Here's to your recovery from Superstorm Sandy and to the continued relief efforts in the New York/New Jersey area. Look back at our coverage throughout Maryland here, and find ways to help your neighbors to the north here.
We probably would have spent a lot of time talking about Halloween and the trauma of returning to standard time this week, but tomorrow is Election Day, so while you're trying to figure out how to vote on the Dream Act, same-sex marriage and/or your congressional representative, perhaps we can pretend for a day that life is normal in Montgomery County.
First, take a look at our comprehensive Montgomery County Election Guide and our recent video interviews on our top political issues with Executive Isiah Leggett.
We'll be covering your polling place, District 6 and 8 congressional results, the school board election and the local angles on the controversial state ballot initiatives. Look for our reporters—they'll be out there—and tell them how you feel about the issues; respond in comments, or tweet with the hashtag #PatchElections, and have your voice heard on Patch!
Now, for the rest of the news:
—Wheaton is gearing up again for the continuing battle against a proposed Costco mega gas station. Costco has shifted the proposed gas station location to comply with a new zoning amendment but opponents have formed The Stop Costco Gas Coalition to do just what the name says. Full disclosure; this writer lives in the neighborhood surrounding the mall that has led the opposition. The conversation is going strong on Wheaton Patch.
—Gaithersburg is in the process of finding a city manager. On Friday, its acting city manager, Tony Tomasello, was named one of three finalists. Tomasello has served in his current role since the June 15 resignation of City Manager Angel Jones. The city also named Mike Mallinoff of Glen Arm, MD, and Todd Parton, of Kerrville, TX, among the finalists.
—There's a bit of upheaval in Chevy Chase Village and the issue is rising to the state level. Two village board members—Peter Kilborn and Thomas Jackson—recently resigned in anticipation of a new state law requiring members of municipal councils and boards—and their spouses—to disclose all real property interests, stocks and bonds, as Chevy Chase Patch reported. State Sen. Jamie Raskin, (D-District 20) of Takoma Park reportedly says he will challenge the new law, which was designed to reinforce ethics standards in local government.
—Germantown is in mourning for Christina Morris-Ward, a Seneca Valley High School sophomore who died Wednesday after being hit by a car during her walk to school on Germantown Road. A "Rocking for Tina" candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 5:30 on school grounds. The tragedy was at the center of a discussion by Montgomery County Council members Thursday on increasing pedestrian safety in Montgomery County, The Gazette reported. According to county records, there were 399 collisions involving pedestrians in 2011 in Montgomery County, with 11 fatalities.
—The Four Corners area of Silver Spring has been identified as one of the most dangerous areas in the county for pedestrians. One sign the county is taking that seriously is a new campaign on Ride On buses featuring giant photos of the eyes of Montgomery Blair High School students. Below the eyes are the words, "Hey You, I'm Looking at You!"
—If you're looking forward to the holiday shopping season, you're in luck this year. You'll have about as many shopping days as humanly possible, thanks to an early Thanksgiving. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are expected to spend an average of $749.51 on gifts, decorations and cards in 2012, up a bit from the $740.57 they spent in 2011. Want to get a head start on Black Friday? Check out sales circulars from major retailers online.
—If you're looking for new places to shop this year, H&M in downtown Silver Spring is set to open Nov. 8, Urban Outfitters is opening in Westfield Montgomery mall this month and local artists are participating in the ever popular Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Nov. 16-18. Shopaholics, you're welcome.
—Are you a local business owner? Join Patch as we bring together local business owners and digital experts to discuss big things for small businesses. Focused on the needs of Main Street, the program features seasoned speakers from Constant Contact, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Silver Beacon Marketing and the President of Coldwell Banker, DC Region. Click here to RSVP for the event on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria.
—Want all the latest restaurant and foodie news in Montgomery County? Check out Chevy Chase Patch's . This week: chocolate, Nepalese momo and bologna-and-head cheese sandwiches. Seriously.
Still haven't had enough of Montgomery County news? Check out our top headlines here.