Monthly Archives: April 2021

Community Activist Barbara Riehle Dies at 65


Community Activist Barbara Riehle Dies at 65

by Larry Janezich

Community activist Barbara Riehle died on April 18 at George Washington University Hospital after a long illness. 

She spent her career working for Senator John Chafee and his successor, Senator Lincoln Chafee.  After retiring she became active in community and local politics.  In 2008, she founded the Eastern Market Metro Community Association to oppose an early concept for the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza which would have diverted east-bound traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue around the north side of the proposed “Town Square” past her front door. 

After those plans were shelved, EMMCA took on developers of the Hine Project to oppose the mass, density and design and the cozy political relationships which many suspected led to the selection of Stanton/EastBanc as the developer.  EMMCA had advocated for a smaller development proposed by another developer, DSF/Street Sense/Menkiti. 

As part of that effort, she and her husband, Thom, recruited a slate of ANC6B candidates to challenge what they saw as an entrenched Commission which in its support for Stanton/Eastbanc was out of touch with some in its constituency.  That effort resulted in the election of several reform candidates and new leadership for the ANC. 

EMMCA subsequently fought for several years for a better design for the project and to reduce the height of the building.  They also pushed to require developers to provide an education component, prohibit retail on 8th Street, minimize parking, and eliminate the segregation of affordable housing. 

Barbara Riehle was also active in education and local school issues through MOTH – Mothers on the Hill and the Capitol Hill Montessori School.

She was a native of Providence, RI, and came to Washington in 1974 – marrying Thom Riehle in 1986.  She was preceded in death by her husband Thom, and her son, Peter.  She is survived by a daughter, Anna, and numerous siblings and relatives in Rhode Island.

According to the family, a memorial service in Washington will be held at a date and time to be announced.  Donations in her memory may be made to Holy Comforter/St. Cyprian’s Community Action Group, Capitol Hill Village, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, or Capitol Hill Montessori.  For more information and to leave condolences, here’s a link to the Providence Journal obit on the Legacy website:


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More COVID Restrictions Will Be Relaxed Starting Saturday, May 1

More COVID Restrictions Will Be Relaxed Starting Saturday, May 1

By Larry Janezich

Posted April 28, 2021

Mayor Bowser held a Situational Briefing today and announced the further relaxing of Phase Two Covid restrictions, starting on Saturday, May 1.

Among the changes are the following:

    •  Restaurants:
    • The number of people who can sit together at a table outdoors at a restaurant increases from 6 people to 10 people.  The 25% of capacity on indoor restaurant dining remains unchanged. 
    • Live music will be allowed outdoors for summer gardens, courtyard dining and sidewalk cafes controlled by the restaurants.
    • For outside customers, alcohol can be purchased without purchasing food.
  • Movie theaters can operate at up to 25% capacity per auditorium.
  • Indoor capacity limit for non-essential retail business is raised from 25% to 50% or 250 people, whichever is lower.
  • Indoor fitness classed can include up to 25 people.
  • Gyms and fitness centers can operate at 50% capacity but no more than 250 guests.
  • Places of worship may admit up to 40% of their capacity for the room or area where services will be held. This total limit includes worshippers, not including clergy and staff.  Health and safety protocols, such as mandatory masking and social distancing, remain in place.
  • Multi-purpose facilities, concert venues, and theaters may open at 25% capacity, up to 500 people, but attendees must remain seated.
  • Weddings and special events are allowed indoors and outdoors at 25% capacity with a waiver for attendance greater than 250. Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced.
  • Conventions and regional business meetings are allowed indoors at 25% capacity with a waiver for attendance greater than 250. Attendees must remain seated and socially distanced.
  • Public and private pools may open with health and safety plans in place; hotel pools may only open to overnight guests.
  • Outdoor splash pads will be able to open at full capacity.

Mayor Bowser’s PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here:    

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City Moves to Walk-up No Appointment Vaccination Sites on May 1

City Moves to Walk-up No Appointment Vaccination Sites on May 1

by Larry Janezich

Posted April 26, 2021

Mayor Bowser held a Situational Briefing today and announced that beginning on Saturday, May 1, the District will transition to the use of 11 high-capacity, walk-up no appointment needed vaccination sites.  These will be in addition to pharmacies, clinics, and health care providers that are also administering the vaccines citywide.  These sites continue to operate their own scheduling systems. 

The walk-up vaccination sites near Capitol Hill include:

  • Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street, SE
  • Rosedale Recreation Center, 1701 Gales Street, NE
  • Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW

The remaining sites, as well as Mayor Bowser’s PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here:   

Days, hours, and available vaccines will be listed on

Wednesday April 28 is the last day pre-registrations will be accepted through

Resident 16 and older will get vaccinated through Children’s National.  Register at

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The Week Ahead…ANC Highlights…Some Photos from the Past Week

Last Monday, a memorial paying tribute to USCP Officer William “Billy” Evans remained across from the North Barricade to the US Capitol. Evans, an 18 year veteran of the force, was killed on April 2nd, by a car driven by a man who attempted to breach security.

The Week Ahead…ANC Highlights…Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

ANC Highlight: 

  • Monday,  ANC6A – Assistant US Attorney Doug Klein at 6A’s Community Outreach Committee

The Week Ahead…

Monday, April 27

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

For info on joining the meeting, go here:

Among items on the agenda:

  • Presentation: Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Douglas Klein, Community Prosecutor for 1D; AUSA Magdalena Acevedo, Community Prosecutor for 5D and Christopher Wade, Community Outreach Specialist for1D.
  • Presentation: Sasha Bruce Youth, Danny Rico, Director of Development & External Relations.
  • Presentation: The TraRon Center, Ryane B. Nickens, President.
  • Presentation: Minor Mutual Aid, Christopher Deutsch, Organizer.   .
  • Presentation: Greater DC Diaper Bank, Corinne Cannon Executive Director
  • Presentation: Rosedale Library Friends, Emily Wagner and Meredith Holmgren, President and Vice President.
  • Presentation: Empower DC, Daniel del Pielago, Organizing Director.
  • Presentation: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Amy Moore, Executive Director.
  • Presentation: HIPS, Baraq Stein.

Tuesday, April 28

ANC6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:

Among items on the agenda:

  • Discussion of application by Jumbo Liquors at 1122 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class A Retail License.
  • Discussion of application by Grand Liquors at 409A 15th Street, NE, for renewal of its Class A Retail License.
  • Discussion of application by 7 River Mart at 250 11th Street, NE, for renewal of its Class A Retail License.
  • Discussion of application by Master Liquors at 1806 D Street,NE, for renewal of its Class A Retail License.
  • Discussion of application by Andy Lee Liquor, t/a New J Wine & Spirits at 914 H Street, NE, for a Class A Retail License.
  • Discussion of application by Capitol Square Bar & Grill at 1500 East Capitol Street, NE, for a Class C Restaurant License.

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

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:


  • To set the agenda for the next full meeting of ANC6B on May 11.

Wednesday, April 29

DGS will hold a virtual meeting with the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Taskforce at 1:30pm.

Information on joining the meeting will be distributed before the meeting. 


  • DGS will brief the taskforce on construction on the renovation of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.


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Garfield and “Spielberg” Parks Slated for Upgrades/New Equipment

Garfield and “Spielberg” Parks Slated for Upgrades/New Equipment

by Larry Janezich

The Department of Parks and Recreation hosted two virtual community meetings this week to solicit input on the planned upgrade of two Capitol Hill parks: Garfield Park at 3rd and New Jersey Avenue, SE, and “Spielberg” Park at 17th and Massachusetts Avenue, SE.  The latter was informally named by the community after movie director Steven Spielberg donated playground equipment for the park after shooting part of the film Minority Report in the neighborhood.

The project timelines for both parks are the same, with the kick-off community meetings having occurred on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  A survey to solicit additional community input will be distributed later this month.  Another community meeting will be held this summer to introduce the contractor to the community.

Construction is estimated to start in the fall of 2021 and be complete in the summer of 2022. 

Councilmember Charles Allen participated in the virtual meeting on Garfield Park on Tuesday night.  Allen provided funding for both park improvements in the current FY budget.  He said that DPR is working internally to find additional funding for Garfield.  “The park is a draw for numerous neighbors from all over Capitol Hill.  I go to Garfield Park.”   He said there isn’t enough money in the current budget item to do everything and he will be looking at doing more.  “I’m listening for what more needs to be done” Allen added, “and for the priorities”.

On Monday night, DPR landscape architect David Wooden told participants in the meeting on “Spielberg” Park that the budget for the project is $750,000.  Features DPR is focusing on for this park include:

  • ADA upgrades
  • Landscaping/turf building/sprucing up
  • New furnishings for the site – benches and seating area
  • Replacement of existing playground equipment and adding a shade feature
  • Lighting upgrades

The community voiced its interest in having part of the park devoted to a grownup needs and space for seniors.

Tuesday night, Wooden pegged the projected budget for Garfield Park at $900,000.  The scope of improvements for Garfield Park includes:

  • Landscape improvements
  • New site furnishings
  • Playground equipment and replace surface of the playground
  • Lighting improvements
  • ADA accessibility
  • Tennis court surface improvements
  • A site erosion study

Wooden said that if we don’t get everything the community wants, those requests will carry over to when funds are available. 

The well-attended meeting (50+) prompted lots of questions in the chat.  DPR responses provided additional information: 

  • There is no plan to do anything with the DDOT 395 underpass right now.
  • A dog park is not currently part of this project.
  • A proposed community fund raising effort is welcome.

Other questions showed that there is a lot of community interest in pickle ball courts, rehabilitation the basketball courts and skate park under the freeway, and about the homeless population in the park. 

With respect to the latter, Wooden cited the difficulties that the has pandemic brought with respect to housing for the homeless, and said his agency was trying to work with the Department of Human Resources to help get the homeless to a better place.

Allen raised a concern directly with the DPR and DGS reps at the meeting about funds intended for new improvements being used to repair existing features of parks – not just these parks, but in a lot of parks.  He pushed the agencies to commit to providing a budget for maintenance costs. 

The agencies responded that they recognized the need for more and better maintenance and the need to be more proactive. 


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Mayor Bowser’s Situational Update – New RPP Fees – Parking Enforcement Resumes

Mayor Bowser’s Situational Update – New RPP Fees – Parking Enforcement Resumes

by Larry Janezich

Mayor Bowser delivered a Situational Update today.  Here’s a link to the Mayor’s PowerPoint presentation:

Here’s a bullet point takeaway of the most important info:

  • 30% DC residents are fully or partially vaccinated.
  • 7% have been partly vaccinated.
  • Homebound residents can now call 1 – 855-363-0333 to register for an at-home COVIC-19 appointment. These appointments will begin on Monday, April 26.

Restarting Enforcement – June 1

  • All parking enforcement.
  • Towing of vehicles violating parking zones including appropriate fines.
  • Street sweeping and SWEEP enforcement.
  • Vehicles must display valid DC registration and inspection stickers.
    • DMV is scheduling expanded appointments for vehicle inspections beginning today.
  • The New Tiered Residential Parking Permit fee increases.
    • The new tiered Residential Parking Permit will involve an increase in fees and several tiers..
    • After June 1, fees for a RPP will increase to $50 for the first car associated with a household.
    • 2nd car will be $75.
    • 3rd car will be $100.
    • $150 for any other car over 3.
    • For those over 65, the fee will increase from $25 to $35 for the first vehicle.

Restarting enforcement – July 1

  • All DC driver license and ID Card holders must display a valid credential.
  • Renewal applications accepted for occupational and professional licenses.
  • DC medical cannabis program patient or caregiver registration cared must have a valid expiration date.
  • Booting of vehicles with two or more unsatisfied tickets that are 60 days old.

Expanded Library Operations start May 3

  • DC Public Library will add Saturday hours at its open locations.
  • The Deanwood and SE Libraries will begin providing limited in-person services.
  • Operating hours will be Monday through Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm.
  • The New SW Library will open May 6.

Free Test Yourself at Home COVID-19 Tests

  • Mayor Bowser announced the Test Yourself DC, offering at-home COVID-19 testing kits at locations around the District. The program offers the option to either take a COVID-19 test onsite at one of the 16 locations or to drop off their test sample at the closest DC Library drop box at no cost.
  • Approximately 8,000 Test Yourself DC kits will be available every week, and each site will be limited to 100-200 test kits per day. Individuals interested in participating can find a location at – for Ward 6, it’s Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library  1630 7th Street, NW.
  • Between April 19-30, testing kits locations will be open for pickups Monday to Friday between 10 am and 6 pm. Starting the week of May 3, the locations will be open for pickups Monday to Saturday between 10 am and 6 pm. Testing kits can be dropped off the locations no later than 8:00 pm seven days a week.

In the Q&A:

City Security vis a vis the Chauvin Trial

  • The Mayor said HLS and the Chief of Police are coordinating preparations to keep the city secure in the aftermath of the decision in the Derek Chauvin trial. She said there is a request pending for National Guard assistance with traffic, enhanced security at Metro stations, and a quick react force that could be deployed anywhere in the city.  She said that Guard personnel will not be armed, reminding that arming the Guard can only be done at the direction of the President and that had not been part of the DC request. 

Students Required to Return to In-person Class next Fall

  • Next fall, students will be required to return to in person classes. Any exceptions will be the subject of discussions with parents.


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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

and the recently upgraded Virginia Avenue Park.

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

Monday, April 19

ANC6A Transportation & Public Space Committee holds a virtual meeting

Go here for info on how to join the meeting:

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Presentation from DDOT bike planner Greg Matlesky on potential bike lanes on segment of West Virginia Avenue, NE, in ANC6A.
  • Public Space Permit Application for new sidewalk cafe un-enclosed at 1500 East Capitol Street, NE.
  • Discussion of potential resolution or letter to DDOT and interested parties supporting dedicated parking for HIPS on H Street NE.
  • Discussion of Vision Zero budget decisions coming up at DC Council.
  • Review of outstanding requests to DDOT.

Spielberg Park (17th & C Streets, SE) Virtual Community Meeting at 6:30pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:


  • DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will host a virtual community meeting to discuss upcoming improvements to Spielberg Park

Tuesday, April 20

Garfield Park Virtual Community Meeting at 6:30pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:          Attendee access code: 360 353 07


  • The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is hosting a community meeting regarding upcoming improvements to Garfield Park and playground.

A Virtual Conversation with the Chair of ANC6B Brian Ready 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:


  • ANC6B Chair Brian Ready holds a virtual conversation with residents of ANC6B.

Neighbors for Justice and Capitol Hill Village host a virtual “Community Conversations with Returning Citizens” at 6:30pm. 

For more info and to register, go here:    

  • The goal is to better get to know our returning neighbors by learning about their experiences, hopes, and challenges as they transitioned back into society. Also participating will be the Deputy Chief of DC Public Defenders Service for a policy perspective.

Wednesday, April 21

CANCELED ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

Go here for info on how to join the meeting:

Agenda not available at press time.

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

Info on how to join the meeting will be released Monday or Tuesday and posted here.

Among items on the agenda:

  • Budget Review Status: Mayor will not release budget until May 18.
  • Report of the Market Manager
    • Strategic Plan Update
    • Budget update
    • Outdoor Covid operating procedures: any changes?
    • Status of drafting procedures – conflict resolution process
    • Signage and banner update
  • Capital Improvements Report: Monte Edwards
  • Tenant’s Council Report
  • Eastern Market Metro Plaza Update

Capitol Hill Business Interest Working Group will hold a virtual meeting at 6:00pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:

Agenda not available at press time. 

Thursday, April 22

ANC6A Ad Hoc By-Laws Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

Go here for info on how to join the meeting:


  • To consider revisions in the ANC6A By-Laws.

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Bodegon Spanish Tapas Coming to Barracks Row

Bodegon Spanish Tapas Coming to Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

The owners of Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge in at 3116 M Street in Georgetown have leased the space at 518 8th Street formerly occupied by Medium Rare, and will open a Spanish Tapas restaurant in the coming weeks, according to co-owner Joe Idrissi. 

Brothers Joe and Moe Idrissi, in partnership with Ben Kirane, are long-time restaurateurs behind a number of Georgetown outlets, including Rialto, Maxime, and Thunder Burger and Bar.   

Idrissi says the menu of Bodegon on Barracks Row will be similar to that of Bodega in Georgetown.  You can take a look at it here:

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ANC6B Slams DDOT’s Pedestrian/Bike Safety Plan for 11th Street & I-695 SE Intersection

ANC6B Slams DDOT’s Pedestrian/Bike Safety Plan for 11th Street & I-695 SE Intersection

by Larry Janezich

After a contentious April 7 meeting where ANC6B’s Transportation Committee was briefed by DDOT on proposed safety improvements for the 11th Street/I-695 off ramp intersection, the committee went behind closed doors to craft a critical response to the proposal.  A draft letter to DDOT, based on a number of recommendations by Commissioner Corey Holman – who also serves as chair of 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee – was considered by the full ANC6B at its April meeting last Wednesday. 

After a brief and more civil discussion, the Commission voted 9-0 to approve a letter stating that the current design of 11th Street is “hostile to all modes of travel” except for automobiles, that the plans for improvement are “insufficient in scope and design”, and that DDOT must modify the plan “to meet the safety, mobility, and sustainability goals of the city”. 

DDOT’s original proposed improvements include:

1) Add an 8-foot wide two-way protected bike lane on the west side of 11th Street, SE, from I Street, SE, to O Street, SE.

2) Add a lane to the eastbound I-695 Exit Ramp to 11th Street, SE, to the existing three.

3) Reduce the 10 foot west side sidewalk width to 5 feet wide on 11th Street, SE, to accommodate protected bike lanes while maintaining up to eight car lanes in that stretch.

4) Shrink the width of the pedestrian refuge on the southern portion of the intersection of 11th Street, SE, and M Street, SE, from 18 feet to 6 feet to accommodate an extra north bound left turn lane onto westbound M Street, SE.

Striking a conciliatory note, the letter went on: “[We believe] the plans presented to the community on April 7, 2021 increase the safety of the corridor compared to the status quo, but we believe such projects should aim to maximize safety for all users of the roadway which this project so far fails to do.”

In order to reduce the focus on an auto-centric view of road use and to further the goals related to Vision Zero and Sustainable DC plans, “we believe the following should be incorporated into any plans for this 11th Street, SE, corridor. 

1) Widen the proposed bike line to 10 feet with a 3-foot buffer, instead of the proposed 8-footlane with a 2-foot buffer.

2) Reverse all plans to shrink sidewalks on 11th Street to less than 6 feet wide and instead remove extraneous lanes for vehicle traffic to accommodate the bike lanes.

3) Adjust the number of lanes ….of 11th Street to widen the crosswalk at the northwest corner of 11th Street, SE, and M Street, SE.

4) Expand the project scope along 11th Street, SE, north to Pennsylvania Avenue SE to include a protected two-way bike lane from O Street, SE, to Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

5) Seek to reduce the number of car lanes in general and expand sidewalks, bio-retention areas, and other non-road uses of the right of way.

6) Remove all double turn lanes to add usable pedestrian refuges along 11th Street, SE.

7) Implement vehicle speed reduction techniques … at the approaches to 11th Street, SE, and other traffic calming measures throughout the project area.

8) Remove the unnecessary left turn lanes onto N and O/Water Street from 11th Street, SE…and add pedestrian refuges or a larger median.

9) Continue to consider the impacts on the plans to bring Southeast Boulevard to the grade of L Street, SE, and any potential uses of the space under that raised Boulevard.

The letter – addressed the acting director of DDOT Everett Lott and copied to CM Charles Allen, concludes, “In sum, while ANC 6B believes the current plans are inadequate, we stand by to work collaboratively to ensure the city we all love and share does not fail at this generational opportunity to fix 11th Street SE.”


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Company Backs Off Plan for Helipad at 12th and Water Streets, SE


Company Backs Off Plan for Helipad at 12th and Water Streets, SE

by Larry Janezich

Posted April 15, 2021

Last night, at ANC6B’s April meeting, Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Corey Holman announced that city officials had informed him that Congressional Aviation had given up its efforts to relocate their helipad and fueling station to Water Street, SE, near the huge mixed use project at 1333 M Street and the Washington Boatyard.

The company’s lease on ground down river where they currently have a helipad for helicopters used by MPD and area hospitals is expiring and is not going to be renewed.

Nearby neighbor opposition to the project was strong and in support of the opposition, Holman was prepared to file a map amendment to zone the site, limiting its use to open space, park, and low density riverfront-oriented retail.  Currently, the property is not zoned.  Holman said he was not inclined to file the map amendment at this time, since the issue is likely to be more fruitfully addressed in the forthcoming Comprehensive Plan or a Small Area Plan. 

In a letter to City Administrator Kevin Donahue, ANC6B acknowledged the need for a helipad for the MPD Air Support Unit and encouraged the Office of the City Administrator to take the lead in locating the facility.  Here’s the text of the letter which went to City Administrator Donahue and other city officials. 

Over the past couple of years, Congressional Aviation has worked with stakeholders including ANC 6B in an effort to lease or acquire city-owned land roughly at 12th Street SE and Water Street SE to building a heliport and provide services to MPD’s Air Support Unit. In has come to the attention of ANC 6B that Congressional Aviation is no longer seeking build a heliport at this site.

While ANC 6B publicly and repeatedly opposed such a disposition for heliport use given past planning efforts for park or marina use, it has become clear to the Commission that there is an immediate need for short- and long-term certainty for the MPD Air Support Unit whether at the current site along South Capitol Street SW or elsewhere. Presuming OCA or MPD will need to move forward with seeking a home for the Air Support Unit, we encourage the executive to do so in a transparent process and engage early with any potential impacted community, whether that’s in ANC 6B or elsewhere. We believe executive leadership and community support are necessary components for a successful heliport operation in the city.


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