Monthly Archives: January 2013

Police Negligence Charged in Shooting Aftermath on Capitol Hill: Are Morale Problems Plaguing the MPD?

Police Negligence Charged in Shooting Aftermath on Capitol Hill:  Are Morale Problems Plaguing the MPD?

by Larry Janezich

A little after 3:00 pm on December 26, 2012, suspects in a stolen vehicle riddled their targeted victim at 14th and K Streets, SE, with fifteen bullets and then fled the scene.  Moments later, the suspects turned the car into an alley on Capitol Hill and hit a standing wall.

A witness who heard the crash viewed the suspects from a distance and observed them taking flight.  The witness gave chase, but, unable to keep visual contact, did not actually encounter the four men involved until the park between Pennsylvania Avenue and D Street and 8th and 9th Street, SE. 

In the foot chase that followed, the witness observed the four going underground to the Eastern Market Metro Station.  The witness then stopped pursuit and ran to a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) vehicle parked on the small triangle outside of Dunkin’ Doughnuts at 8th and Pennsylvania.  It was raining and cold, and the witness had to knock on the window to get the attention of the officer seated in inside.  According to the witness and a subsequent complaint filed, the conversation proceeded as follows:

“Officer, a bunch of young guys just stole a car and crashed it.  They ran into the Metro.  If you come down with me, I can finger them for you.”

The officer, who was filling out paperwork and was likely ending his shift, replied, “Go down yourself.  I’m busy.”

“But officer, I’m unarmed.  I don’t even know if these guys are armed.”

“Get the Metro Transit Police if you’re scared.”

Once it was clear that the officer had no intention of getting out of the car, the witness left him and went down into the Metro alone.  After a brief conversation with the Metro manager on duty, who said no transit police were in the station at that time, the witness returned to ground level and made a note of the squad car number of the officer who had refused assistance.

Only later did the witness discover that the men in question were wanted in connection with the shooting at 14th and K, SE.  The witness filed a complaint with the MPD several days later, after no arrests had been made in the case.

For complaints other than excessive use of force, the MPD’s review process is entirely internal and conducted through Internal Affairs.  The witness/complainant sat for an interview with MPD in mid-January, and stressed the importance of obtaining Metro video which would clearly show the witness/complainant entering and exiting the Metro station alone.

Days later, at a PSA 108 meeting which CaptitolHillCorner attended, an MPD officer provided an account of the shooting contrary to the facts as indicated by the witness/complainant.  After providing information that could be used to locate a house where the witness lived – inaccurate information, as it turned out – the MPD officer went on to say that the witness/complainant had successfully located a police officer in the Metro, and he made no mention of the refusal of service.  It was uncertain why the officer chose to reveal the information about the witness, and it was unclear why the officer made it sound as though the MPD had acted appropriately that day. 

There are other problems with the MPD handling of this case.  CaptitolHillCorner attended a public safety meeting the night before the PSA 108 meeting.  At that meeting, officials of the MPD, including Chief Lanier, described the investigation into this case.  The accounts provided on the two consecutive nights differed in several aspects, including the number of suspects in custody and whether any had been charged.  On the second night, when asked if any of these developments had transpired in the previous 24 hours, the MPD officer providing the briefing said “no.”  When CapitolHillCorner contacted the MPD to clarify the details and to confirm the information that had been given at these public meetings, officials of the MPD requested that the blog refrain from publishing details disclosed to the public at these meetings. 

Does the MPD Have an Attitude Problem?

Widespread reports of the study by Human Rights Watch that accused the MPD of dissuading victims of sexual assault to file charges have been met by Chief Lanier with sharp rebuttals, including her insistence that anecdotal accounts of appalling behavior by detectives or officers are isolated and not in line with the character of her department.

But message boards and listservs discussing the Human Rights Watch study have included numerous anecdotes in line with a culture of dismissiveness toward DC citizens who wish or need to file a crime report.  Though not as serious as the allegations in the cases of sexual assault, other examples traded among neighbors and friends in recent days confirm that police officers can and have discouraged the filing of police reports in the cases of property crime, and sometimes they have flatly declined to do so. 

While few anecdotes aired reach the level of contemptuousness reported by the witness/complainant for 12/26, it is clear that one of the biggest problems facing Chief Lanier in the sexual assault debacle is that many residents recognize the MPD attitude of dismissiveness described in the report. 

What Accounts for the Attitude Problem?

It’s possible that the pattern of dissuading citizens from filing reports can be traced to an informal policy of the MPD to keep crime numbers as low as possible.  If so, then the MPD’s current tack could be viewed as a strategy either of management or of workers trying to appease management, roughly analogous to teacher-abetted cheating on school exams.  Viewers of the television series, “The Wire,” for example, will be familiar with COMPSTAT, or the practice of police management that focuses on upward or downward trends in crime statistics and rewards officers and police districts accordingly. 

Another possibility is that police officers can be just plain lazy.  This explanation at least provides a context for understanding the behavior of the patrol officer on 12/26, but it seems imperfect at best.  Officers know that, inevitably, they will be called upon to file police reports, so their resistance to doing so has to be seen at least as somewhat strategic – discouraging certain reports over others.

Finally, another possibility is that the entire MPD is suffering from a deep morale problem.  MPD officers have not had a cost of living raise or a compensation raise since 2007.  They have not had a collective bargaining agreement since 2008.  Mayor Fenty delegated negotiation of contracts to Chief Lanier, most likely in an attempt to shore up her ability to manage and execute her priorities.  That authority expired last April and Lanier signed a new five year $1.2 million contract last year which did not contain that authority. 

Federal workers familiar with stagnant salaries can understand how work performance suffers, though few (if any) would defend jeopardizing public safety as a result. And it would be too much to claim that officers and detectives of the MPD are engaged in an unannounced and informal job action to protest the failure to sign a new contract.  But it is not too much to suggest that the deep morale problems that seem to pervade the department are in part the result of this failure.      

Is the Attitude Problem Affecting Service Delivery?

Capitol Hill is in the midst of a crime wave, though its exact duration and dimensions cannot be determined yet, owing to a technical transition in how the police compile statistics and the delay that this transition has caused. 

Obviously the refusal of the officer on 12/26 alleged by the witness/complainant imperils public safety.  The suspects who remained at large that day have turned up in other crimes – including as a victim, as the MPD claims that one of the four suspects was subsequently a homicide victim. 

Does the MPD’s more typical lackadaisical attitude undermine public safety?  It is impossible to know the answer to this question, though it seems reasonable to assume that the MPD is less effective in thwarting crime if it does not have an accurate picture of it in the first place.  The police union has gone on record disputing the figures cited by police officials to illustrate that city-wide crime has gone down. 

In the face of the crime spike, many Capitol Hill residents have gravitated toward a solution put forward by Councilmember Tommy Wells and, more recently, Council Chair Phil Mendelson:  hire more cops. 

It is unclear what this will accomplish.  First and most obvious, the MPD at 3,900 officers already has the highest ratio of cops to citizens in the country – a fact that has been true for a long time.  MPD traditionally points to the extraordinary number of events – like the inauguration – to justify its size, but these claims must also take the number of auxiliary forces in the area (Park Police, Capitol Police) into account as well.  Even in the face of events that drain staff, the MPD has a lot of cops.  Second, according to Council Chair Mendelson, new hires have been requested in order to beef up police presence in some dozen “hot spots” detailed in a new crime report that has gone to  – or will shortly go to – the city council from Lanier.  It is unclear what kind of difference these new cops will make regarding crime committed on residential streets.  Third, it goes without saying that new cops will not make any sort of difference if they sit in their cars as violent crime unfolds around them.  Finally, these new cops will not be on the streets for some time, so even if new hires represent some kind of solution, it is not a resolution of the current crime wave on Capitol Hill. 

It is highly unlikely that there is one “solution” to the crime affecting the neighborhood.  But it does seem clear that the MPD can and should elevate its conversation with the public.  It can and should: 1) insure that officers respond to requests for assistance, even if it’s raining; 2) file each and every crime report; 3) tell the public more about its strategies; and provide information at public meetings that can be backed up and confirmed by the MPD Public Information Office. 

At the January 16 Public Safety meeting, Chief Lanier alluded to a policing strategy that appears to be hot-spot policing, focusing on those locations where crime recurs.  But this is only a guess – and one that, if true, requires taking greater account of the need for patrol and police response in residential neighborhoods.  It’s possible that neighborhoods could benefit from other strategies.  Some of these include gun-intensive enforcement – prioritizing those crimes in which a gun was used; disorder policing – as New York City did under Mayor Giuliani where even little crimes were pursued with vigor (there are a lot of stolen packages in this neighborhood that the MPD should be more serious about); or community policing – where the police look to shore up relations with the community because it is usually the community that produces the most important information about crime (why do we encounter so much indifference from the police)?  It is safe to assume that we have all heard the lecture about using smartphones in public; some listen, and some don’t.  The police are not wrong to repeat this lecture time and again, but do they have anything else to say?

So far the police have had nothing to say about their actions on 12/26 or its aftermath.  Requests for comment on either police negligence on that day or the false information provided to the public about that day have met with the same response:  both matters “are currently under investigation.” The witness/complainant told me that despite an initiative taken by the witness/complainant, First District Commander Hickson has not reached out to discuss any of these matters or apologize for the alleged actions of officers under his command.


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The Week Ahead…..

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

January 29, Thursday

ANC 6B Executive Committee Meets 7:00pm – 8:00pm, in Hill Center. 

January 30, Wednesday

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets 7:00m-9:00pm in Eastern Market’s North Hall. 

January 31, Thursday

Pennsylvania-Potomac Avenue Intersection Meeting, 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Payne Elementary School, 305 15th Street, SE.  DDOT will discuss plans to change the Penn-Potomac intersection to improve pedestrian safety.

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Update on solvent

Dc water officials are on the scene and speculate that diesel fuel was introduced into the sewer system.  Workers are now taking steps to mitigate the odor and will continue their investigation.

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Persistent Smell of Solvent Brings Hazmat to Capitol Hill


Firefighters Investigate on 10th Street SE

Firefighters Investigate on 10th Street SE

by Larry Janezich

A solvent-like smell detected in a range of home east of Eastern Market brought several fire trucks and a two-truck HazMat unit to Capitol Hill this afternoon.

Residents who discovered neighbors with the same problem decided to call the city authorities.  The homes affected range from 10th St. SE, Independence Ave, C Street SE, and South Carolina Avenue.  The bathroom was commonly reported as the site of the suspicious odor.

After investigating, firefighters could not determine the cause of the odor and referred the matter to DC Water Authorities (WASA).

Check this blog for updates.



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Community Turns Out on Capitol Power Plant Concerns

150 People Turn Out for Community Meeting on Capitol Hill Power Plant Expansion

150 People Turn Out for Community Meeting on Capitol Hill Power Plant Expansion

Steve Ours, (left), Chief, Permitting Branch, Air  Quality Division, DC DOE and Councilmember Tommy Wells at Thursday Night's Meeting on the Capitol Power Plant

Community Turns Out on Capitol Power Plant Concerns – Wells Looks at Legislation to Ban Coal Burning in DC

by Larry Janezich

Almost 150 people turned out last night at United Methodist Church for Councilmember Wells’ community meeting on a permit requested by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to build two new cogeneration systems at the Capitol Power Plant (CPP).  The expansion could increase the level of emissions of the plant over the output of recent years, and continue the use of coal as a fuel – under limited circumstances.  Although invited to attend, the AOC declined to send a representative, leaving Steve Ours of the DC Department of Energy (DOE) to answer questions about what is currently at the facility, what the request for expansion entails, and what the community would get when it’s done. 

Wells opened the meeting, summarizing the situation to date, and announced he was “looking at legislation to ban the use of coal in DC.  We don’t want to interfere with the conversion, but this is the only place in DC which burns coal.”  Such legislation would have to survive a veto by Congress.

Steve Ours explained that the construction of the new systems would eliminate the right the CPP now has to burn as much coal as they want in the plant’s two largest boilers, and cited the increased efficiency and the lessened need to draw electricity – which is produced by coal fired plants elsewhere – from the grid. 

One of the major issues for the community is that the AOC wants to define its limits on emissions as those the plant experienced during the cold winters of 2007 – 2008, rather than the emissions in recent warmer years.  Steve Ours held out some hope that the baseline emission standard could be based on later years, further restricting the use of coal. 

Nearby residents of the plant voiced their belief that it is ridiculous that in 2013, the plant has to rely on fossil fuels.  The Sierra Club’s Jim Dougherty cited the suspicion that coal was continuing to be used for symbolic purposes under pressure from members of Congress from coal producing states.  He named specifically former Senator Byrd of West Virginia and current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.  Other environmentally active groups, including Greenpeace and the Energy Justice Network were also represented in the audience.  ANC6B Commissioner Ivan Frishberg urged the DOE to look at legal questions regarding health impacts on the neighborhood and nearby schools and urged Congressional consideration of the use of solar page.    

Wells asserted that “this neighborhood is not going to be a symbol for either side,” but stated he would not be part of a decision which will keep a coal-burning plant in DC.  “That’s why we need to address this issue with legislation,” he said.  “I don’t want to retain the capacity to burn coal, because you never know who is going to be in government who wants to make a symbolic point of burning coal.”


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The Week Ahead – (and some Inaugural Day specials/hours for local establishments)

West Front of US Capitol, January 20, 2013, circa 3:00pm

West Front of US Capitol, January 20, 2013, circa 3:00pm

Constituents Line Up For  Access to the Cannon House Office Building to Pick Up Inaugural Tickets from Members

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, January 21

Some neighborhood establishments will open early, close early, stay open late, or feature Inaugural Day specials.  A few follow:

Boxcar – Opens at 9:30am.  Brunch.

Cava – Opens at 5:00pm.  Dinner.

Chesapeake Room – Opens at 10:00am.  Brunch.

Eat DC-3 – Opens at 8:00am.  Serving the “egg”- nauguration dog.

18th Amendment – Opens at 9:00am. Brunch.

Hanks – Opens at 11:00am.  Brunch.  Extended hours, open as late as traffic permits.

Hawk & Dove – Opens at 11:00am.  Brunch.

Matchbox – Opens at 8:00am.  Brunch.

Monmartre – Opens at 11:00am.  Lunch.  Closes at 5:00pm.

Pour House – Opens at 10:00am.

Peregrine – Open regular hours, starting at 7:00am.

Sonoma – Opens at 9:30am with extended hours.  $29 three course prix fixe menu.

Ted’s Bulletin – Open regular hours starting at 7:00am.

Tune Inn – Opens at 8:00am.  Hours extended, kitchen open until 4:00am.

Tunicliffs – Opens at 11:00am. Viewing party, brunch, beers from Chicago Goose Island Brewery.

Yes! – Opens at 5:00am.  (Five am)

Zest – Opens at 8:00am.

American Legion, Post 8, 3rd & D Street SE will be open all day starting at 7:00am to serve as a rest stop for the community going to and from the Inaugural.

7:00 am – Coffee/Donuts/Soda/Water available, and Lounge Bathrooms Open

10:00 am – Bar Open, hot dogs and chili available

10:30 am – Big Screen TV on in Event Hall

Tuesday, January 22

ANC 6B Special Call Meeting on Standing Rules.  7:00pm at Brent Elementary School, 301 North Carolina Avenue, SE.

Thursday, January 24

ANC6B Zoning Regulation Task Force meets at 6:30pm in Hill Center to continue working on recommendations to the Zoning Commission regarding proposed changes.  See:

Thursday, January 24

Developer of the proposed five story residential building at 401-403 15th Street will answer questions from the community regarding the project at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue.  Meeting sponsored by ANC Commissioners Brian Flahaven and Nicole Opkins.

Thursday, January 24

Councilmember Tommy Wells hosts a community meeting to discuss the planned continued use of the Capitol Power Plant to periodically burn coal, despite the fact it can operate on natural gas.   6:30pm to 8:00pm, United Methodist Church – 421 Seward Square SE.   See: and

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Wrapping Up The Week: Crime – Stuart Hobson – Eastern Market Legislation – CHRS’s $250,000 – Info Hub

Residents Turn Out For Crime Meeting at Maury Elementary

Residents Turn Out For Crime Meeting at Maury Elementary

Councilchair Mendelson and Councilmember Wells.  Chief Lanier Looks On.

Councilchair Mendelson and Councilmember Wells. Chief Lanier Looks On.

Wrapping Up The Week

Crime – Stuart Hobson – Eastern Market Legislation – CHRS’s $250,000 – Info Hub

by Larry Janezich

Crime Meeting

Almost 200 community members turned out for Wednesday night’s Public Safety Meeting hosted by Councilmember Wells (new Chair of the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee), at Maury Elementary School.  MPD was represented or accompanied by a host of officials, including Chief Lanier, Deputy Chief Grooms, 1st District Commander Hickson, 5th District Commander Solberg, Lt. Kaufman of the Homicide Unit, city attorneys, and officials from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.  The large turnout of public officials was apparently meant to demonstrate the city’s commitment to solving two recent community-alarming crimes on Capitol Hill:  the murder of Jason Emma and the shooting at 14th and K.  Chief Lanier detailed the status of these investigations, but divulged more details on the latter.  

Police continued to be close-mouthed about the Emma shooting, but acknowledged that the community had generated 70 or 80 phone calls offering information.   Police also pointed to a distinctive outer garment worn by one of the two persons of interest caught on Maury Elementary schools camera who are being sought in connection with the crime, and they asked the public to be alert for the jacket.  

Council Chair Mendelson who attended to announce his support for $2.8 million in funding for hiring 90 officers this year – news those present welcomed with applause – but there were no updates on the issues which could have more to do with reducing crime on Capitol Hill: namely the expired police contract, a commitment to gun-focused enforcement, and a strategy for dealing with juvenile crime and detention.

Stuart Hobson Middle School

Stuart Hobson is adding a major museum/arts addition and the initial concept design was sent back to the drawing board by HPRB for additional work.  Initially, both ANC6C and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society had issues with the design.  After design modifications were made for an upcoming HPRB reconsideration (though it is not on HPRB’s schedule for January 24), the ANC signed off on it, and the CHRS (really its Historic Preservation Committee) backed off slightly from opposing it to not supporting it.  HPRB staff has found the design “not inconsistent” with the historic district.  Neighbors of the school and parents of children attending are extremely anxious about moving the project forward and have brought some pressure on CHRS to not do anything to delay the project.  Last week the board voted to send a letter to the Stuart Hobson PTA saying in effect, they are one voice among many and the final decision lies with HPRB.

Eastern Market Legislation

Councilmember Wells plans to reintroduce his bill to create a new managing authority for Eastern Market.  Last year’s bill died at year’s end, unable to find the light of day after Mayor Gray announced his opposition.  The new bill will be tweaked before being reintroduced, but no indication yet what that tweaking will involve.  The resolution of the flea market issue is still outstanding; efforts at finding a solution having stalled last fall prior to the general election. 

CHRS Receives $250,000 As Part of the PUD Settlement for H Street NE Project

Several years ago, a protracted negotiation with Louis Dreyfuss Property Group over the PUD application for the company’s development between 2nd and 3rd Streets on H Street, NE, ended with a settlement under which CHRS was granted $83,000 to support historic preservation efforts outside of the historic district.  That money was devoted to the “Beyond the Boundaries Project.”.  Another part of the agreement pledged $250,000 to be allocated by the developer for two programs: $150,000 for repairs within view of public space to homes between 2nd and 4th and F and H Streets, NE.  Another $80,000 would be to increase energy efficiency and other improvements to the homes.  CHRS was awarded $20,000 to administer the programs.  CHRS has not yet set up a process to determine which projects would be funded, but one suggestion at Tuesday night’s CHRS board meeting was that CHRS appoint a committee of residents in the square to determine how to allocate the money.  Another suggestion was that CHRS use its $20,000 to expand the Capitol Hill Historic District to that area. 

Info Hub for Eastern Market Metro Back on Track

After stalling last year, the Eastern Market Metro Hub seems to have its wheels back on and it’s likely Chuck Burger will be able to announce that a memorandum of understanding has been reached with the city that will allow the project to go forward this year.  The endeavor has seen stop and go progress since it was first put forward in December of 2010. 

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Firefighters Respond to Fire at Hine Jr. High Tuesday Night

Firefighters Respond to Fire on grounds of Hine Jr. High Tuesday Night

Firefighters Respond to Fire on grounds of Hine Jr. High Tuesday Night

photo 2

Photo credit:  Jonathan Page

Firefighters Respond to Fire at Hine Jr. High

by Larry Janezich

Firefighters responded to a fire at the former Hine Jr. High School about 11:30pm on Tuesday night.  The fire apparently was caused by a homeless person who started a campfire behind the shrubs on the property facing 8th Street.  According to neighbors, police have been involved several times previously on this issue.

Concerned neighbors have written to Councilmember Wells to inquire who is responsible for cleanup of burned debris along 8th Street and removing remaining shrubbery to prevent reoccurrence of this problem. 

Neighbors are understandably concerned about fire, many residents remembering the early morning 3 alarm fire that all but destroyed Eastern Market on April 30, 2007.

The Hine building is scheduled to be demolished starting sometime this fall to make way for Stanton-Eastbanc’s mixed use development.

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Hawk & Dove Set To Open Thursday, January 17

What You See As You Enter

What You See As You Enter

The Elevated First Floor Bar to the Left

The Elevated First Floor Bar to the Left

First Floor Seating to the Right Looking Out Toward Pennsylvania Avenue

First Floor Seating to the Right Looking Out Toward Pennsylvania Avenue

Upstairs Bar Looking Toward Pennsylvania Avenue

Upstairs Bar Looking Toward Pennsylvania Avenue

Upstairs Seating Area Looking toward Rear of Building, Bar on Right

Upstairs Seating Area Looking toward Rear of Building, Bar on Right

Chef Magnanelli

Chef Magnanelli

Hawk & Dove Open Kitchen.  Above, The Original Exterior Sign Circa 1967

Hawk & Dove Open Kitchen. Above, The Original Exterior Sign Circa 1967

The Hawk & Dove Set to Open Thursday, January 17

by Larry Janezich (with thanks to Maggie Hall)

The Hawk & Dove expects to open on Thursday, January 17, according to manager Jack McAuliffe.  The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in February, but moved its debut up, in part, to take advantage of Inauguration traffic.  McAuliffe, until recently the general manager at Boxcar, another Xavier Cerveras enterprise, said, “we want to bring a totally different experience to the block – try to do something new with a fun feel.”

One of the innovations McAuliffe brought to the new Hawk & Dove is an original cocktail menu, some of which feature specialty infusions made in-house.  Eight original specialty cocktails are featured as either “Dove Tails” or “Hawk Tails.”  Among the former is “The Mexicana,” built around hibiscus and lime infused tequila; among the latter, “The Godfather,” based on espresso infused scotch.  The restaurant’s two bars will serve 18 beers on tap, including two from local breweries; Heavy Seas’ Loose Cannon IPA, and Chocolate City’s Cornerstone Copper Ale.

Chef Jeremy Magnanelli says the menu aspires to modern American pub fare “a log-cabiny feel incorporated into the food,” with flatbread and pizza from their open flame oven, visible to patrons in the restaurant’s open kitchen.  Menu options include Guinness battered brie, and the intriguing three cheese polenta served in a cast iron bowl topped with bacon and an egg and served with a splash of truffle oil.  Entrees will include Sicilian eggplant ragu with polenta, salmon, steaks, and roasted chicken.

Magnanelli says the Hawk & Dove will rely on locally or regionally produced products, including bacon from Benton’s Farm, pork from Duroc pigs locally produced, steaks from Creekstone Ranch, poultry from Freebird Ranch and produce from Lady Moon farm.  The chef comes from Cerveras’s Senart’s Oyster Bar and has a background in Italian, classical French, and American cooking.  Before Senart’s, he worked at Marcel’s, The Inn at Little Washington, and Bluepoint in North Carolina.

The Hawk & Dove will be open at 4:30pm initially (including Inaugural Day) but will start serving lunch on Friday, January 25th.  According to McAuliffe, live blue grass music upstairs could be a part of future weekend brunches, but “that’s a ways off.”


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The Week Ahead…..

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, January 15

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE.

Wednesday, January 16

Councilmember Tommy Wells hosts a public security meeting featuring Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Commander Daniel Hickson, 7:30pm, Maury Elementary School – located at the intersection of Constitution and 13th Place. 

The murder of Jason Emma on Christmas Eve happened nearby.  Neighbors have been demanding more police on the streets.  Last Thursday, Council Chair Mendelson explained why more police on the streets is not necessarily the answer, that there is nothing the city council can do in the short term to address what some see as a crime spike on Capitol Hill, and said it was the job of the Mayor and the police department to deal with the crime problem.  He also alluded to a morale problem on the force, and noted that police officials and the Fraternal Order of Police have not yet been able to negotiate a police union-city contract which expired two years ago.  Residents are likely to be looking for more than calls for greater public participation in being the eyes and ears of the police force and advice about how they can avoid becoming victims.  Commander Hickson has excelled at police/community public relations in the past, but here he will be dealing with an alarmed and demanding audience.


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