Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Senate “Swamp Site” on Wednesday Afternoon, Circa 4:00pm – Photo Essay

On North Carolina Avenue, "Federal Workers Are American Workers"

On North Carolina Avenue, “Federal Workers Are American Workers”

ON AIR - CNN Live

ON AIR – CNN Live

ON AIR - CNN Live

ON AIR – CNN Live

ON AIR - CNN Live

ON AIR – CNN Live

ON AIR - CNN Live

ON AIR – CNN Live

Sign Holders Providing a Back Drop for Television Cameras

Sign Holders Providing a Back Drop for Television Cameras

Security Aide Explaining that Signs Interfere with the Message

Security Aide Explaining that Signs Interfere with the Message

The Senate “Swamp Site” on Wednesday Afternoon, Circa 4:00pm – Photo Essay

by Larry Janezich

Capitol Hill Corner visited the Senate “Swamp Site” on the U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday afternoon, following the announcement that a deal had been struck between Senate negotiators to reopen the government until January 15 and to extend the debt ceiling until February 7.

The “Swamp Site” – so named by television standup crews who found the area perpetually wet when the media interview location was established in the 1970’s – is one of the so-called free standup areas on the Capitol grounds where accredited members of the media can set up live television capability at any time without prior clearance to conduct interviews.

Wednesday afternoon, CHC caught Senators being interviewed, reacting to the announcement of the deal reached in the Senate.  Protestors took advantage of the live television cameras to express their unhappiness with the government shutdown.  The schoolchildren pictured, from Galt, California, were unable to visit museums and chose the opportunity to urge the Congress to reopen the government.  A security aide, explaining to sign holders that they had every right to be there but were distracting from the message the politicians were trying to get out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on The Senate “Swamp Site” on Wednesday Afternoon, Circa 4:00pm – Photo Essay

Filed under Uncategorized

Stanton-EastBanc Asks DC Court of Appeals to Ignore Hine Lease Provisions

Hine Junior High

Hine Junior High

Stanton-EastBanc Asks DC Court of Appeals to Ignore Hine Lease Provisions

Opponents Fault DMPED for Failure to Release Hine Documents

by Larry Janezich

Attorneys for Stanton-EastBanc have asked the DC Court of Appeals to disallow the submission the Hine development land lease as evidence which reveals that DC taxpayers will pay for almost $2 million in benefits and amenities that the Zoning Commission credited to the developer when they approved the Hine PUD process.  In a October 10, 2013 letter to the court, Greenstein Delorme & Luchs, attorneys for SEB, argued that the rule allowing submission of evidence at this stage only pertains to the decision of courts and that plaintiffs had the document in question prior to the court hearing.

Oliver Hall, attorney for the Hine Coalition appealing the Zoning Commission decision, responded on October 15, asserting the propriety of submitting the additional evidence, citing that it had been introduced orally at the hearing, and while it was always available to the developers, became available to petitioners only by filing a FOIA request.

Significantly, Hall’s letter states, “Stanton-EastBanc withheld this information, and permitted the Zoning Commission to make findings that are materially misleading, if not false, because it lacked the very information that Stanton-EastBanc withheld.”

Separately, Hall said, “The lease was discussed extensively during the Court hearing on September 26, 2013.  SEB now hopes to suppress this evidence that it misled the public and misled the Zoning Commission about key terms of this deal.”  Capitol Hill Corner recently reported the filings related to DMPED’s failure to make the Hine development documents available here:  http://bit.ly/19IqahR

Concern over transparency in the development process has been voiced elsewhere.  On September 24, at an economic development roundtable which included a discussion of the Hine development held by Councilmember Muriel Bowser, she pledged her assistance in making the Hine documents public.  Bowser registered a note of resignation about the deal when she said, “Maybe we didn’t get a good deal (on Hine) but we can’t unwind it,” but she also noted that “stepping up the standard of proactive release of documents” would be in the public interest, and offered her assistance to Mary Fraker, who testified on behalf of the Hine coalition, to expedite that process.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Charles Allen Launches Bid for Ward Six Council Seat from Hill East

Charles Allen Announces Candidacy for City Council, October 15, 2013

Charles Allen Announces Candidacy for City Council, October 15, 2013

Host Francis Campbell Greets Allen at the Campaign Kick-off

Host Francis Campbell Greets Allen at the Campaign Kick-off

Allen Confers with Campaign Finance Chairs Steve and Nicky Cymrot (left) and Donna Scheeder of EMCAC

Allen Confers with Campaign Finance Chairs Steve and Nicky Cymrot (left) and Donna Scheeder of EMCAC

More than 50 Supporters Join Allen to Launch His Campaign

More than 50 Supporters Join Allen to Launch His Campaign

Charles Allen Launches  Bid for Ward Six Council Seat from Hill East

by Larry Janezich

Charles Allen chose Hill East to launch his bid to succeed his boss, current Ward Six Councilmember Tommy Wells who is running for Mayor. More than fifty supporters turned out for the event which was hosted by ANC6B Commissioner Francis Campbell.  Allen was introduced by ANC6B Commissioner Nicole Opkins.  ANC6B Commissioners Dave Garrison and Kirsten Oldenburg also attended the event.

In announcing his candidacy, Allen cited his long service working in health care, the non-profit Bread for the City, Howard Dean, DC for Democracy, and his seven years as Chief of Staff for Wells.

His number one issue throughout the campaign, he said, would be schools and education.  Additional issues he will focus on include aging in place, with health care for seniors being a priority; infrastructure and the way we move around the city; affordable housing beyond the mushrooming stock of studio apartments; neighbor-based development – particularly Reservation 13 and Hill East – to make sure other neighborhoods are served by retail; and safety and security issues.

Allen announced that the well-connected Steve and Nicky Cymrot will head up his finance team.  The Cymrots have been active in the Capitol Hill real estate business and were founders of Riverby Books and the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.  They were also the prime movers behind the restoration of the Old Naval Hospital, now the Hill Center.

Also attending the event were Donna Scheeder, Chair of Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, Wells’ Ward Six campaign coordinator, Chuck Burger, who is active in numerous Hill civic organizations,  ACN6A Chair David Holmes, and ANC6A Commissioners Nick Alberti and Omar Mahmud.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead….

The Week Ahead….

By Larry Janezich

Tuesday, October 15

CHRS Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm in Capitol Townhomes, 6th and I Streets, SE.

Tuesday, October 15

ANC6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm in Sherwood Recreation Center, Corner of 10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Update on status of Cusbah protest hearing.

Discussion of license renewals for: H Street Country Club at 1335 H Street

NE,  Rock N Roll Hotel at 1353 H Street NE, Liberty Tree at 1016 H Street NE,

 Rose’s Dejavu at 1378 H Street NE, Sahra Hooka Lounge at 1200 H Street

NE and discussion of Sahra’s request to amend its Settlement Agreement.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ANC6D will hold a special meeting at 7:00pm in the ANC Conference Room at 1101 Fourth Street, SW, Suite 130-W.   This special meeting has been called for one purpose only:

ANC 6D will hold an election for a new Treasurer from among the remaining Commissioners following the death of our Treasurer, Ron McBee. ANC 6D bylaws require that such an election must be held within seven days of such a vacancy.  The regularly scheduled October meeting of ANC 6D will still be held at 7:00PM on October 21, 2013 in the DCRA Conference Room at 1100 Fourth Street, SW.

Wednesday, October 16

ANC6B Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Wednesday, October 16

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm in Sherwood Recreation Center, Corner of 10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

H Street Business liaison report.

Announcement of Public Surplus Meeting for 1330 H Street, NE, R.L. Christian Library site.   Rise Development plans a 30-unit residential building with 8,000 square feet of retail for the site.  The Public Surplus Meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm at Sherwood Recreation Center on October 24.

Wednesday, October 16

CHRS Preservation Café meets at 6:30pm in Ebenezer’s Coffee House, 2nd and F Streets, NE.

On the agenda:  Virtual Tour of Historic Swampoodle.

Thursday, October 17

PSA 108 meeting at 6:30pm at First Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Ave SE.

Thursday, October 17

Tabula Rasa at 731 8th Street, SE, hosts the artwork of Marie Gauthiez.  Reception from 6:30pm until 9:00pm.

Comments Off on The Week Ahead….

Filed under Uncategorized

Wrapping Up the Week….Crime Spike, 8th St Starbucks Gets Makeover, Trouble for H St Club XII, Whence the Metro Plaza Redesign?

Wrapping Up the Week….Crime Spike, 8th St Starbucks Gets Makeover, Trouble for H St Club XII, Whence the Metro Plaza Redesign?

by Larry Janezich

Crime Spike

At its monthly PSA 107 meeting on Thursday, Lieutenant Fowler reported police knowledge of 18 robberies over the previous 30 days, a 500% increase from the 3 robberies of the last reporting period.  He also reported four “significant” arrests for robberies over the same period of time.  Neighbors shared more anecdotal evidence with Fowler who responded by urging residents to refrain from using smartphones in public, walking without paying attention to surroundings, and leaving items of value in a parked car.  He also urged residents to call “911” if they detect any suspicious behavior.

The increase in crime reported in 106 also held true for PSA 107 .  Commander Andrew Solberg told ANC6A on Thursday that there has been an increase in ANC6A in recent weeks – mostly burglaries committed by kids.  Solberg said that additional cops are being assigned to the area.  He noted the recent increase in carjackings using the technique of bumping a car and stealing it when the driver gets out to  inspect the damage; he advises that owners who choose to inspect for potential damage only do so after removing keys from the ignition.  A better idea is to not get out of the car at all, but to call 911 if you are suspicious of the circumstances.  Maps of PSA 106 and 107 can be found here:  http://1.usa.gov/1bPOjol

Barracks Row Starbucks Starts Closing Early In Face of Makeover

Sign on Barracks Row Starbucks Announces Temporary Early Closings

Sign on Barracks Row Starbucks Announces Temporary Early Closings

 

ANC6A Protests H Street’s Club XII Liquor License

ANC6B will protest H Street’s Club XII liquor license renewal in deference to angry nearby residents, some of whom rose at ANC6A’s October meeting to express outrage about Club XII’s lack of response to their frequent complaints about late night noise emanating from the club.  Residents cited the club’s multi-year disregard of ABRA regulations and the provisions of the ANC Settlement Agreement, with one resident stating; “Every attempt to resolve the issues have been rebuffed or responded to with unfulfilled promises.”  The Settlement Agreement represents an understanding among the ANC, the neighbors and a venue which governs how an establishment will be operated and is routinely a condition of the ANC’s support for a liquor license or a renewal of same.

The protest is aimed at bringing the club into compliance through remedial actions.  Commissioner Jay Williams, Chair of the ANC’s ABC Committee, said that it was his understanding that the rule for noise was that a venue is in violation of noise regulations if it could be heard inside of a residence.  The purpose of the protest is to require mediation and negotiation.

Whence Eastern Metro Plaza Redesign?

During one of last summer’s community meetings to solicit residents’ input on a proposed redesign of the four parts of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza, the Barracks Row Mainstreet Task Force announced that a design team comprised of architect Amy Weinstein, landscape architect Oehme Van Sweden and transportation engineers would produce a design concept and mock up in about two months – late October – which will then be presented to a large community meeting.

Capitol Hill Corner asked Martin Smith, Executive Director Mainstreet, the status of the plan for the Metro Plaza and if any community meetings are in the works.  Martin issued a terse reply,

“Yes.  We will put out a press release with the information once dates and times are decided.”

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hine Coalition Attorney Appeals to Mayor on DMPED’s Failure to Release Documents

Hine Sign

Hine Coalition Attorney Appeals to Mayor on DMPED’s Failure to Release Documents

by Larry Janezich

Last Thursday, Oliver Hall, attorney for the Hine Coalition of residents who are appealing the Zoning Commission’s approval of the Hine project, submitted two filings on behalf of his clients.

The first is an appeal directly to the Mayor regarding the denial of the office of Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) of Hall’s FOIA request for documents related to the Hine project.  The filing objects to the failure of DMPED to produce public documents in response to a FOIA request in three instances:  first, its failure to make public contracts available on its website; second, its failure to produce responsive documents; and third, its redaction of portions of public contracts.  All three, the filing says, are violations of DC code.  The letter requests relief from all three and suggests prosecution for any party found to have committed and “arbitrary and capricious violations of the [FOIA].”

The second filing is a letter to the DC Court of Appeals, submitted along with one of the documents Hall was able to obtain from DMPED – a copy of the lease agreement between DMPED and the Hine developers.  The filing states that the lease contradicts information in the Zoning Commission order approving the Hine PUD, specifically that the commission found that SEB would provide public benefits in support of the PUD application including a child care center and financial donations for a playground and the improvement of Eastern Market Metro Plaza, totaling $1,870,455.  In fact, Hall says, the lease allows SEB to deduct this amount from any payments SEB makes to the city under the terms of the lease, meaning that the taxpayers end up footing the bill.

Another developments regarding Hine includes ANC6B Commissioner Brian Pate’s announcement to the ANC6B Transportation Committee last week that, according to the developer, they do not expect to break ground on the Hine project before March, 2014.  The estimate, Pate said, was based on an assumption of a decision rendered in their favor by the US Court of Appeals by the end of this month.  Pate said he thought that timing unlikely.  Pate went on to say that Stanton East Banc has shown no intention to begin environmental remediation, including asbestos removal, before the litigation is resolved, and that remediation must be completed before demolition can begin.

Comments Off on Hine Coalition Attorney Appeals to Mayor on DMPED’s Failure to Release Documents

Filed under Uncategorized

HPO Issues Order to Epworth Church To Act on Windows by October 18

Epworth Church at 700 A Street SE

Epworth Church at 700 A Street SE

HPO Issues Order to Epworth Church To Act on Windows by October 18

ANC6C Asks DCRA To Revoke Certificate of Occupancy Until Compliance

by Larry Janezich

On September 20, the Historic Preservation Office issued a Correction Order to the World Mission Society, Inc. (Church of God) – current owners of Epworth Church at 700 A Street, NE – which instructs the church to obtain permits for re-installation of stained glass windows which were removed in January of 2012, or to appeal the Correction Order in the DC Court of Appeals.  According to HPO, if the permits are not obtained by the October 18 deadline and an appeal has not been filed, HPO will issue a Notice of Infraction, which includes a fine. If the Notice of Infraction is ignored, additional fines can be levied and a lien on the property undertaken.

Coincidentally, the new order came four days after ANC6C sent a letter to Gretchen Pfachler, Chair of HPRB, noting that the Board’s three-month-old order to the Church to restore the windows had not been followed and requesting that HPRB enforce the order.

Last week, at the urging of Bobbi Krengel, Chair of the Capitol Hill Coalition for Sensible Development, ANC6C Zoning and Planning Committee recommended the full ANC6C send a letter to DCRA asking that the agency revoke the Certificate of Occupancy until they are in compliance.  Last night at the ANC6C October meeting, Zoning and Planning Committee Chair Mark Eckenweiler informed the Commission of the HPRB order.  The ANC then voted unanimously 5-0 to send a letter to DCRA requesting that the building’s certificate of occupancy be revoked until all Historic Preservation law violations are cured.  Commissioner Daniele Schiffman was not present for the vote, having given birth a few days ago.

Last June 13, the DC government ruled that the character-defining stained glass windows at the 1895 Epworth Church must be preserved.  Portions of the windows which were removed were placed in storage waiting the ultimate outcome of the efforts by owners to permanently remove them.   See CHC posting here:  https://capitolhillcorner.org/2013/06/19/2810/

At the time, Krengel, said, “We are fully expecting the owners to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals, and do not know if there would be any role for the neighborhood to play there, but stand ready to participate in any way that may be required to protect our neighborhood.”   However, members of the ANC Planning and Zoning Committee have not been informed that an appeal has been filed, nor have they been able to ascertain that an appeal has been filed after an examination of the DC Court of Appeals docket.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Medium Rare” Fixed Price Steak Bistro To Succeed Fusion Grill by Thanksgiving

“Medium Rare” Fixed Price Steak Bistro To Succeed Fusion Grill by Thanksgiving

by Larry Janezich

Barracks Row Main Street announced today that the Cheung family, owners of both Fusion Grill and Lavagna, has decided to relocate Fusion Grill to a new nearby space and lease the current Fusion Grill space to “Medium Rare.”  The fixed price steak bistro has outlets in Cleveland Park and Bethesda.  According to Stephen Cheung who runs Lavagna, Fusion Grill will re-open soon and focus entirely on Asian take-out.

The new steak restaurant is expected to open on Barracks Row by Thanksgiving.  According to Barracks Row Main Street, “the Parisian cafe themed bistro famously asks only two questions of diners: ‘how would you like your steak done’ and ‘what wine would you like?’” According Medium Rare’s website, “Their goal is to provide a fun, friendly, neighborhood environment where their customers can just relax, and have a simple yet exceptional meal served to them.”

The menu for the Cleveland Park outlet is as follows:

Dinner

$19.50 Set Menu

Artisan Rustic Bread

Mixed Green Salad

Culotte Steak & Hand-Cut Fries with Secret Sauce

BRUNCH

$23 Inclusive

(Bottomless Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, Mimosa, Coffee and Fresh Orange juice)

Fresh, rustic bread and choice of: Vanilla yogurt parfait, Farm Fresh fruit salad or our mixed green salad

Steak Frites

OR

Steak and Eggs with “the perfect poached egg” or our house scrambled eggs

Medium Rare’s Famous Benedict Sliced Steak, Portobello Mushroom,”the perfect poached egg”,

topped with sauce hollandaise

Egg Frites & Sausage

3 poached eggs or scrambled eggs, frites and Local Artisanal Sausage

French Toast and Sausage

The restaurant serves red wine by the glass ($9 – $13) or by the bottle ($34 – $50); white wine ($8 – $10) and ($30 – $38); a selection of draft beers ($6 – $8), and select spirits.

The Cleveland Park location is open for dinner daily from 5:00 pm until 10:00pm (11:00pm on Friday and Saturday)

Brunch Sunday 11:00 am – 2:30 pm

No reservations required

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead…..

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

October 7, Monday

CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE

October 8, Tuesday

ANC6b meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center for its regular October meeting.

Among items on the agenda:

New liquor licenses:

Sushi Capitol, 325 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Sona Creamery and Wine Bar, 660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Liquor license renewals:

Wisdom, 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

The Capitol Lounge, 229 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Tune Inn Restaurant, 331 Pennsylvania Avenue,SE

Li’L Pub, 655 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Beuchert’s Saloon, 623 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Requested Modification to Settlement Agreement

Matchbox, 521 8th Street ,SE

Also:

Letter to Washington Marine Barracks regarding NEPA scoping meeting on September 24, 2013

Public Safety Report from the ANC6b Outreach & Constituent Services Task Force

October 10, Thursday

ANC6a meets at Eliot-Hine Middle School, Auditorium (CHANGE OF LOCATION), 1830 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC.

Among items on the agenda:

Liquor license renewals:

The Queen Vic at 1206 H Street, NE

Atlas Arcade/Church and State at 1236 H Street, NE

Ben’s Chili Bowl/Ben’s Upstairs at 1001 H Street, NE

Twelve (XII) Restaurant and Lounge at 1123-1125 H Street, NE (ABC Committee recommends ANC protest this renewal)

October 10, Thursday

PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm in Southeast Library (rescheduled from last Thursday, October 3rd)

October 10, Thursday

CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE

Comments Off on The Week Ahead…..

Filed under Uncategorized

Yume Tree Dedicated to Laurie Siegel on Its Tenth Anniversary

Kris Swanson of The Corner Store

Kris Swanson of The Corner Store

Councilmember Tommy Wells Recalled the First Dedication Ten Years Ago

Councilmember Tommy Wells Recalled the First Dedication Ten Years Ago

The Yume Tree

The Yume Tree

David Weiner of the "21 Gessford Court Players" Remembered Siegel in the Lyrics to "Forever Young"

David Weiner of the “21 Gessford Court Players” Remembered Siegel in the Lyrics to “Forever Young”

Yume Tree Dedicated to Laurie Siegel on Its Tenth Anniversary

by Larry Janezich

The Yume Tree on the north wall of the CVS at 12th and E Streets, SE, turned ten last week.  Yesterday, the Corner Store – Kris Swanson’s and Roy Mustelier’s non-profit community art studio and performance space at 9th and South Carolina Avenue, SE – hosted an anniversary party to dedicate the community wall sculpture to Laurie Siegel.  Kris Swanson, who  conceived of the Yume Tree,  spoke movingly of fused glass artist and award winning Watkins School art teacher Siegel – who succumbed to cancer in July – as one of her strongest allies in the project.  Swanson recounted the story of how she was inspired to begin the work and how the tree came into being, crediting many in the community who played critical roles in overcoming obstacles to make it a reality.

Swanson was followed by Councilmember Tommy Wells who praised the interactive quality of the sculpture and remembered his participation as a DC School Board Member with Swanson and Siegel in the original dedication ceremony ten years ago.

The Yume (you/me) Tree is a neighborhood art project involving more than a thousand children, hundreds of Capitol Hill neighbors, and several elementary schools.  The 28 by 14 foot mosaic of tiles and cut mirror reflects the sky, garden and trees of Watkins Elementary school across the street.  The three inch tiles making up the trunk, roots, and branches of the tree were made and signed by school children.  Siegel helped Swanson develop Yume Tree and fired and glazed hundreds of the first clay tiles.  Messages to the community and commemorative tiles from donors form the landscape out of which the tree emerges.  Swanson points to it as an example of how the power of collective action can transform and beautify a neighborhood.  The work is an ongoing process and continues to grow and evolve on a regular basis as new name and sponsorship tiles are added.

Music for the dedication was provided by the “21 Gessford Court Players,” led by David Weiner.  The group played Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” in memory of Siegel.  Weiner, calling Dylan “the poet who spoke for our generation,” said that the lyrics could have been spoken by Siegel. (See below)

Donations to the Corner Store Roots & Dreams Fund help maintain the tree and add the next generation of name and sponsorship tiles to the project.  Contact:

webmaster@cornerstorearts.org

Corner Store Roots & Dreams

900 South Carolina Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20003

202 544 5807

The Corner Store Website can be found here: cornerstorearts.org.

“Forever Young” by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always

May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young

May you stay forever young.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized