President's Report – Diane Tanman
Spring is here, and we certainly have a lot to celebrate! In addition to enjoying the incredible beauty of our neighborhood in its annual full bloom, we have plenty of upcoming special events to look forward to attending.
Marie Moylan, chair of the 75th Anniversary Committee, has worked diligently (with her usual diplomacy and grace) to organize the numerous meetings and tasks required to pull off such a celebration. Please join me in thanking Marie and the rest of the 75th Committee Members for their contributions in making this an unforgettable year. Committee members include Cathy Solberg, Bill Grigg, Judy Rivlin, Jerry Knight, Anita Segreti, Helen and Dick Podolske, Campbell Graeub, Dave Montgomery, Joan McMillen, Mary Shivanandan, Celinda Shoffner, Sibyl Erdman, Bob Banach, Amy Rispin, and Stacy Yochum.
Other do-gooders include the Association's 28 Brookdale block captains who have been collecting information to update our Brookdale Neighbor directory. We hope to have one directory distributed to each Brookdale household by late spring or early summer. The directory will not be put on-line and will only be provided to Brookdale residents. Please make sure your block captain has your updated in- formation. Many thanks to the block captains and vice presidents, and special thanks to Bob Banach for organizing this important effort.
Our annual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8, at Wisconsin Place Recreation Center on 5311 Friendship Blvd. We will begin at 7:30 p.m. with wine, cheese and lots of mingling. It's a great opportunity to meet new neighbors and catch up with those you already know.
One of the agenda items is the election of Brookdale officers. Anyone interested in standing for office is asked to contact Mike Makuch, chair of the Nominating Committee. Other agenda items include new neighbor introductions, crime and safe streets committee report, 75th Anniversary update, zoning and development issues, and the Treasure's Report. Anniversary T-shirts and Anniversary Party tickets will be available for purchase, and there will be the opportunity to pay $30 in annual dues. Hope to see you there!
75th Anniversary Celebration – Marie Moylan
Brookdale's 75th Anniversary year is well underway, and our first event, the Winter Social in February, was a great success. In spite of bad weather, a record number of people showed up at Wisconsin Place to greet neighbors over a glass of wine, see our new Brookdale signs, and view an interesting film on the origins of Friendship Heights.
Our "Brookdale Signs" project is forging ahead, thanks to Bill Grigg, Pat Kitchen and Campbell Graeub. Many thanks to the four families - the Pathes, Tanzis, O'Marras, and Brock-Jabers - who graciously agreed to have the signs located on their properties. Low-maintenance landscaping around the signs awaits the arrival of spring planting weather.
Plans for an exciting Anniversary Party at Kenwood Country Club on June 1 are being fleshed out by a creative group of Brookdale residents. All neighbors should have received a hand-delivered invitation about the event. All Brookdale neighbors, former neighbors (and adults who grew up in Brookdale) are invited to attend the 75th Anniversary Celebration at Kenwood Country Club on June 1 from 6-11 p.m.
Dinner buffet, live music, Brookdale history, and lots of mingling included! To purchase tickets, please send checks (made payable to "Brookdale Citizens Association") to Cathy Solberg. Tickets are $65 per person if purchased before May 1. After that date, tickets are $75 per person. The event is limited to the first 200 participants.
You may recall the competition announced to find a suitable logo for our 75th Anniversary celebrations. Thanks to those who took the time to submit entries. Our winning logo was submitted by Mike Oliwa, and will be featured in a number of ways during this year: on the Bugle masthead, on the new Brookdale Directory, on Brookdale anniversary T-shirts, which will continue be on sale in all sizes for $10 at events during the year (between events, contact Marie Moylan to purchase T-shirts), and on other communications related to the 75th.
We are also hopeful that during 2013 The Washington Post will feature Brookdale in its regular weekend Real Estate feature that profiles a different Washington neighborhood every week.
Amy and Paul Rispin have done in-depth research on Brookdale's history and have found some fascinating facts and stories. Their efforts will result in a document to be available at cost to neighbors.
With support from the BCA, the Rispins are planning to publish a document as well as conduct a Brookdale Historic Walking Tour on Sunday, June 9. It's a great opportunity to learn about some of the historic markings and residences in our neighborhood and the stories that go with them!
To make this tour happen, the BCA and the Rispins need support from people who live in historic Brookdale houses or near important landmarks and are willing to act as guides. The Rispins might be contacting people for help. If you are interested in serving as a guide, please let Amy know as soon as possible.
This year's Brookdale July 4 Party will be another opportunity to celebrate our anniversary in a very family- oriented style. People are encouraged to make an extra effort to get out their red-white-and-blue, walk in the parade, and come to the Park for some serious July 4th fanfare!
The annual Brookdale Block Party is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7. It's an event that has been getting bigger and better every year as more Brookdalers turn out to share treats and meet more of their neighbors.
And of course there will be a Halloween party in Brookdale Park in October. These events will benefit greatly from the ideas and efforts of volunteers, so consider lending a hand to one of these festivities to ensure that they are the best ever.
Four new Brookdale signs installed
A group of neighbors showed up the afternoon of April 1 to watch the first new Brookdale sign go up at the corner of Baltimore Avenue and River Road.
Many Brookdale neighbors made generous contributions to fund the new signs. In addition to the sign at Baltimore and River, three other signs are now located near Western Avenue and Cortland Road, River Road and Brookdale Road, and Western Avenue and Park Avenue respectively.
Here is the list of donors to the project:
ADLIN, Michael & KRASNOFF, Helene
ANZIDEI, Rebecca & Chris
ARANGO, Ivan & Carol
AUGUST, James & Crystal
BAGWELL, Hazel & CONRADIS, John
BEARY, Roberta & STELLA, Frank
BENZIGER, John & YOUNG, Betsy
BERGMANN, Martin & Christina
BIER, Willem & SIKKEMA, Dawn
BLACKER, Elysa & WHEALAN, John
BROADWELL, Marsha & Larry
BRUSER, Larry & Sue
BUSTILLO, Ines & HUSTED, Thomas
BYERLY, Daniel & CLARK, Katharine
CALABIA, Dawn T. & Florentine
CARSTENS, Reimer & Sarah
CEDARBAUM, Jonathan & WINKLER, Alice
CLARK, Thomas & Eileen
COPE, Judy & Robert
CORDAS, Emily & STEWART, Duncan
DAVIS, Michael & Elizabeth
DENT, Richard & Alice
EICHHORN,Deborah & SNYDER, Steve
ERDMAN, Dick & Sibyl
FINELLI, Philip & Rosaria
FISCELLA, Caryn & MEISSNER, Wallace
FREEMAN, Michael & HALLMAN, Linda
GAERTNER, Nicole Renner
GEARY, Bill & Ann
GRAEUB, Joy & Campbell
GRIGG, Martha & William
GROVE, Paul & Martha
HAINBACH, Michelle & Don
HOUGHTON, Jean & Donald
INGERSOLL, Barbara & Tom
InSite Builders LLC
JACOBSON, Louis & LAYTON, Elizabeth
JUNIOR, Lewis ("Don")
KALB, Deborah & LEVITT, David
KITCHEN, Pat and KING, Margaret
KNOPF, Barbara & Norman
LAWRENCE, Christine & Andy
MAKUCH, Michael & WARNER, Anne
MAYER, Diane & Peter
McCLOSKEY, Nancy & Bill
McKNIGHT, William & Bettia
MINICHELLO, James & Susan
MOLOT, David & DWYER, Lisa
MORTON, Cynthia & John III
MUKHERJEE, Amitabha & Ranjana
NICOLSON, David & Tamar
NORTON, Betsy & Jim
PAPRZYCKI, Deanna & Edward
PARADA, Roberto & Patricia
PARISI, Michelle & BANACH, Bob
PITTMAN, Dr. Fred & Joan
PODOLSKE, Helen & Richard
REGENHARDT, Linda & Don
RICHMAN, Gerald & Suzanne
RISPIN, Amy & Paul
RYAN, Christine & JYOTI, Ajay
SANNE, Eric & RIVLIN, Judith
SCHAENGOLD, Carol & Michael
SHEA, Diane S.
SHERIDAN, Lynn & David
SHIVANANDAN, Kandiah & Mary
SHOFFNER, Harry & Celinda
SKAGGS, Glenn & Elsa
SMITH, Jay & Wendy
SMITH, Peter & SPARLING, Laurie
SOLBERG, Cathy & Don
STUCKER, Gilles & Bonnie
TANMAN, Diane & Arman
TOBENKIN, Dave & Ann
TRIAS, Alexander & Hathaichanok
TURNHAM, Steven & ARON-TURNHAM, Laudan
VUONG, Tracie Moy & Hai
WEBSTER, Hugh & deLancey
WELLINGTON, Thomas & PESTIEAU, Sophie
WIEGAND, Martin & Nancy
WITTEN, Jesse & FRISCH, Melissa
WOLMAN, Hal & Dianne
(TTR Sotheby's Int'l Realty)
Developers to Begin Work on Little Falls Place – Bob Cope
Although the Westbard Sector Plan keeps being delayed, and is now scheduled for action in late 2014 or early 2015, development activity still continues in Westbard.
Recently, developer EYA bought the cement block facility along Little Falls Parkway and is quickly proceeding toward construction of approximately 30 townhouses on the site. The initial asking price is well over $1 million. Just search for EYA and Little Falls Place and you can review the plans.
So, how did all this happen? Well, the first thing that happened was that way back in 1982, the County Council passed the most recent Westbard Sector Plan, which identified the cement block facility as a site that should be considered for residential town house development, since it was surrounded on three sides by parkland.
The council also indicated that entry to the site could be made from Little Falls Parkway if appropriate permissions were obtained from various state (the Planning Board and Parks Depart- ment are part of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission) and federal planning agencies. Nothing happened for 30 years.
Recently, EYA stepped up to the plate and entered into a contract to purchase the site, conditioned upon obtaining an easement from Little Falls Parkway (but Butler Road is so attractive!), and rezoning the land to permit construction of town houses.
EYA then filed for an easement so it could construct an entrance on Little Falls Parkway. Although there was opposition to the request, the easement was finally given in return for a payment of $500,000 to the Montgomery County Parks Department.
The next step for EYA was to file an application with the county to rezone the site. At this juncture, with the easement approved, the Citizens Coordinating Committee (many of whose members opposed the easement) decided to step in and negotiate with EYA to obtain appropriate binding elements that would accomplish various goals.
These included more parking spaces (to avoid overflow parking on Little Falls Parkway), a bike trail through the site and up the hill to the Crescent Trail, traffic devices to prevent cars from turning down Butler Road and exiting on Little Falls Parkway,
cleanup of the site along the stream to end encroachment into park property, and creation of a green buffer along the stream. With these conditions in place, the County Council approved the rezoning. At this juncture, a member of the Citizens Coordinating Committee, along with a member of the Little Falls Watershed, attended several meetings with the Parks Department on how the $500,000 easement payment was to be spent.
These meetings resulted in an agreement that all of the money will be spent on stream cleanup, invasive species removal, water runoff remediation at the top of the hill along the Crescent Trail, some flood-control measures, and traffic-slowing measures along Little Falls Parkway. Obviously, $500,000 is not enough to com- plete all of these tasks.
Finally, the Planning Board approved the EYA site plan and EYA has now started preliminary site preparation and environmental remediation, looking towards beginning full construction this spring.
And so, as Wreck-it Ralph and the bulldozers begin their work, the debate will undoubtedly continue.
THE CONS: This 30-townhouse development means the end of civilization as we know it. There will be more traffic on Little Falls Parkway, the townhouses will destroy the site, we are look- ing at an environmental disaster, the current use is OK since we have grown used to it, and the current use does not require an entrance on Little Falls Parkway. How can anyone who cares about the environment support this project?
THE PROS: Are you serious? The automobile trips generated by the additional residents will be spread out over three hours every morning and night, and you will not even notice the additional trips. Are you forgetting the many trips now being made by the 18-wheelers coming in and out of the site? The current site is an environmental disaster with the entire site being impervious, with great quantities of water, coated with cement dust, running off into the stream. The current owners have encroached on the stream and parkland for years. And besides, the site looks like hell. So let's move on. The EYA project will reduce the amount of impervious space, will reduce water runoff, will return the encroached land to its natural state, will add green space and landscaping, and will add buffering for the stream. How can anyone who cares about the environment oppose this project?
Real Estate Update - Phyllis Wiesenfelder
- 4709 Dover Road. Colonial with 3 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 Baths. Built in 1936. It was listed on January 12 and went under con- tract in 17 days. Settlement is scheduled for April 30th.
- 4732 Merivale Road. Colonial with 3 Bedrooms, 3 1/2 Baths. Built in 1949. It was listed on February 8, and went under con- tract in 14 days. All the contingencies have not been removed yet.
- 5304 Saratoga Avenue. Colonial with 4 Bedrooms, 3 1/2 Baths. Built in 1979. It was listed on March 21.
- 5303 Sherrill Ave. It sold for $1,189,000 in 2010. On January 3, 3013, it sold for $1,265,000. It is a colonial built in 1951 with 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths.
Safe Streets Committee Audits Neighborhood – Bill McCloskey
The Brookdale Safe Streets Committee and several volunteers under the leadership of chairperson Nicole Tysvaer walked the neighborhood on a cold early February night to audit self-help issues neighbors could--and police say should--be using to dis- suade criminals from targeting our neighborhood.
A similar walk was conducted last year.
"The good news is that we had a much brighter and trimmed up scene than last year, although there are still a few dark streets and turning on porch lights still seems to be an issue," Tysvaer said in her report.
The volunteers, including some enthusiastic students and a dog, split into groups to survey every street in Brookdale and the stretch of Western Avenue from Mazza Gallerie and the Metro station to the entrance to Brookdale.
Volunteers tested 110 vehicles parked on the roadway and found only seven unlocked doors. However, all seven were located in a concentrated area east of River Road. Cars parked on driveways were not tested. Police claim many of the cars ransacked in our community have been left unlocked, although some of the victims say they know their rifled-through car was locked.
There were 38 homes with no lighting in the front. The survey was taken in early evening and it is possible some of the residents had not yet gotten home from work. Tysvaer sent what she called "a kind reminder" to the residents with dark doorways.
The auditors found five dark streets that were identified as possibly needing a new street lamp. The street locations and utility pole numbers were recorded. Three existing street lamps were not working properly and were reported to Pepco.
One ClearChannel Metrobus shelter on Western Avenue near River Road was not lit up (despite having been recently wired by Pepco).
Update on Repaving in Brookdale South – Bill McCloskey
WSSC plans to repave by early summer Brookdale and Green Acres streets dug up last summer for water main and sewer line replacements.
The process to be used is called "mill and overlay." Two inches of street surface will be ground off the top and that will be replaced by two inches of new blacktop. On many of the streets
the repaving will be done curb-to-curb, although on streets where there was less digging, WSSC may only repave half the width of the streets.
Keokuk, Montgomery (between Keokuk and Newport), the portion of Newport near Overbrook and Park Avenue will be resurfaced curb to curb, according to WSSC.
Residents on the streets to be repaved will be notified in advance with door hangers so they can move their cars and be prepared for any detours.
WSSC's contract manager for what the agency calls its Newport Avenue and Baltimore Avenue projects pointed out that citizens can check out future projects when they notice stripes painted on streets or their properties by looking at the Miss Utility website at www.missutility.net. You can type in a street name and identify it as Montgomery County, Md., and the search engine will identify the project with the project manager's name and contact information.
For example, Overbrook Road at Keokuk Street was marked in February for "gas service repair" that apparently has not yet taken place.
WSSC's paving project manager for this job is Keith Tyson, who can be reached at 301-206-8042.
Road/Drainage Work on Dalton/Sherrill Set for Summer – Diane Tanman
Responding to requests from residents of Dalton Road, the county will improve road and drainage conditions this summer on the section of Dalton that lies between Brookdale Park and Sherrill Avenue.
That part of Dalton is unique, because neighbors living in that area own the street in front of their homes. Because the county does not own the right of way, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has never been able to do any significant road improvements.
As a result, the road's condition has been substandard compared to that of other Brookdale streets. This spring, Dalton Road neighbors unanimously agreed to dedicate their right of way to the county and requested that the road be reconstructed and paved.
A curb will be added to the north side of Dalton (the odd- numbered side) to minimize the existing erosion problems in that area. Curbs cannot be added to the even-numbered side because driveways are too close together.
The county will also install two drainage inlets and requisite underground drainage pipes at the intersection of Dalton and Sherrill Avenues to capture and convey the runoff from this segment of Dalton Road.
A trench will be dug along Sherrill Avenue connecting the new drainage inlets to the Merivale Road drainage system. The roadwork on Sherrill Avenue will then be patched.
This process is similar to last summer's drainage work on Merivale Road; a number of neighbors have reported less water and ice in the street, less water in their yards, and a much dryer Brookdale Park. Full road reconstruction, curbing, and drainage improvements are projected to take three weeks.
Victor Nava, who lives on Dalton Road, has spearheaded the recent road improvement request. Please contact Victor or DOT's Michael Mitchell at Michael.Mitchell@montgomerycountymd.gov if you have any questions about the upcoming roadwork.
Remembrance of Sue Denny – Suzanne Richman
Sue Denny. Such an upbeat, friendly, kind neighbor. She is missed. Sue lived on Overbrook Road long before Jerry and I moved here in June 1983. I'm sure we met Sue the week we moved in, since Sue lived at the bottom of the hill and, in nice weather, she always had a friendly chat with everyone walking by her house.
Many times, while working in my yard, as Sue would be walking by to visit her friend Mary Ann Egan, I learned all sorts of tidbits regarding gardening and home ownership. When our kids came along, Sue was always there with a friendly suggestion on best ways to raise kids. I especially remember having a conversation about how to encourage my teenagers to practice their instruments and conquer their homework. She described how to convince her son to play the piano, and it worked since he is a professional pianist. And my Nick is a musician as well.
Sue was never one to brag or talk about what she had accomplished during her life, so I was surprised to read what a full career and life she had. Although there was always a theatrical bent to her personality, she never let on about her past life. Her obituary describes that she was an actress and singer on Broadway in the early 1950s. She graduated in 1948 from Colby College in Maine and 1950 from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
The article goes on to say that when Sue was in Washington for the national tour of "Guys and Dolls", her future husband, Bob Denny, convinced her to stay here. She did not regret leaving her stage life, since she enjoyed being married and raising her chil- dren. They were adults by time we arrived on Overbrook. I also didn't know that she was an adjunct professor at American University, teaching voice, audition techniques and performance on the live stage, as well as helping with local theater productions.
It has been a while now since Sue moved to Ryderwood and sold her house. I remember how she regretted leaving her home and Brookdale.
Search Underway for New Westbrook Principal – Christine Ryan Jyoti
When Brookdale's children head back to Westbrook Elementary this fall, they'll be greeted by a new principal. In mid-February, Principal Rebecca Jones, who has been with Westbrook for the past three years, announced she has accepted the position of Lower School Director at National Cathedral School in Washington, DC, effective July 1, 2013.
"I will miss the community terribly as I truly feel connected to everyone," she said. "The Community of Caring values are really embraced by all school members."
Jones has fit a lot into her short tenure at Westbrook. She says highlights of her time include "planning for the new addition, bringing Principal's Play Day to the school, participating in Carnival, getting to know all the wonderful staff and families of our school AND of course, the Staff Flash Mob at the Talent Show--- we had such fun!"
What makes Westbrook so unique? "The tight-knit community -- from parent involvement in volunteering and attending school events, to the kids' energy and enthusiasm for the school, to the staff's willingness to be a part of evening and traditional events such as Carnival, the Talent Show, International Night, etc.," she said. "I am always amazed at how well school events are attended by all."
Montgomery County Public Schools is now conducting a search for Westbrook's next leader. Dr. Christopher Garran, the community superintendent, recently spoke to about 40 Westbrook par- ents about the principal selection process.
Parents asked a variety of questions and filled out a questionnaire to provide input on qualities they seek in a new principal. "The characteristics that the parents want are strongly considered in the selection," Jones said, adding, "I think the county has a very transparent and fair method to select principals that match the needs of the community (parents and staff)."
Once candidates have been identified, they will be interviewed by a panel, which will include representatives from Westbrook staff, parents, and central services personnel.
The Westbrook PTA is also playing an active role in the process. PTA Co-Presidents Julie Crain and Beth Marans are providing Garran with a paper outlining the qualities and characteristics parents are looking for in a new principal as well as potential interview questions to be considered for the panel.
There are currently multiple elementary principal openings in MCPS. According to Garran, Westbrook's small student popula- tion, supportive community, high-achieving students and expand- ing facilities make Westbrook an attractive choice for potential candidates. Challenges include Westbrook's location (many can- didates may live up-county) and the fact that Westbrook has no assistant principal.
The Board of Education will announce a final decision at the end of April.
Winter Social Draws Big Crowd
Close to 100 neighbors turned out for the Brookdale Winter Social Feb. 13, where they sipped wine, talked, and watched a documentary about Friendship Heights in its earlier days.
Attendees had the chance to preview the new 75th anniversary signs designated for several entrances to the neighborhood, buy 75th anniversary T-shirts, and celebrate Brookdale's history. The event took place at the Wisconsin Place Community Center.
- Jon and Sonnet Gorham welcomed daughter Riley Page on March 12.
- Alexander Gabriel was born on April 10 to Wohlshire VP Kate Clark and Dan Byerly.
- Sue Denny, who had lived on Overbrook Road for many years, passed away on January 13 at age 84. Please see the remembrance above by Suzanne Richman.
- New Neighbors:
- Dennis Connors and Regina Reilly have moved to Brookdale; Liz, Sam, and Emily Hopkins moved to California last fall.
- Andrew Akman, Katherine Lew, and their 2-year-old son, Noah Akman.
- The Sulla family -- Olimpia, Victor, and children Alberto, Nadia, Ron, and Talia.
- John and Lucy Gordon and son Thomas have joined the neighborhood; Joe Mata, Anne Tully, and son Luke Mata have moved to the Solomon Islands for a couple of years.
Neighborhood Notices And Classifieds
16-year-old Brookdale neighbor looking for a job as a babysitter or yard work helper. I am Reed Crosson, a responsible 16- year-old Brookdale citizen looking to help out around your house as a baby or child sitter, lawn mower, or yard work helper. I am good with kids and have had many babysitting jobs for various neighbors in the past. I am also good at yard work and am happy to mow your lawn for you, rake leaves, mulch garden beds, or do another type of yard work.
North Bethany Beach House Available Brookdale family beach home for rent. North Bethany house one back from the Ocean. Ocean views from 3 levels. Wide white private beach. House has four bedrooms, two full and two half baths and an outdoor shower. There is an eat-on back deck with a grill and an ocean view deck off the new master suite. The house is completely outfitted -- you only need to bring your personal items. No smoking, no pets.
Children's Parties, The Party Masters – Highly skilled entertainers for your child's next party. Many characters and Princesses available, see pictures at our site www.thepartymasters.com or call 301-907-6853. Games, face painting, magic, balloon animals, dancing. Theatre games too for the older child. We now offer tea with a princess. Brooke has a MFA in Performance Art from UNC at Chapel Hill and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity Assoc., and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. She is a new mom and teaches drama at Georgetown Day School.
Bike to Work Day This year's Bike to Work Day has been scheduled for May 17. For the first time, Friendship Heights will have a "pit stop" located on the Wisconsin Place Plaza, at Western and Wisconsin Avenues, open from 6:30 to 8 a.m. To promote bike use for the work trip, the pit stop will have route in- formation and will provide goodies and other promotional material. Anyone inclined to volunteer at the pit stop should contact the County's Transit Services Division to offer theirhelp. All are encouraged to pass the word for this upcoming event.
Brookdale's Welcome Baskets The Brookdale Welcome Basket effort is going strong! Over the past two years, we have delivered 25 welcome baskets to new residents of Brookdale. We want to thank our local merchants that have donated valuable coupons and goodies: Red Door Spa at 5225 Wisconsin Ave, and several merchants in Wisconsin Place including Capital Grille, P.F. Chang's, and Whole Foods Market. Please contact Cathy Solberg if you have a new neighbor that should receive a basket, or you own a local business and are interested in donating items to be included in the baskets.