February 2019 Meeting Report

All Commissioners were in attendance: Ann Mladinov (3B01), Jackie Blumenthal (3B02), Melissa Lane (3B03), Mary Young (3B04) and Brian Turmail (3B05).

Police Report.  Commissioner Turmail introduced new Second District Commander Duncan Bedlion.   Cmdr.  Bedlion spoke of his priorities for 2D including a crime reduction plan that is being developed by 2D Captain Kelvin Cusick.  He also spoke about an uptick in thefts from autos.  Since the beginning of the year, 22 thefts from autos offenses were reported in PSA 204, up from 7 for the same period last year, and 9 of those 22 crimes were committed in Glover Park.  Commissioner Turmail highlighted ANC3B concerns about speeding and traffic safety on the 4100 block of Cathedral Avenue as well as crime problems involving people who are homeless.  Terry Snead, ANC3B resident who was formerly homeless, asked the Commander what MPD does to help the homeless. Cmdr. Bedlion responded that MPD’s responsibility does not include homeless services but officers often do volunteer to help the homeless. Commissioner Turmail pointed out that MPD carries blankets to distribute to people sleeping outside on cold nights.

Presentation by Alice Thompson, DC Department of Aging and Community Living.  Alice Thompson, Community Outreach Specialist, announced that the DC Office on Aging is now the DC Department of Aging and Community Living.  She described a number of programs for seniors and persons with disabilities living in DC.  The city’s Safe at Home program provides free home safety and security improvements for residents who qualify (income of less than $65,650 for an individual, $75,000 for a couple) such as better lighting, grab bars, handrails, bathtub cuts, shower seats, and chair lifts on stairs, to allow them to continue living in their homes.  Ms. Thompson also mentioned that the city is planning to open a large new Senior Wellness Center in Ward 8 and noted that transportation will be necessary to help seniors make use of the senior wellness centers at fixed locations around the city. The Commissioners also mentioned the ongoing pilot in Wards 2 and 3 to develop “satellite” senior wellness activities at many rec centers and other locations around the community that are close to where people live.

Presentation by Theo Brown, Public Engagement Associates consultant on “Rock Creek Far West Livability Study.”  Theo Brown spoke about the launch of a livability study for the area west of Massachusetts Avenue to the Potomac River and the state line including all of Glover Park but not Georgetown/Burleith. The livability study will focus on transportation safety improvements, as part of Mayor Bowser’s Vision Zero initiative.  For the Far West study, three public meetings will be held between February and September to gather information from residents on their areas of concern.  The first meeting was scheduled on February 26 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Palisades Neighborhood Library Meeting Room.  For more information, link to www.rockcreekfarwest.com.

Proposed Letter to the Mayor About ANC 3B Budget Priorities.  Commissioner Mladinov presented a draft letter to Mayor Bowser to express ANC3B’s priorities for the city’s FY2020 budget.  The priorities include preserving and building more affordable housing options, providing more psychiatric beds and other services for the homeless in Ward 3, opening a hypothermia center west of Rock Creek Park, supporting health and wellness programs for Ward 3 seniors and food and nutrition programs for those in need, maintaining per-pupil funding for schools and continuing to fund the Fillmore Arts Center programs used by Stoddert Elementary and other schools without facilities for arts programs in their schools, increasing funding for street maintenance and repair, supporting a Main Street grant for Glover Park, and improving public transportation options in 3B.  The Commissioners voted  unanimously to send the letter.

Vote to Designate ANC 3B Commissioner as Representative to March 11 Roundtable on Homelessness in Ward 3.   The Commissioners voted to designate Commissioner Blumenthal as the ANC 3B representative to the roundtable discussion on Ward 3 homelessness being sponsored by Councilmembers Cheh and Nadeau.

Updates and Information

  • Rich Harrington, the Mayor’s Ward 3 representative, announced that the Mayor was convening 3 more public meetings to discuss budget priorities, including February 21, 23, and 25.
  • Commissioner Mladinov shared an Alert about scam calls to residents claiming their Pepco service is going to be cut if they don’t immediately pay. This is a hoax and residents should NOT provide any information or money in response to these types of calls.
  • Commissioner Mladinov announced that the DC Council has adopted a bill allowing the Office of People’s Counsel to represent DC residents on issues with DC Water.
  • The Public Service Commission held a public hearing in early February on Washington Gas notification practices on gas leaks. The PSC wants to see improvements and plans to hold a follow-up hearing in September.
  • Commissioner Turmail spoke about DPW Christmas tree collection. Many trees were left along the curb rather than by residents’ regular trash pick-ups, and had not been picked up, but DPW is being notified and asked to come out and pick up the remaining trees.
  • Heather Foot spoke about a new pilot program being considered by DDOT. The Adaptive Bikeshare Pilot would offer individuals with different abilities and ages access to adaptive bicycles and tricycles.  A survey is currently underway to determine what services people would like to see.  A link to the survey is available at ddot.dc.gov/page/adaptive-bikeshare-program.   The due date  is March 1.

The next meeting of ANC3B will be Thursday, March 14.