New photos from Bethesda Row and the Damascus Community Fair on the photos page at www.RobertDyer.net
Friday, October 30, 2009
Remember when Big Government was going to "take charge" and control the production and distribution of the H1N1 vaccine? The Powers-that-Be have gotten it. But you, lowly citizen? Maybe after you've gotten the swine flu, they'll have the vaccine for you.
What's happened here is a failure at the Federal, state, and county level. All 3 are controlled by Democrats, by the way. Government knew best, they said, who should receive this vaccine. But even some of the at-risk group members are being turned away at county vaccination clinics.
Have you ever waited in a line this long that didn't have concert tickets, an autograph, or a driver's license at the end for you?
What have we learned? Our county continually shows it is simply not prepared to deal with disasters or emergencies. Even one that is a slow moving event such as H1N1. Our state and Federal governments failed to produce and distribute the vaccine they insisted they should have total control over.
If there had been a terrorist-induced smallpox outbreak or anthrax attack, you can easily recognize that our county would have been absolutely devastated.
Now that your, and your family's, health has been put at risk by your elected officials, what decisions will you make at the ballot box next year?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
A Montgomery County Public Libraries ad celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month promoted free concerts from September 26-October 24.
Just one problem: the ad ran in the October 28 Gazette newspaper.
That means the ad is irrelevant, and therefore was a complete waste of the taxpayer money spent to place the ad in the newspaper. It has been some time, in my recollection, since such an out-of-date ad has appeared in a publication. The reason, I imagine, is that no one would pay the exhorbitant rates to place an ad that is of no use. Well, almost no one.
By the way, we're now a full month past the Board of Elections meeting at which the Democratic majority voted to deny early voting sites to Damascus and Poolesville - and to approve an early voting site in Rockville without adequate access for the disabled - and the Washington Post has yet to write a single word about it! The biggest political story of the year, and the Post has - intentionally and deliberately - ignored it.
It's outrageous. But that's why the Post is failing, and you are turning to RobertDyer.net to find out what's really going on in Montgomery County.
Monday, October 26, 2009
New pictures on my photo page, including Barnes & Noble at Bethesda Row and a Damascus VFD ambulance. Go to www.RobertDyer.net
Friday, October 23, 2009
Start your weekend early this morning by watching another new video from the Celebrate Damascus parade vaults on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Last evening, I made the trip to Damascus to attend County Councilmember Mike Knapp's "Open Mike" town meeting. It was actually not a bad trip up 270 this time, especially once past Gaithersburg.
It was worth the drive because the reason I went was to raise the subject of Damascus Elementary's non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Or, more specifically, the failure of the county to bring it into compliance. I say worth the drive because Councilmember Knapp had not heard about this, and he and his staff assured me they are going to investigate what can be done to correct the problem.
The meeting was held at the Damascus Recreation Center on Oak Drive, in the Social Hall. Other issues discussed included the potential widening of Route 27. I would definitely oppose that. Not only would it ruin what is a pleasant, 2-lane rural road, but there just isn't room. I know that goverment can (mis)use its power of eminent domain to seize whatever it wishes. But let's be realistic: How have we advanced public safety if 18-wheelers are literally driving past the front steps of homes on Ridge Road?
Clearly, a bypass would be the lesser of two evils, although I've yet to see a right-of-way for that mapped. I think for the moment, and given the budgetary constraints of this time, a better course would be to do some intersection improvements, time the lights better in downtown Damascus, and study the effect of the Woodfield Road extension on 27 traffic.
How's this for a bold prediction: I was told that a Ridge Road real estate listing is touting a 60% reduction in traffic on 27 after the extension opens. That would be great... unless you live on Woodfield Road, I imagine. A bit overly optimistic, but I guess we could use some more optimism these days.
Rest assured, I'll keep you updated on the disability access situation at Damascus ES.
But the Route 27 issue touches on the importance of keeping what's great about Damascus intact. It's a beautiful place at night. When I arrived at the Recreation Center - and you have to understand that you drive down an access road where the facility is surrounded by forest - a sliver of a moon had risen above the horizon. You feel like you are out in the country - and you are - and the sky looks totally different than it does downcounty. There's a fresh scent in the air. The overall atmosphere is very peaceful.
When you drive down 27 towards Germantown, you're essentially on a mountain as you round the bend at Cedar Grove ES. In the daytime, you might see Sugarloaf Mountain. But at night, you see hundreds, if not thousands, of twinkling lights at a lower elevation in the distance off to the (slightly) right. I don't know if that's Germantown, Clarksburg, or Urbana.
But I do know I'll enjoy rural Montgomery County as long as it lasts - and hopefully that will be a long time.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
OK, a full picture of the new Bethesda Row Georgetown Cupcake storefront is finally on my photos page at www.RobertDyer.net.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
EXCLUSIVE Photos of the new Five Guys and Georgetown Cupcake storefronts on Bethesda Avenue on my photos page at www.RobertDyer.net!
Monday, October 19, 2009
If you stop at the marked stop signs on Springfield, Ridgefield, etc., this morning from 8:00-8:30 AM, you will receive a free cookie!!
It's the annual Springfield "I Stop for Safety - and Get A Cookie" event, this morning.
I wonder how many free cookies the well-connected people gave the state to get the right turn onto Westbard from River Road shut off...
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Washington Post's Tom Shales wrote a feverishly favorable column endorsing the idea of a takeover of NBC-Universal by cable monopoly Comcast. One problem there: the Post has a long-standing financial relationship with both NBC/Microsoft and Comcast. Shales failed to "disclose" that major conflict of interest in another blatant disregard for ethics at the failing Post. The same Post that has failed to cover the early voting site scandal here in Montgomery County.
Internet service issues are making it difficult to upload videos and large photos this week. I apologize for the slowdown in new content. In the meantime, enjoy the tons and tons of videos and photos already there on www.RobertDyer.net!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Apparently, a Pepco transformer exploded at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Sangamore Road yesterday afternoon, temporarily knocking out the traffic signals there. I'm not sure what the extent of the power outage was for nearby residences. I wasn't there, but got a report from someone who was.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Watch me being chased by a killer bee (or was it a Swarmin' Hornet?) at the Celebrate Damascus parade this past July on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net!
Monday, October 12, 2009
This past Saturday, I stopped by Bethesda Row to check on the progress of the soon-to-open Five Guys and Georgetown Cupcake storefronts.
Neither one is opening tomorrow, but Five Guys will open sooner. I predict that because the permanent sign has already been installed outside. And a paper taped to the storefront says they are now hiring for the Bethesda Row location.
Georgetown Cupcake isn't quite that far yet, but I could hear people working behind the blacked-out storefront.
I have exclusive photos which you will see very soon.
The temperature is falling outside, so I have a new video from the vaults - from the Celebrate Damascus parade this past July 10. Watch it now on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net. I'd hoped to have more stories from the history of Damascus for you today, from yesterday's event at Damascus ES. But even though the Gazette article suggested there would be historical speakers and exhibits, I did not find any, and left shortly after arriving. To make up for that, enjoy the previously-mentioned new video from a past event.
There was one interesting historical note in last week's Gazette: the owner of the 50-year-old Richard gas station was once the projectionist at the historic Druid Theater.
Another bonus: a new photo of a Case JX95 tractor! Find it on my photos page at RobertDyer.net.
Friday, October 09, 2009
I went personally to Springfield and Ridgefield Roads to examine the results of the World's Fastest Placement of Speed Bumps in history.
The results were about what one would expect from a rush job.
On the block of Springfield between Ogden and Parkston, the new Speed Bump 15 MPH signs are blocked by trees. That is a major traffic engineering blunder.
And about that 15 MPH, that's slower than the regular 20 MPH bumps you find elsewhere. That's ridiculous. 15 in a 25 MPH zone? Again, terrible traffic engineering. Just terrible.
Aside from the ugly, ugly aesthetics of the bumps, the 2nd bump on Ridgefield is illegal under Maryland state law - you cannot place a speed bump on a steep hill.
That one has to go, unless the county is above the law.
And the rush job made a mess of streets, and maybe even peoples' cars. There are wet asphalt tire tracks going in all directions from the bumps, as the workers did not allow them to fully dry. At least one sign is crooked - on the day of installation! That same sign has an ugly black paint smear across the top, too. This is how things are done in the 20816 zip code? Probably not after next November's election.
Why the rush job? Aside from the well-connected residents who ordered these up, the pending controversy over the Cromwell bumps probably created an urgency to get these down before new guidelines went into place. But we all knew there weren't going to be any changes to the rules.
I think it would have been smarter to place the bumps in a careful manner, because this county council is 100% in favor of speed bumps. They have totally ignored any other opinion brought to them, and anyone who has heard a presentation by Tracy Wroe, the county's "bump engineer," knows how passionate he and the county are about placing these obstacles down everywhere.
In a time when special needs kids are being cheated by the budget, and low income senior citizens are having their subsidized dentures being taken away by the county council, these bumps are monuments to wasteful spending and immoral priorities.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
County contractors are placing speed bumps on Springfield and Ridgefield Road as I type this.
I thought the county had no money? Somebody is working under a lot of political pressure in this particular instance. These are being put down lightning fast - literally. There are some inside political strings being pulled in this case, especially in light of the controversy in the Springfield neighborhood over the issue. If only government worked this fast on everything else!
Watch an exclusive video of the Germantown Volunteer Fire Department's Super Water Cannon (Tower 729 in technical terms) this morning on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net. Did I mention it's exclusive?
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Seven days after 3 Democrats on the county Board of Elections approved a list of early voting sites provided by the Democratic Central Committee and all-Democrat County Council, the Washington Post has failed to print a word about it.
The Post is a journalistic embarrassment. This is a major story in county politics, the Post's coverage of which has gone from one-sided to almost nonexistent.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Did you know that the Farm Aid concert was held yesterday? Probably not, as it was not covered by the mainstream media.
You have heard about the wonderful farmers' markets, local produce, and wonerful, wonerful, wonerful things the state (and the county, using state money in a shell game) is doing for farmers ad nauseum, however.
How can that be?
Easy. They don't want the people of Montgomery County, Maryland, or the United States to know about some of the real farm stories out there. The ones that don't make limousine liberals feel good as they check-out with their reusable (a.k.a. germ-contaminated) cloth shopping bags at Whole Foods. And the ones that reveal the embarrassing record of our elected officials - at all levels - on farm issues.
So let me share with you the letter written by Farm Aid organizer, Willie Nelson:
Before I ever picked up a guitar, I was picking cotton in a small town in Texas. And no matter where my music career has taken me, I’ve never let go of my love of the land and my respect for the proud people who farm it.
Family farmers love the land they work, and they take the best possible care of the soil and water because they eat the food they produce and drink the water beneath their fields. They make decisions around a kitchen table, not a boardroom table far from the fields.
I started Farm Aid in 1985 as a way to help keep family farmers on the land. While the struggles have changed over the years, farmers still aren’t getting a fair chance to make a living.
That’s why I’m asking for your help today. For more information on how you can help the cause, please visit www.farmaid.org. You can support Farm Aid’s hotline for farmers in crisis and provide emergency assistance to farm families who are on the verge of losing their land, their homes, and their livelihoods.
Thanks for your time and thanks for helping to support America’s family farmers.
Stay strong and positive,
And you can watch the many farm-related videos on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net right now.
There's a new one today - your invitation to join a "Pig Club." What's that? You'll have to watch to find out...
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Watch a medical helicopter take off from the roof of Johns Hopkins Hospital right now on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net. Exclusive video!
Friday, October 02, 2009
It turns out my blog entry on the Montgomery County Board of Elections' early voting decision was an exclusive. There is no news report anywhere else on the internet, according to Google and Google News. Just one of many exclusive stories I have broken over the last few years.
Now, let's start a countdown until the Post prints the results of the board's vote:
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Yesterday's Washington Post and Gazette editions contained ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the Montgomery County Board of Elections vote selecting 5 Early Voting sites chosen by the county Democratic Central Committee and Democrat politicians. The meeting ended long before the deadline for either paper's printing.
Neither paper's website had the story either. Remember a few weeks ago when I said the Post no longer covers Montgomery County politics? I am vindicated again. Let me get this straight... neither newspaper covers major votes by the county's Board of Elections?
You read the full story here on RobertDyer.net yesterday.
Today you can watch a new video of a talking goat on the Robert Dyer Channel at www.RobertDyer.net. He's making more sense than the Powers-that-Be in Montgomery County.