Web edition of the distribution scheduled for April 16, 2011
() quick links to
home sales
Union Leaders
Art at Westbrook
President's Report

I hope that the arrival of spring, with warmth, flowers and signs of neighbors spending time outdoors, is helping everyone recover from the winter of our discontent with PEPCO. First of all thanks to all those who actively communicated their outrage directly to PEPCO and/or to our elected representatives. I think we finally have their attention. Two things: PEPCO has begun replacing some of the equipment in our neighborhood. Evidently some of the wiring was at least 30 years old and in very bad shape. The work crews have not done this for the whole neighborhood, but they seem to have focused on those parts of the system that consistently caused the power losses in the last couple of years. Secondly, delegate Bill Frick has introduced legislated that would start the process of replacing PEPCO with a more effective utility company. So we wait for our next big summer storm to see if PEPCO has gotten serious.

On the question of safety and security in the neighborhood, recent statistics from the Montgomery Police would indicate that there is no increase in overall crime activity. The major issue in the report concerns the number of street robberies last year. There were 6, of which five were armed. Two were on the same night and involved taxi drivers (the perpetrator was caught), but the other four were on Friendship Blvd, Willard Ave., the intersections of Newport Ave. and River Rd., and Cortland Rd. and Westport Ave. The only one so far in 2011 involved an armed robbery on Willard.

On a more positive note, plans are underway for our annual July 4 celebrations, which will be held this year on Monday July 4th in the Brookdale Park. Jesse Witten is looking for volunteers to help him organize the festivities.

Our annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 at the Wisconsin Place Community Recreation Center. We will begin at 7:30 with wine and cheese. The meeting proper will start at 8:00. One of the agenda items is the election of Brookdale officers. Anyone interested in considering standing for office is asked to contact Mike Makuch, Chair of the Nominating Committee; you can also contact any member of the current Committee.

You may have noticed that we were successful in obtaining a crosswalk on Friendship Blvd. near the Community Center. Thanks go to Dave Montgomery for moving that initiative to conclusion.

We were recently advised by GEICO that they intended to request from the Montgomery Planning Board, a 5-year extension of the Sector Plan for the development of the GEICO site that was approved by the Planning Board some years ago. GEICO reps advised that GEICO has no plans for making any changes to their site in the foreseeable future but would like to keep the Sector Plan in place in case circumstances change. We also were asked if Brookdale would lend its support to the proposal going before the Planning Board since it is expected to be a hard sell. Friendship Village has already filed its support. I consulted with members of the Brookdale Executive Committee and with those who were central to the original negotiations with GEICO which produced the current Sector Plan. The result was that I have sent a letter to the Planning Board on behalf of Brookdale, lending our support to the extension of the Sector Plan by 5 years. The bottom line for doing so was that development planning in the current environment is moving towards higher density, so that any reworked Sector Plan would likely be even less desirable than the current one.

Finally, the Brookdale Yard Sale has been deferred until the Fall; Michele Parisi is coordinating that activity and would be pleased to have help from any volunteers. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has business for the annual meeting.
        - Marie Moylan

Brookdale's Union Leaders
- Gwen Lewis

At a time when unions and collective bargaining are in the headlines, four union leaders who call Brookdale home talked with me recently about their careers. Two of these neighbors have connections to Wisconsin, one state that featured a prolonged political standoff this year over the issue of collective bargaining rights. Two of the four currently are staffers for unions, while two are consultants to unions.

Originally from Vienna, Virginia, Greg LeRoy lived in Chicago from 1970 to 1995. After graduating from Northwestern University in journalism in 1974, he took a summer job with Amtrak as a sleeping car porter, and worked off and on at this job until 1984. Greg joined the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (closed shop), and began to learn of the union's strong connection to the civil rights movement. He refers to it as a "social-justice organizing machine, begun by A. Philip Randolph." Greg was the local union president from 1985-89, after the union had merged into the Transportation Communications Union. Between and after his railroad stints, he did community organizing, earned a master's degree in U.S. history at Northern Illinois University, wrote a thesis on the history of the sleeping car porters, and created a national consulting practice against factory closings. Based on the response to No More Candy Store, his 1994 book about abuse of economic development incentives in plant shutdowns, in 1998 Greg started Good Jobs First, a resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, located in Washington. Good Jobs First helps groups to promote corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth. Among their most recent partners is the Amalgamated Transit Union (located close to Brookdale on Wisconsin Ave.) Funding for his organization comes primarily (92 percent) from foundations. Greg moved to Park Ave. in April 2002, and lives with his wife, Shoon Murray, and daughters Ellie (8) and Maggie (4).

Judy Rivlin has worked for the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) (US & Canada) as a lawyer handling occupational safety and health as one of her specialties for 17 years. She is one of five lawyers at the UMWA. Because legislation on mining safety and health permits any two miners to designate anyone to represent them on health and safety matters, UMWA is asked sometimes to represent non-union workers, especially after mine disasters. Of the 48 miners killed on the job last year, 47 were non-union workers. (Twenty-nine were involved in the disaster at the Upper Big Branch Mine; the case is still pending while the Justice Department is considering criminal actions.) Judy is suing the government in about half her health and safety cases, frequently over regulations, and working with them on the other half, including the Upper Big Branch Mine case. Of the 70,000 coal miners in the United States, about half are unionized. Non-unionized mines tend to be less safe. The percentage of mines that are unionized has been going down, as has the unionized percentage in work places generally. In law school, Judy was interested in working in the civil rights area, but she met others working in occupational health and safety and found it compelling. Judy has worked for 25 years for unions. Prior to UMWA, she worked for the Sheet Metal Workers. Initially, she worked for the government in occupational safety and health, and then clerked for the National Labor Relations Board. Judy earned her bachelor's degree at Grinnell College and her J.D. at Washington University. She lives on Westport Road with her husband, Eric Sanne, and her daughter Margot. Daughter Sarah is in college.

James August began his involvement in the labor movement by organizing his coworkers into unions. Following the completion of his degree in history at the University of Wisconsin, he continued to live in Madison. He worked in the restaurant industry during and after the Vietnam era, when Madison was awash in political activism. James moved to San Diego, where he drove a taxi and then worked for the U.S. Postal Service for four years, becoming the chief shop steward of the local postal workers' union. His experiences there forged his heightened interest in preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Consequently, he earned a master's degree in public health from UCLA. At that point, he wrote his first resume and sent it to various union headquarters, many of which were located in D.C. In 1985, he came to D.C. to work for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He helped affiliates to protect workers' safety and health by reducing their exposure to hazardous working conditions, and he also provided assistance for collective bargaining. AFSCME, with 1.6 million members and retirees, has one of the most diverse memberships, including workers in water treatment, sanitation, parks, schools and higher education institutions, health care, correctional facilities, childcare, public safety, social services, public administration and other state and local government functions. Ironically, AFSCME began in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1932. James left AFSCME three years ago to become a private consultant in his "encore career." He has lived on Andover Road with his wife, Crystal, and their daughter, Julia (8), for 12 years.

David Sheridan has been a senior writer/editor for 16 years at the National Education Association (NEA). He writes speeches and op-ed pieces for the officers and edits position papers. Recent topics were how to prevent bullying among kids in schools, and the attacks on union members' rights. NEA is the largest union in the United States, with a membership of 3.2 million. K-12 teachers comprise about 2 million. The others are support staff and higher education faculty. The NEA K-12 members are primarily from suburban and rural schools, including Montgomery County. (The American Federation of Teachers, with 1.5 million members, represents primarily big-city schools' staff.) Prior to his work with the NEA, David worked for the Service Employees International Union for four years and did freelance writing and editing for the AFL-CIO. He began his career, after completing his college degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as a journalist with the Minneapolis Tribune, followed by a stint with Life magazine, and a project on Energy Policy with the Ford Foundation. He was a member of the Newspaper Guild and was positive toward unions because they were a major force behind passage of our civil rights laws. David argues that linking the entire judgment of teachers' performance to student standardized test scores is a terrible idea and will undermine public education. He also states that the current attacks on teachers and other public employees has surfaced now because of the delayed impact of the economic downturn on state tax revenues and the sheltering effect of the stimulus money. David has lived on Westport Road with his wife, Lynn, for 41 years.

Artists at Westbrook
- Karen Baratz*

Artists-in-residence are becoming the norm at Westbrook, thanks to the perseverance of the PTA's Arts Integration Committee, which secures funding and identifies teaching artists who enrich the lives of Westbrook students and their teachers. The 2010-2011 year brings the 13th residency to the school in only three years. Case in point, the Slam Poetry residency that took place in 4th grade last fall. Slam combines movement, voice, drama, and the written word for an unforgettable spoken word experience. Internationally acclaimed poet Gayle Danley spent a week doing daily workshops with the 4th grade to harness the power of words to express and perform a meaningful personal story. Danley gave an electric performance of some of her poems, and then taught the children her five-step process to create Slam poems of their own. Step 1: Write it all down. Step 2: Read it out loud. Step 3: Cut the fat. Step 4: Read it out loud. Step 5: Add flava! Danley's enthusiasm and exuberant personality inspired even the shyest of students to share their stories. The results were spectacular! It is an understatement to say that parents were blown away by what Gayle Danley was able to elicit from the children. But don't just take my word for it, here's what other parents had to say: "The kids were so incredibly poised and impressive, and proud to present their poems about important moments in their lives that you could virtually taste, and hear and smell and feel."

"You should have heard Danley perform - all grown-ups had tears in their eyes, the kids were either laughing or totally silent, but they were touched by the moment, and nobody can tell me experiences like this do not leave a mark in their brains and souls and awaken sensitivities that otherwise stay dormant."

"I have never seen children so engaged in a class activity. I would gladly open my wallet for much more of this."

"My son, a fourth grader, is a very happy Westbrook student who respects and admires his teachers, but generally resents school work - particularly writing! But, to him, Gayle Danley and slam poetry were "awesome", "fun", "different," and he wrote freely and willingly all week." "It was a moving experience and incredible to see what this artist unearthed in our children."

The Westbrook PTA, through its support of the Arts Integration program and monumental fundraising efforts, has secured a residency for each grade this year. They have included jazz musician Rob Levit's caterpillar/ metamorphosis unit residency with the 2nd grade and artist Caryl Henry-Alexander's mask-making residency with the 3rd grade. Spring will bring a return of the Kindergarten Odyssey Opera with Mary Gresock, a 1st grade bookmaking residency with artist Maria Barbosa, and a 5th grade dance/movement residency with returning arts integration specialist/dancer Karen Bernstein. Westbrook parent and Brookdale resident Joan Christie, a founder and chair of the Arts Integration program, said: "The goal is not simply the residencies, the 'Integration' part is for our school and teachers to have the training and resources to make these amazing moments happen on a regular basis. We want to see this become not just a PTA committee-driven program but a school-wide program."
*Karen Baratz is a Westbrook parent and Brookdale resident

The Tasting Room, a Place for Oenophiles - Jesse Witten

One of the best parts of living in Brookdale is being able to walk to places. And one of the places that Brookdalers can walk to is The Tasting Room, a wine bar located in Wisconsin Place that opened last summer. What distinguishes The Tasting Room are its two Enomatic machines. An Enomatic is a self-serving system that provides pressurized, temperature-controlled storage for wines, with small spouts to dispense the wine. To use the Enomatic, you first need to buy an "Eno-card," a prepaid card. Then, stick the card in the Enomatic, select the wine and serving size (1, 3 or 5 ounces), and the Enomatic will charge your card and dispense the wine. It is a fun and novel way to try a bunch of different wines. Or, you can skip the Enomatic, and order one of about 20 or so wines from a menu. The servers are quick to share helpful suggestions about the wines. Besides wine, you can also order cheese and crackers, salads, paninis and other light fare. The Tasting Room features wines from Boxwood Winery, located on 16 acres in Middleburg Virginia, but also carries other wines. The family of the late Jack Kent Cook (the former owner of the Washington Redskins) owns both the Boxwood Winery and The Tasting Room. The vineyards at the Boxwood Winery are planted with Bordeaux varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The Tasting Room consists of a small room with black and steel minimalist decor. There is also outdoor seating, which is pleasant enough considering the concrete jungle environs. All in all, The Tasting Room is an enjoyable but expensive place to spend an hour or so, and the Enomatic is an amusing novelty.

Suburban Birds' Archenemy: Your Cat

In a short series of articles in and letters to The Washington Post in March, a study of bird kills by domesticated house cats in the DC area has been featured. According to Peter Marra, a research scientist at the Migratory Bird Center of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, "Cats need to be put indoors. They cause major reductions in a number of animals and birds." Naturally, roving-cat advocates have responded. The most proactive "solution" if you insist on allowing your cat to roam (beyond your own yard is in violation of Montgomery County law) is to put two bells on the cat. (They are too smart for just one.)


Dues for your Brookdale Citizens' Association membership may be paid at the upcoming annual meeting or in response to the notice that will appear (along with pre-addressed envelopes for your check) in the September issue of the Bugle. Any payments received from now until early next year will be credited to the Association's fiscal year (June 1 of 2011 to May 31 of 2012).

If you volunteer payment (still a bargain at $20 a year) at the annual meeting or any other time before the notice and envelopes appear in the Bugle, please be sure to avoid double-paying. The Association appreciates all those who were notified of possible double payments in the past year and chose to have their checks processed as supplemental contributions. A better quality of refreshments at the annual meeting is just one reflection of their generosity. - Larry Broadwell

Development Update - Robert L. Cope

GEICO. In the immediate Brookdale area, the GEICO property is the sole remaining piece of property that has not been rebuilt pursuant to the recommendations of the Friendship Heights Sector Plan, as passed by the County Council in 1998. That plan recommends the construction of town homes along the area immediately adjoining Brookdale, with multi-family residential development along Willard Avenue and commercial office buildings along Friendship Boulevard. The plan also recommends that GEICO transfer Brookdale Park to Montgomery County. Although GEICO moved to rezone its property so construction could begin, GEICO does not appear to have any immediate plans to develop the property. The GEICO permits are scheduled to expire in 2011. However, the County Council has introduced legislation that would extend all existing permits in the county for two additional years. The council believes that many projects in the county did not move forward due to the recent recession, and that a two-year extension is needed in order to encourage future development. Simply stated, the GEICO permits will now expire in 2013, and only time will tell whether GEICO decides to move forward with construction. Since two years is not sufficient time to file site plans and obtain building permits, GEICO has indicated that it now intends to file for a five-year extension.

County Wide Zoning Rewrite. The County Council believes that the current zoning code is outdated and cumbersome, and that a total rewrite of the county zoning code is needed. The council has instructed the Planning Board to hire a consultant and move forward with a complete zoning code rewrite. This rewrite will include both commercial and residential zones. Several months ago, the consultant proposed that the residential zones be rewritten to permit construction of two houses on a single lot where the lot is located within one- half mile of a subway stop. Because of citizen opposition, the proposal was dropped. However, the proposal has resurfaced in a different form that would legalize accessory apartments in residential communities as a matter of right, as opposed to the current requirement that accessory apartments be licensed. It is too early to tell whether this proposal will move forward, although it does not appear that the proposal has enough votes at the County Council level.

Lord and Taylor parking lot on Western Avenue. It is still anticipated that construction of low-level retail buildings along Western Avenue will move forward later this year. The retail entrances will be on Western Avenue and will face the new Wisconsin Place development on the Maryland side of Western Avenue. Loading docks and supporting services will be located on Jenifer Street.

Westbard. The County Council has delayed the Westbard Sector Plan for at least another two years. The council moved the Kensington Sector Plan and the Wheaton Sector Plan to the front of the line, and the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan has also moved ahead of Westbard. This means that there will be no study of the Westbard Commercial District until at least 2013.

Commercial/Residential (CR) Zones. The Planning Board has recently completed its review of the CR Zones, and decided that the current CR Urban Zone, which permits buildings up to 300 feet, makes no sense in Kensington. Thus the Planning Board has recommended to the County Council that two additional zones, the CR Town Zone and CR Neighborhood Zone, be created. The more dense CR Town Zone will be placed at the middle of the Kensington commercial district. The CR Neighborhood Zone is limited to 65 feet in height and will most likely be used as a transition zone in Kensington. The CR Neighborhood Zone would be placed on properties adjoining residential neighborhoods. The problem here is that 65 feet is not an appropriate height for development adjoining residential areas. The CR zones are being closely monitored because they most likely will be applied to Westbard when the Westbard Sector Plan study is completed. In the interim, the owners of the Betco Block plant at the end of Butler Road have filed to rezone their property to permit construction of 40 town homes.

Brookdale Real Estate Activities (January through March 2011) - Phyllis Wiesenfelder*

Active Sale
5306 Westport Road--colonial, listed on March 11 for $899,000, 3 bedrooms, 1 ½ baths. Built in 1947.

5015 Westport Road--originally listed at $1,295,000, price was adjusted to $1,269,000. Colonial built in 1964, with 5 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half baths. Now under contract.
4725 River Road--colonial, listed on Oct. 25, 2010 for $649,000. Price adjusted to $639,000 and it is under contract and will settle March 25th. There are 3 bedrooms, and 1 ½ baths

5017 Brookdale Road, a colonial built in 1936 (expanded at some point). It was originally listed on September 24, 2010 for $1,220,000. Price was adjusted to $1,095,000 and it sold for that price. Settlement was March 9, 2011. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths.

*An agent for Long & Foster Realtors. For more information contact

Animal Keepers' Yard Sale Extravaganza!!!

When: Saturday June 4th, 8am-3pm
Where: 5306 Saratoga Ave. - Marsha Broadwell's house (near the GEICO end of Saratoga)

The National Capital Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (NCAAZK) is having a yard sale in Brookdale. The keepers would love for you to stop by, meet them and purchase a trinket or two in support of their conservation efforts. Some amazing (donated) items are expected. If you love animals, this is your kind of sale. 100% of the proceeds raised will go to support NCAAZK's conservation efforts throughout the year. If you would like to contribute something (not clothes) for NCAAZK to sell, please price the item and talk with Marsha about when to drop it off.

What is NCAAZK? It is a non-profit conservation organization. Members of the local chapter, based at our National Zoo, are dedicated to quality animal husbandry and the diffusion of knowledge within the profession. They have a true passion for conservation, inspiring leadership in animal care and promoting conservation action -- locally and globally. For more information:

A Tomato Grows in Brookdale - David Dearden

Fresh lumber in the driveway and newly turned earth. Another Brookdale remodel? Not at 5201 Westport Road where Charlie Hewlett is finishing a raised bed. He's had enough of squirrels sampling his tomatoes. "It wouldn't be so bad if they ate the whole thing, but a bite out of each tomato!" fumes Charlie. Half of the bed is enclosed to keep the squirrels at bay. The other half will include jalapenos and other hot peppers, "they can have a bite of those", says Charlie.

Brookdale is in USDA zone 6B and is an excellent location for many fruits and vegetables. However, the mid Atlantic also has challenges for a gardener. The shade trees that make Brookdale so appealing in the summer make it harder for Yvonne and Arnold Einhorn at 5012 Westport to grow sun loving tomatoes says Arnold. Yvonne uses clay pots for her plants, and her chives have thrived in the same pots for years. "They freeze solid in the winter, but come back every spring", says Yvonne. The chives are delicious, particularly in Yvonne's homemade soup.

Suzanne Richman at 4712 Overbrook Road is a native plant enthusiast. She is concerned about the loss of native plants and animals. "I had so much fun last fall watching butterflies feeding on the wood asters. We didn't have to plant the asters, they just started growing", says Suzanne. Native plants, like asters, evolved along with native insects, birds, and other wildlife that are now less often seen in Brookdale, explains Suzanne. The animal species she enjoys seeing need not only food but shelter, a place to raise their young, and safe passage as the seasons change. To help with native plant restoration, the Richmans have red maple transplants to give away. No fertilizer or water needed says Suzanne.

Dr. Einhorn Honored through Lectureships

Two endowed lectures in recognition of Dr. Arnold H. Einhorn (Westport Road), professor emeritus of pediatrics at George Washington Univ. and Georgetown Univ. and chairman emeritus of Pediatric Medicine at Children's National Medical Center, took place in March. The annual events, held in Washington and India, were founded and funded by Einhorn's alumni from Children's Hospital and by former trainees from India. Congratulations, Dr. Einhorn!

Classified Ads

BABYSITTER AND PETSITTER Tamsen Evans, 18, experienced..
EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT College student/neighbor seeks summer employment: BCC grad, majoring in poli sci and sociology, with business minor. Available early May; flexible and resourceful; resume and references available. Contact
HOUSE FOR RENT on Saratoga Avenue beginning mid-June. 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, office, 1 car garage. Please email for more information.
Kid-Sitting: Male, age (almost) 15, long time Brookdale resident. Available for kid-sitting in evenings and weekends. Especially good with active kids age 4 and up. Call Reed at 301-907-9525.
LOCAL REAL ESTATE EXPERTISE Buying or Selling? Allow my full service team help you achieve your goal. Personal Attention and Maximum Results. Mark Luther, Stuart & Maury Realtors. Direct: 202-577-5115 Office: 301-654-3200

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 nonresidents, and all ads are subject to approval by the Brookdale Citizens/ Association Executive Committee.

Brookdale 2011 High School Graduates
- Michelle Hainbach and deLancey Webster
Congratulations to the following students who will be graduating this year from the named high schools.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Sarah Hainbach
Hannah Halpern
Michaela Olson
Ally Plache
Kasia Potocka
Margot Sanne
Katie Webster
Emerson Preparatory School
Tamsen Evans
Gonzaga College High School
Peter Benzinger
Harrison Shoffner
St. Anslem's Abbey School
Tomas Husted
Sidwell Friends School
Katie Yochum



Celese and Mike Barstis, 5200 Western Avenue, welcomed a baby boy, Walker, in September.
Tamar and David Nicholson, Merivale Road, had a baby girl on January 10. Her name is Amalia Karmiela Yecheskel Nicolson.
Caron and David Baker, 5322 Baltimore Avenue, had a baby boy on March 4. His name is Emlyn Lloyd Baker.
Jody and Bobby Benjamin, 5304 Sherrill Avenue, became grandparents. Their son, David and his wife Irina, had a baby, Aron Benjamin, on March 14.


Jim and Robin Burdick live at 5302 Westport Road.
Dana Greenwald and Suzanne Goldstein moved to 4703 Overbrook Road last November.
New neighbors at 4803 Dover Court are Graham Covington and Nathalie Belanger and their daughter Lindsay (13).
New neighbors at 5014 Park Place are Lauren Borchard and Don Walker.
John Whealan, Elysa (Lisa) Blacker, and their daughter Diana Whealan (8th grade) moved to 4613 Merivale on December 16.
Tom and Lucinda (Lindy) Goldman moved to 5303 Sherrill Avenue in January .from NW DC. Tom is a psychiatrist and Lindy is a math teacher at Sidwell Friends School. They have 3 adult children who do not live with them.
The Sheltons move to 5017 Brookdale on April 29. Yonce, Johanna ("JoJo"), Cole (2 years), and Cash (bulldog) have been in Mount Pleasant (DC) for four years. Before that we were in Columbia Heights and the U St. corridor. Yonce says, "We are very excited about moving and look forward to meeting everyone. We may be around the house some in the coming month and welcome your saying hello!"

Departure and Changes

The renters in 5305 Sherrill moved out last month. The owner plans to raze the house this summer and build a new one.
Bob and Judy Cope moved to 5062 Park Place in March 2010 from their previous home on Brookdale Road.


Janet Battaile, Merivale Road, passed away on February 18 at the age of 63. Survivors include her husband, Jerry Knight, and their three children, Jesse, Erin, and Marc. We send our condolences to her family. (See remembrance below.)
Samuel Z. Gordon, 94, died at his home on Saratoga Ave. on March 16, 2011 after a long illness. Survivors include his loving wife of 70 years, Arline, his children, Michael, Robert, Melissa and Jacqueline, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and his sister, Beatrice Elliot. (See remembrance below.)

Remembrance of Samuel Z. Gordon - Larry Broadwell

Judge Gordon, a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Law School, had an illustrious career as an attorney in the Anti-Trust Division of the Justice Department and later served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Federal Power Commission. In January 1950, Judge Gordon and his wife, Arline, bought the original Shoemaker family farmhouse, at 5305 Saratoga Ave., thought to have been built in the 1890s. In 1950, there were very few houses in most of Brookdale, and River Road was a two-lane country road. The old trolley line was still running; the trolley bell at the nearby stop was one of the few sounds one heard. When Frances Gaist and her husband (now deceased) built their place next door, the Gordons helped them by running an extension cord from their house to power construction tools on the Gaist homesite. Sam was active in the early days of the neighborhood association, but cut back as his judging responsibilities grew. Later Sam knew the GEICO leadership and took part in discussions about GEICO's move to the area. Before Sam's illness, the Gordons hosted neighbors for an evening around Christmastime. A highlight of the gathering was viewing the manger scene -- a real work of art -- that they set out on a tabletop. Mrs. Gordon called Sam an "old fashioned, sweet, good soldier." We will all remember his wisdom, wit, kindness and devotion to his family. We send our condolences to his wife Arline.

Remembrance of Janet Battaile - Jean Junior

We miss Janet Battaile. Across the fence we still feel her laughter and optimism, her cheer and free-range interests. But last month Jan lost her battle with cancer. Through that long journey she was buoyant and determined; she never flinched or complained. She was extraordinary. It's hard to believe that such a small and graceful being packed such great talent and expertise. Editing the work of New York Times heavyweights is not easy. But she was long a senior editor there and ever gained admiration and affection. Jerry Knight, her husband, is also a newspaper person (retired from the Post). They moved onto Merivale more years ago than I can count. Ever since, summer evenings often found us or them on the neighbor's terrace or patio, checking out nutritious beverages and snacks. With Jerry and Jan, things were never dull. About that fence . . . Long ago my husband and I wanted to build a fence along our border with Jan and Jerry. They quickly agreed under two conditions: that we split the cost and that there be a gate so we could stay close. Our gate will always be open to Jan's courage and joy in life.

Community Notices

New Block Captain

Jimmy Mrose became the Area Liaison Representative (i.e., block captain) for 4707-4727 River Road, on the north side, last December. This territory is in Wohlshire. You may contact Jimmy at or 301- 718-7860. Thanks for accepting this responsibility, Jimmy!

Westbrook Carnival Coming on May 6

Westbrook Elementary School's annual carnival takes place this year on Friday, May 6, 3-7 p.m. Games include Superchance, Build-a-Bear, Climbing Wall, Obstacle Course, and Cake Walk. Popcorn, ice cream, and cotton candy will be available, in addition to fare from Armand's Chicago Pizzeria and Red, Hot and Blue (BBQ). This year's carnival theme is "Westbrook Builds," a nod to the school's upcoming addition and also a reflection of Westbrook's contribution to the future of its students and the neighborhood.

Tapping Brookdale Garage Sale Interest

Recently, interest in a Spring Brookdale Garage Sale was tested via an email to the listserv. Not enough interest was expressed to justify one this Spring. We're now seeking interest in a Fall community sale, but we need a lot of participation to make it worth the effort. If you are interested, contact Michele at or 301-907- 2493. In addition, let her know if you can assist with the event and any suggestions you might have.

Independence Day Parade

The annual Independence Day Parade will be held the morning of July 4, starting in Brookdale Park. Specifics will be announced closer to the date on the web, through the listserve, and in posted notices. Please volunteer to help organize this community event by contacting Jesse Witten at 301-986-4648 or

Potholes? Report Them! - Cathy Solberg

Roads in Brookdale are deteriorating with no major repairs in sight. There is a place to report potholes on the Montgomery County website, where they claim that the pothole will be repaired within 4 days of its inspection. The link is

Rural America Photo Exhibit

Gwen Lewis invites you to an exhibit of her work "Rural America" at the Kentlands Mansion, Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg 8/1-10/2/2011. There will be a public reception Tuesday August 9th 7-8:30 pm.

Young Photographers' Show

The 2011 Young Photographers' Exhibit at Glen Echo Park will be open from April 25 though May 30. The Awards Ceremony will be held on April 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Brookdale youth will be represented in the show!


Join the secure electronic mailing list established for Brookdale. Become a member of the group by going to the community page of the Brookdale website and following instructions. In you join the group, you will be able to share messages with other members.

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
Assistant Editor             Deborah Kalb
Layout (hard copy)       Steve Langer
Distribution (hard copy) David Deardon

The deadline to submit articles, notices, and ads for the April 2011 issue of the Brookdale Bugle is 9 p.m. March 27.
Don't delay. Be early.

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