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MPCA Minutes September

Michigan Park Citizens Association
5 September 2017
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center

The meeting began at 6:33 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  President David Conrad introduced the evening’s main speakers, Laura Popielski, Community Foodworks and Robert Oliver, Lamond-Riggs Library Friends.

Ms. Popielski emphasized three main points. Community Foodworks manages and overseas many of the local farmer markets, to include the Monroe Street Market, which  will continue until early December. Community Foodworks markets Community Supported Agriculture whereby individuals may purchase through subscription a mix of produce from local farmers. Through this program, varied prices levels are offered. Lastly, Community Foodworks sponsors Food Pop-Ups to allow organizations to purchase wholesale from new and growing businesses. Additionally. Ms. Popielski emphasized various incentive programs for the purchase of food at farmer’s markets to include senior checks and food stamps. For more information, please see the organization’s website, http://www.community-foodworks.org.

Mr. Robert Oliver, President of the newly revitalized Lamond-Riggs Library Friends, spoke about the planned renovation of the library. This renovation will be a complete tear-down and reconstruction on the current site. Mr. Oliver and members of the Friends want to ensure the immediate community has input into the developmental plans for the new library. Toward that end, Mr. Oliver is visiting the affected neighborhood associations. The Friends established an on-survey survey to solicit input. The survey will be closed after September 20, 2017, so Mr. Oliver will forward the URL for immediate posting on the MPCA’s website. A paper copy of the survey was also handed out to members, though on-line submission is much preferred.

President Conrad reviewed the many planned developments along 12th Street and Varnum Streets NE. These include the EYA development of the Saint Josephs Seminary grounds; the Bozzuto development of the Providence Hospital property at the top of Varnum Street; the planned expansion of Munda Verde Public Charter School into the vacant building, 4401 8th Street NE; and the transition of Providence Hospital into a mixed use “health village,” recently reported in the Washington Business Journal. No details are yet available about the future of the hospital, but Providence Hospital is closing obstetrics and behavioral health, the two most expensive departments.  In the background of these developments is the re-writing of the city’s comprehensive plan. Mr. Steve Lowe gave an update on Mundo Verde. The school board approved the school’s plans to establish a second campus at the site; however, as David noted, the planned renovation to accommodate a larger student body would still have to meet zoning requirements. Mr. Lowe also noted that the school’s parents were not in favor of opening a second campus because they believed the school did not have the resources for such growth. Their opposition only delayed the date of the school’s expansion plans.

Ms. Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report into the minutes.

Bunker Hill Elementary will host a back-to-school night on September 13, 6-7 p.m.

Mr. Lorenzo Wheatley noted a difficulty in the lights at the intersection of Michigan/13th Street/Taylor St. When turning left from Michigan onto 13th Street, there is no room or space to turn on a green light, after the green arrow light ends. He recommended a red arrow light to preclude left hand turns on green only. Mr. Bucksell noted that the Brookland Livability Study had included this intersection and recommended improvements, to include HAWK signals for pedestrians, though no action has been taken.

Mr. Lionel Gaines from the Mayor’s office and Mr. Cyril Crocker, filling in for Marita Riddick, from Councilmember McDuffie’s office, made various announcements.

The meeting ended at 8:25 p.m.

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DC State Fair

Help us spread the word to EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE DISTRICT about this daylong celebration of District residents’ urban agricultural, artistic, and culinary talents. Admission is FREE, and all DC residents are invited to join us. Just like at any other state fair, the Fair has contests, educational demos, music, food, drink, and lots of fun!
DC STATE FAIR
Sunday, September 24th 2017
11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Southwest Waterfront
4th & M Streets, SW (Metro)
Washington DC
This year’s contests range from best pie, heaviest vegetable, and tastiest tomato to best homemade ice cream, best honey, best mumbo sauce, and best home brew and best wine, as well as kids photography and cupcake, jams and jellies, pickles, and more.
New to the contest roster for 2017 are Best Kids’ Cupcake, Best Pupusa, watermelon seed spitting, whisker wars, and double-dutch! There is absolutely something for everyone, which is why folks continue to show up.
Not only that, everyone in the family is allowed, even Fido and Felicia.   Yes, we have a pet parade and live dog contests too!
Do YOUR neighbors have what it takes to bring home a blue ribbon from this year’s Fair? Please share this message with your ANC and neighborhood listservs and encourage DC residents to come check out all the Fair has to offer.
More information about the day’s events is available at dcstatefair.org. Our handle is @DCStateFair on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and our hashtag is #DCStateFair. We can be found on our website and on Eventbrite.)
The new school year is here and every day is a new opportunity for our students to learn and grow. We all have a role to play in ensuring students get to school, ready to learn, and understand that #EveryDayCounts. Go to attendance.dc.govto learn more.
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Lamond-Riggs Library Rebuild

Following is an on-line survey sponsored by Lamond-Riggs Library Friends.  This survey is part of a coordinated neighborhood effort led by the friends group to convey to city officials neighborhood input about the pending remodeling. A complete renovation of the library is planned. Just cut and paste the URL into your web-browser.

https://goo.gl/forms/cxlKezALHAInMvmK2.

September 20th is the deadline for survey processing.

If you have questions, feel free to contact the Library Lamond-Riggs Library Friends, Mr. Oliver, President (202.215.1679) or Mr. Foxworth, Vice President (202.997.1875).

 

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MPCA Minutes June

Michigan Park Citizens Association
6 June 2017
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:20 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. No treasurer’s report was presented this evening. Ms. Marita Raddick made a few announcements and passed out some flyers on behalf of Councilmember McDuffie.  Ms. Raddick was questioned about the perceived lack of responsiveness to community members by some Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) members in 5A.  By law, ANC representatives must hold public meetings and announcement the meetings, which is being done. One member recommended working with Councilmember McDuffie to codify additional expectations of the ANCs.

The Capital Grid Project. Mr. Marc K. Battle, attorney and vice president of Pepco Region District of Columbia, along with his colleagues Marc Battle and Mousa Hejazi, presented plans to upgrade the District’s electrical infrastructure through 2021. The planned improvements include the undergrounding of a major new transmission line from Takoma Park through the District to the Waterfront. This is a slow and laborious process requiring the closure of two lanes of road with 20 feet progress per day. Riggs Road will be affected. Simultaneously, substations will be upgraded or newly built. These upgrades will allow for a more robust grid, redundancy in capacity and an ability for redistribution to support solar. As a public utility, PEPCO must receive approval from the Public Service Commission which ultimately decides on any rate increases to support this infrastructure project (See attached flyer).

PEPCO 1

PEPCO 2

BAZZUTO DEVLEOPMENT. Mr. Robert Byrd discussed his current plans for development of the Providence Hospital property on Varnum Street, NE.  Mr. Byrd stated he will not build beyond 40’ (or three stories) but he will ask for a variance for a pitched roof, which would characterize the building under current regulations as four stories.  The highest number of housing units he could envision is 57, but that he currently is planning for 54. He is in conversation with DDOT about traffic impact.  Mr. Bazzuto anticipates architecture by September of this year and construction beginning no earlier than Fall of 2018.

Location of Proposed Bazzuto Development

MUNDO VERDE. Mr. Steve Lowe, local resident, discussed recent activity in ANC 5A concerning the proposed opening of Munda Verde Public Charter School at 4401 8th Street NE.  ANC 5A during a general meeting passed a resolution similar to the association’s stated position. However, Mr. Lowe related, Mr. Edwards, ANC 5A Chairman, later agreed in writing to three options – identifying another facility in the area, amending an educational model that reaches scale of 458 students per year, and constructing an addition to the facility or otherwise expanding the facility to accommodate additional students.

Location of Proposed Mundo Verde School

SAINT JOSEPH’S SEMINARY. Dr. Anita Green provided an update on EYA’s planned urban development (PUD) application before the Zoning Commission. The Zoning Commission held a public hearing of April 27th.  As public testimony was not completed by 11p.m., a second Special Public Hearing was held on May 18th. A final public hearing is scheduled for June 26th.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. President Conrad noted that the District’s comprehensive plan is under revision and open for public comment through June 23, 2017. A motion by Anita Green was made and accepted to, “Issue a letter by the President in support of comprehensive plan amendments proposed by ANC5B Commissioner John Feeley, focused on the neighborhoods of Michigan Park and University Heights, pending approval by the MPCA officers.”

This meeting is the final scheduled gathering for the summer. Our next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, September 5th, at Turkey Thicket Recreational Center. This location will be a change of venue from our regular meeting location at Providence Hospital.

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MPCA Minutes May

Michigan Park Citizens Association
2 May 2017
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

The meeting was began at 7:25 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ms. Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report into the minutes.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS.  President David Conrad read the nominated members for positions for the next year. The entire slate of officers was accepted.

PRESIDENT: David Conrad
VICE PRESIDENT: Roxanne Carter
SECRETARY: Paul Wood
TREASURER: Beulah Sutherland
MEMBERS-AT-LARGE: Ralph Bucksell, Lavinia Wohlfarth, Don Looney, Anne Gribbin
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Kathleen Sutherland
FEDERATION DELEGATE: Elizabeth McGowen

ANC 5A03.  Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) Latisha Coffield-Lynch introduced herself and offered to add neighbors’ emails addresses to her distribution list.  A sheet was pass among members for their email addresses.

STREET LIGHTS. The high intensity Kelvin lights currently being installed by the city throughout the District has been discussed at previous meetings. A motion by Elizabeth McGowen was made and accepted.

Whereas the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) has begun replacing conventional streetlights with energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights.

Whereas DDOT plans to issue a Request for Proposal to replace all of the District’s 71,000 streetlights with LED lights.

Whereas the LED streetlights being installed by DDOT emit a large amount of blue-wavelength light and thus appear a harsh, blue-white color (4000 Kelvin).

Whereas the American Medical Association (AMA) has warned that blue-rich LED lights produce more glare than conventional lighting, creating a road hazard.

Whereas the AMA has warned that blue-rich LED lights are potentially harmful to human health because of their impact on circadian sleep cycles.

Whereas the AMA recommends that outdoor lighting use “the lowest emission of blue light possible.”  This can be achieved with warm-white LED lights that are 3000 Kelvin or less.

Be It Resolved That:

The Michigan Park Citizens Association (MPCA) supports adoption of energy-efficient LED street-lighting in the District of Columbia while using the best available technology that is least likely to harm the health of District residents.

Therefore, Be It Further Resolved That:

  1. The MPCA recommends that the D.C. Department of Transportation adopt warm-white 2700 Kelvin LED lights for all streetlight installations in the District and
  2. The MPCA recommends that DDOT replace all existing LED streetlights in the District with warm-white 2700 Kelvin LED lights.

MUNDO-VERDE SCHOOL. John Briar, Chief Operating Officer, of Mundo-Verde Bi-lingual Public Charter School addressed members.  The school operates at a property on 30 P Street NW with city-wide enrollment and an open lottery. Now in its sixth year, school management is looking to expand to the now vacant building at 4401 8th Street NE, with a current capacity for 560 students.  Building space for schools are at a premium in the District. The traffic flow at 8th and Varnum is an issue, but Mundo-Verda management has had much experience in mitigating traffic. The current location is serviced by shuttle bus. Fifty percent of the students arrive by car. A motion by Steve Lowe, amended by Katherine Sutherland follows:

MPCA stands opposed to the current petition by Mundo Verde Public Charter School to operate on 4401 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017 (corner of 8th and Varnum Streets) unless the following two provisions are met:

  1. Agree to create and implement a traffic management plan to reduce traffic and manage the traffic volume and flow of private cars and buses delivering and picking-up children to the school.  Also, the school should publish its commitment to implement the plan and support it with signage, communication with parents, and the assignment of staff to be outside to enforce the traffic plan every day, morning and afternoon.
  2. Remove their plan to enlarge the building and limit the building capacity to 458 students.

The meeting closed at 9:10 pm.

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Spring Cleanup and Mulching

Bus Stop

Today, neighbors completed the Spring cleanup of the triangle park, 12th/Michigan/Shepherd Streets NE, with the spreading of the mulch provided by D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). Three cubic yards had been delivered on the Shepherd Street side.

The Mulch Pile

Divided between two weekends due to rain, the work focused on the flower beds near the 12th Street bus stop and near the corner of Shepherd Street and Michigan Ave.  Several trees were also mulched. Most of the weeding had taken place on the previous work day in April.

Moving the Mulch

The Mulch Pile Removed

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MPCA Position on Mundo Verde Public Charter School

MPCA stands opposed to the current petition by Mundo Verde Public Charter School to operate on 4401 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017 (corner of 8th and Varnum Streets) unless the following two provisions are met:

1. Agree to create and implement a traffic management plan to reduce traffic and manage the traffic volume and flow of private cars and buses delivering and picking-up children to the school.  Also, the school should publish its commitment to implement the plan and support it with signage, communication with parents, and the assignment of staff to be outside to enforce the traffic plan every day, morning and afternoon.

2. Remove their plan to enlarge the building and limit the building capacity to 458 students.

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MPCA Minutes April

Michigan Park Citizens Association
4 April 2017
Providence Hospital

President David Conrad opened the meeting and Mr. Paul Wood led the attendees in the pledge of the allegiance.  Ms. Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.

Ms. Marita Riddick, representative of Councilmember McDuffie, provided updates on legislative initiatives.

Ms. Sutherland distributed a petition to membership who wish to support D.C. Council Bill 22-0044 to provide D.C. income tax reductions for retired Federal and DC employees, exempt elderly home owners, and allow seniors to deduct $500 of their insurance premiums from taxable income. Details may be requested from the Coalition to Restore the Pension Benefit Annuity at restoredcpensionbenefit@gmail.com.

The annual Spring cleanup for the triangle park at Michigan Ave/12th ST/Shepherd ST is scheduled for Saturday, 22 April, 09:00-12:00.

President Conrad noted that MPCA’s position in opposition to the planned EYA development of Saint Joseph’s Seminary has been recorded. A hearing is scheduled April 27 at 441 4th Street, 2nd Street.

Ms. Elizabeth McGowen, MPCA representative to the D.C. Federation of Citizens Association, noted a recent presentation to the Federation about the LED street light issue. Ms. McGowen invited the presenters to our meeting, and introduced them to the membership. Ms. Delores Bushong and Sharon Turner helped form The Street Light Task Force in December 2016 to inform residents in DC of the harmful health impacts of blue-rich LED street lights that DDOT is installing on our neighborhoods. LED is a new, inexpensive lighting technology.  LED lighting is not measured in WATTs but in lumens and Kelvins.  Lumens refers to brightness and Kelvins refers to the wavelength colors. LEDs has a high percentage of blue. The DC government is installing 4,000 to 5,000 kelvins which glare in the eyes. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends 2,700 kelvins. The cost of the LED bulbs at the lower kelvins is the same and there is not a difference in brightness.  The 2,700 kelvins LEDs are only 5% less efficient. The presenters stated that DDOT does not believe AMA’s proposal. The Street Light Task Force is seeking a moratorium on the installation of high Kelvin lights by DDOT and that our City Council required DDOT to use only warm-white 2700 Kelvin LED lights to retrofit those already installed.

METRO STATION DEVELOPMENT. Robin from CAS Riegler and Nina Albert, WMATA, discussed the planned development of metro land at on the East side of the Brookland/CUA Metro Station.  They are looking with Ramada to build mid-high density with a mix of residential and street-level retail. This approach because of the metro station in the immediate vicinity to the development. The Brookland Green would remain.

BAZZUTO DEVELOPMENT. Mr. Robert Byrd representing Bazzuto noted that his organization is now working the height requirements for the 3.1 acres of Providence Hospital owned land at the top of Varnum Street NE.  The development will replace the three-storied beige colored buildings. DDOT is waiting for the site survey before assessing traffic.

ACE Hardware

ANNNIE-ACE HARDWARE. Mr. Thomas Vedrody, part-owner of Annie-Ace Hardware, spoke about the store. ACE hired all the former employees of Brookland Hardware and buy much of their inventory locally. However, business has been less than anticipated and not adequate to support the store long-term.  The owners believe the main problem is the lack of available parking.  Mr. Vedrody noted that the large open lot next to the business is open to parking on weekends.  Mr. Vedrody encouraged neighbors to visit. The store incorporates 7400 square feet and includes both a garden center and tool rental. The number of tools for rent is being expanded. Also, Mr. Vedrody recently began price matching as well.

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MPCA Minutes March

Michigan Park Citizens Association
7 March 2017
Providence Hospital

NOTE: The following draft minutes are pending approval by membership.

President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:18 pm by leading members in the Pledge of Allegiance.  A few announcements were made. The annual planned Spring cleanup for the public park at 12th, Michigan and Shepherd is planned for Saturday, 22 April 2017.  John Feeley, ANC 5B05 Commissioner, will host a meeting on Monday, 13 March 2017, at Turkey Thicket, to hear a Catholic University of America Professor brief university student ideas about developing the Colonel Brook’s site.  Treasurer Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.  The February minutes were read and accepted with corrections.

NOMINATION PROCESS.  President Conrad reviewed the annual process for selection association officers and asked for volunteers to serve on a nomination committee. The three members of the 2017 Nomination Committee are Lorenz Wheatley, Ralph Bucksell and Don Looney.

ROSS AUDITORIUM.  Providence Hospital is now owned by Ascension. Mr. Bucksell will approach hospital management about continued use of Ross Auditorium for association meetings.

Comprehensive Plan with amendments. The new comprehensive plan with amendments has been submitted. EYA must abide by this plan. The developers of Colonel Brook’s property did not abide by the comprehensive and their development plans were halted.  President Conrad will forward ANC Commissioner Feeley’s letter regarding the plan to endorse or oppose by MPCA membership.  The ANCs are our voice in development, and we would oppose reduction of that voice in the process.

TRAFFIC. On January 24th, 2017, the association hosted a meeting about traffic attended by EYA.  President Conrad drafted an association position about traffic and Input was received during the meeting.  Vice President Roxanne Carter moved that the position paper with changes be accepted. The motion passed.

HOWARD DIVINITY SCHOOL.  The University had reached out to the neighborhood and some members of MPCA had participated in feedback sessions to develop a concept for development. Howard University is now looking for a developer to develop a site plan.

SPRING CLEANUP.  The park cleanup (12th/Michigan/Shepherd) is scheduled for Saturday, 22 April, 9:00-12:00.

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