This Week in Potomac

This Week in Potomac

<mh>Tour the Charity Canal

<bt>Bike the entire 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal. Or bike 100 miles, or 10 miles instead.

Free training programs for the 6th annual Tour de Canal, the country's longest off-road charity ride, will start Saturday, April 20 at Carderock Park, at 7:45 a.m.

The Tour de Canal, a 184.5 ride that benefits the programs and services of the Alzheimer's Association, National Capital Area, is scheduled for Sept. 21-22, 2002 along the C&O Canal, from Cumberland to Georgetown.

Participants can join other bikers for trips of increasing lengths, starting at 12-15 miles and ending in late August with rides of 60-80 miles. Training rides will continue every Saturday through June 8 at C&O Canal at Carderock Park, off the Clara Barton Parkway, starting at 7:45 a.m.

Completing a free, 50-mile qualifying ride is mandatory to participate in the 184- and 100-mile rides on Sept. 21-22. Qualifying rides will take place at Carderock Park on Saturdays, June 8, Sunday, July 14 and Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7:45 a.m. Riders can also take part in the 100-mile and 10-mile portions of the race.

For information, e-mail, visit or call toll-free at 1-866-259-0042.

<mh>Residential Burglary

<bt>According to police reports, jewelry was taken from a house on the 1700 block of Crestview Drive in Potomac between 8 p.m. on Feb. 23 and 11:45 p.m. on March 2. Burglars gained access by climbing through a basement window, according to police reports.

<mh>Planning Board Chairman Sought

<bt>County Council seeks applicants to succeed Arthur Holmes Jr. as chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board. His term expires on June 14, 2002. The position can be filled by a Democrat, Republican or Independent.

The Planning Board serves as the Council's principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. Planning Board members also serve as commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Planning Board meets all day every Thursday and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission meets the second Wednesday of every month. Two full days a week are spent in meetings. Substantial additional time is required for preparatory work and other activities related to the Planning Board responsibilities.

The chairman performs a leadership role.

Send letters of interest and include a resume to Council president Steve Silverman at County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Md. by noon on Friday, May 31. Interviews by the council will be held in June or July.

Call 240-777-7938.

<hd>Junior Nobel Prize

<bt>Potomac's Jennifer Christy Alyono, Jean Li and Bethesda's Ophelia Venturelli — all high school students — earned a $5,000 college scholarship and a high-performance computer for advancing to the final round of the Intel Science Talent Search, often considered the "Junior Nobel Prize." The final round was held March 6-11 at the National Academy of the Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Alyono, 17, of Potomac and a student at Montgomery Blair High School, entered an engineering project that sought to simplify methods for detecting the presence of biological molecules which could be used in a number of medical applications, including diagnosis and treatment of diseases, identification of biohazards and research in life sciences.

Alyono, who plays varsity coed volleyball, tennis and is a diver, is a member of Blair's science and math clubs, school publications and music. She reads both Chinese and Spanish, and also participates in Chinese opera.

Li, 18, of Potomac, investigated the origin of carbon compounds in primitive meteorites and the mechanism for their development. Working in the geophysical laboratory at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Li modeled chemical reactions that possibly occurred in space during the early formation of the solar system. Li is senior coordinator of the mentoring program at Blair High School and plays varsity lacrosse.

Walt Whitman student Ophelia Shalini Venturelli, 17, of Bethesda, studied cataracts, the world's leading cause of blindness. Most commonly caused by lens deterioration with age, cataract formation is accelerated in women by lowered estrogen levels after menopause. Venturelli's research analyzed certain types of cataracts in male and female rats before and after their exposure to a transforming growth factor and confirmed the protective role of estrogen in preventing cataract formation. At Whitman, she is on the science and math clubs and competes on the track team. Venturelli is an avid equestrian, speaks Italian and Hindi, and has studied violin since age 4.

Approximately 95 percent of former finalists have pursued some branch of science as their major field of study. More than 70 percent have gone on to earn Ph.Ds or M.D.s.

Five finalists have won the Nobel Prize, two have earned the Fields Medal, the Nobel equivalent in math. More than half of former finalists are engaged in research and/or teaching at colleges and universities.

Visit for information on the competition and on all the finalists.

<mh>Development Impact Tax

<bt>County Council unanimously approved the first county-wide development impact tax on new development and earmarked the resulting funding for more roads and transit.

The measure, sponsored by Council president Steve Silverman and County executive Doug Duncan, would raise an estimated $6.5 million annually when fully implemented, which would be matched by an identical amount from county taxpayers.

The bill charges only half the rate for new development in the Metro Station Policy areas in order to encourage "smart growth."

Until today, development impact taxes applied only in Germantown, East County, and Clarksburg areas.

<mh>St. Peter and Paul Open House

<bt>St. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church will hold an open house on Friday, March 15 from 6-8 p.m., featuring Mediterranean hors d'oeuvres and a concert of sacred music. The church is located at 10620 River Road. Call 301-765-9188 or visit

<mh>Local Geography Bee Finalists

<bt>National Geographic Society contacted the top 100 finalists from its Geography Bee this week and seven are from Bethesda and Potomac schools. Children ages 9 - 13 competed within their schools, and each school winner was then given a written exam. Andrew Hellman, Norwood School; Christian Dibblee, The Heights School; Rob Sukumar, The Bullis School; Michael Medeiros, Cabin John Middle School; Martin Posthumus, Cold Spring Elementary; David Damtoft, Westland Middle School; and Zach Klitzman, T.W. Pyle Middle School were chosen to compete in the Maryland finals scheduled for April 5 in Gaithersburg. The winner will represent Maryland in the national competition scheduled for May in Washington, D.C.

<mh>Civic Calendar

<lst>Wednesday, March 13, 8 p.m.

Monthly meeting of West Montgomery County Citizens Association, Potomac Elementary.

Thursday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.

Western Area Recreation Advisory Board Meeting, Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac.

Monday, March 18, 7:00 p.m.

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

Tuesday, March 19, 7:45 a.m.

Bethesda Urban Partnership Board of Directors Meeting, 7906 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda.