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Next meeting: Monday, November 14, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. The public is invited to attend. Actions at the October meeting included:

  • approval of a rate increase requested by Potomac Disposal Inc. due to the County increase in the minimum wage.
  • introduction of Ord. 2016-10; a zoning text amendment to section 8.21 to allow charitable religious or educational institutions in the commercial zone as a special exception approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • approval to send out the final request for proposal (RFP) for invasive plant control/removal in the East Woods as presented by the Woods Committee.


The Washington Grove Town Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 14, 2016, 7:30 PM, in McCathran Hall, 300 Grove Ave. Washington Grove, Maryland. The purpose of this meeting is to take public comment regarding the proposed Zoning Text Amendment No. 2016-10; Ordinance Adopting Amendments to the Washington Grove Zoning Ordinance Article VII, Section 8.21 – Special Exceptions – To Allow Charitable, Religious or Educational Institutions in the Commercial Zone as a Special Exception Approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals. A copy of the proposed amendment is available for inspection upon request to the Town of Washington Grove, P.O. Box 216, Washington Grove, Maryland 20880 (301-926-2256) and on the Town website (www.washingtongrovemd.org).

From the Mayor…

Illegal Parking: The Town is beginning to experience a number of vehicles parking in Morgan Park between Grove Road and Brown Street, and possibly other places in Morgan Park, for drivers who are using the MARC Trains or other public transportation. This parking is illegal and is enforceable by the Montgomery County Police.

Allowed Number of Vehicles Per Household: Several residents have expressed concerns about the number of vehicles parked at individual homes within Town. Our Ordinances Article VII, Section 7 allows: (e) Parking or storing of not more than four vehicles.

Town Does Not Accept Cash in Payment for Recreation Program User Fees, Hall Rental Fees: The Town of Washington Grove will accept only checks or money orders in payment of fees for recreation programs, Hall rentals, building permits and donations. We appreciate your cooperation in honoring this form of payment.

To each and every one of you, I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Joli A. McCathran

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., November 2, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the 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 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. Both the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Commission are here to help with your renovation/building project.

Permits up for approval on Nov. 2, 2016:

  • 112 Chestnut Ave. Fence

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 15, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. All meetings are open to the public.


By Patricia Patula, Town Archivist
News Dispatches from Other Centuries
A series devoted to describing Washington Grove’s earliest days based on historic newspapers (appearing as written) and original records in the Grove’s archives.

“Romance and Religion, Part One”
Some of the newspaper writers at the end of the 19th century were romantic poets at heart. A social news article about Washington Grove, which appeared in The Post on August 17, 1886, was titled: “Many People Attracted There–A Picture of Rural Loveliness” and reflects a trait of the time to write in literary detail for the reader. The writer of the article is unknown and may have had religious leanings himself, for he not only captures the religious tenor of that Camp Meeting day in his poetic descriptions, but provides unlikely details such as the preacher’s selected text and schedules of both adult and children’s services.

The article begins listing the days most popular at the Grove which were Tuesdays (in 1886 was Aug. 17), Thursdays (in 1886 was Aug. 19), and Saturdays (in 1886 was Aug. 21). “A heavy shower fell last night, which laid the dust and cooled the atmosphere, and our friends find Washington Grove looking at its best.”

Young people, never referred to as teenagers by these earlier writers, are given special attention by the narrator. “The customary number of young people wended their way to the station to meet the incoming train and the depot for a time presented a gay picture as they promenaded up and down the wide platform.” (Our readers may recall a previous article in this series, based on The Post writing of July 3, 1880, that also highlighted young people. It listed the sources of amusement for them during the camp meetings as picking cherries and berries, excursions into the woods, and participating in croquet and archery.)

The news reporter writes about young people again later in the article, and in his enthusiasm allows his poetic spirit to soar:

“Mr. W. H. H. Smith had charge of the young people’s meeting at 6:45. This service is singularly beautiful and impressive. The tent faces the west, and just as the sun sinks below the horizon the services of song begins. Day melts into twilight, and a solemn stillness creeps over all, and as ‘night draws her sable curtain down, and pins it with a star,’ the echo of the tabernacle bell calls to the evening services.”

Our unknown author has created a dramatic visual. The sable curtain reference is from a temperance poem titled “Death in Disguise” and was often used as a quote. The poem was penned by a poet of that time, McDonald Clarke (1798-1842). Clarke had led a poverty stricken and unhappy life and was known as the Mad Poet from Broadway, sometimes seen sleeping on graves. This poem, as well as other works of Clarke, is available on the Internet and in libraries. The news reporter writing this article in 1886, twenty-four years after Clarke’s drowning death, obviously was quite familiar with this quote for he (the writer) easily slipped it into his narrative, revealing his own interest in poetry and romance.

to be continued in the next issue

Sources: The newspaper quotes are from The Washington Post (1887-1992); Aug. 17, 1886; Proquest Historical Newspapers.

Forestry & Beautification News…

Next Meeting: Thurs., November 17, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room. This meeting is open to the public.

Woods Committee: The Woods Committee will meet on Monday, November 7, at 7:30 pm in the Council Room at McCathran Hall. The Woods Committee has marked off sections of the East Woods in preparation for removing/controlling invasive plants and for reforestation. You may see colored, flagged markers in the East Woods, which is part of this work. Please do not disturb or remove them. We are also in the process of marking Town boundaries in both the East and West Woods. The Committee is using the Forest Stewardship Plan as a guide. The Forest Stewardship Plan is now available
on the Town website. https://washingtongrovemd.org/whats-happening/woods-committee-news/forest-stewardship-plan.

Volunteers needed for tree planting Friday, Nov. 18, 9:00 – 2:00 pm. Meet at McCathran Hall.

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wed., November 16, 2016; 7:30 p.m. in the Council Room.

BluestoberFest 2016

The 8th Annual Washington Grove BluestoberFest was a fun event with FANTASTIC music and good food. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer evening. Thank you to all who helped organize, grill, fry, haul tables, string lights etc. Isn’t this a great place to live?

Film Society News…

On November 13, join your neighbors in watching the 1964 classic, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” An unhinged Air Force general orders a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in this dark comedy. Dr. Strangelove has become a cultural reference point, as funny and disturbing now as it was in 1964. A discussion will follow the movie. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1964, US, b&w, subtitles, 95 minutes. Movie starts at 7 PM, tickets at the door are $7.

Holiday Show 2016

Great minds are coming together and rehearsals are about to begin. If you have questions, please call Judy Mroczka 301-990-3771 or [email protected].

Woman’s Club News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 17, 2016 at the Clubhouse.
Thursday, November 17, 2016, will be our last meeting of the year, so please try to attend, and help us plan for next year. The biggest hole in our schedule is next July, which has traditionally been our major fundraising month. While it’s going to be hard to top this year’s Anniversary/Bench Fundraiser, we’re looking for ideas of something fantastic to do in July 2017.

As for the other 2017 events, our plans are in January we will hold our annual White Elephant Sale; February or March will be our always popular Chili Dinner; April is our annual Egg Hunt for the Town’s children; and also in April, the Clubhouse will reopen and we will again be having guest speakers for our Membership Meetings; May will be the Flower Show; June will be another Progressive Porch Party; and July will hopefully be something fun and special to raise money for the Club. We also look forward to next year’s Community Outreach programs.

Washington Grove Church News…

This will be a month of celebrations! On Sunday, November 6th, we will celebrate All Saints Sunday with a service dedicated to our longest and most beloved members. Then Sunday, November 20th, is our Anniversary, when we hope that members past and present will join us. And Sunday, November 27th, we will be celebrating the first Sunday of Advent.

Speaking of celebrations, we are delighted to announce that on Wednesday, November 23rd, at 7:30 PM, we will be reviving our once traditional non-denominational Thanksgiving Service. Please bring family and friends and join us for this very special service.

If you have no special plans for Thanksgiving, we invite you to join our Church family on Thursday, November 24th, at 2:00 PM, for a Thanksgiving Dinner.

Through November, we will be continuing a sermon series based on John Baker’s book “Life’s Healing Choices”. Also, a discussion group, based on the series, meets on Tuesday evenings, 7:45 PM at the Church. Sunday worship services are at 11:00 AM, at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church.

Washington Grove Cares…
There will be an organzing meeting of Washington Grove Cares on Sunday, November 13, 2016, at 2:00 PM in the Woman’s Club. If you are interested in helping but can’t attend this meeting, please contact Kathie Evans ([email protected]).

General Information

Leaves Are Falling
New and long-time residents alike are reminded of the Town contract for bulk leaf removal each autumn. The contractor, Green Earth, Inc., will make regular but unscheduled pickups of leaves raked or blown into windrows within six (6) feet of any roadway or walkway, excluding Railroad Street, 2nd Ave., 3rd Ave., 4th Ave., 5th Ave., and Boundary Street. This service begins October 31 and ends January 3, 2017, or as soon thereafter as we agree the work is complete. This is the only time to have leaves removed without bagging for recycling.

The contractor will time pickups based on the availability of full truckloads for vacuuming. One or two spectacular fall weekends in November or early December usually have most of us raking at the same time. If you rake when most others are raking, the windrows will probably disappear relatively quickly.
Please place your windrows within six (6) feet of the road or walkway (keeping in mind car & pedestrian traffic).
Green Earth will collect leaves by working from one end of the Town to the other, typically starting with Ridge Road working their way across the community, first removing piles along roads for safety reasons. After making one pass along roads, they will focus on walkways. If roads become obstructed before walkways are completed, roads will be cleared until they are safe. Then collection will resume along walkways.
Weather may affect this process. Rain can restrict movement of large trucks on the avenues and accumulated snow or freezing rain may make piles too heavy to vacuum.
The contractor will not remove leaf piles that contain branches, brush, pruned limbs, and cut ornamental grasses. Please do not add these to leaf piles. They foul the vacuum and Green Earth will not collect piles containing this material. If a particular leaf pile has lingered for an inordinate amount of time, please call Kathy Lehman at the Town Office, 301-926-2256, or by e-mail [email protected].
Happy raking! It’s the rite of autumn, particularly in a town graced by so many beautiful deciduous trees.


Vacant Homes Task Force
The next meeting of this task force is not known at this time. Please call the Town Office for more information. This meetings are open to the public.

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ends
Please note that December 31, 2016 will be the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal. This service will resume in early March.

Thanksgiving Refuse Collection CHANGE !!!
Because of the conflict with our refuse collection day and the Thanksgiving holiday, the collection that week will take place on WEDNESDAY, November 23, 2016. Please make a note of this change.

Deer Fences Down…
Residents are reminded that deer fencing must be down by November 30th per Town Ordinance 3.328(g). Thanks!

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