THE BROOKDALE BUGLE

Web edition of the neighborhood newsletter
Scheduled for delivery April 17, 2005

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PRESIDENT'S REPORT
Since November 2004, we have been expecting the Planning Board to rule on the request by GEICO for an extension of its preliminary authorization to develop the site next to Brookdale. I wish I could report the result now, but for various reasons the issue has not found its way to an agenda of the Board. It might sound like a simple question, but the complexities extend beyond my ability to explain the situation in this short space. As part of the process, your Executive Committee agreed to support the extension in return for promises from GEICO regarding reforestation and the sale of its remaining non-adjoining house. At the annual meeting, as below, I intend to describe the situation, hoping that the matter will be settled by that date.

Yes, the annual meeting of the Brookdale Association is upon us. In addition to the election of officers for the coming year and reports on various events that may affect your lives, this will be an opportunity to ask questions about the future of Brookdale. Please plan to attend the meeting at Westbrook School on May 11.

If it's time for the annual meeting, it is time for paying annual dues. One of the few bargains left, dues for the Association are still only $20 for each household per year. If you do not bring your payment to the annual meeting, please mail it to the Treasurer as detailed in this Bugle.

Independent of ancient history, I think the residents of Brookdale can benefit by cooperating with GEICO on area concerns. A recent example: GEICO has agreed to extend their grounds maintenance to the bus shelter at Western and Cortland. If you have noticed an improvement in litter control around the shelter, thank GEICO.

The County's improvements to storm-water drainage on Westport, Merivale, and Baltimore do not look like I expected, but the County's engineer assures me that nature will reduce the jarring appearance of the waterway at the foot of Westport. I think already we can see some improvement in water control. For further solutions to Brookdale's drainage problems, we will make a case for additional attention in the coming year.
Also in the infrastructure realm, according to my last conversation with County public-works staff, our curb repair has been moved up in priority. If you already have curbs on your block, you may see repairs this summer. I have not heard any requests for curbs where they do not currently exist; speaking to me now is your last chance for new curbs in this round.

The Brookdale Constitution allows the Executive Committee to act on behalf of the Association but requires notification of such action. Accordingly, let it be know that we supported legislation by the County Council redefining the height restriction for buildings. Two critical changes are (1) that height is measured relative to pre-development ground level rather than from a new terrace and (2) that the highest point of the building is counted rather than an average height of the roof.

I would like to close on an avuncular note: It is all right, even desirable, to say 'hello' to people you see within the boundaries of our Association. I assume here, of course, that you do walk the streets of Brookdale on occasion. If you see someone you know, you obviously will say 'hello' or more. If you see someone you think you might know (but aren't sure) you should say something anyway to cover the possibility that you really should know who they are. And if you notice someone whom you have never seen before, you should say something in order that they know they have been noticed. This last category may be considered (a) part of a "neighborhood watch" (that is, strangers wandering through our streets need to be aware that their presence has been noted) or (b) a means of increasing your property value (it would not hurt Brookdale to have the reputation of being a friendly neighborhood). So the next time I walk past you, please make eye contact. Thanks (as applicable) for considering behavior modification.

Hoping to see you May 11,

Dave Montgomery
Brookdale Annual Meeting
Wednesday, 11 May 2005, 7:30 PM
Westbrook Elementary School on Allan Road
Multipurpose Room

Topics: Election of Officers, Committee Reports, Playground Equipment, and Development
Annual dues
If you have not already done so, it is now time to pay your 2004-2005 Brookdale Citizens' Association dues. Please send your check for $20 payable to the Brookdale Citizens' Association to Regina Reed Crosson, Treasurer; 5110 Westport Rd., Chevy Chase, MD 20815. For answers to any questions, contact Regina, at 301-907-9525 or alternatively, bring your checkbook/cash to the Annual Meeting May 11.
Nominating Committee
Please suggest nominees for Brookdale Officers to members of the Nominating Committee:

Pat Kitchen (Brookdale S), chair (301-656-6311; 4601 Overbrook Rd.)
Tamar Nicolson (Wohlshire) (301-656-6601; 4708 Merivale Rd.)
Jean Junior (Brookdale N), (301-951-6371 ; 4609 Harrison St.)
Jody Benjamin (Orchardale) (301-652-0834; 5303 Sherrill Av.)

UPDATING THE BROOKDALE CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION DIRECTORY - Barbara Ingersoll

For some years now, the Brookdale Citizens' Association has published a neighborhood directory, which is updated at regular intervals and distributed to all residents of Brookdale.

For many of us, this has become a valuable document that we turn to when we address Christmas cards. It makes it easy to call the mother of your child's friend, two streets away, to arrange a play date. It's helpful, too, if we need to call a neighbor to find out whether the power outage extends to other homes beyond ours in the neighborhood, or to ask if they, too, have lost cable service, or to inquire as to whether they know anything about the break in the water main that is now flooding the street. For security purposes, it's a safety net for us all: it makes it easy to pick up the phone and ask, "Is it okay that there are men carrying out your television set and your computer and loading them into a van?"

It makes it easier, too, to deal with little complaints between us that are better resolved by direct contact with each other than by calling in "the officials." A call or an e-mail asking that a neighbor turn the stereo down or curb his dog is so much more well, neighborly than immediately placing a call to the police or to animal control.

The Directory is not distributed to anyone outside the neighborhood, so there is no need to fear calls from solicitors or other pests. As neighbors, it is in our own best interest to have our names, addresses, and phone numbers listed in the directory.

Barbara D. Ingersoll is a past Vice President of the Brookdale Citizens' Association.

DEVELOPMENT NOTES


Hecht's Site -- Ron Tripp
New England Development (N.E.D.), the developer on the Hecht's project, reports that construction there is on schedule at this time. Most residents will be relieved to know that, at least for this phase of the project, blasting is done and excavation work is nearly complete. That means no more dump truck parades ... until the next phase of the project, of course.

Contractors are coordinating work on water, gas and electric utilities that will service the new development. That's the purpose of the excavation work going on in the middle of Friendship Blvd, at the corner of Willard Avenue. By coordinating this work, the street will hopefully only be opened once instead of three times. Unfortunately, this work and resulting lane closures, will continue until late summer or early fall. The good news, according to N.E.D., is that the northbound through lane should be reopened in early April.

If you look into the depths of the void that was once the Hecht's parking lot you'll see that crews are now pouring concrete columns for the parking garage that will be beneath the new store. One construction crane now towers over the site and another is being assembled.

This phase of the project will culminate with the opening of the new department store. If the present schedule holds up, the store is scheduled to move into the new building in the fall of 2006. With the recent news of the sale/merger of the Federated and May department store chains, there is some uncertainty about the name that will go onto the new store. Our best guess is that it will open as a Hecht's, and any name changes by the new corporate owners would happen at a later time.

The second phase of this project is expected to get underway in the winter of 2006/2007. That's when the old Hecht's store will be demolished. The community center that is to be located along Friendship Blvd on this site will be completed towards the end of the project, sometime around the end of 2008 and will be run by the Recreation Department.

Washington Clinic Site - Ron Tripp
This project, on the D.C. side of Western Avenue, just east of Military Road, will be mostly condos with some street level retail. To the casual observer it may appear that things are moving slowly on this project, but at a January ANC meeting, the developer reported that they were on schedule and expected to complete the project in about 18 months. The condos are being pre- sold, and according to the developer, they're selling well.

Chevy Chase Land Company Site - Bob Cope
According to the Chevy Chase Land Company, Clydes is still supposed to open this summer (2005), the Collection will open for Christmas (2005), Giant will open the summer of 2006, and the office building and lower level retail will open fall 2006. CCLC says they will get back to us on when the two lanes on Chevy Chase circle will open.

Ron Tripp is Chair of the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights and is one of two Brookdale representatives on this body. Bob Cope is the other representative.

ONE MORE WORLD WAR II VETERAN - Gwen Lewis

Since the January issue, one more Brookdale veteran of World War II has been identified, bringing the total number to eight. We are happy to celebrate his contributions.

Charles B. Davison, Jr. (Bucky), born in Willows, CA, in 1921, enlisted in the U.S. Army in the spring of 1942 in Washington, DC. He was a member of the 77th Division and later sent to the 78th Division, Company C, 309th Infantry Regiment. He had risen to the rank of sergeant by January 1945 when he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. During the battle he was wounded, for which he received the Purple Heart, as well as the Bronze Star. He was discharged in December 1945. He and his wife Gayle have lived on Baltimore Av. for 55 years.


HOME SALES, 1ST QUARTER 2005

- Kathleen McElroy

Available properties
      As of 3/27/05 there are no houses for sale in our neighborhood:
Three properties are under contract:
      5006 Dalton Rd., listed at $699,000 on 12/1 and sold 2/8; will settle April 12.
      5326 Saratoga Av., listed at $625,000 and sold in 1 day on March 1.

Properties settled in the 4th quarter:
      4630 River Rd., which was listed in October for $659,000, sold in 4 days for $690,000.
      4703 Overbrook Rd., listed for $599,000, sold in 7 days on 1/19 for $636,000.
      5324 Baltimore Av., listed at $699,000, sold in 3 days on 2/16 for $700,000.

It is interesting to note that none of these sellers has had to offer a subsidy to the buyer. Generally, the subsidy was related to defects discovered in a home inspection. In today's market a buyer may very well do a pre-inspection (prior to writing an offer) and often agree to take the house in "as is" condition as of the date of the inspection. Financing and appraisal contingencies have also generally disappeared as have radon, lead paint, lead in the water and other contingencies which were of greater concern in a slower market.

The number of properties coming on the market this year has been meager, not just in our neighborhood. As a result, demand in our neighborhood in great part due to its proximity to Metro should be very strong for the rest of the year. The Westbrook catchment area east of Mass. Av. has had about 60 sales in each of the last 2-3 years. Prior to that and for quite a long time, we only sold about 45 per year. Recent job growth in the area, combined with low interest rates, has created intense demand for homes. However, serious comparisons of sales in the last two years do not support the purported 25% increase in prices last year. So many of the houses had sufficient improvements to increase the value of the house prior to resale that the rate of appreciation is difficult to determine. The greatest acceleration in price has been in houses listed below $700,000, particularly if they had good potential for future expansion.

Kathleen McElroy is a resident of Brookdale and a real estate agent who provides this information as a service to Brookdale.


WESTBROOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN SEARCH OF NEW PRINCIPAL - Gwen Lewis

Currently, Westbrook Elementary School is searching for a new principal. Mr. Michael Thomas, beloved principal for the last 8 years, left suddenly this winter to become Executive Director of the George B. Thomas Senior Learning Academy, Inc. in Bethesda. A retired interim principal, Eugene Haines, was named and immediately took up the reins most ably. A search is underway with a new principal anticipated for the start of school in August.

SENIORS GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL

Bethesda-Chevy Chase
Danielle Interdonato, Cooper Ln.
Elaine Hargrove, Baltimore Rd.
Carrena McHugh, Baltimore Rd.
Anjan Mukherjee, Saratoga Ave.
Annie Norton, Harrison St.

Sidwell Friends
Katie Sovonick, Brookdale Rd.

Georgetown Day School
John Bierstecker, Park Pl.

NOTICES

A WESTBROOK CIRCUS
Everyone is welcome at Westbrook's annual Spring carnival, "A Circus." It will be held Friday, May 6th 3:00 to 7:30 pm, rain or shine. Admission is free. The school is located at 5110 Allan Terrace. Carnival attractions include rides, games, an obstacle course, karaoke, super chance, face painting, spin art, and games for all ages. In addition, the carnival features white elephant, used book, and bake sales, as well as food concessions. Don't miss this community event!

BROOKDALE BLOCK PARTY
This year's Brookdale Block Party will be held Saturday, May 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Merivale Rd. between Saratoga and Westport. All residents are welcome. Please bring food or beverages for 6-8 people. Suggestion: A-F appetizers; G-K salads & breads; L-R main course; S- Z beverages & desserts. (This is guidance only. If you have a specialty, bring it!) Please bring folding tables and coolers with ice.

Musical entertainment will be provided. Feel free to get creative and bring: bubbles, chalk, games, anything. Call Ellie Shorb, Annual Events Chair, with suggestions and offers of help at 301-652-6897.

NEIGHBORHOOD NEW MOMS' GROUP
Join an ongoing, daytime group of new (and experienced) mothers to bounce ideas off new friends. Meets every other Wednesday 11-1 at participants' homes. Lunch is included. Contact Karen Lambert for details (kclambert -at- verizon.net)

GARDENING ENTHUSIASTS
Join an on-going group of residents interested in improving their gardens. Meets 2nd Tuesday of the month at 10 am. The next meeting is at 10 am on May 10 at the home of Grazia Narkus- Kramer, 4816 Park Av., 301-320-3183.

COMMUNITY YARD SALE
A Brookdale yard sale will be organized for the morning of May 14th if enough families respond positively to Ellie Shorb, Annual Events Chair, at 301-652-6897.

The Association will put an ad in the Washington Post that will advertise and give the neighborhood boundaries. Each household will make a sign for its own property. Directional arrows will be provided to send buyers to participating residents.

INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE
The Brookdale Annual Independence Day Parade will take place on July 4 starting at Brookdale Park. Details will be provided in late June. Get ready now to volunteer and participate in this terrific, annual event. We expect to hear soon from the fire department the time of the fire truck's arrival this year. As usual we will share food together as a community following the parade. Volunteers are needed to help decorate the park, set-up, clean-up, and/or purchase food. (You will be reimbursed promptly.) Please call Ellie Shorb at 301-652-6897 now to volunteer.

CHEVY CHASE VILLAGE ART EXHIBIT
There will be an exhibit of paintings, sculpture, and photography by Chevy Chase residents in the Village Hall, 5906 Conn. Av., from April 10 to May 13.

MEETING
Howard A. Denis, our Councilmember (District 1) has announced a town hall meeting he is hosting with the Village of Friendship Heights regarding development issues in Friendship Heights. Representatives of New England Development and the Chevy Chase Land Company will attend to brief the community and answer questions on the status of their development projects. The town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 28 from 7 to 9 PM at the Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 South Park Avenue, Chevy Chase.


NEWCOMERS

Barry & Stephanie Greenfield and their sons Alex (2) & Tate (9 mos.) moved to 5014 Westport late last summer after Tate was born.

Thomas and Dorte Dalsgaard, son Mathias (2) and daughter Anna (1) moved to 5010 Westport last September.

Gwen Muse-Evans and daughter Aisha Evans (12) now reside at 5025 Brookdale Rd.

Bobby and Kristen Gonzales are at home at 4960 Western Ave.

Making their home at 5000 Park Place are Makram Jaber, Avis Brock, & their daughters Noura (10) & Aya (7).

Newlyweds Jimmy and Susan Minichello have moved to 4609 Merivale Rd.

Deborah Kleb and David Levitt reside at 4604 Merivale Rd.

Lisa Patel and Saundra Black now live at 5302 Westport.

DEATHS

It is with great sadness that we report that Homer V. Hervey, 68, resident of Westport Rd. for over 40 years, died of cancer on February 16. Mr. Hervey was a former director of security for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Our deepest sympathy to his wife Nancy and children Nancy Skonberg and Homer Hervey, Jr.

We are sorry to report the death of Tom Lanyi, resident of 4835 Park Avenue since 1952. Mr. Lanyi died on March 19, following a lengthy illness. On March 27, Mr. Lanyi would have been 87 and would have celebrated his 61st wedding anniversary that same day. He is survived by his widow, Magda (Maggie), and his son, Colonel Tom Lanyi. He will be sorely missed by his neighbors.


TREES IN BROOKDALE PARK - Gwen Lewis, Chair, Brookdale Trees Committee

The week of February 15, 22 trees and 6 shrubs were planted in Brookdale Park. The numbers and types were
        6- Cercis Canadensis            2- Fagus Grandifolia
        3- Cornus Mas                   2- Sweet Gum
        4- Quercus Rubra                2- Liriodendron Tulipifer
        6- Viburnum                     3- Picea Omoriki
During March under a county arborist's direction several trees were removed. With their removal, there is more room for planting additional trees in the fall. The broken fence along Dalton Road has been replaced. The playground equipment will be replaced, most likely in the early fall. The unpaved walkway will be replaced with asphalt in the fall.

CLASSIFIED ADS


SEEKING PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN BROOKDALE!
My wife, two children, and I currently rent in Brookdale and would like to make the neighborhood our permanent home. If you or someone you know is interested in placing a house on the market in the next two years, please contact us before you get a broker, and we'll save you 6% in commissions. Thanks. Barry Greenfield 301-951-0186

PET CARE & BABYSITTING
Harriet (12) and Emily (15) Carson offer to babysit and/or to care for pets.

FOR SALE: Everett upright piano, $950. Includes full-size bench, many piano course books from beginner to intermediate, and several years of "Sheet Music" and "Keyboard Classics" magazines. Call Debra Tripp at 301-652-7940.

YOGA IN BROOKDALE ... new class just added!
No experience necessary. Come join an ongoing class for seniors on Thursdays from 9:30-11 or an all levels class on Fridays from 9:30-11. The first class is free, and then students can purchase a 5-class package for $50. All equipment provided. Please call Suzanne Oliwa at 301-951-3635 or e-mail swoliwa -at- mac.com for more details.


The Brookdale Bugle is a publication of the Brookdale Citizens' Association.

Editor                       Gwen Lewis
[Paper] Layout         Steve Langer
[Paper] Distribution   Ian Glennon

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