Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Here is the text from Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s latest E-newsletter.

August 2010 Thomas Connection Newsletter

August 2010 Volume 4, Issue 8
Building Bridges, Finding Solutions, People First

In This Issue...
Water Coolers Donated to Youth Sports Programs
H Street Shuttle Adds Stop on Bladensburg Road
Thomas Calls for Investigation of Ward 5 Power Outages
New Watha T. Daniel Library Opens

Water Coolers Donated to Youth Sports Programs
Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. joined with District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) General Manager George S. Hawkins to present more than 100 water jugs to area youth sports programs at a press conference on July 29, 2010. Thomas and Hawkins presented the 5-gallon water coolers to four organizations that offer youth football, baseball and basketball: the Washington Wizards Basketball Camps, the Woodridge Warriors Youth Organization, the Pigskin Club, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. Children who take part in sports activities at the recreation center also received gifts from DC Water's Wendy the Water Drop mascot.

"We've had an extraordinarily hot summer," noted Hawkins at the press conference. "DC Water is donating these jugs to young people in the District so they can cool off while staying active. This is just another way to remind the public and our own staff to stay hydrated for good health during hot weather."

"I've played sports all my life, so I know how important it is to stay hydrated and drink water," said Councilmember Thomas. "I want to thank DC Water for reaching out to help keep young people safe and healthy with this donation."

H Street Shuttle Adds Stop on Bladensburg Road
The popular H Street Shuttle, which brings patrons from around the Washington area to H Street, NE, has added a stop on Bladensburg Road, effective Monday July 19, 2010. The stop will connect the businesses on Bladensburg Road to the rapidly expanding H Street Arts and Entertainment District, often referred to as the "Atlas District."

The shuttle runs nightly from 5 pm until the Metro closes, and travels a route along H Street between the Gallery Place/Chinatown and Minnesota Avenue Metro stops. The shuttle brings patrons to and from the developing area for dining, music, theatre, dance and other entertainment activities. Councilmember Thomas played an instrumental role in creating the new stop.

Bladensburg Road, located near H Street, is home to several local businesses, including the Capital City Diner (1050 Bladensburg Rd., NE), Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Hearts Club (1103 Bladensburg Rd., NE), and Sullivan's Seafood (1101 Bladensburg Rd., NE), a small carry-out which many claim serves the best crabcake in town. The addition of this shuttle stop will generate considerably more traffic for these and other businesses, and also highlights how closely and easily connected are the two corridors. The H Street Shuttle will run until the new streetcar system is completed in the summer of 2012.

"Expanding the H Street Shuttle to include Bladensburg Road is a great accomplishment for the businesses and residents of Ward 5," said Thomas. "This was truly a collaborative process with Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells to ensure the Bladensburg Road and Atlas Business Districts continue to thrive and become premier destinations in our city."

Thomas Calls for Investigation of Ward 5 Power Outages
Councilmember Thomas has called for the Office of the People's Counsel to conduct a full investigation into the large number of power outages that occurred in Ward 5 during the first week of July, and PEPCO's slow response in addressing the outages. He also called for the District government to open more neighborhood-based cooling stations during power outages caused by high demand or the result of severe weather.

Heeding Thomas' suggestion, the District government did keep several recreation centers open until midnight during the week-long power outage that followed the July 25, 2010 rain storm, which knocked out power to thousands of District residents, including many Ward 5 households.

Councilmember Thomas conducted regular site visits to the neighborhoods of Ward 5 that suffered power outages. "We have a number of streets that lost electricity during the early July heat wave or as a result of the July 25 rain storm," said Thomas. "I am particularly concerned about the effect of these power outages on our seniors and residents with health issues."

To assist Ward 5 seniors and residents with health conditions during power outages, Councilmember Thomas has made arrangements with an area hotel to provide a deep discount for overnight accommodations, subject to availability. During power outages, Ward 5 seniors and residents with health conditions who are without electricity can contact Victoria Leonard of Councilmember Thomas' staff for more information. Victoria can be reached at 202.403.7866 or vleonard@dccouncil.us .

New Watha T. Daniel Library Opens
The new Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library opened its doors to the public on Monday, August 2, 2010. Built under the close oversight of Councilmember Thomas, Chair of the Council's Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, the new, $15 million library was designed by the architecture firm of Davis Brody Bonds Aedas, one of the United States' leading architectural design practices. The 22,000 square foot library includes three levels and features a flexible design to provide inviting spaces for all. It includes:

· Separate reading areas for adults, teens and children;
· Children's program room;
· 40,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials with space for up to 80,000;
· 32 public access computers with free Wi-Fi Internet access;
· 8 Mac computers in the teen space;
· Comfortable seating for 200 customers;
· Large program room for up to 100 people;
· Two 12-person conference rooms; and a
· Vending area.

The library is expected to receive a LEED Silver certification for incorporating a number of sustainable features, including passive solar design and daylight management, displacement air system and extensive use of recycled or renewable materials. A light sculpture by local artist, Craig Kraft, will be installed outside the library.

"The new Watha T. Daniel Library is sure to become a focal point for the surrounding neighborhood," said Councilmember Thomas. "I applaud DCPL's Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper and her staff for a job well done."


LeeAnne said...

Hi Scott -- I couldn't figure out how to email you directly, so a comment here will have to suffice.

My bicycle was stolen from right outside the front door of Timor Bodega yesterday, at 2nd and Rhode Island. It was a black/orange men's Schwinn mountain bike with disc brakes...a gift from a friend and something I cannot replace easily. If folks could keep an eye out for it -- disc brakes aren't common in our neighborhood as they aren't a practical investment for common city use -- that would be fantastic. I'm new to this city and heard that bike theft was common, but didn't think it would happen so soon to my own.

If you see something like it, please call 202-698-0150 to report its location to Officer McGrail #4827, and reference Case# 111-366. Or email me at misoponia(at)gmail. Profuse thanks.

LeeAnne said...

Also: The new Watha T. Daniel Library is incredible! Their selection of books reflects careful judgment and is admirable in itself, but the building is a work of art.

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Mike Thomas