10 December 2008

The Latest and Greaterest

Just a quick update to redirect you to my new bloggy home as a contributor to Greater Greater Washington. Devoted to improving the vitality of Washington, DC and the walkable cities and neighborhoods in the Washington metropolitan area, GGW seemed like the perfect fit for me as I look forward to attending UMD for a Master in Community Planning in fall 2009. So far, I've only been able to contribute a couple of posts, but the volume will grow, and you can get to them directly here - though you really should be reading every bit of this great resource ;)

28 July 2008

I Lived In and Loved...

The short and bittersweet of it is this: I lived in and loved Woodridge for 3 years. I started this blog as my small way of serving the community (among a number of things I was involved in offline). Due to personal circumstances far beyond my control, I no longer live in the neighborhood, though I remain in DC. Actually, everything on my end changed just after I made a resolution to post more frequently this year....Keeping my life outside of this blog intact became the priority.

My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who supported this endeavor in one way or another - readers, commenters, lurkers, linkers, etc, and particularly to BrooklandJess for jumping on board for a bit. Perhaps one or more of you will think about starting your own neighborhood blog in this neck of the woods.

For now I'll leave everything up - I still haven't decided if I should move the blog with me to my new neighborhood (where neighbloggers already abound), or leave it here for "posterity."

Again, thank you. Remember to be kind to each other, appreciate each day, and continue to work in any way you can to strengthen our community.

01 July 2008

Forgotten Neighbors and Lost Houses

WJLA reports: This Woodridge home might appear abandoned, but it turns out there's a very long-time resident still living there. By my math, her family has had the house since 1949. With no water, no electricity, and no services, Eva Rusk, 72, still scrapes by. Although, for better or for worse, times are changing for her and it's a safe bet she'll be in more modern comforts before long.

Reading the article and watching the video, I tried to make out the corner. 1847 Which St? My eyesight (and my video resolution) not being what it could be, can anyone tell what intersection this is?

Just curious: When this house gets sold off and refurbished, at a significant increase in value, is it still gentrification? How much of gentrification is about protecting the poor and old (including an unexpectedly tenacious old white lady) and how much is about keeping the historic racial/ethnic character of a neighborhood? Of course, up until far too recently, this same neighborhood had covenants to keep African-Americans from buying. This family bought just as the rules were overturned and as Woodridge went from a predominately White neighborhood to largely African-American.

Of course, I don't know anything about the Rusks or their history in Woodridge and I don't mean to imply anything. I'm just taking this one story and using it to ask other questions. All around, it's an interesting story.

18 May 2008

Cardinal's Nest Closed After Saturday's Shooting - UPDATED

I just heard on NBC4 that the Cardinal's Nest has been closed after yesterday's shooting/homicide (though the shooting did not actually happen at the club/restaurant). I can't find a link, but will hopefully post one tomorrow.

**UPDATE** Robert Vinson Brannum has just announced that the Summary Suspension against the Cardinal's Nest has been lifted and the ABC Board will not be review the matter at its hearing tomorrow as initially planned. The incident will be on the agenda for the Thursday 5D-CAC meeting.

17 May 2008

Triple Shooting on 10th Street NE; 1 Dead

From MPD-5D, with my edits:
Detectives assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide and Sexual Offenses Branch are investigating a triple shooting which resulted in one fatality that occurred on 10th Street, NE.

On Saturday, May 17, 2008, at approximately 2:25 am, Fifth District officers on patrol in the area responded to 10th and Perry Streets, NE to investigate the sound of gunfire. Several minutes later, three shooting victims from that location arrived at a local hospital via a private vehicle.

One of the victims, who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body, was pronounced dead. He has been identified as 26-year-old Clifton Nate Chaney, of the 1400 block of Florida Avenue, NW. The other two victims were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Their identities are being withheld because they are witnesses in the case.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the victims had just left the Cardinal's Nest, located in the 3500 block of 10th St., NE, and while they were inside of a motor vehicle, a lone gunman approached the vehicle and opened fire. Subsequently, the suspect fled the scene on foot and the operator of the vehicle that was fired upon drove to an area hospital.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 202-727-9099 or 1-888-919-CRIM[E]. Anonymous information can also be sent to the department’s text tip line by text messaging 50411.

The department currently offers a reward of up to TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS 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.

13 May 2008

SMD 5A-09 & PSA 503 Joint Monthly Meeting - Wednesday, May 14

What: SMD 5A-09 & PSA 503 Joint Monthly Meeting

When: Wednesday, May 14 2008, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Hospital for Sick Children/HSC Pediatric Center, 1731 Bunker Hill Road NE

Agenda: Public safety and community concerns, including those addressed in the letter below, written by a neighbor on Otis Street NE:
Dear Neighbors-

In case you haven't heard, a big developer, Alliance Holdings LLC, purchased a tiny piece of land between our home and our neighbor (2212 Otis St NE, Square 4242, Lot 10). It is 25 feet wide, and according to zoning regulations the owner may NOT build as a matter of right.

We recently learned that Taiwo Demuren, presumably with Alliance Holdings LLC, has applied for significant variances from lot area, and lot width requirements, as well as from side yard requirements in order to build a single family dwelling.

In an effort to keep the lot, as it is, open green space, our next-door neighbor made numerous attempts to purchase the lot – but as you can imagine, it is difficult to outbid a developer with deep pockets.

We are very concerned about how this will change the character of our neighborhood. Many of us moved here for the space, and greenery. If these variances are granted, there are many other small lots in our neighborhood that would be able to be developed in a similar manner. Demuren's requested variances would establish a precedent to grant additional variances for these other lots to be more easily developed.

We also fear that since it is often more profitable to knock down an old home and rebuild multiple new homes within the same footprint, than it is to renovate the old home, that this decision could encourage more developers to purchase old homes on these lots, knock them down and build two or more houses in the same plot of land (We have seen this in N. Arlington, VA). Again, we believe that Demuren's requested variances will set a precedent and make the development described above much easier for the next builder.

Of an even greater concern is the beautiful and historic old oak tree that is located on the lot line between the undeveloped lot and our neighbor's home (2216 Otis St, NE). An arborist has certified that this is the SECOND OLDEST TREE IN THE ENTIRE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. The tree measures approximately 180 inches in diameter and is estimated to be 300-400 years old. The arborist has also certified that because of the tree's extensive root system, the construction of a structure on the vacant lot will kill this ancient tree.

There are three meetings where attendance by the community members is important if you are interested in helping to stop the proposed development. The first is on May 14, 2008.

*The proposed use of this land is on the agenda for the ANC 5A09 & PSA 503Joint Monthly Meeting on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, at 6:30 PM, at the Hospital for Sick Children located at 18th St and Bunker Hill Rd., NE. ANC 5A09 Commissioner Shirley Rivens-Smith will be there and would like to know what the citizens of ANC 5 think of this development.*

* *

*The second meeting is the ANC 5A meeting on May 28, 2008, when all of the ANC 5A commissioners will vote whether to deny or approve support of the developers zoning variances. This meeting will be held at the Taft Recreation Center, 18th and Perry St NE, at 7:00 PM.*

The final meeting will be at the zoning hearing, which will take place on July 8, 2008.

We would certainly appreciate any support, advice, and suggestions from our neighbors on this matter.

We are not against development – we just believe that the zoning regulations were established for a reason, and chose to move to this area because of the open space and the character and charm of our neighborhood. Although we do love our neighbors, and feel rather fortunate to know such nice folks on our block, if we wanted to be on top of them we would have stayed in a condominium. We also love the beautiful old trees and feel it would be a terrible shame for this gift of nature to be destroyed.

We understand there is an expectation of many more jobs and people moving to the area over the next few years, but as a realtor I can tell you there are plenty of vacant properties available for housing all over the city, and not enough buyers and renters to fill them.

Again – we feel this could set a terrible precedent that could significantly affect the character of the greater Brookland/Woodridge/Michigan Park neighborhood, and are *asking for your support*.

Please join us at the ANC 5A09 meeting to show your support.

Thank you!

Brookland Farmers Market Opens!

The market will open this Sunday from 10am - 2pm located next to the CVS on Newton, off 12th St.

The market will have Agora Frams veggies, New Starts Farm with starts for your garden, and soon enough the bread guy Chris will be back (with the best chocolate croissant in the city, in my studied opinion)

The market has a new manager, Avner Ofer, who is looking for more vendors, including artisans. If you have any ideas or suggestions, contact him directly. One good question: willwe be having the Tuesday market as well? My week is not complete without visiting Mike Tabor and getting apples for the kids.

Photo from Tuesday Market.
Learning about fresh produce at the Tuesday Farmers Market, Brookland, DC
Originally uploaded by brooklandcdc.

8.5% Rate Increase from WASA?

If this is a concern to you, DC WASA has set up a series of community meetings.
The Board reports that the new rate will raise the average monthly bill by approximately $4.24.

The local meeting is:
TUESDAY, MAY 20 6:30 pm- 8:30 PM
Washington Center for the Aging
2601 18th Street, NE

For a full list of the meetings across the District, visit their online release.

photo by Linda Badner

11 May 2008

May is National Foster Care Month - FAN Needs Your Support

As the founding vice-chair and current secretary of the board for Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN), I find myself in the delicate situation of asking for your financial support for our grassroots 501(c)3 on our community blog. I keep reminding myself that I've asked my readers to support a number of community organizations and events that I have no official ties to, all in the name of community and civic investment, and this is really no different aside from my personal commitment to FAN. This is not my day job, it truly is a volunteer labor of love. Please, read the information below, and, if possible, contribute to FAN and help us stay on track in fulfilling our mission to provide safety, security, love, and understanding for DC's foster adolescents....

Can you imagine being separated from your family, moving from place to place, not knowing if you'll be in the same school, same neighborhood, or same house from one day to the next?

Nearly 3,000 children in foster care from Washington, DC live with this uncertainty every day, staying in care for 3 years on average and living in 3 different homes during that time. The crisis-driven child welfare system is so focused on what's wrong with teens in foster care, that they fail to see what's "right" with this group of young people.

FAN works with some of the city's most vulnerable youth: teens in foster care, in a daily after school and summer positive youth development program that engages youth in academic support, extracurricular instruction, community service, group mentoring, and cultural enrichment. Youth are provided with opportunities to belong, to develop their talents and skills, to develop meaningful relationships with peers and adults, and to experience success. FAN serves as a source of stability, consistency, and support that enhances the well-being and positive development of youth. Please visit our website at www.fan-dc.org to learn more about our organization and to join our mailing list.

May is National Foster Care Month. Make a difference in the lives of teens in foster care with your tax deductible donation of $10, $25, $50, $100, or more. To be a part of FAN's success, please mail a check today or donate online on our website through
Network for Good.

I cannot thank you enough for your generosity!

Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso / FAN
1227 Good Hope Road SE, Room 106
Washington, DC 20020
202.889.5000 x114
202.889.5035 (fax)

05 May 2008

Arrest made in Ward 5 shooting

On Saturday, May 3rd, 5th Police District made an arrest in the slaying of a local youth. On Sunday, April 20, 2008, George Douglas, 18, of 35th Street NE as found slain at the 2700 block of 26th Street, NE.

MPD report online.
WaPo article online.

The arrest happened on the year's first All Hands On Deck initiative. Thank you to MPD 5th District! The
5D Citizens Advisory Council/CAC Monthly Meeting meets 4th Thursday of every month at 7pm, Fifth District Police Station, 1805 Bladensburg Road, NE.

04 May 2008

Michigan Park Citizens' Association Monthly Meeting

What: Michigan Park Citizens' Association

When: Tuesday, May 7, 2008, 7:15 pm

Where: Bunker Hill Elementary, 14th Street and Michigan Avenue, NE

On the Agenda:
The neighbors of Michigan Park Citizens Association will host Mayor Adrian Fenty next week to discuss issues relevant to the community.

1. Excessive Speeding along South Dakota and Michigan Avenues
2. Real Estate Management within the neighborhood

All are neighbors are welcome to join.

22 April 2008

Get Your Green On - Earth Day 2008 and Beyond

Happy Earth Day 2008. Mother Earth is celebrating with rain and more rain, which might have washed out the Earth Day concert on the National Mall, but it's good news for our region still recovering from the drought last year. When the rain clears later this week, the opportunities for a green-themed weekend abound. Here are just a few things to try and cram into your Saturday:

Anacostia Watershed Society’s annual Anacostia River Earth Day Cleanup & Rally Celebration, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Choose from an array of clean-up sites along several tributaries of the Anacostia River. A full list of sites is available, but nearby options include the Northwest Branch/Hyattsville or Bladensburg Waterfront Park.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Electronics Recycling Day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
D.C. Department of Public Works is accepting household hazardous waste at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, 16th and Kennedy Streets, NW. The list of acceptable items is long, but a few of the acceptable items include: antifreeze, asbestos tile, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, fertilizer, mercury thermometers, paint, CD rom drives, cell phones, computers, cords/wire, monitors, printers, TV's and VCR's.

Chesapeake Green Compost Sale, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Hyattsville Horticulture Society will be holding its annual Chesapeake Green Compost Sale at Community Forklift (4671 Tanglewood Dr., Edmonston, MD 20781) selling Chesapeake Green compost for $3.00 per 40 lb bag *(normally retailing at local garden centers for $5 to $6 per bag). Chesapeake Green is an environmentally friendly soil amendment blended from composted poultry litter, clam shells and wood chips. To preorder or for further information call or email Joe Buriel, 301-864-4882.

Ward 5 Homeowner Tree Giveaway, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Casey Trees is sponsoring a tree giveaway for Ward 5 residents at St. Anthony School, 12th and Monroe St, NE. Homeowners can request up to 2 shade trees for their property. Homeowners must pre-register by emailing dcshadetree@earthlink.net with your name, addy, number and types of tree(s): Princeton American Elm, River Birch, or Black gum/Tupelo. For more info, visit Casey Trees.

Franciscan Monastery Plant Sale, Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 8 a.m. to 3p.m.
(1400 Quincy St NE, DC). Find your favorite organically grown vegetable and herbs, an inventory of perennials and annuals, spectacular Camellias & Azaleas, expansive addition of woody plants and small trees. For more information, visit the Monastery website.

Photo by Yoma Ullman

16 April 2008

Brookland Small Area Plan - Saturday, April 26

Since 2006, the D.C. Office of Planning has been working on a Brookland Small Area Plan. For those that haven't been following the conversations, a Decking Feasibility Plan was just released April 8th, 2008. The feasibility plan explores possible ideas for decking over the tracks at the metro station. When reading the decking study, you will see visions of open plazas, farmers markets, connectivity from Michigan Ave to 10th Street, new residential development and deck parking. It's a grand vision of what the metro area of Brookland could become, but there is a lot of work (and a few reality checks) between us and anything close to the neighborhood portrayed in colorful sketches in the document.

If you want to know more or get involved, there is a meeting coming up. The DC Office of Planning invites you to attend a public meeting about the Brookland/CUA Metro Station Area Plan. All are invited to share comments and questions.

When: Saturday, April 26, 2008
9:30-10:00 a.m., Open House
10 a.m.-noon, Presentation

Where: Noyes Elementary School, 2725 10th St NE The meeting will be in the school auditorium; enter from Franklin Street.

For more information please contact: Deborah Crain, Ward 5 Planner, DC Office of Planning, 801 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 4000
Phone: 202-442-7615 Fax: 202-442-7638
E-mail: Deborah.Crain@dc.gov
Or visit the DC Office of Planning online.

Please RSVP: 202-610-0005 or rsvp@jsallc.com

04 April 2008

The Community that eats together...

It's short notice but you have two wonderful dinner invites for TONIGHT. You can choose between fundraising for John Burroughs Family Day while enjoying New Orleans cuisine or join Our Saviour Church for a friendly fish fry.

John Burroughs School Family Day Fundraiser
Where: Saint's Bourbon Street which is donating a percentage of the profits.
1812 Hamlin St. NE, Washington, DC 20018 US
When: Friday, April 4, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Phone: 202-576-6039

Our Saviour Episcopal Church, Brookland Parish Fish Fry
Where: Irving between 16th and 17th, NE
When: Friday, April 4, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
$7 per dinner (whiting or trout), with potato salad and greens.
Dine in or take out.

photo by Operators Are Standing By

Potomac River Watershed Clean Up Tomorrow - Rain or Shine

We predict rain, but don't let that stop you. You'd just get wet and dirty anyhow.

While on the them of the great outdoors, find some worn out clothes, you know, the ones you can't even try to get rid of at the yard sale, and join the Alice Ferguson Foundation 20th Annual Potomac River Watershed Clean-up.

There are a number of sites but if you want to stick close to home, try the L Street NE clean up (contact Merrit Drucker, NoMa Business Improvement District, 202-722-6716) or Anacostia Park (contact Allison Moller, Email, Southeast White House). Directions are included on the main site.

Outdoor Events of Note

[Edited: Note correction of Monastery Plant Sale dates.]
The sunshine earlier this week had neighbors out and about in anticipation of clearer days. Now the rainy weekend will have a number of us parked in front of the computers again. While puttering on the Internet and fighting the overcast, pull out your calendar and make note of some good outdoor dates:

Moonlit Hike on the Mall, April 18, 7 p.m.: It's not in Ward 5, but it's an opportunity worth mentioning. Sierra Club's MWROP is hosting this hike as part of their "Get to Know DC" series. The family is invited, so long as they can walk 7+ mi. (or a shorter 3 mi.) on relatively level terrain. Bring water. Meet on the Mall side of Constitution Ave., halfway between 15th and 17th Sts. Nearest Metro station is Federal Triangle. For more information, contact the leader, Jim Finucane, at 301/365-3485 (before 9 pm).

Franciscan Monastery Plant Sale, April 26-27: Unless you drive by the Monastery, you might not hear word of this sale. Their annual sale is a spectacular way to get small plant, especially herbs and veggies, for your garden. They also sell annuals, perennials, roses, and trees. I found the prices last year to be very reasonable, often quite lower than Home Depot, with the added bonus of supporting one of the finest (and most hidden) gems of DC.

Great Brookland Yard Sale, April 19: With more than 30 families now participating and several refreshment stations hosted by Menkiti Group, this has grown into an all-neighborhood yard party.

Trees for Ward 5 Homeowners, April 29, 10 a.m - 2 p.m., St. Anthony's School at 12th and Monroe: Our soon-to-be neighbors and all around generous folks at Casey Trees have partnered with DDOE to sponsor a tree giveaway for Ward 5 residents. Homeowners can request up to 2 shade trees for their property. Pre-register by emailing dcshadetree@earthlink.net or calling 202.349.1909 with your name, addy, number and types of tree(s): Princeton American Elm (Ulmus americana ‘Princeton’), River Birch (Betula nigra), or Black gum or Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica). The trees will be in 10 gallon buckets, so these are small enough for the average homeowner to transport home in a car or even a wheel-barrow if you live close enough.

Photo by sophiagrrl of the Monastery in full bloom.

24 March 2008

Announcing the Great Brookland Yard Sale, April 19, 2008

In my house, spring cleaning leads to piles of stuff... stuff that isn't trash but doesn't need to be in my house any longer. The neighbors in Brookland have a great solution for this: the (First Ever) Great Brookland Yard Sale. Save the date and come out for some great finds.

What: Great Brookland Yard Sale.
When: Saturday, April 19, 2008 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m
Where: Map online here.
Households throughout the Brookland neighborhood have joined together to hold yard sales. In addition to the individual yard sales, St. Anthony of Padua’s Church on 12th Street NE will be participating as well, with a yard sale in the church’s parking lot.

Yard sale organizers have posted a blog with complete information on the Great Brookland Yard Sale, including a map of the area with participating homes highlighted, and information on some of the items that will be for sale. This information will be updated frequently as the sale approaches.
For more information contact Andrew S. Fortin.

And for Brookland neighbors, it's not too late to sign up. Take a look in the attic or basement and ask yourself, do you really want to miss this grand event??

Photo by Dustin DeKoekkoek

18 March 2008

Press Conference at Burroughs Elementary Today

I saw some folks setting up the equipment on the front lawn as my bus drove past a little before 9 a.m.....NBC4 has the (misspelled) details on the "small group of parents who passed out fliers and held a press conference" this morning:
Some parents are frustrated with D.C. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee's plan for John Burrows [sic] Elementary in Northeast.

Parents said Rhee's plan to change the school to a pre-K through eighth grade school is too ambitious. The school currently has students in Head Start through sixth grade.

"In less than five months, we're supposed to implement a pre-K through eight plan beginning with extending to accommodate seventh graders," said parent activist Maria Jones.

The plan is to change it to a pre-K through seventh school next year, and add eighth grade within two years. The school was slated for closure but will be kept open.

05 March 2008

WASA Discusses Changes to Lead Pipe Replacement at Woodridge Civic Association Meeting

Below is a detailed update provided by a neighbor, "Woodridge Laura", on WASA's presentation at last night's Woodridge Civic Association meeting.

WASA continues to explore changes to the Lead Service Replacement (LSR) program. In a joint meeting with the Woodridge Civic Association Tuesday night, WASA General Manager Jerry Johnson presented WASA's case:

- According to WASA's monitoring, DC water lead levels have remained under the EPA's "action alert level" of 15ppb since 2005, due to the addition of orthophosphate, a chemical that coats pipes and prevents lead leaching.

- Full LSR does improve lead levels, but but only a small portion of homeowners (2,128 out of 14,620 so far) have opted to pay for replacement on their property line. Other than cost, Johnson offered no opinions on why homeowner participation in full LSR has been so low.

- Partial LSR (replacing only the part on city property) has positive, but relatively minimal effects on lead level reduction.

For these reasons, WASA is considering a number of changes to the LSR program, which would be complete by 2016 if they continue at the current pace.

Changes could include replacing lines only when DDOT is also planning to repave roads, or replacing lines only when WASA is approaching a separate infrastructure project that involves existing lead pipes.

WASA will base its decision on the data they've already gathered about lead levels, homeowner participation in the LSR program, public comments gathered during community meetings like this one, and the relative importance of other projects that require funding from WASA.

Johnson said if the LSR schedule changed, the program would ramp down, not stop completely. Homeowners who have already agreed to a full service replacement with WASA should expect their contracts to be honored.

Residents asked about the safety of orthophosphate, and if lead lines are concentrated in any particular neighborhoods of the city. Johnson said there is no evidence of risks of orthophosphate, saying that phosphates have been routinely added to canned sodas for years, to prevent aluminum leaching. (And as everyone knows, soda is great for your health.) Johnson said lead pipes are relatively dispersed throughout DC, with slightly higher concentrations in older neighborhoods in Northwest and Capitol Hill, and the fewest amount in Southwest.

In response to recent news coverage about spikes in lead levels following partial LSR, Johnson maintains that WASA educates those homeowners who have partial replacement on the recommended schedule of flushing and cleaning faucet filters, through the signage WASA mails or leaves on residents' doors.

In comments following the presentation, Johnson said he was personally proposing a 8.5% increase in WASA's consumer rates to go into effect this October, and a 12% increase in 2009. He did not indicate when these increases could become official.

WASA's Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on the LSR program May 1, 2008 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Council of Governments office, 777 North Capitol Street NE.

29 February 2008

A Place to Play: Playground Initiative Grows in Brookland

We won't know for sure until the 2010 census, but it sure feels like there's been a baby-boom in Brookland/Michigan Park/Woodridge. A quick survey of local playgrounds turns up a number of dilapidated and sometimes vandalized play areas which don't do much to inspire parents to bring their children out. Healthy and accessible open space and play areas are no small asset for parents raising children in the city. Getting outside, getting exercise, and connecting with the community are only a few of the perks of well attended playgrounds.

A number of local neighbors have begun organizing to do something about the neighborhoods' lack and we invite you to get involved. You don't have to be a parent to care about playgrounds. It's a benefit to us all when children of all ages have safe and healthy places to play.

Three ways to get involved:

Dream a Little Dream:
We are soliciting ideas for the ideal park and playground. We are looking to the neighbors to tell us what you want to see in a new playground. The group intends to target a particular site to put our efforts behind, so gathering together the vision of the neighborhood helps. What are your favorite parks and why? What is your child's/nephew's/grandchild's favorite activity? Send your comments to brooklandjess@earthlink.net by Thursday March 6th.

Make Some Noise for Noyes:
The group quickly uncovered that the Noyes Park (map) is mired in budget politicking. Two years ago, the Department of Parks and Recreation completed a fantastic set of plans for development of the empty parcel bordered by 10th Street NE and Franklin Street NE. The park includes landscaped area and would be a benefit to all residents, not just families with children. Each year, during the usual round of cuts, this park is waylaid. The 2009 budget is presented in March and finalized in June, so this is our window of opportunity to lobby to keep this park in the budget!

It's valid to note that Ward 5's own Councilmember Tommy Thomas is the chair of the Committee on Libraries, Parks, and Recreation. Other councilmembers include Carol Schwartz, At-Large, David A. Catania, At-Large, Phil Mendelson, At-Large, and Yvette Alexander, Ward 7.

Here is a sample letter. Please tailor it to reflect your concerns.
I am writing to ask for a moment of your time to email our council
member and mayor to include the funding for Noyes Park (the field at
10th & Franklin) in the 2009 budget.

Detailed plans for this site were drawn up over a year ago. The 2009 budget is being finalized over the next couple of months so it is a good time to support the addition of a beautiful landscaped park and playground to the neighborhood.

Join us for a Cuppa: Join the Brookland Playground Group at the next open meeting, March 8, 11 am, at Cardinals Nest for coffee and planning, 3748 10th Street, NE. The group is new and we are eager to invite input from the neighborhood.

Photo by elfrenetico

28 February 2008

Casey Trees

Each year, the city loses a number of mature trees to disease, age, and overpruning. Last year, many of our trees suffered in the drought and many did not survive. With new construction or home addition, old trees are lost and all too often builders and new homeowners don't think to replant. Don't be daunted by the cost of new trees or the dilemma of what kind or where to put them. Take advantage of one of the best local organizations in D.C. - Casey Trees.

Casey Trees will soon be headquartered in Brookland (pdf) at 3030 12th Street NE, which is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. For those that aren't familiar with them, this is a great time to catch up on their calendar of Spring plantings. No experience necessary and the more the merrier.

Browse their Spring 2008 Tree Planting Events here.

Additionally, don't miss their homeowner workshops (pdf), "Design Your Yard with Trees." The sessions are free and attendants will receive a FREE TREE! Bring photographs or drawings and measurements of your yard and map out existing trees, buildings and powerlines.

Advanced registration is required and workshops are limited to 30 participants, so sign up now:

Tuesday March 11th (6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.)
Wednesday March 19th (6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.)

Casey Trees 1425 K St, NW, Suite 1050

26 February 2008

ANC-5A Monthly Meeting - Wednesday, February 27

What: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A Monthly Meeting

When: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 7 p.m.

Where: John Burroughs Elementary School, 1820 Monroe Street NE

Agenda Includes:
· ANC Business
· MPD-5D and 4D Police Reports
· Harry Thomas – Ward 5 Councilmember
· DCPS School Presentation
· Ty Simpson – Stone Hedge Restaurant
· Community Concerns

20 February 2008

Ward 5 Economic Development Summit - Saturday, February 23

What: Ward 5 Economic Development Summit

When: Saturday, February 23, 2008

10:00 a.m.: Registration

10:15 a.m.–10:30 a.m.: Opening Remarks

10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.: Panel: Stimulating Neighborhood Economic Development, moderated by Ward 5 Planner Deborah Crain. Panelists include: Steve Moore, WDC Economic Partnership; Derrick Woody, Great Streets Initiative; Phyllis Love, Restore DC's Main Street Initiative; Vinnie Wolhfarth, Brookland CDC/Brookland Main Street; Pat Mitchell, North Capitol Main Street; and Ana Harvey, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Mini Workshop on Negotiating Community Benefits Packages, moderated by Collaboration DC's Mary Jacksteit

12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: Break Out Sessions on Economic Development Projects. You will be able to meet with and ask questions of developers with projects in Ward 5. Each developer will have a table. To-date, developers for the following projects have RSVPed: Rhode Island Station; Arbor Place, McMillan Reservior; Art Space at Fort Totten; Armed Forces Retirement Home; New Town at Capital City Market; St Paul's Townhome project; and the 30th Street Townhome project.

2:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m.: Wrap Up

Where: Catholic University Caldwell Hall, main floor (view campus map here)

Questions and additional information: Call 202.724.8028.

17 February 2008

Clearing up the Confusion - Man Who Shot MPD Officer is Killed

A number of news outlets are reporting that the man who shot an MPD officer on Friday also shot a PG County sheriff's deputy before he was shot and killed. While Dorian Ray was the intended recipient of the initial paternity warrant, he was not the shooter. The Washington Post clarifies the situation best:
A Prince George's County sheriff's deputy was shot and seriously wounded early yesterday in a motel room in the Laurel area by a man who had shot a D.C. police officer in the face Friday, authorities said.

Other law enforcement officers in the motel room opened fire and killed the suspect, police said. He was identified last night by Howard County police as Aaron M. Lowry, 31, of Washington.


The Prince George's deputy and several other members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force had gone to an EconoLodge in the 9700 block of Route 1 near Laurel about 3:30 p.m. in search of the man who shot the D.C. officer. The man was also wanted on charges of attempted murder and robbery, police said.

They found Lowry in a room at the motel, Howard police said. When he shot at them, they returned fire and killed him, police said.


Lowry apparently came into contact with D.C. police about 1:15 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of Irving Street NE, where members of the task force had gone to serve a paternity support warrant on another man, according to a police account.

The task force members saw someone who appeared to match the description of the man they were seeking, police said. As officers approached, Lowry pulled out a gun and fired three times, grazing Duncan in the face, authorities said. They said the officers did not fire back.


The gunman ran and was last seen heading south on Eighth Street NE, Lanier said. Police officers and marshals swarmed the area, which includes Catholic University, and helicopters hovered. Lanier said she extended the shifts of some officers who would have finished their days at 3 p.m.

During the search, police said they found the man wanted in the paternity warrant and took him into custody. He was identified as Dorian M. Ray, 36, of the 600 block of Hamlin Street NE. Ray was not charged in the D.C. officer's shooting.

16 February 2008

Florida Market Tour - Saturday, February 23

Florida Market
Join Richard (Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space) and Elise (Frozen Tropics) for another installment of the popular walking tours of the Florida Avenue Market, February 23, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

There are considerable development pressures on the area and it's important that the neighbors understand what is there now so we can better understand what stands to be lost or gained by development. There are many resources for more information on the Market, but none of these will replace walking the Market yourself.

» Capital City/Florida Market posts at Frozen Tropics
» "The Bigness Complex, Urbanism and the Florida Market" from Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space
» Capital City Market (aka Florida Market) blog (also in the sidebar)
» Capital City Market interactive piece from Josh Williams
» FreeRide's wrap-up
» DCmud on the redevelopment plans
» Sang Oh Choi's vision for the Gateway Market & Residences, "The Gateway to the Next Great Place"

15 February 2008

MPD Officer Shot in NE; Police Searching Near Brookland and Brentwood Metro Stations

**UPDATE** The suspect, 36-year-old Dorian Maurice Ray, has been taken into custody. Ray was being served a paternity warrant when he allegedly shot 37-year-old detective Antonio Duncan, a 14-year-veteran of the Capitol Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, a U.S. marshal-led task force.

Both Fox5 and NBC4 are reporting the incident:
D.C. police said they are investigating a shooting involving an officer.

Sources told News4 the officer suffered a graze wound to his face in the 700 block of Irving Street in Northeast. There was no word on what the officer was doing when the shooting occurred.

A priest told News4 that he heard three shots and saw the officer on the ground when he went outside. The priest said he was surprised the wound wasn't more serious because it was a close-range shooting.

Police said the gunman was a black man standing 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, wearing blue jeans and carrying a black backpack.

The man fled down Eighth Street and was last seen running toward the Brookland Metro Station, police said. Trains were stopped as officers from D.C. police and Metro Transit Police searched the station and tracks for the shooter.

The officer was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

More from WTOP:
An intensive manhunt is underway after a D.C. Police detective was shot in a neighborhood near Catholic University, D.C. Police say.
D.C. Police say the detective was grazed on the side of his face by a bullet after a man opened fire around 1:20 p.m. Friday.

The shooting occurred in the 3100 block of 7th Street in Northeast, near Catholic and Trinity universities.

The detective is a member of the Capitol Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, a U.S. marshal-led task force.

The task force was in the area serving arrest warrants, but it's not clear whether the shooter was wanted by police or just opened fire when he saw the officers.

The suspect is still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.

He is described as a light complexioned black man, about 36 years old with light facial hair. He is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and weighs about 160 pounds and was carrying a black backpack.

Police say the detective is expected to be released from the hospital later Friday.

The suspect was last seen fleeing on the railroad tracks east of Catholic University, according to a message on Catholic University's Web site.

Earlier, Catholic University students in the Spellman and Conaty residence halls - the buildings closest to the shooting - were informed to stay in their buildings, but the alert has been lifted.

The university is not on lockdown and there is no evidence to suggest the gunman is anywhere near campus.

14 February 2008

Welcome to a New Contributor!

It takes a lot of eyes and ears to keep up with the heartbeat of a community. I'm glad to be allowed to contribute to Stop, Blog, and Roll. Jaime has done an extraordinary job collecting together many of the resources for Ward 5 residents and I'm hoping to help distill this information into news you can use. You need more than just access to information, but also some sense of the patterns, some ideas how things are interconnected.

I'm joining on here to respond to the needs of readers and neighbors, so please feel free to contact me with your questions. What can we do to clean up RI metro stop? Why is the Brookland escalator constantly broken? What do we have to do to get some spectacular, clean and safe playgrounds? Why is it so difficult to find out where the MPD5 meetings are located? What developments are going on? Which charter schools are moving into the area and how will they impact the neighborhood? From large to small, these issues make up the fabric of our daily lives in these neighborhoods.

I'm sympathetic to the large number of neighbors who can't make week night meetings because of families and jobs but who still want to contribute meaningfully to the community. Blogs and online information become vital tools to connect us.

  • I have deep connections in the community, including my native Washingtonian husband and his extensive family, but I'm fairly new to Ward 5.
  • When asked, I say I live in Brookland. But just between you and me, I live in what a very few might call “University Heights,” a tiny and often forgotten portion of Greater Brookland between Brookland and Michigan Park.
  • I moderate the Brookland Announcements Listserv. I'm the editor of the Capital Sierran for the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club.
  • I'm a mother, an environmentalist, urban planner, educator, activist. I have degrees, a few too many, in English, German, Urban Planning, and Natural Resources.
  • I work hard trying to keep my old house from falling apart, with various degrees of success.
  • When the weather allows, I garden. When it does not permit, I read local blogs and publications while dreaming of better weather.
  • I knit. I cook. I parent a toddler.
  • I look forward to spending a lot of life here in Brookland, which is obviously an exceptional community by any measure.
You can contact me with ideas or news at brooklandjess@earthlink.net.

24 January 2008

Ward 5 Leadership Meeting - Saturday, January 26

What: Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, Presidents and leaders of
Ward 5 community organizations, and concerned citizens are invited to join Councilmember Thomas to discuss and shape the Ward 5 agenda for 2008.

When: Saturday, January 26, 2008; 10 a.m. - Registration, 10:30 a.m-12 p.m. - Meeting

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

Additional Information: Please call 202.724.8028

5A-07 Commissioner and ANC-5A Officer Election Results

From Don Padou, newly elected Commissioner of SMD 5A-07:
Hello Neighbors

Tonight's election results are in, and the biggest surprise to me was the turnout. It seemed like most of the neighborhood was there, and that was great. I was also surprised and pleased that I won.

I want to thank everyone who came out to vote. I particularly want to thank the gentleman who stopped off to vote on his way to the airport--that's the kind of attitude that makes Brookland a special place.

The way I look at it, Brookland just hired me for a job and I certainly plan to do the best I can. If you have any problems you think I can help you with, please drop me an email or give me a call at (202) 832-4038.


Congrats to Don!

- - -

ANC-5A Officers for 2008:

Chair - Angel Alston, 5A-03
Vice Chair - Mary Baird-Currie, 5A-06
Recording Secretary - Janae Grant, 5A-11
Treasurer - Sandi Washington, 5A-01
Corresponding Secretary - Timothy Thomas, 5A-08
Parliamentarian - Robert King, 5A-12

Personal "I-have-an-issue" moment: Angel Alston was 5A's 2007 Recording Secretary, and we've yet to see any minutes posted from last year....How does that past record jive with her newly elected position as Chair?

22 January 2008

Brookland's Tropicana Co-Owner Charged in Illegal License Scheme

From The Examiner:
A local restaurant owner was part of a scheme to provide illegal immigrants with fraudulent driver’s licenses, authorities said Thursday as new details about a raid on the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles center in Georgetown emerged.

Inside the courtroom, defendants Gloria Gonzalez-Paz, 34, of Prince George’s County, and Dora Romero Morales, 29, of Vienna, appeared in separate hearings. Both women, who are in the U.S. on temporary work permits, wore headphones to listen to an interpreter.

Gonzalez-Paz, who owns a Tropicana Eatery franchise on 12th Street Northeast in D.C. with her husband, wiped tears from her cheeks.

ANC-5A Monthly Meeting and 5A-07 Special Election - Wednesday, January 23

What: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A Monthly Meeting

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 7 p.m.

Where: Luke Moore Academy, 1001 Monroe Street, NE

Agenda Includes:
· Election of Officers for 5A
· Election of Commissioner for 5A-07 (see below)
· Announce the Vacancy of 5A-05
· MPD-5D and 4D police reports
· Community Concerns

Next 5A Monthly Meeting: Wednesday, February 23, 2008 at 7 p.m. - Taft School, 18th and Perry Street NE

- - -

What: Special election for vacant SMD 5A-07 Commissioner seat (formerly William Boston, Chair)

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Luke Moore Academy, 1001 Monroe Street, NE

· Don Padou
· Carolyn Steptoe
· Bob Artisst

*NOTE: In order to vote in the Special Election you must live in SMD 5A-07 and have your voter registration card OR be listed as a voter on the voter registration list provided by the Board of Elections.

15 January 2008

School Closing Hearings and Links

By now you likely know about the consolidated school closure hearings on Thursday, January 17 [pdf], and "The People's Meeting" co-sponsored by Councilmembers Thomas and Barry. Whichever you choose, if you are able to make it to one of the meetings on Thursday, you will be making an impact.

- - -

Ward 5 schools to be closed (in parentheses) and their meeting locations:

· Taft Recreation Center (Burroughs ES), 1800 Perry Street NE

· Brookland ES (Bunker Hill ES), 1150 Michigan Avenue NE

· LaSalle ES (Backus MS), 501 Riggs Road NE

· Eastern SHS (M.M. Washington SHS), 1700 East Capitol Street NE

· Kelly Miller MS (Douglass and Taft CHOICE Academies and Centers), 301 49th Street NE

· Emery ES (J.F. Cook ES), 1720 1st Street NE

· Noyes ES (Slowe ES), 2725 10th Street NE

· Cleveland ES (Gage-Eckington ES), 1825 8th Street NW (Gage-Eckington is in Ward 1, just outside Ward 5)

- - -

Some links relevant to Ward 5 and DCPS:

» Save John Burroughs DC - Friends of John Burroughs Elementary
John Burroughs proudly ranks 15 out of all 81 DC Public Schools in Reading and 12 out of 81 in Math. Our enrollment is 244 and rising - we are only 7% away from full enrollment!!!....Save this model school from closure.

» "School closings plan draws opposition" - Examiner, Wednesday, January 15
“What [Burroughs Elementary School] has accomplished is incredible given the few resources it has,” said Gary Spinner, whose granddaughter is in second grade. “We were in the process to petition the mayor and chancellor for more support; in turn, we found out we would be closed.”

Spinner and other Burroughs representatives touted the fact that the school is ranked 15th out of 81 citywide in reading and that its standardized test scores last year rose by double digits. Enrollment also has been going up, they said, making it the wrong time for closure.

Chancellor Michelle Rhee has explained that the 23 schools suggested for closure were chosen mainly for building occupancy, rather than test scores or overall program quality. That numbers-driven approach was challenged Monday.

» "One DC Public School Has Fewer Than 100 Students" - WUSA9, Monday, January 14
When Principal Pat Mabry came to Slowe Elementary, the neighborhood school at 14th and Jackson Streets in Northeast had 619 students. Today, Slowe's student enrollment has plummeted to only 84 students.

There are only five classes held in the entire building for DC public school students.

DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee pointed 9NEWS NOW to Slowe Elementary as example of why up to 23 school buildings have been put on a proposed list for closing.

This has nothing to do with academic performance. It has everything to do with what the city is paying for unused space; staffing, utility and maintenance costs.

Principal Mabry isn't fighting the closing; but she and her parents don't like the plan to send Slowe students to a nearby school where students have been beefing with Slowe's young people.

» "Fixing D.C.'s Schools" - Washington Post investigative series, multiple parts posted since June 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Program at Woodridge Library - Wednesday, January 16

What: The Woodridge Neighborhood Library is hosting an open forum - "Reminiscences of April 4, 1968: How the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Affected Our Community" - in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Participants will share their thoughts of the day that Dr. King was assassinated, the impact of his death, and the subsequent events following this tragedy.

When: Wednesday, January 16 at 7 p.m.

Where: Woodridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE

Additional Information: Call the library at 202.541.6226

11 January 2008

Quick Links - 2 Good, 2 Bad

» "At 108, 'It's a Beautiful Life'" - WaPo, Saturday, January 5. Believed to be the District's oldest resident, Eddye L. Williams lives in NE.

» "KDNY brings Joan of Arc to D.C.'s Dance Place" - DCist, Friday, January 11. The performances will be Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. A neighbor on the Brookland listserv reminds us:
Dance Place sets aside free tickets to each Sunday performance held at Dance Place for Brookland residents! All you have to do is call 202-269-1600 to see if tickets are still available. You must have either a 20017 or 20018 zip code to be able to receive free tickets. Each caller can reserve up to two tickets.

» A drive-by shooting near Langdon Park injures one Friday afternoon; the suspect has been taken into custody - WUSA9, Friday, January 11.

» MPD-5D officer arrested for inappropriately touching a 19-year-old woman on November 16, 2007, while on duty in the area of the 1300 block of Okie Street, NE - MPD, Friday, January 11.

NE DC Historical Society Meeting: Beyond NE, Hillcrest and the Highlands of SE - Sunday, January 13

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 they will again reach out beyond NE DC to discover the beautiful and historic neighborhood of Hillcrest in Southeast Washington. Presentations will include "A Broader View: Hillcrest and the 'Highlands' of Southeast DC" by James Byers, neighborhood historian, author, and tour leader and "From Hilltop to Hillsdale: The Anacostia of Solomon Brown" by C.R. Gibbs, lecturer, author, and historian.

When: Sunday, January 13, 2008, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Lutheran Church Of the Holy Comforter, 3319 Alabama Avenue SE (Holy Comforter is the low 1950's-modern building on the corner diagonally opposite the large more traditional East Washington Heights Baptist Church. The church parking lot and alley have available spaces

Etc.: For those unable to attend this meeting, don't miss next month's meeting - back in NE - to be held from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, February 10, 2008. The meeting will take place at the Cardinal's Nest Restaurant at 3748 10th Street NE. Presentations will include "Saving Brookland's 1937 Art Moderne Park and Shop: A Historic Failure" by Daniel Wolkoff, Historic Restoration Artist with Adams Morgan Stained Glass, Richard Layman of the Brookland Community Development Corporation, and Dan Vera, a resident of the Brookland neighborhood.

NE DC Historical Society meetings take place the second Sunday of every month. Contact queenstowndc@yahoo.com for further information.

10 January 2008

17-Year-Old Arrested for Rhode Island Avenue Homicide

From MPD:
On Thursday, January 10, 2008, at approximately 11:30 am, a homicide was closed with the arrest of a 17-year-old District youth. His name is being withheld at this time because of his age. He has been charged with Murder Two while Armed. This case remains under active investigation and more arrests are possible.

On Tuesday, January 8, 2008, at approximately 9:25 pm, police were called to a D.C. Fire Department Engine Company located in the 1300 block of Brentwood Road, NE to investigate the report of three male shooting victims. Upon arrival, officers determined that three teenage victims reportedly had been shot a short time earlier while in the vicinity of the 1300 block of Rhode Island Avenue, NE and made their way to the firehouse for help. The victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

One of the victims died as the result of his injuries. He is identified as 17-year-old Julian Agurs, of the 4900 block of North Capitol Street, NE. He suffered apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the body. The other two victims were transported to an area hospital for treatment of apparent non-life-threatening injuries. Their identities are being withheld because they are witnesses in the case.

The case is under investigation by members of the department’s Violent Crimes Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 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.

Tom Knott vs. the RI Avenue Home Depot "De-Facto Refugee Center"

Read Knott's take on "Third World denizens," "ticket-writing workaholics," and $299,000 Georgetown rowhouses (?!) in today's Washington Times. Someone send me a link to a $300K Georgetown anything stat.

09 January 2008

GWU's DC Neighborhood College Now Accepting Applications

My experience in the DC Neighborhood College (DCNC) over the past year has been an eye-opening and extremely informative experience. I strongly urge you to apply if you have an interest in community development, activism, and leadership. The 2008-09 cohort will be a year-long commitment that includes one module per month (Thursday and Friday after work and Saturday during the day) along with an independent, community-based project that culminates in a public poster session and presentation.

George Washington University's Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL) is the home of the DC Neighborhood College, a citywide program that trains community and civic leaders to lead, organize, and influence positive change in their communities [this program was formally a DC Agenda program).

The program’s goals include developing cross-District networks of highly skilled community and civic leaders who are:

· Active in neighborhood revitalization and working to take advantage of opportunities afforded by government and private initiatives
· Connected to local, regional, and national resources
· Informed by knowledge of best practices and successful innovations in neighborhood empowerment and revitalization
· Supported by sustained training and involvement of thought and practice leaders

The Neighborhood College seeks applicants from all eight of the District’s wards and a broad representation of ages, ethnicities, and civic organizations. Participants must be District residents and are selected through a competitive application process.

Download a DC Neighborhood College brochure (PDF/744Kb).

Applications are due Friday, January 18, 2008 by 3:00 p.m. Click here to read more about the Neighborhood College.

“I use the knowledge I've gained about economic development, project management, and leadership skills on a daily basis. I'd love to participate in other programs that DC Neighborhood College offers and encourage anyone that will listen to consider participating in the program. It was truly a great experience.”
— Neighborhood College Graduate

For more information or an application, contact:
DC Neighborhood College
(202) 994-5390
Email: dcnc@gwu.edu

» If accepted, you will receive a full scholarship to attend.
» You can view the 2008-09 schedule here.
» You can download the application here.

I've kept my independent project close to home by creating the framework for a hypothetical Woodridge Community Development Corporation (CDC) focusing initially on the Rhode Island Avenue commercial corridor running through our neighborhood. I've started building a website to coincide with the project, though it's not yet ready to go live. I hope to maintain that site in addition to this blog once my DCNC cohort finishes in March as a way of keeping the community up-to-date on development in the area. If anything, I've gained invaluable knowledge about the inner-workings of DC, community organizing, and leadership that will continue to guide me in my community engagement...do yourself - and your community - a favor and apply.

08 January 2008

3 Boys Found Shot Outside of Engine 26 on RI Avenue - 1 Dead

**UPDATE: The shots were heard at 1300 Brentwood Road NE at about 9:30 p.m....the 17-year-old boy boy shot in the chest has died [NBC4, WUSA9]. Police are on the lookout for a white car, possibly a Kia, that fled the scene.

» "Youth Had Just Turned 17 When He Was Fatally Shot" - WaPo, Thursday, January 10

Just in from Fox5:
Three boys were found shot outside the Engine 26 firehouse [1340 Rhode Island Avenue NE] in Northeast DC Tuesday night.

Firemen inside the station say they heard several gunshots and a car speed away before finding the injured boys outside

A 16-year-old was shot multiple times in the back, a 13-year-old was shot once in the foot, and another boy was shot several times in the chest.

Woodridge Dunkin' Donuts on Rhode Island Ave. Closes

The latest blow for Woodridge's Rhode Island Avenue commercial corridor: our Dunkin' Donuts has closed its doors. While a PSA 502 officer reported yesterday on the MPD-5D listserv that the store was temporarily boarded up due to a fire a few back, it looks like the close is permanent....From Central Baking Company partner Chris Mellgren:
We were forced to close the store due to poor business demand and security issues at the location. We were saddened to have to close the site but the store had been losing significant amounts of money last year and to add to that it was robbed 6 times in 2007 [emphasis mine].

We are looking for another location in the neighborhood but somewhere that is more secure and will generate more guest visits. In the meantime we have a location at 400 Rhode island NW at the corner of Rhode Island and New Jersey Avenue [1739 New Jersey Avenue NW].

01 January 2008

Casey Trees Moving to Brookland in Late 2008

Casey Trees, the DC organization committed to protecting and renewing the city's tree canopy, will be moving to Brookland [pdf] in late 2008:
...Next year [Casey Trees] is moving from 1425 K Street downtown to the Brookland neighborhood at 3030 12th Street and Irving. The group plans to renovate and add to the existing 4000 square foot structure to house a staff that is expected to grow from 20 to 30-35 people over the next 15 years.

“Our central downtown location has been great, but as we’ve grown our need to be based within a neighborhood where we can work hand in hand with our network of community members has increased. We’re looking forward to putting down our own roots as an organization to join the roots of the trees we’ve planted with our volunteers over the past six years” said Mark Buscaino, Casey Trees Executive Director.

Casey Trees has retained Smith Group as its architects who are now working on concepts. Initial thoughts about the building’s construction are for it to be as “green” as possible, incorporating trees, low-impact development stormwater control features, possibly a green roof, and other elements.

You can read Washington Business Journal's article here [pdf].

Happy New Year!

Here's to a happy, healthy, and safe 2008 for Woodridge, Brookland, and beyond!

Each year many of us make resolutions and then spend the next 365 days trying to keep them (if we even remember them a month or two later). I'd like to resolve to spend more time on this blog with the hope of serving the community. While I'm not sure that is possible - partially because I already spend a great deal of time sifting through info to post - I feel it's still a resolution worth making.

Posting has been sporadic lately; I've been working on my final project for the DC Neighborhood College (you still have a few days left to apply for the 2008-09 cohort) which I hope to share with the community in the next month, busy at work, applying for grad school, and taking some quiet time away from the computer while at home. As always, please contact me if you are interested in contributing to "stop, blog, and roll."

Now, back to reality and resolution aside....I'll be out of town twice in January. The first time will be this week for work through early next week, so posting will be light-to-nil. And then there's the catching up, and going back out of town, and catching up....

May your resolutions be easier to keep ;)