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pictured above right - Councilmember Evans explaining District finances to a local third grade class.

Week of June 9, 2006

202.724.8058
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue • NW • Room 106 • Washington • DC • 20004

Street violence in Shaw affects everyone - MPD cannot do it alone
With emails and phone calls from concerned residents, it has been brought to the attention of Councilmember Evans, that recent instances of street violence have taken place in the Shaw neighborhood. Attributed to gang violence by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Tuesday (May 30) afternoon at approximately 4:45 pm, semi automatic gun fired rang out hitting automobiles near the United House of Prayer in the 600 block of M Street, N.W.

"After speaking with MPD's 3rd District, there appear to be no suspects in this case. Officers showed up and after no one came forward to aid in the description of who, what and where, a property damage report was taken," Evans said. "What is wrong with this picture? It was 4:45 pm, but there were people on the street, and no doubt witnesses. Our police officers need more information than property damage to apprehend criminals."

In an effort to quell gang activity, PSA 308 Lt. Neal has saturated the area with the Crime Unit and, there has been detailed a Power Shift from 6:00 pm - 4:00 a.m. In addition, the Warrant Squad has been deployed in the area to execute outstanding warrants.

As one email received by Councilmember Evans stated, "there needs to be a comprehensive effort from MPD and the community to make a change." Fortunately, Evans had already planned to be in the Shaw and Mt. Vernon Square neighborhoods addressing crime and other quality of life issues. There are upcoming community meetings in which the community is encouraged to attend to learn about what is being done to combat violence and what the community can do to help.

A list of these important community meetings follows:

  • PSA 308 Saturday, June 10, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm @ 3rd District, 1620 V Street, NW;
  • Partnership for Problem Solving Session - RSVP with Officer Tommy Barnes at tommy.barnes@dc.gov or 202-352-4143;
  • Councilmember Evans, ANC 2C, East Central Civic Association Shaw Crime Meeting Thursday, June 15, 6:00 - 8:00 pm @ United House Of Prayer, 601 M Street, NW. Chief Ramsey, DC Government department heads and others will be in attendance; and
  • Mt. Vernon Square Neighborhood Association meeting, Tuesday, June 20, 7:30 pm @ MCC Church, 5th & Ridge Streets, NW.

Come out and participate in force - a strong community presence is necessary to demonstrate to the criminals that our community will not tolerate this type of activity.

For more information, contact Evans' MPD liaison, Windy Abdul-Rahim.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#MPD

Work on Thomas Circle enters final phase
To paraphrase President Gerald Ford, our long neighborhood nightmare is almost over. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced this week they are beginning work on the final paving of the streets around Thomas Circle. Highland Terrace, M Street, and Massachusetts Avenue on the west side of Thomas Circle, as well as Vermont Avenue and M Street on the east side will be repaved this week. Parking restrictions and brief street closures will occur as this work takes place.

The work is scheduled during the daytime hours from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm on Wednesday June 7 and Thursday June 8. However, bad weather could cause delays. The completion of the Thomas Circle rehabilitation project is currently scheduled for July 2006.

Work on Thomas Circle is a joint effort by DDOT, the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration. The new design directs traffic along the perimeter of the circle eliminating cut-through lanes. This configuration allows for a larger and more functional landscaped area, bicycle lanes and for the first time, pedestrian access to the center of the circle and to the statue of Civil War General George Thomas.

For more information, contact DDOT Acting Spokesperson Karyn LeBlanc at 671-2004, DDOT Project Engineer James Sellars at 671-4547 or Evans' DDOT liaison, Sean Metcalf.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#DDOT

Georgetown's annual Volta Park festivities
Friends of Volta Park have invited the community to several events taking place this coming weekend. Friday night, June 9 is a fundraising celebration and silent auction at Georgetown Visitation School, 1524 35th Street, NW from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. All proceeds go toward maintaining and improving Volta Park. The celebration continues on June 10 with the annual Volta Park Picnic. Festivities begin at noon in Volta Park and include food, games, moon bounce for the kids, dunk tank, giant slide, human foosball and a pie-eating contest scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Included in the fun are a Flea Market and softball games, and a two-day tennis tournament beginning on Saturday, June 11. Donations can be made to Friends of Volta Park, Inc. and mailed to 1516 34th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007.

Evans has always been a strong advocate for ensuring neighborhood parks and recreation centers throughout his Ward meet the recreational needs of the community. This is evident in his:

  • Years-long efforts to ensure Kennedy Playground became a top-notch park with a new recreation center and baseball field;
  • Securing private funding for the Stead Park center and baseball field renovations;
  • Ensuring Volta Park's new swimming pool and recreation center were completed; and
  • Securing funding for the full renovation of Mitchell Park.

For more information, contact Evans' Georgetown liaison, Ruth Werner.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#VOLTA

Committee of the Whole Additional Meeting
On Tuesday, June 6, the Committee of the Whole met to consider a range of new measures to be placed on the DC Council legislative agenda. During the meeting, Councilmember Evans moved the following three pieces of legislation:

  1. Bill 16-758, the "Washington Stage Guild Tax Exemption Act of 2006," amends the District of Columbia Code to exempt from taxation, a portion of the real property being built at 505 9th Street, NW, as long as it is leased to the Theatre Downtown, Inc., otherwise known as the Washington Stage Guild. The Washington Stage Guild was formed in 1986, and has created 80 productions, including 40 area premiers. The building is expected to be completed in 2008. This legislation is subject to funding.
  2. PR 16-795, the "Payment in Lieu of Taxes Revenue Bonds Department Of Transportation Project Approval Resolution of 2006," and 3. PR 16-796, the "Payment in Lieu of Taxes Revenue Bonds Southeast Federal Center Project Approval Resolution of 2006," approves the issuance of bonds by the District to finance, or reimburse, Forest City Washington for the infrastructure costs related to the Southeast Federal Center Development and Anacostia Waterfront Initiative projects. The bonds will help spur a significant amount of redevelopment along the Anacostia River, including about 2,700 units of new housing, 1.8 million sq. ft. of office space, and 400,000 sq. ft. of retail. Additionally, this redevelopment will give the District more taxable land, bringing in an estimated $500 million in tax revenue a year. Both resolutions were approved after their first reading at the subsequent legislative meeting.
    Legislative Meeting

After the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, June 6, the DC Council met to consider a range of new measures on the legislative agenda. Councilmember Evans moved the following pieces of legislation, all of which were passed by the Council:

  • Bill 16-228, the "Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals (BRPAA) Reform Act of 2005" will reform the BRPAA to, among other things:
    • Requires the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) to include the taxable assessment and the proposed tax on the notice of proposed assessment;
    • Shortens the term for members of the Board from five to three years and increases the term of the Chair to three years, which makes it equal to Board members;
    • Removes term limits of members to allow good members to continue serving;
    • Allows the petitioner to supplement the filing at least 15 business days upon 15 days of filing the appeal; and
    • Allows taxpayers 45 days to appeal an OTR first-level administrative decision to the Board.
  • Bill 16-630, the "New Convention Center Hotel Omnibus Financing and Development Act of 2006" will enable the private construction and development of a Convention Center Headquarters Hotel to be located at 9th street and Massachusetts Avenue, NW. This new hotel will have 1,434 rooms, 100,000 square feet of meeting/ballroom space and 600 parking spaces immediately adjacent to the Washington Convention Center.
  • Bill 16-642, the "Natural Gas and Home Heating Oil Taxation Relief and Ratepayer Clarification Act of 2006," amends the DC Code to tax natural gas and home heating oil based on the number of units delivered to consumers. It provides relief for the cost of natural gas and home heating oil to all consumers, by protecting residents and businesses from increases in prices that are inherent from a gross receipts model of taxation. Councilmember Evans firmly believes this measure, coupled with the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, will help combat rising fuel costs in the District.

Additionally, the following revenue bonds were passed as emergency legislation:

  • PR 16-790, the "American University Revenue Bond Project Emergency Approval Resolution of 2006," authorizes the issuance, sale and delivery of up to $99,975,000 in DC revenue bonds to assist American University in refunding outstanding bonds issued previously by the District. This legislation also helps finance the costs associated with the construction of American University's proposed School of International Service.
  • PR 16-792, the "Howard University Revenue Bond Project Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2006," authorizes the issuance, sale and delivery of up to $98 million in DC revenue bonds to assist Howard University in financing the repair and replacement of elevators and electrical/mechanical systems at the main campus, School of Law and Divinity School Campus. The bonds will also help fund the abatement of hazardous substances at these buildings.
  • PR 16-794, the "Georgetown University Revenue Bond Project Emergency Approval Resolution of 2006" authorizes the issuance, sale and delivery of up to $320 million in DC revenue bonds to assist Georgetown University in refinancing existing indebtedness. In addition, it assists in a number of other projects including the construction of a new Business School and parking structures on the main campus and at the law center.
  • PR 16-798, the "Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars Revenue Bond Project Emergency Resolution of 2006," authorizes the issuance, sale and delivery of up to $10.5 million in DC revenue bonds to assist The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in the financing or refinancing of the development and leasing of a facility located at 1333 16th Street, NW.
  • PR 16-800, the "Friendship Public Charter School Revenue Bond Project Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2006," authorizes the issuance, sale and delivery of up to $15 million in DC revenue bonds to assist the Friendship Public Charter School, Inc. in expanding an existing elementary school facility at 645 Milwaukee Place, SE.

For more information, contact Evans' Committee Clerk, Ruth Werner.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#CFR

Live in an Historic house? Come out for SmithBarney seminar
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the investment services firm, SmithBarney, are offering a free seminar to inform DC residents about the benefits of the "Gifts of Heritage" program. The Gifts of Heritage, an NTHP program, is for real estate owners interested in preserving the historic character of their property and realizing lifetime and estate tax benefits. The seminar will be offered on June 12 and June 14 at 5:30 pm in the NTHP offices (1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW - Board Room).

"I encourage residents to take advantage of this seminar and the property tax deduction available through the conservation easements," Councilmember Evans said. "Tax incentives such as the deduction for the contribution of a preservation easement are essential to implement this policy and to encourage preservation activity. I especially want to thank Nancy Hartsock, Smith Barney Financial Advisor and Dupont Circle Citizens Association board member for organizing this event."

Although this tax deduction had been accepted by the IRS and, defended at the state level through a series of court cases, the District Office of Tax Revenue (OTR) did not agree with these rulings and disallowed the deduction. So, in 2002, Evans introduced a provision of the "Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Act of 2002" to ensure DC residents could make this charitable deductions of conservation easements allowed under federal tax law.

Several historic preservation organizations such as the L'Enfant Trust and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have created conservation easements for building facades. The donation of an easement to a non-profit organization ensures the exterior of a historic building may never be altered, thus preserving the historic quality of a neighborhood. IRS guidelines allow a tax deduction of approximately 10% - 15% of the fair market value of a property.

For reservations, please contact Christopher Miller at (703) 739-3682. For more information, contact Evans' Economic Development liaison, Windy Abdul-Rahim.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#NTHP

Golden Triangle kicks off summer concerts June 8
The Sounds in the Square, a summer concert series sponsored by the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and the National Park Service, returns to Farragut Square (Connecticut Avenue and K Street, NW) this Thursday, June 8 and continues every Thursday from 12:00 - 2:00 pm through August 10.

"I thank the Golden Triangle BID and the National Park Service for presenting this lunch time concert series for eight years in a row," Councilmember Evans said. "I know it's enjoyed by office workers, residents and tourists alike."

Besides the professional artists, artists from VSA Arts, an organization that creates learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities, will be performing. Farragut Square is accessible by Metro at Farragut North (Red Line), Farragut West (Blue Line/Orange Line) or via the DC Circulator bus along K Street.

For more information, contact the Golden Triangle BID, 1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 260 Washington, DC 20036, 463.3400.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#GTBID

Capital Pride parade and festival set for this weekend
If your weekend plans take you into the Dupont, Logan Circle or downtown areas, be sure to stop and enjoy the Capital Pride Parade this Saturday, June 10 and the Capital Pride Festival on Sunday, June 11.

Starting at 6:30 pm along 23rd & P Streets, NW, the Capital Pride Parade features hundreds of participants and will proceed over the next several hours through Dupont & Logan Circle, ending at Thomas Circle on 14th Street. The Street Festival held on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, takes place Sunday from 11:30 am - 7:00 pm and features hundreds of informational booths and entertainment from dozens of performers.

PLEASE NOTE: Southbound 14th Street (from Church Street to Thomas Circle) will be closed to traffic for this event. No parking will be allowed starting the morning of Saturday, June 11. Towing will be enforced. Parking in the Whole Foods garage will also be limited. Again, organizers anticipate 14th Street to be primarily impacted from 7:15 - 8:45 p.m.

For more information about Capital Pride events, check out www.capitalpride.org. For more information on Evans' many efforts in the GLBTQ community, contact his liaison, Ruth Werner.

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/EVANS/newsletter/Week.of.06.09.06.htm#CPP