Highlights from Mayor Bowser’s January 19 Situational Update

Highlights from Mayor Bowser’s January 19 Situational Update

by Larry Janezich

Mayor Bowsers held a situational update in the middle of the median on Pennsylvania Avenue, at 7th Street, SE, this afternoon, along with Council Members Charles Allen and Brook Pinto, MPD Chief Contee, HLS Director Chris Rodriquez, Deputy Mayor Mitchell, and others.

She said she wanted to check in ahead of the Inaugural and discuss what’s in the future for DC.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Sousa, 11th Street, and South Capitol Bridges, originally scheduled to be completely shut down inbound, will remain partially open with traffic reduced to one lane inbound.
  • Every MPD Police District has contingency plans and resources for any demonstrations which spill into residential neighborhoods.
  • DC’s overall need for COVID-19 vaccine is much greater than supply. With the intense scarcity, the distribution will be imperfect until we get more vaccine.  The allocation by ward was meant to address issues concerning those who were underrepresented in the number of vaccinations administered and over represented in the numbers of those infected.  Creation of a central registry to administer the vaccine would still involve a question of how to select people for vaccinations.
  • The city is looking into whether there are any additional federal funds to compensate business adversely affected by the security lockdown.
  • Bowser said DC doesn’t want fences or armed troops longer in the city than they have to be – “but we want to be smart. We want to see the best approach to hardening our security posture without looking like were hardening.”
  • There are no indications of specific or credible threats to any building outside the federal enclave.
  • The Mayor has nothing to announce regarding the end of the ban on indoor dining at restaurants now in place until 5:00am on January 22.
  • The majority of those arrested under the Inaugural security restrictions have been charged at the federal level and will appear in District Court.

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Four ANCs On/Near Capitol Hill Elect Officers

Four ANCs On/Near Capitol Hill Elect Officers

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 19, 2021

Last week the four ANCs on or abutting Capitol Hill met for the first meeting of 2021.  As part of the regular order of business new officers were elected, many held over from last year.  A noteable exception was the election of Edward Daniels as Chair of ANC6D. Those officers marked with an asterisk in the list below are newly elected to the post. 

ANC6A Officers and Commissioners

  • Amber Gove 6A04, Chair
  • Keya Chatergee 6A01, Vice Chair*
  • Laura Gentile 6A05, Secretary *
  • Brian Alcorn 6A08, Treasurer
  • Other Commissioners:
  • Phil Toomajian 6A02
  • Mike Soderman 6A03
  • Robb Dooling 6A06
  • Sondra Phillips-Gilbert 6A 07

ANC6B Officers and Commissioners

  • Brian Ready 6B03, Chair
  • Steve Holtzman, Vice Chair *
  • Jerry Sroufe, Secretary
  • Corey Holman, Treasurer
  • Kirsten Oldenburg, Parliamentarian *
  • Other Commissioners:
  • Jennifer Samolyk 6B01
  • Edward Ryder 6B07
  • Peter Wright 6B08
  • Alison Horn 6B09
  • Denise Krepp 6B10

ANC6C Officers and Commissioners

  • Karen Wirt 6C02 Chair
  • Mark Eckenwiler 6C04, Vice Chair
  • Christine Healey 6C01, Secretary
  • Joel Kelty 6C05, Treasurer
  • Other Commissioners:
  • Jay Adelstein  6C03
  • Drew Courtney 6C06

ANC6D Officers and Commissioners

  • Edward Daniels  6D07, Chair*
  • Fredrica “Rikki” Kramer 6D05, Vice Chair*
  • Jared Weiss 6D02, Secretary*
  • Ronald Collins 6D03, Treasurer
  • Other Commissioners: 
  • Andrew Bossi 6D01
  • Andy Litsky 6D04
  • Rhonda Hamilton 6D06

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Extreme Pizza To Open on Barracks Row

Extreme Pizza To Open on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

An Extreme Pizza franchise is on the cusp of opening in the space formerly occupied by Orchid at 520 8th Street, SE.  There it will join four other pizza providers: &Pizza, Pizza Boli’s, Matchbox, and Mediterranean Café.

According to the websites of two Arlington outlets, the restaurant will offer salads, subs, calzones and wings in addition to pizza.  You can check out the menu for the Pentagon City location here:  http://bit.ly/3bRAvNY

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…& Photo Essay of US Capitol Security

The Week Ahead…& Photo Essay of US Capitol Security

Monday, January 18

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.  DC Government closed. No trash or recycling.

Wednessday, January 20

Inaugural Day.  DC Government closed. No trash or recycling.

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

For information on joining the meeting, go here:  http://bit.ly/3p95vNI

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 1637 D Street, NE.  Zoning Adjustment Application for special exception to construct a two-story with basement addition to an existing, nonconforming, two-story with basement, principal dwelling unit.
  • 1300 I Street, NE,  Zoning Adjustment Application for a special exception under the residential  to construct a third story, with rear and side additions, and to construct six residential units to an existing, two-story, detached building. 

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Vaccination/Inaugural Safety Update

This map from the Washington post shows where the 7+ foot non-scaleable fencing was up. Since then, additional fences hav been erected around the House Office Buildings and the US Capitol Police HQ and parking losts north of the Hart Senate Office Building.

Vaccination/Inaugural Safety Update

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 17, 2021

The District government is closed on Monday for MLK, Jr. Day and on Wednesday for Inauguration Day.  No trash/recycling pick up.  

Vaccinations: 

DC’s vaccination appointment portal will open at 9:00am Monday for DC residents over 65 and health care workers.  There are 1,436 appointments available.  Here’s the link:  https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc

Inaugural:

For public safety alerts related to the Inaugural, text INAUG2021 to 888777.

For crime and emergency alerts from public safety officials, sign up for DC Alerts here:  https://hsema.dc.gov/page/alertdc          

To send an anonymous tip, text 50411.

On January 11, Mayor Bowser extended the order pausing Phase 2 activities – including indoor restaurant dining – until 5am on Jan 22. Here’s a link to the order.  https://bit.ly/2XNutWw

On January 11, Mayor Bowser extended the Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency through March 31. Here’s a link to the order.  https://bit.ly/3bLV1zm

 

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Mayor Bowser’s Wednesday Briefing on COVID-19 Vaccinations & Inaugural Security

Mayor Bowser’s Wednesday Briefing on COVID-19 Vaccinations & Inaugural Security

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 14, 2021

Mayor Bowser held a briefing on Wednesday along with Director of the DC Health Department Nesbitt and Acting Chief of Police Contee.

Here are some of the highlights from the briefing:

Vaccinations:

  • The 6700 appointments available on Monday were gone by mid-day. A new round of appointments will be made available as soon as DC receives more vaccine from the federal government.
  • The office of the Chief Information Officer is working to correct glitches in the rollout of the vaccination program.
  • The system should have shut down access to registration for an appointment once no appointments were available. It did not and that is being addressed.
  • If you filled out the registration form on line and did not get an appointment you have to re-register.
  • DC Health has doubled the number of operators in call centers to help register those who do not have access to the internet. Those call centers access the registration portal and fill out registration documents for those who call in.
  • The decision to vaccinate those over 65 instead of the CDC recommended 75 plus was made locally because of the disproportionate number of cases in racial and ethnic groups.
  • Health care systems like Kaiser, George Washington, Johns Hopkins, and Sibley are distributing the vaccine to their members within those health care system.
  • It will not be possible to deliver vaccine to individuals who are home bound owning to storage requirements.
  • Vaccine can be delivered to those homebound in large venues.
  • It’s premature to say that last week’s public gathering and insurrection at the Capitol contributed to the record number of new cases announced on January 11. That elevated figure may be related to holiday travel. 
  • Maryland has reported two cases of the variant strain of the COVID – 19 virus. It has a higher rate of transmission; it is not a question of if it will get to DC, but when.  New restrictions may have to be imposed to control spread of the variant. 
  • Nesbitt knocked down the perception that those vaccinated can stop wearing masks after completing the vaccination regimen. She said, “We don’t know a lot about an individual’s ability to acquire or transmit in a post-vaccination situation“.   

Security:

  • Acting Chief Contee said the main security concern is through this weekend and beyond. (There have been press reports of a march of militants on Sunday, a protest demonstration on Inaugural day, and a demonstration in support of the female insurrectionist who was shot while storming the Capitol on January 6.)
  • There are two additional demonstration planned for this month. A March for Reparations is being planned for January 20 – 21, and a Right to Life March on January 29. 
  • The final number of National Guard in DC will be determined by the Secret Service, but will be “upwards of 20,000”.
  • There will be signification impacts to travel including closure of Metro stations, roads, and hotels. There will be a lot of security personnel in the city and officials are trying to balance their housing needs with the need to discourage people from travelling to DC for the Inaugural. 
  • Air B&B has cancelled reservations for Inaugural week.
  • DC can refuse to issue permits for public gatherings based on a health emergency, but can’t stop public gatherings. Bowser said that permits were not issued for the BLM demonstrations last summer.
  • The Inaugural falls into a National Special Event category and that brings in an entirely different command and control operation.

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ANC6B Beats Back Attempt to Defund Protest of Handle-19 Sports Book Liquor License

ANC6B Beats Back Attempt to Defund Protest of Handle-19 Sports Book Liquor License

by Larry Janezich

Last night, ANC6B voted 6 – 4 to defeat a motion by Commissioner Corey Holman to rescind a previous ANC decision to authorize spending $14,000 for lawyer’s fees to represent the ANC in its protest of a liquor license for Handle – 19 – a sports betting establishment trying to open at 319 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

As reported earlier on CHC, ANC6B is joining nearby residents to protest a liquor license before ABRA for the gambling venue which the neighbors view as an existential threat to their neighborhood and quality of life.  Handle – 19 has the right to open up in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, but neighbors are gambling they won’t if a liquor license is denied. 

Holman said that the ANC represents itself on a regular basis and has the ability to represent itself before ABRA.  He said” the money seems too much and not enough at the same time” and amounted to one half of the ANC’s annual budget allocation.  He added that if the motion was agreed to, he would move to use the funding to reestablish ANC6B COVID relief programs. 

Former commissioner Chander Jayraman said that rescinding the funding “would be like going to a gunfight with blanks.  The ANC will be going up against a giant corporation with lots of money.  If we do vote to defund, why bother to protest?” Jayaraman, following his unsuccessful run for city council, remains an active participant in community affairs, especially on matters related to liquor licenses.  In addition to chairing the Commission, he chaired the 6B Alcohol Beverage Control Committee during his tenure.

Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg, agreed with Jayaraman, saying that if the ANC goes in front of ABRA to protest without a lawyer it sends the message that we’re caving on this.  She added, “we can’t go to a protest hearing without legal expertise.”  She later said that she would prefer to have an absolute cap on the amount of money the ANC could spend in legal fees. 

Late in the debate, Holman seemed resigned to seeing his motion defeated, saying that he could see which way this was going, and concluded his remarks observing that “the ANC did not make a good faith effort to reach a settlement agreement” limiting Handle-19’s operations.

The breakdown of the vote is as follows:

Those opposed to the motion to rescind funding:  Commissioners Samolyk, Sroufe, Ready, Holtzman, Wright, and Krepp.

Those in support of the motion to rescind funding:  Oldenburg, Holman, Ryder, and Horn. 

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Operation Warp Speed Changes Vaccine Release and Allocation

Operation Warp Speed Changes Vaccine Release and Allocation

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 12, 2021

HHS Secretary Azar and other top officials from Operation Warp Speed held a noon briefing Tuesday on the  transition to the next phase of vaccinations  (DC has already effectively moved to its next phase but Azar’s briefing provided additional details and answered some questions left hanging out there by local officials.)

Azar said that the supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has expanded and that doses allocated exceed the demand for those in Phase 1 A – Long Term Care Residents, Healthcare Personnel (including Veterinary medicine), Fire & Emergency Medical Personnel, and Frontline Public Health Workers. 

There are four components to the next phase:

  • Expand groups eligible to include those most vulnerable – 65 plus or those under 65 with comorbidity. (DC has done this.)
  • Expand channels for vaccinations to include pharmacies, community health centers and mass vaccination sites. (DC has done this.)
  • Release of the entire vaccine supply rather than holding back doses for the second vaccination.
  • HHS gives two weeks’ notice of allocation changes – from an allocation based on per capita to a model based on states’ pace of administering first doses and the size of 65 plus population. If states are not using the vaccine, allocation will be rebalanced to states that are using the vaccine. 

With respect to whether distributing the entire supply as it becomes available could delay administering the second dose, Azar said that supplies would be distributed in a way that assures those eligible for a second dose would receive that dose before the vaccines available for eligible individuals to get the first dose.  He said officials are not comfortable with extending the time frame after either the 21 or 28 day optimal time period for the second dose other than “a day or two on either side.”

Azar advised those at high risk who have been diagnosed with COVID to ask doctors for the widely available antibody therapies.  Currently, 700,000 doses are being administered per day, and within 10 days that number will rise to one million. 

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Rocky Roll Out for Phase 1B Tier 1 Vaccination Appointments

Rocky Roll Out for Phase 1B Tier 1 Vaccination Appointments

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 11, 2021

A lot of people were disappointed when they tried to register and make an appointment to be vaccinated against COVID-19 yesterday.

On Monday morning – before the expected noon launch time – DC opened up its second phase of vaccinations for the next round of eligible groups.  Included in this Phase 1B Tier 1: 

DC Residents age 65 years and older

Congregate Settings (Intermediate care facilities, community residential facilities, group homes, homeless shelters)

Correctional Officers

Staff working in Congregate Settings

Non-healthcare personnel supporting operations of COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Those signing on to the website at noon to register and make an appointment found that no appointments were available at some vaccination centers.  By 2:15pm, there were no appointments left at all.  During the Mayor’s situational briefing on Monday, DOH Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said that 4,000 appointments would be available this week, and that the weekly deliveries of vaccine of 8,300 had not substantially changed. 

Some attempting to register complained that the website was not friendly – perhaps overwhelmed by the number of requests.

(Update:  In an early morning email to constituents, Holtzman said that the office of the DC Chief Technology Officer is trying to correct problems with the website and registration process.  The vaccine portal is being modified in the next couple of days with the intent of showing all the vaccine sites and showing how many appointments are still available.)  The Mayor will undoubtedly have a situational briefing this week with additional information.  

Those eligible today, joined those in the Phase 1A groups previously declared eligible but who have not yet been vaccinated.  Those groups include:

Long Term Care Residents

Healthcare Personnel (including Veterinary medicine)

Fie & Emergency Medical Personnel

Frontline Public Health Workers. 

Following complaints from constituents, ANC6B Commissioner Steve Holtzman emailed the Mayor’s office and CM Charles Allen to urge making the system user friendly, to find a way to inform applicants when no more appointments are available, and when the next round of appointments will be available through the website. 

As of 11:00am on Monday:

26,672 doses have been administered

45,425 doses have been delivered (and spoken for)

8,300 doses become available this week

The vaccination registration website is here:  https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 10, 2021

Monday, January 11

ANC6D holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Public Safety Report with Captain Dorrough and Lt. Donigan.
  • Briefing on Vulcan Concrete Plant Permit from DOEE Air Quality Division.
  • Briefing on VCap for 100 V Street, SE by DOEE.
  • Appointment of the ABC Committee.
  • 33 District Square – Surfside.  Amended Community Agreement for breakfast hours.
  • 749 Whart Street, SE.  Kirwans.  Class C Tavern Liquor License renewal.
  • 280 12th Street, SE.  Zoning Appliction for design redevelopment exception.
  • Election of 2021 ANC6D Officers.

ANC6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • The Boiling Crab Restaurant, 400 H Street, NE,  Amended hours.
  • Uncle Kenny’s Smokehouse, 732 Maryland Avenue, NE.  New application for retailer’s Class C restaurant liquor license.
  • Undercurrent Collective, 26 K Street, NE. New application for retailer’s Class A Liquor License Internet.

Tuesday, January 12

ANC6B will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For information on joining the meeting go here:  https://anc6b.org/event/january-full-anc-meeting/?instance_id=58

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Presentation:  Director Trueblood – Director of the DC Office of Planning.
  • Presentation:  Commander Morgan Kane, First District MPD.
  • Fine Wine & Spirits, 801 Virginia Avenue, S.E.. Application for a New Retailer’s Class A Liquor License. 
  • Update on Boys and Girls Club Term Sheet extension and modification. DGS Representative Erica Dukes erica.dukes@dc.gov and Sarosh Olpadwala Sarosh.Olpadwala@dc.gov.
  • 514 Archibald Walk SE, Zoning Adjustment Appliction.  Special exceptions to convert an existing residential parking garage to a two-story, attached, principal dwelling unit.
  • 1507 E Street SE, Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a three-story rear addition and a third floor addition to an existing principal dwelling unit.
  • 514 9th Sttreet, SE, Zoning Adjustment Application.   Special Exception to construct a second story addition to an existing one-story principal dwelling unit.
  • 314 10th St SE, Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a two-story addition, with cellar, to an existing two-story principal dwelling unit.
  • 921 G Street SE, Historic Preservation Application – concept review for dogleg infill and partial one-story rooftop addition.
  • Request to Rename Ellen Wilson Street, SE.
  • Proposed ANC6B Traffic Calming Inventory.
  • Discussion of Evaluation Process in 4 Experimental Advisory Bike Lane Projects Undertaken or Planned by DDOT in ANC6B.
  • Election of Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian.

Wednesday, January 13

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

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Introduction of the Mayor’s new Ward 6 representative—Isamar Vaquero.
  • Introduction of the New president of NoMa—Maura Brophy.
  • Discussion:  Public bathrooms.
  • Presentation:  School Without Walls, firing of principal Trogisch—Maria Helena Carey.
  • The Boiling Crab Restaurant, 400 H Street, NE,  Amended hours.
  • Uncle Kenny’s Smokehouse, 732 Maryland Avenue, NE.  New application for retailer’s Class C restaurant liquor license.
  • Undercurrent Collective, 26 K Street, NE. New application for retailer’s Class A Liquor License Internet.
  • NoMa benches, Public Space Application. 
  • Press House Artwork, 301-331 N Street NE, Public Space Application.
  • Boiling Crab sidewalk café, 400 H Street NE, Public Space Application.
  • 1165 Third Street NE, Zoning Adjustment Application.  Revised application.
  • Public hearing, proposed zoning amendments, penthouses.

Thursday, January 14

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

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Election of officers for 2021.
  • Election of committee members and chairs.
  • Presentation:  Eastern Senior High School – Sah Brown, Principal; Regina McClure, NAF Director, Eastern Academy of Health Sciences; and Elizabeth Braganza, IB Coordinator.
  • Presentation:  Capitol BIKESHARE – Lester Wallace.
  • Consideration of a proposal that ANC 6A determine whether to remove from template settlement agreements language requiring establishments to ask loiterers to move away from premises and authorize the co-chairs of the ABL to make any corresponding changes required.
  • Goding Elementary School  – Public Space Application in support of modernization. 
  • 1608 East Capitol Street, NE.  Zoning Adjustment Application for a special exception re parking requirements to convert an existing detached two-story carriage house to a principal dwelling unit.
  • 229 8th Street, NE.  Historic Preservation Application for concept review of a new two-story accessory structure/garage with a green roof.
  • Eliot-Hine Middle School.  Request for support for construction team for permission to work on the following holidays MLK Day, Inauguration Day, Presidents’ Day and Emancipation Day, in order to meet the construction schedule.
  • Establishment of the ANC6A Ad Hoc By Laws Committee.

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