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WARD REPORTS

(Published January 27, 2003)

 

WARD 1

 

ANC 1D CHANGES: Mount Pleasantís Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1D recently changed its regular monthly meeting time and altered its bylaws to allow grants for community-based programs to be awarded throughout the year rather than bi-annually.

The commission will start its regular meetings 30 minutes earlier this year, at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month. The meetings are held at 3166 Mount Pleasant St. NW. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 3.

 

WARD 2

 

FINAL GRANT ROUND: With the scheduled opening date of the new Washington Convention Center approaching in March, the Washington Convention Center Authority Advisory Committee will use part of its Feb. 6 meeting to inform the centerís neighbors about how they may participate in the final round of submissions for the WCCA Historic Preservation Grant Program. Guest speaker at the 5 p.m. meeting, held in the executive conference room of the current convention center at 900 Ninth St. NW, will be Denise Johnson of the National trust for Historic Preservation.

 

WARD 3

 

PARKLAND SWAP OPPOSED: The Palisades Advisory Neighborhood Commission recently voted unanimously to oppose a proposed swap of National Park Service land adjacent to the site of a proposed mayoral mansion on Foxhall Road NW, and the neighborhoodís citizens association will take up the issue at its Feb. 4 meeting. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Palisades Recreation Center.

Opponents of the land deal, which would cede four acres of parkland to the Casey Mansion Foundation in exchange for two townhouses on the Georgetown waterfront, say the privatization of the land would make Glover Archibald park trails less accessible to the public and endanger two designated wetlands sites. The foundation wants to add the land to the 16.5 acres it already owns to provide a second exit onto Foxhall Road for the mayoral mansion. Critics say a second exit can be developed without the additional acreage.

 

WARD 4

 

CHEVRON SPILL UPDATE: Ward 4 Councilman Adrian fenty has scheduled three identical meeting for Jan. 29-30 to provide Lamond-Riggs residents with the latest information about the Chevron gas station spill at Eastern Avenue and Riggs Road NE. Representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency will attend the meetings to update residents on the testing and cleanup efforts.

Meetings will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 and 10 a.m. Jan. 30 at the Lamond-Riggs Branch of the D.C. Public Library at 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE. Another meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at LaSalle Elementary Schoolís auditorium at 501 Riggs Road NE.

 

WARD 5

 

ANC 5C OFFICERS: A new year brought a few changes to the leadership ranks of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C. Longtime chairman James D. Berry Jr. was again re-elected to chair the ANC during the commissionís Jan. 21 organizational meeting. Marshall B. Phillips Sr. was elected vice chairman; Bertha Johnson, treasurer; Mary Lois Farmer-Allen, financial secretary; Vicky Leonard-Chambers, recording secretary; and Dianne Barnes, corresponding secretary.

The commissionís next monthly meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at All Nationís Baptist Church, 2001 North Capitol St. NE. A complete schedule of the commissionís 2003 meetings and minutes from previous meetings can be found on the ANCís web site at www.anc5c.org.

 

WARD 6

 

LANDMARK MEETING: The Capitol Hill Restoration Society will host presentations Feb. 12 by various groups that have expressed interest in occupying the historic Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Among the groups expected to send representatives are the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, the Naval Medical Museum, the Old Naval Hospital Foundation and St. Maryís College. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Peterís Catholic Church at Second and C streets SE.

A volunteer neighborhood group called the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital has worked to keep the grounds of the dilapidated Civil War era hospital clean while efforts are underway to preserve and redevelop the federally owned but city-leased property. The volunteer group raised money to fund a study by the Urban Land Institute, which made recommendations for developing a request for proposals that the city is considering.

 

WARD 7

 

ANC 7B MEETINGS CHANGE: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7B has decided to change its longstanding Saturday morning meetings to Thursday nights. The commission will now hold its regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month. The location Ė Ryland Methodist Church at 3200 S St. SE Ė remains unchanged. The ANCís next meeting will be Feb. 20.

During its January organizational meeting, the Naylor-Dupont ANC also elected new officers for 2003. Chairing the commission is Kathy Chamberlain. Yvonne Moore was elected vice chairman; Jim Byers, secretary; and S. Thetus Boyd, treasurer.

The ANCís meeting notices, agendas and minutes are among the informational items that residents can find on the commissionís web site at www.anc7b.org.††

 

WARD 8

 

PAYING WASHINGTON GAS: The Districtís Public Service Commission has scheduled hearings for Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 to seek public comment on plans by Washington Gas to close its Anacostia Payment Center at 3101 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. The natural gas company also wants to discontinue accepting cash from its customers for payment of gas bills.

The hearings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 29 in the commissionís hearing room on the seventh floor of the East Tower at 1333 H St. NW and 10 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Washington Highlands Library at 115 Atlantic St. SW.

Critics of the Washington Gas decision, including about 200 residents who petitioned the Public Service Commission to delay the companyís plans, say the changes will make it more difficult and more expensive for low-income residents to pay their gas bills.

Washington Gas officials say keeping the 12-year-old Anacostia Payment Center open and continuing to accept cash are no longer cost-effective for the company. Spokesman Tim Sargeant said the center generated an average of 2,554 monthly payments last year. ďEven if all were from D.C., thatís less than 2 percent of our 151,000 customers in the District,Ē he said.

While Washington Gas customers currently can pay their bills with cash at SunTrust Bank offices, including two located east of the Anacostia River, Sargeant said SunTrust notified Washington Gas in early January that it plans to stop accepting utility bill payments at some future, unspecified date. Sargeant said First Virginia Bank and Farmers Bank of Maryland are the only other two financial institutions in the area that accept gas bill payments.

 

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator