Scheduled for delivery September 17, 2004
Web version

You can go directly to
Home Sales
E-Mailing list


I think it's natural for me to be comparing the current community and its environment with that existing seven years ago, when I last served as the Association's president. Some aspects are remarkably similar now, for example, the players on the County's civic and government scene. On the other hand, there are interesting differences in our community. Let me share a couple.

An obvious change is the increase in number of children seen around Brookdale. To put some numbers on my feeling that family sizes have increased, I sampled the 2003-2004 Directory as I did in 1996 (compensating for blank entries): in 1996 I had estimated that the Association boundaries contained 839 people of all ages; the same calculation now yields 993 people. That is, according to our Directory, essentially the same 363 Brookdale homes hold about 154 more residents than in 1996.

Another change that warms the heart is the increase in number of residents who work on Association activities. Beyond the 24 or so block captains and seven elected officers, more than 20 residents helped our community during the past year through work such as writing for the Bugle, organizing Association parties, and representing us in other civic groups. The point here is that we would like your help too, dear neighbor: you will have company. If you could lend a hand, even for a single day in the coming year, please let me know. I firmly believe that the Brookdale Citizens' Association can contribute to the quality of our community, but only through the effort of people like you. Thank you, in advance, for your support.

An old truism was confirmed this summer; namely, surprises occur when you least expect them. Your Executive Committee had intended to approach permit parking in a deliberate process this year. What we had not anticipated was, suddenly, increased enforcement of parking regulations, leading many residents to look to permit parking as a relief. Please see my separate article about parking.

I am working my way through a long list of Association concerns including litter, trees, storm water control, and curbs. For the moment, look also at the article on riding to Westbard. Of course, I'll report as issues call for resident comment or they approach resolution.

Dave Montgomery


On Memorial Day a number of festivities celebrated the veterans of World War II, including the opening of the World War II monument on the mall and special events commemorating the 60th anniversary of D-Day. We would like to show our appreciation to those among us who served in World War II. I was able to locate five residents who took various roles during that conflict.

Mike Becnel served from 1944 to1946 in the Navy. He was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Air Station where he trained others to use radar countermeasures (that is, jamming radar). Mike and his wife Pearl have lived on Merivale Rd. for 17 years.

Paul Drummer enlisted in the U.S. Army reserves in 1942 and began active duty with the Combat Engineers in May 1943. In the Signal Corp, he became team chief of a radio relay team. He was sent to England in December 1944 where he worked in France and Germany. After the war ended in Europe, he served in the Philippines and later in Japan, where he was part of the Army of Occupation until February 1946. Paul and his wife Constance have lived on Dover Ct. since 1972.

Gerald Geiger was drafted out of college ROTC in 1943. He served in the 106th U.S. Cavalry, Gen. Patton's Elite, from Normandy to the Alps, with combat intelligence, reconnaissance, and liaison duties. On patrol, Gerald was captured but escaped after 24 hours; he also single-handedly captured 12 Germans. He was a USAF psywar intelligence officer during the Korean War and did "Cold War Work" 1954-89. Geiger lived on Westport for 31 years and has his office there now.

Don Junior served in the Army Air Corp. in 1944 and 1945. He was a gunner in Europe with the 15th Air Force based in Italy. Don and his wife Jean have lived on Harrison St. for 37 years.

Marshall Miller was a Navy radio gunner on a 2-seat catapult airplane launched from the U.S.S. New Orleans, a heavy cruiser. He served from 1943 to 1946 in the Pacific, flying 39 combat missions to cover 8 invasions. Marshall and his wife June have lived on Western Ave. since 1998.

We are glad to be able to recognize these veterans. If we missed any residents who served, our thanks go to them as well.


Dave Montgomery, President, moved to Cortland Road with his wife Gwen Lewis in 1993. He served as President of the Brookdale Citizens' Association in 1997-98 and has maintained the Association's website since. While Dave's degrees are in physics, he spent most of his career in administration. Before retirement, he was Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland University College. His schedule is now full with volunteer activities, travel, photography, and genealogy.

Pat Kitchen, Vice President of Brookdale South, and his wife Margaret King and daughter Keri Kitchen have been living on Overbrook Road since 1993. Pat served as vice president in 1993 for one term. He has been employed at Montgomery County Public Schools since 1995 in the Energy Management Department. Pat's passions are oil painting, tennis, golf and spending time with his family not necessarily in that order.

Carol Mitchell, Vice President 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 currently enjoys music, biking, all kinds of sports, and relaxing in the Brookdale neighborhood, especially the park. Carol begins her 2nd year as VP.

Amy Rispin, Vice President of Orchardale, and her husband Paul are eighteen-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. Amy begins her 2nd year as VP.

John Benziger, Vice President of Wohlshire, begins his 1st 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. Regina begins her fourth year as Treasurer.

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 5th year as Secretary.

TREASURER'S REPORT--Regina Reed Crosson
FISCAL YEAR 2003-2004
BALANCE AS OF 5/30/03: $10,569.38
BALANCE AS OF 5/28/04: $10,577.61
CCCFH dues $100.00
Brookdale Bugle $1,092.34
Brookdale Directory $837.22
Parties $327.56
Legal $0.00
Misc. $365.25
Total Expenses $2,722.37

Won't You Be My Neighbor? -- Elsa Skaggs

Second in a Series Please send in suggestions and stories

Our wonderful Brookdale neighborhood was a bustling place this summer of 2004. Go down almost any of street and you'll see additions and improvements. We survived the cicada cycle. Also, there were considerable rains and some major tree work.

When we are caught up in our own projects, jobs, and families, it's sometimes all we can do to keep up. Our homes are our private domains where we do what we must and what we please. But our lives and activities do, of course, impact on our neighbors. And sometimes even the slightest awareness can make a big difference next door or down the street.

Check out the list below. Have any of these activities affected you over the past year?
____A new fence between yards
____A tree removed or trimmed
____Driveway work causing mud
____Lawn mowing or not mowing
____Unkempt, unsightly front yard
____Roof work
____Major construction; trucks cluttering
____Road work; sewer work
____Silt or wash from construction
____Wash or flood from rains
____Stop signs ignored
____Unknowns park at your house
____Fast driving
____Curbsides not swept or cleared
____Dog invasions & leavings
____Cut-through traffic
____Visible trash or trash cans
____Drainage mis-direction
____A tree over neighbor's house or yard
____Unacceptable noise
___Car parked on lawn
____Garbage cans left at curb for days

Some tips for neighborliness during remodeling were stressed in a fascinating article by Michele Dawson last December in Realty Times. She points out that while going through major remodeling can be stressful to your family, remember the chaos isn't confined to just your house -- your neighbors feel the effects, too. Her recommendations:

Keep neighbors informed on what's going on, detail by detail. That includes the day work will begin, approximate completion date, what work will be done, whether their property might need to be used (ask permission if workers need to come onto their property). In addition, tell what time crews will arrive in the morning and when they'll leave. Let them know if delays occur. Inform them of any large trucks coming, such as for a cement pour. Ask workermen to park on one side of the street only. Make sure noisy power tools are only used during standard business hours. Try your best to have materials dropped off in your driveway or yard rather than the street. You don't want dirt or gravel to get washed into the street (or other yards) or be in the way when kids are out playing and riding bikes. Get rid of dumpsters as quickly as possible. If you have room left in your last dumpster, invite neighbors to dump anything they might have that needs tossing. Keep your yard as normal looking as possible. Watch for debris that might find its way onto neighbors' yards, especially if a roofing project is involved. And when your project is complete, show neighbors your appreciation by throwing a party. You can thank them for their patience and proudly show off your remodeled house.

The Question for You: What are my expectations for being and having a good neighbor?


For many years, residents of the Brookdale community have been accustomed to parking without regard to posted regulations. This era seems to be over.

In early summer, Harrison-Street dwellers began reporting a significant increase in the number of "outsiders" parking in front of their homes. (This increase was apparently a result of the decrease in parking available in the Friendship Heights Central Business District (CBD), due to construction there.) Shortly thereafter, residents on nearby streets began finding tickets on cars parked there in violation of the "No Parking" signs. Baby sitters' cars seem to have been particularly vulnerable. It is rather hard to argue against the enforcement of parking regulations, particularly when they are intended to protect us, the residents. So what should be the response to the enforcement, which seems bound to continue?

The first line of defense is, of course, not to park on the street. There is no scenario that would limit our parking in our own driveways and garages. (Parking on the lawn should not be an option. Not only does it look low-class, not consistent with the image we want for our community, but -- if it leads to ruts in the yard -- such parking is against County Code.) But short of selling excess cars, what can residents do if they have no driveways or the drives are full of cars?

In 1998, serious discussions about permit parking within the Brookdale community were prompted by concerns over the need for protection against outsiders once the CBD development took effect. The County subsequently approved our area for permit parking implementation subject to the wishes of residents block by block. Permit parking has been considered occasionally since then, but no block implemented it. At the annual meeting of our Association in May, there was a discussion of parking. The recent enforcement of parking regulations has led some residents to want permit parking to allow parking on the street during the day. A visitor's permit on your baby sitter's car, for example, would protect against parking fines.

For permit parking to relieve the current enforcement pressure (as well as to provide the protection against vehicles of strangers), a block of residents must request implementation. Many details are involved, most of which are spelled out on the County website [no longer alive]. If you want permit parking in your block and are willing to coordinate completion of the necessary petition, please talk with your Vice President.


Available properties:
4611 Merivale Rd., $1,199,000. This house was sold in 1999 for $265,000, sold again in 2003 for $587,775, and was expanded for resale.
4800 Dover Ct., $680,000.

Two properties are under contract:
4706 Overbrook Rd. listed at $699,000 sold in 4 days
5207 Andover Rd., listed at $769,000 and reduced to $749,000 sold in 27 days

Properties sold in first quarter and settled later:
4844 Park Av., listed for $459,000, under contract in 6 days on 3/3, sold for $535,400 in March 2004. It sold in November 2003 for $435,500.
5025 Brookdale Rd., listed for $749,500, sold in 5 days with multiple offers on 4/6 for $808,000.
4721 River Rd., listed for $825,000 reduced to $799,000, sold in 39 days on 5/11 for $762,000. It sold in 1978 for $122,000.
4618 Harrison, a lot, was listed for $595,000 and sold 6/5 for $530,000. The buyer is building a house for himself and his family.
4606 Harrison was listed for $749,500 and sold in 7 days on 5/13 for $775,500.
4804 Park Av. was listed for $610,000 and sold on 7/1 for $610,000. It sold for $220,000 in 1996 (the very bottom of the market), $273,000 in 1999 and $337,000 in 2000.

These sales indicate a slight softening of the market in the second quarter. The majority of houses appeared to sell without multiple offers. One of the reasons is that with a perceived softening, few owners or agents are willing to risk pricing very low with the expectation of high escalations from multiple bidders. The sales above indicate that appreciation in the entry level house market has been phenomenal.

Rates have been volatile, but may finally catch up with the predictions of the last 1-2 years that they were headed up, but they have dropped again in August. A count of houses under contract and sold in 2004 indicates fewer houses being sold this year than in 2003 although the Brookdale area stayed steady. Still, there are countervailing forces: the Washington economy, unlike the national, is still growing with predictions of a shortage of homes. The rental market is still soft and has been since late 2000. And then there are the interest rates which should be under great pressure to rise due to our ballooning trade deficit and budget deficit. I am no economist and we will see what develops over the next few months. We have had a long bull market in house sales, longer than in previous cycles, and the conditions are entirely new.

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


Showers did not dampen the spirits of about 75 Brookdale residents gathering for this year's 4th of July parade. "What's a little rain?" said Melissa Frisch, while heading to Brookdale Park for this annual event.

Children on bikes and scooters and grown-ups pushing strollers and pulling wagons followed the traditional parade route from the park and back again via Dalton Road, Sherrill Avenue, Merivale Road, and Andover Road. Many neighbors along the route watched the parade and waved from their front doors. Most wheeled vehicles were well decorated with red, white, and blue streamers and flags. Those strolling carried flags and wore patriotic colors.

Hook and ladder truck number 6 (from Wisconsin Avenue and Bradley Blvd. Fire Station) led the parade. Three local firefighters Lt. John Virnelson, Marshall Moneymaker, and Jamal Nicholas drove the truck and visited with Brookdale residents after the parade.

Suzanne Oliwa of Dalton Road did an excellent job organizing this year's festivities, which include a picnic lunch following the parade. Residents ate sub sandwiches, watermelon, and patriotic cupcakes under a cozy tent perfect for visiting with neighbors while keeping dry, too!

Brookdale Block Party Huge Success

In spite of thunder and some serious sprinkles, the Brookdale Block Party on May 16 was attended by over 50 people. Nancy Wiegand was a terrific organizer and much appreciated by the gathered neighbors. Everyone brought more than ample delicious food. Capital Entertainment provided the DJ. Thanks to Barbara Riley and Ellie Shorb the event was well publicized. If you missed this one, be sure to come next year!


Ride to Westbard -- Dave Montgomery

Were you accustomed to walking to the local Giant supermarket for groceries? As part of the arrangement in closing the grocery during construction, the shuttle bus for Friendship Heights Village runs out to the Westbard Giant. After my discussions with the Village Manager, let it be known that you can feel free to hop aboard a Friendship Heights shuttle for that shopping trip. (Of course there are many other stores at the Westbard Shopping Center that you can patronize as well.) You do not need any particular ID card. Just go to the nearest high-rise within Friendship Heights Village (except for the Irene). Your closest stop may be at the Willoughby's north entrance, Park and Friendship Blvd. Find the shuttle stop and climb on. You can check out the shuttle schedule with your internet connection and Acrobat Reader at

Neighborhood New Moms' Group

Join an ongoing, daytime group of new (and experienced) mothers to bounce ideas off new friends. Meets every other Wednesday at participants' homes. Contact Karen Lambert for details.


The Brookdale Gardening Group will meet September 29 at 10 am at Vijaya Mitra's home at 5311 Baltimore Av. All are welcome. Please let her know if you plan to attend at 301-652-0869. An evening meeting is scheduled for October 20 at 7:30 pm at Nancy McCloskey's home, 4709 Overbrook Rd.

TREES -- Gwen Lewis
The Street Tree Committee requested the County Division of Highway Services to plant 8 trees at the curbside of 7 Brookdale residences during their Spring planting season. Such trees are free to residents. Want to enhance your yard and the neighborhood through this program? Look on the Brookdale website for information (check the links to "local resources"), and contact one of the committee members: Fiona Carson (301-986-0574), Pearl Becnel (301-654-1991), or me (301-215-9224). In addition, we have contacted the Department of Parks concerning care and replacement of trees in the two parks adjoining Brookdale.

Brookdale Listserv
Larry Howe is signing up residents for a Brookdale Citizens' Association Listserv. Connect with your neighbors, spread important news quickly, post ads in the modern way. Simply send an e-mail with "subscribe" (no quotes) in the subject line.
Contact Larry concerning any questions you may have.

Large Trash Reminder
You have the opportunity to request the pickup of trash not fitting into the usual categories (or containers) five times a year by calling in advance of the usual pickup (not later than 9:30 am the day before). The numbers are 240-777-6410 or 240-777-6400. Please note that leaves and other yard waste will NOT be recycled if left in plastic bags.


The annual Halloween party will take place Saturday, October 30, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm in Brookdale Park. Rain date is Sunday, October 31, 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.



Cynthia Abigail Jacobson was born February 25 to Elisabeth Layton & Louis Jacobson of River Road.
Lauren & Mark Posin, Overbrook Road, welcomed daughter Eliana Rebecca on April 19.
Melissa Frisch & Jesse Witten and sons Andrew & Paul welcomed the birth of Madeline Lorraine Witten on May 28.
Alexander Zafar Lateef-Vaksvik arrived on July 2 to the delight of big sister Aliya and parents Asthma Lateef and Dagfinn Vaksvik of Andover Road.


Constance Drummer, resident of Dover Court for 32 years, died on September 1. We send our condolences to her husband Paul.


Neighborhood Yoga Class Forming This Fall! Would you like to walk to yoga class and join in this heartfelt practice of strength, flexibility, balance, and peace of mind? Join me as I journey into teaching (after being a student of yoga for 18 years).

Free classes offered on Wednesday mornings starting September 22 and running through October from 9:30-11:00 am. All levels welcome. If there is enough interest, I will add a class on Thursday morning as well.

Please call Suzanne Oliwa at 301-951-3635 for more details.

Pet Care
Need a responsible person to care for your pets and/or walk your dog? Contact Annika Glennon.

The Brookdale Bugle is a publication of the Brookdale Citizens' Association.
        Bugle Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gwen Lewis
        (Hard copy) Layout . . . . . . . Steve Langer
        (Hard copy) Distribution . . . . Ian Glennon

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