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Month: March 2012 Page 1 of 4

North College Park Crime Stats: March 9 – March 25, 2012

This report covers incidents in the past two weeks. Most incidents in this period happened along Rt 1, IKEA and Cherry Hill Rd. One happened on Edgewood Rd, one on Blackfoot and one on 51st Pl. If you want to know details about any particular incident, please let me know.

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

Beltsville, MD 20740

Beltsville, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

Date
Incident Type
Location
03/09/2012THEFT4700 block CHERRY HILL RD
03/09/2012ASSAULT9600 block BALTIMORE AVE
03/10/2012THEFT4700 block CHERRY HILL RD
03/12/2012THEFT FROM AUTO9100 block 51ST PL
03/12/2012THEFT FROM AUTO9300 block CHERRY HILL RD
03/13/2012THEFT FROM AUTO9600 block MILESTONE WAY
03/13/2012AUTO, STOLEN9600 block  MILESTONE WAY
03/14/2012THEFT FROM AUTO9300 block CHERRY HILL RD
03/15/2012B & E, RESIDENTIAL4700 block CHERRY HILL RD
03/16/2012ASSAULT9600 block BALTIMORE AVE
03/19/2012THEFT4900 block EDGEWOOD RD
03/19/2012AUTO, STOLEN9300 block CHERRY HILL RD
03/19/2012THEFT9100 block BALTIMORE AVE
03/24/2012THEFT4800 block BLACKFOOT RD
03/24/2012AUTO, STOLEN9000 block BALTIMORE AVE
03/25/2012AUTO, STOLEN &      RECOVEREDBALTIMORE AVE/EB CHERRY HILL RD
03/25/2012AUTO, STOLEN & RECOVEREDBALTIMORE AVE/EB CHERRY HILL RD

Scholarships, Prizes for Local Students

Scholarships

The Prince George’s County Municipal Association offers scholarships to any students who is resides in Prince George’s County. The Scholarships are $1,000.00 and are continuous so long as the student can show proof they are still in school. The deadline for the application is April 30, 2012. Please see this flyer for more details.

In addition to the scholarships,  nearly $250,000 worth of prizes are available for students to grab in six competitions, the University of Maryland says.

The competitions are devoted to innovation, ingenuity and ideas. The month-long series of competitions begins Friday at the university’s College Park campus.

The events include a $75,000 business plan competition and a $100,000 clean energy challenge. The winner of the clean energy competition funded by the U.S. Department of Energy will compete in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition finals in Washington this summer.

A health care competition will also pit teams from 25 U.S. and foreign universities. The teams have designed plans to use information technology to improve health care. Eight finalists will present their solutions healthcare industry leaders. The competition features $30,000 in prizes. [Source: the Washington Post]

Ron Paul Speaks in College Park


Republican Presidential primary candidate Ron Paul came to University of Maryland College Park yesterday and spoke to masses at the Ritchie Coliseum.

Council Okays Greenbelt Agreement Without Footbridge

The pedestrian bridge at the end of Berwyn Rd. The Council removed the language to build a similar bridge in north College Park near Greenbelt Metro development

In last night’s regular meeting, the Council approved an agreement between the City and the proposed Greenbelt south Core developer (CRM). The original agreement was amended to exclude the part that talks about the pedestrian bridge.
Several residents came to the meeting to speak against the bridge, one resident spoke in favor of it. Several other residents also sent us emails expressing their opinions.
Residents who support the bridge think that it would have been a good addition to the community because it may give them easier access to the amenities in the new development.
On the other hand, residents who opposed it thought the bridge would serve as an additional access point to invite crime to the community. Assuming the bridge is built at the end of Huron street, they also think that the bridge may turn a quite neighborhood into a busy street.
Council member Wojahn and I thought the issue of including a footbridge is a controversial one and thus it was better to exclude that part from the agreement.
Event without the reference to the bridge, the agreement will have references to other neighborhood improvement projects, such as the improvement of public facilities, landscaping projects, streetscaping, building of sidewalks/crosswalks, traffic calming measures, and park improvements
That said, I thank everyone for coming out to the meeting last night. I know it’s not easy to come to council meeting after a long day of work. I also thank all who wrote to us.

Council to Vote on Greenbelt South Core Development

GreenBelt Station

The City Council will vote tonight on an agreement between the City of College Park and the developer of the Greenbelt South Core developer.

As we discussed recently, SunTrust, who currently owns the land in the south core of the Greenbelt Metro development, has approached the City to negotiate an agreement to proceed with the south core development.

This development currently includes two already approved detailed site plans, one for about 600 units of townhouse residential development, and one for a 4-6 story multifamily apartment building with about 300 units. The third portion of the development has an approved conceptual site plan that includes commercial development in the northwest area of the development, and includes options for a pedestrian footbridge to North College Park.

The City and the developer negotiated an agreement that includes $1.25 million that the City can put toward the renovation of Duvall Field or other projects in North College Park. The City will receive $625 thousand at the time of sale of the apartment building portion of the development and $625 thousand within three years after that. The agreement also includes a provision that the developer will work with the cities of College Park and Greenbelt to locate the footbridge and obtain financing through a tax increment financing (TIF) program or special taxing district (STD).

SunTrust has already negotiated an agreement with Greenbelt, which includes provisions that the development will be a mixed-use development with no more than 983 residential units and 115,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail. The agreement also proposes that SunTrust will provide 2.27 acres of land and $1 million to the City of Greenbelt for recreational purposes, devote over $1.4 million toward recreational purposes on the site that it develops, and construct both a hiker/biker trail from the development to the Metro and a light rail or tram system between the South Core and the North Core once the north-south connector road is complete.

The Greenbelt agreement also requires that the developer give $250,000 to Greenbelt to expand police facilities serving the area, and pursue a number of measures to mediate the environmental impacts of the development.

Let me know if you have any questions or other thoughts about this agreement.

Prince George’s Bag Bill is Dead

County's proposed shopping bag bill is dead

Supporters of a proposed plastic shopping bag fee in Prince George’s county say it’s a sad day for the local rivers and ocean.

The legislation that would have allowed the county to consider a bag fee of 5c was killed in the Environmental Matters Committee last Saturday morning.

The Washington Post writes: Prince George’s council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Laurel) and several environmental groups pushed for the measure, but it faced opposition from the plastic bag industry and the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, which said it might harm low-income residents. Opponents robocalled lawmakers and targeted Prince George’s residents with radio advertisements, questioning the cost of the fee and whether it would help consumers or the environment.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Council woman Lehman writes: Rest assured that while I am frustrated by this bill dying the way it did, I will not give up. It is the right thing to do, we just need to keep educating our neighbors, friends and, yes, the foes of this important legislation. We lost the battle for this year, but I have no doubt we will win the bag fee war! I look forward to continuing to work with all of you on this and other environmental issues.

Proposals Sought to Promote and Market City

The City has recently published a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) is to invite vendors to submit proposals for the creation of a marketing theme, a marketing implementation plan which the City of College Park will implement in the future as funding becomes available, and template print materials which display the theme consistent with the implementation plan.

The City seeks a qualified consulting firm with experience in market research (both qualitative and quantitative), strategic planning, corporate identity/branding (including slogan and logo development and graphic standards), and interactive marketing. The City seeks to build upon the foundation that the City is a great place to live and work by showing our community assets, particularly with the recent positive publicity about the City.

The City has never used a marketing theme, slogan, or logo to market itself, butdoes have a City seal. To support local businesses, the City created the ‘ShopCollege Park’ website (www.shopcollegepark.org) in 2007 as a one-stop sourcefor shopping, dining, services, events and attractions.

College Park recently received press about being an Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) Green Power Partner for being 100% carbon neutral for electricity(EPA Profile and College Park Patch Article). Also, Bloomberg Businessweeknamed College Park as “The Best Place in Maryland to Raise Your Children” in2011 (Businessweek Article).The marketing theme should focus on a holistic picture of College Park’scommunity assets which reach beyond the scopes of these articles.

Groups to Show Film on Renewable Energy


On Saturday, March 31, 1 p.m., City’s committee for a Better environment and Sierra Club Prince George’s County will host the film “Kilowatt Ours: A Plan to Re-Energize America” and Post-Film Discussion about Wind Power.

This award-winning 58-minute film is “a timely, solutions-oriented look at one of America’s most pressing environmental challenges: energy,” says filmmaker Jeff Barrie, who confronts the challenge of renewable energy and turns the camera on himself, asking “How can I make a difference?”

Post-film discussion Will be led by Kristin Schulz, residential green power outreach coordinator for Clean Currents Inc., a local wind power electricity provider committed to fostering community sustainability efforts (www.cleancurrents.com)  and Markian Melnyk, Atlantic Wind Connection, a “backbone transmission project” (http://atlanticwindconnection.com/uncategorized/aws-intro/).

Where: College Park City Hall Council Chambers, 2nd floor 4500 Knox Road, College Park, 20740

Free registration is requested for our refreshments planning  RSVP Contact: janiso@erols.com or leave message at  240-888-6972

Council Discusses Redesigning of City’s Website

CollegeParkMD.gov

For the past year or so, the City has been starting up a project to redesign its website. The website has been criticized in the past for being difficult to use and navigate.

It also lacks some important functionality, such as social media integration and ADA compliance. It requires the help of companies like web design uk.

Are you interested in an overhaul of your website to improve usability, conversions, and branding? Then you can check out redesign our website page here for more details!

The City Council put money in the budget this year to hire a web design consultant to improve the appearance and design of the website and make it fully accessible for people with disabilities. This web design company Omaha, will be the ones to help them enhance their website to make it more user-friendly, especially for those with special needs.

The City issued a Request for Proposals in December 2011, and received 17 proposals, 14 of which met the price limits for the project. Staff narrowed the applicants to six based on their applications, and of those, is now considering Revize Software Systems of Troy, Michigan as a possible candidate to award the contract. The company offered to redesign the website for $10,450 in the first year and update and maintain the site for $1,800 per year after that. The City has budgeted $15,000 for the website redesign this year.

In last Tuesday’s worksession, the council discussed the proposed arrangement with the staff in more details.

In the meeting, I raised a few issues with the proposed website development arrangement.

First , the CMS framework used by the proposed company is a proprietary one and is not a popular one per this list that ranks the frameworks by the number of users. I’m not sure if it is a good idea to have our website built on a proprietary framework as our decision now may pose risky and costly in the long run. Not only we’ll have to keep paying them year after year to troubleshoot a platform that only they understand and have complete control of, but more importantly, say, due to rapid change in dynamics in the CMS market, if they go out of business in future, we will have no other choice but to make an extensive effort to migrate the potentially large amount of our website data to another system.

As a software professional in the field, I find the number of themes, plug-ins and extensibility features Revize offers seem quite limited. The language that the developers of the framework will have to use is also not a standard one.

I also think that we can find other free help (including mine) in the city with a more open, popular yet powerful CMS system and thus at the end we can save a big portion of our initial $10K + $2K/yr. I know this is not a big amount, but after all this is our tax payers’ money and if we can all save this, I ask – why not?

Regardless of the framework we’ll choose at the end, the staff is now looking for: 1) Ideas for other websites that are user-friendly, and what people like about them, and 2) Residents who might be interested in serving on a committee to help review and provide guidance on the website.

If you have ideas of other website you like or are interested in serving on the resident committee, please let us know! Also, the staff is looking for photographs taken by residents to post on the website. If you would like to submit photographs, please go to www.collegeparkmd.gov/photo.htm to do so.

Council Pledges Its Support for Local Heritage Group

Battle of Bladensburg Bicentennial

A representative from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA) came to the Council work session last Tuesday to speak about the group’s activities in promoting history and arts of local municipalities.

The City of College Park pays $8,000 yearly to be part of the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA).

ATHA provides resources and programs to mark the history of the areas surrounding the Anacostia watershed, including historical trails and markers and celebrations and events commemorating the history, culture and natural resources of the area.

Recently, ATHA launched the Maryland Milestones program to celebrate important historical events that happened in our area.

More information about ATHA, including upcoming events and resources in the area, is available at www.anacostiatrails.org.

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