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The Week Ahead…and Some Photos from the Week Past

The Week Ahead…and Some Photos from the Week Past

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 25, 2020

Monday, October 26

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

Call-in Number: 202-860-2110 – Meeting number (access code): 172 269 2929

For those attending via WebEx: use this link:

Among items on the agenda:

  • Ludlow Taylor Grant Requests:
  • A grant in the amount of $1,000 to the Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School (LTES) Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) for the purchase of school supplies for the students of Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School.
  • A grant in the amount of $1,000 to the Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School LTES) Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) to purchase IXL supplemental learning software for use at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School.
  • A grant in the amount of $1,000 to the Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School (LTES) Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) to support the LTES City Year Program

Tuesday, October 27

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


The agenda for the full ANC Committee meeting on November 10.

For those attending via WebEx: use this link:

Meeting number: 172 082 7218

Password: 3AtXmJanN43

Host key: 284766Join by video system


You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

Join by phone

+1-202-860-2110 United States Toll (Washington D.C.)

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

Access code: 172 082 7218

Wednesday, October 28 Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

A link to access the meeting will be posted as soon as it is released.

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Report of the Nominations and Credentials Committee: Election of Officers, Chuck Burger.
  • Eastern Market Strategic Plan study.
  • Report of the Market Manager.
    • Covid restrictions at the Market update –
    • Possible return to normal operating hours update –
    • Revenue and expenses –
    • End of fiscal year –
    • HVAC status –
    • Status of the conflict resolution proposal –
    • Holiday Market plans)
  • Capital Improvements Report: Monte Edwards.
  • Tenant’s Council Report.
  • Eastern Market Metro Plaza Update.

DGS will host a virtual public meeting of its briefing for the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Team. Among the items on the agenda is a discussion of the 8 public art concepts earlier this week on Capitol Hill Corner.

  • Information on the time and on joining the meeting will be posted as soon as it is available.

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8 Public Art Concepts for Eastern Market Metro Plaza

by Larry Janezich

Last Wednesday, the Department of General Services hosted a virtual public meeting to hear presentations from 8 artists who unveiled their concepts for the public art commission for Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  Members of the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Taskforce made up of community stakeholders will each vote for one by Friday, October 23, and then discuss the selection(s) at their regularly scheduled October meeting on Wednesday October 28.

Below are images captured from those offered by the artists in the order of presentation, with excerpts from artist’s remarks explaining the works. 

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ANC6B Asks City to Rescind Extra Days/Hours for Alcohol Sales During Inaugural

ANC6B Asks City to Rescind Extra Days/Hours for Alcohol Sales During Inaugural

By Larry Janezich

Last Tuesday night, at its October meeting, ANC6B sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council asking that they rescind the decision to more than double the number of days around the presidential inaugural when alcohol could be served until 4:00am.   

The DC Budget Act approved in July extended those days and hours until 4:00am for 16 days – up from 7 days during the last inaugural – from January 9 to January 24.  Lawmakers reasoned the change would help business recover lost COVID-related revenue and boost revenues for the city. 

Commissioner Jerry Sroufe of ANC6B suggested and authored the letter after raising concerns that the event will attract a large number of protestors – some of whom might be armed – and that expanded service could frustrate efforts at reducing the spread of COVID. 

Commissioner Samolyk suggested a broader conversation taking into account the needs of the bars and restaurants before sending the letter.  Chair Brian Ready said he wanted bars and restaurants to succeed, but the last thing he wanted to see is a COVID outbreak on Capitol Hill. 

The current public health emergency expires on January 31, with no assurance it will be extended.  Commissioner Oldenburg suggested that extension of the emergency would override the Budget Act’s relaxed alcohol serving provisions. 

The letter states that the ANC understands the financial needs of the city resulting from the COVID pandemic but:   

“Because of our concerns for the physical safety of District residents and our desire to protect them from virus spread, we respectfully request that District leaders rescind the provision of extra days and extra hours during the 2021 Inauguration.”

The vote to send the letter to the Mayor and City Council was 6 – 2- 1. 

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 18, 2020

The Week Ahead…

Monday, October 19

ANC 6A Transportation and Public Space Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For information on joining the meeting, go here:

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Announcement of opportunity for community input on moveDC, the District’s long-range transportation plan.
  • Consideration of additional pedestrian/traffic safety issues, as suggested by commissioners and community members (see list at end of document) – this will be taken out of order or postponed to allow time for adequate discussion of time-sensitive new business items.
  • Public space application at 205 15th Street, NE, for exception from fence requirement and an 8×10 ft. accessory building in public space.
  • Presentation, by Marcy Bernbaum of the Downtown DC Public Restroom Colleagues, on the opportunity for ANCs to suggest pilot locations for public restrooms pursuant to the Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2018. Consideration of proposing a pilot site on the H Street corridor. [link to basic information provided by People for Fairness Coalition (PFC):

Additional Pedestrian/Traffic Safety Discussion/Consideration List

  • Making Acute Angle Intersections Safer – Drivers make fast turns from diagonal streets (NC/TN/MD) onto letter/number streets. Requesting raised crosswalks/speed humps/bulbouts/traffic calming
  • Intersection of A Street and North Carolina Avenue NE – most hazardous aspect is traffic traveling east on North Carolina Avenue and turning in on A Street.
  • 1100 and 1200 block of F Street, NE
  • 1300 block of G Street NE, south of Maryland Avenue, NE
  • 200 block of 9th Street NE traffic calming. Look for message from DDOT –Mike
  • Traffic on the 200 block of 9th Street NE; residents believe that the timing of the lights makes this a faster – and therefore preferred route over 8th Street. Request adjusting the lights ((rather than speed humps) due to noise and vibration.
  • Concerns that discouraging truck traffic on 10th and 12th Streets will increase such traffic on 11th Street, NE.

Tuesday, October 20

ANC6B’s Barrack’s Row Working holds a virtual meeting at 6:30pm. 

For information on joining the meeting, go here:


This meeting will focus on COVID-19 issues such as social distancing, loan/grants and preparing for winter.

Presentations: Q & A with District Agencies

1. Jennifer McCahill from the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife & Culture.

2. Andre DeFrank – Community Engagement with DDOT (Tentative)

3. Representative from Great Streets and Retail

4. The Office of the Deputy, Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (Tentative)

5. Tyler Williams – Ward 6 Liaison Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services

6. Representative from the Department of Public Space (Tentative)

Wednesday, October 21

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

For information on joining the meeting, go here:

Among items on the draft agenda: 

  • 909-911 I Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for special exceptions to allow the construction of two new, attached, three-story flats with a penthouse. 
  • 722 19th Street, N – Zoning Adjustment Application special exceptions to allow construction of a second-story rear deck addition to an existing semidetached principal dwelling.
  • 1250 Constitution Avenue, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for a special exception under the off-site parking spaces requirements to relocate 8 of the required parking spaces to the adjacent street to enlarge the outdoor play area at Maury Elementary School.
  • 1447 Maryland Avenue, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for a special exception from the minimum parking requirements to construct a two-story addition to permit a mixed-use building with 9 residential units.

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Preservation Café:  “Homicide on the Hill”.  Author Robert Pohl will present a Halloween special at this virtual Preservation Café. 

“Homicide on The Hill”, Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm.

Like every neighborhood, Capitol Hill has had its share of murders in its long history. Even the white-domed Capitol has been the location of a brutal murder, though the more usual backdrop for such events were the alleys and hovels in the poorer sections of the neighborhood.

Call in number: 415-655-0001

Meeting password: 42556933#

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ANC6B Commissioners Slam Process on Change to Boys and Girls Club Project

ANC6B Commissioners Slam Process on Change to Boys and Girls Club Project

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 14, 2020

Last night, ANC6B grudgingly signaled its approval of changing the proposed conversion of the Boys and Girls Club from a mixed-income condo project to a 100% affordable rental project for seniors, while criticizing the process leading to the proposal.  In 2019, Mayor Bowser’s announced a goal of adding 1200 new affordable housing to Capitol Hill by 2025. 

The commission voted 8 – 1 to agree to support the reuse of the Boys and Girls Club as 100% affordable senior housing but because of the failure of DMPED to engage the community, asked that the council vote to permit the change not be taken before its November 17th meeting to ensure 6B and neighbors have more time to evaluate the changes. 

Commissioners Jayaraman, Krepp, and Holman, all expressed disappointment with DMPED’s failure to engage the community in the conversion.  Jayaraman recalled the city’s similar agreement to the conversion of one of Blue Skye’s  residential buildings on Reservation 13 to 100% affordable housing without community input, and Holman admonished DMPED, “Come on, guys – do better work.”  Krepp – a long time critic of DMPED’s lack of transparency regarding development of Reservation 13 – said that she felt the ANC was getting “jammed – deliberatly” and said that the radical changes justified re-starting the process. 

The original plan toe convert the Boys and Girls Club to European style co-housing for seniors proved to be unworkable when the project estimates came in above budget owing to increased construction costs, unforeseen environmental issues, and the COVID factor which imperiled a co-housing model based on common space for residents to interact.  Developer Joel Kelty said that under conventional financing, providing 15% of the units at 50% of market value was infeasible because of the challenge of finding purchasers who would qualify.  

Now Kelty – with the blessing of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED – is asking the City Council to modify the terms of the agreement with the city to allow construction of 100% affordable housing for 55 and up seniors. 

In March of 2015, the ANC flatly opposed the conversion to 100% affordable housing as proposed by the politically-connected developer Dantes Partners, which was the only proposal meeting the narrowly drawn criteria in the Request for Proposals (RFP).  After negative reaction from the community, the project was transferred from the Department of General Services to DMPED which called for a new RFP.  Kelty was awarded the bid with a proposal for 29 age-restricted 1, 2, and possibly 3 bedroom condo units with 2 caretaker units and about 1850 square feet of community space over  Morningstar Development which would have provided 31 conventional multi-generational 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condo units and about 3000 square feet of community space.

An important factor in the decision was the support of Capitol Hill Village for Kelty’s plan, as well as the sense that it was a better fit in the community. 

With the Mayor’s office pushing for more affordable housing on Capitol Hill and the support of DMPED, conversion to 100% affordable units allows Kelty to seek Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding which provides a tax incentive to construct or rehabilitate affordable rental housing for low-income households. LIHTC subsidizes the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income tenants.

Kelty – and DMPED – need the council to approve extension of the term sheet detailing the disposition of the property which expires December 4, because DMPED does not have authority to do it on its own.  Capitol Hill Village has endorsed the new plan.  Reaction of the nearby neighbors has been mixed, with some expressing frustration at the downgrading of what was once a mixed income project and others just wanting renovation to start on the deteriorating Hill East eyesore. 

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ANC6B To Postpone Vote on Gaming License for Handle 19

ANC6B To Postpone Vote on Gaming License for Handle 19

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 13, 2020

Shane August hoped to open the Handle 19 sport betting venue at 319 PA Avenue in mid-November but instead of getting support from the ANC tonight, will have to wait another 30 days for a vote on his request for a liquor license with a gaming endorsement.  The ANC is the first hurdle in the approval process, followed by Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration approval and a final approval by DC Lottery. 

The license came up before ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee last Thursday night. 

A lot of the nearby residential neighbors are not happy with the business coming into the community.  They say it will attract people from outside the area, create parking and traffic problems, and provide an increased crime risk in a neighborhood of families with young children.   One resident suggested a 45 day delay to allow time for the community to be adequately notified. 

The ABC committee and the full ANC ultimately have two choices.  It can support the request for a license and negotiate a Settlement Agreement to restrict operations, or it can protest the license.  The latter is a long hard process, in the words of Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg.  The ABC committee is charged with recommending a path forward to the full ANC. 

At Thursday’s meeting, ANC Chair Brian Ready pressed the opposing sides to see if common ground could be found.  Handle 19’s attorney said they were willing to delay the application for 30 days to discuss the issues and try to reach a Settlement Agreement. 

Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk, in whose district the establishment lies, moved to recommend to the full ANC that the deadline for filing a protest be deferred  until November 13, in hopes neighbors and the owner will engage in a dialogue to see if the issues can be resolved in a way that would allow the license to move forward.  The motion was agreed to, 7 – 0 – 1.  The full ANC will consider the recommendation at tonight’s meeting, and is expected to agree to it. 

The license will come up again before the ABC Committee on November 3, where the Committee could vote to support, to protest, or to take no position.  The recommendation would then come before the full ANC at its November 10 meeting. 

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Confused About the proposed Helipad on Water Street? Here’s the Latest.

Confused About the proposed Helipad on Water Street?  Here’s the Latest.

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 12, 2020

Considerable uncertainty has accompanied a proposal by Congressional Aviation 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.

ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee heard from Congressional Aviation’s owner last Tuesday night in an effort to bring some clarity to the matter.

Geoff Rankin is the owner of Congressional Aviation.  His lease on the ground down river where he currently has a helipad for helicopters used by MPD and area hospitals is expiring and is not going to be renewed.  He’s looking for a new site and after considering several other locations which proved to be unfeasible is eying a space on the Anacostia River near 1333 M Street, SE.

Rankin says his company provides an essential service in terms of public safety and unless he can begin construction soon, he thinks it will “go away”.  Neighbors and ANC6B acknowledge that, but don’t want the helipad located there, citing noise concerns.  Representatives from 1333 M Street project have not yet weighed in, and Rankin says that at the moment, there are no city agencies that support his proposed use of the site for a helipad.  City officials say there are no current plans to support a helipad for the site. 

Commissioners had harsh words for the Mayor saying that Mayor Bowser needs to show some leadership on this and to figure out where the facility needs to go, without making this corner of the city a “dumping ground.” 

In July, ANC6B supported filing a map amendment to zone the site that Rankin is looking at, limiting its use to open space, park, and low density riverfront-oriented retail. On Tuesday the Committee recommended that the full ANC to proceed with the filing and the Commission is expected to approve that recommendation at its October meeting Tuesday night.  Planning and Zoning Committee chair Corey Holman said that the filing will result in a Zoning Commission Review which should result in a hearing and a decision from the Commission on the rezoning proposal.  Currently the land is un-zoned and subject to development and use by an executive order of the Mayor. 


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The Week Ahead…and Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead…and Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 11, 2020

The Week Ahead…

Monday, October 12

In observance of Columbus Day, most Department of Public Works (DPW) services will be suspended on Monday, October 10. There will be no city trash or recycling collection, no street or alley cleaning, graffiti removal or nuisance abatement.

ANC6D will hold its October meeting on Tuesday, October 13. 

Night one of the Ward 6 Community Forum on the DC Council At-Large Race. 

Tuesday, October 13

ANC6B will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  For a link to join the meeting, go here:

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Handle 19 Inc, 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE; class B license – sport betting.  Request to ABRA for deferment until after November 12, 2020
  • Letter to ABRA on ABRA Expanded Hours for Inauguration 2021
  • 1309 Potomac Avenue, SE – Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a two-story accessory garage structure in the rear yard of an existing attached principal dwelling unit.
  • 400 Seward Square, SE – Zoning Adjustment Application.  Area Variance to permit an addition of 3 units to the existing 14-unit apartment building
  • ANC 6B map amendment of Boathouse Row which if enacted would preclude the development of a helipad. 
  • ANC6B Support for Traffic Safety Assessment (400 block of 13th Street SE).
  • ANC6B Support for Traffic Safety Assessment (1300 & 1400 block D Street SE, 14th/Kentucky, SE Intersection).
  • Resolution on Separating Residential Permit Parking from Ward Boundaries.
  • Contract modification to Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club project to 100% affordable senior rental housing.
  • 514 Archibald Walk SE – Historic Preservation Application.  One story rooftop addition to existing garage.
  • Department of Transportation Notice of Intent on Kentucky Avenue Advisory Bike Lanes Proposal.
  • DDOT Proposed Rulemaking on Revisions to Annual VPP and Temporary Parking Pass Programs.

ANC6D will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  For a link to join the meeting, go here:

Among items on the draft agenda:

Among items on the draft agenda: 

  • Announcement of Special Business Meeting – October 27 at 7pm via WebEx
  • Presentation:  Attorney General Karl Racine. 
  • Public Safety Report- First District MPD (PSA 103, PSA 105 & PSA 106) Capt. Dorrough, Lt. Donigian.
  • Letter to DOEE concerning communication issues.
  • DGS Lease Comments – 1015 Half Street, SE.
  • Presentation:  USAODC Update – Douglas Klein, Assistant United States Attorney.
  • Homeless Encampments – Virginia Ave, 3rd/4th St SE underpass (CM Daniels) 8:25 15 Min.
  • Cambria Hotel – 69 Q Street, SW – Liquor license application. 
  • 1319 South Capitol Street – Zoning Application Design Review.   
  • 45 Q Street, SW – Preview.
  • Parcel Q – Brookfield – Discussion.
  • Letter to DCRA – Parc Riverside Loading Dock – 1011 1st Street, SE.
  • Closing of 1200 block of Half Street, SE for pedestrian use.
  • Letter of Support for Permanent SW COVID-19 Testing Site.

ANC 6C Environment, Parks & Events Committee has scheduled a virtual meeting for 7:00pm (originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 6). 

For a link to join the meeting, go here:

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • NoMa Parks update
  • Public bathrooms legislation

Wednesday, October 14

ANC6C will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  For a link to join the meeting, go here:

Among items on the draft agenda.

Brief Community Announcements:

  1. Marcus Goodwin, At-Large Council member candidate.
  2. Douglas Klein, U.S. Attorney’s Office of Community Prosecutor.
  3. Scott Price, Seniors’ concern about wearing masks during the pandemic.
  • Craft Beer Cellar DC, 333 H Street NE – Class A license and request to renew single sales moratorium exception. 
  • Games of Skill discussion.
  • Yotel, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Public Space Application, numerous renovations.
  • Washington Gas Maryland Avenue, NE update
  • DDOT proposed rulemaking on visitor parking passes.
  • 301 Florida Avenue NE, Zoning Application –Two-year extension of the PUD.
  • 622 Eye Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application – Revised application, special exception to convert  a residential building into a five-unit apartment house.
  • 646 E Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application – Two story rear addition, special exceptions from rear addition requirements and lot occupancy requirements.
  • 646 E Street, NE, Historic Preservation Application – Concept approval to construct a two-story rear addition.
  • 520 Groff Court, NE—Discussion of Zoning Adjustment Application (construction).
  • NoMa Parks update.
  • Public bathrooms legislation discussion. 
  • Grant application from J.O. Wilson, software for distance learning.

Night two of the Ward 6 Community Forum on the DC Council At-Large Race. 

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Here’s What Capitol Hill Needs to Know About Voting – in a Nutshell

Here’s What Capitol Hill Needs to Know About Voting – in a Nutshell

by Larry Janezich

Charles Allen has distributed a comprehensive memo on How To Vote In the General Election.  Here are the key points Capitol Hill residents need to know.  The link at the end will take you to Allen’s memo if you want more.

Residents who are registered to vote by October 13 will get a ballot in the mail.  See CM Allen’s memo (link below) for more info on registering. 

The four ways to vote early:

Return your ballot BY MAIL – must be postmarked on or before November 3.

Return your ballot in one of the new secure BALLOT DROP BOXES across the District until 8 p.m. on Election Day.  The drop boxes became active Monday, October 5.  Here are the locations for the drop boxes on or near Capitol Hill: 

  • Eastern Market, 225 7th Street, SE
  • Northeast Library, 330 7th Street, NE
  • Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403 7th Street, SE
  • Rosedale Library, 1701 Gales Street, NE

DROP OFF YOUR BALLOT at any Vote Center from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. during “Election Week” (October 27-November 2) and from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Election Day.  On or near Capitol Hill, the Vote Centers are Sherwood Recreation Center – 640 10th Street, NE; and the SUPER VOTE CENTER AT WASHINGTON NATIONALS PARK.

VOTE EARLY IN PERSON at any Vote Center during “Election Week” (October 27-November 2) from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.  On or near Capitol Hill, the Vote Centers are Sherwood Recreation Center – 640 10th Street, NE; and the SUPER VOTE CENTER AT WASHINGTON NATIONALS PARK.

Once they open you can check the wait time here:

Voting on Election Day:

Anticipate lines.   Each voting center has reduced capacity because of COVID safety precautions.  Allen’s office advises bringing water, snacks, and a mask, and dress warmly and comfortably. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.  Here are the voting locations in Ward Six:

  • MINER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL                           601 15th Street NE      
  • J.O. WILSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL                 660 K Street, NE           
  • STUART-HOBSON MIDDLE SCHOOL                    410 E Street, NE      
  • EASTERN MARKET                                                   225 7th Street, SE       
  • PAYNE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL                          1445 C Street, SE      
  • WATKINS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL                          420 12th Street, SE       
  • ARTHUR CAPPER COMMUNITY CENTER               1000 5th Street, SE       
  • JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL ACADEMY               801 7th Street, SW      
  • KING GREENLEAF RECREATION CENTER              201 N Street, SW      
  • SHERWOOD RECREATION CENTER                         640 10th Street, NE      
  • SUPER VOTE CENTER AT NATIONALS PARK        1500 S. Capitol Street, SE
  • KENNEDY RECREATION CENTER                           1401 7th Street, NW     
  • WALKER-JONES EDUCATION CAMPUS             1125 New Jersey Ave., NW

Voters can vote at any Vote Center during Election Week or on Election Day, regardless of where they live. Most people are accustomed to voting at their traditional precinct and that will not be required for this General Election.

Registered voters do not need to present proof of residence to vote. But – if you will be registering during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence in order to register and vote. And if you are a first-time voter who registered by mail and did not provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show proof of residence in order to cast a live (regular) ballot.

Here’s the link to CM Charles Allen’s memo on voting:

And here’s a link to an article in The DC Line:  Who’s on DC’s general election ballot, which has links to candidates’ websites if they have one:

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Nearby Neighbors Oppose Sports Gambling Business on PA Avenue SE

Nearby Neighbors Oppose Sports Gambling Business on PA Avenue SE

by Larry Janezich

Feelings ran strong last night at an ANC6B sponsored virtual community meeting to hear input from neighbors on the proposed sport betting establishment at 319 PA Avenue, SE.  Some 20 residents joined in and many expressed vehement objections.  Only one resident voiced support for the business – Handle 19 – which would be the first of its kind in the city.  (See CHC post here:  )

Objections centered on the perception of gambling as a business that brings social ills and security risks to a neighborhood of townhomes which surrounds the commercial strip fronting on Pennsylvania Avenue.  One neighbor said there were five elementary schools and a dozen day care centers within six blocks, and “alcohol, gambling and kids don’t mix”. A petition of opposition emphasizing that idea is being circulated.  Another saw the company as a crime risk which works counter to community efforts to reduce crime.  Another said, “I don’t think it’s going to work because we will not let it happen,” adding that neighbors will appeal to Councilmember Charles Allen and Mayor Bowser.   Several cited a lack of notice that the license was coming before the ANC. 

Ian G. Thomas, attorney for Handle 19, presented the other side, saying it’s better to have a thriving business than an empty building.  “The reality is that sport betting is here in DC,” and it’s better to have it happen in a controlled environment than in a bar where wagers can be placed via an app downloaded to a phone.  He said that Handle 19 wants to work with the residents and be a good neighbor; “Sports gambling is here, like it or not – we have an additional responsibility to address any ills that come out of it.” 

Chander Jayaraman, Chair of the ANC6B ABC Committee, outlined the process and hinted that it might be hard to stop the business from opening because the ultimate decision will be in the hands of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. 

The ANC6B is caught between representing the neighbors who fear their quality of life will be affected and the reality of the fact that ANC opposition would require a majority of the ANC to vote to protest the gambling license (on grounds of noise, detriment to the community or detriment to property values).  That would trigger an ABRA required mediation process and if that fails to resolve concerns, the next step would be litigated protest hearing with legal counsel  before ABRA.  ABRA would finally decide the matters with the usual outcome being granting of the license with conditions. 

ANC6B Chair Brian Ready, attempting to arrange a fallback position, suggested another meeting between the community and the owner to work out a Settlement Agreement which would incorporate language to address as many concerns of the nearby neighbors as possible, in case an ultimate favorable decision by ABRA is the outcome.

Jayaraman proposed a one month extension in order to give parties an opportunity to work out operating restrictions for the Settlement Agreement and the owners of Handle 19 said they would consider it. 

Otherwise, the matter will be taken up by ANC6B ABC Committee at its October virtual meeting next Thursday, followed by consideration at the full ANC6B meeting on Tuesday, October 13. 

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