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COVID-19 Testing Resumes This Week on Capitol Hill at Engine Company No 8

Engine Company No 8 at 1501 C Street, SE, near the Pretzel Bakery

COVID-19 Testing Resumes This Week on Capitol Hill  at Engine Company No 8

By Larry Janezich

June 15, 2020

Engine Company No 8 at 1520 C Street, SE, will resume providing free walk up testing this Thursday and Friday, 4 pm – 8 pm, and Saturday from 12 pm – 4 pm.

The expanded testing is part of a larger effort utilizing firehouses across the city.  The firehouse testing sites are free, walk-up, and no referral, no appointment, and no exhibition of symptoms is needed.

So far, more than 2,300 people have been tested at a firehouse. The testing at these sites is done by personnel from the DC Fire and EMS Department, the Public Health Lab, and the Department of Health.

The new firehouse testing schedule is below:

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 4 pm – 8 pm.

Engine 4 (2531 Sherman Ave NW)

Engine 11 (3420 14th St NW)

Engine 24 (5101 Georgia Ave NW)

Engine 31 (4930 Connecticut Ave NW)

Thursday and Friday, 4 pm – 8 pm, and Saturday from 12 pm – 4 pm.

Engine 8 (1520 C St SE)

Engine 10 (1342 Florida Ave NE)

Engine 30 (50 49th St NE)

Engine 33 (101 Atlantic St SE)

The firehouse testing sites are in addition to the many free testing sites across DC, including the walk-up testing site at F Street, NW between 4th and 5th Streets, NW and the drive-thru and walk-up testing sites at 2241 Martin Luther King Jr Avenue SE in Ward 8 and at the UDC-CC Bertie Backus campus in Ward 5.

Residents are still encouraged to access testing through their health care providers so that they are connected to health care. However, anyone who needs a test can get a test at the testing locations listed above.

Find a full list of testing locations at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testing

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

Last Tuesday, at 4:00pm, the line for COV-19 testing at Engine Company 8 near 15th and C, SE, was 40 people long. By 6:30pm there were 100 in line – also at 7:00pm.  Testing moves to other fire stations around the city this week. Click to enlarge.

 

Word is that the former Stanton and Greene is being built out for a new sports bar which will feature sports gambling.

 

Starbucks unboarded its windows last week.

 

But the two CVS’s on Pennsylvania Avenue and Grubb’s Pharmacy on East Capitol – all broken into during the first nights of the demonstrations – remained boarded up.

 

The Department of General Services says the playground on the Eastern Market Metro Park will be finished this month. Still a question is when the Mayor will open the currently-closed playgrounds to the public.

 

Karin Edgett’s 2020 Flower Alchemy currently on display in the windows of 605 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, is worth checking out. You can find out more on her blog “art & food ∞ etc” here:  https://www.karinedgett.art/

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Week Past

by Larry Janezich

June 14, 2020

The Week Ahead….

Monday, June 15

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm. 

Call-in Conference via WebEx

Virtual Meeting via WebEx

Call-in Number: 202-860-2110 – Meeting number (access code): 160 435 3646

For those attending via WebEx: use this link:

https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea63f308257b2043b5819303bbfc54fef

Among items on the draft agenda:

Mozzeria, 1300 H Street, NE – Discussion of Mozzeria’s plans to create outdoor patio space on the 13th Street side of their establishment. A public space application has not yet been filed, however TPS willconsider a conditional recommendation to the ANC with regard to support for the application.

Tuesday, June 16

ANC6A Alcoholic Beverages Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm.

Virtual Meeting—Held on WebEx

Call-in Number: 202-860-2110 – Meeting number (access code): 160 060 9373

For those attending via WebEx: use this link:

https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/onstage/g.php?MTID=e64d5229b8dc98639dfd55e64caf36d82

Agenda:

The Outsider at 1357-1359 H Street, NE –  Discussion of application by DC Culinary Academy, LLC, trading as The Outsider, for renewal of its Class C Tavern License.

 Wednesday, June 17

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm. 

Virtual Meeting via WebEx

Call-in Number: 202-860-2110 – Meeting number (access code): 160 062 9697

For those attending via WebEx: use this link:

https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3ab97fdefd642703dd818edfa0dd8a51

229 14th Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for a special exception to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing attached principal dwelling unit.

909 and 911 I Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for special exceptions to construct two three-story buildings with penthouses in the RF-1 Zone.

128 12th Street, NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for a special exception under to construct a one-story rear addition to an existing attached flat in the RF-1 Zone.

308 11th Street NE – Zoning Adjustment Application for special exceptions to construct a new third floor addition and roof deck over an existing house, and a new second floor addition above an existing garage in the RF-1 Zone.

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Here Are the Farmers Line Vendors Who Will Be at Eastern Market this Weekend, 9:00am – 1:00pm

Here Are the Farmers Line Vendors Who Will Be at Eastern Market this Weekend, 9:00am – 1:00pm

by Larry Janezich

June 12, 2020

Here Are the Farmers Line Vendors Who Will Be at Eastern Market this Weekend, 9:00am – 1:00pm

Mask and social distancing requirements are in effect.

https://easternmarket-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Saturday-6-13-20.pdf

https://easternmarket-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Sunday-6-14-20.pdf

Here’s a list of Farmer’s bios and contact info – http://easternmarket-dc.org/our-farmers/

For more information, see here:  http://easternmarket-dc.org/

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A “Shocked and Saddened” ANC6B Wants Stronger Action to Redress Justice/Equity Issues

A “Shocked and Saddened” ANC6B Wants Stronger Action to Redress Justice/Equity Issues

by Larry Janezich

June 10, 2020

Last night, in its June virtual meeting, ANC6B adopted a package of resolutions aimed at redressing policing and social issues which arose out of the equity and justice demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. The resolutions in the package, sponsored by Commissioner Corey Holman, were agreed to en bloc by a vote of 5 – 1 with 2 abstentions, and are addressed to various city council committees and to officials in the Office of the Mayor.

Holman said that he thought that commissioners had a moral imperative as elected officials to respond to this moment – “that it is important to say that these particular things express our values. “ Some commissioners expressed reservations that it undercut MPD, others objected to the all or none approach.  Several commissioners crafted added language stressing the thrust of the measure was not a reflection of MPD’s efforts and community engagement, but rather aimed at reallocating limited budget resources to address inequities.

Commissioner Chander Jayaraman was successful in striking two sections he objected to:  the first requested a 5% budget reduction for MPD per year and a study of the costs and benefits of dissolving MPD and creating a new safety and justice department.  The second would have required that the Metro Police standard operating procedures align with those of the MPD.

(Commander Morgan Kane of the MPD’s First District joined the virtual meeting for the discussion on the resolution, indicating the department’s interest in the reaction of elected officials to current MPD policing practices.  Halfway through the debate, she announced she had to leave to respond to a shooting near Pennsylvania Avenue.  This later proved to be a homicide near 15th and K, SE.)

Under the provisions of the Resolution, the following preamble is to be attached to each of the separate subordinate resolutions.

“Like you, the commissioners of ANC 6B are shocked and saddened by the actions of local and federal police and paramilitary troops operating in the District over the last two weeks. ANC 6B recognizes the immediate cause of these protests is the murder of George Floyd, but the seeds have been sown for over 400 years in the form of systemic racism and oppression. As elected officials, we will dedicate ourselves to dismantling this system.

Further, we recognize that while the direct spark of these worldwide protests is police action, it underlies centuries of housing, educational, employment, and social formal and informal discrimination. ANC 6B encourages the [Council/Mayor] to reform community safety and justice, but also work to end unequal educational opportunities, exclusionary zoning/housing policy, disparate health outcomes, and all other aspects which continue to undergird our unjust social structure.

ANC 6B values the support and hard work of what MPD does in our community on a daily basis. This resolution is not a reflection regarding their community engagement, rather than reallocating our limited budget resources to address underlying inequities in the broader community.”

Here are the provisions of the Resolution as it passed the ANC:

The list of budget requests and the City Council committee to which the request is to be sent includes:

  • Judiciary and Public Safety: To reject the Mayor’s request to increase MPD’s budget by $19 million and instead keep funding constant for FY20 and future budgets subject to downward revisions.
  • Judiciary and Public Safety: To restore and expand funding for violence interrupter programs.
  • Judiciary and Public Safety: That the City Council mandate the use of mental health and trauma experts in lieu of using MPD as school resource officers.
  • Judiciary and Public Safety: To immediately ban the use of stop and frisk.
  • Judiciary and Public Safety, Committee of the Whole: To create a Community Safety and Justice Revision Commission to replace the recently authorized Police Reform Commission and task it with shrinking the capabilities and responsibilities of MPD, and to update standard operating procedures and reporting requirements with a focus on equity and justice.
  • Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization: To fully fund the $60 million in needed repairs to public housing in FY2021 and create a permanent fund to repair, maintain, and create public housing over the five-year capital budget window.
  • Committee on the Whole: To include dedicated funding that requires the Office of Planning to create actionable area plans to build affordable housing units in the Capitol Hill Planning Area.
  • Transportation and the Environment: To move Council Member Allen’s Metro for DC Bill to a hearing as soon as possible.

Request to be sent to the Office of the Mayor with the above preamble attached:

  • Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice: To not renew collective bargaining with the DC Police Union expiring on September 30 and to request a public process involving community members, especially those willing to participate who have experienced harm or trauma from MPD.
  • Chancellor Ferebee: To implement at-risk preference through MySchoolDC for all schools for School Year 2021-22 not just new schools and to require this preference of charter schools as well as public schools and place this preference at the top of the lottery preference.
  • Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice: To immediately direct MPD to revise standard operating procedures to end the use of stop-and-frisk and to review and expand the scope of regulations on unbiased policing to include increased reporting requirements on racial makeup of stops by ward and police district.

CHC asked Chander Jayaraman, who is running for an Independent seat on the City Council, to comment on the ANC’s action:  “The resolution captured the anguish of the community and the broad systemic inequities in our city.  I am glad that we voted to restate our support for the violence interruption program, limit the role of armed officers in our schools, and took a stance against stop and frisk.”

Afterward, Holman told CHC:  “The resolution is not perfect, not exhaustive, and certainly not sufficient. However, it reflects the state of the council budget process and ANC calendaring limitations.

Our neighborhood, city, and nation are taking on the barriers that have for hundreds of years have prevented equality for our black neighbors. It is imperative that we not only say that black lives matter but take active roles in listening to and amplifying the voices of those who continue to experience trauma and harm from our racist institutions…As a Commission, we must use our limited power and position of influence to actively participate in the dismantling of the systems which prop up structural racism.

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The Week Ahead…ANC 6D and 6C Consider Election/Protest Issues & Photos from the Week Past

&Pizza on Barracks Row went the extra mile in declaring support for protesters.

On Saturday, Black Lives Matter DC 2020 set up an aid station for protesters – Capitol Lounce and opened it’s restrooms open its restrooms to them.

Beuchert’s weighed in with free food and water.  

Monday, June 1, at the US Capitol circa 5:00pm. Security was tight but got a lot tighter.

At circa 4:00pm on Tuesday, June 2,  there were 175 people in line waiting to vote at the Sherwood Recreation Center on 10th Street, NE.  

 

Saturday, Artist/Sculptor Peter Krsko completes the latest Barracks Row two-story mural in the narrow passage leading to Nooshi restaurant. His collaborator in the project is Alicia Cosnahan (not pictured). More of Krsko’s work can be found here: http://peterkrsko.com/

The Week Ahead…ANC 6D and 6C Consider Election/Protest Issues & Photos from the Week Past

Posted June 7, 2002

by Larry Janezich

Monday, June 8

ANC 6D will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  Below is the link to the ANC website which has the link to join the meeting.

www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting

Among items on the draft agenda:

Public Safety Report- First District MPD (PSA 103, PSA 105 & PSA 106) Capt. Dorrough, Lt. Donigian.

2021 Budget Briefing – Executive Office of the Mayor, Jay Melder.

. Covid-19 Scams and Frauds Presentation – US Attorney General’s Office – DC, Douglas Klein.

Pepco Capital Grid Project – Stacee Hemby, Jamaal Jordan.

Resolution on mask wearing and Covid-19.

Letter to AG Karl Racine on 5G Monopoles.

Resolution on recent protests and redress.

Roy Boys – 1025 1st Street, SE, Extended hours.

Westminster PUD Set Down – Bozzuto.

1st Street, SE, Bike Lane Project – DDOT, Andrew DeFrank, Aaron Goldbeck.

4th Street, SW, Residential Parking Permit Extension – DDOT, Andrew DeFrank, Greg Matlesky.

Parcel H – Brookfield Properties.

Tuesday, June 9

ANC 6B will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  Below is the link to the ANC website which has the link to join the meeting.

https://www.anc6b.org/2020/05/23/june-2020-meetings-of-anc-6b/

Among items on the draft agenda:

203 3rd St, SE, Rear – Zoning adjustment application – Special exceptions and variance to permit a second story addition to existing alley building.

ANC 6B Comments – text amendments regarding development on alley tax lots.

Report on DDOT Presentation on the Penn Potomac Project.

ANC 6B support for closing parking/roads to allow for larger occupancy by restaurants.

Discussion of ANC6B’s BID/Mainstreet Grant Flexibly Resolution.

ANC 6B Bylaws and Grant Discussion: Proposed Revision to ANC 6B Bylaws.

Proposed Change: ARTICLE VIII. FINANCIAL – SECTION 2. FUNDS – B: The Commission shall not regard itself as a governmental funding or grant dispensing agency except during a period for which a public health emergency has been declared by the Mayor pursuant to section 5a of the District of Columbia Public Emergency Act of 1980, effective October 17, 2002 (D.C. Law 14-194; D.C. Official Code § 7-2304.01), the Commission may approve grants to organizations for the purpose of providing humanitarian relief, including food or supplies, during the public health emergency, or otherwise assisting in the response to the public health emergency anywhere in the District, even if those services are duplicative of services also performed by the District government. The Commission shall not be a regular source of funds to subsidize community group’s operations and activities.

Current: ARTICLE VIII. FINANCIAL – SECTION 2. FUNDS – B: The Commission shall not regard itself as a governmental funding or grant dispensing agency. It shall not be a regular source of funds to subsidize community group operations and activities.

Request for dedication of park at 15th/Kentucky/Potomac/G as Will Hill Park.

Wednesday, June 10

ANC 6C will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  Below is the link to the ANC website which has the link to join the meeting.

https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion of Maryland Avenue, NE, Project.

627 Orleans Place, NE, Zoning adjustment application for exceptions to construct a rear deck.

NoMa Parks, update.

Dave Thomas Circle, update.

New Business:

    1. Board of Election primary election issues.
    2. MPD performance during protests.

Thursday, June 11

ANC 6A will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  Below is the link to the ANC website which has the link to join the meeting.  (Call in information will be posted 24 hours prior to the meeting.)

https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda: 

$3,000 grant to “Serve Your City/Ward-6 Mutual Aid Network” to support vulnerable ANC 6A residents during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Letter to DDOT (now that automated traffic enforcement is in their purview) requesting that they consider a list of locations for speed and/or red-light cameras.

Duffy’s Irish Pub, 1016 H Street, NE – Motion that ANC 6A amend its settlement agreement with Callister Technology and Entertainment, LLC, t/a Duffy’s Irish Pub to permit amplified sounds in the summer garden until 11:30 pm Sunday through Thursday evenings and 12:30 am on Friday and Saturday evenings and the evenings before federal and District of Columbia holidays.

906 11th Street, SE – Zoning Adjustment Application for special exception to permit a penthouse and to permit a guardrail.

Community Presentations:

Ward 6 State Board of Education Representative – Jessica Sutter.

FY 21 Budget Update – Paul Kihn, Deputy Mayor for Education.

Anacostia River Cleanup – Pepco, DDOE and CAG.

 

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Free Walk Up COV-19 Testing On and Near Capitol Hill & Looking forward to Phase II Reopening

Free testing begins next week at Engine 8 Fire Station, 1520 C Street, SE

Free COV-19 Testing On and Near Capitol Hill & Looking forward to Phase II Reopening

By Larry Janezich

On Monday, DC will begin free testing for COV-19 at select Fire Stations. One of those is in Hill East and another is near H Street, NE. 

On Tuesday, free walkup testing is available for residents from 4:00pm – 8:00pm at Engine 8 Fire Station, 1520 C Street, SE, a half block from the Pretzel Bakery. 

On Wednesday, free walkup testing is available from 4:00pm – 8:00pm at Engine 10 Fire Station, 1342 Florida Avenue, NE, a short distance from the east end of H Street before it intersects the starburst.

Last Friday, Mayor Bowser and city officials briefed on the status of the city’s response to the Covid-19 health crisis and discussed criteria for moving to Phase II of the reopening, and what that reopening would look like.

Under Phase II, gatherings would increase from the current limit of 10 to up to 50, some indoor restaurant dining with social distancing would be permitted (but no buffets or bars), and expansion of non-essential retail, personal care services and recreation facilities – all with social distancing.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director of the DC Department of Health, says it will take three weeks to assess the effects of Phase I reopening, and the earliest the DOH could consider making a recommendation re Phase II is June 19th.

As of today – Sunday – the city had marked 6 days of sustained decline in community spread.  A 14 day decline is the first benchmark which has to be reached before the DC Health Department will consider making a recommendation to reopen.

Benchmarks also have to be achieved in a low transmission rate, a low positivity rate, sufficient health care capacity, and continued tracing capacity.  A setback in any of these categories could trigger an “intervention” and possibly delay moving to Phase II.

Obviously, the lack of social distancing which occurred during the past 8 days of demonstrations in the city against police brutality are a concern.

You can see a list of other fire stations offering free testing, track the daily progress on DC Health Metrics for Phase II, and the Community Spread Rate under the NEWS tab – (click the like to the June 5 situational report) here:  https://coronavirus.dc.gov/

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Day by Day: the Past Week’s News on Demonstrations, Coronavirus & the Election

Day by Day: the Past Week’s News on Demonstrations, Coronavirus & the Election

June 7, 2020

By Larry Janezich

There was almost too much news to track last week as news media attempted to cover three major local stories – the demonstration, the COV-19 response, and DC’s primary election.  What follows is a chronology of significant events as they unfolded since last Sunday.

Sunday, May 31 – Third night of protests – 90 arrests.

  • Mayor Bowser orders a curfew for the District of Columbia from 11:00pm on Sunday, May 31, until 6:00pm on Monday, June 1. She also activated the DC National Guard to support the Metropolitan Police Department. Restaurants, open for outside dining, were urged by business organizations to close early and take precautions against vandalism and looting.  Bowser said in response to a question why there had been no curfew:  “…protesters are not curfew respecters.”
  • Protests which started in DC on Friday night, May 29, (the day the city began to reopen after the COV-19 shutdown) continued for a third night over the death on Memorial Day of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police while he was being arrested.
  • The protests started out peacefully but became violent after dark. A number of businesses were vandalized and looted.
  • A fire – cause undetermined – broke out in a basement room in historic St. John’s Church. Windows were smashed at AFL-CIO building and the lobby was damaged by protesters.
  • MPD Police Chief Newsham noted use of incendiary devices by protesters. Says he has not seen that before.

Monday, June 1 – Fourth night of protests – 289 arrests.

  • Mayor Bowser orders a 7:00pm – 6:00am curfew except for essential personnel and news media.
  • Half an hour before the 7:00pm curfew the National Guard and US Park Polices cleared Lafayette Park of peaceful protesters, using tear gas and rubber projectiles. The President walked through the emptied park to provide a photo op in front of St. John’s Church.  In a conference call earlier in the day, the president urged governors to dominate the streets.
  • Vandalism and looting occurred in downtown DC, Georgetown, Cleveland Park, Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, Capitol Hill, and H Street, NE. Nine MPD vehicles were damaged.
  • MPD made mass arrests on 1400 block of Swann Street.
  • MPD uses munitions – gas and projectiles – against demonstrators near MPD headquarters near Judiciary Square.
  • MPD Police Chief says the protester’s tactics appeared organized in nature.
  • The President threatened to deploy troops to restore order.
  • Two National Guard helicopters hovered at near tree-top level over protesters to aid in disruption and disbursement efforts.
  • Overnight, security personnel begin fencing off Lafayette Square.

Tuesday, June 2 – Fifth night of protest – 29 arrests.

  • The Mayor ordered the curfew from 7:00pm – 6:00am continued. Residents voting in today’s primary are exempt from the curfew, along with essential personnel and news media.
  • Protesters continued to assemble peaceably at the Lafayette fences well after the 7:00pm curfew.
  • The numbers of protesters grew as did the number of federal resources, as agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies were deployed in the District.
  • The federal government seemed prepared to take over the DC Metropolitan Police Department but received strong push back from Mayor Bowser. Mayor said DC doesn’t want any military or federal police presence on DC streets.
  • CM Charles Allen told the WP that the effort to take over MPD was “nothing short of despicable” and in that event, hoped “DC police officers would object and stand down.”
  • In a statement from United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan claimed: “USPP officers and other assisting law enforcement partners did not use tear gas or OC Skat Shells to close the area at Lafayette Park.”
  • Dozens of troops from the National Guard stood on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial during protests.
  • The Mayor expresses concern that protests will result in a spike in the cases of COVid-19 infections. Says the city has to balance First Amendment rights against the health effects of mass gatherings.
  • DC holds primary elections with long lines – some lasting until after midnight – at a reduced number of polling places after residents failed to receive requested ballots. Bowser later terms the mail in balloting effort a failure.  Bowser ally Ward 4 CM Brandon Todd lost in his primary contest for reelection to the DC Council, as did former Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans.

Wednesday, June 3 – Sixth night of protest – 0 arrests.

  • The Mayor pushed the curfew pushed back to 11:00pm.
  • Protests continue in multiple locations across the city, including 14th and U Streets, NW; near Lafayette Park, and at the US Capitol. Businesses continue to take protective measures.
  • The administration sends elements of the Border Patrol to DC.
  • Bowser questions President’s authority to send troops and National Guard from other states to DC.
  • Defense Secretary Esper said that the president’s proposed use of military troops against civil unrest is unnecessary at this time.
  • Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, writing in the Atlantic Monthly strongly criticized the president.
  • Mayor Bowser calls the District’s mail in ballot election “nothing short of a failed execution.”
  • MPD Police Chief Newsham pushes back on claims in legacy and social media about rough treatment of protesters who were arrested on Swann Street Monday night, citing the lack or injuries or resistance to arrest. Newsham said earlier action by crowd in launching “projectiles” and involvement in the burning of an MPD vehicle prior to the mass arrests on Swann Street lead to the mass arrests.

Thursday, June 4 – Seventh night of protests – 0 arrests.

  • No curfew.
  • Multiple peaceful demonstrations in multiple locations across the city.
  • MPD expects larger demonstrations on Saturday.
  • Mayor Bower said that the federal government had acceded to the city’s request to pull the federal security perimeter which had extended to K Street north of the White House back to Lafayette Park.
  • The Secret Service said in a statement that the entire area around the “White House complex” will remain closed until June 10.

Friday, June 5 – 8th day of protests in DC – 0 arrests.

  • No curfew.
  • Mayor Bowser renamed 16th Street between H and K Streets, NW, “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and designated the two blocks with street-wide yellow letters.
  • The Pentagon disarmed National Guard in DC and issues send home orders for 5,000 active duty troops from DC and eleven states – stationed outside the city.
  • US Park Police say it was a mistake to say tear gas was not used to clear Lafayette Square on Monday, acknowledging that the pepper gas from “pepper balls” falls within the definition.
  • During the private meeting Friday morning MPD leaders told officers and cadets that if they were not troubled by what they saw happen to George Floyd to turn in their badges and guns. Pressed for details during the Mayor’s situational update, Chief Peter Newsham said it was a private meeting to let some members of the force know how the leadership felt about the events across the nation.
  • Asked about the MPD deputizing members of the DC National Guard, Mayor Bowser said that had come at the request of the DC National Guard Commander General William Walker, adding, “We won’t be doing that anymore.”
  • Bowser announced a fourth day of decline in the community spread of the coronavirus. 14 days of decline will be necessary before moving to Phase II of the reopening.  It will be June 19th before the Department of Health will be able to make any recommendation regarding moving to Phase II.
  • Select Fire Stations in Wards 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 will be offering free COV-19 testing next week. The Mayor urged people not delay in getting tested.

Saturday – Ninth day of protests – no arrests (so far).

  • MPD started closing streets at 6:00am for a day of protests involving multiple organizations at multiple locations, including the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the U Street corridor, the Lincoln Memorial, Freedom Plaza, and the White House.
  • The largest DC demonstration since they began nine days ago was peaceful and in some cases, festive, the mood a sharp departure from the confrontations evident earlier in the week.
  • There was a marked reduction in police presence on the streets.
  • Black Lives Matter has announced repeatedly it is not behind the protests.
  • Standing in the newly designated Black Lives Matter Plaza, Mayor Bowser continued to react to the presence of out of state National Guard in DC: “… if they can take over Washington DC, they can come for any state and none of us will be safe. So today, we pushed the army away from our city. Our soldiers should not be treated that way. They should not be asked to move on American citizens….Today we say no. In November, we say next.”
  • General William Walker of the DC National Guard announced the 4,000 National Guard troops brought into the DC area to support police and federal resources could go home as of Monday. He said there will be full investigation of the use of National Guard helicopters over protesters Monday night.  According to the Washington Post, the National Guard helicopters have been grounded in the interim.

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Here Are the Farmers Line Vendors Who Will Be at Eastern Market this Weekend, 9:00am – 1:00pm

 

Here Are the Farmers Line Vendors Who Will Be at Eastern Market this Weekend, 9:00am – 1:00pm

by Lary Janezich

June 6,2020

Here Are the Farmers Line Vendors Who Will Be at Eastern Market this Weekend, 9:00am – 1:00pm

Mask and social distancing requirements are in effect.

https://easternmarket-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Saturday-6-6-20.pdf

https://easternmarket-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Sunday-6-7-20-1.pdf

Here’s a list of Farmer’s bios and contact info – http://easternmarket-dc.org/our-farmers/

For more information, see here:  http://easternmarket-dc.org/

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Bowser draws a Line at Lafayette Park – Feds Agree to Pull Back from DC Streets & No Curfew Tonight

Mayor Bowser at today’s press briefing.

Bowser draws a Line at Lafayette Park – Feds Agree to Pull Back from DC Streets & No Curfew Tonight

June 4, 2020

by Larry Janezich

At a noon press conference today, Mayor Bower said that the federal government had acceded to the city’s request to pull the federal security perimeter which had extended to K Street north of the White House to Lafayette Park.  US Park Police and National Guard had cleared the park of peaceful protesters early Monday evening with tear gas and rubber projectiles, and then gradually moved north into areas under the jurisdiction of MPD.

The Mayor said that yesterday, she had walked down 16th Street toward the White House and saw how far  the federal security perimeter had extended; she directed Chief of Police Newsham and others to work to get the line pushed back.  This morning the fed resources pulled back to Lafayette Park.  Bowser said, “We communicated our needs … we want the military – we want troops from out of state out of D.C.“

In a related matter, when asked to describe conversations about the White House invoking emergency powers to take over MPD, Bowser said she could not discuss every private conversation, but “wants to make clear that at no time will the Mayor support the federal government directing the MPD.”

Regarding efforts to determine what authority the president has to deploy out of state national guard in DC, federalizing the MPD, and closing streets, Bowser said that she was having ongoing conversations with DC’s Office of the Attorney General and said those questions will be addressed – specifically if the president can call other state’s national guard into DC without further legal authority.

Newsham noted that sometimes it’s hard to distinguish DC National Guard from other National Guard units – and that some of the DC National Guard are under control of MPD.  Those 100 unarmed troops are being used for traffic control.  He said other federal military assets which DC did not request are under the control of Attorney General Barr.

Reporters sought clarification about how the federal resources got deployed so far north and how they got pulled back.  Newsham demurred, saying it was a “collaborative agreement – cooperation and communication” and added that the legal battle will play out in the future.  He recognized the widespread concern about unidentified helmeted federal police operating without name tags or agency insignia near the White House in recent days (press reports indicated these were Bureau of Prison officers) and said that correcting that would be a “big ask” in the after action follow up discussion.

Bowser said that the root cause of the dispute between the federal government and the city is “we don’t have full representation in Congress or full autonomy – until we fix that, we’re subject to intrusion by the federal government – sometimes they’re benevolent and sometimes they’re not.”

Concerns remain that White House might make access to Lafayette Park and the Plaza in front of the White House permanent.  Bowser acknowledged they are under threat – and that “we will push back.”  She said federal assets are important to Washington – people need to have access to public buildings.

Bowser said there will be no curfew tonight.

Newsham reported on the number and nature of arrests over the past several days: Arrests: Friday – 0; Saturday – 19; Sunday – 90; Monday – 289; Tuesday – 29; Wednesday – 0.

44% of the arrestees were from DC; 31% from MD; 13 from VA; 4% from other states; 8% with no fixed address or unknown.

63% of the arrests concerned curfew violations; 11% rioting; and 10% burglary.

Additional information is available on the MPD website. https://mpdc.dc.gov/

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Editorial:  The Park Police and Bijan Ghaisar

Editorial:  The Park Police and Bijan Ghaisar

by Larry Janezich

June 2, 2020

Yesterday, mounted US Park Police helped federal police and the National Guard push peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square so the president could have a photo op in front of St. John’s church.  The action – which according to witnesses – involved flash grenades, pepper spray and rubber bullets came at the personal directive of Attorney General William Barr.

We have yet to see a major press outlet dive into the record of the Park Police in Washington DC.  As many District residents will remember, on November 17, 2017, officers of the US Park Police killed Bijan Ghaisar.  As citizens across the nation and around the world react to cases of police brutality, one of our own most egregious examples has been largely left out of the picture.

Details of the incident of Ghaisar’s death have been widely reported, as has the account of the stonewalling by US Park Police, the FBI, the Department of Interior and the Department of Justice.  Readers will remember that Ghaisar was rear-ended by an Uber driver near Reagan National airport; he may have been stopped in a traffic lane.  Ghaisar left the scene without providing his information, a misdemeanor charge.  The Uber driver called 911 alerting US Park Police.  The Park Police pulled Ghaisar over twice, and each time he drove off.  At a third stop near Fort Hunt, Park Police approached the car and as Ghaisar began to slowly drive off, they opened fire.  Police fired ten rounds, four of which hit Ghaisar, fatally wounding him.  He died at the hospital ten days later.

The federal government has flouted efforts by members of Congress, the court, and the Ghaisar family to uncover the reasons for the use of lethal force in this instance.

After a two year investigation, then US Attorney for the District Jessie Liu announced the DOJ would not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against the police officers involved in the killing.  The Justice Department blocked FBI agents from testifying when then-Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney Raymond Morrogh planned to seek criminal charges and present the case to a grand jury last December.  The new Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano is pursuing the case.

In March, an Alexandria federal magistrate presiding over a civil case against the park police and the two officers ordered the FBI to turn over the FBI’s files, and a discovery deadline of July 10 has been set. The COV-19 health crisis has prevented deposition, resulting in a further delay.

The officers remain on administrative duty and an internal affairs investigation of the case will begin only after a decision is made by Descano on filing criminal charges.

We’re at 884 days and counting.

Here’s a link to WP coverage, including the disturbing video of the incident:  https://wapo.st/301kNKd

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