Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nighttime work ahead for Lyttonsville Place Bridge

Expect nighttime noise near the Lyttonsville Place Bridge in November. Purple Line Transit Partners says its contractors will be working on the bridge overnight from 7:00 PM to 4:30 AM beginning November 12, 2018. Heavy construction at the bridge will continue during daytime hours on Saturdays, as well, during November.
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corrupt, developer-controlled County Council
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Robert has taken NO money from
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not the MoCo cartel!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New signage at Loyalty Books

Some new signage and window stencils have appeared at the future Loyalty Books pop-up store on Ellsworth Drive at the Downtown Silver Spring development. There's still quite a bit to do inside, where the set-up is still configured for a restaurant.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

El Sapo Cuban Social Club opening Tuesday in Silver Spring

A great addition to downtown Silver Spring from Raynold Mendizábal arrives tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 4:00 PM. El Sapo Cuban Social Club will feature an open-air double bar, a private patio, and a sidewalk cafe. Authentic Cuban cuisine will be paired with fresh mojitos and cortaditos.

On weekends, enjoy “Mañanas in the Mojito Garden," a daytime fiesta featuring live DJs and musicians, mojitos, and Cuban street food. El Sapo is located at 8455 Fenton Street, in the ground floor of the Central development.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

White Oak Fall Festival tonight

The White Oak Fall Festival will be held tonight, October 26, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the White Oak Community Center at 1700 April Lane. It will run until 9:00 PM, and feature games, contests and prizes and family fun. Space is limited to 100 people, however. Be prepared for possible heavy rain that is expected to hit the area this afternoon and evening, but fortunately it is an "indoor fall festival." Call 240-777-6940 for more information.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Colesville man arrested after 5-hour police standoff

A Colesville man who allegedly beat his 72-year-old grandfather with his fists and a dining room chair, has been arrested after a 5-hour standoff. Jalen Christopher Marshall, 25, of the 13500 block of Montvale Drive barricaded himself in his home with furniture police said. The standoff lasted from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM yesterday, when officers finally forced their way into the home.

Inside, police recovered a weapons stash that included a sword, a replica long gun, and the machete Marshall reportedly brandished toward his grandfather when the senior finally escaped the home.
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Marshall was transported to the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit, and charged with first-degree and second-degree assault. His grandfather was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Loyalty Books to open in downtown Silver Spring

Loyalty Books is coming to Downtown Silver Spring on Ellsworth Drive, according to a sign in the window of the former Lincoln's Bar-B-Que. The tenant signing was confirmed by Downtown Silver Spring developer the Peterson Cos.
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Loyalty is expected to open November 1, according to the Washington Business Journal. The Journal reports that the owners are Paul Ruppert of Upshur Street Books in Petworth, and Hannah Oliver Depp, formerly with Politics and Prose.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

MoCo Council to hear testimony on proposed outdoor dining smoking ban today

The Montgomery County Council will hear testimony on Bill 35-18 today at 1:30 PM, a new law that would forbid smoking and vaping in all outdoor dining areas in the County. A similar bill was already passed by the City of Rockville.

Some Rockville restaurateurs spoke out against the city law at the time. One reason opposition was more vocal in that case, was that the city ban did not apply to direct dining competitors outside of the city limits.
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Rockville resident Adam Zimmerman, who spearheaded the Rockville ban effort, is also supporting the proposed County law. In an advance copy of his testimony, Zimmerman notes that restaurant revenues increased 7% in Montgomery County in the six months after the Council passed its indoor smoking ban that applied to restaurants in 2003. He says Montgomery would join 300 municipalities and 4 states which have banned smoking in outdoor dining areas.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Woodside resident missing

Montgomery County police are searching for a missing resident of the Woodside area of Silver Spring. James Robert Bruno, 77, left his Highland Drive residence at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 19.  Bruno's family has been unable to contact him since.

Bruno is described by police as a white male, 6′ 02″ tall, and weighing 195 pounds. It's not known what type of clothing Bruno was wearing when he vanished.

Police and his family are concerned about Bruno’s emotional and physical welfare. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of James Robert Bruno is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police at 301.279.8000.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Astro Lab Brewing to open today in Silver Spring

The long-awaited grand opening of Astro Lab Brewing is finally here. Montgomery County's newest brewery will open today at 4:00 PM, and stay open until midnight. Astro Lab's first run of beers will be on tap, including an IPA. The brewery is located at 8216 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.
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only candidate who will get government
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Police officer justified in Fairland shooting, investigators say

A Montgomery County police officer was justified in shooting a man in Fairland on July 23, Howard County investigators have concluded. Officer Edward Cochran fatally shot Jean Carlos Natera-Perez in his Mozart Drive townhome, after police on the scene concluded Perez and his actions were endangering his 3-year-old son, who was also in the home.

Lethal force was authorized when officers entered the home after a long standoff, which concluded when Perez allegedly was in the process of starting fires inside the home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Glenmont woman missing

A Glenmont woman is missing, and Montgomery County police are seeking the public's help in locating her. Lynette John, 38, of Glenallan Avenue was last seen in the Olney area on Sunday, October 14.  Since then, her family has been unable to locate her or reach her by phone.

Lynette John is described by police as an African-American female, 5′ 2″ tall and weighing 168 pounds. She has brown eyes and short black hair.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Lynette John is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (available 24 hours). Callers may remain anonymous.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chuck Levin's to get facade refresh in Wheaton

Wheaton landmark Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center is set to get a fresh face. The music retailer has hired the local architecture firm of Steven J. Karr, AIA Inc. to update the building's facade. A two-story renovation will update and modernize the 1960's-era curtain wall and canopy projection. The project is expected to be completed by August 2019.

Rendering courtesy Steven J. Karr, AIA Inc.
All rights reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Ashton man killed in crash

An Ashton resident was killed Saturday night when his motorcycle collided with a Toyota RAV 4 on Ashton Road (Route 108) between Ashland Drive and Tucker Road, around 7:00 PM. Gregory Viccharelli, 56, of Astoria Lane died after being transported to Suburban Hospital. He was riding a 1995 Harley Davidson.

The driver and passenger of the Toyota suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and were transported to a local hospital. This collision remains under investigation.  Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240.773.6620.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Wheaton redevelopment update (Photos)

Workers will complete the final three concrete pours on the top level of the underground garage at the new Montgomery County government building in the Wheaton Triangle next week. Construction of the building's walls will commence after that. Verizon's underground utility work has been slowed by weather conditions. However, Pepco was able to complete removal of its overhead power lines along the east side of Grandview Avenue. County officials say the project remains on-schedule.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

New poll shows Wolf only 6 points behind Frosh in Maryland Attorney General race

A new Gonzales poll out yesterday showed Republican Craig Wolf surging in the Maryland Attorney General race, only 6 percentage points behind incumbent Democrat Brian Frosh. The narrowing gap brought new attention to the race Wednesday, with Wolf using the poll in a new fundraising pitch.

Frosh was in position to win handily just a few weeks ago, although Larry Hogan has proven it is still possible for a Republican to win statewide in Democratic-controlled Maryland. Some attributed Frosh's 23-point collapse to the public perception that he has been entirely focused on Donald Trump and Washington since 2017, instead of Maryland issues. At the same time, Frosh's Trump obsession was thought to be a winning move with Democratic voters statewide.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Indecent exposure in White Oak

Montgomery County police are looking for a man accused of exposing himself to a young woman in White Oak. They have released surveillance video of the man they say exposed himself, and then "inappropriately touched himself," in an apartment building laundry room in the 11200 block of Oak Leaf Drive at 7:27 PM on August 27.

The 24-year-old victim says the suspect blocked the laundry room door so she could not leave, and then fled following the attack.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect, or who has information about this incident, is asked to contact the 3rd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6870.  For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Burtonsville man missing

Montgomery County police are searching for a Burtonsville man who hasn't been seen since Saturday, but sent a text to a family member yesterday afternoon. His family has since been unable to reach him again by text, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Samuel Geatchew Liben, 30, left his home on Halton Hall Lane on foot Saturday evening. He is described by police as an African-American male, 6′ 1″ tall and weighing 150 pounds.  He has brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Samuel Geatchew Liben is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (available 24 hours). Callers may remain anonymous.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Silver Spring construction update: Solaire 8250 Georgia Avenue (Photos)

Here's the progress at the site of the Solaire 8250 Georgia Avenue apartment tower in downtown Silver Spring. With a height of 20 stories, the Solaire 8250 will hold 338 apartments and 15000 SF of retail space, including outdoor seating for dining.

Parking will be located in a three-level underground garage. Amenities will include a resort-style rooftop swimming pool and deck, cyber cafe, private courtyard, fitness center, and a club room complete with kitchen, library, flatscreen TV, fireplace and game room. Apartments will be a mix of studios and 1-and-2 bedroom units, with quartz countertops and high-end finishes.

Washington Property Company is the developer, and Lendlease is the contractor for the project, Design Collective of Baltimore is the architecture firm, and leasing of the street-level retail and restaurant space will be handled by Streetsense. Delivery is expected in Spring 2019, and the project appears to be on-schedule.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Purple Line construction updates

Purple Line Transit Partners has issued some additional announcements regarding construction activities. There will again be blasting of rock in Long Branch for the Plymouth Street tunnel today, and again on Monday, October 8. Blasting will occur during daylight hours.

Heavy construction will occur this Saturday at the Lyttonsville Place Bridge between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Crews will arrive at 7:00 AM.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Purple Line blasting today in Long Branch

Purple Line Transit Partners says blasting of rock for the Plymouth Street tunnel is scheduled to occur today in the Long Branch area of Silver Spring. The blasting is necessary due to rock conditions encountered during recent work on the tunnel. Blasting will only occur during daylight hours.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Downtown Silver Spring Exxon could be replaced by retail or a fast food restaurant

Is the market for residential housing slowing in downtown Silver Spring? Real estate firm Streetsense is marketing the property of a current Exxon gas station at 8301 Fenton Street. But instead of the usual high-rise apartment building, they are envisioning a single-story inline retail strip mall or drive-thru fast food restaurant. I'm hoping for Taco Bell, or something we don't have here already like Hardee's or Jack-in-the-Box.
Top: Google Street View
Bottom: Streetsense

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bill to ban smoking in all outdoor dining areas to be introduced today by Montgomery County Council

Smoking and vaping on outdoor patios at Montgomery County restaurants could soon be a thing of the past, if Montgomery County Council Bill 35-18 passes. Scheduled to be introduced by Councilmember Sidney Katz (D - District 3) today, the bill would ban smoking and vaping in all outdoor dining areas, including partially-enclosed spaces.

A public hearing on the bill is currently scheduled for October 23, 2018 at 1:30 PM. The Council will also have to sit as the Board of Health, and pass an accompanying regulation as that board, to legally enact the smoking ban.

The legislation is very similar to that passed by the Rockville Mayor & Council last year. Adam Zimmerman, an activist who spearheaded the Rockville effort, is also advocating for the County to pass Bill 35-18. He says the ban will improve health, while increasing business at venues non-smokers currently avoid.

Rockville's ban was opposed by some restaurant owners, such as Danny Trahan of Mellow Mushroom. Trahan closed his restaurant permanently last month - though the smoking ban wasn't the primary reason. He viewed the ban as the last straw in Montgomery County's costly and unwelcoming business climate. It will be interesting to see what restaurateurs have to say about the proposed County ban.

Residents who testified before the Mayor & Council last shared Zimmerman's view that business would improve, citing their reluctance to dine at two Rockville Town Square restaurants that allowed outdoor smoking before the ban. Because many restaurants now open their doors and windows, patrons have also complained that smoke now drifts inside from patios.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Double fatal shooting in Spencerville

Two people are dead in Spencerville, as the Montgomery County homicide total remains on course to match or exceed the 2017 total, which was already a 31% increase over the 2016 murder numbers. Montgomery County police are investigating the deaths as a suspected murder-suicide.

On Saturday around 8:00 PM, police and fire personnel responded to a home in the 15100 block of Peach Orchard Road. They discovered a 56-year-old male and a 53-year-old female, both deceased, inside the home.  The victims had apparent gunshot wounds to their bodies, and a gun was recovered at the scene.

Detectives have not said what drew them to the home Saturday night.