Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summary Notes - Neighborhoods Committee - February 2008

Summary Notes
Neighborhoods Committee
February 21, 2008 7:00 pm – Silver Spring Regional Services Center

Attending: Alan Bowser, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board; Anita Morrison, Long Branch Advisory Committee; Darian Unger, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board; Debbie Linn, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board; Ed Kenny, Long Branch Advisory Committee; Lt. Eric Burnett, MCPD; Gary Stith, Silver Spring Regional Services Center; George French, Long Branch; Jim Zepp, North Four Corners Civic Association; Jura Siegenthaler, American University; Lisa Dubay, The Johns Hopkins University; Marcie Stickle, Silver Spring Historical Society; Martha Waddy, New Hampshire Estates Civic Association; Mary Reardon, Silver Spring Historical Society; Rick Dimont, Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation; and Wayne Goldstein, Montgomery County Civic Federation.

Report on February Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Meeting and January Neighborhoods Committee Meeting. Alan Bowser reviewed the agenda of the Committee at its January 2008 meeting—Strategic Planning suggestions, County Operating Budget suggestions, Purple Line, and Watson House historic preservation. He reported that, at its February meeting, the full Board was briefed on the Live Nation lease by a representative of the County Executive, on Washington Adventist Hospital’s prospective move by Robert Jepson; and by representatives of Downtown Silver Spring on public access issues on Ellsworth Street.

February Public Safety Update. Lt. Eric Burnett, 3rd District, MCPD, briefed the Committee on recent public safety developments in Silver Spring. He noted a significant decrease in thefts from autos during the previous month. He said that MCPD was giving new attention to drug and prostitution activity in the 13th Street area.

Report on the Weed & Seed Program. Martha Waddy reported on recent developments related to the Northwest Park Oakview Weed & Seed program. She discussed the mural to be placed at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Piney Branch Road. Her summary of Weed & Seed area developments is attached to these minutes.

Report on the Long Branch Advisory Committee. Anita Morrison reported on the final report of the Long Branch Advisory Committee, which was sunsetting per County legislation. The Long Branch Advisory Committee was appointed by the County Executive in 2005 to continue with implementation of the recommendations generated by the Long Branch Task Force. Its term has now ended. The committee report will be released February 27. It includes a number of recommendations, including 1) support for redevelopment of the “Super Block” bounded by Flower Avenue, Arliss Street and Piney Branch for a mixed-use development of housing, retail and office space following a community-driven planning process; 2) no net loss of affordable housing; 3) preservation of the historic Flower Theater and shopping center; 4) implementation of the Long Branch Public Safety Plan and the County Executive’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative; and 5) Purple Line construction with a station near Piney Branch at Arliss.

The Neighborhoods Committee has invited all members of the Long Branch Advisory Committee to join the Neighborhoods Committee to continue community focus and participation on neighborhood developments. The Neighborhood Committee will specially focus on Long Branch issues at its regular monthly meetings.

Report on the North Four Corners Park. Jim Zepp, North Four Corners Civic Association, briefed the committee on developments related to the North Four Corners Park. He told the Committee about the recent damage to the North Four Corners Local Park caused by the actions of the County Parks Department staff on Feb. 5-6th. At least seven native species of trees (red and silver maples, hickories, cherries, sumacs, locusts, and dogwoods) were removed, the roots of other native trees were repeatedly driven over by vehicles which may result in their diminished life span, and many areas of the park were clear cut or have had the soil compacted which will stimulate the growth of invasive plants.

The Committee considered and approved a draft letter regarding the soccer field issues. It also approved a letter expressing concern about the Dept. of Park’s recent operations in the North Four Corners Community Park.

Recycling in Montgomery County. Rick Dimont, Project Manager, Division of Solid Waste Services, Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation presented information on Montgomery County’s recycling program. The Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) manages solid waste in an environmentally and economically sound manner. The County Council has set a recycling goal of 45% by December 2002 and 50% by December 2004. The Collections Section manages County contracts for trash collection in the down-County area. Curbside recycling collection is provided throughout the County for single-family homes, also using contracted haulers. A team of Field Inspectors works closely with these haulers to ensure that collections are made properly and to resolve problems. The phones of the Division's Customer Service ring frequently throughout the day, as residents call to find out their collection day, schedule bulk trash and scrap metal collections, report missed collections, order blue bins, ask questions about the Division's collection and drop-off programs and solid waste charges. The Operations section chief oversees the safe operation of the Transfer Station, Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), and the County's three landfills. The Disposal/Waste/Recycling section ensures the safe operation and maintenance of the state-of-the-art and award-winning Resource Recovery Facility (RRF), a waste-to-energy plant, and the Compost Facility. This section is also responsible for recycling education and outreach, as well as coordination with apartment/condominiums and non-residential properties.
The Household Hazardous Waste program accepts household products that are flammable, corrosive, toxic, and reactive. Most of these products can be identified as hazardous by their label. However, diluted cleaning products can usually do down the toilet, with the exception of bleach and ammonia containers. In addition, water based paints should used up, donate, or be dried out and placed into the regular trash.
The HHW program is open 9-5 M-Su and has 4 events per year inside the beltway. For more information, go to
Committee members asked questions about the presentation, particularly about recycling the compact fluorescent bulbs, which include hazardous materials, and for which there is no widespread recycling process.
The Division of Solid Waste’s website is

Report on the Affordable Housing Taskforce. Wayne Goldstein briefed the Committee on the work and recommendation of the Affordable Housing Taskforce, appointed by County Executive Isiah Leggett. See the Affordable Housing Taskforce website at

According to the County’s website, Montgomery County has a long-standing tradition of commitment and dedication toward meeting the housing needs of the community. As the need for affordable housing has increased Montgomery County has taken on a new approach to development of ideas that will meet the challenge. In February 2007 the County Executive established the Montgomery County Affordable Housing Task Force. The 35-member team consisting of community stakeholders including residents, housing advocates, members of the business community and others has come together and commits time and expertise toward the development of recommendations, strategies and tools that will address affordable housing issues in Montgomery County.

The team determined that the best approach was to begin by tackling recognized areas of impediment, as smaller work committees. The committees are: Finance, Zoning and Regulation, Incentives and County Land, Case Studies, and Community Support. Each work committee conducts research, considers “current best practices,” as undertaken by affordable housing programs nationwide, and draws upon expertise represented within and without the task force.

A final report and recommendations will be presented in 2008.

Historic Preservation Update. Marcie Stickle and Mary Reardon discussed the Black History Month recognition of the Lyttonsville community in western Silver Spring.

Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.

Next Meeting. The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Monday, March 17, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions
Information on Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and Mercury
August 2007
Why should people use CFLs?
Switching from traditional light bulbs to CFLs is an effective, accessible change every American can make right now to reduce energy use at home and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs, last up to 10 times longer, cost little up front, and provide a quick return on investment.

If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars.

Do CFLs contain mercury?
CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 5 milligrams – about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. It would take 100 CFLs to equal that amount.

Mercury currently is an essential component of CFLs and is what allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. Many manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce mercury used in their fluorescent lighting products. In fact, the average amount of mercury in a CFL is anticipated to drop by the end of 2007 thanks to technology advances and a commitment from members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

What precautions should I take when using CFLs in my home?
CFLs are made of glass and can break if dropped or roughly handled. Be careful when removing the bulb from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base (not the glass), and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket. If a CFL breaks in your home, follow the clean-up recommendations below. Used CFLs should be disposed of properly (see below).

What should I do with a CFL when it burns out?
EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local recycling options for compact fluorescent light bulbs. EPA is working with CFL manufacturers and major U.S. retailers to expand recycling and disposal options. Consumers can contact their local municipal solid waste agency directly, or go to or to identify local recycling options.

If your state permits you to put used or broken CFLs in the garbage, seal the bulb in two plastic bags and put it into the outside trash, or other protected outside location, for the next normal trash collection. CFLs should not be disposed of in an incinerator. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs have a warranty. If the bulb has failed within the warranty period, return it to your retailer.

How should I clean up a broken fluorescent bulb?

The following steps can be performed by the general public:

1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.

2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.

􀂃Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.

􀂃Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.

􀂃Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.

􀂃Note: some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a local recycling center.

􀂃Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.

4. If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:

􀂃First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.

􀂃If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.

What is mercury?
Mercury is an element (Hg on the periodic table) found naturally in the environment. Mercury emissions in the air can come from both natural and man-made sources. Coal-fired power plants are the largest man-made source because mercury that naturally exists in coal is released into the air when coal is burned to make electricity. Coal-fired power generation accounts for roughly 40 percent of the mercury emissions in the U.S.

EPA is implementing policies to reduce airborne mercury emissions. Under regulations EPA issued in 2005, mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants will drop by nearly 70 percent by 2018.

The use of CFLs reduces power demand, which helps reduce mercury emissions from power plants.

For more information on all sources of mercury, visit

The Northwest Park Oakview Weed and Seed (NPOWS)
Activities Update to the Silver Spring Citizen’s Advisory Board
Neighborhood Committee
February 21, 2008
Submitted by: Martha Waddy
Steering Committee Member

I. Law Enforcement

A. The Weed & Seed Communities experienced 63 incidents of crime from the time period January 5, 2008 through February 5, 2008.
B. Crime Summary
1. 3 Burglaries
2. 2 Robberies
3. 8 Vehicle Thefts
4. 11 Vehicle Burglaries
5. 1 Sex Offense – Rape
6. 6 Assaults
7. 15 Quality of Life/Disorderly Conduct
8. 2 Quality of Life/Narcotics
9. 1 Quality of Life/Liquor
10. 12 Traffic
11. 2 Other – Alarms
63 Total Incidents
C. The Avery Park Apartment Community led all communities with 24 incidents.
D. Sgt. G. McFarland the Weed Committee Chair was promoted to take charge of Auto Theft.
E. Sgt. Michael Ruane transferred from Bethesda and is now Chairing the Weed Committee.

II. Community Policing
1. The Weed Committee met on Thursday, January 24th and reviewed the Crime Summary.
2. The Weed Committee will be developing a series of publications to be released to the public during different times of the year.
3. The Weed Committee has begun to plan National Night Out 2008.

III. Prevention/Intervention/Treatment
1. The Seed Committee held a community meeting at Broad Acres, Elementary School on February 19, 2008 and held a parenting workshop on sex education for children.
2. The Truancy Prevention Task Force met at White Oak Middle School on February 14, 2008 and agreed to move into the action phase of implementation, developing workshops for residents.
3. The Seed Committee is assisting Broad Acres Elementary School to hold a International Night event during the month of May.
4. The Seed Committee met on February 21, 2008. Guest speakers included Community Bridges and Parks & Planning.

IV. Neighborhood Restoration
1. Nuisance Abatement Task Force continues to receive complaints from Oakview Residents and have requested an update at their February Homeowner Association Meeting.
2. Weed and Seed held a community meeting where the Turning Point Mural Project was featured (See attachment).
V. Other
1. Site Coordinator met with Sandglass on February 14, 2008 to continue the development of a Weed & Seed Website.
2. Site Coordinator will be meeting with Newsletter Editor on Inaugural Issue.
3. Site Coordinator participated on the County’s Interagency Fair Housing Coordinating Group/Fair Housing Advocacy Committee. Discussed with other Regional Service Center representatives (Mid-County and Bethesda) the status of the quality of life and housing issues of residents in their respective areas.

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