Archive for the D.C. Government Category

Fenty’s Summer Youth Gone Astray

Posted in D.C. Government, Park View with tags , on August 6, 2009 by Kent

Summer Youth program damageMayor Fenty’s Summer Youth Jobs Program strikes again. Yesterday, at the corner of Park Place and Princeton Place, NW, for no apparent reason, youth in the program cut down a crepe myrtle that was healthy and thriving in the area next to the road. That youth in the mayor’s job program are responsible is based on eye witness accounts.

This was one of two crepe myrtles that had been in this location. The other one had been snapped off at the base sometime last week, perhaps also by the same individuals.

Had the youth mistaken them for wild brush needing to be cleared, it would have been reasonable to presume that the severed branches would have been removed. As it is, its nothing short of vandalism.Summer Youth program damage

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Taxi Fare Cap Lifted and Engine Company 10 Featured on NPR

Posted in D.C. Government, Fire Stations, Trinidad with tags , on August 4, 2009 by Kent

A couple of items that peaked my intereste yesterday were the announcement that the D.C. Council has lifted a $19 cap on taxicab rides that start and end in the District and the feature on Fire House 10 on NPR.

According to WJLA, the cap was intended to protect residents east of the Anacostia River because of the distance Taxis would have to travel, but available information indicates that the $19 limit is rarely ever reached. Jim Graham, ever in the thick of it, was credited with calling the cap “artificial, arbitrary and unfair.”

NPR’s story, House of Pain: The Busiest Fire Station in D.C., features Engine Company 10 in the Trinidad neighborhood. Despite it responding to about 6,500 calls a year, it is the station that many of the city’s fire fighters hope to get the opportunity to work at.

You can visit the Station’s Website to learn more about the amazing job these folks do.

Asphalt Alley Paving Narrowly Averted

Posted in City Services, D.C. Government, Park View with tags , , , on July 23, 2009 by Kent

No ParkingYesterday I mistakenly thought the No Parking signs posted in the alley of the 600 block of Quebec Place/Rock Creek Church Rd was for the heavy up Pepco is preparing for around the corner.

In fact, it was DDOT’s intention to pave the alley in asphalt. Fortunately, several of the neighbors were home and quickly put a stop to it. It isn’t that the neighbors don’t want the alley repaired, but it is an old brick alley and was supposed to be restored as a brick alley.

Last year the 700 block of Quebec Place/Princeton Place was restored as a brick alley. This year, the city is using the excuse that there isn’t enough money to stick to the original plan.

As it stands now, no work will be done to fix the alley in the immediate future. Mayor Fenty clarified this morning that brick alleys would be repaved with brick, and non-brick alleys would be repaved in non-brick materials (asphalt).
alley needing repair

Senior Wellness Center on Georgia Avenue and Other Ward 1 Development News

Posted in D.C. Government, Park View with tags , , on July 13, 2009 by Kent

The following email was distributed by Jim Graham today. While it is good news for Ward 1, I think the Senior Wellness Center on Georgia Avenue is of particular interest to Park View and the redevelopement of Georgia Avenue.

Graham’s email reads as follows:

Three important contract awards have been submitted for approval to the Council for Ward 1. We appreciate the strong action by Mayor Adrian Fenty and his team for moving these projects forward.

Champlain Street opening under Marie Reed School–$1.7 million

We all know the tragic crimes that have taken place in the forgotten space under Marie Reed Learning Center. This project will bring new life by opening up this dangerous dead-end street.

Construction is expected to begin very soon. The project will dramatically improve this area with an open roadway, new sidewalks, street lights, trees, a bicycle lane, and improved traffic flow.

I authored $1.9 million over the past two budget years to make this project happen. After extensive involvement from Marie Reed Learning Center, the ANC, and area residents and businesses, we have a great solution on its way.

I continue to work with the Department of Parks and Recreation and DCPS to bring additional building improvements along Champlain Street.

Senior Wellness Center on Georgia Avenue–$4.35 million

Ward 1 Seniors will finally have a center in their own community on Georgia Avenue. This has been a longstanding issue…I have been involved for years, and we have had some false starts where DC had to fire the contractor. Seniors rallied to save this project for its original Georgia Avenue location. This Senior Wellness Center, at 3531 Georgia Ave, will include health education, exercise programs, and a pleasant refuge during hot summer months. The construction team is expected to complete this project within one year.

New athletic/soccer fields at Bell/Lincoln Campus–$1.1 million

This project will bring badly needed athletic field improvements. The project reportedly will be complete before the new school year.

These contracts–absent adverse action by the Council which surely will not occur–will take effect on July 18.

Georgia Avenue Great Streets/O Street Market Among Possible Victims to Convention Center Hotel Deal

Posted in City Services, D.C. Government, Development with tags , , on June 23, 2009 by Kent

Northern Market aka O Street MarketThe Washington Business Journal reported on June 16th that the D.C. Council is considering withdrawing millions of dollars in subsidies from stalled city real estate projects to publicly finance the convention center hotel. You can read the entire article here>>

The article continues by stating that …

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi met with members of the D.C. Council on Monday and discussed the list of projects with $704 million in subsidies that have already been passed and could be diverted to the hotel. The list provided by the CFO’s office includes the Southwest waterfront, the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg residential development on the Capitol Riverfront, the mixed-use O Street Market in Shaw and seven other economic development incentives.

The entire list of already approved projects at risk includes:

  • Southwest waterfront, $198 million;
  • Housing Production Trust Fund, $190 million;
  • Great Streets retail priority area (neighborhood tax increment financing), $75 million;
  • Capper/Carrollsburg payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, $55 million;
  • O Street Market, $46.5 million;
  • Skyland Shopping Center, $40 million;
  • The Yards payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, $30 million;
  • Great Streets, $20 million;
  • Downtown retail priority area, $16.05 million;
  • Fort Lincoln retail priority area, $10 million;
  • Arena Stage, $10 million;
  • Rhode Island Place retail priority area, $7.2 million; and
  • Broadcast Center One, $6.4 million.

I’m particularly concerned about Georgia Avenue, as this would not be the first, but second time that funds allocated for its renewal have been redirected.

At the last ANC1A meeting, a representative from the Deputy Mayor’s office stood before the assembly and admitted that the money originally set aside for Georgia Avenue had be redirected to pay for H Street, NE, redevelopment. He continued that nearly all of the funding needed to replace that allocation had been secured so that Georgia Avenue could get back on track.

Now, it seems that those statements may have been premature. After contacting Councilmemeber Graham, he stated that he was unaware of any plans to redirect Georgia Avenue Great Streets money and that we would be opposed to any plan that did so.

This Date in History

Posted in D.C. Government, June with tags on June 20, 2009 by Kent

June 20, 1874: The territorial government of the District of Columbia, including the non-voting delegate to Congress, is abolished. Three temporary commissioners and a subordinate military engineer are appointed by the president. City of Washington Map

This Date in History

Posted in D.C. Government, June with tags on June 10, 2009 by Kent

June 10, 1927:  The standard of employes in the District government was criticized by the Bureau of Efficiency as not sufficiently high, due to pressure exerted on the Commissioners for jobs, in a report submitted to the Commissioners asking them to place the District under civil service by executive order, and to follow that step with an effort to have Congress pass a civil service law for the municipality.district-building