Monday, October 23, 2017

Community does what Montgomery County government won't in Edgewood Park

You would think that with the taxes you pay, Montgomery County would regularly clean up and maintain Edgewood Neighborhood Park in the Briggs Chaney area of Silver Spring. Wrong! Edgewood Park, and other neaby County-owned properties have fallen victim to litterbugs and neglect.

This past Saturday, as it has done before, Impact Silver Spring and its East County Collective organized a civilian clean-up crew of volunteers to do what the County won't: clean up and tear out weeds in Edgewood Park. Impact has held similar clean-ups in the past, once collecting almost 450 pounds of garbage in the same park and a nearby school in a single day, according to The Washington Post.

What a sad statement about the Montgomery County Council, Montgomery County Parks Department, and the County government, that they cannot execute the most basic functions of government. Whether it's the 911 service failing and two County residents dying as a result, trash uncollected for three weeks in Silver Spring and Bethesda, or simply failing to perform the most basic landscaping and trash collection duties in your neighborhood park, Montgomery County has proven impotent on all fronts.

Shouldn't our charitable organizations and watershed groups be able to pursue other important priorities, rather than have to spend their Saturdays cleaning our parks and streams, doing the job of government themselves? Imagine paying taxes, and then having to provide the services yourself with no pay. In Montgomery County, we don't have to imagine; it's all horribly real. As the County infamously said during the trash (un)collection scandal: "Don't call us, just wait for them to pick it up."

Friday, October 20, 2017

MetroPCS to open store at Ellsworth Place

MetroPCS is the latest retailer to sign on at the revitalized Ellsworth Place in downtown Silver Spring. The prepaid phone brand of T-Mobile has leased 3300 SF on Level 3 of the mall. MetroPCS will open the store in early 2018.

“MetroPCS will provide our shoppers incredible options for cell phones, data plans and more,” Terry Richardson, president and COO of mall owner Petrie Richardson Ventures said in a statement on Thursday. “In combination with each of the restaurants, stores and services provided at Ellsworth Place, the addition of MetroPCS adds just another component to the mall as a one-stop destination for all of your needs.”

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Einstein guidance counselor arrested for sex offenses, police seek additional victims

Colin Sime Black
The hits just keep on coming for Montgomery County Public Schools. Now a guidance counselor at Albert Einstein High School has been arrested and charged for sex offenses against two women.

Colin Sime Black, 33, of Clemson Court in Rockville, was taken into custody by the Special Victims Investigations Division of the Montgomery County police today. Two women reported connecting with Black on Tinder in the past year. In each case, they went to Black's home and engaged in consensual sex. But following that, the victims say, Black then committed additional sexual acts without their consent.

Black has been charged with two counts of second-degree sexual offense and one count of second-degree assault.  He was transported to the Central Processing Unit.  Bond information is not available at this time.

Police believe there may be additional victims in this case. Anyone who believes he/she was victimized by Black is asked to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.

In any organization, leadership sets the tone. County residents have continued to see the lax policies of MCPS leadership regarding rape, sexual offenses and misconduct trickle down to rank and file employees.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wheaton redevelopment update (Photos)

Some sad news to report from the Wheaton redevelopment site in the Wheaton Triangle: A reader had asked about the fate of the mural that has been on display at the Midcounty Regional Services Center. Unfortunately, I've learned the mural will be demolished along with the building. Demolition of the center itself has been pushed back to November.

Midcounty Regional Services Center Director Luisa Montero said that photographs of the mural will be taken to document it, and that the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County was alerted when the County vacated the building. The Council has a process by which they will document the work, and contact the original artist, under the stipulations of the Public Arts Trust Program.

The mural depicted the buildings that were originally on the land that was acquired by WMATA for construction of the Wheaton Metro station back in the 1980s, including private homes. It could not be moved, Montero said, because it was painted directly onto the bricks of the building.

All utilities to the services center are now disconnected, and security fencing is up around it, as you can see here.
Installation of tiebacks
In other news from the project site, the main excavation has reached 20' - the target depth for the new County office building garage and foundation is 55'. Forty dump trucks are hauling the dirt away daily. Dewatering of the soil for excavation purposes continues, and tiebacks are being installed for the excavation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Solar panel farm proposed for Oaks Landfill near Olney

Montgomery County is proposing to erect photovoltaic solar panels on top of the Oaks Landfill at 6001 Olney-Laytonsville road near Olney. The project would be funded and constructed by Elon Musk's Tesla, Inc.

If the plan goes forward (and the County announcement makes it sound like it will no matter what), construction would begin as early as next spring, with completion expected in October 2019.

A public meeting on the proposal will be held on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Laytonsville Elementary School at 21401 Laytonsville Road.
View of Oaks Landfill site
from Riggs Road
County Councilmember Hans Riemer has also suggested this site be studied as the new Montgomery County Public Schools bus depot; it's unclear how much of the 170-acre former landfill would be taken up by the solar farm. What is certain, is that many trees and wildlife habitat would be lost to either project. Considering that the only real health danger from solar panels arises if they catch fire, one would hope the County is ensuring there are no volatile gas deposits remaining in the landfill below.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Montgomery County police cruiser involved in crash on Veirs Mill Road (Photos)

A Montgomery County police cruiser was involved in a multi-car crash on Veirs Mill Road at Gridley Road after 7:00 PM last night. Several people were injured, including a police officer. The location of the accident was close to the Burger King near Randolph Road.

Montgomery County officials have not released any information yet on the cause of the accident, nor an update on the condition of those injured, as of press time. This story will be updated as that information is made available.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Fix opens at Wheaton Plaza

The Fix is now open at Wheaton Plaza. In addition to device and computer repairs, the shop offers sales of new and refurbished unlocked phones and accessories. They also have staff who can assist you in integrating smart gadgets into your home.

Find The Fix next to Choice Wine & Beer near Costco.