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Van Hollen, Timmerman Spar In Candidate Forum

by BethesdaNow.com | September 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm | 1,320 views | 3 Comments

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) faced off against his Republican District 8 challenger in an at-times testy debate Friday at a senior community in Gaithersburg.

“I’ve never seen so much misinformation in so little time,” Van Hollen said of Republican Ken Timmerman’s remarks.

Timmerman, a Kensington investigative journalist, is hoping to unseat the five-term incumbent and leader in the Democratic party on the strength of rural voters new to the reshaped district.

In a hour-long forum, Timmerman accused Van Hollen of lying about job growth, contributing to a federal government deficit that has become a “disgrace,” and imposing burdensome regulations on healthcare by supporting the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.”

“You can not ram this kind of compromise down the throats of the people,” Timmerman said of the Affordable Care Act. He said his first vote, if elected, would be to repeal the law.

Van Hollen responded by saying that would leave many aged 18 to 26 without healthcare, something that could “bankrupt” their families if they were to need medical care.

Timmerman emphasized his campaign work in rural Frederick and Carroll Counties, new to the 8th District, and criticized Van Hollen for proposing a sequestration alternative that would cut direct aid to farmers.

Van Hollen said the cuts in direct aid to farmers would not affect many Marylanders and was something that had bipartisan support.

“I have spent most of my life investigating career politicians, like my opponent,” Timmerman said in his opening remarks. “Democrats have been in control of the House since January 2007. They did absolutely nothing to avert the crisis that hit us that June and did nothing to make things right. They had their chance. It’s time for a change.”

As they shook hands after the forum, Van Hollen appeared to ask Timmerman to “stop lying.” Timmerman responded by telling Van Hollen to “show up,” a theme the Republican has been harping on in campaign mailers.

The forum was organized by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and included a District 6 portion before Van Hollen and Timmerman squared off. Incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) did not attend to take audience questions with his Democratic challenger, financier John Delaney.

Rescue Squad Preparing For Pair of Public Events

by BethesdaNow.com | September 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm | 432 views | No Comments

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (5020 Battery Lane) will host a pair of events geared toward the public in the next week, including Sunday’s Oyster and Shrimp Feast and an annual open house on Oct. 6, to go along with Taste of Bethesda.

The Oyster and Shrimp Feast is Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Rescue Squad’s Anastasia banquet room.

The fundraising event typically attracts around 300 Rescue Squad members, their families and Bethesda area residents.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 the day of the event. For more information contact the Rescue Squad at its website.

The open house, “Rescue Day 2012,” will feature a tour of the station, equipment demonstrations and the squad’s 1972 Cadillac ambulance.

Prescription Take-Back Day Is Tomorrow

by BethesdaNow.com | September 28, 2012 at 11:45 am | 298 views | No Comments

As part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, local health representatives will be on hand tomorrow at the Friendship Heights Village community center (4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take unwanted, unused or outdated prescription drugs.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration runs the event, which in April resulted in the collection of a record 276 tons of prescription medication from more than 5,000 sites for proper disposal.

The four DEA Drug Take-Back Days have resulted in a total removal of 1.5 million pounds, or 774 tons, of prescription drugs from circulation.

DEA Administration Michele Leonhart said the agency is still working on a uniform system for prescription drug disposal.

From the event website:

Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution. These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our state, federal, local, and tribal partners and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription drugs have become the primary contributor to the country’s increase in drug overdose rates.

Flickr photo by deathtiny42

Montgomery County Retains AAA Bond Rating

by BethesdaNow.com | September 28, 2012 at 10:45 am | 721 views | No Comments

County Executive Isiah Leggett announced yesterday that Montgomery County has retained its AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies, an encouraging sign for the county’s economy as the threat of federal sequestration looms.

County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) accompanied Leggett to New York a few weeks ago to meet with representatives of the bond rating agencies —Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s — and on Monday said Moody’s indicated it would link Montgomery County with sequestration, if it happens.

“We have argued to Moody’s that our community is no longer dependent as many are,” Berliner said. “We are a far more diverse economy. We have asked for the opportunity to make that case to them.”

Almost $1.2 trillion in federal cuts are set to kick in Jan. 2, unless Congressional lawmakers figure out an alternative plan. Sequestration would mean federal job losses in both defense and domestic agencies and could mean as many as 12,600 job losses in the state of Maryland, according to an AP report.

It’s unclear how many federal jobs in Montgomery County would be at risk. Two major federal employers, NIH and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, call Bethesda home, as well as a number of private federal government contractors that could also be affected.

The AAA bond rating is important because it allows the county to issue bonds for capital borrowing at the most favorable rates, which in turn saves taxpayers “millions of dollars a year,” according to a county press release.

Montgomery County was one of 38 counties, out of 3,140, to achieve the AAA rating from all three agencies, which Leggett attributed to his effort to close the budget gap during the recession.

“With the tough decisions and actions the County has taken during my administration, we are successfully rebuilding our financial foundation and are on the right path to fiscal sustainability,” Leggett said in a prepared statement. “We continue to make the hard choices necessary to put ourselves on a much stronger fiscal footing, lowering our revenue estimates to reflect economic conditions and building our revenue base by planning for growth and attracting businesses and jobs.”

Over the past six years, the county has reduced more than 1,200 jobs and cut employee pensions.

“These changes were critical to continuing the work I began when first elected to put the County’s fiscal house in order and reduce unsustainable spending,” Leggett said. “The economic downturn made that work even more critical.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Event Oct. 5 at BlackFinn

by BethesdaNow.com | September 28, 2012 at 9:35 am | 655 views | No Comments

For 3 Sisters, a breast cancer awareness nonprofit created by Montgomery County firefighter Marshall Moneymaker, is coming to Blackfinn American Saloon (4901 Fairmont Ave.) on Oct. 5 for a special event and happy hour to celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Moneymaker, assigned to Bethesda Station 6 at Wisconsin Avenue and Bradley Boulevard, lost three sisters to breast cancer and along with his wife, Shannon, created the For 3 Sisters organization to raise money and awareness for the cause.

BlackFinn reached out to the group as part of their month-long charity focus on breast cancer awareness groups, Shannon Moneymaker said.

People can meet Marshall Moneymaker and donate $5 to For 3 Sisters for access to happy hour specials.

Photo courtesy For 3 Sisters

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | September 28, 2012 at 8:30 am | 493 views | No Comments

Celebrated D.C. Food Truck Coming North — Chef Jose Andres’ Pepe food truck will make stops at NIH, Bethesda Row and Friendship Heights, the company announced yesterday. [Huffington Post DC]

Rock Creek Park Runners Report Owl Attacks — A number of runners in Rock Creek Park have recently reported owl “attacks” during their jogs. A Bethesda man said his running group was attacked along Glen Cove Parkway. [WTOP]

$499 Million Contract Awarded to Renovate National Intelligence University — A Baltimore company was awarded the contract to renovate Bethesda’s Intelligence Community Campus along Sangamore Road. The campus, which was vacated by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency as part of BRAC, will include the National Intelligence University and employees from a number of other agencies, totaling 3,000 employees by 2017. [The Gazette]

Flickr photo by gastwa

Bethesda Duo Hopes BBQ Business Can Help Cure ALS

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm | 818 views | No Comments

Ron Griffith’s barbecue sauce and bloody mary mixes were the stuff of legend for friends who would vacation with Ron and his wife Connie near Annapolis.

But before the Bethesda man could chase his dream of making the recipes into a viable business, he grew sick with ALS, the degenerative neurological disease that led to his death in November 2011.

Now, with the help of her friend Debbie Kaufmann and the Bethesda Green business incubator, Connie is continuing Ron’s pursuit with a renewed focus. A percentage of all profits from her Gater Ron’s Zesty Sauces & Mixes will be donated to the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins. The two have started a website where people affected by ALS can find resources.

On Monday, Kaufmann, the Bethesda resident who quit her job to help grow the business, made a pitch at Startup Maryland’s bus tour stop on Cordell Avenue.

The winner and runner-up in that small business contest will get access to a number of prominent investors and potential funding sources. Kaufmann said trimming the presentation from 12 minutes to five minutes was hard enough. After her mock-pitch in front of a panel of judges that included Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman, she was told she might need to cut it down even more.

As Kaufmann and Griffith explained the origin of the business on Thursday, they said there’s a whole lot more to tell.

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‘Tunnel Vision’ Art Project Honored

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | 723 views | No Comments

The collection of 12 paintings and photos in the Bethesda Metro station pedestrian tunnel today received an award for urban design and use of public space.

“Tunnel Vision: Arts Under The Avenue,” won a “Downtown Merit Award” from the Washington, D.C.-based International Downtown Association in the Public Space category.

The Bethesda Urban Partnership established the exhibit under Wisconsin Avenue in May with funding from 16 local companies.

The works of art were chosen from more than 200 submissions and improvements in the tunnel included cleaning and new LED lighting, which the BUP claims has reduced energy use by 80 percent.

Crime Report: Sept. 10 to Sept. 18

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm | 406 views | No Comments

There was a rash of vehicle thefts earlier this month in Chevy Chase, and all apparently involved unlocked cars:

Multiple thefts from vehicles occurred during several overnight time periods between Tuesday, 9/11 and Friday, 9/14 in the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood off of East West Highway in Chevy Chase. Unlocked vehicles parked in residential areas were entered. A wallet, GPS units, sunglasses, and other loose items left inside were taken.

Two thefts from vehicles occurred overnight from Thursday, 9/13 to Friday, 9/14 in this [E1] Chevy Chase beat. Unforced entry was gained into two vehicles, one on Norwood Drive and one on Drummond Avenue. Loose change was taken.

The rest of the Sept. 10-Sept. 18 crime summary after the jump.

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Hazmat Team on Scene of River Road Gas Station Leak

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm | 825 views | 1 Comment

A gas refueling truck ruptured an underground gas tank at the Shell station at River Road and Butler Road shortly after 11 a.m. today, according to a Montgomery County Police officer on the scene.

A Montgomery County Hazmat team was called to the station and emergency personnel were pouring an absorbant on the gas that had leaked onto Butler Road.

The officer described the leak as “minimal.” Butler Road was taped off and a portion of the right lane of River Road was closed just north of the intersection with Little Falls Parkway.

The refueling truck, which was still on the scene, reportedly backed up and punctured the underground tank, causing the leak.

 

Strathmore Adds Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Ira Glass to Schedule

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | 489 views | No Comments

The Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane) yesterday announced the addition of nine shows to its 2012-2013 lineup, including appearances by singers Olivia Newton-John and Gladys Knight and “This American Life” host Ira Glass.

Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. today.

For more information and a full schedule of events visit the Strathmore’s website.

From the press release:

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

Friday, November 16, 2012

8 p.m.

Tickets $38-$78

The pop icon, immortalized by the infinite popularity of Grease and Xanadu, is a four-time Grammy winner, a breast cancer survivor, passionate advocate for women’s health, and an actress eclectic enough to have played a mulleted ex-con bar singer on the LOGO series Sordid LivesNewton-John is an artist of many colors. At Strathmore she delivers a show that spans her pop hits , from favorites such as “Physical” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You” to her more recent musical explorations. Expect “melodic warmth, regal vocals” and a timeless star who is “soulfully committed to every word she sings” (Billboard).

GLADYS KNIGHT

Thursday, April 25 & Friday, April 26, 2013

8 p.m.

Tickets $58-$128

Eight-time Grammy winning Empress of Soul Gladys Knight reigns supreme at Strathmore with a two-night engagement this spring. Knight has packed many lifetimes into a career that has embraced gold records, sold-out concerts, film performances and most recently a spin on “Dancing with the Stars.” The icon shares a soul-stirring mix of Gladys Knight’s greatest and newest hits.

REINVENTING RADIO: AN EVENING WITH IRA GLASS

Saturday, June 29, 2013

8 p.m.

Tickets $38-$68

Go behind the scenes of the parallel universe that is public radio’s This American Life. In the style that has won millions of radio fans, Ira Glass talks about how it all comes together each week, mixing stories from the show, live onstage, with taped selections of stories, recreating the sound of the show as the audience watches. “Mr. Glass is a journalist but also a storyteller who filters his interviews and impressions through a distinctive literary imagination, an eccentric intelligence and a sympathetic heart” (The New York Times).

Bethesda Metro Escalator Difficulties Continue

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 9:45 am | 1,000 views | No Comments

This morning, for the second time this week, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Area Authority reported escalators at the Bethesda Metro station were out of service.

Today’s mechanical issues were fixed in about 10 minutes, said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, thanks to a technician stationed there to keep the escalators working while crews work to replace the elevator, which is closed.

But it’s clear the escalators, at 212 feet the second longest in the Western Hemisphere (behind the escalators at the Wheaton Metro station), are in need of replacement.

Despite pleas from Montgomery County officials to speed up that process, WMATA said the project would proceed as planned, with a construction start date in early 2014.

Stessel said those plans haven’t changed. The planning, design and engineering phase of the project is underway, Stessel said.

The project, which will require a staged removal of the three current escalators, demolition and overhead installation of the replacement parts, is made more complex by two factors: the length of the escalators and the fact they provide the sole entrance to the Bethesda Metro platform.

That’s why WMATA decided to replace the street-to-platform elevator first, Stessel said. That project is within a month of completion.

Until then, if the escalators were to go out of service for a substantial amount of time, WMATA would provide free shuttles from the Medical Center station. Passengers who don’t wish to use the escalators can already request a shuttle from Medical Center.

“I can’t recall a situation where, since the elevator project started, Bethesda station was closed as a result of the escalators not functioning,” Stessel said. “The station has remained open.”

Flickr photo by ehpien

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | September 27, 2012 at 8:30 am | 335 views | No Comments

Bethesda High School Students Score High On SATs — Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson and Whitman High School all had mean 2012 SAT scores above the county average. Whitman led the pack with a 2012 mean SAT score of 1,862. The national average was 1,498. [Bethesda Patch]

O’Malley, State Pols Attend Kensington Fundraiser For Same-Sex Marriage Referendum — Gov. Martin O’Malley and a number of state and county political figures attended a fundraiser Sunday night in Kensington to raise $17,175 for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group making phone calls and doing street canvassing ahead of November’s referendum on the topic. [The Gazette]

Poll Shows Splits On Three Major Ballot Topics — According to a Gonzales research poll, 51 percent of Marylanders will vote in favor of the same-sex marriage act and 43 percent are against. Respondents also favored the DREAM Act referendum by a 58 percent to 34 percent margin. A poll on the casino referendum showed 45 percent would vote for Question 7 and 46 percent would vote against. [WAMU]

Memo Details Effects Of Sequestration On Maryland — Federal sequestration could cost Maryland more than 12,600 jobs and $2.5 billion in wage and salary base, according to a memo by the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. [AP via Yahoo!]

Flickr photo by thegreentrousers

Caddies on Cordell Celebrating 10 Years

by BethesdaNow.com | September 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | 1,063 views | No Comments

Caddies on Cordell is mentioned in most discussions of Bethesda’s bar scene and on Oct. 6, the golf-themed sports bar with the famous outdoor patio will be celebrating 10 years.

“We’ve been lucky,” said manager and bartender Lisa Gormley, who was a customer at Caddies before joining the staff four years ago. “Obviously, places come and go here. Somehow, we’ve found the right formula.”

That formula started with the three original owners, Bethesda natives Gabe Coulon, Chris Sansone, and Andrew Leach, who joined up to create Caddies (4922 Cordell Ave.) after working their way up at various Bethesda area restaurants.

Leach has since opened a new restaurant in Olney, which opened up a spot for Coulon’s brother, Rob, to join the ownership group. The brothers began at the now closed Rio Grande Cafe on Fairmont Avenue.

“We’re all local here. For a lack of a better way to say it, it’s that kind of “Cheers” feel. We know everybody. We know what they drink,” Rob Coulon said. “It’s a place where you don’t have to feel uncomfortable going by yourself because we all get to know you. That neighborhood feel is what keeps us going.”

The sports bar emphasis doesn’t hurt.

Over its 10 years, Caddies has attracted Washington Redskins Hall of Fame running back John Riggins (“I remember having dinner with him right back there,” Coulon said), Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green and golfer Sergio Garcia, who signed one of the golf flags hanging from the ceiling.

Then, in what was likely Caddies’ most famous moment, there was former Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman.

Riggleman, a Rockville native, headed to Caddies after he quit the Nationals job following a game in the middle of the 2011 season. In a moment that will live on in D.C. sports lore, he was photographed drinking with some of his favorite female fans.

“Yeah, well, I was solving the world’s problems last night at Caddies,” Riggleman said in a radio interview the next day. “Hey, I was big in there. My face is up on the screen and everything.”

“Everybody brings that up and that was a wonderful time,” Coulon said. “But that wasn’t the only time he was in here. That just happened to be the one that blew up.”

Caddies 10th Anniversary celebration is set for Oct. 6, from open to close and will include drink specials, giveaways and a DJ from 8 p.m. to close.

Glen Echo Park Partnership Announces Oct. Schedule

by BethesdaNow.com | September 26, 2012 at 11:50 am | 616 views | No Comments

The Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture has announced its October schedule of events, including its annual Fall Frolic Halloween festival.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Fall Frolic will feature pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating and a costume parade around Glen Echo Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The rest of the October schedule is after the jump.

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