Support Neighbors’ Businesses!

Carrie Carter (Kansai Treasures) works on a unique piece of jewelry.

North Woodside’s new webpage profiling neighbors’ businesses is now live!

Need the inside or outside of your house repainted? Got a chair that needs re-upholstering? Desiring some custom-made cabinets? Interested in taking cello lessons or an art class? In need of assistance resolving a conflict? Looking for a unique handmade piece of jewelry or hat?   There are neighbors who offer all these services/products and more!

North Woodside Weather Station

Thanks to Bill and Shanna on 3rd Ave, North Woodside now has a weather station which tracks temperature, wind, rainfall, pressure, humidity and more! It reports the data to a website anyone can access. Want to know exactly how much rain a recent thunderstorm unleashed? What the highest or lowest temperature of the day was? How strong the wind outside is? Check it out!

Videos: Meet a Few of Our Fox Neighbors

North Woodside is home to many species. Check out our adorable fox kit neighbors on Hanover St.! Can you count how many there are?

The video above was filmed the last week in April 2022. A month earlier a wildlife camera caught a fox sniffing and then “capturing” a small gingerbread house that had been placed in another backyard on Hanover St.

Hmmm, a gingerbread-loving fox, seven little foxes…this could become fodder for modern-day fairytale!

20% Discount on Mosquito Traps – Order Now!

Our Woodside neighbors across Georgia Avenue have their own version of our North Woodside Mosquito Busters project. Called WOMP (WOodside Mosquito Project) they have set up a website providing information and an easily accessible order form to purchase the traps at a 20% discount. The group has graciously looped us in on their project.  We are so grateful! 

How to order? Visit WOMP’s website. It takes just seconds to order – with  a variety of payment options.  Deadline for this exclusive 20% discount expires March 31, 2022. Distribution of purchased traps (some time in April) will be coordinated by WOMP.  It is advised that our traps be set up in early May.  

To date, we have 95 households in North Woodside participating in our program. Haven’t signed on yet to be a North Woodside Mosquito Buster?  You can do so here.

Learn more about the North Woodside Mosquito Buster project.

North Woodside Mosquito Eradication Plan – Are You In?

Spring is coming – and so are those nasty mosquitos! A number of our neighbors are working together to implement a community-wide preventative strike against these menacing pests so we can all enjoy being outside in our yards, decks, and porches bite free!

This effort focuses on invasive mosquitoes that lay eggs in standing water. No standing water? No eggs! So, the first thing is to be watchful every 3-4 days for standing water in bird baths, lawns, planters, etc. In addition, studies have shown that communities that have a coordinated implementation of installing GAT traps have been highly effective in drastically reducing mosquito populations. The success of this model relies on community-wide organization and individual investment. As of March 5th, more than 60 households in North Woodside have indicated their buy-in – you can too!

What is a GAT Trap?

A scientist in Australia has come up with this insecticide-free way to combat mosquitos. The approach involves two things: using these low-tech traps and getting to know your neighbors.
GAT stands for Gravid Aedes Trap. Aedes is short for Aedes albopictus, known as the Asian tiger mosquito, which bites aggressively night and day. The trap is basically three plastic buckets stacked together. The mosquitoes fly into the trap through a hole in the top bucket but have a hard time flying out. To make matters worse (for the mosquito) you can dangle a piece of sticky paper inside the top bucket to catch a wayward pest that happens to land there.

The traps are low maintenance: Simply add some water and a few blades of grass, place in shade/part shade, and about once a month, pull out the sticky card and throw it away. Then replace the water and blades of grass and a fresh sticky card. Put out between May 1-June 1 and continue your monthly maintenance until fall. The traps come 2 to a box with 20 cards to last you two seasons of use.

Your participation in this effort is easy to do!

  • Indicate your participation by entering your household information on the survey accessible by visiting the North Woodside through this online form: NW Mosquito Form
  • Commit to a buy-in of two traps, estimated to cost between $50 – $70 for the two. (We are exploring the possibility of ordering in bulk to reduce costs.)
  • Communicate with your assigned “Captain” to purchase your traps, attend a mutually scheduled group workshop (no more than 30-minutes) for installation instructions, and then set your traps!

That’s it!

Mosquito Busters Captains* will be assigned to coordinate the efforts on your street. They will be in contact with you for next steps.

Thanks for your consideration to participate in this community project! Please sign up by March 16th.

* In the spirit of “divide and conquer” we have established the role of Captains to facilitate the implementation of this plan among nearby neighbors.  The role of Caption is designed to:

  • Serve as conduits to coordinate our collective efforts.
  • Communicate with their nearby neighbors to ensure the implementation of this project (mostly likely 6 – 10 households per Captain).

Specifically, GAT Captains will:

1. Participate in a meeting among fellow Captains to ensure a cohesive strategy for implementation.

2. Distribute flyers to their neighbors about the program for those who have not yet indicated interest online, with directions on how to join us.

3. Coordinate neighbors to purchase traps in bulk to reduce costs.

4. Distribute traps to neighbors and coordinate a mutually convenient time for a workshop on how to set the traps and how to space them for maximum effect.

5. Pair next door neighbors to coordinate installation and spacing.

It is estimated that commitment to be a Captain will require less than 6 hours over two months.  Maybe less.

Added Bonus: This plan will help neighbors connect with one another and form friendships while providing a unified attack to prevent these menacing biters from taking away our joy of being outside!

Questions? Contact the Mosquito Busters Group.

Neighbor Raises Funds for Refugees from Ukraine in Moldova

Over 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine in less than two weeks. While over half of them have gone to Poland, more than 230,000 refugees have poured into Moldova, a country the size of Maryland with a population of just 2.6 million; Moldova has welcomed more refugees per capita than any other country. For a sense of scale, this is akin to 30 refugee families suddenly arriving in North Woodside and needing neighbors to provide food, shelter, clothes, diapers, legal and medical services, and more. For more information about the refugee situation in Moldova, a couple recent news articles:

Ukrainian refugees pour into Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest and smallest countries

Moldova issues plea for aid as Ukraine war brings multiple crises

North Woodside resident Lilian Pintea grew up in Moldova and his mother and many close family members live there. Last week he sent out a private appeal to neighbors for donations to support refugee relief efforts in Moldova. Dozens generously responded and this week he was able to wire the funds to Moldova to be put to immediate use. He has set up a public gofundme page to raise additional funds.

Those wishing to support refugee relief efforts have many worthy options to choose from. If you would like to support refugee efforts at the local level in Moldova and receive updates on how the funds are being used, consider supporting this neighbor’s gofundme campaign.

Story of the Woodlin Wizard Weather Vane

By Phil Termini

Skip back to end of the school year 2002. What happened to the Woodlin Wizards weather vane on the cupola atop our elementary school? It seems to have vanished! Bummer, “the pump don’t work cuz the vandals took the handle.”

My and my wife Patricia’s son Tony was finishing his last year there, and our two daughters attended there as well. So I got the notion to try to do something as a tribute for the school and the wonderful principal, Emily Kesser, like making a new weather vane to replace the one taken by the vandals. Having been around the block a few times in my youth, I had an idea. Signs went up around the area offering a no-questions-asked $100 cash reward for the weather vane’s return or its simply being put in our yard. Wishful thinking. No takers. These kids today don’t need any money. Too affluent a neighborhood, I suppose.

I learned that the Woodlin PTA was instrumental in getting the first Wizard weather vane made by a local metal artist, David Hubbard. I visited David and lo and behold, he still had the original full-size drawing of our Wizard. Piece of cake!! I got ahold of some stainless steel sheet metal and started cutting and welding. Metalwork is one of my hobbies—go-carts and minibikes and such. When I installed this new Wizard on top of the school—completely ignoring what the school maintenance staff said to me about going up on the roof (it’s my nature)—where it now lives, I got advice from metalworkers on how to install it in such a way as to make it just about impossible to steal again. One-way screws and a detent in the shaft did the security trick. I may have to go back up there to remove it for the rebuild if the contractors and construction personnel can’t handle it. What a fine old Wizard we have. I hope the new school has a spot planned for it.

Beacon Editor’s note: Woodlin Elementary School’s PTA President reports that the school’s cupola (including the weather vane) is to be incorporated into a “learning lawn” that will face Luzerne Ave.

Delivering the Mail Through Rain, Shine, Snow, and Covid

Anthony delivering mail in the neighborhood on a snowy January day. Photo by Lilian Pintea

An Interview with Anthony St. Hill, USPS Postal Carrier
by Anna White

If you live in the neighborhood, particularly on Glen Ross Rd. or south, there’s a good chance you’ve crossed paths with Anthony St. Hill, a USPS postal carrier who has delivered mail to the neighborhood for almost 15 years—as a one-day-a-week replacement carrier for over six years and then full-time for the past eight. He is one of two postal carriers who serve North Woodside full-time; the other is Marqueze Bradley, who has delivered in the northern section of North Woodside for three years. Known for his conscientious service, Anthony knows by heart the names and addresses of all the neighbors—human and canine—along his route. In January, he graciously agreed to a phone interview on his one day off.

What is a typical workday and workweek for you?

On a regular day, we deliver packages and mail simultaneously. Only during Christmas season do we deliver earlier. Then we come in at 5:00 am and deliver packages until 8:00 am. My normal route starts at 7:45 am and goes to 4:25 pm—that’s my regular eight-hour day—but every day we have an additional two to three hours. I work six days a week. For regular carriers, the only day off is Sunday.

Do you get overtime pay?

Yes, we do get overtime because we are unionized. We get overtime after eight hours and then after 10 hours, we go into penalty time, which is double. We work anywhere from 10 to 12 hours on a daily basis. And with this COVID and stuff it’s even worse. Sometimes we have 10 to 12 carriers out sick, and then we have to cover those routes because the mail and the packages have to go there every day.

COVID has impacted your work?

At my station now we have about 10 carriers out. [Last year] it was the same way, and I was out. At the beginning I thought it was pneumonia, but when I got tested I was positive. Some of the people who worked next to me tested positive and management never told me, so then I was out almost the entire month of January 2021. With COVID it makes [the job] more strenuous, working longer hours on a daily basis, due to packages increasing with everyone ordering online and covering coworkers who are out sick.

What do you like about working in the neighborhood?

I love working in the neighborhood. For me, it’s like a family environment because I know each and every tenant on my route and they know me. I start at 2nd Ave. where the nursing home is and cover 2nd Ave., Hanover, Glen Ross, Lanier, Grace Church, Elkhart, 16th, the townhouses on Lyttonsville, the high-rises—all that is my environment. The families know me, the kids they know me, even the pets know me. I love my route because I love my tenants. They look out for me, and I look out for them. Most of my customers have access to my phone number. When they don’t see me for two or three days they call me to make sure I’m okay, on vacation. Is there any way neighbors could make doing your job easier? If you have a dog [that stays outside] put your mailbox at the curb to avoid any dog biting, because dogs are by nature territorial. That’s the only thing I would say. If the dog is inside, no problem. Most biting happens during summertime and other times when children are on break; children like to run outside to play and [forget] to close the storm door. If you are expecting mail, make sure your dog is inside.

Any interesting stories related to delivering mail in the neighborhood?

There are dogs I have to say hi to. When the owners are walking them and they pick up my scent I have to say hello to them or just pet them or they will not continue. And those are big dogs—Chula, she’s a pit bull. She lives in the high-rise. Anytime the owner walks her, she says, “Chula becomes a puppy when she sees you!” I have to pet her or she will not let the owner carry her anywhere else. Then I have Luna, on Lanier. She’s a husky with blue eyes. Same way. I have to say hi to her or she will not move. And I have Charlie. I have to say hello to him every time [or he] will keep barking and barking. People ask me, “You not afraid of dogs?” No, I grew up knowing dogs. I know about dogs. [The dogs on my route] are like extended family. Have to say hi to them or they will not continue their walk.

Is there anything about yourself you’d like to share with neighbors?

I was born in Panama, and I dance my national music. That is what exposed me to the world. My first travel outside of my country was [through dancing]. I used to perform on a ship in the Panama Canal from 1984 all the way to 1999, when I came to the United States. And I still perform my national music. I was one of the top dancers when I used to perform in my country. And I still perform here. I like it. I love it. I retired from dancing for six to seven years, but I started dancing again.

Anything else?

Like you to know I’m married, I have five kids, four grandbabies. That’s basically it. I’m a very religious person. I’m a faith Christian. God is the center my life. I’m Episcopalian. I usually go to church every Sunday. Only Sunday don’t go to church when I have to work. Other than that in church every Sunday. And that’s it. That’s who I am.

Scenes from a Snowy January

It was a snowier-than-usual January, despite not getting much more than a dusting from the latest wintry weather system to pass by. Here are a few snowy North Woodside scenes from the past month. As midwinter approaches, will the groundhog see a shadow? Photos by Lilian Pintea, unless otherwise noted.