Thursday, March 8, 2007

Officials seek support of bill to lessen tax burden

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Representatives of several municipalities, led by Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene W. Grant, who is also president of the Maryland Black Mayors, were in Annapolis recently to support the Homeowners Tax Credit Bill that is before the state legislature.

The group appeared before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee advocating for the tax relief initiative.

Senate Bill 319, titled ‘‘Property Tax — Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit, introduced by Sen. Nathaniel Exum (D-Dist. 24) of Capitol Heights, seeks to change the computation of a property tax credit and would alter restrictions on eligibility for the credit based on the homeowner’s net worth. Supporters say the bill would ease the burden on older taxpayers who are on a fixed income but are faced with higher tax bills.

Others who lobbied for the bill included Seat Pleasant Treasurer Robert L. Ashton, Yvonne Summer, president of the Citizens Civic Association of Seat Pleasant, Mayor Darrell Miller of Capitol Heights and Denise Haskins, president of the Tri-Area Civic Association.

Grant’s office said several elected and civic leaders submitted written testimonies in support of the bill.

The bill is before a House subcommittee, according to an aide from Exum’s office.

Area residents to behonored at Bowie banquet

Several area residents will be honored at the Prince George’s County Boys and Girls Club’s annual awards banquet 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus in Bowie.

Sonny Long has sponsored the event for the past 21 years and offers the awards in honor of his son, Tommy, who was killed in a car crash at age 14.

The following people from central Prince George’s County will be honored:

Cheverly: Robert L. Dawkins III, Robert L. Dawkins Jr., Aiana M. Dawkins and William Ruddy.

District Heights: Kyle Thompson, Billi Faison-Makel, Jerome J. Banks and Stephanie Butler.

Glenarden: Kwincy Hall, Taylah Martin, Greg Gordon and Angela Dupar.

Glenridge⁄Woodlawn: Cory Covington, Monica Plummer and Donna Carrington.

New Carrollton: Malik Morton, Marcellus Baylor, Gianna Morton, Craig Henry Sr. and Yvette Jenkins.

Peppermill: Andrew Ward, Sade Washington, Keith Porter and Angelia D. Colter.

Applications for the awards are available at the door or by calling the club at 301-918-8100.

County launchesNew Leaders partnership

Superintendent of Schools John E. Deasy and New Leaders for New Schools National CEO Jon Schnur announced Tuesday a new way for Prince George’s County Public Schools to hire principals for low performing schools.

In the next three years, New Leaders will recruit, select, train and support up to 28 new principals to lead public schools and public charter schools.

Three principals in training will be hired for the 2007-2008 school year, 10 for the second year and an additional 15 in the third year, according to a schools press release.

A countywide recruiting campaign and nomination process recently began to select leaders that believe every child can learn at high levels, know good teaching, and have a track record and strong potential to lead and manage adults.

Individuals interested in applying for this full fellowship or in nominating a candidate can visit before March 20.

New Leaders principals’ goals include having at least 90 percent of students proficient in core subjects and 90 percent high school graduation rates.

At this point, just under 34 percent of county eighth-graders have scored proficient or above in math, and only 51-percent in reading, the press release said.

New Leaders for New Schools already has selected and trained 330 outstanding leaders in New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Memphis and the San Francisco area. Over the next eight years, New Leaders hopes to create a 2,000-person principal network across the United States to serve 1 million children.

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick and County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) also supported the effort for the state’s newest location for New Leaders for New Schools’ initiative, according to the release.

Writing contest offeredto fourth-graders

The Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors’ Association invite fourth-grade students to participate in a statewide essay contest called, ‘‘If I Were Mayor, I Would...”

The contest merges cognitive and grade-specific language skills and civics⁄social studies knowledge. Essays may not exceed 275 words and must be received April 1. Winners will be notified by the end of April.

When writing their essays, students are encouraged to think about the following questions: If you were mayor, what would you do to educate the youth in your community about municipal government? How would you get young people involved in the services you are providing to residents?

The first sentence should start with ‘‘If I were mayor, I would...”

One winning essay will be chosen from each of the Maryland Municipal League’s 11 regional districts. Each winner will receive a $250 savings bond and a plaque. Additionally, MML will select two winners at random (one from participating students and one from participating teachers) from each district to receive $25 Barnes and Noble gift cards.

The 11 winners, along with their parents and a teacher, will also be recognized at the statewide Municipal Government Celebration event in May.

For more information and official entry form, visit⁄documents⁄EssayContestbrochure.PDF.

Card party at rec center

A card party featuring hearts, whist, pinochle and spades for ages 21 and over will be held 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Seat Pleasant Activity Center, 5720 Addison Road. Cost is $5. Call 301-773-7785.

Exercise programs atGlenarden⁄Theresa Banks

Exercise programs for young and old will begin next week at Glenarden⁄Theresa Banks Complex, 8615 McLain Ave., Glenarden. The programs are sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Fitness Boot Camp for ages 18 and up will begin Monday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and continue for eight weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost is $360 for county residents.

Aerobics for Seniors for ages 60 and up will begin Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and continue for four weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost is $40 for county residents.

Call 301-772-3151.

Hyattsville resident istop student at Syracuse

Karnisha Funderburk of Hyattsville was named to the dean’s list at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies for the fall 2006 semester.

To qualify for the list, students must earn at least a 3.4 grade-point average during that semester.

Funderburk is a freshman studying information management and technology.