Monthly Archives: December 2007

Schools, Purple Line Mtg. 12/17

and Other Important Odds & Ends

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The Purple Line Open House will discuss the entire route and should be interesting. Especially since it seems a new southern route for the Purple Line through campus has surfaced. Map here. However, if this proposal is presented Monday, MTA, UMD and our elected officials need to allow further public input prior to moving forward. A week before Christmas is hardly an ideal meeting date and too much is riding on getting this right.

Prince George’s County Public Schools have released information about the changes necessary to accommodate a county-wide move to PreK-8th grade schools. PGCPS has settled on Version 22 of the plan. The Board of Education could take this up Thursday, January 24. The plan would be implemented in three phases. Check for your school here: choose from the drop-down menu. Several iterations may be offered, and some maybe erroneous, look at Changes and Proposed. We’ll wait to see if and when the Board provides an opportunity for community input. But you could nudge by writing the Board.

The Maryland Transportation Plan needs your input. Secretary John Porcari says: “I am very excited that the Maryland Department of Transportation will be revisiting the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) over the next year to update the State’s vision for transportation.” Don’t not let him down, fill out their survey.

The Route 1 Development Forum presentation by Park & Planning has been posted. It is a large file and will take a few minutes to load, but if you missed this meeting, is very much worth viewing. Yup, we really believe you’ll be examining that rather than your gift list. It is valuable though, maybe you can take a look during the post-holiday doldrums.

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Filed under Developers, Environment, Growth, Public Input, Public Transit, Route 1 Corridor, Schools

Give a Gift To Our Economy: Shop Locally Owned This Holiday Season

by Stacy Mitchell

Our successful event with Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with the New Rules Project, a couple weeks ago did not yield viable audio, but we can offer the slide show (you will need to hit pause between slides) and the article below which makes many of the points discussed. And to help you shop locally, check out Buy Indie.

Whether to patronize a chain or a locally owned business is not top of mind for many holiday shoppers, but it should be. It’s a choice that has profound implications for our economy.

If you shop at an independent toy store, such as Be Beep in Annapolis, Maryland, you will likely see products made by Beka, a small toy manufacturer in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A family-owned business, Beka has opted not to sell to chains like Target and Wal-Mart. Doing so, explains co-owner Jamie Kreisman, would require moving production to low-wage factories overseas, which would eliminate what he and his brothers most love about the business: their relationships with their employees and working hands-on with their products.

Beka is healthy, but its future depends entirely on the survival of independent toy stores. Over the last decade, Wal-Mart and Target have aggressively overtaken this sector and now capture 45 percent of U.S. toy sales. Continue reading

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Filed under Community, Growth, Local Economy, Retail, Route 1 Corridor

Heads Up on Schools

j0401120-small.jpgA couple time-sensitive items about schools for readers to follow:
On Monday, December 3, tune to WAMU radio (88.5 FM). Dr. John Deasy joins Kojo Nnamdi in the studio live from noon to 1:00 pm. Likely topics include a preview of the planned PreK-8 restructuring of county elementary and middle schools. We may hear his strategy for addressing the looming state budget shortfall for school year 2008-09. Listen here.

On Monday evening, the PGCPS Board of Education will formally accept for “first reading” one of three plans for this PreK-8 restructuring initiative. This meeting is not open to public comment but, rather, an administrative hand off between Superintendent Deasy and school board members. (See item 15 on 12/3 agenda.) The ensuing boundary changes accompanying any of the selected plans will concern many Route 1 communities. The plan will identify possible schools for expansion of the popular language immersion, Montessori and arts education programs. View the plan after the meeting at the PGCPS board agenda website.

Stay on top of school issues in the northern region by joining this listserve. We understand that once the Board accepts a plan for the first reading, public review and comment will begin. And we expect this to be lively. Look for a schedule of meetings, perhaps as early as December, in neighborhoods to review and discuss the boundary changes that will accompany adoption of the PreK-8 initiative.–MbS & CH

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Filed under Growth, Infrastructure, Schools