Friday, April 27, 2012

Leggett to host May 3 town hall meeting in Friendship Heights

Residents in the Chevy Chase area will have a chance to speak directly to County Executive Ike Leggett about issues of concern when he hosts a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 S. Park Avenue, Chevy Chase. 

The town meeting, which is free, will be videotaped by County Cable 6, the County government channel, for future airing.

For more information about the town meeting or the cable television program schedule, call 240-777-6507.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Special Advisory Board meeting to discuss EMS reimbursement

The Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 7 (7pm) to discuss the County Executive's proposal to establish an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reimbursement program.   County Executive Leggett submitted the legislation in response to recent Maryland General Assembly actions to shift the responsibility of funding teachers' pensions to the County. 

In the County Executive's letter to County Council President Berliner on the EMS Reimbursement Act, Mr. Leggett cites that, "an EMS reimbursement program is needed to fund fire and rescue services in the County and that emergency response services to residents will be impaired if the program is not established immediately."
The EMS Act, if passed by the County Council, would allow the County to do the following:
  • Offset the estimated $400 million that the teachers' pensions will cost Montgomery County over the next ten years ($27 million in FY13, increasing to $50 million by FY16);
  • Bring the County an estimated $170 million over the same period (or $14-$17 million per year) through reimbursement for EMS service;
  • Fund budget needs of our Fire & Rescue Services through the collection of costs of ambulance transports from insurance companies;
  • Leave more in the General Fund for other services and programs as the reimbursed funds would help fund fire and rescue needs.
For more information and viewpoints on the proposal, please see The Washington Post editorial and Gazette editorial in support of the EMS Reimbursement Act.  For an opposing point of view, please see the recent letter by County Councilmember Phil Andrews (Gaithersburg, Rockville) to the Gazette.

The purpose of the Advisory Board meeting is to develop a position and testimony on the proposed legislation.  The County Council's Public Hearing will be held on May 8.  County Fire Chief Ritchie Bowers and Councilmember Phil Andrews will attend and participate in the discussion.  The Advisory Board meeting will be held at the B-CC Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda.

Register now for classes with Live and Learn Bethesda

Register for upcoming classes with Live and Learn Bethesda - Hurry before they are filled!  View the complete Spring/Summer catalog and REGISTER for classes at

Exercise and Fitness Classes:

  • Zumba Gold - Toning Too (A): Tuesday, May 1, 1-2pm for 14 weeks
  • Zumba Gold - Toning Too (B): Thursday, May 3, 1-2pm for 13 weeks
  • Senior Step Strength Stretch (A): Monday, May 7, 1:30-2:30pm for 12 weeks
  • Senior Step Strength Stretch (B): Friday, May 4, 3-4pm for 13 weeks 
  • Memory Dynamics Yoga: Monday, May 7, 3-4pm for 12 weeks 
  • Cardiac Yoga: Wednesday, May 2, 3-4pm for 9 weeks 

Single Classes:
  • What Makes You Tick: Handwriting Analysis: Wed., May 2, 6:30-8pm 
  • Mastering Your Stress: Thursday, May 3, 10:30am-Noon
  • Weight Loss 101: Friday, May 4, 11am-12:30pm 
  • World Laughter Day: Sunday, May 6, 2-3:30pm - FREE
  • Cabin John: Legends and Life: Tuesday, May 8, 1:30-3pm
  • Retirement Living: Wednesday, May 9, 1:30-3pm - FREE
  • The Agony of DeFeet: Wednesday, May 9, 7-8:30pm 
  • Within These Walls: Contraband Hospital: Thursday May 10, 1:30-3pm
  • Tales the Tombstones Whisper: Friday, May 11, 10-11:30am

Live and Learn Bethesda is located at the B-CC Regional Services Center, adjacent to the Bethesda Metro, at 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Email any questions to: or call 301-740-6150.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Advisory Board releases annual report

The members of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board are pleased to represent the priorities of our communities to the County Executive and County Council. Our 2011 Annual Report is now available and is intended to provide you with a summary of our activities over the last year.

In 2011, the Advisory Board provided timely and substantive input to our County leaders on a number of local topics, including: County capital and operating budgets; master planning and transportation in the MD355 corridor; and homelessness.

We want to thank Ken Hartman, Director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, and volunteer Jim Mercurio for the ongoing support and guidance they provide to Advisory Board members.  Our 19 members are drawn from and represent the diversity of our neighborhoods and businesses in Rockville, North Bethesda-Garrett Park, Potomac, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

We encourage the public to attend our regular meeting held on the third Monday of each month. The participation of our fellow community leaders helps us be more effective representatives of our part of the County. If you cannot attend the upcoming meetings, we welcome your input by email to:

- Jeff Hearle, 2011 Chair

Meetings of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board are typically held on the third Monday of each month (except August and December) at the B-CC Regional Services Center.  Follow this link for a current list of Advisory Board members.

2011 Annual Report

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Live and Learn Bethesda

I am happy to tell you about Live & Learn Bethesda - a new organization whose mission is to enrich the community through interesting, informative, and stimulating classes for people of all ages.  We are excited to work in partnership with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (BCCRSC) to provide our programs in the heart of downtown Bethesda, convenient to the Bethesda Metro.

Our instructors are selected for their passion and depth of knowledge in their chosen subject area.  We want every experience at LLB to be one where you feel you've gotten "value" from your time.  LLB gives neighbors and families a place to make connections, share interests, and enrich themselves in a wide variety of classes including:

• Health & Wellness
• Arts & Music
• Computers
• Exercise & Fitness
• History & Literature
• Hobbies & Creative Arts
• Home & Garden
• Culture & Politics
• Aging & Retirement
• Local Interest

In celebration of the launching of Live and Learn Bethesda, we are having a Grand Opening at BCCRSC on Saturday April 21st from 11 am to 2 pm.  We will have live entertainment from 11am to 1pm presented by Not 2 Cool Jazz, and serve light refreshments.  We invite all of you to attend this event, visit our location, see the BCCRSC classrooms and computer lab, meet some of the instructors, and sign up for classes.

I look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!  Please visit our website at to view our Spring/Summer class catalog.  For further information please send an email to or call us at 301.740.6150.

- Beverly Amsterdam

Beverly Press Amsterdam has made career of helping people for over 20 years as Director of Integrative Medicine Programs at Suburban Hospital, and for over 15 years of providing patient services at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  These experiences have created a perfect springboard for her to provide the greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase community with opportunities to enrich their lives through classes that promote cultural enrichment, physical well-being, and meaningful educational experiences.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What the 'Red Flag Fire Warning' means for our community

A message from Battalion Chief Jim Resnick:

The entire Washington DC Metropolitan Area is under a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service.  This warning is an indicator to firefighting agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. Red Flag Warnings are usuallly brought on by drought conditions and when humidity levels are very low, and can be exascerbated by high or erratic winds. 

What does this mean in and around Bethesda? 

There is a significantly increased risk of mulch or vegetation fires.  Often, these types of fires are caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.  The Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service often sees these fires occurring near the entrances and/or designated smoking areas of all types of buildings (commerical, residential, educational, etc.), and along roadways.

Precautionary measures and recommendations:
  • Smokers should be asked not to discard matches or cigarettes into mulch, planters, grass, bushes, etc.  Consider placing signs near these locations to remind smokers of these warnings.
  • Matches and cigarettes should be disposed of in closed containers or in containers with water (preferred) or sand.
  • To the extent possible, areas of mulch or vegetation should be watered thoroughly and frequently.
  • To the extent possible, dead vegetation should be cut back or removed and disposed of correctly.
Following these steps during this Red Flag Warning should help to significantly reduce the chance of a fire, and will make for a safer community for all of us.  The Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service thanks you for your support.

Battalion Chief Jim Resnick
Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service
Battalion 2 - serving the communities of Bethesda, Cabin John, Chevy Chase, Glen Echo, and Potomac

Friday, April 6, 2012

Advisory Board to focus on County budget in April

The public is welcome to attend and participate in the following meetings of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board in April:

April 9, 2012, 7-8PM
Committee Night
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda

7:00 PM - The Quality of Life/Public Safety and Land Use/Transportation Committees will meet jointly to draft testimony to the County Council on local County Operating Budget priorities

7:30 PM - Susan Hawfield, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Montgomery will discuss affordable housing and aging-in-place with the Quality of Life/Public Safety Committee.

April 16, 2012, 8-9PM
Regular Meeting
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda
Note: There will be an open house on the proposed Zoning Code Rewrite immediately prior to the Advisory Board meeting from 5-8PM.

8:00 PM - The Honorable Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Council President, will discuss the Council's deliberations on the Capital and Operating Budgets as well as other issues of significance to the County and local residents.

April 17, 2012, 7:30-9PM
BRAC Implementation Committee
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda
On the agenda are updates on the progress of BRAC intersection improvments, and activities at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Council President Roger Berliner will speak at the April 16 Advisory Board meeting

Bethesda Crime Update

A message from Commander David Falcinelli, Montgomery County Police, 2nd District

Dear Residents:

Although the beginning of the year started with an unusual spike in commercial and street robberies, I am pleased to say that several arrests have been made in recent months and there were no robberies of either type reported in all of March. I want to thank each of you for working with us by calling in suspicious situations and practicing good crime prevention and personal safety techniques. Our detectives worked closely with other law enforcement agencies in the Washington Metropolitan area to identify suspects responsible for many of these crimes and put countless hours in gathering evidence and conducting surveillance in order to make these arrests. While the recent news is good, it is more important than ever to maintain our crime awareness as we move into the warmer Spring weather.

I want to share a quick story about a car that was stolen recently that hopefully will remind everyone about thinking smarter. An officer was on patrol when he observed a car being operated without its headlights on. When the officer went to make the traffic stop, the car fled endangering the lives of the officer, the occupants of the car and everyone else on the road that night. Luckily, no one was hurt during this incident but it was learned that this crime did not have to occur. The car, which was in an area where stolen cars occur more frequently than other neighborhoods, was unlocked. The suspects did not have to punch the ignition because the owner left a valet key in the car. The suspects were going through the neighborhood looking to steal items out of unlocked cars, then decided to take the car simply because it was so easy to do so.

I just read a burglary report that occurred last night. A resident awoke to find that money was missing from a wallet and items were missing from a purse. Both the wallet and the purse were inside of the house. The resident simply forgot to close their garage door and lock the entry door from their garage into their home. The suspect was probably not intent on committing a burglary, but saw the opportunity and took advantage of it. This person entered a house while the residents were asleep, took items and left. This had the potential to be worse, but thankfully the suspect was only interested in property.

With the nice weather, we tend to leave our doors and windows open and/or unlocked. Our criminal element knows this and will use it to their advantage. We have to work together to be more vigilant in how we protect our homes, our property and our families. The police cannot be everywhere all the time. We need to make it difficult for criminals to ply their trade, and it begins with some very simple steps like locking our cars, locking our doors and windows, and not leaving items of value in plain view. It seems easy, but 80% of our thefts from autos continue to be from unlocked cars.

Please enjoy the nice weather, but don’t forget that it is critical now more than ever to practice good personal safety and crime prevention techniques.

Captain David Falcinelli, Commander
2nd District