ANC 4A held its April meeting last evening at the MPD Fourth District HQ building on Georgia Avenue. The meeting was productive, although there was an element of petty drama that I will address below.
ANC 4A Community Concerns
Children’s Hospital Environmental Remediation
Irene Thompson, a representative from Children’s Hospital, came to share information about Environmental Remediation they will be doing to buildings on their Research Center site on the Walter Reed Campus. Specifically, buildings 52, 53, and the parking garage will have asbestos floor tiles and pipe insulation removed beginning today and continuing through the end of May. Trucks and cars will move on and off the campus via their (only) entrance on Fern Street NW from 6 am to 3 pm each day.
All hazardous materials will be stored in 55-gallon drums or temporarily stored in a sealed trailer with negative pressure before being moved offsite. The contractors were present and assured the audience that they follow all current environmental laws and standards.
New Columbia Solar
Mr. Incencio Quiones, representative from the company New Columbia Solar was present to promote their Community Solar program. He highlighted two community-based organizations who have had solar panels installed on their rooftops: Peoples Congregational Church and IDEAL Public Charter Schools and shared some of the benefits that they’ve enjoyed such as funding for capital improvements (new roof) and significant cost savings.
Now, the company is reaching out to residents who are interested in joining the solar revolution. Learn more at their website NewColumbiaSolar.com
Report: Executive Office of the Mayor
Phil McAuley came to share information from the Mayor’s office. The highlight of his chat was the information he brought about the Mayor proposed FY2019 Budget.
Major line items that would be of interest to Ward 4 residents include school modernization funding for Coolidge High School ($74 million), Dorothy Height Elementary School ($66 M), Raymond EC ($62 M), Truesdell EC ($2.6 M) and West EC ($77 M). You can read more about the budget here.
The District will celebrate Emancipation Day on Saturday, April 14th with a parade, concert and fireworks at Freedom Plaza from 2 to 8:30 pm. Featured artists include Brandy, Angie Stone, Big Daddy Kane and more!
Read more about it on the Emancipation Day website.
The Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives will engage with women through offering weekly workshops where we will bring together experts to teach career building skills, financial planning, entrepreneurship and much more. Special guests and speakers will give quality career advice and offer opportunities to participants! These classes take place every Wednesday through May 9th from 5:30 to 7 pm at the University of the District of Columbia South Dakota Avenue NE campus.
Learn more about Fresh Start Wednesdays at their website.
Report: Office of Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd
Sheryl Newman presented a legislative update from the Councilmember’s office.
- CM Todd introduced the “Warnings Before Citations Amendment Act of 2018” which requires the District Department of Public Works to issue a warning to residents before they write a $75 strict liability ticket related to residential trash cans. Sudden enforcement of this rule has been a growing frustration for area homeowners.
- Councilmember Todd will host the inaugural Ward 4 Business Summit on Wednesday, April 11th, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at People’s Congregational Church (4704 13th Street, NW) to provide information, resources, and support to the Ward 4 small business community.
- Join CM Todd for the Annual Ward 4 Bike Ride on Sunday, April 22nd, 10:30 AM at 9th & Upshur Bikeshare
- Finally, CM Todd is taking part in a series of discussions with constituents called “Councilmember in Your Living Room”. If you would like to host an event in your home, please call the office.
Walter Reed Update
Katie Wiacek from the Hines | Urban Atlantic | Triden development team was on hand to request ANC support for the demolition of three small service buildings on the Walter Reed site. The buildings are Building 38, 31 and 84. This procedure is required because the entire site is subject to Historic Preservation Review.
Demolishing buildings 31 and 84 would allow the widening of Aspen Street NW and lead to an array of safety improvements including a new parking lane, sidewalk and a multi-modal trail from Georgia Avenue to 16th Street. The demolition of building 38 will permit two on-site streets to connect more easily.
April 18th Update
There have been a lot of questions on the local listservs regarding the Aspen Street NW widening project. I have added an image that the DC Department of Transportation and the Walter Reed master developer presented to ANC 4B back in August of 2017 below. The resolution is not great and the details are very fine, but if you click on the image itself it will give you an expanded view.
As you can see, at the intersection of Georgia Avenue NW and Aspen Street NW, the August 2017 plan calls for four lanes (2 eastbound, 1 westbound, 1 parking) and a new walking/biking lane. One of the eastbound lanes drop as you travel a few hundred feet into the block. Two of the buildings in question above currently sit in the path of the planned pedestrian and planting lanes.
After a lot of back and forth discussion, the commission decided to table this item and take it up again at next month’s meeting.
Incarceration to Incorporation Entrepreneurship Program
D.C.’s Incarceration to Incorporation Entrepreneurship Program (IIEP) was approved by the DC Council in 2016 to help returning citizens create and maintain their own businesses. Unfortunately, the city has yet to fund the program and to date it has not been included in Mayor Bowser’s 2018 Budget. Cmr. Karrye Braxton (SMD 4a06) led the ANC to approve a resolution to strongly recommend that the Mayor and City Council fund this program.
After many months of smooth sailing, acrimony between several commissioners spilled out into the open at last night’s meeting. The genesis of the disagreement was an issue so minor that it is too embarrassing to even describe. Somehow, a true mole hill turned into a mountain that may or may not include actual petition signature fraud. The entire thing is ridiculous. All commissioners should remind themselves why they’ve chosen to serve the public in this role and ask if they are willing to abide by the by-laws and standards of this commission. If not, why bother? Don’t waste your own or the peoples’ time.