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Photo by PoPville flickr user D.B.

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Mayor Muriel Bowser announced reforms at the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) and the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) that will improve emergency response times and quality of care for residents and visitors to the District.

The reforms come as FEMS released an investigative report on the delayed emergency response that occurred March 13, 2015 in Tenleytown. That day, at approximately 8:36 a.m., OUC received a 911 call for a one year old male in distress. Paramedics arrived on scene at 8:47 a.m. and provided advanced life support care, but unfortunately the child subsequently died.

Mayor Bowser tasked FEMS and OUC with conducting a top-to-bottom review of the incident, as well as their overall emergency response processes and procedures. The months-long internal investigation found that human error along with technological and training issues – related to a new dispatch system – contributed to a breakdown in emergency response communications.

A redacted version of the FEMS report can be found HERE. (more…)

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Ben Crosbie

Thanks to a reader for sending on from Slate:

“The national-security watchdogs at The Intercept have FOIA’d a bunch of Department of Homeland Security documents related to Black Lives Matter activists,…it does indicate that the Department of Homeland Security may have way too much time on its hands:

An April 29th email from the DHS National Operations Center also mentions planned surveillance of three seemingly innocuous events, two of which were associated with historically black neighborhoods. According to the email, the DHS-funded DC Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency decided to conduct “a limited stand-up… to monitor a larger than expected Funk Parade and two other mass gathering events” in case “any Baltimore-related civil unrest occurs.” It appears that the only Funk Parade in DC occurs in the historically black neighborhood of U Street. The other two events, according to another report, produced by the DHS National Capital Region‘s Information Collection and Coordination Center, were a community parade in Congress Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood, and the Avon 39-Walk to End Breast Cancer.

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Photo of Girard Street Playground by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville:

The mayor visited Columbia Heights last week for what our councilwoman billed as a public meeting “to discuss community concerns, including public safety.” Though it had been scheduled for some time, my wife and I were encouraged by the timing of the visit, coming so soon after the July 7 shoot-out at the Girard Street playground. Our three-year old daughter, numerous friends, and dozens of others – children, nannies, camp counselors – were at the playground that morning when the near-deadly incident occurred. It rattled us greatly, and we know we’re not alone feeling so unsettled by this and other recent violent activity in the neighborhood. We viewed the mayor’s visit as an important opportunity to engage with her and her staff. Unfortunately, the mayor’s outing was designed to limit public engagement to pre-scheduled appointments.

We also viewed the mayor’s visit as an opportunity for her to get an honest view of our neighborhood – both the good and the bad. From what I saw, she did not. It was a visit that was seemingly staged to the extent that it could have been a scene from the TV show, Parks and Rec. As such, it was a far cry from what we see on a daily basis. Some observations from the mayor’s time here: (more…)

From MPD:

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are continuing to investigate the death of a male who was discovered in the Anacostia River underneath the Benning Road Bridge, on Friday, July 3, 2015, at approximately 7:30 am. The Harbor Unit recovered the body in the 2600 block of Benning Road Northeast. The decedent was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, pending an autopsy. At this time, there are no signs of foul play.

The decedent has been identified as 16 year-old Oludumare Obasule Olushhola Ayodeji of District Heights, MD.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at (202) 727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.”

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From the Office of Human Rights:

“End the Awkward” is a one-day campaign on July 15, 2015 in the District of Columbia that empowers businesses and the public to share information about people with disabilities, and to take a pledge to raise awareness and better understand disability issues. Individuals and businesses who registered for the campaign before July 8 have committed to wearing an “End the Awkward” pin (at right) on July 15 and to learn a few short tips we provide about respectful ways to interact with people with disabilities. When people see the pin and ask how to “end the awkward,” paricipants will simply recite one of the talking points. It’s that easy, and together we will reach thousands of people!

Learn more about the District’s “End the Awkward” campaign and read tips to “end the awkward” here.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear Popville,

This evening (Sunday, July 12th) I heard an ambulance coming down the 1400 block of Quincy Street NW (where Lyman’s Tavern is now located). This was surprising considering it is a quasi-dead end that turns into an alley way behind some co-ops and between Rock Creek Park. The ambulance passed the point of no return and went into the alley, which is a clear difference from the street as its cement and poorly maintained (as if the streets aren’t as well). The ambulance got all the way to the end where there is a sharp left turn that would bring you out to Spring Road NW and it stopped. The driver threw it into reverse and what ensued was 8 minutes of the ambulance backing down the alley – all the way back to Quincy street, then backing down Quincy because cars are on both sides until it came to the alley right behind Lyman’s, turned around, turned its light and siren back on and kept on its merry way to the emergency call.

The entire time I kept thinking, surely they radioed back to central control to let them know they were delayed and another ambulance should be dispatched. However, once I heard the sirens being turned back on and heard them turn onto 14th Street and then onto Spring Road I was flabbergasted that whomever was waiting for the emergency services just had their wait time extended due to incompetence. (more…)

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“Dear PoPville,

Saturday afternoon, on 4th street sw just across from the Hilton under construction at F st sw, they had blocked off the sidewalk to let new concrete dry. The sign helpfully suggested I cross to the other side of the street — where construction has closed the sidewalk for a month. Oh, and to make it worse, they were suggesting I cross the street nowhere near a crosswalk or a ramp.

Being able bodied, I stepped off the curb into the bike lane and walked around. But if I wasn’t… Since 395 blocks most of the ways north here, there are zero options here other than backtracking half a block, going west three blocks, going north two blocks, then back east. Or stepping / rolling into the bike lane or street.

Haphazard enforcement of rules regarding sidewalk access during construction keeps making our city dangerous in ways it doesn’t need to be.

-Concerned Southwest Resident”

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“Dear PoPville,

There is a construction project on 11th St (approx 1435 11th St., NW – just down from the Chinese place and what used to be the Dollar store) – the site is a mess with standing water about a foot deep inside the building frame and a port-a-potty that is TIPPED over. It is so gross and no one seems to be addressing the matter. I have called DCRA and I even talked to someone at public works. Maybe you can help as I am getting nowhere with the City!”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

From a press release:

“Mayor Muriel Bowser and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Leif Dormsjo will kick off AlleyPalooza, a campaign that will repair or renovate 64 alleys throughout the District – eight in each of the District’s eight wards over the summer. The District’s Alleys are a vital, yet often overlooked piece of the city’s infrastructure.

Alleys for AlleyPalooza were selected based on community feedback, including 311 calls and a review by DDOT engineers. The new program demonstrates the Bowser Administration’s commitment to improving the District’s infrastructure.”

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“Dear PoPville,

There’s construction in my neighborhood, and this rolling debris container has been parked for quite sometime – For 2 weeks past the expiration date of their emergency no parking sign. This is in Newton St NW in Mt Pleasant. I’ve tried contacting the Department of Transportation, a few days ago. And it seems nothing has been done.

Parking is tight in my neighborhood and the workers try to block parking overnight every night with trash cans and caution tape. The construction vehicles have Maryland tags, and it appears that they park all day every day with impunity. (Which is interesting because the parking enforcement in my neighborhood is normally very strict, and the street parking only allows 2 hours for non residents.)

I also want to add that I believe that their permit is for 3 spaces but they routinely try to block off 4 to 5 spaces, and it’s unclear from the placement of the signs exactly what 3 spaces they are blocking.”