NEWS & EVENTS


Non-Citizen Voting in College Park, Maryland

posted Sep 13, 2017, 4:01 PM by PJ Brennan

I want to thank the residents that have taken time to participate in this discussion. Your time and effort are valuable.


As the governing body for the City of College Park, this council has a duty to explore every issue thoroughly. Over the past three months, we have been discussing this issue. The city clerk has estimated that we’ve spent 2.5 hours discussing this topic of noncitizens voting in work sessions and regular meetings. This amounts to hundreds of hours of discussion in community meetings, listservs, discussions between council members and residents, and the time that’s gone into the more than 400 emails that have come into the city on this issue.


If members of this council express that they had outstanding questions on this issue, we should ask them what they’ve been doing these past few months. There has been ample time to discuss and deliberate. At the August regular meeting of the mayor and council, we postponed the motion on the charter amendment to entertain language on a referendum and other amendments. At the September work session, those interested in changes to the original motion had little to say, only vague proposals and that we should discuss this more... It's hard to discuss unarticulated proposals and proposals which introduce items that have already been refuted by other council members and residents during the public hearing.


Other council members took the August delay to further explore the legality of this issue, talking with other city officials that have adopted similar policies, asking staff about city resources to support non-citizen voting if passed, and the more principled debate of what it means to allow non-citizens to vote.  To summarize, this city is not proposing groundbreaking legislation, 8 other municipalities in our state have adopted non-citizen voting policies which is enabled by the Maryland State Constitution and these cities have been legally doing so for years - Takoma Park has been doing so since 1992. City staff has confirmed that the cost and resource demands of this initiative are within the city’s current means and would not require a tax increase or demand more staff. Which leaves the debate of for and against as a matter of principle on the table.


First, I want to say that this council will not entertain any arguments that use prejudice as the basis for opposing civil rights. To suggest that non-citizens do not have a command of the English language or local issues is an argument based on prejudice and not on the reality of noncitizens in our city. Since we’ve been discussing this issue, I’ve spoken with a number of local noncitizens who are invested in the success of our city and who are not limited to these regretful stereotypes. Further, no election in this country, on any level, requires voters to demonstrate any understanding or knowledge of the issues or candidates on the ballot.


Issues of immigration and citizenship are important topics in our country today and it’s easy to get caught up in partisan leanings. But I feel that it’s important to really focus on the fact that this charter amendment is about our city, our community, only. This proposal has the ability to impact real people in our community - people who are our neighbors and our friends.


That said…


The opposition argument that I can understand is that many feel that citizenship is a requirement to vote, plain and simple. At the federal and state level I can see arguments for citizenship as a criterion for voting because these levels of government address international trade, foreign policy, and national security measures. HOWEVER, at the municipal level, which this proposal is about, I ask you to pause and consider whether citizenship or residency is the appropriate criterion.


To do so, I think it is important that everyone understand that non-citizen residents contribute to the city tax base, these residents receive city services, these residents are involved in our civic life, and yet they do not have the right to vote.


And, when it comes to the municipal vote, residents of this city primarily vote for, what?… this city council. This city council decides how to spend tax dollars and the priorities of our city. And yet, these tax payers and receivers of city services have no say in selecting the people that make decisions that impact them.


By enfranchising non-citizen residents in municipal elections, we strengthen our communities by giving all residents equal ownership and an equal stake in the future success of our city. To remove any community from participation in city elections, be they students, woman, people of color, or non-citizens weakens representation and our cities ability to know the people we serve and how to serve them.


Non-citizens are residents of College Park and I hope we do right by ALL residents tonight. I appeal to my council colleagues to vote in support of the charter amendment.


To Lidl or not to Lidl

posted Oct 3, 2016, 6:07 PM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 6:24 PM ]

Dear Berwyn,

Next week, the city council will move forward with a motion to support or not support a Detailed Site Plan for a Lidl Grocery Store to replace the Clarion Inn at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Berwyn Road.

Like many of you, I am excited by the new development. I believe the Clarion Inn has lived a long and useful life in our city. The transformation into a grocery store is a welcomed change and creates a great walkable community amenity; the design is modern and attractive - for a grocery store; and the addition of a grocery store removes us from USDA's 'Food Desert' rating.

And while I think Lidl is a positive addition to Berwyn, I also weigh many of the same concerns you have all shared.  The addition of a grocery store will impact traffic, however we must keep in mind that we're not going from zero to 60 traffic scenario, but more towards a 50 to 60 scenario.  What I mean by this is that the existing traffic created by the Clarion Inn is already felt by our community and we will likely feel some increase to the traffic with the use as a grocery store, but it's not projected to hit us like a ton of bricks.  Traffic volumes have been studied at this location and the current condition can support the projected use. Unfortunately, an additional right turn lane for traffic going westbound is not supported by the traffic study.

As a side note, we recently learned we had bad detection at the light at Berwyn Road which was causing a lot of the backups during morning rush hour. SHA has recently adjusted the timing on the light and will be looking into whether additional technology (i.e. cameras) might be needed to manage traffic more effectively. Please let me know if you feel an improvement or not...

From a city planning perspective, the proposed project deviates from the College Park Sector Plan in many, but two significant ways. First, the building should have 60% frontage on the Baltimore Avenue side of the site and the current orientation is to the north of the property and only about 30-40% is on Baltimore Ave. This is significant in the way that we envision the Baltimore Avenue coordinator looking and behaving in the future. It also creates the opportunity for the developer to create and entrance/exit on the west side of the property which is undesirable from a road design perspective (i.e. creating multiple location where cars can turn and disrupt the flow of road and sidewalk traffic and also intersect with future bike lanes), but it is also desirable from the traffic perspective because it would eliminate the stress placed on Berwyn Road.  Second is the 'highest and best use' of the property according to the sector plan.  The plan requires that new development have a minimum of two stories to maximize the opportunity for the site and future mixed uses.  The developer has designed the building to appear to have multiple levels, but will only be a single story. This development does not meet the sector plan requirements for highest and best use. It is upon us to determine whether we want to accept these deviations or push back

Additionally, when asked if the Applicant (Lidl) would be willing to agree to covenants that would open the store after peak AM traffic counts (8:00-8:20AM) and require that they stock the store like a Trader Joes vs. Aldi (i.e. warehousing style) the attorney declined to any such conditions that would impact the operation of the store...

June 4 - "5 Essential Legal Documents For Common Health and End of Life Issues "

posted Jun 2, 2016, 4:38 AM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Jun 2, 2016, 4:39 AM ]

5 Essential Legal Documents For Common Health and End of Life Issues 
Jacqueline D. Byrd, Esq., Elder Law Attorney
SATURDAY, June 4, 2016 9:30 am – 11:30 am 
Council Chambers, College Park City Hall, 4500 Knox Road, 20740 
Coffee/Snacks 9:30 am – 10:00 am. Program 10:00 am followed by Q & A.

Essential 5:  Will or Trust, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, Digital Diary.  Recommended for persons 55 -105,  persons still needing to put these documents in place, or persons wishing to review their documents.   Sponsored by Explorations on Aging and supported by a community grant from the City of College Park.  Open to all area residents, families, and friends.    

Questions?  mccbonnie@verizon.net  301-935-5111

January 16 - Community Service Day

posted Jan 15, 2016, 6:58 AM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Jan 15, 2016, 12:38 PM ]

Hello neighbors in Berwyn in Lakeland,

We will be cleaning up our communities on Saturday, January 16th with a Community Service Day (Really only 2 hours).  Neighbors should meet at Jack Perry Plaza at 8:30AM to grab a donut and some coffee.  From there, we'll be divided into our working groups and get going. The city will be providing work gloves and trash bags... We will stop all activity at 10:30AM. If you are running late, Elizabeth Kuligowski will be manning the donut table at Jack Perry Plaza and can direct you to the projects.

Weather - Our resident weatherman, Bob Kuligowski, has been sending regular updates. There will be rain in the very early morning, which should dissipate before we meet, leaving the ground soft in some area. The temps should be in the low 40s at this time. Severe weather will warrant a cancellation and will be posted to NextDoor by 8:00AM if necessary.

Clothing
- Dress appropriately for the cold.  If you plan to help with the litter in in Lakeland along the Trolley Trail, please bring boots and clothing you don't mind getting muddy.

Projects -  CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE


JACK PERRY PLAZA CREW (Led by Gina Tomko)
2-3 people needed to clean up the Christmas lighting and wiring.  All items will be packed neatly into a plastic bin (provided) and the full area will be scanned
for trash and other debris. After this project is completed, the crew will walk along the trolley trail to Greenbelt Road picking up litter and then back track to join the group in Lakeland (large circle at the bottom of the map) to finish out the 2 hours of service.

BLUE STREET CREW (Led by Nick Brennan)
2-3 people needed to walk the streets of Berwyn, picking up litter from the street, gutters, and yards. Beginning at Jack Perry Plaza, the crew will walk down Rhode Island, left on Quebec, right on Patuxent, Right on 49th, right on Berwyn, left on 49th, left on Ruatan, right on 49th, right on Tecumseh, right on 50th Place, right on Ruatan, left onto Trolley Trail, left onto Roanaoke down to Bridge, U-turn up Berwyn back to Jack Perry Plaza.  If time is remaining, the crew will walk down the trolley trail to James Adams Park to pick up the trash in the shrubs.

PINK STREET CREW (Led by Marina Dullnig)
2-3 people needed to walk the streets of Berwyn, picking up litter from the street, gutters, and yards. Beginning at Jack Perry Plaza, walk
west on Berwyn Rd, right on 49th Ave., right on Ruatan, left on Rhode Island, left on Greenbelt Rd., left on 49th Avenue, right on Ruatan, left on 49th, follow to Osage and continue left down Osage, left down Patuxent, and right down Trolley Trail, ending in theGully area for clean up along the hill slopes. Volunteers should be sturdy on their feet if navigating the sloped terrain.

LAKELAND TRAIL CREW (Led by PJ Brennan)
All remaining volunteers will walk down the Trolley Trail to the corner of Rhode Island and Pierce Avenue. Volunteers with mud-appropriate clothing will walk to the west side of the drainage area, picking up trash is a precarious area. There will be mud and sticker bushes, so be prepared. Volunteers looking for less precarious terrain can walk down the trail to Paint Branch Parkway, picking up litter along the way. Volunteers can also take the trail the wraps along the back side of the Community Center and Elementary School picking up litter, and also enter the yard of the Community Center and Elementary School to continue picking up litter.

SIGN UP FOR PROJECTS HERE

We will wrap up at 10:30AM...

And, for all of you looking for something to do in the afternoon, consider celebrating Martin Luther King Day at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with the City.


Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tribute at Clarice E. Smith Performing Arts Center, Kay Theater
January 16, 2016 
2:00 PM
FREE

https://theclarice.umd.edu/events/2016/tribute-to-rev-dr-martin-luther-king-jr


Nov 9 - Charter Schools Lottery Application

posted Nov 9, 2015, 8:14 AM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 8:25 AM ]

Open Now: November 2, 2015 - January 29, 2016 at 5:00p.m.
Lupi Quinteros-Grady
Prince George's County Public Schools 
Board of Education Member, District 2 
14201 School Lane | Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 
301 952-6115 (phone) | 301 952-6114 (fax) | email: lupi.grady@pgcps.org
See more at: http://www1.pgcps.org/board/grady/#sthash.1QIPOnu5.dpuf


Apply here for Public Charter Schools: Aplicar aquí para las Escuelas Públicas Charter: http://lottery.pgcps.org

Things to Remember:
  • Names (student and responsible parent/guardian) must be spelled accurately and match as indicated in SchoolMax. Any variation will prohibit the entry of an application for the lottery.
  • Applications will not be accepted without a valid student identification number and phone number. 

New Sibling Preference Applications Process
Prince George’s County Public Schools give lottery preference to new students who already have a sibling in the school. Siblings must live in the same household, have the same responsible parent/guardian, and both siblings must be enrolled at the charter school for the 2016-17 school year. Families must submit a valid lottery application by the deadline to be eligible for sibling preference.

New this year all applications for sibling preference will be accepted during the public charter school open enrollment season from November 2, 2015 through January 29, 2016. This new process allows PGCPS to streamline data entry and accurately capture family information that links families and especially siblings.
To submit a sibling preference application, please logon at http://lottery.pgcps.org/ to submit your application for sibling preference. Sibling preference is based on seat availability and never a guarantee. If there is more sibling preference request than seats available, a sibling lottery will be held to determine placement.


Charter School

Address/Phone

Open House/Information Session Date

Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation: Operator of Chesapeake MIT Schools

6100 Frost Place, Laurel 20207

(301) 776-2300

Saturday, November 14, 2015                                      2:00p.m.

Wednesday, December 6, 2015                                   6:00p.m.

Chesapeake MIT-North (6-12)

6100 Frost Place, Laurel, 20707

(301) 350-6052

Thursday, November 19, 2015                             6:30 p.m. -  8:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 5, 2015                                1:00 p.m. -  2:30 p.m.

Chesapeake MIT Elementary K-5

6151 Chevy Chase Dr, Laurel, 20707

(240) 573-7240

Wednesday, November 18, 2015                         6:30 p.m. -  8:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 5, 2015                              10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Chesapeake MIT-(6-9)

9822 Fallard Court

Upper Marlboro, 20772

(240) 573-7250

Friday, November 20, 2015                                  6:30 p.m. -  8:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 12, 2015                             9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

College Park (6-8)

7501 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, 20783

(240) 696-3206

Thursday, December 3, 2015                               5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January. 7, 2015                                  6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

EXCEL Academy (K-8)

7950 Scott Road, Landover, 20785

(301) 925-2320

Thursday, November 19, 2015                             9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015                             9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Imagine Andrews (K-8)

4701 San Antonio,  Andrews Air Force Base

(301) 350-6000

Tuesday, November 3, 2015                                 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015                          5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 10, 2015                              5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Imagine Leeland (K-8)

14111 Oak Grove Rd, Upper Marlboro,  20774

(301) 808-4003

Friday, November 13, 2015                                 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Friday, December 11, 2015                                 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Friday, January 29, 2016                                     10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Imagine Lincoln (K-8)

4207 Norcross Street  Temple Hills,  20748

(301) 808-5600

Thursday, November 19, 2015                               5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Thursday, November 10, 2015                               9:30 a.m.

Monday, January 21, 2015                                     5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Imagine Morningside (K-7)

6900 Ames Street, Morningside, 20723

(301) 817-0544

Wednesday, November 1, 2015                             9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Thursday, December 10, 2015                               9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, January 13, 2015                               9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016                             9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Turning Point Academy (K-8)

7800 Good Luck Road, Lanham 20706

(301) 552-0164

Wednesday, November 11, 2015                           9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Monday, December 14, 2015                                 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

THANK YOU!

posted Nov 4, 2015, 9:45 AM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Nov 6, 2015, 10:47 AM ]

Dear District 2 Voters,


Thanks to everyone who came out to the polls on November 3rd. I am excited to continue my service to our communities and our city. The new city council has a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges our growing city presents.


I’d like to take a moment to thank my husband, Nick, for his support over the past two years. Nick watches almost every council meeting and sits down to talk with me about our meetings when I get home, sometimes late into the night.  Nick is a great civic leader: he serves our Berwyn District Civic Association as Treasurer and Neighborhood Watch Director; he serves on the board of the College Park Community Foundation; and he is the new Chair of the Animal Welfare Committee. Nick and I are a team - I couldn’t do it without him.


I’d like to thank all of the D2 candidates. This was the first contested race any of have us have participated in, and I think we can all agree that that provided the opportunity to discuss and debate several key issues and viewpoints. Running for this office is a sign of commitment and personal sacrifice. I appreciate Dan Blasberg’s candor and his perspective on a host of issues he’s been involved with during his 15+ years in Berwyn. Dan is a great resource to our community and a great neighbor - but you certainly don’t need me to tell you that. It’s also been a pleasure getting to know Vivian Conway.  I admire Vivian’s dedication to family and the senior community. Her accomplishments are reflected in the talents of her children, especially in her daughter Breanna, a Parkdale senior who demonstrated a great deal of maturity and poise as she helped to manage her mother’s campaign. Vivian's dedication to the seniors is clear through her strong ties with the residents of Attick Towers and Spellman House.


I’d like to thank my current colleague, Monroe Dennis, for his leadership and guidance over the past two years.  He’s taught me a lot and we’ve learned a lot together. I congratulate him on his success last night and look forward to working with him in the years to come.


Thanks goes to Mayor Fellows for his steady leadership and mentorship and to my other council colleagues...


And I’d like to thank the leadership and membership of our Lakeland and Berwyn District Civic Associations. These groups seek to connect our neighborhoods to our priorities and issues and provide our communities an outlet to share and celebrate with one another. If you haven’t already, please become a member of your local civic association and find out how you can give back to your community.


College Park is transforming and we need strong leadership to drive our vision for the future of our city. That leadership is only fully realized through your engagement. Your priorities and issues need to be communicated so that we, your city representatives, can make well thought and well reasoned decisions on your behalf. I look forward to hearing from you.


With sincere thanks,


PJ

202-288-5569

pbrennan@collegeparkmd.gov

Sidewalks in Berwyn

posted Sep 6, 2015, 8:30 AM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Sep 6, 2015, 8:30 AM ]

Dear Neighbor,

This year, the Neighborhood Permit Parking and Sidewalk Survey (see attached) revealed that a majority of Berwyn homeowners are interested in the installation of sidewalks. Sidewalks in our largely sidewalk-less community will promote walkability, pedestrian safety, and has the potential to increase property values.  Furthermore, a 2003 Housing Plan (Page 48) reveals that the installation of sidewalks in Berwyn is a smart investment...

Public Capital Investment 
In the past, Berwyn has benefited from public capital investment, such as Lake Artemesia and the College Park Trolley Trail and Plaza. The area can gain from new sidewalks, increased safety measures and traffic improvements. The commercial district in particular can benefit from new streetscaping including reconstructed sidewalks, road improvements, streetlights, landscaping, signage, and façade improvements. The City applied to use Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) funding to assist with these efforts. 

At this time, Berwyn can take advantage of the Safe Routes to Schools Program to fully fund the design and installation of sidewalks (i.e., no city tax money involved). Neighbors to our north have already received more than $500,000 in funding for their new sidewalks. Based on your responses to the survey and other conversations, it appears that installation of sidewalks would be well received along Quebec, Rhode Island, & Berwyn Road (see below). The blue side walk would help to connect with existing sidewalks and the orange would complete the block, but probably be more challenging given existing fencing and landscaping.


If you're interested in pursuing sidewalks, please email or call me (202-288-5569; pbrennan@collegeparkmd.gov) with your interest.  If there is support for this idea, we can engage our City Engineer to review the feasibility, hold a meeting with impacted neighbors, and apply for Safe Routes to School funding in 2016.

Thanks,

PJ

Reporting Street Light Outage to Pepco [Preventing Thefts from Auto and other Crime]

posted Sep 5, 2015, 12:33 PM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Sep 5, 2015, 12:34 PM ]

Some of the recent crime incidents, such as car break-ins, thefts from Auto and other crime could be related to dark street area caused by Pepco street light outage. If you see any such outage, you can easily report it to Pepco online.

Here are a few simple steps you’ll need to follow.

STEP 1: Please go to Pepco’s “Street Light Outage” page: http://www.pepco.com/pages/connectwithus/outages/StreetLightOutage.aspx

STEP 2: In the address box (just above the map), please type in the approximate address of the Pepco pole, where the outage is happening. 

STEP 3: Click on the Green Circle (the location of the Pepco Pole). In the Pop-up window, Please click on “Click here to report a problem for this light” link.

STEP 4: A popup window will display with the address of the location filled out. Fill out your contact name, number and email. Check the “I acknowledge..” check box and click “Submit” . The outage is now reported. You can check back later to see the status.

 

Hope this helps.

Fazlul Kabir

Councilmember, District 1


Noise in College Park

posted Aug 30, 2015, 6:01 PM by PJ Brennan   [ updated Aug 31, 2015, 5:16 AM ]

Dear neighbors,

The beginning of the fall semester in College Park has typically been associated with increased incidence of loud parties and other noise problems.  If noise disturbances are a problem for you, please know that there are steps you can take to get relief.  College Park does have a noise ordinance and noise enforcement program, but it’s important for residents to understand how to use these resources most effectively. The following information is specific to noise issues. Illegal activity should be reported immediately to 911.

In general, there are five things you can do.

  1. Communicate: Introduce yourself to new neighbors and exchange information before an incident occurs. Talk with your noisy neighbors and let them know that they are disturbing you.  Sometimes this may be sufficient and if your neighbors are responsive, this can get the quickest results.
  2. Call the City’s Noise Enforcement Hotline (240-487-3588).  This is usually more effective than calling the police, because city noise enforcement officers are more experienced in dealing with noise than is the typical police officer.  City noise officers can enforce the city noise ordinance, whereas police officers do not. City noise officers will typically request police backup, so when you call the noise hotline, you are likely to get a response from police as well as code enforcement.
  3. File a written complaint with the city’s Noise Control Board.  This approach can be effective for those times when calling the noise hotline did not achieve a satisfactory result.  The Noise Board will hold a hearing and can issue fines if a violation is found.
  4. File a complaint with the UMD Office of Student Conduct (OSC). In 2013, the University extended the Code of Student Conduct to cover behavior that occurs off-campus. Examples of off-campus misconduct that may now be referred to the OSC include “rioting, hazing, theft of property, public intoxication, DUI, sexual assault, illegal drug use, stalking, large parties with excessive noise, and distribution of alcohol to minors.” Anyone can “refer” a case to the OSC. Police and city noise officers sometimes refer cases to the OSC, but residents can do so also, using the form linked below
  5. Call the landlord.  Landlords do have a responsibility to ensure that their rental houses are not causing problems for the neighborhood.  Phone numbers for most city landlords are available at http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/government/public_services/renting_in_CP/rental_property_listing.php#.VeI8Z_lViko.

Below is more detailed information about local noise ordinances, the City’s noise enforcement program, the Code of Student Conduct, and how you can most effectively use these resources to get relief from noise problems. 

Local ordinances governing noise

There are both city and county ordinances regarding noise:

The City of College Park noise ordinance is violated when the noise level exceeds 65 decibels during the day (7 am - 8 pm) or 55 decibels at night (8 pm - 7 am), OR when two or more residents are disturbed by the noise.  Violations of the City ordinance are punishable by a fine of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for the second offense within a six-month period. 

Prince George’s County restricts noise in residential areas that is audible more than 50 feet from its source.  County noise restrictions are in effect from 9 pm to 7 am.  Violations are punishable by a $250 fine for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses (or imprisonment for up to 30 days, but that rarely if ever happens).

College Park noise enforcement program

The city noise enforcement hotline (240-487-3588) is monitored 24-7 by a noise enforcement officer.  In addition, the City frequently has a noise enforcement officer on active duty, most commonly on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights (often working late into the early hours of the morning, if needed) and often during the day on Saturday and Sunday.  City noise officers carry a decibel meter and if they find the decibel level is over the decibel limit, they will issue a citation and fine.  Noise officers also work with the police to quiet the noisemakers and shut down the party if necessary. 

If a City noise officer is not on active duty, the officer monitoring the noise hotline will ask the police (usually city contract police officers) to handle the problem.  Police officers do not carry decibel meters and are not authorized to enforce the City’s noise ordinance – however, PGPD officers may enforce the county noise ordinance (see attachment). 

For all complaints to the noise hotline that provide a specific address, if a violation is not found the City will send a noise warning letter to the occupants and the landlord (if applicable).  This letter is not a citation and is not evidence that a noise violation actually occurred, but it can document a history of complaints that can be helpful in applying pressure to repeat “problem houses.”

Please do not hesitate to call the noise hotline.  It is very important that the City has accurate data on the extent and location of noise problems in order to identify problem houses and to support funding for the noise enforcement program. 

College Park Noise Control Board

If two or more City residents file a written complaint for a specific noise disturbance, the Noise Control Board will hold a hearing to hear testimony from both complainants and defendants.  Complaints should be sent to the College Park Noise Control Board at 4500 Knox Road within 15 days after the event. 

Although this approach requires more effort on your part, I have seen it be very effective in cases where calling the noise hotline did not achieve a satisfactory result.  It is important to include as many details as possible in your complaint – e.g., time, duration, number of people, nature of the noise, what steps you took.  Although each noise hearing must focus on one specific incident, if there is a history of prior problems it is good to provide that information as context.  Only two complainants are required for the Noise Board to hold a hearing, but having more people participating in a complaint can help to show the severity of the problem.

UMD Office of Student Conduct

As discussed above, residents can “refer” a case to the OSC using the online form at www.osc.umd.edu/OSC/NonAcademicIncidentReferralForm.aspx.  It’s best to provide a detailed description of the problem you experienced, including any supporting evidence such as photos. The OSC Director will decide whether the behavior meets certain criteria to be adjudicated. Cases that might result in expulsion, suspension, or disciplinary removal from University housing will be accorded a hearing before the appropriate conduct board. All other cases will be resolved in the Office of Student Conduct after an informal disciplinary conference. The OSC Director, Andrea Goodwin, has reported that since the CSC was extended off-campus, the OSC has heard more off-campus cases than on-campus cases. She also reported that 1) OSC referrals are handled very promptly, usually within a few weeks, 2) the students referred to the OSC generally did not deny that the alleged misconduct had occurred, and 3) so far the OSC has not had any repeat referrals for the same student or household.

CSC proceedings are covered under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), so the results of the proceedings will not be made public – this means that the complainant will not find out what happened as a result of their complaint.  Unlike a city Noise Board hearing, you will probably not be invited to the OSC proceedings, so you need to put all of the information in your written complaint/referral. For problems such as raucous parties, we should not expect that severe consequences will be administered for a first offense. However, the OSC Director, Andrea Goodwin, has stated that they emphasize to the students in such proceedings that the OSC takes these kinds of misconduct very seriously and that any future incidents will receive more serious sanctions that could be very harmful to them, and it appears that in at least some cases, specific behavior problems leading to the OSC referral improved after the referrals.

Tips for getting results

  • Identify the source of the noise.  It is most effective if you can identify the specific address that is causing the noise problem. 
  • Be accurate.  It is essential to always be accurate and not make assumptions about where the noise is coming from.  Your credibility is your most important asset.
  • Be persistent.  If you get a recording rather than a “live person” when you call the noise hotline, do not give up – that usually means the noise officer is handling another call.  Leave a message with the details of the problem.  If the noise continues after an hour, call again.  Some problem households will quiet down when the noise officer arrives and start up again after he leaves; in such cases, persistence is key. 
  • Ask for the noise officer to call you back.  If you leave a message on the noise hotline, ask for the noise officer to call you back.  You don’t have to give your name if you would prefer to remain anonymous. It is often helpful/reassuring to be able to speak to the noise officer so that you can give them more details and learn what they are doing in response to a complaint.
  • Consider asking the noise officer to take a decibel reading from your property line.  Sometimes a loud party in a back yard may not cause a decibel reading over the limit when the reading is done from the street in front of the house – even though the noise level you are hearing from your house is much louder.  You can ask the noise officer to come to your door so that you can take them to your rear (or side yard) property line adjacent to the noise disturbance.  This requires more effort on your part but can sometimes achieve a better result.
  • Keep notes about the details of the noise disturbance.  Important details include date and time/duration of the disturbance, nature of the noise (e.g., amplified music, yelling, etc.), estimated number of people involved, who you called and when, and if anyone responded (to your knowledge)). Hopefully the first warning or fine will do the trick, but if the problem continues, then it may be helpful to have some supporting documentation down the road.
  • Check the City’s online Property Violation Search to see the history of complaints and violations for a specific address: http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/government/public_services/code_violation_search.php.

Noise can be a significant problem in our community, and I am committed to helping residents address this problem.  Please feel free to contact me about specific ongoing problems.

Stephanie Stullich 
College Park City Council – District 3

Feb 6 - Special Programs and Charter Schools in Prince George's County

posted Feb 6, 2015, 8:25 AM by PJ Brennan

A neighbor recently asked if there were other opportunities in our county for middle and high school.  You don't have to go to your designated school, check out the matrix below provided by our newly elected school board member for district 2, Lupi Quinteros-Grady (files attached at the bottom of this message):

Prince George's County Public Schools
Board of Education Member, District 2
14201 School Lane | Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301 952-6115 (phone) | 301 952-6114 (fax) | email: lupi.grady@pgcps.org - See more at: http://www1.pgcps.org/board/grady/#sthash.1QIPOnu5.dpuf




The Specialty Program Lottery Application deadline is March 12, 2015. Interested parents may apply to the lottery during the screening process. https://forms.pgcps.org/specialty/

SPECIALTY PROGRAMS AND PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS

Please see the chart below for additional information on PGCPS Specialty Programs and Public Charter Schools currently accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Program

School Sites/Websites

Open House/
Info Session

Application Deadline

    
Academic Programs Academic Programs showcase will be held on October 30 at Eleanor Roosevelt from 6 -9 and Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. HS November 5 at 6pm.  

Creative & Performing Arts

Benjamin Foulois Academy (Grades K-8)

Hyattsville MS (Grades 7-8)

Thomas G. Pullen(Grades K-8)

Information sessions were held during the Fall Back-to-School Night

January 5 - March 12 

 Lottery Application Process for Grades K-5;
Audition Process for Grades 6-8
 

Forestville Military AcademyForestville Military AcademyCheck individual school websites for dates of information sessions 
                                    March 12 deadline

French Immersion

John Hanson French Immersion (Grades K-8)

Robert Goddard French Immersion (Grades K-8)

Check individual school websites for dates of information sessions

January 5 - March 12  

Online Application 

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

Central HS

Crossland HS

Frederick Douglass HS

Laurel HS

Parkdale HS

Suitland HS

Check individual school websites for dates of information sessions

March 12 deadline

Online Application 

Montessori

John Hanson Montessori (PreK-8)
Judith P. Hoyer Montessori (PreK-6)

Robert Goddard Montessori (PreK-8) 

Information session was held during the Fall Back-to-School Night 

January 5 - March 12  

Online Application 

Spanish Immersion - Full and Dual LanguageCesar Chavez (Dual Language - Grades K - 1)
Overlook (Full Immersion - Grades K-1)
Phyllis E. Williams (Full Immersion - Grades K-1)
Check individual school websites for dates of information sessions 
January 5 - March 12  

Online Application

Talented & Gifted (TAG)
(TAG Center Programs)

Accokeek Academy(Grades 2-8)

Capitol Heights ES(Grades 2-5)

Glenarden Woods ES(Grades 2-5)Heather Hills ES (Grades 2-5)

Highland Park ES(Grades 2-5)

Longfields ES (Grades 2-5)

Valley View ES (Grades 2-5)

Greenbelt MS (Grades 6-8)

Kenmoor MS (Grades 6-8)

Walker Mill MS (Grades 6-8)

Check individual school websites for dates of information sessions

January 5 - March 12  

Online Application

Technical Academy         

Bladensburg, Crossland, Gwynn Park, Laurel, Suitland 

Check individual school websites for dates of information sessions 

March 12, 2015

 

Online Application
Application can only be accessed within PGCPS schools and offices 

Visual & Performing Arts Program

Northwestern High School

Suitland High School

Northwestern: 
Open House - January 14
Workshop Info: 301-985-1820 x2365
Suitland:
January 20 
6-7:30 p.m. - Audition Workshop 
7:45-8:30 p.m. - Open House 
Annabelle Ferguson Auditorium

February 1

Northwestern: Online Application

 Suitland: Online Application 

Charter School

Address

Open House/
Info Session

Application

Deadline

Chesapeake MIT - North (6-10) 

6100 Frost Place, Laurel 20707
301-350-6052  

 November 15, 7-8pm
 November 16, 1:30-2:30pm

 December 13, 4-5pm

 January 4, 1:30-2:30pm

January 31

Online Application

Chesapeake MIT - K - 5

TBD

301-776-2300

open house location:

6100 Frost Place, Laurel 20707

November 22, 6:30-7:30pm
 November 23, 1:30-2:30pm

 December 13, 7-8pm

January 4, 3-4pm

January 31  

Online Application

Chesapeake MIT - South (6 - 7) 

TBD

301-776-2300

open house location:

6100 Frost Place, Laurel 20707
November 15, 7-8pm
 November 16, 1:30-2:30pm

 December 13, 5-6pm

January 4, 1:30-2:30pm

January 31  

Online Application

College Park Academy

7501 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville 20783

 240-696-3206

November 13, 5-6:30p

 

January 31

Online Application

EXCEL Academy(K-8)

7910 Scott Road, Landover  

301-952-2320

 December17, 9am-1pm

January 21, 9 am - 1 pm

January 31

Online Application

Imagine Andrews(K-8)

4701 San Antonio Blvd

Joint Base Andrews, MD

301-350-6000  

November 6 

 January 15 

January 31

Online Application

Imagine Foundations at Leeland (K-8)

14111 Oak Grove Road, Upper Marlboro 

301-808-4003

TBD

January 31

Online Application

Imagine Foundations at Morningside (K-8)

6900 Ames Street SE, Morningside 

301-817-0544

December 12, 6:30pm

January 31

Online Application

Imagine Lincoln(K-8)

4207 Norcross Street, Temple Hills

301-808-5600

November 20, 5:30pm

December 18, 10am

January 15, 5:30pm

January 16, 10am

January 31

Online Application

Turning Point Academy (K-8)

7800 Good Luck Road, Lanham 

301-552-0164

 November 5, 8:30am-3pm

 January 7, 8:30am-3pm

January 31

Online Application

NOTE: The Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College application process occurs in the fall, and admission tests for the program are in December. For program and application details, visit their webpage by clicking here.




Here is the information for Science and Tech, Aerospace, and Academy of Health Sciences:
PGCPS SPECIAL PROGRAMS TESTING



Prince George's County Public Schools Special Programs Includes:
  • Science and Technology
  • Academy of Health Sciences @ PGCC
Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Technology @ DuVal HS
All three programs are serviced by the same test yet have some differences in their acceptance criteria. This year, applications for the programs will be processed online. Grade 8 and 9 students may apply for the Science and Technology Program. Only grade 8 students may apply for the Academy of Health Sciences @ PGCC and the Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Technology @ DuVal HS.

Science and Technology Testing
A nationally normed multiple-choice achievement test is administered to eighth and ninth grade students as part of the Science and Technology Admissions Program. Each test consists of two timed subtests: reading comprehension and mathematics problem solving. The total test takes approximately two hours to complete. Three Science and Technology centers service Prince George's County schools: Oxon Hill High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and Charles Herbert Flowers High School. Students accepted for admission will attend one of the three Science and Technology Centers based upon their legal home residence in Prince George's County.

This year ALL PGCPS applications for grade 8 and 9 students will be done electronically. This process will be initiated by the guidance counselor at your child's school. PGCPS students applying for the program will receive a printed application for their parents to sign. Once signed, it will be returned to the school guidance counselor and verified via the online application process.

For students currently attending private schools, they may pick up applications from their school, one of the three Science and Technology Program centers, or contact the PGCPS Department of Testing.

Charles Herbert Flowers Eleanor Roosevelt Oxon Hill High

Click here to identify the Science and Technology Center for a particular address.

In order to apply, please click on the link for 2015 Private School Student Application for Special Programs on the menu bar of our Department of Testing homepage.

Spring testing is ONLY reserved for those students who enrolled in PGCPS after Nov. 1, 2014 or students who were registered to test in Dec. 2014 but due to documented extenuating circumstances failed to test. Those circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Testing Dates:

December 3, 2014 (Middle School Students)

December 6, 2014 (Grade 9 and Private School Students)

Applications are available and submitted by the guidance office of public middle and high schools. Non-public applications are available online and are due by Friday, November 7, 2014. For questions, please call the Department of Testing (301) 702-3860. Applications for students enrolled in Prince Georges County Public schools are due to the Department of Testing on Friday, November 7, 2014.

Admission:
The scores from each of the subtests along with grades in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies from the four quarters of the previous school year (in some cases trimester) and the first grading period of the current school year are combined to create a total score. Parents may use the SchoolMAX Family Portal to view the grades used in the formula. (Click here for directions) The total score provides the basis for selection to the High School Science and Technology Program. Approximately 2,500 students take this examination, although over 3,000 applications are filed by the time the examination is administered. Nearly twenty percent of the students taking the examination are offered admission to the Program.



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