27 December 2006

Holiday Weekend Murders in NE

So far, two have posted to MPD's site...here's hoping that's the final tally:
Homicide in the 700 Block of 16th Street, NE

At approximately 7:30 pm, on Friday, December 22, 2006, Metropolitan Police were called to the 700 block of 16th Street, NE, for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 17-year-old Antonio Jenkins, of the 1700 block of Gales Street, NE, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the body. He was taken to the Howard University Hospital and admitted in critical condition. At 7 pm, on Saturday, December 23, Mr. Jenkins was pronounced dead.

The case is under investigation by members of the department’s Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

- - -

Homicide in the 2000 Block of 3rd Street, NE

At approximately 9:48 pm, on Monday, December 25, 2006, Metropolitan Police were called to the 2000 block of 3rd Street, NE, for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 29-year-old David E. Watkins, of the 2000 block of 3rd Street, NE, inside of a vehicle and suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. He was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia and pronounced dead.

The case is under investigation by members of the MPDC's Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

16 December 2006

Fire Destroys Home in Woodridge - 7 People Left Homeless

This is terribly sad...please be careful not to overload outlets and extension cords, particularly this time of the year with heaters, holiday lights, and decorations. From WTOP:
An overloaded extension cord being used in a rear bedroom is being blamed for a fire that destroyed a home in the Brookland [Woodridge] section of the District.

The fire broke out around 4:45 a.m. on Saturday in the 2100 block of Monroe Street, Northeast.

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department spokesman Alan Etter says the fire destroyed the single family home, and left seven people homeless.

Etter says two men, 19 and 34 years-old and a 17-year-old woman were taken to George Washington University Hospital for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation.

A woman took three boys, ages 12, ten and four to Children's Hospital to have them checked out for possible smoke related injuries.

Firefighters estimate the damage at $450,000.

Additional information can be found on dcfire.com. If anyone knows the family and what assistance/items they may need at this time, please leave a comment.

14 December 2006

Emergency Legislation on MLK Library - Sign the Petition to Preserve It

Mayor Williams has scheduled a(nother) vote on an emergency library bill next Tuesday - despite others not passing. Williams believes "all the issues have been ventilated." Wow. Interestingly enough, many of us don't agree. In addition to contacting your and others' Councilmember [see Council contact information in previous posting here], you can sign this petition to save the MLK Library. And, honestly, if you're for building a new library on the old convention center site, that's a valid option, but at the very least demand more accountability from the current and incoming Council, as well as the DCPL Board of Trustees and Ginnie Cooper. Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space goes into more detail on DC residents' MLK Catch-22.

Oh, and it looks like the Council will also be making a final reading and vote Tuesday, December 19th on temporary legislation on the Florida/Capital City Market (scroll down their schedule for "New Town at Capital City Market Revitalization Development and Public /Private Partnership Temporary Act of 2006"). Read some of Richard and Elise's comments on the proposal and search their sites for more.

Norovirus at CUA

No fun - it's been determined that norovirus is behind the recent surge in gastrointestinal "issues" at CUA (I tried really hard to avoid any puns there...oh well). Those of us off campus, but in contact with CUA students at the Metro and in the neighborhood, should take extra precautions as well.

Students at Bunker Hill Elementary Among Those Who Broke World Record

Now this is a wonderful way to get students excited about reading, from WTOP:
About 80 fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Bunker Hill Elementary in Northeast made history Wednesday, as they broke a world record for reading.

The Bunker Hill schoolchildren were among the 547,826 students from 28 countries worldwide who broke the Guinness World Record for the "Most People Reading Aloud Simultaneously in Multiple Locations."

Their book of choice? The students all read from the same chapter of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.

At 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the reading began. When the chapter was over, cheers erupted from the halls of Bunker Hill.

Incoming D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Howard University Assistant Vice President Raymond Archer were among the official witnesses.

The previous record was from 2004, when 155,528 students from 737 schools throughout the United Kingdom read William Wordsworth's poem "Daffodils," according to Guinness World Record.

10 December 2006

Ralph Bunche House for Sale?

Photo chourtesy of DC SHPO
** Yup - looks like the realtors caught wind of their address mistake - updates below....

I follow an RSS feed of a ZipRealty real estate search within 1 mile of my house, and MLS# DC6260757 DC6264005 at 1510 Jackson Street, NE caught my eye at $1,750,000 (you can view it by creating a login at ZipRealty and putting in the MLS, or without a login on HomesDatabase). The address isn't correct - the Bunche House is at 1510 Jackson Street, NE - but the details, like year built and style, not to mention the astronomical price, match. I drove past yesterday, but neither 1510 nor 1514 had a sign in the front yard, and 1514 looked far more occupied and maintained than the Bunche House.

History of the Ralph Bunche house, designed by architect Hilyard R. Robinson in the International Style, and more about Dr. Bunche:
» DC Preservation League (2001 Most Endangered Places List): "...this DC and National Register listed landmark designed by architect Hilyard Robinson in the International Style has been inappropriately altered and turned into a residential facility." Does that mean it has served as a group home? The listing does mention a ramp on the main level.
» National Park Service: "Among Robinson's notable works in Washington are Langston Terrace, and several campus buildings at Howard University."
» Cultural Tourism DC: "Bunche was one of the first African Americans to move into the formerly segregated Brookland neighborhood."
» Nobel Foundation's bio of Ralph Johnson Bunche: "From June of 1947 to August of 1949, Bunche worked on the most important assignment of his career - the confrontation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine....Bunche returned home to a hero's welcome. New York gave him a ticker-tape parade up Broadway; Los Angeles declared a "Ralph Bunche Day."
» Ralph Bunche on Wikipedia: "[Bunche] received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation in Palestine in the late 1940s that led to an armistice agreement between the Jews and Arabs in the region. He was the first African-American to be so honored in the history of the Prize."

09 December 2006

NE DC Historical Society Meeting - Sunday, December 10th

What: Join the NE DC Historical Society as they continue to explore the history of our Northeast Washington communities - past, present, and in years to come. This month's community history focus will be the John T. Rhines Funeral Home, a thriving DC enterprise celebrating its centennial year.

When: Sunday, December 10th, 2006, 2-4pm

Where: John T. Rhines Funeral Home, 3015 12th Street, NE - at the corner of 12th and Hamlin Streets

Presentations will include: "The John T. Rhines Funeral Home—Our 100th Year" by Gretchen Shorter Roberts, Historian, and more.

Etc.: For those unable to attend this meeting, don't miss next month's meeting to be held from 2-4pm on Sunday, January 14th, 2007. We will again reach out beyond NE DC to discover more of Washington's historic neighborhoods — this time, Georgetown! Our community host for this event will be the Mount Zion United Methodist Church at 1334 29th Street, NW. Our presenters will include Carter Bowman (historian) on "The Mount Zion United Methodist Church And Community: One Hundred Ninety Years of Institutional Building"; Ida Jones (Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center) on "We Have Come This Far By Faith—Methodism in Georgetown"; and C.R. Gibbs (author, lecturer, and historian) on "Facing The Rising Sun: Washington, DC's First Black Vote." Contact queenstowndc@yahoo.com for furhter information.

08 December 2006

Tibet Collection's Holiday Warehouse & Sample Sale - This Weekend


It's quite possible you didn't even know that Tibet Collection's warehouse is right here in NE, within walking distance of the Fort Totten Metro.
As one of the founding members of the Fair Trade Federation, Tibet Collection operates an innovative wholesale and retail mail-order company with a national focus and unique business vision. Tibet Collection is dedicated to providing economic opportunities for Himalayan artisans and promoting greater awareness of Tibetan culture. Since our incorporation in 1990, Tibet Collection has focused on marketing high-quality handcrafted goods created by artisans engaged in fair trade business practices.

What: The Tibet Collection's Holiday Warehouse & Sample Sale

When: December 8-10, 2006 (apologies for not getting this up sooner), 10am-4pm

Where: 5778 2nd Street, NE (map/directions)

07 December 2006

MPD Releases Photo of Shawn Burrell, Escaped NE Robbery Suspect


Previous posts here and here.

To Wonkette readers - thanks for stopping in....I'm guessing this isn't as exciting as you may have hoped, but, by all means, give the DC police a ring at 202.727.9099 or 1.800.673.2777 if you've seen Shawn.

Washington Glass School Annual Open Studio Holiday Party - Saturday, December 9th

What: Washington Glass School Annual Open Studio Holiday Party - see, among many others, local artists and bloggers Sean (and here) and Rania.

When: Saturday, December 9th, 2006, 2-6pm

Where: Washington Glass School Studio, 3708 Wells Avenue, Mt. Rainier, MD

06 December 2006

Brookland's Annual Celebration of Lights - December 15th-17th


HISTORIC BROOKLAND'S
ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF LIGHTS
Friday-Sunday, December 15-17, 2006
___________________________________________________


This year's Celebration of Lights, a three-day event that features a variety of activities on Historic Brookland's Main Street as well as Trolley Tours of the neighborhood's elaborate holiday light displays, will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 15-17.

A Tree-Lighting event on Friday night at 6:30pm will kick off the Main Street Open House weekend, which includes caroling and other performances along 12th and 9th Streets NE, Friday late-night hours in gaily bedecked galleries and shops, craft demonstrations, special sales, refreshments, and a complimentary shuttle that will transport shoppers and revelers between areas of activity. Santa is expected to visit Main Street on Saturday.

The weekend culminates with a holiday reception at the Brookland Visitors Center and Trolley Tours with Master of Ceremonies John Feeley, who leads trolley-loads of revelers in song as they seek out the most spectacular light displays in Brookland. While waiting for the trolley to arrive, guests mingle with their neighbors, roast chestnuts, enjoy hot cider and an open fire, and listen to Christmas music. This is the 11th year of the Celebration of Lights, which has become a much loved tradition in Brookland and has expanded to include the community's relatively new Main Street program. The weekend's schedule of events is as follows:

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tree Lighting, 6:30-7:00pm
Southwest corner of 12th and Monroe Streets, NE

Main Street Open House, 6:30-9:00pm
12th Street NE, between Rhode Island and Michigan Avenues

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Main Street Open House continued, 11:00am-6:00pm
12th Street NE, between Rhode Island and Michigan Avenues

Visit From Santa Claus, 2:00-4:00pm
12th Street NE, between Monroe & Newton Streets

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Celebration of Lights Trolley Tour, 6:00-9:00pm
The Brookland Visitors' Center, 3420 9th Street, NE

Holiday Reception, 6:00-9:00pm
The Brookland Visitors' Center, 3420 9th Street, NE

- - -

The Celebration of Lights Weekend is sponsored by The Brookland CDC and its Historic Brookland Main Street Program.

The weekend's activities are supported in part by THE WREATHS FOR BROOKLAND PROGRAM

The wreaths are in and are beautiful - order one while they last!

Brookland CDC Holiday Wreath Sale


You can order your holiday wreaths directly from the Brookland CDC!

24" Fresh Canadian Balsam Wreaths with a Large Red Velvet Bow - $22.00 each

Two Holiday Wreaths for $40.00

Our Elves Deliver and Install (FREE)

ORDER NOW : 202.529.8400 or brooklandcdc@aol.com

Pick-up : Brookland Visitor Center, 3420 9th Street, NE

Monday - Friday, 9:00-5:00pm
Saturday, 12:00-4:00pm
Thursday evenings until 8:00pm

Proceeds from the Wreath Sale will benefit this year's Holiday Celebration of Lights Trolley Tour on December 17th, 2006.

Council Moves Forward on "New Town" Proposal

blighted?
The Council has given preliminary approval - without minimal input from the current businesses and surrounding community - to Vincent Orange's "New Town" proposal which would raze the current Florida/Capital City Market. No, it's not pretty, but it's far from "blighted." I don't have time to comment right now, but keep checking in, and take a look at the reactions from both Frozen Tropics and Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space. You can also read the Post's take here.

Updates forthcoming....

Emergency Meeting in Response to Escaped Suspect - TONIGHT

What: At the request of residents, ANC 5A-07 Commissioner William Boston has coordinated an emergency meeting with MPD-5D Commander Jennifer Greene and Ward 5 Councilmember-elect Harry Thomas, Jr. to discuss the circumstances surrounding escaped armed robbery suspect Shawn Ryan Burrell.

When: TONIGHT, Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 at 5:30pm

Where: Kelly's Ellis Island, 3908 12th Street, NE

05 December 2006

Council to Consider New Central Library Bill TODAY

Hot off the presses from the Federation of Friends:

Councilmember Kathy Patterson intends to submit a substitute library bill to the DC Council TODAY. The Bill differs from the one tabled by the Committee on Education, Libraries and recreation in two respects:
1) it requires the D.C. Public Library Board of Library Trustees to consider the use of air rights above the new library site as part of the financing for construction, and
2) it precludes contracting for the new library until contracts have been issued for construction of the four currently closed branches.

All advocates for library services are urged to consider contacting Councilmembers if they have a strong opinion about this legislation and how it may affect the revitalization of our public libraries [see Council contact information in previous posting here].

04 December 2006

Escaped NE Robbery Suspect Sought

In reverse chronological order, from MPD:
Escaped Robbery Suspect Sought

On Friday, December 1, 2006, police arrested 19-year-old Shawn Ryan Burrell and a 15-year-old male juvenile in connection with the armed robbery of a nail salon [see press release below].

At approximately 1:10 am on Saturday, December 2, 2006, Shawn Burrell was taken to the Howard University Hospital and admitted after complaining of illness.

At approximately 1:00 this afternoon, Monday, December 4, 2006, while under police guard, Shawn Burrell requested to use the bathroom. When he failed to exit the bathroom, officers checked and discovered that he had made good his escape. He was last seen wearing only blue jeans and tennis shoes. He was last seen possibly entering a black or dark colored vehicle near Georgia Avenue and V Street, NW.

He is described as a 19-year-old black male, 6’ tall, approximately 160 to 170 pounds with a medium brown complexion.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts or sees him should take no direct action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or the department’s Crime Solvers Unit at 1-800-673-2777. All calls to Crime Solvers are confidential and if a caller provides information that leads to his arrest, he/she will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

There is no available photograph of the escaped subject. See photo here.

- - -

Suspects Arrested in Robbery of Northeast Nail Salon

Detectives assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department's Special Investigations Branch, assisted by officers assigned to the Fifth District and members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), arrested two suspects wanted in connection with the armed robbery of a nail salon located in the 1900 block of Michigan Avenue, NE, at about 1:15 pm on Friday, December 1, 2006. They were arrested later that same afternoon, one in the 1500 block of Newton Street, NE, and the other in the 1400 block of Lawrence Street, NE.

The first suspect, identified as 19-year-old Shawn Ryan Burrell, of the 1400 block of Lawrence Street, NE, ran from his apartment building while detectives, Fifth District officers and ERT personnel were searching for the suspect based on reports that he was somewhere in that building. He was apprehended at about 2:18 pm in the 1500 block of Newton Street, NE, after a brief foot pursuit. The second suspect, who is a juvenile, was arrested sometime later in the 1400 block of Lawrence Street, NE.

The investigation indicates that Burrell allegedly robbed the business establishment on Michigan Avenue, NE, while an accomplice waited in the getaway car. The other suspect is a 15-year-old male resident of the District of Columbia. His identity is being withheld because he is a juvenile. Both have been charged with Robbery Holdup, Gun. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Saturday in DC Superior Court. The investigation is continuing.

If I Had a Dollar for Every Visit...


Sometime yesterday, stop, blog, and roll welcomed its 10,000th visitor. Thanks - and here's to 10,000 more!

01 December 2006

Wohlfarth Galleries' Annual Holiday Art Sale - Begins Sunday, December 3rd


What: Wohlfarth Galleries - run by the Brookland CDC's own Lavinia Wohlfarth, is having its annual holiday sale.

When: Sunday, December 3rd; Saturday, December 9th; and Sunday, December 10th, 11am-4pm

Where: Wohlfarth Galleries, 3418 9th Street, NE

Details: Many works offered at a 40%-50% discount off retail prices. A number of small works are available. Additionally, used frames in various sizes. If that doesn’t interest you, there’s always a glass of wine and conversation.

Art Enables' Housewarming Holiday Party - Sunday, December 3rd


Art Enables - Outsider Art Inside the Beltway has moved into a new space at 411 New York Avenue, NE. This Sunday, December 3rd, 2006 from 2-6pm, they are hosting a housewarming and holiday party entitled "Raising the Roof & the Rent."

From their website:
Art Enables is an arts-and-enterprise program for adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities from throughout the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Participants in Art Enables are selected for their interest in drawing, painting and color. They come to the studio on scheduled days to work under the guidance of professional artist-instructors creating and marketing their own outsider and folk art. Their artwork is exhibited and sold in shows at the studio, via retailers around the city and at galleries, markets and special events throughout the region.

The program is open to adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities who are enthusiastic about working toward becoming professional artists and who are willing and able to focus on their work for a full studio day.

Art Enables demonstrates that the visual arts are an effective training and employment tool for people who may have barriers to cognitive-based training systems but who are interested in drawing and painting. Their ability to express themselves through visual images can operate as the basis on which they build skills and capabilities, become integrated in the community and earn money. More importantly, they experience a growth in confidence and self-esteem as the natural and inevitable result of becoming achievers at something they do well.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to the program, e-mail info@art-enables.org or call 202.554.9455

DC/World AIDS Day 2006 - TODAY


Visit Fight HIV in DC for more information, not just today, but every day. AIDS in DC also has a comprehensive collection of HIV/AIDS resources.

Also check out the The Living HIV Quilt site on washingtonpost.com, including today's article on a grassroots effort to distribute 30,000 free condoms "in targeted District neighborhoods."

Finally, support organizations like the Whitman-Walker Clinic or Food & Friends by donating or volunteering - at the very least by Shopping for Life on Saturday, December 2, 2006.

30 November 2006

Byte Back Open House and Fundraiser - Saturday, December 2nd

Byte Back
What: Brookland's own Byte Back Computer Training Center's Open House and Fundraiser

When: Saturday, December 2nd, 2006, from 4-7pm

Where: Byte Back's offices and training center, located at 815 Monroe Street, NE across 9th Street from Colonel Brooks' Tavern.

Etc.: Come, hear about our mission, see our facility, learn about our classes, and even make a contribution. Join us for hot cider and cookies! Any questions, please contact Patricia M. Jayne, Executive Director, at 202.529.3395 or pjayne@byteback.org.

28 November 2006

ANC-5A Monthly Meeting Moved to Wednesday, November 29th

The ANC-5A monthly meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th, 2006 (which isn't the fourth Wednesday of the month, but was likely scheduled to avoid any Thanksgiving-week conflicts) has been postponed until Wednesday, November 29th, 2006. The meeting will take place at the Washington Jesuit Academy, 900 Varnum Street, NE at 6pm (please note the updated time). The agenda includes Mr. John Thomas, Urban Forester, Department of Transportation; Mr. John Hoffman, Headmaster, Washington Jesuit Academy; and Ms. Vinnie Wholforth, Brookland CDC. This is the last ANC-5A meeting of 2006.

26 November 2006

Fenty Transition Ward 5 Townhall Meeting - Thursday, November 30th


What: The Fenty Transition invites DC residents to take part in a series of Ward specific townhall meetings and issue specific blogs.

When: The Ward 5 Townhall is Thursday, November 30th, 2006, 6:30-9:00pm. All Ward meetings are listed here.

Where: Joseph H. Cole Recreation Center Gymnasium, 1200 Morse Street, NE

Additional Info: Introduction by Ward 5 Councilmember-elect Harry Thomas, Jr. For more information please contact Joshua Lopez at 202.478.9268.

First Public Meeting for Brookland/CUA Metro Station Plan - Wednesday, November 29th

Brookland Metro photo by Richard Layman
What: The purpose of the meeting is to present information to the community concerning current conditions in and around the Brookland/CUA Metro Station Area.

When: Wednesday, November 29th, 2006, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Noyes Elementary School Auditorium, 2725 10th Street, NE

RSVP/Additional Info: RSVP to 202.610.0005 or rsvp@jsallc.com. For more information on the Brookland/CUA Metro Station Area Plan contact Deborah Crain with the DC Office of Planning at 202.442.7615.

At least one citizens' committee meeting has taken place - this will be the first time the rest of the community will be able attend since the charette was first proposed. Note that this is scheduled on the same evening as the upcoming ANC-5A meeting.

Examiner: Thomas Has a "Balancing Act" Ahead as Ward 5 Council

Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. is standing at the crossroads of a turf war trying to figure out how to stem a week of violent bloodshed in a small Northeast community [Carver Langston]....Thomas will lead Ward 5 during a time in which it is at its own crossroads [hmmm, we clearly have a number of "crossroads" here in Ward 5]. Largely working-class, neighborhoods like Brookland and Trinidad in Ward 5 are now considered "hot" housing markets...."It’s a balancing act," Thomas said. "A lot of things are changing. ... We have to find ways to connect our residents to the economic well being of the rest of the city."

Read the entire article here.

20 November 2006

Your Input Needed on the "Library Transformation Act of 2006" by Tuesday, November 21st

WHAT MLK MEMORIAL COULD BE: This renovated downtown flagship library is the vision that the mayor doesn't want you to see! Image from the DC Library Renaissance Project.
You may or may not be for the proposed new central library on the old Convention Center site. Personally, I wish we'd further investigate the potential of the old Carnegie Library (formerly the City Museum of Washington and currently a party rental). Whatever your feelings on this often contentious debate, please consider making your opinion known by contacting the DC Council’s Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation. The following - clearly against the bill - is from Robin Diener of the DC Library Renaissance Project, but full of useful information even if you disagree and want to share your thoughts within the next two days:
URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT
Critical Vote To Save Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - 5 DC Councilmembers Need to Hear From YOU!


The DC Council’s Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation is scheduled to vote on the fate of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (MLK).

When: Tuesday, November 21st, 2006 at 3pm
Where: Room 123, John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Legislation: Bill 16-734, the “Library Transformation Act of 2006”

The bill allows the city to lease MLK to a private entity for 99 years, and construct a new library at the former Convention Center site ("old CC"). The five Councilmembers on the Committee need to hear from you now in opposition to the bill.

In Person: Attend the hearing on Tuesday, November 21st at 3 pm, and bring friends. A packed room of MLK supporters may convince the Councilmembers to vote no on Bill 16-734.

Contact the 5 Councilmembers: e-mail, call or fax . . .

Councilmember Marion Barry:
mbarry@dccouncil.us
Phone: (202) 724-8045 / Fax: (202) 698-2388

Councilmember Vincent Gray:
vgray@dccouncil.us
Phone: (202) 724-8068 / Fax: (202) 724-8097

Councilmember Phil Mendelson:
PMendelson@dccouncil.us
Phone: (202) 724-8064 / Fax: (202) 724-8099

Committee Chairman Councilmember Kathy Patterson:
kpatterson@decouncil.us
Phone: (202) 724-8062 / Fax: (202) 724-8118

Councilmember Carol Schwartz:
cschwartz@dccouncil.us
Phone: (202) 724-8105 / Fax: (202) 724-8071

Talking Points:

· I urge you to oppose Bill 16-734, the “Library Transformation Act of 2006.”
* Reopening the four closed branch libraries, and revitalizing the rest of the neighborhood libraries, is a higher priorty than a new central library.
* The proposed library on the old CC site would be smaller than MLK.
· The old CC site is a second-rate location with no Metro stops within 800 feet (2 blocks). MLK is within two blocks of five stops, serving all Metro lines!
· We have seen only one line drawing of the library proposed for the old CC building. It shows 9 small floors of awkward triangular spaces, with admistrative offices in the basement. MLK is the gold standard for flexibility with a rectangular layout that can accomodate change now and in the future.
* The library system is predicting huge increases in library usership based on the amount of housing being built downdown, yet the proposed old CC library has no provision for future expansion. MLK is larger and engineered to have a fifth floor added.
· MLK is a stand-alone facility. The old CC building would be a mixed-use facility, and could include offices, condos, or a shoe store.
· MLK was dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. in 1971 and it has served as an annual gathering place to honor his legacy. It is not just a plaque to be attached to another building.
· The funding plan for a library on the old CC site is not sound, aspects criticized by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, among others. The city can lease or sell the old CC site and apply that money to renovate MLK.
· There has not been adequate public discussion of possibilities for a new central library.
* The Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Libraries has not produced its report (it's been two years). How can Council decide without having seen the report they allocated funds for two years ago?
* It's not clear how parking would be provided for a library on the old CC site. MLK already has its own parking garage.

Sample Letter:

Date

Dear Councilmember __________:

*I urge you to oppose Bill 16-734, the “Library Transformation Act of 2006”* that would authorize leasing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (“MLK”) for 99 years and building a new central library on the old convention center site (“old CC”).

Acceptable rationales for abandoning our architecturally significant and advantageously sited MLK library have not been presented. Nor do I accept assertions that funding possibilities will be lost if we do not make haste. Financial backing for a good plan can always be found.

As a District resident and library patron, I support further exploration of alternatives for renovation of MLK, which I believe will be less costly. I would also like to see a greater level of community involvement in the process of planning for library "transformation."

Of primary importance, MLK was dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. in 1971 and has served as an annual gathering place to honor his legacy. It is not just a plaque to be moved form building to building.

Finally, I believe that reopening the closed branch libraries should be prioritized over any new central library facility.

For these reasons, I urge you to vote "no" on Bill 16-734.

Sincerely,

/_Feel free to personalize. Please forward this message._/

Thank you!!!!


Robin Diener
DC Library Renaissance Peoject
1530 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

ANC-5C Monthly Meeting - Tuesday, November 21st

What: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C Monthly Meeting

When: Tuesday, November 21st, 2006, 7-9pm

Where: TBA

Agenda: TBA

ANC-5A06 Monthly Meeting Monday, November 20th

Posted by a Perry Place resident on the Brookland listserv:
The next ANC 5A-06 meeting will be Monday, November 20th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. Commissioner Marry Currie invited Mayor Elect Fenty, 5th District Commander Jennifer Greene, current Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange, and Darrel Green [sp?] who is the owner of the Cardinal's Nest Coffee place on 10th and Perry Place (the old video store).

One item of discussion will be the pending liquor license that is being sought by the coffee house that will allow them to serve alcohol until 2am Sunday-Thursday and 3am Fridays and Saturdays. Since the building is so close to the residents of Perry Place, we have concerns about late night rowdiness/noise, and we protested the liquor license application. We are in negotiations now with the owners (through the Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Agency). If you have any strong feelings on the subject this would be a good meeting to attend.

Resurfacing of Rhode Island Avenue, NE

This will take some time, but but the improvements are necessary, particularly at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro/Rhode Island Place shopping center:

Effective Monday, November 17, 2006 the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin installing temporary construction signs for a project to resurface Rhode Island Avenue, from North Capitol Street up to 10th Street, NE. Actual work is expected to begin on Monday, November 20, 2006 at North Capitol and get completed two-blocks at a time. Completion date is scheduled for Fall 2007 [for an average of 1 block per month?].

DDOT's regular work schedule for the project will not affect inbound traffic on Rhode Island Avenue, Monday through Friday, between 6:00am to 9:30am or outbound traffic between 3:00pm to 6:30pm. Work scheduled for weekends will vary.

DDOT representatives are available to address community organizations and answer questions about the scope of work for this project. Interested citizens and organizations should contact DDOT representative Abdullahi Mohamed at 202.671.4614.

New Date for PSA 502 and New Location for PSA 503 Community Meetings

Please note the following updates for the PSA 502 and 503 monthly community meetings (updates have been made in the sidebar):

15 November 2006

Homicide in Carver Langston - Escalating Violence in Neighborhood Continues

In the wake of yesterday's multiple shooting, from MPD:
On Wednesday, November 15, 2006, at about 10:42 am, police and DC Fire Department emergency medical personnel responded to the rear of 705 24th Street, NE for the report of an unconscious person. Upon arrival, they found an as yet unidentified adult male suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Emergency medical personnel could find no life signs. The body was later transported by morgue wagon to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia.

The case is currently under investigation by detectives assigned to the Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to call (202) 727-9099.

The Metropolitan Police Department is currently offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

Even the increased police presence - including more daytime patrols and a mobile command truck in the area - can't seem to bring back the equilibrium this neighborhood worked so hard to achieve.

14 November 2006

Four Shot in NE - Two Teen Victims

This morning - in what happens to be the the fourth shooting (at least) in the past month in the Carver Langston neighborhood - two teens and two adults were shot in an alley. From MPD:
Multiple Shooting Incident on 19th Street, NE

On Tuesday, November 14, 2006, shortly after 10 am, Metropolitan Police and DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to the area of 19th and M Streets, NE, for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, they discovered that four males had been shot while in an alley located in the 1200 block of 19th Street, NE.

The victims - a 16 year old, a 17 year old and two 20 year olds - were transported to area hospitals for treatment of apparently non-life-threatening injuries. One victim was shot in the pelvic area, and the others received gunshot wounds to their limbs. Their identities are being withheld because they are witnesses in the case.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the victims were fired upon by two occupants of a moving vehicle described as a white Honda Accord, bearing unknown temporary license tags. The vehicle was occupied by a total of four subjects described only as black males.

The case is currently under investigation by detectives assigned to the MPDC's Fifth District. Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call (202) 727-9099 or the DC Crime Solvers Unit at 1-800-673-2777.

All calls to Crime Solvers are confidential, and a caller need not give his or her name. If the information provided by a caller to the Crime Solvers Unit leads to an arrest and indictment, the caller will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

WTOP and NBC4 are also reporting on the shooting and recent increase in violence in this neighborhood; NBC4 mentions that shell casings from an apparently unreported shooting last night were also found in the vicinity. See Frozen Tropics for information on an emergency community meeting called for tomorrow evening in response to the recent surge in violence in Carver Langston.

**UPDATE**
WaPo's report is here.

Yes! Organic Market Grand Opening - TOMORROW


That's right - TOMORROW, Wednesday, November 15th marks the grand opening of Brookland's very own Yes! Organic Market located at 3809 12th Street NE, on the southeast corner of the intersection of 12th and Quincy Streets, NE. The phone number is 832-7715. PLEASE NOTE THE PARKING LOT IS ACCESSED FROM 12TH STREET ONLY. Yay!

13 November 2006

Fatal Shooting in NE; 2 Others Wounded, Including a Teenage Girl

From WTOP via AP:
District police are investigating a shooting in Northeast which left one man dead and two other people wounded Saturday evening.

Sergeant Joe Gentile says the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of 21st Place, NE.

Metropolitan Police Department officers found 34-year-old Boyd King suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

King was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center. He lived in the 2100 block of Maryland Avenue, NE.

Police also found a 17-year-old girl suffering from a gunshot wound to the ankle, and a 41-year-old man who was wounded in the upper thigh.

The two victims have not been identified because they are considered witnesses to a crime.

They are both expected to recover from their injuries.


MPD's press release is here.

10 November 2006

Carjackings and Abductions Near CUA, Hyattsville

MPD is working with the PG County Police Department on a recent series of seemingly related carjackings and abductions. From MPD:
Sometime after 7 pm, on Wednesday, November 8, 2006, a 23-year-old female operating a 2001 Pontiac Aztec near 12th and Newton Streets, NE, stopped behind a silver Honda [Accord]. It was at this time that a man displayed a handgun and forced the woman into the passenger seat of her Aztec and began driving her vehicle. At some point, she was forced into the trunk of a Honda, while another subject got behind the wheel of her Aztec and drove away. The victim is unclear as to how long she was driven around before she was placed in the trunk of the Honda.

At approximately 7:30 pm, on Wednesday, November 8, 2006, a 27-year-old female was entering a 2006 Chevy Cobalt in a parking lot in the 300 block of Taylor Street, NE. It was at this time that she was stopped by a white Mitsubishi and silver Honda. A man armed with a handgun entered her vehicle and drove off. The woman jumped from the car and made good her escape. It is reported that a short time later that night a man and woman were abducted in Prince George’s County, Maryland [Hyattsville]. The suspect in this case attempted to force the female into the trunk of the Honda, which was already occupied by the female abducted from 12th and Newton Streets, NE. The man and woman in this case managed to escape.

The woman in the trunk of the Honda is uncertain as to the length of time she was driven around and was in the trunk of the vehicle. However, her captors released her near her car in the Northeast section of the city after robbing her of cash, credit cards and a cell phone.

The suspect in the Newton Street case is described as a black male, 18 to 20 years old, approximately 5’5” tall, weighing 130 to 140 pounds, with a long pony tail and wearing a mask. The suspect in the Taylor Street case is described as a medium complexioned black male, approximately 6’1” tall, with a slim build, wearing dark jeans and a mask.

Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any robbery committed in the District of Columbia.

WaPo and NBC4 have additional details. Apparetnly the Honda was stolen on Sunday morning in Lanham and, the Post adds, "Prince George's police are investigating whether the carjackings are related to possible serial rapes. In the past month, at least four women have been assaulted after being abducted at gunpoint and forced to drive to various locations, where they were raped. [Diane Richardson, a Prince George's police spokeswoman] said that there is no evidence to suggest a connection but that police had not ruled one out."

So Much to Do this Weekend!

Just a selection of the events going on this weekend in and around NE....

BROOKLAND COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP

What: In cooperation with CUA and the DC Department of Public Works' Helping Hand Program, the Brookland CDC is sponsoring a community clean-up in anticipation of the grand opening of Yes! Organic Market (I do not know the exact opening date yet). All tools and trash bags are being supplied through DPW.

When: Saturday, November 11th, 9am-12pm. The clean-up will be followed by a complimentary buffet lunch for all volunteers at the new Cardinal Club, 3514 12th Street, NE.

Where: The clean-up will begin at 12th and Michigan, then travel south along 12th Street picking up trash and cleaning out the tree boxes and planters through Monroe.

Etc.: Contact the Brookland CDC to volunteer at 202.529.8400 or brooklandcdc@aol.com, though I'm sure you'll be welcome if you simply show up.

- - -

CHILDREN'S BOOK SIGNING AND ART EXHIBIT AT ROXANNE'S ARTIQUES

From the press release:

Roxanne’s ARTiques, located at 3426 9th Street NE, on Historic Brookland’s Gallery Row, across the street from the neighborhood landmark Colonel Brooks Tavern, will be showing art produced by the young students of the Harlem School of the Arts. The show features illustrations included in the children's book, Kara Finds Sunshine on a Rainy Day.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2006, from 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm, featuring a book signing by author Caroline Brewer. On Saturday, November 11, 2006, from 1:00pm - 3:00pm, there will be a reading accompanied by music, and a book signing afterwards. The show will be displayed through Sunday November 12, 2006 [I have also heard the show will be on display through November 19th].

Kara Finds Sunshine on a Rainy Day is no ordinary book! All of the illustrations were produced by children, some as young as six years old, by students attending the prestigious Harlem School of the Arts in New York City and the Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey school system. The students created ceramics, pastel drawings, and collages in the style of Romare Bearden.

According to Brewer, "The theme of Kara Finds Sunshine on a Rainy Day is that the sun is always shining even when we can't see it. It's a book of hope and healing for all ages." Readers are introduced to courageous and inspirational historical figures, such as Rosa Parks, Anne Frank, Sitting Bull, Kim Phuc, Cesar Chavez, A. Phillip Randolph, and Mahatma Gandhi. A teacher/parent guide is included to help adults discuss with children coping with life's joys and pains.

Proceeds from sales of the book are being directed to book donations to Gulf Coast families disrupted by Hurricane Katrina.

Roxanne’s ARTiques is owned by Roxanne Carter, a long-time resident of Michigan Park in Greater Brookland. The gallery features artifacts and works of art by national and international artists. The Gallery is open from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, and is located one block from the Brookland/CUA Metro station on the Red Line. For more information contact Roxanne Carter at (202)-526-7020, by email at roxannesartiques@hotmail.com, and on the internet at www.roxannesartiques.com.

- - -

OPEN ART STUDIO

What: Bloomingdale resident, blogger, and artist, Sean Hennessey, is opening his studio in at the Washington Glass School in Mt. Rainier, MD to the public. Visit his art blog, Paint and Plaster, for detailed information and directions.

When: Sunday, November 12th, 2006, 1-5pm

Where: Washington Glass School, 3708 Wells Avenue (REAR), Mt. Rainier, MD

- - -

NE DC HISTORICAL SOCIETY MONTHLY MEETING

What: NE DC Historical Society Monthly Meeting - exploring the history of our Northeast Washington communities - past, present, and in years to come.

When: Sunday, November 12th, 2006, 2:30-4pm (later starting time than usual)

Where: Lamond-Riggs Library 5401 South Dakota Avenue, NE (at Kennedy Street)

Presentations:
· Chris Holben of the DC Department of Transportation Bicycle Program with an update on the Metropolitan Branch Trail for commuting and communing with neighborhood history, art, and nature.
· James Loewen, best-selling author and noted sociologist on "Sundown Towns: The Exclusionary Communities Around Washington, DC."

Etc.: Meetings are always free and open to the public. For those unable to attend this meeting, don't miss our next month's meeting to be held from 2:00-4:00 pm on Sunday, December 10th, 2006. The meeting location and presentation topics will be announced early next month. Please plan to join us as we focus on more of the history of our prized neighborhoods and institutions of NE DC. Our meetings take place the second Sunday of every month. For further information contact: queenstowndc@yahoo.com.

08 November 2006

Preliminary Election Results - Including ANCs - Available

Image from neighborhoodinfodc.org
You can view the preliminary DC General Election results on the Board of Elections and Ethics site (PDF).

My SMD, 5A-09, had no candidate, as I previously thought. I know I received at least three write-in votes (you betcha' one of them was mine), but certainly not the majority of the 132. I'm interested to hear who the winner is. My sincerest congratulations to Kris Hammond, 5C-02, and Janae Grant, 5A-11 and co-coordinator of the Coalition of Concerned Neighbors, on their successes in two of many hotly contested ANC Commissions.

06 November 2006

Worshippers Robbed at Union Wesley Zion Church Sunday Mass

Absolutely disgusting...from MPD:
At approximately 8:05 am, on Sunday, November 5, 2006, members of the Full Gospel Zion Church were holding services in a chapel of the Union Wesley Zion Church, located in the 1800 block of Michigan Avenue, NE. It was at this time that two armed men entered the chapel and robbed three women and two men. Taken were purses, wallets, cash, credit cards and a cell phone.

The first suspect in this case is described as a black male with a light complexion, 5’8” tall, 160 pounds and wearing a black bandanna over his face. He was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweat shirt and black pants. He was armed with a silver colored handgun. The second suspect is described as a black male with a light complexion, 6’ tall, 160 pounds and wearing a wool mask over his face. He was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweat shirt, blue jeans and a dark grey jacket. He was armed with a black handgun.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any robbery committed in the District of Columbia.

- - -

Also of note - homicide at 4013 Gault Place, NE - from MPD:
At approximately 8:57 pm on Friday, November 3, 2006, Metropolitan Police were called to an apartment building located in the 4000 block of Gault Place, NE, for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 23-year-old Matheno Immanuel Nichols, of the 2100 block of County Road in District Heights, Maryland, suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Personnel from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia responded to the scene and pronounced Mr. Nichols dead.

The case is under investigation by members of the MPDC'w Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

- - -

Homicide in the Unit Block of Quincy Place, NW, from MPD:
At approximately 11:05 pm, on Thursday, November 2, 2006, Metropolitan Police were called to the unit block of Quincy Place, NW, for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 27-year-old James Burton, of the 1600 block of First Street, NW, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to the scene, but could not find signs consistent with life. The victim was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia and pronounced dead.

The case is under investigation by members of the MPDC's Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

02 November 2006

Learn About the Benefits of Composting - Monday, November 6th


What: DC Master Gardeners will explain the many benefits of turning leaves, kitchen scraps and yard waste into an organic, earth-friendly soil amendment that your garden plants will love.

Nature doesn’t waste anything, so why should we? Ed Bruske and John Wheeler, two composting experts, will show simple and economical ways to recycle the organic material around your home. You’ll spend less time bagging leaves. You’ll make fewer trips to the garden center and save money. Learn about composting systems designed for urban and small-scale gardening.

Where: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, multi-purpose room, 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE

When: Monday, Nov. 6, 2006 at 7pm

Contact DC Master Gardeners with any questions you might have about composting.

Collecting and Displaying Art Workshop at Roxanne's ARTiques - Saturday, November 4th


What: Roxannes’s ARTiques & Gallery presents "Collecting and Displaying Art for Interiors."

Topics include:
• Selecting & Collecting Art for the Home - Identify the right kind of art for your interior decorating needs
• The Effect of Art in Interior Space - Discover how choosing a theme can bring continuity to art displayed in your home
• Displaying Art in the Home - Display art in unique ways in your interior space

Presenters include:
• Sharon J. Burton - Art Consultant, Authentic Art Consulting
• Susan Featherstone-Schemm - Principal Designer, Design Scheme Interiors, LLC
• Sherry Burton-Ways - Principal Designer, Design Scheme Interiors, LLC

When: Saturday, November 4, 2006 from 2-4pm

Registration Cost: $20.00 (advance) $25.00 (day of event). Registration includes refreshments and 10% off purchase of artwork. Register early - limited space available.

For more information: Roxanne’s ARTiques, 3426 9th Street, NE (CUA/Brookland Metro Station), 202.526.7020

Hat tip to DC Gal

26 October 2006

Woodridge Library Book Sale - Saturday, October 28th


What: The Friends of the Woodridge Library used book sale. We (disclosure: I am a member of the Friends - we'd love for you to join our group!) have hardcovers, paperbacks, fiction, non-fiction, books for adults, books for children, books on tape, records, videos/DVDs, and much more. All proceeds benefit the Woodridge Library.

When: Saturday, October 28th, 2006, 9:30am-4pm

Where: Woodridge Neighborhood Library basement, 1801 Hamlin Street, NE (at the corner of 18th and Rhode Island Avenue)

Etc.: We are always accepting donations of books, videos/DVDs, records, comic books, and the like. For additional information call the library at 202.541.6226 or e-mail the Friends at woodridgefriends@yahoo.com.

7th Annual Ward 5 Economic Development Summit - Saturday, October 28th

What: 7th Annual Ward 5 Economic Development Summit

When: Saturday, October 28th, 2006, 8:30am-2pm

Where: Trinity University, 125 Michigan Avenue, NE

Invited Developers, Presentation, and Updates: Armed Forces Retirement Home; Fairfield Residential, LLC; DC Office of Planning; Florida Market - "New Town"; Fort Linclon - Costco/Shoppers Food Warehouse/Target; Irving Street Conference Center - Mariani Architects Engineers; McMillan Reservoir - National Capital Revitalization Corporation/NCRC; New York Avenue Arboretum - Abdo Development; Rhode Island Metro - Mid-City urban, LLC; Riggs Plaza Apartments - The Cafritz Foundation; Travel Lodge - Hotel Development Complex; Yes! Organic Market

For additional information please call the Ward 5 Council Office at 202.724.8028.

Council Hearing on New Central Library - Friday, October 27th

From the Federation of Friends:

On Friday, October 27, 2006 at 1:00 pm, Councilmember Kathy Patterson, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation, will hold a public oversight hearing on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. This meeting has been rescheduled from its’ original date of October 16, 2006. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the feasibility of the Carnegie Library site to serve as the location for a new central library for the District of Columbia [yes, yes, please - what a fabulous option!]. The Committee wishes to examine this option from programmatic, architectural, and financial perspectives. The public hearing will begin at 1 p.m. in the Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The Committee invites the public to testify or to submit written testimony, which will be made a part of the official record. Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing should contact Evelyn Bourne-Gould, Legislative Assistant to the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation, at 724-8195, or via e-mail at egould@dccouncil.us. All witnesses will be permitted a maximum of three (3) minutes for oral presentation.

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted either to the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation, or to Ms. Phyllis Jones, Secretary to the Council, Room 5 of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.

24 October 2006

ANC-5A Monthly Meeting - Wednesday, October 25th

What: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A Monthly Meeting (this link shows you the tentative 2006 schedule - no meeting in December)

When: Wedensday, October 25th, 2006 at 7pm

Where: Mt. Horeb Baptist Church, 2914 Bladensburg Road, NE

Agenda Includes:
· Village at Washington Gateway presentation by Michele Hagans - site is slated to include 375 townhomes and retail (Shoppers Food Warehouse, Costco, Target, sit-down restaurants, and banking have all been mentioned - what I haven't heard much about is how NY and South Dakota Avenues are going to handle the increase in traffic and why we continue to allow suburbanesque, anti-pedestrian development - like Rhode Island Place/RIP at the RI/Brentwood Metro - in the name of Ward 5 progress)
· Invited: Democratic Nominees Adrian Fenty, Mayor; Vincent Gray, Council Chairman; Phil Mendelson, At-Large; Harry Thomas Jr. Ward 5
· 4th & 5th District Police Crime Reports
· Community Concerns

Next ANC 5A Monthly Community Meeting: November 15, 2006 – Washington Jesuit Academy, 900 Varnum Street NE

Teen Book Discussion at the Woodridge Library - Wednesday, October 25th

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
What: Teens are invited to share their thoughts on The First Part Last by Angela Johnson, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner. This novel is about a teenage father and his struggles to raise his child. All are welcome - even if you haven't read the book, the discussion will be of interest!

When: Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 at 5:30pm

Where: Woodridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin Street, NE (at the corner of 18th and Rhode Island Avenue)

23 October 2006

ANC Citizen Conference - Monday, October 23rd (TONIGHT)

From the Coalition of Concerned Neighbors:

The first DC ANC Citizen Conference will be held at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center located at 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE, from 5-9pm on Monday, October 23rd, 2006. Opening remarks will come from Mayor Anthony Williams, Chairman of the Council Linda Cropp, and Councilmember Vincent Orange. Discussion will commence from the Director of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, Gottlieb Simon. There will be an ANC panel discussion moderated by The Washington Informer publisher, Denise Rolark Barnes. Issues will pertain to zoning, ABRA, and EMA. All are invited to attend.

The Coalition of Concerned Neighbors can be contacted at 202.903.6197 or concerneighbors@yahoo.com.

17 October 2006

DCPL/Woodridge Library Updates and Upcoming Events

Photo from DCPL
You may have heard that all DC Public Libraries, with the exception of the Deanwood Kiosk, are now wired for free Wi-Fi.

Also, as of this past Sunday, October 15th, 2006, MLK, Jr. and all full-service branch libraries will be open from 1-5pm every Sunday. From the DCPL press release:
The exceptions are the four small community libraries and the Deanwood Kiosk, which will continue to be open Monday through Friday. "Sundays are generally when families spend the most time together so it’s great they will now be able to make their local branch library a family activity where every member can find something they enjoy," said Ginnie Cooper, the D.C. Public Library’s Chief Librarian. "Whether it’s families or individual residents, we’re going to be attracting groups of people who wouldn’t normally have time to come to the library during the week. This is going to enable us to serve many, many more people who have information needs but perhaps did not have time to get their needs met."

....

In addition to the new hours, Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper announced that beginning immediately there is no longer an age limit for children to obtain a library card, and no longer will there be a children’s handwriting requirement for a child to apply for a card. Now, parents and guardians may apply for a library card for very young children and it will be issued in the child’s name. Cooper says this change will help to encourage children to read at a younger age, which is a hallmark of her library philosophy. She continued by saying, "Our former policy is historically common, and may still exist at other libraries. I have had the pleasure of changing similar policies at other places."

We are definitely taking baby-steps in the right direction.

___________

The Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street, NE (at the corner of 18th and Rhode Island Avenue), invites young adults and parents to meet Melinda Robertson, author of "Motherhood...What You Don't Know!", for a discussion and book signing this Friday, October 20th, 2006 at 5:30pm.

From the author's website:

"The book serves two purposes. One to show how complex motherhood really is, as it is intended to provoke young women to think about what it would really mean to have a baby. Secondly, Nicole, the main character, can be an encouragement to the thousands of teenage mothers raising children today, because [of] the 'straight talk, no chaser' conversations Nicole's mother has with her...."

- - -

Woodridge is also hosting an adult book discussion on Tuesday, October 24th, 2006 at 2pm. Come and bring your favorite book to share with others - all are welcome! Participants in the Adult Summer Reading Program will discuss the books they've read.

- - -

Preschool storytime (ages 3-5) is scheduled for Thursdays at 10:30am. Call the Woodridge Branch for additional information on these and other programs at 202.541.6226.

16 October 2006

ANC-5C Monthly Meeting - Tuesday, October 17th

What: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C Monthly Meeting

When: Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 7-9pm

Where: Harry Thomas Recreation Center, 1743 Lincoln Road, NE

Agenda Includes:
MPD-5D, Public Safety Report
• Community Concerns
Leila Batties of Holland + Knight, PUD* for the Washington Gateway at Florida and New York Avenues NE
Maybelle Bennett, Director of Howard University Community Association (HCUA) on Howard University's Living and Learning Center / HU's Men's Dorm

*PUD - (not the best) definition here

13 October 2006

Teen Girl Missing from NE Home


From MPD:
The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing person identified as Cherita Gladden. She was last seen leaving her home address located in the 200 block of 35th Street, NE at about 8:00 am on Wednesday, October 4, 2006.

Cherita is fourteen years old. She is described as a dark complexioned black female, 5’2’ tall, weighing about 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair worn in braids. She was last seen wearing a white shirt, a white jacket, blue and pink pants, and a Dallas Cowboys baseball cap.

Anyone who has information regarding Cherita Gladden’s whereabouts is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

Warning: I don't mean to be insensitive to any one else's pain, just truthful....Now that Michelle Gardner-Quinn's body has been found, could we get a little local coverage for this missing child?

***UPDATE***
Cherita returned home Monday, October 16th, but the lack of media coverage has caused a bit of a stir.

Argonaut Benefit TONIGHT for Quike Morales

Photo by the Argonaut Tavern, hosted by inked78
I've been following the story of Luis "Quike" Morales at Frozen Tropics. After leaving work at the Argonaut Tavern, Morales was shot in the head outside his girlfriend's home in the 600 block of 14th Place NE at 5:30am September 30th. The Argonaut, at 1433 H Street NE, is hosting a benefit tonight, starting at 7pm, with a silent auction and DJ in an effort to raise money to aid Morales and his family during his recovery. My prayers go out to them during this difficult time.

Florida Market Tour - Saturday, October 14th / Public Hearing - Friday, October 20th


Both Richard and Elise have posted a wealth of information on the tour they're hosting this Saturday. I've gone, I've enjoyed, and you should, too.

Also, if you can, consider attending the public hearing Friday, October 20th, 2006 on proposed legislation for Bill 16-868: "New Town at Capital City Market Revitalization Development and Public/Private Partnership Act of 2006." The proposal intends to "create a public/private partnership between the District of Columbia and New Town Development, LLC for the purposes of economic, social, and cultural revitalization of a 24 acre site located in Ward 5." Richard and Elise have written extensively on the future of the Florida Market and what we could lose if New Town becomes a reality (searches on their respective blogs will bring up the relevant posts).

12 October 2006

Fire in Brentwood Displaces 41 - Water Pressure Too Low to Battle the Blaze Properly

Photo from DCFD.com
From WTOP:
Fire quickly spread through eight townhouses in Brentwood Sunday, displacing 41 people, most of them children.

"That fire went from a single room to the entire row in less than five minutes," says D.C. Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Sloan. "The entire roof area became involved in less than five minutes."

The 4 p.m. fire [at 2255 15th Street, NE], started in a third floor bedroom of a middle unit. While it did not go below the roof line of the building, all eight units of the renovated apartment building sustained some water damage.

Firefighters had some difficulty fighting the fire because the building had a tarred flat roof that was covered by a pitched roof. The tar on the roof spread the fire quickly. There also was concern that the roof would collapse. About 100 firefighters battled the blaze.

"Because of low water pressure in some areas, we weren't able to put all of our lines in service," says Deputy Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbee.

Sloan says one man was injured when he jumped from third floor of the unit where the fire started. His injuries are not life-threatening.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.


Why, oh why, was the water pressure so low that the fire department couldn't do their job?

Homicide in the 3100 Block of 10th Street NE

Just a few hours after MPD Chief Ramsey led a march for peace, 28-year-old Eddie Watkins was shot and killed in front of 3124 10th Street, NE. From MPD:
At approximately 11:30 pm, on Tuesday, October 10, 2006, Metropolitan Police were called to the front of a building located in the 3100 block of 10th Street, NE, to investigate the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 28-year-old Eddie Watkins, of the 3100 block of 10th Street, NE, suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to the scene, but found no signs consistent with life. He was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia and pronounced dead.

The case is under investigation by members of the MPDC's Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

- - -

Another senseless teenage death in NE on Tuesday, this time due to reckless driving:
On Tuesday, October 10, 2006, at approximately 4:25 pm, at the intersection of 8th Street and South Dakota Avenue, NE, 20-year-old Jonas Lee Underwood, of the 4900 block of 7th Street, NE, was the driver of a 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo making a left turn from westbound South Dakota Avenue NE, onto southbound 8th Street. As Mr. Underwood was making his turn, his vehicle was struck by a 2004 Chevy Avalanche being driven by 35-year-old Brian Omar Johnson, of the 1200 block of Delafield Place NE.

The impact caused massive intrusion into the right passenger’s side of the Monte Carlo. Consequently, the right rear passenger of the Monte Carlo, identified as 16-year-old David Duarte, of the 5000 block of 54th Place in Hyattsville, Maryland, was transported to the Washington Hospital Center’s MedSTAR Unit, where he was pronounced dead 5:10 pm.

Jonas Underwood was treated at the Washington Hospital Center for facial lacerations. The front seat passenger was treated at Howard University Hospital for head pain and facial cuts, and then released. The third passenger of the Monte Carlo was not physically injured.

Brian Johnson and his two passengers in the Chevy Avalanche did not sustain any physical injuries.

The case is under investigation by members of the MPDC's Major Crash Investigations Unit. Investigators have established that the intersection where the crash occurred is controlled by a stop sign for both northbound and southbound traffic. Therefore, the contributing factor in the crash is the failure to yield the right of way on the part of the operator of the Chevy Monte Carlo.

While the accident may certainly have been caused by Jonas Lee Underwood's failure to yield, I've no doubt that the oncoming traffic was travelling much faster than the posted speed limit. My guess is that may have contributed to the intensity of the crash.

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Finally, my apologies for not keeping up with all the happenings in the community lately. I've been under some serious time constraints that don't appear to be ending any time soon. While I'd like to go back and touch upon everything I've missed, I know that will only put me even further behind. So forward we go - with a few bumps in the road ahead....