2020-10 Hyattsville Life & Times

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INSIDE A BEAUTIFUL MIND: Police hire mental health advocate. P. 7 GRIEF, BUT NO INDICTMENT: A year after the shooting of Leonard Shand P. 8

VOL. 17 NO. 10

HYATTSVILLE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

OCTOBER 2020

Mail woes hit Hyattsville

By Brandon Fastman

This summer, Debbie Owens was tending to the unenviable task of settling her late mother-in-law’s estate. Because Owens lives in Hyattsville and her mother-in-law lived in Florida, she is dependent on the U.S. Postal Service for exchanging legal

documents and personal effects. Things haven’t been going so well: late mail, mail improperly marked as delivered, and mail delivered to the wrong address. To top it all off, her husband’s supplies for his medical respiratory issues have also been lost in the mail. Owens’ troubles coincide with local and

national data suggesting a severe drop in the Postal Service’s efficiency beginning this June. At a time when package volume has sharply increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mail delivery system has been hampered by well-publicized operational changes instituted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed in May.

A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, whose district includes Hyattsville, stated to the Hyattsville Life & Times (HL&T), “This summer, over 2,500 Fifth District residents have reached out to Congressman Hoyer’s office to express concern or share their SEE MAIL ON 12 

Magruder’s views on segregation ‘murky’ By Sophie Gorman Oriani The City of Hyattsville is asking residents to suggest a new name for its largest park (see the Hyattsville Reporter, inside). The historical name of the park is controversial. William Pinkney Magruder, mayor of Hyattsville from 19091911, gave the park to the city in 1927, through a deed that contained language restricting the use of the park to “Caucasians.” Along with the racially restrictive covenant, the original deed required that the park “be known as WILLIAM PINKNEY MAGRUDER PARK.” Many residents learned of the racially restrictive language in February 2018 through a column in this newspaper. Stuart Eisenberg writes the column, Then & Now, on behalf of the SEE PARK ON 13 

The new mural on the Aventures Inc. building, located at 4328 Farragut Street

JULIA NIKHINSON

New mural aims to start a conversation By Christina Armeni A two-story Statue of Liberty sporting a pair of Air Jordans found a home between the post office and the courthouse in downtown Hyattsville. She is

part of a vibrant, complex mural which includes two words, reparations and equality, in large letters. “Before, this wall was just a white canvas and brick,” said artist Demont “Peekaso” Pinder.

“Now, we provided something that’s colorful and bright ... and welcomes you to have the conversation about this subject.” The new mural adorns 4328 Farragut Street, the Aventures Inc. building. Owner Stevie Jeffrey

purchased the building in June of last year and opened it this March. According to Jeffrey, Aventures Inc. provides workspaces for anyone from artists to students SEE MURAL ON 6 

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Hyatts KIDS Page 2

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Created by contributors in grades K-8, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists. Our editors are Evan LeFevre and Claudia Romero Garvey. To participate, contact adult adviser Mary Frances Jiménez: mf_jimenez@yahoo.com. We also invite readers’ questions for an upcoming “Ask a HyattsKID” column.

The Question We’re All Masking

YOU DO REALIZE YOU WALKED IN HERE WITHOUT A MASK?

By Mason Vosmek When I walked into the Franklins “Quarantiki” Room, I was very surprised at just how lively it felt. The decor really made it pop, and it will probably be fun for young kids to sit outside. Additionally, the nice weather made it feel even better. The food has suffered no decreases in quality even with the move outside. I had the Cook’s House burger, a combination of lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, cheese, and sriracha mayonnaise, which should be classified as an addictive substance by the FDA for how good it is. However, I refrained from the lettuce and tomato myself. I must warn anyone who wants to eat this burger: You should certainly use the toothpick, as without it, the high tower of food is terribly unstable. We also got an order of onion rings, which seemed significantly larger than usual, although there was proportionately less horseradish sauce to go around. I also sampled the fish tacos, which, although a little spicy, were simply overflowing with wonderful ingredients. The fish itself was very tender, and the spices really brought out the flavor. Adults will enjoy their signature beers and the new tiki drink menu. All the menus are also contactless and scannable with a barcode, so bring your phone. Conveniently enough for any kids who aren’t able to finish, the dishes already come in take-out bowls. I would

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 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Editors welcome reader input, tips, articles, letters, opinion pieces and photographs, which may be submitted using the mailing address above or the email addresses provided.

by Zinnia Gaspar

I NEED A NEW MASK

IT’S OKAY, I KEPT MY MOUTH CLOSED

certainly recommend Franklins as a great Hyattsville restaurant destination during quarantine.

ST. JEROME’S REOPENS WITH HYBRID MODEL By Claudia Romero and Irene Vaidyanathan This fall, St. Jerome Academy (SJA) opened with a hybrid learning platform. Students in grades 1-8 are divided into a “blue” group and a “gold” group, which rotate for two days a week of in-person attendance. The teachers work simultaneously with students at the school and online. The school is also offering a full distance learning platform to any who desire it. At a classical school, which focuses on learning from primary materials and discussions among teachers and students, most of the SJA teachers were unprepared for online school last spring. How-

Tent classrooms outside SJA allow for air circulation. ELLIOTT KRAMER

ever, throughout the chaos that 2020 brought, the staff remained flexible. Over the summer, they trained in the distance learning platform. Math teacher Michelle Orhan stated, “I use discussion often in my math classroom and will continue to do so” in a way she hopes will “engage the in-person and at-home learners.” SJA has already faced many trials this year, including a flood that affected the entire bottom floor and the challenges of reopening the school for in-person learning.

Managing Editor Kit Slack kit@hyattsvillelife.com

Business Manager Catie Currie catie@hyattsvillelife.com

Associate Editors Sophie Gorman Oriani sophie@hyattsvillelife.com

Advertising Sales Manager Brian Escobar brian@hyattsvillelife.com

Heather Wright heather@hyattsvillelife.com Webmaster Lindsay Myers lindsay@hyattsvillelife.com Layout & Design Editor Ashley Perks Copy Editor Nancy Welch Writers & Contributors Christina Armeni, Victoria Boucher, Brandon Fastman, Luke Gentile, Mary Frances Jiménez, Lauren Kelly, Julia Nikhinson, Emily Williams Advertising advertising@hyattsvillelife.com 301.531.5234

Board of Directors Joseph Gigliotti — President and General Counsel Chris Currie — Vice President Reva Harris — Treasurer Rosanna Landis Weaver, Gretchen Brodtman, Debra Franklin, T. Carter Ross, Emily Strab Maria D. James — Ex Officio Circulation: Copies are distributed monthly by U.S. mail to every address in Hyattsville. Additional copies are distributed to libraries, selected businesses, community centers and churches in the city. Total circulation is 9,300. HL&T is a member of the National Newspaper Association.

Principal Danny Flynn described ventilation updates the school has made and explained, “Every classroom has dual directional fans in their windows. The hallway windows are open and we have oscillating fans bringing fresh air into the building.” He also noted that the school added tents for outdoor teaching and is promoting additional hand washing. Despite all of these changes, Flynn says the school as a whole has continued to prioritize an education for the students in beauty, truth, and love.

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND PANDEMIC CHALLENGES By Claire Alolga My life was pretty normal for an 11-year-old living in Hyattsville until the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has changed a lot of things in my life, from school to soccer practice. This year I started 6th grade at Greenbelt Middle School, and I haven’t even been in the school building yet! It’s disappointing, and I feel sad that I am going to miss using a locker and joining a school sports team for the first time. When we had to change to online learning for the spring, I thought everything was so sweet. Being home and “relaxing” all day while having a shorter school day than usual — that was the dream. Then suddenly it was summer. I thought that at least one positive thing was fewer cars driving around and not as much air pollution. But then the infection numbers were climbing. In that moment it felt like the coronavirus would go on forever. Well, summer is over, and the virus is still keeping us at home and out of school. Everything is going

well with my new teachers and classes, but it feels bland to me. I mean, if you think about it technically, I don’t see my teachers’ real faces; it is only a digital version. It feels empty not being able to interact with other people. The virus has also impacted my physical health. If I was still going to school, I would be walking around a big school instead of staying home on the computer for most of the day. It has also impacted my mental health, because now that I am in the house a lot, I don’t have much motivation anymore. But even though it has been difficult for me, I cannot imagine how hard it is for people who are losing their jobs. The only thing we can do is keep fighting and get through this together, but remember: six feet apart!

OAK PLANTING BENEFITS LOCAL ECOSYSTEMS By Talika Gorski and Beatrice Marx Looking for ways to benefit the environment? Try planting a tree. David Ruppert, a soil scientist at the University of Maryland, recommends an oak. One great thing about oaks, according to Ruppert, is that they support 543 native species of moth and butterfly caterpillars, more than any other tree in Hyattsville. The caterpillars, almost all protein, are a main food for baby birds, frogs, and other insects. And when the caterpillars grow up, as butterflies and moths, they will be very important in pollinating flowers. Chris Lemieux of the Anacostia Watershed Society explains that plants, especially trees, are also important to the Anacostia River and its watershed. Along with trash and chemical pollution, sediment pollution can harm rivers like the Anacostia. The dirt accumulated from water flowing down a hill goes into the river and builds up on the bottom. But plants and foliage protect the watershed. Trees need water, so every time it rains, the foliage absorbs some of the water. Additionally, the trees’ roots dig into the soil. The roots act like a giant hand, holding the soil in place, preventing that land from erosion. Best of all, planting an oak is quite easy. For white oaks, you only have to put the acorn in the ground. Red oaks need to think SEE KIDS ON 4 


Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

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NEWS BRIEFS IN MEMORY OF ANNA WALKER We are sad to inform our readers that our columnist Anna Walker passed away on July 26, at the age of 58, of a previously undiagnosed condition. Recruited by former Managing Editor Maria James, who described her as a “go-getter,” Walker inaugurated the Taking Care of Business column in 2019, in which she profiled local businesses and programs available to assist them. James remembers, “Anna was very supportive of our work and often shared the Hyattsville Life & Times with her many friends and family. She will be remembered as a champion of the arts and supporter of local businesses and her community.” Walker was known for being direct. “What do you want to be managing editor for, anyway?” she asked current managing editor, Kit Slack, in their first phone conversation, leading to a fruitful conversation during which each learned much about the other. Walker had a long career of using her pen and her voice

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to help others. On a blog she started recently, she offered the following advice for us all as the pandemic took hold: “You may be overwhelmed and trying to handle more than one task at a time, including workrelated projects and home/family life. “Take the time to take a deep breath. OK, several breaths and be aware of what you are feeling. Pace yourself. Stop when you need to stop.” During the past five years, Walker worked as a grant-writing professional and nonprofit consultant in the D.C. area. She hailed from Jackson, Miss., where she grew up in a blended family of 13 siblings; she was the third youngest. Anna’s mother was a homemaker, and her father was a brick mason. She spent the early part of her career as an educator, teaching at a school her father built. She went on to serve for five years as the executive director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence. We miss her here at the Hyattsville Life & Times, and offer her family our heartfelt condolences.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Barbershops reopen along with city

KIDS

By Luke Gentile

winter is over to sprout, so put them in the fridge for about a month before planting. Oak trees can grow very big and give a lot of shade, but maximum size depends on the right kind of soil. According to Ruppert, “The best soil looks dark, fluffy and damp, but well drained.” When you plant an oak outside, look for an area where there’s not too much competition from other plants. Protect it from squirrels and deer with a chicken wire cage. Once you’re confident that your plant is strong, you can remove the cage and enjoy your beautiful tree!

The doors are open at The Focus Point barbershop after months of being closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and Deantione Gaines, the owner and operator of the shop, is ready to get back to business. Located inside the Safeway at 3704 East-West Highway, The Focus Point is a one-chair shop filled with art, music and the rare opportunity to have the entirety of a shop focus on one client. However, like many other barbershops and salons throughout the city, Gaines had to close his doors when Gov. Larry Hogan’s order shut down all nonessential businesses in late March. “The biggest effect on the business was mainly just not being able to have a stationary place for people to come,” Gaines said. “Definitely had to switch over to doing the mobile barbering thing.” Gaines added, “I survived via social media, via email and via my Squire app. I partner with a company that actually helps send out campaign ads.” Other stylists did the best they could to keep up, as well. When her business shut down,

Mali Lyons, owner of A Lyonsess Touch, said she felt overwhelmed. “We were shut down from March 23 to about June 5,” she said. “So I lost all of that revenue that I would have made.” Her mother also passed away from cancer two days after she was forced to close her doors, and Lyons said she had to stay strong for her children. “Depression set in,” she said. “I was taking care of two kids by myself and trying to deal with their homeschooling and providing for them. So, that was the adaptation. I didn’t have anybody come into my house due to COVID.” Lyons said she applied for both a $2,500 grant that the City of Hyattsville made available quarterly and a small business loan to help with expenses. “I actually applied for the second round [of the grant] because we could apply for four quarters, and they actually ran out of money,” she said. “I didn’t even get the small business loan either, so I don’t know what that was about.” Gaines said he wasn’t even aware of the grant. “I didn’t know anything about that,” he said. “I have been manning my own ship since the begin-

ning of COVID until now.” Gaines reopened his shop June 1 but said it took a while for a steady business flow to return. Kenneth Ford, a regular customer of Gaines, said he now feels safe and is glad to be back in a set routine. “I wasn’t rushing,” he said. “I waited to see how it went for everyone when everybody else came out, and now I’m back on my normal schedule.” Lyons has also reopened parttime and is taking in-person appointments at her business at 3331 Toledo Terrace. “I’m excited,” she said. “I transform people’s hair, basically. I’m a hair transformer.” The Focus Point just celebrated its first year in Hyattsville on Sept. 16. It is open to men, women and children. Gaines believes that the worst has passed and looks forward to business returning to normal with restrictions lifting. “Clients have to be comfortable coming outside,” he said. “I have to work, regardless, so I’m coming outside, but it’s up to them.” Luke Gentile is an intern with the Hyattsville Life & Times.

FROM PAGE 2

EVAN LEFEVRE’S 15-MINUTE LO MEIN With all of Hyattsville stuck at home, kids are running out of things to do. Cooking a meal is a great way for kids to have fun and help out at the same time. Here is a dish that is easy enough to make at home, yet still special, delicious and impressive. Lo Mein is a Chinese dish made with stir fried vegetables and ramen noodles. For protein, kid chefs can add shrimp, leftover steak or chicken strips.

For the sauce 3 Tbs. soy sauce 1 tsp. sesame or vegetable oil 1 tsp. sugar Lo mein 4–6 oz. uncooked ramen noodles 1 Tbs. sesame oil (or vegetable oil, for chefs allergic to sesame like the writer) 3 green onions, chopped (use only the white parts) 2–3 c. vegetables like carrots, red peppers, cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, or broccoli cut julienne style (thin strips) Shrimp, chicken or steak (optional) 1–2 Tbs. mirin

Directions Make the sauce by whisking all the ingredients together. Cook and drain the noodles according to the package. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet. Add the green onions and vegetables to the hot pan. Stir fry until easily pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Add the mirin to loosen the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Add the cooked noodles and about half of the sauce (and meat, if using). Toss around in the hot pan to combine. Taste and add more sauce if needed. Recipe adapted from pinchofyum.com/lo-mein.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

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P3 SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROPOSAL PROGRESSES On Oct. 7, Dr. Monica Goldson, CEO of Prince George’s County Schools, announced the selection of a development team to design, build and finance six schools, including the new Hyattsville Middle School, and then maintain them for over 30 years. Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners will be recommended to the county board of education to lead the Alternative Construction Finance Program, the first public-private partnership of its kind, according to a county press release. If the board approves the recommendation, Fengate Capital Management Ltd, Gilbane Development Company, Inc. and Gilbane Building Company will finance and build the schools, Stantec will serve as the architect and design lead, and Honeywell will be the lead service provider. “I am proud to lead the first school district in the nation that seeks to build and maintain schools through this innovative approach,” said Goldson. “Patchwork replacements prevent our buildings from functioning effectively. I am happy to have Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners join our program as we modernize our aging infrastructure to meet the 21st century needs of our students.” If approved, the development team will allocate at least 30% of the total contract value, approximately $225 million, to local and minority-owned businesses over the life of the program. An estimated $135 million is expected to be allocated in the first four years, according to the press release. Additionally, the school system estimates this agreeCPA with 15+year experience. Personal and Business tax preparation and problem resolutions. Bookkeeping and Payroll. Management and financial consulting. Business start-up help.

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ment will stimulate the county’s economy and add approximately 4,100 jobs during the designbuild phase of the project. All six schools are scheduled to be ready for occupancy July 2024. The education board is expected to vote on the proposed developer during its Oct. 21 meeting.

HYATTSVILLE POLICE OFFICER INDICTED FOR OFF-DUTY ASSAULT A City of Hyattsville police officer, Pvt. 1st Class Mitchell Lowery, age 29, has been accused of brandishing a handgun at a group of teenagers at an apartment complex pool in Columbia, Md., during an argument on the evening of July 13. The officer was off duty at the time. On Sept. 2, a Howard County grand jury indicted Lowery on seven counts of first-degree assault and one count of using a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence. According to Hyattsville Police Chief Amal Awad, Lowery was immediately suspended from duty, with pay, following the July incident, and has not been reinstated. Awad also noted that following the September indictment, Lowery is now suspended without pay. Lowery’s defense attorney said that his client cooperated with the police, contests the charges and hopes to return to his position, according to a Sept. 15 report by WTOP News. Lowery is expected to make his initial appearance in Howard County Circuit Court on Oct. 16.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

MURAL FROM PAGE 1

to insurance companies. “My goal is to create a true space that is able to bridge divides and create authentic relationships amongst people who normally would not engage with one another,” Jeffrey said. The mural project began over the summer. Founder of the Reparations Now Coalition (RNC), Sammy Sanchez, wanted a public call to action for reparations. The RNC works with organizations such as the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America to increase awareness of HR 40, a House lobbying bill establishing a commission to examine and recommend appropriate remedies for descendants of African American slaves. At the same time that the RNC was looking to put up a mural in the DMV, Jeffrey was hoping to commission an artistic statement for the side of his building. Pinder was able to fulfill both goals with one mural. “My initial reaction was extreme joy,” Sanchez said, recalling the first time he saw the mural. “The piece told a story of reparations loudly and beau-

“I think it’s so important to scream that Black Lives Matter at this moment. This might even be an uncomfortable conversation to a lot of people. But it’s a conversation that needs to be had.”

tifully. I cried because it was overwhelming to see this piece come to life.” Pinder was able to complete the mural in 24 hours spread out over a few days. The plan was to have it finished by Aug. 28, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington. “I think it’s so important to scream that Black Lives Matter at this moment,” said Pinder. “This might even be an uncomfortable conversation to a lot of people. But it’s a conversation that needs to be had.” “The heart is inside the [word] ‘equality,’” Pinder said. “If people had a lot more love versus hate, how would the world be?” Pinder was born in Queens, N.Y., but moved to Bladensburg when he was in elementary school. “Hyattsville had a major influence on my upbringing,” he said. Pinder and his friends would bike through the area and spend time in the Mall at Prince George’s. He attended High Point High School in Beltsville. Pinder, once a kid who liked to draw, has made a name for himself in the DMV, accumulating a portfolio that includes murals, canvas paintings and even clothing designs. His work has led him

Mural artist Demont “Peekaso” Pinder

to meet and create art for celebrities like Aretha Franklin, Snoop Dogg and ASAP Rocky. “Social media has definitely helped my career,” Pinder said. He has more than 43,000 followers on Instagram (@demontpinder). Pinder’s online presence has also helped promote the mural, which has attracted a lot of attention since its reveal on Aug. 29. Jeffrey plans to add a patio where people can gather to sit and engage with others. The mural helps Aventures tell the community “that we are taking note of what’s happening in our country,” Jeffrey said. “We want to be a voice to say it’s time to address some things in the past that have not been addressed, so that the racial gap that’s there can be eliminated.”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

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HCPD hires mental health advocate By Heather Wright Police officers are not therapists or counselors, and yet they must respond to calls that involve people in mental distress. How can police departments respond more effectively to these calls, and in ways that de-escalate, rather than exacerbate, situations? Adrienne Augustus started working as the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) media relations and mental health program manager in September. She is committed to using her background in journalism, public relations and mental health advocacy to support the HCPD’s efforts to become more transparent and more adept at responding to mental illness, both in- and outside of the department. A Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law article, published online the same month that Leonard Shand was killed, noted that mental illness was involved in almost 25% of the approximately 1,000 incidents in which police officers shot and killed people in the U.S. in 2018. Shand himself reportedly demonstrated signs of psychological distress during the Sept. 26, 2019, shooting incident. He repeatedly yelled to officers, “You are going to have to kill me here!” according to an expert

report commissioned by the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s office. Augustus’ fit for her media relations role jumps off her resume: She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. She worked as a television news reporter in Nevada for eight years, followed by six years in public relations and corporate communications. Augustus received a master’s degree in public administration at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2020. The mental health experience Augustus brings to her position is less apparent in her resume but strongly written on the pages of her personal life. She had a family member who dealt with bipolar disorder, “but my family didn’t talk about it.” Augustus also lost two high school classmates, both men of color, to struggles with mental illness when they were in their early 20s. In a follow-up email, Augustus elaborated on the loss of one of these men, who was also a middle school and college classmate of hers. In 2003, this friend, a 24-year-old African American, died in a police shooting. “One evening, after a series of tragic events during which he was in extreme emotional distress, and armed with

Adrienne Augustus is the new media relations and mental health program manager for the Hyattsville City Police Department. JULIA NIKHINSON

a knife, [he was shot and killed by] four police officers in New Jersey,” wrote Augustus. “What occurred was well outside of any kind of behavior his family or friends had ever witnessed with him. His death was shocking and a devastating loss.” Augustus served in several roles with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in Nevada and was recruited to the national office in Arlington, Va., in 2018. Her time at NAMI taught Augustus about disparities in mental health services for communities of color, and differences in cultural attitudes towards mental health. Last year, while still pursuing her master’s degree, Augustus founded the nonprofit A Beauti-

ful Mind Foundation, Inc., which aims to “address mental health challenges present in communities of color,” according to its website. She held the inaugural fundraiser in October 2019 at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center in North Brentwood. “And by the end of June, we were giving away $22,315 to groups across the country that were creating culturally competent mental health services,” said Augustus. Although quick to point out that she is not a practitioner and can not diagnose mental illness, Augustus is a NAMItrained support group facilitator and cares deeply about mental health advocacy. “I have a unique perspective on mental health and law enforce-

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SOLD 4106 Oglethorpe St. Hyattsville, Sold for $500,000 4106 Decatur St. Hyattsville. Sold for $410,000 5903 Chillumgate Rd. Hyattsville. Sold for $410,000 4114 Gallatin St., Hyattsville. Sold for $675,000 4207 Jefferson St., Hyattsville. Sold for $607,000 6103 42nd Pl. Hyattsville, Sold for $492,000

Ann Barrett Realtor®, ABR, SRS

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

9094 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD 20740

cell: 240-938-6060 office: 301-441-9511 ext. 261

email: ann.barrett@LNF.com www.longandfoster.com/ANNBARRETT

Honored to be a Volunteer Ambassador for the City of Hyattsville!

Proven Results:

5707 44th Avenue, Hyattsville. Courtyard-facing Arts District townhome with 3 BRs, 3 1/2 Baths, custom renovated primary bath, top level balcony, gas fireplace & gorgeous wood floors. $475,000

Top-Producing Individual Agent, Long & Foster College Park 2009 - 2019!

4208 Farragut St., Hyattsville. 6300 Sq ft lot. Listed for $200,000 5813 40th Avenue, Hyattsville. The sunny yellow bungalow! Multiple offers received for these sellers. Sold for $420,000

ment. I have seen the good, the bad and the very, very sad,” said Augustus. “I now have an opportunity to combine all of my experiences — the deeply personal ones — with my diverse professional background to make a positive impact in this community.” A conversation Augustus had with HCPD Chief Amal Awad prior to being offered the new HCPD position convinced her that Awad was serious about incorporating more mental health supports, and that hiring her wouldn’t be merely “window dressing.” Awad is already impressed with what she’s seen from Augustus. “In our short time working together, she has proven herself to be a very valuable partner, employee, communications expert and also an expert when it comes to mental health,” said Awad, adding that Augustus was very relatable, personable and highly qualified. “We’re very grateful to have her with us. And she’s a Terrapin.” At the end of her interview, Augustus emphasized, “I just want to impress upon my neighbors, because I live in Hyattsville, that this is the beginning of change that we all want. My presence signifies that. The work that the chief was already doing signifies that. This is not a knee-jerk reaction to Mr. Shand’s death.” And A Beautiful Mind Foundation will continue. Augustus plans to keep guiding the foundation as the board president, trusting that her board of directors will keep up the momentum and grow the foundation. “We’re just really getting started in terms of what we know we can do,” said Augustus.

Top Listing Agent, Long & Foster Prince George’s County Southern Maryland Region, 2018-2019 The information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted.

SHORTER DAYS, LONGER ROWS Come row and see the leaves turn! • Outdoors • Super exercise • Social • Naturally distanced • Single sculling only • Youth and Adult Programs

BEGINNERS WELCOME!

FUN, FRIENDS AND FITNESS! All activities are at

Bladensburg Waterfront Park 4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg WashingtonRowingSchool.com

202-344-0886


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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

the

Hyattsville Reporter No. 391 • October 13, 2020

www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000 or cancel scheduled routes. To learn more and find out on which day leaf collection is scheduled for your home, visit hyattsville. org/leaves or call (301) 985-5032. If you cannot rake your leaves by 7 a.m. on your pick-up day, you can always bag leaves in paper yard waste bags (no plastic bags) and put them out for Monday yard waste collections.

Notices and Updates

Help Name our Park! Back in 2019, City Council began the process of removing offensive and segregationist language from the original deed for Hyattsville’s Magruder Park. In conjunction with that effort, Council is now asking the community to help identify a new name for the park that is inviting, inclusive, and unifying. To participate, residents can submit suggestions along with a brief rationale by mailing the postage card included in the October Reporter (green mailer), online at hyattsville.org/namethepark, using the suggestion box at the Magruder Park Recreation Center (3911 Hamilton Street), by calling (301) 985-5039, or by attending a Ward renaming virtual meeting (registration links available at hyattsville.org/calendar):

COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund: City residents in need can apply for $200 cash cards as part of the City’s Pandemic Relief Fund partnership with Employ Prince George’s, and for $1,500 grants available through the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation’s Relief and Assistance Program. Visit hyattsville.org/ relief-fund for more information and links to apply. Funds from the $1M Relief Fund set aside for childcare providers and working artists also remain available. Providers and artists can apply for $2,500 grants ($1,000 for artists) to help cover COVID-19 related costs. Applicants can apply once per cycle, with the third cycle now open until December 31, 2020. To apply, visit hyattsville.org/relief-fund.

• Ward 1 meeting – November 4, 7 p.m. • Ward 2 meeting – November 12, 7 p.m. • Ward 3 meeting – November 9, 7:30 p.m. • Ward 4 meeting – October 29, 7p.m. • Ward 5 meeting – October 24 & November 14, 1:30 p.m. The last day to submit suggestions is November 15, 2020. Council will then consider the top names in early 2021. Look Out for Nola!: Did you hear the news? The Hyattsville Police Department’s Community Action Team added a new, furry member – Nola! Nola came to the City from Canine Companions for Independence, with over two years of mental health and emergency response training. She, along with her human companion Cpl. Evans, will be PAW-trolling the City and making special appearances. If you’d like to keep up with her daily activities, follow her Instagram @K9Nola_HCPD! Census Extended to October 31: The 2020 Census deadline has been extended to October 31, 2020! Help make sure your household, friends, and neighbors have all completed the 10-minute questionnaire. If they haven’t, reassure them of its importance and send them over to my2020census.gov. Remember, an accurate count helps build better schools, roads, and public spaces for the next ten years! It also affects our community’s representation in Congress, in the Statehouse, and even City Council. Vote!: Marylanders have until October 20 to request their mail-in ballots for the November 3 general election. To request an application, visit elections.mypgc.us or text VBM to 77788 (for Spanish, text VPC to 77788). Completed ballots can be mailed back or dropped off at one of the 22 secure election ballot boxes in Prince George’s County. The nearest box in Hyattsville is located at Northwestern High School (7000 Adelphi Road). To find a full list of drop box locations, visit elections.maryland. gov/2020. County Remains in Phase Two: County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced that Prince George’s will remain in a Phase 2 reopening stage until there is a decrease in local COVID-19 cases. Residents and visitors are still required to use face masks in public spaces, avoid large gatherings, and practice social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control has also issued guidance on Halloween this year, and lists door-to-door trick or treating as a high-risk activity. To learn best Halloween practices, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/daily-life-coping/.

After the swear-in, Nola began working and immediately made a friend! If you’d like to keep up with her daily activities, follow her Instagram @K9Nola_HCPD! ¡Después del juramento, Nola empezo a trabajar e inmediatamente hizo una amiga! ¡Si quisiera seguir sus actividades diarias, sígala su Instagram @K9Nola_HCPD!

Programs, Services, and Events

Halloween Fun: Spooky season is upon us, Hyattsville! From now until October 31, use #HVLHalloween2020 and tag those BOO-tiful costumes and decorations on our Facebook (/cityofhyattsville), Instagram (@cityofhyattsville), and Twitter (@ HyattsvilleMD) pages to be entered in our Halloween contest! We’ll be sure to share some of the FANG-tastic entries along the way and will announce the finalists the week after. We can’t wait to see! On Halloween, meet us in costume from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Magruder Park (3911 Hamilton Street) or Heurich Park (2800 Nicholson Street) to pick up goody bags via drive-thru or walk-up options (Heurich Park is walk-up only). You can also take festive selfies and meet Nola the facility dog! Please observe social distancing and wear appropriate masks. Full details at hyattsville.org/halloween. Hyattsville COVID-19 Testing Site: The COVID-19 testing site at the First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville (6201 Belcrest Rd) has added Thursdays as an additional testing day. The free, nonappointment site now offers drive-thru and walk-up testing (up to 200 tests per day) on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This comes as part of a partnership between the Church, Luminis Health, The County Health Department, and the City of Hyattsville. Drivers can enter the Church’s parking lot using the entrance on MD Route 410 (East-West Hwy). Walk-up tests are conducted at the front of the Church facing Belcrest Road. Everyone is asked to follow traffic guidance as directed by the Hyattsville Police Department. For testing site questions, please call (301) 985-5000.

Zombie Run: This year’s Hyattsville Zombie Run will take place from October 17 to October 30! This annual event is hosted by the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA for the benefit of all local public schools. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, runners should complete this year’s racecourse at their own time. The pluses - no street closures and costumes are still encouraged! To register, visit runsignup.com/hvlzombierun. Economic Development Week: October 19 – 23 is Maryland Economic Development Week! Throughout the week we’ll be highlighting exciting developments happening in the City, host a virtual business roundtable on Tuesday, October 20, and share important news for all business owners. To view the week’s schedule and to register for the business roundtable, visit hyattsville.org/econ-week. Bulk Trash Pop-Up Day: The City is hosting a Bulk Trash Pop-Up day on Saturday, October 24, at two locations – the City Building (4310 Gallatin Street) and Magruder Park (3911 Hamilton Street). All Hyattsville residents can drop off bulk trash items from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until container capacities are reached. The City will continue to host a few more pop-up events as bulk trash service pick-ups have been temporarily suspended until March 2021. Bulk trash pick-ups already scheduled will be honored, but no new requests can be made. For questions, contact the City’s Department of Public Works at (301) 985-5032. Leaf Collecting Season: Weekly leaf collection for City addresses begins November 2 and continues through mid-January. Commercial and multi-family properties are not included. Leaf pick-up is weather dependent, as wet, heavy leaves can delay

Now Hiring: The City is seeking to hire a parking compliance supervisor, a bilingual communications specialist, a laborer, and a mechanic! For job descriptions and to apply, visit hyattsville.org/jobs. City Services: To view a complete list of continuing, limited, or cancelled services and activities provided by the City, visit hyattsville.org/covid-19 or call (301) 9855000.

Age-Friendly Programs

Utility Assistance: The Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides various programs and grants for seniors having trouble paying electric and heating bills. Eligibility is income-based, and applicants can apply year-round - even without a turn off notice. To learn more and apply, please call OHEP at 1-800-332-6347 or visit their website at dhs.maryland.gov/ energy.

Youth Services

Calling All Artists: We’re looking for artists ages 1 – 18 in and around Hyattsville to participate in the City’s Community Art Gallery! How does it work, you say? Artists must register through hyattsville.recdesk. com/community/programs by October 27, then pick up a wooden canvas square and envelope on October 28 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Youth Recreations Building (3911 Hamilton Street). You then decorate your square and mail back or drop off at the City Building (4310 Gallatin Street) by November 13. And remember - GET CREATIVE! Markers, crayons, paint, mixed media – it’s all fair game. The City will add a protective coating to the final pieces and hang for a socially distanced art exhibit outside the Recreation Building later this year! Halloween Teen Center E-Party: The City’s inviting teens in grades 6-12 to a Halloween E-Party on Friday, October 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.! We’ll have a costume contest, music, trivia, board games, and gift cards to give away! Those who register by October 23 through hyattsville.recdesk. com/community/programs get a free mystery goodies bag.


Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

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el

Reportero de

Hyattsville

No. 391 • 13 de Octubre, 2020

ra amigable! Detalles completos en hyattsville.org/halloween.

Avisos y Noticias

Ayuda a Nombrar Nuestro Parque: En el 2019, el Concejo Municipal empezó el proceso de remover el lenguaje ofensivo y segregacionista de la obra original del Parque Magruder de Hyattsville. En conjunción con ese esfuerzo, el Concejo ahora está pidiéndole a la comunidad a ayudar a identificar un nuevo nombre que sea invitante, inclusivo y unificador para todos. Para participar, residentes pueden someter sus sugestiones el porque enviando la tarjeta postal que fue incluida en el Reportero de Hyattsville de octubre, en línea at Hyattsville.org/ namethepark, usando la caja de sugerencias ubicada en el Centro Recreacional de Magruder Park (3911 Hamilton Street), llamando al (301) 985-5039, o ateniendo a una reunión de Distrito virtual (enlaces disponibles en hyattsville.org/calendar):

Sitio de Pruebas COVID-19 de Hyattsville: El centro de pruebas COVID-19 en la Iglesia First United Methodist de Hyattsville (6201 Belcrest Road) ha agregado los jueves como día adicional para hacer pruebas. El sitio gratuito que no requiere cita ahora ofrece pruebas a conductores o personas a pie los lunes, jueves y sábados, de 9 a.m. a 3 p.m. Esto viene gracias a una asociación entre la Iglesia, Luminis Health, el Departamento de Salud de Prince George’s y la Ciudad. Los conductores pueden entrar por el estacionamiento de la Iglesia usando la entrada en MD Route 410 (East- West Highway). Las pruebas a personas caminando se llevarán en frente de la Iglesia. Se pide que sigan las instrucciones que de el Departamento de Policía de la Ciudad de Hyattsville. Para preguntas sobre el sitio de pruebas, por favor llame al (301) 985-5000.

• Reunión del Distrito 1 – 4 de noviembre, 7 p.m. • Reunión del Distrito 2 – 12 de noviembre, 7 p.m. • Reunión del Distrito 3 – 9 de noviembre, 7:30 p.m. • Reunión del Distrito 4 – 29 de noviembre,7 p.m. • Reunión del Distrito 5 – 24 de octubre y 14 de noviembre, 1:30 p.m.

Carrera de Zombis: ¡La Carrera de Zombis de Hyattsville de este año tomara plazo desde el 17 de octubre hasta el 30 de octubre! Este evento anual es patrocinado por el PTA de Hyattsville Elementary para beneficiar a todas las escuelas publicas locales. Debido a restricciones de COVID-19, participantes deben completar la carrera a su propio tiempo. Lo bueno – ¡no hay cierre de calles y se alientan los disfraces! Para registrarse, visite runsignup.com/hvlzombierun.

El ultimo día para someter sugerencias es el 15 de noviembre de 2020. El Concejo después considera los mejores nombres a primeros de 2021. ¡Conozcan a Nola!: ¿Escucharon las noticias? El Equipo de Acción Comunitaria del Departamento de Policía de Hyattsville agrego a un nuevo miembro – ¡Nola! Nola vino a la Ciudad por parte de la organización Caninos Compañeros para Independencia, con más de dos años de entrenamiento en salud mental y situaciones de emergencia. Ella, junto a su compañero humano, el Oficial Evans, estarán patrullando la Ciudad y haciendo apariencias especiales. Si quisiera seguir sus actividades diarias, sígala en su Instagram @K9Nola_HCPD. Censo Extendido al 31 de Octubre: ¡La fecha limite del Censo de 2020 ha sido extendida al 31 de octubre de 2020! Ayuden a asegurar que su hogar, amigos y vecinos hayan completado el formulario de 10 minutos. Si no lo han hecho, asegúrelos de la importancia y envíelos a my2020census.gov. ¡Recuerden, un cuento fijo ayuda a construir mejores escuelas, carreteras y espacios públicos por los próximos 10 años! También afecta nuestra representación de comunidad en el Congreso, el Estado y hasta el Concejo Municipal. ¡Vota!: Residentes de Maryland tienen hasta el 20 de octubre para solicitar sus boletas por correo para la elección general del 3 de noviembre. Para solicitar una aplicación, visite elections.mypgc.us o envíe un texto con la clave VPC al 77788. Boletas completadas pueden ser enviadas por correo o dejadas en una de las 22 cajas de boleta de elecciones en el Condado Prince George’s. La caja más cerca en Hyattsville esta ubicada en Northwestern High School (7000 Adelphi Road). Para encontrar una lista de ubicaciones de cajas de boleta, visite elections.maryland.gov/2020. Condado Permanece en Fase Dos: La Ejecutiva del Condado Angela Alsobrooks anuncio que Prince George’s permanecerá en un estado de reapertura de fase dos hasta que haiga una disminución de casos de COVID-19 local. Residentes y visitantes

www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000

Mayor Hollingworth and Corporal Evans swear in the newest, furry member of the Hyattsville Police Department’s Community Action Team – Nola! La Alcaldesa Hollingsworth y el Corporal Evans juran al miembro más nuevo del Equipo de Acción Comunitaria del Departamento de Policia de Hyattsville – ¡Nola!

todavía están requeridos a usar mascaras en espacios públicos, a evitar reuniones grandes y practicar el distanciamiento social. El Centro de Enfermedades también emitió directrices sobre Halloween este año, y lista la actividad trick-or-treating, o pedir dulce puerta a puerta, como una actividad de alto riesgo. Para aprender mejores practicas de Halloween, visite cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/.

Programas, Servicios y Eventos

Diversión de Halloween: Llego la temporada de espantos, ¡Hyattsville! Desde ahora hasta el 31 de octubre, use #HVLHalloween2020 y etiquete esos disfraces y decoraciones de casa en nuestra pagina de Facebook (/cityofhyattsville), Instagram (@ cityofhyattsville), y Twitter (@HyattsvilleMD) para ser entrado a nuestro concurso de Halloween. Estaremos compartiendo entradas a lo largo del camino y anunciaremos a los finalistas la semana siguiente. ¡No podemos esperar! El Día de Halloween, ¡La Ciudad estará sosteniendo un socialmente distanciado evento de agarrar y llevar dulce, Treat-ORama! De 4 p.m. a 6 p.m., en disfraz y con máscaras apropiadas, acompáñenos en el Magruder Park (3911 Hamilton Street) o Heurich Park (2800 Nicholson Street) para recibir dulce en sus carros o a pie (Heurich Park es solo a pie). ¡También puede tomarse fotos festivas y conocer a Nola, nuestra per-

Semana de Desarrollo Económico: ¡octubre 19 – 23 es Semana de Desarrollo Económico de Maryland! Toda la semana, estaremos destacando desarrollos excitantes ocurriendo en la Ciudad, sostendremos una reunión virtual de negocios el martes, 20 de octubre y compartiremos noticias importantes para dueños de negocios. Para ver el horario de esa semana y para registrarse para la reunión de negocios, visite hyattsville.org/econ-week. Día Emergente de Basuras Grandes: La Ciudad esta sosteniendo un Día Emergente de Basuras Grandes el sábado, 24 de octubre, en dos sitios – el Edificio Municipal (4310 Gallatin Street) y el Parque Magruder (3911 Hamilton Street). Todos los residentes de Hyattsville pueden dejar sus artículos de basuras grandes de 10 a.m. a 2 p.m., o hasta que los contenedores estén llenos. La Ciudad continuara a sostener mas eventos como este ya que el servicio de recolección de basuras grandes esta suspendido temporariamente hasta el 2021 de marzo. Recolecciones de basuras grandes que ya han sido programas serán levantados, pero ya no se aceptara nuevas solicitudes. Para preguntas, contacte el Departamento de Obras Publicas de la Ciudad al (301) 985-5032. Temporada de Recolección de Hojas: El servicio semanal para recolección de hojas de árboles para hogares de la Ciudad empieza el lunes, 2 de noviembre y continua hasta medios de enero. Propiedades de negocios, apartamentos y condominios están excluidos. El servicio de recolección también es dependiente al clima así que hojas mojadas y pesadas pueden demorar o cancelar rutas programadas. Para aprender más sobre cual día la recolección de hojas está programada para su hogar, por favor visite hyattsville.org/leaves o llame al (301) 985-5032. Por favor note que si no puede juntar sus hojas antes de las 7 a.m. el día de recolección por su vecindad, siempre puede embolsar las hojas en bolsas grandes de papel (no bolsas de plástico) y dejarlas para el

servicio de recolección de jardín de residuos. Fondo de Alivio de la Pandemia COVID-19: Residentes en necesidad pueden solicitar por tarjetas de efectivo de $200 como parte de la asociación entre la Ciudad y Employ Prince George’s, y por subvenciones de $1,500 disponibles por el Programa de Asistencia y Alivio de la Corporación de Desarrollo Comunitario de Hyattsville. Visite hyattsville.org/relief-fund para más información y para los enlaces para solicitar. Fondos del Fondo de Alivio de $1M reservados para proveedores de cuidado infantil y artistas trabajantes también están disponibles. Proveedores y artistas pueden solicitar subvenciones de $2,500 ($1,000 para artistas) para ayudar a cubrir costos relaciones al COVID-19. Solicitantes pueden aplicar una vez por ciclo, con el tercer ciclo estando abierto hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2020. Para solicitar, visite hyattsville.org/ relief-fund. Estamos Contratando: La Ciudad esta buscando a contratar a un supervisor de cumplimiento con el parqueo, a un especialista de comunicaciones bilingüe, a un obrero y a un mecánico. Para descripciones de trabajo y para solicitar, visite hyattsville.org/ jobs. Servicios de la Ciudad: Para ver una lista completa de servicios y actividades continuas, limitadas o canceladas proporcionadas por la Ciudad, visite hyattsville.org/covid-19 o llame al (301) 985-5000.

Programas Amigables con la Edad

Asistencia con Facturas: La Oficina de Programas de Energía para el Hogar de Maryland ofrece varios programas y subvenciones para personas de la tercera edad que tienen problemas para pagar facturas de electricidad y calefacción. La elegibilidad se basa en los ingresos, y los solicitantes pueden aplicar durante todo el año, incluso sin previo aviso. Para obtener más información y solicitar, llame al 1-800-332-6347 o visite dhs.maryland.gov/energy.

Servicios para Menores

Llamando a Todos Artistas: ¡Buscamos artistas de 1 a 18 años en Hyattsville y sus alrededores para participar en la Galería de Arte de la Comunidad de la Ciudad! ¿Cómo funciona, dices? Los artistas deben registrarse en hyattsville.recdesk.com/community/programs antes del 27 de octubre, luego recoger una plaza de lona de madera y un sobre el 28 de octubre entre las 4 p.m. y las 6 p.m. en 3911 Hamilton Street. A continuación, decora su plaza y envíe su correo o entrega en el Edificio de la ciudad (4310 Gallatin Street) antes del 13 de noviembre. Y recuerda - ¡SÉA CREATIVO! Marcadores, crayones, pintura, medios mixtos – todo es un juego justo. ¡La Ciudad añadirá un revestimiento protector a las piezas finales y se quedará para una exposición de arte socialmente distanciada fuera del Edificio Recreacional a finales de este año! Fiesta Virtual de Halloween del Centro de Jóvenes: ¡La Ciudad invita a los adolescentes en los grados 6-12 a una fiesta virtual de Halloween el 30 de octubre, de 5 p.m. a 7 p.m.! ¡Tendremos un concurso de disfraces, música, trivia, juegos de mesa y tarjetas de regalo para regalar! Aquellos que se registren antes del 23 de octubre en hyattsville. recdesk.com/community/programs obtendran una bolsa de regalos gratis.


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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Grand jury declines to indict in Shand shooting By Sophie Gorman Oriani On Sept. 10, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced that a Prince George’s County grand jury had declined to indict any of the officers involved in the September 2019 shooting death of Leonard Shand. According to an expert report published in mid-August, Shand had assaulted a Starbucks employee three days prior to the shooting incident. On Sept. 26, 2019, Shand was reportedly agitated and wielding two knives prior to the shooting, which took place in Hyattsville near the Mall at Prince George’s. Nine Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) officers, three officers from Prince George’s County Police Department and one from Mount Rainier were on the scene. Six HCPD officers and the four other officers fired more than 40 rounds towards Shand following a half-hour negotiation period. In the report commissioned by Braveboy, consultant Tyrone Powers criticized tactics that police used prior to the shooting, particularly the use of a

flashbang grenade, which Powers described as “spontaneous, unplanned, and uncoordinated between the officers.” At the Sept. 10 press conference, he also commended the officers’ “remarkable restraint,” noting that they could have reasonably shot Shand sooner than they did, but continued to try to subdue him with nonlethal methods. Ultimately, Powers deemed the shooting “objectively reasonable and consistent with accepted standards of police practices, policies, and training” due to the potential for harm to the officers. Powers issued a series of recommendations, including overhauling the county mobile crisis team, providing joint training between the different police agencies to “facilitate a coordinated response” and providing extensive training on flashbang grenades. Powers’ consulting group provides trainings to police agencies and private security companies. “Please know that the grand jury’s decision not to indict, and the conclusions reached by the independent use-of-force expert, does not ease our collective

grief, nor does it signal that the response of the officers that day was satisfactory,” Braveboy said, adding that she plans to continue to look for ways to improve law enforcement engagement with the community. The ACLU criticized the shooting the day it happened, saying that “the police created a dangerous situation, causing an armed man to run towards them, and then used the inevitable result of their actions as the justification to shoot him.” Shand told officers that he would charge if a beanbag shotgun was fired at him, according to the expert report, and he did run towards officers immediately following their use of a beanbag shotgun and flashbang grenade. HCPD Chief Amal Awad said that the death of Leonard Shand was “devastating for Shand’s family, the community and the officers” involved in the incident. “Folks are still processing,” she said. Adrienne Augustus, the new HCPD media relations and mental health program manager, said that HCPD’s goal “... is to have a robust mental health emergency

Although the grand jury declined to indict any of the officers, the City of Hyattsville plans to conduct an administrative investigation, conducted by an independent outside agency.

response team dedicated to the City of Hyattsville and one that incorporates partnerships with our police department, local social services agencies and the general public.” At the Sept. 21 Hyattsville City Council meeting, City Administrator Tracey Douglas said that although the grand jury declined to indict any of the officers, Hyattsville still plans to conduct an administrative investigation. This investigation, which is not a criminal investigation, will be conducted by an independent outside agency. The agency will turn the results over to the police chief. There is no timeline yet for this investigation.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Page 9

SECONDHAND NEWS

Thrifting with … ‘A Nameless Yeast’ By Lauren Flynn Kelly

me but that I can’t bring myself to buy — most clowns fall in that category. The same goes for strange art I don’t want to bring home, though sometimes I get a change of heart. I still think about a painting I saw of a woman drinking a carton of milk; I posted a picture but left it behind, then when I went back to look for it again it was gone.

T

his month, I introduce an occasional new Secondhand News series that will feature a different Hyattsville resident who loves thrifting. Although I originally envisioned “Thrifting with … ” as a physical adventure to the thrift store with said local, social distancing during the pandemic has put a pause on that idea. So for the inaugural feature, I chose to live vicariously through Hyattsvillager, archivist and movie critic Pat Padua. For the last couple years, I’ve been following Padua’s thrifting adventures through his Instagram handle, @anamelessyeast. And while I enjoy his many photos of pets, food and forgotten pop culture, the weird treasures he showcases while vintage shopping are getting all my “likes.” Highlights include sad clown art and ugly figurines. Here, Padua shares his most recent experience thrifting. How are the conditions out there for a pandemic vintage shopper? Padua: The first few times we [he and wife Veronica] went,

Pat Padua counts this tiger piece, painted in the style of Henri Rousseau, as a favorite thrift store score. COURTESY OF PAT PADUA

there weren’t that many people out; then we went on Labor Day, and it was a lot busier, but there’s hand sanitizer, and everyone’s following regulations.

Halloween is approaching! How’s the selection? Padua: As of Labor Day weekend, not so hot, but it may have picked up since.

Would you say the quality of the items donated has gotten worse or better since the pandemic? Padua: There seemed to be a huge backlog the first time we went back, and the shelves weren’t that well stocked. But even then, the records, say, seemed different from the usual suspects.

What are your favorite things to buy for the holidays from the thrift store? Padua: Vintage decorations! What percent of the stuff that you photograph for the ’gram actually makes it home with you? Padua: Maybe 50%? I take pictures of things that fascinate

Does your wife share your love of thrifting, or are there strict ground rules in your house, like for every item that comes home from the thrift store, three items have to go out? Padua: My wife and I love to go thrifting together! In theory, we like to donate more than we take home, and usually that’s what happens. Can you name three things you bought at the thrift store recently? Padua: (1) An ’80s-era Nakamichi stereo receiver — a budget model of a more high-end brand, and it needs a little work, but it was a bargain! (2) A high school jazz band LP from somewhere in Pennsylvania in the ’80s. (3) A pair of Haitian paintings of a man and a woman.

Can each of you share three of your favorite all-time local thrift store purchases? Padua: (1) This huge Rousseaulike tiger painting that I now have hanging over my computer in my study. (2) A working cassette deck! Which made me dig up my old tapes, many of which might have otherwise been donated. (3) A mid-sized painting of a pig nursing its litter. That was one painting I took a picture of and was going to leave behind, but my wife talked me into it, and now I don’t know why I hesitated. Three favorites from my wife are: (1) a blank composition book with a homemade Klaus Nomi collage on the cover; (2) a huge Erté art deco mirror; and (3) a cobalt blue bottle handpainted to commemorate a Turkish czar. Finally, what is “A Nameless Yeast”? Padua: It’s from Moby Dick; Ishmael uses the phrase to describe a painting hanging in the Spouter-Inn. I’ve always loved the sound of it. Lauren Flynn Kelly is the thrifting and repurposing columnist for the Hyattsville Life & Times.


Page 10

Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

MISS FLORIBUNDA

Can tree canopies cause controversy? Dear Miss Floribunda, I really enjoyed your interview with Dawn Taft last month, and I love the whole idea of city tree giveaways and mass planting. Coming from a small town in West Texas not shaded by many trees, I am a big fan of the tree-lined streets of Hyattsville and the pocket parks. I scanned the article and sent it to some friends back home, one of whom used to live in Detroit, and another in Japan. My friend who lived in Detroit told me that city tree planting is racist, while the friend who had lived in Japan told me the Japanese invented the whole concept and called it green bathing. I’ve tried to look up green bathing and didn’t find anything. What do you know about all this? Thanks. Tree Hugger on Hamilton Street Dear Tree Hugger, First of all, what your friend who lived in Japan remembers as “green bathing” is “shinrin-yoku,” which translates as “forest bathing.” The Japanese like to go out into forests to walk, picnic and refresh their spirits through total immersion in green shade and the sounds of nature. We are

very fortunate that we can do the same in nearby Magruder Park, where mulched nature paths take you into the heart of the wooded areas. This might provide healthy relief from COVID19-induced cabin fever. It is quite true that the most massive urban tree planting initiative in history occurred in Japan after World War II. It was part of the rebuilding of cities devastated by bombing. It became the model for similar projects elsewhere in the world. Tree planting is recognized as the single most effective bulwark against climate change. Think about it: According to the U.S. Forest Service, just one mature tree absorbs an estimated 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, and wooded areas absorb 20 to 30% of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. In addition, the Japanese discovered many psychologically related benefits of exposure to arboreal areas: reduction of stress; lowered blood pressure; improved concentration, even in children with ADHD; increased energy level coupled with better, deeper sleep; stronger immune system; quicker recovery from surgery; and general improvement of mood through the experience of beauty. The concept was taken up in the U.S. in the 1990s

Tree planting is recognized as the single most effective bulwark against climate change. under the term “ecotherapy.” However, you are right that there has been opposition to tree planting from minorities in some neighborhoods — notably in Detroit, which has a complicated history. In 2006 a study by the nonprofit American Forests revealed that Detroit had a tree canopy of only 31% in contrast to 47% impermeable surface. The only neighborhoods having tree-lined streets were located in the most affluent areas. “If we show you a map of tree canopy in virtually any city in America, we’re also showing you a map of income,” Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests, told NPR. “And in many cases, we’re showing you a map of race and ethnicity.” In 2015, when environmental activists tried to start a tree planting program in Detroit’s inner city, they were met with suspicion. That suspicion can be traced as

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far back as the race riots of July 1967 and April 1968, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the continuing removal of an existing tree canopy ravaged by Dutch elm disease in the late 1950s, followed by severe drought in the early 1960s. Detroit lost 80% of its tree canopy, and when it was removed, many residents assumed that the reason was to enhance helicopter surveillance by police. There had already been problems earlier, even before the riots, when helicopters had sprayed trees with dangerous chemicals that made residents sick. As a result, even years later, many questioned the motives of strangers coming into their neighborhoods with any project concerning trees. By 2017, when Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced his “10,000 Up, 10,000 Down” program to remove dead trees and replace them with live trees, the tree canopy had further declined to about 20%. Fifteen years of predations by emerald ash borers had made a serious situation disastrous. However, since that time, the Greening of Detroit initiative, in cooperation with the City of Detroit, has been making steady progress — not only by giving away trees but by addressing such problems as soil remediation to give trees planted a better chance of survival and

recognizing the need for more diversity among trees selected for planting. Ironically, one of the objections to the first tree planting programs was that residents were denied a say in what trees would be chosen. They had wanted their individual preferences respected rather than the imposition of a monoculture. Your questions have led to aspects of tree preservation and promotion that weren’t in the scope of last month’s interview: the sociological and the psychological. These rank among the reasons why many thoughtful people in Hyattsville prefer to have their children grow up happily playing in an area graced by lovely trees to having high-density housing with more traffic and more carbon emissions. You don’t have to be a poet, painter, esthete or mystic to be a tree hugger! Please keep checking the Hyattsville Horticultural Society website for news of the next meeting, be it in-person or virtual. Miss Floribunda is the Hyattsville Life & Times garden columnist. You may email questions at floribundav@gmail. com.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Page 11

COMMUNITY CALENDAR Send your events or information on local private aid efforts to Kit Slack at kit@hyattsvillelife.com.

H

alloween and a major election are coming up before you get your next paper! Read about how those will work around here in 2020 in the Hyattsville Reporter section of our paper, brought to you by the City of Hyattsville. Below you’ll find community events sponsored by local nonprofits and artists, as well as a Give Help/Get Help section, where we list some of the ways neighbors are helping each other during the pandemic. All information is current as of Oct. 7.

October 14

A virtual Watershed Wednesday Happy Hour hosted by the Anacostia Watershed Society will provide information for those interested in participating in the Bioblitz ( for more, see next entry). Free. 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP. anacostiaws.org/events-andrecreation.html

October 15 - 18

Fourth annual Anacostia River Bioblitz, a crowdsourced census of the natural world. The Anacostia Watershed Society invites area

residents to help document our region’s biodiversity by logging species of plants and animals. You can do this in your yard, a neighborhood park or anywhere in the Anacostia Watershed. More information at anacostiaws. org/bioblitz.

October 16

Outdoors on a stage in its parking lot, Joe’s Movement Emporium presents NextLOOK: The Final Genocide. From their website: “Set in the year 2093, Dominic Green’s theater work follows Davu, a young black man, through the ruins of a futuristic African-American history museum.” Show will also be live-streamed, and, if the weather is inclement, exclusively live-streamed. Tickets

are pay-what-you-wish starting at $5. joesmovement.org/ new-events

October 17 - 30

The Hyattsville Zombie Run Virtual Race benefits the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA. 5K, 1 mile, and 1K family fun options available. The running is real, just not simultaneous this year. Participants choose when and where to run, and send in their own times. The historical course is an option. T-shirt pickup in Magruder Park, Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 28, 3 to 7 p.m. $20. Register at runsignup.com/Race/MD/ Hyattsville/HyattsvilleZombieRun.

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October 20

It’s Earth Day in October! The Anacostia Watershed Society’s annual Earth Day Cleanup. Dozens of cleanup sites. Free. 9 a.m. to noon. Register at anacostiaws.org/earthday2020.

October 31

It’s a spooky SoHy Sidewalk Saturday! Safe shopping: area businesses along Route 1 set up shop outside so you can browse, wearing a mask. Twenty-five participating businesses in easy walking distance. Noon to 5 p.m. More info at sohycoop.com.

Through November 8

Annual member’s exhibition, “Election Year,” at Pyramid Atlantic’s physical gallery and online. Over 60 works. Vote online to determine which piece receives the People’s Choice Award. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Masks required. 4318 Gallatin St. pyramidatlanticartcenter. org. 301.608.9101

November 11

Moveable Chords Guitar Workshop online with Gina DeSimone. 7:30 p.m. Check the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation webpage, acousticblues.com, or their Facebook page for more information.

Recurring

Acoustic blues jam sessions have resumed, outside in the parking lot behind Archie’s Barbershop — note new location: 4502 Hamilton St. Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. Check the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation webpage, acousticblues. com, or their Facebook page for more information. Poetry open mics are back up and running every Thursday night 9 to 11 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 5331 Baltimore Ave. $5 cover. busboysandpoets. com. 301.779.2787 Pyramid Atlantic, the nonprofit art center at 4318 Gallatin St., is open to the public and is offering online, hybrid (online and in-studio), and small in-studio classes in techniques ranging from letterpress to beginning block printing to Suminagashi marbling. pyramidatlanticartcenter.org Riverdale Park Farmers Market is open every Thurs-

day in the parking lot near the Riverdale MARC Station, 4650 Queensbury Rd. from 3 to 7 p.m. Many vendors are offering pre-order options to reduce time spent shopping. No live performances for now. facebook.com/RPFMarket

Give Help/Get Help

National Alliance on Mental Illness Prince George’s County offers free virtual support groups and education programs for people living with mental illness and for people with a loved one experiencing mental illness. Register at namipgc. org/online-support-groupregistration. The Blessings Box on 43rd Ave. between Jefferson and Hamilton Sts. is a regularly stocked Little Free Pantry. Please drop off nonperishables, and come get them if you need them! This is a project of Girl Scout Troop #6899. Questions? Contact dinacolin@netzero. net. Saint Jerome’s Café provides a free lunch-to-go every Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those in need. 5205 43rd Ave. Table set up outside the rectory in the lower parking lot; please wear a mask. Since March, meals have been provided by local restaurants. Donations can be sent to the address above by check made out to St Jerome Catholic Church, with “Saint Jerome Café” in the memo line. Greater Riverdale Cares & Route One Communities Care ask you to help our neighbors most in need and our local family-owned restaurants. Your donation will pay for nutritious meals for neighbors facing food insecurity. Local participating restaurants include Hyattsville’s own Shortcake Bakery and Emerita’s Papuseria. Donate at gf.me/u/x4bmfa. St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church’s food pantry is open every Tuesday at 10 a.m. until the food runs out, 7501 Adelphi Rd. The pantry is primarily drivethrough, though walk-ups are welcome. Cars line up as early as 7:30 a.m. Due to a three-fold increase in families served, the pantry needs funds. Please contribute at gofundme.com/stmarksfoodpantry.


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thoughts about the United States Postal Service.” That is compared to “[ fewer] than 20 pieces of correspondence about the Postal Service” in all of 2019. Chillum resident Marsha Coleman has been hit with late fees for two bill payments that were never delivered, and she hasn’t received her vehicle registration which was supposedly sent from the Motor Vehicle Administration on June 6. A mail carrier who delivers in Hyattsville and preferred to remain anonymous said he has regularly been putting in 10- to 11hour work days, reporting at 6 a.m. and frequently not going home until 7 p.m. One issue that has been getting a lot of attention in the national media is the dismantling of sorting machines at Postal Service plants. According to Ray Robinson, executive vice president for Local 140 of the American Postal Workers Union, four machines were decommissioned at the Capitol Heights plant, which serves the southern half of Maryland, including Hyattsville. Two were removed from the Brentwood plant in D.C. According to the Postal Service, “Sorting machines for flats and letters are only used 1/3 of the available time. ... Resources match volume requirements. There is ample machine capacity to handle spikes in mail volume.” Robinson, however, said that extra machines are necessary when one goes in for repairs or maintenance. According to

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Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Page 13 Deed language for Magruder Park is still murky at best,” and that “no information we have uncovered to date points to William P. Magruder as a practitioner of segregationist land development, as so many of his peers were.” At the Sept. 21 council meeting, City Administrator Tracey Douglas confirmed that the quit claim deed “has removed the racist and exclusionary lan-

Residents have until Nov. 15 to submit a name suggestion for Hyattsville’s largest park.

PARK FROM PAGE 1

Hyattsville Preservation Association, a local nonprofit that aims to preserve and restore historic homes. Eisenberg is also the executive director of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (HyCDC), a nonprofit focused on revitalization and sustainable development. Since 2018, the HyCDC has led the Mapping Racism project, in partnership with the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center and Joe’s Movement Emporium, among others. The project aims to uncover racially restrictive deed covenants on properties in Hyattsville, and present that research in an engaging manner. On behalf of the Mapping Racism project, Eisenberg presented to the Hyattsville City Council on March 4, 2019. He discussed the history of segregation in Hyattsville, including

a 1913 segregation ordinance. The Supreme Court ruled such ordinances unconstitutional in 1917. In 1922, the Ku Klux Klan was given a permit to parade in Hyattsville; due to overwhelming citizen opposition, the permit was revoked, so the Ku Klux Klan flew over the city and dropped literature, instead. After Eisenberg’s presentation, then-Councilmember Shani Warner (Ward 2) asked about Magruder’s position on segregation. Eisenberg said he hoped to research Magruder’s role in this aspect of the city’s history. He added that “Magruder owned more land than anybody else in Prince George’s County at one point.” This May, the council approved a motion to update the deed, removing discriminatory language. On Aug. 8, Eisenberg sent an informal memo to the Hyattsville City Council, stating that as part of the Mapping Racism

guage” originally contained in the deed. In a Sept. 29 email, Communications Manager Cindy Zork noted that the revised deed has not yet been recorded. When asked, she did not explain how the city would handle the requirement on the deed that the park bear Magruder’s name. However, she said the city would welcome his family’s input.

JULIA NIKHINSON

research project, the HyCDC “examined every recorded property transaction” that Magruder made in the county. The Hyattsville Life & Times obtained and reviewed the memo, which is not published in the agenda materials or the minutes for any city council meeting. The memo notes that among over 500 real estate transactions in which Magruder participated, only the Magruder Park deed contained a racially restrictive covenant. The memo also notes that Hyattsville real estate developers other than Magruder did use segregationist covenants “dozens to thousands” of times during the same period. Additionally, the memo quotes minutes from Hyattsville City Council meetings in 1927 that refer to a “Committee on the Magruder Park gift” which was “appointed to prepare” the deed for Magruder Park. The memo concludes that “who is truly responsible for the

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Page 14

Hyattsville Life & Times | October 2020

Hyattsville Elementary goes virtual under a new leader By Kit Slack This fall, Hyattsville Elementary School (HES) is operating virtually, under the leadership of a new principal, Richard McKee Jr. McKee has a prior career in computer networking. Now he is focusing on building networks of a more personal kind: “strong teams and relationships built on trust, reciprocal trust” among staff. When asked why he began a career in education, McKee said that when he worked in computer networking “there wasn’t a lot of interaction ... I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.” McKee earned his teaching credentials through the county’s Resident Teacher Program for professionals with other careers. He started out at Templeton Elementary in Riverdale in 2003 and taught there for nine years, including three years as a technology resource teacher. He preferred working as a classroom teacher. “I really love fourth grade,” he said.

McKee sounded genuinely excited about turning the challenges of virtual school into opportunities, saying, “No one has ever done this before, and it is our chance to innovate.” He noted that students and staff are achieving “enormous growth” in learning about and using education technology. PTA Vice President Debbie Van Camp agrees. “At first I worried that older teachers would struggle so much … that their strengths would get lost.” Her son Will, a first-grader, is in the class of a veteran teacher, Tracy Clark-Peele, who is known for her warmth and positivity, according to Van Camp. “It is going much better than I anticipated,” said Van Camp. Through efforts Van Camp finds “really admirable,” Peele made the shift, so that “Will is still getting the experience of her as a teacher.” While Van Camp says she does not expect her first-grader to be independent from his parents in virtual schooling, she ad-

mires Peele’s efforts to connect with Will and take charge of his education through the online classroom, just as she would in a physical one. Other parents echo Van Camp’s support for the new principal’s communication strategy and the teachers’ hard work, but say that they struggle to offer their children the help they need while they, themselves, are working. “My problem is … I am constantly interrupted,” said Sarah Eisen, caught for an interview on Bluetooth in her car on her way from picking up dinner to picking up a child. Her fourthgrader, she said, “doesn’t ask his teachers questions and then ... doesn’t know what to do.” Kristen Wares, co-PTA vice president and mother of firstgrader Tess, said, “It’s amazing how quickly she’s caught onto the technology” required to do independent schoolwork. But Wares noted downsides, too, saying, “It’s not natural for Tess to not have anybody to talk to. No one to show the drawing

she is working on.” She thinks her family “underestimated that we were going to have to be classmate and peer; it surprised all of us.” “Can I tell you a funny story?” asked Eisen. She said one day her child’s teacher lost connection with a Zoom classroom. By default, a student became the host. “The student figured out how to unmute everybody, and they were all super happy to be able to talk to each other!” Eisen’s son declined to be interviewed. Wares’ daughter Tess and Van Camp’s son Will did not have much to say about school. “I wish it were shorter,” said Will, though he does like singing in music class. Tess was stumped when asked to mention something she enjoyed about school. Melanie and Dana Maldonado, sisters ages 11 and 7, were more communicative — in Spanish. They immigrated from Guatemala in 2019 and are in their second year at HES. “It feels really very different from last year,” said Melanie.

“I am having trouble with the reading. ... Other people talk in class, but I don’t.” The sisters are going to school online this year using devices the county provided. Poor WiFi signal sometimes make it difficult to attend. Asked what they like about school, Dana said, “I like to color, and I like to play in that little park next to the school.” Melanie’s favorite is music class. “I like learning about the instruments, for instance, how many strings a violin has.” Their uncle Ramon, who did not volunteer his last name, said, “They are happy to have the opportunity to succeed at learning another language. Yes, they are learning!” McKee stressed the importance, from a social justice perspective, of a strong elementary school foundation for all children. “I really believe in a family atmosphere,” he said. “Statistics show that we spend more time at school than with our own family.” Well, maybe next year.