It’s “No Contest” in November Election of ANC6B Commissioners

Map showing the new ANC6B and Single Member District boundaries post 2022 redistricting. These new ANC and SMD boundaries will take effect on January 1, 2023.
Map showing the the current ANC6B and Single Member District boundaries.

It’s “No Contest” in November Election of ANC6B Commissioners

By Larry Janezich           

Posted October 5, 2022

This is the first in a series of profiles of ANC candidates from Single Member Districts on or near Capitol Hill. 

There is only a single candidate for ANC Commissioner in each ANC6B single member district.

Redistricting changed the boundaries and makeup of every ANC in Ward 6.  In ANC6B, it reduced the number of single member districts from 10 to 9.  Only two ANC6B incumbents are seeking re-election, commissioners Sroufe and Ryder.  Current commissioners not seeking reelection include Samolyk, Ready, Holtzman, Oldenburg and Holman.  Former 6B08 commissioner Peter Wright resigned in August after relocating out of his single member district and his seat is vacant.  The single member districts of Commissioners Krepp and Horn were relocated to Ward 7 by redistricting. 

If you are not sure if redistricting changed which single member district you’re in, go here:  https://bit.ly/3V3002Z

Since there are no contested seats, the list of likely commissioners for ANC6B is as follows, barring a successful write in campaign in the November 8 general election. 

6B01 FRANK AVERY.   Frank Avery and his family were part of the growth of Ward 6 when they joined the community in late 2018, first in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood and today in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  Frank is an active neighbor in Ward 6 who has helped to develop new programs and partnerships to better inform, engage, and channel the energy of neighbors to solutions important for the neighborhood.  He combines his past experience in local, state, and national non-profit and government organizations to help solve hyper-local issues.  He currently serves as the 6B01 Resident Member on the Transportation Committee.  He is Director at the Business-Higher Education Forum.

6B02 GERALD “JERRY” SROUFE  Jerry Sroufe is completing his second two-year term as ANC commissioner of 6B02.  He has been Secretary and a member of the ANC6B Executive Committee throughout this time.  His professional experiences are in governance and education. He has been a schoolteacher in Illinois, a professor at Claremont Graduate School, Executive Director of the Committee for Public Education, and Executive Director of the National EdD Program for Educational Leaders.  He most recently served as Director of Government Relations at the American Educational Research Association.  He is now fully retired and is devoting his time to learning how to be a good ANC commissioner – and how to golf.

6B03 DAVID SOBELSOHN David Sobelsohn’s career has combined organizing and activism with teaching and scholarship, both legal and literary. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Boston University Law School he has taught at Stanford Law School and at law schools in Cleveland and Detroit, covered the United States Supreme Court for a news service, and published scholarly articles on constitutional law.  As Chief Legislative Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, he led the HRC’s work organizing the first-ever congressional hearing on and drafting a gay-rights bill:  the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  David has also published theater reviews and for eight years led Footlights, DC’s only modern-drama discussion group.  Election as 6B03 commissioner would mark his second stint on an ANC.  From 2005-11, he served as an ANC commissioner in Southwest DC.

6B04 FRANCIS “FRANK” D’ANDREA  Frank D’Andrea is a DC area native and has lived in the DMV for almost his entire life.  Originally from Bethesda/Potomac, Frank moved back to the area after graduate school in 2013 and into the DC proper in 2014.  After two years of living in the H Street Corridor/Stanton Park area, he moved to the Eastern Market/Barracks Row neighborhood where he currently resides.  A licensed architect in the District of Columbia, Frank has held a fascination with the built environment and urbanism for his entire life and has worked on numerous projects across the city.  While he has never held elected office, he has demonstrated leadership in his profession, and was a member of the 2018-2019 Christopher Kelly Leadership Development Program of the AIA (American Institute of Architect’s DC Emerging Architects Committee).

6B05 KASIE DURKIT  Kasie Durkit moved to DC to study law at Georgetown Law after studying History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies at Bowling Green State University.   She moved into an English basement to get “the real Capitol Hill experience.”  After graduation, she started “my dream job” as an attorney for the U.S. Department of the Interior, working on issues related to protecting Federal lands and cultural heritage.  She has lived on Capitol Hill for almost eight years and says, “…walks around Lincoln Park, an iced coffee run to Wine&Butter, and a cool new find at Capitol Hill Books are just some of the things that make living in this neighborhood so special.  For that reason, it would be a great joy and honor of mine to give back to this neighborhood and serve as ANC for a place I really love and among neighbors I call friends.”

6B06 CHANDER JAYARAMAN Chander Jayaraman is currently president of a minority-owned emergency preparedness small business in the District of Columbia.  His company creates emergency response and evacuation plans and evacuation maps for District government agencies, schools, and residential buildings.  Before starting his own company in 2010, he was Project Director at Inclusion Research Institute, a non-profit research organization where he managed projects that increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities, increased voter participation in elections, and improved the preparedness of people nationwide.  His record as a civic activist and an elected official includes having served as an ANC6B Commissioner from 2012-2020 and running for a seat on the DC Council as an At-Large Councilmember. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Jenkins Hill, a child development center, as an Alumni representative and is actively involved in Little League baseball as an umpire and youth mentor.

6B07 VINCE MAREINO Vince Mareino moved to DC in 1998 for college.  Since 2012, he has been living with his wife and daughter on Capitol Hill within sight of the Safeway.  Neighbors might recognize him from the Peabody/Watkins PTA, or from his walks with his two dogs, Pancakes and Squirrel.  Vince bikes daily to work at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

6B08 EDWARD RYDER Edward Ryder was elected to the ANC in 2020 and served his first term representing the residents of ANC 6B07.  After the redistricting process re-drew the single member district lines this past year, he is running for re-election for ANC 6B08.  Edward has lived in the neighborhood since 2018 having moved from the SW-Waterfront area.  As Commissioner, he sought to help improve traffic safety in the area, assist in connecting neighbors with various DC agency services, and to keep neighbors up to date on the overall issues and events central to our neighborhood.  He is most passionate about public transportation and affordable housing.  He believes DC needs to be accessible, safe, and affordable for all residents.  Outside of his role as an ANC Commissioner, he works putting his love of public transit to use for Alexandria City’s bus service, DASH Bus.

6B09 MATT LAFORTUNE Matt LaFortune is currently a resident member of the ANC6B Transportation Committee, where he works with current Commissioners and neighbors to make streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers and has provided testimony to inform DDOT’s plans for Pennsylvania Avenue and Southeast Blvd.  He also engages with voters on local elections as a DC Democratic Party committeeman and an officer with the Ward 6 Democrats.  Professionally, LaFortune is a management consultant for strategic planning and public policy communications.

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Part II. A Deep Dive into Rumsey Pool’s Turbulent Beginning

Architect Gordon Bunshaft in 1957, in front of his Connecticut General Life Insurance Building. © Nipe Leen/Life Picture Collection/Getty Images. (Posted under fair use as a non-profit news blog with no commercial interest.) 
The newly opened Capitol East Natatorium. Note the latticed block enclosure wall, still extant, that many climbed over in 1970 and diving boards which are no longer allowed. Evening Star Collection, The People’s Archive, DC Public Library.

Part II. A Deep Dive into Rumsey Pool’s Turbulent Beginning

By Hilary Russell 

This article is part of a series that looks back on the history of our neighborhood.

Early in 1968, as the polarizing community hubbub [see https://bit.ly/3RCTY70 ] around the location of the new Capitol East Playground and Natatorium abated, another controversy bubbled up.  This one pitted the DC Department of Buildings and Grounds against the Fine Arts Commission, an august federal advisory body appointed by the President of the United States.  The department favored a bunkered pool building immune to vandalism, while the commission insisted on a design that featured glass, light, and air.  Local architect Eugene Delmar said later that he had been obliged to submit his plans six or seven times.  

The commission flatly rejected his first submission because it presented “four unrelated buildings” that encompassed a large swimming pool, a wading pool, a bath house, and community room.  The second submission – a single, windowless, brick structure with a walled-in sundeck and removable plastic bubble roof – fared even worse.  The Washington Post reported that the commission “sent architect Eugene A. Delmar through a gauntlet of abrasive criticism,” and outlined specific input from member Gordon Bunshaft, architect of the Hirschhorn Museum and other landmark buildings and design leader of the large and prestigious New York firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Bunshaft is widely acknowledged as a giant in the field of modernist corporate architecture.  On his death, The Post architecture critic wrote, “As a design critic, he was widely feared, and rightfully so.  His cranky, brusque dismissals were famous.”  This article states that commission member Bunshaft had revised the plans for DC’s Metro stations.  During discussions on making every station different, he had grabbed a piece of paper and sketched “a station made of plain concrete with oval tunnels and coffered ceilings – essentially what exists today.”

The late Dick Wolf, representing Capitol Hill Restoration Society, saw Bunshaft make an analogous sketch of the natatorium during a commission session.  He told many people later (including me) that Bunshaft designed the strikingly modernist building.  The final plans, approved in June, were nothing like the early submissions. (Unfortunately, none of these plans can be located in the National Archives.)

Soon after the natatorium opened in August 1970, local architect Delmar acknowledged to an Evening Star reporter that it was not his design.  The commission, he said, had “very definite ideas about how the building was to be designed and they got exactly what they asked for.”  The article posited that the natatorium might be “a beautiful white elephant” and focused on the vandalism and theft visited upon the spanking new building.  Seven smashed windows seemingly vindicated a windowless design. 

Other problems were reported that month: peeling paint and crumbling caulking caused by a mad rush to open after a cold spring, along with staff gripes that the wading pool was too small; the shallow end of the swimming pool was too deep; and a lot of people were climbing the latticed brick enclosure wall and entering the pool without “taking their required showers.”  A subsequent article registered complaints by Eastern Market and 7th Street vendors about visits by children turned away from full-up pools.  A neighborhood realtor railed, “There is no supervision for the kids waiting outside. Where are the ping pong tables?”

Almost miraculously, this litany ended after two brief closings for repairs and new policies.

A wall of historical posters at Rumsey commemorates the Black History Invitational Swim Meet, an important event inaugurated here in 1987. Photo: Hilary Russell.

DC’s first integrated, year-round public pool earned another distinction by hosting the Black History Invitational Swim Meet, co-founded in 1987 by Dr. William Rumsey, former director of the DC Department of Recreation and Parks.  By 1990, when the building closed for four months of renovations, it was deemed to be “the most active and popular” pool among 45 in the city; the only one “open from early morning until early evening every day and some weekends.”

A second major renovation occurred in 2003.  Another is imminent, along with a potential redesign.  Perhaps this time the landscaping budget won’t be cut and exterior beautification ignored, an issue Dick Wolf bemoaned way back in 1969.  And let’s hope any redesign is informed by how important this building was and is for Capitol Hill residents and by convincing evidence that a supremely gifted and internationally recognized architect had a huge hand in its design.

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The Week Ahead…Hill East Burger and Han Palace Open…& Some Photos from the Past Week

Hill East Burger at 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, on PA Avenue SE, opens this week. 
Last Thursday night, owners of Hill East Burger took the place for a little test drive in the form of a very soft (unannounced) opening.  They expect to open for real early this week – Tuesday or Wednesday.  Restaurateurs Chris Svetlik (owner of Republic Cantina), Joe Neuman (owner of Sloppy Mama’s BBQ), and Ben Alt have teamed up to bring smoked burgers to the space formerly occupied by Wisdom at 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  That’s Svetlik seated at the bar, on the left.
The place has retained some of the informality and funkiness which characterized Wisdom.  They even have a jukebox.  Svetlik designed the space – Neuman created and oversees the menu – Alt manages beverages and the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.  Kendrick Jackson is behind the bar.  Alt says their goal is to be open Monday through Friday, 5pm – 10pm with the bar closing at 11pm.  Saturdays and Sundays it will be 12pm – 10pm and 11pm for the bar.  Here’s a look at the menu:

Han Palace on Barracks Row Is Open.  The latest addition to the local chain, at 522 8th Street SE, in the space formerly occupied by Frame of Mine (before they moved across the street), held a soft opening on Saturday night and is now open daily, 11:30am – 10:00pm. 
The Han Palace Barracks Row website with menu is not up yet, but the restaurant offers dim sum, congee, standard Cantonese entrees, tofu and vegetables, Hong Kong roasted items, and noodles and rice.  According to Washingtonian, next week the restaurant will offer an all you can eat dim sum menu and bottomless mimosas.  Owner Chris Zhu is also behind the forthcoming Ginza BBQ Lounge & Karaoke Spot a few doors down the block at 526 8th Street, SE.  See Washingtonian piece here:   https://bit.ly/3C5fhHI

The Week Ahead…Hill East Burgers and Han Palace Open…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 2, 2022

Monday, October 3

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here: https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 117 12th Street SE. Historic Preservation Application. Concept review for construction of a new two-story residential building. 
  • 117 12th Street SE. Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to raze an existing shed and construct a new, detached, two-story principal dwelling .
  • 639 A Street SE. Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a two-story garage with accessory apartment, to an existing, semi-detached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit. 

 

Tuesday, October 4

Yom Kippur

No ANC Meetings.

Wednesday, October 5

Yom Kippur

No ANC Meetings. 

(ANC6B Transportation Committee postponed until Monday, October 10)

Thursday, October 6

ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here: https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Barrel, 613 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Renewal of Class “C” Tavern License
  • The Eastern, 360 7th Street, SE. Renewal of Class “C” Tavern License
  • Paraiso, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue ,SE. Review of updated Settlement Agreement.
  • Santa Rose Taqueria, 301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Review of Amendment to Settlement Agreement. 

ANC6C Transportation Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Agenda not available at press time.

ANC6C Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/          

Among items on the draft agenda:                   

  • Agenda not available at press time.

Friends of Southeast Library will hold their October meeting at 5:30pm at Southeast Library, lower level.   The meeting will be in person. 

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DC Public Library Updates Community on Renovation of Southeast Library

Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director of DC Public Library, at Thursday night’s community meeting in Southeast Library. 
The project timeline for the renovation of Southeast Library anticipates closing the library for construction next spring.

DC Public Library Updates Community of Renovation on Southeast Library

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 2, 2022

Last Thursday night, DC Public Library hosted a community meeting to update some 40 interested neighbors on the renovation of Southeast Library.  The project timeline illustrated above shows where designers are in the process, with construction scheduled to begin next year and a move in date for the renovated library in the spring of 2025. 

Members of the Quinn Evans design team detailed the progress since the last community meeting in 2021 which includes completion of the advanced regulatory review process, a refined design in response to regulatory comments and neighbor concerns, development of an exterior lighting analysis strategy, completion of an Environmental Noise Control study and tweaking of the design of the library’s interior spaces. 

Quinn Evans asserted the new library plan will provide 25% more meeting and conference spaces, 50% more computer space, almost 50% more space for books (25,000), double the space for adult seating, and three times the space for children and families.

Night time rendering of the proposed universal entrance on South Carolina Avenue that continues to receive push back from nearby residents.

One design element which continued to irk nearby neighbors on South Carolina is the universal entrance on South Carolina Avenue.  The current main entrance will remain, providing access to the current floor  which will become the library’s third level.  But a new universal entrance has been designed for access to the library on the southern facade.  This entrance to the below grade level where space for children and families has been located, will provide access to upper floors by elevator and a grand staircase.  Some attendees who are residents of South Carolina Avenue are opposed to the universal entrance on that street, fearing increased vehicular traffic, the amount of night time lighting, a design they call incompatible with Capitol Hill norms, and the potential attraction of a cadre of loungers who often currently frequent the area near the current main entrance on the east facade. 

DCPL staff and the design team did their best to allay concerns and to assure residents that they had considered their suggestions and proposals but found the current design the only feasible one.  They cited the approval expressed by city agencies and the historic preservation review process including the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Commission on Fine Arts. 

Those concerned residents did not appear to be convinced and remain resentful that their suggestions and recommendations regarding an alternate design with a universal entrance on D Street were given what they consider short shrift by the design team.  In response to a concern that a lack of funding might require scaling back the project after construction starts, Councilmember Charles Allen, who was present for the meeting and whose efforts provided city funding for the renovation, assured that he was 100% confident that the project would be fully funded in the coming fiscal year budgets.

 

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CM Allen and Mayor Bowser Appoint New Members to Eastern Market Advisory Board

Brian Pate and Jackie Kreiger have been appointed to seats on the Eastern Market Community Advisory Commission.  

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 30, 2022

At last Wednesday’s virtual meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Chair Chuck Burger announced that CM Charles Allen had appointed former ANC6B Commissioner Brian Pate to the seat designated by DC Statute to be filled by the Ward 6 Councilmember.  Burger also announced that Mayor Bowser had appointed Capitol Hill resident Jackie Kreiger to the seat designated to be filled by the Mayor.  The Ward 6 Councilmember seat has been vacant since the passing earlier this year of long-serving EMCAC member Donna Scheeder.  The Mayor’s seat has been empty since Jonathan Page resigned in 2020 when he moved out of Ward 6.  

Pate’s nomination was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the committee.  According to Burger, Krieger must be sworn in by the executive before her nomination becomes official and EMCAC can be notified, “after which we can approve her nomination and welcome her as a voting member.” 

In introductory remarks, Pate said he was “thankful to be back and hopefully contribute to the Eastern Market family.”  Pate served for four years as an ANC6B commissioner 2011 – 2014 after being elected in 2010.  During his tenure he served alternate years as ANC6B’s designated representative on the Market’s advisory board.  He said, “I learned lessons in how the market functions, market dynamics and the different stakeholders groups at the market… I’m happy to be back and a part of it.  One thing I’m excited about is that next year is the 150th year of continuous operation of the market.  That is a huge deal and I think we should celebrate that.”  (Later in the meeting, Pate was appointed to head up a committee to explore and discuss options for ways to commemorate the anniversary.)

In her introductory remarks, Kreiger said she had been a resident of Capitol Hill for 41 years and had never lived more than four or five blocks from Eastern Market and I know how important it is ….”While I don’t have quite as much experience as Brian in this organization…I really look forward to working with  you and helping as I can.”  Kreiger is an At-Large Member of the Board of Directors of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS).  Susan Oursler, a former CHRS Board member, currently represents CHRS on the advisory committee.  Kreiger will serve as the representative of the Mayor separate and apart from her role in CHRS. 

Members of EMCAC are designated by the DC Statute governing Eastern Market.  The law states EMCAC will be comprised of the following members:

A representative from:

  • ANC6B
  • Capitol Hill Restoration Society
  • CHAMPS
  • Stanton Park Neighborhood Association
  • Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation (vacant)
  • Other organizations upon a vote of75% of EMCAC members (currently none)
  • Ward 6 appointed by the Ward 6 Councilmember
  • Ward 6 appointed by the Mayor
  • 2 Eastern Market food vendors

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The Week Ahead:  SE Library In Person Community Meeting … & Some Photos from the Past Week

uBreakiFix is now Asurion on Barracks Row.  The electronic device repair store has relocated from above the former Barracks Row Popeye’s to the former Bank of America ATM at 425 8th Street on Barracks Row (a welcome trade off in the eyes of many).  Asurion – an insurance company for electronic devices – purchased the 500 store uBreakiFix chain in 2019.
Last Wednesday night, ANC6D voted unanimously to oppose a proposed modification in the plan for the new Latin American RiverPoint Restaurant on Buzzards Point.  The RiverPoint complex at 2100 2nd Street, SW, is the site of the former U.S. Coast Guard HQ.  The sentiment of the ANC seemed to be that while they welcomed the new restaurant, adding 46 outdoor seats on the mezzanine level to the 20 already planned was a reach too far in light of the substantial outdoor seating of the adjoining restaurant, The Point.  Concerns raised included noise affecting residents in the complex and those living on houseboats on the river as well as parking issues and perhaps most importantly, failure to consult with the ANC on a modification of consequence. 
Open Streets – a global initiative that temporarily closes streets to vehicles – provides space for walking, biking, and social activites that brings a new perspective on ways that residents can experience public space.
Last Tuesday, street safety advocate Mark Sussman proposed an Open Streets Event for 8th Street, NE/SE from Florida Avenue to M Street, SE, to the ANC6A Transportation Committee.  The event would occur in the spring of 2023.  The Committee voted unanimously to recommend the full ANC write a letter of support.  Look for ANC6B to follow suit. 
Residents near Garfield Park are upset about the city’s removal of two of the park’s giant oak trees and hope to forestall any further removals after hearing about plans to cut additional trees.  Given the condition of the tree pictured above, that may or may not be possible.  The Friends of Garfield Park will meet in early October and the issue is likely to be on the agenda. (Side note: Several of the trees in Eastern Market Metro Plaza Park near the playground are likewise facing removal after apparently succumbing to stress related to the renovation of the park. The issue will be addressed at an upcoming meeting of ANC6B’s Liveable Communities Task Force.)
Here’s Graham McLaughlin, Independent candidate for the At-Large Seat currently held by CM Elissa Silverman talking to residents at The Roost earlier this month.  Two of the council’s four at-large seats are up for reelection this year (Silverman and Bonds), and by law only one can be held by a Democrat.  According to the Washington Post, McLaughlin is running a pro-business campaign with “strong Christian themes.”  McLaughlin is co-founder of Changing Perceptions, a nonprofit that aids returning citizens.  See here:  https://bit.ly/3DT6NWR For the WaPo piece, go here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/03/22/graham-mclaughlin-council-candidate/

The Week Ahead:  SE Library In Person Community Meeting … & Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 25, 2022

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, September 27

ANC6B’s Executive Committee will hold a virtual meeting to set the agenda for the ANC’s October meeting.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

                                                                ***

ANC6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Discussion of application by Vibez on H at 1378 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Discussion of application by Bar Bullfrog/Bullfrog Bagels at 1341 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Discussion of application by The Queen Vic at 1206 H Street, NE for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Discussion of application by Mythology, Lore, & Dirty Water/Beetle House DC at 816 H
  • Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Discussion of application by Ocean Lounge at 1220 H Street, NE, for a substantial change of its Class C Tavern License to include a Summer Garden.
  • Discussion of Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee upcoming membership changes.

Wednesday, September 28

ANC6A Community Outreach Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Agenda not available at press time. 

Thursday, September 29

DC Public Library will host an IN PERSON Community Meeting on Southeast Library at 6:30pm to update the community on the final design and project timeline for the renovation.  The meeting will be held on the lower level of Southeast Library.

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Art All Night On Barracks Row – Selected Photos

Art All Night On Barracks Row – Selected Photos

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 24, 2022

The Line Up. (All photos courtesy of Peter and Deb Hernandez)
Artists Circle/Welcome Center at Eastern Market Metro Plaza.

DC Art All Night blossomed across all across the city’s 8 Wards last night.  Capitol Hill’s previous Art All Night events were confined to Eastern Market, but this year it extended from the Market all the way to lower 8th Street. 

The venue was a showcase for creative talent:  visual and performing arts exhibits, live music, food and drink.  Art All Night is funded by the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities to promote small businesses and activate the commercial corridors across the city. 

The Capitol Hill events included a silent disco on C Street near Eastern Market, line dancing instruction in the Market’s North Hall, film showings at The Miracle Theater, Sneaker Cleaning Demos at Sole Wash, Friday Night Trivia at Crazy Aunt Helen’s, and pop up art exhibits and musicians everywhere. 

Here’s a selection of photos from art exhibit pop ups around Eastern Market.

Dietrich Williams (co-creator with Mark Garrett of the John Lewis mural at 1242 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE).  For more on Williams:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3306386832774883
Lauren Rapp …”I anthropomorphize abstract shapes and colors.” https://www.rapphouse.com/
Sheila Crider … “a goal of integrating image, object and frame,” http://dcartistseast.org/artist/sheila-crider/
M.L. Boone explores the line between art and illustration. “…a doorway to open minded visual adventure.”
Herb Scott, Jazz Saxaphonist and founder of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation performed with colleagues on Eastern Market’s North Plaza.

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ANC6D Lambasts EventsDC/Nats Park and Jair Lynch/Maine Ave Projects

DCEvents representatives appeared before ANC6D last night to support a request to reduce the amount of retail near Nats Park required by a Zoning Commission order.
Here’s the First Street retail (in red) next to the Ballpark that EventsDC proposes building – 34% of the amount of of which they had originally agreed.

ANC6D Lambasts EventsDC/Nats Park and Jair Lynch/Maine Ave Projects

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 22, 2022

Representatives of EventsDC and developer Jair Lynch representatives must have wondered what hit them as they reeled away from an encounter with ANC6D at a Special virtual meeting on Monday night. 

Events DC came seeking the ANC’s endorsement for a proposal to reduce by 64% the amount of retail around the ballpark which the Zoning Commission (ZC) ordered 16 years ago as a condition of receiving a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for Nats Park.  The retail was never built.  The COO was set to expire at the end of September and renewal was promising to be problematic before the Mayor stepped in and extended it for a year.  Now EventsDC is playing catch up by downsizing the retail commitment.  They are proposing an expedited procedure under which the ZC would grant the request for reducing the retail requirement.

ANC6D was having none of it.  They unanimously passed a resolution offered by Commissioner Andy Litsky calling on the ZC to hold a Zoning hearing on the proposed reduction where the existing Zoning Order can be “discussed properly and testimony can be provided in full sunshine… and concerned residents will have an opportunity to provide further comment on the merits of this case.” 

The meeting then segued into consideration of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the Jair Lynch development at 899 Maine Avenue, SW.  (A PUD allows a developer to increase the size and density of a building which would not otherwise be permitted under current zoning restrictions.  As part of the process, the developer provides compensatory benefits to the community.)

Rendering of Jair Lynch Development at 899 Maine Avenue, SW

Commissioner Marjorie Lightman – in whose SMD the project lies – moved that the ANC not support Jair Lynch’s PUD application on the following grounds: the PUD violates the spirt and intent articulated by community residents within the Southwest Small Area Plan; it violates the vision of Maine Avenue incorporated into the Small Area Plan; it would deleteriously affect the social and economic diversity of the community; and would create traffic conditions detrimental to the community with no adequate plan their amelioration; and it offers no significant community benefits to warrant an extraordinary exception to alter the Small Area Plan.  Lightman added, “The offer to the Jefferson school is an insult in relation with the profits over the next decade or so to be gained by the PUD.” 

Litsky said it was “too big a building on too small a space and a too dangerous space and would have a negative impact on the neighbors.  Unless the building is completely redesigned, there is no way in hell I’d support this.” 

The motion passed unanimously. 

ANC’s are empowered to issue advisory opinions on zoning matters, and city agencies are required to give those opinions “great weight.”  The effect of the ANC6C6D actions remains to be seen, and will play out over the weeks ahead.  

Ed. Note:  A previous version of this story said the Maine Avenue project lies in Commissioner Kramer’s SMD.  It is in Commissioner Lightman’s SMD.  

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The Week Ahead (Friday – Art All Night on Barracks Row)…& Some Photos from the Past Week

Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 18, 2022

Scuttlebutt:  A source reports that the former Capitol Hill Tandoor and Grill on Barracks Row has been purchased by a restauranteur who intends to put in an Ethiopian restaurant.  CHC has been unable to independently confirm.

Scuttlebutt:  Likewise, a source reports that the empty space next to Dunkin’ on Barracks Row is being built out for a bar and hookah bar.  Barracks Row has one hookah lounge – Café 8 – and H Street, NE, has a couple – Nomad and The New Elroy Bar. 

Olga and Manny’s Pizza has their sign up at 1430 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Olga and Manny’s Pizza has their sign up at 1430 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Here’s a link to the menu at their H Street, NE, location.  https://www.mannyandolgas.com/menu

Their build out has a ways to go, though.

Just next door is the future home of the smoked burger: Hill East Burger – both are a few doors down from Trusty’s. 

Hill East Burger’s build out is coming along.  A hoped-for September opening looks unlikely.

Last Friday night, the Too Much Talent Band brought R&B to Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  Friday night live concerts will continue through the end of the month.  Brian Ready, Executive Director of Barracks Row MainStreet says he wanted to “mix it up a little” regarding what until recently had been Friday Night Live Jazz at Eastern Market Metro Plaza. 

The Week Ahead…

The Week Ahead (Friday’s Art All Night on Barracks Row)…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 18, 2022

The Week Ahead….

Monday, September 19

ANC6A Transportation Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Updates on C Street, NE, project and 1300 block of North Carolina Avenue, NE. (DDOT)
  • School Zone Parking Permit Applications – School Within School at Goding and Capitol Hill Montessori.
  • Open Streets Event on 8th Street, NE/SE, from M Street SE to Florida Avenue NE.

Wednesday September 21

ANC6D will hold a virtual Special Meeting at 7:00pm

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 1101 4th Street, SW, Community Benefits Agreement.
  • Events DC Certificate of Occupancy for Nats Park Internal Operations. PUD modification to Zoning Commission.
  • 899 Maine Avenue, SE. PUD modification to Zoning Commission.
  • RiverPoint Restaurant Expansion. PUD modification to Zoning Commission.

ANC 6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 236 11th Street, NE. Historic Preservation Application. Historic review of a plan to fill in a dogleg and add a basement to an existing two story rear addition, while also adding a partial third story to the existing two story addition in the Capitol Hill Historic District.
  • 726 11th Street, NE. Bureau of Zoning Adjustment Application. Request for Special Exception zoning relief to construct a third story addition, and a two-story with cellar rear addition, and convert to a flat, an existing, semi-detached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit
  • 813 Massachusetts Avenue, NE. Historic Preservation Application.  Historic review of a plan to construct a third floor partial addition and roof deck in the Capitol Hill Historic District.
  • 1717 E Street. NE. Bureau of Zoning Adjustment.   Request for Special Exception zoning relief and area variance zoning to construct two new, semi-detached, four-story, 4-unit, apartment houses. 

Wednesday, September 21

 American Pops Orchestra – 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

“Live, on the Hill” Concerts @Eastern Market Metro Plaza Park Presents: The American Pops Orchestra (APO) LIVE PERFORMANCE Hosted By Barracks Row Main Street. In Partnership with: Barracks Row Main Street, Department of Parks and Recreation & the Office of Councilmember Charles Allen. 

Friday, September 23rd

Friday Night Live Jazz in the Park – Artist TBA – 5 pm to 6:30 pm in conjunction with the Art All Night Festival on Barracks Row – 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Art All Night celebrates the performing and visual arts, showcasing the diverse talents of our city’s creative community. Barracks Row Main Street’s Art All Night 2022 will be an evening filled with art, local music, and film experiences all along 8th Street, SE, on Capitol Hill.  Events on Barracks Row Main Street are free and open to the public, and no reservations or tickets are required.  For a list of events, go here: https://www.barracksrow.org/art-all-night  

The 2022 Art All Night Festival is funded by the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities and is made possible by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development.

Saturday, September 24

Calvary Women’s Services sponsors In This Together Community Walk to end homelessness for women in the District of Columbia.  10:00am at Anacostia Park.  See here:  https://bit.ly/3xAccy1

For over 20 years, Calvary Women’s Services (CWS) has worked to end homelessness, inspire hope and transform the lives of women in the District of Columbia.  CWS ensure women throughout DC have access to the proper trauma-informed healthcare and educational support they need to take positive steps toward independence. These programs include transitional and permanent housing, personalized case management, life skills and education opportunities, job training, health and wellness services, on-site therapy, and daily addiction recovery meetings. At Calvary, we believe every woman has the strengths and gifts she needs to be successful. Each woman in our programs identifies and builds on her strengths, meeting her goals for safe housing, good health, and financial independence.

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Out and About:  Wall of Inspiration on 15th Street SE

Inspirational mural on a private residence on 15th Street, SE. Photo: Ben Reichter

Out and About:  Wall of Inspiration on 15th Street SE

by Elizabeth Eby

Posted September 15, 2022

Walking to the Safeway I noticed this mural on the north side of a house on corner of 15 Street, SE and Duvall Court.  The brick house is painted Prussian blue which provides an excellent background for the mural.  Bold colors, hot and warm shades of red highlight and energize the faces.  They emphasize the women’s personalities.  From Sally Ride’s “weightlessness is a great equalizer” to Kamala Harris’ “While I may be the first … I won’t be the last,” the mural uses the women’s own words to tell the story of the fight for gender equality.  The artist is Mimi Ton (@mimithemuralist).

She also did the cherry blossoms on the crinkle cut aluminum garage door.  The two murals use the same bold style but could not be more different.  One is decorative; the other is political and stunning. Together they form a question about murals as an art form. Are they decorative or political?  Can they be both simultaneously?

Cherry blossoms decorate the garage door. Photo: Ben Richter

I visited the murals with two of my younger girl friends. They thought it was inspirational but asked who Sally Ride was.  Interestingly both Kamala Harris and Ruth Bader Ginsberg appear on many murals in the DMV.  Several Ruth Bader Ginsburg fans had posted favorable comments when I googled this mural including one who said “It feels like RBG is watching over the city.”

In contrast, a 2021 mural of RBG generated controversy in Anacostia.  Residents pointed out that neither the artist nor the person who commissioned it live in Anacostia.  They said it was a bad match for the community and that local artists and students should have been hired to do the job. The artist, a Californian, tried to fix the problem by adding tattoos of BLM, George Floyd, and Anacostia to Ginsberg’s forehead.   mural was painted over shortly after completion.

I think Sally Ride is an important choice for the mural.  She got a PhD in physics from Stanford University which was highly unusual for a woman in 1978.  Ride  may not have been glamorous but Mattel made a Sally Ride Barbie. She was the youngest US astronaut and the third woman in space. (The Russians beat us by two.) Even now with all the efforts to recruit women into science and engineering her name is forgotten. – perhaps because her career was academic or because she avoided celebrity and kept her personal life private.  Her quotation “Weightlessness is a great equalizer” is a statement of equality between the sexes.  It does not ring as a sound bite.  In a post-flight interview with Gloria Steinem, Ride said NASA was enlightened about flying women to space and that all the bathroom questions came from the press.

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society has a free directory of murals located on the Hill and in other neighborhoods.   https://chrs.org/mural-tour/    Murals DC has a map to projects which they funded on their website. http://muralsdcproject.com/

Murals DC works with the DC Arts Commission and their projects include funds to teach students art techniques, how to prepare walls and finish surfaces. They are always on the lookout for walls to be donated.  It was created in 2007 as part of the DC Department of Public Works to fund murals to “obliterate graffiti and revitalize communities.”  That is a little scary and adds a third dimension to the mural question: Are they decorative, political or perhaps the ultimate act of gentrification?

The 15th St. Mural took me by surprise and gave me something pleasant to think about and discuss with my friends.  The homeowner did not return my calls so I do not know its etiology.  It shows up on the Restoration Society website but is not on the Murals DC map.

Unlike some of new murals, the curation affect is hardly noticeable.  In contrast to the Anacostia experience, it is on a private home in an already revitalized and gentrified residential neighborhood where it slips into the social fabric.

Out and About is an occasional photo feature by artist, photographer, gardener, and Capitol Hill resident Elizabeth Eby.  She finds vignettes while out and about on or near Capitol Hill.

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