to Homeowners

To help homeowners deal with large assessment increases on their principal residence, state law has established the Homestead Property Tax Credit. The credit limits the increase in taxable assessments each year to 10 percent. In other words, the homeowner pays no property tax on the market value increase on their principal residence above the 10 percent limit.

To prevent improper granting of this credit on rented properties, or multiple properties owned by one individual, a 2007 state law requires all homeowners to submit a one-time applica­tion to establish eligibility. Look up your property to find if you are eligible for the credit. Applications for eligibility are available online.

City Hall and Some City Facilities to Close for Presidents Day

City Hall will be closed and recycling and trash will not be collected on Monday, Feb. 18, in observance of Presidents Day. Several city facilities will operate on their usual schedules.

Recycling and trash collections will occur one day later throughout the week. For more information, call 240-314-8568 or visit www.rockvillemd.gov/recycling-trash.

On Monday, Feb. 18:

  • Glenview Mansion is closed for construction of a new Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible parking lot. Glenview offices are receiving telephone calls and emails.
  • Croydon Creek Nature Center is always closed Mondays.
  • The Rockville Senior Center and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre box office will be closed. Tickets are always available at www.rockvillemd.gov/theatre.
  • Lincoln Park, Twinbrook and Thomas Farm community centers and the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center will be open regular hours. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/swimcenter for schedules.


Parking will be free at city-owned meters.

For more information, call 240-314-5000 or visit www.rockvillemd.gov.

County to Provide Free Tax Preparation Appointments

Montgomery County is hosting free tax preparation sessions throughout tax season for low- to moderate-income families that earned $55,000 or less in 2018.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which is run by the Montgomery County Community Action Agency, provides IRS-certified volunteers from nonprofit and public agencies who can help low- to moderate-income families maximize their tax refunds and credits, including the Earned-Income Tax Credit, and e-file their federal and state tax forms.

Last year, the VITA program served 1,936 individuals and families, helping these households receive almost $5 million in tax refunds, including $1.3 million in Earned-Income Tax Credit. Seventy-seven volunteers gave more than 2,100 hours to help taxpayers prepare returns, as well as providing interpretation services and serving in other roles.

Appointments in Rockville are available from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Wednesdays, until April 15, at the Community Action Agency, 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 320. The program is for Montgomery County residents and by appointment only, and no walk-ins are allowed.

Schedule an appointment by calling 240-777-1123. (TTY users, call 711) or at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cashback.

To find more information, including a list of additional locations throughout Montgomery County, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/freetaxhelp or email VITA@montgomerycountymd.gov.

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