Letter: PGCPS responds to Thomas Stone first-day concerns; ‘Exception’ to ID policy exists

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to an opinion article by Thomas Stone Elementary parent Sarah Christopherson alleging mismanagement and confusion of the school’s first-day of class activities. 

Prince George’s County Public Schools is aware of the experiences that Ms. Christopherson and other Thomas S. Stone Elementary parents had on the first day of school. The principal apologized to parents in a robocall Tuesday evening for not allowing them to enter the building with their child. Our Administrative Procedure requires school visitors to present government-issued identification with their name, date of birth and photo. However, there is an exception for large groups, such as visitors attending assemblies, performances or parents who wish to accompany their child to class on the first day of school. We are working closely with the school’s leadership team to maintain a welcoming and positive environment for all families in the Thomas Stone school community.

Opinion: Thomas Stone Elementary first-day confusion part of larger problem

Editor’s note: Prince George’s County Public Schools has issued a response to the concerns raised in this article. 
For the students and parents of Thomas Stone Elementary in Mount Rainier, the first day of school turned into a hot, lengthy, and sometimes scary ordeal thanks to the same administrative dysfunction that has regularly plagued the school in recent years. 
This week I was part of a long line of angry parents forced to wait outside for more than 90 minutes in hot, humid weather just to drop off school supplies or meet our children’s teachers. Meanwhile, nervous children as young as four years old, many of whom do not speak English at home, were sent into the school to find their teachers without help from their parents. The results were predictably disastrous. While I was standing outside, school staff walked out several times with scared, unhappy children and called out to the crowd, hoping to find their parents. In some cases, I later learned, the children didn’t know their last names (or couldn’t communicate them well enough for staff to understand) and so couldn’t be sent to the right classroom.

Brentwood Council wants earlier closing time for new restaurant

Brentwood Town Council wants to change the closing time of a forthcoming eatery and cocktail bar on Rhode Island Avenue. 

This past July, the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners (more commonly known as the Liquor Board) unanimously approved an application by restaurateur and culinary entrepreneur April Richardson’s Savor at 3807 “food hall” allowing the establishment to serve alcohol from 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Saturday. The eatery and cocktail bar will be located inside the still-under-construction Studio at 3807 apartment building at, appropriately, 3807 Rhode Island Avenue. But the Liquor Board approved that license without taking the opinion of Brentwood’s Town Council into consideration. Prior to the Liquor Board’s approval of Richardson’s application, Brentwood Council members had drafted a letter asking that the restaurant’s closing time be limited to midnight each night. That letter was not sent to the Liquor Board by the time they approved Savor’s liquor license.

Brentwood Council calls out Mount Rainier on fire funding

Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department’s quest to replace two of its aging fire trucks is being hampered by a lack of funding from many municipalities served by the department. At its August 15, 2018, meeting, Brentwood Town Council had harsh words for surrounding municipalities, alleging their failure to fund the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department puts their communities at risk. During that meeting, Council considered and approved a funding request submitted by William Broadus, chief and president of the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department. “I don’t feel fair that we are the only ones that put money in there and you have to service all of them,” said Brentwood Mayor Rocio Treminio-Lopez during discussion of the funding request. In all, it was a small measure.

Embezzlement alleged at Brentwood Volunteer Fire Dept.

A former president of the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department has been charged with embezzling up to $100,000 from the department. 

In May 2018, a Prince George’s County grand jury issued an indictment against former BVFD president and Lusby resident Steven Michael King. King is also the son of Prince George’s County Fire Commission Vice Chair and District One Commission representative William H. “Buddy” King. The indictment alleges that Steven King perpetrated a scheme to steal between $25,000 and $100,000 worth of property and currency from the BVFD between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2016.

Liquor license approved for Brentwood ‘food hall’

After a slight delay, a forthcoming Brentwood eatery, Savor at 3807, has been approved for a liquor license. 

At its July 24, 2018 meeting, the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners – commonly known as the Liquor Board – unanimously approved an application by restaurateur and culinary entrepreneur April Richardson allowing the restaurant to serve alcohol from 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Saturday. The restaurant is scheduled to open in October 2018. Savor at 3807 will be located at the under-construction Studio 3807 mixed-use apartment building at 3807 Rhode Island Avenue in Brentwood. During a June 20 meeting of the Brentwood Town Council, Richardson pitched the eatery as a “food hall,” with several small restaurant counters serving food and drinks to customers who eat in a common dining area. It’s a similar concept to Union Market in Washington, D.C., but on a smaller scale.

Brentwood liquor license hearing delayed

The Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners has postponed consideration of a liquor license application for a planned bar and restaurant in Brentwood. Pictured above: Hyattsville bakery owner and restaurateur April Richardson speaks before Brentwood Town Council at a June 2018 meeting. The restaurant is called Savor (though on its liquor license application it is identified by the venture’s preliminary name “The Eats at 3807”). April Richardson, principal of Hyattsville-based bakery Food Opportunities LLC and its DC Sweet Potato Cake subsidiary brand, plans to open Savor for business by October in a roughly 6,500-square-foot restaurant space built into the soon-to-be completed Studio 3807 mixed-use apartment complex at 3807 Rhode Island Ave. in Brentwood.