Fall 2002 Issue

Parkwood Sign

Parkwood Residents Association

Next PRA
meeting is
September 17

Message From the President

Liz Brennan

The summer has flown by all too quickly and soon Parkwood residents will be gathering again to discuss issues of importance to our community. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17th at the Kensington Parkwood (KP) Elementary School s All Purpose Room. We had a turn out of over 60 people at the last meeting and I am encouraged that we will continue this success in future meetings.

A week before our meeting is Primary Election Day - Tuesday, September 10th. This election is extremely important. Local politics has the greatest impact on our lives and all seats on the Montgomery County Council are up for election. The District 5 seat is open since our elected representative Derick Berlage stepped down and was appointed to head Maryland National Capital (MNC) Park and Planning Board. I am sure that all of you have seen the many yard signs featuring candidates for the races including County Council, State Senate and Delegate, Board of Education and U.S. Congress that are sprouting around the community.

Please take the time to read up on the candidates and their positions on issues of importance to you. The group that presented at the June Parkwood meeting, Neighbors for a Better Montgomery, has posted questionnaires on their website ( www.neighborspac.org) for almost all of the candidates running for council and the state race. Their questionnaire is fairly comprehensive and covers issues such as traffic, schools, development, environment and health care. Each candidate also has literature at the local library and on their own websites. The League of Women Voters of Maryland website is also a good resource for information on the candidates.

Parkwood was affected by the recent re-districting and as a result the Bethesda part of Parkwood is now in District 18 instead of 16. This only affects the state race, not the County Council or U.S. Congressional race. We have an opportunity to vote for a new state Senator, as our current representative, Chris Van Hollen, is not running for that position again. Three candidates are running, two of which live in Kensington! The 3 delegate seats are also open; 4 others are challenging the incumbents. The Montgomery County delegation to Annapolis is responsible for bringing our state tax dollars back to us. It is important that we elect the brightest and most capable representatives for this important task. Once again it is interesting to note that while District 18 covers a large territory, including Silver Spring and Wheaton, many of the folks running reside in Kensington.

To quote a resident at our last meeting: "It's all political, if we want something for our community, we have to work the machine." Well, the first important step is to ensure that Parkwood has a strong voter turnout for this election. The politicians will pay attention to us if they know we are engaged in the process. The polling place for Parkwood residents is KP School. I am the precinct chair for Parkwood and I hope to see you on September 10th!

Residents of Parkwood are in the following districts for the upcoming elections:
US Congress District 8 Select one candidate
State of MD District 18   Select one candidate for State Senate and 3 for delegates
County Council District 5 Select one candidate for District 5 and 4 candidates for at large
Board of Education   District 3 Select one candidate - We also need to vote for all of the other open seats (4 total)

Proposed Bioterrism Facility at NIH

Kira Lueders

I am writing this to share information which has not been widely publicized but may be of interest to the Parkwood community (my apologies to those of you who have seen this on the Listserve). I am a long-time resident of Parkwood and also an employee of NIH. This Spring I read in the "NIH Record" a story titled "New Facilities to Bolster Anti-Bioterror Effort". The facility described is to be part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) effort to counter emerging viruses and pathogens worldwide. The proposed six story building is to be located at the northeast corner of NIH, close to the intersection of Rockville Pike and Cedar Lane, and will include BSL-3 laboratories. Such laboratories are used to work with biological agents that "may cause serious or potentially a lethal disease as a result of exposure by the inhalation route". Presumably this could include agents such as anthrax. Other agents that have been mentioned are the plague and smallpox.

Such facilities are already available to NIH at more remote locations such as Frederick, Maryland and Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Colorado where additional facilities could also be built if necessary. Strong justification should be required to build such a facility in this densely populated area (a few miles from Parkwood) and directly across the street from a school. Apparently there has been no review of these plans either internally at NIH or by the county. According to the M-NCPPC, the county does not have plans to review the building because there is a "laboratory building" at the site on the NIH Master Plan, and the Plan has been approved by the county.

I have attended two meetings of the NIH Community Liaison Council (CLC) as a representative of the PRA to learn more about this facility without success. The leadership of the CLC, which handles issues of concern to neighborhoods around NIH, changed in July, and the new head of the Council was not willing to discuss the facility before he had familiarized himself with the issues. However, it is clear from my conversations with representatives of other community associations that there is a great deal of opposition to this NIH facility from the surrounding neighborhoods. The NIH Alumni Association has sent a formal resolution to Dr. Zerhouni, the new director of NIH, expressing their opposition to this facility being built. In addition to the possibility that disease organisms could escape from the facility, such a facility would also increase pressure for even more intensive security at NIH, and could also make NIH more of a potential target for those who wish to do harm. I hope to get additional information about this facility at the CLC meeting in August which I can share with the community at the PRA meeting in September. I think this is an issue of importance to all of us who live in Parkwood.

If you have questions about this article you may contact Kira Lueders at 301-496-6855.

Block Captains Needed

The PRA mails two newsletters per year before the March and September meetings and we hand deliver an "Update" before the June and the December meetings via Block Captains.

There is still a need for block captains for the following streets:

Ashwood, Cedar Lane, Delmont, Everett, Franklin, Greenfield, Thornwood, Wildwood

Contact Block Captain Chair Kathy Byars if you are able to help. 530-9441

PRA Bookclub to Begin 9/29 at 7:30 pm

The first book, Wild Women in the Kitchen by Alper and Rohrer, is a fun cookbook available at local booksellers. Prepare your favorite recipe from the book for the meeting. Cooking Club members are also welcome. RSVP to Karen Luckyer at 301-530-8311 if you are interested in participating.

Remember to water your trees and shrubs!

Update on Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School Modernization

Pam Moomau, Walter Johnson Cluster Coordinator

At our last meeting, the PRA, after a fair amount of discussion, voted to support the proposed design for the Kensington Parkwood Elementary School modernization before a Montgomery County Planning Board hearing on June 13, 2002. Because the PRA vote was not unanimous, it was agreed that the letter of support should include the reported vote count. Such a letter was sent to the Planning Board. This letter is posted on the PRA website.

Parkwood residents and others testified both for and against the plan at the hearing on June 13. The Planning Board requested that MCPS re-submit the plan with modifications. Required modifications focused on the provision of a reforestation plan for the site by Montgomery County Public Schools. MCPS was requested to consider, in particular, the feasibility of moving the student drop-off/parking area away from the north side of the site (along Saul Road) to save five specimen trees, and of saving one additional specimen tree by reducing the footprint of the portion of the building along Saul Road through a multi-story design. After MCPS has completed its revised plans, the Planning Board will hold a second hearing on the project. It is anticipated that this hearing will occur in September.


Check out our web site to find out more about:

  • PRA boundaries
  • Previous newsletters
  • Links to area public schools
  • Committees
  • Past business

Parkwood Residents Association E-Mail Group

In order to provide a constant source of communication for the Parkwood Community, it was decided in March of this year to create an e-mail group. Many thanks to Heidi Lipson who worked so diligently to get this communication tool up and running so quickly.

What is the Parkwood Residents Association (PRA) e-mail group? The PRA e-mail group is an forum to discuss community news and events. You can post a message for all other group members to read and respond to and you will receive messages posted by others. An e-mail group is also known as a listserv. The PRA e-mail group is set up in Yahoo Groups (www.groups.yahoo.com).

Who can join?
The e-mail group is open to all residents of the Parkwood subdivision who have an e-mail address.

How do I participate?
To subscribe to the e-mail group, send a blank message to: parkwoodresidents-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Do not write anything in the subject or body of the message. It will not be seen by anyone and you will not get a response. You will then receive confirmation.

We currently have about 50 Parkwood residents utilizing this tool and strongly encourage all to sign-on. Email traffic on the Parkwood listserve is light, but can serve as an important resource if enough residents participate.

Parkwood Residents Association Officers

PRA Website: www.parkwoodresidents.org
President: Liz Brennan
4324 Dresden Street
Vice President: Jan Rothman
Secretary: Debbie Zwick
Treasurer: Chris St. Clair
Webmaster: Peter Mansbach

Parkwood Resident Association Membership Application

Membership is based on the calendar year. If you would like to join for the year 2002, please send a dues payment of $5 to Chris St. Clair at 4616 Saul Road, Kensington MD, 20895. Please make check payable to: Parkwood Residents Association. In order to vote on issues for the next meeting, payment will need to be received by 9/17/02. You may also pay dues at the 9/17/02 meeting. (PLEASE PRINT)







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