Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Week Ahead….Boy’s & Girls Club Building, CSX, Literary Hill Book Fest (Sunday)

Street Music, Saturday Afternoon, Eastern Market Metro

Street Music, Saturday Afternoon, Eastern Market Metro

Progress at the future home of Barracks Row's Capital Teas, 731 8th Street, SE

Progress at the future home of Barracks Row’s Capital Teas, 731 8th Street, SE

The Week Ahead….Boy’s & Girls Club Building, CSX, Literary Hill Book Fest (Sunday)

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, April 29

ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 6:30pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the ANC6B Commission meeting on Tuesday, April 13

Tuesday, April 29

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in North Hall, Eastern Market

Wednesday, April 30

ANC 6B’s Hill East Task Force holds a second community meeting from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Payne Elementary School (1445 C Street SE) to discuss a planned Request for Offers on the Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club Building (261 17th Street SE).

Wednesday, April 30

The DC Council Committee of the Whole will hold a public hearing on CSX’s proposed expansion of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, 9:30pm, Room 412, Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.  Particular concerns include CSX’s ability to transport unlimited amounts of highly flammable Bakken crude oil through the construction site in an open trench feet from homes, parks, and a seniors’ center and less than a mile from the US Capitol Building for 3-6 years should the project receive approval. Please visit for more information about the community’s concerns.

Thursday, May 1

PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm, Southeast Library, 403 7th Street SE, Basement meeting room, with Lt. Eddie Fowler

Saturday, May 3

The Fridge hosts an opening Reception for new works from favorite local artist Ben Tolman, 7:00pm – 11:00pm.  516 8th Street, SE, Rear alley.

Sunday, May 4

Literary Hill Book Fest, 11:00am to 3:00pm. Eastern Market North Hall.  Info:


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On the Eve of Potbelly’s Arrival on Barracks Row,​ Is Capitol Hill Losing It’s Character?


Some residents fear that homogeneity will accompany Potbelly’s arrival on Barracks Row.  The restaurant is scheduled to move into the space formerly occupied by Tandoor Grill.  Plans for the Indian restaurant to re-open on the newly constructed second floor have been shelved in favor of office space.

Some residents fear that homogeneity will accompany Potbelly’s arrival on Barracks Row.  The restaurant is scheduled to move into the space formerly occupied by Tandoor Grill.  Plans for the Indian restaurant to re-open on the newly constructed second floor have been shelved in favor of office space.

Residents want more retail like Danna Oweida’s recently opened Pinktini Fashion Boutique, 705 North Carolina Avenue, in the former home of The Village Gallery, adjacent to Port City Java.

Residents want more retail like Danna Oweida’s recently opened Pinktini Fashion Boutique, 705 North Carolina Avenue, in the former home of The Village Gallery, adjacent to Port City Java.

Inside Pinktini Fashion Boutique

Inside Pinktini Fashion Boutique

 …and more like the deceptively named “Homebody” at 715 8th Street, SE, one of the coolest retail outlets on Barrack’s Row.  Homebody, co-owned by Henriette Fourcade and Erin Mara is in its ninth year on 8th Street.

…and more like the deceptively named “Homebody” at 715 8th Street, SE, one of the coolest retail outlets on Barrack’s Row. Homebody, co-owned by Henriette Fourcade and Erin Mara is in its ninth year on 8th Street.

Mara interacts with customers outside the store on Saturday.

Mara interacts with customers outside the store on Saturday.

On the Eve of Potbelly’s Arrival on Barracks Row,​ Is Capitol Hill Losing It’s Character?

by Larry Janezich

On April 8, a City Paper reporter said of the closing of Remington’s: ​ “As reported by PoPville, the building, located at 639 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, was sold a year ago and will be renovated.  If a Potbelly moves in, I’m moving out.”

Well, it’s a good bet that in the coming months Potbelly will move into the space now occupied by Tandoor Grille, and “& Pizza” will replace OXXO Cleaner’s on the same block.  A series of recent changes in Capitol Hill business fixtures point to the state of flux in the neighborhood’s​ commercial corridors.  The continuing trend toward food and drink venues – including fast food – worries residents.

Gone:  The old Hawk ‘n’ Dove, the 18th Amendment, Li’​l Pub, Remington’s, Fusion Grill, Hello Cupcake, Monkey’s Uncle,  Capitol Hill Fitness, the Dollar Store, China Wall.

On the way out:  Tandoor Grill, OXXO, Capitol Hill Sporting Goods, Kraze Burgers.

On the way in:  Potbelly, &Pizza, Capitol Teas, District Doughnuts, Sprint. (The owners of the former Remington’s are reportedly looking for a way to open a food venue in the half of the building not occupied by Sprint.)

Recently arrived:  Pinktini Fashion Boutique, Capitol Frames, Pure Barre. Barrel, Sona, Rose’s Luxury, Chiptole, District Taco, Medium Rare, Kimchii Cafe.

Status uncertain:  Nine restaurants formerly owned by Xavier Cervera.  (A recent rumor that Mr. Henry’s was going on the block was knocked down by owner Alvin Ross, who told CHC “Larry Quillian will never sell the building and I’m here ‘til I die.”)

The list above reflects changes in community demographics,​ ​as ​family​-​oriented businesses replace the edgier – and to some, more interesting – food and drink venues.  As the edgier places turn over,​ landlords look to increase revenues by renting to food and drink providers.  City agencies seem disposed to businesses which provide the most tax revenue.  Rodney Smith of Capitol Hill Sporting Goods, who has until January before his lease is up, says the building’s owner has been approached by a sushi bar operator.

One factor that contributes to high rent (and the bias in favor of chains that can afford them) is the major transportation hub at Eastern Market Metro.  A high volume of foot traffic provides fertile ground for fast food outlets.  Rents in the 400 block of 8th are reported to be $80 – $100 per square foot compared with $40 – $50 in the 700 block of 8th Street.

Residents and Barracks Row Main Street would like to see the street become home to more retail.  Five of the more successful Capitol Hill retail outlets are Homebody, Labyrinth Games and Puzzles, Hill’s Kitchen, Metro Mutts, and Biker Barre.  It’s noteworthy that owners of all five businesses live on Capitol Hill.  Erin Mara, co-owner of Homebody,​ says that it helps to have a good landlord and says “sometimes, we don’t pay ourselves.”  The Labyrinth Games & Puzzles and Howl to the Chief were recently listed as two of the 24 coolest small businesses in DC by Business Insider.   Owner Kathleen Donahue of Labyrinth points to customer service and making your store a destination as the keys to retail success on Capitol Hill.   Leah Daniels of Hill’s Kitchen says that engaging the community beyond the store by participating in community events, embracing the “unbelievable amount of work,” and framing your selection around customer interests and listening to their feedback is key to her store’s success.

With the current legal trouble of Kraze Burger and Cervera​’s former empire, the recent anonymous comment on a recent posting on CHC: “the monoculture of food establishments on 8th is taking a beating. Maybe 8th St. needs some evolutionary diversity to survive as a commercial corridor,​” ​seems​ all the more relevant.​

So too do policies favoring restaurants over retail – like those which allow restaurants to pay far below minimum wage and allow tips to compensate (and exceed) the difference.  Visitors from Europe and Asia – including South Korea – must be surprised at the expectation of tips in American restaurants.  It’s worth remembering that customers subsidize artificially low labor costs for restaurants and bars, which depend upon greater numbers of workers to function, but which can also rely on a high mark-up for alcohol to produce a higher net profit.

And then there is the question of quality, and local versus chain.  Some of the people who would pass by a Potbelly’s will try an affordable yet more interesting spot like H Street’s Toki Underground, Chupacabra, or Taste of Jamaica.  Yet it is hard to design a policy tool that will facilitate one type of business over another.  Likewise, the success of the locally owned Biker Barre exercise and fitness business on 7th Street probably factored in to the Pure Barre fitness chain’s decision to open an outlet over Metro Mutts on Barracks Row.  It is difficult to see any threat to Biker Barre’s popularity as a result, especially since the fitness studio keeps its prices competitive.

In light of the city’s hunger for revenue at the expense of integrity of the community, it’s up to residents to hold ANC6B and city agencies accountable to preserve the commercial diversity and unique character of our neighborhood.  And in the end, it will be up to the neighbors to vote with their credit cards – in either direction.


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Xavier Cervera Undermined Restaurants in Take-Over Bid Say New Owners’ Lawyers

Xavier Cervera Undermined Restaurants in Take-Over Bid Say New Owners’ Lawyers

Update:  Full Text of Cervera’s Statement in Response to the Claim

by Larry Janezich

According to a report by Katy Stech of the Wall Street Journal Bankruptcy Blog on Thursday,  lawyers for the current owners of the Hawk ‘n’ Dove and seven other restaurants recently owned by Xavier Cervera claim that Cervera, in his role of consultant, undermined the profitability of several of the restaurants so the new owners would default on monthly payments thereby returning ownership of the restaurants to Cervera and his partners.  The new owners filed for bankruptcy on March 28, 2014, forcing the issue of Cervera’s accountability into the courts.  Capitol Hill Corner reported Cervera’s reaction to the bankruptcy filing here:

The lawyers did not say how the alleged deceit was effected, but according to court documents, the new owners fear the funds were diverted for other purposes.

Cervera and his Florida-based partners sold their nine restaurants to a Boston investment firm in December of 2012.  Cervera was brought in as consultant last August after revenues at the chain’s flagship restaurant – Hawk ‘n’ Dove – fell off sharply under the manager for the new owners, Richard Cervera (Xavier’s brother).  Richard Cervera was removed as manager of the eight restaurants and Xavier Cervera was reported to have resumed control of the day to day operations of the restaurants on behalf of the new owners.  (The ninth restaurant, Willie’s Brew and Que near National’s Ball Park, which was part of the deal, is still under construction.)  Richard Cervera’s tenure as manager was marked by an effort to take the Hawk ‘n’ Dove to a new upscale level and a management style which reportedly alienated long time employees.

Update:  In response to the report, Xavier Cervera authorized the  release of the following statement:  “Xavier Cervera had no ownership, management, or financial control over any of the Debtor’s operations at any time following the sale.  Any and all financial decisions and disbursements were those of the buyer, and Mr. Cervera never even had access to any of the buyer’s bank accounts or cash funds.

His only role was pursuant to a consulting agreement with the new owner, where he was called upon from time to time to express his opinions and assist in specific tasks that the new owner assigned to him

One of those requests was to assist and advise  the new owner in attempting to reverse a steady decline in sales and loss of key personnel that had occurred while the restaurants were under the control of Richard Cervera prior to Richard Cervera’s termination by the buyer last fall.  Sales at the venues were increasing steadily after Richard Cervera’s departure and prior to the bankruptcy.

All decisions as to management and financial control — and all aspects of the buyer’s finances and disbursements — were solely those of the buyer and any attempts to blame Mr. Cervera for the actions or inactions of the buyer’s management that led to the bankruptcy are without merit.

This includes any payments made by the new owners with respect to the construction of their new restaurant – Willie’s – which was almost ready to open prior to the filing.  In particular, Mr. Cervera has no “contractual obligation” to fund construction of Willie’s, as the new owners allege.

The purchasers have also asserted in the bankruptcy that Mr. Cervera kept control of a couple of items following the sale that they now claim should belong to the Company and not to him personally  The ownership of these few items is very much at issue and will likely be determined at some point as part of a court proceeding.”

Part of the purchase deal with Xavier Cervera was that he would not open a restaurant on Capitol Hill for ten years.  But Xavier Cervera is planning a new gastropub in Shaw’s Blagden Alley close to the trendy restaurant, Rogue 24.

For the entire WSJ post, see here:


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Developer Habte Sequar To Build 49 Unit Condo Building Near Atlas District

North Facade of Proposed 49 Unit Condo Building at 1215 K Street, NE.

North Facade of Proposed 49 Unit Condo Building at 1215 K Street, NE.


Developer Habte Sequar To Build 49 Unit Condo Building Near Atlas District

by Larry Janezich

Last night, Washington developer Habte Sequar of Pierce Investments told ANC6A’s Economic Development Committee of his plans to build a 49 unit, five floor residential building at 1215 K Street, NE, in the space now occupied by Jimmy’s Tire shop.  The site lies just outside of the Atlas District, three blocks north of H Street, and two blocks east of Gallaudet, at the intersection of Florida Avenue, K Street, and 12th Street, NE.

When questioned about how the units will be marketed, Sequar said, “they will definitely be condos.”  The 50 foot matter of right building will provide 30 underground parking spaces.  The plans call for 16 two-bedroom units and 33 one bedroom units, ranging from 600 square feet to 950 square feet.  Inclusionary zoning requirements will provide five or six affordable housing units, maintaining the 2-1 ratio regarding unit size.  Sequar expects to break ground in 30 days  and complete the project 15 months later.

Sequar is the developer behind The Cardozo, a 28-unit apartment building at 11th and V Streets, NW; The Aston, in Logan Circle; The Renaissance at Logan; and Josephine Condos at 440 Rhode Island Ave., NW.



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Fraud Allegations Behind Closing of Barracks Row Kraze Burger

Kraze Burger Barracks Row Closed Mid-March, Five Months After Opening

Kraze Burger Barracks Row Closed Mid-March, Five Months After Opening

Fraud Allegations Behind Closing of Barracks Row Kraze Burger

by Larry Janezich

Two investors have filed suit against several individuals allegedly involved in the opening of Kraze Burger Barracks Row, naming Virginia attorney Richard MacDowell and his associates as key actors.  MacDowell, reported recently to be the American CEO of Kraze Burger, a South Korean restaurant franchise, is listed as the agent for Kraze Burger Inc., said to be the operator of Kraze Burger on Barracks Row.  The suit filed in DC Superior Court on December 23, 2013, alleges that MacDowell, a partner in MacDowell & Associates, as well as his employees and/or partners in several businesses the documents say are owned by MacDowell, improperly converted funds which the plaintiffs – Great Falls, Virginia, couple Joo Won Kim and T.W. Kim – invested as start-up money for the Barracks Row Kraze Burger.

In related news, the Kraze Burger franchise chain’s first DC-area outlet in Bethesda filed for bankruptcy in late December, listing liabilities between $100,001 and $500,000.  Creditors included restaurant suppliers as well as the county tax department.

According to documents filed related to the Barracks Row lawsuit, MacDowell, in October of 2012, offered the Kims the opportunity to enter into a partnership to open a Kraze Burger franchise at 415 8th Street, SE, Barracks Row.  The documents allege that MacDowell proposed that the Kims would be 70% partners in a Kraze Burger to be set up by MacDowell, who would be the 30% partner, with profits and costs allocated accordingly.  The suit charges that MacDowell “induced” the Kims into allowing him to act as the sole partner responsible to hold and manage disbursement of investment capital as well as serving as counsel for the partnership.

The court documents state that MacDowell claimed startup capital would be $620,948.92 – a figure the Kims now claim MacDowell knew to be “inflated and inaccurate.”  The Kims say they deposited $430,000 in MacDowell and Associates’ escrow account and that MacDowell told them that a “significant portion” of the startup funds would be used to procure a lease with Street Sense, the building’s owner.  The Kims claim that MacDowell subsequently “contracted” with a construction company actually owned by MacDowell to do the build out work to open the franchise.

The documents also claim:

  • The construction company presented false documents which inflated the cost of opening the franchise and that MacDowell only spent funds deposited by Kim to open the franchise without investing his 30% of investment capital.
  • MacDowell never contributed any money whatsoever to the startup costs.
  • After buildout was complete, the Kims were made aware of multiple issues with the franchise resulting from poor management, including delinquent bills.
  • MacDowell ignored or denied numerous requests for accounting of expenditures and of funds being held and the Kims were “left no choice” but to conclude that funds were improperly taken and that MacDowell “intentionally misappropriated” funds and that MacDowell had “acted with malice.”

The documents do not address whether MacDowell put a price on his legal representation or on any activities he engaged in to further the project, nor whether MacDowell agreed to put up any funds at all as a portion of the $620,948.92 estimate for opening the restaurant.

The suit lists ten counts alleging improper “conversion of funds deposited [by the investors] for the use and purposes of… Kraze Burger and/or MacDowell outside the partnership” by ten individuals and an eleventh count alleging conspiracy to commit improper conversion naming all ten defendants.

When contacted by Capitol Hill Corner, MacDowell’s attorney referred questions to MacDowell, who was unavailable for comment.  There was no immediate response from Kraze Burger’s US headquarters.   The attorney for the Kims said that because of the pending litigation, he could not comment.

The building that houses Kraze Burger was once a Dollar Store and Chinese carryout that was purchased and remodeled by DC real estate and development company, Street Sense.  Although ANC 6B seemed anxious to limit the number of carryout restaurants on Barracks Row, commissioners raised no objections to Kraze Burger’s proposed arrival.  While open, the restaurant appeared to be doing little sit down business.

For the time being, it is not clear what the future holds for the Kraze Burger on Barracks Row.  The effect of legal troubles on the other four area Kraze Burgers and a proposed NoMa outlet is uncertain.  CHC reported on Barracks Row Kraze Burger’s opening October 17, 2014 here:



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The Week Ahead…..We Should All Be Watching the Wizards

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Monday, April 21

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm, Maury Elementary School (1250 Constitution Avenue, NE) PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE:  Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith Annex (1230 C Street NE)  

Among items on the agenda:

Consideration of safety improvements at 10th Street NE and Maryland Avenue NE while Florida Avenue NE transportation project is pending.

Consideration of new Capital Bikeshare station location originally planned for 12th Street NE and H Street NE in the proximity of the streetcar electrical substation.

Review of fence application before the Historic Preservation Office concerning lot adjacent to 147 Tennessee Avenue NE (at the intersection of 13th Street NE and Tennessee Avenue NE)

Monday, April 21

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Maury Elementary School,

1250 Constitution Ave NE (enter from 13th St.)

Review of grant requests for recess/sports equipment for Miner Elementary School (pending receipt of application) and for picnic tables for outdoor classroom for Eliot Hine Middle School.

Wednesday, April 23

ANC6B Outreach & Constituent Services (O&CS) Task Force meets at 7:00pm, in Hill Center.

Wednesday, April 23

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm in Sherwood Recreation Center.

Among items on the agenda:

819 D Street, NE (HPA 14-180) – Applicant seeks Historic Preservation Board approval for redesigned plans for renovation of existing church and two adjoining rowhouses into proposed 30-unit development.

1511 A Street, NE – Committee will review most recent drawings provided by developer and consider providing further comments to the Zoning Administrator.


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The Week Ahead….Remington’s Last Stand

Remington's née Equus , 1980 - 2014

Remington’s née Equus , 1980 – 2014

The Week Ahead….Remington’s Last Stand

By Larry Janezich

Monday, April 14

Remington’s Last StandRemington’s closes today.  Expect a crowd this evening to celebrate the end of a 30/34 year run for the Capitol Hill institution.  The building (actually two adjacent buildings) was reportedly sold a year ago for $3 million to Mountain View Burleson, LLC.   Equus, the city’s original gay country-western bar which occupied half the building, took over the adjacent Gallagher’s and became Remington’s in the mid 1980’s.  Word on the street is that the building(s) will be gutted and divided.  Half will be occupied by a Sprint outlet; the new owners hope to open a food and beverage venue in the other half – the latter being uncertain.  Mountain View Burleson is a Texas LLC which lists its principle operation as Mountain View Development Company, Virginia Beach, VA.

Monday, April 14

ANC 6D meets at 7:00pm, DCRA Meeting Room, 1100 4th Street SW, 2nd Floor

Agenda items:

WMATA Presentation – Development at Navy Yard Metro

Channel Square Use Variance

Tour de Cure Race, American Diabetes Association

Monday, April 14

Quarterly RFK Community Outreach Meeting hosted by Events DC. Meeting is at 8:30pm in the RFK Stadium Media Room (South entrance, 4th Floor).

Tuesday April 15

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

Wednesday, April 16

ANC6a Economic Development Committee meeting has been postponed until Wednesday, April 23.

Thursday, April 17

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

MPD Lt. JB Dykes.

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Residents Turn Out for Rat Summit – Barracks Row Restaurants, Not So Much


The Norwegian Rat, by James Audubon

The Norwegian Rat, by James Audubon

Bobby Corrigan, Rodentologist, Featured Speaker at Today's Rat Summit

Bobby Corrigan, Rodentologist, Featured Speaker at Today’s Rat Summit

Residents but No Restaurant Reps Attended Today's Rat Summit

Residents but No Restaurant Reps Attended Today’s Rat Summit

Residents Turn Out for Rat Summit – Barracks Row Restaurants, Not So Much

by Larry Janezich

Some 20 residents and a handful of ANC commissioners showed up for the Community Ward Six Rat Summit in Hill Center today.  The owners and managers of the source of many of the area’s rodent problems – the Barracks Row restaurants – appeared to be under represented, if present at all.  This was despite the efforts of the ANC commissioners Peisch and Oldenburg to encourage turnout among the restaurants in the 400 and 500 blocks of 8th Street, SE.

Restaurants are key players in the problem, according to Bobby Corrigan, Ph.D., of Corrigan Consulting, of Richmond, the featured speaker and one of the area’s leading experts on rodents.   He noted that one 60 pound bag of restaurant trash can supply edibles for 1,000 rats for a day.

According to Corrigan restaurant and resident trash disposal is a primary contributor to sustaining a neighborhoods rodent population.  Regarding restaurants, he said the push for enforcement by residents and resistance by business can create a weak link in the eradication chain which allows rats to take advantage.  Today’s meeting provided evidence to back up this statement.

Corrigan said that rats need food, shelter, and water.  The first two of these are the factors which can be controlled – water is widely available, and a rat can survive on the water from the morning dew on grass.

Some key rat facts listed by Corrigan include:

  • Doughnuts, bagels, and fried chicken are favorite rat foods, which they learn to like from the milk produced by a nursing mother who feeds on those items.
  • Rats live an average of 5 – 7 months of life when on the street; in a cage, they would survive longer.
  • A rat’s range can be as short as 25 feet from the nest up to 450 feet, depending on the source of food.
  • Corrigan says there are no “super rats,” and he will buy dinner for anyone bringing him a two pound rat.
  • Rats love alleys and other areas where residents regularly put out trash.
  • Rodents can enter a building through a hole the size of a dime, or through a crack the width of a Number 2 pencil.  The oily smear surrounding a rat hole in a wall is characteristic and comes from sebum secreted by the rat’s sebaceous glands.
  • Composting does not attract rats if cone correctly.
  • If you garden in an area with rats, it is difficult to keep them out.
  • Black box bait station poisoning is not particularly effective for rats regularly dining on a favorite food to which they have become accustomed.
  • Treating burrows with poison bait can be effective if monitored and followed up on by the city. Poison Tracking powder can be effective but affects pets and other mammals, and like bait takes a week or two to kill a rat.
  • Construction excavation does not necessarily produce rats – the rats have to be present.
  • “Excluder Rodent Proofing” is probably the best technology available on rodent control.

Some residents participating in today’s meeting said they were there because of rodent issues attending the restaurant group at 1st and D, SE (Tortilla Coast, Talay Thai, and Bullfeathers, and Ninella on 13th Street, SE, on Lincoln Park.  Capitol Hill Corner has posted several articles on Capitol Hill’s rat problem pointing to the restaurant group at 13th and Pennsylvania SE, ,  the Starbuck’s at 3rd and Pennsylvania , Barracks Row , and Metro Center  ANC6b has enlisted city agencies to conduct a coordinated effort to address the Metro Center problem and individual commissioners are moving to address some of the other areas.

The key to rodent control is a joint effort by the community and city to make the environment unfriendly.  Restaurants must clean up and power wash alleys, clean disposal bins, and control trash disposal by keeping it inside until hauled away or disposing of it in a rodent proof trash compacter.

Things which community can do are the following.

Dispose of dog waste in residential trash bins with lids (your own, not those of other residents) or in public disposals which are impervious to access by rats.

Dispose of household trash in bins with lids – never in plastic bags.

Use landscaping which is unfriendly to rodents – bush and shrub choice (conical) are critical.

Corrigan stressed that “the rat is not forgiving of our mistakes,” and offered to answer questions which are emailed to him at:

Today’s event was sponsored by CM Tommy Wells, DC DOH, and ANC6b.



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A “Sky Ear” Experience at The Fridge

Allegory Six.  Radio Sebastian.  Pen, acrylic paint, and acrylic medium on panel, 9X12"  $600

Allegory Six. Radio Sebastian. Pen, acrylic paint, and acrylic medium on panel, 9″ X 12″ $600

Codie (part 1) Stephanie Williams.  Wood, Fabric, Steel.  18 X 36"  $1000

Codie (part 1) Stephanie Williams. Wood, Fabric, Steel. 18 X 36″ $1000

A “Sky Ear” Experience at The Fridge

“Dance Of The Soramimi”

by Larry Janezich

Mishearing a word that sparks a creative leap to an unrelated idea is a common experience and is often the source of inspiration for poets and writers.  The Japanese name for the experience is “soramimi” – literally “empty ear” (according to Wikipedia) – or as three artists currently exhibiting at The Fridge more accurately translate it – “sky ear.”  The collaboration team of Radio Sebastian (Corwin Levi and Yumiko Blackwell) based in DC and Stephanie J. Williams of Virginia find inspiration in the experience to create visual soramimi.

Both Radio Sebastian and Williams reference childhood to explore the ways that what we see differ from what we experience.  Both use design to capture the attention.  Williams explores identity through soft sculpture sewn from cloth.  Radio Sebastian addresses the space between tranquility and anxiety in drawings and prints using mixed media.

Williams is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art in the Foundations Department at James Madison University and has shown her work nationally and internationally.

Levi is a law school graduate and Blackwell, currently a  librarian.  Radio Sebastian has  shown in numerous national venues.

Dance Of The Soramimi  – the exhibit –  opened last Saturday and runs through April 27.   This month, the Fridge’s Mini Gallery also features “The Art of Storytelling:  Carlos FOES Aguilar.”

The Fridge is open Wednesday – Saturday, noon until 7:00pm.   516 8th Street SE, Rear alley, Washington, DC

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The Week Ahead……The ANCs Are Busy


Khaliyl Nubian plays guitar weekends, 9:00am – 6:00pm at Baked and Wired in Georgetown.   Last week found him at Eastern Market, 7th and C Streets.  His card reads, “Have Guitar, Will Travel.”  I Want 2 Play 4 U.

Khaliyl Nubian plays guitar weekends, 9:00am – 6:00pm at Baked and Wired in Georgetown. Last week found him at Eastern Market, 7th and C Streets. His card reads, “Have Guitar, Will Travel.” I Want 2 Play 4 U.

The Week Ahead……The ANCs Are Busy

Monday, April 7

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

Tuesday, April 8

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm, Hill Center.

Among the items on the agenda:

Presentation on 11th Street Bridge Park Project: Scott Kratz, Director

Presenttion on The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project: Joel Schwarz, Development Manager

Vacant Building at 531 8th Street SE, concept/storefront alterations/rooftop addition

Tandoor Grill 419 8th Street SE, second story addition

Letter to Office of Planning regarding Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard Planning Scope of Work

Wednesday, April 9

ANC 6B Hill East Task Force Meeting at 6:30pm at St. Coletta’s, the first of two community meetings this month (the second, on April 30) to determine community priorities for the development of the Eastern Branch Building.  The now vacant building at 261 17th Street, SE, was formerly the Boys and Girls Club.  The city owns the building and is prepared to lease it to a developer.  A special task for chaired by Chuck Burger recommended uses for the building related to community needs, including daycare, aging and senior services, wellness and fitness and recreation.

Wednesday, April 9

ANC 6C meets at 7:00pm at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  Among items on the agenda:

Update on the Insight Properties Group Apollo Project – the planned high-end mixed-use community that would include approximately 321 residential units and 23,000 square feet of retail space in the 600 block of H Street, NE.

Presentation on a new establishment at 400 H Street, NE, the site of the former TruOrleans, shut down by DC Department of Revenue last year for failure to pay taxes.

Thursday, April 10

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm, Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Community Presentation: Commander Dierdre Porter, MPD Fifth (5th) District

Conditional support of a bike rack in public space outside of Chupacabra, 822 H Street, NE

Conditional withdrawal of opposition to sidewalk café application by Nomad Hookah Bar, 1200 H Street, NE

Request that the Zoning Administrator investigate density and parking issues surrounding a proposed 18 unit condo project at 1511 A Street, NE.  (The height and mass of the project has neighbors livid over what they see as a violation of the spirit of what the Zoning Regulations intend and the developer and real estate broker taking advantage of an anomaly in the regulations which would give the developer the right to proceed  as a matter of right.)

Request that the Office of Planning upzone the remainder of the block containing the above project to R-4, with the exception of those properties on the south side of the block that front on East Capitol Street.

Thursday, April 10

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

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