Berwyn District Civic
February 21, 2019
Meeting came to order at 7:40
p.m. Meeting held at Fishnet Restaurant. Board members in attendance: Bob Catlin, Chad Stern, Jim Nealis, Christy
Dollymore. Other attendees included Nick
Brennan, Josh Westgard, Monroe Dennis, Margaret and Harvey Himmelfarb, Mary
Katherine Theis, Marina Dullnig, Felipe Truncoso, Jason Daniels.
The minutes from the January
meeting were not immediately available, so were not approved. Chad reported on the BDCA donation
to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Our account has a current balance of
One attendee expressed concerns
about a nearby yard with much trash and debris.
The city Code Enforcement office had done nothing when contacted. Councilman Dennis suggested she email her
city council members, they can follow up.
Chad asked if BDCA
can express an opinion on switching from 2-year to 4-year council and mayor
terms – Monroe said
Guest speaker Rob Landau spoke at
the meeting – he is supporting a bill in Annapolis
to allow terminally ill citizens (such as those with cancer, ALS, etc.) to have
an ‘End of Life Option.’ This would mean
ill persons could choose to be given drugs to end their lives. There are many safeguards – need two doctors
to determine ‘terminal illness’, have under six months to live, are a Maryland
resident of sound mind, not just temporarily depressed or mentally ill. The individual must make three requests, the
second in writing with witnesses. The
lethal drug must be self-administered. The proposed law is quite similar to
laws in several other states. Mr. Landau
said such deaths are quite rare – about 75 per year in Oregon. He said studies show such deaths are
not disproportionately affecting poor, less educated, or uninsured people. He
said Medicare will not pay for lethal drugs, and doctors are not held liable
for prescribing them. One attendee spoke against the bill, expressing religious
concerns about taking such lethal actions, and encouraging more support for
hospice care. She worried that this
would diminish the value of human lives. Another attendee noted that not all
folks shared such religious concerns, and felt the state should take priority
in such cases. Others asked about the
current issue of doctors over-prescribing opioid drugs – where would these
lethal drugs fit into this issue? Can
you have a will with ‘advance directives’ about using these lethal drugs? The
answer was no. About 1/3 of ill patients
end up not using the drugs (they change their mind or die sooner than expected)
– who is responsible for removing or returning the drugs? Can you take the drug at home or must you be
in a hospital or other controlled environment?
(Can administer at home). Attendees
seemed to have very mixed feelings about this issue.
Bob Catlin asked about ‘Zagster’
bikes coming to College Park, and Monroe indicated they would be ‘docked’ around the city. Bob also asked about parking spaces on Pontiac St. being
available for Cambria Hotel employees.
There are two city budget meetings coming March 23 and 30. Also a meeting March 11 at Davis Hall to
discuss the 4-year term issue. Mayor
Wojahn joined late in the evening – said City Hall will close near the end of
this year, so City Hall meetings will take place at Davis Hall for maybe two
years while a new city hall is built – probably a four-story building with UM
offices on upper floors (UM will share the cost of building). About 200+
townhomes/graduate student housing units are proposed for the SW corner of
campus – may be taxable by the city. The
mayor also said Summer Camp scholarships are available until March 8th. Neighbors Helping Neighbors is expanding to
help seniors/disabled with chores, driving, etc. A study is under way to assess city
requirements for recreational needs. The
Lidl grocery should be open by August, 2019.
And plans are still in the works for subsidized apartments across from
Branchville Fire Dept.
Meeting concluded at 9:00 p.m.
Notes compiled by Jim Nealis