Archive for the 'Health / Safety' Category

Hurricane Sandy preparedness checklist

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

In the next couple of days, Hurricane Sandy could really do some damage. Are you ready?

  1. In the event of a power failure, call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662. Write this number down on a piece of paper in case you can’t access your email.
  2. Write down your emergency contact numbers. If you can’t access your computer, you may need this info.
  3. Water – Have at least three gallons per person on hand. When I went to Harris Teeter last night, the water was sold out, so I simply filled other containers in the house with tap water.
  4. Food – Non-perishables like canned tuna or chicken salad, cereals that taste good without milk, protein bars, canned soup, and fruit that doesn’t require refrigeration are all cheap and easy to stock. Don’t forget baby food and pet food.
  5. Candles, flashlights, batteries, but don’t use candles during the storm itself. A broken window, a blast of wind, and your home could burn down.
  6. Check your first aid kit and make sure everything is current.
  7. Fill your gas tank now in case you have to leave.
  8. Have some cash on hand – ATMs don’t work during a power failure.
  9. Put your urgent papers in a zip lock bag in case you have to grab and go.
  10. Charge your cellphone and other devices. Those of us who use Verizon FIOS will lose the use of our landlines eight hours into the power failure so cell phones are imperative.
  11. Put stuff that can fly into your windows inside or in your garage.
  12. Keep an eye on your neighbors. They may need help.

Stay safe, everyone.

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!

West Bradley Community Update: November – December 2011

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Welcome: Special greetings to the approximately fifty families that have been added to the West Bradley Citizens’ Association (WBCA) listserv this autumn! We hope that you find this general announcement/security alert service helpful. For those interested in more informal exchanges of information, sign up for one or both of our discussion listservs by contacting (for east of Seven Locks Road) and (for the western half of our community). These discussion listservs provide a helpful forum for everything from sharing advice about good repair companies, to letting neighbors know about special charities in which WBCA residents are directly involved over the upcoming holidays. We continue to seek updates to our listserv so that we can reach the maximal number of neighbors in case of emergency so let us know when your email changes or a new family moves into your immediate neighborhood.

Security Information: Due to the recent, brazen mid-day home burglary in our community, residents have requested updated contacts for local police. For those in District 2 (living east of Seven Locks Road), the newly-appointed commander is Captain David Falcinelli. Phone: 301-652-9200. For those in District 1 (living west of Seven Locks Road), the commander is Captain James Fenner. Phone: 240-773-6070. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1. For a general non-emergency police alert, call 301-279-8000.

Info on Health Benefits: Congressman Chris Van Hollen is sponsoring the annual forum on health benefits. Though focused especially on Federal programs, the forum provides excellent general information. Date: Thursday, Nov. 17. Time: 7:00- 9:00 PM. Place: Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Free parking in County garage. Experts from the Federal Government and insurance representatives will discuss health plan options and changes for the next year due to health reform and other factors and be available to answer questions.

Info on County Services: The Montgomery County Civic Federation will present a program on the County’s five Regional Services Centers on Monday, Nov. 14, 7:45-10:00 PM at the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Free parking in adjacent garage. This program will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the wealth of services available to all residents. The contact for our community is Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Center. He’s the one-stop answer to just about any question you might have about County services (240-777-8200).

Proposed Telecommunications Tower at Seven Locks/Bradley Intersection: In response to the views expressed by the community and endorsed by the Board, WBCA has registered opposition to Verizon’s petition for an expanded facility which could ultimately include a 200-foot tower. Those interested in this issue can attend the Board of Appeals hearing on Nov. 28 at the County Council Office Building. Thanks to community residents for their input into the WBCA letter requesting denial of the petition.

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!

November 2010 Update

Monday, November 8th, 2010

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HEALTH CARE? Congressman Chris van Hollen will host the eighth annual Federal Employees Health Benefits Forum, Thursday, November 18, 7:00-9:00 PM in the Executive Auditorium, Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Experts on federal health insurance plans and representatives of health insurance carriers will discuss various health plan options and the impact of new health care reforms and answer individual questions. This forum, though focused on plans for Federal employees, provides excellent information for all residents of Montgomery County.

WANT TO BUILD YOUR FAMILY THROUGH ADOPTION? Matt Jillings, a West Bradley resident, is the new President of Families for Private Adoption, a non-profit providing support and education for those interested in adoption. Matt will help run the next workshop on Saturday, November 13, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, at the Grace Episcopal School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue in Kensington. We note this event because so many in our community have either built their family through adoption or expressed interest in doing so. For more information on this event and to pre-register, go to the website

NEED ADVICE ON LOCAL SERVICES? Ken Hartman, Director of the Bethesda Chevy-Chase Regional Services Center, is available for “coffee and conversation” the second Friday of every month, 9:30 AM – 12:00 Noon. Next Open House: Friday, November 12. Location: Regional Services Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, downtown Bethesda. Ken is the go-to guy for just about any question you might have about programs and services in Montgomery County. For more information, call: 240-777-8200.

WANT TO JOIN COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB? Josefina Bonangelino, new member of the West Bradley Board, has offered to launch a book club for interested residents. She is thinking of starting it in early 2011. Her proposal: meet once a month in different homes and discuss previously agreed book. Her suggestion for the kick-off session: a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. Do contact Josefina if you’re interested in joining! Her email is:

ANY NEW AUTHORS? Several residents responded to our call for writers in the community. Among them is Barbara Mujica, who tells us that she is the author of over a hundred books and articles. Among the most recent: Frida: A Novel, about the life of Frida Kahlo (New York: Overlook, 2001, paperback: New York: Plume, 2002) and Sister Teresa, based on the life of Teresa of Avila (New York: Overlook, 2007. Paperback: New York: Penguin, 2008). Jane Ross has just written her sixth full-length historical play and first children’s play (The Redcoats Are Coming!). Look for this production at Imagination Stage in Bethesda next Spring! Do let us know about other writers in our midst! And, to that, we’d add request for local artists to let us know who you are and what kind of creative work you do. Since there is so much talent in our community, several neighbors have expressed interest in organizing a writers/artists event next Spring. Let us know what you think!

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!

WBCA Alert 2/9/2010

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Most of our area suffered extensive power outages (and thus no Internet for WBCA communication) and delays in getting streets plowed during the most recent storm.  However, progress is being made despite the large number of trees down.  Crews arrived to help much of the area west of Seven Locks Road by yesterday afternoon and we hear that power has been restored to much of the area east of Seven Locks early this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 9).  Since another storm is to begin about mid-day today, with an estimated 10-20 inches of snow and gusty winds, we need to prepare for another round.  See below for a combination of information from Councilmember Berliner and our County government.  In the meantime, use our two discussion listservs (  and or email Sandy Vogelgesang at  to flag issues/ news, from situations where neighbors need emergency help to updates on power/snow removal service.

Information from Berliner and other County officials:

Snow Removal from Streets.  It is Montgomery County policy to focus first on “primary” and “secondary” roads before even starting on neighborhood streets.  In a storm of this magnitude, that means it can be two days after the storm subsides before neighborhood roads are started.  County crews, with something like 800 pieces of equipment, began moving into our neighborhood streets on Sunday.  While it seems odd that some streets get plowed before others in the same neighborhood, Berliner says that each crew has its own assignments, and all areas of our County are being treated equitably.    To report snow removal problems or downed trees, call 240-777-6000. Montgomery Department of Transportation (DOT) plow trucks are assisting PEPCO crews in reaching locations to restore power to the greatest number of customers. The County Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that all DOT staff, as well as Tier I, Tier II and Tier III contractors, are treating neighborhoods at this time. Information on County plowing policies and procedures is available on the County Web site at:  For a street that may have been missed by County plows, a report can be made via the County Web site at: Tree crews are staffed at each depot to respond to any tree related issues.  DOT plow trucks are also assisting tree crews in reaching locations.  According to the latest bulletin from the County (2/9, 9:45 AM), all neighborhood streets are scheduled to be reached by noon today and they have also asked that residents not call the highway services number because the phone line has been overwhelmed.

State Roads.  There have been many complaints about the state of some of our major roads — Massachusetts Ave, Old Georgetown Rd., Wisconsin Ave, River Road, Goldsboro, and Bradley Blvd.  These are state roads, and are the responsibility of the state to plow.  County officials have been in contact with state officials to let them know that these roads have not been given the attention they require.  If you would like to report a problem with one of our state roads, call 1 (800) 543-2515. 

Power.  PEPCO has its own priority list.  It focuses on the outages that affect the most people first, working its way down the list to the ones that affect just a few homeowners.  They have been hampered by road access.  County officials have asked crews to prioritize plowing in areas that are without power.  PEPCO believes the vast majority of people will have power back on in the next 24 hours; however, they are saying that some situations may not be addressed until Friday in light of the new storm expected between Tuesday night and Wednesday.  For outages, call 1-877-737-2662.  We have found over the last day or two that the more people who call to report outages the better the prospects for getting crews assigned to our area, so do call even if you must wait a long time to connect. For residents still without power, the County has opened three shelters located at: the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center at 1000 Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring; the Longwood Recreation Center at 19300 Georgia Avenue, Brookeville; and Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville (the closest to our community).  We also understand that several hotels in the area including the Marriott on Democracy have rooms.

Emergency.  Call 911.  For non-emergency police number, call: 301-279-8000. 

Safety Warning.  Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Service urges residents without power to be aware that using gas or charcoal grills, propane heaters and stoves, kerosene space heaters or generators indoors can be fatal.  They are a source of carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

TV Coverage. Montgomery County government’s cable television channel – County Cable Montgomery (CCM), which can be viewed on Channel 6 on the Comcast and RCN cable systems and Channel 30 on Verizon – is continuing to feature live coverage of road conditions at all major traffic intersections.

Parking.  Suspension of enforcement of parking restrictions in all public parking garages and lots will continue through Thursday.  Parking enforcement has been suspended since 3 p.m. on Friday. Residents are encouraged to park in these garages and lots rather than on the street, to make it easier for plowing operations to occur. County-owned parking lots and parking garages, and sidewalks near those facilities, have been cleared of snow. Park & Ride lots have been plowed and sidewalks/bus shelters cleared and treated.

Driving Conditions.  Montgomery County Police report that as some roads become more passable, drivers are increasing their speed. However, motorists are advised that they may encounter varying conditions on the same stretch of road, as plowing operations continue. Drivers are reminded to maintain a safe stopping between vehicles. Drivers are also reminded that the melting occurring today will produce black ice during the night and caution is advised. Drivers should stay alert at all times for pedestrians walking in the roadways, where sidewalks are impassable with plowed snow. Police are asking residents to stay at home if at all possible, as plows, trucks and front-end loaders are moving snow and workers clearing sidewalks may be in the street.   According to the latest County bulletin (2/9, 9:45 AM), driving conditions remain hazardous and all residents are urged to stay home if at all possible.

Mailboxes: If a County plow has damaged your mailbox, the County will install a standard post and mailbox at your residence as soon as all snow plowing is completed. Call 240-777-6000 to file a report. If you have a non-standard mailbox, call the County’s Risk Management Division at 240-777-8920. In the meantime, a temporary mailbox will be installed.  Mail delivery resumed yesterday (2/8).

Trash Collection.  County-provided recycling and trash collections were canceled on Monday, Feb. 8, but resumed today (Tuesday). All recycling and trash pickups slide one day.  Neighbors  were amazed to see the garbage trucks drive down Charred Oak today! The County transfer station is open, but will close at 5 p.m. with no evening hours.

Libraries. All County public libraries were closed on Monday, Feb. 8. Customers are asked not to return library materials until libraries reopen and are asked not to leave materials outside the library buildings. Materials due Feb. 5 through Feb. 10 will have their due dates extended one week. No fines will be charged for the period from Friday, Feb. 5, through Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Thanks!  To all the street captains and others who checked on neighbors in their area and those who alerted us to emergency situations, thank you!  Once again we’ve seen so many reflecting the regard for others that is always important — but all the more appreciated in times of need.


Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Security Concerns: Commander Darryl McSwain (Montgomery County District 1 Station) has just sent the following message to local civic associations:

The Potomac region has experienced a recent spike in daytime burglaries in which jewelry has been targeted. There is a possibility that eight (8) of the burglaries are related. The Rockville Investigative Section is actively following up on each case. Other law enforcement resources are being utilized to address the problem. Community members are asked to report any suspicious persons and/or vehicles to the non-emergency number at (301) 279-8000. Doors and windows should be locked before leaving your home, even if you only anticipate being away for a short period of time. In addition, it is recommended that you give the impression that the home is always occupied by utilizing timers on lights, the television, or a radio. For any other concerns related to personal safety, feel free to contact 1st District Community Services Officer Michael Prather by e-mail ( or phone at (240) 773-6077. In the meantime, please rest assured that all appropriate resources will continue to be devoted to this trend.

In addition to this increase in daytime burglaries, several community residents have reported incidents of suspicious behavior involving strangers who have tried to coax elementary and middle school children into their cars. Although these incidents have not/not occurred in the WBCA area, the reported increase in such incidents nearby reminds us all to be vigilant in behalf of our children. Thanks to those who reported this problem to us! Do be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and report it to the police immediately at the number noted above.

Seven Locks Road Sidewalk and Bikeway Project: Several WBCA residents attended the latest Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) meeting on this project, December 2. The proposed project will provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Seven Locks Road from Montrose Road to Bradley Boulevard, linking up with the asphalt path from Bradley to River Road. The improvements are to include inter alia: two 11-foot wide travel lanes plus 5-foot wide bike on-road lanes along both sides of Seven Locks Road, an 8-foot off-road shared use bike path on the west side of Seven Locks Road, and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of Seven Locks Road. The project is in Facility Planning Phase II during which MCDOT will collect data; develop concept plans; obtain public input; and develop 35% design plans, a cost estimate, and project schedule. This phase is scheduled for completion in winter 2011. WBCA has registered support for a proposed walkway-bikeway as long as it does not open the door for widening Seven Locks Road and it is coordinated with plans for the new Seven Locks Elementary School that is to open in January 2012. We have also questioned the need to build walkway-bikeway on both sides of Seven Locks Road. For more information, download the latest MCDOT newsletter at:
and choose Seven Locks Road Sidewalk (Montrose Road-Bradley Blvd.) from the projects list. The entire newsletter with maps of the project can be shown from the Project Documents window.

Continuing Deer Saga: Thanks to all of you who sent messages to the Montgomery County Department of Parks! Mary Bradford, Director of Parks, has responded to this outpouring of concern as well as the letter sent in behalf of our entire community. Although Director Bradford says that major budget problems are limiting a great deal of what the Parks Department wants to do, she writes that “our wildlife staff will determine the need for deer population management in Cabin John Regional Park and seek appropriate funding when it becomes available.” As part of this effort she writes that she will ask her wildlife staff “that an assessment of the deer population and its impacts be completed along with a recommended strategy and cost analysis for any potential management.” To help assure that the Parks Department remains apprised of our concerns, those who have not yet communicated to Bill Hamilton (deer management) should do so via email to

Discussion listservs: For those who want to participate in discussion listservs (more informal forum for sharing news and views than the regular WBCA announcemtn listser), contact J.J. MacNab at You can sign up for either or both of the listservs – one for east of Seven Locks Road and one for west of Seven Locks Road. It’s a great way to share tips on good repair services, garage or charity sales, lost pets – you name it!

Happy Holidays! Most important, to everyone in the community — best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy season!

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.


Sunday, October 25th, 2009
  • Problem with deer? Since many in the neighborhood have commented on increased damage to their gardens, tick bites and treatment for Lyme disease, and close calls with deer crossing Seven Lock, we have checked on what can be done by County authorities. Bill Hamilton, the main natural resources specialist for the County’s parks department, suggests that concerned residents send him an email ( noting your name, address and phone number and the nature of your concern or phone him at 301-949-4149. Mr. Hamilton prefers email so that he can tabulate the pattern of complaints from residents and use that data as the basis for next steps. Those steps could range from community briefing sessions, consideration of programs for special managed hunts in County parks (if supported by surrounding community). Please copy Sandy Vogelgesang, WBCA president ( so that I can reflect your concerns as accurately as possible in a letter, in behalf of the entire West Bradley community, to the director of the County parks.
  • Wellness Forum. Congressman Chris van Hollen will be the guest speaker at a program entitled “Feeling Your Best at Any Age.” The program, organized by Councilmember Roger Berliner and the Montgomery County Commission on Aging, will take place, Friday, November 13, 1-4 PM, at Sunrise at Fox Hill, 8300 Burdette Road, Bethesda. Resource Fair to begin at 1:00 PM and formal program to begin at 2:00 PM. Admission free. No RSVP needed. Parking available. For more information, call 240-777-7828.
  • “Howl-O-Ween” for Dogs and Dog Lovers!   The County Parks Department will hold the opening celebration of the Cabin John Dog Park on Saturday, October 31, 9:00 AM – Noon. This first dog park inside the Beltway provides off-leash exercise areas with separate facilities for large and small dogs.
  • Wondering what Federal health insurance to choose? Experts on federal health insurance plans will provide updates as Open Season approaches for 2010. The program closest to our community will be held on Thursday, November 19, 7:00- 9:00 PM, in the executive auditorium of the Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street in Rockville (parking available on the street and nearby parking garage). The panel presentation begins at 7:30 PM.
  • Reminder to Community Street Captains. In order to keep our WBCA listserv current and help welcome new neighbors, let Sandy know changes in emails and contact information for new residents. Thanks – and Happy Halloween!

Health Bulletin: Rabies

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Several residents in the West Bradley community have followed up with advice on rabies prevention after the incident reported, February 4 (potentially rabid raccoon biting school child). Because of the concern that report occasioned, we are sharing some information provided by knowledgeable neighbors as well as recommendations from the Montgomery County Animal Services Division.

One neighbor has stated that there are problems not only with potentially rabid raccoons but also with bat-specific rabies. The advice: If you have a bat in your house, do not attempt to remove it yourself; call animal control. If you think the bat has been in your bedroom while you were sleeping, check for bites. Many people do not realize they have been bitten and can, reportedly, suffer serious illness. Others in our community have reported concern about foxes that have demonstrated unusually aggressive day-time behavior. There is also growing concern due to reports about rabies found in cats in Montgomery County since this shows rabies migrating from the wild animal population to domestic animals.

Montgomery County Animal Services Division: Suggested Steps to Prevent Rabies
• Only approach domestic animals that are known to you.
• Avoid all contact with wild animals.
• Make sure that your dogs and cats have a current rabies vaccination and County license.
• Keep dogs under control or on a leash. Keep cats safely indoors.
• Do not treat raccoons or other wild animals as if they were pets. Do not leave food out for raccoons, including leftover dog food, table scraps and large bird seeds.
• Close off all entrances to chimneys, attics, garages or sheds which can provide a nesting site for raccoons. Install heavy 26-gauge wire screen on chimney openings and flues.
• Use metal garbage cans that have secure lids. Plastic cans should have snap covers, but are not as secure. Ammonia can be sprayed or poured into plastic garbage bags to discourage raccoons from feeding.
• Most human exposures to rabies occur when people attempt to rescue sick or hurt wild animals that, upon testing, are rabid.
• Another frequent indirect exposure occurs when people handle their pets without gloves after the pet has had an encounter with a wild animal. Rabies virus in saliva on the pet’s fur can be transmitted through a break in the person’s skin for up to two hours after the saliva has been deposited on the fur.
• If you see a wild animal exhibiting abnormal behavior, call the Division at 240-773-5960 or 240-773-5925. After hours, call 240-773-5900.
• Avoid all wild and stray animals, especially RACCOONS!

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.