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by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm 0

Homeless prevention and assistance nonprofit Bethesda Cares will lead a survey and count of the area’s homeless tomorrow, part of Montgomery County’s requirement for homeless program grant funding.

Bethesda Cares director Susan Kirk said about 45 volunteers will help the organization do a joint point-and-time count and medical needs survey starting at 4:45 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to help fulfill the requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Groups of volunteers, government employees and nonprofit workers will be going out around Montgomery County tomorrow morning to conduct the count. HUD requires communities receiving Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant funding to complete an annual report on the homeless using sheltered facilities and a biennial report that includes those living in unsheltered facility.

Councilman George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park, chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, will volunteer for a homeless count in Gaithersburg. Leventhal has canvassed with Bethesda Cares before, where Kirk and outreach specialist John Mendez are lobbying for a Housing First policy of ending homelessness in the county.

The information collected in tomorrow’s counts will be part of the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), which studies the extent and nature of homelessness in the U.S. The report provides nationwide estimates of homelessness, including information about the demographic characteristics of homeless persons, service use patterns and the capacity to house homeless persons.

“Our County is committed to reducing the prevalence of homelessness, with the ultimate goal of placing homeless residents in permanent housing and better lives overall — eventually eradicating homelessness altogether,” Leventhal said in a statement released Tuesday.

In 2011, Bethesda Cares criticized the operations of the county’s Housing Opportunities Commission at one Hampden Lane facility, where Mendez felt not enough of the most vulnerable and chronically homeless were placed.

Last year’s point-and-time count recorded 72 chronically homeless on the streets of downtown Bethesda, Friendship Heights and White Flint.

by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm 0

A quick guide to takeout food specials Bethesda restaurants are planning for this Sunday’s Super Bowl:

American Tap Room (7278 Woodmont Ave.; 301-656-1366)

The Bethesda Row bar and restaurant is offering a number of takeout packages, including a Play Action Platter for $47 that includes three bavarian pretzels, eight phoenix wings, three cheeseburger sliders, three pulled pork sliders and hummus with grilled pita which serves four to six. You can also buy pulled pork sliders ($38), cheeseburger sliders ($38) or phoenix wings ($12) by the dozen or six bavarian pretzels with dips for $26.

Pre-order by Friday to get a 10 percent discount.

Central Farm Markets (Bethesda Elementary School, 7600 Arlington Rd.; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday)

The popular farmers market is celebrating Super Bowl Sunday with a selection of gameday appropriate items from some of its vendors and a recipe for a “Ravens super quick Five-Layer dip.”

Cesco Osteria (7401 Woodmont Ave.; 301-654-8333)

The Italian restaurant is offering pre-order takeout specials including lasagna, salad and focaccia for eight ($65), lasagna ($49) and margherita, four-cheese and capricciosa pizzas ($10 each).

Chipotle (7600 Old Georgetown Rd.; 301-907-9077 and 10400 Old Georgetown Rd.; 301-214-2410)

Chipotle franchises nationwide are offering half-off burrito boxes for any orders of six or more burritos.

Panas (4731-A Elm St.; 301-657-7371)

The gourmet empanada shop off Bethesda Row has a $19.95 per dozen carry out special and a Facebook contest to win a free catered party for 10 on Sunday.

Mia’s Pizzas (4926 Cordell Ave.; 301-718-6427)

Mia’s in Woodmont Triangle is offering a Superbowl Sunday Pack of mac ‘n cheese, insalata mista, meatball sliders, cookies and four pizzas for $120 to feed eight.

Photo via Mia’s Pizzas

by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm 0

A pair of Bethesda entrepreneurs are betting you’d like an easier way to find a mechanic when your car breaks down or needs work after an accident.

Zlatan Beca and Fred Yu, two area natives and Walt Whitman High School grads, have started Repair Jungle, a referral website that solicits bids from D.C.-area mechanics for those in need of car repairs.

Upon observing the explosion of internet and mobile app services for everyday tasks such as making dinner reservations or calling a taxi service, Beca and Yu said they went to family and friends for inspiration.

“The one thing that was pretty consistent,” Beca said, “was that car repair can be pretty frustrating.”

The two 35-year-olds, who met and became friends on Whitman’s JV basketball team in the mid-1990′s, have opened an office in downtown Bethesda with a team of six employees and plan to expand the service for mobile apps and into other markets nationwide.

(more…)

by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 11:30 am 0

Smart Growth advocates and supporters of dense, transit-based redevelopment of White Flint gathered in North Bethesda yesterday to mingle and discuss the large-scale changes coming to Rockville Pike in the next few decades.

The nonprofit Friends of White Flint, which describes its mission as implementing the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan, co-hosted a happy hour at Seasons 52 in North Bethesda Market with the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

In the crowd were neighbors, transit activists, developers, County Council members Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and Hans Riemer (D-At large) and others from outside the White Flint area interested in the various projects that are estimated to bring 14,000 housing units and 13 million square feet of redevelopment around the White Flint Metro station.

Friends of White Flint’s Lindsay Hoffman described the event as a kick-off as sorts for a renewed push toward accomplishing the walkable, mixed-use town square communities that have become commonplace in planning circles and in the D.C. area.

The event was titled, “Can we make the suburbs hip? The future of White Flint,” an ode to the notion that urban centers are the future of development in Montgomery County.

“I really think that we are on the verge of a golden age in Montgomery County and it’s projects like this that are bringing that life,” Riemer told the gathering. “The region that we are in is a dynamic, growing, exciting region, one of the best destinations in the whole world, economically, culturally, socially. But we have to and we are positioning ourselves in that region to capture that future growth.”

Berliner said the development of White Flint, which includes mixed-use retail and residential projects at Mid-Pike Plaza, White Flint Mall, near the Metro station and other locations, shouldn’t be viewed as an indictment of the area’s established single family neighborhoods.

But he did say the county is depending on the change of thinking signaled by what’s going on in White Flint.

“I want you to know when I first used [the word hip] in talking about Montgomery County, people said, ‘I’m sorry, that’s not part of our lexicon,’” Berliner said. “I do want you to know that Montgomery County’s future in my judgement does in large part depend on being able to attract this kind of crowd, a young, energetic crowd.”

Rendering via LCOR

by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 10:40 am 0

The National Weather Service says storms this afternoon might bring damaging winds and flooding rains to Montgomery County and much of the D.C. area and Pepco says it’s ready.

The power company released a statement today saying it has extra crews prepared for today’s storms, which caused NWS to also issue a Wind Advisory until 6 a.m. It issued its latest info on the storm at 7:30 p.m:

…LINE OF HEAVY SHOWERS TO AFFECT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA…ARLINGTON…MONTGOMERY…PRINCE GEORGES…HOWARD AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES…

AT 733 PM EST…HEAVY SHOWERS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 2 MILES EAST OF GREAT FALLS TO WOLF TRAP TO CLIFTON…MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE WEST SPRINGFIELD…MANTUA…THE AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE…CONGRESSIONAL MANOR…WOLF TRAP…ASPEN HILL…NORTH SPRINGFIELD…SPRINGFIELD…THE I395 AND I495 INTERCHANGE…CLOVERLY AND SPENCERVILLE.

HEAVY RAIN WITH THESE STORMS WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE MILE AND MAY CAUSE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS.

BRIEF WIND GUSTS OF 35 TO 45 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS.

From Pepco:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pepco is closely monitoring approaching winter thunderstorms. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the Washington Metropolitan Area until 6 a.m. Thursday. The strongest winds are expected late this afternoon and this evening out of the south at 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 to 50 mph.

High winds can bring tree limbs into contact with power lines causing power outages. Heavy rain can adversely affect saturated soil and allow trees already weakened by previous storms to fall onto power lines and equipment to cause power outages. Outages can also occur due to drivers skidding into utility poles along wet roads.

Pepco will have extra line and tree crews available and the Call Center will be staffed overnight. Pepco has about 150 internal linemen and more than 400 contractors already working on its system available if needed.

Customers are asked to please call in any outages and stay away from any down wires. ? To report outages and/or downed wires, please call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), follow the prompts, and please ask for a call back to confirm that power has been restored. Outages also may be reported through pepco.com or through the mobile app.

For more information and updates, visit www.pepco.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect, and download our mobile app at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.

In a Special Weather Statement, the NWS said the warm temperatures of the past few days combined with an arriving cold front could mean some severe weather:

(more…)

by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 9:15 am 0

Chevy Chase Village Will Get Second Shot At Ethics Exemption — Chevy Chase Village will get a second hearing before a state ethics board in March to try for an exemption from ethics rules for its Village Board members. Two members of the Village’s seven-member Board resigned last year after learning they would have to disclose detailed financial records under a ramped up state law. [The Gazette]

Ervin Looks To Be Joining Crowded County Executive Field — Silver Spring County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin says she’s in serious discussions with two national Democratic campaign operatives about running her prospective 2014 county executive campaign. Ervin would likely join fellow council members Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg), George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park and former County Executive Doug Duncan (D). County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has yet to announce if he intends to run for a third term. [Washington Post]

Top Maryland Republican Not A Fan Of Purple Line Project — Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell (R-St. Mary’s, Calvert Counties) said citizens can’t take more taxes that would help raise money for transportation projects such as the Purple Line. He also said too much state transportation money is spent on mass transit that doesn’t benefit people living in rural areas who don’t use it. [Baltimore Business Journal]

New Chair, Vice Chair For Citizens Advisory Board — Marc Korman and Jad Donohoe were elected chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board on Monday. The group meets monthly and advises county policymakers on issues in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac. Korman said future topics include development at Chevy Chase Lake, the budget, bikes and education.

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