Thursday, July 6, 2023

Anya by Vivien relocates at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

Anya by Vivien
has made the move at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The Afro-European-inspired gown boutique has vacated its Level 2 space, which is now walled off in preparation for a new tenant. A sign posted there directs customers to the new location, right outside of Nordstrom on Level 1. Anya by Vivien has been open at the mall since November 2021.

Daboba tea shop to hold grand opening in Rockville

is getting ready for a busy two days this upcoming weekend in Rockville. The Malaysia-based bubble tea chain will celebrate the grand opening of its newest store in the Talbott Center at 1079 Rockville Pike this Saturday, July 8, 2023 and Sunday, July 9. On Saturday, Daboba's first 50 customers will receive a free drink, and the next 50 customers will be offered a buy-one-get-one-free deal. The first 100 customers on Sunday will receive "free gifts." 

After 3:00 PM on Sunday, you will be able to get any of their Honey Golden Pearl series drinks for 50% off if you purchase one of their Roasted Brown Sugar series beverages. One complication for those eager to be first in line is that Daboba has not yet announced its operating hours. Most of their US stores open at 11:00 AM, except the Midwest stores, which seem to open at noon.

Top photo:
Middle, bottom photos courtesy Daboba

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Kate Fulton launches campaign for Rockville City Council

Kate Fulton
has entered the 2023 race for Rockville City Council. A 13-year resident of the city, she and her family live in the West End neighborhood. In addition to raising a family with a history of involvement in community and charitable events, Fulton has extensive professional experience as a government operations executive. Beginning her campaign with an event at her home attended by 50 friends and neighbors, Fulton outlined three priorities she would focus on if elected: Equitable and effective government, public safety and strong infrastructure, and economic and environmental sustainability. 

It has often been noted that some communities in the city are underrepresented on City boards and commissions, or haven't been engaged in public outreach. Fulton says she will use her experience in building coalitions and consensus to ensure the voices of all Rockville residents are heard before difficult decisions are made. She said she would focus on preserving small businesses, affordable housing and trees and green space as the city continues to grow and develop.

“Many issues we discuss nationally are impacting life in Rockville," Fulton told attendees at the campaign kick-off event. “Housing, climate, the economy. I believe that we can address these issues here at home, but it takes strategic thinking, strong decision making, and input from all of Rockville.”

“I think about Rockville the way I think about my own children,” Fulton explained. “I am proud of my children, but I don’t want to freeze them in time. I want to make decisions that allow them to grow and reach their full potential. Rockville should be taking a similar approach to itself. Evaluating and making decisions that to benefit the most people for the longest amount of time.”

Photo courtesy Committee to Elect Kate Fulton

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Dan Cox on Maryland 6th Congressional District filing: It wasn't me

It's rare when there's a bizarre story in Maryland politics. It's even more rare when a campaign filing with the Federal Election Commission for the Maryland 6th Congressional District race can elicit hearty cheers of approval among both the Republican and Democratic bases. The story of former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox supposedly filing Form 2 with the FEC in that race manages to score on both counts. After media outlets began reporting the filing, Cox took to social media to declare that he had not filed the form, and was reporting the imposter filing to the FEC for "fraud."

Many observers had mentioned Cox as a potential candidate once incumbent David Trone declared he would give up his seat to pursue Ben Cardin's seat in the U.S. Senate. The initial report of Cox actually filing likely thrilled GOP voters who are still strongly in the tank for Donald Trump, who endorsed Cox in his 2022 bid for Maryland governor. But for a Democratic Party that hasn't yet been able to secure a slam-dunk candidate for the 6th District race, in terms of name recognition or ability to finance an expensive campaign, the entry of Cox was likely seen as a boon. Democratic candidate Joe Vogel of Montgomery County's Twitter response echoing former Gov. Larry Hogan's Cox attack line, "QAnon Whack Job," summed up that sense of a candidate who could be quickly and negatively defined in a district that a Republican still can't win without some support from independent voters.

But Cox throwing water on the celebration before it could even really heat up has generated the biggest mystery in Maryland politics since Roy McGrath. If Cox didn't file the form, who did, and why? Cox has since implicated a Twitter bot account holder as the possible culprit, but he or she is yet to be identified.

One Republican who isn't disappointed Cox disavowed the FEC filing is Maryland Del. Neil Parrott. He lost to Trone in the 6th by 9 points in 2022. With Cox not on the primary ballot, and no one of Trone's moderate image and wealth on the Democratic side, Parrott has to be liking his chances this time around. And turnout among Republicans in the 6th in 2024 should be high.While many American voters have said they don't want to choose a president from a rematch between Trump and Joe Biden, they've made equally clear that they know which of the two they will support in such a rerun of a contest.

But for all the talk of filing, none of the names mentioned in this article so far even appear on the official Maryland Board of Elections candidate list for the 6th District race. As of this writing, there are five candidates listed: George Gluck (D) of Rockville, Stephen R. McDow II (D) of Monrovia, Chris Hyser (R) of Thurmont, Todd A. Puglisi (R) of Germantown and Mariela Roca (R) of Frederick.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Rockville Target garage repairs block some doors on Level 3

A garage repair project is underway at the Target store at 5700 Bou Avenue in Rockville. The work is taking place on Level 3. Some of the exit doors from the store are blocked on that level as a result, and a wood construction wall blocks part of the walkway between the parking deck and the storefront. I usually enter and check out on Level 1, anyway. The elevator-only level of the garage - well, that's just creepy, especially in a time of rising crime in Montgomery County.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Former mayor Susan Hoffmann endorses Adam Van Grack in Rockville City Council race

Rockville City Council candidate Adam Van Grack has received the endorsement of former Rockville mayor Susan Hoffmann. A Rockville native and founding partner of the Longman & Van Grack law firm, Van Grack is the son of another former Rockville mayor, Steven Van Grack. The elder Van Grack is legendary for his famous man vs. car race up Rockville Pike, that drove home how bad development-fueled traffic congestion was becoming in the mid-80s, but is also remembered for directing that a report dispelling myths about AIDS be mailed to all Rockville residents at a time when many politicians were ignoring the issue. In recent years, Steven Van Grack cited that decision as one of the actions he was most proud of during his 1985-1987 mayoral term.

A Rockshire neighborhood resident and member of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, Adam Van Grack is calling for more transparency and communication from city government to residents. He is suggesting the next Mayor and Council hold more town hall meetings in neighborhoods around the city. Having served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, Van Grack is also making public safety a priority issue in his Council campaign. This would include hiring more police officers, and providing financial assistance to residents and businesses who might otherwise not be able to afford security cameras.

Van Grack is also focusing on one of the biggest hot-button issues in the city, the struggling Town Center area. He is recommending increased housing density and changing the parking configuration, but also cutting off taxpayer subsidies for some businesses in the Town Center.

"I support Adam Van Grack for Rockville City Council," Hoffmann said at a Van Grack campaign event, calling him part of "the new leadership of Rockville's future!" The City Council will expand in size with this November's election, from five to seven seats. Hoffmann has remained politically active since leaving office, at both the city and county levels, most recently as a candidate for the vacant District 17 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Photo courtesy Friends of Adam Van Grack

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Cheesy Jalapeno Bacon Quarter Pounder arrives at McDonald's in Montgomery County

The new, limited-time-only Cheesy Jalapeno Bacon Quarter Pounder is starting to pop up at McDonald's restaurants in Montgomery County. It is scheduled to be released nationwide on July 10, 2023, but once again our local McDonald's locations are serving it earlier than the national release. The fresh 100% beef patty is topped with two slices of melted American cheese, "thick cut" Applewood smoked bacon, pickled jalapenos, and a cheese sauce. A Quarter Pounder without the raw onions? "Inconceivable!!"

Top photo: McDonald's Corporation
Bottom photo: Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row