Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to about 600 Bowie State University graduates at the University of Maryland’s Comcast Center in College Park. Obama spoke of the importance of a good education and their responsibility after graduation for helping others achieve the same goal.
The Hollywood Farmers Market has recently launched its website HollywoodMarket.org . The website currently has a page on the list of vendors and the direction to the market. Vendors can now submit their applications on the website. It plans to add more resources about the market in the coming days.
Members of the Hollywood Farmers Market committee are hard at work to prepare for the June 1 launch.
The market will be located at the REI / MoMs shopping Center, next to the REI store. Thanks to the Carrollton Enterprises who has recently sponsored a part of their parking lot to host the market.
If you need more information or want to help out this great project, please let me know.
Moving out? Doing some Spring Cleaning? Well donate your reusable, still-in-good-condition items! Residents of Old Town, Calvert Hills, and Crystal Springs are encouraged to contact the Department of Public Works to schedule a pickup of items that can be donated for reuse to American Rescue Workers.
Pickup dates are scheduled for Monday, May 20th and Friday, May 31st.
For more information on what is and is not acceptable, please call Public Works at 240-487-3590. If you are interested in participating, or have any questions, please contact Loree at 240-487-3593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WMATA’s College Park station will be closed this weekend for a scheduled maintenance. Unfortunately, this falls on the same weekend, when University of Maryland will be having their annual commencement ceremony. Metro is saying the weekend closing was announced back in February, so there should not be a surprise. On the other hand, Metro should be aware of UMd’s commencement, which draws tens of thousands to College Park. Metro said it will however introduce 15 shuttle buses from the stations to help alleviate the problem. It’s remained to be seen if these additional buses will help or cause more traffic problems on a congested Route 1.
The Council discussed the issue at last Tuesday night’s Council meeting and decided to send a letter to WMATA expressing its own concerns.
College Park City Council last night supported a motion to disapprove the preliminary plan application for rezoning of the Cafritz development. The Council vote went (5-2-1), Council member Catlin and Dennis opposed the motion. I abstained.
A motion by District 3 Council member Stephanie Stullich asked to disapprove the rezoning. Stullich’s motion includes several reasons for disapproval. The developer has not provided critical information in regards to the plan until the last minutes. For the same reason, The Historic Preservation Commission did not go through adequate review. UMd’s letter was also not strong enough to support the plan. Additionally, the financing plan to build the project was not detailed enough.
The Council however asked the planning board to support our planning staff’s recommended conditions, if the plan goes ahead.
Earlier, The University Park Town Council unanimously disapproved the plan last Monday. The Reiverdale Park Town Council, on the other hand voted to support it on a special meeting on Saturday.
The County’s Planning Board will take its position tomorrow on the rezoning application. The board’s staff have already recommended to approve the rezoning application.
After I wrote about the announcement of College Park’s marketing campaign last week, I was asked if I can get more information on run dates of the advertisements that the City will be doing in the next few weeks and months. Thanks to our economic development coordinator Michael Stiefvater, who came up with this information.
Bike to Work Day has grown into a widespread event with countless bicyclists taking to the streets nationwide in an effort to get commuters to try bicycling to work as a healthy and safe alternative to driving alone. In the Metropolitan Washington region, Bike to Work Day has grown from a small group of a few hundred in 2001 to over 12,000 participants in 2012. This year the annual Bike to Work Day will be held on Friday, May 17th. Rain or shine!
Registration for the metropolitan Washington region’s annual Bike to Work Day 2013 on Friday, May 17 is now open at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org. This year’s Bike to Work Day will be bigger than ever with more than a dozen new pit stops added, for a total of 72 in the region — District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia – offering cyclists refreshments, entertainment and giveaways as part of the celebration. Bike to Work Day, organized by Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), prompts thousands of area commuters to bicycle to work to highlight and promote this clean commute option.
“Bike to Work Day is a great way to promote bicycling as an alternative to driving alone to work. Ten percent of BTWD participants reported that they started cycling to work after participating in their first BTWD event,” said Nicholas Ramfos, Director of Commuter Connections. “And it encourages those who already bike, to do it more often. More than 20 percent of BTWD participants say cycling is now a regular part of their commutes.”
Last year there were 12,700 registrants, and coordinators expect registration will again break records as novice and experienced cyclists join together to celebrate bicycling as a fun, healthy and wallet-friendly commute alternative. The first 12,000 registrants will receive free Bike to Work Day t-shirts at the pit stop of their choice and become eligible to win great prizes such as Jamis bicycles. Registration and event details including pit stop locations, sponsor information and how to join a convoy are at www.biketoworkmetrodc.org.
There will be great events with “pit stops” in many places around the D.C. area. There will be one at College Park City Hall. The pit stops have free food, bike repairs, raffles, and other exciting activities.
Yesterday, I was at a house on 47th Place in Hollywood to watch the ”Flip the Switch” to solar power event. The resident living at the house first heard of the benefit of switching to solar a few months ago at a local Home Depot store and worked with a solar energy provider called “SolarCity”. SolarCity is a very fast growing company in the country and has a busy office in Beltsville. County Council member Mary Lehman, my Council colleague Patrick Wojahn, County’s DER representative, SolarCity engineers and members of local media were there. Thanks to a County Council’s initiative, residents can now take advantage of a tax credit program that makes going to solar much more affordable and cost effective.
The College Park Animal Welfare Committee has some wonderful cats that are available for adoption. They are shown through our local Petco. These cats have been there too long and REALLY need good homes. Mr. Bojangles and Angel were abandoned in a rental house. They are two of the friendliest, sweetest, most gentle cats.
Angel (on the left in the picture) is the smaller cat, spayed female, about a year old. Mr. Bojangles (on the right) is larger, fluffier, and a neutered male, about 2-3 years old. They have bonded, and we want to adopt them out together. They are fine around dogs and children, and would most likely be very playful.
Also, Marci Booth, a Hollywood resident has a beautiful dog that was found near Route 1. “Godiva” is a Chocolate Lab and Bull (not sure which type) mix that is in need of a home. She has been spayed and has all of her shots. This dog is a real sweetie that has had some training, (walking, sitting and retrieving on command)but now needs a loving home. Godiva gets along with cats and other dogs and seems to like children. Please call Marci at 301-345-6779 or Bill (ACO) at 240-375-3165 if you’re interested.
Godiva has been at the shelter for around a month now and we really need to find her a “forever home”.
The meeting will start with a discussion on the new Hollywood Farmers Market that is expected to start from June 1st and run until the end of October. The members of the Hollywood Farmers Market will ,make a presentation on what they have done so far to make the market run.
We will also have discussion on 2013 Maryland Legislative Summary. Senator Jim Rosapepe and and Delegates Barbara Frush, Joseline Pena-Melnyk, and Ben Barnes of Maryland’s 21st Legislative District will provide a summary of recent activity in Annapolis. Please plan to attend, and bring your questions!
Finally there will be a presentation from P.G. County Parks Master Plan. Information will be presented about a possible new gymnasium at Hollywood Elementary School, as well as discussion of other projects in the County. Discussion is also expected regarding new ideas for maintenance and possibly different uses for parts of the Hollywood Neighborhood Park / Birch Field. Interested in a soccer field, or maybe something else? Please bring your ideas!
As always, the meeting will start at 7:30pm, at Davis Hall. See you all there.
The City has finally started its marketing campaign to attract businesses, families and professional to the City.
After finalizing the logo and tagline, City’s Economic development group spent the past few months working with the consultant, idfive LLC, to design advertisements, brochures, and an online landing page, which serves as an information center for potential residents.
The media push is currently taking place and will run through the end of June, while the City can supplement the campaign in a variety of other ways over time.
In regards to the media portion, the City has put together a portfolio of the ad work for everyone to see. The portfolio shows the ads, their run dates, and the publication they appeared in.
Additionally, an ad appeared on last Tuesday’s edition of the Express, which is distributed at Metro stations and other high density spots around the region (please see below).
Please see below last week’s crime report. It includes a number of thefts and thefts from vehicles. As weather is warming up, let’s be extra careful about our surroundings. Officer Lobin is looking into the B&E incident on 48th avenue
|04/29/2013||125||THEFT FROM AUTO||9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY|
|04/29/2013||1542||THEFT||9800 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE|
|04/30/2013||1120||B & E, RESIDENTIAL||9400 Blk 48TH AVE|
|05/01/2013||747||THEFT FROM AUTO||5200 Blk PALCO PL|
|05/01/2013||958||THEFT FROM AUTO||5200 Blk PADUCAH RD|
|05/01/2013||1044||THEFT FROM AUTO||5200 Blk PADUCAH RD|
|05/01/2013||1415||THEFT FROM AUTO||5200 Blk PADUCAH RD|
|05/02/2013||1326||THEFT||4700 Blk INDIAN LN|
|05/02/2013||1412||THEFT||9500 Blk BALTIMORE AVE|
|05/04/2013||914||THEFT||9700 Blk 48TH PL|
|05/05/2013||1122||THEFT||5000 Blk KENESAW ST|
|05/06/2013||1151||THEFT||5000 Blk KENESAW ST|
In tomorrow’s worksession, the City Council will discuss the design elements of the Hollywood Gateway project and will decide if it should give staff go ahead to the final design phase of the project.
The City awarded a contract for landscape architecture and engineering design services to Flora Teeter and Whitney Bailey Cox and Magnani, LLC in the fall of 2012 for an eco-gateway park at the intersection of Route 1 and Edgewood Road. After that, they preparted conceptual design alternatives and a preferred design was selected by the Project Advisory Committee and presented to the North College Park Citizens Association. Flora Teeter/WBCM is seeking comments on the design plan from the City
Council prior to entering into the final design phase of the project.
The project’s site is very small (6,800 square feet) and is impacted by steep slopes, traffic, and noise and water runoff from Route 1. It also lacks a strong connection to the Hollywood neighborhood. Site assets include a high visibility location, access to public transportation and the potential to connect the site to 4ih Place through acquisition of a vacant lot next door (see Attachment 1, Site Context Map and Attachment 2, Site Analysis Diagram). The recommended design concept includes this site and pursues the theme of “Wind and Weather” (see Attachment 3).
In order to explore ideas for incorporating interactive, educational wind and weather features into the park, a brainstorming session was arranged with scientists and the Public Affairs office of the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. Many ideas were discussed including having a weather station, windmill, cloud machine, cisterns to make it rain, cloud identification, weather vane, sundial and art projects involving wind socks, wind chimes and whirligigs. The opportunities are quite promising and could possibly involve ongoing participation from NOAA and an active relationship with the Hollywood Elementary School.
The property owners to the west of the site, Allen Rackers and the State Highway Administration (SHA), have reviewed the design concept and been supportive. It’s the intention of the City to make improvements on their property with their permission. The City will seek funding from SHA for work (sidewalk and landscaping) within their right-of-way. A preliminary conceptual cost estimate has been prepared but this estimate will need to be updated as the design is finalized. There are also opportunities to seek funding from other sources such as the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Anacostia Trails Heritage Authority and National Endowment for the Arts. Program Open Space funding for acquisition of the vacant lot is currently available.
Flora Teeter also came to North College Park Civic Association meeting last month and presented their conceptual plan.
We’re expecting to have another presentation upon completion of the final design plans, specifications, construction cost estimate and maintenance estimate prior to the bidding phase of the project.
Please let me know if you have any comments about the project.
Two new businesses have moved to College Park, They are the Maryland Smokehouse at 8150 Baltimore Avenue and Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill at 7316 Baltimore Avenue
The Maryland Smokehouse, which recently opened on the ground floor of The Varsity apartment building, offers upscale casual dining that reaches decidedly south to offer delicious Memphis-style barbecue. Menu items include ribs, beef brisket, southern sides, unique cocktails and desserts. All served with warm hospitality in a vibrant, bluesy atmosphere.
Occupying the former Boston Market space in the College Park Shopping Center, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill offers patrons the opportunity to build their own entrees. Pitas are made from scratch and baked on site throughout the day. Salads and sauces are made from fresh, whole vegetables and prepared each morning.