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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NEWS|
--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.
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.
BROOKDALE PLAYGROUND RENOVATION
-- 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.
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.
BROOKDALE BLOCK PARTY!
Nancy Wiegand is organizing a Brookdale Block Party for May or
June 2004. Volunteers are needed. Call her at 301-654-0634 to
HELP ORGANIZE A YARD SALE
Those interested in having a yard sale in early October, please
call Ellie Shorb 301-652-6897 to volunteer to help organize it.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEW MOMS' GROUP
Join an ongoing, daytime group of new (and experienced) mothers
to bounce ideas off new friends. Meets every other Wednesday 11-1
at participants' homes 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
ANOTHER BROOKDALE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE
Emily Farris graduated in June from Woodrow Wilson High School in
Washington, DC. (Sorry we missed you before, Emily!)
BROOKDALE HOME SALES
-- 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
Welcome Baskets $236
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.
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.
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
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