pictured above right -- Councilmember Evans

Week of November 4, 2005

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

Open house discussions on Whitehurst Freeway - please attend!
The Whitehurst Freeway Feasibility Study, conducted by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and DMJM Harris Consultants, is close to reaching the final phase of the existing conditions report. The report provides an assessment of the existing conditions in the designated study area including a description of major roadways, origin-destination patterns, traffic volumes at critical intersections, existing pedestrian facilities, parking regulations and public transportation.

"A thorough understanding of the existing conditions allows us analyze and compare the proposed alternatives," Councilmember Evans said. "This type of public involvement is needed on city projects. This process is an example of how residents and government can work together."

As part of the next phase of the feasibility study, the team will hold a series of open houses for the public to review and comment on the 18 proposed alternatives developed this past spring at a series of public design workshops.

The schedule for the open house meetings:

To view the study, visit DDOT's website or follow this link -- http://ddot.dc.gov/ddot/cwp/view,a,1249,q,624809.asp.

For more information, contact Evans' Whitehurst Freeway Deconstruction liaison, Ruth Werner.


Your gas bill is about to increase
Representatives from Washington Gas (www.washingtongas.com) met with Councilmember Evans this week to brief him on anticipated increases in gas bills for the upcoming winter months (November - April). Problems with gas supplies from recent hurricanes, combined with seasonal fluctuations, mean DC residents will see between 20% and 32% increases in their gas bills over the same period last year.

"It is crucial for Washington Gas to alert residents of the upcoming rate increases," Evans said. "We all could use advance notice to budget for such large monthly increases."

Last winter, a typical Washington Gas residential customer paid approximately $960 for the six-month heating season. This winter, the same customer can expect to pay $1,131 for the same period if the weather is normal and $1,274 if the weather is five percent colder than normal. The exact amount of the increase will depend largely on a customer's usage and the type of service received.

Washington Gas offers several programs to help residents deal with high-energy costs:

  • Budget Payment Plan: Allows customers to spread higher winter bill costs throughout the year;
  • Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP): WAP provides repairs and improvements to home heating and cooling systems and provides for the installations of energy-saving measures in the home. For more information, contact the DC Energy Office (www.dcenergy.org);
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Provides federal grants to qualifying families to help pay for their energy bills. For more information, contact the DC Energy Office (www.dcenergy.org);
  • Residential Essential Service (RES) Program: Provides qualified DC residents a discount on a portion of the natural gas they use each month during the heating season. For more information, contact the DC Energy Office (www.dcenergy.org); and
  • Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF). Washington Gas founded WAFF 22 years ago to help families who may not qualify for other forms of assistance or who have exhausted government energy assistance. Administered by The Salvation Army, WAFF provides funds for all types of fuel to heat families' homes during winter months. The program has disbursed over $15.9 million and has helped more than 190,000 residents in the Washington metropolitan area since its creation in 1983.

For more information, contact Evans' Director of Constituent Services, Michele Molotsky.


Got leaves? DPW issues leaf collection schedule
Councilmember Evans and the Department of Public Works (DPW) urge everyone to take advantage of the leaf collection schedule provided by the city. If you currently receive weekly trash pick-ups, then DPW will pick-up your leaves.

"Our DPW crews bring a whole new meaning to the phrase, 'other duties as assigned'," Evans said. "From clearing snow and spraying ice to clearing debris after thunderstorms to collecting trash, recyclables and leaves, there is no break for this division. I applaud their efforts."

DPW officials ask you to adhere to the following regulations to ensure your leaves are collected:
1. Rake loose leaves into piles and place in your curbside tree box space - they will be collected with a vacuum trailer;
2. Place bagged leaves in your curbside tree box space and they will be collected by a packer truck; or
3. If you have alley trash collection, you may place bagged leaves where you put your trash. Those leaves will be collected with the trash.

For the purpose of leaf collection, DPW has designated two "areas" in Ward 2: if you live west of 23rd Street, NW you are in area A and those residents east of 23rd are in area B (complete details click here).

The following schedules apply for residents of Ward 2:

  • Area A - Leaves currently out will be collected until November 12. Leaves out by November 27 will be collected November 28 to December 10.
  • Area B - Raked leaves out by November 13 for collection from November 14-19. Leaves out by December 11 will be collected December 12-17.

As a DC resident, you may also dispose of your leaves year round at the Fort Totten Trash Transfer Station, 4900 Bates Road, NE. Hours of operations are Monday - Friday from 1 - 5 pm and Saturday's from 8 am - 3 p.m. The transfer station is closed on Sundays. For directions to the station click here.

For more information, contact Evans' DPW liaison, Sean Metcalf.


City officials seek community input on old Convention Center site
Continuing with the master plan set forth by the DC Office of Planning for the old Convention Center site, a workshop will be held November 8 to discuss the design layout for public spaces. With the demolition complete, the developer selected and private spaces designed, it is now up to the public to comment on the proposals for public space uses.

"Once again an opportunity has arisen for the public to weigh in on how they would like to see a 'super' project designed," Councilmember Evans said. "I hope residents understand the importance of the issue and are eager to comment on the design aspects of the public space."

The first community workshop to solicit input into the master planning for the city's old Convention Center site will take place Tuesday, November 8 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW. After an initial project overview, workshop participants will visit stations organized by issues. These stations will provide information on affordable housing, jobs, traffic, parking, open space, retail, the new central library project, green building and environmental issues, as well as, alternatives for the overall layout of the site.

For those new to this project, the DC Council approved legislation authorizing Hines Smith and Archstone-Smith to develop a mixed-use project creating 300,000 square feet of retail space, 550,000 square feet of office space, 1,372 units of housing and at least 1,900 parking spaces. In addition, at the District's option, 120,000 square feet of the site are reserved for uses that could include apartments, stores, a new central library and/or hotel.

A few facts about the project:

  • Jobs: The project is projected to generate 7,600 construction-period jobs and 5,200 permanent jobs;
  • Fiscal Benefits: The District will receive a projected $200 million for the site, plus $30 million a year in new tax revenues;
  • Affordable Housing: 20 percent of the housing units will be affordable at a range of incomes - five percent at 30 percent of HUD Area Median Income (AMI), five percent at 60 percent of HUD AMI and 10 percent at 80 percent of HUD AMI;
  • LSDBE Commitment: The development will create significant local, small and disadvantaged business (LSDBE) opportunities. LSDBEs will own 20 percent of developer equity and will invest at least $20 million in equity. A minimum 35 percent of eligible pre-construction/construction and operational costs will go to LSDBE contractors;
  • First Source Commitment: At least 51 percent of all new jobs created will go to District residents;
  • Unique Retailers: The developer is committed to devoting 30 percent of retail space to merchants with six or fewer stores in the United States. Retail emphasis will focus on a broad range of restaurants and cafes, grocery/market foods, entertainment and performance venues, fashion and specialty retail and neighborhood services; and
  • Open Space: This will be the first major non-federal open space controlled by the city to be used for markets, festivals, events and educational uses. The developer is committed to making a $1.5 million annual payment to promote open space programming. A Common Area Association will be created to manage programming and to maintain the space.

For more information, contact Evans' Economic Development liaison, Windy Abdul-Rahim or Konrad Schlater, Office of Planning Project Coordinator, 727.6365.


Evans and staffers participate in 30th Marine Corps Marathon
Of the 30,000 runners in Sunday's 30th Anniversary Marine Corps Marathon, three of them were from Councilmember Evans' office: Eric Goulet, Committee on Finance and Revenue Clerk, Michele Molotsky, Director of Constituent Services and Councilmember Evans himself.

Although the marathon started and finished in Arlington, Virginia, about eight of the 26.2 mile run were in Ward 2. Once the runners crossed Key Bridge, they ran through Georgetown, up and down Rock Creek Parkway, through Foggy Bottom past the Kennedy Center, up to the Capitol and back along the Mall. After leaving Ward 2, the race became more difficult including the loop around Haines Point and the notoriously difficult span across the 14th Street Bridge.

This was Evans' third Marine Corps Marathon and he improved his time over last year by 34 minutes. Eric Goulet had the best time in the office, finishing in just over four hours. Training through the AIDS Marathon program (aidsmarathon.com), Michele Molotsky completed her first marathon a few minutes over five hours.

For more information or race results, visit http://www.marinemarathon.com.


Plenty of books and computers, but no libraries
The project to create four state-of-the-art libraries across the city was, in concept, a great idea. But, Councilmember Evans and his colleagues are now faced with 2008 completion dates and an immediate lack of facilities for those who need this city service most. In response, a November 10 town hall meeting is scheduled to discuss the plans and time lines for the reconstruction of the four (Watha T. Daniel/Shaw, Anacostia, Benning and Tenley/Friendship) closed community libraries.

"This project has had pitfalls from its inception and it is time to address these issues from the committee standpoint," Councilmember Evans said. "There were supposed to be interim facilities available for residents and those have yet to be opened - are we to expect MLK to be our main library?"

The meeting will take place from 6:30 - 9:00 pm in Room 412 of the John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. This meeting will involve presentations by the key government officials supervising this process followed by questions from community members.

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


Adams Morgan BID among the entities made permanent at legislative meeting
Councilmember Evans moved a number of pieces of permanent legislation, all of which passed unanimously, at the November 1 legislative meeting, including:

Bill 16-288, the "Adams Morgan Business Improvement District Amendment Act of 2005", which bring necessary and highly valuable public and commercial benefits directly to the businesses of the Adams Morgan community. The language ensures Adams Morgan's BID (AMBID) will be funded by small extra charges of $0.21 per $100 levied against commercial property that will be collected along with real property taxes.

"The proposed Adams Morgan BID will serve to enhance and market Adams Morgan businesses and will contribute to the overall enhancement of the community," Evans said.

The AMBID will fund contractors to clean streets and sidewalks within its boundaries, in addition to light graffiti removal from public and authorized private space. In addition to cleanliness services, the AMBID will employ "ambassadors" to provide a number of services, including: answering questions for visitors, reporting any observed crimes directly to the police and checking in on neighborhood residents. Finally, the AMBID will market all aspects of the Adams Morgan commercial corridors, including retail, fine dining, neighborhood services and nightlife.

Bill 16-358, the "Fiscal Year 2006 Tax Revenue Anticipation Notes Act of 2005" provides for the continued cash flow of the DC government while the Fiscal Year 2006 budget is pending Congressional approval.

Bill 16-405, the "Domestic Partner Health Care Benefits Tax Exemption Act of 2005" removes the requirement that individuals pay taxes on benefits received when covered by their partners' health insurance.

"This legislation makes a significant difference to those residents who are registered domestic partners in DC by making it more affordable to cover their domestic partner," Councilmember Evans said.

Evans believes this legislation represents another small, yet important step for creating true equality for all District residents.

Bill 16-409, the "National Community Reinvestment Coalition Real Property Tax Exemption Act of 2005" exempts from taxation real property of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).

The mission of the NCRC is to "increase fair and equal access to credit, capital, and banking services because discrimination is illegal, unjust, and detrimental to the economic growth and well-being of society." In February 2003, the NCRC purchased a 12-story building located at 727 15th Street, NW, which is known as the Center for Economic Justice. The Center is now a home for a collection of non-profit organizations that shares the goals of the NCRC.

"The overall tax-exemption of the Center is an investment into the work of the NCRC, non-profit tenants of the Center and the many non-profit organizations across the District who benefit from the Center's capacity-building resources," Councilmember Evans said.
In addition to exempting the NCRC from paying property taxes on the Center, this legislation waives a property tax bill of $159,044.50 that was assessed to the NCRC back in March 2005. Waiving this property tax bill will allow NCRC to use this money to create a job-training partnership planned for the first floor space of the Center.

Proposed Resolution 16-413, the "National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) DC USA Project Revenue Bonds Approval Resolution of 2005" allows for the issuance of $47 million of National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) tax-exempt parking revenue bonds to finance the private underground parking garage to be included in DC USA's 500,000 square foot shopping center located at 14th and Irving Streets, NW. Additionally, the legislation will fund the Columbia Heights Small Business Assistance Program.

"Our efforts over the past several years to attract new stores to DC has paid off as we will soon welcome the first Target store, an additional Washington Sports Club and Bed, Bath and Beyond," Evans said. "It is important to note the retail revival of our neighborhoods would not take place without the persistence of residents who want affordable shopping experiences."

Evans also moved for the emergency approval of Proposed Resolution 16-469, the "Qualified Zone Academy Revenue Bond Project Forward Commitment Approval Act of 2005" in order to finance bonds providing funds to make much needed renovations and repairs at a number of DC Public and Charter Schools. The schools include: DC Preparatory Academy, Hyde Leadership Public Charter School, Cardozo Senior High School, the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter and the Thurgood Marshall Academy.

For more information, contact Evans' Committee Clerk, Eric Goulet.


MPD adds Asian Liaison unit to First District
October 26 marked the ribbon cutting ceremony for DC Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) new Asian Liaison Unit (ALU) located at 616 H Street, NW, housed in the new Gallery Place development.

"I have been a supporter of the Asian Liaison Unit since its inception in 1993 when community leaders organized and worked with MPD to secure space in Chinatown for this important unit," Councilmember Evans said. "I am especially proud today because we are celebrating a community partnership between the Asian community and MPD that works for the entire city."

Established to enforce quality of life crimes, the ALU has evolved into a model for community policing. This new site is especially important because over the years, the ALU has done a great job in the community despite experiencing a lack of funding and other shortcomings.

"We have experienced a tremendous surge in development in this area with new businesses and residents. It is only fitting we have a new site for the ALU," Evans said.

The community is encouraged to visit the Asian Liaison Unit, meet the officers and feel free to contact them at 724-8009, if in need of assistance. For more information, contact Evans' MPD liaison, Windy Abdul-Rahim.


DC government closes for Veterans' Day observances
Throughout Ward 2 and the District, celebrations will take place honoring US war veterans on Friday, November 11. In observance, DC government will be closed for business.

The following schedules apply for Friday, November 11:

  • There will be no trash collection, no street cleaning, no recycling and no parking enforcement. Trash collection will resume regular schedules on November 12. For the official schedule of holiday trash collection, click here.
  • The Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station will be closed.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles service locations will be closed November 11 and reopen November 12.

For additional information, contact Evans' DMV, DPW and DDOT liaison, Sean Metcalf.


Annual neighborhood clean up in Foggy Bottom
If you have a knack for gardening, live in Foggy Bottom and want to meet your neighbors, volunteers are needed for the fall cleanup of 26th Street Park, which will take place on Saturday, November 12 from 10:00 am to 12:00 p.m. Please bring gloves and garden tools such as rakes, brooms and shovels.

Foggy Bottom residents want to prepare the park for the winter and will be raking leaves and spreading mulch. Refreshments will be provided. To sign up, please call 965-3896 or contact Councilmember Evans' Foggy Bottom liaison, Michele Molotsky.


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