This Week in Potomac

This Week in Potomac

Parent Forum on Suicide

While most parents have reference books to alert them of the signs of chicken pox or other common illnesses, many lack basic knowledge about depression and the risk of suicide.

A special forum is planned for parents next week at Walt Whitman High School on these topics.

"The more parents are aware of the warning signs of depression and suicide, the more likely they are to watch for it," said Pamela Valentine, a Potomac parent who lost a child to suicide. "You can't detect depression unless you're aware of the facts."

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those 16-24 years old.

Valentine lost her son Michael to suicide on June 18, 2002. He was 21 years old. Valentine said she and her family missed the warning signs Michael exhibited before his death.

"A lot of parents are afraid to bring this subject up with kids," Valentine said. "This is something I think parents need — you can't say my child won't do that because you just don't know."

The forum at Whitman, 7100 Whittier Blvd., Bethesda, will be held on Wednesday, April 21, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The forum is open to all parents, students and people in the community, including people who live outside Whitman boundaries and parents who don't have students at Whitman.

Skating for Heather Joy Wilson

The WMZQ Stars take on Team Hockey North America in a special benefit ice hockey game for the Heather Joy Wilson Memorial Fund on Saturday, April 17, 3:30 p.m. at Cabin John Ice Arena, 10610 Westlake Drive, Rockville. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Prizes include a 50/50 raffle, tickets to WMZQfest and more. Proceeds benefit the Heather Joy Wilson Memorial Fund, a Donor Advised Fund supporting organizations that helped Heather Joy Wilson, a River Falls swim coach and Rock Creek Forest Elementary School teacher who died last December. Fund proceeds go to organizations including the Oncology Ward at Sibley Hospital, Cabin John Fire Station 30, and the Montgomery County Humane Society. Visit or call Renee Wilson at 301-983-0844.

Bridge Closure

The Union Arch Bridge will close for routine maintenance on April 21. The one-lane bridge on MacArthur Boulevard is part of the Washington Aquaduct. “It will be closed for annual, superficial maintenance,” said Tom Jacobus, of the aqueduct. Jacobus says the aqueduct will be worked on by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who will be cleaning the drains and checking the structure of the bridge.

The bridge will be shut from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 21. Detour signs will be posted.

Beltway Lane Closures

Lane closures are planned on the Beltway this weekend between Georgia and Connecticut avenues.

Weather permitting, the two left lanes will be closed on the outer loop beginning Friday at 9 p.m. The closure will be reduced to a single lane between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday. The double lane closures will then continue all day Sunday.

On the inner loop, a single lane will be closed starting 9 p.m. on Friday and lasting all weekend.

All lanes are expected to be open by 5 a.m. Monday.

The closures are the beginning of a large-scale resurfacing between Georgia Avenue and I-270 being conducted by the State Highway Administration. The median barrier will be removed and replaced during the project. The Administration predicts additional weekend closures throughout the summer as it completes the project.

The Administration recommends using alternate routes such as University Boulevard (MD 193) or East West Highway (MD 410). Arrow Boards, variable message signs, and highway advisory Radio (1290 AM) will be used to direct motorists through the work zone.

Quarry at Planning Board

The Giancola Quarry is scheduled to appear before the Planning Board on Tursday for preliminary plan review. The 5.8-acre quarry is on River Road between the Beltway onramp and Seven Locks Road.

The Master Plan allowed for a maximum of 40 units to be constructed, but nooted that access, which is primarily going to be at River Road, “may be problematic and the number of these units may he reduced if these problems can not be addressed at subdivision.”

The plan is asking for 30 single family units, and Planning Board staff has reccomended aproval with conditions.

Residential Burglary

Winterset Drive, 9200 block: Between 4 and 4:11 a.m. on March 30, suspects forced open a door and took a shoulder bag, wallet, cosmetics a cell phone and cash.

Home Builder Ordered to Cease and Desist

The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division has issued a cease and desist order against a home builder who allegedly took deposits and payments from consumers but failed to build the homes.

Jeffrey Bryant of Bethesda and Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. of Beltsville are charged with entering into contracts with consumers to construct homes in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, including in Potomac, and accepting partial payment from those customers but not beginning construction or refunding the consumers' money. The charges also allege that Bryant entered into contracts using the name Precision Group, Inc., whose application to register as a homebuilder was denied by the Home Builder Registration Unit.

The division's ex parte order immediately bars Bryant and Advances Building Solutions, Inc. from acting or offering to act as a home builder in the State of Maryland and required Bryant and Advanced Building Solutions, Inc. to pay $71,956 to the four consumers identified in the division's statement of charges. The order further required Bryant and Advanced pay restitution to any other consumers who have been harmed by their unlawful practices.

The public hearing on the charges begins June 18, at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings. Consumers who may have had problems with Jeffrey Bryant, Advanced Building Solutions, Inc., or the Precision Group, Inc., should call the Home Builder Registration Unit immediately at 410-576-6573.