Friday, June 11, 2021

More renovations planned for Rockville Target store

After a significant remodeling in 2019, more interior changes are now planned for the Target store at 5700 Bou Avenue in Rockville. In addition to further changes to enhance grocery pickup services, the project will include new lighting fixtures, flooring, and changes to wall finishes and ceilings. Work is expected to begin this summer. 

Montgomery County police union trolls elected officials on social media for defunding police amid crime wave

Montgomery County's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 criticized County elected officials on social media Thursday for "defunding MoCo police" amid a crime wave. The posts on Facebook and Twitter called out County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council for eliminating 27 police officer positions in the budget. They also cited violent crimes in the county that made area headlines in the last few days.

"3 carjackings in 2 days (2 @ gunpoint, 1 w/ serious injuries) when is @MontCoExec and @MoCoCouncilMD going to get their priorities straight and stop defunding MoCo police?" the posts asked. Officers have reported that morale on the force and officer recruiting efforts are both trending downward.

"Just because of the, so much of the anti-police sentiment, not being treated well," County Officer Petr Speight told CBS' Ted Koppel in a report aired Sunday. "Those kind of things are just discouraging people from wanting to stick around. Things have just changed, the way people view us, and the way they view our role in society and our jobs."

While anti-police sentiment has markedly increased after the death of George Floyd, declining police morale has actually been trending in Montgomery County for more than a decade, based on what officers have told me over that time period. The County Council tried to slash disability benefits for officers in 2009, approving a modified version of that plan in 2011. Councilmembers, and the Washington Post editorial board, falsely characterized officers seeking disability benefits as schemers and scam artists without evidence to back up those claims. Both have publicly criticized County police on a regular basis for a variety of grievances since that opening move.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Rockville Mayor & Council to discuss potential litigation regarding Maryland Express Lanes project in closed session

Rockville's Mayor and Council will discuss potential litigation related to "a construction project" and the "P3 I-270 expansion project" in closed session at its Monday, June 14, 2021 meeting, which begins at 5:30 PM for that purpose. The Mayor and Council have spoken against the I-270 Express Lanes project over the last few years, since it was proposed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Curbside EV charging stations proposed
for multiple locations in Rockville

When the Mayor and Council reconvene in public session Monday night, they will consider approving increased fines for parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, a contract with Pepco for electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city, support for excavation improvements in the public right-of-way for the B.F. Saul Twinbrook Quarter project, and a $299,600 contract to install sewer grinders at the N. Horners Lane and Fallsgrove Sewage Pump Stations.

Proposed locations for Pepco
curbside EV charging stations

Also on the agenda is a public hearing on the Rockville 2040 Comprehensive Master Plan, and a project plan for a new retail center long in the works at 900 Rockville Pike. The Mayor and Council could choose to approve that project Monday night, or simply discuss it and recommend next steps to city staff.

Images courtesy City of Rockville

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

New Rockville skate park opens

Skate or die! The new and updated Rockville Skate Park has opened at 355 Martins Lane. Gone is the 2001-model wood and steel park. In its place are concrete ramps and bowls, and new rails. Other features include an entrance building with a family/gender-neutral restroom, lighting, landscaping, parking, a stormwater management facility, and access road improvements. The park was designed and built by Spohn Ranch of Los Angeles, in coordination with input from the skating community in Rockville.

Challenges at the park include a kidney bowl, manual pads, quarter pipes, a radius wedge, a rainbow grind rail, a grind ledge, a slappy curb and pole. Whether you know what those terms mean or not makes no difference; the City says the park is designed for all ages and skill levels.

The park’s hours are: 3-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The park is closed on Mondays through Tuesday, June 15. Summer hours, beginning Wednesday, June 16, are noon-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Helmets are required; a few loaner helmets will be available at the park. Staff at the park will strictly enforce the helmet rule during operating hours.

Photo courtesy City of Rockville

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Google Street View car spotted in Rockville (Photos)

Google is updating Street View in the Rockville area at the moment. This Google Street View car was caught trolling through the city in recent days.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Panera Bread to reopen in Rockville

It was surprising when Panera Bread closed during the pandemic at 219 E. Middle Lane in Rockville Town Center. While office workers and courthouse-related traffic were greatly reduced in number, Panera is well suited to thrive on takeout orders. Instead, the location closed. Now I've learned that this Panera Bread will reopen soon, and is hiring for all positions.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Aerie coming to Montgomery Mall

Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle Outfitters, is coming to Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The apparel retailer carries women's intimate apparel, activewear, leggings, and swimsuits. Soft fabrics are a trademark of the chain. Aerie is opening this summer, and will be located on Level 1.