Town-Gown Truce? ANC, CAG, University Ask for Delay in Zoning Filing
Could there be peace in our time? In the April 2 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, a joint statement by neighborhood groups and Georgetown University asked the D.C. Zoning Commission to delay the deadline for filings on the university's 2010-2020 Campus Plan process by 60 days.
Members of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, the Burleith Citizens Association and the ANC, all of which oppose the university's expansion plans, and representatives from the university stood up at the meeting to affirm the surprising announcement. As it stands now, the university’s deadline for submissions is April 12, and neighborhood groups have until April 19 to respond. If the zoning panel agrees to the request for delay, the submission and response dates will change to June 11 and June 18, respectively.
Only several weeks ago, Jennifer Altemus, CAG president, as well as student leaders and others on the university side, was lamenting the delayed decision by the zoning board.
Why the 180-degree turn? ANC chair Ron Lewis said that the delay was requested so that "we can explore the possibility of reaching common ground in our talks about the campus plan. . . We're giving a somewhat different report than we had expected."
“This approach reflects our continued efforts to seek common ground and to engage with city and neighborhood leaders,” wrote Rachel Pugh, director of media relations for the university, in an email. "Joining with our neighbors in requesting an extension is a meaningful sign of progress in a long process."
Major sticking points between the parties, such as the demand that students be housed on campus by 2016, remain. But some persons in the process seem to be taking zoning commissioner Anthony Hood's advice in February that residents and university officials meet more continually to resolve any issues affecting the neighborhood. At an earlier ANC meeting, Mayor Vincent Gray spoke of the town-gown tension and said he believed that common ground would be reached. Whether this small measure of unity displayed at the April 2 ANC meeting leads to a sea charge by which neighborhood and university leaders collaborate is anyone's guess.
At the same meeting, the ANC voted unanimously to oppose the redrawn designs for the university’s planned Athletic Training Facility.
Georgetown’s Jack the Bulldog to Welcome Puppy Mascot-in-Training, April 13
Georgetown University's Jack the Bulldog is going to have to start making room on the couch and especially on the bleachers, because a bulldog puppy will arrive April 13 on campus to be trained by the boss, the veteran, the main four-legged mascot. The new guy, “Jack Jr.,” or “J.J.” for short, is a gift from Janice and Marcus Hochstetler, bulldog breeders in California, who have two children at Georgetown. This is their way, they say, of thanking the university for the education their children are receiving.
Jack recently injured his left rear leg and is expected to have surgery this month. He will be returning this fall to continue rooting on the athletes and begin teaching J.J. what it means to be a Hoya. “Jack’s presence will provide important support to J.J. since the older dog is already comfortable with his life as a mascot at Georgetown,” says Rev. Christopher Steck, S.J., associate professor in theology. “J.J. will be looking for signals from Jack, and Jack’s enthusiasm in different environments will encourage J.J.’s own.”
According to the American Kennel Club, Jack ranks 8th among 125 of the most famous dogs in pop culture. He spends his time cheering at Georgetown games (Hoyas say he is often seen attacking and eating cardboard boxes with the opposing team’s logo on them), or resting in the lobby of the Jesuit Residence before heading home to his New South apartment that he shares with Steck.
The Washington Post reported that the new addition is not a replacement for 9-year-old Jack. J.J. was planning on moving across country since he was born in December. Steck tweeted last Friday, March 30, “Really excited about the new puppy, and just to be clear, Jack is NOT retired.”
Join Jack and J.J. for a special welcome event at Healy Circle, 4 p.m. on Friday, April 13, when Steck returns to campus with the little guy from San Diego. Meanwhile, check the university website which will map the puppy's travels across America to his destination in D.C.
Library's McCoy Earns Historic Preservation Award; Tale of 2007 Fire in the Comics
Jerry McCoy, special collections librarian, Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. Pubic Library, will receive an individual award from the Historic Preservation Office of the D.C. Office of Planning which chose the Georgetown Neighborhood Library project for the 2012 District of Columbia Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The ceremony will be held June 21.
McCoy is well known in Georgetown for heading up the Peabody Room at the R Street public library. It suffered extensive from an April 2007 fire. Nevertheless, firefighters and staff saved 95 percent of its historic collection, including the beloved portrait of Yarrow Mamout, a early 19th-century Georgetowner who emigrated from West Africa and a popular resident at the time. (Today, the library stands fully reconstructed.)
That story was re-told in the Washington Post's March 25 comics sections in the "Flashbacks" comic-strip. "I thought the denoument of the Yarrow story featuring the Peabody Room's portrait and its rescue from the fire was pretty spectacular," McCoy said.