Friday, October 28, 2011

Welcome Shortcake Bakery!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Shortcake Bakery has opened in the former Rhode Island Red's space on Route 1 at the Northwest Branch trail (4700 Rhode Island Ave, Hyattsville, MD, 20781).

The bakery is run by the friendly (and talented) Cheryl, wife of former Senator David Harrington.  In fact, when I stopped in yesterday Senator Harrington was manning the register and put on a fresh pot of coffee for me.  Service with a smile!

Right now they are in a "soft open" phase and gradually expanding menu offerings and hours.  I can report that the scones, cookies, and Nantucket cranberry cake are excellent.  Today they will start serving the Red's style thin crust pizzas for lunch and bread is coming next week.  I believe the current hours are 6am - 5:30pm on weekdays but that definitely seems to be evolving.

I am very excited that our (greater) neighborhood now has a spot to get coffee and breakfast - perfect for those morning meetings!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Drug Take Back Program

This program is a great way to keep unwanted prescription drugs away from children and other potentially vulnerable persons.  It is also unsafe to flush medicines down your toilet because wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove such chemicals, so pharmaceuticals end up in places like the Anacostia River and ultimately in our drinking water supplies.  I applaud MRPD for leading an effort that is good for our citizens and good for our environment!

City of Mount Rainier and the Mount Rainier Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Drugs
October 29th, 2011 at the Mount Rainier Police Department and Rainier Manor Retirement Center.

Mount Rainier, Maryland – On October 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Mount Rainier Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your medications for disposal to the Mount Rainier Police Department located at 3249 Rhode Island Avenue and Rainier Manor Retirement Center at 3001 Queen’s Chapel Road.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after last fall’s event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.  DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the Act.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Business Member Needed for Town Center Committee

This committee is important to implementation of our new Mixed Use Town Center Plan.  I am a member of the committee - we meet once a month (when there is an application) to consider signage and renovation plans for businesses in the town center.  In this way we can encourage a common "look and feel" to our business frontages, helping to tie together the whole commercial district.

City Seeks Business Member for Town Center Design Review Committee

The City is currently soliciting for one business member for the Town Center Design Review Committee.  The Committee is composed of 2 business members, 2 resident members and 2 municipal members and reviews all new development projects and exterior renovations in the Mixed-Use Town Center Zone.  This Zone extends along Rhode Island Avenue from the City limits into the 3400 block and along 34th Street from the 3700 block into the 4000 blocks and includes part of Bunker Hill.  Each Committee member will be given a copy of the Mount Rainier Town Center Development Plan. This plan contains the design guidelines which the Committee uses to review applications.

Business and/or property owner members
must own either a business or property within the Mixed-Use Town Center Zone or the City.  The City would again be looking for members who have a sense of fairness in reviewing applications and who are interested in the on-going revitalization of the downtown business area.  Committee members should be willing to help encourage appropriate building alterations and signage among business and property owners and to help educate rather than regulate. Applications to be on the Committee are due to City Hall by November 11, 2011.  The final selection of committee members will be made by the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission from the pool of applicants submitted by the City.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mount Rainier Homes tour - Sunday October 23

Mount Rainier Hosts 2011 Homes Tour

MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland (October 13, 2011) – The Mount Rainier 2011 Homes Tour will take place from 1 to 5 pm on Sunday, October 23rd. Old is made new again in the small historic district that will showcase seven historic homes and beautiful gardens. This self-guided tour will begin at Joe's Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road.  There will be a $5 fee to cover the cost of expenses.

Homes featured on the tour include:
·        a house built by Italian masons with a hallmark 1920's mural
·        a Windsor model Sears Catalog home with original cedar siding, yellow pine floors and wood windows and
·        "Tall Cedars" - a renovated four square brought back from the brink and accompanied by a stunning garden.

Also on display will be the home of well known artist and Mount Rainier resident Alan Binstock.  "Opening my home for the tour is not only a way for me to give back to the community after receiving state and city historic tax credits that made the renovation possible, but hopefully will inspire potential home buyers to see that even a house that is in serious decay can become both a comfortable home for the owner and architectural asset for Mount Rainier," said former Mayor Bryan Knedler.

Though designed as a walking tour, shuttle bus service will be available at each stop for those unable to walk the route. Upon registering, guests will receive the tour brochure which will serve as a ticket to gain access to participating homes.
In 2010, the Mount Rainier Centennial Committee revived the local tradition and due to the overwhelming response decided to make the tour annual. "A lot of people from the community are renovating their homes.  Last year they really enjoyed getting out, meeting neighbors and getting tips on how to make their renovation process smoother," said Councilman Jimmy Tarlau, committee chair.

#         #          #

Mount Rainier is located 4 miles from downtown Washington D.C. and is a historic community that serves as the gateway from Prince George's County to Washington, D.C.  Designated as part of the Maryland Gateway Arts District, the city is fast becoming something a model village for artists, environmentalists, pacifists and multiculturalists who are drawn to the city's unique history, demography, style and charm.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Work Session & Special Meeting - Tuesday October 18

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2011, 7:00 PM

Bike coop request for a storage shed
Vacant Properties
Clean Currents Wind Power
Brentwood Snow Removal
CDBG Discussion
Strategic Plans
Approve Quit Claim Deed Rainier Manor Apartments
Legislative Proposal

Special Meeting Agenda Items

Resolution 18-2011 Appointing Dawn Barnes to Youth and Recreation Committee
Vote to approve letter to Board of License Commissioners for URBAN EATS CAFE
Vote to approve Clean Currents as an alternative energy provider

3200 block Rhode Island Ave: Street Sense Proposal

At a special meeting of the Mount Rainier City Council on Monday, October 17, 2011, Street Sense presented a concept development plan for the 3200 block of Rhode Island Avenue (the former Bass Liquors and funeral home properties currently owned by the city).

I personally believe that redeveloping this block, which is the front door of Mount Rainier, is absolutely vital to the economic health of our city.  Simply removing the blight would do wonders for first impressions of our great city, but increased tax base and retail spaces that serve our residents are also important project outcomes.
Proposed floor plan, ground floor of 3200 block Rhode Island Ave
Please keep in mind that the city council has not made any decisions at this point, and, in fact, another developer is due to present a proposal.   Note that Street Sense has indicated its willingness to negotiate many of the details contained in this proposal - a good sign for the true partnership that the city is looking for.  So please take a look at the basic concept and share your thoughts with me.

This is an issue I'll be tracking closely, and I know many of you are as interested as I am.  If you want to receive specific updates on the development process please email me and let me know, but I will do my best to keep this blog up to date as well.

Click through for the full plan

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Mixed Use Town Center Plan published

The new Mount Rainier Mixed Use Town Center Plan has been finalized, printed, and published!  Copies can be seen at the Mount Rainier Library and City Hall.  The report can also be viewed and/or downloaded on the web by clicking here: digital copy of Mount Rainier Mixed Use Town Center Plan

This plan is an important piece of the puzzle for revitalizing our historic commercial district.
Map of Mount Rainier MUTC Zone

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Special Meeting: Monday, October 17 - Rhode Island Ave Redevelopment

On Monday, October 18, 2011, 8pm, at City Hall, the Mount Rainier City Council will hold a special meeting to discuss redevelopment on the 3200 block of Rhode Island Ave.  We will be hearing a presentation from Street Sense regarding details of their proposed concept for Rhode Island Ave.

Neighbor Walk Sunday, 5:30pm - 32nd & Upshur

Please join the Mount Rainier Neighborhood Watch for our monthly visibility walk.  Dogs are welcome, and bring bags if you like to pick up trash as we walk.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monster's Ball - Gateway CDC Fundraiser 10/29

The Monsters Ball

Gateway Community Development Corporation's Halloween Party Fundraiser.

The Gateway Arts Center
3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD 20722

Saturday, October 29
8:00 pm 'til the wolves howl!

Ticket Levels

$10: 1 Free drink, food, COSTUME MANDATORY

$45: Free drinks, food, costume optional

$75: Free drinks, food, costume optional, plus $20 in raffle tickets for fabulous prizes

One entrance per ticket.


        DJ and Dancing- slamming, spooky beats.

        Evil Arts Laboratory- make and take adult art projects lead by Milkweed Studio.

        Joe's Zombie Dancers- reenacting Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
        Become a ZOMBIE dancer!

        Ghost Stories by Story League DC.

        Fire Tiki's. See pictures.

        Costume Contest, Raffle and Silent Auction. See prizes.

Purchase Your Ticket

Buy online now or pay by check by visiting the Gateway CDC office

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gateway CDC Membership Meeting - Saturday at Urban Eats

Gateway CDC Logo



Saturday October 8, 11am-1pm 
Come join your fellow Gateway CDC members at Urban Eats, on the traffic circle in Mount Rainier Saturday, October 8 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. 

Find out what's new at Gateway CDC and learn about ways to get involved in economic development in our community. You can renew your membership and be among the first to get your ticket to the Monster's Ball!
Stop in before your Saturday errands. Be sure to invite a friend.

Updated Agenda - October 4 Council Meeting

October 4, 2011
One Municipal Place
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
Review and Approval of Agenda
Review and Approval of Minutes
Official Reports
  • Mayor 
  • Council 
  • City Manager 
  • Department Heads
General Public Comment (Limited to Three (3) minutes per person per subject matter)

New Business
Resolution 16-2011 Approving 2012 Community Legacy Application
Resolution 17-2011 Appointing Amber Coleman-Mortley to the Youth and Recreation Committee