Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Green" remodeling for older homes

As we plan our bath and kitchen remodeling projects, we are trying to incorporate as many environmentally friendly aspects as possible to the design and selection of materials. This may include a sun-tube for day lighting, looking for tile that is produced and transported with conservation and recycling in mind, finding recycled countertop and flooring materials, and requiring that our contractor recycle as much removed material as possible. Quoted from the new website,, "The American Society of Interior Designers’ Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council have partnered on the development of best practice guidelines and targeted educational resources for sustainable residential improvement projects." Check the site to download the guidelines. Renovation tips can be found at the USGBC site Contractors who work in remodeling can become certified in environmentally friendly construction practices. Asking contractors if they have any of these designations can encourage them to get the training, as they perceive consumer interest:
  1. Green Advantage has an education program, completion of which confers GA Certification
  2. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) issues the Certified Green Professional designation
  3. National Association of the Remodeling Industry education program can confer a Green Certified Professional designation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Make sure your house numbers are visible in the dark

The fire & rescue departments find our houses easier with luminescent numbers painted on our curbs at the driveway curb-cuts. In previous years, we waited until someone put a notice on our door that they would be in the neighborhood to paint, and we would leave the payment on the door when they came by. However, it's been a number of years since any company solicited our business to refresh our painted numbers. There is a company that will do this work, if you call. They do a great job, use reflective paint, and add reflective crystals to the numbers. They can paint in a couple of color schemes. Call David Adamo, 714-580-0582, and leave a message if you'd like this service. You can email him at He is charging $19.95. In addition, he can paint iron railings, lamp posts, etc.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Let's get organized

It's been quite some time since Tilden Woods had a civic association long that many people in our neighborhood don't even know that we used to have a civic association, collect dues ($15 per year), take care of our entrance, distribute a quarterly newsletter, hold community events, and sponsor occassional improvements at Farmland School. We paid (with Old Farm) for the bulletin board at Old Stage and Tilden Lane, which was built by neighbor volunteers. Tilden Woods Civic Association pressured the county to provide some traffic relief on Tildenwood Drive and Old Stage Road, which resulted in the traffic calming islands and circle that help slow the cars. We were rather active as a community when fighting the Montrose Parkway, but interest in our community has faded. Our new challenges are the maintenance of the entrance, possible rebuilding of the gazebo at the entrance, and monitoring of the traffic, now that the Montrose Parkway construction created a dedicated turn lane into Tildenwood Drive. Luxmanor Citizens Association has been quite proactive lately, working with the county to find solutions for cut-through traffic. They have a traffic committee. Shouldn't we have an organization that will participate in these discussions? Please post your comments- does anyone have a suggestion for how to get our civic association jump-started? Old Farm has had difficulty in organizing as well. Do you think that Old Farm, Walnut Woods, Hickory Woods, and Tilden Woods should re-organize with one meeting, election, and board? Do we have anyone in the overall communities (our community) who can serve as treasurer, or someone who knows how to set up the legal framework for our new organization? Does anyone know how to structure insurance for the new board? For those of you not familiar with a civic association, this is not a mandatory homeowner's association. Dues are voluntary (but highly suggested!) and there is no architectural control over what you can or cannot build on your property.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Update on the TW Drive cherry trees

Believe it or not, we got the new cherry trees that we asked for! Thanks so much to the county office of tree maintenance. Although the original plan was to have all of the old trees removed or pruned, with stumps taken out, prior to the planting, a vast majority of the trees to be planted were put in a week ago, with some additional plantings last Friday. I called Brett Linkletter, tree maintenance program director, to find out what changed the plans, and he said that, at this late date in the fiscal year, he would have to wait until the next fiscal year begins to have the contractor come and remove the old trees. After that, there will be a time gap before the rest of the new trees can be planted in their places. We are still trying to find out who will landscape the earth berm along Tildenwood Drive behind the new access to Faith Methodist Church. The contractor for the parkway is still responsible for completing the pavers on the traffic island and replanting it. There will be a redbud tree put on the island.

The "Flat People" are gone!

Finally, the owners of Montrose Crossing have removed the hideous sculpture that was on the northeast corner of the Montrose Road/Rockville Pike intersection. It was removed a week ago, presumably to make way for the construction project about to begin- the tunneling of Montrose Parkway under Rockville Pike. Since it was installed years ago, the "sculpture" was reviled by everyone I ever met in North Bethesda. It was a circle of huge flat consumers in primary colors. It seemed that the shopping center owners, who commissioned and installed it, consider the residents of the area to be devoid of depth or subtlety. After seeing many of the inspiring and interesting pieces of public art in other parts of the metro area, it was disappointing beyond measure to have this prominent piece "in our face." I am thrilled to see it go and hope that it never reappears. Public art should have some basis in the art world.