Monthly Archives: May 2014

Long-Stalled 15th Stree,t SE, CAG Project Receives Funding/ Green Light from City Council

This Empty Pit on 15th Street, a Few Feet North of Independence Avenue, SE, Has Been A Blight on the Neighborhood in the Eyes of Nearby Residents

This Empty Pit on 15th Street, a Few Feet North of Independence Avenue, SE, Has Been A Blight on the Neighborhood in the Eyes of Nearby Residents (Click to Enlarge) 

DHCD Director Michael Kelly Takes Responsibility for the Delay in the Project Construction - "My Project Managers Were Asleep at the Wheel."

DHCD Director Michael Kelly Takes Responsibility for the Delay in the Project Construction – “My Project Managers Were Asleep at the Wheel.”

The CAG Project's Nearby Neighbors Came To Voice Their Lack of Confidence in CAG

The CAG Project’s Nearby Neighbors Came To Voice Their Concerns About the Project

Long-Stalled 15th Stree,t SE, CAG Project Receives Funding/ Green Light from City Council

Director Michael Kelly of DC’s Housing Agency Accepts Blame for Construction Delay before Group of Frustrated Neighbors

by Larry Janezich

Last night, a meeting of ANC6B’s Hill East Task Force, convened to receive an update on the stalled Community Action Group (CAG) project, started on an ugly note, with hostile questions and aggravated interruptions from nearby neighbors of the CAG project at 124 15th Street, SE.  In the eyes of these residents, the inactive construction site has become a blight on the community, and they came ready to confront CAG organizers, expressing their lack of confidence in new plans to complete the project and outrage at CAG’s failure to live up to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2011 – especially CAG’s failure to engage and communicate with the community.

A 2008 renovation project for an existing building at the site devolved into a collapsed wall.  In 2011, a plan to construct a new structure and a signed MOU with neighbors failed to lead to any construction and, as became clear last night, this stall was the result of nonfeasance of officials at DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), a fact which Director Kelly acknowledged in forthright terms.

Kelly, who arrived at the job in July, 2012, nevertheless told the group gathered in the basement of Holy Comforter church that he accepted the responsibility for the delay in the project: “Nine out of ten of the reasons for the delay were my responsibility – and I’ve fixed them.  My project managers were asleep at the wheel.”  The project, he said, is back on track, and his office has committed $3.6 million for construction and “we are ready to cut checks.”

A rough timeline was revealed last night which anticipates two or three months to get the contractor geared up to begin work and a construction period of up to eight months.  A factor which that timeline did not take into account is the need to reapply for building and other permits, which can be a lengthy process.  It is not clear why CAG officials were not aware of this lapse in permits, nor was it clear why their new contractor did not appear at the meeting.  Despite their complaints that they did not receive an agenda prior to the meeting, it should have been obvious what the community was gathered together to hear.

By way of explanation of their failure to live up to the MOU with neighbors, CAG officials told those attending the meeting that they are a small organization with limited resources and the failure to communicate with neighbors was partly the result of their inability to get information from DHCD, as well as a reluctance to pressure an agency that they were depending on for future construction funds.  Former graduates of CAG testified to the benefits of the program and the effect it has had in helping them become contributing members of the community.  The testimonial of one client and several staff members had an emotional resonance that seemed to shift the tenor of the meeting, which featured fewer interruptions after that point.

The Hill East Taskforce resolved to formulate a letter requesting an accounting of expenditure of city funds on the project since 2008 from both DHCD and CAG within 30 days after the full ANC signs off on the letter, anticipated to occur at the June 10 ANC6B meeting.  In addition the letter will address the necessity for revising the existing MOU.  There was consensus that the Hill East Task Force will convene another meeting in six weeks for another update and an examination of updated plans for the building.  The attitude of ANC 6B Chair Brian Flahaven, who ran the meeting and called for order at several points early on, suggested that, while acknowledging the project was going forward, and extolling the important work that CAG does, the community still wanted more answers about the past and the future of the site.


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My Report from Colorado on Marijuana Legalization – Number 3

A Mural the Width of a City Block on Main Street in Pueblo References the Devastation of the 1921 Flood, the Town's Former Importance as a Saddle Manufacturing Center, and Its Latino Heritage.

A Mural the Width of a City Block on Main Street in Pueblo References the Devastation of the 1921 Flood, the Town’s Former Importance as a Saddle Manufacturing Center, and Its Latino Heritage. (Click to Enlarge)

My Report from Colorado on Marijuana Legalization – Number 3

Criminal, Civil, and Tax Implications

by Larry Janezich

National marijuana legalization seems not a question of if, but a matter of when.  Colorado has launched an initiative on legalization of marijuana in the same tradition of many other progressive Western movements.  Other states and the federal government will likely follow in its footsteps.

To date, a total of 22 states and the District of Columbia allow broad use of medical marijuana. Nine other states have passed laws that allow medical marijuana for use by children with seizure disorders.  Nationally, 58% of Americans support legalization.

Decriminalization of marijuana in DC is likely to become effective July 17, 2014, barring any unforeseen Congressional recesses.   House Speaker Boehner has deferred to Rep. Issa (R-CA) House Oversight and Government Reform Chair, as to whether the House will raise any objection, and Issa seems unwilling to interfere with DC’s process.

The decriminalization measure, signed into law by Mayor Gray, was originally sponsored by Councilmember Wells, and replaces criminal penalties with a civil fine of $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. As it now stands, possession of any amount carries a penalty of six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

It is important to realize that marijuana decriminalization is far different from legalization; criminal channels will still supply marijuana users in the District, and the only way to change that is to legalize the drug, a move now called for by advocates circulating a petition to get such a measure on the ballot.  DC’s Board of Election has sanctioned collection of signatures to put Initiative 71 “Legalization of Possession of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014” on the ballot in the November.  Polls show 63% of the population support legalization, yet the necessary 23,000 signatures – which must be collected by July 7 –  have been slow in coming.  If organizers are successful, DC could be the next US political entity to legalize marijuana.

Capitol Hill Corner visited Pueblo County, Colorado last week and files this report as part of an on-going series.

As reported earlier, Pueblo has moved quickly to embrace legalization as a way to bring economic relief to a city that has not prospered as much as cities along the Front Range to the north.  The first two reports concerned the industry from the point of view of the retailer.  (See here:  This report concerns issues from the point of view of the civil and criminal justice system, as well as the taxing concerns.

Regarding criminal justice, Pueblo County District Attorney Jeff Chostner’s office chose not to comment owing to lack of statistical data.  But Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor was happy to discuss the problems that legalization had brought to his office on a day to day basis.

Two ways in which legalization has had a significant impact, Taylor said, are an “exponential” increase in phone traffic related to compliance with the new marijuana law, and his department also receives complaints of criminal activity reportedly related to marijuana use.  In addition, Taylor feels he should assign deputies to conduct compliance checks alongside Colorado’s Division of Marijuana Enforcement, and this has stressed his staffing requirements.

Asked about the recently touted decrease in crime in Denver County during the first four months of deregulations, Taylor noted that the drop in crime was related to the major crimes tracked in the Uniform Crime Report statistics.  Those crimes are as follows: homicide, sex assault, robbery, aggravated assault burglary, theft from motor vehicles and auto theft, arson and larceny. Taylor pointed out that the statistics did not cover other crimes such as drug related arrests, home invasion, or DUIs.

With respect to the black market, Taylor says that the price disparity between the regulated product black market product keeps the illegal market alive, as do increased access, affordability, and acceptance of the drug.  He says one of the effects has been reflected in the difficulty construction companies have in hiring workers who can pass drug tests.

Taylor sees an indirect link to legalization of marijuana and the use of heroin – though he admits that methamphetamine is Pueblo County’s more serious problem – and says that sellers of illegal weed use profits to push other illegal drugs.  In 2012, the Sheriff’s office conducted one of the state’s largest drug busts – a 7,000 plant marijuana grow near Rye, Colorado.  At the time, Taylor said he thought the operation was linked to a Mexican cartel.

According to Taylor, “Viewed through the prism of law enforcement, it would be easier for us and the State of Colorado if marijuana is legalized nationwide.  More people would have a stake in regulating it.  In neighboring states – Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico – illicit drug busts have gone through the roof.”

Asked if he was advocating national legalization, Taylor said, “Absolutely not.  Personally I don’t believe in legalization.”  He went on to say that proponents’ claims that keeping it out of the hands of youths, elimination of the black market, and the drug being safer than alcohol have not been borne out in his experience.  He did say, however, that “one good by-product of legalization is the opening up of research exploring the benefits of marijuana,” which heretofore have been prevented by law.

Capitol Hill Corner also talked to Pueblo attorney Doug Kwitek, whose practice is largely civil law in Pueblo.  Kwitek offered his personal opinion on legalization.  “It’s one thing if smart, energetic people want to smoke marijuana – I tend to be a libertarian on that issue.  The bigger problem is the tendency of people who don’t have a lot of motivation to begin with to smoke marijuana and that tends to destroy any chance they have.”  Personal opinion aside, Kwitek listed a host of civil law issues plaguing the marijuana industry few of which have been resolved, including banking, buying real estate, leases, access to water for growing, zoning for selling, and income taxes for those in the industry.  Last week the Bureau of Reclamation announced that federal water cannot be used to grow state-sanctioned marijuana crops.  In Pueblo County, state and city water supplies have no such restriction.  At one point, he said, attorneys were told they couldn’t advise anybody involved in the marijuana industry because it would be a violation of the oath to uphold the laws of the US.  Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that entities have a right to access to legal advice regarding state law.

Kwitek seconded Taylor’s suggestion that the higher price of legal weed resulting from heavy taxes may be responsible for a continuing black market.  If this proves to be the case, regulators will be pressed to find a level of taxation which provides revenue while making the price attractive enough to customers so they will still be willing to pay the legal price.

The attorney cited the opinion of an associate – a local narcotics enforcement official – who says legalization was a huge mistake.  The associate said that he sees a connection between marijuana and meth – that because those who try meth might be inclined to try something stronger.

Kwitek says the “disparity between federal and state policy will continue to be problematic until rectified, and until then, retailers and medical marijuana providers will be operating in gray area…The federal policy is subject to change, but it would be a policy quagmire to begin prosecuting marijuana offenses where the public is overwhelmingly in favor on it.”  He suggested that legalization may be too far down the line to reverse.

Capitol Hill Corner also consulted Jerry Short, a Pueblo CPA, regarding the tax implications of legalization.  Short cited federal code which specifically states that individuals have to pay taxes on illegal activities under threat of being charged with a felony.  Because of bank unwillingness to deal with the industry, taxes have to be paid by purchasing money orders with cash or writing checks on legitimate accounts from other income.

Short says he thinks the federal government will move quickly to resolve the issue.  “The Fed is like everybody else – money talks.  They will do whatever is necessary to get it done.

Once everybody finds out the economic benefits, they’ll get on one horse and start riding.  Once government starts collecting revenue, the impact will be too great to reverse.”

Meanwhile, the Pueblo City Council is moving ahead to consider regulations governing the growing, product making and testing for the new industry.  The town’s current moratorium on retail within the city limits expires June 30 – the current seven marijuana retail operations are all outside city limits.  Marijuana industry representatives along the Front Range are looking at Pueblo’s lower cost real estate to locate aspects of the business and Pueblo is rolling out the welcome mat.

Recently, questions have arisen about how much revenue the state will realize after the first year, with the governor revising downward  initial projections which have come to be seen as too optimistic.  In Pueblo County, retail sales of marijuana fell off a bit last month after reaching a high in March – figures for total sales during the first four months are as follows:

April                $964,000 in total sales

March             $1.2 million

February          $800,000

January            $900,000

The summer tourist season may bring sales back up and even surpass previous levels.  Through March, Colorado has collected $12.6 million in taxes and licensing fees on sale of recreational and medical marijuana.

Still, as new concerns arise which perhaps fall under the category of unintended consequences, the state is finding it has to continue its scrutiny of its regulation process.  For example, the legislature moved swiftly to impose standards on the quantity of THC in edibles after an out of state student fell or jumped to his death from a balcony after accidently overdosing on edible marijuana.  Nine children have been hospitalized after consuming THC edibles this year as opposed to nine in all of 2013, despite requirements  that THC products to leave the store in child proof bags.  And fire departments have had to contend with home explosions that result from amateurs making their own hash oil in a risky process involving butane.

As local law enforcement officials scramble to stay abreast of legalization, it is likely that more  of the revenues generated by it will have to be redirected towards their regulation and enforcement efforts.  It will be many months before Colorado’s experiment in legalization can be fully assessed.  In the final analysis, legalization will not be judged by its consequences alone, but also in comparison to the many costs of prohibition.

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MPD Hears from Residents at Wednesday Night Crime Meeting

Councilmember Wells Calls on Resident at Last Night's Crime Meeing

Councilmember Wells Calls on Resident at Last Night’s Crime Meeting

First District Commander Jeff Brown and Councilmember Wells Address Community Concerns on Crime

First District Commander Jeff Brown and Councilmember Wells Address Community Concerns on Crime

Some 200 Residents Turn Out for Crime Meeting - the Overflow Stood in the Hall or Watched a Live Video Feed in an Adjacent Room

Some 200 Residents Turn Out for Crime Meeting – the Overflow Stood in the Hall or Watched a Live Video Feed in an Adjacent Room

More of the Residents Who Attended Last Night's Meeting

More of the Residents Who Attended Last Night’s Meeting

MPD Hears from Residents at Wednesday Night Crime Meeting

More Details on MPD Alert “Lapse”

by Larry Janezich

An overflow crowd of some 200 district residents turned out last night for a community crime meeting called by Councilmember Tommy Wells to address concerns about recent violent robberies on Capitol Hill.  Police have linked two and possibly three robberies, the first two being slasher/robberies near Eastern Market and the third a robbery near the NOMA-Gallaudet Metro stop.

Responding to public criticism of lapses in police procedure/technology that resulted in failure of  MPD to alert the community to the first incident on May 15, First District Commander Jeff Brown took  responsibility at the start of the meeting.  He explained that the failure to issue an alert immediately was because the incident, initially reported as an aggravated assault, failed to meet criteria for posting to listservs.  When it was determined later that night that it was an assault/robbery, it still failed to meet the criteria for posting because of the vague description of the assailant.  Human error was involved in the failure to list the event on the Daily Crime Report after an officer completed a review of the data for the report before the data was refreshed.

Brown said that measures had been taken to assure the failure would not happen again, and that a review of the criteria for posting crime incidents to the listservs was underway.  Currently, violent felonies that meet the criteria for tweeting to listservs include robbery, shootings, and stabbings.  It is unclear whether the MPD understands that the community receives such alerts not only, or not even primarily, to keep watch for potential assailants who match a description, but also to discern certain patterns in crime (time, place) in order to alert friends and neighbors and possibly alter their own decisions about how to get home during a certain time of night, etc.

ANC Commissioner Brian Pate has suggested to Councilmember Wells that he call for an Inspector General inspection of 911 call-handling and an internal audit of MPD report-taking procedures/errors.  Pate says, “We’ve heard too many anecdotes about botched reports and 911 calls – quality is inconsistent.”

The meeting received heavy coverage from the local media outlets, including the Washington Post and local television stations.  What was not reported by most of these outlets was the series of complaints issued by residents concerning MPD operations, including racial profiling, police inattentiveness to resident concerns, police focusing on traffic violations, and a wrenching description from a young female resident of Hill East who described the failure of MPD to return phone calls or emails after she was the victim of a hit and run accident near 18th and C Streets, SE.  Wells termed her account “extremely troubling” and he and Brown assigned personnel to get a fuller account from the woman.

Residents voiced a series of ideas about what could be done to address safety concerns.  These included additional lighting, reactivation of the Orange Hat Patrols, and greater community cohesiveness.  In the latter case, community activist Peter Bug Matthews made an impassioned plea for residents coming together as a community and looking out for each other.

In previous community crime meetings on Capitol Hill, two elements have been routinely aired, and last night’s gathering was no different.  The first was an overview of MPD’s cyclical strategy of devoting extra resources in the wake of community outrage of recent crime, which one resident called “reactive rather than proactive.”  That resident summed it up as follows:  crime spike, community crime meeting and police deployment, reduction in crime, reduction in deployment.

Wells admitted that “deployment is data driven and responds to trends” and said that after a period of decline, the neighborhood is seeing an uptick in violent crime.  Brown said that when he took over the First District earlier this year, one of his first acts was to ask his lieutenants to formulate crime prevention plans.  It is not clear whether these lieutenants will share these plans with residents at the monthly PSA meetings.  PSA 107 (6th Street to 13th Streets, SE and East Capitol to Navy Yard) meets at 7:00pm on the first Thursday of the month in the Southeast Library with Lieutenant Eddie Fowler.

The second standard element of such meetings is police admonitions to stay aware of surroundings, avoid making yourself a target through inattentiveness and carrying multiple bags, and don’t hesitate to call 911 in response to any behavior which seems unusual or suspicious.  Also unclear at the meeting was how this squares with resident complaints about MPD behavior when they followed this advice to the letter.



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The Week Ahead…….Wells Hosts Community Meeting on Crime on Wednesday

Solar Powered Security Cameras Installed Last Week by MPD Keep an Eye on the Corner of 9th and C Streets, SE, Close to Where Two Slasher Robberies Have Taken Place

Solar Powered Security Cameras Installed Last Week by MPD Keep an Eye on the Corner of 9th and C Streets, SE, Close to Where Two Slasher Robberies Have Taken Place Recently

The Week Ahead…….Wells Hosts Community Meeting on Crime on Wednesday

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, May 27

ANC6B Executive Committee Meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the monthly meeting of ANC6b on June 9.

Tuesday, May 27

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) meets at 7:00pm in the North Hall, Eastern Market.

Among items on the agenda:

Market Manager Barry Margeson reports on:

Parking enforcement in the alley behind Eastern Market

Status of Fresh Tuesday

Progress on the off-site parking plans

Progress on hanging a plaque to commemorate the contributions to Eastern Market of John Harrod, founder of the Market 5 Gallery and Kumba Center, originally located in the North Hall. (Eastern Market’s outdoor vendors raised $1600 to have the plaque cast in 2010, and have been pressing the city to mount the plaque in an appropriate space on the wall of the Market since then.  Recently community activist Peter Bug Matthews has joined their effort.)

Wednesday, May 28

Councilmember Tommy Wells and MPD will hold a public community meeting at 6:30pm at Hill Center in response to the recent violent robberies in Ward 6.    QUESTIONS: Contact Kouri Marshall, Senior Advisor & Director of External Affairs at 202.727.8272

Thursday, May 29

ANC 6B Hill East Task Force Meets at 6:30pm at Center City Public Charter School, 1503 East Capitol, to discuss the status of the planned Community Action Group (CAG) building at 124 15th Street, SE.  Michael Kelly, Executive Director of the DC Housing Authority, is expected to participate in the discussion.  The long-stalled project and conditions at the building site has been a sore point among the nearby neighbors of the project.

The CAG meeting site , scheduled for Thursday May 29th , has been changed to the basement of the rectory of Holy Comforter St. Cyprian Church one block from the school at 1357 East Capitol Street SE. Same date & time. Enter to the right of the main entrance , down 2 steps , into the side entrance

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How MPD Dropped the Ball Informing Community on Slasher/Robbery Community Meeting Likely Next Week

How MPD Dropped the Ball Informing Community on Slasher/Robbery

Community Meeting Likely Next Week

by Larry Janezich

The two violent attacks on women within a week close by Eastern Market have alarmed the community and put MPD on the spot regarding its failure to notify the community of the first attack until seven days after the fact.

Thursday, Councilmember Tommy Wells issued a statement saying he had “been in direct contact with MPD and they are immediately increasing foot, car and bike patrols in the area.”  In addition, Wells and MPD are coordinating a community meeting which will take place next week – likely on Wednesday, May 28, or Thursday, May 29.   CHC will post additional details as soon as they are available.

The attacks themselves were alarming, but also of concern to Capitol Hill residents is the failure of MPD to notify residents of the first of the two attacks, until seven days after its occurrence.  That attack took place on Thursday, May 15.  The first notice that residents had of the attack came not from MPD, but from a recounting by the victim’s daughter of the incident and a plea for assistance in identifying the assailant.  That information was posted on Monday, May 19, on, and reads in part, as follows:

“On Thursday night at approximately 1015pm while walking home from the Eastern market metro my mother was robbed and attacked with a knife at the intersection of 9th and C St. SE. She suffered serious injuries to her neck but will make a full recovery. She’s lived on the Hill for 30 years – it’s just so awful that this type of senseless violence happens.”

Following that posting and a subsequent news story by WJLA later that day, the information was picked up by residents and distributed widely on Capitol Hill by email and on listserves.  The first the community heard from MPD on the event was on Wednesday, May 21, when MPD tweeted out a request for assistance to ID a person of interest in the incident, along with a video of the individual in question pumping gas for himself and others at a gas station.

Later that same day, a second and similar attack took place within a block of the first attack a week earlier.  From the MPD Twitter account:

“1D Robbery/Stabbing-2147 hrs/ 200 blk of 8th St SE/ LOF B/M, 5’07”, wht or lgt button down shirt, blu jns. L/S east thru alley//2159”

Capitol Hill Corner has ascertained in the case of the first attack, that although the information was correctly transmitted to the Central Command Information Center (CIC), an officer at CIC failed to process that information which resulted in a failure in the automatic generation of a Twitter alert to community listserves and a posting on the MPC Daily Crime List.

Capitol Hill Corner contacted MPD to ask why the community had not been promptly informed of the violent assault and was referred to the Gwendolyn Crump, Director, Office of Communication.  Crump sent the following statement to Capitol Hill Corner:

“Regarding your inquiry on why the public wasn’t immediately notified about the incident that occurred last week. The report for this incident, which occurred late in the day, unfortunately just missed being added to the data warehouse by mere minutes.  The officer completed the full report just a few minutes after the data refresh for that day’s records had already begun and the reports were added to the data warehouse.  As a result, the automatically-generated listserv crime report, which is generated directly from the data warehouse, did not include this incident in that day’s listserv crime report.  The incident does, however, appear in, which is another avenue for residents to obtain crime data for larger time periods that can be customized by the user.”

The statement refers to completion of a “full report” which clearly was not a full report.  The statement allows the reader to infer slip-shod performance – shouldn’t the officer have waited until the data refresh was complete before signing off on adding reports to the data warehouse?  The statement goes on, employing a technique frequently used by MPD, saying in effect, “Well, this was a mistake – still, the information was available to those residents who go to”  As if.

There was a five day lapse between the attack and residents alerting the community via email  and listserves.  MPD chimed in on Twitter the 7th day after the first attack.  It goes too far to say that the MPD lapse played a part in the second attack.  But the Command Control Information Center and the officer responsible for the failure need to be held accountable.  The community deserves more than a public relations statement glossing over the incident.  It deserves certain knowledge regarding what actions have been and will be taken to ensure such lapses do not recur.  These questions should be asked at the forthcoming community meeting.


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The Week Ahead …..And Photos from Eastern Market’s Potluck

Eastern Market Potluck.  “Little Red and the Renegades” started early and played late.  The popular regional band played a mix of Zydeco, New Orleans Funk, and World Beat.  That’s band leader Little Red (Tom Corradino) on squeeze box.

Eastern Market Potluck. “Little Red and the Renegades” started early and played late. The popular regional band played a mix of Zydeco, New Orleans Funk, and World Beat. That’s band leader Little Red (Tom Corradino) on squeeze box.

More than two hundred neighbors turned out for the first of what will be an annual event.

More than two hundred neighbors turned out for the first of what will be an annual event.

Market Manager Barry Margeson's pig roasted in a Caja China Roasting Box was well received.

Market Manager Barry Margeson’s pig roasted in a Caja China Roasting Box was well received.

Later that evening.

Later that evening

The Week Ahead …..And Photos from Eastern Market’s Potluck

by Larry Janezich

Monday, May

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm, (NOTE LOCATION CHANGE) Maury Elementary School (1250 Constitution Avenue, NE).  Chair:  Omar Mahmud.

Among items on the Agenda:

Maryland Avenue, NE, pedestrian safety community meeting with DDOT to be held May 21, 2014 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Northeast Library

Request to install stop sign at 13th Street NE and I Street NE (convert intersection to a four-way stop)

Monday, May 19

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Maury Elementary, 1250 Constitution Ave NE (enter from 13th St.)   Chair Elizabeth Nelson.


Review of grant request: Miner ES PTO (athletic equipment)

Tuesday, May 20

ANC6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center (10th and G Streets, NE).  Chair:  Jay Williams.

Among items on the Agenda:

Update on status of XII and Cusbah protest hearings.

Update on requests by Little Miss Whiskey’s, H Street Country Club, Rock N Roll Hotel, and Vendetta to terminate their Settlement Agreements with ANC 6A.

Discussion of new tavern license application for Mythology & Lore at 816 H Street, NE

Discussion of new license application for Gallery O on H at 1354-1356 H Street, NE

Discussion of application for later Summer Garden hours by Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar at 1104 H Street NE

Tuesday, May 20

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

floor.  Chair:  Janet Quigley

Wednesday, May 21

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm in Sherwood Recreation Center 10th St, NE.  Co-Chair Dan Golden.


Historic Preservation Board application for placement of cell phone antennae atop existing church at 1301 North Carolina Avenue, NE

BZA approval for special exception from lot occupancy requirements and for variance from court width requirements, as well as HPRB approval for design of two-story addition to rear of existing row house at 1122 East Capitol Street

Wednesday, May 21

ANC 6B Outreach & Constituent Services Task Force Meets at 7:00pm at Hill Center.  Chair:  Brian Pate.

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Bayou Bakery To Bring Louisiana Cuisine to Hill Center Carriage, Fall 2014

The Carriage House At Hill Center - Future Home of Bayou Bakery

The Carriage House At Hill Center – Future Home of Bayou Bakery

Bayou Bakery To Bring Louisiana Cuisine to Hill Center Carriage, Fall 2014

Restaurant Will Serve Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Weekend Brunch

by Larry Janezich

The Washington Post reported this morning that celebrity chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington will open a second restaurant in Hill Center’s Carriage House in late 2014 – a long awaited arrival, as the Hill Center has been trying to find a tenant for the building since it opened in November 2011.

The restaurant’s Louisiana cuisine menu will include buttermilk biscuits, beignets, muffuletta sandwiches and will expand beyond the offerings at the Arlington spot where venting regulations short circuit a number of fried dishes.  Counter Culture Coffee is the exclusive supplier for the Arlington outlet, and it’s likely the relationship will extend to the new restaurant.

Guas was an associate pastry chef at Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans before coming to DC in 1998 and to the pastry kitchen of DC Coast.  After a decade of developing dessert menus as corporate pastry chef for Passion Food Hospitality, Gaus opened the rustic and acclaimed Bayou Baker in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington.  He is the author of a popular dessert cookbook: DamGoodSweet – Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style.  He and his cooking has been featured in numerous print and electronic media outlets.

For the menu of Bayou Bakery in Arlington, go here:

For the Washington Post article, go here:



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ANC6B Gives & Pizza on Barracks Row a Second Chance

8:30am on the 400 Block of Barracks Row, Tuesday, May 13

8:30am on the 400 Block of Barracks Row, Tuesday, May 13

Steve  Salas at ANC6B Meeting, Tuesday Night

Steve Salis at ANC6B Meeting, Tuesday Night

ANC6B Gives & Pizza on Barracks Row a Second Chance

Neighbors Unconvinced by Owner’s Maneuver

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, an earnest Steve Salis, owner of &Pizza, breathed new life into his moribund request for a fast food exception to open a pizza place on Barrack Row.  Salis appeared before ANC6B with a new proposal calculated to head off what appeared to be certain rejection of the exception.  He announced that to allay the primary concerns of his 7th Street residential neighbors across the back fence, he had asked for a one month delay in consideration of his case by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).  Salis said he has applied for a variance that would allow him to build an enclosure attached to the proposed restaurant for indoor trash storage, and dispose of stored trash by moving it out to 8th Street. He said he would make the application for the exception contingent on approval of the variance and that the delay would allow parties to look at his new proposed solution through an “unbiased lens”.

If the delay is granted, Salis would come back before the ANC on June 10, to present the case for the variance and the request for the exception – to be considered as a package – with the request for the exception  contingent on approval of the variance.  Such an offer appeared to some observers to indicate Salis’ confidence that he can get BZA approval of the variance.

Neighbors were having none of it.  They say that the new proposal is where Salis should have started at a meeting with them in April – rather than stonewalling them then and coming in with a proposal 24 hours before Tuesday night’s meeting.  Neighbor after neighbor arose to ask ANC6B to oppose the application, citing their underlying concerns that an additional fast food restaurant on the 400 block of Barracks Row will increase the rodent, trash, noise and odor issues.  For several neighbors, the trustworthiness of the applicant was at issue.  Salis allegedly told neighbors that with the exception of a couple of DPW warnings because homeless people were dumpster diving in the alley at the H Street &Pizza, he had no violations from either agency.

In response to the claim, neighbors produced evidence of 23 Department of Health violations at the H Street &Pizza between May 23, 2013 and April 15, 2014.  According to InspectionMapper (a website that tracks restaurants and grades them according to number of violations) as of mid-April, H Street &Pizza received an “F” for the accumulation of violations. At that time, InspectionMapper said, 25% of restaurants were rated “A”, 21% “B”, 22% “C”, 16% “D”, and 16% “F”.  Neighbors say the infractions show that Salas has not demonstrated the attention to detail necessary to address their concerns.

Apparently reflecting concern of the neighbors and underlining the need for a comprehensive approach to the rodent problem in the immediate area, Commissioner Ivan  Frishberg told Salis that he expected a good “chunk” of his product would end up being consumed on 8th Street or in Metro Plaza.  Salis agreed and acknowledged a systemic rat problem, but said that he can only control his space and his operation.

Frishberg expressed his concerns regarding the block’s rodent problem in an email to his constituents earlier this week, saying, “If we do not set the highest standard for current and future operators on these densely populated blocks we will only be adding to the problems of rats that are running rampant in backyards, across the metro plaza and all around the restaurants most of us frequent.”

In the end, ANC6B voted 8-0-2, to oppose the application, but added language addressed to the BZA acknowledging that the applicant has requested a delay and encouraging a delay in order to provide an opportunity for the issue to be resolved by negotiation between the restaurateur and neighbors and allowing ANC6B to consider the fast food exception and the variance at the same time.

Those commissioners voting for the delay:  Peish, Frishberg, Pate, Campbell, Garrison, Oldenburg, Opkins, and Loveland.

Those commissioners abstaining:  Flahaven and Jayaraman

(Flahaven said he abstained because he wanted to see a compromise.  Jayaraman said he did not want to say he was opposed to &Pizza on Barracks Row while there was an opportunity to see if the strategy Salis is proposing works better than what other restaurants are doing.)



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Community Potluck Dinner at Eastern Market Tuesday (Tomorrow) Night

Eastern Market to Host First Annual Potluck Dinner Tuesday Night

Eastern Market to Host First Annual Potluck Dinner Tuesday Night

Community Potluck Dinner at Eastern Market Tuesday (Tomorrow) Night

Annual Event Will Promote Eastern Market as a Community Market

by Larry Janezich

Eastern Market will sponsor a community potluck dinner tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 13, from 7:00pm until 9:00pm, under the Farmer’s Line on 7th Street.  The potluck will officially kick off both the summer season and Fresh Tuesday Market which will be in full operation prior to the potluck.  Entertainment will be provided by the popular local band, Little Red and the Renegades.

Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share with 8 to 12 people (an entrée, salad, dessert, or drinks – but no alcohol).  Those who are late day walk-ins or want to participate without a contribution are welcome to show up according to Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson.

Vendors inside and outside the market will participate.  Margeson will be roasting a pig from Union Meats in a Caja China Roasting Box.  “Caja China” (Chinese box in Spanish) allows cooking a whole pig in four hours using charcoal heat in the enclosed space.

Food contributions can be dropped off earlier in the day tomorrow at the North Hall.  Call Barry Margeson at 202 689 4031 for details or additional information.

The annual potluck is one of several community events planned in coming months which will focus on enhancing the relationship between Eastern Market and the community.

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The Week Ahead……Monthly meetings for ANC 6B, ANC 6C, and ANC 6D

One of the 36 Ben Tolman pieces currently showing at The Fridge, through June 1.

One of the 36 Ben Tolman pieces currently showing at The Fridge, through June 1.

The Week Ahead……Monthly meetings for ANC 6B, ANC 6C, and ANC 6D

By Larry Janezich

Monday, May 12

ANC6D holds its regular May meeting at 7:00pm in the DCRA Meeting Room, 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor.

Among items on the Agenda:

Presentation by WMATA on development at Navy Yard Metro

Channel Square Use Variance

Tour de Cure Race, American Diabetes Association

Monday, May 12

ANC6B Subcommittee on the PUD application for the development at 1333 M Street, SE, chaired by Commissioner Nichole Opkins, will meet at 7:00pm in Hill Center.  On the Agenda:

Explanation of the PUD and the PUD process, community involvement, and timeline.  In addition to commissioners, the following stakeholder representatives have been named to the subcommittee:

Scott Kratz, Director, 11th Street Bridge Project

Gary Peterson, Zoning Chair, CHRS

Frank Vargas, Neighbor, 1332 L Street, SE

Mary Withum, Neighbor, 1514 Potomac Avenue, SE

To see CHC report on this project, go here:

Tuesday, May 13

ANC6B holds its regular May meeting at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Among items on the Agenda:

Unenclosed sidewalk café for Curbside Café, 257 15th Street, SE

Presentation on closure and rehabilitation of Marion Park (across from the District 1 MPD Station on E Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, SE)

Summer garden for Nooshi Capitol Hill, 524 8th Street, SE

Special exception for fast food pizza restaurant at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Special exception for fast food pizza restaurant (& Pizza) at 405 8th Street, SE

Historic preservation application for façade alterations and rooftop addition for 531 8th Street, SE

Relocation of existing emergency shelter for 100 persons from Building 9 to Building 27 on the DC General Hospital Campus

Letter regarding 6B recommendations for actions on pocket parks

Letter with comments to Department of General Services regarding the former Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club Building request for offers

Approval of testimony regarding CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Wednesday, May 14

ANC6C holds its regular May meeting at 7:00pm at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

Among items on the Agenda:

Calvin Smith and Commissioner Price will comment on Specialty Hospital

Public Space applications—Two Rivers Public Charter School, Union Place II

NoMa Poodle Park, 100 block L Street—concept, NoMa BID

DDOT: performance parking, RPP, 2nd Street signage, photo enforced, bicycle issues

RPP request, 700 block of I Street N.E.

337 H Street N.E., FOIA request to DCRA

Alcohol license issues for Shake Shack, 50  Massachusetts Avenue, NE and Tru Orleans, 400 H Street, NE.

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