Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brief reflections upon my return from India with our County’s Sister Cities Delegation

NOVEMBER 23, 2014 - Sunday


Feed, Heal, Shelter, and Educate the World.
(Brief reflections upon my return from India with our County’s Sister Cities Delegation.)


The new video for Band Aid Thirty came out recently. It is a remake of the 1984 “Do they know it is Christmas (Feed the Word)”.  It has appropriately been re-positioned as “Heal the World” to address the Ebola crisis.


While certainly cheesy - and very much a Hollywood approach to the catastrophic situation - it still works. Not perfect; yes, cheesy. But meaningful. I thank the artists for taking the time and effort to (re)make it for a new generation. It is a solid addition to our tradition of Christmas songs. (I know that in our jaded world is so easy to criticize. But…)


It is not lost on me that the first version released 30 years ago was released when our oldest son was born. We were young and idealistic. We bought the t-shirt. Proudly contributed and figured we were being part of the solution to that ravaging famine that struck Ethiopia at the time.


Little did I know at that time that Africa would become an integral part of my life. My wife's (Geraldina Dominguez) work has taken her to countless African nations in the battle against that other devastating, ugly - and still relevant - issue of HIV/AIDS. My local community work has also taken us to Ethiopia as part of the our County’s Sister Cities Delegation. And we remain intimately connected with our local, diverse, and wonderful Continental African communities - including those being most impacted by Ebola.


30 years have changed a lot of things. Yet some remain so radically the same.


We just returned from another Sister Cities venture. This time to India. Our Sister City is Hyderabad, but we also visited New Delhi, Agra (The Taj Mahal), Mumbai, and Amritsar (The Golden Temple). On the way there we also had a 6 hour layover in Dubai.


It was so evident that the need to feed the world - and heal the world - is as dire today as 30 years ago. Not only in Africa, but Asia, Latin America, and most of the southern parts of the world… Yes, Band Aid Thirty is timely - and still as relevant.


In these times of Holidays in America it is indeed very appropriate to take time to discern how we individually, as a neighborhood, community, city, state, nation and world react to this need to feed and heal the world.


We are each of course called in different ways. Some help in their local soup kitchens while others write the policies that guide the United Nations efforts to eradicate world hunger. All contribution is worthy. They all have merit.


And, it is not just ‘feeding and healing’ that warrants attention. It is also ‘shelter and education’ - and many other components of the social, public, private, faith and philanthropic sector… Indeed, things can be so complicated, and seem so hopeless - and are so often analysed to the point of paralysis - that ‘helping’ seems useless and meaningless.


Yet there are so many amazing efforts to do just that: Feed, heal, shelter, and educate the world.
  • No doubt that when we materially feed and heal the world we are spiritually enriched.

  • No doubt that when we shelter and educate the world our foundation is strengthened; our knowledge enlightened.

It may be stating the obvious, but it is amazing how most faith traditions and non-sectarian institutions agree on the simple point that a better fed, healthier, sheltered, and educated people constitute a better society. It is so amazing to see so many faith traditions and non-sectarian institutions work on these matters.


In our India visit we shared with rural schools, dialysis hospitals, places for the mentally challenged and homes for the destitute and maimed. Most are run by faith communities with little - and in some cases no - government support. The dedication, love, and empathy of the people that operate these facilities is nothing short of miraculous. No doubt that money is not their driving force, to say the least. (We are fortunate in our County to have a wonderful Indian-American community that remains very connected to these real needs ‘back home’ and stand ready to welcome others in these initiatives. Much more to follow on these opportunities in the months to come as the Sister Cities efforts reconvene. Stay tuned.)


Personal reflection


As happens to many people it was the face of the children, their smiles, and their beautiful eyes that was personally most impactful of all sensory experiences while in India. The Taj is spectacular. The Golden Temple magnificent. The poverty overwhelming. The crowded streets tax all senses.


  • Yet it was the face of the children, their smiles, and their beautiful eyes - their evident eternal, innocent hope; their evident resolve - that I will forever take with me.

Oh, of course I contributed to the cause. Of course I will send more money. Of course I will talk up the need for others to do the same and more… But, let there be no doubt: I am so convinced that these children will build a better India. These children will build a better world - if only we adults stop our senseless wars and exuberant materialistic ambitions...


These children deserve better.


And - running the risk of touching a highly sensitive topic - particularly the girls: They definitely deserve better.


It was jarring to visit a rural school where all boys had sandals, but none of the girls did. The girls are dispensable. Female feticide and infanticide is a very real issue.


(Sometimes I want to cry out: Wrong. So wrong. All wrong. If certain faiths and/or cultural traditions have evolved to the warped place that demeans womanhood, then let’s call it for what it is: a warped, misguided, fanatical, and - yes - inhumane faith and cultural tradition that has no place in these times. We as a human race are better than that.)


But, of course as serious as this one singular topic is, we should not be paralyzed by it to the point of not doing anything about what’s is immediately possible and practical, or take the little steps that make a little difference… Sometimes it is the little things that matter a lot.


So as we begin this our Holiday Season let’s each do what little we can, how ever imperfect and incomplete it may be, to make that little difference: Feed, Heal, Shelter, and Educate the World.

(NOTE: Sometimes I sense that we are being overloaded with images and the power of words is being lost… So, I hope you appreciate just words for now. Pictures and videos of the visit will follow.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

FELIZ CUMPLEAÑO Silver Spring Senior Village!

{Our Silver Spring Senior Village is a year old today. We celebrate! Here’s the formal remarks I will give - with some possible ad-lib, of course!}

Welcome.

Bienvenidos!

And: FELIZ CUMPLEAÑO!

  • Happy First Birthday, Silver Spring Senior Village!

You know, you may be a year young now, but I remember when your parents were in courtship a few years back…

I am so humbled and proud to have being there in the beginning!

(And as a trusted good friend of your parents, I have some stories about the courtship that are best not shared in public… It’d make us all blush.)

What an amazing journey this has been… And:

What an amazing place, this Silver Spring is… Isn't?

  • Last night Geraldina and I were celebrating the birthday of a dear friend literally just down the street in a nearby neighborhood.  We were about oh, 25 folks or so in the course of the evening.  Whites, blacks, brown, and every hue in between. Young, young at heart, children. Folks from Korea, Ethiopia, Latin America, African Americans, and even some people from Massachusetts!

From Lyttonsville to Long Branch and Langley Park;

From Montgomery Hills to Montgomery College;

From Four Corners to the Corner beer & wine store on Sligo Avenue near my house…:

From Takoma Park to Indian Springs and Woodside...

Silver Spring is the Soul, Salsa, and Spirit of Montgomery County.

And, this Senior Village is the heart of Silver Spring:

  • Zip Code 20910 - and vicinity and friends - we welcome all!

(By the way, it is not lost on some that 20910 is one digit transposed from 90210 - Beverly Hills has nothing on us!)

When Geraldina and I talk about the “R” word (retirement) we always end up at the same point: Why go anywhere else? Our house is not new; and yes, the ‘hood is sometimes rough around the edges… But, I can’t think of a more real, welcoming, authentic place to pursue our encore years than the heart of Silver Spring, zip code 20910, right here with the Silver Spring Senior Village.

I mean, where else - within the span of a single week - and this is all based on a true story of this past week alone! - where else can you start the weekend smoking a good cigar at a local cigar shop owned by a Salvadoran; have some locally brewed beer at our new brewery - and stop by to talk to the owner of our future urban winery; have dinner at one of the various iconic restaurants that have been around for decades one day, and the next day have dinner at one of our many Ethiopian restaurants (believe you me - each is a different experience); walk around Saturday morning - even in the rain - and visit with the farmers market on Ellsworth and the craft market on Veterans Plaza; see a quality production of “Ain’t Misbehaving” at our new Black Box Theater; visit with young worshipers at a rock-and-roll church at The Fillmore on a Sunday morning; see movies from Spain and Venezuela at the AFI’s Latin-American Film Festival; share books at a book-swap at Kefa Cafe AND our library!; stroll down Sligo Creek Trail; and enjoy this beautiful afternoon with the good folks of the Silver Spring Senior Village - ALL in zip code 20910!... (And, oh, all the stuff that I still want to do - but that’ll have to wait till next week… By the way, get your ice skates on! See you on the ice rink in the next few days!)

As a proud card-carrying member of this Senior Village I applaud the many - MANY! - folks that have worked so hard to bring it to where it is at… And I also want to applaud all the businesses, partners, and just plaing old good folks that have joined in this journey… And applaud all who are setting the stage for its bright, wonderful, future!

¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑO SILVER SPRING VILLAGE!


Friday, October 10, 2014

retooling time... visit us in these links for now...



We are retooling our blog.

If you'd like to see our recent e-blast, please see list here:
http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=bd8805537d3a89b3ed6979ce2&id=3c5074996e

DO please subscribe to our e-blasts! You can do so from the link here:
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/silverspring

Please follow us on Twitter:
@Reemberto

See u 'round Silver Spring!

Reemberto Rodriguez, Director
Silver Spring Regional Center

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CRITICAL #s TO KEEP HANDY

CRITICAL #s TO KEEP HANDY
9-1-1
Life threatening EMERGENCY

3-1-1
COUNTY INFORMATION on most anything
(If in doubt, call 3-1-1 )

240-777-0311
Alternate 311 number (if you are calling from areas adjacent to, near to, or from other counties)

240-773-TIPS (8477)
ANONYMOUS CRIME TIPS

301-279-8000
To contact the police for NON-emergencies

240-876-2911
Urban District HOTLINE - for downtown issues needing immediate attention

301-949-3010
Park Police- 24 hours 

301-670-8080 
Parks Service Center – problems or repairs in parks (Callers will get a repair ticket # they can track)

STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION [SHA]
Graffiti, pot holes (on Ga Ave, Colesville, E/W Hwy, New Hampshire and other State Roads)
{ For local and county roads: 3-1-1 }

Sign up for Alerts HERE
(NOTE: If you have not signed up for these Alerts yet, please consider doing so NOW.)

Main County “Portal” HERE.

Mobile link to downtown establishments directory HERE.

Ride on Ride On? Help us make it even better!
From Will Kenlaw, Program Manager: Marketing, Advertising, Sales, & Customer Service for Ride On: "Residents and riders can voice their comments, concerns, compliments, and complaints regarding Ride On several ways including:"

  • Call 311 if inside Montgomery County or 240-777-0311 if outside the County, 7 am – 7 pm, Monday - Friday
  • Follow Us on Twitter and tweet us on our Twitter account at www.Twitter.com/RideOnMCT
  • Like us on Facebook and submit comments on our Facebook account at www.Facebook.com/RideOnMCT

  • Write us the old fashioned way via US Mail at Ride On Customer Service, Montgomery County Transit, 101 Monroe Street, 5th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850
.............................................................................................

*Corrections / additions? Please leave a post. Thanks!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

LIST OF STOREFRONT BUSINESS IN FENTON VILLAGE


LIST OF STOREFRONT BUSINESS IN FENTON VILLAGE
(We are updated our www.SilverSpringDowntown.com web-site to make sure these businesses are all listed... But in the meantime, here's the list.)

FENTON VILLAGE
Automotive

AAMCO Transmissions
8129 Georgia Avenue
AK Motors
947 Selim Rd
ATT Towing
8115 Fenton St
Auto Shoppe
912 Philadelphia Ave.
Banner Glass
7900 Fenton St.
Bargain Rent a Car
904 Silver Spring Ave.
Beacon Auto Body
8111 Mayor Lane
Beahm's Auto Service
944 Sligo Ave.
Benjamin's Autobody
943 Sleim Rd
Bob's Toyota Repair
938 Sligo Avenue
Citi Cars
808 Burlington ave
CJ Foreign Car
932 Sligo Ave
CRG Autobody & Repair
936 Sligo Ave
Drive Towing
908 Philadephia Ave
Eddies Auto body
936 Philadelphia Ave.
Enterprise Car Rental
8208 Georgia Ave.
Exxon
8301 Fenton St.
Far East Motors
963 Selim Rd
Fenton Citgo
8333 Fenton St.
G&S Automotive
924 Sligo Ave
Hanagan's Auto Service Center
937 Selim Rd
Hertz Car Rental
8203 Georgia Ave.
J Y Auto Svc
903 Selim Road
King Street Collision
809 King St.
Latino Auto Tech
919 Gist Ave
LG Autobody
936 Philadelphia Ave.
M&D Auto Body & Services
920,926 Sligo Ave
Marcello's Automotive
919 Gist Ave
Meineke Car Care Ctr
8220 Georgia Ave.
Murray's Auto Clinic
999 Philadelphia Ave
Pan American Motors
8400 Fenton St.
Prestige Auto Body, Inc
928 Philadelphia Ave
Pro Auto Repair Svc
8240 Fenton St.
Rossi's Automotive Svc
903 Selim Road
Satellite Motors
8109 Mayor's Lane
Sligo Motors Inc.
934 Sligo Ave
Superior Transmissions
928 Sligo Ave
Takoma Old Town Auto Svc Center
915 Thayer Ave
TNT Auto Parts, Inc.
950 Sligo Ave.
Vilma Auto body Repair
949 Selim Road
Banks/Loans

Premier Bank
Georgia ave
Best Pawn
8217 Georgia Ave.
Capital One Bank
8315 Georgia Ave
Checks Cashed Best
8107 Fenton St.
Kwik Kash
Georgia Ave
Bars/Tavern

Pirates Tavern
8402 Georgia Ave.
Quarry House Tavern
8401 Georgia Ave.
Sidebar
8081 Georgia Ave.
Beauty Salons

Afrikutz Inc
8217 Georgia Avenue
All Star Barbers
920 Gist Ave
Botanica

Claudia's Hair Salon
8126 Georgia Ave.
Crown Wigs
8233 Georgia Avenue
Cyncole's Beauty Salon
937 Bonifant St
Danny's Hair Salon
959 Bonifant St.
Ebony Barbers Unisex Inc
936 Bonifant St
Gentlemen of Distinction
8429 Georgia Ave
Headliners Barber Unisex
946 Wayne Ave
Helen's Nails
903 Silver Spring Ave
Hair Care Unisex
903 Silver Spring Ave
Ivania Hair Salon
8315 Fenton St
Jaha Hair Studio
941 Bonifant St
Johanna Hair Salon
8419 Georgia Ave.
Julies Salon
8125 Georgia Ave.
Lalia Braids & Beauty
8225 Georgia Ave.
Luisa Hair Salon
934 Bonifant
Martin's Hair Salon
8207 Fenton St
Millennium Salon
920 Gist Ave
Nancy Nails
951 Bonifant St.
Noire Salon
8225 Georgia Ave
Orchid Nails
8423 Georgia Ave.
Pam's Nails
910 Thayer Ave.
Perla Hair Salon
8433 Georgia Ave.
Perfect Cuts
8429 Georgia Ave
Salon 8227
8227 Georgia ave.
Sashelvis Hair salon
938Wayne ave
Shalom Easy Salon
8911 Georgia Ave.
Shelton's Hair Salon
910 Gist Ave
Spa Mesu
8215 Fenton St
Urban Nature
937 Bonifant St
Cafes

Fenton Café/Crepes
8311 Fenton Street
Kefa Café
963 Bonifant Street
Kaldis
918 Silver Spring Ave.
Zed's
8225 Georgia Ave.
Zeke's Hookah Lounge
960 Thayer Ave.
Computer/Media/Web Publishing

Blue Sky Films
8215 Fenton St
Ducom Inc.
850 Sligo Avenue
Fleming Aod, Inc.
816 Thayer Ave,
Dance/Fitness/Sport

Capital Akikikai Akido
923 Sligo Ave.
Martial Arts Academy
949 Bonifant St.
Princess Mhoon Dance Institute
923 Philadelphia Ave.
Urban Nation Dance Academy
8113 Fenton St.
Universal Martial Arts Center
8120 Georgia Ave.
Dry Cleaners/Alterations

Sisay Custom Tailoring
8209 Fenton St.
Tailoring and Alteration Ctr
8305 Fenton St.
Tropicana Laundromat
8010 Fenton St
Weller's Dry Cleaners
8237 Fenton St.
Food Shops

Addisu Gebega International Market
8107 Fenton Street
Arat Kilo Mart
818 Easley Street
Ecology Health Food
904 Bonifant Street
Convenience Express
948 Wayne Ave.
7-Eleven
8101 Fenton Street
Safeway
909 Thayer Ave.
Silver Spring Mart
8211 Fenton St.
Thai Market
902 Thayer Ave.
The Nutritional Spot
961 Bonifant st.
Velati's Caramels
8408 Georgia Ave.
Wesenyelesh International Market
901 Silver Spring Ave.
Music/Art/Books

Dale Music
8240 Gerogia Avenue
CD/Game Exchange
8236 Georgia Avenue
Joe's Record Place
8216 Georgia Avenue
Imperial Framing
943 Bonifant Street
Plaza Arts
8201 Georgia Av.
Pyramid Atlantic
8230 Georgia Ave.
Radio Shack
8213 Georgia avenue
Roadhouse Oldies
914 Silver Spring Ave
Silver Spring Books
938 Bonifant St
Non Profit/Educational

B&O Station
8100 Georgia Ave.
Cissel Saxon AL Post #41
905 Sligo Ave.
Create Art Center
816 Thayer Ave,
Crittenton Services
815 Silver Spring Ave.
The Highwood Theater
914 Silver Spring Ave.
Meditation Museum
8236 Georgia Ave.
Nora School
955 Sligo avenue
Quality Time Early Learning
8101 Georgia avenue
Professional

Ashton Rehab
926 Wayne Ave.
Ambassador Animal Hospital
811 Sligo Ave.
Benbasset Sporidas Co. Engineers
905 Silver Spring Ave.
Gran Design
912 Thayer Avenue
Ghion Tax Services
911 Silver Spring Avenue
Jolly Anaba Legal Services
8209 Fenton St.
Maryland Dental Service
8120 Fenton St.
Tana Travel
8207 Georgia Avenue
S.T. Kim & Co. Accountants
910 Silver Spring Ave.
Rapp Funeral Service
933 Gist Ave.
Rubin & Rubin
8404 Georgia Avenue
Restaurants

Abyssinia Restaurant
8221 Georgia Ave
Addis Ababa Restaurant
8233 Fenton St.
Bombay Gaylord
8401 Georgia Ave.
Big Greek Café
8223 Georgia Ave.
Conveninece Express
948 Wayne Avenue
Charm Thai
8408 Georgia Ave.
Dragon city Restaurant
918 Sligp Ave
Fire station #1 Restaurant
8131 Georgia Ave
Gebeta Ethiopian Restaurant
8123 Georgia Ave.
Ghar-E-Kabab
944 Wayne Ave
Golden House
8200 Georgia Ave.
The Greek Place
8417 Georgia Ave
Jackie's Restaurant
8081 Georgia Ave.
La Bamba Restaurant
8241 Georgia Ave.
La Madeliene
8435 Georgia Ave.
Lagano
8305 Georgia Ave
Lesaac Café
8200 Fenton St.
Lotus Café
8077 Georgia Ave
Lucy's Ethiopian
8301 Georgia Ave
Mandalay Restaurant
930 Bonifant St.
Mandarin Restaurant
8411 Georgia Ave.
Manny & Olga's Pizza
8107 Fenton St.
Negril Eatery
971 Thayer Ave
Odalis Restaurant
8251 Gergia Ave
Olazzo
8235 Georgia Ave
Pacci's Pizzeria
8113 Georgia Ave
Pete's New Haven Apizza
926 Wayne ave.
Quarry House Tavern
8401 Georgia Ave
Roger Miller Restaurant
941 Bonifant St.
Taqueria Del Federal
930 Wayne Ave
Thai Derm Restaurant
939 Bonifant St.
Thai Market
902 Thayer Ave
Urban Butcher
8226 Georgia Ave.
Services & Repairs

Arina's Shoe and Leather Repair
8207 Fenton St.
Danco Electronic Service Specialist
929 Gist Ave.
Dog Stay
8122 Georgia ave.
Greyhound
8100 Fenton
Innovative Business Interiors
914 Silver Spring Ave
Moren Watch Repair
8241 Georgia Ave.
Regal Paint
8211 Georgia Avenue
Sure Fit Security
8213 Fenton St
Techxel Computer Repairs
8209 Fenton St.
Travelco International
914 Silver Spring Ave
Shadowstone
850 Sligo Ave.
VoxCam
850 Sligo Ave.
W&W Electric
912 Gist Ave.
Specialty Shops

Alliance Comics
8317 Fenton St
Ambrotos Tattoo
940 Bonifant St.
Atlantic Guns
944 Bonifant St
Checks Cashed Best
8107 Fenton St.
Bonanza Coins
940 Wayne Ave.
Dor Ne Corset Shop
8126 Georgia Avenue
Family First Therapy
816 thayer Ave.
Fleming Aod Inc
816 thayer Avenue
Footlights
938 Wayne ave.
House of Cards
900 Silver Spring Ave
Martinez Jewelry
957 Bonifant St.
Mattress Warehouse
8204 Georgia Ave.
Newstand
8127 Georgia Avenue
Pennyworth Shop
955 Bonifant St
Psychic Reading
8425 Georgia Ave.
Studio Spark
912 Thayer Ave3
Sure Fit Security
8213 Fenton St
Xotic Tobacco
8113 Fenton st.