Sunday, November 2, 2008

Summary Notes - Neighborhoods and Transportation & Pedestrian Safety Committees - October 20, 2008

Neighborhoods and Transportation and Pedestrian Safety Joint Committee Meeting
October 20, 2008 – 7:00 pm – Silver Spring Regional Services Center
Summary Notes

Participants: Alan Bowser, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board (SSCAB); Dwayne Jenkins, Silver Spring Regional Services Center; Mark Woodard, SSCAB; Kathy Stevens, SSCAB; Megan Moriarty, SSCAB; Mary Reardon, Silver Spring Historical Society; Anita Morrison, co-chair; Clarence Steinberg, Indian Spring Civic Association; Martha Waddy, New Hampshire Estates Civic Association & Long Branch Neighborhood Initiative; Bruce Baker, SS/TP Community Indicators; Massiel Cruz, Northwest Park Apts, Neighborhood IMPACT; Sgt. Tom Harmon, MCPD; Jason Tomassini, The Gazette; Jennifer Deseo, Silver Spring Penguin; Kyja Wilburn, Tanglewood Apts, Neighborhood IMPACT; Ana Puentes, Montgomery Towers, Neighborhood IMPACT; Sally Gagne, Friends of Sligo Creek; Lisa Dubay, Johns Hopkins University; Webb Smedley, Woodside Park Civic Association; Loetta Vann, Woodside Forest Civic Association, Committee to Save the Watson House.

SSCAB Meeting and September Joint Committee Meeting: Alan Bowser gave an update on the topics covered at the last SSCAB meeting (plans for the new library, ambulance fees) and the last Neighborhoods Committee’s meeting that dealt with the new Code Enforcement recommendations and the County Executives Pedestrian Safety Initiative.

Public Safety Update: Sgt. Tom Harmon, 3rd District, MCPD, provided an update on traffic and pedestrian issues. He noted the County is starting a pedestrian safety audit of Piney Branch Rd. on Oct. 21. Martha distributed the Weed and Seed update report and invited the committee members to the community clean up at Broad Acres Elementary School on Oct. 25. (Her report is attachment to these minutes.)

SS/TP Community Indicators Project: Bruce Baker presented the new community-based research project to the committee. This project hopes to measure the quality of life at the local level in Long Branch and Takoma Park. The first step will be to come up with a series of housing indicators, which will be presented to the community at large in early January with a final “report card” issued in February. (see attachment for details)

Strategic Planning Conversation: Kathy Stevens updated the committee about the Board’s strategic planning process and committee members provided their input on what issues the committees should address in the coming year. Suggestions included the following topics and actions: rent stabilization, public education about littering, increasing community participation in the Purple Line discussions, reaching out to the community, requesting more bus shelters with schedules, expanded Medicare coverage now in effect, and environmental issues in Sligo Creek Park.

SSRC Website Redesign: Dwayne Jenkins, Silver Spring Regional Service Center, informed the committee of his project to revamp the Regional Center’s website (including the SSCAB pages) and asked for input on content and layout. The committee discussed the following options: including an interactive map that includes the civic associations; making sure all agendas and minutes are posted in a timely fashion; ensuring the layout is simple so people can find what they are looking for quickly; including contact information for government services.

Megan Moriarity updated the group on the first Fenton Village meeting on Oct. 15 and encouraged them to attend next meeting on Nov. 19. Sally Gagne gave the committee a brief report about the deer management problem on behalf of Friends of Sligo Creek. Loetta Vann passed out information regarding the preservation of the Watson House.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Neighborhoods and Pedestrian Safety Committee will be held Monday, November 17, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the Regional Services Center.

The Silver Spring/Takoma Park Community Indicators Project

What are community indicators?

Community indicators are measures of a community’s health and vitality. They are not just measurement tools, however; they can also serve as benchmarks for efforts to improve communities and empower residents to solve problems and advocate for their interests. The federal, state, and county governments collect lots of data, but measures of community well-being at the neighborhood level can also be very useful. By revealing localized issues that are not apparent in city- or county-level data, neighborhood indicators guide targeted interventions that get at local concerns.

What neighborhoods does this project cover?

The Silver Spring/Takoma Park Community Indicators Project covers the Long Branch area of Silver Spring and the City of Takoma Park.

What is the outcome of this project?

At the end of its first year, early in 2009, the project will produce a baseline indicators report – a kind of report card – on housing conditions in Long Branch and Takoma Park. This report will establish benchmarks that can be updated each year to provide government policy makers, grant makers, and the public at large with relevant and useful information about housing conditions in specific neighborhoods.

But the project is about more than collecting data and publishing a report. The project will also create learning communities in both the Long Branch section of Silver Spring and Takoma Park. Neighborhood residents will be part of a collaborative process to develop the specific indicators. These learning communities will function as permanent local neighborhood “think tanks,” made up of a diverse core of local residents who are committed to measuring the health and vitality of their community through the indicators development and reporting process.

Who sponsors this project?

The Silver Spring Takoma Park Community Indicators Project is a Program Sponsored Fund of the Montgomery County Community Foundation. It will be working in partnership with IMPACT Silver Spring, and also has the support of the Takoma Foundation, Casa of Maryland, Montgomery College-Takoma Park, the Long Branch Advisory Committee, the University of Maryland, and the Presidents Council of Silver Spring Civic Associations. It is also working in coordination with staff from the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and The Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and the City of Takoma Park.

For more information, contact Bruce Baker, 301-589-3633, or

Indicators are like instrument panels…they provide concise information about existing circumstances. Monitored over time, indicators expose trends that show where your community has come from, and where it may be going.

Community indicators don’t just monitor
progress… they help make it happen!

--From the Community Indicators Handbook by Roxanne Smolko (Redefining Progress)

How well do you know your community?

• How many home foreclosures or evictions have there been in the last year compared to previous years? What are the causes?
• Is housing quality improving?
• What has happened to housing affordability in the recent past?
• How diverse is your community?
• How much investment in housing has there been? Is it increasing or decreasing?
• How many “green buildings” are there in the community?
• What is our city or neighborhood carbon footprint?
• How safe is your community?
• What can you do to make things better?

Support the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Community Indicators Project

Make a tax deductible contribution to: The Montgomery County Community Foundation/ Community Indicators Fund, and mail to:

Silver Spring/Takoma Park Community Indicators Project
c/o Montgomery County Community Foundation
8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite #202
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Or Contact : Bruce Baker 301-589-3633



1. During the 1990’s the Department of Justice created the Weed & Seed Program. Its mission to “Weed” out crime and “Seed” in programs and services in high crime neighborhoods.

2. There are 300 sites nationwide. Each site receives $1,000,000 over a period of 5 years.

3. The Northwest Park Oakview Weed & Seed received its Official Recognition in 2005. It is currently entering its 3rd year of operations.

4. The NPOWS is one of a handful sites in Maryland. The only one in the tri-jurisdictional areas of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and the City of Takoma Park.

5. Four (4) Program Focus Areas:
A. Weed Initiatives Focus on:
1. Law Enforcement
2. Community Policing

B. Seed Initiatives Focus on:
1. PIT – Prevention/Intervention/
Treatment programs
2. Neighborhood Revitalization
6. NPOWS Catchment Area serves over
10,000 residents.
A. Living Communities:
1. Hamptons Homes
2. Avery Park Apartments
3. Chateau Apartments
4. Oakview Homes
5. Hampshire West Apartments
6. Northwest Park Apartments
B. Schools:
1. Broad Acres, ES
2. Roscoe Nix, ES
3. White Oak, MS
4. St. Camillus School
C. Churches:
1. St. Camillus
2. Good Shepherd United Methodist

7. Distinguishing Items:
A. Nuisance Abatement Task Force
B. Truancy Prevention Task Force

8. New Initiatives:
A. Friends of Broad Acres Park
B. St. Camillus Food Pantry

9. Safe Havens:
A. Broad Acres, ES
B. YMCA/Linkages
C. YMCA Community Center
D. St. Camillus Church

For more information call:
Victor B. Salazar, Site Coordinator, Northwest Park Oakview Weed & Seed Program
Silver Spring Regional Center, Montgomery County Government
Work: (301) 565-7300, Mobile: (240) 876-1077

Partnerships for Safer Communities
Weed and Seed, an innovative community based multiagency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. US Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

US Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

The Northwest Park Oakview Weed and Seed (NPOWS)
Activities Update to the Silver Spring Citizen’s Advisory Board
Neighborhood Committee
October 20, 2008
Submitted by: Martha Waddy, Steering Committee Member


● The Weed Committee held its meeting on September 8, 2008. Guest speaker for the day was Captain Don Johnson, Commander of Montgomery County’s Third Police District. Commander Johnson gave an overview of area crime trends; discussed the formation of an advisory board; and asked for resident support for the County’s police budget.

● The Weed & Seed Program participated in the planning and implementation of the St. Camillus Community Carnival. The event drew approximately two thousand visitors. The event ran from September 5th through September 7th.

● The Weed & Seed Program supported Broad Acres Elementary School’s Back To School Picnic on September 10th utilizing the event as an opportunity to engage and interview residents about community crime.

● On September 12th, The Weed & Seed Program supported the Northwest Park Community during its monthly meeting at the YMCA community center.

● On September 13th, The YMCA Program held an end of summer activity. At the conclusion of the celebration students were recognized for their achievements. The YMCA recognized and thanked the Weed & Seed program for its support and funding to run its programs.

● On September 17th, The Weed & Seed Program supported the Avery Park Community Association at its monthly meeting. The meeting was held at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church.

● On September 19th, The Weed & Seed Program, CSAFE and Impact Silver Spring conceptualized a joint project focused on resident engagement and the county budget. The program seeks to identify approximately 15 residents living in Weed & Seed and CSAFE catchment areas and to have them identify current and emerging issues. This information will then be developed and residents will publish their findings with testimony at budget hearings next Spring before the County Council.

● On September 23rd, The Weed & Seed Program and CSAFE met with staff from Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s office to discuss how programs can support residents with issues related to immigration.

● On September 25th, The Weed & Seed Program was invited by the Maryland International Corridor CSAFE to participate in a Neighborhood Safety Team Forum sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

● On September 25th, The Weed & Seed Program held its Steering Committee Meeting. Councilmember Valerie Ervin was the guest speaker. She provided an overview of what was on the minds of county residents, the status of the county budget, the curtailing and loss of government services, and addressing the foreclosure crisis. The Steering Committee voted to sponsor a Community Service Day event. SEE ATTACHMENT

● On September 26th, Site Coordinator, Victor Salazar and Steering Committee Co-Chair, Maura Lynch, SAO, held a meeting with the community manager at Hampshire West Apartments. Results of the meeting included commitments to hold intimate meetings with police and security to discuss crime issues and develop policing strategies; commitment to hold a crime watch meeting on October 22nd; commitment to work with the YMCA to develop a long term strategy for creating a community center in the complex.

● On September 29th, Site Coordinator participated in the monthly Youth Provider meeting sponsored by HHS’ Luis Cardona. Potential funding sources for programs were discussed.

● On September 30th, Site Coordinator convened a meeting with St. Camillus church to discuss the concept of a Food Pantry initiative. The goal of the project would be to feed approximately 200 families per month on an emergency basis from November through the month of March. SEE ATTACHMENT.

No comments: