WNA Newsletter: Spring 2021

Spring 2021

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Following up on our March 22nd meeting, here are some notes for those of you that were not able to make it.

Semi-annual spring cleanup – Yes, we will have one–on Sat., April 24th, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Mark your calendar. We will have a dumpster at the corner of 10th and Westminster. We will also have a hazardous waste site and likely a recycling site. We’re going to need people to man the dumpster so give me a call or hit me up with an email if you can work the dumpster for an hour or two that morning. It’s the one event that where we want all neighbors to participate!

Protest of liquor licenses – WNA has been protesting three of the liquor licenses in the 1900 block of 9th Street since last March. It is now time for the ABRA hearings and they are now all coming up this month and next. If you can testify from personal knowledge about some of the problems caused by these establishments, please let us know.

New sidewalks – aren’t they beautiful? They have about finished Westminster St. and it appears they’re going to be doing 10th Street also! Not only the sidewalks but they’re all so giving us new tree boxes (you’ll remember that we built the last tree boxes—and our inexperience showed). Bless the city.  This brings up the issue of what’s inside the tree boxes. Some of you are taking great care of the ones in front of your house—thanks to all of you. Others of you don’t seem to care what your tree box looks like. So what do we do? Do any of you want to step forward and take over a box that’s not being cared for by the closest homeowner? [There’s no law that the closest home owner should care for it.]  Let us know. If not, should we hire someone to take care of untended ones?  Or at least hire them to plant flowers etc. in them and then we take it from there?

Playground – Fingers crossed but we think we may have the water feature fixed so it will shut off after 2 minutes. I know, I know, it’s been 2 years we’ve been working on this. But now with Covid what do we do? Turn the water feature on or keep it off this Spring? It may or may not be safe to turn it on and let the children play together. Well, the majority of neighbors think we should follow the City on this one (on the assumption they base their decision on science). We will try to contact the City to see what they’re going to do with the other water features in the City and we will follow their lead.

Rats – Yes, we’ve been hitting them hard this year, but they’re hitting us this us hard as well. I know a lot of you have many. You know the drill. Call the City – – DC Vector Control (202/442-5955). They’ll send someone out to treat any hole that you have found and that is actively being used by the rats.

Another great way to take care of them is to buy some dry ice and put down the hole. You can get it at Harris Teeter, 1631 Kalorama Road NW.

WNA Tasks – There’s a lot of neighborhood tasks that no one has signed up for this year by our fellow neighbors,. We decided at the meeting that, at least for the most critical matters (trash cans in Playground, sidewalk brick repair, etc.) we will try and hire it done. Maybe we can find some recently released prisoners that need work through the Mayor’s Office. If you can think of anybody who wants to do some of our tasks and get paid for it, let us know.

Spring is in the air. Covid-19 relief is in sight. 25% of us have now been vaccinated! Things are starting to open up, thank heavens. May you enjoy your Spring and we hope to see you out and about in the neighborhood.




Lynn Johnson

Pres., WNA

WNA Newsletter: Winter 2018


Summary of Feb. 27, 2018 Meeting

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Spring Clean-up

We will hold our Spring Clean-up on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 9:00 am to noon. We all start with cleaning up the streets, sidewalks, and alleys abutting our properties. Then we move to the common areas and collectively clean or improve them.

We shoot for 100% participation (rain or shine). It is a great way to get to know your neighbors. There is no sign-up for this. Just meet your neighbors on your street the morning of April 21. If you have time to help with a community task, contact the WNA President for open tasks.

We will likely have a dumpster again this year. It is being provided by one of the developers working in the French Street neighborhood. We need to get the City to waive the dumping fee and we are hopeful this will occur. If not, we may ask for donations at the dumpsite (as the total cost is about $800).

We are also hopeful that we will be able to hire some brick masons to repair some of our tree boxes. If you would like the tree box in front of your house to get priority, please send WNA $50 (the estimated cost) and we will put you at the front of the list. We will not be able to get all of them done this year but hopefully we can continue with this repair during our future semi-annual clean-ups.


Funk Parade Planning

We have a chance for the City to place one of the music venues for the Funk Parade in our Playground on Westminster Street. It will be held on Saturday, May 12. It was decided at our meeting that this would overall be a plus for our community. Member Nikolas Schiller will try to pull this off (dc@nikolasschiller.com).


Controlling Rats

Like most of DC this year, we’re doing all we can to control the rat population in our community. We’ve held several community-wide rat-baiting events this year where DC Vector Control ((202) 442-5955) has come and treated all accessible yards for rats. Many of you are also attempting to eradicate the rats by your own methods. Some of them include:

  • Simple spring-loaded rat traps – available at most hardware stores.
  • Electric rat traps – works where you have elec. current.
  • Black boxes that hold rat cube poison – While you can’t purchase bait especially for rates in DC, Pres. Lynn Johnson has some available from Amazon.com (Lynn@Johnsonandpavuk.com).
  • Finding active holes and putting rat bait cubes in them – If you want to do this, get some rat cubes (purchased by WNA) from Lynn Johnson.
  • Purchasing cans of CO2 – Available at some hardware stores. Need to find an open active hole.
  • Purchasing dry ice – same as above. It will kill all rats in the treated hole.
  • Putting a half pail of water w/peanut butter rubbed around the top edges of pail.

So what else can we, as a community, do to control the ever-increasing rat population?  The most important action we can take is not to feed or water the rats. They will die if we all stopped. Neighbors are encouraged to follow these ten tips.

  • Do not put your trash can out until either the night before it is to be dumped or the same morning if you are an early riser. (Also, PLEASE take it back into your yard on the day it is dumped).
  • Do NOT overfill your trash can. You should be able to fully close the lid when you put it out. If you can’t, you need to purchase another can.
  • Use a plastic bag for your non-recyclable trash.
  • Put any cooking oil or other liquid in metal or glass containers with tight lids before putting them in the trash.
  • Tie the top of the bag before you put it out. This will keep your trash can clean and the rats from smelling it.
  • If you see rats crawling around/over your trash can, pour a little bleach concentration (1 part bleach to 10 parts water works well) in/on/around your trash can.
  • Sweep up food remains, litter, and trash that the trash truck spills in the alley or street directly outside your house.
  • Remove weeds and debris near buildings and in yards; don’t give rats a place to hide.
  • Don’t leave extra pet food out.
  • Inspect your basement and house for cracks and holes; seal them with mortar.
  • Don’t provide hiding places for rodents; store materials such as lumber and boxes on a rack with a clean, open area underneath. Get rid of unused materials and junk.


Membership – As you know, your dues are $15/calendar year per household ($5 if senior status) plus 1 hour/month doing volunteer work. A WNA lifetime membership is $100 (that’s right, you only pay once—good for as long as you own or live in the area. [It does not waive your 1 hour/month requirement to do volunteer work.]
Regardless of which option you choose, you can either mail or just drop your check off to 914 Westminster (payable to “WNA”). Your dues are tax deductible as a charitable contribution so it’s a win-win for all of us.

Next Monthly Meeting – We are now meeting every other month instead of every month. The meetings are held on the 4th Tues. of the month. Our next meeting will be April 24, 2018, at 7:00 pm sharp. It will be held in the Westminster Playground if the weather is good; otherwise at 922 Westminster Street, NW (basement).

Enjoy the coming Spring weather and don’t for-get about regularly completing your volunteer tasks on the WNA 2018 Task List.