Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Attaboys

While we wait for the other shoe to drop with the forthcoming Kramer Report, let's take a moment to recognize some Good Things happening in our neighborhood.

First, a tip of the Growler's fuzzy ears to Parker-Gray mom Teri Webster, who has recently taken the helm of the George Washington Middle School PTA. We now have two parent leaders in the community: Ms. Webster and Bill Campbell, president of the Jefferson-Houston PTA. Who said there aren't people in this neighborhood who care?

One of the unsung heroes of the ongoing ARHA drama is attorney Carlyle C. "Connie" Ring. He's a principled man with public service bona fides dating back to the civil rights era. Now he has brought a quiet but much-needed professionalism to the ARHA board, gently helping to guide it in a new direction. Mr. Ring's appointment on the ARHA Board is up for renewal soon. Let us pray that the City's Democratic leaders put blind partisanship behind them and ensure he is reappointed.

Kudos to Patricia Schubert and the Inner City Civic Association: at last Wednesday's monthly meeting, members were given the chance to start formulating the association's position on the Braddock Road Plan. There was thoughtful discussion about why the plan proposed so much density and concern about what we would get in return (if anything). The group agreed on the need for design guidelines, better transitions from large developments to our small-scale homes, the importance of preserving parking for single-family homeowners, the need to nail the City down about its retail promises, and how funding could be secured for streetscaping and amenities for Parker-Gray. There was even a discussion of the future of public housing.

Some of the ICCA officers expressed dismay that they are still underappreciated by the community. Certainly Ms. Schubert didn't get the credit she deserved for the Monarch construction contractor and the nightmare their workers created with their illicit parking.

But the Growler thinks if things continue in this vein and ICCA leaders get out in front of the neighborhood on burning issues like the plan (as well as the Route 1 BRT proposal opposed by some 50 residents of Patrick and Henry Streets), they can easily change that perception.

And finally, we learned at the ICCA meeting that Council Member Rob Krupicka helped Ms. Schubert snag $110,000 in City funds for Parker-Gray improvements, which will cover items like the elegant black trash cans that grace other neighborhoods. The Growler appreciates Mr. Krupicka's efforts on our behalf.