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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

Redesign of the 11th Street Freeway Off Ramp. Last Wednesday, the ANC6B Transportation heard a presentation from DDOT on the 30% design stage of the proposal to alter the SE/SW Freeway east bound exit ramp to 11th Street, SE.  DDOT says safety is the number one consideration but stresses the plan balances the needs of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.  This was the first time DDOT came back to the committee since April of 2021, when Committee Chair Corey Holman lambasted the presenters for favoring motorists over pedestrians and bicyclists.  The committee followed up with a letter detailing the changes they wanted to the intersection.  See here:  https://bit.ly/3spn9NE  Last week the DDOT returned to the committee with the 30% complete re-design in hand.  The details showed that DDOT had tinkered around the margins of the recommendations, but did not change the major concern – widening the off ramp and making more concessions to cyclists and pedestrians.  Unhappy attendees at the meeting pushed back, voicing their opposition and disappointment.   The final design will be finished next summer and construction will begin as funds are available.  The committee voted to send a letter to DDOT summarizing attendee’s concerns expressing the committee’s major concerns about widening the ramp and the impact on cyclist and pedestrian safety.  The letter goes to the full ANC for its meeting next Wednesday. 

Open Street Event for 8th Street SE/NE.  Also on Wednesday, after some wrangling over language, the ANC6B Transportation Committee agreed unanimously to recommend the full ANC send a conditional letter of support for an Open Street Event on 8th Street, SE/NE some Saturday next spring.  Concerns have been raised by the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee about the impact on Eastern Market and customer (not to mention residents) access to parking at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue which houses Trader Joe’s.  Working out the details regarding these issues – including closing of cross streets, (H Street NE, East Capitol Street, Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Maryland Avenue) – would fall to those event planners at DDOT.  The event is being pushed by Open Streets advocate Mark Sussman.  ANC6A and ANC6C have already given their conditional support.  Go here for more on DC Open Streets https://openstreets.dc.gov/

Historic Landmark Status for Peter Bug Academy.  On Tuesday, the ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee gave its endorsement to a proposal to grant Historic Landmark status to the Peter Bug Shoe Academy at 1320 E Street, SE.  Matthews was in attendance at the virtual meeting when Todd Jones of the DC Historic Preservation Office presented the case for the designation to the committee.  More later on this.  Peter Bug Matthews has achieved icon status for long service to the community and the recommendation will go to the full ANC’s consent calendar for their meeting next Wednesday (a day later than usual owing to the election).  

Renovation of Folget Library.  Here’s a work in progress photo on the Folger Library.   The Library is closed for major renovation under a time line that would see it reopen in 2023.  But…I don’t know.  We’ll see.

Here’s a rendering of what it will look like. 

Triple Candie Again.  Here are some parts of Triple Candie’s latest abstruse installation at the Li’l Pub at 655 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Triple Candie takes conceptualism in a new direction, eliminating the museum, the gallery, the art market, and in some respects, the art. 

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 6, 2022

Tuesday, November 8

*Election Day.  No ANC meetings.*

Wednesday, November 9

ANC6B will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

Appointment of Vice Chair (Vice Chair Horn resigned from the ANC in October due to relocation)

  • 1320 E Street, SE. Historic Preservation Application.  Peter Bug Shoe Academy Landmark Nomination.
  • 1322 Independence Avenue SE. Historic Preservation Application.  Concept review – three-story rear addition. 
  • as you are, 500 8th Street, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Live Entertainment & Sidewalk Café.
  • Kaiju Ramen Bar, 525 8th SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Summer Garden.
  • Rose’s at Home, 721 8th Street, SE. Class “C” Restaurant License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Cafe Applicate. 
  • Trusty’s Bar, 1420 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Summer Garden, Live Entertainment & Sidewalk Café.
  • Extreme Pizza, 520 8th Street, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café.
  • Lola’s, 711 8TH Street, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café.
  • Crazy Aunt Helen’s, 713 8th Street, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Cover Charge Dancing Entertainment & Sidewalk Café.
  • Tune Inn Restaurant, 331 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café.
  • Hawk N’ Dove, 329 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Cover Charge Dancing Entertainment & Sidewalk Café.
  • Hill East Burger, 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Entertainment. 
  • Fight Club Restaurant, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE: Class “C” Restaurant License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Entertainment.
  • Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Study of land transfers at Washington Navy Yard. Concept plan to create potential for 2 million square feet of residential, retail, office, and parking use ~1300 at 11th and O Streets, SE.
  • Letter to DDOT on 11th Street 695 Ramp Study 30% Design.
  • Letters to DDOT for Transportation Safety Impact studies: 11th & G Streets SE Intersection and 9th & I Streets, SE, Intersection. 
  • Letter to DDOT on proposal to hold an Open Streets Event along 8th Street SE/NE in Spring of 2023.

                                                                                            ***

ANC 6C will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here: https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the draft agenda:

ABC Committee renewal applications:

  • Kelly’s Irish Times, 14 F Street, NE; Buffalo and Bergen, 240 Massachusetts Avenue, NE; Red Bear Brewing Company, 1140-100 Third Street, NE, Suite B; The Dubliner, 4 F Street, NW; Hamilton’s Bar & Grill, 233 2nd Street, NE; Solid State Books, 600 H Street, NE; Allure Lounge, 711 H Street, NE; Bar Elena, 414 H Street, NE; The Big Board, 421 H Street, NE.

Transportation and Public Space Committee

  • GWU Survey, electric vehicle (EV) charging sites
  • Two Rivers Public Charter School, request for School Parking Zone at 1227 4th Street, NE
  • FedEx, 300 Maryland Avenue, NE, existing curb cut, public space permit

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee

  • 601 Massachusetts, NE. Historic Preservation Application.  Concept approval, raze one-story noncontributing  building (dry cleaner) to construct a three-story residential building.
  • 616 Lexington Place, NE. Historic Preservation Application – Amended application, concept approval for rear and attic addition to a two-story row dwelling with attic and cellar.
  • 663 Maryland Avenue, NE. Bureau of Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special exception from lot occupancy requirements to construct a two-story rear addition to a three-story dwelling with basement. 

Thursday, November 10

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

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

Community Presentations

  • Capitol Hill Village – Mary Bloodworth, Director of Operations
  • Rosedale Recreation Center – Henry Moton, Recreation Manager, Department of Parks and Recreation

Consent Agenda

  • Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL)
  • Letter of support in favor of Biergarten Haus at 1355 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Letter of support in favor of Brine at 1357-1359 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Letter of support in favor of Sospeso at 1344 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Letter of support in favor of H Street Country Club at 1335 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class CC Tavern License.
  • Letter of support in favor of the Pie Shop at 1339 H Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • Recommendation: ANC 6A oppose the license renewal application of Copycat Co. at 1110 H Street, NE, unless a new settlement agreement is entered into prior to the protest date.
  • Letter of support in favor of Capitol Square Bar & Grill at 1500 East Capitol Street, NE, for renewal of its Class C Restaurant License.
  • Letter of support in favor of Langston Bar & Grille, at 1831 Benning Road, NE, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.
  • 223 8th Street, NE. Letter of support to HPRB for a plan to construct a rear three-story addition; add a partial third floor on the existing house, and renovate the existing house for a home
  • Letter of support to the city with recommendations to assist the tenants at the Havana Building at 1219 K Street, NE. (Because of the pending auction, two letters will be drafted and ANC 6A will select the appropriate one to submit.)
  • ANC 6A send a letter of support to the DC council for the Green New Deal for Housing Act Green New Deal for Housing Act with recommended changes to the Act.
  • Motion: ANC6A provide EDZ with a mandate to further investigate ANC6A support to sponsor a text amendment for zoning districts NC-9, NC-10, NC-11, NC12, NC-13, NC-14, NC-15, NC-16 and NC-17 to actively encourage use forthe arts.
  • Motion: ANC6A send a letter to Councilmembers Vincent Gray and Robert White and Department of General Services (DGS) Director Keith Anderson to request urgent support for repairs and improvements to Eastern High School Athletic Facilities.

                                                                                           ***

ANC6D will hold a virtual Special Meeting at 7:00pm

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting

Agenda: 

  • 807 Maine Avenue, SW, Zoning Application. PUD Modification. 

Saturday, November 12

  • Friends of Southeast Library will hold a Book Sale on from 10am to 3pm.  

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Renovation of “Spielberg Park” in Hill East To Begin Next Spring

Renovation of “Spielberg Park” in Hill East To Begin Next Spring

by Hilary Russell

Posted November 5, 2022

Landscape architect David Wooden of DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation shared details at a Zoom community meeting on November 2 on plans to renovate the triangular park at 17th and C, SE.  He acknowledged that he had “heard from neighbors” that it’s “sometimes referred to as Spielberg Park,” but didn’t explain why.  Steven Spielberg’s movie studio donated the current playground equipment after this small park served as a shooting location for his 2002 movie Minority Report.

This Hollywood gift will disappear by next summer, replaced by up-to-date play equipment installed by AMT and Konstructure, the design-build team that won the $750,000 contract last June.  The design/permitting phase continues until next February; construction managed by the DC Department of General Services begins in the spring.  The new playground, in the same location, is the main feature of this project.  Work outside its wrap-around fencing will improve turf, add shade trees, benches, a picnic table, a bike rack, and fencing along a portion of Massachusetts Avenue.  Comments at the meeting prompted information on features not listed in the presentation, including a drain system for the playground and a water fountain with a bottle- filler.

Attendees were invited to chime in on two options, both for the model and colors of the Sparks@Play playground equipment and the location of an ADA-compliant ramp.

They preferred Option 2: “Hedra” equipment, and in earth-tones, not bright blue and purple.  Option 1, the Tree Tops model, would duplicate the equipment in the playground at Pennsylvania and 8th Street, SE.

Attendees also preferred a gentler ramp between Massachusetts Avenue and the playground, rather than a steeper ramp from C Street that requires handrails.  Attendees brought up a few concerns, including the need for fencing along C Street, given its large volume of traffic, and the potential for disturbing close-by neighbors if the equipment includes musical toys.

You can find the presentation and a recording of the community meeting at https://dgs.dc.gov/page/17th-c-se-triangle-park-and-playground-improvements.  Submit any additional comments and questions to David Wooden at david.wooden1@dc.gov.

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Hill East’s Ward 7 ANC Election – The List of Candidates

Map showing the new west of the river Ward 7 Hill East Single Member District boundaries post 2022 redistricting. The new ANC and SMD boundaries will take effect on January 1, 2023 

Map showing current ANC6A and ANC6B Hill East Single Member District boundaries 6.  

Hill East’s Ward 7 ANC Election – The List of Candidates

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 3, 2022

DC’s 2022 redistricting process extended the Ward 7 boundary across the Anacostia River west to 19th Street, SE, moving that Hill East area (along with the Rosedale neighborhood to the north) into Ward 7. 

This leaves the new Ward ANC7D Single Member Districts (SMDs) west of the river with something of an identity crisis.  These SMDs fought long and hard to remain a cohesive and independent Ward 7 ANC west of the river, first making the case for a new Ward 7 ANC including Reservation 13, and then falling back to a Ward 7 ANC which did not include Reservation 13.  Neither proposal garnered enough support to become a reality.  This ultimately left an ANC7D comprised of 5 Single Member District which were formerly part of Ward 6, plus the Ward 7D01 SMD (Kingman Park) on the west side of the river, and four ANC7D Single Member Districts on the east side of the river.  Some critics of the cross river division say such a large ANC separated by such a distinct geographic boundary can’t work effectively to serve its residents – which is why how ANC7D responds to this inherent challenge will be so important and so interesting to watch.   

Among the five SMDs formerly in Ward 6, two seats are being contested:  7D07 (two declared write in candidates) and 7D09 (two candidates listed on ballot); two seats have only one candidate – 7D06 and 7D08, and one seat is up for grabs by any undeclared write in candidate – 7D10.  Among all of the five current commissioners for these SMDs, only Brian Alcorn in 7D08 (formerly 6A08) is seeking re-election. 

Here’s the lineup of the new SMDs formerly in Ward 6:

  • 7D06 (formerly SMD 6A07) – current Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert
  • 7D07 (a new SMD created between the former ANC6A07 and ANC 6A08)
  • 7D08 (formerly 6A08) – current Commissioner Brian Alcorn
  • 7D09 (formerly 6B10) – current Commissioner Denise Krepp
  • 7D10 (former SMD 6B09) – current Commissioner Alison Horn [resigned – relocated]

 (If you are not sure if redistricting changed which single member district you’re in, go here:  https://bit.ly/3V3002Z )

Here are the candidate profiles for the SMDs formerly in Ward 6:

7D06 MARC FRIEND.  My name is Marc Friend and I would like to be your Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for 7D06.  My wife and I have lived in the Rosedale Community since 2017 and recently welcomed a new baby to our family.  My priorities serving as your Commissioner are to be an advocate for the community to the District Government, to advocate and support more youth programming, and to organize more community events to bring us together.  I have been a community member of ANC 6A (our ANC prior to redistricting) Community Outreach Committee, where I organized a number of forums including one that highlighted local non-profits and one looking at the root causes of gun-violence.  I also am the treasurer of the Rosedale Library Friends group and volunteer with a few local non-profits including Serve Your City.  Overall, I am here to listen to you – especially our community members who have been here for decades, if not for generations.  I hope to learn from this strong community and lift up my neighbors voices.  What makes the Rosedale community so special is the history, the vibrancy, and the people – and I hope to be your voice on the ANC.

7D07 No one filed to run for the seat.  Two Write-In candidates have emerged, as follows: 

7D07 BRETT ASTMANN.  Neighbors – ANC7D07 does not have a candidate on the ballot.   As our neighborhood transitions to Ward 7 there will be challenges and opportunities.  I want to ensure that our ANC/SMD has a strong voice advocating for the important issues and projects that will affect us over the next several years.  I’m running as a write-in candidate on November 8th.  I’ll prioritize maximizing lines of communication with the residents, ensuring transparency and opportunities for engagement.  My top Priorities:  public safety, street and sidewalk safety, and land use.  About me:  A career civil servant and although new to local government I’ve been active in the community through the schools, Sports on the Hill (SOTH) and with non-profit organizations.  My two children, “almost” 11 and “almost” 13, attended Maury Elementary and now Eliot-Hine and Washington Latin.  I’ve been a Capitol Hill resident for the past 18+ years, and I love everything about this community and Capitol Hill.  I’m excited about the opportunity to give back. 

7D07 MICHAEL LEDERMAN:  Michael Lederman has been a resident of ANC7D, specifically, for the past 8+ years.  He is a parent of two, a former DCPS teacher, and now owns a local real estate team focused specifically on serving Rosedale, Kingman Park, and Hill East.  As such, he is intimately familiar with the issues facing 7D07 on a block-to-block basis, brings expertise in navigating land use challenges, and cares deeply about the people living here.  Michael’s priorities include traffic safety (particularly speed bumps and monitoring the impact the C Street, NE, Implementation Project will have on adjacent and cross streets), clean and well-maintained public spaces, and building a sense of community through opportunities to come together and engage: block parties, joint yard sales, neighborhood clean-ups, community gardens, etc. Michael’s business requires him to communicate constantly and solve problems quickly, and he intends to carry over these habits and skills as an ANC representative. 

7D08 BRIAN ALCORN. As a two-term ANC Commissioner in ANC 6A and a longtime Capitol Hill resident, I have seen the neighborhood benefits that can come from active community participation in outreach in the unique micro-governments that are DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.  I have been pleased to contribute to and support efforts that have improved our neighborhood transportation infrastructure and safety, encouraged development and brought our municipal government closer to citizens.  I am running for a new Single Member District created in the redistricting from the 2020 Census that is the far western end of a much expanded ANC 7D.  While I will continue to focus my day to day efforts on supporting my immediate community in Hill East I also look forward to collaborating and problem solving with all Commissioners in the new ANC7D.  As the new 7D roughly covers a geographical area equal to the size of all of Ward 1 and includes the nonresidential Fields at RFK, Kingman Island, the Pepco service yard, the Anacostia River trail and Anacostia park, and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the community will have a lot to focus on!  But I also plan to maintain close ties with the other, much smaller adjacent Capitol Hill ANCs such as 6A and 6B as the 7D Hill East community will also need to work on common issues closer to home.  

7D09 ASHLEY SCHAPITL. I have lived and worked on Capitol Hill – in the Senate and House – for 14 years.  This is my home, and I want to make it an even better place to live.  My top priorities would be improving public safety and combating gun violence, building more housing, improving city services, increasing pedestrian safety, restoring the reliability of public transportation, and ensuring the redevelopment of Reservation 13 meets the needs of our community.  As I have knocked on hundreds of doors in the district, the number one issue neighbors have raised with me is concerns about public safety.  As an ANC Commissioner, I think it’s critically important to focus on where I could make a tangible difference for my neighbors.  My top priorities related to public safety are to:  facilitate better communication between law enforcement and constituents;  track the status of cases in our neighborhood and write community impact statements in coordination with neighbors who are victims of crime; advocate for a more permanent MPD presence at hot spots like 15th and Independence, SE, where there were multiple shootings in October; push for additional CCTV cameras; and increase awareness of the District’s security camera rebate program.  Learn more at www.ashleyschapitl.com  

7D09 SHANE SEGER.  My passion for local government started as an LGBTQ advocate and member of the city council in Ithaca, New York.  Since then, I’ve held a number of positions in constituent service and communications.  I currently work at the George Washington University where I support communications for the university’s research community.  Prior to moving to Hill East, I served as a resident-member of the ANC 2F Alcohol Policy Committee (Logan Circle).  And I have been a longtime volunteer tax preparer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  I want to create opportunities for the Hill East community to come together, share ideas, and collaborate to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.  I am committed to safer streets and sidewalks, improving public transportation, enhanced greenspaces and neighborhood amenities, and making sure Hill East residents have a voice in the development at Reservation 13 and the RFK campus.  I am proud to have the support of former ANC 6B Commissioners Alison Horn and Francis Campbell, and neighbors Nkosi Bradley and Andria Thomas, among others.  I have also been endorsed by DC Voters for Animals and the LGBTQ Victory Fund. For more, visit www.ShaneSeger.com.

7D10 No one filed to run for the seat.  Write in if any.  (CHC has not heard of a declared write in candidate.)  See below:

From DC Board of Elections:  “Write-In Candidate is someone whose printed name does not appear on the ballot, but whose name was written in by voters. Write-In votes are counted equally as if the person was formally listed on the ballot.  If a Write-In Candidate wishes to declare their candidacy, similar to a Candidate’s Declaration of Candidacy, a Write-in Candidate must file an Affirmation of Write-In Candidacy.  This form must be filed with the Board on or before the third day after a Primary Election, or on or before the seventh day after a General or Special Election.”

Early voting began on October 31 and will continue through November 6, 2022.  Here’s a link to early voting sites:  https://earlyvoting.dcboe.org/

 

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The Week Ahead & Some Photos from the Past Week

Restrauteur Spiro Goldasis hopes to open Pacci’s Trattoria on Lincoln Park at 106 13th Street, SE, by the end of November.  Seating will be expanded to the second floor and the cellar – increasing the 50 person occupancy to 130.  The building formerly housed the Park Café, Ninnella, and the Lincoln Park Kitchen and Wine Bar in succession.  Goldasis has another Pacci’s Trattoria in Silver Spring, Maryland.  You can check out that menu here:  https://www.paccistrattoria.com/

Here’s a look at progress inside on the first floor.

 

Last Wednesday, Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee held its first in-person meeting since the pandemic started and elected officers:  Chuck Burger, Chair; Susan Oursler, Vice Chair; Monte Edwards, Secretary and Tom Kuchenberg, Treasurer and community representative.  The committee discussed a proposal to hold an “Open Street Event” on 8th Street from Florida Avenue NE, to M Street, SE, which would involve closing 8th Street to traffic on most of a Saturday next spring.  The committee’s concern relates to the impact on Eastern Market.  The ANC6B Transportation Committee will continue its consideration of the proposal on Wednesday – see below. 

 

In other business, EMCAC formally installed committee member Jacki Krieger as Mayor Bowser’s representative to EMCAC.  She joins CM Charles Allen’s representative Brian Pate who was installed last month to round out the EMCAC membership.

 

A CBD outlet is headed for Barracks Row – Mother Blossom space is under construction at 406 8th Street, SE.  Their website lists CBD, Delta 8, and Hemp CBD products.  Some of these types of establishment are involved in the “gifting” cannabis trade. 

 

DPR and DGS are hosting a community meeting on the development of Spielberg Park next Wednesday.  See below for a link. 

 

CM Elissa Silverman (I) was soliciting votes for her bid for reelection as a Member at Large Councilmember on Saturday afternoon at Eastern Market. 

The Week Ahead & Some Photos from the Past Week

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 30, 2022

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, November 1

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 1320 E Street, SE.  Historic Preservation Application.   Peterbug Shoe Academy Landmark Nomination.
  • Review and comments on Draft Environmental Impact Study of land transfers at Washington Navy Yard. Concept plan to create potential for 2 million square feet of residential, retail, office, and parking use ~1300 at 11th and O Streets, SE.

Wednesday, November 2

ANC6B Transportation Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting at 6:30pm.

For info on how to access the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Agenda was not available at press time.

                                                                        ***

DGS hosts virtual community meeting on improvements at Spielberg Park, 17th & C, SE

Thursday, November 3

ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/  

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • as you are, 500 8th Street, SE. Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Live Entertainment & Sidewalk Café – on Consent Calendar for November 9, 2022.
  • Kaiju Ramen Bar, 525 8th Street, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Summer Garden. 
  • Rose’s at Home, 721 8th Street, SE.  Class “C” Restaurant License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café.  – Amendment to the current Settlement Agreement
  • Trusty’s Bar, 1420 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Summer Garden, Live Entertainment & Sidewalk Café. 
  • Extreme Pizza, 520 8th Street, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café.
  • ABRA-086141: Lola’s, LLC t/n: Lola’s, 711 8TH ST SE: Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café. Applicant: (202) 391-1176, Petition Deadline: Nov 28th, 2022 [6B03]
  • Crazy Aunt Helen’s, 713 8th Street, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Cover Charge Dancing Entertainment & Sidewalk Café.
  • Tune Inn Restaurant, 331 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Sidewalk Café. Applicant
  • Hawk N’ Dove, 329 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Cover Charge Dancing Entertainment & Sidewalk Café.
  • Hill East Burger, 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Class “C” Tavern License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Entertainment
  • Fight Club Restaurant, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Class “C” Restaurant License: ENDORSEMENT(S): Entertainment. 

ANC6C Transportation and Public Space Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to access the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Agenda not available at press time.

                                                                        ***

Friends of Southeast Library hold and in-person meeting at 5:30pm, in SE Library, lower level.

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ANC6D Election:  One “No Candidate,” One Contest and Six “No Contests”

Map showing the new ANC6D and Single Member District boundaries post 2022 redistricting. These new ANC and SMD boundaries will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Map showing current ANC6D and Single Member District boundaries.

ANC6D Election:  One “No Candidate,” One Contest and Six “No Contests”

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 27, 2022

This is the fourth in a series of profiles of ANC candidates from Single Member Districts on or near Capitol Hill.

Redistricting reduced the area of ANC6D by moving the Navy Yard and Capitol Riverfront into Ward 8 but a population explosion resulted in adding one more seat (from 7 to 8) to the Commission which has Nats Park and The Wharf at its heart.

This move of residents to Ward 8 comprised everything east of South Capitol Street and south of the Freeway including the entire Single Member District of ANC6D’s forceful Chair, Edward Daniels.  His retirement from the Commission was involuntary but three other sitting commissioners voluntarily decided not to seek reelection:  Marjorie Lightman, D01; Jared Weiss, D02; and Andy Litsky, D04.  Some city agencies – especially DDOT – and some developers must have breathed a sigh of relief at the long-serving Litsky’s retirement, given his strenuous efforts to hold agencies accountable and to pressure developers for more affordable housing. 

The seat held incumbent by Ron Collins whose single member district includes Greenleaf Gardens is being contested by Tom Seidman.  The seat for 6D04 has no candidate and is up for grabs via a write in campaign.  The remaining six seats are uncontested.   

Several of the candidates were unresponsive to requests for profiles, but those who did respond are listed below.  The three candidates who are incumbents are marked with an asterisk. 

If you are not sure if redistricting changed which single member district you’re in, go here:  https://bit.ly/3V3002Z 

6D01 BOB LINK.  “I am running to represent the residents of the new 6D01 SMD which is geographically centered around The Wharf.  I have lived in SWDC since 2016 and love the diversity of our residents and neighborhoods.  As a member of the Gangplank Slipholders Association (GPSA) Board for 5 years, I have been persistently engaged in and become knowledgeable of the LOCAL issues and challenges which are important to 6D01 residents.  I am a problem-solver who listens first, processes the facts and then attacks the issues that impact many in a logical, linear manner.  I bring few preconceived agenda items to my proposed service as the ANC 6D01 commissioner and am most passionate about public policy that relates to how infrastructure is built and development is accomplished which serves the needs of many and not the gains of a few.  The entirety of our district has committed to and sacrificed for the long-running, ongoing re-development of the Southwest Waterfront at The Wharf and Buzzard Point. I truly believe this commitment was made with the mindset to “pay it forward” and as the ANC 6D01 representative I pledge to focus on how we ensure that the entirety of this district reaps the full benefits of what the residents, businesses and community organizations have invested in.”

*6D02 RONALD COLLINS (Did not respond to requests for profile information.)

6D02 TOM SEIDMAN.  “Rising housing costs is the number one challenge facing the neighborhood.  Applying inclusionary zoning principles, and, while controversial, promoting greater housing density are the tools available to the ANC.  It bears mention that my neighbors are exasperated by issues such as porch pirates, vandalism of vehicles, carjacking, and gun violence. I’ll do all I can to support enhanced public safety.  I suppose that anybody filing to run for office should be prepared to answer a “Why are you running?” question.  In my case, I was not happy that nobody stood for the ANC6D02 position two years ago.  I want my neighbors’ voices heard.  I vowed that would not be the case next time.  Due to redistricting, our current commissioner will soon live in Ward 8. The incumbent in neighboring district 6D03 will now live in 6D02.  For voters in 6D02, it’s an embarrassment of riches this time around.  You have a choice.  Consider supporting my candidacy.  Whomever you choose, choose to vote in the General Election.  It is an important and meaningful right to exercise.

6D03 GAIL FAST.  “Gail Fast is running again in a newly formed SMD, after a two-year hiatus. Issues such as affordable housing and multi-modal transportation and safety will continue to be her priorities.  During her previous tenure on the ANC, Fast served as Secretary and ANC Chair. Projects included working with residents on the Shakespeare Theatre development at 501 I Street, SW; petitioned and lobbied to bring back the Circulator and extend the 74 bus to include Buzzard Point; was a member of 6D’s Wharf Phase II negotiation team; provided oversight on DPR’s renovation of the Southwest Duck Pond; was a member of the Jefferson Middle School modernization team; and lobbied to finally get a bus shelter in front of the school.  She looks forward to working with new Commissioners and feels that she can bring a historical perspective to the Commission.

6D04  Write in, if any. 

6D05 ASHTON ROHMER.  “Since moving to Southwest, Ashton’s active involvement in the community has given her an opportunity to learn about the issues her neighbors care about. Through coordinating public engagement efforts for a proposed community center, leading a local story-sharing initiative, and joining with other residents to advocate for walking and biking infrastructure, she has talked with dozens of fellow residents about their concerns, hopes, and ideas for Southwest.  These conversations have shown her the impacts (good and bad) development has had on the community and given her an appreciation for how the built environment – our parks, our homes, our streets, our civic spaces – can influence our ability to connect with our neighbors and access opportunities for our families.  Using her training as an urban planner and her work as a PhD student in peace and conflict resolution, Ashton will continue to learn from her constituents, will seek opportunities for collaboration and community-building, and will advocate for high-quality affordable housing, improved public spaces, and safer streets.

6D06 BRUCE LEVINE (Did not respond to requests for profile info.)

*6D07 FREDRICA “RIKKI” KRAMER.  “Fredrica (“Rikki”) Kramer has lived in SW for over 40 years, and been an activist and advocate for the community for most of that time, with particular concern for maintaining the social diversity in all its dimensions that makes Southwest unique. On ANC 6D since 2020, she has injected that perspective in negotiations to increase affordable housing and other design features in redevelopment projects, to reflect Southwest’s historic heritage in new development, and to ensure that “Build First” keeps our public housing residents in Southwest as that housing is rehabilitated or redeveloped.  Her work overall has focused on poverty and social welfare policy and remedial programs for vulnerable populations, and on urban policy and its effects on equity and diversity.  She understands policy and implementation at federal and local levels, which provides a basis for understanding the opportunities and constraints we face as an ANC in weighing in effectively on the problems we confront.  She looks forward to expanding our toolbox to increase affordable housing for a range of income levels and household types, to support locally-based and neighborhood-serving amenities, to maintain our open and common spaces, and to confront our increasing problems with traffic management as redevelopment continues.”

*6D08 RHONDA NATALIE HAMILTON (Did not respond to requests for profile info.)

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Lime Electric Vehicles Responds to Complaint on Scooter Parking

Lime Electric Vehicles Responds to Complaint on Scooter Parking

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 26, 2022

On Monday, Hill East resident Mark Ugoretz – with support from ANC6A Transportation Committee Chair Maura Dundon – raised concerns regarding the parking for pickup of the company’s electric scooters in ways that disregard public safety.  Late morning on Tuesday, Erika Duthely, Director of Government Relations at Lime, issued following statement:

“Lime takes pride in providing top quality service to the District and its residents and will immediately rectify this issue moving forward. We thank the community members for bringing it to our attention and will work with our city and community partners as we always do to keep improving our service. We train our team to deploy our vehicles in the best spots for all residents, out of the way of pedestrians and especially out of accessible rights of way, and we will double down to ensure that model is observed moving forward.”

The company’s communication representative added that they would appreciate the statement being added to the CHC story.

The other issue which remains unaddressed is the lack of enforcement of scooter parking regulations which apply to users – DDOT’s purview.  That concern may not receive such a prompt response.  DDOT has long been viewed my some ANCs as one of the agencies least responsive to community, resident, and ANC concerns.  Many of those complaints concern lack of parking enforcement:  parking in bike lanes, parking in bus lanes, parking in crosswalks, double parking of delivery trucks, parking in alleys, and parking for construction workers.  All of these come up regularly in ANC meetings with DDOT officials.  The DDOT default position is to pledge to respond to public complaints, but as many ANC commissioners who have tried doing just that can testify this has been an empty promise.  This is a big issue and one not confined to Capitol Hill.  Its resolution will require a concerted city-wide effort to exert community pressure on DDOT.

(On a related matter, a new parking issue will be aired on Friday, when the City Council Transportation and Environment Committee will hold a hearing to make Residential Parking Permits specific to an ANC rather than to a Ward.  For more on that, go to the committee’s schedule here:  https://bit.ly/3SFwqOP )

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Electric Vehicle Company/DDOT Faulted for Disregard of Public Safety

The location is 11th & East Capitol and the photo was taken at 10:08:50 on October 24, 2022.  It seems unlikely that three scooters were placed by riders in exactly the formation, each an equidistant space apart and wheels facing in the same direction.  They were placed in both ramps such a way as to force the many pedestrians who use that busy intersection to walk in the street at night and at morning rush hour in order to get past the scooters.  Photo and text: Mark Ugoretz.

ANC6A Transportation Chair Maura Dundon followed up with a photo from October 5. 

Lime Vehicles Company/DDOT Faulted for Disregard of Public Safety

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 25, 2022

Some Hill East residents have had enough with Electric Vehicles Company distributors casually disregarding public safety by parking scooters for pick up on sidewalks and – shockingly – in handicapped pedestrian ramps. 

DC law requires scooter riders to lock electric scooters to bike racks, scooter corrals, or signposts after use and has rules for how companies can distribute vehicles.

Shared Fleet Device Parking Area: the following areas where shared fleet devices may be parked, provided that a minimum 3-foot clear zone for pedestrians is maintained at all times:

  • On a public sidewalk;
  • In the public right-of-way between the sidewalk and the curb; and
  • At a bike rack, if the bike rack is located in the public right-of-way but somewhere other than a public sidewalk, or the public right-of-way between the sidewalk and the curb.

Neither the law nor the regulations appear to be enforced against the company or users.

Hill East resident Mark Ugoretz called attention to this transgression by posting the above photo taken last night in an email distributed to CM Charles Allen and others. 

Ugoretz’s suggestion is that the “The District should levy a $500 fine against the scooter and/or bicycle company for any scooter or bicycle left on the sidewalk in such a way as to hinder pedestrian passage.  Moreover, the District should pick up scooters left unlawfully in the sidewalk and not return the scooters until the fine has been paid….The rule would apply to all scooter and bicycle rental companies.” 

While appealing, a solution along the lines suggested above may not be that easy.  The problem is that the China-made scooters cost much less than the suggested fine.  https://bit.ly/3N5Bnz8

CM Allen responded, thanking Ugoretz and agreeing that “this is not allowed and is extremely dangerous/hazardous for anyone needing use of that ramp.  And I think you’re also right, given the neat line up, this wasn’t a coincidence of riders arriving at the same location, but they were placed there by someone relocating scooters…DDOT is supposed to be responsible for monitoring the permits of all scooter companies and enforce when an operator is acting out of compliance – which includes financial penalties or impacts on their permit applications. I’ve added Mr. Diallo [Ward 6 DOT rep] from DDOT, as well as the general mailbox for dockless scooters at DDOT, to this email. Through this, and your note, I’d ask that they report this through their channels for follow-up and enforcement of the infractions noted in your email.”

Here’s the email address for DC DOT Shared Fleet to register concerns: dockless.mobility@dc.gov

Update: 

a suggestion by Ugoretz that Allen be further engaged because “he’s in charge,” Allen responded:

“…I definitely appreciate the sentiment, but sadly I am not in charge of scooters. The Mayor and Department of Transportation are in charge of enforcing the rules put in place by the Council. The Council set forth many requirements – none of which seem to be adhered to in the picture you sent and in my mind represent a serious violation.  The Council also set up a structure to levy fines to the company when not adhered to, but DDOT must issue them.  DDOT has set up a mechanism to report violations like this for their follow-up, which is who I added to those earlier emails.  I saw your note Mark referring to “channels”, but I’m not clear what you mean.  DDOT is in charge of enforcement, citing, and holding any company accountable.  I do not have any mechanism to levy fines or citations myself.  That’s why I included the DDOT representatives on the email and I’ll continue to press them to do the job they’ve been tasked with when you, I, or any neighbor sees a violation like this. Thanks and let’s try to work for some collaboration on improving this.”

And here’s the email of the Mayor’s Ward 6 DDOT representative, referenced above:  abraham.diallo@dc.gov

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from Last Week – Plus Unofficial ANC6A Recall Results

Recall Election in ANC6A.  Here’s the scene outside Maury School Sunday afternoon at the DC Board of Election polling location for voting to recall ANC6A04 Commissioner Amber Gove.  Voting was heavy at Maury – less so at the second polling location at NE Library.  ANC6C Commissioner Jay Adelstein posted the unofficial total on Twitter after the polls closed: 
“UNOFFICIAL. Total votes 452.  108 for recall.  344 opposed.  16 special ballots.  It’s over.  Source:  BOE officials leaving NE Library.”
The DGS screening fence has been removed from the granite base at the entrance to Eastern Market Metro Station.  It awaits its crowning public art installation, “Loveful Hands” by Jay Coleman.  See here:  https://bit.ly/2Mt479K
Here’s the scene at the entrance to Eastern Market Metro Saturday afternoon.  Metro personnel were freshening up the Metro signage.  In the center right background, a band with accordion, trumpet and tuba played the theme song from Game of Thrones.  When asked the band’s name, Justin Paschalides (the accordion player) said “The Prost Polka Party Trio – we play all over the place.
Later, they had moved on to 7th Street and entertained the outside tables at Tunnicliff’s Tavern.  The crowd, as they say, was pleased.  For more info:  https://www.justinpaschalides.com/
The pulse of Capitol Hill cyclists must have quickened on Saturday at the sight of DDOT contractors installing the red gravel and tar marking the peak-hour dedicated bus lanes coming to Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  During off-peak hours, the bus lanes will become metered parking. 
Next, construction of bus platforms for boarding and discharging passengers – as pictured above – and installation of curbside five foot bike lanes on both sides of the street, each with a three foot buffer, leaving two lanes for traffic.  The plan will proceed in two phases.  Phase 1 which is currently underway concerns PA Ave, SE, between 2nd Streets, SE, and 13th Street, SE.  Phase II will deal with PA Ave, SE, between 13th Street, SE, and Barney Circle, SE, and will be undertaken in 2024 and 2025.  DDOT reps say that one recurring problem in parts of the city with similar traffic control projects is vehicles blocking bus lanes.  DDOT will address this problem by installing cameras on buses which will enable automatic ticketing for violators.
Finally, On Saturday, October 29, from 9 am – 3 pm, CHRS will hold a free House Expo at the Eastern Market North Hall, featuring a wide variety of home service exhibitors and representatives of city agencies.  The list of exhibitors is evolving but includes masonry, ironwork, carpentry, painting, landscaping plus real estate professionals (sales, titles, loans). The DDOE will be there to discuss urban sustainability and Solar Neighbors United will be on hand to give pointers on residential solar installations.  You can review the list here: https://chrs.org/house-expo-2022/

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from Last Week

By Larry Janezich

Posted October 23, 2022

Monday, October 24

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Presentation: MPD (attendants TBA)
  • Presentation: Henry Moten, Rosedale Recreation Center
  • Presentation: US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia – AUSA Douglas Klein (1D), AUSA, Magdalena Acevedo (5D), Christopher Wade, Community Outreach Specialist (1D)

Tuesday, October 25

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

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion of application by the following establishments for liquor license renewals:

  • Dangerously Delicious Pie Shop at 1339 H Street, NE. Tavern License.
  • Biergarten Haus at 1355 H Street, NE. Tavern License.
  • Brine at 1357-1359 H Street, NE. Tavern License.
  • Sospeso at 1344 H Street, NE.  Tavern License.
  • Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar at 1104 H Street, NE. Tavern License.
  • H Street Country Club at 1335 H Street, NE. Tavern License.
  • Copycat Co. at 1110 H Street, NE.  Tavern License.
  • Capitol Square Bar & Grillat 1500 East Capitol Street, NE. Tavern License.
  • Langston Bar & Grille at 1831 Benning Road, NE. Tavern License.

ANC6B will hold a virtual Executive Committee Meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Agenda:  To set the agenda for the November meeting of ANC6B. 

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ANC6C – Another Ward 6 “No Contest” Election

Map showing the new ANC6C and Single Member District boundaries post 2022 redistricting. These new ANC and SMD boundaries will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Map showing current ANC6C and Single Member District boundaries.

ANC6C – Another Ward 6 “No Contest” Election

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 20, 2022

This is the third in a series of profiles of ANC candidates from Single Member Districts on or near Capitol Hill.

ANC6A includes Union Station, NOMA, the H Street NE corridor between 1st and 5th Streets NE, and the Stanton Park neighborhood – all lying between its East Capitol and Florida Avenue boundaries. 

Redistricting reduced the size of ANC6C but all of the above components remain (NOMA shrinks to the part east of the railroad tracks).  An increase in population requires adding another single member district and a new commissioner, up from six to seven.  Early on, one seat (ANC6C01) was contested until Lauren Kuritz dropped out and endorsed Christy Kwan, leaving the seven races uncontested (barring the success of an unlikely write-in effort).  ANC6B, likewise, has a “no contest” ANC election this year. 

The turnover in candidates marks the retirement of long serving ANC6C02 commissioner and Commission Chair Karen Wirt, as well as ANC6C01 Christine Healey and ANC6C06 Drew Courtney.  

If you are not sure if redistricting changed which single member district you’re in, go here:  https://bit.ly/3V3002Z

Here’s a list of ANC6C candidates and profiles supplied by the candidate – incumbents are designated by an asterisk:

6C01 CHRISTY KWAN says “(she/her) has been serving as an appointed citizen member of ANC6C’s Transportation and Public Space Committee since 2017 and chaired the committee for two years during the pandemic.  This experience has given her a deeper appreciation and understanding for ANCs and their roles in community engagement and input on proposed projects and legislation.  Christy first moved to the region over 13 years ago and has worked professionally as a city planner on a number of issues, including transportation, land conversation, and healthy food access.  She lives with her husband, teen, and rescue cat in the Near Northeast neighborhood, and is an active volunteer with DC Families for Safe Streets and Casey Trees.”

6C02 LESLIE MERKLE (Did not submit profile information)

*6C03 JAY ADELSTEIN says he “is running uncontested to represent SMD6C03, seeking the position that he has held since 2019.  Adelstein has lived on the Hill since 1979, where he and his wife Patricia have raised their two daughters, Rose and Lily.  Adelstein retired from the Federal government in 2018, having devoted his career in the field of civil rights to the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor.  With a particular distaste for the use of single-occupancy vehicles, Adelstein hopes to respond timely to constituent concerns with a concentration on transportation, accessibility to housing, and preventative crime measures.  He plans to focus on representing the concerns of the neighborhood with District and federal officials, including those concerns related to recovering from the pandemic, pushing for improvements in the proposed massive Union Station Expansion Project, advocating for transportation safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists and seeking to preserve residential properties for residential purposes.  Adelstein was a former head of Stanton Park Neighborhood Association and is currently active in the Friends of Northeast Library.”

*6C04 MARK ECKENWILER says, “For the past ten years, I’ve had the honor of representing the residents of single-member district 6C04.  In that time, I’ve pursued three main objectives: 1) Constituent service.  I’ve cajoled and badgered DC agencies into repaving alleys, fixing sidewalks, replacing missing or damaged street signs and traffic signals, and much more.  District agencies are more responsive today than when I moved here 26 years ago, but there is still room for improvement.  If you’re not receiving basic services or answers to inquiries, I’m happy to intercede on your behalf.  2) ANC 6C transparency.  Along with my colleagues, I’ve worked to make ANC 6C itself responsive and transparent.  Our meetings and agendas are posted in advance, and our minutes, reports, and correspondence posted afterward.  As chair of 6C’s Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee, I aim to run informative, efficient meetings in addressing the important public business before us.  3) Good government/DC agency effectiveness.  I’ve been proactive in demanding better performance from DC agencies and have testified at scores of DC Council hearings on agency performance and proposed legislation.  Years ago, I and others began advocating for major reform of DCRA, an effort that culminated on October 1, in the breakup of that agency into two separate departments (and eventually new agency leadership).  Because of population growth and the resulting redistricting, 6C04 is losing a few blocks (north of H Street & east of 5th) but remains largely unchanged.  I look forward to serving these long-time constituents, as well as new neighbors recently arriving in this great neighborhood.”

*6C05 JOEL KELTY says “I’m running for re-election for Commissioner of ANC 6C05.  A resident of ANC 6C for the past 22 years, I’ve served both as a Commissioner and also as a member of the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee. The role of Commissioner is to represent constituents at the most local level, including being available, receptive and responsive to community input.  I will advocate on local concerns, including refocusing District government on quality of life issues that directly impact our neighborhood: 1) Crime. The recent increase in crime in our ANC requires a coordinated multi-agency response that includes enhanced law enforcement and prosecution for quality of life crimes, many of which currently go un-prosecuted. nI support transferring responsibility for criminal prosecutions to a locally accountable, elected prosecutor.  2) Sidewalks, rats and trash. Maintenance and repair of public space, collection of refuse and rat control are core government functions with which the District must do better.  3) Illegal construction. The city must improve its processes for identifying and addressing illegal construction and zoning violations, particularly by house flippers working in residential districts.  4) A vibrant H Street Corridor. Poor streetscape maintenance, lax regulatory oversight and inattention to the needs of local residents and businesses have contributed to a decline in the H Street experience. We need to develop a renewed vision of how our neighborhood commercial corridor can best serve the residents and businesses of ANCs 6C and 6A.  5) Homelessness. The ANC should continue to advocate for additional assistance for encampment residents while simultaneously working to prevent establishment of new encampments.”

6C06 PATRICIA EGUINO says “Unlike many politicians, I actually have guts. I’ve faced off white supremacist groups throughout the years, like yelling at the Proud Boys to get the hell out, and did not back down from protesting the January 6 rioters outside the Capitol, even when armed men assaulted me and one took out a knife.  I will use that energy to fight tooth and nail on behalf of my constituents.”

6C07 TONY T. GOODMAN says “I look forward to serving my Near Northeast/NoMa neighborhood, where I have volunteered on ANC committees and as a previous Commissioner for the past 12 years.  I am a professional emergency manager, with a background in sustainability and construction, and previously was a DC Councilmember’s Chief of Staff.  I am also the former Chair of DC’s Pedestrian Advisory Council, and currently serve in leadership roles for trail advocacy and green building organizations.  Our neighborhood has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, and new apartment buildings continue to be built in our area.  I plan to support our new and existing neighbors and businesses in particular by continuing to advocate for more places for people to gather, including public benches, and for improved transit and bike lanes to ensure that residents and visitors don’t need to drive to reach their jobs, activities, or services.”

Correction:  An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated ANC6C01 would be part of ANC6B after redistricting.  

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Out and About in Congressional Cemetery

Congressional Cemetery at 1801 E Street, SE. Photos: Elizabeth Eby

Out and About in Congressional Cemetery

by Elizabeth Eby

Congressional Cemetery is a busy place. Even so, I feel quiet and far away from everyday life when I go there.  Dogs frolic in the grass while their owners chat, volunteer gardeners beautify graves, staffers ferry supplies around in golf carts and prepare graves, and visitors stroll the paths.

Congressional is an example of the Rural Cemetery movement which became popular in the mid-19th Century.  Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown is another example.  The key element of the movement was to make cemeteries park-like settings so people could use them for recreation and picnics when visiting a gravesite.  The idea was popular in cities and helped drive recognition of the need for city parks and green spaces.

A group of local residents bought the land in 1807 and later donated it to Christ Church located on G Street, SE.  Over the years, the cemetery fell into neglect and disrepair.  All kinds of people wandered in and out, day and night.  There were rumors of drug deals, FBI agents relieving themselves on J. Edgar Hoover’s grave, and Marion Barry making nighttime visits.  Prisoners in the old jail banged on the windows, hooted and exposed themselves.  Things began to change in the mid-1970s, according to church congregation member Marion Connolly.  Christ Church was not able to both oversee the conduct of the parish and the cemetery.   Connolly says that she and her husband Gerry were members of the Christ Church Vestry that made the decision to form the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery and to lease the management of the Cemetery to the Association which now oversees the management and maintenance of the grounds.

Representatives of the Congressional Cemetery’s K-9 Corps

Another positive development was the formation of the Congressional Cemetery K9 Corps in the late 1990s which helped both to activate the space and eliminate the drug trafficking.  Members pay annual fees that now comprise 25% of the operating budget.  The number of dogs is limited to prevent them from over taking the grounds.  The waiting list is so long it is temporarily closed.  However, dog walkers can buy one-day passes. People are always welcome and there is no entry fee.  Guided tours and free maps are available.

The church donated a large number of gravesites for burial of Congressmen who died in DC, thus establishing the Congressional link to the name.  They are memorialized by large square stones with conical tops called cenotaphs – markers for persons buried elsewhere.  An exception is that of Chief Pushmatqha, a Choctaw, who died in DC while petitioning the Federal government against further cessions of Choctaw land.  He is buried under his cenotaph.  The cenotaph practice was discontinued in the 19th century but in 1975 a cenotaph was provided for House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and Representative Nick Begich who together disappeared in a flight over Alaska.  Journalist Cokie Roberts – Boggs’ daughter – was recently buried near her father’s memorial. 

Here is a photo showing cenotaphs and graves including Speaker Tom Foley’s stainless steel ring.

Many notables are buried at Congressional but I think more people are aware that J. Edgar Hoover is buried here than know that John Phillip Sousa is.  The Gay Corner attracts visitors; its location was inspired by Hoover’s grave.

Decorated gay activist Leonard Matlovich was discharged by the Air Force after he deliberately came out to fight the ban on gays in the military.  A few years later, before he was diagnosed with AIDS, Matlovich visited Gertrude Stein, Alice Toklas, and Oscar Wilde’s graves in Europe.  The experience gave him the idea that gay people in the US needed heroes. 

After Hoover was interred, Matlovich bought a gravesite near Hoover’s and created a memorial for all gays.  The memorial has a cherry tree, lantern and a bench.  Matlovich died from AIDS on June 22, 1988.  His tombstone at the  Gay Corner nameless and reads “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

Check https://congressionalcemetery.org/ for tours and site prices and availability.

Out and About is an occasional photo feature by artist, photographer, gardener, and Capitol Hill resident Elizabeth Eby.  She finds vignettes while out and about on or near Capitol Hill.

(Correction:  An earlier version of this post neglected to mention the establishment of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery and its role in overseeing the cemetery.)

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