|RAIN AND REBATES
If a contractor told you he was going to pave your driveway with porous asphalt, you might be tempted to tell to him to pound sand in those holes to clog them.
But thanks to creative thinking and new technology, permeable driveways that allow water to run through them – instead of off them – are beginning to gain traction in Montgomery County. And in many cases, the county is extending rebates and tax credits under its RainScapes Program to help residents and businesses offset certain costs of installing such driveways.
Since traditional materials for driveways like concrete and asphalt are largely impervious to water, the idea behind permeable driveway materials is to reduce run-off pollution by letting water run through them instead of into storm drains and culverts.
Permeable pavers for driveways are now designed to be aesthetically pleasing, durable and efficient at absorbing water and having it filter through to stone beds beneath them.
There are a few types of permeable pavers currently available, including permeable interlocking concrete pavement, pervious concrete and porous asphalt. When the pavers are installed (they must be installed by a trained professional with the proper installation credentials to qualify for rebates), they have small gaps between them to allow for the water to filter through. mygreenmontgomery.org
SIX MONTHS OF HARD LABOR
Depending on your age, August 29 may be the most wonderful time of the year or the worst day ever.
That's because the last Monday in August this year marks the beginning of the 2016-17 school year for Montgomery County Public Schools. Barring an excess of snow days or emergency closings, school is scheduled to break for summer on June 16, 2017.
In between, the county Board of Education has approved a calendar of 184 instructional days for students, which is four more than the minimum number of school days required by the state of Maryland, and 193 duty days for teachers.
For parents looking to plan a long weekend or to arrange some extra day care, the school calendar is dotted with non-instructional days (essentially holidays), professional days (essentially holidays for students), and early release days (essentially half days). September 12, November 7, January 27 and April 7 are all professional days while September 30, November 23 and March 3 are early release days for kindergarten through 12th grade. K-8 also get early release on November 10 and 11.
Last month, the Board of Education approved an operating budget of $2.46 billion for fiscal year 2017. The increased spending will fund smaller class sizes, investment in achievement gap reductions and increased compensation for school employees. montgomeryschoolsmd.org
A (NEEDED) NIGHT OUT
Since its inception in 1984, National Night Out (NNO) has become an annual community building effort to promote better relationships between police and the community it faithfully serves. Held the first Tuesday of every August and sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, NNO is also designed to help increase awareness about police anti-crime efforts. The celebrations range from neighborhood block parties to full-blown festivals.
Rockville, Olney and Chevy Chase Village are among Montgomery County jurisdictions observing the NNO this year. If you can't attend an event, consider thanking a cop personally for his or her service. natw.org
Need a birthday party idea, rainy day or everyday activity for the little tyke or teen in your family? Here are three great MoCo places and businesses that cater to kids and birthdays.
CABIN JOHN REGIONAL PARK - The park in Bethesda may be the county's most entertaining combination of nature, sports and recreation. There are athletic fields, an ice-skating rink, tennis courts, picnic areas, trails, camp sites, and a miniature train that runs through the park. montgomeryparks.org
MONKEY JOE'S - With wall-to-wall inflatables, Monkey Joe's in Germantown is birthday party headquarters for kids 12 years-old and younger. They can bounce, slide and jump to their heart's content as well as tackle a variety of arcade games. Monkey Joe's has full concession options and a dedicated party room. monkeyjoes.com
ZAVAZONE - Trampoline parks are all the rage now, but ZavaZone in Rockville is an indoor adventure park for fun-seekers 5-years-old and up. In addition to trampolines, there are ninja courses, ropes courses, climbing challenges, zip lines, and more. zavazone.com