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Longtime Bethesda Favorite Closing In Bradley Shopping Center

by BethesdaNow.com | December 31, 2012 at 11:50 am | 1,934 views | 6 Comments

 

After 60 years, the Bruce Variety store in Bradley Shopping Center is closing.

The supply shop known for its vast collection of crafts, fabrics and other assorted items you probably didn’t even know existed is having a clearance sale today. Everything is half off.

A sign in the window says the store will be moving. An employee said the store will likely close in a week or two and will be open on New Year’s Day. The owner was not available.

The store, at 6922 Arlington Rd. next to Strosniders Hardware, stocked hairnets, cotton underwear, even bras.

Blogger Robert Dyer reported the store is closing because of rent increases.

Now, fans of the store have started an online petition asking the shopping center owner to allow Bruce Variety to renegotiate its lease. More than 140 people have signed:

 Like all of you I have loved Bruce Variety in downtown Bethesda for years. Walking into that store lets me take a trip back in time to when the world seemed like a gentler, simpler, more civilized place. It would be so sad for Bethesda to lose that vestige of the past.

I am wholeheartedly a supporter of the free market, but I also support individual’s rights to show their support (or boycott!) for a shopping center based upon strong community desires. Bruce’s is more than just a store; it’s a unique atmosphere in this day and age that brings a wonderful vibe to the otherwise largely cookie-cutter corporate stores that surround us.

-Bethesda Community

 

Metro Elevators Face Yet Another Delay

by BethesdaNow.com | December 31, 2012 at 10:30 am | 355 views | No Comments

The reopening of the elevator at the Bethesda Metro station has again been pushed back, seven months after it was closed and two months since Metro officials first said it would reopen.

The Washington Examiner reported last week that Metro is still waiting on state elevator inspectors to clear its rehabilitation work and allow the transit system to put the elevator back in service.

As we reported early last week, Metro officials say their work on the project is completed and all that remains is the inspection.

The delays have caused headaches for some Bethesda Metro customers, especially the disabled or those who don’t wish to use the station’s three escalators. At 212 feet, the escalators are the second longest in the Western Hemisphere. The project was supposed to be completed in October, but was delayed for what was supposed to be three weeks after workers messed up the sequencing of work.

Metro officials told the Examiner they hoped the elevator would be open by this Friday.

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | December 31, 2012 at 9:05 am | 307 views | No Comments

County to Drop Dog Park Fee — Citing a decline in dog park use since instituting a $40 annual fee in 2010, Montgomery County Parks will do away with the fee and look for other ways to make up budget shortfalls. [The Gazette]

NIH Orchestra Performs For A Good Cause — The volunteer NIH Orchestra, which includes federal government workers, high school students and locals of all types, has donated almost $25,000 over years of benefit concerts. [Bethesda Patch]

Bethesda Green Happy Hour at Redwood — The environmental nonprofit will host a get-together on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Redwood Restaurant and Bar (7121 Bethesda Lane). [Bethesda Green]

Flickr photo by crthomas888

WWBG: Poppin’ Bottles

by BethesdaNow.com | December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm | 379 views | No Comments

Editor’s Note: This weekly sponsored column is written by Arash Tafakor, owner of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

As this weekend’s New Years Eve festivities approach, most of you are going to buy a nice bottle of champagne or sparkling wine to celebrate the New Year. Usually I would go in-depth of what champagne exactly is, the process of making champagne and all the different types of champagne, but I will save that for another time.  For simplicity purposes I’m just going to write up a quick guide that should ease you into buying a nice bottle to pop open for your celebration.

Champagne

You will notice that actual champagnes from France have a higher price tag than other sparkling wines from the rest of the world. This difference in price is justified.

Producers from around the world have tried to duplicate the quality and taste of champagnes for years to no avail. Some come close, but champagnes from France are truly unmatched (in my opinion). According to French law, champagnes must be a cuvee of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes.

There are many types of champagne available at most reputable wine stores. Picking one maybe pretty daunting unless you can read French. You cannot go wrong with a big name such as Moet, Pierre Jouet, Taittinger, Piper Heidesick, and my personal favorite Veuve Clicquot (on sale for $39.99). These champagnes are crowd pleasers, and have been produced for more than a century.  Louis Roederer and Ruinart are also classic champagne producers that are of excellent quality.

All these producers make a rose varietal of their cuvee. Roses tend to be slightly sweeter, and not as dry as their brut counter parts. Avoid overpaying for champagnes such as Ace of Spades and Cristal.  Although these champagnes are of good quality, the price has been inflated due to pop culture referencing them in music videos. If you do feel like paying the extra price for vintage champagne, try Dom Perignon or first growth champagne.

Sparkling Wines

Even though sparkling wines are not true champagnes, most use the same method of secondary fermentation. This method is called methode champenoise, which is where producers bottle the wine and add sugar and yeast. Secondary fermentation takes place producing carbon dioxide, which is where the bubbles come from in champagnes and sparkling wines. All this takes place in the bottle you buy from your local retailer.

Now the less inexpensive sparkling wines have their secondary fermentation in pressurized stainless steel tanks known as the charmat process. This process is much cheaper for producers and often produces bulk sparkling wines. Unless mixing with orange juice stay clear of these sparkling wines, they often are high in sugar and alcohol and produce hangovers.

When picking out a sparkling wine, it is very important to see on the label “Traditional Method” or “Method Champagne.” This indicates that the sparkling wine was made the same way champagne is made in Champagne. Most cava’s from Spain and sparkling wines from California use the traditional method and are very good alternatives to Champagne.

I hope this brief guide will help you pick out a great sparkling wine for you to celebrate the New Year with.  Please drink and celebrate responsibly.

Weekly Crime Report: Dec. 10 to Dec. 18

by BethesdaNow.com | December 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm | 330 views | No Comments

Two commercial burglaries in Woodmont Triangle earlier this month left one business without some property:

A commercial burglary occurred at 7910 Woodmont Avenue #455 in Bethesda, sometime between the afternoon of Friday 12/14 and noon on Saturday 12/15.  Forced entry; property taken.

A commercial burglary occurred at 4915 St Elmo Avenue #100 in Bethesda, on Monday 12/17.  No further information is available at this time.

Both burglaries appeared to take place at a pair of office buildings, the Landow Building on Woodmont Avenue and the Phillips Building on St. Elmo.

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

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Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | December 28, 2012 at 9:30 am | 342 views | No Comments

Winter Weather Advisory Coming Tonight — The National Weather Service says a storm system will bring a wintry mix starting tonight and continuing Saturday to Central Maryland and the greater Washington area. [National Weather Service]

Third Person Dies From Christmas Eve Beltway Crash — A third passenger in a car that hydroplaned across the outer loop of the Beltway near Connecticut Avenue on Monday night died, according to Maryland State Police. [The Gazette]

Rockville Pike Water Main Work Continues — The two left lanes of southbound Rockville Pike just north of Cedar Lane remained closed early this morning, as WSSC crews continue to repair a broken water main and sinkhole. The State Highway Administration has been doing significant underground utility work there, including the installation of a 20- to 25-foot deep hole to replace the previous WSSC sewer line. [SHA via Twitter]

Flickr photo by nori127

Bethesda Group Sends Kids to College

by BethesdaNow.com | December 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm | 342 views | No Comments

Montgomery Community Media recently profiled a Bethesda nonprofit that helps kids navigate the complicated path to college or college scholarships.

Collegiate Directions Inc. helps students from their junior year in high school through college graduation, first with gaining admission to colleges and also with managing the transition to campus life.

Some of the group’s students may not have had the guidance otherwise. Many are the first in their families seeking a college degree. College Directions Inc. helps them wade through the rigorous standardized testing process, apply for schools and scholarships and continues with academic tutoring and support during their college careers.

For more on Collegiate Directions, visit its website.

Video via Montgomery Community Media

Strong Winds Could Mean Power Outages Today

by BethesdaNow.com | December 27, 2012 at 11:00 am | 427 views | No Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory that remains in effect today for Montgomery County.

The Advisory will last until 6 p.m. today. Winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 50 mph could mean downed trees and power lines.

Already some have lost power in the 20817 zip code of Bethesda. At 9 a.m., Pepco’s outage map showed five customers without power in the area.

The NWS Advisory:

WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM EST THIS EVENING…

* TIMING… FROM MID MORNING THROUGH LATE AFTERNOON.

* WINDS… NORTHWEST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.

* IMPACTS… DOWNED TREES AND POWERLINES WILL BE POSSIBLE FROM THE HIGHER WIND GUSTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS OF 45 TO 55 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT… ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | December 27, 2012 at 9:00 am | 317 views | No Comments

Leggett Says Ambulance Ride Information Will Be Secure — As Montgomery County begins County Executive Isiah Leggett’s “ambulance fee,” Leggett said billing and personal information of those who use ambulances will be kept private. The fee will charge insurance companies and out-of-county residents for ambulance rides starting in January. [The Gazette]

State Leaders Ask For Gas Tax Raise, Assault Weapons Ban — Local statehouse representatives said they will be looking to raise the gas tax this General Assembly to help pay for transportation projects such as the Purple Line. State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Bethesda-Chevy Chase) will also look to get his package of assault gun controls passed. [Washington Post]

Trash/Recycling Center Closed Next Week — The county’s Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station will close at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31 and will be closed all day on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

State Highway Administration Responding to Wintry Mix — The State Highway Administration issued a list of things to keep with you while driving in icy winter weather. [State Highway Administration]

Flickr photo by ehpien

Food Initiative For Bethesda Homeless To Get National Recognition

by BethesdaNow.com | December 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm | 731 views | No Comments

Farm to Freezer, the Bethesda nonprofit that prepares and donates leftover Farmers Market goods for the homeless, won a national contest to speak at a conference on sustainable food programming.

The TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” conference on Feb. 16 in New York will be viewed by like-minded nonprofits across the country and should afford Farm to Freezer some widespread recognition.

The program, organized and created by Cheryl Kollin, started this year with a network of volunteers who collected 300 to 400 pounds of donated produce from the Bethesda FRESHFARM farmers market each week. They would then use various Bethesda church commercial kitchens to either preserve the food or make it into useable products such as tomato sauce.

The food and the products were given to homelessness prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares, which will have enough food to feed its homeless clients through winter, Kollin said.

Kollin hopes the program expands in 2013. The group received about 600 of the 2,000 votes on a number of programs up to speak at the event.

“I am thrilled announce that Farm to Freezer won the TEDxManhattan speaker challenge! Winning a speaking opportunity at TEDx will provide critical visibility and hopefully, lead to funding that will support this social enterprise,” Kollin wrote in an announcement.

She will present on Feb. 16 and will again organize a local viewing party in Bethesda at the offices of Bethesda Green.

Photo via TEDxManhattan

Reports: 2 Dead in Christmas Eve Beltway Crash

by BethesdaNow.com | December 26, 2012 at 10:30 am | 1,035 views | No Comments

Two people died in a three-car collision on Monday night on the outer loop of the Beltway, according to reports from the Associated Press and Washington Post.

Maryland State Police told the Washington Post that the incident occurred around 7:40 p.m., when the driver of a Chevrolet Malibu hydroplaned on a curve and slid across the highway and spun into a Toyota pickup truck. A Chevrolet Silverado then hit the Malibu, police said.

Two passengers, a 30-year-old woman and 17-year-old male both from Silver Spring, were taken to hospitals with life-threatening injuries but later died, police said.

The 36-year-old driver of the Malibu also sustained serious injuries. All others involved had minor injuries, police said.

The crash closed all lanes of the outer loop near Connecticut Avenue on Monday night, as a light rain continued to fall in near-freezing temperaturs.

Photo via TrafficLand

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | December 26, 2012 at 9:00 am | 465 views | No Comments

New Developer Jumps Into White Flint — Rockville-based Foulger-Pratt bought the two-story office building at 11600 Nebel St. earlier this month and plans to buy more property to build what would be the fifth major mixed-use development in the White Flint area. [Washington Post]

Leggett Asks For Bus Rapid Transit’s First Million — County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has asked that $1 million be taken out of the county’s transportation reserve fund and used to study the Bus Rapid Transit network, which could include a bus-only lane with transit stops on the Wisconsin Avenue/Route 355 corridor. [The Gazette]

Chevy Chase Sporting Goods Shop Features High-End Merchandise — Going to the slopes this winter? Need a $680 skiing hat or snowboarding goggles with a built-in GPS for $450? One storeowner in Chevy Chase is betting you do. [Washington Post]

Flickr photo by IamJomo

UPDATED: Missing Bethesda Woman Found

by BethesdaNow.com | December 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm | 644 views | No Comments

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Montgomery County Police say Frances Granger Kress, who was reported missing from her Bethesda home earlier today, has been found in Washington, D.C.

ORIGINAL STORY: Montgomery County Police are asking for help to locate a missing Bethesda woman who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Police say Frances Granger Kress, 84, of the 8100 block of Cindy Lane left her house earlier today in a light blue 2005 Jaguar with Maryland tags 1DPF74.

According to police, she was wearing a dark purple sweatsuit and a white coat. Kress has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and also suffers from Dementia, police said.

Police said family is concerned for her and they are asking anyone who sees her to contact detectives from the 1st Police District.

Cindy Lane is just west of the Beltway, near the intersection of Seven Locks Road and River Road.

Photo via Montgomery County Police Department

Beltway Crash Closes Outer Loop

by BethesdaNow.com | December 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm | 833 views | No Comments

A crash on the outer loop of the Beltway at Connecticut Avenue has shut down all lanes tonight.

The collision happened around 7:45 p.m. Two people involved have life threatening injuries, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Assistant Chief Scott Graham.

Three more people involved had serious injuries and one had minor injuries, according to a tweet from Graham around 8:30 p.m.

Authorities were diverting westbound outer loop traffic to Georgia Avenue.

Photo via TrafficLand

Winter Weather Advisory Warns of Some Accumulation

by BethesdaNow.com | December 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | 430 views | No Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Montgomery County until 8 p.m., with one to two inches of snow expected and less than an inch of accumulation forecasted for the Bethesda area.

Roads will be slippery from snow and sleet, which could cause traffic issues this afternoon and evening. Northern Montgomery County is expected to get most of the accumulation on the roads (one to two inches).

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW AND SLEET… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW AND SLEET.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE AND TIMING… SNOW WILL BEGIN EARLY THIS AFTERNOON. SNOW WILL MIX WITH SLEET AND RAIN AT TIMES BEFORE TAPERING OFF THIS EVENING.

* ACCUMULATIONS… 1 TO 2 INCHES ACROSS NORTHERN MONTGOMERY… NORTHERN HOWARD AND NORTHERN BALTIMORE COUNTIES. LESS THAN AN INCH ELSEWHERE.

* TEMPERATURES… LOWER TO MIDDLE 30S.

* WINDS… SOUTHEAST 5 MPH OR LESS.

* IMPACTS… UNTREATED ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY IN SPOTS… ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF NORTHERN MONTGOMERY… NORTHERN HOWARD AND NORTHERN BALTIMORE COUNTIES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

THIS WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW AND SLEET WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

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