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Council Member Denis Addresses Annual Meeting - Bill McCloskey
District 1 Montgomery County Council member Howard Denis who represents Brookdale, the rest of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights and other down-county communities, discussed his "impervious surface" legislation and other issues and responded to questions at the association's annual meeting in May.
Denis, a Republican, who is facing opposition from Democrat Duchy Trachtenberg, also of Bethesda, in this year's elections, said his proposal is designed to limit the size of "parking lots" in front of homes that are being turned into sites for commercial operations -- such as a recent attempt to open a beauty salon on River Road.
The council member expressed gratitude to attorney Norman Knopf, a long-time Brookdale civic activist, for his help in shaping the legislation. Denis said the purpose of the ordinance is to stop "creeping commercialization" in County residential areas. Denis serves on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development committee of the council.
While in favor of an East-West rail route through the county, Denis said he opposed an inner route for the proposed Metro Purple Line because of his concern that it would have a devastating effect on the Capital Crescent Trail, a walking and bike path that replaced the Georgetown railroad spur. A light rail connection from Bethesda to Silver Spring is among the proposals being considered for expanding cross-county transit options.
When asked about how he could facilitate neighborhood support by interjurisdictional cooperation with the District of Columbia, Denis noted that before being elected to Council, he served as counsel, then staff director, of the District of Columbia Subcommittee of the U.S. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. He feels that this experience gives him special insight
Veteran Letter Carrier Webb Retiring - Don Junior
Our veteran Brookdale letter carrier Paul Edward Webb plans to retire this fall. Webb, as he is often known on his mail route, will have over thirty-six years of government service when he downs tools in September. After two years in the army, including an artillery tour in Viet Nam, Webb joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1968 after a brief stint with PEPCO. By his retirement date, September 13, Webb will have spent over 34 consecutive years delivering the mail in the Chevy Chase area, the last thirteen in and around Brookdale, serving well over two hundred families. He is well known in the community for his courtesy and reliability and will be sorely missed.
Webb is a DC native and a graduate of Dunbar High School. He and his wife Betty have four adult children and six grandchildren, all in the DC area. Webb is looking forward to retirement, not only to catching up on his yard work and household chores, but also to relief from the grinding daily commute from and to the family home in Hyattsville. And a white cruise ship is not far below the Webb horizon. Good sailing and good luck, Mr. and Mrs. Webb!
and contacts to deal with issues that come up between Brookdale and the District of Columbia near the Western Avenue border.
He failed to mention any specific role for the Friendship Heights Joint Task Force, begun by his predecessor and recently reactivated.
Denis reminded residents that he is available to meet with them informally on Friday mornings at 8 at the Tasty Diner in Bethesda.
President's Report - William Geiger|
I'm proud and fortunate to be president of such a great neighborhood and association. We've all been lucky to have had such a long string of effective presidents, active committee members, and neighborhood volunteers over the years. I grew up in Brookdale, starting in 1965, and I've lived in Brookdale for 30 of the last 37 years. A lot has changed, but the great character of the neighborhood remains constant. It's still a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle of downtown DC and more recently from growth and traffic around Friendship Heights. I'm told that in the mid-1960's one of the Brookdale home developers had an advertising sign that read: "If you lived here, you'd be home now" -- and that great proximity to town is just one reason why Brookdale remains a highly sought after address. Sometimes I don't realize how lucky we are to live in Brookdale until I talk to newcomers who explain how impressed they are with how friendly, welcoming, and active the neighborhood is; how good all the nearby schools are; and the great accomplishments and/or interesting life experiences so many of the residents have had and share. Brookdale is a great place to grow up, grow old, and/or raise a family.
We have continued work with Parks and Planning to complete the improvements to Brookdale Park, most recently the connector sidewalk. According to Kathy Dearstine of the parks department, Brookdale Park is scheduled for new playground equipment in fiscal 2003. Fiona Carson and Maureen McRaith have agreed to co-chair the Brookdale committee that will work with park officials and residents to select new equipment, including some for older children. If you'd like to work with Fiona and Maureen on this, please contact them directly.
Although GEICO has begun to sell more houses they own in Brookdale, Ken Williams of GEICO said they do not want to sell houses that border the GEICO property until after the major redevelopment work on their site is complete; this may run 6-8 years in the future. Currently, GEICO is settling some employees (and their families) into Brookdale homes that previously have been rented to the public. Williams believes this plan saves GEICO money in housing its temporarily assigned employees, reduces problems to neighbors of group houses, and reduces the probability of future complaints about construction noise and mess.
I have asked Mr. Magram and Mr. DiGiovanni of the county Dept. of Public Works and Transportation for an updated estimate on when the new turnaround will be completed on Park Place. The county needs to get permission from the DC Roads Dept. to run a small drain pipe from Park Place to Western Avenue. The current estimate is for a late September - early October completion.
Dog Noise and Refuse
Residents who have complaints about barking dogs or animal waste should contact either Steven A. Bartlett, Field Supervisor of the Montgomery County Police Animal Services Division (240-773-5927) or Animal Services Officer, T.K. Hane at 240-777-5939.
The association's executive committee has decided to provide welcome baskets to new residents of Brookdale. Regina Crosson will distribute the first set of 20 baskets to the VPs soon. Although block captains and VPs try to meet new residents soon after arrival, we encourage new residents also to introduce themselves to their block captain and area VP.
2002-2003 Brookdale Directory Update
Soon we will begin soliciting updates for our 2002-2003 Brookdale Directory. Shaazka Beyerle has graciously volunteered to lead the effort. Our last directory was printed in April 2000 with an addendum distributed in April 2002. We're looking for additional volunteers to help with data base updates, layout, printing, and copying. VPs and block captains will distribute and collect validation forms. We want everyone to update their data, list email addresses, and identify when they moved into Brookdale. If you'd like to join Shaazka's team with this important service, please call her at 301-718-7861.
Following the May 8, 2002 Annual Meeting, we have 3 new Vice Presidents -- Kathy Mintz for Brookdale North, Sue Bruser for Wohlshire, and Ross Quan for Orchardale. I'd like to welcome them and I look forward to working with them. I thank the following for agreeing to stay on in their positions: Regina Crosson (Treasurer), Hal Wolman (Secretary), and Barbara Ingersoll (Brookdale South). I also want to extend my thanks to Gwen Lewis for continuing as Bugle editor and to Dave Montgomery for continuing to serve as Brookdale's Webmaster. Thanks, too, to Mike Makuch for representing Brookdale on the Joint Task Force on Friendship Heights and to Ron Tripp and Eric Sanne for being our representatives on the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights.
We are starting our 2002-2003 dues collection. Dues per household are $20. These funds are used to pay for production of the community directory, newsletter, and other notices; community parties such as 4th of July, Halloween, and annual block parties; and welcome baskets for new residents. Regina Crosson, treasurer, and Sissy Rothwell, chair of the finance committee, will work this fall with the area VPs and block captains to collect dues. Please pay when you receive your collection envelope. Even though our fiscal year starts on 1 June, households that have paid dues since the beginning of May 2002 can consider their dues paid for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
|Introducing Your Officers|
At the May 8 Brookdale Annual Meeting, officers were elected. Following is a short description of the current officers.
William Geiger, President, was raised in Brookdale (Wohlshire) and is happy to be raising his own family here on Westport Road. William works as both a contractor for and reserve lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. William and his wife, Marie Geiger, have 6-year-old twins at Westbrook Elementary school.
Sue Bruser, Vice President of Wohlshire, moved to Merivale Road from Manhattan in October 1989 with her husband Larry, and now teenage son Jonathan. Born and bred Californians, they moved in the day of the earthquake that halted the SF Giants/Oakland A's world series game. Initially working for the PR firm Burson-Marsteller in DC, Sue became a freelance corporate communications researcher and writer in '95. Her "spare time" activities include baking in the Bruser's newly renovated kitchen, fighting the weeds in their garden, and aiding congregation Kol Shalom.
Barbara Ingersoll, Vice President of Brookdale South, has resided on Park Avenue with her husband Tom since 1982. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children with attentional problems (ADHD) and mood/anxiety disorders.
Kathy Mintz, Vice President of Brookdale North, is the Director of Finance & Administration for House of Ruth, a non-profit agency serving women and families, particularly victims of domestic abuse, in D.C. She has lived on Dalton Road since 1998 with her husband Jonathon Landeck and their daughters Ellen and Alice. She enjoys gardening, reading, and riding bicycles with her family. They all appreciate living within walking distance to so many places. Kathy's father, Milton Mintz, is now establishing his home with them.
Ross Quan, Vice President of Orchardale, his wife Madeleine, and son Roland have lived on Baltimore Ave. for the past 24 years. Ross currently works for a non-profit association -- the American National Standards Institute. Until retiring in 1993, he was a US Foreign Service Officer at the Department of State, serving in Europe and Asia.
Hal Wolman, Secretary, has lived on Westport with his wife Dianne since the summer of 1996. He is Director of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at George Washington University.
Regina Reed Crosson, Treasurer, has lived on Westport Road with her husband Dennis and boys Andrew and Reed since 2000. She is a full-time mother and a part-time computer consultant.
|Enthusiastic 4th of July Parade
- Susan King
Not even the heat and humidity of the day could dampen the enthusiasm of the Brookdale residents for this year's annual 4th of July parade. From first-time parade goer Jonas Smith Sparling in his baby carriage to former long-time Brookdale resident Major (Retired) Gerald Geiger in his WWII cavalry uniform, the parade participants met at Brookdale Park to begin their event.
Many neighborhood children decorated their bikes or wagons for the parade, and even the neighborhood dogs joined in the fun: Brewster Sanne sported a patriotic stars and stripes kerchief around his neck while Ginger Evans's leash was decorated with red, white, and blue. The celebration did not end with the parade--most neighbors enjoyed donuts and bagels in the park immediately following the parade. It was an enjoyable way to start the day.
The Gardening Group continues to meet regularly. The next event is to be held September 13, 2002 at 1:30 pm at the home of Vijaya Mitra, 5311 Baltimore (301-652-0869). Topics: Coping with drought; preparation for winter Do you have questions? Do you have answers?! Please come to share. Do you need different meeting times to accommodate your schedule? To become involved call Grazia Narkus-Kramer at 301-320-3181.
The annual 4th of July parade is an important event, not only because it is a fun way to recognize and celebrate America's independence, but because it encourages the strong sense of community that Brookdale residents are very fortunate to enjoy. Thanks to organizer Ellie Shorb and Loretta Yenson for their work in making this event a pleasure for all.
|In-fill Homes Come to North Dalton - Kathy Mintz, VP Brookdale N|
Early in August, the signs appeared on 5004 Dalton Road and the empty lot next to it. New homes are coming, two of them. Residents of the block often joke about the eclectic end of the street that has a decidedly different appearance from the rest of the neighborhood. The red fox and opossum that have made their homes here may be moving out. The new homes will be two-story colonials with four bedrooms and two and a half baths. Will they really sell for the base list price of $1,088,000?
Construction is scheduled for completion in January 2003. Floor plans are available for viewing on-line at Bethesdahomes.com. The homes will be built by The Haines Companies and are being marketing by Sterling Mehring of Long & Foster, who years ago lived on Dover Road. Haines recently completed a new house on Baltimore Avenue near River Road. Although ground was broken by WSSC, no sediment control or building permits have yet been issued for the new Dalton Road houses. The site plans were not yet available from the Realtor last week.
In a conversation with Mr. Mehring, I shared some of the concerns and issues that the neighborhood will be monitoring. During construction we are concerned about work schedules and conduct. There are county rules for construction, such as no work is allowed before 7:00 a.m. It will be important that trash and construction materials do not spread out into the street. Parking is limited along the Brookdale Park borders and we will want construction vehicles to respect those restrictions. Illegal parking in that area poses a threat to the safety of children and creates mud trenches on the edge of the parkland.
There are long-term concerns about interpretation of and respect for zoning requirements. The house plans do not include garages, but off street parking must be provided for two vehicles for each lot. Excessive paving could cause drainage problems since there are no storm drains on that end of the street.
In addition, due to the slope of the land and the excavation involved, there will be watershed issues. Several old-growth trees at the back of the property shade adjoining yards.
If you would like to e-mail me (mintzland -@- earthlink.net) any other specific or general concerns, I will compile them for the neighborhood and circulate them broadly.
|Park Bethesda Action by CCCFH
- Ron Tripp, CCCFH Chairperson
The Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, which represents 16 community associations including Brookdale, has joined with member communities around the Westbard area in legal proceedings challenging the Use-And-Occupancy Certificates issued for Park Bethesda, the converted building on Westbard Road. As many as 730 American University students will be housed in the building.
With AU refusing to sign an agreement regarding security, parking, and future expansion into the neighborhoods, the communities chose to challenge the legality of the occupancy permits issued for the building. The 11-story building was originally commercial, and to allow the conversion to apartments, the property was rezoned to residential. The zoning code allows residential use up to eight stories, but occupancy permits were issued by the County's Department of Permitting Services for apartments on all 11 floors. The staff apparently believes that the building is 'grandfathered' in the residential zone, permitting 11 stories of residential.
The Montgomery County Board of Appeals will hear the community's appeal on November 27th. For information on attending the hearing, contact me or legal counsel Norm Knopf.
The annual Halloween Party will take place Saturday, October 26, from noon to 2 pm in Brookdale Park.
All are invited to come, in costume if possible. There will be children's games and hot dogs, burgers, and snacks for everyone.
Volunteers are needed urgently for lead organizer and helpers. Please call William Geiger (301-654-3046) to volunteer.
Brookdale Block Party
This year's Brookdale Block Party will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 4 to 7pm. All Brookdale residents are welcome. The event will occur on Merivale Road between Sherrill and Westport. Please bring food or beverage for 6-8 people. As a suggested guideline, last names from A through G, please bring desserts; last names from H through Q, please bring appetizers/entrees; last names from R through Z, please bring beverages. (This is a guideline only. If you have a specialty, please bring it!)
The rain date will be Sunday, September 22, from 4 to 7pm. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Hochheiser at 301-718-1971.
Treasurer's Report - Regina Reed Crosson|
Fiscal Year 2002 (June 1 - May 31)
Bugle, directory, flyers
Parties (Halloween, 4 July)
In Fiscal Year 2002, we've been very frugal. Total funds collected this fiscal year totaled $3,040, so we've been adding to our reserve balance. The balance in our account is approximately $9,000. This may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that if we need to start paying legal or other fees related to the development that surrounds our neighborhood, our reserve could be used up quite quickly. Even though we do have a nice reserve balance, it is still important for us to keep building it, as a precautionary measure. However, if anyone has ideas that will benefit Brookdale, we are interested and do have some funds to support these ideas.
Any dues collected at the May meeting were put toward FY 2003. We'll be starting our annual fall dues drive very soon. Dues are $20 per household per year. If you have any questions, please contact me at 301-907-9525 or reedcrosson -@- comcast.net.
The classified section of the Brookdale Bugle is provided as a service to Brookdale residents, who may place ads at no 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.
Two original wooden storm doors with screens and glass (about 78" x 32") in good condition. Reasonable price. 301-718-7861.
Daytime dog walker needed for friendly, behaved dog. 301-718-7861.
Brookdalers interested in joining Abner Oakes & family (Dover Court) in a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm next summer - VA's Bull Run Mountain Organic Farm -- http://www.bullrunfarm.com/? Here's how it works. You pay for a summer's share of veggies, fruit, and cut flowers from this farm (cost approx. $380 for family of three). The farm delivers produce to a drop-off point in Bethesda once a week. You pick up your goods and enjoy. It is much cheaper than buying at local supermarkets, and I imagine the food is far yummier. If we get 14 families to join us in this venture, the farm will deliver right to Brookdale. Imagine a dusty truck from a Virginia farm arriving at the corner of Keokuk and Overbrook every Tuesday evening at 5:00 pm for the entire summer, chockfull of corn and summer squash and sunflowers. Pretty cool, in my mind. Please e-mail if you're interested: AOakes -@- Mrsh.org.
Newcomers: We welcome the following neighbors who have arrived in Brookdale recently:
Dagfinn Vaksvik, Asma Lateef, and their daughter Aliya Lateef-Vaksvik to 5205 Andover from Western Ave.
Peter Smith, Laurie Sparling, and their son Jonas at 5315 Baltimore Ave.
Shoon Murray and Greg Leroy and their wonder cat, Tugger, 4832 Park Ave.
Jonathan Cedarbaum and Alice Winkler at 5208 Saratoga.
Dr Victor Abdow, Dr Nina Seborowski, son Peter Abdow, and dog, Poirot, to 4715 River Road, Victor's boyhood home, following the death of his mother, Mary Juanita Abdow in February. Victor owns and operates Friendship Pediatrics in Rockville and his wife Nina works as a neurologist.
Mikel and Brad Moore and son Carl at 5304 Westport.
Louis Kuijs and Tao Wang at 5010 Westport.
The Santos/Kemper family on Baltimore Avenue had a baby boy, John Harrison, on March 17th.
Michael A. Hanu, 35-year resident of Brookdale, died on July 5. Mr. Hanu, retired as Chief of the Current Affairs Division of the Voice of America where he worked for 40 years as editor and an award-winning script writer. Born in Bucharest, Romania, he came to this country in 1947. Mr. Hanu was fluent in four languages. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Rada Dragenova Hanu. Our sincerest sympathy is extended to his family and friends.
A Brookdale resident was followed home by two teenage girls on Thursday, August 29 at about 8:00 PM. The girls reportedly closed in on him near his home and struck him on the head with a metal rod. When he started yelling, they fled. Police came to interview witnesses; anybody else who saw anything should contact police. The Brookdale Community Association urges residents to exercise caution as they walk home.
COMMUNITY YARD SALE
If you are interested in coordinating or participating in a Brookdale community yard sale, please contact Marina Bowsher by 30 Sep at 301-215-7667 so we can choose a date that works for the most households. We are considering Saturdays in mid October through early November. Watch for flyers that identify the date and time.
If you are a newcomer to Brookdale, we hope you have already received a warm welcome. We would like to publicize your presence and other transitions in the Bugle. Please send them to Hal Wolman, secretary, at hwolman -@- gwu.edu or call 301-718-8438. If you do not have a copy of the Brookdale Directory, contact your area liason representative. Please contact Shaazka Beyerle, 301-718-7861, with additions or updates to the directory.
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