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& 4 FOR 5 Quartet of actors to take on grueling five-act “Hamlet” A-11 The Gazette BETHESDA | CHEVY CHASE | KENSINGTON DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, September 4, 2013 25 cents Natural gas service coming to Glen Echo Town now relies on electricity and oil for most energy needs n BY AGNES BLUM STAFF WRITER STATEWIDE PROGRAM PROTECTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS Leah talks about the Maryland Safe at Home program, which provides victims of domestic violence with a substitute address for them to use for mail. BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Addressconfidentiality BY KATE ROYALS SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE After filing a restraining order against her abusive ex-husband and buying a house to live in with her children, a Montgomery County woman who goes by the name of Leah struggled to keep her address secret from her abuser. Even with the restraining order, he continued to harass her, making threatening phone calls and blocking her car from leaving a parking lot. In 2008, the Motor Vehicle Administration asked her for her new address while she was re-registering a car she still owned with her ex-spouse. She realized that if she provided it, her abuser, who was in and out of jail, could find her and her children again. Today, Montgomery County has 72 people enrolled in a staterun program to help domestic violence victims hide from their abusive partners. After the incident at the Motor Vehicle Administration, Leah became one of them. Up to that point, she says, “I felt like I was strong. I thought I could handle stuff on my own.” But when someone with the MVA told her about Maryland’s Safe at Home Address Confidentiality See VICTIMS, Page A-9 County volunteers provide 24-hour support to victims of sexual assault ‘We’re just there with them, we’re not deciding if their story is right or not’ n BY KARA ROSE SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE It might be 8 a.m. on a Tuesday. Maybe it’s 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, or 1 a.m. on a Sunday. Whenever that beeper sounds, the on-duty volunteer at the county’s Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program springs to action. The 24-hour, seven days a week crisis intervention program is an agency of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and is staffed by mental health professionals and trained volunteers. When the crisis center is contacted by the police department See VOLUNTEERS, Page A-9 Natural gas — for heating and cooking — is finally coming to the small town of Glen Echo. After several requests from Glen Echo officials, Washington Gas has agreed to build the infrastructure for gas installation for $209,877, according to a letter written by a Washington Gas representative. The money will come out of the town’s cash reserves, which currently are more than $400,000, said Mayor Deborah Beers. The price would include installing the main gas line and bringing gas to each of the 73 houses where owners had previously expressed interest in installing gas, according to the letter. There are about 100 houses in Glen Echo. Owners will be required to have gas-capable appliances installed before Washington Gas will connect the house to the main gas line. Currently, Glen Echo residents use electricity and oil for heating and cooking. “Like every other homeowner in the town I am going to be considering the value of gas and whether it makes economic sense,” said Matthew Stiglitz, a Glen Echo Town Council member. He estimated that most of the people in the town use oil, while others use propane or electric heating. “Provided that Washington Gas follows through on what it promised, it provides a very good opportunity for homeowners to potentially save money and increase property values,” Stiglitz said. The area of Glen Echo that is on the opposite side of Glen Echo Park will not be included in the installation proposal because Washington Gas said it will not run the gas main line through the park to the other side due to geological difficulty. The Washington Aqueduct, which runs under MacArthur Boulevard, presents an engineering obstacle. The utility has defined Glen Echo as the area bounded by MacArthur Boulevard, Wellesley Circle, Clara Barton Parkway and Oxford Road, in which there are about 93 homes. In August, council member Mark McCaffrey introduced an ordinance that would allow Glen Echo to charge a $300 permitting fee to owners who are requesting a gas hookup. Washington Gas’ price will be the same whether one house or many houses sign up, Beers said, but the fee could help offset installation costs for the town. See GAS, Page A-6 County moves to link the hungry with unused food Believed to be nation’s first countywide program n BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Montgomery County is preparing to unveil a new program for connecting sources of unused food with people who need it. The county’s food recovery network is expected to make it easier to collect unused food and get it to nonprofit agencies that feed the hungry. The program will deal with both planned food recoveries — when a supermarket knows it will have meat, dairy, produce or other products that will be past their sell-by date and can schedule the products to be picked up — and unplanned pickups, taking food that wasn’t served from large weddings or catering events, said Richard Romer, who works for Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin. Ervin helped form a work group that developed recommendations on creating a food recovery program for the county. The work group was scheduled to release its finding at a press conference Sept. 10. The group plans to set up both a central phone number to help set up food collections, as well as a mobile phone app to help connect providers with distributors, Romer said. A survey of grocery stores in the county found there aren’t many who don’t already donate products to organizations to feed the hungry, but restaurants and caterers may be more of an untapped market, said Jenna Umbriac, director of nutrition programs for Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg, which provides food for more than 3,500 families each month. According to the group’s website, one in four county residents is at risk of hunger, and 32 percent of Montgomery County Public Schools students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. People are sometimes reluctant to do- RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE Audrey Markel, 4, of Takoma Park waves to participants during Kensington’s Labor Day Parade on Monday. See RECOVERY, Page A-6 NEWS SPORTS Two physicians at Suburban Hospital bike to work to promote a healthful lifestyle. For first time in four years Alex Holston won’t dominate county’s volleyball season. A-4 B-1 ‘PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH’ She loves a parade VOLLEYBALL: THE END OF AN ERA Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE B-14 A-2 B-8 B-10 A-4 A-11 A-8 B-7 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906615


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