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.
Montgomery Students Are Failing Math Exams At High Rates, How Much Does It Matter? — Montgomery County Public Schools released data on its students’ high failure rates on math final exams, what some say is a result of students studying only to get the final exam grade they need to pass the course. In January, countywide stats show each non-honors math course except for Pre-Cal (48 percent) saw more than 50 percent of students get an E on the final exam. In January, 86 percent of Bridge to Algebra 2 students countywide failed the exam. [Washington Post]
Union Boycott, Protest Doesn’t Stop Money From Coming Into Local Democratic Party — A boycott and protest of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Spring Ball meant some big names stayed away from the event, but it hasn’t hurt the party’s fundraising efforts. The group’s chairman said donations from people who did not attend the Ball have put the party over its $50,000 fundraising goal. [The Gazette]
Citizens Advisory Board To Talk Budget, Housing and Tenant Rights — The Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board will meet tonight for its monthly meeting. Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda) will give an update on the recently agreed upon FY14 budget. The Board will see a presentation on the county’s Housing Policy and discuss tenants’ rights. The meeting is open to the public and will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane). [Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center]
Share Your Bethesda, Chevy Chase, North Bethesda and White Flint Photos With Us — Contribute to the BethesdaNow.com Flickr pool to see your photo lead off our Morning Notes or to show us what’s going on in your community. [Flickr]
Flickr photo by daveandraina
District 16 House of Delegates candidate Jordan Cooper will hold a panel discussion fundraiser at his family’s North Bethesda home on Thursday on the topic of good governance in Montgomery County.
Cooper, 27, is likely to be the youngest candidate in a crowded field vying for what could be two vacant District 16 seats in next year’s Primary. The anticipated large group of candidates has led to a few declaring their candidacy more than a year before the June 2014 election. Many observers have said candidates will have to raise more than $100,000 to be competitive.
Cooper, who served as a page in the General Assembly and then worked as a legislative aide after college, is charging $50 per and $30 for Young Democrats for the fundraiser.
It will include Steve VanGrack, former Rockville mayor, Dr. Alan Cheung, former Board of Education member, and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, from Congregation Bnai Tzedek in Potomac.
The subject of the discussion will be “Leadership & Good Governance in Montgomery County.”
“For me, good governance can be summed up in one word: Integrity,” Cooper said. “Being whole in oneself, having one’s thoughts and behaviors in accord, fulfilling one’s responsibilities, and honoring one’s commitments are all hallmarks of leadership properly executed.”
Hrant Jamgochian is the only other District 16 candidate to formally announce his or her candidacy, though a number of others are expected to join the fray.
The panel discussion starts at 8 p.m.
B-CC’s Presidential Scholar Talks About Alcoholism — Bayard Miller, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School student who was recently named a Presidential Scholar, said he’s a recovering alcoholic. He wrote about his experience in one of the essays that earned him the honor. Teacher Tim Gilmore will accompany Miller to the event. [The Gazette]
Bethesda Elementary Parents Talk Pedestrian Safety — Pedestrian safety around Bethesda Elementary School (7600 Arlington Rd.) has been in the news recently, with a group of parents and pedestrian advocates urging the county to make major changes in school zones. Some of those parents, including the father of a baby who was hit in February while in a stroller, spoke about what they want to see. [Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch]
County Offering Free Deck Inspections — As part of Building Safety Month, Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services is offering free deck maintenance inspections through the end of May for single-family detached homes, three-story-or-less townhouses and duplex dwellings. To make a request, contact the county’s customer service center at 311 or 240-777-0311. [Montgomery County]
Concert To Benefit Bethesda Cares — On Saturday, the Westmoreland chancel choir will perform an all-Bach program with a reception and an art show to help raise money for homeless prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares. The concert is set for 7 p.m. at the Westmoreland United Church of Christ (1 Westmoreland Circle). [h/t B-CC Regional Services Center]
MobileMed provides volunteers to give primary care to low income, working poor and homeless people in the county, many who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, allergies, orthopedic problems or cancer.
The Laugh Riot for MobileMed, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, will feature comedians Big Al Goodwin, DC Improve veteran Andrea Fuller and Shahryar Rizvi a one-time runner-up in the “Funniest Fed” contest.
Tickets are $50 for gallery seating and include two drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The show will take place in the Hyatt Regency Bethesda Ballroom (7400 Wisconsin Ave.).
For more information on the event and to buy tickets, visit MobileMed’s website.
About 200 union supporters protested outside the Montgomery County Democratic Party Spring Ball on Saturday, according to The Gazette, upset over the county’s decision to remove police effects bargaining rights.
The Spring Ball, held at the Bethesda North Conference Center, serves as a major fundraiser for the party. The protest also included a boycott that drew support from some big political names: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, State Sen. Brian Frosh, Del. Bill Frick, County Executive candidate Doug Duncan and others.
The AFL-CIO Metro Council organized the protest. Union leaders said the boycott centered on the county’s decision to revoke effects bargaining rights from its police union, but was also a criticism of the party for what they say is a move away from Democratic values.
The county police union wanted to remain the only police union in the state with bargaining rights over administrative issues such as the use of email, equipment turn-in, rules for raids and video systems in police cars. That touched off a spirited campaign both from the county and the union in support and in opposition of Question B before last year’s referendum.
County officials said the repeal of effects bargaining was necessary as the process hindered MCPD Chief Thomas Manger’s ability to make needed and swift administrative moves, thus hurting public safety.
Many of them, including County Councilmember Roger Belriner (D-Bethesda), wrote letters in support of the Central Committee and in opposition to the union protest. From Berliner’s letter, published on Maryland Juice:
Unfortunately, there are some who apparently think there is no room for disagreement within our party and out of blind ideology or fear of retribution, are choosing to boycott tonight’s event and punish our party in the process. I find this to be troubling to say the least. One of the things that makes Montgomery County so special is that we are one of the most well-educated communities in the country. We are a thinking, discerning community and wherever that is true, you will find thoughtful disagreement even amongst the most ideologically aligned individuals. And that is something we should embrace, not shun or punish.
The moment we become the party of blind obedience – to any one constituency or stakeholder group – is the day we lose our integrity as a party. As in most things in life, good, thoughtful people can disagree. But at the end of the day, our precinct officials overwhelmingly supported the legislative actions of a unanimous Council and the electorate weighed in similarly. Let us move on.
The Gazette reported the boycott meant 340 attendees at the Spring Ball instead of an expected 400 and a $10,000 to $15,000 loss in fundraising for the party.
Flickr photo via Stephen D. Melkisethian
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club’s annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser and festival for the Montgomery Humane Society will take over Woodmont Triangle again on Saturday, May 18 with a long list of activities and its signature dog parade.
The parade and exhibitors with dog accessories, photographers, walkers, trainers and daycare providers will take over Norfolk Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. on the main stage, with prizes for best large dog strut, small dog strut, biggest dog, smallest dog, best tail wag, best parade outfit and best mutt.
There will be training shows and dogs up for adoption by loca rescue groups every half hour and a dog contest, with winners for best owner/dog look-alike, best kisser and best singer included.
The registration fee is $25.00 plus processing fee (per dog) and includes a doggie goodie bag, event t-shirt, and entry into the Strut Your Mutt parade and dog-owner contests. It’s a rain or shine event and refunds will not be issued.
For more information and to register, visit the event website.
Flickr photo by robot-girl
A Wider Circle’s 4K run/walk and tot trot fundraiser is set for April 27 at Meadowbrook Park (7901 Meadowbrook Lane) in Chevy Chase.
The Race To End Poverty will start at 9 a.m. and the Silver Spring-based charity is hoping to raise $20,000 through the event to help furnish 4,000 homes in 2013.
In 2012, A Wider Circle furnished 3,650 area homes. The organization provides beds, dressers, kitchen tables and other furniture to low-income households and counseling programs for recently-homeless parents and others in need of tips for job interviews.
The 4K race allows participants to enter as an individual or team and pledge money for different programs:
$33.00 ensures that one person can receive all of his or her basic need items, from beds and dressers to dishes, pots, and pans.
$80.00 fuels the change for an entire day. We spend $30,000 a year on fueling our trucks; a gift of $80 takes care of an entire day.
$250.00 provides a series of educational workshops at our new Center for Professional Development.
$500.00 funds a beautification project at a low-income school or neighborhood.
For more information and to register, visit the race site.
Photo by Joe Foley
A number of Montgomery County social service organizations are celebrating 25-year or 30-year anniversaries, something Bethesda Cares director Sue Kirk said many in the field did not expect would be happening when they started out.
“There was optimism in the very beginning that homelessness was a blip on the screen and that one set of social workers would probably solve a lot of these ills and we’d be looking for other things to do by now,” Kirk said. “Then homelessness didn’t go away.”
On Sunday, April 13, Bethesda Cares — the homeless prevention nonprofit that works with many of the roughly 75 chronically homeless in Bethesda — will celebrate its 25th.
The event, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Positano Ristorante Italiano (4948 Fairmont Ave.), will serve as a celebration of the group’s work but also as a reminder of what’s left to be done.
“It’s a chance to look back over a lot of the changes that were made and the people who have been housed because we’re here,” Kirk said.
Bethesda Cares provides counseling, referrals, some clothing and food services to Bethesda’s homeless through its headquarters on the bottom of the county’s Woodmont Avenue parking garage. It is not a housing provider, though, which has Kirk and outreach specialist John Mendez trying to convince local policymakers to make room for chronically homeless in government-sponsored housing programs.
Kirk said that around 2004, Bethesda Cares fully embraced the “Housing First” approach toward decreasing homelessness, a newer concept that advocates placing the homeless in permanent housing right away instead of putting them through counseling, homeless shelters and temporary housing first.
Kirk and Mendez have said that Montgomery County housing providers have been too slow to embrace the Housing First model, and that too many government-sponsored housing spots go to the working poor who might have other resources.
In the future, Kirk hopes Bethesda Cares can add some more medical services for some of the most chronically homeless in the area. A speaker from the 100,000 Homes Campaign that seeks to survey and shelter those most vulnerable to living on the street will take part in the April 13 event.
For more information and for tickets or donations, visit the event website.
The game, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, will match up local athletes including Washington Redskins Ryan Kerrigan and Chris Cooley against local media personalities who cover them. The athletes won last year’s inaugural game, 3-2.
The game will take place six weeks before the start of the Big Train’s season at Shirley Povich Field (10600 Westlake Dr.) in Cabin John Regional Park. The event also includes the Big Train FanFest at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets to the game are $10 and proceeds to the game will benefit the team’s foundation. Since its founding in 1998, the Big Train have donated more than $600,000 to building better baseball fields in Montgomery County and D.C. Last year, the Big Train merged with BCC Baseball.
For more information, team rosters and to buy tickets, visit the event page.
Flickr photo by Mark Briscoe
It’s part of the 1st Annual St. Baldrick’s Battle of Bethesda Tournament, set for Sunday, March 24 and Monday, March 25, in which the baseball teams from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson and Walt Whitman High Schools will take part.
St. Baldrick’s is a child cancer research foundation that raises money through pledges made for people who get their heads shaved, a show of solidarity with cancer victims.
Donations and pledges can be made using this form. Players will get their heads shaved at the Tournament Kick-Off event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 24 at Tommy Joe’s (4714 Montgomery Lane). The event will include a buffet for $20 and 20 percent of the proceeds will go to St. Baldrick’s.
Then, on March 25 at B-CC, the teams will play each other in a one-day spring break tournament with three games starting at 9 a.m.
Pledges can also be made per hits and runs in the tournament, as well as per strikeouts and the number of players on each team who sport shaved heads. The team that raises the most money will be crowned champion in April.
Prominent Bethesda attorney Robby Brewer, who has represented the Lerner family through the White Flint Mall redevelopment process, will be honored at an event from a local housing nonprofit set for the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.
Kensington-based Rebuilding Together, which repairs and modifies homes for low-income families, will honor Brewer at its 2013 Honors Reception on April 3. Brewer, a land-use attorney at Bethesda-based Lerch, Early & Brewer for more than 35 years, is on Rebuilding Together’s Corporate Advisory Council and has been involved with a number of Bethesda community, nonprofit and business organizations over the years.
The Chevy Chase resident last year received the Randy Schools Outstanding Service Award from the Bethesda Big Train. Brewer served as counsel for the Bethesda Community Baseball Club from its incorporation in 1998 to its dissolution last year. BCC Baseball took over the Big Train.
The Rebuilding Together honor is for his community service with the organization and other nonprofits in the area.
“Robby Brewer is a rare gem for any nonprofit leader. He is someone willing to listen intently as a sounding board, mobilize his network for your benefit, and personally commit to work he feels important while also encouraging those in his sphere of influence to get involved, too,” said Rebuilding Together executive director Susan Hawfield. “We have been so fortunate to have Robby champion Rebuilding Together Montgomery County for nearly a decade, and his guidance has allowed us to grow as an organization and grow financially.”
Brewer’s firm has become the most prominent working in land-use and development issues in the area.
The event is open to the public and will benefit Rebuilding Together, which in its 23-year history has made repairs on more than 1,800 homes at a value of more than $16 million to help families remain living independently.
For more information and tickets, visit the event page on Rebuilding Together’s website.
Photo via Rebuilding Together
A group of volunteers from Bethesda’s Uniformed Services University is putting on a 5K/10K race to benefit wounded warriors and an event on Saturday at Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle (4844 Cordell Ave.) to promote and raise money for the race.
From 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Student Spouses Club (SSC) from the University, which trains military doctors and nurses on the Walter Reed-Navy Medical Center campus, will hold a fundraiser at the Woodmont Triangle bar.
The race is April 20 in Derwood. Activities on Saturday include a silent auction from 2 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., kids corner from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., all day food and drink specials, live music from Pretty Gritty (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and the Morrison Brothers (9:30 p.m. to close), on-site race registration and raffles.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Educational Foundation will host its 7th annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Party on March 14 to raise money for its three signature programs at the school.
The Foundation supports the TAP (Time for Academic Progress) program, which offers after-school academic support, CollegeTracks, a Bethesda nonprofit that helps students who are often the first in their families to go to college navigate the college admissions and financial aid process, and Summer Academy, a three-week summer transition program for incoming 9th graders and 10th graders.
The Foundation also provides grants to fund the school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
This year’s Wine, Chocolate and Cheese fundraiser, set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 14 at the Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase (7931 Connecticut Ave.), will highlight and honor some of the faculty in the IB program and the AP program, as well as in B-CC’s theater, arts and music departments.
To purchase tickets, make a donation or learn more about the event, visit the organization’s website.
The B-CC Barons All-Sports Ball is set for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on at Tommy Joe’s (4714 Montgomery Lane) and will include appetizers, a cash bar and silent auction. Tickets are $50 and the booster club is trying to fund concussion baseline testing for all B-CC student athletes.
Nine schools in Montgomery County have baseline testing equipment, according to Montgomery County Public Schools, but all are financed by booster clubs and rely on volunteer health professionals to administer the tests. Whitman High School has had the testing for nine years, The Gazette reported in December.
It was in December that MCPS superintendent Josh Starr recommended $75,000 toward baseline testing in his recommended fiscal year 2014 budget.
Starr announced the plan to look into baseline testing in September:
“The long-term effects of concussions and head injuries are being discussed across the country and are the subject of a growing body of research,” Dr. Starr said. “I think we must explore a districtwide baseline testing program as part of our ongoing efforts to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy.”
Baseline testing is an exam conducted during the pre-season that assesses an athlete’s balance and brain function, including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solves problems. Results from baseline tests can be compared to additional exams administered to an athlete suspected to have experienced a concussion. Health care professionals can use the results of these tests as one measure in deciding when it is safe for a student to return to action.
For more information on the B-CC fundraiser, visit the event page.