Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Community Town Hall Meeting - October 18th, 7 PM

(Click on the above image to register)

 Click here for the Flooding Survey.

How Much Do Common Medical Procedures Cost in Maryland? It Depends on the Hospital.

(Click on the above image for the Maryland Health Commission's Wear the Cost site)
From Maryland Matters:

How much does it cost to give birth in Maryland? It depends on which hospital you choose.

In 2019, the Maryland Department of Health reported 209,836 live births. And, according to the Maryland Health Care Commission’s Wear The Cost campaign, if the mother had private insurance and underwent a cesarean section, she could expect the procedure to cost an average of $14,695 and, at its highest, $23,608.

Vaginal births that year had an average medical bill of $13,458, but could reach up to $18,414.

Those are huge financial discrepancies.

But the Maryland Health Care Commission said common procedures like c-sections and vaginal births are “shoppable,” allowing expectant families to compare prices before selecting a hospital.

The commission has updated its Wear the Cost campaign data to provide financial transparency for cost of childbirth and 11 other common medical procedures, including hysterectomies, knee replacements and tonsillectomies.

The lowest cost for a tonsillectomy at seven hospitals surveyed was $2,864. But the same procedure at a different hospital cost almost twice as much: $5,139. The highest cost reported for a colorectal resection was $55,613 — more than $21,000 more than the lowest cost among 14 hospitals surveyed.

“Patients have a right to know what private payers are paying for their health care, how that affects their out-of-pocket costs, and what to expect in terms of quality,” Ben Steffen, the executive director of the Maryland Health Care Commission, said in a statement.

The updated price information is based on private insurance provider data for 2018 through 2019. The costs include every service necessary to treat a medical need — like testing, prescriptions and visits before, during and after operations — for each procedure.

According to the Wear The Cost campaign website, prices at some hospitals can just be higher. But often, patients are hit with big medical bills because of potentially avoidable complications, which are oversights or errors that cause harm to the patient that may have been preventable.

For example, patients who receive hip replacements expect to pay for certain services, like consultations, lab testing and radiology, surgery, nursing care, post-operation doctor visits, physical therapy and crutches. But often patients get saddled with bills for complications like infections, which can add an additional $20,000 to their hospital bill.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 17.8% of Americans were struggling with medical debt collections in June 2020. And a 2020 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation demonstrated that over 40% of its respondents would be overburdened with an unexpected medical bill of just $500.

“It’s no secret that many Americans worry about unanticipated medical bills, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Steffen said. “This data provides Marylanders with accurate information for over a dozen of the most common medical procedures, empowering patients with the knowledge they need to choose the hospital that best fits their needs.”

Get Ready for Winter!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Neighbors in Prince George’s County are complaining a house is essentially a nightclub

(Click on the above image for Tracee Wilkins' News4 report)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Passing of Nita Evele

Dear Neighbors,
We are sad to report the passing of Nita Evele, sister of Lily Collins and brother-in-law of James Collins of Haxall Ct.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Nita at St. Columba Catholic Church on September 25, 2021 at 10 AM.
Please keep Nita and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

In Loving Memory of Nita Evele
Nita's biggest source of joy and strength was her family. She lived for her family, friends, and community. Nita was everyone's cheerleader. In her personal life, Nita loved outdoor activities she called: "learning from nature". She enjoyed playing tennis (making it the family's favorite sport) and sharing her African culture with her friends. She enjoyed Gardening with her Family.
Also, Nita would ride motorcycles with her husband and Friends.
Nita was born on July 15, 1974 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Daughter of Adele Amissi and Jean Evele, she is the youngest of a family of nine children. She pursued her primary studies in Zaire and Belgium, and then completed her undergraduate university degree in the Washington DC metro area at Trinity University. She is survived by her husband, Serge Tshibuabua and her two sons, Philippe, and JEAN-SEBASTIAN
And nothing in the whole world would give her more happiness than Philippe, Jean-Sebastien and Serge. Being a mom and a wife was Nita's biggest source for joy and strength. It is where she thrived and shined the most. They were her world!
Nita would have done anything for Philippe and Jean-Sebastien. And she often did. She fought for and loved her sons infinitely from the moment they were born until her last breath and beyond. And that love will never stop.
Nita was also passionate about justice for the humanity. A lifelong philanthropist, Nita was a woman strongly devoted to the causes of others, who had a zeal for connecting and bringing people together, along with her compassionate spirit and fierce pursuit for justice in her homeland and around the world. Very early on, she became an activist in several movements across the world. From «Friends of Congo» to the renown "Panzi Foundation" and all the many youth movements in Congo and around the world, she helped and supported each of them with the objective of restoring dignity to Congo. Nita was deeply vested to their causes, and engagement to bring change in the society at every level, and she believed in and fought for the human values that are crucial to building a strong,
thriving family and society.
Rarely in a lifetime do we get the chance to meet someone like her; who is so devoted to living life to the fullest and so passionately, and who is capable of spreading that energy around her. Everywhere she went. every person she met. every soul she touched, Nita has left a mark on. And we can all feel the void that her absence has left us. with. But chin up! If she were here, she would be cheering us up and forcing us to live and love each other even more. Providing and being surrounded by love was all Nita was about and we should learn from that. So, just think about that unique laugh of hers and smile.
That's what she would want •...
And so, keep that big smile on us Mama Nita. We will always love you.
Nita Evele

Friday, September 17, 2021

Solar Panel Complaints: Unreturned Calls, Canceled Appointments

(Click on the above image for Susan Hogan's News4 report)
  • With temperatures soaring above 90 degrees for a good part of the summer, you’d think solar panel customers would be thrilled -- a hot, blazing sun usually means money in their pockets. But the News4 I-Team has received a lot of complaints from frustrated customers who say going green has put them in the red.
  • "Folks get excited about solar,” said Ramsden of Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit to help homeowners go solar. “It’s a wonderful technology, saves people money and sometimes they just take a step too quickly rather than taking some time.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Waste and Recycling Toolkit

(Click on the above image for the toolkit)

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Download DPIE Publications

(Use your smartphone camera to scan the QR code or click on the above image)

Monday, September 6, 2021

Prince George’s redistricting proposal could harm some communities. So what’s the alternative?

(Click on the above image for the Greater, Greater Washington article)

  • According to the county charter, the county council must hold a public hearing on the redistricting commission’s proposed plan between September 16 and October 1 (i.e., within 15-30 days of receiving the plan). Then, it has until November 30 to decide whether to allow the commission’s plan to become law, or to draw its own plan.
  • The council has tentatively scheduled the public hearing on the redistricting commission’s plan to occur on Tuesday, September 28. There will presumably be an opportunity for the public to submit oral or written testimony in connection with that hearing.
  • However, you do not need to (and should not) wait until the public hearing to make your wishes known to the council. The earlier you can make your wishes known, the more likely it is that you can actually have an impact on the process. Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to help make our democracy better.

Download and View the Redistricting Commission Report

Important Dates:

  • All Redistricting Commission meetings are held virtually.  Watch Live HERE.   
  • September 1, 2021 - Proposed Redistricting Plan and Report Due to the County Council
  • September 14, 2021- Briefing on the Redistricting Plan and Report by the Redistricting Commission to the County Council
  • September 20, 2021 – County Council Public Hearing on the Redistricting Plan
  • November 30, 2021 - If the Council passes no other law changing the proposal, then the plan, as submitted, shall become law, as of the last day of November, as an act of the Council.

More information at https://pgccouncil.us/326/Redistricting-Commission

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

WSSC Water Needs Your Feedback

WSSC Water needs your feedback, so consider joining our online Customer Feedback Community (CFC) to help us make your experience better, more efficient and user-friendly. Being a member of our feedback community is easy, convenient and can be done from the comfort of your home. You might even win a prize for participating. And by giving us direct feedback on important issues, you have a voice in how we manage our relationship with you. You must commit to a one-year term. CFC members typically participate in one activity per month, usually responding to questions or surveys, or providing reactions to WSSC Water products, tools or services.

 For more information, go to wsscwater.com/cfc. Or to become a member of the WSSC Water Customer Feedback Community, email us at communityoutreach@wsscwater.com.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Who holds the power in Prince George’s County depends on how its boundaries are drawn

(Click on the above image for the Greater Greater Washington article)

  • In Prince George’s County, the county redistricting commission has been meeting since March. Two of its three members — former Maryland state senator David C. Harrington and former Prince George’s Community College president Dr. Charlene Mickens Dukes — were appointed by the Democratic Central Committee. (There are no Republican appointees, since the Republican candidates did not attain at least 15% of the votes cast in the 2018 County Council race.) The chair, Rev. James J. Robinson, was appointed by the County Council.
  • The redistricting commission is required by the county charter to make final recommendations to the county council for new districts by September 1, 2021. The county council will then have until November 30 to either accept the commission’s proposed map or to reject it and draw their own instead.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

"Shared Struggle: African and Native intersections with Racial Justice in Prince George's County" - Aug 27th

(Click on the above image to register)

Friday, August 27, 12:00 pm - In partnership with the Prince George’s Lynching Memorial Project’s Community Remembrance Committee, this program supports the outreach efforts to honor Thomas Juricks, a victim of a lynching in Piscataway, Maryland. Omar Eaton Martinez of Parks & Planning and Shemika Berry of the Accokeek Foundation will be part of the panel for this webinar event. 

The event will highlight the following:

  1. Importance of oral history and remembering the trauma of racial terror despite efforts (historical and current) to erase that history.
  2. Intersectionality of the African American and Native American experiences in Prince George's County.
  3. Contemporary ways that people are remembering and honoring the victims of racial terror today (such as through Community Remembrance Projects)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Please Help Our Police Help Kids

 Please help put a big simile on a child's face.😊

Friday, August 6, 2021

Media Coverage of Our Protest on August 6, 2021

(Click on the above image for the media coverage)

Passing of Judy Murphy

Dear Neighbors,

We are sad to report the passing of Judy Murphy who with her husband Tim are long-time residents of our area. Please keep Judy, Tim, and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

From Kalas Funeral Home:

Judith Ellen (Fizer) Murphy died at her home in Fort Washington, MD on August 1, 2021. Judith was born December 20, 1941 in Dayton, Ohio to the late William D. and Mary Alice Fizer. She is survived by her husband of 56 years Thomas J. (Tim) Murphy, daughters Linda E. Murphy of Silver Spring, MD, Laura A. (Murphy) Houser (William) of Brookeville, MD, sons Timothy J. of La Plata, MD, and Brian W. of Milton, NY, as well as two grandchildren, Ryan Houser and Moira Houser.
Judith graduated from Francis C. Hammond High School in Alexandria, VA and from the Washington School for Secretaries. Judith taught children in preschool and at daycare, which brought her much joy; though, her greatest joy was her family.
Visitation on Friday, August 6, 2021 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in the school hall, 2317 Brinkley Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in memory of Judy on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in the school hall, 2317 Brinkley Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744. A private interment will be held at a later date at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham. Arrangements by Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 6160 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or Montgomery and Prince George’s Hospice.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Swan Creek Forest Is a Bad Place to Build the K-8 School

(Click on the above image for a short video)

We want to show you this existing kindergarten to grade 5 school on Fort Washington Road in Fort Washington, Maryland. This school is underutilized and was not maintained for lack of funds and no interest by the Prince George’s County School Board. The County does not want to utilize this land and existing facilities, but wants to build a bigger and better “state of the art” school building on the adjacent 29 acres of land.

We want you to look closely at this land which has 100-200 year old trees like this. There maybe 30,000 trees here. Look how these trees help in purifying the air, managing the ground water and, during storms, preventing the flow of water with excessive speed, preventing flooding

Look at these trees. They provide shelter and home to wildlife consisting of several species of big and small animals, including turtles and snakes.

This land has wetlands, providing habitat for birds, amphibians, etc. The County wants to cut down the trees, destroy wetlands to make a new school on this land. The County is adamant on destroying this natural habitat.

The irony is to fully utilize the new school, Prince George’s County will bus kindergarten to grade 8 school students from neighboring town, where we are told the schools are over crowded.

Look at this Asbury Drive which will be on the other side of the school. Here developers have already cut thousands of trees and the wetlands have disappeared. We want to stop cutting the trees and preserve wetlands.

Look at this East Swan Creek Road which has a creek which gets flooded and the road is closed. Prince George’s County claims it has plans and resources to drain the water which will be there as a result of removing the trees. No one is paying attention to global warming which is happening because of removal of trees.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Don't Make Tantallon Flooding Worse!

(Click on the above image for the video)
As bad as flooding in Tantallon is now, it could get even worse!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A Gem Hidden in Plain Sight - Fort Washington Park

(Click on the above image for Megan McGrath's News4 report)

Friday, July 9, 2021

Some Prince George's School Board Members Want Chair Removed

(Click on the image above for Tracee Wilkins News4 report)
Some members of the Prince George's County Board of Education want the state to remove the board's chair as the board is split over basic policy and procedure, leaving some major issues unresolved for the school system.
The last Prince George's County Board of Education meeting capped a contentious year. Six Board members want to remove Chair Juanita Miller, who was appointed by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. 
“Since her appointment, her tenure has been nothing less than chaotic,” Board member Shayla Adams-Stafford said.
The Board hasn't had an attorney for months. It approved hiring a lawyer, but the chair selected someone else, surprising some Board members.
“I quite frankly don't need this,” the attorney, Kevin Karpinski said at a Board meeting in June. “I'm not interested in being appointed attorney because I don't have time to do it.”
After a discussion with members, it was revealed the attorney did not have a contract with the board.
“It’s readily apparent to me that this board is entirely dysfunctional, and I would suggest to work very hard on getting a fulltime lawyer in here,” Karpinski said.
“There are a countless number of appeals that are currently before our board,” Board member Joshua M. Thomas said. “Some of these are employee appeals, some of these are student appeals, and without a Board attorney, we have no one that is in place to be able to process and set up a system where we actually as a board we can hear those appeals.”
Miller released a statement to News4 saying six elected board members have shown contempt and disregard since her appointment.
“It's unfortunate the board as a whole must suffer this dysfunction publicly, and it is unfair to our community,” she said.
Miller said the Board's leadership team will continue to operate professionally.
The Prince George's School Board members who want Miller out have 30 days to make their case. If the state moves forward, it could end up in the hands of an administrative law judge.
The Board is in recess. It's not clear when it will resume as members could not agree on a date.