THE BROOKDALE BUGLE

Web edition of the distribution scheduled for January 16, 2009
quick links to:
Locating blue bins
Home sales
TRANSITIONS
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Brookdale Citizens' Association, it is my privilege to provide you with the Committee's Report for the quarter September to November, as the acting President during that period. You will recall that, in the absence of a full-time President, the Committee Executive agreed to rotate the presidency among the four Vice Presidents on a quarterly basis. On completion of my quarter, Shaazka Beyerle (VP, Wohlshire) took on the Presidency for the period December-February, and Abner Oakes will act as President for the period March-May.

I attended the community meeting convened on September 16 by Councilmember Berliner and the Montgomery Police in response to community concern about the series of home invasions which occurred in the Seven Locks Elementary School area during the previous year and for which a suspect was subsequently taken into custody. Although the area did not have a direct impact on our community, the police provided a few tips which I thought were worth passing along. For example, if you have an automatic garage opener in your car, don't leave it in the car when you park in front of your house. And if you use a GPS on your windshield, keep a soft cloth in the car to remove any marks on the windshield, which is a clear signal to GPS thieves. And of course the excellent advice we have gotten at other police briefings to keep your eyes open when you walk or drive around the neighborhood and stop to check anything that looks unusual or out of the ordinary, making sure to call the police about anything that raises your concerns.

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation is creating an Advisory Committee for the new Wisconsin Place Recreation Center next to Bloomingdale's. As the community closest to the facility, Brookdale has an interest in ensuring that community needs are considered in the development of programs and services. One of our neighbors, Eric Sanne has kindly agreed to put his name forward for nomination to the Advisory Committee and he has the full support of the Executive Committee -- and I am sure of the community at large -- in doing so.

By way of update on our CURBS project, I am advised by Montgomery County that the project is still on the books, awaiting the current survey results. Since the survey is being done by a subcontractor, the time line is unknown at this stage. The survey will determine whether all streets are wide enough to allow for curbs and also whether the surfaces are not so flat as to prevent run-off. (If the surfaces are too flat, rain water stands and causes icing in winter and mosquito breeding in summer).

The Executive Committee was approached by County Councilmember Berliner's office for advice on a request for night lighting on the two footpaths in Brookdale South connected to Keokuk St. and Dover Court. Abner Oakes, VP for Brookdale South, is consulting property owners that abut those two footpaths and if they are agreeable, Montgomery County will arrange for lighting.

The new Brookdale telephone directory continues to be a work-in-progress, but we are hopeful that we will have an updated directory for distribution in the near future.

Marie Moylan

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ - Larry Broadwell, Treasurer

Thanks to everyone who has paid Citizens' Association dues for the fiscal current year (to June '09). And very special thanks to those who added a donation to express appreciation for the organization's efforts to enhance and protect our neighborhood.

If you missed the previous edition of the Bugle, or the dues envelope was missing from your copy, or the dog ate it, you can still pay and start the new year with a clear conscience. Just walk or mail your $20 check payable to "Brookdale Citizens' Association" to
L. Broadwell, Treasurer
5306 Saratoga Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

If you have questions about your Association's spending plans, contact your local executive committee member or email the treasurer at bakpacker1 -at- verizon.net.

Block Captains' and Vice Presidents' names and contact information are available on the Brookdale website. They were given in the September issue of the Bugle, which can be found on the website.

Development Update - Robert L. Cope

Wisconsin Place

1. Apartment Building. By the time this issue of the Bugle goes to press, the apartment building and its leasing office should be open for business. The sidewalk along Friendship Boulevard should also be open from Western Avenue to Willard Avenue.

2. Office Building. The office building should be open for business by July 1, 2009. The largest tenant in the office building will be Microsoft's federal office, which will lease five floors. Another large tenant will be Capital Source. The eleven-story office building is already 90 percent leased.

3. Miscellaneous Retail and Restaurants. The two-story retail buildings located at the intersection of Western Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue should also be open for business by July 1, 2009. Restaurants include Capitol Grill, Redstone Grill, John Kent Cooke's Wine Tasting Room. Retailers include Talbots, Cole Haan, Saphora Cosmetics, and Giggles's kids store.

4. Grocery Store. The grocery store is located on Willard Ave. and is underneath the plaza that is located between the apartment building and the office building. The current lease is with Whole Foods, but occupancy has been delayed until October 2009.

5. Sidewalk along Western Ave. The sidewalk along Western Ave. should be open to Wisconsin Ave., although in the spring the developer will need to take up the asphalt and complete the sidewalk and landscaping.

6. Sidewalk along Wisconsin Avenue. The sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue will remain closed until June or July 2009 to permit construction of an additional southbound lane on Wisconsin Ave. (resulting in southbound Wisconsin having a left-turn lane, two through lanes, and a dedicated right-turn lane), relocation and construction of an expanded sidewalk, installation of street lights, and construction of a landscaped median, which will separate the northbound Wisconsin Ave. lanes from the southbound lanes.

7. Recreation Center. The recreation center is on Friendship Boulevard and is immediately adjacent to Bloomingdale's. It can be distinguished from the apartment building by its red-tinted bricks. It should open in June 2009.

Westbard

The Westbard Sector Plan Area includes the current Giant site and also includes all of the commercial areas from Ridgefield Road to Little Falls Parkway, including Butler, Clipper, Dorsey and Landy Lane.

The Montgomery County Planning Board will begin studying Westbard in January 2010. The purpose of this study is to decide whether the current zoning for Westbard is outdated. The current zoning does not necessarily permit mixed-use development (housing, retail, and office), and the current thinking in Montgomery County is that old 1950s-type shopping centers should be converted into mixed-use developments.

The Washington Post has recently run several articles on the Planning Board's initiative to convert the old shopping centers on Rockville Pike into modern mixed-use developments. In the White Flint Sector Plan Area of Rockville Pike, the Planning Board will shortly recommend a change in zoning that will allow construction of mixed-use developments with a minimum building height of 16 stories. Since Westbard is not located over a subway station, we can only hope that the Planning Board will recommend much lower density for Westbard.

A lot of preliminary work has already been done by the Westbard Committee of the Citizens' Coordinating Committee of Friendship Heights , and this work can be found at Westbard.org.; click on community.


Blue Bins and Garbage Cans - Elsa Skaggs and Gwen Lewis

Being a visually thoughtful neighbor (or Locating those Blue Bins)

While we are anxious to eliminate trash, garbage, and yard waste from our property in a timely manner and hopefully, in such a way as to reduce our carbon footprints, the county's scheme for sorting and collecting requires us to have a large number of separate containers. (We have 5 at one house for 2 people!) The question becomes how the heck do we store all these blue bins and garbage cans?

What do folks do to keep their homes visually attractive given all these needs? Luckily, when one of us moved to our house, the backyard was fenced and near the backdoor, behind the fence was a convenient place to put the cans. (Actually, right beside the backdoor was a concrete structure that in the 1940s held the garbage can below ground level.) Some people have built special fenced/roofed blinds for the cans. Unfortunately, with the expansion of the number of containers, keeping such a place discrete has become a problem, too. Another solution is hiding the items behind a large bush. Many residents now use their garage for storage only. So, that has become some people's hiding place. When the house connects to the garage, this provides a convenient solution. One neighbor told us she discontinued this use because of smells. We assume that only applies to the garbage can since the recyclables are to be clean. A tight-fitting lid might solve that problem.

Another issue in location of garbage cans is the terrain on which your house is built. One neighbor pointed out that their house is on a hill with the drive to the garage having retaining walls. Consequently, the cans need to be located near the street in order to get them there and back on collection day. At least one family in this predicament, has tucked the cans "behind" the retaining wall in the most hidden location with the neutral-colored garbage cans in front of the blue bins.

Most neighbors have managed to figure a place to pull those quite large, too-bright eyesores out of sight. That seems to work best for the good of all. If, however, you are a neighbor who has not considered appearance important, would you re-consider? And, please put your blue bins and other containers out of view as soon as you can on collection day. Your neighbors will thank you (perhaps silently).

If you are like us, you have much excess capacity in the rolling paper bin, which holds 65 gals. So, another question is, can we reduce the numbers of containers or their sizes? By requesting, one can get a smaller (22 gal.) container for paper recycling that is just like your current glass/metal/plastic recycling box (with no lid). If this better meets your needs, contact the solid waste department (240-777-6410 or www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste) to get the type of box you wish and have the old one taken away.

Home Sales in Brookdale, Last Quarter
- Phyllis Wiesenfelder*

Currently, 4703 Overbrook Rd is on the market for $1,725,000. It was listed on December 13th. It is a colonial with 6 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths and built in 2006.

5329 Saratoga Ave was listed for $793,000. It sold for $785,000 after 40 days on the market. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. It was built in 1947.

5321 Baltimore Avenue was listed for $899,000 and sold for $942,000, settling November 14, 2008. It took 8 days to sell. There are 5 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths. It is a colonial built in 1947.

4637 River Road was listed for $745,000, sold for $710,000, settled October 17th, and took 91 days to sell. It is a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath colonial built in 1938.

4709 Dover was listed for $719,500, sold for $706,000 and settled December 3,2008. It took 21 days to sell. It is a 3 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bath colonial built in 1936.

4501 Dalton Road sold on October 15th for $967,500. It was listed for $1,049,000 and took 6 days to sell. The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and was built in 1938.

5306 Westport Road sold on September 25 for $850,000. It was listed for $829,000 and went under contract in 9 days. The house has 3 bedrooms, 1 « baths, and was built in 1947.

*An agent for Long & Foster Realtors.

Why the Ivy League Cut the Ivy
- Gwen Lewis

Forty years ago colleges in the Ivy League and most other older campuses had ivy dripping off their walls, looking quite beautiful. Sometime in the interim essentially all of it was removed. Why? Ivy damaged the brick, stone, and mortar and had to be trimmed frequently. Why do we care? Trees have the same problem with ivy that buildings do. While it looks nice at first, it strangles them.

According to County Weed Warrior Coordinator, Paul Carlson, you can't do a better favor for your trees than to remove this invasive weed (English ivy). It is a menace that is hurting trees throughout our entire county parks system. English ivy also serves as a reservoir for bacterial leaf scorch, a plant pathogen that is harmful to elms, oaks, maples and other native plants. Paul refers us to the Weeds Gone Wild website - fact sheet about English ivy, www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEN/fact/hehe1.htm.

What else needs to be done to help our trees? As our community has passed its 60th birthday, it is experiencing the decline of the first (and second) trees planted. You may have noticed that the county removed lots of street trees this fall and more are slated for spring removal (orange dots on them). With the expansions to many of our homes and the building of houses on the few remaining lots, many sizeable trees have either been taken down or damaged.

Did you know that trees reduce considerably the cost of home air conditioning (electricity) during the summer months. They also make walking on the streets of our community much more pleasant on a sunny day!

There are several ways to help restore and maintain our tree cover: remove ivy and other climbing plants from them; plant a tree in another part of your yard to eventually replace the existing, elderly tree; get an arborist to salvage the trees that you already have; and take advantage of the county's street tree program by requesting a tree for your lot along the street. (See the Brookdale links for information.) If you need help with any of these, please call me at 301-215-9224.

Renters and Owners in Brookdale
- Bill McCloskey and Gwen Lewis

Brookdale is an eclectic neighborhood with homes built and built onto from the late 19th Century through the 21st Century. Not many cookie cutters here. There is a good mix of working folks and retired; singles, couples, and families; jobs of many types; people from 37 countries of origin (see last issue of Bugle); and much other diversity. Another area of diversity is that some of us own our homes and some rent them. Fortunately, the Brookdale Citizens' Association is a voice for everyone living here, not just homeowners.

A survey by the Bugle shows 57 (16 percent) of the 367 homes in Brookdale currently occupied by renters. The percentages vary from 11 percent in Brookdale South (114 homes) to 13 percent in Wohlshire (61 homes) to 15 percent in Brookdale North (102 homes) to 24 percent in Orchardale (90 homes). Based on anecdotal evidence, we feel a number of factors contribute to some houses being rental property some temporarily and some more long term. Some houses are rented out periodically by foreign-service and international organization worker-owners when they are posted overseas. Quite a few houses are held for investment, including several owned by former and current Brookdale residents. GEICO owns seven houses. Other homes seem to be rented rather than sold because of the difficulty getting top dollar for newly built homes or the inability to sell during the current credit crunch. All these reasons seem to hinge on the attractiveness and convenience of the neighborhood, which bring people willing to pay top rental dollar, and the fact that house values seem to climb in spite of the bad market.

If you are curious about any home's ownership or rental status, you can check either the Maryland state tax rolls through the Brookdale website links or the Montgomery County tax rolls at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/tax/index.asp. The Maryland tax system gives a little more information on the house.

Brookdale Street Party
- Marie Moylan

Brookdale held its annual street party on Saturday, September 27. Regina Crosson and I decided to take up the challenge and did the advertising and organizing for a community get-together, this year on Dalton Road. The weather forecast was not promising, but since it was even worse for the following day, we decided to defy the forecasters and go ahead as planned. It turned out to be a nice evening - warm with no rain - and lots of participation.

Mike Makuch did a wonderful job providing the music, and Mike Freeman and Linda Hallman brought out their portable fireplace for roasting marshmallows. About 50 -60 neighbors participated in the party including an excellent turnout of kids to help roast the marshmallows. Thanks to all who came, thanks to those who contributed to the culinary experience and to those in the immediate vicinity who lent tables and chairs. A fine time was had by all.

Brookdale Halloween Party, 2008
- Laura Jeliazkov*

The annual Brookdale Halloween Party was successfully held this year on October 26, 2008. A great thanks to Sophie Pestieau, Diane Tanman, Laura Leishman, Darcy King-Leatham, and Marina Bowsher; the five courageous women who worked together to create this year's wonderful celebration.

This year showed a great variety of costumes. There were giraffes, lions, bunnies, bats, fairies, ninjas, clowns, skeletons, princesses, witches, and knights in shining armor. Even the dogs dressed up!

There were a great many games held at the Halloween party, such as the donut contest. It would not have been possible without Darcy King, who supplied all the donuts! Two decorative pi¤atas were brought down by the kids as well, one bearing the shape of an eyeball, and the other a pumpkin. At last, as the party neared an end, one of the adults led the children around the park in a Halloween parade, carefully holding a toy CD player, which was blasting Halloween songs, including the always great "Monster Mash."

It really was an amazing Halloween party this year. Thanks so much to the people who made it possible.

*Laura is 12 and a 7th grader at Westland Middle School.

HELP WITH HOME ENERGY - Larry Broadwell

Among the resources available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov is information how to have your home energy usage audited. The county's Department of Environmental Protection links with the state "Home Performance with Energy Star" and lists contractors trained and certified to perform energy audits at http://www.mdhomeperformance.org/Counties/MontgomeryCounty.htm. Many contractors are listed, ranging from those that do only audits (such as Live Green, located in Chevy Chase) to those like Ardent Green of North Potomac that provide both audits and remedial services such as air and duct sealing, insulation, and improvement of heating systems.

At a recent presentation on the Energy Star program at the county services office in Bethesda, staff from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) explained the audit process. A key part is the "blower door test," in which a fan sucks air from the house while an auditor checks air pressure and locates any leaks. If interior air pressure drops, it indicates that the house has no major leaks. Typically, the DEP staff noted, hot air will leak into upper stories and attics, while cold air will slip in through low level gaps around windows and ductwork. Auditors can identify leaks and weak spots in insulation by using a variety of equipment. Under the state program, authorized testers will also run combustion safety tests on gas- and oil-using furnaces and appliances.

If a home has problems, as shown by high heating bills, the costs of the audit and remedial work can be recovered quickly, according to DEP staff. One way to hasten cost recovery is to reduce the cost of an audit (typically $300-400, depending on the size of the house). Brookdale residents might be able to do so by identifying an audit firm that would be willing to discount price in return for a number of orders in our neighborhood. The prospect of several contracts as well as the ease of moving equipment among houses in a relatively small area might generate a healthy discount. A "demonstration" audit steeply discounted test for a homeowner willing to let neighbors observe the tester at work might also be negotiated.

Our citizens' association listserv provides a good tool for exploring this prospect:
-if you have experience with an energy audit, and especially if you want to recommend an auditor, tell the listserv about it
-if you want to learn more, check out the county websites, call any contractors that interest you, and share what you find out on the listserv
-and if you are willing to help organize a group to identify and order energy audit services, tell the listserv.

Be Happy. Cheer Up Your Neighbor. - Gwen Lewis

You may have run across a report of a new study suggesting that your happiness is closely linked to the happiness of your friends and neighbors. "A cheery next-door neighbor has more effect on your happiness than your spouse's mood. So says a new study that followed a large group of people for 20 years happiness is more contagious than previously thought." (NY Times, Friday December 5, 2008) Now it is confirmed by scientists Nicholas A. Christakis, a physician and social scientist at Harvard Medical School and James H. Fowler, an associate professor of political science at University of California, San Diego, that it is in your own interests to have a good relationship with cheerful neighbors. So, don't forget to smile and speak to everyone you see in Brookdale!

Community Notices

REPORTING VIOLATIONS OF PERMIT PARKING

A contractor is supposed to drive through our neighborhood two or three times a week in order to ticket vehicles that are parked in violation of the Brookdale permit-parking regulations. If, however, permits are required on your street and someone has parked in front of your house without a residential permit during the applicable hours (9am - 6pm, weekdays), you can report the violation by calling the County's Division of Parking Management, 240-777-6000.

MVA on Wheels
If you have a license expiring in the first half of '09 or need other motor vehicle services, you can do your business when the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Mobile Office (MVA) bus comes to Friendship Heights.

Once a month the MVA bus is at the Friendship Heights Village Center from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It provides all the services available at the MVA Express Offices, such as renewing driver's licenses, renewing vehicle registrations, renewing MD photo identifications, obtaining disability placards, and returning tags.

The following is the schedule during the first half of 2009:
January 26
February 23
March 23
April 27
May - No service (State holiday)
June 22

LITERACY TUTORS NEEDED
- Shelley Block

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County will hold an orientation session for volunteers interested in helping adults learn to read, write, or speak English on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rockville Library, 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD. Sessions are also scheduled at the Rockville Library on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. Once volunteers have completed the orientation, they can select a two-part training session that fits their schedules. No foreign language skills are necessary. Tutors work one-on-one or with small groups, and typically meet with students in libraries or community centers at mutually convenient times. For complete details, call me at 301-610-0030, email info -at- literacycouncilmcmd.org, or visit www.literacycouncilmcmd.org.

*Shelley Block, a Brookdale resident on Westport Road, is Director of the Montgomery County Literacy Council.


New College Graduate
Mike Freeman and Linda Hallman, Dalton Road, announce that their son Ric Freeman graduated from Coastal Carolina University on December 13, 2008. Ric is a 2004 graduate of BCC High School. He continues to reside in Myrtle Beach, SC, where he works for Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.

Affordable Art

You are invited to Dave Montgomery's solo show "The Shutter Clicks More than Once." It is being held at the Orchard Gallery (7917 Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda) February 13 - March 5. The exhibit includes 30 pieces on three aspects of the theme. Dave's images may look like single- shot photographs, but each is actually the result of combining selected elements from several individual shots. The opening reception will be 6:30-8:30 pm, Friday, February 13. Check "Dave's Doings" at http://mysite.verizon.net/montlewis/ for details.

Correction
to September 2008 Brookdale Bugle, page 8: The Olympian still in our midst is Rik Leishman of Sherrill Ave.

TRANSITIONS
Compiled by Peter Sisler

Births

Rebecca Leigh Snyder was born on December 4 to Steven Snyder and Deborah Eichhorn Snyder of 4710 Dover Rd.

Eric Llewelyn Baker was born August 18 to parents Caron and David Baker of 5322 Baltimore Ave.

Duncan Stewart and Emily Cordes of 5328 Sherrill Ave. gave birth to a daughter, Audrey, on October 31.

Newcomers and Changes of Residence

David and Linda Goodman and their son Harry (8) have moved to 5306 Westport from Baltimore Ave.

Michele Parisi, Bob Banach, and their son Richard expect to move from New York into their new home at 4501 Dalton Rd in late February.

Marina and Matt Bowsher with children Kent (5) and Zaida (3) have moved over a block from their home on Saratoga, which was sold, to their new residence at 5321 Baltimore Ave.

Caron and David Baker and their young son Eric have moved into 5322 Baltimore Ave. from England.

Erin and Brendan Baker with daughter Emily (5) are new residents at 5326 Baltimore Ave.

The house at 5320 Baltimore Ave. is being rented by a group of young professional women. Nikki and Danielle recently graduated from American University while Hana graduated from James Madison University.

Jon Gorham and Sonnet Bush are the new residents at 4835 Park Ave. Their phone number is 301-802-5172.

New residents at 5019 Westport Road are Leonard and Margaret McCarthy and their son, Brent.

Tara Rice, an economist with the Federal Reserve Board, expects to move into 4709 Dover in mid-February after home renovations are completed.

The Dixons - Joe & Jeannine, daughters Samantha (13) & Sydney (10), & dog, Patches - moved into 5331 Baltimore Ave in October. They came to the area from Lakeland, Florida.

Dennis McKearin and Mary Kuhn moved to 5329 Saratoga in December from Dallas, Texas.

David O'Neil and Laura Billings and their two young daughters Imogene and Mavis, recently arrived from NYC. They live at 4607 Harrison St. He works in the Department of Justice.

Christine Naglieri and Anthony Palumbo are the new residents of 4637 River Road.

If you are a newcomer, we hope you have already received a warm welcome. We would like to publicize your presence and other transitions in the Bugle.
Please send items to the secretary, as listed on the website.


Classified Ads

Party Entertainment:
The Party Masters. Character-themed Parties. Face Painting. Balloons. Games & Magic. See some of our characters at www.thepartymasters.com. Master's Degrees in Drama and Education. New offering: TEA Party with A Princess, Tea and savories, plus dress up, manners lesson, and other selected activities. Call Brooke at 301-907-6853.
Pet Sitting: Brookdale school teacher will care for your dog or cat in your home. Reasonable rates from an experienced pet sitter. Call Brooke at 301-907-6853.

Private Tutor
Reading, writing, history, science, and drama. 7 years' teaching experience in Montgomery County Elementary Ed. K-8. BA and Master's Degree. Your house or local library. Rate $45/hour. Discount for more than one child per house visit. Contact Aaron Houghton at 703-606-0201 or houghtonaaron -at- hotmail.com.

Teens Seek Work

[Contact info is given only in the paper edition.] Annika Glennon (16) is available for dog walking and babysitting.
Katherine (Kasia) Potocka, BCC sophomore, experienced babysitter, great with kids of all ages, references available upon request.
Margot Sanne, 15, experienced as a babysitter and with pet care.
Josie Silva-Lopes, 16, babysitting and petcare; babysitting certificate.
Victoria Silva-Lopes, 14, babysitting and dog walking.


The classified section of the Brookdale Bugle is provided as a service to Brookdale residents, who may place ads free of charge. A fee of $15 will be charged for ads placed by non-residents, and all ads are subject to approval by the Brookdale Citizens' Association Executive Committee.

The Brookdale Bugle
is a publication of the Brookdale Citizens' Association. It comes out three times a year -- January, April, and September.

Editor Gwen Lewis 301-215-9224
Assistant Editor Deborah Kalb
Hard-copy Layout Steve Langer
Distribution Gwen Lewis

The deadline to submit articles, notices, and ads for the April 2009 issue of the Brookdale Bugle is 9 p.m. March 29.



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