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Thursday, March 31, 2016
Man attempts to abduct child in Wheaton Hills, charged with kidnapping
Wresting her child from the man's arms, she ran indoors to call 911, as the suspect fled. He then inexplicably returned to the scene, pounded on the woman's front door, and fled again.
Police had responded quickly, and located the suspect in the 11200 block of Veirs Mill Road.
Kabir K. Salami, 20, of no fixed address, has been charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of second-degree assault. He is being held without bond.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Mayor and Council to tour Takoma Park Library as renovation debate continues
A number of concerns have been raised by library patrons about exterior changes proposed by the architect for the project, including size of windows, spaces for people to gather or for kids to wait for parents to pick them up, retention of the mosaic and landscaping, and the number and width of parking spaces.
The library is located at 101 Philadelphia Avenue.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
East County food summit to be held April 27 in Silver Spring
The program will help identify who is offering food services and programs in the East County and volunteer opportunities, promote better coordination among providers, and strategize on how to improve and expand on existing efforts to address food insecurity in this part of the County.
Click on the above flyer to enlarge for greater detail.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Austin Grill closes in Silver Spring (Photos)
Rite Aid opens in downtown Silver Spring (Photos)
Friday, March 25, 2016
Silver Spring's Confederate monument
A monument on the grounds of Grace Episcopal Church in the Montgomery Hills area of Silver Spring marks the final resting place of seventeen Confederate soldiers who were killed in the Battle of Fort Stevens.
According to the history on the church's website, it is believed that Confederate Gen. Jubal Early himself paid the church $100 to have his men buried in the cemetery there. Coincidentally, Early is said to have earlier taken note of the church's need for a roof as he passed by on the way to that very battle, and contributed $100 to its construction.
Early's own funeral was held in an Episcopal church in Lynchburg, Virginia following his death on March 2, 1894.
While the fallen soldiers were buried at Grace Church in 1864, the monument that marks their resting place was erected in 1896. Fascinating story right here in Silver Spring, and another reminder of the complicated history both Montgomery County and the state of Maryland had during the War Between the States.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Sligo Creek Parkway closures March 28-30 in Takoma Park
This is necessary for the preparation to repair the Carroll Avenue Bridge over the parkway, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Fire in Colesville area displaces two
Firefighters were quickly able to locate and extinguish the fire, which had started in a second floor bedroom of the home. No one was injured, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
First worksession on Greater Lyttonsville sector plan March 24
Concerns have been raised about the proposed increases in density, and potential loss of valuable industrial land and the services it provides to the larger community.
One important thing to know if you are a resident, business-owner or landowner: Attendees at the worksession may speak at discretion of the Chairman. It may be helpful to email Chair Casey Anderson by Wednesday to state which issue(s) you would like to address the Board on.
Anderson instituted this policy during the Westbard sector plan process, but did not publicly announce it until the worksessions were over! I mention this so that Lyttonsville-area residents aren't similarly ripped off in the process.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Maydale Nature Center to reopen, $7.5 revamp set for Hillandale Local Park
The Council also approved $7.5 million to renovate and revitalize Hillandale Local Park at 10615 New Hampshire Avenue. Among the many changes planned for the overhaul are the demolition of the Hillandale Office Building, an improved park entrance, a new roadway configuration and parking area (125 parking spaces), sidewalk improvements on New Hampshire Avenue, a hard surface internal trail loop with exercise
equipment and heart-smart trail markers, a new restroom facility, a full size soccer field with irrigation and
fencing, a new playground with public art component, two picnic shelters, two tennis courts with lighting,
two basketball courts with lighting, stormwater management facilities, and landscaping.
Friday, March 18, 2016
ShopHouse opening today in downtown Silver Spring
Today is the grand opening of the new ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen at 935 Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring. This new location will bring something else new to the D.C. area - ShopHouse's new Pork & Chicken Spring Rolls, hand-wrapped in fresh rice paper with green papaya and herb salad, and served with chili-peanut dip.
Similar in concept to Chipotle, ShopHouse places a like emphasis on fresh, sustainable ingredients.
"We look forward to bringing the bold flavors of Thailand and Vietnam to the exciting, growing community in Downtown Silver Spring," Tim Wildin, brand director for ShopHouse, said in a statement. "Our fully customizable menu features traditional ingredients and is ideal for customers looking to explore Southeast Asian cuisine in a familiar format."
The restaurant will open at 11 AM this morning.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Takoma Junction project delays "kind of troubling" for Takoma Park leaders
Takoma Junction is currently a low-density commercial area in "Old Takoma" along Carroll and Columbia Avenues. The City owns two significant parcels, and TPSS Co-op and a fire station are among the structures presently located there, mostly of a retail or service nature. Both City parcels are in the Historic District.
A major goal of the redevelopment for the City is to retain the TPSS Co-op store as Takoma Junction's anchor. This requires NDC to negotiate a letter of intent with TPSS before the project can begin. At last night's meeting, NDC representatives acknowledged they haven't even shown TPSS a first draft of such at letter yet. Councilmember Jarrett Smith said "It's kind of troubling" that an LOI hasn't been submitted to TPSS by this point. "The community wants to know why this isn't moving," Smith said.
Councilmember Rizzy Qureshi said there is a "sense of urgency" in the city about the project, and that residents are anxious to see it get started. NDC's CEO and founder Adrian G. Washington was frank in responding to the Council's comments, saying he himself was surprised at how long it has taken. "I would like to see the pace increase, personally," Washington said.
NDC's Diarra McKinney said the company hopes to have the LOI with TPSS within the next 30 days. They hope to meet with TPSS in the next 7 days. Regarding those negotiations, Washington predicted that "we're not gonna get everything we want, and they're not gonna get everything they want."
At the outset of the discussion, McKinney outlined a fairly precise schedule that shows a project timeline extending from March 31, 2016 to 2020. It proposes a community dialogue lasting from March 31 to May 31 of this year. Then the draft planning process would begin, and end with a Council vote on that plan this November 15.
NDC hopes to have approval of its site plan from the Montgomery County Planning Board by October 25, 2017, and to request construction permits in February 2019, with a 2020 delivery expected for the project.
Part of the community feedback process will be the creation of a four-to-eight member Advisory Committee, perhaps one resident from each ward of the City, and at least one member of City staff. The Committee will not make decisions, but will rather give feedback on NDC plans before they are shown to the greater public at meetings.
Two other hurdles to getting that process started are reaching a Development Agreement with the City, as well as a ground rent agreement. Smith urged NDC to reach out for help from the Council and City staff in moving the process along, particularly in dealing with Montgomery County.
Residential housing is under consideration for the Takoma Junction project, but Washington noted that an all-commerical development might be more "dynamic for your city center."
Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Kate Stewart and the Council voted unanimously in favor on the first reading of a bill that would set aside another $50,000 in funds to pay the law firm representing the City in the negotiations with NDC, Bregman, Berbert, Schwartz & Gilday, LLC.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Metro shutdown - now what?
The failure of all three levels of government to hold WMATA accountable, and years of incompetent leadership within that transit agency, have culminated in a full shutdown of the Metro subway system today. That closure began at 12:00 AM this morning. While the public has been told the shutdown will last 24 hours (technically not true, as Metro doesn't operate overnight), there are indications it could last even longer if serious safety issues are found during the inspection of the system's power cables.
Here's the latest as of this hour:
Federal workers have the option of unscheduled leave or teleworking today. It will be interesting to see if the loss of Metro will mean carmageddon, or great driving conditions like we experienced during the Pope's visit.
Driving and Metrobus are the best options this morning. Metrobus and Ride On Bus are both operating on regular schedule this morning.
MARC commuter rail is a legitimate option, with stations in Rockville, Gaithersburg and Kensington. The train can take you into Union Station in the District, where you can connect to other transit options.
Been meaning to try biking to work? This could be the day. Search #WMATABikePool on social media to find fellow riders to make the trip safer. An extra hour of daylight should help tonight.
Capital Bikeshare is offering 24-hour memberships today.
Uber will cap surge pricing in the Washington area at 3.9 times base fares today only. Lyft is offering new users $20 off their first ride during the shutdown.
This is another lesson today - we have to finish our master plan highway system. And we simply must do our homework, vote smarter, and start electing the right people who can get the job done. The results so far speak for themselves.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Wheaton construction update: AVA Wheaton apartments (Photos)
Demolition started in December, and there were several delays in the project prior to that. I have a number of renderings of the final project in a post from two years ago, which gives you some sense of how long it's taken to get started here.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Wheaton Library closes, temporary interim library location announced (Photos)
|Montgomery County Department|
of Public Libraries Director
Parker Hamilton opens the
closing ceremony of the
|County Executive Ike Leggett|
|County Councilmember Nancy Navarro|
"And now for my next trick," County Department of General Services Director David Dise began. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring to Wheaton a brand new library and recreation center. The sad thing is, we have to tear this building down." Dise recalled that at the start of his career with the County, his first service call was to the Wheaton Library. Just days before Sunday's closing ceremony, he said, his office had received complaints that the climate control wasn't providing the library with the correct temperature.
"This grand old building is trying to make sure we remember it well," he joked of the coincidence. "And we will."
The County's Recreation Director, Gabe Albornoz, greeted the diverse crowd in Spanish. Calling the closure "bittersweet," he said his own kids will use the new library.
Hamilton had her own kids' memories of the Wheaton Library to share. She said she had originally chosen to live in Montgomery County because of its "reputation for inclusion." But when they tried to use the local library, her kids found it wasn't as inclusive as they thought. "They did not feel welcome," she told the crowd. "They were followed around. They were questioned as to why they weren't on the streets or at the mall." Only after visiting the Wheaton Library, she said, did they finally feel welcomed. Becoming a bit emotional, Hamilton said she wanted to personally thank the neighborhood and staff "for making my boys feel welcome at this library."
|Montgomery County Department|
of General Services Director
David Dise approaches the podium
"We're very happy that this is coming to fruition," said Kim Persaud, President of the Wheaton Regional Park Neighborhood Association. "It's been a long time coming. The Wheaton community needs this." She said she hopes the interim location can open as soon as possible, as there are some residents in the neighborhood who greatly rely on the library's computers and internet service.
|Security key in hand, Leggett|
chooses a volunteer from the
crowd to help close the library
|The two are pointed in the|
|Inserting the key into|
the security system
|Leggett motions for those in|
the way of the gate to step back
|Leggett's assistant turns|
|The security gate slowly|
begins to descend...
|...until it seals off the main|
|The end of an era|
|Leggett hands back the|
|Iconic mobile hanging|
in the atrium
|Don't worry, the piece is moving|
with the books to the new library
|The Gilchrist Center is|
relocating to the Wheaton
|Water fountain on the|