THE BROOKDALE BUGLE

Web edition of the distribution scheduled for April 2009
The Brookdale Citizens' Association's Annual Meeting
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 7:30 pm
Westbrook Elementary School's all-purpose room
5110 Allan Terrace
Topics: Election, etc.
Nominating Committee members:
Mike Makuch, Brookdale North, Chair, mmakuch-at-sgrlaw.com
Nancy McCloskey, Brookdale South
Diane Tanman, Orchardale
Hal Wolman, Wohlshire
Please bring your checkbooks to the Annual Meeting to pay 2009-10 Association dues.
If you have questions about your Association's spending plans, contact
your local executive committee member or email the treasurer, Larry Broadwell,
at bakpacker1-at-verizon.net.
Jump to:
House Sales
Effects of the economy
Water Main Breaks
TRANSITIONS
Trees
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT

First off, I want to reiterate a message that was sent on the listserv about two months ago: The Brookdale Citizens' Association is looking for new officers, to begin serving on the executive committee just after May's annual meeting. Committee membership is not a big commitment of time and is a great opportunity to meet and work with your neighbors. Please, if you have the time, step up and help out the neighborhood! As you know this year the committee has been without a president. So, we need to fill that office as well as all others. If you are interested in nominating yourself for one of these roles or wish to nominate someone who might be interested, please be in touch with Mike Makuch, mmakuch-at-sgrlaw.com, who is chair of the nomination committee. We hope that newcomers to the Brookdale neighborhood might be interested in serving on the citizens' association. And be sure to mark your calendars. The Brookdale Citizens' Association annual meeting will occur Wednesday, May 20,7:30 pm at Westbrook Elementary School's all-purpose room, 5110 Allan Terrace.

The Brookdale directory has just been finished, and it should be in your hands by now. The job was finished by River Road resident Abigail Grossman, after some initial work by Sarah Jessup. Already members of the executive committee, spurred by Abigail, are discussing the next iteration and ways to make this process --that of getting out a directory of names, addresses, and phone numbers -- more green.

Playground news: After the construction of the new playground at Brookdale Park last year, it became apparent that one of the pipes used to drain water from the toddler structure was erroneously laid to empty out in the middle of the area between the two play structures, causing unsafe conditions from the resulting pooling and flooding of the area. The County's Department of Park and Planning was made aware of the situation and, shortly thereafter, conducted a review of the drainage issue. In February the pipe was repositioned and the drainage problem was remedied, just in time for the spring showers to hit.

As you may have noticed, the playground equipment at the Willard Avenue park has been removed. It isour understanding that the equipment was removed because of its progressively dilapidated state. The County does plan on replacing the equipment. Currently the projected start date for the erection of the new playground is July 2010. Because this playground is located in a flood plain, that issue will need to be addressed. As always, we will keep you posted on the status of this project.

The latest news concerning curbs in Brookdale? It has been slowed by the County's financial situation. Evidently the engineering part of the project, to determine if the streets are wide enough for curbs and if the pitch of the land will ensure the runoff of standing water, has been postponed due to funding. So this is on hold with no projected dates in sight for resuming this project.

Over in Brookdale South, there were issues addressed related to the lighting of the two paths that cut from Dover Road to Park Avenue (at the top of Dover) and Keokuk (at its bottom). A member of Roger Berliner's office, Julie Genn, was incredibly helpful in navigating the various issues and constituencies that were involved, and a few junk trees were removed at the top of Dover to allow more light from a street light onto that path.

Lastly, thanks to all who served the community by organizing events and/or being on the executive committee this year. I would like to encourage all Brookdale neighbors to get involved, whether on the executive committee or doing some other more defined project, as Abigail did with the directory. In particular, we need volunteers to organize the Independence Day Parade and the Community Block Party. This neighborhood, evident to me when my wife and I moved here during the very hot summer of 1995, has had a rich tradition of neighbors getting involved, of being active in the surrounding Friendship Heights community. Let's be sure that we continue that tradition. Get involved, folks. You'll do good and meet some very nice people -- your neighbors!

OK, that's it from my end. See you 'round the neighborhood!

Abner Oakes


Reminder about Safety
County Police have addressed the issues of break-ins to residences and vehicles in meetings with us in previous years. Suggestions include the following:
- Turn outside lights on at night.
- Keep bushes well trimmed to reduce places for people to hide.
- Invite the Police to do a security survey of your home. It is free.
- Do not leave anything of value in your car.
- Lock your cars at night.
- Call the Police if you notice anything suspicious – 911 for emergencies and 301-279-8000 for non-emergency service.
As Commander Hammill said, "Bother us!" They want us to call them!

If you want to read about those meetings, they are located on the website at these addresses:
bugle0407.htm#ps
bugle0108.htm

Home Sales in Brookdale, Last Quarter
— Phyllis Wiesenfelder*

From January 1 through March 31, 2009, real estate transactionsin Brookdale were:
•4703 Overbrook Road's last list price was $1,699,000.It is a colonial with 6 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, built in 2006. It was rented in February for $5,100/month. The original rent asked was $5,500.
•5315 Willard Avenue was listed for $429,999 and sold in March for $395,000. It has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and is on a 5,000 square foot lot.
•5317 Willard Avenue was listed for $429,999 and sold in March for $395,000. It has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath with a 5,000 square foot lot.

*An agent for Long & Foster Realtors.


Development Update
Robert L. Cope

Wisconsin Place
The grocery store (Whole Foods) has been delayed again and will not open until spring 2010. All other construction on the site should be completed by July 4, including:
• Sidewalk on the portion of Western Avenue that is now asphalt.
• Sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue
• Sidewalk on Willard Avenue
• Office Building
• Two story retail buildings along Western Avenue near Wisconsin Avenue
• Recreation Center
Since major construction began in July 2004, we are now approaching the end of five years of construction.

Westbard
The Washington Post has run several articles on the Planning Board's initiative to convert the old shopping centers on Rockville Pike into modern mixed-use developments. Previously, we reported that in the White Flint Sector Plan Area of Rockville Pike the Planning Board would recommend a change in zoning to allow construction of mixed use developments with a minimum building height of 16 stories. WE WERE WRONG. The current recommendation is for 40-story buildings. We can only hope White Flint does not set a precedent for Westbard. The preliminary work of the Westbard Committee of the Citizens Coordinating Committee can be found at Westbard.org, click on community.

HIJACKING OF PLANNING UNDERWAY

To read this discouraging article by Jim Humphrey, Chair, Montgomery County Civic Federation Planning and Land Use Committee, go to http://maryland-politics.blogspot.com/2009/03/hijacking-of-planning-underway.html

April 22nd Meeting of the CCCFH

The Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights will meet at 8 pm, April 22nd at the Somerset Town Hall(unless oversubscribed for the venue). The meeting will feature discussions of County Planning with Royce Hanson, Planning Board Chairman, and Rollin Stanley, the new Planning Director. If you would like to attend, send an e-mail to Phyllis Edelman, Chair, at predelman-at-gmail.com.

Business Owners Respond to Economy
— Gwen Lewis

Brookdale business owners have been facing immediate effects from the economic downturn. Some have been impacted more drastically than others.

John Shorb of John Shorb Landscaping says that routine landscaping services for homes is "holding its own." However, they are offering discounts for clients who recruit neighbors as clients. He says it is much more efficient if the company can work for an entire neighborhood, rather than traveling to far-flung locations. Their relandscaping projects have declined 25 percent recently.

There has been no change in their government contract work. That fuel prices are down helps his business, but the challenge is to cut costs and refinance debt at a more favorable rate at this time.

River House on Macomb St., NW, just off Wisconsin Ave.in the District sells primitive, country furniture and accessories that come from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. Diane Monash has owned and operated this business since 2001. As of October, she saw changes in customers' choices away from the high-end pieces toward accessories and less-expensive items. As a result, Diane chose to respond to the economic market by concentrating on accessories and furniture under $500 that could be carried home in a car. She reports that thus far she has not had to reduce staff.

Marshall Miller provides life and health insurance coverage. The numbers of his clients have remained fairly level in these distressed times. Most clients have been with him for many years, since he has been in this business for over 35 years. Life insurance firms, he reports, generally are doing better than banks because they back their policies with long-term investments whereas banks use short-term investments. He also states that private health insurers need administrative costs that are over 20 percent, and he feels they should be replaced by a Medicare-type health system which requires only 4 percent administration.

The Left Bank Restaurant, located on 18th St., NW, in Adams-Morgan, has been owned and operated by Bekir and Gaye Gunes since 2005. The upscale restaurant, specializing in contemporary cuisine, is open for dinner seven days a week and serves brunch on weekends. The restaurant becomes a club at 12 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The Gunes' business has been impacted by the economic downturn in a number of ways: fewer customers; fewer dinner guests; the club attracts a younger, less affluent crowd; and their vendors have had to increase prices. They experience positive and negative effects from the fact that their restaurant is relatively large. Interestingly, business was off drastically through the holidays, but has made a comeback with the inauguration and the optimism that has followed. Still, their dinner business is down from last year at this time. Gaye reports that they have coped with these reversals by reducing the staff, bringing her into the business full time, promoting big parties such as corporate events, birthday parties, fashion shows and also late-night parties especially for college students who continue to spend, providing live music at Sunday brunches to attract more people, and reducing advertising.

Tom Ingersoll, president and co-owner of Gemini Group Service Corp., is in the commercial building services business. He reports that their three divisions–cleaning, concierge service, and exterior building restoration–have been affected by the downturn differentially. There have been decreases in demand for cleaning services in both commercial office buildings and residential living environments.

Concierge service is not affected very much, nor is external building restoration, the latter being paid out of capital funds, not the yearly budget. To handle the situation, Tom has formulated a new business plan–marketing to retain existing customers, rather than attract new ones. He has had to let employees go and decrease wages and benefits for those retained. He is pleased that since the holiday season he has been able to keep essentially all 217 of his staff employed to some extent.

We appreciate the candor of these residents in sharing their experiences during this economic crisis and wish them and all Brookdale business owners well in seeing it through with their businesses intact. While we focus here on the owner perspective, we know that many employees are suffering the consequences, too. We need to acknowledge that work lives and incomes are seriously challenged for many Brookdale residents.

BROOKDALE LISTSERV AND WEBSITE: VALUABLE SERVICES
—Barbara Ingersoll*

Where do you go when you just don't know? For quite some time now, I've availed myself of the information on the Brookdale Citizens' Association website for questions such as: When is spring break in Montgomery County Public Schools this year? What's the phone number of the Montgomery County library closest to me? When is trash pick-up this week? Earth-shattering issues? Hardly. Important when you need to know? I think so.

And, there's more, too. If you're a new .resident, the Welcome Page will help you familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood. (In fact, even those of us who have lived here for many years can glean information: if, for example, you need a special trash pick-up for items too large for the usual containers, go to this page for information.) The site also provides minutes of the most recent executive committee meetings, so you can keep abreast of what is happening around us in terms of local development and other issues that affect all of us on a daily basis. A sincere thanks to Dave Montgomery, who started the site in 1997 and who continues to keep it meticulously updated. It's a great community service.

Thanks, too, to Larry Howe, whose initiation of the Brookdale listserv has given us access to another very helpful service. Following the departure of Larry from our neighborhood, Dave Montgomery has agreed to look after the list. The listserv provides up-to-date information about activities in the neighborhood, including dire events such as break-ins and scams. It‘s also a good source for more mundane matters. Do you need the name of a good plumber or roofer? Do you have something you'd like to sell or recycle? Need a recommendation for child-care? The listserv can help.

Through the listserv, for example, I obtained a huge crate for my German Shepherd pup for much less than the going retail rate. And, through the listserv, I found a good home for a no-longer-needed turntable and record collection .Helpful, cost-saving, and "green." What could be better? The listserv is also the modern-day equivalent of a lost-and-found box, with good Samaritans posting notices about found items such as keys, eye-glasses, and MP3 players. But some of the most recent postings were the ones that truly touched my heart. In late February, a concerned neighbor reported two cats, apparently abandoned when their former owners moved away. Within a day, a home had been found for at least one of the cats. Two days later, I learned that a lost dog had been re-united with its owner ,to the relief of all concerned.

I was perplexed to learn that these valuable resources – the website and the listserv - are underutilized. At the time of this writing, the website has had only about 7,000 "hits" since the counter was installed in 2000 (about 2 "hits" per day) and the listserv had only 166 members.

I'm baffled. In my view, it translates as "If you're not using, you're losing." So, what are you waiting for? [You have accessed the website.] You can join the listserv at http://comjet.com/mailman/listinfo/brookdale_comjet.com.
*Former Vice-President, Brookdale South


Water Main Breaks
— Bill McCloskey

An eight-inch water main in the 5000 block of Park Place broke three times in the early part of the year. The first break was January 19 and required replacement of four feet of pipe. The main broke again on January 28 and was able to be fixed with a clamp. The same pipe burst again February20 with a split in the main, requiring replacement of ten feet of pipe. A tree had to be taken down as part of the repair process. There have been four or five other breaks in this same stretch of pipe in the last three years, WSSC records show. WSSC spokeswoman Lynn Riggins said the Park Place main was first installed in 1930. It is due to be replaced as part of a much larger project that is in the early stages of design. System-wide there were 600 water main breaks in January alone.

Even before this there was a water main break in mid-January at Dover Court just below Keokuk. It took weeks of work, but the immediate problems were solved .Separately, WSSC has hired contractors to canvas the Brookdale neighborhood for the first phase of planning for replacing the pipes that run under our streets that have been failing on a regular basis. This is a long-term project, but so far is on track.

An engineer at WSSC tells the Bugle that the design phase of the replacement project is underway and enough information should be in hand by June so that a public meeting could be held to brief our community. The project will be mainly along Newport Ave. and Keokuk St. AB Consultants, a WSSC contractor, has been in the area for several weeks surveying and marking locations of underground electrical and natural gas lines near the water lines. You may have seen the orange and pink ribbons and the spraypaint markings on the streets, grass, decorative stones and the like.

Initial surveying has told WSSC that the project will be more complex than anticipated because the streets in the Brookdale area are particularly narrow. On the neighborhood listservs there have been questions about whether trees might have to be taken down. Similar queries have been raised about digging up yards, removing fencing and disrupting stone walls. The Bugle has relayed these questions, but at this time, the engineers have no answers until they do more study.

That said, the economic crunch that WSSC finds itself in is good news or bad news for Brookdale residents depending on whether you'd rather have new water pipes or less replacement disruption. Once the design phase is complete, the construction phase is dependent on budgets and construction schedules for the next fiscal year.

Brookdale's 2009 Graduating Seniors
— Judy Rivlin and Sarah Sanne
Later this spring, the following students from our neighborhood will be graduating from high school.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School:
Nina Godles
Albert Kurtz
Nancy Makuch
Anuj Mukherjee
Luke Patterson
Sarah Sanne
Wagner Wiegand
St. Anselm's Abbey School:
Lucas Husted
Gonzaga High School:
Nicholas Leon
Broadneck High School:
Lauren Tanman
Congratulations to all of you!

Transitions

Newcomers
At 4703 Overbrook Road, Alex and Catherine Triantis with children Sophia (10) and Will (7).

Death

Roberta Holt lived at 5214 Western Ave. She passed away on March 15, 2009, at the age of 68. Bobby, as she was known to family and friends, was a noted psychotherapist. She had a family-oriented practice in Chevy Chase and an affiliation with Groone Child Guidance Center of Sibley Hospital and Georgetown University Family Center Inc. Bobby had a BA in sociology and received her doctorate at Catholic University. She had many enduring personal relationships due to her intellect, wry humor and social graces.

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 opening page.


Space Odyssey 2009 Karen Baratz

10…9…8… 7... Blasting into an orbit near you, it's Westbrook Elementary School's Carnival "Space Odyssey 2009!" The most fun-packed four hours imaginable kicks off on Friday, May 1 promptly at 3:05 PM!

A climbing wall, moon bounces, karaoke, cake walk, dunk tank and numerous games are just a few of the activities that will keep children engaged. New this year is a special activity area for young children on Westbrook's upper front lawn as well as balloon artists who will make all sorts of wonderful creations. Armand's Pizza and Red, Hot & Blue will again provide delicious food.

Westbrook Carnival Space Odyssey 2009 runs from 3:05 - 7 PM. The Westbrook community looks forward to this wonderful annual tradition all year long. The Carnival is open to the public so please tell all of your friends and neighbors – everyone is welcome! Admission is free and tickets can be purchased on site for all of the activities. The Westbrook Carnival was started 65 years ago and is truly an amazing event that provides a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and neighbors. There's something for everyone at this year's Carnival so buckle up for some amazing interplanetary adventures on May 1!

Westbrook Carnival. It's outta this world!

The Positive Power of Trees*

Air and Water Habitat Economy and Culture With all these virtues, think about planting your own tree or requesting a county tree be planting on the street right of way at your home. The following website tells about the current Maryland subsidy for planting a new tree: http://www.trees.maryland.gov/index.asp. Need help? Call Gwen Lewis at 301-215-9224.

*From "Planting Trees with People in Mind: The Role of Trees in Climate Change" by Gwendolyn Griffith in The Tennessee Conversationist, March/April 2009.

Community Notices

Britta Glennon in London
Britta Glennon, daughter of Julia Lane and Dennis Glennon, Dalton Road, is working in London for Plum Consulting and seeing Europe at the same time.

Andrew Schaengold Honored
At its January 26, 2008, meeting, the Little Falls Watershed Alliance (LFWA) honored Brookdale resident Andrew Schaengold for his dedicated service as a volunteer last summer with a certificate of appreciation. Andrew lives on Dover Road with his parents, Carol and Mike. From Andrew's bar mitzvah speech delivered in August 2008:When I was looking for ideas for my mitzvah project, I wanted to find something that would give me Student Service Learning hours to help me meet the school requirement for volunteer hours. I later realized that it was more important to find something meaningful, rather than just earn hours. I chose to do something related to my Torah portion for my mitzvah project by helping Little Falls Watershed [Alliance], an organization that is trying to clean the streets of trash surrounding Little Falls Stream to improve the quality of the local stream water. Doing this makes me feel good that I am doing something to help out the community as a whole and it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I can make a difference and every little bit counts. Every week I spend about an hour picking up trash and recycling along Western Avenue.

Ina Farka Completes Law Degree
Ina Farka, Harrison Street, finished her doctorate in law (Doctorate of Juridical Science or S.J.D.) at American University's Washington College of Law in January. Her thesis is in trafficking in persons with a focus on women and children. In 1998 she finished her law degree in Tirana, Albania and a Master's in International Public Law in Lund, Sweden at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. She is an expert in human rights and international law. Ina has worked for Save the Children Norway in Albania, and she has worked for the Albanian Embassy in D.C. the last couple of years.

Independence Day Parade
The annual Independence Day Parade and Party will beheld the morning of July 4, starting in Brookdale Park. Specifics will be announced closer to the date on the web, through the listserv, and in posted notices. Please volunteer to help organize this community event by calling one of the officers.

Art Show
The Strathmore Mansion has scheduled a solo show by Dave Montgomery in its Invitational Gallery during August 2009. The show is entitled "Two Paths: Photography and Digital Composition." Check http://mysite.verizon.net/montlewis/ for details this summer.

New College Graduate
Stephen Koye, son of Frank Koye of Harrison Street, graduates in May with a business baccalaureate degree as a finance major from Arizona State University. He spent last summer studying in Monterrey, Mexico.

Weed Warrior Program
In 1999, Montgomery Parks Forest Ecologist Carole Bergmann created the Weed Warrior program in response to the non-native invasive plant (NNIs) problem. The program's goal is to educate citizens about identification and management of NNIs. Certified Weed Warriors have logged more than 23,000 hours to date, and have made a valuable contribution to the control of non-native invasive vegetation in Montgomery County parks. If you are interested in becoming a Weed Warrior or helping out occasionally, see the website www.weedwarrior.org.

Classified Ads

Beach Rental:
Beautiful N. Bethany home available to rent. Brookdale family home. See pictures at http://www.ucsidata.com/beachhouse. Still availability, email questions to shores105-at-yahoo.com

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 others elected 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 703-606-0201or houghtonaaron-at-hotmail.com.

Housekeeper available:
My reliable, meticulous, experienced housekeeper seeks additional clients. Brookdale references; citizen. Please call Margarita at 301-221-7921or me (Gwen Lewis) at 301-215-9224.

Housekeeper, child care available:
We no longer need after-school care and housekeeping services, but would like to recommend our housekeeper. She drives, has her own car and speaks English. Call Francisca directly at 240-476-7595, or me: Judy Rivlin at 301-652-7855.

Internship sought:
College student seeks summer internship suitable for University of Maryland, College Park, freshman interested in communications and marketing. Contact Emily Carson at emilykc-at-verizon.net.

Teens Seek Work [contact info for teens is removed in the web edition]
Tamsen Evans (16), babysitting and enthusiastic pet care.

Annika Glennon (16) is available for dogwalking and babysitting.

Margot Sanne (15), experienced and available for pet care and babysitting now and over the summer.

The classified section of the Brookdale Bugleis provided as a service to Brookdaleresidents, 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.

The deadline to submit articles, notices, and ads for the September 2009 issue of the Brookdale Bugle is 9 p.m. August 27.

Editor       Gwen Lewis
Assistant Editor       Deborah Kalb
Layout (hard copy)       Steve Langer

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