Monday, September 28, 2009

Exclusive Poll: 51% Disapprove of Fenty's Job Performance

posted 5:08 pm Fri September 25, 2009 - WASHINGTON
From ABC 7 News -

A majority of D.C. residents disapprove of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's job performance and even more believe he cares more about advancing his career than about the city's needs, according to an exclusive SurveyUSA poll commissioned by WJLA-TV.

SurveyUSA asked 500 D.C. residents several questions about Mayor Fenty re-election prospects one year before the District's Democratic primary.

The poll found 51 percent disapprove of the job he is doing, while 40 percent approve. Broken down by race, 69 percent of black voters disapproved of Fenty, compared with 23 percent who approved. That's almost the exact opposite for whites: 66 percent approved and 24 percent disapproved. Latino voters were split. Black voters account for more than half of the D.C. electorate. Whites make up about one-third.

Among Democrats, Fenty had a 54-percent disapproval rating. Throughout the survey, Democrats judged Fenty more harshly than Republicans or independents, who make up a very small percentage of District voters.

Fenty declined to comment on the poll's findings Friday.

"I've been around this city all my life, I've been around politics for a third of that time," Fenty told ABC 7's Suzanne Kennedy. "I just tend not to focus on polls."

Fifty-four percent of respondents said their opinion of Fenty has gotten worse since he took office in 2007. Only 11 percent had an improved opinion of him. About one-third -- 32 percent -- of respondents had no change in their opinions.

In perhaps the most damaging area of the poll, 58 percent thought Fenty more focused on advancing his career than on the community's needs. Twenty-seven percent found him more focused on the community; 14 percent were unsure. The career-minded label was most pronounced among African American voters, 69 percent, and Latinos, 57 percent. White voters were split.

As for two of the biggest issues in the District, crime and schools, the poll finds 72 percent believe crime has decreased (30%) or stayed the same (42%) in the past five years. Twenty-four percent thought crime had gotten worse.

School reform has been a focus of the Mayor, who took control of city schools and installed Michelle Rhee as chancellor after winning the 2006 mayoral race. Despite reform efforts, city residents give the school system a D+ grade point average (1.8). Only 3 percent of respondents rated the system an A; 15 percent said B, 37 percent C, 22 percent D, and 19 percent F.

A majority of District residents, 51 percent, believe the mayor and city work together "somewhat well". Four percent said very well. Thirty-nine percent thought Fenty and the Council did not get along.

Only two candidates have stepped forward to challenge Fenty: Leo Alexander, a former TV reporter and current independent insurance sales executive, and former accountant Sulaimon Brown, who has held behind the scenes political jobs.

The poll has a plus or minus 4.5 percent margin of error, except for the question about Fenty's focus, which had a 4.4 percent margin of error.

Where's the love?

In an article by Washington City Paper writer Mike DeBonis, under the heading of "Political Potpourri", posted on September 23, 2009, Mr. Debonis describes thusly a confrontation between Ward 7 Councilwoman Yvette Alexander and Ron Moten, cofounder of the Peaceoholics during a recent city hall protest:

"Ever since Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted “You lie!” at President Obama earlier this month, folks across the land have been decrying the lack of civility and respect in Washington’s political quarters.

That includes the John A. Wilson Building, apparently. Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander tells LL that she was not extended her due courtesy recently.

The occasion was a city hall protest last week, where Peaceoholics co-founder Ron Moten brought dozens of supporters to protest the slashing of council earmarks—of which his group has been a prime beneficiary.

Outside the Wilson Building, Alexander says Moten & Co. got in her face about the cuts to the fiscal 2010 budget. Alexander says she had a retort: “I said, ‘What are you arguing for? You’ve never had a shortage of any funding.’” She added: “Your well has run dry.”

To that, Moten did not react well: “You’re trash!” Alexander recalls being told at least three times with Moten’s finger in her face.

In an interview, Moten admits to comparing his councilmember to refuse: “She was acting like a piece of trash,” the Ward 7 resident says. “She wasn’t acting like a councilmember.”

In Moten’s telling, it’s Alexander who needs to improve her manners: “She was talking to the people like nobodies. ‘I don’t like people who drop out of school. I don’t like people who stand on corners.’” In fact, he says, “I’m debating whether or not I’m going to press charges against her for grabbing my finger.”

One can only imagine, that had the protesters that approached Councilwoman Alexander been restrained and civil, the occasion of the Councilwoman's interact with the protesters would not have reached the attention of Mr. DeBonis or any of the readers of his writing or this blog. We do not expect our elected officials to have to endure ad hominem attacks or for that matter, the threat of physical abuse. Also, the altercation could not have been in the best interests of the Peaceoholics, because the Councilwoman could/will certainly have the last say.

Do you remember the $787 Billion Recovery Plan and the great controversy it created in early February of this year?

Well, you can now access information online detailing all the pertinent details about its true impact and get quarterly updates. The following is a description of the Act's purpose:

"On February 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Four days later, the President signed the legislation into law. The Recovery Act’s three main goals are to:
  • Create and save jobs
  • Spur economic activity and invest in long-term economic growth
  • Foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending

This $787 billion Recovery plan includes federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits, and other spending on social entitlement programs. In addition, federal agencies are using Recovery funds to award contracts, grants, and loans around the country.

The Recovery Act’s longer-term economic investment goals include:

  • Initiating a process to computerize health records to reduce medical errors and save on health care costs
  • Investing in the domestic renewable energy industry
  • Weatherizing 75 percent of federal buildings and more than one million homes
  • Increasing college affordability for seven million students by funding the shortfall in Pell Grants, raising the maximum grant level by $500, and providing a higher education tax cut to nearly four million students
  • Cutting taxes for 129 million working households by providing an $800 Making Work Pay tax credit
  • Expanding the Child Tax Credit

The Recovery Act was intended to jumpstart the economy but many of the projects funded by Recovery money, especially those involving infrastructure improvements, are expected to contribute to economic growth for many years."

The Act promised transparency. Thus, you can access vital information about the Act and its recipients at

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 2009 Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Weekend of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

If you notice people milling around various venues at and around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this week, be advised, the 2009 Annual Legislative Conference will be in full swing. The ALC Conference will officially start on Wednesday, September 23rd with the opening press conference, and culminates on Saturday, September 26th with the Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner.

"Thousands of elected officials, business and industry leaders, celebrities, media, emerging leaders and everyday Americans descend upon the ALC and its dozens of policy forums, general sessions, massive exhibit showcase, job fair, book signings and vast networking opportunities.

The Congressional Black Caucus – comprised of the African-American members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate – headline ALC every year.

The conference brings together diverse organizations and individuals to collectively discuss common issues and concerns. Its program includes more than 70 workshops, seminars and information forums on relevant topics that capture and portray the concerns of African Americans. Participants discuss the challenges facing underserved populations, including health care, economic success and failures, global and domestic security as well as highlight successes and provide critical information that will help to build strong communities, organizations and individual families. The conference also features the successful Emerging Leaders Empowerment Series, which is gaining widespread attention as it speaks to our future successors. In addition, the exhibit hall offers demonstrations and social events to complement the substantive content of the conference.

The Annual Legislative Conference is one of the most important gatherings of African American leaders. They really need and want all constituents to seize this opportunity to speak freely and often about their concerns, to network and build relationships, and to gather as much information as possible to take home and share within their communities."

Check out the full schedule of events by clicking on the following url:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Marcia Jones Ferguson elected Secretary of Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association (PBCCA)

Marcia Jones Ferguson, an attorney in private practice in the District of Columbia, was elected and sworn in as Secretary of the PBCCA at the September 8th Association meeting. Mrs. Ferguson, who has lived in Penn Branch since 1996, assumed her responsibilities immediately after being installed. Her term is for two years.

The Secretary is an officer of the Association, along with President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. The officers constitute the Executive Committee of the Association, along with the chairs of the standing committees and previous Association presidents.

We welcome the addition of Mrs. Ferguson, whose responsibilities include recording and reporting all activities of the Association.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Outstanding turnout at Penn Branch Memorial Park on Saturday, September 19th Cleanup

The Penn Branch Memorial Gateway Park, at the corner of Carpenter and O street, is beautiful again, thanks to the leadership of Ms. Alberta Paul and the Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association's Public Works committee. Many Penn Branch citizens, perhaps motivated by civic pride and the spirit of those who perished during the 9/11 tragedy, gathered to clear the park of weeds, debris, and to prune flowers and plants in anticipation of winter. Also, they were able to meet and greet new neighbors and partake of refreshments and good spirits. Job well done!

Friday, September 18, 2009

$2.8 million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to create green jobs in the District and improve the health of

DDOT Green Jobs Programs

Awarded Federal Stimulus Funding

Projects Could Create Close to 400 Full and Part-time Jobs

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) has been awarded nearly $2.8 million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to create green jobs in the District and improve the health of the city’s urban tree canopy.

“This is what the stimulus money was intended to do – to put people to work,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein, “and in this case there’s a significant environmental as well as an economic benefit for the District.”

DDOT, in partnership with Washington Parks & People, will receive $2.692 million to create the DC Green Corps. The DC Green Corps will provide a city-wide gateway to 50 different green career tracks in urban and community forestry, forest-based ecosystems and watershed restoration. Washington Parks & People is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and enhancing public parks, and the DC Green Corps will be based at the new Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center in the Watts Branch sub-watershed of the Anacostia River.

This is one of two significant grant awards for DDOT from the United States Forest Service. DDOT, along with the District Department of the Environment, was also awarded $90,000 for the Mayor’s Green Summer Job Corps, a program that offers approximately 100 District teenagers the opportunity for real green-collar work experience. Working on UFA’s tree teams, the youth will be engaged in data collection and maintenance (mulching, watering, and pruning) of public-space trees.

The DC Green Corps and Mayor’s Green Summer Job Corps are among 78 forest health protection projects to receive ARRA funding from the Forest Service. DDOT has also received ARRA funding for a number of other green initiatives through DDOE. For more detail on all of the District’s ARRA projects, visit the District’s stimulus web site at

The mission of DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration is to establish a full population of street trees within the District and to ensure that those street trees are maintained in a healthy and safe condition. UFA has 16 certified arborists on staff that care for approximately 140,000 trees throughout the city.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

11th Street Bridge Information/articles

Article: "Fenty Administration Moves forward with Work on 9th and 11th Street Bridge Projects"
(click here for article)

Article: "11th Street Bridges, What & Why"
(click here for article)

Article: "Skanska wins $182M Design-Build Bridge Contract in DC" (click here for article)

Announcement: Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association Monthly Meeting - October 13, 2009

The monthly meeting of the Penn Branch Citizens Civic Assn. (PBCCA) will be held on October 13, 2009 at the Pennsylvania Ave. Baptist Church, 3000 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Washington DC. The meeting will last for two hours, between the hours of 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. All are invited, and refreshments will be served. Please encourage members of the community to attend this vital forum.

Department of Planning Proposed Zoning Changes and City's Aging Infrastructure exposed by Cooper Cafritz Fire

The following is an excellent article that discusses the DC Office of Planning's rewrite of Title 11, the zoning regulations which would be the basis for increasing building density in the District of Columbia. Also the fire at the home of philanthropist Peggy Cooper Cafritz exposed a potentially disasterous and immediate problem: underperforming hydrants. The article (from DC Watch) is as follows:

Proposed Zoning Changes and the City's Aging Infrastructure

Alma Gates,

Over the past year, the Office of Planning has held a series of public meetings on the rewrite of Title 11, the zoning regulations, and, as a complementary exercise, it is in the process of amending the Comprehensive Plan. Few city residents have participated in the rewrite, and most are unaware that the anticipated outcome of the new zoning regulations will be increased density throughout the city. The Comprehensive Plan amendments, many of which were submitted by city agency staffs, are meant to provide the justification for the zoning changes. Growing a city brings a new set of responsibilities and concerns for those who must ensure public welfare and safety. For example, there have been numerous recent media reports about the fire at the home of Peggy Cooper Cafritz. The Post, the Northwest Current, and the Examiner cited a lack of water pressure due to the age and inadequacy of the infrastructure as a contributing factor in the difficulty experienced by firefighters who attempted to extinguish the blaze on Chain Bridge Road. Responders to the Cafritz fire, like those at the Eastern Market, Georgetown Library, and Adams Mill apartment building, experienced immediate underperforming hydrants, indicating the problem of low water pressure is citywide.

The city hired a former Shreveport, Louisiana, fire chief to prepare a report on the fire and related water problems following the 2007 Adams Mill apartment fire. One of the report's major conclusions found, “The condition of the water system infrastructure is highly questionable due to its age and condition, as due to deferred maintenance and inspection. Major portions of the underground infrastructure will have to be replaced to upgrade the system. Correction of these problems will require millions of dollars and at least two decades of continual effort.” The Cafritz fire leaves no doubt that the city has failed to implement the report's recommendations; and it is a clear indication of the serious vulnerability that currently exists in the city. WASA notes there are 1,300 miles of water mains in the District that have a median age of 74 years, and 14 percent of them are more than one hundred years old. Those who lived in Washington through Marion Barry's tenure as Mayor know little attention was paid to infrastructure; and subsequent mayors have done little to address or improve the aging underpinnings of the city. This reality led Robert McCartney, Metro columnist to note, “Rebuilding infrastructure is a top priority. The Red Line crash in June, and problems battling the fire at the Cafritz home July 31 because of a 75-year-old water main, highlighted some deficiencies in the region.”

Metro is at capacity, water mains are insufficient, and PEPCO is scrambling to make power delivery more reliable. Yet the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the Office of Planning (OP) continue to encourage new development without addressing the exiting strain on what lies beneath the city's streets and in its overhead power lines. “The tragic crash on Metro's Red Line was a wake-up call that our region's transportation infrastructure is aging and in need of repair,” said Jim Moran (D-VA) in a July 23 press release. It is time to seriously consider the unsafe, deficient, and unreliable foundation upon which new development will be built as the DMPED and OP move forward their agendas for growing the city through a revised Comprehensive Plan and new zoning regulations. Couple that with the fact that, while current setback regulations were established to provide light, air, and fire protection, proposed setbacks will be significantly reduced under the new zoning regulations; and, the Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment do not consider infrastructure reliability in hearings. The reality of what happens when homes are closer together or many more residents simultaneously turn on their water taps, as might be the case at the proposed Athena site on MacArthur Boulevard or the recently approved Giant development on Wisconsin Avenue, is not addressed in terms of infrastructure capacity.

A serious problem exists in Washington, DC, that will not be solved by new zoning regulations or amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. Today, the city council held a hearing to determine what went wrong at the Cafritz fire, although the cause is already well documented. It was an opportunity — a missed opportunity —for WASA and the Fire Department to stop pointing fingers at each other and begin pointing to the necessity for the DMPED and OP to furnish a strategy to improve the city's aging and inadequate infrastructure before placing additional strains on a failing system. This is the least government can do for its taxpaying citizens.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SAVE THE DATE: Penn Branch Annual Dinner Dance - June 5, 2010 at the Navy Yard

Folks, we are off and running with preparations for the Annual Penn Branch Dinner Dance. It will be held again at the Navy Yard on June 5, 2010. We encourage everyone to participate by volunteering for various aspects of the preparation. If you are interested in volunteering, leave a message at All messages will be convey to the Penn Branch Civic Association (PBCCA) Dinner Dance Committee, under the excellent leadership of Mrs. Eloise Prince, for a response.

Nuisance properties at 3822 & 3824 Carpenter Street, SE to be abated by DCRA

Through the efforts of the PBCCA Public Works Committee, working with the DC Department of Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), two abandoned homes on Carpenter Street are scheduled to have numerous maintenance issues abated this week. The properties located at 3822 & 3824 Carpenter Street, respectively, will have trash and overgrowth removed and other issues, within DCRA's jurisdiction addressed. However, because there are issues outside of DCRA's jurisdiction, DCRA will have to refer them to "sister" agencies to "expeditiously handle the remaining issues." Stay tuned. Outstanding effort on the part of the Public Works Committee under Ms. Alberta Paul's leadership!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

National Capital Planning Commission recent decision regarding the 11th Street Bridge

As was mentioned in the Sept. 1, 2009 post, the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) transferred jurisdiction of a vital plot of land for the development of the 11th Street Bridge/I395 (I695) connector. The following is a synopsis of the proceeding from NCPC's September 3, 2009 meeting.

"11th Street Bridge Replacement and Related Transfer of Jurisdiction of a Portion of Anacostia Park

(File Number 6951/6955)

The Commission reviewed the concept design submitted by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to replace the 40 year old 11th Street bridges that cross the Anacostia River. DDOT plans to construct two new bridges, one for freeway traffic and one for local traffic. In order to accommodate new ramp configurations, the Commission approved the transfer of land of approximately 1.5 acres of Reservation 343D (Anacostia Park) from the National Park Service to the District of Columbia.

The proposed bridge replacement project seeks to improve connections between I-695 (the Southeast/Southwest Freeway) and I-295 (the Anacostia Freeway). It would eliminate structural deficiencies and provide needed enhancements to the bridge and approach ramp structures. It is designed to reduce congestion, improve traffic mobility and traffic safety, and provide alternative emergency routes.

The local bridge would provide a 14’ wide shared-use path for walking, jogging, and bicycling and be built with tracks to permit a streetcar route in the future. The proposal includes components to accommodate overhead wires.

In addition to approving the land transfer, NCPC voiced support for the replacement of the existing bridges as well as for the city’s streetcar initiative. However, it noted concern about the use of an overhead wire system within the historic Washington City (L’Enfant City) and Georgetown because of its conflict with a federal law that maintains the unobstructed views to important landmarks along city streets and avenues that are integral to the capital’s unique character. The Commission action also reflected the District’s commitment to study the potential environmental impacts of the proposed city-wide streetcar system in an Environmental Impact Statement.

Fall Clean-up at Penn Branch Gateway Memorial Park, Saturday, September 19, 2009, 8:00 am - 12 Noon




P.O. BOX 6730



8:00am - 12 NOON

Bring your rakes, gloves, lawn mowers, brooms, dust pans and let's make our Gateway Park the beautiful entryway we all know it can be . The Association through its public works committee challenges each of us to join in to help clean-up our community gateway.

There is something for everyone to do; trim the hedges, prune the roses, clear the path of all weeds, wash down our memorial bench, greet neighbors, donate refreshments, serve refreshments and much much more ….



WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU CONTACT MR LEONARD WASHINGTON AT 202-575-7711 OR Gilbert Bussey, President 202-584-6165




September 19, 2009

8:00AM - NOON

Plumbers and Gasfitters Apprenticeship Training Announcement

This is a great opportunity for folks to get good training in a solid trade with great upside! The Washington, DC Plumbers & Gasfitters Local No. 5, Joint Plumbing Apprenticeship Committee announces an apprenticeship program for the Washington DC area. You can access the information for application at, or to view their 6-minute apprentice information video. The apprenticeship pays $17.70 per hour while you learn!!!

Penn Branch Shopping Center Redevelopment Meeting Community Announcement

ICG Properties, LLC, the entity that owns the Penn Branch Shopping Center will host a meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2009, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at 3220 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20020. The specific suite for the meeting has yet to be determined.

IGC is hosting the meeting to update the community on its redevelopment plans for the Penn Branch Shopping Center. Everyone is encouraged to attend this vital meeting in advance of actual development of the site.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's happening with the 11th Street Bridges and the Southeast/Southwest Freeway??

There seems to be various issues, and certainly discontent regarding the development of the 11th Street Bridges, including connectors to the Southeast/Southwest freeway with North and South bound DC 295 and Kenilworth Ave., Barney Circle development and the proposed 11th street Bridge Connector, community input (or lack there of), design-builder selection[s] (general contractor), funding, health issues, environmental impact, historical impact, and adjacent developments that will further impact communities on both sides of the Anacostia River.

In the immediate future, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) action items for its September 3, 2009 meeting, includes an item (File #6951/6955) that will transfer jurisdiction of a portion of Anacostia Park (1.5 acres) U.S. Reservation 343D from the National Park Service to the District of Columbia. To access the staff recommendation, please click on the following site: NCPC Staff Recommendation for a detail account of the 11th Street Replacement Project.

This blog will provide a running account of the progress of the projects and allow for dialogue to be posted in real time.

The Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association is very interested in the development of this project, as it will have an extraordinary impact on various elements relative to the growth of the Pennsylvania Ave.-east-of- the-river corridor.