This 50-foot tree fell in the Edgemoor neighborhood this afternoon.
Though it didn’t cause much damage (other than a few gardens) you’ll want to avoid the area of 7200 Fairfax Rd. That block is closed between Hampden Lane and the Elm Street walk-through. The Elm Street path is still open. Police have cleared the area of any hazards.
As part of its annual Recycling Awareness Week activities, Montgomery County on Wednesday honored a number of area residents and businesses for pushing more recycling in their communities and organizations.
The Park Avenue Condominium Association in Chevy Chase recycled more than 70 percent of its waste stream in 2012. The Grosvenor Park II Condominium near Strathmore, Highland House Apartments and Highland House West Apartments in Chevy Chase, The Riviera of Chevy Chase, The Sterling Home Owner’s Association in North Bethesda, The Whitney at Bethesda Theatre and The Wisconsin Condominium in North Bethesda all received recognition for outstanding efforts in recycling.
The Whitney increased its recycling percentage from 35 percent in 2011 to 56 percent last year by recycling rechargeable batteries and carpeting and donating books and clothing.
Austin Creel, from Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda, was recognized individually for efforts to get others in the community to recycle.
Crawford Tire (7015 Arlington Rd.), The German School Washington DC (8617 Cheateau Dr., Potomac), Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence (6777 Rockledge Dr.) and Ridgewells Catering (5525 Dorsey Lane) all received the Excellence in Recycling award for business, meaning the companies recycled at least 70 percent of their waste stream last year.
Crawford Tire included mandatory and voluntary recycling of batteries, antifreeze and motor oil in its program to recycle 84 percent of its waste stream. Lockheed Martin included food waste composting and pallet recycling to hit 96 percent, the county said.
Bethesda Green, Brookfield Office Properties, the Landow Building Limited Partnership, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and School, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and Potomac Place Shopping Center all received recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Recycling.
Montgomery County has the highest recycling rate in Maryland, at 57 percent, according to 2011 numbers from the state.
Flickr photo by Carla Bob Nora Russell
Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club owner Rick Brown and a host of local dignitaries gathered on Friday for a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of the historic Bethesda Theatre’s 75th anniversary.
Brown and veteran D.C. club manager Ralph Camilli reopened the venue in late February, investing millions to make the building a regional music destination with no financial help from the county.
Councilmembers Roger Berliner and George Leventhal attended the Friday ceremony, as did County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Director of Economic Development Steve Silverman. The ribbon-cutting was followed by a performance from jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis.
All indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities will be open and county liquor stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some Montgomery Parks will be open, but check the Montgomery Parks website for specific schedules.
County offices, libraries, senior centers and community recreation centers will be closed. So will the Gaithersburg Transfer Station, TRiPS Commuter Stores in Silver Spring and Friendship Heights, MCPS and State offices and courts.
Trash and recycling collection will be provided one day later than regularly scheduled for the rest of the week. Parking at public garages, lots and curbside meters will be free.
Ride On, Metrobus and Metrorail will all run on Sunday schedules.
Flickr photo by davidyuweb
Construction crews will need to blast through rock to build the underground parking garage slated for a 359-unit apartment building and Harris Teeter grocery store at Wisconsin Avenue and Battery Lane.
Developer StonebridgeCarras, the same company doing the Lot 31 excavation and blasting at Bethesda Avenue, said last week that crews have completed underground utility work around the 8300 Wisconsin site and are ready to start excavation.
Donohoe Construction Company crews are now on the site, which is being prepared with sediment and erosion control measures, according to a release. Workers are also building foundation piles that will be drilled along the property line.
Drilling is scheduled to begin this week and will last five to six weeks. Dump trucks will also begin to haul material off the site this week. StonebridgeCarras said preliminary tests indicate there will be about five months of periodic blasting to get through dense rock. That blasting is scheduled to begin in late July.
StonebridgeCarras said notice to the community will be sent out. Some near the Lot 31 parking garage and apartment project said they were caught off guard when Clark Construction crews began blasting there in December.
The utility work over the last six months that led to detours and bumpy patches in the Battery Lane and Woodmont Avenue intersection was to allow Pepco to replace the overhead power lines with underground ones. Pepco is planning to transfer poer from the overhead electric lines to the underground lines in late June.
StonebridgeCarras hopes to have the excavation done in January. Then, crews will erect construction cranes and start to pour concrete. The building is expected to top out at the end of 2014 and the entire project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2015.
Photo via StonebridgeCarras
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club’s annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser went on Saturday despite overcast skies and some rain.
Area dog owners brought their canines to Norfolk Avenue for a dog parade, training sessions and a look at a number of local businesses with dog-focused services.
Proceeds will go to the Montgomery Humane Society and other dog care organizations.
This weekend, Verizon trucks and workers were back on Wisconsin Avenue between Montgomery Avenue and East-West Highway, where lane closures led to surprise delays for some drivers.
Verizon Maryland spokesperson Sandra Arnette, who told us on May 6 that crews had finished replacing an 800-foot water-damaged cable that evening, said yesterday that crews had to come back over the weekend basically to check their work.
Pairs in the cable, which are not color-coded, must be matched and back-tested, Arnette said. She said copper cables, which are under Wisconsin Avenue, typically take longer to repair than fiber cables.
“This is a time consuming and labor-intensive process,” Arnette said.
Four customers without cable service over the weekend should have had their service restored by this morning, Arnette said. Because businesses were closed over the weekend, Arnette said Verizon workers could not access some buildings to test the lines.
She didn’t say what prior notice had been given to Montgomery County. The work in early May lasted for more than a week and caused the closure of two lanes of northbound Wisconsin Avenue in one of Bethesda’s busiest intersections.
Bethesda Transportation Solutions had more than 600 people register for its Bike To Work Day festivities on Woodmont Avenue this morning, one of many local “pit-stops” around the area today.
The 13th annual event is meant to encourage bicycle commuting. Getting commuters out of congestion-creating single-occupancy cars and using other forms of transportation is the objecctive for Bethesda Transportation Solutions, a division of the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
District 16 Delegates Ariana Kelly and Susan Lee presented a proclamation from the state of Maryland celebrating the event, which included a bike raffle from Griffin Cycle (4949 Bethesda Ave.), on-site bike registration from Montgomery County Police, and giveaways and information from bike organizations such as the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
Comptroller Peter Franchot made an appearance. County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services director Ken Hartman presented a Montgomery County proclamation recognizing Bike To Work Day.
BTS also presented two bike commuters with a “Bicycle Spirit Award.”
Giant Food hopes to open a Peapod grocery pick-up facility and gas station at the Sunoco gas station site in Chevy Chase by this fall, according to a company spokesperson.
The location, at 8500 Connecticut Ave., would be for pick-up orders placed online, according to Giant Food spokesman Jamie Miller. Miller said the Peapod by Giant will open in late summer or early fall.
The facility will be built in the Chevy Chase Lake Sector, where the Montgomery County Council is currently weighing a series of significant zoning changes. Developer Chevy Chase Land Company hopes to build a mixed-use town center across the street from the site and the Planning Board approved a Sector Plan that would rezone the 8500 Connecticut Ave. property to allow for a 35-foot-tall residential and retail development and a 70-foot one after the Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station is assured.
“The relatively small size of this property limits its potential redevelopment as a stand-alone project. However, its location creates opportunities for redevelopment, as part of an assemblage of properties. To encourage this, the Plan recommends rezoning to match the shopping center’s height and density. If this property is ever assembled with others, as part of a unified development, the number of curb cuts along Connecticut Avenue, between Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive, should be reduced,” according to the Sector Plan.
A gas station and grocery pick-up site seems to contradict the more urban and transit-friendly feeling developers and the Planning Board seek for Chevy Chase Lake.
Miller said it will be a small facility, “where customers can place their online orders in the morning or while at work, then come pick the orders up on the way home.
“We’ve identified a demand for the service at that location,” Miller said. “We feel that this is going to be a growing part of the grocery business and a great convenience.”
Giant Food and Peapod opened a similar location in April in Clarksville and Columbia, both in Howard County.
“Our mission at Peapod is to save our customers time and money — and for many busy families, especially moms, who are always on the go, a quick stop at our pick-up location on the way home is the most convenient option,” Peapod President Andrew Parkinson said in the press release announcing the Howard County openings. “Peapod Pick-Up is fast and easy. Peapod associates greet you at your car, collect your coupons and load your groceries into your vehicle for you — all within five minutes. There’s no need for you to even get out of your car.”
Everyone is looking to increase their marketability these days and there are plenty of drivers in the public parking garage at Bethesda Row. So Montgomery County today announced it will place ads in the garage to gauge revenue potential.
The six-month pilot program will test “ad-based marketing opportunities,” in four county garages, including Garage 57 at Bethesda Row, Garage 11 at 7730 Woodmont Ave. and two garages in Silver Spring.
The county’s Department of Transportation Division of Parking Management will post the ads by early June, according to a press release. The test will help parking officials figure out how much money they can make from the ads, what sizes and type of ads work for businesses and ways to make sure the ads don’t block garage signage and instructions.
The county will use RMR Outdoor to manage the ads. For more info, visit the Division of Parking Management’s website.
The skydivers will be part of a barbecue and concert appreciation day for staff on the Walter Reed and Naval Support Activity Bethesda campus.
At about 11:30 a.m., the skydivers will land on the front lawn near the Navy Exchange, according to the NSAB Public Affairs office.
NSAB warned county government that could lead to slower traffic in front of the base due to rubbernecking.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. From 9 a.m. until the concert is over, the gate directly across from the Medical Center Metro station will be closed to vehicle traffic and open to bicycles and pedestrians, which could also cause traffic issues.
The Box Bar & Grill is closed according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, which blames the owner of the failed Dry Fried Wing Bar and Grille for its unsuccessful attempt at a comeback.
Jason McCarther, who opened the original Box Bar & Grill (7525 Old Georgetown Rd.) in 2011, said in February that he had bought back the space from Dry Fried Wings.
McCarther said then that George Farrell, who opened Dry Fried Wings in the space in January, defaulted on payments and came to him to buy back the bar. McCarther had planned to reopen the bar as Roc Bar Live, featuring local live music, in March.
That never happened. Neither McCarther nor Farrell responded to requests for comment. McCarther’s downtown D.C. Roc Bar Nightclub, which opened in September, appears to have also closed.
“The box is closed, thanks to the negligence of George Farrell. i woulnt recomend doing business with him,” reads the Facebook post, which includes links to Farrell’s Facebook page and profile. “Jason and I apologize and thank all of our loyal customers that showed us so much love.”
Community Profits Montgomery, an organization created by Bethesda Magazine and a local communications firm, will kickoff its effort to encourage philanthropy from area business owners at an event next week in Bethesda.
The panel discussion, called Dollars & Change, will look into how Montgomery County businesses are giving back and the state of need in the county today.
The event will take place on May 23 at the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce with Honest Tea founder and CEO Seth Goldman, Bethesda attorney Nancy Fax and Bethesda Magazine editor-in-chief and publisher Steve Hull, who helped found Community Profits Montgomery last year.
Silver Spring-based communications pro Carrie Fox and Hull put together the group with the goal to provide more positive recognition to local companies that give back, with the thinking those efforts would provide motivation for more philanthropy.
Members of the organization must contribute at least two percent (with a minimum of $5,000) of their operating income to charitable organizations supporting Montgomery County.
The event next week will offer examples of charity efforts and pro bono support that area companies are offering.
For more information on the group, visit its website.
A Bethesda developer’s plan for three 300-foot residential towers and two 200-foot buildings along Rockville Pike met some resistance on Monday, when a resident of a nearby condominium building questioned the lack of retail space in the presentation.
Saul Centers, a part of B.F. Saul, wants to tun the two-level Metro Pike Center shopping center and the Staples site near the White Flint Metro station into four residential high-rises and an office building.
Saul Centers Vice President of Development Brian Downie told a meeting of the White Flint Implementation Advisory Committee on Monday that the company’s research shows retail uses are not in high demand at the site, which sits between four major mixed-use projects either underway or in the pipeline for White Flint.
Paul Meyer, a member of the Committee and a resident of The Wisconsin Condominiums to the west of the property, said the lack of retail and other amenities wouldn’t be fair to residents of his building and wouldn’t encourage people to walk from section to section of White Flint.
“Everything that’s being built in White Flint, we know we’re going to have to pay in terms of construction, noise, and traffic problems over time,” Meyer said. “On the other hand, it’s a balance. We look at what we’ll have when it’s done. These projects have places to walk to, they have restaurants to eat in, a destination that I’d want to go to. This project has none of that, absolutely none.”
Meyer said the project will likely be the first in the redevelopment of White Flint that residents of The Wisconsin don’t support.
In total, the Saul redevelopment on its two Pike properties would bring 1.4 million square feet of new residential space with roughly 1,400 rental units and 200,000 square feet of office and commercial space, most of which would be in a roughly 200-foot high office building near the Porcelenosa store.
The plan calls for green, pedestrian-friendly walkways, a public plaza on the east side of Rockville Pike along Nicholson Lane and a few spaces for retail or restaurants. But Downie said that retail or restaurant space is limited.
“We want to be forthright and cautious about overpromising retail,” Downie said at the meeting. “We do think the uses we want there primarily are restaurants, but we don’t see it’s strength as retail.”
Downie said the performance of the existing shopping center on the site, which has a number of vacancies, played a role in that decision. Bob Dalrymple, an attorney from Linowes and Blocher who is representing Saul Centers on the project, said the plan presented so far is in its early stages.
“I would encourage you not to take anything too literally, too fixed. We are very early on,” Dalrymple said. “So don’t give up on us too early is I guess what I’m asking.”
Saul Centers hopes to submit a sketch plan to the County Planning Department in a few weeks.
“If they do the right thing, everybody wins,” Meyer said. “I’m willing to take some more traffic. I’ll walk. But my worry is, if they overbuild the residential, it becomes a ghost town.”