Flat Tire-Repair Workshops

A flat tire is one of the most common mishaps that can occur while riding a bike. A piece of metal, glass, or even a thorn can end an otherwise enjoyable ride. I am offering a free hands-on workshop to show you how to repair a flat tire while on the road or trail. At the end of the two-hour session you will know how to remove a damaged wheel, identify the cause of the flat, locate the puncture, repair the inner tube, and what basic tools you should carry to take care of such an emergency. All materials, including patches, cement, practice tubes, and written step-by-step instructions will be provided.

Sessions will be limited to two participants, ages 16 and up, and will be held outdoors on my deck with plenty of spacing between us. Masks will be required. Bring your bikes to practice removing a wheel and mounting it when the repair is completed. We will practice patching a puncture on inner tubes that I provide. I plan to hold these sessions through the spring and summer. If interested, please contact me to schedule our workshop.

–Manuel Vera

Kudos to Manuel who has serviced a whopping 98 bikes for free since April 2020 and fixed up and given away 32 donated bikes!

For more information about Manuel’s bike tune up services and bike donation project:

A pandemic project: Fixing up bicycles and giving them away free
by John Kelly, Washington Post, May 4, 2021

NPR: Retiree Finds Purpose Restoring Unwanted Bikes, Gives Them Away
NPR, Morning Edition, May 6, 2021

Get Ready to Order: Food Trucks!

The local food scene has gotten a big boost, thanks to Debra Zatz who has begun organizing monthly food truck visits to the neighborhood. On March 20, Timber Pizza set up shop on Glen Ross, selling a whopping 210 pizzas in just a few hours. On April 16, Seoul Spice delivered 42 orders, and on May 4, Hangry Panda delivered 43 orders.

Next up:

May 18: Pakos
May 26: Money Muscle
May 31: Call Your Mother
June 1: Timber Pizza
June 11: Little Sesame
June 17: Little Serow
June 22: Puddin’
June 30: PhoWheels
July 5: Call Your Mother (9am-1pm)
July 6: Mina’s Tamales
July 10: Timber Pizza
July 13: Muchas Gracias
July 17: Money Muscle
July 21: Shouk
July 27: pop-up poutine and patisserie (5-7:30pm)
August 1: Queen’s English
August 5: Little Sesame
August 12: Bund Up
August 25: Timber Pizza
September 14: Silver and Sons 
September 23: Little Serow
September 24: Cipollo Rossa
September 30: pop up patisserie 
October 7: Silver and Sons
October 14: Little Sesame
October 20: Timber Pizza

Many of the upcoming food trucks will offer both pre-orders and walk ups between 4-8 pm. For more details, stay tuned to the listserv or join the North Woodside Eats (Facebook)

NWCA Board Meetings

NWCA Board Meetings have been virtual for the past year. See you on zoom!

The first meeting of the year had record attendance and a full agenda. Stay tuned to this website for information about future meetings. All neighbors are welcome to attend. To request the zoom link and/or minutes of the last meeting, contact the NWCA Secretary. Minutes will also be posted in a folder in the neighborhood listserv’s file section.

Inauguration Eve Luminary Display

Luminaries line 2nd Avenue on January 19, 2021

In response to the U.S. Capitol attacks and the Inauguration Committee’s Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial, Scott Vicary organized a neighborhood display of luminaries (brown paper bags with LED tea light candles inside). He envisioned them as a symbol of community solidarity in honoring lives lost, a lighted path to a better era, and a step toward healing.

Well over 50 households participated, including all those along Glenridge Rd. and Rookwood Rd. As neighbors lit their luminaries, 400 lights were lit along the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to represent the 400,000 lives lost in the U.S., a grim number reached that day.

Black Lives Matter Vigil

The Black Lives Matter Vigil continues every Friday, rain or shine. North Woodside and Woodside neighbors stood there on Christmas Day 2020 and New Year’s Day 2021 (during a cold downpour). And nearly 30 people, a vigil record, showed up on the Friday after the attack on the U.S. Capitol and racist vandalism marked cars in Woodside. The following week the most enthusiastic honker was a woman who works in the White House, just down the road.

For those who attend weekly, the event has provided a meaningful way to meet neighbors and match masked faces with names from the listserv. All are welcome!

Update (October 2021): The Black Lives Matter Vigil has concluded and may resume at a later date. For more information, contact the organizer.

72nd Annual Tree Lighting

Singing following the lighting of North Woodside’s Community Tree on December 13, 2020

This year’s Tree Lighting program, organized by Holiday Committee Co-Chair Julie Lees, opened with an alto sax version of Let It Snow, followed by a small group of physically distanced singers blending their voices together for Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace).

After a few words of welcome by NWCA President David Cox, the Community Tree was lit and O Christmas Tree sung. Then it was time for a certain white-bearded man’s arrival to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. Neighborhood children came, by appointment, to greet Santa and pick up treats. The event was streamed live and can be viewed below.

Thanks to Snider’s for once again donating a box of oranges for Santa’s treat table.

3rd Annual Talbot Avenue Bridge Lantern Walk

Two North Woodside residents light their lantern candles before the commencement of the 3rd Annual Talbot Avenue Bridge Lantern Walk on November 14, 2020.

As darkness fell, North Woodside, Lyttonsville, and Rosemary Hills neighbors walked—carrying lanterns, ringing bells, and listening to a recording of This Little Light of Mine—along the mile route from one side of the Talbot Avenue Bridge construction site in North Woodside to the other in Lyttonsville, neighborhoods once divided by racial segregation. Lifelong Lyttonsville resident Charlotte Coffield came out and waved as the procession passed by, and David Cox, NWCA President, and Pat Tyson (Lyttonsvillle) joined those who shared eloquent remarks at the end.

For more photos and details, click here.

Event organized by the Talbot Avenue Bridge Committee.

3rd Annual Menorah Lighting

On December 10, 2020, Merrie Blocker, NWCA Vice President, led a traditional lighting for the first night of Hanukkah at the new outdoor menorah on the island where Glen Ross and Luzerne meet. Afterwards, neighbors came, by appointment, to pick up latkes (potato pancakes) and Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins). The event was streamed live and can be viewed below.

Kids Ask Again, Are We There Yet?

In June, Avery Smedley and Luca Utterwulghe (above at left), seniors at Albert Einstein High School, led a well-attended community conversation on racism.

By Isabel M. Estrada Portales

Let me run a couple of scenarios by you. Raise your mental hand if they seem familiar.

You consider racism abhorrent and often tell yourself and others that you don’t see race.

You want to acknowledge the contributions of Blacks, so every February you assign your students readings from Black authors, attend the Black History Month celebration at work, and talk to your children about it.

You like diversity in schools and neighborhoods because it prepares kids to deal with a world full of people of different races and ethnicities.

Keep these scenarios in mind and read on.

This summer, amid the anguish and rage that peaked with the murder of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer, our neighborhood’s kids did us proud. Luca Utterwulghe, 17, and Avery Smedley, 17, both of Luzerne Ave., called a meeting to discuss how our community can support the needed transformation for racial equality and justice in our country and county. Above their great advice, we heard a question anyone with kids has heard before: “Are we there yet?”

Avery Smedly, the President of AEHS’s Black Student Union and the founder/leader of Montgomery County Students Toward Equitable Public Schools (STEPS). Luca Utterwulghe, also part of STEPS, is a co-leader of AEHS’s Montgomery County Students for Change. Naomi Weintraub, a youth educator, also helped organize the event. This section incorporates information from a handout they distributed.

In the car ride of racial equity, their impatience with our slow driving is justified. To speed things up, they call on us to be antiracists by actively identifying and eliminating racism through changes in systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.

Think about the scenarios above. If you don’t see race, can you see racism? Can you notice if your workplace’s hiring practices keep people of color out even unintentionally?

If you don’t see race, do you consider the potential dire consequences before calling the police on a Black person? Do you wonder what made you think the police were needed?

In your syllabus, are all the Black contributions crowded in February? Do you solicit Black expertise only about racial matters?

When you think about diversity, is it your kids or their kids you are thinking off? Is it hard to hear that kids of color are not “training wheels” for when white kids graduate to the “big bike” that is the world? What else would you do to achieve that diverse environment? Would you move to a mostly Black neighborhood? You say those schools are bad? Why? And why should income and zip code determine the quality of kids’ education?

We try to do right, but as our exasperated kids tell us, waiting for the arc of history to bend towards justice is taking too darn long. We need new approaches and changes at every level. Some of it begins by talking about things that hurt. (Trust that none of us, including people of color, find these conversations easy.)

Even our language needs to change—why capitalizing Black is meaningful—to confront and unlearn racist mindsets to act in accordance with our values.

Hear out Black people when they bring up issues and actions that you might not have thought were racist. People of color don’t often expect racial slurs in this neighborhood, but inadvertent slights are all too common.

Let friends and family know that neighborhood schools give us an immediate opportunity for committed antiracist action. We can support equity-focused and antiracist policies at the county level and at the Board of Education. Begin with advocating for the pending district-wide boundary analysis.

You can email MCPS Board members to call for police-free schools. The presence of police is experienced quite differently by Black and brown children. Use the hashtag #CounselorsNotCops.

Let’s start having difficult conversations in small groups or one-on-one. Are you concerned about any of this? Have you had a negative experience with a neighbor or passerby? We can talk it out as neighbors and fellow citizens. If we can’t talk to the people who live nearby, our chances as a country are slim.

There is a lot more, but how about we just talk? Contact Isabel.

Before Calling the Police, Ask Yourself…

Hundreds of residents of Rosemary Hills, Lyttonsville, and North Woodside gathered in June for a candlelight vigil in memory of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by Minneapolis police. Participants were silent for 8 minutes 46 seconds, the length of time an officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck. His last words: I can’t breathe.

Before Calling the Police, Ask Yourself:

1. Is this merely an inconvenience to me? → Can I put up with this and be okay?

2. No, I need to respond. → Can I handle this on my own? Is this something I could try to talk out with the person?

3. No, I need backup. → Is there a friend, neighbor, or someone whom I could call to help me?

4. No, I need a professional. → Can we use mediation to talk through what’s happening, or is there an emergency response hotline I could call?

5. No. → If I call the police, do I understand how involving the police could impact me and the other person? If police are present do I know what to do? See below for some alternatives

Alternatives to Calling Police

And Ways to Help in Montgomery County

Mediation: Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County
301-652-0717, Mon.–Fri. 9:30 am–4:30 pm, or submit an online request. Mediation is a free, confidential, nonjudgmental, and voluntary process to develop solutions to conflict.

Mental Health: Montgomery County 24 Hour Crisis Center
Provides services 24 hours/day year-round. Mobile Crisis Outreach will respond anywhere within Montgomery County to provide emergency psychiatric evaluations. Full crisis assessments and treatment referrals are provided for psychiatric and situational crises.

Victim Support and Sexual Assault: Montgomery County Victim and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP)
240-777-4357, 24-hours/day
Information and referral, advocacy, crisis and ongoing counseling, support and compensation services for victims of crimes committed in Montgomery County or crime victims who live in Montgomery County, as well as to the victims’ families and significant others.

Severe Heat or Cold: Montgomery County 24 Hour Crisis Center
If someone needs shelter.

Source: SURJ Montgomery County