KabirCares.org

Coronavirus Hotline

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, do not call 9-1-1, unless it’s an emergency. Call our hotline instead: 301-883-6627.
Do not show up at the doctor’s without calling first.
For up to date information, visit: health.mypgc.us/coronavirus
#PGCCOVID19
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Si tiene preguntas o inquietudes sobre COVID-19, no llame al 9-1-1, a menos que sea una emergencia. En su lugar, llame a nuestra línea directa: 301-883-6627.
No se presente en la consulta del médico sin llamar primero.
Para información, visite: health.mypgc.us/coronavirus
#PGCCOVID19

CITY UPDATE – CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019

The City of College Park continues to prepare for and monitor the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The City is following Centers for Disease Control and state and county health departments guidance to ensure we are aware of the latest information and recommended action for our area.
As of March 12, 2020 there are 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, including four in Prince George’s County. The CDC recommends that the general public continue to practice everyday actions (like washing hands often and staying home if sick) to prevent illness. For a full list of those actions, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Many City services like ticket payments, permits, applications, scheduling of special trash collections, ordering of compost, and more can be done via our website (www.collegeparkmd.gov) or via phone (240-487-3500). We encourage our residents to utilize those resources prior to visiting any City facility.
To help reduce the risk of transmission, the CDC has recommended social distancing measures including reducing activities particularly for those with increased risk of several illness. On March 12, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order prohibiting all events of more than 250 people.  The safety of our residents and staff are our foremost concern. We regret to announce the cancellation of the following events, activities and services:
  • Census Palooza (March 21);
  • Brunch with Bunny (March 28);
  • Spring Egg Hunt (April 4);
  • Lakeland STARs tutoring program until further notice;
  • Hispanic Parent Support Group Meetings until further notice;
  • Youth & Family Services therapist-led school groups until further notice;
  • Strategic Plan Community Meetings postponed to a later date;
  • Rental of City facilities and use of City facilities for community meetings until further notice;
  • Monthly City Board and Committee Meetings for the next 30 days or until further notice;
  • Notary services until further notice;
  • Department of Youth, Family & Senior Services client meetings/sessions until further notice; and
  • Seniors Program Weekly Social Activities, Events and Trips until further notice.
As of now, the following services and activities will continue and not be disrupted:
  • Mayor and Council meetings;
  • Police patrols and emergency response;
  • Regular refuse, recycling and special trash collections;
  • Seniors Transportation Services for essential trips;
  • Code compliance and inspections;
  • Parking enforcement; and
  • Department of Public Works April Cleanup Saturdays.
As the situation continues to evolve, the City will continue to update the public as necessary. Please visit the City’s website (www.collegeparkmd.gov), sign up for the City’s emails (www.collegeparkmd.gov/cpconnect) and follow the City’s Facebook (www.fb.com/collegeparkmd) and Twitter (@collegepark_md) for the latest and most up-to-date City news and information.
The City would like to remind residents to only share accurate information from the CDC, state or county health departments to reduce misinformation. For the latest and most accurate information about this evolving situation, visit the CDC, state and county health department websites:

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Stone Industrial Development and Washington Gas Pipe Replacement

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

[UPDATE: 5:19 pm: This meeting has been canceled]

Please see below tonight’s NCPCA meeting agenda, at Davis Hall, at 7:00pm

Agenda Times & Topics are subject to change. Draft minutes of the February 9, 2020 NCPCA meetingwill be distributed at the meeting and be posted at www.myncpca.org

7:00 Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
7:05 Introduction of County Councilmember of Tom Dernoga and staff who will conduct a Community Conversation
The Stone Straw property and the proposal to build a residential complex will be discussed first. Residents are encouraged to bring up other items of concern.
8:20 Break with refreshments
8:30 Update on Income Taxes 2020 – Larry Bleau will provide his annual update on income taxes for 2020.
8:40 Jose Cadiz, Lead Coordinator of Good Neighbor Day, will discuss a possible project for Good Neighbor Day, Saturday, April 4 to be co-sponsored by NCPCA.
8:55 Washington Gas representatives will speak about a pipe replacement project on the following streets: Paducah Rd., Steward Ct., 51st Ave., 52nd Ave., Palco Place, and Odessa Rd.
9:10 Approval of Minutes & Officers Reports — Minutes of the February 9, 2020 meeting will be approved, and NCPCA Officers will provide reports.
9:15 Announcements — Members, elected officials and guests will make announcements of activities and upcoming events of interest.

[Due to Coronavirus outbreak, ‘at-risk’ residents are encouraged to take precautions in attending all public events with large gathengs]

 

Cancellations and Closures in the Area Due to COVID-19

UMD Classes Moving Online
The University will have reduced operations the week of March 23, 2020, and will be moving to an online environment starting March 30, 2020 and continuing at least to April 10, 2020. Click here for more information.

Also, UMBC, Towson, Salisbury, American extend spring breaks as area coronavirus cases are mounting. Please see here for more.

UMD Staff and Students Self-quarantining
At least a handful of University of Maryland journalism faculty members and students are self-quarantining after attending a conference last week where one attendee tested presumptively positive for the coronavirus, according to an email sent this morning by the journalism school dean.

Senior Art Show and Reception Canceled
The Sr. Art Show and Reception at the CSC this Friday, 4 -8 pm is canceled. In a statement, the organizer said: “We were so looking forward to gathering for this very special event, but the growing virus concerns have made it seem most prudent. Should we have an opportunity to reschedule in the future, you will be the first to know. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. Stay well and please share the news with any of your friends and family planning to attend.”

Also, canceled or postponed: *HAP, Pain Management Program, Sat., Mar 14, 9:30 am, Hyattsville Municipal Bldg. *Second Saturday Lecture, Sat., Julie Schejbal, Atty at Law, Mar 14, 5:00 pm, Church of the Brethren, Univ PK 5 pm.

Eleanor Roosevelt High and College Park Academy Closed
Today Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) was notified that an individual affiliated with Eleanor Roosevelt High School and College Park Academy had close contact with someone who traveled to a country under a high-risk coronavirus (COVID-19) warning. As a precaution, both schools will be closed Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 for cleaning and sanitizing. The closures affect all programming at the school, including before and after-school activities and all athletic, extracurricular and weekend events. Students and staff will return Monday, March 16.

Public Performances at Clarice Canceled
The following changes to The Clarice’s performance schedule have been announced starting today, March 11 through Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Performances and events scheduled during the above mentioned dates are canceled.
If you have a ticket to any of these performances, you will receive a separate email from The Clarice Ticket Office with information about returns and refunds. For questions or concerns, please email: tickets-theclarice@umd.edu or call 301.405.2787.
The Clarice Ticket Office will be closed for Spring Break March 14 through 22, 2020, and will reopen Monday, March 23, 2020, at noon.
As the university is not closing, staff will report to work either in person or via telework.
We also regret to share that Maryland Day 2020 is canceled.

City Employees’ Health Insurance Premiums will Go Down

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will consider awarding the contracts for health, dental, workers’ compensation, and property and liability insurances for FY2021, for a total budgeted cost of $ 1,608,415.

The health insurance plan is self-insured through a cooperative arrangement with the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) and benefits are administered through Cigna. For the first time, the insurance premiums will decrease in the upcoming year. The decrease to estimated premiums from FY2020 to FY2021 will be 4.7% ($1,298,962, from $1,363,509 in FY2020), due to a reduction in medical claims over the past two rating periods.

The City offers eligible employees the choice between two dental plans. Exact premium increases will not be available until May. Our broker advises us to increase the total budget by 6%. Based on current enrollment, the budgeted expense will be $66,775, an approximate increase of $3,780.

Workers Compensation is insured by Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company. The increased cost of coverage for FY2021 is expected to be minimal, just 1.7% more than last year’s estimate. The budgeted cost will be $343,976, which is an increase of $5,809. The small increase is due to a significant reduction in the premium for police officers and a 23% discount based on our relationship and good safety record.

The City’s various liability policies are all insured by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) or its partners and include general liability, auto, public officials’ liability, police liability, property damage, boiler and machinery, pollution legal liability, crime bond, cyber coverage, Metro underpass coverage, and flood and earth movement coverage. Next year’s expense will increase 5% over actual cost (which was less than budgeted) for an expected total cost of $158,494.

New Zone Proposed for Hollywood Commercial District

The City Council will consider approving a letter to the Clerk of the County Council with written testimony on the Countywide Map Amendment.

The Prince George’s County Council adopted a new Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision regulations in October 2018, but they will not become effective until new countywide zoning maps are approved. The process for approving these maps is known as the CMA and was initiated by the County Council in July 2019. The CMA is intended to be a technical, non-substantive exercise that replaces the current zone on each property with a similar new zone. You can see the existing and the proposed zones of each property in the county using the online swiping tool: http://zoningpgc.pgplanning.com/zoning-swipe-tool/ . There will be a Joint Public Hearing of the Prince George’s County District Council and Planning Board on the CMA on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at Prince George’s Community College.

For most property in College Park, this is a one-to-one zone replacement with minimal change. For example, the existing R-55 zone (one-family detached residential) has a maximum density of 6.7 dwelling units per acre) and is the prevalent zoning category in City neighborhoods. It will be replaced with the RSF-65 zone (residential single-family) with a maximum density of 6.7 dwelling units per acre). The only substantive regulatory change is an increase in height from 30 feet to 35 feet and the elimination of the requirement for both side yards to equal 17 feet.

For the Hollywood commercial district, two different zones are proposed for this area, CGO (Commercial, General and Office and CN (Commercial Neighborhood). Currently, the district is part of the US1 DDOZ Corridor Infill area and is zoned C-S-C. (Commercial Shopping Center). These zones are inconsistent with the direction of the Decision Matrix to rezone the entire area to NAC (Neighborhood Activity Center). No rationale was provided for this decision and staff believes the NAC zone would be more appropriate for properties north of Edgewood Road. The purpose of the NAC zone is to provide for lower-density, small-scale, mixed-use centers that serve the surrounding neighborhood and are well connected to transit. The maximum allowed height and density is less than the CGO zone and slightly more than the CN zone although the CN and NAC zones are very similar. The west side of Rhode Island Avenue is zoned CGO and the east side is zoned CN although the conditions are very similar. The property on the south side of Edgewood Road is largely comprised of the Hollywood Shopping Center and is appropriately reclassified as CGO. Staff is recommending changing that to NAC zone as well, to keep it consistent with the proposed zone in the rest of the Hollywood commercial district.

MD House Passes Bill on Kirwan Commission School Funding Plan

On March 6, 2020, the House passed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, HB 1300, by a vote of 96-41. The bill is based on the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, which worked for three years to shape the proposal.

The plan’s key policies include: expanding early childhood education for 3- and 4-year-olds, promoting college and career readiness, closing the achievement gap, expanding career opportunities for teachers, and providing accountability measures requiring improvements by individual schools.

Many of the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations have begun taking effect already including new career and technical education programs, early childhood education expansion, and establishment of community schools in high poverty areas. A funding phase-in would be over a 10-year period and will cost the state $2.9 billion and counties $1.1 billion by FY 2030. This is about establishing a world-class education system for all Maryland children including those with special needs, English language learners, and students living in poverty. The bill now goes to the Senate — let’s keep advocating for Senate support that preserves the House reforms!

The text of the final House bill is not yet available, but you can click here to see the most recent version.

UMD’s Child Development Center, Operated by Bright Horizons, is Scheduled to Open this Summer!

The Center is located on the City’s property at 4601 Calvert Road. In return for leasing the property at no cost to the University, City residents not affiliated with the University have priority for 14 slots at the Center. City residents who are affiliated with the University are also given priority.

Family Information Sessions are scheduled for March 10, 11, 31, and April 1—please go to www.brighthorizons.com/umd for the location and times for each session. Enrollment interest starts March 10.

City of College Park Statement on Coronavirus Disease 2019

STATEMENT – MARCH 6, 2020
CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and state and county health departments in Maryland and the greater Washington D.C. area are closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The City of College Park is monitoring information from local health departments to ensure we are aware of the latest information and recommended action for our area. We are developing and implementing systems that will enable certain City services to be conducted online or via the phone. To ensure the continuity of services, the City is also identifying services that staff could accomplish remotely if that becomes necessary.

As of right now, there are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, Maryland. All three individuals have been quarantined and had contracted the disease from recent travel on the same trip. “This is not a reason to panic,” stated Governor Larry Hogan at the March 5, 2020 press conference announcing the confirmed cases. “Marylanders should go to work or go to school… just as they normally would.”

The CDC considers the general public’s immediate health risk to be low at this time. While there currently is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. Take the following everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases (including the cold and flu):
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available, at Emeraldspa you will find great soap options.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face-mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please consult a medical professional. It is recommended that you call ahead.

Misinformation about COVID-19 can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. Share accurate information from the CDC, state or county health departments.

The City of College Park does not have its own health department, but will continue to keep our residents informed as needed. For the latest and most accurate information about this evolving situation, visit the CDC, state and county health department websites:

CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
Maryland Department of Health: health.maryland.gov/coronavirus
Prince George’s County Department of Health: health.mypgc.us/coronavirus
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Web Link
CONTACT:
City Communications
240.487.3508
rquinones@collegeparkmd.gov

Seniors Art Show and Reception Fri Mar 13

YOU’RE INVITED to the 5th Annual Seniors ART SHOW AND RECEPTION, Friday, March 13, 2020, 4 pm – 8 pm, UMD Catholic Student Center, 4141 Guilford Dr, College Park 20740

Featured works include paintings, photographs, pottery and sculpture, textiles, needle and fabric art.  Some art work will be available for purchase.   For more information, contact College Park Arts Exchange info@cpae.org, 301-927-3013.

This is a community-building activity open to all ages and supported by the City of College Park and the College Park Community Foundation.   Do come!

WHEN YOU ARRIVE        

Disability access and/or exhibit drop-off available in the lot behind the Catholic Student Center (CSC).   Free parking available 4pm – 12pm at the University’s MOWATT LANE PARKING GARAGE across from the CSC. Follow visitor signs to enter the garage.  PARK ONLY in “Lot U2” on LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 2.  DO NOT PARK IN LOT 19. You will be cited.  “Lot U2” signs are painted on the side walls of the designated U2 sections.

Availability of the YFS-Recreation Space for Community Use

Good news! The City has made the necessary arrangements to enable the use of the Recreation Side of the Youth and Family Services  (YFS, at 4912 Nantucket Rd) building space for meetings, on the schedule shown below.  The following information is now posted on City’s website:

Rental at YFS – Recreation Side, 4912 Nantucket Road, is arranged by the City Clerk’s office. 

This Facility is not available for private events.  The Facility will be available free of charge for meetings of College Park civic organizations, approved charitable organizations and clubs whose membership is comprised of a majority of College Park residents.  This facility is best suited for small community meetings, rather than parties.  Because this Facility is shared with M-NCPPC, there are certain rules regarding the existing equipment and supplies that must be followed.  Further details can be found on the Rules and Regulations/Rental Usage Permit Application.
Available days/hours for this Facility:
·        Weekday mornings from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
·        Mondays 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
·        Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
·        Sundays 12 noon – 9:30 p.m.
Please call 240-487-3501 for additional information or to make a reservation.

This space differs from other City spaces in several ways.  Please note –

  • This space is for community-based events rather than for private events; i.e., it is not a rental space, per se.
  • This space is not for regular meetings of Boards or Committees, however, it could be used for an occasional workshop or special meeting that a committee needs to hold.
  • Application is made through the Clerk’s office, not through YFS
  • Access will be made through the use of an electronic lock, whose code will be provided upon completion of paperwork.  There will be no caretaker involved.
  • Availability is limited to the hours/times shown above.

If you have further questions, please contact City’s Clerk office at Janeen S. Miller, email: jsmiller@collegeparkmd.gov

Coronavirus: The Facts

[The following information came from the office of County Councilmember Tom Dernoga (District 1)]

The recent update on the coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is causing concern throughout the Country, and those concerns are valid. The CDC and Prince George’s County Health Department are closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in other international locations, including the United States.

The County Council sitting as the Board of Health has planned a briefing on the coronavirus for March 24th, 2020 at 1:30 PM, watch here.

The Health Department is working to ensure Prince George’s County residents are informed about coronavirus and any important updates. Please continue to monitor the department’s dedicated coronavirus website as well as CDC’s coronavirus website, and the Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus website.

New Location and Date of the Monthly Community-Police Meetings

Over a year ago, we started the monthly community police meeting at the MoM’s Café, with a goal to bring our hard-working police officers closer to the community members. Over the past months, more and more residents started to take part in these meetings. Unfortunately, the small space at the MoM’s Café proved to be insufficient to hold these meetings anymore. This led us to look for an alternate place. From this month, the monthly Community – Police meetings will take place at the Youth and Family Services (YFS) building, at 4912 Nantucket Road, in north College Park, at 7:30 PM, on the second Monday of every month. These meetings provide helpful tips about protecting you and your family from crimes in the future. You can bring your questions to the police officers who work hard to protect us every day in the neighborhood. Please join them and meet other neighbors at YFS on next Monday, March 9, 2020, at 7:30 PM.