September 23, 2021
This has been an incredibly challenging time for so many throughout the state and country as we find solutions to our school bus driver shortage. Over the past weeks, in speaking with the Governor’s office, we reviewed many different ways the state could get involved to help eliminate some of the pressure we are feeling from the bus driver shortage. I am happy to report that this Saturday, September 25th, SIX Locations of Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration offices throughout the State will host a "Bus Drivers Day" which will expedite the process of earning your CDL license from the state of Maryland. This is a multifaceted issue that will need to be addressed through more than one solution. I will continue to work with my colleagues to discuss long-term, sustainable solutions so that we can avoid this scenario in the future and parents can be assured that their children arrive on time & safely to school. You can see the Governor's announcement here.
Additionally, I have gotten many complaints in regards to the traffic surrounding Hillsmere Elementary during drop-off and dismissal. I was on location at Hillsmere Elementary school last week with their administration & two of our fantastic AACPD officers. After bringing this matter up to my county partners to see what could be done to address this - the following measures have already been taken:
The traffic light at the intersection of Bay Ridge Road & Arundel on the Bay Road (in front of Bru-Mar Gardens) timing has been adjusted to help move traffic more efficiently & therefore relieve the backup on Arundel on the Bay Road.
County police have spoken with neighboring school administrators & were able to work out a new traffic pattern as well as alternating times for arrival/dismissal with St. Anne's School of Annapolis. Thank you to St. Anne's for helping with this matter!
The county has actively added county employees to help direct traffic in front of Hillsmere Elementary.
The county is continuing to monitor the situation and will make adjustments as necessary to alleviate traffic and resolve this problem. Again, thank you to all those who have reached out and to Anne Arundel County for assisting with this matter.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month honors the eight Latin American countries’ independence days that fall between September 15 and October 15 and is an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
The Library will be hosting events throughout the next few weeks that celebrate the art, food, and culture of our Hispanic community, which you can learn more about here.
Additionally, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the City of Annapolis in partnership with Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center, will host a series of health fairs throughout the city. These fairs will include informational booths and a variety of health services including;
- Free screenings for glucose and blood pressure
- Flu and/or COVID vaccinations
- Initial consultations with mental health, cardiology, and other healthcare specialists.
The next festival will take place next Tuesday, September 28, 2021, from 3 to 6 p.m on Annapolis Walk Dr, Annapolis. Click here for more information!
Honoring our Heroes & Remembering Those We Lost
I was honored to represent Annapolis' Maryland state Delegation during the recent commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country. This year marks the passage of two decades since the day that changed our lives forever. It’s a day that is frozen in time for those of us who experienced it.
The days, weeks, and now years that followed are filled with sadness, disbelief, and pain. It’s all still there, right at the surface. How do we move through trauma? How do we honor all those who we lost?
We serve. We help. We give back.
We Never Forget.
We recognized the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We remember the over 3,000 men, women, and children—including 68 Marylanders—who lost their lives that day. We honor the heroic actions taken by our first responders and thank the members of our military for their service and sacrifice.
Each year, this day reminds us of what we lost, but also of the strength of our community and our ability to come together in the face of such tragedy. Thank you to everyone who joined us on this day of remembrance.
Celebrating our Founding
What a pleasure it was to welcome students who came all the way from Washington County, and the students who were zooming in from classes all across the state, to the Capital City in honor of Constitution Day! Thank you to Historic Annapolis for helping host such a great event.
Just a reminder “Founding Freedoms: the Essential American Documents,” an exhibit that includes original printings of our country’s founding documents will be here and open to the public in the Maryland State House until mid-November. Stop by before it's gone!
Fun at the County Fair
My family and I had so much fun at the Anne Arundel County Fair last weekend. The highlight of the evening was enjoying some fried Oreos courtesy of 2 Guys & a Grill. After a year off, we were so happy to get the chance to enjoy this favorite county tradition.
Love Our Libraries
2021 is the Anne Arundel County Public Library's 100th anniversary! Our library system offers a wide variety of programming and resources. In honor of their centennial celebration, each week, I will be highlighting one program, resource, or event that our libraries have to offer.
Join AACPL for Paws to Read, on September 13th from 4:00 - 6:00pm. Come to the Discoveries with your young reader where they can practice their reading skills with a cute pup to listen. Learn more about the event and sign up for a time slot here!
I would encourage everyone to follow the Anne Arundel County Public Library’s Facebook page to get updates on programs and new resources. You can check out their calendar to find the perfect event for you and your family to enjoy!
On October 23rd, from 11-3 pm Pip Moyer Rec Center will be holding the STEAM Fair for students to get excited about learning. This fair will be able to give children the ability to dive right into the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This free event will showcase fun activities and games to spark wonder and creativity. Kids will be the opportunity to explore the many aspects in STEM careers that they may not even know to exist. Click here for more information.
National Preparedness Month
Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? With Hurricane season running through October 30th, don’t let your guard down as the seasons begin to change. The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management suggests that residents take steps throughout the year to prepare and protect your house including:
- Clearing debris from your yard
- Checking your insurance policies to make sure you are covered for flood damage
- Upkeeping your generator Retrofitting your home with storm-grade upgrades
As a storm approaches, make sure you secure patio & deck furniture, windows & entrances, and your vehicles.
Follow Annapolis OEM on Facebook and Twitter for severe weather updates and helpful tips on how you can be prepared in an emergency.
Updated Testing Locations
Many of you have contacted me about COVID testing hours & sites. With all of our kids back in school, workplaces requiring testing, and testing for travel there have been longer lines and increased frustration from those needing testing. Below is the updated Anne Arundel County Department of Health's schedule for county-run testing sites. (For rapid testing, see a complete list of private providers offering this service here.)
Hear ye! ~ Hear ye!
Each weekend through Oct. 24, the Maryland Department of Health provides free COVID19 vaccinations at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville! Marylanders age 12+ can get the COVID vaccine on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. No appointment is required. The clinic is outside the entrance to “Revel Grove.” Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are offered. For more vaccination locations, visit: covidvax.maryland.gov
Virtual Workshop for Businesses
The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Development Corporation, is hosting a Business Preparedness Virtual Workshop on September 28th, 10 - 11 am. This workshop will provide you with advice on how to plan for, respond to, and recover from unexpected challenges using a different approach for your business.
The following local and State experts will discuss tools and resources related to the following topics:
- Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Anne Arundel County Health Officer: COVID-19 update.
- Preeti Emrick, Director of the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management: General business preparedness tips and resources.
- Allegra Tartaglia, Non-Governmental Services Branch Manager, Maryland Emergency Management Agency: State resources and tools for public-private partnerships.
*Although there is no cost for this workshop, all attendees must register to attend through eventbrite in order to receive the Zoom link.*