by Gwen Lewis
Hello, everyone! Happy Labor Day. I hope this summer was a good one for you. The cool, damp weather was great for reduced use of a/c and less watering, but meant that the grass needed to be cut more often.
Your Executive team has been at work this summer with a few initiatives in the works that we want you to know about. These concern Brookdale parks, a new Directory, dues collection, and organizational structure. Obviously, the latter two are process, not products, but we are proud of getting so many old and new folks on board to work with you.
Our Treasurer, Andy Colyer, and Assistant Treasurer, Sissy Rothwell, have been hard at work informing all 365 households about the need to pay dues ($20). They have succeeded in bringing in dues from 275 house- holds so far.
We now have 24 people serving as Area Liaison Representatives (sometimes called "block captains") for Brookdale. [See the list.] These are the folks who will bring you messages, information (when we have it), newsletters, Directories, and hopefully, welcome the newcomers, and bring us word of needs in the community as they arise.
Most of the development excitement occurred in June and July, and was well documented in The Gazette. Three special meetings of the County Council examined Chevy Chase Land Company (CCLC) zoning. Because of the irregularity of some of the actions taken, I sent a hard hitting letter to the editor of The Gazette protesting. It was printed on July 19. Basically, the County Council has allowed CCLC to avoid the more extensive traffic studies recommended by the Council's own independent Hearing Examiner. The recommendation to examine 9 intersections was reduced to 5.
Recently, the three major development sites nearby have been relatively quiet. Of course, the Chase Tower building on Willard Ave. is proceeding apace. FYI, that building is to have a Sutton Gourmet on the ground level. However, just this week, New England Development Co. (Hechts' site) has indicated it wants to amend its project plan with the Planning Board to eliminate the hotel and increase housing on the site. Bob Cope, President of CCCFH, and Allison Fultz, representing Brookdale, will meet with New England Development Co. representatives, at their request, the last week of August to obtain more information.
WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) has been receiving bids on their site in DC. The rumor is that IKEA is the most successful bidder. Stay tuned.
Frequently, Brookdale citizens express concern about the numbers of GEICO-owned houses. By our count over the last few years GEICO ownership has decreased from 21 houses and 3 empty lots to the current 14 houses and 3 lots. Two resident families on Dalton Road made unsolicited offers on their residences to GEICO and are now buying their homes. Closings are scheduled the last week of August. The families report very cordial dealings in these negotiations.
Area Liaison Reps and VPs have been correcting names in the 1998 Brookdale Directory and adding newcomers and new children this summer. Thanks for your cooperation in this. We should be ready for Doug Pearson to do his magic by the middle of September and hopefully, in October you will have a new Brookdale Directory!
In the Spring, GEICO and Montgomery County signed a new contract for Brookdale Park that covers the transition to county ownership. Capitalizing on this, on June 4 Allison Fultz (President 1998-2000) and I sent a joint letter to the head of Montgomery Co. Dept. of Parks stating the community's interest in having a comprehensive look at maintenance and improvements. In addition, several other citizens wrote to express concerns. On July 17, Allison and I met with Brent Conner, Park Manager, and Lynn Witt, Play Equipment Safety Specialist. These conversations were continued by phone, and we now are in a process of dialogue. As a result, 4 new picnic tables are in the park, at least 6 trees will be planted in the fall, and more benches are on order. I have requested a split-rail fence for the playground, the removal of two concrete slabs, sidewalk added where needed, and a determination of whether the volleyball court can be reactivated. A number of decisions need community input. The Executive Committee has scheduled a general meeting for October 11 to get community input on the following: What one piece of playground equipment (for older kids) we want to request; whether we want a fence along Dalton Road opposite the playground; whether a volleyball court, a pavilion, horseshoe pit, shuffle board court, etc. would be desirable; which Vita Course equipment is used and what can be torn down; and generally what you want at the park. We hope that many of you will attend.
Interest in maintenance and use of Boundary Park (along Western between River and Park) has also surfaced. We have learned that this park is a Nature Conservation Area and are requesting consideration of some amenities.
I look forward to seeing you then. Please phone or e-mail me or your Vice President with your concerns or suggestions.
Merivale Block Party
Starting at 4 pm on September 9, Merivale Road will be holding a block party (between Sherrill and Westport). Anyone in the Brookdale community is welcome. PLEASE BRING FOOD/BEVERAGES (FOR 2-4 PEOPLE) TO SHARE! Entertainment will be provided. Posters will appear near the time of the event.
Brookdale Citizens' Association Meeting
On October 11, the Association will meet in the multipurpose room of Westbrook Elementary School at 7:30 pm. The topic of the meeting is amenities for Brookdale Park. Please let us know by October 1 if you plan to attend.
The annual Halloween Party will take place Saturday, October 28 noon to 2 pm in Brookdale Park. All are urged to come, in costume if possible. Games and goody bags are provided for children. Hot dogs, burgers, and snacks are available for everyone. A coordinator and other volunteers are needed for this event. Please call Mike Makuch or Ann Warner to volunteer.
Community Yard Sale
Volunteers are needed now to assist with organizing a Community Yard Sale next Spring. Please call Christi Perez, coordinator.
The balance of funds in the Brookdale Citizens' Association account was $7,487.14 on August 22. Of these funds, $5480 were collected in dues from 274 households since the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1). The 356 households in Brookdale would generate $7,120 a year with full participation. If you have not already done so, please send $20 to Andy Colyer, Treasurer, 4625 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20816.
If you are a newcomer, we hope that you have already received a warm welcome from your immediate neighbors. We would like to publicize your presence in the Bugle. Please give your information (names, phone numbers, address) to Doug Pearson for the update of the directory being printed shortly and to Hal Wolman for the Bugle.
INTRODUCING YOUR OFFICERS
At the May meeting officers were elected. Shortly thereafter, Peter Kovach resigned as VP of Brookdale South. He was replaced by the appointment of Barbara Ingersoll. The following is a short description of the current officers.
Gwen Lewis, President, has lived on Cortland Road with her husband David Montgomery since December 1993. She is a sociologist who retired two years ago. Her last position was Director of Higher Education Programs at USDA. Now she studies photography and spends copious time on volunteer activities.
Mike Makuch enters his third year as Vice President of Brookdale North. Mike is an attorney with Smith, Gambrell, & Russell, LLP. He and his wife Ann Warner live on Merivale Road with their two daughters.
Barbara Ingersoll, Vice President of Brookdale South, has resided on Park Avenue with her husband Tom since 1982. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children with attentional problems (ADHD) and mood/anxiety disorders.
Kiyoshi Nakasaka, Vice President of Wohlshire, lives on Merivale with his wife Maureen and three children. He is partner at a global business consulting firm and has been a resident of Brookdale since March 1999.
Diane Shea has served as Vice President of Orchardale since the Spring of 1999. She is Director of the Natural Resources Group at the National Governors Association. She has lived on Baltimore Ave. since 1996.
Hal Wolman, Secretary, has lived on Westport with his wife Dianne since the summer of 1996. He is Professor of Public Policy at George Washington University.
Andy Colyer has served as Treasurer of Brookdale for so long that no one remembers when he began. Andy and his wife Mary have lived on River Road since 1968. Andy retired from the senior staff of Walter Reed General Hospital in the early 70's.
Sissy Rothwell, Assistant Treasurer, has been a longtime resident of Westport Road with her husband George. She has served in a number of roles in the association over the years.
Classes begin on Tuesday, September 5, at the three public schools serving Brookdale--Westbrook Elementary School, Westland Middle School, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (BCC). Schools are to be closed on October 9 and November 7 for holidays and September 27 and October 20 for teachers' professional development activities.
Westbrook Elementary holds an "open house" for parents and students on September 1 from 8:30 to 9:30 am. Westland Middle School holds "Back-to-school" Night for parents Sept. 26 beginning at 7:00 pm.
BCC continues to hold its sessions for this year at Northwood, a "holding" high school for the county on University Boulevard in Silver Spring. Student orientation is on August 31 from 7:40 to 10:35 am. Parents are invited to a "Back-to-school" Night September 14 at 7:30 pm in the school auditorium.
Westbrook Elementary School's PTA co-Presidents this year are Bonnie Garrity and Andrea Lockwood. The PTA is holding several events, including their New Parent Coffee on Friday, September 8 from 8:30 to 10 am. They have outfitted a new computer lab for the school.
Westbrook's fields are undergoing work to improve their drainage.
Westland Middle School has a new principal: Ursula Hermann. Its PTA co-Presidents are Nancy Leopold and Nancy Zeller.
AN ORIGINAL DEPARTS
by Don Junior
Sadly, after more than fifty years Regina Conlon is leaving Brookdale. She will join a granddaughter in Gaithersburg. Her family includes two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Looking back to 1947 when she and her husband first moved to Cortland Road, Mrs. Conlon reflects on a time of great change. Just across Cortland in front of her house was a sometimes turbulent stream which gave its name to our community: "Brooks Dale", lined with majestic old trees. Beyond the "Dale", stretching to Wisconsin Avenue, was the handsome estate of the Woodward (or Lothrop) family. Some of the pastoral quiet of that time and place has been preserved in present day Brookdale, Mrs. Conlon says.
Mrs. Conlon, an early treasurer of the Brookdale citizen organization, was among our first civic activists. She laughs when she recalls how she and her neighbors battled real estate developers, with considerable success, to protect citizen interests. "We fought them then, and we fight them now." she says. An early encounter was won by forcing Woodward and Lothrop to hold their new store at Wisconsin and Western to its present (the Hecht building) relatively low height. Not much later citizens fought off an insurance company (GEICO) plan to put its headquarters, a big office building, on Western Ave., at the highest point of its tract. In the end GEICO had to build on the lowest point on its property where it was much less intrusive. Does this all sound familiar?
Good luck, Regina. Keep up the good fight!
MONTGOMERY COUNTY CODE REGARDING PETS
After several community discussions questioning the precise law, Ron Tripp submitted the following excerpts from the official code.
Animals at large (Montgomery County Code, Sec. 5-203(a)(1) An owner must not allow a dog or unaltered cat to be at large. An animal is at large if it is outside of the premises of its owner and not leashed or otherwise restrained to prevent unwanted contact with a person or another animal. This law applies only to dogs and unaltered cats. Penalty for violation - $100
Animal Defecation ("pooper scooper" law) (Montgomery County Code, Sec. 5-203(a)(2) An owner must not allow an animal to damage or defecate on property outside of the owner's property. An animal may defecate on public property or the common area of property in which the owner shares an interest if the owner immediately removes and disposes of the feces by a sanitary method approved by the Director. Feces may be picked up in a plastic bag. If this bag is placed inside another plastic bag, it may be put out for disposal in your normal household trash. Penalty for violation - $100
Animal Trespass (Montgomery County Code, Sec. 5-203(a)(3) An owner must not allow an animal to enter private property without the property owner's permission. Penalty for violation - $100
Animal Noise (Montgomery County Code, Sec. 5-203(a)(6) An owner must not allow an animal to cause noise that is loud enough and persistent enough to disturb another person's quiet enjoyment. Penalty for violation - $100
Dogs on School Grounds and Recreations Areas (Montgomery Cnty Code, Sec. 5-203(a)(7) An owner must not allow a dog to be on public school grounds on a day when school is in session, or in a public recreation area during an organized activity, unless the dog is controlled by a leash or similar restraining device. This does not apply if the dog is participating in an activity such as obedience or agility training if the owner or sponsor of the activity has permission from the agency controlling the school or recreation area. Penalty for violation - $100
At about 10 pm April 25, a fire of unknown origin broke out at the home of Gail DeLozier on Westport Road when she was alone. She managed to call 911 before collapsing of smoke inhalation. Gail was hospitalized for a month. Fortunately, she is now doing well. She is living in Highland House while her home is undergoing extensive repairs during the next 3 to 4 months.
There are several cautions in this story. Be sure your smoke alarms are working properly. Leave the house immediately upon observing smoke or fire, and ask a neighbor to call for help.
We are all happy that Gail is now recovered and hope that she can return soon.
Gail wants to thank the members of our community who sent flowers and cards.
FOURTH OF JULY
by Eric Sanne
It all started with two women at a party. The 4th of July was coming up, but there was nothing special going on in the neighborhood. Something was missing. Although Brookdale had retained many longstanding community members, both women also had seen the neighborhood blossom with new homeowners with young children. A celebration of the 4th was in order.
"I'll make the flyers," said one of women. "I'll get a fire engine," said the other. An idea was born. But only three days remained until the 4th. It took some hard work to make and distribute those flyers. Equally hard was finding a fire engine. Finally, though, Engine Company No. 6 stepped forward. The flyers went forward. Candy was assembled. Only the weather remained in doubt.
In this summer of thunderstorms and showers, July 4th dawned in a burst of sunshine. The fire engine eventually rumbled its way into Brookdale. Parents towing wagons appeared. Kids pulling parents assembled. People of all ages gathered to see the spectacle. A Brookdale parade came into being. Some sixty people marched behind Engine No. 6 while others watched the parade go by. It was a great success with all credit due to two women who just decided to make it happen.
One of the women was Ellie Schorb. The other was Betsy Benzinger. Brookdale thanks you.
BROOKDALE HOME SALES
by Kathleen McElroy
The real estate market continues strong. Listing prices have risen, and our high sales prices have held though there are fewer multiple offers on individual houses.
There are two houses for sale in our neighborhood: 5309 Baltimore at $360,000 (on for approx. 19 days) 4711 River Rd. at $475,000 (on for approx. 58 days)
There are four houses under contract: [At closing, price may differ from listing price shown here.] 5209 Andover Rd. at $599,000, 4507 Dalton at $475,000, 4508 Cortland Rd. at $429,500 all three sold in 6 days. 5312 Baltimore $269,900 sold in 105 days.
Three houses have settled since April 1, 2000: 5328 Baltimore, listed at $360,000, sold in 1 day for $375,000 4802 River Rd., listed at $318,900, sold in 3 days for $312,000 5025 Brookdale, listed at $450,000, sold in 6 days for $470,000. (This house obviously had multiple offers.)
Market conditions continue strong for the foreseeable future.
Alice was born to Ellen and Philippe Moulier on April 30. On May 19 Katherine Fynes was born to Gene and Teresa. Tom and Barbara Riley welcomed Nell recently. James was born to Steven and Laudan Turnham recently. Madeline Heyman, daughter of Steve Heyman and Sue Steinman, was born recently. Maureen and Kiyoshi Nakasaka celebrated the arrival of their son Adam on June 20.
Newcomers and Returnees
We welcome the following neighbors who have arrived in Brookdale recently or who have returned.
Clay Anderson, 4616 Harrison Gene, Teresa, and Katherine Fynes, 4608 Harrison Dick and Sibyl Erdman, 5202 Murray E. J. Prior & Diane La Grega, 4501 Cortland Jessica Porter, 5006 Westport Aristomene and Mala Varoudakis, 5005 Westport Dennis, Regina, Reed, & Andrew Crosson, 5110 Westport Karl, Reimer & Sarah Carstens, 4700 Merivale Amy Riley, 5328 Sherrill Jim and Rebecca Hamilton, 4805 Dover Ct. Melissa Fast & Jim Wrathall, 4806 Dover Ct. Nicole Ricci, 4700 River Rd. Magdalena Potocka and Rodger Potocki, 4702 River Rd. Andrea, Abigail, Madeline, and Josh Butler, 5204 Keokuk Bert & Joanne Van Selm, 4703 Overbrook Ann Frizell, David & Margaret Ball, 4855 Park Av. Juan & Carmen Muscarro, 4960 Western
Doris Moon Freer, 82, long-time resident of Merivale Road died on July 2. She was a preservation pioneer and former nuclear intelligence analyst.
Theodore Connor Brient, 76, of Overbrook Road died July 9. He had retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in 1987 as manager of the general aviation safety audit program. Our condolences to his wife Anne.