Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) today touted the state’s gas inspection program ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend at a gas station in Chevy Chase.
Franchot said the state’s aggressive inspection program of octane ratings at gas stations has led to a decline in failed inspections. Inspectors test regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel fuel at gas stations to ensure they have the octane rating advertised at pumps.
Inspectors will take about 50 samples a day from some of the state’s 1,400 gas stations and can get results within minutes. The Field Enforcement Division did about 11,000 gas samples last fiscal year, Franchot said.
“It’s the exception in Maryland when you don’t get what you pay for,” Franchot said. “In other states, it’s not the same.”
Franchot said violations have decreased from 10 percent of samples to less than 1 percent in the last several years.
Jeff Kelly, the director of the Field Enforcement Division, brought inspector Kevin Burley, who tested the gas at the Liberty gas station (5001 Bradley Blvd.). Burley takes the samples, looks for any water in the samples and then tests them with a machine that prints out octane ratings. The gas station’s regular, premium and mid-grade gas all checked out.
About 874,000 area residents will travel 50 miles or more during the four-day Memorial Day holiday travel period, AAA Mid-Atlantic projected, a 2 percent drop from last year.
Timothy Cole, a spokesman for Aldon Management, said management is in the process of changing locks to the main entrances of the building and to individual units as a precaution.
Montgomery County Police confirmed an office burglary at the 4740 Bradley Blvd. address of the office on Monday at approximately 11:05 p.m. Nobody has been arrested and not many other details are known at this time.
A resident of the apartments, mid-rise brick buildings just south of Bethesda’s Central Business District, said management was re-keying doors on Thursday and that residents were concerned that master keys were accessed or stolen from the office.
The tipster also said computers were stolen, which has left tenants scared that personal information has been compromised.
Cole said Aldon Management doesn’t believe there was any personal information stolen in the break-in.
The owners of the shuttered Bruce Variety store said the support they got from the community, including an online petition with more than 2,900 signatures, motivated them to find a new storefront.
They are rumored to be moving to the former Creative Parties Ltd. space at 8011 Woodmont Ave.
“It’s been the grassroots effort. …That’s really motivated us to really make a concerted effort to find a new space,” co-owner Linda Ridenour told County Cable Montgomery’s County Report This Week.
Ridenour and husband Richard Dimock say the rent at Bradley Shopping Center is too high to maintain profitability. The property owner has not commented on the story.
Video from MyMCMedia
After 60 years, the Bruce Variety store in Bradley Shopping Center is closing.
The supply shop known for its vast collection of crafts, fabrics and other assorted items you probably didn’t even know existed is having a clearance sale today. Everything is half off.
A sign in the window says the store will be moving. An employee said the store will likely close in a week or two and will be open on New Year’s Day. The owner was not available.
The store, at 6922 Arlington Rd. next to Strosniders Hardware, stocked hairnets, cotton underwear, even bras.
Blogger Robert Dyer reported the store is closing because of rent increases.
Now, fans of the store have started an online petition asking the shopping center owner to allow Bruce Variety to renegotiate its lease. More than 140 people have signed:
Like all of you I have loved Bruce Variety in downtown Bethesda for years. Walking into that store lets me take a trip back in time to when the world seemed like a gentler, simpler, more civilized place. It would be so sad for Bethesda to lose that vestige of the past.
I am wholeheartedly a supporter of the free market, but I also support individual’s rights to show their support (or boycott!) for a shopping center based upon strong community desires. Bruce’s is more than just a store; it’s a unique atmosphere in this day and age that brings a wonderful vibe to the otherwise largely cookie-cutter corporate stores that surround us.
Montgomery County has decided to suspend parking meter installation for Chevy Chase Drive and Offut Lane indefinitely, according to an email Department of Transportation Deputy Director Al Roshdieh sent to residents yesterday.
After MCDOT installed meter posts in October, residents on the street of apartments and condominiums were quick to express anger over the plan for 28 meters on Chevy Chase Drive and 17 on Offut Lane.
MCDOT had identified the area as one outside the Bethesda Parking Lot District (PLD) where commuters and downtown workers would park to avoid paying for public parking garages or other meters. Residents in the neighborhood disagreed, saying only people who live on the street parked on the street because of limited parking options at their apartments.
Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) intervened and the installation was suspended. Berliner later apologized for the County Council’s handling of the meter proposal. The council approved the installation in its fiscal year 2013 budget discussions with MCDOT.
It wasn’t until yesterday that MCDOT dropped the meter idea altogether. The suspension also means MCDOT won’t install 100 meters planned for Bradley Boulevard:
To Our Residents,
Based on your written feedback and comments the Department of Transportation has decided to suspend indefinitely the installation of any new parking meters on Chevy Chase Drive, Offutt Lane and Bradley Boulevard. The meter posts already installed will be removed. Before the Department plans any future meter installations in this area we will insure you have ample opportunity to comment in advance.
Based on this decision the planned public discussion is now unnecessary and is hereby cancelled.
Montgomery County Department of Transportation
The county had planned a meeting with residents on Dec. 20 to discuss the meters, though some of the apartment and condominium leaders involved said they wouldn’t be able to attend on such short notice and that close to the holidays.
Some suggested a residential parking permit as an alternative to meters. Debrah Shaver, on the Board of the Bradley House Condominium Association, said getting signatures from two-thirds of residents on the streets necessary was going to be a difficult task.
UPDATE No. 3 (5:10): County spokeswoman Esther Bowring confirmed the DOT has suspended the meter installation and will consult with the community on a residential permitting system. Bowring said the county did advertise the project and the Council did receive some public comment from residents. She also said the meters were not a revenue tool, they were planned purely to prevent commuters and downtown business-goers from parking for free on residential streets.
UPDATE No. 2 (4:35): It seems the installation of parking meters on Chevy Chase Drive and Offutt Lane has been called off. Connie Neuman emailed us this afternoon with the news that DOT Deputy Director called a Bradley House board member and said the meter installation is off, and DOT will begin the process of residential permitting.
UPDATE (2:10 p.m.): Council President Roger Berliner issued a letter today to Department of Transportation Deputy Director Al Roshdieh, asking DOT to review residents’ suggestion of establishing residential permit parking on Chevy Chase Drive and Offutt Lane instead of parking meters. The PDF of the letter is after the jump.
Tucked into Montgomery County’s fiscal year 2013 parking budget was the creation of 28 parking meters on Chevy Chase Drive, a decision residents there say they didn’t know about until workers began installing the meters this week.
Now, people from a number of condominiums and apartment complexes are outraged the county would place meters in a heavily residential area already short on parking.
“Our neighborhood is getting taken away from us,” said Debrah Shaver, who is on the board of the Bradley House Condominium Association. “They’re going to subsidize their budget off of the people who are living in the neighborhood.”
Chevy Chase Park Condominium resident Connie Neuman said residents were never informed the meters were coming. She sent a letter to Council President Roger Berliner’s office on Wednesday asking the county to reconsider installation of the meters.
“I’ve been living here since 1982 and parking has always been bad,” Neuman said. “But now to put in parking meters is just really obnoxious.”