It’s the last day of August, 2021, and schools are officially back in person. Are you holding your breath or sighing with relief? Or a little bit of both? What’s going on this week?
Mayor Bowser chose to ring in the new school year with a ribbon-cutting at Eliot-Hine Middle School yesterday. Members of her administration, such as Acting DDOT director Everett Lott, stood around the area and waving 15-mile per hour signs while reminding people to slow down. Considering that C Street NE is a well-known speedway where there is both congestion and speeding, we hope to see more than just signs that are easily disregarded and look forward to the completion of the C Street project, which has been in the works in some form for over eleven years. (Take a look at this now-defunct blog from a former neighbor and weep.)
The first day of school seemed to go smoothly enough, but some parents were (and still are) upset and worried about lunchtime and snack time– especially for unvaccinated children under 12. Although parents have clamored for a virtual option, especially for children with medically compromised siblings, the District government has not budged at all. Charles Allen held a town hall last week –prompted by his school visits solo and with Ward 6 SBOE rep Jessica Sutter, where things looked very not-ready (WTOP). The following day, the Mayor’s office announced that it would be switching from opt-in for COVID testing to opt-out. That is, you don’t need to sign in to be part of testing, but you do have to actively say you do not wish for your child to be part of testing– a small step that makes a big difference in the number of people who are tested on an average day.
By the way, I live-tweeted Thursday’s town hall. If you’re interested in reading that thread, you can click through and read here.
After many readers and residents complained about the state of Eastern Market Metro Plaza and shared photos of litter, overturned chairs and tables, chalk-drawn vandalism and other minor but no less annoying problems, the Capitol Hill BID announced this week that they will start a pilot program tending to the plaza until 7 p.m.– this is four hours beyond their regular core service which ends at 3 p.m. This pilot program will start September 1 and will gauge how much additional need for care is necessary to sustain the plaza.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced legislation to remove the National Capital Planning Commission’s authority over the District, as it limits the local government and its ability to develop the city. You can read the press release here.
The Test Yourself program for free COVID tests through the DC Public Library has been expanded. When it was introduced back in August, Test Yourself was only available at the Watha T. Daniel Shaw Library, which is not convenient to the majority of Ward 6 residents, for instance. If you’re in Ward 6, you can now pick up tests at the following locations:
- Arthur Capper Community Center (1000 5th St SE) – opens on Monday, August 30
- Rosedale Recreation Center (1701 Gales St NE) – opens on Monday, August 30
- Southwest Library (900 Wesley Pl SW) – opens on Wednesday, September 1 and will be open for pick up Monday-Wednesday, 10 am – 6 pm; Thursday, 12 pm – 6 pm; and Friday & Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm.
- DC Health (899 N Capitol St NE) – opens on Wednesday, September 1 and will be open for pick up Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm
Comedian Ali Wong ate from Cane on H Street NE backstage and she gave a shoutout to the food via Instagram! According to Washington Business Journal, she also ate takeout from other restaurants around town, like Thamee. Excuse me while I dream of that snapper escovitch.