2022-08 The Hyattsville Life & Times

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GUNS AT PLAYDATES: Tired Parents take on gun violence, P.5 RESPONSES TO JUNETEENTH DISPUTE: Read Letters to the Editor about the Civil War camp, P. 13

VOL. 19 NO. 8


County council adopts climate action plan On July 12, the county council unanimously passed a resolution adopting the draft climate action plan (CAP), submitted to it in January by the Prince George’s Climate Action Commission, with the goals of preparing for and mitigating against the effects of regional climate change. The county council adopted the CAP and established goals of reducing county-wide emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. The county’s department of the environment will lead the implementation of the plan’s 26



“That’s the legacy of this music: to learn it and understand it and embrace it.”

Archie Edwards Blues: a true downtown gem By Jessica Arends



Protecting your home from flooding and sewer backups By Paul Ruffins Last month, we talked about the City of Hyattsville’s efforts to control stormwater. This month, as we approach the height of hurricane season, we offer practical ways to protect your home.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PROPER INSURANCE According to the Nationwide Insurance Company, “Under SEE FLOOD ON 9 

Brett Cooper plays the blues at the Archie Edwards Thursday night open mic. JESSICA ARENDS

ust down the scruffy Hamilton Street cul-de-sac, two blocks south of Yes! Organic Market, is a small, humble blues venue that glows bright with melodies of the past. On a hot July evening, a musician on stage coaxes deep soulful notes from his steel guitar, telling a tale of heartache and loss. Skillfully fingerpicking, he sways gently and falls into a deep focus, eyes closed. In the audience, feet tap out a communal rhythm, heads begin to nod and a passing train rattles the building. The song’s story of loneliness, losing one’s way in the world, and the town mill that broke down carries the group back in time and eases their modern woes. This is the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation acoustic open mic, a true gem in downtown Hyattsville. Founded in honor of bluesman Archie Edwards, the foundation hosts open mics, blues jams and workshops — all to keep the blues alive. The first jam took place in Archie Edwards’ Washington, D.C., barbershop, in 1959, where established and aspiring musicians of all races would gather to play and socialize. In 2019, the foundation found a new home in Hyattsville, where blues musicians from all around the world stop in to play, host workshops and share the music tradition. Doc Altman, one of the original members of the D.C. barbershop jams, said he appreciates having a safe space in which to play original songs and new instruments. When he describes Archie, Altman’s eyes sparkle with SEE ARCHIE EDWARDS ON 8 

CENTER SECTION: The August 9, 2022 Issue of The Hyattsville Reporter — in Español too! HYATTSVILLE MD PERMIT NO. 1383

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Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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Do you trust what you read in the paper? By Kit Slack


n July 18, Hyattsville’s city councilmembers unanimously voted to renew the city’s contract with our news organization, Streetcar Suburbs Publishing. Under that contract, we publish the Hyattsville Reporter. City staff write the Reporter, which covers city services and events, and takes up the middle pages of an independent monthly newspaper, the Hyattsville Life & Times. That’s this newspaper. Here’s a question for you: Do you trust what you read in the Hyattsville Life & Times? Some readers have asked whether our partial reliance on city funding creates a bias in our reporting on city government. Others have asked whether we pay our volunteers with free promotional stories about their pet causes. Let me tell you about some policies we have in place that help us deliver news you can trust. City coverage: We never allow city staff to review

and comment on articles that we write before they are published. We check staff statements against publicly available information, such as written documents, contracts and recorded public meetings, and we ask questions when there are discrepancies. We strive to provide objective and balanced information about city issues and policy proposals rather than taking positions or advocating. Advertisers: We maintain a firewall between our business team and our editorial staff. That means our business team does not assign articles for the newspaper or review articles before we publish them. Staff and volunteers: It is hard to exaggerate how small our operation is. Streetcar Suburbs Publishing is a homegrown nonprofit that began in 2004 with just one paper, for Hyattsville; we added a paper for College Park two years ago and one for Laurel this July. We produce these three monthly newspapers — 36 issues a year — on a shoestring budget that relies on 12 parttime staff who collectively

earn less than $130,000 a year — that’s an average of less than $11,000 each. We couldn’t produce these newspapers without the additional contributions of volunteers, who range from seasoned reporters to writers seeing their names in print for the first time. Some writers want to learn more about their community and share what they learn. Others hope to improve their city by rallying fellow residents to support a cause. As we work with our volunteers, we keep high standards of journalistic integrity. We approach this in two ways: First, we provide our writers with editorial guidance and oversight. Second, we provide opportunities for the papers’ contributors to do subjective reporting, such as articles marked “From Where I Stand” or “My Two Cents” (see examples on p. 3 and p. 5). In those pieces, we ask writers to make clear their personal connection to what they are writing about, and, for further clarity, starting this month, we are including disclaimers explaining that

the views expressed are those of the author. Corrections: While we do our best to check and recheck our sources, we rely on careful readers and involved citizens to catch mistakes, and we correct errors as promptly and clearly as we can. You’ll often see corrections in these pages, like the one on page 12. Letters to the editor: In two letters to the editor this month, (see p. 13) readers give different perspectives on a topic we covered in last month’s paper. We generally seek to include a variety of viewpoints in the letters we publish, just as we do in our news articles, and we welcome letters that deepen our readers’ understanding of local issues and our shared community. Board of directors: This summer, our board of directors revised its bylaws to incorporate a conflict of interest policy, like the one previously adopted and posted on our website, which forbids board members from lobbying the board or editorial staff on matters in which they have a personal

or financial interest. Community forums: The board is planning community forums in each of the cities where we operate to get more feedback from readers. More from us about that soon. Trust in newspapers and television news is decreasing, nationally, as polarized consumers head to online information sources that bolster their existing views. Still, a recent poll by Gallup and the Knight Foundation shows that Americans trust local news more than other sources. We strive to provide hyperlocal news you can trust, a foundation of reliable local information that helps residents to participate in the community and in city, and even county, government. If you have questions about how things work around here, or you’d like to volunteer to write or help in another way, please contact kit@ hyattsvillelife.com. Kit Slack is the managing editor of the Hyattsville Life & Times.

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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What I learned during my time at Riversdale


hen I was younger, my family would occasionally drive by this mansion in Riverdale. Such a large house with so much land seemed foreign to me, a child from a small home in Northwest D.C. Later, as a college student, I discovered that the house was a museum with an interesting history, and that the museum was looking for interns from Bowie State University. Once I made the connection, I jumped at the chance to apply. Interning at the Riversdale House Museum was extraordinary. My job over the summer was transcribing and digitizing Calvert family papers, mostly financial and personal diaries of Charles Benedict Calvert around the mid-1800s. I stepped into another time period, experiencing Calvert’s day-to-day transactions and

For me, as an African American, it is new to see, in a small museum setting, a focus on the contributions of those who look like me. Acknowledging the contributions that enslaved people have made to the success of these family homes and businesses is crucial in explaining the history of this country.

dealings with people from other well-known families in the area, and learning about him in the process. Calvert was instrumental in founding the University of Maryland, and, as a result, he kept financial records of the school, including records of some of the first students who attended. Some were the children of prominent members of society, such as doctors and military officers. As

Marcus Suero is a summer intern at the Riversdale House Museum. The views expressed in this column belong to its authors. The Hyattsville Life & Times reserves the right to edit “From Where I Stand” submissions for brevity and clarity.

Move if I

ld" ou

...that’s why we’re trying something new:

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something special about being able to interact on a physical level with an object that may have been written or made by someone almost 200 years prior. I want to work to help uncover the stories of the enslaved that would otherwise be lost. I feel that it is my duty as an African American and a future historian to uncover the truth of how we contributed to the development of the United States. At Bowie State University, a historically black university, I have learned that there are aspects of African American history that may not be known, and it is up to us to learn about them. I am grateful for my internship at the Riversdale House Museum and for the knowledge I gained from its wonderful staff. I hope to work with them as a staff colleague, rather than an intern, next time.


We’ve talked with a lot of people that feel stuck.

a history student, I would love to follow up to see where some of those first students ended up. In one diary entry, Calvert described a meteor shower in January of 1860. An amateur astronomer myself, I found it fascinating that, although he was a very busy man, Calvert could find the time to take notes on the amazing view. One aspect of the museum’s work that really caught my interest was

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By Marcus Suero

the staff at Riversdale’s attempts to tell the stories of the enslaved people living on the premises at the time Calvert was writing those diaries. Although the staff ’s work is far from complete, they saw this as one of their most important tasks. Learning how the enslaved prepared food, as well as how and where they grew that food, was interesting. The garden in front of the mansion has been cultivated to resemble what some of the enslaved might have been able to grow on the property. Staff have been working to uncover the whereabouts of the quarters used to house the enslaved, which are thought to be scattered all around Riverdale and College Park. For me, as an African American, it is new to see, in a small museum setting, a focus on the contributions of those who look like me. Acknowledging the contributions that enslaved people have made to the success of these family homes and businesses is crucial in explaining the history of this country. I hope to get into archival or curatorial museum work professionally after going to graduate school. There is

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Hyatts KIDS

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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Created by contributors in grades K-12, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists. Would you like to see your art or writing on our page? Send submissions to hyattskids@hyattsvillelife.com.


By Delia Silva, age 12 Hyattsville’s event for the National Night Out Against Crime took place in Driskell Park on Aug. 2. At the event, the community could talk and interact with our police officers. I talked to Officer Jessica Lucas about the purpose of the event, along with some things that kids could do. Officer Lucas told me, “Our National Night Out is designed to bring police and community together to build a better relationship and to let people know that police officers are real people, too, behind the uniform and the hat.” Activities for kids at the event included an obstacle course, face painting and balloon twists. Some activities I really liked included going into a police officer’s car and pretending to drive it and honk the sirens. You could also go inside the fire truck. The event had free hot dogs, snow cones and ice cream. Kids at the National Night Out also got to learn about safety. A very interesting demonstration showed what happens in a car accident if you are unbuckled. Did you know that one in 10 Marylanders don’t buckle up while they are driving? The safety dummy in the crash came out of the car into the grass, which would injure or even kill a real person.

HYATTSVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLANTING PARTY By Josie Gembecki, age 6 We had a fun day at the Hyattsville Elementary School spring planting party, and we are excited to come back to a busy garden when school starts soon. The PTA and “Love and Carrots” worked together and picked out the plants. It makes our school prettier. Alison Jones, the designer from Love and Carrots, explained that “the plants were selected to attract pollinators, to tolerate a bit of shade, and to bloom in the spring and fall when students are in attendance.” Grown-ups and kids worked together to help the community.

ArtWorks Now student Lyric Henry shares a camp project.



Students and volunteers plant a rain garden at Hyattsville Elementary School. COURTESY OF KRISTEN WARES

People helped dig out the old plants and made room for new plants. Leota, a pre-K student, said, “It was so hard to dig out the big, big bush! The butterflies will like to come to the milkweed we planted in the garden because milkweed is very important for butterflies.” Nola, the Hyattsville Police Department’s community dog, heard there was digging and she came to join us! Opal, also in pre-K, said, “It was so funny when Nola put my shovel in her mouth. It’s like she was going to help us plant!” Now it’s a beautiful school! Dr. McKee, our principal, told me, “The students and staff at Hyattsville Elementary School have been using the outdoor

learning space since it was installed by our amazing PTA this school year. Multiple grade levels helped to establish the plants by creating an alternating watering schedule. The students made sure they picked weeds, cleaned up the area of debris and trash, as well as maintaining the plants. It offers a wonderful learning opportunity for staff and students as well as an urban oasis for our students to enjoy. For the upcoming school year, we plan to continue our use of this space as an outdoor classroom and expand its use to include county-provided environmental lessons and to hopefully release butterflies and ladybugs into.”


By Lyric Henry, age 9, with mom, Charmaine Jones Lyric Henry has been attending ArtWorks Now summer camps for three years. She shares with us daily a new art skill she has learned from her art teacher. For example, during “Art and Emotion” week, they made moving mobiles. Lyric says making artinspired robots in Ms. Harper’s class was one of her favorite things to do. She loved how she got to build the robot’s look and how it had a mind of its own to create beautiful patterns. Another one of her favorite weeks was “Painting

My Truth,” where she learned the fundamentals of how to paint with watercolors, shades and tints. She shares that, in Ms. Gabby’s class for this theme, they encouraged the campers to express themselves and walk in their uniqueness freely. The “Bubble Notebook” is one of her favorite projects. She now uses this notebook as an outlet for creative writing, inspirational quotes, and drawings. As a parent, my experience with ArtWorks Now has been phenomenal. The staff is welcoming and genuinely loves what they do. The camp culminates in art shows every Friday. This allows parents to meet the teachers and staff and see the campers’ beautiful creations.

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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We must all do more to stop gun violence By Julia Crooks, Tracy O’Heir, Debbie Van Camp, Lauren Vulanovic, Sarah Weber and Jessica Weiss, for Tired Parents

YOU CAN BE A FOSTER PARENT. Foster parents aren’t replacements — they’re extra support for children and their families in need.


t’s been yet another summer of harrowing headlines about gun violence in the U.S. From high-profile mass shootings to the steady drumbeat of daily gunfire, the epidemic of gun violence feels overwhelming and out of control. Like so many of you, we fear for the safety of our children. After all, gun violence — including suicide, accidental shootings and homicides — overtook car accidents in 2020 to become the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. children and adolescents. The May massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was yet another grim reminder that our children’s safety isn’t even a given at school. But that doesn’t mean that we are hopeless. When the grief and fear feel all-consuming, we find hope in the fact that gun violence is preventable, and that there are evidence-based measures we can all take to try to stop it. We represent Tired Parents, a group of parents along the Route 1 Corridor that has been working since 2017 on gun violence prevention in our community, specifically as it relates to children. Chief among our objectives is to popularize the evidence-based Asking Saves Kids (ASK) Campaign, which encourages parents and caregivers to ask if there are firearms — and if so, if they are securely stored — in the homes where their children play. Across the country, an estimated 4.6 million children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. Research shows that keeping guns locked and unloaded and storing ammunition separately from its gun substantially reduces the risk of “family fire” — or a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home. Our goal is to make the question “Is there a gun in your house?” as natural and commonplace as conversations about pets or allergies. And asking about unsecured firearms isn’t just for parents of young kids; teens who take babysitting jobs, young adults moving in with roommates, and adults making living arrangements for aging parents can all benefit from having these conversations. We’ve held community conversations on why and how to ask about guns in homes, circulated tip sheets in English and Spanish on how to ask throughout the community, and included this critical information in messages on social media and through our newsletter. And we’ll continue to share this information with Hyattsville families wherever and however we can. Now, as we prepare to head back to school, Tired Parents is calling on Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) to continue to actively promote gun violence prevention in the school and home settings.


The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services is looking for someone like you to help change a child’s life.

Posters from Pyramid Atlantic’s community print before the June 11 March for Our Lives in D.C. COURTESY OF JESSICA WEISS

Data show that 76% of school shootings are facilitated by kids accessing guns at home. And we know Black and Latinx children and teens are disproportionately impacted by gun violence, including school shootings. With that in mind, in May and June, we successfully lobbied PGCPS to send a message to all parents and caregivers in the school system encouraging them to have conversations about guns and gun safety with every adult who supervises their kids. And we provided a letter about the ASK Campaign that PGCPS circulated to the county network of PTA leadership. We are now requesting that PGCPS 1) share information with all parents and caregivers about the responsibilities of safe gun storage and the importance of asking about unsecured firearms in homes and 2) require parents to sign a letter at the start of each academic year acknowledging they have received the information. This is already being done in school districts such as the Los Angeles Unified School District. We also request that the county school system send a reminder about safe gun storage before school breaks. We also encourage child care providers and community groups to talk about guns in homes with their families and are happy to provide materials to facilitate these conversations. We recognize that directly addressing these issues may be awkward at first, and some may ask if this is within the mandate of our education system. Sadly, the epidemic of gun violence requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and our schools are no exception. If you’d like to learn more about Tired Parents or get involved, please follow us on Instagram @tired.parents and/or sign up for our newsletter at bit.ly/3Pisrqt. We wish everyone a wonderful — and safe — 2022-23 school year. The views expressed in this column belong to its authors. The Hyattsville Life & Times reserves the right to edit “From Where I Stand” submissions for brevity and clarity.

If you live in Prince George’s County and want more information on becoming a foster parent, call:

301-909-2300 or 301-909-2347.

CAMBIA UNA VIDA, CAMBIA EL MUNDO. PUEDES SER UN PADRE DE CRIANZA O ACOGIDA TEMPORAL. Los padres de crianza o acogida temporal no son reemplazos. Representan una ayuda adicional para niños y familias que lo necesitan.

El Departmento de Servicios Sociales del Condado de Prince George está esperando por alguien como usted para ayudar a cambiarle la vida a un niño. Si usted vive en el Condado de Prince George y desea más informacion sobre como ser un padre de crianza o acogida temporal, llame al


Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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It came from the dark, wet woods By Fred Seitz


y dog requires me to walk him outside multiple times 365 days a year (he’s a purebred spoiled mutt). Of course, our midJuly torrential storms afforded us no exceptions. When we returned from one of our short and muddy excursions, I was happy to sit down. At that point, I noticed a large brown spot on one of my shoes. I stooped to wipe off what I believed was a spot of mud or a dead leaf. To my surprise, the spot quickly moved off my shoe and scurried under my chair. Amused (and a bit irritated), I got up, moved the chair and watched the scurrier dash across the room and under a bookshelf. Fairly unconcerned, I resumed my normal activities and somewhat forgot about the incident — until a few days later, when I observed the spot clinging to my bare foot with painful pinchers. My calm, collected response was to jump up (in the manner of an Irish jig), swat the beast off my foot with my shoe, and then squash it with the same shoe. While a squashed bug (or for that matter, most any squashed creature) is not that easy to identify, I thought it

Giant water bugs can reach 2 to 3 inches in length. COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

might be a roach or a giant water bug, based on the size (probably over an inch long) and formerly rapid movement of the spot. Further reflection upon the squashed bug’s behavior, including his decisions to turn my shoe into his house and chomp on my toes, led me to further conclude that the villain was probably a giant water bug. Giant water bugs are in the family Belostomatidae and are one of the largest insects found in the U.S., as they often reach 2 to 3 inches in length. They are brown and have flattened oval bodies. There are around 170 species of giant water bugs found worldwide in freshwater habitats. Some giant water bug aliases include

toe-biters (perhaps my attacker was selfactualizing its inner persona), alligator ticks or alligator fleas. One of their more positive nicknames is electric-light bugs, as most adult species can fly and are attracted by lights at night. Giant water bugs like to hang out in vegetation along the edges of lakes and wetlands, especially when they’re hunting. When not biting the toes of humans, they will devour tadpoles, snails and small fish. Some feed on small crustaceans. Their hunting repertoire can include attacking creatures many times larger than themselves, including small turtles. (Fortunately, I seem to have exceeded his appetite at the time.) They grasp their victims with pincer-like front appendages and then inject them with a powerful toxin. This toxin both paralyzes the victim and liquifies its insides, allowing the water bug to suck up and ingest its meal. (Yum.) Despite being somewhat alarming and a bit gruesome, giant water bugs have a rather progressive parenting style in that the male giant water bug is greatly involved with its young. Some species’ females lay the eggs on the backs of males, who carry them around until they hatch. The females of other species

lay their eggs above water on vegetation, which males then guard. Giant water bugs breathe using snorkel-like tubes on the tip of their abdomen, which can reach above water and collect oxygen to store as a bubble of air beneath their wings when they dive under water. Spiracles, or holes, under their abdomen slowly absorb the air from the bubble into their bodies. When a giant water bug gets into an altercation with one of its predators, like a larger reptile or amphibian, the water bug may feign death, prompting the predator or combatant to leave the water bug — who can live to annoy and bite again. Giant water bugs are fried and eaten in some Asian cultures. However, if animals or humans eat the American species that likely attacked me, they may end up with indigestion or a bad taste in their mouth. So if you wander in our swamp or by the little rivlets by the park, take care lest you later find a mystery spot on your foot. Fred Seitz is the nature columnist for the Hyattsville Life & Times.

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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Trauma — and hope — have helped Trinidadian resident become resilient By Julia Gaspar-Bates


haron Pierre grew up in the outskirts of Arima, on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, an area inhabited by different indigenous tribes, notably the Carib. Sharon’s ethnic ancestry is a blend of Carib, French, Portuguese, Spanish, English and Chinese. She spent her early years in a small village where she lived with her grandparents, who raised her, in a house built on stilts because of frequent flooding. “Everybody knew everybody,” Sharon recounted. “Childhood was a lot of fun. Christmas was very special. I didn’t receive a lot of gifts from family because they could not afford it, but a villager would host a party for all the kids, as there was no Santa Claus. There was a bran tub [a steel drum filled with sawdust], and toys would be put in it for each child to choose a gift.” However, growing up in such a rural environment was not without challenges, and Sharon remembers lines of people waiting with buckets at a communal pump; most people didn’t have running water in their homes. Additionally, tropical storms often wreaked havoc on the area because of its poor infrastructure. “One day, I came home from school, and the rain came down from the mountain and destroyed all the crops. Some of the animals

washed away,” Sharon recalled. “We had to go with little buckets and get sand and stones from the river and fill the holes to fix the roads because they weren’t paved. It would take a few days to fill [them] up. It would take years to get the roads paved.” When Sharon was 7, her family moved to a neighboring village, about 3 miles away. “We didn’t have cars, so we had to move everything by hand and carry it on our heads and bicycle. We didn’t have a fridge, a television or a stove. We also didn’t have electricity, so we would light lanterns and flammable torches.” Early traumatic experiences helped shape the fierceness and independence — and also the joy — which have dominated Sharon’s life. After enduring an abusive relationship, being drugged and attacked during a job interview, and narrowly escaping being raped by a close relative, Sharon decided she “never wanted to depend on anyone.” Sharon never shared these terrifying experiences while in Trinidad, and she learned to

manage the many secrets and lies that shrouded her life. For example, Sharon found out at age 8 that the people she thought were her parents were actually her grandparents. And although her biological mother visited Sharon frequently, she only acknowledged her true

identity when Sharon was 37. Sharon’s life in Trinidad was also filled with supernatural occurrences. She explained, “There is folklore where people believe in The Sixth and Seventh Book of Moses. You’re not supposed to mess with

Sharon Pierre grew up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad.



Selling Hyattsville

And Our Neighboring Communities SOLD

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4120 29th St., Mount Rainier — Sold for $595k

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5011 42nd Ave, Hyattsville — Sold for $978k


COMING SOON 5622 Ruatan St., Berwyn Heights Listed for $500,000 and sold for $542,100!

4101 Nicholson Street, Hyattsville — Sold for $650k 3911 Longfellow Street, Hyattsville — Sold for $505k 6029 20th Ave., Hyattsville — Sold for $281k

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4402 Beechwood Road, University Park — Sold for $955k 3501 Nicholson St, Hyattsville — Sold for $385k

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Top Listing Agent, Long & Foster Prince George’s County Southern Maryland Region, 2018-2021 The information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted.

Page HR1

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022


Hyattsville Reporter No. 413 • August 9, 2022

www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000

Notices & Updates

Ward 2 Special Election: The City of Hyattsville will host a special election on October 4, 2022 to select a new Ward 2 Councilmember following Robert Croslin’s recent election as Mayor. Ward 2 residents will be able to vote by mail or in-person at the City Building on Election Day. All Hyattsville residents 16 and older who have lived in Ward 2 for at least 30 days are eligible to vote in the Special Election, regardless of their U.S. citizenships status! Ballots will be mailed in early September and can be returned by mail or to a secure drop box at the City Building or Driskell Park. Learn more at hyattsville.org/vote. Emergency Relief for Businesses & Non-Profits: Applications for Hyattsville small businesses, nonprofits, food assistance partners, and childcare providers to receive emergency financial relief assistance through the City’s American Rescue Plan Act funds will be open on August 15, 2022! Financial relief programs for families and individuals are expected to be finalized later this fall. You can learn more about the types of assistance programs as well as sign up to receive City news at hyattsville.org/ rescueplan. COVID-19 Update: Protect yourself from the highly transmissible BA.5 COVID-19 variant by ensuring you’re up to date on your vaccinations & booster doses and testing yourself if you’ve been exposed or feel sick! The City’s COVID-19 Vaccine & Testing Site’s hours at the First United Methodist Church, 6201 Belcrest Road, are listed below. You can find additional details at hyattsville.org/covid-19. Vaccinations & Boosters: Tuesdays, 11AM - 7PM (ages 12+ all day & ages 5+ from 3 – 7PM), Saturdays, 9AM – 1PM (ages 3+ all day) PCR Testing: Mondays & Thursdays, 9AM – 3PM, Saturdays 9AM – 1PM

Ward Happenings

Ward 2 Check-In: Join Ward 2 Councilmember Danny Schaible for a Ward 2 Check-in on Wednesday, August 17, at 6:30 p.m., at the Driskell Park small pavilion. Community members from all Wards are invited! Food from Cocineros will be available on a first come, first served basis. Voter registration and info about the Ward 2 Special Election will also be available. For questions, email ward2@ hyattsville.org. Ward 5 Community Meeting & Chat: City staff and Ward 5 Councilmembers Rommel Sandino & Joseph Solomon invite residents to a community meeting on Saturday, August 27, at 10 a.m., at the 3600 block of Gallatin Street. Staff will present results from a recent traffic calming study of Gallatin Street and accept feedback and questions. For questions, email ward5@hyattsville.org. A Ward 5 Chat is also taking place later that Saturday, August 27, at noon, at Hyatt Park (3500 Hamilton Street)! Join your Councilmembers as they provide Ward 5 with new developments and field resident concerns. Following the chat, attendees are encouraged to stick around for the City’s Back-To-School Jam beginning at 1 p.m. School supplies, music, food, and family activities are included! Details at hyattsville.org/calendar.

The City’s Police Department staff was all smiles at the Driskell Park National Night Out annual event. Thank you Hyattsville community for attending and making the evening a success! El personal del Departamento de Policía de la Ciudad estaba alegre en el evento anual de la Noche Nacional Contra el Crimen en Driskell Park. ¡Gracias a todos los miembros de la comunidad que asistieron y hicieron la tarde un éxito!

Programs, Services, and Events

Mobile Produce Market Coming Soon: The City is working to bring a monthly fresh produce distribution to the City, starting later this summer. These distributions will replace the Tuesday food distributions in Driskell Park that are no longer taking place. If you or someone you know needs help with emergency groceries, contact the Capital Area Food Bank Hunger Lifeline at (202) 644-9807 or visit capitalareafoodbank.org/get-help. Thank you, Volunteers: The City would like to express its gratitude to all the volunteers who assisted with the weekly food distributions at Driskell Park over the last 2+ years! Over 3,841,848 lbs. of food were distributed to families and individuals in need, and our Hyattsville volunteer heroes contributed over 261,000 hours of service! Fall Fields Permit Meeting: The City of Hyattsville is hosting a virtual field permits meeting on Monday, August 15 at 7 p.m. Organizations interested in applying for permits to use the fields at Driskell Park, Melrose Park, and 38th Avenue for games and practices this fall should plan to attend. Register at hyattsville.org/calendar. August Summer Jam: Join us Friday, August 19, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Heurich Park (6001 Ager Road) for an internationally themed Hyattsville Summer Jam! We’ll have live music, performances, and food vendors that represent the rich culture of our community. Beer and wine gardens, children’s activities, and much more are included! If you’d like to volunteer to help at the Summer Jam or need more information, visit hyattsville.org/summerjam. Mosquito Control Virtual Workshop: We’ve rescheduled! Join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, August 24, at 7 p.m. to hear from University of Maryland Professor Paul Leisnham on ways to reduce the tiger mosquito population without relying on hazardous chemicals. Pre-register at hyattsville.org/enviro-education.

Sign Up for PARK(ing) Day!: PARK(ing) Day is returning to Hyattsville on September 16! This fun community building event offers businesses a chance to transform metered parking spaces into creative pop-up public places. Local businesses and organizations interested in being a part of Hyattsville’s PARK(ing) Day have until August 31 to register! Registered partners will receive a $100 supply gift card, swagged out shirts, and promotion on the City’s media channels! To register, visit hyattsville.org/parkingday. Service Updates for Labor Day Week: Hyattsville City offices and the COVID-19 testing site at the First United Methodist Church on Belcrest Road will be closed Monday, September 5, in observance of Labor Day. There will be no yard waste or compost pick up the week of September 5-9. County recycling and regular trash routes will not be affected. Bulk Waste Pop-Up Day: The City will host a Bulk Waste Pop-Up Day on Saturday, September 10, at the City Building, 4310 Gallatin Street, and DPW Operations Center, 4633 Arundel Place. Residents can drop off items at either location from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until containers reach capacity. Visit hyattsville.org/bulk-waste for a list of acceptable items. 988 Crisis Line: A new three-digit number for mental health crises and suicide prevention is now available for everyone. If you or someone you know is struggling or needs support, call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org to be connected to a local crisis center. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) also remains available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. You are not alone!

Youth Services

Back-To-School Jam!: Join City Councilmembers and staff for a Backto-School Jam on Saturday, August 27, beginning at 1 p.m., at Hyatt Park, 3500 Hamilton Street! Families can pick up donated school supplies (while supplies

last) while enjoying good music, food and snacks, and family-friendly activities. The City is also asking for donated school supplies and volunteers to assist at the BackTo-School Jam. You can find donation drop off locations and the volunteer interest form at hyattsville.org/back2school. Night Owls Series: Hyattsville parents and guardians, are you looking to spend a Friday night out away from the little one(s)? Sign up for the City’s new Night Owl Series! On September 23, October 21, and November 18, students in grades K – 6 can be dropped off from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Driskell Park Recreation Center for an evening of fun, interactive and educational activities. Registration will open on August 15. For more information, visit hyattsville.org/nightowls.

Age-Friendly Services

Seniors on the Go!: Want to go beyond Hyattsville and explore other area destinations? Check out the upcoming Seniors on the Go day trips below! Free transportation is provided by the City’s Call-A-Bus. Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, please call (301) 985-5000 by 2 p.m. the Wednesday before the scheduled trip. August 11, 9AM – 3PM: Millers Farm & Market in Clinton, MD August 18, 9AM – 3PM: St. Charles Town Center in Waldorf, MD August 25, 9AM – 3PM: Trip to Super Walmart in Alexandria, VA Help Remove English Ivy Residents’ Trees: The City’ Environment Committee is teaming up with Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) to assist members of HAP with the removal of english ivy from their trees. One of english ivy’s most dangerous attributes is its ability to climb and kill trees. HAP is organizing volunteer teams that will assist with the removal of ivy from members’ trees. We need your help! If you are interested in joining this volunteer initiative to save trees, please contact Program Coordinator Janet Nackoney at hyattsville.ivy.requests@gmail. com.

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Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022


Reportero de


No. 413 • 9 de Agosto, 2022

Avisos y Noticias

llenen. Visite hyattsville.org/bulk-waste para una lista de artículos aceptables.

Elección Especial del Distrito 2: La Ciudad de Hyattsville sostendrá una elección especial el 4 de octubre de 2022 para seleccionar un nuevo Concejal de Distrito 2 después de la reciente elección de Robert Croslin como Alcalde. Los residentes del Distrito 2 podrán votar por correo o en persona en el Edificio Municipal el Día de las Elecciones. ¡Todos los residentes de Hyattsville de 16 años y mayores que han vivido en el Distrito 2 por lo menos 30 días son elegibles para votar en la Elección Especial, sin importar su estatus de ciudadanía estadounidense! Las boletas serán enviadas por correo a principios de septiembre y podrán ser devueltas por correo o caja segura en el Edificio Municipal o Driskell Park. Detalles en hyattsville.org/vote. Ayuda de Emergencia para Negocio y Organizaciones Sin Fines de Lucro: ¡Las aplicaciones para los negocios pequeños, organizaciones sin fines de lucro, socios de asistencia alimentaria y proveedores de cuidado infantil de Hyattsville para recibir ayuda financiera de emergencia a través de los fondos de la Ley del Plan de Rescate Americano de la Ciudad estarán disponible el 15 de agosto! Se espera que los programas de ayuda financiera para familias e individuos finalicen más tarde este otoño. Usted puede aprender más sobre los tipos de programas de asistencia, y registrarse para recibir alertas de la Ciudad en hyattsville. org/rescueplan. Actualización de COVID-19: Protéjase de la variante altamente transmisible BA.5 de COVID-19 asegurándose de estar al día con sus vacunas y dosis de refuerzo, y haciéndose pruebas si ha estado expuesto o se siente enfermo. Las horas del sitio de vacunas y pruebas de COVID-19 de la Ciudad en la Iglesia First United Menthodist, 6201 Belcrest Road, esta a continuación. Usted Puede encontrar más información en hyattsville.org/covid-19. Vacunas & Dosis de Refuerzo: martes, 11AM - 7PM (edades 12+ durante todo el día & edades 5+ de 3 – 7PM) sábados 9AM – 1PM (edades 3+ durante todo el día) Pruebas PCR: lunes & jueves, 9AM – 3PM, y sábados 9AM – 1PM

Ocurrencias de Distrito

Reunión del Distrito 2: Acompañe al Concejal del Distrito 2 Danny para una Reunión del Distrito 2 el miércoles, 17 de agosto, a las 6:30 p.m., en Driskell Park. ¡Todos los miembros de la comunidad están invitados! Se servirá comida de Cocineros de forma de que lleguen hasta que se acabe. La opción de registrarse para votar e información sobre la Elección Especial del Distrito 2 también estará disponible. Para preguntas, por favor envíe un email a ward2@hyattsville.org. Reuniones Comunitarias del Distrito 5: El personal de la Ciudad y los concejales del Distrito 5, Rommel Sandino y Joseph Solomon invitan a los residentes a una reunión comunitaria el sábado, 27 de agosto a las 10 a. m., en la cuadra 3600 de Gallatin Street. El personal presentará los resultados de un estudio reciente sobre calmar el tráfico en Gallatin Street y aceptará comentarios y preguntas. Si tiene preguntas, envíe un email a ward5@hyattsville.org. ¡También se llevará a cabo una reunión el sábado 27 de agosto al mediodía en Hyatt Park (3500 Hamilton Street)! Únase

www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000

988 Línea de Crisis: Un nuevo número para las crisis de salud mental y la prevención del suicidio está ahora disponible para todos. Si usted o alguien que conoce está luchando o necesita ayuda, llame o envíe un mensaje de texto al 988 o visite a 988lifeline.org para conectarse a un centro de crisis local. El número de teléfono del Centro Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio (1-800-273-8255) también está disponible para las personas que padecen angustia emocional o están en crisis. ¡No estás solo!

Servicios para Menores

Hyattsville Mayor Robert Croslin accompanied County leaders and the developer at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Residences At The Six, a new multi-family development that will be located at 6400 America Blvd by the University Town Center area. El Alcalde de Hyattsville Robert Croslin acompañó a líderes del Condado y al desarrollador en la ceremonia de apertura de The Residences at the Six, un nuevo desarrollo multifamiliar que se ubicará en 6400 America Blvd por el área del University Town Center. a sus concejales mientras comparten información para residentes del área. Después de la reunión, se alienta a los asistentes a quedarse para el evento de regreso a las escuelas de la Ciudad que comienza a la 1 p.m. ¡Útiles escolares, música, comida y actividades familiares están incluidos! Detalles en hyattsville. org/calendar.

Programas, Servicios y Eventos

Mercado Móvil de Frutas y Verduras: La Ciudad está trabajando para traer distribuciones mensuales de productos frescos a la Ciudad, comenzando este verano. Estas distribuciones reemplazaran las distribuciones semanales que ya no están tomando plazo. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce necesita ayuda con alimentos de emergencia, comuníquese con el Capital Area Food Bank al (202) 644-9807 o visite capitalareafoodbank.org/get-help. ¡Gracias Voluntarios!: ¡La Ciudad desea expresar su gratitud a todos los voluntarios que ayudaron con las distribuciones semanales de alimentos en Driskell Park durante los últimos 2 años! Más de 3,841,848 libras de comida fueron distribuidas a familias e individuos necesitados, ¡y nuestros héroes voluntarios de Hyattsville contribuyeron con más de 261,000 horas de servicio! Reunión de Permisos de Campos de Otoño: La Ciudad de Hyattsville está organizando una reunión virtual de permisos de campo el lunes, 15 de agosto a las 7 p.m. Las organizaciones interesadas en solicitar permisos para usar los campos deportivos en Driskell Park, Melrose Park, y 38th Avenue para juegos y prácticas este otoño deben planear asistir. Regístrese en hyattsville.org/calendar. Fiesta de Verano Summer Jam de Agosto: Únase a nosotros el viernes, 19 de agosto, de 5 p.m. a 8 p.m., ¡en Heurich Park (6001 Ager Road) para disfrutar de una fiesta de verano Summer Jam con tema internacional! Tendremos música en vivo, actuaciones y vendedores de comida que representan la rica cultura de la que

está hecha nuestra comunidad. Habrá cerveza y vino, actividades para niños y mucho más incluido. Si desea ayudar con el evento o necesita más información, visite hyattsville.org/summerjam. Taller de Control de Mosquitos: ¡Tenemos una nueva fecha! Únase a nosotros en un seminario web gratuito el miércoles, 24 de agosto, a las 7 p.m. para escuchar del profesor de la Universidad de Maryland Paul Leisnham sobre maneras de reducir la población de mosquitos tigre sin depender de químicos peligrosos. Puede registrarse en hyattsville.org/ enviro-education. Inscríbase para el Día de Parqueo: ¡El Día de Parqueo esta regresando a Hyattsville el 16 de septiembre! Este divertido evento comunitario ofrece le negocios la oportunidad de transformar espacios de estacionamiento medidos en lugares públicos emergentes creativos. ¡Los negocios y organizaciones locales interesadas en formar parte del Día de Parqueo tienen hasta el 31 de agosto para inscribirse! ¡Los socios registrados recibirán una tarjeta de regalo de $100 dólares, camisas y promoción en los canales de medios de la Ciudad! Para registrarse, visite hyattsville.org/parkingday. Actualizaciones de Servicios para Semana del Día del Trabajo: Las oficinas de la Ciudad y el sitio de prueba de COVID-19 en la Iglesia First United Methodist en Belcrest Road estarán cerradas el lunes, 5 de septiembre en conmemoración al Día del Trabajo. No se recogerán los residuos de yarda ni de compostaje la semana del 5 al 9 de septiembre. Las rutas regulares de basura y reciclaje del Condado no se verán afectadas. Día Emergente de Basuras Grandes: La Ciudad sostendrá un día emergente para deshacerse de artículos grandes el sábado, 10 de septiembre en el Edificio Municipal (4310 Gallatin Street) y el Centro de Operaciones DPW (4633 Arundel Place). Los residentes pueden llevar artículos a cualquier ubicación entre las 10 a.m. y 1 p.m., o hasta que los contenedores se

Evento de Regreso a las Escuelas: ¡Únase los Concejales y al personal de la Ciudad para un evento de regreso a las escuelas el sábado, 27 de agosto, a la 1 p. m., en Hyatt Park, 3500 Hamilton Street! Las familias pueden recoger útiles escolares donados (hasta que los suministros permitan) mientras disfrutan de buena música, comida y actividades para toda la familia. La Ciudad también está solicitando útiles escolares donados y voluntarios para ayudar en el evento de regreso a las escuelas. Puede encontrar los lugares de entrega de donaciones y el formulario de interés para voluntarios en hyattsville.org/back2school. Serie de Noches para Padres y Guardianes: Padres y guardianes de Hyattsville, ¿están buscando pasar un viernes por la noche lejos de su pequeño(s)? ¡Regístrese en la nueva serie de noches para padres de la ciudad! El 23 de septiembre, 21 de octubre y 18 de noviembre, los estudiantes de los grados K a 6 pueden ser dejados de 6 a 9 p.m. en el Centro Recreativo del Driskell Park para una noche de actividades divertidas, interactivas y educativas. La inscripción se abrirá el 15 de agosto. Para obtener más información, visite hyattsville.org/nightowls.

Servicios para la Tercera Edad

Viajes a Áreas Locales: ¿Quiere ir a visitar lugares afuera de Hyattsville y explorar el área alrededor? ¡Tome ventaja de los viajes para personas de la tercera edad de Hyattsville debajo! La transportación gratuita es proveída por el servicio Llame-Al-Bus de la Ciudad. Por favor note que los viajes están sujetos a cambios. El espacio es limitado. Para reservar un espacio, llame al (301) 9855000 antes de las 2 p.m. el miércoles antes del día del viaje. 11 de agosto, 9AM – 3PM: Mercado Millers Farm y Market en Clinton, MD 18 de agosto, 9AM – 3PM: Centro St. Charles Town en Waldoft, MD 25 de agosto, 9AM – 3PM: Viaje al Super Walmart en Alexandria, VA Ayuda a Remover Hiedra Inglesa: El Comite del Medioambiente de la Ciudad se esta asociando con la organización Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) para asistir a miembros de HAP a remover hiedra inglesa de sus arboles. Uno de los atributos más peligrosos de la hiedra inglesa es su habilidad para trepar y matar árboles. HAP está organizando equipos de voluntarios que ayudarán a remover la hiedra de los árboles de los miembros. ¡Necesitamos su ayuda! Si usted está interesado en unirse a esta iniciativa voluntaria para salvar árboles, contacte a la Coordinadora del Programa Janet Nackoney al hyattsville.ivy.requests@gmail.com.

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

Page 8

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a deep respect. Archie worked as a barber, which, according to Altman, is what made him a “great blues man,” as he was in touch with the fullness of humanity. The open mics continue to provide an informal, welcoming environment, free of ego or pretense — a place where, according to Willie Leebel, president of the foundation, anyone can “sing, play, dance, listen and help yourself to a beverage in the fridge.” The venue also serves as a museum and education center, featuring many artifacts from Archie’s barbershop, including a lime green suede barber chair with an ornate chrome footrest; antique mirrors, combs and brushes; and opalescent glass bottles with cork stoppers. Plaques on the walls showcase the awards granted to the

Archie Edwards worked as a barber, which, according to Doc Altman, is what made him a “great blues man,” as he was in touch with the fullness of humanity. foundation, including recognition from the Maryland General Assembly for its preservation of local blues music and a U.S. Senate resolution which honors Archie as “a self-taught musician,” who “provided a haven for all who loved the blues to play, listen, and socialize.” Stormi Weaver, who coordinates foundation youth events,

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described how playing the blues is a way to learn about history and culture. “People think the blues is sad music, but the blues used to be the house party music for people who were enslaved or poor. What has me in awe is that they had nothing,” she explained. “They didn’t know how to read or write, but they taught each other music. That’s the legacy of this music: to learn it and understand it and embrace it.” Tom Mellman, who has been playing at the open mic for about three years, agreed. He noted that playing the blues provides opportunities to meet new people and for young people to take a break from screens. The blues “is an oral tradition, not a digital tradition,” he said, emphasizing that musicians need to learn it in real time. The open mic and jam sessions are “a great place to socialize and find something in your life,” said Weaver. “At the end of the day, it’s about relationships. That’s what makes a difference in your life.”

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Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022


most standard home insurance policies, if water damage occurs suddenly or accidentally from a source inside your home, such as a busted pipe, it will likely be covered by your homeowners insurance. If the water comes from outside your home, it will not be covered by your standard policy.” Insurance will generally not cover slow water damage due to deferred maintenance, such as water leaking through an old roof and gradually warping your floors. If a hurricane rips your roof off, however, and rain pours in, your homeowners policy probably covers it as wind damage. Weather-related flood damage is generally covered by flood insurance. After a major regional emergency, low-interest federal disaster loans would probably become available, but those have to be repaid. Flood Zones: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has mapped the entire nation to determine relative risks for flooding based on history, elevation, proximity to waterways and other factors, including protection provided by local levees and pumping stations like those along the Northeast and Northwest branches of the Anacostia. If you live in a flood zone, your mortgage company will require you to carry flood insurance in addition to a standard homeowners policy. Search your address at msc.fema. gov/portal/home. Private Flood Insurance: FEMA estimates that 40% of flood claims come from properties outside of flood zones. Fortunately, you don’t

The WSSC says property owners are responsible “for maintaining the sewer line between their home and the property line.” If your sewer line is clogged with grease or baby wipes underneath your yard, you or your insurance policy will have to pay for the repair.

have to live in a flood zone to buy a flood policy. One private company quoted the Hyattsville Life & Times (HL&T) $1,167 a year on a Madison Street home, offering $559,000 worth of coverage on the three-story wood frame house, which has a basement and no prior losses. That quote included personal property coverage of $100,000 and a deductible of $1,000. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): This federal program is particularly important in flood-prone areas where private flood insurance is unavailable or extremely expensive, such as New Orleans or parts of Ellicott City. Maximum coverage is $250,000 for structures and $100,000 for personal property. A quote for $250,000 worth of NFIP coverage on the same Madison Street property was just $228.65 a year, but

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with only $2,000 in personal property coverage and a $5,000 deductible.

THE BOTTOM LINE ON BASEMENTS Both private and NFIP insurance cover structural damage and personal property losses on or above the first floor. But in basements, only structural damage (not remodeling) and fixtures like furnaces, hot water heaters, air conditioners and electrical panels are covered by NFIP. Private policies may cover personal property stored in basements, like clothes, furniture, tools and televisions — but at substantial extra cost.

UNDERSTAND, PREVENT AND INSURE AGAINST SEWER BACKUPS Basement toilets or floor drains backing up can be disgusting and expensive. Every building has a main sewer line that connects to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s branch line under the street. The WSSC says property owners are responsible “for maintaining the sewer line between their home and the property line.” If your sewer line is clogged with grease or baby wipes underneath your yard, you or your insurance policy will have to pay for the repair. In Maryland, insurance companies must state that standard homeowners policies do not cover sewer or drain backups, and offer optional extra coverage. Check your policy because it could cover as little as $5,000, much less than your main homeowners policy. Federal flood insurance usually covers sewer and drain backups, but only those that directly result from an event

defined as a “flood.” A heavy rain might not count. Several Hyattsville residents have contacted the HL&T in distress to report that heavy rains backed up sewage into their basements. These backups could result from stormwater infiltrating the WSSC’s aging infrastructure. The WSSC may be responsible for the cleanup and any damage to your home or possessions. According to a WSSC website, in case of a backup, homeowners should call WSSC Water’s 24-hour emergency numbers, 301.206.4002 or 800.634.8400. Take photos or videos of the backup and any resulting damage. Keep records of your correspondence, and consult a lawyer if your claim is denied. The most common solution is for the WSSC or homeowner to install a backflow preventer valve that connects to the sewer line and lets the water flow out but closes if water backs up the other way. The valve usually requires an access panel and an enclosure deep enough to reach the drain line. One publication from FEMA estimates the cost to be between $600 and $1400.

OTHER TIPS AND TECHNOLOGIES Water alarms can alert you to a flood, an overflowing washing machine or a leaking water heater. They range from $15

battery-powered devices to sophisticated sensors that tie into an alarm system and can dial your cell phone. Invest $60-$120 in a submersible pump that connects to a garden hose to pump out any water that does enter your home. They’re better than wet/dry vacuums because you don’t have to empty heavy tanks of water. Buy quality steel-reinforced hoses for your washing machine. Never install any type of wallto-wall carpeting with a pad underneath in a basement that might get wet. You can’t get the water out from under the pad, so everything must be ripped out. Avoid natural fiber rugs, such as wool or cotton. Stick to the tough nylon carpeting used in offices, and glue it to the bare concrete or tile floor. If it gets wet, it can easily be shampooed and dried with a fan or blower. A comprehensive solution for a flooding basement would be proper insurance, a backflow valve, a water alarm and a French drain that uses a sump pump with battery backup power. Installing a French drain is a loud, messy multi-day job that costs $8,000-$16,000 or more, depending on the size of your house, not including the price of remodeling a finished basement. However, the peace of mind is priceless.

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Tanglefoot tales: snares and contusions Dear Miss Floribunda, The huge silver maple in my backyard is a monster and a menace. Not only do its long roots try to trip me, but the ivy that is its accomplice catches at my feet. Since I’m up in years and my balance isn’t very good, this is a real worry. I’ve taken a couple of tumbles and only suffered bruises but fear worse. HAP (Hyattsville Aging in Place) offers to bring in people to remove ivy from trees, and I’m thinking of having that done. Maybe I could hire someone to get rid of all of the ivy ground cover. I hope you know of a good replacement, preferably a native plant that helps pollinators and is attractive in winter. Fearful of Falling on Farragut Street Dear Fearful of Falling, Silver maples are not necessarily villainous, if there is room for them. They are natives, and feed and harbor many birds and pollinating insects. However, I sympathize with your concern about falling, and certainly agree that ivy is not a safe ground cover. Even if you hack a path or use stepping stones, it will quickly engulf them. You need something steppable, rather than trippable. Dr. Greenfinger of Chesapeake Natives suggests the native sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis.

The native sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis, is soft but tough, and spreads quickly. Although it is called sensitive because even light frost causes it to turn black, it remains upright and is prized by some gardeners for adding dramatic interest to the winter garden. PEXELS.COM

He tells me it’s soft but tough, and spreads quickly. Its height ranges from a few inches to as high as 3 feet in fertile soil, but you would do well to maintain Spartan conditions to keep it low-growing. Pretty as it is — especially with its rosy fiddleheads in spring and the little green beads on its stalks — don’t be tempted to place it in a garden bed where a rich diet would cause it to become invasive. Although it is called sensitive because even light frost causes it to turn black, it remains upright and is prized by some gardeners for adding dramatic interest to the winter garden. Another choice Greenfinger offers is broadleaf sedge (Carex platyphylla), also known as silver sedge because of the soft gray cast to its celadon green. It is low growing, from 6 inches to 1 foot high, and does not die back in winter. It tolerates moderate foot traffic and even light mowing. Wendy Wildflower, a fourseason gardener, favors several tough evergreen ground covers. Among them is native ginger, Hexastylis arifolia, which forms a low mat of arrow-shaped leaves that remains green in our winters. Clustering Christmas ferns, Polystichum acrostichoides, which are a little taller (1 to 2 feet high) and a deeper shade of green, make a pleasing contrast.

Wendy also recommends sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) as a particularly charming ground cover, even though it does lose its leaves for a few weeks in winter and is not a native plant. However, its spring to earlysummer blooms of fluffy white flowers have a delicious fragrance that attracts bees and butterflies. It is low growing and does not mind being walked on. Like the sensitive fern, in well-fed flower beds, it could become invasive. It is deer and rabbit proof, which would suggest a terrible taste, but in Germany, it is used to flavor Maiwein, the traditional drink of May Day celebrations. Next I turned to Capability Green, who strongly recommends our native woodland stonecrop (Sedum ternatum). It is evergreen and shade tolerant. Growing no higher than 4 inches, it is sold as a steppable, but you might want to place flat stones in high-traffic areas so as not to wear it out. Another trusted expert, Hannah Honeywell, opines that completely eliminating all ivy is just too big a job. She believes you’d do better to keep it mowed twice a year — not too closely. Although English ivy will eventually eradicate any native plants in its way, it is not ecologically useless in itself. It purifies the air, and it feeds and shelters some birds and beneficial insects. To discuss this and other gardening concerns, please come to the next meeting of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m. in the garden of Virginia Singer, 4000 Queensbury Road. Miss Floribunda is the gardening columnist for the Hyattsville Life & Times.

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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ur list of events sponsored by local nonprofits, arts organizations and performance venues, occurring between Aug. 12 and Sept. 17; all information is current as of Aug. 4. For events and meetings organized by the City of Hyattsville, see the Hyattsville Reporter in the newspaper’s centerfold. Please send notices of events that will take place between Sept. 18 and Oct. 13 to kit@ hyattsvillelife.com by Sept. 9.

RECURRING Hyattsville has three open mics. The third Thursday of the month, Jim Groves hosts an open mic for musicians. Free. Sign up to play a three-song set at the Archie Edwards Blues Foundation, 4502 Hamilton St. Busboys and Poets hosts an open mic for poets every Thursday. $5. 8 to 10 p.m. Busboys also periodically hosts a Friday open mic, Live! From Busboys, for any type of performer, held this month on Aug. 26. $10. 9 p.m. 5331 Baltimore Ave. 301.779.2787. busboysandpoets.com

AUGUST 13 Joe’s Movement Emporium hosts The JoeGo Project, a D.C. jazz and go-go band led by saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed. Masks and proof of vaccination or testing required. Pay-what-youwish starting at $10. 7 to 9:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. Joesmovement.org

AUGUST 17 Master instructor Shanna Lim teaches street/hip-hop dance. Wear comfortable sneakers and clothes. Free. Register through pgparksdirect.com. 7 to 9 p.m. Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly. 301.277.1710

AUGUST 19 Opening reception for Looks Good On Paper, a juried exhibition of contemporary handmade paper arts. Register to attend at pyramidatlanticartcenter. org. Free. 6 to 8 p.m. Pyramid Atlantic, 4218 Gallatin St. 301.608.9101



Lux Choir presents Lead, Kindly Light, a concert of music by Welsh composer Paul Mealor. Proof of vaccination or negative test required. Masks optional. Pay-what-you-wish suggested price $30; minimum $10; free tickets available for anyone 24 years old or younger. 8 p.m. St. Jerome’s Church, 5205 43rd Ave. choirlux.com

Honky-tonk musicians Jess Eliot & Friends play Maryland Meadworks. Indoor and outdoor seating. Free. 7 to 10 p.m. 4700 Rhode Island Ave. 201.955.9644


it because it’s evil. People do ‘Obeah,’ which is similar to ... black magic. Humans could change into different things, like dogs, phantoms, goats and so on. It’s very deep-rooted on the island, but I was protected because my grandfather was a leader in this, and people were afraid and respected him.” Sharon first came to the U.S. in 1994 after her stepfather won the lottery and became the island’s first millionaire. Her family visited Miami, where she and her sisters swam in a pool for the first time, and Memphis, where her brother was studying. Sharon then decided to stay in the U.S. for a bit and visit friends in New York. She was surprised by the stench there. “This is the Big Apple. It looked like a rotten apple to me.” She

AUGUST 24 Jazz on the Lawn features Orchester Praževica, Eastern European gypsy swing dance

was also surprised by the food and the appearance of people. “We went to an all-you-can-eat place, and the people were so chunky. Everything was a new experience.” After returning to Trinidad, Sharon worked at a large department store for several years and was continually promoted. One day, a chance meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Trinidad planted a seed in her that eventually led to her obtaining a 10-year visa to come back to the U.S. Sharon initially moved to Houston and worked for a family with an autistic teenager. Following another stint in Trinidad, during which she worked in construction, Sharon again returned to the U.S. — this time moving to Washington, D.C., where she had friends. By chance, Sharon eventually ended up in

music. Free. 7 to 8 p.m. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. 301.864.0420

AUGUST 26 The local gypsy swing group Swing 5 plays Maryland Meadworks. Indoor and outdoor seating. Free. 7 to 10 p.m. 4700 Rhode Island Ave. 201.955.9644

AUGUST 27 Learn kayaking from a certified instructor. Life jackets, paddles and boats provided. Bring or rent a dry bag for your keys and phone. Ages 11+. Children ages 11-15 must be accompanied by a registered adult. $30 residents, $39 nonresidents. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register at pgparksdirect.com. Bladensburg Waterfront Park, 4601 Annapolis Rd., Bladensburg. 301.779.0371 The hyperlocal O’McPub Band plays Maryland Meadworks. Indoor and outdoor seating. Free. 7 to 10 p.m, 4700 Rhode Island Ave. 201.955.9644 The steel drum orchestra Panmasters plays calypso, jazz, soca and R&B at Joe’s Movement Emporium. Masks and proof of vaccination or testing required. Pay-whatyou-wish starting at $10. 7 to 9:30 pm. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. Joesmovement.org

Hyattsville, in 2018, when she rented a room in her friend Sam’s home. Sharon has seen many benefits to living in Hyattsville. “I love that Hyattsville is quiet and different and nobody bothers you. The neighbors are friendly. This is how people should live.” Although she misses certain aspects of life and her family and friends in Trinidad, Sharon has no desire to return there permanently. “You live through the tragedies and the hurts and pains, but in the end, you see the joy. Never give up hope because each day is a new beginning.” “Cultural Connections” is dedicated to bringing forth the voices of Hyattsville’s international residents. Interested in sharing your story? Please contact culturalconnections@ hyattsvillelife.com.

AUGUST 28 Enjoy a morning fishing on the Anacostia River from a pontoon boat. Rods and bait provided, or you can bring your own. Beginner friendly. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Ages 10+. $10 residents, $13 nonresidents. 9:30 a.m. to noon. Register at pgparksdirect.com. Bladensburg Waterfront Park, 4601 Annapolis Rd., Bladensburg. 301.779.0371

SEPTEMBER 10 The fifth annual Hyattsville Porchfest, sponsored by the Hyattsville Preservation Association, features a whole lot of neighbors playing music on a whole lot of neighborhood porches. Free. 2 to 6 p.m. Details will be posted on preservehyattsville.org when available. Spirituality and the Arts Players, who are veterans and staff from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in D.C., will sing songs from a variety of genres. Paywhat-you-wish starting at $10. Masks and proof of vaccination or testing required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. Joesmovement.org

SEPTEMBER 16 First day of the fourth annual Echoes of the Enslaved commemoration by the Prince George’s County Office of Archaeology. A panel discussion among descendants of the enslaved will feature Tina Wyatt (a descendant of Harriet Tubman), the Rev. Jerome Plummer-Fowler (a descendant of an enslaved family at Riversdale), and Dr. Joan M.E. Gaither (noted

documentary story quilter). Moderated by Joe McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project. Following the 6 p.m. panel, there will be moderated bonfire conversation circles on the long-term impacts of chattel slavery in the U.S. Register at parksdirect. Free. 6 to 10 p.m. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. 301.864.0420 Local jazz french horn player Abe Mamet plays Maryland Meadworks. Indoor and outdoor seating. Free. 7 to 10 p.m. Maryland Meadworks, 4700 Rhode Island Ave. 201.955.9644

SEPTEMBER 17 Second day of the county’s Echoes of the Enslaved Celebration. Family history, wellness, archeology, music and food to honor enslaved ancestors. Free. No registration required. Noon to 4 p.m. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale. 301.864.0420 Arts & Ales Festival is back after a two-year pause. 100+ artists and artisans will have their work on display. Craft beer, food, music and kids activities. Free. Noon to 6 p.m. Downtown Hyattsville, 4300 block of Gallatin and Farragut streets. hyattsvilleartsfestival.com Deep Shenoy’s group, Kundalika, will play jugalbandi (Indian classical music) in an improvisational conversation with bluegrass, jazz and Manding (music from Mali). The six-piece band features sarod, djembe, bass, guitar, banjo and Karnatak vocals. Masks and proof of vaccination or testing required. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Outdoors at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier. Joesmovement.org

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND’S LEGACY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE ON PUBLIC POLICY, in partnership with the state of Maryland. is looking for volunteers age 50+ to serve as volunteer legislative leaders during the 2022 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Classroom instruction will be in a hybrid format (in-person and virtual) and begin on September 13 and end on December 8, 2022. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information or an application, email wqueen@umd.edu


Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022

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neutrality from 2050 to 2045. The approved amendments also include recognizing that the CAP is a dynamic plan that will need to be revised to stay current with rapidly changing events and will depend, to some extent, on new legislation; supporting the creation of a climate action implementation task force and a resident advisory group; supporting the county public schools climate action plan; and requiring status reports to the council on at least an annual basis.


priority recommendations, which include strategies for reducing carbon emissions, conserving trees and open spaces, sustainable agriculture, flood mitigation, vulnerability assessments and community engagement. The plan also calls for cooling centers and resilience hubs, community facilities equipped to support residents, coordinate communication, distribute resources and reduce carbon pollution. The Hyattsville City Council voted to support the climate plan on Dec. 6, 2021. Amendments to the draft, introduced and accepted by the county council, stipulate achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, in line with the state’s Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, and revising the target for reaching carbon

LIBRARY APARTMENTS On Aug. 1, The Bernstein Companies presented a plan to the Hyattsville City Council on how to handle an underused parking garage: Tear half of it down and build apartments instead. When the Kaiser Permanente offices move to their new location

near the West Hyattsville Metro station, parking garage use is expected to drop even farther in Garage A of University Town Center, which is right behind Hyattsville’s new library on Toledo Road. Bernstein proposes to remove over 700 parking spaces. Because of the way the garage is built, removing half of it will not affect its structural integrity or traffic flow, according to Bernstein. The proposed apartment building will have 209 units, mostly studio apartments and one-bedroom units, with a smaller number of twobedroom units. The project team has not yet made decisions about whether any units will be offered at a belowmarket rate. The proposed building has a number of courtyards which will be used as patios for the ground-floor apartments, as well as provide stormwater

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Managing Editor Kit Slack kit@hyattsvillelife.com

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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management via rain gardens. “The benefit of this site is that we are removing impervious areas,” noted Nick Speach, a consultant on the project team. Bernstein anticipates filing a preliminary plan of subdivision with the county planning board soon, with public hearings to be held early in 2023. Bernstein is a D.C.-based real estate development company, which generally owns and manages the properties it develops, according to its website.

If you’d like to help with our election coverage, contact kit@ hyattsvillelife.com.


Flooding on Gallatin Street



Here in Hyattsville, some voters are having four chances, in a span of five months, to head to the polls. On the heels of our June 7 special mayoral election, which then-interim Mayor Robert Croslin won, came a July 19 primary election in which we chose county councilmembers, a state senator and state delegates, all of whom will run unopposed in the general election. Visit StreetcarSuburbs. News for July primary results, as well as coverage of some local problems at the polls: Several Hyattsville voters said that some machines offered a choice of Democratic or Republican ballots, despite Maryland’s closed primaries. And in College Park, a staffing issue led to a polling place opening an hour and a half late. Coming up next for Hyattsville Ward 2 residents, on Oct. 4, is a special election for the open Ward 2 city council seat vacated by Croslin. That election will bring a second woman to Hyattsville’s city council this fall to join Joanne Waszczak (Ward 1), the only woman currently on the council: Candidates Kelly Burrello, Lisbeth M. Melendez Rivera and Emily Strab filed for the open seat by the Aug. 5 deadline. Last but not least, early voting for the Nov. 8 general election will begin on Oct. 27 and end Nov. 3. Hyattsville residents will cast votes for statewide candidates, elect a school board representative, and vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana, among other ballot measures.

During rainstorms this spring and summer, the block of Gallatin Street next to Driskell Park has repeatedly flooded, spilling out onto the lower lot of Suffrage Point, where 41 townhouses are planned. In a July 5 email, developer Werrlein Properties said that the lack of a wetland work permit prevents the company from installing larger drainage pipes under the lower lot to replace smaller blocked ones. A group of residents called Save Our Sustainable Hyattsville continues to contest the development on both the upper and the lower lots, and to raise money for legal fees to support that effort. Following a Feb. 23 appeals court ruling, the county council, sitting as the district council, must recalculate the allowable number of homes per acre on the site, subtracting land in the 100-year flood plain from the total acreage, along with alleys and streets. At their July 12 meeting, the district council discussed whether a public hearing was needed for the determination, and postponed a decision. In the meantime, members of Save Our Sustainable Hyattsville have an oral argument in front of a county circuit court on Aug. 12 in their challenge, filed two years ago, to a preliminary plan of subdivision for the development of the upper lot. Of 31 homes planned on the upper lot, seven houses have been built, along with four townhouses. Five houses have sold, and another nine homes are under contract, according to the company website.

CORRECTION Skuda Gold and Iman Abdul-Ali are the artists who designed the new Bursting on the Scene murals near the West Hyattsville Metro, and led community painting on June 18. The July edition of the Hyattsville Life & Times incorrectly listed the artists from a mural project on the same site in 2018, Cory Stowers and Henry Portillo.

Hyattsville Life & Times | August 2022


Too many battles on Juneteenth Regarding the Driskell Park history camp fiasco, is it possible that a reasonable person could mistake a group of young boys in period costume for a white supremacist rally? In any event, any misapprehension should have been easily cleared up by simply asking the supervising adults. Where is our charity of interpretation? Where is the apology from the Hyattsville citizens whose mistaken assumption has stigmatized a group of grade schoolers? As for the camp itself, what could possibly be inappropriate about reenacting the Battle of Gettysburg on Juneteenth? That battle was instrumental in winning the Civil War, leading to the end of slavery in America. Without Gettysburg, there might have been no Juneteenth. Philip and Caitlin Timmerman, Longfellow Street

Teaching history shouldn’t be a lost cause I’m not certain how many people bore witness to the

now (locally) notorious Civil War battle reenactment in Driskell Park on Juneteenth, but I’m absolutely certain that is not the first time in American history that our collective past has been sanitized and whitewashed. This battle, the climax of “History Camp,” which as I understand it, is a week-long experience for boys ages eight through 14, put together by institutional leaders at St. Jerome’s, missed its stated purpose in a multitude of ignorant and offensive ways. That the camp began on Juneteenth, a day to celebrate the emancipation of slavery, in a public place within our community, Hyattsville, where the vast majority of people who live here are people of color, is horrendous. The cardinal sin from my perspective is the all too typcial exclusion of slavery from any type of discussion about the Civil War. The Confederacy wasn’t formed because a bunch of southern states experienced a wave of collective “economic anxiety,” it was a treasonous attempt by a cartel made up of politicians, slave owners and rank-and-file racists to form a breakaway apartheid state where slavery would be the law of the land forever. Slavery was written into Article IV of the

Page 13 Confederate States of America’s constitution. None of this was acknowledged in the apology for how this was publicly taught from St. Jerome’s to the broader community. I hope this camp can learn and grow from these mistakes because history repeats itself. Dan Broder, Madison Street The views expressed in these letters belong to their authors. The Hyattsville Life & Times reserves the right to edit letters for brevity and clarity.

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Shops at SoHy get Cheeky with newest vendor By Lauren Flynn Kelly


ext month will mark the one-year anniversary of Hyattsville’s newest secondhand vendor: Cheeky’s Vintage. Owner Heather Rowe operates her vintage glassware and furniture store in The SoHy Arts Building that also houses Suffragette City Vintage and My Dead Aunt’s Books (collectively known as The Shops at SoHy). Rowe had been running her business as a pop-up shop in and around Takoma Park, and was in the early stages of seeking a more permanent retail location when she learned that Sue Older-Mondeel (better known as “Tanglewood Sue” in these parts) was moving out of her space at 5132 Baltimore Avenue. OlderMondeel had previously been selling her upcycled furniture and handmade gifts as Tanglewood Works. It seemed like a natural, funky fit to all involved. Rowe said she loves the “cooperative environment” and overall vibe of the store. According

Heather Rowe of Cheeky’s Vintage is pleased as planter’s punch to bring her vintage barware and other furnishings to The SoHy Arts Building. COURTESY OF CHEEKY’S VINTAGE

to Suffragette City owner Holli Mintzer, customers regularly say they are excited to see everything they like in one place. “The Venn diagram, as I’ve often said, is almost like a circle,” smiled Mintzer. While most of the Cheeky’s merchandise can be found in the northwest corner of the store (yes, she sees you peering in the window at the glass goods!), depending on the day, you might find an orange mid-century modern (MCM) lounge chair nestled in a book

corner or a black-and-gold metal bar cart loaded with collectible cocktail glasses. Once Rowe posts a photo of a new arrival to her @cheekysvintage Instagram account, it’s often spoken for by the end of the day. Vintage barware is probably Rowe’s specialty and what she is most enthusiastic about, and her aesthetic is largely kitschy and MCM, but she does have a soft spot for the more traditional transferware patterns of English pottery. After spending the first

three months of her life in nearby Berwyn Heights, she moved to England for a few years and had a nanny who’d say she was “a very cheeky girl.” So Cheeky became her nickname, and she developed an affinity for nice British tableware. Cheeky’s Vintage offers an array of styles and colors of glasses, plates, canisters, trays and other tableware from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Rowe’s favorites include glassware from American designer Georges Briard, ceramic dinnerware from Russel Wright and “anything Scandinavian,” including the coveted printed ceramics made by Arabia of Finland. Everything is well curated and beautifully displayed. “I like a lot of color and design, but I also try to offer a good range of different styles. Not everybody wants pink plates with flowers on it!” said Rowe. The larger retail space has allowed Rowe to branch out a bit and carry more furniture and large pieces of art, as long as the pieces are of high quality and in

good condition. While she will not consign pieces, she will buy some things outright if they’re a good fit for the store, and, of course, she will accept donations. Her next goal is to learn to refinish and restore furniture, and she even has a few pieces that customers have rescued from the street and saved for her. “I love design, I love the aesthetic of things, so I work really hard to make the space look welcoming, and I get a lot of good feedback, so I appreciate that, and that does mean a lot to me,” Rowe added. She has also started partnering with local artists to offer paintings that align with her vintage aesthetic, and she would love to collaborate more with local businesses for events. Check in with her Instagram or her Facebook page for upcoming events and additions to the store. Lauren Flynn Kelly is the secondhand columnist for the Hyattsville Life & Times.