Round III - ANC7D01 Commissioner Calls Upon DC Department of Health

Below is an email exchange between SMD7D01 Commissioner Raglin and Maria Hill -
Program Manager, DC Department of Health, Animal Disease Prevention - in reference to a requested site inspection, by Commissioner Raglin, for purported mosquito infestation within the Kingman Park/Rosedale Community Garden. Emails have been reproduced in their entirety.

For a further background information, read Round I and Round II

Date: Monday, August 16, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Good Morning Ms. Raglin,

Thanks for your comments.

Please be informed that as soon as your complaint came to me, I contacted Mr. Coomber, the Coordinator for the KPR Garden and inquired about his garden management, approach and techniques. I did not get involved with anything else.

I ensured that:

1. any situation that leads to the mosquito breeding and harborage such as piles of yard waste, standing water, thick plant overgrowth were taken care of.

2. making an effort in changing watering (irrigation) habits to watering only at the ground level and not wetting the foliage of the plants.

3. Informing him that Tiger mosquitoes are able to breed in droplets of water that are retained in the foliage.

4. Use measures to discourage the attraction of opossums, raccoons and rodents. Any fruit/vegetable waste to be removed from the yard and prevent compost areas.

Mr. Coomber responded in a responsible manner and disclosed many details that left me at ease with confidence that the garden was under capable hands. Please understand that summer is peak time of West Nile Virus surveillance, complaints and other related activities related to not only mosquitoes in the city.

I’ll be glad to reach you once I inspect the entire area. The inspection, as you may recall from last year, is extensive because it includes inspecting the residents’ yards, which also contributed to the mosquito problem last year.


Maria Hille
Program Manager / Bureau of Community Hygiene / HRLA
DC Department of Health / Animal Disease Prevention / Government of the District of Columbia
825 North Capitol St., NE / Suite 8026
Washington DC 20002

Office: (202) 535 -1952
Mobile:(202) 380 - 6944
Fax: (202) 535 -1359
maria.hille@dc.gov / www.doh.dc.gov

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 5:12 AM

Ms. Hille,

As the Program Manager for the Arborvirus Surveillance Program, I am disappointed that it took 17 (seventeen) days for you to find the current owner of the property and to contact me to schedule an inspection for a community hygiene problem in the neighborhood. Your "lack of opportunity to conduct an inspection this year" erodes the confidence of DC residents in the DC Dept of Health's ability to respond and protect all of its citizens as required by law and gives the "garden group" a wanton and reckless license to create any unhealthy situation in the community without impunity.

I am sure Mayor Fenty would want faster service and response to community concerns because he just apologized and pledged better service to D.C. voters. In the meantime, other candidates have promised better and more efficient service.

Please notify me of 3 potential inspection dates and times so that I can arrange my schedule to walk with you.

Veronica Raglin

ANC 7D01

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