College Park Mini-Town Hall, March 23, 6:30 PM

County Councilwoman Mary Lehman will be hosting a “min-town hall meeting” at the Hollywood Elementary school next, Wednesday, March 23, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Please see below for details. Thank you!

Metrorail to Be Shut Down All Day Tomorrow for Emergency Inspections

According to NBC Washington “The entire D.C. Metrorail system will be shut down Wednesday for emergency equipment inspections after an investigation revealed similarities between smoke that filled a tunnel near L’Enfant Plaza in January 2015, killing a Virginia woman, and a cable fire Monday,” Buses will run on regular schedule. More here.

Council Mulls Spending More in Local Schools

In the past, the Council used to pay a grant fund of $80,000 to College Park Academy (CPA). Because of organizational change, the CPA told us they did not need this grant money and thus, the Council put this $80,000 in a general fund called educational improvement fund in our FY16 budget.

At April 28, 2015 meeting, the Council asked the EAC to make recommendations for the use of the funds. At the October 25, 2015, Council meeting, the Council reviewed the EAC’s three recommendations for use of the funds and asked the EAC to revisit their recommendations and in addition to providing resources to the neighborhood schools, consider including College Park Academy in their recommendations.

There are 10 neighborhood schools in College Park who have at least 14 College Park children enrolled.

In response, the EAC reduced by $1,250 each the technology monies previously allocated to the four schools with the largest College Park student population and added College Park Academy as an additional school to receive $5,000 for each school’s literacy improvement initiative.

Education Advisory Committee is recommending the use of City’s budgeted $80,000 in the following manner: 1) That each of the ten neighborhood schools and College Park Academy be eligible for up to $5,000 for implementation of each school’s student literacy improvement plan. These monies may be used for professional development opportunities including substitutes and/or the purchase of relevant books or instructional materials ($55,000). 2) That each of the 10 neighborhood schools be eligible for up to a $1,000 based on the submission of an identified staff person within the school to communicate the good news of the school on a regular basis ($10,000). 3) That each of the four schools with the highest percentage of College Park students (Hollywood Elementary, Paint Branch Elementary, Greenbelt Middle, and Parkdale High School) be eligible for up to $3,750 each to address technology needs ($15,000).

The Council will discuss whether to spend $80,000 to our local schools as recommended by the EAC. If granted, the grant payment will be in addition to $60,000 that we‘ve been paying yearly to local schools.

North College Park crime Map: March 5 – 11, 2016

Please see last week’s crime map below. As the weather is warming up, we see an uptick in crime activities. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.

How the Purple Line will Change, and Improve, Trails in Suburban Maryland

In addition to the Purple Line, this project will transform and extend several trails, and create new ones. The unpaved, at-grade trail from Bethesda to Lyttonsville will be reconstructed as a paved trail with grade-separated crossings of major streets, extended to Silver Spring and rebranded as the Capital Crescent Trail.

Read more..

Registration is Now Open for Good Neighbor Day 2016


Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Rain Check Program, Storm Water and Community Garden

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and hence the ay when the NCPCA has its monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation about “Rain Check Rebate Program”. Debra Weller from the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment will talk about ways homeowners can up to $4,000 in rebates for installing ‘Rain Check’ approved stormwater management practices.

Steve Beavers from the City’s Planning Department will then talk about the Storm Water Management Projects in North College Park will discuss some upcoming projects in our community.

Mr. Beavers will also talk about potential Community Garden Project in North College Park. Is a community garden something our community wants? We’ll talk about what’s been done in other parts of the city and options for similar projects in North College Park.

As always meeting will start at 7:30pm at Davis Hall. see you all there.

College Park Passed Resolution Welcoming Refugees to the City


Refugee Abu Khalil and his family with college Park city council members and supporters (courtesy of Hena Zuberi)

At last night’s Council meeting, the City Council passed a resolution welcoming refugees from Syria and around then world to College Park.

The resolution passed unanimously. College Park resident Jackie Pierce Garrett started a petition a few weeks ago asking College Park City Council to welcome refugees to College Park.

Here is the full text of the resolution that the Council adopted.

WHEREAS, the City College Park has a long history of welcoming immigrants and building an open, caring, and inclusive community that celebrates its diversity, welcomes the vulnerable and disadvantaged, and embraces humanitarian efforts; and

WHEREAS, the City of College Park is comprised of residents, and the descendants of families, from all parts of the world who speak many languages and represent various cultures; and

WHEREAS, the conflict in Syria has presented one of the worst refugee crises since World War II, with more than seven million Syrians displaced by war; and

WHEREAS, many of the refugees referred to the United States for resettlement are the most vulnerable, including survivors of torture, women heads of household, children, and people with special medical needs; and

WHEREAS, President Barack Obama has committed to accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year; and

WHEREAS, those wishing to come to the United States apply through the United Nations and are subject to an extremely rigorous and multi-layered security screening program by a number of U.S. law enforcement and security agencies; and

WHEREAS, the intensive background checks required of refugees to the United States can take as long as 24 months to complete; and

WHEREAS, since 9/11, more than 750,000 refugees have been resettled in the United States and not one has been convicted of plotting a terrorist attack in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, we share the view of many national security experts that failing to help refugees resettle quickly is a factor that can increase risks for Americans around the world; and

WHEREAS, opening our doors to those who are fleeing violence does not endanger our safety; but rather shows our hope and compassion; and

WHEREAS, Syrian refugees should to be treated with the dignity, care, respect, and compassion that every person deserves; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of College Park, Maryland hereby affirms its duty and willingness to serve as a place of sanctuary and refuge for refugees from around the world and to welcome Syrians who are approved as refugees, as respected and valued members of our community.

AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of College Park will work with city departments, other levels of government, local businesses, non-governmental organizations, and residents to identify ways in which the community can provide support for refugees relocating to the College Park area.

Opportunity to Donate Water for Flint

You can donate water to Flint by bringing it to the Branchville VFD at 4905 Branchville Road in College Park.
According to volunteers, they want the packaged sets of bottled water rather than individual bottles. They are packing all this into a truck, so it needs to be packable.

Detectives to Canvass College Park Neighborhood in Sexual Assault Investigation

According to Prince George’s County Police Department, yesterday afternoon, Police detectives will canvass a College Park neighborhood to gather information in a sexual assault that occurred this morning.

The preliminary investigation reveals that at about 5:30 am, a man broke into an apartment in the 4500 block of Fordham Lane. He then sexually assaulted a woman sleeping in a bedroom. He then fled the apartment.

The suspect wore a dark hoodie and khaki pants.

The canvass was scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm in the 4500 block of Fordham Lane.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CID Sexual Assault Unit at (301) 772-4908. Callers can remain anonymous by calling CRIME SOLVERS at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). You may also text “PGPD plus your tips” to CRIMES (274537) on your cell phone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com and submit a tip online.

Also, the University of Maryland Police has sent the following alert:
The following is a synopsis of an incident reported to the Prince George’s County Police Department.

INCIDENT: Off-Campus Rape/Burglary
OCCURRED: March 5, 2016/ Approximately 5:30 a.m.
LOCATION: 4500 block of Fordham Lane, College Park, MD
PGPD CASE #: PP16030500000394

On March 5, 2016, at approximately 5:54 a.m., UMPD was notified by the Prince George’s County Police Department of an off-campus rape/burglary. A female reported to police that at approximately 5:30 a.m., she was sleeping in her bed when she realized that she was being sexually penetrated. Thinking it was her boyfriend, she said his name, but got no answer. She then reached for his hair and noticed it was not her boyfriend in the bed. The female made a noise and the male suspect got out of bed and left the apartment.

The door to the apartment building and apartment were unlocked. The suspect is described as a male, who was wearing a dark hoodie with dark pants.

The Prince George’s County Police Department is conducting an investigation. Individuals with any information regarding this incident or the possible identity of suspects are encouraged to contact police (911 or 301-352-1200).

Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411 TIPS (8477) or text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgpolice.org and submit a tip online. Email address is: pgcrimesolvers@co.pg.md.us.

Additional information, when made available by the Prince George’s County Police, may be found on our website at http://universityofmarylandpolice.com/stats/safety_notices.cfm

When available for release, additional information, including updated descriptions of suspect, may be obtained by accessing the “UMD Safety Notice” portion of our web site: http://universityofmarylandpolice.com/stats/safety_notices.cfm and http://umpdnews.umd.edu/

Davis Hall to Be Closed for Four Months

Davis Hall is going to be closed for all rentals/meetings/events from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, July 31.

At long last, the old trailer at Public Works is being replaced, and as a temporary measure Davis Hall is going to be used as the employee offices while the old trailer is removed and the new modular building is installed. Therefore, it will be unavailable 24/7 for this four month period.

City staff are in the process of relocating the Boards and Committees (Animal Welfare Committee, Recreation Board, Veterans Memorial Committee) and have cancelled all private rentals. Staff is also working now to see if we can find a new meeting space for the North College Park Civic Association.

Community Garden Plots for Rent


Md Governor Approves Purple Line

Purple Line is now expected to be open for service in spring of 2022. It’s expected some 69,000 daily riders will use the Purple Line by 2040. Construction is expected to begin as early as end of this year.

North College Park Crime Map: February 21-27, 2016

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

City Looks to Support UMD’s BitCamp Hackathon

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will discuss whether or how to support the annual BitCamp “Hackathon” event (https://bitca.mp/).

The BitCamp is an annual app development competition, at University of Maryland. The teams at Bitcamp develop apps and submit them for prizes.

If the Council decides to participate, it will discuss the following: 1) decide what the prize would be for the best app developed to serve College Park residents; 2) decide what the criteria would be in judging the apps submitted; and 3) decide who will be on the team to judge the apps submitted.

The event is scheduled for April 8-10, and the organizers will submit the proposals from participants who say that they are entering “our” contest.