- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Don’t do it, Donald Trump. Don’t do it.

Don’t relocate FBI headquarters to Maryland.

Don’t turn over Langston Golf Course, Rock Creek Park Golf Course and East Potomac Park Golf to the D.C. government.

Don’t give the D.C. government control of RFK Stadium land and the D.C. Armory land, and please don’t give the city the adjacent park land.

All of those facilities and accompanying land are in the federal government’s portfolio, and that is where they should stay.

Mr. Trump should know a bad real estate proposal when he sees one.

Let’s dispense with the FBI effort first, since it’s so incredibly easy.

1) The morning after Mr. Trump won the presidential election, Baltimore officials passed a resolution citing him and his campaign style as “divisive and scapegoating rhetoric, rooted in hate and prejudice.”

2) Cities in such close-in environs as Prince George’s and Montgomery counties are bona fide sanctuary cities, which fly in the face of the law-and-order and constitutional stances of the Jeff Sessions Department of Justice.

Federal park land shouldn’t simply be plopped into the hands of the D.C. government.

Regarding RFK and the Armory, there are several apolitical aspects.

Exhibit No. 1: Beware of legislation in the House that was introduced by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. Her measure would double the number of years that the National Park Service leases the land to the District from 50 years to 100 years.

“The RFK Stadium site is in dire shape and has gone well past its intended life span; it would be an absolute shame to continue to let such valuable and usable land go to waste,” Ms. Norton said in a press release. “My bill will give D.C. the necessary stability and certainty required to get financing to bring the site into the 21st century.”

Exhibit 2: Actually, the city already has brought the site into this century, having added a skate park and continuing to allow small local vendors to market their goods on one of RFK’s parking lots.

The city also wants to get its hands on three golf courses on federal land tended by the National Park Service. The back nine at Langston was recently improved.

If the city wants its own golf course, it can indeed build one on federal land already in its hands — the former Walter Reed Army Hospital site in Northwest. Currently under commercial development, the Walter Reed site is the perfect setting for family entertainment, such as putt-putt golf.

In a letter to Mr. Trump, Mayor Muriel Bowser asked that the federal government extend the city’s RFK lease and said she wants to transform the site “to add much needed housing and retail [and] a sports and/or entertainment purpose and above all generate jobs for our residents and the region.”

Well, Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins are going to need a new home before the lease with FedEx Field expires in 2027. Problem is, the 65,000-seat stadium reportedly being considered by the city doesn’t befit any NFL franchise in this market — whether you’re offended by the team’s name or not.

The NFL is big business, as is the NBA.

D.C. taxpayers already drew the short stick on the new NBA/WNBA site that’s under construction in Southeast and located on property that used to be in the federal government’s portfolio.

The Trump administration must not view the proposed land swaps and transfers through lenses that block the periphery.

The District isn’t an ordinary city, it is America’s capital.

Wall Street and big business love the nation’s capital. If they didn’t, there would be no K Street.

For sure, the federal government is the capital’s most public-spirited benefactor, but surely it wouldn’t redraw D.C. boundaries because Maryland wants its land back.

Mr. Trump should scratch the city’s requests off his to-do list — that is, unless he sits down with Mr. Snyder and NBA owner Ted Leonsis to get a clear idea of what they want.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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