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by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm 1,310 1 Comment

A driver crashed their white BMW into a pillar in front of the CVS Pharmacy this afternoon.

The incident happened just before 3:15 p.m. at the CVS in the Wildwood Shopping Center at 10233 Old Georgetown Rd. The accident appeared to involve just one vehicle and an ambulance remained on the scene.

A pillar near the front doors of the CVS sustained significant damage.

by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm 1,132 0

The Montgomery County Council today approved a five-story, four-unit building on the site of a single family home near the Bethesda Metro station.

The property, at 4825 Montgomery Lane in the Edgemoor neighborhood, sits in the shadows of The Chase and 10-story Edgemoor apartment buildings and is within walking distance of the Metro station.

With unanimous council approval to amend the site’s zoning, it can now be redeveloped into a luxury condominium or townhome complex similar to existing properties on Montgomery and Edgemoor Lanes.

The development will include eight parking spaces, though technically the property didn’t require any since it is within Bethesda’s Parking Lot District, according to a Montgomery County hearing examiner.

Still, a neighbor and the lone apparent opposition to the project said eight spots wasn’t enough.

Susan Grudziecki worried in a public hearing that eight spots would not be enough to accomodate visitors, contractors and delivery people on the small two-lane road between Arlington Road and Woodmont Avenue.

The City Homes of Edgemoor Homeowner’s Association and board of the Edgemoor Condominium support the project, though Downtown Bethesda Condominium President Jon Weintraub did also express concerns about the adequacy of parking.

by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm 925 0

The landmark auto repair shop that has been in Bethesda for 83 years will have at least another 18 months at its Wisconsin Avenue location, after owners worked out a deal with developer Washington Property Company.

Eastham’s Servicenter (7100 Wisconsin Ave.) will be without the Exxon gas station that was taken out by crews during the last few months. But owner George Zinkler said the auto repair portion of the facility should reopen on Thursday and remain open until Washington Property Company breaks ground on its 145-unit apartment project destined for the site.

The crew, including some mechanics who have worked at Eastham’s for more than 30 years, have already begun to schedule appointments.

Part of the process of reopening was removing the underground gas tanks and replacing car lifts and other auto shop equipment supplied by Exxon.

Zinkler said Eastham’s will intensify its search for another Bethesda location in the next 18 months.

“We’ve been here 83 years,” Zinkler said. “We’d like to celebrate our 100th here.”

Zinkler first worked at the shop under original owner and future father-in-law Robert Eastham about 60 years ago.

“It wasn’t easy but Washington Property Company was very cooperative,” Zinkler said. “We were able to come to an understanding. We’ll have everything first-class like we’ve had for years. We’re gonna be here.”

by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm 570 0

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Stations will be collecting toys to donate to local organizations involved in donating them to families in need this holiday season.

Starting Wednesday, all MCFRS Stations will act as drop-off locations for the Toys for Tots Campaign, which began in 1947 when U.S. Marines distributed 5,000 toys to underprivileged children. It became an annual event that grew into a national organization.

Those interested are encouraged to donate new or used toys to the effort through Dec. 18.

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad is located at 5020 Battery Lane.

by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 10:45 am 904 0

Less than two months after opening up shop on Rugby Avenue, a food stand serving up breakfast and burgers is on the move.

Green Eggs and Burgers will reopen tomorrow at 7725 Old Georgetown Rd., a closer-to-downtown location the family-owned business hopes means more visibility.

The new location, at the corner of Fairmont Avenue and Old Georgetown Road, is at the recently shuttered BP gas station.

Property owner Jay Hellman said creating space for a group of food trucks on the property is one possibility.

In the past, food trucks have expressed reservations about coming into downtown Bethesda because of difficulty finding street parking and concern from the brick-and-mortar restaurant community.

by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 9:50 am 878 0

Seven members of the Montgomery County Council offered their disapproval of Pepco’s latest rate hike request, which came Friday and would mean an increase of about $7.13 per month for the average customer.

Councilmembers Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac), Nancy Navarro (D-Colesville), Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg), Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) and at-large representatives George Leventhal, Marc Elrich and Hans Riemer said they want to see reliability upgrades before supporting a rate hike:

We oppose Pepco’s request for a rate hike. We believe Pepco’s financial fortunes should be directly tied to its performance and that performance does not justify an increase in its rate of return. As it is, shareholders have fared a lot better than ratepayers.

We also do not believe that Pepco should be able to avoid a review of the prudence of its expenditures in return for expediting their reliability work. Rather, we believe that Pepco owes it to this community to expedite its reliability work using the traditional ratemaking process that ensures that Pepco can only recover from ratepayers costs that the Commission finds are just and reasonable. We fully expect that our County will fight this suspect, unwarranted, and unjustified request, and that the Commission will, as it has recently, protect Montgomery County ratepayers that have suffered for far too long.

Pepco says it needs the money, which includes a $60 million rate increase, an increase on return on equity and a grid resiliency surcharge, to improve reliability.

Berliner called the rate increase request “a little like Groundhog Day.” Pepco was denied a similar request about four months ago by the Maryland Public Service Commission, which decides on utility rate requests.

At that time, Pepco officials indicated they would turn around and ask for a rate increase again, a common occurrence in the utility industry, Berliner said.

“I don’t begrudge them their corporate interest in helping their shareholders,” Berliner said. “I’m not confident that the system has gotten fundamentally stronger. If we had another major storm, we still have a weak system.”

Berliner said he expects Pepco to be in the top quarter of reliability rankings nationally and even though the company’s return on equity is below the industry norm he is opposing the increase because its performance is also below the industry norm.

“My perspective is its return should be related to its performance,” Berliner said.

by BethesdaNow.com — December 4, 2012 at 8:30 am 440 0

Imagination Stage Gets Federal Grant — The National Endowment for the Arts announced Imagination Stage (4908 Auburn Ave.) will receive a $30,000 grant for work on its show “Anime Momotaro,” the largest grand the children’s theater has ever received from the NEA.

Lingerie Shop For Lionsgate? — What appears to be a second rumored location for Chevy Chase lingerie shop Sylene is taking shape in some of the ground floor retail space at the Lionsgate building (7710 Woodmont Ave.). [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]

NIH Tardy on Water Bill — The NIH owes the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission $491,000 in overdue bills, a result of faulty processing, according to the federal agency. [The Gazette]

Flickr photo by crthomas888

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