Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Public meetings planned to discuss new library building

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Three public meetings to seek input from Silver Spring residents on services and programs they would like to see included in the new Silver Spring Library have been scheduled by the county.

The meetings will be held 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the current Silver Spring Library, 8901 Colesville Road; 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 23 at the Round House Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road; and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Coffield Community Center, 2450 Lyttonsville Road.

The new Silver Spring Library has been a work in progress since 1998, and would be located at the southwest corner of Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street. In May, the County Council approved a $5 million supplemental appropriation to acquire the remaining land. The state has also expressed an interest in including a Purple Line stop as part of the library’s design.

The meetings will be hosted by Montgomery County Public Libraries, the Silver Spring Regional Center and the county’s Department of General Services’ design section. Call 240-773-9416 for more information.

Falkland historic designation to be considered again

The Montgomery County Planning Board will reconsider whether the 1930s-era Falkland-Chase apartment complex in Silver Spring should be designated as historic about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The board recommended in December 2007 after more than four hours of public testimony that the entire complex of garden apartments at 16th Street and East-West Highway be listed on the county’s Master Plan for Historic Preservation.

County planning staff will recommend on Thursday that two of the three parcels of land in the complex be designated as historic, which would allow for a proposed development by Home Properties Inc. on the north parcel.

Placing a property on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation would require any future development to go through a rigorous approval process and restrict projects on the site, according to a news release from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The board’s vote on Thursday will then go on to the County Council, which has the final say. The county’s Historic Preservation Commission has already voted to recommend that the full site be listed as historic, and county procedure requires that the decision must return to the Planning Board following any rulings by the commission.

The meeting will be held at Park and Planning headquarters at 8787 Georgia Ave. Call 301-495-4600 for more information. Those who want to offer new testimony are limited to three minutes. Testimony from the Dec. 6, 2007, meeting will be included in the record of Thursday’s hearing.

New commander takes over at Walter Reed

Col. Kent E. Kester will take over as commanding general of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, a biomedical research laboratory in Forest Glen, at a ceremony at the facility on Monday.

Kester has been at the institute since 1995, and has a background in infectious disease training from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He said he has spent much of his time at the institute developing vaccines to prevent malaria.

The institute, which employs about 2,000 civilians and military personnel as a separate entity from the medical center, is the U.S. Department of Defense’s largest biomedical research institution, Kester said. The institute also works with neuropsychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder and basic research dealing with head injuries, Kester said.

Kester will take the position over from Col. Kenneth A. Bertram, who served as commanding general of the facility for the last two-and-a-half years and is moving to a position at Fort Detrick, home to the U.S. Army Medial Research and Material Command in Frederick.

The institute is located at 503 Robert Grant Ave. in Silver Spring. Visit http:⁄⁄wrair-www.army.mil⁄ for more information.