Greetings to all our wonderful Hillers!!! Fall is coming into bloom now. Thought as your new president I would provide an update on items which should be of interest.On September 22 we had our friendly picnic/association meeting at our Waterfront Park(Lot 39) and the following is your new board of officers for the term September 2018-August 2019We all thank you the members for your support.President George SatterthwaiteVice President Joni Harris JonesSecretary Steve TuckerTreasurer Debbie KutzlebPast President Board Member David LishinBoard Member 1 Rob SproutBoard Member 2 Daisy McLellandBoard Member 3 Ressie WilsonBoard Member 4 Neil AyersBoard Member 5 Collette DawudBoard Member 6 Terry St ClairThis was approved by the 37 association members attending on September 22 as was the budget for FY 2019(Sept 2018-August 2019). Our budgeted expenses for 2019 amounted to $3970. We have $5819 in the bank as of September 1 2018.DUESDUES are $40 per year per household. We sent out the dues notices in mid September and so far have had 39 paid members including 8 new members. That is GREAT. However so far we have 31 members who have so far paid in the past but have not paid this year. Those who have not considered becoming members we urge you to do so, especially those who have been members in the past. PLEASE let the board know of any points of dissatisfaction causing you not to renew so we can possibly correct your unhappiness. We as an organization normally have about 75 member households out of the 178 households in the community. The best membership we have ever had in the past 15 years has been just below 100 households. YOUR SUPPORT IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATEDSafety Issues–I attended the monthly meeting of the MD 210 Traffic Safety Community Meeting and the Police District Citizens Advisory Council Meeting and have the following key items to report:MD 210 Traffic Safety The Speed Camera is up at the first OLD FORT Crossing of 210 coming south from the beltway and will begin full operation on October 31 so be vigilant. There are warning signs as you approach. In the past year(2017) according to the AAA Prince George’s County had the worst number of traffic fatalities in the region with the eleven mile stretch of MD 210 from the Beltway to Acokeek is the worst in the state. Our state representatives were present and advised what a hard battle it was to get the one speed camera authorized. If the data from this camera proves the worth we will get more cameras but that takes time .The overpass project at Kirby Hill Road is in phase two of four phases and behind schedule. It will not be completed until Spring 2020. Reasons we are told by the State Highway rep is PEPCO is behind in their work which has to be completed first. Planning has not even begun for the next over pass which our delegate Jay Walker was very surprised to hear as due to the severity of fatalities on MD 210 the legislature was able to raise the next overpass project in the state project priority list from 18 to 3. Planning takes two years.Since January this year the combined State and County police have issued 8,812 citations via patrol /helicopter operations, some to motorcycles going over 120 miles per hour, along the eleven mile stretch . Joint operations with the state are going well. Must establish cultural mores regarding speeding and reckless driving through continuous message boards with slogans, and involvement of civic organizations, church groups and the creation of safety slogans specifically created for Indian Head Highway which pinpoint the types of continuous violations which repeatedly occur and often result in fatalities, not just CAUSED BY SPEED One of the INCREASING CATEGORIES is Inattentive drivers(not paying attention)At the Citizens Advisory Meeting there was gratitude from the District Police Station VII for the community support for the National Night Out conducted at District VII in August. Your association provided a monetary donation. Police Thanksgiving Day planning is in progress to provide Thanksgiving dinner to those on duty Thanksgiving Day . Your association will make a monetary donation to help support the project as our sigh of appreciation for the support the COPS officers give to us in our Piscataway Hills Community.Cleanup on Piscataway Road to Pine– Looking quite good.Keep it up. Debbie will be reminding those who have volunteered as their time comes up.SAVE THE DATE——December 6 at 7PM is the next association quarterly meeting at the church where we have meet previously. Be on the look out for flyers with agenda.Enjoy Halloween May it be safe and enjoyable. The same for your Thanksgiving Celebrations.We serve your association so please let us know your concerns. Any one of the persons mentioned above are available to hear your remarks.George SatterthwaitePresidentPiscataway Hills Citizens Association
We picked up a ton of trash! Thank you to all the volunteers for making the event a success.
PISCATAWAY HILLS CITIZENS ASSOCIATION
TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017
The meeting was called to order at 7pm by PHCA President Robert Reilly
Robert Reilly welcomed and introduced our new neighbor Steve Tucker who lives on Piscataway Drive to the meeting.
-Neighborhood Watch Update/ Crime Report: George Satterthwaite reports there has been no criminal activities in the area to report on. We do have a new COP Officer Corporal Stephen Rannacher.
“Let me introduce myself, my name is Corporal S. Rannacher #3124 and I’m a new Cops officer here at Dist. 7. I will be covering William 1, 2, and 3 beats so if you are receiving this email you are more than likely in one of my beats. If anyone want me to attend meetings please email me the dates and times you would like me to attend.”
We currently have 14 Block Captains who George will soon be meeting with and coordinating events with.
We as a community are encouraged to participate with Nextdoor.
Launched in 2011, Nextdoor allows neighborhood residents to connect with one another online, sharing classified ads, notices about nearby events, and observations and warnings about crime trends. The platform has the potential to bring out the best and worst in communities—it brings neighbors closer together, but can amplify their worst fears—and its focus on neighborhoods makes it a particularly valuable tool for law-enforcement agencies that want to understand the concerns of particular areas in a city.
-Surveillance Camera Changes:
Security cameras are a great way to provide security for our home or workplace. As well as providing you with video footage of any events which may happen, they also act as a visible deterrent to crime. Our camera needs adjustment, it needs ambient light and it needs someone to maintain the upgrades.
-FY 2017 1st Quarterly Budget Report – Discussion tabled until next meeting. Deb Kutzleb not present.
-2017 Neighborhood Telephone Directory is finished
The directory is 22 pages and we’ll need 170 copies to cover the neighborhood. We can always print more with the most current address information if needed. The printing cost will be $225. We’ll need 8 reams of paper for about $75 dollars for good quality clear white paper.
Volunteers are needed to collate and staple the hard copy directory. When we go to press we will need someone to come to Deb’s office in Largo to help collate and staple the booklets.
-Volunteering in the Neighborhood. Volunteers are needed for mowing grass at Lot 39, we have a tractor. We need help picking up road side trash along Piscataway Drive, fortifying the shed that secures the tractor mower, and volunteers are needed to stain and tighten the bolts in the children swing set on Lot 39.
Volunteers are also needed for the Potomac Watershed clean up on April 8th.
Please set aside some time on Saturday, April 8th from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and join your neighbors as volunteers for the most worthy event. As in years past we’ll be collecting trash on Lot 39
Along Piscataway Creek shoreline towards Fort Washington Marina
On Piscataway Creek island
Gloves, trash bags, and water transportation will be provided, as well as morning coffee & donuts and an afternoon hotdog BBQ lunch.
If walking along Piscataway Creek shoreline picking up trash is not “your thing”, we also need volunteers to:
- Help sign in other volunteers
- Record trash items collected
- Transport trash collected to Fort Washington Marina
- BBQ chef for afternoon lunch
- Take pictures of our trash bounty and heroic effort
- Keys to the lock at Lot 39 will be distributed at the Potomac Watershed Clean up.
Christmas in April Fundraiser
In its 28th year of rehabilitating low-income homes, revitalizing neighborhoods and giving the gift of hope and dignity to homeowners, the Prince George’s County’s Christmas in April program has grown from 600 volunteers repairing 30 homes in 1989 to now 3,200 volunteers helping to repair 81 homes, thanks to the leadership of program founder Vincent “Cap” Mona, as well as the cooperative efforts of sponsors including county government, individual donors, businesses, civic and community organizations, restaurants and churches.
From Accokeek to Laurel, Christmas in April facilitates the renovation of homes at no financial cost to the recipients — who are either low-income, physically challenged or disabled senior citizens — so they may live in warmth, safety and independence. The program, which is part of national organization with 249 affiliates throughout the U.S., grew out of the urgent need for betting housing conditions and neighbor-helping neighbor partnerships, according to the Christmas in April website.
Put It on Your Calendar
Fundraiser at Mama Stella’s February 8, 2017
Mamma Stella’s Ristorante Italian, at 7918 Old Branch Ave in Clinton, will donate 20% of all sales February 8th to Christmas in April. Lunch 11am-4pm, Dinner 4pm-9pm. Carryout is available
Dinner & Dance on February 18, 2017
Columbia Moose Lodge at 10404 Brandywine Road in Clinton. Tickets are $15.00 per person. Price includes food, live band, silent auction and 50/50 raffle.
Community Entrance Sign
The Beautification Committee rep of Piscataway Hills called to get a quote on a new neighborhood entrance sign to mount to our existing posts.
We’d like it to be this size: [55″ Inches Long X 11″ Inches Wide X 1 3/4 Deep] to read:
We’d like it to be single sided with REFLECTIVE LETTERING (if available would be very helpful for our non-light park style community)
We’d also like a quote for each Optional NOTICE Attachments Signs that occasionally we hang below the main sign 3′ Feet Long X 5″ 1/2″ Wide by 1 3/4 Inches Deep. (We use these to notify owners of BBQ, Picnic, Community Yard Sale Sat 8-3, BOD Meeting 7pm, PHCA meeting 7pm)
Please mail us a brochure with pricing and shipping rates for the BOD & Homeowners to View and VOTE on.
Thanking you in advance.
Robert Reilly President
This letter was sent to Art Sign Works, Inc. to get quotes on replacing the current Piscataway Hills entrance sign. Six different styled entrance photographs were displayed adjacent to the sign-in sheet for the meeting. Members were encouraged to check off the best two photographs prior to the meeting. The results will be discussed at a later meeting.
Meeting Schedule for the remainder of 2017
April 18th July 18th September 19th
The meeting adjourned at 8:00pm after the 50/50 raffle winner was announced.
Please join the honorable Rushern L Baker, III for Piscataway Hills Day at Lot 39 -Waterfront Park. This event will happen on May 2nd at 1PM.
Guest Speaker: Congressmen Steny Hoyer
The event will include the Proclamation of Piscataway Hills Day, a Piscataway Drive re-opening ceremony, and the recondition of a reconnected, restored and unified community.
RSVP to Paulette Jones at (301) 883-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the Preliminary Piscataway Drive Slope Failure report that was released by Prince Georges County. There is a scheduled meeting today will address questions about the report> Representatives from KCI and the County Department of Public Works and Transportation will be in attendance.
Additionally, the Department of Social Services is distributing $500 Walmart gift cards to the impacted families of the slope failure. These cards were donated by the Walmart Foundation.
With former President Gwynn Roberson, Secretary Debbie Kutzleb, and Board Member Troy Lee not running for re-election, the Piscataway Hills Citizens Association will have significant leadership changes following the annual membership meeting on September 24.
Candidates for the vacant officer positions could not be found, so under the bylaws, Vice President Dave Lishin will serve as Acting President. The position of Secretary remains vacant, but Joni Jones volunteered to be on the board and was elected unanimously. Members also approved a motion thanking Gwynn Roberson for her service as President; she will remain on the board as Immediate Past President.
Other issues discussed at the annual meeting included the neighborhood watch program, the PHCA budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, and excessively noisy parties.
Board Members George Satterthwaite and Joni Jones provided a status report on PHCA’s efforts to establish an officially recognized neighborhood watch program. The program is designed to enhance the reporting of suspicious activities in the neighborhood to the police. Piscataway Hills is to be divided into 10 zones, each with a block captain. Volunteers and other members of the community are to report suspicious activities to the block captains, who will then contact the appropriate offices within the Prince George’s County Police Department. The program will probably not include scheduled citizen patrols, George said.
The first step in establishing a neighborhood watch is to obtain signed petitions from at least 75% of the households in the community. Piscataway Hills has 172 homes, with 15 of them vacant, meaning that 117 signatures are needed. George reported that he and the other organizers, after canvassing the community and approaching residents at Oktoberfest on October 5, had collected 109 signatures and need only eight more to submit the neighborhood watch application. More block captains are also still needed, he said. Once the signatures are gathered and the block captains are trained, then PHCA would receive two free “neighborhood watch” signs and could buy additional signs. It was proposed at the meeting that PHCA purchase enough signs so that each of the 10 zones could have one.
Treasurer Don Benedict reported that PHCA ran a surplus of about $600 during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, ending with a balance of $4,368 and 60 dues-paying members. The surplus was achieved despite the one-time expenditure of $1,079 for the new playground at Lot 39 Waterfront Park. Members at the annual meeting ap- proved the proposed budget for 2013-2014, which for the first time includes a $750 premium for liability insurance, a subject that had been debated extensively at earlier quarterly meetings.
The annual meeting concluded with a discussion of excessively noisy parties in Piscataway Hills. It was pointed out that Prince George’s County prohibits noise that is audible more than 50 feet from its source from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., with fines of up to $250 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense and up to 30 days in jail.
The noise ordinance can be found at:
By Debbie Kutzleb
Why are so many people afraid of snakes? Is it because a snake (the devil) tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, or have we been trained to fear snakes by Hollywood and childhood stories? Most of us have heard stories of dramatic snake encounters where someone was surprised by a snake; almost stepping on a snake; finding a snake in the garage; seeing a snake while canoe- ing or fishing . . . While such stories can be entertaining, they also reinforce our fear of snakes. The truth is that there are very few species of poisonous snakes in the U.S. and most people have no personal adverse experience from a snake encounter—other than fear. Snakes have been revered and worshiped in mythology around the globe in India, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North American Indian societies. Pharaohs of Egypt wore snakes on the headdress with the belief that they were protective. Greeks thought snakes had healing powers, and American Hopi Indian mythology describes a “yellow-snake-with-rattles” suddenly becoming the loveliest and fairest of maidens.
While ancient mythology is hardly a reason to abandon a fear of snakes,
the truth about snakes may help “set you free” of fear. Within the United States, approximately 7,000–8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year, and about five of those people die. In Maryland there are 27 species of snakes, only two of which are poisonous: the Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake, and there are no Rattle- snakes anywhere near Piscataway Hills. Contrary to popular opinion, there are no Water Moccasin / Cotton Mouth snakes in Maryland. Copperheads account for more cases of venomous snake bite than any other North American species; however, their venom is the least toxic, so their bite is seldom fatal. According to Maryland Poison Control Center, only two to six people are bitten in Maryland by poisonous snakes each year, and when bitten even when untreated, death is very, very rare. Compare snake bite fatalities with other risks facing Marylanders. Each year in Maryland, 500 people die in traffic accidents; 70 drown, and 50 die from fire injury. If the fear of snakes was rational, who among us would have the courage to leave the house? In the famous words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
In the seven years I’ve lived in Piscataway Hills, I’ve seen dozens of snakes while working in the garden, paddling the creek, or tromping in the woods. Most of them have been Eastern Rat Snakes or Northern Water Snakes, but I’ve been lucky to also see a Northern Rough Green Snake, Common Ribbon Snakes, Eastern Garter Snakes, and Northern Brown Snakes, and have been especially pleased to have seen an Eastern King Snake. Although other neighbors have reported seeing Copperheads, I have never witnessed a Copperhead in Piscataway Hills. Why am I so sure? I’m usually looking for any creature great or small, and Copperheads are easy to identify. Compared to most other Maryland snakes, Copperheads are stocky, heavy bodied snakes. They have a distinctive brown hour glass pattern, and like all poisonous viper snakes, their head is significantly broader than their neck. Copperheads often have a copper colored head and can be brown, yellow brown, pale tan, or grey.
Enough already about a snake seldom seen. Regardless of the species
of snake, all snakes are beneficial and rarely a pest in Maryland. Without snakes, it’s likely the woods would be overrun by rodents: moles, voles, mice, and rats. A single rodent-eating snake (Eastern Rat Snake) can wipe out a rat family in a matter of weeks. Rodents (particularly mice) are the source of spirochetal bacteria that is the cause of Lyme disease. That’s right, deer are not the source of Lyme disease; they are merely the last host in the life cycle of Lyme disease- infected ticks and play no role in infecting ticks with Lyme disease bacteria.
Besides helping control Lyme disease (too bad snakes don’t eat deer), snakes are great garden creatures. They don’t dig holes, although they can often be found in holes dug by other animals. Several small snakes can control the grasshopper population in a small garden, and the best cure for a chipmunk infestation is a snake. Unless harassed, snakes don’t make noise, and usually the only evidence of snakes in your garden is an occasional snake skin.
Snakes do not carry or transmit rabies, fleas, mange, or skin fungus,
and generally do not transmit diseases, although there are rare cases of salmonella infections from handling snakes. So next time you see a snake, don’t pick it up. Instead, give it a wide berth as they are mostly afraid of humans, and give thanks for all the good it does for our ecosystem.
Kris Ran Court resident Pat Myers was about to close her garage door at about 8:30 p.m. on June 26 when she saw an animal run in. She looked closer and saw the glowing eyes of a raccoon.
Not alarmed by seeing a raccoon in the evening, she pulled out her camera and took its picture. But then it started walking toward her and Pat ran toward her car in the driveway.
“The raccoon then ran after me—very fast—and before I could get the car door open, it jumped on me, scratching and biting me on both hands and legs,” Pat wrote later in a Facebook post. “I screamed and was able to throw it off, but it jumped right back on me, biting me more. Finally, I was able to get in the car and roll up the window and back out.”
Neighbors Virginia and Earl Parsons heard Pat’s screams and ran over to help. They warned other neighbors and called 911, while Pat drove to pick up her daughter, Valerie, from a music lesson and then to Fort Washington Hospital.
The hospital staff said that a scrawny, aggressive raccoon was probably rabid. Pat had numerous bites and scratches on both her arms and legs and on her back, but she didn’t need stitches. She received a tetanus shot, a rabies immune globulin shot in her arm, and two rabies shots in addition to the ones on the wounds. She had to go back for a shot in the arm at three, seven, and 14 days later. The treatments were successful and Pat has fully recovered.
A County animal control officer responded the same evening to the neighbors’ 911 call. She took a report and searched for the raccoon without success. Animal Control set a trap the next evening, and something ate the bait overnight and escaped. Mike Reamy on Piscataway Court spotted a raccoon shortly afterward, but animal control officers doubted that it was the same one, because it had not acted aggressively.
The incident caused considerable concern for several days on Kris Ran Court and Pine Road, especially since the rabid raccoon was never caught. However, animal control officers assured residents that a raccoon in apparently such a late stage of rabies would die within a few days.
Kris Ran Court resident Stephanie Yankey enjoys our community’s access to Piscataway Creek and the Potomac River, but she doesn’t like to go out in her kayak alone. So she is seeking other Piscataway Hills residents with kayaks or canoes to join her in weekend or evening boating outings.
“I just don’t like to go by myself,” Stephanie said recently, explaining that boating in groups of two or more is better for both safety and companionship. It’s more fun, she said, to have someone “to go with and talk with.”
Stephanie keeps a kayak at the canoe rack at Lot 39 Waterfront Park and hopes that regular boating trips will encourage more people to make use of the amenity. She believes the $20 annual storage fee for PHCA members is well worth the cost.
Anyone who is interested in getting together for boating excursions can contact Stephanie. Those without a kayak may be able to borrow one.
A small friendly black male dog with a little brown on mussel and legs, curled tail, and peaked ears followed Gwynn Roberson home and he is in her house. He has a blue cloth collar but no tags or identification. If this is your dog or you know who he belongs to, call Gwynn.