THE BROOKDALE BUGLE
Edited for the web
Brookdale Citizens' Association Newsletter
April 15, 2000
Brookdale Citizens' Association Annual
May 24, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.
Westbrook Elementary School Multipurpose Room
Special Topics: Elections, Brookdale Park, Community
County Council Special Election
by Bill McCloskey
Didn't we just do this? Yep, but it is election time again.
Tuesday, April 18,
there is a special election to fill the seat being vacated by
District 1 Councilwoman Betty Anne Krahnke.
Candidates for the post were nominated at a primary election just
a few weeks
ago. They are Pat Baptiste, a Democrat, and Howard Denis, a
have run unsuccessfully for the Council in the past. Both live
in Chevy Chase
and are long-time down-County residents. Krahnke, a Republican
who is resigning
for health reasons, endorses Baptiste.
For a complete discussion of the candidate positions on key
issues, voters can
visit the candidate web sites. http://www.votedenis.com/ and
There are differences -- some subtle, some profound -- between
the candidates on
the growth and development issues that the Brookdale Citizens'
been focused on for years.
The nine-member Council frequently splits its vote 5-4. Thus,
the newly elected
member can be instantly a swing vote. For example, the current
a new road that would connect I-270 and I-95 north of the Capital
as the Inter-County Connector or ICC.
Baptiste: Opposes the ICC;
Denis: "The Inter-County Connector or Cross-County Parkway
remains on the Master
Plan and should be completed assuming relevant environmental laws
Turnout is seen by the candidates and observers as the key to a
campaign because there are no other candidates or issues on the
Tuesday. Brookdale citizens vote at the Westbrook Elementary
School on Allen
Road. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
The Brookdale Citizens' Association does not endorse candidates.
by Fiona Carson
Last year, on Father's Day, my children and I took their Dad for
helicopter ride around the D.C. area. What surprised us the
most, (apart from
not being terrified!) were the vast expanses of beautiful
greenspace and trees.
In a prominent metropolitan area, where land is at a premium,
somewhere, intelligent and important, understood that the
maintaining these grassy areas and elegant trees would outweigh
the need for
more industry and financial gain.
So let's take a leaf (no pun intended) out of this enlightened
Sadly, our own "original" Brookdale trees are passing their 50th
birthdays, and many already have been hard pruned or cut down.
To maintain the
shape, atmosphere, and intimacy, of our unique neighbourhood,
the inevitable threat of noise, dust, and pollutants from the
development draws ever closer, we need to replace, where
appropriate, the trees
that we are losing or have lost.
The great news is that Montgomery County has a Street Tree
under the Department of Highway Services. We may, as a
street tree planting, or individual residents can request trees
for their own
property. In the case of county-owned property, the nearest
resident may make
the request. With no sidewalk, and with our street widths, trees
about four to thirteen feet from the street edge. Size of tree
(major or minor)
is selected depending on circumstances such as the location of
Minor trees are planted about 30 ft. apart. Major trees about 45
ft. apart. We
are able to request a variety of trees under each category.
will take at least one year because of lack of county funds and
allocation. Replacement of trees cut down by the county takes
planting of new trees.
Nancy McCloskey, a Brookdale resident and employee of American
Plant Food Co.,
suggests not planting maple trees, as their large surface roots
can cause so
many problems to front yards. Three of her favorite varieties
for street tree
planting are: l) Little Leaf Linden (Tilia Cordata). Strong,
salt resistant, a
good shape, pretty leaves, and a nice Fall color. 2) Japanese
serrata). A great replacement for all the Elm trees lost to
Dutch Elm Disease.
Grows to about 40' tall and has a nice spread. 3) Pin Oak
Fast growing to about 30'.
To find out more information go to the Street Tree Program's
www.dpwt.com/PubWksDiv/tree.htm or link through Brookdale's
If you would like a street tree, but not the hassle of requesting
please call me at 301-986-0574. Any decisions made would be with
cooperation, approval, and, hopefully, input. If anyone is
joining a Tree Task Force, please call me at the phone no. above.
AMERICAN PLANT FOOD CO. - RETURNING TO THEIR ORGANIC
by Fiona Carson
Mitch Baker, Vice President of the American Plant Food Co. must
have read the
January 15 issue of The Bugle!!! His March press release
"American Plant Food Co. is moving in a new
friendly direction. We have made the decision to remove
shelves nearly all chemical pesticides and replace them with
organic, natural, or less toxic alternatives. We feel it is
responsibility as part of the community to offer the safest
available, and to promote their proper use. Our goal is to
our staff and our customers about sound horticultural
when necessary, the use of these alternative products.
"We've made this decision for the health and well being
staff, our customers, and our environment."
Prior to this statement, Mr. Baker writes a short note to the
his reasons for the press release:
". . . It's become clear to all of us at American Plant
the use of hard chemical pesticides over the years has
waterways, our soil, our health, and the ecological balance.
the same time we've seen increased public concern about the
use of these products. Therefore, we will be changing the
way we do
Thank you, Mr.Baker!
by Allison Fultz
Since my second term as President is coming to an end, this
column will be my
swan song. I will continue to represent Brookdale as a member of
the Joint Task
Force on Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase with regard to the
on our doorstep.
By far the largest number of questions I get have to do with
here's the latest:
CHASE TOWER began construction early in the year. The
Hills Plaza is now
closed off, and will be realigned before being reopened in about
GEICO has continued to be quiet. I spoke with their
attorney last month,
who informed me that, at present, the company is not acting on
The workforce in the building has been increasing, however, so
Brookdale streets may become an issue again.
CHEVY CHASE LAND COMPANY is awaiting pending decisions
re-zoning. The Village of Chevy Chase and the Citizens'
on Friendship Heights filed suit to object to the Planning
Board's approval of
increased density on the Wisconsin Circle portion of the site.
that case have not yet been heard. Brookdale resident Norman
representing the community and was successful in obtaining a
delay so that
County Council's actions on the remainder of the site can be
taken into account
-- see below.
With regard to the new retail buildings along Wisconsin Ave. and
the parking lot, administrative judge Philip Tierney issued his
February. He has recommended that County Council deny the
re-zoning unless the
Land Company submits up-to-date traffic data. He also called for
Company to evaluate more intersections than they had done
originally. The Land
Company has not indicated any willingness to revise their traffic
At this point, it is County Council's turn to act on Tierney's
Both the Land Company and the community have requested the
opportunity to submit
oral arguments before County Council; the Council will vote on
April 12 whether
or not to hear oral arguments. [This shows one of the many good
reasons to vote
in the special election April 18 to ensure you are represented
well on the
It is difficult to predict a time frame for resolution of the
Chevy Chase Land
Company issues. HECHT'S has been moving ahead with their plans
to build. They
intend to file for site plan approval this spring. Since their
differ slightly from those approved last year, they may first
have to file
revisions before proceeding. If approvals move quickly, New
(NED, Hecht's' developer) says they could begin construction
within a year.
NED discussed management of the proposed community center with
Montgomery County Department of Recreation and the YMCA.
Currently, NED is
negotiating a contract with the YMCA, which has assembled a
sample program of
classes and activities.
I have been asked why "Rec" will not be running the center, so I
turned to Bob
Cope, Brookdale resident and chairman of the Citizens
Coordinating Committee on
Friendship Heights, for insight. Bob is primarily responsible
for securing a
substantial community center as part of the development. He
because of operational funding constraints, the Dept. of
Recreation has been
reluctant to take on management of community centers. The current
trend in the
county is for private groups (e.g., Boys and Girls Clubs) to run
centers on a
contract basis. Those centers that are run by the Dept. of
"adopted" by community groups who lobbied County Council for an
Rec's budget to allow for the additional staff. In this case,
construction of the community center was recommended by the
county, the center
is being built by a private entity and so is not a county
facility. Bob noted
that the Rec was reluctant to become involved at all, whereas the
BROOKDALE CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION ELECTIONS: Moving away
I would like to invite interested residents to run for office.
Committee consists of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and
Presidents, one from each geographical region of Brookdale.
There will be at
least two vacancies on the Executive Committee this year. The
committee members have not been confirmed as we go to press, but
if you would
like to run or nominate someone, please call Jean Junior
(301-951-6371) who will
put you in touch with the nominating committee.
It has been an honor and a pleasure to be your Association
President - I offer
my best wishes and hearty support to my successor and other
members of the
Executive Committee. I look forward to continuing to serve
Brookdale in a less
formal capacity. Working with the Association is a great way to
members of the community, and I strongly encourage everyone to
by Bill McCloskey
A new neighborhood group has been incorporated to maintain and
triangle of land just across the street from Brookdale -- Tait
Tait Park is bounded by Western Ave., Ellicott St., and 48th St.,
northwest Washington. The land is often the site of an ad hoc
erected by neighboring parents. In previous years, debris from
trees damaged by
storms often laid untended by public works crews for months on
end. Now, thanks
to efforts by nearby citizens taking an interest in their
debris is gone and the grassy area is frequently mowed.
The purpose of "Friends of Tait Park, Inc." is to beautify this
sliver of green
at the border of D.C. and Maryland. To that end a landscape
architect has been
engaged to advise on future enhancements to the parcel.
Western Ave. Speed Reminder
by Bill McCloskey
At the request of the Western Avenue Citizens' Association,
Police placed a "speed trailer" on Western Ave., N.W., between
River Road and
Westmoreland Circle for several days in late March. The device
is designed to
flash the speed of the nearest oncoming vehicle on an electronic
sign as a
notice to speeders and law-abiding drivers.
"It serves as a reminder" that the neighbors are serious about
on Western Ave. to maintain a safe speed, said Lucia Leith, a
of the citizens group. "We're very pleased that we could have
it. We have a
standing request," she said. "You can definitely tell the
difference (in speeds)
when it is there."
The posted speed limit on Western Ave. is 25 miles an hour.
Leith also told The Bugle that her association is working
and Montgomery County police to increase their cooperation along
is the boundary line between the two jurisdictions.
Ft. Bayard Park Improvements
by Bill McCloskey
Citizen activists on the D.C. side of Western Avenue have entered
talks with the
National Park Service to cooperate on making Fort Bayard Park at
River Rd. and
Western Ave. a safer and more pleasant place for kids to play,
dogs to walk, and
neighbors to congregate.
Maria Vasquez, newly elected president of Friends of Fort Bayard
said it will be even more important to have "some nice green
space" once the
development on the GEICO and related sites eliminates some
The group, which meets monthly at the Tenley-Friendship Library
Ave., N.W., envisions updated (and safer) playground equipment
placed on a
rubber matting laid on a cement base. The organization would pay
equipment and the Park Service would install and maintain it,
under the plan
The current facility uses wood chips as a base and the wood chips
constantly be replaced.
Working with the Park Service has been a challenge, Vasquez says.
"They say they
are in the business of preserving parkland, not the business of
recreational equipment." Nevertheless, she finds the Park
assigned to the project friendly and interested.
"We understand their bigger issues and we appreciate their help,"
"We want to sign a contract with them and get moving."
"We would be required to keep the current footprint" for the
Vasquez said. The project is complicated by the fact that Fort
Bayard is a
Civil War era fort, one of several that surrounded Washington,
D.C. Because of
the National Historic Preservation Act, "we would have to do an
dig in order to move things," she said.
Residents who use the park are also looking for simpler
improvements to make the
area "more neighborly." Benches, trash cans, and more plantings
on the shopping list.
But even simple changes need to conform to laws governing use and
historic sites. The Park Service specifies only native plants
may be grown on
the property. So, even a proposed donation of 1,000 bulbs by the
Beautiful Foundation will need to be scrutinized to make sure the
the guidelines. The Park Service has assigned a landscape
architect to work with
the citizen activists on plans for the site.
Once completed and agreed to, plans will be examined for
compliance and submitted to D.C. City Councilwoman Kathy
eventually the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts.
While all of that is going on and even before any work is done,
hoping the Park Service will do its part to keep the existing
facility as nice
as possible by being be a little more careful about the way its
workers treat the grounds. Crews often drive their trucks on the
leaving tire tracks.
Seed money to get the organization incorporated came from the
Neighborhood Commission. A fund-raising campaign is also on the
The next meeting of Friends of Fort Bayard Park is slated for
Saturday April 15
at 4 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the
Public Library. Meetings are held monthly. "We'd love to have
participation from folks from the Maryland side," Vasquez told
When signs appear that announce street sweeping "in a few days,"
please make a
special effort not to park on the street until the sweeper truck
Ask neighbors to comply. The street sweeper is not required to
do any block if
cars are parked there! That's why the April sweep missed so much
of our area.
The sweeper is scheduled to return in June.
Brookdale Association Update
Officers: There is a new Vice President for Orchardale:
Permit Parking: The three blocks that previously
parking need to identify the hours of operation desired for the
to become effective. Otherwise, if you would like to initiate
permit parking on
your block, contact your VP.
Brookdale Park Concerns
Feeling concerned about the state of Brookdale Park's landscaping
equipment? Now that the lease and transition for the parkland
completed, the county is responsible for its plan and
maintenance. The person
in charge is Gary Harman. To express your concerns write or call
Cabin John Maintenance Facility
7700 Tuckerman Lane
Potomac, MD 20854
The Hands-on-Science (HOS) program (sponsored by the Montgomery
PTA Educational Programs, Inc. and previously funded in part by
Science Foundation) provides supplementary science after-school
programs in many
Montgomery County elementary schools, including Westbrook. HOS
training and a small stipend for adult leaders. Leaders range in
graduate students to retirees and in background from mothers and
fathers with an
interest to scientists. Next year the curriculum covers
Structure and Change
with three 8-week terms in Anatomy, Chemistry, and Earth Science.
of children (10-11) in grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5-6 explore science
together with a leader. Sometimes children who register must be
for lack of enough leaders. You can make a difference! If you
would like to be
trained in the curriculum for this program in the fall, now is a
good time to
contact Michele Abraham 301-929-2330 at HOS.
Volunteer Tutors Wanted
Westland Middle School, located on Massachusetts Ave. near Little
is looking for volunteers to tutor students in writing, math and
skills. Both long-term and short-term tutors are needed for any
time of day and
after school. If you think you might be interested, please call
Want guidance on the schools within Montgomery County most in
volunteers? Sally Marchessault, Coordinator of Volunteer and
Resources on the Montgomery Co. Public Schools would be pleased
to help. You
may contact her at 301-279-3065 or
Brookdale Home Sales
by Kathleen McElroy
In the first quarter of 2000, there has been one settled sale in
area: 4806 Dover Ct., which sold for $400,000, reflecting an
just under 30% since August of 1997.
As of April 2, there are no houses for sale in our neighborhood,
but five are
4725 River Rd, listed at $259,500 and on the market for 13 days
4804 Park Avenue listed at $349,500 and on the market for 9 days
5225 Baltimore Avenue listed at $450,000 and on the market for 5
house had been on the market last year for 96 days)
4805 Dover Ct listed at $479,000 and on the market for 20 days
5327 Baltimore listed at $274,500 and on the market for 0 days.
The market is very brisk and there is enormous demand for houses
in this area.
Clearly, most of the appreciation has occurred since 1997. The
houses on Park,
Baltimore, and at 4805 Dover have both sold once or twice in this
show solid appreciation.
compiled by Kathleen McElroy and Gwen Lewis
4723 River Road
Wayne Davis and Janet Sorel
4627 River Road
James Rose and Yonina Smuckler
4719 River Road
5321 Willard Ave.
5014 Dalton Road
Tricia and Richard Rubenstein
4704 Dover Road
Paul, Martha, and Sam (2 yrs.) Grove
4802 Dover Court
5328 Saratoga Ave.
Felipe and P. R. Floresca
4724 Merivale Road
Bill, Ann, and Evelyn (2 yrs.) Geary
5205 Murray Road
Ella, daughter of Paul and Martha Grove, born November 25,
Barbara, daughter of Amy Kemper-Santos and Dario Santos, born
If you are a newcomer, we hope you have already received a warm
would like to publicize your presence and other transitions in
Please send them to Gwen Lewis. The
Brookdale Directory is useful in helping you navigate around
neighborhood. If you need a copy, contact Joy Sexton. Give Doug Pearson your names, phone numbers,
address, e-mail addresses to add to the next
update of the directory.
Editor ......... Gwen Lewis
Layout ......... David Baratz
Distribution ... Evelyn Aikman
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