Archive for March 2012
GHI owns 250 acres of land and about one-third of that (86 acres) is woodland. The Woodlands Committee “leads efforts to protect and manage the GHI woodlands, fosters their ecological health, encourages GHI members to enjoy nature recreation that has minimal environmental impact, and supports plant and animal biodiversity.” On Saturday, March 24, I attended the committee’s annual Spring Thaw Social at the GHI Administration Building.
This display shows some of the Woodlands Committee’s activities: “trail improvement, woodland walks, invasive plant management, educational workshops, common area improvements, advising GHI Board, volunteering to protect our woodlands.”
The New Deal Café’s Kids’ Open Mic takes place on the third Sunday afternoon of the month. Children age 17 and under are encouraged to perform. These photos are from March 18.
March’s Reel and Meal program at the New Deal Café featured the film “Bag It” which is about the impact of disposable plastic bags and other plastic products in our lives. Two Prince George’s County Councilwomen, Ingrid Turner and Mary Lehman, attended the showing and discussed with the audience a pending legislation in the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis which will enable the county to enact a five-cent bag fee.
The city’s Public Works Department has set up a display by the café entrance. Those on the green tablecloth can be recycled with the city, and those on the red tablecloth cannot.
Each year in March, the Greenbelt Recreation Department presents a youth musical. Participants come from area middle and high schools, and they practice in the evenings and on weekends. In 2012 the musical is “Homeward Bound” based on Homer’s epic “The Odyssey.” The book, music, lyrics and stage direction are written by Christopher Cherry. I attended the performance on March 10 at the Community Center.
The play opens with Lord Antinous and Lord Amphinomus (two suitors of Penelope, in red) leading the Ithacans in singing, “We’re Ready For A Marvelous Party.”
Girl Scouting was founded by Juliette Gordon Low on March 12, 1912, and this year scouts all of the country are celebrating their 100th birthday. On March 14, two Greenbelt troops, Troop 5859 that usually meets at Greenbelt Community Church and Troop 4128 that usually meets at Springhill Lake Community Center, gathered at Greenbelt Community Church for a 100th-birthday celebration.
12 scouts are in attendance, 6 from Troop 5859 and 6 from 4128. Here they are starting their bingo game. Standing on the right is Karen Yoho, leader for Troop 5859, and on the left, Michelle Spezzacatena is her assistant.
Spring is here and daffodils are blooming everywhere. I have wanted to photograph them for a few days but it has been windy. On Saturday morning, the wind finally died down and I set out with my camera in Old Greenbelt.
Southway entrance, near the BP gas station
Daffodil is the common English name of the genus Narcissus. In Greek mythology, a youth named Narcissus was so enamored with his own reflection in a pool of water that he fell into the water trying to embrace it and drowned.
The Greenbelt Computer Club meets on the second Thursday of the month in the Greenbelt Community Center, and its announcements are in the Greenbelt News Review. On March 8, I attended its meeting and spoke to Mary Camp about the history of the club.
Purim is a Jewish holiday that falls between late February and late March. It commemorates the triumph of the Jewish people over evil Haman in ancient Persia. The Jews were led by the brave Mordechai and helped by Queen Esther, and the story is told in the biblical book of Esther. At Purim, the Book of Esther (the Megillah) is read aloud, triangular pastries called Hamantaschen (“Haman’s pockets”) are eaten, and there are usually costume parties. Another tradition is to stage a Purim spiel (“shpil means ‘game’ or ‘(stage) play’ in Yiddish”— Wikipedia) that tells the Purim story. On March 3, I attended a Purim spiel at Greenbelt’s Mishkan Torah Synagogue.
Mishkan Torah’s Purim spiel “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Purim” was written by Jeffrey Rosen, directed by David Herschler and first performed 1987. There are close to 20 musical numbers, and they borrow from popular Broadway, opera, Gilbert and Sullivan and rock ‘n’ roll tunes. 25 years later, Rosen has updated some of pieces and Herschler is once again the director. In this photo, the full cast except Haman sings the opening number, “Purim Spiel Tonight.” Pictured here is Mordechai played by Bret Goldstein.
At GHI, the Board of Directors, which sets policies and makes decisions, depends on the work of committees and task forces, which study specific problems referred by the Board and suggest solutions. There are several Board-appointed standing committees including architectural review, buildings, companion animal, finance, investment, woodlands, and communications and a smaller number of task forces that work on short-term projects such as ad-hoc yard line, addition maintenance program, by-laws, and rental task force. The committees and task forces generally meet once a month, and on February 27, I attended a meeting of the Communications Committee.
The Communications Committee’s charter states: “To enhance communication with and among members of the Cooperative and the staff of Greenbelt Homes, Inc. through informing, educating, and reporting using a variety of communications channels as outlined in this Charter, including print and electronic media and community events. We provide strategic direction across these communication platforms to assist the Board and staff of GHI in their efforts to improve communications with and among members and produce quality external communications that reflect a leading Cooperative in accordance with the vision of the Board.”
Attending tonight’s meeting at the start are from left Ed Fallon, Marat Moore, Kristi Fletcher (Chair), Sheri Swaim (Staff Liaison), Anna Socrates, and Jo-Anne Fournier. The committee meets in the front lobby of GHI administration building.
On March 1, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill to legalize gay marriage, and Maryland becomes the eighth state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage. That evening members of GreenBeLT Pride, an organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and their supporters in Greenbelt, gather at the New Deal Café for a celebration.
Alyson Miers: “I am just delighted that Maryland has joined the group of states that have marriage equality, and I think it is like a measure of being in the 21st century that we are going to have the freedom to marry. I’m really glad that my state has made that step already.”