Thursday, February 28, 2013

NIGHTS WATCH: ROCKVILLE CRIME REPORT

A sexual assault reported at the Rockville Red Roof Inn, and numerous disorderly conduct calls, stand out in Rockville crime data between February 22-25.

Friday, February 22:

Drug arrest. 7300 block Calhoun Avenue.

Saturday, February 23:

Sexual assault. Red Roof Inn.

Burglary. 15800 block Esquire Court.

Liquor arrest. College Gardens Park RP.

Theft. 14800 block Old Dover Road.

Assault. 700 1st Street.

Disorder. Rockville Metro Station.

Disorder. Americana Center.

Disorder. 12800 block Twinbrook Parkway.

Sunday, February 24:

Theft from vehicle. Southlawn Court.

Theft. 600 block Hungerford Drive.

Disorder. 100 block Gibbs Street.

Disorder. Buffalo Wild Wings.

Drug arrest. 6000 block Halsey Road at 2000 block Rockland Avenue.

Disorder. 2000 block Veirs Mill Road.

Drug arrest. 12100 block Rockville Pike.

Monday, February 25:

Assault. 700 block Crabb Avenue.

Theft. 200 block Taylor Avenue.

Theft. 200 block Van Buren Street.

Theft. XX block West Montgomery Avenue.

Theft. 700 block Rockville Pike.

Theft. 600 block Great Falls Road.

Drug arrest. 12700 block Twinbrook Parkway and 5500 Halpine Place.

Disorder. 12500 block Ardennes Avenue.

Theft. 100 block Congressional Lane.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ROCKVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AGENDA

The Rockville Planning Commission meets tonight at 7:00 PM, in the Mayor and Council chambers at City Hall.

Before the public meeting, commissioners will meet in a closed, executive session to discuss Rules of Procedure.

On the agenda tonight, is a site plan application from PEPCO,  for several "green" structures.

There will also be a discussion of the Municipal Growth element of the city's Master Plan.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ROCKVILLE COUNCIL REVOLTS AGAINST MAYOR'S COMMISSION PICKS

The Rockville City Council had issues with two vacancy appointment decisions proposed by Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio at last night's Mayor and Council meeting.

Three councilmembers, John Hall, Tom Moore and Mark Pierzchala, declined to support one of Marcuccio's nominations for the city Board of Supervisors of Elections, activist Drew Powell.

Powell has been a longtime opponent of developer influence in city and county elections, and was an outspoken critic of individual candidates' campaign finance activities in the 2011 city election.

Was this political payback, or simply a desire to explore other candidates, as some councilmembers suggested?

It has been established practice for mayoral nominations for appointments to be honored.  The fact that Marcuccio raised objection to that protocol as a councilmember in previous years was raised.  Marcuccio did so, but then-Mayor Susan Hoffman still prevailed in having sole power of nomination.

Thus the rejection of Powell was unusual.

Councilmember Bridget Donnell Newton joined Hall, Moore and Pierzchala later in the meeting in endorsing the reappointment of Kate Ostell to the city Planning Commission. Ostell is a longtime commissioner whose term actually expired last summer.

Marcuccio suggested it was time to add fresh blood to the commission. The four councilmembers disagreed.

This appointment is highly significant, as whoever is appointed will cast a powerful vote on the Rockville Pike Plan, on which billions of dollars in developer profits hinge.  Marcuccio has been critical of the plan, and her appointment could complicate approval of what appears to remain a developer-friendly document. Others feel Ostell's experience and involvement in the lengthy Pike Plan process add value to the commission's final deliberations, which will follow a public hearing on it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

BEST TWILIGHT DVD BLU-RAY PACKAGE? WHICH STORES OPEN AT MIDNIGHT? ALL THE ANSWERS (PHOTOS)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be released on Blu-ray and DVD this Saturday, March 2.  Which store has the best Twilight package? And which stores are opening at midnight?

Amazon.com

No bonus material or collectibles.

Best Buy

Exclusive Blu-ray combo with collectible locket key chain (see photos below).  Includes "hours of bonus features."

Exclusive $44.99 Twilight Saga collection, featuring all 5 films, including the new Breaking Dawn Part I Extended Edition.

No midnight openings listed.

Target

Target seems to offer the best packages, and midnight opening parties at the following stores in the region: Alexandria, Woodbridge, Bel Air, Ellicott City, Columbia and Annapolis. (If you're reading this and live in another state, click on the link in the first paragraph above to find the store closest to you).

Take note: early birds can pick up a voucher starting at 8:00 AM, Friday, March 1. Then bring your voucher back to the store at midnight to get your Twilight package.

What Target has is a $22.99 DVD/$26.99 Blu-ray Limited Edition version of Breaking Dawn Part 2, with 50 minutes of exclusive video content, including "black carpet" footage, and "hours of additional bonus content."

But wait, there's more.

A $14.99 Target-exclusive Limited Edition of Breaking Dawn Part 1, in a 2-DVD gift set that includes an actual prop flower from the film's wedding scene (see photo below) The prop includes a Certificate of Authenticity to verify it was actually in the movie.

Walmart

Walmart has an exclusive Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2 two-movie package, that includes the extended version of Part 1.

Walmart's other exclusive is a free set of 5 mini-posters (see photos below) that you receive with purchase of Breaking Dawn Part 2. But hurry - while supplies last.

Walmart stores opening at midnight in our region are Nottingham and Hampstead, both of which are in Maryland.

Bottom line

If you're an obsessed fan, you'll have to hit Best Buy for the locket key chain and 5-movie collection, Target for the Part 1 movie prop and 50 minutes of bonus video, and Walmart for the mini posters.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

LAY'S CHEESY GARLIC BREAD POTATO CHIPS REVIEW (VIDEO)

Now I've tried all three Flavor Finalists in the Lay's Do Us a Flavor contest, and I'm declaring a winner!

But first, I have to review #3, Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

WHERE TO WATCH UFC 157 TONIGHT IN ROCKVILLE

Where to watch the historic UFC 157 event, with Rousey vs. Carmouche title match in Rockville tonight?

Hooters of Rockville will be showing it starting at 10:00 PM tonight.

NIGHTS WATCH: ROCKVILLE CRIME REPORT

A stolen car, several drug busts, and a sex offense were among notable incidents in crime data this week in Rockville.

Saturday, February 16:

Drug arrest. 5900 block Montrose Parkway.

Theft. 11900 block Bargate Court.

Disorder. 400 block N. Horners Lane.

Drug arrest. 600 block E. Gude Drive.

Sunday, February 17:

Theft from vehicle. 100 block Halpine Road.

Theft. 1700 block E. Jefferson Street.

Burglary. 600 block Twinbrook Parkway.

Assault. 2200 block McAuliffe Drive.

Disorder. 13200 block Twinbrook Parkway.

Theft from vehicle. XX block W. Montgomery Avenue.

Monday, February 18:

Stolen car. 100 block N. Stonestreet Avenue.

Burglary. XX block Ritchfield Court.

Disorder. 100 block Beall Avenue and 200 N. Adams Street.

Theft. XX King Farm Boulevard.

Tuesday, February 19:

Assault/"other sexual offense." XX block of Mannakee Street.

Disorder. 200 block Monroe Street.

Theft. 200 block Richard Montgomery Drive.

Drug arrest. 900 block Rollins Avenue and Chapman Avenue.

Theft. 1600 block Rockville Pike.

Theft from vehicle. 5600 block Randolph Road.

Theft. Sports Authority.

Friday, February 22, 2013

WALGREENS UNDER CONSTRUCTION ON ROCKVILLE PIKE (PHOTOS)

The future Rockville Pike Walgreens is under construction a short walk from Rockville Town Square.

Formerly the site of the Orange Ball, the pharmacy will add a drive-thru in the future, when two roads are extended during the next phase of Rockville Town Center development.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

NASCAR 2013 PREVIEW SPECIAL EDITION USA TODAY MAGAZINE REVIEW (VIDEO)

Is NASCAR popular in Rockville? I don't think anyone has done a poll. But with Danica Patrick winning the pole position, there will be many tuning in for the Daytona 500 this Sunday.  Are you one of them?

Here's my video review of a handy publication by USA Today's Sports department, NASCAR Preview.

It features stories that will bring you up to speed (pun intended) by their NASCAR writers, Nate Ryan and Jeff Gluck; driver biographies; a complete guide to every Sprint Cup track; Twitter handles for every driver who has one; specs for the brand-new Gen 6 race cars; schedules, trivia, Fantasy NASCAR advice, and more.

FIRE EXTINGUISHED AT KARMA ACADEMY ON WATTS BRANCH PARKWAY

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue responded to a multiple alarm blaze on Watts Branch Parkway this morning in Rockville.

MCFRS Public Information Officer Scott Graham described the fire as "heavy," but reported no injuries.

Firefighters successfully put out the flames, and Graham says investigators are now looking into the cause of the fire, which was at the Karma Academy, he said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LAY'S SRIRACHA POTATO CHIP REVIEW (VIDEO)

Lay's Sriracha potato chips are in stores now. Sriracha on a chip? Yes! Watch my review. Sriracha is the new habanero - and the newest chip from Lay's in its Do Us a Flavor contest. You can also watch my Lay's Chicken & Waffles review.

702 ROCKVILLE PIKE DEVELOPER TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING ON REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

A public meeting regarding the redevelopment of 702 Rockville Pike will be held on Tuesday, March 5, at 6:30 PM in the Mayor & Council chambers at Rockville City Hall.

The redevelopment concept will be detailed, and questions will be fielded from the public.

This project dates back for many years, as I recall.

E. MIDDLE LANE WATER WORK, DUBALL PILE TESTING IN ROCKVILLE TOWN CENTER THIS WEEK

Workers will drill 9 auger-cast piles at the Duball construction site in Rockville Town Center this week.  Today and tomorrow, work related to the waterline along E. Middle Lane will occur, according to the East Rockville Civic Association.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

DUBALL CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - ROCKVILLE TOWN CENTER (PHOTOS)

Excavation is underway at the former site of the parking lot along E. Middle Lane.  This is an early step in the construction of the Duball project.

The building is a fairly good design, and fits well with the original Foulger-Pratt office building constructed years ago across the street.

But the downside is that the approval of this project officially spelled the doom of Rockville's traditional Hometown Holidays celebration.

First, the carnival rides vanished.  Now the concert "venue" (a.k.a. the parking lot) is gone, too.  That means no more Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, etc., performing at the event.  We're told it will be more of a "street fair."

Is a street fair Rockville? Urbanization has not been kind to the "hometown" concept.  Will this mean vendors and bad wedding bands one weekend in May each year? 

City residents are awaiting word on just what Hometown Holidays will consist of this year, and going forward.

In the meantime, here is a photo gallery of all the action going on at the Duball construction site:

Monday, February 18, 2013

EAST DUMPLING HOUSE TO OPEN IN ROCKVILLE (PHOTOS)

Exciting news from Courthouse Center at 12 N. Washington Street: A new restaurant, East Dumpling House, is coming soon, a short walk for residents in the town center and nearby neighborhood.

FRESH PIZZERIA CLOSED IN ROCKVILLE? (PHOTOS)

Fresh Pizzeria on Rockville Pike was closed when I arrived during regular Sunday business hours yesterday.  The store was dark, and tables were stacked.  There was a large sign in the front window announcing the space is For Lease.

I don't have any official announcement, but it appears Fresh Pizzeria may have closed.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

LAY'S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES POTATO CHIPS REVIEW (VIDEO)

Lay's Chicken & Waffle potato chips have just arrived at Giant. Watch a video review and find out how they rate.

This new chicken and waffles flavor is competing against Cheesy Garlic Bread and Sriracha in the Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest.

Friday, February 15, 2013

ROCKVILLE LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE 2013, FEATURING MISS VIETNAM DC, CATHERINE HO

Tomorrow morning, Saturday, February 16, 2013, is one of the best events of the year in Rockville: the Lunar New Year Celebration and Parade.

The event runs from 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM, and the parade begins at 11:00 AM.

Starring in the parade will be Miss Vietnam DC, Catherine Ho (who was also a runner-up at the Miss Maryland USA pageant), and her Royal Court.  Miss Chinese America is also scheduled to appear.

There will also be dragon and lion dancers, an Asian street market, street performances, gallery exhibitions, and arts and crafts for children.

Join your neighbors, and attendees from around the region, in celebrating the Year of the Snake at Rockville Town Square tomorrow!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

GORDON BIERSCH ROCKVILLE HAS A NEW MENU - AND YOU COULD TRY IT FREE!

Gordon Biersch at Rockville Town Center just added 23 new items to its menu, including this Knife and Fork burger and Woodford Reserve Salmon.

Try one tonight. But first, email gbnewmenu@cwrestaurants.com to find out if you win a gift card!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIALS AT ROCKVILLE TOWN SQUARE

Spend a romantic Valentine's Day evening at Rockville Town Square, where dinner can include lobster tails, a “Circle of Love” Heart Shape Dragon sushi roll, or heart-shaped cookies with decadent fillings. Or all of the above.

Many merchants are offering special shopping deals, and you could even win a $100 American Tap Room gift card, and ice rink passes for two in the Valentine's Day giveaway.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

KING CAKES ARRIVE AT GIANT

King Cakes have arrived at Giant Food stores just in time for Mardi Gras. Here are some photos of mine. I got this on Saturday, and have eaten 2 pieces; that's why this cake is not a complete ring - sorry! Great Mardi Gras colors on the frosting, and raspberry filling inside. But where are the beads this year, Giant?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

BAR LOUIE ROCKVILLE VALENTINE'S DAY PARTY

Bar Louie promises to be the place to be in Rockville for singles this Valentine's Day.

The Rockville Town Square bar will be offering two special drinks to set the mood: the It's Not Me, It's You shot ($5), and the Heartbreaker Martini ($5).

So if you don't have a Valentine yet, Bar Louie may be the place to find one at the last minute.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BONCHON OPENS IN ROCKVILLE

A soft opening of the newest BonChon Chicken franchise in the DC area is underway at Rockville Town Square.

BonChon has posted hours of 11 AM to 10 PM, and has had a limited menu initially.  But don't worry - those world-famous fried chicken wings are most definitely on it!

Early customers, many of whom are BonChon fanatics, report mixed results. Some say it is the best BonChon they've had, while others believe there are still a few spice and frying techniques to iron out.

Of course, that's what a soft opening period is designed for, so give the staff a few days to perfect things. But diehard fans will want to stop by to be one of the first BonChon customers in Rockville.

Remember to call ahead, or be prepared to wait for your order. That BonChon magic takes time. If you're traveling far, you may also want to call ahead to make sure they are open, as it is a soft opening period.

BonChon Rockville. (301) 637-9079.

FREE SLICE OF BIRTHDAY CAKE TONIGHT AT ROCKVILLE GIANT!

Is today your birthday? Well, it doesn't matter, you're getting some birthday cake anyway.

Today is the birthday of venerable grocery store chain Giant Food - its 77th birthday.

In honor of this, and odd-numbered birthdays, every Giant store in the whole chain will serve you a FREE slice of birthday cake today between 3-8 PM.

I hope it's one of their fabulous sheet cakes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TACO BELL NEW CANTINA BELL STEAK BURRITO REVIEW (VIDEO)

Taco Bell is taking Chipotle head-on with its new Cantina Bell Steak Burrito. How does the newest creation of Chef Lorena García stack up to Chipotle? Watch my video review and find out. The new burrito is available now at Taco Bell in Rockville.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

80s SKATE NIGHT TONIGHT AT ROCKVILLE TOWN SQUARE ICE RINK

Get dressed up as 80s as you can when it's freezing outside - it's 80s Skate Night tonight at Rockville Town Square.

Tonight, Saturday, February 2, from 6-10 PM, the town square will be lit up a totally awesome neon pink.  Expect to skate to the greatest 80s sounds, like Def Leppard and Michael Jackson. But they are also asking for your requests, so you can help fill out the playlist from one of America's greatest decades.

But wait, there's more!  You'll also receive FREE neon 80s glasses and a neon necklace, while supplies last.

Friday, February 1, 2013

WHERE TO WATCH UFC 156 IN ROCKVILLE SATURDAY NIGHT - ALDO VS. EDGAR

Which bar in Rockville will be screening Saturday night's championship matchup of Aldo vs. Edgar live from UFC 156?

Hooters of Rockville is an official UFC location for the fight February 2, which will start at 10:00 PM.