Thursday, March 3, 2022

Rivian starts trucking at new Rockville facility (Photos)

made big news by raising prices on its electric vehicles yesterday, even for those who had pre-ordered under the previous price points, before backtracking today amid order cancellations. There is Rivian news closer to home here in Rockville, though. A Rivian facility has just been established at 1300 Rockville Pike. This was previously the BMW of Rockville dealership.

Flatbed trucks used to deliver
Rivian vehicles to buyers

Don't plan to visit just yet. The facility is currently being used to fulfill delivery orders for vehicles to purchasers in our area, and signs warn that the property is to be entered by "Employees Only." Those flatbed trucks you see in the photos here are used to deliver the vehicles directly to owners' homes. Also on-site: a surveillance robot, whose blue light can be seen as you approach on the Pike.

Blue light special: the Rivian
facility is under surveillance by
this camera robot out front

Aside from delivery and service functions, there are no consumer-facing operations here yet. There are currently no Rivian vehicles visible on-site, no Rivian Experience Center showroom, and no Rivian signage. But if you live nearby and haven't canceled your R1T or R1S order, this is where your vehicle will arrive first before it is brought to you on one of these flatbed trucks. Three major EV brands now have a presence in Rockville: Tesla, Polestar and Rivian.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Aria Halal Supermarket opening in Rockville

Aria Halal Supermarket
will open later this year at 811 Hungerford Drive at Saah Plaza in Rockville. It will be in the former Ranger Surplus store space at the shopping center. This is a block north of the Flagship carwash. As you can see in the photo below, construction has begun on the interior of the store.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Rockville City Hall to reopen to public on March 28

Rockville City Hall at 111 Maryland Avenue will reopen to the public on March 28, 2022, the City announced this morning. City Hall has been closed to the public for almost two years this month, due to the pandemic. The City will continue to require masks for all employees and visitors aged 2 and older at City Hall, and in all other Rockville government facilities, according to the announcement. When City Hall reopens, the 3rd-floor Vinson Street entry will be the only entrance and exit for the general public until further notice.

The Mayor and Council will continue to hold "hybrid meetings" when City Hall reopens, the statement said. Meetings have been held virtually while City Hall was closed.

Strong-arm robbery in Rockville

Rockville police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery in the King Farm area of Rockville this past Saturday evening, February 26, 2022. The robbery was reported in a commercial parking lot in the 300 block of King Farm Boulevard at 6:39 PM, according to crime data. That is at the King Farm Village Center.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Montgomery County government liquor stores stop selling Russian vodka

The Montgomery County government monopoly liquor stores have stopped selling Russian-made spirits, the County announced in a press release on Sunday. Since the County is the only entity that can sell liquor in the jurisdiction, it is an effective ban on the sale of all imported Russian liquor products in Montgomery County "until further notice." The County statement indicated the move was "[i]n solidarity with the people of Ukraine." It is only one of many jurisdictions around the country attempting to boycott Russian products following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Shortly after the ban was issued, individual Montgomery County establishments began announcing they were dropping Russian vodka from their cocktail menus. Montgomery County-operated liquor stores will continue to sell alternative vodka brands such as Smirnoff (manufactured in Illinois, despite the name), Ciroc, Tito's, Absolut, Svedka, Grey Goose, SKYY, Ketel One, and New Amsterdam, the County press release said.

Photo courtesy Russian Standard Vodka

Friday, February 25, 2022

When a Rockville drugstore opening meant free cigars for men, and hot steaks and crab cakes

The postmodernist critique posits that many Americans are nostalgic "for a past that never was." And then that argument gets shattered with the quick perusal of an advertisement for a "Get Acquainted Day" at Peoples Drug in the Twinbrook Shopping Center in 1957 Rockville, Maryland. In contrast to a 21st century where CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens stores open on every other block with little fanfare, this Rockville drugstore opening was a major event. Even Mr. Peanut was on hand.

Look at all of the 1950s cars lined up neatly outside the store. And unlike the Peoples Drug-eating CVS, you were going to leave this event with much more than a receipt you could wrap a mummy in. If you had a family, it was truly going to be a haul. Free Havana No. 9 cigars "for the men!" Free earrings "for the ladies!" Free ice cream cones, comic books and coloring books for the children! And free Coca-Colas, Wilkins Coffee and "miniature loaves" of Bond Bread for everybody (the Bond Bread factory in Washington D.C. still stands at 2146 Georgia Avenue NW).

Today's CVS offers a small convenience store presentation of essential grocery items and snacks. But the 1957 Twinbrook Peoples Drug had real, hot food in its Streamlined Fountain and Grill. There, one could order the "finest sandwiches and special plates," ice cream treats, beverages and platters of steak, veal or crab cakes. Compare that to today, and the devolution of society has rarely come into such stark focus. Sure, we don't need the TV tubes and film development of this Peoples Drug, but when's the last time you got a steak, crab cakes and free Havana No. 9 cigars at CVS?

Thursday, February 24, 2022

City of Rockville proposes $20 hike in trash collection fee

A resolution to increase Rockville's refuse collection fee by $20 in FY-2023 will be reviewed by the Mayor and Council at their virtual meeting this Monday night, February 28, 2022 at 7:00 PM. The proposed 4.4% increase would raise City of Rockville residents' annual refuse fee to $479. If approved, this would be the first increase in the fee since FY-2017. The resolution will be voted on by the Mayor and Council at their May 9, 2022 meeting.

Photo courtesy City of Rockville