2021-09 Hyattsville Life & Times

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INSIDE POSITIVE SCHOOL NEWS: Our kids report it. HyattsKIDS, P. 4 WHERE DOES IT GO WHEN WE THROW IT OUT? Our city scientist explains, P. 8

VOL. 18 NO. 9

HYATTSVILLE’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER

SEPTEMBER 2021

County school board deadlocked By Sophie Gorman Oriani and Kit Slack On Sept. 2, six days before the county’s 130,000 school children returned for in-person school, county school board members bickered through another fivehour virtual meeting, vying for control over the process of hiring a staff lawyer. Many Hyattsville parents are SEE SCHOOL BOARD ON 13 

Maryland Meadworks mural paints an old drink a new look By Madison Burinsky Maryland Meadworks celebrated its new mural with an art opening and reception on Aug. 29. The new mural put a modern spin on the ancient beverage, which is sure to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. The mural was created by Hyattsville natives Harper Matsuyama and Cory Stowers, along with other muralists. While Matsuyama’s whimsical design became the final product, it almost wasn’t used at all. Ken Carter, the owner of Maryland Meadworks, and MatSEE MEADWORKS ON 12 

Hyattsville volunteers set up an apartment for refugees.

KYLE HEFLINGER

Community rallies behind Afghan refugees

By Collin Riviello Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, on Aug. 31, members of our community are organizing to help Afghan refugees who are starting new lives in our area, as well as those left behind. One of those left behind, Farhad, who asked that we use only his first name because he fears SEE REFUGEES ON 7 

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Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

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ZERO WASTE OF TIME

The dilemma of tote bags By Juliette Fradin

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f like me, you own more tote bags than you can use, you might be experiencing the dilemma described in “Cotton Tote Crisis,” a New York Times article that recently went viral. You’ve surely bought a tote bag, or you’ve been gifted with one by shops and online retailers or at social events. You might use it for grocery shopping or even as a fashion item, proud to cut off your plastic consumption in style. After all, plastics never really decompose but break down into micro- and nano-plastics that are found in water, soil and air, so every little positive thing we do helps Mother Earth. But according to a 2018 study from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, you’d need to reuse a single, organic cotton bag every day for 54 years (or about 20,000 times) to offset its environmental impact. Organic tote bags are environmentally problematic because organic cotton production is water-intensive and has a 30% lower yield than does the production of conventional cotton.

Reuse all your bags (cotton or plastic) to minimize your ecological footprint. JULIETTE FRADIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Many tote bags are printed with PVC-based dyes, which prevent them from being recycled or composted. Only a small portion of the million bags produced a year are successfully recycled. However, that Danish study has several limitations. It did not go through academic peer review, and it assumes that you

need two cotton tote bags to replace a single-use plastic bag (cotton totes in Denmark are smaller than most U.S. ones). This assumption artificially inflates the environmental impact of using tote bags. Additionally, researchers did not account for the impact of plastic waste entering the ocean or other ecosystems nor

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its repercussions on our health and environment. They presumed that all plastic bags are correctly disposed of. We have an example of this right here at home: Prince George’s County no longer accepts plastic bags in its curbside recycling program, and they often end up in landfill. The high number of times that you have to reuse a conventional (non-organic) cotton bag to offset its environmental impact (7,000) depends on one factor: ozone depletion. But two years ago, National Geographic published an article saying that “the United Nations confirmed in a scientific assessment that the ozone layer is recovering, projecting that it would heal completely in the Northern Hemisphere by the 2030s.” So based on environmental impact alone, a conventional cotton carrier bag should be reused around 50 times before its disposal. This means you could break even in a year — way more manageable! Despite what recent headlines suggest, cotton bags are not a bad solution for carrying your groceries or using as an everyday purse — and they’re way more fancy than a plastic bag. Bea Johnson, an expert on zero-waste living, has five rules (the 5Rs) to follow in chronological order: refuse, reduce, reuse,

recycle and rot (decompose). The first step, refusing what we do not need, is crucial. We have to learn to say no to freebies, as they aren’t good for you and add to the clutter in your house and on the planet. And according to Rule 3, it is important to use and reuse all our bags (plastic or cotton) and not just stuff them inside each other, stashed under the sink. Maryland lawmakers are working on a plastic bag ban that would go into effect in July 2022. In a recent Maryland Matters article, Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore City) explained that “Maryland generates almost 12 million tons of solid waste a year and about 13% come from plastics, including plastic bags. Since the pandemic and the rise of carry-out from restaurants and grocery stores, there has been a 30% increase in plastic waste in 2020.” We can always improve by slowly changing the way we consume. On average, it takes two months to form a new habit. Another good reason to embrace reusable-living now. Juliette Fradin writes about zero-waste and slow living.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

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Seniors still waiting to come home By Kit Slack

On the sweltering afternoon of Aug. 11, a small group of older protesters marched slowly around Friendship Arms, a Hyattsville apartment building that provides housing for seniors and those with disabilities. Armed with a bullhorn and carrying signs that said “Senior lives matter,” they yelled, “Talk is cheap, so is management!” and “What do we want? A new roof ! When do we want it? Now!” Following a roof fire in October of 2020, 26 residents of the building’s top floors were displaced. Unfinished repairs to the roof means no air conditioning in common areas and the hallways, making everyday activities like taking out the trash or waiting for the elevator a hardship for elderly residents. Now, almost a year after the fire, half of the residents who were displaced have moved to apartments on lower floors as they have become available, according to the building’s management. Another three individuals died before they were

Members of the Friendship Arms Tenants’ Association and Hyattsville Aging in Place rally on Aug. 11 to protest conditions in the building. KIT SLACK

able to return. Two have moved away, and eight are still living in hotels or with family as they wait to come home. Matt Brubrick, the president of SHP Management, which owns Friendship Arms, said on Sept. 1 that management has met with residents since the rally, and he hopes everyone who is still displaced will be able to return

home by the end of the month. “We are pushing as hard as we can,” he said. Brubrick said that the company had hoped to return tenants to their apartments several times over the last year, only to have the county add new requirements. Renee White from the office of County Councilmember Deni

Taveras, who represents District 2, which includes Hyattsville, attended the Aug. 11 rally. She and Taveras also attended an event with Hyattsville mayoral candidate Joseph Solomon at the building in late April, before he lost the mayoral race in May. Taveras’ office did not respond to several inquiries from the

Hyattsville Life & Times in May and June about her advocacy for tenants in the building. At the August rally, White said that since the building is in the City of Hyattsville, Hyattsville officials should be held responsible for conditions there. A public information officer from Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspection and Enforcement, in response to a Hyattsville Life & Times’ inquiry about the progress of the repairs, also said that based on the address of the facility, the City of Hyattsville would be responsible for enforcement. However, representatives of both SHP Management and the City of Hyattsville confirmed that no outstanding city permitting issues are preventing the completion of the repairs. Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward said, “The City of Hyattsville continues to be in contact with all parties involved to monitor the situation and help residents return as soon as it is safe to do so.” William Brown, a senior vice president of operations for the building’s management company, said on Sept. 3 that a county inspection was newly scheduled for Sept. 7.

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Hyatts KIDS

Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

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THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING!

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.

BEARDO BY MASON VOSMEK

By Ryan Blackerby It’s nearing October and Halloween is just around the corner — along with another big event, the Hyattsville Zombie Run! The Zombie Run fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Driskell Park. The events are the 1 kilometer run (1k), the 1 mile run (1m), and the 5 kilometer run (5k). However, this isn’t a competitive race, so feel free to take your time. And as always, make sure to have fun! This event helps fund Hyattsville Elementary School, and when runners sign up, they can also choose to support any other local school. Each runner will get a participant page on the Zombie Run website where they can ask others to donate. The Zombie Run is also a fun way for kids to support their schools because there are awards for the best costumes and a raffle where the money that kids raise for their schools gives them a chance to win a bike or a tablet. Last year’s Zombie Run was held virtually because of Covid-19, but excitingly, this year it is going to be in person. For the virtual run, everyone who participated had to time themselves, thus it was hard to keep everything organized. But this year, the race is back to normal and we can run together again. In other exciting news, the long-time organizers of the Zombie Run, Kevin and Christine Blackerby, are passing on the torch to Matt Gembecki and Krysten Marten. The last event was co-organized by all of them, but this year the new organizers are taking the wheel! What do I like about the Zombie Run? Well, I like how lighthearted the Zombie Run is. Even though the mascot is a zombie, they are all so cartoony that they don't even look real. It’s fun to do something as a community and for a good cause.

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: ‘WINGS OF FIRE’ By Evan Muynila “Wings of Fire” is a graphic novel series written by Tui T. Sutherland and illustrated by

Zombies Naomi Behrens and Christine Blackerby begin last year’s run in Driskell Park. COURTESY OF CHRISTY REGENHARDT

Mike Holmes. It is based on the novels of the same name, also by Sutherland. “Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy” is about five dragons that are trying to fulfill the prophecy of ending the Great War. Every book tells you more about the dragons and their skills. “Wings of Fire” is a good series for kids that like action, fantasy, and adventure. But heads up: There is a bit of blood!

PGCPS SCHOOLS PREPARE FOR REOPENING By Beatrice Marx On Wednesday, Aug. 25, the CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Monica Goldson, held a meeting to which all parents and staff of PGCPS

were invited. Five minutes into the telephonic town hall, there were 9,400 attendees, 90% of whom were parents, and the number grew to over 36,000. Dr. Goldson said that the school board has bought electric sanitizers for every school in the county. High contact spots will be hand-washed. Bathrooms will be cleaned frequently. The county has also spent much money on ventilation for windowless classrooms — $3,000 on air vents alone. Buses will have normal capacity with two or three people per seat. However, all students are asked to wear masks on the bus, and the windows and the emergency exit hatch at the top of the bus will be cracked as much as the weather allows for circulation. The high contact spots

will be cleaned between bus loads, and there will be a full cleaning at the beginning and end of each day. There will be masks available at school and on buses. Currently, the plan is not to do temperature checks because, Goldson says, “[temperature] is not a clear sign of Covid,” but parents are encouraged to do temperature checks at home and to always be on the lookout for symptoms. If any student has symptoms of Covid, they will be removed from the classroom, and the parent will be required to pick up the child immediately, “which we understand doesn’t mean within 15 or 20 minutes,” said Goldson, because the parent could be working at an office in D.C., but as soon as possible. The CEO will also close down an entire classroom if any student has Covid. A parent from Hyattsville named Lisa asked why her preK child could not go to virtual school. Goldson explained that pre-K students “have expressed extreme difficulty” with virtual school. Goldson also shared that all staff will be required to get vaccinated and show proof of it, or otherwise take a test per week. There will be no lockers this year, because they can’t be spread out enough, but students may bring belongings to their classrooms. The county is following the state’s mask mandate for indoors and out. So if the state says masks at recess, there will be, and if not, there won’t. Says Goldson, “I do expect a few bumps in the road, but when we come together as a community, we can overcome any obstacle.”

JOIN US! HYATTSKIDS SEEKS NEW CONTRIBUTORS By Evan LeFevre and Claudia Romero Garvey Do you have a story or two to share? Ever dream of becoming a journalist, writer or artist some day? Well, you’ve stumbled upon the opportunity of a lifetime. Come work for HyattsKIDS! We could use the help of enthusiastic writers and artists of any skill level. Get some real world practice in the frontlines of kids’ journalism. Being a HyattsKIDS member is quite an honor, but it is also a responsibility. The commitment level is not too high, but you write an article or draw a comic at least once every two months. We have online meetings every other month, just to go through the articles and comic ideas for the next edition. Having been HyattsKIDS members for over a year, we can say this without a doubt: It is a lot of fun! One of Claudia’s favorite writing assignments was writing about St. Jerome Academy opening back up during the pandemic. It was very interesting to write about something that she was a part of. As an editor, she really enjoyed helping with restaurant reviews, especially one about the Franklin’s “Quarantiki” room. By becoming a HyattsKIDS member, you will get to be a part of something extraordinary, and get to put articles and comics in the newspaper. Can’t contribute? We encourage you to submit ideas and leads for stories you are interested in reading. To join, contact Mary Frances Jiménez at mf_jimenez@yahoo.com.


Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

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AT HOME IN HYATTSVILLE

A minister, journalist and home health aide By Reva G. Harris

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ong-time Hyattsville resident, Joanna Turner, began our conversation with a fervent “Praise the Lord!” Joanna is first lady of Word and Spirit Ministries, an apostolic church located in Washington, D.C. Her husband, Pastor Maurice Turner, founded the church in 2003. Joanna is also a minister, graduating with bachelor’s degrees in Biblical studies and Biblical theology. As first lady, she is responsible for praise and worship services and for teaching children’s Sunday school. Joanna also assists in organizing church events. “I am there to support,” she declared. In addition, Joanna facilitates a prayer phone line that is available Monday through Friday. Joanna moved to Hyattsville on her wedding day, Oct. 1, 1988. The couple lived in Fleetwood Village Apartments for six years and had two sons. In 1993, the Turners moved to a home located near Queens Chapel Road. “I was a stay-at-home mom, but I volunteered at Independence Court,” she said. Joanna described how she and her sons would knock on apartment doors in the senior living facility, introduce themselves and “begin ministering by reading Scriptures, praying and singing to residents.” Before marriage, Joanna was a part-time student at Howard University majoring in journalism, but she did not complete the program.

Joanna Turner COURTESY OF MARTA HABTU

“I looked for a job in journalism, but could not find one,” she stated. “I have a neighbor who will tell you the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it. She told me, ‘If you want to work, you will work.’ There was a housekeeping position open at Independence Court. I asked about the job, and they hired me right away because they knew me.” While working at Independence Court, Joanna said she would see Mayor Robert Armentrout when he came to the facility to visit his mother, who was over 100 years old. Armentrout was Hyattsville’s mayor from 1999 to 2003. As a freelance journalist, Joanna wrote articles for The Hilltop, Howard University’s student paper, and for the Afro-American’s

Living Church section. “In 2001, I applied for a position at The Prince George’s Sentinel. I got the position mainly because I was a Hyattsville resident. I was the sole writer for The Prince George’s Sentinel’s Hyattsville paper. I had much to learn,” Joanna admitted. “The managing editor helped me a lot,” Joanna said, referring to her colleague, Barbara Bolden. “When she left in 2002, I was forced to leave as well. … I’m forever grateful for her helping me while I was at the paper.” Joanna has also contributed to the Hyattsville Life & Times. “My sister-in-law told me about free training to become a home health aide. … The job was nothing like journalism, but I needed to pay the bills. I realized that I enjoy helping people, so I went on and got training at Prince George’s Community College,” she said. Joanna worked for Visiting Angels as a certified nursing assistant. “This is my calling,” she explained. Currently, Joanna works as a home health aide in the District. Joanna and her family have experienced several tragic events. In 2007, Joanna’s niece was killed by a Metrobus. In 2014, her husband, who also worked as a mail carrier, was assaulted, abducted, duct taped, thrown on the side-

walk and left for dead by two men who were looking for a package of drugs they assumed was in his postal truck. Fortunately, someone found Maurice, and he survived. “My family knows about tragedy,” she noted. Joanna quoted Psalm 34:19 to summarize those horrendous experiences, saying, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” She added, “God took the bad and made it into good. My husband was freed to begin his ministry to Africa.” Joanna reflected on life in Hyattsville. “What I like about Hyattsville is that everything is

convenient. I can walk to Prince George’s Plaza, the doctors, the dentist, the grocery store and the fitness center. All are within walking distance from my house. When I covered a Hyattsville City Council meeting about 20 years ago, there was a developer who said he was going to build a theater, restaurants, stores, and put lights on East-West Highway. What he said came true.” That area of land is now University Town Center. “At Home in Hyattsville” is our series profiling long-term residents. Send suggestions for this series to kit@hyattsvillelife. com.

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After just four years of being a police officer, Officer Kelly Hernandez, of the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD), has made local history and won multiple awards for her work on improving traffic safety in the city. After graduating from Fairmont State University and joining the HCPD, in 2017, the Prince George’s County native quickly recognized traffic safety as a concern. “Early in my career, I noticed that there was a huge issue with drunk drivers in the City of Hyattsville,” she said. “And it’s also a huge issue everywhere.” From 2015 to 2019, the county had 453 fatal vehicle crashes in total, according to the Maryland Highway Safety Office. And in 2019, alcohol-related traffic fatalities accounted for just over 28% of all traffic fatalities in the county, which is consistent with the national average, according to a 2020 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report. The issue of impaired driving is also personal for Hernandez, who said that alcoholism was a big problem in the Langley Park community where she grew up. “I actually lost a classmate in

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high school to a drunk driver,” she explained. “[And] a lot of people I grew up with became alcoholics. So, I wanted to get these people off the streets … and work towards zero deaths.” Zero Deaths Maryland refers to a state law enacted in 2019, which set a goal of reducing vehicle-related deaths or serious injuries on state roadways to zero by 2030. For Hernandez, this goal means jumping at every opportunity to learn and teach about impaired driving laws and enforcement. “In 2020, in a pandemic, she trained nine different officers and spent a ton of time with each one, on top of doing all her regular duties and enforcement,” said HCPD Acting Lt. Zach Nemser. “And she still had [28] DUI lockups, which is off the charts.” The department made 45 DUI arrests total in 2020, according to the department’s 2020 annual report. This July, the Maryland Highway Safety Office awarded Hernandez the DUI Law Enforcement Award for 2020, according to an HCPD press release. The Maryland Chiefs of Police Association also awarded her this year’s Traffic Safety Award. Hernandez is a certified field training officer and Standardized

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Field Sobriety Test instructor, according to the press release. She said she helps train officers not only in HCPD, but occasionally in other parts of the state, as well. Her latest achievement was graduating, on Aug. 27, from the DUI Institute held at the University of Maryland, where a select number of officers in the state attend six days of training and education, she said. At the institute, attending officers learned tools to “get more convictions.” “We can pull over the drunk driver and arrest them,” Herndandez said, “but at the end of the day, we … want them to learn from it.” In May, Hernandez also became HCPD’s first certified drug recognition expert (DRE), according to the press release. Fewer than one-third of law enforcement agencies in Maryland have officers who are DRE-certified. The course teaches officers how to identify drivers under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, which Hernandez said is important since recreational marijuana is decriminalized in Maryland. As drunk driving continues to be a problem both locally and nationally, Nemser said Hernandez shows the ambition to take it on. “We can train officers in many disciplines. What we cannot train is effort and drive. That is something that you either have or you don’t. And Officer Hernandez has it,” he said. “She’s a rockstar.”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

REFUGEES FROM PAGE 1

for his life, graduated from the University of Maryland (UMD) in 2020 with a Master of Science in telecommunications. Farhad was able to pursue his degree thanks to a U.S. government scholarship. As of press time, he, his wife and their four daughters are barricaded inside their home on the outskirts of a major city in Afghanistan, looking for a way out of the country. University Park resident Beth Domingo served as Farhad’s host while he studied at UMD. She has spent dozens of hours writing to members of Congress and state delegates to sponsor him, so that he would be eligible to come back to the U.S. Domingo asked a neighborhood email group for State Department contacts. She received more than 100 responses and compiled the leads in a spreadsheet, which she updates whenever she hears back from a contact. “I know him, and I feel for him, and I want to help him,” she said. According to Domingo, resources in the city where Farhad is staying are strained, and food is expensive. “I imagine what it would be like if my family was trapped,” said Domingo, who is married, with four grown children. Over the years, she has hosted students

from Canada, Pakistan, India, Colombia and Kazakhstan. Other community members are helping refugees leave Afghanistan and settle in the U.S., too. More than 90 Hyattsville residents have come together to support refugee families, especially families of those who worked with U.S. forces and personnel in Afghanistan. Many of these families are settling in the area through a program run by Lutheran Social Services of the North Capital Area. Hyattsville is one of three D.C. suburbs where Lutheran Social Services is helping about 800 individuals settle. As part of these efforts, the nonprofit is recruiting residents to help refugee families with transportation, housing, job assistance, mentoring and other essential needs. Hyattsville resident Tricia Koroknay-Palicz is part of a self-organized group working in conjunction with Lutheran Social Services. The group is coordinating volunteers to furnish and stock homes for refugee families. Like Domingo, KoroknayPalicz sent out a call to coordinate refugee assistance through local email groups and quickly received dozens of responses. Respondents offered not only physical donations like toiletries and furniture, but transportation for refugees so that they could attend appointments and run errands.

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Koroknay-Palicz said the volunteer effort came together so quickly because Hyattsville already has a well-organized, supportive community. “I'm just one of at least 90 people in Hyattsville, who are super, super passionate and committed to helping people, and I'm literally just coordinating amongst all these people who are committing space and money and time and are responding really, really quickly,” she said. “I think there's a moral imperative to care for one's neighbor,” said Koroknay-Palicz. “When I think of who's my neighbor, I think globally,” she added. “But then there's also the aspect of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. These people who are fleeing right now, they were our allies; they were part of the project that the U.S. undertook in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, and their lives are currently in danger because they worked with us.”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

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Hyattsville Reporter No. 402 • September 8, 2021

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Notices & Updates

School PTA, is back in person at Driskell Park on Saturday, October 16! Virtual participation options are also available. To register for this fundraising event that benefits local schools, please visit runsignup.com/hvlzombierun. Please note that there will be no onstreet parking along the Zombie Run route the day of the race. The City encourages commuters to plan accordingly by parking in their driveway or outside the race course as streets along the route will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. You can view the race map at runsignup.com/hvlzombierun.

Election Results: The unofficial results of the Ward 1 Special Election will be announced the evening of September 14. The announcement will be made virtually at hyattsville.org/meetings and broadcast on cable channels 71 (Comcast) and 12 (Verizon). The election results will be certified by the Board of Supervisors of Elections and accepted at the Hyattsville Council Meeting on Monday, September 20. The newly elected Councilmember will be sworn in on October 4.

Coffee with a Cop: Join us at National Coffee with A Cop Day on October 6, 9 – 10:30 a.m., at Vigilante Coffee! No speeches or agendas, just a chance to meet your Hyattsville officers and ask them a question you may have. And bonus: Nola the Facility Dog will be there!

Get out the Vote in Ward 1!: The Ward 1 Special Election is here! Voters have until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14 to return their ballot at secure drop boxes at the City Building or Hyattsville Middle School. The City does not recommend mailing ballots at this time as postmarked ballots will not count! Same-day voter registration and inperson voting will also be available on Election Day, September 14, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., at the City Building. If you have questions, visit hyattsville.org/vote or contact the City Clerk’s office at (301) 985-5001.

COVID-19 Guidelines & Vaccine: A reminder that due to the rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant, masks are required for everyone ages six and older in all indoor public spaces in Prince George’s County and when using public transportation. Vaccines are your best defense against serious illness from the virus. Anyone 12 and older can receive a free vaccine, regardless of insurance or immigration status! The Prince George’s County Health Department clinics and the Hyattsville vaccine clinic now offer COVID-19 third dose booster shots for residents with weakened immune systems. The City’s vaccine clinic at the First United Methodist Church on Belcrest Road is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for walk-ups and appointments. Learn more and find other vaccination clinics near you at hyattsville.org/ covidvaccine. Metro Stations Reopening: The West Hyattsville, Prince George’s Plaza, College Park-UMD, and Greenbelt Metro Stations are set to reopen on Tuesday, September 7 after their summer closure for platform improvements. Commuters should expect some ongoing minor construction as Metro completes their work. Improvements include safety enhancements, new faregates, and lighting. Visit wmata.com for more information.

Programs, Services, and Events

Instagram Live with Councilmember Sandino: In anticipation of Hispanic Heritage Month and the City’s Special Election, the City (@cityofhyattsville) will host a Spanish language Instagram Live Q&A with Ward 5 Councilmember Rommel Sandino on September 8, at 5:30 p.m. Councilmember Sandino will share his personal experiences and motivations in his journey from an undocumented resident to an elected official. A recording of the conversation will be available on the City’s Instagram page after the event. Hyattsville Diaper Distribution: The City of Hyattsville and the Greater DC Diaper Bank are hosting a free distribution of diapers sized newborn to six on Saturday, September 11, 1 - 4 p.m., at the Driskell Park Recreation Center,

Age-Friendly Services

Meals on Wheels: Seniors or individuals with a disability who are homebound and cannot prepare food on their own can reach out to Meals on Wheels of College Park, which also serves Hyattsville. For $5 per day and up to five times per week, Meals on Wheels delivers lunch, dinner, and breakfast for the next day. Hyattsville residents that meet income requirements may also qualify for free meals. If you are a Hyattsville resident in need of meal services, contact Senior Services Coordinator Beryl Johnson, at (301) 985-5000 or at bjohnson@hyattsville.org. Hyattsville Council and staff attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony of The Neighborhood Well’s new mobile shower unit at the First United Methodist Church. The unit contains showers and restrooms for community members in need and will be available at the Church on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month starting in October. / Los miembros del Concejo y el personal de Hyattsville asistieron a la ceremonia de inauguración de la nueva unidad de ducha móvil de Neighborhood Well en la Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida. La unidad contiene duchas y baños para los miembros de la comunidad que lo necesiten y estará disponible en la Iglesia el segundo y cuarto sábado de cada mes a partir de octubre. 3911 Hamilton Street. No pre-registration or City residency is required. However, families must provide one proof of the child’s date of birth, such as a birth certificate, insurance card, passport, immunization record, or a childcare bill. Questions? Call (301) 985-5000. Thrive Grant: Through October 1, Hyattsville residents, organizations, and businesses can apply for the City’s Thrive Grant! Grants of up to $500 are available to support health, wellness, and recreation activities that improve community engagement in Hyattsville. Visit hyattsville.org/grants to apply. Questions? Email ceverhart@hyattsville.org. Caring for Your Trees Workshop: Learn how to care for your trees to improve your health and the health of our environment through a free, virtual workshop! Defensores De La Cuenca will present in Spanish on Monday, September 13, 7 – 8 p.m., and the County’s Department of the Environment will present in English on Tuesday, September 21, 7 – 8 p.m. To register, please visit hyattsville.org/trees. Bulk Waste Pop-Up Day: The City is hosting a Bulk Waste Pop-Up Day on Saturday, September 18 at the City Building, 4310 Gallatin Street, and the Department of Public Works Operations Center, 4633 Arundel Place. Residents can drop off bulk trash items at either location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until containers reach capacity. For a list of ac-

ceptable items and for more information, visit hyattsville.org/bulk-waste. Hispanic Heritage Month: The City of Hyattsville is proud to celebrate September 15 – October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month and recognize the rich contributions that Hispanic and Latino residents make to our community every day. You can learn of upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month virtual and in-person events near the area by visiting hyattsville.org/hhm. State Business Grants Opportunities: Are you looking to grow your business in the City of Hyattsville? The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is opening two grant opportunities on September 8 for licensed business owners to open or expand into previously vacant spaces! The Rental Assistance Grant will offer small businesses up to $30,000 in financial assistance for rental payments and the Business Operations Grant will offer up to $250,000 to sustain and grow business operations. Learn more & apply by visiting dhcd.maryland.gov. Cyclocross: The Hyattsville Cyclocross Bike Race, sponsored by the Route 1 Velo Cycling Team, is set to return on Sunday, October 10! This annual off-road bicycle race through Driskell Park benefits the Prince George’s County Special Olympics. Stay tuned for registration details. Zombie Run: The annual Zombie Run, hosted by the Hyattsville Elementary

County Frozen Meals Program: The Prince George’s County Senior Nutrition Program offers a free frozen meal delivery service to seniors aged 60 or older in need. The meals include perishable items such as bread, milk, and microwaveable foods that are dropped off every Thursday for the whole week. There is no income requirement, and residents can call the County at (301) 265-8475 or the City’s Senior Services coordinator Beryl Johnson at (301) 985-5000 to sign up.

Youth Services

Teen Center: The Teen Center is returning to Driskell Park for in-person, afterschool activities on Monday, September 20! Before they officially open, join the Youth Programs staff for a Welcome Back Party on Wednesday, September 15, 5 – 7 p.m., at the Park! Sign up by visiting hyattsville. org/teen-center. Free Tutoring & Homework Help: Need assistance with a tough subject? Register for the City’s free tutoring program! Free in-person and online tutoring services will now be offered for students in grades 4 – 12 starting Tuesday, September 21. Tutoring will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and, Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. In-person tutoring at the Driskell Park Recreation Center has limited capacity. To register your student, visit hyattsville.recdesk.com. Mini-Camp Sessions: If school’s out, Hyattsville Mini Camps are in session! Register your student for a Farmers Market Day on October 1 or for the Olympic Sport’s Day on October 15! Both sessions will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Driskell Park Teen Center. Registration opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 13 via hyattsville.recdesk.com.


Page HR2

Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

el

Reportero de

Hyattsville

No. 402 • 8 de Septiembre, 2021

www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000

Avisos y Noticias

Café con un Policía: ¡Únase a nosotros el Día Nacional de Café con un Policía 6 de octubre, de 9 a.m. a 10:30 a.m., en Vigilante Coffee! No hay discursos ni agendas, solo una oportunidad de conocer a sus oficiales de Hyattsville y hacerles una pregunta que pueda tener. Y además: ¡Nola estará allí!

¡Salga a Votar Distrito 1!: ¡La Elección Especial del Distrito 1 esta aquí! Los votadores tienen hasta las 8 p.m. el martes, 14 de septiembre para retornar su boleta a una caja segura en el Edificio Municipal o por la escuela Hyattsville Middle. ¡La Ciudad no recomienda enviar boletar por correo en este tiempo ya que boletas tarden no contaran! La opción de registrarse y votar en persona el mismo día también estará disponible el Día de Elección, 14 de septiembre, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., en el Edificio Municipal. Si tiene preguntas, visite hyattsville.org/vote o contacte a la Oficia de la Secretaria al (301) 985-5001. Resultados de la Elección: Los resultados no oficiales de la Elección Especial del Distrito serán anunciados la noche del 14 de septiembre. El anuncio será hecho virtualmente en hyattsville.org/meetings y transmitido por los canales de cable 71 (Comcast) y 12 (Verizon). Los resultados serán certificados por la Junta de Supervisores de Elecciones y aceptados en la reunión del Concejo Municipal de Hyattsville el 20 de septiembre. El recién elegido Concejal será jurado/a el 4 de octubre. Directrices y Vacunas de COVID-19: Un recordatorio de que debido al aumento de casos de COVID-19 causados por la variante Delta, se requieren máscaras para todas las personas de seis años o más en todos los espacios públicos interiores en el Condado Prince George’s y cuando se usa el transporte público. Las vacunas son su mejor defensa contra enfermedades graves causadas por el virus. Cualquier persona mayor de 12 años puede recibir una vacuna gratuita, sin importar su seguro o estatus migratorio. Las clínicas del Departamento de Salud del Condado Prince George’s y la clínica de vacunas de Hyattsville ahora ofrecen vacunas de COVID-19 de refuerzo de tercera dosis para residentes con sistemas inmunológicos debilitados. La clínica de vacunas de la Ciudad en la Iglesia First United Methodist en Belcrest Road está abierta los martes de 9 a.m. a 5 p.m. para visitas con o sin cita. Obtenga más información y encuentre otras clínicas de vacunación cerca en hyattsville.org/covidvaccine. Reaperturas de Estaciones de Metro: Las Estaciones de Metro de West Hyattsville, Prince George’s Plaza, College ParkUniversity of Maryland y Greenbelt están listas para reabrirse el martes, 7 de septiembre después de los cierres de verano para mejoramientos. Los viajeros deben anticipar algunas construcciones menores en curso a medida que Metro completa su trabajo. Las mejoras incluyen mejoras de seguridad, nuevas puertas de embarque e iluminación. Visite wmata.com para obtener más información.

Programas, Servicos y Eventos

Instagram Live con el Concejal Sandino: En anticipación al Mes de la Herencia Hispana y las Elecciones Especiales de la Ciudad, la Ciudad (@cityofhyattsville) sostendrá un evento Instagram Live en español con el Concejal del Distrito 5 Rommel Sandino el 8 de septiembre, A las 5:30 p.m. el Concejal Sandino compartirá sus experiencias y motivaciones personales en su viaje de un ser indocumentado a un funcionario electo. Una grabación de la conversación estará disponible en la página de Instagram de la Ciudad después del evento.

Servicios de la Tercera Edad

City of Hyattsville staff, volunteers, and school leaders hosted a back-to-school event at the future Teen Center site on 5812 40th Avenue. Over 200 bags of school supplies were distributed to students at the event, and an additional 20 backpacks were set aside for refugee families resettling in the Hyattsville area. El personal de Hyattsville, voluntarios y líderes escolares organizaron un evento de regreso a clases en el futuro Centro de Jóvenes en la5812 40th Avenue. Se distribuyeron más de 200 bolsas de útiles escolares a los estudiantes en el evento y se reservaron 20 mochilas adicionales para las familias de refugiados que se reubican en el área de Hyattsville. Distribución de Pañales de Hyattsville: La Ciudad de Hyattsville y el Greater DC Diaper Bank están organizando una distribución gratuita de pañales de tallas recién nacidos hasta seis años el sábado, 11 de septiembre, de 1 a 4 p.m., en el Centro de Recreación de Driskell Park, 3911 Hamilton Street. No se requiere pre-registrarse o ser residente de la Ciudad. Sin embargo, las familias deben proporcionar un comprobante de la fecha de nacimiento del menor, como un certificado de nacimiento, tarjeta de seguro, pasaporte, registro de vacunación o factura de cuidado de niños. ¿Preguntas? Llame al (301) 985-5000. Subvenciones Thrive: ¡Hasta el 1 de octubre, los residentes, organizaciones y negocios de Hyattsville pueden aplicar para la Subvención Thrive de la Ciudad! Hay subvenciones de hasta $500 disponibles para apoyar las actividades de salud, bienestar y recreación que mejoran la participación de la comunidad en Hyattsville. Visite hyattsville.org/grants para solicitar. ¿Preguntas? Envíe un correo electrónico a ceverhart@hyattsville.org. Taller de Cuidado de sus Árboles: ¡Aprenda cómo cuidar por sus árboles para mejorar su salud y la salud de nuestro medio ambiente a través de un taller virtual gratuito! Defensores De La Cuenca presentará en español el lunes, 13 de septiembre de 7 – 8 p.m., y el Departamento de Medio Ambiente del Condado presentará en inglés el martes 21 de septiembre de 7 – 8 p.m. Para inscribirse, visite hyattsville.org/ trees. Día Emergente de Basuras Grandes: La Ciudad sostendrá un día emergente de basuras grandes el sábado, 18 de septiembre en el Edificio Municpal, 4310 Gallatin Street, y el Centro de Operaciones del Departamento de Obras Públicas, 4633 Arundel Place. Los residentes pueden dejar artículos basuras grandes en cualquier ubicación de 10 a.m. a 2 p.m., o hasta que los contenedores se llenen. Para obtener una lista de artículos aceptables y más información, visite hyattsville.org/ bulk-waste. Mes de la Herencia Hispana: La Ciudad de Hyattsville se enorgullece de celebrar del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre como Mes de la Herencia Hispana y reconocer

las contribuciones que los residentes hispanos y latinos hacen a nuestra comunidad todos los días. Usted puede aprender de los próximos eventos virtuales y en persona del Mes de la Herencia Hispana cerca de la zona visitando hyattsville.org/hhm. Oportunidades de Subvenciones para Negocios: ¿Busca hacer crecer su negocio en la Ciudad de Hyattsville? ¡El Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Comunitario de Maryland está abriendo dos oportunidades de subvención el 8 de septiembre para que los propietarios de negocios licenciados abran o se expandan a espacios previamente vacantes! La Subvención de Asistencia de Alquiler ofrecerá a los negocios pequeños hasta $30,000 en asistencia financiera para pagos de alquiler y la Subvención de Operaciones de Negocios ofrecerá hasta $250,000 para mantener y crecer las operaciones de negocios. Obtenga más información y solicite más información visitando dhcd. maryland.gov. Cíclocross: ¡La Carrera Ciclista de Cíclocross de Hyattsville, patrocinada por el equipo Ciclista Route 1 Velo, regresará el domingo 10 de octubre! Esta carrera anual de bicicletas todo terreno a través de Driskell Park beneficia a las Olimpiadas Especiales del Condado Prince George’s. Estén atentos para conocer los detalles de registro. Carrera Zombie: ¡La Carrera Zombie anual, organizada por la Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA) de la Escuela Primaria Hyattsville, está de vuelta en persona en el Driskell Park el sábado 16, de octubre! También hay disponibles opciones de participación virtual. Para inscribirse en este evento de recaudación de fondos que beneficia a las escuelas locales, visite runsignup.com/hvlzombierun. Tenga en cuenta que no habrá estacionamiento en la calle a lo largo de la ruta de carreras el día del evento. La Ciudad alienta a los viajeros a planear en adelante ya sea estacionándose en la entrada de su casa o fuera del área de carreras, ya que las calles a lo largo de la ruta estarán cerradas de 6 a.m. a 11 a.m. Puede ver el mapa de la carrera en runsignup.com/ hvlzombierun.

Comida a Domicilio: Las personas de la tercera edad o con una discapacidad que no pueden preparar alimentos por sí mismos pueden comunicarse con Meals on Wheels de College Park, que también sirve a Hyattsville. Por $5 por día y hasta cinco veces por semana, Meals on Wheels entrega almuerzo, cena y desayuno para el día siguiente. Los residentes de Hyattsville que cumplan con los requisitos de ingresos también pueden calificar para comidas gratis. Si es residente de Hyattsville y necesita servicios de comidas, comuníquese con la Coordinadora de Servicios para Personas Mayores Beryl Johnson, al (301) 985-5000 o al bjohnson@hyattsville.org. Programa de Comidas del Condado: El Programa de Nutrición para personas de la tercera edad del Condado ofrece un servicio gratuito de entrega de comidas preparadas para personas mayores de 60 años o más que las necesiten. Las comidas incluyen artículos perecederos como pan, leche y alimentos para microondas que se entregan todos los jueves durante toda la semana. No hay requisitos de ingresos y los residentes pueden llamar al Condado al (301) 265-8475 o a la Coordinadora de Servicios para Personas Mayores de la Ciudad, Beryl Johnson, al (301) 985-5000 para inscribirse.

Servicios para Menores

Centro de Jóvenes: ¡El Centro de Jóvenes regresará a Driskell Park para realizar actividades en persona y después de clases el lunes 20 de septiembre! Antes de que se abra oficialmente, únase al personal de servicios de menores de la Ciudad para una fiesta de bienvenida el miércoles, ¡15 de septiembre de 5 p.m. a 7 p.m. en el Parque! Para aprender más y inscribirse para el año escolar, visite hyattsville.org/ teen-center. Ayuda Gratuita de Tutoría y Tarea: ¿Necesita ayuda con un tema difícil? ¡Regístrese para el programa de tutoría gratuita de la Ciudad! Ahora se ofrecerán servicios gratuitos de tutoría en persona y en línea para los estudiantes de los grados 4 – 12 a partir del martes, 21 de septiembre. La tutoría se llevará a cabo los martes, miércoles y jueves de 6:30 p.m. a 8 p.m. La tutoría en persona en el Centro de Recreación del Parque Comunitario Driskell tiene capacidad limitada. Para registrar a su estudiante, visite hyattsville.recdesk. com. Sesiones de Minicampamentos: ¡Si la escuela está de vacaciones, los minicampamentos de Hyattsville están en sesión! ¡Registre a su estudiante para el Día del Mercado de los Agricultores el 1 de octubre o para el Día del Deporte Olímpico el 15 de octubre! Ambas sesiones tendrán lugar de 9 a.m. a 3 p.m. en el Centro de Jóvenes de Driskell Park. La inscripción comienza a las 10 a.m. del lunes 13 de septiembre a través de hyattsville.recdesk.com.


Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

Page 8

SCIENCE OF THE CITY

Where does everything go after we throw it ‘away’? By Paul Ruffins

I

n September 1946, The American City magazine reported that the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s new trash incinerator in nearby Bladensburg “combines style with utility.” Seventy-five years ago, the commission provided municipal waste services as well as clean water. Today, most Hyattsville residents would vigorously oppose a huge incinerator being built nearby. But between 1940 and 1950, urban areas like New York, Los Angeles and Prince George’s County were building them as fast as possible. They were considered an improvement over municipal dumps. In a 2009 report, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) noted, “The historic placement of landfills and open burning dumps was for the most part unregulated prior to the 1950s. Most towns, farms and industries had areas set aside for the disposal of waste. The sites were often nothing more than a wetland, riverbank or ravine on the edge of the town or property and often as not waste was collected and burned in place.” MDE identified that at least 13 dumps or landfills have existed, over time, in Prince George’s County — likely a low estimate. There were incinerators in Bladensburg, Laurel and Lyttonsville, as well.

TRASH AND BULK WASTE Today, Hyattsville, as a mediumsized incorporated city, uses its

own trash trucks and city employees to provide curbside and bulk trash pickup. Household trash and bulk waste go to the county’s huge 850-acre Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill, which opened in 1968 and is 2.5 miles northwest of Upper Marlboro. The site’s original 148 acres, used for actual disposal, met the requirements of the 1965 Solid Waste Disposal Act. The site had a system of pipes to collect the gases (primarily methane) generated by decomposing food, leaves and household chemicals. Over time, the county has expanded Brown Station and upgraded its facilities to meet ever more stringent Environmental Protection Agency requirements, particularly those concerning groundwater pollution. A second section of Brown Station opened in 1992, with systems to monitor and handle the toxic leachate from rainwater filtering through the waste. The county landfill’s biggest challenge is being overrun by the county’s growing population and mountains of plastic and packaging. As of 2017, when Brown Station renewed its 10year permit, nine of the 11 cells in the second section had already been closed. The landfill is almost full, and the county applied for a permit to open a third section. Higher tipping fees, up from $59 to $70 per ton, will kick in Oct. 1, in part to promote composting (which costs $45 per ton) and recycling ($25 per ton).

LEAVES AND FOOD SCRAPS Before the Clean Air Act was passed, in 1970, most people simply burned their leaves and yard waste. With the act in place, municipalities began to collect yard waste and send it to the landfill, which created its own problems. In the early 1990s, the county opened the Prince George’s Organics Composting Facility to turn thousands of tons of leaves and yard waste into mulch and its popular Leafgro compost, which the county sells in retail stores to offset costs. In 2013, the county began experimenting with composting. This required a more complex process to control odors and deter animals. The materials are ground up and placed into long rows called windrows inside a Gore-Tex enclosure. Air is pumped into the piles to reduce the production of greenhouse gases, and the rows are turned and watered to maintain the proper temperature and humidity, reaching 130-160 F for at least 15 days. The project’s success has made it the largest on the East Coast. The materials it handles would otherwise end up in a landfill or contaminate curbside recycling. Instead, the resulting compost, Leafgro Gold, is a best seller. Hyattsville is ahead of the curve on composting because it offers residents free curbside pickup. The city also makes its own leaf mulch, which is simpler than making compost. Ac-

Toxic chemicals dropped off at Prince George's County landfill are put in barrels and sent to a licensed facility for safe disposal. PAUL RUFFINS

cording to an email from Cindy Zork, the city’s public information officer, “Leaves are ground at a nearby facility into mulch and returned to the City for processing. The City then uses them for landscaping purposes and distributes piles to City parks for residents’ use.”

SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLING AND HAZARDOUS WASTE In 1993, the county embraced recycling and created the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Capitol Heights. In 2007, the MRF was converted to accommodate sorting processes for the county’s new single-stream program, in which residents put all their recyclables into one container. The program uses a complex system of conveyors, magnets, compressed air and optical readers to sort out the most valuable com-

modities: aluminum and steel cans, newspapers, cardboard, glass and various plastic containers. Hyattsville does not collect its own single-stream recyclables but is one of eight municipalities that partner with the county to collect recyclables through a commercial hauler. The city also contracts with Maryland Environmental Services to pick up the used oil, antifreeze and other household hazardous waste dropped off at its public works site (4633 Arundel Place). Clean antifreeze is usually filtered and reused. Used motor oil is often burned as fuel in cement kilns or added to asphalt to pave roads. In 1946, we welcomed a “stylish” new incinerator. Today, we realize there is no magical place called “away.” Everything we toss ends up in our, or someone else’s, air, water or community.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

Page 9

THEN & NOW

The precarious paint chip

By Randy Fletcher

O

ld homes require a lot of attention, and like Audrey II, the ever-ravenous Venus flytrap in “Little Shop of Horrors,” they constantly cry out, “Feed me, Seymour (or fill in your name here)!” Though they don’t feast on human flesh, there’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into the never-ending projects that we undertake to keep an older home looking beautiful. Six months ago, I woke up from a deep slumber and found something teetering on the tip of my nose — I was one snore away from inhaling a Pringle-sized paint chip! I knew then that it was time to tackle painting the bedroom, which I had put off for years; I’d been spending what felt like every waking minute feeding the many other projects screaming for my attention. I blithely jumped in, thinking that this one would take no longer than a month to complete. This small job has turned into a major restoration project, and today, I’m probably little more than half-way finished. There have been a lot of starts and stops, and for much of the summer, it’s been too hot to climb up the scaffold to finish the work. However, we removed the silk wall covering, patched and smoothed the walls and stripped the radiators, and I’m almost ready to start painting. But I haven’t finished the ceiling. Every time I walk past our

Duct tape is used to gently remove old paint from decorative plaster. RANDY FLETCHER

bedroom, I look up and see that last untouched 3-foot section of molding, pleading with me to liberate it from the old flaking paint that clings on.

The bedroom ceiling has been a daunting endeavor from the start. It looked good from below, but when I touched the decorative plaster, flakes of paint fell

off as if I had opened up a bag of chips and let them rain down onto the floor. I tested several of the many products available for removing old paint, but I didn’t like any of them. They were all messy, and I was afraid they would damage the plaster. Then one night, I woke up with a great idea. I would try duct tape! I got some and pressed it onto small sections of the plaster. Success! When I peeled off the tape, almost all of the paint came off with it. No dust, no goop, no mess — and more importantly, no damage to the plaster. But this approach takes patience and lots of time. An entire day of pressing on and tearing off only rewarded me with a relatively small area of virgin plaster. It was discouraging, but I kept at it for a couple months — until my arms and back became numb from reaching over my head. Audrey II and I went through over 20 rolls of duct tape. I was exhausted. I’ve learned that seemingly simple projects in older homes can become large and complicated. Each one comes with a set of issues, which can lead to more issues, which can lead to frustration, anger and a sense of helplessness. These things I know to be true: Tenacity is key; patience is key; organization is key. I now realize that it’s probably best to hire

And our Neighboring Community FOR SALE

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3933 Nicholson St, Hyattsville. Sold for $575,000.

4526 38th St, Brentwood. Listed for $319,000. Charming 2 Bed, 2 bath bungalow just off the bike path. Deep lot.

UNDER CONTRACT

4011 Ingraham St, Hyattsville. Listed for $575,000. Renovated 4 Bedroom, 3 bath Bungalow on 3 finished levels.

Bladensburg Waterfront Park 4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg WashingtonRowingSchool.com

202-344-0886

4115 Hamilton Street, Hyattsville. Listed for $750,000. Edgewood, built in 1888, is a Prince Georges County Historic Site. 4 BRs, 1 1/2 baths.

SOLD

6004 43rd Street,, Hyattsville. Listed for $525,000, sold for $564,500. 5 BR, 3 full bath cape cod with gorgeous wood floors, new roof and siding! Updated kitchen & baths.

Realtor®, ABR, SRS

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

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

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5018 37th Pl, Hyattsville. Sold for $800,500

3818 Oglethorpe St., Hyattsville. Sold for $450,500 5621 Lustine St., Hyattsville. Sold for $519,000.

4706 Banner Street, Hyattsville. Listed for $575,000. 4 BR, 3 bath home with gas fireplace, Spacious LR with refinished wood floors & vaulted ceiling, gas & granite in the kitchen.

Ann Barrett

4102 Jefferson St. Hyattsville. Sold for $595,000

FUN, FRIENDS AND FITNESS! All activities are at

The Hyattsville Preservation Association seeks to engage residents in the preservation and promotion of the many historic homes and buildings in our city. Visit preservehyattsville. org for more information.

Helping Sell Hyattsville 5303 41st Ave,, Hyattsville. Sold for $785,000

• Last Chance for Learn to Scull • Youth and Adult Fall Programs • Competitive and Recreational Programs

a professional for a big project — and may ensure that it will be completed in your lifetime. Because the bedroom renovation would have been too expensive, I had to do it myself (with the help of my fair wife). I’ve also learned that Audrey II will always be there wanting to be fed, and sometimes you have to tell her to just pipe down. There will always be another project waiting in the wings — and several others clamoring to be completed. But I swear, when the weather cools off enough, you’ll know where to find me — I’ll be up on the scaffold, gently pulling duct tape and paint chips off of my beautiful plaster. Addendum: It’s imperative to follow proper protocols when working with chemicals and tools used for stripping old paint. Follow instructions closely. Learn about proper procedures online and from the National Park Service Preservation Briefs at nps.gov/tps/ how-to-preserve/briefs.htm.

4920 40th Place, Hyattsville. Listed for $375,000, sold for $388,000. 3 Bedroom, 1 1/2 bath rambler with finished walk-out basement. Backs to beautiful views of trees & parkland.

4219 Nicholson St., Hyattsville. SOLD for $788,000 3406 Purdue St., Hyattsville. SOLD for $435,000

Proven Results:

Top-Producing Individual Agent, Long & Foster College Park 2009 - 2020!

Top Listing Agent, Long & Foster Prince George’s County Southern Maryland Region, 2018-2020 The information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted.


Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

Page 10

MISS FLORIBUNDA

Green-‘Thumbing a Ride’ to ‘A Ripe Old Age’ Dear Miss Floribunda,

Dear “High Hopes,”

I am nearly 90 years old and still gardening because my knees still bend pretty well, and I like to grow my own vegetables. I’ve heard that most people who reach the age of 100 are either farmers or gardeners, and I think I stand a pretty good chance. However, I just got diagnosed with a melanoma on one of my ears. I always wear a cap with visor when gardening, which has protected my bald pate and my face, but it never crossed my mind that my ears could be in danger. This ridiculous indignity makes me think of a silly song from around 1950, “I’ve Got Tears in My Ears from Lying on My Back in Bed While I Cry Over You.” I’d rather pick strawberries in the forever fields the Beatles sang about, if not roses in the garden Lynn Anderson wouldn’t promise. Though I wish I were a “Macho Man,” I admit I’m a lot more like “Willie the Wimp.” To get to the point, I’d like to know about any other garden dangers that could keep me from becoming a centenarian.

Along with Loretta Lynn’s rose garden, there are things that can’t be promised. However, I think that with your sense of humor, love of music, the nutrients in your home-grown vegetables — and probably a very good set of genes — moderate gardening could very well help you “hit” the age of 100 like a Golden Oldie blockbuster. Studies in the so-called Blue Zones, where there are significant numbers of centenarians (think Japan, Denmark and even an Adventist community in California), show that gardening and farming on family-owned land greatly increases longevity. Now, I assume that you're going to have surgery on your ears and after that will protect them with a hat and sunscreen. Perhaps you might consider bluelight preventative treatment for your skin. A light, loose-fitting long-sleeved cotton shirt will protect your arms and torso without being too hot, and a terry-cloth bandeau under your hat will absorb perspiration. In the meantime, let’s not forget that you are absorbing vitamin D from the sun, which strengthens bones, sharpens mental acuity and reinforces the immune system. Of course,

“High Hopes” of Hitting “One Hundred Years” on Hamilton Street

If you keep your gardening lowtech and limit yourself to using simple hand tools like a spade, trowel and clippers, you should avoid any serious accidents. PEXELS.COM

be sure to drink plenty of water at regular intervals to prevent dehydration. You don’t mention whether or not you wear gloves. If not, I hope you’ve had a tetanus shot within the last 10 years, avoid the use of harmful chemicals and don’t cultivate seriously poisonous plants. Personally, I have mixed feelings about gloves. Allowing your hands contact with soil and its microbiomes could

boost your immune system, serotonin levels, electromagnetic energy intake, and strengthen your bones and joint ligaments. The last one is particularly important because fear of falling and breaking a bone could deter seniors from gardening. And I wonder if the fact that your knees still bend well might not be a benefit of what I assume is a lifetime of gardening. My Aunt Arthritica, though a mere child of 75 who has been gardening for only 30 years, does not have your good knees and depends upon a garden kneeling bench. Not only do their pads help with comfort and their bars with balance and getting up easily, but most have pockets for keeping tools at hand and in full view. She also pays a small delivery fee to have bags of soil enhancers brought to her garden. As a lifetime gardener, you are also probably allergy free — for those who aren’t, there are effective medications. Use insect repellent if insects bother you. Consider planting aromatic herbs that repel ticks, mosquitoes and other pests. If you keep your gardening low-tech and limit yourself to using simple hand tools like a spade, trowel and clippers, you should avoid any serious acci-

dents. The farmers who do not live long usually are the victims of their efficient machinery, if not the chemicals they use. Happily, the care and attention you need in order to use any kind of tool keeps you alert and staves off dementia. However, if your eyesight is failing, consider following the example of my cousin Myopia and paint tool handles day-glo orange to keep from tripping on them. She also paints her plant poles a knockyour-eye-out color and tops them with shiny tin cans. As you get still older and find it harder to stoop, consider using sturdy raised beds, especially ones that are custom-made to a convenient height. Make sure that the spaces between the beds are wide enough for a wheelchair, should that need arise. In general, fresh air, sunshine, invigorating natural aromas, moderate exercise and nature’s beauty enhance both physical and mental health. Horticultural therapy involving hands-on gardening can slow dementia, lower blood pressure, reduce weight and, along with proper diet, may prevent or help control type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Let’s not forget perhaps the most important benefit of having a small garden in one’s retirement years: It makes a person not only willing but happy to get up in the morning! There is a special joy in going out to see what shoots have popped up, what flowers may be budding, or what fruits and vegetables might be ready to eat. Having something beautiful or tasty to share keeps one in touch with neighbors. I'm happy to report that the Hyattsville Horticultural Society (HHS) plans to meet for a plant exchange on Oct. 16 at the home of Betty Buenning, 5202 42nd Avenue. There will be a brief outdoor meeting at 10 a.m. Only the vaccinated should attend, and mask-wearing is encouraged. The meeting will be cancelled if the county's COVID-19 positivity rate ticks up to an unsafe level. The HHS website, hyattsvillehorticulture. org, will carry that information. Miss Floribunda writes about gardens. Email questions to floribundav@ gmail.com.


Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

Page 11

COMMUNITY CALENDAR Send your event information for the calendar to Kit Slack at kit@hyattsvillelife.com. All events are current as of Sept. 2.

RECURRING The Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation presents an acoustic blues jam every Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. The jam is open to those who bring proof of vaccination and is held outdoors in the parking lot at 4502 Hamilton St. acousticblues.com Poetry open mic every Thursday at Busboys and Poets. $5. 8 p.m. 5331 Baltimore Ave. 301.779.2787. busboysandpoets.com Riverdale Park Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot near the Riverdale MARC Station, 4650 Queensbury Rd., with live music each week. For more information, contact Jim Coleman at rpkfarmmkt@gmail. com. facebook.com/RPFMarket

ONGOING Pyramid Atlantic presents their 40th anniversary exhibition “Reflecting Back to the Future,” curated by founder Helen Frederick, with pieces from the archives. Sept. 18 through Nov. 14. Online and in person at 4318 Gallatin St. Wednesdays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays: noon to 5 p.m. 301.608.9101. pyramidatlanticartcenter.org

SEPTEMBER 10 On the lawn at Riversdale Mansion, University of Maryland School of Music faculty and friends play songs for woodwinds from their latest CD. Part of the Picnic Pod Concert Series by the Riversdale Chamber Music Society. Free; 100-person limit. Leashed pets are welcome. 6 to 7 p.m. 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. 301.864.0420

SEPTEMBER 11

SEPTEMBER 18

Spirituality and the Arts Players, who are veterans and staff from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Washington D.C., will sing songs from a variety of genres. $20 general admission; $10 seniors, veterans and children. Masks required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. joesmovement.org

Come find colorful furniture, DIY supplies, and handmade gifts and art at Tanglewood Sue’s TroubleMAKER Market, “a wild and whimsical Bohemian upcycling market and DIY demo showcase.” 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tanglewood Works, 3613 Oak Ln., Mt. Rainier

SEPTEMBER 11-12 The two-day virtual Sew Much Soul Conference by Sew Creative Lounge features sewing workshops for beginner to intermediate level sewers led by “makers, designers and creatives of color.” Free. Register at sewcreativelounge.com.

SEPTEMBER 12 Porchfest is back! The Hyattsville Preservation Association is organizing this family-friendly neighborhood celebration by local amateur and professional musicians on local porches. Free. 2 to 6 p.m. Preservehyattsville.org will publish a map of locations by Sept. 10. First monthly Ukejam. Ukulele players are welcome to this educational program. Play along in unison, and learn to play one of four parts in an ensemble; the first ensemble piece is Duke Ellington’s “Caravan.” $5 donation. 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, 4502 Hamilton St. For more information, email Phill Daniels at ukejamatarchieedwards@gmail.com.

Performances and workshops by Sonic Frontiers at this Mini Electronic Music Festival. $10. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood. 301.277.2863. Buy tickets through pgparks. com. Improbable Comedy presents “Comedy as a Second Language,” live standup from immigrant and first-generation Hispanic comedians. $20 general admission; $10 seniors, veterans and children. Masks required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. joesmovement.org

SEPTEMBER 18-19

the Underground Railroad,” which recounts stories of some of Riversdale’s enslaved individuals and families. Includes self-guided tours and a kitchen demonstration. Free. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday: noon to 4 p.m. 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. 301.864.0420

SEPTEMBER 24 Joe's Movement Emporium presents Tamara Wellons, an independent American singer, songwriter and producer of soul, jazz and house music. $20 general admission; $10 seniors, veterans and children. Masks required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. joesmovement.org

SEPTEMBER 25 The Joe Falero Band presents Rhythm and Flavor, AfroCaribbean dance music. $20 general admission; $10 seniors, veterans and children. Masks required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. joesmovement.org

OCTOBER 2 Uasuf Gueye & Urban Virtuosos. Six-member band plays traditional instruments from the 13th-century West African Manding Empire. From their website: “funky drum set patterns, soothing horn lines, soulful jazz vocals, and thoughtstimulating hip-hop lyrics.” $20 general admission; $10 seniors, veterans and children. Masks required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mount Rainier. joesmovement. org

OCTOBER 9 The Riversdale Mansion is sponsoring a harvest festival, with pumpkin decorating, autumn crafts, seasonal treats and games with prizes. Limited capacity. Registration requested by Oct. 7. Walk-ins permitted only as space allows. $4. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. 301.864.0420. Register through pgparks.com.

Riversdale Mansion opens its doors for an event entitled “For the Love of Freedom and Liberty: Riversdale and

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SEPTEMBER 17 Tom Liddle’s alt-rock trio Run Come See will play traditional favorites. $15. 8 to 10 p.m. The Listening Room at the Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood. 301.277.2863. Buy tickets through pgparks.com.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

Page 12

MEADWORKS FROM PAGE 1

suyama’s father, said Stowers’ original design was renaissance themed. That design paid homage to the building’s prior owner, a motorcycle club that built the castle-like turrets on the wall, and to the medieval nature of mead. “It just didn’t call to me,” Carter said. Carter decided one of Matsuyama’s pieces, featuring an anime-style image of a person drinking on an airplane wing, would be a better fit. Matsuyama had drawn inspiration for the work traveling to her college, the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, in Canada. “I liked the view out of the airplanes, and I had a daydream of someone drinking tea on the wing of an airplane,” she said. “I just loved it,” Carter said. “It’s sort of whimsical and conveys a better feeling about … drinking mead — [it] makes you happy and sort of contemplative.” He appreciated the modern take on the medieval beverage. “One of the things that this design did,” Stowers agreed, “was really tap into a sense of fantasy and whimsy, which really … works with the architecture.” Matsuyama focuses on drawing and digital formats in her artwork. “This is my first mural I’ve ever

The new Maryland Meadworks mural features an anime-style image of a person drinking on an airplane wing … and should keep the meadery from being mistaken for a tattoo parlor. COURTESY OF MARYLAND MEADWORKS

done — never done spray paint in my life,” she said. “Having to learn another medium and then replicate something that was, like, one thousand times bigger than the original artwork was pretty hard.” Experienced muralist Stowers said Matsuyama had a great start. “I work with a lot of artists, and it takes literally years to get good at applying spray paint … and Harp-

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er took to it like a fish to water,” Stowers said. Matsuyama had to adapt to spray paint’s untidy nature. “The main thing about spray paint is it’s not clean — it’s really messy,” she said. “And I like clean lines and precision.” At one point she even resorted to using a piece of cardboard to help keep her edges straight, which she and Stowers

laughed about. Carter said the project took about a month and a half, and at least 50 cans of spray paint, by Stowers’ count. They also used 3 1/2 gallons of primer paint and some additive colors to embellish details at the end. To beat the heat, the artists would sometimes work from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Stowers said he loved working

with Matsuyama. “It’s very refreshing to meet a new artist who has their own style and is kind of fearless in that approach of jumping in and just getting their feet wet,” Stowers said. The muralists enjoyed the moment when they finished putting the Maryland Meadworks name on the building. “As a business owner myself … I know how important it is to have your name on your business,” Stowers said. “That was my favorite part of the experience.” Carter, too, is excited about having the Maryland Meadworks name and logo on the building, and also to no longer be mistaken for a tattoo parlor. Rumi Matsuyama, Carter’s wife, agreed: “It feels really good to have something that relates to our business, and even better that it was designed by our daughter.” She said that the meadery is excited to contribute, through its mural, to the city’s Arts District. Rumi Matsuyama underscored that the community is crucial to the business. Ultimately, Carter hopes the modern mural will draw more attention to his unique meadery. Something that makes Maryland Meadworks even more special? “I think we’re the only meadery that has an anime twist to it,” he said.

Scan the QR code to Register or Visit jtcc.org/adults/beginners

www.jtcc.org | 301.779.8000 | 5200 Campus Dr. | College Park, MD 20740


Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

SCHOOL BOARD FROM PAGE 1

frustrated by the school board’s conduct. “There’s so much good in [Prince George’s] County, so many great people pouring their hearts out for kids. … I hate to see this dysfunction at the school board level tarnish the work that’s being done,” said Sarah Christopherson, the president of the Hyattsville Middle School PTSO. Every Hyattsville parent interviewed expressed support for elected school board member Pamela Boozer-Strother (District 3), whose district includes Hyattsville. Debbie Van Camp, the president of the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA, referred to Boozer-Strother as “a functioning and ethical and professional representative,” noting that she was able to shield Hyattsville students and schools from some of the dysfunction on the board. Back at the June 24 board meeting, Boozer-Strother took a moment to celebrate the orderly passage of the county school budget and congratulate all those involved. David Murray (District 1), a teacher at a Montessori charter school in D.C., was the only school board member to vote against the budget. The day after the June 24 meeting, a new student member of the board, Alvaro Ceron-Ruiz, took an oath of office. The same day, a group of six board members, including Murray, petitioned the state board of education to remove board chair Dr. Juanita Miller. Murray posted a picture on social media of Boozer-Strother and Miller at Ceron-Ruiz’s swearing-in ceremony, which he had digitally altered by pasting a crying Michael Jordan meme on top of each of their faces. The meme is widely recognized as a symbol of sadness in defeat.

A community newspaper chronicling the life and times of Hyattsville Mailing address: PO Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781 http://facebook.com/ HyattsvilleLife http://twitter.com/HvilleTimes Hyattsville Life & Times is published monthly by Streetcar Suburbs Publishing 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.

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Page 13

“For a county board of education member to engage in behavior that would get our kids suspended — it kind of blew all of our minds,” said Christopherson. Murray published an apology July 2 on Facebook, in which he cited “my deep frustration with Board leadership” and “an attempt to cancel the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Ceron-Ruiz” as reasons for pasting the meme on his colleagues’ faces. Murray, unlike Boozer-Strother, is part of a group of seven elected members of the board who often vote as a bloc and call themselves progressive candidates opposed to the county establishment. Six of them are under 30. Hyattsville students may not have escaped unscathed from the board-level dysfunction. Several people mentioned the controversial March decision to divide Hyattsville Middle School students and transport them to three different schools during construction of the new Hyattsville Middle School. Christopherson called the decision “politically sketchy.” “We’re quite sure there are several of them who made calls and used their personal influence to make that happen,” said Van Camp, referring to the seven young elected members. A parent who opposed a prior plan that would have kept Hyattsville Middle School students together made a Twitter post thanking Murray and several of his allies on the board two days before the plan changed. Both Christopherson and Van Camp emphasized the need for parents and community members to lend their voices in support of an investigation. “Somebody needs to do an independent investigation of what’s going on, and the independent part, I think, is challenging here because we know that some of these players are politically very connected,” said Van Camp.

Hyattsville students may not have escaped unscathed from the boardlevel dysfunction. Several people mentioned the controversial March decision to divide Hyattsville Middle School students and transport them to three different schools during construction of the new Hyattsville Middle School (HMS). Sarah Christopherson, president of the HMS PTSO, called the decision “politically sketchy.”

COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD DISPUTES HAVE A LONG HISTORY Three members of the current group of seven, Edward Burroughs III (District 8), Murray and Raheela Ahmed (District 5), were instrumental in the 2018 ousting of former CEO of schools Kevin Maxwell, Monica Goldson’s predecessor. In November 2020, the group supported the election of Shayla Adams-Stafford, the CEO of an e-learning startup, over Bryan Swann, a U.S. Treasury Department official whom County Executive Angela Alsobrooks had appointed to a vacant seat. The group has been campaigning for an all-elected board, hiring a lobbyist on behalf of the board to advocate on that issue and others. The county school board has 14 members. Nine elected members represent the county’s nine school districts. The county executive appoints three members of the board, including the chair and the vice chair. The county council appoints another, and student government representatives elect one student member. The current board structure

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dates from 2013. In the 15 years prior to that, the board switched from all elected members to all appointed ones and back, plagued by various scandals. A few weeks after the November 2020 election, Alvin Thornton, a Howard University professor known for his work on state education funding, resigned as chair of the board after a twoyear term. He told NBC in January, “Any time you have an elected body, an appointed body, you have new leadership, you have an election, it's going to be difficult.”

A POST-ELECTION POWER STRUGGLE DRAGS ON FOR SEVEN MONTHS In early January, Alsobrooks appointed Miller, a retired administrator and former state delegate, to serve as board chair, and demoted Burroughs from the role of vice chair, over the objection of the six board colleagues who often voted with him. Through a Feb. 8 letter to the county council, Miller advocated for closing down the school board pending an audit and investigation, citing the contract with the lobbyist as one of a number of contracts and hires she found problematic. The seven allied members of the board responded by sending a letter to the state superintendent of schools threatening to petition for the new chair’s removal if she did not allow the board to meet. Discord over the process for hiring a new attorney has extended from April to the board’s most recent meeting on Sept. 2. The state board of education published a statement Aug. 9 saying it received a request to remove Miller on June 25, as well as member Burroughs on July 20, and Murray on July 21, and is processing those requests.

INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS At the July 28 board meeting,

board chair Miller announced that an ethics panel had delivered a report to the board in a closed July 23 meeting. The report recommended the removal of the six board members who sought to remove Miller, and sanctioned a seventh who often votes with them, according to The Washington Post. Former vice chair Burroughs publicly challenged Miller, asking whether a motion to concur with the report was passed properly, with only six members not implicated in the report voting to support it. In a July 30 Maryland Matters editorial, Shayla Adams-Stafford (District 4) listed complaints against her and six of her colleagues in the ethics report. According to Adams-Stafford, the seven board members are accused of advocating for community workforce agreements that would benefit LIUNA, a union that contributed to their campaigns. She also said the report criticized them for hiring the lobbyist to advocate for an all-elected board and initiating a controversial reorganization of board staff. Adams-Stafford contended that the board’s labor advocacy did not specify a particular union that would benefit from the workforce agreements. She said that the board had hired its own lobbyist in the past — though the periods she specified were prior to the board’s 2013 reorganization. As for the board staff reorganization, she noted that she and her colleagues followed proper protocols. Maryland Matters reported that the board’s chief of staff, hired during the reorganization, was already working fulltime as chief of police in Mount Pleasant, and quit his board staff position after a few weeks. The Washington Post reported Aug. 24 that many area politicians had received mailed copies of the confidential ethics report, starting in June. The Post called the report “riddled with errors,” confirming several of Stafford’s objections to it. On Aug. 27, the Post further reported that a small group of parents and activists called on the Maryland Office of the Inspector General for Education to investigate the ethics panel that produced the report. The state department of education, according to its Aug. 9 statement, is accepting bids on a contract to audit the school board, with costs of the audit to be shared between the county council and the county school board. Boozer-Strother said she cannot comment on the ethics report, as it is confidential. She said her goal is to remain focused on the needs of local school communities.


Hyattsville Life & Times | September 2021

Page 14

NEWS BRIEFS VISIT STREETCARSUBURBS.NEWS FOR MORE SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SHOOTING OUTSIDE BUSBOYS AND POETS Hyattsville police have arrested 25-year-old Isaac David Olugbeng Akinduro, of Anne Arundel County, in connection with a July 15 shooting near Busboys and Poets on Baltimore Avenue. Surveillance video of the incident shows a man getting out of a white SUV and firing a rifle. The presumed targets of the shooting have not come forward, according to the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD). While no one reported injuries, multiple businesses and two homes were struck by bullets. The arrest resulted from a joint investigation between the HCPD, Prince George’s County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police Department, and the FBI Cross Border Task Force, which investigates gang- and drug-related activity across the Maryland and D.C. border. According to the HCPD press release, Akinduro is currently being held in Anne Arundel County on unrelated charges. The Maryland Judiciary CaseSearch website shows multiple charges against him in the Annapolis District Court, including both drug- and firearms-related charges. The HCPD say Akinduro is suspected of driving the getaway car and will face at least one additional charge. “This investigation has been all about amazing collaborative work with multiple law enforcement partners and some sharp

detectives recognizing similarities between this case and others in the area,” said HCPD Acting Police Chief Scott Dunklee. The other two suspects have not been located or identified, as of press time.

PROPOSED NEW SCHOOL BOUNDARIES AFFECT HYATTSVILLE After the Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative is completed, some Hyattsville children could find themselves attending a different school as soon as next school year. WXY Studio, an urban design, planning and architectural consulting firm, is leading a team of consultants to redraw school boundaries and balance enrollment between neighborhood schools. In the past seven years, enrollment in Prince George’s County Public Schools has risen by 11,000 students, and is expected to gain another 7,000 by 2024. Moreover, families have moved around within the county, which has led to a scenario where some schools, particularly those farther south in the county, have extra space, while others are crowded. The team proposed three draft scenarios for how to redraw the school boundaries, each with a different focus. The first scenario attempts to address uneven utilization of schools, while minimizing changes to boundaries. The second attempts to reduce reliance on temporary classrooms, at the cost of more students being as-

signed to a different school. The third scenario maximizes the numbers of students in newer and higher quality facilities by closing the schools in the worst condition and reassigning those students to different and newer schools, as well as reducing temporary classroom use. Each of these scenarios would result in at least some Hyattsville students being assigned to a new school. The process of redrawing boundaries began in the fall of 2020 and should conclude by February 2022. Currently, the team is soliciting input from the public in order to amend the proposed boundaries and come up with one final scenario, which will be presented to county school system CEO Monica Goldson, who will then present it to the board of education. The new boundaries could then start being phased in at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. To see the details of draft boundary scenarios and to submit comments, go to pgcps.org/boundary.

HYATTSVILLE LIFE & TIMES WINS MULTIPLE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION AWARDS The 2021 National Newspaper Association (NNA) Better Newspaper Contest recognized the Hyattsville Life & Times (HL&T) and the College Park Here & Now (CPH&N) with a total of six awards. The NNA’s Better Newspaper Contest

recognizes the best in community journalism. Streetcar Suburbs Publishing, a local nonprofit, publishes both newspapers. The HL&T won second place for General Excellence in the division of non-daily newspapers with circulations between 6,000 and 9,999. This second-place showing made the HL&T one of 13 community newspapers (out of 2,300 in the NNA) to place first or second in the General Excellence category in any division this year. Be proud, Hyattsville! Dozens of volunteer writers contributed stories or photos to the editions that earned this award. The HL&T also took second place, across all divisions, for Best Localized National Story for Brandon Fastman’s October 2020 story “Mail woes hit Hyattsville.” According to one judge, “This story did a good job of showing the effects of the declining service by the USPS on local readers, and explaining what could be the cause of it.” In its first year of existence (and only a partial one at that), the CPH&N received four awards. Intern photographer Julia Nikhinson nabbed half of them, including a first for Best Feature Photo and a second for Best Pandemic Photo in the non-daily divisions. Columnist Lila Stiff ’s piece, “No better time to start a garden,” received second for Best Serious Column in a nondaily division. And Managing Editor Mark Goodson placed third for Civic: Community Service Award across all divisions for his article, “University in third year of police training partnership.”


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