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July 31: This Week in Potomac

July 30, 2002

Falling Tree Traps Motorists

<bt>An oak tree three-feet in diameter trapped two Potomac residents inside their burning car on Sunday, July 28 on Montrose Road, according to police reports.

Tamara Ann Meyer, 48, and John Edward Jennings, 48, both of Potomac, were traveling westbound in the 6500 block of Montrose Road in Rockville when an oak tree toppled and struck their BMW. The impact crushed the roof of the car and trapped Meyer and Jennings. The tree also downed power lines igniting leaking gasoline from the BMW.

Police officer Laurie Ellard gave an off-duty fireman, who stopped to assist, the fire extinguisher from her trunk. She then climbed over the tree branches and extricated the female from the wreckage while the car burned. The male passenger was able to free himself from the car. Both were taken to Suburban Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Traffic was shut down in both directions on Montrose while maintenance crews worked through the night to clear the road.

<sh>Man Stabbed

<bt>According to police reports:

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a stabbing in the first level parking lot in the 4900 block of Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda on Monday morning, July 29, at 12:16 a.m.

The male victim, 25, of Germantown, and a female friend, 32, of Bethesda, were walking to the male victim's vehicle when two suspects appeared from the passenger side of the vehicle. Both suspects then turned on the male victim striking him repeatedly. When he retaliated, one of the suspects stabbed him twice in the upper and lower chest.

The victims were found by another citizen who was walking into the garage and heard screaming. He observed the two suspects running from the first level of the garage toward Elm Street. Police units located two individuals who partially matched the suspects' descriptions, but both were released without charges being pressed.

Both victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The female victim was treated and released. The male victim remained hospitalized in serious condition.

The suspects are described as dark-skinned black males; one in his 30s and one in his 20s. One suspect was wearing a light top, dark pants and a dark hat. The other was wearing a dark top, dark pants and white hat.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Second District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112 or Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777.

<sh>Potomac Burglary

<bt>According to Montgomery County police, Cold Spring Elementary School, located at 9201 Falls Road in Potomac, was broken into between 6 p.m. on July 22 and 10 a.m. on July 23. Entry was made through an unlocked side door. Nothing was taken.

<sh>Strong-Arm Robbery

<bt>Police seek help from the public in identifying a suspect involved in a strong-arm robbery at the Sears store, 7103 Democracy Blvd.

According to police reports:

On June 30, 2002, at approximately 1:23 p.m., a suspect entered the children's department of Sears and purchased two items. About 30 minutes later, the same suspect returned to the same register to return one of the items. While the clerk was taking care of the transaction, the suspect reached over the counter, shoved the victim and removed cash from the register. The suspect then ran out of the store toward the lower-level parking garage.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-9, 195-pound black male, 20-22 years of age, with brown eyes, black hair and a goatee, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5100 or Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777.

<sh>Open Space Acquisition

<bt>Park and Planning approved the acquisition of 3.827 acres known as "Gokturk Woods" on Berryville Road, tentatively called Berryville Road Neighborhood Conservation Park in North Potomac.

To preserve the property — adjacent to Seneca Community Church, a historic African-American congregation — from pending approved development into three lots for homes, Douglas Jimerson and Michael Rubin formed the Berryville Park, LLC early this year to purchase the property with the hope that Park and Planning could buy it from them after the Potomac Master Plan was approved by the Council. The Master Plan, which was approved in March, recommends the property for acquisition and use as a conservation area.

Because the property could only be purchased at a price above the appraised price and Park and Planning can only buy property at fair market value, Jimerson contributed a substantial amount of his own funds to assure the property would not be developed.

Park and Planning will involve the community in the facility planning process to determine what improvements would be appropriate and what the permanent name of the park should be.

<sh>Register and Vote

<lst>The voter registration deadlines for the 2002 elections are 9 p.m. Aug. 20, 2002 for the Sept. 10 primary election, and 9 p.m. Oct. 15, 2002, for the Nov. 5 general election.

Voter registration applications are available from the Elections Office, 751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville. Call 240-777-8500 and leave a message at the 24-hour voter information line at 240-777-VOTE.

Forms are also available at all Montgomery County public libraries, Montgomery College, public high schools, U.S. post offices and county government regional service centers.

The form can be printed from the state elections Website at www.elections.state.md.us and mailed back.

<sh>Civic Calendar

<cal1>Wednesday, July 31

<cal2>Fundraiser for Rob Garagiola (D), candidate for the Maryland State Senate (District 15), at 8 a.m. at Picasso Grille, 9812 Falls Road in Potomac. Keynote speaker is Montgomery County Council president Steve Silverman. $50 donation suggested. Call 301-916-2574 or email rachaelrice@earthlink.net.

<cal1>August 2002

<cal2>Park and Planning is scheduled to publish the staff draft of the Blockhouse Point Master Plan. To send comments about the park master plan in writing, or to get on the mailing list to receive information about the Blockhouse Point Master Plan, address letters to: Blockhouse Point Master Plan, 1109 Spring Street, Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

<cal1>September 2002

<cal2>Park and Planning has tentatively scheduled a public meeting, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, to solicit comment and input on the staff draft of the Blockhouse Point Master Plan. Visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/blockhouse_mp/blockhouse_mp.htm

<cal1>Tuesday, Sept. 10

<cal2>Primary Elections will be held. Voter registration applications are available from the Elections Office, 751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville. Call 240-777-8500 and leave a message at the 24-hour voter information line at 240-777-VOTE.

<cal1>Thursday, Sept. 12

<cal2>Montgomery County Council resumes committee worksessions after its annual recess, which began on July 31. Regular Council worksessions begin the following Tuesday, Sept. 17.

<cal1>Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.

<cal2>County Council Public Hearing on Councilmember Nancy Dacek's Bill 26-02, which would prohibit pedestrians from standing in a travel lane, roadway median or intersection, or approaching a motor vehicle in a travel lane to solicit or sell anything to occupants of the vehicle. County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Call 240-777-7900 to testify.

<cal1>Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.

<cal2>Western Area Recreation Advisory Board Meeting, Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac. Call 301-983-4471.

<cal1>Tuesday, Sept. 17

<cal2>Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board Meeting, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Services Center, Room A, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda.

<cal1>Tuesday, Sept. 17

<cal2>County Council Public Hearing, Zoning Text Amendment 02-21. Exemption provision — private schools on land owned or leased by a religious institution. County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Call 240-777-7900 to testify.

<cal1>Tuesday, Nov. 5

<cal2>General Election.

<lst>Send items for the civic calendar to Potomac Almanac managing editor Ken Moore, 10220 River Road, Suite 330, Potomac, MD 20854; call 301-983-2600; e-mail to PotomacAlmanac@hotmail.com; Fax to 703-917-0991.