Monday, July 31, 2017
I often lament the demise of this or that venerable building in Montgomery County, but this is hardly an architectural triumph even in my book. No one will confuse this with the Wheaton Youth Center.
Friday, July 28, 2017
The demolition of a median in the center of Reedie Drive is also taking place this week. Completion of the office building and a new town square is scheduled for April 2020.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard justified her expensive, taxpayer-funded security detail by saying she needed protection as someone who will take controversial political stands. Pollard is delivering on that promise in the college's Fall 2017 course catalog. A "new" offering, "Right Wing Movements Today," has a course description that falsely claims that Americans to the right of the political spectrum embrace "political violence and totalitarian models."
I've seen a lot of course descriptions, but this has to take the cake as the most intellectually-shallow and biased yet. It is spreading "fake news" as history, and smearing about half of the country in the process. The reality is that the only victim of physical political violence in Montgomery County was a Donald Trump supporter, and that 99% of the national violence during and after the 2016 election was carried out by left-wing groups, led by the ultra-violent Antifa. Yet, there is no course offering this fall on the "left-wing embrace of violence."
Perhaps the worst thing we can do in these fractious times is to simply cut off debate and dialogue with those we disagree with. Even worse is to base your arguments on fictitious lies. Worst of all is using a taxpayer-funded platform to do it.
This course is reminiscent of the attempts by the Montgomery County Council to create an atmosphere of fear and hate after last November's election. That directly led to violence against a Richard Montgomery High School student. "LL 177" is spreading its own brand of hate, at taxpayer expense. And by incorrectly teaching students that one side of the political spectrum is "violent," the course helps to dehumanize those Americans, which actually facilitates and encourages more left-wing violence of the sort we've seen in Berkeley, Chicago and elsewhere. This is not productive or constructive in any way. The professor may not agree with their positions or ideas, but right wing groups ranging from Republicans to the "alt-right" do not "embrace violence." Teaching students otherwise is morally bankrupt.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
In addition to delivering the resolution to the board, Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Marc Elrich participated in the meeting, expending political capital to try and stop a bridge that would provide an economic boon to Montgomery County. The politically-suicidal move left many on the Board scratching their heads. It also again proved that the Council is impotent, even among their Democratic colleagues at the state level, and across the region. Elected officials on the TPB from the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg, including Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton (who chairs the TPB) all backed studying the bridge.
Even one of the Council's war-on-cars fellow travelers, Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette, was perplexed as to why MoCo councilmembers would oppose objective study of a new bridge. Fisette said he too opposed the bridge, but thought it should be studied like the other projects. COG's own 2012 study showed that 25% of traffic on the American Legion Bridge during rush hour is traveling to, or from, the Dulles area. In addition, 27% of Virginia drivers crossing into Maryland are heading to I-270.
During discussion of the Council resolution earlier this week, Elrich had stated a new crossing was "not in the County's economic interest." This is simply not true, as many CEOs whose firms chose Virginia over Montgomery County have cited our county's lack of direct access to Dulles Airport as one of the deciding factors. Elrich said he wanted to prevent competition with BWI Airport, but BWI - like National Airport - doesn't offer the frequency and scope of international business flights that Dulles does. The largest and most-luxurious aircraft can't even land at BWI and National, but can be accommodated by runways at Dulles.
Councilmember Craig Rice said there was "not any benefit for the upcounty" in building a new bridge. Damascus, Clarksburg and Germantown residents who work in the Dulles area, and parts of Fairfax County, would vehemently disagree. Not to mention that offloading a quarter of the traffic on the American Legion Bridge benefits everyone using I-495 and I-270 during rush hour.
Another false impression was given by Councilmember Sid Katz, who declared, "the reality is, there's no money for this." With a private firm building the highway and bridge as a toll facility, the beauty of it is, very little taxpayer money would be needed. Since the road would most likely be an extension of the ICC/Sam Eig Highway, the private operator could also take control of the ICC, and lower tolls along the length of the route within Maryland.
Of the ten projects approved for study by the TPB, the Potomac River crossing would move the most people in the shortest time, for the least dollar amount per-person. In opposing it, the Council not only again declared war on their own constituents, but are actively trying to prevent congestion relief and job creation within Montgomery County, at the behest of their developer masters who want to use office zones for residential development. Protecting BWI, which can't compete on business flights with Dulles, at their constituents' expense? It sounds like Berliner, George Leventhal and Elrich are running for Baltimore mayor, not Montgomery County Executive.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
In other Wheaton Plaza news, Famous Rotisserie and Grill has opened in the food court next to Ruby Thai Kitchen. They still have no website, no Facebook, or any other social media presence I can find, certainly unusual for 2017.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
|Interim Wheaton Library at|
the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad
at Georgia and Arcola Avenues
In an email to Berliner, Persaud is seeking clarification of the testing location.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Planning staff have addressed one major issue - the proposed shrinkage of Fairview Park - by getting the developer to agree to remove that from the plan. But many questions remain.
It's interesting that, for a project that is part of a public-private land swap with the County, only the required minimum of 12.5% affordable units is being demanded by planners. The Board and County Council last year approved a requirement of 15% affordable units in the Westbard sector plan area, which is nowhere near Metro.
|This is how much public/green space|
was recommended by residents and
planners in 2008
|...and here's what you're actually|
going to get. "Holy shrink ray, Batman!"
|Notice how the tree in the|
upper-right corner conveniently
blocks out the recessed upper floors
that will be seen from Spring Street?
|View from townhomes across|
Spring Street seems more distant
than the actual proximity
Friday, July 14, 2017
|Sample rain garden; some residents|
complain these weren't maintained
properly by the County after
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Detectives report that last Thursday, July 6, around 11:18 PM, an adult male selling tennis shoes through Facebook met his supposed buyer at the intersection of Randolph Road and Dalewood Drive in Wheaton. Instead of handing over the money, the "buyer" pulled out a handgun and robbed the victim of his shoes. The suspect is described as an African-American male, 5’8” and wearing a black t-shirt and gray sweatpants. He fled from the scene in a blue Honda Accord.
On Saturday, July 8, around 12:13 AM, an adult female selling her digital camera via the app, "OfferUp," met her supposed buyer in the 12000 block of English Orchard Court in Wheaton. Once again, the so-called "buyer" wasn't a paying customer. The 18-20-year-old, 5'8" Latino male with a slim build physically-assaulted the woman, grabbed her camera, and ran toward Randolph Road. He was wearing a "multi-colored hoodie" and khaki pants.
In addition to using the safe zones, one might also consider it is probably a bad idea to meet a strange man near Randolph Road in the middle of the night to exchange valuables for cash. Who knew?
Anyone with information regarding these two robberies or the suspects is asked to call the 4th District Investigative Section at 240-773-5530. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest in this case.