While I wasn’t able to attend the ANC 4C meeting this Wednesday (5/13), two people who attended were kind enough to send me notes. Below is an overview of the meeting. If anything is wrong, blame the two kind people. (They asked for anonymity -- but you know who you are, so thanks for the notes!)
The meeting started on time and Commissioners were introduced, including Elisa Irwin, the new ANC 4C03 Commissioner replacing Jeff Standish (he resigned in March in order to move out of the area). I haven't met Ms. Irwin yet, but we're trying to schedule time to meet for an interview.)
Khalil Thompson, the Ward 4 liaison from the Mayor’s office gave an overview of Wednesday’s crime meeting with Chief Lanier. ANC commissioners met with MPD leadership and deputy city administrator with focus on PSA 403 and some attention to 407. The violence is primarily limited to disputes between specific crews and arrests are forthcoming. (See my earlier notes.) There will be a neighborhood walk the week after next.
Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth asked for information on an attempted abduction of a child at EL Haynes (wait, there was?? How did this not make the news?). Khalil said there was a jurisdictional issue as a bus was involved and it may fall under relevant jurisdiction for transit police. He didn’t have any new info on that.
Commissioner Zach Teutsch asked about lead coordination between departments, and Khalil agreed to look into it. Commissioner Irwin noted that the federal EPA can be useful regarding lead contamination issues.
During the Community Comment section, Tom Pipkin discussed the upcoming Celebrate Petworth Festival coming up on Saturday, June 6th (you’re going right? Because it will be amazing). Tom said 40 vendors were scheduled. More info at www.celebratepetworth.com.
Commissioner Hayworth mentioned that EL Haynes was holding a festival on May 30, and having a Day of Service on June 12th. (Powell is also having a Spring Carnival festival on May 30th, 11am-4pm at Upshur Street basketball courts by Upshur Park.)
Commissioner Zach Teutsch said that MacFarland Cabinet is seeking community members who are looking to make a difference and help build a new, terrific school. Also, Powell needs a good principal as current principal Janeece Docal is resigning to address some family issues (she’s moving to Spain to be with family and complete her PhD).
Commissioner Joe Maloney mentioned that the principal from West Education is alo moving on. Lots of opportunity to be engaged in the process.
Mazi Mutafa, the director of World Beats and Life, said they are working on murals and soliciting input about two options in our neighborhood. Commissioner Maloney will meet with him separately.
Commissioner Timothy Jones said that the 500 block of Shepherd and 8th street will be getting repaved (didn’t get all details but repaving is always nice).
Crystal Sylvia, a resident who represents the community with the EL Haynes said neighbors have been speaking with them about turf field installation. Some neighbors have concerns about the field lights the school is looking to put in with their new soccer field. School may wish to keep lights on overnight as a safety measure. Many neighbors are worried about this. EL Haynes says it won’t create additional light in excess of the existing streetlights.
Richard Crutchfeld is involved with other residents of Rock Creek Church Road who beautify that area. He has questions about possibly diseased trees and inspections. Commissioner Teutsch said he will connect with Robert Corletta at DDOT Urban Forestry.
Commissioner Jones said that there’s a movie event at Old Soldiers Home. Details missing on this, look for more from the Friends of the Soldiers Home.
Commissioner Maloney introduced Megan King, leader of the West Education community/parents group. Ms King said that the school was last updated in 1976. It was built with an “open learning design” but that led to a lot of noise and major issues with heating/cooling, as well as problems with flooding. The school is growing and needs modernization dollars. The school is currently #3 on the priority list but not scheduled until at least 2020. DGS has ranked the facility as a 1 on a scale from 1-100 with 1 being the worst. Commissioner Taalib-Din Uqdah noted that West is a cinderblock building with no insulation, drywall, etc. Commissioner Irwin said that the ANC should “get this in ASAP because education committee is de-prioritizing educational campuses.”
Commissioner Teutsch said “Let’s be clear that we don’t want to de-prioritize MacFarland.” Commissioner Maloney agreed and said he will work with Commissioner Hayworth on that.
Commissioner Teutsch introduced Teresa Luther, the project manager on the Roosevelt Project, to discuss her plan to erect nets to contain balls hit in the Roosevelt softball field and prevent damage to neighbors and their property. Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth asked about the cost, and Ms. Luther asked to discuss offline. Commissioner Uqdah asked if the nets can be taken down in the offseason, and Ms. Luther said they could not. Commissioner Uqdah asked if this considered fencing, and Ms. Luther said no, but they need to get a public space sign off. Commissioner Teutsch moved for a letter of support, Commissioner Maloney seconded and the commission approved the letter.
Commissioner Rickey Williams proposed a letter supporting the zoning commission proposed pop-up rules. Substantial discussion about minor details in the resolution ensued. Commissioner Taalib-Din Uqdah says he will abstain because his business has an interest in fewer restrictions and builds affordable housing. The resolution passed but with some visible discomfort and less gusto than usual.
Then the ANC gave Carol Herwig an award of appreciation for her work in the neighborhood. Commissioner Hayworth said that Carol has been a community leader for 30 years and works hard to make Petworth beautiful. She is responsible for over 250 trees in the area, and was recently recognized by Casey Trees.
Commissioner Martin added other great things that Carol has helped to do in the neighborhood: plant more than 100 trees at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, got 7th / Taylor / New Hampshire Avenue to be properly tended, ensured shrubs were planted at Grant Circle, placed cherry trees at the library, served for 7 years as board member of Georgia Avenue Collaborative, revitalized friends of Petworth library, and treasurer of citywide friends of DCPL. She has made an extraordinary mark. (Hear hear!)
Carol Herwig said “When I moved here 30 years ago, people were leaving Petworth. Now they are coming. It’s not just because of me, it’s a group effort and we all have a role to play. The Georgia Avenue Collaborative is a terrific organization and people should be involved. Library Friends also needs people!”
The commissioner then moved on to DPW presentation.
Chair Vann-Di Galloway said that “dumping is a big problem! Glad DPW is here to discuss it.”
Commissioner Teutsch said that “Since dumping is a major issue in my SMD, I’ve been working with the city on it. I had a very productive discussion with Mr. Reginald May and have invited him to discuss best practices in reporting dumping and to give a broader overview of the cleaning and enforcement functions and the differences and DPW more broadly.”
Reginald May, the Deputy Associate Administrator of DPW Solid Waste, Enforcement and Education (also presenting, Inspector Marie Armstead) then spoke. He said that DPW is “in charge of abutting public space and making sure it is well maintained (front door to sidewalk).” DPW fines for noncompliance, starting with $75 for the first fine, and then within 60 days there is a $150 fine and then $300, and then $1,000. Most items in alleys come from neighbors who hire someone to dump items. Instead of taking household items to the dump, people just pull a few alleys over and abandon the items.
Mr. May said that if you see someone dropping off trash from their car, “write down the tags from the vehicle. There can be a fine of up to $5,000 and the impoundment of the vehicle. If a report comes in via 311, the investigator comes out to inspect and see if they can figure out where it is from. Then they refer to streets for cleaning within 30 days.”
It’s better to refer trash to street and alley cleaning division, since it must be cleaned within 10 days. If a large amount of household items are dumped, report illegal dumping. If it is not traceable, don’t report dumping. Dumping fine is $1,000 if done without a vehicle.
He addd that “You can also be cited for having your trash cans (or recycling) out when it ought not be. Just put them out the night before and replace them by the next evening.” (Yeah, that doesn’t work in our alley at all…)
Commissioner Williams thanks Mr. May for DPW’s efficiency, and said that Twitter is effective in getting things done.
Commissioner Martin asked about “the process if trash is on private property?” Mr. May said “we send an inspector and if we can see it, we can cite it! If it isn’t visible from public space, it is a DCRA issue.”
Mr. May finished his presentation by saying DPW’s Helping Hands program provides shovels, brooms, bags, etc., to support a neighborhood cleanup, and the Street and Alley Cleanup division will remove bagged cleanup issues. (More can be found here: http://dpw.dc.gov/service/helping-hand-neighborhood-clean)
Then Commissioner Hayworth introduced Ms. Kelly, who explained various Ward 4 Department of Parks & Recreation activities. Currently there are several camps ongoing. Outdoor pools open Memorial Day weekend. Banneker pool construction will complete its renovation by then. DPR permits out Petworth, Park View and other rec centers for parties for kids or adults. Camps start the week after school lets out.
Commission Teutsch asked again about early hours for Upshur pool, and Ms. Kelly said she’d ask the aquatic director.
Commissioner Williams discussed an ABRA topic, Washington Heights: issues with alley dumping/blocking and hours.
Commissioner Martin introduced a grant to support the Petworth Dance Project, a program of monthly dance performances outdoors at the Petworth Recreation Center. The performances started this past weekend and will take place at 6pm on the second Saturday of each summer month. The Dance Project will compliment the jazz and other performances that take place on the last Saturday of each month in summer. 6pm every other Saturday. More at their website petworthjazzproject.com