President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher,


Although many things are drawing down as summer approaches, we have one big community event left— the annual summer picnic on Saturday, June 20, from 4–8 pm at Whitehaven Park (Green Lot, Whitehaven Parkway and 37th Street). As in previous years, we will have Rocklands BBQ, a raffle, a band, a petting zoo for children, and the Top Dog competition. Of course, the picnic doesn’t happen by magic. If you are able to volunteer for a few hours, please contact the impresario of the festivities, Kay Twomey, at There will also be a historical walking tour of Burleith led by Dwane Starlin just before the picnic.

As you have surely noticed, the BCA has moved to quarterly production and delivery of a hard copy Burleith Bell newsletter—June, October, December, and March. This is motivated above all by the revamped website ( that has been up-and-running since March. On a related note, Ann Carper is stepping down as the editor of the Burleith Bell. Stacy Davis has kindly agreed to take on the editing duties. I would like to thank Ann for her creative and thoughtful contributions to our newsletter.

Work at Ellington is progressing. A recent meeting of the construction committee revolved around the route that the trucks will take to and from the site (entrance on 35th, exit on Reservoir) and the problem of contractors somehow getting permits to park on our streets. There is still some uncertainty over the final design due to possible cuts in the budget. Also, for R Street residents, Hill-Carnes Engineering Associates is conducting a noise and sound study to assess any possible impacts from the construction. Very few residents have responded, so contact them at (410) 880-4788) soon.

Unfortunately, we will need to live with Hardy Middle School’s loud temporary chiller parked on 35th Street for most of the summer. The contractor told me that the permanent one will not be installed until a weekend in August. I should also add that many folks in Burleith and Georgetown are concerned about traffic back-ups on 34th and 35th Streets, which have been quite bad lately. There is evidence that this has been caused by poor light timing approaching the Key Bridge and perhaps by the new lane barriers where the bridge meets M Street introduced several months ago. The ANC and DDOT are aware of the issues and are working towards a resolution.

The big meeting in the Palisades on May 5 about airport noise from Reagan National Airport was incredibly well attended. Representatives from the FAA and MWAA responded to many comments and concerns. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton promised to investigate the problem—generated by the number of passengers increasing from 13 to over 20 million in recent years—and see what can be done. In my opinion, in addition to stricter regulations regarding when planes can take off and land, something needs to be done about the size of planes currently using this regional airport.

In BCA news, many residents have given generously to the call box restoration project, but we still need help to ensure that each and every call box can be restored. Remember that donations are tax-deductible. We hope to have the first box finished by the time of the picnic. I think everyone will be impressed with the zinc plaques inside the dark gray, red, and gold boxes. I would also like to remind people about the Burleith special interest groups— particularly the "reborn" gardening club.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that many more children will be out and about in the neighborhood because the school year ends soon. Please take extra care when driving. And if you are not in the habit of going the speed limit or stopping completely (barely slowing down doesn’t cut it), please do so. And remember, the use of cell phones when driving is not only reckless, but illegal.

I look forward to seeing you at our picnic and around the neighborhood.