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Dec 22 Public Hearing on Our District 23A Realignment (2011)

Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee 
Recommends Maryland Legislative Redistricting Plan 
Significant Changes Proposed for District 23A 
Public Hearing to be Held on December 22nd at 10:00 AM 

2011.12.18 UPDATE -- Official Press Release at:
mdp.state.md.us/PDF/Press/PressRelease-GRACLegisPlan-121611.pdf 

PGPD Fallen Police Officers Memorial (2011)

          
 Prince George’s County Police
Explorer Post 600
Prince George’s County Police Explorer Post 600 in Beltsville, MD, is gratefully accepting donations to establish a Countywide Fallen Police Officers Memorial (to be located at the S.W. corner of the MNCPP Park--Sellman and Montgomery Roads). This sacred Memorial is dedicated in loving memory of those brave Officers during the past 50 years who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Post 600 Explorers have the honorable task of fund raising, planning and organizing construction of the memorial. To raise funds for this memorial, name-engraved paver-bricks will be displayed to note families/businesses donating $100 or more. Further information about a paver-brick donation may be obtained below. Tax-deductible donations of any amount can be made using the Memorial Fund form below.
Your much-appreciated donation should be made payable to Explorer Post 600 and ‘Memorial’ should be noted on the memo portion of check. The Explorers are also seeking individuals who desire to donate time/materials/construction expertise for this worthy project.

Dec 1 Seniors Coffee with C.O.P.S.
Police Chief to Stop By For a Chat

The next Seniors Coffee with Police District VI C.O.P.S. ( Community Oriented Policing Services ) will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday Dec. 1 at the beautiful new Laurel/Beltsville Senior Center, 7129 Contee Road. December’s special speaker will be Prince George’s County’s Police Chief Mark Magaw. Chief Magaw has served with the Prince George’s County Police for 27 years and was appointed interim chief by newly elected County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). It’s not often that we in the northern part of the county get a chance to meet with the chief of police, so don’t miss this opportunity!
( From gazette.net/article/20111110/NEWS/711109872&template=gazette )

Dec 6 6:30 pm Public Meeting re Realignment of
Contee Rd From Rt 1 to Virginia Manor (2011)


Many of us in South Laurel got a postcard about this meeting, but if you didn't, you can thank a resident in Snow Hill Estates who provided this copy:

The PG County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) will conduct a project information meeting to share with the community information about the realignment and reconstruction of Contee Road.  A four-lane divided section will be constructed between US Route 1 and Virginia Manor Road.

Date:  Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Time:  6:30 pm - Exhibit Review
          7:00 pm - Presentation / Q&A
Location:  Martin Luther King Jr Middle School
               4545 Ammendale Rd, Beltsville, MD  20705

For additional info, please visit the Contee Road site at:
http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/dpwt

GS: i did not find any info about this public meeting at that web site. And Contee Road Realignment is not listed on DPW&T's current projects page . So if you have any questions i guess you'd have to call DPW&T at (301) 883 - 5600

Sat Nov 5 MH Community Yard Sale (2011)

Montpelier Hills Community Yard Sale Saturday 
November 5, Time 8 am to 1 pm
Montpelier Elementary School Parking Lot
9200 Muirkirk Rd
Set up 7 am to 8 am
No Rain Date
For information email Kim at MHYardSale@gmail.com

Oct 24 Food Day Event in DC

Food Day Open House at the National Archives Want to talk about food-related initiatives? Come meet representatives of the USDA, ThinkFood Group, and other food-related organizations. Presented in conjunction with our exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”and Food Day, a nationwide event sponsored by
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Location 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004
Date: Mon, Oct 24 @ 11:00am
Host: National Archives
  RSVP to attend
  Further information at FoodDay.org

Volunteer Fire Fighters Urge Opposition to CB-045 & CB-060 (2011)

UPDATE: Oct 20 Volunteer firefighters protest bill to reform fire commission
More than 100 Prince George’s County volunteer firefighters attended the County Council’s public safety hearing last Wednesday at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro to protest legislation that would reform the County Fire Commission ... (More)
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UPDATE: Oct 18 Baker puts Prince George’s fire commission overhaul on hold (Gazette)
"After strong opposition, legislation delayed to seek compromise with volunteers."
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Prince George's County Executive has submitted two proposed County Bills (CB-045-2011 and CB-060-2011) that would significantly change the organization of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire Commission and its relationship to ALL the 38 volunteer fire corporations that each uniquely rapidly respond to our local communities throughout the county for fire and medical assistance (*) -- and significantly change the relationship of the volunteer fire service to our neighborhoods and to the Prince George's County Fire Department. Issues of proper process are also being raised. (*) Like the Laurel Rescue Squad which serves South Laurel. Residents are being urged to learn more, voice their views, and support an ultimate outcome that will ensure a robust Volunteer Fire service by contacting their local County Council member, which in South Laurel is
     District 1 Councilwoman, Mary A. Lehman
     Tel:  301-952-3887
     Fax: 301-952-4801
     Email: CouncilDistrict1@co.pg.md.us

See the following letter from Beltsville Volunteer Fire Dept. President Dickey, which seems to be reflective also of the sentiments among the other Volunteer Fire leadership and volunteers:

Proposed Legislation Threatens Volunteer Fire Departments

By Margie Dickey, President, Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department


     On behalf of the men and women of the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department, I am writing to express our vehement opposition to the proposed changes in legislation that will affect the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire Commission and were submitted on September 19, 2011 by County Executive Rushern Baker.

     These proposed changes were submitted without first sitting down with the Volunteer Leaders that represent the 38 VOLUNTEER Fire Corporations in Prince George’s (PG) County to discuss potential alternatives and the adverse affects the changes will bring.

     Currently the Fire Commission is comprised of 9 men and women who are Volunteer Fire/EMS personnel within PG County and are voted into office by the 38 VOLUNTEER corporations that they represent. Collectively they bring over 300 years of fire service experience to the table.

     That they are one of the few agencies’s within the County that have maintained a balanced budget for the last 2 years is evidence that they are fiscally responsible. The proposed legislation wants to change the Fire Commission to an advisory board that would consist of 3 Career Fire/EMS personnel, 3 Volunteer Fire/EMS personnel, and 3 citizens and they would be appointed positions.

  The VOLUNTEER fire corporations of PG County own approximately 75% of the apparatus and fire stations of the Prince George’s County Fire Department, and provide a significant portion of the staffing – particularly on nights, weekends, and holidays. To restructure the Volunteer Fire Commission as we know it would be detrimental to our existence. Fire trucks and ambulances that need maintenance would be out of service longer, volunteer fire corporations would lose members, and fire stations could potentially have no staffing when you need it most.   If you would like to more information, please go to the link on our website www.BeltsvilleVFD.com or email us at info@beltsvillevfd.com.++++

See also this flyer http://www.beltsvillevfd.com/LegislationFlyer.pdf

Pollo a La Brasa Opens In Crystal Plaza
New Phone 301-604-4109

Pollo a La Brasa is now open in Crystal Plaza, and having a Grand Opening. They have a new phone number, 301-604-4109 , due to a mix-up at the phone company after their menus were printed. Also, they open at 6 AM most days and are now serving breakfast, with or without tortillas, etc, even though breakfast is not on their current menu. Watch here for updates and new menus.
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Pollo a La Brasa opened Sep 17 at 12733 Laurel Bowie Rd, in Crystal Plaza for sit-down, carry-out and delivery at 301-604-4109. Download PDF Menu (Menu may have changed by now)


Sep 15 County Town Hall "Streamlining" Permitting Process (2011)

On September 15, Prince George's County Council held a Town Hall on "Progress on Streamlining the Prince George's County Permitting Process" (Gazette, Sep 13, 2011 which does not discuss already arising issues  about preserving citizen involvement in the permitting process).  See the agenda and presentation slides.

I could not attend. About 16 citizens testified. Many expressed concerns about the proposal. Here are rough notes from one resident of South Laurel:
  • There needs to an operational review of the [existing] permit division
    • The main problem with permits taking so long is lack of staffing.
    • They need to eliminate current deficiencies and we need to continue to monitor the process.
  • Should be customer focused.
  • Process should not be rushed too soon.
    • Our current permitting process is already better than in Howard County
  • Need more fact finding.
  • Customer focus makes success. Should be a cooperative process.
  • Improve what we have. Have a checks and balance relationship.
  • Short changed environmental concerns.
  • Hard for small businesses like UNO; takes too long.
  • Support efficiency, reduce redundancies. Support incentives. Code Improvement.
  • Process  does not eliminate environmental or remove public hearings (?). 
  • Needs to have citizen input.
  • Council members input/discussion bullets:
    • How do you pay? Response - Implementation won't happen all at once. It is a continuing process. Evolving plan.
    • Need attitude clean up. Don't tolerate lack of performance.
    • Process slow. Staffing issues.
    • The overview had a lack of details. Were other attempts looked into?
    • The council would like to meet again for a progress report and get more details on the plan. Possibly will try to schedule another meet for November. Ingrid Turner will look at the council schedule. Council does expect and wants public input.

Hurricane Irene Info & Resources
And Updates as of Aug 27 2011

UPDATE 2011.08.29 2230: Insurance  Commissioner Goldsmith activated emergency regulations requiring all health insurance carriers in the State to waive any time restrictions on payment for prescription medication refills and replacement of durable medical equipment or supplies, eyeglasses and dentures while the State of Emergency declared by Governor O’Malley is in effect. This means that consumers forced to evacuate because of Hurricane Irene can obtain prescription refills or replace their eyeglasses, for example, regardless of the refill date or benefit plan time limitations. Link

Jul 3, 2011 $500 Reward: Lost Dog
Small Black Labrador Mix


Update: Help Find Lilly website helpfindlilly.blogspot.com/
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Update 2011.07.03: Reward raised to $500
Newly available tracking map as of July 2.

May 13 Fallen Officers Remembered at Vigil

May 13 Fallen Officers Remembered at Vigil
152 Officers were killed in 2010. This represents an increase of almost 25 percent over the number of line of duty deaths in 2009.

Gazette PG County Entertainment Guide 2011

Gazette PG County Entertainment Guide 2011

Sat May 14 Explore NASA Goddard Open House

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will again open its gates to welcome the regional community for a day of fun-filled activities, hands-on demonstrations, entertainment, music and food.  Explore@NASA Goddard will showcase the work and people of NASA and Goddard with a focus on science, engineering, and technology. This year’s theme is “Understanding our Changing Planet”.

There is no public parking at GSFC but there is remote parking with free shuttle buses from South Laurel and other surrounding areas (Parking & Shuttles)

For more information visit:

www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/events/explore/index.html

Sat May 14 Montpelier Community Yard Sales

Community Yard Sale
Over a dozen neighbors are signed up to participate in this Saturday’s May 14 community-wide yard sale.
A wide variety of items will be available from 8am to 12:00pm.
View Montpelier Community Yard Sale in a larger map
For more information, contact Gina Oliva at rickngina@aol.com.

Metro police sweep planned today in Prince George’s stations, Including Greenbelt

By Robert Thomson, DR. Gridlock, Washington Post, 2011.04.13
The Metro transit police, along with the county and municipal police departments in Prince George’s, have announced plans for what Metro calls “a major, high-visibility crime prevention and anti-terrorism event” at 15 stations [today] during the afternoon rush. MORE

Apr 17-18 Public Comments on Prince George's Police Compliance with Accreditation Standards

Click image to enlarge or print.

As stated in the enclosed Public Notice, "comments must address the PGPD's ability to comply with CALEA standards". But i learned that a copy of the book with the 400+ CALEA standards is available for citizen's to read only at PGPD headquarters, 7600 Barlowe Rd, Palmer Park, MD (MAP). If you are able to go to PGPD headquarters to read the CALEA standards there, contact Donald Pike at (301) 772-4775.

You can order a copy of the CALEA law enforcement agency standards publication for $45 at this link but it might not arrive before the April 17 - 18 public comment period. I'm told that not all CALEA standards apply to all law enforcement agencies being accredited by CALEA.

In any case, please consider submitting your comments, whether or not you are able to read the CALEA standards before hand.

Apr 15 - May 1 Free Admission to 3-Weekend Fair at Laurel Racetrack

Click images to enlarge.

Something fun for kids and adults the next three weekends.

You can get free tickets ($8 value) at merchants around South Laurel (copies not accepted). Free tickets are no longer available on the LaurelFair.com website -- just 2-1 discount coupons that they email to you.

I have seen the free tickets at these stores in Crystal Plaza (Muirkirk Rd at Rt. 197), no purchase necessary:
  • Cameron's Seafood
  • Pizza & Wings
  • Subway
  • Yum's Chinese Food
  • Island Flavors Caribbean Food
  • Dollar Inn Dollar Store
And in Town Center (Contee Rd at Rt.197) at:
  • Tiffany's Beauty Supply
This fair appears not to be affiliated with City of Laurel or local businesses.

Prince George's County Police Crime Incident Data Now on CrimeReports.com

Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) is now reporting county crime incidents at the free web site CrimeReports.com . That web site merges PGPD crime incident data with other kinds of information from other sources onto a full-feature Google map (streets, satellite, terrain, etc), and also in a list sortable by Crime type, Date, or Distance (Click the Crime Details tab at the left screen margin). When i checked, the data seemed to go back to at least December 1, 2010.

In the map or Crime Details list, click on each incident for details including the source, date, time and location at which the incident was reported to police -- not necessarily indicative of the date, time or location of the incident itself.  Be aware that you will see also incidents located outside your immediate neighborhood and outside Prince George's County Police jurisdiction (see below).

Go to CrimeReports.com and create a free account, then:
  • Choose Map Tools (display settings) 
    • Date Range
    • Incident layers (types of incidents and other data to be displayed)
    • Map Layers (local neighborhood boundaries)
  • THEN in SEARCH enter a location (zip or street address) to set the center of the map display. 
    • 9100 Muirkirk Rd, Laurel, MD is about the center of South Laurel 
    • Zoom  in or out.
    • SEARCH will display all incidents that fit your criteria and fit on the screen. That includes locations outside your immediate neighborhood or outside Prince George's County -- such as nearby counties or cities that are not within Prince George's County Police jurisdiction. The Source shows the jurisdiction, not the geographic location (the geographic location is shown by the incident pin on the map and the street address).
    • Some map pins indicate multiple incidents at the same location. Zooming will not disaggregate them.
      Click on the icon to see a scrolling list of multiple incidents at that location.   
You can also create daily email alerts for your area and choice of incident types, which will send you all your selected incident types from each previous day.

You can also subscribe to email alerts from local law enforcement agencies. It is not clear if such alerts are working yet in CrimeReports.com for Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD).

Some parts of CrimeReports.com are still in development -- so expect changes in how its menus work, etc. If you have technical trouble with the web site, try updating/installing. Adobe Flash Player.

See also PGPD Information Websites and Social Networking Sites 
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PGPD crime data is also available at http://spotcrime.com/md/prince+george%27s+county
though the association with PGPD is unclear.

Senior Services - Apr 7 1 pm Senior Coffee with District VI COPS

At this month's Senior Coffee with Prince George's County Police District VI -- our local Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S.) Officer Hibbert, has arranged a presentation and discussion lead by a representative from the Maryland Department of Aging about services for seniors, such as health, meals, nutrition, safety, telephone call-in, senior centers and senior activities, as well as elder care.

1 pm Thursday April 7, 2011
Prince George's County Police District VI Satellite Office 
13310 Laurel Bowie Rd, Laurel, MD
At the intersection of Rt. 197 with Contee Rd.
Next to Sapphire Indian Restaurant


Route 1 Giant Picketed by Distribution Workers Sunday Mar 20

On Sunday, March 20, distribution workers picketed the Giant Food store on Route 1 in Laurel. This is part of ongoing disagreements between Giant Food and the union, which was reported in detail in the Gazette on March 12 at
http://www.gazette.net/stories/03122011/prinnew81845_32565.php

Dec 11 South Laurel Man Shot Dead
Obituary & Funeral / Arrest

UPDATE Jan 3, 2011: Suspect Arrested in Tinsley Slaying

Feb 10 Next Seniors Coffee with District VI Police
- No Coffee in January

The next Seniors Coffee with Prince George's County District VI Community Oriented Police Services officers will be 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 pm Thursday, February 10 in the Police District VI Satellite Office at 13310 Laurel Bowie Road at Contee Rd (map), next door to Sapphire Indian & Thai restaurant (across the parking lot from the McDonalds). The topic is to be announced ... watch this post for updates.