The Grapes of Wrath
From the novel by John Steinbeck, the National Players presents "The Grapes of Wrath" at the Olney Theatre Center in Olney from July 27-31. As the Dust Bowl decimates farm after farm in Oklahoma, the Joad family packs its meager possessions and heads for a new life in California. Steinbeck's novel is a great story of perseverance against the odds. olneytheatre.org

Historic Homes and Buildings in the Metro Area
The sale of historic properties requires specialty knowledge and handling due to the preservation requirements placed on the new owners. Owners are expected to maintain the historical significance of the property and must receive approval through special permits before making any improvements. We’ve found in many cases there are strict rehabilitation guidelines, which may allow the homeowner to repair, but not rebuild or replace existing or previously-existing parts of the property. Read more>
  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 


  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

  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

For the Foodies in Montgomery County

HELEN'S ON THE PIKE - Taking over the former location of Addie's on Rockville Pike next to Hank Dietle's, Helen's is the creation of successful caterer Helen Wasserman. Her signature dishes feature the best of fresh, local, new American cuisine with Asian fusion, Latin American twists and global inspiration. helensonthepike.com

PIEOLOGY PIZZERIA - The make-your-own-pie and salad pizzeria recently opened a location in Gaithersburg where the selections for custom made pies and salads are endless and the ingredients are fresh and creative. pieology.com

SAL'S ITALIAN KITCHEN - Restaurateurs Stephanie and Damian Salvatore have traded their Asian concept Indigo House for cuisine that more fits their background. The result is Sal’s Italian Kitchen in the same Cabin John location that features nine pasta dishes and entrées from shrimp scampi to cioppino. salsitaliankitchen.net

SAVANNAH'S - The bar and restaurant in Kensington, formerly the site of a Roy Rogers, has closed its doors. The casual American restaurant took over the site shortly after RR closed in mid 1997. 
Montgomery County is one of the nation's wealthiest counties, yet there is need throughout our region. Support your neighbors by donating to a county-based charity. The issue's charity focus is Real Food for Kids - Montgomery which believes that healthy, whole, real food helps children focus and learn better. The organization has brought about positive changes to the food in the Montgomery County Public Schools over the past four years through advocacy and a network of parent school representatives. Join or support them now at realfoodforkidsmontgomery.org.
Jade is a beautiful girl who needs a loving home. She is a pit bull terrier with a very sweet temperament and absolutely loves belly rubs. Jade will make a great addition to your family and be a wonderful companion so if you can offer a home and a lot of love for her, please contact roxiesfund.org

The city of Rockville is hosting a series of free, family-friendly movies on four consecutive Wednesday nights in August.

The popular "Movies in the Parks" series features G and PG-rated movies at four neighborhood parks in Rockville. Chairs, blankets, food and beverages are welcome and the movies begin at dusk which is approximately 8:00 p.m.

The schedule includes:
August 3: "Inside Out" (PG) at Montrose Park; August 10: "Finding Nemo" (G) on the front lawn of Glenview Mansion; August 17: "The Sandlot" (PG) at Woodley Gardens Park; and August 24: "Up" (PG) at Fallsgrove Park. rockvillemd.gov/moviesintheparks

Glen Echo Park is hosting a series of free concerts every Thursday evening through the summer. They are held the covered Bumper Car Pavilion which means the 7:30 p.m. concerts are held rain or shine.

The schedule includes:
July 21: Dave Kline Band; July 28: Hit the Roof; August 4: Trifilio Tango Trio; August 11: Brian Gaffney (with opening act Elle Hope); August 18: Dave Chappell & Friends; and August 25: the Montgomery College Jazz Ensemble. glenechopark.org


Quote of the Day
""Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground."   Theodore Roosevelt