Monthly Archives: January 2020

The War on Rats – an Update

Gerard Brown, head of the rat control division, DC Department of Health, at Tuesday night’s ANC6B meeting.

The War on Rats – an Update

by Larry Janezich

On Tuesday night, ANC6B heard an update on the Rat Wars from Gerard Brown, who heads up the DC Department of Health’s rat control division.  Judging by the praise he received, Brown is pretty high on the list of the ANC’s favorite DC employees.  A lot of that has to do with Brown’s dedication to his job, and a lot has to do with his charm and straight talk.

What’s new is that his office has purchased a carbon monoxide machine to inject the gas into rat burrows which quickly kills rats underground.  This promises to be more effective than putting dry ice in burrows to achieve the same purpose.  Brown said his division has partnered with the Downtown Bid which pinpointed rat activity in specific tree boxes.  After treatment with carbon monoxide, the BID installs wire mesh below ground in the tree boxes to prevent rats from coming back.  Brown says he is reaching out to the Capitol Hill BID to enlist their services for a similar effort here on Capitol Hill.

Brown also said that the pilot program to sterilize rats which started last May has been extended.  He has had calls from all over the country with questions about the method’s effectiveness, but it’s too early to say.  Rats have been consuming the liquid which is dispensed in boxes around the city – one of which has been placed in the alley behind the restaurants across from Eastern Market.  Cameras will be installed which will allow the Health Department to judge the effectiveness by observing the number of juvenile rats.

In other news, the staff of his division has been increased from 12 to 16 and reorganized to increase efficiency.  In addition, his office is working to reduce the time lag between a complaint and a response to three days.

Brown said that weapons in the rat control arsenal currently include carbon monoxide, rodenticide, enforcement of trash violations, and partnership with residents.  He urged residents to report rat and trash issues.  Rodent control staff treats rat issues on public property but will treat the exterior of private property if residents request a rodent inspection and treatment. Here’s the link https://311.dc.gov/citizen/home

For other complaints about rodents or trash violations, residents should contact the Mayor’s Hotline at 311. Request the report be sent to DC Health, and the Health Department will receive the complaints electronically.

 

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Brian Ready Elected Chair of ANC6B

Commissioner Brian Ready, left, was elected Chair of ANC6B at the January meeting of the commission last night. Outgoing chair Chander Jayaraman is at right.

ANC6B elected other officers for the 2020 term on the commission.  Vice Chair, Chander Jayaraman, fourth from left, Secretary, Jerry Sroufe, (not shown), Treasurer, Corey Holman, second from right; Parliamentarian, Kelly Waud, third from right.

Brian Ready Elected Chair of ANC6B

by Larry Janezich

Last night, ANC6B elected Commissioner Brian Ready to Chair the Commission for the year-long term ending in January of 2021.  Outgoing Chair Chander Jayaraman nominated Ready, saying “It’s not often you get a chance to nominate someone like Brian, who, he noted is apparently* (see below) the first African American chair of ANC6B.  He characterized Ready as kind and thoughtful and expressed confidence that he will be a great chair adding that he was gratified to be able to nominate him.  Ready was approved by acclamation.

Ready, who is in his first term as Commissioner, represents single member district 6B03 which includes Southeast Library and Marion Park.  He has received considerable attention for his efforts to revitalize Barracks Row, chairing the ANC’s Barracks Row Working Group, comprised of ANC Commissioners and business owners.

Jayaraman decided not to run for a second term as Chair after he announced his candidacy for a Member-at-Large seat on the DC City Council.  He will serve out the remainder of his ANC term and continue to chair the Alcohol Beverage Committee, but is prohibited from running for reelection while running for City Council.

The ANC installed remaining officers, also by acclamation:  Chander Jayaraman, Vice Chair, Jerry Sroufe, Secretary; Corey Holman, Treasurer; and Kelly Waud, Parliamentarian.

*Former ANC6B Commissioner Peter Waldron notes that in 1994, Evelyn Washington was elected Chair of ANC6B succeeding Jamie Platt and followed by Peter Waldron for two terms.  Ms. Washington was African American.  There were 13 commissioners in 6B at that time plus a permanently unfilled Single Member District (SMD) that represented those housed in the DC jail.  We kicked around ideas on how to represent those who were incarcerated but the long and short of it was whoever was elected would not be able to attend meetings.  Ms. Washington was an able commissioner and chair.

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The Week Ahead…ANC6B to Elect New Leadership

Last Friday, 147 protesters demanding action on climate change were arrested on the steps of the US Capitol and charged with obstruction. Among them were actors Joaquin Phoenix and Martin Sheen and writer Naomi Klein. Some 500 turned out for the final Fire Drill Friday, organized by Jane Fonda.

The Week Ahead…ANC6B to Elect New Leadership

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B will elect new leadership on Tuesday and change is in the wind as Chair Chander Jayaraman, who is running for city council, is stepping down as chair.  Though he will continue to serve out his term on the ANC, Jayaraman cannot run for re-election if he is running for city council, so his single member district seat will be contested this fall.

ANC6D is electing leadership on Monday, but it looks like current officers will be re-elected. 6D will get an update on the 11th Street Bridge Park, for those following that issue, and will consider a couple of new restaurant liquor licenses.

In addition to the election of new leadership, ANC6B will hear a presentation from the Pied Piper of the DC Health Department, Gerard Brown, on those noisome rodent issues. The Commission will also get an update on the status the ANC’s protest of District Soul Food’s liquor license based on noise and entertainment concerns. The ANC has retained attorney James Loots to represent them in pursuing the complaint before the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration.

Monday, January 13

ANC 6D meets at 7:00pm, 1100 4th Street., Southwest.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Public Safety Report, First District MPD – Capt. Pulliam, Lt. Donigian, Lt. Anderson.

Presentation:

Department of Energy and Environment presentation – Jennifer Kulp, Energy Program Specialist.

Wharf Phase 2 – Dump trucks, traffic plan, concrete pours, after hours work.

Letter requesting increased monitoring and enforcement of utility crews operating in the District.

Chopsmith, 11 District Square, Southwest – new Class D restaurant liquor license, plus stipulated license.

MOMO, 1001 4th Street, Southwest – new Class C restaurant liquor license.

207th Street, Southwest – Public Space Committee application.

11th Street Bridge Park project update.

Resolution proposing pedestrian only designation for Half Street between M & N Street, Southeast, near Nationals Ballpark.

Resolution – that DC Department of Transportation accept resident petition for residential parking on south side of M St., Southwest, east of Sixth Street to 430 M Street.

Election of ANC 6D officers for the 2020 term.

Tuesday, January 14

ANC6B will meet at 7:00pm, at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:

Gerard Brown, DC Department of Health, to speak on DC rodent concerns and efforts to reduce rodent population.

Bricklane Restaurant; 517 8th Street, SE – Class C Tavern license Renewal

530 11th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application for concept for two-story rear addition.

800 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE (Metro Plaza Park Project), Public Space Application for: Paving: ADA Curb Ramp, Paving: Curb & Gutter(s), Paving: Sidewalk(s), Fixture: Bench(es), Fixture: Bike Rack(s): DDOT Standard, Fixture: Bollard(s) (Exception), Fixture: Fence to 42″ (Open Design), Fixture: Playground, Fixture: Table (Except for commercial), Fixture: Trash Receptacle(s) (Exception).

ANC 6B Comments and Proposed Amendments to Comprehensive Plan.

ANC 6B Rezoning Application for triangle bounded by 12th Street, SE; Water Street, SE; and M Street, SE (potential helipad site).

Review of Comp Plan Transportation Chapter.

Presentation on EMMP Transportation Impact Study.

Request to Remove AM Rush from 900 Block of I Street, SE.

Election of Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian

Wednesday, January 15

ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, Corner of 10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda.

1301 H Street, NE:  Request for relief of Residential Parking Permit restrictions from a resident at 1301 H Street, NE.

DC Draft Comprehensive Plan Updates: Incorporate recommended changes from Capitol Hill Village into the ANC 6A submission to the DC Comprehensive Plan.  The Comprehensive Plan establishes a vision and broad goals to help inform decision-making and provide context for residents, officials, and stakeholders and can help guide and inform more fine-grained planning efforts.

Thursday, January 16

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee meets at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE

Agenda not available at press time.

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Environmental Activists Shut Down Capitol Hill Chase Bank Outlet to Protest Fossil Fuel Funding – Photos

The occupation.  (seated, left of center, Bill McKibben and the Reverend Lennox Yearwood) More photos below.

Environmental Activists Shut Down Capitol Hill Chase Bank Outlet to Protest Fossil Fuel Funding

by Larry Janezich

On Friday morning, some 20 activists lead by environmental activist and global warming author Bill McKibben and community activist the Reverend Lennox Yearwood, occupied the office of Capitol Hill’s local Chase Banking outlet located at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, in the Hine Project, shutting it down for several hours.

The occupation started about 11:30am and marked the launch of a national protest effort against banks and financial organizations who directly or indirectly fund fossil fuel companies.  The event was one of three today, and was held in conjunction with the environmental activist group Fire Drill Friday, headed up by Jane Fonda.  Fonda has led a series of Friday demonstrations on Capitol Hill to demand action to address the climate emergency.  Today marked the final day in the series of demonstrations at the Capitol.  Fonda and a contingent of activists came from the Capitol  to the Chase Bank outlet to support McKibben and Yearwood’s group inside.

The protest ended after several hours, with the arrest of ten people who were charged with trespassing – refusing to leave the bank after being warned by MPD.  They included 350.0rg founder Bill McKibben; Friends of the Earth Vice President, Liz Butler; Hip Hop Caucus Director, Lennox Yearwood; and Divest-Invest Director, Clara Vondrich.

305, named after 350 parts per million – the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, was founded in 2008 by a group of university friends in the United States along with McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, with the goal of building a global climate movement.  McKibben said that on Monday, 350 would announce a date this spring for a national protest against financial organizations that fund fossil fuels.

Yearwood is a minister and community activist who currently serves as President of the Hip Hop Caucus, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers young people to participate in elections, policy making and service projects.

Here’s a video of remarks by McKibben inside the bank.

More information here:

https://350.org/

https://www.stopthemoneypipeline.com/

Heading in to Chase Bank, circa 11:25am.

We’re here to….

The protest. McKibben at right.

The cops were called.

And address the situation.

Jane Fonda (left, center, in red) arrives with some 100 activists from the demonstration on the East Front of the US Capitol.  They support the protest from outside the bank.

Fonda and supporters before returning to the Capitol Grounds.

 

 

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ANC6B Committee Supports Closing “Slip Lanes” – Changing Traffic at Eastern Market Metro

ANC6B’s Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday night. At far left, standing: Cassidy Mullen, Department of General Services, and Kirsten Oldenburg, Committee chair.

ANC6B Transportation Committee supported the city’s plan to close the two “slip lanes” marked in red on the map.  The lane in front of Trader Joe’s is currently used by drivers travelling west on D Street north-side (in yellow) or those travelling south on 8th Street to merge onto Pennsylvania Avenue without going through the stop light.  The lane in front of Dunkin’ Donuts is used by drivers travelling east on D Street south-side (in yellow) or those travelling north on 8th Street to merge onto Pennsylvania Avenue without going through the stop light.  The committee opposed the city’s plan to reverse the current direction of the flow of traffic on the two D Streets on either side of the Metro Plaza (marked in yellow). 

ANC6B Committee Supports Closing “Slip Lanes” – Changing Traffic at Eastern Market Metro

by Larry Janezich

Last night, ANC6 B’s Transportation Committee supported proposed changes in the traffic patterns around Eastern Market Metro Plaza, voting to endorse the city’s plan to close the two “slip lanes” (one in front of Trader Joe’s and the other in front of Dunkin’ Donuts) which permit drivers on 8th Street and on D Street on either side of Metro Plaza to access Pennsylvania Avenue and thereby avoid the stoplights at 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue.

The ANC refused to support the city’s plan to reverse the flow of vehicular traffic on the two D Streets.

The city’s rationale for closing the slip lanes and reversing the flow of traffic on the two D Streets, according to Department of General Service’s Cassidy Mullen, has several parts: closing the two slip lanes eliminates opportunities for pedestrians and vehicles to meet and is in the interest of pedestrian safety, the two triangular parcels which the slip lanes cut through “don’t serve much purpose” and could be reprogrammed with landscaping and outdoor seating, and finally, reversing the flow of traffic between Street on the two D Streets prevents vehicles from turning right or left onto 8th Street which increases congestion at those intersections.

Committee chair Kirsten Oldenburg supported closing the slip lanes, saying that the redesign of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza is all about drawing pedestrians and that from her perspective, the goal of pedestrian safety at the expense of vehicular experience is a tradeoff worth making.  Mullen said that in an on-line survey, 2/3 of the 700 respondents supported the closure of the slip lanes.

There was substantial opposition to reversing the flow of traffic on the two D Streets which many saw as creating more problems than it purported to solve.

The motion that the ANC support the closure of the slip lane in front of Dunkin’ Donuts passed 12 – 1 with 1 abstention, while the motion that the ANC support the closure of the slip lane in front of Trader Joe’s along with a statement expressing concern about the heavy Metro-bound pedestrian traffic at that location passed 10 – 4.

The motion that the ANC NOT support the reversal of traffic on D Street (on either side of the Metro Plaza) passed by a vote of 11 – 0 with 3 abstentions.

The city’s plan anticipates carving out a two-car long drop off space on Pennsylvania Avenue to accommodate Trader Joe’s and the adjacent daycare center.

The ANC went on to support the city’s plan to narrow pedestrian crossings at 9th and South Carolina Avenue and 7th and South Carolina Avenue in the interests of pedestrian safety.

These recommendations will be forwarded to the full ANC for consideration at its monthly meeting on January 14.  The recommendations of the ANC are not binding on the city, but city agencies are required to “give great weight” to ANC opinions. Whether or not the Department of Transportation will accede to the ANC’s recommendations on this matter remains to be seen.  In the past, on some occasions, DDOT has had little regard for community input.

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The Week Ahead….

Eastern Market, Saturday, January 4, circa 4:15pm

The Week Ahead…

by Larry Janezich

Business gets back to normal after the holidays, although things get off to a slow start since not much happens during December to beef up the agendas.  Revisions to the Comprehensive Plan (important but impenetrable) will occupy a lot of ANC time in the coming weeks.  A final report to the city is due February 15.  CHC will tell you what it means for Capitol Hill in the next few weeks.  Late January should see approval of the final plan for the redesign of the Eastern Market Metro Park and the new playground on Parcel 1.  The Department of General Services is asking ANC6B to recommend approval of a Public Space Permit for the project, and that comes up before 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee on Tuesday.

Monday, January 6

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm, Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE. 

Agenda:

Not available at press time.

Tuesday, January 7

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

530 11th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – Concept for a two-story rear addition.

800 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, (Metro Plaza Park Development) – Public Space Permit Application for Paving: ADA Curb Ramp, Paving: Curb & Gutter(s), Paving: Sidewalk(s), Fixture: Bench(es), Fixture: Bike Rack(s): DDOT Standard, Fixture: Bollard(s) (Exception), Fixture: Fence to 42″ (Open Design), Fixture: Playground, Fixture: Table (Except for commercial), Fixture: Trash Receptacle(s) (Exception).

ANC 6B Comments and Proposed Amendments to Comprehensive Plan.

ANC 6B Rezoning Application for triangle bounded by 12th St SE, Water St SE, and M Street, SE, (potential helipad site).

ANC 6C Environment, Parks & Events Committee meets at 7:00pm, Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Office Building, 700 2nd Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – The annual marathon, half-marathon and 5K races will be held on March 28, 2020. Race representative Diane Romo Thomas will discuss the event with committee and seek ANC 6C support.

NoMa Parks Foundation – Stacie West will provide committee with an update on various NoMa Parks Foundation projects and events.

Amendment to District’s Comprehensive Plan – Environmental Protection and Arts & Culture elements: The DC Office of Planning has launched an effort to amend the Comprehensive Plan. The committee will consider the Environmental Protection Element and the Arts & Culture Element.

Wednesday, January 8

ANC6C will meet at 7:00pm, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Bistro Cacao, 320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE – Request to reinstate liquor license.

Burger Bar, 707 H Street, NE – Request change in liquor license from Class C restaurant to Class C Tavern.

Café Fili, 702 Second Street, NE, liquor license renewal.

Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Element.

1026 4th Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application – to remove rooftop element, eliminate side yard, convert principal dwelling unit into a flat.

727 7th Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application – to construct a rear addition.

719 6th Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application – to authorize an already constructed three-story addition to an existing dwelling.

Comprehensive Plan, review of Transportation, Housing, Economic Development, Historic Preservation, and Community Services and Facilities Elements.

NoMa BID parks report.

Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.

ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 7:00pm, in the Back Common Area, Second Floor, The Yard, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.   

Among items on the draft agenda:

Review of Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element.

Presentation on EMMP Transportation Impact Study.

Request to Remove AM Rush from 900 Block of I (Eye) Street, SE.

Thursday, January 9

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A meets at 7:00 pm, Miner Elementary, 601 Fifteenth Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Organizational actions.

Motion to elect officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer).

Motion to elect members and leaders of the permanent Committees for 2020:

Economic Development and Zoning Committee – Brad Greenfield (Chair), Jake Joyce, Missy Boyette, Nick Alberti, Michael Cushman.

Transportation and Public Safety Committee – Elizabeth Nelson (Co-Chair), Todd Sloves (Co-Chair), Jeff Fletcher, Marc Brumer, Caitlin Rogger, Maura Dundon, Amanda Morgan, Hassan Christian.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee- Mark Samburg (Co-Chair), Nick Alberti (CoChair), Roger Caruth, Michael Herman, Justin Rzepka.

Community Outreach Committee- Roni Hollmon (Chair), Gladys Mack, Stephany Thangavelu, Alan Chargin.

Presentations:

MPD Update: Commander Kane (1D) and Commander Fitzgerald (5D).

Letter in support of the 2020 Rock N’ Roll Marathon assuming the course route and times remain unchanged from last year.

Letter to DDOT requesting attention to the eleven items on the priority list. (The list appears in the TPS December 2019 minutes.)

Letter of opposition to BZA for an application for special exceptions under the residential conversion requirements to permit the construction of a fourth apartment and the installation of new rooftop mechanical equipment, in an existing three-unit apartment house at 653 8th Street, NE/ 807 G Street, NE, in the RF-1 Zone, based on the fact that there would be fewer than 250 square feet on the lot per unit.

Letter of support to BZA for an application for a special exception to permit a penthouse that does not conform with the side building wall and open court setbacks required and to permit a guardrail that does not conform with the side building wall setbacks required at 906 11th Street, NE.

Submission of changes to the DC Comprehensive Plan to create a development zone around the Arboretum, to update the Comprehensive Plan to address all micro-mobility technologies, including scooters, and the Comprehensive Plan be updated to maximize the use of the RFK stadium site to benefit to the community as a whole.

ANC6B Alcohol Beverage Committee meets at 7:00pm at the Hill Center, Frager’s Conference Room, 3rd Floor, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Bricklane Restaurant; 517 8th Street, SE – Class “C” Tavern license renewal.

Saturday, January 11

Southeast Library Book Sale, 10:00am – 3:00pm, Southeast Library, 403 7th Street, SE. 

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