What a spectacular end to the week in Hyattsville! The sunny weather has driven us all outside for the summer weather endorphin high, and then back inside for the endorphin-spiking cool down. It’s just a great time of year to be alive.
Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest news from Patch over this past week:
Former Hyattsville City Councilwoman Polly F. Rogers passed away on May 19 in Jacksonville, FL. After marrying Ray Rogers in 1951, Polly lived and raised the couple's children in Hyattsville, according to The Washington Post. Rogers worked as a real estate agent for more than 36 years. She served on the Hyattsville City Council for 15 years.
Helen Marion of Washington, D.C. comes out to Hyattsville to walk her dog along the Northwest Branch Trail of the Anacostia River. “I’ve been in the area all my life, so I drove by one day and I said, ‘Oh, that’s a good place to walk the dog,’” Marion said, relaxing on the side of the trail. She and her dog, Kissie, walk two or three times a week on the trail, which is part of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System. The ATTS has six main connected trails: the Anacostia River Trail, the Indian Creek Trail, the Northeast Branch Trail, the Northwest Branch Trail, the Paint Branch Trail and the Sligo Creek Trail.
When he was young, filmmaker Matt Kovalakides used to play in the woods in College Park with his friends, toting BB guns and making war films for fun. The Hyattsville native has carried on with his dream of making videos. Now an L.A. resident, Kovalakides was one of YouTube's first "NextUp" grant recipients—one of 25 selected nationally to receive $35,000 to advance their YouTube careers, mentoring from YouTube and global promotion of their videos across the YouTube Network.
The Hyattsville City Council held a public hearing about the proposed FY 2012 budget. The hearing, which was supposed to begin at 8 p.m. on May 23, was not opened for public comment until nearly 9 p.m. due to a number of questions the council had for City Administrator Gregory Rose. Patch sent out Tweets tagged with #HyattsvilleCityCouncil throughout the hearing and here’s a round up of those updates. You can check out all of our Tweets at @HyattsvllePatch:
“In all of my years with AAA, this is the first time we’ve had a Memorial Day where they’re dropping drastically,” said Lon Anderson, director of public and government relations at AAA Mid-Atlantic. He’s been with AAA for 17 years. Of course, gas prices in the area have risen more than a dollar per gallon in the past six months, according to AAA. But in the past seven days, they’ve dropped about 11 cents per gallon. In the Hyattsville area, the average gas price is $3.946. Last week it was $4.010; last month it was $3.937; six months ago it was $2.881; and last year it was $2.815, according to AAA.
Some city staffers are asking the Hyattsville City Council to include a cost of living allowance into the proposed FY 2012 budget. Administrative Assistant Julia McTague, Cheri Everhart, aide in the recreation department and others approached the council at its May 23 meeting during a public hearing about the budget. This year the Maryland General Assembly approved a 2 percent increase in employees’ contributions to the state retirement system. Health insurance costs have increased by an average of 1.9 percent, she said.
Not everyone plans a getaway for Memorial Day weekend. But if you don't want to be stuck in the house all weekend with the kids either, a solidly planned day trip with the family might do you some good. To avoid traffic, don't travel Friday evening through Saturday morning and Sunday evening through Monday. That leaves Saturday and Sunday as days to take one of these day trips.
Patch photographer Chris Suspect was on work trip last week so he wasn't here to shoot a new batch of spectacular photos for you. However, in honor of his hard work and amazing abilities, Patch decided to run a "Suspect Viewfinder" consisting of some of Chris's photos taken over the past few months. You can view more of Patch photographer Chris Suspect's photos on his personal blog or on Flickr.
Joe’s Movement Emporium’s Theater Tech Program is a workforce development program, which addresses the lack of employment opportunities for young people in Prince George’s County. According to the Prince George’s County Youth Workforce Profile (published in 2010), 74 percent of youth ages 16-19 and 36 percent of youth ages 20-24 are unemployed. In 2009, in response to a number of inquiries from teens for employment, Joe’s launched TTP to prepare skilled workers for the A/V, hospitality, and theater industries and local businesses.
King Park's playground remains open, but the city is investigating additional oil contamination around the water fountain. The city's environmental remediation contractor was on site this afternoon to remove surface material. Additional work is scheduled for May 31. The Gallatin Street park was damaged earlier this year when someone dumped diesel oil into a water fountain there.
Our daughter’s arrival home from college coincided with the very sudden launch of summer 2011. Memorial Day is the official launch, but the heat and humidity of last week makes it feel like we’re in July, not late May. Summertime always brings changes in household routine, and having our baby bird back in the nest is also a change.
Last week I was truly in need of a great escape. But I wasn’t sure where to go. The weather was beautiful, so I considered hitting the beach. Then I thought about having to drive over the Bay Bridge to get there, so that wasn’t going to happen. I enlisted a friend of mine to go with me, and we decided to go to Winchester, VA, with its quaint old town and, well, it’s in the middle of nowhere—just where I wanted to be.
This coming week, look out for articles about how to make it through a Hyattsville crosswalk, an update on the city’s talks about parking meters and what’s the deal with the Ward 1 special election.