March 2012 Meeting Minutes

At 7:20 pm President Paul Wood opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Ten members and three guests were present.

Meeting Minutes: The minutes of the February meeting were approved without amendment and entered into the record.

Treasurer’s Report:   Treasurer Beulah Sutherland being absent, the Treasurer’s Report was not submitted.

Meeting Announcements and Presentations:

1)     Paul reminded members of the upcoming election of new members.  Lavinia Wolfarth and Joan Thiel volunteered to form a nominating committee.  They will find a third person for the committee.

2)    Liz Ball, of Casey Trees,

a) distributed the spring tree planting schedule (March 3rd to May 5th) and reminded members to register for the MPCA sponsored March 31st tree planting, which will take place at the triangle park at 18th and Michigan Avenue, across from the HSC Pediatric Center.  Casey Trees hopes to have about 35 volunteers to plant the 17 donated trees.  Volunteers may register online at .   On the morning of the 31st, coffee and bagels will be provided by Casey Trees, followed by brief instructions and planting at 9:00.  Lunch will be provided by MPCA [Note: 13 Trees, not 17 as originally reported, will be planted in the park on the 31st.  Two Crape Myrtles were eliminated and the two elms intended for the tree boxes on the Bunker Hill Road will be part of Casey Trees Winter Elm planting project.]

3)    Members discussed what the MPCA will provide for lunch after the tree planting.  Tom said that word has spread about the delicious lunch prepared by Dan Moller after last year’s planting   Supplies for the lunch cost about $12 per person.  MOTION by Joan Thiel:  The MPCA shall take $400 out of our budget to pay for ingredients for the lunch, and ask members to chip in $20 or whatever they can.  Approved unanimously.  It was also suggested that a donation can or envelope be made available on the day of the planting to help defray the cost of the lunch.

4)    Members discussed what to do about the weeds in both the 18th Street and the 12th Street parks.  As Friends of the Park at 12th street, we shall arrange a day for weeding.  The DC-Dakar Sister City group is Friends of the Park at 18th.  Ralph will be talking to someone in that group in the coming week.  He will ask if they would like MPCA to help with the weeds.

5)    Members explained to Liz Ball problem with water access at the 12th and Michigan Ave. park.  Paul will send her an email explaining the history and current status of our attempt to get water for the park.  Liz will follow up with Casey Trees and her contacts in the District government.

3)   Paul has submitted to the Community Foundation through Sarah Oldmixon the MPCA application for 501(c)3 sponsorship.    A board will review applications in April.  Anticipating approval, MPCA should start thinking about projects for which we can apply for grants.  Initially, our projects will primarily deal with parks.  Lavinia Wolfarth pointed out that we can apply for a grant from the ANCs without 501(c)3 status.

4)   Paul asked that someone take on the project of researching the options and prices for MICHIGAN PARK signs to be placed on Michigan Avenue.  Lavinia said that the Brookland signs, which were made by a resident of Brookland who has moved, cost $2,500 (12th & Michigan) and $1,500 (10th & Michigan).  Most neighborhood signs cost about $1,000 each.   Tom Lavash volunteered to research the signs.  Anne Gribbin brought up the question of names for the unnamed parks in Michigan Park.  Anne will take the lead on that issue.

5)   Jesse Saucedo, Legislative Assistant to Chairman Kwame Brown, distributed the public hearing schedule for the 2013 budget.  Mayor Gray will submit the FY 2013 proposed budget on March 23rd.  Oversight hearings on each of the District agencies will take place from March 28th until the end of April.  Mr. Saucedo urged residents to attend hearings, request to testify, or submit written testimony.    These hearings give residents the opportunity to offer criticisms and recommendations about the District agencies and departments.

Mr. Saucedo said that Chairman Brown’s priorities are education (Omnibus Education Bill introduced that morning) and economic development.  He will Email press materials to Paul.   Ralph told Mr. Saucedo that the District ought to raise the age at which kids can drop out of school because,  “We already have a job training program; it’s called school.”

Tom Lavash explained that a the recommendations of a 2007 DDOT transportation and urban design study for improvements to South Dakota Ave have never been implemented.  Mr. Saucedo recommended that the Association ask DDOT Director Terry Bellamy to speak to members, as he has other neighborhood associations.  MOTION by Tom:  The Association will invite Director Bellamy to address the membership at a regular scheduled monthly meeting.  Approved unanimously.

Future speakers and topics

RiverSmart (DDOE program to promote landscape enhancements to reduce stormwater run-off); Live Well DC (DOH health initiative); Explanation of new tax assessments; Home saving program;

Donna Pressley, principal of Brookland Education Campus at Bunker Hill

Future Projects

Potluck and membership drive at 12th Street park; signage for trees at 12th Street park; Skype membership meetings

Ralph expressed concern over lack of thank you notes from recipients of Christmas gifts and savings bonds.  Roxanne will speak to social worker and/or school.

Tom said that he recently toured his neighborhood with DC arborist Ranjit Babra in order to identify appropriate sites for new trees.  Within one week, DDOT planted 16 new trees in the selected locations.  Also, Mr. Babra supervised the careful trimming of trees along several blocks of South Dakota Ave.  The Association will send a letter of appreciation to Mr. Babra, cc’d to John Thomas.

Scheduled March 2012 Agenda Items:

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

1. Historic Designation Bunker Hill School

2. Lisa Sutter, Program Manager, Metro Police Dept, Homeland Security Bureau

3. Spring Planting review and planning

4. 501c(3) Status

5. Report of the Election Committee

Paul Wood, President; David Conrad, 1st Vice President; Roxanne Carter, 2nd Vice President; Beulah Sutherland, Treasurer; Anne Gribbon, Secretary; Ralph Bucksell, Herald; Gwendolyn Means, Sergeant-at-Arms; Barbara Henderson, Tom Lavash, Elizabeth McGowen, & Lavinia Wolfarth, Members-at-Large

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