Dan Zanes
AMP by Strathmore presents Dan Zanes, the Grammy-winning songwriter and entertainer who may be the kingpin of kids' music. A former member of The Del Fuegos, a popular 1980s band, Zanes won a Grammy for kids' music for his 2006 album "Catch That Train!" Zanes is known for mixing new and old songs from a variety of traditions into a unique homespun sound he fondly describes as “a pile of driftwood and bent nails.”  Tickets are on sale for his September 25 performance.

How Can A Real Estate Agency Help Me?
When you're looking to purchase a home, you’ll likely hear mention of enlisting the assistance of a real estate agent. But what exactly do you stand to gain with the help of a real estate agency? There are a number of benefits that make all the difference when it comes to the stress and many moving parts that accompany the home buying process. Read more>
    The county offers two mulch preserves where residents can help themselves to free fresh mulch for use around yards and gardens.
    When the Division of Solid Waste picks up brush as part of the county's curbside recycling program, it is taken to the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station where it is run through a tub grinder and shred into small pieces two to four inches long. The resulting mulch is then transported to two distribution sites where residents can shovel all the mulch they can use.
    The two sites are the Shady Grove Processing Facility in Derwood (use the Frederick Road entrance) and E.E. Halmos Park in Poolesville (use the Bodmer Avenue entrance). Both sites are open seven days a week.
    The county suggests wearing protective clothing when handling the mulch and because it is largely fresh or green, the mulch should be allowed to age for several months before applying it your bushes, shrubs, trees or areas where you want to control vegetation. More Info

    Every one likes to have high property values and low property taxes. Unfortunately, higher property assessments typically mean higher property taxes.
    If you think the taxman has over estimated your property value and that the associated taxes are too high, there is a relatively easy appeal process. And according to a study of appeals of property tax assessment in the county between 2011 and 2013, your chances of reducing your tax burden are worth the effort.
    Every three years, the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation determines the value of residential and commercial property. The assessment is based a property's "market value" or "the most probable price which a property will sell for under normal market conditions." Once you receive your assessment and feel it is over valued, you have 45 days in which to file your appeal.
    The first level hearing is relatively quick and informal and involves the property owner providing relevant sales data on equivalent property recently sold. That hearing will produce a final notice which can also be appealed if you believe the judgment is still in error.
    If you proceed, the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board will hear your case. The hearing is more formal and involves sworn testimony from the property owner. The study found that 37% of the residential appeals and 28% of the commercial appeals resulted in lower assessments and a cumulative $2.1 billion decrease in the total assessed property value.
One note: Your property taxes are due even if they are under appeal. or Download PDF

    Leisure World, the active adult community in Silver Spring, turned 50 years old this month. When it opened, Leisure World was a bit like Dulles International Airport - a gleaming, modern facility that nobody really planned on using. But like the airport in Virginia, Leisure World grew into a thriving lifestyle community for those 55 and older.
    Today, the 610-acre campus is home to more than 8,500 residents in 5,645 homes, miles of walking paths, an 18-hole golf course, two community clubhouses, two restaurants and a long list of recreational, club and social activities.
    Leisure World has 215 employees and is a secure, gated community. 

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.

BE WITH ME PLAYSEUM - Themed playrooms and activity centers than range from soft blocks and Legoes to a live pet shop and mini manicures to an art shop and pretend grocery shopping are the hallmarks of the Playseum in Bethesda. The activities are suitable for babies on up.

- This is not your ordinary bowling alley. With 40 lanes of "electro-cool" blacklight bowling (including an eight-lane bowling suite), plush laneside loungers and HD video walls, Bowlmor in Rockville also has an extensive arcade and pretty cool interactive games.

- Located in Bethesda, Imagination Stage produces theater and arts education programs and offers after-school programs and summer camps for ages up to 18. It offers nice discounts on show tickets and access to a party room for birthdays. 

For the Foodies in Montgomery County

CADDIES - The long-time favorite sports bar in Bethesda is changing ownership. The owners of Heckman's Deli, Caddies neighbor on Cordell Avenue, recently purchased the restaurant. While they are planning on keeping the same format, they do plan some upgrades, including a freshening of the interior, some new menu items and additional TVs for sports contests.

TILTED KILT - With its fifth Maryland location and first in Montgomery County, Tilted Kilt enters the sports bar, casual pub scene with its new, soon to open location at Westfield Wheaton. With a beer selection approaching three dozen and a similar number of TVs, Tilted Kilt features big burgers, traditional wings, fish and chips and waitresses in red plaid attire.

VASILIS KITCHEN - The popular Vasilis Mediterranean Grill in The Kentlands is moving to larger dining space and bringing a new twist on Mediterranean cuisine. With an emphasis on farm-to-table fresh, Vasilis Kitchen plans to open within weeks. For the last 15 years, the Vasilis Grill has been a neighborhood favorite for Greek food, but the 26-seat eatery couldn't always fit the demand. The new dining space just two blocks away can accommodate more than 170 guests.

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 Red Wiggler Community Farm. Founded in 1996 and based in Germantown, Red Wiggler is a sustainable farm that provides employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Using a unique horticulture program that uses organic agricultural applications, Reg Wiggler farms seven acres of fenced ground at Ovid Hazen Well Park and now serves more than 1,500 people annually.
Meet Lincoln! The small, male (neutered) adult shih tzu loves loves to be petted and scratched and will run to his foster parents for affection and gladly roll on his back for belly rubs. Lincoln was part of the Rockville 66 where county animal services officers seized 66 dogs from a home in Rockville on New Year's Day. He is still a little timid, but likes to snuggle in bed and on the couch.

Close out summer on a high note with the last of free outdoor concerts in Gaithersburg. The Thursday night concerts at the City Hall Concert Pavilion in Olde Towne are a great way to start the weekend or wind down the workday. Concert goers can bring a picnic, blanket and low-back chairs for lawn seating. All performances start at 6:00 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 15 - The Crimestoppers

SEPTEMBER 22 - Savoy Truffle

SEPTEMBER 29 - The Hardway Connection

OCTOBER 6 - Lloyd Dobler Effect

School is back in session and if your student needs to enhance his or her overall academic development, Montgomery Magazine is offering a drawing for a free $75 gift certificate to Best Brains (, a learning center that offers courses in math, English, abacus and general knowledge. Now, the fine print. The certificate expires December 31, 2016, and is valid for students ages 3.5 to 14 years old. A free diagnostic test is included to determine class placement. Not valid for current customers or on services used in the last year. Valid only in Maryland locations. Email your name and address to and put Best Brains in the subject line. Drawing will be held October 3, 2016. The winner will be notified that day and his/her name posted on


Quote of the Day
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."   Mother Teresa