Friday, January 25, 2013
Former Lockheed Martin CEO will need to plant more than wildflowers, shrubs, grasses and 400 trees to replace the old, tall trees he took down last year on his Potomac property along the C&O Canal, the National Park Service says.
Former Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens faced fines and some public outrage last summer when he clear cut a swath of trees on his Potomac property near the C&O Canal -- now it seems further fines from the National Park Service could be imminent. Stevens, who lives on an estate in the Merry-Go-Round Farm community overlooking the Potomac River and the C&O Canal in Potomac, cleared trees from 35,000 square feet of protected land this past summer, Potomac Patch reported last October. He claimed to have removed the trees for safety reasons after the June 29 derecho storm that knocked out power across the region for a week. In response, Montgomery County officials fined Stevens $1,000 and came up with a reforestation plan requiring that he …
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
At 65, the Rockville resident is ready to retire from what has been a challenging career as the Potomac River’s advocate.
His title may sound like something out of “Lord of The Rings,” with its kings, watchers and guardians, but the Potomac Riverkeeper's job is every bit of-this-world, and soon the man dedicated to protecting the Nation’s River is stepping down. Since 2003, Ed Merrifield has led Potomac River conservation efforts as president of the nonprofit organization Potomac Riverkeepers. According to a Washington Post article, the 65-year-old Rockville resident is ready to retire from what has been a challenging career as the Potomac River’s advocate. Part of the worldwide Waterkeeper Alliance that started in 1966, the Potomac Riverkeeper is one of approximately 200 waterkeepers around the world, including 20 within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, …
Monday, November 26, 2012
Police say the 53-year-old woman was visiting family
The woman who died early Friday morning after being pulled from the Potomac River by local fire/rescue workers had been visiting family in Great Falls, Va. The 53-year-old victim has been identified as Karjia Jiang, according to a Montgomery County police report. Jiang reportedly was visiting from China and staying with family in Great Falls. On Friday Jiang told family she was going out for a walk in Great Falls National Park, according to the police statement. Patch first reported that witnesses called 9-1-1 on Friday morning when they observed Jiang in the Potomac River near Great Falls Park in McLean. Montgomery County emergency responders pulled her from the river and transported her to Suburban Hospital, where she was pronounced dead…
Friday, November 23, 2012
Woman pronounced dead at Suburban Hospital in Montgomery County after she was rescued from the Potomac River in McLean.
A woman died Friday at Suburban Hospital in Montgomery County after she was rescued from the Potomac River near McLean, VA. Capt. Paul Starks of the Montgomery County Police Department said homicide detectives were investigating but no foul play or crime was apparent. Witnesses called 911 on Friday morning when they observed a woman in distress in the Potomac River near Great Falls Park in McLean. Montgomery County emergency responders rescued her from the river and transported her to Suburban Hospital. She was pronounced dead at approximately 10:39 a.m. The investigation is still in its early stages and is ongoing, Starks said.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Robert J. Stevens was fined $1,000 by county officials and could face federal penalties.
Lockheed Martin CEO Robert J. Stevens is facing fines and community outrage for clear-cutting trees along the Potomac River near his home, The Washington Post reported Monday. “A few years after Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, was penalized for cutting down 130 trees to improve the view from his Potomac estate, one of his high-powered neighbors is coming under fire for clear-cutting nearly an acre of protected land that overlooks the C&O Canal and the Potomac River,” The Post reported. Stevens, who lives on an estate in the Merry-Go-Round Farm community overlooking the river and the C&O Canal, cleared trees from 35,000-square-feet of land this summer, according to the report. Stevens claims he removed the trees for …
In a city obsessed with security, sandbags are only now being replaced as a first line of defense against disastrous Potomac River flooding
Grey clouds race over the National Mall, seemingly as fast as the airliners that would normally be making their approach to National. The airport is still closed. It is 2018. The city is reeling from a surge of floodwater sent up the Potomac by the fierce winds of a slow-moving hurricane, and is preparing for a second punch. Will the floodwaters gush over Washington DC’s levee? Will they cover Constitution Avenue and threaten the capital’s Maginot Line of bureaucratic fortresses? A touch of New Orleans When we think of levees, we think of New Orleans. But DC also has a levee. The problem is that our levee is not very good, says Gerry Galloway, engineering professor at the University of Maryland. I recently joined Galloway and members of …
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Top headlines of the week from around Montgomery County.
- POLICE & FIRE
- Ben Gross
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The latest news in Montgomery County includes a profile of a blind high school cross-country runner, the reappearance of the elusive Potomac River sponge and plans to build an energy efficient test home in Gaithersburg: Planners Envision Chevy Chase Lake Sector Development CHEVY CHASE — At a Montgomery County Planning Board work session earlier this month, county planning staff presented drawings of what the Chevy Chase Lake sector could look like if built up according to staff recommendations for height and density. Planning staff also presented drawings illustrating what the sector could look like if built up according to the heights and densities requested by property owners in the Chevy Chase Lake sector. See the drawings and …
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A shape-shifting river nearly foils a naturalist explorer’s bid to reestablish contact with an enigmatic creature.
I’m floating through a weedy channel in the Potomac River, wearing a life vest, flippers and a facemask. The water is shallow, the current languid, yet I am concerned. I examine the carpet of pebbles and shells. Sunfish and small bass eye me while keeping their distance. I come upon a fat tire, festooned with algae. I knock on the tread to see if anyone is home. A small catfish pokes a whiskered snout over the rim, and then drifts back into its sanctuary. All the members of the Potomac family were there, but with one exception: sponges. About a year ago, I reported the first recorded sighting of fresh water sponges in the main stem of the Potomac River. I found them at the head of an island upstream from Pennyfield Lock. They didn't look…
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Many of these flowers might seem like tough characters, but each has its own side of the story.
We adore the wildflowers that pop up along the Potomac in early spring―so pretty, so shy, so delicate. Now it’s late summer, and a completely different gang has moved into the neighborhood. These are the tough guys of the plant world. Some are real bruisers, forming thickets 10 feet tall that make the going tough, even with a machete. Others are aggressive, stinging exposed skin or sending forth clouds of nasty pollen. At least one can even kill you. Each has its story. I learned some of these stories on a recent hike along the Billy Goat Trail, downstream from Carderock. The trail begins in the shadowy coolness of the forest. I crossed a footbridge over a rocky stream, and walked along the shoreline. It’s a pretty stretch of the river, …
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
It’s a Potomac for people seeking a different dose of reality
There’s another Potomac River out there. Like our own Potomac, this place is well worth knowing. It’s full of life and beauty, and it has a sly way of challenging our ideas and assumptions about nature. It’s also very different from our own Potomac. In fact, I’d argue that it’s not even a river at all. One of the tributaries to this other Potomac is Mattawoman Creek, in Charles County. You reach it by following Indian Head Highway to the very end, where you can launch your kayak or canoe at a peaceful little county park. I paddled upstream, pushed along by the current and undeterred by a series of explosions coming from the Naval Surface Warfare Station. Then, rounding a bend ahead of me, I spotted “Joe.” Joe -- I don’t know his real name…