Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Five Below sets opening date in Rockville

The new Five Below store at the Congressional North shopping center on Rockville Pike will open on June 14, 2019. As you can see, the sign is now in place above the storefront. Here's a sneak peek inside the new store, which sells "cool stuff for $5 or less." Think of it as an upscale dollar store.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Thomasville Furniture space cleared, signage removed at Congressional Plaza

Thomasville Furniture closed earlier this year at Congressional Plaza in Rockville. Their space has now been cleared out, and their signage removed from the building. Thomasville was one more victim of the moribund Montgomery County economy, in a jurisdiction where "Going Out of Business!" signs have become ubiquitous.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Final week for Payless at Montgomery Mall

This is your last chance to pay less at Payless at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The store is in its final week of business, the latest victim of Montgomery County's moribund economy. Montgomery County has suffered a net loss of retail jobs since 2000, according to the Maryland Retailers Association.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Rockville City Council race begins taking shape; Mullican declares

Twinbrook resident and former Rockville planning commissioner Brigitta Mullican announced her entry into the 2019 Rockville City Council race yesterday. She cites her extensive community service resume among her qualifications, including being a founder and past President and Vice-President of the Rockville Sister City Corporation, VP and secretary of the Twinbrook Citizen's Association, and member of the Richard Montgomery High School PTA and Booster Club.

Mullican is a graduate of Richard Montgomery, and an alumnus of Montgomery College and the University of Maryland, from which she earned a management degree. She says she will use her experience of working with government officials at all levels to "improve Rockville’s working relationship with both the county and state governments."

Among the issues Mullican plans to campaign on are school overcrowding, increasing the number of City Council seats to seven, and traffic congestion. She endorses Gov. Larry Hogan's plan for Express Lanes on I-270 and the Beltway. While she pledges to help small businesses in the city, she has misgivings about the appearance that elected officials are offering "selective bailouts" to some struggling businesses like Dawson's Market, but not to others.
Cynthia Cotte Griffiths
Mullican joins two other candidates who have declared for the Council race. Cynthia Cotte Griffiths is the Richard Montgomery High School's Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) President and editor of the former Rockville Central blog and Facebook page. With an extensive professional background in non-profits, she is currently Executive Director of DC-MD Justice For Our Neighbors in Rockville. Her top issues include transit-oriented development, economic development, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and requiring the Mayor and Council to appoint a new member if a vacancy opens.

Cotte Griffiths has been a commissioner on the City of Rockville Traffic and Transportation Commission since 2015, a past commissioner on the City of Rockville Human Service Advisory Commission from 2008-2014, a member of the 2009 City Boards and Commissions Task Force, a member of the City's Sesquicentennial Committee, and won a Good Neighbor Award from the City in 2006 for volunteer efforts in the community and at Ritchie Park Elementary School.
James J. Hedrick
James J. Hedrick is a member of the board of Rockville Housing Enterprises, and a Rockville resident since 2014. He is currently a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) employee, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Twinbrook Citizens Association. After starting his career at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hedrick worked as a consultant to local governments for several years. His firm advised towns and cities on budget, staffing, services, and strategic planning. He says he hopes to bring this experience to the Council.

Hedrick's top issues include better mobility connections among the different parts of the city, economic development, more diverse representation on boards and commissions, and environmental sustainability.

Expect the field to grow, and if you enter the race, send your press releases throughout the campaign season to Rockville Nights.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

David Blair launches MoCo public policy non-profit

Montgomery County businessman David Blair, who narrowly missed being elected County Executive last year, has returned to the political stage. He has just announced the launch of a non-profit public policy organization, The Council for Advocacy and Policy Solutions, of which he will serve as Chair.

Other notable members of CAPS' Advisory Board include Bethesda realtor Jane Fairweather, former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party Terry Lierman, Gov. Larry Hogan administration appointee Rose Li, former associate counsel to President Obama Jason Green and Badlands Playspace CEO Mikel Blair.

Blair says CAPS will fill the information void left by the disappearance of local newspapers by providing accurate information and data about the impact of public policies. It will advocate for new policies and initiatives, and launch private pilot programs. Blair announced the first such pilot today, a Seed Stage Incubator Program in partnership with the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce.

“We have bright students, and brilliant faculty within Maryland’s business schools, and that’s something worth investing in and cultivating,” Blair said. “We’ll provide space for these early-stage businesses, connect students with established business leaders within the community to provide networking and mentorship, and facilitate introductions to angel investors.”

CAPS today also announced its first policy study, which will examine the best practices to recruit and retain teachers of color in Montgomery County Public Schools. The organization's website also hosts a beginner's guide to understanding the Montgomery County budget.

The launch of CAPS indicates Blair intends to remain engaged on County issues, specifically citing economic development, infrastructure and education as primary focuses. With the County economy and budget picture remaining bleak, Blair could be in a strong position to run for executive again in 2022.

Robeks Juice now open in Rockville - Grand Opening celebration May 18

Robeks Juice has opened at 1403 Research Boulevard, in the Research Row shopping center in Rockville. So if you've been looking forward to the opening, stop by today.

But they are also hosting an official Grand Opening celebration at the store this Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Attendees will enjoy free Classic Smoothies, free snack samples, face painting, and a balloon artist, in an event for the whole family.

In addition to the free samples, during the Grand Opening, there will be a Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer on smoothies and juices. Acai bowls will be 50%-off. And you will save 20%-off of your entire purchase.

Eion Callwood was a loyal Robeks customer. Now he is the logical man to bring Robeks back to Rockville at Research Row. “I share Robeks’ mission of providing our community with a flavorful and healthy option,” Callwood said.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rockville Farmers Market returns Saturday, May 18

The chill in the air makes it somewhat hard to believe, but summer is around the corner. Another sign of that is the return of the Rockville Farmers Market this Saturday, May 18, 2019. Hours will be 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturdays this year at the market, which will run through November 23.

New vendors at the market this year will offer fresh cheeses, mushrooms from the Eastern Shore,  and beeswax candles. The market is located in the Jury Parking Lot at East Jefferson Street (Route 28) and Monroe Street.