Are you partial to Chevy Chase or Bethesda? It's not like the border dispute between Gaithersburg and Rockville earlier this summer. But why not stir up a little trouble?
- Amenities: A+
- Crime: A+
- Cost of living: F
- Education: C
- Employment: A+
- Housing: A+
- Weather: B
That F might have something to do with the approximate median list price of Chevy Chase houses, which is $1.2 million. Even with that mark against it, AreaVibes gave Chevy Chase a "Livability Score" of 87, while Bethesda received an 84. What if the criteria were best cupcakes? Which would come out ahead then? You decide.
Nearly a third of Montgomery County’s police cruisers were called off the road last week because two officers found themselves with malfunctioning steering on their county-issued Crown Victorias. Lt. Darren Francke told Patch he'd never seen anything like it. “This is uncharted territory. The total loss of steering was such a critical issue that we had to bring the fleet down,” Francke said. “The majority of officer deaths are related to vehicle accidents, so we take any kind of vehicle failure very seriously.” Out of hundreds of vehicles, two were found to be "on the verge of failure," Francke said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was called in.
Gaithersburg, Mecca for Biotech
Gaithersburg's largest private employer, MedImmune, will add some 110 new jobs to its local and Frederick offices and aspires to reach $5 billion annual revenue in 2020, nearly four-and-a-half times its current levels, company officials say. "You have one of the largest players in the industry in your backyard and we're very happy to be here," MedImmune Executive Vice President of Operations Andy Skibo told the Gaithersburg mayor and City Council. MedImmune's Gaithersburg headquarters off Great Seneca Highway near Quince Orchard Road currently house 2,300 employees. MedImmune has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is the wholly owned biologics business for AstraZeneca, according to its website.
Table for 45,000 Please
There's no waiting to be seated at many Bethesda restaurants Saturday, Oct. 6. The restaurants will come to you -- at the 23rd annual Taste of Bethesda at the Woodmont Triangle from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some 45,000 people are expected to be there to try the food from more than 55 restaurants, including 10 that have just debuted -- the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, the Box Bar & Grill, Freddy’s Lobster, Kraze Burgers, Luke’s Lobster, The Majestic Bar & Grill, Nando’s Peri-Peri, Panas Gourmet Empanadas, Purée Artisan Juice Bar, and Tandoori Nights.
Silver Spring Transit Center Opening Not Set in Concrete
When will the Silver Spring Transit Center open? It’s anybody’s guess. County officials are waiting for outside engineers to study the structure’s concrete, which they say was improperly poured, and that will take at least two months, Don Dise, Montgomery County general services director, told The Washington Post. The $112 million project that will bring Silver Spring’s Metrorail, MARC, bus lines and taxis together is two years behind schedule.
What's to stop Maryland drivers from blowing through an E-ZPass toll without paying? Perhaps only their consciences. Thousands of vehicles are repeatedly using E-ZPass lanes without an E-ZPass transponder, and the state is doing little to collect the millions in unpaid tolls, The Washington Post reported. In total, nearly 650,000 vehicle owners owe about $6.7 million in unpaid tolls dating back five years, the Maryland Transportation authority told The Washington Post.
If one of those toll roads you may be tempted to drive as a non-E-ZPass-paying outlaw is the Intercounty Connector, take heed. Two bridges that carry ICC drivers through East Montgomery County have cracks, state inspectors have found, according to WTOP reports. A spokesperson for the ICC said the bridges are safe, despite the fissures, which he said impact durability. Independent contractors will foot the bill to repair the bridges. The road that stretches from Gaithersburg to Laurel cost the state about $2.56 billion. The eastern portion, from Georgia Avenue to I-95, opened last November. Here is everything you've ever wanted to know about the Intercounty Connector.
Hey, It's German-town
Don't get your Lederhosen in a bunch, but the 30th annual Germantown Oktboberfest isn’t going to be held in Germantown this year. Oktoberfest is set for Oct. 6 at High Point Farm in Clarksburg, miles from its former site at Ridge Road Park in Germantown. Organizers estimate between 7,000 and 10,000 attendees at the free festival. “We outgrew the park and couldn’t find any place in Germantown that would work,” said Susan Austin, an event chairwoman. The relocation prompted the Germantown Historical Society to pull out of the festival. Organization President Susan Soderberg, who writes a monthly column for Germantown Patch, made the announcement in a letter to the editor published in The Gazette:
The Germantown Oktoberfest was created by the Germantown Alliance 30 years ago in order to foster community identity and local camaraderie. Moving it out of Germantown defeats the purpose of the festival.
Peg Legs, Eye Patches and Black Eyeliner for Everyone
Don't make me do this. Ahoy mateys! Yo ho ho, and a heads up to ye. Wednesday, Sept. 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we say. So, it's appropriate, hear ye, that we tell the story of how Piratz Tavern Bar in Silver Spring told Spike TV to walk the plank, setting off a crazy pirate war on the obscure seas of reality television. You may have thought the "Piratz Tavern rejects Spike TV's 'Bar Rescue' makeover" drama was over, but the television network's website had to go and provide a post-mortem on the debacle, complete with scathing commentary from show host Jon Taffer. If you haven't been following along, Piratz Tavern, a downtown Silver Spring eatery with a--you guessed it--pirates theme, was chosen as the subject of "Bar Rescue." Suffice it to say that pirates don't need rescuing, and their agenda has always been more about bottles of rum than treasure chests of doubloons.
In other news:
--With concussions on the rise among high school and collegiate athletes, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr announced that MCPS is considering a district-wide baseline testing program to assist in identifying student athletes who suffer concussions and to help in determining when they can safely return to the playing field.
--Have you noticed the "Welcome to Glenmont" signs? The five signs are the result of cooperation between the county government, the Greater Glenmont Civic Association and the nonprofit Montgomery Housing Partnership. "Signs help to define a neighborhood," said MHP President Rob Goldman at an unveiling ceremony.
--Many know Chevy Chase Village for its speed cameras installed on either side of Connecticut Avenue outside Chevy Chase Village Hall just a few blocks north of Chevy Chase Circle and the Maryland-Washington, DC, line. The feisty village now is demanding a pedestrian-activated signal and marked crosswalk across the road near the village hall. The Maryland State Highway Administration says no, but the village isn't letting it drop and is pressing the case with state delegates.
--The Town Council in Kensington has approved the extension of a contractual agreement with Beltsville, MD-based NZI Construction Corporation to repave streets, potentially including Warner Street, Detrick Avenue, Kaiser Place, Wheatley Street, Dupont Avenue, Kent Street (west of Kensington Parkway), and Frederick Avenue (north of Kent Street).
--Take a trip down memory lane with our photo gallery of the Rockville City Council Chamber through the years. Check out those haircuts and women's shoulder pads!