Park Hills Civic Association 9 March 2016 Mtg. Minutes

 

22 people attended the meeting held at SIMS.

Alan Bowser (President) welcomed people to the meeting.

The association is currently solvent.

The Secretary (Paul Guinnessy) presented the minutes of the last meeting, which were approved. He pointed out that if anyone was interested in running for office, they should contact him.

County Tree Program (County representatives)

Stan Edwards talked about the tree program by the county.

The county planted 500 trees last year under their tree planting program called Tree Montgomery (https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DEP/Tree/Tree-request.html ).

For many years the county had a tree protection law that protected large forests, but it didn’t cover the individual tree loss in already developed urban areas. The Tree canopy law passed in 2013 said that if trees are removed by construction then the developer had to pay to replenish trees (about $750 for each tree removed). So far the program has raised $1 million in fees for the scheme. The county provides two staff members to work on analyzing the best place to plant the trees. The program provides canopy trees in places where they can survive. i.e. 400 sq ft for the tree to give there roots a chance to grow. It includes two years of aftercare on the tree (protection against deer, watering, pruning etc..).

Stump removal is handled by a different dept and this canopy law can only be funded to put trees on private property, not public property. Pepco is another issue, regulated by the public service commission. If you see a mark on a tree that is a blue dot, then pepco is trimming it, orange is county color. Pepco encourages the planting of specific type of tree underneath power lines that won’t grow above the power cables.

In the county, if you disturb more than 5000 sq ft of soil you have to get a control permit. It doesn’t stop you from taking trees down, it just means you might have to pay to plant replacement trees elsewhere.

The county has decided not to plant ash trees because of the bore beetle which is wiping them all out.

Bowser asked for volunteers to act as a Parkhills contact person for Tree Montgomery, and also another volunteer to manage the trees on public property.

Edwards pointed out that January 1, 2018 the new pesticide law goes into effect.

———-

Speeding on Dale (General discussion led by Alan Bowser)

Neighbor Renia said that she loved the construction time on Dale as no one could speed along the street, and the new crosswalk protection for the pedestrians at Dale and Mansfield, hasn’t seem to have any effect in slowing down traffic. Bowser said that PHCA raised the issue with Tom Hucker’s office. David X from his office said that they raised it with DOT and there will be new speed warnings 25 mph in the next 30 days. Commander Jones of the police said they will sending cops out to check over the last few days.

A discussion resulted on why people speed on that stretch of road.

David said he would check if you could put warning hazard signs.

Renia (215 Dale Drive) pointed out there is a bus stop at fleetwood ave and having a pedestrian refuge in the middle would help.

Purple Line Update (Chris Richardson)

A consortium has been picked by the state. Chris Richardson pointed out that the Wayne Advisory Group managed to get Montgomery County Department of Transportation to assess the speed along Wayne Ave. The speed limit will change from 30 mph to 25 mph effective a few weeks from now. Bowser suggested that maybe ParkHills and Seven Oaks should have a joint meeting to discuss the Purple Line. The Power Substation is to go onto the school property but no one knows where.

The meeting ended at 9pm.

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Park Hills Civic Association Oct. 22, 2015 Mtg. Minutes

Park Hills Civic Association 

General Meeting 

October 22, 2015

Minutes 

The quarterly meeting of the Park Hills Civic Association was held on Wednesday, October 22, 2015 at the Silver Spring International Middle School. There were about 23 attendees.

Secretary’s report: Minutes of the 22 May meeting were read out.

Treasurer’s report: The association currently has a balance of $800.21 due to the cancelation of the annual picnic.

Sweep the Creek: Parkhills and the local cub scout group once again managed to clean a substantial part of the creek. Our thanks to all those involved, particularly our point person,  Chris Richardson.

Signs for walk back to school: Alan Bowser and Chris Richardson placed signs up at the start of school to try and persuade drivers to be more vigilant in looking for school children crossing the road.

Community yard sale: The last community yard sale was considered a big success by those who attended. Bowser agreed to see if anyone was interested in running a similar sale in the spring.

Tree walk around: Fran Sussman organized a local arborist walked around and visited a number of neighbors on September 19 to discuss the current care and standard of trees in the area. This is particularly important considering the stress trees have been under with the temperature extremes experienced this year, and the proposed loss of tree habitat in the near future.  The 15 or more neighbors who took advantage of his services were extremely pleased with both the advice and with the opportunity to talk with their neighbors on these issues.

Bowser represented Parkhills at a number of civic events during the summer. He also announced more details over our Thanksgiving parade walk for the November 21.

Main meeting event: Q&A with WSSC

WWSC’s Brandon Stewart (customer advocate) and their contractor manager Curtis Pinder kindly came to the meeting to answer questions had regarding the sewer line work done by the creek.

Branson says that they appreciate that the projects can be time consuming and thank residents for their patience. He said they would be more than happy to come out and visit residents if they have other questions at a later date. To help speed things up, most of the following questions were collected in advance:

  1. What does WSSC do? Water provider for the region’s 1.8 million households. Main focus at the moment is replacing water and waste pipes of the aging infrastructure.
  2. What is WSSC doing in Sligo Creek Park?  Why is this work necessary? WWSC received a federal mandate to update the sewer system and the lines that go through the park. They have 5 years to replace the sanitary system. WWSC has nothing to do with waste water produced in the park or run-off from roads. They are relining the old sewer lines (using robot cameras to check whether this type of repair is suitable. Pipe that requires more maintenance is dug up and repaired. The black pipes seen all over the creek replaces the main lines when they are doing the relining.
  3. What is the construction schedule for the WSSC work in Sligo Creek Park; when will it be completed? They are unsure how long it will take but they expect the work to potentially take another 3-4 years to complete the whole project.
  4. Does the WSSC work adversely affect the environment?  What is the occasional strong odor near the WSSC work? Its from the pipe relining and nothing to be concerned about. 
  5. What is the lasting impact on the Creek, water quality and safety after the improvements This work should improve and save the creek. Up until 1963 the storm system and the waste water could be merged into one. After that date they had to be separate. If they come across an old house with an issue as they are working they are also separating the lines as part of their repairs.
  6. Is Sligo Creek safe for families and pets? Yes it is, but if you’re walking along and you see machinery and equipment working, be cautious. If you do see something unsafe (i.e. equipment not roped off) look for the signs and call the contractor. Tel 301 206 4002 is the emergency number or call 311.
  7. How has the WSSC work in Sligo Creek been coordinated with Montgomery County agencies? Parks and Recreation, Friends of the Creek are going to be working with WWSC to restore the area once they are done.
  8. Has WSSC coordinated with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and Maryland Transit Administration about the future Purple Line? As of now we’ve had no knowledge or communication with dept of transportation over the purple line.
  9. Are there any new water/sewage line rehabilitation projects planned for our neighborhood? One of the things their web site can provide http://www.wwscwater.com are links connected to work being done in your neighborhood which will tell you what phase of any project in and who to contact for further information. 
  10. Is there a way to monitor the process online? No. But the web site can tell you who to contact for more information. Moreover, signs near the work tells you what stage the project is in.
  11. How do you make complaints about overflows, discharges and odors near the WSSC work? Visit the web site or use the contact number on the signs.
  12. Pinhole leaks. Are still an ongoing problem in the neighborhood.

WSSC ended their contribution at this part of the meeting, stating they are willing to come back to Parkhills at a later date.

Park Hills/Wayne Ave Purple Line Task Force

Chris Richardson brought up the history of the migration options that were proposed for the Purple Line on Wayne Ave, and how five years later on, most of them were abandoned. Richardson talked about how he started a change.org campaign to ask for consideration of making sure if the purple line was going ahead to make sure the project was done right. Over 600 people signed the petition and it was extremely helpful in getting our local officials to pay attention to these issues while we waited for the governor to make a decision. Unfortunately, Jamie Raskin and Sheila ran out of time to get it onto the governor’s purple line agenda.  However, there was a meeting in which the two representatives were able to submit our resident’s concerns to Joanna Conklin of MCDot.

Ike Leggett has been extremely helpful in creating a local advisory taskforce to look at some of the Purple Line concerns along Wayne Ave and seems engaged in listening to these concerns.

Richardson explained that the widening of the road expected at the corner of Wayne & Dale to seven lanes seems unnecessary and that alternative proposals were being put to MTA. There is confusion over who exactly wants to road widened.

MTA has taken ownership of this noise squeal based on this last meeting the wayne advisory group. However, most of the earlier proposals to limit wheel squeal have now been abandoned by MTA.

Richardson said that from Fenton to Silgo Creek Pwy it is very clear from the county engineers is that they expect the only crossings will be at the traffic lights. All the other crossings are highly likely to be banned. Richardson says we’ve been asking for clarity for years on what migration options would be available on Wayne Ave.

Richardson also reminded the room that Valerie Ervin said there was no current plan to upzone around Dale Station, but as we’ve seen by the Chelsea school zone change, residents shouldn’t put too much faith in Ervin’s statement as up zoning around Purple Line stations forms a significant part of the county master plan.

Bowser said he was more positive from the Oct 7 meeting but he pointed out that there may a special tax added to districts to help pay for the purple line.

The room was also reminded that significant cut through traffic is likely once construction starts on Wayne Ave, particularly on Mansfield Rd. Whether the cut through traffic continues will depend on how the Purple Line is constructed, and how efficient it is to use the Dale Ave junction by drivers.

Finally, it was pointed out that no one now knows what will happen with the Purple Line, as the contractors will be given wide latitude to alter the project in an attempt to cut costs.

At this point, the meeting ended.

Upcoming events in the Park Hills Neighborhood – Fall 2015

Neighbors,

There’s lots going on in our Park Hills neighborhood this Fall!

Please monitor the Park Hills listserv at and our Facebook page for the latest information.

Thursday, September 17. Community Meeting on Changes in the Purple Line Plan for our neighborhood at the Silver Spring Civic Building. 7 pm

Saturday, September 19. Home Tree Care 101 Class in Park Hills.

Sunday, September 27, Sligo Creek Annual Fall Clean Up

Saturday, October 3. Park Hills Picnic

October Date TBD Quarterly Park Hills Civic Association Meeting

November Saturday, November 21 Park Hills in Montgomery County’s Thanksgiving Parade

December Date TBD Quarterly Park Hills Civic Association Meeting

Your Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President
Chris Richardson, Vice President
Paul Guinnessy, Secretary
Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer

Park Hills Civic Association May 20, 2015 Mtg. Minutes

Minutes taken by Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Acting Secretary

The quarterly meeting of the Park Hills Civic Association was held on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at the Silver Spring International Middle School.

The speakers were Jill Ortman-Fouse, Montgomery County Board of Education, Kathleen Dearstine, Landscape Architect, Montgomery County Department of Parks, and Brian Lewandowski, Montgomery County Department of Parks

Also attending were Dave Asche, Legislative Aide to Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker, and Debbie Spielberg, Legislative Aide to Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich.

There was no regular business meeting.

Dale Drive Neighborhood Park. Kathy Dearstine and Brian Lewandowski of the Montgomery County Parks Department briefed Association members on the status of the Dale Drive Neighborhood Park Playground project.

They noted that while plans for the playground and its equipment had been finalized in light of neighbor’s comments and suggestions, completion of the playground project would be delayed because of storm water management issues on the park site. There was no date for the playground project completion.

Because tremendous amounts of storm water from Hartford Avenue and Dale Drive ran directly through parking lot and the playground site, the Parks Department needed to extensive modifications to the parking lot and the areas surrounding the playground to reduce the velocity of the storm water so it would not damage the playground , nearby fields and Sligo Creek.

There are plans to construct an asphalt berm near Dale Drive to shunt the water towards a to-be-constructed storm water capture pool and drainage ditch leading to Sligo Creek. The size of the parking lot would be reduced to limit the impervious surface. The Parks Department would protect and preserve as many trees on the site as possible, although two trees had been identified as been potentially dangerous to park users and would be removed. The parking lot and the new playground site would be ADA-compliant, and a new grill would be added to the park. A safe rubberized material—not ground up tires—would be used on the playground. It was suggested the members visit the Willard Avenue neighborhood park near River Road in Chevy Chase to see what the new Dale Drive park might look like.

In answers to member’s questions, Kathy Dearstine said that, because of the drainage issues, consideration had been given to moving the playground closer to Dale Drive, behind the Parks-owned property located there. She also indicated that the Parks Department might be able to install an exercise station for adults somewhere in the park area, but not on the playground site.

Montgomery County Public Schools.   Jill Ortman-Fouse,was elected to her first four-year term as an At-Large Member of the Montgomery County Board of Education on November 4, 2014. She is a member of the Board’s Strategic Planning and Special Populations committees.

Ortman-Fouse introduced herself and invited questions from the audience. In response to questions she discussed the following issues: the mandate of the Board of Education, including reviewing policies and voting on the selection of a Superintendent. Other issues currently facing the Board of Education are: zero tolerance policy for gun possession by students; new policies being considered relating to the “school to prison” issue; reducing suspensions for bad behavior vs. reengaging the students in productive activity; retraining of teachers to deal with conflict and disruptions constructively; the lack of adequate physical activity for students (all agree that physical activity aids learning in classroom); punishment should not involve withholding recess; the lack of funds for sports activities; and insufficient number of school busses.

Commenting on the search for a new Superintendent of Schools, she said that Larry Bowers will be Acting Superintendent for now. He’s been in the system for 37 years and understands well the fiscal matters of the Board of Education. The search for a permanent Superintendent was not successful for a variety of reasons. Anew search will begin Fall 2015

She discussed some of the challenges facing the Montgomery County Schools: huge ESOL population; twenty-thousand students live below the poverty line; the achievement gap is a big challenge; trying to reducing impact of time spent teaching to the standard tests; less funding; and lack of space – there are 400 portable classrooms in use right now.

PHCA Treasurer’s Report – May, 2015

Submitted by Elsie Heyrman Klumpner

Activity:

1) Current Monument Bank Balance: $791.11

2) Paypal Usage: total 17 dues payments

3) Personal check: total 7 dues payments

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm

PHCA Joint Meeting with SOECA — 19 February 2015

Park Hills Civic Association General Meeting

Joint meeting with Seven Oaks-Evanswood Citizens Association

Minutes

2/19/15 7:30 pm

Park Hills Civic Association General Meeting

Minutes

February 19, 2015

The Park Hills Civic Association and the Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association met jointly on February 19, 2015 at the Silver Spring International Middle School. More than 50 residents attended the joint meeting.

The featured speaker of the joint meeting was Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker (D5), a member of the County Council’s Public Safety and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committees.

In his opening remarks, Councilmember Hucker highlighted three issues: the Purple Line, the County Executive’s proposal for an Independent Transit Authority, and issues related to the State stormwater management fee.

With regard to the Purple Line, he said that it was the No. 1 economic investment project for Montgomery County. He expressed strong support for the project and noted that the Governor has not yet made it clear what his plans are for the project. Tom believes modifications of the project’s scope might be considered to keep costs down. The two transportation priorities for Montgomery County right now are the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT). He is aware of the many concerns about the effect of the infrastructure on the neighborhoods in our area​.​

With regard to the ITA proposal, he said its rollout was terrible and he was glad that it was withdrawn. Noting that the current climate in Annapolis regarding spending was not good, he said that the ITA represented a plan to get transportation funding for Montgomery County.

With regard to stormwater management fees, he said that there was confusion and misrepresentation about the fee, which Governor Hogan had called a “rain tax.” He noted that he had been the principal author of the state stormwater management fee which supported State efforts to reduce pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. Hopefully, the General Assembly will prevent the Governor from repealing the fee.

QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.

Funding Bus Rapid Transit. CM Hucker discussed issues related to transportation funding. He expressed the view that BRT issues might be well managed in the existing Department of Transportation which should change its emphasis to new transit issues.

Bus Rapid Transit. CM Hucker said that light rail was the preferred mode for the Purple Line, and that a BRT alternative was not likely to be reconsidered. He said that light rail provided more capacity than BRT. He said that Ride-On and WMATA bus service needed to be improved.

Working with MTA. CM Hucker said that MTA’s community engagement needed improvement. He noted the engagement of the County Executive’s office and said that he would be an advocate for neighborhoods. He added that there seemed to be inequities in the treatment of communities east and west of Rock Creek. He discussed several impacts on Wayne Avenue.

Silver Spring Transit Center. CM Hucker said that transit center would be open after the repairs had been completed and WMATA had accepted the project. Responsibility for the project’s delay and defective construction would be decided in courts after the project was completed.

Private Ownership of Public Parks. CM Hucker said that there was a lot of confusion about the recent survey distributed by the Park Department and that there were no policy proposals to consider by the Council and the community.

Silver Spring Village. CM Hucker expressed support for converting the old Silver Spring into an intergenerational recreation center.

Longer Terms for Planning Board Chair.   CM Hucker discussed the proposal to permit longer terms for the Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board.

Permitting Services. CM Hucker said that, in response to a comment about difficulties working with the Department of Permitting Services, he would work with the neighbors.

Old Blair Auditorium. CM Hucker said that he had and would continue to support the renovation of the Elizabeth Stickley Auditorium in the International Middle School.

MCPS Superintendent. CM Hucker discussed the process for choosing a new superintendent. He said it might take some time to select a new superintendent since there were many vacancies throughout the country.

Puppy Mill Legislation. CM Hucker discussed legislation to prohibit the sale of animals from puppy mills.

New Silver Spring Library. CM Hucker responded to a concern that birds might collide with the large glass windows of the new library.

Property Taxes. CM Hucker noted that the County Executive had discussed increasing County property taxes to deal with budget shortfalls and increased demand for County services. He said that it was not likely that property taxes would be increased beyond the Charter limit.

White Oak Development. CM Hucker said that the next step in White Oak development was the drafting of a General Development Agreement by the County Executive’s office. He said that Councilmembers did not have much new information on the project.

Purple Line and Wayne Avenue. In response to a question about how residential properties on Wayne Avenue would be affected by the Purple Line and how best to negotiate with MTA, he said that his office would be willing to work with any affected residents.

PHCA and SOECA ASSOCIATION BUSINESS.

Jean Cavanaugh and Anne Edwards provided an update on the Purple Line.

Jean Cavanaugh provided an update on plans for the reuse of the old Silver Spring Library.

Jean Cavanaugh discussed developments related to the Ellsworth Communty Park.​ ​She noted that the County had agreed to install pathway lights and a new water fountain.

Don Slater discussed plans to increase pedestrian safety at the Dale Drive and Mansfield Road.

PHCA Treasurer’s Report. Elsie Heyrman Klumpner reported that there was $624.89 in Association’s bank account. She noted that the use of Paypal for dues payment had been very successful and asked residents to pay their 2015 dues.

Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm.

Minutes drafted by Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Acting Secretary.

Park Hills Civic Association 10 December 2014 Mtg. Minutes

 

Minutes
Park Hills Civic Association General Meeting
December 10, 2014 7:30pm
Silver Spring International Middle School

 

1. Introductions – 22 members of the community attended.

 

2. Treasurer’s Report – Elsie Klumper reported that PHCA had a current balance of $288.  She also noted that PHCA now banks with Monument Bank in downtown Silver Spring and that arrangements have been made to accept dues via PayPal at the PHCA website www.https://parkhillscivic.com/

 

3 Secretary’s Report – Paul Guinnessy reported on the October 2014 General Meeting.  The minutes were approved.

 

4. New Silver Spring Library.  Staff from the Montgomery County Department of Libraries briefed the membership on the transition to the new library building at the corner of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue.  The new library will be the largest one in Montgomery County with 60,000 square feet available.  The library entrance will be on the 3rd floor where the customer service desk and self service machines are based. On the same floor, there will a Media lab with a 3D printer, Apple computers, and more high tech stuff (fax machines, copiers, tablets for use inside the library) to encourage teens to visit.  The entire 5th floor will be dedicated to children & youth resources.  The meeting rooms at the library can seat at least 150 people (which can be split in half).  These rooms are not dependent on the opening hours of library for use. The library will standardize on RDF technology (a small chip in the book) to count books in and out.

 

Other community benefits include a small disability resource area and ADA compliant materials. There will be more open hours (66 hours in total) with the library open seven days a week and 9am-9pm Monday to Thursday. The building has better wifi that’s on a faster T1 high speed backbone. There may be a adult book club held during the day.

 

There is no date yet for when the library will open.  More information about the new library at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DGS-BDC/SS/710302.html

 

5. Vote on PHCA Dues Increase.  A Motion to increase PHCA Annual Dues from $10 to $15 was passed unanimously.

 

6.  Silver Spring Village.  Gary Klauber reported on the Silver Spring Village program and its recent activities. SSV provides services for elderly people so that they can age in their homes. They have 75 paying members (both full and associate). They have had 12,673 hours of personal volunteer service (moving bins, tax service, groceries etc..). There has been 120 events (meals, trips, talks etc…) over the last year. The big news is that the group is going to pay for a part time employee in the upcoming future. For more information, visit the website at http://silverspringvillage.org
7.  Purple Line Update.  Chris Richardson (Vice-President) reported on a recent MTA-hosted meeting with parents, teachers, MCPS administrators, and neighbors on Purple Line impacts on Sligo Creek Elementary School,the Silver Spring International Middle School, and the Dale Drive/Wayne Avenue Middle School.  He reported that Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer had expressed concern about the impacts on Wayne Avenue and would hold a County County committee hearing on the issues.

 

He also reported that residents on Wayne Avenue had received  notices from MTA regarding the impact of the Purple Line on their residential properties.  Many properties would be affected by the temporary construction easements and property takings required  by the Purple Line footprint.

 

Tina Slater, a PHCA member, who is also on the Board of  Action Committee for Transit, gave a brief update on the current status of the Purple Line. She noted that it will be sometime after Gov-elect Hogan is sworn when we will find out whether the Purple Line will go ahead. It may be frozen for four years, but the federal authorities might not provide the federal contribution if the project is delayed.

 

8.  General Announcements.  Alan Bowser (President) reported that:

 

Sweeping the Creek/Adopt A Road – Park Hills Civic Association had won an award for collecting the most rubbish in Sligo Creek Park.
The Thanksgiving Parade – For the second year, we were the only civic association in the parade. It was a great success.
Need for Volunteers.  PHCA needs volunteers to help deliver meeting notices and to support other association activities.

 

9. Report from the Office of Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker.  Dave Asche, a legislative aide for Tom Hucker, gave a brief update on Hucker’s committee assignments and the set up of the new office.

 

10. Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:02pm.

Next PHCA Meeting 19 February 2015 with Tom Hucker

DATE: Thursday, February 19, 2015

TIME: 7:30 pm to 9 pm

PLACE: Media Center, Silver Spring International Middle School

SPEAKER: Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker (District 5)

NEXT PHCA MEETING:  Our next Park Hills Civic Association meeting is Thursday, February 19, 2015, 7:30-9:00pm in the Sligo Creek International Middle School Media Center.  This is a joint meeting with the Seven Oaks-Evanswood Citizens Association.

 

Our featured speaker is Tom Hucker, newly elected as our District 5 Montgomery County Councilmember. Tom is a member of the County Council’s Public Safety and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committees. He served as Maryland State Delegate (District 20) from 2006-2014  Also on the agenda, updates on the Purple Line, the Dale Drive/Mansfield Road Intersection, and proposed reuse of the old Silver Spring Library.  We are looking forward to a great turnout for the February meeting.

Everybody’s welcome.

For more information about PHCA, visit the “new” Park Hills Civic Association website at www.parkhillscivic.com and join the Park Hills Online Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/parkhillscivic. To join PHCA or to pay 2015 membership dues (only $15), send a check to to Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer, 506 Deerfield Avenue, Silver Spring 20910. Questions? Email Elsie at at klumpnerje@gmail.com You can also pay by “PayPal” on the website.

 

And, if you’re interested in helping out with our neighborhood association (parade, parks, Purple Line, etc.), please contact Paul Guinnessy at pguinnessy@yahoo.com.

Your Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President

Chris Richardson, Vice President

Paul Guinnessy, Secretary

Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer

SAVE THE DATE – PHCA Meeting – Thursday, 19 Feb. 2015

Neighbors,

Save the Date! The next meeting of the Park Hills Civic Association will be on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Media Center of the Silver Spring International Middle School (SSIMS)

We’re pleased to announce that our guest will be our new Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker (D-5). Tom is a member of the County Counci’s Public Safety and Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committees. His council webpage is http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Hucker/

This will be a joint meeting with the Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association (SOECA).

We look forward to seeing you there.

Reminder: Your 2015 PHCA dues are due. You can pay online at https://parkhillscivic.com/ or by sending a check to Elsie Klumpner, 506 Deerfield Ave, Silver Spring , MD 20910. Dues are only $15 a year, and you get so much!

Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President
Chris Richardson, Vice President
Paul Guinnessy, Secretary
Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer.

Happy New Year!

Neighbors,

Happy New Year! We wish all of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

Last year was an especially successful year for the Park Hills Civic Association. In addition to our regular Back to School pedestrian safety program, our popular sweep-the-creek programs, the National Night Out Police Parade, the County’s Thanksgiving Parade, and our first-ever community yard sale, we hosted several very well attended civic association meetings at the Silver Spring International Middle School, including two with the neighboring Seven Oaks Evanswood Citizens Association (SOECA). We also participated in facilities planning for the new playground at Dale Drive Neighborhood Park, supported the renovation of the Parks property at Dale Drive & Hartford, and worked to engage the Montgomery County Police Department on public safety and traffic issues in the neighborhood. We also followed the wind-up of the Dale Drive Sidewalk Project and the renovation of the Mansfield right-of-way.

Our joint meetings on the findings and conclusions of the County’s Nightime Economy Task Force and our Candidate’s Forum featuring ALL of the candidates for the Montgomery County Council (District 5) and the candidates for Maryland State Delegate (District 20) were standing-room only. On October 1st, we had the pleasure of hosting Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett at our PHCA meeting.

In 2015, we hope to continue our Association’s success with more programs of general interest. Please feel free to make suggestions about topics and speakers that you would like to see this year at our regular meetings in February, May, October and December.

We can expect that this year’s agenda will be dominated with discussions about the Purple Line on Wayne Avenue. We encourage you to keep with the Purple Line issues to the best of your abilities, through the press, our listservs, email and the State’s Purple Line website at http://www.purplelinemd.com/en/ We’ll do our best to keep you informed as well.

As we noted at our December meeting, we are seeking volunteers to help with our work in the neighborhood. We need help with the following issues and would like neighbors to step up and take leadership roles for

  • Parks & Recreation (including Sweep the Creek)
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Special Events (Thanksgiving Parade, Annual Park Hills BBQ, Park Hills Community Yard Sale)
  • Silver Spring & Montgomery County Civic Meetings (Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board, Silver Spring Urban District, Montgomery County Civic Federation)
  • PHCA website

We also need volunteers to help us distribute our quarterly meeting notices on their streets (particularly Dale Drive and the Fleetwoods).

The time commitment is minimal, but the work is very, very important. Will you help? Kids can help too. If you’re interested, please contact Paul Guinnessy at pguinnessy@yahoo.com

Finally, our new Association dues regime began on January 1st 2015. At our last meeting, we voted to increase the annual PHCA dues to only $15 per household. Thanks to those neighbors who have already paid their annual dues.

If you have not already paid your $15 dues, you can do so online, via PayPal at https://parkhillscivic.com/ or by mailing your dues payment by mail to Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, PHCA Treasurer, 402 Deerfield Ave, Silver Spring , MD 20910. Dues are only $15 and you get so much. Please pay your 2015 Association dues as soon as possible.

Please support your Civic Association by joining our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParkHills/, and following PHCA on our listserv at https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/parkhillscivic/ and our website at https://parkhillscivic.com/   Check out some historic PHCA photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanbowser/collections/72157606566601648/

Thank you for your continued support.

Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee

Alan Bowser, President
Chris Richardson, Vice President
Elsie Heyrman Klumpner, Treasurer
Paul Guinnessy, Secretary   

Park Hills Civic Association 1 October 2014 Mtg. Minutes

Park Hills Civic Association General Meeting

October 1, 2014 7:30pm
Silver Spring International Middle School

Introductions – 32 members of the community attended.

Secretary’s Report – Paul Guinnessy

Treasurer’s Report – Leslie Downey reported a balance of $311 in the checking account.  She thanked community for its support over the past year.

Vice-President’s Report – Chris Richardson reported that:

•The Pedestrian Safety campaign in which signs were placed up on  the first day of the new school year to raise awareness of more kids on the street was a great success.

•Residential Wayne/PLIAG – Thanks to Montgomery County executive Ike Leggett, the new local purple line group that consists of associations and other interested parties along the Purple Line (Purple Line Implementation Advisory Group) has been meeting frequently to discuss local impacts.  Richardson thanked all the people who made it happen, particularly the representatives from the local, state, and county level who have turned up .

•The new library and outreach strategy – is coming soon! Richardson mentioned that he would talk to library manager Frank Ware to find ways to engage the community when the new library opens.

•Sweeping the Creek/Adopt the Road – This event held on 28 September was a big success.Thanks to Anne Kaiser for serving as coordinator of this Fall’s program.

•The Thanksgiving Parade – Our Park Hills Civic Association is marching again in this year’s Thanksgiving Parade.  Park Hills will be the only civic association in the parade for the second year in a row. The current plan is to follow the same practice as last time and encourage residents to walk along and join us for coffee and hot chocolate afterwards.

Election of PHCA Treasurer – Alan Bowser – Alan Bowser regretfully announced Leslie Downey’s retirement as PHCA treasurer. Elise Heyrman Klumpner was nominated as her replacement and voted unanimously into the the position.

President’s Report – Alan Bowser reported:

•Board proposal – The Park Hills Civic Association Executive Committee proposes to increase Association dues to $15 annually, beginning in January 2014. As prescribed on our bylaws, the vote will be held at the next meeting.

•Voter Registration Deadline & Election Day – Alan Bowser – Early voting begins on October 23 and runs through October 30.  Election Day is November 4, 2014.

Montgomery County Police Briefing – Shooting on Wayne Ave – Police report and discussion

Officer Joy Patil and one of her colleagues gave the community an update on the recent 31 August shooting close to the school. Patil said that her understanding from the detective is that the victim is refusing to cooperate with the police, leading them to believe that the victim isn’t being forthcoming with his statements regarding the incident. Patel claimed that this event is not reflective of the safety of the community as a whole as the victim was passing through the neighborhood and doesn’t live here. She asked the community to engage more in keeping their eyes open and know your neighbors.

Resident Carol Bengle Gilbert spoke about the shooting (which was near her house) and pointed out that despite the event happening days earlier, the police still haven’t gone door-to-door and ask the neighbors what they heard.

Patil said that they spent over an hour looking for evidence, and even bought out a metal detector to look for shell casings (which were never found). Because the victim ran zigzag across the Wayne Avenue after he was shot, it is impossible to identify the exact location of the shooting.

MPCD said that the number one crime issue in the county is car thefts and three to four vehicles were broken into on Wayne Ave during July and August. It pays to be diligent to lock your car doors.

In another incident, a school kid had their iPhone stolen at knifepoint on the 15th September. The event was after school, and Patil pointed out that if the kids hid their valuables then its less likely they will be stolen.

Patil said there was no information reported on a recent disturbance and a threat on Wayne and Dale (see Park Hills Listserv for more details). Subscribe to the listserv at parkhillscivic-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.  Join the Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParkHills/.  Visit the PHCA website at www.parkhillscivic.com

In answer to a question, MCPD observed that the State and Montgomery County are seeing a lot more heroin overdoses, partly because the level of purity is so erratic and so many drug users are accidentally overdosing.

Crime in the Park Hills are is pretty low compared to Downtown Silver Spring, and nearby neighborhoods.  Many of the police officers who deal with this area are stations at the Georgia Avenue Fire Station 1 (not the restaurant) and are readily available to respond to calls for service. Currently, residents cannot visit the police substation, but that might change in the future.

Other business – Transit issue.

A PHCA members advocated for a new J4 bus stop near the Dale Drive/Wayne Avenue intersection.  A petition will be circulated.  The current stop as the Crescent House. The location is not controlled by the County, but if 45-50 signatures are gathered and submitted to WMATA, then they will consider putting in a stop.

Guest speaker – County Executive Ike Leggett discussed some of the challenges facing Montgomery County in recent years.

• Finances – The county came out better than a lot of places from the recession. Reserves are highest that they have ever been, but it also came at the cost of some cuts, such as opening times at the library. Leggett managed to increase the size of the police force by 143 officers during the recession.

• Currently the school system is growing between 2000-2800 additional students per year for the next five years. To combat this, the county is trying to improve the existing space and infrastructure at the schools rather than build new schools.

• Transportation – always looks good on paper. The developers always have great plans on paper. In reality transportation and development requires money and the answers to a number of questions, such as what’s the impact on the environment and the quality of life for existing residents, etc..

• There are 100,000 jobs in the pipeline that are dependent on transportation and need taxes to pay for improvements.

Questions from the audience.

Q: What happens to the purple line public private partnership at the end of the 35 year contract? Would this leave a burden on the state or the local residents? How much will it cost to ride?

A: Leggett answered that it was the only option to get the purple line funded.

Q: What is the status of the Silver Spring Transit Center?

A: The county is now looking at the overlay repairs. Leggett said he takes full responsibility for refusing to settle with doing a minor repair, and instead he hired experts to make sure the patch would be done correctly and properly. Leggett said he hired Norman Augustine to form a committee to evaluate the report and this committee recommended to do the full expensive repair. The county will sue the firms involved in doing the shoddy work later. The repairs will be finished at the end of the year.

Q: Is the Purple Line traction power substation going to be on Wayne Avenue above ground?

A: Leggett said that the current plans seem to address community concerns, but that the community needed to stay vigilant and on top of this until it is done

Q:  What is the status Old Blair Auditorium?

A: Leggett said it will get done, but costs have skyrocketed. “We need to rethink that.”  Leggett also mentioned that one structure he is concerned about, is the new library. He had recently seen some documents that suggested some work for the purple line might impact the opening date, and is looking into it.

Q: Now that Pepco has been bought, are the options for converting our existing grid into a smart grid that would be more reliable and less prone to massive outages?

A: Leggett said he had met the new owners and they are open to the upgrading the grid, the question is what will the cost be? And would residents pay for it?

Q: There seems to be lots of potholes around, why?

A: Leggett said we had had a harsh winter and he had increased the road repair budget by 20% to compensate for the damage.

Q: Trees – After the trees are cut down on public land, the stumps remain. Is there plans to do a more aggressive stump removal?

A: Leggett said the county is still working on a backlog of trees that had fallen in large storms over the last few years.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35pm.

Paul Guinnessy, Secretary