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This Week in Potomac

Good Earth Moving Along

Good Earth Garden Center, located at Falls and Glen roads, appealed to the Board of Appeals on April 7 for permission to expand.

“We felt it went pretty well,” said David Johannes, president of the company which owns the center.

The center is going through the process to modify its special exception to allow it to renovate its facilities and sell new products such as fresh produce and garden furniture. “They’re going to a lot of trouble to make it more amenable to the neighbors,” said George Barnes of West Montgomery County Citizen’s Association. Barnes represented the association at the hearing.

The store will have to provide buffering from neighboring properties, and will take measures to reduce the noise generated near the neighboring properties.

Additionally, they would be allowed to sell the new products only as long as they remain subsidiary to the function as a garden center.

Johannes hopes to hear the decision of the Board of Appeals by June 1. They may come up with a couple of other conditions, Johannes said.

If the project is approved by the Board of Appeals, it will then move on to subdivision for approval of the new buildings. Johannes hopes to start the first phases of the construction, grading and paving the parking lot, this fall and to begin construction of the new buildings next summer.

No More Kemper Open?

Citing "the challenging state of the current economic conditions," Kemper Insurance has withdrawn as sponsor of the Professional Golf Association Tour’s Kemper Open, according an announcement made by the PGA Tour on Tuesday. The change will take place effective with the 2003 tournament, just six weeks away.

The 2003 tournament will be called the Capital Open at Avenel. It will still be played as scheduled this year, June 2-8, at the Tournament Players Club at Avenel in Potomac.

The Kemper Open had been the longest-running PGA Tour event continuously identified with its original sponsor, according to the tournament's web site.

This year's tournament will be operated by Kemper Sports Management, a company that is not affiliated with Kemper Insurance, which has operated the event since 1979. Kemper Insurance had sponsored the Kemper Open since 1968.

The Kemper Open moved to its current site at TPC at Avenel in 1987, after seven years at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. It is the only Professional Golf Association Tour event in the Washington area.

The first Kemper Open was held in 1968 at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass.

As originally announced, the 2003 tournament will offer a $4.5 million purse, including a $810,000 winning prize. It will still be televised by USA/ABC.

The PGA Tour, with the assistance of Kemper Sports Management, is in discussion with several prospects for title sponsorship of the event in the future.

River Rescue

Beautiful weather brought more people out onto the Potomac River this weekend, forcing river rescue teams into action.

A distressed kayaker was rescued by members of Cabin John Station 10 and 30 on April 12 between 3:30 and 5 p.m. said Cabin John spokesman Eugene Roesser. The kayaker bailed out of his boat near Great Falls and rescue crews from Station 10 responded. The rescuers put in near Old Angler’s Inn.

Another kayaker had attempted to assist the distressed individual, but had left a friend, a novice kayaker, further upstream. That person asked the rescue crews to retrieve his friend, which they did.

Rescue crews also responded to a woman who had a seizure on the Billy Goat Trail.

Kindergarten Orientation

Montgomery County Schools will hold Kindergarten orientation for students who will be five years old on or before Nov. 30 of this year.

The kindergarten orientation is designed to help parents enroll their children, including the completion of health forms, and to assist students in becoming acquainted with future friends and the schools' environment.

Parents who are not certain which elementary school serves their area should contact the Montgomery County Public Schools boundary office at 301-279-3331 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Orientation for Potomac Schools are scheduled as follows:

* Potomac Elementary — April 24-25, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., call 301-469-1042.

* Seven Locks Elementary — April 24, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., call 301-469-1038.

Wayside Elementary — April 24-25, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. call 301-279-8484.

Controlling West Nile

Montgomery County Volunteer Center will hold a training session to learn about the spread of West Nile virus on April 26 at 10 a.m. Call 240-777-2600.