Chevy Chase Village Could Share Police Force, But Village Board Wants Higher Fee — A proposal to share some of its police department officers with the nearby Village of Martin’s Additions is doable and could serve the greater good, according to Chevy Chase Village’s police chief. But at a meeting on Monday, the Chevy Chase Village Board decided to table the measure, saying the flat $1,250 fee that would be charged to Martin’s Additions is too low. [The Gazette]
Floreen on Leggett vs. Duncan: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Going To Be Much Of A Race’ — Councilmembers George Leventhal likely won’t run for county executive now that Isiah Leggett has announced he’ll run for re-election. Councilmember Marc Elrich won’t. Leventhal and councilmember Nancy Floreen, elected in 2002 on Doug Duncan’s slate, both said Leggett will beat Duncan in a 2014 showdown. Floreen said she thinks Leggett will win easily. [Bethesda Magazine]
County Asks For Input On Alert Montgomery, Zoning Code Rewrite — Montgomery County is asking what types of information (besides the weather alerts and traffic notifications it sends now) should be included in the Alert Montgomery system. It’s also looking for ideas on the zoning code rewrite, which the County Council is now examining. [Engage Montgomery]
Aroma Espresso Putting On Car Show — Aroma Espresso Bar (7101 Democracy Blvd.) will host a weekly informal gathering of car enthusiasts in the parking lot outside its Montgomery Mall location. Gift cards and gear from a local Maserati dealer will be available. The first “Aroma Exotics” event is Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. [Aroma Espresso Bar via Facebook]
Flickr photo by ehpien
Police say a man walked to the back of a house in Chevy Chase and threw rocks at an expensive set of French doors and a window, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
The Chevy Chase Village Police Department said the incident happened at about 1 p.m. on April 29 in the 5500 block of Montgomery Street. The Department is hoping photos of the suspect captured by Village security cameras lead to his arrest.
The suspect, a black male about six-feet tall and 230 pounds with a red-hooded sweatshirt and blue backpack, apparently never made it into the house. Chevy Chase Village Police said he is a suspect for vandalism only.
Police said the man threw “several large rocks,” at the doors and a rear window.
Anyone with information can contact the Chevy Chase Village Police Department at 301-654-7300. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-8477. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided that leads to an arrest in this crime.
Photos via Chevy Chase Village Police Department
It’s the first step in getting permitting and construction approval for the unique project, which Chevy Chase leaders helped fund to provide a green space on the edge of very urban Friendship Heights.
The two-acre property, bordered by Grove Street and Western Avenue, used to have a single-family home. Chevy Chase Village contributed $1.25 million of the $5 million purchase price of the land and half of the cost for demolishing the house ($39,000). The deal is a rare Parks partnership with a municipality.
Last year, Chevy Chase village approved a Concept Plan for the park, which proposed a main pedestrian walkway, woodlawn walkway, picnic plaza, great lawn, natural play area and mix of gardens.
Now the County Planning Board will begin its approval process. The hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Image via Montgomery County Planning Department
Local police will take part in the 6th National DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday with a drop-off location at the 2nd District Bethesda Station (7359 Wisconsin Ave.) and Chevy Chase Village Police headquarters (5906 Connecticut Ave.).
Police at those locations and at all six Montgomery County District Stations will accept expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Drug Take-Back Day is a national initiative meant to get unused prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets and educate the public about prescription drug abuse.
Last April’s Take-Back Day resulted in the collection of 276 tons of prescription medication from more than 5,000 sites nationwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription drugs have become the primary contributor to the country’s increase in drug overdose rates.
Flickr photo by deathtiny42
Chevy Chase Village Finds Enough To Keep 7-Member Board — At its Annual Meeting on Monday, the four Board members up for election said they would come back and two new members stepped up to fill the spots of the pair who quit last year in protest of more stringent financial disclosure rules. The Village was worried it would not find enough willing Board participants because of the rules. [Chevy Chase Patch]
Chevy Chase Landlord Pleads Guilty In Peeping Case — Dennis Van Dusen, 64, of Ridgewood Avenue pleaded to three misdemeanor charges of placing tiny cameras in smoke detectors to record female tenants having sex. Van Dusen could face up to 18 months in prison when he’s sentenced in July. [Washington Post]
Hard Times Cafe Owner Honored At Restaurant Awards — Hard Times Cafe owner Greg Hourigan, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, won the Maryland Hospitality Hall of Honor award at the recent Restaurant Association of Maryland’s annual awards gala. [Bethesda Magazine]
They aren’t happy about it, but Chevy Chase Village officials are moving forward with new state ethics laws that require more extensive financial disclosures than member of the town’s Board say are necessary.
The roughly 0.5-square-mile Village of around 2,000 residents was twice denied an exemption from new state rules requiring elected municipal officials to detail the property they own, stocks they invest in and sources of income.
The Village has argued it isn’t big enough to be subject to the much larger set of new disclosure requirements. Two members of the seven-member Board, which acts as the Village’s elected governing body, resigned last year in protest of the new requirements.
That’s left the situation complicated ahead of this spring’s annual meeting (April 15) and election scheduled for May 4. It’s unknown exactly how many candidates there will be for the six open seats on the Board and if incumbent members will want to stay on.
On Wednesday, Michael Denger, the lone member of the Board who is not up for re-election, led potential candidates through the new disclosure requirements that must be submitted to the Village’s Ethics Commission by April 26.
The Village had previously said it would consider shrinking the size of the Board from seven people to five if it appeared there would not be enough candidates. At the meeting on Wednesday, there were at least four, including current Board Chair Pat Baptiste, who said they were contemplating running. Denger and Baptiste said they knew of a few people interested who were not at the meeting.
The old requirement consisted of a one-page financial disclosure statement that asked for a list of gifts from people doing business with the Village.
The new financial disclosure statement, prepared by the Village’s Ethics Commission and distributed at the meeting, is much more significant. It must be filed by each Board member annually and include the location and ownership status of any property, name of any mortgage holders, the seller and the amount paid.
All stock and mutual fund holdings must be listed, regardless of if the entity did business with the Village. Salary amounts aren’t required, but the source of the salary or employment for all members and members of their families are required.
Two Town of Chevy Chase Council members also attended the meeting. The Town will also likely have to abide by the more stringent disclosure procedures, despite its request for an exemption from the Maryland Ethics Commission.
Those who fill out the new form do have the option of being notified whenever someone pulls copies of them.
And because of the media coverage that followed the Village’s attempts at an exemption, Denger offered any prospective candidates some practical advice.
“There is no way this information won’t be out there,” Denger said. “Just telling you that so everybody has a heads up.”
Chevy Chase Man Gets 15 Years For Denny’s Robbery — Colin Thomas Bowie was sentenced to 30 years with 15 years suspended for robbing the safe of a Fairfax Denny’s by gunpoint on New Year’s Day 2012. [WUSA9]
Gun Control Bill Heads To House of Delegates Vote, Issues Remain — The Maryland House of Delegate will vote on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun control bill today, but some changes to the original legislation have gun control supporters in an interesting position. [Washington Post]
D.C. Realtor Opening Chevy Chase Office — D.C. residential real estate agent Donna Evers is opening up a Bethesda-Chevy Chase office tomorrow on Wisconsin Avenue near Bradley Lane. [Evers & Co.]
Chevy Chase Village To Hold Ethics Briefing Tonight — The Village is looking for up to six candidates to fill its seven-member Village Board in its upcoming election. Two Board members quit last year in protest of new state ethics rules that require more extensive financial disclosures. The Village will brief anybody interested in running on the disclosure requirements. [Chevy Chase Village]
Flickr photo by lisapark8
New financial disclosure rules and a lack of interest could make this year’s Chevy Chase Village Annual Meeting historic.
On April 15 at 7:30 p.m., the Village’s Board of Managers will adopt its fiscal 14 budget, set real estate and property tax rates and receive committee reports on a number of topics in the 0.5-square mile town of nearly 2,000 bordering the D.C. line.
But if the seven-member Board can’t get six residents for its vacant spots (due to two resignations last year and its May election) the Annual Meeting might also see changes in the make-up of the town’s government.
The Village said it could be looking at rewriting its charter to shrink the Board to five people. It’s unknown how many of the remaining Board members whose seats are up for election in May intend to stay on.
The Village twice unsuccessfully attempted for a state exemption from new ethics rules that require elected municipal leaders to file extensive financial disclosure documents. The Village argued it should be exempt because of its small size.
The Annual Meeting is an excellent opportunity to get caught-up on issues affecting the Village. Residents who have moved into the Village during the past year are especially encouraged to attend to see their Village government in action, and to meet Village Committee/Commission members and elected officials.
The Elections Committee will announce candidates for the Board at the Meeting. The Village is hoping enough people are interested and it’s holding a meeting to explain the new financial disclosure rules at 7:30 p.m. on April 3 at the Village Hall (5906 Connecticut Ave.) in an effort to encourage participation.
CORRECTION 1:35 p.m. Chevy Chase Village is a municipality, not a special taxing district. Board Chair Pat Baptiste says she has not indicated whether she will run for re-election.
If not enough candidates show up to take the six vacant seats on Chevy Chase Village’s Board of Managers, the muncipality with its own 17-member police force may shrink its seven-member governing body to five.
If the Board can’t get to five willing members before the April 15 deadline to enter its May 4 election, it’s unknown what will happen in the 0.5-square mile town of nearly 2,000 people bordering D.C.
Two Board members left their posts last year in protest of stronger state ethics laws for municipal officials that Village officials say shouldn’t apply to a town of such a small size. But last week, the Maryland State Ethics Commission voted down Chevy Chase Village’s second exemption request from the rules, which require elected town and municipal officials to make detailed disclosures of financial holdings, properties and a spouse’s stocks and bonds.
Six of the seven Board positions are up for election, including the posts of Chair Pat Baptiste, Gary Crockett, Richard Ruda and David Winstead. Those vacancies are for full two-year terms. The positions vacated by resigned members Peter Kilborn and Tom Jackson include just the final year of those two terms.
Baptiste, a former County Planning Board commissioner and a one-time County Council candidate, says she has not indicated whether she would stay on. If fewer than six residents step up by the Village’s Annual Meeting on April 15 (and agree to file paperwork involved with the new ethics requirements by April 26) then the Board will consider amending the Village Charter to reduce the Board size from seven to five members and the required quorum from four to three members.
“Most other Boards/Councils of municipalities have five members, and it is anticipated that if the Board has to resort to this approach, the Village Board will be able to carry on as it has in the past,” read an announcement from the Village yesterday.
Michael Denger, the remaining member of the Village Board who is not up for re-election, and the Village’s Ethics Commission will hold a meeting to explain the new financial disclosure rules at 7:30 p.m. on April 3 at the Village Hall (5906 Connecticut Ave.).
Lockheed Martin Hotel Tax Break Likely Up For Final Vote on Monday — The controversial measure that would exempt the Bethesda-based defense contractor from paying the county’s hotel tax on its Bethesda hotel and training center could go to a full Maryland Senate vote on Monday. On Wednesday, a provision that would have forced Montgomery County to refund the $1.4 million in collected taxes since 2010 was taken out of the bill. [The Gazette]
Federal Government Budget Cuts Mean $8 Million Less For Metro — The transit system will see $8 million less in federal funding for capital projects because of the cuts, which it says could delay bus purchases, station improvements and plans to replace the fare card system with one that would let riders pay for rides with credit cards. Metro typically receives $150 million in federal funding for capital projects a year. [Washington Post]
Transportation Bill Heads To Committee — The Gov. Martin O’Malley (D)-backed gas tax plan and transportation bill heads to the House of Delegates’ Ways and Means Committee for a 1 p.m. hearing today. [Maryland General Assembly]
Chevy Chase Village Again Denied Exemption From Ethics Rules — The Maryland State Ethics Commission on Thursday voted down Chevy Chase Village’s second exemption request from rules it says are too stringent for a municipality of its relatively small size. Two Village Board Members resigned last year rather than divulge information required by the rules, and remaining ones say other resignations are possible. [The Gazette]
Senior Spelling Bee Coming To Chevy Chase Libary — The Friends of the Library is hosting a Senior Spelling Bee for contestants 55 or over on April 27 at the Chevy Chase Library. [Friends of the Library]
On Monday, April 8, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Village Hall (5906 Connecticut Ave.) assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., will be available to hear from Department employees and the public.
The assessors will be in town for three days starting on April 7 to do a review of the Department, then report back to the Commission, which will decide if the Department gets re-accreditation.
The accreditation covers three years and is “a highly prized recognition of public safety and professional excellence,” according to Chevy Chase Village Police Chief John Fitzgerald.
The assessors will also take public comments via phone, at 240-876-1493, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on April 8.
Montgomery County 2nd District Police commander Capt. Dave Falcinelli today said there have been at least three incidents in the last week involving a Hispanic male approaching young girls in the Chevy Chase and Silver Spring area.
In one incident in Chevy Chase Village, a woman says the driver of a minivan got out of his car and walked toward her before she managed to run to a friend’s house.
Falcinelli sent out a public safety alert through the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center with police reports from the three incidents, two of which occurred near the D.C. line last Friday and on Tuesday and one which occurred in Silver Spring, near Chevy Chase and East-West Highway:
Police information: 4420 South Park Avenue. On Tuesday 2/19 at approximately 4:00 p.m., the 13 year old female was walking when she noted a small maroon SUV drive by several times. The driver eventually pulled alongside the victim and began asking her questions (how are you, whats your name etc.). The victim was able to run to a store on Wisconsin Avenue and contact a parent.
Suspect: H/M, late 30searly 40s, short black hair
Vehicle: Small maroon SUV, black trim on bottom of doors.
Police information: 2442 Ross Road. On Friday 2/15 at approximately 4:30 p.m., the H/M suspect in his 40s approached a group of young girls playing outside and began making inappropriate comments about their bodies. He asked at least one if she wanted to go with him, however that girl was able to run to her friends. One victim stated that she had seen the suspect in the area on more than one occasion.
The third incident comes from an urgent alert from the Chevy Chase Village police:
Suspicious Hispanic Male in the 5500 Block of Kirkside Drive
On Tuesday evening (Feb. 19) at 7:00 p.m., a young woman who works in the Village reported to police that, as she walked south on Kirkside Drive near the intersection with Grove Street, she noticed that a light blue or grey minivan was driving very slowly behind her. The minivan was also southbound on Kirkside, but the van crept slowly as it kept pace with her. At one point, the driver shone a flashlight at the woman. As the woman pulled out her cell phone to take a photo of the vehicle, the driver got out of the minivan and walked briskly directly toward the woman. Instinctively, she ran to a nearby friends house and went inside. The friend also saw the man, and he soon returned to the van and drove off. Village police were on the scene very quickly, but the van had already driven off. The vehicle is possibly a light blue or gray older Honda minivan described as beat up.
The suspect is described as follows:
Hispanic male, 25-30 years old. Short buzzed haircut, no facial hair. Wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt (unknown color shirt).
The victim also reported that over the preceding couple of weeks, she had noticed a white panel van driving slowly behind her in that same section of Kirkside, however yesterdays event was the only one in which she was approached.
Falcinelli asked residents to call 911 (emergency) or 301-279-8000 for a non-emergency immediately if they observe anything suspicious.
Sushi And Robata Restaurant Taking Over Space Left By Divino Lounge — Yuzu, from a previous owner of Mt. Vernon Square restaurant Kushi, will open in the space (7345-B Wisconsin Ave.) in April. [Bethesda Magazine]
Chevy Chase Village Will No Longer Help Mow Your Lawn — The Village Board decided to save $14,000 in annual costs by cutting right-of-way mowing from its budget. That will leave it up to residents to mow the space between the sidewalk and the street in their front yards. Many didn’t even know the Village offered that service, according to a survey. [Chevy Chase Patch]
Swim Coach Rick Curl To Plead Guilty To Child Abuse — Area swim coach Rick Curl, who coached some of the nation’s best as an Olympic coach, will plead guilty to charges stemming from allegations from a former Montgomery County student who said the two had sex when she was 15. [Washington Post]
Flickr photo by PLCjr
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.
Starting tomorrow, Chevy Chase Village Police officers will go door-to-door on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to deliver a one-page flyer and remind residents to lock their cars.
In 2012, the town of about 2,000 residents and 0.4 square miles was home to 97 thefts from autos, a 40 percent increase compared to 2011. In October, police chief John Fitzgerald won approval for a special police bait car from the Village Board, to the tune of $3,800:
The common denominator to these thefts is the unlocked car parked overnight. I urge each of you to help us eliminate these thefts by doing a few simple things:
- Lock your car every time you park.
- Remove all valuables from your car.
- Leave your front porch light on all night long.
- Call the police whenever you see or hear anything suspicious.
Thefts from autos in 2011 were down 23 percent compared to 2011 for the entire Montgomery County Police Bethesda District, according to numbers released yesterday.
But car thieves remain a threat. There were 901 reported in 2012. A case in an unincorporated section of Chevy Chase over New Year’s Eve got some attention after a resident caught the thief breaking into cars in a driveway with a home security camera.
At least three of those cars were unlocked, police said.