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UPDATED: Water Main Break Shuts Down Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase

by BethesdaNow.com | January 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm | 862 views | No Comments

UPDATE, 7:45 a.m.: WSSC crews are still working on the water main break, which has left two of three southbound lanes of Wisconsin Avenue closed near the intersection with Dorset Avenue.

ORIGINAL: A water main break has shut down all lanes of southbound Wisconsin Avenue at Bradley Boulevard tonight.

The break was reported to WSSC at 5:37 p.m. Residents were told water service should be back later tonight.

Police were diverting southbound traffic to Bradley Boulevard and onto Connecticut Avenue and there was congestion into downtown Bethesda.

Leggett Coming To Bethesda To Talk Budget

by BethesdaNow.com | January 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm | 282 views | No Comments

With his recommended budget for fiscal year 2014 coming in March, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will hold a town hall-style meeting in Bethesda to hear what residents want included.

Leggett will host one of five budget forums at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane) at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28.

He’ll also make three stops in various Silver Spring locations and one in Germantown to get input on residents’ budget priorities.

He’ll likely spend much of the time explaining how some priorities will have to wait again, in light of another tight budget year. The county must deal with a strengthened maintenance of effort law that will shift more of the cost for schools from the state to counties.

County Council analysts say providing the minimum school funding amount required by the law could mean a 4.9 percent cut in other services.

Flickr photo by Montgomery College

Chevy Chase Library Reopens As Scheduled

by BethesdaNow.com | January 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm | 316 views | No Comments

The Chevy Chase Library reopened today after nearly a month because of a broken heating system.

The Montgomery County Public Library branch (8005 Connecticut Ave.) was closed on Dec. 10 to allow for county facility and maintenance workers to replace a deteriorated piping system that meant a non-functioning HVAC system.

THe Library, built in the 1960′s, did not have heat or cold air since the summer. MCPL and the county’s Department of General Services decided in November that Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 was the best time to close the branch.

Photo via MCPL

County Looking At Deal With Feds For Josiah Henson Park

by BethesdaNow.com | January 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm | 550 views | No Comments

Before Montgomery County Parks can put a $100,000 federal grant to use by building a museum at Josiah Henson Park, it must get approval on a unique agreement with the National Park Service.

The NPS awarded Montgomery County the grant, part of its “Save America’s Treasures” program, in 2009. The county wants to use the money to help build a museum that would explore the life of Josiah Henson, the slave who lived on the site and whose 1849 autobiography became the inspiration for the landmark novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

But because the county owns the land, it can not legally be both the grantor and grantee of a historic property easement, which the NPS requires as part of the grant.

So the County Planning Board on Thursday, Jan. 10 will review a special agreement between all parties involved in the North Bethesda park. The covenant would require the county’s Historic Preservation Commission to maintain, repair and administer the property “in a manner satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior,” thus giving NPS some input into the management of the property.

Planning Department staff is recommending going through with the agreement, as it “promotes the long-term survival of the property,” and “is necessary under the terms of the Save America’s Treasures Grant.”

The county bought the property, known as the Riley Home for the family that once owned the farm, for $1 million in 2006. Henson lived on the farm as a slave.

But controversy ensued when historians discovered Henson had never lived in the old cabin on the site. It was built after Henson had left the farm. His slave quarters had long been demolished. The Parks Department issued a series of corrections and clarifications that pointed out the county would have bought the property even with that knowledge.

The park, once known as Uncle Tom’s Cabin Special Park, is now known as Josiah Henson Park.

Flickr photo by lreed76

County Installs New Red Light Cameras

by BethesdaNow.com | January 2, 2013 at 10:00 am | 1,023 views | No Comments

Montgomery County last week installed a new red light traffic camera at a busy downtown Bethesda intersection.

The camera is set up in the median near the intersection of northbound Wisconsin Avenue and Montgomery Lane, directly across from the Bethesda Police Station.

MCPD Traffic Division program manager Dan McNickle said the camera is an upgrade and replacement for a red light camera that was at the intersection. Workers were seen installing the equipment on Friday.

The set-up, which actually consists of two poles with mounted lights and one with a camera, is one of a few in the Bethesda area. There is also a red light camera for the intersection of southbound Wisconsin Avenue at Chelthenham Drive.

 

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | January 2, 2013 at 9:05 am | 490 views | No Comments

Police Investigate Graffiti Swastika on Capital Crescent Trail — Somebody spraypainted a swastika with the message “You Shall” on the Capital Crescent Trail near Elm Street. It has been removed by Bethesda Urban Partnership workers. [Bethesda Patch]

North Bethesda Parking Rate Hike Goes Into Effect Today — Montgomery County parking rate increases for Silver Spring and North Bethesda go into effect today. Drivers who park at meters in North Bethesda/White Flint will pay $1 an hour for short-term parking, up from 75 cents an hour. Monthly parking permits are now $123, up from $113. [WTOP]

Bradley Hills Parents Want More Security — Parents of students at a temporary holding location for Bradley Hills Elementary School sent a letter to MCPS superintendent Josh Starr demanding security improvements, such as locked front doors, be made immediately. An MCPS spokesman said some of the security procedures are already in place. [The Gazette]

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