Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mount Rainier roundup

Tomorrow, April 28: celebrate City Council Member Brian Knedler's 14 years of service to Mount Rainier. Unfortunately he is not running for reelection. Star-Potts Hall 3405 Rhode Island Ave. from 6-9 p.m. There will be a roast and refreshments.

DC Urban Turf and other sites reported on MRIS's inclusion of Mount Rainier in its list of DC's top 10 green neighborhoods. Props to the city government for caring and especially City Council Member Brian Knedler's service on the Tree Commission and continuing interest in improving Mount Rainier! Also on Giltterazzi.

I went to the city council candidates forum last week. My impression is that all the candidates are sincerely dedicated to civic involvement and making Mount Rainier an even better place to live. Their answers to audience questions were generally thoughtful and well-considered. I will upload some pictures soon. In the meantime, if you didn't go, then before you vote on May 2 check out part 1 and part 2.And for Gazette Q&As with all the candidates, click here.

Don't know where to buy Serviceberry trees that are pretty to look at and great food for the wildlife? Think they're too expensive for a person of modest means such as yourself? Problems solved: here and here.

Mount Rainier Bike Co-op, 3601 Bunkerhill Rd.: Free flat tire clinic tomorrow April 28 from 7-8:30 p.m. "At this class we will learn to remove our rear wheel and practice removing and replacing the tire and tube."
"We are looking for enthusiastic supporters to help staff the bike coop so that more people can access it. Do consider becoming a member of the space, and helping to keep it open."

Save the frogs party! Friday, April 29 at Art Works School Studio, 3711 Rhode Island Ave. from 7-10 p.m. "Savethefrogs.com holds an annual international art/poster competition and Art Works Studio School is providing the opportunity for our neighbors and friends to join us in saving the frogs through a brief educational program, fun frog music, frog-happy foods, poster making activities, and OF COURSE...a game of LEAP FROG!!!" It's all free.

And, as always, check out what's going on at Joe's Movement Emporium. They have activities for all ages.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tonight: city council cage match

Tonight: Ward 1&2 Mount Rainier City Council candidate forum at the Nature Center on the north side of Arundel Rd. at 31st St, 6:30 p.m.

Be there or be square, your choice.

Friday, April 15, 2011

From Joe's on Facebook - cleanup postponed

Hey friends - due to the 100% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow and predicted 50 mph winds, the community cleanup is postponed. Please join us on Monday from 10am-1pm at Joe's, or come for the self-directed Sweep the weekend of April 23 & 24 all day. Have a great weekend!

Upcoming! from Jimmy Tarlau

Public Hearing on  Budget and Tax Rate  - Tuesday April 19th at 7 PM
There will be a public hearing on  next year’s  budget and tax rate this Tuesday April 19th at 7 PM.  The Mayor and Council are proposing that the tax rate stay the same:  at $.79 per $100 of assessments.  The city property tax  for a house assessed at $250,000 is $1,975.  (The overall tax rate for all (City, County, Park and Planning, etc.) property taxes is about $2 per $100 of assessments.)
We have had a number of work sessions on next year’s budget and have made only a few changes in what was originally proposed to us by the City Manager and City Treasurer.  We have changed a few of the revenue estimates to more accurately reflect what we believe we will be getting in as income, we added $6,500 for community activities (Farmers Market, House Tour, and Neighborhood Watch Program) and moved $53,500 into a contingency fund for possible cost of living raises to our City’s employees and other possible unforeseen expenses.  We are maintaining all our essential services. We are taking $400,000 out of our reserves but will still have a healthy $1.2 million at the end of the fiscal year.
Come to the meeting and let us know what you think about the City’s budget and tax rate.
New Restaurants Open On Route 1
The first restaurants/food shops opened on Route 1 in Hyattsville at the Arts District development just north of Franklin’s.  The first restaurants to open are Elevation Burger and Yogi Castle, a frozen yogurt store.  Elevation Burger which is on the corner of Kennedy Street and Baltimore Avenue specializes in organic, grass fed, free range beef.  They also have veggie and vegan burgers.
I am looking to the opening of some of the other stores which will include Busboys and Poets, Tara Thai, Chipotle and a Yes Organic Market.  It will be nice not to have more eating options in our area.
Mount Rainier Candidates Forum Next Wednesday April 20th 
There are three openings for Mount Rainier City Council this year.  There are two open seats in Ward 1 and Bill Updike and I are unopposed for the two vacancies (one for my four year term and the other to fill the rest of the term of former Councilwoman Alta Morton).  There are two candidates for the vacancy (Bryan Knedler is not running again) in Ward 2.  Brent Bolin and Adrienne Charles are running for that seat. 
There will be a candidates forum on Wednesday at 6:30 PM at the Nature Center (31st and Arundel).  All the candidates will be there to make statements and answer questions.  Come and find out what the candidates believe the Council should be doing over the next few years.
DC GlassWorks Open House This Saturday - 3:30-8:30 in Edmonston, MD 
It's easy to get there - take Alternate Route 1 (the bridge behind Franklin's) and turn at the light onto Decatur Street. Immediately after you cross the train tracks, turn left at the bottom of the incline onto 46th Avenue. Keep driving until you see the crowd (through a stop sign and around the bend.)

Come watch glassblowing demonstrations, talk to studio artists, and check out their glass and sculpture facilities. Work with one of the artists to make your own piece of glass and give glassblowing a try!  The Open House is family friendly, so bring the family and friends, and make a day of it. Light refreshments will be available.

Inspired Teens Program Starts in Mount Rainier 
Beginning Saturday April 30th the Mount Rainier Christian Church will be hosting a program for youth ages 12 – 17.   The program will include video games, ping pong, arts & crafts and homework help and tutoring.  For more information contact Pastor Brian Adams at 301-864-3869.  (Parents must attend with their children on the first visit to the program.) 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Turn in absentee ballot application by April 25

Do you have a physical condition that might keep you from voting at your regular polling place? Are you going to be unavoidably out of town on May 2? Apply for your absentee ballot here.

The Gazette covers the Better Block Project

Above the fold in the print edition!

Serviceberries in bloom!

From Brian Knedler:

The cherry blossoms are done, but I hope residents will notice the native Serviceberry trees in bloom, especially in Spring Park at 33rd and Shepherd. Also a nice one in 3800 block of 31st, 3000 block Taylor, and 4100 block 31st. The trees are also called shadbush because they bloom when the shad (a fish) is traveling up the local streams to spawn. They have lots of common names, but the Latin genus is Amelanchier. They are wonderful small trees or bushes. If you are going to purchase one, read up on the particular cultivar because some are more like shrubs and get multiple stems while others are more tree-like. They have an edible berry in summer (they are called Juneberry for that reason) and great fall color. They like a bit of shade since like the Redbuds (another native) they grow in the forests under other larger trees.  Redbuds are also blooming now. They tend to be more drought tolerant than the serviceberries.  The City Tree Commission has purchased a number of both serviceberry and redbud in the last 10 years. So, if you are looking for an alternative to Yoshino Cherry, consider the Serviceberry.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meet Ward 1 City Council candidates

Meet Bill Updike and incumbent Jimmy Tarlau at a reception tonight from 5-7 p.m. at 4213 34th St. Although they are running unopposed it's still good to know your elected representatives. The election is May 2.

Also, there will be a Neighborhood Watch walk at  7 p.m. starting at the corner of Tilden and 34th St. which will be going down 34th, 35th, 36th and 37th Streets between Shepherd and Rhode Island. You are invited to join in.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Better Block Project videos

Better Block Project photos

Metropolitan New Testament Church of God glassware saleLiving in the Chesapeake Bay watershedIce Cream!Emma promoting the Mount Rainier Farmers MarketJacob: "Smell my bread!"Maria: "Wow! Butter." Jacob and Maria want you to make bread.She sold me some asparagus roots.Maria: "See my bread?"Mount Rainier's cool police carsOdds 'n' ends from Community ForkliftThanks for the paint, Community Forklift! Inside Scrap-DCPicking out some fabric at Scrap-DCMount Rainier Television on the sceneInside Joes' Movement EmporiumScrap-DCArt Valerie and her window art at ZZ PizzaValerie's other creation outside ZZ PizzaStreet sceneMount Rainier Better Block ProjectMount Rainier Better Block Project

More on gardening

46 degrees this morning, cloudy...but my outdoor plants seem to be loving it. Kale, Collards, Cabbage, Spinach, Lettuce all are well. Can't wait to start picking and eating fresh stuff! I noticed the other day that the ground temp has risen to 50-60 degrees which is a good sign and will help those seedlings grow a bit faster. I also noticed the fig and apple tree(s) developing leaves as well as elderberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes. Indoors my Basil, Pepper and Tomato starters are growing with vigor, tomatoes about 1 1/2 feet tall...never start tomatoes too early indoors as it means constant transplanting and feeding! Anyway, farewell 'til next time and if you haven't started, now is the time to get some seed into the ground and have those fresh veges in May/June!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mount Rainier Better Block Project

The area around 34th Street and Bunker Hill Road will become "a vibrant, eclectic “Main Street” with a festival atmosphere" tomorrow, Saturday April 9 from noon to 6 p.m.

The event's goal is to demonstrate the economic potential of the area. I'll see you down there!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Email message for Ward 1 from City Council Member Jimmy Tarlau

May 2nd is an important election in Mount Rainier. Residents in Ward 1 will be voting for two Council members (one for a four year term and the other for a two year term to fill the rest of the term of former Councilwoman Alta Morton). Bill Updike and I are running for election this year. I have met most of you on this [email] list but a lot of you have not met Bill.

We would like to invite you to a 'meet and greet' reception at my house (4213 34th St. - corner of Tilden St.) this Sunday from 5 to 7 PM.
We will be serving some light refreshments.

Meet Bill and me. Let us know what's on your mind about where the City is heading and listen to what Bill and I hope to accomplish if we are elected for new terms of office.

I hope to see you on Sunday.


Monday, April 4, 2011

The early garden continues to grow

Here it is April 4, 2011 and the temperature is 86 degrees!!! (It was 60 degrees yesterday) I am expecting snow next week so won't be putting out my warm season crops just yet ;-) But hey, as an experiment I took two of my Cherokee Purple tomato starters and planted them with their own "greenhouses"...actually plastic bags placed over them. We'll see if they survive that snow next week <grin>