CJCA Notes & Public Works Corner

Minutes from October 25, 2023 CJCA Meeting

The Cabin John Citizens Association held its October meeting at 7:30 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at the Clara Barton Neighborhood Recreation Center.  The well-attended meeting included a visit from our State Delegate Sarah Wolek, and a presentation on the Cabin John History Committee by Rachel Donnan. After the May meeting minutes were approved, the following items were addressed:

Update from Maryland District 16 (our district) Delegate Sarah Wolek – Sarah Wolek attended our meeting in person. Delegate Wolek was appointed in April 2023 to the seat that was vacated when Ariana Kelley was appointed as District 16’s state senator. Delegate Sarah Wolek serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee. The Appropriations Committee reviews legislation related to the state operating and capital budgets and is currently chaired by Delegate Ben Barnes. This includes legislation on collective bargaining, fiscal procedures, higher education institutions, state and local agency procedures and programs, and social services among others. Twenty-six delegates serve on the committee and its five subcommittees. The Education and Economic Development Subcommittee is chaired by Delegate Stephanie Smith and is responsible for legislation related to primary and secondary education, community colleges, scholarships, and economic development.  Additional members of Delegate Wolek’s staff include Claudia Fess, chief of staff, and Anna Saderholm, legislative staff.  Constituents can contact Delegate Wolek via email at sarah.wolek@house.state.md.us or by phone at (410) 841-3642, (301) 858-3642, or 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3642 (toll free).

Update on the History Committee – Rachel Donnan provided an update on the formation of CJCA History Committee, which she will chair. The goals of the committee are to:

  • Undertake an effort to survey and catalog materials related to CJ history held by community members and others
  • Develop ideas how CJCA could house physical artifacts and documents
  • Develop ideas for digital archives of CJCA artifacts, photos, and information
  • Develop programs and events to make historical information available to CJers in ways that are interesting and engaging
  • Encourage people to get involved in learning about and preserving CJ history

Anyone interested in participating in the history committee should contact Rachel Donnan at rachdonnan@gmail.com.

After the main agenda items were concluded, 81st Street resident Nathan Conestra shared news regarding development of a wooded lot bordered by MacArthur Boulevard, 80th Street and 81st Street. Nathan provided background on the lot, current known development plans, and bordering property owners’ concerns.  He invited neighbors who are interested in staying informed and assisting in efforts to limit negative impacts to contact him at nathan.canestaro@gmail.com to be put on a mailing list.  More information can be found in Nathan’s letter to the community in this issue of the Village News.

CJCA’s Family Events For Hometown Holiday Fun – Plans are well underway for the Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 am on the field behind the Clara Barton Center (aka Cabin John Local Park); and the Annual Holiday Party, 5:00-7:00 pm, Sunday, December 10.  Can you lend a couple of hours to help? If so, please contact cjcapresidents@gmail.com to let us know which event you can help out with.  CJ student helpers are always welcome and can earn SSL hours at both events!

[no write-up for this issue – but please include the date of the CJCA Holiday Party in the Community Calendar – December 10, 5 – 7 pm]

Public Works Corner – An almost monthly update on all public works in and around Cabin John

American Legion Bridge and 270 Corridor Program  Perhaps the biggest update for public works is the rebranding of the “Beltway Expansion” project.  With the demise of the Transurban Public-Private Partnership, the expansion plans have been rebranded as the American Legion Bridge and 270 Corridor Program (https://americanlegionbridge270.com/#about).  As this is somewhat of a reset, there will be a number of information sessions–called “Open Houses.” The nearest will be at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on Monday, November 13 from 6:30-8:30 pm.  This session will be an opportunity to learn more about the program and provide feedback.  CJCA will attend this meeting and report back to the community.

Stabilization of the Drylaid Stone Wall at Mile Marker 11 (Log Wall)  C&O National Park plans to stabilize an approximately 1,015 linear foot long historic drylaid stone wall, which varies in height up to 35 feet tall. A drylaid stone wall is a wall that is constructed without the use of mortar or concrete to hold the stones in place.  The wall was originally constructed between 1828 and 1831 and is often referred to as the “Log Wall,” as found in an 1890 engineer’s report.  This portion of the canal was altered in the 1960s by the installation of the Potomac Interceptor Combined Sewer, which is operated and maintained by DC Water.  Currently, water is being pumped out of the canal and there are detours and closures in the area.  Check the following for up-to-date information: https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/stabilize-drylaid-stone-wall-at-mile-marker-11-log-wall.htm. 

Sewer Work below the One Lane Bridge  As reported in the September Village News, the metering work below the Union Arch bridge was completed earlier in the fall.  Now, all equipment and related materials have been removed.  This was a DC Water project.

Union Arch Bridge Cleaning – Many will have noticed that rainwater is not draining well from the bridge, in particular toward the Glen Echo side.  As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers closed the bridge and cleared the drainage over the weekend of November 4 and 5.

Recent Line Painting along MacArthur – It’s hard not to notice the poor line painting along MacArthur Boulevard–squiggly lines, tire-tracked wet paint–overall a sloppy job.  CJCA will reach out to the appropriate authorities to attempt to rectify this situation.  

By Heidi & Scott Lewis

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