301-926-2256 [email protected]

From the Mayor

Crime Update

As you know, Washington Grove is in the midst of a “crime wave.” I am in contact with the Montgomery County Police Department, District 6 about these serious problems. Vigilance is a key component to help alleviate crime. Please lock car doors and windows and be sure to close and lock doors and windows of your home. Do not hesitate to call the police if an incident occurs. 911 for emergencies and 301-279-8000 for non-emergencies. Calls to either number are answered by the same dispatchers. The operator rates the call and acts according to its level of emergency.

East Woods Invasives Removal

At the recommendation of the Woods Group, crews were hired to remove mile-a-minute and stilt grass from the East Woods. The work for this removal was performed by raking and pulling the plants by hand. Weed whackers were used to cut the stilt grass. Both of these non-native invasive plants are annuals and propagate by seed. This work was done before the plants set seeds for this season. The worst infestation was on the edge of the East Woods along Grove Road where the road splits and the tree is in the middle of the road. The result is that area appears a bit bare. But this is an example of how non-native invasive plant material can decimate a wooded area. It will be allowed to grow back to its natural state. This area and the others where invasive plant material was remove will need to be followed closely. Our Maintenance Crew is not mowing this area.

Shared Use Bike Path Update

An onsite meeting with Montgomery County officials and Town representatives was held on July 27, 2015. At this time, there is much uncertainty as to when and how the path connection will evolve due to many challenges – proposed road location between Amity and Crabbs Branch, the area of wetlands, and potential field location. Also, there may be other alternative locations should improvements be made to Oakmont Avenue. County Officials stated any action on this project will not take place for another 4-5 years. Town government will be proactive and stay engaged on this topic. If you have any questions about this subject, please contact Mayor McCathran at the phone number or e-mail below.

Joli A. McCathran
[email protected]

Planning Commission News

Next meeting: Wednesday » 10.07.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. The public is invited to attend.
If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the revised procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process. The procedures are available from the Town Clerk or from the Town’s website. In addition, the house files in the Town Hall, another resource when planning home modifications, may have some helpful information on your property. The Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help you with your project.

Historic Preservation News

Next meeting: Tuesday » 10.20.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

Windows Information (cont’d)

How do I know if I should replace or rehabilitate my windows? I’ve seen the case made for and against the restoration of original windows.
This is a question that many owners of older homes face. Something to keep in mind – not everything you read about replacement windows is true, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Windows are often significant character-defining features of older and historic buildings. This alone is important and should not be overlooked or discounted in favor of perceived energy savings. With routine maintenance, and sometimes the installation of storm windows, an older window can perform well and continue to function for years to come. Rarely can a new replacement window match the design aesthetic or material of original windows.

This is not to say every old window should be saved. Yet, all too often, windows are replaced unnecessarily without considering the impacts or a cost-benefit analysis. Instead, owners might consider asking some questions first and exploring the options.

  • Are my windows an important architectural or defining feature of my home?
  • Are there ways I can retrofit my windows to achieve greater energy efficiency?
  • Will replacement windows last as long as my originals?
  • Are there more cost-effective approaches available other than replacement windows?
  • Will replacement windows “fit” the character of my home or detract from it?

Does Energy Efficiency Trump Preservation?
Going green is about more than just energy performance. To determine real environmental impacts, one must take into account the embodied energy of the new and existing windows, the environmental impacts of manufacturing new products, and the expected lifecycle of the product. Embodied energy includes the energy required to extract the raw materials, transport them, make them into a new product, ship the product, and install it. Existing historic windows have all of this energy embodied in them. Tearing out historic windows for replacement units not only wastes embodied energy, it requires additional energy to remove and dispose them. This is on top of the energy required to create and install the new windows.

What are the Real Costs of Replacement Windows?
After spending about $12,000 dollars on properly installed, high-quality replacement windows (the average home has between 24 and 30 windows, replaced at an average of $500-$1,000 each), a typical household might save about $50 a month on heating or cooling bills. However, if a house is actively heated or cooled for an average of six months a year, the savings amounts to only $300 a year. At this rate, it would take 40 years to even begin to recoup in energy savings the amount spent on the new windows. (Note: These figures assume that the windows are paid in cash or with zero percent financing. If the amount of interest paid on the total cost of the window replacement project is added, the payback period will be even longer.) By following some no- and/or low-cost methods to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you can easily save that same $50 a month on your heating bills without an outlay of thousands of dollars.

They Call Them “Replacement” Windows for a Reason Many window replacement companies promise that, by installing their windows, 40% of heating or cooling costs will be saved, guaranteed. However, the fine print reveals that if that 40% is not saved, the maximum total refund is $500. So, after spending thousands of dollars to replace authentic historic windows, the refund isn’t even close to what was spent on the new windows.

Many replacement windows also come with “limited lifetime warrantees.” It is important to take the time to read the fine print. Even the better quality replacement windows limit the “lifetime” warrantee on the glass to 20 years, the installation to two years, and the non-glass components to ten years. “Lifetime” better describes the lifetime of the product, not the lifetime of the building. Research indicates that 30% of the time, a replacement window will be replaced within ten years. Even more revealing is the fine print that describes what is not covered by the limited warranty. Additionally, the warrantees are only good if the company that issued them is still in business when you need to have the window replaced.

Washington Grove Historical Tidbit

“Halloween Hooligans” Circa 1946
Kids may have been more “lawless” in those golden, bygone days, but they probably had more fun at Halloween. Evidence for this of was recorded in minutes of the Oct. 14, 1946 W.G. council meeting headed by Irving L. McCathran. The following was edited slightly to protect the innocent (joking!).

“The matter of what might happen in W.G. at Halloween was considered. It was noted that Wesleyan Services Guild was having a party for boys. The Lions Club was having a party in Gaithersburg which might remove danger of so much damage of the previous year!! (my emphasis & exclamation). Councilman Bean moved and seconded by Councilman Heller that $25 ($305 in 2015 dollars) be used to hire 3 men to preserve order on Halloween in W.G.!(my emphasis again). The motion was passed and the Mayor suggested Councilman Billheimer should see about securing the 3 men.”

It was an interesting time in the life of W.G. Happy Halloween to one and all from a ghost of your past, Bwwa, Ha, Ha, Ha!!
The MAD Archives Typist

Recreation Committee News

Next meeting:Wednesday » 11.11.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. As always, the Recreation Committee welcome volunteers, even for single events, so if you’re interested, or if you have ideas for new Town activities, please email Eve Zibart at [email protected].

The BluestoberFest, Autumn Ceili, Punkin’ Carving and Halloween Sleepover are sponsored by the Washington Grove Recreation Committee.

Labor Day Kudos!

Many thanks to all those who helped to make the Grove’s annual Labor Day festivities the usual success, in particular Craig English, whose energy and dedication to the triathlon and field games remains a Town treasure. In addition, the weekend was given an extra lift by inspired volunteers, including Joey Fones, who pulled together the pickup softball game. That so many Townies helped with the events — corner guards, game refs, errand runners, grocery shoppers, set-up and clean-up crews, etc. — reminds us how lucky we are to live in a place like this.

BluestoberFest Will Soon Be Upon Us!

The 7th Annual Washington Grove BLUESTOBER FEST! is on for Saturday, October 10th, 2015, 6-10pm. Come enjoy a fun musical gathering with family and friends as we celebrate the autumn season with the acoustic sounds of Rick Franklin from 6-7pm. and then enjoy the South Carolina-based musician/singer/songwriter and purveyor of “Lowcountry blues and original songs,” Charleston, SC’s own Shrimp City Slim from 7:30-10pm. This event will be held at the Gazebo (McCathran Hall if it rains). Sausages, hot dogs, potato salad, condiments and cookies provided. Please bring a side dish to share. BYOB!

We can sure use some help with set-up and clean up so please e-mail Eric & Lawren Selby at [email protected] if you are willing to help or have any questions. This is a”Lederhosen Optional” event.

Autumn Anniversary Ceili – October 30

The Ring of Kerry dancers will celebrate their
25th anniversary with a dance on Friday, October 30th at McCathran Hall from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m. Grovers are welcome to join in the dancing or come to enjoy the music. Attendees are asked to bring a dessert to share and costumes are encouraged!

Punkin’ Carving Is Almost Here!

“Jack o’ the lantern! Joan the wad,
Who tickled the maid and made her mad
Light me home, the weather’s bad.”
T.Q. Couch

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at 11:00 AM, meet your friends at MCCATHRAN HALL for our Annual Pumpkin Carving! Then, bring your pumpkin home to light up your own doorstep during Town trick-or-treating that evening!

Safe tools & pumpkins provided, but children MUST bring an ADULT!!!


WHO: school-aged kids
WHAT: to Bring: PJs, candy to share, sleeping bags (leave your toothbrushes at home!)
WHERE: McCathran Hall
WHEN: Saturday, October 31st 9pm, supervision begins at 11pm

Bring your CANDY and SLEEPING BAGS and wear your PAJAMAS ! Come meet your Town friends for some semi-scary movies and candy-sharing on Halloween Night after trick-or-treating! Lights out at 11:00 p.m. THIS EVENT WILL NEED PARENT VOLUNTEERS to take supervisory shifts through the night! At least 3 adults must be present at all times, so please contact Emily Brown [email protected] to sign up for a shift (or just stay the night!).

Halloween in Washington Grove

Trick or treating in the Grove is on Sat. October 31, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Have fun and be safe!

2015 Holiday Show Meeting

OCT. 28, 2015; 7:30 P.M.; MCCATHRAN HALL
It’s that time again! Time again for all Grovers who want to act, sing, dance, and, assist with backstage and production duties, to come to the organizational meeting for this year’s holiday spectacular!

The agenda for the meeting will include a description of the plot, characters, songs, rehearsal schedule, and more! This year’s show will not feature individual acts, but, will instead, be a parody musical, in which, the musical numbers will be woven into the action of the play!

Join the fun and festivities!!

If you are interested, but, are unable to attend the meeting on the 3rd of November, please contact either Judy Mroczka at: [email protected] or Pat Di Bella-Kreger at: [email protected]

Film Society News

Please join us on October 11, 7 PM, for an enjoyable evening watching the satirical comedy/drama, Hail the Conquering Hero. Woodrow’s hay fever leads to his quick discharge from service in WWII, but he dreads returning home having lost his chance to distinguish himself. On a lark, some helpful fellow Marines spread word that he’s a hero, and the story hilariously balloons out of control. Discussion to follow the movie. Directed by Preston Sturges, 1944, US, 101 minutes. Shown with English subtitles.This year we have a new sound system that includes a much-improved set of speakers and a new amp/mixer console (thanks to Bud O’Connor). There is still time to support the film program by purchasing a $20 subscription for this year’s entire series; without the subscription, it is $7 at door.

Woman’s Club News…

Next meeting: Thursday » 10.08.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in the Clubhouse. Please join us for our neighbor Howard Harary’s talk about how communities respond to natural disasters. With hurricane season approaching, everyone is encouraged to attend to this meeting. Members, spouses, friends and neighbors are invited to join us at 7:00 PM at the Clubhouse.

Many thanks to all who contributed to the delicious variety of dishes at our September Potluck Supper, and special thanks to Cynthia Werts for once again organizing and running the event. Some of the highlights of the evening were the Mayor’s biscuits and the presentation by Town Archiviest Pat Patula and our Mayor Joli McCathran on the history of the original Mayor’s Biscuit Supper.

Remember, through the end of October we will be collecting gently worn winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves for the needy children at Washington Grove Elementary School. You can drop off your donations in the box on the Clubhouse porch.

Forestry & Beautification News

The Forestry & Beautification Committee (F&B) will meet on 15th of October at 7:30pm in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.
During the last Town meeting, a question was raised concerning the tree canopy in both the public areas and on private property. F&B has a policy in place for planting trees of 2 1/2 “ size in areas which have opened up due to tree loss from old age and storm damage. After trees are removed the stumps have been ground out providing areas to plant new trees.

The following trees have been planted over the last four years trees:

  • 42 upper canopy trees
  • 6 intermediate canopy trees
  • 24 understory trees

Fifty-two of the trees were planted in park locations, 8 trees were planted on avenues, and 12 trees were planted along roads.


As you go around Town to “Trick or Treat, stop by the WGUMC lawn for “Trunk or Treat”. Enjoy hotdogs and chips and crafts. We welcome residents to participate in opening their car trunks decorated with candies. For the sake of planning purposes, please let us know if you are interested in participating by contacting [email protected]

Maple Lake News

The Lake Committee will start meeting in February 2016 for the coming season.

Hutch would like to thank all the committee members for the most successful lake season he can remember and to give three cheers to NatureWorks CWA for the great work with our water quality!

Vacant Homes Task Force Formed

First meeting: Monday » 10.19.15 @ 7:30 p.m. in Council Room. Meetings are open to the public.

Emergency Preparedness Committee

On September 14, Mayor Joli McCathran created the Washington Grove Emergency Preparedness Task Force. The Task Force will hold its first two meetings in the Town Council Room at McCathran Hall on: Thursday, October 8 and October 29 — both meetings will begin at 7:00 pm. All are welcome to attend.

Bulk Leaf Collection Starts

Per our contract with GREEN EARTH, leaf pickup using the big vacuum starts on Oct. 31, 2015. New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for the removal of leaves in bulk each autumn. GREEN EARTH will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six feet of any walkway or roadway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins October 31 and ends January 1, 2016, or as soon thereafter as we agree that the work is complete. This is your opportunity to have leaves removed without the additional work and expense of bagging.

Weather frequently affects this process, as rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues. Also, one or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually see most of us raking at the same time. The contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming. If you rake when most other people rake, the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly. If you feel that a particular pile has been ignored for an inordinate amount of time, please call Greg Silber at 301-926-1854 or e-mail him at [email protected].

Please place your windrows along the side of the road or walkway (keeping in mind, traffic & pedestrian flow), and don’t include brush, grasses or limbs that foul the vacuum.

Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.

Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled

There will be a bulk trash collection on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Potomac Disposal will NOT pick up the following:

  • Liquids or chemicals in any form, including paint, gasoline, oil etc… NO FREON!
  • Tires
  • Rugs and/or padding which is not cut into three (3) foot rolls
  • Large wall units (shelving) not broken down
  • Fencing
  • Mirrors or glass larger than 3’ x 3’. Please tape to prevent injury.
  • Large amounts of construction debris, specifically material left by a contractor. If homeowner is doing their own repair work they can call PDI to set up the bulk pick-up.

If residents have questions about certain items, feel free to call Jana or Cheryl at 301-294-9700.


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