June ANC Meeting Was In-Person and a Bit Lonely…
By June 5, 2023 2 854•
Ooops. Our bad! Guilty as charged! Yes, we have lauded the many years that the Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and agenda participants took the effort to hold their meetings live, in-person and accessible to all for questions and comments. And, yes, we have recently been lamenting the two years of ANC 2E virtual meetings during and after the Covid pandemic. And, yes, we urged commissioners to hold at least one summer meeting in person so that we could look everyone in the eye and ask questions.
Then, at the June meeting, held May 30 at the parish hall of St. John’s Church, we didn’t show up.
Almost no one attended except the meritorious commissioners and some of the presenters. Some of the presenters joked how they had to fight the crowd of five in the audience to make their way to the presentation podium.
“Not sure we’ll be doing an in-person again, though we have one planned possibly in early fall,” Commissioner Topher Matthews told The Georgetowner at the Volta Park fundraiser on June 3. Oooops!To their credit and despite their disappointment at the small live audience (about 50 were attending online, Matthews said), the commissioners and presenters went through the full agenda.
The crime report included an unusual item: the increasing number of complaints about loud noise from boats either moored at or besides Washington Harbour or passing along on the Potomac. According to officials, there are no specific regulations about disturbing noise from boats on the water before 10 p.m.; after and during the night there are some legal options. But regulations for BUI (Boating Under the Influence) are clear and an intoxicated boat operator can be arrested under “negligent operation” codes. Reports can be called in to the Harbor Patrol line at 202-727-4582 that’s supposed to be manned “24/7/365.”As for the increase in violent crimes committed by juveniles, the reporting officer said, “I have my opinion on how Georgetown can help prevent crime by juveniles, but will talk offline about that.” Good news reported was that a single serial burglar, whom law enforcement recognized as allegedly responsible for hundreds of burglaries throughout the area, was caught and detained about a week ago. Since then there has been a noticeable drop in home burglaries. The spokesperson for Mayor Muriel Bowser showed photos of the mayor jumping into one of Washington, D.C.’s 22 public swimming pools to open the summer season. Most of the pools, including Georgetown’s two at Volta Park and Jelleff Recreation Center, will be open Sundays until June 25 and then will be opened six days a week after that. Most of the pools are being operated by youth on the DC Summer Jobs programs until August. There is some movement by residents, especially older adults and seniors, to have the pools stay open longer and not dependent on D.C. school schedules and youth employment. Reports from Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto’s office confirmed the budgeted funds for improvements of Volta Park’s baseball diamond, Jelleff Recreation Center renovation, Ellington School field houses and Hardy School auditorium and other improvements and the as-yet-to-be-renamed McArthur High School were all approved in the second vote of the council for the 2024 budget. Promised community meetings for the actual plan approvals for these projects have not been announced but are being urged by Commissioner Kishan Putta and others. A new principal for Hardy School is being sought and may be announced within a few weeks, Putta announced. There’s nothing new to report on parking availability and enforcement studies, according to Commissioner Paul Maysak. Transportation plans including the continuation (or not) of the DC Circulator bus routes seem to change weekly but as of this meeting week, the K Street bike and bus consolidation lane projects seem to have been placed on hold, while the Circulator bus routes seem to have gone back to the old schedule. The schedule for the 18th annual Capital Fringe Festival, July 12 to 23, will officially be released on June 21, it was announced. According to officials, the festival featuring original theatre, dance and unclassifiable productions with a total of 275 cast and crew members — 75 percent of whom are from the Washington area — will take place in two unoccupied office properties in Georgetown, equipped with four stages, as well as two additional stages at the Edlavitch DCJCC and Theater J. Performance spaces. The Georgetown locations will be at the Rind Theater at 1025 Thomas Jefferson St. NW (entrance on 30th Street) as well as 1050 Thomas Jefferson St. NW — and at the Powerhouse at 3255 Grace St. NW.
Purposely kept off the agenda and offline, but announced at the ANC meeting was a Children’s Pride “meandering parade” on June 3 along R Street to the Georgetown Public Library. Among the announced organizers were DC Library children’s librarians and the DC area’s Rainbow Defense Coalition. ANC Commissioners discussed concerns about monitoring and safety. (Spoiler alert: the Saturday event was small and peaceful; a few blocks of R Street were officially closed to vehicular traffic briefly.)