Archive for June 2017

Park View Cleanup Scheduled for July 8th

June 30, 2017

The next Park View Cleanup organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive is Saturday, July 8th! See details below:

You Know July 4th is Near When the Fireworks Stands Arrive

June 29, 2017


The fireworks stand by the former Sweet Mango Cafe was put up a couple of days ago and is open for business. A sure sign that the Fourth of July is near. In years past the neighborhood fireworks celebrations have often rivaled the fireworks on the Mall just because there were so many displays throughout the community.

WAMU Features Mt. Pleasant’s Woodner — and How It and the Neighborhood has Changed over the Years

June 28, 2017

A view of the Woodner through the center of a round patio and staircase in the back of the building.
Tyrone Turner / WAMU

This morning I awoke to hear this WAMU feature on Mt. Pleasant’s Woodner Apartment building and its history. I found it to be an interesting history on how life in the building, and the surrounding Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods, have changed over the years. The article touches upon segregation, gentrification, and the impacts that change has on a neighborhood.

While the focus of the feature is on the Woodner and Mt. Pleasant, I find that the story is relevant to all Ward 1 neighborhoods and well worth the listen.

Mayor Bowser Takes on Rats

June 27, 2017

Rats are a huge issue, and one that seems to be growing in the District. Back in November 2013, Councilmember Jim Graham hosted a Ward 1 Rat Summit as part of an education and outreach effort to help reduce our rat populations, and since that time the problem has only gotten worse. Understanding how important this problem is — not only as a nuisance but as a basic public health concern — I was happy to see Mayor Bowser address the issue last week. Below is the news release outlining her efforts to deal with rats.

From News Release:

Mayor Bowser Highlights Citywide Efforts to Reduce Rodents

Solar Trash Cans, Smart Litter Bins, and Commercial Waste Compactors Will Improve Rodent Control

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, as part of Back to Basics DC, Mayor Bowser highlighted three District projects aimed at decreasing the rodent population in Washington, DC. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by the Director of the Department of Health Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli, representatives from the Department of Public Works, and community members.

“One of the most important ways we are moving DC forward is by investing in initiatives and technology that make our city healthier and cleaner,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are taking a comprehensive and 21st century approach to an old problem, and we ask that the community continue to help us by reporting rodent issues to 311. Working together, we can reduce waste and keep our streets clean.”

 Because most rodent activity stems from inappropriately stored garbage, the District’s rat abatement projects focus on improving how the city, businesses, and residents manage trash. The efforts bring together resources from the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Public Works (DPW), the Office of Unified Communications (OUC), the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), and the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD).

Earlier this month, DSLBD launched the Commercial Waste Compactor Grant, which offers up to $13,500 for qualified DC businesses to purchase or lease a commercial compactor for their trash, recyclables, or compost. The grant program runs through September and could help over 60 businesses reduce rodent activity by using sealed, rodent-proof compactors. More information about the grant program is available at dslbd.dc.gov/compactor.

 In addition, DOH is working closely with DPW and OCTO to strategically deploy 25 solar trash cans and 400 smart litter bins in rat hotspots around DC. The solar trash cans, which are enclosed and rat proof, have solar panels built into them, allowing them to compact trash without being connected to the electrical grid. Solar trash cans have already been installed on Barrack’s Row, Freedom Plaza, and Indiana Avenue, NW. The smart litter bins are trash cans equipped with a sensor that monitors in real time the amount of waste in a bin, the weight of the waste, and whether someone suddenly added large amounts of waste. The sensors then relay this data to a cloud-based web service used by DPW. The web service compiles the data into a map of every sensor-equipped bin in the city, showing which bins are ready for pickup. The data collected will enable DPW to better mobilize crews for pick-up and improve route and bin deployment efficiency.

“The Department of Health takes rodents very seriously and hears the concerns of residents loud and clear,” said Dr. Nesbitt. “We have a team of rodent experts who conduct inspections and extermination activities across the city, and they rely on the city’s businesses and residents to alert them to problem areas. We appreciate the community’s assistance with our rat abatement efforts, and we ask that people continue to report rodent issues to 311.”

DC’s rodent population is believed to have risen in recent years as a result of warmer winters. Last year, the number of 311 requests for rodent abatement increased by 65 percent from 2,300 in 2015 to more than 3,500 in 2016. The District takes a comprehensive approach to rodent control that includes community outreach, surveys, abatement, enforcement and cooperation with other DC agencies.  he city deploys teams of rodent control experts who target pests on public property, and will also treat private property if residents obtain signed petitions. 

 The Mayor also announced the following ways residents can help with rat abatement:

  • store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids;
  • place trash outside shortly before pickup, instead of days in advance;
  • remove weeds and debris near buildings and in yards where rats can easily hide;
  • store food that has been removed from its original packaging in metal, glass, or heavy-duty plastic containers with tight fitting lids;
  • remove uneaten pet food and store pet food in secure containers; and,
  • report rodent issues in your neighborhood, by calling or texting 311.

Back to Basics DC is an effort to highlight the day-to-day work that keeps the District moving forward. Follow Back to Basics DC on social media using #backtobasicsDC

Small Diameter Water main Replacement Project Headed for Park Rd & Morton Street in July

June 23, 2017

Yesterday, DC Water announced that as part of its Capital Improvement Program, they will be replacing existing 12-inch and smaller cast iron water mains in various locations throughout the city, including the Park View neighborhood. Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2017 and last through April 2019. These efforts will help improve water quality and system reliability, increase water pressure in some areas, and maintain adequate flows throughout the system. The streets impacted in Park View can be found on the map below.

Read the full announcement here for details on days and times of construction and how they plan to notify residents when parking will be impacted.

Mayor Bowser Launches DC Tree Watering Application to Identify Trees Needing Community Watering Assistance

June 22, 2017

With the hot temperatures and lack of rain we’ve had recently, I wanted to highlight the new DC Tree Watering Application which Mayor Bowser announced last week. Many residents in the neighborhood have worked hard to add new trees where we can, and are still actively doing what we can to increase the tree canopy in the area. It is particularly important in our current weather to keep new trees watered, and this app helps identify where those trees are. The text of the Mayor’s announcement follows the screen shot below.

(Screen shot of Web app, click to enter.)

News Release:

(WASHINGTON, DC) – [June 12, 2017], Mayor Muriel Bowser launched of the new DC Tree Watering Application during her Ward 6 community walk. The event, which featured a demonstration of the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) innovative new app, highlighted the value of and need for community assistance in keeping newly planted trees hydrated. The Mayor was joined at the launch by DDOT Deputy Director Jeff Marootian, DDOT’s Urban Forestry Division (UFD) team, and members of the community.

“We are committed to embracing smart technology across city government, and with the launch of the new DC Tree Watering App we are encouraging all District residents to help support our urban forestry,” said Mayor Bowser. “This past planting season, as part of DC’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment, we planted 8,200 new trees throughout the city. Now, we want to see them flourish and we invite everyone to help. Watering is the easiest and most affordable way for residents to help, and this app will allow us to coordinate our efforts.”

Through the DC Tree Watering App, users can locate trees in all eight wards that need watering, tag trees they water, and upload photos of the trees being watered. In addition, users can report trees in need of care (e.g. a tree has a beehive), and the UFD will review all reports to determine the best means of care for each tree. The app also includes a story map with information about tree species found throughout Washington, DC.

The District maintains more than 215,000 trees throughout the city. During the last tree planting season (October 2016 through April 2017), the city planted 8,200 trees, increasing urban tree canopy coverage of the District to 38.7 percent.
The launch of the app is part of Back to Basics DC, a multi-week celebration of the day-to-day work that keeps Washington, DC moving forward. Follow Back to Basics DC on social media using #backtobasicsDC.
Residents can find the app at treewatering.ddot.dc.gov/treewatering, and visit ddot.dc.gov to learn more about the District’s urban forestry.

Saying Farwell to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham

June 21, 2017

(Councilmember Jim Graham participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new field renovations at the Park View Recreation Center on March 23, 2013).

Last week, we learned the very sad news of the passing of former Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham. The DC Council has announced the following schedule for those wanting to say their final farewells — and I know there are many in the community:

Former Councilmember Jim Graham Farewell

Friday, June 23, 2017

Councilmember Graham’s body will lay in state at the Wilson Building from noon to 5PM.

Program Begins at Noon with the arrival of remains. Elected Officials, Dignitaries and Special Guests will deliver remarks.

* Bow Ties Encouraged

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Viewing and Religious Services for Councilmember Graham will be held at All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard Street, NW). The Viewing will be at 10AM, and the Religious Services will begin at noon. Immediately following the services, there will be a repast in the Church’s Multi-Purpose Room. Food and soft drinks will be available. Bow Ties are encouraged.

Flowers and cards may be sent to: Bacon Funeral Home, 3447 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20010

Many in the District knew Jim from his days as Executive Director of Whitman-Walker, and later as Councilmember for Ward 1. He was known as a fierce advocate for residents, particularly for those who needed an advocate the most. His years of service meant that there were few whose lives he hadn’t touched.

Over the past ten years in my service to the community, likewise, I found Jim extremely supportive of community priorities and someone that was eager to work with community members to achieve a better quality of life for all.

From my personal experience along Georgia Avenue, the Councilmember I knew and worked with was actively engaged with the community and MPD on issues of public safety, he was instrumental in getting the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center on Georgia Avenue, and his support was critical in securing the land for the first phase of the Park Morton New Communities effort at Georgia and Newton. These are a few examples of the progress he brought to Ward 1, with each neighborhood having examples equally impressive to add to the list.

Projects that I was proud to work particularly close with Jim on included the Park View Recreation Center and Park View School. He lent his support to ensure that the Park View recreation center would have a new soccer field, basketball court, exercise area, and playground equipment instead of just a baseball field that no one asked for or wanted. He also supported the renovation of the small historic field house at the rec center. At the school, Jim toiled to achieve a larger phase one modernization of the Park View School building than the city originally planned or wanted to provide.

His passion for Ward 1 and a love of its people, cultures, and history was something we shared and frequently discussed.

I know I speak for many when I say that Ward 1 has not just lost someone who gave his all to ensure that every resident had a brighter future, but also a close and dear friend.


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