LIBRARY TO CLOSE APRIL 1 After years of planning to renovate the Hyattsville Branch, management has set a date for closing. P. 3
City staff presented council with options for future facility planning. Find out what decisions must be made soon. P. 6
Citizens propose connector shuttle By Ellen Treimel
Hyattsville adopted the slogan “A World Within Walking Distance” in October 2006, and with a total area of 2.7 square miles in the city, it seems like this could easily be the case. As Hyattsville has undergone economic redevelopment in the last several years, walkable pockets between residential and commercial areas have sprung up. Unfortunately, they do not all link together, and residents end up driving to parts of the city that have limited parking options. Councilmember Edouard Haba (Ward 4) has submitted SHUTTLE continued on page 11
SANCTUARY CITY DEBATE
NO EASY SOLUTIONS
First public hearing on proposed ordinance draws an overﬂow crowd. See what supporters, and those opposed, had to say. P. 4
Vol. 14 No. 3
Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper
Council supports planned West Hyattsville development New community expected to have 183 townhomes, 300 apartments and retail space
By Krissi Humbard
The City of Hyattsville has seen a lot of development in recent years. Most of that development has centered in areas near the Arts District or the Mall at Prince Georges, but West Hyattsville
will soon get in on the action. At the Feb. 6 council meeting, councilmembers unanimously approved a letter of support for the planned Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro development, provided a few conditions are met. The list of 13 conditions, which
came from input from a previous council meeting and public comments, was laid out by Assistant City Administrator Jim Chandler at the meeting. “I think that the conditions and DEVELOPMENT continued on page 12
A little more than a local book store Robert Harper Books offers performances, local art, book signings and poetry readings
By Mark Goodson
Charisma Wooten changed out of her Jackie “Moms” Mabley wardrobe and joined the audience in the back of Robert Harper Books after her Feb. 25 performance. “This is better than Blues Alley,” she said of the Riverdale book store and concert venue, comparing it to Georgetown’s jazz club. The intimate setting felt more like an artist’s salon than a licensed auditorium. Wooten’s play “A Night with Jackie ‘Moms’ Mabley,” once nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play, is a medley of puns and turns of phrase. Jackie “Moms” Mabley, the stage name of Loretta Mary BOOKSTORE continued on page 8
CENTER SECTION: MARCH 7, 2017 ISSUE OF THE HYATTSVILLE REPORTER — IN ESPANOL TOO!
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
MyTwoCents: Letters to the Editor Consider challenging, rather than ignoring, the law By Curtis Ramsey-Lucas
I read with concern the article “Councilmember Paschall, eight cosponsors introduce sanctuary city legislation” (Jan. 31, online). Councilmembers Paula Perry (Ward 4) and Ruth Ann Frazier (Ward 5) were not invited to comment on the proposed legislation. This, according to Paschall, was because of their “open hostility to immigrants in our community, especially Latinos,” and “their ter-
A community newspaper chronicling the life and times of Hyattsville Mailing address: PO Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781 http://HyattsvilleLife.com http://facebook.com/HyattsvilleLife http://twitter.com/HvilleTimes 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 email@example.com Associate Editor Heather Wright firstname.lastname@example.org Digital Editor Krissi Humbard email@example.com Web Manager Lindsay Myers firstname.lastname@example.org Layout & Design Editor Ashley Perks
rible track record on civil rights issues here in Hyattsville.” Apart from the lack of decorum these comments demonstrate, they also ignore the broader issue of whether it is incumbent on the City of Hyattsville to follow federal law. Immigration laws, like all laws in the U.S., can be criticized and challenged but must also be respected and enforced. Other means of challenging federal action, short of ignoring the law, are open to the city, including
challenging in court the underlying statutory authority of federal requests for information and cooperation on matters related to the legal status of city residents. I would recommend the city explore these avenues rather than putting the city in a state of noncompliance with federal law (8 U.S.C. Section 1373) by adopting the sanctuary city ordinance. Curtis Ramsey-Lucas is a resident of Hyattsville.
SUBMIT A LETTER To submit letters to be considered for the “My Two Cents: Letters to the Editor” column, email managingeditor@ hyattsvillelife.com. Letters should be no more than 250 words and should relate to an article or other item published in the Hyattsville Life & Times (HL&T). They may not have been submitted to, or published by, other media outlets. They should include the writer’s full name and a sentence-long description of the writer. Letters are edited for clarity and conformance to style guidelines and may be shortened to fit the available space. The opinions expressed are those of the writer, and not those of the HL&T.
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Copy Editor Nancy Welch Advertising email@example.com 301.531.5234 Writers & Contributors Mark Goodson, Christina Steigerwald, Ellen Treimel, Allan Walters Board of Directors Joseph Gigliotti — President and General Counsel Chris Currie — Vice President Caroline Selle — Secretary Rosanna Landis Weaver, Gretchen Brodtman, Debra Franklin, T. Carter Ross Maria D. James and Krissi Humbard — Ex Officios
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
#5: “GOOD MORNING, HYATTSVILLE!”
READ THE FULL STORY AT HYATTSVILLELIFE.COM HYATTSVILLE BRANCH LIBRARY SCHEDULED TO CLOSE ON APRIL 1 The building that houses the Hyattsville Branch Library will close for demolition and replacement after March 31. The temporary location for library service will be at University Town Center, located at 6507 America Boulevard. This smaller location will be open for business on April 5. According to news shared on the library’s website, the hours of operation will remain the same — Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Parking will be free for up to two hours at the University Town Center parking garage on America Boulevard. In January during the Friends of the Library meeting, Area Manager Heather Jackson announced the potential for partnerships with organizations around the city to host pop-up libraries. The Greenbelt Branch Library may also extend its hours in order to expand area library services.
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11 High Cost Home Inspection Traps You Should Know About Weeks Before Listing Your Hyattsville Home For Sale Hyattsville—According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the 11 most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these
11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That’s why it’s critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the building inspector flags these issues for you, you will most certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away altogether. In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for, and knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.
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DEMATHA HEAD COACH TO LEAD USA JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM DeMatha Men’s Head Basketball Coach Mike Jones will serve as the assistant coach as the 2017 USA Men’s Junior National Select basketball team takes on the World Team at the 20th annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore. The Summit pits America’s top high school seniors against the best basketball players from around the world who are 19 years old or younger. CITY’S WEST HYATTSVILLE LIGHTING PROJECT MOVES FORWARD; FIRST PHASE COMPLETE Parts of West Hyattsville are looking a little brighter, thanks to some lighting upgrades. In March 2015, Charles P. Johnson and Associates completed a comprehensive Lighting and Pedestrian Safety study, which found deficiencies with overall lighting in Hyattsville. The Department of Public Works has completed Phase One of the lighting upgrade project. The initial phase consisted of 21 new lights and 73 upgrades to existing lights for a total cost of $94,710.62. The site evaluation and inspections for Phase Two have been completed. The second phase of the project includes installing 68 new lights on existing poles and retrofitting 261 lights to LED. The project is expected to be complete later this year. The budget estimate for the second phase is $360,000. Councilmember Paula Perry (Ward 4) emphatically thanked the city. “You don’t know how happy I am,” she said. POLICE ASK FOR HELP IN IDENTIFYING SUSPECTS IN TWO CASES On February 17, Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) asked for the public’s help in identifying suspects who committed crimes in the city. In the first case, two male suspects are wanted in connection to a residential burglary that occurred on Oct. 31, 2016 in the 3200 block of Gumwood Drive. The suspects made entry through the kitchen door and stole an Apple iPad Air. In the second case, two suspects are wanted in a commercial armed robbery. The suspects entered the Kirkwood Market, located at 2721 Nicholson Street, on Feb. 5 at about 2:19 p.m. and committed an armed robbery. If you have any information about this case, please contact Detective Williams (ID 246) or call the HCPD. Both can be reached at 301.985.5060. Reference case numbers 16-3252 and 17-0344.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
Sanctuary city hearing brings out large crowd, diverse voices of Hyattsville By Allan Walters
Overflow crowds attended a March 1 Hyattsville City Council public hearing to voice their opinions about a proposed ordinance to establish Hyattsville as a sanctuary city. Each speaker had two minutes to address the council and outline their support or opposition for the ordinance. Of the 41 Hyattsville residents that spoke, 35 were in favor of the proposed ordinance, four were opposed and two were unsure. The speakers represented Hyattsville’s diverse population and included lifelong city residents, recent immigrants from Latin America, a Vietnam War veteran in his seventies, elementary school students, a Jewish resident whose parents were Polish and Russian immigrants, a Baptist preacher and a Muslim lawyer. Prior to the public hearing, a rally promoting sanctuary city status for Hyattsville kicked off at Robert J. King Memorial Park on Gallatin Street. The rally, organized by the local chapter of Not On Our Watch, attracted approximately 60 supporters. Participants listened to speakers — including Councilmember Patrick Paschall (Ward 3), who sponsored the ordinance — and filled out comment cards describing their support for the ordinance; these cards were delivered to the city council at the hearing. The group walked to the hearing, many carrying signs in support of the ordinance and chanting “¡Si, se puede [Yes, we can]!” They were the largest group at the hearing and asserted their presence with loud clapping whenever a speaker voiced agreement with their views. The city provided portable translation devices so all attendees could participate in real time. A second room was set up for
KRISSI HUMBARD Overflow crowds attend a March 1 Hyattsville City Council public hearing about a proposed ordinance to establish Hyattsville as a sanctuary city.
the overflow crowd. While there were wide-ranging viewpoints supporting arguments both for and against the proposed ordinance, many speakers voiced several consistent themes. Those opposing the proposed ordinance focused on the potential loss of federal funding and the belief that Hyattsville should comply with federal immigration laws. Lou Kerdock, a Hyattsville resident since 1976, said, “The United States was built on a foundation of law, principles and order, and to go against the immigration laws of the United States is beyond my belief.” Many supporting the proposed ordinance argued that passing it would make the city safer, would send a welcoming message, and would place the city on the “right side of history.” T. Carter Ross, a 19-year Hyattsville resident, said, “I view this as a public safety issue. If someone feels unsafe seeking aid and support from city employees and re-
porting crimes to local police, it makes all of us less safe.” Candida Garcia, a 12-year Hyattsville resident and president of Rosa L. Parks Elementary School PTA, spoke passionately in Spanish, saying, “This is the first time that I do not feel safe in my community. ... I ask you take a moment at this time and imagine that each day you have to say goodbye to your family as if it may be the last time. I want you to imagine that every day you have to live with the fear of being deported.” Hyattsville resident Bryan Harp offered a counterpoint to the opposition, stating, “I want to flip the coin on some the comments made earlier. Our country was not founded on law and order. It was founded on an objection to unjust law and order.” Two elementary-age siblings offered a moment of levity as they climbed up on a stool at the microphone. Heath Alexander said, “The proposed ordinance will make people feel more welcome in the community and
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will encourage parents to participate in school activities.” Emilie Alexander then offered, “I believe strongly in the sanctuary city status because I have a lot of diverse friends and they are not at all like what our president claims them to be. They are nice, respectful law-abiding citizens.” Angela Kenny, one of two speakers who declined to support or oppose the proposed ordinance, emphasized that people want their voices heard: “Why not let the people vote?” Stephen Price, a pastor at First Baptist Church, was the last to speak. He said he was initially on the fence, but now supports the ordinance. “We need to draw a line in the sand. … I hope that this community will draw that line clear and firm and deep.” At the end of the public comment session, city councilmembers had an opportunity to speak. Each of them thanked the public for attending the hearing and sharing their opinions. Councilmember Thomas Wright (Ward 3) remarked that he was “quite impressed with this turnout” and spoke of the meeting as “proof that we are a community,” adding that he was “proud to be a councilmember representing a city like this.” Paschall sought to calm fears about losing federal funding by saying that it’s unclear if federal funding will be at stake, and that in the last five years, Hyattsville received an “average of $22,000 a year in federal grants on a $16 million budget — well under 1 percent [of the total budget].” The proposed sanctuary city ordinance is currently being reviewed by city staff and the city’s attorney. The city council will discuss the ordinance at its meeting on March 20. The public is encouraged to continue providing input about the ordinance.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
Council hears options for police department, municipal building By Krissi Humbard
Hyattsville City Council will have some big — and expensive — decisions to make regarding future building projects. At the Feb. 15 city council work session, city staff presented a range of options for relocation of the city’s police department and the renovation or relocation of the administrative oﬃces. City staff presented four options, with possible combinations: The former BB&T bank building at 3505 Hamilton Street, the current city municipal building at 4310 Gallatin Street, the county services building at 5012 Rhode Island Avenue, or new construction at Centennial Park. “The starting point for the discussion is the police department,” Assistant City Administrator Jim Chandler said. The police department is currently located on the second floor of the city municipal building. But space is tight, and the location is not ideal for oﬃcer response. The city has long looked at moving the police department to the former BB&T building. In 2016, the council learned that renovations of 3505 Hamilton Street would cost millions more than previously expected. Changes in scope of the renovations, as well as changes in the market for labor and materials, account for the increases in cost. Chandler and Department of Public Works Director Lesley Riddle said the original study in 2011 focused on a “one for one” renovation, meaning the cost for replacing the carpet with new carpet or replacing a window with a new window. That study did not estimate the cost of renovating a building that was used for oﬃces and banking into a specialized police station. The estimated current cost for renovating 3505 Hamilton Street is $7.8 million. This price tag would include remodeling the building to comply with national Commission on Accreditation for
COURTESY OF THE CITY OF HYATTSVILLE A comparison of the construction cost estimates for building projects concerning the Hyattsville City Police Department and Hyattsvilleʼs city administrative offices (FF&E = furniture, fixtures and equipment)
Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. standards like having a sally port or transfer point, secured parking, private interview rooms and evidence processing and storage. This location would also be more centralized in the city with easy access to major streets. And it would serve as an anchor, or “presence,” in West Hyattsville, Chandler said. The other option for the police station would be to rent a portion of the vacant county services building. This option could be paired with moving the city’s administrative oﬃces and public meeting space to the vacant county services building, as well. The space at the county services building is 71,000 square feet, which Chandler said would likely be too large even with the police department and administrative oﬃces moving in. This would leave space for the possibility of another tenant. The building off Route 1 “does need substantial renovations,” Chandler said. Necessary renovations would in-
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clude making the building Americans With Disabilities Act compliant, updating the elevators, making mechanical upgrades and conducting interior demolition. To move city hall to the county services building would cost an estimated $8.8 million in renovations, not including rent. The cost to move both the city services and police department would be an estimated $15.4 million. Other options for the city if the police station is moved to 3505 Hamilton Street include partially renovating the muncipal building — specifically the second floor where the police will have vacated, doing a full renovation, or demolishing the current building and rebuilding on the same site. Any renovation of the city’s current building would be dependent on the police moving out. “There are a variety of mechanical pieces that are necessary to improve if we want to stay here [at the municipal building], so there are costs,” Chandler said. Jim Burkhart, of JMT, the company hired to survey 3505 Hamilton Street and the city oﬃce options, noted that the current municipal building is 27 years old and nearing the end of its building life. He also explained that many of the mechanical systems are past their current life expectancy. In addition to its mechanical issues, the building’s current lack of a first-floor presence has been problematic, Chandler noted.
He also said that there currently aren’t “right-size” spaces for the city’s services and events. The cost to renovate just the second floor is estimated at $5.2 million; renovating the whole building would cost $7.4 million. These amounts do not include the cost to rent a temporary home for the city oﬃces while the building is renovated. Demolishing the building is estimated at $800,000, which doesn’t include additional costs to rent temporary space and build a new facility. The city’s final option would be to build a new location for city hall at city-owned Centennial Park, where Route 1 meets Baltimore Avenue. This option could be done in tandem with the renovation of 3505 Hamilton Street, but would potentially leave the city paying for two large projects at the same time while also completing the renovation to the Department of Public Works facility and other smaller projects like the potential parking garage off Route 1. The cost for construction of a new building is estimated at $7.5 million, which is roughly the same cost as renovating the current building. But a new facility would give the city a clean slate to plan the building the way they want, Chandler said. “It would be a fresh sheet of paper,” Burkhart added. These cited costs are all estimates and include the cost of de-
sign, construction and possible temporary relocation. “There are some costs we don’t know currently, others are estimated based on rough industry averages,” said Hal Metzler, the city’s project manager. “The cost is going to go up between the time they make a decision and the time the building is built because … prices are going to go up, interest rates are going to go up, insurance — everything is going to go up.” Following the presentation, councilmembers had a few questions. Councilmember Shani Warner (Ward 2) said she was hoping for a “magical answer” for the costs of 3505 Hamilton Street, adding that after hearing the presentation, moving the police there seemed to be “an easy choice.” “My real question is — how can we afford this?” Warner wondered. Several councilmembers echoed Warner’s concerns about cost, especially considering the city’s current capital projects. City Treasurer Ron Brooks had an answer: The city would issue bonds, which would provide proceeds. He added that he believes the city can take on additional debt exposure totalling $17 million. The current comfort level would add $14.8 million in bonded debt, with $2.2 million in cash reserves. What are the next steps? Mayor Candace Hollingsworth said, “The goal would be to chart a path and execute a decision before May 2.”
Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
riod. If the student does not meet the goals, the original school disruption charge will be submitted through DJS and the school administration could also administer additional punishment. As of press time, Johnson said, she had four students on behavior contracts because of fights that led to
“Do we want our kids in the system for making mistakes … if it’s something minor that they can learn from?” — Sgt. Suzie Johnson
HEATHER WRIGHT Sgt. Suzie Johnson in her first full school year as the Student Resource Officer at Northwestern High School
Police oﬃcer has unique way to help keep students out of ‘the system’ By Heather Wright
In 2011, Sgt. Suzie Johnson was a finalist for the America’s Most Wanted All-Star award for her work on the city’s police force and in the community. In 2015, she was awarded the Community Service Oﬃcer of the Year award from the Police Chiefs’ Association of Prince George’s County. In March 2016, she brought her community focus to Northwestern High School as the new student resource oﬃcer (SRO). After attending several SRO classes during the summer as preparation for her first full school year as Northwestern High School’s SRO, Johnson found herself thinking about how to best support her students. During SRO classes, she said, the instructors “were talking about how they’re trying to keep kids from going into the system while they’re in school.” Johnson said she started thinking about how to keep students out of the juvenile justice system and started searching for “student behavior contracts” on the internet. Using internet examples, she drew up
one of her own, got it approved, and has slowly started using it for some “school disruption” charges. Johnson said, “Kids fight, kids do silly things they shouldn’t do, and my thing is, do we really want our kids to go into the system for a fight that caused a school disruption, which is technically a crime? … Do we want our kids in the system for making mistakes … if it’s something minor that they can learn from?” She compared school disruption charges in school to what would be considered “disorderly conduct” on the streets. From the time of an incident, Johnson said, the Maryland criminal system gives police oﬃcers a year and a day to charge someone with a crime. Instead of submitting the charge to the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) at the time of the incident, Johnson, at her discretion and in agreement with school administration, counseling staff, the student’s parents or guardians and the student, might implement a behavior contract with the student. The contract says that the student agrees to follow all school rules and behavior ex-
pectations at Northwestern High School; to not get into fights or disrupt school; to not break any criminal laws; to work hard in classes and be respectful; and to follow rules at home. If these conditions are met, the school disruption charge will be dropped at the end of the year-and-a-day time pe-
school disruption. “So far,” she said, “it’s working.” Most importantly, none of the students on a contract had entered into another disruptive fight. Johnson said she was monitoring students and checking in with them, and they were complying with their contract terms. Principal E. Carlene Murray said in an email, “I love what Oﬃcer Johnson is doing with the contracts because it gives students the opportunity to correct their behavior. She does a fantastic job of engaging our students, and she supports them constantly so that they can improve. The contracts seem to be working and students have a newfound respect for themselves and the police.” In addition to keeping students out of the justice system, Johnson said, another benefit of the contract system was helping her to gain students’ trust: “[The students] are like, ‘Aw man, I’m getting a break.’ They tend to come to me a lot more now. The trust is developing, and I love it.” At press time, Johnson was not able to provide names of parents or students willing to talk to the Hyattsville Life & Times about the behavior contracts, likely because of the nature of the problems that led to the contracts in the first place.
Gaining students’ trust is especially important because Johnson sees SROs as mentors who need to earn it. Johnson half-jokingly said she will know her contract system is successful when she works graduation and sees the same students walk across the stage. She said she wants to find a way to help kids get along better. Johnson spoke emphatically about her commitment to Northwestern and how she wants people to see it as the good school it is, with good kids. Johnson noted that her mother graduated from Northwestern in 1962, Johnson herself graduated in 1984, her son graduated in 2012, and her daughter in 2015. “This is just, like, my school,” Johnson said. The students who are in the school now — including those on contracts — will be “taking care of us in another 20 years; we want them on the right track,” Johnson said. “They need people they can trust.”
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
Hyattsville Reporter No. 348 • March 7, 2017
www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000
April 1: Route 1 Rampage Returns to Hyattsville
The Route 1 Rampage is less than a month away and the City is in high gear (pun intended) to once again host this collegiate and professional bicycle race organized by the University of Maryland Cycling Team. Come out and ride with the pros or during open course time (for kids too!), or to watch, eat and drink in the Race Village celebration area on Gallatin at Route 1. Races will take place all day, and the Race Village will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Race Village will have beer from Franklin’s, food from Chez Dior, Manny & Olga’s and Vigilante Coffee, a “print a bike” art activity with Pyramid Atlantic, music, race awards, and more! 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. The Alternate Route 1 bridge and Gallatin Street will also be closed. Additional plans and details are posted at www.hyattsville.org/route1rampage.
Register to Vote Today!
The City of Hyattsville is holding an election for the offices of one Council Member per Ward on Tuesday, May 2. Be sure to register before the deadline on Tuesday, April 11! Forms are available in paper during business hours at the City Building, 4310 Gallatin Street, as well as online. U.S. citizens can register using the Maryland Voter Registration Form available at www.elections.state. md.us. Non-U.S. citizens who live in Hyattsville and others who may not want to register with the State of Maryland can use the Hyattsville Voter Application, available at www.hyattsville.org/elections. Remember, you can vote in City of Hyattsville elections if you: • are at least 16 years of age • have the City of Hyattsville as your primary residence • have been a resident of the City for at least 30 days • do not claim the right to vote elsewhere in the United States • have not been found by a court to be unable to communicate a desire to vote If you have any questions, please contact the Elections Coordinator at (301) 985-5001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Run for Office
Are you interested in running for City Council? Do you want to learn more but missed our first Candidate Information Session? No problem! Join us for another one on Saturday, March 25, 10 – 11 a.m. at the City Building, 4310 Gallatin Street. Be sure to pick up a Candidate packet at the City Building, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., or get one online at www.hyattsville. org/elections. Remember: candidates must register by Friday, March 31—so get your application in today!
Workshop on Immigrant Rights
There will be a workshop on the rights of immigrants on Wednesday, March 15, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., in the cafeteria of Northwestern High School (7000 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD 20783). Immigration experts and other community leaders will be there to address any questions and concerns. All are welcome! For more information, contact Patricia Benavides, Parent Engagement Assistant for Northwestern Evening High School, at (301) 985-1460 (Ext. 84539).
Should Hyattsville Reduce or Change its City Council?
How many Wards should there be? Should there be Council Members serving At-Large for the whole City? These questions and others will be on this May’s ballot as part of a referendum on the composition of City
Council. How would you shape the Council? Take the survey at speakuphvl.com/surveys and make your voice heard at our two Public Hearings on the issue on Monday, March 20 and Monday, April 17. Both hearings will be held in the third floor Council Chambers at the City Building, 4310 Gallatin Street, starting at 7:30 p.m.
On March 15, the City of Hyattsville will launch a pay-byphone parking program with PassportParking. You’ll be able to use the PassportParking app at all Hyattsville metered parking locations so you can easily park, pay, and be on the way. Just register through Facebook, purchase parking with a debit/credit card, manage your time, extend parking remotely, and receive email receipts. “Passport’s launch in Hyattsville is an exciting moment for our city’s parking program,” said James Chandler, Assistant City Administrator and Director of Community and Economic Development. “The app, along with our new smart meters, will deliver to our customers the state-of-the-art parking experience that they have been asking us to provide.”
Flood Insurance Forum
Do you know if your home is in a flood hazard area? Do you need affordable elevation for your property so you can receive flood insurance? Please join Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, other Prince George’s County mayors, and County Council Member Deni Taveras for a Flood Insurance Forum on March 23, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at the Prince George’s Community Center at 6600 Adelphi Road.
Don’t Miss This Year’s Egg Hunt!
The Great Magruder Park Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 8. Breakfast will be served 9 – 11 a.m. ($5.00 per meal for those 2 years and older). Egg Hunts by age group are FREE and begin promptly at 11 a.m. BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket) and enjoy the morning with a V.I.B. (Very Important Bunny)! Reservations are suggested and can be made at www.hyattsville.org/egghunt. For more information, contact Cheri Everhart at ceverhart@ hyattsville.org or (301) 985-5021.
Community Sustainability: You Spoke, We Listened.
Stay tuned for a draft of the City’s Community Sustainability Plan, our vision document for the next five years, to be published in mid-April. Give us your comments on the Plan at public meetings on Saturday, April 22, at 9:30 a.m. at the City Building and on Tuesday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Felegy Elementary School. For more information, contact Katie Gerbes at (301) 985-5059 or email@example.com.
Stop Stealing Scraps!
Leave those five-gallon white buckets sitting on our
curbs alone! They are (or just were) filled with rotting fruits, vegetables, meat, eggshells, and coffee grounds awaiting transport to the composting facility in Upper Marlboro. This is part of a Volunteer Food Scrap Compost Pilot Program that the City of Hyattsville is doing in partnership with Prince George’s County. Our sanitation team travels the City on Mondays collecting the food scraps from the buckets. If you are interested in getting on the waitlist for the program, contact Colleen Aistis at (301) 985-5057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 on March 27 but parents still have to work. We’ll be open 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Mini Camp days cost $30 per child. For more information, contact Saarah Abdul-Rauf at (301) 985-5065 or visit www.hyattsville. org/campmagruder.
Service Learning Opportunity for Volunteers: Threatening Plant Removal
Join us on the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and learn how to identify and properly remove non-native, invasive plants from Magruder Woods. A set of Safety Guidelines and cotton work gloves will be provided. Volunteers should dress for the elements, with sturdy boots or shoes, long sleeves and long pants. Don’t forget to bring water and sunscreen! Warning: You will get dirty and have fun, too! This activity can help satisfy the State of Maryland Student Service Learning requirement. Registration is encouraged but not required. For more information or to register, please call (301) 985-5057 or email email@example.com.
Police Department 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, or crime analyst. For more information or to apply, visit www.hyattsville.org.
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: March 13 & 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Price Rite Nutritional Tour: March 16, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Safeway & Aldi: March 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Shoppers & Price Rite: March 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Did you know you can sign up to receive City updates by email and/or text message? To do so, visit www.hyattsville.org/notifyme.
Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
No. 348 • 7 de Marzo, 2017
1 de Abril: Route 1 Rampage Vuelve a Hyattsville
Nos falta menos de un mes y la Ciudad de Hyattsville está en alta marcha (¡disculpe el juego de palabras!) para ser la sede del Route 1 Rampage, el critérium colegiado y profesional que es una carrera del Equipo de Ciclismo de la Universidad de Maryland. Venga a montar con los pros o durante el tiempo de curos abierto (¡para niños también!), o para ver, comer y tomar en la zona de celebración en Calle Gallatin con Route 1. Habrá carreras durante todo el día y la zona de celebración será abierta 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. La zona de celebración tendrá cerveza de Franklin’s y comida de Chez Dior, Manny & Olga’s y Café Vigilante, además de una actividad artística (“imprima-un-bici”) con Pyramid Atlantic, música, premios y mucho más! La carrera será de nuevo el lazo de una milla desde Route 1/Avenida Baltimore hacia Farragut, Avenida 42 y 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 van a cerrar al tráfico, solamente permitiendo que los motoristas crucen la carrera cuando no hay ciclistas. El puente de Route 1 Alternativa y Calle Gallatin también serán cerrados. Están disponibles los planes y los detalles adicionales en www. hyattsville.org/route1rampage.
¡Regístrese Para Votar Hoy!
Habrá una elección para la oficina del Miembro del Concejo Municipal en cada uno de los cinco distritos de la Ciudad de Hyattsville el miércoles, 2 de mayo. ¡Asegure que usted está registrado antes de la fecha límite del martes, 11 de abril! Las formas están disponibles en papel lunes a viernes, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. en el Edificio Municipal, 4310 Calle Gallatin, además de estar puestas en línea. Ciudadanos de los EE.UU. pueden registrarse por el Maryland Voter Registration Form, disponible en www. elections.state.md.us. Residentes no ciudadanos de los EE.UU. que viven en Hyattsville y otros que no deseen registrarse por el estado de Maryland pueden registrarse por el Hyattsville Voter Registration Application, lo que está disponible en www. hyattsville.org/elections. Acuérdese, se puede votar en la Ciudad de Hyattsville si usted: • tiene al menos 16 años • tiene la Ciudad de Hyattsville como su residencia primaria • ha vivido en la Ciudad más de 30 días • no clama el derecho de votar en ninguna otra parte de los EE.UU. • no ha sido encontrado por ninguna corte como incapaz de comunicar un deseo de votar
¿Deberíamos Reducir o Cambiar el Concejo Municipal?
¿Cuántos distritos deberían tener la Ciudad de Hyattsville? ¿Deberíamos tener algunos Miembros del Concejo sirviendo la Ciudad en general en vez de servir un distrito especifico? Tales preguntas y otras van a estar en la balota este mayo como parte de un referendo sobre la composición del Concejo Municipal. ¿Cómo lo quisiera organizar usted? Tome la encuesta en speakuphvl.com/ surveys y hacer que se oiga su voz en nuestras dos audiencias públicas sobre el tema el lunes, 20 de marzo y el lunes, 17 de abril. Ambas reuniones tendrán lugar en la Cámara del Concejo en el tercer piso del Edifico Municipal, 4310 Calle Gallatin, a partir de las 7:30 p.m.
Aparcamiento de Pago-Por-Teléfono
El 15 de marzo la Ciudad de Hyattsville lanzará un programa de aparcamiento de pago-por-telefono con PassportParking. Podrás utilizar la aplicación de PassportParking en todas ubicaciones con parquímetros de Hyattsville para aparcarse, pagar y estar en su camino ya. Justo regístrese por Facebook, compre aparcamiento con una tarjeta de débito o crédito, maneje su tiempo, extiende el término de su aparcamiento por su teléfono y recibe recetas por correo electrónico. “El lanzamiento de Passport en Hyattsville es un momento emocionante para nuestro programa de aparcamiento,” dijo James Chandler, Asistente Administrador de la Ciudad y Director de Desarrollo Comunitario y Económico. “La aplicación, junta a nuestros nuevos parquímetros inteligentes, llevará a cabo una experiencia de aparcarse muy moderna—la cual nuestros clientes nos han estado pidiendo que proporcionemos.”
Foro Sobre Seguro Contra Inundaciones
¿Sabe si su casa está en un área en peligro de inundación? ¿Necesita elevaciones en su propiedad de bajo costo para que pueda conseguir seguro contra inundaciones? Por favor únase a Alcaldesa Candace Hollingsworth, otros alcaldes del Condado de Prince George y Miembro del Concejo del Condado Deni Taveras para un Foro Sobre Seguro Contra Inundaciones el 23 de marzo, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., en el Centro de Comunidad de Prince George en 6600 Adelphi Road.
desayuno para ellos que tienen más de 2 años). Cazas de huevos organizadas por edad de los niños empezarán a las 11 sin demora. Traiga su propia canasta y pasa una buena mañana con un conejito muy importante. Se alienta reservaciones y se las puede hacer en www.hyattsville. org/egghunt. Para más información, contáctese a Cheri Everhart a firstname.lastname@example.org o (301) 985-5021.
Una Comunidad Sostenible: Usted Habló, Le Eschuchamos
Esté atento para un borrador del Plan de Sostenibilidad de la Comunidad de la Ciudad, nuestro documento de visión para los próximos cinco años, lo que será publicado a mediados de abril. Denos sus comentarios sobre el Plan en nuestras reuniones públicas el sábado, 22 de abril, a las 9:30 am en el Edificio de la Ciudad y el martes, 25 de abril, a las 6:30 p.m en la Escuela Primaria de Felegy. Para más información, contáctese a Katie Gerbes a (301) 985-5059 o email@example.com.
No Roba el Desecho
¡Deje en paz los baldes blancos de cinco galones en los bordillos de Hyattsville! Están (o recientemente fueron) llenos de fruta, vegetales y carne podridos además de cascaros de huevos y granos de café—todo esperando el tránsito a la facilidad de composto en Upper Marlboro. La Ciudad de Hyattsville está participando en un nuevo Programa Voluntario de Composto en conjunto con el Condado de Prince George. Nuestro equipo de sanitación corre por la Ciudad los lunes recoleccionando el composto. Si le interesa estar puesto en la lista de espera para el programa, contacte a Colleen Aistis a (301) 985-5057 o firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 el 27 de marzo, pero todavía los padres tienen que trabajar. Estaremos abiertos 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Este día de Mini Camp Magruder sale $30 cada niño. Para más información, contacte a Saarah Abdul-Rauf a (301) 985-5065 o visite a www.hyattsville.org/campmagruder.
Oportunidad de AprendizajeServicio Para Voluntarios: Extracción de Plantas Amenazadoras
Únase a nosotros el tercer sábado de cada mes, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., y aprenda cómo identificar y remover plantas nonnativas e invasivas del Bosque de Magruder. Se proveerá un guía de seguridad y guantes. Voluntarios deberían vestirse para el clima, con botas o zapatas resistentes y mangas y pantalones largos. ¡No se olvide su agua y bloqueador del sol! Aviso: ¡Se va a ensuciar—y divertirse también! Esta actividad puede ayudar en cumplir el Aprendizaje-Servicio requerido de estudiantes en el Estado de Maryland. Se alienta registrarse, pero no es necesario. Para más información o para registrarse, por favor llame a (301) 985-5057 o manda un correo electrónico a email@example.com.
Cualquier consulta, por favor contáctese a la Coordinadora de Elecciones, Nicola Konigkramer, a (301) 9855001 o firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preséntese Como Candidato
¿Le interesa presentarse como candidato para el Concejo Municipal? ¿Quiere aprender más sobre la oportunidad, pero no logró venir la primera Sesión de Información para Candidatos? ¡Ningún problema! Únase a nosotros para una sesión nueva el sábado, 25 de marzo, 10 – 11 a.m. en el Edificio Municipal, 4310 Calle Gallatin. Recoja un paquete de candidatura en el Edificio Municipal, lunes a viernes, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., u obténgalo en línea en www.hyattsville.org/elections. Acuérdese: Candidatos se deben registrar para el viernes, 31 de marzo—¡así que solicite hoy!
El Departamento de Policía Está Contratando
¿Quisiera formar su carrera y contribuir a la comunidad 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 o analista criminal. Para más información o para solicitar, visite a www.hyattsville.org.
Viajes del Llamar-Un-Bus
Taller Sobre los Derechos de Inmigrantes
Habrá un taller sobre los derechos de inmigrantes el miércoles, 15 de marzo, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., en la cafetería de Northwestern High School (7000 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD 20783). Expertos en inmigración y otros líderes en la comunidad estarán allí para responder a cualquier consulta o preocupación. ¡Todos están bienvenidos! Para más información, contáctese a Patricia Benavides, Asistente de Participación de Padres en Northwestern Escuela Nocturna, a (301) 985-1460 (Ext. 84539).
www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000
El Llamar-Un-Bus lleva mayores y personas con discapacidades a tiendas y otros eventos. Para reservaciones llame a (301) 985-5000. Giant: Los 13 y 27 de marzo, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Price Rite Nutritional Tour: El 16 de marzo, 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Safeway & Aldi: El 23 de marzo, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Shoppers & Price Rite: El 21 de marzo, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
¡No Se Pierda La Caza de Huevos!
La Gran Caza de Huevos de Parque Magruder y su desayuno de panqueques están programados para el sábado, 8 de abril. El desayuno se sirve 9 – 11 a.m. (sale $5 cada
Noticias de la Ciudad
Puede recibir actualizaciones de las noticias de la Ciudad por correo electronico y/o mensaje de texto. Visite a www. hyattsville.org/notifyme.
Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
continued from page 1
Aiken, was a 20th-century AfricanAmerican standup comedian. In the play, Mabley, an elderly woman — a character you’d imagine as a permanent fixture on a stoop or porch in her yellow bucket hat, Sunday dress and slippers — delivers jokes and prognostications that are rooted in racial history and
Language Learning Center
resonate with today’s racial issues. As Mabley, Wooten’s eyes lit like high beams; she delivered punchlines and employed physical humor which kept the room laughing throughout the performance. Lying over the piano of her accompanist Luther, played by Everett Williams, was an upside-down American flag. After the show, Wooten, a military widow, informed the audience that the flag was inten-
tionally placed in that manner as an oﬃcially recognized signal of distress. The play unearthed issues of American race and strife in both humorous and heavy doses, from a satiric and operatic civil rights song to a chilling rendition of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” Wooten, a Washington Area Music Award Nominee for Best Cabaret Artist, and Williams will be performing gospel at the
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KRISSI HUMBARD Books crowd the shelves of Robert Harper Books, which just celebrated its first anniversary.
bookstore every Sunday at 2 p.m. beginning March 19. For Robert Harper Books, March 1 marked one year in operation. A patron of the “Moms” Mabley show and Hyattsville resident, Bessie Smith, said, “I have always enjoyed the gathering of neighbors [and] friends, as well as meeting new people there. Their book store is a wonderful addition to our community.” Robert Harper, the book store’s owner, is doing anything and everything he can to attract people to his store, including hosting concerts, book signings and poetry readings. From exhibiting the local artwork for sale by the Hyattsville Community Art Alliance to creating calendars jam-packed with local and regional artists, Harper’s ambition is to become a creative outlet for the community. Other events on the store’s Facebook page confirm Harper’s hopes to be a local center for the arts. Sid Gold, a Washington Writers’ Publishing House author, heads Harper Book’s “Third Saturday” readings, which have also brought poet Laura Fargus and novelists Eric D. Goodman and Heather Rounds to Riverdale. Folk rocker Annette Wasilik plays with touring musicians in a series of “Riverdale Rail” concerts. Stephen Wade, a Grammy-nominated folk historian and banjo player, performed on March 2. Authors Tom Glenn and
Richard Morris will read excerpts from and sign books on March 17. Along with a growing slate of events is a growing inventory of books. “I have more books than I know what to do with,” said Harper after the Wooten performance. Donations and consignments have given Harper a massive inventory. The books are there, the artists are performing, the poets are reading — the only problem is sales. “The problem is people aren’t buying books,” he said. Harper said he believed that providing the community with a local book store would be profitable. Not only is Robert Harper Books proximate to the Arts District, but the next closest bookstore is Books-AMillion in Beltsville Plaza, which offers none of the cultural enrichment featured by Robert Harper Books. Harper said he is taking a loss each month on the rent alone, not including employee wages and store upkeep costs. Harper said he hopes that store events will lead to more sales of his large collection of books, LPs, CDs and DVDs, both in-store and online via the Robert Harper Books Facebook page. A community — particularly an arts district — is fortunate to have a bookstore or a venue for the arts and intimate performances. In Robert Harper Books, the Hyattsville area has both — for now.
Loving Care Pediatrics Janet V. Johnson, MD
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
COMMUNITY CALENDAR April 7-8
Looking to downsize? Come sell what you don’t need at the Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) Yard Sale and Decluttering event. Donate items to sell or bring them to HAP to recycle. 4301 Queensbury Rd. Time varies each day; call in advance. 301.887.3101. HAPCares@gmail.com
Share and swap your infant, children’s and maternity clothing, gear and toys at the Spring ‘17 HY-Swap Community Exchange. Leave donations at drop sites around Hyattsville now through April 1, then shop to pick up new-to-you items. Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin St. Free. Cash donations cover event costs. Noon to 4 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hy-swap.com
H Y A T T SPlaza V I L L E M A R K E T U P DAT E January/ February 2 017 E a s t - We s t H i g h wa y
Queensbury R oad
The Route 1 Rampage is back! The race is open to amateurs and professionals and includes conference races for the University of Maryland Cycling Team, which organizes the event. The
S t re
SOLD $599,999 SOLD $485,000
SOLD $206,000 5701 40th Pl 20781 • 2 beds, 2 bath
4101 Queensbury Rd 20781 4 beds, 2 bath
SOLD $230,000 5709 31st Pl 20782 • 3 beds 1 bath
SOLD $601,000 5707 42nd Ave 20781 • 6 beds, 4 bath
5712 40th Pl 20781 • 3 beds, 2 bath
4203 Queensbury Rd 20781 • 4 beds, 4 bath
B a lt imore
Av e nue
When school’s out, Art Works is in. Art Works provides daylong programming that combines arts-integrated curriculum designed to meet the National Visual Arts Standards while addressing Common Core concerns. The theme is “Tunnel Vision,” which encourages kids to explore the idea of searching. Advance registration is required. Ages 5 through 12. Aftercare available with additional fee. $60. $20 extra for each additional child. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aftercare from 3 to 6 p.m. Art Works, 3711 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier. 301.454.0808. www. artworksnow.org
Dance for a good cause at the United We Move Gala. The event will feature Bollywood, Latin rhythms, reggae and R&B/ funk music. Guest artists will be Raediant Movement, Nootana and Silk Road Dance Company. Proceeds will benefit Prince George’s County youth. Creative cocktail attire. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill
criterium races will make multiple rounds of the one-mile loop course throughout the day. Spectators are welcome to line the streets and enjoy food, drink and viewing in the race village celebration area. Details about street closures can be found online. All street closures and parking restrictions will be in place the entire day. Vendor opportunities are available in the celebration area. Free. 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. www.hyattsville.org/676/ Route-1-Rampage
St. Matthew’s Parish Day School PTO will sponsor the Second Annual Pirate Party featuring Mr. Gabe. Children can enjoy a treasure hunt with games and prizes and a performance from a local children’s musician. Costumes are encouraged! Photo/dress-up booth and refreshments will also be available for an additional cost. Net proceeds will go toward improvements at the day school. Inside the parish hall of St. Matthew’s/San Mateo’s at 5901 36th Ave. $10 per child, plus $5 for each additional child from the same family. 10 a.m. to noon. stmatthewsdayschool.com or email email@example.com
Rd., Mt. Rainier. $100. 7 to 11 p.m. 301.699.1819. www.joesmovement.org
3833 Hamilton St #G-301 20781 • 2 beds, 1 bath
3839 Hamilton St
20781 • 2 beds, 1 bath
SOLD $550,000 4106 Gallatin St 20781 • 4 beds, 2 bath
Church of God and Saints of Christ
SOLD $442,000 5704 46th Pl 20781 • 3 beds, 4 bath
4203 Farragut Street, Hyattsville, Maryland Pastor: Evangelist Samuel Wade Time of Services: Beginning of the Sabbath: 7:30pm - 9:30pm Sabbath Service (Saturday) 11:00am to Sunset
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.
Call For A Free Estimate on Your Home Value Advertised properties not necessarily sold by Agent. Information obtained from MRIS.
Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
IMMIGRATION RIGHTS DERECHOS DE INMIGRANTES A WORKSHOP WITH EXPERTS TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS UN TALLER CON EXPERTOS PARA RESPONDER A SUS PREGUNTAS Y PREOCUPACIONES WHEN/CUÁNDO: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 ~ Miercoles, el 15 de Marzo de 2017 WHERE/DÓNDE: Northwestern High School Cafeteria 7000 Adelphi Rd. Hyattsville, MD 20783 TIME/HORA: 6:30 - 7:30 pm All Are Welcome ~ Todos Están Bienvenidos Contact Information/Información de Contacto: Patricia Benavides Parent Engagement Assistant for Northwestern Evening High School Asistente de Participación de Padres de Familia, Escuela Superior Nocturna 301- 985-1460 EX 84539 Alejandra Camarillo Parent Engagement Assistant for Northwestern Evening High School Asistente de Participación de Padres de Familia, Escuela Superior Nocturna 301- 985-1820 EX 84675
CHRISTINA STEIGERWALD Kevin Vigil, a senior at Northwestern High School, shows off his artwork on display a the PGCPS Student Art Exhibit. The artwork of several of Prince Georgeʼs Countyʼs most promising emerging artists was on display for public viewing from Feb. 22 through March 6 at the Mall at Prince Georges. The exhibit was sponsored by the Prince Georgeʼs Arts and Humanities Council in partnership with Prince Georgeʼs County Public Schools and the Mall at Prince Georges.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
ROBERT HARPER BOOKS
continued from page 1
a proposal to the city council to investigate creating a circulator-connector shuttle in Hyattsville. Mike Bello and Brian Wilson, residents of the Arts District, initiated the proposal after observing Route 1 traffic from the neighboring balconies of their homes. According to his LinkedIn profile, Bello was previously the senior project manager at the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission, acting, in his words, as a “planner coordinator.” Bello and Wilson said that they see this proposal as part of their commitment to public service within their community. Bello and Wilson said that a circulator-connector shuttle would provide five benefits: 1. Improve mobility and circulation of city residents and visitors to and from the city’s focal areas of West Hyattsville, Prince George’s Plaza Transit District and the Route 1 Arts District 2. Foster redevelopment of urban spaces that were identified in Hyattsville’s 2003 and 2010 Community Legacy Revitalization Plans 3. Improve availability of parking throughout the Route 1 Corridor to entice more economic development in this area of the city 4. Reduce environmental impacts from reliance on automobiles throughout the entire city 5. Provide affordable and reliable alternative transportation, especially in anticipation of proposed reductions in Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) routes in Prince George’s County. Public transportation options currently exist between West Hyattsville, the Prince George’s Plaza Transit District and Route 1 Corridor areas. However, using these options requires a clear understanding of the multiple bus routes operated by both WMATA and Prince George’s County, and wait times vary considerably. TheBus, operated by Prince George’s County, only operates Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Theoretically, a circulator-connector shuttle would be more efficient than multiple bus lines and would decrease wait time for users. It also would run regularly on weekends, when users are most likely to make multiple stops throughout town. Bell said, “There are two things we’re trying to propose. One, something that’s more reliable for our area that doesn’t end up where you would have to take the F4 to go into town and take the F8 to get out of
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Lawson’s Pharmacy MIKE BELLO DESIGNS AND THE CITY OF HYATTSVILLE A draft proposed route for the circulator-connector to travel, ideally with service in both directions
town. They don’t circle around here; they boomerang opposite each other. And the headway [the wait time between shuttles] would be shortened significantly to 10 to 12 minutes max. So the goal is really to improve headway and reliability.” The initial proposed route would run along Route 1 from Hamilton Street up to Queensbury Road, across Queensbury Road to Prince George’s Plaza Metro station, between Prince George’s Plaza Metro station and the West Hyattsville Metro station via Queens Chapel Road, and then loop back to Route 1 along Hamilton Street. Ideally, shuttles would run in both directions. Proposed pickup and drop-off points would be separated by an estimated 5-minute walking distance in order to accommodate riders who might have limited mobility or who were carrying packages. In many places, the shuttles would be able to utilize existing bus stop infrastructure, which would minimize upfront costs for the city. If the initial route is successful, the vision would be to extend hours of operation, expand the original route and add additional routes. The proposed loop is intended to function as a “proof of concept” for this type of shuttle. When asked about costs, Wilson and Bello stated that their goal is to have a free or low-fare shuttle. Funding could come from public-private partnerships that include developers whose investing would increase access to their projects. Wilson said, “You have the key stakeholders that are within the city. If there was a way to increase the foot traffic and make it more easy for visitors to get throughout the city of Hyattsville … there’s a good reason for them to want to do that.” He continued, “As we all know, parking is atrocious along the Route 1 Corridor. The hope would be that the private key
stakeholders would see that this has worked in Bethesda, this has worked in the Rock Spring Park Express, it has worked with VanGO, and they would invest some of the money.” With this proposal in its nascent stages, Wilson and Bello said that there are likely other opportunities for funding, such as federal grants, that have yet to be explored. Advertising space on the shuttles could also provide funding. As noted earlier, the 2003 and 2010 City of Hyattsville Community Legacy Revitalization Plans cite growth and redevelopment as goals. By exploring the feasibility of creating a circulator-connector shuttle now and making an effort to bring it to fruition, Wilson and Bello said that they see an opportunity for Hyattsville to have additional local transportation to support and drive growth. Bello said, “Here, we believe that we’re not only going to improve, we’re going to support economic development through this project.” Wilson and Bello said that they see other potential benefits to the city beyond the five listed in their proposal. An increase in economic development could contribute to increased home values. An increase in home values could potentially help lower taxes, since the overall tax base would expand. Most importantly, both men said they see this as a significant legacy project for the city. Wilson, who has lived in Hyattsville since 2011 said, “The bottom line for me is when I move someday, I want to know that I had a part in making the city better than what I moved into. It might sound corny, but it’s where I’m coming from.” More information on the proposed project, and the opportunity to weigh in on a survey created by Bello and Wilson, can be found by searching “Hyattsville Circulator” at www.change.org.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
COURTESY OF GILBANE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY The Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro site plan
DEVELOPMENT continued from page 1
the statements and the concerns of the community have been actively reflected in what you see tonight,” Chandler said. The conditions include making the promenade and amphitheater space comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, complying with Pepco lighting standards so the community lighting is compatible with the public system, planting only native trees, establishing that low-lying vegetation in the bioretention swales are low-maintenance
materials, and including more public amenities such as a tot lot. The Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro will be a mixed-use townhouse and apartment development located on an 18.5-acre site adjacent to the West Hyattsville Metro station and Anacostia River Northwest Branch Trail. The new community is expected to have 183 townhomes, 300 apartment homes and 9,000 square feet of retail space. The project will also create 4.5 acres of public parkland, including an amphitheater and bike/pedestrian loop connecting to the Northwest Branch Trail system.
The West Hyattsville Property Company, LLC will develop the site in two phases, with construction on the townhomes starting this spring. The parcel of land was purchased for more than $7 million in September 2015 by West Hyattsville Property Company, LLC. The proposed development will replace an existing 250,000-squarefoot warehouse that has been vacant for more than a decade. Gilbane Development Company, the project manager for the development, said townhome sales are anticipated by the end of 2017.
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the community,” Solomon said. He added that he is “excited about the overall increased level of interest in West Hyattsville development.” Despite the list of conditions, Chandler said he doesn’t anticipate any challenges to the request, which was a concern raised by Councilmember Thomas Wright (Ward 3). “Nothing seems to be outrageous,” Chandler said. The development plan was heard by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission at the March 2 Planning Board meeting. The board approved the requested variances.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
MissFloribunda Dear Miss Floribunda, Iâ€™ve lived in Hyattsville for 25 years, and I do not recall a February as warm and dry as the one weâ€™ve just had. We usually get a couple of good snowfalls in February. This worries me for a number of reasons, but most upsetting is the sight of aphids already infesting my irises! I am really alarmed to the point that I am considering preemptive strikes in what has been a poison-free garden up to now. Desperate times require desperate measures! My wife suggested I ask your opinion first. Insecticidal on Ingraham Street Dear Insecticidal, You are certainly right that this yearâ€™s February is an anomaly. February is usually the snowi-
est month in our area, averaging five or six inches of snow. In the past 25 years, the Washington, DC, area U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone rating, which is based on an areaâ€™s mean extreme minimum temperature, changed from 6b to 7a, and many believe that the rating is due for another change. If you like, you can go to planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/ PHZMWeb/) and enter your zip code to see your neighborhood rating. However, please donâ€™t panic prematurely. You most certainly ought not to upset the balance of your long-established garden ecoculture with poisons. Yes, the aphids have been awakened from dormancy very early by the warmth, but so have the beneficial insects that prey upon them. In the meantime, if
you havenâ€™t caught the welcome sight of a ladybug, the scourge of aphids, off your irises with a strong spray of water or manually remove them. By the way, even the absence of snow has benefits. Insects that bore into the ground to hibernate are protected by snow. One of these is the dreaded Japanese beetle that can decimate rose gardens. As a rose grower, Iâ€™ve observed that their presence increases after snowy winters and completely diminishes after winters with little or no snow. And then Hannah Honeywell tells me that honey bees are much happier without snow. Though they slow down in winter cold, honey bees like to periodically leave their hives, and being snowbound could cause sanitation problems. However, a long stretch of unseasonable
warmth could indeed disrupt their seasonal chore schedules. What should give us most cause to worry is the chance that in this volatile season there could still be some hard freezes coming. All the insects that have to go into diapause (suspended animation, or dormancy) could be in trouble. These are the majority. When they go dormant in the fall, they produce cryoprotectants, such as glycerol, that work in their cells like antifreeze. Cryoprotectants prevent the formation of destruc-
tive ice crystals by lowering the freezing point of the bodily fluids of the insects. Warm weather deactivates this protection, and, of course, awakens the insects. They become active and are not protected if another freeze occurs. To discuss this and other gardening concerns, please come to the next meeting of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the home of Nina and Jon Faye, 4004 Queensbury Road.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | March 2017
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City Council supports planned Riverfront at West Hyattsville development; citizens propose connector shuttle; profile of Robert Harper Books...