Saturday, June 26, 2010

Old Blair Auditorium Funded by Montgomery County Council

We wanted to make sure you heard the exciting news: On May 27, 2010, the Montgomery County Council voted to formally establish the Old Blair Auditorium Re-use project and fund it in the Fiscal Years 2011-16 Capital Improvements Program (CIP)! (Note that construction projects are funded from the capital budget, which has increased this year, and is not subject to the constraints of this year's reduced operating budget.)

Architectural planning and design will take place in FY12 and the construction work is planned for FY16. "Option 3" of the feasibility study was selected. This option, which calls for a 750-seat auditorium, four adjacent multi-purpose rooms, and an elevator to provide accessible access to the 2nd floor multi-purpose rooms, was the option recommended by the community.

The county's FY12 funding ($600,000) will serve as matching funds for the 2005 state bond bill funds of $600,000.

We are extremely grateful to Councilmember Valerie Ervin, who proposed the community oriented multi-use solution and pressed for full funding. We also thank Councilmembers George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro, and Duchy Trachtenberg, who voted for the project in committee, and Councilmember Marc Elrich for his strong support, as well as the full council for passing the final budget that includes this project.

Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin and Maryland Delegates Sheila Hixson, Heather Mizeur, and Tom Hucker also deserve our thanks for ensuring that the state bond bill funding was extended to meet the project schedule.

Special thanks also to former Senator Ida Ruben who, along with Delegate Hixson in the House of Delegates, who got the bond bill process rolling in the state Senate in 2005.

Visit our web site ( to learn more about the selection renovation option.

Thanks for all your wonderful support over the years!

Stuart Moore
Old Blair Auditorium Project, Inc. Board of Directors

Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. to Produce "Opening Day" Celebration at new Silver Spring Civic Building - July 8, 2010

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. is pleased to announce the line-up for its “Opening Day” production at the new Silver Spring Civic Building at One Veterans Plaza. Our performances begin at 1:30 pm at the Civic Building’s “Portico.”

On July 8th at 6:30 pm, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will preside over a inaugural ceremony ribbon cutting for the new building located at the intersection of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the public is invited to come inside the building and experience the wonderful new community space. The festivities continue with the first "Silver Spring Swings Summer Concert" featuring a performance by the Fabulous Bel Airs 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.’s (SSTCi) “Opening Day” celebration will feature local dancers, dramatic performers, choral groups, and jazz, blues, and latin musicians from early afternoon until the beginning of the official inaugural program for the new building. We welcome the participation and support of Round House Theatre as co-producers of this event.

6:00 to 6:30 Washington Revels
5:30 to 6:00 Memphis Gold Band
5:00 to 5:30 Contradiction Dance
4:30 to 5:00 Los Charlys Nativos
4:00 to 4:30 Hey Dey Players - Mighty Shock
3:30 to 4:00 Jonny Grave
3:00 to 3:30 Truu Soul
2:30 to 3:00 Truth
2:00 to 2:30 Groove Jet

Alan Bowser of Silver Spring is Executive Producer of the SSTCi’s “Opening Day” celebration. “We are enormously gratified at the strong community support that we have for our opening day program. Thanks to all of our Silver Spring neighbors and the non-profit groups that have generously offered their time and support for this historic program. The Silver Spring Civic Building will be our community’s “living room, so this is a great way to celebrate its opening,” said Bowser.

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. is a community non-profit organization to provide arts & entertainment program for the Silver Spring Civic Building at One Veterans Plaza.

Parking is available at the Town Square Garage on Ellsworth Drive. The Silver Spring Metro is three blocks away.

For more information please visit

Friday, June 4, 2010

Opening Night for the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Montgomery Blair HS

The Thunderbolts open the 2010 season tonight at 7:00 pm against Youse's Orioles. As always, there will be concessions, raffles, a trivia contest, races around the bases and great college baseball. Fans will also be given a chance to vote on whether the MLB Commissioner should award a perfect game to Armando Galarraga!

On Sunday, June 6, the T-Bolts opponent will be the Rockville Express. It is Silver Spring International Middle School Teacher Appreciation Night. The School's Advanced Band will be in attendance to provide live music! Game time is 6 pm.!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring offers wares not found at big-box stores - Washington Post

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scenario One:

"Cool necklace! Where did you get it?"

"Ann Taylor Loft in Silver Spring."

Scenario Two:

"Cool necklace! Where did you get it?"

"The Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring."

If the idea of being a hip consumer, one who supports artisans and independent businesses, appeals, then this weekend go shopping where you can be sure to walk away with something you won't see anyone else in the neighborhood wearing.

The new Fenton Street Market is just a few blocks from downtown Silver Spring and yet miles and miles from the brand-name stores that line the city's walking mall. On a recent Saturday, onetime graduate school English majors Heather Rellihan and Kelley Squazzo sold their casual and fun handbags, cutely called "Pocketful of Posy," Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave sold her "wearable art," bags, accessories and shirts made from reclaimed material, and Layla Niebrugge sold silver jewelry with a nature theme. Hand-painted note cards, antique tables, leather baseball hats, old LPs, a crocheted poncho: Unique is the word for this market.

Variety is another word. Every week, about half of the 50 to 60 vendors are new. Prices run from a couple of dollars to a couple of hundred dollars.

Don't miss the food. You might have to wait in line for a homemade doughnut or crepe, but do it. Sweet or savory, the crepes are fresh and the doughnuts sweet. (Ask for chocolate sauce on your doughnut for a supreme sugar rush.)

If that's not enough, the market features a different local band every week to complete the community feeling.

This is the first full season for the market, which was started by Silver Spring resident Hannah McCann in the vacant parking lot that is slated to become a Marriott Hotel. This week, architects will be at the market to discuss the future of Silver Spring. Bring your ideas along with your wallet.

Continue your corporation-free day and buy a non-Starbucks cup of joe at Highland Origin Coffee across the street from the market. Or for something a little different, and a lot refreshing, try Highland's Italian cream soda, flavored any way you want.

-- Moira E. McLaughlin

Where is it? The corner of Silver Spring Avenue and Fenton Street, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. every Saturday. Free neighborhood parking is available around the market.

How much? Free -- until you buy something of course!

What else? Want to eat local as well as wear local? Walk to the Silver Spring mall for fresh produce. The Silver Spring Farmers Market runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue. For another opportunity to check out (and buy) unique crafts, stop by Handmade Mart from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday also on Ellsworth between Fenton and Georgia.

Schedule of Performances - Silver Spring Blues Festival 2010

Harmonica Workshop 3pm - 4pm
Choo Choo Charlie teaches anyone to play!
Bring your harmonica (Key of C) to learn techniques and songs.

Under the Big Top 2pm - 6pm
Musical Instrument Petting Zoo by Dale Music

On the Fountain Stage*
Choo Choo Charlie Williams and Baltimore Red Jones – acoustic Delta, Piedmont, Ragtime, and Texas style blues featuring harmonica and guitar

Jonny Grave - acoustic blues from the Heartland, steeped in the traditions of R.L. Burnside, Fred McDowell and others.

Andy Poxon Band – get up and go with this 15-year-old who's writing his own blues songs and has a blues groove of his own!

Daryl Davis Band – a Montgomery County local performing nationally with legendary greats such as Chuck Berry – featuring festival MC / WPFW89.3fm "Don't Forget the Blues" Friday host, Ida Campbell.

DC Blues Society Band - DCBS brings you Clarence "The Bluesman" Turner and more entertainment coming from the local blues scene!

Mary Shaver and the Smokin' Polecats – Muddy Waters style with a female touch – featuring Pete Ragusa (Nighthawks drummer for 35 years).

The Nighthawks – world renowned and legendary blues group – WAMMIE winners of Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) best duo/group and best recording for 2009's "American Landscape," in the Blues/Traditional R&B category. Get your signed award-winning CD at the festival!

* Schedule Subject to Change

Website: Facebook:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great Performers at Silver Spring Blues Festival in Downtown Silver Spring, May 22

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. is pleased to announce this exciting line-up of performers for the Silver Spring Blues Festival to be held Saturday, May 22, 2010 in downtown Silver Spring.

Come see some of the best blues in the DC area!

The Nighthawks
Silver Spring's Jonny Grave
Choo Choo Charlie Williams
The Andy Poxon Band
The Daryl Davis Band featuring Ida Campbell
The DC Blues Society Band
Mary Shaver and the Smokin' Polecats

Performances will be held at the Silver Fountain on Ellsworth Drive, between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The festival venue is close to Metro, and parking is free in area garages!

For festival information, visit

Friday, May 7, 2010

Silver Spring Civic Building & Veterans Plaza - Grand Opening Conversation

Message from the Silver Spring Regional Center--

The date for the opening is set for Thursday, July 8th, coinciding with our first of six summer concerts (starting at 7pm.) Our opening of the facility will also include honoring our veterans and the dedication of Veterans Plaza.

But we need your ideas; and we need you!

Please come help us plan this unforgettable evening:

TUESDAY, MAY 11, 7:00 p.m.

Round House Theatre Education Center in the Orange Room
925 Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD (parking available at the Wayne Avenue Garage)

Come ready to share what you'd like to see for the opening; and come ready to offer how you'd like to help... We are counting on you!

Many of you have already provided wonderful advice and guidance in the various sessions and meetings we've had recently... And to you we say "thanks!"

Also, if you feel you can't wait till next Tuesday, we welcome your comments and ideas on our blog:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A New Library for Silver Spring Is On the Way

For design details, including beautiful pictures and floor plans, visit the County’s web-site at:

Plans for the New Library

► It will be about 63,000 square feet—three times larger than the current library!
► It will be centrally located adjacent to the new Downtown Silver Spring and across from the Wayne Avenue Parking Garage.
► It will include an expanded circulating collection, more computers, more study and meeting space, and an expanded children’s section and activity space.
► A countywide disability resource center with expanded services for disabled county residents will be housed in the new library.
► More services for foreign language and immigrant residents, and more services for businesses will be available.

What’s Happening Now?

► The County has acquired the land at the site—the southwest corner of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue and has started clearing the old buildings.
► Funds for the facility are in the current County Executive’s Capital Improvement Program budget.
► Groundbreaking for the new Library facility will be this summer.

Mixed-Use Concept

The building housing the new library will face Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street. It will be a joint use project that includes:

► A Purple Line Station running through the site from Bonifant Street to the intersection of Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street
► Ground floor retail space
► An Arts Center on the ground and first floors
► The Library occupying the third, fourth, and fifth floors
► County office space on the sixth floor.

Sharing the site facing Bonifant Street will be a residential building with approximately 160 apartment units. Parking for the Library facility will be provided across the street in the Wayne Avenue Garage.


Friends of the Library and Silver Spring Library Advisory Committee,
Kathlyn Smith, Chair