2021-08 College Park Here & Now

Page 1

INSIDE Meet the couple behind Blue Berwyn Farm. P.2

VOL. 2 NO. 8


Noisy cars prompt city response By Kim Seif As more noisy cars drive College Park’s streets, they’re driving up complaints, too, prompting the College Park City Council and Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) to explore enforcement options. During a public safety meeting in July, Major James Keleti, commander of PGPD’s Special Operations Division, confirmed that the number of noise complaints has ticked up. In response, he is tracking the


The Here & Now took home four awards at the 2021 National Newspaper Association Foundation’s Better Newspaper Contest!




OpenBarre Studios, local businesses collaborate By Meghan Curtis As restrictions due to the pandemic have been easing, OpenBarre Studios celebrated their reopening by collaborating with local businesses to offer gift bags full of goodies and coupons. A full baker’s dozen participated: Athleta, Bagels ‘N Grinds, Bananas Hair Design, Big Planet Comics, District Taco, Hair and Space, My Beauty Place, Potomac Pizza, Seoulspice, The Board and Brew, The Habit Burger Grill, The Hall CP and The Spa at The Hotel. SEE OPENBARRE ON 7 

Emcee David Sloan leads a pep rally for Tiafoe and other athletes on July 23 in College Park.

By Chris McManes In tennis scoring, love means nothing. But to Frances Tiafoe, the love he felt growing up at the Junior Tennis Champions Center ( JTCC) in College Park meant everything. After producing one of his finest performances in a Grand Slam event, Tiafoe returned to JTCC to prepare for the Olym-

pics. He felt right at home. “I spent so much of my life here,” Tiafoe said, after hitting with North Carolina All-American Brian Cernoch. “I love coming back here, not only to practice but just being here in general. “So many great memories of guys I grew up with. Just a lot of love here, all around.” Tiafoe, 23, spent many nights


sleeping at JTCC when not at his family’s apartment, just outside Hyattsville city limits. He now lives in Boynton Beach, Fla. When in Maryland, he stays with his twin brother, Franklin, in Beltsville. Franklin played tennis three years at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville prior to graduating in 2016. Frances Tiafoe recorded his

first victory over a world Top 5 player when he defeated No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, on June 26, in the opening round of Wimbledon. Tsitsipas was seeded third and had advanced to the championship of the 2021 French Open. Following the win, Tiafoe moved up five spots in the world rankings to No. 52. He SEE OLYMPIAN ON 11 


Reach every consumer in College Park ... for less! Contact advertising@hyattsvillelife.com or (301) 531-5234

College Park Here & Now PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781


Page 2

College Park Here & Now | August 2021

Blue Berwyn Farm: The secret’s in the size By A.R. Cabral Tucked away in a cozy neighborhood in Berwyn Heights, this fully operational urban farm could be mistaken for an impressive garden — but it’s home to much more than that. On only a tenth of an acre of front lawn, Stephanie Young and her husband, Alex Lopatka, are running a full-fledged produce and flower farm. “So the property itself is about a fifth or a sixth of an acre,” said Young. “And the farm space is about a tenth of an acre. A lot of people in the farming community don’t have beds that are as closely spaced as ours, or room to move around in. We pack everything really close together.” Seventy-two tomato plants, 36 pepper plants and 50 feet of cucumber plants fill some of the neatly organized beds you’ll find on the property. The farm sells fresh produce during the spring, summer and fall, and Young and Lopatka grow everything themselves. “We started growing food for ourselves and got interested in expanding because we really enjoyed the whole process,” said Lopatka. “After we expanded to the point where we couldn’t eat all the food ourselves we started this actual business.” The couple met in grad school at the University of Maryland. Young studied applied mathematics and scientific computing, and Lopatka studied geology. Both value sustainability and the environment, according to Young. After graduation, the couple got married, and Young took up gardening — something she’d been passionate about since her childhood in Brattleboro, Vt. They moved to College Park in 2013, and then to Berwyn Heights in 2016. It was there that their

Mayor Patrick Wojahn speaks with Alex Lopatka and Stephanie Young of Blue Berwyn Farm at the Hollywood Farmers Market in July. A.R. CABRAL

new garden blossomed. “We quickly had more food than we knew what to do with so that’s when we started selling in front of our house in 2020,” Lopatka wrote. “That was very successful so that led us in the Fall, after the growing season, to think about how we wanted to expand and what we wanted to sell.” The couple founded Blue Berwyn Farm last summer. They sell through a subscription service and at the local farmers market, Young said. Their subscription service is a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA. Subscribers receive a weekly bundle of seasonally available produce. They offer three CSA periods which are each nine weeks, for a total of 27 weeks for individuals who subscribe for the entire season. “It’s about $25 a week, we try to give more than $25 worth Managing Editor Mark Goodson mark@hyattsvillelife.com

A nationally-recognized community newspaper chronicling the here and now of College Park. Mailing address: PO Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781 The College Park Here & Now is published monthly by Streetcar Suburbs Publishing., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Editors welcome reader input, tips, articles, letters, opinion pieces and photographs, which may be submitted using the mailing address above or the email addresses provided.


Associate Editor Nancy Welch nancy@hyattsvillelife.com Writers & Contributors

A.R. Cabral, James Cirrone, Meghan Curtis, Chris McManes, Eric Olson, Eric Harkleroad, Paul Ruffins, Kimberly Seif

Layout & Design Editor Ashley Perks Web Editor Jessica Burshtynskyy Advertising advertising@hyattsvillelife.com 301.531.5234

of produce every week,” wrote Young. “What we have changes depending on what is available. This week we had leeks and we had our slicing tomatoes. A few months from now they will be getting lettuce or spinach or something like that.” Young and Lopatka grow flowers, too, and offer a flower CSA. You can always find Young and Lopatka at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Young’s love of everything local is firmly rooted in her Vermont upbringing; she Advertising Sales Manager Miranda Goodson Business Manager Catie Currie Board of Directors Joseph Gigliotti — President and General Counsel Chris Currie — Vice President Stephanie Stullich — Treasurer Rosanna Landis Weaver, Gretchen Brodtman, Debra Franklin, T. Carter Ross, Emily Strab, Reva Harris Mark Goodson — Ex Officio Kit Slack — Ex Officio Circulation: Copies are distributed monthly by U.S. mail to every address in College Park. Additional copies are distributed to popular gathering spots around town. Total circulation is 9,600. CPH&N is a member of the National Newspaper Association.

remembers picking blueberries at the farm down the street and having neighbors who made their own maple syrup. “So to me it was very important to be able to provide food locally,” Young wrote. “I don’t want to grow here, in the Berwyn Heights area, and take vegetables to another county. ... I want to sell here to my neighbors to the people I know.” And those neighbors come out to support the farm, too. Shoppers line up throughout the morning for Blue Berwyn’s produce. “Last week we came and tried some ground cherries from Blue Berwyn Farm and they were great!” said Kelsey Mohler, whose 3-year-old daughter enthusiastically agreed with her.

Julia Beavers, market manager at the Hollywood Farmers Market, said that these markets exist to showcase local farmers and crafters. Beavers is a fan of Blue Berwyn Farm. “They are always on time and their stuff is fresh,” she said. “They know what they are growing, they can talk about what they’re growing and how they are making it. The produce is fresh: it’s crisp.” That crisp produce is the result of hard work and attention to detail. Though the farm’s fruits and vegetables are not USDA certified organic, Young said that none of their plants are ever sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. Instead, Young and Lopatka use natural pest management methods to sustain their healthy beds. Even as busy farmers, Young and Lopatka make a point of being neighbors, too. They hope to make their community feel more whole. “I tell people here [at the market] on Saturday [to] come see us at the farm tomorrow, it’s two miles away,” said Young. “We are literally your neighbors. To know the people you buy food from is really important to me.” For more information, go to blueberwynfarm.com.

CORRECTIONS There were two errors in Dr. Keith Strong’s editorial last month. Under the plans specified by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the proposed track and field facility will not be used primarily by NCAA athletes. It will be open to all community members when the University of Maryland’s track and field team is not practicing. Also, the photo accompanying the editorial was of the university’s golf course. The caption incorrectly identified the photo as the Paint Branch Golf Complex.

August 2021 | College Park Here & Now

Together Program supports couples with free workshops By James Cirrone Couples have been turning to the nonprofit Together Program for financial education, which the program has provided, free of charge, since it was founded in 2015. The program also helps couples learn how to cope with stress and communicate better with each other. Dr. Maria Falconier, project director with the program and an associate professor of family sciences at the University of Maryland (UMD), said that the curriculum she helped develop is unique in how it integrates building financial literacy along with relationship skills. “We are not just teaching relationship education,” Falconier said. “We’re using the topic of money to actually teach couples about important skills for their relationship.” Falconier’s partner in the venture is Dr. Jinhee Kim, an accredited financial counselor and a professor of family sciences at UMD, where she’s been since 2000. Kim said that she has trained over 2000 people in financial literacy during the two decades that she’s been at UMD. Falconier and Kim partnered in 2013 to create the Together Program. Both Falconier and Kim stressed that the program is not couples counseling, nor is it a financial advice seminar. Attendees enroll in 6-week workshops; each workshop typically has four to 10 couples and is professionally led. Separate workshops are offered in English and Spanish, and the facilitators guide couples through activities that encourage them to talk openly about issues. One such activity uses rocks as a metaphor for stressors in participants’ lives. “They have to label those rocks and put them in the bag, and so they start adding and adding and adding all these sources of stress in their lives,” Falconier said. “They end up with these very big, heavy bags of rocks.” Once participants have labeled each rock with something that’s a personal stressor, they remove the rocks from the bag that amount to unnecessary stressors. “People struggle a lot,” Falconier said. “It’s the whole process of really looking with your partner at that bag and saying, ‘What

should not be there? What can we take out?’” “People love it,” Falconier added. Participants also play a game, “Money Habitudes,” which helps them understand their relationships to money. Each participant plays with a stack of cards with statements along the lines of “I like giving away money” and “I like to save a certain amount of money per year.” When they agree with a statement, players flip over that card to read a statement on the back that describes a facet of their relationship with money. By playing the game, some participants learn new things about themselves — maybe that they’re carefree with money, that they like to give it away or that they use it to increase their status. Falconier said that when each person in a couple understands how they handle money, the couple can work together to figure out “how they’re going to manage their finances in a way that is understanding of each other’s styles.” SEE COUPLES ON 10 

Page 3




I am here to serve as your voice at the table of progress! To sign up for my weekly email updates, please send an email to DMitchell@Collegeparkmd.gov Call me at 301-852-8126

A-1 YARD SERVICES Complete Lawn and Property Maintenance LAWN & YARD SERVICES





CALL RON AT 202-431-1236


Page 4

College Park Here & Now | August 2021

Eric Maring and ‘The Year of Seeing Clearly’ By A.R. Cabral As the sun set on The Hall CP’s backyard sound stage, the friendly group gathered there greeted one another with hugs and smiles as if it were a family reunion. The stage was set to rock — guitars, amplifiers, keyboards, a full drum set. And when a long-haired man took the stage with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, the show began. The crowd hushed and settled in to celebrate a new album — and the man who created it. “Eric is someone who is responsible for growing the music scene in this area,” said Anissa Sunday, a fellow musician who was there that night. “The best performance I’ve seen at The Hall [CP].” Local musician Eric Maring released his sixth studio album on June 15. With the album, Maring reflects on many facets of life in these challenging times. “The Year of Seeing Clearly” includes 11 tracks with music that ranges from robust, guitar-

Eric Maring performs at The Hall CP on July 23. A.R. CABRAL

3-Week Membership to JTCC 6 Lessons Over Three Weeks Racquets While You Learn Free Practice Time End of Session Party!

driven melodies to traditional Irish tunes. Maring considers this album to be one of his most focused and one of his best. “When I try to describe it to people, [I say that] this is the most connected of my albums. It’s the most connected. There are songs that reference this pandemic era directly,” he said. A graduate of Bethesda’s Walt Whitman High School, Maring got his start in music early, performing in high school talent shows before honing his musical talents in college. He said his musical influences include Bob Dylan, the Indigo Girls and Scott Joplin. Maring has performed solo and with other area musicians for years. He is a member of a local group, Paint Branch Creek, which specializes in original acoustic music. “Eric has music coming out of his pores,” said Patrick Lynch, a Paint Branch Creek band member. “ [He has] an ability to bring his community along with him and enjoy his passion for music the same way.” Maring taught music at the University of Maryland’s Center for Young Children for 15 years, prior to the pandemic. When the center closed, due to pandemic restrictions, Maring and

his two sons, Leo (17) and Julian (12) began livestreaming concerts on YouTube. Their virtual concerts served as inspiration for the new album. “That sort of gave me a platform to begin writing and stuff,” he said. “These livestreams were like, ‘Here I made this song, it’s half done,’ and then people would respond to it. Come January, February this year, we were like, ‘We need to make an album out of this.’” Maring often references current events in his music, and certainly in the tracks on “The Year of Seeing Clearly.” In “Medal of Freedom,” he recalls his reaction to seeing Rush Limbaugh receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in “Saddest Days of Our Lives,” Maring reflects on the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man murdered while jogging in a residential neighborhood in South Georgia. “Eric puts his whole heart into his music,” said Eric Olson, who frequently writes lyrics for Paint Branch Creek. “[He] has tremendous enthusiasm and takes great joy in working with other musicians and with children. Music is at the center of him, and [he uses it as] a vehicle toward building community.” SEE MARING ON 10 

Scan the QR code to Register or Visit jtcc.org/adults/beginners

www.jtcc.org | 301.779.8000 | 5200 Campus Dr. | College Park, MD 20740

August 2021 | College Park Here & Now

Page 5

COMMUNITY CALENDAR All information is current as of August 10.

SAVE THE DATE College Park Arts Exchange Virtual Book Club. Discuss Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings, by Zora Neale Hurston, on August 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP to info@ cpae.org Theater Thursdays at Aviation Museum. Discover the heroes, heroines and history of aviation at the College Park Aviation Museum. On Aug. 19, and every third Thursday after that, the museum will feature Smithsonian Channel films. Films are free with museum admission. Adults $5, seniors $4, children $2; free for children 1 and under. 1 to 2 p.m. 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Dr. Local Author Book Signing. Dr. Donna Chacko will be signing copies of her new book, Pilgrimage: A Doctor’s Healing Journey, and taking questions from visitors on Sunday, August 22, at 9 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. at St. Mark the Evangelist Church, 7501 Adelphi Rd. Learn Brazilian Drumming. The College Park Arts Exchange’s popular drumming class is back by popular demand, at the Old Parish House. August 28, from 3 to 5 p.m., 4711 Knox Rd. For more information, email info@ cpae.org Route 1 Corridor Conversations. Join Reuben Jackson for a reading from his latest collection of poems, Scattered Clouds. Jackson curated the Smithsonian’s Duke Ellington collection and is an archivist at the University of the District of Columbia’s jazz center. Saturday, August, 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Register at hyattsvilleaginginplace. org/programs-and-activities/ corridor-conversations Berwyn Community Yard Sale. August 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pick up a map of yard sales in the neighborhood at Jack Perry Plaza (4915 Berwyn Rd.) that morning. Berwyn residents can register their sale by emailing president@ myberwyn.org Labor Day Porch Play. Local live music hosted by neighbors throughout the city. Sept. 3 through 6. For lineup and schedule, go to cpae.org

Draw like a Famous Artist. Zoom with artist Racquel Keller on Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Free, virtual art workshop sponsored by the College Park Arts Exchange. For more information, email info@cpae.org.

Free Yoga by the Lake. Enjoy a free yoga class at Lake Artemesia. Saturday mornings through Sept. 25, from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Meet near the restrooms. To register, visit pgparks.com/calendar. aspx?CID=22 and click on the date of your choice.

College Park Community Library Book Club. Discuss The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John Le Carre, on Sept. 14, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, email Carol Munn at donkinc@msn.com

Community Connect Calvert Hills. This grassroots volunteer organization supports the health and well-being of seniors through acts of kindness, assistance with transportation and shopping, and by promoting social events. For more information, call 301.864.5267 or email connectporfavor@gmail.com

Yarrow Neighborhood Block Party. Save the date: Sept. 18! Keep an eye out for neighborhood fliers with details. Girls in Aviation. Discover the possibilities of a career in aviation with this free program at the College Park Aviation Museum. Morning and afternoon sessions on Sept. 25, times TBD. For more information, including times, contact jamie.jones@pgparks. com Plein Air Painting. Join the College Park Arts Exchange for a free outdoor painting event on Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your own supplies. Location TBD. To register, email info@cpae.org College Park Day. The College Park Aviation Museum celebrates the city with its annual College Park Day, on Saturday, Oct. 9. For the latest information and announcements, visit collegeparkday.wordpress.com

ONGOING The Hall CP. From open mic nights, to wine-down Wednesdays, to live music concerts, The Hall CP has a packed August calendar. For the latest information, go to thehallcp.com/events Free Kids Lunch. On Mondays and Wednesdays through Aug. 18, pick up a free children’s lunch between noon and 1 p.m. at Al Huda School, 5301 Edgewood Rd. College Park Community Library Story Time. Story time with Micki Freeny. Bring a blanket to the courtyard of the College Park Church of the Nazarene, 9704 Rhode Island Ave. Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Support College Park’s Senior Citizens. Meals on Wheels College Park needs licensed drivers, and all are welcome to volunteer for flexible slots on weekday mornings. Fill out an application at mealsonwheelsofcollegepark. org or call 202.669.6297. Hollywood Farmers Market. Located in the parking lot of the Hollywood Shopping Center, the market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. College Park Farmers Market at Paint Branch Parkway. Farm stands, local vendors and more. Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5211 Campus Dr. OpenBarre. OpenBarre has 22 in-person classes and three virtual classes per week. For more information or to sign up, visit openbarrestudios.com

Virtual Farming Meetings. The University of Maryland Extension, Prince George’s County, offers a variety of virtual and in-person programs about gardening, farming and our evolving natural environment. For more information, go to extension. umd.edu/news-events/events Food Assistance Available. Help by Phone Ltd. operates food pantries across Prince George’s County, with locations at Berwyn Presbetyrian Church, on Greenbelt Rd., and University Baptist Church, on Campus Dr. If you would like to schedule a pickup this week, call 301.699.9009, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live Dance Fitness Classes. Join music theater dancer and choreographer Samantha Fitschen on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:45 a.m. $5 fee. For more information, go to cpae.org Friday Dance Workshops. Join instructor Karen Stewart, of Jessie’s Soul Line Dancers, every Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. for stepby-step instruction and dance along to soul, gospel and pop music. For more information, go to cpae.org Saturday Tap Dance Workshops. Free virtual tap workshop with instructor Elizabeth Gardner every Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information and to register, email info@cpae.org

COLLEGE PARK CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS Yarrow Civic Association. Membership is free. For more

information, email Wendy Kelley at wendybird85@yahoo.com College Park Estates Civic Association. For more information, email Ray Ranker at rayranker@gmail.com West College Park Citizens Association. Membership is open to all residents of West College Park over age 18. For more information, email Suchitra Balachandran at cp_woods@yahoo.com Berwyn District Civic Association. The BDCA will resume meeting in September after a summer break. For more information, email president@ myberwyn.org; to register for meetings, go to myberwyn.org North College Park Community Association. Currently holding meetings in person. For more information, email ncpcivic@gmail.com or visit myncpca.org Lakeland Civic Association. The next meeting is scheduled for August 12, from 7 to 8 p.m. For meeting and registration information, email lakelandcivic@gmail.com Old Town College Park Civic Association. For more information and to add your name to the listserv, email Kathy Bryant at kdbryant20740@yahoo.com Calvert Hills Citizens Association. For more information, email the association at calverthillscitizensassn@gmail. com or Rose Greene Colby at rgreencolby@gmail.com

Page 6

College Park Here & Now | August 2021

Brazillian drumming reverberates through the Old Parish House By Kim Seif As Maryland lifts pandemicrelated restrictions, College Park’s Old Parish House is once again hosting in-person events, including a Brazilian percussion workshop in June and two similar sessions in July. The events were hosted by the College Park Arts Exchange, (CPAE) in collaboration with EducArte. EducArte is a local non-profit that promotes music and dance education programs in Maryland. Pablo Regis de Oliveira, EducArte’s co-founder and executive director, organized the workshops. He told the College Park Here & Now that he was excited to be planning in-person events again and appreciated having the Old Parish House as a venue. “I’ve been driving by this building for so many years, and it’s nice to actually be doing an event here that’s for our community,” he said. Regis de Oliveira also serves as program manager for the

Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council, and through that work, he is familiar with CPAE’s typical roster of events. He said that the arts exchange, along with Mayor Patrick Wojahn and the College Park City Council, were very supportive of his plan to bring the workshops to the Old Parish House. He coordinated the sessions with Melissa Sites, CPAE’s executive director. During the pandemic, EducArte held virtual events and classes. “We were able to do programming where it was interactive — people could send messages, and we stayed very active,” Regis de Oliveira noted. CPAE also stayed active during the pandemic, holding outdoor performances in neighborhoods throughout the city. The workshops at the Old Parish House were led by André Coelho, a percussionist and pandeiro player originally from Rio de Janeiro, who now lives in the District. While in Brazil, Coelho was a part of a loosely

organized samba and percussion group that practiced and performed together when they could — a music club, of sorts. Separately, Coelho also accompanied well-known Brazilian singers and musicians. “We have such a privilege to have him here, and I figured let’s start a session where we can teach people about the history of [Brazilian] music and how to play,” Regis de Oliveira said. Workshop participants learned about a number of Brazilian instruments, including the pandeiro, a hand drum that is one of the country’s most popular instruments, the Brazilian tamborim and the surdo, which is a large bass drum. During sessions at the Old Parish House, Coelho demonstrated the proper way to hold and play each instrument. He also introduced participants to various rhythms and how to layer them to create a song. Coelho also brought along shakers to play, along with household supplies to show

participants how to make them. There were more than 20 people in attendance at the session on July 17, all ranging in age and percussion experience. Regis de Oliveira said that while the event was geared towards adults, everyone was welcome. He said that he has received a lot of positive feedback from the city’s residents. He hopes to create a community percussion ensemble inspired by the workshops. “I know a lot of people in the community who are drummers, professional or not professional, and they all enjoy this; it is a great opportunity to play in a non-professional, live setting,” Regis De Oliveira said. Right now, these drumming sessions are scheduled for twice a month, but both Regis de Oliveira and Sites hope to offer them once or twice a week. “So many people can come together, and everybody is learning different instruments. I just think it is ideal,” Sites said.

Sites also said that CPAE is planning other events at the Old Parish House. The Old Parish House is the second-oldest building in College Park and has long been used as a venue for community events, classes and choir concerts. The building is owned by the city, which allows the CPAE to use it free of charge for events that are open to the public. The Old Parish House is located on Knox Road; Sites said that the residential neighborhood location makes it an ideal venue for CPAE events. “Part of the business of the arts exchange is to provide arts in the neighborhood to create a community feeling and let people get to know their neighbors,” she noted. For more information on CPAE’s offerings, go to cpae.org for the latest information. You can follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stay tuned, also, to the Here & Now for monthly calendar updates.




Edition 16

August 2021

2021 National Night Out event at Berwyn Neighborhood Park.

National Night Out in College Park Bringing the Community, Neighbors, Police, Fire, and Other Public Safety Agencies Together Five Neighborhood Events were hosted in the City during the 2021 National Night Out on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 for the first time in more than a year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event was cancelled. Events were held in Berwyn, Lakeland, College Park Woods, Cherry Hill and at Duvall Field. City officials, County officials, City staff (including many from the City’s Department of Public Services), public safety officials (police, fire, and EMS), Prince George’s County departments, and various local organizations, groups and institutions attended the events. Events included a variety of activities, games (including shooting some hoops), speakers, treats, ways to engage with neighbors, and an opportunities to meet and interact with the City’s different public safety organizations along with City and

2021 National Night Out events at Lakeland Neighborhood Park (top left), Cherry Hill Neighborhood Park (top right), Duvall Field (bottom left), College Park Woods Neighborhood Park (bottom right).

County departments. Thank you to Prince George’s Police Department, University of Maryland Police Department, M-NCPPC Park Police, College


Park Volunteer Fire Department. Branchville Fire Department, Prince George’s DPIE and Office of Community Relations, University of Maryland Office of Community Engagement, and all the other

groups that attended these events. A big thank you to all the community groups and residents who organized this year’s National Night Out events and attended. See you next year!


City Elections Notice City Elections will be held on Sunday, November 7, 2021

PUBLIC SAFETY Community Meetings Every 2nd Monday of the Month 7:30 p.m. zoom.us/j/96168994626 August 9 Topic: Rat Prevention & Control with guest speaker Chelle Hartzer. Please join City Elected Officials, Police, Department of Public Services staff, and your neighbors from all around the City, for an informative monthly community meeting. This meeting takes place every second Monday of the month via zoom. This community meeting will discuss City-wide crime statistics, recent incidents of public interest, neighborhood watch tips, and special public safety related topics.

The City of College Park will hold its municipal election for the office of Mayor and all eight district Councilmembers on Sunday, November 7, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the College Park Community Center.

• Must be a current registered voter in the City. • Shall have been domiciled in the City since September 15, 2020. • Must continuously reside in the City for the full two-year term.

ARE YOU THINKING OF RUNNING FOR OFFICE? College Park uses a petition process to qualify candidates for elected office. Candidates for the office of Mayor must collect the signatures of 20 qualified voters from each Council district. Candidates for the office of Councilmember must collect 25 signatures from the qualified voters in their district.

Candidates for the office of Councilmember: • Must be 18 years old at the time of taking office (December 14, 2021). • Must be a United States citizen. • Must be a current registered voter in the City. • Shall have been domiciled in their respective district since September 15, 2020. • Must continuously reside in their respective district for the full two-year term.

Candidacy packets with petition forms and other required paperwork will be available from the City website on August 1, 2021. You may also make an appointment with the City Clerk’s office to pick up a hard copy of the candidacy packet. All candidacy forms are due by Wednesday, September 15. In addition, candidates for the office of Mayor: • Must be 18 years old at the time of taking office (December 14, 2021). • Must be a United States citizen.

For more information about voting in the City, or running for office, please contact the City Clerk, Janeen S. Miller, at 240-487-3501 or jsmiller@collegeparkmd.gov.

Las elecciones municipales se celebrarán el domingo, 7 de noviembre de 2021 La Ciudad de College Park celebrará su elección municipal para el cargo de Alcalde y los ocho concejales de distrito el domingo, 7 de noviembre de 2021, desde las 9:00 am hasta las 6:00 pm en el Centro Comunitario de College Park (“College Park Community Center”). ¿ESTÁ PENSANDO EN POSTULARSE PARA UN CARGO? La Ciudad de College Park utiliza un proceso de solicitud para calificar a candidatos. El candidato para el cargo de Alcalde debe recoger 20 firmas de votantes calificados de cada Consejo Municipal. El candidato para el cargo de Concejal Municipal debe recoger 25 firmas de votantes calificados de su propio Concejo Municipal. Los paquetes de candidatura con formularios de petición y otros documentos requeridos estarán disponibles en el sitio web de la Ciudad el 1 de agosto de 2021. También puede hacer una cita con la oficina del Secretario de la Ciudad para recoger una copia impresa del paquete de candidatura. Todos los formularios de candidatura deben presentarse a más tardar el miércoles 15 de septiembre. Además, cada candidato al cargo de Alcalde: • Debe haber cumplido 18 años de edad en el momento de su entrada en funciones (14 de diciembre de 2021). • Debe ser un ciudadano de Estados Unidos.


For more information about running for office or voting in the City, please contact the City Clerk, Janeen S. Miller, at 240-487-3503 or the Chief of the Board of Election Supervisors, John Payne, at jpaynecp@gmail.com or 301-789-7682.

• • •

Debe ser un votante registrado en la Ciudad. Estará domiciliado en la Ciudad desde el 15 de septiembre de 2020. Debe residir continuamente en la Ciudad durante su mandato de dos años.

Cada candidato al cargo de Concejal Municipal: • Debe haber cumplido 18 años de edad en el momento de su entrada en funciones (14 de diciembre de 2021). • Debe ser un ciudadano de Estados Unidos. • Debe ser un votante registrado en la Ciudad. • Estará domiciliado en la Ciudad desde el 15 de septiembre de 2020. • Debe residir continuamente en la Ciudad durante su mandato de dos años. Para obtener más información acerca de como postularse o como votar en la Ciudad, por favor póngase en contacto con la Secretaria de la Ciudad, Janeen S. Miller, llamando al 240-487-3501, o al Jefe de Supervisores de la Junta Electoral, John Payne, por medio de su coreo-e, jpaynecp@gmail.com o llamando al 301-789-7682. Para obtener más información acerca de como votar en la Ciudad, por favor póngase en contacto con la Secretaria de la Ciudad, Janeen S. Miller, llamando al 240-487-3501, o por medio de su correo-e, jsmiller@collegeparkmd.gov.


Summer Reading Program

City of College Park’s


Sign your Child(ren) Up for Free Summer Reading! The 2021 Summer Reading Program was originally planned as a day camp that would provide in-person reading instruction to elementary school children from College Park. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular program is unable to operate this summer.


In lieu of the day camp, the 2021 Summer Reading Program will continue to support children’s summer reading skills virtually instead by providing access to books in print and online.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2021 AT 8:00 P.M.

To participate, you will need to register your child(ren) at www.collegeparkmd.gov/ summerreadingprogram2021. Participation is limited to students who reside within the City of College Park. Each child will receive a Scholastic Summer Book Packet that includes 5-6 books, a journal, an activity sheet, a summer reading postcard, and colored pencils. Packets are packaged individually and organized by grade level, language (English or Spanish), and theme (fiction, informational, STEM, etc.).


4807 Drexel Road Come and join us for a fun and free Night at the Movies on August 27! Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a movie with the whole family under the stars. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.

FEATURE PRESENTATION: THE CROODS: A NEW AGE By participating in this event, you acknowledge and assume all risks and liabilities including possible exposure to illnesses, including but not limited to COVID-19. Masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged. For more information, email events@collegeparkmd.gov

Additionally, individual EPIC book subscriptions for the remainder of the summer will be provided for each child. The EPIC books website is an online digital library of children’s picture books, trade books, and novels. Please sign up as soon as possible at www.collegeparkmd.gov/ summerreadingprogram2021. The program ends soon! Materials will be provided while supplies last and are on a first come, first serve basis. Proof of residency may be required. Support to participating students will be provided by Dr. Ayanna Baccus, Reading Specialist from the University of Maryland. This program is made possible through partnership with Maryland National Capital Park and Planning (M-NCPPC). For more information, email families@ collegeparkmd.gov.






TREE CANOPY Trees provide many benefits including reduced cooling and heating costs, interception of rainwater, increased property values and improved air quality.

Members of the Tree & Landscape Board at Arbor Day 2021

City Board & Committee Vacancies


Serve your community, lend your talents, & meet neighbors! Interested in ways you can contribute to your community or have your voice heard? The City of College Park has vacancies in nine City Board and Committees. The City utilizes Boards and Commissions to advise the Mayor and Council on a variety of topics in the City. Members of the City’s Boards and Commissions give generously of their time and talents to make valuable contributions to the City. The following advisory boards have vacancies: • Advisory Planning Commission – Volunteer from District 2 or 3 • Animal Welfare Committee – Volunteer from District 4 • Committee for a Better Environment – Volunteer

This program provides street tree planting in the City’s right-of-way areas

from District 2 • Ethics Commission – Volunteer from District 3 • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Tribute Committee – Volunteers from any district • Noise Control Board – Volunteer from District 2 • Recreation Board – Volunteers from District 2 and 3 • Seniors Committee – Volunteers from Districts 1 and 2 • Veterans Memorial Committee – Volunteers from any District Interested in volunteering? Please complete and submit an application to jsmiller@ collegeparkmd.gov or to your City Council representative by October 1, 2021.

TREE CANOPY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (TCEP) City property owners can apply for reimbursement of up to $150.00 annually for approved tree(s) planted on their residential lot.

For more information and the application: www.collegeparkmd.gov/trees Questions? Call 240.487.3590 or email horticulturist@collegeparkmd.gov

The Mayor and Council will make appointments in late October 2021.

gov/boards. This page has more details and information about each Board and Committee including purpose or function, when the committee meets, and agendas and minutes.

More information about City advisory boards can be found on our website at www.collegeparkmd.


2021 STED HO B




August 2021 | College Park Here & Now


number of traffic stops specifically related to noise from modified exhausts. From April 16 to July 8, police stopped 50 vehicles for excessive exhaust noise and issued 26 warnings. The College Park City Council discussed the problem at a worksession on July 13. College Park Public Services Director Bob Ryan told councilmembers that this is a thorny issue for the city; Chapter 138 of the city code deals with noise levels and violations, but does not apply to moving vehicles. And city code enforcement officers are not authorized to stop and cite vehicles for excessive noise; under state law, only police officers can make these stops. Maryland law states that every car must have a muffler in good condition that prevents excessive noise. Furthermore, state law does not allow cars with modified mufflers on highways. Police can issue equipment repair orders when they stop a vehicle with a modified muffler that makes excessive noise; this type of order requires the owner to have the exhaust restored to its original form and have it certified. According to Keleti, issuing this kind of order has been a useful move to combat the excessive noise problem. Between April 16 and July 8, police issued 29 orders for equipment repairs. During the council meeting, Keleti told councilmembers that police can also issue citations to owners of vehicles that make excessive noise. Keleti stated that police issued 66 such citations between April 16 and July 8 during traffic stops in the city. Councilmember Fazlul Kabir (District 1) applauded these efforts but said that the city and the PGPD need to explore additional enforcement options. “This issue is getting worse,” he said. Captain Gilbert Bowling,

PGPD’s assistant commander, emphasized that excessive exhaust noise is a growing problem in both the county and state. Kabir cited a joint operation among law enforcement agencies that was conducted in Montgomery County, in April 2021, as an enforcement model that the city could consider. Like Prince George’s County, Montgomery is experiencing an uptick in noise violations. In the joint operation, law enforcement officers were stationed along Maryland Route 355 to make traffic stops for speed and noise violations. Officers made 118 traffic stops and issued 68 citations, 57 warnings and 49 equipment repair orders. They also made two criminal arrests, according to a press release issued by the City of Gaithersburg. Keleti said that PGPD conducts operations targeting street racers, who often modify exhaust systems. Keleti noted that these operations have been successful and said that the department may conduct more of them in the future. Ryan also discussed highvisibility checks that police make at car shows and places where street racers gather. “Just by having an officer visible in an area where people go and show off their cars sends a message to take it easy and not disturb the peace,” he noted, during the July 13 council meeting. City code cannot be applied to moving vehicles, but it can be applied to vehicles on private property. Property owners can be fined $500 for a first offense and up to $1000 for a second. College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn emphasized the public’s role in noise abatement. Residents can mail a written complaint about a noise disturbance to the city’s Department of Public Services (8400 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 340), call the city’s hotline (240.487.3588), dial 9-1-1 or call the PGPD nonemergency line (301.352.1200).



Page 7


Lauren Filocco, who owns OpenBarre and is a University of Maryland (UMD) 2012 alumna, sparked the collaboration. She completed barre instruction training and opened the studio, in 2017, with five employees. OpenBarre, on Knox Road, now has 11 instructors. Before the pandemic, the studio offered 33 weekly classes, including sessions of Pilates, yoga and ballet. When Gov. Hogan mandated closures, in March, 2020, Filocco began offering virtual classes. OpenBarre Studios opened its doors again in April of this year, with four classes. In August, the studio is offering three virtual classes and 22 in-person classes; 16 are being held in the studio and six outdoors. Studio capacity is limited to 10 people, and participants must wear their masks unless they show proof of vaccination. Many in College Park have rallied around the city’s small businesses during the pandemic, and Filocco acknowledged how important it is to keep the focus local. “If we don’t support local businesses, every town

The team of instructors at OpenBarre Studios stand ready to welcome clients. COURTESY OF CAMI GORE

will look the same,” she said. Filocco came up with the gift bag promotion to enhance her existing connections with other business owners and spark new connections, too. The gift bags proved to be a boon to customers and participating businesses alike, and the business owners who collaborated were enthusiastic about having this chance to reboot. Adam Greenberg, president of Bagels ‘N Grinds and Potomac Pizza and a big fan of the university, was eager to support the project. “We love helping out local businesses,” he said, adding that when OpenBarre called, it was easy to step up: “They asked; we gave.” Alex Tucker, marketing director

of District Taco, was excited when OpenBarre Studios contacted her. Tucker said she “always love[s] to help with local businesses” and hopes to collaborate in a similar promotion again. Michael Chmar, a partner at The Board and Brew, credited his strong partnerships and hardworking employees for the business’s survival. The venue was hard hit by the pandemic, losing both staff and customers when the university shut down. He was glad to contribute discount cards to the gift-bag giveaway. The Hall CP had been open for only a month and a half when restrictions were put in place and it had to close; they’ve struggled to restaff when UMD students returned. “[We are] still dealing with a lot of the domino effects that continue to still hold true,” said Shilo Peers, marketing and events coordinator for the venue, adding that the gift bag promotion was a great way to signal their comeback. Filocco was energized, too, by OpenBarre’s promotion, which brought so many businesses together to work toward their common goal of creating community. For more information, visit openbarrestudios.com.

I’m in the business of making a difference for everyone involved - and always giving back! I’m honored to make a $1,000 donation to the 501c Charity of your choice upon the completion of every sales transaction through the end of 2021!

If you’re looking for Experience and Expertise, Call Karyn Keating! I’m a COLLEGE PARK RESIDENT! No one cares as much about your property values as I do! Call me for a FREE market analysis today


Serving central Maryland since 1983

SPECIALIZING IN Luxury Homes Waterfronts First Time Home Buyers Foreclosures Short Sales Property Management and Rentals

Karyn Keating, Associate Broker

Certified Residential Specialist, CRS, Certified Default Resolution Specialist, CDRS Graduate Realtors Institute, GRI Certified International Property Specialist, CIPS Cell: 410-320-7301 | Office: 301-854-2155 KarynKeatingHomes@gmail.com

St. Matthew’s Parish Day School Openings for ages 2 to 3 Monday-Friday, 7:30am-5:30pm Contact us to arrange a virtual tour


we are the church at the intersection

6800 Adelphi Road Hyattsville MD 20782

Email stmatthews.admissions@gmail.com • call 301-559-1100 • www.stmatthewsdayschool.com Licensed and MSDE approved, vouchers accepted

Page 8

College Park Here & Now | August 2021


Where do things go when we throw them away? By Paul Ruffins


urious about where things go when we throw them away, here in College Park? I recently asked Robert Marsili, director of College Park’s Department of Public Works, to fill me in. “Every city or town in Prince George’s County handles its solid waste a little differently,” he said. “Local jurisdictions evolved different policies over time.” But for the county’s first 250 years, the way it handled trash didn’t evolve very much. In a 2009 report, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) noted that “The historic placement of landfills and open burning dumps was for the most part unregulated prior to the 1950s. Most towns, farms and industries had areas set aside for the disposal of waste. The sites were often nothing more than a wetland, riverbank or ravine on the edge of the town or property and often as not waste was collected and burned in place.” MDE identified that at least 13 dumps or landfills have existed, over time, in Prince George’s County — likely

a low estimate. There were incinerators in Hyattsville, Laurel and Lyttonsville, as well. Regional concerns about water quality emerged earlier than worries about air pollution or waste disposal. In 1918, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) was established when the District threatened to sue Prince George’s and Montgomery counties for discharging raw sewage into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Fifty years later, in 1968, the county turned its attention to waste disposal by closing smaller local dumps and opening the 850acre Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill (BSRSL), in Largo. The site’s original 148 acres, used for actual disposal, met the requirements of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, which Congress passed in 1965. The site had a system of pipes to collect the gases (primarily methane) generated by decomposing food, leaves and household chemicals. Over time, the county has expanded the BSRSL and upgraded its facilities to meet ever more stringent EPA requirements,

particularly those concerning groundwater pollution. A second section of the BSRSL opened in 1992, with systems to monitor and handle the toxic leachate from rainwater filtering through the waste. This section also has a facility for hazardous waste collections. The Clean Air and Clean Water acts, which Congress passed in the early 1970s, were both designed to protect the environment, but these acts placed more pressure on landfills. Before the Clear Air Act was passed, in 1970, most people simply burned their leaves and yard waste. With the act in place, municipalities began to collect and yard waste and send it to the landfill. As the county’s population soared, and as we became increasingly dependent on singleuse plastics and packaging, the BSRSL’s facilities proved to be outmoded and inadequate, and the county scrambled for alternatives. In the early 1990s, it opened the Prince George’s Organics Composting Facility (PGOCF) yard waste processing facility to turn thousands of tons of leaves and yard waste into mulch and its popular Leafgro® compost, which the county sells in retail stores to offset costs. In 1993, Prince George’s County embraced recycling and created the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Capitol Heights. In 2007, the MRF was converted to accommodate sorting processes for the county’s new single-stream

COME ROW ON THE RIVER The air is warm, the foliage lush, and the water is calm. • Adult Learn to Row in Eights • Youth Fall Programs • Learn to Row a Single • Ongoing adult programs BEGINNERS WELCOME!

FUN, FRIENDS AND FITNESS! All activities are at

Bladensburg Waterfront Park 4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg WashingtonRowingSchool.com


Members of the College Park Department of Public Works Robert Marsili, Prao Jansorn and Janet McCaslin, on site. PAUL RUFFINS

recycling program. In 2013, the PGOCF began composting food scraps and paper, becoming the largest organic composting operation on the East Coast — but these recycling efforts weren’t enough to offset landfill use. As of 2017, when the landfill renewed its 10 year permit, nine of the 11 cells in section B had been filled and were closed. Prince George’s County applied for a permit to open a new section at the BSRSL and does not accept waste from outside the county. Higher tipping fees, up from $59 to $70 per ton, will kick in on October 1, 2021, in part to promote recycling. The tipping fee at the PGOCF is $45 per ton, and the MRF charges $25 per ton. Marsili explained that the name of the game is to do everything possible to avoid sending trash to the landfill. “When DPW picks up bulk trash, we sort out any scrap metal right here to make a small amount of money by selling it to a local recycler and to save on tipping fees. For [food] composting, we use a contractor who has the right equipment to pick up our food waste.” College Park avoids some tipping fees by producing its own SMARTLEAF® compost from leaves and yard waste — it’s the only municipality in the county that does this. Making this compost is a complex operation that requires a good deal of staff training, including regular certification of supervisors. And before SMARTLEAF® can be sold, it has to be tested by a chemist. The composting process

also requires a lot of equipment: vacuum trucks, a front-end loader, a grinder and a turner to mix and oxygenate the piles. The city’s certified compost master, Prao Jansorn explained the process: “We make it by combining the leaves we collect between November and January, with soft garden waste such as small branches, vines, and grass clippings. It has to be properly turned and watered so that the internal temperature reaches at least 131 degrees for 15 days. Then we screen it to remove anything over half an inch [in any dimension].” DPW reports that the program has been a big success. And it’s a money maker — sales largely cover costs. During the last fiscal year, the City of College Park sold 2900 cubic yards of SMARTLEAF® compost, at $28.00 a yard, and 882 cubic yards of mulch, at $12.00 a yard. Janet McCaslin, the city’s recycling coordinator, points out that in recycling, breaking even can be a win; she noted that it’s a 46mile round trip from College Park to the PGOCF. “Making compost ourselves means we avoid a lot of wear and tear on our trucks, and it saves gallons and gallons of diesel fuel,” she said. College Park is evolving in the right direction, indeed. Paul Ruffins is a citizen scientist and professor of curiosity.

Mac Menders

Repair • Upgrades • Data Recovery The area’s best Mac support for when things go slightly or horribly awry. PCs welcome too!

Chris Barylick

ChrisBarylick@gmail.com | 202.341.9236 Apple Certified Fast • Friendly • Professional


August 2021 | College Park Here & Now

Page 9


Welcome, neighbor: Homeownership program attracts university employees By Eric Olson


aria Cabnal Hernandez used to spend time on a tedious commute. Now she walks in her Berwyn neighborhood with her dog, chatting with neighbors. She loves the friendliness and sense of community she has found. “I literally have about 20 cell numbers of pet parents that will go above and beyond if they can to help. If you are sick and need someone to help you walk your pet or care for your pet, people will step up and help,” she says of the network she has developed. Cabnal Hernandez, a senior development coordinator in the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Office of University Relations, is one of 73 university employees who have purchased their homes here through the College Park City-University


Partnership’s Homeownership Program. The partnership launched the program in 2015, with grant funding from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy program, and additional support from UMD and City of College Park. The program offers forgivable loans of $15,000 to full-time, benefits-eligible university and city employees to buy homes in College Park. A home purchased through the program must be the buyer’s primary residence, and homebuyers who stay in their homes for 10 years will have the loan forgiven. The program is attracting university faculty and staff who want a short commute, bringing new homeowners to College Park who might have otherwise settled in a nearby community like Takoma Park

When we talk with our homebuyers, one of the things they love most about being here is breaking their reliance on driving. Seventy-six percent said they usually walk, bike or take public transportation to get to work now.

or Silver Spring. When we talk with our homebuyers, one of the things they love most about being here is breaking their reliance on driving. In fact, 76% said that they usually walk, bike or take public transportation to get to work now. Valerie Hoy, an employee with the UMD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, purchased her home in Hollywood through the program, in 2016. “I love that College Park is an affordable place to live, but still safe and conveniently close to downtown DC. Thanks to the many public transportation options nearby and most essentials (like grocery stores) within walking distance, I can live an almost-car-free lifestyle.” Cabnal Hernandez cites the walkability of the community. “I like living close to the lake, parks, campus and trails. I like that LIDL, CVS, Rita’s, etc. are


so close by, within walking distance. Most of all I like feeling safe while walking my dog in the area.” Each home purchase helps stabilize neighborhoods by adding homeowners who are rooted in the community — people who both live and work in College Park. This also boosts our local economy, because when people live in the community where they work, they typically spend more money locally. Finally, living and working in the same place reduces traffic, which is better for the environment. The number of university faculty and staff living in College Park has jumped by a third during the course of this program, from 4.5% of all university employees to nearly 6%. That number continues to grow today. We have welcomed 165 new residents to College Park through the program, including many young families who are putting down roots — of the 73 homebuyers, 26 are families with kids. Laura Hood, coordinator of engagement and activities at the university’s Stamp Student Union, describes College Park as a great place for SEE HOMES ON 10 

Page 10


While the Together Program aims to increase participants’ financial literacy, it offers them support in other ways, too. At the start of each workshop series, couples are assigned a case manager who works with them to ensure that their basic needs are met — that they have adequate health-care support, have enough food and can put a roof over their head. Case managers work with their couples throughout the four and a half months that they are in the program. Falconier underscored that the case managers are resourceful. “They assess the needs of the couple and the family members living with them in all areas. If you have a need in an area, the case manager finds resources in the community, usually free or low income,” she noted. The Together Program is funded by a grant from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Administration for Children and Families. The program received approximately $6.5 million in their initial 5-year grant cycle, which ended in September 2020. A second grant, of $5 million, will fund the program for the next five years.

Kim stressed that the couples in the Together Program often don’t have access to support they might benefit from, including mental health services — she has seen couples struggle. “The couples that we were serving were having very difficult times,” Kim said. “There are really no resources for the low to moderate income couples in the area. ... [getting adequate help] is quite expensive.” Falconier noted that the program seeks to help couples who have lower incomes and have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. “We think that our program can really make a difference in those communities, particularly after COVID-19,” Falconier said. Prior to the pandemic, the Together Program offered in-person workshops. When Gov. Hogan mandated closures, in March 2020, it took just two weeks for Falconier, Kim and their 20 facilitators to pivot and offer virtual workshops. The virtual sessions have been popular, with 240 couples participating. The Together Program hopes to return to inperson workshops this fall, providing it is safe to do so. For more information, go to togetherprogram.org.



Olson helped convince Maring to include “Barbed Wire, Rt. 134” on the album. The song is a tribute to all who lost their lives during the pandemic. Maring noted that there is a theme running through the album: His personal history and family life are foundational to all the songs. He references his Irish heritage in “O’Sullivan’s March,” and in “Son of it All,” the album’s first track, Maring honors his grandfather, who served World War II. The coronavirus pandemic prompted him to think of his great-grandparents, who died during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Maring’s wife, Lis, did the artwork for the liner notes, and his sons helped produce the album. Leo, a rising senior at DeMatha Catholic High School, is enthusiastic about the album. He played violin, viola and saxophone on it. Julian played organ on “Medal of Freedom” and “Son of it All,” and added vocals and accordion to several tracks. Maring values his sons’ contributions enormously. “Their offerings were amazing,” he said. “So to have their voices and their playing, and they are playing on a level that is worthy of playing on an album — as a musical parent, I am proud of that.” When he is not making music, Maring trains for 50-mile races, listening to audiobooks as his feet pound the pavement. He is an avid traveler and has a special appreciation for India, where he lived for two brief stretches. In 2017, he taught there for four months, as a Fulbright Fellow. Maring sees making music as his life’s purpose and thinks of his musical ability as a gift to be shared. “The more you give, the more it gives back to you,” he said. “This album was a great blessing. That’s the mystery of music. A year from now, there is going to be something, and it’s going to be awesome, but I don’t know what it is.”

her daughter to grow up, writing, “We had a 4 month old daughter when we purchased the house but as she grew up we didn’t know how many public parks and playgrounds we had at our finger tips. We regularly schedule play dates and it’s always hard picking just one to visit. We would have to say that Daniels Park is our favorite after work visit … swings make a child happy.” Seventy percent of the people who have purchased homes through the program are first-time homeowners, and the majority of participants are newer university employees — 63% have worked at the university for less than four years. As these university employees settle in our green and vibrant community, many are putting down deep roots for the future. They are also telling their coworkers and friends about the program and how wonderful it is to call College Park home. We are glad to welcome so many new neighbors who are contributing to the future of the city. As Laura Hood said, “My neighbor, who has owned his house since the early 2000s, was excited that more families were moving into the neighborhood. We felt that we were part of creating a stronger community.”



For more information about the program and to read homebuyers’ profiles, go to collegeparkpartnership.org/ homeownershipprogram/ Eric Olson is executive director of the College Park City-University Partnership.

July 2021 Dear College Park neighbors – Our top priorities for this year are beating COVID and getting Maryland back to work. Our post-recovery agenda includes climate change, smart growth, health equity, expanded PreK, and higher incomes for working people. And, as always, helping you, and all of our neighbors solve problems in College Park. We appreciate the opportunity to represent the 21st District and to serve you. To learn more about what we've been working on and our priorities going forward, visit our website. We look forward to keeping in touch over the coming months! Many thanks, Mary, Ben, Joseline, and Jim 21st District Democratic Team By authority, Carolyn Brosch, Treasurer/ Team 21 Slate


College Park Here & Now | August 2021

August 2021 | College Park Here & Now

Page 11


was ranked as high as 29th in 2019. “This gives me the confidence that I can not only get back to where I was but even higher,” Tiafoe said. “To not only beat a [Top 4] player but in the fashion I did — in straight sets, relatively convincingly. “It gave me a lot of confidence. Hopefully, I can carry it on.” In the second round, Tiafoe broke Vasek Pospisil’s serve three times en route to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory. He was knocked out of the tournament in the next round when he lost to Karen Khachanov, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Tiafoe was pleased with his play in the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. “Very much so,” he said. “I thought I had much more potential to go even further than I did. I didn’t play a great match in the third round, by my standards, but my opponent definitely played well. Ultimately, it was a great run.” On June 20, Tiafoe won the Viking Open in Nottingham, England, which, like Wimbledon, is played on grass. It was his sixth championship on the ATP Challenger Tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals’ second-highest level of competition behind the ATP Tour. He won five matches en route to his first tournament win on grass. “The whole grass-court season was big for me,” he said. Tiafoe captured his first ATP Tour title when he won the 2018 Delray Beach Open in Florida. His best finish in a Grand Slam came in 2019 when he advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Tiafoe won four matches, including over No. 6 Kevin Anderson, before falling to No. 2 Rafael Nadal. Tiafoe left for Tokyo and the Summer Olympics on July 19. Four days later, JTCC hosted a pep rally to celebrate him and fellow Prince George’s County Olympians Jerami Grant and Kevin Durant. Grant is a 2012 DeMatha grad and played on the USA Basketball Men’s National Team with Durant. Tiafoe won his opening singles and doubles matches in Tokyo before bowing out in the second round. Tsitsipas, the man he beat at Wimbledon, defeated him in singles. Tiafoe was honored to represent the United States. “A lot of higher-ranked American guys didn’t want to play, so the opportunity presented itself, and I said why not?” he said. “Even though it [wasn’t]

Tiafoe signs a tennis ball after training in College Park. COURTESY OF JTCC

a traditional Olympic experience, I’m forever an Olympian.” Tiafoe turned pro in 2015, at age 17. During his career, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has won more than $4.4 million. “In 2019, I thought I could have ended in the Top 20, but I got a little complacent,” he said. “I’m kind of in a rebuilding stage and actually think I’m a better tennis player now than when I was ranked 29th. I’ve enjoyed every part of my process and [am] ready to tap into my prime.” Tiafoe received the Association of Tennis Players (ATP) 2020 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for his off-court efforts during the pandemic. These included youth outreach,

charitable giving and the video he and his girlfriend, Ayan Broomfield, posted to support the Black tennis community following George Floyd’s murder.

THE BEGINNING Tiafoe’s parents, Constant and Alphina, escaped separately from war-torn Sierra Leone and met in Washington, D.C. Constant worked as a day laborer and was hired to help build JTCC. Upon its completion in 1999, he stayed on as the facility’s maintenance man. Alphina worked night shifts as a nurse, and because Constant could earn extra money working overtime, he figured out a way to keep Frances and

Franklin with him. The three slept in a converted JTCC storage room most weekdays. The arrangement gave the boys the opportunity to play a lot of tennis. Komi Oliver Akli, JTCC’s senior director of player development, has known Tiafoe since he was 2. He was one of the first coaches to work with him. “He came at a good time because we already had a lot of players who played high-level tennis,” Akli said. “Every time he saw those guys play, he’d say, ‘One day I’m going to beat these guys.’” When Tiafoe was 8, Misha Kouznetsov began training him at JTCC, a regional training center for the United States

Tennis Association (USTA). The facility allowed Tiafoe to train for free because his father worked there, and Kouznetsov paid his fees and travel expenses to attend junior events. At 15, Tiafoe became the youngest player to win the 18-and-under boys singles title at the Junior Orange Bowl in Plantation, Fla. In August 2015, he went to Kalamazoo, Mich., and won the USTA Boys 18 National Championship. At one point, he was the secondranked junior in the world. Tiafoe gives much of the credit for his success to the care and coaching he received at JTCC. “It gave me a sense of structure and discipline,” he said. “Everything was super accessible — top-class coaching, top-class mentorship. It kept me away from maybe going in a bad direction. This is a good environment. “They not only build good tennis players but great individuals. Who you are as a person is way more important than what you do in your day job, even if you do it at the highest level.” Akli sees a bright future for the easygoing Tiafoe. “Everybody loves Frances,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where he goes. Look at Wimbledon, everybody was cheering for him. I can’t wait for him to win something big.” Chris McManes (mick-maynz) is a former sportswriter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Page 12

College Park Here & Now | August 2021

College Park’s National Night Out fosters connections By James Cirrone For decades, National Night Out celebrations have involved millions of Americans, all over the country, throwing block parties and cookouts while discussing important issues with law enforcement officers in these informal settings. The COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary hold on this tradition last year, but College Park’s National Night Out was back in full swing, in five locations, on August 3. Turnout was high, with more than 100 people at the Duvall Field event, alone. “Because of COVID, we were a little worried that not many people would show up, but we were very pleasantly surprised,” noted Councilmember Fazlul Kabir (District 1). Lakeland Park’s event also had a healthy turnout, and the atmosphere was lively, as longtime friends and newcomers struck up conversations. Robert Thurston, president of the Lakeland Civic Association, was enthusiastic about the event.

“It’s nice to have everybody here,” he said. “If we’re going to have a crowd of police, this is the time to have it. It’s a positive neighborhood thing.” Thurston also heaped praise on the College Park Volunteer Fire Department, thanking them for saving lives. “They are a part of our community, so thank you very much,” he told the crowd, who joined him in applauding the volunteer firefighters. The Lakeland Park event was organized in part by the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD), and a number of officers with the department attended the event. One officer brought his police motorcycle along, which was a hit with kids at the event. The Lakeland Park National Night Out included a scavenger hunt for children, focusing on historical facts about the Lakeland community. Kids who participated in the scavenger hunt were awarded backpacks full of school supplies. In the lead-up to the event, Thurston recruited lo-

cal businesses to participate in the backpack giveaway. Instyles Barber Shop jumped at the chance, donating $150. Berwyn Neighborhood Park’s event included refreshments and a corn hole competition. Officers with the Prince George’s County Police Department were on site, along with their large, armored police vehicle called a Lenco BearCat. The BearCat was especially popular with children, who had a great time climbing inside and exploring. According to Cpl. Nick Leonard and Maj. Robert Holland of the Prince George’s County Police Department, these vehicles are not used for regular patrols. They are typically used during hostage situations, particularly if a suspect has barricaded themselves inside a structure. “There’s assumptions at the community level, and some politicians think that we just patrol in those things, like we’re an occupying force. They’re only used for tactical things,” Holland said. “We bring it out to try to show it

to the community, in a nonthreatening situation, when we’re not in the middle of being actively involved in a tactical situation.” College Park Woods Neighborhood Park and Cherry Hill Park also held National Night Out events. Councilmember Maria Mackie (District 4) attended both and said there were more than 20 residents at each event, along with police, and city and county officials. Neighborhood watch volunteers organized these events, and Mackie showed her support for the organization. “I really love what neighborhood watch stands for, I’ve been involved with neighborhood watch for years,” Mackie said. “I don’t think there’s anything better than neighbors looking out for neighbors.” Kabir underscored that College Park’s neighborhood watch has room to grow. “We had some residents come and express interest in joining, but we need to help the different parts of the neighborhood blocks to form their own neighborhood watch

block and get them connected with the police officers,” he said. Mary Cook, president of the North College Park Civic Association, said events like National Night Out are designed to bring residents and police closer together. City councilmembers and organizers of the city’s National Night Out events said that promoting communications and positive relationships between residents and police departments is a high priority. These relationships have especially been in focus in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by former police officer Derek Chauvin. An officer with the university’s police department noted Floyd’s murder and acknowledged that police can work to rebuild trust with the communities they serve. She saw the National Night Out events as an opportunity to do just that, and underscored that sentiment: “We wanted to be out here to build trust and try to rebuild that community relationship.”