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Write for the Hyattsville Life & Times in 2017. P. 2



Tanglewood Works decides to remain in the Arts District. P. 4

Question of city council size to appear on 2017 ballot



Resident hopes to see Hyattsville become a sanctuary city. P. 10




By Krissi Humbard

At their Dec. 19, 2016 meeting, the city council unanimously voted to place an advisory, non-binding referendum question regarding the size of the city council on the ballot for the upcoming 2017 election. Councilmembers Edouard Haba (Ward 4) and Ruth Ann Frazier (Ward 5) were absent. The referendum question will establish voters’ preferences about the number of councilmembers on the city council. It also seeks input on the number and size of the election wards, the number of councilmembers per ward, and whether there should be any councilmembers elected at-large by all the city’s voters. “The last time [the council] had a deliberate conversation about size was in 2012,” when the council was discussing options for redistricting,



COUNCIL continued on page 13

Vol. 14 No. 1

Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper

January 2017

Council approves funding for purchase of new Call-A-Bus By Quanny Carr

The city council approved funding to purchase a new Call-A-Bus at the Dec. 19, 2016 meeting, after members from the Hyattsville community voiced concerns about lack of service and unreliability. The original proposal was discussed during the Dec. 5, 2016 city council meeting. The proposal requested that “$20,000 be reappropriated from the Department of Public Works to

the Department of Community Services to purchase a reliable Transport Vehicle/Call-A-Bus.” During that meeting, residents of Hyattsville spoke about their experiences with the program and called on the city to approve the proposal. “I have a 92-year-old mother … We had scheduled a Call-A-Bus pickup to get her to Providence Hospital for a very important medical examination,” said Winifred Weaver, a Ward 1 resident. “The bus broke down. We didn’t

know until long afterwards, and thank goodness a good Samaritan, a neighbor of my mom’s, offered to give us a ride there and back.” Weaver finished her personal testimony, imploring the council for change: “I press upon you with all of my heart, I beg you, please, find the money to invest in a dependable bus. Otherwise your senior programs are going to fall by the wayside.” The bus provides senior citizens and people with disabilities a

convenient transportation service to assist with everyday errands like medical appointments and grocery store trips. The service is available from Monday to Friday and costs $2 each way. Ward 1 resident Linda Otts, who spoke positively about the program, also addressed the unreliability of the vehicle, “You can’t keep putting Band-Aids on Band-Aids.” According to the proposal, the CALL-A-BUS continued on page 8

Operation Santa with a Badge spreads joy to kids near and far

Hyattsville Life & Times PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781

By Helen Parshall

HELEN PARSHALL Kids dance with Santa outside the Mall at Prince Georges, excitement tangible in the air as they wait to begin the shopping adventure.

Over 100 police officers and children loaded in police cars, with lights and sirens blaring, streamed into the Mall at Prince Georges’ parking lot on Dec. 10, 2016, eager to shop for the holidays. It was all a part of Operation Santa with a Badge, an annual Hyattsville tradition that brings together officers from agencies in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and more than 100 children from local, low-income families for a chance to experience some holiday magic. “My favorite part is seeing the faces on the kids,” said Doug Holland, Hyattsville police chief. “More often than not when the kids are shopping with the police officers, they’re buying things for other family members, their brothers and sisters, mom and dad, too.” SANTA continued on page 12


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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

FromTheEditor New year’s resolution: Become a writer for the HL&T! By Krissi Humbard

It’s a new year, and for many, that means New Year’s resolutions. (Are yours still going strong?) After the excesses of the holidays, many resolutions are fitness related. Some people resolve to tackle projects, do something that challenges them, improve a skill or take on a new hobby. Some vow to volunteer more in their communities. Well, we can’t help you with the fitness goals. But those

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. Editors welcome reader input, tips, articles, letters, opinion pieces and photographs, which may be submitted using the mailing address above or the email addresses below. Managing Editor Maria D. James Associate Editor Heather Wright Digital Editor Krissi Humbard Web Manager Lindsay Myers Layout & Design Editor Ashley Perks Copy Editor Nancy Welch Advertising 301.531.5234 Writers & Contributors LaShon Bland, Mark Boyle, Quanny Carr, Christopher Griffin, Chris McManes, Helen Parshall Board of Directors Joseph Gigliotti — President and General Counsel Chris Currie — Vice President Caroline Selle — Secretary Peggy Dee, Karen J. Riley, Rosanna Landis Weaver, Gretchen Brodtman, Debra Franklin, T. Carter Ross Maria D. James and Krissi Humbard — Ex Officios 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 9,300. HL&T is a member of the National Newspaper Association.

other resolutions? Look no further! If you’ve ever thought about writing or would like to improve your photography skills — and want to help your community — we want to hear from you. Are you an active participant in city government — the type who never misses a council meeting? Do you dig numbers and budgets? Maybe you know the ins and outs of local, county or state laws. Perhaps you’re a crime buff. Are you active in one of the local schools? Do you have your ear to the ground regarding new businesses? Are you an artist or art lover looking to highlight the arts

scene in Hyattsville? Do you just like to talk to people and hear their stories? If so, we could use you. What you might not know, is that the Hyattsville Life and Times (HL&T) consists of seven core employees — not counting our board members — and a handful of mostly student writers. We are a nonprofit newspaper with a modest budget. We are a virtual newsroom. All of us have other jobs or obligations. We work during nap time or at night or on weekends. We do what we do because we love Hyattsville. Try as we might, it’s just not

possible for us to cover all the great things that go on in Hyattsville. It’s true that the HL&T that arrives in your mailbox each month has limited space for content. But, the HL&T website gets updated weekly (Did you know we have a website?!). If you’ve got stories, we’ve got space for them. Working as the digital editor for just these few months has been so rewarding. I’ve lived in the city for seven years, but working for the paper, I’ve built relationships with neighbors, business owners, councilmembers, city staff and police officers that I might not have even met otherwise. I’ve

learned a lot about Hyattsville, and I’ve become a more active member of my community. I’m in the thick of it, so to speak, and it’s been a lot of fun. If you’d like to try your hand in writing for us or shooting photos or video, send us an email at or We also welcome news tips! Let us know about upcoming events, your neighbor (or yourself) who is doing something awesome, local issues or concerns, or places you think Hyattsville residents should know about. You can submit news tips through our website or use the emails above.


READ THE FULL STORY AT HYATTSVILLELIFE.COM POLICE INVESTIGATE SHOTS FIRED On Jan. 5 at approximately 10 p.m., Hyattsville City Police Department officers responded to the area of 29th Avenue and Lancer Drive for reports of shots fired. Officers recovered multiple shell casings from the scene. Witnesses said about 10 shots were fired at the intersection. Two vehicles were said to be involved. Police Chief Doug Holland said investigators worked through the night, thoroughly processing the scene and trying to locate any victims, witnesses or suspects. Police are asking residents in the area of 29th Avenue and Lancer Drive to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or anything out of the ordinary. Anyone with information is asked to call the Hyattsville City Police Department at 301.985.5060 and reference case number 17-0041. CITY DEBUTS NEW SEARCHABLE CRIME DATABASE In late October, the city began migrating to a new CAD/Records system and have now established a procedure to export the data needed to provide the crime reports. A crime reports database is now available on the city’s website. With this database, residents can search by multiple variables (i.e., date, week, location, ward) and easily print or save the information to an Excel or PDF format. The database offers much more flexibility than a static report. The

KRISSI HUMBARD Mayor Candace Hollingsworth presented City Attorney Richard Colaresi, who retired Dec. 14, 2016, with a plaque and thanked him for his service during his last council meeting.

report can be found online at CITY ATTORNEY RETIRES; NEW ATTORNEY NAMED Long-time city attorney, Richard T. Colaresi, retired effective Dec. 14. To ensure that there would be no gap in legal services for the city, the mayor appointed, with council approval, Ernest I. Cornbrooks IV, as the city attorney effective Dec. 15. Both Colaresi and Cornbrooks work for Karpinski, Colaresi & Karp, P.A., located in Baltimore. Mayor Candace Hol-

lingsworth presented Colaresi with a plaque and thanked him for his 14 years of service to the city. “We don’t want to let this final meeting pass without expressing our gratitude and general thanks for all you’ve done for the City of Hyattsville,” Hollingsworth said at Colaresi’s last council meeting. HYATTSVILLE JOINS COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS The City of Hyattsville has joined the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) as an adjunct member. COG is an independent, nonprofit as-

sociation, with a membership of 300 elected officials from 23 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress. The COG works to manage the region’s growth through regional partnership. Every month, officials and experts come to COG to make connections, share information, and develop solutions to the region’s major challenges. “Through our involvement, we hope to cement Hyattsville as a key player and contributor to the region’s long-term vitality and success,” Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth said.

Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

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27 Easy Fix Up Tips to Give You the Competitive Edge When Selling Your Hyattsville Area Home in 2017

COURTESY OF PATTI SULLINS Tom Keefer with his guardian angel, Patti Sullins, within a week of his unexpected passing.

Death of a naturalist: Tom Keefer By Christopher Griffin

Thomas Keefer, a unique, wellknown personality who lived in Hyattsville for decades, died on Oct. 9, 2016, at age 67. His ashes were laid to rest around the sycamore tree at the Keefer family home at 40th Avenue and Kennedy Street on Nov. 12. A circle of Hyattsville friends joined hands around the tree and sang “Amazing Grace.” Paul Sullins prayed for the repose of Tom’s soul after an unquiet life. This sycamore was a fitting location for the memorial and resting place for Tom, a naturalist who grew up on this Hyattsville corner and had a fascination for all creatures great and small, especially amphibians. Tom Keefer’s booming, gravelly voice, long hair and beard might have suited him for the stage, and his striking appearance and insistent tone might frighten those who did not know him. His bark was worse than his bite. Tom made his living as a carpenter, and much of his work is in Hyattsville homes and the DC area. I first met him at Christmas time as he was selling holly from another large tree in his front yard. We were in almost constant communication for more than a decade. There was something of the frontiersman about Tom Keefer, whether he was observing flora and fauna in the Anacostia around Riverdale, collecting ants for E. O. Wilson, hunting snakes in Florida and geckos in Texas, living in the

The Vigilantes is a Hyattsville Life & Times original comic strip.

woods in West Virginia, or encountering bears and celebrities wherever. After graduating from Northwestern High School, he studied biology at the University of Maryland and did graduate fieldwork in Texas. Tom was proud of his descent from great-grandfather Brig. Gen. Douglas Hancock Cooper, who fought with Jefferson Davis in the Mexican-American War in 1846. Cooper also served as federal agent to the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, whom he led as Confederates in Civil War battles in Indian Territory. Tom Keefer was an undaunted raconteur about his own life, and most of his stories were probably true. He spoke about dating an actress who later introduced “Annie Hall” to the Woody Allen character. He once found a poisonous snake on the Florida Keys and brought it back to DC in a cooler on the airplane. He may really have dug out Liz Taylor’s car from the sand dunes of North Carolina. According to his attending physician, Tom was insisting that he was OK when he was “arrested.” Perhaps it is apt that Tom died mid-sentence. We lost a wonderful storyteller of many unusual experiences with Tom’s passing. Christopher Griffin has lived in Hyattsville for 33 years, which is 10 years longer than he lived in his native Ireland. He is a retired teacher.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

Handmade for each other: Tanglewood Works and the Arts District By Heather Wright

A few weeks after opening her Tanglewood Works pop-up store at 5132 Baltimore Avenue for the holiday season, Sue OlderMondeel knew she was on to something. The pop-up could stay up. Tanglewood Works, recipient of first place honors in the 2016 Washington City Paper’s Readers’ Choice Best of D.C. for Best Handmade Home Decor, moved a step closer to OlderMondeel’s vision of it becoming a “third place.” When she owned a cafe in the San Francisco Bay Area, OlderMondeel thought of her cafe as a “third place” for people: “It’s about having a place to go that’s not home or work.” A self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur,” Older-Mondeel is done with running cafes (“I’ll let Vigilante do that.”) but is dedicated to creating a space that nourishes community: “I still retain that desire to be a hostess for ‘the third place.’” She said her vision is for the Baltimore Avenue store to become such a place. Tanglewood Works got its start in 2014 as a place to buy homemade and upcycled furniture and goods — “Where upcycling and art connect.” Their first home was at Community Forklift, on Edmonston’s Tanglewood Drive. Older-Mondeel said she knew

COURTESY OF SUE OLDER-MONDEEL Tanglewood Works’ first upcycled ornament party was held on Dec. 11, 2016, at its now permanent location on Baltimore Ave.

that eventually they would outgrow the space. When asked why she had decided to stay in Hyattsville, Older-Mondeel replied, “Hyattsville rocks!” She added, “Being able to do the pop-up was a glimpse into basically a fabulous retail location. I think my staff was going to have a mutiny if we gave up the space.” She added that her clients seemed to prefer the Hyattsville

location “and were thrilled that we were here.” “It’s part of their walking journey now,” she said. “They’re eating at Franklin’s and then stopping in, and they’re grabbing coffee at Vigilante and then they’re stopping back in, and then they’re going to look at jewelry [at Fleisher’s Jewelers] across the street and they’re coming back in, and then they’re going to 3 Little Birds and coming

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back in.” Team Tanglewood sales associate and consigning fiber artist, Jen Athanas, agreed: “Here, the exposure is to so many more people. … This being right in between Vigilante and Franklin’s, this sweet spot has been really great, and we’ve been reaching people that wouldn’t necessarily have gone to the Forklift.” Older-Mondeel said that one of the most exciting things about deciding to move her whole operation to Hyattsville is that now Tanglewood Works can develop an in-depth and consolidated calendar of events and classes that brings people together to craft, upcycle, and socialize. Older-Mondeel described events geared towards both “the DYIers [do-it-yourself-ers] who want to wear their overalls and learn a skill” and those who “want to dabble and play and have a so-

cial gathering.” The DIY-ers, for example, might be interested in furniture-painting classes, involving chalk- and clay-based paints. Dabblers might be more interested in “sip-and-dips or dip-and-sips,” where they can drink, eat and complete a smaller-scale project. Older-Mondeel said she hoped to further support the local arts community by collaborating with other art-related businesses and groups in the area. She described hosting various meetups of artists and crafters, such as the Upcycle Junkie meetups, which took place at Tanglewood Works’ Edmonston shop. She also mentioned the likelihood of hosting collaborative events. Older-Mondeel said she wants other crafters and artists to make use of the new Tanglewood Works space to hold their own events. Tanglewood Works is hosting a fundraiser for the Yarnians, a local group of knitters, on Jan. 28. “They’ll host their fundraiser in our space. We don’t take anything out of it. We just want to host it and let people know about it and support a good cause,” she said. Tanglewood Works got a good start on bringing community together on New Year’s Day, when “third spaces” can be hard to come by. “We were the only store [nearby] open New Year’s Day,” Older-Mondeel said. “People were like, ‘Why are you open?’ and I was like, ‘I didn’t know I was supposed to be closed. … I’m the new kid on the block.’” And did people come? “We were packed!”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

DeMatha lost its first game on Dec. 29, 2016, falling to host Providence Day, 77-71, in Charlotte, N.C. In a 64-42 victory over Bishop McNamara, the Stags lost sophomore guard Justin Moore to a season-ending injury. DeMatha defeated Roselle Catholic, the second-ranked team in New Jersey, 66-61 in Wheeling, W.Va., on Jan. 7.

COURTESY OF NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE DeMatha senior D.J. Harvey will play at Notre Dame next season. He leads the Stags in scoring, averaging more than 15 points per game.

Irish eyes smiling on DeMatha basketball team; Stags off to 11-1 start By Chris McManes

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is always welcomed at DeMatha Catholic High School. The 1977 graduate is the most successful college coach of Morgan Wootten’s former players. He also played a key role in the fundraising effort to build DeMatha’s modern arena. Stags coach Mike Jones has another reason he likes seeing Brey at the LT (SEAL) Brendan Looney ’99 Convocation Center: When Brey shows up, DeMatha senior and Notre Dame recruit D.J. Harvey turns his game up a notch. “Every time Mike is in the house, D.J. plays well,” Jones said after Harvey scored 24 points in Brey’s presence on Dec. 10, 2016. Harvey’s play in the early season has helped the Stags (111) move from preseason No.

3 to the top of The Washington Post Top 20. At press time, they were second behind league rival Gonzaga and 16th in the nation (MaxPreps). After DeMatha opened the season with a 95-29 domination of Cardozo, it went to Eleanor Roosevelt and fell behind by four at halftime before leaving Greenbelt with an eight-point win. Next up for the Stags was a date with Wheeler High in the 10th Annual National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha. Wheeler, from Marietta, Ga., was ranked second in the preseason by MaxPreps. The Stags were clinging to a 5855 lead with under a minute to play when center Josh Carlton took a pass from Harvey and hit a jump hook. Carlton added two free throws before Harvey brought the crowd to its feet with a steal and slam dunk. His display

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of speed and power helped punctuate DeMatha’s 66-58 victory. Harvey was named game MVP after his 24-point performance. Brey attended the contest after his Fighting Irish fell to No. 1 Villanova outside Philadelphia. In a news release the day before, Brey commented on what he liked about the 6-foot-6-inch, 185-pound swingman from Bowie: “He is a big guard with a complete skill set,” Brey said. “He has a feel for the game and a great shooting stroke. Add in his athletic ability and high basketball IQ, and we feel he will fit really well into our system. “He has been our No. 1 target for two years, and we are thrilled that he will be joining us.” Jerian Grant, the last Stag to play for Notre Dame, now plays for the Chicago Bulls. In 201415, he was a consensus AllAmerican.

Harvey moved to the area from Huntsville, Ala. He became the first DeMatha player to start the first game of his freshman campaign since another former Stag, Adrian Dantley, did so in 196970. Dantley was a two-time AllAmerican at Notre Dame and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Harvey averaged 15.4 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as a junior last season. With All-American Markelle Fultz’s departure for the University of Washington, Harvey is the Stags’ go-to guy on the perimeter. In DeMatha’s 68-58 win over league rival St. John’s on Dec. 14, 2016, Harvey started slowly before finishing with 16 points. One of two Stags to play all 32 minutes, he at times looked like he was trying to do too much. “We need him to do that right now,” Jones said. “As we mature as a team, I think you’ll see less of him forcing [things]. But tonight we needed him to be that aggressive.” Point guard Ryan Allen, who has signed to play at Delaware next season, produced 17 points in the win over St. John’s. “He didn’t have a great first half [although] … he made some shots when we really needed him,” Jones said. “He was much better in the second half.”

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STAGS GO BIG DeMatha has used its exceptional skills and superior size to wear down most of its opponents. Senior John McCrae is 6 feet 7 inches tall, sophomore Jamel Melvin and freshman Paul Smith are 6 feet 8 inches tall, and sophomore Jordan Wilmore is 6 feet 10½ inches tall. “I think our size is going to be the difference in a lot of games this year,” Jones said. “We’ve got a luxury in having all that size.” Carlton, who has accepted a scholarship to play at Connecticut, checks in at 6 feet 9½ inches. He played at South Central High in Winterville, N.C., in 2014-15. “Josh was new to the program last year, and like a lot of other players, had to make some adjustments to playing against guys who were as good or better than him,” Jones said. “I think he’s a lot more comfortable this year. I think his best days are ahead of him.” The tallest Stag is Hunter Dickinson, a 6-foot-11-inch freshman who is likely still growing. He comes to DeMatha from Alexandria, Va., and played last year at Mater Dei School in Bethesda, Md. “He’s a great kid [and] a great student from a great family,” Jones said. The 15-year Stags coach recruited Dickinson hard to come to Hyattsville. “Absolutely,” he said. “We begged Hunter to come here.”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

Page 7

Local fifth-graders create ornaments for 2016 National Christmas Tree display By Lashon Bland

The National Christmas Tree is rich with history, dating back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first one. This year, fifth-grade students from Rosa L. Parks Elementary School had the honor of being part of this history. The group of students was selected to represent the state of Maryland in the “America Celebrates: Ornaments from Across the USA” display. The display, which was viewable until Jan. 1, featured 56 trees, representing every U.S. state and territory and the District of Columbia. These trees surrounded the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park. The state trees showcased original, handcrafted ornaments designed by artists from around the country. The opportunity came by way of Suzanne Herbert-Forton, a teaching artist with the Maryland State Arts Council, who asked to work with Rosa Parks School and art teacher Eileen Cave. The students were tasked with creating 12 one-of-a-kind ornaments featuring Maryland’s indigenous species.

Cave, the art integration lead teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary, and her fifth-grade art class, along with Herbert-Forton, began work on this project in early fall. They had to complete the ornaments within a short period of time. “We had four sessions to get it done,” said Herbert-Forton. The students started with research. They looked at photos of nature and researched ecosystems. Cave said one student loved sharks, so he researched KRISSI HUMBARD sharks in Maryland. After conducting their research, The Maryland state tree at the National Christmas Tree display, the students worked on their featuring ornaments made by Rosa L. Parks Elementary School students. sketches during the next session. Cave told the fifth-graders that, Lighting Ceremony took place Cave admitted she didn’t realize since it was the holiday time, they on Dec. 1, 2016, and Cave and that Rosa Parks Elementary was could jazz it up a little. The crabs Herbert-Forton were invited to the only school to represent the could have glitter on them, she attend the event. Both Cave and state of Maryland. “To open up added. Herbert-Forton shared the same that program and see the names When the artwork was finished, sentiments about how special it and the school, it really hit me. each ornament was encased in a was to attend the event, especially Really an incredible thing to see,” clear globe. Cave said the students during President Barack Obama’s she said. “thought it was cool” to place the final weeks in office. Herbert-Forton shared how the artwork in a globe. Herbert-Forton “For me to be in his presence students felt about representing assembled the ornaments in her Bal- was an incredible honor and ex- their state at the National Christmas timore studio in time for them to be perience for me,” said Cave. Tree display. While working on the shipped off for the National Christ- Herbert-Forton agreed. “It project, the students asked Herbertmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. meant a lot for both of us to be Forton if anyone else in Maryland The National Christmas Tree there. It was quite an honor.” was working on the project. When

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she told them that that they were the only school group involved, she says, “they got really excited!” “It’s meaningful for the kids to show what they can do on a national level,” said Herbert-Forton. Cave also noted how supportive the principal of Rosa Parks Elementary, Dr. Tara A. Lobin, has been of this project: “She made sure the students knew what they achieved.” Lobin went to see the tree and shared her experience with the staff of Rosa Parks Elementary. When asked for her reaction to the display, she said, “Visiting the National Christmas Tree is a family tradition for me, so when I finally saw the display, immediately my heart skipped a beat! Serving as principal in such a dynamic community has truly been an honor, so seeing the hard work of our students and staff displayed for the world to see was a treat.” Lobin spoke about how participating in this project has impacted the students. “Our students were so excited to participate in this program,” she said. “This project has taught our students that with hard work and dedication, the impossible is possible!”

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The City of Hyattsville encourages residents to help neighbors in need seniors and people with disabilities - with yardwork and other home maintenance work. If your neighbor helps you, or you're a helpful neighbor yourself, please call to let us know. We have yard tools and equipment we want to give you, free of charge, as a way of saying thanks.

La ciudad de Hyattsville quisiera animar a los residentes ha apoyar a sus vecinos con necesitadades - Las personas mayores y personas con incapacidades - con limpieza de patios y otros mantenimientos de hogar. Si su vecino lo ayuda, o usted es un vecino útil y quiere brindar apoyo, por favor llame para informarnos. Tenemos herramientas y equipos de jardín que queremos ofrecer de forma gratuita, como una manera de decir gracias.

For more information, please call 301-985-5057.

Para obtener más información, llame al 301-985-5057.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017


Hyattsville Reporter No. 346 • January 11, 2017 • 301-985-5000

BB&T building) on February 15 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the City Municipal Building. Public comments are welcome at the meeting and can also be sent electronically to or posted to

Parent & Child Dance Party

Join us on a sweet adventure through Candy Land! Come to 4310 Gallatin Street on Saturday, February 11, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a kid-friendly evening of music, dancing, snacks and fun photos. Entry is $5.00 per person, payable at the door (cash, checks, and credit cards accepted). Be sure to RSVP now as space is limited! For more information, please contact Cheri Everhart at 301985-5021 or visit

Call Our Main Number

The City is making it easier for residents to contact us. All questions, comments, and concerns—from Call-A-Bus to trash service—can now be directed to 301-985-5000. We look forward to hearing from you!

Waste Collection Changes for Martin Luther King Day

City Elections in May

The City of Hyattsville will hold an election on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. City Council Member seats will be open in all of the five City Wards. For information on voter qualifications and registration visit Residents wanting to run for office can file an application between Monday, February 27, and Friday, March 31. For more information, attend one of our Candidate Information Sessions on Monday, March 6, 6-7 p.m., or Saturday, March 25, 10-11 a.m. Both sessions will be held at the City Municipal Building at 4310 Gallatin Street. To obtain a Candidate Packet, visit or pick up a packet at the City Municipal Building Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Packets will be available starting February 10.

Money for Your Business

Are you looking to invest in new growth for your business? The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has given the City of Hyattsville $50,000 through a Community Legacy grant, in support of our continued Commercial Façade Improvement Program. The program matches local businesses dollar-for-dollar on exterior development projects like painting, masonry, lighting, and more. The City will accept applications in May 2017. “We’re thankful that Governor Larry Hogan and Secretary Kenneth Holt continue to invest in the City of Hyattsville. This program supports our local businesses, various community stakeholders, and has played a vital role in our City’s economic development,” said Mayor Candace Hollingsworth. “We are proud to count the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development among our partners.”

Keeping Our City Safe

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention has granted our Police Department $106,500 to begin the Hyattsville Safe Streets Initiative. The initiative will address crime in the City and surrounding areas, tracking priority offenders along with State, County, and municipal public safety agencies. The grant supports crime reduction patrols, supervision and containment of offenders,

training, and salaries for a program coordinator and a crime analyst.

City of Hyattsville Police Department is Hiring Do you want to build your career while giving back to the community? Help keep the City of Hyattsville safe by applying for a position with our Police Department as an officer, captain, crime analyst, or grant coordinator. For more information or to apply, visit

Route 1 Rampage Returns to Hyattsville On April 1, the City will once again host the Route 1 Rampage, the collegiate and professional criterium bicycle race organized by the University of Maryland Cycling Team. Arrow Bicycle is the team’s sponsor, and other businesses are encouraged to contact the team to get involved. The race course will again be the one-mile loop from Route 1/Baltimore Avenue to Farragut Street, 42nd Avenue and Jefferson Street. Route 1 parking will be prohibited, and traffic will be reduced to one lane each way. Farragut, 42nd, and Jefferson will be closed to traffic along the race route, with drivers only allowed to cross the course when no riders are present. Additional plans and details will soon be posted to

Upcoming Council Issues

Upcoming Council Meetings will cover numerous projects including University Hills sidewalks, street rehabilitation in Ward 3, and the Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro Station. There will also be discussion of the City’s Residential Parking Program. The Council will also begin discussions of the budget for Fiscal Year 2018, and will hold a public hearing on that topic on February 1 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the City Municipal Building, at 4310 Gallatin Street.

What Should We Do with the City Building? There will be a Council Facilities Work Session to discuss planning for 4310 Gallatin Street (City Municipal Building) and 3505 Hamilton Street (former

There will be no yard waste or leaf collection on Monday, January 16. Please note that the final day of leaf collection Citywide will be Monday, January 23. After the 23rd, all leaves should be bagged and placed outside with yard waste. The trash collection schedule will remain as normal during the week of MLK Day, although compost will be collected on Tuesday, January 17. For questions about recycling, please contact Prince George’s County by calling 311.

Creative Minds

The Winter Session of the Creative Minds parent and toddler program takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. until March 16. Creative Minds continues to enrich children’s lives through education and interactive activities featuring movement, art, music, story time, and free play. For more information or to register, please contact Saarah Abdul-Rauf at 301-985-5065 or visit www.

Mini Camp Magruder

Registration is open for Mini Camp Magruder! We’d love to have your youngster, age 5-10, join us while schools are closed but parents still have to work. We’ll be open on February 10 and March 27 from 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ($30 each day). For more information, contact Saarah Abdul-Rauf at 301-985-5065 or visit

Meeting on Sports Field Permitting

Sports organizations wishing to use fields at Magruder Park, Melrose Park and 38th Avenue for the Spring 2017 playing season are encouraged to attend our Spring Sports Field Permitting meeting on Wednesday, January 25, at 7:00 pm at 4310 Gallatin Street. Field availability, maintenance schedules, permitting procedures, and weather related closures will be discussed. For more information, please contact Cheri Everhart at 301-985-5021.

Call-A-Bus Trips

The Call-A-Bus takes seniors and people with disabilities to area stores and outings on a regular basis. Reservations are required by calling 301-985-5000. Giant: February 13 & 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Price Rite Nutritional Tour: February 16, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Safeway & Aldi: February 2 & 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Shoppers & Price Rite: February 7 & 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

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Reportero de


No. 346 • 11 de Enero, 2017 • 301-985-5000

5 p.m. hasta las 7 p.m. para una noche de música, baile, botanas y fotos divertidas. Sale cada persona $5 entrar la fiesta y se puede pagar a la puerta (se acepta efectivo, cheques y tarjetas de crédito). ¡RSVP ahora porque nuestra capacidad es limitada! Para más información, contacte a Cheri Everhart a 301985-5021 o visite a

Llame a nuestro número principal

La Ciudad está haciendo más fácil contactarnos. Cualquier consulta, comentario u otro asunto—desde el Call-A-Bus hasta la basura—ahora puede ser dirigido a 301-985-5000. ¡Ansiamos hablar con usted!

Cambios de horario de basura

Elecciones municipales en mayo

La Ciudad de Hyattsville tendrá elecciones el martes el 2 de mayo de 2017 desde 7 a.m. hasta 8 p.m. Asientos en el Concejo Municipal estarán abiertos en todos los cinco distritos de la Ciudad. Para más información sobre las calificaciones para votar y como registrarse, visite a Residentes que quieran presentar su candidatura pueden solicitar entre lunes el 27 de febrero hasta viernes el 31 de marzo. Para más información, asista una de nuestras sesiones de información para candidatos el lunes el 6 de marzo, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. o el sábado el 25 de marzo, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ambas sesiones tendrán lugar en el edificio municipal de la ciudad a 4310 Calle Gallatin. Para obtener un paquete de candidatura, visite www.hyattsville. org/elections o recójalo en el edificio municipal lunes a viernes entre las horas de 8:30 a.m. y 5 p.m. Los paquetes serán disponibles desde el 10 de febrero.

Dinero para su negocio

¿Busque invertir en más crecimiento para su negocio? El Departamento de la Vivienda y el Desarrollo Comunitario ha dado $50.000 a la Ciudad de Hyattsville mediante una subvención de legado comunitario, apoyando la continuación de nuestro programa de mejorar fachadas comerciales. El Programa iguala a empresas elegibles “dólar-por-dólar” en proyectos de desarrollo exterior como pintura, albañilería, iluminación y más. La Ciudad aceptará solicitaciones en mayo de 2017. “Agradecemos a Gobernador LarryHogan y Secretario Kenneth Holt por seguir invirtiendo en la Ciudad de Hyattsville. Este programa apoya nuestras empresas locales, nuestra comunidad y tiene un papel vital en el desarrollo economico de la Ciudad,” dijo Alcaldesa Candace Hollingsworth. “Estamos orgullosos que el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Economico de Maryland nos acompaña.”

Manteniendo segura nuestra ciudad

La Oficina del Gobernador para el Control y Prevención de Crímenes ha dado una subvención de $106,500 a nuestro Departamento de Policía para comenzar la Iniciativa para las Calles Seguras de Hyattsville. La iniciativa enfrentará crímenes en la Ciudad y en su alrededor, siguiendo delincuentes de prioridad junta a agencias de seguridad del estado, condado y municipalidad. La subvención apoya patrullas para reducir crímenes, supervisión y contención de delincuentes, entrenamiento y salarios para una coordinadora del programa y de un analista criminal.

El Departamento de Policía de la Ciudad de Hyattsville está contratando ¿Quisiera formar su carrera y contribuir a la comu-

nidad a la vez? Ayude mantener segura la Ciudad de Hyattsville por medio de solicitar una posición con nuestro Departamento de Policía como un oficial, capitán, analista criminal o coordinador de subvenciones. Para más información o para solicitar, visite a

Vuelve Route 1 Rampage a Hyattsville El 1 de abril la Ciudad de Hyattsville de nuevo será la sede del Route 1 Rampage, el critérium colegiado y profesional que es una carrera del Equipo de Ciclismo de la Universidad de Maryland. Arrow Bicycle es el patrocinador del equipo y se alienta que otras empresas contacten al equipo para involucrarse. La carrera será de nuevo el lazo de una milla desde Ruta 1/Avenida Baltimore hacia Calle Farragut, Avenida 42 y Calle Jefferson. Se prohibirá estacionar en esta sección de Ruta 1 y el tráfico será reducida a un carril en cada dirección. Farragut, la 42 y Jefferson se cerrarán al tráfico, solamente permitiendo que los motoristas crucen la carrera cuando no hay ciclistas. Serán disponibles pronto planes y detalles adicionales en

Asuntos del Concejo Municipal

Las próximas reuniones del Concejo Municipal se tratará de muchos proyectos como las aceras en University Hills, la rehabilitación de calles en Distrito 3 y el Riverfront a West Hyattsville Metro Station. También habrá discusión sobre el programa de estacionamiento residencial de la ciudad. El Concejo también comenzará discusiones sobre el presupuesto para año fiscal 2018, organizando una audiencia pública con respecto a este tema el 1 de febrero desde las 8 p.m. hasta las 10 p.m. en el edificio municipal de la Ciudad, a 4310 Calle Gallatin.

¿Qué deberíamos hacer con el edificio municipal? Habrá una Sesión Sobre Instalaciones para discutir planes futuros para 4310 Calle Gallatin (Edificio Municipal de la Ciudad) y 3505 Calle Hamilton (ex edificio de BB&T) el 15 de febrero desde las 8 p.m. hasta las 10 p.m. Comentarios públicos están bienvenidos y también se puede comentar electrónicamente a o por ponerlos en

Fiesta de baile para padres y niños

¡Únanse con nosotros por una aventura muy dulce por la Tierra de Dulces! Venga con sus niños a 4310 Calle Gallatin el sábado el 11 de febrero desde las

No habrá recolección de residuos del jardín ni recolección de hojas el lunes el 16 de enero. Por favor acuérdese que el ultimo dia de recolección de hojas será el lunes el 23 de enero. Después del 23, ponga las hojas en una bolsa y ponga la bolsa afuera con los residuos del jardín. Recolección de basura permanecerá normal durante la semana del Día de Martin Luther King, Jr.. Sin embargo, el composto se recolecionará el martes el 17 de enero. Si tiene consultas sobre el reciclaje, por favor contacte al Condado de Prince George por llamar 311.

Mentes Creativos

La sesión del invierno de Mentes Creativos, el programa para niños pequeños y sus padres, se empieza el 10 de enero y tendrá lugar cada martes y jueves desde las 10 a.m. a las 12 p.m. hasta el 16 de marzo. Mentes Creativos sigue enriqueciendo las vidas de los niños mediante de la educación basada en actividades como el movimiento, el arte, la música, hora del cuento y juego libre. Para más información o para registrarse, por favor contacte a Saarah Abdul-Rauf a 301-985-5065 o visite a

Mini Camp Magruder

¡Registración está abierta para Mini Camp Magruder! Nos encantaría si su niño entre las edades de 5 y 10 se uniera con nosotros cuando las escuelas están cerradas pero los padres todavía tienen que trabajar. Estaremos abiertos el 10 de febrero y el 27 de marzo desde las 8 a.m. hasta las 6 p.m. (Sale $30 cada día.) Para más información, contacte a Saarah AbdulRauf a 301-985-5065 o visite a campmagruder.

Reunión sobre el permiso para campos deportivos Se alienta que las organizaciones deportivas que quieran ocupar los campos en Parque Magruder, Parque Melrose o en la Avenida 38 durante la primavera de 2017 asistan nuestra reunión sobre permisos para deportes en la primavera el miércoles el 25 de enero a las 7 p.m. a 4310 Calle Gallatin. La disponibilidad de los campos, horarios de mantenimiento, procedimiento de permisos y cierres relacionadas al clima será discutidos. Para más información, por favor contacte a Cheri Everhart a 301-985-5021.

Viajes del Llama-Un-Bus

El Llama-Un-Bus lleva mayores y personas con discapacidades a tiendas y otros eventos. Para reservaciones llame a 301-985-5000. Giant: El 13 y 27 de febrero, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Price Rite Nutritional Tour: El 16 de febrero, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Safeway & Aldi: El 2 y 23 de febrero, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Shoppers & Price Rite: El 7 y 21 de febrero, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

ROBERT HARPER BOOKS USED BOOKS • MUSIC • ART • T-SHIRTS Riverdale Park Town Center 6216 Rhode Island Ave., Riverdale Park, MD 301-927-1963 •

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Happy Holy Days Leviticus 23:3-4 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

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COURTESY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY The current Call-A-Bus has the reputation of being unreliable and frequently needing repair services.


continued from page 1

current Call-A-Bus vehicle, provided by the county, has a reputation for being unreliable, breaking down and needing repair services “on average 20 percent of the time each month.” The customers who depend on the bus said they had had enough of the frequent breakdowns. “I urge you … the senior citizens and the disabled need this service more than you realize,” said Otts. Otts also told the council her alternate solution to transportation when the Call-A-Bus breaks down: “You have to scramble and go to Metro Access. And

Metro Access is twice what it costs to ride the bus.” Jake Rollow, the community services director of Hyattsville, said that the department is excited about the budget amendment approval. He added that there is a 120-day turnaround from the time the bus is ordered to when it’s delivered. Rollow said that having a working bus will be “a real asset to the city.” After researching vehicles, the staff identified the 2017 Ford Champion Challenger as the best vehicle for the city’s needs. The Challenger seats 12 people and has space for two wheelchairs. “I think it will be a great benefit to our residents and our Call-A-Bus riders,” Rollow said.


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Catch the premier of the Riverdale Rail Concert hosted by Annette Waisilik. Waisilik is joined by award-winning Maine singer/ songwriters, Ashley Storrow and Putnam Smith. Robert Harper Books. 6216 Rhode Island Ave., Riverdale. 8 p.m. 301.927.1963. The Teen Action Group welcomes teens ages 12 and up to offer suggestions to help to improve the library. Come out and enjoy snacks and fun as the group plans

teen-centered projects and programs. Hyattsville Branch Library. 6530 Adelphi Rd. 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. 301.985.4690. website/branch/location/Hyattsville

their art to the public and making a profit. Tanglewood Works. 5132 Baltimore Ave. 6 to 8 p.m. Participants can attend individual topics or sign up for all six classes for a bulk rate.

January 16

January 28

Artists wanted! Join Sue OlderMondeel, known as the Senior Dumpster Diva, for a small business series entitled, “I Made This, Now Can I Sell This?” The six-course series will cover topics designed to help guide artisans through the process of taking

Do you knit or want to learn? Join fun, crafty people, and enjoy a glass of rum punch, for the Yarnian’s Fundraiser. Yarn will also be for sale. Proceeds will go directly to the Send a Child to Camp program in Prince George’s County. Tanglewood Works. 5132 Baltimore Ave. from 5 to 8 p.m.

February 2

Celebrate Black History Month with a performance of Black History Heroes, Soldiers & Spies. In this production, Black American heroes are celebrated in a story that shares the stories of Colonel Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers as they explore and settle the American West, the Tuskegee Airmen as they take flight to help win World War II, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser as she works as a spy for the Union during the Civil War. Publick Playhouse. 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly. General admission is $8 per person. Groups

of 20 or more will be charged $6 per person. 10:15 a.m. and noon. 301.277.1710.

February 5

Follow a young slave from a plantation to the stages of great opera house in the performance of Cotton Field to Concert Hall. This multi-media extravaganza features drumming, singing, dancing, music, spoken word, narration, and classical music that will gladden your heart. Publick Playhouse. 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly. $20 per person. 4 p.m. 301.277.1710.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017


Hyattsville should protect Muslims By Shannon E. Wyss

Many groups are working to fight the incoming Trump administration, including some of us here in Hyattsville. Councilmember Patrick Paschall (Ward 3) will introduce a bill this month to make Hyattsville a sanctuary city – a place where the police don’t ask about immigration status and where the city won’t assist the federal government in the deportation of undocumented immigrants. These proposals are critical in our new political climate. I hope, however, the city council would support an additional statement in this bill: that Hyattsville welcomes Muslims and will not aid in the re-creation of a Muslim/Arab registry. One of Donald Trump’s most terrifying plans is to revive such a registry. While the details aren’t clear, it would certainly include some subset of Muslims and

Arabs registering their names, addresses, workplaces and activities with the federal government so they can be surveilled for anything that might be construed as “terrorism.” Unfortunately, this idea is hardly new. George W. Bush created such a registry after Sept. 11: the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). From 2002-2011, over 100,000 Muslim and Arab teenage boys and men had to register their whereabouts with the federal government. They had their photos taken; they were fingerprinted and interrogated. Noncitizen high school and college students, tourists, and noncitizens with jobs here were required to register. While NSEERS was in effect, 14,000 Muslim and Arab men and boys were deported. Many of those who registered were held in captivity in the U.S. for months, often with no

“When the president-elect takes office, we must respond strongly whenever he mentions such a registry. ... Regardless of your religious faith, a registry of Muslims and Arabs has no place in the U.S.” — Shannon E. Wyss

outside contact. Families were torn apart. Communities were irreparably changed. And yet not one registered individual was ever found guilty of terrorism. Unfortunately, both NSEERS and Trump’s blatant Islamophobia have created an increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate crimes, incidents that have recently included tearing off women’s hijabs and sending threatening letters to mosques and Islamic centers. Slightly over one-quarter of the antiMuslim incidents reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center in November and December 2016 were perpetrated by those who made a specific reference to Trump, and many others were likely motivated by his Islamophobic rhetoric. As an agnostic, white, queer, U.S. citizen, I don’t want to see this horrific practice revived. So I would love Hyattsville to

be on record opposing a Muslim/Arab registry, supporting our Muslim and Arab neighbors, and saying that we will do nothing to aid the federal government in its profiling of Muslims and Arabs, Latino/as or any other group. When the president-elect takes office, we must respond strongly whenever he mentions such a registry. It is only through the consistent, uncompromising action of individuals over the next four to eight years that the great abuses he promises will be beaten back. One of those actions can be the passage of Paschall’s amended bill. Regardless of your religious faith, a registry of Muslims and Arabs has no place in the U.S. I hope that the residents of our wonderful city will agree and support the council in passing this important bill. Shannon E. Wyss lives in Hyattsville with hir life partner and their adopted dog and cat. Ze can be reached at

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Page 11

Loving Care Pediatrics

MissFloribunda Dear Miss Floribunda, Every January you tout a February seed sale and you always say that the seeds will be non-GMO. What does non-GMO mean? It’s fun to speculate: non-Gardening for Men Only; non-Generally Mediocre Options; non-Grossly Messy Offal — the possibilities are endless. If you are having a sale, when is it? Just as Funny as You Are on Jefferson Street Dear Just as Funny, Before making a judgment on our comparative funniness, I would need to see what you wear on your head. You did send a picture, but I am old enough to recognize Carmen Miranda and her fruit basket headgear. Nonetheless, I thank you for the chuckle. Yes, the Hyattsville Horticultural Society (HHS) will hold its Eighth Annual Seed Sale on Saturday, Feb. 4, in the Mary Prangley Room at the Hyattsville Municipal Building. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and along with the usual Hart Seeds selection, you will see unusual varieties from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. You might want to first drop in on the valentinemaking party that Hyattsville Aging in Place will host downstairs and then come up for soup, cider and baked goods. You can take a look at our educational exhibits, books and garden items, and choose seeds, all of which are advertised as non-GMO, for your spring garden. GMO stands for “genetically modified organism.” This is different from hybridization, which uses pollen from different plants to create new plants that will consistently have desirable characteristics from the parent plants. In contrast, genetic modification is a science in which bioengineers manipulate genetic material in a laboratory. My contact at the USDA, Dr. Jenny Greengenes, describes it this way: “Think of hybrids as analogous to dog breeding, having a cross between controlled lines like Labrador and Standard Poodle

resulting in offspring like Labradoodles — predictable for the important traits. Genetic engineering might be more like making a spider-man from a kid, a spider, and a lab accident! And then mass reproducing.” A real world example, although it hasn’t come to market yet, is a tomato engineered with genes from Arctic flounder in order to make it resistant to frost. Generally, the aim of genetic modification is to produce traits that help plants withstand direct applications of herbicide or even produce it themselves. There is some disagreement in this country about whether or not these products should be labelled as genetically modified, as they are in Europe, but since that hasn’t happened yet, some farmers and seed producers just label their products as “non-GMO.” (It is interesting to see French products with the “Bio” label being sold here in gourmet stores for high prices when this term indicates to the French people that the food is genetically modified and, as a result, lower in price in France because it is less expensive to produce.) One of the benefits of home gardening is that you choose how to fertilize your soil and how to repel pests, and you decide whether it matters to you if your seeds are labelled “non-GMO.” The upcoming HHS seed sale will offer you a choice among hybrid and heirloom varieties of seed. You didn’t ask, but let’s go ahead and define “heirloom” in this context. Heirloom seeds come from plants that are openpollinated, which

means they are pollinated by insects or wind without human intervention. They either have been preserved for generations in a particular region or at least developed no fewer than 50 years ago. Heirloom vegetables are generally prized for their flavors. Although Hart Seeds offers many of these, HHS is always looking to expand its selections. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, located in Virginia, has been chosen as a second supplier because of its reputation for providing seeds of heat-resistant vegetables and flowers. You can choose among new lettuce hybrids whose leaves don’t turn bitter as soon as summer heat hits: Thai Oakleaf; Sweet Valentine, a cos (or romaine) variety with very sweet flavor; Drunken Woman, green with ruffled bronze colored edges; Crawford Bibb; or Jericho, bred for desert heat. They will greatly extend your lettuce season. Along with Hart’s popular tomato hybrids (i.e., Early Girl, Big Boy, Mortgage Lifter), you can choose from Southern Exposure’s old-fashioned rarities: the 19th-century Arkansas Traveller; Abe Lincoln; an heirloom from Germany’s Black Forest called Eva Purple Ball; Granny Cantrell from the 1940s (Lettie Cantrell, the developer, died in 2006 at age 96); Matt’s Wild Cherry, from seed collected in the wild from Hidalgo, Mexico; Black Prince, a garden jewel from Siberia — which has summers as hot as its winters are cold — and Cherokee Purple, reportedly of Cherokee origin. From Southern Exposure also comes newer tomato hybrids, such as Tropic VFN and Ozark Pink, both recommended for mid-Atlantic hothumid areas, and Amy’s Apricot, voted best tasting tomato at the 2010 Monticello Tomato Tasting. Three varieties of tomatillo will be available, as well. Along with Hart’s usual selection of seeds for flowers that attract pollinators, we will have seeds for many native plants from Southern Exposure. We look forward to seeing you on Feb. 4!

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This year marked a first: The city received a handwritten letter in Spanish from Daniela Barrientos, a nine-year-old girl living in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Officer Mayra Umanzor, who joined the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) in February 2016, was excited to participate in her first year with Operation Santa with a Badge, which was made even more special by Daniela’s unexpected addition to the program. Before the convoy took off from Magruder Park to pick up kids from the four local schools, Chief Holland addressed the crowd of officers and held up the letter for everyone to see. In the letter, Daniela writes directly to Santa Claus, asking for help for her family, even though they don’t have a chimney on their house. “[Daniela says] that ‘I’m not asking for toys; I’m asking for a job for my dad, and clothes for my mom and dad because they won’t spend any money on themselves,’” said Holland, translating portions of the letter. Donations for Daniela’s family from the officers and surrounding community totalled over $400, and Umanzor was able to shop for gifts for them that morning. “Just knowing that I have family

Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

back home in El Salvador, and so I personally know what they’re going through, means a lot,” said Umanzor. “And just the fact that the little girl asked more for her parents than she did for herself? I just hope that she enjoys all of the gifts given to her. I pray that her father gets a job soon and that she’s blessed with many more things this life can give.” “That’s the power of what you all have done here,” said Holland. “You guys are out there every day, and you don’t think of how you impact people’s lives and how far it travels, but this drives it home.” Now in its 13th year, Operation Santa with a Badge currently reaches about 100 kids each year and is growing all the time. Started by retired Hyattsville police officer, Mike Rudinski, and his wife, Claire Rudinski, the program began in 2003 with only eight children. Despite the chilly morning, officers had gathered at Magruder Park to work out logistics before going to pick up children from several local schools. “We try not to have children come here, so they can experience the magic,” said Rudinski. When the officers pulled out from the park, the lights and sirens were already blaring, with Santa at the helm of the Hyattsville Elementary School-bound crew, riding in the distinctive HPCD Hummer. They drove through neighbor-

COURTESY OF JAMAL FRANCIS Detective Wulff and Jennifer Villatora Amaya, his partner for the day, start their shopping trip.

hoods, radios tuned to the same frequency to facilitate communication, and sirens blaring with the children at the controls. Traffic was stopped along the way so that the convoy could reconvene. By the time they reached Adelphi Road and East-West Highway, the line of eighty or more police cars stretched for almost a mile. Hyattsville Sgt. Suzie Johnson had a full car that morning. Two seniors from Northwestern High

School, Daniel Birch and Sidney Smith, were riding along for their learning service hours to shop with Johnson and Alberto Lucero, a fifth-grade student from Hyattsville Elementary School. Johnson said she was eager to have a team with her this year. “You ever see the smile on these kids’ faces? You have to see it for yourself,” said Johnson. “The best part, honestly, is when you get the kids and you give them a

gift card and they wind up spending all their money shopping for their family. When that happens, we end up pulling money out of our pockets to buy that child a toy for themselves, too.” Alberto was smiling when they finished, holding a large bag full of new shoes, a sweater, as well as battery cases and accessories for his Xbox. Jennifer Villatora Amaya, a third-grade student also from Hyattsville Elementary School, was celebrating her ninth birthday on the same day as Operation Santa with a Badge. “I’m going to buy toys!” proclaimed Jennifer. “My favorite toys are Barbie and Dory!” “Listening to the kids talk — that’s the best part,” said Detective Frank Wulff, of the Maryland Park Police. It was Wulff ’s first year participating in the program, and he could not contain his laughter while he shopped with Jennifer in Target. “I just want to watch them smile and have fun,” said Wulff. “I got lucky. Jen said she’s never really gotten to hang out with police officers, so it’s something new for her and for me. There’s nothing better than being nine years old and it’s Christmas time.” “I’m going to remember him forever,” said Jennifer, pausing from showing off her cart full of toys for herself and for her family as they waited to check out.

Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017


continued from page 1

said Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, who sponsored the resolution. The redistricting options that would have drastically changed the makeup of the council in 2012 did not pass, and the issue was dropped. Hollingsworth said she wanted to bring the issue up again now, instead of waiting four years until the next redistricting, mainly because of concerns for staff workload. There are 11 councilmembers fielding constituent issues and requests and emailing them to the small city staff, she said, adding that there are currently more councilmembers than senior-level staff. “One of the things I’ve been most interested in is making government function a little bit better,� Hollingsworth said. Since becoming mayor, she said, she can see how the number of councilmembers impacts staff function. The mayor said she decided

“One of the things I’ve been most interested in is making government function a little bit better.� — Mayor Candace Hollingsworth to ask for a referendum to “put something to residents, since they’re the ones who are most impacted by the size of the council, aside from staff, so we can get input from residents.� The council discussed the item of council size on Sept. 19, Oct. 17 and Nov. 7, 2016. The city attorney was authorized by the council on Nov. 7 to draft a resolution based on those discussions. The final version of the ballot question was presented Dec. 19, 2016. “The phrasing of each of the options was changed to make it a little bit simpler and easier to understand for those in the booth,� Hollingsworth said.

Page 13

The city charter currently states that the city council shall be composed of a mayor elected at-large by the city voters and 10 councilmembers — two elected by voters residing within each of the city’s five wards. Three questions regarding the size of the city council will appear on the ballot. The first, a “yes� or “no� question, asks voters whether the size of the council should be reduced. The second question on the ballot will ask voters to indicate “yes� or “no� to four options on how the council’s size could be reduced. The first option would keep five wards but have only one councilmember per ward; the second would reduce both the number of wards and councilmembers representing each ward; the third aims to increase the number of wards but reduce the number of councilmembers per ward; and the fourth option reduces the number of wards but leaves two councilmembers representing each ward.

The third, also a “yes� or “no� question, asks whether there should be one or more councilmembers elected at-large by city voters. According to council documents, if the results of the ballot question confirm “majority support� for changes, the council would convene a

resident committee to work with the city staff. Their goal would be to develop and implement plans to incorporate the changes. As for what Hollingsworth said she hopes the referendum will find: “I hope that residents agree that the [council] size is too large.�

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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2017

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January 2017 Hyattsville Life and Times  

Council approves purchase of new Call-A-Bus; referendum on City Council size scheduled; Operation Santa with a Badge; Tom Keefer obituary; T...

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