April President's Letter: From Showers to Flowers

Thursday, March 24, 2016

April is a month of uncertainty. It can be warm and sunny, and according to Accuweather, the projection for April 2016 is temperatures ranging between 40 degrees at night and the low 70s during the day. I am skeptical about long-range projections. Gardeners normally wait until mid-April  before planting their annual flowers, even though current temperatures on March 9 may break a DC record high of 80 degrees.

Prudence precludes CAG from holding concerts in a park during April. However, the Concerts in the Parks fundraiser party will be indoors on April 14 at the Vinyl Lounge at 3401 Water Street. The party begins at 7pm, and we ask CAG members to donate at least $75 per person, and non-members, $85 per person. The Concerts will be Sundays May 22, June 19, and July 10.

CAG’s April public meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 19 at 7pm at Pinstripes, located just to the north of the C&O Canal National Historic Park at Wisconsin Avenue — an appropriate location for a program about restoring and revitalizing the canal. The National Park Service does not have the funds to repair the locks in Georgetown or to replace the mule-drawn canal boat. The panel discussion will include Kevin Brandt, superintendent of the C&O National Historical Park; Maggie Downing, Destination Manager of the Georgetown Business Improvement District; and Terrie S. Rouse, Executive Director of Georgetown Heritage. There will be a 30-minute reception followed promptly by the 7:30pm panel discussion, followed by questions and answers. The program concludes at 8:30pm. Walter Groszyk’s article on DC Water’s proposed plan for installing Green Infrastructure in west Georgetown explains that the modifications required to reduce combined sewer outflows conflict with the preservation of the hundreds of historic properties that could be affected by Green Infrastructure installations.

DC Water heard our objections to the plan, but the agency is proceeding to refine its proposals over the next three to four months. The Commission of Fine Arts wrote a letter to DC Water indicating that DC Water needs to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which could lead to archaeological surveys and  investigations prior to any excavation.The DC Fair Skies Coalition continues pressing forward to make progress on creating alternative routes for departures north of Reagan National and for arrival routes to the airport from the north. The Coalition has filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia a reply to the Federal Aviation Administration’s motion to dismiss our claim that the FAA had failed to adequately notify the affected communities of the impending changes to the routes that are seriously disturbing our peace and quiet. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will host a roundtable meeting of representatives from Washington, Virginia, and Maryland, plus the FAA and MWAA, during the latter part of March to explore appropriate remedies to reduce aircraft noise. I serve as the Ward 2 representative for the roundtable discussions.

A sewer project unrelated to Green Infrastructure will get underway in west Georgetown in several months. This project involves the reconstruction of a very old combined sewer that runs on a general north/south alignment to the west of Wisconsin Ave. Most of the repair of this trunk sewer can be done without digging up the streets.

I look forward to seeing you April 14 at the Vinyl Lounge to kick off the Concerts and on Tuesday, April 19 at 7pm at Pinstripes to learn about what is happening with the canal!

Bob vom Eigen, President



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