Issuu on Google+

& The Gazette PICKUP ‘LINE’ Olney Theatre Center energized by massive musical production. A-11 BETHESDA | CHEVY CHASE | KENSINGTON DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, July 31, 2013 25 cents WSSC: Leak, weak structure sparked water main geyser Burst pipe in March meant days of restrictions, lost power n BY AGNES BLUM STAFF WRITER Three simultaneous issues led to a 60-inch concrete water main bursting in March in Chevy Chase, according to a report on the break discussed at a Washington Suburban Sanitary Com- mission public meeting on July 17. The pipe burst around 8 p.m March 18 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive, leaving a crater about 90 feet long and 45 feet wide, said David Burke, technical services group leader for WSSC. A 30-foot geyser shot up and about 60 million gallons of water were lost, according to the commission. Much of that water ran into Rock Creek, but large portions of asphalt and pavement were washed out. The break, which came without warning, put WSSC customers in Montgomery County under mandatory water restrictions for a few days. The water main was repaired and ready for use five days after the police reported the failure, Burke said. The failure also meant power outages for about 160 Pepco customers in the Chevy Chase area after trees pulled down wires. According to the “forensic analysis report” of the break, three concurrent issues led to the failure. First, the wire used between two components of the 35-year-old reinforced concrete pipe had not been “pre-stressed” and was therefore weak. Second, chlorinated water had been slowly leaking from a gasket seal. Third, that leak had weakened the grout in the joint allowing water to seep in, corroding the steel parts inside the pipe. The absence of any one of the three conditions would mean the pipe would probably have not failed, according to a memo written by I. J. Hudson, a spokesman for the commission. He described the event as “atypical,” adding that it was the first time it had happened in 70 years. Chevy Chase Lake plan OK’d by council n Some development won't start until Purple Line construction begins BY AGNES BLUM STAFF WRITER The Montgomery County Council approved the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan on Tuesday, delaying some of the development until construction on the Purple Line begins. The County Council added a “trigger” to the plan to prevent development from taking place without the controversial 16mile light rail which eventually will run through the area. Fire department celebrated for volunteers Dedicated firefighters put in more than 65,000 hours last year BY KATIE POHLMAN SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE Balancing school work and a job is a challenge for any college student, but add living and volunteering at a fire department on top of that and it’s a lifestyle only a few can handle. Zamir Hussain, 22, chose this lifestyle three years ago and believes it has helped him grow up. “The station becomes your home and you’re reponsible for its upkeep,” he said. “It makes you grow up and mature.” Hussain grew up in Kensington next to a fire station where the firefighters would let him explore the equipment when it wasn’t in use. When he turned 18, he decided he wanted to volunteer. “I stopped by the station closest to me,” he said. “And they referred me to Station 5.” Hussain has been volunteering at the station located on Connecticut Avenue ever since. Station 5 relies on volunteers Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day on weekends. A crew of career firefighters work during the weekdays. And it’s those volunteers who logged more than 65,000 hours last year, making it one of the stations in the county with the highest number of volunteer hours See COUNCIL, Page A-10 A needle in a haystack TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE “The station becomes your home and you’re reponsible for its upkeep,” says Zamir Hussain, a live-in volunteer with the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department. “It makes you grow up and mature.” n The council could have chosen to make the full funding of the light rail a trigger, said Marlene Michaelson, a senior legislative analyst with the county. That is the criteria most commonly used by the county. But council member Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda said he wanted to “align construction of stage II with the completion of the Purple Line,” and introduced an amendment to that effect. Construction on that stretch of the Purple Line will take four to five years and the light rail is scheduled to be running by Finding a gas station in Bethesda can be tough for drivers on empty n for 2012, according to the Mike Kelley, administrator for Kensington Volunteer Fire Department. The company was recently awarded the 2013 Tribute Award from the Wheaton/Kensington Chamber of Commerce for its community contributions. “That number has gone up in the past 10 years,” Kensington Volunteer Fire Department President Ron Dowdy Jr. said. “And we would like to see that continue.” Dowdy said the department has about 500 volunteers — 300 who do everything from responding to calls to supporting the career firefighters and 200 who manage the phones and other aspects of the department’s operational side. BY AGNES BLUM STAFF WRITER Drivers in downtown Bethesda can see signs of new development everywhere — cranes, earth-movers, workers in hardhats. What they won’t see are many gas stations. The past few years have seen gas stations in Bethesda shuttering to make way for new developments, often mixed-use high-rises with retail on the bottom and luxury units above. As Montgomery County encour- See VOLUNTEERS, Page A-10 ages more smart growth and infill development, gas stations are disappearing. It’s not part of a conspiracy to rid the area of fueling pumps, said Robert Kronenberg, acting chief of the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Area 1. According to him, it’s just part of what happens when an area transitions from suburban to more urban. “Clearly we are seeing a number of them go away,” Kronenberg said. “But all of them have different circumstances.” Some of these projects have been in the works for years, he said. Others resulted from new ownership. What they all have See GAS, Page A-10 Autism Night Out helps connect county’s police and its autism community Missing autistic children account for 100 to 150 calls to Montgomery police annually n BY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITER When Jamie Arnold’s two young children clambered out of a window in his Bethesda home one day this month, his first thought was, “Is there any water nearby?” He and his wife, Tiffani, dashed outside to look for Kadence, 5, and Kaleb, 4, both of whom have autism. It’s a common challenge that parents of autistic children face — children with the disorder have a tendency to wander away from parents and toward water — often leading to tragedy, police and experts say. Arnold said he and his wife constantly have to watch the two. “It’s a whole new side to parenting,” said Arnold, an Army nurse who has four other children. At the Autism Night Out at Montgomery County’s police training academy in Rockville on Thursday, Kaleb SPORTS ANOTHER RECORD Katie Ledecky of Bethesda sets women’s world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle. SENECA LOOKS TO THE FUTURE Screaming Eagles adjust after second star player transfers out in consecutive seasons. B-1 and Kadence were safe and sound, happily munching on doughnut holes and sipping apple juice. They were there with hundreds of other parents and children who wandered around meeting police officers, looking at fire engines and rescue boats, meeting Max and Caesar — two search-andrescue dogs — and hopping around in a moonbounce. The disorder has created a tight- Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion Sports Please RECYCLE knit community of families to cope with the challenges autism presents. “We know almost everybody here,” one father said. Parents of children with the neurological disorder said that children with autism have different experiences, but that the experience of raising autistic children was “universal,” as was the See AUTISM, Page A-10 B-13 A-2 B-8 B-10 A-4 A-11 A-8 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1889687

Bethesdagaz 073113

Related publications