Haus Schwatz: Cati's DC Real Estate


"Green DC" -- A Bureaucracy's Effort

 Well, at first I was excited to hear that the DC Government launched its "Green DC" website, a "comprehensive resource on environmental issues."  The idea suggested that the government takes new initiative, maybe in better educating people, maybe in creating incentives to conserve energy, maybe in crreating stricter punitive measures against environmental sins.

A closer look at it, however, reveals that it is, at best, a well-meant start.  The information given is pretty general ("What is a Rain Garden?") with outsourced links and diagrams and with little concrete pointers at resources for the average citizen.  Under "Natural Environment," there is a "Plan for a Fishable and Swimmable Anacostia River by 2032" (!) but even that is "temporarily unavailable." (The Anacostia is DC's second river that forms a Y with the Potomac.)

Really disappointing is what you can find under "Green Services:" tips on how to request a trash can and how to report a rodent problem. There are a bunch of complicated bureaucratic guidelines on how people "just above the poverty level" can apply to receive assistance in replacing their appliances for more energy efficient ones.  (I don't know how many poor people will request the electronic "spread sheet" for an application that can only be submitted online.)



My favorite, however, is the "Rodent Control Management Program" that is absolutely incomprehensible for a lay person like me.  Then under "Energy Audit" you don't learn, as one might expect, about a new service the city offers, but rather get some advise on how to walk around your property and check for problem zones.  (At the end, you're told that a professional audit will cost a few hundred dollars--no resources given.)

In any case, it's a start -- bookmark it for the future if you like.  Let's hope it will truly evolve into a consumer site that offers some accessible ideas for Willie Washingtonian. 

And then, if all goes well, maybe I will be able to take my yet-to-be-born grandchildren for a swim in the Anacostia in 2032.

© 2012, Catarina Bannier


Comment balloon 6 commentsCatarina Bannier • May 07 2008 12:05PM


Ahhh again our tax dollars at work....
Posted by Suzanne Gantner, GRI, E-Pro, SRES, SRS, ABR (Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate ) about 11 years ago
Suzanne-- I have to admit, I hadn't even considered that aspect yet...urgh...
Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) about 11 years ago
Well, I for one can recommend a solution to the green rodent problem - get a cat!  I've been finding formerly alive mice on my back porch.  Ick!
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Pat--once again, my daughter would wholeheartedly agree with you (but she'd never change the litter box)! Your cat should get paid as a "Rodent Manager!" (Maybe there's an online feline application form somewhere.)
Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) about 11 years ago
*sigh* Typical government "help". And yet they still don't do anything about the gasoline problem which they've known about for 30 years. And if it weren't for the individual people who have decided to get involved in educating and changing their lifestyles to "go green", the government would still be completely ignoring the problems.
Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) about 11 years ago
Really good question, Bill. We think it's too early to eniailmte two-trust arrangements yet, but mostly because the tax law is once again set to switch back in two years. Assuming Congress gets it together enough to come up with a solution that is at least semi-permanent, and that it includes the portability provision (probably good assumptions, but let's not count on them yet) it may be time to review the decision. So wait a year or so.In the meantime, existing credit shelter trusts can't just be eniailmted. If one spouse has died and a credit shelter trust has already been created (or was supposed to be created because of the terms of the deceased spouse's will or trust), then the surviving spouse should talk to a lawyer with considerable estate planning and trust administration experience.QTIP trusts are another question altogether, as your post indicates. Best to talk with your estate planning attorney about that issue.While one apparent goal of Congress was to make planning easier, they have failed so far. Sorry to answer that you need more legal advice, but that is probably the case for the next two years. After that, we'll have to wait to see.
Posted by CheeGuadiist over 7 years ago