Daily COVID Case Rate Out of the Red – Bowser Situational Update, Monday, Feb 22

 

Daily COVID Case Rate Out of the Red – Bowser Situational Update, Monday, Feb 22

by Larry Janezich

Posted February 22, 2021

Mayor Bowser held a Situational Briefing on COVID-19 today and took questions afterward.  Here are some key takeaways:

  • The daily case rate is below 15 – out of the red at 14.9 cases per 100,000, expressed as a 7 day rolling average. The last time it was this low was early to mid-November.  This means we are in the mid-level of community spread. 
  • 995 Washingtonians have died from coronavirus. The mayor encouraged residents to continue to wear masks, continue to social distance, and to get vaccinated. 
  • DC is seeing a downward trend in testing. Bowser said, “We’re not happy about that.”  Testing is around 25,000 a week – the lowest since the last week of September or first week of October.  During the holidays testing was up to 50,000 a week.  La Quandra Nesbitt encouraged residents to get tested if they are not in their usual state of health.  If the 45% to 55% number of asymptomatic cases are not picked up by testing it can have an impact (by lowering) the apparent daily case rate.
  • Free testing locations and info on pre-registering can be found here. https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testing
  • As of February 20:
    • 15,575 doses of vaccine have been delivered
    • 92,600 first doses have been administered
    • 17,590 doses will be delivered this week
  • Inclement weather delayed last week’s delivery to DC; that delivery will arrive early this week and be in addition to the 17,590 doses scheduled to arrive this week.
  • Because of the late delivery, hospitals and health care systems have had to cancel some first appointments and reschedule. Residents will be notified by those hospitals or health care systems.  No appointments made through the DC portal have been cancelled.
  • Last week, an unemployment insurance vendor issue caused a delay in the delivery of payments for 39,000 DC residents. The problem has been identified and resolved.  Those payments should arrive in bank accounts Tuesday or Wednesday. 
  • There have been no changes in quarantine requirement for travelers into the District. See restrictions here:  https://bit.ly/37FZGA2
  • There is no new information on the time line for taking down the fence around the Capitol complex. Bowser said they will be making specific inquiries. 

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The Week Ahead – New on Barracks Row – Photos – Meeting Highlights

New on Barracks Row:  Arena Social Arts Club, 507 8th Street, SE, will open this spring as an art and event space dedicated to the visual arts, concentrating on artists of color.  The recently renovated building with 7,000 square feet of space served until recently as Shakespeare Theater’s Rehearsal Hall.  Behind the enterprise is Ian Callender – creator of Blind Whino, now Culture House at 700 Delaware Avenue, SW.  Callender:  “It’s not just a gallery space we’re after, we want to create a delicate balance where we could hold an art opening or fancy wedding one afternoon and the next day we could hold a kids arts and crafts event or an ANC meeting in the same environment.”  For more info go here:  https://www.arenasocial.org/ Here’s more on Callender from an article a couple of years ago in The Southwester: http://bit.ly/3sgRgah

Also new on Barracks Row is Movement Methods Chiropractic at 719 8th Street, SE, second floor.  Dr. Daniel Osborn, a board certified chiropractic physician, specializes in sports medicine and treating all types of sports-related injuries.  Here’s the website for more information or to book appointments – or call 202-547-0317.

 

The Week Ahead – New on Barracks Row – Photos – Meeting Highlights

by Larry Janezich

This Week’s Meeting Highlights:

Wednesday – DGS Virtually Briefs EMMPAT on Eastern Market Metro Park Progress.

Wednesday – Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee Virtual Meeting.

The Week Ahead…

Monday, February 22

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Presentation: Hannah Jacobson Blumenfeld, Serve Your City on behalf of Ward 6 Mutual Aid.
  • HIPS Presentation: Cyndee Clay, Shakita Chapman, and Tamika Spellman.

Tuesday, February 23

ANC6B Executive Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

Agenda: 

  • To set the agenda for the March meeting of ANC6B.

Wednesday, February 24

DGS will hold a virtual meeting to brief the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Taskforce on progress on the redevelopment of Eastern Market Metro Park.  The meeting is monthly, and usually occurs at 1:00pm. 

  • Information on joining the meeting will be available day of – usually mid-morning.

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:30pm – one-half hour later than their usual meeting time. 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88292438557?pwd=OE5pYzlCdEhFLzNtYkxTSmt3b2k5UT09

  • Meeting ID: 882 9243 8557
  • Passcode: 896104
  • One tap mobile
  • +19292056099,,88292438557#,,,,*896104# US (New York)
  • +13017158592,,88292438557#,,,,*896104# US (Washington DC)

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Report of the Chair
  • Budget Review Status
  • Security at Eastern Market
  • Report of the Market Manager
    • Strategic Plan update
    • return to normal operating hours update
    • Status of the conflict resolution proposal
    • Signage and banner update
  • Capital Improvements Report: Monte Edwards
  • Tenant’s Council Report
  • Eastern Market Metro Plaza Update

Thursday, February 25

ANC6A Ad Hoc By Laws Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm

  • Call-in information will be posted 24 hours prior to the meeting.

Agenda:

  • To consider revision of the ANC6A By Laws

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Two ANC’s & H Street Businesses Have Had Enough of DDOT’s Slights

Two ANC’s and H Street Businesses Have Had Enough of DDOT’s Slights

By Larry Janezich

Last Tuesday night, the Transportation Committees of ANC6A and ANC6C held an unusual joint meeting to plan a response to DDOT’s ignoring repeated requests to address traffic and safety issues on H Street NE.  The committees are chaired respectively by Mark Brumer and Christy Kwan.  Brumer chaired the joint meeting.

Commissioners cited a January 10, 2021, letter signed by 25* H Street businesses to then DDOT Director Jeff Marootian describing a December 22nd incident when a reckless driver lost control while speeding down H Street NE and crashed into Joy of Motion Dance Center, severely damaging the studio space. The letter said, “Luckily, no one was hurt, but with this being the third such incident in three months along the H Street Corridor, next time we might not be so lucky.  We … believe that the current configuration of H Street a public safety hazard and urged DDOT to consider large-scale safety improvements.”

The ANC Committees want a comprehensive review of transportation and safety issues on H Street and are requesting a traffic study of the corridor from North Capitol to 15th Street NE.  A Special Committee was formed to write a letter to DDOT, copying CM Charles Allen. The letter will reiterate the asks from the H Street merchants which they believe will make H Street safer:

  • Bus/Streetcar-only lanes. Convert the right travel lanes in each direction to all-times, red carpet bus/streetcar-only lanes. Bicyclists should not be encouraged to ride in these lanes due to the danger associated with the streetcar tracks.
  • Wider Sidewalks. Reclaiming a significant portion of on-street parking spaces would allow for creation of wider sidewalk “bulb” outs. This space could be used for increased transit rider space, al fresco dining, and bicycle parking.
  • Pick-Up/Drop-off Zones only. Long-term parking on H Street should not be allowed. We propose those remaining spaces not reclaimed by sidewalk be used as pick-up/drop-off zones with maximum parking time of no more than 30 minutes.

Once drafted, the letter will come up before the full ANCs for their approval, probably at their March meetings.

Among the city agencies which give the ANCs short shrift, DDOT has a reputation of being especially cavalier in attitude.  ANC6B has jousted with DDOT for years over traffic safety issues on the “17th Street Speedway”.  Marootian has recently moved on, having been named as Special Assistant to the President for Climate and Science Agency Personnel in the Biden Administration.

The 25 businesses signing the letter to DDOT are as follows:   Atlas Doghouse, Atlas Performing Arts Center, AtlasVet, Aurora Salon, Craft Beer Cellar, DC Harvest, Fare Well, Granville Moore’s, H Street Country Club, Joy of Motion Dance Center, Maketto, Moody Graham Landscape Architecture, Mozzeria DC, Pie Shop, Physicality DC, Pow Pow, Rice Bar,  [solidcore], Solid State Books, Sospeso, The Daily Rider, The Pug, The Queen Vic, Toki Underground, Yoga District.

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Bowser Situational Briefing: New Group Eligible for Vaccination Starting Today

Bowser Situational Briefing:  New Group Eligible for Vaccination Starting Today

by Larry Janezich

Posted February 18, 2021

Mayor Bowser held a Situational Briefing today and announced two new groups eligible to sign up for vaccinations. 

The first group becomes eligible today at 6:00pm in certain zip codes along with those who are 65 and/or are members of an eligible workforce group.  Tomorrow the new group will be added to those 65 and/or are members of an eligible workforce group living anywhere in the city.  Those in the new group include: grocery store workers, Health and Human services outreach workers, workers in manufacturing, and those in food production.

This week the Thursday and Friday sign up portals and phone lines open at 6:00pm – next week they will open at 9:00am, and alternate by week thereafter.  The Call Center Number is 855 – 363 – 0333.  The website is https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc

The second group will become eligible on Monday, March 1.  This is 1C Tier 1 – those from 16 to 64 with qualifying medical conditions.  Those conditions include:

  • Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and other Chronic Lung Disease.
  • Bone Marrow and Solid Organ Transplantation
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Heart Conditions, such as Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, or Cardiomyopathies
  • HIV
  • Hypertension
  • Immunocompromised State
  • Inherited Metabolic Disorders
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurologic Conditions
  • Obesity, MBI – 30 kg/m2
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe Genetic Disorders
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Thalassemia

Those signing up will self-attest when registering.  Documentation from a health care provider will not be required. 

Asked about the eligibility for postal workers who were originally between the grocery workers and those with medical conditions, Bowser said the city is hoping to arrange vaccinations for them through FEMA along with other federal employees. 

For additional details on Bowser’s presentation, including a complete list of those DC is now vaccinating, go here:  https://bit.ly/2OFylaz

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Handle 19 Will Reapply for Gambling License After DC Lottery Denial

Handle 19 Will Reapply for Gambling License After DC Lottery Denial

by Larry Janezich

Posted on February 17, 2021

According to an article by Jill R. Dorson published in the internet trade publication Sportshandle http://bit.ly/2NCtWof , Handle 19 – whose sports betting application was denied by DC Lottery – has withdrawn the application and will restructure the business and reapply in the next 60 – 90 days.  The company had the right to withdraw after the denial, but in doing so, forfeits the $100,000 application fee.  It will have to pony up another $100 grand to resubmit.  Vetting a new application will take another six to nine months, pushing any opening into next year. 

ANC6B in support of nearby neighbors, voted last November to file a protest with ABRA against a liquor license for Handle in hopes no liquor license would discourage the owners from opening at the location close to neighborhoods, schools, and day care centers.  The ANC previously supported a sports gambling license for The Brig on Barracks Row.  The difference is that The Brig is not located near schools and day care, and sports gambling is a component of the Brig’s primary business rather than the main business.    

Last night, ANC6B sponsored a community meeting to receive a briefing from attorney Kerry Verdi – whom the Commission has engaged to represent them – about the status of the ANC’s liquor license protest.  The virtual protest hearing before ABRA is scheduled for April 8, at 10:00am.  The ANC is protesting the license as not appropriate on the basis of peace, order, and quiet including noise and litter and residential parking needs and vehicular and pedestrian safety.  A separate ANC motion to dismiss the license application on the basis that the proposed business can’t meet the 45% annual income from food sales based on its seat-to-occupancy ratio was denied as being premature. 

Handle 19 can open a sports book without a liquor license, but must have some other auxiliary business at the location – a requirement which would be satisfied by food service that does not include serving alcohol.  Handle says it will open once it gets a wagering license, liquor license or not.

Owner Shane August continues to hope to find a way to convince neighbors that his business will be an asset to the community and help revitalize the hard hit hospitality sector on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

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Barracks Row Extreme Pizza Opens WED Feb 17 with Classic, GF, and Cauliflower Crusts

Barracks Row Extreme Pizza Opens WED Feb 17 with Classic, GF, and Cauliflower Crusts

by Larry Janezich

Posted February 16, 2021

Barrack Row’s newest restaurant – Extreme Pizza – is opening on Wednesday in the space formerly occupied by Orchid at 520 8th Street, SE.  It will join four other pizza providers on 8th Street – &Pizza, Pizza Boli’s, Matchbox, and Mediterranean Café, but it will be the only one offer four different crusts: classic, wheat, gluten free and cauliflower.

On the menu:  Double columns of Gourmet Signature Pizzas – 15 Carnivore and 10 Veggin’ Out – or the Create Your Own Pizza with an astonishing number of toppings – including vegan bites and cheese. 

Also on the menu:  9 different subs, farm fresh salads, 5 different wings, sides, and desserts. 

You can see their menu here on FB: https://www.facebook.com/ExtremePizzaBarracksRow  

According to Wikipedia, the company was founded in San Francisco in 1994 and has more than 30 locations in the US.  The theme of West Coast restaurants is extreme sports, and the décor features photos of athletes in action.  Restaurants on the East Coast differ in that they reflect the style and local of the neighborhood.

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The Week Ahead – Highlights of Upcoming ANC Meetings – Photos

Here’s a link to a petition against building a permanent fence around the Capitol:  http://bit.ly/3jTpbCT

The Week Ahead – Highlights of Upcoming ANC Meetings – Photos

By Larry Janezich

Posted February 14, 2021

Highlights of Upcoming ANC Meetings

  • Tuesday – ANC6A & ANC6C Transportation Committee hold a joint meeting on H Street traffic and safety issues
  • Wednesday – ANC6D holds a special meeting on Public Safety, with CM Charles Allen

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, February 16,

Special virtual Joint Meeting of ANCs 6A & 6C Transportation & Public Space Committees at 7:00pm, to discuss speeding and safety issues along the H Street Northeast corridor.

For info on joining the meeting, go here: 

https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Introductions & Announcements (10 minutes)
  • Community Comment (90 minutes)
  • Please Note: Public comment will be limited to 3 minutes per person so that all participants have the opportunity to speak. Additional public comment or materials can be submitted for the record in writing via email.
  • TPS and ANC member discussion of action items and next steps.

Ward 6: DPR Ready2Play Virtual Meeting, from 6:30-8:00pm

  • The Ready2Play team will be hosting a series of virtual meetings by ward to discuss the Ready2Play Master Plan and the recreational needs and desires of the different neighborhoods within each ward. To register for the Ward 6 meeting go here:  https://bit.ly/3jLXA6N

Wednesday, February 17

ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee virtual meeting, 7:00pm.

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 1637 D Street, NE. Zoning Application for a special exception to permit construction of a two-story with basement addition to an existing, nonconforming, two-story with basement, principal dwelling unit.
  • 135 13th Street, NE. Zoning Application for a special exception for constructing a second dwelling unit.  
  • 1101 H Street, NE.  Zoning Application for a special exception to permit the construction of a new mixed-use residential building. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

ANC6D Special virtual Meeting on Public Safety, with CM Charles Allen, 7:00pm. 

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Introduction of the Commission and Featured Guests
  • Southwest Public Safety Meeting w/ Councilmember Charles Allen

Thursday, February 18

Mayor Bowser’s 2021 Budget Engagement Forum #2, at 6:00pm. 

For information on how to register and receive a video link for the event, go here: http://bit.ly/2Nqtzgy

  • Join fellow DC residents at virtual forums to share your values, priorities, and ideas with the Bowser Administration as the FY2022 budget is developed.

Twitter: @MayorBowser Instagram: @Mayor_Bowser Facebook: facebook.com/MayorMurielBowser

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Redistricting:  CM Allen “Ward 6 Will Look Different by This Time Next Year”

Redistricting:  CM Allen “Ward 6 Will Look Different by This Time Next Year”

By Larry Janezich

Posted Feb. 14, 2021

At last Thursday night’s, ANC6A meeting, Commissioner Brian Alcorn raised the subject of redistricting with CM Charles Allen, saying “we like being in Ward 6 and hope the City Council will recognize the importance of the coherence of community and will keep us part of Ward 6.”  Allen attended the virtual meeting of ANC6A as part of his spring tour of the Ward 6 ANCs.

Allen took the opportunity to lay out how the redistricting following the 2020 census will unfold, saying that redistricting is “not a fun process,” that Ward 6 is the biggest in the city, and “it will look different by this time next year”. 

Allen said that we’ll see what the census numbers look like by the end of March.  The city’s total population will be divided by 8 to establish an average.  Regulations require that each ward be plus or minus 5% of the average number.

The City Council’s Redistricting Subcommittee (comprised of at-large members – Bonds, Henderson, Silverman) will hold public hearings about which boundaries need to move to achieve the population goals. The Committee will make proposals in June and the City Council will vote.  Allen said, “I can’t make promises – I don’t know what will happen.”  He advised individuals to reach out to the Redistricting Committee to express concerns.

Within each ward a committee – appointed by the Ward Councilmember – will make recommendations about ANC and SMD boundaries.  No sitting ANC Commissioner will be on the committee.  The City Council will vote on the resulting proposed map of ANCs and Single Member Districts. 

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ABRA Denies ANC6B Motion to Dismiss Handle 19 Liquor License Application

ABRA Denies ANC6B Motion to Dismiss Handle 19 Liquor License Application

by Larry Janezich

Posted February 12, 2021

Wednesday, the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) handed ANC6B a setback in their effort to prevent Handle 19 from opening a sports book operation at 319 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  The Board denied the ANC’s motion to dismiss Handle’s application for a liquor license on the basis that Handle could not meet the criteria for a restaurant under their proposed business model.

DC regulations say a sports book business can’t open as a standalone, but must be associated with another operation – like a restaurant.  ANC6B has no ability to protest the granting of a gaming license issued by DC Lottery, so it – in support of a number of nearby neighbors –launched two actions with ABRA to deny Handle a liquor license. 

First, ANC6B filed a protest with ABRA based on “peace, order, and quiet” against the liquor license application in hopes a denial would make pursuing the proposed wagering outlet less attractive. 

On a separate track, ANC6B filed a motion with ABRA to deny a liquor license on the grounds that Handle 19 did not qualify as a restaurant.  The ANC’s rational was that Handle 19 did not meet the criteria for a restaurant because – given the ratio of the number of dining seats to the total occupancy of the building – Handle can’t meet the 45% gross annual food receipts as required by DC regulation. 

The Board denied the ANC’s motion to dismiss application for the license on this basis “because the question of whether the establishment qualifies as a restaurant is a question … that can only be resolved at hearing, not through pre-hearing speculation” and that Board would have to consider other criteria that could be introduced into evidence.  In addition, the Board noted, there are multiple ways to comply with the food sale requirement and that the regulations provides some flexibility to make corrections to operations if a restaurant is found deficient in food sales. 

With respect to the ANC’s protest of the license based on “peace, order, and quiet”, ABRA granted ANC6B’s motion to put off the protest hearing until April 8, to accommodate the travel schedule of ANC6B’s counsel.  That protest hearing remains on ABRA’s schedule, even though as reported earlier, on January 28, the Office of Lottery and Gaming issued an Executive Director’s Order denying Handle 19’s Sports wagering license.  According to ANC6B Alcohol Beverage Committee resident member Chander Jayaraman, Handle has until February 18th to appeal. 

Handle 19 has not indicated how it will respond to the denial, but it is reported to be “negotiating” with DC Lottery as was reported at Tuesday night’s ANC6B February meeting.  Conceivably, there are paths forward – such as winning an appeal or reapplying – for Handle 19 to continue to pursue the wagering license. 

Correction:  An earlier post on CHC mistakenly stated that Handle 19 – not ANC6B – had filed the motion to dismiss the application for the liquor license.  Additionally, the application fee for a sports betting application is $100,000, not $5,0000. CHC regrets the errors.

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DC Will Revamp Vaccine Appointment Process in March

DC Will Revamp Vaccine Appointment Process in March

by Larry Janezich

Posted February 11, 2021

Mayor Bowser held a situational briefing today to announce some forthcoming changes in the vaccine registration process and other vaccine related news.  Here are the highlights:

  • In early March, the registration process will be updated to allow individuals to sign up to be notified when there is vaccine available to them. Tier eligibility, zip code and timing of registration will be the three criteria (an “equity lens”) which will determine when those who are registered will be eligible to receive an appointment and DOH will notify registrants accordingly.  Once a group of registrants is notified, people in the group will have a limited amount of time to accept or decline.  If they accept, they can schedule appointment at a place convenient for them.  Then the DOH will notify the next group as vaccine becomes available. 
  • Next week’s allotment of vaccine will be 14,275 doses – up 50 % from two weeks ago.
  • Approximately 40% of seniors will be vaccinated by the end of this week and 70% by the end of February. Grocery store employees will become eligible next month, including small groceries and delis. 
  • Friday (February 12) morning, 2500 doses will be available to seniors and health care workers in all zip codes. Web portal appointments have gone faster than phone call appointments. 
  • DOH has asked FEMA to supply and administer vaccine to federal employees including Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches, the Postal Service, Federal Reserve and WMATA.
  • Next week will see an adjustment in time regarding when the web portal and phone bank will open, since 9:00am is not convenient for everyone.
  • Last night, the DC Department of Health was notified by the CDC that three cases of the UK variant and one case of the South African variant have been found in the District. There are likely more cases, since not all cases are examined for genetic sequencing – only a sample.  Dr. Nesbitt urged continuing use of masks and social distancing. 

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