Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finding a good home for your old computer

RecycleMyComputer -- an organization that recycles used computers, refurbishes them, and then donates them to people who can't afford one -- is located in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center building (4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda, Md. 20814) on the second floor.

RecycleMyComputer accepts Pentium 4 computers or better (look for a sticker on the front). The organization can make use of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Pentium 4. Computers do not have to be in working condition; they can be repaired. Donations of CRT and LCD monitors, printers, keyboards, mice, etc., are also welcome but must be in working condition. Please bring the power cord that goes with your computer. This is especially important for laptop computers. All donations are tax-deductible; receipts are provided upon request.

The RecycleMyComputer staff is entirely volunteer and so rely on donors to bring their computers to the Regional Services Center. Please call before you come to be sure someone is there to accept your donation (301-469-6800, then press 1, X211).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bethesda Development 3.0

The Bethesda urban landscape is undergoing some noticeable changes.  New development is occurring that will bring more apartments, jobs and retail to downtown Bethesda.  Construction has already begun on several locations.  The B-CC Regional Services Center has put together an interactive map showcasing the various developments taking place in Bethesda’s urban district.

Not all sites have been approved by the Planning Board at this time.  Subscribe to the Planning Board’s agenda for up to date information as these projects move forward. http://www.montgomeryplanningboard.org/meetings_archive/

View Bethesda Development in a larger map

Lot 31 Project Update – July 13, 2012

Lot 31 project construction continues onsite, along the Capital Crescent Trail and at the west side of the Woodmont Avenue/Bethesda Avenue intersection.  Work in the street and along the trail includes Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) work, traffic signal modifications, and protection for users of the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT):
  • WSSC storm water work.  Work has been completed for the storm water along the CCT south of the site.  Once the onsite work in the sw corner has been completed and the water line at the Weiner Memorial is reconnected, the seeding and mulching work will proceed.
  • WSSC water line work.  Waterline work is continuing along the CCT adjacent to the site and its connection at Bethesda Avenue.  There will be two WSSC directed water shut downs July 17-18th for the 20” relocated water line to connect with the existing systems.  The shutdown will affect the Sachs neighborhood along Leland Street. 
  • Traffic Signal Modifications:  The new 70’ long traffic signal arm for Woodmont Avenue was installed on Wednesday, July 12th.  Wiring of the traffic signal will continue for approximately 1 ½ weeks.  The project goal is to have the new traffic signal operating by mid-August.
  • Overhead Protection of the CCT.  Following the WSSC waterline work, the contractor will begin construction of the overhead protection along the original CCT.  Once that is completed the original trail will be re-opened.  This work is anticipated between July 30th and August 15th.
In addition to the work noted above, on site work this week included drilling the first row of piles along the southern edge of the Lot 31 property, and seeding/mulching along the disturbed area of the CCT.  Follow Lot 31 project updates at www.bethesda.org/lot31.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hans Riemer, Rapid Transit, Chevy Chase Lake at the advisory board in July

The Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board has two meetings in July, covering timely topics of interest to the local community. 

On Monday, July 9, 7pm, the Land Use/Transportation Committee will meet with planner Elsa Hisel-McCoy regarding staff recommendations for the new plan for Chevy Chase Lake.  Chevy Chase Lake is an area located on Connecticut Avenue, at Jones Bridge Road and Manor Road.  This area will be the home of a station along the future Purple Line light rail.

The advisory board will hold their next general meeting on July 16 at 7pm.  The agenda for that evening includes a talk with Councilmember Hans Riemer and a presentation on rapid transit recommendations for Montgomery County. 

The July meetings will be held at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at 4805 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Public Safety Update

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


It’s been a very rough week for everyone and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience during the recovery efforts. Although the storm itself was fairly brief, it inflicted one of the largest swaths of damage I have seen in many years. Many of you have gone without power for days and experienced even more traffic issues than normal for the Bethesda/Rockville area due to the signals being out. Although efforts are still on-going, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the County has been working tirelessly to restore as many County functions as possible. The police department has basically called for an “all hands on deck” response to assist with the massive traffic signal outages. Officers from the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Transportation Authority, Montgomery County detectives, crossing guards and patrol officers from other districts have joined forces with our officers from the 2nd District to provide as much traffic direction as possible. In accordance with the EOC, the major north/south thoroughfares were given top priority. Officers worked double shifts and on their days off to contribute to this process. Just today, most of the lights on Connecticut Ave, Wisconsin Ave, Old Georgetown Rd. and River Rd. are either properly functioning or working off of a generator. I am hopeful that the few remaining lights will be back on line by the end of the week. Please remember to treat the remaining unlit intersections as four-way stops. Another technique to consider in lieu of a left turn across a major intersection is to make a right turn followed by a U-turn. It gets you to the same place and is much safer.

On the crime front for the month of May, we are down in every category as compared to the prior month. Part 1 offenses (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary) are down 20%. Part 2 offenses (larcenies and other minor crimes) are down 10%. For January 1 to May 31, we are also down in every Part 1 and Part 2 category with the exception of Robbery and Aggravated assaults. The Robbery category is up 5% from the same time last year primarily due to the rash of events that occurred earlier in the year where arrests have already been made. Aggravated assaults are up 21% from 19 to 23, but are mostly a result of fights between persons known to each other or highly intoxicated individuals. Our patrol officers continue to make good arrests quickly after an incident, or the follow-up by our detectives brings closure shortly afterwards.

The police still need your help in protecting the property in your cars from thefts, and from the theft of your cars. Although we had a number of incidents in early June followed by a quick arrest of four suspects, people are still leaving their cars unlocked with valuables in plain sight. Some are still leaving keys in their cars which the criminals are using to steal the car. Do not make it easy for them – lock your cars, remove your valuables and anything that looks of value, report any suspicious activity immediately to the police and keep an eye on your neighbor’s house and property. When you vacation, use timers for your lights and televisions to make the house appear to be occupied, lock all your doors and windows, keep your grass mowed and make arrangements to keep your mail and newspaper collected so it does not pile up. Much of the crime in the 2nd District is still preventable and the police greatly appreciate any effort you can make to keep our crime low and the community safe.

As always, thank you for your efforts to date. By working together, we can keep Bethesda off the criminal element’s “vacation destination spot” and force them to do business elsewhere.

Captain David Falcinelli, Commander, 2nd District

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Severe Storm Update - July 3

Updated - 6pm, July 3

July 4 fireworks in Germantown, Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Wheaton have been cancelled.


Pepco reports 69,000 customers are without service in Montgomery County. As feeder lines are repaired, not all customers may have their power restored due to a problem closer to the home or block. Please re-report outages to 1-877-737-2662 should you receive a power restoration call back or if you neighbors' power is restored and yours is not.

Stay up to date with changes, cancellations etc. by subscribing to Alert Montgomery.

Montgomery County's MC311 Call Center will be open on July 4, 7am to 5 pm Call 311 or 240-777-0311. Residents can also report downed trees and other non-emergency issues by using the web portal at www.mc311.com either through home or office computers or mobile devices.

* To report "hot" or sparkling wires, especially those across roadways, call 911.

* To report power outages, call Pepco at 877-737-2662, Allegheny Power at 800-255-3443, or Baltimore Gas & Electric at 877-778-2222.


There are still 94 traffic signals without power out of a total of 800. County Police are directing traffic at many critical intersections throughout the County. Drivers are reminded to treat "dark" intersections as four-way stops and be especially aware of pedestrians.

Residents can get real-time information on road closures in their neighborhoods on-line at http://www5.montgomerycountymd.gov/snowmap/.

Ride On buses will operate on a Saturday schedule on July 4, but expect delays due to downed trees, wires and signal outages. Nine Ride On routes are detoured, so check the website at www.rideonbus.com and click on Delays and Detours for the latest information.  

Metro will provide extra rail service on Wednesday, July 4, for the benefit of customers planning to attend holiday festivities on the National Mall and the Washington Nationals day game. Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight, with near rush-hour service levels from 6 p.m. to midnight. Additional information about service, fare information, and travel tips for July 4 is available on Metro's website.

Trash, debris collection

There will be no County-provided recycling or trash collections on Wednesday, July 4. Collections for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will shift later by one day. To sign up for trash holiday reminders as email and/or text messages, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste.

The County is planning a special collection for storm debris. Once power has been restored throughout the County and operations are back to normal, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will provide special storm debris collection. The date the collections will begin and additional details will be provided as soon as the information is available. Residents will be asked to place storm debris in the public right-of-way, ensuring that sidewalks, driveways and roads are not blocked.

Libraries, Recreation Centers, Pools, and Cooling Centers

The following libraries and community recreation centers will be open during their normal operating hours on July 4 as cooling, drop-in locations:
  • Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Rd., Silver Spring, 240-777-6820 - open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • White Oak Community Recreation Center, 240-777-6940 - open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Bethesda Library, 7400 Arlington Rd., 240-777-0970 - open from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., 240-777-0678 - open from noon to 8 p.m.
The Germantown Aquatic Center in the South Germantown Regional Park, 18000 Central Park Circle, Boyds, will remain open on July 4 until 6 p.m. All other aquatic centers and outdoor pools will operate on normal schedules that day.

The County is also operating a cooling shelter at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Dr., Rockville, for residents who are still without power in their homes. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Storm Update – July 2, 2012. Noon

Stay up to date with changes, cancellations etc. by subscribing to Alert Montgomery.

PEPCO reports 131,500 customers in Montgomery County are still without power.

Montgomery County's MC311 Call Center is operating on a regular schedule today, July 2 until 5 p.m. Call 311 or 240-777-0311. Residents can also report downed trees and other non-emergency issues by using the web portal at www.mc311.com either through home or office computers or mobile devices.
• To report “hot” or sparkling wires, especially those across roadways, call 911.
• To report power outages, call Pepco at 877-737-2662, Allegheny Power at 800-255-3443, or Baltimore Gas & Electric at 877-778-2222.

Road closure link

Residents can get real-time information on road closures in their neighborhoods on line at http://www5.montgomerycountymd.gov/snowmap/. Find the appropriate location on the map with the cursor and click repeatedly. Closed roads, or portions of roads that are closed, will appear in black on the map, as noted in the legend on the left side of the page.

Traffic signals

There are 240 traffic signals without power. Police are directing traffic at about 90 intersections throughout the County. Drivers are reminded to treat “dark” intersections as four-way stops. A partial listing of primary intersections without working stoplights includes:

• Connecticut Ave (MD185) & Randolph Rd
• Connecticut Ave (MD185) & Veirs Mill Rd (MD586)
• Connecticut Ave (MD185) at Jones Bridge & Manor Road
• Cabin John Pkwy & Mac Arthur Blvd
• Colesville Rd (US29) & University Blvd E (MD193) (Four Corners) • Columbia Blvd & Georgia Ave (MD97) & Seminary Rd
• Forest Glen Rd & Forest Glen Rd (MD192) & Georgia Ave (MD97)
• Jones Bridge Rd & Rockville Pike (MD355)
• River Rd (MD190) & Wilson La (MD188)
• Little Falls Pkwy & River Rd (MD190)
• Democracy Blvd & Old Georgetown Rd (MD187)
• E Gude Dr & Frederick Rd (MD355) & W Gude Dr

Food Safety

Food in the refrigerator is safe if the power has been off for no more than four hours. After that, discard perishables such as meat, poultry, soft cheese, eggs and leftovers. Check out www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/keeping_food_Safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp for more details and a chart.

A full freezer can keep food frozen for 48 hours after a loss of power. A half-full freezer can keep food frozen for 24 hours.

Cooling Centers

Montgomery County has two “cooling shelters” that remain open at Richard Montgomery High School (250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville) and White Oak Recreation Center, (1700 April Lane in White Oak.) Clarksburg High School has closed as a cooling shelter. Bring prescription medicines, critical phone numbers, and any comfort items such as personal pillows.

Residents who have cats or dogs and are planning to use a County shelter can drop off their pets at the Humane Society Shelter at 14645 Rothgeb Dr. in Rockville. If it is possible to call first, call the emergency number at 240-773-5900. After 5 p.m. when the shelter has closed for walk-in service, those arriving at the shelter should use the front door buzzer to gain admittance.

The following are updates on other County services and facilities:


The following Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will be open today:

At 10 a.m. -- Germantown, Rockville, Bethesda, Quince Orchard, and Kensington Park;
At 1 p.m. -- Marilyn Praisner, Damascus, Chevy Chase (Maryland), Aspen Hill, Potomac, Long Branch, Poolesville and White Oak;
At 5 p.m. -- Gaithersburg Interim at LakeForest Mall
Closed at this time are: Wheaton, Silver Spring, Little Falls, Davis and Twinbrook.

For the latest information on library openings and/or closings, check the MCPL website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library.

Public Schools

All programs and activities in MCPS buildings are CANCELED on Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3 due to widespread power loss in schools and facilities. This includes MCPS programs, such as high school summer school and Extended School Year programs, as well as community activities in school buildings, such as day care centers, camps and recreation programs, and evening activities.


Three garages in Silver Spring are without power. Parking is free at the two garages with pay stations without power -- Garage 16, the new facility on King St in south Silver Spring, and Garage 7 on Cameron St., across from the Judicial Center. Payment is required today to park at any lot or garage with individual meters. All parking facilities -- with or without power-- are open to the public. If there is still no power to the facilities after dark, they will remain open. However, the public is advised to use extreme caution if they choose to park in a facility without lights.


Several Montgomery Parks Facilities, parks, classes and summer camps are cancelled today due to storm damage. Check the website at www.montgomeryparks.org for updated information. To report downed trees, other problems or maintenance issues in parks, contact the Montgomery Parks Service Center at 301-670-8080. Visitors are urged to use caution when traveling to or visiting parks or trails as crews are working to remove dangerous or downed trees.

Permitting Services

The County’s Department of Permitting Services is operating on a limited basis today. No walk-in appointments will be handled. Call 311 for more information.


The following swim centers are open: Upper County, Martin Luther King, both indoor and outdoor pools; Germantown, indoor and outdoor; and Olney. All scheduled Recreation Department programs and activities, including summer camps, are cancelled on Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3.

Community use activities in public schools

Community use activities scheduled for Montgomery County Public Schools are cancelled for Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3. Traffic HOV restrictions on I-270 are suspended today to help facilitate the flow of traffic. Transit Ride On buses are operating on a regular Monday schedule, but expect delays due to downed trees, wires and signal outages. A number of Ride On routes are detoured, so check the website at www.rideonbus.com and click on Delays and Detours for the latest information.

Trash, recycling collections

The County will provide regular Monday trash and recycling collection. The Transfer Station will be open to drop off tree limbs and brush.