In and Around Morningside-Skyline
By Mary McHale 301-735-3451
Colony South Hotel, now Capital Plaza Hotel
Colony South Hotel in Clinton has changed hands. On behalf of the Chiaramonte family, President Michael Chiaramonte wrote a letter thanking the community, guests and employees “as we sell the Colony South Hotel.”
He gave some background for the sale: “A few years ago when MedStar Health acquired Southern Maryland Hospital, they expressed interest in completing their health campus by purchasing the Colony South Hotel.” This transfer took place back in February 2020.
He continues, “We have been honored to serve our fellow Prince Georgians, as well as guests from the greater Washington area and beyond for the past 30 years. We feel especially privileged to have celebrated so many milestones with so many fine people.”
Over the years, I’ve attended some of those special milestones at Colony South, including the wedding reception of our daughter Sheila and John Mudd. I’ve enjoyed many Surratt Society banquets as well as good lunch buffets and dinners in the Wayfarer Restaurant.
The new owner, Capital Plaza Hotel, has big shoes to fill.
Neighbors & other good people
Congratulations to Prince George’s County’s State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy on receiving The Daily Record’s 2020 “Leadership in Law” Award.
Father Michael Moran, SMA, has been appointed administrator of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Seat Pleasant. He comes to the position from Venerable Fulton Sheen House of Formation, Chillum.
Jack Flaherty is graduating from the Maryland State Police Training School and will be stationed in La Plata. He’s the son of Terrence and Cherry Flaherty and the grandson of Jill Flaherty, formerly of Elmendorf Drive in Skyline.
I made one of my rare (because of the virus) trips into Suitland last week and saw the beginnings of Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center, a 25-acre neighborhood just across Suitland Road from the Census Bureau, NOAA and other federal buildings. The master plan calls for residential, retail, a cultural arts building and a walking trail. The trail will be a loop of the sidewalk system, shaded by canopy trees and connected to the three or four planned parks.
St. Barnabas Plaza, 3650–3676 St. Barnabas Road, has made improvements: new storefront framing, new roof, new 5-ton HVAC system, parking lot resurfacing, exterior light fixtures, new store front signage, exterior painting of store front and new landscape bed and planters.
B Thrifty shop has opened at the former Value Village site in Allentown Mall. To deliver donations, take your turn around the left side of the building.
The Museum of the Bible, 400 4th St SW, is opening for the first time since March. “Thou shalt wear a face mask” is one of the Museum’s “Covid Commandments.”
The International Spy Museum, 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, has also reopened. The Museum provides a “spy gadget,” or stylus, for use with touch screens, elevator buttons and any other surface that might spread germs.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, is now allowing visitors to explore the farm, gardens and outbuildings. The museum is open but the mansion and theaters remain closed.
Outdoor swimming pools opened July 1 in Prince George’s County. A Parks Direct account is required to make a reservation. Info: https://bit.ly/2YIUDuN.
Request for baby boy clothing
More boys have been born here lately and the Forestville Pregnancy Center, at Marlow Heights, has issued a request for boys’ clothing. The Center reported that most clothing they’ve been receiving have been “really cute girl clothes.” Boys’ togs are needed for newborns to 6 months. If you can donate, call 301-423-0042. “Our babies thank you for your generosity and so do we!”
Remember WPGC-AM Morningside?
It was the call name for radio station WPGC when we moved here in 1958. I kept looking for its transformer, or something.
The truth of the matter is, when the Federal Communications Commission licensed the station in 1954, “Morningside” was added to the call numbers. According to an article by Judy Colbert in the now defunct Prince George’s Magazine, “The long-forgotten person, who was granted this license, broadcast from a garage on a hill off Suitland Road. He needed a city for the application and Morningside was the closest.”
WPGC licensed its FM station in 1959 and by that time the transmitter had been moved to District Heights.
Lou Coppola played for 9 presidents
Louis “Lou” Coppola, 82, an accordion player and Air Force chief master sergeant who led The Air Force Strolling Strings ensemble, died April 20 at his home in Falls Church.
I well remember attending banquets at Andrews and dining to the sweet sounds of the Strolling Strings. And I remember the Coppola Accordion Studio on Piscataway Road in Oxon Hill.
Lou played for nine presidents and, on the side, ran his own strolling band, The Stereo Strings. For 44 years, he played weekly at Fort Myer Officers’ Club.
He’s survived by his former wife, Rose-Marie Bruno Coppola, sons Kevin and John and three grandchildren.
He said he wasn’t sure he even wanted to play the accordion. “It was only because my mother told me if I didn’t like the accordion after a month, I could quit. The only problem was, I forgot to stop.”
Happy birthday to former Morningside Councilman Kevin Kline, Nicole Wade, Dee (Curcio) Brown and Dave Williams Jr., July 11; Kenard Simms, July 13; Laverne Peggy Simms, Krista Lanehart and Laura (Thompson) Hoffmann, July 14; Helen Jurney, July 15; Norma Wright and Gary Lewis, Jr., July 16; my granddaughter Claire Mudd, Michael Busky, Mike Fowler Jr. and former Morningside Chief of Police Stephen Armhold, July 17.
Happy 45th anniversary to Dave and Carolyn Williams on July 11.
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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384
MEL FRANKLIN, COUNCIL MEMBER AT LARGE
Council Member At-Large Mel Franklin presented Prince George’s County Economic Justice and Equity Tele-Town Hall Thursday, June 25, 2020. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the impact of COVID-19, the rise of the national Black Lives Matter movement has cast a spotlight on the generational disparities in economic equity and societal opportunities facing predominantly black communities like Prince George’s County. Council Member Mel Franklin town hall meeting was for a critical discussion about how we remove the barriers to equity, opportunity, and post-COVID-19, recovery for black -owned businesses, returning citizens under-funded schools, unemployed and under-employed residents families in poverty.
BOLD MOVES MADE AT BSU
Isaiah’s hometown is Laurel, Maryland. Major: Music Technology, classification: Senior. What are some BOLD moves you have made on Campus? “I’ve established myself with the professors. I make sure they know what I do and who I am: a musician, a producer, a creative, an engineer”. What are you passionate about? “I am passionate about creating and writing music because it is another way to express how I feel. I am not a person of too many words. I prefer music”. What do you look forward to doing after you graduate? “I want to open my own home studio and go into music production, recording, engineering and composition, things like that”. What makes Bowie State special to you? “It is a home away from home. It is a whole community of people who look like me and show me where I fit academically, creatively, socially”. What makes you BOLD? “What makes me bold is who I represent.” “I’m a Christ follower and I’m allowed to be bold with the confidence that gives me.”
Please complete your census now. It is not too late to fill out the census, safe, easy, important. The Prince George’s County self-response rate as of June 23 is 63.3%. As a gentle reminder, on August 11, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin its door to-door follow-up operations for residents who have not completed the Census 2020 forms. To minimize door to door, please consider calling five (5) family members or friends and encourage them to complete the Census online, by phone or via mail.
The next Census will not take place again until 2030, so let us make sure Prince George’s County gets the federal funding and resources we need over the next 10 years. #Proud to Be Counted, #PGCensus2020. Information from Prince George’s County Council.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY CLASS OF 2020
The first-ever Virtual Commencement Ceremony for the class of 2020 was held Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 3 p.m. This was a memorable and historic occasion approximately 700 graduates received their degrees and became our newest alumni. Their Bold, Driven and Resilient Bulldog Spirit paved the way for their future and that of the next generation.
MAKING THE WORLD A SAFER PLACE
Gema Howell class of 2014, major Computer Technology. Activities include Cybersecurity Team and the Women in Computing Club. For Gema (‘14) there is no higher calling than becoming an ethical hacker, trained to detect and repair weaknesses in the nation’s data security systems. She began her college career on another path, but later found the computer technology program at Bowie State could take her where she really wants to go.
After graduation, she landed her first job as a member of the computer security team of a national agency. She is using the skills she learned at Bowie State to develop mobile and web applications to test public safety communications.
Gema had transferred from another university to pursue her passion for computers. At Bowie State, she found a program where she could be hands-on with computer systems and study network security.
“I want to be a cryptology, possibly with the National Security Agency, to decipher threatening messages and secure our national networks,” she said. “I want to be part of the team keeping our country safe.” As a member of Bowie’s Cybersecurity Team and Women in Computing Club, Gema says she found the support to grow in her dream profession.
“At Bowie there is a lot of more personal interaction and one-to-one time with professors than at my first school,” she said. “The students are more willing to help each other; we’re all learning together.” Contact: email@example.com
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