PGA on the way — plus tennis & pickleball

From Store Reporter

Good news for local golfers, tennis players and pickleballers: A PGA Tour Superstore, first of its kind in Maryland, is heading to White Flint Plaza. Owned by one of the founders of Home Depot, PGA stores offer clothing, accessories and equipment for all three sports plus lessons, practice bays, repair services and trade-ins. Doors will open in 2022 right next to the upcoming Aldi grocery store, filling out the rest of the space that previously belonged to Shoppers Food Warehouse.

No-frills supermarket chain Aldi is planning a winter opening for its new store at White Flint Plaza on Nicholson Lane. The German grocer, known for its low prices, treasure-hunt products and lean-and-mean store design, is taking only one-third of the space that previously belonged to Shoppers Food Warehouse

Don’t Forget — Central Farmers Thanksgiving Market is Tomorrow at Pike & Rose

Pike Central Farmers Thanksgiving Market will hold their tenth annual SPECIAL THANKSGIVING MARKET at Pike & Rose

Tuesday, November 23 from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM next to Bark Social. Get your fixings, turkeys, pies, produce and cider, charcuterie, and much more! See the whole menu here.

Please order ahead at centralfarmmarkets.com and visit the vendors sites to check out the offerings.

See you there!

Founders of Cava, Cava Mezze, and Julii Will Open Melina in Pike & Rose on Monday, November 22

From The MoCo Show

Federal Realty has announced that Melina, a new full-service, fine casual Greek restaurant by the founders of Cava, Cava Mezze, and Julii, will open on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 905 Rose Avenue in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose neighborhood.

Founded by Cava partners Ted Xenohristos, Dimitri Moshovitis, and Ike Grigoropoulos, the 3,593-square-foot establishment is the team’s second restaurant at Pike & Rose. Named after Dimitri’s daughter, Melina is located on the street level of 909 Rose near the group’s French concept, Julii, which opened in 2018.

For more information, menus and photos, visit Melina’s website here and Instagram here.

Pike Central Farmers Thanksgiving Market at Pike Rose

Pike Central Farmers Thanksgiving Market will hold their tenth annual SPECIAL THANKSGIVING MARKET at Pike & Rose

Tuesday, November 23 from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM next to Bark Social. Get your fixings, turkeys, pies, produce and cider, charcuterie, and much more! See the whole menu here.

Please order ahead at centralfarmmarkets.com and visit the vendors sites to check out the offerings.

See you there! 

Redistricting Article in Bethesda Beat that quotes our executive director, Amy Ginsburg

From Bethesda Beat

Some community organizations concerned about proposed County Council district map

Some community leaders from various areas of Montgomery County said they are concerned about a proposed map of new County Council districts.

A redistricting commission recently presented its proposal to the County Council. The first of at least two public hearings is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

County voters approved a ballot measure in November 2020 to increase the number of council districts from five to seven. Because four at-large seats — ones that represent the entire county — will remain, there will be 11 council members instead of nine after next year’s elections. 

Under the current proposal, six of the seven districts would be majority-minority districts, although African Americans, Latinos or Asians by themselves are not in the majority in any of the proposed districts.

The only district where non-Hispanic white residents are the majority is in the proposed First District, which includes Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase, and Potomac.

Some community leaders and civic organizations aren’t satisfied with the proposed map.

Marilyn Balcombe, president and CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, who is running for the council in District 2, said she appreciated the work of the commission, and that new technology, census data and software means the map is better than in previous redistricting cycles.

But she is concerned about upcounty representation, especially in the northeastern part of the county. That proposed district stretches too far south, through Olney and Sandy Spring, to be considered a true representation of the upcounty, Balcombe said.

That means it will be difficult for voters to elect someone from Damascus, Goshen or Montgomery Village, she said

“It will be difficult for someone from that area to be elected from that area to the district, because there’s not enough voters up there,” Balcombe said.

Some have expressed concern that the current map divides communities of interest. That includes the Greater Shady Grove Civic Alliance, which represents Derwood, a community near Gaithersburg. 

Alliance President Carol Kosary said she is upset that the current map splits up Derwood.

The Derwood community is interested in several issues, ranging from better lighting along local walking and biking trails to how rainfall drains into local watersheds, she said.

It doesn’t make sense that parts of Derwood are included with a district that includes Wheaton, which is much more densely populated, Kosary said. 

“We’re currently split between two County Council districts, and it really has never worked well for the community, because you’re never a big enough voice in a district to get the attention of council members,” Kosary said.

She added that having four at-large council members, representing the entire county, is a nice concept, but Derwood has not felt that those at-large officials have been responsive.

Daniel Koroma, however, believes the current map proposal is a good one.

Koroma, a White Oak resident running for the County Council District 5 seat, said the district in the proposed map including White Oak does a better job of representing East County. It’s an area that has been historically underrepresented, he said.

It’s not a perfect map, Koroma said, but it’s about as fair a map for the East County as possible. He said other communities might feel their voice is being split up, but his region has had its challenges.

“If they’re using a racial equity lens, the question is, which area of the county in Montgomery County has been disenfranchised for decades?” Koroma said. “And no one would say the East County hasn’t been part of that.”

Other organizations, however, don’t agree that the map is fair for their communities. That includes multiple groups in North Bethesda. 

Amy Ginsburg, executive director of Friends of White Flint, said including North Bethesda in a district with Kensington, Silver Spring and Takoma Park does not make sense. She said residents in her area associate themselves with the economic and political communities along the Md. 355 corridor.

Ginsburg said the redistricting commission made a mistake when it voted that Rockville and Gaithersburg must be included in the same district, because other communities, including those in North Bethesda, did not receive such consideration.

The commission had a tough job, but the proposed “bowtie” district including North Bethesda southeast to Silver Spring and Takoma Park is not the answer, she said.

“If everybody was happy, you would have put together a modern miracle, but we are going to live with this for 10 years. … Getting it right is far better than getting it done [too quickly],” she said. 

John Seelke, a member of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, said he is “not a huge fan” of the same district. 

Seelke said areas such as North Bethesda and Silver Spring have different local economic needs and overall resources, and one council member in the district would have trouble representing both constituent groups. 

Regarding the decision to include Gaithersburg and Rockville in the same district, Seelke said both those of cities have elected mayors and city councils that can advocate for their residents on issues — something unincorporated areas do not have.

“I know that this process is not one that’s going to satisfy everyone, but I do hope that the County Council will look back and consider what are the challenges or problems that could come out of the districts that came together,” Seelke said of the map.

Those interested in testifying at Tuesday’s public hearing can find instructions on how to do so here

               The proposed new County Council district map

Strathmore Museum Holiday Market is Here

The 31st Annual STRATHMORE MUSEUM SHOP HOLIDAY MARKET is here.

It’s your one-stop shop for fabulous finds that make marvelous gifts! 

Thu–Sat. November 11–13, 2021 | 10am–6pm daily

RSVP

Free, suggested donation of $10

This holiday season, give amazing gifts that give back! Strathmore’s Museum Shop Holiday Market brings together the area’s best museum and cultural shops for 3 festive days. Every present is part of a larger purpose as your purchase supports nonprofit museums and arts organizations in our community.

Featuring unique gifts from the shops at:

  • Strathmore
  • Brookside Gardens
  • Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
  • The Phillips Collection
  • The George Washington University Museum & The Textile Museum
  • Jewish Museum of Maryland
  • International Spy Museum

A resident describes the geographic absurdity of the proposed bow tie council district

From resident Dale Lawrence

The analogy of the “bowtie” shape for the proposed newly gerrymandered district to include North Bethesda is apt.

The proposed district with North Bethesda on one end and Takoma Park on the other is in no way a contiguous geographic entity.  I drive back and forth between N Bethesda and Takoma Park through Silver Spring many times a week.  I have family there, and I use resources of the Walter Reed Annex at Forest Glen which is accessed by that same road, Forsythe Ave in the Forest Glen Park area. I have traveled the route connecting our end of the new proposed district with the other end a thousand times over 30 years.  

Let me share my appreciation of the geographic absurdity of the proposed district to include us. First, review the map showing all districts as currently proposed and notice that in every other district, persons residing within the district are able to travel over dozens or hundreds of routes within and across their district. Their proposed districts display contiguity, enable sharing common and convenient resources, and promote a sense of a shared community.

In horrible contrast, the “bowtie” that links N. Bethesda to its proposed sister communities (Silver Spring and Takoma Park) has exactly 1800 feet of connection at the pinch point at the isthmus of the proposed district. 

But even worse, the I-495 route blocks any streets, save one, at the point of the pinched “knot” of the “bowtie.” ONE street, with one lane in each direction, is left to connect the two ends of the “bowtie.”  It leads to a steep hill with no sidewalk. The street is so narrow, it requires oncoming vehicles — including the No. 5 RideOn buses, school buses, trucks, private vehicles and bicyclists —  to pass at a speed under 10 mph.  Pedestrians, without a sidewalk, cannot walk on this short road.

The single, dangerously narrow street connecting the new district’s ends is emblematic, of course.  Other routes can get one to Silver Spring, etc.; however, if left unchanged, the current design makes a mockery of the contiguity principle. Indeed, by gerrymandering it makes a loud statement that the County Council is content to discourage the communities of N Bethesda and Silver Spring/Takoma Park from getting to know each other, develop shared purposes and or have any common resources.

Learn more on our blog: http://www.whiteflint.org/2021/11/05/your-community-needs-you-to-advocate-for-a-new-redistricting-map-that-does-not-mute-our-voice-or-harm-north-bethesda/