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More than WORDS

Bowie State to welcome acclaimed poet, author, activist Nikki Giovanni. B-1



Thursday, March 13, 2014

25 cents

Leaders push for more state funds for schools

Taking a shot

Proposed legislation would help reduce $2.3 billion in maintenance needs, officials say n



Prince George’s school officials have urged state leaders to approve legislation that would provide additional money each year for school construction, helping to more quickly address the $2.3 billion backlog of school maintenance needs in the county.

“At the rate that we’re going right now, it will never be reduced to a manageable rate. There is so much facility need in our county, and our district, like other districts, has not been able to keep up. This gives us the best opportunity to accelerate the replacement, renovation, modernization of our facilities,” county schools CEO Kevin Maxwell told the House Appropriations Committee on March 6. Maxwell, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) and others testified on behalf of House Bill 1323, which would provide

See FUNDS, Page A-7

Bowie employees take small steps to save money n

Workers part of program to reduce energy usage BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

No amount of savings is too small for Bowie employees, who have taken to shutting off power strips and closing their blinds when they go home, all in the name of energy efficiency. Those efforts, along with other city actions, such as installing energy-efficient HVAC systems and solar panels, have lowered the city’s energy bill by about $90,000 a


The Central High School boys basketball team won the Class 1A North Region championship with victories against Fairmont Heights, Surrattsville and New Town. Senior guard Gary Stewart (above) and the rest of the Falcons play 1A South champion Edmondson/Westside, the reigning Class 2A state champions, in Friday’s state semifinals at 5 p.m. at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Robots join curriculum at Highland Park Private school uses grant to create new science, math and engineering program




Highland Park Christian Academy seventh-graders (from left) Jouvan Siaka, 13; Jeremy Abraham, 13; and Owen Wilson, 12, discuss how to maneuver a robotic arm to capture one of the pingpong balls hovering in the air.


ON THE BORDERLINE Communities lead District border cleanup to help beautify area and prevent crime.



year in the last five years, said John Fitzwater, Bowie’s assistant city manager. The energy savings are part of the city’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, an effort funded from a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2005 to reduce energy usage by 15 percent by 2015, Fitzwater said. With the city paying lower energy bills, it helps officials avoid raising taxes on residents or businesses to pay for the city’s energy usage, he said. The $90,000 is an average of savings between 2007 to 2012 through a combination of the city’s efforts, as well as natural

See BOWIE, Page A-7

County replacing ambulances, but fleet still aging, officials say Purchase has left county with old vehicles requiring more maintenance n


Prince George’s County ambulances are getting old and worn out from years of service, and fire officials are purchasing 11 new ambulances, but that number would need to double over the next two years to update the aging fleet. “While the purchase of 11 more ambulances for the next fiscal year is planned,

overcoming the fleet aging issue requires purchasing perhaps twenty per year over the next two years to even out costs and downtime associated with aged units,” said Tony Bizjak, Prince George’s County Fire/ EMS apparatus maintenance manager. Of the county’s 72 active ambulances, about two-thirds are 2006 or 2007 models — the result of a bulk purchase in 2005, Bizjak said. Those units are averaging about 150,000 miles and are getting close to meeting their engine’s total lifespan, which is about 350,000 miles when factoring in en-


A Landover Christian school is hoping its science and math program will be more than meets the eye as they incorporate robots into the learning curriculum. “Pencil and paper is fine, but it can be limiting to a child’s ability to use their mind,” said E. Louise White, principal of Highland Park Christian Academy. “I think this is going to be a breakthrough.” The academy, which is part of First Baptist Church of Highland Park, is one of 300 schools worldwide that received a grant from Nebraska-

A firetruck and ambulance in need of repair are parked on the lot of the Prince George’s County maintenance facility in Forestville. DAN GROSS/ THE GAZETTE

See ROBOTS, Page A-8


READY TO FIGHT County boys basketball teams will try to bring home three state titles for first time since 1991.








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Bowie police will hold a seminar

at the Bowie Senior Center to educate senior citizens on safety and crime prevention techniques. The seminar will be held at noon on March 21 at the senior center, 14900 Health Center Drive, in Bowie. Sgt. Bennie Henderson, Bowie police spokesman, said the event educates seniors on common safety tips they can practice at home or while shopping. “We kind of advise them on what’s going on and give them some of the current trends like talking about identity theft and walking the streets safely,” Henderson said. Seniors will learn about park-

ing safely under lights and how to avoid becoming the victim of identity theft, Henderson said. The event is free and open to the public.

STEM Expo seeks to educate on career opportunities The University of Maryland, College Park, Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE), in partnership with Mitchellville-based academic support nonprofit Capital Scholars Inc., is presenting a free Parent STEM Expo from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 15 in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union Building. The program is for parents of sixth- to 12th-graders and will feature a seminar on pathways to Science, Technology, Engineering


MARCH 13 Knitting and Crocheting Group, 7 p.m., South Bowie Library, 15301 Hall Road, Bowie. If possible, please bring your own materials, due to limited supplies. No experienced required. Contact 301-850-0475.

MARCH 14 Small Fry Club, 10 to 11 a.m.,

Watkins Nature Center, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro. The little ones will enjoy stories, crafts, games and hikes on this edition of the Small Fry Club. The theme for this class is mastering magnets. Cost: resident, $3; non-resident, $4. Contact 301-2186702; TTY 301-699-2544.

Nature Craft, 10 to 11 a.m., Watkins Nature Center, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro. Enjoy a story, meet a live animal and make a craft. Reservations required. Cost: resident, $2; non-resident, $3. Contact 301-2186702; TTY 301-699-2544. In Her Words, 2 p.m., Oxon Hill Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill. Celebrate Women’s History Month with this dramatic presentation that highlights Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and others. Written by Khadijah Ali Coleman. Contact 301-839-2400.

MARCH 16 Period Rooms - American Furnish-

p.m., St. Mary’s Pavilion, 18230 Barnesville Road, Barnesville. Live music and authentic island cuisine. Proceeds benefit St. Joseph’s Parish & School of Carcasse. Call 301-972-8666.

8th St., Bowie. To offer this reading program, we need new and used books for our 5- to 12-year-olds. Please drop off books to any of our 14 central area community centers from today to April 18. Call 301-249-7200 or 301-464-3725.


Black Literature, 6:30 p.m., Surratts-Clinton Library, 9400 Piscataway Road, Clinton. J.D. Mason’s “You Gotta Sin to Get Saved.” Contact 301-8689200.


ings & Interiors: Talk and Virtual Tour,

1 to 2 p.m., Harmony Hall Regional Center, Battersea Room, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington. Hear about and see images of 31 Daughters of the American Revolution Museum period rooms, which are among the earliest in America — each representing a different state and time such as Maryland’s 1830s parlor. Contact


MARCH 19 Special Storytime: St. Patrick’s Day, 10:30 a.m., South Bowie Library,

15301 Hall Road, Bowie. Special storytime featuring stories, songs and finger plays about St. Patrick’s Day. Childcare providers welcome. Ages 2-5. Contact 301-850-0475.

From Newborn to the Elderly, We See Them All! Physician’s Family Practice has been successfully serving the residents of Greenbelt, Maryland since the late 1940’s. General family practice is a discipline composed of specialists trained to meet the health care needs of children and adults.

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Author Kwame Alexander to discuss latest work, “The Crossover,” at Busboys & Poets. SPORTS Check online this weekend for coverage of every high school state semifinal, and championship game that involves a Prince George’s County team.

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GAZETTE CONTACTS The Gazette-Star – 13501 Virginia Manor Road Laurel, MD 20707 Main phone: 240-473-7500 Fax: 240-473-7501

CORRECTION In the All-Gazette boys indoor track and field team in the March 6 edition, the wrong names were published with Bowie’s 3,200 relay team. The correct names are Donnell Davis, Martell Royal, Joshua Wilkins and Antonio Coleman.

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The Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association has selected a new director after the previous director, Jack Murphy, retired. Murphy was the former executive editor of The Gazette. Rebecca Snyder of Baltimore was selected as the new director March 3 as leader of the MDDC, an organization that serves the needs of 113 newspaper members with training, legislative representation and advocating for First Amendment issues, according to an MDCC news release. Snyder will be responsible for operational duties as well as execution of the organization’s mission, according to the news release.


The Ashleigh Group and Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill celebrate Women’s History Month

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Bowie police to hold crime safety seminar

and Mathematics, or STEM, career group sessions on financial literacy and college savings. Additionally, the event will include a STEM Information Fair, featuring exhibitions from student organizations, higher education representatives and other groups, said LaWanda Kamalidiin, associate director of CMSE. “It’s to get parents thinking about STEM. Many parents are not even aware of the STEM resources that exist in our area,” Kamalidiin said. “All parents are welcome, but it is targeted towards African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.” The program is designed to help parents discuss STEM careers with their children, said CMSE director Rosemary Parker. The event is free and lunch will be provided. Spanish translation will also be provided. Advance registration is required.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

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Volunteers Monay Ward (left) and Mia Washington, 15, both of Capitol Heights, pick up trash Saturday in a wooded area off Eastern Avenue in Seat Pleasant. The cleanup was held by the Capitol Heights and Seat Pleasant police departments with help from Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., officials.

New health insurance options are something to smile about.

Communities unite to help clean up District border About 50 people took part to aid beautification, crime-prevention efforts n




The wooded hill that sits on Eastern Avenue between Seat Pleasant in Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., has always frustrated police officers, who would chase suspects to the end of their respective jurisdictions only to watch them disappear into the half-acre of brush filled with garbage and debris. But after District police stepped up drug enforcement in recent months, officers on the Maryland side say the drug activity has migrated over, and they believe the wooded area is part of the problem. “They can go up there and they can conceal themselves. They can conduct a lot of drug activity. A lot of prostitution,” said Sgt. Earl Ivey of the Seat Pleasant Police Department, who said police have found used needles and other evidence of heroin, ecstasy, PCP and marijuana use on the small hill. “It’s

gotten worse.” On Saturday, Ivey was one of about 50 people who helped clean up the area by picking up trash, hauling tires and debris and clearing the brush and fallen tree limbs. Chief Anthony Ayers of the Capitol Heights Police Department, who organized the cleanup, said volunteers came from four area police departments and several public works and environmental agencies, in what became an example of collaboration among stakeholders in bordering Maryland and District jurisdictions. After a few hours, crews filled four large Dumpsters. “We’re trying to take away the concealment so people don’t come here to do crime,” Ayers said. “We don’t want to keep on pushing crime back and forth across the line.” The cleanup effort will make the street more pleasant for neighborhood residents, said a group of Police Explorers from Capitol Heights Explorer Post 401, who spent the morning rolling tires downhill and picking up liquor bottles and discarded needles. When asked to describe the site, several replied at once: “Disgusting.”

“It looked like a junkyard, basically, across from houses,” said Kelsey Edgar, 16. “And you don’t want to see that when you’re at home.” County Councilwoman Karen Toles (D-Dist. 7) of Suitland said she supported the idea of people coming together to clean up an old neighborhood that sometimes gets “left behind.” “This is good for the environment,” Toles said. “When you dump in our communities, you dirty our neighborhoods.” Ron Shane, an inspector with the county’s Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement, called the effort “phenomenal” and unlike anything he’s seen along the Maryland-D.C. border before. For Shane, the cleanup resulted in a chance discovery that might interest history buffs -tucked away between trees at the bottom of the hill, he found the stone boundary marker for the state line, placed there by surveyors in 1792. “I think it’s one of the least known monuments that we have,” Shane said with a laugh. “Probably one of the least visited by the general population.”

Bowie looks to replace three longtime department directors Veteran employees retired within four months n


Bowie officials are working to replace about 80 years of lost experience after three department directors left in about a two-month period. “I’m saddened to see some really good quality people go,” said Bowie Mayor G. Frederick

Robinson. Bowie’s longtime director of information technology, Robert Boller, retired after 20 years of work on Jan. 13, along with public works director Jim Henrikson after 28 years of work on Feb. 21 and director of finance Robert Patrick after 30 years of service on Jan. 3, said city officials. City Manager David Deutsch said the finance director has already been replaced by H. Byron Matthews, former

assistant finance director, while the other two positions are still going through applications and interviews. Interim staff members are assisting with budget planning and carrying out the daily tasks of the directors, Deutsch said. Deutsch couldn’t give an exact date for when the positions would be filled, but he did say the city hopes to have them filled in the next few months.

Youth sought induction as part of birthday wish BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Prince George’s County Police Department added a new member to its squad in honor of his birthday celebration. Tyler Seddon, 7, of Rhode Island was made an honorary member of the police depart-

ment as part of his birthday, police said. “You are our brother in arms now,” police said in a statement. “As a fellow officer, know that this means you will never be alone. Every police officer across this county takes an oath to uphold the law. There is also an unspoken oath, which every officer knows lies at the core of the law enforcement profession. We will always protect each other no matter the cost.”

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Sick boy made honorary officer n


Tyler, who is suffering from leukemia, received his own county police badge, which will be mailed to him, along with various patches from units in the department, police said. County police participated in Tyler’s birthday along with many other officers across the country after his mother asked for a birthday card.

• Social Security numbers for you and family members (or document numbers for any legal immigrants who need insurance) • Employer and income information for everyone in your family (for example, from paystubs, W-2 forms, or wage and tax statements) • Policy numbers for any current health insurance .• Information about any job-related health insurance available to your family



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Friends roll the dice on board game cafe Group files suit

over Peace Cross

Bowie resident co-owns shop with a playful twist



Opponents say monument is intended to honor veterans


Brian McClimens and Ben Epstein love board games so much, they spent $10,000 on them. The former college housemates are planning to open a cafe this month called The Board and Brew, where patrons will choose from around 500 board games to play while they sip lattes or nibble on appetizers. The cafe, at 8150 Baltimore Ave. in College Park, is minutes from the owners’ alma mater, the University of Maryland, College Park. “We’re both [UM] graduates and we know there’s no entertainment to speak of in College Park,” McClimens said. “The idea was that, no matter who walked in here, whether they are familiar with board games or not, we could find something that fit their interests.” McClimens, 36, of Bowie and Epstein, 34, of Catonsville said they began playing board games in college, gravitating toward strategy games like Diplomacy and Eminent Domain. Nearly three years ago, backed by investments from family and friends and a small business loan, the two men decided to open a board game coffee shop that focused on face-to-face interaction. “We want people to come in and actually interact and not sit on their cellphones,” Epstein said. “It drives me nuts when I’m at a restaurant and I see two people hanging out together and they’re both on their phones.” McClimens said there are a handful of cafes on the East Coast that offer a small selection of board games, but their shop is modeled after a popular restaurant in Toronto, which has about 2,500 games and requires a reservation two or three months in advance. The Board and Brew Facebook page already touts more than 500 “likes,” mostly from us-

ensburg Waterfront Park, he cannot avoid the Peace Cross, located 250 feet away. Edwords said he’s not offended by religious symbols, but objects to their being on public land. “I only find it unwelcome where it is, and the message that it sends out,” Edwords said. “I would find it very welcome on church property, or other private property.” Mike Moore, commander of Greenbelt American Legion Post 136, said there are no religious references on the cross. “I’m not thinking they should be able to ascribe religious attributes to a cross,” Moore said. “There are cross shapes all over the place. There are even crosswalks. Do we ascribe religious significance to those? It’s almost ludicrous.” Edwords said he only found out it was a war monument after doing some research as the inscriptions are not legible from the road. “I have no objection to war memorials, but very rarely do they take the form of a cross,” Edwords said. “When the cross is lit up in the night, there is nothing that would lend people to think that was anything other than a Christian monument.” On Oct. 13, 2012, a group of protestors rallied at Peace Cross to protest the AHA’s complaint about the cross. David Niose, legal director of the AHA, said the cross is a clear establishment of religion. “To say that a huge Christian cross is not religious is Orwellian,” Niose said. “Obviously, it was put up to honor service members, but not all service members are Christian, and it is a slap in their faces.” Bladensburg annually holds Memorial and Veterans Day services by and at Peace Cross to commemorate all veterans of U.S. and foreign wars.





Board and Brew owners Brian McClimens of Bowie and Ben Epstein of Catonsville demonstrate the toy clubs used in a board game called Ugg-Tect. ers 25 to 34 years old, according to Facebook analytics. Despite advancing technology and the inundation of smartphone apps and video games, McClimens and Epstein said, board games remain a popular form of entertainment. They said that about 90 percent of their games were created during the past 10 years. The games at Board and Brew can be rented for $2.50 an hour, per person, with a maximum of $7.50 per person, Epstein said. They range from classic games, like Monopoly and checkers, to intense strategy games to family and group games. McClimens said he thinks the social atmosphere and wide variety of games will draw customers looking for a group activity or a date night idea. “We’re going to carry 500 games and certaintly people don’t have that [many] in their

personal collection,” Epstein said. McClimens and Epstein said their strangest game is called Ugg-Tect, a prehistoric architect game in which players instruct each other to build things through a series of grunts and hit each other on the head with blow-up clubs. The cafe will serve snacks and appetizers, ranging from $4 to $10, as well as coffee, specialty coffee drinks and tea-based lattes, Epstein said. The shop will not have a bar atmosphere, but McClimens and Epstein said they are getting a liquor license. The entrepreneurs are not worried about game pieces getting grimy because they will not serve greasy food. Similar board game cafes in Canada report surprisingly little wear and tear on the pieces. UM freshman Zack Rosenthal said The Board and Brew sounds like a place he would

visit because there are not many cafe options in College Park. “You throw in the board games with that, that could be awesome,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m an avid board game player, but I definitely enjoy it when I do.” Graduate students Haiyu Lu and Soheila Bahmanjah said they definitely will visit the new board game cafe. “This kind of thing is very popular in China,” Lu said. “They usually have this kind of place [where] you can drink tea or whatever the drink is and play the board games.” Epstein said the goal is for each customer to find the right game and have a good time. “We’re going to have great food and great coffee and great games,” he said. “We’re chill people. You know, we just want to have fun and bring people in who will have fun with us.”

A humanist group is clashing with Prince George’s residents over whether a monument created to honor the sacrifices of veterans who died during World War I is an offensive statement that nonChristians are not welcome. Fred Edwords of Greenbelt said that when he moved to Prince George’s County in 2002, he was surprised to see the 40-foot Peace Cross situated between two major Bladensburg thoroughfares. “That gives the impression that this is a Christian town and that non-Christians are not welcome here,” he said. The Washington, D.C.based nonprofit American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit Feb. 25 on behalf of Edwords and two other plaintiffs alleging that the monument violates their First Amendment rights, namely the establishment of religion, as it is in a median maintained by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Peace Cross was erected in 1925 by a Hyattsville American Legion post that no longer exists to commemorate the 49 servicemen from Prince George’s County who died during World War I, according to Maryland Historical Trust documents. The two other plaintiffs listed are Steven Lowe of Washington, D.C., and Bishop McNeill of Beltsville. All three are listed as AHA members, according to the suit. The suit alleges that the plaintiffs have had “unwelcome contact” with the cross during visits to the area. Edwords said that when he has gone for events at the Blad-


‘I wanted to be somebody the kids could look up to’ County police n

County officer commended for efforts in bringing in alleged kidnapper BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

It was an act of crime that motivated Ariel Acosta to become a crime fighter. The six-year veteran of the Prince George’s County Police Department was in Queens, New York, with his brother when his brother was mugged. Acosta, 32, of Waldorf said the police officer took them around the area looking for the suspect. Acosta said the officer genuinely wanted to help him and his brother, and led Acosta to want to do the same as a police officer. “It just made such a huge influence on me because usually you just have the officer come and do the report and leave and be done,” Acosta said. “I wanted to be somebody the kids could look up to.” On Monday, Acosta assisted in the apprehension of Anthony

Donald Logan, who allegedly attempted to kidnap and assault a Clinton third-grader who was walking to school. After getting the description, police procedure would be to canvass the area, but Acosta said he remembered picking up Logan about nine months ago for public intoxication and he matched the suspect’s description. Acosta said he went back to his notes and found Logan’s address, and the third-grader identified him as the alleged attacker. Logan has not had a lawyer assigned to him as of press time, according to online Maryland court records. Acosta said he was lucky the notes were still in his police car’s trunk, as officers wouldn’t have gone door to door because the suspect may not have been from the area. “A lot of times, these people aren’t caught because police get there a minute later and they are gone,” Acosta said. Maj. Raymond Gordon, Acosta’s District V commander, said Acosta does exceptional police work, especially by keeping his


Police Officer Ariel Acosta aided a child in October and notes he took from an earlier case led to an arrest Monday of an alleged kidnapper.

observation notes from so far back with him. “It is outstanding. It makes us look good,” Gordon said. “You need officers like that that want to do the job and love doing it.” Last July, Acosta aided a

young child trapped in the metal cord of some window blinds. Acosta untangled the choking child and resuscitated him, according to police reports. Acosta’s supervisor, Capt. James Colandrea, said officers practice building relationships in the community as well as taking judicious notes for such situations like the attempted kidnapping. “We should know all the communities,” Colandrea said. “We try to work closely with the community ... it is a partnership we have to have because we can’t be everywhere.” Although being commended for his efforts, Acosta said for him it’s all in a day’s work and his greatest reward is simply doing what he loves best. “I get to interact with people everyday ... to work with the community,” Acosta said. “I tried to do the real estate cubicle thing, but I’m a people person.”

to hold monthly car seat safety n

Officials say effort is intended to reduce injury

The checks take about 30 minutes, and police request that car seat owners bring manufacturer’s manual, said Lt. William Alexander, a county police spokesman. Police will continue the checks in the coming months since an improperly installed car seat could result in “significant injury” or “death,” Alexander said. “It is shocking the number of car seats that they find that are not installed correctly,” Alexander said. “One time 100 percent of the checks were not installed correctly.”


Prince George’s County police will be holding car seat checks in the coming months to ensure that motorists have their children safely strapped into their vehicles. The car seat checks will take place the first Thursday of each month, with the next check taking place on April 3 at the Croom Volunteer Fire Department, 7710 Croom Road in Upper Marlboro.


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Church seeks to connect Charges may shock electric religious, gay communities customers opting out of meters n


New outreach group embraces diversity, discussion





Calvin Anderson and Corey Creech are founding members of New Hope Baptist United Church of Christ in Laurel, one of the few all-inclusive churches in Prince George’s County. The church launched an outreach group in January “geared toward individuals who have been oppressed, suppressed and shut out by the church because of their sexuality.” tradition outweighs the presence of God.” The Rev. Jamie Washington is co-pastor of Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore and a board member for Many Voices, which describes itself as a black church movement for gay and transgender justice. Washington said that many in the Baptist tradition and other conservative denominations view same-sex marriage as a sin. “In the Baptist churches, it’s a rare thing [to affirm samesex marriage and clergy],” he said. “In those predominately African-American spaces, there is not the same kind of support and backing.” While searching for a building to host services in 2012, New Hope was denied by about 25 area churches before Oaklands Presbyterian Church in Laurel agreed to rent them space, Creech said.

The Rev. LeAnn Hodges of Oaklands said her denomination does not recognize samesex marriage, but that Oaklands didn’t think twice about opening its doors to New Hope. “We welcome and celebrate everyone,” she said. “We are an open and affirming church.” Anderson and Creech said the struggles they face equip them to encourage and empower others within their community. “[The church] is the last public battle the LGBT community will have to face in terms of being able to be who they are because it’s not something that’s governed by politics or law,” Creech said. “You need to know that there is a community behind you that supports you, and I think as long as we continue to do that, progression will always be made.”

Some Pepco customers are alarmed by Maryland regulators’ decision to let utilities charge them extra fees totaling more than $200 in the first year for refusing to have a smart meter installed on their homes. Pepco, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Delmarva Power and Light and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative are installing the digital meters, which transmit usage and other data through radio waves. The Maryland Public Service Commission issued an order late February allowing those utilities to charge household and small commercial customers a one-time $75 fee, plus monthly fees, for opting not to have one of the “advanced” meters. The meters have been controversial because of concerns over low-level radiation they emit, data security and privacy, and reports that some meter models have overheated and caused fires. The service commission set monthly fees at $14 for Pepco customers, $11 for BGE customers and $17 for SMECO and DPL customers. According to the commission, Pepco and DPL (both owned by Pepco Holdings) proposed charging customers $58 per month, BGE proposed charging $15 per month and SMECO proposed charging $34.94 per month. Opt-out customers are to be billed on the first billing cycle after July 1 and may pay the up-front $75 fee in three monthly installments. Customers who opted not to have a smart meter installed while they waited for

Feds to review state health exchange State legislators considering a switch to federal system n



The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to review the state of Maryland’s troubled health care exchange, where people can access health insurance, according to an Associated Press report on Monday. U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, a

Baltimore County Republican, requested the investigation and received a letter from HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson confirming a review would take place, according to the report. Dori Henry, a spokeswoman with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, declined to comment. State legislators are considering a bill that would transfer the exchange to the federal government’s system. For several months, U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac has advocated that

option. The state system had signed up about 38,000 Maryland residents in private health plans, as of March 1 — well below its original goal of 150,000 by March 31. Many more have been enrolled in Medicaid, either automatically or through the site. Maryland is one of some 15 states operating their own exchanges. Others, like Virginia, have residents use the federal government’s system.

15201 Hall Road, Bowie, MD 20721

9201 Basil Court’ Largo, MD 20774

6985 Muirkirk Meadows Drive, Beltsville, MD 20705


County Administration Building 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, RM-L210 Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

1911756 1884528




Calvin Anderson and Corey Creech used to introduce themselves as cousins. Now they introduce themselves as husbands. The two men who once felt forced to hide their relationship are using their struggles and experiences to overcome discrimination in what they view as the final frontier for the LGBTQ community: the church. In 2012, Anderson, 31, and Creech, 30, of Waldorf helped form an all-inclusive church in Laurel that attempts to reconcile the religious and gay communities. In January, New Hope Baptist United Church of Christ created an outreach group called God’s Banquet Table that has around 20 members and will be an extension of the church’s all-inclusive philosophy, said the Rev. Kenneth King, a social worker and openly gay pastor of New Hope. “The group is geared toward individuals who have been oppressed, suppressed and shut out by the church because of their sexuality,” said King, a Washington, D.C., resident. “The group will also deal with parents of gay and lesbian children or individuals who wish to know more about how religion and sexuality all come together.” As a predominately African-American church with Baptist roots, New Hope is an anomaly in Prince George’s County, Creech said. “With the diversity [Prince George’s County] has, there was no all-inclusive church,” he said. “For the suburbs, especially for the black community,

Companies can charge upfront, monthly fees


Electric customers face an upfront cost and monthly fees if they opt not to have a smart meter installed on their home. the commission’s decision, are to be notified of the decision within 60 days by their utility, according to the Feb. 26 order. Utilities are allowed to bill those customers who don’t withdraw their temporary opt-out requests. Abbe Milstein of Rockville said she is worried that some customers who chose not to have a smart meter installed while awaiting the commission’s decision will be billed without knowing that large fees have been attached, and that they “are not going to be able to afford it.” Last year, Pepco sent installers to replace some analog meters with smart meters without notifying customers in advance by letter, as the commission had ordered. Pepco officials said March 5 that the utility had not counted how many customers have withdrawn their opt-out requests since the fees were announced Feb. 26. “It’s too early to have any official numbers as we are still working through how to handle the new process,” Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey wrote in an emailed response. Pepco delivers electricity to about 540,000 customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. From Prince George’s

Pepco has gotten 439 opt-out requests, Hainey reported. Utilities have said it costs more to maintain two billing systems and to continue sending people out to read meters. They also said some operational efficiencies are lost when customers don’t use smart meters. The commission order calls for utilities to track and report costs incurred by serving customers without smart meters so the commission can review and adjust the charges if warranted. Smart meters have been touted for their ability to notify utilities of outages and for the potential to help customers track and manage their electricity use. So far the meters’ automated features have helped Pepco restore service faster and reduced the need to dispatch restoration crews by 10 percent, Hainey said. Legislation is being considered in the Maryland Senate and House that would prohibit utilities from charging fees based on a customer’s choice of a smart or analog meter and that would prohibit disclosing data to a third party without the customer’s written consent — except for billing and to support “customer choice — and would penalize utilities for violations.


Page A-6

Police investigating two fatal accidents Two vehicles collided head-on, and another struck a pole



Police have identified the two people who died on March 5 in two different accidents in Laurel and Brentwood. Maurice Michael Barnes, 32, of the 13100 block of Larchdale Road in Laurel, and James Kevin Green, 54, of the 1200 block of Missouri Avenue in Northeastern Washington D.C. were killed in car accidents on March 5, police said. Barnes was killed when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with another vehicle at about 9 p.m. at the 8600 block of Contee Road in Laurel, said Cpl. Maria McKinney, a Prince George’s County police spokes-

woman. The other driver, a woman, was in serious condition, but is expected to survive, McKinney said. Barnes was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and was later pronounced dead, McKinney said. Green was killed after his vehicle struck a pole at the intersection of 38th and Rhode Island avenues in Brentwood, McKinney said. Police responded to Green’s accident at about 11:10 p.m. and preliminary investigation shows Green was traveling along the road when he lost control and hit the pole, McKinney said. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, she said. Preliminary investigation did not lead officer to believe weater was a factor, McKinney said. Officers are still investigating the accidents, she said.

Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

POLICE BLOTTER This activity report is provided by the Prince George’s County Police Department as a public service to the community and is not a complete listing of all events and crime reported.

District 2 Headquarters, Bowie, 301-3902100 Glenn Dale, Kettering, Lanham, Largo, Seabrook, Woodmore, Lake Arbor, Mitchellville and Upper Marlboro.

MARCH 3 Vehicle stolen, 10400 block

Meadowridge Lane, 6:43 a.m. Theft, 4100 block Northview Drive, 10:24 a.m. Theft, 4100 block Northview Drive, 10:25 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 600 block Crain Highway Sw, 4:18 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 5100 block Tidler Court, 4:21 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 12800 block Prospect Knolls Drive, 5:49 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 12800 block Prospect Knolls Drive, 5:50 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 6300 block Kinsey Terrace, 6:05 p.m.

MARCH 4 Assault, 13000 block Marquette Lane, 12:12 a.m. Theft, 9800 block Oxbridge Way, 8:37 a.m. Theft, 13100 block Contee Manor Road, 8:41 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 1500 block Northern Lights Drive, 9:15 a.m. Theft from vehicle, unit block of Watkins Park Drive, 1:28 p.m. Theft, unit block of Watkins Park Drive, 3:49 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 13800 block Carlene Drive, 4:09 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 9300 block Alcona St., 5:24 p.m. Theft, 12900 block Princeleigh St., 7:31 p.m.

MARCH 5 Theft from vehicle, 700 block Harry S Truman Drive, 6:08 a.m. Theft from vehicle, Streamside Drive/Southlakes Drive, 6:52 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 9700 block Annapolis Road, 9:15 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 8600 block

ONLINE For additional police blotters, visit Greenbelt Road, 12:06 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9400 block Van Buren St., 6:17 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 13800 block Farnsworth Lane, 9:53 p.m.

MARCH 6 Theft from vehicle, 10100 block Elgin Cir, 7:18 a.m. Theft, unit block of Watkins Park Drive, 8:41 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 12900 block Railroad Ave, 10:00 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 1900 block Beecham Court, 12:08 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 1200 block Capital Center Blvd, 12:14 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lottsford Court, 12:38 p.m. Theft, 3600 block Elder Oaks Blvd, 2:22 p.m. Theft, 4200 block Seatons Promise Drive, 3:38 p.m. Robbery, 14200 block Farnsworth Lane, 8:20 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 8500 block Greenbelt Road, 11:16 p.m.

MARCH 7 Vehicle stolen, 1000 block Kings Tree Drive, 2:32 a.m.

Commercial property breakin, 9400 block Lanham Severn

Road, 6:04 a.m. Theft, unit block of Watkins Park Drive, 10:26 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 9800 block Lanham Severn Road, 11:20 a.m. Theft, 3900 block Town Center Blvd, 11:38 a.m. Theft, 15200 block Hall Road, 12:25 p.m. Theft from vehicle, Soil Conservation Road/Good Luck Road, 1:26 p.m. Assault, 14700 block Main St., 1:37 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lottsford Court, 2:50 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lottsford Road, 3:05 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 800 block Capital Center Blvd, 3:09 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 4000 block Caribon St., 7:14 p.m.

Theft, 3300 block Crain Highway NW, 9:33 p.m.

MARCH 8 Vehicle stolen, 1100 block Shoppers Way, 2:32 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 800 block Manor House Drive, 7:03 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 1900 block Barrington Court, 9:52 a.m. Theft, 4400 block Lavender Lane, 10:53 a.m. Theft, 4700 block John Rogers Blvd, 11:14 a.m. Theft from vehicle, Melwood Road/Old Marlboro Pike, 12:40 p.m. Theft, 15500 block Annapolis Road, 4:51 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 13500 block Perrywood Court, 5:46 p.m. Theft, 500 block Harry S Truman Drive, 6:03 p.m.

MARCH 9 Theft from vehicle, 17200 block Brookmeadow Lane, 7:05 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 3100 block Marcando Lane, 7:29 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 12000 block Hunterton St., 9:06 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 800 block Pasadena Place, 9:32 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 4700 block Amberfield Drive, 10:07 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 5400 block Nacy Lee Lane, 11:40 a.m. Assault, 15000 block Health Center Drive, 6:49 p.m. Robbery on commercial property, 4100 block Northview

Drive, 8:32 p.m.

Vehicle stolen, 12400 block Starlight Lane, 9:41 p.m.

Robbery on commercial property, 12100 block Central Ave,

10:06 p.m.

District 3 Headquarters, Palmer Park, 301-772-4900. Chapel Oaks, Cheverly, Glenarden, Fairmount Heights, Kentland, Landover, Palmer Park, Seat Pleasant, Forestville, Suitland, District Heights and Capitol Heights.

MARCH 3 Theft from vehicle, 8900 block Hillside Court, 8:18 a.m.

Vehicle stolen and recovered,

4800 block Silver Hill Road, 10:18 a.m. Theft, 7600 block Barlowe Road, 10:23 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 3100 block 75th Ave, 5:45 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 6500 block Joplin St., 6:00 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 3100 block 75th Ave, 6:11 p.m. Robbery, 1300 block Elkwood Lane, 7:54 p.m. Assault, 6700 block Vermont Court, 8:52 p.m.

MARCH 4 Theft from vehicle, 100 block Manor Terrace, 7:12 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 7100 block Donnell Place, 8:20 a.m. Theft, 6400 block Central Ave, 9:05 a.m. Vehicle stolen and recovered,

6300 block Hil Mar Drive, 10:51 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 3300 block Forestville Road, 10:56 a.m. Sexual assault, 8600 block Fulton Ave, 11:05 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 800 block Hampton Park Blvd, 1:00 p.m. Vehicle stolen and recovered,

8000 block Walker Mill Drive, 1:24 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 1800 block Brightseat Road, 5:27 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 8500 block Landover Road, 6:28 p.m.

MARCH 5 Theft from vehicle, 5200 block Marlboro Pike, 8:26 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 3700 block Dianna Road, 11:24 a.m. Theft, 1700 block Ritchie Station Court, 12:35 p.m. Theft, 7600 block Barlowe Road, 12:52 p.m. Theft from vehicle, unit block of Whist Place, 1:04 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 8100 block Manson St., 2:12 p.m. Theft, 1100 block Nalley Road, 3:55 p.m. Theft, 4500 block Silver Hill Road, 4:14 p.m. Theft, 2700 block Hawthorne Terrace, 4:41 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 6600 block Ronald Road, 7:30 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 6900 block Walker Mill Road, 9:04 p.m. Theft from vehicle, Hazelwood Drive/Rochell Ave, 10:00 p.m.

MARCH 6 Residential break-in, 1300 block Karen Blvd, 12:55 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 4300 block Shell St., 7:01 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 3700 block Donnell Drive, 7:24 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 600 block Stretford Way, 8:07 a.m. Theft, 7600 block Barlowe Road, 8:08 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 6900 block Seat Pleasant Drive, 8:11 a.m. Theft, 7600 block Barlowe Road, 8:46 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 4200 block Suitland Road, 9:14 a.m. Robbery, 6700 block Mountain Lake Place, 3:55 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 7100 block Donnell Place, 4:02 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 7400 block Jefferson Ave, 5:46 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 300 block Elmleaf Ave, 5:59 p.m. Residential break-in, 3200 block Walters Lane, 6:55 p.m. Residential break-in, 5500 block Marlboro Pike, 8:07 p.m. Theft, 3000 block Donnell Drive, 8:57 p.m. Theft, 5600 block Silver Hill Road, 11:09 p.m.


137024G 1884523

Robbery, Cindy Lane/Central Ave, 12:56 a.m. Theft, 2900 block Donnell Drive, 7:30 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 3600 block Regency Pky, 8:17 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 1400 block Elkwood Lane, 8:22 a.m. Theft, 5900 block Silver Hill Road, 8:44 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 6300 block Central Ave, 10:11 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 5000 block Lydianna Lane, 10:32 a.m. Theft, 4300 block Will St., 12:10 p.m. Theft, 7300 block Walker Mill Road, 2:15 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 2100 block Brightseat Road, 2:27 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 100 block Hampton Park Blvd, 3:12 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 7700 block Landover Road, 3:32 p.m. Robbery, 1400 block Karen Blvd, 3:37 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 3300 block Walters Lane, 4:25 p.m. Residential break-in, 8600 block Ritchboro Road, 4:31 p.m.


Thursday, March 13, 2014


Continued from Page A-1 events like weather, which can influence how much energy a city uses, Fitzwater said. Hotter summers and colder winters can cause increased energy use, he said. In 2012, Bowie formed the Municipal Green Team, a city employee counterpart to the Bowie Green Team, a citizen group that focuses on environmental efforts throughout the city. The municipal team focuses on decreasing energy usage throughout city buildings, which make up about 80 percent of the city’s overall energy usage, Fitzwater said. “[The team] is tremendous and our employees have been very cooperative,” Fitzwater said. “The city has always tried to reduce energy consumption

wherever we can. A lot of the work that came out of this strategy and implementation has resulted in achievement of about 15 percent reduction.” George Jones, who is on the Municipal Green Team, said the city employees have embraced the city’s efforts, even the smallest ones. The green team, made up of city employees from several departments, is always looking for ways to save some energy, Jones said. Employees now close their blinds to save heat inside the building, they turn off their computers, especially the power strip, which draws “phantom” energy, he said. “Through simple actions the employees can do on a daily basis ... we can all take part in helping reduce these energy costs,” Jones said. “To improve the environment that we live and work in.” Resident Susie Fooshée of

Bowie said she appreciated the city’s efforts to reduce energy consumption. But she said she hopes to see even bigger changes, recommending the city put into place a solar farm that can capture electricity for future use. “I think Bowie is on the right track,” Fooshée said. “I think they have really good people and good minds attacking these issues.” Jones said the city actually has plans for more solar panels throughout the city, which would provide more natural energy and potentially save more money. And while the city has bigger plans like those panels, he said the city employees will continue doing their part by printing less and flicking the power strip switch at the end of the day.

Page A-7

Children learn about healthy living Abijah Walters, 8, of Capitol Heights runs through an obstacle course during the first “Mini Fit” health and fitness program for youth at DB4 Fitness Center in Capitol Heights. The planned monthly program featured exercise and healthy foods and was held in partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.



Continued from Page A-1


City of Bowie grants manager George C. Jones is part of the Energy Efficiency Conservation Work Team that implements energy saving practices in city-owned buldings throughout Bowie. Here, he stands next to Bowie City Hall’s plant-covered roof, which reduces energy costs as well as stormwater runoff.


tal Design, a federal program that certifies buildings as environmentally sound. “So if you can move a couple schools, or even 10 or 20 schools, up by 10 years, that’s 10 years of energy savings.” The county received $35.3 million for fiscal 2014 from the state for capital improvements, less than half the $94.6 million requested. For fiscal 2015, the school system is requesting $118.1 million in state funding for capital improvements, due to the need to improve and replace aging school facilities, Maxwell said during the budget process. Approximately one-third of the money for capital improvements comes from the state; the remaining two-thirds is allocated by the county. The appropriations committee will send the bill back to the House of Delegates with either a favorable or unfavorable recommendation for a second reading and possible vote; no date has yet been set for the decision. janfenson-comeau@

Emergency Services at

Continued from Page A-1 gine hours, Bizjak said. Engine hours are accumulated while an engine is active; odometer miles track how far a vehicle has traveled. The county also has 22 units owned by volunteer companies and an additional 10 vehicles that are currently being evaluated for possible retirement because of damage or excessive maintenance needs, said Mark Brady, county fire/EMS department spokesman. While the county has proposed ambulance replacement at about seven years, the recommended service life for main ambulances is about three years and reserve ambulances about five years, according to a 2013 report by the nationally recognized fleet consulting firm BDA Global. The bulk purchase of ambulances has created an issue of a fleet growing old all at once, Bizjak said. There is no national standard in the “fire/ EMS community in general,” Bizjak said. These older ambulances require more maintenance, which means the county has to pull its reserve ambulances into the frontline ranks, Brady said. The county always has about six to 10 ambulances in reserve when other vehicles are under repair, but the county is still looking to replace the older ambulances, Brady said. Ambulances that get older are also rotated to less active areas to minimize the strain on the vehicle, he said. “When an ambulance’s repairs cost exceeds what the unit is worth, that unit is dead-lined,” Brady said. “There are no times that a station doesn’t have a reserve ambulance. We have a reserve fleet that is ready to go into service at any time.” The county recently added two new ambulances and plans to add another nine in 2014. Those ambulances cost about $260,000 each, totaling $2.8 million, Brady said. In 2011, another 11 ambulances were purchased, but those ambulances didn’t automatically replace aging units because of new standards that required additional ambulances at stations with more than 4,000 calls,

up to $20 million annually in additional state funding to counties with student populations of more than 100,000 and maintaining a AAA credit rating. Currently, only Prince George’s, Montgomery and Baltimore counties have populations meeting the requirement. The funds could be used toward school construction projects or the costs of debt service on construction bonds. The funds would come from state gambling proceeds, and every state dollar would have to be matched by two dollars of county funding. Last year, a similar proposal, with dollar-for-dollar city-state funding, was passed for Baltimore City Public Schools. Several committee members asked why the “big three” counties should be singled out. Del. John L. Bohanan Jr. (D-Dist. 29B) of California said the schools in his district have similar needs, “but we don’t have the muscle you do.”

Del. Mary-Dulany James (D-Dist. 34A) of Havre de Grace said it was unfair that her counties, Cecil and Harford, are too small to be covered by this bill, as they have aging school buildings as well. “A student is a student is a student, regardless of county,” James said. Baker said Prince George’s is growing in terms of economic development, but its school infrastructure has not been able to keep pace. “It’s a two-to-one match. We’re going to put in some money that we frankly cannot afford because we need to do this,” he said. Baker said investing money in schools now will save money in the long run. “If we don’t do something immediately, we’re behind the eight ball, and we’ll be paying for this for years to come,” Baker said. Maxwell said doing construction sooner will also help in energy savings. “All these schools are going to be LEED certified,” Maxwell said, referring to Leadership in Energy and Environmen-

Bowie Health Center

Emergency medical services for adults and children Quicker than a traditional Emergency Room


The usage meter on one ambulance in the Forestville maintenance shop shows 9,284.2 hours, which is on the high end of the useful life for an ambulance still in service.

Board certified doctors, with a reputation for excellence

Bizjak said. The fire department is looking to continue small purchases each year, county fire chief Marc Bashoor said in a statement. “[The] approved strategy is to purchase 12 to 15 transport units per year to keep the fleet in constant rotation,” Bashoor said. Those purchases will have to be approved by county officials, which would go into effect July 1 with the new budget. While officials have said there could be budget cuts throughout the county, Brady said the department is confident it will get the equipment it needs based on previous county support.

Caring and highly skilled nursing staff

15001 Health Center Drive

(Off Northview Drive across from Bowie Town Center)

Open 24 hours, Seven days a week


(From left) Ed Manuel, a heavy equipment mechanic, and John Godenick, an apparatus maintenance technician, do maintenance repairs Friday to an ambulance in the Forestville repair facility.


Page A-8


Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo


The Rev. Dr. Henry P. Davis III, pastor at First Baptist Church of Highland Park (back center), watches as Highland Park Christian Academy students use some of the robotics equipment just purchased by the school using a $10,000 grant. The students (from left) are Kamara Manzie, 10; Andria Moore, 10; Khalil Manzie, 10; Kenneth Brooks, 10; and Hunter Wolfe, 10.


Continued from Page A-1



based Goldenrod Research Corp. The Youthtouch Grant awarded the school with $9,850 to fund a robotics program, which will bring in robotics tools — such as joystick-controlled robots that move across tables or small robotic arms — that students and teachers will incorporate into the school’s curriculum, White said. The robots will be used to help the students solve problems, White said. Highland Park was the only school in the county to get the grant. The school has to raise another $9,850 to fulfill the grant and must finish fundraising by June 1 to meet grant requirements, White said. The school and church are combining forces to raise money by requesting donations and possibly holding fundraisers, White said. Once everything is set up, White said students will be able to program the robots and use them to solve word problems and use their mathematics skills. While they haven’t had access yet, some students already have plans for the robots. “I think it is going to be cool

Fifth-grader Kenneth Brooks, 10, uses a robotic arm to grab a pingpong ball. to see the mechanisms of the robots, how they all come together to do their functions,” said Jeremy Abraham, 13, of District Heights. The school plans to have the robots assembled and completed in the coming weeks, with the program fully functional by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. But students will get some time with the machines before then, White said. Jouvan Siaka, 12, of Landover said the robots will help students visualize their learning. “I’m really interested in it,” Jouvan said. “I want to draw the pieces and learn how to connect

them together with my drawings.” White said the school plans for an after-school robotics program so students get additional access to the machines. Other schools in the community will also be invited to take part in robotics activities, she said. The ultimate goal is to get students to understand science and prepare them for future careers, White said. “You just can’t become an astronaut by going in and signing up,” she said. “You have to lay that path pretty far back.”



Moving forward with history

Prince George’s County library officials believe they are doing patrons a favor by simplifying the name of a 50-year-old library in Laurel as they build a CONSISTENCY new $17.5 milIN TITLES IS NOT lion library in A SUFFICIENT its place. What they fail to realREASON FOR ize, however, is CHANGING importance LIBRARY’S NAME the of incorporating the library’s history into plans for its future. The Laurel Branch Stanley Memorial Library was built on land donated by relatives of Charles Stanley, the second mayor of the city (serving from 1891 to 1893) and a former state delegate and comptroller. The land came with the stipulation that Stanley’s name be part of the title of the library. Removing Stanley’s name, officials said, would keep the library’s title consistent with other county libraries that only include the name of the community. In addition, officials believe patrons would more easily find the library online or through GPS if it has the city’s title rather than having to remember the former mayor’s name. With the old building being razed this spring, library officials are checking with a

Gazette-Star Douglas S. Hayes, Associate Publisher

lawyer to see if they need to keep Stanley’s name as part of the new library’s title. While changing the name may be acceptable legally, however, it doesn’t make it acceptable to the community. For longtime Laurel residents, the library’s name is a way of preserving the city’s history, a way to honor and remember those who helped make the city what it is today. Such recognition should not be lost simply for conformity. And having “Stanley” as part of the title will help differentiate the building from other libraries in Laurel communities in Howard and Anne Arundel counties. A better argument for considering a name change was raised by Laurel resident Maureen Johnson, who pointed out that Stanley served in the Confederate army. “The library is adjacent to Emancipation Park,” she said. “... It’s just a slap in the face to have that in the shadow of [the park and what it stands for].” Such a concern warrants a community discussion on how to proceed; however, library officials’ reasons for the change just don’t hold water. Officials have done well making libraries an integral part of the communities they serve. It would be a shame to hinder such a connection for the sake of consistency.

Ken Sain, Sports Editor Dan Gross, Photo Editor Jessica Loder, Web Editor


Page A-9


Embarrassed due to county litter

I have just read the second article regarding the overwhelming trash in this county. I refer to the previous letters to the editor from Ms. [Elva] Matthews and Ms. Linda Poulson, both from Clinton. I am a resident of New Carrollton and am also fed up with the mounds of trash on our streets, byways and ramps. I travel a lot and nowhere have I seen the amount of trash that litters every aspect of our county.

Our county executives wonder why they can’t attract high-end stores, restaurants and businesses when the county looks like a slum. I have lived here 50 years and am embarrassed to have visitors come from other states. This has got to stop. My city is very good at cleaning up trash on our streets and tries to maintain beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees at all of our entrances, however, I notice that they are constantly picking

up bottles, fast food bags, cigarette butts and whatever people can think to throw out of their cars. The solution lies with the people in this county to start acting like good citizens of the environment they live in and for our political leaders to put more emphasis on policing and cleaning up the county. Maybe then Prince George’s County will be treated with some respect in this region.

Rebecca A Frey, New Carrollton

State should do better with affordable care signup In my opinion, the affordable health care laws have forced many people who do not have family doctors to use the ER as their family medical facility. I see this problem growing as more people sign up for health care, and the doctors today can’t keep up with the number of people needing care. Maryland needs to monitor every medical facility in the state to be sure the sheer number of people who visit the emergency room for treatment of minor ailments don’t endanger lives of people who truly have a medical emergency. If Maryland still is having trouble signing people up for affordable care, why don’t they set up a desk in each hospital’s ER and assist patients in filling out the forms and providing them with a list of doctors who will treat them? Also, the next Maryland governor eventually will have to

consider expanding walk-in health clinics that are open 24 hours a day just to take care of the large number of new people now being enrolled.

William R. Woodall, Waldorf

Dennis Wilston, Corporate Advertising Director Doug Baum, Corporate Classifieds Director Mona Bass, Inside Classifieds Director

Send us letters

Letters must include writer’s name, address and telephone number. The phone number will not be published; it is for verification purposes only. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Send letters to: Editor, Gazette Newspapers, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707. E-mail them to

13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707 | Phone: 240-473-7500 | Fax: 240-473-7501 | Email: More letters appear online at

Vanessa Harrington, Editor Jeffrey Lyles, Managing Editor Glen C. Cullen, Senior Editor Copy/Design Meredith Hooker,Managing Editor Internet Nathan Oravec, A&E Editor


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jean Casey, Director of Marketing and Circulation Anna Joyce, Creative Director, Special Pubs/Internet Ellen Pankake, Director of Creative Services

POST COMMUNITY MEDIA Karen Acton, Chief Executive Officer Michael T. McIntyre, Controller Donna Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources Maxine Minar, President, Comprint Military




Girls move to a new home n

Coaches prepare for Towson University’s SECU Arena instead of UMBC BY



Justice Sneed (left) of Dr. Henry A. Wise High School defends Potomac’s Randall Broddie during a Feb. 27 game.



Dion Wiley of Potomac High School looks to shoot against Oakland Mills during Friday’s game.


Prince George’s could have three teams win state titles for first time since 1991




Rob Garner, Renard Johnson and Lawrence Pugh — “the three amigos,” as Johnson called them — were standing and smiling on Tuesday afternoon in Towson University’s SECU Arena. Seventy-three games over the course of the 2013-14 season had landed the trio of boys’ basketball

coaches — Johnson of 2A Potomac High School, Garner of 4A Henry A. Wise, Pugh of 1A Central — at a press conference luncheon to discuss with various media the upcoming state semifinals this week, hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park’s Comcast Center. It is there, scheduled to begin on Thursday with Wise’s 9 p.m. contest with Springbrook, that Central, Potomac and Wise will take on an opportunity to join a very short list of county triumvi-

See TRIPLE, Page A-11

See GIRLS, Page A-11

GAME SCHEDULES Girls at SECU Arena (Towson) Eleanor Roosevelt vs. Paint Branch, 5 p.m. Thursday

Boys at Comcast Center (College Park) Central vs. Emondson, 5 p.m. Friday GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Dequan Smith (left) of Central High School looks to pass the ball as New Town’s Jolon Mack of New Town defends during Saturday’s game.

In tennis, it’s Roosevelt, then everyone else Raiders set out to win their 10th straight region title n

Henry A. Wise vs. Springbrook, 9 p.m. Thursday Wise vs. Springbrook, 9 p.m. Thursday

Lacrosse could arrive as early as 2016 Eleven schools must start club teams for sport to reach varsity status n


Second-year Bowie High School tennis coach Michael Fehn said he and his team have one main goal for this season: Beat rival Roosevelt. It’s nothing new; the Bulldogs, along with the rest of Prince George’s County, have been trying unsuccessfully to do it for about a decade — the nine-time defending all-county Region III champion Raiders have not lost a single league dual match during that time. When the season kicks off next week, the cycle will begin again. “Roosevelt is able to just reload and it’s not with marginal players, it’s with potential college players,” Charles H. Flowers coach Rob Vinson said. “When you have a team that’s mostly just high school tennis players, it’s really hard to compete against that.” Roosevelt has more than proven its superiority and until another team can find a way to break through, there is no reason to believe the Raiders’ hold on the county won’t continue this spring. That being said, with the number of top players lost on the girls’ side, Roosevelt might

Forty-one years ago, the Parkville High School girls’ basketball team won the Maryland state championship in front of a packed house at Woodlawn High School’s gym in Baltimore. “Let’s just say one thing,” Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association girls’ basketball tournament director Diane George said, recalling the 1973 finals, “The bleachers were full. But IF YOU GO it’s not like at a community college or a DiState basketball vision I school.” tournaments The tournament has since grown by n Admission: $8 leaps and bounds, n TV: MPSSAA live George said, with the streaming by title game venue movsubscription only ing to Catonsville Com— http://www. munity College, then to the University of Marychannels/maryland land, Baltimore County in Catonsville, and this n Radio: SFM Sports season to a 5,200-seat Division I arena. After 20 years at UMBC, this year’s state tournament will be played at Towson University’s SECU Arena, which opened in June 2013. The 16 region champions are scheduled to play their semifinal games on Wednesday or Thursday with the winners advancing to Saturday’s title games. “It’s really just exciting to see the growth of the tournament,” George said. “... I look at it as another chapter in the history of the tournament.” Eleanor Roosevelt and Paint Branch are scheduled to play Thursday for a spot in the Class 4A state championship game. “I’m excited about [the new venue],” said Roosevelt coach Delton Fuller, whose undefeated Raiders played in front of around 4,000 people at the Prince George’s County championship game at Henry A. Wise High School. “That atmosphere was really nice,” Fuller said. “I hope it continues and it was definitely good for my girls.”




Eleanor Roosevelt High School‘s Vijay Golla is one of the top returning tennis players in the county. be slightly more vulnerable than in recent history. Still, junior Kristin Watson is back atop the lineup after finishing 2013 as the Raiders’ No. 1 singles players and the boys’ roster has changed very little. Defending county and region champion Vijay Golla, who is ranked No. 66 in the U.S. Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic Section Boys 18s, and Elliot Tapscott are back as the Raiders’ top two singles players.

See TENNIS, Page A-11

PLAYERS TO WATCH n Odunayo Ayegbajej, Parkdale; Alana Berry, Surrattsville; Brenton Bodden, Surrattsville; DaMani Eubanks, Charles H. Flowers; Vijay Golla, Eleanor Roosevelt; Sagen Kidane, Parkdale; Shante Lombre, Charles H. Flowers; Andrew Malloy, DeMatha; David Markward, Bowie; Maddie Simmons, Bowie; Franklin Tiafoe, DeMatha; Kristin Watson, Eleanor Roosevelt

The Oxon Hill High School girls’ lacrosse club started from scratch two seasons ago with what coach Sheena Washington calls a “ground up effort.” But as the team has grown — now at 30 girls — so have the expenses. Because it is a club, and not a varsity program, students and parents face the additional burdens of providing for equipment, transportation and officiating, Washington said. “We have to provide all that. Candy sales, pizza sales, car washes to raise money for all of that,” she said. “... I think [lacrosse] is growing in the county but it’s very difficult when you don’t have financial support.” There may be good news for Washington and other Prince George’s County lacrosse

PLAYERS TO WATCH n Angela Parker, Kasey Stevens, Bowie; Hannah Antonelli, Jordan Shugrue, Alexis Thorne, St. Vincent Pallotti; Sonia Moreno, Gabrielle Headly, Oxon Hill; Dana Phillips, Kaitlyn Steinbauer, Elizabeth Seton; Shadia Zakikhani, Jasmine Windley, Henry A. Wise

coaches. By the 2016 season, the school system could recognize lacrosse as a varsity sport, according to Prince George’s County Public Schools Athletic Director Earl Hawkins. Additionally, the county is eligible this year to receive grants through the Lacrosse Opportunities Program, a $40,000 annual state program designed to give minority students an opportunity to play the predominantly white sport. According to the Facts and Figures section of

See LACROSSE, Page A-11


Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

Page A-11


Girls’ First team

Boys’ First team

Jennifer Clune

Alexis Braswell

Sidney Horton

Dylan Buehler

Swept event all four years at counties, won third straight region title.

County champ set region record, seventh at states.

County’s best mark (1:05.56).

Eleanor Roosevelt High School senior Jennifer Clune is The Gazette’s Girls’ Swimmer of the Year.

Won counties by three seconds (2:12.01).

Ashley Braswell

DeAngela Fobbs

Tyla Jackson

Niyette Johnson

Carolyn Sutton

Kristen Toth

Don Brazelton

Christian Dixon

Nathan Donoghue

Ernesto Evans

Noah Gonzalez

Saadiq Louisy

Second at counties and regionals.

County champion set region record (26.21).

County’s top mark, top 15 at WMPSSDL.

County’s best time (2:17.71), top 10 at WMPSSDLs.

County champ set region record (1:05.40).

Metros qualifier posted county’s top time (5:23.35).

County winner set region record (56.41).

Won counties, set region record.

Won county by more than 10 seconds.

Top 10 finish at states.

Top 15 at WMPSSDLs.

Won region title.

Roosevelt Senior, 100 breast

Flowers Sophomore 100 backstroke

Flowers Sophomore, 200 freestyle


Bowie Freshman, 50 freestyle

Elizabeth Seton Freshman, 100 freestyle


Elizabeth Seton Freshman, 200 IM


Laurel Sophomore, 100 butterfly

Pallotti Sophomore, 500 freestyle


Flowers Junior, 100 freestyle

Flowers Sophomore, 100 backstroke


Charles H. Flowers High School junior Sidney Horton is The Gazette’s Boys’ Swimmer of the Year.

Roosevelt Junior, 100 butterfly


Eleanor Roosevelt

Elizabeth Seton

Erica Hawkins, junior Akeyla Holley, junior Tyla Jackson, freshman Niyette Johnson, freshman

Elizabeth Seton

Erica Hawkins, junior Akeyla Holley, junior Tyla Jackson, freshman Niyette Johnson, freshman

Charles H. Flowers

Won county and region titles.

Finaled at Metros with county’s best (1:45.13).

Posted county’s best mark at Metros (3:54.49).

Won county title with PGCPS top mark.

Elizabeth Bailey, senior Jennifer Clune, senior Eszter Hernhold, senior Alexis Yaculak, freshman

Girls’ Coach of the Year Jeff Ware

Charles H. Flowers Has built quite the program that keeps inching closer to seemingly unbeatable Roosevelt.


Continued from Page A-10 Paint Branch won three consecutive regional titles from 2007-09 and a state championship in 2008, but this will be the


Continued from Page A-10 rates who have returned with three of four state titles. The first to do it was Northwestern, Fairmont Heights and Gwynn Park in 1968, which triggered a three-year run in which Prince George’s claimed nine of 12 Maryland titles. Three teams winning in the same year has only been accomplished once since the close of that run — Parkdale, DuVal and Forestville in 1991 — and now, with the abundance of talent harbored

Girls’ second team 50 freestyle: Daiysa Burrell, Charles H. Flowers 100 freestyle: Elizabeth Bailey, Eleanor Roosevelt 200 freestyle: Catherine Peterson, Eleanor Roosevelt 500 freestyle: Eszter Hernhold, Eleanor Roosevelt 100 backstroke: Emma Tarnosky, Elizabeth Seton



Charles H. Flowers


Won county, highest finisher at regionals.

Scored at Metros with county-best 3:26.70.

Don Brazelton, sophomore Sidney Horton, junior Malcolm Mallard, senior Montana Wynn, sophomore

Sean Barbour, sophomore Dylan Buehler, junior Noah Gonzalez, junior Brandon Loftin, senior

Boys’ second team

100 breaststroke: Emily Reavis, Elizabeth Seton 100 butterfly: Madelyn Turell, Bowie 200 IM: Mary Wenzel, Eleanor Roosevelt 200 medley relay: Elizabeth Seton 200 freestyle relay: Flowers 400 freestyle relay: Eleanor Roosevelt

50 freestyle: Peter Moyer, St. Vincent Pallotti 100 freestyle: Michael Shimizu, Eleanor Roosevelt 200 freestyle: Kameron Sheppard, Eleanor Roosevelt 500: Noah Louisy, Bowie 100 backstroke: Christian Blocker, Bowie 100 breaststroke: Bryce Carrington,

Bowie Senior, 50 freestyle

Boys’ Coach of the Year

Suitland 100 butterfly: Sean Barbour, DeMatha 200 IM: Jon Bendana, Bowie 200 medley relay: DeMatha 200 freestyle relay: DeMatha 400 freestyle relay: Eleanor Roosevelt

Marcus Fitts

Northwestern Built roster from six to 22 athletes, led into top 10 at counties from 19th.

always do,” said Pisarski, who led the Swarmin’ Hornets to the semifinals last season. Largo coach Ayana BallWard, whose team lost in the 2A South Region finals, said the venue change was a positive step for girls’ basketball.

“It’s a great experience for the girls and it’s a great lift for the state of Maryland,” said Ball-Ward, who has made three trips to the state semifinals since winning the Class 3A title in 2007. George said she does not

expect the upper level to be utilized, but it may open for future postseason games. Cost of admission ($8) remains the same as previous years, she said. “We’re excited about the new arena and going to a new place,” George said.

by the county’s current Big Three, 2014 is as good an opportunity as ever. “Personally, I think we’re the best county in Maryland,” said Pugh, whose Falcons topped Baltimore County’s New Town in Saturday’s region final. “We play hard. I know we have three teams and that says a lot about our schools in Prince George’s County and we’re going to do our best as PG County coaches to represent our counties in a positive way.” Garner’s Wise team, which held off Potomac for the county title on Feb. 27, should get the

first crack at playing Springbrook at the Comcast Center Thursday. The two have seen each other in this venue before, back in the 2009 state finals, but even the Pumas couldn’t interrupt the second of what would be three consecutive state titles under coach Tom Crowell. “We’re just excited,” Garner said. “We set some goals early and there’s this feeling that we already got one of them accomplished just in terms of getting back to that region championship and coming out on the other side. It’s a whole new journey, a short one, but a whole new one.”

The Pumas, who have yet to lose to an opponent from the state of Maryland — their losses came to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference’s Bishop O’Connell and St. John’s College — are widely considered the favorites of the 4A, a label not at all unfamiliar to Johnson’s Wolverines. They have been laden with those kinds of expectations since the preseason, well before Paul VI transfer Quadree Smith arrived at mid-season. Potomac it scheduled to make its 2014 tournament debut with Patterson of the 2A North Region on Friday at 9 p.m. John-

son admitted that, in last year’s final, his Wolverines hadn’t experienced much Baltimore-area basketball, and he purposefully added Lake Clifton and Poly on the schedule this season. “Baltimore teams, they’re tougher than PG County teams. PG County teams are tough but I think Baltimore teams are a little tougher,” said Potomac standout Dion Wiley, a Maryland-signee who will be playing the next few years in the Comcast Center. “Playing the Baltimore teams earlier in the season is going to prepare us for the game on Friday.” On Tuesday, Pugh sat di-

rectly next to Edmondson-Westside coach Darnell Dantzler, whom he should see on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Central coach couldn’t help but notice a glimmering, state championship ring from 2013, when the Red Storm won the 2A before moving down this season. “We are prepared to play a champion,” he said. “It’s hard knocking off champs, and they’re 2A champions, so they came down. It’s going to be hard trying to take it from the champions.”

Though Roosevelt has won so many championships, 12th-year coach Brendan O’Connell said his players in no way take advantage of their position but are in fact motivated by the history. “This year is a new team and I think every year the team sort of takes it as a challenge, that they’ve got to keep it going,” O’Connell said. “Since it’s coed, the fact that our boys are so strong, even if the girls are a little more inexperienced as far as team matches go, one side can carry the other.”

the PGCPS website, 64.7 percent of the county’s public school students are black or African American and 25.8 percent are Hispanic/Latino. Funds from the program have not yet been appropriated, Hawkins said. Former state delegate Justin Ross, who authored the bill, said that US Lacrosse will be matching grants from the program, adding that there are other programs in place to help the sport spread across the county.

DeMatha Junior, 200 IM

practice in a college gym to adjust to the larger court but will otherwise prepare for Thursday’s 3A semifinals against Baltimore Polytechnic Institute like it was any other game. “We’re going to go about our business kind of the same as we

Continued from Page A-10

Continued from Page A-10

Largo Junior, 200 freestyle

first trip to the state semifinals for third-year coach Rochelle Coleman. The girls went to Towson earlier this month “to see what the arena is like and get a feel for it,” Coleman said. Damascus coach Steve Pisarski said his team might



Don Brazelton, sophomore Brendenn Davis, junior Sidney Horton, junior Malcolm Mallard, senior

Roosevelt Freshman, 500 freestyle

Bowie got as close as it has to ending Roosevelt’s run at last year’s region tournament. Fehn said just one final match result separated the teams. The Bulldogs have an opposite issue to Roosevelt in that they return most of their top girls’ players, which will make for an interesting matchup between the two schools. Twin sisters Tori and Maddie Simmons lead a deep girls’ side. The boys’ lineup, Fehn said, is still a bit up in the air, but will be lead by returning singles player David Markward, who will move up from No. 2 to the top spot. Flowers has established itself as a top three program and will likely be next in line in the county’s hierarchy. The

The US Lacrosse Potomac Chapter provided a coaches clinic in December and has offered to help organize clinics for players and assist with referee scheduling, Washington said. “The story now is, everyone is committed to it happening,” said Ross, commissioner of the Prince George’s Lacrosse Club. “... We’re building high school teams, recreation teams and starting clinics across the county to make sure that all children get the opportunity to play the fastest growing sport in America.” For lacrosse to be eligible for varsity status, there will need to be 11 established teams,

Jaguars do return 14 players, including four-year starter Shante Lombre on the girls’ side and DaMani Eubanks and Qumar Ghani on the boys’ team. Their experience and that stability can go a long way, Vinson said. DeMatha struggled in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference last spring after losing its coach and seven players from the 2012 conference runner-up squad. Things are starting to fall into place nicely for this season, however, as the perennial contending Stags look to rebuild the program with a rich tennis history, second-year coach Damon Austin said. DeMatha will be young this spring but not lacking

Hawkins said. The county is approaching that minimum as teams such as Oxon Hill’s are sprouting across Prince George’s; other clubs include Bowie, DuVal, Charles H. Flowers, Eleanor Roosevelt and Henry A. Wise. Schools such as Frederick Douglass and Friendly have expressed interested in launching clubs in the future, Wise coach Nydia Velando said. Wise’s team practices without goals and has to play all of its games on the road because it does not have a field. Still, the team has expanded to about 25 girls in its second season, Velando said. “It’s definitely something. It

in talent and the youth, Austin added, could be the most exciting part looking toward the team’s future. Sophomore Franklin Tiafoe, ranked No. 79 in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Boys 16s, and fourth-year varsity member Andrew Malloy will likely lead the Stags’ charge. Last year’s team was numerically low but numbers are back up with 14 on the roster. In addition, the majority of the team is composed of players who have only played for Austin. “DeMatha has a strong tradition and a strong history and it’s good to have that component already built in, in that they’re used to competing,” Austin said. “So far we have a very good group

just shows how much the kids really want the opportunity to play the sport,” she said. Northwestern’s girls’ club launched this spring with more than 20 girls signing up. “Not a single girl has played before and not only that, not a single has seen the sport played before,” said Northwestern coach Brianna Vollmer, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park. State Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Dist. 23) of Bowie, a father of five lacrosse players, said the addition of varsity teams could increase scholarship opportunities for Prince George’s students.

and these guys are all mine, no one is really left over from the other coach. Everyone has grown a little bit, grown physically, mentally and emotionally.” Surrattsville came onto the county scene behind 2013 graduate Cierra Plummer, who finished third at last year’s state championship, the best finish by a county girls’ singles player since Roosevelt’s Katelyn Stokes won back-to-back titles in 2009-10. The Hornets only return five players from a 10-3 team, but coach Katherine Gleason said they’re still hopeful to make an impact on the South District and region.

“I just feel like we’re not getting our fair share,” Peters said. “... Once we get the sport rolling, we’re going to see we’re going to have the best athletes in the state.” As is, lacrosse coaches scout high school athletes in the neighboring counties and bypass Prince George’s, Peters said. “We’re the hole in the doughnut here. Everybody around us has a lacrosse league except for us,” Peters said. “We need to step up and start providing more opportunities for our young people.” The Wise club launched last year with the lead of student Jasmine Windley, a former Florida

resident who moved to Prince George’s in eighth grade. “Even when I moved here, I asked somebody, is there a club? Or a lacrosse team around here?” she said. “... I was kind of shocked because it was a really popular sport elsewhere.” With additional support, Windley, a senior, said lacrosse would be able to generate as much interest as sports such as football and basketball. “Lacrosse can do that too. It can be just as popular,” she said. “We just have to make it that popular.”


Page A-12

Saturdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 10a.m. to 4p.m.

Health Fair 10am-2pm Health Insurance Enrollment 9-3pm

( in order to assist you , please arrive and sign in by 3p.m.)


Prince George’s County Government 4235 28th Avenue, Temple Hills, MD 20785

Suitland Community Center 5600 Regency Ln. Forestville, MD 20747 You can also go online at or call 1-855-642-8572

to shop, compare and enroll on your own. For more information call Dee Dee Bass 301-909-7073 Dellia Hawthorne Williams 301-883-7835 To enroll in health coverage, be sure to bring: • Social Security numbers for you and family members (or document numbers for any legal immigrants who need insurance) • Employer and income information for everyone in your family (for example, from paystubs, W-2 forms, or wage and tax statements) • Policy numbers for any current health insurance • Information about any job-related health insurance available to your family



Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo




New African Films Festival opens with Ejiofor’s latest, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” on Thursday.

The Gazette’s Guide to

Arts & Entertainment

Page B-3

Nikki Giovanni


Thursday, March 13, 2014


Page B-1



MUSICIAN TOURS WITH HER DOGS, HER GUITAR AND HER SIGNATURE VOICE Blues singer Rory Block will entertain guests at the Montpelier Arts Center this weekend. PHOTO BY SHONNA VALESKA



Acclaimed author, activist known for her mix of political and personal



oet, author and activist Nikki Giovanni will return to Bowie State University on Friday for a public talk about her latest book, “Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid.” Published in 2013, the book is a mix of poetry and essays that draws in part on memories of her parents in Cincinnati and grandparents in Knoxville when she was growing up in the 1950s. Utopia is a type of beer brewed by the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), and Giovanni said she picked it for the title because her mother, who died in 2005, enjoyed drinking a beer every day.



Laurel residents can get a taste of traditional blues on Friday when Rory Block performs at the Montpelier Arts Center with just her guitar and her powerful, soulful voice. Block, who was born in Princeton, N.J., and grew up in New York City, has been touring and playing music for decades and has released more than 20 albums to date, with more in the works. Most recently, she has been working on the Mentor Series, a group of albums dedicated to some of the blues masters she had the privilege of meeting when she was younger. So far, the four CDs already released in the series have been devoted to Son House, Reverend Gary Davis, Fred McDowell and Mississippi John Hurt. Block performs original songs as well as her interpretation of some of the blues classics during her shows. In the beginning of Block’s career, she

n When: 2 p.m. Friday n Where: Main Stage, Fine and Performing Arts Center, Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Park Rd., Bowie n Tickets: Free n For information: 301-860-3235;

“I miss my mother, and I wanted to do something,” she said. “It’s about things you remember, and a lot of it is about food,” she said about the book, with its mentions of family relationships along with biscuits, beans and artichoke soup.

See POETRY, Page B-6

RORY BLOCK n When: 8 p.m. Friday n Where: Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Rd., Laurel n Tickets: $25 n For information:

would tape a set list to her guitar, but recently her shows have become more spontaneous. “Every show is totally different and every moment of a performance becomes very real and alive when things are spontaneous,” Block said. “In addition, the energy of the audience is a huge part of the equation, and now I just go with the feeling.” Though she often plays the same songs,

See BLOCK, Page B-6

‘Crossover’ success Writer Kwame Alexander will talk about his new book, “The Crossover,” on Monday at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville. PILAR VERGARA


‘The Crossover’ deals with teens and family life BY


Writer Kwame Alexander knows a little something about getting his work published. The poet, playwright and performer has written more than a dozen books. So it was a bit surprising his latest book, “The Crossover,” took five years to be published.

“I got 30 or 40 rejections,” Alexander said. “None of that swayed me. I always believed that this was A, an important story to be told and B, it was in my estimation the best thing I had ever written and I had written 17 books. … I was feeling more confident about this book than any other book.” Alexander plans on talking about “The Crossover,” on Sunday at a book signing and discussion at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, the first stop in his 20-city spring tour.


THE CROSSOVER BOOK TOUR WITH KWAME ALEXANDER n When: 6 p.m. Sunday n Where: Busboys and Poets, 5331 Baltimore Ave., Suite 104, Hyattsville n Tickets: Free n For information: 301-7792787;


Page B-2

Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

Complete calendar online at

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY’S ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR For a free listing, please submit complete information to at least 10 days in advance of desired publication date. High-resolution color images (500KB minimum) in jpeg format should be submitted when available. THEATER & STAGE Bowie Community Theatre, “Dark Passages,” to March 16, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, 301-8050219,

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, SHared MFA Thesis Con-

cert: Stephanie Miracle’s Pleated, 7:30 p.m. March 12-14; UMD Repertoire Orchestra: Concierto de Aranjuez, 8 p.m. March 12; Shared MFA Thesis Concert: Ana Farfán’s My Tempest, 9 p.m. March 12-14; 2014 Prince George’s County Annual Spelling Bee, 7 p.m. March 14, University of Maryland, College Park, Harmony Hall Regional Center, Concert: Global Drumming, 8 p.m. March 15, call for prices, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301-203-6070, Greenbelt Arts Center, “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” to March 15, call for prices, Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway, Greenbelt, 301-441-8770, Joe’s Movement Emporium, The Art of Social Dance, 7-10 p.m. March 15, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, 301-699-1819, Laurel Mill Playhouse, “You Can’t Take it WIth You,” March 21 to April 15, call for ticket prices,

times, Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St., Laurel, 301-452-2557, Montpelier Arts Center, Rory Block, blues, 8 p.m. March 14; Dinner and Movie: “The Counterfeiters,” 6 p.m. March 15; Phil Wiggins and the Chesapeake Sheiks, blues, 8 p.m. March 21, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, 301-377-7800, arts. Prince George’s Little Theatre, “The Fox on the Fairway,” May 2-18, call for tickets and show times, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, 301-957-7458, Publick Playhouse, World Dance Showcase, 8 p.m. March 15; Helping Drew, puppets, 10:15 a.m. and noon March 26, 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly, 301-277-1710, 2nd Star Productions, “Hello Dolly,” May 30 to June 9, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, call for prices, times, 410-757-5700, 301-832-4819, Tantallon Community Players, “Annie,” May 23 to June 8, Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301-262-5201,

VISUAL ARTS Brentwood Arts Exchange, “Ex-

changed III:” New work by Graduate and Undergraduate students at George Mason University and James Madison University, March 24 to April 26, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, 301-277-2863, David C. Driskell Center, “Charles White - Heroes: Gone But Not Forgotten,” to May 23, University of Maryland, College Park. New Deal Cafe, Marjorie Gray. collage, through March, 113 Centerway Road, Greenbelt. 301-4745642,


University of Maryland University College, “Unveiled: Works

from the UMUC Art Collection,” to March 30; Joseph Sheppard - “The Art of Portraiture,” opens April 1, 3501 University Blvd., Adelphi, 301-985-7937,

NIGHTLIFE New Deal Café, Mid-day Melodies with Amy C. Kraft, noon, March 13; Open Mic with James and Martha, 7 p.m. March 13; John Guernsey, 6:30 p.m. March 14-15; Tipsy Oxcart, 8 p.m. March 14; Bruce Kritt, 4 p.m. March 15; Better Off Dead, 8 p.m. March 15; Not2 Cool Jazz Trio, 11 a.m. March 16; Kids Open Mic, 1:30 p.m. March 16; The Greentop Ramblers, 5 p.m. March 16; Poetry Night Open Mic, 7 p.m. March 18, 113 Centerway Road, 301-4745642, Old Bowie Town Grill, Wednesday Night Classic Jam, 8 p.m. every Wednesday, sign-ups start at 7:30 p.m., 8604 Chestnut Ave., Bowie, 301-464-8800,


RAMBLE ON The Greentop Ramblers will present a special St. Patrick’s Day show on March 16 at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt.

OUTDOORS Dinosaur Park, Dinosaur Park

Gazette Health 2014 Special Issue featuring

Senior Health Children’s/Family Health Women’s/Men’s Health

programs, noon to 4 p.m. first and third Saturdays, join paleontologists and volunteers in interpreting fossil deposits, 13200 block Mid-Atlantic Blvd., Laurel, 301627-7755. Mount Rainier Nature Center, Toddler Time: hands-on treasures, crafts, stories and soft play, 11 a.m. to noon Thursdays, age 5 and younger free, 4701 31st Place, Mount Rainier, 301-927-2163. Prince George’s Audubon Society, Bird Walks, 7:30 a.m. first Sat-

urdays, Fran Uhler Natural Area, meets at end of Lemon Bridge Road, north of Bowie State University, option to bird nearby WB&A Trail afterward; 7:30 a.m. third Saturdays, Governor Bridge Natural Area, Governor Bridge Road, Bowie, meet in parking lot; for migrating and resident woodland and field birds, and waterfowl. For beginners and experts. Waterproof

footwear and binoculars suggested. Free. 410-765-6482.

ET CETERA College Park Aviation Museum, Peter Pan Club, 10:30-11:30 a.m. second and fourth Thursdays of every month, activities for preschoolers, $4, $3 seniors, $2 ages 2-18; Afternoon Aviators, 2-4:30 p.m. Fridays, hands-on aviationthemed activities for age 5 and up, $4, $3 seniors, $2 ages 2-18, events free with admission, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park, 301-864-6029, Women’s Chamber Choir Auditions, by appointment for the con-

cert season of women’s chamber choir Voix de Femmes, 7:45-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, 402 Compton Ave., Laurel, 301-520-8921,


in partnership with local hospitals

GAZETTE HEALTH WILL PROMOTE THE FOLLOWING: • Front page of The Gazette the week of publication • Quarter page display ads in The Gazette • Gazette.Net homepage and local pages • Social Networking Sites (Facebook, Twitter) • Web version on Gazette.Net homepages


Publication Date PRINCE GEORGE’S March 27 COUNTY June 26 Oct 2




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Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

Page B-3

New African Films Festival opens today n

AFI Silver presents 18 movies from a dozen countries



Anyone who appreciated the Oscar-nominated performance of British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave” will soon also be able to see him in “Half of a Yellow Sun.” Filmed in Nigeria in 2013, it is based on a 2006 book of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The movie is one of 18 entries in this year’s New African Films Festival. Shot in countries all over the continent, the movies will be screened Thursday through March 20 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring. “It’s definitely a window into the world of sub-Sahara Africa and the people living there today,” said AFI festival director Todd Hitchcock. “That’s what international film festivals make possible for us,” he said. Now in its 10th year, the festival is presented by the American Film Institute in Silver Spring and two Washington, D.C.-based organizations. One is TransAfrica, which educates the public about issues and cultures of Africans and the African diaspora, and the other is afrikafé, a regional networking group for Africans and friends of Africa. Hitchcock said this year’s festival is the biggest, and probably the best, in its history. “There are some terrific films and some high-profile titles. .... We’ve got the strongest line-up ever,” he said. “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which opens the festival on March 13, is about two sisters living through the 1967-1970 NigerianBiafran war. One is Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) and the other is Olanna (Thandie Newton), who becomes involved with a professor named Odenigbo (Ejiofor).

NEW AFRICAN FILMS FESTIVAL n When: March 13-20 n Where: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring n Tickets: $7-$12 n For information: 240-672-1854,

Adichie, whose most recent book is “Americanah,” will be present between the movie’s two screenings on Sunday, March 16, for a Q&A and booksigning. The first screening at 1 p.m. is sold out and ends at approximately 3:15 p.m. The second screening begins at 5:30 p.m. Also featured in the festival is the Ethiopian movie “Difret,” which tells the story of a true ground-breaking court case in the mid-1990s in which a 14-year-old girl shot and killed an abductor practicing the centuries-old tradition of telefa. Still seen in parts of rural Ethiopia, telefa allows a wouldbe husband to abduct, hide and rape a young woman until she becomes pregnant. As the future father, he can then negotiate with her family about marrying her. The movie, which won audience awards at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals, was written and directed by filmmaker Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, who grew up in Ethiopia and now lives in Alexandria, Va., with his wife, Mehret Mandefro, who co-produced the movie. Mehari said a chance meeting with the brother of the lawyer who defended the young woman led to the making of the movie. “I’m always going back to Ethiopia looking for stories,” he said. “One foot is still there ... I’m a product of that culture.” Actress Angelina Jolie also recently signed on as one of the executive producers of the film. Mehari and Mandefro will be present for a Q&A at the Saturday screening of “Difret.”


“Half of a Yellow Sun,” filmed in Nigeria, stars Academy Award-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton. Based on the 2006 book by the same name, the story is about people living through the 1967-1970 Nigerian-Biafran war. The movie opens the 10th annual New African Films Festival running from Thursday to March 20 at the AFI Silver Theatre.


“Horizon Beautiful” is about a 12-year-old boy (played by Henok Tadele) in Ethiopia who fakes the kidnapping of a visiting Swiss soccer mogul (Stefan Gubser) as a way to pursue his dream of playing professional soccer. The movie is one of 18 screening during the 10th annual New African Films Festival running from Thursday to March 20 at the AFI Silver Theatre. “It’s such great luck,” Hitchcock said. “It’s an interesting film festival with multiple local connections.” Also from Ethiopia, and recommended for children 8 years and older, is “Horizon Beautiful.” Swiss soccer mogul Franz comes to Ethiopia hoping to boost his image as a humani-


Hailing from New York City, Tipsy Oxcart will deliver its signature blend of electric Balkan music this Friday at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt. SouthEastern European sounds sync with jazz, funk, and urban dance tunes to create a one-ofa-kind experience that prides itself on “naughty violin solos” and “freak-me-out clarinet” grooves. The fun begins at 8 p.m. For more information, visit

Film partnerships In recent years African film makers have partnered with Europeans to produce movies made in Africa, Hitchcock said. “Something Necessary,” directed by Judy Kibinge, is a joint Kenyan/German movie co-pro-


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Balkan rockers Tipsy Oxcart will perform in concert on Friday at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt.

Spring has sprung On March 8, The Hyattsville Community Arts Alliance began hosting a series of community exhibits with an emphasis on warmer weather at local venues. At Franklins Brewery & Restaurant, 5123 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, “Greenworks” will feature art created using repurposed materials, as well as a focus on green ideas, the environment and spring. An opening reception is scheduled from 3-5 p.m. April 6 and the exhibit is on view to May 3. Meanwhile, “Earth Rebirth!” continues to May 3 at the Prince George’s Plaza Community Center, 6600 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville. A reception is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday. Susan Putnam Kleps also will be exhibiting her Solo Wall to April 5 at the plaza. “Spring Break!” an exhibit featuring themes of spring getaways, vacations and travel will be on view at Old Line Wine & Spirits Bistro, 11011 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville. For more information, visit

tarian and runs into Admassu, a 12-year-old boy who wants to catch his attention so he can become a professional soccer player. The boy cooks up a fake kidnapping and rescue of Franz so he can make himself look like a hero to the visiting soccer king, but things go awry, and the two end up in the Ethiopian coun-

tryside trying to get back to the capital, Addis Ababa. “It’s family friendly, which is not always the case [with some of the movies],” Hitchcock said For the first time, the festival is also showing an animated film. From the Ivory Coast, “Aya of Yop City” is based on a series of graphic novels by husbandand-wife team Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie. It’s the story of a 19-year-old girl who wants to study medicine but runs into opposition from family and friends who think she should get married. “There’s some adult material. ... It’s very, very funny,” Hitchcock said.

duced by German director Tom Tykwer, who directed the 1998 thriller, “Run Lola Run.” The story is about a victim and her perpetrator who meet in the aftermath of a post-election conflict in Kenya in 2007. Anne (Kenyan actress Wanjiru) is a widow struggling to rebuild her farm. One of the construction men working on her house is Joseph (Walter Lagat), a gang member who took part in raping her and killing her husband. This year AFI is partnering with the French embassy in Washington to cross-promote the New African film festival and the annual Franchophonie Cultural Festival running to April 15, which celebrates French culture in France and the regions it colonized. French-influenced movies in the AFI festival include “Burn it up Djassa” and “Aya of Yop City” from the Ivory Coast; “Le President” and “Ninah’s Diary” from Cameroon; “Under the Starry Sky” from Senegal and “GriGris” from Chad. “GriGris” is about a young man with a paralyzed leg who dreams of becoming a professional dancer but who instead turns to smuggling oil to pay his stepfather’s hospital bills. Along the way he meets a prostitute named Mimi, and they try to make a life together. Also in the festival are films from southern Africa, including “The Forgotten Kingdom” about a man who travels from Johannesburg to the mountains of Lesotho to bury his father. Another is the psychological thriller “Fynbos” about a real estate developer facing bankruptcy who travels with his wife to a lavish glass house in the fynbos, a remote area of shrub land in the Western Cape region of South Africa. “It was a very good year as far as choices available to us,” said Hitchcock about the 2014 entries. “It’s wonderful to see it grow year to year.”

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Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the Campus at the University of MD FREE

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Benjamin Tasker Middle School No information yet

Bowie Montessori Children’s House Xavier Preston

Charles Carroll Middle School Emely Cruz

Christian Home Educating Families (Home School Association) Rachel Fredericks

College Park Academy Evan Krieger

Divine Peace Lutheran School Fabian Parry

Drew-Freeman Middle School Farrakhan Muhammad

Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School Jeremy Mensah

From The Heart Christian School Aleah Cherry

Holy Family School Dwight Debnam III

Holy Redeemer School Shiuika Gaind

Hyattsville Middle School Vincent Lan

Imagine Foundations at Leeland Public Charter School Abigail Abikoye

James Madison Middle School No information yet

John Hanson French Immersion School at Shugart Olivia Nicole Harley

Kenmoor Middle School Ifeoma Okeke

Martin Luther King Junior Middle School Lindsay Bonney

Mt. Calvary Catholic School Tamya Matthews

New Hope Academy Diago Jackson

Oxon Hill Middle School Christian Terry

Robert Goddard French Immersion School Nicole Balay

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Continued from Page B-1 “The Crossover,” follows 12-year-old Josh Bell and his twin brother, Jordan. Both are basketball stars and Josh is convinced the two will be playing professionally like their father. As with most pre-teens and young adults, life eventually gets in the way. “It was a lot of fun and a joy to write,” Alexander said. “To be able to talk about boys growing up, boys involved with sports, boys falling in love and to be able to do that in the context of a really functional and fun family, which is kind of the household I grew up in.” Alexander said he’s still trying to figure out why it took so long for the book to get accepted by publisher — eventually by HMH Books for Young Readers — although he readily admits he might not ever know. “People have opinions, and I think publishers and editors and agents are the same,” Alexander said. “We sort of give this intellectual, mythological perspective on book publishing


Continued from Page B-1 A daughter of educators, Giovanni, 70, has been teaching English and literature at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., since 1987. She is recognized as much for her civil rights work as for her poetry, which is marked by a mix of the personal and political. Giovanni has received seven NAACP Image Awards for her poetry, and she is the first recipient of The Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award. “They used to say, ‘Put the concentration camps up or take the segregation signs down,’” she said about the beginning of her civil rights work the 1960s. “You didn’t know what to do, but you knew you had to do something,” she said. “When we looked at America, it frightened us — ‘This is it? This is our life? We can’t buy a car or go to the movie theater.’”

because they’re sort of the gatekeepers of language and literature, but in reality, they’re just smart people like the rest of us who have opinions. The opinions of the editors and publishers during that five-year period just didn’t jive with mine.” Growing up, Alexander really wasn’t into writing. With his parents being writers and avid readers, books were all over his house. Alexander said he and his siblings had to read and they had to write, but he didn’t really enjoy it. In high school, Alexander played tennis, but wasn’t the star athlete nor was he considered part of the cool crowd. His senior year, however, writing started to come in handy. “Writing really allowed me to separate myself from the pack,” Alexander said. “No one could write poetry like I did. The people who did write poetry, they weren’t as dynamic in their performance or presentation of it. Those kinds of things endeared me to people … especially when it came to girls. I was able to begin to interact with girls on a deeper level than I had ever done in my life because of poetry.

“It’s so basic — it has to stop,” she said. Giovanni was 12 years old when teenager Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after flirting with a white girl. “He hadn’t done anything,” she said. Giovanni’s older sister helped desegregate a school in Cincinnati, and Giovanni later helped revive a chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. She graduated with honors from Fisk in 1967 with a degree in history. One of the things she said she appreciated about history was its trove of stories. “I like storytelling,” she said. “I’m Tennessee born, I’m an Appalachian. Dolly Parton, she does it with song, I do it with [writing].” After Fisk, Giovanni studied social work at the University of Pennsylvania and then went to Columbia University. “If you wanted to be a writer,

Professional Services

“I was sort of like, ‘Whoa!? I can have this kind of impact with people and, in particular, women? This is something I think I want to do!’” A lot of Alexander’s work focuses on young adults. While he started out writing love poetry, his writing changed once his two daughters got older. When Alexander’s oldest daughter — who’s now in graduate school — was a teenager, she dealt with all the typical teenage stuff: love, friendship, boys. Alexander wanted to relate, so he shifted his writings in a way to better connect with his children. “I began to write poems for her and her friends, so that sort of got me writing for young adults,” Alexander said. “That was exciting for me to be able to translate for them what they were going through in this creative and intellectual context that we call poetry. “Then I had another daughter, who’s now 5, and reading to her every night and being a part of a household — much like the household I grew up in — books play a big role. … I grew interested in taking some of the poetry I had written and

you went to New York,” she said. Becoming a writer is not easy, she said. “It’s a profession of sacrifice — when you start, there’s no way to make money,” Giovanni said. “You have to go to graduate school or do internships,” she said. “It’s a way to get your message out and improve your craft. ... It takes time.”

Student session Earlier on Friday, Giovanni will work with about 40 sixthgraders from the Robert Goddard Montessori School in Seabrook. Under the direction of teacher Connie Jones, the class is studying Giovanni’s poetry and learning to write their own. “Sometimes students see [writing] as more of a chore and not a release,” said Jennifer West, associate professor in BSU’s Department of Counseling, who is coordinating the event. A school counselor, West said Jones has gone to the next level — engaging students by

Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

making it more accessible for her. Over time, I began to write stories and she began saying things that inspired me.” Alexander travels around the world now, making stops in schools to talk with children about reading and writing. He also takes time to talk with college students about poetry and book publishing. Alexander said there are two crucial facts he shares with all the young adults. “First off, you have to read,” Alexander said. “If you want to be a decent writer, if you want to write poetry or prose or nonfiction that people are going to be interested in, you’ve got to read. You’ve got to bring something more to the table than what’s in your mind. … The second thing is how important it is to be able to express and share your take on the world and on different aspects of your world. Writing can do that. “Writing gives you a voice. It gives you the ability to show your power and show your worth to the world. And you can be unafraid.”

RELIGION CALENDAR To submit a calendar item online, go to calendar.gazette. net and click on the submit button in the lower left-hand corner. To find an item, go to The Gazette’s home page at You can mail them to The Gazette, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707; fax, 240-473-7501. Items must be received by Wednesday to appear the following week.

MARCH 15 Annual UMW Rummage & Indoor Yard Sale, 10 a.m. to 1

p.m., Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 11416 Cedar Lane, Beltsville. Rummage sale offers chili dogs for lunch, a bake sale, gently used books, jewelry, housewares, toys, accessories and more. Proceeds benefit women and children through mission funds. Table rentals are available for $20. Volunteers and donations greatly appreciated. Contact 301-937-7114 or www.

MARCH 16 Interactive Purim Experi-

not just teaching them the mechanics of good writing, but also helping them tap the feelings that can inspire it. Jones asked the students to make a “heart map” about what matters to them. One student, for example, wrote about how she values her autistic brother, another about her love of dancing. “They need an outlet that’s healthy,” West said. “They can use writing to get out deep feelings.” Giovanni serves as a role model for the students, because she “writes from the heart and expresses it in a way that makes changes in the world,” West said. “We thought it would be fabulous if they could meet their mentor,” said West about inviting Giovanni to review some of their work. “We want to find a way to highlight the importance of how to use writing for personal change, advocacy and social justice,” said West. “We want to help the children find their voices.”


Continued from Page B-1 they’re always in a different order, which she changes frequently. “Music is totally personal for everyone. I think the most accurate thing to say is that everyone brings their own unique energy to their music, thus putting their personal signature on everything they do,” Block said. Block was even able to put her personal signature on her instruments. Approximately 38 signature Rory Block Martin Guitars have been made and sold. She owns four of them and they are the only guitars she plays. Proceeds from guitar sales went to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which she said is another one of her passions. In fact, one of the reasons why Block will be touring less frequently in 2015 is because of the animals she has rescued. “They’re a priority to us, and family members,” Block said. The only time Block leaves her dogs behind is when she climbs up on stage with her gui-

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ence, 11 a.m., Mishkan Torah,

10 Ridge Road, Greenbelt. Face painting, Hamentaschen making, costume parade, balloon art, songs and stories. Contact 301474-4223.

ONGOING Women’s Bible Study, 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday, Berwyn Baptist Church, 4720 Cherokee St., College Park. Study the book of Romans. Women of all ages are invited. Cost of $6.50 for textbook. Contact 301-474-7117 or

Largo Community Church is revising its fitness program,

Mondays and Wednesdays, to include Latin-infused dance. Classes start at 7 p.m. and the fee is $5. The church is at 1701 Enterprise Road in Mitchellville. E-mail justfit4life Ladies Bible Study Class on the book of Esther, Mary-

land City Baptist Church, 1:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoons at the church, 326 Brock Bridge Road in Laurel. Free nursery. Call Tammie Marshall at 301-4983224 or visit mdcitybaptist @

tar to sing the blues. Block and her husband, Rob Davis, have brought as many as four dogs on their tour bus with them, but currently only have two. At home in Kentucky, they have 10 cats that someone takes care of while they’re away. “We always take the dogs with us on the road,” Block said. “We don’t want to leave them in kennels because dogs are pack animals and they suffer when confined and separated from their pack.” Not only is Block passionate about animals, but also the blues — and she always has been. She never thought about being a female in a predominately male genre, she just did what she felt right doing. Block only realized it seemed weird for a woman to be playing the blues when other people responded to it. “It seems we live in times where everyone focuses on categories, but I’ve never understood that way of thinking,” Block said. “I choose not to focus on the things that divide us, but the things that bond us together. Music reaches into the universality of the human heart where there are no divisions.”


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It Is Here! The Gazette’s New Auto Site At


With 2 great ways to shop for your next car, you won’t believe how easy it is to buy a car locally through The Gazette. Check the weekly newspaper for unique specials from various dealers and then visit our new auto website 24/7 at Gazette.Net/Autos to search entire inventories of trusted local dealers updated daily. Dealers, for more information call 301-670-2548 or email us at

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Call 301-670-7100 or email

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Settle for a fraction of what your owe! Free face to face consultations with offices in your area. Call 855970-2032

Display Advertising Sales Representative

We are looking for a specialist who has a documented history of driving new business. Post Community Media provides local news and information to communities in the Maryland and Virginia. We are seeking a skilled sales professional to assist small businesses in marketing their products and services. This is an outside sales position. You will develop and understanding of print, online and mobile advertising. Previous sales experience needed, enthusiasm, great work ethic and a strong desire to succeed.

Dental/ Medical Assistant Trainees Needed Now

Dental/Medical Offices now hiring. No experience? Lower cost, Better Quality, More Choices. Job Training Packages starting at & Placement $19.99/mo. FREE Assistance Available HD/DVR upgrade for 1-877-234-7706 new callers. CALL

Request for Proposals

AIRLINES ARE HIRING - Train for hands

cal alarm and 24/7 medical alert monitoring. For a limited time, get free equipment, no activation fees, no commitment, a 2nd waterproof alert button for free and more only $29.95 per month. 800-617-2809


VETERANS NEEDED Use your GI Benefits NOW for training in Healthcare. JOB PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE Offered.

Call Now 1-888-3958261

We offer a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package including pension, 401(k) and tuition reimbursement. If you believe this is the right position for your skills, talent and abilities, please forward your resume to EOE Sales

Business Development Specialist Media Sales

We’re looking for a Specialist who has a documented history of driving new business. Post Community Media provides local news and information to communities in Maryland and Virginia. We are looking for a skilled sales professional to assist small businesses in marketing their products and services. This is an outside sales position based in the Laurel office with a Prince George’s territory assignment. You would develop an understanding of print, online, mobile advertising with a focus on retail and service business segments. Previous sales experience needed, enthusiasm, great work ethic and a strong desire to succeed. We offer a competitive compensation & comprehensive benefits package including pension, 401(k) & tuition reimbursement. If you believe this is the right position for your skills, talents and abilities. Please email resume to Doug Hayes at or call 240-473-7532. EOE

Associate Dentist

Doctor of Dental Medicine + 2 Yrs Exp. & License., Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries & mal formations of teeth, gingiva and related oral tissues; Evaluate & Formulate treatment plans & document patient info using digital software for data collection; Provide preventive & restorative services using digital radiography, intraoral camera, lasers & magnification loupes; Administer local anesthesia & perform oral prophylaxis, scaling, root planning, surgical extractions, laser gingivectomy, night gaurds pit & fissure sealants; Perform endodontic therapy, esthetic procedures, implant & other complex surgeries; Skills: esthetic dental procedures (bleaching and veneers), Digital Radiography RVG, Intra oral camera & rotary endodontics, Digital data collection software. Send Resume: Fenton Family Dental, 8913 Woodyard Road, Unit B, Clinton, MD 20735


Effective immediately, M.T. Laney Co., Inc. a site/paving contractor will be accepting applications for the following positions: ∂ Paving Foreman ∂ Bobcat/Milling Operator ∂ Heavy Equipment Operator ∂ Sweeper Truck Driver ∂ Heavy Equipment Mechanic û Must have experience Top wages and a great working environment. EOE. Please email resume to OR call 410-795-1761


Effective immediately, M.T. Laney Co., Inc. a site/paving contractor will be accepting applications for the following positions: ∂ Paving Superintendent ∂ Estimator û Must have experience Top wages and a great working environment. EOE. Please email resume to OR call 410-795-1761



HVAC Installer/Helpers McCrea Equipment is seeking experienced installers and helpers for immediate hire!! Must have own hand tools, valid driver’s license and clean driving record. Must have CFC license. Criminal background and drug testing will be req. We have great benefits packages, company paid life insurance, supplemental insurance, Vacation pay and 401K. Fax resume to 301-423-5226, email to or call 301-423-5427

The Recycling Center, a local aggregate company, seeks an experienced individual for scale house weigh-in/weighout operations. Please email resume to Or fax to 410-795-9546. Top wages and great working Environment EOE

Recruiting is now Simple! Get Connected!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

General Assignment Reporter At The Gazette, we have built a newsroom that values curiosity, creativity and tenacity. Each week in print and each day online, we not only cover the news but uncover the stories that describe a county of 1 million people. Most of our reporters and editors are launching their careers, and our goal is to harness their determination and develop their talents. Several of our staff members are seasoned journalists committed to mentoring the next generation. We have an immediate opening for a general assignment reporter who will be expected to file a minimum of five stories per week for use in print and online. Candidates should be able to write in an engaging, lively manner. Some of the stories will involve arts & entertainment in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Fairfax counties. Some will involve community features and news coverage in Montgomery County. Candidates should be able to work some nights and weekends, and need their own reliable transportation. Candidates should be able to interview most any subject, and have clips that show the range of their talent. They should be able to manage their time to meet rigorous deadlines. And they should have innate curiosity to pitch story ideas to editors. They should be web savvy with a thorough knowledge of social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Vine) and should have an eye for appealing visuals. Some photography possible. Candidates should have a broad interest in entertainment topics (theater, music, movies, books and dining), and have his or her finger on the pulse of pop-culture, both local and national. Send clips, resume and salary requirements to We offer a competitive compensation & comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, pension, 401(k) & tuition reimbursement. No phone calls. EOE

Let Gazette Careers help you find that next position in your LOCAL area.


Effective immediately, M.T. Laney Co., Inc. a site/paving contractor will be accepting applications for the following positions: ∂ Heavy Equipment Mechanic û Must have experience Top wages and a great working environment. EOE. Please email resume to OR call 410-795-1761

City Manager

City of Glenarden seeks highly skilled professional with significant management and local government experience to operate as City Manager. For a full listing, visit Send resumes to:

Deadline March 27, 2014

Pharmacy/ Phlebotomy Tech Trainees Needed Now

Recruiting is now Simple!

Pharmacies/ hospitals now hiring. No experience? Job Training & Placement Assistance Available 1-877-240-4524

Get Connected!




Work From Home

National Children’s Center Making calls. For more info please call Weekdays between 9a-4p No selling! Sal + bonus + benes. Call 301-333-1900


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Call 301-670-7100 or email

TIFFIN ALLEGRO BUS 2002: N o n smoker. Well kept up with up to date maintenance. 40ft. Diesel engine. Must sell fast! Asking $38,000. Call 443-355-4226


$$$$$ PAID! Running or Not, All Makes! Free Towing! We’re Local! 7 Days/Week. Call 1-800-959-8518


Any Make, Model or Year. We Pay MORE! Running or Not. Sell Your Car or Truck TODAY. Free Towing! Instant Offer: 1-888-545-8647


Your donation helps local families with food, clothing, shelter. Tax deductible. MVA licensed. LutheranMissionSociet 410-636-0123 or toll-free 1-877-7378567.








Looking to buy that next vehicle? Search Gazette. Net/Autos for economical choices.








2014 JETTA S

2014 GOLF 4 DOOR

2014 BEETLE 2.5L

#7380482, Power Windows, Power Locks, Keyless Entry

#30001704, Automatic, Power Windows/Power Locks, Keyless Entry, Heated Seats, Bluetooth, Cruise Control

#1693378, Automatic, Power Windows/Power Locks, Keyless Entry, Sunroof

MSRP $21,085

MSRP $17,810 BUY FOR



2014 PASSAT S #9009449, Power Windows, Power Locks, Keyless Entry

MSRP $22,765 BUY FOR



OR 0.9% for 60 MONTHS




MSRP $24,490 BUY FOR



2013 GTI 4 DOOR


#4116048, Automatic, Power Windows/ Power Locks, Keyless Entry

#2824647, 2.0 Turbo, Power Windows/ Locks, Power Top

MSRP $26,960

MSRP $30,365




OR 0% for 60 MONTHS







#7229632, Automatic Power Windows, Power Locks, Sunroof

#9009850, Automatic, Power Windows, Power Locks, Sunroof

#13543457, Automatic, Power Windows, Power Locks, Keyless Entry

MSRP $28,350

MSRP $29,465







MSRP $28,936




OURISMAN VW WORLD AUTO CERTIFIED PRE OWNED 20 Available...Rates Starting at 2.64% up to 72 months

2012 Jetta SE...............#VPR6113, Silver, 34,537 miles.................$12,594 2010 Jetta LTD...........#VP0037, White, 56,195 miles................$12,991 2011 Toyota Corolla....#VP0020, Black, 30,992 miles................$13,494 2012 Mazda 6..........#VPR0023, Black, 44,340 miles...............$13,494 2010 Toyota Prius...#V658032A, Gray, 65,455 miles..............$15,491 2007 BMW Z-4.......#V006539B, White, 69,522 miles.............$15,993 2012 Nissan Juke..#V257168A, White, 57,565 miles.............$17,992 2011 CC.....................#VP0032, White, 36,116 miles................$18,493 2013 Jetta SE...........#VPR0027, White, 6,101 miles...............$19,492

2013 Jetta SE............#VPR0030, Silver, 4,340 miles................$19,592 2013 Passat S...........#VPR0026, Black, 6,891 miles................$20,492 2011 CC.....................#VP0035, White, 38,225 miles................$20,992 2014 Passat Wolfsburg. .#VPR0041, White, 2,878 miles................$21,991 2014 Passat Wolfsburg...#VPR0040, Grey, 5,227 miles.................$21,991 2014 Passat Wolfsburg...#VPR0039, Silver, 5,447 miles.................$21,991 2014 Passat .............#V002004A, Black, 4,287 miles...............$23,991 2014 Passat SE........#VPR0036, White, 5,965 miles...............$24,391 2012 Nissan Maxima. .#V073708A, Gray, 47,457 miles..............$24,991

All prices exclude tax, tags, title, freight and $200 processing fee. Cannot be combined with any previous advertised or internet special. Pictures are for illustrative purposes only. See dealer for details. 0% APR Up To 60 Months on all models. See dealer for details. Ourisman VW World Auto Certified Pre Owned financing for 60 months based on credit approval thru VW. Excludes Title, Tax, Options & Dealer Fees. Special APR financing cannot be combined with sale prices. Ends 03/31/14.

Ourisman VW of Laurel 3371 Fort Meade Road, Laurel

1.855.881.9197 • Online Chat Available...24 Hour Website • Hours Mon-Fri 9 am-9 pm • Sat 9 am-8 pm


Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

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Thursday, March 13, 2014 bo

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