Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List

News / Articles

December 2017 Newsletter

Elizabeth Haile  | Published on 12/1/2017

Volume 3, Issue 1   December 2017


BMAV celebrates its first anniversary

Thirty-five BMAV members and guests observed our village’s first anniversary at a gathering on November 10, following a fascinating “fireside chat” on Russia by village members Naomi Collins, and Jim Collins.  [See write-up in the Recent BMAV events section, below.]


New board member

Alice Padwe, a former editor and pioneer member of BMAV, recently joined the board.  She’s been an active member of the communications and programs committees and says “I am very enthusiastic about the BMAV as it has been a wonderful resource for a newcomer to the neighborhood." She and her husband Gerry moved from McLean in 2013.  If you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved in BMAV as a committee or board member, contact Gail Shearer at 301-654-6137 or

Eligibility to join BMAV expands

The board recently voted that persons who live outside the BMAV geographic boundaries and are not served by another village are eligible to become social members of our village.  If you or someone you know is interested in joining or would like more information, contact membership chairs Marilyn Kerst and Sandi Ross at or executive director Elizabeth Haile at


New online membership directory

As of November 1, the village membership directory is on BMAV’s website and viewable to other members who log on (by clicking on “member login” at the top right of the screen).  They can access a member’s phone number, email or street address by clicking on that person’s name.  The idea behind this is to enable members to follow up with someone they may have met at a BMAV event but don’t know how to get in touch with.  If you’re a member and change your mind about whether you do (or don’t) want your name in the directory to be viewable, contact executive director Elizabeth Haile.

Supporting Bethesda Metro Area Village

As is the case with most villages, donations and grants are expected to provide 50-60 percent of BMAV’s operating budget.  To make up the difference, our first annual fall fundraising campaign is underway.  Full funding will ensure that BMAV is sustainable, grows and strengthens over time, thereby helping the quality of life of community members who want to remain in their homes as the years go by. 

BMAV Chairman Gail Shearer extends her thanks to members of the BMAV community who have already responded with donations.  In a recent letter, she said,

“We are also in the process of reaching out to local business and professional practices. Commercial donors will be recognized in our annual report, on the website and in a future newsletter.   We need your help and welcome your suggestions for friends and business contacts who might like to be part of this campaign.

To learn more about ways to support BMAV, please go to the “donate” tab of our website, , or click here:  BMAV donations.” 

BMAV thanks our generous corporate donors over the last twelve months:


Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation

Edgemoor Investment Advisors

Lauren Davis Team / Washington Fine Properties

Linda Chaletzky / Evers & Co.

CASE Architects and Remodelers



Being a BMAV member can save you big bucks


A BMAV member recently wrote to us about how her membership saved her hundreds of dollars.  She recently attended a session led by BMAV board chair Gail Shearer and member Francie de Peyster to help villagers navigate which prescription drug plan, out of the dozens available, would be the most advantageous to each person.  Based on what she learned from Gail and Francie, our writer said that “with just 20 minutes of research, I saved approximately $1200 in a new drug plan, when compared with my current drug plan.  Thank you, Bethesda Metro Area Village – I’ll be sure to renew my membership!”



Interview with BMAV member Bernice Weinstein


Bernice Weinstein grew up and went to college in New Jersey.  She majored in math but at the time wondered if she’d made a mistake because, she said, “I didn’t love it.”  Despite that, she spent most of her working life as a computer programmer, which she did love. 


Bernice’s very first paying job, at 16, was at the sewing counter at the local Woolworth’s.  She said it was her “dream job.”  Why?  It was across the aisle from the record counter, where local teenage boys gathered to listen to the latest releases.  When she was in college, she worked summers as a waitress and once as a soda jerk.  She liked waitressing because it brought in money to help pay for college, it exposed her to people she never would have known otherwise, and she made good friends at work.


Her first job out of college was with AT&T Bell Labs (now Nokia Labs).  Computers were just coming into the workplace, and Bell needed people who could write computer code in this brand-new field.  Bernice, a pioneer, learned fast.  She’d found her calling:  once she mastered the basics, she found she could program almost any computer. 


Bernice’s career continued when she and her husband moved to Norfolk.  While their two daughters were growing up, she free-lanced for Borden, a local newspaper and others.  Then she joined the NASA facility where the black female “computers” featured in the movie “Hidden Figures” had worked a few years before.  By the time Bernice started there, professional women there were no longer uncommon.  She loved her job and loved NASA, which she describes as very family-friendly.


She retired nine years ago and moved to downtown Bethesda to be near one of her daughters.  (Her other daughter lives in New York City.)  She is a serious photographer, as evidenced by the many framed black and white photos on her walls, most of them with architectural interest.  She was an avid jogger until recently and continues to walk the Capital Crescent Trail, sometimes for hours.  She considers the CCT Bethesda’s best asset. 


Bernice has been extremely interested in politics ever since she was eligible to vote and has volunteered to knock on doors in order to get people out to vote in some national elections.  She also has enjoyed volunteering for other causes.  For example, she worked with Habitat for Humanity to build two houses, one in Portsmouth, VA, the other in Norfolk, which was built only by women.  She also used to volunteer at DC Central Kitchen.


Asked why she joined Bethesda Metro Area Village, Bernice said, “It just seemed natural.  I always like to be connected to the place where I live.”  She joined BMAV soon after she learned of it and enjoys village Knitwits gatherings.

Recent BMAV events of interest

Visit to National Park Seminary

On October 28, BMAV members joined a group to tour National Park Seminary in Silver Spring, a hidden gem of stunning, varied architecture, including a Japanese pagoda, a Dutch windmill, a Greek temple, an English garden castle and an Italian villa.  The complex was built in 1887 as a summer resort, converted in 1894 to a finishing school for girls, and then taken over by the US Army as a rehabilitation facility for returning WW II amputees.  More recently, the property was substantially renovated and turned into affordable mixed-housing - apartments, condos and town houses. 


BMAV speaker series

Villagers gathered on November 10th to socialize in the lovely home of members Bob Berish and Barbara Brown, to hear Dr. Naomi Collins and Ambassador James Collins (ret.) talk about their experiences in and reflections on Russia, and then celebrate BMAV’s first anniversary. 

Naomi, author of Through Dark Days and White Nights, described life in Russia when she and Jim were graduate students,  later when she was wife of a U. S. Foreign Service officer and mother of two young children, and, finally, as wife of the U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation.  Jim, who recently visited Russia, discussed the problems of the post-Soviet state, Putin’s goals for the country and how successful he has been in meeting them. 


Upcoming events of interest




  • December 6:Tech tutors, Google Suite basics, 3-4 pm, Little Falls Library.Learn the ins and outs of some of the most used Google apps including Google Maps, Google Drive, and Gmail.This class is for Android smartphone users or anyone wanting to use these programs on any computer or smartphone.A tech savvy librarian is leading this informative and engaging session just for BMAV so please register to save your spot.
  • December 7 and 12 (two sessions): Writing workshop: Preserving family memories, 10:30 am-noon. Learn how to bring your parents and grandparents to life on paper with stories for your family to remember them by. BMAV members and writers Lynn Barclay and Rick Weintraub will lead a discussion on capturing ideas on paper and answer your questions.Between the two sessions, you’ll have a short writing assignment and then share your efforts in the second session.If needed, there may be a third session. At the home of a BMAV member.Space is limited and registration is required.
  • December 14:BMAV happy hour, 4:30-6:30 pm, Lebanese Taverna, 7141 Arlington Rd. (note new location). Friends welcome.


  • December 21:Movie at the Avalon (“Senior Cinema Thursday” $5). Movie at 10:30.If you’d like to meet up with others for coffee or lunch, or to carpool, contact Elizabeth Haile.



  • January 7: Where is Iran Today?, 2 – 4 p.m. B-CC Regional Service Center, 4805 Edgemoor Lane. Journalist and author Nazila Fathi will describe developments in Iran, a country that has been shrouded in secrecy and infamy because of its hostile policies. Hosted by Maplewood Village. Friends and neighbors welcome.
  • January 9:Visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, 10:30 am-2 pm. BMAV has timed-entry passes area available for the first 12 BMAV members who RSVP.


  • January 11:BMAV happy hour, 4:30-6 pm, at a Bethesda restaurant.Friends welcome.


  • January 16: Getting organized, a seminar on decluttering your home, 2-4 pm, B-CC Regional Services Center. Led by Penny Catterall and Sue Crow of Order Your Life, a Bethesda based organizing company. Members, friends and neighbors welcome.


  • January 23:BMAV men’s lunch out. We are starting an occasional men’s lunch gathering at local restaurants. If you know of Bethesda area restaurants that have acoustics conducive to a group conversation area, let us know.


  • January 25:Tech tutors, a one-on-one session with a student to answer your questions about your personal devices.2-3:30 pm at the B-CC Regional Services Center. For BMAV members only, registration required.



  • January 25: Ladies Night Out,Thrifting and Thriving,” 5-7 pm.Learn how to save money, buy better-made clothes and save the planet.Member Peggy Engel will discuss her new book, “ThriftStyle: The Ultimate Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Smart Fashion.” Enjoy champagne, chocolates and salad and maybe win a vintage door prize at the home of a BMAV member. Show off your own fabulous thrift finds.Registration required.


  • January 28, 5-7 pm, BMAV social at Battery Park clubhouse.Speaker TBD.
  • January 31:Assessing your home to make it safer and more livable as you age in place, 1-2:30 pm.Learn what universal design is, how to determine appropriate home modifications to age-in-place with greater safety and ease, and the County's tax benefits for home modifications. Presenters are Deborah Rozell, founder of Innovative Inclusive Design and a Universal Design Specialist, and Isabelle Shoenfeld, incoming chair of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging.  Members, friends and neighbors welcome.At the B-CC Regional Services Center.Registration recommended.


Please note that BMAV does not endorse specific businesses.

To RSVP or register for any of the foregoing events, click here to send an email or call 240-630-2628.


Shared interest groups


Shared interest groups are a key to BMAV’s sustainability.  They offer opportunities to grow, learn and get to know one another in a small, comfortable setting.  As you can tell from this and previous newsletters, BMAV has a variety of shared interest groups, including knitting, bridge and aging, dying and death, which is our most popular shared interest group. 


But there’s potential for more.  For example, some folks are thinking about starting a group that focuses on the DC area’s architectural riches.  Maybe you’d like to learn more about online photo sharing or getting together to work on sorting old photos and sharing ideas about how to scrapbook. 


So, what interests you?  Do you have a hankering to learn more about a topic?  Do you have some expertise in an area that you would like to share with others?  If so, let us know and maybe we can find a way to make it happen.  That’s the way new groups get started – from the bottom up, not top down.  As we hear new ideas, we’ll share them, and you may spot something that entices you. 


Current shared interest groups

Aging, dying and death.  The group usually meets monthly, 4-5:30 pm, at the home of Chris Palmer, 7210 Denton Road, Bethesda.  We’re skipping December; the next meeting will be in January.  For program information, contact Chris at 202-716-6160 or

Birding.  David Moulton,, leads early morning neighborhood bird walks about twice a month.  Contact him for more information or to be added to the group’s list of walkers. 

Bridge.  Contact Elizabeth Haile,, for dates. 

Knitwits. Members meet about twice a month in a relaxed and fun atmosphere in members’ homes.  All levels of expertise are welcome. If you haven’t held your knitting needles in quite a while, members are happy to instruct as needed and can even provide yarn, needles or a pattern.  Contact Hanne Caraher at

Yoga.  Meets Mondays, 10:30 to 11:30 for fee-based classes.  Contact Elyse Jacob at

News you can use

Consumer Reports

The Consumer Reports December 2017 issue has an article entitled How to give parents the help they need that contains useful information for both us older folks and younger family members.  The article includes a description of alternatives for those who want to age in their homes when there’s no family nearby.  No surprise, one of the alternatives is villages.  The others are senior co-housing and naturally occurring retirement communities (NORC), such as apartment buildings where seniors have lived a long time.


A resource for keeping up with what’s happening in our region


The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (a unit of county government) puts out Neighborhood News, a twice-weekly newsletter that’s emailed to subscribers.  It’s a mix of items on local, regional and occasionally state news and developments, as well as upcoming events of interest.  The articles are short, have links to more information, and the format is cell-phone friendly.  To subscribe, visit the B-CC center’s website, click on “Newsletter signup” in the box on the right, and then check the Neighborhood News box.


[Note:  The BMAV newsletter editor, Lynn Barclay, is also the writer-editor of Neighborhood News.] 


Suggestion box

Do you have an idea for an article, a suggestion or question about BMAV or our community?  Contact Lynn Barclay at 301-320-4962 or by email at