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This Week in Potomac 2-23-05

SNYDER TREE CUTTING UNDER REVIEW

An expected Planning Board hearing on possible administrative penalties following the tree cutting on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s property has still not been scheduled, but Parks and Planning Commission development review staff are working to expedite the process.

The approximately 100,000-square-foot clear cutting behind Snyder’s $8.8 million home near Swain’s Lock in Potomac violated county forest conservation laws, although it was permitted by the National Park Service in an agreement the Park Service said will be environmentally beneficial in the long term.

Snyder was issued a $1,000 civil fine and could face a civil administrative penalty of up to $100,000 ($1 per square foot).

“[The development review staff] have done site visits, they have had at least one meeting with the Snyders and their representatives,” Development Review Chief Rose Krasnow said. “We’ve been waiting for some information to come back from the Snyders.”

Krasnow would not provide any what kind of information Parks and Planning was waiting on.

“We do hope to bring this bring to closure soon,” she said.

ARREST MADE IN SEX ASSAULT

Montgomery County Police arrested a Hagerstown man Tuesday in connection with the sex assault of a 16-year-old girl Monday in the Wildwood Shopping Center on Old Georgetown Road.

The victim was returning to her vehicle when the suspect forced her inside her van and sexually assaulted her.

Police have also linked the suspect to the Jan. 25 sex assault of an 18-year-old woman in the parking lot of the Norbeck Montessori Day School on Muncaster Mill Road. In that crime, he forced the woman into his Honda Odyssey minivan and forced sexual intercourse, according to police.

Pov N. Srun, 33, of the 800 block West Washington Street in Hagerstown has been charged with one count of second degree rape, one count of first degree sex offense, one count of second degree sex offense, and five counts of third degree sex offense.

Investigators determined that there is a DNA link between Norbeck Montessori Day School incident and two similar incidents that occurred in September in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania incidents occurred in Waynesboro, on Sept. 16, 2004 and in Chambersburg, on Sept. 28, 2004. Charges have not yet been filed in those cases.

Srun was scheduled for a 1 p.m. bond hearing Tuesday. Bond information was not available at the Almanac's press time.

TO KEEP STRATHMORE GREEN

County Councilmembers Howard Denis (R-1) and Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) announced plans Tuesday to introduce a council resolution that would preserve 10 acres of green space directly adjacent to the new Strathmore Hall Arts Center under the county's Legacy Open Space Program.

The 10 acres are part of a 19-acre property formerly owned by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association and located to the north of Strathmore.

Legacy Open Space is a 10-year, $100 million program to preserve significant environmental, historical, or open space properties in the county, preventing them from being developed. To date more than 2,800 acres have been protected in 17 properties.

The proposed council resolution, announced at a press conference at a site overlooking the 10 acres Tuesday, would call on the Parks and Planning Commission to immediately begin assessing the site for inclusion in the program.

FORUM ON SOCIAL SECURITY

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8th) will hold a town hall meeting for residents of the eighth congressional district to discuss Social Security. Van Hollen will answer questions and respond to comments from the audience. All residents of the district are invited to participate. The forum will be held 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 25, at the Rockville Senior Center, Carnation Room, 1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville. Call 301-424-3501 with any questions.

TOWN MEETING ON LEGISLATURE

Sen. Rob Garagiola (D-15), Del. Jean Cryor (R-15), Del. Kathleen Dumais (D-15) and Del. Brian Feldman (D-15) host a town hall meeting, Saturday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m.-noon, at Potomac Community Library, in the meeting room. All are invited to attend and discuss issues pertinent to Montgomery County and Maryland as well as the 2005 Maryland General Assembly Session.

CHURCHILL'S HALL OF FAME GALA

Join Winston Churchill High School alumni, parents, administration and coaches for the Churchill High School Athletes’ Hall of Fame Gala at Bethesda Country Club on Friday, March 4. Events include a cocktail reception, silent auction, slide show, Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dessert. Admission is $175 per person, and proceeds will benefit the Churchill fields renovation project. For more information and a registration form, visit www.mcps.k12.md.us/schools/churchillhs/athletics/ and click on “Boosters.”

HOLY CHILD TO PERFORM 'SEUSSICAL'

Holy Child performs “Suessical,” an enchanting musical incorporating characters from a dozen Dr. Suess stories, on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 26 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Connelly School of the Holy Child, 9029 Bradley Blvd., Potomac. Call 301-365-0955 or visit www.holychild.org and click on “Suessical” for more information.

BULLIS SCHOOL TO PERFORM 'GYPSY'

The Bullis School will perform “Gypsy,” the Tony Award-winning musical about vaudeville entertainer turned stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her overbearing mother, Rose, at Blair Family Center for the Arts, The Bullis School, 10601 Falls Road. Feb. 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.; matinee performance Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. For information and reservations, call The Bullis School Blair Family Center for the Arts at 301-634-3631.

POTOMAC THEATER COMPANY PLAY

The Potomac Theater Company performs "What’s a Wolf to Do? The Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks & The Three Little Pigs" March 12, 13, 19, and 20 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. at the Bullis School, Blair Family Center for the Arts, 10601 Falls Road, Potomac. Tickets are $10. For reservations call 301-299-8571 and leave a message.

DINE OUT FOR WHITMAN POST-PROM

Local restaurants will donate part of their proceeds to Walt Whitman High School's alcohol-free post-prom celebration. Ten percent of proceeds on Tuesday, March 8 will go to the school. Participating restaurants are California Tortilla, Hard Times Cafe, Hinode, Ledo Pizza, Louisiana Express, Mamma Lucia, Parkers, and Tara Thai in Bethesda and Picasso Grille and Potomac Pizza in Potomac Village.

HAR SHALOM SEEKS FOUNDING MEMBERS

The synagogue turns 40 years old this year, and is celebrating its founding in 1965 with a series of anniversary events and a photo journal that honors and celebrates its more than 50 founding members.

However, some of those founding members cannot be found. They may have moved away or may have passed away.

Members of the congregation have already been asked for whatever information they might have on founding members who are no longer in the area or Har Shalom members. Now, the congregation is asking the larger community for help.

The congregation has not yet found founding members Nathan Schnall and Gladys and Don Winston.

If there is anyone who knows the whereabouts of any of these people, the congregation is asking that they call Har Shalom at 301-299-7087, so the founders can be contacted.

All founding members will be the Congregation's guests at a Birthday Bash Concert on Sunday, March 13, and all founding members will be honored during a special Sabbath Morning Service on Saturday, March 12. Congregation Har Shalom is located at 11510 Falls Road, Potomac.

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY

Montgomery County Police reported a burglary at Maryland Truck and Auto Repair, 16069 Frederick Road, Rockville, between 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 and 9:22 a.m. on Jan. 31. Unknown entry, property taken.

FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

On Feb. 19 at 5:15 a.m., Montgomery County Police received a call for an accident at Route 355 at College Parkway in Rockville. Upon arrival, officers found that the vehicle had been traveling north bound on Route 355 when it left the roadway and struck a light pole on the right side of the roadway. Officers found a 17-year- old female passenger from Baltimore County trapped inside the vehicle. Fire Rescue personnel were able to remove her from the vehicle and transport her to Shady Grove Hospital. She was then transferred to Med Star in Washington, D.C. She later died of her injuries. Initial investigation revealed that the 19-year-old male driver from Derwood, Md. had fallen asleep at the wheel and drove off the roadside striking a light pole. There were no signs of skid marks leaving the roadway. The driver was flown to Med Star and treated and released. The investigation of this accident continues.