Belcrest traffic under discussion by Sarah Nemeth
busy stretch of Belcrest Road near East West Highway is now congested by construction trailers, forcing partial lane closure and leaving many residents feeling unsafe negotiating the already bustling zone near the Prince George’s Plaza Metro station. Residents who traverse the area are concerned that speeding cars mixed with construction, closed lanes and inefficient pedestrian crosswalks could foster danger to drivers and walkers. “There are a lot of people who walk there and it’s a dangerous, dangerous place,” said Hyattsville resident Christine Hinojosa at a Dec. 10 community meeting hosted by County Councilman Will Campos (D-Dist. 2). Mid-Cities Financial is building Mosaic apartments just south of the existing WMATA entrance. Adjacent to the residential structure is another building slated for 165,000 square feet of retail
BELCREST TRAFFIC continued on page 16
Vol. 5 No. 1
Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper
Charm in a box Hyattsville residents get a taste of the country by Jessica Wilson
ome people like living in Hyattsville for its small town feel. Some go as far as getting their milk delivered by the milkman. South Mountain Creamery, a family run farm in Middletown, started home deliveries in 2001. Office Manager Abby Brusco said they had 13 homes on their roster and delivered milk, yogurts and buttermilk out of the back of her mom’s Ford Explorer. Today, they have six trucks on the road five days a week and weekly deliveries reach about 2,200 customers, about 70 in Hyattsville. They started delivering to the city in the fall of 2003.
Photo: Jessica Wilson
LOOKING BACK AT 2007 SEE PGS. 8&9
Milkman calling! Bill Reid of South Mountain Creamery delivers to Hyattsville and neighboring communities. "It's by far the coolest job I've ever had. Bar none," he said as he made his rounds on a chilly morning last week.
After SMC participated in the Riverdale Farmer’s Market that year, residents inquired how they might get their products throughout the winter. Residents Scott Wythe with Mark
Ferguson, of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, got Hyattsville on the delivery list— not an easy task. They had to find at least 50 residents to sign up. Shortly thereafter, the milkman arrived.
Hyattsville Life & Times PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781
Parking meters coming to Town Center
CREAMERY continued on page 17
Americana meets Liberty Lane
Burger joint, ice cream parlor make Hyattsville debuts
by Sarah Nemeth
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 43 Easton, MD 21601
niversity Town Center is coming to life as long-awaited tenants like Five Guys, whose burgers and fries are legendary in Alexandria, Annapolis and several other locales from Florida to Wisconsin, and Three Brothers, whose pizza has long been a favorite with Marylanders, set out their shingles. But customers who can’t get a spot in the parking garage may have to get take-out, if the City of Hyattsville installs 40-minute parking meters around the new outlets. The developer has asked for the meters to aid with parking along several roads within the $1.2 billion town center including America Boulevard and Liberty Drive. The proposal includes meters for 50 parking spaces at an estimated total cost of $1,300.
Wythe said since SMC family run, it has a nice non-corporate feel to it. “They are really willing to work with customers,” he said. “What
by Sarah Nemeth
The map above shows the proposed locations of parking meters at UTC.
“[The developer has] spent a lot of money constructing structured parking [and wanted] a time allot-
ment for short-term parking,” said
utlines of new developments are being filled in as the mixed layers of Hyattsville’s place on the town center scene are unveiled. For Mike Kim, of Five Guys Restaurant, which opened late last year at University Town Center, being shoehorned onto America Blvd. is what being in the burger business is all about.
AMERICANA continued on page 17
PARKING METERS continued on page 18
Included: The January 9, 2008 Issue of The Hyattsville Reporter—See Center Section
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
Opinion: These foolish games… by Sarah Nemeth
yattsville’s city charter doesn’t stipulate how council representatives are to interface with their constituents. It doesn’t say how often, if at all, a representative should communicate with his ward’s residents. It doesn’t offer direction on how a council member should leaflet around her neighborhoods. It does not stipulate that they must return citizen e-mails. But maybe it should. Otherwise, residents are left to play political roulette when it comes to getting the best representation. Say I move into Ward 3. Say I don’t like that ward’s representatives to council. Say I move into Ward 4 and get better representation until my council member retires from the dais and someone I find less efficient gets elected. OK, part of this charade is getting the vote out for the candidate I support. I can do that. But what if they don’t win the election and I’m left with someone who doesn’t return an e-mail I sent her three times in as many weeks? Not fair. Even worse, what if I end up being one of the select few who doesn’t receive ward news from my representative? What if there was a small bloc of Ward
2 residents who didn’t receive ward surveys, fliers and other communication from an elected official(s) who peppers the ward’s streets? What if that official advises me to get my ward information from another resident that he also didn’t get the word out to? Childish. (I take that back. I like kids.They interact and respond and often show goodwill, even when others don’t). And city administration shouldn’t have to babysit. I understand and advocate the “hands-off ” approach the city has taken in terms of legislating council/resident interaction beyond attending city council meetings. I even understand that idea of ignoring the ignoramus. But an orator said, “Evil prospers when good men do nothing.” So I think the city charter should be changed to reflect at least a rough sketch of what ward representatives are responsible for regarding their residents. All members of a ward should be entitled to ward information doled out en masse by a councilman. If you’re representing me, then my taxes go toward paying your (albeit meager) annual stipend. I don’t think council members should be required to spend a certain amount of time on city affairs. I don’t think they should be forced to report on their intra-ward discourse. They should, however, be held responsible for deliberately avoiding anyone in their ward for any reason. Especially when they’re the ones talking about accountability.
Pumpernickel politics by Michael Martucci
olitical candidates are like bread: they come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. Deciding on which one to consume is not a reflection of anything more than our personal taste. However, that taste is in our mouth, not in our bias. When prominent civil rights leader Andrew Young recently spoke of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama he offended some people. He said that “Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack.” In letting this offhand joke slip, Young peeled back the onion, and defined the debate of politics in America. It is true that there is a hard corps of the electorate that would never likely vote for a dark skinned person for president. Such prejudice might even be more prevalent in local politics. The statement by Young proves once again that racism exists in politics, in all quarters. The story was reported upon, but there was a roaring silence, especially in the overly tolerant African-American community. This election cycle offers evidence that we are not yet culturally mature enough to achieve America’s promise. Should anyone care about a candidate’s skin color? Shouldn’t we rather be focused exclusively upon what policies candidates would enact, and how they would lead? Skin pigment is irrelevant! The statement by Young smacks of schoolyard antics. The Civil
Rights Act passed in the 1960s, but yet sometimes the African-American race is its own worst enemy. African-Americans vote in large numbers for Democrat candidates. There is nothing wrong with that per se. When a whole group of people categorically eliminate half of their electoral choices out of hand without consideration (Republicans and
Independent candidates, for instance) it begs the question: Who is really prejudiced? Oprah Winfrey’s foray into politics has made people take notice. Would those people be as interested if she were Walter Cronkite? He is someone equally as famed and trusted. Cronkite however, is white. Oprah’s popularity comes from her integrity and her race. Most of Oprah’s influence is only upon her fans. She is bringing large numbers of the public to
events for Obama, who she supports. Whether that translates into support for him, or a detriment to her popularity, remains to be seen. In that context, race has become a factor. The point is that today in politics anything goes. If you listen to the media, race and gender still have a prominent place at the table. We have not even come close to achieving Martin Luther King’s dream. That is disturbing. We are not only not ignoring race, but we are pointing up and celebrating our different heritages to the detriment of the whole society. We are no longer a true melting pot of Americans. If we don’t get past it, race will haunt our grandchildren’s lives much like it has corrupted the population for the past two centuries. When shopping the bread aisle at any local grocery, you will find white bread, rye bread, pumpernickel and a whole host of others. If we made bread purchases the same way we apply this country’s selective racism, some bread would no longer be on the shelf, from lack of sales. It is time for Americans to step up beyond their veiled racism and practice what they espouse. Race has no place in American politics, or American life.The sooner we can see people based on their abilities rather than their skin pigment, the sooner society will reach the goal of the Civil Rights Movement— equality for all, without regard for race. That would justify King’s life long mission.
Letter to the Editor
Ideas coming out of ward work The argument has been made by current council members as well as the mayor that our Council system might be too big. If there is a change, it cannot just be a blanket “every ward loses a seat.” Instead, we should look at a totally new system. One of the problems I see is that the wards are broken up based on an old census that does not include the newly annexed areas. That is unfair to those council members servicing that area as their territory has expanded. Perhaps the council should explore getting rid of the wards all together. Similar to other communities like Berwyn Heights, for example, the council seats are openended. When someone runs for city council, they do so in order to service the entire city rather than just one specific area. Those who get the most votes get on the council. If it turns out that every person happens to be from the old Ward 3 area, then so be it because these people would no longer just service that area. Instead, the entire City would be there concern. Not to say it is not now, but by making this change it would get rid of any notion that it is the case. Staying with this scenario, the council would be reduced from the current 10 council members to, say, six. That way there would be seven people on the council who would vote on any issue. The current stipend of under $3,000 per year would increase to $7,500 and the mayor would receive $15,000. This increase would be an
incentive not only for people to run for council, but also to more accurately reflect the time and energy that they put in. The council members would keep the four-year terms with three of them being up for election every two years. Voting would be held in three areas. One would be in the newly annexed area off of Adelphi Road. One would be in West Hyattsville and one would be in Magruder Park. This would lessen the necessity for having five separate voting areas which come with voting machine rental. Campaigning would also have to change. With the new campaign laws in effect, it would be imperative that the city provide more access to those running for a seat. The city would provide question-and-answer sessions and documents that would be mailed out to every Hyattsville citizen rather than expecting each council candidate to put out literature to the 14,000 registered voters (maybe more?). That could cost a lot of money. The city would have to air candidate Q&As on TV Channel 71 and would need to provide ample access for print Q&A. Yard signs will be at the discretion of the candidates under the rules in place as far as paying for them. Banning signs all together is probably not a bad idea, but I’m not sure how it can be stopped if someone really wants to do it. Jim Groves Moderator, H.O.P.E. listserv
A community newspaper chronicling the life and times of Hyattsville
Mailing address: PO Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781 Hyattsville Life & Times is published monthly by Hyattsville Community Newspaper, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation. Interested reporters should send their e-mail addresses to the editor to be reminded of deadlines and receive internal news. Articles and news submitted may be edited. The deadline is the last week of the month for the following month’s issue. Letters to the editor and opinions are encouraged. For all e-mail correspondence with HL&T: news, features, tips, advertising and business write to email@example.com. To submit articles, letters to the editor, etc. , e-mail Hyattsvillelifeandtimes@gmail.com. For inquiries re advertising rates or to submit ad copy please email to Hyattsvillelife@Yahoo.com. Sarah Nemeth, Executive Editor 240.354.4832 or firstname.lastname@example.org Ashby Henderson, Photographer Publication Production, Electronic Ink Colleen Aistis Ashley Henderson
Writers/Contribtors John Aquilino Keith Blackburn Bert Kapinus Michael Martucci
Steve Clements Hugh Turley
Board of Directors Christopher Currie Matthew McKnight Tim Hunt Bert Kapinus Sarah Nemeth Circulation: Copies are distributed monthly by U.S. Mail to every address in Hyattsville. Additional copies are distributed to libraries, selected businesses, community centers and churches in the city. Total circulation is 7,500. HL&T is a member of the National Newspaper Association.
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
A skeptic among the faithful by John Aquilino
hey gather the first Sunday of each month precisely at 4 p.m. in St. Jerome’s Church. They are not all Roman Catholics, but they are all there for the same reason: to be healed. What spiritual, emotional, or physical burden they ask deliverance from is known only to them, the priest who leans closely to hear whispered requests, and God. It’s an intensely private moment in a very public place of worship.
of Sunday Masses, a rosary or two, and other very traditional services in duration. But a “healing” ministry? That, to many Roman Catholics, is something entirely new, because in the charismatic Catholic communities, healing Masses have been around for a while. The very phrase—“healing ministry”—elicits images of tent revivals where stirring music melds with loud, dramatic, Bible-quoting, and decidedly non-Catholic ministers who stride upon an elevated stage and with an open-hand,
after the Mass ends is not his doing. What healing that takes place is from the Divine, not mortals. Communion is distributed, then Father Jim Stack concludes the familiar liturgy by bringing to the center of the altar a striking vessel sculpted of gold and other precious metals into a sunburst design topped by a cross. It’s called the monstrance (from the Latin “monstrare” meaning “to show”). At its center is a round glass chamber into which the consecrated Host is placed. The little shrine can be
Taking the seemingly impossible and placing it in the hands of an unseen higher power may be something that humankind has professed for millenniA, but actually standing alone before one’s God is a true challenge to anyone’s faith. For Roman Catholics, or anyone for that matter, a healing ministry is both a shock and challenge to one’s faith. It’s illogical, not based on science or reason. It is, as the media says, entirely “faith based.” Taking the seemingly impossible and placing it in the hands of an unseen higher power may be something that humankind has professed for millennia, but actually standing alone before one’s God with no one around save a clergyman and one or two quiet guardians is a true challenge to anyone’s faith. That challenge extends to members of the church hierarchy as well as those among the faithful whose tenure in the church may be, at best, half a century or more
martial-style, palm thrust delivered with force enough to stun an ox, command that the singular soul before them “be healed.” The holy blow delivered to the forehead causes even the strong to stagger backward a step or two, some collapse in the arms of “catchers” to be laid gently upon the carpeted stage. The scene at St. Jerome’s is quite different. There are no dramatics, nothing theatric. The music is soothing but the fervor of faith is just as intense. Catholics and non-Catholics alike begin the early evening service with a Mass. A brief homily is delivered where the priest emphasizes that what is about to occur
mesmerizing. Ushers direct those who come for the Healing Service by twos to either side of the altar step. Father Stack, sometimes accompanied by a deacon or visiting priest, glides to the first who has stepped forward facing the Monstrance. He extends a hand, leans close to catch the meaning of the whispered words, then begins to pray. Some come for themselves and the afflictions they bear. Some ask deliverance for friends or relatives. Their reasons are no one’s business but theirs and their Lord and Savior.
A SKEPTIC continued on page 19
News from the ‘Hills’
Civically minded by Tim Hunt
hroughout the past year, the University Hills Civic Association and its members have set an example as to how a community can progress through communication. With regular meetings, newsletters, a Web site and old fashioned word of mouth, the primary focus of the civic association is to disseminate information affecting the neighborhood among neighbors as well as to be an advocate for its residents in the greater community. With the transition into the City of Hyattsville, residents of University Hills were able to sort through the confusion of new city services, incorrect property tax bills and the like with help from other concerned residents involved with the civic association. Also, neighbors were able to band together to provide a unified voice against the proposed Landy Project,
16-story apartment buildings behind Northwestern High School, which threaten to over develop the area and overrun its infrastructure. Please support the University Hills Civic Association as there are more changes coming in 2008 and beyond of which residents need to be aware. One change that is being proposed could dramatically affect the infrastructure around the neighborhood. Recently, the Maryland Transit Administration held a series of open house meetings concerning the development of the Purple Line which would be a dedicated bus or light rail route connecting Metro stations from New Carrolton to Bethesda while adding new stops along the way. As the line moves east, it will travel along University Blvd. from Langley Park to the University of Maryland. In all but the least costly of the bus line alternatives, the road-
way would need to be broadened to accommodate the plan. “We would have to widen some and it could have some impact on the [University Hills community park],” said Michael Madden, project manager with the MTA, referring to the facility which borders University Blvd. In addition, should the light rail alternative be chosen, the line would have to be tunneled underground because of the incline in the roadway just west of the University of Maryland. “The light rail alternative can’t make that hill,” Madden said. To complicate the issue, there is disagreement between the MTA and the university as to whether the line should be routed along Campus Drive or use a more northerly route along Stadium Drive. Accord-
CIVICALLY MINDED continued on page 19
Commentary and opinion on history & politics
Hugh’sNews A History of Thomas Edward Shields by Hugh Turley
educational psychology. However, Dewey’s educational philosophy ducation mogul Thomas Ed- was man-centered aimed at producward Shields was born in 1862 ing desirable citizens. In response to and raised on a farm near the those who found the meaning of life village of Mendota, Minn. During in this world, Shields offered a phithe Sioux Indian uprising his fam- losophy which aimed at perfecting ily fled to nearby Fort Snelling. As a man in the present life as a means of child he seemed incapable of learn- fitting him for a life hereafter. ing in school and he was labeled a Shields believed an education ab“dullard” and sent home. With the sent of God was a fractured educahelp of a Catholic priest Shields did tion. He thought every subject in learn to read and later graduated in the curriculum should teach stuthe first class from St. Thomas Aqui- dents about God. nas Seminary, now the University of Some of his works include: The St.Thomas, in St. Paul, Minn. Short- Making and Unmaking of a Dullly after his ordination Shields came ard, The Education of Our Girls, to Maryland to study. Primary Methods, A Philosophy of During the early 1890s Shields Education, and his Catholic Eduwas studying biology and physiol- cational Series of Textbooks for ogy at the University of Johns Hop- the Schools. He also wrote for the kins in Baltimore. On weekends Catholic University Bulletin and he assisted at St. Jerome’s Catholic The Catholic Educational Review. Church in Hyattsville and lived at His textbooks were enthusiastically the rectory with the pastor. received. In While stay1908, Lucian ing in HyattsJohnston, a ville Shields former pastor began a relaat St. Jerome’s tionship with in Hyattsville, Professor Edwrote that ward A. Pace Shields’ textand Thomas books were J. Shahan at “the first inCatholic Unitelligent efversity which fort to teach first opened religion that for classes on I have seen Nov. 13, 1889. from a CathShahan later olic source.” became the Shields Rector of the founded the university. department Shields of Education completed at Catholic The tomb of Thomas Edward Shields. his Ph.D. in U n i v e r s i t y. 1895. For He estabseven years he taught biology at the lished a Catholic Sisters College to seminary in St. Paul, until he joined train the sisters who dedicated their the faculty of Catholic University in lives unselfishly to teaching chil1902. dren. He also served on the faculty He moved to 1026 Quincy Street of Trinity College, founded by the in the Brookland area of Northeast Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Washington, D.C. in 1897. The influence of Shields Perhaps due to his experience as on Catholic education was likely a child, he pioneered a system of felt in Hyattsville in 1914 when the education based on the laws of sci- Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur ence. He incorporated the methods began teaching Sunday school at that Christ, the divine teacher, used St. Jerome’s. This same community in the Gospels. He wrote books, of sisters has taught at St. Jerome’s lectured, and published a Catholic School since it first opened with Educational Review with endless three grades on Oct. 26, 1943. energy. Shields emphasized the imBy 1911, Shield’s prevailed upon portance of music and the arts in the Catholic University to purchase 47 curriculum and became one of the acres of land near the university for preeminent Catholic educators in a campus for a sisters college. He the 20th Century. promised he would find the funds Shields was a contemporary of to pay the interest and later pay for educational reformers John Dewey and William James. Both Shields and Dewey attended Johns Hopkins and they shared ideas in common on HUGH'S NEWS continued on page 12
|THE PUBLICATION DEADLINE for articles and letters in the February issue is Friday, January 25th. |
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
CommunityAnnouncements Hyattsville Community Foundation supports toy drive
The Hyattsville Foundation delivered a grant of $1,500 to the Sonny Frazier Toy Drive. Sgt. Funds from the foundationâ€™s coffers helped organizers put together the annual party for underprivileged children. Some of the proceeds helped purchased presents for 200 children.
ty Foundation at 8181 Professional Place, Landover, Md. 20785. Please indicate that they are to be credited to the Hyattsville Community Foundation.
County artists awards announced
Â Marla McLean, Chris Shea and Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette were awarded for their artwork in Wild
Stephen Clements, founder of the Hyattsville Community Foundation, presents a check to Sgt. Suzie Johnson of the Hyattsville Police Department, for the Sonny Frazier Toy Drive.
The Hyattsville Community Foundation, a part of the Prince Georgeâ€™s Community Foundation, meets to receive and distribute funds to Hyattsville nonprofit organizations. If you would like to donate to the foundation, checks can be mailed to the Prince Georgeâ€™s Communi-
Things, a juried exhibition selected by Jefferson Pinder, an artist and art professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. The exhibition was on display during November at the Montpelier Art Center in Laurel. Greenbelt weaver Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette won the showâ€™s
Center, 6120 Sargent Road, Chillum. Some experience in instructing is preferred but not required. For information call 301.853.2005. Â
Purchase Award, presented by Steven Newsome, Executive Director of the Prince Georgeâ€™s Arts Council. Her soft wall hanging, Bees Knees, was made of coiled beeswax and fabric and punctuated by the artistâ€™ own knee prints. Fellow Greenbelt resident Marla McLean was awarded $500 in cash for her installation piece, How to Make a Star, an assemblage of an antique school door on a museum pedestal and festooned with origami paper stars. Brandywine blacksmith Chris Shea also won a $500 cash award for his pair of hand-forged steel and cast glass: CafĂŠ Chairs.Â Also featured for their extraordinary artworks are: quilt maker Patricia Autunrieth; weaver Joyce Keister; Sumi ink artist Linda Lee Uphoff; video artists Charl Ann Brew and Mahwish Chisty; painters Ed Bisese, Michelle Johnson, Fredric A. Roberts and Papisco Kudzi; sculptors Alan Binstock, Melissa Burley and Michael Stark; and mixed media artists Seth Gomoljak and Nancy Salome Sanford. WILD THINGSâ€”Works in New and Conventional Media That Go Beyond the Expected Exhibitionâ€”is a program of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince Georgeâ€™s County, Arts and Cultural Heritage Division and partially funded by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. For more information, call 301.454.1461.
Instructors needed at Rollingcrest-Chillum Community Center
Â If you have skills in the areas of SAT preparation, cheerleading, martial arts, sewing, aerobics and tutoring, join the team at Rollingcrest-Chillum Community
JANUARY Beth Torah Congregation, 6700 Adelphi Road, is hosting a series of events this month. Jan. 11: Find a road map back to a Jewish life in the moving tales of other Jewish people. Journeys to a Jewish Life traces the paths of secular or nominal Jews who have blazed a spiritual trail toward modern Judaism, giving it their own spin. The book tracks their spiritual adventures from alienation to connection along religious detours, with guides who point the way. Paula Ammon will be a guest speaker following services at 8 p.m. Jan. 25: Michael Herman, chief of staff to Prince Georges County Executive Jack Johnson, will speak at 8:30 p.m. The event is free. Jan. 26: Lunch and Learn following services at 10:00 a.m. Topic: The Faith Factor! Explore the role that faith should play in the life of our next president. The event is free. For more information on any of these events, call 301.927.5525 or e-mail email@example.com..
Skate party at Langley Park site
Â A winter roller skate party is planned from 1-4 p.m. on Jan.12, at Rollingcrest-Chillum Community Center, 6120 Sargent Road. The afternoon will be full of music, roller skating and refreshments. Parents are welcome to skate also. The cost is $5/resident, $6/non-resident. For information call 301.853.2005. Â
FEBRUARY Ward 3 meeting on tap
Representatives and residents of
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Ward 3 will meet at 3 p.m. on Feb. 9 to discuss issues of interest specifically regarding the ward, as well city-wide topics.Â The meeting will be held at the Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin St. Call or e-mail with your RSVP: Krista Atteberry: 301.699.0847 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anthony Patterson:301.864.0143 or e-mail at apatterson@hyattsville. org.
Black History Month poster contest
Art students at Parkdale High School in Riverdale have produced the 2008 Black History Month poster, which honors African American history and its impact on individual lives and the local community. Each year, a county high school is selected to participate in the Black History Month Poster Project, an eight-week art enrichment program coordinated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The poster, titled â€œYours, Mine, Ours: Shared Visions of African American history in Prince Georgeâ€™s Countyâ€?, was created by students: Ekenechukwu Ndukwe; Jeanette Bolden; Jelani Armstrong; Andre Carter; Oshane Watson; Brandon Williams; and Tiffani Corley. Parkdale High School painting teacher and artist in residence, Hampton Olfus Jr. provided support and mentoring for the students.The students researched local African American history and family history that is relevant to the theme of the poster. Each student then created a design element that contributed to the overall design of the poster.The concept of the design was the vision of, Ekenechukwu Ndukwe, 16, who interpreted the theme to mean a walk down memory lane.Â Over 7,000 posters will be distributed during February at MNCPPC Black History Month 2008 events.Â For information and to pick up a free poster call 301.454.1450.
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
City, FOP discuss savings plan by Sarah Nemeth
he City of Hyattsville is considering a request to enroll in a supplemental retirement savings program that would allow police officers to save for their future in a more streamlined way. Working in conjunction with ICMA-RC, a not-for-profit provider of retirement services, the city would offer its third 457 deferred compensation plan. These plans allow participants to make contributions on a pre-tax basis. Federal and many state income taxes are deferred until assets are withdrawn, usually during retirement when participants are likely to be in a lower tax bracket. Pat O’Hagan, president of the Hyattsville Police Department’s Fraternal Order of Police, said offering this 457 plan will help boost officer recruitment and lower attrition rates. “The benefit to FOP members is that the administrative costs are much lower,” O’Hagan said at a Dec. 10 City Council meeting. “It is one thing added to the overall package. Not that many people are up on a lot of the details… but we would be able to say that we have one of the best in the area, that you’re going to reap the best benefit for your retirement. “Many places have differed compensation match; we don’t. But of all that don’t, we have one of the best plans going.” The council, at a Dec. 17 meeting, voted unanimously in favor of directing city staff to negotiate with the FOP and ICMA-RC to establish such a plan. Council members Krista Atteberry (Ward 3) and Carlos Lizanne (Ward 4) were absent. The council has not yet put the plan to a final vote in order to allow City Attorney Richard Colaresi time to review details he had not received in time for the council’s last meeting of 2007. Mayor William Gardiner said the policy will come back for a vote in January. All but one sworn Hyattsville police officer are a part of the Local
119, O’Hagan said. “I don’t know that we’ve ever gone lower than one employee not joining,” O’Hagan said, adding that for civilian officers, membership is more of a social thing with between 50 and 75 percent of them enrolled in the FOP. ICMA-RC’s Blue Line Plan was created specifically for the national FOP organization and is priced to all local lodges as if they were part of the national group. This allows local lodges and their members to participate in a plan at significantly lower costs than they could get based on their own membership or under their jurisdiction’s plan. Participants in the plan would save 26 percent, said City Treasurer Robert Oliphant. “It’s a pretty significant benefit,” he said. “That reduction in the cost to the participant is pretty significant in terms of their availability to save money over time.” Establishing the plan will not cost the city anything, and could offer additional fiscal benefit. The city is negotiating with ICMA-RC for an extension of the Blue Line Plan pricing to the city’s other 457 plans, should an agreement with the Local 119 and ICMA-RC be reached. Although the plan could be extended to all city employees—a move that could, in time, save the city on rate costs—the City Council decided to narrow the field to police officers only, sworn and civilian. O’Hagan, who only represents police officers, is pleased with that decision. “It’s a pleasant compromise… in that it reads that it be allowed for all police department employees,” he said. Because he is elected to his position by members of the FOP, O’Hagan said he was not comfortable representing other city employees and the extra time associated with representing all city employees could prove a hindrance.
Historic Hyattsville house turned “Home Sweet Home” for artist by Krista Atteberry
rtist Jeff Moulton describes his “eternal search to find a studio” as a journey that has taken him from small closets to flooded basements, to his remodeled Hyattsville studio adjacent to ‘The Paxton House’ at 6122 42nd Avenue. In 1998 Moulton and his wife Marsha bought the county-designated historic home - built in 1916 and renovated in the 1940s by former Hyattsville chiropractor Dr. Sharpe—specifically for the studio. The studio and yard with a pond was featured on the 2005 Hyattsville Preservation Association’s annual house tour. After the gutting of a small structure next to the main house that used to be half garage and half doctor’s office, Moulton now spends his days creating oil paintings featuring mostly nature settings. Their tabby cat Skeeter checks in regularly during the day on Jeff ’s creative progress. Moulton’s oil paintings range in size and subject from a 3-by-5-inch still life of a lemon to an 8 by 4-foot painting featuring tropical palm trees. Moulton finds inspiration for many of his works at local nature habitats such as the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the National Arboretum and Rock Creek Park. He hikes through these areas and stops and paints smallscale oil studies, which he often brings back to his studio in order to create larger paintings. He recently won 2nd prize at the Montpellier Cultural Art Center’s Patuxent Art League 17th Annual Open Juried Art Exibition for “Still Life with Orange Bowl,” an oil painting. He has previously won first prize in this competition. The Sommerville-Manning Gallery in Wilmington, Delaware features his work and serves as his main commercial outlet. His large oil paintings featuring na-
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ture depictions have often been placed in corporate office settings as tranquil decorative pieces. Moulton remembers “painting all my life, sometimes I’ve painted more, sometimes less.” He said he was “lucky enough to be encouraged” by his parents and says his high school art teacher was very influential. The 61-year-old was born in Ohio but raised in suburban Philadelphia. He was educated in art at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for his undergraduate work
and the University of New Mexico for his graduate degree. Before moving to Maryland Moulton spent over 10 years in Pennsylvania as the owner of a framing and art supply store. He has also traveled throughout the Metro region selling sporting goods. Now a full time artist and historic homeowner with many remodeling projects completed and underway, Moulton is completely at home with his wife Marsha in their historic Hyattsville home with studio.
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Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
Park fields parched by Stephanie Davis and Sarah Nemeth
yattsville residents and various other organizations use Magruder Park, a 32-acre facility on Hamilton Street, as a place for meetings, games and other activities on a regular basis, and have noticed that the fields arenâ€™t as healthy as they should be. â€œIt doesnâ€™t appear that [there is] a management program in place for all the fields,â€? said Marc Tartaro, president of the Hyattsville/Mount Rainier/Brentwood Boys and Girls Club and Ward 1 councilman. â€œYou would expect that they would be seeded, watered â€Ś and fertilized on
a regular basis, and that doesnâ€™t appear to be happening.â€? Three years ago there was a change in leadership and a change in how the parks are managed, Tartaro said. â€œIt certainly has been noticeable for probably the last three or four years,â€? he said. â€œThis was less of an issue in the past because the fields werenâ€™t being used as much, but now they are being used for all the different programs.â€? Magruder Park, situated on Hamilton Street at 40th Street, offers a soccer field, a football field â€”which will reopen in Septemberâ€”and baseball fields. There are also tennis courts and paths, pavilions and pic-
nic tables. The park is home to the Hamilton Street Pool. There are two groups who hold permits for playing sports on Magruderâ€™s fields: the Hyattsville/ Mount Rainier/Brentwood Boys and Girls Club and St. Jeromeâ€™s Catholic Youth Organization, said Joanne Mood, Hyattsvilleâ€™s director of recreation and the arts. Other organizations, including DeMatha Catholic High School, use the park for orientation and for some of its sports tournaments. â€œThey really need to be maintained in a different way than they have been in the past,â€? Tartaro said. The club uses the fields for football, baseball and soccer.
Program â€˜leafâ€™-ing some residents behind by Sarah Nemeth
tâ€™s one of the most popular programs Hyattsville offers. But residentsâ€™ hopes for the cityâ€™s leaf collection project plummet as the leaves fall and sometimes sit for weeks on sidewalks before the Public Works Department vacuums them up. â€œLeaf collection in this city is atrocious and it stays that way year in and year out,â€? said Ward 5 resident David Marshall at a Dec. 17 City Council meeting. â€œMine was supposed to be done Friday [but] it wasnâ€™t done for the last two weeks. Is DPW collecting leaves or are they just telling people theyâ€™re collecting leaves and not doing it? Something needs to be done.â€? Marshall said leaf collection has been a source of frustration for at least three years. High winds over the weekend of Dec. 15 left leaves, once collected and deposited in neat heaps at the curb, strewn haplessly around once-clean lawns. According to City Administrator Elaine Murphy, the leaf collec-
tion schedule has had to be modified due to inclement weather or a need to deploy public works employees elsewhere in the city. â€œItâ€™s my understanding that weâ€™re not terribly behind in leaf collection,â€? she said, adding that miscommunication about the collection also happens during weeks when there is a holiday. â€œThere seems to be some disconnect. If leaves get wet or when itâ€™s snowing and frozen they canâ€™t pick up leaves. â€œThere has to be some give and take in terms of the schedule for leaf collection. Depending on climatic changes we donâ€™t know when the leaves are going to fall en masse.â€? Councilwoman Nicole Hinds (Ward 5) suggested outsourcing the leaf collection program if the cityâ€™s workers are too busy. Communication about the effort between the city and residents has not been effective, she said. â€œI think it would be effective if we could communicate to the
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community,â€? Hinds said. â€œI see a lot of them putting them on the street instead of the sidewalk.â€? Residents are to pile leaves on the sidewalk in front of their houses. The city distributes a schedule of when the DPW will collect leaves and updates that plan as dictated by circumstances. Leaves can also be put in plastic garbage bags and will be collected by DPW on Wednesdays, Murphy said. There is a limit of 10 bags on Wednesdays.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t appear that [there is] a management program in place for all the fields,. â€œYou would expect that they would be seeded, watered â€Ś and fertilized on a regular basis, and that doesnâ€™t appear to be happening.â€? Marc Tartaro, President Hyattsville/Mount Rainier/Brentwood Boys and Girls Club and Ward 1 councilman David Hiles, whose son is a member of the boys and girls club, said he has seen the park post-abuse. â€œWeâ€™ve had problems with ruts on our playing fields in the past at Magruder Park,â€? Hiles told the council at a recent meeting, claiming that he had seen deep ruts on the east edge of the parkâ€™s main soccer field. â€œThereâ€™s often been some mystery about where the ruts come from. Last spring [we] met with city staff so this kind of thing wouldnâ€™t keep happening.â€? He suggested that the city follow practices used at other parks, including the use of blocking posts on paths and circulating policies that are well known about how to use vehicles on the park. City Administrator Elaine Murphy said two reports of vehicles on the fields in late fall were situations where the HMB club and the Anacostia Watershed Society were on site. â€œPark Police can drive on the
field and thereâ€™s nothing we can do to stop it,â€? she told Hiles. â€œThere has to be a way for police to get onto the area and make sure itâ€™s safe during hours that are not being used for field use.â€? Tom Lopresti, with CYO sports, agrees that the field maintenance is lax. He said that most of the time when the fields need something done he just does it himself. â€œAnd even with a little bit of rain the baseball fields will be unplayable,â€? he said. On Jan. 15, the city will hold a discussion forum on the redevelopment of Magruder Park.The discussion will include the feasibility of specific amenities. Hyattsville will solicit conceptual ideas for landscape design along the entry to the park and tie-ins to the Hamilton Street Improvement Program including the area from the park to 38th Avenue. The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin St.
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Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
Baltimore Avenue: more parking needed? by Sarah Nemeth
hile commercial and residential development is bursting onto the city scene, Hyattsville is working to determine if a public parking garage on U.S. Route 1 would benefit local business owners and shoppers. The City Council has given its approval for the city to negotiate with the state, Prince George’s County and the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation regarding the details of a feasibility study on the project. The study will be partially subsidized through a state grant of up to $25,000. County Councilman William Campos (D-Dist. 2), in conjunction with city and state organizations, has
nancier responsible for financing parking garages in Bethesda and Silver Spring, has expressed an interest in funding the structure should feasibility study point to a need, Frome said. A consolidated parking location could benefit projects like the coming low-income artist housing and YMCA, as well as public events held at Crossover Church, located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Baltimore Avenue. According to Frome, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development is willing to fund construction of a parking garage up to half of the project, matching what the city, Campos’ office and the CDC fund. The CDC would provide
parking at this facility would not be freE, FROME SAID.
determined the need for a feasibility study that would offer options on possible locations for the garage, said Campos aide Brad Frome at a Dec. 10 City Council meeting. “Right now I would imagine it would be pretty tough for a retailer to occupy any of the existing spaces that are currently on the Route 1 corridor [without more parking options],” Frome said. A parking garage would remove from business owners the need to provide parking, though details are not concrete, he said. “This is what study the is for, to bring in people who know traffic, who know parking … and they tell us where it would make most sense to produce a parking structure,” Frome said. A small urban-development fi-
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$15,000 in kind; the city would provide $10,000; EYA would provide $3,000 in kind and the county would provide $5,000, Mayor William Gardiner said. Councilwoman Paula Perry (Ward 4) wonders if more beneficiaries should be involved in the financing. “Because it’s going to benefit HIP and the YMCA if it is in, why aren’t they being asked to contribute to the study?” she asked. Those entities may be providing surface parking and may not be best to fund a parking feasibility study, Frome said, adding that plans are in the infant stage. “If [the garage] happens, it wouldn’t be for many, many years,” he said.
A Parking Task Force will be formed for the project but has not yet been defined in terms of membership, Gardiner said. Stuart Eisenberg, the CDC’s executive director, said getting a healthy cross-section of input on the project is integral to its success.
“I’m all for as much participation from folks who can improve the process and get all points of view. I think it’s a very valid approach,” he said. “The potential of a parking structure to do good is just as much potential for it to do harm so we want to get as much input as pos-
sible.” According to city legislation, the need for additional parking along the commercial corridor of Baltimore Avenue has been discussed for many years and it is a key part of the city’s Community Legacy Revitalization Plan.
Horticulture society springs up enriched by Vicki Kriz
hough autumn’s magnificent display of colors has faded and summer’s green is long gone, garden enthusiasts are not hibernating for the winter. In fact, Victoria Boucher Hille and the members of the Hyattsville Horticulture Society are already thinking about gardening plans for the upcoming year. Boucher Hille, secretary of the group, said the society was revitalized in the summer of 2006, 90 years after its creation in 1916, when the Hyattsville Preservation Society proposed the formation of a local gardening committee. Hyattsville resident Gwyn Kesler informed the Preservation Society that such a group already existed, but was lying dormant. It was then decided that the society would be renewed with old members joined by new. Kesler is now the society’s president, with Linda Keenan serving as vice president. The group now has about 24 members and is open to new participants. “Everyone interested in gardening and ecology is welcome, including beginners,” Boucher Hille said. The mission of the revitalized society is not only to gather gardening enthusiasts, but to also make positive contributions to the Hyattsville community. The group seeks to help Hyattsville residents with gardening problems and to make Hyattsville
a beautiful and healthy community. It also acts as a forum for where ideas can blossom and locals can learn from experts. The society has already held several activities to celebrate their renewed vigor. Their first event and fundraiser was a sale of organic soil last spring. Next year, the group hopes to include the sale of mulch in this annual event, Boucher Hille said. Members also enjoy learning about gardening and ecology and did so during a trip to Washington, D.C.’s Aquatic Garden’s Lotus Festival in September. Jeff Moulton, society member and vice president for special events, hopes that excursions to Kenilworth Park and the National Arboretum can be planned and a guest speaker program can be established in the near future. The group is currently planning for the upcoming year and is open to suggestions. A plant and gardening tool exchange, a water conservation initiative, and a gardening-themed newspaper column titled “Miss Floribunda” have been discussed. Meetings are usually held at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of every month at the Hyattsville Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin St.Those interested can contact Boucher Hille at 301.277.7129 or at email@example.com.
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
Looking Back attsville hery friend at Hy for the New feat s ile Sm Y: AR JANU ol. Elementary Scho
MARCH: Alfredo Ratinoff's sculpt ure of Marco Po is in the garden lo s on the ground s at the Mansion Strathmore. Inse at t: Alfredo Ratin off next to the m ral Aida and a pl uate made by Teod olina Garcia Cabo his first art teac , her. She gave it to him as a gift.
FEBRUARY: Sister Joyce Volpini at St Jerome's Command Central.
Agki, recipient of the APRIL: Rich Maches her ac Te g din an Outst nes Meyer Award for gh Hi a th Ma De e gtim of the Year, is a lon School educator.
MAY: Edelman Hernadez, 23, was killed in Afghanistan on April 11, part of the death toll of soldiers who have served in the mid-east in Americaâ€™s war on terrorism since September 11, 2001.
JUNE: Award-winning teacher Nora Facchiano retires.
MAY: Mayor W illiam Gardiner re-elect ed in city's biennial electi on.
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
…at 2007 JULY: Hyattsville Life & Times anno unces a changing business manager of the guard. Outg Steve Clements (le oing ft) and executive turn over the rein editor Nick Dunt s to Sarah Nemet en h.
AUGUST: Hyattsville Mayor William Gardiner and his captain Stuart Eisenberg lugged their canoe down a ramp and into the murky waters of the Anacostia River for the Anacostia Watershed Society’s 13th Annual Paddlesport Regatta.
SEPTEMBER: Cashier Catherine Alexandria checks out customer Gloria Industrious at GLUT organic grocery store in Mount Rainier.
OCTOBER: Ei ghth-grader Qunicy Baker design of a ch was awarded ildren’s logo first prize fo for the City of r her Hyattsville.
NOVEMBER: A young drumming student of "Baba M" Mahiri Edwards performs at the Gateway EcoArts Festival.
Hope, 1, cold daughter an i sk w o part of a rk : Ellen Bo ck pond as u d ls il H ty DECEMBER ersi ear the Univ lect trash n rt. fo ef p -u n ea volunteer cl
Hyattsville Life&Times | January 2008
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