Monthly Archives: January 2022

ANC6B Votes Unanimous Support for LGBTQ Tavern on Barracks Row

Tuesday night’s ANC6B Special Call Virtual Meeting to Vote on As You Are Liquor License.

ANC6B Votes Unanimous Support for LGBTQ Tavern on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

At a “Special Call” meeting on Tuesday night, ANC6B unanimously supported the application of Jo McDaniel and Rachel Pike for a liquor license for an LGBTQ bar they will open up at 500 8th Street, SE.  As You Are will be a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant and Friday and Saturday night will offer dancing on the second floor.  Otherwise, that space will be used for “community meetings, Trivia, book clubs”….

Nearly 100 participants joined the virtual committee meeting, Chaired by Commissioner Corey Holman in his first turn as presiding officer as the new head of ANC6B. 

Former chair Brian Ready, who continues to chair the Commission’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee, referenced the lengthy “spirited debate” in a meeting Monday night among commissioners, neighbors and the As You Are team to craft a Settlement Agreement which would set the terms under which the tavern will operate.  The terms of the agreement are meant to protect nearby neighbors from the impact of a potentially noisy and disruptive business while placing restriction on the business that are not so restrictive that it prevents them from succeeding. 

Ready announced that such an agreement appearsed to have been reached, and brought it before the commission for consideration. 

And that they did, over the course of two and a half hours of a meeting that stood in sharp contrast to the contentious and adversarial meeting earlier this month as reported elsewhere on this blog.  Discourse was civil and comments from nearby neighbors indicated that while some still had concerns, most were on board with the terms of the agreement.  Nearly 20 members of the gay community voiced their strong support for the new business. 

After the public comment portion of the meeting was over and the license application appeared well on its way to receiving ANC endorsement, Jo McDanial became emotional as she summed up how important this project is to the queer community:  “We really want to thank this community.  Y’all are the reason we do anything – this is our life’s work – and so, to the neighbors who live here who have questions – if we’re going to protect this community this carefully, I promise you your block is safe with us.”

Everything was fine after that, until former commissioner Chander Jayraman and Commissioner Jerry Sroufe raised concerns about the inclusion of language in the agreement which was intended to prevent the tavern owners from being punished twice for the same offense – once under DC law and again for violating the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  The language could provide a loophole, absolving As You Are from adhering to the Settlement Agreement.  For a few moments, it appeared that the meeting might go off the rails but language was suggested (by a nearby neighbor participant in the meeting) that resolved the concerns.

The final vote on a motion to support the tavern license application with the Settlement Agreement as amended was 10 – 0 – 0. 

Holman adjourned the meeting after welcoming Jo and Rachel “and the community already here to restore 8th Street back to its place of pride as the home of queer culture in DC” 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead…ANC Highlights…& Some Recent Photos

One of the interactive FUTURES exhibits at the Smithsonian Arts + Industrial Building responds to your spoken word to create a unique pattern of light.

“Expanded Present” – a site-specific installation over the entrance to the building and the FUTURES exhibit created by Soo Sunny Park, is an assemblage of NASA-developed dichroic glass panels which respond with different colors of light as the sun changes position.  Here’s a link to some photos taken at night:  https://aib.si.edu/futures_soosunnypark/

Futures – now on view until July 6, 2022.  For more information, go here:  https://aib.si.edu/futures/ Photo: The Smithsonian

Fight Club – Beuchert’s Saloon’s pandemic sandwich and booze pop-up – will take over the space formerly occupied by Hank’s on the Hill at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  They will be open seven days a week with an expanded menu.  The team behind the move is also opening Newlands in the nearby former Montmartre space on 7th Street.   Eater DC has a write up on Fight Club here:  https://bit.ly/3ArrUMf

On Monday, January 10, ANC6D received an update on the mixed use building proposed for 899 Maine Avenue, SE, by developer Jair Lynch.  A Holland & Knight attorney provided a list of community benefits the developer intends to offer the community as compensation for conceding increased size and density which would not otherwise be permitted under current zoning restrictions.  They include:
1. Leed Gold Standard Construction (This means that under the widely used green and sustainable rating system the building is rated at 60 – 79 points, less than platinum rating of 80 or more points.)
2. 15% family affordable units at 60% Area Median Income (AMI
3. A contribution to Jefferson School PTA
4. Neighborhood oriented retail

The mixed use project will provide around 500 residential units and first floor retail.  There will be two levels of parking providing one space for every three units.  Jair Lynch plans on filing a planned use development application with the Zoning Commission next month.  That should set off a round of discussions with ANC6D on the proffered community benefits. 

The Week Ahead…ANC Highlights…& Some Recent Photos

By Larry Janezich

Posted January 23, 2022       

ANC Highlights:

  • Tuesday:  ANC6B vote on “As You Are Bar’s” Tavern License Application. 
  • Wednesday:  ANC6A, 6B, & 6C Planning committees will meet virtually with DC’s Office of Attorney General on advocating for public interest in land use cases. 

The Week Ahead…

Monday, January 24

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

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Eastern High School Grant Presentation – Heather Schoell, Adina Wadsworth
  • Eastern High School Happenings – Regina McClure, Elizabeth Braganza

Tuesday, January 25

ANC6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Taqueria Al Lado II at 809 12th Street, NE.  Application for a Class C Restaurant License.
  • Ocean Lounge at 1220 H Street, NE.  Discussion of Stipulated License request. 

ANC6B Executive Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 6:30pm.   .

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Agenda: 

  • To set the agenda for the February meeting of the ANC

ANC6B will hold a virtual Special Call Meeting at 7:30pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Agenda:

  • Vote on “As You Are Bar’s” Tavern License Application. 

Wednesday, January 26

Joint ANC 6A/B/C Planning and Zoning Committee Virtual Meeting at 7:00pm with Office Of The DC Attorney General.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://bit.ly/3H2dtko

Agenda:

  • ANC 6A’s Economic Development and Zoning Committee, ANC 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee, and ANC 6C’s Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee are hosting a joint virtual meeting with the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Land Use Section, to discuss OAG’s recent announcement of a new focus on advocating for the public interest in zoning and development cases.

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

To join the meeting, go here:

Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/86776975706?pwd=alV2YUlpdVBrQk9ydlFTdHdhaXFZQT09
Meeting ID: 867 7697 5706Passcode: 714781One tap mobile+13126266799,,86776975706#,,,,*714781#   +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)       

Among items on the agenda:

  • Report of the Chair
  • Report of the Market Manager
  • Financial Report
  • Implementation of the Strategic Plan
  • HVAC
  • Leases
  • Eastern Market Main Street
  • Signage
  • Marketing and Promotions
  • Report of the Market Operations Committee Meeting: Tom Kuchenberg
  • Capital Improvements Report: Monte Edwards:
  • Tenant’s Council Report: Anita Jefferson

Thursday, January 27

ANC6A Transportation & Public Space Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Discussion of recent new speed hump and raised crosswalk approvals by DDOT:  300 block of 17th Place, NE; 900 block of G Street, NE; 12th Street, NE and Wylie Street, NE, (crosswalk); 200 block of 9th Street, NE; 200 block of 9thStreet NE; 400 block of 9th Street NE.
  • Discussion of new DDOT procedures, including whether to request improvements to DDOT TSI Dashboard (https://ddot.dc.gov/featured-content/traffic-safetyinvestigation-tsi-dashboard ); and when to recommend an ANC resolution in support of a traffic safety change.
  • Request for traffic calming at 13th NE and D Streets NE and recent accident at this intersection. Pending TSI 22-0027049 (filed 1-16-2022).
  • Request for speed camera at westbound 1300 block of H Street, NE, and other pending speed camera requests.
  • Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. Diane Romo Thomas of the Rock ‘N Roll RunningSeries will review plans for the March 26, 2022 event, including the race course and road closures in ANC 6A.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

SCOTUS Security Pushes into A Street, NE, Vexing Neighbors – Rep. Norton Hears Residents Fault SCOTUS Security for Quality of Life Issues

Representative Norton, SCOTUS Marshal Gaiul A. Curley and SCOTUS Chief of Police Paul Coleman, and ANC6A Commissioner Christine Healey. 

SCOTUS Security Pushes into A Street, NE, Vexing Neighbors – Rep. Norton Hears Residents Fault SCOTUS Security for Quality of Life Issues

by Larry Janezich

On January 12, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton chaired a virtual community meeting on SCOTUS security’s temporary and occasional closure to traffic of the 200 block of A Street, NE.

In 2006, when the Supreme Court sought a DDOT permit to erect a pop-up traffic barrier in the middle of the 200 block of A Street, SE, DDOT said no.  The reasons for denying the request were residents’ opposition to the noisy operation of the barrier, the impact on access to their homes, an adverse effect on property values, and the feeling of residents that they were being used as “human shields” against drivers of explosive-laden vehicles intent on attacking the court.

So the Supreme Court, citing its authority to protect the court and its officials, started closing the street on days the Supreme Court was in session and on days the justices were conferencing – some 8 to 12 days a month from 9:45am to 2:00pm.  The method used was a difficult-to –move (fork lift) temporary pop up barrier placed half way down the block of A Street, NE, between 2nd and 3rd Streets, a barrier which is lowered at resident or delivery truck driver request. 

Neighbors complained to ANC6A Commissioner Christine Healey and Representative Norton, which resulted in the unusual community meeting hosted by Norton.  At the meeting’s start, Norton emphasized her long commitment to keeping public space in DC open and her deep concern regarding fencing and security measures altering access to public buildings.  The panel  assembled to discussion the issue, included the Marshal and the Chief of Police of the Supreme Court; Everett Lott, Director of DDOT; and Matthew Marcou, Associate Director, DDOT; and ANC6C01 Commissioner Christine Healey.   

SCOTUS security officials stressed the efforts they have taken to address the neighbors’ concerns and say that many of those concerns could be resolved by installation of an in-ground pop up barrier, which, presumably, could be left in the down position, like the pop-up barriers on the north and south ends of the block of 2nd Street behind the court.  This would seem to facilitate resolution of access issues, but Healey said there would continue to be a noise issue caused by vehicles driving across the barrier. 

Residents, seemingly, also oppose an in-ground pop up barrier for other reasons cited in their 2006 opposition to an in-ground pop up barrier – the feeling they would be used as “human shields” to protect the court and the effect on property values.

The SCOTUS security team says they don’t think they need DDOT permission to install a pop-up barrier and the court’s “lawyers will take a look at it.”  DDOT is calling for an assessment of the SCOTUS operational security plan to find the best path forward for DC to help protect the Supreme Court. 

The SCOTUS Marshal said a safer court means a safer neighborhood, reminding residents that “we’re all in this together.” 

Norton concluded the meeting urging continued communication among the stakeholders, saying she believes “we are on the way to find whatever solution can be found.”  She assured residents that her office would make sure the community is informed of progress being made. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

New Barracks Row COVID Testing & Vaxx Site Opens 10 am on Monday, January 24

507 8th Street, SE – Barracks Row

New Barracks Row COVID Testing & Vaxx Site Opens 10 am on Monday, January 24

by Larry Janezich

Mayor Bowser and CM Charles Allen announced today that beginning on Monday, DC Department of Health is opening a new Testing and Vaxx site at 507 8th Street on Barracks Row.  The site will provide free:

  • Walk-up PCR tests
  • Take home rapid tests
  • Vaccinations
  • Boosters

It will be open 6 days a week.

Hours:

  • Monday: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Friday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Garfield Park Upgrade Starts This Year Says Department of Parks and Recreation

Photo credits: Hilary Russell and Google Maps.

 

Garfield Park Upgrade Starts This Year Says Department of Parks and Recreation

by Larry Janezich and Hilary Russell

Posted January 21, 2022

According to Christopher Dyer, Community Engagement Manager for DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), “I know that Garfield Park is going to happen at some point this year.”  At a January 11 meeting of ANC6B, Dyer was pressed on the status of the upgrade by Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk.  He said a bid for improvement is being reviewed by the Office of Contracts and Procurement, adding, “Once we have a bid in place, I’m going to look forward to working with you and the Friends of Garfield Park to get feedback on the design.” 

The much-needed renovation of Garfield Park (south of F Street SE, between 3rd and New Jersey Avenue) had been expected to begin in 2021, but as Dyer later confirmed by email, “The project received additional funding after the original [2021] solicitation was released, so it needed to be re-bid.  We anticipate this process will end shortly and a contractor will be selected to start the project soon after.”  He added, “The general scope remains the same. The additional funding will allow for enhanced improvements to the playground and other areas already outlined in the scope.” Along with ADA-compliant access and egress, that will include improved lighting, drainage, and landscaping. 

The issues troubling the park include cracked and pitted sidewalks, deteriorating tennis courts and benches, poor lighting and drainage, and a steep ramp-less walking route to H Street, SE,  that’s difficult and hazardous to navigate for the more fragile members of the community and those with strollers or carriages. 

Delayed renovation and official neglect reflect a long history of encroachments on Garfield Park by railroads, freeways, and the congressional power plant.  The most recent, in 1969, lopped off a large chunk of Garfield Park – 95,470 square feet – to accommodate the construction of the Southeast-Southwest freeway.  As the Historic American Buildings Survey reported, “Basketball courts were installed beneath the freeway in an attempt to mitigate the loss of parkland.  …Second Street, which had always continued through the park, was closed to traffic and its roadbed broken up and sodding put down in its place.”

The District Department of Transport (DDOT) is now responsible for this lopped-off area under the freeway on the park’s southern edge.  The basketball courts and a skateboard park built by users in about 2010 have been demolished, yielding to graffiti-covered concrete blocks, rubble from CSX tunnel construction, a slew of parked cars, and a homeless encampment. The sole vestiges of recreational infrastructure are the lines painted by pickle-ball players for two courts on the now closed section of Virginia Avenue under the freeway.   In FY 2018, $1 million in funding for DDOT to improve the area was approved but the project appears to be stalled. 

Friends of Garfield Park, a crucial neighborhood supporter and funder of park improvements for more than 20 years, urged in 2021 (among other things) that the renovation include replacing the basketball courts and skateboard park and spiffing up the pickle ball courts. These elements would add to the park’s appeal to a wide range of people who now can play tennis, beach volleyball, bocce, horseshoes, softball and baseball.  Visitors can also enjoy climbing frames appropriate for adults, adolescents, children, and toddlers, and families can dine on the park’s picnic tables.

A few amenities do not appear to be in cards for the renovation: a dog park, more trash cans, an irrigation system, a splash feature, and a wading pool like one below.

Once a contractor is engaged and a project manager designated, DPR and or the Department of General Services will begin a series of community meetings to solicit stakeholders’ and resident input regarding the design elements of the park. 

 

Photograph of the Garfield Park Wading Pool in Washington, D.C.; ca. 1914; Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital, Record Group 42. [Online Version]  The photo is a reminder of a time when DC playgrounds and schools were segregated by race. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Update on Homeless Encampments

An encampment at the 695 and Virginia Avenue, SE Underpass, (across from Whole Foods Market) existing alongside unregulated parking much of which appears to be used by construction workers from nearby projects.    
Jamal Weldon, Program Manager, Encampment Response Program, at ANC6A last Thursday night.

Update on Homeless Encampments

by Larry Janezich

Posted January 18, 2022

Last Thursday night, ANC6D got an update on homeless encampments from Jamal Weldon, Program Manager, Encampment Response Program under the Office of Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.  During his presentation, he made the following points:

  • An encampment is any site where residents who are homeless set up a tent or structure with the intention of establishing residence.
  • Homeless residents of encampments are residents of the community.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services can’t force encampment residents to move unless the encampment impedes public access or the encampment is a danger to the community or the residents themselves.
  • Illegal actions on part of residents of encampments are not under the purview of DHHS.

DC has a strategic plan to end long term homelessness in DC by the end of 2025.  The plan – Homeward DC – has made substantial progress in housing homeless families, but housing for unaccompanied adults has been slower in coming.  Fully implementing Homeward DC will take time – meanwhile, the city has established a protocol for addressing encampments.

Protocols under The Encampment Pilot Program are triggered when a site presents a security, health, or safety risk, and/or interferes with community use of such places. 

The pilot program provides shelter, intensive case management, and pathways to housing as well as behavioral health services through DHS for residents at the targeted locations. Other city agencies are engaged to clean up the site. 

Three major encampments have been designated as falling within the criteria established for cleanup under the pilot program:

  • NoMa Underpasses, M/L Streets, NE
  • New Jersey & C Street Park, NW
  • 20th/21st and E Streets, NW

The first two are in the process of housing former encampment residents and Weldon said that out of 111 individuals, 89 have been housed or are in a hotel waiting processing.

Weldon engaged in a spirited discussion with Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert who pressed for better communication between Weldon’s office and individual ANC commissioners and residents with concerns about encampments.  Weldon said communication failures were due to the pandemic and assured greater cooperation. 

Regarding an encampment within ANC6D at 18th and D Streets, NE, near RFK – which he called a major concern – Weldon said there has been outreach and his office was working with residents to connect them with resources including housing navigation.   

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services has a website on encampments here:  https://dmhhs.dc.gov/page/encampments  There are several encampments in Ward 6 which are on the list of Upcoming Encampment Protocol Engagements.  Some of the on-or-near Capitol Hill sites scheduled for cleanup have not yet been addressed – likely because encampments are not dismantled during inclement weather. 

There are encampments at:

  • 11th Street, SE/695 Underpass – Scheduled for Full Clean Up
  • 3rd Street and Virginia Avenue, SE – Scheduled for Full Clean Up
  • 695 and Virginia Avenue, SE Underpass, (across from Whole Foods) – Scheduled for Full Clean Up

The large encampment on Columbus Circle in front of Union Station is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. 

To report an encampment, call (202) 727-7973. 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

Pink Taco inched closer to opening in Navy Yard.  Last Monday night, ANC6D voted to support a stipulated liquor license for the popular Mexican food chain outlet coming to 100 M Street, SE.  The stipulated license means they don’t have to wait for an ABRA hearing before starting to serve alcohol.  Currently, there are Pink Tacos in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Miami, with plans on the table to open in NYC later this year.  No word yet on when it will in open in Navy Yard open other “this spring.”  You can take a look at the menus for the restaurants already open here: https://pinktaco.com/#Menu Redering: Pink Taco

Meanwhile, over on Pennsylvania Avenue and Third Street, SE, Spike Mendelsohn’s relocation of Santa Rosa is also moving forward.  Activity has picked up on the buildout and furniture has been placed on the Third Street side sidewalk café.  Neighbors are viewing the outdoor speakers for the sidewalk café with suspicion if not alarm.    

View from 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue last Wednesday afternoon of contrails converging on the Southeast horizon.   

Temperatures in the low 20’s on Saturday afternoon created this ice fountain at 11th and East Capitol SE, next to Wine & Butter.

There’s been progress on the Ebenezer Town Homes in the 400 Block of D Street, SE. 

ANCs elected their officers last week.  The only new faces in the four ANCs on or bordering Capitol Hill were at ANC6B – the others saw their officers re-up for another year.  Clockwise: 

ANC6A officers are Amber Gove, Chair; Keya Chatterjee, Vice-Chair; Laura Gentile, Secretary; Brian Alcorn, Treasurer.

ANC6B officers are Corey Holman, Chair; Alison Horn, Vice Chair; Jerry Sroufe, Secretary; Edward Ryder, Treasurer; Peter Wright, Parliamentarian.

ANC 6C officers are Karen Wirt, Chair; Mark Eckenwiler, Vice chair; Joel Kelty, Treasurer; Christine Healey, Secretary.

ANC6D officers are Edward Daniels, Chair; Riki Kramer, Vice Chair; Jared Weiss, Secretary; Ron Collins, Treasurer.

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

It’s a quiet week ahead as the community finds its footing after a spate of brutal weather.  Except for:

Wednesday, January 19

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

 On the agenda: 

905 L Street, NE.  Zoning Adjustment Application – request for special exception to construct a rear deck to an existing, attached, two story principal dwelling unit.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

CM Allen Briefs ANCs on Redistricting, Part II: ANC and SMD Boundaries

CM Charles Allen joined ANC6D, ANC6B, ANC6C, and ANC6A virtual meetings last week to brief on Redistricting, Part II.

CM Allen Briefs ANCs on Redistricting, Part II: ANC and SMD Boundaries

Posted January 16, 2022

by Larry Janezich

Last week, Ward Six Councilmember Charles Allen briefed the four ANCs on or bordering Capitol Hill on the process for redrawing boundaries for ANCs and their Single Member Districts (SMDs).  The ward is currently divided into 5 ANCs made up of varying numbers of SMDs of 2000 plus residents, each represented by an elected commissioner. 

Because the ward boundaries have been redrawn and population density has changed, ANC and SMD boundaries must also change.  

The new ward boundaries are already in effect but changes to the ANC and SMD boundaries will not take place until next January.  Allen said this will be an awkward year, because some current commissioners and residents of Ward Six will actually be in another ward. 

Allen will appoint a task force this week to recommend ANC and SMD boundary changes and announce dates for task force meetings.  Sitting ANC Commissioners and potential candidates for ANC are not eligible to serve on the task force, but former commissioners are welcome.  Also, any resident can contact Allan and request to be considered for task force membership.  Email him here:  callen@dccouncil.us     

The task force will hold open virtual meetings and make recommendations to Allen by the end of March.  He said he welcomes input from the ANCs.  Allen will forward the task force recommendations to the city council and the Subcommittee on Redistricting.  The Subcommittee will hold a hearing and produce legislation proposing boundary changes which will go to the city council for two votes and then to the Mayor for her signature. The process will be complete by the end of April, giving the Board of Elections time to input the changes into their system which will allow ANC candidates to pull petitions in June to get on the ballot for the fall election. 

In discussions during his briefings, Allen made the following points:

  • The optimum size for an ANC is 4 – 11 SMDs, preferably an odd number.
  • “If it makes sense,” he is open to having cross ward ANCs. Both councilmembers would have to support.  He has discussed cross boundary ANCs with the Ward 7 councilmember and though “it was not my impression he embraced the idea, he did not close the door.”  Hill East and Navy Yard would be most affected. 
  • A Ward 7 ANC west of the river made up of Kingman Park and the ANCs east of 15th Street formerly in Ward 6 “might make sense.”
  • ANC6C06 has 6000 residents which will become 3 SMDs. Two of the SMDs could become part of ANC6E in NOMA while the third remains in ANC6C.

“The changes to Ward 6 constitute the largest single ward shift in the history of DC,” Allen said, adding, “I hate it.  I still feel like I have scar tissue from it.”  Allen reiterated the commitment he made during the ward redistricting process to residents and commissioners who would end up in other wards.  He said he doesn’t care where boundaries end up – that just because we have new boundaries doesn’t change the relationships developed over years of working together. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friends Group Forms to Spearhead Effort to Improve Lincoln Park

Jason Maga, Jeni Schoemaker, and Jonathan Jacobson led a ten month effort to form Friends of Lincoln Park. Maga credits Schoemaker’s persistance for the success of the project. Photo: Larry Janezich

Friends Group Forms to Spearhead Effort to Improve Lincoln Park

by Hilary Russell

Like so many others on the Hill, Jeni Schoemaker, Jason Maga, and Jonathan Jacobson love Lincoln Park. They aimed for and reached another level by tirelessly working to ensure their love for the park leads to ongoing, tangible results.  In 2021, they led effort to incorporate the DC nonprofit Friends of Lincoln Park DC and its attainment of 501(c)(3) status.  The federal tax-exempt status was a prerequisite for a Philanthropic Partnership Agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) and for authorizing Friends of Lincoln Park to solicit funds.  Such funds, along with other donations and volunteer services, will support and fast-track NPS-approved enhancements and improvements for this storied, well-used, sometimes tatty, and beloved park.

After what has been a ten month effort, the trio anticipates imminent finalization of an agreement with the NPS that aligns with its priorities and objectives for Lincoln Park. They have collaborated on the project with National Capital Parks East Superintendent Tara Morrison and Michael Chambers, Regional Chief of Partnerships, Volunteer, and Youth Programs, while organizing badly needed spring and fall cleanups of the park and supporting concerts, ranger talks, walk-to-school, and other sponsored Lincoln Park events.

Keep an eye out for the announcement of a finalized agreement and for invitations to join in activities that improve Lincoln Park and make it one of the best in the city.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

ANC6D Slams DDOT I Street SW/SE Safety Project

ANC6D met last Monday night and heard an update from DDOT on the I Street SW/SE Safety Project

ANC6D Slams DDOT I Street SW/SE Safety Project

by Larry Janezich

DDOT Transportation Planner Jamee Ernst must have felt like a punching bag after updating ANC6D on the plan to reduce vehicle speeds, increase visibility at crosswalks, and upgrade bike lanes on I Street between 7th Street SW and 4th Street, SE.  The virtual meeting of the ANC was last Monday night and one commissioner after another lambasted the DDOT for not seeking community and ANC input before proceeding with the plan

Reservations were expressed by every commissioner, and the comments were harsh:

  • You needed to come to us first….
  • The plan is sexist and ageist….
  • Do not assume you’re going to implement this because it isn’t going to happen….
  • You’re trying to force plans on the community that are not acceptable….
  • You want to move ahead in 8 months and you will have problems because you won’t listen to us….

Ernst told the Commission that a Notice of Intent on the plan will be released in the spring and that she would send commissioners a 30% plan – an initial step in the development of the project – after tonight’s meeting. 

The consensus of the commission was to demand a commitment from Ernst to have a roundtable discussion with stakeholders before the Notice of Intent is issued.  Ernst indicated she would take that back to DDOT.

Commissioner Andrew Litsky said that the topic was a passionate one in the densely populated area and cited ongoing and longstanding concerns with DDOT over the indifference the agency has shown to the residents and the ANC.  He said a lot of projects have been installed without resident feedback. 

The project was presented to the ANC in February, 2020.  Here’s a link to that presentation:  https://bit.ly/3rmyZd0

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized