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by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm 644 0

Fire and Rescue personnel put out a small attic fire in a Rosedale Avenue home this afternoon, temporarily closing off the residential area near the intersection of Rosedale Avenue and Kentucky Avenue.

The call for smoke in the attic came in around 3 p.m. on Monday. Smoke could be seen coming from under the roof at the home in the 4500 block of Rosedale Avenue.

Firefighters used chainsaws to cut a hole through the roof to access the attic and quickly extinguished the fire.

The homeowner called with reports of smoke from the attic and told firefighters she had recently had workers in the house. She was unharmed on remained on the scene.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm 551 0

About 150 guests checked out a new exhibit of hand-blown art glass during an artists reception on Saturday at Glen Echo Park.

The “Perspectives in Glass,” show opened on Oct. 6 and will run through Oct. 28 in Glen Echo Park’s Popcorn Gallery (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo).

It features works by resident artist Paul Swartwood with Mark Hill and Carol Hurwitch, shown creating her signature “ball gowns” in the video above.

The gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. and at other times by appointment.

For more information, visit the exhibit website.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm 1,021 2 Comments

Some resident members of a local advisory group are concerned about the balance of jobs, housing and public amenities in Bethesda as a new wave of development begins.

In a draft letter introduced on Friday, members of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group asked for County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and other Council members to look at moving up a revision of the 1994 Bethesda Central Business District (CBD) Master Plan, the document that dictates zoning guidelines and planning priorities for the area.

“Now is the time to recalibrate the balance of jobs, housing and public amenities that will allow the Bethesda area to continue to function [as] the economic engine for Montgomery County,” the draft letter read. “Residents of the CBD are particularly concerned that the level of new development allowed under the current sector plan may begin to tax the public services in the area.”

Not all the members of the Action Group, a group of residents, developers, business representatives, Bethesda Urban Partnership officials and other stakeholders created in 2006, shared that view.

The concerns have long been a point of emphasis of group member Jon Weintraub, chair of the Downtown Bethesda Condominium Association.

More than a dozen apartment, mixed use retail or office projects are planned or under construction in the CBD area.

Many of the projects require amendments to the 1994 Master Plan, which limited building heights and densities. Weintraub, who has previously said he is not against development, is concerned those case-by-case amendments don’t examine the cumulative effects development could have on roads, schools or Metro use.

The group will likely edit the letter before sending it to County Council representatives.

At its last semi-annual review of the Planning Department Master Plan schedule, the council was advised of a number of plans ahead of Bethesda in the work schedule.

Planning staff is scheduled to begin work on the plan in spring of 2014, a process that could take up to three years.

Flickr photo by IamJomo

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm 542 0

After 24 years, Fannie Mae last year announced it would no longer hold its popular annual pre-Thanksgiving Help the Homeless Walk on the National Mall, instead opting for a series of “mini-walks” in local communities.

That caused concern for some, who saw the highly visible event that raised more than $90 million for area homeless programs as a much-needed fundraising boost as homelessness grows.

So far, Bethesda homelessness nonprofit Bethesda Cares has been able to manage the loss of the event with its own series of walks. The group has brought in $4,290 to date, according to finance and administrative manager Linda Caplan.

On Sunday, Bethesda Cares received a number of walk-up donations at its Bethesda Homeless Walk at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

There are other events scheduled, including an “Exercise for a Cause” program at Rock Creek Sports Club (8325 Grubb Rd., Silver Spring). Participants can make a donation for a free, three-day pass to the club.

There is also a mini-walk scheduled for Oct. 28 at the Bethesda Cares offices (7728 Woodmont Ave.). The Bethesda United Methodist Church is sponsoring the walk.

Caplan said she expects the total amount of donations to increase. The online goal for Sunday’s walk was $500.

Bethesda Cares provides eviction prevention, a meal program, clothing closet and psychological services for the as many as 72 homeless people in Bethesda, and others facing financial difficulty.

For more information, visit the Bethesda Cares website.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am 545 0

The children’s theater and arts education program at 4908 Auburn Ave. will have its annual gala and silent auction on Saturday to help support its shows, after-school programs and summer camps.

To celebrate the occasion, gala-goers will see a one-night only performance of “James and the Giant Peach.”

Tickets are $250 a person. The company will also present singer Mario Arnauz Bonds with its Imagination Award. The Lanham, Md., native was a contestant on the second season of “The Glee Project,” and despite being blind has become a successful musician, songwriter and voiceover artist.

Past recipients of the award include actors Dennis Haysbert and Christopher Reeve.

The event will also include a silent auction, which along with a cocktail reception kicks off the evening at 6:30.

Featured items include the chance to be Nickelodeon CEO for a Day and tickets to see Wynton Marsalis.

For more information on the gala, visit the event website.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 9:30 am 802 0

Utility work around the site of a 360-unit apartment project could cause some traffic disruptions on Battery Lane and Woodmont Avenue, possibly by the end of this week.

Developers of the 8300 Wisconsin Ave. project have electrical installation permits to begin work that will periodically close off a lane of Battery Lane near the intersection with Woodmont Avenue, said Bethesda Urban Partnership Deputy Executive Director Jeff Burton at a Woodmont Triangle Action Group meeting on Friday.

Developer StonebridgeCarras will also build two underground vaults on Woodmont Avenue, one that must stretch across the Woodmont Avenue and Battery Lane intersection almost to Public Parking Garage 35, Burton said.

StonebridgeCarras is hoping to have permits to begin digging for the apartment and retail project in March.

Owners of the site recently applied for an environmental cleanup program with oversight from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The project, on the long-vacant site of a former Clarion hotel, would bring the apartments and a rumored Harris Teeter grocery store to the northern edge of downtown Bethesda.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 15, 2012 at 8:30 am 632 0

Whitman Student With Rare Disease Named Homecoming Princess — Alexis Hanford, 16, contracted a rare flesh-eating disease that has left her unable to walk. On Friday, she was named homecoming princess at Walt Whitman High School. [Washington Post]

Man Charged in Chevy Chase Arson To Undergo Mental Evaluation — Abraham Kiflu, 25, the man charged with burning down much of the Chevy Chase apartment complex he lived in with his parents, pleaded not criminally responsible to the May incident. Kiflu pleaded not guilty to the charges in June. Now, his defense attorney is suggesting he is mentally unable to stand trial. [The Gazette]

B-CC Falls to Rockville Rival Wootton — Wootton beat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School football team 40-20 Friday to drop the Barons to 4-3 with three games remaining and the chase for a second straight playoff berth on. [Washington Post]

Flickr photo by John Dylan O’Leary

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