Trash Cans at Metro Stations: Should They be Removed?

Trash can at a WMATA station

I recently came across a discussion of removing trash cans from Metro stations as a way to reduce litters at these stations.

The discussion was based on a similar plan that New York recently adopted in their subway stations. The subways there are adopting the trash rules of a wilderness area: Carry in, carry out.

New York’s MTA officials plan to remove trash cans from eight subway stops on Sept. 2 to see if forcing straphangers to take out their own trash makes the system cleaner.

According to the officials, two subway stations in Manhattan and Queens have gotten a lot cleaner since the MTA removed their trash cans last fall.

For example, litter is down by 50 percent at the 8th Street stop on the N/R line in Greenwich Village, and by 67 percent at the Main Street 7 train stop in Flushing.

“We need to expand the experiment … to see if we have the same results,” said MTA chairman Joseph Lhota.

Similar programs have worked on the PATH system and on London’s Underground, Lhota said.

Read more about the story here

Visitor’s Guide: College Park’s Events and Attractions

College Park Aviation Museum

College Park offers many attractions and events to suit your interests. Here are a few things to do if you plan to visit this great city.

  • Cheer on the Terps at numerous sporting events.
  • Check out the College Park Aviation Museum and the College Park Airport, the world’s oldest continuously operating airport.
  • Play tennis
  • Admire a full moon at the campus observatory.
  • Or simply take a stroll down the many hiker-biker trails throughout the city and
  • Grab something to eat in downtown.
  • See a performance at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

To learn more about attractions and events in College Park visit your one-stop online resource: www.shopcollegepark.org for our extensive list of local destinations.

Tunnels Used as Escape Route – What Do you Think?

Tunnels at Davis filed

Earlier I wrote about the little ponds at the Davis Field Park the other day.  The pond had some issues about its maintenance, which is in the midst of being addressed by our County personnel.

But I’ve recently found that there is another issue other than that little pond. If you go a little further north you will see 3 tunnels that go below the CSX / Metro train tracks.

Neighbors are complaining that these tunnels are being used by drug dealers / criminals as escape route. They have also been troubled by gang members who frequently have parties in the northern part of the park, some time late in the evening with beers / alcohols. Some time they come in large numbers, as many as several dozens.

On one occasion, these gang members made life threatening remarks to one of the neighbors. When Police came, they escaped through the tunnels (picture below) located at the north east corner of the park at the end of the creek that runs under the train truck.

Like many others in the community, I see these tunnels are serious public safety threats to the neighbors who live next to these tunnels.

The County and the City are now looking into various ways to stop these tunnels being used as escape route. One option is to place metal gates at the entrance of tunnels. The other option could be to build fence around the northern part of the park.

I thought I should share these ideas with you in case you live around the park and are also troubled by these activities. Please feel free to email me ( fkabir@collegeparkmd.gov), if you want to share your thoughts.

Book Sale at College Park Community Library

College Park Community Library

The College Park Community Library will hold a Used Book Sale and more on Sept. 8th from 9:30 – 12:30

Something for all ages, including face painting, crafts for children and the opportunity to buy books to enjoy in the coming winter months.

The library is located at Church of the Nazarene, 9704 Rhode Island Ave. College Park, MD 20740.

For more information call 301-474-8044 or 301-275-4458.

Please spread the words.

Annual Hollywood Cleanup, September 8, 2012

Annual Neighborhood Cleanup, 2012

Please mark your calendar. We plan to gather at the REI / MoM shopping complex at 9am, have a good breakfast and spend up to 3 hours to make our neighborhood beautiful. We’ll have free Pizza lunch after the cleanup at noon.

In addition to cleaning up your neighborhood, you will get an opportunity to meet with several Council persons from the City of College Park and the Prince George’s County. A number of neighbors / residents and students from the University of Maryland are expected to join.

Please bring your entire family to the event; the kids especially love these events. If you have other engagements, please stop by even for half an hour.

Theft from Auto Prevention Tips

Auto theft

Most Theft from Autos usually has one thing in common: there’s something left in the car worth stealing. Most theft from auto is “crimes of opportunity” that could be prevented by taking some preventative steps.

1. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle: You’d be surprised how often this happens, but individuals leave valuable items in plain sight all the time. If you leave items in your vehicle and they’re visible, the chances your vehicle will get broken into increase greatly.

2. Place items out of sight BEFORE reaching your destination: Someone may be watching when you put your valuables under a seat or in the trunk and the moment you’re gone, a thief could break into your car. So place those items in a safe place before you get to the park, beach, baseball game, etc. Valuable items that thieves target are GPS units, MP3 players, credit cards, money, packages and so forth. If you can’t take the items with you, secure them in a safe place in your vehicle, like a locked glove compartment or your trunk.

3. Avoid leaving packages or shopping bags out in the open: Lock them into your trunk, if you have to leave the vehicle unattended.

4. Lock ALL of your vehicle’s doors: This is true even if you plan on only being gone for “just a second”. Remember, it only takes seconds to steal items from your car. It’s not uncommon, for thieves to walk down a row of parked vehicles, looking for unlocked doors. Also, make sure car windows aren’t left open.

5. Park in busy, well lit areas: Pick a parking spot where there is a lot of activity. Auto thieves prefer breaking into cars in isolated areas.

6. Don’t leave a trace: Don’t leave any sign that there might be valuables “out of sight” in your vehicle. For example: the suction cup on your dashboard, might tell thieves, that you have a GPS system in your vehicle. Leave nothing in plain view. Very few auto break-ins are “random”. The thieves usually see something out in the open or hints of possible hidden valuables.

7. Alarms or anti-theft devices work: Thieves are usually looking for the “easiest” target. If your car has an alarm, it could act as a deterrent. But don’t make this common mistake: Just because you have an alarm, doesn’t mean thieves won’t break-in, IF you leave valuable items in plain sight.

8. Don’t leave spare keys in your vehicle: An experienced thief knows all the hiding places. Store spare keys elsewhere, possibly your wallet or purse.

9. Always report suspicious activity. Non Emergency (301)352-1200, Emergency 911.

10. Keep your COPS officer updated on concerns or issues you may have.

Officer Adrian Morris Memorial Fund

Officer Adrian Morris

Earlier this week Prince George’s County Police Dept. Officer Adrian Morris died in a vehicle crash on I-95 near College Park while pursuing a suspect.

Officer Morris had just purchased a townhouse and supported his mother and 8 year old brother. A memorial fund has been established to assist the family. If you can donate, please make checks payable to “FOP 89″ and indicate “Officer Adrian Morris Fund” on the memo line.

Donations may be sent to: Officer Adrian Morris Fund. c/o PGPD District VI 4321 Sellman Road. Beltsville, MD 20705. Questions can be directed to Cpl. Gerald Knight #2525 or Capt. Kara Lloyd #2078 at District VI, 301-937-0910.

Kenneth Clark Mitchell 24, of the 5300 block of Clay Terrace, NE, Washington, DC, was arrested on Wednesday, August 22. Both are charged with felony theft for the stolen auto involved in the crash.

The second suspect wanted in connection with the fatal crash involving Police Officer Adrian A. Morris is being held on a no bond status due to probation violations in multiple jurisdictions. Kevon Darnell Neal, 23, of the 3400 block of Gennene Lane in Fort Washington, turned himself in to Prince George’s County Police last Thursday night. Neal’s preliminary hearing is set for November 30.

Police are pursuing additional charges in this case.

The County officials held a news conference (please see below) about the arrest yesterday. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw, FOP Lodge #89 President Vince Canales and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks spoke at the news conference.

weBike Plans to Expand, Develop Electronic Bike Lock

At the end of the month, the folks at the weBike are planning to expand to a new university campus, and currently they are hosting a crowdfunding campaign to develop the prototype of an electronic bike lock that lets you rent and return a bike anywhere in a community.

Here’s a short 90 second video that explains what they are trying to do and a link to our campaign page. In addition, please check this recently published article in Huffington Post about the need for cost-effective bike sharing.

Also, please check out weBike’s campaign page and share the news during their 45-day effort to make shift happen: http://www.launcht.org/campaign/detail/126.

Speak for a Farmer’s Market in North College Park

Farmer's Market

Here is your chance to speak for the Farmer’s Market in north College Park.

A few weeks ago, following our initial advocacy for a farmer’s market in our area, ncp resident Kimberly Schumann started an online survey to see how many residents would be interested in such a project.

Following that, the City has put out a survey regarding farmers markets, which is more city-wide than the recent NCP/Hollywood Survey that Kimberley conducted.

City’s economic development team has been trying to determine the right direction for the Downtown Market, while also exploring the demand for another market in the City.

At this point they have received responses primarily from residents in Old Town/Calvert Hills, so they would like to see more balance from other areas of College Park.

Here is the link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GZBYC79

In order to support a farmer’s market in north College Park, please go to question #8, select “Other (please specify which location and why)” and type “North College Park (proximity)” or another reason why you feel strong about the market in our area.

NCP Crime Stats, August 14 – 20, 2012

Please see below last week’s crime report for our area.

Date of
Incident
Time of
Incident
Incident
Type

Location
08/14/2012 915 B & E, RESIDENTIAL 9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
08/14/2012 1028 THEFT 9000 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE
08/16/2012 1639 THEFT 4900 Blk NANTUCKET RD
08/17/2012 612 THEFT 9100 Blk ST ANDREWS PL
08/17/2012 1021 THEFT FROM AUTO 5000 Blk GERONIMO ST
08/18/2012 422 ROBBERY, OTHER 4800 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
08/18/2012 915 THEFT 9200 Blk LIMESTONE PL

Route 1 Resurfacing to Complete By Fall

Route 1 in Downtown College Park

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has begun the final phase of a $2.5 million safety and resurfacing project on US 1 (Baltimore Avenue) from Guilford Road to the Paint Branch Bridge in College Park. SHA will remove the top layer of pavement, resurface all lanes of existing roadway and apply new pavement markings.

Pedestrian, business and vehicular access will be maintained during construction. Crews will use electronic message boards, arrow boards, flaggers, construction barrels and construction cones to guide motorists, cyclists and pedestrians through the work zone.

Patrons and travelers near the project are advised that the equipment used during road resurfacing can be loud and disruptive.

During the resurfacing, SHA will close a lane or roadway shoulder on US 1 (1) Northbound and Southbound: Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.and (2) Northbound and Southbound: Sunday through Thursday nights between 8:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In SHA is asking for your patience and cooperation as crews work to complete this project by late fall.

With a New Superintendent, A New School Year Begins Today

Hollywood Elementary School

Hollywood Elementary school kids in north College Park will join other County students today to begin their first day of school.

School students got free backpacks and supplies at a back to school fair this past Saturday, just two days before the start of the new school year.

The event also gave parents a chance to sign their kids up for school, learn more about before and after school programs, and PTA registration.

The school year starts with the appointment of an interim school board superintendent Alvin Crawley who served as the deputy chief of programming for the district’s special education office in the District of Columbia educator.

School officials say Alvin Crawley will take over Sept. 4. He will replace Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., who stepped down to lead the Philadelphia school system. The county school board has said it expects to select a permanent replacement by next spring.

Street Sweeping to Begin Next Month

Street sweeping

Starting early next month, the City’s Public Works is planning to sweep its streets.

110 curb miles of City-maintained streets will be swept 5-6 times annually with the shared “Four Cities” street sweeper, operated by a City of Greenbelt employee.

Public Works employees post signs prior to scheduled street sweeping to encourage off-street parking. The City’s small street sweeper services downtown, City-maintained parking lots, parking garage and Trolley Trail 5 times a week, weather permitting.

After checking with the Greenbelt Public Works Director about its status, it was confirmed that the sweeper is scheduled to be here in College Park the next two weeks. The sweeping work will continue for ten days.

Tax Free Week Ends Today

Tax Free Week

Today (August 18) is the last day of Maryland’s Tax – Free week, when you can skip the sales tax on many items you’d buy anyway.

Per the Comptroller’s Web site: “[Q]ualifying apparel and footwear $100 or less are exempt from the Maryland 6% sales tax.” These items include

Dresses (under $100 each dress)
Shoes (including flip-flops, wellies and boots — under $100 each pair)
Belts
Cold-weather gloves
“Aerobics Clothing” and sports uniforms
Bras, Tights and “underclothes”
Bathing suits

The entire list of what’s taxable and what’s not can be found here.

Also, the City Council proclaimed August 12-18 as “Buy Local and Independent” week. Check out the hot deals you can benefit from by shopping College Park.

New Greenbelt Middle School Readies to Open its Doors

A new Classroom in Grenbelt Middle School

After a $32 million improvement in its class rooms, the new Greenbelt Middle school is set to open its doors next Monday.

Some of the improvement will include several changes and additions to this 972 students school.

  • Ninety percent of the classrooms have Smart Boards — interactive white board systems that also serve as projectors — and those that do not are equipped to use similar portable technology.
  • Science students will be able to get hands-on lessons on the school’s plant-covered green roof.
  • Students will have an opportunity to take graphic design classes or culinary arts or television production, opportunities not available in most county middle schools.
  • The television production studio.

Please read more about the new school here on the Gazette.

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