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& 4 FOR 5 Quartet of actors to take on grueling five-act “Hamlet” A-11 The Gazette DAMASCUS | CLARKSBURG DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, September 4, 2013 25 cents Petition calls for watershed protection STATEWIDE PROGRAM PROTECTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS Planning board to host hearing Tuesday on Clarksburg growth n BY STAFF WRITER 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 VIRGINIA TERHUNE 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-7 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 The Montgomery Countryside Alliance based in Poolesville is circulating a petition urging the county planning board to consider the long-term health of the Ten Mile Creek watershed when evaluating development projects. Alliance members plan to present the online petition at the planning board’s hearing Tuesday in Silver Spring, where developers and environmentalist are expected to clash over how much growth the relatively clean watershed in Clarksburg and Boyds can accommodate without being degraded. A total of 730 people had signed the petition as of Tuesday, said Caroline Taylor, executive director of the Alliance. The petition asks that the planning board “employ science and the public interest” in considering proposed retail and commercial development on 100 acres east of Interstate 270 in Clarksburg that contain the headwaters of Ten Mile Creek. “It’s a vulnerable and significantly challenged piece of geography,” said Taylor. “We do not believe that ‘green’ technology will be the panacea to protect that resource for the long run.” The Peterson Cos., the developers for the property, have argued that incorporating the latest stormwater management techniques will actually improve conditions on the property, which currently has no stormwater management. The hearing is to accept opinions about what development should be allowed within the watershed as part of Stage 4, the final phase of the buildout of Clarksburg. Reference to neighboring developments can be included as they relate to projects within the watershed. Ten Mile Creek and its tributaries flow southwest into Little Seneca Lake, a backup drinking water supply for the Washington, D.C., region. Within the watershed west of I-270, Pulte See VOLUNTEERS, Page A-7 See WATERSHED, Page A-10 Montgomery 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 NEWS CHURCH IN LIMBO Judge blocks use of second residential lot for required access. A-4 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 “There’s a lot of interest in making this happen.” Richard Romer, work group member 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 or- SPORTS VOLLEYBALL: THE END OF AN ERA For first time in four years Alex Holston won’t dominate county’s volleyball season. B-1 ganizations 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 donate because they’re afraid of being liable if someone gets sick from the products they donate, Umbriac said. But the new program will provide a Automotive Calendar Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE countywide seal of approval that unused goods can be donated without fear of liability. The program has attracted a lot of private sector support, Romer said. “There’s a lot of interest in making this happen,” he said. The county set aside $200,000 in the fiscal 2014 budget to help implement the program. Having the funding approved will help get things moving more quickly once the plan is released, and they hope to have to program up and running by the start of 2014, Romer said. See FOOD, Page A-10 B-13 A-2 B-9 A-4 A-11 A-8 B-6 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906615

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