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Moco Mojo: Walking, Shopping, Riding, Eating and Remembering in These 500 Square Miles

Life is rich in Montgomery County. We'll prove it to you.

 

Sometimes it takes looking back at the bad times to appreciate the good.

Tomorrow, Oct. 2, is the 10-year anniversary of what became known as the DC sniper case -- a horrific chapter in local history that began in Montgomery County and became a national story.

It's hard to describe to those who weren't here what it was like to fear a random bullet during routine trips to the grocery store or gas station, or to drive past playgrounds and parks empty of children, runners and bike riders.

The perpetrators, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, were regulars at the YMCA of Silver Spring. 

New details of their time there emerge in an account in The Atlantic magazine by Jim Ross, a public health researcher. Read Ross' article here. The Washington Post has published a rare new interview with Malvo in which he describes himself as a "monster."

Muhammad was executed by lethal injection in November 2009. Malvo was convicted of six murders in Montgomery County and is serving a life sentence without parole.

Reunion of Montgomery County Segregated Schools

There are other lessons to take from history in Montgomery County this week.

Former students of Montgomery County segregated schools will gather in Gaithersburg over the weekend to reunite and reminisce.

The reunion welcomes any former students of the segregated schools that served African-American students in the county from 1927 to 1960. About 300 people from around the country are expected to attend. Click the link above for information, and to find out more about the schools and their students, see a history of the county’s segregated schools posted on the Montgomery County Public Schools website.

When Is 'Historical' Just Old and Outdated?

Greater Greater Washington reports that the Tenleytown Historical Society has been trying to get the Western Bus Garage (5230 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC) designated as a historic building, while the Advisory Neighborhood Commission for Friendship Heights, Tenleytown and American University Park (ANC 3E) "says it's just not a significant" site. There's even a bit of potential political intrigue to this story, if you want to read more.

Ride On has proposed changes to six routes and one Metrobus route operated on Saturdays. The proposed changes seek to better serve “areas that have been recently developed and to eliminate sections of routes that are underperforming,” according to a statement from the county. Ride On fan? Check out the proposed changes by clicking here.

Or Not

Walking will be the preferred method of transportation by the county's schoolkids Wednesday for International Walk to School Day. It's not just a throwback to a simpler time, it's a statement that towns and cities should make walkability a priority for the sake of health and well-being. Kids, parents, teachers, principals and public safety personnel from more than 30 schools countywide are expected to be out in droves in time for the morning rush. So, if you're in a politically incorrect vehicle, be prepared to slow down.

If you're in the aforementioned car and you come across a malfunctioning traffic signal, take heed: As of today, drivers who don’t make a full stop at any non-functioning traffic light could be fined up to $130. That should make driving the streets after the next derecho a little less life-threatening, we hope.

CSI Gaithersburg

After two years and more than $20 million in renovations, Montgomery County police have almost fully moved into the new public safety headquarters at 100 Edison Park Dr. in Gaithersburg. The building houses the police crime lab and the forensic division on the top floor in a state-of-the-art facility that would likely pass muster with Horatio Caine.

Is Your Suburb Urban?

Sometimes being out and about in downtown Silver Spring on weekends brings to mind the urban bustle of NYC. At the same time, a quiet drive into DC early on a Saturday can conjure a quaint peacefulness. So, are the concepts of urban and suburban obsolete? It's a debate that got some people going, particularly Dan Reed, author at "Just Up the Pike," who takes aim in a recent blog post at Will Doig's Salon.com piece, "Invasion of the Faux Cities." Get in on the conversation here you dwellers in the land of ample free parking.

In shopping news:

--Aspen Hill adds its first major retailer in decades with the opening of Kohl's.

--The Costco under construction in Wheaton has delayed its grand opening, which was set for this fall.

--Years of waiting for a grocery store in Rockville Town Square culminated in Friday's grand opening of Dawson's Market.

--Home prices in the Washington Metro area have climbed 3.7 percent over last year.

 

Still haven't gotten your fill of Montgomery County information? Check out our best headlines and weird Maryland news.

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