28 August 2007

Labor Day in Chicago

I'm on my way out of town for work, so posting will be light-to-nil for the next week...be safe and have a wonderful holiday!

24 August 2007

Ward 5 Youth March Against Violence - Saturday, August 25th

What: Ward 5 Youth March Against Violence

When: Saturday, August 2th, 2007, 1-8pm

Where: Starts at 12th and Rhode Island Avenue NE, ends at the concert ground at 2413 14th Street NE

Etc.: Live performances and inspirational speakers, including: Al-Malik Farrakhan, Minister Vincent Hucks, The Trumpet Kings, Chaka Rollins, The Miracle Tones, Israel Baptist Youth Choir, Mt. Calvary Youth Choir, Yango Sawyer, Copper Rose and Bone, and more.

For questions and information, contact Preston Haythe at 202.526.8454.

23 August 2007

First Annual Community Open House at Bunker Hill Elementary - Saturday, August 25th

From Bunker Hill ES Principal Amanda Alexander:

What: Come and tour our stunning schoolhouse, meet our outstanding teachers and staff, and enjoy free barbecue! If you haven't been in a DC public school in a while and are just a concerned citizen, please come see this wonderful neighborhood asset. If you're still deciding where to send your child to school, or if you have already enrolled your child in an area charter school, you owe it to your child to see what we have to offer. Invited guests include Chancellor Michelle Rhee, School Board Member Lisa Raymond, and Councilman Harry Thomas!

When: Saturday, August 25th, 2007, 3-5pm

Where: Bunker Hill Elementary School, 1401 Michigan Avenue, NE

Etc.: Please RSVP at amanda.alexander@k12.dc.us

Homicide on Benning Road

From MPD:
On Wednesday, August 22, 2007, at approximately 8:53 pm, police responded to 17th Street and Benning Road, NE, for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located 37-year-old Melvin Watson, of the 1600 block of K Street, NE, suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the body. He was transported to the Washington Hospital Center’s MedSTAR Unit where he was pronounced dead.

The victim, who has not yet been positively identified, was transported to the Washington Hospital Center’s MedSTAR Unit where he was pronounced dead.

The case is currently under investigation by detectives assigned to the department’s 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 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

Clean-up at Emery Elementary - Saturday, August 25th

In conjunction with the Annual DCPS Beautification Day, the residents of Eckington have coordinated a "Clean-up Green-up" at Emery Elementary.

When: Saturday, August 25th, 9am-2pm

Where: Emery Elementary School, 1720 1st Street, NE

Details: Demonstrate your concern for the community and our young people by helping to fix up the outside of the school and the surrounding grounds before classes begin Monday.

We will tackle the following projects:
· Paint the outside doors around the building
· Fill a 50ft x 8 ft tree box with topsoil and plant flowers in it
· Set up tree boxes for our fall planting of trees from Casey Trees
· Create a new garden bed in front of the school
· Prune and remove branches from a large tree behind the school
· Weed and edge sidewalks and sweep the parking lot.

We have the tools and supplies but what we really need is you!

22 August 2007

Missing Person: Victor Evans

Victor Evans
From MPD:
The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public in attempting to locate a missing person identified as 21-year-old Victor Evans. Mr. Evans was reportedly last seen on Tuesday, August 21, 2007, at approximately 5:35 pm at the Safeway store located in the 300 block of 40th Street, NE.

Victor Evans is described as a black male, 6’0” tall and weighing approximately 250 pounds. He is further described as having a medium complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He was reportedly last seen wearing dark blue shorts and a dark blue shirt.

Anyone who has information regarding the whereabouts of Victor Evans is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.

20 August 2007

Brookland Woman Raped, Forced to Take Out Money From ATMs

Absolutely sickening - my heart goes out to the victim. Any thoughts thoughts on this summer's uptick in near-Metro muggings (and now rape)?

From ABC7:
D.C. Police say a woman was sexually assaulted inside her Northeast apartment Friday night, then taken to ATMs around the area and forced to withdraw money before the suspect fled.

Officers say the victim was returning to her basement apartment on the 900 block of Perry Place, NE when she was grabbed and dragged inside before being raped and beaten.

Investigators say her attacker then forced the victim into a vehicle and drove to different locations where she was ordered to withdraw money from her bank account.

Police say after visiting several ATM locations, the suspect returned to the victims apartment where he fled on foot.

While it isn't the ultimate protection from maniacs, think about purchasing pepper spray - it's legal in the District, though it must be registered with 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. And, for the love of god, leave your porch light on, and ask your neighbors to do the same.

15 August 2007

Immediate Arrest Made in Carver-Langston Homicide Yesterday

From MPD:
At approximately 1:05 this morning, Tuesday, August 14, 2007, police were called to an apartment building located in the 1100 block of 21st Place, NE, for the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival they located 33-year-old Tameka Hill, of the 21st Place, NE address, suffering from apparent multiple stab wounds to the body that were allegedly sustained during an altercation with a neighbor. She was taken to the Washington Hospital Center’s MedStar Unit and pronounced dead.

Arrested, without incident, at the apartment building was 26-year-old Gloria C. Tyndel also of the 21st Place, NE address. She was charged with Murder Two While Armed and is expected to be arraigned today.

14 August 2007

Ward 5 Town Hall Meeting on Proposed Multicultural Training & Employment Center - Wednesday, August 15th

What: Share your thoughts with Councilman Thomas regarding the need for this center to be tentatively located in Ward 5 in close proximity to Home Depot.

When: Wednesday, August 15th, 2007, 7-9pm

Where: Israel Baptist Church, 1251 Saratoga Ave, NE

From Councilman Thomas:

What it is: The Center will be an inclusive training, career, and employment center that will provide a range of services to Ward 5 residents—particularly the residents of Brentwood, Edgewood, and Montana Terrace—and other under-served groups.

Why it’s needed: The Brentwood, Edgewood, and Montana Terrace neighborhoods traditionally have had high rates of unemployment. On average, one in 10 adults in these neighborhoods are unemployed. A Center that addresses employment and training needs is greatly needed for these neighborhoods. An organized system linking contractors and individuals seeking work from contractors at the Home Depot site is also needed.

What it will do: The core mission of the Center will be to provide comprehensive employment and training services to residents of the adjacent Ward 5 neighborhoods and other under-served groups. The Center will offer a wide range of classes, ranging from language immersion to financial literacy and assistance with preparing local and federal income taxes. The Center will also have services geared toward manual laborers, including those seeking work from contractors at the Home Depot site.

Community: The Center will include local labor and community organizations like Israel Baptist Church's Facing It Together (FIT) Academy as partners. The FIT Academy is a neighborhood-based organization with a track record of providing residents of Brentwood, Edgewood, and Montana Terrace with job training and readiness skills. In the past year, the program has placed more than 30 individuals in jobs. By linking with local labor and community organizations and leveraging their program successes, the Center will bring effective employment and job training services to Ward 5 residents and other under-served groups.

A national model: The Center envisioned for Ward 5 has the potential to be a national model showcasing how employment and training services focusing on African-Americans, Latinos, and any other under-served group can be incorporated together in a single, inclusive facility. The Center brings job readiness and placement programs directly to the Ward 5 neighborhoods that need them the most.

Angel Nix at 202.724.8107 or snix@dccouncil.us
Vicky Leonard-Chambers at 202.727.8204 or vleonardchambers@dccouncil.us

Day laborers outside the Home Depot at the Rhode Island Avenue Plaza - Photo by Pouya Dianat/The Washington Post
» WaPo, 6.17.07, "As Plan for D.C. Day-Laborer Center Idles, Anger Over Workers Grows"
» The Washington Times, 7.5.07, "Day laborers shower us with culture, irrigation"
» The Washington Times, 7.16.07, "Two sites eyed for D.C. day-labor center"

Second Subject Arrested in Edgewood Terrace Shootings; Motive Still Unknown

From MPD:
Today, Monday, August 13, 2007, Fifth District detectives arrested a second subject in connection with the Saturday, July 28, 2007, shooting of seven individuals in front of the Edgewood Terrace apartments located in the 600 block of Edgewood Street, NE.

As a result of the investigation into the shootings, Fifth District detectives obtained an arrest warrant, charging 26-year-old Marcus Octavious Ham of the 600 block of Edgewood Street, NE, with Assault With Intent to Kill. At approximately 9:30 this morning, Fifth District detectives arrested Marcus Ham, without incident, in the 600 block of Edgewood Street, NE. He is expected to be arraigned today.

The investigation into the shootings is continuing. Anyone with information about this case is asked to 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. If a caller provides information through Crime Solvers that leads to an arrest and indictment, he/she will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

» Additional details from WaPo

10 August 2007

Feds Attempt to Seize Problem Woodridge Home

1923 RI Ave. NE - Photo by By Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post
In addition to the details surrounding Odell and Margaret Hale's house at 1923 Rhode Island Avenue NE, longtime neighborhood activist Martha Kinter Ward is quoted and Janice Booker's redevolpment plans along the businees corridor are mentioned in the WaPo article:
The modest 1 1/2 -story residence with the steep stairway and iron railings has been the scene of numerous episodes of drug use, drug sales and prostitution in the past seven years, court records show, so many that police filled 24 pages describing the house's history for a federal judge. Police have searched 1923 Rhode Island Ave. NE six times since 2000 -- four times in the past nine months -- and in each visit have reported finding a combination of cocaine, heroin, guns and prostitutes. In each visit, they said, they also typically found some crimes in progress and have brought charges against the house's owner, Odell Hale, or some of his fellow residents, resulting in numerous convictions.

Woodridge neighbors complain that the house is a base for street-level drug sales day and night, and say that women who appear to be prostitutes, some of whom apparently live in the house's basement, frequently offer their services along the busy avenue in front of the property.

Now, police and federal prosecutors say they are abandoning their regular crime-fighting strategy concerning 1923 Rhode Island. The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking a federal judge to let them seize the property in order to eliminate the nuisance the house has long been.

Authorities say they are concerned about the impact of the house and its activities on the surrounding Woodridge neighborhood, particularly the children. The St. Francis de Sales Grammar School and adjoining convent are a block away, as are a neighborhood playground and the Langdon Park recreation center. Children congregate in the afternoons at the 7-Eleven store a few yards from the property's entrance.

"Since at least April 2000, the defendant property has come to the attention of law enforcement and police authorities because of a shooting on the front porch, drug sales and drug use in the house, related disorderly conduct and residents' activities with prostitutes. . . . For many years, law enforcement officers have undertaken to curb this abuse and nuisance at the defendant property," prosecutors Barry Weigand and William Cowden wrote of the repeated searches and arrests.

The prosecutors said the arrests and pending charges aren't making much of a dent in the activities in the house. They wrote: "Standard law enforcement techniques have not sufficed to cause Mr. Hale to stop using, and allowing the defendant property to be used unlawfully."


To neighbors of Woodridge, that sounds a lot better than the seemingly futile police raids at 1923 Rhode Island Ave. Relying on warrants signed by D.C. Superior Court judges, police have searched the house on June 6, 2000; Aug. 23, 2003; Nov. 24, 2006; Dec. 6, 2006; April 20, 2007; and May 25, 2007. In the course of those searches, police have arrested 15 people at the house on various charges, including Hale on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Each time police sought to search the house, they provided to a judge "evidence that a person at or inside 1923 Rhode Island Avenue NE had unlawfully distributed a controlled substance, usually cocaine, to a confidential police informant or special police employee," the prosecutors stated.

To get permission to seize the property from its owners, prosecutors now have to go to federal court. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman is the judge who will rule on whether Hale will have to forfeit his property. Hale listed the property for sale in early June, and a Metro Real Estate for-sale sign remains in the front of the property.

» Watch ABC7's report
» Read Ofc. Maslona's affidavit
» Read the court documents

NE DC Historical Society Meeting: Rhode Island Avenue Corridor - Sunday, August 12th

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 meeting will take place in the Brentwood neighborhood where will continue our study of the Rhode Island Avenue Corridor. Dr. Jean Pablo, the president of the Tenleytown Historical Society, will share with us how to do an analysis of the historical and architectural significance of the Rhode Island Avenue Corridor.

When: Sunday, August 12th, 2007, 2-4pm

Where: Premier Community Development Corporation, 1309 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Suite B (in the Brentwood Village Shopping Plaza)

Etc.: For those unable to attend this meeting, don't miss next month's meeting to be held from 1-3pm on Sunday, September 9th, 2007. Bill Rice, community historian, will share with us many interesting photos and other materials from the District of Columbia's Department of Transportation (DDOT) archives. The meeting will take place in Michigan Park at the HSC Pediatric Center, at 1731 Bunker Hill Road, NE. (Please note earlier meeting time.)

Our meetings take place the second Sunday of every month. Contact queenstowndc@yahoo.com for further information.

07 August 2007

1 Suspect Arrested in Last Week's Edgewood Terrace Shootings; Police Search for Another

Police are still looking for a second suspect in the shooting that wounded seven - including three children. From MPD:
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced today that an arrest has been made in connection with the July 28, 2007 shootings at 625 Edgewood Street, NE. Seven people were wounded, including three children, when at least two men fired into a group. None of the injuries was life threatening

A warrant was issued for 23-year-old Marquette Dugar, of the 600 block of Edgewood Street, NE. He has been charged with Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in connection with the shootings. At approximately 10:20 this morning, Monday, August 6, 2007, Mr. Dugar surrendered himself to detectives at the department's Fifth District located at 1805 Bladensburg Road, NE.

Immediately after the shootings, Chief Lanier increased foot, horse-mounted and canine patrols. "Today's arrest was due to the hard work of detectives who are piecing together clues and continue to canvass the neighborhood. As always, we count on residents to come forward with any information they have."

Fifth District detectives are continuing their investigation in an effort to identify and locate any other person or persons in connection with this case. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099 or the department's Crime Solvers Unit at 1-800-673-2777.

If a caller provides information through Crime Solvers that leads to an arrest and indictment, he/she will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Beef or no beef? You decide:
Lanier and others declined to say whether there is an ongoing rivalry within the neighborhood, though residents say they hear gunfire most nights.

The night before the shooting, there was so much gunplay in Edgewood Terrace that "it was like Iraq," said Karlyn Jones, 52, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1999. Asked how often she hears bullets, Jones replied, "If I get one free night, I'm doing good."

Cmdr. Jennifer Greene, who heads the 5th Police District, said residents in the housing complex tend to identify themselves by which building they live in -- 601 or 611 Edgewood St. But she said she has not seen prolonged internal tension between them.

01 August 2007

Carver-Langston Teenager Missing FOUND

Tyesha Renee Smith
**UPDATE** Tyesha Smith was found unharmed on Thursday night and police returned her to her family.

From ABC7:
D.C. Police are asking for help locating a missing teenager. Fifteen-year-old Tyesha Renee Smith was last seen at about 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, in the 900 block of 19th Street, NE.

Police say she is described as a black female, medium complexion, 5'5", weighing 105 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

She was last seen wearing a white skirt and a pink and green shirt.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Tyesha Renee Smith is asked to call police at 202.727.9099.

Ward 5 Education Town Hall Meeting - Thursday, August 2nd

I've been out of town for a few days and am just catching up on the news....I'm aware of the shooting at Edgewood Terrace that left 7 wounded (where we seem to need "all hands on deck" at all times, not just on special occassions) and the off-duty firefighter who was shot and carjacked. Both of these incidents suck, and August is just beginning.

- - -

What: Share your thoughts and concerns about DC Public Schools with Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. and new Chancellor Michelle Rhee

When: Thursday, August 2nd, 2007, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Agenda: 6:30 p.m. Athletic Field Walk-Thru; 7:00-9:00 p.m. Forum

Where: McKinley Technical High School, 151 T Street, NE

For More Information Contact: Ward 5 Council Office at 202.724.8028

**In anticipation of the townhall meeting, Harry Thomas's office has created an education survey you can take here. The results will be shared at the meeting.**