Featured Post

Friday, December 30, 2011

From the Desk of Mayor Miles: SAFE and Happy New Year

From the Desk of Mayor Miles: SAFE and Happy New Year: From our County Executive, Rushern Baker New Year's is a time for celebration, not tragedy. Do your part: don't drink and drive. With the ...

SAFE and Happy New Year

From our County Executive, Rushern Baker

New Year's is a time for celebration, not tragedy. Do your part: don't drink and drive. With the SoberRide program offering free taxi rides all evening, there's no excuse to put yourself and others at risk. Call SoberRide toll-free at 800-200-TAXI and check out the article below for more details. Here's to a fun, safe, and happy New Year's Eve!

From the Washington Post

SoberRide offers free trip home
By Mark Berman

Area residents who drink have an easy way to avoid driving: The SoberRide program, which provides free taxi rides to people who shouldn’t be behind the wheel, runs through Sunday morning.

The service is available to people age 21 and older and covers a cab fare up to $30 (riders have to cover anything over that amount). Area residents can call SoberRide toll-free at 800-200-TAXI each night from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.

SoberRide is available in the District as well as Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, eastern Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park) and Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and the cities of Rockville, Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt and Takoma Park).

The Mayor Speaks Out on Youth Violence

Something must be done to address youth violence in the Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and North Brentwood neighborhoods. Law enforcement alone will not solve this problem. Pushing money at the problem will not solve the problem. Putting more police on the streets will not solve the problem. Increasing police on the streets supplement overtime pay for officers, increases the City's expenses, and forces crime to a different location.

These supplemental actions (as of yet) has not had any input from those who it affects the most—the City’s young people. This must change. We want our streets safe. We want our young people involved, and yet they have not been invited to the table.

On Wednesday, December 28, 2011, Team Mount Rainier Against Violence Society (Team MAVS) was formed. Its purpose is to work with our Youth, Mayor and Council, and other residents to address youth violence in the City.

City policies that affect young people will be reviewed. It is suspected that there are more policies and codes on the books about dogs and other animals than there are about the City's youth. I will be proposing that there be a review of curfew laws and their impact on youth.

Knowing that most crimes committed by minors are during specific after-school hours, the City must invest in after-school programs and activities that are age appropriate. We must stop letting our older teens invent their own entertainment. Programs for our youth must be developed in conjunction with our youth, their parents, the schools, and Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). This will require the community sitting down with the youth and these stakeholders to create effective programs and activities.

The key to deterring late-night youth violence is to provide alternatives to the streets in the form of entertainment venues. There should be weekly and monthly organized events and activities for our youth that build healthy character. The old shove them off the streets attitude and tactics have simply not worked! There needs to be a safe place and space for our teens to get off the streets, protect the community, and even have some fun in the process.

This, of course, will require some funding from various sources, but should be a priority for the City of Mount Rainier! The budget for such planning is estimated to cost about $100,000, most of which could come from grant. Until the City is able to raise the kind of money needed to help build a facility for its youth, most of this funding would be spent on providing secure transportation back and forth to current MNCPPC parks and recreation centers. City police would be involved in making this transportation possible using the City's van and caller-a-bus. It would also require the hiring of a youth program and events coordinator that would work with the Mount Rainier Youth Council, Police Department, MNCPPC, and the community's youth and parents to determine appropriate activities and events.

Rather than patrolling the streets in their cars all night where their only interactions with youth are punitive, police officers could be used for proactive measures. Police officers could be very useful as a quiet deterrent at events, during transportation to and from events, and sitting in on planning meetings of the shareholders. Police officers could also be useful as a precautionary insurance policy outside of events. This proposal would simultaneously provide safety, without the youth feeling menaced by the police, build relationships with the youth in the community, and provide parents and the community with a safer environment. In addition, police could be working alongside the youth to make the community safer.

This is all needed because youth in Mount Rainier deserve better than what they have been given over the years. For example, the nearest "free" swimming pool is in Chillum. The pool in the community is and has been out of reach for our youth. Although improving, the Nature Center does not provide an outlet for youth 15 to 22 years of age.

In light of all of the issues surrounding the complexities of violence, the Mayor calls for the following actions:

• Police Department—review and report data to access the role youth 13 and over truly play in contributing to violence in our community, youth arrests, criminal activity, and homicides.

• Mayor and Council —host a public forum on youth recreation and youth violence in the community with youth(13 to 22) participation.

• Mayor and Council —prepare an outline of how they will address youth recreation and violence in the City of Mount Rainier, with a review of curfew laws, their implementation and/or prohibitions, specifically in regards to how youth will be detained and where they will be taken should such a law becomes policy, and budget/funding.

• MNCPPC—review it budget, protocol, and past recreational services in the City of Mount Rainier, providing recommendations for assisting the City in addressing it youth recreation and youth violence issues.

The need for real, comprehensive violence prevention is desperately needed, and the only good solutions are those that begin and end with community involvement, and where law enforcement is a mere tool when needed rather than the centerpiece. The City must open its ears to the voices of what is so often called this City’s future—our young people.

The City needs to provide solutions that our young people believe will work because so far the City has done very little to engage our youth, and the results are obvious! Another murder of a youth in Mount Rainier is UNACCEPTABLE!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

PEACE and BLESSINGS today and ALWAYS

On this day that we have set aside to honor the birth of Jesus, I want to take a moment to say to all of my family, friends, neighbors, residents and others that it is truly a blessing to have you in my life. I am sure that we all have different feelings and beliefs, but I also know that we have one thing in common, and without it we cannot live -- AIR.

We are all breathing the same AIR. We exchange it between us regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual preference, nationality, etc. It is exchanged without purification. It is what it is, and today it is no different. So whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or nothing, our similarities are greater than our differences, and so I extend to you peace, love, blessings, respect, hope, and all those things that just by our humanness we hold dear, and WHOLEHEARTEDLY wish them to you and yours today and every day into the future.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Viewing and Wake Scheduled

One of our young residents departed this life on Friday, December 16. The Family has provided the following information:

Dontae John Cook
Sunrise: August 25, 1995
Sunset: December 16, 2011

Viewing and Service
Monday, December 26, 2011
Viewing: 8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Service: 10:00 a.m.

New Horizon Christian Faith Church
2211 Varnum Street
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Repass
Mount Rainier Nature and
Recreation Center
4701 31st Place
Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712

Intermittent
National Harmony Hills Cemetery
7101 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD 20785

John and Dania Cook
Sister, Dajona Cook

3202 Upshur Street
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
301.779.5515

A trust fund is being established
for “Dontae John Cook.” Details
will be provided once finalized.

STOPPING the VIOLENCE

What's on my mind? This morning that is an excellent question. For the past two weeks, I have pondered what can be done to help our young men and women understand that violence is not the answer. Two Fridays in a row, our community has lost TWO young men ages 21 and 17 to gun violence. Senseless destruction of families, friendships, community and the sense of peace that one gets living in our community.

Guns have their place in our society -- law enforcement, the military, etc., but not in the hands of our juveniles! When guns are used for violence, they do not destroy just the person that got shot, but the shooter, both families, AND the communities in which both the shooter and the victim were participants. TODAY, my shout out is a PLEA to the young men and women in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and North Brentwood. PLEASE PLEASE stop the violence. Let's find other ways to resolve our differences.

I am organizing a mediation program in Mount Rainier to address some of the differences and the disputes that young people are having with each other. For many of you, the skills were taught at Mount Rainier Elementary under Mr. C (Mr. Cantano who started the peace parade at Mount Rainier Elementary, and carried on by Ms. Reid the current principal at Mount Rainier).

Some how we have forgotten to respect life -- ours and that of our neighbors. We have walked away from values, such as honor, integrity, honesty, working for a living, helping one another, choosing right over wrong. Moral values are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behavior and choices. Each of us are born with it and our religious beliefs, government, community, family, friends and associates all work together to define those values.

I am ashamed to be a part of a community that says it is alright to shoot and to kill for pleasure, for things, and for no reason at all! This is Mount Rainier. This is our HOME. Respect it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MNCPPC's New Nixle Community Messaging Service

December 1, 2011


SUBJECT: New “Nixle” Community Messaging Service

This week, the Department of Parks and Recreation has launched a new community notification and messaging service called “Nixle” to improve communication with people who live, work, and recreate in our area. The system provides a quick, efficient, and secure way to get neighborhood-level information out to community members who subscribe to the system. Through www.nixle.com, the Department will be able to send text message (SMS) and e-mail alerts to subscribers in a specific area (down to a quarter of a mile) or the whole community.

Notifications could include weather-related Departmental closures and program cancellations, incidents such as a broken water main that might cause one particular facility to be closed, or a young child who walks away from a program—in that case, the alert could include a picture of the child with a map identifying the area where they were last seen. Other uses might include trail access updates, or even parking notifications at large festivals and events.

Through Nixle, we will deliver messages securely to subscribers (including staff) by e-mail and cell phone, supporting and expanding our community outreach efforts. Any public messages we send out via Nixle to post instantly on our website and on our Departmental Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well.

Obviously, the system will be most effective when we have large numbers of subscribers. You will soon see our registration campaign on www.pgparks.com, in the e-newsletter, on Facebook and Twitter, and on flyers at the front counter of facilities. We’re also issuing a challenge to all staff to ask five friends, neighbors or family members to sign up before the holidays! Please help us spread the word about our use of the system and add this information to the bottom of your e-mail signature: “Get up-to-the-minute notifications from the M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation by e-mail and text: sign up at www.pgparks.com ”.

Nixle is a secure communications service available only to municipal, county, and state government agencies. The system is available at no cost to our customers and residents (standard text message rates will apply for subscribers who do not have text plans with their cell phone providers). Subscribers can receive technical and non-technical assistance directly from Nixle by sending email to support@nixle.com.

Sign up today: go to www.pgparks.com, click on the Nixle widget on the left side of the page, and follow the simple registration steps.

Nixle messaging is managed 24/7 by our Public Affairs and Marketing Division, with support from the Help Desk.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Monday December 5, the 4000 block of 34th Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for repairs

After several inspections it has been determined that the hole in the center of the road in front of 4010 34th Street is seriously undermining the stability of the roadway. After consultation with WSSC and the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation, it appears for now that the repairs are solely the responsibility of the City until further investigation reveals otherwise.

In an effort to ensure the safety of our residents and those who use 34th Street, the necessary repair work will be carried out starting Monday December 5th. As a result, the 4000 block of 34th Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for the duration of the repairs. At this time we do not know how long the street will be closed as the scope of work is not yet known. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Michael E. Scott
Chief of Police
Mount Rainier Police Department
3249 Rhode Island Avenue
Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712
301-985-6580
mscott@mountrainierpd.org
Chief's Blog: http://mrpdchief.blogspot.com
Twitter: @MRPDChief

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Message from the Governor

November 22, 2011

A Message from the Governor


Dear Friend,

In two days, families across our State will celebrate Thanksgiving. They'll enjoy great food and company, rejoice in the Ravens victory over the 49ers and pore over websites for the best deals on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. But the holidays are about more than that. They're about coming together as a community, celebrating our shared traditions and lending a helping hand to neighbors in need. So as you continue to prepare for the upcoming holidays, I wanted to share three easy ways that you can make it a Maryland holiday.

Volunteer: Marylanders are a compassionate and generous people. In fact, over the past two years alone, 1.3 million Marylanders volunteered nearly 200 million hours of community service, making our State one of the top six states in the nation in the number of hours our people volunteer. That's why we launched the Maryland: Stronger Together campaign to shine a light on the important work of Maryland volunteers and to connect more Marylanders with volunteer opportunities. Visit this site and sign up to volunteer today.

Support Maryland Small Businesses: 85% of Maryland businesses employ fewer than 20 people. These are our neighbors, our friends and our local grocery store owners, and they are the backbone of our local economies. On Saturday November 26, you can help support local Maryland small businesses by shopping for Small Business Saturday. All you need to do is present this flyer at any of the businesses listed on this website and you'll receive a special discount while helping build a stronger future for our communities. When you shop, shop local.

Buy Local: Local food tastes better, it's healthier, it preserves our agricultural traditions and it supports our local economies. We're blessed in Maryland with an abundance of locally grown, manufactured and caught products and there are few better times to buy local than around the holidays. I can say firsthand how delicious a locally raised turkey is, and I cannot wait to eat our family's turkey that's coming straight from Maple Lawn Farms in Howard County, Maryland. Click here for a list of where to buy local near you.
I hope you'll join Katie and me and make it a Maryland Holiday. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,


Martin O'Malley
Governor

P.S. If you plan on traveling this holiday season, know before you go. Check Maryland's new 511.

Friday, October 28, 2011

THE IRAQI WAR COMES TO AN END

THE IRAQI WAR COMES TO AN END

Our Attention Must Focus on Our Returning Troops



Senator Cardin visits with soldiers at the Warrior Transition Unit at Ft. Meade.
Dear Friends:

I want to commend President Obama for moving to end a long, painful chapter in our nation’s history by announcing the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year. Over the past nine years, I joined millions of Americans in praying for the safe return of the nearly one million troops and diplomats who served in harm’s way in Iraq. The President’s announcement means our hopes have been fulfilled, and that our brave men and women in uniform will be coming home after what at times has seemed like a war with no end.

While we celebrate the courage, excellence and love of country that our returning troops exhibited in Iraq, we solemnly remember the more than 4,700 Americans, including 83 Marylanders, who selflessly gave their lives for the future stability and peace of Iraq. They showed bravery and heroism during fierce fighting and in situations that were often brutal and horrifying. We are forever grateful to them and their families for all they have sacrificed for our nation.

We also remember the more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians who perished during the war, and we share in the grief of their families and loved ones. It is my real hope that the memory of all those who sacrificed – Americans and Iraqis -- will inspire Iraq’s leadership to bring real stability and peace to the nation.

From the very beginning, I opposed the Bush Administration’s lack of strategic planning in the implementation of the war. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I voted against granting President Bush the authority to invade Iraq in 2003. We cannot change the past and it’s now time for us to focus on the needs of our nation while the Iraqis take full responsibility for the security and sustainability of their own country.

After nearly a decade in Iraq, America has learned the importance of a more thoughtful and multilateral approach to foreign policy, characteristics that were too often absent from much of our mission in Iraq. Our success in removing Moammar Gadhafi from power in Libya proves that America can act in concert with other nations -- without putting U.S. boots on the ground -- in achieving our foreign policy goals.

Now that our troops are finally coming home, we will do everything possible to support the health and well-being of the brave men and women returning home from war. Unemployment today among veterans is too high. Nearly 32,000 soldiers were wounded in battle and our attention now needs to be on making sure that they and their families have the resources and support they need to fully recover and resume their lives. We owe them no less.

Sincerely,

(Senator Ben Cardin's Statement/Letter)

FEMA, DHS and FCC will conduct First National Test of the Nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS)

On November 9th FEMA, DHS and FCC will conduct the first national test of the Nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test. This test will kick off at 2:00 p.m. (EST). The test will be nationwide, running concurrently across all time zones.

This system test is the first of its kind. It is designed to broadcast a nationwide message to the American public. Nothing like it has been conducted in the history of the country. There have been tests in the past but none to all parts of the Nation at the same time. The test will run concurrently on all radio and TV band and the message will run for three (3) minutes. Most messages in the past were anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

There is great concern in local police and emergency management circles about undue public anxiety over this test. The test message on TV might not indicate that it is just a test. Fear is that the lack of an explanation message might create panic. Please share this information with your family and friends so they are aware of the test.

Below are two websites, that will provide more information regarding this test.


http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm

https://nationaldialogue-emergencyalertsystem.ideascale.com/

Need more information? Contact Jim Flynn 240-417-9098 cell

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DEA is to Unused Prescription Drugs OUT of your HOME

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is sponsoring a third National Take Back Initiative for unwanted and unused prescription drugs on October 29, 2011 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The Mount Rainier Police Department is a proud co-sponsor of this important initiative.

The DEA reports that over 309 tons of drugs were turned in during the last two events.

Prescription drug abuse continues to be a serious health issue among Americans. Removing expired and/or no longer needed drugs from the home can assist in curtailing illegal and dangerous drug diversion, as well as ensure these drugs are not flushed into our waters.

Individuals can turn in their unused, expired or no longer needed prescription or over the counter drugs at the Mount Rainier Police Department located at 3249 Rhode Island Avenue this Saturday, October 29th between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

For further information please call 301-985-6580.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween at the Farm

Looking for a fun event for the family check out the Halloween at the Farm
Old Maryland Farm at Watkins Park in Upper Marlboro/Mitchellville, MD

Sunday, October 23 4 - 7 pm
$2 per person (adult and kids)
Hayrides, costume contest, treats, live animal show, crafts, farm animals
NO pony rides this year – they have taken ponies out of the park permanently
301 218 6770

Also, between 1 and 4 you can ride the carousel, train, and have popcorn, a hayride and crafts—unlimited for $5

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

14th Annual 2012 Teen Cotillion

MNCPPC's 14th Annual Teen Cotillion is a 16-week co-ed comprehensive program that runs from January-May, 2012 for young men (beaus) and women (debs) ages 14-17. Through a series of workshops, special events, service learning projects and more, the 2012 Teen Cotillion program offers leadership and growth opportunities to participants. Career development, etiquette, social skills and team building activities are included in the program.

Debs and beaus are selected from among a group of teens who complete applications and submit essays. Applicants write inspiring essays about leadership and about pursuing their dreams. The Teen Cotillion program promotes positive leadership skills and is designed to inspire youth to take the steps needed to attain their dreams. This extraordinary 16-week program ends with a spring Cotillion ceremony—a formal, coming-out gala where these young adults make their debuts before families and friends.

To obain the application, please click below.

http://www.mncppcapps.org/pgparks/xtreme_teens/cotillion/cotillion_registration.asp

2012 Teen Cotillion Interest Meeting

To learn more about participating, you are invited to attend the 2012 Teen Cotillion Interest Meeting for Parents and Teens (ages 14-17) on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, from 7-9 pm at the Prince George's Ballroom. Pre-register at any M-NCPPC community center in Prince George's County for SMARTlink course barcode #696814.

From the Desk of The Mayor October 2011

It has been a while since I have had or taken the time to try to collect in one place all that is going on around our wonderful City. Thank God, we have other members of the Council that send out updates about our many activities. Here are some things that may not be on your horizon from other sources.

ANACOSTIA HOURS
GLUT has a growing surplus of Hours. Members are encouraged to patronize GLUT, and it's clear that many people have. But we also need to guard against overburdening GLUT with too many Hours.

Short-term, the solution is not hard: Hours users can buy groceries with US dollars, and receive Hours in change. Or you can simply buy Hours from GLUT's cash register at the exchange rate of 1 Hour = $10. This will reduce the surplus to a more comfortable level, and help achieve the desired circulation of Hours into the community.

Longer term, the idea is to use the Hours for diverse goods and services - not just one store. The 2011 (yellow) directory, including the monthly additions list of new members, includes more offerings than ever. For example: bread and other baked goods, tutoring in academic subjects for elementary school kids, plumbing, handyman services, professional audio recording, music lessons, a lawyer, a realtor, web design and IT consultation, haircuts, and more.

Diversification is the key! Use your Hours around town for various goods and services. GLUT has been a supporter of Hours for years. Let's keep the Hours circulating and avoid a bottleneck at GLUT.

Many thanks for supporting local economic self-reliance!

WELCOME TO ALL NEW RESIDENTS
The past year has seen a tremendous growth of new residents in the City, and they have come invigorated and ready to work. Many of our new residents have joined committees, reached out to their new neighbors, attended a Council meeting or other activity in the City. This is inspiring and uplifting. Thank you for making Mount Rainier your new home and we hope that you will continue to be a part of the City. If you have not found a Committee that you are interested in joining , don't worry, we are always open to new committees, new ideas, and individuality. That is why we have "The Glut," "Nisey's," "Joe's," and, of course, the green police station, a round-about on a State Highway, and one of the first green rooftops in the metropolitan area. As with you new home, explore Mount Rainier, you will find a lot of reasons to love living here. I did 43 years ago, and I am still excited about the possibilities that lie within its borders!

PARTNERING WITH NORTH BRENTWOOD
In today's world of crisis economic and crisis management, it is harder to get things done without partners. Over the past few months, there have been discussions about the heavy snows that we had a few years ago, and how to get more of the money from the federal government when there is a snow emergency and we use up all of our allocations. Well, one of the things that keeps coming up is partnering. Municipalities working together to make limited resources go farther. With that in mind, the Mayor and Council are in discussions with the Town of North Brentwood to share snow removal activities this winter. Over the past few weeks, Luther Smith and Mayor Petrella Robinson have walked the streets of North Brentwood to see what additional resources would be needed to do snow removal in both municipalities. It is my hope that this will be the first step in an inter-beltway snow removal consortium that would include, Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood, and Cottage City. Pooling our resources, these municipalities could share cost, services, resources, and best practices for handling snow emergencies.

GOING GREEN
As many, if not all of you know, Mount Rainier is one of the greenest communities in the Washington metropolitan area http://www.dccondoloft.com/top-ten-green-neighborhoods-in-the-dc-metropolitan-area/. This is only half the story. Over the past few months, we have been visited by Sean Gavin from EPA to verify that we are a green community. Sean walked our police station. Visited our City Hall. Toured our Artists Loft and green roof. Saw and talked with residents who had no clue who he was, and learned from them first hand that green is a way of life in Mount Rainier and not a fad that just took life. As a result of his tour of our City, he now uses Mount Rainier in his speeches around the Country to tell other communities how baby steps over a long period of time will make a difference in our environmental footstep on our planet. So, just to keep up our momentum here is what is going on and what you can do:

1. Mount Rainier is one of the fourteen founders of Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC) http://www.sustainablemaryland.com/ , and organization growing out of the University of Maryland to help municipalities go green and stay green. This program is modeled after Sustainable New Jersey Certified.
2. To achieve our BRONZE recognition, we must carry our several projects and reach 150 point by June 2012. Please visit this site http://www.sustainablemaryland.com/actionlist.php to see what must be done. We have accomplished many of the task on the list, but there are still others that we must do and report.
3. The major task is to form a green team that is representative of our entire community. We have all of the components, but they are fragmented and must come together under one umbrella to meet the requirements of SMC. Your Mayor and Council is working on this and making it a priority.
4. We MUST recycle. Recycling is more than bottle, can, and cardboard. We can recycle clothes, containers, bikes, pots and pans and a whole lot more. Get creative, and report out on what you are doing to help Mount Rainier grow green.
5. Visit our website. Visit our cable channel. Read our newsletter. Talk with your neighbors. Going Green is a mind set and should be ever present on your mind.
6. Mount Rainier met all of the qualifications to become registered with Maryland's Green Registry http://mde.maryland.gov/marylandgreen/Pages/GreenMembersList.aspx. Next goal is to win the Maryland Green Registry' gold award.
7. The Environmental Protection Board has taken off running to put in place a green plan for the City of Mount Rainier. The plan will be introduced to the Mayor and Council at its next work session. Residents are encouraged to get a copy, review it, comment on it, and embrace it as our way of reducing our footprint on our environment.
8. October 27 - 29, 2011: Maryland Clean Energy Summit. This event has been rescheduled to take place at the Hilton Inner Harbor in Baltimore. A discount registration rate is available through October 7th and the final registration date is October 21st. Note that the Consumer Trade Show on Saturday 10/29 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is free to the public. For more information go towww.mcecsummit.org or call 301-738-6280.

TOOL SHED RE-OPENS
With the push of Devon Brown and Joe Robbins, the Mount Rainier Tool Shed will re-open for business on October 29, 2011. The new Tool Shed Committee members are Evan Wilder, Chairperson, Mimi McKinley-Ward, Rebecca Lane, Kathryn Wolfe, and Anthony Brown. This new Committee invites the community to come out and see the tool shed, have a glass of cider and some very healthy treats while learning about composting. The event will take place from 10:00am on Saturday, October 29, 2011 to 12:30pm. Got some old tools that could be recycled within the neighborhood? The Mount Rainier Tool Shed is just the place to get those tools working hard for you and the community. Donate. You will be glad that you did.

JOINING A MOUNT RAINIER COMMITTEE
It has been impressive and heartwarming to see new members joining the various committees in Mount Rainier. If you have not joined a committee, here is the golden opportunity to do so. For your consideration, here is a list of committees with an asterisk by those that need your membership, ideas, and creative juices:


Gateway Community Development Corporation (CDC)* Branding/Development in the Gateway Arts District

Personnel Review Committee Oversee and ensure proper implementation of City personnel policies and procedures and union contracts

Emergency Preparedness* Responsible for preparation and implementation of City’s emergency plan for elderly and disabled residents

Anacostia Trails Historical Association (ATHA) ATHA is a composition of municipalities along the Anacostia that seeks to preserve its heritage

Mixed Use Town Center Design Review Committee (MUTC) The Town Center Design Review Committee is the official name given to a group of municipal representatives, residents, and business/property owners who review applications for, and make recommendations on, exterior renovations and new development in Mount Rainier’s Mixed-Use Town Center Zone. This zone extends along Rhode Island Avenue from the city limits at Eastern Avenue into the 3400 block, and along 34th Street from the 3700 block into the 4000 block; it also includes part of Bunker Hill Road.
Tool Shed*

Community Tool Shed Loans, tracks, and replaces tools to community residents. Provides forums, workshops, plant swaps, and community gardening opportunities

MRTV* Responsible for oversight of City’s cable operation, including the creation of programs

MRBA Mount Rainier Business organization with purposes of helping improve City businesses

Tree Commission The City of Mount Rainier Tree Commission was established to regulate the planting, maintenance, and removal of street and park trees in public places. The Tree Commission consists of five (5)members, all residents of the City of Mount Rainier, appointed by the Mayor with approval of City Council. http://trees.20712.org/

Mount Rainier Election Board* Oversees all aspects of Mount Rainiers City Elections

Design Review Board The Mount Rainier Design Review Board (DRB) is established to advise and assist the Council on design-related issues including but not limited to, fence, retaining wall, public plantings, construction proposals, building alterations, and regulations of design issues. Members of the DRB consist of five (5) City residents who are appointed by council with at least one member being an architect.

Environmental Protection Board The purpose of this board is to promote and sustain a clean, healthy, sustainable environment that enhances the quality of life for current and future generations and that protects our natural resources.

Neighborhood Watch* Richardson Park & Upshur St park

Neighborhood Watch* 35th Street

Youth & Recreation, Sub-committee (Skate Park)* The Mount Rainier Recreation Committee aims to facilitate multi-generational recreational opportunities in the areas of sports, appreciation of our natural environment and the arts. The committee supports the work of activity specific recreational committees and ad hoc interest groups as needed. The Committee is the steward for the City of Mount Rainier recreational resources insuring that residents have full access and take full advantage of our neighborhood treasures.

Snow Removal Task Force Make recommendation for improving City's snow removal process

Mount Rainier Day* Day of celebration for the City

Beautification Committee* Created to help residents take pride in their yards and their homes and in turn increase the value of their homes.

Farmers Market* Created to help provide fresh, healthy, nutritional, and affordable foods to the community as well as create a place and space for community to come together to learn about foods and nutrition.

Community Foundation* Created to help start a community fund to assist residents with small project around their homes and/or start small projects that are beneficial to the City.

Green Team Required by Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC). Is an official group created by legislation. It is similar to other boards, committees, and commissions created by the City and is governed by all state and local government rules for conducting open meetings, providing public information, and honoring ethical laws and ordinances. Green may have up to 15 members representing citizens, local elected officials, and local appointed officials, businesses, etc. Geen Team members may come from all City appointed committees, commissions, boards, task forces, etc. The Green Teams shares information re conservancy and preserving environmentally sensitive land, improving water quality, and developing local recreational resources. The Green Team does , not administer properties, and is not concerned like environmental committees, with the protection and improvement of the natural health and welfare of the environment.

WEBSITES and BLOGS
Malinda Miles --- www.malindamiles.com
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/police/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.mdmunicipal.org/chapterweb/pgcma
Maryland Municipal League --- http://www.mdmunicipal.org
Friends of the Mount Rainier Library (FOL) --- http://www.mtrainierfol.org/
Mount Rainier Business Association (MRBA) – http://mrbassociation.org

Friday, September 09, 2011

I am TIRED of the RAIN!

Well it has been raining for days!

Most people are just plain tired of the rain, but more importantly, they are tired of the wet basements, road closures, gridlock going and coming from work, and getting splashed by insensitive drivers. Most of these things you can't do ANYTHING about, but there are some things that you can take control over!

You can make a list of what you should have done before the rainy season started. For example do you have flood insurance? I don't, but I wish I had followed through on all those times I thought about purchasing it. Well, I can't get flood insurance to cover what is already damaged by this rainy season, BUT I can get it now for future rainy seasons. The first question to ask is "are you in the 100 year flood zone" or whatever they call it. If you do you stand a better chance of getting flood insurance. Want more information on flood insurance? Visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Another list item is to make sure that you have non-perishables in the house that can be quickly used JUST IN CASE your power goes out. Who would have thought that the solid oak standing in your yard would just follow over because of the over saturated ground. Worst yet, why did it have to fall on the power line and knock out all the power in the neighborhood. No, your neighbors will not blame you for an act of God, but it sure would help if you were prepared to be without lights for a day or two. So that leads to the next item on the list.

Make sure that you have flashlights and batteries or some other source of lighting that you can PUT YOUR HANDS on in a hurry especially if the lights go out at night! If you can afford it, a backup generator would be nice, but what do you do with it for months on end until you need it? Storage problem, but a good one if you have it when you need it.

BE PREPARED to shelter in place if you do not have a community center set up for you. Sometimes, this is the only thing you can do until rescue units can get to you. Sheltering in place means be prepared to move to the highest part of your house. Have your basic needs kit including medicines in place in the attic (assuming you have one) or other highest place where you live. Make sure they are in plastic bags to stay dry.

Got a family? MAKE SURE they know the plan. Drill, drill, drill. They need to know what to do and when to do it.

Gas up the family car just in case you may need to use it to get to higher ground. (NOTE: If you must drive, remember to be alert about high standing water or you could find yourself in a more dangerous situation.)

Still making that list? DO NOT FORGET to have on hand a battery powered radio with batteries available or in it because when the power goes, it goes also.

Portable phones may also prove unworthy of the journey. Make sure you have at least one old fashion plug in telephone assuming that you will still have telephone service.

DRY CLOTHING is an essential. Place at least ONE FULL set of clothing in a dry plastic bag. Double cover it to ensure that it stays dry. If you have to get out in the rain to safety, you will need some dry clothing to keep from catching cold and to warm up.

Got pets? What's going to happen to them? Dry to figure out what you will do with your pet(s) before the water rises. Have the pet cage handy. Have food for your pet stored with your non-perishables. Get your pet to safety early even if that means putting the pet up for a few days in a pet shelter that may be safer than your home. Do this EARLY. At the last minute, you will be consumed by other urgent and important actions to keep you and your family safe.

If a flood emergency is declared in your area and you are asked to evacuate, follow directions. Know where the nearest shelter is set up. DO NOT try to carry with you all of your possessions. You will have LIMITED space since everyone else will be headed to the same shelter in your neighborhood.

Finally, pack a few pictures and a book suitable for each family member. It could be a LONG time before you can return home, and the water may destroy all pictures and memories. (NOTE: Water guard these prior to the need to evacuate. If water tight, they may survive and be there for you later.)

GOT your LIST together? Good, here are some other safety tips. Some of these are overlapping, but are there to emphasize the importance of each item.

During the flood or heavy rains
• Don't tune out. Be aware of flash floods. If there is any possibility of a flash flood occurring, move immediately to higher ground.
• Listen to radio or television stations for local information.
• Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood suddenly.
• Secure your home. If you have time, bring outdoor garden equipment and lawn furniture inside or tie it down. Move essential items to the upper floors of your house.
• If instructed, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Special tools may be required. Add this to your list when preparing ahead for flooding conditions.
• Sterilize the bathtub, then fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or services are cut off. You can also purchase and store BOTTLE WATER for emergencies. Stay away from flood waters. They could be contaminated.
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely. You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as flood waters rise.
• Report broken utilities to the proper authorities
What to do after a flood?
• Stay away from flood waters. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. The water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
• Stay away from moving water. Moving water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
• Be aware of areas where flood waters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
• Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.
• Stay away from disaster areas unless authorities ask for volunteers.
• Continue listening to a battery-powered radio for information about where to get assistance for housing, clothing and food.
• Clean and have electrical equipment checked before using.
• Consider your family's health and safety needs. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with flood waters. Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
• Contact your insurance agent.

Remember, be safe, and know that floodwaters sometimes take days to rise, even when the sun is shining. It can take days for floodwaters to make their way downstream. Don't underestimate the power and speed in which flood waters can rise and destroy everything in its path.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MOST Schools are OPEN TOMORROW, August 30, 2011

Due to mass power outages caused by Hurricane Irene; the following 21 schools will remain closed on Tuesday, August 30: Apple Grove ES; Central HS; Benjamin Foulois Creative and Performing Arts; Brandywine ES; Concord ES; Glenarden Woods ES; Heather Hills ES; Highland Park ES; Imagine Foundations I Public Charter; Imagine Foundations II Public Charter; James Frank Dent ES;Kenmoor ES; Largo HS; Magnolia ES; Princeton Elementary; Rockledge ES; Samuel Ogle MS; Suitland HS; Tall Oaks Vocational HS; Whitehall ES; and Woodmore ES. All other schools will open on time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Schools are CLOSED in Prince George's County

All Prince George's County schools are CLOSED tomorrow, August 29, 2011. A Code Green is in effect; all 12-month employees must report on-time. Liberal leave will be in effect.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Damage Assessment for IRENE

Report from Chief Michael Scott on damage assessment of Irene in Mount Rainier:

As of 5 pm this morning we are still experiencing high winds and heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Irene. While the rain is forecast to taper off we still expect the high winds to continue through the morning hours. The police department went on tactical alert at 6 pm Saturday evening and all officers were on duty throughout the night until 5 am this morning. We will have a normal day shift compliment plus one additional officer starting at 7 am this morning. We will follow the same schedule for the night shift that starts at 7 pm tonight.

Throughout the City there is an extensive amount of storm debris on all of our residential streets ranging from leaves to large branches and trees and power lines down. We have reported each power line problem to Pepco; however we do not expect Pepco to respond to address any of the power line problems until later in the day, and then only according to their priority schedule. Our officers have used police tape to block off those streets where power lines and/or trees have either totally or partially blocked the roadway. Residents should not attempt to drive or walk on any street or sidewalk where police tape blocks the way.

Here’s a brief summary of the major storm damage and power outages:

Tree down blocking the road in the 3100 block of Upshur St. Tree took down power lines from a house when it fell.

· Tree down blocking the road at 37th and Newton Streets. No power lines affected.

· Tree down on power lines at 32nd and Varnum.

Tree down on power lines 3100 block of Shepherd St. Street blocked but power still on. When the tree came down an 8 to 12 foot section of the sidewalk was uprooted.

· Electric wires are down in the 4100 block of 30th Street.

· A tree and power lines are down in the 4000 block of 31st Street.

· Tree down in the 4200 block of 28th Street.

· Tree down at 28th Place and Webster Street.

· Power is out to about 75% of the Kaywood apartment complex and bordering streets.

· Power is out along Eastern Avenue from Rhode Island Avenue to Queens Chapel Road.

· Power is out in the 2200 and 2300 blocks of Varnum Street.

· Power is out sporadically in other residential areas of the City.

· The roof of the police station is leaking in several places.

Residents should continue to call our communications center at 301-985-6565/6566 to report trees down, power lines down or other hazardous conditions.


Michael E. Scott
Chief of Police
Mount Rainier Police Department
3249 Rhode Island Avenue
Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712
301-985-6580
mscott@mountrainierpd.org

Sunday, August 14, 2011

THANK YOU to the TREE COMMISSION

While many of us are going about our day with little thought or care about the very reason we love living here -- our trees -- there is a group of men and women that are out there making sure our trees make it through this very hot and dry period. Therefore, today's blog is dedicated to them (I am not going to list their names because I will miss someone and that would not be nice).

To the Tree Commission

Thank you for knowing where all the trees are in Mount Rainier.
Thank you for keeping up with the inventory of trees that we have in Mount Rainier.
Thank you for planting and replanting tree throughout Mount Rainier.
Thank you for helping to keep our trees healthy in Mount Rainier.
Thank you for giving of your time, skills and knowledge to help keep Mount Rainier a Tree City USA.
Thank you for caring enough to know the value of the trees we have in Mount Rainier.
Thank you for getting really pissed when someone cuts down a healthy tree in Mount Rainier.
Thank you Tree Commission for serving, often without thanks, the residents of Mount Rainier.

You are awesome and doing a thankless job on behalf of all of us here in Mount Rainier.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MD sets NO TAX Day for Back to School

Got to buy uniforms, shoes and other clothing for your school age children? Here's when to buy!
Maryland Tax-Free Shopping Days are August 14-20, 2011. Remember the tax exemption is for items priced $100 or less. As always, there are some exclusions, so check with the store before being caught up at the register. Also support stores in PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY. Make the most of every dollar when you shop during Maryland Tax-Free Shopping Days! Valid only in Maryland.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS -- PUTTING FAMILY FIRST

It is entirely too late in an emergency to get prepared. Here are some things that you can do now, and contrary to popular belief, bottled water will not go bad, and if there is NO WATER available, it might just come in handy, IF YOU HAVE SOME.

Here are a few things you can do without the help of your local government (or any government for that matter):

1. PUT aside one gallon of water per person per day for three days STORED IN PLASTIC CONTAINERS.

2. STORE an equal amount of food per person per day for three days.
Ready to eat canned meat, fruit and vegetables.
Canned soup, shelf milk, and juices
Food for infants, adults with special diets and seniors in your family.
High energy snacks -- crackers, trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter.
Comfort foods -- cookies, candy, hot chocolate, tea bags, instant coffee.
(DO NOT forget to include a NON-ELECTRIC can opener, matches AND a cigarette lighter.)
3. SAVE or GET your prescription drugs in 90 days supply and put ONE FULL prescription -- 30 days up and change out at least every six months so that they do not expire.
4. GET and STORE a first aid kit that includes non-prescription drugs like pain relievers, stomach medicines, and allergy medications.
5. PURCHASE a durable flashlight AND extra batteries. DO NOT PUT IN THE FLASHLIGHT. CHECK and CHANGE the batteries to make sure they are working at least every six month.
6. STORE/PUT AWAY some cash including nickels, dimes, and quarters -- at least one roll each and about $100.
7. INCLUDE a small tool kit with hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, nails, and other necessary tools for an emergency.
8. DON'T forget toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, sanitary napkins, toothbrushes, and other hygiene items.
9. GOT PETS? Don't forget they need food and water, carrying case, leash, and proof of rabies shots.
10. PORTABLE RADIO and BATTERIES will go a long way in helping to keep you in touch.
11. WALKIE TALKIE is nice, but require batteries so don't forget to include a few. Remember, cell phones MAY NOT WORK.

In an emergency call 911 (WHEN CALLING 911 please stay on the line until your call is answered IF AT ALL POSSIBLE) or the County -- 301883-3308.

In an emergency and/or disaster in our AREA, Mount Rainier's Command staff (Jeannelle Wallace, Chief Michael Scott and your Mayor) will be in place to minimize the impact of the disaster, but will NEED YOU doing your part. These steps will help us help you.

When there is a power outage CALL PEPCO -- 1-202-872-3432 or 1877-737-2662. Lights Out: PEPCO 202-833-7500

When there is a water main break CALL WSSC -- 301-206-4002.

When there is a gas leak CALL Washington Gas Company. If you smell gas, or if you have an emergency involving natural gas, leave the area immediately, and call Washington Gas at (703) 750-1400 or 1 (800) 752-7520.

Mount Rainier's Police Department Emergency -- 301-985-6565

Prince George's County Police Emergency -- 301-333-4000 or 301-336-8800

Prince George's County Fire 301-499-8400

Telephone Lines: Verizon 301-954-6260

TDD users, call 911 for emergencies.
When dialing 9-1-1, wait until your call is answered and tap TDD bar 5 times.

Fire Emergency TDD 301-782-7619

Poison Control Center 1-800-492-2414

National Response Center 1-800-424-8802

Friday, June 17, 2011

Please VOTE for BB&Ts Lighthouse Project at the Family Crisis Center June 16 2011

The Family Crisis Center can win $5,000 from BB&T if we help Project Lighthouse FCC Project receive the most votes! All you have to do is go to their (BB&T's Lighthouse Project) Facebook page and vote! Type in "I am voting for the BB&T Lighthouse Project at the Family Crisis Center."

We NEED YOUR VOTE TODAY! WE NEED YOU TO ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO VOTE! Help us win the $5,000!BB&T Lighthouse Project.

Thanks for your VOTE. PLEASE pass it on.

Safe Summer Kick Off at Wells-Linson Complex

Safe Summer Kick Off at Wells-Linson Complex

Date & Time: Saturday, June 18, 5-10 pm

Event Description: Have fun at Teen Fest! There will be swimming, live entertainment, a DJ, life development sessions, indoor roller skating, adventure world, basketball, volleyball, vendors, and food (while supplies last).

Ages: 12-24

Fee: FREE

Location: Wells-Linson Complex

5211 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park 20740

Information: 301-446-3400; TTY 301-446-3402

Friday, April 22, 2011

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TRAINING

Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security and the Mayor and Town Council of North Brentwood will be hosting Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on May 21-May 22, 2011.

The two-day training program will be held at the North Brentwood Municipal Center starting at 9:00am to 4:00pm. Training is mandatory for both training dates.

What YOU will learn.
How to create a Family Disaster Plan and what to include.
How to develop a community resource data base.
How to respond to a crisis.
How to help your family, your neighbors, and community in a crisis.

Participate in a desktop exercise specific to Prince George’s County.

There is no cost to attend, lunch and a complementary continental breakfast will be provided free. To register for this FREE dynamic class call Paula Michelle on 301-699-9699 ext. 221 at the North Brentwood Municipal Center. Registration will be open until the class is filled (20 participants).

Upon completion of this training participant will receive a certificate, a CERT backpack (include emergency preparedness items) and a CERT Photo ID which will be effective for two years. Registration deadline date is May 10, 2011.

Please register as early as possible to secure your seat.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Maryland SAIL PROGRAM

Need food stamps, TCA, energy assistance, or other services? Did you know you could apply for all of this from the comfort of your living room or where ever you have your computer and/or laptop. Check out the information listed below. (NOTE: You can also apply for these services by visiting the Family Crisis Center, Inc. of Prince George's County, 3601 Taylor Street, Brentwood, MD 20722 or VISIT our Mount Rainier Library and go online and follow these instructions.)

MARYLAND SAIL PROGRAM

SAIL (Service Access and Information Link) is a web-based screening and application tool that will allow Maryland applicants to complete the following:

Am I Eligible?
- A series of questions to help you decide for which social services benefits you and members of your family may want to apply.

Start an Application - Apply on-line any time of day or night for the following programs:

* Food Stamps (FS)
* Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)
* Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)
* Medical Assistance (MA)
* Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP)
* Medical Assistance Long Term Care (LTC)
* Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)
* Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP)
* Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP)

Complete a Re-determination - If you currently receive cash assistance, Medical Assistance or Food Stamps, you may be able to complete the re-determination of your benefits on-line. To access this section, you must have received a re-determination letter.

Report a Change - If you currently receive benefits and have a change in your household's circumstances, such as a new address, someone moving in or out, or an increase or decrease in income, you can report this information on-line.

Print Verification Form - You can print a verification form to complete and mail to your local department.

Become a Community Partner - Your organization may be able to help our customers apply for benefits by becoming a Community Partner.

There are also links to other programs and services such as the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program.

Friday, April 15, 2011

ELECTION COMING UP IN MOUNT RAINIER

There is a City-wide election being conducted on Monday, May 2, 2011 in the Great City of Mount Rainier Maryland. ALL registered voters are invited to come out and participate. This election, residents will be participating in a historic election. This is the first time under our revised Charter that we will be electing two councilmembers from the same Ward for two different term limits.

You may recall that Ward 1 was represented by the Late Councilmember Alta Morton. Because of her passing, Ward 1 residents will now elect someone to complete her term (2 years) and someone for the next four years. Jimmy Tarlau is running for the four year term and Bill Updike is running for the two year term.

In Ward 2 1 person will be elected to serve for the next four years. Running in Ward 2 is Brent Bolin and Adrienne Charles. Both are excellent candidates and you will have the opportunity to meet and hear from them at the Candidates Forum that is scheduled for April 20, 2011 at the Mount Rainier Nature Center from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Come out and meet the candidates.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Better Block Project a SUCCESS!

Jan Townshend Took an idea, and made it a reality on 34th Street in Mount Rainier MD. After seeing a better block project, Jan thought it would be a way to showcase Mount Rainier's 34th Street, and encourage potential new businesses to see what could be on 34th Street. And, just like everyone who lives in Mount Rainer knows, OUR businesses and residents came out in full support of this major effort.

Thank you to everyone that took a part in making this happen. Mount Rainier pride could be seen every where. We know the jewel we live in, and we take every opportunity to showcase our business base, vacant space, and potential business place! You did us PROUD, and we looked GOOD.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Council Agenda April 5, 2011

AGENDA
MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2011
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, UPPER LEVEL
7:00 PM


Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
Review and Approval of Agenda
Review and Approval of Minutes for March 1, and March 15, 2011
Official Reports
Mayor
Council
City Manager
Department Heads

General Public Comment (Limited to three (3) minutes per person)

Certification of Election Candidates Maxine Drakeford, Supervisor of Elections
Report on Candidates Night (time and place) Maxine Drakeford, Supervisor of Elections

ATHA Update Aaron Marcavitch

Old Business

Ordinance 3-2011 an ordinance establishing Mount Rainier Green Initiative (Second Reading/Vote)

Vote on 2% one year COLA/Salary Adjustment for FOP

Vote on 2% for one year COLA/Salary Adjustment for city employees (including city hall, public works, and department heads)

Formal vote by Mayor and Council on City Logo

Formal vote by Mayor and Council on accepting 31st Street easement from Rainier Manor

Council will vote to adjourn the regular meeting and proceed into a work session

Discussion Item

Fiscal Year 2012 Proposed Budget

Rules for Speakers

The Mayor and City Council invite and welcome comments at public meetings. The Mayor or presiding officer will recognize you. Please introduce yourself at the podium (spelling your last name, for recording purposes) and give the name of your street and block number (e.g., 4300 block of 34th St.). Time limits for speaking are indicated on the meeting agenda.
While speaking, please maintain a courteous tone and avoid personal attacks.

If you wish to lodge a complaint about the performance or conduct of any City employee, please bring your concern to the attention of the City Manager, who will look into the matter and respond to you.

As a courtesy to other residents and businesses, the Council requests that speakers not use specific addresses or names of individuals when describing a situation or making a complaint. Noting the block is preferred over a specific address.

Code enforcement and public safety issues should first be brought to the attention of the appropriate department and/or one of your Council members.

Please Note: Pursuant to the Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article Section 10-508(a), the Council by majority vote may retire to executive or closed session at any time during the meeting. Should the Council retire to executive or closed session, the chair will announce the reasons and a report will be issued at a future meeting disclosing the reasons for such session.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Health Services in Prince George's County

The Prince George's County Council will be hosting a town hall on the delivery of Health Services in Prince George's County on April 5 from 6:30pm - 8:00pm at the Bowie Senior Center, 14900 Health Center Drive, Bowie, MD.

Briefings by:

Kenneth Glover
President/CEO,
Dimensions Healthcare

Dr. Donald Shell, M.D., M.A.
Health Officer,
Prince George’s County Health Department

Keeping Fit

Medical Facilities
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Bowie Senior Center
14900 Health Center Drive
Bowie, Md 20716

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Summer School Program in Computer Science

This is a summer program for students going into the 12th grade that are interested in the field of computer science. The program is free and takes place from August 8, 2011 to August 12, 2011.Additional information (including application form) can be found at: http://www.cs.umd.edu/csoutreach/

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Prince George's County Youth Employment Program

As you can imagine, there will be very little funding for the County's Youth Employment Program, but by checking in with the office today, I learned that there will be some. It is anticipated that the application form will be online (http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/Government/ExecutiveBranch/summeryouth.asp) sometime after March 14. Applications will ONLY be accepted online. Youth are encouraged to MAKE SURE THAT THEY GET A CONFIRMATION NUMBER after completing their application and to retain it!

Categories for Service
Note: At the end of the application process, you will be able to choose the Category areas of interest before you submit your application
Summer Jobs Program — Applicants between the ages of 15 thru 21 are referred for placement in county government, public sector or academic enhancement positions.
Year Round Opportunities
Private Sector Positions — Applicants between the ages of 16 and 21 will be referred for placement in available positions in private businesses in Prince George’s County and the Metropolitan Area. (Full or Part-time Positions)
Internships — Qualified applicants between the ages of 18 thru 21 who are currently in college or have attended college will be able to apply to programs thru our Internship Bank.
Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships — Qualified applicants between the ages of 16 and 21 will be referred to available programs in the metropolitan area.
Guidelines
1. Applications from the Summer Jobs Program will be accepted: To Be Announced.
2. Applications for the Summer Jobs Program received after expiration date will only be considered if additional jobs become available.
3. Students must be in good standing with their schools.
4. To be considered, applications must be accurately and fully completed.

THERE ARE ONLY A FEW OPENINGS! Check the website daily, and get YOUR APPLICATION in immediately.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

BUDGET CUTS AND EDUCATION

The $9 billion deficit is hurting all over. There are no good places to cut, and not everyone can afford more taxes of any kind.

Education should NOT be the first place that budget cuts should be made, and trust me from what I am reading and know, education was one of the last budget areas to be touched. Before cutting education, municipalities lost all of their Highway User Revenue (HURs) fees (Mount Rainier lost almost $300,000), and State Aid to Police (another area in which Mount Rainier lost thousands of dollars).

OTHER ISSUES WITH EDUCATION

There is an issue with the major budget cuts to education that are being proposed, but there are other issues that go beyond the budget. When we fight to keep school funding, let's also fight to make sure that school funding for education is NOT being used for administrative overhead, and other issues rather than those direct services needed by our students. Let's hold the School Board MEMBERS and LEGISLATORS accountable for how current and future education dollars are spent. Let's insure that those precious education dollars are spent on educating our children. Let's say no to a "larger" administration building with all of the fluff proposed by school board staff and administration.

I personally do not believe that just pouring more money into education is the answer. I believe we should all demand for our children what is provided for children in the "TAG" program. I believe that each child in our school system would do much better, if they were afforded those same opportunities provided selected children participating in TAG.

I strongly support community/neighborhood schools, and fought very hard to keep those schools open when the County was cutting them and donating the properties for $1. The best example of a community school at its best is Mount Rainier Elementary School. I know because I get to work with the principal, teachers, reading specialist, children, and others who actually know the families that are struggling in my community.

I also know that we cannot keep throwing money at the education problem in Prince George's County. I know that we can and should hold our SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS accountable for what is happening to our schools and to our children. I know that we as parents are also RESPONSIBLE for the quality of education received by our children. PARENTS, we must get more involved in our schools and our children's education. WE MUST DEMAND quality education, not just higher HSA/MSA or whatever test we are teaching our children to pass in order to graduate. TEST SCORES are just that test scores. Education is a whole lot more, and our children are being short-changed.

SERIOUS about education in our schools? Then do something about it!


Make sure your children are ready for school. Set some rules and require them to abide by them. Teachers are not there to babysit your children. They are there to educate them. Teach your children respect of authority, and hold them accountable. Be your child(ren)'s parent, not his or her best friend. Respect taught at home will go with them to the schools and allow the teachers and other educators do the job for which they are paid. Then we will no longer have to spend money on metal detectors, school security, high definition cameras, and other indirect services in our schools -- money that could go to keeping our guidance counselors, reading specialists, and ESOL teachers.

JOIN your local PTA/PSA or start your own parent group that becomes the watch dog of education in your elementary, middle school and/or high school. You will be surprised at the difference you can make.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FIRST SEGMENT OF ICC OPENS MARCH 22

Some of us did not want it, but more of us did, now the first segment of the ICC is opening February 22, and you can test drive it for FREE. The Intercounty Connector (ICC) / MD 200 is much more than a road. It means new opportunities, better community access and the chance to spend more time with family.

The first segment of the ICC, from I-370 to MD 97 (Georgia Avenue), is scheduled to open Tuesday, February 22, 2011. The ICC is Maryland's first all-electronic toll road that uses highway-speed toll collection as motorists drive under tolling structures, eliminating the need for toll booths. To provide an opportunity to sample the roadway, drivers are invited to Test Drive the ICC from February 22 through March 6 at no charge.

After the Test Drive, toll rates will vary to help manage traffic volume and provide reliable travel times, with a higher toll charged during Peak hours and a lower toll charged during Off-Peak and Overnight hours.

Get there faster with E-ZPass and the ICC!

The ICC is designed to ease traffic congestion and save you time - and having an E-ZPass® is the most convenient way to use the ICC*. Since you already have an E-ZPass, you are all set and ready to get on and go!

The ICC also provides access to Metrorail, MARC, local transit services and MTA's Commuter Bus Service.

For more information on the ICC, visit mdta.maryland.gov. We look forward to seeing you on the ICC!

*Video tolling is an alternative to E-ZPass, but is not recommended for frequent travelers. The toll amount, plus a $3 Notice of Toll Due service charge per transaction, is sent to the registered vehicle owner for payment.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UPCOMING EVENTS

January 13, 2010

Please accept my apology for the late notice, but final details were just completed.

There will be a Martin Luther King, Jr. program hosted in Mount Rainier on Monday, January 17, 2011. ALL are invited to come out and participate in this wonderful event. There will be something for everyone, AND we will have with us Lt. Governor Anthony Brown as part of the Governor's inauguration process. Here is the program outline for Monday:

10:00 am Welcome and distributing of clean up supplies
Community Clean up in the Town Center

11:15 am Return to Joe’s

11:30 am Performance and presentations
Buffalo Baptist Church Choir,
Dance students of Joe’s
Home School Coop reading Maya Angelou
poem and Dr. King works

12:15pm Lunch and Fellowship

(Greetings and remarks will be made by the Lt. Governor when he arrives.)

We hope you will join us for this program.

Dunkin Donuts will officially open on Tuesday, January 18. There will be a formal opening at 12:00 noon. All are invited especially veterans and veteran organizations per the owner's request. Dunkin Donuts is located in the Queenstown Shopping Center at 3030 Queens Chapel Road, Hyattsville, MD.

Please pass this information on and plan to attend these events. Thank you.

Monday, January 03, 2011

WELCOME to 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL -- ESPECIALLY THE RESIDENTS OF MOUNT RAINIER! This year offers us the opportunity to move "Forward" with the Governor and to "Make a Good County Great! with our County Executive. However, it is an opportune time to "Raise the Bar" in Mount Rainier on our revitalization efforts. We can raise the funds necessary to renovate our municipal center. We can get a developer interested in developing the properties on south Rhode Island Avenue. We can improve the look and condition of our City. We can get more residents involved in local government. We can motivate our youth to become active in Mount Rainier. We can bring more recreational opportunities to our youths, seniors, single moms, and those who depend on us for those services. We can make our schools better through active participation as volunteers.

This year, I pledge to do more to get our funding for our programs and activities. I pledge to be more aggressive with seeking legislative activities, private funding sources, and public funding to make the revitalization in Mount Rainier a reality.

I ask for your help. Together we can make this happen. We are so close, now we just NEED TO PUSH!

Here's wishing all of you a very happy, wonderful and prosperous NEW YEAR as we move together to move Mount Rainier Forward in a Good County on its path to GREATNESS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!