Fall 2005

Parkwood Resident's Association

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Next Meeting:
Monday, September19 at 7:30
Kensington Park Library

Agenda: Pepco: Why the Power Outages?
(see article below for more details)

Pepco to Speak at Fall Member Meeting

Those of you who subscribe to the PRA Listserv know there has been extensive discussion this summer about the frequent electric power outages experienced in many parts of our neighborhood. Seemingly after every thunderstorm, even less severe ones, there were large swathes of Parkwood that consistently lost power. Many households reported eight or more outages by mid-August. Through the listserv, members made a concerted effort to report these outages to Pepco in an effort to bring attention to our neighborhood’s dilemma.

We know that other neighborhoods, especially older ones with mature trees and above-ground power lines such as Parkwood, tend to experience more outages. And we understand that severe storms can knock down tree limbs and disrupt power lines. We also know that a program to bury power lines would be extremely expensive and likely result in rate hikes. But this summer’s frequent power interruptions raised questions of whether these outages can all be attributed merely to overgrown tree limbs. Do we have aging transformers more vulnerable to outages? Are there other maintenance issues that cause lines serving our neighborhood to be more vulnerable? Pepco officials have agreed to attend the Parkwood Residents Association member meeting on Monday, September 19 to explain the issues and answer our questions: (1) Explain the Parkwood Grid; (2) Identify the location, age and maintenance schedules for the transformers servicing the Parkwood subdivision; (3) Provide a summary of the outages and causes since May 2005 for Parkwood; and (4) Explain PEPCO's tree trimming policy.

Report County Trees Needing Attention:

On a related note, Kira Lueders on Wildwood Road has volunteered to be the PRA contact person for reporting trees on County property that need attention. This would include any trees in the grassy medians between sidewalks and streets, as well as in traffic islands or other public spaces. Maintaining these trees is important in preventing downed power lines caused by falling limbs. Further, deteriorated or dying trees pose a serious safety hazard. Our beautiful canopy of mature trees is a major amenity that helps make Parkwood such a desirable place to live, so we all should take an interest in maintaining them.

So far, Kira has used the PRA listserv to get the word out. She has heard from five people about trees on Edgefield, Roxbury, Woodfield, Thornwood, and Franklin. Since there are many more trees that need help, Kira is encouraging residents to contact her so she can give a comprehensive list to the County, which will increase the chances of these problems being addressed.

Please contact Kira either at kklarl@yahoo.com or by dropping a note at her home at 10112 Wildwood Rd.

WSSC Water Supply Pipeline Update

Thanks to PRA members Bill Zwack and Tom Robertson, Parkwood has had ongoing representation on the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Pipeline Advisory Committee. The Committee was formed earlier this year and includes neighborhood representatives who have worked with WSSC to review plans and recommend strategies for WSSC’s proposal to construct a large water main from Tuckerman Lane to Beach Drive near the Mormon Temple. This proposed 7-foot diameter water supply pipe is necessary to provide sufficient water to rapidly growing areas of the southeastern part of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

WSSC initially proposed eight possible routes, some of which could have had a significant impact on our neighborhood. Some proposed alignments would have required surface trenching with pipes installed at a relatively shallow depth; these alternatives were rejected early on for being too disruptive to mature trees and the neighborhood in general. By last Spring, the route alternatives had been narrowed to three possible choices.

Now WSSC has chosen the alignment for this new cross-county, 6-mile long water supply pipeline. As the pipeline nears Parkwood, it will be tunneled 150 to 300 feet below Rock Creek Park/Beach Drive. This is the preferred alignment for us, as opposed to going under Saul Road or being only 15 feet deep and ripping up Rock Creek Park.  There will be no disturbance to the park except a half-acre swath along Beach Drive as you round the corner coming off the Beltway.  This disruption will be due to a 5- to 8-foot diameter "riser" shaft that will connect the new water supply line approximately 200 feet down to a main line near the surface.   The shaft will likely be bored from the bottom up, minimizing noise and dust. It is the least disruptive of the three types of shafts WSSC needs to complete the job. These three larger, more active shafts will be located at Beach Drive adjacent the Mormon Temple, just northeast of the cloverleaf at Connecticut and the Beltway, and over near I-270. Construction of the pipeline is still slated to begin in 2007 and go through early 2010.

Many thanks to Bill Zwack and Tom Robertson for so capably representing Parkwood’s interests. With their help, WSSC has selected a pipeline alternative that, while more expensive than the "cut and cover" alternative, will have the least disruption to our neighborhood, yet help meet the long-term needs of downcounty residents.

Parkwood Neighborhood Directory Nears Completion

Last Spring, PRA member Jan Thomas began working on a hard copy Parkwood Neighborhood Directory, a valuable resource. The directory includes names and addresses of Parkwood households which are available from public records. Reference numbers for key County services and your PRA board members are also included. On May 14, Jan hosted a neighborhood get-together to share the draft, and mailed remaining copies to all Parkwood residents. Jan has requested that residents review the entries under their names and let her know of any necessary changes before September 21, when the final copy will go to print. After that, we can expect delivery of our own final copies. Kudos to Jan for undertaking this monumental chore!

Kensington Parkwood Elementary School Modernization Update:

According to MCPS Project Manager Dennis Cross, the school will be completed in time for a December, 2005 move-in by the students and faculty. The entire KPES community is anxious to return to the new school as the student population continues to grow. At the holding school facility at Grosvenor, the 3rd through 5th grades are housed in trailers. And for the first time Back to School Night will be held over three evenings to avoid overcrowding. The current enrollment is 470 students. The new building capacity is 520 students so we have room to grow. PRA leadership has requested specific information from MCPS regarding the remaining timeline for the completion on the building and the landscaping. An update will be provided at the September 19th meeting.

Coalition of Kensington Communities (CKC) Update:

During 2005 the CKC has been closely monitoring proposed developments that abut the Kensington zip code from North Bethesda/White Flint to Wheaton to Forest Glen to Chevy Chase. All of these projects will impact Kensington with increased traffic. In May the CKC met with Park and Planning Community Based planning representative Fred Boyd concerning the much awaited Kensington sector plan review. He informed the group that the Planning Board is recommending that the first draft of the review, originally scheduled for completion in May 2006, be rescheduled for completion in November, 2007. The delay is the result of a backlog in the master plan review process by County Council. The CKC leadership is currently reviewing the annual growth policy proposals sent to the County Council from Park and Planning and will be meeting with Council President Tom Perez on September 19th to voice concerns. They are also reviewing a new Park and Planning document called Montgomery County in the 21st Century: Revitalizing Centers, Reshaping Boulevards, Creating Great Public Space, and will be meeting with Planning Board Chair Derick Berlage to learn more about its potential impact to the Kensington community.

The Coalition of Kensington Communities (CKC) is a unified body of area civic associations founded to enhance the quality of life in the Kensington area. Towards this end the group works with local government to address issues of urban design, recreation, transportation, pedestrian accessibility and economic growth affecting greater Kensington. Participating neighborhoods include:

"National Preparedness Month" forums:

September has been declared National Preparedness Month and, in recognition, the Montgomery County Homeland Security Department will host a series of public forums to help residents "Plan, Prepare -- Avoid Panic." The Mid-County Sparkler lists the locations, dates and times of each public forum scheduled in Montgomery County. Please feel free to contact the staff at the Mid-County Regional Services Center with any questions, at 240-777-8100.

Your Home And Rock Creek - Make The Connection!

Don't understand how your actions at home affect Rock Creek?  Find out how you can best maintain your property to reduce non-point pollution from stormwater through a FREE 5 Things You Can Do For Your River workshop aimed at individual property owners and watershed stakeholders.  Come and you can win one of two 132-gallon RainSaver rain barrels!
Saturday, October 1 from 10am-3pm (Lunch provided)
Rock Creek National Park Nature Center

RSVP: Contact Sherry Zandieh at 301-984-1908 x0 or szandieh@icprb.org - Space is limited!

Have a New Neighbor?

The PRA is looking for ways to reach out to newcomers in the neighborhood. A PRA welcome packet has been developed and Welcome Committee Chair Kathy Byars and PRA Block Captains have been diligently passing our packets out. If you would like to welcome a new neighbor or have Kathy or one of her volunteers drop off a packet, please contact her at (301)530-9441 or to send an email to: kathybyars@mris.com.

Neighbors Share Information via the PRA Listserv
The PRA listserv is the best way to stay connected to your neighbors 24/7. The e-mail group is open to all residents of Parkwood, and a great way to share information, such as home improvement contractors or petty vandalism affecting our neighborhood. To subscribe, send a blank message to: parkwoodresidents-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will receive a confirmation message when you are subscribed. 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. This listserv can save the PRA funds and make Parkwood a safer place to live! Sign on to the listserv and get your neighbor to as well!

Have You Joined PRA? We Need Your Support!

Membership Chair Kitty Stone reports that we now are 188 members strong. That’s a good show of support from Parkwood residents, but not quite good enough. After all, we’re almost 1,000 households strong. All households receive this newsletter free during the year, and all are invited to join the listserv at no charge. Further, your PRA officers and members are hard at work protecting your interests and advocating for Parkwood. Witness the remarkable efforts of a handful of our members described in our newsletter.

You can support our efforts for a modest $10 a year. Those funds are used to defray costs, pay for beautification efforts, support the newsletter, and much more. Please consider joining. When we advocate with elected officials, we are much more effective when we can state that a high percentage of residents are members.

Please see the membership form on the back page of this newsletter [below]. You may join at the next meeting, or return this form to Kitty Stone. We’re hoping to hear from you!

2005 Membership/Renewal Application – Annual Dues per household: $10

Please mail or deliver your 2005 PRA membership renewal dues to: Kitty Stone, 4313 Clearbrook Lane, Kensington, MD 20895. Please make check payable to: "Parkwood Residents Association". Print your information below:


Address:_____________________________________________ City:___________________Zip:_______

Phone Numbers:(daytime)___________________________evening________________________________



____   $10 membership dues

____   $______ donation to Beautification Committee (optional)

Parkwood Resident's Association Officers:

President: Liz Brennan, (301) 530-3615, brennanhouse@verizon.net, Vice President: Maryann Dillon, (301) 493-5140 dillem@erols.com,
Secretary: Brenda Marshall, (301) 530-0053, Treasurer: Chris St. Clair, (301) 897-8415, stclairs@speakeasy.net

PRA Website Address: http://www.parkwoodresidents.org, Webmaster: Peter Mansbach, (301) 493-8809, pmansbach@aol.com

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