Saturday, May 15, 2021

Find Your Home's Flood Factor

(Click on the image above and enter your address to get your Flood Factor)

Flood Factor is a free online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation that makes it easy for Americans to find their property’s risk of flooding and understand how flood risks are changing because of a changing environment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tech Degrees for Veterans

(Click on the above image for more information)

From Dr. James Dula, Major, USAF Retired, Veterans Affairs Officer and VA Division Manager, Prince George's County:

  • GREAT NEWS!  Bowie State University is offering a three-year BA Degree program in Computer Science and Computer Technology. 
  • The 3-year program offers the opportunity to veterans who enroll in a Cohort of 25 students in each program
  • Previously earned credits will be considered.  This is an opportunity to eligible veterans, and you don't want to miss.
  • Requirements:
    a.  Be an Honorably Discharged U.S. Military Veteran
    b.  Be a High School Graduate
    c.  Be a Spouse of a Veteran.
  • In addition, BSU will help applicants locate financial aid opportunities such as use of the GI Bill, Upward Bound programs.
  • Summer program will be offered to enhance a proficiency in math and science if needed.

This is a remarkable opportunity for the 25 veterans selected to enroll in Computer Science program and 25 veterans selected to enroll in Computer Technology program.

Brandon Byrd, Tantallon Resident, Buys an Ice House

Brandon Byrd holds a pair of antique ice tongs of the sort employees of Alexandria’s Mutual Ice Co. once used. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)

"You may have seen Brandon’s food truck, Gigi, around the D.C. area. It’s a 1952 Metro van he fixed up, adorned with his red Goodies logo and put into service as a roving custard dispenser in 2012. In 2019, he added a three-wheel Prosecco van to his stable.
But what Brandon really wanted was a place of his own. He’d rented retail space at National Harbor and in the Agriculture Department building on the National Mall, but he wanted more."
Click on the image for John Kelly's Washington Post article on Brandon.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day!

(Click on the above image for a history of Mother's Day)

 God Bless our Mothers.

Come Walk with Us on May 15th!

(Click on the above image for video and pictures of the May 5th walk.)

The Elusive Deer-Proof Garden

(Click on the image above for Margaret Roach's New York Times report)

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Come Walk with Us


 We'll walk again next Saturday, May 15th, 1 PM. Please join us!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Fort Washington Pool Needs Your Help!

 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Health & Wellness Check-In - May 12

(Click on the above image to register)

  • The COVID-19 pandemic impacted each of us individually, our family members and our communities. This event will provide a place where we can hear concerns and discuss suggestions to strengthen our mental and physical health.
  • County impacts and successes will be provided by our guest speakers:
    Dr. Ernest Carter, Health Officer, Prince George's County Health Department
    Ronnie Gill, Director, Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security
  • This event will be simultaneously translated to Spanish and American Sign Language will be provided.

Registration is required.

Relocate the Proposed K-8 School

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Demystifying Dementia Forum - May 22

(Please click on the above image to register)
From Flavia Walton, PhD, Team Lead:

Registration is required, please do so as soon as you can.   While the forum is targeting members of Civic Associations and HOAs, all are welcome to attend.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Livingston Rd. Bridge over Piscataway Creek Replacement

(Click on the image above for the briefing)
Briefing provided curtesy of Sally Hoffman, Forest Knolls.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Stormwater Safety Hazard and Next Steps

Good afternoon County Executive Alsobrooks, Board of Education Members, and Agency Directors,

 On behalf of Council Member Anderson-Walker, I would like to share the situation of two District 8 residents impacted by stormwater flooding. Our office received the photos and videos below from homeowners, one of whom lives on Swan Creek Road, not far from the proposed Southern Area K-8 site. Their video shows stormwater being propelled out of the storm drain. We continue to feel helpless and disheartened with every instance of flooding devastation that comes in front of our team...no family should have to endure this.

 In addition to the video we've seen of the flooding at 106 Swan Creek Road, we also have Zaneta's video at 12707 Norwood Lane on August 13, 2020, and there's video taken by Virginia Boldon on the same day at 105 Swan Creek Road. **Videos are hyperlinked**

 Ms. Walthour, who lives with her mother on Norwood is not only faced with caring for her aging parent but is now worried about what they will be facing with the pending school construction and the likelihood of increased flooding that can further impact the home their family has lived in since 1984. Flooding also totaled the mobility conversion van Ms. Walthour used to transport her brother who was wheelchair-bound.

 Zaneta Walthour: "Like so many in our community, I attended the meeting with the County Executive who has indicated that the County intends to proceed with the proposed K-8 school project on Swan Creek Road.  However, the infrastructure cannot support this undertaking.  The recent maintenance performed by the County has not resolved the issues presented on August 13, 2020 and will not resolve the new issues presented by the proposed school site if they proceed without delay.  The clearing of the new school site will only speed up the timeline for the imminent catastrophe posed by this public safety hazard."

 There continues to be anxiety and concern about the Southern Area K-8 site, more so once the trees and existing vegetation are cleared. We recognize and appreciate the efforts being made to begin addressing stormwater management, but unfortunately, the frequent "rain bombs" won't hold up to fit that timeline. I was driving in a downpour earlier today and my thoughts were heavy for the homeowners who are battling the deluge.

 In a separate issue, last night, another of our community advocates shared an email from a Fort Washington resident about a new development project that is now creating flooding in their basement and impacting other homes on Pitt Drive. Can anyone share a bit more on this project and whether anything is being done to address the flooding that Mr. Dixon described (below)? For location context, Pitt Drive is near to the Asbury/Halwood area where the failed retaining wall has led to condemned two homes.

 Freddie Dixon: "My name is Freddie Dixon and my home is on Pitt Dr., directly behind construction. Since they started digging holes for the basements my backyard has flooded when it rains. I contacted the county, but was informed it could take up to 30 days for someone to contact me. I am afraid my basement will flood before then."

 Thank you for taking the time to review this lengthy email, but we wanted to keep everyone abreast of the ongoing concerns for homeowners, especially those who are on Swan Creek Road.

 Thanks and best,

 Marise Gibbs

Legislative Aide & Scheduler to

Council Member Monique Anderson-Walker, District 8

Click here for the Council Member's 2019 Year End Review

County Administration Building

14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive

Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

District 8 Website

Lobbying Tips from Meredith McGehee

Lobbying Tips

from Meredith McGehee

 

 

Before the meeting

-- know your subject

            -- have a one-pager ready that tracks the argument you are going to make

            -- source your facts

 

-- do your homework

            -- know what public official has done or said on the topic

 

-- decide on your topic for the meeting, no more than 3 issues and know ahead of time your "ask"

            -- the "ask" should be something within the official's power

            -- if it's important, include in the "ask" how you expect the politician to accomplish it

 

-- if possible, partner with strange bedfellows e.g., business and labor; Rs and Ds

 

-- be clear about who you are speaking for; don't represent yourself as speaking for a group unless you are authorized to do so

 

-- figure out the questions you want to ask to engage the official in a discussion

            -- questions should elicit information, not just yes or no e.g., so how do you think this through?

 

-- try not to impugn the motives of opponents but counter their arguments

 

-- dress appropriately, don't wear something that distracts from the topic you are going to discuss

 

At the meeting

-- make request for a meeting succinctly and be clear about topic you want to discuss

 

-- if possible, go with a buddy

            --have more than 2, decide ahead of time who will be lead spokesperson and divide up other topics

            -- introduce everyone at beginning and make sure you get names of all Staffers who are at meeting

 

-- have no more than 3 topics; don't throw in a subject or say "while I'm here let me tell you how I feel about a totally unrelated topic

 

-- don't speak for longer than 10 minutes, hopefully less. If someone in your group starts going on too long, have a signal to stop them

            --be aware of the official "filibustering" you i.e., talking and not letting you talk

            -- if that happens, find a moment to jump in and get on topic

 

-- ask the questions you've prepared if it fits the flow of the meeting

 

-- be sure before the meeting is ended you have made your ask; designate someone to do so;

 

-- don’t argue, berate, or become hostile

 

-- follow up with a thank you and send any information you discussed

Meredith McGehee is Executive Director of Issue One. She is one of the nation’s foremost experts on Congress and ethics in politics and has been described as one of the most in-the-know persons about lobbying, money-in-politics, media policy and the Washington, D.C. political scene. She has been recognized 14 times by The Hill newspaper, including the current year, as one of the top nonprofit grassroots advocates in Washington. McGehee is frequently sought out in the national print and television news media as an honest broker and veteran policy expert who holds both parties accountable to the same standards. She is a regular speaker at universities and organizations around the country. Prior to serving as executive director of Issue One, she spent decades working across the ethics and political reform landscape both in Washington and in states around the country. She also worked on Capitol Hill for six years and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa and is a Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of Pomona College in California.

Storm Drain Maps for the Swan Creek Area

(Click on the image above for the map)

(Click on the image above for the southern area map)
  • Recommendation: First, click on a image for the map, then download it to your device, and then zoom down to see street names.
  • Thanks to Charlie Griffith, DPW&T Project Manager, for providing this map
 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Flood Insurance Forum - April 20, 2021

(Click on the image above to register)

Drainage and Flooding in Prince George's County

(Click on the image above for the briefing)

Monday, April 12, 2021

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our spring clean-up day on Saturday, April 10, 2021!


We picked up trash, trimmed some of the trees we’ve planted previously, and removed vines from the fences along Fort Washington Road north of the school.   Volunteers included Patti Holcomb, Henrieta Dzurikaninova, Angela Malone, Eric Williams, Bil Nelson, Dede Perkins, Sarita Burns, Ed & Jacque Akselrad, Troy Ford, Kim Vu, and JoAnn Davis.

We have more to do, so we will join others across the county on Saturday, May 1, 2021 for the Growing Green with Pride Day community clean-up.  Again, we’ll meet at 9 AM at Potomac Landing Elementary School.  

The county will provide mulch if anyone is willing to pick it up for us.  Pick up days are Wed. April 28 through Saturday May 1 in Forestville.   We can place it around our previously planted trees.

Please contact Jamie Crist if you have questions or are interested in volunteering to pick up mulch.  You can reach him by cell (text or call) at 703-966-8757 (text or call) or by email at jamiedoc@aol.com.  

Community Partners' Meeting - April 7, 2021


 Click the links below to view and download a copy of the presentations given:

As rainstorms grow more severe and frequent, communities fail to prepare for risks

(Click on the image above for Jim Morrison's Washington Post report)

“The challenge is the rain in many of these places is getting heavier. And the amount of pavement that rain is falling on, it’s getting bigger,” Samaras said. “So it’s kind of a double whammy. You have less places for the rain to go into the ground, you have more rain, and you have the same old sewer pipes from 30 years ago.”