Two County Council members want County Executive Isiah Leggett to support a group of neighborhood associations along the Purple Line route seeking noise, vibration and other mitigation from the 16-mile light rail system.
Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Cherri Branson on Monday penned a letter to Leggett asking for his support for the Coalition of Purple Line Neighborhoods (COPLN), a group organized in December with concerns about noise, vibration, tree loss, tree replacement, pedestrian and traffic safety issues surrounding the Purple Line.
COPLN includes neighborhood or civic groups representing Coquelin Run, Chevy Chase/Edgevale, East Bethesda, Kentbury Drive, Chevy Chase Hills, The Hamlets, Seven Oaks/Evanswood, North Woodside, Rosemary Hills, Lyttonsville, Park Hills and Sligo Branview, plus the Town of Chevy Chase.
Berliner and Branson called for Leggett to create a formal task force including COPLN members that would deal with DOT, MTA and the MTA’s yet-to-be picked private concessionaire during the final design, construction and initial operation of the Purple Line.
The council members also want Leggett to organize a meeting with State Senators Brian Frosh (Dist. 16) Rich Madaleno (Dist. 18) and Jamie Raskin (Dist. 20), MCDOT and the MTA to begin addressing the problems.
“Many of these residents, despite their vigorous engagement, feel disappointed in how their input has been received by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and County Department of Transportation (DOT) to date,” read the letter. “We can and should do better for our residents, which is why we request that you establish an advisory body to ensure that we are designing a project that minimizes community and environmental impacts while delivering improved accessibility and transit connectivity that gets people where they want to go.”
Many along the Purple Line route, which is proposed for the existing Georgetown Branch Extension of the Capital Crescent Trail, are worried about noise, pedestrian crossings and tree loss.
The Town of Chevy Chase recently agreed to a $350,000 contract with a cadre of legal and lobbying firms to make its case against the Purple Line as proposed by the MTA in its Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Included in the group is Alexander & Cleaver, a firm that lobbies lawmakers in Annapolis. The Town is opposed to the $2.37 billion system being built on the Capital Crescent Trail, which runs behind a number of homes in the Town.
But it also wants to push the MTA to guarantee certain mitigation techniques — including a four-foot high noise reduction wall the MTA promised in February 2013 but did not include in the FEIS.
The Purple Line got good news on the federal funding front last week when President Barack Obama recommended $100 million in the upcoming fiscal year for the project. The MTA is still waiting for a federal Record of Decision on its FEIS, which would finalize the mitigation the agency and a private concessionaire would be required to provide.
(Update at 7:20 p.m.) Montgomery County plow trucks were not responsible for the damage at the restaurant. Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, said he checked in with county DOT today and there is no record of any incident involving county vehicles.
Did you witness the incident? Drop us a line at desk[at]bethesdanow[dot]com.
(Original) A snow plow that accidentally ripped power lines from the roof of Mia’s Pizzas left the Woodmont Triangle restaurant closed for all of last week.
It was an unfortunate incident for Mia’s owner and chef Melissa “Mia” Ballinger, who said the permitting and inspection process with Montgomery County and Pepco didn’t allow her to reopen until Sunday.
“Quite a few people came by and said, ‘Oh, have you closed for good?’ We’re back up and open and I hope people understand that,” Ballinger said. “I don’t want people to think we went out of business.”
The accident caused about $5,000 worth of damage to the building and $8,000 in losses due to food that had to be trashed, Ballinger said. She also said the restaurant does about $25,000-$30,000 worth of business in a typical week.
On the evening of Monday, March 3, a snow plow truck operating after Monday morning’s snow storm had its bed up, according to those nearby. The way Ballinger heard it, the truck operator was trying to dump the last bit of sand in the bed, when the operator accidentally got hooked to the electrical wires connected to a pole in front of Mia’s.
It contributed to a power outage that affected about 700 customers in the Woodmont Triangle and East Bethesda neighborhoods.
Most customers got their power back by 9 p.m. Monday.
Despite having an electrician fix the problem by Tuesday afternoon, the county permit and subsequent Pepco process wasn’t finished until late Saturday night.
Flickr photo by ehpien
Here are three Woodmont Triangle bars that have announced special festivities. Please drop us a line at desk[at]bethesdanow[dot]com with any others, or just offer specials up for anybody to see in the comments section below.
Caddies on Cordell (4922 Cordell Ave.): Caddies is keeping it simple. All day and night from Saturday, March 15 to Monday, March 17, it’s offering $2 green Bud Light and $7 green Bud Light pitchers.
Union Jack’s (4915 St Elmo Ave.): The English-themed bar is offering a little bit more, including its traditional free St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. “St. Practice Day” will be Saturday, March 15 and include half-priced car bombs, $3 Killian’s and Lucky Charm shooters and $4 Jameson from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“St. Patty’s Day,” on Monday, will include the free Irish breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., half-priced car bombs, $3 Lucky Charm shooters and $4 Jameson all day, $1 Killian’s from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and $3 Killian’s from 4 p.m. to close.
BlackFinn (4901 Fairmont Ave.): “St. Practice Day” Saturday, March 15 with $3 Sam Adams, $4 Jameson and $4 You-Call-It’s from 9 p.m. to midnight. Sunday is “Shamrock Service Industry Night” with $3 Guinness, $4 Jameson and $6 car bombs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Finally, St. Patrick’s Day Monday will offer $4 Guinness, Smithwicks, and Harp and $5 Bushmills from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and $4 Guinness from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
A group opposed to Purple Line construction on the Capital Crescent Trail says a Purple Line supporter is behind a $500 county-levied fine against its president, who built a new backyard fence last summer in the county-owned trail right-of-way.
Last week, we told you the story of Ajay Bhatt, president of the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail and a Chevy Chase resident whose home backs up to the Georgetown Branch extension of the trail.
Bhatt, an ardent critic of the Purple Line as currently proposed, built a new fence around his property, except Montgomery County found the fence to have been built illegally, about 18 feet on to its property. The county’s right-of-way includes the trail and is set to be handed over to the state for construction of the 16-mile light rail system.
Wayne Phyillaier, a Silver Spring resident who supports the Purple Line because it would include a rebuilt trail, documented Bhatt’s fine and upcoming appeal in a blog post.
On Friday, Bhatt provided this response from the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail group, which indicates Phyillaier prompted a county investigation into the fence:
We are responding to a recent personal attack on our President, Ajay Bhatt. As most of you know, Ajay resides along the trail in a home owned by his family since 1977, and his family has enjoyed the trail immensely. Many homes along the trail include fences, sheds, and similar structures that overlap the county right-of-way — a holdover from when the railroad owned the land. A fence has been at Ajay’s house since the late 70s, and it has been replaced at least three times since then. In an effort to pull attention away from the real issues with the Purple Line, Wayne Phyillaier, an active Purple Line booster and blogger, complained about the fence and the county subsequently responded with a citation. Mr. Phyillaier is not a neighbor and has no legitimate interest in this particular fence. Ajay properly sought and received a permit for the fence and is exercising his legal rights to resolve this issue in the most common sense way. FCCT has raised many significant concerns regarding the proposed Purple Line, many of which are detailed in our response to the Final Environmental Impact Statement. These are the real issues that affect everyone, and we welcome respectful discourse on these topics from all interested parties.
Last week, Phyillaier told us he wouldn’t have written about the fence, had it not been for its new construction by a resident who clearly knew the history of the trail right-of-way.
“It’s the most recent construction that I know of,” Phyillaier said. “I don’t think it’s necessary for the county to start going through and ripping through all these old fences and old tool sheds. There’s really no public good in ripping them out or confronting the property owner. I think it’s important that the county confront Ajay or anyone else who is doing new construction.”
Behind homes in Chevy Chase that back up to the trail, there are many fences and sheds that are technically in the county-owned Georgetown Branch right-of-way.
Many were built before Montgomery County purchased the right-of-way for a potential transit line in 1988, some as far back as the 1950s. That has caused confusion and frustration among some homeowners whose backyards back up to the trail.
The trail used to be a CSX rail line.
It’s unclear what permit Bhatt received for the fence construction. There’s no record of a permit issued in 2013 for his property in the county’s Public Right of Way records. There is no record of a Residential Construction Permit issued for his property in either 2012 or 2013.
Photos via Wayne Phyillaier
Bethesda and Chevy Chase homes and condos sold last week include this four-bedroom near the D.C. line and a brand new five-bedroom off Sangamore Road:
- 5101 River Road; 1 BD | 1 BA condominium; List price: $240,000; Sale price: $222,500
- 7111 Woodmont Avenue; 1 BD | 1 BA condominium; List price: $339,990; Sale price: $312,000
- 4601 Park Avenue; 1 BD | 1 BA condominium; List price: $349,000; Sale price: $349,000
- 4974 Sentinel Drive; 2 BD | 2.5 BA condominium; List price: $715,000; Sale price: $678,000
- 9856 Singleton Drive; 5 BD | 3 BA single family detached; List price: $839,000; Sale price: $758,500
- 8017 Park Lane; 3 BD | 3.5 BA single family detached; List price: $800,000; Sale price: $800,000
- 5205 Westwood Drive; 4 BD | 2 BA single family detached; List price: $1,199,000; Sale price: $1,199,000
- 4409 Bradley Lane; 4 BD | 4.5 BA single family detached; List price: $1,329,000; Sale price: $1,235,000
- 5202 Carlton Street; 5 BD | 4.5 BA single family detached; List price: $1,825,000; Sale price: $1,800,000
Photos via MRIS
Time is almost up for the Eastham’s Auto Servicenter on Wisconsin Avenue.
But even as the gas stations of downtown Bethesda vanish under the weight of sky-high property values and ambitious redevelopment projects, the landmark auto repair shop will live on for at least another year — albeit at a new, temporary location also up for redevelopment.
Eastham’s will move from 7100 Wisconsin Ave., where it has been since 1929, to 4990 Fairmont Ave. by the second week of April, general manager Steven Embrey said.
Work on a 12-story, 145-unit apartment building is set to begin soon at 7100 Wisconsin Ave., a former Exxon station that in late 2012 was retrofitted to allow Eastham’s another 18 months.
Embrey said Eastham’s, still owned by the Eastham family, started an intensive search for another auto repair shop in downtown Bethesda, since Bethesda and Chevy Chase supplies the vast majority of the shop’s client base.
They found the Fairmont Avenue spot, another former gas station at the corner of Old Georgetown Road that is on its way to approval for a 17-story, 70-unit luxury condominium.
“They want to keep the business going,” Embrey said of the Eastham family. “The problem, obviously, is our base is right here and you kind of have to stay in this area. There’s less and less property to have a service station. The property is just too expensive.”
The Wisconsin Avenue Exxon station is long gone. So is another Exxon station at 7340 Wisconsin Ave., which developers hope to soon turn into a 14-story, 225-unit apartment a stone’s throw from the Bethesda Metro station. Construction is underway on a low-rise bank building on the site of a former BP Station at Wisconsin and Highland Avenues.
There are plans for a one-story TD Bank building at 7628 Old Georgetown Rd., the site of a still operational Shell station. There are also approved, but apparently less imminent plans for a six-story office building at 8280 Wisconsin Ave., now the site of a still operational gas station, carwash and repair shop.
“The only way to really make money off these properties is to build them up, unfortunately,” Embrey said.
Eastham’s will have a year-long lease on the Fairmont and Old Georgetown location. It will not also serve as a place to fill up. Gas tanks and pumps were removed from the site in August.
The property owner flirted with the idea of having the site serve as a temporary staging location for food trucks, including the popular Corned Beef King out of Olney. But that never happened.
Mark Moore is aware of the poor recent track record of restaurants at 7525 Old Georgetown Rd.
But one look inside Tyber Bierhaus (which will open Tuesday, March 18) makes it clear Moore and his partners — the guys behind St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar in Cleveland Park — bring a bit more to the table.
There’s a bar with 20 overhead taps, a custom-made drip tray and communal tables delivered in from the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. The group hand-picked reclaimed wood for a section of church pew-style seating booths, which is in one of three different sound zones for music. Tyber’s emblem, a coat of arms featuring both the D.C. and Maryland flags, was carefully designed with the restaurant’s Czech and Bohemian themes in mind.
“This is not just a new coat of paint,” Moore said. “We’re really looking forward to making an impact and being here for 15 or 20 years.”
In other words, this isn’t the Box Bar and Grill.
“Hooters on Xanax,” is how one Yelp commenter described it. It closed in 2012 and was bought for a Dry Fried Wings franchise that lasted less than a month. Enter Moore and partner Paul Uppole, two Montgomery County natives with a track record of successful European-inspired restaurants and bars.
Since Tyber Bierhaus was announced, Moore said he’s heard lots of anticipation and some question as to whether the location — on one-way Old Georgetown Road in the first floor of an office building — could sustain a large bar and restaurant.
“This is not off the beaten path. You can chip a golf ball to the Metro,” Moore said. “Even a bad golfer like me can hit a golf ball to the Hyatt.”
Gulden Draak, Rodenbach, Ommegang Hennepin, Praga Pils and Hofbrau are a few of the beer brands. Potato cheese and onion perogies ($9), a pork schnitzel sandwich ($12), goulash ($15) and of course, the mussels ($18), shape the menu.
There will be cocktails, American beers and televisions full of sports, too. Moore wants to be careful not to exclude anyone in an area of town without many bar options.
“To me, it’s very important for everybody to be comfortable and get what they want,” Moore said. “We’re really looking for it to be a place for everybody to be. I think we’ve proven ourselves through our other ventures and if we do what we do, we’ll be fine.
“It’s the same stuff: How many people go into a place and you’re not greeted? You just want some attention and that’s what we do,” Moore said. “Everyone in Bethesda wants to quit on it at 10 or 11 [p.m.]. What about the traveler that needs something to eat at 11? What about the people that get off at 11? We want to service the whole neighborhood.”
Whitman Basketball Heading To State Semifinal — The Walt Whitman High Schools boys basketball team clinched a spot in Thursday’s Class 4A semifinals at Comcast Center with a 49-44 win against Clarksburg on Friday. The 4A West Region title is the team’s first since 2006, when the Vikings won it all. Whitman is set to play at 7 p.m. on Thursday against 4A East champs Annapolis. [The Gazette]
Bethesda Briefing Book — If you’re at all interested in the upcoming Bethesda Downtown master plan, this “Bethesda Briefing Book” from county planners is a must-read. It has a detailed run-down of existing conditions in the area, including the largest employers, resident demographics, traffic ratings at each major intersection and parks. [Montgomery County Planning Department]
BRAC Road Project Update — A utility relocation along Rockville Pike is done and so is an intersection improvement project at Jones Bridge Road and Connecticut Avenue, though pavement and signal work will require the occasional closing of the far-right lane during the day this spring. The State Highway Administration will also have to close a lane of Rockville Pike during the day as it installs a retaining wall at NIH near Wilson Drive. Then, there’s the Cedar Lane intersection improvement project, for which a start date hasn’t been announced. It’ll be sometime in June and will last most of summer. [Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center]
Got A Photo? Add It To Our Flickr Pool — We’re looking for photos of Bethesda, Chevy Chase and North Bethesda. Landmarks, landscapes, food, dogs, people, traffic, phone pics and most anything you can think of that’s Bethesda-related fits the bill and could be put to use in our “Morning Notes” post. [Flickr]
Flickr photo by ehpien
This weekend is a busy one in Bethesda and the rest of March offers a number of special events around the area.
Dance Bethesda Studio Night
Participating downtown Bethesda dance studios (see website)
Time: 7:00 p.m. — 10:30 p.m.
Dance Bethesda kicks off the weekend with free lessons and parties at downtown Bethesda dance studios from 7-10:30 p.m., Friday, March 7, 2014. Participants can learn steps and see demonstrations including ballroom, jazz, hip-hop and more dance styles.
America’s ‘Most Super Nanny’ Jo Frost Book Signing
Barnes and Noble (4801 Bethesda Avenue)
Time: 2:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Global parenting expert Jo Frost signs copies of her seventh book “Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules: Your 5-Step Guide to Shaping Proper Behavior”
UnCorked! An Evening of Extraordinary Wines To Benefit The Neediest Kids
Avenel Country Club (10000 Oaklyn Drive)
Time: 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) invites you to join us in celebrating our newest program, The Neediest Kids (TNK) – an early intervention program serving 10 school districts in the Greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.
Experience tastings of extraordinary wines from Opus, Justin, Freemark Abbey, Chausser, Lakoya, Penner Ash, and many more!
Meet Chef John Moeller, former Executive White House Chef to Presidents Clinton and Bush. Talk wine with Ben Giliberti, former Washington Post Wine Columnist. Mingle with other wine enthusiasts while sampling superb food and a special treat by Chef Moeller! Bid on a host of donated entertainment, dining, sports and travel items at our Silent Auction.
Dance Bethesda Concert
Round House Theatre (4545 East-West Highway)
Time: 8:00 p.m. — 11:00 p.m.
The 10th annual Dance Bethesda, a weekend celebrating dance, will feature a formal dance concert showcasing area companies at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 8, 2014. The event, produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership and the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, will take place at Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway in downtown Bethesda. The performers/choreographers include: Agency 9 (hip-hop), Bethany Disque (contemporary), Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (contemporary), Company Danzante (contemporary), Company E (contemporary), Nomad Dancers (inspired by traditions of India, Persia, Central Asia, Middle East, and Turkey) and Word Dance Theater (modern dance). Tickets are available at www.bethesda.org for $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Remaining tickets will also be available at the door.
The Bachelor Finale Viewing Party
Redwood (7121 Bethesda Lane)
Time: 6:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.
Join PerSei Apartments, On Tap Magazine and all the Hits 107.3 on Monday, March 10th to see who Juan Pablo chooses! We’ll be watching the finale on the big screen at Redwood restaurant in Bethesda. The evening includes complimentary appetizers, your first cocktail on us and a PerSei gift bag. Plus a rose for every guest!
The event is free of charge, but you must RSVP as space is limited. Check in begins at 6:00 and the screening begins at 8:00. To RSVP visit www.ontaponline.com/bachelor. You must be 21+ to attend.
Saturday, March 15
St. Patrick’s Day Live on the Plaza!
Chevy Chase Center (5463 Wisconsin Avenue)
Time: 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.
Enjoy St. Patrick’s day live on the plaza with treats, bagpipes, and dancers at Chevy Chase Center.
Tuesday, March 25
BCC Chamber of Commerce NextExec Fundraising Pool Tournament
Rock Bottom Brewery (7900 Norfolk Avenue)
Time: 5:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.
Join the B-CC Chamber NextExec Committee on March 25th at 5:30pm at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery for their 2nd annual Pool Tournament! Attendees may choose to participate in the tournament or just come to networking and cheer on the tournament. Players will be paired with a partner to make a team, and prizes will be awarded to winning teams!
As part of the NextExecs commitment to giving back to their community, all proceeds from this event will benefit CollegeTracks.
Cost: $12 / Members: $10
This is Small Business Weekly, a recurring feature in which we’ll spotlight a small, independently owned business in Bethesda or Chevy Chase. Got a business you think we should check out? Drop us a line at desk[at]bethesdanow[dot]com.
This is Missy Carr’s major expansion.
The L’Academie de Cuisine graduate was among the first to open a Montgomery County food truck when she opened Go Fish in 2011.
In a few years, her seafood truck built up a following in Bethesda. In 2012, it was named Bethesda’s best food truck by readers of Bethesda Magazine.
But a lack of parking, the threat of parking tickets and opposition from brick-and-mortar restaurants meant Carr rarely actually made it to downtown Bethesda, instead opting for weekly events hosted by office property owners, catering gigs and outdoor markets.
Now, with a relatively cheap spot in the Bethesda Farm Women’s Cooperative Market, Carr is hoping to better establish her business.
“This is a good foothold for me, because it’s so hard to get in Bethesda,” said Carr, who opened the stand in the market on Friday. “Everybody wants to be in Bethesda, but there’s nowhere to go. So when this opportunity came up, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is a good chance to get my brand out there and some more of our stuff.’”
Having a more permanent landing spot is especially important to Carr, who hopes to go back to offering fresh seafood on a regular basis. It’s the kind of business that relies on regular customers, which are harder to come by if your business is always on the move.
“The problem with fresh fish, when you have a product like that, people want to know where you are,” Carr said. “You have regular customers. They come to this place and they know on a Saturday for instance they’re going to get my product. We were always mobile.”
Go Fish was the second food truck in Montgomery County, Carr said. The first, Sub Urban Bros, has since called it quits. The Go Fish food truck will continue. Carr has help to keep it going on days when she’s at the market.
Go Fish and the market are open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
With start-up costs of a few thousand dollars, the opening at the Market is serving as a next step of sorts. Carr said she’s not quite at the level to move her crab cakes, mahi mahi fish tacos and lobster rolls to a permanent brick-and-mortar, though she has glanced at building vacancies.
“Having a place where people can count on to come and know we’re going to be here three days a week is a big opportunity for me,” Carr said.
Bethesda’s Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery has a special menu and new brew this month as part of a fundraising effort for a Maryland firefighter charity.
The restaurant (7900 Norfolk Ave.) revealed its “fiery” menu and Fire Chief Ale on Thursday with a tasting event in Woodmont Triangle.
Until March 30, a portion of Fire Chief Ale sales will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, a Frederick County-based nonprofit that assists family and co-workers of firefighters who die on-duty.
The limited-time menu includes 3-Alarm Brisket Chili, a slow cooked beef brisket-based chili topped with cheddar, pepper jack and sour cream.
There’s also a Tequila Lime Shrimp Salad, Cowboy Burger, Campfire Shrimp, Jalapeno BBQ Brisket Stack and Small Bite Triple Chocolate Brownie, complete with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and hot fudge.
Rock Bottom will also offer a Grilled Lime Margarita to go along with the Ale:
Brewed in-house, Fire Chief Ale is a medium-bodied, auburn colored ale that gets its sweet side from the caramel and crystal malts and has a little toasty character for balance. The hand-selected hops from the Pacific Northwest lend a crisp and refreshing finish.
Photos via Rock Bottom
The first traditional county executive debate between the two men who have run Montgomery County for the past 20 years and a longtime council member brought a few jabs and some new campaign fodder on Friday.
County Executive Isiah Leggett, former County Executive Doug Duncan and County Councilmember Phil Andrews took part in a 90-minute debate presented by the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and Bethesda Magazine in a banquet room of the Hyatt Regency.
Duncan, county executive from 1994-2006, issued sharp critiques of Leggett, county executive since Duncan left the job, on the Silver Spring Transit Center, economic competitiveness and state school construction funding.
Leggett stayed on the offensive, using Duncan’s own words from his time as county executive to illustrate the Silver Spring Transit Center also stalled on Duncan’s watch. He also cited a Duncan speech in 1995 to show the Travillah Road dump fire — an episode Duncan has used as an example of his ability to get things done — wasn’t put out as quickly as Duncan indicated.
Andrews continued to paint himself as a “tough leader” with a new approach that would curb tax increases, limit spending on government pensions and get more money for the county from Annapolis.
One contentious moment came in a discussion of transit and transportation priorities. Leggett said his early support for raising the state’s gas tax — passed last year — was essential to funding projects such as the Purple Line, Corridor Cities Transitway and a bus rapid transit system.
“On paper they looked good. But we needed to move them from paper to reality,” Leggett said. ”In reality, until we received the resources that we fought for from the gasoline tax and others, it was not possible. I led that fight.
“When the governor and others stood before you right downstairs this past summer to talk about the financial support that we had, they called out one person: ‘Ike Leggett’s the person that led this charge and advocated for this for years and years and he was right,’” Leggett said.
Duncan countered by saying Leggett was taken advantage of by state leaders in last year’s General Assembly, pointing to the $600 million Baltimore City got for school construction and the $200 million Prince George’s County got for a new medical center and hospital.
“That’s not leadership. That’s wrong. Montgomery County got played in Annapolis that session,” Duncan said. “No wonder they were so eager to praise you because they got away with not giving Montgomery County a lot of money for our schools.”
Check out a few of the open houses scheduled for this weekend, including a few condo selections.
5225 Pooks Hill Road
1 BD | 1 BA condominium
Sandie Goldstein, Weichert Realtors
Open: Sunday, March 9 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
5214 Sangamore Road
4 BD | 3.5 BA single family detached
Anita Centofanti, Re/Max Town Center
Open: Sunday, March 9 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
6820 Wisconsin Avenue
2 BD | 2.5 BA condominium
Hans Wydler, Long & Foster Real Estate
Open: Sunday, March 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
6539 Broad Street
4 BD | 3 BA single family detached
Hans Wydler, Long & Foster Real Estate
Open: Sunday, March 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The yellow hats trickled into the room Thursday night, until the conference room of the Taylor House Office Building in Annapolis was wall-to-wall PTA parents and their kids.
“When Montgomery County comes down, we come down guns blazing,” said Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Germantown), who spoke to a group of Maryland PTA and state education officials.
On the official PTA lobbying night in Annapolis, the estimated 250-350 people who rode buses and drove in from Montgomery County stressed their support for more state funding of school construction in MCPS.
They wore mock yellow hard hats and went through talking point after talking point about why the county — growing at the rate of roughly 2,000 students a year — needs more state funding to address overcrowding schools.
A bill in the House that would provide up to $20 million in state construction funding a year to the “big three” counties doesn’t have enough votes from those outside the delegations of Montgomery, Baltimore and Prince George’s Counties. It also faced a not so encouraging response in a committee hearing Thursday.
“Things that are big in Annapolis, they take time,” Montgomery County House Delegation leader Anne Kaiser cautioned, implying again that winning support for a school construction package for Montgomery County might be a multi-year process.
It doesn’t mean school supporters aren’t going to try this year. With about half the session remaining, the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (MCCPTA) chartered MCPS school buses from five locations in the county.
Those parents and students learned of the difficulty county legislators face when asking representatives from other jurisdictions to support money for Montgomery County schools.
Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday — A reminder to turn your clocks forward one hour early Sunday morning.
Dave & Busters Latest To Challenge White Flint Mall Redevelopment — A second high profile tenant sued White Flint Mall last year over its redevelopment plans. Dave & Busters, the restaurant, bar and arcade space, sued the mall last November claiming its redevelopment plans violated the lease. Mall owner Lerner Enterprises fired back by claiming Dave & Busters technically was in violation of the lease since 2006, when it opened a location at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover. That apparently is too close to the White Flint location, though Lerner allowed Dave & Busters continue to operate. It appears another longtime tenant at the old mall will be on the way out after it’s redeveloped into a mixed-use town center. Lord & Taylor filed a similar suit against the mall last summer. [Washington Post]
County Executive Candidates Reject Rent Stabilization — At a campaign forum held Wednesday night by the Montgomery County Renters Alliance (a BethesdaNow.com advertiser) all four county executive candidates said they do not support the idea of rent stabilization. They did talk about the need for more housing supply to lead to affordable housing rates. On the County Council side, 19 candidates showed up and 18 spoke. [Renters Alliance]
Montgomery County A Model For Trans Fat Ban? — Montgomery County was the first county in the country to ban trans fat in a bill introduced by former Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg, who’s running against incumbent Roger Berliner for the District 1 seat. [Washingtonian]
Flickr photo by The Amazing Mr. Ripley