Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Summary Notes - Neighborhoods and Transportation and Pedestrian Safety Joint Committee Meeting - Nov. 17, 2008

Participants: Alan Bowser, Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board (SSCAB); Dwayne Jenkins, Silver Spring Regional Services Center; Kathy Stevens, SSCAB; Megan Moriarty, SSCAB; Anita Morrison, co-chair; Darian Unger, SSCAB; Martha Waddy, New Hampshire Estates Civic Association & Long Branch Neighborhood Initiative; Sgt. Tom Harmon, MCPD; Lt. Paul Liquorie, MCPD; Lt. Eric Burnett, MCPD; Jason Tomassini, The Gazette; Lisa Dubay; Jennifer Nettles, Peterson Management; Tony Hausner, Prezco; Luther Hinsley, Avery Park Community Association; Harry Sanders; Caren Madsen; Barbara Ditzler; Jennifer Deseo, Silver Spring Penguin; Rukiyat Gilbert, Southern Management; Kevin Walling.

November SSCAB and October Joint Committee Meetings: Megan Moriarty gave an update on the topics covered at the last SSCAB meeting and the Committee’s meeting that included conversations about the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Indicators Project and the Regional Center’s website redesign.

Public Safety Update: Sgt. Tom Harmon provided an update on traffic and pedestrian issues. He noted the Street Smart initiative began this week and on Dec. 3 there will be a pedestrian safety event with Santa at the Crossroads (New Hampshire Ave. and University Blvd.). He also informed the group his officers have begun seat belt enforcement in the CBD. Violations are $25. There are still officers detailed to the Interim Operating Site for the Metro. He reminded everyone to be vigilant while driving in the CBD and look out for pedestrians, especially at night.

Lt. Paul Liquorie gave the committee an update about the Tai Lam murder investigation. The police response time was under two minutes and a number of different units have been working together since then. Three suspects have been apprehended. They are alleged gang members, but the police do not believe gang activity was a motive in the shooting. He also explained the County’s response to gangs and their cooperation with Federal officials.

Lt. Liquorie reported on an accidental shooting last weekend and noted that the department is working on strategies to work with youth to prevent crimes. In Park Valley, a suspect in 5 burglaries was apprehended because a neighbor reported his suspicious activity. He urged all community members to do the same.

Martha Waddy distributed the Weed and Seed update report for November (see attached).

Tony Hasner reported that Prezco (an umbrella organization for 12 civic associations) is planning a crime summit in March (see proposal ideas below). The group made suggestions that included: including renters in the planning and summit, obtaining crime statistics to guide the planning, using the experience of the committee that held a similar event a few years ago and covering youth programs that can prevent crime.

Dwayne Jenkins announced the next Youth Collaborative meeting will be Dec. 2 at the Long Branch Community Center.

Plans for Washington Adventist Hospital’s Takoma Park Campus: Dean Teague, Vice President for Ancillary/Support Services at WAH, presented the plans for the current hospital site once the new facility in White Oak opens. WAH plans to create a Village of Health and Wellbeing based on a community survey. The plans include space for a number of uses: education (connection to Columbia Union College to increase number of nursing students), research, social services, health care services (an urgent care facility will remain), wellness (new gym), support services and senior living. WAH is planning to open the White Oak facility in 2013. Committee members raised questions about how losing an emergency room will affect the community. Dean explained that patients that cannot be served by the urgent care facility will be transferred to the White Oak hospital. The City of Takoma Park has an advisory council that is monitoring and giving input on the plans.

Environmental Update: Caren Madsen, environmental coordinator for the committee, provided an update on upcoming meetings related to the State of Maryland draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and the county Forest Conservation Law. Caren reported that a hearing was scheduled for the state to take public comment on the draft NPDES permit on Nov. 19th. The public comment period on the permit is open until Dec. 2. Written comments on the State storm water management permit for Montgomery County should be addressed to Mr. Brian Clevenger, Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, 1800 Washington Blvd, Ste. 440, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. To review the draft permit, please visit: The County Council and County Executive's office continue to work on a set of amendments to the existing Forest Conservation Law to strengthen provisions of the law. A Nov. 24th Council Transportation and Environment Committee meeting has been rescheduled to accommodate the ongoing discussions between the Executive and Legislative branches of county government on this issue.

Committee Elections. The committee elected Megan Moriarty co-chair.

Adjourment. The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm

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