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Be Wary of Scams That Take Advantage of Seniors

Seniors have increasingly become the target for scammers in this time of COVID.

Remember these tips to protect yourself from scammers wanting to take advantage of you:

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County to Provide Free, Virtual Tax Preparation Appointments through VITA

Montgomery County is hosting free tax preparation sessions throughout tax season for low- to moderate-income families that earned $56,000 or less in 2020.

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.

The program is using a virtual tax preparation model during the COVID-19 emergency. Virtual VITA allows county residents to use an online platform to securely upload their tax documents and have their taxes prepared for free by a certified tax preparer. No in-person contact is required.

Virtual appointments are available by calling 240-777-1123. TTY users can call Maryland Relay 711.

For more information, visit or email

Meet a Rockville Employee: Crystal Gorham

Crystal Gorham

Crystal Gorham is the City of Rockville’s landlord-tenant specialist and serves as liaison to the Landlord-Tenant Commission. Gorham, the city’s housing services supervisor, works in the newly formed Department of Housing and Community Development.

We asked her a few questions about her job to introduce her to the Rockville community.

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Be an Energy Star This Presidents Day Weekend

Buy Energy-Saving Products Feb. 13-15 or Apply for Energy Rebates

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

On Feb. 13-15, purchases of the following energy-efficient Energy Star products are free from Maryland’s 6% sales tax:

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At Home, With Wildlife

Spending a lot of time at home? Missing nature? Why not bring nature to you?

Homeowners, as well as businesses, schools, universities, places of worship, parks, civic and community organizations, and others can create wildlife-friendly landscapes and earn National Wildlife Federation certification.

Certified wildlife habitats must provide food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise young. These certified habitats help to create corridors for wildlife to thrive throughout the community. The program encourages gardening in an environmentally friendly way, planting native species of plants and replacing lawns with trees, shrubs and other plants.

To find resources and learn more about becoming certified, visit

Explore Josiah Henson Park with Glenview Mansion and Peerless Rockville

The Glenview Mansion and Peerless Rockville Speaker Series hosts a virtual presentation of The Archaeology of Josiah Henson Park, by Cassandra Michaud, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11 on WebEx.

Michaud, a senior archaeologist with Montgomery Parks, will give an illustrated presentation on the findings of recent excavations at Josiah Henson Park, the location of a museum just south of Rockville, on the site of the Riley plantation where Henson and many others were enslaved in the early 19th century. The museum highlights Henson’s story, his relationship to the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and slavery in Montgomery County.

The presentation will discuss the archaeological investigations that have taken place since Montgomery Parks’ acquisition of the site in 2006 and how that work has informed the public interpretation, the museum and the significance of the site’s history today.

Register at

A Little Piece of Land to Grow Your Own

Garden Plot Applications Being Accepted

The City of Rockville has 159 garden plots, about 25-by-25 feet, now available for rent at Woottons Mill Park for growing flowers and vegetables.

The cost is $80 per plot for nonresidents; Rockville residents pay $70 per plot. The season runs April 1-Nov. 14.

The city provides access to water and mulch. Gardeners are responsible for fencing, weed barriers, hoses, tools and other gardening supplies.

A registration form can be found at Call the Rockville Civic Center’s main office at 240-314-8660 for more information.

Take Care of Your Head and Heart, Virtually, with the Senior Center

Stay home and stay well with online seminars from the Rockville Senior Center in February.

For details, visit

Register online, call 240-314-8800 or email for more information. Sessions are free, unless otherwise noted.

Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain!
This class will discuss the heart and brain connection. Learn risk factors and how to recognize symptoms for better outcomes. Presented by Adventist HealthCare. Register with course #17368. 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9.

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Recognizing King’s Legacy

The city’s 49th annual Martin Luther King Day celebration, held virtually Jan. 18, included presentations of two awards to community members carrying on King’s legacy. Find the celebration this month on Rockville 11, channel 11 on county cable, and on the city’s YouTube channel.

F. Michael Taff Award
Awarded to an individual, organization or business that has helped to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the City of Rockville, such as through efforts to improve accessibility or raise public awareness.

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Sign On for Sidewalks

City’s Prioritization Policy Allows Residents to Petition for New Path

Know a neighborhood that could use a sidewalk?

The city’s Sidewalk Prioritization Policy helps determine if, and in what order, the city constructs sidewalks.

A missing sidewalk is any existing or potential pathway that, were it hard surfaced, would be used by pedestrians in their routine educational, recreational, business, shopping, working, civic and social pursuits. Sidewalks are along streets and are typically built within city rights of way.

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