Archive for the 'Schools' Category

February 2012 Update

Monday, February 27th, 2012


Seven Locks Elementary School Principal Robin Gordon is inviting the community to visit the new building at 9500 Seven Locks Road on Thursday, March 8, 5:30-7:30 PM. There will be refreshments and self-guided tours. Special note: At 7 PM, Mrs. Gordon will open a brief meeting launching the Seven Locks Educational Foundation. This is a new cooperative venture between the PTA and the community to help support special projects at the school — from landscaping, to displays reflecting the unique historical heritage of the school named for the “seven locks” segment of the C and O Canal.


  • April 3: Presidential Primary Election
  • Voting Place: Seven Locks Elementary School (Now that the new school is open, we’re back to our traditional polling place.)
  • New Congressional District: Due to re-districting, we will be in District 6 with a new representative.
  • Board of Education: The primary will include selection of some School Board members; you can vote on all at-large and district reps. To learn more, attend a Candidates’ Forum, Thursday, March 15, 7:30-9:30 PM, Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veteran’s Plaza, Silver Spring. Sponsored by the Montgomery County Civic Federation.
  • For more information on voting (registration, absentee ballots, etc.) contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections. 24-hour voter information line: 240-777-VOTE. Address: 18753-210 N. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg 20879.
  • Early voting available at five centers, March 24-29, 10 AM – 8 PM, Sunday hours – noon-6 PM. Early Voting Centers are located at:
    1. Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center, 14625 Bauer Drive, Rockville 20853
    2. Germantown Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown 20874
    3. Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville 20866
    4. Montgomery County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville 20850
    5. Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veteran’s Plaza, Silver Spring 20910

SECURITY ALERT: One neighbor has reported a theft that reminds us to be alert to ALL kinds of comings and goings in our community. The Ooi family at 9107 Charred Oak Drive was surprised to find missing from their backyard a stone Japanese lantern and a 8-foot long ornamental bridge. They believe that removing these large heavy items would have required several men with equipment and a sizeable truck. Moral of the story: when in doubt about something out of the ordinary, alert your neighbor and call the police! And, of course, anyone with any information on this incident or anything similar in our community, contact Sandy Vogelgesang, WBCA president (


To conclude our Spring Update on a lighter note, we’ve been intrigued to learn from many of you some of the interesting history of our neighborhood. Keep those stories coming! Our favorite this time: Stephen Colbert used to live on Honeybee Lane. Neighbors report seeing the very large Colbert family (pronounced Coal – BERT then!) parading, like little ducks following their parents, down Charred Oak Drive to Sunday services at the nearby Catholic church. Who knew?!

December Update

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Latest on Telecom Tower at Seven Locks/Bradley Boulevard Intersection

The Montgomery County Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings held a public hearing, November 28, on the Petition of SBA Structures, Inc. and Verizon Maryland Inc. for a special exception of the Zoning Ordinance to permit replacing the radio tower on the site (7887 Bradley Boulevard) with a new telecommunications facility. That facility would include a 105-foot monopole, nine panel antennas, three dishes and three future antennas, eighteen Tower Mounted Amplifiers, and a support structure to hold two telecommunication carriers. In response to resident concerns and a vote of the WBCA Board, the West Bradley Citizens’ Association sent a letter, November 14, registering opposition to the Petition. In a letter dated November 21, WBCA also registered objection to permitting the Petitioner to change its special exception request on short notice during Thanksgiving week. WBCA representatives attended the hearing on November 28 and testified for the record.

The Hearing Examiner (Lynn Robeson) took two actions at the Hearing: (1) She denied the Applicant’s Motion to Amend the Petition and (2) she postponed a public hearing on the Petition indefinitely in order to permit the Applicant an opportunity to address the many issues raised in the Technical Staff Report (prepared by Leslie Saville, Senior Planner, M-NCPPC) as well as to provide the information that the Hearing Examiner requested at the Hearing. Ms. Robeson encouraged the Applicant (represented by attorney Tracy Anderson) to work with the community to address concerns raised in correspondence and the hearing. Senior Planner Saville will meet with Attorney Anderson on Dec. 6 to review issues raised by the Planning Staff and would welcome any additional questions from our community. If any WBCA residents would like to submit questions, send them to Sandy Vogelgesang (WBCA president – by COB Dec. 2 so that we can dispatch a consolidated collection to the Planning Staff. Although WBCA has already flagged such concerns as the expanded telecom facility’s impact on health, the environment and property values as well as violation of County setback requirements and safety issues, we would be pleased to forward your more detailed questions on those and other issues Despite the strong critique of the Application from the Planning Staff and Hearing Examiner and the unanimous opposition of three civic/homeowner associations (West Bradley, Deerfield, and Riverhill), the Seven Locks PTA, and individual residents, we have probably not heard the last of this Petition. The Applicant will probably call for meetings with our community, followed by another County Hearing (probably in Spring 2012). Bottom line: there is still the prospect of a large new telecom complex just across the street from Seven Locks Elementary School that many residents believe would constitute a major eyesore with negative impact on many community interests. Short-term: dispatch questions you’d like addressed. Longer-term: stay tuned for alerts on need to organize for meetings and hearing.

Seven Locks Elementary – Ready for Prime Time!

Many residents have asked whether the new building will actually open as scheduled on January 4, 2012. WBCA met with the principal, Robin Gordon, this last week and the answer is YES! Although there are mounds of dirt and construction material outside, some furniture has already been installed inside. The first of the displays commemorating the school’s links to the historic C and O Canal – a large mural of Canal life – will greet students in the main entry hall. A group, including West Bradley reps, has been active in selecting other displays celebrating the historic heritage of the Seven Locks community. For those who might wonder where the name “Seven Locks” comes from, it is the segment of seven locks of the Canal, encompassing eight through fourteen, that raised the level of water for Canal barges 56 feet in a little over one mile. Fun facts to know and tell!

Happy Holidays!

Finally, as we head into December, one of the best ways to get into a celebratory mood right here in West Bradley is to stroll over to 9432 Rosehill Drive, just south of the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Bradley. Kudos again to the Elliott family for producing a winter festival with sound and light displays bound to bring a smile to one and all!

Verizon project at 7 Locks and Bradley

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Several residents have asked about the proposed project at the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard. The notice posted on the property across from Seven Locks Elementary School concerns the Verizon petition for a special exception of Section 59-G-2.58 of the Zoning Ordinance to permit replacing the radio tower on the site (7887 Bradley Boulevard) with a new telecommunications facility. That facility would include a 105-foot monopole, nine panel antennas, three dishes and three future antennas, eighteen Tower Mounted Amplifiers, and a support structure to hold two telecommunication carriers. The notice for Case No. S-2762 includes more details on the 2726 square-foot equipment compound including 10-20-foot concrete pad and provision for three future equipment pads. There will be a public hearing in the County Council Office Building on November 28, 2011 or “as soon thereafter as this matter can be heard.”

The WBCA Board has flagged this item for the Seven Locks PTA because of the possible health implications for children at the new Seven Locks building and also alerted neighboring community associations that are even more directly affected by the project. Any residents who would be interested in working on this project or who have more information on the subject or views you want registered should email Sandy Vogelgesang at Copies of material about the project can be obtained from the Montgomery County Board of Appeals. Based on what we learn, WBCA may request an informational meeting or make a formal presentation at the public hearing in November.

West Bradley Community Update – Fall 2011

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

As all of us in the West Bradley community begin to enjoy the cooling and colorful days of autumn, there’s lots to report!

  • Great trail in our neighborhood! One of the best places to enjoy autumn is right here in our own background! Walk along the Cabin John Stream Valley Trail in the park which forms the western boundary of the West Bradley Citizens’ Association and you will be transported by the beauty of the sparkling stream and towering trees. The trail goes from MacArthur Boulevard to Goya Drive. For map, visit Trails/trail_maps.shtm and click on Cabin John Stream Valley Trail. You can access this trail from the parking spaces along River Road (near Carderock Springs Drive) or Bradley Boulevard (near Kentsdale Drive) or at the foot of Charred Oak Drive at intersection with Hollyoak or along Cindy Lane.
  • New school to open! Seven Locks Elementary School will return to its original site in just three months – on January 4, 2012! One of the projects undertaken by the SLES PTA and surrounding community, including West Bradley, is to work with the C and O National Park Service to reflect the history of the Canal in the new school. The plan is to use photographs of Canal families, maps, models of canal barges and landscaping to help bring this unique heritage to life for students. Once specific displays have been identified and costs estimated, we will let all who are interested know how they can help support this celebration of our local history!
  • Latest from Pepco! Tom Graham, Pepco president, has responded to the many complaints from our area about unreliable service. His recent letter highlights the increased tree trimming in our area as one means to help prevent damage to power lines. We know that many in our community were pleasantly surprised when they did not lose power during Hurricane Irene. That said, let us know if you and your immediate neighbors continue to suffer from unreliable service from Pepco so that we can continue to register those concerns and seek more action.
  • Want to cut energy costs? The Montgomery County and Maryland governments are working with Pepco to encourage more energy efficiency through rebates. To learn more about these programs, see and On the Pepco site, you can sign up for a “Quick Home Energy Check-up” (free if the surveyor installs at least three energy-savings products) or a “Comprehensive Home Energy Audit” ($100 for 2-4 hour inspection and written report which may qualify you for rebates). One good source for assessing the reputation of firms participating in this program is Washington Consumers’ Checkbook (
  • Not too soon to plan ahead for winter! Several residents have asked whether West Bradley residents could share information on individuals or firms who provide reliable snow removal. For starters, we’d welcome hearing of local youngsters who would be interested in being on a list of those available to earn money shoveling snow. We’d also appreciate leads on others who could be relied on to shovel snow in our area. Dispatch your suggestions to either or both of our discussion listservs. For instructions on accessing those listservs, go to West Bradley Citizens Association website (
  • Interested in the latest on County crime? Police Chief Tom Manger will address the next meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, Monday, October 11. Place: County Council Office Building (first-floor auditorium), 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Starting time: 7:45 PM. Free parking in adjacent garage. Manger is a great speaker. He’s set to discuss everything from gang violence and Neighborhood Watch Programs, to the proposed Teen Curfew Bill. After his one-hour program (including Q and A), there will be reports on other key local issues. West Bradley belongs to the Civic Federation (the umbrella organization for County civic associations). All residents are welcome to attend any monthly meeting of the Federation (second Monday of each month). For more information, see www.
  • Kudos to local hero! A big shout-out to Duncan Seguin, son of Matt and Ellen who live in West Bradley. His quick thinking and application of CPR saved the life of the senior referee at a recent soccer tournament. Well-done!
  • Request to dog walkers! Several neighbors have asked us to issue a friendly reminder. Please clean up after your pets and assure that they do not run too exuberantly through prized flower beds.
  • Next steps on listservs and suggestions for Board! Your WBCA Board met this summer. One of our main goals is to update the announcement listserv used for general announcements and emergency alerts. That list is only as good as its data. To keep it up-to-date, we need YOUR input! Everyone can help – from street captains to any resident of West Bradley. Let us know when your email changes or when someone new moves onto your block. Just email name and contact information to Sandy Vogelgesang at In the meantime, the Board continues to welcome your ideas and questions. If you want to suggest events or flag concerns, let us know (contact information at
  • Welcome! Finally, to those who are new to our neighborhood or new to our listserv, a warm welcome!

Fall Update

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Greetings to all of you as we begin to look forward to the new Fall Season!

Here are some new updates for our West Bradley community on both sides of Seven Locks Road:

Back to School! The County’s 2010-11 school calendar is now available. You can print or download it to the electronic calendar on your computer or mobile. Visit: . The calendar is available on the web in Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. School begins on August 30, 2010 and ends on June 16, 2011. MCPS students and their families will be invited to kick off the new school year at the third annual Back-to-School Fair on August 28. For more information, see:

Time to Vote – New Place, New Options!

  • West Bradley residents will vote in a new location for this year’s Primary and General Elections. Because Seven Locks Elementary School will be closed for rebuilding, we will vote at Carderock Springs Elementary School on Persimmon Tree Lane.
  • In addition to voting at the new polling place, other options are available.
  • Maryland has “no excuse” absentee voting, which means that registered voters can request a mailed absentee ballot, for any reason, by using the BOE website: or by calling the 24-hour voter hotline: 240-777-8683. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot for the Primary is September 7 and the deadline for the General Election is October 26. Voters may also go in person to the BOE office (18753-210 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg – Directions) and apply to vote absentee and be given an absentee ballot to be voted at that time at the BOE office.
  • Maryland will institute Early Voting for the first time this year. There will be five early voting centers in Montgomery County open September 3-9 (excluding Sunday, Sept. 4) for the Primary Election and from October 22-28 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 24) for the General Election. For information on Early Voting:

More on the Election – Judges and Registration: The Montgomery County Board of Elections is seeking individuals to serve as election judges at polling places for the Primary on September 14 and the General Election on November 2. Unaffiliated and Republican judges are especially needed. A stipend is provided for training and election day service. For Info:  The Montgomery County Board of Elections will conduct voter registration drives on Saturdays from 11 am to 1 pm at the local public libraries during August.

MC311 – New One-Stop Shopping for County Information! For all non-emergency information and services from Montgomery County, you can now call one number (311) or go to one website ( . That includes notice about such items as trees that fall across County roads. For emergency calls, including downed trees with “hot” or sparking wires that constitute an immediate safety hazard, continue to call 911.

Pepco! Two months ago — yes, well before the latest power outage! — WBCA had sent a letter to the PEPCO president registering concern about the frequent loss of power in our community. PEPCO responded with the promise to undertake an “assessment” of what can be done. While awaiting that report, we are pleased to note that several County leaders, including County Executive Leggett, have registered their dissatisfaction with PEPCO’s response to the latest storm. Stay tuned!

Fun at the Fair! There will be lots of activities at the annual Montgomery County Fair, August 13-21. Enjoy the Demolition Derby, Rodeo, Monster Trucks, Tractor Pull, Stilt Walker, Fair Idol, musical entertainment, community performances, KidZone, carnival rides, and more! See:

Montgomery County Snapshot: Want to know more about your County? The Park and Planning Department has produced a report covering everything from demographics to tax data and education levels. See:

YOUR Ideas for West Bradley! As we look forward to the Fall Season, your WBCA Board wants to hear from YOU! What new or different services and events would you like? Street captains and other neighbors, would new residents on your block like to get West Bradley welcome packages with information about our community? Community entrepreneurs, would you like to donate material advertising your business that might be included in those welcome packages? All residents, would you enjoy more community events such as a Halloween party or Fourth of July parade? Something else? Let your WBCA Board know your views! For contact information, visit our WBCA website at

June 2010 update

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Dealing with Deer:   Hungry deer continue to devour gardens and help spread Lyme disease in our community! For those interested in learning what can be done, attend the next meeting of the Montgomery County Civic Federation (MCCF) on Monday, June 14. Place: County Council Office Building, First Floor Auditorium, 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Time: 7:45-10:00 PM. Free parking in adjacent County Council garage. Bill Hamilton, the Parks Department Principal Natural Resource Specialist, will be the featured speaker at this monthly meeting of County civic associations and citizens. Since West Bradley belongs to MCCF, all of you are welcome to attend. It will be a good opportunity to follow up on the letters that many of us sent to Mr. Hamilton this last year and voice concern about budget decreases that may undercut County deer management programs. MCCF meetings are useful for providing information not only on the featured topic but also on all kinds of County issues that affect us in West Bradley.

Heads-up on Hollyoak/Deepwell Intersection:  Residents in this area of West Bradley have become increasingly concerned about the number of cars that speed through this intersection despite the four-way stop signs and the fact that this street crossing is a school bus stop. There has been one accident and there have been several near-misses. For this reason, residents in the Hollyoak/Deepwell area have asked the County Police to have a cruiser at that intersection, especially during rush hours. Hence, a caution to one and all – do honor the stop signs or risk a ticket. Most to the point, for the sake of safety, drive gently and legally throughout our community!

Help Update Email Listserv:  To all those wonderful neighbors who volunteered to serve as street captains, please let Sandy Vogelgesang ( know the address, phone number and email of new residents on your block or changes in emails for continuing residents. Our listserv works well only if we have up-to-date emails. For those who are not street reps but get this notice via the discussion listservs, do subscribe to the announcement listserv by clicking on and let Sandy know your contact info as well so that we have a current overall contact list for the community. Thanks so much for your help!

Building at Seven Locks/Change of Voting Place:  Work will begin this summer on the new Seven Locks Elementary School. Both the building and grounds will be closed in order to prepare for demolition of the current structure, mid-late summer, and the beginning of construction of the new expanded school this fall. Because of the project, those in Precinct 10-3 who normally vote at Seven Locks will vote at Carderock Elementary School for both the September primary and November election.

Happy Summer! Let your WBCA Board know if there are any issues you would like us to address or ideas for more community activity. In the meantime, enjoy a wonderful summer!

November 2009 Update

Friday, November 13th, 2009


Lost Dog: Neighbors east of Seven Locks Road have found a lost dog this morning. It is a fawn-colored Pitt bull/boxer with no collar. The dog is now in a fenced side yard at 7700 Glennon Road. For inquiries, call Alison Long on her cell (240-676-3891).

Deer Problem: Thanks to all who emailed Bill Hamilton at County Parks regarding growing problem in our community. Based on data provided in email copies to WBCA. Sandy Vogelgesang (WBCA president) has sent letter in behalf of the entire community to Montgomery County’s Director of Parks. The letter underscored the three issues emphasized by residents (road safety, Lyme disease, and vegetation damage) and asked for County assessment and recommendations for action. Since County Parks has limited budget, staff will respond most readily to areas where residents raise most concerns. So, for those who have a problem with deer and have not sent in message, email Bill Hamilton at and provide info copies to Sandy (

Reminders on Two Health Events:

 Wellness Forum TODAY (November 13): 1-4 PM at Sunrise at Fox Hill, 8300 Burdette Road. Congressman Chris van Hollen guest speaker. No fee or RSVP.

 Panel on Federal Health Insurance Plans for Open Season: November 19, 7-9 PM, executive auditorium of Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street in Rockville. Panel begins at 7:30. Parking available in nearby garage and on street.

Seven Locks Elementary School: West Bradley Citizens’ Association joined with neighboring Deerfield Weathered Oak Citizens’ Association in appearing before the County School Superintendent and Board of Education for annual budget hearings, November 12. We underscored strong support for full funding for new school with gym, to be completed by January 2012.

Fall Update 2009

Sunday, September 13th, 2009


Greetings from your WBCA Board! We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful summer! As we head into autumn, here’s the latest on local issues of interest to our community:

New Seven Locks Elementary School on Track. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) reports continuing progress. Final drawings are being prepared for construction that will begin in July 2010. The new school, which will be twice the size of the current building and include a gymnasium, is scheduled to open in January 2012.

New Community Discussion Lists. Need tips from your neighbors about everything from babysitters to repair firms? WBCA has two discussion lists (burningrose for those east of Seven Locks Road and westofsevenlocks for those on the other side of Seven Locks) in addition to our announcement-only listserv. To subscribe to either or both of the discussion lists, email J.J. MacNab at

Help Update Neighbors’ Network. Serious crime in our community last fall provided a wake-up call for all of us. One positive outcome was the mobilization of WBCA’s Neighbors’ Network, consisting of volunteer Street Captains for every block in our 600-family community. Thanks to these volunteers, we have contact information for most residents (especially those living alone who might need a helping hand) and a listserv with emails that enables us to communicate quickly in case of emergency. Since there’s been some turnover in the community, we’d appreciate receiving new contact information (changes in emails or new neighbors) from either Street Captains or others who know of changes. Just send the information to Sandy Vogelgesang (WBCA president) at If you have moved out of our community and no longer wish to receive notices, let us know that as well.

Openings in Local Boy Scout Troop. Now that children are returning to school, local Scouts are seeking new recruits. Several boys in our community belong to Troop 1434. They would welcome others, age 10 ½ -17 years, who would like to join them for an exciting program of outdoor adventures. The troop meets every Thursday at the Seven Locks Baptist Church, 7:30-9:00 PM. Interested parents or boys can contact Scoutmaster Geoffrey Wolfe at 301-365-2347.

Illegal Signs at Seven Locks – Bradley Intersection. Several residents have voiced concern about the proliferation of commercial ad signs at this intersection. To put up signs legally, contact Frank DeLong at Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (301-370-3655) and pay a fee for the proper permit. If you see unauthorized signs, call Mr. DeLong, who will remove them, or take them out yourself.

Free Information and Services for Seniors. Jane Ross, WBCA Board Member, attended a recent County meeting on aging in place hosted by County Councilmember Roger Berliner. Jane reports that she was happily surprised to discover how many services are available. She recommends attending the periodic County meetings for seniors since she found that the speakers are excellent, there is much free material available and complimentary coffee and cookies are served! Thanks to Jane for providing the following sources of information:

 Background on NORC (“naturally occurring retirement communities” ) in nearby Burning Tree Village. Contact Leslie Kessler (301-526-2251) for information on how Burning Tree has created a fully operational nonprofit organization to help seniors and disabled neighbors remain in their homes.
 The Senior Connection (301-777-2448)
 Jay Kenney, chairman of the Department of Health and Human Services/Aging/Disability Services (244-777-3000)
 Fire and Rescue Safety Education (240-777-2448)
 Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at Scroll down and click on “Senior Information.” That Center is a great resource for information for everyone, on everything from how to get more street lights to how to petition for a speed bump.
 Montgomery County Silver Sneaker Free Exercise Program: The closest centers are the Clara Barton Community Center and the Potomac Community Center.
 GROWS (Grass Roots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors) at or 301-765-3325
 Free “Seniors’ Resource Guide” — Call the Beacon newspaper for information.
 Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (240-777-3636).

What Can We Do for You? Let us know how West Bradley Citizens’ Association can help address any issues of concern to you. Our goal is to help build a sense of community and protect the interests of our neighborhood. Do visit our website ( for background and contact information. And to all of you who are new to our neighborhood, WELCOME!

Community Update – May 8, 2009

Friday, May 8th, 2009

COMMUNITY MEETING WITH SCHOOL BOARD. Neighbors in the West Bradley community are invited to meet with the elected members of the Montgomery County Board of Education at Winston Churchill High School, Thursday, May 14, 7:30-9:00 PM. This will be an excellent opportunity to talk directly with the officials who affect over half of the County budget and who shape public education for our children. The Board of Education will play a key role in deciding whether plans for building a new facility for Seven Locks Elementary School proceed.

LEAF COLLECTION. Canvassing to determine interest in signing up the entire West Bradley area for County leaf collection has indicated mixed returns. Since there does not appear to be the required 80 percent support, those who are interested in this issue plan to pursue other approaches. Those interested in helping should contact Greg Barr ( Thanks to Greg and J.J. MacNab for taking the lead on this issue!

SPEED CAMERAS. Don’t shoot the messenger! There’s a new speed camera on Seven Locks Road (in addition to the one near Seven Locks Elementary). The latest set of cameras is installed near the intersection of Seven Locks and MacArthur Boulevard. It latter tracks speed for both northbound and southbound traffic. One resident has flagged the fact that opponents of the expansion of speed cameras throughout Maryland are organizing a petition campaign against action taken recently in Annapolis. For more information, see:

COMMUNITY YARD SALE. Kudos to Dana Hollish Hill for mobilizing our first community yard sale! Over twenty families set up sale stands and much fun was had by all! Justine Rowden, a WBCA resident, signed copies of her new book, Paint Me a Poem, which is featured in this week’s issue of the Gazette. The first presentation was to one the youngest residents in the West Bradley community, Carter Lee Jillings — new son of Matt and Lee Anne Jillings. Welcome Carter!

February Update

Thursday, February 5th, 2009


The preliminary plans for the new Seven Locks Elementary School have just been delivered to WBCA and are ready for presentation this month to the Montgomery County Board of Education. (Copy available through WBCA president Sandy Vogelgesang) The existing 30,000 square-foot building is to be razed and replaced by a 67,000 square-foot building including a gymnasium. Energy efficiency was one of the issues emphasized by the Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) of school and community representatives working with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on the project. The new school will thus be certified for high-level conformance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The plans reflect FAC emphasis on providing state-of-the art classroom facilities, maintaining maximal green space for recreation on site, and ensuring greater traffic safety via entry-exit on both Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard. If the project is approved by the School Board and funding remains available, the construction drawings will be completed and the building contract will be awarded next year. The new school is scheduled to open in January 2012.


An apparently rabid raccoon attacked a child in the WBCA area (near Honeybee Lane) this morning (February 4) when she was on her way to the school bus stop. She was bitten and taken to the hospital for the rabies protocol. Neighbors contacted the Humane Society which responded quickly and took the raccoon for testing. The preliminary judgment was that the raccoon was probably rabid since it attacked, unprovoked, in daylight and since it appeared sick. Do alert children, in particular, to this incident. Let us know if there are any other comparable incidents. For your reference, the number to call for animal emergencies is 240-773-5900. The general number for Animal Control, the Humane Society and the Animal Shelter is 240-773-5960.

Quick Updates

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Help Support and Design Your Community School! You will have one last chance to voice your views about the new school in our community. The Montgomery County Public School staff and architects will present draft designs this week for the new school that will be built on the site of the current Seven Locks Elementary School. If you have young children, you will want to see and influence what is planned. Even if you do not have school-age children, this is your opportunity to help shape the building that will stand at the intersection of Seven Locks and Bradley. Many of you fought hard to preserve this neighborhood school. Attending this meeting will help underscore the importance which our community attaches to the Seven Locks school and recreation area. Do come! Date: Tuesday, December 9. Time: 7:00 PM Place: Seven Locks Elementary School Multi-purpose Room.

Crime Alert. Remember to remain alert to crime, since it tends to increase at this time of year and since we continue to have reported incidents in our neighborhood. Some of the break-ins of cars have been quite professional – with alarm systems deactivated before thieves took lap-tops and air-bags. Note also that crime is on the increase at our local malls. So take special precautions for your personal safety and lock your car at Cabin John Mall and Montgomery Mall.

Holiday Greetings! This community has really come together this year – with a new website (, expanded email listserv and Neighborhood Network. Keep up the great work as we proceed with more programs (from leaf collection and references for baby-sitting and repair service) to more social gatherings and initiatives to help some age in place. And, to all of you, Warm Holiday Greetings!

November-December 2008 Update

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008


CRIME: The suspect in the Havenstein murder is in jail, pending the court date for his trial. Although he has been caught, County police advise residents to remain vigilant regarding other crime. One alert WBCA resident’s report of a stolen laptop was key to breaking the homicide case! Report any suspicious behavior – since there is some evidence of increasing crime in the area (including at Cabin John and Montgomery Malls). Call 911 or the general crime number (301-279-8000).

NEIGHBORHOOD FOLLOW-UP ON SECURTY SITUATION: One WBCA goal has been to achieve something positive from the tragic event that occurred this fall – namely, a greater sense of community and connection. We have thus taken the following actions:

 Doubled our email listserv so that we can reach more of you faster, especially in case of an emergency.
 Established a West Bradley website – thanks to J.J. MacNab! Check it out at
 Set up Neighbors’ Network – thanks to all who have volunteered to gather contact information on the blocks where you live, hold social events, and identify priorities on your street!

SCHOOLS: There are two more opportunities to voice your view on the new school, scheduled to replace the current Seven Locks Elementary School by January 2012. The Montgomery County Public Schools staff will hold open meetings on Tuesday, November 18 (3:30 PM) and on Tuesday, December 9 (7:00 PM) at Seven Locks School – showing draft designs for the expanded facility and proposals for new traffic access to the site. Due to budget shortfalls for school construction, WBCA has testified before the County School Board supporting the Seven Locks project.

PROPERTY TAXES: Want to know how your property taxes are assessed and how to appeal them? If so, sign up to attend seminar offered by the Montgomery County Civic Federation (the umbrella organization of community organizations to which WBCA belongs). The seminar will be held on Saturday, December 6, 9-11:30 AM, in the first floor auditorium of the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Free parking in the adjacent garage. Small fee may be assessed to cover costs of materials and light refreshments. If interested, rsvp to or

OTHER ISSUES: Although some WBCA residents already enjoy County leaf vacuuming service each fall, most do not. Those interested in getting that service (covered by a small charge in your County tax bill) will have the opportunity to sign a petition being prepared by WBCA resident Greg Barr. Let us know other ways that YOUR civic association can help YOU! Interested in more lighting or police surveillance? Programs for aging in place? Information on reliable repair services? We are here to serve you!

Seven Locks Elementary School Update

Thursday, October 16th, 2008


Superintendent Weast of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) issued the proposed recommendation for boundary changes for Bells Mill ES, Potomac ES, and Seven Locks ES on October 15. Click here for the the link providing details on his decision and background on the options considered.

The Board of Education (BOE) schedule for review and action on this recommendation is as follows:

November 6, 2008 — BOE work session
November 12 & 13, 2008 — BOE public hearings
November 20, 2008 — BOE action

Interested members of the community served by Seven Locks Elementary School (all of the West Bradley Citizens’ Association community) will have the opportunity to attend and participate in the public hearings.

Seven Locks Elementary School Update

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008



Plans remain on track for building a new school on the current site for Seven Locks Elementary at the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard. Residents are invited to participate in the meetings to review plans for the new school held by the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The schedule for the meetings, to be held in the multi-purpose room of the school, is as follows:

  • Sept. 25, 7 PM
  • Oct. 14, 3:30 PM
  • Nov. 18, 3:30 PM
  • Dec. 9, 7 PM

The architectural drawings displayed at the first meeting reflect a compact two-story building for about 400 students, featuring many environmental innovations and a large gymnasium. Plans also reflect the priority underscored by the community for enhancing safety at the busy Seven Locks/Bradley intersection and for retaining the popular recreation area surrounding the school. The community is particularly encouraged to attend the final meeting in December. If all proceeds as planned, construction will begin in the summer of 2010 and the new school will open in January 2012.