This Week in Potomac

This Week in Potomac

Man Falls At Violettes Lock

On July 4 at approximately 5:15 p.m., Michael Morris, 50, of North Potomac, fell from the cliffs near Violettes Lock to the rocks in the canal.

U.S. Park Police responded, as did Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Morris was pronounced dead at the scene. “A kayaker actually tried to perform CPR on him, but couldn’t because of the head trauma,” said Sgt. Scott Fear, spokesman for the U.S. Park Police.

Park Police believe that Morris slipped while hiking. Foul play is not suspected, but the investigation is ongoing. Any witnesses are asked to call the Park Police Criminal Investigations Branch 202-610-8730.

Clara Barton to Close Lanes on Weekends

As part of a two-phase resurfacing project on the Clara Barton Parkway, one side of the section of the road from the Beltway to MacArthur Boulevard will be closed.

Weather permitting, the lanes will be shut down from 8 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday. “If we get torrential rain, there won’t be and grinding or grading,” said Richard Foster, Chief of Maintenance for the National Park Service’s George Washington Parkway, the agency which administers the Clara Barton.

As of the Almanac’s press deadline, the contractor had not yet determined which side would be closed first, but that determination will be made later this week. “Monitor the variable message boards,” Foster said.

The National Parks Service asks that motorists avoid driving on that section of the parkway during the weekends.

During this time, the contractor is obliged to allow access to the Carderock Picnic area and the Naval Surface Warfare Center. “We made that a stipulation,” said Foster.

Traffic going to either of those locations will be allowed entrance from one direction and will have to exit in the same direction.

Additionally, the contract requires that the work be performed between the above times, and that any section which has been milled be paved and opened to traffic by the Monday re-opening. “This work should only take two weekends,” Foster said.

The entire project is slated to be completed by Aug. 12, unless weather delays force an extension.

Previously, a section of the highway from Glen Echo to the Chain Bridge had been resurfaced on the weekends, and with that section’s completion the project has shifted.

The work is being performed under a contract administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The contractor is Lane Construction Company of Meridian, Conn., and the contract’s approximate worth is $1 million.

Commissioners Re-appointed

Two members of the Park and Planning Commission were each reappointed to a second four-year term on July 1. Commission Vice-Chair Wendy Perdue (D) was appointed unanimously by the county council.

Commissioner Meredith Wellington (R) passed on a 6-3 vote. The three opposed to Wellington, Knapp (D-2), Leventhal (D-At Large), Subin (D-At Large), favored Gaithersburg resident Robert Smith.

Council President Subin explained that his vote was not based on disagreement with any particular vote which Wellington has cast, but with the overall geographic representation on the planning board.

No members of the planning board live west of 270, “or if they do not far west” or north of Shady Grove, said Subin. “Since the mid-80s, we have regressed,” Subin said.

Wellington lives in Chevy Chase.

There is no legal requirement for members of the planning commission to live in different areas of the county, as there is for the county council and the school board.

The commissioner’s terms expire on June 14, 2007.

Charter Review Commission Requests Resident Input

The Montgomery County Charter Review Commission is seeking recommendations from County residents, civic groups, organizations, County agencies, employees, and other individuals on amendments to the County charter. The Charter is a constitutional framework for the County Government.

The Charter provides for an eleven-member Charter Review Commission, appointed by the Council every four years, to study the County Charter. The Commission must report to the County Council in May of 2004 with its suggestions for possible Charter revisions considered by County voters in November 2004.

The Commission hopes that County residents will take advantage of this opportunity to voice their opinions on County Government operations.

Suggestions may be submitted to the Commission in writing by October 31, 2003, c/o County Council, Stella Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor, Rockville Maryland 20850. Comments may also be e-mailed to A copy of the Charter may be obtained by contacting the Council Office at 240-777-7900

Commercial Burglary

Between 6 p.m. on June 25 and 10 a.m. on June 26, Congressional County Club at 8500 River Road was broken into. Entry was gained through the air conditioner and liquor, beer and cigarettes were taken.

Residential Burglaries

* Between 11:30 p.m. on June 21 and 6:30 a.m. on June 22, a house on the 11500 block of Bedfordshire Avenue was broken into. Entry was gained through an open garage door, and a garage door opener and DVD player were taken.

* Between 5 p.m. on June 22 and 6:30 a.m. on June 23, a house on the 9800 block of Korman Court was broken into. Entry was gained through the garage door, and a cell phone and car key were taken.

Fee increase

Effective July 15, fees for renting local, regional and recreational ball fields and recreation buildings will increase.

Fees for local ball field use will be $30. Fees for using regional or recreational fields range from $22-46 per game depending on the sport and the age of the participants.

Fees for recreation buildings will range from $30-146 depending on whether the facility is reserved for weekday or weekend use.

The Planning Board approved these and other increases on July 1. For a complete listing visit or call 301-495-2525.