Monthly Archives: July 2020

Mayor Bowser Announces All Virtual Public School Classes Begin August 31

Mayor Bowser at today’s briefing on the plan for reopening DC public schools.

Mayor Bowser Announces All Virtual Public School Classes Begin August 31

by Larry Janezich

Today, Mayor Bowser, prioritizing health and safety, announced that no in-person classes will be held for this fall’s first term in DC public schools –  August 31 – November 6.  The city continues to plan for in-person options for the second term, beginning November 9.  Charter and private schools may be offering in-person classes or a hybrid option during the first term.

Asked what health metrics were the determining factor leading to the all virtual decision, Bowser cited other factors including staffing, parental confidence in in-person classes, facility availability, and the safety/health infrastructure.

Asked what will trigger the decision to proceed with in-person classes in the second term, Bowser refused to be pinned down to specifics, and reiterated the previously listed factors and said “we’ll make the decision we think is right for our kids.”

With respect to DCPS personnel who are not directly involved in teaching, Bowser said the school system is evaluating personnel to see how best they can be utilized or reassigned, and that laying off teachers “is not our plan.”

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Mayor Appoints Working Group to Recommend Changing Names of DC Facilities

Mayor Appoints Working Group to Recommend Changing Names of DC Facilities

By Larry Janezich

July 29, 2020

Wednesday, Mayor Bowser announced the establishment of the DC Facilities and Commemorative Expressions (DCFACES) Working Group.  DCFACES is charged with evaluating DC Government-owned facilities and “make recommendations as to what, if any, actions need to be taken if the person the facility is named for is inconsistent with DC values and in some way encouraged the oppression of African Americans and other communities of color or contributed to our long history of systemic racism.” The focus will be on DC Government-owned streets, DC Government-owned buildings (libraries, schools, rec centers, etc.), statues in DC Government–owned parks, and other named public spaces.

DCFACES is co-chaired by Beverly Perry, Bowser’s Senior Advisor, and Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director, DC Public Library.  A complete list of the membership is on the group’s  website (link below).

The mayor is encouraging input about what should be considered from residents who are asked to take a survey available on the DCFACES website, see here:  https://mayor.dc.gov/dcfaces

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Here’s a List of Restaurants Warned or Fined For COV-19 Violations as of July 23

Here’s a List of Restaurants Warned or Fined For COV-19 Violations as of July 23

by Larry Janezich

July 27, 2020

Phase Two warnings and violations imposed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board or Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) investigators. Click to enlarge.

Here’s the link to the original post on the coronavirus website: https://bit.ly/2BC71nD

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Travel to DC from Delaware, North & South Carolina (+24 Other States) Requires Quarantine

Travel to DC from Delaware, North & South Carolina (+24 Other States) Requires Quarantine

By Larry Janezich

July 27, 2020

Beginning Monday, July 27, anyone coming into Washington, DC from 27 states within the prior 14 days who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District. Individuals arriving from high risk states for essential travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and, if they show signs of symptoms of COVID-19, are to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing.

High-risk states are states where the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 persons.

Travel to and from Maryland and Virginia is exempt from the Order. This list will be updated Monday, August 10.

High-risk states that require 14 days of self-quarantine:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Alabama
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

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The Week Ahead…Rep. John Lewis Lies In State in the U.S. Capitol & Some Rehearsal Photos

The rehearsal for the departure from the U.S. Capitol for the body of Rep. John Lewis. July 27, circa 12:05pm.  Click to enlarge.  The Lying in State begins on Monday. 

A few minutes later.

Access to the Capitol Grounds will be restricted during the Lying in State. Visitors will line up on First Street on the East side of the Capitol. The street has been closed to traffic between Independence and Constitution Avenues.

The Congress reconvened this week. On Tuesday, July 21, the convoy of black SUVs near the building were for administration officials here to negotiate a COV-19 relief bill. The flag was at half-staff in honor of Rep. John Lewis, who died of pancreatic cancer on July 17.

Over on the Senate side, protesters dressed in red National Nurse United tee shirts or scrubs, stood among dozens of pairs of white nurses’ shoes, holding placards with photographs of nurses who had died during the pandemic. NNU members were holding a memorial for more than 160 nurses who lost their lives from COV-19 in the US and to demand the Senate act on the HEROES Act, which would provide PPE and regulatory protections for front line health care workers.

The day before marked the appearance of posters all over Capitol Hill with a similar message.

The Week Ahead…Rep. John Lewis Lies In State in the U.S. Capitol & Some Rehearsal Photos

By Larry Janezich

July 26, 2020

Monday, July 27

The body of Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., will arrive at the U.S. Capitol to Lie in State in the Rotunda on Monday.  A private ceremony will be held at 1:30pm. 

The casket will be moved to the top of the center steps on the East Front of the Capitol to allow the public to pay their respects on Monday from 6:00pm to 10:00pm and on Tuesday from 8:00am until 10:00pm (according to CNN).  Social distancing will be enforced and mourners will be required to wear masks.

On Wednesday, he will depart the U.S. Capitol for the Georgia State Capitol where he will lie in state.

Interment will be at South-View Cemetery following a private celebration of life at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, once lead by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here’s a list of expected road closures for the procession, from circa 11:30pm to 1:00 pm.

  • I-695 and I-395
  • Suitland Parkway
  • 12th Street Tunnel
  • Independence Avenue, SW from 14th Street to Lincoln Memorial Circle
  • Independence Avenue from 3rd Street, SW to 2nd Street, SE
  • Maine Avenue, SW
  • 3rd Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW
  • Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
  • 23rd Street from Lincoln Memorial to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Constitution Avenue from 23rd Street to 3rd Street, NE
  • 17th Street from Constitution Avenue to K Street, NW
  • H Street from 17th to 15th Street, NW
  • 15th Street from Constitution Avenue to K Street, NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 15th Street to 3rd Street, NW
  • 2nd Street, SE from Independence Ave, to Constitution Ave. NW

Wednesday, July 9, 2020

ANC 6B’s 1333 M Street SE PUD Subcommittee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm to continue consideration of amenities and benefits under the Planned Unit Development of  1333 M Street, SE.          

Meeting Information:

Meeting link:

https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/j.php?MTID=mf2963cc8e3a1d74a3ee33a9bc6d15bee

Meeting number: 157 034 6983

Password: 2MDhyAiyp42

Host key: 912220

More ways to join

Join by video system

Dial 1570346983@dcnet.webex.com

You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number.

Join by phone

1-650-479-3208 Call-in number (US/Canada)

Access code: 157 034 6983

Global call-in numbers

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

Among items on the agenda:

Report of the Chair

Report of the Market Manager

Impact of Covid 19 on Eastern Market

Lease negotiation status

Capital Improvements Report: Monte Edwards

Status of Eastern Market Strategic Plan study and next steps

Tenant’s Council Report

Eastern Market Metro Plaza Update

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85083625836?pwd=YXJTMlBxK095dkRCZUluUElCVXFpdz09

Meeting ID: 850 8362 5836

Passcode: 577544

One tap mobile

+13017158592,,85083625836#,,,,,,0#,,577544# US (Germantown)

+13126266799,,85083625836#,,,,,,0#,,577544# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 850 8362 5836

Passcode: 577544

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kegNjCPpqn

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Mayor Bowser Issues New Order Requiring Hotspot Travelers to Quarantine 14 Days

Mayor Bowser Issues New Order Requiring Hotspot Travelers to Quarantine 14 Days

By Larry Janezich

June 24, 2020

Mayor Bowsers issued an order today, effective Monday July 27, requiring 14 day self-quarantine after travel to DC from high risk areas.  The order does not include travel to Maryland and Virginia.

A list of high risk areas will be published here https://coronavirus.dc.gov/newsroom on Monday, and updated every two weeks.

Essential travel was defined in the Mayor’s March 30, Stay-At-Home Order, as follows:

  1. “Essential Travel” means:
  2. Travel related to the provision of, or access to, Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations, including travel to and from work to operate Essential Businesses or maintain Essential Governmental Functions;
  3. Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
  4. Travel required to visit a house of worship;
  5. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;
  6. Travel to return to a place of residence from outside Washington, DC;
  7. Travel required by law enforcement or court order;
  8. Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside Washington, DC; and
  9. Travel within the Washington region to engage in allowable activities under that jurisdiction’s laws.

The Mayor said city officials are watching other activities where restrictions had been relaxed but which could be dialed back if metrics head in the wrong direction.  Those activities include personal services like salons and barbershops, indoor dining, the 50 person limit on gatherings, and elective hospital procedures.  She declined to say what metrics would trigger a dial back – officials “will look at all of them from day to day,” and added that it was possible that just one activity could see re-imposed restrictions.

The new order is effective through October 9 – the current extension of the health emergency – but it too could be dialed back if justified.

For those essential travelers exempt from the order – members of Congress, for example – Bowser said that they should only leave home while performing essential activities.

 

 

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Southeast Library Design Team Drops Some Hints at Community Meeting on Renovation

Capitol Hill residents who gave feedback on concept spaces for the renovated Southeast Library earlier this year liked these possibilities.  Click to enlarge.

Southeast Library Design Team Drops Some Hints at Community Meeting on Renovation

By Larry Janezich

July 24, 2020

Thursday night, the architectural firm of Quinn Evans participated in a DC Public Library virtual community meeting to report on the status of the redevelopment of the Southeast Library.

The construction timeline has not changed; work is scheduled to begin in 2022 with the goal of finishing in 2024.  The firm is just beginning work on the concept design so there were no “pretty pictures.”

But, the designers explained the plan for making the library bigger by expanding vertically underground.  The existing ground floor (entered from D Street) will be made taller and the floor expanded horizontally.  In addition architects are considering a small addition on the west side of the building which would provide space for an elevator and mechanical systems, taking into consideration the effect on the adjoining residential properties.  Other above ground expansion is unlikely available to the project. They see no need to seek an exception to historic preservation guidelines at this point.

The DCPL will work with partners in the area to provide Interim library services.  Designers are working with partners in the area to find an appropriate alternative location as opposed to a trailer.  There are opportunities on the Eastern Market Metro Plaza for library services.

In response to a question, designers said that the views of the homeless who often use library space for shelter and restrooms have been taken into account.  Library staff distributed surveys to the homeless who use Southeast Library, and collected them.  The design team met in the library while the homeless were there and their input is built into the library programs.  Designers said that they believe that libraries are open to all, and they do not compartmentalize residents; libraries are for all residents no matter what stage they are in in their lives.

Regarding the reopening of Southeast Library currently closed because of the pandemic, library representatives said that small libraries like Southeast have additional restraints and it “is not prudent” to predict how services will be delivered.  The goal is to open as soon as possible with safety the first priority.

The next community meeting will be in late summer, and the design team will have concept designs.

Thursday night’s presentation will be up on the DC library website by the end of the day Friday for those seeking additional info – see here: https://bit.ly/2ORsGeD

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Mayor’s Order Makes Masks Mandatory – “If you leave home, you must wear a mask.”

Mayor Bpwser at today’s situational update on COV-19.

Mayor’s Order Makes Masks Mandatory – “If you leave home, you must wear a mask.”

By Larry Janezich

July 22, 2020

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she is issuing a new order making the wearing of masks mandatory if residents leave home.  The exceptions are for those under 3, those engaged in active exercise, when eating or drinking, and for those alone in an enclosed office space.  Enforcement language will be in the order.  The announcement came at the Mayor’s 11:00am press briefing.

She said, “If you leave home, you must wear a mask…. If you’re waiting for a bus, if you’re ordering food, you must wear a mask.”  The Mayor added, “We’re going to do everything we can – everybody is sick of the virus – were four months in – people are tired – people are letting down their guard.”

Asked if this was a signal that Phase II started too soon, the Mayor replied she didn’t think so, because the degree of response can be dialed up or down.  She said the city would spend some time looking at the numbers and seeing what should be dialed back.

In response to a reporter’s question, she said police officers on duty are required to wear masks when they can’t social distance and residents should let the department know when police are not.  That order has been in effect since May 15, and Chief Newsham will emphasize the requirement to the force.

Asked about the non-compliant behavior of staff and patrons in restaurants, Bowser said that restaurants can be reported for bad behavior by calling 202 442 4423, and that violations can result in $1000 fines on the spot.  The regulations prohibit the use of hookas in DC.

The Mayor opened the briefing, noting that the upward tick in cases continues.

Dr. Nesbitt of the DDOH took over, noting the concern about the rise in cases among younger people.

  • Prior to July 1, 41% of hospital cases were people under 40.
  • Between July 1 and 20, 66% of hospital cases were people under 40.
  • Since July 1 the percentage of hospitalization of people under 40 doubled from 16% to 29 %, compared to cases before July 1.

Asked why the number of cases was up while the number of deaths was down, Nesbitt cited the two week lag in reporting of cases and the shift of cases to a younger population which may result in a greater delay in hospitalizations and deaths.

Asked about why younger people are getting infected, Nesbitt said that interviews revealed risky behavior, such as travel to hot spots including youth sports events, vacations to Texas, Florida, the Carolinas and beaches on the Atlantic coast.

Other items that emerged during the briefing included:

  • Long term care staff are beginning to test positive.
  • The Police Reform Bill is on the Mayor’s desk, but she hasn’t decided to sign it yet.
  • The Mayor will sign an order today extending the state of emergency which expires on Friday.
  • Regarding the on-going gun violence, the Mayor pledged to use every tool the city has to address public safety, and said that “all hands on deck” from police to city officials to violence interrupters to ANC Commissioners need to focus on how to keep the neighborhoods safe.

Here’s the Mayor’s order on masks:  https://bit.ly/3fVN61G

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The Week Ahead…Community Meeting on SE Library & Some Photos from the Past Week

Unconfirmed,, but CHC hears Le Pain Quotidien is supposed to reopen in the next few weeks.  Click to enlarge.

But Pret a Manger at 3rd and PA Avenue, SE, looks like it’s gone for good.

Popville reported the demise of Hank’s at 633 PA Avenue, SE, then Jessica Sidman, food editor, Washingtonian said, “FYI it’s not permanently closed. Talked to owner Jamie Leeds who says she’s working with the landlord on a “wait and see situation.” She says it doesn’t make sense to open now given the restaurant’s size and shape.”

Tortilla Coast at Capitol South Metro has had it’s closing date postponed until July 26, while lease negotiations continue.

Muriel Bowser commissioned #MuralsDC51, a project comprised of local artists, to create 51 statehood, Black history, and social justice themed murals across all eight wards.  This one is on the back of the Sherwood Recreation Center at 640 10th Street, SE.

And this, on the front of Cusbah Indian Restaurant at 1128 H Street, NE.

The Week Ahead…Community Meeting on SE Library & Some Photos from the Past Week

By Larry Janezich

July 19, 2020

The Week Ahead…

Monday, July 20

ANC6A Transportation & Public Space Committee meeting  CANCELLED

Tuesday, July 21

ANC6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee is cancelled.

Thursday, July 23

Southeast Library Renovation Virtual Community Meeting, 6:30pm.

The third community meeting about the Southeast Library renovation will cover the recent due diligence work on the site and review the library building program.  Attendees will provide feedback on adding to the building footprint.

This meeting will be a virtual event on WebEx. Please use this link at the time of the event. If you are prompted to enter a password, it is: dclibrary.

https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/onstage/g.php?MTID=e60afcd0ad07ae4580e2be06219eb002d

For more on plans to renovate the Southeast Library here: https://bit.ly/2ZJGDS4

 

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Policing in DC:  Saturday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting Starts the Conversation

Policing in DC:  Saturday’s Virtual Town Hall Meeting Starts the Conversation

by Larry Janezich

July 19, 2020

A Saturday morning virtual town hall style meeting “Reimagining Policing in the District of Columbia” began a conversation on policing in DC.  It was hosted by some 50 ANC Commissioners representing districts in Wards across the city.

Moderators Sharita Thompson, professor of African and African American Studies at Gettysburg College, and Dr. Bernard Demczuk, of George Washington University, introduced panelists MPD Assistant Chief Robert Contee; Douglas Sloan, VP NAACP; Council Members Charles Allen and Robert White; Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue, and Marcus Strider Dent, Commander of the Baltimore Chapter of the Guardian Angels.

Moderators posed the following questions to the panel.

How do you see this moment in relation to history?

All panelists agreed that the moment created by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police has provided us with a rare opportunity to have a sustained conversation about public safety and law enforcement, focusing on social and economic justice.

What do you want to see MPD do in terms of transparency and accountability?

CM Allen cited the need  create a civilian led office to consider policing complaints and to restructure MPD as necessary to ensure public confidence that MPD will take disciplinary recommendations and act on them.

Most panelists provided less direct answers.

Some chose to tie accountability to better communication and engagement between MPD and the communities they police, not so much, apparently, as a way to hold police accountable as to avoid the necessity for accountability.

Another approach offered as an answer was redefining what police are expected to do.  Allen noted that in recent years, it had been the practice in community meetings on crime to push everything to 911.  Donahue characterized the calls for service to 911 as “fire, medical and everything else.” Now panelests say, the conversation needs to include consideration of what should be the response be to a 911 call, i.e., what is the best response not involving police.

Assistant Chief Contee’s response to this direction in the conversation was to ask panelists and ANC Commissioners to consider what happens if the response of police is curtailed.

What changes need to be made to police culture?

There were a lot of responses to this question, but few directed to issues that might be raised by the most outspoken critics of police culture.

Contee said there needs to be more women on the force.

Donahue indicated a remedy was needed for the lack of a policy which permits bad cop to stay on the force.

Allen cited the ability to have discipline work and work well, as well as increasing assistance to police to help them purchase homes in DC.  (Currently, only 22% live in the District.)

Sloan advocated expanded training.

White urged reducing the size of MPD by directing calls for serve to other agencies.

Dent advocated training officers for de-escalation and mediation; “Take away the fear of officers that exists in the Black community by developing communications and engagement. People need the police but are afraid – especially in the Black community.”

What alternate methods are at our disposal?

Allen said it is hard to separate crime from the chronically divestment from housing, education and jobs and that we have to reassess how and where we invest and reallocate funding where necessary.  We also need to do a better job with gun violence.  Starting a conversation about policing will lead to bigger issues.

Conte said that violent crime affects investment – he have to tackle violent crime and get it right.

White responded that unless you address the underlying problems of violent crime, you’ll be chasing violent crime the rest of your life – there’s no way to police your way out of that.  We have to rethink how we address crime.

Contee ageed that it’s necessary to find a way to address crime and the underlying problems simultaneously.

ANC6B Commissioner Chander Jayaraman, closed the discussion by noting that this was the beginning of the effort to reimagine policing in the city, adding, “This is not the end of this discussion. Later, he told CHC that he thought there was a consensus to look at the functions of the police, to enhance the Cadet Program, and to bring more local officers onto the force as a bridge to the community.  He lauded the panel as being the right people – the right group – to move the conversation forward.  He said the success of the meeting was a tribute to the nonpartisan role of the ANCs.  Some 120 commissioners and members of the public participated.

Earlier this year, Jayaraman – a candidate for an at-large seat on the city council – began hosting a series of virtual weekly meetings of ANC commissioners across the city to discuss community response to COV-19.  In early June, the conversation shifted to how policing differs in the city’s wards, leading to Saturday’s town hall.

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