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Resident questions if WSSC plan is a benefit to the community. P. 3


Gateway CDC celebrates 20 years. P. 7

Robert Harper Books slated to close in 2018


HPA reminds readers of a time when a certain catalog included homes too. P. 11


By Ellen Treimel

Robert Harper Books, the Hyattsville area’s only stand-alone bookstore, is slated to close its doors at the end of January 2018. The store opened in March 2016 on a short block of Rhode Island Avenue, just off the Trolley Trail and near the Riverdale MARC train station. The owner, Robert “Bob” Harper, envisioned the bookstore as a community gathering place that supported local art, music and culture. Robert Harper Books is a unique place — the type of store for people who love to browse and buy items that jump out at them. The shelves are crammed with used

Vol. 14 No. 12

Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper

December 2017


BOOKSTORE continued on page 12

Hyattsville Aging in Place holds memory screenings By Katie Walsh

Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP), a nonprofit dedicated to enabling residents to stay in their homes as they age, collaborated with the City of Hyattsville to offer free, confidential memory screenings at the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Nov. 9 — the first time the city has offered the service. Memory Awareness Day was part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and an effort sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to provide memory screenings at locations across the country. HAP worked with the Prince George’s County chapter of Dementia Friendly America to organize the screenings. In Hyattsville, a full schedule of 26 HAP continued on page 9

JULIETTE FRADIN PHOTOGRAPHY Mayor Candace Hollingsworth poses for a picture during the city’s holiday tree lighting.

West Hyattsville resident wins Mark Twain Literature Award

By Rosanna Weaver

On Nov. 30, West Hyattsville resident Bill Beverly received the prestigious Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award for his debut novel “Dodgers” — a crime novel about a group of street kids from

Los Angeles whose journey to the Midwest turns out differently than they could have imagined. The award is presented to the author of a book published in the previous calendar year that “best embodies an ‘American voice’ such as Twain established in his masterpiece ‘Adventures of Huckleberry

Finn.’” Beverly’s competition for the award included Stuart Nadler and Don DeLillo. Official events of the ceremony in Hartford, Connecticut, began with a private tour of the Mark Twain House, where Samuel Clemens, AWARD continued on page 10


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Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017


No peace for the Peace Cross By Heather Wright

Uncertainty seems to have been cemented into the foundations of the Peace Cross. Construction of the concrete and rose granite World War I memorial began in 1919, but was halted in 1922 due to lack of funding. Later that year, the commissioners of Bladensburg deeded the property on which the cross stood to the Snyder-Farmer Post of the Ameri-

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 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Editors welcome reader input, tips, articles, letters, opinion pieces and photographs, which may be submitted using the mailing address above or the email addresses below. Managing Editor Maria D. James Associate Editor Heather Wright Digital Editor Krissi Humbard Webmaster Lindsay Myers Layout & Design Editor Ashley Perks Copy Editor Nancy Welch Advertising 301.531.5234 Writers & Contributors Randy Fletcher, Juliette Fradin, Julia Gaspar-Bates, Ellen Treimel, Katie Walsh, Rosanna Weaver Board of Directors Joseph Gigliotti — President and General Counsel Chris Currie — Vice President Caroline Selle — Secretary Emily Strab — Secretary 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.

FILE PHOTO The Bladensburg Peace Cross, completed in 1925, honors 49 residents of Prince George’s County who died during World War I.

can Legion of Hyattsville. The Snyder-Farmer Post raised the remaining funds, and the crossshaped monument, designed by John Earley (known as “the man who made concrete beautiful”), was completed in 1925. Ownership of the Peace Cross and its surrounding land then came into uncertainty. To resolve longstanding contention about the parcel of land on which the memorial stood, a circuit court ruled in 1956 that the title for the land should be vested to the State of Maryland. In 1961, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) obtained the title to the monument and its surrounding land. The M-NCPPC still owns and maintains the Peace Cross, located at the intersection of Routes 1 and 450 in Bladensburg. For several years now, the future of the Peace Cross — its existence and placement — have been uncertain. In 2014, the American Humanist Association (AHA), along with Fred Edwords, Steven Lowe and Bishop McNeill, filed a complaint against the M-NCPPC. According to the Baltimore Sun, Edwords, a Greenbelt resident and previous AHA executive director, remembered driving by the intersection and noticing the towering monument: “I thought, ‘Well, that’s odd. What’s that doing there? ... That certainly gives the impression of government endorsement of religion.’”

I want to think of their families and community that made this historic monument — a monument with a real past and real memories, versus a newly constructed monument with no memories — possible. A compromise that facilitates private ownership of the monument and its land seems the best way for the Peace Cross to finally stand in peace.

Although in 2015 a federal district judge ruled that the cross was constitutional and that the M-NCPPC’s ownership and upkeep of the cross was “driven by a secular purpose, maintaining and displaying a ‘historically significant war memorial’ that has honored fallen soldiers for almost a century,” a panel of Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals judges recently ruled that the cross was unconstitutional. Two of the three judges on the panel

thought that its placement on publicly owned land constituted a government endorsement of religion and demonstrated excessive government entanglement with religion. The uncertainty continues. In early November, the M-NCPPC filed a petition for a rehearing with the full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (versus a threejudge panel). An examination of similar cases indicates that the most likely outcome will be that the Peace Cross and its land parcel are auctioned to a nonprofit group. (Without an auction, the government could be charged with favoritism to organizations that want to preserve the cross.) The 35-foot Mount Helix Cross in California, built as a private memorial and also completed in 1925, was deeded to San Diego County in 1929. In 1999, after nine years and reviews by more than 30 federal judges, the county turned the memorial site and its maintenance over to the nonprofit Foundation for the Preservation of Mount Helix Nature Theater. And in 2016, after 25 years of controversy, including a 2011 Ninth Circuit ruling that the Mount Soledad Cross’s placement on federally owned land in California was unconstitutional and two Supreme Court refusals to try the case, the 43-foot monument and its surrounding land were eventually sold to the nonprofit Mount Soledad Memorial Association.

Why might the Peace Cross’s outcome in court be any different than that of similar memorials? In his dissenting opinion, Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory noted that the Peace Cross, unlike the Mount Soledad Cross, has functioned as a war memorial throughout its history, is located among other secular war memorials in Veterans Memorial Park, and contains secular features such as the American Legion symbol, a plaque dedicating the monument to 49 deceased soldiers, an inscription quoting Woodrow Wilson, and the words “courage,” “devotion,” “endurance” and “valor” near the cross’s base. And while the Mount Soledad Cross is frequently used for Easter and other religious services, the Peace Cross’s predominant use is for Memorial and Veterans Day events (although three religious ceremonies were held there in August 1931). Despite what the Fourth Circuit Court saw as the monument’s “semisecular history” and secular elements, their majority opinion stated that “the sectarian elements easily overwhelm the secular ones.” The court felt that the sheer size of the cross overwhelmed its location, and this seems to be a considerable strike against its remaining on public land. Since 1961, the M-NCPPC has spent approximately $122,000 to maintain the cross and its land; these funds have been used to address public safety concerns and for structural maintenance of the monument. Any nonpublic association (I admit I’m rooting for the American Legion) that agreed to purchase the cross and its land would also need to continually raise funds towards these endeavors. But with private ownership, the memorial’s future would finally be certain. I want the Peace Cross to remain where it is. I want this work of master craftsman and concrete artisan Earley to salute me on my way through Bladensburg with its arms intact. I want to be overwhelmed into remembering those who surrendered their lives in WWI. And I want to think of their families and community that made this historic monument — a monument with a real past and real memories, versus a newly constructed monument with no memories — possible. A compromise that facilitates private ownership of the monument and its land seems the best way for the Peace Cross to finally stand in peace.

Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017

MyTwoCents Proposed development of WSSC property is a net loss for the community By Daniel Muth

Any successful town intermeshed with a large metropolitan area displays a range of development, hopefully enacted in the spirit of serving the community. Development pursued in this manner is not something to be feared, and developers who endeavor to work towards engineering public value are essential in creating an environment rich with services and treasured community spaces. But when development results in a net loss to the community, there needs to be some pushback. Such is the case with the former WSSC building and adjacent parking lot now under contract with Werrlein Properties. Their plan calls for demolishing the existing historic infrastructure and erecting detached residences and town homes on the site. I fail to see how a development of this scale, and at this location, is in the public interest. Hyattsville Elementary School is currently near the top of the county’s list for renovation or rebuild, an ignominious ranking based on the outdated and failing mechanical systems, excessive overutilization and general disrepair. The parking lot adjacent to Magruder Park offers the perfect solution to this problem. It would deliver a synergistic public space that can join seamlessly with the park, offering a venue perfect for a neighborhood school, while accommodating the overflow parking desired for public events and servicing the many other needs of the town’s residents. But the lot is zoned as flood plain. And the county has indicated that it is not being considered as a site to move the

school. So if the county deems this site as unusable for our children desperately in need of a new school, how is it that they would entertain a waiver to allow the erection of dozens of town homes? As stated in the guidelines, “All areas within the County floodplain shall be dedicated to public use or for use as a park, or as a floodplain or conservation easement.� It isn’t intended for town homes. And shouldn’t be. This is not an indictment of Werrlein or any of the other developers that have helped make Hyattsville a more vibrant and serviceable community. They are simply the inheritors of city and county-level incompetencies that have allowed this public land to slip from our hands in the first place. Magruder Park is the heart of the community. The destination for parties, races, fireworks, tree lightings and soccer games. A welcome and peaceful natural space in the heart of a sea of concrete. Boxing it in and altering its hydrology disturbs that function irreparably. Add the historic nature of the WSSC building itself along with the other pressing needs of the community that could be serviced with this space, and the liabilities of this project render its benefits minuscule. Benchmarks of crime, health, education and integration can all be pegged to the amount of green, public and historic spaces in a community. It would seem unwise for us to go about squandering ours. And I would encourage those who agree to start contacting their elected officials in short order. Daniel Muth is a city resident and a “believer in the grand dream of Hyattsville.�

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Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017

NEWS BRIEFS VISIT HYATTSVILLELIFE.COM FOR MORE HYATTSVILLE POLICE ARREST SUSPECT ACCUSED OF BREAKING AND ENTERING As stated in a press release issued by the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD), on Dec. 7 around 1:23 a.m., HCPD responded to the area of 2970 Belcrest Center Drive and 6200 Belcrest Road for a report of multiple burglar alarms. Units

canvassed the area and stopped a suspect after a short foot chase. The suspect was later identified as Travis Damian Johnson. Johnson was interviewed by investigators and eventually confessed to committing 10 commercial burglaries in the City of Hyattsville over a four-day span. He has been initially charged with four of those burglaries. Detectives are working with the Prince

George’s County State’s Attorney Office to coordinate the indictment of the remaining six cases. Johnson is also a suspect in approximately five commercial burglaries in the area of College Park. Prince George’s County Police are currently handling those investigations. Johnson is currently being held in Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections on no bond sta-



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tus, and he was charged with four counts of second degree burglary and four counts of malicious destruction of property. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Lt. Chris Purvis at 240.304.7470. ANNUAL HVFD SANTA RUN Santa will join the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) to ride around town for the annual Santa Run between Queens Chapel Road, Route 1, East-West Highway and Farragut/Hamilton Street on Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17. All listed times are approximate. Follow HVFD on Facebook for regular updates of schedule changes.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017

CulturalConnections From Reykjavík to Washington, D.C. By Julia Gaspar-Bates

Growing up in Reykjavík, Iceland, Ólafur Jónasson experienced a lot of autonomy. The capital city has an estimated population of 123,000 and boasts a very low crime rate. Jónasson explained, “It’s quite safe — when [you] are 7 or 8, you start walking to school on your own. We were able to play outside; people weren’t restricted as kids here. When you go to high school in the U.S., you are treated like kids, but in Iceland you have a lot more freedom and independence. We are not told what to do.” Spending time outside in nature is a national pastime. “People are very outdoorsy. Icelanders play a lot of soccer and handball, but golf is one of the most popular sports.” Like many Icelanders, Jónasson and his family would

leave the city on weekends to enjoy the vast expanse of nature. “My favorite place to visit Jónasson in Iceland is Laugarvatn, which is about one hour from Reykjavík. My grandfather had a log cabin there, so we would go there every week. There was a small lake, and we would go in the boat and fish and play golf.” Given its proximity to the Arctic Circle, the country is bathed in darkness for several months each year. “Iceland [has] a big drinking culture. It’s quite common for people to go out at midnight and return home at 5 or 6 a.m. Because there is so much darkness, people spend a lot of time drinking.”

“When I go home it feels kind of foreign. I feel a bit like a tourist because the places I used to go are different. Sometimes I forget Icelandic words, and I use an English word without knowing. I don’t feel like a foreigner, exactly, but it just feels different.” — Ólafur Jónasson

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The national drink, Brennivín, a type of schnapps also known as Black Death, is sometimes consumed with another Icelandic delicacy — fermented shark. Jónasson reported that most Icelanders reserve this pungent food to test tourists’ stamina, except during Thorrablót, which Jónasson described as “a special day where we celebrate Icelandic heritage and we eat traditional food like smoked meat and fermented shark and drink ‘burning wine.’” Despite a brief stint in Sweden as a student, Jónasson had never lived abroad until moving to the U.S. five and a half years ago to begin his doctorate in physics at the University of WisconsinMadison. “The only thing I knew about Wisconsin was from ‘That ‘70s Show.’ It was my first time living away from my parents. I came with two suitcases, and I didn’t know anyone. I arrived in the middle of the summer, and it was 100 degrees and my apartment didn’t have A/C. It was the worst summer for heat, and everything was dead. It felt like the apocalypse.” Although Jónasson did not experience major culture shock upon coming to the U.S., he noted “some peculiarities” and went on to explain, “The drinking laws here are strange. You have to be 21, but people break the law and drink. Here it’s a big thing to break the law. The fact that people would drink and drive was a bit of a shock. It was very irresponsible.”

He also found the amount of small talk disconcerting. “In a grocery store, people would ask you, ‘How is your day?’ and I thought it was strange because I’m just buying something. Later, I found out that people didn’t care. In Iceland, people are more reserved and don’t talk to strangers. At first, it was uncomfortable, and I didn’t like it. I wanted to figure out how to get out of the conversation without seeming overly rude.” After completing his doctorate, Jónasson and his American wife moved to Hyattsville this past May where he got a job as a government contractor. He noted differences, saying, “It’s fast-paced here, and the prices are much higher and that was a shock coming from Madison, but I like the area. It’s a convenient location. Everything is in walking distance; I can walk to see a movie [or] to go grocery shopping.” While Jónasson enjoys living in the U.S. and would like to stay here until he gets his citizenship, he hopes to eventually return to Iceland. But he said, “When I go home it feels kind of foreign. I feel a bit like a tourist because the places I used to go are different. Sometimes I forget Icelandic words, and I use an English word without knowing. I don’t feel like a foreigner, exactly, but it just feels different. I see it like an outsider.” Cultural Connections is dedicated to sharing the voices of immigrants and other foreigners who have settled in Hyattsville.

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Gateway CDC celebrates 20 years of arts-focused revitalization By Rosanna Weaver

ROSANNA WEAVER Ann Bernanke, founder of Chance Academy, was the keynote speaker for Gateway CDC’s gala held Nov. 9.

“Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges through ART” was the theme of a gala held Nov. 9 to celebrate 20 years of the Gateway Community Development Corporation (Gateway CDC) and its role in creating arts-driven revitalization of the Route 1 Corridor. The Gateway CDC works within the communities of Brentwood, North Brentwood and Mount Rainier. Hyattsville CDC, which was formed in 2000, and Gateway CDC “are sister organizations with a long history of collaboration and engagements,” according to Hyattsville CDC Executive Director Stuart Eisenberg. Local politicians joined supporters of the arts at Martin’s Crosswinds of Greenbelt for the celebration, with host Rhett Butler and live music by the Alex Martin Trio. Over the course of the event, speakers highlighted Gateway CDC’s programs and its accomplishments over the years. “Gateway’s 20th Anniversary Gala proved to be a well-received, wonderful event,” said Pat Thorn-

“Arts-integrated education is a crucial component of connecting children to their academics.” — Ann Bernanke founder of Chance Academy

ton, Gateway CDC interim executive director. “I was deeply touched by the fact that so many people commented that they learned a great deal about Gateway at the event, and as a consequence they would like to partner with us.” The event’s keynote speaker was Ann Bernanke, who founded Chance Academy, an academic program dedicated to working with underserved students, in 2007, renting a room at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier. Bernanke opened her talk by highlighting the fraying of

communities as exemplified by a billboard she’d seen that read, “My casino is like my family.” “We are the answer to resolving this problem of the loss of community, and we can accomplish this by building the bridges and breaking the barriers that hinder us from working together,” she exhorted the crowd. Bernanke described the arts as “the equalizer that crosses generations and cultures,” and added, “Arts-integrated education is a crucial component of connecting children to their academics.” “We need to partner with one another, to find ways to promote economic growth while protecting our senior citizens and our long-term residents,” Bernanke said. “We need to provide a space that anchors education, wellness, peace and restorative practice programs, and arts-based activities for all community members. And individually, we must each commit to shedding our defensive layers and doing whatever it takes to heal ourselves from the scars we carry within us. Our children deserve nothing less.”


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Hyattsville Life & Times | November 2017


Hyattsville Reporter No. 357 • December 13, 2017 • 301-985-5000

Wanted: Volunteer Drivers

Volunteer drivers are needed for up to five days a week, typically from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to deliver meals to seniors and people with disabilities. Volunteers can be reimbursed for mileage up to $25 per month. To help meet this need, please call (301) 985-5057 or send an email to caistis@hyattsville. org.

Family Resource Workshops

The City offers the following free and bilingual workshops to support our new immigrant residents. Please join us at any or all of them, and see more upcoming events at Wednesday, December 13, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Education Resources for Your Kids University Park Elementary (4315 Underwood St.) Wednesday, December 20, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Education Resources for Your Kids Hyattsville Elementary (5311 43rd Ave.) Thursday, December 21, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Housing Rights Edward M. Felegy Elementary (6110 Editors Park Dr.) Wednesday, January 10, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Parenting Hyattsville Middle (6001 42nd Ave.)

Camp Magruders

We’d love to have your youngster, ages 5 – 10, join us at any and all of our upcoming Camp Magruders while schools are closed but parents still have to work. The fun includes sports, arts, dance, indoor/ outdoor activities, and awesome educational experiments. Registration is first come, first served – so plan ahead! Winter Camp Magruder: December 26 -30 $30/day (Registration Open Now!) Mini Camp Magruder: February 9, 2018 $30 (Registration Open January 3) From left, Calvin Richardson, Pastor Yvonne Penn, Chief Doug Holland, Tulio Quevedo and Derek Chrismer at First United Methodist Church.

African Americans in Times of War

The City is preparing for the 2018 Black History Month theme: African Americans in Times of War. If you’re a black Hyattsville resident and you or a close family member has a story to tell about life during war, please contact Cheri Everhart at 301985-5021 or We’ll schedule a time to meet with you and listen. If enough people are willing to share their stories, we plan to host an event in February.

2017 Claus Applause Awards

Judging for the 2017 Claus Applause Awards will take place the evening of December 13. Be sure to follow @ CityofHyattsville on Facebook and Instagram and @ HyattsvilleMD on Twitter that night to see who in Hyattsville really knows how to deck the halls!

Free Rides

As a holiday gift to residents, riding the Call-A-Bus is free from now until January 2, 2018. The bus helps seniors and residents with disabilities get to medical appointments, as well as trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. We offer round trip service, from and back to your home. If you’ve never used the bus before, registration is easy and free. Call (301) 985-5000 to reserve your trip by 2 p.m. the day before.

We’re Hiring

Serve your community by working for our local government! We’re currently seeking police officers, a crime analyst, a television and video coordinator, and a part-time communications intern. For more information and to apply, please visit

Movin’ With the Mayor

Come learn the newest moves and grooves in house music with Mayor Hollingsworth! She’ll meet you at the Maryland Performing Arts Academy (3018 Hamilton Street) on Saturday, December 16, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Be sure wear sneakers and clothes you can freely move in! For more information, call Ellarose Preston at (301) 985-5006.

Holiday Trash Collection

City offices will be closed Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, and New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2018. There will be no yard waste collection those weeks, and compost will be collected on Tuesday, December 26, and Tuesday, January 2. Trash collection will follow its normal schedule. Please call (301) 985-5000 with any questions.

Help Neighbors Shovel Snow

Remember: If you or someone you know is shoveling snow for senior or disabled neighbors, please contact Colleen Aistis at so the City of Hyattsville can provide a shovel, gloves, or other support to such helpful neighbors.

Spring Camp Magruder: April 2 - 6, 2018 $125 for City Residents / $150 for Non-Residents (Registration Open January 17 for Residents / January 24 for Non-Residents)

Magruder Park Teen Club

The Magruder Park Teen Club continues each Friday, 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., during the school year! Teens ages 13 to 18 from Hyattsville and the surrounding area, as well as Northwestern students, can join us at Magruder Park for good food, new friends, and lots of fun! Remember: You’ll need your ID, proof of age, parent/guardian signature, and emergency contact information when you register. Northwestern students must also bring their school ID.

Public Parking Made Easy

You can now save time by purchasing your monthly public parking lot permits via our secure online portal at Permits can be purchased for up to three months at a time. Be sure to have your vehicle and supplemental information available before submitting a parking permit application and REMEMBER: physical permits will not be issued for permits acquired online. If you have any questions, please email parking@ or call (301) 985-5000.

Meeting on Hyatt Park

The City is planning to beautify a section of Hyatt Park. We want to hear what the community would like to see in the park, including the style, color, and landscaping of the area. Join us to share your thoughts at 3505 Hamilton Street on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 7 p.m.

Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017

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Reportero de


No. 357 • 13 de Diciembre, 2017 • 301-985-5000

Miércoles, 13 de diciembre, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Recursos Educativos Para Niños University Park Elementary (4315 Underwood St.) Miércoles, 20 de diciembre, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Recursos Educativos Para Ninos Hyattsville Elementary (5311 43rd Ave.) Jueves, 21 de diciembre, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Derechos de Inquilinos Edward M. Felegy Elementary (6110 Editors Park Dr.) Miércoles, 10 de enero, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Crianza de Niños Hyattsville Middle (6001 42nd Ave.)

Camp Magruders

Nos encantaría si sus niños entre 5 y 10 años se unieran a nosotros en uno o todos de los próximos programas de Camp Magruder mientras la escuela está cerrada, pero ustedes todavía tienen que trabajar. La diversión incluye deportes, artes, baile, actividades al aire libre y experimentos fascinantes. Se le sirve en orden de registración, ¡así que planifiquen en registrar a sus niños lo más antes posible! Winter Camp Magruder: 26 – 30 de diciembre $30 al día (¡Registración Abierta Ahora!) Mini Camp Magruder: 9 de febrero de 2018 $30 (Registración Se Abre el 3 de enero) Spring Camp Magruder: 2 – 6 de abril de 2018 $125 para residentes de Hyattsville $150 para no residentes de Hyattsville (Registración se abre el 17 de enero para residentes, el 24 de enero para no residentes)

Club de Adolescentes En Parque Magruder Reverendo Stephen Price recibio el premio del Voluntario del año de 2017 por sus actos de servicio en apoyo de la Ciudad. El está en este foto con el premio, Alcaldesa Candace Hollingsworth, y Jefe de Policia Douglas Holland.

Africano Americanos en Etapas de Guerra

La Ciudad está preparando para el tema del Mes de Historia Negro de 2018: Africano Americanos en Etapas de Guerra. Si usted es negro y vive en la Ciudad de Hyattsville, y usted o alguien en su familia tiene una historia para compartir sobre su vida durante guerra, por favor, contacte a Kiomara Rivera a 301-985-5000 o Harremos una cita para conocerle y escuchar. Si suficiente personas compartir sus historias, planeamos tener un evento en febrero.

Los Premios “Claus Applause” de 2017

Los jueces van a evaluar las casas nominadas para los Premios “Claus Applause” de 2017 en la tarde del 13 de diciembre. ¡Asegúrense de seguir a @CityofHyattsville en Facebook e Instagram y a @HyattsvilleMD en Twitter esa noche para ver quién realmente sabe cómo adornar para las fiestas!

Transporte Gratis

Como regalo para el fin del año, nuestro servicio de Llama-Un-Bus servirá a los residentes de la Ciudad de Hyattsville completamente gratis desde ahora hasta el 2 de enero de 2018. A los residentes mayores y a residentes con discapacidades el autobús ayuda a llegar a sus citas médicas, además de hacer viajes al supermercado y a la farmacia. El servicio se ofrece de ida y vuelta, desde y de regreso a su casa. Si todavía no han aprovechado de este servicio antes, se pueden registrarse fácilmente y gratis. Llamen al (301) 9855000 para aprender más.

Estamos Contratando

¡Sirvan a su comunidad y trabajen para nuestro gobierno local! Estamos buscando oficiales de policía, un

analista de crímenes, un coordinador de televisión y video y un aprendiz de comunicaciones. Por favor, visiten para más información y para solicitar.

Moviendo con la Alcaldesa

¡Vengan y aprendan los ritmos de música “House” con Alcaldesa Hollingsworth! Se unirá con ustedes en el Maryland Performing Arts Academy (3018 Calle Hamilton) el sábado, 16 de diciembre, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ¡Asegúrense de llevar zapatos deportivos y ropa en que se puedan mover mucho! Para más información, llamen a Ellarose Preston al (301) 985-5006.

Recolección de Basura

Las oficinas de la Ciudad estarán cerradas el Día de Navidad, lunes, 25 de diciembre, y el Día del Año Nuevo, lunes, 1 de enero de 2018. No habrá recolección de residuos del jardín esas semanas, y el composto se recoleccionará el martes, 26 de diciembre, y el martes, 2 de enero. El horario de recolección de basura seguirá normal esas semanas. Cualquier consulta, favor de llamar al (301) 985-5000.

Ayuden a Sus Vecinos

Recuerden: La Ciudad de Hyattsville les quiere ayudar a ayudar a sus vecinos. Si ustedes, o alguien más, quieran palear para vecinos mayores o con discapacidades, por favor contacten a Colleen Aistis a caistis@ Para vecinos tan ayudantes, nosotros daremos con gusto una pala, guantes, o algo más.

Talleres de Recursos Comunitarios

La Ciudad ofrece los siguientes talleres bilingües y gratis para apoyar a nuestros residentes inmigrantes y recién llegados. Por favor, únanse a nosotros en cualquier o todos los talleres, y vean más eventos en

¡El Club de Adolescentes en Parque Magruder seguirá cada viernes, 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., durante el año académico! Adolescentes entre 13 y 18 años de edad en Hyattsville y sus alrededores, además de estudiantes de Northwestern, pueden unirse a nosotros en Parque Magruder para comida rica, nuevos amigos y mucha diversión. Recuerden: Traigan la identificación, prueba de edad, firma de padre y/o guardián legal e información de contacto en caso de emergencia cuando vengan para registrarse. Estudiantes de Northwestern deben traer también su identificación escolar.

Se Busca Conductores Voluntarios

Se necesita voluntarios para hasta cinco días semanalmente, típicamente entre las horas de 10:30 a.m. y 12:30 p.m., para llevar comida a mayores y a personas con discapacidades. Voluntarios pueden recibir un reembolso para cubrir la distancia de hasta $25 cada mes. Para ayudarnos, llamen al (301) 9855057 o mande un correo a

Estacionamiento Público

Ahora se pueden ahorrar tiempo por comprar su permiso mensual de estacionamiento público vía nuestro portal seguro en línea en www.hyattsville. org/publicparking. Los permisos pueden ser comprados por hasta tres meses a la vez. Asegúrense de tener información sobre sus vehículos e información suplementaria antes de entregar una solicitud y RECUERDEN: no se recibirán permisos físicos si los soliciten en línea. Cualquier consulta, manden un correo electrónico a o llame al (301) 985-5000.

Reunión Sobre Parque Hyatt

La Ciudad planea embellecer una parte del Parque Hyatt. Queremos saber lo que la comunidad quisiera ver en el parque, incluso su estilo, color y paisajismo. Unanse para compartir sus pensamientos en 3505 Calle Hamilton el martes, 9 de enero de 2018, a las 7 p.m.

Page 8

Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017


Give a Can, Get a Can Fundraiser. Bring a can of food to any location and receive a free can of beer in return. All cans of food will be donated to Martha’s Table. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pizzeria Paradiso, 4800 Rhode Island Ave. 240.467.3210 Annual Meeting & Holiday Mixer. Hosted by the Maryland Milestones/Anacostia Trails Heritage Area Inc. Annual meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. Event from


6 to 9 p.m. Maryland Milestones Heritage Center, located within the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, 4318 Gallatin St. 301.887.0777

Hosted by Angie Head. $5 cover charge. 10 p.m. to midnight. Busboys and Poets, 5331 Baltimore Ave. 301.779.2787

December 14

December 16

Dance Party at Community Forklift. Women-only freestyle exercise dance session. Free. 7 to 8 p.m. Community Forklift, 4671 Tanglewood Dr., Edmonston. 301.985.5180

December 15

Talent Showcase Open Mic.

Gingerbread House Holiday Hullabaloo. Adults, children and families are welcome. Unwrapped toy donations will be collected for Thomas Stone Elementary. Free. Noon to 3 p.m. Art Works Now, 4800 Rhode Island Ave, Suite 1. 301.454.0808

December 16 to December 23

Holiday Trains & Planes. The National Capital Trackers bring a fascinating, constantly moving, holiday-themed display of model railroads to the museum. Muse-

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Page 9


out the year. Snyder noted that HAP has more memory-related events on the horizon. After New Year’s, the organization is planning to start memory cafes, where those struggling with memory loss can engage in activities such as craft-

continued from page 1

people were tested using a short survey that can indicate whether a participant should see a doctor for further examination, said Denise Snyder, an HAP board member. “For any adult as they age, the issue of dementia is a cloud that hangs out there,” Snyder said. Snyder said she and another volunteer were trained by the Alzheimer’s Foundation on how to conduct the screenings. HAP extended screening hours to accommodate more people after the event’s initial slots were quickly filled. In fact, the memory screening was so popular that HAP is considering ways to continue offering the service, according to Snyder. “We’ve really tapped into an issue of concern for the residents of Hyattsville,” she said. Snyder reflected on memory loss and the aging process, comparing the aging of the mind to that of the body, which can “struggle in places it didn’t used to” as it gets older. However, the kind of memory problems that are associated with dementia are at a much different level, she said. “It’s not just that you can’t remember where you put your keys; it’s that you put them in the refrigerator,” said Snyder. Snyder stressed that anyone who

“With dementia, it’s best to know as early as possible so you can take steps to slow it down.” — Denise Snyder Hyattsville Aging in Place board member

COURTESY OF SHANI WARNER Hyattsville Aging in Place hosts many events each year for seniors living in the city, including a Memory Screening Day last month.

is worried that they or a loved one is experiencing memory loss should visit their family physician. Lisa Walker, one of the founders of HAP and a current board member, said that residents older than 65 comprise 7 percent of the

city’s population — a figure that is likely to keep growing as baby boomers age. HAP was founded in 2011 to serve this population, and in part to help mitigate the challenge of finding support services for aging family members.

The organization offers several other services for seniors, Walker said. Volunteers drive seniors to medical appointments and help out with chores such as shoveling snow and cleaning. HAP also puts on various events through-

ing and making music and can talk with others who are sensitive to memory issues. Organizers are actively looking for a location. Additionally, HAP is holding a fundraiser on Dec. 12 at Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store. Since HAP is an all-volunteer organization, such fundraisers allow them to offer services like memory screenings, Snyder said. “With dementia, it’s best to know as early as possible so you can take steps to slow it down,” Snyder said. “To ignore it can certainly not help the situation, and may in fact exacerbate it.”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017


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who used the pen name Mark Twain, lived from 1874 to 1891 and wrote many of his most famous works. Beverly described the home as “a monument of exquisite taste.” The gas lighting, fireplaces and Tiffany tiles and glass gave the house a warm, open feeling even in a chilly New England December, observed Beverly. “It is a family home you might dream of, rather than a lord’s trophy hall.” He added, “I found it beautiful and moving.” A reception in the Twain carriage house followed, and the evening concluded with a ceremony in the Mark Twain Museum’s auditorium. Nov. 30 marks the author’s birthday, which “happily, made a birthday party out of things,” according to Beverly. Beverly, an associate professor in English at Trinity University, describes himself as “someone used to sitting in the back row” who finds the idea of awards ceremonies “viscerally embarrassing.” But, he said, “The moment was lovely.” Among the speakers were Pieter Roos, Roger Michel Jr. and Stuart Nadler “whose lovely book ‘The Inseparables’ was a finalist,” according to Beverly. The award was presented by best-selling author David Baldacci, whom the Mark Twain House & Museum website describes as “the impetus and benefactor of the competition and award.” Beverly read from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Dodgers,” then wished Twain a happy birthday. Beverly noted that after the awards ceremony, “we stepped out into an ambush of champagne flutes and birthday cake.” Since its publication in December 2016, “Dodgers” has also won in the mystery/ thriller category of the Los Angeles

COURTESY OF WILLIAM BEVERLY III Author David Baldacci presented the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award to Bill Beverly, right, on Nov. 30.

Times Book Prize and the British Book Award for Crime. Describing Beverly’s novel, Twain Award judge Walter Harrison wrote, “This is an important American book, which I think fits clearly within the Twain tradition, and squarely within the tradition of ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ ... Don’t let the label of ‘crime novel’ fool you. Beverly has written an American classic.” Beverly and his wife, author and mar-

keter Deborah Ager, moved to West Hyattsville in 2002, into a neighborhood established around 1950 that still includes three original owners on the block. “Our street is white- and blue-collar, it is English- and Spanish-speaking, it is graduate students and retirees. It’s a good place,” says Beverly. “The men meet in the street with rakes or snow shovels or jumper cables, and the Cowboys guys denounce the Redskins, and the Redskins guys de-

nounce the Cowboys. Even here, I don’t quite fit — I am loyal to the Bears.” Back in West Hyattsville following the event, Beverly says he is working on his next book. The ending of “Dodgers,” according to Beverly, “seems to offer an easy entrance into another story — a bright and open door.” However, he added, “I am trying instead to chop a way in through the roof.” Perhaps fitting in was never the goal.


Recoge Desechos Y Bótalos en la Basura

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11/27/17 2:23 PM

Pitch In_Big Belly.indd 2

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Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017

Page 11

Then Then&Now

From the pages of a catalog: the blue silk blouse and the bungalow By Randy Fletcher

Fall always brought a flurry of excitement to our household. It may have been the change in color of our New England fall leaves, the anticipation of the coming holidays, or the arrival of that thick, thick catalog — the Sears catalog. I can remember how thrilled my mother and sister were as they poured through the pages of merchandise. You name it, it was there in that book. My mother would dog-ear the pages of items that piqued her fancy. After spending hours leafing through, she’d pass the catalog to my sister and say, “Terri, why don’t you take a look at the blouses and see if there is something you would want from Santa.” My sister would quickly flip past the pages of clothing and stop at the section with dolls and other toys. But she wound up settling on a pretty blue silk blouse that was featured on page 346. Me, I had my eye on the 20-inch Spyder bike with a banana seat on page 754. I made a big dog-ear so that my mom wouldn’t miss it. To my surprise, Terri got that pretty


Get ahead of those New Year’s resolutions.

blue silk blouse that year and a Raggedy Ann doll. Me, I got tube socks and a box of fishing lures. The Sears catalog made shopping easier for my parents and for many people before them, especially those who lived in rural areas. Richard Sears first introduced the catalog in 1888. It featured watches and jewelry. Just a few years later, it was expanded to include sewing machines, sporting goods, musical instruments, saddles, firearms, buggies, bicycles, baby carriages and clothing. The Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog promised low prices, money-back guarantees and free delivery. It quickly became the largest mass-merchandising catalog in the world. Richard Sears had the great foresight to know that as much as Americans like to shop, they like convenience even more. Sears shaped how we shop. Its name was well known in most households — and still is today. What many people may not know is

that Sears, Roebuck & Co. also sold kit homes. In 1908, Sears issued its first specialty catalog for houses, “Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans,” featuring 44 house styles ranging in price from $360 to $2,890. Potential homeowners were able to open the catalog, study the different house plans, visualize their new home and then order it directly from Sears — just like a pair of pants! Families picked out houses according to their needs, tastes and pocketbooks. Each design could be modified in numerous ways, including reversing floor plans, building with brick instead of wood siding, or choosing the style of the kitchen cabinets. Sears promised that “a man of average abilities could assemble one of their kit homes in about 90 days.” Entire homes would arrive by railroad, with everything from precut lumber to carved staircases, right down to the nails and

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varnish. Sears provided all the materials and instructions necessary to build one of their homes. Manuals for the latest technology available at the time — indoor plumbing, electric work and central heating — were also included. Some of these kits contained up to 30,000 pieces, and each piece was numbered and labeled to help with assembly. Between 1908 and 1940, there were 447 different house plans designed, mostly by an anonymous group of skilled architects. Over the more than three decades that it sold kit homes, Sears offered many different design styles with names like The Osborn, The Verona, The Puritan, The Greenview, The Jefferson and The Magnolia (which was the most expensive home, selling for around $6,000). One of Sears’ biggest selling models was the common bungalow. This affordable house began as a vacation-style home, but became a major housing type in

cities and suburbs in the years before World War I. Bungalows came in a wide variety of types and styles that included Arts and Crafts, Spanish, colonial and English Tudor. The last Sears kit home catalog was delivered in 1940, but kit homes were still sold until 1942. According to the Sears’ archives, there were over 70,000 Sears homes sold and built across America. Half a dozen or more of them exist today in Hyattsville. With the advent of “one-click” and other online options, shopping from home has become very different, and even more convenient than it was in the early 20th century. Still, when I hear “Sears” mentioned or see a catalog in the mail, I like to imagine that maybe, many years ago, a young couple flipped through a thick catalog, dog-eared a couple pages and dreamed of a beautiful bungalow. And maybe Santa gave it to them for Christmas that year, just like he gave my sister a pretty blue silk blouse.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017


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books, ranging from fiction to cookbooks to a 12-volume collection, “The Works of Thomas Jefferson.” In addition to used books, Robert Harper Books sells used DVDs, LPs, CDs and VHS tapes. The walls are decorated with art that is for sale through the Hyattsville Community Arts Alliance. Near the middle of the lengthy store is a nook with a small table for children and a homey living room arrangement. Throughout the store’s existence, Harper has regularly hosted cultural events with as many three events taking place each week. For example, on the third Saturday of each month, Sid Gold, who is affiliated with the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, hosts three local authors who read excerpts from their writing, followed by an open reading for other writers. On Dec. 14, the store will host the last Riverdale Rail Concert Series performance of the year. And Harper will hold a holiday party on Dec. 22 with music by Band Brûlée. Harper has lived in Hyattsville for over 30 years, and he worked as an informational technology professional throughout his career. After retiring, Harper decided to open the used bookstore and dedicate some of its space to showcasing local arts and culture. Harper spent

three years collecting donated books in his basement along with inexpensive purchases and consignments before opening the brick-and-mortar shop. Unfortunately, after the first couple of months of being open, the store’s business dropped off. When asked about the impact of e-readers on the market, Harper said, “The biggest thing I think that’s changed is the old people like me … they have books all over the place, and those people are getting rid of those books. The only thing I still see is that everybody is coming in to buy books for their children.” Harper said that his online sales bring in roughly five times the amount of money as his storefront sales. From the beginning, Harper has paid his staff a living wage of $15 an hour, but once operating costs and wages are factored in, the storefront is losing money. Harper says he will not be laying anybody off, though. His staff will continue to help with online sales. Harper stated that the store’s biggest issue is lack of foot traffic. Aside from a barbershop next store, the nearby storefronts are currently shuttered. Although two popular Riverdale Park institutions, Town Center Market and the weekly farmer’s market, are within walking distance, getting to Robert Harper Books requires people to take a turn off the

ELLEN TREIMEL Robert Harper Books opened in March 2016 and is slated to close at the end of January 2018.

Throughout the store’s existence, Harper has regularly hosted cultural events with as many as three events taking place each week.

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main thoroughfare of Queensbury Road. The road in front of the store had been closed while the Whole Foods was under construction. The recent completion of the Trolley Trail and the opening of Whole Foods Riverdale Park provide some hope that traffic past the store might increase and result in more people dropping in. The unfortunate reality, however, is that it might be too little, too late for this quixotic book store and community gathering spot.

On Dec. 6, Harper held a brainstorming session on how to save the bookstore. Harper said they had a good turnout, but he still plans to close. They will move forward with the plan to stay in business through online sales only, unless they can get better financing or locate a more affordable storefront to rent. Notably, the bookstore has the distinction of earning a 100 percent positive seller rating on Amazon. com.

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Dear Miss Floribunda, When I was in Arizona last spring to visit a friend who retired there, I was simply blown away by a dazzling display of amaryllis blooming in her garden. She told me she gets gifts of them every Christmas, and then, when they finish blooming indoors, she plants them outside. It takes about a year before they bloom again, but since she feeds them they keep popping up on schedule after that. She told me they die back in her super-hot summer, and then push up shoots in December, waiting till early April to bloom. Is there anyway this could be done in our area? Because we have freezing temperatures, I suppose I’d have to wait to spring to plant my December-blooming gifts outside. Could they be given winter protection next fall and be left indefinitely? Otherwise, they would just rot in their pots, which is a shame. Thrilled by Amaryllis on Thirty-third Avenue Dear Thrilled, You aren’t the first to be dazzled by this flower — the name comes from the Greek ἀμαρύσσω (amarysso), which means “to sparkle.” True amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna) can survive outdoors for up to 75 years, but they come in only one color, pale pink, and bloom in late summer. The taller and more colorful Hippeastrum, given as holiday gifts in December, are often called “false” amaryllis, although they do belong to a genus in the Amaryllidaceae family. Originally from South Africa and South America, they tolerate neither freezing temperatures nor heavy clay soil. On the other hand, they do not have to rot in their pots if you are willing to make the effort to keep them alive. When the blooms fade, snip them off before seed pods can form. Don’t remove the rest of the stalk until it is completely dessicated. This way the plant’s energy can return to the bulb. Now, here’s the hard part: You need to find a place for the pot that is both cool and sunny. Ideally, this would be a sun porch where the temperature is kept between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but perhaps a window in your basement would do. Do not overwater, of course, but don’t let the soil dry out either. If your

bulbs have rotted in the past, you may have overwatered during blooming, or allowed the top of the bulb rising above the soil to get wet. That’s a surefire recipe for rot. Lightly fertilize monthly with house plant fertilizer at about half the recommended dosage. Bring the pot outside in spring. You can bury the pot, but don’t remove the plant from the pot. (Among the reasons to keep the plant in its pot is to protect the pulpy bulbs from the burrowing animals who find them delicious.) Stop fertilizing in August to induce dormancy. Bring the pot indoors again in fall before the first frost, and begin fertilizing again for December bloom. Here’s an easy alternative, or perhaps an accompanying project. The Hippeastrum x johnsonii, popularly known as St. Joseph’s lily, will bloom outside. Its blooms are fragrant as well as beautiful. With stalks a good 24 inches tall and long-lasting and lavish displays of red trumpets lined in white, this hardy variety rivals in beauty any of the tender hybrids sold by florists, nurseries and mail order. St. Joseph’s lily is a big favorite in the southern states, and now that our region has warmed so much as to have its USDA hardiness zone reclassified to 7a, we too can enjoy it as a perennial in our gardens. Another good thing about the amaryllis is that it does not usually die back, but retains its reed-like leaves that take on an attractive bronze hue in summer. They do well in sun or shade, and in any soil that is not overly alkaline. They naturalize slowly by offsets, which can be divided, but are not invasive. They bloom in late spring after most other bulbs have finished, but before day lilies come into flower. Best of all, they are loved by butterflies, bees and birds, but deer generally avoid them.

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For more information and good cheer, come to the December meeting and holiday party of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. It will be hosted at the lovely home of Jean and Millard Smith, 3600 Longfellow Street.

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Students from Edward M. Felegy Elementary School performed during Hyattsville’s holiday tree lighting ceremony held Dec. 1 at Magruder Park. PHOTOS BY JULIETTE FRADIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Hyattsville Life & Times | December 2017

December 2017 Hyattsville Life & Times  
December 2017 Hyattsville Life & Times  

Bill Beverly wins Mark Twain Literature Award; Robert Harper Books to close in 2018; Hyattsville Aging in Place holds memory screenings; Gat...