sCOUNDRELs & sCANDALs
TELLING THE TALEs
While researching area houses, the Hyattsville Preservation Association and University of Maryland students uncover hidden secrets. Page 4
The Hyattsville Horticultural Society is hosting its annual seed sale on February 12, and bringing back some old favorites. Page 5
The new executive director of the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area wants to share tales of Hyattsville with as many people as possible. Page 3
Justice Dept. clears police on charges of discrimination by Paula Minaert
The U.S. Department of Justice announced last month that it has closed its investigation of the Hyattsville Police Department, finding no evidence of a pattern of discrimination against African-American officers. It will take no further action. The investigation, which began last January, was made at the request of the Prince George’s and Montgomery County branches of the NAACP. Six city officers had charged that they were subjected to retaliation when they spoke out against alleged abuse and racial and sexual discrimination in the department. The city consistently denied the allegations and said it was confident that any investigation would show that it has acted responsibly and appropriately. Police Chief Douglas Holland said in a press release after the announcement that the city appreciates the Justice Department’s findings but that “social harm” was caused by
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Vol. 8 No. 1
Hyattsville’s Community Newspaper
A HELPING HAND: VOLUNTEER RECEIVES AWARD New city administrator on board by Paula Minaert
chris currie Mayor Bill Gardiner and Volunteer Coordinator Colleen Aistis present the 2010 Hyattsville Volunteer Service Award to Bart Lawrence. Lawrence, PTA president of Hyattsville Elementary School, organized PTA volunteers to help at the city’s monthly Summer Jam, from set-up to clean-up. Local resident Becky Williams, a fiber artist with the Shakespeare Theatre, designed the award, one of several bestowed during a December dinner honoring more than 100 civic volunteers.
At press time, the Hyattsville City Council was expected to ratify the contract of a new city administrator at its meeting on January 10. If so, Gregory E. Rose, formerly city manager of North Las Vegas, will take over January 18 from Elaine Murphy. Murphy, who has held the position for 11 years, announced her resignation in April. Since then, at least half a dozen candidates for the job were interviewed. Rose has experience in municipal government in towns as different as Warrensburg, Mo., a college town of 15,000, and adMInISTraTOr continued on page 13
Library changes pose questions by Bart Lawrence
Want to know how to frame a complex gambrel roof, what Nick Carraway thought of his neighbor, what happens to the element caesium when added to cold water, or what’s written on Emily Dickinson’s gravestone? The answers can be found at the Hyattsville branch of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. Yet, with last year’s budget cutting, collection dumping and tree felling, some area residents might be wondering where to turn for answers when the library itself is the question. lIBrarY continued on page 12
waymarking.com The Hyattsville Library, with its iconic flying-saucer entrance.
Included: The January 11, 2011 Issue of The Hyattsville Reporter — See Center Section
Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
Local authors in search of an audience by Julia Duin
It’s never too late to write a book. Finding an audience for it, though, is another story. Recently, my neighbor David Levy, founder and former president of the Children’s Rights Council, came out with an environmental fiction novel. Called “Revolt of the Animals,” it’s a fable about the world’s animals uniting to prevent humans from destroying the world by nuclear war. Not everyone is up to publishing a book at age 74, but David had been working on this novel
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 hyattsvillelifeandtimes@ gmail.com. To submit articles, letters to the editor, etc., e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. executive editor Paula Minaert email@example.com 301.335.2519 Managing editor Susie Currie firstname.lastname@example.org 301.633.9209 Production Ashley Perks advertising email@example.com 301.531.5234 Writers & contributors Victoria Hille Valerie Russell Kimberly Schmidt Hugh Turley Board of directors Julia Duin - President Chris Currie - Vice President Joseph Gigliotti - General Counsel Paula Minaert - Secretary Peggy Dee Susie Currie - Ex Oﬃcio Circulation: Copies are distributed monthly by U.S. Mail to every address in Hyattsville. Additional copies are distributed to libraries, selected businesses, community centers and churches in the city. Total circulation is 8,000. Hl&T is a member of the national newspaper association.
for 25 years. About 15 publishers turned him down. So when he retired last fall, he devoted his free time to the book and eventually self-published it. At his house recently, we got to talking about the difficulties of marketing a book without a bigname publisher behind you. Taking out ads is quite expensive. Hiring a PR agency costs several thousand dollars a month. As someone who’s come out with two books since I moved here in 2008, I’ve experienced similar frustrations. The Book Nook, a local store on Route 1, was still operating at the time, so I had a signing there. Only 10 people showed up. I inquired at the Hyattsville library, only to learn there’s a thicket of hoops one has to jump through to get a speaking slot in its authors’ lecture series. Because both my books are
about religion, I did speak at two local Episcopal churches, which got me some sales. But there are more copies than I’d like sitting in my garage. Hyattsville has several local authors. I rung up one: Todd Kliman, whose first book, “The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine,” came out in May (and was reviewed in the June HL&T). He estimates it’s sold 14,000 copies in only six months − a respectable showing in a time of economic downturn. Todd hired an independent publicist for a few weeks, had a book party in his honor at Franklins, and gave readings in bookstores around the country. None were near Hyattsville. “I never thought of promoting the book locally,” he told me. “You get a sense that no one reads. There is a finite audience
out there. You hear about supporting local produce and local farmers but you don’t hear that kind of talk about a local bookstore.” Which, unfortunately, is part of the reason we lost the Book Nook. Not enough locals supported a homegrown bookstore, which may price items higher than Amazon, although I’ve noticed that people will drop $20 in a second for lattes and boutique foods at Starbucks. There are other local authors in our small town, including William Loizeaux, who’s done books for children as well as adults, and local historian Andra Damron. I’m sure all of us are looking forward to the April opening of the new Busboys and Poets store on Route 1. When its founder, Andy Shallal, spoke with some of us last May, he promised local authors would get space there.
But when I called the corporate office for details, I was told that any book events sponsored by the store had to be about topics “in line with our mission” − basically peace and social justice issues. Authors can also rent a room at the restaurant, but the fees of $100 to $400 an hour would wipe out any profit. Here’s my suggestion for Busboys and Poets: Cut local authors a deal. We have lots of friends we could invite to an event – or series of events – where we’d have readings and sign books and our friends would buy lots of food. That sounds like a win-win situation to me. And it beats spending $20 at Starbucks any day. Julia Duin, whose latest book is “Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community,” is president of the board of the Hyattsville Life & Times.
The case of the disappearing Safeway stock Editor’s Note: In our September issue, a cover story on Safeway executives meeting with aggrieved residents revealed that Director of Public Aﬀairs Greg Ten Eyck was planning to recommend later that month that the Hamilton Street store be upgraded to a “lifestyle Safeway,” similar to Greenbelt’s. Four months later, here’s what one resident has found. Ten Eyck did not respond to a request for an interview. by Douglas R. Thompson
Somewhere, Safeway minions are meticulously going over my shopping receipts, and one by one eliminating those items from the Hamilton Street store. Or so it seems. I’m sure I am not the only customer who sees their weekly Safeway shopping list getting smaller and smaller, because the item has mysteriously disappeared from the shelf. For starters: yellow corn, margarine made with plant sterols, canned pinto beans in chili sauce, Maggi seasoning, Wolfgang Puck’s frozen pizza, Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee, Tasty Bite Indian food, Middle East pita bread − even Puffs tissues. These are just some of the brands and items I can remember buying at our Safeway once upon a time. There have been many more. Meantime, the ancient refrigerator that holds the packaged lettuce keeps breaking, and instead of replacing it, they keep repairing
it over and over and over, sometimes within two weeks of the previous breakage. What kind of business sense does that make? They could have paid for a new refrigerator three times over from the amount of produce they have had to throw away over the years. And I wouldn’t dream of buying my ice cream at Safeway, because I’ve seen that freezer, too, break time after time, and one never knows if one is buying a pint of ice cream that has been melted and refrozen several times over. It is very sad to see this happen. It’s not just the customers who deserve better; so does the staff. All the cashiers are top-of-the-line people. That is the only thing that keeps me going to Safeway. There is not a time that I catch one of their eyes either when they are at another cashier station, or taking a break outside, or walking up one of the aisles, when they don’t say, “Hi, Mr. Thompson. How are you?” I’ve been shopping there for over 30 years,
but it’s not just me. They know many of their customers by name, and greet them as well. They are always helpful and kind. When we were all told that Safeway would be moving to University Town Center, my wife and I were sad to lose the convenient current location, but happy that it would be an upgraded store. I even had hopes that some of the things I used to be able to buy would return. Then, when that deal fell through, the employees were told that the store would be upgraded. They were all very excited about this happening. Each time the date approached, I would ask one of the cashiers what was going on. The usual response was: “Oh, they decided to upgrade another store instead. They say we are next on the list.” Then it would happen again. We’re next on the list. Nope, another store was upgraded instead. So in August, we finally had our “town meeting” with Safeway executives, and have now been promised that upgrading the store would be “recommended.” Does anybody believe this will ever happen? I will continue to buy my ever-shrinking grocery items from Safeway because I love the people who work there, and get the rest at Giant, Harris Teeter, Takoma Park Coop, Glut, etc., until Safeway has finally eliminated everything on my list. Douglas R. Thompson, who owns Yoga Space, has lived in Hyattsville for 34 years.
Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
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valerie russell Aaron Marcavitch is the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area’s new executive director.
ATHA tells Hyattsville’s historical stories, tales by Krystyn Schmerbeck
As one walks down the streets of Hyattsville, the picturesque homes, quaint parks and occasional historic landmarks give a distinct impression: the town has a tale to tell. Marking its 125th anniversary this year, Hyattsville is one of 14 local communities that comprise the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, also known as ATHA – an acronym that refers both to geographical boundaries and to the organization charged with helping tell the story of Hyattsville and its neighboring towns to tourists and history buffs. And Aaron Marcavitch, ATHA’s new executive director, wants to share it with as many people as possible. He recently relocated with his wife and two young children to Prince George’s County after working in historic preservation and public housing on the island of Nantucket, Mass. While earning degrees in historic preservation and public history, he studied the impact of major roadways on architecture. So he was intrigued to discover how Route 1 acts as a spine linking some of the ATHA communities. ATHA, like the other 11 heritage areas designated by the state of Maryland, aims to develop a region’s historic, natural and cultural richness to promote heritage tourism – and tourism in general. “Heritage areas can promote tourism, but too often economic revitalization becomes the primary focus,” he said. “Telling the story must come first.” Along these lines, Marcavitch pinpoints three main areas of focus for improving what might be termed the “storytelling capacity” of ATHA. First, he hopes to strengthen relationships among ATHA, community-based associations, and government entities such as the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. “I see myself as an air-traffic controller,” he explained. With improved coordination, the area’s events can complement one another and tell a more comprehensive and more interesting story. Second, he will provide technical assistance to local preservation groups, including help obtaining
grant funding and “Heritage areas can designing brochures promote tourism, and walking tours. He has already be- but too often gun beefing up the economic ATHA website, revitalization www.anacostiatrails. org, to include in- becomes the formation on five primary focus. self-guided tours Telling the story with themes ranging must come first.” from transportation — Aaron Marcavitch to agriculture. ATHA executive director Finally, he will synthesize the results from the first two efforts and provide more complete information about the area’s events and attractions to tourism bureaus. One big project on the horizon: getting the word out about the bicentennial celebrations of the War of 1812. A large emphasis will be placed on Bladensburg, whose historic battle will be commemorated in August 2014. The anticipated interest in these events might lead to a temporary relocation of ATHA’s offices from the Hyattsville Municipal Building to Bladensburg. But such a move would not likely be permanent; plans are underway for expanded office space, complete with visitors’ center, in the Arcade Building, currently being renovated at 4318 Gallatin Street. The move would mark a milestone in ATHA’s history. Founded in 1997, the group has often struggled, said board chairman Stuart Eisenberg. Marcavitch, who started at the end of September, takes the helm of a group with an “increasingly clear direction, mission and administration,” said Eisenberg. Now financially solvent, ATHA has taken over management of the heritage area from the Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority, streamlining the process. Now, it seems, ATHA is poised to help locals and tourists to, in the words of its slogan, experience the evolution of a nation.
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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
Surprises, scoundrels and scandals
While researching area houses, Hyattsville Preservation Association and UM students uncover secrets by Kimberly Schmidt
Working with the Hyattsville Preservation Association, graduate students from the University of Maryland have been thoroughly researching 11 area historic homes. On December 16, the students, who are pursuing master’s degrees in historic preservation, presented their findings to a group that included many of the homeowners and HPA members. The houses were built between 1887 and 1932 and ranged in style from turn-of-the-century Victorians to early 20th -century Sears kit houses and bungalows. Researchers delved into deeds, census, land, tax and probate records (such as wills and inventories), old maps, advertisements for Hyattsville, and historic newspaper articles. They conducted extensive oral interviews with current and, when available, previous owners and occupants. The documentation was im-
pressive. But to this listener, the surprises and stories were the centerpiece attraction of the evening. Stuart Eisenberg and Kathy Kilday were surprised to learn that their house was built a full decade earlier than previously documented, placing it in the 19th rather than the 20th century. They also learned that part of their home, which they had assumed was original, was actually a very well-built and concealed addition. Leah Wolfe learned that the land for her home was owned by none other than Truman C. Everts, the man lost for 37 days in what became Yellowstone National Park. When finally recovered, he refused to give his rescuers the reward money fronted by his friends (see “Legend & Lore,” February 2010). After his ordeal in the wilderness, he moved to Hyattsville, took a 14-year-old bride and settled in to a job at the Post Office. We know now exactly where Everts lived – right
around the corner from this author, as a matter of fact. Perhaps a historic plague – er, plaque – should be placed on this property? Homeowner Geraldine Smith told one researcher about her husband’s veterinarian practice and participation in the panda diplomacy of the early 1970s. He attended to the health and care of Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing at the National Zoo. A stream, now subverted underground, once ran through the Smith property and the corner of 39th Avenue and Jefferson was once a swimming hole. During the winter months, the city sandbagged the bottom of the street and 39th Avenue (the hill in Hyattsville Hills) was the best sledding run in the area. Before the Smiths moved into their Sears kit house, it was owned by Louise Blair, an African-American woman and longtime civil servant. Blair, whose ancestry included veterans from the American Revolution, joined
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Toscanini said comes along only once in 100 years. And yet, because of her skin color, the DAR denied Anderson the stage at Constitution Hall. Enraged, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for a concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday morning, 1939. In front of over 75,000 people, Anderson sang a selection of operatic works and “America the Beautiful.” History has shown that this concert redefined the Lincoln Memorial from a monument dedicated to national unity to a pilgrimage site for those seeking justice and an end to racial oppression. It’s likely that Blair attended the concert and helped to liBrary of congress make history that day. Marian Anderson singing at the And the stories of Blair and Lincoln Memorial in 1939. Everts are just the beginning. The university researchers uncovered the Daughters of the American many more: stories about sufRevolution in 1920, becoming fragists, the first female aerial the DAR’s first African-American photographer, Civil War vetermember. Nineteen years later, ans, railroad men and the promishe took a stand against racial nent attorneys and businessmen discrimination by renouncing who purchased the land and her membership because of the built the town. These and many scandal created by the group’s more will shortly be available on treatment of Marian Anderson. www.preservehyattsville.org, the For those who don’t know the HPA website. history, Anderson was one of the world’s greatest opera sing- Kimberly Schmidt is president of ers. She had a voice that the cel- the Hyattsville Preservation Assoebrated Italian conductor Arturo ciation.
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Dear Miss Floribunda, Last February, snow and car troubles kept me indoors a lot and I came down with a bad case of cabin fever – or rather, eﬃciency-apartment fever. Then, at a grocery store, I saw the poster advertising your garden club’s seed sale and decided to walk over to the Municipal Center that Saturday to check it out. To my surprise, there was a party going on, with hot soups, hot drinks, and baked goods laid out on beautiful tablecloths. Along with the colorful seed displays, little pots of cheery flowers were everywhere and the cashier actually kept her change separated in flower pots of diﬀerent sizes. I met lots of nice people and got interested in gardening. Now in the post-holiday blahs, I’m remembering that fun event. And now that there is going to be a community garden and I plan to sign up for a plot, I would actually buy seeds. Will the sale be repeated this winter? Hoping on Hamilton Street Dear Hoping, There certainly will be another seed sale. The Hyattsville Horticultural Society has scheduled it for February 12 in the Mary Prangley Room on the second floor of the municipal building. The sale will start at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. or so. Because of the proximity of Valentine’s Day and because we get the seeds from the Hart Seed Company, we’ve decided to have a heartsand-flowers theme. Romantic “heritage” varieties favored by Victorians will be featured again, along with cutting-edge new varieties. Mr. Robert Hart, great-grandson of the company’s founder, recommends
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the new “rainbow” collections for such vegetables as carrots and kale. We will again have different varieties of grasses and herbs for cat lovers to grow for Fluffy and Pounce. There will be a special Italian selection of vegetables for those who specialize in la bella cucina and a special herb selection for all cooks. There will be a special shade-lovers selection as well. This year we offer new gardeners informative pamphlets, magazines and books on gardening. If there is a demand, we will bring back the amazing sunflower array of nine different varieties – including the one most favored by children, Sungold, a huge ball of closely packed petals that looks like a furry and pettable hedgehog. Other child-pleasers are the mini-gourds, mini-watermelons, the large red “Cinderella” pumpkin, and the
watermelon radish, which is light green on the outside and red on the inside! And, of course, there will be plenty to eat and drink. We hope that more of you apartment dwellers will take advantage of the new community garden. Information on how to join will be provided at the sale. In the meantime, you may email Shani Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Yahoo listserv HyattsvilleCommunityGarden – yes, all one word. Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Hart would like for you to know that Hart seeds are not genetically engineered: “You can assure all of your customers that Hart only packages and distributes untreated, non-[genetically modified], open-pollinated or hybrid flower and vegetable seeds ... suitable for organic home gardens. ” See you at the sale!
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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
Residents debate possible uses for Arcade building by Susie Currie
The mustard-yellow building adjacent to City Hall has been many things to many people over the years. Built in 1886 as Pinckney Memorial Episcopal Church, by 1916 it had been converted and expanded as an entertainment facility called the Arcade, complete with a silent-movie theater, bowling lanes and billiards tables. At one point, it expanded yet again to include restaurants and retail space. Most recently – since well before the city acquired it in 2000 – it has sat empty. In 2006, the city hired the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation to manage the building’s renovation, a process that is being funded by state and county grants as well as the city. Now, some are envisioning its next incarnation as an anchor of Gateway Arts District. But what form that would take was
the question on December 8, as about 30 residents, council members and city staff gathered for a project update and discussion about uses and programming for the facility. So far, explained CDC Executive Director Stuart Eisenberg during the meeting, workers have replaced the roof and floor; removed environmental hazards such as lead, mold and asbestos; and begun façade improvements. Eisenberg’s PowerPoint presentation detailed the available spaces, which consist of a ground floor and a main floor with mezzanine level that he calls an “assembly area.” A grant has earmarked part of the ground floor for office space for the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, whose headquarters are currently sandwiched between the Council chambers and staff offices on the third floor of City Hall. Community meeting rooms will also likely be part of the mix.
courtesy farrell mcglynn architects Most ideas for the Arcade centered on making the main floor a performing-arts venue.
But many more square feet remain to be filled. And the group had plenty of ideas, ranging from the fanciful (space for trapeze artists and roller skaters) to the family-friendly (programs for preschoolers). Most ideas, though, centered on making the main floor a performing-arts venue. Several residents with arts backgrounds argued for a top-tier space with a permanent stage, and at least one council member agreed. “I want a true performance space, with broadcast possibilities,” said council president Marc
Tartaro (Ward 1). As for parking, “we’re working on that,” said Eisenberg in a recent interview. “Once we have all the uses defined and finalize design, then we can estimate the parking needs.” But, pointed out longtime resident David Marshall, “not everyone in the community performs or is an artist, or is interested in those fields.” He suggested focusing on something “more for the whole community, like space for wedding receptions.” Eisenberg will be giving an abridged presentation on January
18 at 7 p.m. in council chambers, an hour before the City Council’s regular meeting. He said it was scheduled for that time because “we want all council members to be on the same footing,” with access to the same information. Six of the 10 members attended the December meeting, with members Ruth Ann Frazier, Paula Perry, Carlos Lizanne and Douglas Dudrow absent. All residents are invited to attend or watch on Hyattsville Community Television: cable channel 71 (Comcast) and channel 12 (Verizon).
Celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 2011 5:00 to 7:00 pm Featuring Dr. Jeffrey Q. McCune from the University of Maryland, musical performances, refreshments, and kids’ activities. Prince George’s Plaza Community Center 6600 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville MD 20782 Contact M-NCPPC at 301-864-1611; TTY: 301/445-4512; Spanish line: 301/445-4509 Contact the City of Hyattsville at 301-985-5020
Presented by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County, Northern Area and the City of Hyattsville Department of Recreation and the Arts. We encourage and support the participation of individuals with disabilities. Register a minimum of two weeks in advance of the program start date to request and receive a disability accommodation.
JUDGES WANTED The next City-wide Election is Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Apply now for Election Judge Judges must be registered to vote in the Ward for the Polling Location for which they are appointed. For more information, please call Doug Barber, City Clerk, at 301/985-5009.
Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
Through January 15
Impressed: New Visions in Printmaking showcases work by University of Maryland undergraduates in media ranging from computer-generated to relief printing. Free. Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gateway Arts Center, 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood. 301.277.2863.
Through February 25
open to performers ages 16 and up, are by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments may be made online at art.pgparks.com, or by calling 301.446.3232. Works should be traditional, no longer than 15 minutes, and performed in authentic costumes. Free. Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly.
On loan from the National Air and Space Museum, Fly Now! is an exhibit of 40 international aviation posters from 1860 to the present. Free with museum admission of $4 for adults and $2 for ages 18 and under. Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. College Park Aviation Museum. 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park. 301.864.6029.
The College Park Arts Exchange hosts a book discussion of Dreaming in Hindi, by Katherine Russell Rich, a former magazine writer in New York who traveled to India for a year-long total immersion program in Hindi. The resulting book is part memoir, part cultural commentary, and part linguistic science. Free. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Old Parish House, 4711 Knox Road, College Park. 301.927.3013.
When the secretary of the Montgomery, Ala., NAACP chapter refused to give up her bus seat in 1955, her arrest made history. See local high school students re-enact The Trial of Rosa Parks. Free. 2 p.m. Hyattsville library, 6530 Adelphi Road. 301.985.4690.
Cabin fever setting in? Bring your 3-to-8-year-old out to a children’s drop-in arts workshop, led by Aaron Springer. Free. 10 a.m. to noon. College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Avenue, College Park. 301.441.2647.
Local high school students will re-enact the trial of Rosa Parks at the Hyattsville library on January 15.
The College Park Aviation Museum provides all the materials for its LEGO aircraft building day, where you can design your own aircraft with LEGOS. The pieces stay at the museum, but participants get a picture of their creations, and top designs will be displayed throughout the museum. Free with admission of $4 for adults and $2 for children. Noon to 4 p.m. 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park. 301.864.6029.
If your New Year’s resolution is to dust off those knitting needles, the Tangled Skein can help. Evey Pinkham will lead a Getting Back into Knitting workshop that is faster-paced than the beginner’s course. $20 plus materials. 7 to 9 p.m. A Tangled Skein, 5200 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 101. 301.779.3399.
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Traditional dance groups from every culture and country are invited to audition for an opportunity to participate in the Ninth Annual World Dance Showcase, scheduled for March 19 at the Publick Playhouse. The six groups chosen to perform will receive a prize of $550. Auditions,
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HyattsvilleLife Life&&Times Times| | January January2011 2011 Hyattsville
www.hyattsville.org • 301-985-5000
No. 208 • Januar
LET IT SNOW 2010’s snowfall broke records. Chances are this year won’t be quite as noteworthy, but the Department of Public Works has already responded to several storms. Here are some important tips to keep in mind during any winter weather event. • Our highest priority is ensuring that emergency vehicles – police, fire, and ambulance – can get through. Our personnel clear one lane on primary roads first, and work from there. During heavier snowfalls, the first pass of the plow may still leave a thin layer of snow behind. • Residents can help by sticking close to home. We understand that military, healthcare and other essential personnel need to report, but keeping unnecessary vehicles off the road is important. • If possible, avoiding parking on the street. Not only does this make plowing go more quickly, it also helps protect vehicles from salt spray and sliding vehicles. If you do park on the street, please park as close to the curb as possible. • Remember, clearing sidewalks is the responsibility of every property owner. Normally we ask that sidewalks be cleared within 24 hours of the storm’s conclusion, but in cases of heavy snowfall, we may announce a longer window. • Do not plow, blow, or shovel snow into the street. Please shovel snow into the front yard. Snow mounds are hazardous to motorists, and increase the time required to clear all City streets. Property owners who hire contractors to clear their sidewalks and driveways should ensure that their contractors understand this requirement. For more information, including a list of primary roads, visit http://www.hyattsville.org/snow
Spring Break Escape Camp Returns April 18 through April 22, 2011
Spring Break Escape Camp is a fun-filled week of adventures for kids ages 5 through 9 and 10 through 13 at Magruder Park, 40th Avenue and Hamilton Street. Activities include games, arts & crafts, sports, and ecothemed projects. Our staff strives to foster creativity and confidence in each camper. Camp hours are 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Fees are $90/week for City of Hyattsville residents and $100/week for non-residents, including lunch and snack daily. Before care (7:30 to 9:00 a.m.) and after care (5:00 to 6:00 p.m.) are available for an additional fee. Early Registration opens January 18, 2011 for City of Hyattsville residents. General Registration begins February 1 for all families. Visit http://www.hyattsville.org/ camps for details. Questions? Contact Jacquay Plummer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301/985-5021.
Reporter HyattsvilleLife Life&&Times Times| | January January 2011 2011 Hyattsville
ry 11, 2011
IN OTHER NEWS... in; bedding that is non-absorbent such as straw or wood shavings to help keep the dog warm; and drinking water that is not frozen and is in a container secured to prevent tipping. Some other suggestions for winterizing your pet include keep cats, puppies under six months and small or shorthaired dogs inside; increase the amount of their food, as outdoor dogs need more calories in the winter to produce body heat; and remember, ice or chemicals used to melt snow on sidewalks can irritate your pet’s paws -- wipe paws with a wet cloth after an outing.
CONCERNED ABOUT AN ANIMAL? MEET AND GREET WITH NEW CITY ADMINISTRATOR, GREGORY ROSE Please join us on Tuesday, January 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a Meet and Greet with incoming City Administrator Gregory Rose, prior to the Community Meeting and Council Work Session. Mr. Rose joins the City of Hyattsville effective Tuesday, January 18. A celebration is also in the works for retiring City Administrator Elaine Murphy.
COMMUNITY MEETING: ARCADE IMPROVEMENTS A Community Meeting will take place prior to the City Council Work Session on Tuesday, January 18 regarding plans for the Arcade Building at 4318 Gallatin Street. The discussion will include a summary of recommendations from the December 8, 2010 Community Meeting.
SAVE THE DATE: PARENT & CHILD DANCE SET FOR FEBRUARY 19 The Parent & Child Dance returns on Saturday, February 19. This year’s theme is Beauty & the Beast. Watch for more information later this month.
WINTER PET CARE REMINDERS The Prince George’s County Animal Management Group offers the following tips to give your pets the extra care they need during the cold winter months. If your dog stays outdoors in cold weather, the law requires you to provide a dog house of proper size that is dry, draft free and raised off the ground; a wind flap that is attached to the doghouse to keep cold air out and warm air
City of Hyattsville residents can call the Prince George’s County Animal Control Group at 301/7807200 to report concerns about cruelty complaints, sick or injured animals, vicious or nuisance animals, or trapped animals. Please be prepared to supply the following information: your name, address, and phone number (this information will be kept confidential), the type of animal, the color of animal, the address where the animal was last seen, and any information about the animal’s physical condition.
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CALENDAR JANUARY 2011 12 15
17 18 18 18 18 19 24 25 25
TREE COLLECTION Remember that after the holidays, the City will accept Christmas trees as part of our Monday Yard Waste collection. There’s no need to bag the tree – simply remove the lights and ornaments and place curbside for collection. The remaining Yard Waste collection dates for January 2011 are as follows: Monday, January 24; and Monday, January 31. There is no Yard Waste collection the week of Monday, January 17 due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Code Enforcement Advisory Committee Meeting, 7:00 PM Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Prince George’s Plaza Community Center, 6600 Adelphi Road; Co-sponsored with the MarylandNational Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday City Administrative Offices closed. No Yard Waste, White Goods, or Tire pick-up, City-wide Spring Break Camp Escape Registration Opens for City residents, 9:00 AM Residents’ Meet and Greet with incoming City Administrator, Gregory Rose, 6:30 to 7:30 PM Community Meeting: Arcade Improvements, 7:30 PM City Council Work Session, 8:00 PM Hyattsville Environmental Committee Meeting, 7:30 PM Community Meeting Conclusion & Evaluation of Pilot Program for Once-aWeek Collection of Household Solid Waste, 7:00 PM City Council Meeting 8:00 PM Community Meeting Conclusion & Evaluation of Pilot Program for Once-aWeek Collection of Household Solid Waste, 7:00 PM, Former BB&T Building, 3505 Hamilton Street Community Meeting Conclusion & Evaluation of Pilot Program for Once-a-Week Collection of Household Solid Waste, 7:00 PM, Prince George’s Plaza Community Center, 6600 Adelphi Road * Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the City Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street.
RECREATION NEWS IN YOUR INBOX The City’s Department of Recreation and the Arts offers a year-long calendar of programs for the whole family. To stay up-to-date, residents can now subscribe to the Department’s monthly eNews. Packed with details on upcoming events, it is a must-read if you’re looking for affordable family fun in Hyattsville. Visit http://www.hyattsville.org/ eNews to subscribe.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK Are you on Facebook? You can now keep up with City events and happenings at www.facebook.com/cityofhyattsville. When you see Vainglorious, the silver metal bird sculpture at Centennial Park, you’ll know you’re in the right place. He is kind enough to serve as the City’s wall photo.
Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
February 8 The College Park Aviation Museum brings back its popular LEGO aircraft building day this month, followed the next weekend by a screening of “Iron Man,” starring Robert Downey, Jr, at right.
continued from page 7
As part of its Hollywood Flyers movie series, the College Park Aviation Museum hosts a screening of Iron Man, complete with lemonade and popcorn. When wealthy industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is forced to build an armored suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight evil. Free with regular museum admission of $4 for adults and $2 for children. 1 p.m. 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park. 301.864.6029.
January 29 During Choreographers’ Showcase 2011, you can see up-and-coming dance talent from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. This juried show is co-sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission. $25. Shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland. Route 193 and Stadium Drive, College Park. 301.405.ARTS. • • •
Costume historian Ann Wass will lecture on African-American Dress in the Federal Era. She uses written sources, including autobiographies and published travelers’ accounts, as well as newspaper advertisements seeking the return of slaves who ran away to seek freedom. The lecture is illustrated with period paintings and prints and is part of Riversdale’s Black History Month programming. $5; $2.50 for students with a valid ID. 7:30 p.m. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park. 301.864.0420.
Ongoing St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is calling for singers to join in its performance of Mozart’s “Great Mass in C Minor,” to be held in March with the Prince George’s Choral
Hyattsville Elementary School is gearing up for its first book sale, and invites you to donate books, DVDs and CDs for the spring event. Drop books off at the school’s main office, 5311 43rd Avenue, or schedule a donation with PTA president Bart Lawrence (email@example.com or 301.312.9129). Area couple Milton and Linda McGehee, who were profiled in our pages recently, are still collecting new items for wounded soldiers, including disposable cameras, toiletries, puzzle books, playing cards, DVDs, and, especially, new towels and washcloths. Call 301.559.0864 to donate or volunteer.
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Society as part of a series of events celebrating the parish’s 200th anniversary. To learn more, come to a rehearsal (Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.) at the church, 5901 36th Avenue, or contact Joyce Rose at 301.328.0256.
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All work and all play
Atteberry by Krista the job, one week on With less than the city’s new RecSteve Yeskulsky, Arts Director, hit the reation and helping out running by Fire 7 the ground sville VolunteerOcto- Vol. on at the Hyatt 5-mile run Department’s impressed with the was and the ber 23. He 60 volunteers annual more than first spirit at the runners community dozens of event, in which competed. ages 10 to 75 to Hyattsville, Before coming as a program coYeskulsky servedyears with Florida’s six Parks ordinator for Government Sarasota CountyDepartment, where and Recreation things . . . includhe “did a thousand larger special overseeing ing mostly events.” Diego, he from San Originally Diego State from San graduated Bachelor of with two and culUniversity in art history time Arts degrees During his in tural anthropology. he was instrumental “Salon in San Diego, an art exhibition, funds organizing to help raise also de San Diego,” charity. Yeskulsky for an AIDS for the Parks & Rec ed enjoys writing and is a certifi Business magazine Professional Recreation Park and Inspector. ing accliand Playground agenda is gett more First on his meeting and area mated to the Also, once community. city’s folks in the approves the the city council which is expectPlan, Parks Master DIRECTOR continued
on page 12
future, the In the not-too-distant at Prince the Mall area around Northwestern High Georges and look very different, School could major development because some the works there. in projects are projects are within Some of these and some fall just the city’s bordershave an impact on will outside. All sville. life in Hyatt
Property 1. The Landyby Marvin Blum-
party annual Halloween ages. The cityʼs 200 people of all drew about ON PAGE 10 MORE PHOTOS
things Where the wild an arts community, identified as lives both is frequently of wildlife that actively Hyattsville have also a community Some residents but there is and backyards. participating in the National in our parks this by Habitat program. worked to encourage Certified Wildlife and help wildlife Wildlife Federation’sprogram in 1973 to world,” acthe with the natural NWF started a way to connect a NWF wildlife biologist. “give people have been David Mizejewski, across the country cording to 135,000 homes Hyattsville has 23 of them. Since then, wildlife habitats. page 12 certified as continued on
is part of a
NEW PLAYGRO AT MAGRUD UND ER
GETTING KICKS ON YOUR RT.
1 Legend and Lore asks: Why surrounding all the romance the Route 1 is almost famed Route 66 when its cousin as long and just as storied? PAGE 2
Police collect unwanted medica tions
Landy is owned the Washdeveloper in berg, a major He owns a 33.94ington region. land located south of and acre parcel High School of Northwestern Most of this land mall. north of the lies outside the city and is wooded portion at for a small limits, except corner. the northeast Council – which in The District for development is the arbiter County − recently Prince George’s proposal for a Landy approved on part of construction residential building of apartment that land: an that would be on the about 400 units Belcrest Road. the street line of would include The building that is within the land on portion of led to discussion city. This has of the city annexthe city council portion so be ing the unincorporated building would member that the entire said council in Hyattsville, ward bor(Ward 3). His develTim Hunt of the proposed portion ders the area includes the opment and and within the city. One of the project This is Phase
by Fred Seitz
Mall at Prince Georges area planning for new, major development Minaert by Paula
Magruder Park is undergoing complete a nearly playground renovation, four new play with structures. PAGE 3
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DC GlassWorks glassblowing is a public-access strong sense studio that fosters a of community. PAGE 4
Hyattsville of unused police collected dozens medications dents Sept. from resitime national25 as part of a firstprescription initiative to prevent drugs into the from wrong hands or falling Vol. the water 7 No. 10 entering supply. “I thought no one Hyattsvil to go out would of their want le’s Communit drugs,” way to said return Hyattsville Sgt. Chris Purvis, y Newspape police offi the lied the cer who donations. r talhe said, But by the end, October residents — anonymously had deposited By 2010 Paula Minaert – a total pounds (approximately of 8.8 tainers At a September ing and 60 conand a more than city council ing, several Hyattsville few bags of pills). ternoon 4,500 new peak-hour meetHyattsville af- recommendation Communications Manager held up based on vehicle residents yellow Abby Sandel current trips, signs that city is more traffi jected development. traffic and to lift that current said the open to read “No traffic restriction c” road’s proholding event in thoroughfare,”and “No commuter bound Nina Faye, during a similar the future traffi on westpeak hours, who lives hoping munity tention if there bury 43 rd Avenue c between Route continues if traffi to draw on Queensinterest. is comto what c there 1 and to at- tionedRoad, said that they call long-standing Spearheaded traffic hours. during peak provements increase and she questhe numbers serious morning if imto state Enforcement by the federal their streets. traffic problems presented layed. Cheri Fulton Sabra, roads are Drug Wang to on dehas lived by a number Agency and They bury since “One day the council in “Why July. facilitate I was [at 1987 and on Queensof national backed cent were worried forcement and 41 st in the effort community traffic about a was involved Queensbury traffic study law ] for six into my re- in from a ganizations,and public health en- tants done by Enter sign that led to the asked resident the afternoon. minutes at state Sabra, consul3:30 or- estimating being posted. Do Not Wang Day aimed National Take Margaret road?” And I traffic than that traffi the Sept. & Associates She said Hayes Back c on the 13 city they claimed saw more prescription to reduce the have more that city streets hour. now but street is Hugh Turley, council meeting.at in a halfrisk of is than 3,500 better will how If I can’t trust drugs sumed routinely still bad – and Life & Times a columnist being this number, new morncan I trust inappropriately. drivers conignore for the any tion drug the sign. Other bury, said, who lives on Another Prescripresidents of them?” abuse, Queenspoint of “One-way lem nationally, a growing questioned the recommendation contention even shouldn’t the Queensbury was goal a last resort.” be is a major probfor the DEA. for QueensburyHe believes to make focus one-way the An additional should westbound be to benefi take-back effort was t of the TRAFFIC unused continued prescription preventing on page 12 being drugs flushed from down the toilet,
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American Cajun Creole Cuisine
Local knitter their pieces s and croche ters donate to Smiths onian exhibit
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Hyattsville Life & Times PO Box 132 Hyattsville, MD 20781
see current and archived editions of the Hyattsville Life & Times at
of Natural tory. Various Hisknitters and crocheters,
including more than Tangled Skein, used 100 from Hyattsville’s to make yarn and A the reef. fibers of The Hyperbolic all sorts Crochet runs through Coral Reef exhibit April 24, Margaret 2011. and Christine Curators Wertheim, YARN continued
: The October
Some of the pieces PHOTO BY residents CHRIS CURRIE handmade for the by Hyattsville Hyperbolic Reef, an exhibit Crochet opening later this Coral at the Smithsonian month.
r — See
Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
COMMUNITY CALENDAR Through March, naturalists will lead a guided hike around Lake Artemesia and the Luther Goldman Birding Trail on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Lake Artemesia, 8200 55th Avenue, Berwyn Heights. Free. 3 to 4:30 p.m. 301.627.7755.
Ages 3-6: Wednesdays, 7 p.m. English-Spanish Storytime for ages 3-6: Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. 6530 Adelphi Road. 301.985.4690.
Community Calendar is compiled by Susie Currie. It’s a select listing of events happening in and around Hyattsville from the 15th of the issue
month to the 15th of the following month. To submit an item for consideration, please e-mail susie@ hyattsvillelife.com or mail to P.O.
Box 132, Hyattsville, MD 20781. Deadline for February submissions is January 23.
This isn’t your toddler’s Sit & Spin. At A Tangled Skein yarn shop, the name refers to fourthFriday gatherings where dropspindle and spinning-wheel users can work on individual projects, guided by spinning expert Anne O’Connor. Free. 7 to 9 p.m. And if you need more chances to unwind, come to the twice weekly Sit & Stitch sessions: Wednesdays, 7 to 9 p.m., and Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m. They’re open to knitters and crocheters of any experience level. Free. 5200 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 101. 301.779.3399. The Hyattsville library offers a variety of storytimes. Space is limited; free tickets available at the Children’s Desk. Ages 9-23 months with caregiver: Mondays, 10:15 a.m. Ages 2-3: Mondays, 11 a.m. and Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m. Ages 3-5: Tuesdays, 11 a.m.
Spring Break Camp Escape April 18 – 22, 2011 Early registration opens January 18 for City of Hyattsville residents. General registration begins February 1 for all.
Camp Escape offers a fun-filled Spring Break week for kids ages 5 through 9 and 10 through 13. Camp takes place at the City of Hyattsville’s Magruder Park Recreation Center, 3911 Hamilton Street. Our staff strives to foster creativity andconfidence in each camper.
Campers will enjoy: Games Arts & Crafts
For hours, fees, and registration information, please visit http://www.hyattsville.org/camps
Sports Eco-themed activities
Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
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CoMMentaRy & oPInIon on HIstoRy & PolItICs
Hugh’sNews Jury duty: time to bring back the runaway grand jury by Hugh Turley
The Roman poet Juvenal asked, “Quis custodiet ipso custodes?” or, “Who will guard the guards themselves?” Historically, the grand jury served to protect the public, but today it’s an institution that remains a mystery to many. We should educate ourselves about its history and purpose; a runaway grand jury may be necessary if the American people are to reclaim their rights. Unlike a petit jury, which considers evidence of both guilt and innocence during a trial, the grand jury considers only accusatory evidence to determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury.” A presentment was a communication to the public of the grand jury’s investigation and was a means to present grievances against the government. Presentments could lead to an indictment or exoneration. The grand jury, which dates
back to the 12th century, came to the American colonies from England, where it served as an accusatory body primarily targeting government corruption. It was originally a body of 12, and later 23, men who served as accusers who presented indictments at the request of not only the king’s prosecutor, but also individual citizens. They met in secret; the king’s prosecutor, lest he interfere, was not present. A grand jury had powerful oversight over the government. Ordinary citizens were allowed to pass information to a grand jury, meaning that every citizen could act as an attorney general. The grand jury served the public
in two ways: by limiting government’s power to prosecute and by issuing presentments about its activity. In 1735, when the king’s prosecutors sought to indict newspaper editor John Zenger for libel, the grand jury refused to issue the indictment. In 1769, at the beginning of the American Revolution, a Boston grand jury indicted British soldiers for alleged crimes of breaking and entering the private homes of citizens. From the ratification of the Bill
of Rights in 1789 until the codification of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in 1946, the grand jury was not regulated by statute. Gradually the prosecutor began to enter the grand jury room and lead the grand jury proceedings. Federal Rules took away the grand jury power of presentment by requiring the approval of a judge or prosecutor to go public. Hundreds of years of grand jury power was improperly overturned in 1946, and the federal
courts upheld the new Federal Rules. The public has lost sight of its historic adversarial role with the prosecutors. Now, only the prosecutor can pass information of criminal activity to a grand jury. Grand jurors are mostly unaware they still have the power to investigate any criminal activity they know of and that they can issue subpoenas. They can also refuse to indict persons the district attorney wishes to prosecute. When citizens take charge of the direction of a grand jury investigation, it is called a “runaway grand jury.” But it’s a grand jury acting like a real grand jury, consistent with the long history of common law. A runaway grand jury is running away from the prosecutor and the Federal Rules, in the same way Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave running away from a corrupt institution. Imagine a whole grand jury of Harriet Tubmans. What administration officials might get indicted, and for what?
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Hyattsville Life & Times | January 2011
continued from page 1
Why Can’t I Find This Book? Other large PGCMLS branches such as Oxon Hill and Laurel reshelve library materials in a timely manner. For the past 10 years, this hasn’t always been the case at the Hyattsville branch. Kathleen Teaze, PGCMLS Director, said this was largely the result of budget cuts, hiring freezes and staff shortages. From 2010 to 2011, county and state governments slashed funding by 5.6 percent and nearly 9 percent since 2008, the last year the library was fully staffed, gave raises to its employees, and wasn’t under a hiring freeze. Last February, a consultant was hired by the county to mediate a
dispute between staffs at the circulation and information desks concerning who was responsible for shelving materials. Teaze downplayed the idea of any controversy and noted that it’s common, when budgets allow, for the county to hire consultants for staff training and development. “I’ve been impressed with the teamwork that’s happening at the Hyattsville branch,” she added. Space is another issue. “It’s hard to shelve materials when there’s no room on the shelf,” said Teaze.
What Happened to the Collection? The reported lack of shelf space could be explained by the fact that the building, designed to hold 200,000 items, held a collection that had ballooned to approximately 226,000 items.
This discrepancy in size led to what is, for some, a controversial trimming of the collection. Last summer, members of a local listserv objected to what they thought was a mandate to reduce the collection by more than 60,000 items. Teaze noted that much of this reporting was based on misinformation. “There was no mandate [to reduce the collection by a set number of items].” The state of the branch’s collection, according to Teaze, was due, in part, to some staff members’ belief over a number of years that the Hyattsville branch should serve as repository for the entire library system. During this time, the standard maintenance of the collection (e.g., weeding out worn or out-ofdate materials) was neglected. Last summer’s directive was for an intensified weeding process, which would bring the maintenance of the collection up to date. Hyattsville branch manager Yvonne Harris said the collection currently stands at nearly 208,000 items. The library also plans to centralize the audiovisual collection within the library, moving it in to the periodical area. The recent purchase of the DiscXpress II media vault system (disk dispensing machines) is expected to help automate the process of checking out movies and CDs. “They tried it at Bowie and the people loved it,” said Michael Gannon, PGCMLS Associate Director for Administrative Services. “The system frees up librarians to offer better services for those things that aren’t automated.”
What’s Happening to the Library? Last June, one would have been excused for thinking the PGCMLS had hired the Once-ler (the creature who chops down all the truffula trees and creates a wasteland in Dr. Seuss’s 1971 cautionary tale “The Lorax”), when one day many of the trees surrounding
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the Hyattsville branch were felled, including some seven mature oaks along Adelphi and Toledo roads. The decision to cut the trees was Gannon’s. “The trees were either diseased and posed a threat to the public or were close enough to the building to cause trouble.” In December, nine Eastern Redbuds were planted. The loss of some of these trees sets the stage for the expected $10 to $11 million renovation of the Hyattsville branch, which is expected to begin this month when the county can begin selling bonds. It will then hire an architect to begin the design phase. The library system will seek input from the public on what services should be offered by the branch and what the design should look like. Gannon said the public forum will likely happen this spring. Construction could begin as soon as summer 2012. Teaze expects the redesign to incorporate a single entrance, which would help the library reduce costs associated with staffing the two entrances and three circulation desks included in the current design. The redesign is also expected to include computer labs and additional space for laptops. It will also help the library meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, though, except for the bathrooms and elevator, the current library meets all ADA requirements. Teaze noted that “what constitutes compliance [with ADA] might not be good for users.” Of course, what everyone wants to know is what will happen to the flying-saucer portico that adorns the library’s main entrance. “If I have anything to say about it,” said Gannon, “we’re keeping it.”
What Does the Future Hold? With the reduction of the library’s collection and the planned increase in computer space, it seems there’s a line being drawn between print and digital materials, but Teaze draws the divide differently. She argues that it’s more a case of those who want to maintain traditional library services (e.g., borrowing materials, referencing) versus those who want to change to meet the community’s needs. “Traditional libraries aren’t relevant,” said Teaze. The internet has supplanted the library as the go-to reference for everyday questions, and borrowing, according to Teaze, tends to be entertainment-related. For more and more people, the library is a resource for computer use, conducting job searches or accessing government forms. Teaze said that we’ll see an enormous change in the way people read in the next five years. “It’s all going digital.” For some, this shift toward digital services is a cause of concern. “I worry about those without the resources [computers] or who aren’t used to reading a book on a small screen,” said Alex Ross of Hyattsville, a frequent library patron. Teaze sees the library as the place to meet the needs of those who might lack such resources. “We need to reinvent ourselves to keep up with the demand of new technologies. We have to rethink our vision.” The Friends of the Hyattsville Library meets the first Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. The next one is scheduled for February 5; all are welcome.
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North Las Vegas, Nev., which during the time he worked there was one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. He grew up in Jefferson, Texas, a rural town of 1,400, where, he said, everyone knew everyone else. “I loved it. There was a real sense of community,” he said. After high school, Rose served four years in the Air Force and went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. He began his work in city government as an intern in his master’s program, first in Addison, a suburb of Dallas, and then for the city of Dallas. Two stints in Missouri followed: assistant city manager for Warrensburg and deputy
city manager of University City. Then Rose moved to North Las Vegas, where he spent nine years, beginning as the assistant city manager for development. He was later appointed by the council to serve as city manager. “The focus on economic development there was attractive to me,” Rose says, “being able to reach agreement with developers and improving the community by focusing on quality-of-life issues. Most people in this field have a real desire to help people. It afforded me the opportunity to do that, to make major improvements.” Rose believes that the key issue in Hyattsville is development. “Hyattsville is going to develop,” city of hyattsville he said, “and it’s important that it develop in a way consistent with New city administrator Gregory the vision of the council and the Rose was the city manager for desires of citizens. We have to make North Las Vegas.
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“It gets back to where I started growing up in a small town...” — Gregory Rose new city administrator sure we do a good job as a staff and provide a high level of service.” Asked about the concerns of some local residents about the scale of development, Rose says the key is listening to residents, understanding their concerns, and trying to mitigate issues – such as traffic problems – that arise. “You also need to communicate to them how development benefits them. It’s a balancing act. You have to appreciate both sides. The developer hopes to get the
most out of the property, but also you don’t want to overly inconvenience people.” Rose sees the role of city administrator as executing council policy. “That’s the simplest form,” he says. “In a much broader form, you have to do a good job communicating with the residents and the other stakeholders about how you plan to execute those policies.” Rose and his wife and daughter plan to live here in Hyattsville. “We all love this area. It gets back to where I started – growing up in a small town, and having the opportunity to grow a community and have a major impact.” He is a credentialed member of the International City/County Managers Association and a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.
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the claims. “Our officers must continue with their efforts to restore legitimacy with our community members, ” said Holland, adding that he “invites [NAACP] leaders to meet and learn more about our police department based on facts, not unsubstantiated allegations. We can use this experience as an opportunity to form a valuable working relationship that will ultimately benefit our entire community.”
City of Hyattsville Chief Holland addresses reporters.
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