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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVNG TO ALL

November 26, 2008

Today, many of us will gathered together to give thanks to God for all of HIS goodness.

As we give thanks for all that we have been, let us be mindful of those that have little or nothing this holiday season.

As we thank God for our children let, us be mindful of those who do not have children or have loss children.

As we give thanks for our food, let us remember that there are those who will have nothing to eat during this season.

As we thank God for our clothes, let us remember that there are people out in the cold with no clothes and no heat.

As we give thanks to God for giving us eyes to see, ears to hear, mouths to talk, legs to walk, let us remember those who do not have these physical attributes or have lost them in battle for our Country.

Although, we may not have a Mercede in the garage, we may not have the biggest house in the community or the most improved, we may not even have a job come Monday morning, we many not have money in the bank, but we DO have our lives, we DO have our souls, and we DO have you, God, and for that we are THANKFUL.

So during this holiday season, we just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you Lord, for being our God and giving US SO MUCH.

Amen, Amen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 12, 2008

Attached to this email and pasted below is my report on issues and items I believe to be important to Mount Rainier and Mount Rainier’s residents. This Report is also on my blog: http://themayorsspot.blogspot.com. (You may need to copy the link and paste it in the URL Address line.)

Summer is almost over, and we are about to enter into the fall of the year. For many of us it is time to start thinking about getting our children back in school, and losing a few extra pounds gained over the summer. I am sure that the coming of fall is a time to do many different things. Below are a few other things that might be appropriate for this time of year.

Appealing your tax assessment

Every property owner has the right to appeal the notice of assessment of his or her property tax assessment within 45 days of the date of the notice. Regular reassessment notices are issued once every three years and usually mailed in late December. In addition to the regular reassessment notice, the law requires a notice be issued when the assessment on a property changes for the following reasons: a change in use or character of the property; substantial improvement to the property; or rezoning of the property.

If you believe your tax assessment is too high, call and set up an appointment to appeal before the deadline (December 31 this year). If not, you will be stuck with paying your property taxes with no recourse. You may also write a letter to your local tax assessment office.

When exercising this right, if feel that you are mistreated or treated unprofessionally, you can the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation at (410) 767-4881 and ask to speak to the Director, C. John Sullivan, Jr. The toll free number is (888) 246-5941.

In addition, the Department of Assessments and Taxation administers a number of property tax relief programs that are specifically designed to provide needed relief to certain groups of property owners. Obtain additional information about these programs by calling the Department's Taxpayer Services Office at (410) 767-4433 (Baltimore area) or 1-800-944-7403 (toll free).

Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program

The Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program (Circuit Breaker) is the largest and most important program in that it provides annual property tax credits to one out of every 17 homeowners who qualify because of income. This State funded program provides over $49 million in needed relief to homeowners who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of age. These tax credits are not given automatically. The homeowner must reapply each year and provide information regarding the total gross household income (under $60,000) for the previous calendar year. The filing deadline is normally September 1, but has been extended to October 1, 2008. If your household income is less than $60,000, and you have a net worth less than #200,000, you may be eligible for this tax relief. For more information or to get an application visit the Department of Assessments and Taxation’s website at www.dat.state.md.us. The application is also available at Mount Rainier’s City Hall.

The tax credit is determined according to the relationship between the homeowner's income and actual property tax that is levied against the property owner's principal residence. The tax credit does not cover the full amount of the property tax. Rather, credits are computed according to a sliding scale, with the result that the tax credit diminishes as the gross household income increases.

Homestead Tax Credit Program

Another tax relief program is the Homestead Tax Credit. First enacted in 1977, the program has been amended so that homeowners may be eligible for a State tax credit if the assessment of their owner-occupied principal residence increased more than 10% over the prior year. State law requires that county and municipal governments set a Homestead Credit Percentage between 0% and 10% for purposes of local property taxation. Beginning in 2008, homeowners are required to submit a one-time tax credit application that is included in that year’s Assessment Notice sent to one-third of the property owners.

Property Tax Deferral

This program allows property owners, age 65 or older, to elect to defer the increase in their property tax bill. Each local government must first adopt the program. The local government then has the authority under State law to impose income restrictions and interest rate amounts. The deferred taxes become a lien on the property and must be repaid when the property is transferred. Montgomery County makes this deferral program available to homeowners of all ages who meet certain residency and income requirements.

Senior MUST file to get the stimulus package


Senior even if you do not normally file an income tax form, this year you must file in order to receive the economic stimulus packet. To qualify for the stimulus payment, you must file by Oct. 15 of this year.

Not everyone is eligible for the stimulus package. If you do not file your income taxes, you will certainly not receive the stimulus packet even if you are eligible.
Normally certain Social Security payments are not subject to income tax. However, the economic stimulus law passed in February contains a special provision allowing Social Security recipients to count those benefits toward the qualifying income requirement of $3,000 and thereby qualify for the stimulus payment.

For eligible Social Security recipients who do not normally file a tax return, the IRS has prepared an 8-page informational package that provides instructions, a sample Form 1040A and a blank Form 1040A — everything needed to file the tax form. Order or download Package 1040A-3, 8-page informational package

Do you need help with filing for the economic stimulus package? Call 1-800-829-1040. You might have to wait for Assistance, but do not give up. You may just walk-in to the following offices:

Walk-In Site Landover
Address 8401 Corporate Dr.

City Landover, MD 20785
Phone (202) 927-9361
Hours of Operation Landover hours

Walk-In Site Washington DC
Address 500 N. Capitol St. NW

City Washington, DC 20221
Phone (202) 874-6748
Hours of Operation Washington hours

This is a one-time offer and it ends on October 15!
NOTE: If you have already filed to get your payment, but have a question or issue, try this link (or go to one of the walk-in offices):
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=177937,00.html

Getting help with HIGH-energy bills

The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) helps low-income Maryland citizens pay their heating bills, minimize heating crises, and make energy costs more affordable. A comprehensive energy package, which includes the Maryland Energy Assistance Program and the Electric Universal Service Program, has links to the community and the customer. These programs promote energy conservation, customer financial responsibility and energy independence.

The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) provides assistance with home heating bills. Limited assistance is available to replace broken or inefficient furnaces.

The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) is a state program that is administered by the Department of Human Resources to assist eligible low-income electric customers with their electric bills. Assistance is available whether you are an active customer or you are currently without service. Eligible electric customers may receive help in three ways:
Help to pay current electric bills;
Help to pay past due electric bills; and,
Help with energy efficiency measures to reduce future electric bills.

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has moved to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). OHEP will continue to refer eligible customers to WAP. WAP may provide home weatherization services to eligible individuals such as weather stripping, caulking, plastic window covering, etc. to help make your home or apartment more fuel efficient and comfortable at no cost. For additional information, please call 1800-638-7781 or log on to www.dhcd.state.md.us

The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) protects low-income families from utility cut-offs and allows MEAP eligible households to enter into a year-round even monthly payment program with their utility company. An equal monthly payment plan based on the estimated cost of the customer's average annual utility usage minus the MEAP benefit will be used to determine the even monthly payments for participation in the USPP.

You may apply for all of these energy assistance programs with a single application. Eligible customers may receive help from both programs. For information contact the Local Home Energy Programs Office in your area, or call 1-800-352-1446. (For the hearing impaired-1-800-925-4434).

Immunization requirement for Maryland Children

PLEASE note that there is one revision to the 2008 – 2009 immunization requirements include:

Varicella (chickenpox) and Hepatitis B vaccine requirements will be required for children entering preschool programs through eleventh grades.

If you have school age children, please make sure that you check their immunization before returning them to school. Your child may be eligible for health insurance, contact the local health department at 301-333-4822 or 301-324-2933. If you have questions about immunization requirements or enforcement of immunization regulations, please contact your local health department or the Center for Immunization at (410) 767-6679.

Need an immediate preventive health screen?

Well, we just may have an answer. Partnering in our very own City is Joe’s Movement Emporium and Ivan L. Robinson and Associates to bring preventive health care to every Mount Rainier resident. The free preventive program will include numerous heart-healthy activities such as health screens, exercise therapy, aerobic strength building, Yoga, belly dancing, Tai Chi, meal planning and relaxation and massage therapy. In addition, the program will include immunization for children and seniors. For more information about this program, contact Ivan L. Robinson 202-652-0536 or Joe’s Movement Emporium 301-699-1819.

Drop-IN Basketball

June 6, 2008 Drop-in Basketball took off with “one” Mount Rainier youth showing up. He came the first day, probably only once after that, but he was the beginning of something wonderful. On that Saturday night, almost fifty (50) youths from Mount Rainier and Brentwood came out to play and to see what it was going on. Most of those young people came back each weekend and brought their friends, cousins, and some even brought their parents. At the end, the numbers dropped and gave way to football practice, but not before the youth made it known that it was something that should be continued.

A play off between the youth and our police officers was scheduled, but cancelled at the last minute because of logistics. It is rescheduled for Saturday, August 23, 208 at 6:00pm. All are invited to come out and see our young people and our police officers interact in a positive manner.

Speaking of basketball, have you noticed how many young people are using the basketball court at Arundel and 30th Streets? It is an activity whose time has come, and the young people are thrilled to have a place to gather, chat, shoot hoops, play a game or even entertain their younger siblings. There have been some issues with noise, getting them to leave the park at dark, cleaning up behind themselves, and now and then some foul language. However, for the most part, the basketball court has been a success. It is always in use, and attracts old and young to its nets.

As responsible adults, let us not rush to judgment to take down the hoops. I have had at least one call complaining that the park has become infested with drugs. I truly believe that this is an unwarranted complaint. Our police officers have been asked to check the park regularly, and on at least two occasions they have actually been called and gone to the park to check, but nothing has been found.

Keep in mind as you look at the basketball court as a nuisance, that it is the only recreational park available for our teens. There is no recreation center with ongoing activities. Only in May did we get a soccer goal for the children to play soccer on the fields of Thomas Stone Elementary School. This has been the state of affairs for our older teens for years. So, let us give them a chance and work with them to make it work.

The noise level is down, the hanging out on apartment steps is down, and our children are getting in some real physical exercise – good for the body, mind and soul. As with anything, we still need to monitor the park and ensure the safety of our children as they continue to use the park and the basketball courts. Please report any negative behavior or activities. Here are some of the standing rules that should be enforced:
1) The basketball court is a shared space for the community.
2) The court is a part of the park and closes at dusk, no exceptions.
3) Consumption of alcoholic beverages or any kind is illegal and will be punished.
4) Everyone is expected to pitch in with keeping the park clean and available to others.
5) Profanity, fighting, and just plain bad behavior will not be tolerated and will be cause for the basketball hoops to once again be permanently remove.

A Community Activist Says Her Final Goodbye

On August 7, 2008, the City of Mount Rainier lost to cancer one of its most active citizens, Gloria Elizabeth Guess. Gloria came to Mount Rainier from Washington DC where she taught elementary students music for more than 35 years. She believed that music was the key to children learning history, math, reading, and civics. She also believed that as a teacher, she had to practice what she taught and so she rolled up her sleeves and became active in her beloved Mount Rainier. Gloria was an active participant in “We Can 2” a strong community activity group that began the initial work to get Bass to be a good cooperate citizen. With her orange hat friends and members, she walked the streets of the downtown area, and Kaywood to let the world know that Mount Rainier was not the place to be to run drugs, prostitution, or any other criminal activity.

I will miss Gloria, but I believe those who walked shoulder to shoulder with her to clean up Mount Rainier will also miss her. Bon Voyage Gloria, thanks for all the hard work.

Trees Trees Trees

It seems that Mother Nature has not been too kind to us recently with our trees. Many of them are dead, dying or in serious disrepair. Luther Smith, Public Works Director, and, I have surveyed the City making a list of all the dead trees and broken branches. Some of the work to remove the dead trees and branches was started a few weeks ago. It will be a long process, but we will get the trees and branches down on public right a way.

NOW, that brings us to private property. There are a number of dead trees on private property throughout the City. According to our City Codes, property owners are required to remove their dead trees in a timely manner. This Code is a safety code and is there to protect residents, not just the homeowners, but neighbors whose house might be hit by a falling tree in a storm or the tree might land on a car, and God forbid that accidently someone is hit by a falling tree or branch that could have been avoided.

Mayor and Council Recess

At the last meeting in June, the Mayor and Council voted to recess July (work sessions only) and August with special meetings as needed. We held a number of special meetings to address issues about the Bass property; community development block grant (CDBG) programs, and to host a public hearing on the Bass property.

If you have not already heard, the City has agreed to purchase the Bass property (consisting of several properties) for a purchase price of $954, 000. A $50,000 good faith deposit was made this week following the signing of the contract to purchase. We expect to go to settlement within the next 90 days. Various sources of financing are under consideration for this purchase. Rest assured, the City’s coffers are not being drained, and every effort will be made to generate some revenue from the property as we seek to revitalize that area.

You may not know how the City manages to get much of its streets, curbs and gutters work done throughout the year. Well the work is performed through grants from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) via our County government through CDBG grants. Each year for the past several years, Mount Rainier received $100,000 for streets, curbs and gutter work. Last year many of the municipalities (including Mount Rainier) did not receive CDBG funding from the County. Yet, the County’s allocation from HUD is based on its population as well as its needs (poverty, low income, etc.), and most of the inner beltway communities comprise the largest eligibility group and are found in municipalities. To participate in these funds under the County, the County requires a cooperation agreement from each municipality agreeing to participate, and to relinquish any say in how the funds are allocated. Because of this, the County has sole authority to distribute the funds, as it deems appropriate. Prince George’s County Municipal Association (PGCMA) has asked for a greater say in this process and for its fair share of the funds awarded to the County. Our allocation for this fiscal year is again $100,000 even though we were promised the funding from the previous year. This will have a negative impact on our streets, curbs and gutter work. Some much needed street work will be delayed, and your patience much appreciated.

National Night Out (NNO)


Did you miss this wonderful event? Again this year, Chief Scott and his staff along with our Public Works Department and City Hall staff out did themselves with this festive occasion. Residents from Brentwood and Mount Rainier came together at Thomas Stone Elementary School to listen to music, eat hot dogs and hamburgers as they learned safety tips, and meet the many law enforcement officers that work to keep our community safe. Once again, we received $1,500 from Councilman Will Campos to share the cost of this activity. Funds were also received from Washington Gas Company, and a State grant on crime prevention. If you missed this event, thank to our Cable Department, you can catch it on Channel 71 (Comcast) and 21 (Verizon). There is also an “On Air with the Mayor segment that you might find interesting. Kudos and thanks to all City employees that worked so hard to make this event a success.

Gateway CDC

I am sure that we are all aware of the reorganizational efforts taking place at the Gateway CDC. I ask that you not rush to conclusions, but continue to get the facts. The Mayor and Council recently received a report from representatives of the Gateway CDC. Additional information has been requested, and members of the Council have vowed to continue the dialog. In addition, there are a few projects funded through the CDC that are in question that are being addressed by the Mayor and Council and will continue to be addressed until they are resolved. A meeting with the president of the Gateway CDC is scheduled and will be held before you receive this newsletter. An update on this meeting will be provided at a later date.

100 Year Celebration Committee Members Needed (2010 Committee)

If you live, work, or even pass through this great City and wish to be a part of this celebration, this is your invitation to be a part of the planning committee. To sign on to the Committee, email Ms. Janis Lomax jlomax@mountrainiermd.org or call her at 301-985-6585. She will take your name, address, telephone number, email address, and begin setting up the Committee. The first meeting of the committee will be Saturday, September 27 10:30am Mount Rainier City Hall. We need to begin planning a grand celebration for 2010! Be a part of the action. Join this committee today.

Historian/Writer NEEDED!

Mount Rainier needs its on historian to write our history from 1975 to present, and for becoming the depository for our history. This will be an awesome task for someone inclined to capture the history of our coming or age municipality. It will be well worth the time and energy to see our history come alive on paper. If you have the time and skills to take on this task or know someone who is, please contact Ms. Lomax or any member of the Mayor and Council with all necessary contact information so that we can discuss this project with you.

Volunteers Needed for first day of school to give a child a pencil

Again, this year, the school board and school CEO John Deasy are asking members of the community and elected official to come out and welcome our students back to school. This activity was started a few years ago to show community support for our schools. This year, Prince George's County Public Schools and Prince George's County (Livable Communities) have partnered in this effort to have volunteers welcome students, administrators and parents back to school. If you are able to give an hour of your time on Monday August 25, 2008, please join me at one of the following schools on Monday to meet, greet, and welcome our students back to our schools. Children from Mount Rainier generally attend:

Mount Rainier Elementary School, Ms. Janet Reid, principal (8:00am), 4011 32nd St., Mt Rainier, MD, 20712, 301-985-1810; (Contact: Malinda Miles – 302-237-3889)
Thomas Stone Elementary School, Ms. Helen Smith, principal (8:00am), 4500 34th St., Mt Rainier, MD 20712, 301-985-1890; (Contact: Rev. Deborah Johnson – 301-350-7975)
Hyattsville Middle School, Ms. Gail Golden, principal, (7:15am), 6001 42nd Ave, Hyattsville – 301-985-1760; (Contact: not confirmed)
Northwestern High School, Mr. Jerome Thomas, principal, (9:15am.), 7000 Adelphi Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20782, 301-985-1820 (Contact: not confirmed).

Pencils will be available to hand out to students as they arrive. Please come join in this effort. Can’t join us on Monday, you may drop off pencil to Mount Rainier City Hall. Thank you.

Don't Be Left Disconnected

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is encouraging families to be prepared for the national switch from analog to digital television. By February 17, 2009, the PGCPS cable television station aired on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon Channel 38 will begin digital broadcasting. This conversion from analog to digital broadcasting is known nationally as the digital television (DTV) transition. Converter boxes are available, if you do not have Comcast Cable or Verizon.

Condolences to the following families on their loss: Delegate Doyle Niemann on the loss of his Mother, Mrs. Ruby Neder on the loss of her husband Donald Neder (also drove the Caller-A-Bus for the City); and to all of the other families in Mount Rainier that have lost a love one. No words can fill your void, but on behalf of the residents of Mount Rainier, I extend our sincere sympathy.

As always your comments, concerns, and responses are welcome. Contact me at mayormiles@malindamiles.com or post a comment on my blog.

Website that might be of interest

Mayor Malinda Miles website – www.malindamiles.com
Mayor Malinda Miles’ blog -- http://themayorsspot.blogspot.com
Chief Michael Scott’s blog: -- http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com
Historic Mount Rainier Maryland --- http://www.mountrainiermd.org
Mount Rainier Police Department -- http://www.mountrainiermd.org/government/mrpd/index.html
Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company --- http://www.mrvfd.org
Mount Rainier Elementary School --- http://www.pgcps.org/~mrainier/
Thomas Stone Elementary School --- http://www.pgcps.org/~tstone/index.htm
Hyattsville Middle School --- http://www.pgcps.org/~hyattsms/
Northwestern High School --- http://www.pgcps.pg.k12.md.us/~nwest
Prince George’s County Municipal Association http://www.pgcma.com
Maryland Municipal League --- http://www.mdmunicipal.org
Margaret Boozer --- http://www.margaretboozer.com/reddirt5.html
Joe’s Movement Emporium -- http://www.joesmovement.org/
Friends of the Mount Rainier Library (FOL) --- http://www.mtrainierfol.org/
Gateway Community Development Corporation www.gateway-cdc.org
Mount Rainier Business Association (MRBA) www.mrbassociation.org
H & F Fine Arts -- www.hffinearts.com
Artmosphere Café -- www.artmospherecafe.com
Washington Metro Area Transit Service http://www.wmata.com/

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Mayor's Report

May 20, 2008

The 2008 Mount Rainier Day Festival

What a day! More than 1,500 residents, neighbors, guests, visitor, artists, vendors, and others came to our City to participate in the Mount Rainier Day Festival! If you came out, you saw the crowded streets, and the foot traffic in our downtown area. Thank you for your support. We hope that we done you proud! Thank you to Miss Janis Lomax for heading up this year’s Committee and putting in all of those extra hours to make the Mount Rainier Day Festival special. So that I do not leave anyone out, know that the Mount Rainier Day Festival Committee was composed of the entire staff of the City of Mount Rainier. When you see any one of them on the streets over the next few days, PLEASE take a moment and say thank you.

Now, how about those vendors? More than 77 vendors, 17 of which are food vendors came out and supported this event. Even on the day of the Festival, vendors were just showing up to see if they could acquire a space, and if you were there, you know that space was at a premium. If my memory serves me correctly, we have about four empty spots that were sold to vendors who for some reason did not show, but every vending space was pretty much occupied even in places where we never anticipated placing a vendor. There was a good mix of craft and information vendors.

The Kiddie Korner was probably one of the most successful events of the day. If you saw the smiles on our children’s faces as they lined up for cotton candy, the moon bounce, the go karts, the pony rides or even the face paintings, you know they were happy. The skateboarders and the basketball players were equally happy about showing their skills during the various exhibitions. And, yes there was card playing right in the middle of it all.

The bands and other entertainment again proved to be a major draw to the festivities, and were well received by the crowds.

Also, hats off to our sponsors. In the past, we solicited (wrote grants) to our County Councilman, Will Campos and he has always provided significant financial support. Our own Mount Rainier Business Association (MRBA) has also provided financial support to this festival over the years. To them, I say thank you for always being there. This year we reached out for financial support from others who provide services to our residents and they came through. Other sponsors included Washington Gas, PEPCO, IHOP, and WSSC. To our new partners, I say thank you and welcome aboard. I believe that after witnessing this year’s extravaganza, they will be back in full swing to support the 2009 Mount Rainier Day Festival.

And that brings me to my next topic.

MOUNT RAINIER DAY FESTIVAL 2010 Committee

I know that April 2010 Mount Rainier will be 100 years old, and that is not something to sneeze at in this day and age. We are not the oldest City in Maryland, but over the years we have continued to be a City, and today we are a thriving City. As the current Mayor of Mount Rainier, I feel that it is my duty and responsibility to begin planning for our 100 years’ celebration, and would like to take this opportunity to invite residents of the community to join in this preparation.

If you live, work, or even pass through this great City and wish to be a part of this celebration, this is your invitation to sign on. To sign on to the Committee, simply email Ms. Janis Lomax jlomax@mountrainiermd.org. She will take your name, address, telephone number and email address and begin setting up the Committee. We will meet early and begin planning a grand celebration for 2010! Be a part of the action. Join this Committee today.

Historian/Writer NEEDED!

In addition to searching for Committee members to begin planning the 2010 celebration, Mount Rainier needs a historian to step forward to begin writing our history from 1975 to present, and for becoming the depository for our history. This will be an awesome task for someone inclined to capture the history of our coming or age municipality. It will be well worth the time and energy to see our history come alive on paper. If you have the time and skills to take on this task or know someone who is, please contact Ms. Lomax or any member of the Mayor and Council with all necessary contact information so that we can discuss this project with you.

The Mount Rainier Day Festival Parade

No, it was not a separate event, but I am taking the risk of sending out a few special thanks to this group of people who helped to make the Mount Rainier Day Festival a major hit. Participants in the parade came from all over, and the following is an inconclusive list of participants, but represents those I saw lining up at the Bunker Hill Fire Station:

Congressman Chris Van Hollen and staff
Senator David Harrington and staff
State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey and staff
Delegate Doyle Niemann
Delegate Victor Ramirez
County Councilman Will Campos and staff
Mount Rainier Riders
PJ Parks and the Mount Rainier Bike Coop
County Executive Jack Johnson’s PGC Mobile on the Government Bus (GO BUS)
The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department
The Bunker Hill Fire and Rescue Team
The Parkdale Marching Band
The Northwestern Marching Band
The Hyattsville Cheerleaders
The Red Hatters of MSA
The Bodacious Babes of Bowie
Larry Solomon and Thrifty Car Rental
The Mount Rainier Soccer Team
The Mount Rainier Police Department
Toby the Clown and others
Former Miss Mount Rainier, Sonatta Camara
Mount rainier Elementary Gentleman’s Club
Mount Rainier Elementary Sophisticated ladies
Mount Rainier Skateboarders
Paws of Enchantment
Mount. Rainier Martial Arts Center

To all of you, thank you for coming out and making this an enjoyable day for the residents and citizens of Mount Rainier Maryland.

For those who are NOT listed here, but was in the Mount Rainier Day Festival Parade, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation is just as real and sincere. If you will provide me with your information, I will make sure that you are listed in my next report.

It’s Almost Time for Drop-IN Basketball

June 6, is almost here, and registration and waiver forms for drop in basketball are available at Mount Rainier City Hall; Thomas Stone and Mount Rainier Elementary Schools; Kaywood Garden, Queens Manor, and Queenstown Apartments; and Brentwood Town Hall. The registration form is also included in this copy of “The Message.” PLEASE complete the form and return it to Mount Rainier’s City HALL no later than Monday, June 2, 2008. (A registration form for drop-in basketball is also attached to this report that can be filled out and returned to City Hall.)

Drop-in basketball is for youths 13-18. The program is hosted at Thomas Stone Elementary School in its Gymnasium. MNCPPC is working with the City of Mount Rainier and the Town of Brentwood to provide this recreational opportunity for our teenage boys and girls. We are hoping that parents will get involved and help our youths to take advantage of this program.

Background checks have been done on all volunteers, and we are ready to open the doors for our youth to shoot some hoops! All equipment has been donated by MNCPPC. Now we need our YOUTHS and PARENTS to come on out and play!

Community Volunteers STILL NEEDED!

Skilled and unskilled basketball players to work with our youths in learning sportsmen conduct, basketball skills, and life skills. Still want to be a part of the solution to our gang and youth crisis? Here is your opportunity. Please call (301-985-6585) or email (mayormiles@malindamiles.com) me, if you are willing to commit 3 to six evening hours working with our youth.

Program Details:

• Starting June 6, 2008 the youth basketball developmental program will kick off
• Doors will open at 6:00pm for registration and organizational meeting
• The City of Mount Rainier
• Thomas Stone Elementary School Gymnasium

Spring Beautification Program Down Town


Hyattsville Nursery continues to work with our Public Works Department to improve the greenery of our down town area. This past week, our very own Public Works Department spent hours in the down town area cleaning and weeding after the rain to make us look good on Mount Rainier Day. They did an excellent job, and their work showed on Saturday.

We need to keep working our gateway, and more is planned to make it a show piece as we partner with the District of Columbia to make Rhode Island Avenue the Gateway to Prince George’s County and the Gateway to the District of Columbia.

Visitors to our City do not just ride down Rhode Island Avenue they tour the City and look at the other homes and yards. So, let’s get out there and cut that grass (I am trying for every two weeks to get my grass cut), and if you are into flowers and shrubs that is even better. Working together, we can make our quiet little City the show place of the County for small town living.

Continue to keep an eye on the down town area. We want it to be our showcase.

Partnering with the District of Columbia

Did you hear the big announcement on Saturday? If not, here it is. As a part of the redevelopment of the downtown area, Mount Rainier through vigorous efforts of our partner, Landmark Development, LLC the District of Columbia under the leadership of Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilman Harry Thomas will be joining with Mount Rainier to extend redevelopment across the District line to South Dakota Avenue!

Just think of what this partnership will mean to the downtown development of Mount Rainier! Working together with the leadership in the District of Columbia, working with the leadership in our City we can make this the largest and best gateway entrance to any City!

Over the next few weeks, the City will be taking some major steps to begin the next phase of development along the south side of Rhode Island Avenue. One of the initial steps will be to begin some general studies that are needed before development can begin. Another is to begin cleaning up some of the blighted conditions along Rhode Island Avenue including the removal of blighted buildings. These are major steps that must be taken to revitalize our City, and we need you the residents on board with us. There will be upcoming hearings and charretts (involving municipal officials, developers, and residents), and information forums, and other communications as the Mayor and Council takes on this awesome task of changing the dynamics and appearance of our downtown are. We know we can count on your support in this endeavor.

The Mayor’s Adopt-A-Street Program

This program has taken off! We already have several streets adopted by groups. Kudos and thank yous to the organizations that have signed on. There is plenty of room for everyone else who wish to help keep our City streets clean. If you missed the program requirements in my previous report, here they are again. YOU are needed.

THE MAYOR’S ADOPT-A-STREET PROGRAM

What is Adopt-a-Street?
Adopt-a-Street is a program launched by the Mayor of Mount Rainier to solicit help in keeping its streets clean by individuals, groups and organizations within the community. Volunteer individuals, groups and organizations “adopt” a three-block or longer stretch of a City street, make a two-year commitment to pick up the trash at least six times a year, and make minor improvements to the landscape, i.e., plant grass, flowers and/or mulch as appropriate.

Who can adopt?
Anyone can adopt a highway, families, businesses, civic and church groups, or even individuals. Children can participate with adult supervision as long as they are not allowed to work alone on the street, if they are under the age of 14. Children 14 and over participating in this project will earn community service hours for their participation.

Why Adopt?
This program provides an opportunity to show pride in our community. Individuals, groups and/or organizations also get recognition for their efforts on the Adopt-a-Street sign posted along their adopted street. Picking up trash along the streets is an easy, team-building project that takes no financial commitment and only a few hours each year.

How does it work?
Individuals, groups and/or organizations select a minimum of six convenient dates for the two (2) year project that everyone will get together to pick up trash and spruce up their street. The City will provide the trash bags, bright orange vests and safety instructions and information to each individual, group or organization wishing to participate in this project. The bags of litter or yard waste can be put out with regular yard waste and/or trash for pick up by Mount Rainier’s Public Works Department, and recyclables can be put out for recycling on recycling day!

What are the rewards?
Each individual, group and/or organization adopting a street or section of a street will be featured in the City’s newsletter “The Message.” In addition, the City will issue certificates of appreciation to each individual, group and/or organization adopting a street and/or a section of a street within the City.

Depending on how large a section is adopted by the individual, group or organization, the City will allow the group to purchase and erect a maximum of three signs with the individual, group and/or organization’s name. Signs will be similar to those seen along state highways but a size smaller. The signs will be erected by Mount Rainier’s Public Works Department.

Adopt me!
Just call Mount Rainier’s City Hall 301-985-6585 or e-mail the City’s Public Work’s Director at lsmith@mountrainiermd.org, and we will get you started in this environmentally friend program. Your efforts will be good for your street and an invaluable contribution to the City of Mount Rainier!

How do I get started?
Adopt-a-Street volunteers will serve a critical role in helping the City stay clean, and begin the process of cleaning the City for the celebration of our centennial. All of our streets are up for adoption. To find out what streets are most in need of adoption, call City Hall or check the Mount Rainier website and/or cable channel.

“MOUNT RAINIANS KEEPING MOUNT RAINIER CLEAN!”

Joint Mount Rainier Brentwood Recreation Council

The Mount Rainier City Council recently established a three (3) member Mount Rainier Recreational Council (Rec Council). These three members will serve on the Mount Rainier Brentwood Recreation Council under Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) Recreation Department. The volunteer members of this Council are Donald Bell, Mirna Mejia (started the Mount Rainier Soccer Team) and Malinda Miles. The first meeting of the Mount Rainier Recreational Council was held on May 26, 2008 at 10:00am at Mount Rainier City Hall. The Rec Council will meet with the three (3) Brentwood members of the Brentwood Recreational Council (Rec Council) once they are appointed. At that meeting we will set the meeting schedule for the Rec Council for the year as well as identify programs for our communities. (NOTE: Each Rec Council can have more than three members, however, only the three appointed members will be able to vote on items and issues.) Mount Rainier Recreational Council still needs volunteers, and if you are interested, please call Mount Rainier City Hall.

Planning Continues for the Dog Park

Earlier this year, I noted in one of my reports that the Dog Park was coming. Although it has not been finalized, the Dog Park is still on the horizon. The dog park is to be located at Ager Road and Nicholson Street in Hyattsville. For all those interested in the particulars for the park and/or would like to get more information there will be a meeting in Hyattsville June 11, 2008 at 7:00pm at 4310 Gallatin Street. The meeting will be held in the Prangley Room.

Planning and Permitting 101

Are you confused about getting permits from the County and who handles planning and permitting? Well you just might want to attend a County sponsored workshop on Planning and Permitting being developed by the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) and Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). This workshop is scheduled for May 28, 2008. 6:00pm Sports and Learning Center. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.

Significant Highlights of the City Budget

Without giving a play-by-play report of how hard the Mayor and Council and the Mount Rainier City employees are working for you, I frequently choose to just highlight some of the big items or new initiatives. It would be remiss of me, however, to not mention in this report the time and effort that has gone into developing this year’s budget and to point out a few major developments.

1. The City although in the “black” is not financially well off. We are making the payroll, paying our bills in a timely manner, and actually have some money in reserve/contingency. As in the past two years, the City has not had to borrow on its $400,000 line of credit to cover its expenses.
2. Although we have approximately $1.5 million in the reserve/contingency fund, we have not made all of the adjustments necessary to cover expected indebtedness, e.g., increased cost in the employee pension plan; increased salaries and benefits for all employees; improved health benefits; and higher cost of just doing business. For example, the City is not immune to the high cost of gas, high cost of repairs and maintenance to cars, trucks, buildings and other equipment that is essential for the City to conduct good business.
3. Last year the City initiated a program to help seniors, dissimilarly-abled persons, and persons with incomes below $60,000. This program resulted in the City distributing approximately $10,000 to residents meeting the eligibility requirement. During the coming year, it is expected that this rebate will increase to approximately $12,000. Those residents receiving funds last year have expressed their appreciation for the relief that came with the checks even though they were small checks.
4. The City has purchased and still needs to purchase another trash/garbage truck to meet the growing need for trash/yard waste/garbage collection in the City. This is a very expensive item, but a very necessary one.
5. During the past few years, the City has been seeking to replace it used and worn out police vehicles. Last year this resulted in the purchase of five new police cars that had to also be equipped for police use. This year, we are adding three new cars to our fleet.
6. Increased recreational activities for the youths of Mount Rainier continue to be a major concern of the Mayor and Council in each year’s budget. This year we have added $16,000 to help provide recreation. It is anticipated that as this program develops there will be increased cost associated with it.
7. As our population and demographics change, there will be an increased need for Mount Rainier to provide better communications to its residents. As part of our forward thinking, Mayor and Council are discussing higher level technology for meeting those needs, e.g., Polycom video conferencing.
8. Major thinking in this year’s budget is the acquisition and development of properties (3409 Rhode Island Avenue, the Southside of Rhode Island Avenue, and other properties in the downtown area are under consideration) within the City that have hindered development of the down town area. Although the City has sought to minimize its cash outlay to develop these properties by partnering with a major developing company, there are costs associated (e.g., legal fees, appraisals, environmental studies, etc.) with any development project within the City. In addition, as is frequently discussed, Mount Rainier was completely built out many years ago, and parking over the years has become a major issue. Therefore, Mayor and Council continue to discuss parking in the downtown area to support the current and growing development of our City.
9. Another goal is to provide longer hours for our police department to be open and available to the public. When our million plus police department was built, it was to be open 24-hours a day. That has never happened. In the proposed budget, the police department would be open during our current downtown business hours (7:00am until 12:00am approximately). This would provide for more effective police services during hours when crime is most likely to occur. I have personally checked our downtown area after the police station closed at 5:00pm and seen people trying to contact the police to report a crime or get information. For the dollars invested, the citizens of this City deserve a better return and Mayor and Council are seeking ways to increase the return. (NOTE: For the past 10 years, give or take a few, the City has paid almost a half million dollars for dispatch services, and this year those services are going up.)

With all of the increases and the capital improvements that are being proposed there no tax increase is being proposed. The City bit the bullet on increasing taxes about seven years ago, and because of that tax increase and the major rise in our property values, the City has been able to dig itself out of the red, and begin building a solid base for future growth. It is my honest opinion that this is not the time to cut our taxes or to change the way in which we have begun to do business. We have fought for, demanded and received sound financial management of our resources (fiscal and physical).

As other municipalities seek to increase their taxes, Mount Rainier can stand its ground, continue its services, and continue to build toward its future. I believe we (Mayor, Council, and staff) are doing a good job. We need to seek new revenue streams and to seek partnerships that will help to make us economically sound as we develop and redeveloped our City.

Thank you to our many Volunteers

One of the ways the City has been able to expand services is through our volunteers. With a staff of 35 to 40 it is impossible to carry out every task or service requested by our residents. However, because of persons who have continuously volunteered and served on our many committees we have done and continue to do the impossible.

To those who volunteer and seek only the satisfaction of having contributed, I salute you and thank you. You are not often thanked for the many hours that you give to our City. Most of the residents do not even know your names, yet reap the benefits of your tireless efforts. As we begin the new fiscal year, it is my goal to find a way to formally recognize our volunteers as the valuable resource they are, and to take time to thank them publicly. So, look forward to more information on how this will be done, but know that it will be done because you are appreciated.

Basketball Court at 30th and Arundel

Thanks to Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) the long awaited basketball court at 30th and Arundel is up and in use. It was good to watch the young boys and girls come out to play basketball. Parents please help us to keep the court up and open.

There are some rules that must be followed.
1) The basketball court is a shared space for the community.
2) The court is a part of the park and closes at dusk, no exceptions.
3) Consumption of alcoholic beverages or any kind is illegal and will be punished.
4) Everyone is expected to pitch in with keeping the park clean and available to others.
5) Profanity, fighting, and just plain bad behavior will not be tolerated and will be cause for the basketball hoops to once again be permanently remove.

These are very simple rules and easy enough to follow, so we are counting on our youths to be responsible, obey the rules, and enjoy the newly refurbished basketball court.

Soccer anyone?

Thanks to a very energetic and creative parent, Mirna Mejia, Mount Rainier has its on soccer team. It is called the Mount Rainier Community Soccer Club. Mirna Mejia is the proud mother of four boys one 11 years old, 9 years old and twin of 13 months. She also serves as the third member of the newly formed Mount Rainier Rec Council. Two Mirna’s boys attend Thomas Stone Elementary.

Working with her neighbor her neighbor Fernando Vargas and Thomas Stone’s Physical Education teacher Samantha Holtz they formed a soccer teams for six graders who wanted to play soccer. With the help and guidance from Capital Community Soccer, a non-profit organization in DC, they were able to secure equipment and uniforms that allowed them to play with their teams here at Mount Rainier. They played their first game April 26, 2008.

From this humble begin there are more than 21 boys playing and more coming every day. The goal is to form at least three (3) teams and be ready for them to play this fall. The team practices at Thomas Stone Elementary where soccer goals are being installed with the help of the Prince George’s County School System.

Interested? Contact City Hall (301-985-6585) and leave your name, telephone number and address and Ms. Mejia will get in touch with you. Better still come out and meet the mover and shaker of this program on Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 30th and Arundel Road from 11:30am until 4:00pm to share a hot dog and sign up.

Remember that non-Scientific Survey about Mail Delivery?

The results are in. About 20 people responded to the survey and it was a fifty-fifty split on mail delivery. Fifty percent of those responding thought the delivery services in our area were great and the other fifty thought they were terrible. Regardless of the results, mail is still being misdirected/delivered too often for comfort. It was also reported that some days people who like me get a lot of mail don’t get any. Well, I have kicked this issue up to higher authorities and believe it or not they have the same problems (but by the bag full). I asked Senator Cardin’s and Congressman Van Hollen’s offices to look into this matter on our behalf, and they noted that they have experienced the same problem, and want to probe more into this matter to see if it is a widespread issue. So, I need to hear from you if you are frequently receiving someone else’s mail or not getting your mail.

Peace March at Mount Rainier Elementary

The Annual Peace March will be held at Mount Rainier Elementary on Friday, May 30, 2008 at 32nd and Shepherd. The parade will start around 9:00 and will last about an hour and a half. For more information please contact the school at 301-985-1810.

As always your comments, concerns, and responses are welcome. Contact me at mayormiles@malindamiles.com or post a comment on my blog.

Website that might be of interest

Mayor Malinda Miles website – www.malindamiles.com
Mayor Malinda Miles’ blog -- http://themayorsspot.blogspot.com
Chief Michael Scott’s blog: -- http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com
Historic Mount Rainier Maryland --- http://www.mountrainiermd.org
Mount Rainier Police Department -- http://www.mountrainiermd.org/government/mrpd/index.html
Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company --- http://www.mrvfd.org
Mount Rainier Elementary School --- http://www.pgcps.org/~mrainier/
Thomas Stone Elementary School --- http://www.pgcps.org/~tstone/index.htm
Hyattsville Middle School --- http://www.pgcps.org/~hyattsms/
Northwestern High School --- http://www.pgcps.pg.k12.md.us/~nwest
Prince George’s County Municipal Association http://www.pgcma.com
Maryland Municipal League --- http://www.mdmunicipal.org
Margaret Boozer --- http://www.margaretboozer.com/reddirt5.html
Joe’s Movement Emporium -- http://www.joesmovement.org/
Friends of the Mount Rainier Library (FOL) --- http://www.mtrainierfol.org/
Gateway Community Development Corporation www.gateway-cdc.org
Mount Rainier Business Association (MRBA) www.mrbassociation.org
H & F Fine Arts -- www.hffinearts.com
Washington Metro Area Transit Service http://www.wmata.com/

Friday, May 09, 2008

MOUNT RAINIER DAY FESTIVAL

The Mount Rainier Day Festival will once again feature a PARADE; food, craft, and informational vendors; a variety of bands, and other entertainers; and a host of fun activities for our children of all ages (including cotton candy)!

WHEN: MAY 17, 2008

WHERE: DOWNTOWN MOUNT RAINIER (RHODE ISLAND AVENUE)

TIMES: 8:00am TO 10:00am VENDORS SET UP

10:00am VENORS OPEN FOR SERVICE

10:00am GREETINGS AND WELCOME

10:30am PARADE LINE UP

11:00am PARADE BEGINS

12:00n PARADE ENDS

12:10pm MAYOR MILES AND MAYOR FENTY MAKES MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

12:15pm BANDS AND OTHER PERFORMANCES BEGIN

6:00pm MOUNT RAINIER DAY FESTIVAL ENDS

...and throughout the day our LOCAL ARTISTS invite you to TOUR THE GATEWAY ARTS DISTRICT STUDIOS!

Over 50 artists throughout the municipalities of Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville will open their studios to the public on Saturday, May 17th from 12 Noon to 5 PM. Most studios are along a 2.1-mile stretch of the Route 1/Baltimore Avenue/Rhode Island Avenue corridor, but some are located in Mount Rainier's former industrial district at Otis and Wells.

The Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour is a public self-guided tour of professional and home based studios showcasing a variety of mediums---painting, sculpture, glass, photography, mixed media, clay/ceramics, printmaking and craftwork. Most studios are centrally located in the city of Mount Rainier with the Hyattsville Community Artists Alliance exhibiting at the Lustine Showroom as part of Arts District Hyattsville.

Home to many of the DC areas most celebrated artists and studios, which include DC GlassWorks, Red Dirt Studio, The Washington Glass School and Studio, FLUX, and the Quixote Center Gallery the arts district is a veritable hot spot of highly acclaimed artists that produce works that are exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. Artists include Margaret Boozer, Tim Tate, Ellyn Weiss, Laurel Lukaszewski, David D'Orio, Crisley McCarson, Kyan Bishop, Yvon Fleurival and many more.

A highlight of the tour includes the installation and printmaking show, Michael B. Platt: Lost and Found at the H & F Fine Arts Gallery. A native Washingtonian whose works are in collections at the Corcoran Gallery, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Library of Congress, Platt often focuses on the history of marginalized populations of Africa and the African Diaspora. A collaborative effort with poet Carol Beane, Lost and Found is set against the backdrop of American Slavery and the implications of Hurricane Katrina.

Drop in on classes and demonstrations at performing arts venues-World Arts Focus at Joe's Movement Emporium, Alafia Professional Dance Space, and Artmosphere Digital Arts Café.

This project is produced by Gateway CDC, with support provided by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Prince George's County, Division of Arts and Cultural Heritage. For further information or press inquiries, contact Tonya Jordan at 301-864-3860, ext. 1 or email: tonya@gateway-cdc.org.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

LAST CHANCE FOR MUNICIPAL SCHOLARSHIPS

PGCMA SCHOLARSHIP ($1,000)

You still have time to apply for the PGCMA Scholarship for college in the fall. This is a scholarship that will be available to you during your four years of college if you live one of the 27 municipalities in Prince George’s County.
Selection Criteria
Each applicant's application must indicate or include:
1. A commitment to public service, e.g., past or current involvement with civic organizations.
2. An educational program in local governmental or public service.
3. Applicant's statement of educational objectives and career goals.
4. Two letters of recommendation. One must be from a faculty member of the current educational institution; the other should be from a municipal public official.
5. An essay on the importance of municipal government in the community.
6. Completion of the scholarship application.
Download the PGCMA Scholarship Application: Go to www.pgcma.com and click on pgcma_scholarship_application.pdf. Municipal officials and their immediate families are not eligible to participate in this scholarship program. Immediate family shall include: spouse, children, residents of the municipal official's household, or any other person claimed as a dependent on the municipal official's tax return. Questions regarding this scholarship program can be directed to the PGCMA Scholarship Committee c/o council member Michael Leszcz, City of Laurel: 301-725-5300 ext. 120.

The Prince George’s Elected Municipal Women (PGEMW)

The Prince George’s Elected Municipal Women (PGEMW) is pleased to offer a $500.00 scholarship to any graduating senior from a Prince George’s County Public School. Please assist us in distributing these applications to interested students. There are no minimum requirements other than the intention to attend some form of post high school education program: four year college, two year college, trade/technical school. The deadline for submission of the application is May 26, 2007. We will make our decision and notify the winner before June 6th. We are planning a presentation on that date and we will discuss the particulars with the recipient. If you wish to apply for this scholarship, Please contact me for an application and/or additional information. You may also contact Karen Hampton at: 301-864-8666.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Mayor's Adopt-A-Street Program

April 24, 2008

What is Adopt-a-Street?
Adopt-a-Street is a program launched by the Mayor of Mount Rainier to solicit help in keeping its streets clean by individuals, groups and organizations within the community. Volunteer individuals, groups and organizations “adopt” a three-block or longer stretch of a City street, make a two-year commitment to pick up the trash at least six times a year, and make minor improvements to the landscape, i.e., plant grass, flowers and/or mulch as appropriate.

Who can adopt?
Anyone can adopt a highway, families, businesses, civic and church groups, or even individuals. Children can participate with adult supervision as long as they are not allowed to work alone on the street, if they are under the age of 14. Children 14 and over participating in this project will earn community service hours for their participation.

Why Adopt?
This program provides an opportunity to show pride in our community. Individuals, groups and/or organizations also get recognition for their efforts on the Adopt-a-Street sign posted along their adopted street. Picking up trash along the streets is an easy, team-building project that takes no financial commitment and only a few hours each year.

How does it work?
Individuals, groups and/or organizations select a minimum of six convenient dates for the two (2) year project that everyone will get together to pick up trash and spruce up their street. The City will provide the trash bags, bright orange vests and safety instructions and information to each individual, group or organization wishing to participate in this project. The bags of litter or yard waste can be put out with regular yard waste and/or trash for pick up by Mount Rainier’s Public Works Department, and recyclables can be put out for recycling on recycling day!

What are the rewards?
Each individual, group and/or organization adopting a street or section of a street will be featured in the City’s newsletter “The Message.” In addition, the City will issue certificates of appreciation to each individual, group and/or organization adopting a street and/or a section of a street within the City.

Depending on how large a section is adopted by the individual, group or organization, the City will allow the group to purchase and erect a maximum of three signs with the individual, group and/or organization’s name. Signs will be similar to those seen along state highways but a size smaller. The signs will be erected by Mount Rainier’s Public Works Department.

Adopt me!
Just call Mount Rainier’s City Hall 301-985-6585 or e-mail the City’s Public Work’s Director at lsmith@mountrainiermd.org, and we will get you started in this environmentally friend program. Your efforts will be good for your street and an invaluable contribution to the City of Mount Rainier!

How do I get started?
Adopt-a-Street volunteers will serve a critical role in helping the City stay clean, and begin the process of cleaning the City for the celebration of our centennial. All of our streets are up for adoption. To find out what streets are most in need of adoption, call City Hall or check the Mount Rainier website and/or cable channel.

“MOUNT RAINIANS KEEPING MOUNT RAINIER CLEAN!”

Friday, April 18, 2008

DROP IN BASKETBALL ORIENTATION TODAY

At Thomas Stone today, 6:30pm will be orientation and fingerprinting for volunteers. Youth are also encouraged to attend to hear about the program, to volunteer, and to sign up for this exciting event in MOUNT RAINIER!

PLEASE come out and bring your youth (14 to 18). This will ONLY happen IF YOU participate and bring the youth in YOUR family.

Mayor Miles

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The House of Health Fundraiser

The Community Support Committee invites you to a fundraising reception to
HELP THE HOUSE OF HEALTH!

The HOUSE OF HEALTH, located at 3830 34th St, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712, needs your help to continue its development. Founded two years ago by Hodari Abdul-Ali, it currently contains Dar Es Salaam Books/Health Center, the African Wholistic Wellness Center, and the soon to be opened Unique Gems.

Join us on SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2008 3:00-6:00 PM at the ARTMOSPHERE CAFÉ, 3311 Rhode Island Avenue in Mt. Rainier, MD for an afternoon of music, poetry and good vibrations as the community comes together to support a brother who has been there to consistently support the community. For more information or to participate, call 202-547-4125 or 240-667-2299. Make checks payable to “House of Health”.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT COMMITTEE

Malinda Miles, Mayor, Mt. Rainier
Brother Ah, Musician
William Reed, Journalist
Wautella Graham, NCOBRA
Askia Muhammad, WPFW
Senghor Baye, UNIA
Ron Clark, RAP,Inc.
Kolangi Olusegun, RNA
Michael Gormley, Musician
Luko Adjaffi, Musician
Brooke Kidd, Joe’s Movement Emporium
Yango Sawyer, Activist
Yusef Saleem, Imam,
Masjid Muhammad
Danny Queen, Poet
and many others

Brother Hodari has served our community for over 30 years through Liberation Information Distributing Co., Pyramid Books, Dar Es Salaam Books, WPFW and several other entities.

Plan to stop by and encourage others to do so as well!

Monday, April 07, 2008

My Name: Malinda Miles


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Friday, April 04, 2008

DROP-IN BASKETBALL VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW to get our basketball pilot off of the ground. Please see the article below for volunteer needs:

In order to successfully execute Youth Basketball Development Program hosted by the City of Mount Rainier and the Town of Brentwood, the following volunteer staffing positions must be identified and confirmed as soon as possible. MNCPPC will provide training on April 18, 2008 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm to all volunteers. Because the volunteer will be working with youth, all volunteer must participate in this training and must be willing to be fingerprinted. There is no cost for the training or fingerprinting. the start date for BASKETBALL is June 6 at 6:00pm!

OUR VOLUNTEER NEEDS (with basic functions listed below each):

Head Coaches (1 or 2)
• Men’s and/or women’s basketball head coaches (some experience would be GOOD)
• 10 minute motivational speech to participants at the welcome (talking points to be provided)
• Floater for remaining availability – encouraging participants as they work on different fundamentals of basketball

Assistant Coaches (1-4)
• Men’s and/or women’s basketball assistant coaches
• Will be responsible for determining age/skill appropriate drills (three one-half hour sessions)
• Free play time for the teens after skills training

Local High School Coaches (3-6), if we can get their participation
• Arrival at least one half hour prior determine the session they will be assigned
• Will assist coaches in determining age appropriate lesson plan as well as fundamental skill explanation to participants and overall management of the drills
• Will also assist in the management of the scrimmage session

Local Youth Coaches (3-6)
• Arrival at least one half hour prior to event kickoff to determine the session they will be assigned
• Will assist coaches in determining age appropriate lesson plan as well as fundamental skill explanation to participants and overall management of the drills
• Will also assist in the management of the scrimmage/competition session

Parent’s Session Panel Representatives and Student-Athletes (2-4)
• Coaches, management, community and student athletes will discuss the day in the life of a student athlete and answer questions parents may have
• Talking points will be provided
• Session takes place concurrently with first clinic break out session

Life Skills Session Leader (2 or 4)
• Management and/or coaches will lead participants through various activities that reinforce fundamental life skills, such as developing physical and mental skills, positive goal setting, and recognizing transferable skills including applying what they learn in athletics to other areas of their lives.
• Curriculum will be provided
• Management will assist in leading interactive learning games and in motivating participant involvement in discussions

Registration Volunteers (6)
• Must be on-site prior to assist with registration set-up and to review the process with the all participants
• Staff the registration tables, help with checking in participants, distributing event etc.
• Remain on-site throughout activities to assist in with the program

Gateway Arts District Management Team to Issue RFP

The Gateway Arts District Management Team is seeking local arts to design a website for the Gateway Arts District. Got skills in website designs, then we are looking for you. The RFP for this project will be released on Monday, April 7, 2008. For a copy of the RFP to be sent to you, PLEASE contact me ASAP. Thank you.

The Gateway Arts District Management Team is seeking a local consultant to come up with the branding for the Gateway Arts District. The branding would include a logo, message, color scheme etc. If you are interested in receiving and responding to the RFP for this project please send me your contact information. This RFP will be released in about two weeks.

The QUEENS CHAPEL ROAD BRANCH of WashingtonFirst Bank is CLOSING!

Effective June 30, 2008, the Queens Chapel Road branch of the WashingtonFirst Bank will be closing.

The Bank sent out notices of its intent to close on March 31, 2008. Current customers' accounts will be transferred to either 6329 Greenbelt Road in College Park, Maryland or 6089 Oxxon Hill, Maryland. The Queens Chapel Road staff will be moving to the Greenbelt Road branch.

To keep its customers current customer from the Queenstown Branch, the Bank is offering $100 deposits into each customer's demand deposit or savings account AFTER 90 days of the closing of the Queenstown branch, and .25% increase in the posted WasingtonFirst Bank CD rates to customers who continue their CDs with them.

With the move of the WashingtonFirst Bank, Mount Rainier residents are left without a bank in walking distance of the City. The nearest banks are Bank of America on Queens Chapel Road, BB&T on Hamilton Street in Hyatt, and Suntrust on Queens Chapel Road in Avondale.

As the City redevelops and renews itself, one of the business that should be sought after is a bank within our City limits!

Surveys

I have added two surveys. They will be on the blog for about 20 days. They are NOT scientific and are not intended to be. However, I would like for the data to have some relevance, so PLEASE vote once and ONLY once in each survey.

Giant Pharmacy has been undergoing a lot of turn over, and I have received a lot of complaints over the past year about their service. If you have prescriptions filled at Giant's on Queens Chapel Road, PLEASE take a few minutes and respond to this survey. I have been working with the management and they want feedback. Thank you.

The second survey is about our mail delivery in the City. I have received complaints about mail being delivered late, to the wrong addresses, and inconsistent delivery. If you have had any of these experiences, PLEASE vote once and ONLY once in this survey. If you have had consistently good delivery experiences with your mail, PLEASE let me know. Congressman Van Hollen and Senator Cardin are interested in this issue.

Thanks for participating in these short surveys.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Teen Performance Nite at Joe's

Just wanted to make sure that you are aware of TEEN PERFORMANCE NITE at Joe's Movement Emporium. It's been building momentum but there are so many teens in Our COMMUNITY that have not been to one a single event at Joe's. Please PASS the word that this is a place FOR teens! Parent can drop off their kids and let them have fun in a safe and secure environment. So, come on and help me get the WORD OUT about 3 D Productions' Teen Performance Nite at Joe's, Every Friday, 7:30 to 10:30pm, $3 for middle and high school students.

Performances of music, spoken word, dance, open mic with hands-on learning in rap/spoken word, fashion, drumming and more.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Up coming X2rep! Events

March 27, 2008

Here are some upcoming events for one of the youth groups that are working within the Mount Rainier area. Hope you will come out and support them.

March 29th X2rep is performing at Our Teens Magazine All-Star basketball game. The event is going to be held at Forestville High School , It starts at 10:00am and it will last all day.

March 28th X2rep it taking a college tour of University of Maryland Eastern Shore . 10:00am-2:00pm

April 4th X2rep will be visiting Hampton University for (High School Day) and its 30th Anniversary

April 5th X2rep will be performing at the University of Maryland College park for a youth leadership conference sponsored by Global Champions. 10:00am -1:30pm

April X2rep will be performing for the Law Enforcement in...

May 17th X2rep will be performing at the Mount Rainier Day Festival.

June 14th X2rep will be performing at the Annual Juneteenth Movement Sponsored by BET Westlake High School starting at 10:00am

All X2rep representers its time to represent, put them t-shirts on and lets jump into another state of mind. All my entertainers we need you to be down like four flat tires, you're not going anywhere.

X2rep! All right! All right! All right!

X2rep! Inc
Time to Represent
Founder Mr. Metro Man
Youth Leader PCJ Rev. Child
301-343-7161
X2repinc@yahoo.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

COUNTY EXECUTIVE DISCLOSES COSTS OF POLICE LAWSUITS

Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson disclosed today that the county paid $555,000 in court judgments and settlements from lawsuits as a result of complaints against (County) police officers during fiscal year 2007.

This is the sixth year in a row that Johnson has exceeded the county's obligation, required by state law, that he report only the total of out-of-court settlements. Even though state law only requires notification to the County Council, local members of the House of Delegates and the Senate of Maryland, Johnson has continued to release the costs to the public.

Johnson said the residents and citizens have a right to know how much money is spent on settlements and judgments from lawsuits filed against law enforcement officers.

Between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, 11 lawsuits involving law enforcement activities were settled out of court for $555,000.

Additionally, five lawsuits that went to trial resulted in judgments that totaled $300,317.12.

The Mayor's Report

March 25, 2008

Attached to this email and pasted below is my report on issues and items I believe to be important to Mount Rainier and Mount Rainier’s residents. This Report can also be found on my blog: http://themayorsspot.blogspot.com. (You may need to copy the link and paste it in the URL Address line.)

Mount Rainier’s Library

National Library Week is April 13- 19, 2008, and the theme this year is “Join the Circle of Knowledge!” Here is your opportunity to do just that by coming out to see the “Renewed Mount Rainier Library.”

On April 19, 2008, at 10:30am at the Mount Rainier Library 3409 Rhode Island Avenue there will be an open house reception with County Executive Jack B. Johnson, Councilman Will Campos, and Micki Feeny, the Director of the Prince George’s County Maryland Library System. This is a very auspicious occasion since it represents a giant step toward the renovation and improvement of our Library services here in the City. With a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation the Library has received 8 new computers and very needed renovation including new carpets.

Come on out, bring the kids and your neighbors to share in this historic occasion!

The Mount Rainier Tool Shed

Did you know that Mount Rainier has a tool shed with lots of tools and other equipment for working on your yards and home?

Well, we used to have LOTS of tools, but it has been brought to my attention that many of the members have borrowed our tools and have not returned them! If you borrowed tools from the Tool Shed, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE return them. We will not penalize you or make you feel bad for having forgotten to do. This is called amnesty. This period of amnesty will NOT endure forever, so if you borrowed tools, please return then ASAP. Thank you.

To borrow tools from the Tool Shed, please call on Saturdays between 10:00am and 1:00pm. Anthony “Tony” Lee will be operating the Tool Shed on an appointment basis. Email: anthonylee@att.net or call his cell: 240-273-2777.

(NOTE: West Philadelphia has opened a tool shed for its community. Visit their tool shed at http://www.westphillytools.org/). Dana Grabiner told her sister about our tool shed and I would like to think that we had some influence. Mount Rainier based on the news article is one of about 20 community tool sheds in the country.)

Electronic Recycling

Saturday, April 19, 2008, you can bundle up all of your old, unwanted electronic equipment and take it to our Public Works Department for recycling. Public Works is located at 3715 Wells Avenue. You must get your electronic equipment there between the hours of 0:00am and 1:00pm.

Public Works will be accepting: CPUs, keyboards, laptop computers, fax machines, telephones systems, printers, computer speakers, main frames, copiers, scanners, surge protectors, pagers, cell phones, cable, wire, circuit boards, CDs players, radios/stereos, VCRs, ink jet and toner cartridges and TVs.

Mount Rainier Day Festival

WOW, it has already been a year since we were hard at working planning last year’s Mount Rainier Day Festival, but be that as it may, here we are again in the midst of preparation for our one big day in the City!

Janis Lomax, Jeannelle Wallace and a host of other City staffers have been hard at work seeking vendors, getting permission to block off Rhode Island Avenue, seeking grants and entertainers, and making all of the necessary preparations to ensure that once again, the Mount Rainier Day Festival is the talking of the Region!

This is another opportunity for residents (especially our youths) to volunteer. If you have children in Prince George’s Public Schools, they are required to receive 36 hours of volunteer community service. If you have a child that is 14 and over needing community service hours, here is a perfect opportunity.

If you personally would like to get involved in the City, and didn’t know what you could do, this is a great opportunity for you to get your feet wet and have a good time doing it.

Call City Hall and speak with Janis Lomax. She will be happy to receive the call and get you involved. City Hall’s telephone number is 301-985-6585 between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm.

Basketball is COMING to Mount Rainier!

Basketball is here! Thomas Stone is the official location for basketball in Mount Rainier. Since the last Message, Prince George’s County’s Public Schools’ CEO John Deasy, Joe O’Neil, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Mayor and Council of Brentwood, Hands On Barber Shop, and the Ministerial Alliance of Mount Rainier have come together to officially offer basketball to the youths of Mount Rainier and Brentwood.

This youth program is aimed at providing recreational activities for youth’s ages 13 to 18 in the form of basketball. The program will also have a life skills component.

Program Details:

• Starting June 1, 2008 the youth basketball developmental program will kick off
• Doors will open at 6:00pm for registration and organizational meeting
• The City of Mount Rainier
• Thomas Stone Elementary School Gymnasium

The program NEEDS youths to sign up to participate in this program. We NEED adults and young adult volunteers to help run the program. Parents and other community adults are encouraged and invited to attend the life skills sessions of the program.

Coaches and wanna be coaches, and just plain volunteers who wish to work with our teen population, PLEASE contact me via email or a telephone call to City Hall.

TEENS, this is for you, so let me know if you are interested in participating. Flyers with information will be going to your schools.

For more information and to volunteer, PLEASE call Mount Rainier’s City Hall, and/or send me an email (mayormiles@malindamiles.com).

Skate Board Park

The Mayor and Council again heard from the community about the Skate Boarding Park at Wells and Otis. Several of the residents spoke out against the park, but many others spoke in favor of the park. This issue had a public hearing several months ago and was unanimously approved and assigned to the Recreation Committee to come up with a design. Margaret Boozer, Red Dirt Studio, owner and operator and also an artist working in the City has taken on a major role working with our youth to design the skate park. In addition Mayor and Council heard from several of our youths who have become their own best advocates for the skate board park. Stay tuned for future discussions and presentation of the formal design for the skate board park.

MNCPPC Summer Camp Registration

MNCPPC’s Department of Parks and Recreation has experienced problems in computer systems since the daylight savings time change went into effect, and these problems have led to the decision to postpone the start of our Summer Day Camp registration period scheduled for Saturday, March 15, until Saturday, April 12. This date falls after the original Daylight Savings Time schedule, so we do not expect these problems to affect the new date.
Prince George’s County residents now may register beginning at 9 am, Saturday, April 12. Residents of other jurisdictions may register beginning at 9 am, Saturday, April 19.

If you have concerns about procedures or need more general information, please contact the Customer Service Help Desk at 301-699-CALL (2255).

Community Policing Grant Implementation

The check has been delivered for the Mount Rainier/Brentwood community policing grant. The meeting with Brentwood to work out the details was delayed because of the special election that was held March 17. Now that their new Councilman has been seated, Mayor Bettyjean Schmiedigen and I will be setting the date to get this grant implemented. This is good news for Brentwood and Mount Rainier residents. It is a Livable Community Initiative.

Speed Cameras Legislation

Speed camera legislation just might become law! This is more good news for our City. Although the legislation is NOT designed to be a revenue generator, it will help to improve safety on our streets especially in those areas where children walk and play. Municipalities will be able to place speed cameras near and around schools and on streets where the posted speed limit is 45 miles or less, and to issue fines up to $40. Once this legislation has been signed into law, the Mayor and Council must issue an ordinance/resolution to adopt this legislation before it can be implemented. More news to come on the enactment of the speed camera law.

Spring Beautification Program Down Town

Beautification of our downtown area is on schedule. The plantings have been done and there are blossoms. The roundabout looks good with it new plantings, but we need to get motorists to stop damaging the curbs and other public property around the roundabout. Hyattsville Nursery working with our Public Works Department has assured the City that Rhode Island Avenue will be the gateway to Prince George’s County and the Gateway Arts District. Keep me informed of what you see and how our program is working with the beautification of our downtown area. New facades are also coming, so stay tuned.

And our New Senator is …

Senator David Harrington was sworn in as the Senator for the 47th Legislative District during the Fall Conference of the Maryland Mayors, and I was able to attend his swearing in. It was very moving and impressive. Senator Harrington had just been selected as Chair of the Prince George’s County Council when he was appointed to be our Senator by the Democratic Central Committee. The new chair of the County Council is Councilman Samuel Dean. Senator Harrington can be reached at the
Miller Senate Office Building, 2 West Wing
11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3745, (301) 858-3745
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3745 (toll free)
e-mail: david.harrington@senate.state.md.us
fax: (410) 841-3387, (301) 858-3387

Recent Public Hearings

A. On February 12, 2008, Mayor and Council hosted a public hearing on Ordinance 2-2008. Widespread publicity was given to this issue and it was covered by many of the local media. Residents who did not attend the hearing sent emails, made telephone calls, and otherwise shared their opinions about the Resolution. On a three to two vote the Resolution was tabled indefinitely. Many residents have since expressed their appreciation for living in a municipality where such issues can be openly discussed and debated. Others have expressed outrage and concern that the Mayor and Council spent so much time on this issue when there were other greater needs that should have been addressed. Still others have expressed disappointment and frustration that the Resolution was not passed. Yet others felt that they were intimidated by those who supported the Resolution. And, some even felt that they would be called racists by their neighbors for opposing the resolution.

These are the outcomes of a Democracy. We don’t always get what we want or all of what we want in the Democratic process, but we all should be able to be heard without being called names, intimidated, slandered, or castrated by those with opposing views. As a community, we still must work together to improve the lives and conditions of ALL of our residents who make up our very diverse population!

I personally believe that the position taken gives us the opportunity to come back together as a community and to continue to move toward embracing our differences and appreciating those things that brought us to Mount Rainier in the first place – the neighborhoods, the big houses, the tree lined streets, the sense of community, the closeness of our neighbors, and the freedom to be ourselves. Our immigrant residents were not at risk prior to the Resolution, and they have not at risk now. Let’s continue to work together to bring them to the table while keeping the rest of us at the table!

As reported in a recent ePodunk study, Mount Rainier is one of ten (10) of the most liberal places with populations under 25,000 to live in America. We are more tolerant of people, their life styles, differences, contributions, voting trends and a host of other factors. Therefore, it is very fitting that we want undertake a discussion of such magnitude, and still remain a VERY cohesive community.

Thank you and kudos to all of you that participated in this great debate! We are so much better because of it.

B) Mayor and Council held a hearing on Resolution 3-2008 regarding eminent domain and defining blight within the City. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that meeting, but reviewed the CD of the meeting. City staff did an excellent job of showing the blighted condition of our downtown area. The testimony given at the hearing and the emails and telephone calls that I received on this issue supported the need for the legislation although some residents were very clear that they did not approve of the approach that has been taken by the Mayor and Council. Even though there is strong disagreement about the Mayor and Council’ methodology, there is equally strong agreement that the development of Rhode Island Avenue is crucial to the overall development of the Gateway Arts District. This project is also moving forward.

Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission(WSSC)

The WSSC has petitioned and been granted an 8% increase in their fees for the water delivered to our homes. This increase, according to WSSC is needed to revamp a deteriorating infrastructure that has been allowed to fall apart over the years and now requires a major overhaul. This 8% increase is less than they requested (9.5% with a flat $20 assessment added to the bill over the next ten years). As president of the Prince George’s County Municipal Association (PGCMA), WSSC was invited to come out and discuss these proposed increases with municipal elected officials. Following WSSC’s presentation, municipal officials were asked to contact WSSC and County elected officials to voice their objections to these increases. We did not get all of what we wanted, but we did get the increase reduced and the $20 fee dropped. Thank you County Executive Jack B. Johnson (Prince George’s County) and County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett (Montgomery County) for working together to get the fee dropped and the percentage increase reduced. Our water bill is going up, but not at the rate proposed by WSSC!

On Another Note…

County Executive Jack Johnson recently announced His Proposed FY 2009 Budget for the County.

In his announcement, Mr. Johnson said that despite a $121.6 million budget deficit that had to be addressed education and public safety would remain his top priorities.

According to Mr. Johnson, the budget deficit is a result of the slumping housing market that caused a significant decrease in transfer and recordation taxes because fewer homes are being sold. Additionally, the county lost $53.3 million when the General Assembly met in a special session last November to close a $1.7 billion state deficit.

To help cut spending, a hiring freeze has been imposed on all non-public safety positions. Johnson is also proposing an increase in recordation and income taxes.

If approved, the recordation tax rate would go from $2.20 to $2.50 per every $500 of value on each home sold. This is expected to generate $5.4 million in revenue for the county.

The income tax rate would increase from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent, generating an additional $6.5 million in revenues. The average increase to citizens would be $40 per household.

Veterans Rental Assistance Program Launched

LARGO, MD - On March 1, 2008, the Housing Authority of Prince George's County, in partnership with the Department of Social Services, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, and Kairos, a local non-profit organization, admitted its first homeless veteran to its Veteran Rental Assistance Program (VRAP).

The VRAP program will provide rental assistance and supportive services to twenty-five (25) eligible homeless veterans who reside in Prince George's County as well as help veterans increase life skills and/or income, and ultimately, self-sufficiency.

"On any given night in Prince George's County, hundreds of veterans who have sacrificed for this country with blood and limb return to the county only to face homelessness. We need to do better and this is a very small step in addressing a monumental problem", says Tommie Thompson, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Prince George's County.

Homeless veterans interested in the VRAP program must conduct an initial interview with the Department of Social Services and subsequently referred to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs for a comprehensive case management assessment. Veterans may contact Victoria Frazer of the Prince George's Department of Social Services at 301-909-6369. The veteran program is another Livable Community Initiative.

Have YOU Always Wanted a Park for Your Dog?

Well, the County has heard you and there will be a dog park close to our neighborhood. The County is looking at locating the dog park at the corner of Ager Road and Nicholson Street. Currently, Park and Planning is putting together plans for the layout of this dog park. While it is still preliminary, the plans will most likely include a fenced in area for larger dogs, a smaller area for smaller dogs, a shed for maintenance equipment, parking spaces, as well as a source of water for the dogs and their owners.

One thing the County is looking for from folks who are interested in using this park is a commitment to assist in its operation and maintenance. The primary maintenance and operation of the dog park will be under Park and Planning, however people are needed who will use the dog park, but also help make sure it is in tip top condition and that it is used responsibly. If you are interested, please contact Council Member Campos’ office at (301) 952-4436 and ask to speak with Brad Frome. You can also email Brad at bwfrome@co.pg.md.us

Are you a Performing Artist?

M-NCPPC is developing an inventory of Prince George's County performing artists including musicians, actors, theater professionals, and dancers for a new resource registry of performing artists and companies. The registry will help the public locate performers for special events—don’t miss out on this opportunity. Go to MNCPPC website (http://www.pgparks.com/) and fill out our Artist Registry Form.

Free Recreation Activities for Seniors

Did you know that if you are 60 years of age you can participate in various senior programs throughout the County for free? Maryland residents 60 years and older can use the fitness center and pool for free from 8:00am to noon Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover MD. For further information call 301-583-2400; TTY 301-583-2483. Other MNCPPC facilities are also available and free to seniors.

Closest to us is the Cora B. Wood Senior Center named for a school teacher who saw the need for a senior center, and through the effort of Betterment for United Seniors (BUS) and Neighborhood United Project (NUP) worked to create a multi-purpose service center in an abandoned elementary school. Activities at the center include theme parties, educational programs, bingo, exercise and dance programs (including line dancing), cultural events, day trips, and college classes. Amenities include a computer lab, treadmill, and a library. Lunch and transportation are available through the Prince George's County Department of Family Services. The center is open from 9 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday. 3601 Taylor Street, Brentwood, MD 20772, 301-699-1238; TTY 301-445-4512

Joint Mount Rainier Brentwood Recreation Council

Mount Rainier is looking for three (3) people to serve on a joint Recreation Council. In conjunction with the Town of Brentwood, Mount Rainier will be forming a recreation council to work with Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). All homeowner are billed annually for recreation for County residents. Yet Mount Rainier, one of 27 municipalities in the County receives less than its fair share of these services. To change this and to bring programs and services to our area we need a recreation council dedicated to working with MNCPPC to identify our needs, and work with appropriate MNCPPC staff to ensure that our residents receive these programs and services. If you are interested and willing to serve on the recreation council, PLEASE call or email me ASAP!

Wondering about Crime in the City?

If you have always wanted to know how much crime is happening in your City, then you should check out Chief Michael Scott’s blog (http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com). Over the past few years, our crime statistics have gone down and continue to go down. Oftentimes, the news reporters report crime in our City that happened along or across our borders. You can get the real story directly from our own Chief of Police through his blog updates. Check it our today.

It’s Scholarship Season, and pretty soon our youths will be graduating

Don’t forget to contact our State Delegates and PGCMA for scholarships! If you have or know a deserving students in the 47th Legislative District who plan to attend a two- or four-year college located in Maryland have them contact me for PGCMA and Delegates Doyle Niemann, Victor Ramirez and Jolene Ivy for the Delegates’ scholarships. The application deadline for the State Delegates is Friday, March 28. To get a copy of their application and rules, please visit their websites. You must apply for scholarships with each of your Delegates individually. You may get additional information on the application process and download the application from PGCMA’s website http://www.pgcma.com/pgcmascholarship.html.

TIDBITS

Did you use MNCPPC programs child care programs this year? Well tax time is here and you may need The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Federal Tax ID # 526 001 550.

Did you know that efforts are underway to bring back derby racing on Eastern Avenue? Stay tuned for details.

Planning and Permitting 101

Are you confused about getting permits from the County and who handles planning and permitting? Well you just might want to attend a County sponsored workshop on Planning and Permitting being developed by the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) and Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). This workshop has been tentatively scheduled for May 28, 2008. Mark your calendar and watch for further information on my Blog (http://themayorsspot.blogspot.com).

Your comments, concerns, and responses are welcome. So, please contact me at mayormiles@malindamiles.com or post a comment on my blog.