Call to Help Nearly 100 Made Homeless by Fire

Beltsville Gazette, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Call for help for 100 Made Homeless by Fire Dec 17
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007
From: Garold Stone
To: undisclosed-recipients:;


Call for help for Nearly 100 Beltsville Residents Made Homeless by Fire Dec 17

The Beltsville Volunteer & Career Fire Fighters are collecting gift cards for Target, Kohls, Walmart Kmart to help provide Christmas for the children. If you can purchase a "gift card" and take it to the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department 4911 Prince George's Avenue Beltsville Maryland 301-937-3160. More help is needed for clothes, furniture etc.

Karen Coakley President Beltsville Citizen's Association


----- Original Message -----
From: KAREN Coakley
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 4:57 PM

More info Pass it on
Several families are staying at Comfort in College Park. You can pay for a nights stay the cost is $97.90 per room. All of the families are covered through Friday. You can contact 301-441-8110 You must speak with Colvin Sanders or Emily Ravn to make the payment applied to the fire victims.
You can also make other contributions see below..... Karen Coakley

Hello, all:

Here is the information from the Red Cross. They gave me the name of the property manager for Cherry Glen, Deanna. I spoke with her. She is encouraging people to bring any size clothes. They will also take non-perishable food items, toiletries, towels, wash clothes, and other personal hygiene items. They can be delivered to 11238 Cherry Hill Rd , Apt T-3 between 10am and 4pm. There are several families who lost everything, and the Red Cross housing ends today (they only supply housing for 3 days!). Several of the families do not have insurance to help them rebuild, but they still have their mortgages to pay.

The Beltsville Fire Department is accepting gift cards from any place in any denomination, especially Target or Walmart, etc. They can be delivered to the Beltsville VFD anytime.

Ann Rowland and members of the Homeless Committee are planning to take clothing today. If anyone can help by donating or helping Ann deliver the items, she will be at church from 10am until noon. I am taking gift cards to the Fire Department. Let's give these people some help, especially at Christmas.

God Bless,

Kathy Mellott

Assessment Team Seeks Comments on PG Police

An assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. invites public comment on Prince George's County Police. See press release.

New Police District 6 Confidential Tip Line

Prince George's County Police District VI (Beltsville/Laurel area) has set up a new confidential telephone Tip Line 301-931-3575.

This number does not take the place of established phone numbers for emergency ( 911 ) and non-emergency ( 301-352-1200 ) police response.

This tip line is a way for community residents to confidentially report criminal or suspicious activity within Police District VI (map). The caller does not have to provide their name and will not be called back unless requested. The phone messages will be monitored daily and all gathered information will be utilized appropriately.

Please share this new confidential Tip Line number with other residents in our community.

Flu Shots, Etc., Free/Cheap, Quick, Easy

At the Minute Clinic in the CVS/Pharmacy on Rt. 1 at Rt. 198 you can get a flu shot for $30 or for your medical insurance co-pay (which for Blue Cross was Free). They offer a range of other minor medical services. Just drop-in -- no appointment needed. The next nearest Minute Clinic is at this CVS/Pharmacy in Beltsville. Hours are M-F, 8am - 8 pm; Sat & Sun, 10am-4pm.
Closed during lunch approximately 2:00-2:30pm M-F.

Los Tios TexMex & Grill Closed

Los Tios TexMex & Grill (formerly J's Sports Cafe) has closed.

It is unclear what new business will open next at that location in Crystal Plaza.

Hopefully, any new business there will not have alcohol and patron dancing and live entertainment that resulted in the three alcohol-fueled shooting murders previously at that address. So now we need to be watching the Prince George's Liquor Control Board for any new license applications for that location.

Town Center Walk With Police Chief & Commander

Community Walk and Talk
With Prince George's County
Chief of Police Melvin High
District 6 Commander Maj. Gary Cunningham

Wed, August 22
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Meet at Town Center Route 197 & Contee Rd for a walk through nearby neighborhoods (MAP)

You are invited to join neighbors in a walk and talk with Prince George's County Police Chief Chief Melvin High and Laurel-Beltsville Police District 6 Commander Maj. Gary Cunningham along with other Prince George's County officials and agency representatives.

“Our goal is to heighten awareness and show a partnership of commitment. We need the help of the community and this is a great way to personally meet members of the community to address their concerns,” -- Chief High.

For more information, call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Press Information Office at (301) 772-4710.

Back to Los Tios TexMex & Grill in Crystal Plaza

Download just the Coupon
The "Los Tios Pizzeria & Grill" that opened September 26 at Crystal Plaza has been renamed (back) to "Los Tios TexMex & Grill". They no longer offer Pizza. They do have a very nice menu of TexMex food. Here's what i scanned off their current menu (so the layout and any typos are mine). For Vegetarians (if not for Vegans) there are even some meatless dishes, like the Enchiladas Monterrey, which i liked. I hope they will add a nice Xango to their dessert menu.

Los Tios TexMex & Grill
Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 9:30pm
Friday - Saturday 11:30am - 10:30pm
(301) 776-6550
12617 Laurel Bowie Rd.
Laurel, MD 20708 (Map)

Sampler Especial $11.95
Grilled jumbo shrimps, Grilled chicken quesadilla Chicken wings, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream

Grilled Quesadilla $6.95
Grilled chicken or beef, Flour tortilla, filled with melted Cheese served with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream

Taquitos $6.95
Grilled beef or chicken rolled in a com tortilla fried, served with taquito sauce, topped with cheese, guacamole and sour cream

Buffalo Wings
Los Tios' famous Buffalo style wings with choice of Hot, Mild, or Plain.
(10 pcs) $6.95
(20 pcs) $12.95
(50 pcs) $28.95

Lunch Special

Taco al Carbon $6.95
2 Beef or chicken tacos served with lettuce and tomato

2 Soft Taeos $6.95
Choice of beef or chicken served with guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream

Enchiladas & Tacos $5.95
Choice of beef or chicken served with rice and beans

Carne Asada $8.95
Grilled steak served with pico de gallo, rice and beans

Camarones Rellenos $12.95
Jumbo Shrimps stuffed with crab meat and served with rice and vegetables

Pescado Frito $9.95
Salvadoran style whole pan fried seasoned tilapia
Served with rice, beans and salad

Polio Asado $9.95
Grilled chicken breast with rice, beans, pica de gallo and guacamole

Polio Encebollado $9.95
Chicken breast sauteed in garlic butter and ranchera sauce, smothered with onion, green peppers, and tomatoes

Fajitas $9.95
Grilled chicken, beef, or mixed served with pico de gallo and guacamole

Rib Eye Steak $14.95
100z of grilled rib eye steak, served with rice, salad, pico de gallo

Horchata $1.95
Ensalada de Fruta $1.95
12oz can soda $1.25
Bottled water (1 liter) $1.25
Fountain soda (refills) $1.95

Flan $2.95
Cheese Cake $2.95
Fruit Bowl $3.95

Beef Burrito $8.95
Shredded beef rolled in a flour tortilla, topped with fresh home made enchilada sauce and melted cheese garnished with rice and beans

Chicken Burrito $8.95
A flour tortilla stuffed with chunks of chicken breast, beans lettuce, tomatores, cheese and avocados, topped with ranchera sauce and melted cheese served with rice and beans

Santa Fe Burrito $11.95
Chunks of skirt steak rolled in a flour tortilla, topped with home made enchilada suce and melted cheese served with rice and beans

Twins Burrito $9.95
Two burritos, one filled with chicken topped with tomatillo sauce and cheese, the other filled with beef toped with enchilada sauce and melted cheese, served with rice and beans


Enchiladas Verdes $8.95
Corn tortilla stuffed with shredded beef and covered with our tomatillo sauce and melted cheese served with rice and beans

Enchiladas Monterrey $8.95
Corn tortilla filled with cheese topped with more cheese and ranchera sauce served with rice and beans

Enchiladas Super De Polio $8.95
Corn tortilla stuffed with chunks of tender chicken rolled and topped with enchilada sauce, melted cheese, garnished with sliced avocados and sour cream served with rice and beans

Trios Enchiladas $8.95
Chicken, beef and cheese enchilada served with rice and beans

Prince George's Co. Students Get Free Bus Rides

Metro [and the Prince George's County-run system TheBus] will give free bus rides to school-age children on weekdays between 2 and 7 p.m. in Prince George's County starting Aug. 20, the first day of public school in the county ... Rest of Washington Post article

Los Tios Pizzeria & Grill Opened Sep 26

The brand new Los Tios Pizzeria & Grill restaurant has opened in Crystal Plaza at the 12617 Laurel-Bowie Rd. location of the former J's Sports Cafe, apparently starting Wednesday night, September 26.

Their menu in the window and the above coupon show Pizza, Subs, Pasta, Salads, Chicken Wings, Chicken Tenders, Hamburgers, French Fries, Bread Sticks, Nachos, Ice Cream, Sodas, Ice Tea, etc., but other than Nachos there is not (yet) any Tex-Mex food as hinted by their earlier banner "Los Tios Tex-Mex". But it is still early days, yet. They offer Dine-In, Carry-Out and Delivery Service at (301) 776-6550. (Map)

The coupon shows their current hours of operation as:
  • Sun - Thurs: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
  • Fri & Sat: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm
The coupon also mentions:
  • Arcade games
  • Watch Sports on 24 TVs
  • Birthdays
  • Corporate Parties
Watch this space for more information about the new Los Tios Pizzeria & Grill in Crystal Plaza.

Pizzeria could replace J's Cafe in Crystal Plaza

South Laurel residents say they are keeping an eye on J’s Sport Café, the former violence-prone nightclub, as its owner announces plans to remake it into a pizzeria.

The pizzeria would deliver and sell California-style pizzas with pineapple, mango, chicken and other less-traditional toppings in addition to regular pies, said Kim, who expects to have use-and-occupancy and health permits in hand this week.

Read the rest of this July 26, 2007 Laurel Gazette article

This and earlier information about the now closed J's Cafe is archived at J's Sports Cafe under NEWS on

National Night Out August 7

Police District 6 National Night Out Tuesday, August 7, at 6 pm - 8 pm at District 6 Station, 4321 Sellman Rd, Beltsville, MD next to the Beltsville Library.

Click image to enlarge.


In addition to fostering police-community partnerships, one of the main objectives of National Night Out is to displace the opportunity for crime simply by residents coming
outdoors together -- on our streets, sidewalks, and front yards -- to reclaim our neighborhoods, at least on that night, and as often as possible throughout the year, and to otherwise raise crime-prevention awareness.

Residents are encouraged not only to attend this Police District 6 event to get to know our neighborhood police officers and learn about police department crime fighting activities, but also simply to gather in our own neighborhoods, such as an outdoor barbecue, picnic, potluck, whatever, with or without a specific crime prevention theme.

At a minimum, all residents are encouraged to keep our front porch and rear house lights turned on at night and to secure our homes and cars, especially on National Night Out to show unity within our community, but also every other night, to reduce the opportunities for crime.

Here's a MAP and directions to the Police District 6 Station

For more information about this nation-wide event, see the National Night Out web site

Here are some other crime prevention materials you might find helpful.

Here is the event flyer as a down-loadable PDF or PNG file for printing and posting throughout our community.

J's Cafe to become Los Tios Tex Mex & Grill ?

On May 31, 2007 the Laurel Leader reported that Alex Kim, one of J's owners, said they plan to open a Lighthouse Steak and Seafood restaurant at the site later this summer in Crystal Plaza, South Laurel. Today, there is a sign for "Los Tios Tex Mex & Grill" covering where the J's Cafe sign used to be. Nothing more is known at this time.

Graffiti Removal

This past Saturday afternoon about 25 citizens came out to assist Prince George's County Police District 6 (Beltsville/Laurel) Special Assignment Team officers remove graffiti on public property across District 6. Volunteers included citizens of Beltsville and South Laurel, community representatives on the Police District 6 Citizens Advisory Council and South Laurel Community Association Leaders network, P.G. County Volunteer Fire Department Station 31 (Beltsville), Boy Scout Troop 1033 (Beltsville). Police District 1 officers assisted.

Doc's Grille Opens in Crystal Plaza

Doc's Grille is now open in Crystal Plaza, run by the owner of the nearby Subway. Doc's Grille features
high quality hamburgers & hot dogs, fries, cheese fries, onion rings, cookies, hand-dipped milkshakes, and ice cream scoops. Doc's Grille website & menu.

J's Sports Cafe to open without liquor license

According to "News Briefs" on page 8 of the May 31, 2007 Laurel Leader...

The owners of J's Sports Cafe on Route 197 will not appeal the Prince George's County Board of License Commissioner's May 2 decision to revoke the controversial club's liquor license.

Alex Kim, one of J's owners, said they plan to open a Lighthouse Steak and Seafood restaurant at the site later this summer [in Crystal Plaza, South Laurel].

"We want to open a nice family restaurant that people in the immediate area can come to who don't want to go to places on Route 1", Kim said.

Read the full Laurel Leader article (May 31, 2007)

Rio Bar & Grill Opens May 30, 2007

Added June 1: Lunch Special Flyer
Any Time 10% Off Food Coupon

The Rio Bar & Grill opened today, without fanfare.

There were about 12 customers when i walked in at 9:30 pm. I wasn't in the mood for the $16 fillet mignon, so i ordered a tasty $8 veggie wrap and a $2 refillable diet coke.

According to the sign on the door they will be open Sunday 12:30 pm to 11:30 pm, Monday through Thursday 11 am to 11:30 pm, and Friday & Saturday 11 am to 2 am. There are pool tables and air hockey and darts and bar top video games, as well as sports channels on large screen TVs around the bar and large silent projection screens on the back wall visible from the bar and dining area. Music comes from a jukebox on the back wall.

For now they are not using the outside deck. They are still hiring wait staff and other positions.

See this link for quixotically updated news & other information about the Rio Bar & Grill (formerly the very problematic establishments Club Amazon and before that Dinosaurs).

BGE Rate "Stabilization" - Choices by June 30

I'm SOOO glad BGE electricity rates are going to be "stable" - and "only" 50% higher -- at least until the new "market rates" take our BGE electricity bills even higher than that -- and soon.

What a
relief - Whew! And here we thought the only sure things were death and taxes.

Go here for the gory details and to see the choices we all have to make by June 30, 2007.

Related news and analysis (updated quixotically)

J's Sports Cafe & Sunrise Sports Bar Update

At today's May 22 Administrative Voting Session there were no surprises. The Liquor Board voted 5-0 in both cases to approve the wording of letters they will be sending out shortly to all Parties of Record publishing the Board's findings in fact and law in support of the decisions taken at the May 2 License Renewal Protest hearings for J's Sports Cafe in Crystal Plaza in South Laurel (not to renew the license, which now expires on May 31) and Sunrise Restaurant and Sports Bar in Sunrise Plaza in Beltsville, (to renew the license conditioned by the agreement made with the community).

Also of nearby interest from that Liquor Board meeting:

Sullivan's Steak & Beverage on Rt 198 at Rt 197 was approved to offer "entertainment (no dancing)" on up to 4 days a week -- apparently music and events like Cinco de Mayo, pending further specification to the Liquor Board of the actual hours for which that entertainment would be provided.

Liquor Board Letter Denying J's Cafe License


May 4, 2007

Granville Templeton, Esquire
10 N. Calvert Street, Suite 930
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

RE: t/a J's Cafe Class B, BLX, Beer, Wine and Liquor

Dear Mr. Templeton:

During Regular Session on May 2,2007, the Board of License Commissioners met regarding the above captioned.

After receiving a protest against the renewal of this alcoholic beverage license, the Board of License Commissioners held a hearing on May 2, 2007, pursuant to Article 2B, Section 10-302 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. At that hearing, the Board heard testimony and received evidence from the licensee, applicant, citizens of Prince George's County opposed to the renewal and from it's own inspection staff.

Pursuant to Section 10-401 of Article 2B, ten residents who live in the vicinity of the licensed establishment can institute a protest against the renewal of an alcoholic beverage license. Applying the law to the facts, the Board denied the renewal of the Class B, BLX, Beer, Wine and Liquor license for 2007-2208. Findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the denial of the alcoholic beverage license will be formulated at the Administrative Voting Session of May 22,2007.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Jackson

(Image of letter in PDF)

WSSC, There They Go Again

Lightning does strike twice in the same place, and so does the WSSC. Sometime before 3:30 pm Tuesday afternoon May 8, the second time since January 4, a contract crew working for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission abandoned work in progress in the west-bound lane of the 9700-block of Murkirk Rd (near Montpelier Mansion), leaving a dangerous tank trap 6 feet long, 10 feet across, and 4 inches deep -- without any traffic control barriers, signs or cover plates. See pictures below

A cast-iron pipe stuck up 8 inches above street level -- but not for long. One of the first cars to fall into that hole clipped off the cast-iron pipe, which severely damaged the car's axle, according to the young driver who can't afford to get his car fixed because he can only afford the legally required liability insurance (to protect other drivers) not collision insurance to protect himself.

One resident spent 3 hours waving at cars coming at speed from the very nearby Rt. 197 intersection, to slow them down to avoid further vehicle damage or personal injury. He called WSSC and DPW&T but after over one hour no one had responded to the scene. Then he called County Councilman Dernoga's office. After Dernoga's office called WSSC, the WSSC finally sent out a work crew to assess the situation and then sent a second truck which covered the excavation with asphalt by 6 pm, before dark when the situation would surely have become even more dangerous (as it did on January 4) .

It is inconceivable that a work crew would abandon work in progress leaving such a dangerous situation -- not only once but twice at the same location. There is something seriously wrong with the standard operating procedures for WSSC's road work contractors.

If you were injured or your car damaged at that WSSC work site on May 8, most auto insurance policies will cover your damage or injury and subrogate payment by the WSSC so your deductible payment will be reimbursed to you. But if you need other compensation beyond your own insurance coverage, contact the WSSC's claims representative, Phil Sherman, 301 206-7094. If that doesn't work, contact the office of County Councilman Dernoga

Dollar Inn a Gem in Crystal Plaza

If you have not yet visited the Dollar Inn in Crystal Plaza next to Bottom Dollar, you are in for a treat. In addition to supplying your essential Hello Kitty needs and other Asian knick-knacks, they have a surprisingly robust inventory of daily necessities with "nearly everything for $1" : school supplies, electrical and electronic thing-a-ma-bobs, cell phone accessories, greeting cards, household supplies, party supplies, snacks, big $1 cold soft drinks, $2 baseball ball caps, clothes, health and personal grooming, and of course toys, etc. The Dollar Inn owners owned the Chin Tao restaurant that was burned out a few years ago by the arson at the adjacent Delaney's Irish Pizza Pub. Our community is fortunate they decided to reinvest in a new business at Crystal Plaza. They are open seven days a week, 9:30 A.M to 10:00 P.M. And they take all credit cards. So, please drop by and discover this gem in Crystal Plaza.

J's Sports Cafe Looses Liquor License

"The Prince George’s County Board of Commissioners revoked the liquor license of J’s Sports Cafe on Route 197 at a May 2 protest hearing, during which more than 50 elected officials and area residents showed up to voice their opposition to the controversial establishment." See the rest of this Laurel Leader article , May 10, 2007. Added: Laurel Gazette article May 10, 2007

Island Flavors Opens in Crystal Plaza

UPDATE - Island Flavors Closed Oct 2013

Doc's Grille Coming to Crystal Plaza

The owner of the Subway in Crystal Plaza will open his new Doc's Grille there in a few weeks, featuring high quality hamburgers and hot dogs and related fare -- there will be no alcohol.

This new family-friendly restaurant will contribute to the growing prosperity of Crystal Plaza and South Laurel.

With Osaka Japanese Hibachi, Cameron's Seafood carry-out and the Island Flavors Caribbean restaurant and the Yums and now Doc's Grille, it looks like Crystal Plaza is becoming a desirable destination for people looking for a variety of interesting yet inexpensive dining choices.

Community Meeting About J’s Sports Café April 23

We would like to encourage everyone to attend a community meeting on Monday, April 23, to discuss the future of J’s Café, which is located in the Crystal Plaza shopping center on Route 197.  J’s owners have proposed to reopen as a sports bar and grill.  At previous meetings with the owners, the community’s overwhelming sentiment was for the liquor license either to be revoked or for J’s Café to reopen as a full-fledged restaurant that served wine and beer, but not as a sports bar that also serves food.

We have invited J’s owners to come to this meeting prepared to outline a new business plan more in line with the community’s request to open as a restaurant whose sales are based on food rather than liquor.

The meeting will be held at 7 pm at the Touch of Love Bible Church, 13503 Baltimore Ave. (corner of Route 1 and Contee Road, behind the new Sakura Steak House).

Many community members have already signed a petition opposing renewal of J’s liquor license due to the shooting death in January of a patron in the club’s parking lot – the third such murder there in two years. The Prince George’s County Liquor Board has scheduled a protest hearing for May 2 at 7 pm, at which time it may
change the way the club does business or revoke J’s liquor license altogether, presumably taking into account the community’s preferences.

Please plan to attend this community meeting on April 23 – and also the Liquor Board hearing on May 2 – to be assured that your voice is heard and that you are fully informed on the issues.

Let’s make Laurel a safe and prosperous community.

Maria Agres
Coordinator, Coalition for Laurel Area Safety and Prosperity (CLASP)

March 29 Judgement Against J's Sports Cafe

March 29,2007
Granville Templeton, ill, Esquire 10 N.·Calvert Street
Suite 930
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Re: J's Cafe, Class B, BLX, Beer, Wine and Liquor

Dear Mr. Templeton:

During the Administrative Voting Session of March 27,2007, the Board of License Commissioners met regarding the above captioned.

The Board approved the following finds of fact regarding the hearing held on March 14,2007.

The licensee was charged with violations which came before the Board for a hearing on March 14, 2007. The principal charge made by the inspection staff was that the operation of the licensed premises endangered the peace and safety of the neighborhood in which it is located in violation of Article 2B, Section 10-401. Certain other charges were filed alleging violation of Rules 26A(3), 26B(5), 26b(10), 26B(13) and26B 14.

At the hearing the Board heard testimony form Deputy Chief Inspector Fanelli, Captain S. Haines of the Prince George's County Police, Cpl. Jenkins of the Prince George's County Police, the licensee and the manager of the establishment. The Board carefully considered all the testimony and evidence presented to it from all witnesses. The Board has assessed the credibility of the witnesses, attached weight to their testimony and makes the following findings of fact.

The Board finds as a fact that the licensee operates a Class B, BLX restaurant located at 12617 Laurel Bowie Road, Annapolis Road, Laurel, Maryland. The Board finds that the management promotes club type atmosphere rather than a restaurant. The Board finds that on the night of January 26,2007, it employed 7-8 bartenders, 14 bouncers or security staff, and only one person on the wait staff. The Board finds as a fact that on that night a number of customers of the licensed premises became unruly and began fighting on the parking lot of the premises as the establishment was closing. Officers who were employed as security forces by the licensee attempted to restore order to the area. During the course of this melee one individual was shot and killed by a person unknown.

J's Cafe
March 29, 2007 Page-2-

The law which the Board must apply to the facts in this case consists, in part, of Maryland Code, Article 2B, Section 10-401 (a)(3) which states "Any license or permit issued under the provisions of this article may be revoked or suspended by the issuing authority for any case which in the judgment of the official, court or board, is necessary to promote the peace or safety of the community in which the place of business is situated." In addition to the statue and Rilles, adopted by the Board under the authority granted to it by Article 2B, Section 16-303(a), applies in the case. Rille #26B states as follows:

The Board may suspend or revoke any license issued under the provision
of Article 2B for any case which in the judgment of the Board shall be
necessary to promote the peace and safety of the community in which
the business is situated.

Applying the law to the facts found in this case the Board concludes that the operation of the premises causes a danger to the peace and good order of the community in which the business is located. It is clear that any citizen passing in the near vicinity of the premises at closing time on the night in question would have been in danger of being shot. The Board concludes that the licensees are in violation of Article 2B, Section 401 and Rules 26(2)(B)(10) and (13) in permitting disorderly persons to remain on the premises and permitting loud noises and brawls on the premises. There is no evidence to show that the licensee sold alcoholic beverages to disorderly persons and so the Board dismisses the charge of violating Rille 26(B)(5).

For these violations the Board imposes a fine of$10,000.00. In addition, pursuant to a request of the licensee, the Board rescinded its permission to offer entertainment.

Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact our office.

Franklin D. Jackson Chairman

County Service Building, Room 204, 5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland 20781-2037 (301) 699-2770

Prevent Air Bag Thefts -- Alert from Laurel

Twenty airbags were stolen from 10 vehicles so far this month in city of Laurel, according to the March 29, Laurel Gazette

Airbag thefts, which first became a serious problem in the city about a year ago, are surging this month after no reported cases in January and February, Laurel police said.

Prince George’s County police through Tuesday had recorded airbag thefts from 52 vehicles in 2007, 16 fewer than at the same time last year.

Even though they do not protect passenger-side airbags, steering wheel locks can deter thefts, since thieves prefer to steal two airbags at a time. (End of Gazette article extract)

Steering wheel locks are relatively inexpensive and are available free from our local Police District 6.

PG Police Open House April 24

Major Gary Cunningham, Commander, Captain Scott Haines, Asst. Commander, and the Employees of Prince George's County Police District VI cordially invite you to attend the

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
District VI Police Station 4321 Sellman Road Beltsville, MD 20705 (map). 301-937-0910

Tours of the Station, Various Police Displays, K9, Aviation, Motorcycles, Police Patrol Cars, Crime Solvers, Crime Prevention Materials, and More…

Light refreshments will be provided.

J's Sports Cafe Mar 14 Liquor Hearing Recap

Bottom Line:
At the end of a nearly 3-hour long "Show Cause" hearing, the Liquor Board fined J's Sports Cafe $10,000 and, after considerable discussion, decided to not suspend its liquor license pending the already scheduled
License Renewal Protest Hearing on May 2 (notice).

J's Sports Cafe committed to operating in future as a regular restaurant, with a full menu and operating hours patterned after other restaurants serving liquor in the Laurel area. They agreed to have the Liquor Board remove from their Class B license (and have DER remove from their Use and Occupancy Permit) all previous permissions for patron dancing, live music, DJs , cover charges, and other such "entertainment" related activities. Moreover, they committed to meet with elected officials and community leaders to determine more precisely what the community deems to be additional conditions required beyond that for them to continue to operate.

No citizen statements are permitted at Show Cause Hearings. But because of the petition signed by residents, and letters from elected officials (County Councilman Tom Dernoga and District 23 State Delegation) calling for the revocation of J's liquor license, citizens will be able to give statements at the upcoming License Renewal Protest Hearing on May 2 (notice).

J's Sports Cafe was closed on February 2 for lack of a proper Use and Occupancy permit (from the Department of Environmental Resources) and will remain closed until a Use and Occupancy permit is granted, and other violations are resolved. (For history see J's Sports Cafe)

Summary:Even though the January 28 shooting murder at J's Sports Cafe occurred under the management of the "new owner" (Alex Kim), this Show Cause hearing was actually a case against the previous owner -- because the current owner was operating under the previous owner's liquor license under a management agreement. Both the previous owner (Woo Hun Jung) and new owner (Alex Kim) agreed to the new license restrictions listed above. The new owner (Kim) still has not picked up the transferred liquor license that was approved for him in early January.

There was testimony under oath by Councilman Tom Dernoga, District 23 Delegates Gerron Levi and Distrct 23 State Senator Doug Peters, Police District 6 Acting Commander Scott Haines, another police officer, the Liquor Board's own Inspectors, and an advocate for the City of Laurel.

Then the Liquor Board established that all of the alleged violations of the conditions of the new owner's transferred license had in fact been violated -- each of which the Liquor Board Chairman cited into the hearing record.

The new owner initially testified that when he took over the Cafe, he had not been aware that previous shootings were associated with J's Sports Cafe. But he was reminded by Liquor Board members of his testimony in September 2006 when he said that he had been aware of those shootings. Those shootings were the very reason he had been required to create a security plan both inside the Cafe and in the parking lot. When asked directly by the Board, the new owner could not confirm whether on January 28 he was actually in compliance with the Security Plan that he had previously submitted to the Liquor Board and committed to as a condition of his transferred liquor license.

Councilman Tom Dernoga testified: J's Sports Cafe had circumvented P.G. County laws regarding patron dancing by getting a permit from the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission -- not indicative of respect for P.G. County law. Regarding that and operating without a Use and Occupancy Permit - "when you have owners who think the laws don't apply to them, is there any surprise that there are problems". The Councilman urged that the license be revoked -- but if citizens can agree on acceptable conditions for J's Sports Cafe's to continue operation -- he would support the citizens. But the proffered menu is not sufficient to qualify J's Sports Cafe as a Restaurant. If clientèle come mostly from outside the community, how does that benefit our community? We need a business that will make Crystal Plaza more successful for the community -- a real restaurant, not a sports bar masquerading as a real restaurant.

The new owners said their menu was just a draft -- based on a menu from a "successful restaurant", but, when asked by a Liquor Board member, the new owner declined to provide the name of that restaurant. Likewise, the proffered revised floor plan still showed a "band stand". The Cafe's lawyer clarified that the band stand would be removed and replaced with tables. A Liquor Board member told the new owner, "next time do not bring Drafts" of proffers -- show us what you are actually doing -- not drafts.

The City of Laurel advocate testified that their concern about J's Sports Cafe stems from their mutual assistance agreements with Prince George's County police -- so Laurel officers have to respond when there is are shootings at J's Sports Cafe. He said his wife is an example of those who won't go to Crystal Plaza for fear of the violence associated with J's Sports Cafe. The City of Laurel would support what the citizens of South Laurel approve -- but the city is averse to continuation of live music, DJs, patron dancing, etc.

The Deputy Chief Inspector read into the record the Chief Inspector's report in the series of shooting incidents and evidence for each license violation, determining that the peace and safety of the community was at risk.

P.G. Police District 6 Acting Commander Scott Haines testified to details of the three shooting murders, and several other shooting incidents from 2005 to Jan 28, 2007, including gunshots outside of J's Sports Cafe that hit the Rite Aid, the Post Office and the Red Roof Inn. On one occasion, a J's Sports Cafe patron declared to an officer, "I have no problem shooting police", after which he fired a total of 12 shots at police officers and fled without apprehension.

The Commander said that since October 2006 he has had to put all of his on-duty officers (from overlapping swing and mid-shifts for double presence) at J's Sports Cafe, as a show of force and to clear the parking lot at closing. Since J's Sports Cafe was closed on Feb 2, he has not had to do that -- and there have been no calls for police at Crystal Plaza since that closure -- so his officers are now available to provide law enforcement throughout the Laurel-Beltsville area.

One officer testified about the great difficulty of actually preventing shootings in the parking lot with as many as 300 patrons because you would have to watch everyone -- necessitating about "120" off-duty police officers, although about 10 was considered necessary for normal crowd control. The implication was that no number of off-duty police officers could guarantee there would be no shootings. And at one point the new owner testified that "No amount of security can prevent something from happening 100%".

The new owner testified that he had been "transitioning" to less problematic bands, but the Liquor Board had indications that such bands had been scheduled even after Jan 28. Before the Feb 2 shutdown, a super bowl party in apparent violation of the license conditions was planned and promoted featuring "Angel -- Miss XXL -- Eye Candy of the Year". A Liquor Board member expressed dismay that the owner thought he could "transition" over 3 months the scheduling of such bands instead of complying immediately with all the conditions of the newly transferred license.

Other specific violations cited by the Liquor Board were: permitting band promoters in the Cafe, having too many bartenders (8) and bouncers (14) compared to wait-staff (only 1).

Near the end of the hearing, before the Board's vote (above), the lawyer for J's Sports Cafe summarized as follows: J's new owner knows that change is needed. He has made efforts recently to meet with the community and he regrets not meeting with the community before. He asks to meet with community leaders. He should have looked more into the past violence at the Cafe before he took it over. He commits to changes:
no more patron dancing, no live music, no DJs , no cover charges, and no other such "entertainment" related activities. The lawyer asserted that the community is better off with this new owner who has made these commitments, than some other unknown people. He asked the Liquor Board to allow the new owner to keep his transferred license and hold off on any fines.
But at times the new owner had continued to refer to the proffered new business format as a "sports bar restaurant".

At one point, a man in the audience stood up and declared that the January 28 murder victim was a his half-brother and that his family will be suing J's Sports Cafe's new owner for not carrying out the security plan and other conditions which he committed to when the license was transferred to him. The Liquor Board Chairman instructed the other board members to disregard those remarks, which were not under oath, because citizen statements are not taken at Show Cause hearings.


Sunrise Sports Bar Mar 14 Liquor Hearing Recap

On March 14, the Prince George's County Liquor Board held a Show Cause Hearing for Sunrise Restaurant and Sports Bar, 10800 R Rhode Island Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, due to a shooting there on January 28.

This brief report does not do justice to the many issues and resident concerns raised at that hearing, to which Councilman Dernoga and District 21 State Delegate
Joseline Pena Melnyk testified.

After lengthy testimony and very assertive legal challenges by the Bar's lawyer, the Liquor Board withdrew three of the charges and ultimately ruled that there had been no showing of fact at that hearing that the Sports Bar was itself operating inconsistent with the peace and safety of the community.

There were outstanding issues about noise, and more, which the owner committed to resolving with the community. The owner had hired a new manager with many years experience managing multiple restaurants who said he has begun to make changes to discourage irresponsible patrons and wants very much to buy the restaurant. But the current owner is unable to terminate the 7 years left on her lease.

Due to petitions from the community, the Liquor Board will still hold a License Renewal Protest Hearing on May 2 (notice) at which the public can give statements.

Please Attend J's Cafe Show Cause Hearing -- Wed Mar 14 7 pm

Please attend the P.G. Liquor Board "Show Cause" Hearing on Wednesday, March 14, 7 pm to clearly demonstrate our community's grave concern to stop the shooting murders at nearby J's Sports Cafe.

For a map and directions to the Hearing location, please see

You need not testify -- your simple presence in large numbers will say volumes.

That night there will also be a show cause hearing for the Jan 28 shooting at Sunrise Restaurant on Rhode Islane Ave in Beltsville. Your attendance will show solidarity with Beltsville citizens trying to stop the same kind of shooting murders at bars in their community.

PG Liquor Board Agenda March 7, 2007 -             J's Sports Cafe & Sunrise Sports Bar

UPDATE: March 7
March 7 PG Liquor Board Show Cause Hearings Postponed

The P.G. Liquor Board has postponed the Show Cause Hearings for the shootings at J's Sports Cafe and Sunrise Bar, due to expected dangerous icing conditions this evening (March 7).

The new date is March 14, 7 pm. For directions to the P.G. County services building, see below.

Today and on March 14, check the Liquor Board phone number for possible recorded announcements about the status of Hearings (301) 699-2770.

Please attend the March 14 Hearing to show community concern about the shootings and murders at J's Sports Cafe.

UPDATE: March 4

Here is the Prince George's County Liquor Control Board public "Show Cause" hearing agenda March 7, 2007 7pm regarding the shooting murder at J's Sports Cafe and a shooting at Sunrise Sports Bar both on January 28, 2007 , among other actions.

It is not yet clear if public testimony will be taken at that hearing.

Whether or not you intend to testify -- please attend -- a large turn out by residents will demonstrate our community's serious concern about these bars.

Prince George's County Liquor Control Board
5012 Rhode Island Avenue, Second Floor Hearing Room
Hyattsville, MD 20781
(301) 699-2770

Directions: Take Route 1 south (Baltimore Ave) and continue on RT 1 when it becomes Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville.

South of East-West Hwy, turn right onto Farragut St. and then left into the underground parking garage. [Farragut St. is marked One-Way on the map -- but Farragut St. is not one way where you enter from Rhode Island Ave]

Remember your parking space number and use the machine inside the parking garage lobby to pay the parking fee of $ .75 per hour in advance.


Ignore Red Star on Map

When Music Kills in P.G. County

The image of the Browning 9 millimeter Hi-Power handgun is from the Wikipedia article "Pistol".

J's Sports Cafe Closed -- For Now

On Monday, February 12, i noticed a sign on the locked front door of J's Sports Cafe that said:

"J's Sports Cafe will be closed while undergoing Change of Ownership Process. New J's will REOPEN in Mid-February Thank you for your patronage. Management" END QUOTE

The photo is from a Feb 12 Washington Post article that reported: QUOTE - J's closed temporarily after the incident because of several county code enforcement issues, bar co-owner Alex Kim said. END QUOTE

Reportedly, J's Sports Cafe was shut down on or about Feb 8 because it did not have a valid Use and Occupancy permit at the time of the murder on Jan 28. Their U&O application is pending.

The P.G. Liquor Board has not yet posted a hearing date for reviewing J's Sports Cafe's liquor license in the wake of the 3d shooting homicide there on Jan 28.

Petitions by local residents requesting a hearing to revoke the Liquor License at J's Sports Cafe must be received by the P.G. Liquor Board before March 1. [Liquor Board address and related information]

No More "Do Overs" for J's Sports Cafe After 3 Shooting Homicides

Three Shooting Homicides and They're Out !! As i understand it, after two previous homicide shootings within the past two years associated with violence at J's Sports Cafe, in early January the P.G. Liquor Board provide fairness and due process to the new owner and did approve a Class B(LX) liquor license transfer at J's Sports Cafe, on condition (confirmable with the P.G. Liquor Control Board) that 1) J's Sports Cafe implement a security plan to prevent loitering in the parking lot and violence not only in the "Cafe" but also in the parking lot. 2) No more bands known to draw drugs and violence, as vividly demonstrated last year at Club Amazon on Route 1 Laurel, which was closed down by the county after just ONE shooting.) J's Sports Cafe's county mandated security plan failed when several security guards (uniformed off-duty PG County Police) officers hired by the Cafe were on the scene but were unable to prevent this third shooting death. It is not clear how any security plan could prevent such violence fostered by the Go-Go-style bands that seem to be what attracts violent clientèle to J's Sports Cafe. Whether of not J's Sports Cafe actually violated its liquor license provisions and conditions is a matter for the P.G. County Liquor control Board to determine at a fair hearing - - and soon i hope. It is unclear what, if any, changes at J's Sports Cafe now would actually prevent this unacceptable recurring fatal violence in our community. No More "Do Overs".

Laurel Gas Prices Break Below $2 Per Gallon

Today in Laurel gas dropped below $2/gallon, selling for $1.99/gallon at three different stations. Looking at the above Maryland gas price chart, technical stock analysts might have predicted that.

Laurel/Beltsville Gas Prices in the News Menu on this site.

Crystal Plaza's Cameron's Seafood

Dump Trucks Racing on Muirkirk Rd

UPDATE - Jan 22:
This matter now seems to have been resolved, after Longwood Community Association (on Muirkirk Rd) contacted the relevant development company, who promptly told the dump truck contractor to correct the path of the trucks and stop the speeding. The dump trucks will now travel on RT 1, not the length of Muirkirk Rd as before.

For the past several days and still continuing there has been a veritable parade of about 15 dump trunks per hour traveling south on Rt. 197 and turning west onto Muirkirk Rd., and racing all day long past the Montpelier Elementary School at well over 50 mph.

So i joined the parade and found out that the trucks are traveling clockwise on the route marked on the map.

They are stopping at two locations:

One stop at "General Shale & Brick" on Muirkirk Rd just east of Route 1, marked B on the map.

And another stop at a construction zone on the west side of the new Laurel Centre at Contee and Route 1, marked C on the map.

And then they continue east on Contee Rd, across Route 1, over the bridge, then south on Route 197, west on Murkirik, and so on, and so on.

Looking again a the map, one wonders why they are driving the very long way around using roads east of Route 1, instead of coming back the way they came on the non-residential roads west of Route 1.


Citizens Mitigate Dangerous Excavation on Muirkirk

UPDATE Jan 16 8:30 am: Sure enough, the hole was back and two more hubcaps testified to a rough night for drivers. But by 10:30 am WSSC was repairing the valve and the excavation. At 12:30 pm they left the hole filled with more durable asphalt and no valve visible.
UPDATE Jan 15 5 pm: Sometime on the Monday holiday, the excavation was filled with loose aggregate, which by dark had been mostly knocked out by repeated traffic creating three large potholes which together were almost as large as the original excavation. All traffic cones and the DPW&T sign were removed and placed next to a tree on the adjacent verge. In the waning sunlight, some westbound drivers could still see the hole and were swerving left to avoid it, putting them into the on-coming westbound left-turn only lane. Sometime Monday night into Tuesday morning that hole will likely again become as dangerous as it was Saturday night.

This is not a "pothole story". This is about someone who created and left a very dangerous situation in our community.

Sometime Saturday, January 13, unidentified workers repairing the road at a fire hydrant's WSSC supply valve in the one and only westbound lane of Muirkirk Road near Rt. 197 left their work uncompleted with no traffic control barriers to prevent cars driving into the 2 foot by 3 foot by 8-inch deep excavation, shaped more like a tank trap than a pothole.

As evidenced by at least 6 hubcaps at the scene, sometime that rainy Saturday night into Sunday morning an untold number of cars hit that uncovered excavation, damaging vehicles (at a minimum wheel alignment), possibly injuring passengers, and risking head-on collision with opposing traffic (see below).
A father and son returning from their jolting experience Saturday night looking in vain for their lost hubcap, said that when they came through there was nothing to warn them about the excavation before they hit it. So the comically tiny traffic cone observed at 1030 Sunday morning January 14 most likely was left by another victim desperately trying to help others avoid the same fate in the dark of night. A passer-by contributed two large safety cones.

Even with citizen-provided warnings in place for the westbound traffic , the most danger was from westbound cars swerving suddenly and unexpectedly around the hazard (else risk being rear-ended by cars following close behind leaving the Rt 197 intersection) and so risk running into cars coming eastbound in the left-turn only lane -- so another two cones were added by a citizen on the yellow line to alert eastbound traffic (without changing their traffic pattern).
Police responded quickly to a citizen call at 1030 Sunday morning to the P.G. Public Safety number 301-352-1200 and assessed the situation. Public Safety called P.G. Department of Public Works and Transportation. DPW&T arrived apparently within an hour or so, putting a sign at the excavation and leaving the citizen-provided cones in place. Reference Public Safety service number: 07-014-0663 Jan 14, 2007

Presumably DPW&T will contact those responsible for the road work (WSSC) to quickly and properly complete it with appropriate traffic safety measures on this and future work -- such as covering excavations with steel plates.

Caribbean Restaurant Coming to Crystal Plaza

Soon the long empty store front of the fondly remembered Chin Tao restaurant will take on new life as a Caribbean Restaurant.