Featured Post

Saturday, June 27, 2015

There is enough work for all of us to do our FAIR SHARE! Let's not waste any more time!

To the people who have friended me on FACEBOOK, this morning I want to speak out on a few issues that have been flooding the internet -- healthcare, the Supreme Court, President Obama, and Governor Larry Hogan.

Sometimes we spend a lot of time jumping on and off of issues that are "trending" for the moment.  Our passion is so great that we wear ourselves out, and then disappear until the next hot issue comes along.  Unfortunately or fortunately life continues to go on even when there are no hot issues.  

It is unfortunate that everything just does not go our way.  It is the reality, however, that we will like some decisions and disagree with others.  I am told that is what democracy is all about.  As a believer in God, it is my desire to stand for what I believe is right, and it is right for me not to set myself up as judge over anyone.  Right is right, and it speaks for itself.  It needs no amens, editorials, finger pointing or even approval.

As a believer and an AMERICAN, I believe that people should respect the rights of others, make this Country better than when we arrived on the scene and exercise our right of free speech WITHOUT going overboard and taking liberties that were NEVER intended!  NO ONE has the right to infringe on the rights of others just because they can.

Life is much too short to carry around hatred on any level.  There is entirely too much work to be done to make this world a better place for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to spend hours and hours on issues that do not move us forward in a more positive and loving manner.  People are still hungry in America.  People are still homeless in America.  People lights, water, and other essentials are being turned off while we spend millions nonessential things like advertisements for weight loss products.  Don't want to be big and fat, stop bending your elbow toward your mouth.)

Want to leave a legacy?  Tackle something in your neighborhood that you can do, and make better for those around you.  Adopt a family that is less fortunate than yours.  Join a service that is helping people get back on their feet regardless of their walk in life.  Give directly to those that you know are in need.  Provide transportation to work for a family that is struggling, and really can't afford to take a bus every day.  Plant a tree to help with the tree canopy in your neighborhood.  PICK UP that empty can or piece of trash on your street that you didn't put there.

Climb down off of your soapbox, and become a part of the solution.  We all can bring something to the table to make our world a better place for everyone whether it is better healthcare for the masses, better transportation for Marylanders (insert your own state here), food for your neighbor or the neighborhood kids of just sweeping up the debris on your street.  We are all a part of the human race, and each of us was placed here for a purpose.  Each of us has a grand opportunity to make our world a much better place.  The only question is "What will we do with our time here" --grandstand or roll up our sleeves and get in there and do our part?

Even the janitor, trash collector, ditch digger, etc., can lead if given the opportunity.  In a class, many years ago an instructor used the following to teach us about leadership.  I hope it hits home for you this morning as it did for me many years ago.

A group of high-ranking leaders were attending a conference, and each was more important than the next.  Someone came in and ran up to the podium where one great leader was speaking and whispered very quietly in his ear, "the building is on fire, and we cannot exit through the doors behind us or on the sides, in fact, there is no exit in this room."  The great leader at the podium did what great leaders do, he immediately set off the alarm.  He said very calmly over the mike, the building is on fire, and we are doomed.  There is no exit from this room.  ALL of the great leaders began discussing strategies on how to save themselves.  Coming up with no answer, and imminent doom staring them in the face, they started making peace with themselves, and, of course, they started praying.  

From behind the podium waiting to clean up behind the great leaders stepped the janitor who knew the building and all of its exits.  Walking timidly to the podium that was now empty because the great leader had been reduced to a weeping pile with the other great leaders in the room, calmly announced that there is another way out, if you wish to follow me.  With that being said, the janitor started walking briskly to the back of the stage where he moved a small board from the floor and started climbing through the hole to safety.    The greatest leader in the room that day was the janitor because he led everyone to safety.

Situational leadership just might be okay and necessary.  It does not diminish the previous leader or next leader that might step forward for the next situation that you find yourself in.  Just don't burn too many bridges and cause the janitor to become self-centered and only save himself.


Peace and blessing as always!




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS TO HIT THIS AREA

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA... SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND... THE SOUTHWESTERN BALTIMORE CITY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND... NORTHERN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND... NORTHERN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND... SOUTHERN BALTIMORE COUNTY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND... SOUTHEASTERN HOWARD COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND... ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... NORTHWESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... SOUTHEASTERN LOUDOUN COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA... * UNTIL 715 PM EDT * AT 627 PM EDT...

TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM BROOKLYN PARK TO SOUTH RIDING...AND MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 35 MPH. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... ARLINGTON...ROCKVILLE...BOWIE...COLLEGE PARK...HERNDON... GREENBELT...FAIRFAX...VIENNA...FALLS CHURCH...BLADENSBURG... CROFTON...SPRINGFIELD...SOUTH RIDING...PIMMIT HILLS...BODKIN POINT...BETHESDA...SILLERY BAY...NATIONAL HARBOR...FEDEX FIELD AND LANGLEY PARK. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...


SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS...LARGE HAIL...DEADLY LIGHTNING AND VERY HEAVY RAIN. FOR YOUR PROTECTION...MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. HEAVY RAINS FLOOD ROADS QUICKLY SO DO NOT DRIVE INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD. && LAT...LON 3899 7642 3900 7643 3900 7644 3897 7645 3898 7647 3896 7647 3876 7703 3885 7702 3888 7704 3885 7703 3884 7705 3876 7704 3870 7720 3894 7765 3927 7667 3916 7650 3913 7643 3908 7642 3905 7644 3901 7638 TIME...MOT...LOC 2227Z 311DEG 32KT 3922 7660 3892 7752

My Jeannelle Moment! No, the tears have not started -- YET!

For the past few months, life has had me in a whirlwind.  So much happening so quickly it seemed like there was no end in sight.  However, the truth of the matter is that everything has an ending.  We may not like the ending; really want to accept the ending; or even agree with the ending, but end it will, and on July 1, the end of an era will come to the great City of Mount Rainier, Maryland -- Jeannelle Wallace will no longer be taking the lead.

Under her astute management and leadership style, she brought a fledgling City to its current place of prestige as a destination for many in the DMV.  She will be leaving behind some rather big shoes to be filled, but the City, the Mayor, and the Council are up to the challenge.  Residents are also up to the challenge in that many of them over the years have pitched in and worked under Jeannelle's leadership on committees, task forces, commissions, and boards.  Because of their love for this great City, they will continue to work to keep our City moving forward.

Congratulations Mrs. Jeannelle Wallace on a job well done.  Thank you for the many hours; the work on so many holidays and snow days, and so many other days when residents, Mayor, and Councils were sound asleep.  Thank you for the foresight and the vision for our City.  Thank you for the hiring of staff that worked with you to move that vision forward.  You are leaving behind a legacy that you worked very hard to create, and one that will not be soon forgotten.

You will be missed, but thank God, you will only be a stone's throw away.  Sometimes, you just have to know when to hold, when to fold, when to walk away, and yes, when to run.  Your time has come.  Your health is good.  You have years in front of you, and a lot of life to still live!  I applaud you and wish you continued success on your journey, and WELCOME TO THE LIFE OF THE RETIREES!

http://www.gazette.net/article/20150618/NEWS/150619318/mount-rainier-city-manager-to-retire-this-month&template=gazette

Thursday, June 18, 2015

County DER Director says NO MORE PLASTIC BAGS in RECYCLING!

~SENT ON BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT DIRECTOR, ADAM ORTIZ~


Dear Municipal Recyclers:

Thank you for the tremendous job you and your communities are doing to preserve valuable resources by recycling.  Due to your efforts, Prince George’s County has achieved a recycling rate of 59.53 percent and a waste diversion rate of 64.53 percent.  No program is successful without the support of the community and your continued support is vital to the ongoing success of the Prince George’s County Residential Curbside Single-Stream Recycling Program. 

Currently, plastic bags and plastic wrap are being accepted at the County’s Material Recycling Facility (MRF).  However, starting July 1, 2015, the County will no longer accept plastic bags or plastic film in its Residential Curbside Recycling Single-Stream Program. Residents who receive County recycling pick-up services were notified of this change via a post card mailing and other sources of notification last month.

In an effort to maximize recycling, the County began accepting disposable plastic grocery store and retail shopping bags and plastic film within its Residential Curbside Single-Stream Recycling Program.  Initially, some of the bags were captured and sold to recycling vendors to make lumber-like material and benches. However, vendors will no longer purchase the bags from the County’s recycling program because the bags become contaminated when mixed with the other recyclables.

In addition, the equipment at the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) is not designed to remove plastic bags.  Consequently, sorting the bags has become a manual process and many bags still get through to the automated sorting system causing serious mechanical problems.  The plastic bags and plastic wrap become entangled in the equipment causing jams and system wide shut downs and thousands of dollars in repairs.

Rather than continue the practice of accepting plastic bags and plastic wrap in the Residential Curbside Single-Stream Recycling Program, the County will develop an educational outreach campaign to notify the public of recycling and reuse alternatives.  One alternative is to take plastic bags to local grocery stores or retailers with a plastic bag recycling program.  Many plastic bags are printed with source reduction tips and messages encouraging reuse or recycling with the originating retailer.  Most grocery stores have recycling collection boxes located in their main entrances.  Thus, the bags can remain clean and be recycled once they are taken back to the stores.

We also encourage residents to use reusable bags when shopping to avoid the use of plastic altogether.  Reusable bags are sturdier than plastic bags and can be used for a longer period of time.  Additionally, most reusable bags can be machine washed to eliminate dirt and contaminants.

Our goal is to reinforce this message to as many County citizens and residents as possible; therefore, your assistance in disseminating the information is key. Attached is a frequently asked questions document that addresses some of the concerns your residents may have regarding the new policy, as well as other marketing materials promoting the change.  If you require any other
electronic information, please contact Linda Lowe via email atlmlowe@co.pg.md.us. for assistance.

Thanks in advance for your continued cooperation and commitment to protecting and preserving the environment through recycling.  Please feel free to contact me or Roger E. Merritt, Jr., Associate Director, Waste Management Division, at (301) 952-7625 should you need additional information.


Sincerely,

Adam Ortiz



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

COUNTY EXECUTIVE RUSHERN BAKER VETOES PORTIONS of FY2016 BUDGET ADOPTED BY ALL NINE (9) MEMBERS OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL!

DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?
We are UPHOLDING THE CHARTER, now, but we totally use a loophole in a STATE LAW to try to pass a 15% property tax increase on residents of PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY!  I guess the game is to win at any cost because we KNOW that most of us will lay low, dodge the bullet, and try to not be seen or heard because, the tiny streak of County funding just may get smaller or completely cut out.  

Guess what?  It is going to get smaller any way.  That trickle down effect will be coming to a budget near you!  Your taxes will go up.  Your services will decrease.  You will be required to tighten your belts while you are being punished for the next two years for not supporting this FOOLISHNESS!

I remember another VERY RECENT administration that got so entrenched, AND RICH while serving as our County Executive.  Do you remember the kickbacks?  The money in bras.  The LAYOFFS?  The FURLOUGHS?  How about that huge COUNTY DEFICIT?

Press Release

For immediate release:
June 16, 2015

For more information, contact:
Scott L. Peterson
Deputy Manager of Communications/Press Secretary
Cell: 240-619-9400

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III Vetoes Portions of the FY 2016 Budget Adopted by the Prince George’s County Council

Upper Marlboro, MD – Today, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III transmitted a letter and Executive Order to Prince George’s County Council Chairman Mel Franklin vetoing certain items in CB-32-2015, a bill that approved the County’s Operating Budget and Capital Budget for FY 2016. The County Charter gives the County Executive veto authority pursuant to Section 411.  Copies of this letter and Executive Order are attached to this release.

Last week, County officials indicated that the Council violated Section 809 of the County Charter when the Council adopted a budget that reduced the proposed revenue estimates by 2.5%, which is much lower than allowed by the Charter.  Yesterday, County Executive Baker conducted a press conference to discuss his reasons for vetoing certain items in CB-32-2015.  To watch video of that press conference, please click here.

“I want the people of Prince George’s County to know that I must adhere to our Charter,” stated Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III,” “I swore to uphold the Charter and laws of this County when I took office.  It is my hope that we can quickly resolve this issue and make the necessary adjustments so we can move forward and continue to serve the people of Prince George’s County and make it better for future generations.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ELECTRONIC RECYCLING -- Saturday, June 20, 2015 9:00am to 1:00pm

The next Electronic Recycling Event held for City of Mount Rainier residents will be Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 9 am – 1 pm.  DROP OFF Electronic Recycling to the Mount Rainier Public Works Department.

You can drop off your televisions, cell phone, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, and more.

Feel free to give the Department of Public Works a telephone call if you have any questions at 301.985.6583.

Veronica Owens
City of Mount Rainier
Assistant City Manager
City Hall, One Municipal Place
Mount Rainier, MD  20712

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Goodbye to the Gazette

Love it or hate it, The Gazette played a major role in our lives and the County over the past few decades.

With mixed emotions I read that the final issue of the Gazette would be printed this month.  Not sure why they are closing, but I know I will miss them.

I use to love getting the copies in my driveway.  I hated seeing them on the roofs or just laying out there in the rain.

I could always go online and find a story that they published, and regardless of their position, it would always be there.

Thanks for the many years of service.

http://www.gazette.net/article/20150612/NEWS/150619526/1124/the-gazette-bids-farewell-after-decades-in-maryland&template=gazette

Friday, June 05, 2015

END OF THE YEAR FUNDRAISER FOR THOMAS STONE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

THOMAS STONE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S END OF THE YEAR FUNDRAISER

WHO IS INVITED;        THOMAS S. STONE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FAMILY and our Community Neighbors

TO WHAT:                    Our end of the year celebration/fundraiser. 

WHEN:                        Friday, June 19, 2015

TIME:                          3pm to 9pm

WHERE:                      Chuck E Cheese
1127 University Blvd W
Takoma Park, MD 20912. 

Don't forget to stop by the registrar and mention that you are there to support Thomas S. Stone Elementary.  Hope to see you there!

Apply Now for Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Contact: John Coleman
Apply Now for Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program
 MHT Accepting Applications for Historic Commercial Properties through August 31
For an Adobe Acrobat version of this press release, click here.
CROWNSVILLE, MD - Owners of historic commercial properties take note: Now is the time to submit an application for a state income tax credit for renovating your historic structures in Maryland.

Fiscal year 2016 applications opened this week for the Sustainable Communities Competitive Commercial Tax Credit program, administered by the Maryland Historical Trust. Commercial property owners may receive a tax credit of up to 20 percent of eligible expenses to a total of $3 million for substantial rehabilitation projects.An additional 5 percent credit is available for projects that achieve LEED Gold Certification or equivalent. Applications are rated and ranked by the Maryland Historical Trust and compete for a total of $9 million in tax credit awards.

The state tax credit program has helped property owners throughout Maryland redevelop and reuse historic buildings since 1996. The tax credit preserves some of Maryland's most unique historic structures as well as creates spin-off community benefits. The program has been credited with creating jobs, enhancing values of nearby properties and transforming neglected neighborhoods. Studies have shown that every dollar of historic tax credit generates more than $8 in economic activity and each $1 million invested by the state program generates 72 jobs.

Reusing historic structures is another way that we can support communities, preserve historic resources and enrich lives. For more information, go to the Maryland Historical Trust's tax credit page.

The Green Festival

The City of Mount Rainier is participating in and will have a table at “The Green Festival” being held June 5 (12:00 - 6pm), June 6 (10:00 am -6 pm), and June 7 (10:00 am - 5 pm) at the Washington Convention Center.  

This marks the 11th Green Festival at the D.C. Convention Center.  Washington, D.C. earns top rankings for public involvement in environmental policies, and features some of the most advanced green building laws in the Country.

One of the giveaways for attendees of the festival will be a lunchbox and the City of Mount Rainier will be including coupons from MR businesses in the lunch boxes, which will bring consumers to our local business. 


Come out and support this event at the DC Convention Center and get a taste of Mount Rainier.