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Welcome to Summer!

A drought in May !?!
An onslaught of cicadas  ?!?
Panting dogs !!?
Dripping popsicles !!!
And still school keeps going on, and on, and on ??!

    Here is a whole bunch of news on a slew of topics. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: this was written during drought time, before the nor’easter arrived
4th of July
Every year a volunteer steps forward to pull it together and every year we have a good old 4th of July celebration.

This year Moira Cyphers is leading the charge up Celebration Hill. Leading this mission means enlisting the energies of lots of other volunteers. There is lots of volunteering to do – obtain grills, transport them, purchase burgers and dogs and lots of stuff for bike decoration, prepare salads and breads and entrees and desserts, set up the tables, set up the games, do a drone obstacle course (?), perhaps a game of softball or Kids v. Parents soccer, and so on. What makes the Fourth fun is that everybody pitches in. 

Are you interested in helping with the 4th of July celebration? Please watch for Moira’s messages on Facebook, or,  You can communicate with her via ghca21401@gmail.com and we will forward them.

 
Hotel and Taylor Avenue Crossing
The hotel at Taylor Ave and Lowes Access Road is moving forward. The applicants have applied for an electrical permit to begin installing the BGE underground duct bank. This will be at BGE’s very defined schedule. Planning & Zoning have been refining the design and in the words of one staffer, “It's looking quite good--for a hotel.”

P&Z with DPW continue to work with the applicant's engineering consultant on the Taylor Avenue circle improvements, and they are receiving cooperation from the Graduate Hotel, formerly Lowes, for the land required within the Lowes access road to enable the better option for the crossing. 
Of course the applicant would like to proceed at an accelerated pace, but all is moving forward. When the official, updated plans arrive, they will be shared for inclusion in Neighborhood News.

 
Street Paving & BGE Pole Project
DPW reports “final patch and surface N. Linden and Maple week of May 24 and—in two weeks thereafter—remainder of Maple and N. Cherry Grove. 

Reminder:  “Street repaving” means remortaring and raising all the openings to the underground utilities,  curbing, sidewalking and intersection ramps. It is that work which takes the most time. Germantown is getting millions of dollars of necessary but unsexy utility upgrades, this kind of stuff happens only once every thirty years.

On the other hand, the installation of new power poles is going lickety-split. As of now, all the poles are in with about three weeks of wiring ahead. The contractor has promised to reseed the Park damage, and they are doing fairly well. But spreading grass seed and straw in the midst of a drought is not going to yield a bounty crop of grass. We will do a final walk-through and will announce that on Facebook if you wish to join.

 
Poplar Park Path Repaving and Widening
We have been told by DPW that a simple repaving (that is, no milling) to the existing width is in the street paving budget and will be done at the end of the street paving project. Further redesign is in the future.

One point: if it is widened, the consensus seems to be “Not by much” and do not mix bicyclists and walkers on the same path. To that end, I suggested to the Mayor – who really wants an integrated network of safe bicycle routes across the City—that cyclists be routed onto Poplar Ave. between the bamboo grove and Germantown Elementary. All the cyclists I have spoken with seem to be okay with that.

The Board and Steering Committee voted to appoint a three-person committee to study a sustainable future for the Park and to monitor developments. 

 
Traffic Calming on Poplar Avenue
Several people have asked. Here is the initial reply from DPW: 

Speed bumps are not installed on City roads. Can you provide more specific locations of concern. Is this just at the approach to the intersection or both roads in full? DPW would start looking at the complaint with a traffic count and deploy traffic equipment. At this time, our equipment is being replaced so we are not conducting studies. When they resume here is the process:

Traffic counts are conducted to document vehicular traffic volumes and speeds in order to determine whether a traffic or safety issue exists on a particular street or within a neighborhood.  The key statistic that we evaluate for consideration of traffic calming is the 85th percentile speed, that is, the speed at which 85% of the vehicles are traveling or slower.  The 85% speed is the industry-wide threshold for evaluating potential speeding problems.  Traffic calming is not considered until the 85% speed is at least 7 mph over the posted speed limit (PSL). These studies are valid for a three-year duration.


In my recollection this was done several years ago. In any case, a bike lane along Poplar might serve to slow things down some. Cheap and might be effective.

 
Mosquito Spraying Exemption
A neighbor shared that the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) plans to monitor for mosquito activity in our area and, if high levels are detected, conduct Ultra Low Volume (ULV) mosquito control spraying/fogging on Monday evenings.

As this is being written, the Association has not been contacted by MDA. Nevertheless, you have the right to apply for an exemption from MDA spraying. The default is to spray, unless you specifically opt out. The info sheet and form were shared on Facebook and will be posted again. You can also request one from ghca21401@gmail.com or visit the link: https://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Documents/MosquitoControlExemptionForm.pdf.

If enough people request exemption, the neighborhood will not be sprayed.  The drought alone is reducing the population. The best remedy is to make sure there are no little bits of standing water around. Because mosquitos can travel a half mile or so, spraying your yard does not make an impenetrable wall against the travelers. 
Library Crossing
The new library crossing is wonderful, but a few kinks remain. The timing of the lights seems to be off, and we have informed the State Highway Administration (SHA) about this. (West St is a state road) Also, SHA is looking into a possible sidewalk easement issue, which could result in additional work. Hopefully all will be resolved soon. Steering Committee member Conor Miller is our point man on this issue. Do you have any comments or feedback on the crossing? Please let us know!  Ghca21401@gmail.com.
Two Openings on the Steering Committee
We are looking for two volunteers, one from the Orange Zone (Glen, Linden, Poplar, etc north of Maple) and one from the Green zone (S. Cherry Grove, McKendree, Corey Ln, etc) to serve on the Steering Committee.  Serving is not heavy lifting. The Board and Steering Committee meet monthly. It is a chance to put your skills to work. The Association is moving into a new era with new people moving in. We hope you choose to be a part of it. Interested? Please let us know at ghca21401@gmail.com
 Russell St. from West to Ceremony Coffee
You may have noticed that this stretch feels quite unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. The City Planning and Zoning and DPW have begun to take a look at how to make it safe. Funds to determine the scope of such a project are in this year’s Capital Budget. Again, this is part of the Mayor’s drive to make Annapolis more walkable, bikeable, and likable. Work is likely to begin in FY 2023.

Curious about other capital budget expenditures? Check out the proposed budget at: https://www.annapolis.gov/1032/Budgets-Proposed-and-Adopted
Oral History Project
Update on the Germantown Homewood Oral History Project of 2021

With the pandemic easing up and allowing for more social interaction, the committee was able to meet in person on Kathleen’s front porch and discuss how to get our project off the ground!  Probably the way our neighbors used to do, back in the day. 😊

After lots of robust discussions about what we wanted to get out of the project, where to store it, and how we can continue to add to it, a plan emerged.  We are not only curious about our neighbors and how the neighborhood has grown and changed, but how to weave current and historical events into the stories as a backdrop and how they have impacted Germantown Homewood.


Look for more information to come over the summer - on the Facebook page and in the newsletter. As we nail down more details, we will be looking to expand our committee! 

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, or know of anyone who would like to share their Germantown Homewood experience with the community, please let us know! You can send information to the GHCA email or post on our Facebook page:  ghca21401@gmail.com

Committee Members:
Kathleen Doyle
Michael Blade
Nan Henry
Elizabeth Hughes
Maggie Peterson
  
Community Events Calendar
Food Truck Night - June 18th at 5 pm
Neighbors Heather Nanni Debuse and Lynn Talbot Voss arranged for at least three food trucks to park at Studio 39 circle on Friday, June 18th at 5 pm. 
“Celebrate the end of school (or anything you want!) by joining your neighbors for dinner. Or grab and go! Either way, yummy food and dessert awaits.”
For more details, visit their event page “Food trucks!” on Facebook. 

Maryland Hall Front Steps Concerts
Paul Reed Smith Band - June 23rd at 7 pm
The Paul Reed Smith Band takes to the Front Stairs Series stage for a live show of the Band's own combination of funk, rock, R&B, fusion and DC/Baltimore groove. For more details, visit https://www.marylandhall.org/events/

Annapolis Arts Week
Celebrating the Arts, June 6 – 12th 
Visit https://www.annapolisartsweek.com/ for more information.
Home Sales & Welcome Wagon
Since January of this year we have had 13 units sold compared to 5 in the height of the pandemic last year.  Our average days on the market are 20, down from 64 the same time last year.  The median sold price is $575,000 up from $515,000 and an 11% increase which is following with the National average.  We are working hard to get welcome packages out as we get back to normal but please do not hesitate to contact me if you know of a new resident, so we don't overlook them. 

Michele Deckman GHCA Secretary michele.deckman@cbmove.com
Random Notes
Finally, Association Dues
Thank you to everyone who has contributed this year!  GHCA is an all-volunteer community association, and we use your dues to maintain the website and PO Box, send newsletters, purchase plants for the path, fund social events like the 4th of July celebration and occasionally contribute to other community related needs. We are exploring using funds for upgrades to G-H signage and path lighting.

Interested in contributing for 2021? Suggested dues are $20, or whatever you would like to give. 
Venmo: @germantownhomewood
PayPal: https://paypal.me/GHCA
Check: GHCA
PO BOX 6781
Annapolis, MD 21401



Yours,
Bob Waldman, Chairman


Tim Doyle, Vice Chair
Erin McCopp, Treasurer
Michele Deckman, Secretary

Steering Committee:
Antonia Barry – Green 
Conor Miller -- Blue
Susan Rensted -- Orange
Karl Schrass -- Purple
Leon Shapiro -- Blue
Kathleen Doyle -- Orange
Anne Woods, Treasurer Emeritus

 
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