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Gaithersburg Launches Whistleblower Reporting Program

On Feb. 5, Gaithersburg launched the reporting program for its recently adopted “Reporting of Improper or Illegal Acts” legislation, commonly referred to as the Whistleblower Ordinance.

The ordinance provides a safe and confidential environment for employees and other individuals to make good faith reports of actions by city officials, employees and board, commission and committee members that are believed to be improper or illegal. It establishes a process and procedure for the thorough review and investigation of reports of improper or illegal actions and is intended to reassure citizens and employees that they will be protected from retaliation, penalty or unfair treatment for in-good-faith reporting.

To ensure utmost confidentiality and impartiality, the city has contracted with The Network, Inc., an outside firm that will field reports. Confidential reports can be made via a toll free hotline at 855.214.5993 or submitted online at www.reportlineweb.com/gaithersburgmd. Reports can also be submitted in writing to: City Attorney’s Office, Gaithersburg City Hall, 31 S. Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

Detailed information about the program can be found under the Office of the City Manager page on the city’s website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov, or call the City Attorney’s Office at 301.258.6310. Informational brochures will also be available at City facilities.

ICC Speed Limit to Increase

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announced on Feb. 4 that, following extensive engineering and crash analyses, the posted speed limit will increase on the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 from 55 mph to 60 mph.

The decision comes after marrying results of MDTA’s engineering study and crash analysis. With the crash analysis, traffic engineers examined vehicular crashes for the ICC’s first year of operations between I-270 and I-95. The analysis helped the MDTA confirm that the speed limit may be safely raised to 60 mph.

The MDTA anticipates the 60 mph speed limit will become effective on the ICC by March 31. New warning signs for curves will also be added. Drivers traveling the ICC from end to end may save approximately 1 1/2 minutes of travel time with the speed increase.

Designed for 60 mph, the ICC has vertical and horizontal constraints along its length. To reduce environmental impacts, the ICC’s footprint was minimized, leading to these geometric constraints and the lower design speed.

The engineering study and crash analysis are available at mdta.maryland.gov.

Nominations Sought for City Environmental Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the city of Gaithersburg 2013 Environmental Awards. This annual program recognizes individuals and groups for their commitment to the environment.

Citizens, businesses, neighborhood associations and organizations based within Gaithersburg’s city limits are eligible to apply. Schools with at least 10 percent of their students being city residents are also eligible. Award winners will have demonstrated outstanding efforts to improve Gaithersburg’s environment — either for a single project or over a period of time. Recognition may be granted with an Achievement Award for new voluntary initiatives and/or certifications within the past year, 2012 through 2013, or with an Appreciation Award for continuing efforts beyond regulatory requirements.

Nomination forms are available online at www.gaithersburgmd.gov/environment. The deadline for submission is March 1. The awards will be presented by the mayor and City Council and the Environmental Affairs Committee at a ceremony on April 8.

Residents are also invited to celebrate Green Week in April by volunteering to clean up and beautify local streams, schools, parks, and homeowners association common areas. Students can earn student service learning credits by participating in this program.

Community Green Up Day will take place on April 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. The city is looking for individuals or organizations to host a volunteer event.

For more information on Green Week, to host a Community Green Up Day event or to volunteer, contact the Office of Environmental Services at 301.258.6330 or e-mail environment@gaithersburg.gov.

Summer Camp Registration

Registration for all Gaithersburg summer camps is now open for city residents. Open registration begins March 6 at 6 a.m.

The city’s summer camp program consists of three components: the Specialty Camp Program; the Youth Activity Program (YAPs); and the All Day Camp Program. The Specialty Camp Program includes clinics such as volleyball, tennis, skateboarding and dance. The YAPs site offers a shorter day camp experience, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for children ages 6 – 11 years as of Sept. 1, 2013. The All-Day Camp Program offers campers a full range of activities including games and sports to swimming and field trips.

Registration is accepted through RecXpress, by mail, fax or in person at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park.

For complete details about Gaithersburg summer camps and clinics, visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov. For more information, call 301.258.6350 to speak with a member of the summer camp team.

At Your Local Library

Take advantage of two upcoming programs at the Quince Orchard Library:

  • Downloading eBooks: On Tuesdays, Feb. 12 – April 30, from 9 – 11 a.m., receive one-on-one instruction on using your eReader to download library books and audiobooks for free. First-come, first-served. No registration required. Call 240.777.0200 for more information.
  • Message or Myth: Quilts and the Underground Railroad. On Feb. 26, from 2 – 3 p.m., hear noted local historian Susan Soderberg give a descriptive presentation of the history of quilting in America, the history of the Underground Railroad, and a new theory that quilts were used as signals on the Underground Railroad.

The library is located at 15831 Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg. Questions? Call 240.777.0218.

Community Lacrosse Day

Rockville Girls Lacrosse Club will hold a free Community Lacrosse Day for all girls in kindergarten through eighth grade on March 2, from 12 – 2 p.m. at Welsh Park in Rockville, Md.

The event will include games, prizes and lots of instruction. University of Maryland Club lacrosse players will be on hand to work with the girls.

Register online, www.rockvillegirlslacrosse.com. The event is free, but advance registration will help ensure enough helpers will be on hand to assist the girls.

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