Scheduled for delivery September 17, 2006
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It doesn't matter whether I am going to school myself, sending our daughter to school, or just watching the school bus pick up children for the first day of a new school year. At the end of August every year I am filled with the same mixture of excitement and trepidation about what the "school year" will bring. This year is no exception, and from my conversations with a number of our neighbors in recent weeks, many of us know that feeling well . So too, we launch a new year for the Brookdale Citizens' Association. I want to begin my first column as President by thanking you, on behalf of the new Executive Committee, for charging us with leading our neighborhood for the next year. I know that we are all excited about the challenges and opportunities that the year will bring. On a personal note, I want to thank Marina Bowsher and Sarah Jessup, elected Vice President of Orchardale and Secretary of the Association, respectively, for joining the Executive Committee. Thanks too to Barbara Ingersoll, Marie Moylan, Suzanne Richman, and Eric Wallgren who accepted the commitment of continued service.

We are fortunate to have a community where so many give so much in time and energy to make Brookdale a better place. During the coming year, we hope that more of you will become even more involved in our neighborhood. Your involvement can be a simple a gesture as sending your annual dues ($20) in the enclosed envelope to support our community (and thank you to the 50% of our neighbors who did so last year!). Or you can participate in our efforts to improve communications within our neighborhood, organize the neighborhood block party or even help create a new tradition that will strengthen our sense of community. I promise more to follow on these ideas in the next edition of the Bugle. Part of the reason that we deliver the Bugle to your home is to encourage neighbor-to-neighbor communications. Of course, the Bugle began before we had email too! We also recognize that in our busy lives, sometimes email is a quick and effective way to stay connected to happenings in Brookdale. If you are not already on "the list," I encourage you to sign up for the Brookdale Listserv at We'll also be making improvements to the Brookdale website ( this year and improving these methods of communication.

This fall, there are some obvious signs of change around us. New shops and restaurants within walking distance and old standbys closing their doors forever. Debates about new playground equipment for Brookdale Park, development, parking and the future of our own community. But, the Executive Committee does not pretend to have all the ideas. For that, we depend on each of you. So, here is my request - call us, email us, get involved. We can only be as effective as the community around us.
Brookdale Park

Many of us have spent much time in recent weeks talking about Brookdale Park. As you may know, a number of Brookdale residents have been working with Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission ("Park & Planning") to update and improve the playground equipment at Brookdale Park. Led by Fiona Carson, Gwen Lewis, Maureen McRaith, Peter Smith, Laurie Sparling, Mikel Moore, Ashley Olters, Marina Bowsher and others, residents have met with staff from Park & Planning to discuss ways to make Brookdale Park even more enjoyable. Thanks to the persistence of this group, we are pleased that Park & Planning produced two designs for our community to consider. The two designs are outlined below.

First Design: According to Park & Planning, the existing playground location has drainage and slope problems. As a result, the first design recommends that the playground area remain in the same part of the park, but be moved to the highest flat ground, nearer the fence and adjoining house at 4600 Dalton Road. They would prepare a base for equipment consisting of a 12-inch layer of gravel, covered by wood chips. Any water draining from the play area would continue to flow into the lower part of the park and onto adjacent properties. The proposed playground area would extend 80 feet and would contain slightly less playground equipment than what is currently there. Because of the excavation necessary to build a new playground, Park & Planning's arborist is concerned that the playground rennovation could adversely impact a couple of trees (one of which is a large, old tree).

Second Design: Because of concerns about drainage and slope of the current playground area, Park & Planning's alternative design would move the playground across Dalton Road to the flat part of the park, where the volleyball court currently stands. The play area could extend from the path in front of the blacktop to within 12 feet of the largest tree behind it, about 120 feet. Following input from the community, Park & Planning reduced the size of the second design to create a smaller playground area than they originally recommended. There would be additional playground equipment, under this design, than what currently exists.

Copies of the two designs are available at the Park bulletin board on the Brookdale website, through this link. Regardless of which design is selected, the existing children's playground equipment in Brookdale Park will be removed. The existing "Vita Course" equipment designed for adult and young adult use will remain in place. I should also note that Park & Planning is planning to renovate playground equipment at the park located on the corner of River Road and Willard Avenue in the next few years as well. In order to complete the playground renovation in time for the Spring of 2007, Park & Planning has asked our community to make final recommendations by October 15th. The Executive Committee's goal is to obtain as much community input as possible before making a final recommendation. Accordingly, we organized a community-wide meeting at Westbrook Elementary School on July 27th. Park & Planning staff and good number of neighbors attended and the discussion was both informative and lively. Information about plans for Brookdale Park was also distributed on Brookdale Listserv and is now available on the Brookdale website. Two neighbors, Peter Smith and Jody Benjamin, have been kind enough to share their thoughts in this edition of the Bugle about which design approach they support and why. I invite you to read their thoughts later.

After you have reviewed these materials, I encourage you to contact any (or all) of the members of the Executive Committee to share your thoughts about the proposed designs for Brookdale Park. Please feel free to comment on location, types of equipment, color, etc. Our phone numbers and email addresses are included in this edition of the Bugle. You may also want to post your thoughts on the Listserv for others to see.

The Executive Committee will vote on a final recommendation in early October so that we can make our recommendation to Park & Planning by October 15th. This time frame will enable Park & Planning to finalize our design and renovate Brookdale Park to be fully ready for the Spring 2007 park season!
On a final note, it goes without saying that each of us in Brookdale are busy with our commitments to family, friends, community, school and innumerable other interests and activities. For the past two years (and also before that), Dave Montgomery served as President of the Brookdale Citizens' Association. Hal Wolman served as Secretary for our neighborhood association for five years. I can already tell from my short tenure that they were less than honest with me about how much time it takes to work on behalf of our community! So my final note is to Dave and Hal Thank you for all that you did to make Brookdale a better place for each of us to call home.

Until next time,

Steve Heyman



(Full Minutes can be accessed elsewhere on this site.)

The packed agenda of the annual meeting, May 17, 2006, drew a larger crowd (over 75 people) than any in recent memory. Dave Montgomery, president, summarized the Executive Committee's work over the past year, highlighting its focus on better communication with the membership and its concern with traffic. Primary sources of information for the community have been The Bugle, the Brookdale website, and the Brookdale Citizens' Association listserve. Summaries of Executive Committee's meetings are now placed on the website after each meeting. For those who want to communicate via email about community affairs in a secure manner, a system has been set up through Yahoo, but only a small number of residents have made use of this. A page introducing Brookdale to newcomers is now available on the web site and can be downloaded and printed. With respect to traffic, a stripe was to be painted on River Road at Baltimore to discourage River Road traffic from blocking Baltimore.

An amendment to the Association bylaws to permit one of the four members of the Nominating Committee to be a current member of the Executive Committee passed unanimously.

Mike Makuch, Chair of the Nominating Committee, which included Pat Kitchen, Mike Becnel, and Elsa Skaggs, presented the new slate of officers, which was elected unanimously.

Bob Olins updated the meeting on development planning for the Westbard shopping area. He urged residents to complete a survey (at from the Citizens Coordinating Committee for Friendship Heights (CCCFH) about preferences for development in Westbard. Responses to the survey will help CCCFH in future negotiations.

Bob Cope, one of Brookdale's two representatives on CCCFH, reported on progress of development in the area. (See separate story.) Larry Howe discussed capital improvement activity occurring in Brookdale. (See separate story.) Gwen Lewis reported that the long effort to install new playground equipment in Brookdale Park appears about to come to fruition. (See separate accounts.)

Dave Montgomery discussed proposals to the County Council to set up Neighborhood Conservation Districts for neighborhoods more than 50 years old, for which Brookdale would qualify. Although legislation had not yet been introduced, much less passed, Neighborhood Conservation Districts might be a means for the Brookdale to address the McMansionization problem.

Steve Heyman led a discussion of the pros and cons of the Brookdale neighborhood incorporating as a municipality as a means of gaining greater control of land use. Steve said the Executive Committee had been discussing the possibility of incorporation but had not reached any conclusions nor was it making any recommendations. Instead it wanted to introduce the idea to the broader community and begin discussions. Steve then reviewed the pros and cons of incorporation and led a vigorous discussion. Potential advantages included control over land use and other local services (to the extent the community wished to substitute for County services). A portion of the County share of State income tax automatically passes through to a municipality. Concerns expressed were adding another layer of government, the possibility of additional taxation, and the time commitment required of residents to govern a municipality. Steve observed that there was currently a similar debate, albeit at a more advanced stage, occurring in the Rollingwood area. (See the Rollingwood website for a discussion of the pros and cons and the website of the Maryland Municipal League for information about the process of incorporation and what incorporation implies.)

The meeting ended with thanks to the many people who had worked on Brookdale community affairs over the past year.

Brookdale's Polling Places

As you know, the general election is on Nov. 7, 2006. Most residents of Brookdale vote at Westbrook Elementary School (Precinct 07-07), 5110 Allan Terrace, west of Brookdale; but homes southeast of Park Avenue are in Precinct 07-27, voting at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church at 5450 Massachusetts Avenue.

For Moving the Playground - Peter J. Smith

My children love to visit public playgrounds. I like to bring them, but for different reasons. When children play at public playgrounds, they learn to appreciate the outdoors; to value public spaces; to interact with other children; and to treat public resources with respect. Brookdale Park, which spans both sides of Dalton Road and currently includes green space, a playground, walking paths, space for community events, and other amenities, is our community's public space.

The playground is, and regardless of our decision will continue to be, simply one piece of this larger space. The question for the community is a narrow one: "Where should we put the new playground?" but our answer should be based on a judgment about how we can best preserve the Park's value as a public space.

Representatives from the Park Planning Commission have told us that maintaining the playground at its current site not only will provide the children with less equipment on which to play, but also likely will result in the death of several beautiful old-growth trees. The proposed site on the other side of Dalton Road, in contrast, would include more playground equipment and does not threaten any older trees. Because the proposed site is currently asphalt, moving the park would not eliminate any green space; and, of course, the current site of the park would become green space available to the community. The walking trails also would not be affected.

To be sure, if the playground is nicer, it might attract children from other neighborhoods. Indeed, because our current playground is not particularly enjoyable for kids, I often take them to playgrounds in other neighborhoods. I look forward to teaching my kids to welcome other children to our park, and to watching them learn together to appreciate our neighborhood's public space.
For Retaining the Current Playground Jody Benjamin

Brookdale Park is Brookdale's oasis. The existing open, treed space and walking path serve beginning bicyclists, walkers, dog walkers, basketball players, teens who have outgrown playground equipment, office lunch hour readers, and neighbors walking to and from the Metro and Friendship Heights.

The existing triangular play park provides our children with a sheltered place to play, close to, but unimpeded by competing interests across the street. Fortunately, the current playspace can accommodate needed new equipment and preserve the existing green open space that has always been so important to Brookdale. As someone whose three grown children spent so much time at Brookdale Park, I know how easy it is to keep track of children in the play space triangle: two sides are mostly fenced/screened, so parents need guard only the road. Moving the playground across the road would place the playground in a space that is open to GEICO's parking lots and the land swells in ways that hide wandering children. Fencing would eliminate the attractive openness of the area. In addition, replacing wide open space with plastic colors would obviously change the look and feel of the park.

Keeping the park the way it is provides users of the treed space with informal separation from happily playing young children. Parents today need not check on passersby cutting through. Slightly older children need the unstructured outdoor space. Teens need a place to be separate. Dog walkers needn't leave when someone enters the park.

An expanded playpark becomes a destination, attracting people (and their cars) from a wide area. It would probably lessen the push for new play spaces when GEICO develops the approved 500 housing units. Let's leave the park in place.


Steve Heyman, President, is a native Washingtonian, born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Bethesda, where he graduated from Walt Whitman High School. An attorney by training, Steve works at Sallie Mae where he manages state government relations. Previously, Steve served in the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor and ran Governor Parris Glendening's federal affairs office. He and his wife, Sue Steinman, also an attorney, are the proud parents of Westbrook first grader, Madeline. They have lived on Sherrill Ave. since 1997. He previously was VP of Orchardale. 654-1468

Marina Bowsher, Vice President of Orchardale, and her husband Matt, moved into their home on Saratoga Avenue in Spring 2001. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Marina immigrated to America with her family in 1979 and spent the remainder of her childhood in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Marina received her law degree from Northwestern University, where she met Matt, and moved to Washington a year after graduating to work as a litigator at Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll. Currently, Marina is enjoying some time off from her profession to spend more time with her children: Kent (3) and Zaida (8 months). 215-7667

Barbara Ingersoll, Vice President for Brookdale South, and her husband Tom bought their home on Park Avenue in 1982. Barbara earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Penn State and, after serving on the faculty at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, she is now in private practice as a child psychologist. She was VP for Brookdale South from 2001-2003 and 2005-present. 229-2897

Sarah Jessup, Secretary, grew up partly in Washington and lived here two other times as well. She and her husband, James Bennet, and two sons, Ike (4), and Henry (2), moved to Dover Rd. from Jerusalem in 2004. Sarah has a PhD in anthropology of China and is teaching as an adjunct at George Washington University this fall. 657-5676

Eric Wallgren, Vice President of Wohlshire, wife Abigail Grossman, and their cat Trixie moved to River Rd in March of 2000. He is an engineer/designer/fabricator by profession, all of which have been useful in their ensuing DIY renovation. Eric is an avid road bicyclist, motorcyclist, slalom and downhill skateboarder, and general allpurpose gearhead. This is his second year as VP. 907-3317

Suzanne Richman, Treasurer, is a native Washingtonian; growing up in Parkwood and living in Brookdale on Overbrook Road since 1983. Before she and Jerry had their boys, Nick (21) and Thomas (17) she was a paralegal. Along with many volunteering stints over the years, she was Treasurer for Westbrook PTA. She enjoys birdwatching, playing tennis, renovating her house and is trying to improve her freestyle at Little Falls Swim Club. Some people only know Suzanne as Sugar (the dachshund)'s owner. This is her second year as Treasurer. 951-0365

Marie Moylan, Vice President for Brookdale North, and her husband Michael Sullivan have lived in Brookdale since 1995, initially as renters on Saratoga and then as owners of a formerly GEICOowned house on Dalton. Marie is Irish by birth, Michael English by birth, both grew up in Canada and came to Washington to work for international organizations. Her professional qualifications and experience are in the field of human resource management. She is a recent retiree from the World Bank who is enjoying new found liberty for cycling and gardening. This is her second year as VP. 951-7153



The annual Halloween party will take place Saturday, October 28, 13 pm in Brookdale Park. Rain date is Sunday, October 29, same time. All are invited to come, in costume if possible. There will be children's games. Bring a picnic lunch if you like. Desserts and Halloween treats will be provided.
Volunteers are needed. Please call Steve Heyman, 301-654-1468.

Brookdale New Parents' Playgroup

Come and meet fellow neighborhood parents and caregivers at the Brookdale New Parents' playgroup. The group meets every Wednesday from 3:30 5:30 at the Brookdale Park, weather permitting. Please bring a drink for your child(ren) and a snack to share. Everyone with young children welcome. If you have any questions, please contact Marina at


In April 2005, Brookdale Citizens' Association received a letter from the County saying "your neighborhood, Brookdale, has been selected for the County's FY2005 Renew Montgomery program to repair deteriorated sidewalks, curbs, and gutters." Only recently did we determine that the County uses "Brookdale," to refer to "Brookdale South." They refer to the rest of Brookdale (Brookdale North, Wohlshire, and Orchardale) as "Wohlshire." To make a long story short, the County has now included all of Brookdale in Renew Montgomery for FY2006. Considering that FY2006 ended on 30 June 2006, the County is late in beginning work. The latest word we have from them is that they plan to start work this construction season, which runs until about 01 December. Renew Montgomery is normally a multiyear effort, so any work that is not completed this year will be resumed in the Spring.

If your driveway needs repair, you may want to wait until the County work crews are in the neighborhood. Theoretically, the County's contractor can offer a good deal because they already have all their equipment on site. Any driveway work is completely optional and at the homeowner's discretion and expense. There is no method to sign up ahead of time for driveway repairs. The contractor will pass out flyers when they are working in the neighborhood.

You may have noticed that some streets in Brookdale currently have curbs and gutters, while other streets do not. The streets without curbs are primarily in Brookdale South and Brookdale North. When the County was working in Brookdale South, some residents inquired about getting new curbs. In evaluating a request for new curbs, the County considers a number of factors, the most important being street width and storm water management. In the case of Brookdale South, the County decided that the existing streets are too narrow to allow the addition of curbs.

A group of citizens in Brookdale North submitted a petition to the County to add curbs in Brookdale North. The County evaluated the streets and determined that new curbs are feasible in Brookdale North. Those curbs will be added at the same time the County is replacing existing curbs in other parts of Brookdale. Some minor street widening will be required in selected places.

If you have any questions about curbs and gutters, or other road related issues, please contact Larry Howe at

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - Bob Cope, Chair, Friendship Heights Transportation Management District

The Hoffman Condominium Building at Western and Military is nearing completion; it is anticipated that residents will move in starting in January 2007. Most stores are open in the Chevy Chase Land Company development. Wisconsin Circle reopened and Giant was expected to open shortly after Labor Day. Potomac Pizza and Gifford's Ice Cream are open. Three new restaurants will open after Labor Day: Famoso (whitetablecloth Italian), M Caf‚, and Sushi Ko (has a location in Georgetown). Parking for noncustomers is $5.00 an hour, but with validation, this is reduced. There are also 20-minute kiss-and-ride locations on site; the 21st minute will cost $5.00. The new Bloomingdale's store at Western Ave. and Friendship Blvd. should open in Spring 2007. Two miscellaneous retail areas are under construction behind Bloomingdale's and also should open in Spring 2007.

The Hecht's store was expected to close by Labor Day. Demolition of its parking lot should start soon and demolition of Hecht's should start in January 2007. Excavation of the site will begin in early 2007, and will be much more extensive than the past since it will involve the remaining twothirds of the site. The sidewalk and the Metro entrance in front of Hecht's will be closed at least during the period of demolition, and most likely even longer, because one of the truck access points to the site will be along Wisconsin Avenue. Brookdale residents may access Metro through the entrance at Mazza Gallerie and the entrances on the other side of Wisconsin Avenue. Once excavation is completed and concrete is poured for the several floors of underground parking, construction will begin on the Recreation Center (24,000 square feet, as big as Leland Recreation Center) located next to Bloomingdale's along Friendship Blvd. At the corner of Friendship and Willard a 143 ft. apartment building will be constructed. Behind it, and along Willard Ave., a 12story office building will be constructed. Additional miscellaneous retail also will be constructed on the site, including a Whole Foods, which should open in late 2008.

The dropoff in front of Hecht's will be closed, never to return. We are working with the County to add a dedicated rightturn lane along Wisconsin Avenue in front of Hecht's. This rightturn lane may permit some dropoffs. We are also asking the County to construct a tree-lined median in front of Hecht's. Construction at Mazza Gallerie on the entrances to Metro and Neiman Marcus is scheduled to be done by November 21. The Metro entrance will be open most of the time, with intermittent closures.

It is hard to believe that access to the bus station at Wisconsin Circle has, for all intents and purposes, been closed for the last two years. WMATA is winding up its repairs to the roof and sprinkler systems of the bus station, and it should reopen soon.

Lia's, a new restaurant operated by Chef Geoff at 4435 Willard Avenue, is now open.

Consideration of the Westbard Sector Plan will begin in Summer 2007 and should move quickly. Westbard is the area on both sides of River Rd. between Little Falls Pkwy. and Ridgefield Rd., including the shopping center and commercial areas along Westbard Ave. On a rotating basis, the County studies its commercial areas and adopts a Sector Plan which recommends new zoning. The County is anticipated to adopt a Bethesda Avenue-approach, e.g., firstfloor retail with residential units above. The question is how high developers will be permitted to build those residential units. New zoning may be in place by 2009.

Old listings:
4706 Dover was listed 2/17 at $815,000, was reduced
to $775,000 and sold 4/27 in 70 days for $775,000.
5020 Park Place, originally on the market last year for
$1,645,000, was reduced several times to $1,545,000
and then had 3 offers; sold in 216 days on 8/5.
4618 Harrison St., a new house, went on the market
for $1,699,000. It was reduced several times to a final
listing price of $1,595,000; sold for $1,500,000 on
May 10 in 55 days.
5100 Westport was listed 3/9 at $1,375,000 and went
under contract in 12 days. It sold for $1,300,000.

New activity since last report:
4506 Dalton Rd. was listed 5/19 for $1,050,000 and
sold in 31 days for $995,000.
5200 Westport was listed 7/12 for $690,000 and went
under contract 7/21 in 10 days with 10 offers. Sales
price will be available after closing.
4703 Overbrook, a new house nearing completion, was
listed May 9 for $1,835,000.
4609 Overbrook was listed 6/9 for $885,000, reduced
to $859,990 and sold in 53 days on July 31.
5328 Baltimore was listed 6/29 for $799,000 and sold
in 6 days for $750,000 minus a seller subsidy to the
buyer of $10,000.
4721 River Rd. was listed for $989,000, reduced to
$899,000 and sold in 25 days on 8/3.
4710 Dover was listed for $885,000 7/19, and under
contract in 6 days with 3 offers.
4601 Merivale Rd. was listed 9/6 for $950,000.

It appears the greatest danger in marketing a house is overpricing. I believe that some of the market's sluggishness has been due to overpricing. It is easy to remember the prices of houses that sold way above market, and overlook the much larger numbers of sales in the "reasonable" range. Usually, these very high prices are for houses that are beautifully decorated and/or renovated or houses that are unusual and particularly interesting. Review of past sales indicate that prices have risen between 10 and 15% per year in the last few years. Appraisers I have spoken to agree. In January I reported there were 152 houses on the market in Bethesda and Chevy Chase with two-thirds priced over one million dollars. Now there are 246. In June the number surpassed 400 for a brief period. There are very few houses for sale under $600,000 in these areas. But the number of listings in the 600s and 700s has grown, reflecting a longer "shelf life." The condominium market in my 33 years of experience has been a harbinger of things to come rising earlier than single family homes but starting to decline sooner. Almost everyone agrees that the red hot market in DC condos and coops has slowed dramatically except for the scarce 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartments that are holding their own. Pundits think the slow down in real estate will be short lived unlike the early 90s.

Statistics from the multiple listing service for Northern VA, Montgomery Co., and DC indicate a much greater inventory, fewer sales, 2.5 times longer days on the market before obtaining a contract, and average prices that are about level with 2005.

Buyers unsure how long they will be in the area are not as eager as they were three years ago or even last year. Those who plan to be here 5-10 years and who want to buy for the longer term are finding that last year's prices are quite satisfactory as they can lock in a good interest rate for 30 years and the market is sure to bounce back within their ownership. Adjustable rate mortgages are no longer popular; many who bought a few years ago may have a hard time adjusting to their new rate. - Kathleen McElroy


BALANCE as of 6/1/05 $11,170.57
BALANCE as of 5/31/06 $13,224.07
CCCFH $100.00
Bugle $836.22
Directories $314.23
Parties $225.37
Legal $0.00
Misc* $35.68
Svc Chg $0.00
Annual Meeting $45.00
*Miscellaneous includes park cleanup, yard sale costs. If you have any expenses incurred while doing business for Brookdale, please mail or drop in my mailbox the receipt for the item, and I will reimburse you promptly. Now that we are in a new fiscal year, the membership fee of $20 per household is due. Please submit yours in the envelope provided and include your address. Thank you to all who have contributed and helped to make Brookdale the wonderful community that it is.

Suzanne Richman, Treasurer 4712 Overbrook Road.


It was a hot day on July 4th, but the heat and humidity did not dissuade Brookdale families from coming out in numbers for the annual July 4th parade and the festive gathering at the park afterward.

Once again this year a fire truck from Bethesda's Station 6 arrived to lead the parade, but the schedule for firetrucks must have been tight. Organizer Maureen McRaith said the truck started the parade from the park before all marchers were assembled. "Many joined the parade in progress," commented Maureen, who also oversaw the afterparade party. "Lots of folks were waiting on corners to see where to catch the parade," added Gwen Lewis. To help the marchers fall into step, the Moore family blasted John Philip Sousa from their boom box. The firemen recruited new fire station members as they handed out plastic hats and coloring books and led tours of the truck during the postparade festivities.

"The party afterwards was very well attended," commented Gwen. Helping Maureen with it were several others, including Ann Geary, who brought coffee and donuts, and Mikel Moore, who donated a very juicy watermelon. Ike and Henry Bennet, sons of Sarah Jessup and James Bennet from Dover Court, had their faces painted during the party, as did many other kids.

Brookdale's July 4th parade and party proved to be good neighborhood fun.


The May 13 Brookdale Yard Sale, organized by Michael Oliwa, was a great success. The day dawned perfect and customers swarmed early. Over a dozen families participated. Lemonade, muffins, and baby equipment were particularly popular sales items. Kudos to Michael!


Emergency! We dial 911, hang up and wait. A knock at the door; help is at hand. Between the call and the knock, an intricate county-wide process quickly marries resources to needs, evaluates possible responses and launches the right squad to the right place. The Montgomery County police department and multiple fire/rescue units, with about 1,500 well trained specialists, work in close coordination, often with units and needs in nearby DC.
When an emergency call is received, the unit closest to the scene is the first considered for dispatch. A fire in Brookdale is most likely to bring help from the Glen Echo Fire Station on Massachusetts Ave. or the Bethesda Fire Station at Wisconsin and Bradley. At times other units, e.g., from Cabin John, may respond. A medical problem may summon fire department emergency medical technicians; for serious medical problems such as cardiac or respiratory arrest, the odds are that the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (BCCRS) on Old Georgetown Rd. will be dispatched.
All emergency calls go to a modern call center with first class communications. Incoming 911 calls are immediately sorted by need: police, fire or rescue. Police calls are handled directly by the police technicians. Fire/rescue and medical calls are switched to specialists who elicit the required information for its sophisticated "Computer Assisted Dispatch" (CAD) system. Whether a police or fire/rescue matter, CADs evaluates the data, assesses resource availability and other relevant information, and spits out recommended courses of action. The dispatcher tempers CADs output with training and experience, and sends the appropriate field unit on its way.
Our fire and rescue services are blessed, and complicated, by combining professional staff with volunteers, county vs. volunteer owned equipment, and sometimes even private and county real property. Both groups are trained to high standards, the professionals are county employees, the volunteers not. For the most part, volunteers work side by side with the professionals. A major exception is the all volunteer Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, funded by citizen donations, not taxpayers. The BCCRS is often called, with much favorable attention, to major national emergencies, such as 9/11.

Newcomers: We welcome to Brookdale the following recent arrivals:
Brooke, John, and Jack (2) Keenan, 4817 Park Ave.
Kristina Zissis, Alan Townsend, and Nils (5) and Annika (2), 4811 Park Ave.
Elizabeth and Michael Davis, 4706 Dover Rd.
Tina and Mitch Mathews with Caroline (11) and Blane (8), 4503 Cortland Rd., from Georgia.
Sophie Pestieau & Thomas Wellington & Nicolas (2) to 5100 Westport Rd.
Alex and Noki Trias and Jose (Joe) (1), 4506 Dalton Road in July from New York City.
Catriona Purfield and Axel Schimmelpfennig, 4618 Harrison St. in June from Capital Hill. 
	Catriona came from Ireland about 8 years ago and Axel came from Germany about 7 years ago. 
	Both are economists for the International Monetary Fund.
Victor and Bertha Roman have joined the Luthers, 4606 Merivale, for their granddaughter's 
	first year.

Diane Ritchie, Philip Domingue and daughter Gabrielle (5202 Murray) returned to Ottawa, Canada 
in July after Diane completed a 3-year diplomatic assignment in Washington with the 
Canadian Embassy.

Births [Congratulations!]
Patricia and Roberto Parada, 5301 Saratoga Ave., welcomed Christian Roberto Parada this spring. 
	His sister, Carmen, is 2.
Diane and Arman Tanman, 5324 Sherrill Ave., welcomed Thomas Arman Tanman, on April 11.
	Thomas joins brothers Clark (3) and Alex (14) and sister Lauren (15 ).
Anna Sophia was born on May 5 to Mark and Paola Luther, 4606 Merivale Rd.

Welcome back!
Kin Moy and Kathy Chen have returned to their home at 5208 Western Ave., after 5 years in China. 
	They come with their 4 children, Andrew (8), Claire (6) Olivia (3) and Amanda (4 mos.).
Shaazka Beyerle and Kanthan Shankar, along with their dog Lilly, have returned to 5014 Westport 
	after two years' working in Thessaloniki, Greece, and Kosova, respectively. Lilly is reported 	to be bilingual now.
Richard Erdman and his wife Sybil have returned to their home at 5202 Murray after his three 
	years as Ambassador to Algeria.

Margaret Atwood Fisher (Peg), 95, died peacefully in
her home at 4601 Merivale on June 5, 2006 after a
short illness. With her passing we have lost the last
original resident of Brookdale North. She moved into
the newly constructed house at the corner of Merivale
and Andover in 1938 with her husband, Henry W.
Fisher and his four children. She lived in her home for
nearly 70 years. Her husband died in 1965. One of the
most telling things about her was her creation in this
past year of SCOPE, an unofficial organization for her
friends, old and new. She freely gave out membership
cards, which explained that SCOPE stands for Sensible,
Caring, Optimistic People Excel.

If you are a newcomer, we hope you have already received a warm welcome. We would like to publicize your presence and other transitions in the Bugle. Please send items to Sarah Jessup, Secretary, at or 301-657-5676.
Compiled by Sarah Jessup


John Vecchiarelli was through the neighborhood this past weekend [August 5-6], an adult version of the ice cream truck. The singlenote sound of his bell brought people out to the street, with knives and lawnmowers and clippers for John to sharpen.

"It's an old trolley bell," he told the kids who gathered around when he parked on Dover Court. He clanged it again, its sound clear and sharp that morning. I first met John several years ago when he drove through Brookdale with his father Anthony, who died in 1999. Each morning, John told me, his father would make a new hat out of a piece of newsprint or paper bag, and this July morning John held up an old hat for me to see. It was on the front dashboard, a reminder of the legacy of the Vecchiarelli men and their trade. Bill McElroy pulled his car into the culdesac, next to John's green truck; he had tools that needed sharpening and did not want to miss out. John started up his grinding wheel, and the van shook. Chris Flavin hobbled out on his newly reconstructed knee to see what was happening and quickly hobbled back into the house to get a few knives. The smell of WD40 filled the air. John finished with the blade of our pushmower, put it on the pavement, and with a cloth rubbed oil along its blades. "Be sure you do that every few months," he told me, and he popped back into his dark, loud truck to sharpen a knife for Sarah Jessup. After bringing the mower back to the garage, I noticed a stain on the pavement from the oil John had used on its blades. It makes me glad, this stain: when John and his truck are gone, it will still be there, a Rorschach blot from the past, in it shapes of a worn paper hat, sharpened scissors, and a bell from a trolley car that made the Georgia Avenue run.

Help Promote Literacy in Montgomery County - Shelley Block

One out of eight adults in the county cannot read, write, or speak English at a functional level. The Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) seeks volunteers to teach adults to read, write and speak English. LCMC offers two programs: (1) Basic Literacy, for adults who already speak English; (2) English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The number of students depends directly on the number of volunteers willing to serve as tutors. Currently, over 200 adults are waiting 612 months for a tutor. Tutors provide free one-on-one or small group tutoring to adults. No foreign language skills are necessary. Tutors are trained in a proven, easytouse teaching method. For more information, please call 3019429292, email, or visit the website at


Teens Seek Work

Katherine Potocka, 13, babysitting/dog walking/pet sitting,
Margot Sanne, 13, babysitting (certified and experienced)/pet care,
Sarah Sanne, 15, experienced babysitter,

GEICO on-call systems engineer seeks living arrangement within walking distance from job. Personal references upon request. Carl Jonathan Nobile at 410-857-7994 [h],, or

The classified section of the Brookdale Bugle is provided as a service to 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.

The deadline to submit articles, notices, and ads for the January 2007 issue of the Brookdale Bugle is 9 p.m. December 29, 2006.

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

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