Berwyn District Civic Association Thursday, March 17, 2016

  1. Agenda Item 1. Roll Call of Officers. BDCA Vice President Rose Colby, substituting for President Kevin Young, thanked the Fishnet staff for allowing us to hold the BDCA March meeting at the Fishnet restaurant. The following BDCA officers were present: Vice President Rose Colby, Second Vice President Harry Pitt,

    Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer and Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan, Director Dan Blasberg, Director Bob Catlin, and Director Christy Dollymore.

  2. Agenda Item 2. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Nick Brennan made the following financial report:

    [see page 4]

    A motion was made, seconded, and passed to accept the treasury report into the record.

  3. Agenda Item 3. New Business. The proposal to give COPS Office Black a gift for having served the community well will be discussed at the next board meeting. He is a civil servant, and civil servants may not be able to accept such gifts.

  4. Agenda Item 4. Unfinished Business. A Berwyner stated that the pedestrian crosswalk at Greenbelt Road and Rhode Island Avenue needs resolution immediately.

  5. Agenda Item 5. College Park Aviation Museum. A motion to suspend the normal agenda to allow special guests to speak was made, seconded, and passed with a show of hands.

    The Director of the College Park Aviation Museum, Andrea Tracey, gave an overview of the museum’s programs and offerings. She has been there for two years. She’s a native of Alexandria and the daughter of a pilot. She has always loved to fly, and loves historic preservation. She asked the audience to complete a short survey after her presentation.

    The College Park Airport is no longer allowed to put on air shows, being in restricted airspace just 8 miles from the capital. But there will be a helicopter fly‐in on College Park Day.

    Ms. Tracey passed out passes for one free admission to the museum with purchase of an adult admission.

    There are several “firsts” that took place at the College Park Airport. An exhibit that opened just last month is called “Another Field of Firsts: African American Aviators in Prince George’s County.”

    On the second Wednesday of each month is a free brown bag lunch event (cookies provided) with talks or lectures on various subjects that last about 20 minutes or so. Bring your neighbors, children, and grandchildren.

    A week from tonight, a new exhibit on World War I will be held, from 6 to 8pm. Exhibits are changed frequently.

    The museum averages 18,000 to 20,000 visits from schoolkids annually.

    We are approximately 90 days away from the grand opening of the new operations building. The building will include a meeting space that can be rented out. We will all be invited to the grand opening.

    Taxpayer support pays for about 82 percent of their expenses. They are always looking for new and creative ways to generate revenue.

    They are looking to recruit new board members – if you are interested, let Ms. Tracey know.

    Someone who wanted to fly out of the airport used to just have to file a flight plan. Since 9‐11, approval takes a log longer. The airport is used frequently by several U.S. Congressmen and sees traffic and corporate helicopter use. Having the airport and museum in our backyard is a feather in the cap of our City.

  6. Agenda Item 6. U.S. Senate Candidate Richard Douglas. Richard Douglas, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, introduced himself by way of a little background. He served in the Navy and in the first Iraq war. He has

    been married for three years to his wife Irene, whom he met in Vera Cruz, where he was working with the Mexican Navy. He has worked in the U.S. Senate before, as Chief Counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on the Intelligence Committee. He knows the Senate inside‐out. A good senator must have three things: discernment, thorough knowledge of the Senate rules, and thirty‐six vertebrae – i.e., a backbone. His three priorities as a senator would be: jobs, lower taxes, and national security. The Port of Baltimore is ideally situated but there have been infrastructure problems for the past 30‐35 years. We need to make improvements to it, which will help Maryland’s economy. He has experience in international trade. The U.S. code is burdensome; we were competing with Russia and China at the time a lot of the statutes were written. He has a lot of national security experience. Congress often doesn’t know what’s happening when the Executive branch is running circles around it. He can work with Democrats. Constituent service would be a big priority for him. He would “term‐limit” himself – he would like to serve for two terms, then leave the field to someone else. He will be listed as number three in the Maryland Republican primary ballot and asks for our vote on April 26th.

    Mr. Douglas was involved in the defense of the Bladensburg Peace Cross that a humanist group attempted to have removed. He signed a friend of the court brief. He has been very busy. He has been a volunteer chaplain at the District of Columbia jail on weekends. In the 1990s he did work for the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2012. He likes to think that the things he has done have mattered.

    Economic development will provide the money for public projects such as transportation and infrastructure. Obstacles that hurt foreign trade should be purged from the U.S. code.

    Mr. Douglas is personally opposed to abortion but believes it is a settled issue in the state, which voted on it properly, with a referendum.

    The current minimum wage is too low to support a family on. He would like to see the minimum wage increased but doesn’t want it federalized.

    He is not in favor of jettisoning the Affordable Care Act completely but would support amendments to improve it. Maryland has one of the most draconian contributory negligence laws.

    When asked about his opinion about College Park’s recent resolution to welcome Syrian refugees, Mr. Douglas doesn’t take a back seat to anyone regarding security but believes America at heart is a welcoming country. But he thinks every country has a right to decide who can come to that country or not. He thinks that consensus has been broken.

  7. Agenda Item 7. Neighborhood Watch. Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan discussed the packages that were stolen from houses this past week. He has let Corporal Nunez know. If you see something like that, call the police – either the non‐emergency number or 911; the dispatcher will decide how urgent it is. You can remain anonymous if you wish – just describe what you saw, and call the police before posting info about the crime or suspicious behavior on Nextdoor.

    There have been crime issues downtown, on campus, and off campus in recent weeks. Nick believes that the police do increase patrols during periods when students are on break, but resources are limited.

    Police caught the person who had been spray‐painting cars in the neighborhood last year.

  8. Agenda Item 8. Social Committee. “Director of Fun” Christy Dollymore reported that the “Movies in the Park” event will resume in May, and take place on the last Friday of every month during the summer. BDCA will probably buy a projector for this.

    A discussion took place about the annual bonfires. Park and Planning was said to be very concerned with the height of the flame. Dan Blasberg has been in touch with them about the bonfires.

  9. Agenda Item 9. Mayor Patrick Wojahn. College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn announced that the next Live Smart, Eat Local dinner will be held at the FIshnet restaurant. The guest speakers will be the board members of the College Park Foundation.

  10. Agenda Item 10. Councilman PJ Brennan’s Report. Councilman Brennan thanked the volunteers at last week’s clean‐up. At least six of the volunteers were students or UMD alumni in our neighborhood. We’re going

to try to do this monthly – the burden of cleaning up the neighborhood shouldn’t fall just on Bob’s and Russell’s shoulders. The City needs to create an anti‐litter culture and “brand” it.

Good Neighbor Day is April 2nd. It’s a good opportunity to mix with the students. We’ll meet at the Community Center at 9am. Most of the service projects this year are in northern College Park.

The concrete replacement piece for the part of the pedestrian overpass that was knocked down a year ago is on its way up north to Maryland. WMATA is unwilling to shut down the tracks to install it during Cherry Blossom season, however.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05pm.

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Dan Blasberg Nick Brennan PJ Brennan Bob Catlin

Rose Greene Colby Christy Dollymore Richard Douglas Chris Dullnig Marina Dullnig

Lily Fountain Larry Garnes Michele Garnes Chris Gordon Harvey Himmelfarb Marge Himmelfarb Karyn Keating‐Volke Bob Kuligowski Maia Sheppard

Chad Stern Mary K. Theis Richard Winston Patrick Wojahn Lori Young

Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.




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