Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SUNDAY: Rep. Van Hollen to speak at Literacy Council of Montgomery County’s 50th Anniversary

May 29, 2013

CONTACT: Shelley Block
Office: (301) 610-0030; Cell: (301) 613-5824; shelley@literacycouncilmcmd.org 

SUNDAY: Rep. Van Hollen to speak at Literacy Council of Montgomery County’s 50th Anniversary

ROCKVILLE, Md. – Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) will serve as the keynote speaker when the Literacy Council of Montgomery County celebrates its 50th anniversary in June. The nonprofit organization, which has been providing free basic literacy and English as a Second Language tutoring and classes across the county for the past half-century, will celebrate this milestone on Sunday, June 2, 2013, from 2-4 p.m. at VisArts at Rockville Town Square. 

The program will be moderated by Kavitha Cardoza, WAMU education reporter.   

“The Literacy Council of Montgomery County has reached a landmark moment – 50 years of service to Montgomery County,” said Marilyn Block, president of the board of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County. “During that time, we are proud to have provided basic literacy and ESL services to more than 16,000 adult learners from 93 countries, including the United States, and we have trained nearly 8,700 volunteer tutors. Today, we serve approximately 1,500 adults every year.”

The anniversary celebration will commemorate the contributions and accomplishments of current and former Literacy Council students, volunteers, tutors and staff. The program will include remarks by representatives from each of these groups. 

WHAT: Literacy Council of Montgomery County’s 50th anniversary Celebration

·         Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), keynote speaker
·         Past and present students, tutors, teachers, volunteers, and board members of Literacy Council of Montgomery County

WHERE: VisArts at Rockville Town Square
155 Gibbs Street, Rockville

WHEN: Sunday, June 2, 2013, from 2-4 p.m.

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, Inc. (LCMC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1963, with a mission to help adults living and working in the county achieve functional levels of reading, writing and speaking English so that they may improve the quality of their lives and their ability to participate in the community. The LCMC offers basic literacy and English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring, ESL classes, computer-based literacy and ESL instruction, and English conversation classes. The organization relies on volunteers to help provide many of its direct services.
For more information, visit www.literacycouncilmd.org and check out LCMC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote for Maryland Question 6 (Marriage Equality) on Tuesday

You'll find below a guest blog written by someone who cares deeply about marriage equality -- across the country but specifically in Maryland. Please read and consider the critical nature of voting FOR Question Six on the Maryland ballot tomorrow.

Dear friends,

Tomorrow is election day, and I am writing to ask for your support on an issue that is very important to me -- marriage equality. Your ballot will include several questions. On Question 6: same-sex marriage, I ask that you please vote FOR the referred law. A YES vote on Question 6 is a vote for fairness and religious freedom.

What is Question 6?

Passage of Question 6 would, for the first time, affirm the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maryland. This issue may seem noncontroversial, but it is not. 30 states currently ban all forms of marriage except one-man-one-woman couples. While a handful of states (and the District of Columbia) provide full civil marriage equality rights as a result of legislation or court decisions, no state has ever voted popularly to do so. Maryland would be the first, and we hope that it will be joined on Tuesday by Maine and Washington.

The latest polls of likely voters have shown support hovering around 50% in Maryland -- too close for comfort.

So, while you might think Barack Obama has Maryland in the bag -- and you would be correct -- it is still important to vote for Question 6.

Where do I vote?

Take a moment to look up your polling place and make sure you are registered to vote. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You don't have to bring a thing -- not even your driver's license. Commit to voting and make a plan for what time you will go. There could be a line at the beginning or end of the day. As long as you are in line by 8 p.m., you should be permitted to vote.

It would mean so much to me if you would commit to voting FOR Question 6. More information is available from Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

Please forward this message to someone who might need a reminder. Thank you!

* * * * *

Below is the Washington Post Endorsement of Question 6:

When [Gov.] O’Malley signed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act in March, the law’s effective date was pushed to January, giving opponents time to petition the question onto the November ballot. A vote for the landmark law would allow it to go into effect and permit committed same-sex couples to wed. It would also make Maryland the seventh state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to approve marriage equality.

Here’s what the law would not do: It would not force clergy to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs. Nor would religious organizations be required to participate in such ceremonies if they objected. The law strikes the right balance by protecting religious freedom while granting the freedom to marry. We urge Marylanders to vote for the law.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Channel 9 covers tree stumps; auction announcement

Channel 9 came by to shoot the tree stump table and chairs and learn a bit more about the mystery.

Now soliciting your ideas on who is behind this sweet story...

And one last announcement - Thanks to the brilliant suggestion of a very smart friend, and because I don't feel the table and chairs is mine or anyone's to keep without properly paying this kindness and whimsy forward, the table and chairs will be auctioned off to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief.

Please get in touch if you're interested. Funds will be donated through official channels to American Red Cross Hurricane Relief.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Washington Post story most popular

The excitement continues! Right now, the Washington Post's story on the tree stump table and chairs courtesy of Hurricane Sandy and some local whimsy, is now trending as the most popular story on Post Local!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Washington Post covers tree stump table phenomenon!

After I shared the mysterious tale of the "hurricane fairy" who left a table and chairs made out of the wood from a Sandy-fallen tree, I received some amazing responses:
  • Stop it! The hurricane fairy? Thanks for sharing this adorable story. 
  • Thank you for sharing. It brings a smile to my face knowing someone had some humor in all this.
  • This is a GREAT story. Speaks well the administration and the way the city is being run. I love it!!! I want one!!! 
  • Someone loves you. How nice!
  • That is SO SWEET!!!!  
  • How cool is that? Thank you for sharing the story and photo. Great happenings all around us, we should all share these tales more often! If you ever tire of your new porch furniture, let me know and I'll come take it off your hands - for a trade or your $. I showed it to my daughter and she adored it, asking if she could have one for her tree house. 
  • Wow!! I loved seeing this, thanks for sharing.  Looks like you have a very handy secret admirer!  
  • It sure made me smile, laugh with joy even.
  • This is fantastic - I love it! If I see you outside with a cup of tea next time I come by, I'll say hello!
  • Wow - If that was the city, that's some terrific customer service. I can well imagine the tree guys left you the table and chairs - the teacups may be a playful neighbor? Please let us know if you resolve this friendly mystery!
And now, the story is even more famous thanks to the Washington Post!

Mystery patio set possibly made from fallen tree turns up on Woodley Park porch

Superstorm Sandy claimed more than 150 lives and countless homes as it rampaged through the Caribbean and up along the Eastern Seaboard. But amid the damage and destruction have emerged stories of small and large kindnesses.

Store owners handing out food, those with power allowing neighbors to charge dying cell phones.
Now comes the tale of a truly unexpected gift — patio furniture.

The wind and rain that accompanied Sandy as the storm moved through the Washington region Monday brought down a tree in front of Samantha Friedman’s home in Woodley Park. It landed on an unoccupied car and blocked Cathedral Avenue.

On Tuesday, Friedman returned home from work to find the tree gone from the street and her yard. In its place and on her front porch were a table and four stools, made from what she believes was the toppled tree. Cups, saucers and teapot had been placed on top.

Friedman posted a picture of the new setup on her blog 26minus5 with the caption: “Looks like the city of D.C. left us a present when they removed the tree fallen from Sandy’s winds. The table, chairs AND the tea set appeared on my front porch when I got home from work yesterday.”

The photo spread online when NBC4 Washington featured before and after pictures of the incident on its Facebook page.

But here’s the thing: D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle said the unfinished wooden furniture is not the work of the Urban Forestry Administration, which oversees government tree cleanup in the District.

“I don’t think we had anything to do with it, or at least, that’s the answer we got when we circulated the picture to staff,” Lisle said. “I think our crews are a little bit too busy to be stopping and making tables for people.”

Friedman, 29, emailed the neighborhood listserv in search of the furniture’s creator. A few people offered to buy the stumps, but she declined.

“I didn’t create it and I don’t feel like I own it. I don’t feel like it’s mine to be selling,” Friedman said.
Most people responded in appreciation of what they saw as a bright spot in the aftermath of the superstorm, she said. But no one knows who the “hurricane fairy” might be.

“I wish I knew who made it so they could get the credit,” she said.

Friedman has decided to keep her new porch set. Whoever did it intended to leave it there, she said.

“It’s very quirky and adds this welcoming environment to the front porch,” she said. “It’s a very cute little mystery.”

(Samantha Friedman) - Woodley Park resident Samantha Friedman found a tea set on top of a wooden table and chairs on her porch Oct. 30. She believes they were made from a tree that fell in her front yard during Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29, but has not been able to determine who left the gift.
(Samantha Friedman) - A fallen tree lies across Cathedral Avenue after Hurricane Sandy toppled it Oct. 29.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tree Stump Table on NBC4!

Wow, thanks to NBC4 Washington, the mystery of the tree stump tea service is becoming famous! NBC4 posted before and after pics on its Facebook page and even made the picture its cover photo.

Caption from NBC4 Washington's Facebook page: When life gives you downed trees - make furniture. This is what tree-removal crews left for a Woodley Park resident.

The after and before pics featured at NBC4 Washington's Facebook page - tea set and tree stump table; ginormous tree that fell thanks to Hurricane Sandy

Tree stump table

Looks like the city of D.C. left us a present when they removed the tree fallen from Sandy's winds. The table, chairs AND the tea set appeared on my front porch when I got home from work yesterday.