Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Battery Lane Park tennis court: the mystery continues (Photos)

The secretive work in Battery Lane Park continues. After removing the fencing and filling the fencepost holes around the tennis court, workers have put a new asphalt surface down. This does not appear to be an upgrade of the tennis court, since tennis courts are usually green or brown.

No answer yet to my citizen inquiry to the Montgomery County Parks department's unaptly-named "Customer Service" page, which was emailed to them nine days ago. Most modern governments assign a ticket to constituent inquiries, and the job isn't done until they satisfactorily answer your question. Here in high-tax Montgomery County? They'll get around to it when they feel like it.

Until Parks does decide to let us - the residents and taxpayers - in on this little secret, it can't officially be said that the tennis court is being deleted from the park. But the absence of information invites speculation.

I can say it would be completely inappropriate for the Parks department to remove the tennis court without consulting with nearby residents and having an official process. You can't have one person, or a handful of individuals, make an executive decision on changes to a park behind closed doors. That's not the way it works. A tennis court is a significant amenity not found on every block in an urban area. It's pretty outrageous to shut one down without notice, much less rip it out entirely.
Is this a preview of the bigger
blacktop road developers, er,
planners want to run through
Battery Lane Park
over resident objections?
Is this part of the plan to run a road through this park, to delete amenities and cut usage to justify the endgame? The silent treatment certainly raises suspicions.

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not file a request with 311? I think at least then you get a ticket number.

MD SHA is nearly as bad -- they have a ticketing system, but no way to follow up on the ticket or check its status. You have to open a new ticket to get a status on your existing ticket.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This suspicious work looks exactly like the kind of thing they do when renovating a tennis court. Take down fence, resurface, repaint, add new fence, add new equipment. Thanks for an attempt at building a story out of this. It has been entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Dyer stop coming in our neighborhood. We know exactly what is going on there and it is of no business to you. BTW it is closed after dark so get out of there you creep.

Anonymous said...

"This does not appear to be an upgrade of the tennis court, since tennis courts are usually green or brown."

Does Dyer not realize that the "green or brown" color of tennis courts is from paint that is applied to the top of the pavement, rather than from the pavement material itself?

Anonymous said...

seriously... you damn morons commenting here are stupid as hell. You're also mean little people, who shouldn't be worthy of this diatribe... but honestly, I've had enough. Dyer has serious questions, and he's pissed that he's not getting answers. He's taking to his public blog to air the issue. Since the county already floated the idea of pushing the road thru here, is that NOT a major concern to you? Isn't it a concern that the county has zero transparency, and won't comment? Or at least have the courtesy to give him a response? If any of you actually KNOW what's going on here, then speak up and share... in a creative and contributing means. But this IS MoCo, which is run by elitists who pander to their personal interests and the deepest pocketbooks around. I doubt you sheeple have the brain capacity for reason, so I'll leave it at that. All of you can go jump off the f'ing proverbial cliff.

Anonymous said...

I LOL'd at this.

Anonymous said...

So why doesn't Dyer answer any questions when people ask him?

Anonymous said...

lol @ 10:14. What a nutjob.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:14

Thank you for expressing what many of us are thinking.

It's funny - when I first started reading this blog, I just assumed it was bored kids haranguing Dyer. Fast forward to being completely dumbfounded that this bullying and grade-school behavior is from an adult. Really? Just sad.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
@ 10:14

Thank me for expressing what many of me am thinking."

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

@10:54... explain how he/she's a nutjob? or will you challenge us to meet you after school by the flagpole? Do YOU have any constructive comments? Or are you just one of them bullies? Or maybe you're just one of those sad little people...

Anonymous said...

"So why doesn't Dyer answer any questions when people ask him?"

We are paying for Dyer's welfare benefits, so we have the right to answers.

Anonymous said...

@11:06 says
"We are paying for Dyer's welfare benefits, so we have the right to answers."


Just like we are paying for yours?

Anonymous said...

Dyer's shill is having those multiple-personality delusions again.

Anonymous said...

11:13

Another comment from the peanut gallery. I guess it makes you feel better about yourself to disparage others. I reiterate - sad.

Anonymous said...

Do you read what dyer says about others?

Anonymous said...

Telling someone to jump off a cliff is sad too.

And that transparency the rager talked about - it goes both ways. Dyer.

Robert B said...

Speaking of silent treatment raising suspicions,
See:

http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2015/10/new-entrance-at-artery-plaza-unveiled.html?m=1

And

http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2015/10/carroll-community-bank-celebrates-grand.html?m=1

And

http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2015/10/montgomery-countys-low-unemployment.html?m=1

And countless other posts where Dyer insists on certain points and then refuses to answer any further questions when his opinion is challenged.

Anonymous said...

@12:15 - Dyer owes you NOTHING. He's not a real journalist, he's a blogger who loves his town. There is no reason for him to respond to you badgering him for additional info. On the other hand... our government has every reason to be transparent... as well, they're MANDATED TO.

So you see... Dyer can write whatever he wants in his little blog. A lot of us like it (and his food reviews are so so special) But the county government MUST respond to its citizens' request for information.

See how it works?

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity
Do you insist on the same verification from your other news and commentary sites?

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right I don't. But those other news and commentary sites don't make accusations without supporting evidence, provide sources and references, don't delete comments they just plain don't like, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Dyer's shill made it to a full ten minutes before responding.

How many times does he hit the F5 key in a single day? Enquiring Bethesdans want to know!

Anonymous said...

Actually Dyer says he is a real journalist. He actually insists upon it and throws a bit of a fuss when one says he might not be. So careful, he might delete your comment.

You are right, he doesn't owe us anything. But if he wants to put something out in public and act enraged about it without proving supporting evidence, people will find it difficult to believe him. So his words are either going to fall on deaf ears like he's complaint about, or his words are going to be questioned and supporting evidence requested if he wants an answer from anyone, the general public reader or the government.

Betsy said...

Let he who casts the first stone....

Anonymous said...

I think this is going to be a teleportation pad to beam the old folks from the Spring House facility across the street into another dimension.

Anonymous said...

12:26 - since when have you known "legit" news companies to deliver real news? 60 Minutes? Brian Williams? I think most folks who read Robert take his dose of personal opinion and hyperbole as a standard part of his reporting. What we don't take for granted is his excitement for his community, and the usual timeliness of his reports.

Robert B said...

Yes he doesn't owe anything of course. Doesn't invalidate Dyer's original point and my agreement that silent treatment raises questions.

Anonymous said...

Other news and commentary sites don't berate or belittle their readers either (whether it's deserved or not)

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I've been researching blogging, and can't find anything requiring one to list all sources of information.

Can you provide a cite?


How short-sighted to think there is only one "shill".

Betsy said...

I think certainly Dyer doesn't have to answer any questions at all. Many news people and organizations don't. Many non-news people don't either. But when we think about a supplied answer and don't believe it or have contrasting supporting evidence where none was otherwise given, and then he doesn't respond, then his credibility suffers. And that's something Dyer himself has highlighted very well in this post when he aptly says "the silent treatment certainly raises suspicions." And he's dead right. About the government lack of response. And of his own lack of response.

Anonymous said...

I love the passion of Dyer's readers. Robert's reporting is hard hitting and thought provoking. He always strikes a nerve with those who are satisfied with the status quo.

The tennis courts are an issue for folks downtown. Dyer is following the story for us.

Guys, it's 2015. The Gazette is dead. The Washington Post has cut back local reporting. I can't wait a week for The Sentinel to print. Robert is filling the void with his reporting from Bethesda and elsewhere in MoCo.

G. Money said...

@12:25 - Whether Dyer is a "real journalist" or not relies on a definition of "real journalism" that I'm not sure exists. As noted by 12:34, he certainly represents himself as a journalist. Further, he is a two-time (?) candidate for public office. He promotes policy ideas that many readers find questionable. He is certainly within his rights to decline to answer my and others' questions, but I think it is important for his readers and potential voters to know when he is basing his opinions on legit facts, and when he is making things up. Asking questions and pointing out logical or factual inconsistencies are in no way mean or abusive.

If enthusiasm for one's home town were sufficient for making good policy decisions, government would have a much better reputation in this country.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:04's m.o. is to slip the insult in (He always strikes a nerve with those who are satisfied with the status quo) and then finish up with common sense (Guys, it's 2015. The Gazette is dead. The Washington Post has cut back local reporting. I can't wait a week for The Sentinel to print. Robert is filling the void with his reporting from Bethesda and elsewhere in MoCo.)

Anonymous said...

I wish Hans Riemer had a little enthusiasm. He's pretty low energy.

Dyer reports the news. That's a journalist, right? There's no special badge or accreditation.

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia: "A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information"
Sounds like what Dyer does 7 days on week. He's the only MoCo news source that is 7 days a week that I'm aware of.

And, as readers mentioned above, he reports on news that breaks after business hours...even at night! :)

Anonymous said...

Guys, it's the "guys" shill again.

The court wasn't paved at night. It was paved yesterday morning. Not "breaking" in the slightest.

Anonymous said...

Dyer (and other residents) have legitimate questions.
So far, a "no comment" from MoCo government.

Robert Dyer said...

9:46: You're obviously not a tennis player. Tennis courts are not surfaced with paint. They have a variety of surfaces like clay, grass, carpet, acrylic and rubber.

4:15: "Guys", get over the latest gaffe by Montgomery County Government. Oh wait, they just made another one in the Washington Post.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the follow up article that claims the county changed plans suddenly and built a tennis court instead of a road thanks to Dyer's hard-hitting journalism.

Robert Dyer said...

9:04: No one ever said they're building a road. The point of my coverage is that they're doing something, but aren't sharing any information about what it is with the public. That's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Hint to Dyer -

The green, red-brown and white colors on a tennis court are not due to using different types of "clay, grass, carpet, acrylic and rubber" - they are made by painting the surface of the tennis court.

Also, asphalt is an accepted material for tennis court surfaces. Surface Code "D".

Anonymous said...
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Rob said...

And here's dyer cherry picking his answers and ignoring the real questions. Just like a politician. Maybe he is cut out for it after all. The way he accuses the county of being all silent and shady and then doing the same.

"The silent treatment certainly raises suspicions." - Robert Dyer

Anonymous said...

What happened in the post?

Anonymous said...

4:23 AM Dyer is more interactive with readers than any other local journalist that I'm aware of.

How often does a Post journo respond to comments on articles?

Most sites simply ignore negative feedback. Give Robert credit for interacting with folks.

peter said...

The Moribund Dyer quoth "...here in high-tax Montgomery County..."

High-tax compared to what...New Jersey perhaps?? WRONG, taxes in NJ in comparable areas are 3-4 TIMES what they are here. So as (generally) usual Dyer has a limited clue and cherry-picks his stats.

Besides, I'm sure there's at least one cynic out there that will note at some point that our taxes are going up solely because of Gov. Hogan's cancer treatments.

Anonymous said...

Didn't dyer's mama teach him if he doesn't have anything nice to say not to say anything at all?

I kid. He does interact. Making fun of those who disagree with him.

Anonymous said...

Another day, another round of bullying and grade-school behavior.

Anonymous said...

At 9:33 p.m., Dyer said "No one ever said they're building a road."

But in the article, he said "Is this part of the plan to run a road through this park, to delete amenities and cut usage to justify the endgame? The silent treatment certainly raises suspicions."

In the previous article he said "DOT officials to this day have never provided me any information regarding the hushed-up seizure of the Glen Echo Park trolley trestle for a bike facility".

Journalist, indeed.

Anonymous said...

@10:14

Why do you read if it annoys you so much.

Wait. Are you the blog police?

Anonymous said...

6 minutes this time. LOL

How many times do you hit the F5 key in a single day?

Anonymous said...

@11:03 Big news! It's possible to get notified of new posts via email.
Shocking! Give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Comments too? Sweet how do I sign up for that?

Anonymous said...

The minutes and hours between the arrival each of those emails must be sheer hell for you.

Anonymous said...


Nope. Already busy waiting with anxious anticipation for the replies from MoCo

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Watch this get deleted. Even though BM referenced your series of posts.

Anonymous said...

You were right! Renovation of the tennis courts.

Wrol said...

So... Much ado about nothing. Parks department admitted they dropped the ball on notification.

But not quite a conspiracy as this post series made it out to be.

Anonymous said...

It's called "Bethesda Beat", because they beat Dyer every time. Most recently on this story as well as the story about Springhouse right across the street.

Lesson for Dyer: Don't sleep in the daytime, King Dumass.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, MoCo Machine. A most successful gaslighting experience this time!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the two blogs playing nice.

Robert Dyer said...

9:36: Clay is not paint.

Robert Dyer said...

10:14: Read what you're quoting again. I said, is this an attempt to reduce usage of the park to justify the road? I never said the asphalt was the road.

Robert Dyer said...

10:14: The Glen Echo trestle was a whole other scandal. Writing about government coverups and abuse of public resources for individual political gain - as the seizure of the trestle and right-of-way were - IS JOURNALISM.

Robert Dyer said...

1:59: You're the "Dumass". What a moron you are, claiming that my articles that broke all these stories are "scooped" by articles written hours or days later. People reading this think you are a complete idiot. Parks was caught red-handed, and had to finally post a sign. They have yet to respond to me or any other residents who inquired about it. A government department intentionally ignoring citizen inquiries is a serious matter worthy of investigation itself. I understand they're seeking a friendlier media outlet that won't criticize government, but as a taxpayer-funded department, they don't have that luxury.

Nobody's "beating me every time." I've broken story after story this week, and every week before.

I've been too busy all day working to sit on here and babysit you, a paid political operative who spends his days and nights posting childish comments on a blog.

If there are people reporting on Bethesda better than me, why did they fail to notice a destroyed tennis court and large development application sign on Battery Lane until I reported on them, "Mr. Dumass?"

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer continues to set the MoCo news agenda each morning.

Robert Dyer said...

2:14: Unless you're referring to yourself, you don't even know the correct meaning of "gaslighting."

Anonymous said...

Dyer just doesn't know when to quit.

He is outraged that the MoCo machine "was caught red-handed"... taking a slightly decrepit tennis court in a popular local park... and rebuilding it to mint condition.

He also can't admit that the reason that the tennis court had, and now has again, a surface of asphalt, and that the reason that it is colored green, white and red-brown because it was painted those colors.

If he can't use proper judgement in situations such as these, how can voters trust him to make much more decisions on leading a county of one million people?

Robert Dyer said...

8:33: You mean like trusting Montgomery County elected officials who admit they passed on hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development from winning the FBI headquarters so that their political ally could personally benefit?

Or the County Council that never found the missing $900,000 in taxpayer money one of their personal favorite nonprofits couldn't account for?

Or the County Council that had oversight over the Silver Spring Transit Center?

I think people will trust a guy who knows clay surfaces aren't made from paint over politicians with serious ethical and criminal violations like those any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you just keep doubling down on stupid because you can't admit that you were wrong, ever. This is a serious personality flaw of yours. There is no "clay surface" on the tennis court in this park, and there never was. And even "clay surfaces" aren't bright white and bold green unless you paint them.

Anonymous said...

So you were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Oh look. Dyer made two posts asking what is happening. Another website found the answer and when someone posts the answer for dyer's question he deletes it. Censorship. Plain and simple.

Betsy said...

What possible reason could dyer give that the Bethesda Bear link violated Blogspot comment policy?

Dyer posed a question in not just one but two blog posts. The answer to his question was provided and a source link was provided.

Do any external links get deleted now? Washington Post links? Washington Business Journal? Others?

Betsy said...
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Timothy said...

About a tennis court resurfacing conspiracy that ended up being just a tennis court resurfacing? What an agenda!

Timothy said...

So explain how he/she misused the term then?

NIH Bear said...

Heavens to Betsy's. Don't bring me into this.

Robert Dyer said...

9:49: You're the stupid one. I never said it was clay! I mentioned the types of surfaces used on tennis courts when you claimed the surfaces are all asphalt just with different colors painted on.

Robert Dyer said...

2:10: Total BS. Parks department choosing to respond to a friendly media source over one that's holding them accountable isn't a scoop. It's just political BS. Parks wouldn't even respond to residents or me for 11 days. Unethical and abuse of public resources "plain and simple".

Anonymous said...

True Bethesdans go to the country club for tennis. Plebs.

Robert Dyer said...

Betsy, you do realize the sequence of events you're describing is an unethical abuse of taxpayer resources by the Parks department, much like using taxpayer funded newsletters to promote one media outlet over another. Scandalous for Parks if what you're describing is true. Intentionally withholding information from the public for political reasons? Not ethical.

Anonymous said...

#Tennisgate

Anonymous said...

Any ideas why Parks didn't just respond to residents over the past week? Or just list this as an improvement project on the Parks website? They have a section listing those.

The park is surrounded by residential and is used. Hence the problem with proposing to run a road through it :)

Save our park!

Anonymous said...

@ 7:22 PM - Who other than you wants to restore streetcar service to Glen Echo?

And why is demolishing a derelict and dangerous abandoned bridge a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

Didn't you complain about other commenters in other posts going off topic?

Anonymous said...

Glen Echo is an underutilized gem for our area.
I'd love to hear more discussion on how to restore it to greatness.

Anonymous said...

do you throw a hissy fit and delete the answer to the question you've been asking? Because they chose to respond to another site you hate instead of you? Seems childish.

Anonymous said...

Is there a law saying the timetable a government official has to respond to a public inquiry?

Anonymous said...

Bethesdans love their parks. Don't mess with them MoCo!

Anonymous said...

Haha you even reference BM or BB and you get deleted? But Washington post and Washington business journal don't. Wow that's censorship.

Anonymous said...

"Is there a law saying the timetable a government official has to respond to a public inquiry?"

I don't know, but let's hold our county departments to higher standard than the bare minimum..lol. Seriously. Doesn't take too long to email or tweet a response.

Anonymous said...

5:50 AM Keep your BM to yourself.

NIH Bear said...

I live on Battery. Hands off our park MoCo!

Anonymous said...

Bethesdans are having a good laugh over at the Magazine this morning.

Anonymous said...

But is there a rule indicating a required response time? Because dyer is in a huff about it

Betsy said...

Sorry what sequence is illegal?

What did the parks department do to abuse taxpayer money?

What's scandalous for parks again?

What political reason was information withheld?

How long without a response counts as withholding and is there a law stating so or is this just your opinion?

Anonymous said...

Hands off the kids in our park, PedoBear.

Anonymous said...

If you're not always publishing the County government's PR and sucking up to the councilmembers (ahem...Riemer), then it's conceivable that the county would rather respond to a friendly source who won't be critical.

I don't recall Bethesda Mag's Steve Hull ever publishing an investigative piece, or anything in fact, overtly critical of MoCo government. (Correct me if I'm wrong...I haven't read it in a while.)

We know that no government body bats 1.000. So, presumably being on friendly terms gives him more access than an independent outlet.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense. It's human nature...you're more likely to respond to "friendly" sources.

Still don't know why Parks didn't respond to the various residents who inquired.

Anonymous said...

Who was pulling the strings behind the scenes at the parks department? Does Hull have their personal email? Do they use a city email address or do they have their own personal email server? Does Hull know their home address? Did they ever see Dyer's emails? Did they ignore public discontent? Were they alone all night? Could they have responded more quickly? Did they take a press victory lap on other Bethesda blogs that shant be named!?!?! Do they coordinate efforts with the DLC and HANS?

#TENNISGHAZI
#BEERGHAZI

Anonymous said...

7:42 AM Presumably, they (MoCo Parks) prefer releasing info through what they see as a "friendly" outlet.
This isn't rocket science.

#RATGHAZI

Anonymous said...

#DodgingDyer at his best.

Anonymous said...

"I haven't read Bethesda Magazine since the last time I was at the dentist's office, but I somehow know that all of its coverage is fawning praise of the MoCo Machine", says Dyer's shill.