THE BROOKDALE BUGLE
January 22, 2002
The Brookdale Bugle is a publication of the Brookdale Citizens' Association.
PRESIDENT'S REPORT, Gwen Lewis
Happy New Year! May the new year bring us a greater sense of
security as well as peace in the world.
This fall we have been preoccupied with crime issues, as you know
from the special issue of the Bugle in November. Interestingly,
I have learned through recent conversations with local police
that, in spite of the recent crimes, our area has a very low
crime rate historically and compared to surrounding areas. Of
course, this fact does not make recent events any less
troubling, but it is heartening. Since our last report, there
have been other troubling events. In two separate evening
incidents during November 2001, robbers used the bus shelter on
Western Avenue adjacent to Cortland Road as a position from
which to strike. On a week night at 8:30 pm, a lone man
(Brookdale resident) was knocked to the ground and robbed by two
youth. About two weeks later, two men and a 2-year old from
Brookdale were robbed at gunpoint by two men. Fortunately, no
one was seriously injured, however, these incidents have led to
a great deal of activity on behalf of community safety.
An important issue that arose in both incidents was police
jurisdiction. We are working hard to see that all parties (our
community, DC police, county police, and 911 operators) agree on
what procedures to follow. If an incident occurs within the
right-of-way (about 20 feet) of Western Avenue, the DC police
are responsible to help. If you call for help from inside their
jurisdiction, they will come to you. If it is a "non-emergency"
and you call from inside Maryland, you will be asked to come to
the police station in the District of Columbia, which for the
Brookdale area is the 2nd District, located on Idaho Avenue
(behind the Giant Food parking lot on Newark and Wisconsin). The
911 operators are instructed to make the decision about the
jurisdiction in relaying your call.
I am working with Anne Renshaw, Chair of the Public Safety
subcommittee of the Friendship Heights Joint Task Force, in her
efforts to bring together the Commander of the 2nd District in
DC with Cmdr. Luther Reynolds, head of the Bethesda District, and
the officer in charge of the Chevy Chase Village police force to
iron out jurisdictional issues and to address the increased
crime we have been experiencing throughout this area. Cmdr.
Reynolds has been very responsive.
A second line of attack has been to address the inadequate
lighting on Western Avenue. I have worked through Councilmember
Howard Denis' office, DC Councilmember Kathy Patterson's office,
and independently with public works/lighting in Montgomery Co.
and DC. An inspection took place around December 14 at which
time the head of DC lighting ordered increasing lighting between
45th Street and Wisconsin Avenue on Western-these lights were
replaced on January 15. Meanwhile I have been working with
Steve Martz at GEICO and his chief of security, Paul Brenner, on
these issues as well. Brenner has placed lights on the corner
house owned by GEICO trained on the bus shelter. He also
repaired the shelter and removed the trash and graffiti. On his
own initiative he called the Mayor's office and had trees
trimmed in this vicinity so that limbs were no longer blocking
the light fixtures. We continue to work with Steve and with
Steve Robbins, the May Company representative, to try to get the
lights turned on in the parking lot on the south side of Western
between Mazza Galleria and Lord & Taylor. The security forces
of GEICO, Mazza, and Lord & Taylor have been told of the
situation along Western, and they are including the street in
their security scans.
I am concerned that not every incident is being reported to
either me, a VP, or your block captain. As we tried to say in
our last newsletter, knowledge of what is happening and neighbor
movements are very important to everyone's safety. I have not
heard of any formal meetings that have occurred as a result of
our plea that you get together. Now that the holidays have
passed, I hope that you will take time to do so.
Development of Land
You have undoubtedly noticed the sign on the Chevy Chase Land Co.
building (CCLC) stating that they are renting for their expanded
facilities in 2003. According to the January 2001 issue of the
Chevy Chase Crier, in one of the two suits brought by the
Village against CCLC (that went against them and was appealed)
the State Court of Appeals has upheld the decision by the lower
court. "While the Village has noted appeals regarding other
aspects of the CCLC development, the Board is now focusing on
negotiating an effective construction agreement . . ." In
talking with Anne Renshaw, DC ANC Rep. and chair of the
Friendship Heights Task Force Subcommittee on Public Safety, I
learned that a number of groups in the District are working to
ensure greater safety standards in the district for trucks that
operate there. This has been a hot issue since the death of a
high school student mowed down by a truck without adequate
brakes in about 1996. They are particularly concerned because
the traffic from the CCLC site and across the street from it
will be using Western and Connecticut for egress.
The issue of a Montgomery Co. Park on the Wohlfarth tract on
Western Avenue just east of the Chevy Chase shopping center has
been in the news. The current situation is that the county
(probably with the assistance of the Village of Chevy Chase) will
purchase it as part of the Legacy Open Space program to help
deal with the inadequate recreation space in this part of the
county. Speaking of amenities, according to the Northwest
Current (1/2/02), DC will be improving safety and traffic flow
in the Chevy Chase traffic circle. Signage and pavement
markings will be improved in three to six months. Traffic lights
(probably on Western Avenue) will come later. More details are
expected to be discussed January 28 at the mayor's Ward 3
traffic summit. Repairs will not be made until traffic
conditions improve. You may recall the major damage inflicted
on the fountain and trees in the Circle from a wild driver
heading across the circle, instead of around, last New Year's
Eve. The Current reported in the same issue that the damage was
caused by a Prince George's County police officer!
Across from the Chevy Chase Center, the medical buildings have
been okayed by DC to be razed and replaced by housing and
commercial buildings several stories higher.
The Chase Tower (4445 Willard) has had difficulty in obtaining
tenants. A staff member states that the building is now 40
percent leased. Their new low-rise retail building at
Friendship Heights Boulevard and Willard will NOT provide the
Sutton Place Gourmet previously promised, but they have signed
Chipotle restaurant to a June lease.
The New England Development Corporation is in the process of
raising funds to develop the Hecht's parcel (known as Wisconsin
Place). Willoughby Park at the corner of Willard and Friendship
Boulevard has been completed. (Some experts say workmanship is
shoddy.) Now we need a warm and sunny day to attract users. The
"beauty parlor" at 4906 River Road is still sitting empty.
Bought in September 2000, this house has never had a resident.
It is no longer listed for sale. Supposedly, a doctor backed
out of a contract when he learned that he must live there to use
it as an office. The immigration lawyer's office at 5032 River
Road continues to be a severe problem for Green Acres-Glen Cove.
Although this business has not applied for a permit, the County
is said to have inspected and said there is no violation of the
code. For more information see the Green Acres-Glen Cove
Mike Makuch will be representing Brookdale on the Friendship
Heights Task Force, originally established about three years ago
to consider issues that cross governmental boundaries. I will
attend the first meeting of the reestablished committee on
January 23 to discuss joint efforts to combat crime.
We have a new "Area Liaison Representative" (block captain) on
Saratoga: Marsha Broadwell. Thanks, Marsha! We need a few more
area liaison reps-for the 5200 block of Saratoga, Willard
Avenue, and River Road West side, 4600 block. Volunteers please
call me or the appropriate VP.
Transitions, compiled by Hal Wolman
Newcomers: We welcome the following neighbors
who have arrived in Brookdale recently:
Laurie Safran & Jim Cannon -- 4622 River Road
Denise Holmes -- 4603 Merivale Road
Frank Koy & Ina Farka and children Laura & Fiona -- 4612
Sofia Letiua Morales and sons Sebastian & Walter -- 4700
Daniel & Julianne Truitt -- 5204 Keokuk
Debra Doherty -- 4838 Park Avenue
Births: Congratulations Maria Marquez, Victor Nava, and son
Eduardo, on the birth of Nicolas Nava on September 14, 2001 . .
. and to Tom and Barbara Riley, and daughters Fiona and Nell,
who welcomed John Warren Riley on January 1, 2002.
Deaths: On January 1, 2002, Regina Leer Conlon died. Until
August 2000, Mrs. Conlon lived in the home on Cortland Road that
she and her husband bought in 1947 when it was built. Mrs.
Conlon served the Brookdale Citizens' Association in several
capacities over the more than 50 years that she lived her,
including serving as its treasurer. Our condolences go to her
family, including her granddaughter Patricia Busche with whom
Mrs. Conlon lived.
After a brief illness, Bill Randolph, 72, died of cancer on
January 3, 2002. The Randolphs joined the Brookdale Citizens'
Association by petitioning the inclusion of their home on
Western Avenue just west of Park Avenue many years ago. Bill's
enthusiasm and friendship will be missed by many. Our
condolences to his wife Inga.
The classified section of the Brookdale Bugle is provided as a
service to Brookdale residents, who may place ads at no charge.
A fee of $15 will be charged for ads placed by non-residents and
all ads are subject to approval by the Brookdale Citizens'
Association Executive Committee.
These Brookdale students are available for work. Please
contact the Bugle editor if you would like to be listed in the
next issue and let us know if you do other jobs such as dog
walking, cat feeding, lawn mowing, etc.
Britta Glennon: 718-1621, 10th grade, experienced babysitter with
references, has taken Safesitter course. Also offers pet
Ian Glennon: 718-1621, 6th grade, offers to dog walk, shovel
snow, and be a mother's helper. Ric Freeman: 652-8669, 10th
grade, would like to shovel snow, walk dogs, give pet care, or
take care of other needs you may have.
Brookdale Home Sales, Kathleen McElroy
There are no houses for sale in our neighborhood at this time.
Two houses are under contract:
5034 Park Place, listed at $519,500, under contract in 4 days
4715 Merivale, listed at $680,000, reduced to $625,000, sold in
The following houses were under contract at the end of the first
half of the year and have now settled:
4701 River, listed at $485,000, reduced to $444,900, sold in 61
days for $432,000
4612 Harrison, listed at $475,000, sold in 5 days for
4706 Overbrook, listed at $495,000, sold in 3 days for
The following houses were listed, sold, and settled in the
second half of the year:
4625 River was sold in 7 days for $410,000
4635 River, listed for $398,000 and sold for $389,000 in 51
5014 Westport sold last year for $652,000, was listed this year
for $679,000, and sold for $665,000 in 18 days
There were a total of 18 sales in 2000 and 18 sales in 2001. One
of the reasons our prices are increasing so fast is that, since
the population of the Washington Metropolitan area has almost
doubled in the last ten years, demand has increased tremendously
but the supply of homes in great neighborhoods like ours has not
increased. Prices in close-in neighborhoods have increased
between 10 and 20 percent annually in the last two years.
There were two private sales this year: 5329 Willard in August
for $265,000; and 4500 Cortland in April for $483,000.
One of the things that makes it hard to get totally accurate
statistics is that many of the homes in this area have an
unusual subdivision name. Some houses are in Friendship, part
of Willard's subdivision, a number of other obscure ones and,
worst of all, "Bethesda Outside," all names that mean nothing
to the general population or the agents who use the system.
Park Avenue and Park Place are in the legal subdivision of
American University Park (recorded in 1898 and therefore not
necessarily falling in the zoning restrictions of the R60 zoning
of our neighborhood. The realtors' computer makes a distinction
between the legal subdivision and the advertised subdivision.
The commonly used and well known subdivisions names are
Brookdale (top attraction), Orchardale and Wohlshire (although
less well known they have a charm and attraction that Bethesda
Outside doesn't have). Please make sure the information is
correctly noted in ads and the computer systems. It will make
the house sell faster and at a much better price.
Kathleen McElroy is a resident of Brookdale and a real estate
agent who provides this information as a service to
Announcements & News
Westbrook Fourth Graders Focus on the Environment, June Miller
At Westbrook Elementary School, 4th grade students are very
fortunate to have experienced science teachers Sandra Geddes and
Nancy Wong. Each year students in their classes participate in
projects concerning the environment, including the creation of
rain gardens and the study of life in rivers and streams. In
speaking with Sandy, who has taught this program for nine years,
it is easy to see how her enthusiasm has transferred to her
students. In November 2000, she was given the Maryland
Association of Science Teachers Award for Excellence in
Elementary Science Education. Both Nancy and Sandy work with
4th graders, all of whom are involved in many projects. Fifth
graders, led by Sandy, can join the Aqua Eagles, and take more of
a leadership role. Some projects are repeated each year, and
others change. One of the past projects involved learning about
rain gardens at Clagett Farm, a 280-acre organic farm, run by the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Upper Marlboro. Students took the
information and found a good site on their school grounds to
investigate further. They learned that rain runs into Little
Falls Stream, where it carries pollutants picked up from the
street. They built a wood-frame bed below the drainpipe,
prepared soil, and when the plants grew, the rain garden soaked
up the water that would have run downhill. They planted native
trees to create more of a buffer, so that erosion would be
slowed, and a habitat for wildlife could be created.
Another project involved extensive research on shad. Students
met with a Potomac Conservancy staff member for training. They
watched shad eggs hatch, and then released the fingerlings into
the Potomac. Still another project involved horseshoe crabs. The
children had an all-day outing on a boat, the Mildred Bell, from
Baltimore. Using a video camera attached to a microscope, they
could view horseshoe crabs coming out of their eggs. At school,
they studied the growth of more horseshoe crab eggs and released
"The children are committed to science and the environment," says
Sandy. "Together, they feel that they can make a difference."
--and they already have!
Ian and Annika Glennon, Brookdale
residents, have participated in this program, Ian previously and
Annika this year. They say they have learned a lot of practical
things that people in Brookdale should know about in order to
protect the environment. Since all rivers in this area flow into
Chesapeake Bay, trash that gets into Brookdale sewers hurts the
rivers and the ecosystem in the Bay. They say, "People should
watch out not to use too much fertilizer on their lawns because
it causes algae to grow in the rivers and streams and blocks the
sun and takes oxygen out of the water, making it unhealthy for
the animals that live there." Since oysters filter the water of
the Bay, they note that we should not over fish the Chesapeake
and should add oysters back into it. They also want you to know
that creating compost piles will help us not overuse land fills
and will provide fertilizer for our yards and gardens.
Caring for Your Trees, Fiona Carson
Paying a professional to prune and fertilize a tree can be very
expensive. And yet ignoring the health of a tree can lead to
its eventual demise. Doing it yourself apparently can be very
rewarding and inexpensive, and not terribly difficult, and one
day I shall try it myself. Here are some useful tips that I'd
like to pass on.
January: Not much happening outdoors yet. Had this issue of the
Bugle come out before January 15th, I would have advised pruning
the 'bleeder' trees (birch, dogwood, Japanese & Sugar maple),
but it is now too late and you'll have to wait for next year.
3rd week: Whitewash trees! Mix 2 cups hydrated lime with one
qt. water. Apply to any tree getting direct sun on southwest
side at sunset, from the soil to the first limb. This prevents
splitting bark in June. Prune every side branch of the wisteria
to leave only two buds-necessary if you want flowers in May.
4th week: Tree Pruning Time! Start with the easiest which are
the watersprouts. These are completely vertical, pencil-thin
shoots growing from limbs, and can be removed at the base with a
hand pruner. The apple, cherry and crabapple trees are very
prone to these Next, check for diseased branches and shoots
growing downward from healthy branches. Finally, imagine a limb
to be the hour hand on a clock, the trunk of the tree being
12:00. Low-angle limbs growing between 12:00 and 1:30 (using
the trunk as 12:00) should be removed, and high-angled limbs
growing below 2:30 on one side of the clock or 9:30 on the other
side, should also be removed. These branches are structurally
weak, and will eventually break.
How to Prune: Buy a poletree pruner which allows you to stand on
the ground whilst pruning 25' high. Make your initial cut 12
inches from the point where the limb intersects the trunk. Use
the crescent-shaped saw and cut upward through the limb.
Reverse the crescent saw and saw from the top down. The limb
will fall, so watch out! Branches can be heavy. On the
remaining piece of the limb, identify the bark ridge, which is a
wrinkled section of tissue growing very close to the trunk. Do
not cut away the bark ridge, as this will affect the health of
the tree in later years. Make the cut in the limb about half an
inch before the bark ridge (which grows both on the top and
underneath the limb), again making the first cut with the
crescent saw from the top, and then a downward cut from
March: 1st week: Unless you fertilized your trees in the Fall,
now is the best time to do it. There are many good products
available in garden centers. Don't use any products containing
salt. Do not fertilize trees within one year of planting, to
promote substantial root development while limiting few branches
2nd week: Insect control. Before leaf growth starts, spray
shrubs and small trees with superior oil to control gypsy moths,
caterpillars, mealybugs, mites and scale. Prune 1/4 inch above
new growth on fuchsia
3rd week: Apply iron sulfate to azalea, rhododendron, juniper,
holly, laurel, pine & spruce. Rake all debris and fallen leaves
from under and around fruit trees. This will prevent many
diseases later on.
April: 1st week: Plant spring-flowering trees and shrubs.
Follow garden center's instructions. Prune crape myrtle &
rose-of-sharon. Paint cuts with Elmer's Glue. Don't leave much
later than this because blossoms only grow on new spring growth.
After pruning, apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to the
soil at the dripline (tips of outer branches). If mulch covers
dripline, rake mulch away before fertilizing, and replace
2nd week: Fertilize azaleas, mountain laurel, camellia, and
other acid-loving shrubs, with leafmold or humus from the
compost. Apply a couple of inches of mulch to the azalea
More to follow in the next issue of The Bugle!
Trash and Recycling
Brookdale's regular trash and recycling collection day is Friday.
There are only 6 holidays a year that can delay collection until
Saturday if the actual holiday occurs Monday through Friday.
They are New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day,
Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
To discard anything other than "normal household trash" you must
request a "special pickup" by calling 240.777.6410 anytime
before 9:30 a.m. the day prior to pickup to describe exactly
what is being discarded. (The contents of boxes or bags need not
be described.) Each household may request up to five special
pickups per calendar year. Scrap metal may exceed this limit.
Brookdale's Annual Halloween Party
Dalmatians and Dragons,
Warriors and Witches . . . , Christie Perez
This year's annual Halloween Party was a "chilling" success.
Those who braved the winds and cold enjoyed sweets and savories,
meeting new neighbors, and catching up with old ones. We had a
good turnout in spite of the rare, cold fall day. Children of
all ages enjoyed participating in the games, especially the
pi¤ata. The big hit this year was a magician, Rich Lessig, who
was even able to mesmerize and amaze the parents.
The Halloween Party has become a wonderful tradition that brings
families both young and old together, which is what makes
Brookdale such a special place. Many thanks to Kiyoshi Nakasaka
and Maureen McRaith for organizing the party and to all the
other, wonderful volunteers: Amy Kemper-Santos, Kathy and John
Pirri, Natalie Nunes, Dennis and Regina Crosson, and Sue and
Gorman King for all you did to make this event special!
Recollections, Sophie and Marvin Lasky
In 1958 we bought our house at 5208 Saratoga Avenue from Thomas
Rixie, the architect and builder with whom we became lifetime
friends. We met Tom after we both moved to this area after the
war; many Orchardale residents were veterans. We both were in
fact: Sophie was a SPAR in the Coast Guard and Marvin was in the
About Tom Rixie.
Tom had lost a thumb in action during World War II, and thus
abandoned his plans of becoming a surgeon. He trained to become
an architect and with a superb group of expert workmen, Tom
designed houses and supervised their building.
Our house was one of the first Tom designed and built in
Orchardale. He subsequently designed or modified houses on
Baltimore and Saratoga Avenue and two houses on Dalton Road. As
Tom prospered and his business expanded, he built quite expensive
homes in large housing developments (he would build in Hawaii in
later years). Along the way, he was employed to redesign and
remodel the Vice President's home on the grounds of the National
Observatory. He was an extraordinarily talented architect,
designer, and home builder . . . and a fine friend and human
One of the major attractions of our area is the excellent
Westbrook Elementary School. We were there in the beginning.
In the early 1950's, the parent/teacher's association was
largely formed, organized, and controlled by the school principal
Hazel McNamara. Ms. McNamara was a top sergeant kind of
dynamo-autocrat who drove the system and set the example for all
of us by her endless hours of devotion to the children and the
school to excel. Among the many tasks on which she enlisted the
parents' help were:
safe walking for the children to and from Westbrook, which
featured a school safety patrol and a paid crossing guard at
Baltimore and River Road (then a two-lane road); and
a nature-walk behind the school on a path about a quarter of a
mile long to `big rock', and assistance from parents who were
skilled in botany and birdwatching to help teachers make the
walk interesting for kids.
Ms. McNamara also managed to corral talented teachers for
Westbrook's musical program, theater productions, and the glee
club. "Our Hazel" also raised funds to supplement the school
library and tried, although unsuccessfully, to start and maintain
an orchestra program.
Transportation Idea, Robert L. Cope
The County Executive will shortly forward his budget to the
County Council. Hearings will then be held. Although money
will certainly be tight and many budgets will be cut, there is
one area where the county can redirect funds in order to provide
free ride-on bus service. This involves a current county
program where the county provides free or subsidized metro
passes to employees of local businesses within the Metro Planning
Areas. For example, approximately $100,000 may be budgeted for
Friendship Heights. Local residents may not apply for these
subsidized Metro passes. Rather, only employees that commute to
Friendship Heights will qualify.
Since the Internal Revenue Service has recently increased the
business deductions for subsidized Metro passes purchased by
employers, in an effort to redirect county funds to free ride-on
service would seem to make more sense. Accordingly, let's begin
a campaign and notify all members of the County Council that
free ride-on service is a better way to spend County money.
(Ed.: If you think increased transportation between FH and our
neighborhood would be useful, contact Bob at 301.654.7891.)
The Brookdale Garden "Club" will meet Monday, February 25, at
11:15 a.m. at the home of Vijaya Mitra, 5311 Baltimore Avenue.
Everyone is welcome.
Maymount Flower and Garden Show: Want to go to Richmond to a
great alternative to the overly crowded Philadelphia Garden
Show? Maymount is open February 21-24.
Call Grazia Narkus-Kramer at 301.320.3183 to join a group from
Treasurer's Report, Regina Reed Crosson
The Association entered fiscal year 2002 with a balance in our
account of $5,400. Since fall 2001, we have collected $2,640 in
dues for the '02 fiscal year, bringing our balance up to
approximately $8,000. Keep in mind that your $20 per year dues
help keep the Association active, allowing us to publish the
Bugle and the Brookdale Directory, and sponsor fun-filled events
such as the Halloween Party, Fourth of July Parade, and Block
Party. In addition, funds may be used in this fiscal year for
important expenses, including security and legal expenses.
Only 132 of Brookdale's households have paid their 2002 dues thus
far! If you haven't paid yet, please mail a check made out to
Brookdale Citizens' Association to: Regina Reed Crosson, 5110
Westport Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
If you are a newcomer to Brookdale, we hope you have already
received a warm welcome. We would like to publicize your
presence and other transitions in the Bugle.
Please send them to Hal Wolman, secretary. If you don't have a copy of the Brookdale
Directory, contact your area liaison representative. Please
contact Gia Regan (4723 River Road) with additions or updates to the
The Brookdale Bugle:
Editor -- Gwen Lewis
Layout -- Gia Regan
Distribution -- June Miller
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