KabirCares.org

Recognizing College Park’s Best Businesses

A few months back, I asked staff looking into the possibility of establishing a business recognition award that would be awarded to an outstanding College Park business on an annual basis.

The purpose of the program would be to highlight how the awarded business has positively impacted the College Park community (and thus serves as an example for other College Park businesses) and provide the awardee with a public relations opportunity to promote their business.

Business appreciation programs are widespread nationally and are administered by a variety of organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, non-profit groups, newspapers and cities of all sizes. While these programs are issue or attribute-based, many city’s programs are broad and simply honor businesses that they believe have positively contributed to their community in a meaningful way.

Staff is recommending that, at least at the onset, the College Park Business of the Year Award be broadly applicable in order to grow community and business buy-in and minimize staff time and resources. The program could grow in specificity and scope once credibility and reliability has been established.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will discuss the nomination process, eligibility, selection process and the award presentation.

Public Forum: Extending Council Term from 2 to 4 Years

The City of College Park has established a Charter Review Commission (CRC) to hear from our residents on the benefits and concerns associated with changing the length of the term for elected officials from two to four years, and on the benefits and concerns related to staggering those terms or having them run concurrently. The Commission’s first Public Forum will be held on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 4500 Knox Road. If you prefer to submit your comments in writing, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/CRCcomment For more information, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at 240-487-3501

Weekly Highlights of Contract Police Activity January 4 – 10, 2018

1/4 Contract officer conducted a traffic assignment (Speed Enforcement) in the 9000 block of Baltimore Avenue. (61 citations were issued as the officer was operating the portable “Mobile Camera.”)
1/4 Contract officers responded to a call for service for a report of a Breaking and Entering Report in the 4700 block of Pontiac Street. Residence check and no crime committed.
1/4 Contract officer on routine patrol observed an occupied suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn located at 9137 Baltimore Avenue. Field interview conducted after the officer smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Field Observation Report completed.1/6 Contract officers responded to the area of Baltimore Avenue and Cherry Hill Road for the report of the sound of gunshots. Area check with negative results.1/7 Contract officer conducted a traffic assignment (Speed Enforcement) in the 9000 block of Baltimore Avenue. (94 citations were issued as the officer was operating the portable “Mobile Camera.”)1/7 Contract officer observed a vehicle displaying stolen tags in the 8100 block of Baltimore Avenue. The suspect was taken into custody for theft.1/9 Contract officer conducted a traffic stop in the 7500 block of Yale Avenue. The driver was placed under arrest for an outstanding warrant.1/10 Contract officer responded to a report of an assault in the 9100 block of Baltimore Avenue. The suspect was taken into custody for disorderly conduct, trespassing, and failure to obey a lawful order

Weekly Highlights of Contract Police ActivityJanuary 4 – 10, 2018

1/4 Contract officer conducted a traffic assignment (Speed Enforcement) in the 9000 block of Baltimore Avenue. (61 citations were issued as the officer was operating the portable “Mobile Camera.”)
1/4 Contract officers responded to a call for service for a report of a Breaking and Entering Report in the 4700 block of Pontiac Street. Residence check and no crime committed.
1/4 Contract officer on routine patrol observed an occupied suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn located at 9137 Baltimore Avenue. Field interview conducted after the officer smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Field Observation Report completed.1/6 Contract officers responded to the area of Baltimore Avenue and Cherry Hill Road for the report of the sound of gunshots. Area check with negative results.1/7 Contract officer conducted a traffic assignment (Speed Enforcement) in the 9000 block of Baltimore Avenue. (94 citations were issued as the officer was operating the portable “Mobile Camera.”)1/7 Contract officer observed a vehicle displaying stolen tags in the 8100 block of Baltimore Avenue. The suspect was taken into custody for theft.1/9 Contract officer conducted a traffic stop in the 7500 block of Yale Avenue. The driver was placed under arrest for an outstanding warrant.1/10 Contract officer responded to a report of an assault in the 9100 block of Baltimore Avenue. The suspect was taken into custody for disorderly conduct, trespassing, and failure to obey a lawful order

Got a new Property Assessment? Here is How to Appeal

I have been told that a number of our residents got assessments for their properties.

In case you don’t agree with assessment, you may want to appeal the assessment.

Finding the on-line appeal form is very tough (the people at the local office also had a hard time finding it).  These links are helpful, and when you click the first link (“Assessment Appeal Process” page), you’ll see a small yellow box in the top right-hand corner of the page.  That’s actually a link to on-line form (the only link on the page). 

The deadline for filing an appeal regarding the recent notice is February 11.

Assessment Appeal Process: https://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/Pages/Assessment-Appeal-Process.aspx

Direct Link to on-line appeal request: http://assessmentappeals.dat.maryland.gov/start.aspx

Real Property Search: http://sdat.dat.maryland.gov/RealProperty/Pages/default.aspx

Free meals for furloughed federal workers

With the continuing federal government shutdown putting undue financial pressure on the families of furloughed employees, Congressman Jamie Raskin and the transit workers union are offering free meals to furloughed federal employees and their families every day this week, from 12-6 pm at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center at 10000 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring.

Workers only need to bring their federal employee identification card. The Center has free parking and is accessible by bus.

More details are below

[Source: Senator Jim Rosapepe]

Council to Make Some Changes to City Code Re. Administrative Functions and Benefits

At last night’s meeting an ordinance was introduced to make some changes to the Chapter 4, Administrative Organization, and Chapter 62, Personnel and Employee Benefits, of the City Code.

The Changes are as follows:

(a) §4-2, A. 2: Remove reference to the Assistant City Manager and the Police Commissioner. The Assistant City Manager role is addressed elsewhere, and we do not have a Police Commissioner.

(b) §4-2, A. 3: The City Manager would like to have full authority to select the Assistant City Manager without the approval of the Mayor and Council; to eliminate the requirement of giving the Assistant City Manager a contract; and to eliminate the requirement for the Assistant City Manager to live in the City.

(c) §4-3 The Department of Human Resources will be added to the list of departments and job titles to reflect changes that were made under City Manager Finz in 2003.

(d) §62-1 describing the Service Recognition Program for employees is eliminated. This function is described fully in the approved Personnel Regulations and does not need to be duplicated in the Code.

(e) §62.-2 becomes §62.-1 and language has been added to clarify that elected and appointed officials are not entitled to employee benefits other than those required by law, such as workers compensation and the option to participate in the Maryland State Pension Plan.

f) §62-4 becomes §62-3 and the City Manager’s job description has been updated to reflect current duties. In the next section the Assistant City Manager’s job duties are eliminated and will be outlined,

(g) §62-5 becomes §62-4 and in §62-4A language has been added to clarify what changes to personnel and employee benefits must be approved by the Mayor and Council.

(h) §62-6 Conduct of Employees is eliminated because this topic is fully covered in the approved Personnel Regulations.

(i) ARTICLE III Pension Plan is renamed, renumbered and rewritten to reflect what has been done.

(j) ARTICLE IV Local Government Health Benefits Trust is, renumbered and rewritten to reflect changes that have taken place over many years and leaves the only language required for us to have participated in the Health Benefits Trust.

A public hearing will be scheduled for January 29, 2019 at &:30 pm at the Council Chamber.

Resources for Furloughed Government Workers

Federal-Government-Shutdown-Assistance

Furlough Discounts / Assistance etc

prince georges county Federal-Government-Shutdown-Assistance
https://patch.com/maryland/bowie/discounts-free-meals-available-furloughed-pg-county-workers

www.patch.com/district-columbia/washingtondc/amp/27874025/government-shutdown-freebies-deals-federal-workers-dmv

https://www.routeonefun.com/2019/01/furlough-free-food-activities-hyattsville-DC.html
https://wjla.com/features/7-on-your-side/deals-and-freebies-around-dc-during-shutdown
https://wtop.com/local/2018/12/shutdown-specials-dc-restaurants-offer-deals-to-furloughed-government-workers/

Let’s Thank the Public Works Crew and the Snow Shoveling Brigade

Over the past two days, the City received about 13 inches of snow. Let’s take a moment to thank the Public works crew for keeping our streets clean.

Also, let’s thank a dedicated group of volunteers who came together yesterday and today and helped their neighbors in needs of snow shoveling. In particular, my sincere thanks go to the members of the snow shoveling brigade that took care of a number of houses in north College Park. They include Ryan, Tiffany, Darren, Patrick, Todd, Samir, Imran, Ann, Zakaria, Hena, and their families. I am sure there are many more neighbors who went out on their own and helped their neighbors. It’s the togetherness that makes us a strong community.

Due to the winter weather, refuse and recycling collections will be shifted forward one day for this week. Monday collections will be collected on Tuesday, Tuesday’s collections on Wednesday, and Wednesday’s collections on Thursday.

Winter Weather Update


Department of Public Works crews continue to clear routes. Crews are plowing/ salting routes. We have about 6 inch accumulation and could get 3 more inches. As soon as we clear down to asphalt, the heavier snow covers the route up again and we need to retreat and re-plow. DPW will continue to monitor conditions and work to keep roads clear in College Park. Residents can help us by parking off streets and in driveways and park close to curbs.

Please be aware that shoveling snow can pose a health hazard, so only shovel if your physical condition allows.

And please remember that wet snow is heavy and can be hazardous. Do not shovel snow if you have a heart condition or any other medical conditions and, always, no matter your situation, never over exert yourself. Please be safe in these weather conditions.

Thank you all who have volunteered so far. We still need a couple of volunteers based on the requests we have from our elderly neighbors and neighbors with a disability. As you’ve seen we’re having more accumulations (up to 6 inches) than what was forecasted before. Thank you!

Cold Weather Tips

• After walking your pets, be sure to rinse off and dry your pets paws, legs and stomach to remove any ice and snow, ice melt or chemicals that are used to melt snow. Pay particular attention to between the toes.

• If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, bang loudly on your car hood before starting the engine to give them a chance to escape.

• Bring your pets in when the temperature drops below freezing. Cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should not be outside for long periods of time. Very young and older dogs are more susceptible to the cold, so limit their time outside when the temperature is below freezing. If your pet has a heavy coat of fur and prefers the outdoors, County law requires a house of proper size that is dry, draft free and at least two inches off the ground. Make sure the pet has access to clean, fresh and not frozen water.

• Antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to clean up any spills so your pet will not be tempted to taste.

• Don’t leave your pets alone in cars in winter. Cars are just as dangerous in cold weather as in hot weather for your pet. Cars act as refrigerators and hold the cold and can cause animals to freeze to death.

City Apparel and Merchandise Now on Sale

Showcase your City pride with one (or three) of our awesome new t-shirts, hoodies, polos, youth clothes or bags.

First debuted at College Park Day, the full collection is now available online. Sizes and quantities are limited. Purchases can be made online or at City Hall – most major credit cards and cash are accepted. 

All purchased items must be picked up at City Hall only – we currently do not ship any orders.

Contact apparel@collegeparkmd.gov for any questions.
Check out all of the available items at www.collegeparkmd.gov/store.

[Source: City of College Park]

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Budget Forum

NCPCA – Your neighborhood association

7:35  NCPCA City Budget Priorities Forum.  The City Council will soon develop its budget for the next fiscal year.  Please bring your questions and concerns about things that should be priorities for our neighborhood.  NCPCA will formalize a set of recommendations in February.

8:15  NCPCA Picnic Update.  Marci Booth will present the latest information about planning for a picnic event in Spring, 2019.

8:20  P.G. Zoning Code Rewrite Update.  Judy Blumenthal and John Krouse will present information about NCPCA efforts to understand the new zoning code and any changes that should be pursued under advisement of our legal counsel.

8:25  Duvall Field Focus Group.  John Krouse was asked to serve on a focus group, and a public forum is scheduled at Davis Hall on January 17 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.  Your concerns are welcome now.

8:30 Break & Refreshments.  Members are always welcome to bring something to share while all of us enjoy a quick break.

8:40  NCPCA Bylaws Forum.  Please refer to bylaws at  https://myncpca.org/legal/The following proposals and any others will be discussed for introduction at our February meeting:

1.  Article 1 Name.  Propose continuation of name of NCPCA as North College Park Community Association for all public purposes, and retain name of North College Park Citizens Association for incorporation and tax purposes. 

2.  Article IV Membership Section 3 Dues.  Propose elimination of text related to mailing costs.  With this change, NCPCA will no longer mail agenda and minutes to members or charge different dues.  Propose dues increase to $10 per person for all members will be effective beginning June 1.

3.  Article V Meeting Section 5 Quorum.  Propose quorum as a meeting of at least seven NCPCA members.

Council Reviews Proposals to Cut Abuse in City’s Bulk Trash Collection

At last night’s meeting, the City Council continued to discuss the increases in volume and costs associated with Special and Bulk Trash collections. Included the FY 19 budget was funding for a solid waste study to evaluate the City’s solid waste collection program. Overall, the consultant (SCS Engineers) proposes the followings (a) City should avoid collection of materials that have not been scheduled or properly prepared. (b) City should avoid collection construction/demolition debris and other materials generated through contractor services whether generated at the property or another location. (c) To protect collection staff, the City should require organized piles of materials, contained sharp objects (such as broken glass), plastic-covered mattresses, and weight limits.

For Bulky Refuse, SCS recommends the following limits to balance quality service with the need to control costs and reduce program abuses: (1) Limit curbside collections to four annually (2) Limit each collection to five items (3) For excess service needs , encourage residents to use established programs, such as: (a) Clean up events at the Public Works Facility on multiple Saturdays in spring and fall. (b) The Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill in Upper Marlboro, MD. (4) Residents should pay $20 per item when requesting more than four annual collections or more than five items per collection. (5) Charge residents a $100 fee in order to have overweight items collected with the boom truck.

Kids Yoga and Zumbini in North College Park

A new fitness studio has opened up in North College Park. It offers spinning and exercise classes for adults but will begin offering Kid’s Yoga (Open House this Saturday-flyer attached) and Zumbini this weekend and next week!! Please share with your networks!! Zumbini® is a music and movement class for children aged 0-4 to attend with their fun-loving caregiver. We sing, dance, make music with rhythmic instruments, use scarves, balls, and more in this 45-minute high-energy class. To keep the fun in learning going, each family receives a Bini Bundle-copies of our class music, access to streaming music on the Zumbini® app, a plush doll of the main character, and a beautifully illustrated songbook. Free trial class on 1/10 at 10 a.m., Winter Session is every Thursday 1/17- 4/4 at 10 a.m.. Learn more and register to save your spot at www.Bouncingbambini.com.

(source: NextDoor.com)

Update on January 2018 Community – Police Meeting

The Community-Police meeting at MoM’s Cafe last Thursday went pretty well. Three police officers serving College Park attended the meeting and answered a number of questions from the residents.

The group discussed last month’s crime map, which I also posted here on NextDoor earlier: https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=99878369. A number of crime incidents are related to property crime, such as theft from auto. Residents are advised to take their belongings when they leave their cars and make sure the cars are locked.

There were also questions about parking, code enforcement, and street lights. Officers also shared other PRPD crime prevention tips such as Operation IDS, Free home safety inspection, vacation premise check, and Smart Water program.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, February 7, 2018, at MoM’s Cafe. Please mark your calendar. Hope to see you there. Thank you!

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