Archive for February 2012
The Greenbelt Community Foundation’s mission is to “maintain, improve and enrich the quality of life in Greenbelt.” Since its founding in 2006, the non-profit foundation has since received about $190,000 in contribution from individuals and businesses and distributed about $80,000 to community organizations. Grants are given out twice a year. On Sunday, February 26, the foundation held its annual tea at Greenbelt Marriott, and two more Greenbelt organizations received grants.
Pat Warren (left) and Leslie McLaughlin (administrator for the foundation) work at the registration table.
The Astronomical Society of Greenbelt (ASG) is an organization of people interested in astronomy in and around Greenbelt. The group started in 1992 and holds regular meetings on the last Thursday of the month at Owens Science Center and star parties on selected Saturday nights at Northway Field and Observatory. To celebrate Greenbelt’s 75th anniversary, the ASG’s February meeting is devoted astronomy in 1937, the year of Greenbelt’s founding.
The meeting is held at the Howard B. Owens Science Center which is a facility operated by Prince George’s County Public Schools. The planetarium dome is the largest in Maryland and in the center is a Minolta Viewlex Series IV star projector.
The George Washington Birthday Marathon and Relay is held every year on the Sunday morning of the Presidents’ Day weekend. It is organized by DC Road Runners Club and is one of the longest continuously held marathons in the United States. (Last year, the race celebrated its 50th anniversary.) The runners start and finish in Old Greenbelt, at Crescent Road and Northway and run along Beaver Dam Road, Springfield Road, and Powder Mill Road in a loop three times.
Greenbelt Youth Center serves as the headquarters for the marathon. Here Jay Wind (right) of Arlington, Virginia receives his bib and T-shirt from the organizers. Wind, 62, tells me that he has run the GW Marathon every year since 1979 and this is his 141st marathon. (He will finish today with a gun time of 4:06:55.)
On Sunday while I am taking photos at the George Washington Birthday Marathon and Relay, I run into Don Comis who is on a walk to count birds for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. He tells me about the birds he has seen and a few other related things.
Three Brave Men is a 1957 movie about a McCarthy era witch hunt which takes place in a cooperative community just outside of Washington, D.C. The movie is based on the story of Greenbelt’s own Abraham Chasanow who was suspended as a security risk from his job at the Navy and had to hire a lawyer to fight the charges. The Greenbelt community rallied to his support, and eventually he was able to get his job back. This was a significant chapter in Greenbelt’s history, and this movie showing is an official event of the Greenbelt 75th Anniversary Committee.
About fifty people are in attendance at today’s movie showing at Room 201 of the Community Center.
The Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket and Pharmacy is housed in Roosevelt Center and is one of seven cooperatives active in the city today. (The other six are Greenbelt Homes, Inc., Greenbelt Federal Credit Union, Greenbelt News Review, Greenbelt Nursery School, New Deal Café, and Rapidan Camps, a vacation retreat in the Blue Ridge mountains.) The store has an active wine and food tasting program, and on Wednesday, February 8, a red wine and chocolate tasting is held just ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Ellen Siegel (left), the Co-op’s produce department manager, and Kim Rush Lynch, the outreach and education specialist are behind today’s wine and chocolate tasting table.
Ed Bisese is a College Park based artist and has exhibited his work in many solo and group shows both regionally and nationally. His new exhibition “SupaMonsta” is currently on view at the Greenbelt Community Center Art Gallery, and on February 5, I speak with him at a reception for the artist.
Mary Gawlik and Loraine DiPietro are Greenbelt Resident Artists, and this year they are making commemorative tiles for Greenbelt’s 75th anniversary. On February 5, during the monthly Artful Afternoon open studio, I visit their studio on the third floor of the Community Center and ask them about the tiles.
Mary Gawlik (left) specializes in ceramic art tiles and tile panels, and Loraine DiPietro is a clay artist. They share a studio with two other artists at Room 302 of the Community Center.
Greenbelt Homes, Inc. is the housing cooperative that owns the 1600 historic homes in Greenbelt. The members of the co-op elect a nine-member Board of Directors to set policies and make decisions, and one of the responsibilities of the board is to appoint a general manager to carry out day-to-day operations. In December 2011, long-term general manager Gretchen Overdurff retired, and the board hired Eldon Ralph, then Assistant General Manager, as the new General Manager of GHI. On February 4, a town hall meeting is held at Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department to introduce the membership to the new general manager and to discuss the visions and tasks facing the cooperative.
The title of the meeting is “GHI in 2012 and Beyond”: “GHI’s President Tokey Boswell will introduce the new General Manager, Eldon Ralph. They will discuss the leadership’s vision for the cooperative, the Board’s strategic plan and the major challenges ahead. Members will be encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback to the Board members and senior staff who will be in attendance. If you want to make a difference and have your voice heard, be sure to attend this meeting.”
Tokey Boswell, President of the Board of Directors, opens the meeting and introduces General Manager Eldon Ralph.
The Greenbelt News Review is a community weekly newspaper and one of seven cooperatives active in Greenbelt today. It published its first issue (then called the Cooperator) on November 24, 1937, only a few weeks after the first residents moved into the brand new town and has not missed an issue since. The paper is run by a group of volunteers, and every Tuesday night, the editor and staff meet at the paper’s office in the Community Center to put together this week’s paper, which will be published on Thursday.