I’m finished with the antibiotics so it’s full blog speed ahead. The County Council, sitting as the District Council overseeing permits and land matters and such, met Monday morning at 10am to give MGM the go ahead to start digging by way of a formal approval of their application and site plan for a commercial casino with a video lottery facility, retail, restaurants and a 300-room hotel for a total of approximately 1,078,237 square feet of development. They POSTPONED the final vote on the project until July 21st. Why, might you ask? Because two of the nine council members were absent. Councilwomen Karen Toles and Andrea Harrison were not in attendance.
DC was riddled with violence over the July12th weekend as 7 people were shot and 3 people were killed. This is disturbing. Metropolitan Police say 36-year-old Jimmie Fleming of Washington, D.C. was in the car with three other men when he opened fire on all of them, allegedly yelling “Bang” each time he pulled the trigger. The driver crashed the vehicle. What kind of nut opens fire on the people he’s IN THE CAR with? Also inside the car was the 8-year-old niece of one of the shooting victims. Thankfully the shooter Jemmie Fleming was apprehended by the police and is in custody and hopefully in a straight jacket too. NBC Washington reported that last night, two more gunshot victims were found in the 1300 block of Missouri Avenue NW around 9 p.m. Both were hospitalized after being found conscious and breathing, police said.
There have been 3 pedestrian fatalities in College Park’s Route 1 and Knox Road intersection in the past year. A collaborative effort by Maryland State Highway Administration, University of Maryland and local officials is being put in place to make crossing this main street corridor safer.
- Speed limit along U.S. 1 between Guilford Road/Guilford Drive and Berwyn Road lowered from 30 to 25 mph by August 1
- Temporary median fence along U.S. 1 between Knox and Hartwick roads to deter mid-block pedestrian crossings by end of August
- By late October, an overhead pedestrian signal at the U.S. 1 and Hartwick Road intersection. Similar to the signals along U.S. 1 at Fraternity Row and Paint Branch Parkway, it will flash yellow to U.S. 1 vehicular traffic and flash red to Hartwick Road traffic except when a pedestrian pushes the walk button; the signal will turn to solid red in all directions to stop traffic and allow pedestrians to safely cross the intersection.
- Tuesday, July 15 the College Park City Council will vote on Mayor Fellows’ proposal to enforce the new lower speed limit by expanding the times speed cameras operate to coincide with heavy pedestrian periods on U.S. 1 in downtown College Park.
There is also a “Walk Smart College Park” campaign that focuses on University of Maryland students, encouraging them to not jaywalk or cross the street while distracted by their phones; the campaign involves College Park and university police being deployed to enforce the new speed limit and conduct sobriety checkpoints. In the past year, over 500 drunk drivers have been arrested along the downtown College Park, Route 1 corridor. With all the new businesses and restaurants opening and the fact that College Park is driving its own transit oriented development, now is a good time to address this issue. Later will be way too late.
We can’t assume that a Westminster County resident misspelled the word “illegals” but someone did and did it big. From the Baltimore Sun, “A vandal painted the words “No illeagles here,” on a Carroll County building that had been under consideration as a temporary shelter for undocumented immigrant children. “No undocumented Democrats,” continued the message painted on Westminster’s former Army Reserve Center. While the graffiti provoked online banter about sick birds of prey, the Maryland State Police took the incident seriously. The Carroll County Times reports that the state police are investigating the graffiti as a hate crime due to its ethnic implications.
The Obama administration had been considering the 3.8-acre site as a potential shelter to house some of the influx Central American children who have been illegally crossing the border in recent months. “This is definitely a racial, religious, ethnic incident,” McCrory said. Following pushback from county commissioners and Rep. Andy Harris, the administration decided late last week that the site was not suitable. So far the State Police have not identified any suspects or witnesses. The commander of the Westminster barracks told the paper he “wouldn’t be surprised if someone starts bragging about it.”