Friday, May 31, 2024

Woman and child accomplices sought in Rockville theft

Rockville City police are seeking the public's help in identifying and locating a woman, and her two child accomplices, in a May 23, 2024 shoplifting incident on Rockville Pike. They are accused of stealing an unspecified amount of merchandise from a business in the 1600 block of Rockville Pike at 5:44 PM that afternoon. Police describe the woman as a White female in her 30s or 40s, wearing a light-colored top and a long black skirt.

Juvenile accomplice #1 is described as a White female, 15 or 16, with dark hair. She was wearing a "pink wrap blouse" and a long black skirt. Juvenile #2 is a White male, 10-12 years-of-age. He wore a black-and-white T-shirt and khaki shorts.

If you have any information about these suspects or this incident, you are asked to call police at 240-314-8900. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Suspect arrested attempting to steal from vehicles in Rockville

Rockville City police arrested a suspect who allegedly was attempting to steal items from vehicles in the Woodley Gardens/Rockville Estates neighborhood on May 27, 2024. The White male suspect was taken into custody by a Rockville officer in the 600 block of Crocus Drive around 2:00 PM Monday. He has been charged with two counts of attempted rogue and vagabond, which are misdemeanors. The suspect was initially ordered held without bond by Judge Michael O. Glynn, III. A trial has been scheduled.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Peeping Tom at Rockville hotel

Rockville City police responded to a report of a Peeping Tom at a hotel early Saturday night, May 25, 2024. The incident was reported at a hotel in the unit block of Research Court at 7:46 PM. There are two hotels on that block.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Black cemetery advocates call for boycott of Montgomery County Juneteenth events

Advocates protesting the ongoing desecration of Moses African Cemetery in Bethesda are calling for a boycott of Montgomery County government-sponsored Juneteenth 2024 events. The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition is organizing the boycott to highlight the failure of Montgomery County elected officials at the local, state and federal levels to condemn the desecration and intervene in the matter. BACC is asking residents to instead attend an alternative slate of Juneteenth events that it will be sponsoring.

The BACC Juneteenth events will include an interfaith program on June 15, 2024 at 1:00 PM at Macedonia Baptist Church at 5119 River Road in Bethesda, and a community program on June 19 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM at the church that will include speakers, food and cultural performances. Further details on the June 19 event are pending.

BACC announced the planned boycott yesterday, Memorial Day, by also recognizing an American Civil War veteran who is buried in Moses African Cemetery. Pvt. William H.H. Brown served in the 30th United States Colored Troops (USCT) Regiment. The 30th is credited with exhibiting incredible heroism in many critical events and battles, in the service of a Union that had given them nothing up to that point in its history. 

A Maryland state archive lists a Pvt. William H. Brown as having been mustered into Company E of the 30th on March 3, 1864. The record indicates Pvt. Brown was honorably discharged, like a majority of the 30th, on December 10, 1865.

The biggest of BACC's alternative Juneteenth events will be a celebration of Brown's service and heroism on June 18 at 1:00 PM, beginning at Macedonia Baptist Church. An honor guard of 30th USCT Regiment Civil War reenactors will lead a march from the church to the nearby Moses African Cemetery. There, they will lay a wreath, raise the Juneteenth flag, and sound Taps. The public is invited to join the march and ceremony. 

Private Brown is one of many whose graves either remain under a parking lot alongside and behind the Westwood Tower apartments in Bethesda, or whose remains were directly desecrated and illegally relocated into a mass grave elsewhere on the site. Montgomery County has blocked all attempts to conduct any independent archaeological examination of the two recognized cemetery parcels, one of which it already owned via the Housing Opportunity Commission's ownership of Westwood Tower, and the other - located across the Willett Branch stream from Westwood Tower's rear parking lot - it hastily acquired to prevent any search for remains.

A third parcel directly adjacent to the second is now being developed as a self-storage building by a private company. While that parcel was not officially part of the cemetery, concerns were raised during the project approval process in 2017 about burials that may have occurred just over the property line of the graveyard, a phenomenon not unusual in cemeteries of that era where boundaries may not have been physically delineated. Those concerns were brushed aside by the Montgomery County Planning Board, who called in armed police to intimidate cemetery advocates peacefully protesting at the public hearing. In addition to demanding silence of the protesters, officers ordered them to turn their signs around to the blank side.

The self-storage project has faced many delays since its approval. When excavation commenced, observers with the BACC reported seeing possible bones and funerary objects being removed from the site. An archaeological expert employed by the developer declared that the materials were not human remains or funerary objects, and they were trucked away and stored in a Virginia warehouse at an unknown location. The BACC and its own expert asked why, if the developer's expert was correct, they could not have a chance to examine the items themselves.

BACC officials have asked Montgomery County elected officials at the local, state and federal levels to condemn the desecration of the cemetery, and to intervene in several respects, including the release of the excavated materials for independent review. None have done so. 

The cemetery and Macedonia Baptist Church are the only physical remnants of a vibrant Black community that existed in the now-industrialized and commercialized area along River Road between Brookside Drive and Little Falls Parkway. Former slaves emancipated from the adjacent Loughborough plantation established the community after the Civil War. A River Road "colored school" provided education prior to desegregation of public schools. The community's descendants were forced from the land in the 1950s and 1960s by developers via various illegal or unethical means. 

Former resident Harvey Matthews - who grew up on a property now home to a Whole Foods Market - has cited the deceptions and intimidations employed by developers, including physical threats and actual violence by a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. He recalls that he and his family were beaten by Klansmen. Montgomery County government and law enforcement looked the other way at the time, and not only allowed the Black community to be forced out, but completely eliminated its history from the official County historical narrative.

The HOC recently violated Maryland law by trying to sell the cemetery property to a private developer, without contacting the descendants of those buried there. That matter is now before the Maryland Supreme Court. A recent concrete pour at the self-storage construction site only further angered the descendant community.

"This is the level of vile barbarism [and] White supremacy that is unmatched in history," BACC President Marcia Coleman-Adebayo said on WPFW FM last week, citing the shocking fate of Pvt. Brown's remains. "This is how Montgomery County, Maryland celebrates Juneteenth, and this is why the BACC calls for boycott of the Montgomery County Juneteenth program."

Photo of 30th USCT Regiment provided by BACC

Rockville thief with green thumb steals 15 plants

A thief with a green thumb allegedly stole 15 plants in the Rockshire neighborhood on May 16 or 17, 2024, Rockville City police report. The 15 plants had been left "unattended" between 5:15 PM on May 16 and 12:53 PM on May 17, and were stolen during that time. It was not specified if the plants were at the Wootton's Mill Community Garden, or at a private home across the street. Police have not released a description of the suspect(s) as of this writing. If you have any information about this incident, call police at 240-314-8900.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Rockville Target offers Prince for Target pickleball collection

Target has added a small pickleball section to most of its stores, in cooperation with sporting goods brand Prince. Called "Pickleball Point," it appears to have everything a beginner needs to get started. The section is an exclusive partnership between Target and Prince, and is planned to be a limited-time promotion. Among the 80 items in the "Prince for Target" collection are retro track suits and pleated skirts, as well as paddles with colors that match the apparel. Target says the merchandise will be available "while supplies last." Pricing starts at $9.99, and most items are under $50. Hopefully they won't be Target-ed by the Rockville pickleball thieves.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Rockville convenience store robbed

Rockville City police responded to a report of a robbery at a convenience store Thursday afternoon, May 23, 2024. The robbery was reported at a store in the 800 block of Baltimore Road at 3:46 PM Thursday. That is at the Burgundy Park Shopping Center. A 7-Eleven in that shopping center was robbed last December.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Dawson's Market closing at Rockville Town Square

Dawson's Market
is closing at 225 N. Washington Street at Rockville Town Square. The grocery store, which threatened to shutter before until the City of Rockville (a.k.a. you, the taxpayer) stepped in to provide a financial subsidy, will close at the end of June, owner Bart Yablonsky told The MoCo Show in a statement yesterday. I noticed the store was selling off a lot of kitchen equipment and cafe seating back in February (in fact, the auction listing remains online). When I messaged Dawson's Market on February 7 about the reason for liquidating so many items, the store declined to respond. The auction went forward on February 12, and the store remained open. No closure announcement has been posted on the Dawson's Market website or social media accounts as of this writing.

The departure of Dawson's is yet another blow to the struggling Rockville Town Square and Town Center, though the grocery store part of the development was troubled from the beginning. Major supermarket chains balked at the space that the original developer had built on spec with a grocery tenant in mind, finding it too small and hidden at the back of the property. Perhaps now that chains like Aldi, Lidl and Trader Joe's are in major expansion mode, and utilize smaller store footprints than Giant or Safeway, a bigger-drawing brand name will be willing to take another look at this opportunity. The typical Aldi is 22,000-square-feet, while a Trader Joe's can be only 10,000-15,000 SF.

Despite the fact that Dawson's wasn't what the original developer had in mind for this space, the unique selection of products and prepared foods, and events like wine tastings, helped it build a loyal-if-not-financially-sustainable customer base. Morguard, the new property owner of Rockville Town Square, now has the grocery store space and the long-vacant and large former American Tap Room, CVS Pharmacy, and Gordon Biersch spaces to fill. The company having its base in Canada probably isn't doing a Maryland property any favors, but Morguard doesn't even list the vacant RTS storefronts on its Leasing page.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Insurers are price-gouging Maryland residents: Why they're getting away with it

Maryland residents are paying outrageous premiums for health insurance, auto insurance and homeowner's insurance. It is price-gouging, pure and simple. But Maryland lawmakers recently concluded their 2024 legislative session without taking any action to protect their constituents from these predatory premiums. And now we know why.

Insurance companies are among the biggest financial contributors to our elected officials in Annapolis. As a result, a Democratic-controlled general assembly is treating insurance firms the way our Montgomery County Council treats the real estate development industry: with a hands-off, libertarian-Republican, brass knuckle capitalist approach that Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan could endorse.

Most of us expected that the more years we drove while maintaining a good driving record would lower our insurance costs. Instead, premiums continue to skyrocket to record heights. In the case of auto insurance, we have been twice-victimized by our elected officials. Not only have they failed to protect us from premium price-gouging, but their soft-on-crime approach has given insurers a handy excuse to claim that all of the stolen vehicles are costing them money.

Here's a look inside the insurance companies' checkbooks, and your governor's, legislative leaders' and Montgomery County legislators' campaign treasure chests. The contributions listed below are only a portion of the donations made, and primarily cover the period from 2022 to 2024. Elected officials listed are A) Governor Wes Moore, B) State Senate President Bill Ferguson, C) Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones, D) Gov. Moore/Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller's Inaugural Committee, and E) Montgomery County delegates and state senators.

Liberty Mutual


$500 Eric Luedtke

$1500 Jeff Waldstreicher

$1000 Will Smith

$1000 Brian Feldman


$250 Nancy King

$750 Will Smith

$250 Brian Feldman



$250 Jeff Waldstreicher

$250 Ben Kramer

$250 Brian Feldman

State Farm 


$1000 Bill Ferguson


$750 Bill Ferguson

$250 Will Smith



$500 Brian Feldman


$1000 Bill Ferguson

$2000 Will Smith

Carefirst Blue Cross

Since 2022

$1000 Wes Moore

$1000 Will Smith

$2000 Brian Feldman

$500 Marc Korman

$500 Jheanelle Wilkins

$250 Ben Kramer

$6000 Bill Ferguson

$30,000 Moore-Miller Inaugural Committee

$500 Bonnie Cullison

$2000 Democratic Senate Caucus Committee

$500 Kumar Barve

$500 Eric Luedtke


Since 2020

$3500 Will Smith

$1000 House Democratic Caucus Committee


$30,000 Moore-Miller Inaugural Committee

$6000 Brian Feldman

Erie Insurance

$1750 Jeff Waldstreicher

$2000 Adrienne Jones

$1500 Will Smith

$5000 Wes Moore

$500 Ben Kramer

$750 Brian Feldman


Since 2020

$250 Jeff Waldstreicher

$500 Will Smith

$1000 Adrienne Jones


Since 2022

$750 Bonnie Cullison

$750 Ariana Kelly

$3000 Wes Moore

$1500 Adrienne Jones

$750 Brian Feldman

United Healthcare

$30,000 Moore-Miller Inaugural Committee

Indecent exposure at Rockville laundromat

Patrons at a Rockville laundromat saw something they shouldn't have while trying to complete their laundry chores late Tuesday morning, May 21, 2024. Rockville City police responded to an indecent exposure report at the laundromat, which is located in the 2100 block of Veirs Mill Road. The incident was reported at 11:28 AM Tuesday.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Dino Safari coming to Montgomery Mall in Bethesda in July

It won't be confused with Jurassic Park, but Lumino City is bringing its interactive Dino Safari attraction to Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda for a full month this summer, from July 4 to August 4, 2024. The show has a new theme this year, "Volcanic and Ice Age." Attendees will walk through a world dominated by animatronic life-size dinosaurs as high as 46 feet tall. Other attractions will include an Oviraptor Ride, a Jurassic Fossil Hunt, Dino Spin-a-Saurus, Safari Kids Oasis, T-Rex Thrill Chair, Dino Speedway Ride, Dino Paradise Bounce, and Sandy Creek Mining. 

Tickets are available for purchase online. Here's a video that shows the most extensive footage of what's featured in this season's show, to give you an idea if this is worth the money for you or your family. It appears that the light show aspect may enhance the experience for those attending after dark. Lumino City says the lights are activated at 7:00 PM nightly. Food will be available from vendors on-site, and Lumino City is promising it will be "gourmet." Life finds a way!

"Westlife Montgomery Mall?"

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Red Lobster closes in Rockville as chain files for bankruptcy (Photos)

Red Lobster
has closed at 15700 Shady Grove Road. The seafood restaurant chain announced late Sunday night that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. "This restructuring is the best path forward for Red Lobster," CEO Jonathan Tibus said in a statement. "It allows us to address several financial and operational challenges and emerge stronger and re-focused on our growth. The support we've received from our lenders and vendors will help ensure that we can complete the sale process quickly and efficiently while remaining focused on our employees and guests." As part of its bankruptcy filings, Red Lobster will close some locations, sell some - or potentially all - of its assets, and sell its business to a new entity "formed and controlled by its existing term lenders."

This is especially sad news for residents of the Upper Rock neighborhood. The closure removes one of the main dining options within walking distance of the apartments there. Can we get an Olive Garden or Texas Roadhouse into this empty building? Montgomery County may be the only jurisdiction of its size in America to have neither. The machinations of the Montgomery County Council against those brands, Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and modernity in general are truly bizarre! Believe it or not, your constituents want unlimited bread sticks, and to be able to buy beer and wine at Giant and CVS!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rockville police searching for suspect in stabbing

Rockville City police are seeking the public's help in identifying and locating a suspect in the May 10, 2024 stabbing of a customer at a business in the Rockville Town Center area. The male suspect "suddenly stabbed a visitor to a business" in the 300 block of N. Washington Street at 5:13 PM, police allege. Police describe the suspect as a thin Black male, somewhere between 20 and 35 years of age, with "a dark complexion." He was wearing a dark brown or camouflage puffy jacket, dark pants, and a black hat. If you have any information on this suspect or incident, you are asked to call police at 240-314-8900.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Montgomery County has 2nd-biggest increase in homeless in Washington, D.C. region

Montgomery County is finally near the top of a list again - but it's not one you want to be high on. The County experienced the second-biggest increase in homeless population in the entire Washington, D.C. region since 2023, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Washington, D.C. itself was number one on the list. COG reported that Montgomery County's arch rival, Fairfax County, was the only jurisdiction in the area to enjoy a decrease in unhoused residents.

Of course, Fairfax County has many more high-wage jobs than Montgomery County, which helps one to afford housing. Politicians often tout MoCo's low unemployment numbers, without mentioning that most of the jobs our residents are employed at are not located within Montgomery County. Fairfax also has a lower total tax burden and cost-of-living than Montgomery County. Property taxes are set to rise again in the FY-2025 budget nearing approval by the Montgomery County Council, in a jurisdiction where property taxes are becoming a second mortgage for many residents as it is. And that's just one part of the total tax and fee burden for MoCo residents.

Rents and home prices, despite relentless construction and delivery of new housing units, only continue to skyrocket in Montgomery County. And thousands of existing affordable housing units are being demolished to clear the way for more overpriced "luxury" housing. A ridiculously-high cost-of-living combined with some of the lowest job creation and job growth numbers in the region are a recipe for increasing poverty and homelessness. Montgomery County has failed to attract a single major corporate headquarters in a quarter century, as company after company has chosen to locate or flee to Northern Virginia over that long, dry period of moribundity. As a result, more jobs, and more high-wage jobs, are created every year in Fairfax County than in Montgomery County - in fact, the numbers aren't even close.

Montgomery County has dropped off of so many top ten lists - Forbes' Top Ten Richest Counties in America, Top School Systems in America, etc. - that it's almost a positive feeling to be on any top ten list. Almost. Perhaps the Montgomery County cartel can create some new slogans: "Montgomery County: We're Number Two in Unhoused Population - We Try Harder (To Make It More Expensive to Live Here)." Or, "The Number of Montgomery County's Unhoused - Rising Almost as Fast as County Councilmembers' Salaries!"

Police called after aggravated assault at Rockville school

Rockville City police were called to a school after an aggravated assault was reported there early Friday afternoon, May 17, 2024. The assault was reported at a school in the 600 block of Great Falls Road at 1:45 PM Friday. Julius West Middle School is located at 651 Great Falls Road.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Robbery, assault at Marshalls in Rockville

Montgomery County police were called to the Marshalls department store at 12051 Rockville Pike at Montrose Crossing at 5:05 PM on May 8, 2024. A male suspect entered the store, assaulted a Marshalls employee, and fled with an undisclosed amount of merchandise. Police describe the suspect only as a Black male of unknown age. Anyone with information regarding this suspect or incident is asked to visit the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, MD website at, and click on the “” link at the top of the page, or call 1-866-411-8477. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

New sign of progress on Wegmans-anchored development in Rockville

Another "sign" of the future Wegmans-anchored Twinbrook Quarter development has appeared on Rockville Pike. An interior street of the Saul Centers-developed property is now being established at its connection with the Pike (MD 355). It is named Festival Street.

Festival Street, located at the north end of Phase 1 of the project, now has traffic signals in place, and cross-street signage, over its intersection with Rockville Pike. When activated, the new signals will also regulate traffic from an entrance to Congressional Plaza across the street. Wegmans is scheduled to open next year at the development.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Walnut Hill Shopping Center remodeling going full steam, including Gaithersburg-themed mural

The massive makeover of the venerable Walnut Hill Shopping Center at 16529 S. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg is going full tilt. We can now see the distinctive storefront facade of the future Aldi grocery store emerging outside the former Weis Markets. All tenants are getting remodeled fronts and new signage. 

What stands out the most at the moment is a new piece of public art. Unlike some of the abstract murals that have popped up around Montgomery County in recent years, this one is 100% Gaithersburg-themed. The Baltimore & Ohio - now CSX - railroad tracks lead off into infinity, if not Chicago. On the right side is the Bowman Bros. Mill, known today as the Granary Row shopping center. There's the clock that stood diagonally across from Diamond Drugs.

Women assaulted by suspect shouting "You support genocide!" in Rockville

A female suspect allegedly confronted two women on Rockville Pike, and shouted, "You support genocide!" She then splashed one of the victims with a red drink, Rockville City police said. Police have not yet identified the victims as Jewish, but stated that they were "wearing jewelry with ethno-religious iconography" at the time of the assault. The alleged assault took place in the 1600 block of Rockville Pike at 1:30 PM on April 28, 2024, and was reported to police on May 7.

There is a significant Jewish community living in the vicinity of that block of Rockville Pike, and this is not the first time an incident that could be classified as a hate crime has been committed in that area since the Hamas attack on Israel last October 7, and the launch of the ensuing war in Gaza. Police describe the suspect in this April 28 incident as a "heavy-set" White female with glasses, short pink wavy hair, and black-and-white tattoos.

If you have any information about the suspect or this incident, or if you believe you have been a victim of a hate crime in the City of Rockville, you are asked to call 240-314-8900. If it is an emergency, call 911. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Hogan launches Democrats for Hogan in Maryland Senate race; Alsobrooks responds with video, Clinton endorsement

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) formalized his outreach to Democratic voters in the blue state, a day after winning the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Ben Cardin (D). He turned to former Democratic State Senator Bobby Zirkin (MD-11) to lead "Democrats for Hogan," a coalition voters can join that will spearhead the popular former governor's effort to win with bipartisan support in November. 

Hogan enjoyed such support during his two terms as governor, and with his attacks on Donald Trump, reporters and pundits pointed out that polling showed him more popular with Democrats than in his own party at times. Some Republicans took to calling Hogan "Lockdown Larry" for his response to the pandemic, but he received high marks for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis from a majority of voters.

"I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, and as a Democrat, I’m excited to vote and support and work for Larry Hogan for the United States Senate. He is exactly the leader we need," Zirkin said in a video released by the Hogan for Maryland campaign. "I encourage all of my fellow Democrats to really review the record of Governor Hogan, to look at things like fracking and criminal justice reform and cyberbullying, and the way that he was able to hold the line on taxes and still invest in things that are important like education and the Chesapeake Bay. Maybe most importantly, for those of you who believe like me from both parties - but I’m talking to the Democrats right now - that the hyper-partisanship in Washington is not what we should expect from our leaders. That we should expect them to work together. And if you believe that like I do, then I would encourage you to come out and support Larry Hogan for the United States Senate."

Not so fast, Hogan's Democratic opponent, Angela Alsobrooks said with her postings on social media today. Alsobrooks tweeted a video in which she emphasizes Hogan's identity as Republican rather than bipartisan. She retweeted an endorsement from Hillary Clinton, in which the former U.S. Senator wrote of the current Prince George's County Executive, "Maryland, help this extraordinary public servant become your next Senator!" Not surprisingly, the overarching theme of Alsobrooks' output today was abortion. So far, the campaign and all of its surrogates are laser-focused on the pro-choice message, which Democrats have found to be a winning one since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The topic was also on Hogan's agenda today. Referring to his record at the state level, he tweeted, "As governor, I protected the rights of Maryland women to make their own reproductive health decisions. I will do the same in the Senate by restoring Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. No one should come between a woman and her doctor."

He followed up his Democrats for Hogan announcement with a new video of prominent Democrats praising him compiled from TV and radio reports broadcast in recent years, featuring current Governor Wes Moore, former president Bill Clinton, President Joe Biden, Senator Chris Van Hollen and...Angela Alsobrooks.

"To my Democratic and Independent friends, you know me and you know my proven track record of reaching across the aisle to find common ground for the common good," Hogan said in a statement. "I will continue to be the same strong independent leader for Maryland that I always have been. You know that I have the courage to put people over politics and to put country over party. If you are completely fed up with the divisiveness and dysfunction and want a strong, independent leader who will stand-up and fight to clean up the mess in Washington—then join our cause."

Photos courtesy Hogan for Maryland (top), Alsobrooks for Senate (bottom)

MCPS Countywide Art Show at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda (Photos)

Here are some of the exhibits displayed during the recent Montgomery County Public Schools Countywide Art Show at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The schools represented at the show included Ashburton Elementary School in Bethesda, Candlewood Elementary School in Derwood, and Germantown Elementary School. MCPS uses the annual art show to represent student talents, and illustrate the goals of its Visual Arts curriculum. "The visual arts promote the core competencies - Academic Excellence, Creative Problem-solving, and Social Emotional Learning - identified by MCPS as essential to prepare students for success in the 21st century," the school system explained in a description displayed alongside the artwork.