THE BROOKDALE BUGLE

Web edition of the distribution for September 2012.
Photographs, addresses, emails, and phone numbers are ommitted. Look to your paper copy!

 

2012 Annual Meeting of Brookdale Citizens Association - May 17, 2012

Executive: Diane Tanman (Pres.), Larry Broadwell (Treas.), Marie Moylan (Sec.),
VPs: Cathy Solberg, Steve Snyder, Bob Banach, Jonathan Cedarbaum

Diane Tanman opened the meeting by thanking various residents for their work for the community: Dave Montgomery, Cathy Solberg, Steve Snyder, Jonathan Cedarbaum, Michael Oliwa, Norm Knopf, Bob Cope, Ron Tripp, Campbell Graeub, the 27 neighborhood block captains, and Richard Yates.

Diane Tanman gave the treasurer's report. The membership approved an increase in dues to $30 annually, and approved a payment to Norm Knopf of $1,215.67 in addition to the $2,000 approved by the Executive Committee under its financial authority.

The payment was for legal services rendered to Brookdale in its successful efforts to block the approval of a waiver of required off-street parking sought by a Brookdale resident in order to manage a full-time psychiatric practice out of his home.

Nicole Tysvaer, chair of the Safe Streets Committee, provided an update on recent crime and the committee's progress and plans. Marie Moylan, chair of the 75th Anniversary Committee, provided updates on the planning. For the June 1 party, members voted as follows: Formal dinner dance at Kenwood (8), casual party at Kenwood (34), neighborhood catered BBQ (18). There was majority support for the idea of raising approximately $6,000 to provide for "Brookdale" signs for six entry points into the neighborhood.

A new Brookdale Directory for 2013 is planned under the direction of Michele Parisi.

Bob Banach announced that we are looking for a neighbor to update the website. If a teen would be interested, there may be service learning hours available.

Deborah Kalb has become editor of the Brookdale Bugle. She thanked Steve Langer for his years of Bugle layout. Christine Ryan Jyoti was introduced as the new staff writer.

Liz Kaufman reported on recent testing done by Montgomery County Parks and Planning showing that Brookdale Park had very little soil infiltration. Due to poor soil results, Parks will not be able to install significant infiltration solutions like dry wells. However, they may be able to create soil compost/mulch beds to help reduce the storm runoff and protect tree roots. The Parks Department has recommended that the neighborhood work with DOT to request that the lack of a closed drain storm system be investigated.

Mike Makuch, chair of the Elections Committee, proposed a slate of candidates for the Executive Committee for 2012-2013, which was unanimously approved by the membership:

Bob Cope provided an update on development issues in Friendship Heights and the larger area of Bethesda.

 

From The 75Th Anniversary Committee

Dear Brookdalers:

Our wonderful neighborhood will be 75 years old in 2013, and it's time for some serious celebrations. We think most of us have come to understand through our individual experiences that Brookdale is a very unique community. Some of that is the luck of the geography - we have a quiet little haven surrounded by all the benefits of elegant urban living. Some of it is the interesting collection of families that have been drawn to Brookdale and have decided to stay over the years, renovating houses in creative ways to accommodate expanding space needs so that each house has become one-of-a-kind. And a lot of it is the desire of Brookdalers to be part of a real community - to get involved in community issues and to help one another as needs arise. Brookdale has much to be proud of, so we hope you will join with neighbors and friends to help celebrate an important anniversary year. A group of neighbors has formed a committee to create opportunities to do just that. Committee members are Bill Grigg, Cathy Solberg, Jerry Knight, Campbell Graeub, Michele Parisi, Judy Rivlin, Dave Montgomery, Anita Segreti, Helen and Dick Podolske, Pat Kitchen, Diane Tanman, and Marie Moylan.

So here is what has been planned so far:

1. A Brookdale PARTY at Kenwood Golf Club on June 1. Kenwood - which was the scene of Brookdale parties many years ago - has a wonderful party facility including a beautiful dining room and an outdoor terrace overlooking the greens. The evening, dressy-casual, will include a buffet dinner with music, an interesting program, and hopefully a chance to party with friends - old and new. Maximum participation is 215 people. Tickets will go on sale in the spring of 2013.

2. Brookdale signs: To promote Brookdale's identity in the larger community as well as to mark our 75th anniversary, the last annual meeting approved raising funds to install permanent "BROOKDALE - Established 1938" signs at key entry points off Western on each side of River Road, and two along River Road, one on each side. Thanks to the efforts of Bill Grigg, Pat Kitchen, and Campbell Graeub, fundraising has moved along briskly and has already produced generous results. But we have incorporated suggested design changes that may add to the cost. Additional funding would also assure a fine installation, some plantings around the signs and a bit for ongoing maintenance. Please take the time to write a check to the Brookdale Citizens' Association, care of our treasurer, Larry Broadwell, 5306 Saratoga Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815, noting that it is "for the Signs Project." On page 2 you will find a list of generous neighbors who have already contributed to the success of this project.

3. CONTEST for 75th Anniversary LOGO: We need a creative and unique logo to be used throughout the anniversary year for everything from street banners for our various parties (July 4th, block party, Halloween) to the 2013 edition of the Brookdale Directory, to Anniversary t-shirts, etc. The contest is open to all Brookdale residents, young and old. The prize for the winning design will be $75 (naturally). Submissions should be sent on 8.5"x11" paper to Jerry Knight by Nov. 1. A panel of Brookdale residents will select the winner by mid-November.

4. We are hoping that our regular social events during the year (July 4, the block party in September, and the Halloween party in October) will be made more special through the energy of creative volunteers who are willing to sign up. There is also hope for a special children's party to be held in the community center and in the park sometime in June. Anyone interested in volunteering to help in planning the children's party or any of the other events is asked to contact Marie Moylan or Cathy Solberg. The search for help with these community events will be renewed at the Brookdale annual meeting in May 2013.

AND HERE IS WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU NOW:

Save the date of June 1, 2013, for the big Brookdale Anniversary Party at Kenwood.

Root through your old photographs and memorabilia for historical and interesting pictures of Brookdale and its earlier residents. Also take a picture of your house as it is today with current residents. Send them all - either by mail or e-mail - to Dick Podolske, who is putting together a rolling slide show of Brookdale, past and present, for the Kenwood party.

If you have kept in touch with any Brookdale alumni, please encourage them to be part of the 2013 celebrations, including the Kenwood party.

Please make a contribution to the Brookdale signs project; we are hoping for a contribution of $50 per household.

Consider volunteering for one of the 2013 events.

STAY TUNED!!!

 

Brookdale Signs Project Advances

In the few weeks since the effort began, more than 60 households have made contributions ranging from $10 to $250 for the "BROOKDALE - Established 1938" signs project initiated at our annual meeting in May. And several business people active in the neighborhood have become "Golden Donors" of $250 or more. The total received by the deadline for this issue of the Bugle was over $6,200. THANK YOU!

Your neighborhood association has actually received more money for signs than for annual dues, partly because dues are just $30 per household. (If you haven't already done so, please use the enclosed envelope to pay dues, contribute to signs, or do both.)

Gold Donors ($250 or more) for the signs are: Steve Gordon of In-Site Construction (5001 Baltan Road, Bethesda); Helen Podolske of WC&AN Miller Realtors (and a resident on Andover); Grace Yang of Sotheby's Realty (5454 Wisconsin), Park Avenue homeowners Rosaria & Philip Finelli, and Saratoga residents Jonathan Cedarbaum and Alice Winkler.

Good Neighbor Donors ($100 or more) are the Adlin-Krasnoff family of Dalton, Carol & Ivan Arango (Cortland), Mike & Celeste Walker Barstis (Western), Sarah & Reimer Carstens (Merivale), Katharine Clark and Daniel Byerly (River), the Copes (Park Place), Melinda Estridge (Long & Foster realty), the Fiscella-Meisner family (Brookdale Road), Bill & Ann Geary (Murray), Stefany Grimes (Overbrook), Campbell & Joy Graeub (Westport), Martha & Bill Grigg (Merivale), Michelle & Don Hainbach (Andover), Michael Hudson (Andover), Don Junior (Harrison), Jerry Knight (Merivale), Nancy Liebermann and Joe Godles (Western), Mike Makuch (Merivale), David Molot and Lisa Dwyer (Overbrook), Marie Moylan (Dalton), Diane & Peter Mayer (Harrison), David Nicolson (Merivale), Carmen & Christian Parada (Saratoga), Amy & Paul Rispin (Saratoga), Judy Rivlin and Eric Sanne (Westport), Cathy & Don Solberg (Westport), Jesse Witten (Dalton), and Dianne & Hal Wolman (Westport).

Thanks from the 75th Anniversary Committee also go to these donors: The Anzidei family (Park Place), Roberta Beary, Frank Stella and family (Cooper Lane), the Broadwells (Saratoga), the Brusers (Merivale), Dawn & Tino Calabia (Willard), the Thomas Clark family (Sherrill), Richard & Alice Dent (Dalton), Paul & Martha Grove (Dover Court), the Holmes family (Merivale), Deborah Kalb and David Levitt (Merivale), Barbara Ingersoll (Park Ave.), Pat Kitchen and Margaret King (Overbrook), Barbara & Norman Knopf (Overbrook); Bill McCloskey (Overbrook), Dennis McKearin (Saratoga), Bill McKnight (Cortland), Jimmy & Susan Minichello (Merivale), Sourena Moayedi (Sherrill), David Montgomery (Cortland), Amitabha & Ranjana Mukherjee (Saratoga), Ann & Joe Norton (Harrison), Michelle Parisi and Bob Banach (Dalton), Sophie Pestieau (Westport), the Recio family (Baltimore), Linda & Don Regenhardt (Murray), the Richmans (Overbrook), Christine Ryan and Ajay Jyoti (Sherrill), Edward Shapland and Maryanne Courtney (Park), Judith Sheon (Baltimore), Kandiah & Mary Shivanandan (Overbrook), Dawn Sikkema & Willem Bier (Murray), Natalia Simakov (Baltimore), Steve Snyder and Deborah Eichhorn (Dover Rd), Diane Tanman (Sherrill), David Tobenkin (Baltimore), Alex & Noki Trias (Dalton), Tracie Moy & Hai Vuong (Baltimore), and the Wiegand family (Andover).

To join in this effort to distinguish our community and emphasize our distinctive history, send your check marked for "signs" in the enclosed envelope to Brookdale's treasurer or, to pay both dues and make a signage contribution with one check, just indicate how much is for signs with a note on your check's memo line. Additional contributions will be acknowledged in the next Bugle.

 

GEICO Receives Extension to 2020 - Diane Tanman

In July, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted unanimously to approve GEICO's request for an extension of their preliminary plan until 2020. This gives Brookdale an eight-year "vacation" until we have to participate in a new planning process, which can often be costly and laborious for neighborhood associations.

Many thanks to Brookdale neighbors who testified and attended the hearing, especially Bob Cope, Campbell Graeub, Michele Parisi, Bill Grigg, Marie Moylan, and Kathy McElroy. Many thanks also to those of you who wrote e-mails and letters to the planning board supporting the extension request. GEICO could choose to develop their property under the current preliminary plan; however, at the July hearing, GEICO Vice President Terry Perkins assured neighbors that GEICO has no plans to do so.

 

Early Beginnings of Brookdale

A map of our area in the early 1930s shows only a few farmhouses and a cluster of large Chevy Chase summer homes beyond the District line. But in 1938, Cooper Lightbown, the famous builder of Marjorie Merriweather Post's 117-room Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, began to divide what had been farmland on both sides of River Road into plots. He designed and built the first homes along Western, Merivale, Dalton, Andover, Cortland and so on, in a kind of English village style on the north side of River Road and took the same styles - a beam over the garage is a characteristic - along rolling Brookdale, Overbrook and other roads on the south side. Lightbown sold the houses at prices beginning at $9,750 and going up to possibly $17,000. Some of the original young owners raised families and retired and died here in the past few years. In other cases, homes have passed or sold to younger relatives.

The front page of the real estate section of the then-dominant Washington Evening Star contained a large picture of 5202 Western Ave. with the headline, "Beautiful Home Recently Sold in Brookdale." Also in 1938, Brookdale was advertised in the Star as "A Community of Distinctive Small Homes" and 5206 Western Ave. was featured in the advertisement with a frontage of 80 feet and a price tag of $13,750.

Beautiful elms were planted along the streets, forming a canopy that reached across the streets. All have succumbed to Dutch elm disease, the last being removed from 5202 Murray Rd. just this year. "Over the years, we figure with what we spent on that tree trying to save it, we could have sent another child to college," Sybil Erdman said recently.

Today, Brookdale includes 36 substantial Wohlshire homes (first sold with a sign, "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now" on and near River Road) and the brick Orchardale section and homes along and near Willard Avenue, plus several farmhouses that preceded these developments. The area remains shaded by a great variety of trees, large and small, and is brightened by azaleas, dogwood, and cherry trees in the spring. It has become a remarkably convenient, walking neighborhood - the kind many modern city planners hope to create.

(Notes from early stories by Roberta Holt and the late Gwen Lewis).

 

Improved Storm Drain System Aims to Relieve Runoff from Brookdale Park - Elizabeth Kaufman

For years during rains, neighbors living downhill from Brookdale Park sloshed through nearly a foot of water in their backyards, despite privately installed drainage systems and pathways created to redirect water away from their foundations. This year, their plea for the county's attention was answered.

Since mid-August, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDT) has been installing drains, gutters, and curbs on select streets to improve the drainage of storm water runoff from Brookdale Park. The project was designed and expedited after an eight-month effort by the Parks Department found that the high-density clay soil at Brookdale Park doesn't allow sufficient water infiltration, and that a broader structural solution was necessary.

The plan was discussed at a community meeting at the park on June 8, facilitated by Parks Engineer Kim Paniati and Parks Manager Scott Geasy, between residents and MCDT Senior Engineer Michael Mitchell. Neighbors described the damage caused by storm water runoff to their properties, and noted the impact of excess surface water to roads. More broadly, rainfall runoff flows through storm drain systems to local waterways, potentially polluting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed with fertilizers or pesticides from yards. Resident Amy Rispin described the intersection of Merivale and Saratoga Roads as a sheet of ice during much of the winter due to the amount of water pouring out of private drains on Merivale Road. Mitchell arrived at the meeting well aware of the problems, and proposed a three-pronged solution, which began in August.

The first project began around August 8. MCDT's contractor installed a curb along the south side of Dalton Road from the crest of the vertical curve (approximate "entrance" to the park area) toward Westport Road. Storm drain inlets at appropriate locations now collect the surface runoff. A new underground storm drainpipe was installed along the northern segment of Westport Road, connecting drainage pipes into the existing system at the intersection of Westport and Cortland Roads. The new drainage system along Dalton Road will capture runoff from a drainage area of approximately two acres. About half of the runoff previously flowed towards and eventually through the backyards of residences along the south side of Dalton Road and north side of Merivale Road, Mitchell said. The runoff from a 10-year storm event for that drainage area is approximately five cubic feet per second.

The program Mitchell manages is not intended or funded for repaving streets. But because of the poor condition of the pavement along Westport and Dalton, he said, "we had to undertake the full reconstruction of the roadbed and repaving." Westport Road will be fully reconstructed and repaved from Cortland Road to Dalton Road. Dalton Road will be fully reconstructed and repaved from Westport Road to the crest of the road at/near the park. This will put the project over budget, but the work is necessary. The contractor expected to complete all major work before August 27.

In related paving news, Brookdale streets east of River Road, including Dalton, Andover, Murray, Merivale, Westport, Sherrill, and Saratoga, are scheduled for patching beginning around June of next year, according to Randy Paugh of the county's paving program. Patching means that distressed areas will be removed down to the sub base. A hot 6" structural asphalt base will be poured and compacted. If additional funds are available, the streets will be resurfaced with an asphalt-wearing coat; otherwise, this resurfacing will be programmed in upcoming budget years. Advance notice of the work will be sent to all adjoining residents, and more detailed information can be obtained from the county website.

Meanwhile, the second project, designed to extend the existing storm drain system along Merivale Road from east of Baltimore Avenue to east of Sherrill Avenue, began August 27. Gutter inlets on both sides of the street will feed water to underground drainage pipes along Merivale Road to collect surface runoff. This new system will also make it possible for existing or future private storm drain systems to be connected to the public drainage system. A permit from the county's Department of Permitting Services (DPS) will be required for such connections. Roads will remain open to traffic, including school buses, during the construction, Mitchell said.

In a statement, Brookdale Citizens' Association President Diane Tanman described the process from her vantage point:

"In June 2011, the Tysvaers, who live next to Brookdale Park, asked the Brookdale Citizens' Association (BCA) to write a letter to the county about the need for a Brookdale Park drainage system. In July, the BCA voted against intervening on their behalf due to the small number of neighbors involved at the time. I attended the meetings with the county park and planning staff and with Mr. Mitchell to stay informed about any proposed changes at the park. I also invited Mikel Moore and Campbell Graeub to participate in the meetings so that there was broader neighborhood representation involved as opposed to attendance by only neighbors with significant drainage issues. The group has met with Parks and Planning about this issue for over a year. In June 2012, Parks and Planning staff facilitated a meeting with DOT because they concluded that a street storm drainage system was the only way to ameliorate the drainage problems downhill from Brookdale Park. DOT concurred with Parks and Planning staff and added Merivale Road because of the significant run-off that travels down Merivale each time it rains."

While many neighbors have expressed satisfaction about the county's quick response, a few have been greatly dissatisfied by the seeming surprise timing of the project and the physical reality of a storm drain system: concrete slabs on the edge of their properties that destroy the aesthetic beauty of a few yards on Merivale. "As a life-long resident of Montgomery County, and as someone whose family has lived in Brookdale for nearly 17 years, it is very troubling that the county would undertake the biggest public works project I've ever seen in our neighborhood without a formal study, hearing or written notice to all of us whose properties are impacted by this project," said Steve Heyman, one of those who was dissatisfied. "Had the county done its job properly, there should have been a way to balance the interests of those concerned about the impact of stormwater runoff with those of our neighbors who are suddenly finding enormous concrete slabs being installed in their front lawns. Water has been running down our streets for decades - it's hard to imagine why the county could not have taken a few extra days or weeks to consider the views of the community or the Citizens' Association and arrive at a solution that works for everyone."

According to the county, notices for the Merivale Road Drainage Improvement Project were mailed 10 days prior to the August 27 beginning of the project. Mitchell said improvements for the Merivale Road project are within the public right-of-way, not on any private property. Since the drainage improvements were being determined by field instructors there were no project plans to review before the start of the project, he said.

The Dalton/Westport Roads project is budgeted to cost about $80,000 and the Merivale Road improvement will cost the same or more, Mitchell said. MCDT receives funds biennially for the Drainage Assistance Request Program and it was good fortune that they were at the beginning of the budget cycle in June and funds were available. It was then a matter of rescheduling the projects on the queue list, Mitchell said, adding, "When one municipality asked us to delay their project until they sorted out their part of it, that provided the opportunity to expedite the Brookdale community projects."

Whether or not the third prong of the project is implemented will depend on continued input by area residents. "Our analysis of the drainage patterns [along Dalton Road from the park to Sherrill Avenue] indicates that installation of curbs and/or closed storm drain system along the western segment of Dalton Road will have little or no effect on quantity of runoff reaching the backyard of residences along the south side of Dalton Road and north side of Merivale Road," Mitchell said. "Considering the cost of design and construction for a project to modify this segment of Dalton Road, we don't believe that the required 5:1 cost:benefit ratio will

Juan Rivaras working on underground pipes at Westport and Dalton. Photo by Elizabeth Kaufman. be met to undertake this roadway/drainage improvement project." If area residents still feel that improvements-such as repaving and adding curbs-should be made to this segment of Dalton Road, they can submit a petition to Art Holmes, director of the Department of Transportation, (cc: Michael Mitchell and Randy Paugh). Such a project would then compete for funding with all other transportation and budgetary needs within the county. Several Dalton residents are presently leading an effort to petition the county.

While MCDT is doing its part to alleviate the impact of storm water runoff, residents also should consider how their roof runoff contributes to the problem. Be sure that your roof runoff has an opportunity to absorb into your property and isn't just running onto your neighbor's yard or directly into the street. Rain barrels, cisterns, dry wells, permeable pavers and rain gardens are a perfect solution to this problem. If you were not one of the 40 people who attended the September 2011 presentation on rainscapes organized by the neighborhood association, you can learn more about this topic by visiting http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/dectmpl.asp?url=/conte nt/dep/water/rainscapes.asp.

- Campbell Graeub contributed to this report.

 

Water Main Work Continuing - Bill McCloskey

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has given contractors working to replace water mains in Brookdale an additional 30 days to complete the work because of unexpected complications. The second phase of the work, dubbed the Keokuk Project, was scheduled for completion Aug. 10, according to a note to residents from the WSSC contract manager on Dec. 30.

Sewer work on the first phase, dubbed the Newport Project, is complete. Re-paving the affected streets - Baltimore, Newport and Glen Cove - should be complete within 60 days, according to Lyn Riggins, a WSSC spokeswoman.

As the second phase nears completion, WSSC says all of the mains have been installed and the new copper lines are being installed to individual homes. A final cut into River Road at Keokuk, to connect to the new mains to existing mains on the Brookdale North side, was underway at the Bugle's deadline.

Based on a review of Brookdale listserv messages, there have been relatively few disruptions that rose to the level of complaint. Residents apparently got used to the occasional blocked street and the speed bump at the end of the driveway caused by the temporary above-ground water pipe.

At least two neighbors reported receiving significantly higher water bills following installation of new meters. WSSC explained to them that the old meter might not have been operating properly, thus underreporting usage. One resident who posted a query on the listserv said he got no responses from other citizens indicating a similar experience, so it appears that these are somewhat isolated instances.

WSSC's Riggins predicted that the Keokuk Project work would be complete by the middle to end of September, weather permitting, and that the new blacktop would be down within 60 days, likely before it gets too cold to repave. Last year, WSSC was able to execute paving projects well into December because of the mild start to winter. If the resurfacing cannot be completed before the cold weather sets in, it will be done in the spring, she said. The streets affected are Keokuk, Overbrook, Dover Court and Road, Park Avenue, and Montgomery.

"The original pipes on both projects were cast iron, installed in the early to mid 1930s. The new pipes are ductile iron, a more durable material," Riggins said in an e-mail.

In the fiscal year just ended, the utility replaced 59.5 miles of water main, 46 percent more than its target. WSSC operates about 5,600 miles of fresh water pipeline in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

"Replacing our aging infrastructure is critical and these numbers prove WSSC's commitment to our customers and the environment," said Jerry N. Johnson, General Manager/CEO.

Before the complete repaving is done, crews are upgrading the temporary patches with a more permanent seal.

On the evening of Aug. 28, a water main on Baltimore Avenue near Glen Cove Parkway burst. WSSC's Riggins said it was not one of the new pipes. "That water main break was not part of a water main replacement project," she said in an e-mail message. "It was a classic case of aging infrastructure. The main dates back to 1939. It broke and we made repairs. The damage to the main was quite extensive and the work continued throughout the night until the main was placed back in service at 5 a.m. Because the work falls under an emergency it is considered a priority and immediate action took place."

As the work continues and in anticipation of future events, customers may wish to sign up at https://ww2.everbridge.net/citizen/EverbridgeGateway.action?body=ho me&gis_alias_id=260711 for email notifications of water main shutdowns. The notices come from a third-party vendor named Everbridge, so the e-mail doesn't look like it is coming from WSSC, a fact WSSC said it couldn't control. The clue is to look for the capital letters WM in the subject line. That stands for Water Main.

If you want to see how your new meter is registering, a new mobile app for iPhones at http://bit.ly/onTZ5l allows customers to check on water consumption and even pay bills. An Android version is in the works.

 

Sector Plan Studies Likely to Start Next Year - Bob Cope

Several new sector plan studies are likely to begin in the middle of next year. The county council has instructed the Planning Board to begin the sector plan process for both Westbard and for that part of Bethesda that borders on the Metro station.

So, what is a sector plan? Well, a Planning Board staffer would probably say that it is a process whereby the county studies an area (usually a commercial district) and tries to determine whether existing conditions require change. In the Bethesda restaurant district (between Old Georgetown and Wisconsin), the county found that the restaurants needed more patrons and concluded that new high-rise apartments would activate the area, help the restaurants, and add more riders to Metro. The most drastic sector plan in recent years is the White Flint sector plan, which concluded that 30-story buildings would solve most, if not all, of the problems facing the county, including the fact that the White Flint and Twinbrook Metro stations were underutilized.

The point to be made here is that a sector plan will always find a problem that needs to be fixed (Westbard is old and decrepit and so middle-20th-century), and the fix is always more intense zoning. So the bottom line is that a sector plan is nothing more then a process by which zoning is changed to permit more development. Change is coming, and change is inevitable. Change can be good. The only question up for grabs is how high and how dense. And so we all need to begin thinking about Westbard and height and density.

What will happen in Westbard? Well, initially, staff will conclude that the 1950s-style strip mall where Giant is located is outdated and is under some stress, requiring a 21st-century solution. But since the site is not near a Metro station, staff should recommend mixed-use low-rise development. Since the rear end of all of the stores near Giant face Westbard, staff will probably recommend that new development face Westbard and will most likely recommend a second street on the strip mall parking lot. This will result in a Bethesda Row scenario with apartments or condos on top of first-row retail. The fight will then be over how many stories of residential will go on top of the first-story retail.

Staff will also look at Westbard 2 across the street and possibly even look at the Whole Foods site although these sites would probably not receive as much attention as the Giant site.

And of course the question remains as to whether staff will try to do something with the rundown industrial areas behind McDonald's and on Butler Road and Dorsey Lane. These areas will not be improved unless the owners are given an incentive to rebuild, which translates into relatively tall residential buildings. But what do we, who live here, need? Do we need more housing or do we need a place to get the car fixed? For this reason, and since there is not a lot of industrial-zoned property left in the county, staff may well leave these sites alone.

Turning to Bethesda, the county probably views a new sector plan study as providing an opportunity to increase zoning for certain undeveloped sites and thus put more riders on Metro. And a new sector plan study will also let staff work on a solution for building a second tunnel so that Crescent Trail bikers can continue to bike under Wisconsin Avenue. And so sector plans provide an opportunity to address problems and come up with solutions. The job for local civic associations is to try to keep the solutions from getting out of hand. In the end, it is a question of how high and how dense.

 

Construction Continues at Westbrook - Marina Bowsher

Anyone who has driven on Allen Terrace this summer could not have missed the massive construction project that is under way at Westbrook Elementary School. The construction, which began earlier in the spring, was in full swing this summer while the students were out for vacation. As the school readied to open its doors for a new academic year, Principal Rebecca Jones was happy to report that the water, electricity, phone and cable work by WSSC, Pepco, Verizon and Comcast has been completed. The parking area (the area to the left of the school if looking directly at the school) was also finished. The parking lot was expanded to include additional parking spaces and to allow for a safer drop off area. It's important to note that between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., the wonderful new parking lot is for the Westbrook Elementary School staff only; parents must continue parking on Allen Terrace or on neighboring streets. The footings for the new addition (which will be erected to the right of the school if looking directly at the school) have also been laid. Lastly, new portables have been added to the front of the school to ensure enough space for the students who will continue to attend school through the construction. It has certainly been a productive summer! The next steps of construction will include the pouring of the foundation and the installation of the steel frame. The entire project is scheduled to continue throughout the school year and be completed by the end of the summer.

 

Traffic and Transportation Update - Campbell Graeub

The Friendship Heights Transportation Management District (TMD) Committee is one of several TMD committees created to provide advice to the county on transportation issues. Bob Cope and Bill McCloskey served terms on this county-appointed position before I was asked to represent the FH Coordinating Committee and our association. This advisory committee, which meets monthly, brings elected officials, business owners, and stakeholders together to discuss public transportation, a bicycle share program, parking, pedestrian safety, street and sidewalk maintenance, and related topics.

Topics that have been under consideration include the D.C.-regulated traffic light at the GEICO parking lot entrance, which is not synchronized with the traffic lights on Western Avenue, creating unnecessary delays and back-ups. The two-hour parking on Friendship Boulevard, from Western to Willard, is not policed, nor is the no-A.M. parking along Willard Avenue; police respond that they don't have staff to enforce the parking regulation--a real bonanza for free all-day parking.

Other transportation and pedestrian safety issues that have been brought to the TMD for action are potholes in pedestrian crosswalks, improved and repainting crosswalk striping, maintenance of sidewalks--e.g. filling of depressed tree wells--light at bus stops, and more.

FH is to get a Capital Bikeshare station. This should happen in the near future. The location has not yet been determined.

Anyone who has suggestions for major traffic improvements, pedestrian safety or public transportation service should contact the author. For specific infrastructure deficiencies, you should use the County's 311 phone number to request corrections.

 

The Healing Power of Haiku - Roberta Beary

The best drug on today's market is haiku, the short poem that encapsulates an "aha moment" or flash of insight. The haiku drug doesn't cost a thing, except time. It has an amazing power to heal. It works best when writing one's own haiku but is also effective when reading the work of other haiku poets. To begin, forget everything you learned in school about haiku. Think instead of a short poem that has the immediacy of a painting, capturing a single moment in time. Although a 5-7-5 syllable count written in three lines is a useful starting point, there are no real rules for composing haiku.

In the more than 20 years I've been writing haiku, I've come to find that my most effective poems are those rooted in my own experience. I write in the present tense, to give my work a sense of immediacy. Some haiku are from my distant past:

another snowstorm
a child braids her doll's hair
over and over

Some are from my recent past:

day off -
the dog works the bald spot
in the rug

and some are from the past that is with me always:

on the church steps
a mourning dove
with mother's eyes

For me, writing haiku is a means of coming to terms with powerful events from my past. Instead of blotting out painful images in an attempt to forget them, I try to remember them, and remember how I felt when they were happening. In writing about these events, I am released from their power over me. Instead of letting my past control me, I use my past to shape my present.

Several of my poems are about break-ups. But in writing about the dissolution of a relationship, whether about an old boyfriend from my teenage years:

heatwave
waiting for him to tell me
what I already know

or my ex:

talking divorce
he pours his coffee
then mine

Sometimes I use humor in my poetry to make the best of an awkward situation:

family picnic
the new wife's rump
bigger than mine

In my writing workshops, I urge haiku poets to look inside and use what they find. I encourage them to transform a bad experience into good haiku. There is one caveat: if the event is too recent, give it time. When poets ask me when is the right time to write about a difficult experience, I tell them, "You will know when the time is right because the words will flow."

Like the form itself, haiku's healing power can go unnoticed unless one pays attention. As one small step on my own path to healing, I try to write one haiku each day. Once a day I find a place where I can tune out distractions. If I can't find a quiet place, I work with what I have. I think about an image that evokes a feeling. I try to capture that image and feeling in three lines. When I'm done, I feel a special sense of contentment. This is the healing power of haiku.

harvest moon -
the long pull
of faraway children

Roberta Beary has lived in Brookdale since 1988 except for a five-year hiatus in Japan. Her book of short poems, The Unworn Necklace (2007, Snapshot Press), was selected as a William Carlos Williams Book Award finalist by the Poetry Society of America. She also is an attorney at a law firm in Washington, D.C.

 

Brookdale Teens Busy Over Summer - Laura Jeliazkov

After a long year at school, where do all the teenagers disappear to for the summer months?

If you think that teenagers sit on the couch and do nothing all summer long, think again. More often than not, a teenager's summer vacation is action-packed. There are so many opportunities of which to take advantage during the three months free of school - internships, camps, travel, jobs, and more. There are family trips to go on, people to visit, places to see, things to learn, goals to accomplish, experiences to experience...the possibilities are endless. The summer vacations between school years are a great time to start accumulating those unforgettable life experiences. Life is short, and it does start before the age of 18.

Sam Hainbach is a junior and a runner. Almost every morning this summer, he rose at 7:30, grabbed a piece of toast, and went for a run. During the year, he is on the track and cross-country team at B-CC High School, and for him, summer means training season. He did crosscountry camp with his teammates in the July heat - running, swimming, and playing pool and volleyball. He also spent a week building ramps for the disabled in Prince George's County, a program run by Yachad- DC, a Jewish non-profit organization that works on repairing homes and other buildings in urban neighborhoods. Amidst the running and volunteering, Sam and his family took some time to take a trip to Wyoming, where they visited Yellowstone National Park for the first time, and Cape Cod, a favorite family vacation spot.

On a different side of athletics, Katie Shillman, a freshman, devoted five weeks of her summer freedom to the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Summer Intensive Camp. Her day went from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and was split into four different classes. During the year, Katie takes classes at The Washington Ballet School in D.C. - five days a week, each class two and a half hours. For many young ballerinas like Katie, the intense schedule continues into summer vacation, for the school-free days are a chance for dancers to put in longer hours and work extra hard to improve their skills. There was definitely much exhaustion, pain, and soreness, but she enjoyed herself and learned a lot. On top of all this, her family also found time to take a three-week vacation, with stops in Iceland, Turkey, and Italy. There is a family vacation you will certainly never forget!

Amanda Pirri and Keri Kitchen are officially seniors, so this was their last summer with a return to high school in the fall. The two of them got to go to the beach and Disney World together. Amanda spent a lot of time at the Little Falls Pool this summer; not only was she on the swim team (as she has been since the age of 6), but she also worked there, lifeguarding and giving swimming lessons. She visited family in West Virginia, stayed at the Greenbrier Resort and the Homestead, and tried out a few new things: paintball, laser tag, crocheting, and shuffle board. Summer is a good chance to work towards that driving license, or to see if you might want to study engineering (but after a week of an engineering program at the University of Maryland, Amanda is pretty sure that's a 'no'). She volunteered as well, doing arts and crafts with children who have cancer. And what would the summer before senior year be without college visits and applications? Keri's summer was full of traveling. She had the opportunity to go to Belize on an Earthwatch Institute expedition to study shark conservation; while there she discovered that she might be interested in studying marine biology in the future. Earthwatch Institute is an international non-profit organization that works to use scientific research and education to protect our planet. Keri also went with her family on a road trip up to Canada and on a cruise to Alaska, where she zip-lined, tried dogsledding, and met some adorable Husky puppies.

Julia Konner is a very successful and talented gymnast. During the school year, she trains five hours a day, five days a week. This summer, Julia continued gymnastics practice Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Without school, Julia was able to focus on gymnastics, practicing for different events, learning new skills, and working more on conditioning and flexibility than during the school year. In the evenings, Julia lifeguarded at the Little Falls Pool. Even with her intense schedule, Julia and her family do get to travel often - at the end of July, they flew to the West Coast, where they visited Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, and the campus of Sacramento State. Julia was recently given a gymnastics scholarship to Sacramento, and she said that visiting was great because the campus had an entirely different feel in person; now she can really see herself there. Julia is going into senior year with a pretty good idea of her future.

Naomi Langer is a junior who has a gift for playing the violin. This summer, she spent a month at a music festival in Sewanee, Tennessee. She then returned to spend time with her family up in the Canadian Rockies, where they ate good food, hiked, and rock-climbed (a favorite pastime of the Langers). Back in Bethesda, she practiced furiously for the upcoming Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra audition.

School keeps teenagers pretty busy, so summer vacation is the time to do all sorts of unusual, exciting things. And don't they all have amazing experiences? These are summer vacations they will never forget.

Laura Jeliazkov is a junior at B-CC. The other students in the story also go to B-CC, except for Naomi Langer, who attends the Washington Waldorf School.

 

How to Combat Invasive Plants - Pearl Becnel

I've seen five or six plants that are invasive in this area. If your neighbor has them, you may have them in your yard too. First is English ivy. This is seen on fences and trees and as ground cover. It can kill branches when it grows up into them. The best way to get rid of it is to wait until the ground is saturated, and then pull it out. Next would be to use a product such as Round Up or Brush Be Gone. These can be toxic, so follow the directions carefully. The ivy should be cut back near the ground, and then you paint the product on the cut stem.

Next is poison ivy. We never want this in our yard. Some brave souls pull it out using heavy gloves and cover-up clothing. Here is where I would use Round Up sparingly. It must be painted or sprayed on the leaves. Let's not forget ground ivy. It's all over Brookdale Park. It looks a little like Swedish Ivy. A pretty vine is the porcelain berry vine. It has lovely robin's-egg-blue berries in late summer or fall. This is very invasive, and it should be pulled out as soon as you recognize it.

Then we have the Rose of Sharon bushes. When the seed pods drop on the ground or the birds eat them, they end up everywhere and are hard to pull out. It's best not to plant these next to a fence, or they will invade your neighbor's yard or your own. I have been cutting the seed pods off each season, but I think I'll remove mine and plant something else. I also have an invasive double orange day lily, which I like, but it too is invasive. I pull them out every year, and they keep coming back. The roots travel underground, so they are not easy to remove.

Another biggie is the dandelion. We see the puffballs all over, and then it's too late to control this weed. Best to remove them when they flower. The taproot makes it hard to do. Again, the saturated ground is your best friend for weed pulling.

Visit the Internet or call the University of Maryland Extension Service (1-800-342-2507) if you want more information on these plants. The National Park Service puts out a booklet called Plant Invaders of the Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas (202-342-1443 x218).

 

Keeping Tabs on Neighborhood Crime - Nicole Tysvaer

One way to stay informed about the trends in criminal activity in our area is to map it on CrimeReports.com. This website pulls data from the Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., police departments and displays reported incidents for a specified geographic area. The advantage of this tool is that the user can pinpoint a specific neighborhood and view nearby criminal activity just across the D.C. line. However, as in all data

reports, there are some limitations. The site only displays data for the past six months, and there may be a lag time between when incidents are reported and when the website is updated with the latest information. Furthermore, data do not appear to include attempted crimes (such as an attempted break-in).

According to CrimeReports.com, the Brookdale area, including streets just across Western and our neighbors in Westgate and Green Acres, experienced 62 crimes from March 1 - Aug. 31, 2012 including 22 thefts from vehicles, 17 other property thefts, 17 breaking and entering thefts, 3 assaults, and 3 stolen cars.

 

Brookdale Board Members

Diane Tanman, president, and her husband, Arman, have lived on Sherrill Avenue since 1999. Diane is originally from Central Ohio, and Arman from Turkey and Cambridge, Md. They have four children: Lauren, 21; Alex, 20; Clark, 9; and Thomas, 6. Diane came to DC in 1993 to work for the U.S. Public Health Service but is currently at home. Arman has worked for more than 20 years as an engineer in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Diane served two years as VP of Orchardale prior to becoming president.

Bob Banach, vice president for Brookdale North, his wife, Michele Parisi, and son, Richard, have lived on Dalton Road since early 2009, after living in a Bethesda apartment for a little over a year. Bob was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, and moved to NYC to earn his MBA from NYU. With a wife tugging him to the suburbs, Bob reluctantly left his beloved city of 22 years, taking a job with ProShares and ProFunds in Bethesda where he is head of marketing communications. Change has been good for everyone in the Banach-Parisi family here in Maryland.

Marina Bowsher, vice president of Orchardale, has lived in Brookdale with her husband, Matt, since 2001. Originally from the Ukraine, Marina immigrated to America with her family in 1979, settling down in Cherry Hill, N.J. After graduating from Northwestern Law School, where she met Matt, Marina moved to the DC area and worked as a litigator at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll until 2005, when her second child was born. After taking a few years off to be home with her two children (Kent, age 9 and Zaida, age 6), Marina returned to work as an in-house ethics counsel at Crowell & Moring. She recently left the law firm world and is looking forward to establishing a consulting practice and raising the family's new Bernese puppy, Nala. Marina served as VP of Orchardale for 3 years (2006-2009).

Larry Broadwell, treasurer, has lived on Saratoga Avenue with his wife, Marsha, since 1994. He has served as a senior manager for the Danish Maersk Line interests in the United States as well as several nonprofit

organizations, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Now retired, the Broadwells split time between Brookdale and their daughters' families in New Jersey and Scotland. Larry also does guidebooks on hiking trails in our region for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, and he sometimes joins Marsha in work at the National Zoo, where she is a regular volunteer. This is Larry's fourth term as Treasurer.

Katharine (Kate) Clark, VP Wohlshire, has lived on River Road in Brookdale since 2010, with her husband, Dan Byerly. Kate is an attorney with the Justice Department, and Dan is a director of social studies content for Discovery Education. The newest member of Kate's family is Jolene, a golden retriever, and the whole pack can be seen taking long walks around the neighborhood. As vice president for Wohlshire, Kate hopes to do her part to keep Brookdale safe, beautiful, and fun.

Marie Moylan, secretary, has lived in Brookdale since 1995. Irish by birth, she grew up in Canada and came to Washington to work for the World Bank in 1995. Her professional qualifications and experience are in the field of human resource management. She retired from the World Bank six years ago and continues to enjoy full time cycling and gardening with a little international consulting on the side. She served as VP, Brookdale North for three years (2006-2009) and president for two years (2009-11).

Yonce Shelton is the new VP for Brookdale South. The Sheltons (wife JoJo, 3.5 year old son Cole, and bulldog Cash) moved here in May 2011 from Mt. Pleasant, DC. Cole has settled into Westmoreland Children's Center Pilgrim Campus, JoJo has mastered the Metro ride downtown to her office at Google, and Yonce has found a new outlet for his spiritual formation work at the Carpenter's House near Westmoreland Circle (www.carpentershousedc.org). They welcome meeting more neighbors!

 

Transitions

 

Tribute to Jean Junior - Betsy Norton

An extraordinary woman passed away on May 1, 2012. Jean Junior, resident of Brookdale since 1967, lost her fight with lung cancer but left the many who knew and loved her with memories of her uncomplaining strength, deep compassion, and honest friendship.

Jean always said her life was an adventure. Born in 1932, she spent her childhood years in the San Francisco area. She went to nursing school, became an R.N., and a few years later embarked on a daring six-month hitchhiking trip across Europe with her best friend. This best friend then set her up on a blind date with Don Junior, the foreign service officer who became her husband of 49 years. She faithfully and joyously partnered with Don as they traveled the globe for his Foreign Service assignments. As her daughters will tell you, nothing scared Jean - not the trips across Ethiopia in a Jeep while pregnant, not the premature birth of her first child in a hospital without running water, not the bats or hyenas or snakes, not the lack of simple amenities we take for granted. It was all great fun. The family adventures continued over the years with job postings and travels to Morocco, Spain, Germany, the USSR, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Egypt, Zambia, Kenya, Zaire, Thailand, India, Israel, Greece, and the list goes on.

Once back in Brookdale permanently, Jean relished her love of gardening. The one perfect lawn on Harrison Street belonged to Jean and she personally mowed and cared for that lawn until the year before she died. The lavender in the front of her house caused passersby to stop and ask her the secret for growing such beautiful plants. Jean was also the guardian angel of Harrison Street - she had many of our keys, was the alternate on our security systems, watched our houses, let in repairman, walked our dogs, cared for our plants, took in our newspapers and offered a sympathetic ear and a bit of advice when needed. She had such character and grace. She had a kind word to say to everyone as she walked her terrier, Mace, through the neighborhood admiring the changes people were making to their homes, checking out improvements in the park, or just enjoying a beautiful day.

Jean was also a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Her husband Don, daughters Christina and Melissa, and grandchildren Nicholas and Sophie were the lights of her life and she supported and nurtured them generously. She felt very fortunate to have her family all live nearby and be with her in her last hours.

Her daughter Christina spoke at her memorial service and noted that in the many letters they received after her death, Jean was described in such words as gracious, elegant, warm, kind, thoughtful, generous, sophisticated, compassionate, comforting, joyful, hopeful, positive, treasured friend, humble, an inspiration and so on. Jean... Our friend, our neighbor... she will be missed.

 

Real Estate Update - Phyllis Wiesenfelder

 

Notices/Classifieds

New Brookdale Facebook Page

Brookdale now has a Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/292728694155232/. It features news, photos, and other information about the neighborhood. Feel free to join!

Brookdale Halloween Party Oct. 28

The annual Brookdale Halloween Party will be on Sunday, Oct. 28, at Brookdale Park from 3-5 p.m. All ages welcome! Please bring snacks/baked goods/beverages to share. Volunteers needed!

Annual block party

Brookdale's annual neighborhood block party took place on Sept. 8, too late for the deadline for this Bugle. Look for a story in the January Bugle!

Brookdale Community Yard Sale Sept. 29

Time to dust off those items in the far corners of the basement/ attic/garage and ask yourself, "Will I ever use this again, ever?!" The Brookdale Community Yard Sale will be held from 9-12 on Saturday, Sept. 29 (rain date, Sunday Sept. 30).

Solar Panels

In 1938, builder Cooper Lightbown advertised his new Brookdale homes as having modern, "all-electric" kitchens. (Probably had freezer space in the fridge for those new Birds Eye boxes of frozen vegetables.) A lot of new features have been added to Brookdale homes over the years, including, in recent weeks, solar panels atop Duncan Stewart and Emily Cordas' house. They say the panels cut their electric bill by about 15 percent. And they're good for the planet. - Bill Grigg

 

Help Keep Brookdale Neat

Montgomery County has strict rules regarding advertising signs on the public right of way, e.g., open house signs, other than on the property itself, must be removed by sundown. Similarly ad hoc signs stapled to telephone poles, on small sticks and posts are in fact against county standards. Many of us do this nonetheless, as it is an easy and simple way to convey messages to neighbors. This includes such things as Yard Sale, Lost Cat, Bike for Sale, Association Meeting, and more. Certainly no harm is done with such non-commercial signs. If you post such signs, please, please remember where they were placed, and when the yard sale is over, remove them; when the cat is found, remove them; when the bike is sold, remove them. Help to keep Brookdale neat!

 

Time for Brookdale Dues

It's time to contribute to the cause - to keep your Bugle coming, and your neighborhood listserv and website running, to coordinate with police, WSSC, PEPCO, County Council members and others regarding community concerns, to support this year's community gatherings, to ensure a quality response to any development initiatives that may impact you, through active membership in the council of community organizations around Friendship Heights, to access key information on laws, regulations and related matters, and to leverage Brookdale's influence by working with neighboring associations, and to continue enjoying many other benefits. If you are among those who prepaid your dues at the annual meeting in May or at some other time since January, please recycle the enclosed envelope. If you haven't paid dues already, use the envelope to send your $30 check payable to Brookdale Citizens' Association.

To pay dues AND contribute to the neighborhood signs project (see article on p. 2 about that), please designate the amount for signs on the memo line of your check, or enclose two checks in the envelope in this issue.

The Brookdale Bugle is a publication of the Brookdale Citizens' Association.
It is published three times a year - January, April, and September.

Editor: Deborah Kalb
Layout & Photo Editor: Steve Langer
Staff Writers: Christine Ryan Jyoti, Laura Jeliazkov
Visit Brookdale online at http://www.brookdalenews.org
The deadline to submit articles, notices, and ads for the January 2013 issue of the Brookdale Bugle
is 9pm December 30. Don't delay. Be early.