Saturday, November 30, 2019

Bethesda art pop-up to benefit the homeless

An art pop-up shop this weekend in downtown Bethesda will benefit homeless people in Montgomery County. The Pop Up Art Gallery Sale is at 4715 Cordell Avenue, in the ground floor of what the Montgomery County Council called the "apartment building for homeless people."
The location is appropriate, as proceeds from the sale will go to the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless. Hours are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM today and tomorrow, November 30 and December 1, 2019.

Friday, November 29, 2019

North Bethesda woman missing

Montgomery County police are searching for a missing North Bethesda woman. Giselle Del Jones, 52, of the 11800 block of Grand Park Avenue, hasn't been seen since she left home at 5:00 PM on November 26.

Police describe Del Jones as being about 5’03” tall, 120 pounds, with brown eyes and long brown hair. She was wearing a black jacket and jeans when she disappeared.

Detectives say Del Jones is familiar with public transit, and believe she may be using it to travel. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Del Jones is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (available 24 hours).

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Sign installed at Potbelly in Friendship Heights

The sign is up at Potbelly, the sandwich shop opening soon at 4459 Willard Avenue, in the Friendship Heights area of Chevy Chase. Potbelly replaces former tenant Panera Bread.

Bethesda Walgreens may be the smallest drug store ever (Photos)

The window coverings have been removed at the future Walgreens store at the Bradley Shopping Center in downtown Bethesda. It is certainly not going to be a full-size Walgreens, to state the obvious. But it's pretty shocking just how tiny the store is, when arch-rival CVS right across the street has many times the floor space. There's certainly plenty of demand for a full-size Walgreens in Bethesda, but this looks more like the chain's new pharmacy-focused "small store" concept. Bring back drug stores with lunch counters and soda fountains, I say!

Bethesda gets the worst of high winds for Thanksgiving

Bethesda is the hardest-hit area in Montgomery County so far this morning, after high winds gusting up to 50 MPH passed through overnight, and continue today. Trees fell on Burdette Road and Redwood Avenue, causing power outages and a transformer fire, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Pete Piringer.

Pepco reports there are currently four power outages in Bethesda. 161 customers are without power at this hour. The utility hopes to have those customers back online by noon, enough time to cook Thanksgiving dinner, possible with replacement turkeys and other ingredients (many grocery stores will be open this afternoon).

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Ceremony Coffee Roasters Bethesda opening update

The opening of Ceremony Coffee Roasters at 7475 Wisconsin Avenue is almost a year behind schedule. A spokesperson for the company tells me that the Bethesda location is now aiming for an early January 2020 opening. The shop will be in the Bethesda Crescent Building.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Snickerdoodle McFlurry now available at McDonald's

A new McFlurry variety is a rare thing at McDonald's. More often, existing flavors are being purged than new ones being added. A moment of silence for the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Rolo McFlurries is in order here. But once that moment passes, head to McDonald's to try their new Snickerdoodle McFlurry.
Based on the famed German sugar and cinnamon cookie that found its way to America, the Snickerdoodle McFlurry features slightly crunchy snickerdoodle cookie pieces, white chunks that taste like white chocolate, and cinnamon. The wonderful aroma alone may be worth the slightly hefty $3.39 for a regular size. A smaller snack size is available, as well.

Dr. Bear returns to Bethesda for the holidays

The doctor is in! Dr. Bear is back on the premises at Federal Realty's Bethesda Row, Wildwood Shopping Center, Rockville Town Square, Congressional Plaza, Montrose Crossing, and Pike & Rose developments for the holiday season. He's also at the Collection in Chevy Chase, on Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring, at Macy's in Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Cabin John Village in Potomac, Fallsgrove Village Center in Rockville, Rio Lakefront and Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg, and at Market Square in the Kentlands.
Donate to the Children's Hospital Foundation, and Dr. Bear lights up all over the D.C. area, including at the above locations. There are new colors this year, to boot.

Monday, November 25, 2019

EuroMotorcars Bethesda showroom demolished (Photos)

The EuroMotorcars showroom at 7020 Arlington Road, a downtown Bethesda landmark for decades, has been demolished. A new dealership structure will be built on the property after the demolition is completed. The dealership remains open for business during the demolition and construction.

Signs of new tenants at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

There's now physical evidence of two new tenants I've told you about previously at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Just in time for holiday gift-giving, Bliss in a Bottle's kiosk is now being set up. They will sell chocolate-covered wine bottles.

In the Dining Terrace, the sign is up for Patisserie Manuel. To drive home the French bakery theme, they even have a large photo of Paris on the wall. But they will also offer Chilean pastries, as well, for a more unique twist.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ficker leads Red Maryland poll for 2022 MD gubernatorial race

Robin Ficker (center) is mobbed by
supporters after a 2017 speech in Rockville
Montgomery County attorney and activist Robin Ficker has won a Red Maryland poll that asked participants which potential Republican gubernatorial candidate they would vote for, if the 2022 GOP primary were held today. Ficker received 23.8% of the votes cast, beating current Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and Congressman Andy Harris in the conservative website's poll.

Among other intriguing names on the ballot was Baltimore Orioles baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr., who received only 0.3% as a write-in candidate. Other prominent potential candidates included State Senator Michael Hough, a highly-respected conservative who has raised his statewide profile with bipartisan efforts on sentencing and prison conditions; Brian Murphy, who excited many in the base with conservative bonafides on social issues when he challenged Gov. Bob Ehrlich in the 2010 primary - picking up a Sarah Palin endorsement in the process; and Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, a former state delegate who has been seen as a promising statewide candidate by many in the party for over a decade. Schulz managed a strong showing at 5.6% among a list of dozens.

Prominent names missing from the poll included Wheel of Fortune host - and Annapolis resident - Pat Sajak, former Maryland First Lady Kendel Ehrlich, and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Charles Lollar. Lollar, of Charles County, has a resume from central casting as a successful businessman and Marine veteran. One of the relatively few Maryland Republicans who can deliver a stemwinder of a speech, Lollar is one of several African-American GOP stars in the state who haven't received the support they should have from the party during election season.

Obviously, if Ripken or Sajak were to enter the race, they would instantly be frontrunners. Ripken in particular would have tremendous bipartisan appeal, but there's no indication he's even considering a run.

Ficker remains a force in Montgomery County politics, as the only figure to repeatedly defeat the MoCo political cartel in recent times, with ballot measures that have capped property tax increases and established term limits for County Executive and County Council. The Washington Post damaged Ficker's fortunes by entirely ignoring those triumphs. Instead of giving Ficker his fair paragraphs as a seasoned politician who would bring that same skill to addressing the County's many crises, and who had more impact on the County than his opponents, the Post bizarrely described him as a "heckler" through the entire campaign year.

Jawar Mohammed appearance in Bethesda draws capacity crowd, sparks protests

Jawar Mohammed (at right) prepares to speak
at Church in Bethesda (via YouTube)
A swarm of Montgomery County police cruisers responded to Wilson Lane last night as chanting protesters gathered near the Church in Bethesda. I was told by a participant the demonstration was related to the appearance of Ethiopian media mogul and political figure Jawar Mohammed at the church, and now have been able to confirm this was the case. Video from inside the event shows a boisterous capacity crowd. The event was moved to the downtown Bethesda church following the cancellation of the original venue in the District, Catholic University.

While Jawar has fervent supporters, as evidenced by the turnout, the apparent controversy relates to political violence in Ethiopia that opponents say he was responsible for last month. No injuries or arrests related to the Bethesda protest, which appeared to be peaceful, have been announced by police. It was simply an issue of safety for all involved, and traffic management. The protests appear to have begun earlier at a hotel, then moved to Bethesda after the venue change.

For those interested in international politics and global affairs, it certainly was an exciting and interesting evening in downtown Bethesda.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Police respond to protest on Wilson Lane in Bethesda

Montgomery County police have responded in great numbers to a protest on Wilson Lane near Old Georgetown Road at this hour in downtown Bethesda. A demonstration that appears to be political in nature is being held near the Church in Bethesda. An officer said there is an "issue" at the church, and "it'll be cleared up soon."

One eyewitness told me it may involve a controversial political speaker, but that could not be immediately confirmed. Up to twenty police cars were on scene earlier this hour. This article will be updated if further details are forthcoming. For now, avoid driving in this area.

Aim Point shooting range opens at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

A new shooting range has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Located on Level 2 at the Dining Terrace, Aim Point allows players to shoot at knock-down targets with guns that resemble assault weapons. This looks like a fun addition to the entertainment options at the mall, just in time for holiday shopping. It's also much more affordable than the flight simulator that just opened upstairs. As the range's motto exhorts, "Never give up!"

Jeni's Ice Creams opens at Bethesda Row (Photos)

Here's the first look inside Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, which opened yesterday at 4918 Elm Street at Bethesda Row, next to Mamma Lucia. Customers split up between those being served for custom orders at the counter, and those buying ready-packed ice cream pints, which are available in a standalone freezer.