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INSIDE: Principal sought for Hyattsville Middle, Ward 1 voter guide, Rhode Island Reds closes

Hyattsville artist reflects on his legacy by Amira Aycock

Long before the Arts District existed, Hyattsville was home to David Driskell, a renowned artist and one of the world’s foremost scholars on African-American art. He turned 80 last month, and events commemorating his life and legacy are scheduled well into the fall. Of his many accomplishments – including having his work in the National Gallery of Art – he is most proud of The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African-Americans and the African Diaspora. The center opened in 2001 at the University of Maryland, where he chaired the art department for five years and taught for more than 20. “When I began teaching, there were no courses on AfricanAmerican art,” he says. Now, young artists and scholars can access the immense achievements Driskell has spent a lifetime assembling. For over 30 years, Driskell has served as curator of the Cosby Collection of Fine Arts and cultural advisor to Camille and Bill Cosby. He has planned trips to Europe, Africa, and South America for their family, and even advised them on which colleges their children should attend. In 1996, he helped the Clintons select the first piece of art by an African-American for the per-

Vol. 8 No. 7

Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper

Hyattsville Life & Times PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781

July 2011

No property tax hike in 2012 by Karen J. Riley

No one looks forward to opening their annual  property tax bills, but at least residents will know what to expect in their next bill. The Hyattsville City Council adopted a $21.33 million city budget on June 13 that left the city’s current tax rates intact in fiscal year 2012, which began July 1. As a result, the real property tax rate will remain at $0.63 per $100 in assessed value, and the personal property tax rate will remain at $1.15 per $100 in assessed value.

Real property taxes are by far the major source of money for the city, making up about 52 percent of all revenues and 72 percent of the total in the city’s general fund. Although housing values aren’t going up, new properties are being added thanks to Arts District construction. As a result, the city is expected to collect $11.38 million in real property taxes this fiscal year, up from $10.88 million in fiscal year 2011. The city’s relatively lean 2012 budget features $14.47 million for day-to-day operating expenses, including $6.4 million to run the

city’s police department and $4 million for public works (services such as trash pickup and street maintenance). This was the first year that city staff has developed a detailed five-year capital improvement plan. The proposed plan, unveiled in April by City Administrator Gregory Rose, calls for $13.6 million in expenditures 2012 through 2016, including $6.2 million in 2012 with funding from bond issues, general fund transfers, leases and state grants.


BOOM Fireworks returned to the University of Maryland on July 4

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 43 Easton, MD 21601

DRISKELL continued on page 12



BUDGET continued on page 13

One dead in Town Center stabbing by Susie Currie

On June 30, an early-evening brawl at University Town Center left one man dead and four others injured. Responding to reports of a fight, Hyattsville City Police arrived on the scene at around 6:30 p.m. to find that Leonard Raynod Smith-Matthews, 21, had been stabbed. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, becoming Prince George’s County’s 60th homicide victim of the year and Hyattsville’s first. Homicide investigations are handled by the county police force, which at press time had not released information on suspects, motives or the identities of the others who were injured. They may have also been stabbed – witnesses later described seeing three trails of blood – but were expected to make a full recovery. Hyattsville Police Chief Douglas Holland said, “The City’s police department has maintained a significant and visible police presence at University Town Center, including a satellite office. Prince George’s County STABBING continued on page 13

Included: The July 13, 2011 Issue of The Hyattsville Reporter — See Center Section

Page 2

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011


Remembering Hyattsville’s past


East side story by Susie Currie

What’s in a name? When it comes to brand names, plenty. Take EYA. When the townhouses on the west side of Route 1 were being developed, EYA established its brand here by lining several blocks along the east side with mural-sized ads. So it’s understandable that many residents still use those initials as shorthand for all new development from DeMatha to Franklins. Indeed, Arts District Hyattsville is still identified as “an EYA neighborhood,” both in the city and on the company website. But in fact, EYA built only the first phase, the townhouses and live-work spaces on the west side. The first occupants there moved in four years ago. Now, across Route 1, the first wave of 170 townhouses are dotting the skyline. Those residents will share the community center (formerly the Lustine auto showroom) with the west-siders, but they won’t share a builder.

A community newspaper chronicling the life and times of Hyattsville Mailing address: PO Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781 Hyattsville Life & Times is published monthly by Hyattsville Community Newspaper, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation. Interested reporters should send their e-mail addresses to the editor to be reminded of deadlines and receive internal news. Articles and news submitted may be edited. The deadline is the last week of the month for the following month’s issue. Letters to the editor and opinions are encouraged. For all e-mail correspondence with HL&T: news, features, tips, advertising and business write to hyattsvillelifeandtimes@ To submit articles, letters to the editor, etc., e-mail Executive Editor Paula Minaert 301.335.2519 Managing Editor Susie Currie 301.633.9209 Production Ashley Perks Advertising 301.531.5234 Writers & Contributors Victoria Hille Bart Lawrence Valerie Russell Kimberly Schmidt Hugh Turley Board of Directors Julia Duin - President Chris Currie - Vice President Joseph Gigliotti - General Counsel Paula Minaert - Secretary Peggy Dee Karen J. Riley Susie Currie - Ex Officio Circulation: Copies are distributed monthly by U.S. Mail to every address in Hyattsville. Additional copies are distributed to libraries, selected businesses, community centers and churches in the city. Total circulation is 8,000.

These are Pulte homes. The two companies have collaborated on several Washington-area development projects, so perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Pulte signs went up on Route 1. We hope that this outsourcing proves as successful as the one just south of there, the retail center, which is owned and developed not by EYA, but by StreetSense. After the bulldozed area at the intersection of Route 1 and Jefferson Street languished for months, StreetSense took it over last year and began building The Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville. After a flurry of spring activity, no new businesses have opened there since Chipotle on May 17. While locals are certainly enjoying the wedding-worthy manicures from Essential Day Spa and grass-fed Elevation Burgers, many may be wondering if the promise of Thai food and organic dog biscuits will ever be fulfilled. If the developer’s predictions are correct, July 18 will usher in the retail trio Busboys & Poets, Tara Thai and Big Bad Woof. The dark cloud in this silver lining is sure to be parking, which some shoppers are already finding to be limited at peak times. Somewhere, fingers are being crossed that cus-

tomers will take the city slogan, “A World Within Walking Distance,” to heart. Whole Foods has dominated much of the local grocery buzz lately, now that its on-again, off-again relationship with Riverdale Park appears to be back on. The prospective site, currently zoned for single-family housing, lies on Route 1 just north of the U.S. Postal Service facility and across from University Park. Will it or won’t it get to be Whole Foods’ first home in Prince George’s County? Stay tuned. But in the meantime, you can shop right here in Hyattsville at Yes! Organic Market. At this writing, it’s still on track to open in August – complete with, as of last month, approval to sell beer and wine (to enjoy elsewhere). And if you run out of cash while shopping? Visit the Bank of America ATM, also scheduled to come in August.


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Hyattsville’s Independence Day throughout the years nial City. That year saw the largest July 4 celebration in the City’s history, chaired by Hyattsville’s first July 4 celebration took Merle Jones, and featured DeMatha Coach place in 1940, and some of the city’s older Morgan Wooten as Grand Marshall. As the residents remember attending it. rainy weather took its toll, the Mummers Under the guidance of general chairman Aqua String Band was not able to march Caesar Aiello, there was a parade on 40th in the parade. But Mayor George “CotAvenue, athletic events, speakers, sack rac- ton” Harrison arranged for the band to use es, rope pulling and apple dunking. These Nicholas Orem Junior High School auditowere followed by the traditional fireworks rium for a concert.  The evening concluded at dusk, at Magruder Park.  with a dinner-dance at DeMatha. On July 4, 1945, at the end of World War Due to some incidents of violence folII, 20,000 people jammed the park to hear lowing the 1977 July 4 celebration, Mayspeeches from local elected officials. or Jeremiah Harrington, with the backIn 1959, the annual festivities moved to ing of the City Council, cancelled the Prince George’s Plaza because the plan- fireworks.     ning committee felt there were better But they returned to Magruder Park parking and crowd-handling facilities at for the City’s 100th anniversary celebration in 1986. HL&T executive editor the new shopping center.  But in 1962, however, the City decided to Paula Minaert remembers watching them reclaim the patriotic observance as its own.  with her family – including her newborn Daylong activities in Magruder Park culmi- daughter, who slept right through them. Today, city residents can watch the firenated in a fireworks display that attracted an estimated 50,000 people. Perennial mas- works put on by the nearby University of ter of ceremonies Dave Ginsburg received Maryland; some people can see them from an award from Mayor Joe Lilly and Coun- their yards. To see them in the city, though, they have to wait for September’s Internacilman Jay Katz, who chaired the event.  In 1976, Hyattsville marked the 200th an- tional Festival, which for several years now niversary of the United States and its own has brought fireworks to the skies over 90th birthday by being named a Bicenten- Queens Chapel Town Center. 

It came to me recently that I should really write a letter to the editor of the trim little newspaper, the Hyattsville Life & Times; I did, after all, start life in the real world in the early 1950s in what was then West Hyattsville. My husband and I had rented a third-floor apartment in the Kirkwood Apartments complex. Our daughter Paula E. Diehl was born soon after we had settled in. Our stay lasted less than two years. During this rather short stay in West Hyattsville, I discovered I still wanted to get around, even with a baby in tow. Though a car was at my disposal at times, I didn’t know how to drive yet. So, carrying Paula E., I discovered I could walk to a large food market on, I think, Hamilton Street. Traffic was light, and crossing the named streets made it easy to come and go.   When I wanted to visit a sister-in-law in College Park, Paula E. and I found a bus stop on Ager Road, right in front of the Kirkwood complex, and we took the bus. All went well, including the ride home. There is something about walking and taking buses: one learns a lot about the surroundings.     To our surprise, daughter Paula E., newlywed, returned to Hyattsville in the late 1970s with husband Robert Minaert and yes, they’re still there. (She, in fact, is the executive editor of the HL&T.) A picture of a house in the October 2010 HL&T [“The ultimate catalog shopper: Sears houses,” Hugh’s News] was a startling one, if only because it could have been the house where Robert and Paula Minaert live. It wasn’t, but we learned it was an architectural style frequently found in and around Hyattsville after 1926. Over the years, we’ve learned more about this area during visits to the Minaert home.

by Peggy Dee

Paula J. Diehl, with her daughter Paula E., in front of Kirkwood Apartments in 1952.

West Hyattsville has become part of the City of Hyattsville (although Google does not recognize this in all its hits). All told, it has been satisfying to my husband Fred and me that we — as well as a second and third generation — started off in a town which we observe has spread out not too rapidly, but cautiously and carefully, keeping up with the times and aware of the needs of its residents. Paula J. Diehl Swarthmore, Pa.

CORRECTION On page 7 of the June issue, the principal of Nicholas Orem Middle School was misidentified. The correct name is Richard Jackson. We apologize for the mistake.

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

Page 3

New principal sought for Hyattsville Middle – again by Paula Minaert

For the second time in two years, a search is on for a principal for Hyattsville Middle School. Students return to school on August 22. Principal Susie Long announced her retirement June 6 after serving for one year. “We were incredibly surprised when she left,” said Mary Resing, vice president of the HMS PTA, adding that parents had not anticipated her departure, as they had that of Gail Golden, the previous principal. Golden left in 2010 after 12 years at the school. Resing said that the communication to parents about the selection process this year was weak. “We at the PTA didn’t know what was going on, and if we didn’t know it seemed no parents did.” So PTA secretary Ellen O’Neill sent a letter expressing concern that parents were not being kept informed about the selection process. In response, school system representatives met with parents, teachers and staff on June 28. At the meeting, Pamela Shetley, from the school system’s human resources department, said that Superintendent William Hite already had been concerned about

“Going forward, we now know we should be working together to monitor the transition. We now have a list of priorities and the staff and the PTA should hold the principal accountable to that.”

access to all parents.” Lack of communication overall was the major issue that surfaced at the meeting. Parents and teachers both said that communication from the HMS administration over the last year was poor. Beth Brittan-Powell, the mother of an 8th grader, said, “There was a lack of communication by the administration to both the students and the parents. I also feel there were times when partnering with parents would have been extremely beneficial. For example, letting parents know about the

lack of order during class changes that prompted tape down the middle of the floor and one-way signs on stairwells. My son was frustrated about the lack of communication during the year.” When everyone broke into small groups, several teachers, who did not want to be identified, said the administration needs to make its expectations clear, be more involved and respect the staff. “[Teachers] weren’t informed of things and they were on their own. They didn’t feel they got the normal support they expected,” said King. “And the faculty did express concern that administrators weren’t there during the whole day.” Assessing the meeting, O’Neill said, “Good things came out of this process. We are reassured about the county’s investment in

the process. Even more important, it brought together parents and staff. We weren’t aware that each group felt marginalized. Going forward, we now know we should be working together to monitor the transition. We now have a list of priorities and the staff and the PTA should hold the principal accountable to that.” As well as communication, meeting participants listed the following, among other things, as important things to look for in a new principal: a vision for this school; a proven track record; tech savvy; a commitment to fully integrating the arts; ability to keep the whole school together; willing to be totally accessible to parents and staff; creates a safe and orderly environment; strong community involvement; have an administrator present at all after-school activities.

— Ellen O’Neill PTA secretary

hello neighbor. the low parent response to a survey asking community stakeholders to give their input on the skills and attributes needed in prospective principals. PTA president Errick King said, “There wasn’t anything from the school sent to all parents, saying we want you to be part of this process. The PTA should not have been responsible for contacting parents; the school should. We at the PTA don’t have

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

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I’ve moved into a nice old house with a good-sized backyard that would have great possibilities if the former owners hadn’t haphazardly planted all their Christmas trees in it. Nothing seems to grow under the evergreen canopy except holly. Though I am not as ecologically responsible as people who buy live trees and plant them after the holidays, nonetheless I don’t want to cut down what are by this time old trees that I feel have seniority over me. I planted the usual impatiens but they have already died. I don’t much like hostas, and would really like some summery color and fragrance to enjoy when I sit outside.  What do you suggest? Christmas in July on Jefferson Street Dear Christmas in July,


The evergreens present you with a triple challenge: shade, extreme soil acidity and a drain on soil moisture from the tree roots. You don’t say whether you have pines, firs, spruces or all three. Pines are generally high-shade trees that permit some things to grow beneath them. You can limb Douglas firs, lopping off the lower branches, and if you have the strength and skill, create some interesting shapes with other conifers by limbing, topping and pruning.  I’m tempted to suggest you go for a Japanese garden, made aesthetic with sand and stone, as well as plantings of re-blooming camellias and azaleas where there is enough moisture for these. However, you make it plain you would like a traditional summer garden.

Lily-of-the-valley is a fragrant shade-loving ground cover.

There are daylilies that tolerate at least partial shade and they do not require a great deal of water. Oakleaf hydrangeas could be combined with these, if you are willing to keep them well watered and fertilized. You might try a soakerhose system. For fragrance, the hay-scented fern (dennstaedtia punctilobula) is known to grow beneath pine trees and needs little water. It spreads too. Hellebores and various wild flowers come to mind, but they are all spring-blooming. A particularly fragrant shadeloving ground cover, though nominally a spring-bloomer, is the lily-of-the-valley. The

perfume is intoxicating and it blooms in May, which in our region is warm enough to invite sitting outside in the garden. Though you seem not to care for hostas in general, you might be susceptible to the charm of a Southern favorite called the August lily (hosta plantaginea). It thrives in our area and its showy white blooms have a delectable fragrance much like honeysuckle. They show up very well in shade and their icy luminosity visually cools off a hot late-summer evening. Probably the easiest and quickest thing you can do is bury pots of begonias and impatiens around the trees and take them in before frost.   There are really ravishing varieties of these, in every color and shape. They tolerate shade well but can handle only a certain amount of soil acidity. They need plenty of moisture, but you can water pots of them as needed rather than continuously through a soaker system. You could mix beautiful blue lobelia with these, or create a tapestry of coleus, the color of which intensifies in shade. There is some chance you could grow coleus directly in the soil, but it is not cold-hardy so you might as well keep it in pots. You can take them in and propagate plants for the coming year from them from cuttings. Few things root more easily than coleus in water. To discuss this and other topics with members of the Hyattsville Horticulture Society, please come to our next meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, at the home of Gina De Ferrari at 4306 Oliver Street.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

Page 5

Rhode Island Reds fades to black by Susie Currie

After nearly three years, Rhode Island Reds Café has closed its doors. But for the right price, a new owner could open them. Citing the desire for more time with his wife and two sons, ages 7 and 12, owner Chris Brophy made the announcement in a characteristically terse yet rambling e-mail to customers on June 14. In it, he listed several ways to grow the business, adding that it “could earn 65 thou a year in the right hands.” Naming a price of $46,200, Brophy wrote that he would “liquidate rather than accept too low an offer.” A Craigslist ad posted on June 30, the last day of operations, had the price at $45,000. “I’ve had lots of nibbles,” he says, but he’s still waiting for the right one – along with his agents at the Hyattsville-based Halloran & Associates law firm, who at press time

“Reds is one of my favorite spots in Hyattsville and the place I point to when highlighting the quirky, whimsical qualities that I associate with my neighborhood.” — Shani Warner Ward 2 Councilmember had not returned HL&T calls. The 34-seat restaurant, housed in a miniature castle at the end of a string of auto shops on Rhode Island Avenue, built a devoted local following. The café offered weekly live music and movie nights, board games for waiting customers, and a small food market that sold, among other things, Hyattsville honey. What many came for was the piz-

susie currie After nearly three years, Chris Brophy (at right) closed his cafe on June 30.

za, easily the most popular item on the menu. Diners could watch their crust take shape in Brophy’s deft hands as he tossed the dough like a juggler. Baked in a clay oven, the offerings ranged from the expected (pepperoni, white pizza) to the unusual (lemon-fish, featuring white anchovies). Sometimes Brophy, 52, served the diatribe du jour along with the entrees. Don’t get him started on governmental regulations of small businesses: As an entrepreneur, he says, “my biggest surprise was the crushing, mind-numbing burden of the cannibalistic government licensing [and] taxing. I pay taxes on taxes, each incompetent agency worse than the last.” The announcement came less than a week after a glowing review in the Washington Post’s “Going Out Guide.” Local reaction was swift, and for the most part, chagrined. Ward 2 Councilmember Shani Warner called it “sad news, indeed. Reds is one of my favorite spots in Hyattsville and the place I point to when  highlighting the quirky, whimsical qualities that I associate with my neighborhood to people who don’t know much about Hyattsville.” But some former custom-

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easily be remedied by new ownership.” Asked if he had any advice for new owners, he suggested increasing operating hours from 5 to 7 days a week, developing catering and delivery services, and “finding a way to make better hay than I did with the Spanish-speaking dollar and the African-American customers.”

In short, what it needs now is “someone with the energy I had when I opened the place. I used up my energy getting it to where it is now. ” On June 25, the last Saturday night Reds would be open under Brophy’s management, groups gathered outside at picnic tables with pizza, wine and WiFi, while indoors, others listened to a pianist performing jazz standards. A steady stream of customers ranged from regulars to newcomers, including some University of Maryland cyclists who stopped by for a beer in full sponsor-emblazoned Lycra. Many of the regulars were there because of a June 20 e-mail announcing a “Rent Party Blowout Fandango.” In it, Brophy wrote that “Reds is selling out and closing down under the management of C. Michael Brophy.” Closing down, maybe. But selling out? Unlikely.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

VOTER GUIDE FOR WARD 1 ELECTION ON JULY 19 Election season isn’t over yet for some residents. The second Ward 1 seat has been vacant since thenrepresentative Marc Tartaro was sworn in as mayor in May. Three candidates are vying for the seat, which will be determined in a special election on July 19 at the municipal building. William Jenne Age: 38 Day job: Self-employed photographer Community involvement: H.O.P.E. listserv member

“I hope to expand Hyattsville’s marketing operations both within Hyattsville and by targeting D.C. residents who want to be What is the most pressing close to the city challenge facing the city? The city has made great strides in but live in a small-town commercial and community deenvironment.” velopment under Mayor Gardiner. As a council member I hope to facilitate, encourage, support and create positive development in Hyattsville. This would include revitalizing the entire retail strip along Route 1 by pushing forward development projects as well as finding established businesses in DC that might be persuaded to relocate to Hyattsville. In addition, I

would like to see our commercial building spaces like the WSSC and BB&T building put to good use, whether that is for retail, office, senior housing or mixed-use space. The final shape of this and any project depends on the component parts. If a project is right for the space everything will eventually come together.

I believe that we need to improve the quality of our schools and then increase the positive perception of our schools to attract families to our city. In addition, I would like to start a volunteer program to help seniors and disabled persons clear their sidewalks of snow. I also want to improve the appearance of our city by cleaning up litter and graffiti, which are detrimental to property values and community safety. And finally, I will ensure that city services are delivered and performed efficiently. Sanitation service and road and sidewalk maintenance are two examples of vital city services that I would constantly monitor for performance. As a city council member I would be

a staunch advocate for efficient and responsive city government. I would devote much of my time to fundamental issues that affect all Hyattsville citizens, like traffic, parking, zoning issues and crime prevention. How do you think the city can meet this challenge? I hope to expand Hyattsville’s marketing operations both within Hyattsville and by targeting D.C. residents who want to be close to the city but live in a small-town environment. I want to find talented community leaders and business owners who will be part of Hyattsville’s continuing renaissance, and find projects where a small amount of effort will reap big rewards. By choosing projects and people carefully we can maximize Hyattsville’s potential. What can you offer to the city and the residents of Ward 1? I’ve demonstrated the necessary energy, drive and knowledge to be a council member by the fact that I am self-employed and have grown my photography business significantly here in the last five years. Furthermore, I’m committed to making Hyattsville not just a good, but a great, place to live. The knowledge and skills that I gained through working on Capitol Hill, in real estate, and in law school, and in my small business will be a great asset to the community.

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Scott D. Matirne Age: 44 Day Job: Senior Accountant, United States Navy Memorial Foundation Community Involvement: Member, Hyattsville Preservation Association Board of Directors What is the most pressing challenge facing the city? The most pressing challenge facing the city is the budget. Based on current budget projections, within the next two years the city will be spending more money than it takes in. This ad was approved and paid for by Eric Wingard

accounting and finance, having managed multimillion dollar budgets. I have been instrumental in identifying and curbing wasteful spending and policies to improve the health of companies and organizations. I believe strongly that financial challenges can be met and resolved by prudent financial planning and efficient and effective use of resources. I feel that my experience and skills enable me to see the bigger pic-

“We need to take a hard look at what we can realistically afford, see which programs are working and restructure those that are not.” ture. I envision a greater and more prosperous future for Hyattsville. I think that we have set a course that will get us there but we need to be prudent in our choices, always keeping in sight the goal  to grow responsibly and to prosper while meeting the needs of the residents and local businesses. If we continue to build upon the strong values and sense of community that set Hyattsville apart from other cities, we will reach our goals together. Eric Wingard Age: 38 Day job: Engineer, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center Community involvement: Hyattsville Community Development Corporation member; regularly attend City events; recently proposed an after-school enrichment program to parents at St. Jerome Academy and Hyattsville Elementary School. What is the most pressing challenge facing the city? Fostering quality growth, improving infrastructure, and providing highquality city services by optimizing our spending efficiency during the current economic downturn.

How do you think the city can meet this challenge? The city can best meet this challenge by revisiting its spending priorities and policies. We need to take a hard look at what we can realistically afford, see which programs are working and restructure those that are not.

How do you think the city can meet this challenge? We can meet this challenge by objectively assessing our current business practices to find out what is truly working and what is not, improving on areas of issue using the proper skill sets, and by being proactive and engaging the community about future planning.

What can you offer to the city and the residents of Ward 1? I have a strong background in

What can you offer to the city and the residents of Ward 1? Hyattsville has been my home for

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

Page 7

It’s one thing to have a have a job – it’s another to have a career. 11 years. During this time, with the exception of the few years I was abroad providing technical support to the U.S. military, I’ve had the pleasure of attending city events and enjoyed getting to know the community around me. We live in an increasingly technological age, and I think it imperative to share this knowledge, which I do as a volunteer for community education and outreach programs through NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center. Doing more with less to increase bottom line return on capital is the aim of every large

“Doing more with less to increase bottom line return on capital is the aim of every large corporation, and the City should be no different.” corporation, and the City should be no different. During times of economic decline having the proper skills to facilitate and sustain lean growth are critical. My experience

utilizing Lean Dynamics and Risk Management principles on government projects in excess of $100 million has saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the years. This knowledge will play a key role in how I will conduct business for the City. Having managed large projects working across organizational boundaries with multiple government/contracting agencies to develop and complete projects give me a strong background for the work to be done. I truly look forward to serving and representing the residents of Ward 1.

She did not let that stop her; she went on to college and graduated in 1918 - two years before women had the right to vote. As a young man, my summers were spent helping her with gardening and talking life and politics over lunch. During our time together, she impressed on me the importance of being involved in our political process, how it is our civic responsibility to try and make the world around us a better place for all. In her lifetime, she saw many laws change that served few, the few who could vote, and many of which were unjust for those who could not. The echo of her voice lives on. It is in the interest of our community as a whole, that all of our stories be heard, and that our political process is representative of our collective voices.

A message from Eric Wingard

Real change starts with you. This is your moment to get involved in our local political process. I encourage each of you to exercise your right to vote and make your voice heard. At one time, in our not so distant past, over half of us could not.

My inspiration for running for City Council is unique; it is not a past President or Statesperson, it is my great-grandmother Wingard. Born in Ohio in 1896, she resided the latter half of her life in nearby Bladensburg until she was 100 years old. It was not an easy road for her as a young woman in a time when a person was treated differently because of gender.

Please vote Tuesday, July 19, Ward 1 Special Election, if not for yourself, vote in honor of those who for so long could not. This ad was approved and paid for by Eric Wingard

MV Transportation offers its employees an opportunity to learn, grow, and enjoy their jobs. And the personal rewards far exceed a paycheck. For example it’s the smile on their passengers face when they bring them to their destination safely. For others it’s seeing the cleanest bus on the road – an MV bus. But whatever it is, it’s the reason the MV family has grown to more than 13,000 employees strong.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

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City Named to EPA’s Green Power Community list

The City of Hyattsville was recently recognized as a United States Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Community. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports the procurement of green power, including electricity produced from renewable resources, like solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro. In total, EPA’s Green Power Communities collectively purchase nearly 2.6 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions the electricity use of more than 225,000 average American homes. The City’s purchase alone is the equivalent of removing a few hundred cars from the road for one year. Like many of our City residents, Hyattsville purchases wind power in the form of renewable energy credits to offset 100% of electricity usage at municipal properties. The transition to green power is part of our overall efforts to reduce the City’s carbon footprint, outlined in the Sustainability Policy adopted by the Mayor and Council last year. For more about the EPA recognition and useful tools, visit

No. 220• July 13, 2011

Mrs. Fern Duvall and Inspectors Chris Giunta (left) and Joe Brewer (right); below: a plant from Mrs. Duvall’s yard


The Office of Code Enforcement recently instituted the City’s first Curb Applause program. Curb Applause recognizes residents who have not only maintained their properties, but have truly elevated the condition of their street and our entire community through their diligent efforts. Our first award went to Mrs. Fern Duvall, pictured above with Inspectors Chris Giunta and Joe Brewer. Mrs. Duvall is a thirty-year plus resident of Hyattsville. She does all of her own gardening, and still finds time to volunteer with Meals on Wheels and line dance, too. She was the first person who came to mind when our inspectors began discussing possible recipients. Other addresses recognized by the Office of Code Enforcement include: 6217 Carrollton Terrace 3103 Lancer Place 4219 Nicholson St. 3400 Notre Dame St. 3517 Oliver St. 3433 Stanford St. 7300 Wells Blvd. 5609 29th Ave. 5601 37th Ave. 5714 40th Ave. 5804 40th Ave. 5500 40th Ave. 6222 42nd Ave. Look for the red, white, and blue signs reading “Curb Applause” throughout the community and congratulate your neighbors! Know a home that you’d like to nominate? Email Chris Giunta, Senior Code Inspector, at cgiunta@hyattsville. org or call 301/985-5014.

As part of the City’s 125th Anniversary celebrations, we’re hosting a special Sunday afternoon double-header base ball game at Magruder Park. The game, played by the Potomac Nine of Washington DC and the Cecil Base Ball Club of Chesapeake City, will feature nineteenth century-style rules. The games take place on Sunday, July 31, with the first pitch at 12:00 noon. Players will be available for a special chat in between games. The event is free and open to the public. Nostalgic yet? We’ll even have free Cracker Jack! Learn more at Questions? Call us at 301/985-5020.


Children’s National Medical Center will bring their Blood Mobile to Magruder Park on Saturday, July 30 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Many children in the hospital require fresh blood or special rare types of red blood cells. Red blood cells, platelets, and plasma are in constant demand for victims of accidents, cancer treatments, blood diseases, and many types of surgery. Please consider making time to donate. Schedule your appointment at or by calling Andrea at 202/476-3306.


Police Chief Doug Holland and the Community Action Team will host a Community Meeting on Wednesday, July 20 at 7:00 PM at First United Methodist Church, 6201 Belcrest Road, in the Fellowship Hall. Topics will include updates on recent high-profile incidents in the City, as well as a review of crime statistics. Questions? Contact Sergeant Chris Purvis at 301/985-5060 or

ages 3 and 4, meets at the City Municipal Building. (NOTE: As of press time, Camp Jamboree, for ages 5 through 9, is full through Session IV.) Camp Discovery, for kids ages 10 through 13, meets at Hyattsville Elementary School. Session III begins July 18; Session IV begins August 1; and Session V begins August 15. Session V is one-week only; Sessions III and IV are both two weeks. Contact the Department of Recreation and the Arts at 301/9855020, email Camp Director Jacquay Plummer at or visit for more information.


The City will hold a Special Election for the Ward 1 Council Member seat vacated by the election of former Council Member Marc Tartaro to the office of Mayor during the May 2011 general election. The following candidates have registered: William Jenne, Scott D. Matirne, and Eric Wingard. Absentee ballot applications are currently being accepted. Questions? Contact City Clerk Doug Barber at 301/985-5009 or visit our website: http://


The Maryland Shakespeare Festival’s Good Will Tour arrives in Magruder Park on Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 PM, with a special kids’ pre-show at 6:20 PM. This year’s performance is the romantic As You Like It. Visit for more information.


The City of Hyattsville is one of over 15,000 communities taking part in 2011’s National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at Magruder Park. Activities will include Arrow Bicycle’s popular bike safety course, appearances by Spider-Man, music, give-aways and more. Kids will also be able to meet the City’s police officers and get up close with a variety of vehicles, like cruisers and Segways. We thank Target for their generous support of this initiative.

The City has completed the clean-up related to the oil contamination at King Park on Gallatin Street. Initial investigations suggested that illegal dumping was to blame for the oil discovered at the park this Spring; the City later discovered that a heating tank from an elementary school built on the site in the early twentieth century was not properly drained during demolition in the 1980s. Because the large tank was bolted into a cement foundation, removal was impractical. Instead, the Maryland Department of the Environment provided assistance with properly draining and filling the tub to ensure that there are no future problems. We thank our residents for their patience with the disruptions during the clean-up.




Enrollment is open for the City’s MRPAaward winning summer camps for kids ages 3 through 13. Camp Tiny Tots, for

Contact information for all City elected officials has been updated on the City’s cable station and at

Page HR2

CALENDAR JULY/august 2011 July 13, 7:00 PM

Shakespeare in the Park featuring As You Like It Special kids’ pre-show at 6:20 PM Magruder Park, 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

July 15, 7:00 PM



This is the sixth in a series of stories about how City residents can make small changes to have a positive impact on our environment. We’ve covered alternative transit, rain barrels, and more. This month’s installment recognizes our community’s efforts!

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

cil. An update will be provided following the Special Election – Ward 1. Questions? Call us at 301/985-5000.


Harris Orchards and other Maryland producers returned for the 2011 season on Tuesday, June 14. Farm fresh produce and artisanal products are available every Tuesday afternoon,from 2 to 6 p.m., at the West Hyattsville Farmers Market. The market is located behind Queens Chapel Town Center, at the intersection of Queens Chapel Road and Hamilton Street. (Parking is available.) WIC and Senior FMNP checks are accepted.


While you’re shopping the Farmers Market, remember that the Buy Local Challenge week is July 23 through July 31. Visit the Buy Local website at com/ to take the pledge: I pledge to eat at least one thing from a local farm every day during Buy Local Week. It’s easy - and delicious!


The City continues to host our popular movie nights in the parks. Next up is Shrek Forever After, showing on Friday, July 15 at 7:00 PM at University Hills/Duck Pond Park, 3400 Stanford Street (West End Wells Pkwy). The final two movies of the season both screen at Magruder Park, 40th Avenue and Hamilton Street, beginning at 7:30 PM. Family favorite The Muppet Movie will be featured on Friday, July 29, and we’ll take a trip to the bayou with The Princess and the Frog on Friday, August 19.


The next Outback Steakhouse Summer Jam of the season is Friday, August 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM featuring JP McDermott & Western Bop. Join us, rain or shine! Admission and kids’ activities are free; food, including beer and wine, are available for purchase. The menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken, all grilled up by the Outback Steakhouse at Prince George’s Plaza. Bring back your refillable mug to save on beer – and save the planet! Questions? Visit http://www. or call 301/9855020.


Show your civic pride with an I Am Hyattsville tee. Available at all Outback Steakhouse Summer Jams for just $10, or stop by the City Administrative offices during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Sizes Youth XS to Adult 3XL. Questions?

Family Movie Night featuring Shrek Forever After University Hills (Duck Pond) Park 3400 Stanford Street, west end Wells Parkway

July 18

Day Camps - Session III begins

July 18, 8:00 PM City Council Meeting

July 19, 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM Special Election – Ward 1

July 20, 7:00 PM

Community Meeting: Police Department, Crime & Safety Issues First United Methodist Church 6201 Belcrest Road

July 29, 7:30 PM

Family Movie Night featuring The Muppet Movie Magruder Park, 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

July 30, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Blood Drive for Children’s Hospital Magruder Park, 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

July 31, 12:00 PM

Base Ball Returns to Magruder Park Double-Header featuring the Potomac Nine and the Cecil Base Ball Club, Magruder Park, 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

August 1

Day Camps – Session IV begins

August 1, 8:00 PM City Council Meeting

August 2, 5:30 to 8:30 PM

National Night Out Against Crime Magruder Park, 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

August 12, 6:30 to 8:30 PM

Outback Steakhouse Summer Jam featuring JP McDermott & Western Bop

August 15

Day Camps – Session V begins Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the City Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street. Call Abby Sandel at 301/985-5031. Traveling to a distant land – or even Ocean City? Snap a pic of you in your tee and send it to us at!


Pepco plans to install new digital electric meters in residential homes and businesses this month. You should receive a letter before installation takes place. If you have any questions, please visit www.pepco. com or call their Customer Care Center at 301/833-7500.


Are you on Facebook? You can now keep up with City events and happenings at When you see Vainglorious, the silver metal bird sculpture at Centennial Park, you’ll know you’re in the right place. He is kind enough to serve as the City’s wall photo.

Page 8

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011


Bring a lawn chair to the Maryland Shakespeare Festival’s production of As You Like It, which stops at Magruder Park as part of the annual Shakespeare in the Parks summer series. Free. 7 p.m. 40th Avenue and Hamilton Street. 301.668.4090.

July 16

The Brentwood Arts Exchange hosts an opening reception for “Artistic Reflections,” a show of works by (and inspired by) nationally acclaimed Hyattsville artist David C. Driskell. Reception is from 4 to 7 p.m.; exhibit is open through August 13. Free. Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood. 301.277.2863. Afterwards, you can go to another opening reception just up the street at the artdc Gallery. The show “Emerging from Hyattsville” brings together the work of six local artists: Ed Burck, Ruth Horlick, Jim Landry,  Stevie O’Grady, Joe Rodgers and Chris Suspect. Free. Reception is from 7 to 11 p.m., other hours by appointment. 5710 Baltimore Avenue. See or contact

July 20

The Maryland Science Center brings its

kid-friendly traveling show, What’s the Matter? Chemistry with Fizz, Foam & Flash, to the Hyattsville library. Free. 2 p.m. 6530 Adelphi Road. 301.779.9330.

July 21

This evening’s Jazz on the Lawn at Riversdale features Brûlée, a band that, according to its website, “can play everything from straight-ahead jazz ballads to loud indie alt-pop.” Free; dinner from the Calvert House available for purchase. 7 to 8 p.m. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park. 301.864.0420.

July 26

If the only singing dinosaur that comes to mind is purple, broaden your horizons at a DinoRock show. Life-sized puppets star in “Dinosaur Babies,” this morning at 10:30. Free. Hyattsville library, 6530 Adelphi Road. 301.779.9330.

July 28 to 30

The Kenya-based African Acrobats combine athletics and acrobatics for a familyfriendly performance. $10. Shows at 10:15 a.m. and noon Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. on Saturday. Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly. 301.277.1710.

July 29

The new Muppet movie won’t be in theaters until next year, but you can see

the original for free tonight. As part of the city-sponsored outdoor summer movie series, The Muppet Movie will screen at 7:30 p.m. in Magruder Park, 40th Avenue and Hamilton Street. Free; refreshments available for sale. Bring your own blanket or lawn chairs. 301.985.5020.

July 31

A finishing school in Hyattsville? Well, for an afternoon, anyway. Bring your UFOs (unfinished objects) to A Tangled Skein, where knitting instructor Jennifer Woods will help you tie up loose ends and “ensure that your projects look handmade, not homemade.” 1 to 3 p.m. $20 plus materials. 5200 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 101. 301.779.3399.

volunteer network just for seniors. 7 p.m. Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street. Contact Lisa Walker at Ongoing Every Sunday evening in summer, Arts on The Waterfront brings a variety of musicians for free shows. July 17: Electro Koustic, modern & jazz music. July 24: Mambo Combo, Latin music. July 31: Mr. Marcus Young, Jazz & R&B. August 7: Heda Rose, Hip-Hop, Reggae & Go Go. August 14: Oasis/Island Sounds, Steel Drum, Reggae, Calypso, Soca, and African Music. All performances are 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, 4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg. 301.779.0371.

August 3

Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, the Peter Pan Club for preschoolers includes storytime and hands-on craft activities. Free with museum admission of $4 for adults ($2 for children). 10:30 a.m. College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park. 301.864.6029.

August 10

Deadline for the August Community Calendar is July 20. To submit an item for consideration, please e-mail susie@hyattsvillelife. com  or mail to  P.O. Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781.

Is there a child anywhere who doesn’t like bubbles? Margie Lynch, aka The Bubble Lady, showcases her short-lived creations in an interactive show at the Hyattsville library. Free. 2 p.m. Hyattsville Library, 6530 Adelphi Road. 301.779.9330. Join the Hyattsville Coalition for Aging in Place monthly meeting to learn what residents and city staff are doing to create an intergenerational community

City of Hyattsville Police Department presents


National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday, August 2, 2011 5:30 to 8:30 PM

Jam 2011 The second Friday of every month, May through September, 6:30 to 8:30 PM City Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street Rain or Shine!

Admission is free; delicious food for sale August 12 JP McDermott & Western Bop September 9 N2N

Magruder Park, 40th Ave & Hamilton St •Arrow Bicycle’s popular bike safety course •Visits from Spider-Man and Mandy the Clown •Music, refreshments, and give-aways •Racetrack and Climbing Wall •Kids, bring your bikes!

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

Page 9

Picnic and playdate at Deitz Park

Ready for swimsuit season?

cynthia mitchel Four of the younger attendees of the Hyattsville Nurturing Moms June picnic strike a pose as they wait in line for the slide.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011



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Want to search a back issue? E-mail an article to a friend? Find an advertiser? See current and archived editions of the Hyattsville Life & Times at hyattsvillelifeandtimes IS THAT TRASH

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the days the Past talks about were Postcards from movies and restaurants when drive-in PAGE 5 popular in Hyattsville.




in Edmonston Decatur Street the East Coast, and on greenest street U.S. PAGE 3 maybe even the


All work and all play

Atteberry by Krista the job, one week on With less than the city’s new RecSteve Yeskulsky, Arts Director, hit the reation and helping out running by Fire 7 the ground sville VolunteerOcto- Vol. on at the Hyatt 5-mile run Department’s impressed with the was and the ber 23. He 60 volunteers annual more than first spirit at the runners community dozens of event, in which competed. ages 10 to 75 to Hyattsville, Before coming as a program coYeskulsky servedyears with Florida’s six Parks ordinator for Government Sarasota CountyDepartment, where and Recreation things . . . includhe “did a thousand larger special overseeing ing mostly events.” Diego, he from San Originally Diego State from San graduated Bachelor of with two and culUniversity in art history time Arts degrees During his in tural anthropology. he was instrumental “Salon in San Diego, an art exhibition, funds organizing to help raise also de San Diego,” charity. Yeskulsky for an AIDS for the Parks & Rec ed enjoys writing and is a certifi Business magazine Professional Recreation Park and Inspector. ing accliand Playground agenda is gett more First on his meeting and area mated to the Also, once community. city’s folks in the approves the the city council which is expectPlan, Parks Master DIRECTOR continued

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 43 Easton, MD 21601

Political figures at the hideaway have included every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge; Generals Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf and Alexander Haig; Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Earl Warren and Stewart Potter; and influential leaders of corporations like IBM, Bechtel and Bank of America. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld

on page 12


No. 11




Minaert by Paula

future, the In the not-too-distant at Prince the Mall area around Northwestern High Georges and look very different, School could major development because some the works there. in projects are projects are within Some of these and some fall just the city’s bordershave an impact on will outside. All sville. life in Hyatt

Property 1. The Landyby Marvin Blum-



party annual Halloween ages. The cityʼs 200 people of all drew about ON PAGE 10 MORE PHOTOS

things Where the wild an arts community, identified as lives both is frequently of wildlife that actively Hyattsville have also a community Some residents but there is and backyards. participating in the National in our parks this by Habitat program. worked to encourage Certified Wildlife and help wildlife Wildlife Federation’sprogram in 1973 to world,” acthe with the natural NWF started a way to connect a NWF wildlife biologist. “give people have been David Mizejewski, across the country cording to 135,000 homes Hyattsville has 23 of them. Since then, wildlife habitats. page 12 certified as continued on

The November

10, 2010

Issue of


Magruder Park is undergoing complete a nearly playground renovation, four new play with structures. PAGE 3

small pond

is part of a

The Hyattsville

certified habitat.



1 Legend and Lore asks: Why surrounding all the romance the Route 1 is almost famed Route 66 when its cousin as long and just as storied? PAGE 2

Police collect unwanted medica tions

Landy is owned the Washdeveloper in berg, a major He owns a 33.94ington region. land located south of and acre parcel High School of Northwestern Most of this land mall. north of the lies outside the city and is wooded portion at for a small limits, except corner. the northeast Council – which in The District for development is the arbiter County − recently Prince George’s proposal for a Landy approved on part of construction residential building of apartment that land: an that would be on the about 400 units Belcrest Road. the street line of would include The building that is within the land on portion of led to discussion city. This has of the city annexthe city council portion so be ing the unincorporated building would member that the entire said council in Hyattsville, ward bor(Ward 3). His develTim Hunt of the proposed portion ders the area includes the opment and and within the city. One of the project This is Phase



Nicola Hainʼs




Mall at Prince Georges area planning for new, major development

by Fred Seitz

Life & Times Hyattsville PO Box 132 MD 20781 Hyattsville,

This summer, the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle will be in the air as area children head off to sleepaway camp. On the West Coast, under the canopy of the California redwood forest, over 2,000 carefully chosen industrialists, bankers, government officials and other luminaries will gather

this month to continue a tradition that dates back more than a century. The secluded encampment, called the Bohemian Grove, is shrouded in secrecy about what goes on and who is invited, but occasional stories have surfaced in such venues as ABC News and magazines like Parade, Mother Jones and Spy.

By Lara Beaven


— See Center

continued on

page 13



DC GlassWorks glassblowing is a public-access strong sense studio that fosters a of community. PAGE 4


Hyattsville of unused police collected dozens medications dents Sept. from resitime national25 as part of a firstprescription initiative to prevent drugs into the from wrong hands or falling Vol. the water 7 No. 10 entering supply. “I thought no one Hyattsvil to go out would of their want le’s Communit drugs,” way to said return Hyattsville Sgt. Chris Purvis, y Newspape police offi the lied the cer who donations. r talhe said, But by the end, October residents — anonymously had deposited By 2010 Paula Minaert – a total pounds (approximately of 8.8 tainers At a September ing and 60 conand a more than city council ing, several Hyattsville few bags of pills). ternoon 4,500 new peak-hour meetHyattsville af- recommendation Communications Manager held up based on vehicle residents yellow Abby Sandel current trips, signs that city is more traffi jected development. traffic and to lift that current said the open to read “No traffic restriction c” road’s proholding event in thoroughfare,”and “No commuter bound Nina Faye, during a similar the future traffi on westpeak hours, who lives hoping munity tention if there bury 43 rd Avenue c between Route continues if traffi to draw on Queensinterest. is comto what c there 1 and to at- tionedRoad, said that they call long-standing Spearheaded traffic hours. during peak provements increase and she questhe numbers serious morning if imto state Enforcement by the federal their streets. traffic problems presented layed. Cheri Fulton Sabra, roads are Drug Wang to on dehas lived by a number Agency and They bury since “One day the council in “Why July. facilitate I was [at 1987 and on Queensof national backed cent were worried forcement and 41 st in the effort community traffic about a was involved Queensbury traffic study law ] for six into my re- in from a ganizations,and public health en- tants done by Enter sign that led to the asked resident the afternoon. minutes at state Sabra, consul3:30 or- estimating being posted. Do Not Wang Day aimed National Take Margaret road?” And I traffic than that traffi the Sept. & Associates She said Hayes Back c on the 13 city they claimed saw more prescription to reduce the have more that city streets hour. now but street is Hugh Turley, council in a halfrisk of is than 3,500 better will how If I can’t trust drugs sumed routinely still bad – and Life & Times a columnist being this number, new morncan I trust inappropriately. drivers conignore for the any tion drug the sign. Other bury, said, who lives on Another Prescripresidents of them?” abuse, Queenspoint of “One-way lem nationally, a growing questioned the recommendation contention even shouldn’t the Queensbury was goal a last resort.” be is a major probfor the DEA. for QueensburyHe believes to make focus one-way the An additional should westbound be to benefi take-back effort was t of the TRAFFIC unused continued prescription preventing on page 12 being drugs flushed from down the toilet,


s complai

DRUGS continued

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 43 Easton, MD 21601

by Hugh Turley

naked through the encampment.” In 1981, ABC News reported that exclusive members included CIA Director William Casey and William F. Buckley and that “activities included hiking, swimming, relaxing in the sun, and doing a bit of drinking.” Phil Weiss, who claimed he slipped into the Grove uninvited, filed a different version of events in his story for Spy in 1989. Weiss described juvenile joking about sex and continual urinating in the woods. “I was able to enjoy most pleasures of the Grove, notably the speeches, songs, elaborate drag shows, endless toasts, pre-dawn Gin Fizzes, round-the-clock Nembutals and other drinks,” wrote Weiss, “though I didn’t sleep in any of the camps or swim naked with like-minded Bohemians in the Russian River at night.” Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt described his first visit to the Bohemian Grove, as the guest of George Shultz. In his political retrospective Men and Power, Schmidt wrote, “[it] was one of the most astounding experiences I ever had in the United States.” During what are called Lakeside Talks, guests address members on their area of expertise. Last year, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a speaker. The name of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner has not surfaced as an attendee, but if he was there he might well have picked up a few pointers.

on page


n about


Local knitter their pieces s and croche ters donate to Smiths onian exhibit

by Kara Rose

Beginning displayed Oct. 16, an unusual in the reef will Ocean Hall of be the National Museum

Hyattsville Life & Times PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781

Summer camp for the leaders of the free world

and Kenneth Starr have also attended. The two-week retreat begins with “The Cremation of Care,” an evening ritual burning of an effigy on an altar under a 40-foot statue of an owl, with chants from a robed chorus that looks like Ku Klux Klansmen. For years, the late Walter Cronkite – “the most trusted man in America” – served as the voice of the owl during the ceremony. In a 1981 Parade magazine article, Jack Anderson reported, “The participants in this strange ceremony are not part of a secret conspiracy that had infiltrated the nation’s power structure. They were simply enjoying a midsummer frolic at the world’s most exclusive summer camp … owned and operated by the elite Bohemian Club of San Francisco.” Guests from the other side of the aisle include Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and former Speaker of the House Tom Foley. Alan Greenspan visited the Bohemian Grove before he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Other notables over the years have included Rupert Murdoch, Isaac Stern, Bing Crosby, Herman Wouk and Merv Griffin. Presidential adviser David Gergen, editor-at-large for U.S. News and World Report, resigned his membership in the Grove during the Clinton administration after some fuss about it being an allmale club. At that time, the Washington Times reported, Gergen had said “he wouldn’t run around

of Natural tory. Various Hisknitters and crocheters,

including more than Tangled Skein, used 100 from Hyattsville’s to make yarn and A the reef. fibers of The Hyperbolic all sorts Crochet runs through Coral Reef exhibit April 24, Margaret 2011. and Christine Curators Wertheim, YARN continued


: The October

6, 2010


of The


on page


Some of the pieces PHOTO BY residents CHRIS CURRIE handmade for the by Hyattsville Hyperbolic Reef, an exhibit Crochet opening later this Coral at the Smithsonian month.

lle Reporte

r — See



Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

Page 11


Return of the Natives by Fred Seitz

Since 2005, the Anacostia Watershed Society and more than 250 volunteer “weed warriors” have been working to remove invasive species of plants in Magruder Park and other nearby areas. Their efforts are paying off; coordinator Marc Imlay estimates that approximately 80 percent of the park’s bush honeysuckle and 95 percent of its English ivy have been removed. The garlic mustard is, he says, currently controlled. The battle continues with other top offenders, like multiflora rose and bamboo. That has cleared the way for several attractive natives, including mayapples (a popular food for many animals), trout lilies (another edible), jewelweed (the native species of impatiens and a possible native source for reducing poison ivy irritation), jackin-the-pulpit and skunk cabbage (both used by Native Americans). Invasive plant species – and their removal – have been the subject of considerable discussion for at least a decade. The determination of the negative or positive aspects of an invasive plant is sometimes quite subjective. The issue gained national attention in the ’90s, when President Clinton created the National Invasive Species Council. Past presidents, as far back as Thomas Jefferson, had encouraged the introduction of new species to America. But in modern times, the Bureau of Land

(who spread the seeds), but in turn alter the chemistry of the soil, putting native plants at risk and possibly jeopardizing cover and nesting sites for the birds. When some of these invasive plants were introduced, their ability to edge out native plant species and their possible negative impact on wildlife was unknown. But it turns out that one of the most pervasive invaders, English ivy, not only displaces native ground covers but attaches itself to trees and can kill them. Several local nurseries that stock native plants also sell English ivy and other invasive species, due to their popularity with some gardeners and landscapers. However, one of the strongest arguments for using native spe-

cies is their relatively low maintenance. They also supply food for native wildlife and pollinators. AWS continues to sponsor invasive removals, some coordinated with similar activities sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. The State of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources also has periodic invasive removal efforts in several state parks. Information about the AWS periodic removal efforts can be found on the AWS website: The Fish and Wildlife Service (fws. gov) has published an excellent guide for local native plants that can provide good wildlife habitat and aesthetic alternatives to many popular ornamental, nonnative species.


FRED SEITZ Mayapples are making a comeback in Magruder Park.

Management and others have cited the negative impact of invasive plants on grazing lands for cattle and other domesticated animals. Douglas Tallamy, in his eloquent work Bringing Nature Home, explains how invasive plants may beget invasive insects and animals, posing a serious threat to our ecosystem. Higher up the food chain, snakeheads and zebra mussels have been the focus of recent invasive-species discussions. The former have been cited as threats to popular game fish such as bass – but it is seldom mentioned that

bass themselves were introduced to many local water systems. While zebra mussels are blamed for clogging power plant filters, they do clean the water of several harmful pollutants. Many of the “invader plants” were introduced as positive environmental interventions; both multiflora rose and the infamous kudzu were brought in to control erosion. Others, such as bamboo and English ivy, were introduced for their perceived attractiveness to gardeners and landscapers. Some decorative fruit-bearing shrubs provide food for birds

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011

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continued from page 1

manent collection at the White House. In 2000, President Clinton awarded him a National Humanities Medal. Driskell and his wife, Thelma, came to Hyattsville almost 35 years ago, when he began teaching art history and studio classes at the University of Maryland. One day, he had lunch with a colleague from his graduateschool days at Catholic University, who lived in a Victorian on Decatur Street. When Driskell mentioned that he and Thelma also preferred older houses, the friend told him that the threestory, corner-lot Victorian next door was for sale. That was in 1977, and they’ve been here ever since. His two daughters, Daphne DriskellColes and Daviryne DriskellMcNeill, live in neighboring houses across the street from their parents’ home, along with three of the Driskells’ five grandchildren, who all attended Hyattsville public schools. Three great-grandchildren live elsewhere in the county. “It’s a very old-spirited community, with a strong sense of preservation,” Driskell says of the neighborhood. “It’s quaint and peaceful, and everybody has such pride in their property. Even the smallest of houses has a flower garden.” Driskell was born in Georgia in 1931 and spent his childhood in North Carolina. His mother made quilts and baskets, and his father, a Baptist preacher, made furniture and worked as a blacksmith. At the time, however, no one saw these handmade every-

courtesy of the driskell family Artist and collector David Driskell, outside the studio he built behind his Hyattsville home, with a ceramic-and-metal piece created by Bing Davis.

day objects as folk art. He credits his interest in art to his parents and an elementary school teacher. She encouraged her students in the segregated, one-room schoolhouse to get creative with local supplies: clay from nearby creeks, jewelry made from pine cones and acorns. He and his classmates would enter their art in the annual countywide competition with students from other AfricanAmerican schools. Driskell studied art at Howard University under Lois Mailou Jones, James A. Porter and Morris Louis. The summer after his junior year, he was accepted to a nine-week session at the elite Skowhegan School of Painting

and Sculpture in Maine; fellow classmates included Robert Indiana (of LOVE sculpture fame), Alex Katz and James McGarrell. He loved Maine’s unique culture, and has spent the last 50 summers there, dividing his time between his art studio and his expansive garden and orchard, which were featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine. “I grow all my family’s summer vegetables,” he says, with pride. Locally, his work can be seen at the Brentwood Arts Exchange through August 13. The show, “Artistic Reflections,” also features work by three of his former students. An opening reception is scheduled for July 16. For an overview of his career, visit “Creative Spirits: The Art of David C. Driskell” at the Driskell Center. Opening September 15, the exhibit will showcase 60 of his works.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011


Page 13


continued from page 1

continued from page 1

The 2012 budget largely maintains that vision, but adds, among other things: a 1 percent cost-of-living increase for city employees; the new position of Senior Services Coordinator; a parking-enforcement supervisor; and a police officer to run the speed-camera program. Revenue collected from the program is supposed to cover the officer’s salary and expenses. Despite weak economic times, several big-ticket construction projects are scheduled for this fiscal year, including continuation of the city’s five-year road paving program, reconstruction of Crittenden Street and 40th Place, long-term improvements for City Hall and 3505 Hamilton Street, and renovation of a soccer field at Magruder Park. According to the capital improvement plan, the city has had a longstanding goal of renovating the park’s playing fields and surfaces. The city commissioned a $100,000 design study in fiscal year 2011 for field renovation, but the results aren’t available yet. A total of $325,000 has been set aside in fiscal year 2012 for renovation of one soccer field – including the possible conversion of the field from grass to artificial turf.

police and the Prince George’s County sheriff are also regularly on site. We believe this was an isolated incident.” Police cordoned off the area around the Regal Royale 14

movie theater as part of the investigation. The next day, a somber group of Smith-Matthews’ friends gathered at the scene in various states of disbelief. A 2008 graduate of Northwestern High School, the Riverdale Park native was a

rapper also known as Damion Matthews. Hundreds of mourners packed the July 8 funeral service at First Baptist Church in North Brentwood. Hyattsville police have sched-

uled a community meeting on crime and safety issues on Wednesday, July 20 at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church, 6201 Belcrest Road. All are invited to attend.

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Shrek Forever After Friday, July 15 at 7:00 PM University Hills/Duck Pond Park 3400 Stanford Street (West End Wells Pkwy)

The Muppet Movie Friday, July 29 at 7:30 PM Magruder Park 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

The Princess and the Frog Friday, August 19 at 7:30 PM Magruder Park 40th Avenue & Hamilton Street

Parents, mark your calendars - Hyattsville goes Hollywood! Four family-friendly flicks are headed to area parks in Summer 2011.

All events are free and open to the public. Refreshments are available for sale. Bring your own blanket or lawn chairs! Questions? Call 301/985-5020.

Page 14

Hyattsville Life & Times | July 2011


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July 2011 Hyattsville Life and Times  

July 2011 issue of the community newspaper of Hyattsville, Maryland. No property tax rate hike; artist David Driskell honored; University...

July 2011 Hyattsville Life and Times  

July 2011 issue of the community newspaper of Hyattsville, Maryland. No property tax rate hike; artist David Driskell honored; University...