Park Planting 26 OCT

Please join us for our Fall planting of a selection of plants provided by DPR at the neighborhood triangle park, Michigan Avenue/12th Street/Shepherd on Saturday morning, 26 October, 9am. We have some weeding to do as well.

WHEN: Saturday, 26 October
TIME: 9-11 am
WHERE: Triangle Park (Michigan/12th/Shepherd)
ACTIVITY: Weeding and Planting of Fall Plants

P. Wood


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High Intensity Kelvin Lights

Hight intensity LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights, harsh on the eyes and likely detrimental to animal life, continue to be installed by DDOT.  These LET lights emit an unnaturally high percentage of blue-wavelength light of 4,000 Kelvins.  The American Medical Association (AMA) has warned that the blue-rich LED lights are are potentially harmful to human health because of their impact on circadian sleep cycles.  This is especially uncomfortable for those residents who prefer to sleep with their windows open and shades up during the cooler days. The AMA has also warned that blue-rich LED lights produce more glare than conventional lighting, creating a road hazard. The lights have been reported by residents to cause a burning sensation in one’s eyes.

Kelvin Street Light

The LET lights are being installed by the city for their low cost and long life. However, the same benefit can be accrued by installing warm-white LED lights that are 3,000 Kelvin or less, of far less blue-rich intensity.  AMA recommends that outdoor lighting use “the lowest emission of blue light possible.”  This can be achieved with warm-white LED lights that are 3,000 Kelvin or less.

In May 2017, MPCA took a position in favor of the D.C. Department of Transportation adopt warm-white 2,700 Kelvin LED lights for all streetlight installations in the District.  At the time, the District had installed 71,000 streetlights with LED lighting.

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. 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.  A copy of the proposal with organizer’s contact information is attached.

LED Street Lights


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Accident 1200 Michigan Avenue NE

Vehicle Accident 2019 09 28

Michigan Avenue NE closed with power line down, 1200 Block Michigan Avenue NE, 28 January 2019. Telephone pole in nearby alley down, one vehicle with visible damage, picture, 11:30 a.m. See visible damage top of truck.

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MPCA Meeting 1 OCT 2019

Neighbors and Member of Michigan Park Citizens Association,
Please join President Ralph Bucksell after a long summer break to discuss issues and planning for our neighborhood. Much will be focused on the triangle park.
1.  The status of the funding for completing the installation of the faucet in the triangle park at Michigan Avenue, Shepherd and 12th Streets NE, promised during our April meeting by Mr. Ely S. Ross, Chief of Staff, DPR. 
2.  Pick up of clippings from the triangle park for the Mayor’s Representative. More than a month ago, 22 July 2019, we put in a request (Ticket 1900792753) to DPW to remove the branches that our members cut down around the triangle park (above). After multiple outreaches to DPW and the Mayor’s Community Outreach Specialists, the cuttings were picked up only yesterday, 26 September. As a renewed Park Partnership signatory with DPR, how can we ensure we receive the necessary support to maintain our park?
3. Other issues of concern. Please visit and catch up with your neighbors.
Paul Wood
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Michigan Park History Page

One of the most asked questions is, “What are the boundaries of Michigan Park and the Michigan Park Citizens Association?”  The answer reflects the growth of the neighborhood since 1917.  Much of the nuance is captured in our MPCA article of 9/18/2016, “What’s in the Name of Michigan Park?” under the history section of this website, republished here. For this and other articles, please click on “History” on the banner.

What’s in the Name of Michigan Park

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MPCA Minutes 2 April 2019

Michigan Park Citizens Association
2 April 2019
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center

The meeting began at 6:30 with the Pledge of Allegiance.

President Ralph Bucksell received an email this afternoon from the Mayor’s office asking that her representative from Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) be given time to address the group.  President Bucksell handed out the minutes from March for review. Accepted.

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

Representative from Councilmember McDuffie, Ogo, addressed the group. She related various events and a flyer was handed out on proposed racial equity legislation.  The legislation is intended to encourage district agencies to create tools to evaluate race equity among the District workforce. The city’s budget process has begun for the coming fiscal year (1 October through 30 September).

Mr. Bucksell noted that use of marijuana is adversely impacting hiring among district residents. Although legal to use under District of Columbia law, some employers, including some DC government agencies, prohibit their employees from using marijuana.  Likewise, most stores and construction businesses note that they require job applicants to be tested for marijuana use.

Mr. Ely S. Ross, Chief of Staff, DPR, arrived and addressed the group.  DPR budget hearing is this Friday, 10 am at the Wilson Building. DPR is visiting all neighborhood associations to address neighbors.  DPR’s budget is increasing by 2-3% to address parks in grants. A new cultural arts department is to be established within DPR.

Mr. Ross offered himself as the new city contact for installation of a water facet in one of our local parks, a long-standing goal of the Association.  Mr. Ross also addressed the new Roving Leader program to assist leaders.  He noted the Mayor’s new initiative and office called, the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE).

Mr. Bucksell noted the positive changes in the behavior of students at the Brookland Middle School under new Principal, Mr. Kerry Richardson, Jr.

New deputy chief of staff, Tomas Talamante, for the Mayor’s key investments introduced himself.  The Mayor’s priority is foremost to enable families to stay in the City through affordable housing.  Thirty-five million has been provided to a housing trust fund. An additional 20 million to the workforce housing fund for those public servants looking for affordable housing.

Mr. Bucksell raised the issue of increased business taxes negatively impacting the success of local businesses. These businesses are just as valuable fixtures in our neighborhood as long term residents (retirees, and minorities).  The huge jump in taxes on businesses is causing them to consider going out of business.  The city must also be concerned about retaining these business as they are with our residents.  Members noted their concern about the danger of loosing these local businesses.  We want the heavy businesses taxes to stop. Mr. Bucksell also asked whether the city’s budget is balanced, without dipping into our rainy day accounts.  Like all of us, the city must live within its means but also must not run out people and businesses who have made this city what it is today.

Ms. Joan Thiel agreed to head the election committee for the Association. Mr. Bucksell noted that Providence Hospital will officially close 30 April.  He offered members until that time to submit suggestions for the Associations letter for what has been termed a health care village.

The annual Spring cleanup of the triangle park (12th/Michigan/Shepherd) is Saturday, 13 April 2019, 9am-12noon. The city will deliver a pick-up truck filled with compost.

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MPCA Triangle Parks

Neighbors of Michigan Park Citizens Association completed the Spring cleanup and weeding of the triangle Park (12th/Michigan/Shepherd). Lots of crab grass had crept into the flower bed near the bus stop. And a great many leaves were removed from under the evergreen bushes.

Flower Bed

Additionally, neighbors near the small triangle park of 13th Place/Michigan Avenue/Upshur Street have cleaned out the ground.

1300 Block Michigan Avenue

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MPCA Minutes February 2019

Michigan Park Citizens Association
5 February 2019
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center

President Ralph Bucksell opened the meeting with the pledge of allegiance at 6:31 pm.

The 5A03 Single Member Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) announced that at her upcoming  district meeting on Thursday at Faith United Church in Christ. the following issues would discussed:  (1) Two representatives from Ascension will provide an update for Providence Hospital plans.  (2) EYA were invited to the meeting but will not be participating because of pending lawsuit.  (3) Harry Thomas to provide an update on the McDonalds project on South Dakota Avenue.  (4)  Washington Gas will discuss the problem in the 5A03 neighborhood resulting in loss of gas service.  (5) MPD to address attack of a mail carrier.
Ms. Beulah Sutherland gave the treasurer’s report for the months of December 2018 and January 2019. The Christmas Fund covered all expenses for the 2018 purchases.
Ms. Oqo Aqwai announced Councilman McDuffie’s office wants residents to participate in the budget process.  She related that the Councilman’s office has experienced problems obtaining funding for park water faucet because of DPR leadership changeover. He is now looking at other options to obtain the funding for the faucet rather than the normal budget cycle.
Ms. Robin Pretlow, Director of Operations from Mundo Verde Public Charter School (on Varnum Street) made a presentation.  She is the Development director for the school campus.  The school will open in August 2019 and increase by 85 students per year. A traffic study will be completed and shared with residents.  Mr. Bucksell elaborated on some of the traffic challenges in the neighborhood.  Mr. Bucksell suggested contracting with local parking garage at the metro in addition to their plans to obtain parking at Providence.  He pointed out that Providence might not be willing to provide parking when they begin their redevelopment of their campus.  A discussion ensued about dangerous traffic issues and difficulties resolving the traffic issues by the school’s campus. The school also face challenges finding a recreation area in the school’s vicinity.
Ms. Roxanne Carter obtained gifts of toys and clothes for five children from three families attending Bunker Hill School.  The children were suggested by the school.  Mr. Bucksell expressed gratitude for the outstanding job done by Ms. Carter in providing gifts for the five children within our budget.
The Muller family has offered to host the annual picnic.
Mr. Bucksell expressed concern about some negative effects of the City’s Climate Change Bill.  For example, under the law used cars will be taxed based upon mileage when registered beginning in 2020.  He was concerned that the city had not adequately advertised this change which could have a negative impact on people buying used vehicles (especially the poor).
Mr. Bucksell reviewed the results of December neighborhood traffic issues survey. Among the identified issues were over-weight vehicle, congestion, and speeding.  Mr Bucksell noted in particular that heavy vehicles are undermining the structural integrity of residences.  He also discussed the multiple vehicle crash at 13th & Michigan Avenue.  The police chased two men who assaulted and robbed a victim in Turkey Thicket.
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MPCA Minutes October 2018

Michigan Park Citizens Association
October 2, 2018
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center

President Ralph Bucksell opened the meeting at 6:36 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Treasurer Beulah Sutherland reported no income or disbursements.

Mr. Brian McClure, representative to Councilmember McDuffie, handed out leaflet advertising the council members meeting next week to discuss the pending closing of Providence Hospital.  Brian also noted that the proposed budget item for the Shepherd Street park is now with the Mayor’s office.

Ms. Elizabeth McGowan, MPCA representative to the Federation of D.C. Citizens Associations, reported on two items.

  1. The Federation’s board approved a two-page letter with recommendations laying out how the DC Council can strengthen the Comprehensive Plan framework.
  2. The city is looking to upgrade hardware for the 5G, the next generation of internet capability.  There are four competitors and various internet providers. The business models vary between building multiple small towers throughout the city and consolidating cell towers atop of established hotels.

Mr. Lorenz Wheatley attended a September 13th meeting involving the National Association of Nurses.  The association favored keeping the hospital open.

Mr. Bucksell provided additional background about the hospital’s financing and services. He noted MPCA’s priority is to provide recommendations and referenced the list provided in the agenda. Members also discussed asking the city, which receives a block grant for medicare and medicaid, how the needy will be served. Mr. Paul Wood moved that the recommendations be included in a letter addressed to Providence Hospital, Ascension, and appropriate city officials.  The motion passed.

Mr. Mahlik Miller introduced himself as the new representative to the mayor, a duty previously held by Lionell Gaines.

The meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m.


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MPCA Minutes September 2018

Michigan Park Citizens Association
September 3, 2018
Turkey Thicket Recreational Center

President Ralph Bucksell opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. The minutes of the last meeting in June, 2018 were read and approved. Treasurer Beulah Sutherland submitted the treasurer’s report.

Upcoming Dates.

  1. Fall Shepard Park Cleanup scheduled November 3, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
  2. Annual Holiday/Christmas Party, exact date and location pending.
  3. January Meeting scheduling for a Saturday Morning to accommodate members who cannot attend weekday meetings.  Date to be announced after a location is confirmed for the meeting.

Review of Assignments

  1. MPCA Sponsors. Joan Theil requests help with putting ads on MPCA webpage for received business donations.
  2. On-Line Payments. Asked for someone to take responsibility to oversee the payment of dues online.
  3. MPCA Web Page.  Looking for someone to lead the webpage redesign (non-members speaking & emails).
  4. Bunker Hill Elementary School. Reconfirm continuation of Christmas program.  Dropped Civic Awards program.
  5. Water Feature Shepherd Park. Paul Wood contacted Councilmember McDuffie’s office for an update.
  6. Howard University Development near Shepherd and 14th Per contact with ANC 5B05 John Feeley, Howard has not finalized any proposals.
  7. Meeting Attendance on-line.  Attendees voted against having MPCA meeting online using Facebook at $350/year.
  8. Family events. No determination

Traffic issues

Concerns that members would like to raise this year to DDOT/the police/the mayor/Ward 5 & At-large council members.  Plan a combined meeting with Mayor, Police, DDOT, McDuffie & other local civic associations.

  1. Use of side streets & alleys by cars and trucks as major though-fares;
  2. Blocking of intersections during rush hours;
  3. Brookland Middle School blocking school driveway forcing parents to use Shepherd Street mornings & afternoons.
  4. Trucks in excess of 11/4 tons driving on streets where they are prohibited;
  5. Various Metro Bus Issues.

Providence Hospital Proposed Health Village

Providence Hospital has been asking neighbors to provide suggestions to help them develop a “health care village”.  Some of the suggestions that have been provided are noted below.  Members are asked to send any additional suggestions to Ralph Bucksell at:

1)  Invite Planet Fitness to install a gym on the PH campus.  They charge $10/month.  Good addition for a wellness center.
2)  Keep open and advertise the hospital cafeteria to provide quality, healthy meals for neighborhood residents.
3)  Have yoga, and other exercise classes (dancing, spinning, fitness, weight watchers) for neighborhood residents.
4)  Provide classes on planning healthy meals.
5)  Have in-wellness center and in-home hospice care.
6)  Provide AA and Addicts Anonymous programs.
7)  Urgent care and non emergency care programs for walk-ins.
8)  Ask Yes or some other grocery chain to establish a presence on the hospital campus.
9)  Have classes on medical issue (advance care directive, trusts, meditation, mental health counseling, sleep classes, shots, etc…)
10) Provide shots for shingle, measles, hepatitis A & B, overseas travel, etc…
11) Provide tutoring programs for elementary, middle, and high school students using students from local high schools, colleges, and retirees.
12) Establish day care programs for children, seniors, and Alzheimer patients.
13) Establish clinics where patients can come in for minor in-and-out surgery (e.g. cataract).
13) Massage & physical therapy programs.
14) Pharmacy services.
15) Training for clergy and families on caring for the sick, death and dying.
16) Set up a volunteer program to provide help for single outpatients who need help with groceries, meds, etc…

Lionell Gaines, the former Mayor Ward 5 representative, announced that he is working for another DC office.  He then introduced the two people who will serve as his replacements (Dominique Chestnut, and Malik Miller).  Both were welcomed to the meeting.

Ogo Aqwai, CM McDuffie’s representative for MPCA, announced that the MPCA request for funding for the Shepherd and 12th Street park water faucet was put in the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget.  The funds would probably be available sometime after November 2018.

President Bucksell brought the meeting to a close.



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