by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm 1,122 0


About 20 Kensington residents are without water service tonight and some are without power after a water main broke on a residential street near Cedar Lane.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission was called to the break at about 6 p.m., WSSC spokesman Lyn Riggins said. The six-inch water main under the road in the 4400 block of Glenridge Street is 72-years-old, Riggins said.

“Unfortunately, that’s what happens when you have old pipes. They at some point come to their useful end and they break,” Riggins said.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services instructed Pepco to shut off power to a number of residents as a precaution, Riggins said. About six saw their basements flooded by water from the break.

Riggins said it takes four to six hours to fix a typical break and restore service, though larger breaks can take longer to repair. Workers were arriving on the scene at around 8:45 p.m. to pump out the water from a roughly five-foot deep hole in the road and assess the type of damage to the pipe.

WSSC consumer advocates were talking to residents affected by the break. Riggins said WSSC will provide water to the residents for the duration of the service outage, as is typical.


by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm 1,778 0


A small freon leak in the basement of Suburban Hospital has the emergency room closed to new patients, hospital spokeswoman Ronna Borenstein said.

The leak occurred in the cooling system of a basement computer server room, Borenstein said. Fire and Rescue officials were on the scene of the hospital at 8600 Old Georgetown Rd., and many employees were waiting outside the building.

Borenstein said the leak had no impact on any of the patients inside the hospital, but the ER would not be taking in new patients until the scene was cleared.


by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm 4,425 0


(Updated at 3:25 p.m.)  A Naval Support Activity Bethesda security officer fired a shot at a woman fleeing a car stop near the North campus entrance after she escaped police pursuit in Virginia and was observed eating a bar of soap, police said.

The woman, identified as 27-year-old Angela Akosua Cobbold of Manassas, Va., was finally apprehended at about 12:15 p.m. after she crashed at a construction site near the North Bethesda Harris Teeter grocery store, Montgomery County Police spokesman Paul Starks said.

The incident started at about 11:25 a.m., when Virginia State Police observed Cobbold traveling 93 miles per hour on eastbound I-66, Starks said. At least one officer pursued her until she crossed into Maryland on the American Legion Bridge. The lookout for the vehicle, a black Mitsubishi, was put out to Maryland State Police and MCPD, Starks said.

At about 11:50 a.m., Cobbold drove from Route 355 onto the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center North campus entrance ramp and made a U-turn. She stopped in traffic and NSAB security personnel attempted to speak with her. Starks said officers noticed her biting or attempting to eat a bar of soap.

Cobbold hit a civilian vehicle while she tried to elude those officers, Starks said. She never made it onto base, as NSAB spokesman Joe Macri had said earlier.

Cobbold then exited the entrance ramp and made a left-hand turn to go south on Route 355 before turning around again in the Medical Center Metro parking lot. She came back toward the North entrance on Route 355, and was stopped in the right-hand lane, Starks said.

When a NSAB security officer approached her, she backed into his car and drove onto a grassy area off the roadway, Starks said. Starks said another NSAB security officer was on foot in front of the approaching car and fired one shot into Cobbold’s vehicle. She was not hit by the shot, Starks said.

At some point during the confrontation, a NSAB security officer busted out one of Cobbold’s windows with his baton, which caused minor injuries to the officer, Macri said.

Cobbold continued north on Route 355, but in the southbound lanes before turning left on West Cedar Lane. She made a right on Old Georgetown Road before colliding with a fence in a construction area near the White Flint Metro station.

MCPD officers apprehended her and took her to a hospital, Starks said, though he wasn’t sure if she was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm 819 0

It’s two weeks to election day and if you can navigate your way through the barrage of ads down the home stretch, some local yoga studios are hoping you’ll come in to enjoy a day of free classes.

On Nov. 6, a number of area yoga studios will hold free classes.

“On Election Day, Nov 6th, the Washington DC area yoga community stands for unity by bringing people together in complimentary yoga classes all day,” reads extendYoga’s website.

The North Bethesda studio (12106 Wilkins Ave.) will be one of five Bethesda studios to participate.

Bikram Yoga Bethesda (7832 Wisconsin Ave.), Down Dog Yoga (4733 Elm St.), Simon Says Yoga (4701 Sangamore Rd.) and Yoga Fusion (4609 Willow Lane) will also take part.

Flickr photo by bgill02

by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 10:45 am 679 0

On Sunday, the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights will induct three Bethesda/Chevy Chase residents into its Human Rights Hall of Fame.

Karen Britto, Susan Lee and Dr. Bernice Sandler will receive recognition for their work in promoting racial and gender equality.

The Office of Human Rights has inducted six classes of honorees into the Hall of Fame since it began in 2001. Residents can nominate candidates, to be reviewed and selected by a panel of community representatives.

Britto, a former District 16 Maryland State House Delegate, and Lee, a current District 16 Maryland State House Delegate, will both be recognized for the advances they made for minority women in politics. Sandler, “the Godmother of Title IX“, will be honored for her gender equality work in education.

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

Bios for Britto, Lee and Sandler, as presented by the Office of Human Rights, follow:

Karen Britto (Chevy Chase) – former and first African American Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and former District 16 Delegate.  Britto was nominated for her dedication to promoting human rights and improving the quality of life for all Montgomery County residents, particularly women and minorities.

Susan C. Lee (Bethesda) – As a committed civil rights and women’s rights activist, Lee helped bring to the forefront important issues impacting minorities and women.  She has played a critical role in bringing together diverse ethnic, faith and women’s organizations in Montgomery County to advance common civil rights efforts, eliminate discrimination and promote better understanding and cooperation between those communities.  Lee was the first Asian American woman elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 2002 and has been a champion legislator of civil rights and women issues.

Dr. Bernice R. Sandler (Chevy Chase) – a visionary and pioneer for gender equality in education, Dr. Sandler has spent more than 50 years advocating for women’s rights.  She has been a part of many “firsts” in the fight for gender equality.  In 1970, she was the first person to testify before Congress about gender discrimination in education.  She then became the first person appointed to staff a Congressional committee specifically on issues concerning women’s rights. In 1971, she wrote the first federal policy report regarding sex discrimination in education.  As a result of these efforts, she was appointed to chair the first federal advisory committee on Women’s Educational Equity.

Other inductees include Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger and WUSA9 anchor JC Hayward.

Photo via Maryland State Assembly

by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 9:45 am 1,649 2 Comments

County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) says Montgomery County can serve as a national model of a responsive and efficient electric utility operation, a far cry from the oft-criticized system of today.

To do it, the county would have to wade through the potentially difficult process of negotiating changes with Pepco, the privately-held utility company that provides most of the county’s electricity and that was once named the “most hated company in America.”

Berliner labeled Thursday’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee meeting on the topic as the opening act of a “Utility 2.0″ program.

“Here we have an investor-owned utility that has its own economic interests and a business model,” Berliner said Monday. “We need to change this. We need to experiment.”

Berliner, an energy lawyer who has taken a leading role after the June derecho left thousands without power, envisions the type of microgrid technology — solar power or other means that provide decentralized power to specific communities — that has served institutions in the county well.

Berliner cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration campus in Silver Spring, which has its own microgrid, as an example. He claimed the FDA has never lost power.

Though he hasn’t given up on pursuing a public power option, Berliner was careful to point out “Utility 2.0″ is a separate process.

“This is not buying [Pepco’s] system. This is modeling and piloting a very different kind of utility system because of its experimental nature. In fact, we need Pepco’s collaboration because if they are in resistance, this is going to be a problem,” Berliner said. “I have always recognized it is an uphill battle and therefore, I don’t want to put all my eggs in [the public power] basket. I’m proceeding along parallel tracks if you will.”

Thursday’s committee hearing will include utility representatives from across the country, including from Pepco, Berliner said. He hopes to have a recommendation for the pilot program prepared for Gov. Martin O’Malley by March.

“The technological challenges are not that great. We have a pretty good sense of the kinds of things that can be done,” Berliner said. “It is the regulatory and institutional arrangements that are so difficult to come to terms with. …We need to have an intensive process.”

by BethesdaNow.com — October 23, 2012 at 8:45 am 524 0

Pink Fireman Raises $20,000 For Breast Cancer Research Marshall Moneymaker, the Bethesda firefighter who wears pink in memory of the three sisters he lost to breast cancer, helped raise more than $20,000 for research at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk For the Cure. [Bethesda Patch]

The Facts Behind Maryland’s Casino Gambling Question — Dueling sets of ads are both promoting and questioning the impact a new casino in Prince George’s County and live table games would have on state education funding. The truth behind Question 7 is more nuanced. [Washington Post]

Workout Studio Moving In Near Downtown The Bar Method, a women’s fitness studio with more than 65 locations, is moving in to a ground-floor retail space at the Lionsgate Condominium on Woodmont Avenue. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]

Flickr photo by ehpien


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