Thursday, December 31, 2015

Assault in downtown Bethesda, car stolen from Pooks Hill + more - Bethesda crime update

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

Assault. 4400 block Montgomery Avenue at 5:47 PM.

Vehicle burglary. 4600 block Norwood Drive.

Theft. 6900 block Ridgewood Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 5600 block Northfield Road.

Burglary. 5600 block River Road.

Theft. 5400 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Stolen car. 5200 block Pooks Hill Road.

Drug arrest. 6900 block Rockledge Drive.

Drug arrest. Westlake Drive at Westlake Terrace.

New retail space at Hyatt Regency Bethesda (Photo)

Bethesda real estate firm Streetsense is marketing a new retail space steps away from its Bethesda Metro Center headquarters. The new 4800 SF space will be delivered in the 4th Quarter of 2016. Streetsense is touting the space's "great exposure on Wisconsin Avenue," one of the highest-traveled state highways in Montgomery County.

The space is in the front right corner of the Hyatt Regency Bethesda hotel, at 1 Bethesda Metro Center. I wouldn't mind getting a new restaurant in that space.

This is the first public sign of changes under the new leadership of the Meridian Group, which reacquired the hotel this past May with new partner Highgate Hotels. At that time, the partners promised to "return it back to a premier asset at that location."

Three years earlier, the hotel was sold at auction.

Bethesda Pet Shoppe closing

Bethesda Pet Shoppe will close in two weeks at 4919 Elm Street. There is a storewide 20%-off sale underway.

This will leave only one independent pet store in Bethesda, Westwood Pet Center. That store's future is uncertain once the Westwood Shopping Center is redeveloped. There is no guarantee that current retailers there will be able to A) survive the staging of construction for the new retail center, or B) afford the rents when it is complete.

The Montgomery County Planning Board declined to strengthen language in the Westbard Sector Plan it recently approved for review by the County Council to preserve mom-and-pop stores.

There is a PetSmart at 6800 Wisconsin Avenue in terms of chain stores that serve many types of pets. Bone Jour at 4927-A St. Elmo Avenue offers retail items for dogs and cats, along with its grooming services.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2 cars stolen near Suburban Hospital; theft at Cabin John Ice RInk + more - Bethesda crime update

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

Theft. Safeway.

Burglary. 4300 block Maple Avenue.

Stolen car. 5500 block Glenwood Road.

Stolen car. 5600 block Roosevelt Street.

Theft. Cabin John Ice Rink.

Sign installed at 18|8 Fine Men's Salon in Bethesda (Photos)

The future 18|8 Fine Men's Salon has installed its permanent sign at 7550 Wisconsin Avenue. It will be the second male-oriented salon in Bethesda. 18|8 will serve beer and wine to patrons when they open.

Mystery underground work at Triangle Towers in Bethesda (Photos)

Parts of the grounds outside of the Triangle Towers apartment building in Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle neighborhood were fenced off yesterday, and dug up. No signs were posted to indicate what the work is for. Pipes are visible in the excavated areas.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Burglary in Pike District, car broken into at Hyatt + more - Bethesda crime update

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

Vehicle burglary. Hyatt Regency Bethesda.

Vehicle burglary. 3100 block Rolling Road.

Burglary. 5200 block Nicholson Lane (Pike District).

Theft. 5400 block Marinelli Road (Pike District).

Theft. Macy's at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Bethesda construction update: TD Bank (Photos)

The tiny TD Bank continues to be assembled at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue. This was formerly the site of a Shell gas station, and a small office structure.

Renovation permits requested for former Fresh Grill building in Bethesda

Construction contractor Sigal Construction has filed for permits from Montgomery County to begin renovation and repair of the buildings at 4905 and 4909 Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda. They will be fixing structural damage blamed on nearby excavation, and revamping the buildings for future retail/restaurant tenants based on a plan developed by the architecture firm of Steven J. Karr, AIA, Inc..

Former tenants Fresh Grill and Dansez! Dansez! were forced to vacate several years ago, when the building was condemned due to structural concerns. That led to a lengthy legal dispute, and the ultimate decision by property owner Greenhill Capital to remake its larger lot, "Lot 667", into a new retail-restaurant (and possibly office) complex along Fairmont, Norfolk and St. Elmo Avenues.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Car stolen from Pickwick La., drug bust in Edgemoor + more - Bethesda crime update

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

Burglary. Exxon (Old Georgetown Road).

Drug arrest. 6800 block Fairfax Road at 10:29 PM (Edgemoor).

Drug arrest. 5000 block Bradley Boulevard at 12:01 AM.

Assault. 4700 block Bradley Boulevard.

Drug arrest. Beach Drive at Connecticut Avenue.

Theft. 9500 block Kingsley Avenue.

Stolen car. 3200 block Pickwick Lane.

Assault. 4700 block Randolph Road at 12:34 AM (Randolph Hills).

Assault. 8700 block Tuckerman Lane at 3:38 PM.

Drug arrest. 11500 block Monongahela Drive (Randolph Hills).

Bethesda New Year's Eve parties 2015/2016

Kanika Kapoor headlines a
Bollywood New Year's Eve bash
in North Bethesda
New Year's Eve events in Bethesda aren't hard to come by, but the real question is, which one is right for you or your group? That's where this guide comes in for New Year's Eve 2015.

Union Jack's Bethesda

Union Jack's is hosting a Countdown Extravaganza from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM. For $20 presale (order tickets online), you'll get the ubiquitous DJ and dancing, heavy hors d'oeuvres from 7-10 PM, pool and darts, party favors, and a Champagne toast at midnight.

4935 Bar and Kitchen

Party like Jay G. himself at 4935's Great Gatsby Gala. Guests are encouraged - but not required - to dress in 1920s attire at this bash on two floors, each with their own DJ. Pose for photos with 1920s-lingerie-clad models, and enjoy Chef-owner Ashish Alfred's buffet from 9-11 PM, 2 drink tickets, and a free Champagne toast at midnight for $45. You can get in for just the dancing and toast for $20 at the low end, or call for VIP table packages. Purchase your tickets now online.

Mon Ami Gabi

Prefer Paris to Long Island? Call (301) 654-1234 to make your reservation now for New Year's Eve at Mon Ami Gabi at Bethesda Row. French cuisine and fine wines will be capped off with a Champagne toast at midnight - and who knows Champagne better than the French?

Vino Volo

Or head to Vino Volo next door, for live music starting at 9:30 PM, and fine food paired with wine selections chosen by their in-house wine experts. See the full menu and price options on their Facebook event page.

Del Frisco's Grille

Del Frisco's is focusing on the dining side of New Year's Eve, pairing its 16 oz. dry aged Prime Rib with hand-mashed potatoes for $42. Their full menu will also be available. Make reservations online now.

City Perch

Another option at Pike & Rose is City Perch, which will be offering a farm to table five-course tasting menu ($75 per person/$35 wine flight).  Menu highlights include a Yukon Gold baked potato, wild mushroom soup, pan-seared scallop and fennel salad, fillet mignon and butter poached lobster tail, and raspberry + vanilla Baked Alaska. Their full menu will also be available upon request.


For a Spanish take on New Year's Eve, head to celebrity chef Jose Andres' Jaleo at Bethesda Row. From 5:30 PM - 7 PM they will offer their full menu, along with some New Year's Eve specials. Available all night at the bar.

Their second seating begins at 8 PM, with a special tasting menu from both the holiday and seasonal menus at $85 per person.

At midnight, each guest will be presented with a glass of cava for toasting and twelve grapes per the Spanish holiday tradition. A band familiar to longtime readers, Rudy y su Locura, will be playing live starting at 9 PM.
Call now to make your reservation at 301-913-0003.

Bethesda Marriott North

Bollywood meets Bethesda at's New Year's Eve Gala at this hotel and conference center right on the Metro Red Line at the White Flint station. Bollywood playback singer Kanika Kapoor headlines the bash, which requires your choice of Indian or American formal attire. Indian cuisine will be served. Tickets are available online from $125 to $5000 for the true high-rollers.

The Barking Dog

They're keeping the draw at The Barking Dog pretty straightforward this year - the DJ and dancing upstairs, and all-you-can drink open bar from 9:00 PM to 2:30 AM. Your $60 ticket also provides appetizers, party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight. The dress code is "smart casual", for those who don't fancy having to rent a James Bond tux for the night.

Montgomery County Council helping their billionaire sugar daddy evade taxes

Councilmember Hans Riemer, a
leading recipient of campaign
donations from billionaire
under investigation for tax evasion
Senate Finance Committee
investigating museum scheme

Most of the controversy surrounding Potomac billionaire Mitch Rales' Glenstone museum has related to its private operation, its addition of a sewer line, and his sugar daddy status to members of the Montgomery County Council, to whom he has donated tens of thousands of dollars. Now a U.S. Senate Finance Committee investigation is looking into another question - is Glenstone actually an art museum, or simply an easy way to avoid personal, capital gains and estate taxes through its Glenstone Foundation?

Councilmember Roger Berliner has received at least $27,000 from Rales, according to blogger Eric Hensal. The second-biggest recipient of money from Rales, a pioneer in outsourcing American jobs to China, has been Councilmember Hans Riemer. 

Riemer has used a mysterious out-of-state bounty of cash from a rogue's gallery of Wall Street scoundrels, banks, mortgage sharks, and lobbyists - who together caused the "Great Recession" - to win two council elections. Yet, he has faced no media scrutiny of his unusual campaign finances. 

Rales' Danaher Corporation wrested 140 jobs away from Hanover, Maryland alone, in a four-state liquidation of factories, as the linked video demonstrates. Is it surprising that Riemer would support a Wall Street outsourcer in evading taxes right here in Montgomery County? After all, Riemer also took a fat campaign check from Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, another pioneer in closing factories, and outsourcing jobs to overseas countries. And, while receiving funds from anti-Obamacare lobbyists, Riemer endorsed dropping the public option from the Affordable Care Act in 2009, creating a huge payday for the insurance companies.

Both councilmen, and several other colleagues who received Rales booty, delivered a series of votes that enabled the expansion of Glenstone in recent years.

While they spoke of Glenstone as a public amenity, it is actually private, not open to just anyone to visit during set hours, and located on Rales' Potomac estate, nowhere near public transit infrastructure. Glenstone has already denied access to visitors, including reporters who have dared to criticize it.

The Senate Finance Committee has heard enough, and is now investigating whether Glenstone - enabled by the County Council - is violating IRS rules and evading taxes. While the New York Times accepted Glenstone's visitor numbers at face value, fortunately, the City Paper actually did the research and found just how few visitors there have been over the years in relation to similar facilities elsewhere - and that no visitor records are publicly available for the past two years.

Meanwhile, the City Paper found that Rales is stashing away more than $360,000,000 in Danaher stock in Glenstone, and another $26 million from his Janalia Corporation. Can you get into Glenstone? City Paper reporter Kriston Capps has been rejected from visiting twice. That's not a public museum.

Aside from determining whether tax evasion has occurred (gee, you think?) with the aid and abettance of the County Council, there is another possible benefit to the Senate-level investigation. Investigations tend to turn up more than what they start out looking for. Montgomery County has a false reputation as an ethical jurisdiction primarily because there have not been federal investigations here. In a federal probe, a lesser member of a political machine can be threatened with jail time - until he or she starts talking about the bigger scandal going on higher up, in exchange for leniency or immunity. 

Farm Road, the Silver Spring Transit Center, the Council-connected nonprofit that "lost" $900,000 in taxpayer money? In every case the politicians themselves were able to control what passed for an "investigation", and declare the case closed. While the feds seem to be in constant pursuit of African-American officials in the District and Prince George's County, our white Montgomery County and Maryland politicians continue to evade scrutiny.

That has to change.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2 cars stolen from Spring Hill, sex offense on Montrose Rd. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 23, according to crime data:

Theft. 4400 block Willard Avenue.

Theft. Bloomingdale's.

Vehicle burglary. 5300 block Worthington Drive.

Vehicle burglary. 5200 block Belvoir Drive.

Stolen car. 5200 block Farrington Road (Spring Hill).

Stolen car. 5200 block Falmouth Road (Spring Hill).

Theft. 10600 block Montrose Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 11100 block Waycroft Way.

Vehicle burglary. 5800 block Edson Lane (Pike District).

Theft. 7600 block Carteret Road.

Other sexual offense. 6100 block Montrose Road.

Burglary. 10400 block Democracy Lane.

Theft. Giant at Montrose Crossing shopping center.

All-Clad cookware demonstration today at Bloomingdale's

See the latest All-Clad products in action as chef demonstrators put them to the test at Bloomingdale's today, from noon until 7:00 PM at the Friendship Heights store. All-Clad steel cookware is made in the U.S.A., in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

5300 Western Avenue
(240) 744-3700

House fire in Bethesda

Firefighters responded to a house fire in the 6600 block of Tusculum Road in Bethesda early Saturday evening. They found an active fire in the basement laundry room, which they were able to prevent from spreading further. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer said the initial investigation suggested the dryer as the cause of the blaze.

No one was hurt in the incident, which took place in the Tusculum/Grubby Thicket neighborhood.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sex offense on McKinley St., car stolen from Dorchester La. + more -- Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 23, according to crime data:

Theft from vehicle. 7700 block Woodmont Avenue.

Theft. 4800 block Cordell Avenue.

Theft. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue.

Drug arrest. River Road at Springfield Drive at 1:25 AM.

Drug arrest. Jones Bridge Road at Brandt Place.

Vehicle burglary. 4400 block Stanford Street.

Vehicle burglary. 7400 block RIdgewood Avenue.

Sex offense. McKinley Street at Old Georgetown Road at 2:11 PM.

Burglary. 5800 block Sonoma Road.

Vehicle burglary. 7200 block Delfield Street (Martin's Additions).

Theft. 8300 block Burdette Road.

Stolen car. 11400 block Dorchester Lane.

Assault. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Theft. Macy's at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Theft. 11700 block Old Georgetown Road (Pike District).

Drug arrest. 10500 block Westlake Drive.

Bethesda construction update: The Lauren ultra-luxury condos (Photos)

The Lauren may still look very much under construction, but it's also showing many more aspects of what the ultra-luxury condo building will look like when completed next year. It is aiming to be the most exclusive building in downtown Bethesda. The land between Arlington Road and Woodmont Avenue, once designated for affordable housing, is slowly evolving into Bethesda's Park Avenue.

Old Angler's Inn seeks community support for redevelopment

The owners of the popular Old Angler's Inn, located at 10801 MacArthur Boulevard in Potomac, are seeking to build community support for a redevelopment plan drawn up after extensive consultation with real estate and hospitality industry experts. That plan centers around a proposed country inn, that would offer event space and accomodations for 8 overnight guests.

Mark and Sara Reges say the plan is the best way to both sustain their business, and keep the majority of the 7.5 acre site in its existing state. They have created a petition that residents and supporters can sign to indicate their support. It is on the same page where you can examine the plans.

The restaurant has been operated by the same family for 58 years, and the owners say they hope the redevelopment plan will preserve it for the next generation to follow.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Sex offense on Bradley Blvd., 12 cars broken into + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 22, according to crime data:

Theft. Starbucks (East-West Highway).

Vehicle burglary. 4400 block Montgomery Ave.

Sex offense. 4700 block Bradley Boulevard at 6:47 AM.

Vehicle burglary. 4200 block Leland Street.

Vehicle burglary. 4200 block Leland Street.

Vehicle burglary. 4200 block Leland Street.

Vehicle burglary. 7500 block Tarrytown Road.

Theft. 7000 block Beechwood Drive.

Vehicle burglary. 4700 block of Cumberland Avenue (Somerset),

Vehicle burglary. 6800 block Delaware Street.

Vehicle burglary. 5500 block Greystone Street (Somerset).

Theft. 5400 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 3700 block Bradley Lane (Chevy Chase Section 3).

Vehicle burglary. 5500 block Charles Street

Vehicle burglary. 5400 block Alta Vista Road.

Vehicle burglary. 3500 block Turner Lane.

Stolen car. 3200 block Pickwick Lane.

Theft. 10700 block Brewer House Road.

Burglary. 6900 block Carmichael Avenue.

Theft. 11400 block Rockville Pike (Pike District).

Assault. 11700 block Parklawn Drive (Pike District).

Vehicle burglary. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Theft. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

Theft. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

Assault. 7100 block Westlake Terrace.

Christmas in downtown Bethesda (Video+photos)

Triangle Towers and the Palisades are generating their share of Christmas spirit in the Woodmont Triangle neighborhood of downtown Bethesda. The usual light displays are back in front of the Palisades, and animated snowflakes are projected onto the wall of neighbor Triangle Towers.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2 more cars stolen, assault on Democracy Blvd. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 21, according to crime data:

Drug arrest. Cordell Avenue at Norfolk Avenue at 2:02 AM.

Stolen car. 3100 block Rolling Road.

Stolen car. 3200 block Pickwick Lane.

Assault. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard at 4:41 PM

Theft. 10700 block Brewer House Road at 10:02 AM.

7770 Norfolk sales office cleared out in Bethesda (Photos)

Now that the new 7770 Norfolk residential tower is switching back to rental apartments from condos, the sales office at the corner of Norfolk and St. Elmo Avenues in Bethesda has closed. This at one time was the location of Johnny Rockets. The apartments will begin leasing in February.