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& A JOYFUL Noise Area choirs gather to spread the word on a region rich in talent. B-1 The Gazette SERVING NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, February 6, 2014 25 cents Mount Rainier ups tree protection Protecting Greenbelt trees from beaver destruction New ordinance restricts private removal n BY EMILIE EASTMAN STAFF WRITER Damage done by beavers to trees at Buddy Attick Park in Greenbelt. Greenbelt’s public works department and the environmental nonprofit Chesapeake Education, Arts and Research Society are placing cages around trees due to heavy destruction recently caused by beavers. PHOTOS BY BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Volunteers Debbie Cooley of Greenbelt, Becky Robinson of College Park and Joey Connor of Greenbelt place cages around trees Saturday at Buddy Attick Park in Greenbelt to protect them from damage by beavers. Hyattsville officials consider UM shuttle Service would let residents travel city routes near campus n BY RAISA CAMARGO SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE Hyattsville council members are considering an agreement to potentially provide 1,000 free passes for residents to ride the University of Maryland, College Park, shuttle service. If the agreement is approved in next year’s budget proposal, the city would join College Park and Greenbelt, which struck similar deals with the UM Department of Transportation Services. Under the agreement, Hyattsville residents would be able to ride the shuttle to parts of the city surrounding UM’s campus. Jim Chandler, acting city administrator, who is negotiating with the UM Department of Transportation Services, estimated the project would cost the city $4,000 to $4,500 for the bus passes and shuttle service. The UMDOTC agreed to provide College Park with 1,000 See SHUTTLE, Page A-8 Return of international festival a budget request n Hyattsville council solicits community feedback on fiscal 2015 priorities BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER As Hyattsville officials plan the fiscal 2015 budget, residents attending a Jan. 29 budget forum requested that funding be made available for two citywide projects. Resident David Marshall said he’d like to see the city’s International Street Festival restored. NEWS AND ... ACTION! Film, TV productions help to bolster the state’s bottom line. A-3 Last year, city officials combined the long-running festival with National Night Out to save money. Previously, the city budgeted $18,000 a year for the festival and last year, officials budgeted $15,000 for the combined festival and National Night Out. “I would like to see the council keep it or place it in the budget so that it continues to take place, every year,” Marshall said. “I hope that it will come back to what it used to be both in size and in pre- See BUDGET, Page A-8 NEWS CANINES TO THE RESCUE Finding ‘Lost Laurel’ n Amateur historian inspires museum exhibit BY EMILIE EASTMAN STAFF WRITER For Laurel native Richard Friend, home is where the collection of historic memorabilia is. The 41-year-old graphic designer has spent the past four years chronicling the history of his hometown through a blog, an online game, a Facebook page, a book and, starting Feb. 9, an exhibit at the Laurel Historical Society museum. Lost and Found Laurel, the historical society’s new exhibit, was inspired by Friend’s “Lost Laurel” Facebook and blog page, which digitally preserve Laurel’s history through images of old photographs, menus, signs and other historic memorabilia. Friend finds many of the images and items online or through friends and fans, he said. The exhibit will be divided into sections with themes like shopping, schools and restaurants, said Lindsey Baker, the society’s executive director. “It incorporates things that are no longer in Laurel, but also includes things that are new,” she said. “The overall exhibit I think is really going to speak to people who lived here in the past.” One section Baker said is particularly provocative is a display on racially-based crimes and issues in the city during the 1960s, she said. “I think that might be a little disturbing to some people who weren’t aware that those things were taking place,” she said. “But we think it is a very important story to tell about that time period.” Friend, who now lives in Centreville, Va., spent his childhood in See LAUREL, Page A-8 RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE Laurel native Rich Friend is helping the Laurel Historical Society design its newest exhibit, “Lost and Found Laurel,” which explores the city’s history from the 1960s to the present day. SPORTS TOUGH DECISIONS FOR ATHLETES Laurel therapy dogs help community heal in wake of mall shooting. High school athletes who feel pressure to commit to colleges early sometimes change their minds. A-4 A-10 Automotive This summer, Mount Rainier’s urban forest code will branch out to protect trees located on private property. New legislation passed by the City Council on Jan. 7 will require property owners with trees more than 18 inches wide to obtain permits and special oversight to cut more than 50 percent of the trees’ branches. Councilman Jesse Christopherson (Ward 1) said the legislation is meant to enhance the city’s environmental, economic and aesthetic value. “Our canopy is aging,” he said. “With some foresight now we can preserve the resources we have and keep Mount Rainier beautiful for the next generation.” If a property owner removes a tree larger than 18 inches wide, he or she must plant a new tree or pay a fee based on the size of the tree. The new legislation, which will take ef- See TREE, Page A-8 Spanish immersion lottery opens n Three sites, budget proposed as final plans are considered BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER Prince George’s County Public Schools is moving forward with a lottery for Spanish immersion specialty schools, even though the budget and locations are not yet final. “I’m just happy there’s movement in the right direction, rather than no movement at all,” said Gina Bowler of Upper Marlboro, an advocate for Spanish immersion education in Prince George’s County. Parents may apply for the Spanish immersion program, but the school system website says options and locations will be finalized as part of the fiscal year 2015 budget process. The creation of three new Spanish immersion specialty schools — plus a Spanish immersion program at neighborhood school Capitol Heights Elementary — are a major focus of school system CEO Kevin Maxwell’s proposed fiscal 2015 budget. The budget still needs to be approved by the school board and county council. “We really need to produce students who See SPANISH, Page A-8 B-10 Calendar A-2 Classified B-7 Community News A-4 Entertainment B-1 Opinion A-9 Sports B-1 Please RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906240

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