The Week Ahead…

The waning of summer....

A late-August morning in a Capitol Hill garden

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, August 31

  1. ANC6C Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 2nd Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Sugar Factory, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE – application for a Tavern liquor license.

The Alibi, 237 2nd Street, NW – informational update on application for a restaurant liquor license.

Tuesday, September 1

  1. ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue.

Among items on the agenda:

Barracks Row Main Street, Support for Public Art Building Communities Grant (Commission on Arts and Humanities), two concept sculptures for EM Metro plaza: Martin Smith, Executive Director, BRMS.

1200 Potomac Avenue SE, use variance from the use requirements to allow the use of the basement and first floors as an office in an existing two-story building at 1200 Potomac Avenue, S.E.

761 10th Street SE – Application for a special exception to allow a two-story rear addition and a two-story garage addition to a row dwelling not meeting the zoning requirements for lot occupancy.

  1. ANC6C Parks and Events Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 2nd Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

L and M Street Underpass Art Projects in NoMa – Discussion with Commissioner Stacie West, NoMa Parks Foundation, and possible consideration of recommendation to ANC 6C, concerning NoMa Parks Foundation’s M and L Street underpass projects.

Peace Corps Commemorative Design Competition – Discussion with Roger Lewis, President, Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation, concerning the three finalists in the ongoing design competition to create a commemorative at the National Park Service site between Louisiana Avenue NW, 1st and C Streets NW.

  1. Crime and Crime Trends in the First District, by Neighborhood, 7:00pm – 8:00pm at First District Station, 101 M Street, SW. The First District Police Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) will convene the session to discuss how (1) felonies reported to the FBI) and (2) misdemeanor crime are affecting First District neighborhoods.  The CAC has requested a detailed analysis of these crimes from the Metropolitan Police Department.  We are also asking US Capitol Police, US Park Police and Metro Transit Police to weigh in on their crime trends.

Wednesday, September 2

  1. ANC6C Planning and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 2nd Street, NE. Among items on the agenda:

315 H Street, N.E. – Revised application for approval of a consolidated planned unit development on approximately 15,813sf of land area on the south side of H Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets., N.E. The Applicant proposes to develop the property with a 90-foot residential building with ground-floor retail. The building will include approximately 87,400sf of residential development and 6,597sf of ground floor retail. The project will include approximately 135 residential units, including over 6,500sf of affordable housing. The project will have a floor area ratio of 5.9 and include approximately 30 parking spaces.

Thursday, September 3

  1. ANC6B ABC Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Agenda not available at press time.

  1. ANC6C Transportation and Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 2nd Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Union Kitchen Grocery, (a new “upscale” grocery) at 3rd and F Streets, N.E., is requesting outdoor seating for a sidewalk café.

16 M Street, N.E. – New construction public space permit, application for a mixed use development in NoMa.

Indigo, fast casual Indian restaurant at 243 K Street, N.E., – application for a new sidewalk café. Neighborhood effects of H Street development.  Open discussion of concerns surrounding existing or potential effects on the neighborhood, possibly including but not limited to noise, parking, traffic, etc. Residents are encouraged to come with issues they have identified, or to send concerns to the TPS Committee chair or their ANC commissioner if they cannot attend the meeting in person. Concerns will be fodder for a future discussion with DDOT to identify possible mitigations.

  1. PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm, SE Library, lower level, with Lt. Eddie Fowler.
  2. Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) meets at 5:30pm, Southeast Library, lower level.

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The Week Ahead … And the Week’s Photos From Barracks & Market Rows

Hard to recognize the old Remington's on Pennsylvania Avenue - now slated to be the new home of a 7-11 and a Sprint outlet

Hard to recognize the old Remington’s on Pennsylvania Avenue – now slated to be the new home of a 7-11 and a Sprint outlet

Excavation for the affordable housing component of the Hine Development started last week.

Excavation for the affordable housing component of the Hine Development started last week.

Monmartre - closed recently for renovations - returns to normal business on Tuesday, August 25

Monmartre – closed recently for renovations – returns to normal business on Tuesday, August 25

The ticket booth for the Miracle Theater in the Community Church on Barracks Row started to take shape.

The ticket booth for the Miracle Theater in the Community Church on Barracks Row started to take shape.

Finally, here's a map of the MPD First District PSAs.  The PSAs can be an effective part of community policing but some have fallen into meaninglessness owing to lack of community participation and ineffective MPD outreach.

Finally, here’s a map of the MPD First District PSAs. The PSAs can be an effective part of community policing but some have fallen into meaninglessness owing to lack of community participation and ineffective MPD outreach.

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, August 25

ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the September meeting of the ANC, on September 8 – again, at Hill Center.

Saturday, August 29

PSA 106 Meets at 10:00am, at 900 5th Street, SE.

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Near Northeast Crime Meeting on MD Ave Shooting: Frustration but Few Answers

80 or so Near Northeast Residents Turn Out for Tuesday Night Crime Meeting

80 or so Near Northeast Residents Turn Out for Tuesday Night Crime Meeting

Councilmembers Allen and Silverman at Tuesday Night's Crime Meeting

Councilmembers Allen and Silverman at Tuesday Night’s Crime Meeting

MPD First District Lt. Eddie Fowler.  In background, l-r, Nichole Opkins, office of CM Allen, Seth Shapiro, office of the Mayor, Ali Noorani, NE resident who organized the meeting.

MPD First District Lt. Eddie Fowler. In background, l-r, Nichole Opkins, office of CM Allen, Seth Shapiro, office of the Mayor, Ali Noorani, NE resident who organized the meeting.

Near Northeast Crime Meeting on MD Ave Shooting:  Frustration but Few Answers

CM Allen Says Police Presence Will Increase in Neighborhood

by Larry Janezich

80 or so residents of near Northeast came to a community crime meeting in NE Library Tuesday night to voice their frustration and concern regarding the increase in violent crime – particularly the 6 to 8 gunshots that were fired a week ago Sunday afternoon at 8th and Maryland, NE, by an unknown gunman (or gunmen).  First District MPD Lt. Eddie Fowler recounted the incident, noting there had been no injuries though “car windows were shot out.”  He said police conducted a door to door canvas to make sure no one was injured.

According to the DC MPD crime map, the incident appears to have been classified as a property crime rather than a violent crime, perhaps because no one was injured or directly threatened.   Despite the classification, this incident – more than the increase in the violent crime “robberies with gun” to 10 compared with the 2 in the previous 30 day period – drove the meeting’s agenda.

Much of the frustration felt by the attendees stemmed from MPD officials and officers being unwilling or unable to discuss the details of the incident because it “is still under investigation by MPD detectives” which is all too often the response from police to the questions of concerned residents.  Questioned as to the status of the investigation, Fowler offered few details, replying that he could only say that there had been no arrests.

CM Charles Allen arrived an hour into the meeting, coming from another public safety meeting in Ward Six’s PSA 108.  He said the increase in crime had left him angry and frustrated and said he was on the phone “every single day” with commanders of the three MPD police districts that cover Ward Six.  Among the most serious issues in Ward Six, he listed “crews” trading gunfire in Shaw and Rosedale, violent robberies in Hill East, and a homicide in Southwest.

Regarding the Sunday shooting in question, he said he could speak more freely than the police because his information came from conversations with city officials.  He offered additional information regarding the Sunday shooting: “We don’t know why and we don’t have a suspect.  An individual was detained, but he did not have a gun.  MPD is looking at video from 7-11 and private residences. “

Allen said he’s had “dozens and dozens” of emails from concerned residents about the increase of crime but that conversations with the Mayor and Chief of Police has not pointed to a single cause.  Some contributing factors, he suggested, could be synthetic drugs, an increase in numbers of firearms on the street and an increase in firepower capacity of those firearms.  Seth Shapiro from the Mayor’s office added that “we are seeing a lot of repeat offenders, and the Mayor is tracking that.”

Allen has asked Chief Lanier to increase the number of officers in the neighborhood during the daytime and said that she planned to do so.  He also said that although that Chief Lanier has done many things right he disagrees with her late May decision to disband the vice squads and turn investigations over to a centralized narcotics unit:  ”I think it’s still valuable to use the vice units.  I don’t believe it’s a good idea to dismantle them.”  The DC Police Union has recently called for the immediate reinstatement of district level vice units.

Allen said that resident’s voices are important and urged residents to hold the city accountable – “hold our feet to the fire” – and to hold MPD accountable.  He urged residents to attend PSA meetings and work through them to improve community policing.  Capitol Hill Corner has urged the development of a stronger relationship between the ANCs and the PSAs to encourage community attendance, provide a broader picture of crime close by but not within the PSA, and to develop a better working relationship between the ANCs and MPD officials.  None of the ANC commissioners from either ANC6a or ANC6c appeared to be present at the meeting, or if they were, did not identify themselves as such during the Q&A portion of the meeting.

CM Silverman, who was also in attendance, urged residents to make their voices heard by the city council, the mayor, and the PSAs to ask for more money and resources for the MPD.

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Sharp Increase In Violent Crime in Near NE Drives Tonight’s Crime Meeting

Sharp Increase in Violent Crime in Near NE Drives Tonight’s Crime Meeting

by Larry Janezich

Above are the crime maps for the last 30 days for Near Northeast – PSA 104 and PSA 107.  There’s been a big jump in violent crime in PSA 104 in the last 30 days, with robbery with a gun accounting for most of it.

There will be a neighborhood crime meeting tonight at 7:00pm in Northeast Library, 330 7th Street NE (7th and Maryland Ave).

Neighbors asked for a meeting to discuss the fusillade of shots fired at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and 8th Street, SE, on Sunday afternoon, August 16.

Representatives of MPD, City Councilmembers and the Mayor’s office are expected to attend.

For more details on crime, go to:

http://crimemap.dc.gov/

Search for crimes by address – or:

Click MPD PSA or District Tab

Select PSA or District

Click Search

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The Week Ahead…..

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, August 17

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meeting meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Hill Towers , 900 G Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Update from Rappaport Co. regarding redevelopment of H Street Connection.

Presentation from Department of General Services and Department of Parks and Recreation regarding proposed redevelopment of pocket park at 15th Street, NE, and North Carolina Avenue, NE.

Application for public space permit to operate a sidewalk café at 1210 H Street, NE.

Request for support of traffic calming application for 400 block of 19th Street, NE.

Presentation from Events DC regarding plans to construct a playground on the

2000 Block of C Street, NE.

Wednesday, August 19

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

1431 E Street, NE: Owner seeks a letter of support from the ANC in connection with application to DHCD and private lender for funding to enable renovations to 10-unit building.

1313 to 1323 Linden Court, NE: Future applicant for zoning relief will provide a brief informational presentation regarding planned redevelopment of alley lots.

Thursday, August 20

PSA 108 meets at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.

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Eastern Market Tries to Reassure Community and Flea Market Vendors on Takeover

Copy of letter addressed to "The Eastern Market Community" delivered to Eastern Market Arts and Craft Vendors Saturday Morning

Copy of letter addressed to “Eastern Market Community” delivered to Eastern Market Arts and Craft Vendors Saturday Morning

Eastern Market Tries to Reassure Community and Flea Market Vendors on Takeover

A Hint of Change in Character of the Flea Markets

by Larry Janezich

Eastern Market has responded to community and flea market vendor concerns regarding the Department of General Services (DGS) planned takeover of the weekend flea markets with a public relations communications to the community assuring that the flea markets will continue largely unchanged under the new management.  On Saturday morning, vendors of the weekend Eastern Market Arts and Crafts (A&C) Market (as distinct from the 7th Street weekend flea markets) received a notice from Barry Margeson, Department of General Services Eastern Market manager.  The notice was addressed to the “Eastern Market Community” but apparently delivered only to the A&C vendors.

The notice began with the announcement – which flea market managers Mike Berman and Carol Wright had received last week as reported by CHC – that the flea markets were being taken over by Eastern Market because private use of the street could affect DC’s municipal bond rating.

The letter explains that a portion of the revenues from the takeover will go to upkeep of Eastern Market, and the balance will go to provide more (staff) support for the weekend manager, more security on weekends, “a summer concert series,” “a winter festival,”  and a dedicated staff member for the application process.

The letter states that “we will work hard to keep the 300 block as it is” and assures flea market vendors they will be grandfathered in as far as the tougher product quality standards which must be met by the Arts and Crafts Market vendors who are currently managed by Eastern Market.  The language leaves open the likelihood that the tougher standards will be applied to any new flea market vendors.

The flea market managers Mike Berman and Carol Wright vowed to fight the takeover attempt.  Sunday flea market manager Mike Berman launched his own public relations “Save the Market Again” campaign, announcing a letter writing campaign to public officials and a petition to oppose the takeover.   He also said he was pursuing legal options and investigating the claim that the move was based on the city’s Chief Financial Officer’s claim regarding the municipal bond issue.  Berman says he has yet to see the CFO’s opinion in writing.

The two flea market managers each pay the city $2000 a month under terms of their licenses to use the street – which is some one-third of the space they had on the Hine site, for which they also each paid $2000 a month.  The move to 7th Street has already reduced the number of vendors to about half of those who had spaces on the Hine site at maximum occupancy.  Whether the move has been good for the vendors depends on who you talk to – some vendors with need for a larger spaces say the move has hurt their business while most says it is about the same.

Flea market vendors pay the flea market managers more for space than Arts and Craft vendors pay Eastern Market for roughly equivalent space, in part because the A&C vendors are managed by city employees.  How the move by the city will affect the pricing of the spaces in both areas is uncertain.

DC regulations say that Eastern Market must  be self-sustaining and the market is hungry for additional sources of revenue.  In September of 2012, Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) Chair Donna Scheeder wrote to Deputy Mayor Hoskin’s office, asserting EMCAC control over vending on the 300 block of 7th Street, saying the law makes clear that retailing on any public space associated with Eastern Market – including 7th Street – “should not be permitted without written consent of the Department of General Services (DGS) and the review of EMCAC.”  And, “As you may be aware, EMCAC supports vending on this block of 7th street on the condition that it be under the jurisdiction of DGS management and the Eastern Market manager. We do not approve of allowing 2 private management companies to control the space, especially during the construction on the Hine site.”  See here:  http://bit.ly/1JbOw3S

Despite EMCAC opposition, and after protracted negotiations, the two flea market vendors signed a two year contract with DGS in April of 2013 for continued use of the Hine site and then for use of 7th Street during the construction phase of the Hine project.  Scheeder grudgingly admitted relief that a licensing agreement had been worked out for flea market vendors to use 7th Street.  See here:  http://bit.ly/1gNVrVU

In meetings held by Councilmember Tommy Wells in 2010 to solicit community input for development of the Hine site, preservation of the weekend flea markets was the community’s top priority.

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City Moves to Seize Eastern Market Weekend Flea Markets from Private Operators

City Set to Take Over Flea Markets on October 1

City Set to Take Over Flea Markets on October 1

City Moves to Seize Eastern Market Weekend Flea Markets from Private Operators

by Larry Janezich

Last Wednesday, August 12, the Department of General Services informed the two Eastern Market flea market managers, Mike Berman of Diverse Markets Management, LLC, and Carole Wright of Washington Arts, Antiques, Crafts & Collectible Associates Inc., that it would take over the management of the longtime independent markets starting October 1.

Both markets, currently managed separately by the two operators, recently moved from the Hine playground to the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, owing to the demolition of the Hine Jr. High School in preparation for Stanton-Eastbanc’s mixed-use development project on that site.  The two weekend flea markets are separate and distinct from the Arts and Crafts Market of Eastern Market, which sets up weekends on the area around Eastern Market including the 200 block of 7th Street, SE, and on the plaza in front of the Capitol Hill Swimming Pool.  The Arts and Crafts Market is currently overseen by Barry Margeson, DGS employee and Eastern Market Manager.

Written notice to flea market operators Berman and Wright, and to Eastern Market and flea market vendors, came from Barry Margeson, who sent an email, a portion of which reads as follows:

“At the end of July, the Department of General Services (DGS) extended the Licenses to Operate for the two [managers of the weekend flea markets]…until September 30th, 2015. After that date, the Eastern Market staff, which manages the rest of the market, will begin managing the 300 block as well.

We expect that there will be questions about how this will change things for customers and for the vendors who sell on the 300 block. The truth is that customers won’t notice much change. And there won’t be much change for the vendors either: All of the vendors who sell there now will be given the opportunity to keep selling, if they wish. We figure that the majority of them will decide to do so.”

Two years ago, under the administration of Mayor Gray, the two operators and the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) negotiated the terms for the continuation of the weekend flea markets during the construction phase of the Hine project.  The final agreement entailed a Mayoral order to close the 300 block of 7th Street on weekends during flea market hours, and licensing the two operators to set up their respective markets on 7th Street.

The original contract with the city to operate the flea market on the Hine playground and then on 7th Street, expired July 31, 2015, some three months after the flea markets made their move to 7th Street.

According Carol Wright, when the operators recently asked DGS through Barry Margeson for a contract renewal, Margeson told her on July 9 that a two year renewal was forthcoming, but with changes.  Wright says that on July 29, with two days left before the contract expired, Margeson instead sent a two month extension of the contract.  The next day, Wright said she was told that if she didn’t sign the two month extension by 3:00pm on July 31, she would not be able to set up the Saturday flea market the next day.  Wright says that a request for a 24 hour delay was denied, and further, that the action violated an agreement the operators had with the city that any early termination of the contract would be done only after 90 days’ notice.

Wright signed the two-month extension, she said, “under duress,” and followed up with a letter to the Mayor’s office requesting a meeting to discuss the sequence of events as outlined above.  Mike Berman confirmed that DGS had told him the terms of the contract were going to change and that two days before the expiration of the contract, he was told the contract would be extended only two months, until September 30.  When he asked what would happen after September 30, Berman said Margeson told him, “Nothing.  Fiscal issues prevent us from renewing.  It’s over.”  Berman said that one hour before a conference call with Margeson and DMPED to discuss the issue, Margeson sent the email to the vendors.

The “fiscal issues” Margeson had referred to were addressed in an email Wright received from DGS on responding to her email to the Mayor.  The DGS email states, in part:

“[t]he recent actions were taken in order to resolve an issue that the District was facing regarding that particular public space on Seventh Street. All leases and Licenses to Occupy that extend beyond a year require a review by the Chief Financial Officer of the District. Upon review, the CFO highlighted the fact that the street was financed with municipal bonds. Using bonds in this way could affect the District’s bond rating, which requires that we address this issue. Taking all considerations into account, the best solution was to extend the expired agreement for two more months and then request that the DGS on-the-ground management team begin managing the 300 block vendors in addition to their current responsibilities.”  (Ed. Note:  It is unclear why a one year contract could not be implemented.)

Wright says that the municipal bond issue is “bogus” and when she followed up with the Chief Financial Officer’s office was told that “use of 300 feet of the street by an operation as small as ours could have no effect on the city’s bond rating.”

Berman called the move a “power grab – theft.  It’s like a third world regime taking people’s business over for the government.”  He questioned why the municipal bond issue is coming up now and not two years ago, before Berman and Wright entered into protracted negotiations with the city over how to preserve the markets in the face of the Hine Development, and wondered whether the 300 block is the only street in the city where vendors operate under contract.  He vowed to “get to the bottom of this with whatever it takes,” saying he is exploring legal options, including a FOIA.  He went on, “This is how DC government treats business.  No notice, no due process, no compensation, no consideration, no communication…. Pretty ugly.”

Artist Joe Snyder, one of the vendors in the Arts and Crafts Market at Eastern Market expressed his concerns regarding Eastern Market taking over the management of the weekend flea markets, saying that the legal integration of the flea market into the Eastern Market operation is problematic. “How is it possible for Eastern Market to take over a private business,” he asks.  He also worries, “Though the market complex stands to gain considerable revenue by this bold and morally questionable move, they really are unaware of the potential chaos resulting from a forced merger.”  He questions whether the Eastern Market staff and security is prepared to deal with the management, collection of revenues, security, and logistics of a market twice the size of the current one.

Barry Margeson did not respond to a request for comment.

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The Week Ahead…. A Capitol Hill Safety Walk and Community Crime Meeting

First District Commander Jeff Brown engages residents on National Night Out, August 4, in Folger Park

First District Commander Jeff Brown engages residents on National Night Out, August 4, in Folger Park

The Week Ahead…. A Capitol Hill Safety Walk and Community Crime Meeting

City Officials and MPD Scramble After Dropping Ball on Hill East Crime Meeting

by Larry Janezich

Despite the recent increase in violent crime which has alarmed Capitol Hill residents and heightened awareness of the need for a greater commitment to community policing, MPD and city officials fumbled badly in a recent effort to connect with the Hill East community on the issue.

As late as July 27, city officials were reminding Hill East residents of an August 6 PSA 108 community crime meeting at Liberty Baptist Church.  In the same email, residents were urged to participate in an August 11 community safety walk with MPD and city officials.  ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven had requested MPD to schedule the community crime meeting.

Then, with no notice, the community crime meeting was cancelled.  The first word of the cancellation came from city officials who posted to Capitol Hill listservs on August 6 – the day of the meeting:

“There seems to be some confusion.  There is no PSA 108 meeting tonight.  Commander Brown [First District] is posting to the 1st District Group….Lt. Dykes and his team will be at the Hill East Community Walk on Tuesday August 11th and can answer any questions at that event.  We will meet at Eastern High School at 5:30pm and walk through the neighborhood to Potomac Metro…  In addition to MPD, other Gov’t officials will be present from Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Dept of Human Services, Dept of Behavioral Health to answer questions.”

Apparently, MPD decided that the community safety walk would take the place of the community crime meeting but failed to tell anyone.  Flahaven let it be known that he was unhappy both because of the lack of notice and the awkwardness of a community walk as a venue for questions and answers.

By August 9th city officials and MPD had reconsidered and decided to hold the PSA 108 community crime meeting after all; that meeting will occur at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church immediately following the walk.

The Tuesday, August 11 safety walk through the neighborhood with MPD, the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, local ANC commissioners and Hill East residents will begin at 5:30 pm at Eastern High School (1700 East Capitol Street SE) and proceed south through Hill East, ending around 7 pm at Liberty Baptist Church (527 Kentucky Ave SE).  In addition to the Mayor’s Office and MPD, representatives from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Department of Human Services and Department of Behavioral Health will be in attendance.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported an event last Thursday afternoon as follows:  Man arrested after witnesses report armed standoff outside [Potomac Avenue] Metro station http://wapo.st/1Uy6Zvp

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30 Day PSA Crime Maps Show Violent Crime Up on Capitol Hill

First District Violent Crimes, past 30 days

First District Violent Crimes, past 30 days

First District Property Crimes, Last 30 Days

First District Property Crimes, past 30 Days

30 Day PSA Crime Maps Show Violent Crime Up on Capitol Hill

Ed. Note:  Correction.  CHC erroneously reported that there would be a Crime Meeting PSA 108 Crime Meeting on September 6. CHC regrets the error.  Hill East PSA 108 Crime Meeting Thursday Night at Liberty Baptist Church

By Larry Janezich

Capitol Hill residents have been alarmed by the increase in violent crime this summer and MPD statistics justify those concerns.  In the First District, which includes Capitol Hill, violent crime over the past 30 days is up 23% over the previous 30 days and 41% over the same period last year.  There were three homicides in the last 30 days in the First District, one more than the previous 30 days.  Most of the increase in “violent crime” can be attributed to robbery with a gun, assault with a dangerous weapon (excluding a gun), and assault with dangerous weapon (gun).  Property crimes increased slightly over the last 30 days.

Map locating the three homicides in the First District in the last 30 days

Map locating the three homicides in the First District in the last 30 days

The problem is not unique to the First District and Capitol Hill.  On Monday, Police Chiefs from across the country convened in DC to discuss the recent increase in violent crime in general and homicides in particular.  According to a report by Will Greenberg in Tuesday’s Washington Post, police have not been able to discern the reason for the increase in violence.  Some of the trends which some say contribute to the problem include gang related activity and synthetic drugs.  The officials recommended stricter gun laws, harsher penalties for gun crimes, and improving community partnerships.

On Capitol Hill, the faltering ​effort at partnering with the community is evident at the mostly poorly attended PSA (Police Service Area) meetings.  ANC6B’s Constituent Services Committee, c​haired by ANC Commissioner Brian Flahaven, has undertaken the task of assessing ways to improve communications between the ANC and MPD​. ​

To that end, MPD could do its part by strengthening the presentations at the PSAs and making them more informative – perhaps by distributing copies of crime maps for the two or three previous months to help identify trends and hotspots.

​I have attended many of these meetings and quality of information varies to a considerable extent.  ​Routinely, officials presiding over a PSA meeting read​ a list of crime statistics for the past 30 days, citing whether there has been an increase or decrease over the previous month or the same period last year and take questions from those attending the meeting.  However, officers often seem unprepared for questions regarding a particular noteworthy crime, one that has stirred neighborhood concerns and drove turnout out the meeting.  In addition, MPD officials presiding over ​a particular​ PSA meeting often express ignorance​ of or​ indifference to what is happening in a neighboring PSA, despite the fact that the residents ​of Capitol Hill obviously do not vest all of their concerns in just one arbitrarily drawn area on a map; we live, walk, dine and move between and among different PSAs on a daily basis.

​Efforts to improve communications at the ANC level would seem to be justified – one idea worthy of consideration is ​the ​inclusion of an ANC representative in the weekly or monthly MPD ​”​Core Team​”​ ​meetings.  The Core Team was established by the Office of the Mayor several years ago to operate at the ward level and is comprised of MPD, DPW, DCRA, DOH, OAG and perhaps others, to address coordinating city efforts to address problem areas.

ANC6B will consider public safety recommendations of its Constituent Outreach Committee at its September monthly meeting.  Some of these will include a proposed letter to MPD asking for reinstating publicizing of narratives associated with individual crimes – a practice dropped by MPD some years ago, but one that helps residents understand patterns of crime, if there are any to be discerned – and proposals to reinvigorate the PSA meetings.

PSA 108, featuring MPD Lt. James Dykes, meets at 7:00pm, at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE, Thursday evening.  ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven says, “I encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about recent criminal activity and incidents in the neighborhood to attend the meeting. Lt. Dykes and his officers will provide the latest information and answer resident questions.”

The city has seven police districts, each divided into Police Service Areas.  Capitol Hill’s First District has 8 PSAs.  See here: http://1.usa.gov/1J3W2Kp

Below are maps of the violent crimes in PSAs on or near Capitol Hill for the last 30 days and the comparable number for the 30 days prior to that.

PSA 103 Violent Crime, Last 30 Days

PSA 103 Violent Crime, Last 30 Days – up from 6 to 7

PSA 104 Violent Crime, Last 30 Days

PSA 104 Violent Crime, Last 30 Days – up from 9 to 22

PSA 105 Violent Crime, Past 30 Days

PSA 105 Violent Crime, Past 30 Days – up from 4 to 14

PSA 106 Violent Crime, Past 30 Days

PSA 106 Violent Crime, Past 30 Days – down from 9 to 5

PSA 107 Violet Crime, Past 30 Days

PSA 107 Violent Crime, Past 30 Days – down from 10 to 5

PSA 108 Violent Crime, Last 30 Days

PSA 108 Violent Crime, Last 30 Days – down from 13 to 12

A useful website that is underpublicized at the PSA 108 and PSA 107 meetings this reporter has attended is the DC Police Crime Mapping website: http://crimemap.dc.gov/

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The Week Ahead….Hill East PSA 108 Crime Meeting on Thursday – and Today’s Photos

A building permit on the front of the National Community Church on Barracks Row authorizes extension of the facade for a ticket booth and the installation of a theater sign on the facade of the second story.  Evidently the Miracle on 8th Street is a step closer to reality.  See the CHC posting of June 16, 2012 here:  http://bit.ly/1N38FIW

A building permit on the front of the National Community Church on Barracks Row authorizes extension of the facade for a ticket booth and the installation of a theater sign on the facade of the second story. Evidently the Miracle on 8th Street is a step closer to reality.   For more, and a rendering of the sign, see the CHC posting of June 16, 2012 here:  http://bit.ly/1N38FIW

While you're checking out that building permit for the Miracle Theater, look up and check out the fabulous pressed tin portico overhead.

While you’re checking out that building permit for the Miracle Theater, look up and check out the fabulous pressed tin portico overhead.

Meanwhile, at 8th and L on lower 8th Street, the summer beer garden - The Brig -  inches incrementally toward completion.

Meanwhile, at 8th and L on lower 8th Street, the summer beer garden – The Brig – inches incrementally toward completion. No word yet on the “new concept” restaurant slated to occupy the former Tortilla Chicken across the street.  See previous postings on both items here: http://bit.ly/1zdKXmE

Eastern Market Scene, Sunday, c. 3:30pm

Eastern Market Scene, Sunday, c. 3:30pm

Frame of Mine Next to Go?

Finally, Barracks Row Main Street Announced that Frame of Mine will relocate to the space at 545 8th Street, formerly occupied by the Playseum.  That space will be shared by another yet to be named retail tenant.  For more on that, go here: http://bit.ly/1SyA3W7

The Week Ahead….Hill East PSA 108 Crime Meeting on Thursday

Light In August could describe the schedule for Ward Six ANCs this month.  There’s nothing much until some ANC6A committee meetings mid-month.  Otherwise, the featured event for the week ahead is Thursday’s PSA 108 meeting, moved from August 20 owing to the recent increase in crime in Hill East.  CHC will post crime maps from the last 30 days prior to that meeting.

Monday, August 3

1.       The Office of Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden hosts a meeting at the Rosedale Rec Center (1701 Gales Street NE) at 6:30pm. The “Vision Tour” offers an opportunity for residents to share and discuss the future of the “East of End” of ANC 6A and 7D01…including education, families, economic development, job growth, safety and health.

Tuesday, August 4

1.       North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association (NLPNA) holds a potluck supper 7:00pm – 8:30pm in Lincoln Park.  All are welcome.

2.       National Night Out (MPD 1st District) 5:30 – 8:30pm, Folger Park, 3rd and D Streets, SE.  Neighbors celebrate community unity, safety information, and recognize citizen volunteers.  For more, go here:  http://mpdc.dc.gov/node/206682

Thursday, August 6

1.       PSA 108, featuring MPD Lt. James Dykes, meets at 7:00pm, at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.  ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven says, “I encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about recent criminal activity and incidents in the neighborhood to attend the meeting. Lt. Dykes and his officers will provide the latest information and answer resident questions.”

2.       PSA 107, featuring Lt. Eddie Fowler, meets at 7:00pm, at SE Library.

3.       Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) meets at 5:30pm at Southeast Library, lower level to discuss the August FOSEL book sale, and other matters.

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