Category Archives: Local Government

Children’s Inn at NIH Bethesda Celebrates New Park!

We just wanted to congratulate all the staff and volunteers involved with the Children’s Inn on the opening of the new park facility. It will be an important addition for the sick kids getting treatment at NIH. The Inn’s CEO,Kathy L. Russell,  noted in a release :

“The Inn is extremely grateful to all our supporters who helped donate and build the new park and play area…Our mission is to provide a safe, comforting environment for children and their families. Your generosity and kindness has allowed us to fulfill that mission.”

High End Hotel Coming to Bethesda

I thought that this was an interesting, and encouraging, indication of the local economy here in Bethesda. The Bethesda Court Hotel is slated to become a high end Westin hotel under new plans that the county needs to sign off on. This is the money quote for me:

Stephanie Coppula, a spokeswoman for the Bethesda Urban Partnership, a nonprofit that handles landscaping, maintenance and marketing of downtown. “It seems to be exactly what’s needed,” Hartman said. “The fact that they have a signed hotel is such a good sign for the economy and such a good sign for Bethesda.” County planners are seeing more projects in Bethesda, Krasnow said. “We are definitely seeing a flurry of activity right now,” she said. “Developers see a lot of opportunity for hotel and apartments.”

The whole article is certainly worth a read!

Bill Frick Update

Just received this from Bill Frick and wanted to share with the community — some good news there but still waiting to hear what our delegation is doing to address our water quality issues:

Dear Friends,

What a weekend for Maryland policy!  Two terrific bills passed through the House on a busy Saturday session, and I wanted to share the good news as soon as possible.

It’s a great privilege to serve you in the Maryland General Assembly.  If you have any concerns or constituent service needs, please do not hesitate to contact me at or at (301) 858-3454.

Direct Shipment of Wine

After years of delays, the House finally passed legislation to facilitate shipment of wine directly to consumers.  The bill is not perfect, as it is limited to wineries only — thus excluding rare wine retailers and some wine clubs that Marylanders would like to join.  Nothwitshtanding its flaws, the bill represents progress that has been far too long in coming.

Accountability and Transparency in Tax Expenditures

Today the House also passed my bill to improve our state budget process.  According to estimates, Maryland spends nearly $4B a year through a combination of tax credits, exemptions and deductions.  In many instances, we have little information on whether the expenditures are achieving the result that they were adopted to achieve.  If adopted by the Senate, House Bill 620 will force tax credits to expire unless they are re-authorized following a cost-benefit review.  In these tough times, we can’t afford to spend money – through appropriations or tax credits – without justification.

Best regards,

Snow on the Ground in Bethesda — Montgomery County Schools Closed!

Friends — we have snow on the ground and Montgomery County Schools are closed (see here for more).  So far the Federal Government is Open (see here for more). Please take care and if you can safely take pics send them to us at with a note in the email confirming we can post them on our website (the first from a reader is below!!). Cheers!

Purple Line’s Bike Trail Tunnel in Doubt

An interesting story on the latest Purple Line issues:

Peter Gray, vice chairman of the Coalition of the Capital Crescent Trail, favors an underground tunnel and believes an above-ground bike path would unnecessarily split the Capital Crescent Trail and the Georgetown Branch. The state and county should find a way to pay for the project, even if it is expensive, he said. “I mean, times are lean, but it would be a huge disservice to the trail and to the county to cut it in two,” Gray said.

Maryland Early Voting!

Friends — this was sent in to your Beth Act team — please use the links to confirm all pertinent info:

The following is a quick overview of Early vote and absentee opportunities:

Maryland Early Vote:

  • Early voting centers will be open starting Friday October 22, 2010 through Thursday, October 28, 2010, except for Sunday, October 24th when early voting centers are closed.
  • Early voting centers will be open from 10 am until 8 pm each day of early voting. Anyone in line at 8 pm will be allowed to vote.
  • Voting during early voting is the same as voting on election day. When you get to the early voting center, you will check in to vote and vote your ballot.
  • To find early vote centers or to download an application:

Maryland  Absentee Voting:

Get out there and vote!!

Plans Unveiled for Second Bethesda Metro Station Entrance

Plans were unveiled yesterday for a second entrance for the Bethesda metro.

County and Maryland Transit Administration plans call for six elevators that would connect Bethesda station’s underground Red Line platform, the planned Purple Line light-rail station and street level, at the corner of Elm Street and Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda.

Read more here.

Gov. O’Malley Promotes Purple Line

Just to build on Raj’s post a couple of days ago, Gov. Martin O’Malley has actively promoted the Purple Line light rail in his bid for re-election.  The Purple Line is a 16-mile project that would connect Bethesda to New Carrollton via Silver Spring at a cost of almost $1.7 billion.  Full article here.

O’Malley at Bethesda Metro!


Gov. O’Malley at Bethesda Metro

Nice to see the Gov at Bethesda Metro shaking hands, chatting to folks — seems like a decent fellow. The race for Gov. looks like it is going to be a close one!