Tom Dernogal
Tom Dernogal (Laurel Leader File)

Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith has begun a new term representing District 23A in the Maryland General Assembly.

She recently provided information to her constituents regarding issues which may be considered during the term. They include education funding formulas, increase in the state-wide minimum wage, sustainable energy and access to affordable quality health care.


the Maryland General Assembly website for information on these and other initiatives which may be under consideration.

Valentino-Smith has been appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and will keep constituents posted as budget proposals make their way through the system, and will provide finalized legislative issues to us for review. We can contact her with concerns and recommendations at

Prince George’s County Council District One representative Tom Dernoga refers constituents to a county website of resources for unemployed federal workers in during the current federal government shutdown.

The United Way of the National Capital Area has an emergency fund which may be used by nonprofit organizations for such things as rent assistance and food distributions; Prince George’s Community College will provide additional financial aid to students; the public schools have created a new fund to assist parents in paying for access to schools’ food service; and Pepco and WSSC have provided extended payment plans for customers by the shutdown.

For assistance or more information, contact Dernoga ’s office at or call 301-952-3887.

Kudos to faculty and students at Montpelierand Vansville elementary schools. Both schools are recipients of the 2019 Maryland Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) Awards. This is the first time Vansville has been a recipient and the second time for Montpelier. Keep up the great work challenging students to reach their highest potential!

A list of items we should have in our car during winter monthsinclude a full tank of gas, in case we are caught in a huge traffic jam with no way to escape; ice scraper and brush; water and snacks; first aid kit; blanket; extra shoes or boots; hat and gloves; sand or cat litter for traction; flashlight; shovel; charge cord for cell phones; medical items and small number of prescription medications. We all hope we will never be stuck outside in a snowstorm – just remember Snowmaggedon!

Looking for an indoor activity until the first robin appears? Coffee and Cops for Seniors is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. This forum presented by members of Prince George’s Police Department District VI is an excellent way to keep up with matters of personal and home safety.