Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B has launched an online survey to collect Glover Parkers’ opinions on the lane patterns created by last year’s Wisconsin Avenue streetscape project. This survey will inform the ANC’s testimony at a December 4 hearing on the matter scheduled by Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh.

“Voices have been raised, mostly loudly by people who do not live in Glover Park, against the lane changes on Wisconsin Avenue, which were designed to slow traffic through our commercial center and increase pedestrian safety,” the survey’s introduction states. “It is possible this hearing will result in a decision to return Wisconsin Avenue in Glover Park back to the way it was before the streetscape project.” Some of the streetscape changes, including left-turn-only lanes north of Calvert Street, have already been reversed in response to concerns about gridlock.

Glover Park residents can take the ANC’s survey at surveymonkey.com. To ensure that only ANC 3B constituents weigh in, survey participants are required to provide their names and addresses.

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The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics yesterday published the names of candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B in the November 6 general election. Each of the ANC’s five single-member districts will have one unopposed candidate.

Sitting commissioners Jackie Blumenthal, Charles Cinque Fulwood, and Brian Cohen are running for re-election in SMDs 2, 3, and 5, respectively. Joe Fiorillo is running to represent SMD 1, as his late wife, Cathy, once did. That district is currently represented by Ben Thielen, who is not running for re-election.

Mary C. Young is running to replace longtime ANC member Howie Kreitzman in SMD 4 (Cathedral Heights). Kreitzman resigned last month because he is moving to New York.

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Adapted from the April 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

A move to win official city “dog park” status for the fenced dog run at Guy Mason Recreation Center (3600 Calvert St.) has raised hackles among professional dog walkers and the people who depend on them. In early March, the Friends of Guy Mason (FOGM) civic organization issued a call for volunteers to help draft an application to win official status for the dog play area. The move, says Dan Melman of FOGM, would establish rules concerning the use of the park, including a possible dog-per-person maximum that might exclude dog walkers hoping to exercise large groups.

As it stands, there’s widely rumored to be a three-dog maximum at Guy Mason already, but the rule is not consistently observed, and it isn’t written down anywhere, as far as Melman knows. Dog walkers sometimes bring as many as 10 dogs to the park, which some local dog owners appreciate as extra playmates for their pets, but others eye warily as potentially uncontrolled animals. Some posters to the Glover Park Yahoo newsgroup have complained of feeling crowded out of the park by unruly play.

The Department of Parks and Recreation first started encouraging its parks to formalize their dog play areas in late 2007, Melman says, but at the time, Guy Mason’s dog run wasn’t targeted because the building was due for a complete renovation. Sometime within the past year, though, a Department of Parks and Recreation employee told Melman that the Guy Mason dog park was “on the radar again,” he says. Melman declined to identify the official, but says that he understood the statement as a threat to the very existence of the dog run. “There is no reason for that fence to be there,” he explains. “That fence could disappear tomorrow.” DPR spokesman John Stokes confirms that the agency “has been reaching out to the community to actively manage the park.”

In a phone conversation, Melman seemed more concerned with the preservation of the dog run than with the possible banishment of dog walkers—or the rise in local dog-walking rates that might be created if walkers can only exercise a few dogs at a time. But some of the people who volunteered for the committee have expressed support for the walkers, even as others have expressed reservations.

The committee was planning its first meeting at press time.

Photograph by Adriana Cordero

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From the November 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

West Glover Park Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mark Stevens stepped down from his position for family reasons, he tells us. “My wife and I will be leaving Glover Park for a while to help care for one of my wife’s family members in Maryland,” Stevens says. “We found it easier to commute to DC for work than to drive back and forth to attend to her family’s needs.” Candidates for the seat were required to submit petitions by October 31, in advance of a special election at December’s ANC meeting.

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From the February 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The strip-club standoff has ended. When last we reported on 2412 Wisconsin Ave—the former and potential future home of JP’s Night Club—the vacant building was at the center of a stalemate. The club has been shuttered since a 2008 fire, and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission sought to prevent it from reopening by challenging its recent liquor license renewal. According to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, though, the license renewal could not formally be challenged until the club reopened its doors. And according to an attorney for the club’s owner, that wouldn’t happen until its would-be buyer secured a lease on the rebuilt property. But no lease had been signed after months of waiting: the buyer seemed reluctant to commit to the deal in the face of a certain challenge to the club’s license.

Now, however, after additional legal direction, ABRA has decided to allow the ANC’s protest to go forward before the club reopens, a spokesman says. A group of nine neighbors represented by attorney Milton Grossman has filed a separate protest, and the objections of both groups—along with those of anyone else who files a protest by the February 14 deadline—will be aired at a hearing before the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on February 28.

Both the ANC and the Grossman group question the club’s appropriateness for its location, given its proximity to the Guy Mason playground and ball field, as well as other areas where families with young children congregate. They also raise questions about the identity and plans of the would-be buyer, whom the owner’s attorney, James Charles, has never publicly named.

Charles, who has been representing such clubs for 30 years, says any protest against the license will fail ABRA’s stringent tests for denial. “It’s a waste of time and money for everyone,” he says. “There aren’t any legitimate grounds for a protest.”

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The news blog Georgetown Patch has invited residents to submit photos and street addresses for a listing of unshoveled sidewalks in the area. The first entry: 2621 39th Street in Glover Park.

District law requires residents to clear snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property within eight daylight hours of the end of each snowfall. But the law is tough to enforce: if you don’t shovel, all the city can do is shovel for you and then sue you for the cost (plus a $25 fine).

On February 9 at 10 a.m., the City Council’s Committee on Public Works and Transportation will hold a hearing on a bill that would make enforcement much easier, allowing municipal workers to issue $25 fines. We hear the bill faces strong opposition from residents of certain Northwest neighborhoods with larger lots than ours. Residents wishing to testify in support of bill—and of winter walkability for all District neighborhoods—can contact bill co-sponsor Mary Cheh, 202-724-8062 or mcheh@dccouncil.us.

Until the bill passes, you won’t get far by reporting shoveling scofflaws to the city. But now, at least you can rat them out to the Patch.

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In lieu of—or, ideally, in advance of—fines, the District today announced a public awareness campaign to encourage compliance with the law that requires residents to shovel snow from their sidewalks.

The campaign’s message, “Is your sidewalk shoveled?” appears on this poster of a mother forced to push her baby’s stroller in the street. To request a high resolution copy of the poster, email ddot.communications@dc.gov.

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The snow-shoveling bill that languished for a year in mean old Jim Graham’s Committee on Public Works and Transportation was reintroduced today by cosponsors Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells, TBD.com’s Dave Jamieson reports. The bill stands a better chance of coming to the City Council for a vote now that Wells has been named the chair of that committee.

Cheh and Wells’s bill would provide for a $25 fine for residents who fail to shovel snow from their sidewalks within 8 daylight hours, as is already required by District law.

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From the January 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

When its second-floor Hero Bar space became a bit too successful over the summer—prompting noise complaints—Blue Ridge (2348 Wisconsin Ave.) heard from the ANC. Now, the two entities have hammered out an agreement designed to keep the restaurant’s noise level down. According to a letter submitted to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on December 1, Blue Ridge has agreed to close its second-floor deck at midnight, even for smokers; eschew live music on front and back patios; and disallow the operation of “any separate club, venue, or recurring event such as Hero Bar, which was inconsistent with Blue Ridge’s operating model.”

Meanwhile, the restaurant continues its transformation into a casual, beer-focused neighborhood diner. According to owner Eli Hengst, Blue Ridge will be closed for renovations until early spring, though it “may operate in some limited function,” as it did last fall when the main dining room was closed but the downstairs bar stayed open.

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According to the unofficial results of yesterday’s election, Jackie Blumenthal held onto her Advisory Neighborhood Commission seat, winning 236 votes to challenger Alev Akbulut’s 40. (There were six write-in votes.) The neighborhood’s other ANC races were uncontested, and the new ANC will consist of Blumenthal, fellow incumbents Howie Kreitzman and Brian Cohen, Glover Park Citizens’ Association secretary Mark Stevens, and Ben Thielen of the Wisconsin Avenue Streetcar Coalition.

Vincent Gray won the mayor’s office by a wide margin citywide, but in Glover Park’s precinct, he only narrowly beat “WRITE IN,” 609 to 593. The names on write-in ballots have not yet been reported, but one would expect many of these to go to current mayor Adrian Fenty, whose supporters pushed a write-in effort after he lost to Gray in the primary. (In our precinct, Carlos Allen got 49 votes for mayor; Faith got 26; and Omari Musa got 8.)

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