Report on Wheaton's Downtown

A public meeting is planned for Wednesday to discuss the recommendations in the "Main Street Report" on the Wheaton Central Business District.

The report was prepared by representatives of the National Main Street Center after a series of meetings, tours and interviews in Wheaton to assess the prospects for revitalizing the business district. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Mid-County Services Center.

Among the recommendations, the report suggests the community develop a consensus-building process to gain agreement about the future of Wheaton. The report also advises that some development begin as soon as possible.

The Mid-County Services Center is at 2424 Reedie Dr., second floor, in Wheaton. For more information, call Karen Thon at 240-777-8122.

Town Meeting on Y2K Issues

The potential impact of the Y2K computer issue on Montgomery County will be examined at a town meeting tonight from 7 to 9 at the Long Branch Community Recreation Center, 8700 Piney Branch Rd.

County officials and representatives from local utility companies will outline their preparations for the so-called millennium glitch. The presentations also will include suggestions to homeowners and businesses for Y2K preparedness and a question-and-answer session. A Spanish language interpreter will assist Spanish-speaking participants.

For directions or more information, call the Montgomery County Y2K Office at 240-777-2940.

Comments on Health Budget

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services will sponsor a public meeting Tuesday to get comment on its fiscal 2001 operating budget. Robert Kendal, director of the Office of Management and Budget, will present the county's fiscal forecast for fiscal 2001. Attendees then will have an opportunity to comment about services affecting the safety, health and self-sufficiency of Montgomery County residents.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Children's Resource Center, 322 W. Edmonston Dr. in Rockville. For more information, call 240-777-1211.

Radon Kits for Sale

"Do-it-yourself" home radon testing kits are now available from the American Lung Association of Maryland. Radon gas is a radioactive byproduct of the natural decay of uranium. Because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless, testing of indoor air is recommended to detect its presence. A short-term (four- to seven-day test) kit sells for $12.00 plus tax; long-term kits (a three-month to one-year test, for best accuracy) sell for $22.00 plus tax.

Homes throughout the state may be at risk for radon contamination. Exposure to it may cause lung cancer. The risk is especially high for smokers and for those exposed to secondhand smoke.

For more information, or to purchase a home testing kit, contact the American Lung Association of Maryland at 800-LUNG-USA, fax 410-560-0829 or e-mail Radon information is available at the American Lung Association Web site,

County Laws Are Online

Residents with access to the Internet can now view the Montgomery County Code and Charter on the county's Web site,

The code consists of the laws of Montgomery County, including the zoning ordinance. The charter contains the rules that govern the three branches of the county: legislative, executive and judicial.

Historic Preservation Grant

A $30,000 grant for historic preservation has been given by Columbia Gas of Maryland to the Save Maryland's Treasures program.

The Maryland Commission for Celebration 2000 (Maryland 2000) began the Save Maryland's Treasures program in April, inviting residents to nominate buildings, monuments, documents, and sites that they believe are endangered historic resources. An advisory council is picking a Treasure of the Month through December and will decide which will get funding in 2000.

October's Treasure of the Month is the National Park Seminary--a group of multi-use buildings with unique architectural character built from 1890 to 1898 and now part of the Walter Reed Army Hospital on Linden Lane in Montgomery County's Forest Glen neighborhood. To nominate a Maryland treasure, or for more information, call Maryland 2000 toll-free at 877-632-0001, or visit the Web site at To be considered, treasures must be at least 50 years old, except in cases of special significance.