by BethesdaNow.com — November 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm 898 0

The weather is getting colder, which Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials say means more incidents like today’s on Bradley Boulevard between Burdette and Burning Tree Roads.

WSSC got the call for a water main break there at about 6:26 a.m., spokesman I.J. Hudson said. Crews have been digging to a 16-inch pipe under the road to repair a one-inch leak since then.

Hudson said they will likely be there through the afternoon rush hour, meaning drivers will be redirected around the closure.

Drivers on westbound Bradley Boulevard will be detoured on Burning Tree Road to Hillmead Road to Burdette Road and then back on to Bradley. Eastbound drives will be redirected on the opposite route.

The cast iron pipe was installed in 1962, Hudson said, emblematic of the aging water pipe infrastructure across the region. The WSSC hasn’t seen a huge increase in water main breaks to date with the arrival of colder weather this week.

Temperatures in the 60’s hit the area over the weekend before dropping on Tuesday.

“When the temperatures go back down a couple of days later that’s what happens. When they go back up, it’s the same thing. It’s the expansion and contraction and those brittle pipes give way,” Hudson said. “And Bethesda has some old pipes.”

The WSSC must rehabilitate where possible its entire sanitation system — much of which was built in the 1940s and 1950s — by 2017 by order of an Environmental Protection Agency-enforced lawsuit settlement.

That system includes 5,600 miles of fresh water pipeline and 5,400 miles of sewer pipeline in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.


by BethesdaNow.com — November 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm 972 0

Police say they’ve arrested 27-year-old Byron Govan from the 10000 block of Wamsley Court in White Plains, Md., in an armed carjacking near Rockville Pike in North Bethesda. Govan led police to downtown Silver Spring where he abandoned the car and escaped pursuit on foot.

He was arrested on Nov. 2, according to court records, and eventually charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, unauthorized removal of property, theft of $10,000 to under $100,000, carjacking and robbery.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7.

The crime report reads, “An armed carjacking occurred in the 11200 block of Rockville Pike, Rockville on Wednesday, 10/31 at approximately 2:10 p.m.  The suspect displayed a weapon and obtained the victim’s vehicle.”

Police are also looking for a man they say attempted to rob someone in broad daylight in busy Bethesda Row on Thursday, Nov. 1:

An attempted robbery occurred in the 4800 block of Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda on Thursday, 11/1 at 1:50 p.m.  The suspect unsuccessfully attempted to forcefully remove property from the victim.

Suspect: B/M, 23-28, 6’, 180-190 lbs, black cornrows, wearing a blue work uniform.

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


by BethesdaNow.com — November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm 1,129 0

Lindy Promotions, the Bethesda-based company that puts on bar crawls and parties nationwide, is staying local this holiday season with a Dec. 1 Bethesda Winter Bar Tour.

The Tour, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., will include Bethesda favorites Caddies on Cordell, BlackFinn, Hard Times Cafe, Tommy Joe’s, Union Jack’s, The Barking Dog and Steamers and newer establishments Maggie’s, Freddy’s Lobster and Majestic Bar and Grill.

Tour-goers who register in advance can start at Caddie’s (4922 Cordell Ave.). BlackFinn (4901 Fairmont Ave.) will have walk-up tickets.

Specials include $2 Miller Lites, $3 Blue Moons, assorted food and shot specials and giveaways from Miller Lite and Lindy.

Tickets are $7 on online now, but that rate will increase as the event nears. Walk-up tickets are $12 with a festive holiday sweater and two canned goods for donation to the Manna Food Center, $15 without. For more information and to register, visit the event’s Facebook page.

by BethesdaNow.com — November 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm 1,309 1 Comment

School overcrowding as a result of the massive wave of development underway in Bethesda is a common concern among area residents.

With more than a dozen apartment or condominium projects planned or under construction (and new ones popping up as the economy recovers from the recent recession) the effect of more population on area roads and schools is almost constantly at the forefront of development discussions.

At an October meeting to discuss a potential expansion at already overcrowded Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, parents questioned the Montgomery County Public School system’s ability to gauge how many new students will enter the system from a new apartment building.

Bruce Crispell, chief of long-range planning for MCPS, said his staff bases predictions for how many students will enter the system on Planning Department surveys and adjusts numbers annually based on their own observations about different sorts of apartment buildings, varied by number of units, affordability and other factors.


by BethesdaNow.com — November 14, 2012 at 10:30 am 941 0

Homeless services nonprofit Bethesda Cares received a pair of awards at a ceremony last week put on by the Montgomery County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The group named Bethesda Cares, which provides meals, social worker support, a clothes closet and eviction prevention services to homeless and working poor out of its Woodmont Avenue office, as its 2012 Outstanding Service Organization.

Outreach worker John Mendez, who spearheads the group’s efforts to interact and provide services to some of the estimated 72 chronically homeless on Bethesda streets, received NAMI’s 2012 Dr. Wayne Fenton Memorial Award.

On an early morning survey of homeless people’s medical needs last month, Mendez spoke about the mental illnesses some face and how those can prevent them from finding ways off the street.

Mendez said he typically goes out once a week to places where homeless people are known to stay in order to maintain contact. Bethesda Cares provides guidance to homeless in entering various housing programs and is a major proponent of the “Housing First” strategy to ending homelessness, as opposed to the more traditional route of putting homeless in transitional shelter or rehab programs first.

The group has actively lobbied county officials, including County Council Health and Human Services Chair George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park, to adopt a more agressive approach to putting chronically homeless people in their own homes as an incentive to keep them off the streets.

by BethesdaNow.com — November 14, 2012 at 9:10 am 578 0

Leggett Says County Can’t Afford Bus Transit System — County Executive Isiah Leggett this week said the county can not afford a proposed bus rapid transit network that would take lanes on county roads for  new bus routes. He said the county should focus on putting the system in on already congested roads such as Rockville Pike. [Washington Examiner]

Chevy Chase Village Looks Back At Election — At a program in Chevy Chase Village tonight, veteran journalist and former “Meet the Press” host Marvin Kalb will speak about the outcome of last week’s election. The program runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Chevy Chase Village Hall (5906 Connecticut Ave.).

Ledecky Talks About Returning to Normal Life — Bethesda resident and Stone Ridge School sophomore Katie Ledecky became a worldwide story after winning a swimming gold medal this summer. Now, the 15-year-old is getting back in her normal routine after a whirlwind summer. [Bethesda Magazine]

For now, MCPS Declines To Close Schools On Islamic Holiday — The Board of Education yesterday decided against giving students a day off of school to accomodate a growing number of Muslim students, at least for next school year. The Board was finalizing the 2012-2013 school calendar. [Washington Post]

Flickr photo by Bill in DC


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