A house fire in in the 4000 block of Glenrose Street in Kensington caused major damage and required the evacuation of an elderly woman and her caregiver, according to scanner traffic.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service received a call just after 3:15 p.m. on Monday. As many as six fire engines were on the scene, closing a southbound lane of traffic on nearby Connecticut Avenue.
Sections of the home’s living room, garage and upstairs appeared to sustain heavy damage. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Assistant Chief Scott Graham said he was awaiting an incident report before releasing information.
Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) wants state transportation officials to consider using the shoulder lanes of the American Legion Bridge to ease traffic on a notoriously clogged section of the Beltway.
The impetus for a letter Berliner and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova sent last week to their respective state transportation agencies is the pending introduction of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on the Virginia section of the Beltway.
Berliner is concerned that the HOT lanes, and the seven-mile gap between them and the I-270 HOV lanes in Maryland, will cause the American Legion Bridge to become even more of a “chokehold” for Montgomery County commuters.
Those concerns set up what Berliner characterized as a historic July meeting between officials from Montgomery and Fairfax Counties.
“Montgomery County and Fairfax County have literally never sat down together,” Berliner said Monday. “We can compete for new business but we can talk together. We can work together. We have put this before the state highway leaders and said, ‘We need you to understand that by the end of the year, Virginia will have these HOT lanes and the traffic is only going to get worse.’”
The HOT lanes will run from the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road.
“This effort is designed to see if we can come up with an interim solution, not a perfect solution,” Berliner said.
The letter specifically asks the state transportation agencies to examine using shoulder lanes as exclusive bus lanes or for general HOV traffic during peak hours.
Flickr photo by raueri
A group of local entrepreneurs got a crash course in how to pitch their businesses at Startup Maryland’s stop in Bethesda on Monday afternoon.
A select few then got to board the bus, stopped at the corner of Cordell and Woodmont Avenues near Bethesda Green, and film a three to five minute pitch to be judged by a panel of experts.
The top eight businesses statewide will move on to a November entrepreneur expo. The winner and runner-up will get spots in major 2013 pitch events, where Startup Maryland hopes they can find angel investors and other connections to help their businesses prosper.
“We’ve been flabbergasted by the number of people, the diversity of the businesses,” said Julie Lenzer Kirk, executive director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and an organizer of the project. “There are some real gems here that we just don’t hear about. So that’s what we want to do, we want to bring these incredible companies into the light.”
The Bethesda Green stop was one of three planned for Montgomery County, and according to organizers, a natural place to find start-up businesses looking for money and exposure.
“We know it’s here. This was one of the more comprehensive stops,” said Michael Binko, another organizer of the tour whose Kloudtrack financial services firm began in Bethesda in the offices of an angel investor.
A panel including Honest Tea founder and CEO Seth Goldman gave critiques of proposals during an afternoon workshop that included pitches from Bethesda-based Gator Ron’s Zesty Sauces, A.I.R. Lawn Care and Joyful Bath Co.
Binko and Kirk are encouraging people to vote on the video pitches when they go online in October. For more information on Startup Maryland, visit its Facebook page.
Maryland Senators Ben Cardin (D) and Barbara Mikulski (D) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) came to Bethesda on Monday to cut Montgomery County a $40 million check.
The state’s Congressional delegation was out in full force to tout federal funding it helped secure for the Wisconsin Avenue pedestrian tunnel crossing project at the Medical Center Metro station.
The project, to be designed, constructed and managed by Montgomery County, will connect the National Institutes of Health with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center via a shallow tunnel and bank of high-speed elevators down to the Metro platform.
It’s entirely funded by Federal grants and is scheduled to be completed by 2016. The $40 million portion of funding came from the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment, the Department of Defense’s main grant manager of BRAC-related projects.
“We were successful in achieving something that actually a lot of other states weren’t able to achieve, and that is to have the Department of Defense help us mitigate the very, very real local impacts on traffic congestion of a BRAC decision,” Van Hollen said.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager Rich Sarles said use of the Medical Center Metro station has increased by eight percent in the last two years, after Walter Reed moved onto the Naval Medical Center campus.
The crossing is meant to ease traffic and provide a safer pedestrian crossing for staff at WRNMMC.
Holmes said about 3,000 people crossed at the intersection before BRAC added Walter Reed to the base. Studies estimated about 7,000 people would have used the crossing by 2020 if not for the underground alternative.
“It couldn’t be clearer at Bethesda, the problem that you have,” Cardin said. “I appreciate the fact that this gathering was called late morning on a Monday. You should’ve called it 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. Then you understand the problem that you have here. You understand the need.
Cardin also touted the project as “precedent-setting,” what he called the first ever example of Federal funding for a BRAC-related project beyond on-base improvements.
“We believe in the mission of these two agencies and we thank our local community for your patience during this difficult time,” Mikulski said. “But at the end of the day, we’re gonna have more jobs, better healthcare, honor our promises to our veterans but also our promises to our country of the great innovation that goes on here.”
When it’s finished, “The Warehouse: Project 4.1″ will be the only “urban haunted house” of its kind in Montgomery County.
Hoover, a Kensington native, got the idea for a haunted house production company after taking a bus trip to Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream. His group, Hallow Inc., is building its first such project in the upstairs space that was formerly Filene’s Basement, about a block away from the White Flint Metro Station.
“We wanted something that differentiated ourselves from the other haunted houses,” Hoover said. “You don’t have to get in your car and drive an hour and wait an hour in line. You don’t have to put on boots and trudge through the mud.”
Hoover said he hopes to add a new haunted house in a new city each year, possibly with different stories. This year’s narrative is based on a lab company that attempted to create the perfect human, before things went wrong.
The scenario will include about 70 zombies in 37,000 square feet of mock offices, laboratories, contamination pods and a morgue.
“We put a premium on realism,” Hoover said. “The zombies look real, the rooms look real.”
The group’s promotional team has been busy handing out fliers and trying to attract a following in lower Montgomery County and Washington.
Hoover said the privately funded enterprise will look for a more permanent space next year. The Mid-Pike Plaza is slated to be transformed into the mixed-use Pike & Rose development in the next few years. Construction on part one of the project started in the summer.
For more information, including dates and prices, visit Hallow Inc.’s website.
Speakers this year include ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, Bravo TV reality star Rosie Pope and actor/comedian Richard Belzer.
Wilbon will lead things off with a discussion of “The Best American Sports Writing 2012″ on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Equinox.
The rest of the schedule after the jump.
Bethesda Firm Gets Nod From Trumps — Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka hired Streetsense, a Bethesda-based real estate and design firm, to select retailers for the their planned luxury hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion. [Washington Post]
Escalators Go Down at Bethesda Metro — After scheduled track repairs closed the Bethesda Metro station this weekend, WMATA on Monday morning said all escalators to the station were out of service because of mechanical problems. WMATA reported the escalators were back open just before 7 a.m. The Metro station’s elevator is still closed for repairs. [WMATA via Twitter]
B-CC, Whitman get wins, Walter Johnson Not As Lucky — B-CC quarterback David Hogan rushed for 127 yards to lead the Barons to a 39-18 win on Friday against visiting Kennedy. B-CC evened its record at 2-2, as did Whitman with its 10-0 victory against Springbrook. Walter Johnson (2-2) allowed 15 fourth quarter points before losing to visiting Poolesville in overtime, 35-28. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Andrew-Benson