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Month: October 2013 Page 1 of 4

College Park Earns Sustainable Maryland Certification

College Park has received Sustainable Maryland certification award, which is made from recycled glass.

Recently, the City of College Park, along with four other municipalities, was honored by Sustainable Maryland Certified program.

The other newly certified communities included the City of Annapolis, Town of Edmonston and City of Hyattsville. College Park completed the rigorous application and review process and achieved certification by completing the 2 mandatory and priority actions and accumulating more than 150 points.

On March 13th, 2012 City Council passed a resolution to establish a “Green Team” with the charge of leading the City in organizing and completing actions toward certification under the State of Maryland’s Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC) Program.

Since August of 2012 the Team has met once per month to discuss and complete the necessary requirements toward certification. The mandatory actions toward certification are the establishment of the Green Team and the creation of a 3 Year Action Plan. The Plan describes specific environmentally sustainable measures and effectively outlines a strategy towards completing actions that will allow the City to achieve certification within the SMC program.

Action items within the Plan are assigned point values and are categorized among the following 8 sustainability issues: Community Action, Community Based Food Systems, Energy, Greenhouse Gas, Health and Wellness, Local Economy and Natural Resources.

In the past year the City worked ona number of programs that helped them to achieve the award. They include the city’s inaugural “buy local” campaign, “Shop College Park,” with special emphasis on promoting locally-owned and independent businesses. The City also to set up a pit-stop event for the Metropolitan Area Council of Government’s annual Bike to Work Day. College Park also developed an innovative recycling program that includes single stream recycling, electronics and yard waste, a comprehensive workplace wellness program for municipal employees, including frequent lunch hour seminars and workshops, as well as an employee reimbursement program for fitness activities outside of the office. Also we worked on 3 farmers markets in the city, one at the UMd, one at the City Hall parking lot and another in Hollywood.

In the coming years, the City plans to work on a number of sustainability related projects, such as the Bike Share program (which will start early next year), community garden project, the business recycling plan and the green street program.

Development Updates on Route 1 in North College Park

Gateway Park construction to start soon

I often get questions about the status of developments on and along Route 1, especially on the part that crosses north College Park. Here are a few things I think we can talk about.

1. Gateway Park: At the south side of Edgewood Road intersection, just south of Beltway, the construction of the Gateway Park will begin fairly soon, possibly in this year. The final design has been approved and we gave the contract to a landscaping firm to construct the park.

2. 9909 Baltimore Ave. (The Spooky House). On the north side of the Gateway Park, we’ve started working with the community to replace the current so called spooky house by something nice that our residents can enjoy. There are suggestions about turning this into a park using some unused grant money. A committee has been formed involving residents living int he area and looking into various options.

3. Down south on Route 1, we started working with the SHA to have signalized crosswalks at Cherryhill. The construction has been completed and the

4. Also, SHA has been working on a plan to build continuous sidewalk on east side of Route 1 from Cherry Hill to Cherokee. Representatives from the SHA came to the Council meeting back in June this year to talk about the plan. Please read more about that here. Several month ago, I took a walk along Route 1 in north College Park with our City engineer and Council member Wojahn to check the pedestrian safety issues there.

5. Removing Eyesores: Further in the South, we gave contracts to take down 2 eyesores, one at Cherokee street and another at Fox St. Please read more about these projects here.

6. Two new developments are coming to the area around Cherokee Street, formerly known as JPI East and JPI West development. Each will bring some 8000 sq ft of retails.

7. A little further down, the City worked with the state to get 20 million for the engineering work of re-development of Route 1 in the south of Rt 193. This is a good news because sooner this part is developed, sooner we can start working on part in north College Park.

2013 Municipal Election – Here is What You Need to Know

City election, 2011 (Source: The College Park Patch)

Our City election is only a week away. Here are a few things you need to know..

Tuesday, November, 5, 7 AM-8 PM, Davis Hall, 9217 51st Avenue

Please note, this year’s voting will start at 7 am (instead of 11 am). The Council changed the time in order to allow residents to vote early and go to work. We hope we’ll have a better turnout this year!

You can see the list of candidates running for this year’s election here on City’s website.

To be eligible to vote you must be registered with Prince George’s County at your current address. To check your registration status with the County, please  visit here online or call the Prince George’s County Board of Elections at 301-430-8020. If you’re already registered or voted in the past, you will not need to register again. Unfortunately, the deadline to make a new registration for this year’s election has passed early this month.

Absentee Voting
To be eligible to vote by absentee ballot, a registered voter must meet one of the following qualifications:
*May be absent on Election Day from the City
*Because of accident, illness or physical disability will be unable to go to the polling place on Election Day
*Because of confinement in or restriction to an institution, will be prevented from going to a polling place on Election Day
*Because of a death or serious illness in the voter’s immediate family, will be unable to go to the polling place on election day
*Is a full-time student at an institution of higher education located outside the City, and academic requirements prevent the voter from going to the polling place on Election Day.

Absentee ballot applications are available through October 29, 2013 at City Hall, 4500 Knox Road. Applications are reviewed by the City of College Park Board of Election Supervisors and if approved, a ballot will be mailed to the voter on or after October 7. The voter must return the voted ballot to City Hall using the ballot envelope provided, no later than Tuesday, November 5. Absentee ballots are counted on Wednesday, November 6

City’s Reported Crime is at a 7-Year Low

City’s Reported Crime is at a 7-Year Low

Last week the City Council heard the annual report from all policing agencies that serve College Park.  The good news is that crime rates are down in most categories, both for 2013 year-to-date vs. the comparable period in 2012, as well as over the longer term.

First, the good news about the long-term reduction in crime rates.  Total reported crimes in 2012 were at a 7-year low: there were 832 reported crimes in 2012, down from 1,001 in 2011 and a high of 1,163 in 2008.

Most of the decrease was for property crimes (715 in 2012, down from 878 in 2011 and 1,030 in 2008.  Violent crimes were also down slightly (117 in 2012 vs. 123 in 2011 and 133 in 2008.

The most dramatic improvement was for burglaries (“breaking-and-entering”, down 58% from 2008) and stolen vehicles (down 45%).

Larceny theft was down 12% (this category includes thefts-from-auto, the most common crime in our area).  This table shows the detailed crime statistics:

2012
2011
2010
2009 (est.)
2008
2007
2006
Total crime  
832
1001
905
981
1163
1132
979
Total property crime  
715
878
785
873
1030
1008
856
Total violent crime  
117
123
120
108
133
124
123
Larceny theft
553
585
511
615
691
666
527
Stolen vehicles
84
97
72
88
152
192
175
Break-and-enters
78
196
202
170
187
150
154
Assault     
76
70
71
55
85
60
62
Robbery     
35
47
45
46
42
51
53
Forcible rape
4
2
2
5
5
12
7
Carjacking     
2
3
2
0
1
1
0
Homicide    
0
1
0
2
0
0
1
 

The reduced crime rate has continued during 2013.  For the Jan-Sept 2013 period, total reported crimes were down 2% from the same period in 2012.

Most notably, the number of violent crimes in 2013 is down 16% (64 in Jan-Sept 2013, down from 76 in Jan-Sept 2012).  The number of property crimes was the same during both periods.  The most significant reductions were for armed robberies and stolen vehicles, but unfortunately burglaries were up.  Here are the detailed statistics.

 
Jan-Sept 2013
Jan-Sept 2012
Total crime  
602
614
Total property crime  
538
538
Total violent crime  
64
76
Larceny theft
404
401
Stolen vehicles
60
74
Break-and-enters
74
63
Assault     
46
47
Robbery     
11
25
Forcible rape
5
3
Carjacking     
0
1
Homicide    
2
0

 

[Thanks to Council member Stullich for compiling this report]

North College Park Crime Stats: Oct 20 – 26, 2013

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

College Park, MD 20740

 Stolen Vehicle

Event

From

To

Location

[10/21/13]05:3606:175100 Blk NIAGARA PL

Breaking & Entering Commercial

Event

From

To

Location

[10/21/13]02:5405:54IKEA

Theft

Event

From

To

Location

[10/22/13]15:4116:16HOME DEPOT
[10/24/13]12:4814:183400 Blk METZEROTT RD

Theft from Auto

Event

From

To

Location

[10/21/13]05:5607:3210100 Blk 52ND AVE
[10/24/13]10:5311:473600 Blk MARLBROUGH WAY

 

 

New Businesses in North College Park

Peg Leg Vintage Goods

Peg Leg Vintage Goods – The furniture store is set to open late this year

Here is a list of businesses that have opened or are set to open in north College Park

(1) Peg Leg Vintage Goods will be opening soon at 9600 Baltimore Avenue.
It’s not often that a furniture store opens in College Park, but Peg Leg Vintage Goods will provide shoppers with an assortment of furnishings from many different eras and styles. Items available will include furniture, wall art, accessories, lighting and more. Renovations of the former auto parts shop are currently underway and the store should be open before the end of the year.

(2) The Graphic Design store Sign Expert and Printing has opened recently at 9651 Baltimore Ave

(3) Also a barber store “Roja Barber Shop” will be opening at 9213 Baltimore Ave.

Tomorrow at the Market: Time to Buy a Pumpkin or Two

Please see below this week’s Hollywood Farmers Market Newsletter. See you all tomorrow

HFM_Banner

Pumpkins from Hollywood Farmers Market in front of a north College Park home

Pumpkins from Hollywood Farmers Market decorate a north College Park home

Time to Buy a Pumpkin — or Two
When you come to the market this Saturday, look around for pumpkins and other decorative gourds. These traditional symbols of the fall season can really light up our homes, even if they don’t contain candles. Starting your garden during this season is something you can do with your family to spend some time together. Just make sure you have the right equipment like hoses and a 4in1 bucket.

Then, of course, in just a few days, the pumpkins can be carved and turned into Jack-o’-Lanterns!

Celebrate National Food Day at the Market
Do you understand the story of your food–from farm to table and back to the soil? Do you have the knowledge and ability to make informed choices that support your health, community, and the environment? If so, then according to the National Food Day project, you are “food literate.” National Food Day occurred in all 50 states this past week. The organizers call National Food Day “a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies.”

Pete (left) from the SunSplash Farm at the Hollywood Market

If you think you really know your food, try the 15-question “literacy quiz” at http://foodday.org/food_literacy_quiz. You may be surprised at some of the answers, plus you’ll learn a few things that may change how you shop for food.

Featured Farmer: SunSplash Farm
By now, you may have met North College Park resident Pete Charlerie and his partners and purchased some of his just-picked produce. Pete always brings his high-energy and passion for natural farming with him. At his table, you’ll find vegetables, cut flowers, and culinary herbs fresh from his five acres of farmland in Upper Marlboro.

New Vendor: Beads by Bettina

Bears by Bettina at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Beads by Bettina at the Hollywood Farmers Market

A lady who loves making jewelry by painting beads and stones will join us this Saturday. Bettina’s interest in designing her own jewelry began at an art festival, where she found a flier to take jewelry classes at a local bead store. She was “intrigued” and has been creating jewelry at home ever since. Such jewelries might be perfect gifts for dads birthday.

This week’s Vendors

1. Uptown Bakers
2. SunSplash Farm
3. Pleitez Farm
4. Legacy Manor
5. Green Sprouts
6. Calvert Farm
7. Morning Glory Farm
8. Ferguson Family Farm
9. Phil’s Dills
10. Ear Gear
11. Silent Beading
12. Tuckey’s Mountain Grown
13. Caspari Farm
14. A Little Pottery
15. Coffee Barn
16. Tiffany’s Oven
17. Christiane’s Knits and Gardens
18. Create Peace Jeweleries
19. Eastern Delights
20. Henna Art
21. Chic Expressions
22. Ozlem Crafts

Recipe of the Week :
[Adapted from: foodnetwork.com]

Recipe 1: Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Ingredients and Directions
Seeds from 1 large pumpkin, rinsed and dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Scatter pumpkin seeds onto a sheet pan in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Bake for about 7 minutes, until light brown and crispy

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe 2:
Ingredients and Directions:
Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water, then shake dry. Don’t blot with paper towels; the seeds will stick. Dry them: Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast 30 minutes to dry them out. Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.
Try one of these for a different taste:
Sweet: Toss with cinnamon and sugar (do not use salt).
Indian: Toss with garam masala and mix with currants after roasting.
Spanish: Toss with smoked paprika; mix with slivered almonds after roasting.
Italian: Toss with grated parmesan and dried oregano.

For more recipes you can try out, you can visit thor’s fork.


Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the Hollywood Shopping Center (near REI) on Saturdays from 8am to 12 noon. Email: Hollwoodmarketcp@gmail.com. Phone: (301) 659 – 6295 Like us on the FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodmarket
Copyright © 2013 Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved. www.Hollywoodmarket.org

UMd Golf Course Plan Dropped

UMd golf course (The Washington Post)

After weeks of opposition from local residents, business and community leaders, the plan to build an “academic village” on some part of the UMd golf course has been dropped.

Please see more about the news here on the Washington Post.

In a letter to the UMd. president Dr. Loh, the developer Mr. Gibsons wrote:

Dear Dr. Loh,
In response to your letter of October 14, we have been finalizing and planning to unveil a concept plan to create a Terrapin-themed parkway and Academic Village that would help create a world-class gateway to the University, while addressing mounting traffic congestion on Route One and other local roads.

Recently, some elected officials have come out in opposition of our idea, although none of them have seen our conceptual plan. As someone who loves the University, it was never my intent for this concept to become a political football or have the University become embroiled in political theatre.

As a result, we have no present plans to submit either our concept plan or a development proposal to the University. Instead, as suggested by several stakeholders, we will devote our energies toward further analyzing the development challenges facing Route One and to consider how we might be able to contribute toward coming up with beneficial solutions.

I look forward to supporting any and all efforts to help make the University a world-class institution in every way.

Best regards … and Go Terps,
Brian Gibbons,
Chairman and CEO

College Park Academy ‘Officially’ Opens

Although the College park Academy started its new academic session weeks ago, the “official” opening happened last Monday. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and University of Maryland President Wallace Loh on Monday cut the ribbon on a new charter school near the university campus that offers a college-preparatory program for hundreds of sixth and seventh graders. Mayor and members of City Council were also present at the ribbon cutting ceremony. The City Council granted $80,000 in the current City budget for the academy. The school is currently located in Hyattsville, just outside of College Park, The City has been actively trying to locate the school somewhere within the city.

Proposed Additional Beltway Lanes May Impact North College Park Homes

HOT (Express) lanes in 495 beltway

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will vote to send a letter with its concerns about the proposed additional toll or HOV lanes in 495 Beltway in north College Park.

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, the Transportation Planing Board (TPB) released a revised draft of the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan (RTPP) for public comment. This comment period will close on November 10, 2013.

You can see the RTTP draft document here. The RTTP draft proposes a express toll lanes (page 53) in order to reduce congestion.

The proposed new HOT or HOV lanes may take away homes in north College Park, especially those located in north Hollywood and south Sunnyside neighborhood.

A letter from the Mayor to the TPB says:

“We would like to express our concern about establishing, as a long-term priority, the addition of new lanes to existing roadways to establish High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) limited access lanes, and linking the expansion of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the addition of these lanes. 

We support, in principle, the use of HOV and HOT lanes as a funding mechanism for road improvements, as well as the expansion of BRT.  However, BRT best serves the community on an urban grid of streets, and not on tolled highway lanes. 

Moreover, the addition of new lanes may have untold impacts on land use in the region and promote the use of automobiles as a means of transportation instead of serving the goal of reducing automobile use.”

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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