Sunday, January 31, 2016

2 assaults in 5 mins. in Bethesda, burglary on Windsor La. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on January 28, according to crime data:

Theft from vehicle. 8100 block Norfolk Avenue.

Assault. 7900 block Norfolk Avenue at 2:58 PM.

Theft. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue at 12:42 PM.

Burglary. 4500 block Windsor Lane at 7:42 PM.

Theft. 5500 block Kirkwood Drive.

Burglary. 3300 block W. Coquelin Terrace.

Drug arrest. 10400 block Old Georgetown Road.

Vehicle burglary. 11300 block Orleans Way.

Theft. 7100 block Democracy Bouelvard.

Assault. 11300 block Woodglen Drive at 3:04 PM.

Eileen Fisher closes at Westfield Montgomery Mall (Photos)

Eileen Fisher has closed at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The women's apparel retailer has other locations nearby, at the Shops at Wisconsin Place in Friendship Heights, and in Tysons.

MD SHA continues major snow operations in Bethesda (Photos)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan continues to deploy additional work crews to Montgomery County, to address dangerous and congestion-causing snow remaining on state highways. In addition, snow piled up on roadsides - and blocking sidewalks - needs to be removed and hauled away.

A major snow removal operation took place last evening on Wisconsin Avenue, and on Bradley Boulevard. Another similar effort was underway on Georgia Avenue near Forest Glen at the same time.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Snow continues to keep the crooks out of Bethesda

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on January 27, according to crime data:

Drug arrest. 8000 block Norfolk Avenue.

Burglary. 6900 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Drug arrest. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Drug arrest. 5400 block Randolph Road (Pike District).

Theft from vehicle. 9600 block Newbridge Drive.

Disorderly conduct. Verne Street at River Road service drive at 11:27 AM.

TD Bank requests solar panel permits for both future downtown Bethesda branches

TD Bank has requested permits from Montgomery County to attach solar panels to the drive-thru roofs of its two newest branches, both under construction in downtown Bethesda. One is on the former Bethesda Shell gas station site at 7628 Old Georgetown Road, and the second is on the site once home to Bethesda's "last gas" BP station, at 8101 Wisconsin Avenue. Construction of the former is far ahead of the latter, which is just getting started.

As you may recall from my report from their already-open Pike District branch, the company places an emphasis on environmentally-sensitive features at its banks. You can get a preview of the future drive-thru canopies in the above photo, which was taken at the aforementioned Montrose Crossing branch.

New awning reflects evolving menu at Bold Bite in Bethesda (Photos)

A new split awning on Fairmont Avenue represents the evolution of Bold Bite since its launch in 2011. Ninety percent of new restaurants fail by the end of their first year (or sixty percent, if you prefer the Ohio State analysis), so Bold Bite's longevity speaks for itself. But sibling owners Alonso and Alvaro Roche didn't rest on the laurels of their successful hot dog-and-fries eatery.

As the business expanded beyond Bethesda, so did the scope of the menu. Premium quality burgers and salads became just as important as the franks. And the latest menu additions, upscale donuts and locally-roasted coffee, get equal billing on the new awning out front as 202 Donuts and Coffee. Bold Bite is also the newest member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce.

Bold Bite
4901-B Fairmont Avenue

Friday, January 29, 2016

Robbery on Willard Ave., assault at DSW Warehouse + more = Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on January 26, according to crime data:

Disorderly conduct. 7800 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Theft. 7300 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Robbery. 4700 block Willard Avenue.

Assault. DSW Warehouse.

Liquor arrest. 11500 block Rockville Pike (Pike District).

Assault. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

7770 Norfolk construction contractors vacate Fairmont Ave. office in Bethesda (Photos)

A sure sign that construction on the 7770 Norfolk luxury apartment tower is wrapping up, is the closure of the construction office related to the project at 4931 Fairmont Avenue. The JBG-developed building at 7770 Norfolk Avenue is scheduled to begin leasing next month.

USPS failure to deliver after blizzard has some Bethesda residents asking, "Where's the mail?"

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

Not quite. Regular mail deliveries have not resumed for at least some USPS customers in Montgomery County. As of yesterday, mail was not being delivered on a daily basis - or at all since last Friday's blizzard - in parts of North and West Bethesda, and in Silver Spring, to name a few.

Those who have received at least one delivery report the amount of mail was small, entirely inconsistent with what should be a large backlog of nearly a week's worth of deliveries.

The USPS Service Alerts page is showing no specific alerts for Bethesda or Silver Spring. Nor is it citing any particular issue that would impair deliveries. A @USPSHelp Twitter account appears to be of little "help" to those tweeting to it.

BCC Cluster boundary change discussion begins in Bethesda

The process to decide which students will attend Westland Middle School, or an under-construction alternative on the site of Rock Creek Hills Park in Kensington, will begin this coming Monday, February 1. Montgomery County Public Schools will hold an informational meeting that night at 7:30 PM, in the cafeteria of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School at 4301 East-West Highway in Bethesda.

MCPS staff will make a presentation, and then take questions from attendees.

The school system says a Boundary Advisory Committee will examine several different sorting schemes, consider public feedback from Monday's meeting, and present its findings at a second meeting on May 12, 2016.

Whoever is named the new Superintendent of MCPS will then make a recommendation in mid-October, and the Board of Education will officially adopt the new middle school boundaries the following month.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2 is scheduled to open in August 2017 (unless the current statewide drive to start the school year after Labor Day is successful before then).

Documents and materials generated during the February-May study period will be available to the public on this site.

Interpreters will be available at the meeting for Spanish speakers.

Intérpretes estarán disponibles en la reunión para hispanohablantes .

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snow continues to keep crime low in Bethesda

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on January 25, according to crime data:

Burglary. 10400 block Montrose Avenue.

Assault. 12200 block Village Square Terrace.

Assault. 12500 block Village Square Terrace.

Donohoe files for permits to begin construction on The Rugby residential tower in Bethesda

Developer Donohoe has requested construction and demolition permits for its second Woodmont Triangle mixed-use project, The Rugby. Long in the works, The Rugby will be a sister building to the existing Gallery Bethesda. The Gallery was the first next-generation luxury apartment building to be delivered in Bethesda after the great recession, and has won several awards. It also enjoyed the fastest lease-up of any building in the state of Maryland in 2014.

The two buildings will frame the already-completed pedestrian plaza at 4800 Auburn Avenue, and Donohoe is aiming for restaurant-retail tenants with the 14,520 SF of commercial space in the project. Such tenants will help activate the plaza, which already hosts several public art pieces. The Rugby will house 221 residential units; the market will likely decide whether those units end up being rental or condos. Beneath the building will be a 3-level underground parking garage.

Donohoe expects a 2017 delivery, and will once again serve as its own construction contractor. Among the buildings to be demolished is the Miller and Long office at the intersection of Del Ray and Rugby. In a nice touch, that building's distinctive facade has been incorporated into The Rugby by WDG architecture, the design firm on the project.

The completed dual towers and plaza will be one of the central gathering places of the future, redeveloped Woodmont Triangle neighborhood.

Rendering courtesy Donohoe/WDG

Modmarket (Modern Market) to open at Bethesda Row

Modern Market, a farm-to-table restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, is coming to Bethesda Row this year. This will be the first Modmarket outside of Colorado and Texas, where the chain has multiple locations. Offering vegan, celiac, paleo, raw, South Beach, high carb/low carb and low-GCI menu options, the restaurant will take over the space vacated by Boloco at 4930 Elm Street.

Everything at Modmarket is made from scratch, using farm-sourced ingredients. In addition to a variety of breakfast platters, they serve sandwiches, pizza with dough made in-house, soups, salads, and healthy dinner plates with your choice of chicken breast, flank steak or tofu, accompanied by two sides.

But this will not be white tablecloth dining; ordering is more like Panera Bread, Kraze Burgers or Fuddruckers - place your order at the counter, and you'll be given a buzzer that will go off when your meal is ready.

It's always nice to get another breakfast option, particularly a healthier one. I don't see any desserts on the menu, however. Existing locations appear to serve brunch on weekends. Check out their full menu here.

Bethesda snow cleanup continues; sidewalks blocked, new run on groceries (Photos)

As the majority of Montgomery County finally had access to the road system yesterday, a second wave of stocking up on groceries depleted some store shelves of essential items. Snow piles and unshoveled sidewalks continue to bedevil pedestrians in urban and suburban areas alike. And crews continue to remove bulk amounts of snow from downtown Bethesda, where last night Veterans Park was still in a snow drift.
Veterans Park
Wednesday night

Capital Bikeshare station
was dug out
Liberty gas station at
Bradley and Arlington
Snow pile at
Bradley Shopping Center
Wisconsin Avenue 
The infamous newspaper
boxes of downtown Bethesda
didn't weather the storm so well
Not likely to park here

Wisconsin Avenue

Wisconsin at Cheltenham 
Still snow in road
many places
Westbard Avenue at
Ridgefield Road
Ridgefield Road looking
toward River Road; snow
pile blocking sidewalk at
The milk case was raided
at the Westbard Giant
But they had plenty of
other things in stock, like
in-demand ice melter
And it's a classic brand
name you can trust

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blizzard delivers second low-crime day in Bethesda

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on January 24, according to crime data:

Assault. 4500 block East-West Highway.

Vehicle burglary. 5400 block Westbard Avenue.

Burglary. 10400 block Motor City Drive.

Burglary. 11300 block Seven Locks Road.

Friendship Heights Metro escalator reopening delayed - again! (Photos) #WMATA #DC

Is anybody believing WMATA apologist Dr. Gridlock's prediction that this year will be the one Metro turns it around? Not if they needed to ride a subway or bus earlier this week after the storm. And certainly not if they use the Friendship Heights Metro station.

The Western Avenue/Wisconsin Circle bus bays-to-middle-landing escalator at the station has been out of service for literally years now, during the world's longest modernization project. It was originally scheduled to reopen on July 19, 2014.

That date came and went. So did another. And another. And...well, you get the picture.

Now we have another postponement. And other another date.

July 2016. A full two years after the original reopening date.

Place your bets.