Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board
May 19, 2008 7:00 pm – Silver Spring Regional Services Center
Attending: Alan Bowser, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board; Charlotte Coffield, Lyttonsville Civic Association; Chris Richardson, Park Hills Civic Association; Debbie Linn, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board; Commander Don Johnson, Montgomery County Police Department; Elmoria Stewart, Lyttonsville Civic Association; George French, Silver Spring Historical Society; Jennifer Nettles, Downtown Silver Spring; Sgt. Kevin Sullivan, Montgomery County Police Department; Lisa Dubay, The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Luther Hinsley, Avery Park Apartments Tenants Association; Martha Waddy, New Hampshire Estates Civic Association; Mark Woodard, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board; Mel Tull, Silver Spring Regional Services Center; Dr. Richard Helfrich, Department of Health and Human Services; Robert Jepson, Washington Adventist Hospital; Roylene Roberts, Department of Housing and Community Affairs; and Tony Messina, The Chelsea School.
Report on May Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Meeting and April Neighborhoods Committee Meeting. Alan Bowser reviewed the Neighborhoods Committee’s April agenda and recalled that the Committee received briefings by staff of the Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs on housing foreclosures and property abandonment; and by Robert Boone, President, Anacostia Watershed Society on storm water management and the health of the Anacostia River.
Alan Bowser said that the Anacostia Watershed Society was willing to host Committee members and Board members on a pontoon boat tour of the Anacostia.
He reported that, at its May meeting, the full Citizens Advisory Board was briefed by Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Chair, Transportation and Environment Committee on budget issues; and by Eileen Cahill, a representative of Holy Cross Hospital on its plans for expansion and concerns about rapidly growing health care needs in the Eastern County. The Board approved a letter expressing support for continued funding of the Heritage Tourism project. It also endorsed its new Strategic Plan concept. Advisory Board elections will take place at the June meeting.
May Public Safety Update. Commander Don Johnson, 3rd District, MCPD, briefed the Committee on recent public safety developments in Silver Spring. He made the following observations:
--Robberies continued to be significant, although they had declined by 7% since 2007. The Commander’s stated number one priority was to reduce robberies.
--Burglaries were on the rise (principally taking place in daylight hours and perpetrated by juveniles).
--Auto thefts were decreasing, but thefts from vehicles were significant.
--3rd District MCPD had made several important arrests recently. Cdr. Johnson said that no arrest had been made with regard to a homicide on Sligo Avenue. It was noted that an arrest had been made with regard to a recent robbery on Gist Avenue.
Alan Bowser asked if MCPD could route its incoming and outgoing police cars through East Silver Spring neighborhoods so as to raise the police profile in those areas. Cdr. Johnson said that he would direct his officers to do that.
Report on the Weed & Seed Program. Martha Waddy, a member of the Weed and Seed Steering Committee, presented a report on recent developments related to the Northwest Park Oakview Weed & Seed program. Her summary of Weed & Seed area developments is attached to these minutes.
The Committee asked questions about significant criminal activity in the Northwest Oakview Weed & Seed area, particularly in the Avery Park Apartment Complex. Cdr. Johnson said that he would contact the Avery Park Tenants Association and consider how to improve MCPD visibility in the area.
Mary Center’s Opening Silver Spring. Alan Bowser said that he represented the Advisory Board at the recent opening of the Mary’s Center in the Long Branch area of Silver Spring. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Mary’s Center demonstrates how improved access to family medical care, supportive and family literacy services—coupled with sensitivity to culture and language—lead to healthy families and safe communities. Additionally, the Center, through its numerous programs, provides:
• dynamic child development services;
• intensive home visits for pregnant women and their new infants;
• case management for teen pregnancy prevention;
• educational training and mentoring services for the prevention of school dropout occurrences and the promotion of college enrollment;
• extensive community outreach efforts to increase the enrollment of the uninsured into health care plans; and
• training and technical assistance for those interested in becoming safe and nurturing licensed child care providers
Pictures of the Mary’s Center ribbon cutting can be viewed at
The Mary’s Center website is located at http://www.maryscenter.org/
Report on the Health Needs in Silver Spring. Dr. Richard Helfrich, Deputy Health Officer, Department of Health and Human Services briefed the Committee on changing health needs in Montgomery County.
With regards to the Mary’s Center, Dr. Helfrich said that it was one of 10 partners for the County DHHS’ community outreach and an important one. He commended the work of Councilmember George Leventhal for his efforts in bringing the Mary’s Center to Long Branch.
Dr. Helfrich discussed the changing patterns in ethnic and racial diversity in Montgomery County and growing poverty in certain segments of the population. Though Montgomery County is widely perceived as an extremely wealthy county, thousands of its residents are people of law or low-moderate income. Many are uninsured or under-insured. There are substantial health disparities between white, non-Latino residents and African American, Latin and Asian American residents in: heart disease, cancer, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. DHHS estimates that at least 80,000 low income adults and 10,000 children are uninsured.
With these disparities and access to health care concerns, the County has made significant investments in programs for the low-income uninsured such as: Maternity Partnership Program; Care for Kids; Montgomery Cares Program; women’s health and family planning; and increased support to our public health dental program and school-based health centers.
Among the programs he referenced in his presentation:
Montgomery Cares is a program that provides primary health care to medically uninsured, low-income adult residents of Montgomery County. This program is funded in part by Montgomery County to help support a network of independent, nonprofit clinics. The government does not operate these clinics. Each clinic has its own history, culture, traditions and additional funding sources. Medical professionals staff all clinics.
Partners with Montgomery County: Primary Care Coalition, 8757 Georgia Avenue, 10th floor, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, (301) 628-3455
Information Number: Montgomery Cares Information and Referral Line (301) 628-3455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Care for Kids
Care for Kids, is a Montgomery County funded program administered by the Primary Care Coalition. The Program offers a solution for needy families by providing a “medical home” for uninsured children where they can receive well and sick care, prescription and limited specialty care. Through partnerships and subcontracts with Kaiser Permanente, Community Clinic Inc., private doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers and organizations, Care for Kids promotes a continuity of care that encourages low-income families to maintain and improve their health status.
Eligibility Requirements: Montgomery County residents. Family income under 250% of federal poverty level and not eligible for MCHIP or any other public or private health insurance.
Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (MCHP)
Free or low-cost insurance coverage for children from birth to age 19 and for pregnant women offered by the State of Maryland. Comprehensive medical, dental, pharmacy, specialist and hospital care covered. Applicant must be a citizen or a legal U.S. resident. Proof of citizenship or residency and identity are required.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a citizen or a legal U.S. resident. Proof of citizenship or residency and identity are required. Insurance for children from birth to age 19. Pregnant care coverage without age limits.
School Based Health/Wellness Centers operate in 3 elementary schools and 1 high school. A fourth elementary school based health center will open in August, 2008. The centers provide comprehensive health, mental health and social services, case management and health promotion in familiar and student and family-friendly environments. Eligibility Requirements: Enrolled in Care for Kids, school or their siblings, aged 2 yrs. - 19 yrs. Must live in a zip code served by the school.
Delivery Sites: Broad Acres ES, 710 Beacon Rd., Silver Spring, MD, 20903;
Gaithersburg ES, 35 N Summit Ave.,Gaithersburg, MD, 20877;
Harmony Hills ES, 13407 Lydia St., Silver Spring, MD, 20906;
Northwood HS, 919 University Blvd. W., Silver Spring, MD, 20901
African American Health Program (AAHP)
The program addresses health disparities that are disproportionately affecting African Americans in the areas of diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disorders, infant mortality, oral and dental health, and other chronic diseases. Services provided include nurse case management for pregnant women who are at risk or high risk for an adverse outcome, oral and dental health screenings, nutrition and fitness activities, diabetes education, hypertension screening and education, HIV counseling and testing and educational sessions to African American communities in Montgomery County, MD. The program also offers mini-grants to community based organizations to help outreach to communities.
Information Numbers: 240-777-1833 and 301-421-5445
Asian American Health Initiative (AAHI)
The Asian American Health Initiative (AAHI) was established to help eliminate health disparities that exist between Asian Americans and their non-Asian counterparts. The mission of the AAHI is to identify the health care needs of the Asian American Community, to develop culturally competent health care services, and to implement health education programs that are accessible and available for all Asian Americans in Montgomery County. AAHI provides education and awareness about hepatitis B, cancer (breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate), diabetes, osteoporosis, and tobacco control through seminars, health events, and community outreach. In addition, AAHI conducts on-site osteoporosis screenings and offers breast, cervical, colorectal, oral and prostate cancer screenings to eligible Montgomery County residents. To provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services and interventions to Asian Americans, AAHI also developed a Patient Navigators Program. Through this program, trained Asian American medical interpreters may provide translation services at community clinic sites as well as assist with navigation of health care access over the telephone hotline.
Information Number: 240-777-4517
Latino Health Initiative (LHI)
The program aims to improve the quality of life of Latinos living in Montgomery County by contributing to the development and implementation of an integrated, coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent health wellness system that supports, values, and respects Latino families and communities.
La misión de la Iniciativa Latina de Salud (ILS) es mejorar la calidad de vida de los latinos en el Condado de Montgomery mediante el establecimiento de un sistema de salud integrado, coordinado, y cultural y lingüísticamente competente que apoye, valore y respete a las familias y comunidades latinas.
Information Number: 240-777-3221
In response to a question, Dr. Helfrich said that new HHS budget monies would be most effectively directed to an updated “Health Assessment” for Montgomery County, which he said would greatly aid budgeting and programming for health care.
The Committee voted to support a letter to the County Executive indicating the Board’s support for a comprehensive health assessment for Montgomery County, and Silver Spring, in particular.
Robert Jepson discussed the WAH partnership with the Mary’s Center and its importance to the community. He also talked about the emergency room treatment, diversion, the importance of specialty care and chronic disease management for underinsured and non insured individuals.
Mark Woodard discussed the problem of childhood obesity and his work with several associations that are advocating for increased physical education in Montgomery County schools. He said that obesity was an important public health issue that needed greater attention by the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
The County’s Public Health Service’s website is located at
The Chelsea School. Dr. Anthony Messina, Head of School, briefed the Committee on proposed development plans for the Chelsea School.
Mr. Messina described the School’s plans for renovation and expansion. An internationally known architect, Daniel Libeskind, who designed the Freedom Tower in New York City, and his colleague, Ron Claiborne, have developed plans for the Chelsea campus. The School seeks to become the first math/science/technology college preparatory school for at-risk inner city students with language based disabilities. They are looking to expand their current career options to include areas of engineering, biotechnology, digital media and many others. They are also planning to establish a Learning and Technology Institute with the goal of serving the greater educational community by providing outreach, research and partnership opportunities.
Chelsea School was established in 1976 by Betty Nehemias and Eleanor Worthy, two parents from Washington, DC with children with dyslexia. With only six students in a church basement, Chelsea School was established with a philosophy predicated on serving children with learning disabilities whom the public schools had failed to provide an appropriate and meaningful education. From its beginnings in the church basement, the school later took up residence in the Jessup Blair Mansion in Silver Spring and from there the former Academy of the Holy Names, where the school is located today.
From the very beginning, the focus was on providing a skill-based curriculum to students organized in small homogenous groups based on reading level. The teaching methods that were established were individualized and multi-sensory and included intensive reading intervention based on the most current research and findings. As the school’s reputation grew in the 70’s and 80’s, families throughout the Washington, DC area began to look to Chelsea School to help their children struggling with learning disabilities.
The year 1989 was a watershed for Chelsea School. In that year, the school made a major evolutionary shift in its focus by admitting publicly-funded students from Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Chelsea School had always been dedicated to those students who were not adequately served; however, now admittance to the program could be extended to students who would not have had the economic means otherwise. This came about through a change in federal legislation. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1979 (IDEA) was enacted to ensure equal access to public education by all students irrespective of disability. As many school districts were unable to meet the needs of students with specific learning disabilities, they were forced to provide funding to schools like Chelsea School that could provide access to the curriculum through disability-specific individualized methods. This legislation opened the doors of Chelsea School to many children. It ensured that students from various economic and social backgrounds would be afforded access to a superior education irrespective of economic means.
A Washington Post article on the Chelsea School is located at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/28/AR2007102801469.html
Visit the Chelsea School website at http://www.chelseaschool.edu/index.html
Historic Preservation Update. George French, Silver Spring Historical Society, and Mel Tull, Silver Spring Regional Center, exhibited the new Heritage Tourism signs that will be erected on Georgia Avenue during summer 2008. The Silver Spring Historical Society, Montgomery Preservation Inc., Montgomery County Historical Preservation Commission Staff, and the Silver Spring Regional Services Center are partners in creating the Silver Spring Heritage Trail along the Original Main Streets of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road. The Heritage Trail/Walking Tour is a legal requirement, a legally required amenity, for the 1998 demolition of the 1927 Silver Spring National Guard Armory which stood on Wayne Avenue between Ga. Ave. and Fenton St.
The Silver Spring Historical Society website is located at http://silverspringhistory.homestead.com/
Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.
Next Meeting. The next meeting of the Neighborhoods Committee will be held on Monday, June 16. 2008.
The Northwest Park Oakview Weed and Seed (NPOWS)
Activities Update to the Silver Spring Citizen’s Advisory Board
May 19, 2008
Submitted by: Martha Waddy, Steering Committee Member
A. WEEDING ACTIVITES
I. Law Enforcement
1. Montgomery County Police: There have been a total of 174 incidents of crime reported on the Montgomery County side of the Weed & Seed Area from January 5, 2008 through April 30, 2008. Summarized by crimereports.com as follows:
5 Theft 20 Vehicle Thefts 31 Assaults (2 w/deadly weapons)
1 Quality of Life/Liquor 18 Burglaries 27 Vehicle Burglaries
27 Quality of Life/Disorderly 27 Traffic 7 Robberies
1 Sex Offense – Rape 6 Quality of Life/Narcotics 3 Other – Alarm
2. Maryland National Capital Park Police: There have been a total of 25 documented calls requesting park police support at Broad Acres Park from January 1, 2008 through May 15, 2008. 22 of the 25 calls did not result in an arrest or documented criminal incident. The other 3 calls resulted in:
1 Dispute between park patrons regarding the use of the field.
1 Trespassing Incident
1 Juvenile Possession of Tobacco Products
3. Prince George’s County Police: PGPD provides support to two Weed & Seed Communities, Avery Park Apartments and the Hamptons Homeowners. Police report crime to residents in 90 day segments on the PGPD website. The last report published by PGPD shows 5 criminal incidents in the Weed & Seed area:
Avery Park Apartments The Hamptons Homeowners
1 Burglary 1 Burglary
2 Stolen Vehicles 1 Theft from Auto
4. 98 of the 174 Montgomery County incidents were generated from the Avery Park Apartment Community and Northwest Park Apartment Community. Assault, Disorderly Conduct and Vehicle Burglaries are the top three reported crimes in the Montgomery County area. There were no vehicle thefts during the month of April.
5. Assault Analysis: The Weed Committee has requested an analysis of the 31 Assaults to determine if the trend is domestic related or if assaults are being initiated by people living outside of the community.
6. Auto Theft/Vehicle Burglary Prevention: The Weed & Seed Program, States Attorney’s Office and MCPD seek to partner with and implement the MCPD Cadet Explorer Yellow Card Program in Weed & Seed communities with high incidents of auto theft/vehicle burglaries. Cadets will canvass parking lots escorted by police and identify vehicles that exhibit Ipods, purses, clothing, money, computers, and other items thieves look for when targeting vehicles. A letter will be sent to the address of the registered owner informing them of the dangers to their property by displaying these items.
II. Community Policing
1. Weed & Seed, States Attorney’s Office and Montgomery County Police will have Officers, Community Prosecutor and/or Site Coordinator supporting evening community meetings at:
1. Avery Park Apartment Tenants Association : May 21, 2008
2. Oakview Citizens Association: May 21, 2008
3. Impact Silver Spring/Renters Exchange Program at St. Camillus: May 22, 2008
4. Avery Park Neighborhood Watch: June 2, 2008
5. The Hamptons HOA Executive Board Meeting: June 5, 2008
6. Northwest Park Apartment Community Meeting: June 6, 2008
7. Hampshire West Apartment Community Manager Crime Watch Meeting: July 15, 2008
2. The Weed Committee will be developing crime prevention literature supporting auto theft/burglary prevention and assault prevention to be distributed to Weed & Seed communities. This literature will be developed by Site Coordinator, MCPD, SAO, and other crime prevention organizations.
3. Stefan LoBuglio, Division Chief, Pre-release Dept. of Corrections, gave a presentation to the Weed Committee regarding the process of releasing and reintegrating ex-offenders into Montgomery County communities.
4. Neighborhood Watch at Avery Park held a training with residents on April 29, 2008.
B. SEEDING ACTIVIES
1. The Weed & Seed Truancy Prevention Task Force continues to hold monthly task force meetings to address issues of truancy and other risky behaviors with White Oak Middle School students. The Truancy Prevention Initiative will hold its second workshop with parents on May 20, 2008.
2. Impact Silver Spring in partnership with the Weed & Seed Program will hold its final Renters Exchange activity on May 22, 2008. This final activity will be geared towards residents identifying issues they would like to work on and forming bonds and relationships.
3. The Weed & Seed Program and the Department of Economic Development will be holding a workshop for residents at the Chateau Apartment Complex presenting the Montgomery County Micro-Enterprise Program. The date has been re-scheduled to June 2, 2008.
4. Mr. Luis Martinez, Director of Diversity Outreach of HHS made a presentation to the Seed Committee regarding the scope of services provided to county residents.
5. The Seed Committee is partnering with The MCPS Summer Meals Program to help identify children to receive free meals over the course of the summer.
6. Weed & Seed funding is assisting Broad Acres Elementary School hold an International Night event with families and students on May 20, 2008.
IV. Neighborhood Restoration
1. The Nuisance Abatement Task Force continues to receive complaints from Oakview Residents.
2. Weed & Seed Steering Committee members actively planned, promoted, and participated in Earth Day activities on April 26, 2008.
3. The Turning County Turning Point Public Art Project has been tentatively set to be unveiled on June 17, 2008.
1. Resident Impact: Four residents were funded by Weed & Seed to participate in Impact Silver Spring’s most recent leadership development class. In May, Avery Park residents Luther Hinsley, William Dawes, Margaret Palmer and Northwest Park resident Serena Locust celebrated their graduation at the Annual Impact Awards. Each resident is now initiating their respective projects to improve their community. Weed & Seed has provided additional funding to Impact graduates to assist in the success of their projects.
2. Fair Housing Committee/Foreclosure Crisis: The Oakview Community and Nuisance Abatement Task Force have been presented to the County Attorney, County Office on Human Rights and Fair Housing Committee, to serve as a pilot community to examine the effects of the foreclosure crisis. This includes the impact of foreclosed properties on property values, how non-responsiveness by lenders exacerbates the crisis, and the possible illegal redlining of county minority communities.
3. Site Coordinator has been appointed by Donald DeVore, Maryland Secretary of the Dept. of Juvenile Services, to serve on the Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center Advisory Board.
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