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The Morning Metropolitan

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ANC Round Up: Back to Business Edition

The ANC met for its September session last night. This session is always pretty long and tedious, mostly because it follows a month hiatus for the commission, which produces a larger than average back log of discussion items. And this month was no exception.

Crime

As normal, Lieutenant  Hedgecock gave a presentation on public safety towards the beginning of the meeting. For what it’s worth (and GM doesn’t put a ton of worth into this) the crime stats for Georgetown and Burleith are down year-to-date 2012 versus year-to-date 2011. For instance, there were 26 robberies up to this point in 2011, there have been only 22 in 2012. Similarly, aggravated assaults are down from 15 to 8 and burglaries down 79 to 62. Thefts–always by far the largest single category of crime–were up from 372 to 410. So Georgetown is safer? Maybe. With numbers as smaller as these, it doesn’t take much for a large percentage swing in either direction. Hopefully, they genuinely reflect a positive trend, but GM fears it’s mostly just statistical noise.

Transportation

Ron Lewis announced that the G2 will finally restore west-of-Wisconsin service after the O & P St. construction is done. Specifically, it will return after the ribbon-cutting which will occur September 18th at 10 AM, by P and 36th.

Old Washingtonian Gas Station

The old Washingtonian Gas station at Q and Wisconsin has been closed since the spring of 2011 when it went up in rather alarming flames. The spot has remained an eyesore pretty much ever since. The owners, however, are finally taking steps to fix the property up.

While GM–who moved around the corner–would love to see the property brought to use as something other than a gas station, last night the owner confirmed that it will in fact return to its prior use. Rolan Joun announced that work should begin within a couple months and the station should be reopened by early next year. He also announced that it will be a Shell station now. GM has previously confirmed that Bobby Gonzales, who ran the auto service shop there before the fire, is not planning on returning to Georgetown (although he still provides pick-up service).

Holiday Decorations

While the barbecue briquettes of Labor Day are barely cold, the BID is already thinking ahead to the holidays. They came before the ANC last night to present some plans for their holiday decorations. They will include the normal baskets that they attach to the light poles. But this year they will add these yellow, Christmas tree-shaped sculptures to the top of the poles along M St. Commissioner Tom Birch complimented the designs but then added a bit of a critical request that next year they consider not using trees that look like Swiss cheese.

The more interesting aspect to the BID’s plans are that they will install a string of lights across the intersection of M and Wisconsin, including a bright star pattern hanging in the center. The BID actually used to do this, but has since 2000. For a quaint old place, Georgetown sure doesn’t get in the holiday decorating spirit as much as it should. Hopefully this will jump start a bit more holiday cheer.

The Mall

Scott Nelson of Vornado was on hand to continue to reveal very little about his organization’s plans for the Georgetown Park mall. He continued to refuse to divulge the names of the possible tenants (GM hears that T.J. Maxx is a leading candidate), but he did confirm the fact that the general approach for the redesign is to allow each store to have an M St. presence. In other words, it won’t really be a mall anymore.

One piece of genuine news is that they hope to have construction completed in 10 to 12 months. The stores may take longer to customize their space, but he also noted that some of the stores may start their own build-out as early as the first quarter of 2013.

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ANC Picture Not So Clear After All

In July, GM speculated that the make-up of the ANC was pretty clear and that there were not going to be many changes. With 6 of the 8 commissioners running unopposed, it still seems likely that there will be little change. But the full lineup remains cloudy after one of candidates for the two student seats failed to make the ballot.

Craig Cassey Jr. had picked up an petition to run for the SMD 4 seat currently held by Jake Sticka. But he apparently didn’t turn in a completed petition by the August 8th deadline. GM reached out to Cassey and he verified that he is going to wage a write-in campaign.

There are a lot of challenges facing students interested in running for ANC. The first is apparent here. They had to be here in DC for their first summer–due to the two year commitment, only rising Sophomores can run– and locate 15 25 people who are also there in the summer and who have changed their registration to their Georgetown address. SMD 4 at least has the benefit of encompassing the Jesuit residence, so someone running for that seat has more potential petition signers. SMD 8 candidates aren’t so lucky. Continue reading

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ANC Makeup to Remain Pretty Much the Same

ANC candidates have until August 8th to turn in petitions to appear on the ballot this November. While that’s still a week away, the likely candidates for Georgetown’s ANC are already clear, and they should be pretty familiar. Every non-student commissioner is running again unopposed. And the two new student commissioners are also set to run unopposed.

So for the record: Ed Solomon, Ron Lewis, Jeff Jones, Bill Starrells, Charlie Eason, and Tom Birch are all running again. Barring some late entrant, the two new student commissioners will be Craig Cassey Jr. and Peter Prindiville.

While GM  doesn’t agree with every stance each existing commissioner takes (some even less than others), they’re a generally good group. That said, for the sake of democracy, it would probably be a good thing if we actually had a contested election every once in a while.

Oh, and this will be the third straight term where all the commissioners are white men.

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ANC Race Starting to Shape Up

Yesterday, the Board of Elections released the final maps for ANC redistricting. The ANC2E one is the same as that decided upon by Tom Birch last fall as depicted above.

The map has a few small changes to the old map and one significant change. The small ones include making SMDs 2, 3, and 5 a bit bigger. And the big change is the brand new SMD 8 on the eastern edge of GU campus. (If you want to rehash the fight that produced this map, read this).

Starting on June 15, candidates have been able to pick up nominating petitions. They have until August 8th to collect 25 signatures of residents of their district. So far, sitting commissioners Ron Lewis and Bill Starrels have already picked up their petitions. GM suspects most if not all the rest of the non-student commissioners will go again next year. Continue reading

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