Thursday, November 27, 2014
My fellow Marylanders,
As we traveled the state over the last few years, we were privileged to meet many thousands of Marylanders from all walks of life, in cities and suburbs and on farms, young families just starting out and retirees, skilled tradesmen and professionals. Nearly without exception, the men and women whom we met along the way were grateful to call themselves Marylanders. For whatever their individual challenges and circumstances, they believe that if we work together—across the lines of party, geography, income, and race—we can change Maryland for the better. And we will.
As we enjoy our Thanksgiving meals, let us not forget our obligations to the farmers and watermen whose hard work produces our food and those who bring it to market, and the vital work of restoring our economy so no one goes hungry. And as we gather with family and friends this holiday season, let’s not forget those with empty seats at their tables for loved ones serving our nation abroad, or those who gave the last full measure of devotion for our freedom and liberty.
In giving thanks to our Creator for our blessings, for our great nation and a beautiful state, I am profoundly grateful for the trust Marylanders have placed in me as their next governor, and keenly aware of the hard work and challenges that lie ahead for my administration, our colleagues in the legislature, and the state employees whom I will soon be honored to call co-workers.
In closing, we wish you and your family health and happiness this Thanksgiving.
Larry and Yumi Hogan
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Watch my review to find out, and also get some free Black Friday shopping advice from our resident "expert."
His personnel review team now includes Montgomery County resident Katja Bullock, former Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and a highly-regarded and longtime elected official with the Montgomery County Republican Party; Ande Fulton Rhodes, Personnel Director for Anne Arundel County and former Personnel Director for the State of Maryland; and Diane Baker, former Deputy Appointments Secretary for the State of Maryland.
Named to his business regulation review board were Jim Soltesz, President and CEO of Soltesz, Inc., a Maryland-based engineering and design firm; Ed Dunn, CEO of American Mechanical Services; and Abba Poliakoff, attorney at the firm Gordon Feinblatt, LLC.
Hogan also created a Transition Advisory Board, which includes 3-time Montgomery County Executive and Rockville Mayor Doug Duncan (D); Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, diplomat and former candidate for Governor of Maryland; Jimmy Rhee, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade in the Commonwealth of Virginia; Helen Bentley, former U.S. Congresswoman; Joe Bartenfelder, former Delegate and member of the Baltimore County Council; Doug DeLeaver, Director of Community Relations for the Maryland State Police; David Craig, Harford County Executive (R); Kelly Schulz, Delegate (R-Frederick); Montgomery County resident Sam Malhotra, Founder and CEO of Subsystems, an IT services company based in Rosslyn, Virginia; Steve Hershey, State Senator (R-District 36); former Lieutenant Governor candidate, Del. Jeannie Haddaway (R-District 37-B); Chris Shank, State Senator (R-District 2); Dr. Juliette Bell, President of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and Luis Borunda, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference & President, and CEO of U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education.
A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Wisconsin and Montgomery Avenues in downtown Bethesda this morning. The accident was reported by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer shortly before 7:00 AM. A steady rain has been falling during the early morning hours, but no cause of the accident or injury details have been made public yet.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
There will be fun for both kids and adults. For kids, balloon virtuoso James Creel will entertain from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM, and after that there will be craft activities, and all Playmobil sets will be 15% off. Adults, and more specifically women, may like the fact that all shoppers on Saturday will receive a Rebecca Minkoff-designed American Express tote bag.
Two can dine for $40, with your choice of two items from the following list:
All meals will include miso soup and rice.
Matuba's history includes having the first rotary sushi buffet in the Washington Metropolitan area.
Monday, November 24, 2014
The pressure to transform the suburban Westbard area of Bethesda into an urban town center is not coming from residents. According to Montgomery County planner Marc DeOcampos, 85-90% of resident feedback during the week-long Westbard Sector Plan charrette was in favor of low-density development.
With those same residents panning the initial concept plan last week, and no clear incentives or perks to justify the negatives of urbanization on the Westbard area, where will any support for radical change come from in the Westbard Sector Plan process at the Planning Board and County Council levels?
Follow the money.
Developer Equity One, which owns all of the commercial properties along Westbard Avenue and Ridgefield Road, has partnered with local development firm EYA. EYA has donated many thousands of dollars to councilmembers. Here's a chart detailing checks the firm and its leaders have written to those members of the Montgomery County Council:
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You can see it will be massed as a "C" shape building, and - if all goes as planned - will share an enhanced 10,865 SF public space with next-door neighbor Bainbridge Bethesda apartments. According to a letter to the Montgomery County Planning Department, the developer has already met with representatives of the Bainbridge to begin those discussions.
The sketch plan proposes up to 32 MPDUs, using a higher 15% affordable housing standard than the Montgomery County requirement of 12.5%.
While the current address of the development site is considered 4931 Fairmont Avenue, the future building's lobby will be on St. Elmo Avenue, as will its 4-level underground parking garage entrance. The tower's loading dock will be on Fairmont, however.
Construction would not begin until mid-2016 or 2017, attorney Steve Robins said in August.
Other than the sad news that Chef Tony's and Pizza Pass would have to be demolished prior to construction, most indications seem promising for this project. It will provide high density near Metro, has proposed higher than the required amounts of parking and affordable units, and could create an enhanced public gathering space. What would really make that work best would be if the St. Elmo and the Bainbridge can get some restaurants to lease in their ground floors, so that there will be activity over a greater range of hours, as opposed to a bank or shop that closes at 5 or 6 in the evening. The revitalization of that block of Fairmont Avenue seems stalled out at the present, with no tenants in the Bainbridge ground floor yet, and other future towers still under construction (7770 Norfolk) or in the works (former BP gas station at Fairmont and Old Georgetown Road).
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Vehicle burglary. 7400 block Arlington Road.
Vehicle burglary. 4700 block Bethesda Avenue.
Liquor arrest. 5400 block Wisconsin Avenue.
Drug arrest. 5600 block Spruce Tree Avenue.
Drug arrest. Goldsboro Road at River Road.
Drug arrest. Sangamore Road at Sentinel Drive.
Drug arrest. 6300 block Bells Mill Road.
Theft. Westfield Montgomery Mall.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
We've probably all seen a lobster roll before, but the Lobsicle is something entirely different - a battered and fried lobster tail, with melted butter on the side for dipping purposes. How does it taste? Is it worth the hype? What is the quality of the lobster?
Watch my review, and those questions and more will be answered!