Neighborhood Quality of Life Public Forum

The Neighborhood Quality of Life (NQOL) Committee will host a Public Meeting, “Working, Living & Learning Together,” at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 6 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall.  The meeting is an opportunity for all residents to discuss strategies to overcome the unique challenges of living in a college town.

Committee members will briefly present the NQOL goals on: Code Enforcement and Issue Reductions; Home Ownership; Housing Diversity; Community Building, Incentives and Culture Change; and Expectations and Best Practices for Rental Property Owners. The agenda includes round table discussions and public comment on the goals and strategies.

All residents, young and old, new and lifelong, student and non-student are encouraged to attend! Limited parking will be available in the church’s Yale Avenue lot; additional metered parking is available in the City Hall lot and the parking garage. For additional information and to RSVP, please emailnqol@collegeparkmd.gov.

One More Hollywood Eyesore Slated for Demolition

The “Spooky” house to get demolished soon

The much discussed abandoned property (aka “Spooky House”) at the north east corner of Route 1 and Edgewood Rd is expected to be demolished soon.

The property has been an eyesore for a long time and has only contributed to give a negative impression of our neighborhood. We hope once the demolition is completed, the site will help attract a quality development / business there, preferably benefiting City residents. We will get the residents involved once any such project comes before us.

The owner of the property has agreed to share the demolition cost with the City (through a State grant). This was not the case with the other 2 demolition projects on Route 1, where the City took up the entire cost. The total cost of the project is around $32,000, about $18,000 of that will come from the State grant. The demolition project is expected to be finished by the middle of next month.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything inside the building that is valuable for someone to reuse. The inside of the house is is a very dangerous condition for anyone to go.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

SHA Presents Beltway Exchange and Widening Plan

The State Highway Administration came to last Thursday’s NCPCA meeting to present their plan to improve access from I-495 beltway to the Greenbelt Metro.  Here you can see a copy of their presentation slide here.
 As part of the plan, SHA is suggesting to add another ramp for the westbound traffic, merging into the existing ramp from the eastbound traffic. This may potentially add more noise and pollution to our single family houses next to Metro.
They are also looking at adding two 12ft lanes on both sides of the beltway, from Rt 1 to Kenilworth Ave., to provide better access to Greenbelt Metro. This may potentially impact single family houses in north College Park close to the south of Beltway.
Currently, the SHA is conducting data collection and surveys about the plan. We’ve asked SHA to keep the City informed as they proceed with the plan. We’ve also asked SHA to come to City Council meeting and provide us a further update.
For your quick reference, I have included 2 preliminary draft renderings below that I think are most important to north College Park residents. The first one shows the proposed I-495 expansion plan, which may affect houses on Niagara Rd (West), Ontario Rd and Niagara Place.The second one shows the new ramp going into Metro station.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
495 expansion

Council Discusses its Wishlist for Park and Planning Budget

In last week’s Council worksession, the City Council discussed a number of requests for the upcoming Maryland Park and Planning budget. Here is a draft list we discussed.

Hollywood Community Park Entrance and Soccer Field— The pedestrian entrance to the park that adjoins the pathway to the Greenbelt Metro Station is in need of improvement. We request a gateway entrance feature to the park to replace the existing chain-link fence. This aesthetic improvement would complement the City’s Lackawanna Streetscape project, which spans from Narragansett Parkway to the Metro entrance and includes street improvements and new pedestrian lighting.

Additionally, we request an evaluation of the Hollywood Community Park field layout and a reconfiguration that would create space for a soccer field.

Feasibility Study of Potential Community Center in the Hollywood Commercial District — The City requested that M-NCPPC engage in a study to analyze the possibility of entering into a joint project with the City of College Park to construct and operate a community center in north College Park. In the FY 2013 proposed budget, M-NCPPC designated feasibility study funding for this project for FY 2016 and potentially more funding the following year to build the facility.

Cherry Hill Neighborhood Park Display Board — The City requests a new display board to be located at the entrance of Cherry Hill Neighborhood Park.

Lighting Study along the Paint Branch Trail — Previously, M-NCPPC emphasized the need for a lighting study to determine lighting needs and preferences along the Paint Branch Trail. We request that M-NCPPC allocate funding in the Capital Improvement Program to complete this study and investigate the possible use of energy-efficient lighting on county trails because of the important role that the trail system plays for pedestrian and bicycle commuting in the county.

Additionally, the Public Facilities Report in the Formula 2040 Functional Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space recommends that a 12,000 square foot gymnasium be added to the Hollywood Elementary School to meet identified needs. This project is not currently in the CIP and requires a feasibility study to be conducted first. Although the residents of north College Park would prefer a stand-alone community center, the gymnasium expansion would be a reasonable alternative that could move forward more quickly. The city supports this recommendation and requests that funding for both feasibility studies be included in FY 2016.

College Park Woods Playground — The pedestrian entrance to the park is not easily accessible for elderly residents and residents with mobility challenges. We request that you evaluate the entrance and make accessibility improvements.

Lake Artemesia — This is a beautiful park where visitors experience a heightened awareness of the value of our natural areas. It is a perfect location for a pilot program for combined trash and recycling receptacles. The type of receptacle should be coordinated with College Park.

Free Health Checks, Next Saturday

Please come to next Saturday’s Hollywood Farmers’ Market to get a free health check and medical advice. A local family physician will be at the market from 9-1 to provide the free service. Please mark your calendar and spread the word. Details below.
Health Check 2014

Volunteers Plant Trees to Create Forest Garden in Berwyn

Residents and UMD students volunteered together this morning to plant trees to create a permaculture garden in Berwyn. The Committee for a Better Environment has been working to help create this Trolley Trail Forest Garden for some time. Volunteers planted trees and bushes that will eventually produce edible fruit, nuts and spices. They met at 9:00 a.m. on the Trolley Trail (along Rhode Island Avenue) between Greenbelt Road & Tecumseh Street. Thanks everyone who helped place many new plants and trees along the trail. Here are a few pictures I took.

Tomorrow at the Hollywood Farmers Market

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


Attention Gardeners: Plant and Seed Swap this Saturday

Many gardeners are now doing what they love best, which is playing in the dirt, digging up plants and separating them, and, in general, communing with nature.If you are one of these lucky people, and you have a lot of plants or seeds you want to share or sell, please bring them to this Saturday’s market. We will have a table set up next to the market tent.

The “Rules”

Please label the plants and seeds. (Common names are fine.)

Put seeds in small plastic bag.

If you want to sell a plant, put a price on it.

Heavenly Created Desserts 

Fresh, hand-made and delicious—these adjectives describe the cupcakes and other specialty desserts offered by College Park resident Sharon Morrison. Cooking and baking always have been an important part of her life and now we get to enjoy the fruits of her labor at the market!

When you visit Sharon’s tent at the market, you also have the choice of buying all types of hot dogs—beef, turkey and others. They’re grilled and ready to eat, and you get to choose with the fixin’s!

What more could we ask for?


This week’s Vendors

  • Pleitez Farm
  • Legacy Manor Farm
  • Heavenly Created Desserts
  • Calvert Farms
  • Morning Glory Farm
  • Designed Naturally
  • Tuckey’s Mountain Grown
  • Roy & RT’s Kitchen and Garden
  • Wood Doctor
  • Christiane’s Knits and Gardens
  • Phil’s Dills
  • Huma Henna Art
  • True Honey Tea
  • Crest Hill Bakery
  • Alcoba Coffee Beans
  • Conscious Alchemy
  • Elated Harmonies Massage

Recipe of the Week: Eggplant & Walnut Dip with Toasted Pita Triangles


1 large eggplant
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 pita breads
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


1. Pierce eggplant with tines of a fork and wrap tightly in foil. Place it on a baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft; cool slightly.

2. Halve eggplant lengthwise and scoop out pulp into a blender or food processor; puree and set aside. In dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook walnuts until lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes; stir into eggplant pulp. Add mint, lemon juice, garlic, oil and salt and pepper. Cover and chill slightly.

3. Cut each pita into 6 wedges. Place on baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese and broil until pitas are lightly toasted and cheese melts.

4. Serve pitas with dip.

Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the Hollywood Shopping Center (near REI) on Saturdays from 9am to 1 pm. Email: Hollywoodmarketcp@gmail.com. Phone: (301) 659 – 6295 Like us on the FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodmarket Copyright © 2014 Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved. www.Hollywoodmarket.org

Tonight at NCPCA: School Board Candidate Forum, Greenbet 495 Interchange, FBI Move and More..

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and the day for October monthly meeting. The agenda is pretty much packed.

The meeting will start with speeches and Q&A from two School Board Candidates- Peggy Higgins and Lupi Grady. The candidates will discuss their vision and goals for the School Board. Each candidate will answer 2-3 questions from NCPCA members

Staff from the Environmental Finance Center at UMD will discuss the stormwater /drainage assessment they are conducting in College Park. Residents input on existing stormwater management practices and the identification of locations where stormwater practices are lacking will be appreciated.

Members will discuss Referendum on County Council Term Limits. They will discuss ballot question J which would extend term limits of the County Council and County Executive from 8 years to 12 years.

A SHA representative will be at the meeting to discuss planning efforts and potential impacts on North College Park.

Finally, members will discuss an update on Greenbelt Metro Development /FBI. Developer’s representative Garth Beall will provide an update on the status of the project and efforts to minimize negative impacts to the environment and North College Park.

As usual, the meeting will take place at Davis Hall at 7.30. See you all tonight.

City to Seek New Contractor to Start Bike Share Program

Late last year, the City awarded a contract to a firm to build a Bike Share program in College Park. However, recently the firm became bankrupt causing the City looking for a new contractor.

The City and the University has been jointly working to establish a bikeshare system. Both parties received a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) grant in 2012 totaling $350,000 which can be used to pay for up to 80% of the system equipment costs.

At the time the grant was awarded, it was the intent of the City and University to join the Capital Bikeshare System (CaBi). Bicycles and stations were to be sourced from the Public Bike Share Corporation (PBSC) of Montreal, Canada, while the operations side of CaBi would be handled by Alta Bicycle Share (Alta), headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The MDOT grant was awarded as a sole source contract to both entities using federal funds.

However, PBSC ceased to exist when all of its assets were sold to the highest bidder during their bankruptcy liquidation process earlier this year. The new owner has named the company PBSC Urban Solutions (PBSCUS) and proposed changes to their station components that will result in incompatibilities with existing CaBi equipment.

Alta has reviewed the history of their relationship with PBSC and the potential for a successful long term relationship with PBSCUS. They determined that it is in their best interest to move to a new supplier and have selected the 8D Company to be their new bikeshare system partner.

Alta has indicated they intend to move away from purchasing PBSC equipment for the CaBi system.

CaBi member jurisdictions (DC, Arlington and Montgomery Counties, and the City of Alexandria) are currently developing a strategy to address this situation. Their plan will likely involve an extended transitional phase from PBSC to 80 equipment. The earliest availability of this new equipment is not expected until the first half of 2015.

In order to be released from the existing grant terms and receive the funds, the State has informed the City and University that it will be necessary to select a vendor through a competitive bid. Consequently, City Planning Department staff have been working closely with University Department of Transportation Services staff to draft a RFP. Staff have contacted State officials to ensure that the resulting RFP will meet the requirements of both MOOT and the original source of the funds, the Federal Highway Administration.

It should also be noted that worldwide bikeshare usage has expanded and significantly evolved in just the last two years. The RFP process presents a timely opportunity to examine the innovations offered by new participants in this industry. For example, one of several new station less bikeshare systems could potentially better serve our campus environment & include more areas of the City. We look forward to reviewing all proposals to find a bikeshare system that provides the best match of cost, features, expandability and suitability to our City’s needs and then bringing forward a recommendation to the City Council.

New Pedestrian Flashing Light Goes Live on Rhode Island Ave. at Hollywood Rd

A new flashing pedestrian light (RRFB) has been installed this week on Rhode Island Ave at Hollywood Rd.

The accompanying pedestrian ramps will be tentatively constructed by the end of next week. This will help prevent pedestrian from walking on the grass to the service road.

The City Council allocated money in its FY2015 budget to buy and install this additional crossing light. I met with the City and the County engineers two weeks ago to check the installation plan.

Currently, we have 2 RRFBs on Rhode Island Ave in north College Park – one near Duvall field and another at Muskogee st.

We hope the new RRFB at Hollywood Rd. will help residents and Hollywood Elementary school students cross Rhode Island avenue safely during morning and afternoon rush hours.

City, UMD to Start Elementary School in College Park

At tomorrow’s worksession, the council will discuss City-University Partnership’s proposal to launch a Pre-K to 6 elementary school.

The new school will be built off the success of the College Park Academy (CPA) in 2013 – a public charter middle and high school for Prince George’s County students that is one of the most advanced middle schools in the country.

The hope is that the full-day kindergarten and mixed grade 1st and 2nd grade classes, or the part-time project-based learning classes, would be hosted in one or more local public elementary schools, while the pre-K portion would be located at the old Calvert Road School, if the building becomes available for this purpose.

The program will integrate a program similar to that of the University of Maryland’s Center for Young Children (CYC), which is a highly sought after, innovative, project based learning program. The kindergarten through sixth grade element will be free to parents, and would be opt-in by child through the Prince George’s County Public School system.

The pre-kindergarten component will be fee-for-service; parents of three and four year olds will pay a rate set by the market for preschool unless their child is four years old and their family is at 200 percent of the poverty level, in which case the program will receive funds from Maryland State Department of Education through pre-K expansion grants.

The Council will discuss the proposal and will consider a letter of support for the proposed school.

North College Park Crime Map – September 29 – October 4, 2014

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you have any questions.

[mappress mapid=”192″] Recovered Stolen Vehicle






#L14273FOUND16:5718:445100 BLK HOLLYWOOD RD


Stolen Vehicle






#L14273STLVEH09:2510:288900 Blk 48TH AVE,
#L14274STLVEH10:1711:049300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD








#L14274Theft13:0213:499200 Blk WOFFORD LN,

Police Arrests College Park Burglary Suspect

Prince Gerge’s police told us last night that one of our most notorious burglary suspects has been apprehended. After a burglary was committed earlier yesterday in the Laurel area, an extensive search was done by District VI officers. The suspect, Sherrod Weaver, was later tracked back to the Hollywood section of College Park where he was arrested by undercover PGPD detectives.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Weaver had three outstanding warrants for College Park burglaries.

It’s indeed a great news for the residents in north College Park, which has been hit by several burglaries in recent months. Sherrod has been identified as a suspect for his role in a robbery incident on Huron street in early September .

Police Asks Help to Identify Two Robbery Suspects

Sherrod has also been a suspect for his role in several breaking and entering incidents in College Park back in 2011.

Let’s thank our police for doing a great job in keeping one more suspect off College Park’s street.

Tomorrow at the Hollywood Farmers Market

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

Thanks for Your Contributions!fooddriveLast week, we asked our market patrons to contribute non-perishable food in our drop-off box for Hunger Action Month. You delivered! This week, we brought several pounds of food items to the State Highway Administration and the Maryland State Police, which will pass it along Maryland Food Bank.Music and MORE 

Enjoy live music by local folk band Birds on a Wire at tomorrow’s market!

Several other new faces will be there too, including

  • Bee Street Photography & Craft will have their artwork for sale!
  • College Park Lions Club will have an informational table and sell first aid kits.
  • A local group of mentors working to educate and empower young women will talk with us about an event called the International Day of the Girl. There will be rallies around the world on October 11, including one in Washington, DC, to bring concerned people together to combat human trafficking around the world.


This week’s Vendors

  • Pleitez Farm
  • Legacy Manor Farm
  • Calvert Farm
  • Designed Naturall
  • Red Chimney Flower Farm
  • Tuckey’s Mountain Grown
  • Roy and RT’s Kitchen and Garden
  • Wood Doctor
  • Christiane’s Knits and Gardens
  • Phil’s Dills
  • 49th Ave, Furniture
  • Huma Henna Art
  • Great Shoals
  • Jessyka Padilla Jewelry
  • Upper Crust Bakery
  • Alcoba Coffee Beans
  • Terp Care Center
  • Morning Glory Farm

Recipe of the Week: Spinach and Beans

Serving size: 1 cupServings: 6
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of great northern beans or white beans, rinsed
6 cups of spinach, washed and dried
2 Tbs of thyme*
Salt and pepperDirections:
Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add beans and thyme*, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and immediately turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.*Other spices may be substituted for, or combined with, this ingredient.

Source: University of Maryland Center – Eat Fresh Maryland

Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the Hollywood Shopping Center (near REI) on Saturdays from 9am to 1 pm. Email: Hollywoodmarketcp@gmail.com. Phone: (301) 659 – 6295 Like us on the FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodmarket Copyright © 2014 Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved. www.Hollywoodmarket.org

C-SPAN Bus to Visit UMD During Big Ten Tour

University of Maryland College Park students will have the opportunity to learn about C-SPAN’s programs and resources on October 7th by stepping aboard the C-SPAN Bus during a stop on its fall tour of universities in the Big Ten® Conference.

University President Wallace Loh will be interviewed on C-SPAN on Tuesday October 7th at 9:15AM (EST), when he will participate in C-SPAN’s flagship morning program, Washington Journal, via the mobile studio on the Bus.

During the segment, Loh will discuss Higher Education and take calls from C-SPAN viewers.

The Bus, now in its 21st year on the road, will be at University of Maryland College Park and other locations helping to inform communities about the public affairs network. It is visiting cities, schools and universities across the country, promoting C-SPAN’s educational and political resources for students, teachers and community members along the way.

EVENTS (Press Invited):
October 7th
9:15AM -10:00AM: University President Wallace Loh- Live on Washington Journal. Bus Location: Cole Student Activities Building, Union Drive
11:00AM -1:00PM: Open Bus Tours Bus Location: Cole Student Activities Building, Union Drive

C-SPAN programming is available on the Comcast channel line-up in communities throughout the Washington, D.C. market, which includes College Park.

Aboard the C-SPAN Bus, visitors can learn about C-SPAN’s programming and resources, including coverage of the 2014 midterm election, through interactive technology:
·In-depth public affairs coverage and educational outreach
·Touch-screen quizzes on C-SPAN and the three branches of government

Mobile devices demonstrating Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Tout, XM Radio and mobile apps
· HD cameras and production equipment demonstrating C-SPAN’s capability to produce public affairs programming aboard the Bus