Maglev is speeding to the front of concerns [South Laurel]

Laurel Leader

The high-speed magnetic levitation train known as the Maglev, which is proposed to run from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, raises issues of concern for our South Laurel/Montpelier community. One of the three routes under consideration, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway West alternate, would adversely impact several areas around us, particularly the townhome community of Montpelier Hills, where 50 existing and 60 new homes would be eliminated. Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D-23), is planning to introduce Maglev-related bills in the 2018 session that began Jan. 10. The bills will address eminent domain, funding and financial compensation for homeowners whose property is devalued by Maglev. Councilwoman Mary Lehman will be scheduling a District 1 Maglev meeting in January to better educate North County residents about the proposed rail system and its potential environmental, economic and quality of life impacts. It is important for us to keep abreast of developments in this proposed project and to make our views known to our elected representatives.

The Laurel Art Guild (LAG) has announced the call for entries for the 49th Annual Open Juried Exhibition. The exhibition will take place at the Montpelier Arts Center in March. Any artist over 18 residing in Maryland, Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or West Virginia, is eligible to submit a work, as are previous LAG members. Artists may submit two works, but only one per artist will be shown. Artwork must have been created within the past three years and not previously shown at Montpelier. Entries will be submitted electronically via jpg file. These submissions are due by Feb. 1. For more information go to or email Melissa Price, exhibit coordinator, at

For those who aspire to be award-winning artists in a variety of fields, the Montpelier Arts Center is now offering classes in various techniques and media. These include mixed media, ceramics, print making, rug hooking, animation and photography. For more information and/or to register for a course go to pgparks.comand.Note that ParksDirect is replacing SmartLink on the previous registration format.

Speaking of fostering creative skills, Montpelier Elementary School is one of 20 winners nationwide of a 2017 Crayola Creativity Award. Sponsored by the Crayola Co. and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the goal of the award is to fund innovative programs aimed at fostering creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills in the nation’s youth. School Principal Carla Furlow accepted the award, which includes a monetary stipend and a supply of Crayola products. Congrats to Furlow and her team at Montpelier!

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