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Local

Church, politician hosting parties this weekend

Mary Cheh

This weekend, up north of Van Ness, you have two great opportunities to get food and meet people, one sponsored by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, the other by the Capitol Memorial Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

On Saturday, Mary Cheh is having her campaign kick-off at Murch Elementary School in Tobago, from 2-4. The event promises of food paired with speeches on the playground, in temperate weather. Mary Cheh has been a very strong supporter of economic growth, pedestrian safety, and neighborhood livability in Ward 3. Outside of the neighborhood, she has also fought hard for the much-needed education reforms of Michelle Rhee, while also fighting against Mayor Fenty’s cronyism and arrogant executive style. Map out Murch ES.

If you’re more of a religious person, especially one that dislikes meat, alcohol, coffee, and evangelists, the Capitol Memorial Church has its annual vegetarian food festival. Because they hold services on Saturday, the event will be on Sunday, the 16th, from 1PM-4PM. According to the DCist article on theevent, the diversity and volume of food is enormous. The CMC professes to have parishioners from 40 countries providing an unlimited transnational smorgasbord for $10 Map out the CMC.

PLUS: The Tenleytown Historical Society, Cultural Tourism DC, and The “Tenleytown Neighbors Association” are hosting a walking tour of Tenleytown on the 22nd, from 10-12:15. Tenleytown’s history is pretty fascinating, and I regret that I can’t really cover it enough on this blog. You should register at no cost to attend.

Local

Small-Town Politics: Everything but Safeway

The Current covered the November 5th ANC 3E meeting, but it’s worth discussing it in a format that’s indexed by Google – and one that doesn’t use two inflammatory headlines for one ANC meeting. Hyperbole is something that can only be applied to Zoning Commission cage fights. Speaking of which, the obvious topic of the night was the Tenleytown Safeway, but like any good spectacle, that discussion came only after a long development. Actually, the debate over Safeway’s PUD was so long that I’m going to put it up as another post tomorrow.

After the crime report and some perfunctory zoning adjustments, a manager at Maggiano’s in Friendship Heights discussed their mandatory re-application for valet parking. The loss of parking is one of DC’s bugaboos, but he assuaged the concerns with cold, hard facts about where they park. Friendship Heights’ traffic is particularly bad and people from nearby neighborhoods complain about visitors parking in along the narrow streets to the east. So it was a huge surprise to learn that the garage under that block is largely empty most of the time. That suggests that most people will take the stress of driving around Jenifer Street over paying to store their cars, have parked in one of the other garages, or that a good number of the shoppers crowding the streets have arrived on transit. It definitely requires further study. The application was approved, and they moved on to the Reno School.

Jane Maroney, the newly elected Deal PTA chair spoke on behalf of the school in regard to the future of the Jesse Reno School. She explained Deal’s intents for the building in general: that it will be used as a performing arts facility and school nursery that could double as public meeting location. Apparently the two major goals are to keep the main building secure at night and reserve the dulcet tones of the band for infants who will only remember the experience subconsciously.

The blocked archway became a source of contention.
The Reno School. The blocked archway above was a source of contention.

The Jesse Reno building is unquestionably a historic structure, so the debate came down to whether to landmark it now and then renovate, or to renovate and then landmark it. Either way, renovations have to undergo Historic Preservation review because the structure was built in 1903. Deal received money from the city to renovate it, but hasn’t yet hired an architect. Board Member Waldmann of the Tenleytown Historical Society explained a little about its history as a segregated school and the lone survivor of the town of Reno, but her justification for why landmarking was so essential with everyone on board could only be justified with shadows of reckless demolitions during Barry years, so eventually the board voted 3-2 against the nomination. Oddly, the Bender-Frumin-Serebin and Eldredge-Sklover split is the same way they voted on the Janney application.

So, that was the lesser part of the meeting. The rest comes tomorrow.