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The Gazette

A&E: One-man “Christmas Carol” returns to Olney Theatre Center. B-4


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It’s Pike District, aka White Flint

Run will support military families n

Business committee OKs new name for marketing purposes


Jolly Fat Man’s Run this weekend in Bethesda




See RUN, Page A-15

IF YOU GO n What: Jolly Fat Man’s Run to raise money for Operation Second Chance. n When: 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday n Where: The warmup is in front of Mon Ami Gabi, 7239 Woodmont Ave., and the run starts at 4800 Bethesda Ave. n Cost: $40, which includes a long-sleeve shirt, breakfast and raffle entry. Children under 10 can register for free. Additional raffle tickets are $5. n Information: events.


Jenna Keany, an American University graduate student, holds a vial of amphipods found Friday in Rock Creek Park in Chevy Chase. They will be examined to see if they are members of an endangered species. If so, that could thwart the planned Purple Line light-rail project.

In Chevy Chase, a good amphipod is hard to find University researchers comb Rock Creek Park for crustaceans that could derail Purple Line n



The day was cloudy, just beginning to drizzle, blocking out unfriendly ultraviolet rays. Dead leaves and 64-degree water had collected in a slight dip in the ground, cultivating lots of bacteria and mud. This was prime real estate for amphipods, which is why David Culver, an environmental science professor at American University, and two of his graduate students were scrutinizing a damp patch of leaves in the woods near Rock Creek in Chevy Chase on Friday afternoon. The two species of tiny endangered amphipods that Culver is looking for are hard to find, but some say they could block or dramatically alter plans for the Purple Line. Some doubt they are there at all, but Culver is looking. “Before today, I would have said I’m not very optimistic,” Culver said. But now his team might have found some. Amphipods are small, eyeless, white crustaceans that live in underground burrows. One deep-sea species can grow to more than a foot long, but the ones in Rock Creek Park barely reach a quarter-inch — think tiny shrimp or

land-dwelling Sea-Monkeys. When water collects in the small springs called seeps in the ground where they live, they emerge from their clay homes to eat the bacteria that grow on damp leaves. The crustaceans’ size and their underground habitat makes them difficult to study. Culver has tried taking buckets of leaves and muck from the seep back to a lab to sort through, but it wasn’t any easier to sort there than in the woods. He tried putting out bait, but raccoons ate it. He tried using a hose to vacuum water away from the seeps, but the mud was too thick. For now, the most effective method is donning gloves and disturbing the muddy water by hand to see if anything is living there. “Are you seeing anything alive?” Culver asked Jenna Keany and Shea Caspersen as they crouched by a patch of mud near the Washington, D.C., line. No, they replied, nothing visible there. Friday morning had been different. Then they were searching a seepage spring where the Capital Crescent Trail crosses Rock Creek and collected several amphipods. It’s too early to say what species they are, but if they are an endangered species, Culver’s find could be a severe setback for a planned 16-mile, $2.45 billion light-rail line running from Bethesda to New Carrollton.

See AMPHIPOD, Page A-16

Rockville Pike tunnel work may start in ’15 Project would link Medical Center Metro station and Walter Reed in Bethesda n



A tunnel under Rockville Pike near the Medical Center Metro station could be under construction next summer. The county Department of Transportation plans to pick one of two contractor groups to design and build the tunnel, plus three 120-foot, high-speed elevators from the ground to the underground Metro station.

INDEX Automotive Calendar Classified Entertainment Obituaries Opinion Sports



A group of runners will take on the Capital Crescent Trail this weekend to raise money for injured veterans and their families. The Sergeant’s Program, a boot camp-style fitness program in Potomac, has scheduled its 19th annual Jolly Fat Man’s Run for Saturday. Registration fees and donations will support Operation Second Chance, which serves wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. Chuck Dyson, head sergeant, will lead warm-up exercises near Bethesda Row. Participants can then run or walk however far they want on the trail before returning for a celebration breakfast at the American Tap Room on Woodmont Avenue. This is the 19th year for the event. Registration is $40 and includes a shirt, breakfast and a ticket for a raffle of prizes donated by local businesses.

The federally funded project is expected to be finished in 2018, said Tim Cupples, project manager. Cupples gave an update on the project’s progress at a Dec. 2 meeting of the Base Realignment and Closure Integration Committee. The tunnel is intended to make it easier for people to get between the Metro station on the west side of Rockville Pike, near the National Institutes of Health, to the east side, near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, The Gazette previously reported. The elevators are supposed to quickly move people between the ground level and the Metro station.

See TUNNEL, Page A-15

Two key groups have endorsed Pike District as a new name for the White Flint area. People have been debating for years whether the rapidly developing area in an unincorporated part of the county needs a new name. Now an advisory committee and a property owners group agree that calling the area Pike District will help market the area. At a meeting Tuesday of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee, Streetsense, a marketing and branding firm hired by several major area property owners, presented the results of its research and a public meeting held in September. Sarah Wright, creative strategist for

Students visit gaming central for career day Dig It! a draw for Bethesda-Chevy Chase juniors, seniors n




Veterans turn to verse and song as balm for physical and psychic scars.


They were not skipping school to play computer games. Really. The five students from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School were at Dig It! Games in Bethesda on Thursday to shadow game design professionals as part of the school’s annual Career Partnership Day. The opportunity to chose a profession and spend the day getting real-life experience in that occupation has been of-

Volume 3, No. 44, Two sections, 36 Pages Copyright © 2014 The Gazette Please


December 18, 2014 1932812

See NAME, Page A-15



This rendering shows what the entrance to the proposed pedestrian tunnel and bank of elevators at the Medical Center Metrorail station in Bethesda would look like.

Streetsense, said more than 65 people participated in the meeting and picked Pike District as the favorite name by far. “People overall felt it was clear [and] straightforward,” Wright said. After the presentation, the committee unanimously voted to support Pike District as a new name for the area and to incorporate that name into its work. The committee’s long-term goal is to form an urban district similar to the one managed by the Bethesda Urban Partnership. Kensington, North Bethesda and Rockville are the postal addresses used by White Flint businesses and residences. The new name reflects the dominating presence of Rockville Pike in the area. Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center and a nonvoting committee member, said he likes the name and thinks it

Colin Cowie, a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School tries his hand making 3-D objects at Amecia Starks’ workstation at Dig It! Games in Bethesda during Thursday’s annual Career Partnership Day.

NEWS B-15 A-2 B-11 B-7 A-14 A-17 B-1

SPORTS: A look at this winter’s high school indoor track season. B-1

fered to Bethesda-Chevy Chase students for the last 22 years, due to a partnership with the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. More than 47 workplaces in Montgomery County and Washington opened their doors to juniors and seniors from the Bethesda school and the British School of Washington who chose to participate. “I heard about it and I thought it would be a great opportunity,” Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior Justin Gourley said. “It’s what I want to do later in life.” Gourley was at Dig It! Games

See CAREER, Page A-15