Scheduled for delivery September 21, 2003

You can go directly to
the New Officers
BCC Theater
Playground Equipment
Home Sales
or Upcoming events and groups.

Back to home

--Amy Rispin, Acting President

This Executive Committee column describes how we are handling our duties in light of the fact that the Nominating Committee did not locate a candidate for President this year. Fortunately, article V of the Association constitution describes how the Executive Committee is able to act on behalf of the Association between meetings of all members, and we have an Executive Committee that is willing and able to address the situation by rotating the presidency quarterly among the four Association Vice Presidents (July - September: Amy Rispin; October - December: Carol Mitchell; January - March: Sue Bruser; April - May: Nancy La Vigne). With a rotating presidency, the Executive Committee is currently addressing how to designate a single point of contact between the neighborhood and the various local government organizations, which update their files on a longer term basis.

We also have established three special committees to share responsibility with the Executive Committee in particular areas. Committee chairs will report to and represent the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will include special committee chairs in its meetings. Of course, between meetings, use of e-mail allows for rapid Executive Committee communication and action if needed. We believe that this new arrangement provides constructive opportunities for greater community participation in Association decisions.

A Special Committee on Quality of Life and Security is chaired by Richard Yates (301-657-8483). This committee is concerned with issues of traffic safety as well as litter, graffiti, and crime. It will seek solutions to these issues, and serve as the association's liaison with the Montgomery County Police, the Montgomery County Council, and other governmental and private)organizations on these issues.

The other two special committees are the Building, Zoning and Development Committee, chaired by Kinley Dumas (301-229-6396), and the Annual Events Committee, chaired by Ellie Shorb (301- 652-6897). Ellie emphasizes that planning events such as Halloween and July Fourth festivities is a true committee effort and is seeking others to help. All three committees address important concerns for Brookdale residents and in order to work well, widespread participation from the community is necessary. People interested in joining special committees should contact committee chairs or plan to respond positively when approached for assistance.

The Association Area Liaison Representatives (Block Captains) act as liaisons between the Executive Committee and the community, a function that is particularly important to knit the community together, especially during the current transition from longstanding residents to newer families with many younger children. Block Captains are listed on the Brookdale Citizens' Association web site. Block Captains help the association by distributing the Brookdale Bugle and other information, and welcoming new residents with an information kit. They will distribute the 2003 Brookdale Citizens' Association Directory as soon as it is fully updated and printed.

Introducing Your Officers
At the May 21 Brookdale Annual Meeting, the following officers
were elected.

Sue Bruser, Vice President of Wohlshire, her husband Larry, and
now teenage son Jonathan moved to Merivale Road from Manhattan in
October 1989. 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. This is Sue's second
year as VP.

Regina Reed Crosson, Treasurer, and her husband, Dennis, and two
boys, Reed and Drew, have lived in Brookdale since July 2000.
Regina works part time as a consultant in the mortgage banking
industry, and full-time as Mom. She holds a MBA and BS from
Tulane University, and was a CPA in a prior life. The family
enjoys canoeing, biking, and running, and is making the best of
life in a construction zone. Regina begins her third year as

Nancy La Vigne, Vice President of Brookdale South, and her
husband, Tom Marder, have lived in Brookdale since 2000. They
have a 2-year-old son named John and a newborn named James. Nancy
has a Ph.D. in criminology and conducts research on criminal
justice issues for the Urban Institute in downtown DC. She enjoys
cooking, biking, and wine tasting, but most of her time is spent
on mothering these days!

Carol Mitchell, Vice President of Brookdale North, and her
husband Shamsher Singh moved into a house on Harrison Street in
1990 and now have two young children Karan and Anna Gayatri.
After practicing law for 20 years, Carol is now on a sabbatical.
The family enjoys music, biking, all kinds of sports, and
relaxing in the Brookdale neighborhood, especially the park.

Amy Rispin, Vice President of Orchardale, and her husband Paul
are seventeen-year residents of Orchardale, where they raised
their two children, Peter and Sarah. Amy is a Senior Scientist at
the Environmental Protection Agency. In her spare time, she likes
to garden and plays the violin with community groups.

Hal Wolman, Secretary, and his wife Dianne have lived in Brookdale on
Westport Road since 1996. They have lived in London, Boston, and
Detroit. Hal grew up in Chicago as a long-suffering Cubs fan. He
is the Director of the George Washington Institute of Public
Policy and Professor of Political Science and Public
Administration at The George Washington University. Hal begins
his 4th year as secretary.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Parks adorn Brookdale. They are for the enjoyment of everybody.
Sadly, some people (residents and nonresidents) repeatedly have
denuded the hydrangea bush in Boundary Park of every single blue
blossom in the last few weeks and cut down every daffodil this
past spring. Please don't pick the flowers. It detracts from the
beauty of our parks, and it is unlawful.

-- Barbara Ingersoll

The Annual Meeting of the Brookdale Citizens' Association,
originally scheduled for May 7, was postponed until May 21
because, as of the 7th, there were no candidates for the office
of president. In spite of the best efforts of the Nominating
Committee, no candidate had been identified by the time of the
meeting on the 21st either. According to Mike Makuch, chair of
the Nominating Committee, the committee approached many
candidates, some of whom had previously held office in the
association. Citing other commitments, however, none of the
potential candidates was available to serve for the current term.
After electing the presented slate (see new officers above),
those present at the meeting requested the Nominating Committee
continue its search for a candidate for president. The meeting
passed a resolution giving the Executive Committee the power to
confirm a president, if one is found to serve. It is hoped that
the search may be made easier by the actions of the Executive
Committee to streamline the job for future presidents. In the
interim, however, the Association lacks an officer who has been
identified as the single point of contact between the
neighborhood and various local government agencies, such as Parks
and Planning and the Montgomery County Council.

In addition, if rapid action is needed in response to a potential
threat to the quality of life in the neighborhood, that action
must be spearheaded by a single individual who has been charged
by the citizens with that responsibility (i.e., a president). If
you would consider stepping into this position, please contact
Mike Makuch (301-718-9134), Bob Cope (301-654-7891), Jordan
Harding (301-652-3359), or Steve Heyman (301-654-1468), members
of the ongoing Nominating Committee.

--Anne Farris

"Take a cutting-edge auditorium, add two dedicated,
tireless directors and a diverse, talented student body, and you
have the recipe for the stunning shows that are the backbone of
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School's Theater Arts program." This is
the opening sentence on the school's Theater Arts Program
website, and I couldn't compose a more apt description of my own
experience with the theatrical troupe after my 15-year-old son,
Ray, appeared in two of the school's productions last year. There
are two advantages to having B-CC as Brookdale's local high
school. In addition to high academic standards and a new $40
million renovation, the school has one of the area's best theater
programs for the general public's theatrical enjoyment. In fact,
the program is so good that one father told me he transferred his
daughter from a local private school so she could participate in
the B-CC theater program.

Program Directors Matthew Boswell and Jennifer Hoover, who are
studying at the Oregon Shakespeare Theater this summer, oversee
four major theatrical productions each year. All the shows are
open to the general public, and they are worth attending even
without knowing a student performer or stage hand.

The school year begins with a children's theater production for
elementary and middle school students from around the county.
Each year, one senior is selected to direct the production, which
is also open to the public during weekend performances. This
year's production is Alice in Wonderland, with public viewing on
Oct. 24 and 25. Past productions have included The Legend of
Sleepy Hollow, Charlotte's Web, and The Hobbit.

This year's fall musical, The Who's Tommy, is scheduled for
December 5, 6, 12 and 13. Fall musicals in recent years have
included Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, Cole Porter's
Anything Goes, and Cabaret. Last year's production of Les
Miserables included a cast and crew of more than 100 students,
including musicians.

As soon as the fall musical is over, auditions begin for the
spring play, which in previous years has included comedies such
as Seasons Greetings, an all-female production of Steele
Magnolias and Arthur Miller's Crucible. The 2004 spring play, not
yet announced, is scheduled for March 19, 20, 26 and 27.

The final curtain call in the series of continuous year-round
productions is the 2004 One-Act Play Festival, scheduled for May
21 and 22. The festival features one-act plays directed by
students enrolled in the school's Play Directing class who are
assigned to organize, cast and produce one-act plays.

B-CC is located at 4301 East-West Highway in Bethesda near the
intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and East-West Highway. For more
information and ticket purchases, call the B-CC ticket box office
at 240-497-6346.

Alice in Wonderland Oct. 24 and 2 5
The Who's Tommy Dec. 5, 6, 12 and 13
Spring Play TBA March 19, 20, 26 and 27
One-Act Play Festival May 21 and 22

Independence Day Parade A Big Success
-- Jesse Witten

Once again, Brookdale celebrated the Fourth of July with a neighborhood parade. About 200 people participated. Marchers, bikers, scooter-riders, children in wagons and one unicyclist paraded on Dalton Road, Sherrill Avenue, Merivale Road and Andover Road. The parade ended with a party at Brookdale Park.

Captain Jeff Williamson and Firefighters Pat Mann and Dana Evans from Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Station No. 6 brought up the rear of the parade in their shiny red 2002 Pierce Pumper fire truck.

Many thanks Natalie Howe, Ellie Shorb, Christie Perez, Laura Floam and Amy Kemper for organizing the event. As in the past, the parade and celebration were a great opportunity to see friends and neighbors, and for young and old to have a good time.

-- Fiona Carson

Last year on behalf of Brookdale, the Executive Committee appointed a committee consisting of myself, Maureen McGraith, and William Geiger to work with the Montgomery County Parks Department (MCPD) staff in determining new playground equipment. In the spring, we surveyed all Brookdale residents to find out what kind of equipment kids would like and whether you wanted to move the playground across Dalton Road to the volleyball court area. The survey was very helpful, providing lots of ideas for equipment. Although some residents wanted the playground moved across the street and some didn't mind either way, the majority, for many reasons, did not want the playground moved. A few weeks later, we met with Lynn Witt and Linda Komes of MCPD, who will do their best to accommodate our requests. Most of the playground ideas were terrific, but some were just too expensive, and required too much space, to be feasible. However, the request for more swings was overwhelming, and swings are quite affordable. We have requested MCPD add at least one toddler swing and one regular swing, and more if we have room. We also asked that a couple of the regular swings have plank seats instead of belt seats, since bigger children have let it be known that the belt swings hurt their thighs! We also requested regular swings be 10 feet from the ground to the top of the horizontal pole (two feet higher than current swings, a height approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)), to accommodate bigger, older, kids, (8- 12) which many of our neighborhood children are already.
As well as swings, we asked for:
- a fun center with little slides and a roof with platform for the toddlers;
- a fun center for the 5-12 year olds, to include the following (although in Fiona's opinion based on extensive research, most kids over 8/9 are too old for this, which is why we are asking for better swings to accommodate that age group;
- regular monkey bars, and slightly more exciting monkey bars called "the ring fling;"
- a good slide;
- a corkscrew (climbing structure);
- a couple of platforms with roofs for shade; and
- a tire swing, which would accommodate both age groups.

Our request sounds very basic and was intended to be so because we were given a budget of $47,000. Since none of the brochures came with prices, it was impossible to figure out the budget ourselves. We are expecting the preliminary design any day now, and have been for several months. Once we receive it, we can tweak it or add to it All existing playground equipment, including benches, must be removed. (MCPS demands it). Therefore, the budget will include replacement benches and picnic tables. Because of the current drainage problems that some residents are experiencing due to run-off from the playground, we have asked MCPS to do some ground levelling. This also comes out of the budget. The CPSC requires a certain amount of space around each piece of equipment, which is considerably more than we have in our present playground. The swings take up quite a lot of space. We may lose a couple of straggly trees, although there are several beautiful trees in the playground area which should be preserved.

So far we haven't approached GEICO or other large companies for extra funding. The reasons are (a) We don't know yet how much equipment can be accommodated in the space provided. If there is not room for extra equipment, the current budget may suffice. (b) We are not sure Brookdale can handle a fabulous playground that would attract people and traffic from outside the neighborhood, possibly generating noise and parking problems.

Finally, we need to choose colors! The committee thought that green and blue would be nice and natural enough to blend in, but bright enough to please the children. The yellows and reds are very bright, and would perhaps spoil the natural look of the park, and apparently the red fades and the yellow looks grubby after a while. There's also white which looks very pretty, but would probably look dirty with time, and brown which is rather depressing and ugly. (This last sentence is only Fiona's humble opinion)!

Not much progress can be made until the preliminary design is received, and then we can decide whether it will be feasible to put more equipment in the space, and if so, whether we should go for outside funding. The committee welcomes your input.

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 301-718-8438. If you don't have a copy of the Brookdale Directory, contact your area liaison representative. Please contact Shaazka Beyerle with additions or updates to the directory.


The annual Halloween party will take place Saturday, October 25,
from 12:30 to 2:30 pm in Brookdale Park. Rain date is Sunday,
October 26, same time. 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 Ellie Shorb (301- 652-6897) to volunteer.


Nancy Wiegand is organizing a Brookdale Block Party for May or
June 2004. Volunteers are needed. Call her at 301-654-0634 to


Those interested in having a yard sale in early October, please
call Ellie Shorb 301-652-6897 to volunteer to help organize it.


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 in rotation. Lunch included. Contact Tamar
Nicolson for details (301-656- 6601).


Everyone is welcome to share ideas on gardening.

Next Meeting: October 15 at 10 am Home of Gwen Lewis, 4512
Cortland Rd. 301-215-9224

If you are interested in attending but need an evening meeting
time, let Nancy McCloskey (301- 652-7583) or Maryn Goodson


Gaye & Bekir Gunes and their son Can (11 mos.), 5314 Baltimore Ave.
Suzanne and Michael Oliwa, and their 3 year-old son Derek,
5002 Dalton Rd.
Karen Lambert, Janusz Mrozek, and son Tad Mrozek, 5004 Dalton Rd.
Sylvia Scherr, 4844 Park Ave.
Cindi and Ken Cushing and their 3 cats are at 5308 Baltimore
Ave., having come from Portland, OR


Zoe Fast Wrathall was born to Jim Wrathall and Melissa Fast on
Dover Court on June 12.
Theodore James Hamilton was born to Jim and Rebecca Hamilton on
Dover Court on August 18.
Sarah Smith Sparling arrived Aug. 27 to join brother Jonah and
parents Laurie Sparling and Peter Smith on Baltimore Ave.


Emily Farris graduated in June from Woodrow Wilson High School in
Washington, DC. (Sorry we missed you before, Emily!)

-- Kathleen McElroy

The market exploded in the second and third quarters of 2003
after a sluggish first quarter supply. One house under contract
in the first quarter settled as follows:
* 5002 Dalton Rd. settled at $903,000.

The two active listings in the first quarter sold and settled as follows:
* 4844 Park Ave. listed 1/25 at $410,000 sold in 6 days for $435,000
* 5004 Dalton Rd. sold in 103 days on 4/29 for $925,000

Active listings now include:
* 4802 River Rd., listed at $550,000, reduced to $529,000 on the market for 33 days.
* 5006 Dalton Rd., LP $598,000 sold on 6/18 in 16 days and is back on the market.

Listings which are under contract:
* 4855 Park Ave., LP $525,000, sold on 7/2 in 5 days
* 4600 Dalton Rd., LP $829,000 sold on 5/29 in 14 days
* 4722 Merivale Rd. listed at $649,500 sold 8/12 in 7 days

Listings sold and settled in this period:
* 5005 Brookdale Rd., LP $759,000 sold 4/29 in 5 days for $826,000.
* 4611 Merivale Rd., LP $559,500 sold 5/7 in 5 days for $587,775.
* 5213 Andover Rd., LP $650,000 sold 5/7 in 14 days for $640,000.
* 4960 Western Ave., LP $450,000 sold 5/13 in 5 days for $480,000.
* 4626 River Rd., LP $695,000 reduced to $630,000 sold 5/26 for $630,000 in 18 days.
* 4712 Dover Rd., LP $595,000 sold on 7/15 in 5 days for $605,000.
* 4603 Cooper La., LP $629,000 sold on 6/24 in 15 days for $615,000

There were 3 private sales:
* 5305 Sherrill settled 4/1 for $425,000.
* 5323 Baltimore settled 4/30 for $592,000
* 4811 Park Ave settled 1/22 for $475,000.

The market in our area remains strong but interest rates
increased sharply by almost 2% in a 3-week period ending August 4
before scaling back almost 1%. Mortgage rates are still very low
by historical standards and the market should continue strong,
especially close to town. The rates are not much higher than they
were a year ago but we were really spoiled with 30 year fixed
rates hovering around 5.5% and 15 year rates around 4.5% for some
time. August is usually not a trend setter since so many people
are away on vacation. Listings are due to come on right after
Labor Day and the market is usually active until Thanksgiving
before some slow down during the holidays. The vast majority of
listings come on the market in the spring so the supply is
greater. Escalators when there are multiple offers are less
common than last year but the quality of the buyers and the peak
of the escalators are lower. The distribution of sale prices in
active, under-contract, and sold lists is quite different
indicating a very strong market up to $1,000,000 and a much
slower market over $1,000,000. There are virtually no houses for
sale in Bethesda/Chevy Chase under $400,000. The areas near Metro
continue to be in great demand. Some of the most prestigious
neighborhoods which are away from the Metro are no longer
necessarily commanding the highest prices.

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

TREASURER'S REPORT -- Regina Reed Crosson
Covers May 1, 2001 - April 30, 2002

Beginning Balance $9,115

Income (Dues Collected) $4,970
Bugle Expenses $771
Parties $883
Welcome Baskets $236
Misc. $86
Legal $583
Total $2,559

Final Balance $11,526


We are starting our 2003-2004 dues collection of $20 per
household. You may send your check payable to the Brookdale
Citizens' Association to Regina Reed Crosson, Treasurer, 5110
Westport Rd. A drive to collect dues will be launched later in
the year. To get answers for any questions contact Regina.

Classified Ads

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.

--Gwen Lewis

On Thursday, September 4, a large tree limb at a GEICO-owned home
on Westport Road came crashing down on the residents' car shortly
after the entire family had been under the tree. This scary event
serves to underscore the need for expert inspection and trimming
of older trees and the gradual renewal of Brookdale's tree cover.
The Brookdale Tree Committee (myself, Fiona Carson, and Pearl
Becnel) can help. So far, we have facilitated the requests of
over 20 residents for trees through Montgomery County's street tree program.

If you would like to request a street tree from the county, look
on the Brookdale website for information (check the links to
"local resources"), and call Fiona (301-986-0574), Pearl
(301-654-1991), or me (301-215- 9224). We shall be contacting the
county within the next six weeks to make a request for spring

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

Editor                       Gwen Lewis (301)215-9224
[Paper] Layout         Steve Langer
[Paper] Distribution   Britta Glennon

[Return to the beginning of this document][To home]