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The Week Ahead… & Whose Ox is Being Gored on Opening/Closing 7th Street? – It’s Complicated

Some 30 residents and stakeholders came to Tuesday night’s EMCAC meeting to voice opinions on the status of 7th Street. Here, Union Market’s Bill Glasgow urges the city to open 7th Street to vehicular traffic on weekends.

The Week Ahead… & Whose Ox is Being Gored on Opening/Closing 7th Street? – It’s Complicated

by Larry Janezich

The Week Ahead is Quiet.

And in Other News….

Whose Ox is Being Gored on Opening/Closing 7th Street? – It’s Complicated

by Larry Janezich

Last Tuesday night, the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee met in Eastern Market’s North Hall to continue receiving comment on whether the 200 and 300 blocks of 7th Street should remain closed to weekend vehicular traffic.

It’s complicated.  It’s not just a simple matter of who will be helped or hurt by opening the street, but, rather, a question of whose ox is being gored.

The food merchants in Eastern Market’s South Hall predict the demise of the food market within ten years if measures are not taken to mitigate the lack of vehicular access to the market, including opening of 7th Street to traffic on weekends.  Some of the most active voices on this issue are long-time merchants who have built product lines based on the desires of long term customers, many of whom no longer live in the neighborhood and must drive to the market.

The Eastern Market outside arts and crafts merchants who set up on the 200 block of 7th outside Eastern Market see their livelihoods threatened if the street is open to traffic, which would result in their displacement and relocation to less trafficked areas.   Artist-vendor Joe Snyder says that appealing to the Hill’s new population is the only way forward and sees the controversy as symptomatic of “what trouble we’re having in reaching out to this new population”.

But those same arts and crafts vendors, while supporting the continued closure of 7th Street, do not want to see additional flea market vendors occupying space on the 300 block of 7th Street if the street remains closed to traffic.

A long time vendor on Eastern Market’s North Plaza says that her income has dropped precipitously because there are so many vendors siphoning the dollars of shoppers before they get to her jewelry stand at the north end of Eastern Market, and adding more vendors (if 7th Street remains closed) will only make it more difficult.  That sentiment is shared by the arts and craft folk on the 200 block.

The managers of the two separate flea markets which set up on the 300 block of 7th Street who are scheduled to move to the newly reopened C Street in the middle of the Hine Project want to expand their operations and continue to use the 300 block on 7th Street after the move.  They urge keeping the street closed, but  seem prepared to fight any attempt by Eastern Market and the Department of General Services to bring in other flea market managers to compete with their flea markets should the city decide to keep 7th closed.  Expansion of the flea markets to include both C Street and the 300 block would not be welcomed by the vendors on the 200 block of 7th.

And then there are those who urge not rushing a decision without knowing what the consequences will be.  Former EMCAC Chair Ellen Opper-Weiner says, “We can’t make a decision in a vacuum – there’s been no study, no evaluation.”  Community activist Bobbi Krengel said that the Project for Public Space (PPS) could do just such a study.  Krengel noted that “Eastern Market is a synergistic market and none of the components can exist by itself,” and that the most important component is the historic municipal market.

ANC6B Commissioner Diane Hoskins, in whose single member district the Market lies, had the final word at the meeting, saying that she was on the record supporting the continued closure of 7th Street on weekends, adding, “…a lively open market is crucial to the success of all parts of the market.”  Capitol Hill Corner reported last week that Councilmember Charles Allen supports continued closure.

EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder announced that the EMCAC’s record will remain open until Tuesday, August 22, for comments on 7th Street.  Email donna_scheeder@comcast.net

ANC6B will meet at 7:30pm on Tuesday, August 29 in Hill Center, to allow residents and stakeholders a final opportunity to make public comments on the status of 7th Street.

For previous postings on this issue, see here:  http://bit.ly/2uEMi9N

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The Week Ahead & CM Charles Allen Will Not Support Re-opening 7th Street to Car Traffic on Weekends

EMCAC Executive Committee hears from residents and stakeholders on the status of 7th Street

The Week Ahead & CM Charles Allen Will Not Support Re-opening 7th Street to Car Traffic on Weekends

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, August 15

EMCAC will hold a second meeting to discuss the status of 7th Street, at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 15, in the North Hall of Eastern Market.  (ANC6B will consider the future of the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, at a special meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 7:30pm at Hill Center.)

CM Charles Allen Will Not Support Re-opening 7th Street to Car Traffic on Weekends

By Larry Janezich

Councilmember Charles Allen told Capitol Hill Corner, “I don’t support re-opening 7th Street to car traffic on weekends. The pedestrian plaza, community space, and temporary real estate for local small businesses created on weekends is a valuable part of the Eastern Market and Capitol Hill experience.”

The statement came shortly after a meeting on Saturday, hosted by the Executive Committee of Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), to hear from residents on re-opening the street.  EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder announced she had received 65 emails supporting one side of the other from people who could not attend today’s meeting. Email Scheeder here:  donna_scheeder@comcast.net

At Saturday’s meeting, attended by 25 interested parties, 16 stakeholders and residents spoke for or against re-opening 7th Street, reiterating in person arguments reported previously on this blog: http://bit.ly/2uOmJT5 Also, it emerged during the meeting that several Eastern Market food service vendors had withdrawn their support for re-opening all of 7th Street, reversing their position on a “position paper” circulated last week by Tommy Glasgow of Market Lunch, in support of re-opening.

In addition, some of the brick and mortar businesses on the 300 block of 7th Street said they wanted a better understanding of what might happen on the 300 block of 7th Street before saying yea or nay to re-opening.  If the 300 block remains closed, Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson has indicated that Eastern Market (under authority granted it to regulate 7th Street) would call for bids from those interested in programming the block.  (Mike Berman and Carol Wright, who run the Saturday and Sunday flea markets, would certainly be among those bidders.)

The hesitation of the brick and mortar outlets is understandable. First, there is the uncertainty of how the Hine Project retail will regard a row of tents set up in 7th Street in front of their (likely) high-end retail/food service venues.  Setting up in the middle of the street may not be feasible – the brick and mortars fear the superior clout of the Hine retail will push the tents back on their side of the street.  In addition, there is concern that programming of the block will bring direct competition for their shops – like the Sunday flea market allowing Vigilante Coffee to set up nearly in front of Peregrine.

EMCAC and ANC6B are the government entities which will carry the community commentary to the Department of General Services and the Department of Transportation who will determine whether the street remains closed.  EMCAC will hold a second meeting at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 15, in the North Hall of Eastern Market.  ANC6B will consider the future of the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, at a special meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 7:30pm at Hill Center.

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The Future of Eastern Market, Part 1. 30 Eastern Market Food Merchants Oppose Closure of 7th Street

The 200 block of 7th Street, where the weekend arts and craft vendors set up.

The 300 block of 7th Street, current home to the Saturday and Sunday flea markets.

The unfinished newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets, is where the weekend flea markets will move to from the 300 block of 7th once they get the green light from Eastbanc.

The Future of Eastern Market, Part 1.  30 Eastern Market Food Merchants Oppose Closure of 7th Street

by Larry Janezich

Thirty* Eastern Market inside and outside merchants, farmers and food vendors have signed a position paper opposing the weekend closure of 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenue.

The statement, circulated by Tommy Glasgow of Market Lunch, claims “The road closure has created a real accessibility issue that has had a negative effect on our fresh food sales, is problematic for our farmers, and of great concern to all of us in regards to the long-term viability of the fresh food Market.

We recommend 7th Street be re-opened one-way south bound. The new configuration will save resources, solve many of the Markets access/egress issues, and provide a safer and more enjoyable shopping experience for all visitors, especially those with disabilities.”

Glasgow says, “It’s not so much an issue of whether the street is open or closed, but whether the community wishes to have an old-fashioned food market.”

If the street were reopened, those most affected would be the 36 arts and crafts vendors who set up in 7th Street outside the Market in the 200 block between C Street and North Carolina Avenue.  The 200 block was closed my Mayoral order following the restoration of Eastern Market after the disastrous 2006 fire, to accommodate the arts/crafts vendors and to facilitate access to the Market.  Reopening the street, they say, would put them out of business.  One of the vendors, artist Joe Snyder, says “There would be a lot of people who would lose their livelihood.”  He acknowledges that the vendors could be relocated, “…but not to a place that would enable them to earn a living.”

The supporters of reopening the street to traffic are taking advantage of the timing on the city’s pending decision on whether to reopen the 300 block of 7th Street between C Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to weekend vehicular traffic.  That block was closed to traffic to accommodate the two flea markets which were displaced from the Hine School playground by construction of the Hine project.

Those Saturday and Sunday flea markets in 7th Street’s 300 block are separate and distinct from the arts and crafts vendors which operate on 7th Street in the 200 block.  The flea markets are operated respectively by Carol Wright and Mike Berman.

Upon completion of the newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Street, the two flea markets will move there, under contract with Stanton Eastbanc.  (By an agreement with the city, the street will be private and maintained by Eastbanc, but open to public parking and vehicular traffic unless programmed by Eastbanc for other purposes.)  Eastbanc’s project manager has said that C Street will be finished and ready for the flea markets by September 30.

If C Street is ready for the flea markets by September 30, Berman says that since his contract with the city to operate on 7th Street runs through the end of October, and since he will have two valid contracts, he will continue to use the 7th Street through the end of October, as well as C Street.  “What happens after that,” he says, “depends on (Eastern Market Manager) Barry Margeson.”

Berman says he supports 7th Street remaining closed to traffic and an independent manager to operate there.  Opening the street, he says, will not solve the Eastern Market merchants’ problems and will not provide additional customer parking.

Wright says that her vendors prefer to stay on 7th Street, but she will move her Saturday operation onto C Street as soon as Eastbanc says that the street is ready for occupancy.  Eastbanc hopes that date will be September 30, but if it slips beyond October 31, both she and Berman will have to go back to the city to extend their 7th Street contract.  Wright wrote a letter to the city saying that she would like to continue to operate on 7th Street, but will do what the community wants – if that is a decision to open 7th Street, she would like to revisit the question in a year.

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) has called a special meeting for Saturday, August 12, at 3:00pm in the Coldwell Banker training room at 605 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  ANC6B will consider the future of the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, at a special meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 7:30pm at Hill Center.

Councilmember Charles Allen did not respond to an email asking for comment on this story.

*Blue Iris Flowers, Bowers Fancy Dairy Products, Canales Quality Meats, Capitol Hill Poultry, Eastern Market Grocery,  Fine Sweet Shoppe, Capitol Hill Produce, Southern Maryland Seafood, Union Meat, Market Poultry, The Market Lunch, Buds Creek Farm Agora Farms, Dunham’s Produce, Knopp’s Farms, Long Meadow Farm, Sunnyside Farm, Ashton Farms, Morgals Produce, Gardeners Gourmet, Swiss Peeler, Tony’s Flowers, Ma Browns Baked Goods. Puddin’, She Peppers, Boso Foods, The Freshmobile, The Pretzel Place, Mano de Maiz, Conceptos.

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Community Organization Forms to “Adopt an Urn” at Lincoln Park

PLANT Volunteers are left to right Allegra, Zemy the dog, Jocelyn, Ranger Vince and Karen Cohen. Photo credit: Karen Cohen

Community Organization Forms to “Adopt an Urn” at Lincoln Park

by Larry Janezich

Karen Cohen, Master Gardener and frequenter of Lincoln Park says she wondered “What are these things? “ – referring to the 15 large decorative urns ringing the inner oval of Lincoln Park.  That question lead to the formation of a community group of 17 volunteers – “PLANTS” (People Leading Active Lives Near their Site) to participate in a DIY project to plant and maintain the urns – “Adopt an Urn”.

Cohen contacted National Park Service (NPS) Ranger Vince Vaise and worked out an annually renewable  contract under which the volunteers in the group are responsible to care for the urns at their own expense, are subject to a Volunteer Services Agreement, and guarantee that the work will be supervised.

The NPS emptied the urns of compacted earth and replaced it with potting soil.  Cohen appealed to Frager’s Garden Shop to donate additional potting soil and flowers.  There’s no water in the park so volunteers have to trek to the park with jugs.

The park was part of Pierre L’enfant’s original 1791 plan for the District.  In 1867, Congress named the park Lincoln Square – the first site to bear Lincoln’s name.  The statue was dedicated April 14, 1876, with Frederick Douglas delivering the keynote address.

The monument to Mary McLeod Bethune to the east was dedicated July 10, 1974.  It was the first monument to honor an African American woman in a public park in the District of Columbia.

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Should Eastern Market’s 7th St. Stay Closed Weekends? Special Meeting Saturday to Hear From Public

View of the 200 block of 7th Street, SE, between Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue, SE

Should Eastern Market’s 7th St. Stay Closed Weekends? Special Meeting Saturday to Hear From Public

By Larry Janezich

The Executive Committee of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) will hold a special meeting on Saturday August 12, to discuss whether 7th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. and North Carolina Avenue, S.E., especially the portion between PA Ave and C Street, S.E, should remain closed to traffic on weekends after the Saturday and Sunday flea markets move to their new location on C Street between the Hine Project’s North and South Buildings on September 31.

Members of the public who want their voices heard can attend the meeting on Saturday, at 3:00pm in the Coldwell Banker training room. Coldwell Banker is located at 605 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.

For those who cannot attend the meeting, please respond email EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder with your comments at donna_scheeder@comcast.net

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The Week Ahead…& Photo Essay Update on Barracks Row

The Week Ahead……& Photo Essay Update on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Not much happening in the week ahead, as Washington goes on vacation.  PSA 104 is meeting at 7:00pm, on Tuesday, August 8, at Stuart Hobson Middle School, 410 E Street, NE, but that’s pretty much it.

Here’s a photo essay on some recent changes on Barracks Row.

The notorious Barracks Row 7 Eleven has started piping opera to the streetscape in front of its store to combat loitering and panhandling.  Note the speaker, upper right.  Will it work?  The jury’s still out.

Here’s a shot of the interior of ANXO – the new Spanish cidery and Basque style snack outlet at 525 8th Street. Their menu is here:  http://www.anxodc.com/porron

Skill Zone, at 709 8th Street, where children “Play, Learn, Grow” is applying for a private club liquor license so parents accompanied by a child can have a glass of wine or beer while their children are at play. According to owner Liza Fox, the license will also allow parents to bring their own alcoholic beverages to the venue’s birthday parties where the entire space is rented for the event.  Visit their website here:  https://skillzonedc.com/

The space formerly occupied by Capital Teas at 731 8th Street is looking for a new “great tenant” according to owner Barbara Fahs Charles bcharles@staplesandcharles.com  Capital Teas filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

The Vanity Box, offering Brazilian, Indian & Malaysian virgin hair, closures & frontals, hair care products, tools & accessories, opened recently at 737 Barracks Row.   See here:  https://www.thevanityboxhair.com/

 

 

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Update on the Hine Project South Buildings: Tenants Will Start Moving In During September – Flea Markets Relocate Sept 30

The apartments overlooking the corner of 7th and C Street – and Eastern Market – will be occupied starting in September.

The newly opened C Street between the North and South Buildings of the Hine project will open to the weekend flea markets the weekend of September 31.

Update on the Hine Project South Buildings: Tenants Will Start Moving In During September – Flea Markets Relocate Sept 30

By Larry Janezich

According to an Eastbanc representative, the apartments on the Northwest corner of the Hine project’s South Building overlooking the new C Street Plaza and Eastern Market are currently being marketed and tenants are expected to start moving in September.  See Eastbanc partner Bozzuto Management Company’s promotional page here:   http://bit.ly/2hvvj7P

Last January, tenants moved into the 34 affordable units in the North Building (managed by Buwa Binites’ Dantes Partners).  The project’s remaining residences – overlooking 8th Street – are still under construction and will not be finished before October.

The below grade Trader Joe’s will front on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the center of the project’s south facade.  No date has been announced, but Trader Joe’s is likely to open in the late fall.  No information has been released regarding tenants for the ten ground floor retail spaces along 7th Street and on the 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue corner of the project.

The Eastbanc representative says that negotiations are underway with an operator for the day care center on the 8th and D Streets corner of the building.  The amenity is being mentioned in the marketing of the residences, raising the question of whether tenants will be given preference.

The newly reopened C Street between the North and South Buildings will be available to the weekend market vendors for set up on Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1.  C Street will be open for traffic and metered parking starting on Monday, October 2.   Flea market managers have signed three-year contracts to operate on C Street and the Plaza.

Regarding whether or not 7th Street between C Street and Pennsylvania Avenue remains closed once the flea market vendors relocate will be the subject of discussion at two prospective community meetings – one hosted by ANC6B and the other by Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC).  Dates of the meetings have not yet been set but are likely to occur at the end of August.

Work on the below grade 320 parking space garage is proceeding, and once completed the occupancy permit will allow use of the garage by project workers which will relieve pressure on neighborhood parking.  Under an agreement with the community, any residential tenants of the building will not be eligible for Residential Parking Permits on nearby streets.

The office space portion of the project, overlooking 7th Street, will not be available before November 1.  So far, one tenant – a company offering shared office space – has been announced.

ANC6B negotiated office space for itself within the project during the PUD process as one item in the community benefits package in exchange for zoning changes permitting greater height and density.  The ANC is likely to vote on a proposed lease for the space at its September 12 meeting.

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The Week Ahead…and R.I.P. Cool “Disco” Dan, 1970 – 2017

One of the last – maybe THE last – “Cool ‘Disco’ Dan” tags remaining on Capitol Hill. In the late 1980s and early 1990’s, the tag was ubiquitous across the city.

R.I.P. Cool “Disco” Dan, 1970 – 2017

Danny Hogg, AKA Cool “Disco” Dan died on Wednesday, July 26 of complications from diabetes.  The iconic and prolific graffitist painted his signature tag all over the city in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  It appeared on several buildings on Barracks Row and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, when those commercial strips were much different than the food and drink destinations they have become.  Hogg was the subject of a 2012 documentary titled “The Legend of Cool ‘Disco’ Dan,” which detailed his exploits as a bold an omnipresent contributor DC’s street art of the period.  For more on Hogg, see WaPo articles here:  http://wapo.st/2va3is2 and here: http://wapo.st/2v9OEBg

The Week Ahead…

by Larry Janezich

Most ANCs and their committees as well as other community civic organizationss do not conduct business during August.  There are a few exceptions.

Tuesday, August 3, 7:00 pm

  1. ANC 6A and ANC 6C Transportation & Public Space Committees will meet jointly for a DDOT presentation on the K Street, NE,  redesign project concept plans.  7:00pm, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, NE – Photo ID required.

Thursday, August 3

  1. PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm in Southeast Library, 403 7th Street, SE, lower level.

2. Friends of Southeast Library meet at 5:30pm, in Southeast Library, 403 7th Street, SE, lower level.

Saturday, August 5

  1. Hill East volunteers will team up with the 7-Eleven at 15th and Independence Avenue, SE, to attack litter in the immediate neighborhood. Meet at 9:00am at the 7-Eleven (come early for free coffee and donuts.  7-Elevan will provide trash bags and gloves for volunteers who need them.  Afterward volunteers are welcome to hang out for 7-Eleven Customer Appreciation Day for free Slurpees and other goodies.  Tom Dunkel is the neighbor point of contact for the event.  Please email him at tdunkel@verizon.net if you are interested in participating.

Community Grants Available from CSX Railroad

CSX Railroad is soliciting grant proposals for the community benefit funds granted the community in exchange for the disruption brought by the construction of the new CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnels.  Between August 1 and September 15 the CSX Mitigation Fund administrators, NSC Partners, are welcoming grant proposals.  Go here for details http://www.nscpartners.org/

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As the Senate Votes on Beginning the Health Care Debate– A Photo Essay

As the Senate Votes on Beginning the Health Care Debate– A Photo Essay

by Larry Janezich

Circa 1:50pm, Tuesday, July 25. ADAPT activists queue up for admittance to the Hart Building at the Constitution Avenue entrance.

U.S. Capitol Police negotiate with organizers the processing and treatment of protesters who choose to be arrested.

The loosely organized protest in support of preserving Medicaid and independent living comprised individuals representing the American Association of People with Disabilities and representatives from the National Conference on Independent Living. More than 200 people were involved.  The protest took place in the Hart Senate Office Building atrium at the base of Alexander Calder’s iconic sculpture, Mountains and Clouds.  Click to enlarge.

Once leaders announced that the vote on the motion to proceed to the GOP health care bill was underway, protesters started chanting – “Don’t Touch Medicaid.”  At center is demonstration organizer Bruce Darling, President and CEO of the Center for Disability Rights Inc., to his left, Dr. Gregg Beratan, Policy Analyst for the CDR.

After the chants started the police warned that the demonstration was illegal and and protesters who remained were subject to arrest, the police moved in. Those who did not want to be arrested moved outside the police lines.

Dozens, chanting “I’d rather go to jail than die without Medicaid” were arrested.

As protesters were being arrested in the Hart Building, Democratic Senators held a press conference on the grass across from the Senate steps. Senator Sanders could not be seen, but his voice rose above the throng, “are we going back to the days when healthcare was for the healthy and wealthy? We’re not going back. We’re standing with you.”

A closer view shows Sanders at left center of the photo, with Jeff Merkley of Oregon by his side.

After the press conference, and circa 3:45pm just after the Vice President’s motorcade had departed the East Front, Senators moved the rally to the Senate steps.

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The Week Ahead…EMCAC & Hill East Task Force Meet

The National Building Museum at Judiciary Square Metro Stop. Currently on exhibit, HIVE – an installation by Studio Gang out of Chicago and the highly recommended ARCHITECTURE OF AN ASYLUM: ST. ELIZABETHS 1852-2017 http://bit.ly/2uOPOl8  It’s not free – Admission is $16 for adults, $13 for seniors.  It’s worth it. But:  Ward 6 residents gain free admission to check out the National Building Museum’s stunning summer exhibit – a little more reading on Hive. You will need to present ID that shows you are a resident of Ward 6 at the door to gain free entry. See here:  http://www.charlesallenward6.com/w6wbuilding

 

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, July 24

  1. CANCELLED ANC6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Maury ES (multi-purpose room), 1250 Constitution Ave NE (enter from 13th Street, NE)

Agenda not available at press time.

Tuesday, July 25

  1. PSA 106 meets at 7:00pm at the Community Center at Capitol Quarter, 1000 5th Street, SE.

Wednesday, July 26

  1. ANC6B Hill East Task Force meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 19th and Independence, SE.

Among items on the agenda:

MPD will brief the Task Force and Hill residents on automated traffic calming measures which can be applied in Hill East.  Email Task Force Chair Dan Ridge  at 6b09@anc.dc.gov with questions.

  1. Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in Eastern Market’s North Hall.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation by Brian Pate representing the Capitol Hill Community Foundation

September election of officers

Status of appraisal and leases

Market Managers Report

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