Sunday, August 18, 2019

Invitation from The Conservancy of Broad Creek - Sep 14

Note: Waterside Court is near the River Bend Estates Community

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Travel Websites Mislead by Falsely Declaring Few Rooms Remain

(Click on the image for Washington Consumers' Checkbook report)

  • It’s the oldest sales trick in the book: Tell customers demand is high and supply low, and if they don’t act quickly an offer will disappear. Many hotel-booking websites take this tactic to extremes. Shop for rooms on many of them, and search results issue constant warnings about scarcity.
  • Among sites we tested, Priceline had the most claims of room shortages. For the 10 searches we conducted using it, on average 21 of its first 25 listings had warnings about low availability. Orbitz was the next-worst in this department, with more than half the listings giving warnings about shortages. And the other six websites also advertised shortages that typically don’t really exist.
  • We found several sites don’t try to stress out their customers: Google.com/travel, Kayak, momondo, Travelzoo, and trivago don’t display these kinds of warnings. But it’s difficult to give them much credit, given that all these sites are operated by Booking or Expedia, which also own the websites that do display misleading claims about availability. Plus, Kayak, et al., often send you to sister sites that deceive.

Friday, August 2, 2019

August Meetings & Events of Interest

Friday, July 26, 2019

Adventist HealthCare to Acquire Fort Washington Medical Center

(Click on the image for the Washington Business Journal report)
"Adventist HealthCare is taking another local hospital — its first in Prince George’s County — under its wing.
The Gaithersburg-based system has signed an agreement to take over Fort Washington Medical Center, a small acute-care hospital run by Oxon Hill-based Nexus Health Inc. Adventist plans to invest $35 million over five years in the facility at 11711 Livingston Road in Prince George’s County, and says it is not planning any staff changes or layoffs.
Adventist and Fort Washington announced Wednesday they will determine a plan for operations and services in the coming months. Pending state review, the transition is expected to take effect this fall and would significantly grow Adventist’s footprint in Prince George’s County, stretching it 27-some miles south of its planned new hospital in Montgomery County’s White Oak neighborhood. Currently, Adventist operates an urgent care center in Laurel, and primary and specialty care locations in College Park and Greenbelt.
The hospital will be known as Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center."

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Fort Washington golf club teed up for sale

(Click on the image for the Washington Business Journal report)
"Colliers International is marketing the 127-acre, private golf course in Fort Washington to interested buyers and hopes to drum up interest ahead of an early September online auction to be held by Ten-X Commercial. The brokerage, in marketing materials, touts the Ted Robinson-designed 18-hole golf course and its proximity to MGM National Harbor, about eight miles away, among its selling points. The Ten-X auction is slated to start Sept. 9, with an opening bid of $1 million and bid intervals set at $250,000.
It's the second time in as many years that the site at 300 St. Andrews Drive has been put on the market. Philadelphia-based Golf Property Analysts listed the property for sale in spring 2018 with an asking price of $4 million. The property is owned by an affiliate of Manassas-based Fore Golf Partners, which acquired the site for $5.45 million in 2005.
Keith Cubba, a senior vice president at Colliers who is part of the team marketing the property, said there has been a lot of interest in the property and that the market "is very deep with prospects." While golf courses aren't the typical property listed for Tex-X auctions, National Golf Club is a strong, cash-flowing asset that offers a better return than conventional commercial real estate investments listed on the platform, he said."

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Author of "Uncle Tom's Journey" to Speak at Accokeek Library - Aug. 3


In her book Uncle Tom’s Journey from Maryland to Canada: The Life of Josiah Henson, Edna M. Troiano recounts the true story of the amazing life of a Maryland hero, Josiah Henson, and why his name has almost disappeared from history.   

Born into slavery in LaPlata, MD, Josiah Henson was auctioned off as a child to pay his owner’s debts.  After numerous trials and abuse, he earned the trust of his slaveholder by exhibiting intelligence and skill.  Daringly, he escaped to Canada with his wife and children.  There he established a settlement and school for fugitives, and at great risk of life and liberty repeatedly returned to the United States to help lead over 100 others to freedom along the Underground Railroad.  He published a bestselling autobiography and became a popular preacher, lecturer, and international celebrity.  He is immortalized as the inspiration for the title character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  

Sponsored by the Friends of the Accokeek Library. 
Book cover depicts Henson meeting Queen Victoria.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

When a Tree Falls, Who Pays for the Damage?

(Click on the image for the Consumer Reports article)

  • When an oak topples in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, who cares? But when your neighbor’s tree falls on your roof, you’ll care—and want to know whose homeowners insurance will pay.
  • The short answer: Tap your own coverage. Make a claim through your insurer for tree damages to your property, even if the tree was rooted in your neighbor’s yard.
  • In the opposite case—a tree from your yard causes damage to the property next door—it’s up to your neighbor to put in a claim with his or her insurer. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Aging in place helps you to avoid a retirement community or nursing home

(Click on the image for Jennifer Barger's Washington Post report)
“I’d like to move to a nursing home or assisted living,” said no older adult ever. In fact, a recent study by AARP found that nine of 10 older Americans preferred to live in their homes as long as possible. The aging-in-place movement seeks to let seniors do just that, avoiding heading to a retirement community or skilled nursing facility for as long as possible — or forever. But staying put requires planning, and the sooner you start, the more prepared you’ll be, whether you remain spry until 103.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

We're Getting a Fort Washington Middle School

(Click on the image for the Board of Education Action Summary)

At the June 6, 2019 Board of Education meeting, the board voted to approve option 1 of the Action Summary to address overcrowding at Accokeek Academy.  This means that Potomac Landing will become a K-8 with 240 elementary students and an addition will be built for 400 middle school students by 2023. Potomac Landing 6th graders will start staying at Potomac Landing in 2020.
A briefing given at Accokeek Academy on March 19 is here. School CEO Dr. Goldson said that the money for option 1 was already secured.
Thanks to Phil VanWiltenburg for the information.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The "Hold Harmless" Provision Transfers Millions of Tax $ Generated in Prince George's County to Baltimore City


And, there is no "Sunset" to this provision - it goes on forever!
"Hold Harmless" provision:
This provision was billed as ensuring that Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County would not be harmed by the opening of the MGM gaming facility in Prince George’s County. It created a formula, without a sunset clause, designed to make certain that their revenues would be no less than before MGM opened.
Since MGM’s opening, both Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County have seen their casino’s gaming revenues increase. Despite their prosperity, the hold harmless provision has resulted in Prince George’s County receiving far less in benefits than its neighbors. Baltimore City, which now generates more than a million dollars more per year today in local impact grant fund revenues than before MGM’s opening, now receives approximately $11M more per year in local impact grant fund revenues distribution as a direct result of the hold harmless provision. Prince George’s County (MGM) generates approximately the same VLT local impact grant fund revenue as Anne Arundel County (Maryland Live), yet we receive about $11M less in distribution because of the hold harmless provision.
Thanks to Jay Krueger for the explanation and analysis.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Please Support the Conservancy of Broad Creek

(Click on the image to enlarge)
Find out what the Conservancy does at http://www.theconservancyofbroadcreek.org/about.html

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Harrowing delirium afflicts millions after surgery, especially the elderly

(Click on the image for Muriel Dobbin's Washington Post article)

"It is a ghost disease.
More than 2 million Americans are haunted every year by postoperative delirium, a strange, creeping state of confusion that the medical profession admits it neither understands nor can cure.
It is a problem that affects the brain, divorces its victims from reality and plunges them into a state of derangement — and few doctors can tell them why. Indeed, physicians usually cannot even see the symptoms of this disease until the patient already is in its grip.
I know about this harrowing syndrome because it overtook me last summer after I was sent to the hospital following a fall in my apartment building. I had surgery to repair my hip as a result of the fall, but the greater injury was the delirium associated with that hospitalization. It turned my life upside down, leaving me in a lingering state of confusion, anxiety and befuddlement, flailing for answers."

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Seniors were sold a risk-free retirement with reverse mortgages. Now they face foreclosure.

(Click on the image for  Nick Penzenstadler and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's USA Today report)

In a stealth aftershock of the Great Recession, nearly 100,000 loans that allowed senior citizens to tap into their home equity have failed, blindsiding elderly borrowers and their families and dragging down property values in their neighborhoods.
In many cases, the worst toll has fallen on those ill-equipped to shoulder it: urban African Americans, many of whom worked for most of their lives, then found themselves struggling in retirement.
Alarming reports from federal investigators five years ago led the Department of Housing and Urban Development to initiate a series of changes to protect seniors. USA TODAY’s review of government foreclosure data found a generation of families fell through the cracks and continue to suffer from reverse mortgage loans written a decade ago.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Piscataway Bioenergy Project

(Click on the image for the Prince George's Community Television video report)
From WSSC:
An exciting project currently in the design phase at the Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility is transforming the way WSSC handles waste from five existing treatment plants. The Piscataway Bioenergy Project - the largest and most technically advanced project ever constructed by WSSC - will employ innovative technologies to recover resources and produce green energy. In the coming years, our Piscataway plant will evolve into a bioenergy production facility that uses efficiency, technology and sustainability to enhance the financial and environmental health of the region. This $262 million project will serve our customers for the next 100 years.
The Bioenergy Project will transform how WSSC handles biosolids -- the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the wastewater treatment process -- from five existing WSSC water resource recovery facilities (formerly known as wastewater treatment plants). Using cutting-edge “green” technology, the new facility will significantly reduce the amount of biosolids left over from the treatment process, thus reducing costs to haul and dispose of the product. The remaining biosolids will be significantly cleaner (Class A), making the disposal process much easier and allowing the final product to be sold and distributed as fertilizer. With cleaner Class A biosolids, WSSC will also save money by eliminating the use of lime, which is currently applied to Class B biosolids to control odor. This new process will save money for our customers by reducing operating costs by more than $3 million per year.
As an added benefit, the process to create the Class A biosolids will generate renewable fuel to help run the plant. This new process produces methane gas providing green energy that will help run the Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility. The new process will reduce WSSC’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent.
In addition to critical sustainability benefits, WSSC’s investment in bioenergy is a conscientious investment decision to spend now in order to save going forward. Bioenergy will demonstrate significant cost savings over the long term by reducing power consumption from fossil fuels and reducing disposal costs. The Piscataway Water Resource Recovery Facility will become WSSC’s showcase for achieving optimal value by investing in a green future.
Phase One of the project is now underway and includes design and early construction, which entails demolition of existing on-site facilities and relocation of existing utilities. Phase Two is expected to be awarded fall 2019. The entire project should be complete and operational in spring 2024.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Deadly Falls in Older Americans Are Rising. Here’s How to Prevent Them.

(Click on the image for Katie Hafner's New York Times report)
As the population ages, the number of older Americans who die following a fall is rising. A study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA found that for people over 75, the rate of mortality from falls more than doubled from 2000 to 2016.
Here are some measures you can take to help prevent a fall:
  • Exercise! (You knew that)
  • Mind your meds
  • Re-accessorize
  • Eliminate tripping hazards
  • Early and often to the bathroom

A Cut Above: How to Get the Perfect Lawn

(Click on the image for advice from Consumer Reports)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Senate report reveals nearly 400 troubled nursing homes

(Click on the image for the report)
From the WTOP/AP article on the report:
"About 1.3 million Americans are nursing home residents, cared for in more than 15,700 facilities. The senators’ report noted that problem nursing homes on both lists account for about 3 percent."

The senators' list includes 5 providers in Maryland and 5 providers in Virginia.

Friday, May 31, 2019

An Active Senior Is a Healthy Senior!


June Meetings & Events of Interest

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How to Choose an Assisted Living Community

(Click on the image for the Washington Consumers'Checkbook article)
  • Once you’ve identified a handful of prospective communities, call them and ask a lot of questions. There’s much at stake, so you need to choose smartly. Some require buy-in options, sizeable financial commitments that are typically difficult or impossible to back out of. Even if you choose a residence that charges only monthly rent, there are usually a lot of upfront moving costs and a minimum one-year lease. “In many ways, it’s like buying a car—there’s the sticker price, but when you finally sign on the dotted line, it has nothing to do with the final amount you’ll pay,”
  • The advice is free to all, but you need to be a subscriber to see their online ratings of 202 assisted living communities in the area. Prince George's County Memorial Libraries have hard copies. It's worth seeing the ratings just to see how much assisted living costs.