Since You Asked: January-February 2013

Since You Asked: January-February 2013

Questions and answers about the Bethesda area.

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What are the licensing requirements for vendors at farmers markets? How much of a cut does FRESHFARM Markets take from a vendor’s overall sales?
—A reader in Silver Spring

Fees and requirements vary, based on each market’s business plan or nonprofit status. FRESHFARM Markets, the nonprofit that operates farmers markets in Silver Spring and Bethesda, along with nine other locations throughout the region, charges vendors a $25 to $100 fee with their annual application for a market stall. In addition, FRESHFARM collects 6 percent of sales from each vendor, which goes to support the organization’s charitable and educational endeavors, says Ann Harvey Yonkers, co-executive director of FRESHFARM Markets.

Vendors are also required to meet local, state and federal regulations for whatever they produce and sell, Yonkers says.

“If it’s a nonhazardous baked product, the criteria are much different than they might be for a meat or dairy product,” she says.

I always wonder why there is a sign at Woodmont and Wisconsin avenues saying, “Welcome to Bethesda,” when Bethesda continues for several miles north up Route 355. Shouldn’t it say, “Welcome to Downtown Bethesda”?
 —A reader in Bethesda

Stephanie Coppula, director of marketing and communications for Bethesda Urban Partnership, says the “Welcome to Bethesda” signs on Wisconsin Avenue and Old Georgetown Road aim to welcome visitors to the heart of urban Bethesda in a simple, succinct way.

“We have a few seconds or less to capture the attention of drivers or visitors, so the message is simple in welcoming people to Bethesda without additional words or phrases,” Coppula says. “We wanted the word ‘Bethesda’ to be as large and clear as possible.”

Rendering courtesy of The Lukmire Partnership, Inc.What has happened to the new Silver Spring Library? The property is starting to look like an abandoned construction site.
—A reader in Bethesd

Though it may appear to passersby that the site at the intersection of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue has sat dormant for months, the Silver Spring Library project “is actually not behind schedule at all,” says county spokesman Patrick Lacefield. Underground utility work has been proceeding on schedule, he says, with above-ground construction slated to begin by January. The two-year construction process is slated to be completed in November 2014, Lacefield says.

“Often, the case is that when land is cleared and things sit there, people assume that things are amiss, when really we’re just getting the process going,” Lacefield says.

The $64 million, five-story building will meet internationally recognized green building requirements, and will include a coffee bar near the Fenton Avenue entrance. The library will occupy the third, fourth and fifth floors. Pyramid Atlantic Art Center will occupy most of the first two floors and the basement. The nonprofit plans to operate an art gallery and store in the building. It also plans to offer classes and workshops in studio space on the second floor.

Have a question you’d like answered about someone or something in the Bethesda area? Email Please include your name and the city in which you live.

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