Friday, August 19, 2016

WINTER is coming, and this may help you to be better PREPARED

Following the death of a family on the Eastern Shore after their utilities were turned off, the State of Maryland has come up with a new notification process that utilities must follow.

As we strive for a softer more, gentler world, now and then we see something that gives us hope.  I read that effective immediately the utility company MUST take a different approach in notifying their customers when preparing to turn off their utilities.

Maryland - Shut-off not allowed from November to March. Another program offered by the Utility Service Protection Program is payment plans for low-income customers that provide shut-off protection to low-income customers year-round. If a household member has a serious medical condition, disconnection of their service will be delayed for 30 additional days. The customer is required to enter into a payment plan for this to take effect. Terminations are suspended for 55 days when people apply for federal government energy assistance plans.

PLEASE take a moment to learn more about how this new process came about and share it with your neighbor.  Although you may never need the new process of notification, someone you know will need it.


Data based:  yes

Protection Dates:  November 1 - March 31

Temperature based:  yes

Temperature:  Gas and electric companies must check the 72-hour weather forecast before disconnecting a customer for nonpayment. If the temperature is expected to be 32 degrees or lower during the winter protection dates or 95 degrees or higher at any time of the year, the utility cannot turn off the power.

Seasonal Policy:  The utility must provide an affidavit to the Commission that disconnect will not endanger the health of any household member.

Other:  Utility Service PRoteection Program payment plans for low-income customers provide shut-off protection year-round.  If a household member has a serious medication condition, certified by a doctor, disconnection is delayed for 30 additional days.  The customer is required to enter  into a  payment plan.  Terminations are suspended for 55 days when people apply for federal energy assistance.

PUC/PSC Contacts:  Consumer Line: 410-767-8000 (Baltimore) OR 800492-0474  tty 800-201-7165

Frequently asked question may be answered on this link (copy and paste in address line):

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Termination of Prince George's County Head Start Program - County Executive Baker Speaks OUT

County Executive News
Posted on: August 18, 2016

Statement of Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III:
Despite Notification of Termination of the Prince George’s County Public Schools Head Start Program

Head Start Program will start on time on August 29, 2016

Upper Marlboro, MD – Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III released this statement following notification by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that Prince George’s County Head Start program grant has been terminated as a consequence of deficiencies that were not corrected in a timely manner:

“I am angry and extremely disappointed at the recent news that the grant for the Prince George’s County Head Start Program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been terminated. I have asked Dr. Maxwell to address this matter immediately and I have confidence that he and the Board of Education will ensure that the families of the 932 children in the program do not lose this valuable and important educational service. The acts that are documented in the report from Head Start are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school system

Head Start was designed to provide a nurturing learning environment for early learners and our school system must ensure that the students we are entrusted to protect are safe. This report demonstrates that there are teachers and other school professionals in our school system who did not understand the sacred nature of their responsibility. It is my understanding that Dr. Maxwell has dealt with them swiftly, as well as addressed this situation with the entire Prince George’s County Public Schools Head Start staff. We must rid the system of those who do not take their responsibility seriously.

As a result of this situation, I have assigned members of my senior staff to work with Prince George’s County Public Schools to resolve this matter and restore funding to this extremely critical program. I also want to assure the families in our Head Start Program that school will start on August 29 as scheduled and that your child will be nurtured and provided with an excellent head start to their education. We absolutely take the protection and care of your child as our most important duty.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mount Rainier Elementary School has a new Principal lMs. Jennifer Till

Great meetings this week with Mount Rainier Elementary School’s new principal Ms.  Jennifer Till.    I am looking forward to a great relationship with her.  Based on our meeting, I know our children are going to have a fantastic school year.

Please take a few minutes to welcome her to Mount Rainier  and offer her your support. 

Jennifer Till Principal

4011 32nd Street • Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Office 301-985-1810 • Fax 301-760-3669

School Hours
7:45am - 1:55pm

I am so excited to be part of the Mt. Rainier family as your new principal.  Mt. Rainier Elementary enjoys a rich history of academic and cultural excellence that is a direct result of the partnerships between the school staff and parents who provide a diversity of experiences for the students.  I am honored to continue these partnerships and traditions through building relationships with students, parents, and staff. 

I consider myself a lifelong learner and live by the philosophy my mother instilled in me at a young age: education is the key to success.  I earned my Bachelors of Science in Education with a concentration in Biology from the Millersville University of Pennsylvania and my Master's degree in Administration and Supervision from Bowie State University.  I began my career as an educator in Montgomery County Public Schools 20 years ago and held many different teaching and leadership positions over those years as a sixth and eighth-grade science teacher, team leader, department chairperson, staff development teacher, and assistant principal.

I currently live in Hanover, Maryland with my husband, Bill.  In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling and spending time with my friends and family.  I especially like to visit Florida so that I can spend time with my Mom and Stepdad in the warm weather!  I am a huge Detroit Red Wings fan and love watching hockey games. 

 As your principal, by primary focus will be to create a safe and welcoming environment that maximizes academic achievement and social-emotional development for every student; all the while maintaining positive relationships with students, families, and staff.  I am deeply honored to be your new principal and look forward to serving the Mount. Rainier Elementary School Community. 

Thomas Stone Elementary School has a new Principal, Dr. Ashanti Foster

Great meetings this week newThomas Stone Elementary School principal, Dr. Ashanti Foster.  I am looking forward to a great relationship with her.  Based on our meeting, I know our children are going to have a fantastic school  year.

Thomas Stone Elementary is fortunate to have Dr. Ashanti M. Foster, NBCT as its new  principal 

Thomas Stone Elementary School
4500 34th Street

Mount Rainier, MD 20712


Please take a  few minutes to welcome her to Mount Rainier, and  offer your support.

Here is the letter that  was sent out to introduce Dr. Foster. 

June 10, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

I am writing to announce that Dr. Ashanti Foster has been appointed as the next principal for Thomas S. Stone Elementary School.  Dr. Foster brings a wealth of knowledge to our school.  Dr. Foster leaves a position as the Academic Dean and AVID Coordinator at Oxon Hill Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is an AVID national staff developer, presenter, and author. 

She received her primary and secondary education in Prince George’s County before becoming an honors student at Morgan State University. There she earned a Bachelors in Science in Elementary Education and served in various leadership roles including marching band. She attended Bowie State University for her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education while beginning her career as a Prince George’s County School educator. 

Dr. Foster served as a middle school reading language arts teacher, AVID elective teacher for 11 years and, at that time, achieved National Board Certification in 2010. After becoming Academic Dean in 2012, she earned her terminal degree in Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership from Argosy University. 

Her passion for community leadership shows in her roles as Girl Scout troop leader, Cub Scout Den Leader, and Parent Teacher Association officer. These roles allow her to foster visions for success. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire community for the support given to our students and staff.  Your partnership makes Thomas S. Stone Elementary a great school that will continue for years to come. 

PGCPS was committed to finding an administrator who will continue to build on our success.  The county wants Dr. Foster to continue the positive culture we have all worked to create. 


Yours, Chris A. Mill
Instructional Director

Prince George's County District 1 -- Supporting Municipalities

District 1 Station – Hyattsville, Maryland

District 1 Station - Hyattsville
5000 Rhode Island Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 66502
Contact:  301-699-2630

Mount Rainier Maryland gets back up support from Prince George’s County District 1

District 1 Commander: Major William Alexander
District 1 Assistant Commander: Captain Rosa Guixens

District 1 is located in the northwestern region of the County and bordered to the southwest by Washington, DC and to the northwest by Montgomery County.

Municipalities served by District 1  include:

Berwyn Heights
Cottage City
Colmar Manor
North Brentwood
Mount Rainier
Riverdale Park
University Park
College Park
New Carrollton

All residents of District 1 are encouraged to participate in meetings held to discuss public safety issues with the community such as:

District 1's Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) meets at 6:30 pm, monthly at the District Station, 5000 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD.

District 1's Coffee Club meets at 9 pm every Wednesday, (except the summer months when meetings are held every other Wednesday) at Jason’s Deli, 7356 Baltimore Avenue, College Park.

Prince George's County has gone polystyrene (commonly referred to as "Styrofoam") FREE!

Lots  of new laws affecting how we do business and how we live harmoniously with our environment.

Just in case you have not been keeping up, I am sharing with you one of those laws in hopes that you will review it and start applying it to your everyday life.

Here is what has changed:

Starting July 1, 2016, polystyrene (commonly referred to as "Styrofoam"), polystyrene loose fill packaging (also known as "packing peanuts") and other foam articles are not permitted for sale or use in Prince George's County.

Why the Ban?

To reduce the amount of polystyrene waste entering the landfill and local waterways, the County is requiring the use of non-foam food packaging products that are environmentally-friendly and for everyone to be "Foam Free in PGC."

Examples of Single-Use Foam Packaging that Cannot be Sold or Used

Food containers

Hot and cold beverage cups

The Law Does Not Apply To:

Food and beverages filled and sealed in foam containers prior to receipt by the food service business

Foam packaging for raw, uncooked or butchered meat, fish, poultry or seafood for off-premises consumption

What Can be Used or Sold?

There are many non-foam food packaging alternatives. Some examples include recyclable and compostable containers that are rigid plastic or paper-based. View a list of vendors that offer alternative and compliant products.

Who is Affected?

Businesses located in Prince George's County that sell or use foam products to provide food or beverages at any time are regulated by the ban. (Including, but not limited to the following.)

Cafes and delicatessens
Coffee shops
Convenience stores
Discount stores
Dollar stores
Fast food restaurants
Food carts or trucks
Full and limited-service restaurants
Pack and ship stores
Retailers and wholesalers selling disposable dishware, storage containers, packing materials and polystyrene products
Supermarkets and grocery stores


Warnings will be issued for the first violation.

A $250 fine will be issued for the second violation and a $1,000 fine for the third violation within a 12 month period.

Each day a violation exists is a separate offense.


DoE is here to help!

Need more information on being "Foam Free in PGC" or have additional questions not answered above? You may contact DoE Citizen Service Specialist Aaron Herbert at (301) 883-6210 or view the "Foam Free in PGC" FAQ.

Share information about being "Foam Free in PGC" with this informative handout that explains the law, examples of foam packaging that cannot be sold or used, and which businesses are affected.

Thank you for helping to reduce waste and save our environment.


Homeland Security News
Posted on: August 16, 2016


Bowie, MD – Citizens in the Metropolitan Washington area utilizing cell phone service on the Sprint network are reporting problems contacting their local 9-1-1 centers. Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications (9-1-1 Center) has confirmed that the Sprint outage is affecting service in the County. Sprint is aware of the issue and is working diligently to restore 9-1-1 network services. 

This is a Sprint cellular provider problem NOT a problem at Prince Georges County 9-1-1.

Until Sprint 9-1-1 services are completely restored, please help us to minimize the impact of the outage:

• Do not contact 9-1-1 to test your cell phone or for any reason other than to report an emergency.

• Contact 9-1-1 immediately if you have an emergency.

 If you are unable to reach 9-1-1 via a Sprint cell phone you should: 
• Use a cell phone with a different service provider to call 9-1-1 if available.
• Use a wired phone to call 9-1-1 if available.
• Call or go to your local police or fire station to report an emergency if it is close by.
• Flag down a police officer or firefighter to report an emergency. 

Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications staff will continue to work closely with Sprint representatives as they work to repair their network services as soon as possible.

We appreciate the cooperation of our citizens as we work through this critical time and we will ensure that timely notification is provided when the problem is resolved. Citizens are encouraged to direct any questions or concerns to their Sprint provider.

# # #

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

FREE BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES and a whole lot more!

Mark your calendars for AUGUST 27, 2016 from 12:00 noon until 6:00 pm for the FIRST FAITH-BASED community event. School supplies will be available, health mobile, and a host of other community services. (Greater Rock Creek, Antioch, Buffalo, Saint John's and several other churches are making this happen in Mount Rainier.)
Want to be a part of this event, please contact me at You may volunteer, make a donation, help get the word out or whatever YOU are led to bring to the table.

Watch this site for more details.