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City to Ask Congressman Hoyer to Investigate College Park Post Office Irregularities

cp-post-office

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider approving a letter to Congressman Hoyer asking him to look into the irregularities at the College Park Post Office. Many residents continue to express concerns about the service at this post office. Please see a draft copy of the letter below. Residents will have an opportunity to speak about the post office service before the meeting.

 

November 15, 2016

Honorable Steny Hoyer U.S. Representative,

5th Congressional District

1705 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Hoyer:

I am writing to bring to your attention certain ongoing problems at the College Park Post Office located at 9591 Baltimore Avenue.

Residents have informed the City Council about poor customer service and related problems with mail delivery. In 2011 and 2014, the

Mayor and Councilmembers sent correspondence to U.S Post Office staff regarding similar issues. Although no replies were received, some customer service improvements were noted. However, residents are again experiencing discourteous customer service and problems with mail delivery. Some residents have stopped using that location even though it is more convenient for them. The City of College Park recognizes the hard work of certain staff members at this location and throughout the Postal Service, and therefore is puzzled and disappointed by this continued sub-par service.

The City would greatly appreciate your staff looking into this situation and letting us know what actions have been or are being taken to ensure a satisfactory level of customer service.

Thank you for your service to our residents, and thank you for helping the City of College Park resolve the issues noted above.

 

Sincerely, Patrick L. Wojahn Mayor

 

cc: The Hon. Dannielle M. Glaros, Vice-Chair, Prince George’s County Council

The Hon. Mary Lehman, Prince George’s County Council The Maryland 21st District Delegation

Megan J. Brennan, U.S. Postmaster General

Ms. Tanya White, Postmaster, 9591 Baltimore Avenue

 

Council to Revisit Cruz Fence Request

cruz-bvfdAt tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the City Council will consider revisiting a request by the Cruz development in Branchville to erect a fence around their property with the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department.

The Council denied the request based on the community’s feedback about a year ago.

Here is a bit of history.

Back in August 13, 2015, Cruz Development Corporation submitted an appeal from City Code, §87-23, which prohibits construction of fences in the front yard. The specific request was for a variance to erect a 6-foot high, welded wire fence in the front yard.

On October 1, 2015, the APC conducted a hearing on the merits of the variance, at which the APC heard testimony and accepted evidence including the staff report, staff presentation and exhibits with respect to whether the subject application meets the standards for granting variances set forth in the Fence Ordinance. The APC voted 3-1-0 to recommend that the variance be granted. Exceptions were filed by the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department. The Mayor and Council held a public hearing on December 1,

The Mayor and Council held a public hearing on December 1, 2015 to consider the APC recommendation and heard oral argument from parties of record, including the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department and the Berwyn District Civic Association, who opposed the variance requests. The Mayor and Council determined in Resolution 15-R-29 to deny the requested fence variance.

The Cruz then filed an appeal to the Council’s decision to the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. On October 17, 2016, an Order was issued by the Circuit Court reversing the denial of the variance and requiring the Mayor and Council to enter a final decision granting the fence variance.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will consider a resolution to vacate the Resolution 15-R-29 in its entirety and that the application for the requested fence variance be granted for a period of three and one-half years from construction, or upon redevelopment of the Property, whichever is earlier, under the following conditions: (1) Correct the fence location plan to accurately record the height of the existing fences on the western property line. They are 4-feet tall not 8-feet tall. (2) Reduce the fence height to 4-feet to lessen the impact on the neighborhood. (3) Upgrade the material of the fence from welded wire to vertical, aluminum or metal posts or something similar that would be more compatible with the neighborhood, subject to the approval of the City staff.

Don’t Become Victim to Warm up Thefts

The term “Warm-Up Theft” is a widely used term among car thieves to describe the stealing of a car that has been left running and unattended to “warm-up.” During the winter months, many motorists leave their vehicle running in an attempt to warm up the interior of the vehicle prior to getting behind the wheel.

However, this practice is one that causes two problems. First, leaving a car unattended and running is a violation of the State of Maryland Vehicle Law, Article 21 Section 1101 (a) Fine $70.00 (1pt)/Cont. to accident $110.00 (3pts) and second, the practice of leaving your vehicle running and unattended provides for a quick and easy target for car thieves.

Following these simple tips will help keep you from being left out in the cold:

  • Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you are away from it, even for “just a minute.”
  • Keep valuables out of sight or in the trunk. Purses, credit cards, and cell phones in plain view only help attract thieves.
  • Always roll up the windows and lock your car, even if it is in your driveway, garage, or in front of your home.
  • Never leave the vehicle title in your car. If stolen, it makes it easier for the thief to dispose of your vehicle. It can also make you a target for identity theft.
  • Be alert when approaching your car, have a plan of action, and have your keys in your hand. Check around, under, and in your vehicle for suspicious individuals. Immediately leave the scene to get help if you have any concerns for your safety.
  • Only park your car in busy, well-lit areas.
  • Install a mechanical locking device – commonly called a club, collar, or j-bar – that locks to the steering wheel, column, or brake.
  • If your vehicle has an alarm or other anti-theft device, USE IT.

City to Add New recycling Decals on All City Eecycling Bins

Keep an eye out for the new recycling decals that will be placed on all City recycling bins! Department of Public Works crews are currently distributing the decals throughout the City – first on replacement bins and then onto new lids that will be retrofitted onto the remaining recycling bins. This process should be completed by the end of the year.

decal

 

College Park to Observe Veteran’s Day Today

vetThe College Park Veterans Committee invites you and your family to share in the College Park Veterans Day Observance today, November 11, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the College Park Veterans Memorial at U.S. Route 1 (Baltimore Ave.) and Greenbelt Rd.

The program will include keynote speaker Monsignor Karl Chimiak (retired Chaplain Colonel, United States Air Force), pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Beltsville and chaplain of local and state police and firefighters. There will also be music and wreath laying in fitting tribute to the men and women who have served our country.

Remarks will be made by Mayor Patrick Wojahn and B.W. Tom Davis.

Parking is being made available by the AMF Bowling Alley at 9021 Baltimore Ave.

For more information, contact the City Clerk’s office via email or 240-487-3501.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: WSSC, Duvall Field, Mundo Market and Bulletin Boards

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and hence the day when we have our monthly NCPA meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation by a representative from the WSSC. There have been a number of complaints and questions about their current improvement work that is taking place in Daniels Park.

We’ll also discuss the proposed Community Bulletin Boards in our district. We will review options for the two community bulletin boards that will be installed in our neighborhood.

The Duvall Field Committee will then present a report on potential improvements for Duvall Field will be reviewed.

Members will also discuss the Mundo Market located at 5000 Edgewood Road, College Park, Maryland 20740. The Mundo Market has recently applied for a Class B liquor license through the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners. This hearing is currently scheduled for November 22, 2016. Mundo Market will also be on the City Council’s agenda for the November 15, 2016.

The meeting will take place at Phillips-Kleiner VFW Post at 5051 Branchville Road, starting at 7:30. Hope to see you all there. Thanks.

Lunch and Learn – Neighbors Helping Neighbors

nhn-nov2016

Vote, College Park

The voting day has finally arrived. Today, we all have the important duty to select someone who will lead us and our country for the next four years.

If you haven’t voted in the early voting period last week, please vote.

It’s important that we all become civically engaged and become active in our communities. We encourage everyone to exercise their right to participate in the election of our future president and elected officials.

If you need to find more information about your polling place and time of operation, please check here: https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/PollingPlaceSearch

In north College Park, you can vote at the Methodist Church and Hollywood Elementary school, depending on where you live.

According to City’s website, all City offices will be closed today, Tuesday, November 8 for Election Day and Friday, November 11, 2016 in observance of the Veterans Day Holiday.

Refuse and recycling schedule will be as follows for this holiday week:

•Tuesday collections will occur: Wednesday, November 9
•Wednesday collections will occur: Thursday, November 10.

There is no Mayor and Council Meeting  today.  The next Mayor and Council Regular Meeting is Tuesday, November 15.

Winter Coat Drive, November 15 – December 15, 2016

Once again, the City will launch the Winter Coat Drive. Collection boxes will be located at the City facilities, including the Youth and Family Services building and Public Works building in north College Park. Please see below for details and spread the word. Thank you!

The dates for collection are November 15 – December 15. Hours will vary by location; please see below. We have four collection locations:

1. Public Services
4601A Calvert Road
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday

2. Youth & Family Services
4912 Nantucket Road
9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

3. City Hall
4500 Knox Road
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday

4. Public Works
9217 51st Avenue
7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Collection boxes will be dropped off at each location prior to November 15. Collected coats will be returned to YFS for cleaning prior to distribution.

City Dismisses Speed Camera Citations – Issues Press Release

Recently, the City invalidated a number of speed camera citations and sent out a press release explaining the situation. Please see that below. The news has received some press coverage here. Unfortunately, the coverage got quite a few facts wrong.
———————
The City of College Park has dismissed specific speed camera citations that may have been caused by confusion from the placement of a new speed camera in the designated pedestrian safety speed enforcement zone on Baltimore Avenue near Guilford Road. The designated pedestrian safety zone is part of an initiative between the City of College Park, University of Maryland, State Highway Administration and local police agencies to reduce injuries and fatalities within the Baltimore Avenue corridor.
A new pole-mounted automated speed enforcement camera began operating on September 7, 2016 in the 7100 block of Baltimore Avenue (north bound), replacing an older ground-mounted camera. The new camera was placed slightly south of the 25 MPH speed limit sign. The speed camera system was determined to be functioning and calibrated properly in accordance with the law. Vehicles photographed exceeding the posted 25 MPH speed limit by 12 MPH between September 7 and October 7, 2016 received citations, but because it has been determined that the focus of the camera was just before the posted speed limit sign, those 685 citations have been dismissed. Motorists will be notified by mail of any dismissed citations, which have either been cleared or will be fully refunded if already paid. The City of College Park regrets any inconvenience this may have caused. On October 7, 2016 the 25 MPH speed limit sign was relocated closer to Guilford Road and south of the speed enforcement camera to provide greater visibility and awareness of the designated pedestrian safety zone and its reduced speed. The City then began reviewing and dismissing citations in October.
After three pedestrian fatalities on Baltimore Avenue in 2014, the City of College Park, State Highway Administration, Prince George’s County Police, and the University of Maryland and its police department initiated programs to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the Baltimore Avenue Corridor. These measures included public outreach and the creation of a designated pedestrian safety zone with upgraded crosswalk signals, improved lighting, crosswalk enforcement, and a reduced speed limit. Speed cameras were installed to enforce the new measure to further help improve pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety are important goals for the City of College Park. The City and the community’s efforts in pedestrian awareness and safe driving have prevented pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The City thanks all who have and continue to make College Park a safer and more walkable
community.

Curbside leaf collection has begun

Curbside leaf collection is finishing up its first week and is on schedule. Updates to the collection calendar are posted on the City’s website every Friday evening. Please check here for the calendar.

Look for signs posted in your neighborhood with collection dates; signs will be posted the week prior to collection.

Residents are asked to consider the following information and adhere to the rules of leaf collection season:

  • Rake leaves to the curb. Pile leaves away from cars and storm drains. The leaf vacuum cannot reach around cars. DO NOT pile leaves in the street.
  • Remove tree limbs, rocks, trash, and other debris from leaves to be collected. They can damage the equipment and cause delays.
  • Noise and dust may be noticeable. Dry conditions generate more dust. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • If you bag leaves or yard trimmings, please put them out when the leaf vacuum is scheduled. Yard waste trucks will not be collecting bagged yard trim during your regular trash and recycling day during this time.
    • Use paper yard waste bags or approved reusable containers.
    • Do not put them out with regular trash.
    • No bagging is necessary in the fall. Soft vegetative yard trim can be included in your leaf piles (e.g. grass, flowers, weeds – no vines or woody trimmings).
  • The leaf vacuum makes collections only in the fall.

Community Cleanup November 19, 2016

nov-19-2016-cleanup

Irregularities t the Hollywood Post Office – How to Respond

Many residents recently have complained again about the irregularities at the College Park / Hollywood Post Office. I brought the issue at last week’s Council worksession. The Council agreed to send a letter to our Congressman about the issues at the post office. We’ll hopefully approve the letter at the next meeting (on Nov 15, 2016) when you’ll have an opportunity to speak publicly at the meeting. I’ll let you know more once the meeting is scheduled.

In the meantime, please follow these steps to report your concerns:

a. Contact the postmaster at the North College Park Post Office Ms. White directly. Her email address is tanya.a.white@usps.gov . Ms. White previously requested that problems be reported to her within 24 hours so she could identify the responsible person sooner.

b. If the issue needs to be escalated beyond Ms. White, the path for escalation is to file a complaint with the Post Office at this link:https://emailus.usps.com/emailUs/iq/usps… .

That link provides an opportunity to comment in several categories, including “personnel” and “postal facility”, and complaints are routed through a regional manager above Ms. White.

c. Finally, matters not satisfied at the regional level can be escalated to our federal representatives. Please note that the Post Offices report to Congress and the City of College Park has very little oversight over them.

Congressman Steny Hoyer: Greenbelt Constituent Services Office: 301-474-0119

Senator Benjamin Cardin: 202-224-4524 or www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/

Senator Barbara Mikulski: 202-224-4654 or www.mikulski.senate.gov/contact/

I also encourage you to use this very easy-to-use site to submit your concerns. Once you submit, your emails will go directly to Congressman Hoyer and Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski: https://democracy.io/

City to Award $35K to Local Neighborhood Schools

At last night’s Council meeting, the City Council discussed awarding $35,000 to local schools, where many College Park residents attend.

Since 2008, the Mayor and Council have provided grant monies to City neighborhood schools that serve their respective College Park neighborhoods. The purpose of the grants is to support these local neighborhood schools in enriching students’ educational experience. Grant amounts are available in two tiers – Tier 1 maximum $7,500 and Tier 2 maximum $2,500.

The tier a school is in and thus the amount that the school is eligible for is determined by the number of College Park students in their school. The four schools with the largest number of College Park students, Hollywood Elementary, Paint Branch Elementary, Greenbelt Middle and Parkdale High, are eligible for a $7,500 grant.

The other City neighborhood boundary schools that have at least 14 College Park students and thus are eligible to apply for the $2,500 grant award are Berwyn Heights Elementary, Cherokee Lane, University Park Elementary, Buck Lodge Middle, Hyattsville Middle and High Point High School. On October 17, 2016, the City’s Education Advisory Committee (EAC) reviewed and approved the submitted applications from 8 of the eligible 10 schools.

 

 

North College Park Crime Map, October 23 – 30, 2016

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

DateTimeAddressType
10/27/20167:09 PM9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740BREAKING & ENTERING
10/24/20163:25 PM9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740BREAKING & ENTERING
10/25/20161:42 PM10100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740THEFT FROM AUTO
10/24/20169:37 AM9400 Blk BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740THEFT FROM AUTO
10/24/20166:51 AM9300 Blk BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740THEFT FROM AUTO