President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher,

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that you've had an enjoyable and restful holiday season. The weather certainly helped—except for the snow lovers among you. We had the warmest December on record. The BCA had an eventful year, and I predict 2016 will be so as well. Our series of activities concluded just before Christmas. On December 12, Santa visited 16 homes in the neighborhood and distributed gifts to 30 children. Massive thanks go to Dwane Starlin and Rob Russell for organizing such a popular event. Then, on December 20 and 21, Kay Twomey, Alex Frederick, and Lenore Rubino traversed Burleith to judge the holiday light displays. Thanks also to all of them.

It never ceases to amaze me how many neighbors are willing to volunteer their time and donate resources to the community. I thank everyone who has been involved with BCA and other community-enhancing activities over the last year. I would like to highlight one more time the generosity of so many residents for the successful call box restoration project. On that note, the bas-relief for the back of “Shorty” at 37th and R is ready, and we will announce a date early this month for its installation.

We are always looking for new folks to get involved, so please feel free to email us at any time to volunteer; or look for announcements online, on the Burleith listserv, and in the hardcopy Burleith Bell (the next issue will be printed and delivered in March) about scheduled activities to take part in. For instance, we will have our spring clean-up in May, and we are looking for a new organizer for the Halloween party at the Tot Lot.

There are two BCA-sponsored activities coming up. On Sunday, February 7, from 46 pm, Linda Brooks and Ross Schipper will be hosting the 5th annual gløgg party. Please RSVP by February 3 for an always-enjoyable gathering and a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbors. All Burleith residents and BCA members are invited. We will also have a special meeting in February—probably the week of February 22, but this will be determined by the availability of a venue. There will be two topics on the agenda: a discussion about the current and projected re-development of Burleith and measures that we might take as a community to address these trends; and a discussion of the proposed renaming of Ellington Field to its original name, The Western High School Stadium.

The DC Fair Skies Coalition is continuing to try to find relief from the intrusive airplane noise that has increased considerably over the last year. Please consider donating to the legal effort. The Citizens Association of Georgetown is processing all tax-deductible donations at its website. On a more negative note, the BCA through the ANC requested signage for four intersections in the neighborhood to alert drivers to pedestrians' right of way and to encourage drivers to stop properly. This is the response I received from a DDOT representative: “A field investigation was completed in the subject locations. ANC 2E requested to DDOT installing DC-LAW Stop for pedestrian in crosswalk signs for four (4) intersections. All four (4) intersection are controlled by All-Way Stop. According to the 'Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)' for street and Highways–Pedestrians crossing signs are not warranted at any signalized or stop control intersections. This is an enforcement issue.” So, let’s hope they find a way to enforce the rules.

Many other things will be happening or need to be on our radar screens in 2016. Ellington construction continues; discussions will intensify on the next Georgetown University Campus Plan; renovations will commence on the Hyde-Addison School in Georgetown, where Burleith children will attend after the renovation is complete (probably in fall 2018); and preparations for the expansion of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital will be finalized. There will be major work done on water pipes on 35th and Whitehaven from January to May 2016, and 37th Street might be re-paved. We might also get more finalized information about the green infrastructure initiative.

All the best for a healthy and successful 2016!