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February 14, 2021
Cabin John Goes to the Dogs, Cats and Rabbits During Pandemic Like the rest of the country, the pandemic has prompted residents of Cabin John to adopt dogs, cats, and other pets. Here are some of the furry friends that have joined families in the neighborhood over the past year. Buster joined the Gibbons family on 75th Pl. and is curled up in his fur beanbag, one of many favorite pandemic nap spots.Degie, a goldendoodle, joined Amy Ross and Bob Wilkoff on Macarthur Blvd. in August when he was three months old. He is very goofy and is amazed by how many of his long-lost “doodle” cousins also live in the neighborhood. One individual not so happy that he’s joined their household is Ms. T, a very spoiled 10-year-old cat.The Thomas family of Cabin Rd. adopted two rescue bunnies (sisters!) in June from the House Rabbit Society. Their names are Tia Tofu and Gigi.Seventy-fifth Place is also the new home of Maise, a rescue pup from Louisiana adopted by the Harris family in late December after being fostered by the Holland family of 79th Place. Foster mom Jill brings her dog Dexter for the occasional visit with Maise and mom Helen.In July, goldendoodle Ellie joined mom Maybe and the Cohen/Liebman family of 79th Pl. and enjoys playing with all her neighborhood puppy pals.Andy, Meredith, Tenley, and Phoebe Fishburn of Tomlinson Terr. adopted Boxer puppy Taffy in April. Taffy has a lot of energy, so she is out and about on at least three walks a day. She says “woof woof” to all her new doggie friends.Rocky was adopted by Tom Wilmarth of 75th Pl. in June 2020 when he was eight weeks old. He and Tom split their time between Cabin John and Arizona.Harry is a six-month-old coonhound adopted in November by the Shirzad family of Seven Locks Rd. He is an energetic and playful puppy, and they feel very lucky for him to be part of their family.Diane Dompka of MacArthur Blvd. adopted pandemic sidekick LuLu on March 20 from the Humane Rescue Alliance. She has been the best stay-at-home pal one could wish for. She looks and acts like Diane’s former pet LuLu.Marlene Beckman and Ken Speckler of 79th St. welcomed a new “grand pup,” Stella. Their daughter had been fostering puppies for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue prior to the pandemic, and her four previous rescue pups were immediately adopted. She met Stella and knew she was “the one.” The two of them live in Vienna, VA.On 83rd Place, the Patt-Corner family’s six-year-old pup Julian had become lonely during the pandemic, so they adopted nine-month-old rescue Aussie, Koda, through SOHO Dog Rescue, which saves herding dogs and mixes. They became fast friends. Koda is a delight! By Loretta Devery IngallsVillage News Content Editor...
CJCA Financial Statement: Explanation
February 14, 2021
A Brief Explanation of the CJCA Financial Statement As you can see from the 2020 CJCA Financial Statement (below), the Cabin John Citizens Association is fiscally sound even though we were unable to hold our big fundraiser, the CJ Chicken and Crab Feast. The last CJCA-sponsored event before the pandemic shut everything down was our Trivia Night fundraiser, which netted close to $1,200 towards the CJ Signage project. The signage committee, spearheaded by Greg Paulson, a CJCA vice president, is hoping to have a couple of design options to share with the community this spring. The generous $1,500 100th Anniversary donation in this year’s financials was given to support the MacArthur Blvd. Beautification Project. The statement, prepared by CJCA Treasurer Bob Walsh of 81st Street, shows that 2020 income primarily came from dues and donations. A big thank you to all the duespaying community members and those that generously donated additional funds totaling $3,843 to the CJCA as well as $2,091 to the Friends of the Cabin John Creek and $1,456 to the Friends of the Clara Barton Community Center. It is disheartening that only half of the roughly 750 CJ households and businesses make the effort to pay the $20 annual dues. I hope when you receive the dues letter shortly, you will consider all that the CJCA does and take the time to pay your dues. Of note, The Village News came within $500 of breaking even this year, with revenue topping $12,200 and printing and mailing expenses coming in at some $12,700. On the expense side, some $3,300 was spent on advocacy tied to the state’s Beltway expansion and the preservation of the Morningstar 88 Moses Hall and cemetery. Our balance on hand at the start of 2020 is impressive at more than $28,000. The CJCA does have outstanding obligations of more than $7,000 for the 2021 CJ Directory and likely $800 or so for additional work on our website, www.cabinjohn.org. By Susan ShippCJCA President...
Two CJCA Heroes: Marcy & Nancy
February 14, 2021
Marcy Harrison: Retired but Not Retiring Longtime CJ volunteer Marcy Harrison of Cypress Grove Lane took on the role of CJCA vice president of communications and editor of the 2021 Cabin John Directory in late 2019. Now that the directory project is just about wrapped up—look for your directory in the mail this March — Marcy is adding to her Cabin John volunteer duties. As of February, Marcy is the business manager for The Village News. In that role, Marcy will be managing all of the newsletter’s display and classified advertising, subscriptions, andthe master mailing list. Marcy will also continue to serve as a CJCA vice president of communications, focusing on maintaining directory listing information and helping with the Cabin John website. The Cabin John Citizens Association would love to add a second vice president of communications. This volunteer would be responsible for publicizing CJCA events and other activities in the newsletter and on the CJCA listserv. Anyone interested in learning more about this position is urged to contact CJCA President Susan Shipp at email@example.com. The Village News recently interviewed Marcy about her new role and life in general: Since we last interviewed you in late 2019, you retired from your job in the healthcare industry. How is that going? I love, love, love it! Every day is a Saturday! I get great joy from little things that are new for me now—like how much easier it is to do errands during the week when there are few people out. I have the time to reconnect with friends, and to pursue new learning on miscellaneous topics. I have always wanted to assume more volunteer service roles, such as the CJCA business manager, and to be more available to help out with our three daughters and our grandkids. Now I can. My youngest daughter is taking full advantage of my newly available time to help her plan her October wedding. I have not yet started all the home organization projects that are waiting for me, but I have been able to take up some new hobbies. Tell us about that. I’m diving deeply into birding. I’ve taken trips with the Audubon Naturalist Society and the Montgomery Bird Club. I’m participating in the backyard bird count and other bird counting efforts. I’m taking up bird photography. There is so much to learn! Like a lot of people in the pandemic, I am doing more reading. I found the Diane Rehm Book Club online, and I am enjoying it a lot. I also plan to re-start piano and banjo lessons. Do you have any post-pandemic retirement plans? My husband and I hope to get back to doing more traveling. We were supposed to go to Portugal last October. I’ve been studying Portuguese online for a year! I also hope to find a local book club, movie club, and game night group. If you have any suggestions for finding these, please let me know! Nancy Russell: Leader of Spirited Community Outreach Did you receive a CJ welcome bag when you moved to Cabin John? Have you attended the annual New Neighbor Potluck or bought a ticket to CJCA’s annual Chicken and Crab Feast fundraiser from a block coordinator? If so, you have Nancy Russell to thank. For more than four years, Nancy has served as the CJCA’s vice president for community outreach. Nancy took the newly created position so that she could focus on creating community cohesion. Elected in May 2017, Nancy had the CJ Block Coordinator Program up and running before the end of the year. After breaking down the community into 31 “blocks” of one to two dozen households, Nancy recruited one or more volunteers for each area. In addition to welcome bag deliveries and ticket sales for the crab feast, block coordinators are occasionally asked to share important community news, such as when the revamped Neighbor 2 Neighbor assistance program — another Nancy led effort — was launched. In 2018, Nancy coordinated the inaugural New Neighbors Potluck held each spring. Nancy has enriched the community well beyond her official role. Nancy and her husband Craig have been active members of the community since 2004 when they moved into their home on 76th Street, lending a hand at crab feasts, Fourth of July celebrations, and CJ holiday parties. In March, Nancy and Craig will be moving to Sonoma, CA, which will surely benefit from their enthusiastic community spirit. The CJCA wishes them well in their new adventure and offers a heartfelt thanks for all the ways they enriched the community over the years. BY SUSAN SHIPPCJCA President...
Moses Hall Fieldwork Underway
February 14, 2021
Moses Hall Fieldwork Underway As State Moves Forward With Beltway Plans The State Highway Administration started to clear bamboo in mid-January at the Morningstar Moses Hall & Cemetery site as part of additional field investigations required under theenvironmental review process tied to Gov. Hogan’s Beltway expansion plans. But even though the final environmental impact statement is not expected until the fall, on Jan. 27 Maryland highway officials announced their pick for a plan to expand I-495 and I-270 that would add four toll lanes to each roadway. As currently envisioned, the plan also would include a managed lane flyover access ramp at River Road that would cross Seven Locks Rd. and encroach on the Moses Hall property. Furthermore, the Maryland Department of Transportation expects to choose a predevelopment contractor for the multibillion-dollar project this month. While it’s still too early to know what these choices might mean for Cabin John, the Moses Hall property is already dealing with a number of issues driven by the state’s Beltway expansion efforts. The Cabin John Citizens Association will host a Zoom meeting Feb. 24 at 7:30pm to provide an update on the state’s expansion plans and all the work going into preserving the Moses Hall property. Please look for a CJCA email with the Zoom meeting link a few days before the meeting. Reconstituting Morningstar Tabernacle Number 88, Inc. A critical piece to protecting the Moses Hall property has been to reestablish an ownership entity. In 1885 Cabin John’s African American community established Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88, a local branch of the Ancient United Order of Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters of Moses, a black fraternal organization created by Peter Paul Brown in 1868 in Pennsylvania. Most of this small community, early on known as Gibson Grove and later as simply No. 10, belonged to Morningstar 88. It built the Moses Hall lodge, a two-story structure, on land formally conveyed to Morningstar Moses 88 by John D.W. Moore in 1901. (Earlier in 1887 George and wife Surilla— aka Cyrilla—Scott had conveyeda portion of their land to Morningstar 88 to create a small “road” to reach the burial site and hall.) Like other benevolent societies in this era, Morningstar 88 played a critical role in the post-Emancipation era by providing to its members funds in case of illness, education to orphans,and, uniquely in Montgomery County, a burial place for its members not requiring specific church affiliation. (While most of its members were part of the local Gibson Grove AME Zion Church, there were some who belonged to area Baptist churches.) Morningstar’s Moses Hall was not only used for lodge meetings, it also served as a social center for the community and at times housed the Cabin John School for black children. By the mid-1990s, the need for Morningstar 88 dwindled as insurance and other services became more available to the community, but lodge members continued to be buried in the Morningstar Moses Cemetery well into the 1970s. Over time, however, Morningstar 88 became defunct. Moses Hall descendants and volunteers have worked diligently with pro bono counsel over the past year to appoint substitute trustees to reestablish the ownership entity, address tax issues, and bring it in good standing with the state. The three substitute trustees are Moses Hall descendant Austin E. White of Carver Rd., local preservationist Eileen McGuckian, and archeologistDr. Alexandra Jones. They will work to establish by-laws and add trustees while moving forward with meaningful preservation and advocacy efforts for this historic site. Ensuring the State’s Fieldwork Does No Harm Most immediately, this effort enabled trustees to appear at the Dec. 29 court hearing to request that the state’s attorney more carefully define and limit the state highway administration’s(SHA) access and work at this sensitive site. As part of the environmental assessment, the SHA must complete additional field investigations, monitored by an on-site archaeologist, within the Limits of Disturbance (LOD) area of the potential Beltway expansion. A number of known burial sites and the foundation of the hall — the only known physical remains of an Order of Moses Hall in Montgomery County — fall within the LOD. To complete its investigations, the state must first remove the bamboo from the property. As of early February, the cutting was well underway, but the state still needed to work out the complicated logistics for removal of the cut bamboo from the property. Beltway lane closures will be required for the project. The cemetery and hall site is currently closed to the public. Friends of Moses Hall Continues Its Preservation Efforts Friends of Moses Hall, a group comprised of descendants of Moses Hall, historic preservationists, and Cabin John community members, has been working tirelessly since fall 2019 to preserve and protect the property. In 2020, the Cabin John Citizens Association provided $2,000 to haul away mounds of debris cleared by volunteers. With the state now required to clear out the remaining bamboo on the property so that its assessment can continue, Friends of Moses Hall is focusing on ensuring the bamboo does not growback. The group brought in a landscaper that does bamboo remediation. He expects it will take several years of treatments to fully eradicate the bamboo. The cost estimate for the first year of treatment exceeds $4,000. In late January, Friends of Moses Hall received a $3,000 Trader Foundation grant from the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites. This grant money is earmarked for bamboo remediation and to cover filing fees to bring Morningstar 88 Moses Hall in good standing with the state. In the coming months Friends of Moses Hall, the Cabin John Citizens Association, and others will be working with the SHA and the private contractors it selects to avoid and mitigateimpacts to the property as part of the next phase of the environmental process. Please visit Friends of Moses Hall’s recently launched website www.friendsofmoseshall.org to learn more about Morningstar Moses Cemetery and Hall and the ongoing efforts to preserveand protect this historic treasure in Cabin John. By Charlotte Troup LeightonCJCA Vice President for Advocacy...
CJCA Dues Payment
January 29, 2021
Your CJCA Dues Payment Matters Now More Than Ever. Please keep a lookout in your mailbox for your 2021 Cabin John Citizens Association dues letter. Only $20 per household annually, the dues collected are critical to supporting all the activities and advocacy of the CJCA. Dues from the community is the primary source of CJCA funds. Generally, 50 percent of the community pays dues, bringing in roughly $7,000. Our other major fundraiser is the annual Chicken and Crab Feast, which usually nets about $3,500. As you know, the pandemic forced us to cancel the 2020 crab feast, dealing a blow to our budget. In addition to dues information, the letter will detail how you can make contributions to the Friends of the Clara Barton Community Center and the Friends of the Cabin John Creek. The CJCA benefits everyone in the community through activities, advocacy, The Village News, the Cabin John website, the directory, and other services. We hope you will do your part by paying your 2021 dues as promptly as possible. Don’t want to wait until you receive the letter? Take care of business and pay your dues online now! By Susan ShippCJCA President...
CJ Giving Tree Project Raises $7,210
January 29, 2021
2020 was the 10th anniversary of Cabin John’s Giving Tree Project, and the community pulled together to raise a record amount. The project, which benefits SOME (So Others Might Eat), a Washington, DC organization that helps the poor and homeless through services, such as training and shelter, aimed to raise $5,000 to match the community’s generosity in previous years. Some 100 Cabin John families donated a total of $7,210 in gift cards, far exceeding the goal. “It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of generosity. One of the many reasons to love living here!” said Lori Reickelman of 79th Street. Lori has coordinated this effort since it began. She sends a big thank you to all who contributed. By Susan ShippCJCA President...
New Year Promises New CJ Directory
January 29, 2021
The new 2021 Cabin John Directory is on track to be in the mail by the end of February. While this represents a delay from our original goal of publishing in 2020, the Cabin John Citizens Association hopes you will find it worth the wait. The CJ Directory, last published in 2015, is mailed free of charge to every household in Cabin John. For the 2021 version, we are adding email addresses and cell phone numbers for adults listed. Like previous directories, there will be the ability to look up names by street, a local talent section, and information on local businesses and services. While the pandemic precluded house-to-house canvassing for resident information as was done for previous directories, every attempt was made to reach all 715 or so households in 2020 through notices in The Village News, letters, emails, and phone calls. The listings are comprehensive for Cabin John and include 20817 residents living within the geographic boundaries of Cabin John (the triangle created by the Capital Beltway, Cabin John Parkway and the Potomac River) who were previously listed in the 2015 directory and/or who are dues paying members of the Cabin John Citizens Association. ATTENTION NEW CABIN JOHN RESIDENTSThe directory editors are concerned that folks who moved into Cabin John during the pandemic may not have had a chance to express their interest in being included in the new directory. If you became a CJ resident in 2020 and have not yet shared your name, address, and any contact information you want to be in a directory listing, please send an email to the editor, Marcy Harrison, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be happy to answer any questions and work with you to be included. By Marcy Harrison2021 CJ Directory Editor...
Changes to the CJ Community Listserv
November 18, 2020
The Cabin John Community Listserv serves as CJ’s informal neighborhood listserv that lets all members share information, post items for sale, ask questions, make recommendations, report missing pets, and otherwise reach out to the community. Since its inception, the Cabin John listserv has been hosted on Yahoo Groups, which announced it is shutting down effective Dec. 15. The Cabin John Listserv is now on Groups.io. To join this listserv, send an email with your name and street address (to verify residence) to: email@example.com. Membership is open to current and former CJ residents. The purpose of this listserv is to share information and have discussions that are hyperlocal to Cabin John and that are non-commercial/non-political in nature. Anyone wishing to advertise their business to the CJ community may want to consider The Village News. Classified ads are 30 cents a word. The community listserv differs from the Cabin John Citizens Association listserv, which remains the go-to source for timely news and information about upcoming community events and important issues of possible interest to CJ residents. The CJCA listserv lets the association keep CJ residents informed without overloading the inbox – usually just a few emails a month. CJCA listserv members cannot communicate with each other. To join this list, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on local listservs is available in the Get Connected section of the website. By Susan ShippCJCA President...
CJ Giving Tree Branching Out Due to COVID
November 17, 2020
THE DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS IS DEC. 5For Info: email@example.com This year marks the 10th anniversary of Cabin John’s Giving Tree Project. Like many things in 2020, the pandemic is redefining this community service effort, which provides gifts to children and adults in need through SOME (So Others Might Eat), a Washington DC organization that helps the poor and homeless through services, such as training and shelter Instead of gifts for the upcoming holidays, SOME is asking for gift cards for the people in its transitional housing. In previous years, CJ residents have provided generous gifts for 50 to 60 people living in SOME’s transitional housing. The community traditionally raises an additional $500 or more for SOME through the raffle at the holiday party. SOME says the switch to gift cards is to minimize donor risk of COVID through shopping. Recipients can make their purchases online, and no one involved has any increased exposure. Gift cards in $50 increments to stores such as Target, Walmart, Macy’s, and Amazon, as well as Visa and Mastercard would be most versatile. But cards for any retailer of any denomination are appreciated. It will take about $5,000 worth of gift cards for Cabin John to be as generous as in previous years, says Lori Rieckelman of 79th Street. Rieckelman coordinates this effort with the Brookmont and Glen Echo communities. Given the economic hardship faced by so many during this difficult year, wouldn’t it be great if we could give even more? Gift cards should be brought to Lori’s house. Email Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a drop off time. By Lori RieckelmanCJ Resident...
CJ Cemetery Garners Needed Attention of Politicians and Press
November 16, 2020
In the last month, politicians and the media have focused their attention on Cabin John’s Moses Hall and Cemetery. The historic African American property off Seven Locks Rd. is threatened by the state’s planned Beltway expansion. Maryland State Delegate Sara Love and the Friends of Moses Hall hosted a private tour of the Moses Morningstar Cemetery, Moses Hall lodge site, and Gibson Grove Church Oct. 17 for county and state officials as well as members of the media. The event aimed to draw attention to efforts by descendants of Moses Hall as well as the CJ community and preservationists to protect these important historic sites. If the Beltway expansion moves forward as currently designed, project maps and reports show graves and portions of the Moses Hall foundation would fall within the construction Limits of Disturbance. In a Sept. 24 Maryland Matters article on environmental justice, Delegate Love described how the construction of the Beltway in the 1960s decimated the Gibson Grove community and stated that the government has a responsibility “not to exacerbate prior injustices, but to reverse them.” Love wants the Hogan administration to “stop its mad dash to widen I-495 at all costs.” The tour came about in response to her article. Picture perfect fall weather greeted the 30 tour guests, which included Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Maryland Senator Susan Lee, Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando, and a number of officials from Montgomery County Planning, M-NCPPC, the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission, and the National Capital Planning Commission. Members of the press from The Washington Post and The Economist also attended. Descendants of those buried at Moses Morningstar and members of the Gibson Grove First Agape A.M.E. Zion Church community, including Cabin John residents Austin White and Shannon Stewart, shared family stories, along with a rich collection of artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and historical records with inquisitive tour guests. Some public officials were moved to tears by the impassioned remarks of Washington DC archaeologist Dr. Alexandra Jones, a staunch advocate of the property since writing her doctoral thesis on the Gibson Grove Community in 2010. Delegate Love said that the event was “powerful, humbling, and enlightening” and shared her commitment to supporting efforts to preserve, protect, and restore these sites. The Oct. 18 Washington Post article written by tour participant Katherine Shaver described the cemetery as “hardly peaceful with Beltway traffic roaring just past the bamboo grove” at the edge of the cemetery. The article noted that historians combing through death notices, burial records, and family histories have documented 78 burials there between 1894 and 1977. The Post story caught the attention of Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, who joined with Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Jamie Raskin and David Trone to urge the Federal Highway Administration and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to avoid possible physical impacts to the Moses Morningstar Cemetery and Hall, as well as Gibson Grove Church. Their Oct. 26 letter went on to suggest that such a major infrastructure project should “promote recovery from earlier impacts by enhancing the visibility and access of the cemetery site and its connection to the community.” Spurred by the Post’s coverage, the CBC Radio, Canada’s national public broadcaster, aired a segment Oct. 29 featuring DC resident Diane Baxter, whose great grandfather was buried in the CJ Moses cemetery in 1894. The ongoing advocacy and growing public awareness have prompted the State Highway Administration to conduct additional field investigations at the cemetery. To do so, the SHA will remove bamboo with hand tools so that the Moses Hall lodge foundation and any gravesites remain undisturbed. SHA officials estimate the bamboo removal process will take up to a month and require daily monitoring by field archaeologists. Friends of Moses Hall will also have representatives on site monitoring the work. Friends of Moses Hall (FMH) is a dedicated group of volunteers, including descendants, members of the Cabin John community as well as others with expertise in archaeology, genealogy, historic preservation, research, and advocacy. FMH was organized in 2020 with the purpose of saving Moses Morningstar Cemetery and Lodge Hall from destruction by the I-495 Beltway expansion. FMH aims to preserve the site as a hallowed resting place and an important African-American historical site. By Charlotte Troup LeightonCJCA Vice President for Advocacy...
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