This Week in Potomac 12-7-05

This Week in Potomac 12-7-05


The Montgomery County Council unanimously elected George Leventhal (D-At Large) to replace Tom Perez (D-5) as council president and unanimously elected Marilyn Praisner (D-4) as the new vice president Dec. 6. The council president and vice president serve one year terms.

Leventhal, 43, is a first-term councilmember elected in 2002. He chairs the of the Health and Human Services Committee, where has supported health care reform. He has also championed renewable energy and small business legislation.

Praisner, a 15-year Council veteran, chairs the Management and Fiscal Policy Committee. She previously served two terms on the Montgomery County Board of Education. She is a former CIA intelligence analyst.

Foremost among the challenges Leventhal and Praisner inherit is the widespread call for reform in the planning process following its now infamous failures in Clarksburg, something Leventhal addressed in remarks.

"We must make sure that we are managing growth, rather than letting it manage us," he said. "County residents deserve and expect good government and good management. ... They expect there to be a clear set of rules and regulations and someone to make sure they get followed to the letter." He said that residents should be able to see planning records.

He vowed a package of legislative reforms before the start of the county budget process in March.

Leventhal also addressed rising property tax assessments and the future of the Agricultural Reserve. The full text his remarks is available at Click on "News."


Har Shalom’s annual Hanukkah Happening is Sunday, Dec. 18, 5-8 p.m. at the synagogue, 11510 Falls Road, Potomac.

Adults and children of all ages are invited an evening of arts and crafts, games, singing, dancing and a dairy dinner with plenty of potato latkes.

Admission will be $6 per adult and $4 per child up to a maximum of $20 per family. Reservations are required by Dec. 14. For more information, call 301-299-7087, extension 2321.


As in years past, Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department will collect unwrapped toys to be delivered to local charities for the holidays. Santa Claus will be aboard the Cabin John fire trucks as they visit local neighborhoods on the following nights:

Friday, Dec. 9

Al Marah, Bannockburn Estates, Bannockburn, Landon Woods, Oakwood Knolls, Locust Ridge

Saturday, Dec. 10

Bradley Hills Grove, Burning Tree Valley, Chasset, W. Bethesda Park, Arrowood, 7500 Block Bradley Blvd.

Sunday, Dec. 11

Saddle Ridge, Potomac Hunt Acres, Lake Potomac, Beall Mtn. Potomac, Stoney Creek Farm, Spring Ridge, Merry-Go-Round Farm, Beall Mount, Estates at Rivers Edge

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Congressional Manor, Carderock Springs, Glengarry, Palisades, Carderock, Clewerwall Drive

Wednesday, Dec. 14

Potomac View Estates, Potomac Hills, Potomac Farm Estates, River Oaks Farm, Tara, Piney Meetinghouse, Fox Meadow, Alvermar Woods, Marwood Estates

Thursday, Dec. 15

Bradley Farms, Bradley Blvd. Estates, Kentsdale Estates, McCauley Park, Congressional Forest Estates

Friday, Dec. 16

Evergreen, Cabin John Park, Congressional Country Club Estates, Carderock Springs South, Cabin John

Sunday, Dec. 18

Great Falls Estates, Potomac Falls Estates, Potomac Manors, Avenel

Monday, Dec. 19

Riverhill, Seven Locks Hills, Rosehill Estates, Smithfield, Laurel Hill, Burning Tree Estates, Stoneyhurst Center

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Williamsburg Gardens, Williamsburg Estates, River Road Estates, Concord, Potomac Village, Camotop, Falconhurst, Potomac Promenade Mall, Potomac Place Shopping Center, Potomac Village Shopping Center

Wednesday, Dec. 21

Mazza Woods, Dada Woods, Fawsett Farms, Fawsett Farms Manor, River Falls, Potomac Ranch

Thursday, Dec. 22

Makeup day of any routes not completed

Friday, Dec. 23

Makeup day of any routes not completed


The Washington Regional Alcohol Program's SoberRide program will operate Dec. 9-Jan. 1 between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. each night.

The program offers free taxi rides, up to a $50 fare for residents of Montgomery County, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, age 21 and older, who are celebrating the holidays with alcohol and might otherwise drive home.

To use the service, call 800-200-TAXI or #-TAXI on a Cingular Wireless phone.

The program, supported by corporate sponsors and local taxi companies, has provided more than 30,000 free rides since 1993. For more information, visit


It’s time to send in artwork and other material for the Children’s Almanac. The deadline for artwork and writing is Dec. 7.

The last week of the year, The Potomac Almanac turns its pages over to the children and students of the community. The entire publication will be filled with artwork, poetry, short stories, commentary and photographs produced by local students.

We’ll receive many submissions from teachers who will include artwork from many students. We are also delighted to get submissions from individual students, from students who are home schooled, from nursery schools, from high school students.

We prefer to receive submissions via e-mail or on CD. Each submission should include the student's full name, age, grade, and school. Send digital photos, scanned artwork or text to or mail or hand deliver hard-copy material to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102. Questions? Call 301-983-2600.


A new exhibit of color photos of the C&O Canal, particularly scenes from the Great Falls area, is now on display in the Historic Tavern at the Great Falls visitor center of C&O Canal National Historical Park. Photographer/author Dorothy Camagna will donate all proceeds from photos ordered to the Canal Boat fund. The Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern have raised more than $340,000 to date in their effort to replace the 30-year-old Canal Clipper replica boat that will no longer float. It is estimated that it will take an additional $160,000 to build a double-decked replica packet boat. Until three years ago, the canal boat carried more than 18,000 passengers each year through the original lift lock in front of the tavern. See


Melissa Checker, an ‘86 graduate of Winston Churchill High School and a professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis, will visit Busboys and Poets, 14th and V Streets, Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 12-2 p.m. The event is a “lunch and learn/book signing,” featuring Checker’s recently published book, “Polluted Promises,” about environmental racism in Augusta, Ga. It is free and open to the public. Call 202-387-POET (7638) for more information.


The Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group reminds county residents that it is once again the peak time for deer-auto collisions in the county.

Deer-mating season runs from October to January with a peak of activity the first three weeks of November. During this time deer are more active than usual and less wary of their surroundings, posing a greater than normal danger on the roads.

During the last 15 years, auto collisions involving deer have risen as both deer and human populations have increased in the county.  Since 2000, the accidents have leveled off, but remain common. Montgomery County Police reported about 2,000 deer-auto collisions last year.

The most important thing drivers can do to reduce the chances of being in anPEAK TIMEe the speed limit. At night reduce speeds below the limit, especially during rain or fog.

Other things to keep in mind:

• Deer are most active at dawn and dusk.

• Watch for deer where roads pass through wooded or rural areas.

• Deer crossing signs indicate where heavily used deer trails cross roadways. Slow down and watch for the eye-shine of deer near the road edges.

• Deer usually travel in groups. If you see a deer cross the road, slow down and use caution; more are likely to follow.

If a deer jumps in front of your car, brake in a controlled manner. Deer are quick and agile; it is more likely that they will leap out of your path than that you will be able to brake and steer around them. Most serious injuries occur when a driver skids out of control and leaves the road or swerves into oncoming traffic.


The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced plans Monday to expand its managed deer hunt program.

New hunt locations include the Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park and Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac as well as the Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park in Poolesville, portions of the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park and North Germantown Greenway Park in Goshen.

This decision follows recommendations from an inter-agency work group commissioned to help reduce deer-related traffic accidents and other negative impacts.

Hunts in Potomac will take place at the Serpentine Barrens and Muddy Branch Parks, and Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (an existing hunt location) Tuesdays Nov. 8 and 22 and Dec. 13.

The parks will be closed from sunrise until sunset those days, and closure notices will be posted.

For more information, visit or call the Commission’s deer information hotline at 301-495-3585.