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12 New Dog Parks Needed By 2022

by BethesdaNow.com | November 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm | 713 views | 1 Comment

Montgomery County has five public dog parks and only one in the Bethesda area, which is causing some residents and at least one councilmember to pursue additional facilities like it near to or inside the Beltway.

Cabin John Dog Park, part of Cabin John Regional Park (10900 Westlake Dr.), is the closest public dog park to the county’s urban areas, where Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) has argued a growing population of families and others with dogs need more facilities.

At a Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee meeting today, Montgomery County Parks officials presented their 2012 Park Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan. In it is a recommendation for 12 new dog parks (or 24 acres of dog park) by 2022.

A Parks official told the committee those would likely go inside the Beltway in areas such as Bethesda or Silver Spring, where Ervin is pushing for a dog park.

Parks staff discussed an “urban dog park,” which in a smaller available downcounty park space would operate differently than the Cabin John or Wheaton Parks, both located within wide open Regional Parks.

A resident at the hearing suggested the idea of opening up County parks to dogs without leashes before 9 a.m., as is the case in New York City’s Central Park.

Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park said the County’s dog park permitting regulations can be obtrusive. Permits are required for the use of all dog parks managed by M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks.

A Parks survey of need included in the PROS Plan showed dog parks at No. 11, behind facilities including indoor swim centers, natural and hard surface trails and natural areas.

Flickr photo by yakfur

Council President Exploring Deer Management Tactics

by BethesdaNow.com | November 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm | 826 views | 1 Comment

County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) said he’s exploring a number of options for thinning out the area’s deer population at a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday night in Potomac.

A resident complained about the prevalence of deer in his neighborhood and two vehicle accidents he experienced, which he blamed on deer running through the street.

“We’re trying. We get it,” said Berliner, who as a former resident of MacArthur Boulevard near the C&O Canal National Park said he’s had close encounters in the past.

This week, the Council supported a deer management bill proposal as a county priority for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.

The bill would reduce restrictions for archery hunters by allowing them to hunt up to 50 yards from a home with the resident’s permission instead of up to 150 yards from a home. The bill is sponsored Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) who represents parts of East County, Brookeville and Damascus.

Berliner also said he’s asked Maryland’s congressional leaders to help the U.S. Park Service find funding for an Environmental Impact Statement that would allow it to pursue a managed deer hunt in C&O Canal Park.

The Council has “steadily increased funding” for deer management over County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommended totals, Berliner said.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is weighing a managed deer hunt in a section of Rock Creek Park in Chevy Chase. The vast majority of public comment on that plan supported the program.

Flickr photo by John Dylan O’Leary

At B-CC, A Football Tradition Might Be Brewing

by BethesdaNow.com | November 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm | 942 views | 1 Comment

1957, 1958, 1959. That’s the last time the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School football team put together three straight winning seasons, until now.

The Barons are 7-3 and heading to their second straight playoff appearance after not qualifying at all since 1995, a large shift for a school without much of any football tradition.

“I tell the players the last time this has been done, you’re talking about people who are 70-years-old now,” coach Rich Noland said. “So that’s a big deal. This is not your traditional football power.”

With a relatively wealthy population in perhaps the most urban school in very suburban Montgomery County, football has never been a big deal at B-CC. The girls soccer team is on the verge of its fifth straight state title. The boys lacrosse program hopes one day to compete with area private school powerhouses. But football, until now, has been nothing more than a three-month activity in the fall.

Noland made cuts this year for the first time in his four-year tenure. Players have bought in to offseason conditioning programs.

“This is a traditional middle to upper class neighborhood,” Noland said. “So football is really not; football is a blue collar sport. I don’t know if you can get a ‘Bethesda football atmosphere’ but we’ll do the best we can. We’ve gotten the gratitude and we’re doing our best.”

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Crime Report: Oct. 22 to Oct. 30

by BethesdaNow.com | November 8, 2012 at 10:55 am | 357 views | No Comments

Police are looking for a man with a yellow reflective vest and hard hat posing as a utility worker who they say scammed an elderly Bethesda resident:

A residential burglary occurred in the 5200 block of Alta Vista Road, Bethesda on Friday, 10/26 at approximately 9:30 a.m.  A suspect posing as a water utility worker entered the elderly victim’s house under the guise of checking pipes in the basement.  The elderly victim escorted the suspect into the basement, but shortly thereafter heard a noise coming from upstairs.  The victim later discovered property missing.

Suspect: W/M (looked “Mediterranean”), 25-35, 5’6”-5’8”, 150-175 lbs, wore a yellow reflective vest and a hard hat

The rest of the most recent MCPD Bethesda crime summary after the jump.

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Montgomery Mall Tinkers With Movie Expansion Plans

by BethesdaNow.com | November 8, 2012 at 9:30 am | 1,211 views | No Comments

County planners this morning will present a new parking layout and construction phasing plan for Westfield Montgomery Mall’s luxury movie theater expansion.

The Planning Board is expected to approve the plan, which includes an 83.5-foot tall structure with a movie theater on top of a four-level parking garage along Westlake Drive.

Westfield had hoped to have 100 fewer parking spaces approved because of changes in the garage structure. But Planning staff nixed that specific request and recommended Westfield be held to the original condition of 4.42 spaces for every 1,000 square feet of retail.

In January, the Planning Board approved modifications to a 2007 plan to expand the mall by more than 500,000 square feet. Westfield said the expansion would include a modern multiplex with stadium seating on top of an expanded food court to replace the existing three-screen movie house.

In June, it was reported that luxury movie theater chain ArcLight would be building 16 screens in its first expansion outside of California, with an expected opening in 2014.

In July, Westfield submitted a request to reconfigure the 65,000-square-foot section of the expansion that will include the theater. The proposed five-level parking garage will become four levels. Some pedestrian access points were relocated and some changes were made to the layout of the ring road around the mall.

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | November 8, 2012 at 8:30 am | 350 views | No Comments

Bethesda, Chevy Chase Lawyers Give More — Legal sector employees in Bethesda and Chevy Chase were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in campaign donations to President Barack Obama statewide. Bethesda lawyers also came in at the top of the state list in donations to challenger Mitt Romney, though the amount paled in comparison to the more than half a million dollars given to Obama. [The Daily Record]

Bethesda Resident, Election Ad Voice-Over Specialist Had Busy Stretch — Bethesda’s Jane Lueders was the voice on a multitude of Democratic election ads this campaign season and she produced the audio in a closet turned studio in her home. Lueders, who has also done voice-overs for the Department of Defense and Metro, worked so much over the last few months that she lost her voice and had to conduct interviews over email. [Wall Street Journal]

O’Malley Says Referendum System Needs Changing — Gov. Martin O’Malley saw all state ballot questions go his way Tuesday night. But he would like the State Assembly to make it more difficult for opponents of laws to get referendum on the ballot. [WAMU]

Chop’t Salad Location Opening Next Week — Barring construction delays, the popular fast casual salad restaurant will open in the Wildwood shopping center late next week. [Bethesda Patch]

Flickr photo by His Noodly Appendage

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