Category Archives: Environment

Summer in Bethesda

Well friends, another day and another season! Today feels like early summer, a balmy 70 degrees or so is the projected high and it is already a glorious day. If you are like me when it comes to the weather, you probably have two conflicting feelings about this:

1. A feeling of happiness brought about by blue sky, warm “summer” rays, a lack of humidity and (so far) no mosquitoes.

2. A feeling of panic that the climate is completely out of wack and we are all, in the years to come, in trouble unless we can collectively take action really, really quickly!

My solution to this contradiction is the following: restore your spirits by walking and enjoying the amazing weather AND channel some of your restored energy into reminding our leaders (elected and otherwise) that they need to do much more about climate change (paging Gov. Hogan).

So, in the spirit of renewal, take a look at this picture from my morning walk (and please feel free to share your own at raj@rajabout.com):

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What’s Hot in 2017: YIMBY!

Confused? Well, full confession – I wasn’t particularly familiar with this concept but basically it means:
“Yes in my back yard!” and is a movement about sustainability of energy, housing, technology, infill construction and the like. It is seen as a contrast to “NIMBY” – which stands for “Not in My Backyard.”

Someone I was discussing the Purple line with recently noted that it has seen a fight between these two groups and that they saw 2017 as a year when the YIMBY movement would go mainstream.

So what would that mean for Bethesda? Well, we have no shortage of infill construction but I would hope that developers would be pushed to increase energy efficiency, sustainability etc. as part of the YIMBY effort.

What do you think? Do you agree with the YIMBY concept? Is the Purple line a NIMBY v YIMBY fight or is that too symplistic.

As ever — email thoughts to raj@rajabout.com and we will publish the most interesting!

Sierra Club One Day Hike: C&O Towpath from DC to Harpers Ferry

I am yet to successfully register for this hike but will be trying again this year (as you will see from the info below it fills up fast). The hike passes through Bethesda (near Glenn Echo, Sycamore Island etc.). Take a look at the info below and if you participate or want to share stories of past hikes please let the Bethesda Actually community know by emailing stories and pictures to raj@rajabout.com

Preliminary registration info for the ODH (http://www.onedayhike.org/register/index.html)

This is via their Facebook page:

The 44th One Day Hike (ODH) will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017. All ODH hikers must be pre-registered; below is preliminary information about how you will do that.

For five-time finishers of the ODH, there will be a special, 3-day registration period from Monday, January 23, 5 PM, to Thursday, January 26, 5 PM. The registration form will request the last five years that the hiker has completed an ODH event (100K, 80K, or 50K).

The regular registration period will open Wednesday, February 1, 5 PM, and will close when the number of registrants reaches 350. (In some years, it has taken less than one hour to reach that maximum.) Registration may reopen to fill any cancellations. No registration will be allowed after Monday, April 17, midnight.

Registering: Registration is online via Active.com. I will email/post the link in about a week.

Fee: The fee for either the 100K or 50K is $55 per registrant. You will need a major credit/debit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.

Transferring registrations: Registrations are NOT transferable. The registrant is the one who needs to do the hike, cancel in time, or not show up.

Who can register whom: Someone (over age 18) may register someone else. Multiple people may be registered per log-in session, but each person’s information must be entered individually (i.e., not by a list). If a participant/registrant/hiker is under 18 years of age, the person registering him/her must be the participant’s parent or legal guardian, but the person doing the registering must be at least 18 years old.

Minimum age for hikes: Hikers must be at least 16 years old for the 100K and at least 13 years old for the 50K on the day of the hike, and must be accompanied on that hike by an adult parent or legal guardian who is registered for the same version and is at least 18 years old.

Additional purchases: You may purchase ODH T-shirts (S, M, L, XL) and car stickers (“62.1” & “31.1”) for additional charges ($25 and $3 each, respectively) during the online registration

Snow and Ice Pictures

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The past weekend was incredibly cold and we had our first real snow of the season – above are a few pictures of the building site across from the Gallery Apts (you can also see the Whitehall in the background as well as the former site of Tough Temple Cross Fit). Feel free to share your pictures of snowy, cold Bethesda by emailing: raj@rajabout.com

Notice at Battery Park

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There is an event at BCC Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoore Lane 2nd Floor Bethesda on January 31st from 7-9pm to review the Playground Renovation Plan. In light of the concerns re: a road through the park, the meeting will be an important one to attend. Please confirm the details closer to the time with the MNCPPC — see number on the sign above.

If you are at the Whitehall Condos, Sussex House Condos, Madison Condos, Battery Lane Apts, Aldon Apts or other residences in the immediate area, please share this info.

Cheers!

Bethesda Green Internship Fair

I just wanted to take a moment and plug the Bethesda Green internship fair appropriately called “Fields of Green” scheduled for February 9th – more details at Bethesda Green.

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Open Question: How will the Purple Line Change Bethesda

Recently I was discussing this issue with some friends and family and found that there was no real consensus on what the changes will be and whether they will be uniformly positive/ negative or somewhere in between. I thought it would be really interesting to get the thoughts of the community on this question.

Drop me an email at raj@rajabout.com with your feelings re: the Purple line and how it will change Bethesda – we will post a few of them here in the days ahead.

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Happy New Year Bethesda

Dear readers,

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year!

I have noticed that many pundits, writers etc. have marked the change from 2016-2017 by noting how terrible the last year was and how relieved they are to move into 2017.

My take is slightly different. It is true that there were elections both in the US and around the world that seemed to be filled with negativity but, hidden in plain sight, so many positive things happened last year. Many of these are global and big picture in nature – US carbon emissions dropped, a ninth planet was discovered and Colombia moved closer to peace.

But, in some ways, of equal significance were the millions of positive things that happened much closer to home.

Let me give you three with a local twist:

1. At a local and global level – Bethesda’s NIH started Zika vaccine trials and showed an ability to assist infected people.

2. Bethesda’s Katie Ledecky dominated the Rio Olympic games.

3. Bethesda Green and Bethesda Magazine awarded prizes to groups of individuals and businesses for their contribution to greening our community.

Please email me your thoughts on the best things that happened in 2016 – from the personal to the local to the global.

We will feature the best ones – my email, as ever, raj@rajabout.com

 

 

Reflecting on Life

A number of readers have talked about the shock of the election and the way it has hit them harder than they would have anticipated. I have been thinking about that and reflecting on what we can do at Bethesda Actually to be of service to those struggling a bit at this time. One idea is to share a few thoughts regarding places to walk and breathe fresh air. My feeling is that disconnecting from computers etc. and getting outside a bit can clear some mental clouds and cobwebs.

So if you have any ideas for places to walk and clear away some stress please email me at raj@rajabout.com

Here are a couple of thoughts for your consideration:

Walking around the butterfly sanctuary near NIH:

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Playing some tennis @ Battery Park:

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Please share your ideas!

 

Greening Bethesda

The recent Bethesda Green awards gala was an opportunity to showcase good, green efforts in the community via their green awards ceremony. We were happy to see that TD Bank and Bell Nursery co-won the leading by example awards for business:

“TD Bank on Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda and Bell Nursery, with a location in Silver Spring, were co-winners of the Leading by Example Award for businesses. TD Bank uses solar panels, a green roof, ivy walls and recycled products to make its building and business as green as possible. Bell Nursery, which supplies flowers and plants across the Mid-Atlantic, has continued to work with Home Depot to recycle millions of plastic pots. The company also has converted two of its facilities entirely to wind power and has promoted the production of native plants.”

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