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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Jan 23, 2008
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4 Blog Posts

The second Performance Parking town hall has just wrapped up (read the FAQ on Tommy's web site, the bill itself, my post on it back in December, and my summary of Tuesday's town hall to get the background). Since this meeting was held on Capitol Hill, the focus was more on the impacts around Eastern Market, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Barracks Row. Since these areas are somewhat outside of my mandate, my report will be mercifully shorter than last night's.
It was a very different audience reaction than from the residents of Southwest at Tuesday's meeting--a surprising number of people spoke out about not wanting the plan on their blocks at all. But for those who think the basics are a good idea, there was a lot of talk about the need for serious enforcement (like immediate towing of non-residential vehicles) and concern about whether DPW is up to the task. And that even $50 tickets won't be enough to dissuade some ballpark goers from taking their chances on the residential streets. There was also a lot of griping about the shortage of surface lots and a strong feeling that RFK as free satellite parking won't work.
A surprising concern mentioned was Congress getting up in arms about the plan if their staffers who park all day on local streets with little fear of ticketing suddenly start getting clobbered with tickets, or if a Congressman's car gets towed under some zero-tolerance plan like some were advocating.
As with Tuesday night, questions on guest passes and church parking were met with "we're working on it."
Capitol Hill Tower residents should note that one of your own expressed a number of concerns about the parking plans for New Jersey Avenue and streets close by, and Tommy said he wants to set up a meeting at CHT to talk about issues specific to that block and the areas right around it.
There was no uniformity of opinion, but I'd characterize the meeting as definitely more intense and skeptical than the one with Southwest residents.
If you want to weigh in on anything you've heard about Performance Parking, go to the parking page on Tommy's web site and you can post your comments there.
Next step is the council hearing on the bill, on Jan. 30 at 6 pm. And I should also mention here that on Monday (Jan. 28) at 6:30 pm ANC 6D is having a special meeting to discuss and vote on whether they'll be supporting the parking plan at the council hearing. That meeting is at the ANC 6D offices at 25 N Street, SW, 2nd floor.
UPDATE: Be sure to see this blog post by Tommy Wells where he responds to some of the concerns brought up at the town halls.
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

From a Nationals press release (emphases mine): "The Washington Nationals today announced a partnership with Gifford's Ice Cream & Candy Co. as the team enters its first season in Nationals Park. Gifford's, founded in Silver Spring, MD, will serve scooped ice cream and novelties through 2011 at the Nationals' new home in Southeast Washington. Gifford's will have a branded concession stand on the main concourse featuring their scooped ice cream. Additionally, Gifford's has partnered with the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation to create the "Dinger", a vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookie sandwich which will be sold at various concession stand locations and at Gifford's carts, located throughout the ballpark. A portion of the sale of each sandwich, also offered at all Gifford's locations, will be donated to the Dream Foundation. The "Dinger" will make its debut on March 30, 2008 at the Nationals Opening Night game vs. the Atlanta Braves at 8:05pm."
Also, if you go to a Gifford's between now and the end of the month wearing a Nationals shirt or hat, you'll get 10 percent off.
UPDATE: To prove I'm not lying, here's WBJ's report on the deal.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

My eyes widened a bit late last week when I saw in the DC Register news that the "Ballpark Public Safety Amendment Act" had been introduced at the City Council's January 8th meeting. What tidbits could I find in this, I thought as I scrambled to find a copy of the bill (my District Extra column makes me a lot more desperate for content than you might imagine).
I found someone to send me a copy, I opened it up.... And found that it basically does nothing more than add ", the Ballpark as defined by D.C. Official Code ' 47-2002.05(a)(1)(A)," to four existing laws about various public safety issues so that the new ballpark is covered the way RFK and the Armory are.
But, for the record, here's what this new bill allows for:
* Police will be able to erect barriers to direct the flow of traffic or to keep the public out during riots or other emergencies;
* No one can bring disposable beverage containers into the ballpark (unless they're vendors);
* Unauthorized entry onto the stadium playing field is prohibited; and
* The ballpark is exempted from DC's law prohibiting smoking in public places (as RFK and the Armory are already exempted).
You can dig through the online version of the DC Code to find the existing pre-amended laws, or see a handy combined version here.
There will be a hearing on this earthshattering legislation on February 7 at 10 am by Phil Mendelson's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.|
UPDATE: No, I don't know how the "disposable beverage container" law is interpreted. I heard at an ANC meeting that containers at the new ballpark would be handled the same way they were at RFK--but I'm not familiar enough with how that worked to weigh in on what it means.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 

The Washington Times reports on what's left to be done at the ballpark: "There are 66 days left until the Nationals open the new ballpark with an exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles on March 29. Opening Day follows the next evening, with a nationally televised game against the Atlanta Braves.
But much work still remains to be done, particularly on the portions of the stadium not immediately visible to passers-by on South Capitol Street. [... ] In theory, baseball could be played at the new ballpark now. The field is in place, nearly all the seats have been installed, and team clubhouses and the press box are nearing completion. Heavy work remains, however, on the concession and food-service areas, offices, control rooms and team store."
Some things might not be ready by Opening Day, though: "Mr. Haas and Mr. O'Dell acknowledged that some work on the stadium will continue even after the season begins. A video board the Nationals requested be installed in center field may not be ready, and some areas will lack final coats of paint and finishes. Sculptures and other artwork will be midseason additions." But, the last word from Stan: " 'I promise you that with two weeks left, in the middle of March, people are going to look at [the ballpark] and say, 'I don't see how it's going to be done,' ' Nationals President Stan Kasten said. 'But it will be done.' "
And, repeating this from last night, Wednesday's Post has a piece about how the architects of the ballpark have worked to bring the stadium from paper to reality.
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More posts: Nationals Park
 




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