29 August 2006

Upcoming Ward 5 Council Candidate Forums

Here are three that I know of, in chronological order:

What: Coalition for Voter Empowerment (COVE) is hosting a Ward 5 "Meet the Candidates" Forum.

When: Wednesday, August 30th, 2006, 6:30-9:30pm

Where: Mount Sinai Baptist Church, 1646 Third Street, NW (Third and Q Streets)

About: COVE is a collaboration of civic associations that represent citizens on the southwestern end of Ward 5 - i.e., the Bates Area, Bloomingdale, Edgewood, and Hanover Area Civic Associations, respectively.

From 6:30 until 7:00pm, there will be an opportunity for the candidates to meet residents of these communities in an informal social gathering at the church. The forum will take place between 7:00 and 9:00pm and, again, between 9:00 and 9:30pm, candidates will have the opportunity to chat with residents after the formal part of the program.

:: :: ::

What: Premier Community Development Corporation is presenting a Ward 5 Council Candidates Forum on the issue of affordable housing.

When: Thursday, August 31st, 2006 at 6:30pm

Where: Greater Mt. Calvary Family Life Center, 605 Rhode Island Avenue, NE

Contact: For more information, call Hazel Thomas at 202.491.9245 or Stephanie Rones at 202.832.3448

:: :: ::

What: Ward 5 Council Candidates Forum

When: Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 7pm

Where: North Michigan Park Recreation Center, 1333 Emerson Street, NE

About: Candidates will be give two-minute opening and closing statements; question will come from the audience.

Brookland Festival Committee Meeting - Wednesday, August 30th

Photo by Brookland CDC
A message from Heather Phipps, Brookland Festival Committee Chair:

The Brookland CDC and I would like to invite all neighbors in the greater Brookland area to attend the next Festival Committee meeting at 7:00 pm this Wednesday, August 30th, at the Brookland Visitors Center, 3420 9th Street NE.

The Brookland Festival and Parade will be taking place on Saturday, October 7th along 12th Street from Monroe to Otis and we could really use a group of volunteers to help organize and plan the event. So if you are interested in making the Brookland Festival a fantastic event this year, please join us this Wednesday evening.

We could really use volunteers to help with the following event activities:
  • Contacting vendors, businesses, non-profits, community organizations, government agencies, schools, etc. to participate in the festival

  • Organizing the parade

  • Organizing childrens activities

  • Logistics; set up and break down of event

  • Developing banners and posters

Thanks so much and hope to meet you soon,
Heather Phipps
Brookland Festival Committee Chair
and Your Neighbor on 15th!

26 August 2006

Because Same-Sex Marriage Doesn't Start with "E"

I can only guess how much The Washington Times despises the other Democratic candidates if it's willing to devote 779 words to the big O. Nearly two weeks after casting judgment on the morality of his opponents, Orange now says "...one of the key differences between himself and other candidates is that he is the only one who recognizes that the city's economic development has occurred according to a 40-point plan called 'The Economic Resurgence of Washington, D.C.' and developed by the city council in 1998." It gets a bit warmer and fuzzier in the following paragraph, but all I really want to know at this point is if "bring[ing] in the citizens" means just the straight ones?

24 August 2006

Washington Post Endorses Thomas for Ward 5

From today's WaPo editorials:
Ward 5 has an especially attractive field of candidates. Three stand out as able potential successors to Mr. Orange: Frank Wilds, a businessman and Ward 5 Democratic Party vice chairman; Bruce Marshall, an attorney and former government administrator; and Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr., a community leader and director of a youth mentoring and learning program. Four years ago, when he captured 40 percent of the vote against Mr. Orange, we said that "Mr. Thomas is close to the Ward 5 community and makes a strong impression on those voters he seeks to win over" but that he would have to broaden his reach to be successful. Mr. Thomas has done that in the intervening years by deepening his service to Ward 5 residents, expanding his civic accomplishments, and earning the respect and support of civic and community leaders. He bears the name of his father, the late former council member Harry Thomas, and the strengths and attributes of his mother, former public school principal Romaine B. Thomas. But Harry Thomas Jr., through the services rendered and experience gained in Ward 5 activities, has earned the nomination of his party on his own.

I'm still undecided. I do know that Frank Wilds has disappointed me by leaving recent ANC-5A meetings midway through - if you're a commissioner, you know you have at least one two-hour committment every month, and this seems more obvious to me than to Wilds. Anyone else?

23 August 2006

Help Make the Alexander Crummel School Community Center a Reality - Thursday, August 24th

What: The Department of Parks and Recreation Ward 5 Town Hall Meeting. Stand in solidarity with your Ivy City neighbors in getting the historic Crummel School transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation as a multi-purpose recreation center.

When: Thursday, August 24th, 2006, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: North Michigan Park Recreation Center, 1333 Emerson Street, NE

Background: (from Empower DC)
Ivy City Has a Youth Detention Center - We Need a Youth Opportunity Center!

The continued trend and current rise in crime among youth in the District underscores the dire need for more services, employment opportunities and youth development programs.

The Historic Ivy City/Crummell School Revitalization Coalition is a community based organization dedicated to the rebirth of the historic Alexander Crummell school into a multi-use facility that would provide services to youth and largely underserved senior residents of Ivy City, Langston-Carver Terrace, Trinidad, and surrounding neighborhoods.

The renovated school and its two acre grounds must be transformed from a place of blight and decay to one of community uplift and opportunity including job training, tutoring, mentorship, recreation and other needed programs.

Why Crummell School? The Alexander Crummell School is named for abolitionist, educator and clergyman Rev. Doctor Alexander Crummell whose life's mission was the uplift of Black people. The school was built in 1911 to serve African American children from the historic working-class community of Ivy City and neighboring Trinidad. The school served as the civic heart of the community and as a site for recreational programs until around 1980. Since that time the DC government has allowed the building to sit and rot, and depress its surrounding neighborhood. Residents of Ivy City have long been on record asking that their broken heart be repaired, and turned into a multi-use center to serve youth and elders. Now is a critical time to make this vision a reality.

We are asking the City Council to immediately transfer the Crummell School building and its grounds from the office of Property Management and add it to the inventory of the Department of Parks and Recreation for renovation and community use. Help us hold elected officials accountable to caring for the lives of our youth.

Support the Campaign for Crummell School By:

* You or Your Organization/Institution Signing-On as an Endorser

* Participating in on-going Campaign Activities

Partial List of Endorsing Organizations:

Empower DC
Historic Ivy City/Crummell School Revitalization Coalition
Movement for Love and Unity
Bread for the City
Young Women's Drumming Empowerment Project
DC Statehood Green Party
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc
Youth Leadership Support Network
Save Our Schools
Power Palette
Gray Panthers of Metropolitan Washington
Stand Up! for Democracy in DC
Committee to Save Franklin Shelter
DC Library Renaissance Project
Fix Our Schools
GCH Endowment to Promote Quality Early Childhood Education
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC

Parisa B. Norouzi
District of Columbia Grassroots Empowerment Project
(Empower DC)
1419 V St, NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-9119

More background information at Frozen Tropics, Cultural Tourism DC, and the Ivy City-Trinidad Citizens Association.

21 August 2006

Alley Cat Allies Community Meeting - Wednesday, August 23rd

Our neighbors were kind enough to arrange for Alley Cat Allies to handle the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of the family of feral kittens (and momma) that appeared in our shed not long after we moved in last year. My biggest fear was that our small colony (6-8, give or take) would quickly become it's own sovereign nation of feral cats. Months later, I'm happy to report that all the kitties are still around, sans additions.

While stray and feral cats are not what most folks would consider ideal - we have three very domestic and spoiled felines of our own, so of course I wish everyone had a home - they are a reality in our urban landscape. And you simply cannot turn a feral cat into a snuggly lap warmer. Our colony - along with a few other strays - is fed daily from at least two backyards and seems to be quite content romping around the block, particularly between our yard and the neighbors'. I urge you to attend this meeting and/or support Alley Cat Allies in any way you can. Also see the National Feral Cat Day site (October 16th this year) for additional information.

What: A free community meeting hosted by Alley Cat Allies. Learn what differentiates a feral cat from other domesticated cats. Hear about non-lethal, humane, and effective means of controlling stray and feral cat populations. See what a humane trap looks like. Learn about available spay/neuter resources in the DC area. Come voice your concerns and learn more about what you can do to help your neighborhood cats.

When: Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 at 7pm

Where: Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue, NW (Georgia Avenue and Upshur Street).

Etc.: For more information about this and other neighborhood cat programs, contact MCATdc@alleycat.org.

18 August 2006

Ward 5 Council Candidate Forum - Saturday, August 19th

What: Ward 5 Council Candidate Forum at the "Continue Our Legacy - Each One, Teach One" Community Festival

When: Saturday, August 19th, 2006, 10am-1pm

Where: Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 North Capitol St., NE (corner of Riggs Road and North Capitol Street)

Details: The Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ 125th Anniversary Committee, The August Calendar Club, WPFW (89.3), and The Board of Social Action will present the "Continue Our Legacy - Each One, Teach One" Community Festival on Saturday, August 19th from 10am to 4pm followed by a Jazz Concert at 6pm.

The Festival will include a health fair, dancers, drummers, children's activities such as a balloon bounce, hip-hop bands, book signings, vendors, artists, a jazz concert, a literacy van, the HIV-AIDS screening bus, tabling for organizations, and two candidates forums – one for candidates for the president of the D.C. School Board and a second forum for candidates for the Ward 5 DC City Council seat. The Ward 5 forum will be held from 10am-1pm, and will be moderated by Renee Bowser, noted labor union representative, Ward 4 ANC Chair, and former Statehood/Green Party candidate for Ward 4 City Council. The forum for the D.C. School Board President will be held from 1:30-3:30pm and will be moderated by several education activists.

15 August 2006

Don't Drink the Water!

4401 through 4415 8th Street, NE and 831 and 832 Varnum Street, NE have been warned not to drink their water because of elevated levels of nitrates. Not good. Stunning, late-breaking images of water being flushed out on Fox5.

14 August 2006

Hear Him, See Him: Orange's Early Week Media Blitz

Wow - here I was thinking he'd all but given up on the Mayoral race (doesn't bother to show for the forums I'm able to attend). But no, he's still in the game, and he knows EXACTLY what the most important issue is for DC residents ducking bullets and still-sky-high housing costs: gay marriage. And I quote:
I'm the only one that is opposed to same-sex marriage. The other four, they say they believe in God, they go to church, but they are also for same-sex marriage. So I think coming down the stretch that is going to be the issue. I don't think they are morally fit to run this city.

Watch the video from Fox5 here if you're in the mood to punch out your computer screen. [4/21/11 - original link has moved, now updated with a link to a YouTube video]

This afternoon, out of the kindness of his heart, Kojo Nnamdi had Orange on for and "intimate" interview. No mention of morality today - clearly Orange is savvy enough to know the difference between his Fox and NPR constituents. If I recall correctly, today's piece goes something like, "Blah, blah, blah, MY New Town, blah, blah, blech." When asked who he would like to see as Mayor if he doesn't win, Orange replies that Cropp would be best "for the stability of the government." What an even-tempered response - and/or he's hedging his bets on the rumor that "Cropp is offering Orange the possibility of an administrative position in her cabinet should she prevail." I suppose that sounds better than Jonetta's suggestion, "Ad man - that's the job!" Pick your listening poison here (the segment lasts ≈16 minutes).

Ward 5 Council Candidate Debate - TONIGHT

What: The Coalition of Concerned Neighbors is hosting a Ward 5 Council candidate debate, moderated by Madeline LaCore, Community Relations Senior Producer for WUSA9

When: Monday, August 14th, 2006, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Michigan Park Christian Church, Carter Hall, 1600 Taylor Street, NE, (202) 526.3355

I don't have information on who has confirmed their appearance. For a good primer on a number of the candidates running on the Deomcratic ticket, check out the July/August issue of the Brookland Heartbeat (membership to the Brookland listserv required).

11 August 2006

Surprise! ANC 5A Meeting TOMORROW

I'm puzzled about this, but it's true there couldn't have been a quorum at July's meeting. From neighbors on the Brookland Listserv:
Just wanted to share that we just learned that our ANC 5A (led by commissioner Mary Currie) will be having a meeting at 11AM Saturday (August 12th) at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. Apparently this is due to the regular July meeting's quorum failure. If anyone has any issues they want to raise before the next regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 12th, it would be good to try and make this meeting. There is a lot going on in Brookland as you all know and these are excellent opportunites to let you voices be heard.

P.S. We don't know when this meeting was called - we just learned of it today (the day before the meeting.)

My guess is that it may be a continuation of the discussion that nearly devolved into an argument about the forthcoming charrette for the Brookland/CUA Metro development. Yes, an near-argument about a plan to come up with a plan.

10 August 2006

Suspect(s) Sought in Armed Robberies/Carjackings in Woodridge

I know most of us take precautions when out in the evenings, but these incidents all occurred in the early morning, presumably as folks are heading off to work or returning from their night shifts. Luckily, no one was hurt, but I can't help but think about how pissed - and perhaps more inclined to use the gun - the perpetrator(s) must be, since two of the attempts failed. I'd like to remind everyone that pepper spray (NOT mace) is legal in the District, though it must be registered with the MPD. I purchased mine from Arnold Passman of Live Safe America when he spoke on personal safety at my office; if you tell him you live in DC, he can supply you with the proper paperwork to file. From MPD:
The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying and locating the person or persons responsible for a series of similar armed offenses committed against female victims within the Fifth District. None of the victims in these cases sustained physical injuries.

The first offense, an armed carjacking, occurred in the 3400 block of South Dakota Avenue, NE, at about 4:30 am, on Saturday, August 5, 2006. Reportedly, an adult female was approached by a tall, thin black male armed with a silver colored handgun while she sat behind the wheel of her auto at a red traffic light. The suspect entered the passenger side of the auto and made the victim drive. He then directed her pull over in the vicinity of 20th Street and South Dakota Avenue, NE, where he told her to exit the vehicle and then forced her into the trunk of her car. The suspect drove for a while, and apparently picked up another black male. At some point, the victim was coerced into revealing the Personal Identification Number (PIN) for her ATM card. The suspect(s) then obtained cash from the victim's bank account. The victim was released from the trunk of her car in the area of 20th and Franklin Streets, NE, and her car and keys were returned to her before the gunman fled on foot.

The second offense, an attempted armed carjacking, occurred in the area of South Dakota Avenue and 22nd Street, NE, at about 5:17 am, on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. As she sat behind the wheel of her auto, an adult female was approached by a tall, thin black male wearing a white mask and a white tee shirt and armed with a silver colored handgun. The suspect threatened the victim with the gun, but she drove away.

The third offense, an attempted armed carjacking, occurred in the 2600 block of South Dakota Avenue, NE, at about 5:30 am, on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. As she sat behind the wheel of her auto, an adult female was approached by a tall, thin black male wearing a white mask and a white tee shirt and armed with a silver colored handgun. The suspect threatened the victim with the gun, but she drove away.

The fourth offense, an armed robbery, occurred in the 3800 block of 22nd Street, NE, at about 5:44 am, on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. An adult female waiting for a [G8] bus at a bus stop was robbed at gunpoint by a tall, thin black male wearing a white mask and a white tee shirt and armed with a silver colored handgun. The suspect stole the victim's purse and fled on foot through the north alley.

These cases are under investigation members of the MPDC/FBI Robbery Task Force and Fifth District detectives. Anyone with information about these offenses 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.

I'll post updates if/when they come in.

08 August 2006

Public DCPL Board of Trustees Meeting - Wednesday, August 9th

What: The first Trustees meeting held since the arrival of new DCPL director, Ginnie Cooper.

When: Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 at 6pm

Where: Chevy Chase Branch Library, 5625 Connecticut Avenue, NW

I've been told that a members of the Tenley community will be there protesting the ongoing closure - since December 2004 - of their branch. I hope folks from Anacostia, Benning, and Watha T. Daniel/Shaw do the same.

- - -

Robin Diener, Director of the DC Library Renaissance Project, passed along this interesting tidbit from the Washington Business Journal:
Nat'l Geographic pictures itself at new District site

The National Geographic Society is looking to migrate east, to the sprawling site of D.C.'s old convention center.

The media organization, based in a nearby three-building complex at 17th and M streets NW, is pursuing a deal with D.C. officials to build a museum, retail and entertainment complex -- and possibly office space -- on the city-owned portion of the property.

You should be able to read the entire article if you have a subscription (unfortunately I don't). Now, go straight to the comments, where NGS employee, imgoph, tells us this is nothing more than a delicious rumor.

07 August 2006

Two Teens Shot Outside Market Lounge

and here I was wondering if I really could find entertainment nightly....
A friend called this evening and was giving me the details of her bus rides (yes, plural) home to SE from H Street NE. Much of the story revolved around a group of teens both on the bus and at her transfer that was quite excited and vocal about some other kids getting shot. Because I can't help it, I had the TV on in the background. About an hour into our conversation, there was the shooting on Fox 5 news! Now, Fox 5's website stinks, imho, and they don't have RSS, but NBC4 has the goods:
Police are investigating a shooting incident that left three people injured Monday evening in northeast Washington.

Authorities said two teens exchanged gunfire just after 6 p.m. in the 1200 block of Fifth Street Northeast [though I believe I first heard the argument occured at 5th and Morse]. Investigators said the shooting occurred shortly after a concert for teens let out at the Market Lounge, which is a club above the D.C. Farmer's Market in the 1300 block.

Officials said three 15-year-olds were injured [see update below]. A female sustained gunshot wounds to the legs. A male was shot in the hand. Another male was pistol-whipped.

Two teens were arrested for fighting. One had a gun. Investigators said they recovered a car and another gun that may have been related to the shooting, but the person who police said fired the shots is still on the loose.

The dance was scheduled to end early enough so teens could get home before the new 10 p.m. curfew.

Police believe the shooting may stem from an ongoing dispute between two groups of young people.

I'm bothered more by the likely age group of the perpetrators than the fact that this is the second shooting at the Capital City/Florida Market in less than a week. That and how "cool" the incident was to about 200 of our young people....

- - -

At least three other people were shot last night in the District:

An adult male was shot in the 300 block of 61st Street NE just before 10pm. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Just after midnight, another shooting was reported in the 5200 block of Just Street NE. A male suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A fourth shooting incident occurred at 3am in the 4600 block of Livingston Road SE. An adult male suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body. The victim was transported to an area hospital in serious condition.

***UPDATE*** This WaPo article has more details. Those injured include a 14-year-old girl shot in both legs, a 13-year-old boy shot in one leg, and a 17-year-old youth who was pistol-whipped. Another 17-year-old who sped away from the scene was stopped by MPD and arrested after they found a shotgun in his car.

ahhh, those unexpected hunniez....

06 August 2006

Armed Robbery at Capital City/Florida Market

Surveillance tape still from WUSA9
From MPD:
The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public in attempting to identify the suspect wanted in connection with an armed robbery and shooting.

At approximately 6:50 am on Friday, August 4, 2006, four men were sitting in front of the Donald Chin Supply Company located at 1323 4th Street, NE. It was at that time that a lone male subject armed with a handgun approached the group and forced them inside. One of the victims was subsequently shot in the right and left leg and robbed of his wallet before the subject fled on foot. That victim was transported to an area hospital where he was admitted in critical but stable condition. His name and the identities of the other victims in this case are being withheld due to the fact that they are witnesses.

The suspect in this case is described as a black male, possibly in his 30s, 5’10” tall with a slim build, medium complexion and large sideburns. He is further described as wearing a light gray tee-shirt, light blue jeans and black and white tennis shoes.

This case remains under investigation by detectives from the department’s Fifth District. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

The Metropolitan Police Department is currently offering 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.

You can watch the surveillance tape (the actual shooting is not on tape) here.

- - -

In other news, an arrest was made in the November 2005 shooting death of 29-year-old Patrick Carter on the 1800 block Corcoran Street, NE.

Finally, New Kid on the Eckington Block gives a shout-out to the cops for getting one more gun off our streets.

Ward 5 Candidate Forum - Monday, August 7th

What: DC Fair Budget Coalition's Ward 5 Candidate Forum

When: Monday, August 7th, 2006, 7-8:30pm

Where: 4860 Fort Totten Drive, NE (Milestone Place)

About: Come learn the candidates’ positions on these and many other issues:

Child Care
Disability Rights
Domestic Violence
Education and Youth Development
Emergency Assistance
Housing, Homelessness, and Shelter

Questions? Contact Marina Streznewski, CFLS, at 202.347.0511, ext. 414 or mstreznewski@cflsdc.org.

"The Fair Budget Coalition fights for a just and inclusive District of Columbia through advocacy and organizing and by advancing budget and public policy initiatives which reflect the interdependency of the District’s community and economic development systems. Organized in 1994, Fair Budget is a coalition of grassroots community groups, human service providers, advocates, faith organizations, and concerned community members." For information about the Fair Budget Coalition, contact Martina Gillis at 202.328.5513 or mailto:swade@washingtonregion.net.

01 August 2006

DC Environmental Network Mayoral Candidates Forum - Thursday, August 3rd, 1-3pm

What better time to attend an environmentally geared Mayoral Candidates Forum than in globally warmed 100°+ temperatures? Well, perhaps June 29th, but I'm guessing it just wasn't hot enough for Fenty, Cropp, and Johns (in all fairness, Fenty did show up just in time for the last question of the evening).

But enough about my disappointment with a few of the contenders the first time around; let's just hope they don't squander this second chance:
D.C. Environmental Network to hold Mayoral and Council Chair CANDIDATES FORUMS @ Friends of the Earth

District of Columbia environmental organizations, individuals and activists will hold Mayoral and Council Chair Candidates Forums in August to highlight key issues in the recently released DC Environmental Agenda. Candidates will have an opportunity to present their environmental vision for the District to residents and explain their thoughts on issues that most directly impact the environmental health of our communities.

MAKE-UP Forum for Mayoral Candidates FORUM
DATE: Thursday, August 3, 2006
PARTICIPANTS SO FAR: Linda Cropp, Marie Johns, Adrian Fenty
TIME: 1:00 TO 3:00 PM
PLACE: FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW #600 (Dupont Circle Metro - South Exit)

Council Chair/At-Large Council Candidates FORUM
DATE: Thursday, August 17, 2006
PARTICIPANTS SO FAR: Phil Mendelson, Kathy Patterson
TIME: 12 TO 1:30 PM
PLACE: FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW #600 (Dupont Circle Metro - South Exit)

Please remember to bring a picture ID to get in the building!

About the DC Environmental Agenda
In 1999, twelve District environmental organizations created the first ever Environmental Agenda for the District of Columbia. This agenda was a collaborative effort of citizen activists to chart a course for environmental protection. It recognized that a new Mayor and Council would have an opportunity to reverse some of the negative trends of years past and promote working towards a more livable city for all residents. It made recommendations, for action and drew upon the collective wisdom of many District environmental leaders as well as successful initiatives in other parts of the country.

Today in 2006, the Summit Fund of Washington and over 30 environmental, health, faith, citizen and civic organizations are answering a call to action by participating in creating a new environmental agenda for the District. This new agenda will build on the successes of the past six years and will set a new standard of environmental excellence for the District.

Together, these proposals will chart a course toward excellence in the provision of city services and the protection of public health. As we believed in 1999, restoration of environmental quality in the District is a pro-business, pro-economic growth platform that more and more public officials are starting to embrace and act on.

For more information please contact Chris Weiss at 202.222.0746.