As a 20-plus year resident of the City of Hyattsville, I am writing in support of David Hiles to continue his excellent record as Ward 2 Councilmember.  I have known David personally for many years prior to his current term as Ward 2 Councilmember and have worked closely with him during his tenure.  He is a progressive thinker who has a vision for Hyattsville.  He listens, learns, communicates and acts in the best interest of his constituents and Hyattsville as a whole.  His record of attendance at City Council meetings is one of the best, not counting the dozens of community and Council-related meetings he has attended. His record of accomplishments, actions and votes on Council have earned my vote for David Hiles for Ward 2.
I’d also like to say that I have the utmost respect for all candidates running and those currently sitting on Council.  Thanks goes to each and every one of you for your dedication to the City of Hyattsville, win or lose.  Our City is only as great as its community, so please, get involved, join a committee, help out your neighbors and this May 7, vote!
Jim Groves
Moderator, H.O.P.E. listserv
Chair, Hyattsville Environment Committee
I just finished reading the March column concerning issues at schools [“How we talk about our schools and why it matters,” by Rosanna Landis Weaver].  I have always tried to tell  people that the teacher in the building was more important than what happened in Upper Marlboro.  Thank you for defending the “regular schools” that do a fantastic job of educating our students despite the negatives about the system as a whole.
Cathy Burch
In a front-page article in March 2013 issue of the Hyattsville Life & Times [“Mi Patio asks to host nightly DJ, live music,” by Susie Currie], there were misleading reports of the plans of the owners of the Mi Patio restaurant regarding its application for a Special Entertainment Permit.
At no time did Mi Patio ever ask the Board of License Commissioners for the right to allow dancing in the restaurant, or apply for a County Dance Hall Permit. Mi Patio Restaurant did not request to have any other type of entertainment, such as that which you have unfairly associated with the Mi Patio restaurant, specifically stand-up comedy and exotic dancing performed by a stripper.
The Mi Patio restaurant caters to families. It is a safe place where patrons can come to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and similar special events in their lives, or just to enjoy a good meal and listen to music. If we are awarded a Special Entertainment License, we plan to have karaoke-style sing-a-long entertainment. That license will also allow us to search patrons if we feel the need to do so.
Mi Patio Restaurant is a good corporate partner to the City of Hyattsville and its residents. Mi Patio donates 100 meals every Tuesday to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church [in Takoma Park] to distribute to those who cannot afford to buy food. For several years we have sponsored a boys’ baseball team from Hyattsville, and plan to continue to do so. Mi Patio currently sponsors a local men’s league basketball team. We have contributed money to the athletic program at Northwestern High School, and will do so again this year.
The owners and employees of Mi Patio resent the unfair comments about the restaurant in your March issue, and invite your editor to come in and try our food and see for herself the type of restaurant we operate.
Danny Medina and Yahira Merlos
Owners, Mi Patio Restaurant
Susie Currie responds:
It is true that Mi Patio’s application for a Special Entertainment Permit did not seek permission to allow patron dancing – but neither did it ask to host the “karaoke-style sing-a-long entertainment” mentioned above.
The paragraph from my story uses language taken directly from their application: “The Mi Patio application requested permission to host a ‘DJ playing music from the Dominican Republic’ up to seven nights a week, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., in addition to a live band ‘once or twice a month,’ on Friday night.”  The same application asked to host 100 or so annual special events, which may be where the karaoke is intended to happen.
In referring to comedians, strippers and dancing customers, I was not speaking specifically to Mi Patio’s application, but trying to convey the range of activities covered by this permit, which is issued by the liquor board. The Annotated Code of Maryland, in laying out the conditions of the Special Entertainment Permit, says that “entertainment is broadly defined,” and gives as examples the activities mentioned in the article.
On the application, the business must specify which of these activities it wants to host,  what days, and what times. It also has to answer whether it intends to impose a cover charge or allow patron dancing. (Mi Patio answered “no” to both.)