Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Week Ahead….

2015-11-29 17.32.14

Capitol Hill’s own Christmas Tree on the Northeast Triangle of Eastern Market Metro Plaza circa 6:00pm Sunday. The tree was lit during a ceremony on Saturday evening.

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

CHRISTMAS TREE SALE:    Cub Scout Pack 230 Christmas Tree Sale – 3-6 December.  Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol Street, NE, across for the Folger Theater.

Hours:  Thursday Dec 3. 3 – 5:00pm-8:00pm; Friday Dec 4. 4 – 5:00pm-8:00pm; Saturday Dec 5. 5 – 9:00am – 6:00pm; Sunday Dec 6. 5 – 11:30am – 4:00pm.Thur 5-8pm – Fri 5-8pm – Sat 9-6pm – Sun. 11:30-4pm.

Monday, November 30

  1. ANC6B Planning and Zoning Planned Unit Development (PUD) Subcommittee will meet at 7:00pm at the Hill Center. The PUD Subcommittee will work through the PUD process for multiple proposed projects located in ANC6B, making recommendations on benefits and amenities packages to the ANC Planning and Zoning Committee.


Update on proposed PUD projects and subcommittee plans

Presentation on Watkins Alley PUD

Draft benefits and amenities package for 1401 Penn

Tuesday, December 1

  1. Anc6B Planning & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00 p.m., in the cafeteria at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE.


1220 Potomac Avenue SE, new construction/revised plans.

Rear 1524 Independence Avenue SE.

1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, PUD, Draft Memorandum of Agreement.

  1. ANC 6C Parks and Events Committee meets at 7:00pm, Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Medical center, 700 2nd Street, SE.

Agenda not available at press time.

Wednesday, December 2

  1. CANCELLEDANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center

Draft Agenda:

DDOT Traffic Calming Study Results: 12th & G Streets SE

DDOT DC State Rail Plan (released September 21, 2015)

  1. ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee meets at 7:00 pm, Capitol Hill Medical Center/Kaiser Permanente, 700 Second Street, NE, 2nd & G Streets, NE.

Draft Agenda:

518 6th St. NE  (non-voting) – Status update on ANC 6C’s appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s issuance of permit B1512716 in violation of the zoning regulations, and the Zoning Administrator’s refusal to revoke that permit despite repeated notice (and detailed evidence) of its illegality.

650 F St. St. NE (BZA 19159) — Application of Edward and Jessica Long, pursuant to 11 DCMR § 3104.1, for a special exception under § 223, not meeting the lot occupancy requirements under § 403, the open court requirements under § 406, and the non-conforming structure requirements under § 2001.3, and a special exception from the height requirements under to construct a third-floor addition with roof deck to an existing one-family dwelling in the R-4 District at premises 650 F Street N.E. (Square 860, Lot 7). Representative: Jennifer Fowler. Hearing on Jan. 12, 2016. [ANC 6C05]

Proposal to petition for a zoning regulation amendment – Proposal to petition the Zoning Commission for an amendment to the regulations to exclude part or all of a historic front porch from the definition of “building area.” The purpose of the amendment is to address situations where all or part of an existing porch lies within the lot boundaries and therefore counts toward the percentage of lot occupancy.

Under current law, owners have an incentive to remove such porches in order to facilitate by-right construction of additions at the rear or elsewhere on the property. The proposed language would eliminate that incentive.

Thursday, December 3

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

On the Agenda:

Bullfrog Bagels, 317 7th Street, SE, new Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant license.

Trader Joe’s, 750 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, new Retailer’s Class B license.

  1. ANC 6C Transportation and Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm at Kaiser Permanente, 700 2nd St. NE

Agenda unavailable at press time.

  1. Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) meet at 5:30pm at Southeast Library, lower level.
  2. PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm, Southeast Library, lower level

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The Week Ahead….

2015-11-22 13.06.54

Trouble Brewing? Food and drink outlets on the the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, are grumbling about loss of business to the Eastern Market weekend flea market vendor Vigilante Coffee.

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, November 23

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee (COC) meets at 7 pm, Maury Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room.

Among items on the agenda:

Grant Outreach – Grant Workshop

Committee Priorities/Issues

“The ABCs of the ANC” Flier

Review of grant request:  Miner Elementary School PTO

Neighborhood Safety Training

Thursday, November 26

DPW to Observe Thanksgiving Day; Trash, Recycling Will Not Be Collected; Parking Enforcement Will Be Suspended.  Leaves will be collected as scheduled from Area D neighborhoods (West of 11th Street, South of East Capitol and Independence Avenue, see below)

Sunday, November 29

MPD Community Bike Ride.  MPD 1st, 4th, and 5th Districts invite bikers to join officers on a police escorted 14.7 mile community bike ride through the city and the Metropolitan Branch Trail.  The ride will last 2 – 2.5 hours.  Leave from MPD HQ at 200 Indiana Avenue, NW, at 10:00am.

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Councilmember and MPD Puzzled About Delay in Extraditing Hill East Rape Suspect;​ & ​There’s a New Sheriff in PSA 108

2015-11-19 20.38.06

Lt. (Acting Captain) Damion Taylor listens to a PSA 108 resident at last Thursday’s PSA 108 meeting at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE

Councilmember and MPD Puzzled About Delay in Extraditing Hill East Rape Suspect;​ & ​There’s a New Sheriff in PSA 108

by Larry Janezich

At the PSA 108 meeting​Thursday night attended by about 40 community members​, Hill East residents expressed concern over the lack of information regarding the status of the suspect in the violent rape and home invasion near 18th and A Streets, SE, in Hill East.   Residents were concerned that no information has been forthcoming about the crime.  Hill East activist Jim Meyers pressed officials about the absence of information​, ​wondering how the suspect ​”​got here or was he here all along​?​”

MPD 1st District Commander Brown responded that though a suspect is in custody in another jurisdiction (Prince Georges County, Maryland) the suspect’s name will be withheld until he is extradited and charged in DC.  He said that he had to “protect the integrity of the process and not do anything that would jeopardize the case.”  Likewise, Brown was unable to say why it was taking so long to extradite the suspect:  “I’m not sure whether he’s fighting extradition.”

​The inability to provide definitive information in reply to questions such as this exemplifies the ​frustrating interaction between MPD and residents that discourages attendance ​to​ PSA meetings​, ​undercutting the mutually desired goal of effective community policing.

The next morning, at a regularly scheduled meeting with community members, Councilmember Charles Allen said he was puzzled why the extradition was taking so long.  He credited Jackie Bensen of NBC News 4 with having reported additional details regarding the suspect in the rape case.  ​

As reported on the NBC4 website ( – search recent stories by “Jackie Benson” ​)​, those details include​:

  1. The 21 year old suspect has been on 3 years’ probation after 2 years in jail for a 2013 armed robbery.
  2. He was arrested September 30, 2015, at MLK Library and charged with felony drug possession.
  3. When arrested at MLK he had in his backpack a tampered-with Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) bracelet in his back pack when arrested.
  4. He was subsequently released on the condition he stay away from MLK Library and refrain from engaging in crime.
  5. After the Hill East rape, he was arrested in Prince George’s County on an unrelated charge.
  6. He is being held in Prince George’s county on $35,000 bond.
  7. MPD has placed a “hold” on the suspect

​During the Thursday night’s PSA meeting, when a resident raised the question of the tampered-with ankle bracelet in connection with the suspect and asked under whose authority the bracelet had been issued, neither Clifford Keenan from the DC Pretrial Services Agency nor Michael Bonds from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency ​(CSOSA), both ​of whom were in​ attendance​, ​could say whether the case came under jurisdiction of their agencies.  Court documents in the report by NBC4’s Jackie Bensen revealed that it was ​CSOSA​.  ​ In response to questions, Commander Brown mentioned that ​tampering with or removal of an ankle bracelet ​constituted a separate offense.

(A link to make contributions to the community fund for the victim in the Hill East rape case and family is here:

The PSA 108 meeting was the first presided over by Lt. Damion Taylor, and it featured a host of officials representing various DC criminal justice system agencies. ​ But none offered concrete answers in response to questions – and, in the case of Michael Bonds, he claimed to be unaware of any felonies committed by ​a person who fell under his agency’s supervision.  As a result, parts of the meeting lapsed into a familiar superficial public relations exercise ​familiar to many who attend PSA meetings in search of answers.  Taylor promised to facilitate more exchange in the next meeting, and in particular he expressed his desire to invite a representative from the Office of Unified Communications (OUC), the agency charged with fielding 9-1-1 calls, in order to respond to a number of concerns raised Hill East residents​, including incompetence and unprofessionalism.  ​Last May, Muriel Bowser accepted the resignation of the previous director of the OUC and vowed changes to the agency.  According to residents at the PSA meeting, those changes are not yet apparent.

Lt. ​Taylor wants the community to participate to a greater extent in setting the agenda for and organizing the PSA meeting.  He is asking for 2 ​or​ 3 volunteers to run the meetings and to get feedback “on what you want to do,” adding, “I want you to tell me who you want to hear from.”

Taylor is a DC​ native who attended Eastern High and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from GWU.  He has been on the force 11 years and has a broad range of experience, including undercover work, experience with the mobile crime unit, ​and ​experience as a PSA Lt. in MPD Districts 4 and 5.  He called District 1 the “cream of the crop” and said police dream of working here.  Taylor says, ​”I’m optimistic but the police can’t do it alone.  You’re the community – you live here and I work for you.  I want to know the things you feel are important.  Tell me and I’ll give you feedback next month.​”​

CHC has some questions for next month, including​:

Why was the suspect in the rape case free after a felony arrest while being on probation?

On whose authority was he​ released?

Was the rape suspect supposed to be wearing an ankle bracelet,​ and if so did the one found in his backpack belong to him?

Why is it taking so long to extradite him?

What connected the suspect arrested in PG County to the rape in Hill East?

What was the Hill East rape suspect charged with in PG County?

Why don’t officials from​​ ​CSO​S​A know that one of its monitoring devices​​ had been tampered with and was in the possession of a person arrested for a felony who later became a suspect in a rape case? Are failures like this too frequent to attract notice?​

What is being done to improve 9-1-1 services at the Office of Unified Communications?

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Hill East Violent Crime Up Over Last Month – PSA Meeting Thursday Night

Hill East Violent Crime in Up Over Last Month – PSA Meeting Thursday Night

by Larry Janezich

Violent crime in Hill East’s PSA 108 was up during the past 30 days over the preceding 30 days as illustrated in the two crime maps below.  There were 18 incidents of violent crime most recently, compared to 11 during the earlier period.  Most of the increase came in the category of robbery with gun.

Likewise, MPD’s District One saw an increase in violent crime to 98 from 76, though there was a significant drop in property crime.  See the MPD District One crime maps below.

PSA 108 meets at 7:00pm on Thursday night, at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.  It will be the first PSA presided over by new PSA leader Acting Captain Damion Taylor.  He is expected to be accompanied by other criminal justice officials.  Taylor has been active in engaging the Hill East community on newhilleast listserv as part of a new emphasis on community policing.  Some believe that social media have made PSA meetings obsolete but it seems clear that a forum for personal engagement between police and residents is the necessary foundation both for effective community policing and effective community building.

This morning’s Washington Post featured an article by Aaron C. Davis, Peter Hermann, and Scott Clement headlined “Residents say crime is Washington’s No. 1 problem, poll finds.”

According to the article, homicides are up 58% over the same period last year though police say overall crime is down some 5% so far this year and robberies are up in certain neighborhoods.

One of those neighborhoods is Capitol Hill, and the WaPo article notes:  “In Ward 6, which encompasses most of Capitol Hill and as of last month had experienced a more than 50 percent increase in gun holdups, the poll found the biggest drop in feelings of personal safety. The share of residents feeling at least “somewhat safe” dropped from 84 to 63 percent since 2011.”

One resident interviewed for the article cited gentrification as a cause of the crime spike – another blamed a failing criminal justice system.  The article states that “Many D.C. residents see the city’s rising homicide rate as part of a larger societal phenomenon and tied in part to rising economic pressures on the city’s poorest residents.”

For access to MPD Crime Map, go here:

PSA 108 Violent Crime Most Recent 30 Days

Violent Crime in PSA 108, Past 30 Days

PSA 108 Violent Crime Previous 30 Days

Violent Crime PSA 108, Previous 30 Days

District One Crime Map Most Recent 30 Days Oct 18 - Nov  17

Violent Crime in MPD District One, Past 30 Days

District One Crime Map Previous 30 Days Sept 18 - Oct  17

Violent Crime in MPD District One, Previous 30 Days

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The Week Ahead…

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, November 16

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

Among items on the agenda:

Request for letter of support for Rock & Roll Marathon

Request for truck and bus restrictions on 11th Street, NE

Pedestrian walk signals at 10th Street NE and Maryland Avenue NE

Tuesday, November 17

  1. ANC6B’s Hill East Task Force meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington


To hear a presentation on the updated plans for phase 1 of the Hill East development.  Reps from Donatelli Development and GTM Architects will share design drawings and updates on the progress toward construction on two parcels near the Stadium Armory Metro entrance.

  1. ANC 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meeting meets at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G Streets, NE.

Discussion of request by Ocopa at 1324 H Street, NE, for an Entertainment Endorsement.

Discussion of request by Sol Mexican Grill at 1251 H Street, NE, for an extension of hours for operation, alcoholic beverage sales and consumption, and live entertainment.

  1. CHRS Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE, second floor. Details: Lisa Dale Jones, (202) 543-0425.

Wednesday, November 18

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

Among items on the agenda:

Resolution of previously heard BZA/HPRB cases

1603-1625 Benning Road, NE (Informational Presentation): The PUD seeks a land use designation change from the existing C-2-A to C-2-B in order to develop the Property into a residential development with a significant portion of the units being dedicated to workforce housing.

1313 to 1323 Linden Court, NE: Applicant seeks variances from the zoning regulations to allow the construction of five one-family dwellings and a neighborhood-servicing retail establishment in the C-2-A District.

1301 H Street, NE: Application of 3317 16th Street LLC, for variances zoning regulations and a special exemption for the HS Overlay requirements to convert a vacant church into a new four-story, mixed-use commercial and residential building in the HS-A/C-2-A District.

  1. CHRS Preservation Café: “Home Maintenance Tips.” 7:00pm, Kaiser Permanente building, 700 2nd Street, NE
  2. Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) meets at 7:00pm, North Hall, Eastern Market.

Thursday, November 19

  1. PSA 108 meets at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE, with MPD Lt. Damion Taylor.

Notice for Thursday, November 19, 2015

Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) City Wide Action Effort on Jobs, Housing and Homelessness with Mayor Muriel Bowser.

7:00pm – 8:30pm, Covenant Baptist UCC, 3845 South Capitol Street, SE

Sign Up/RSVP REQUIRED . Those interested in attending should contact Pastor Anthony E. Owens, Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Ave., S.E.

Tel. 202.543.7894

Cell 202.531.3198


Washington Interfaith Network is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)

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Starbuck’s Moves Quickly to Resolve Rat/Trash Issues – ANC Oks Liquor License

Starbucks District Manager Ronny Correa (center, back to camera) tells ANC Commissioners Jayaraman and Symolak and members of the community that Starbucks will go the extra mile on trash and rodent control

Starbucks District Manager Ronny Correa (center, back to camera) tells ANC Commissioners Jayaraman and Symolak and members of the community that Starbucks will go the extra mile on trash and rodent control

Starbuck’s Moves Quickly to Resolve Rat/Trash Issues – ANC Oks Liquor License

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC6B approved a liquor license for Starbuck’s 3rd and PA Avenue outlet.  Commissioners were impressed by what they considered Starbucks’ good faith efforts to address concerns raised by neighbors.  Last Thursday, the ANC’s ABC Committee took no position on the request in light of the heavy turnout of neighbors who complained about Starbucks’ trash management practices which they claimed cause much of the significant rat problem in the neighborhood.  See CHC post here:

On Sunday afternoon, Starbucks District Manager Ronny Correa told a group of neighbors of its 3rd and Pennsylvania, SE, outlet that Starbucks corporate counsel had “misspoke” at last Thursday’s ANC ABC committee where the coffee shop’s request for an alcohol license was being considered.  In fact, Correa said, apologetically, “cost is not an issue for us,” regarding resolution of the rodent-attracting trash issues drawing complaints from neighbors living near 3rd and PA Avenue.  In addition, he said the claim that trash was being picked up six days a week was also in error.  Trash is actually being picked up three days a week and recycling three days a week.

The Sunday afternoon meeting had been coordinated by ANC commissioner Jennifer Samolyk.  In addition to some eight neighbors, Commissioners Jayaraman, Oldenburg, and Burger also attended.

The regional facilities manager who accompanied Correa to the meeting outlined what Starbucks was prepared to commit to in order to get ANC6B support for the license application.  These included:

Switching out the dumpsters for newer models

7 day a week pick up of trash and recycling

Monthly (instead of quarterly) power washing of the trash storage area (or as needed weather permitting)

Pest control inspections daily until no rodent activity is seen, then three times a week inspections until no activity is seen, then inspections once a week until no activity is seen, and then an inspection every 2 weeks.

Internal training for employees regarding trash disposal and frequent checks of the trash storage area throughout the day

In addition, the company is looking into installation of a trash compactor.

The company expressed confidence they can solve the problem without indoor trash storage, but is still exploring all options.  They said that if the measures did not resolve the issues the company would consider indoor trash storage  when the license comes back for renewal before the ANC in March of 2016.

The agreement reflects another success in the efforts of ANC6B and organized neighbors to bring best operating practices to restaurants adjacent to residential areas.  It also raises the bar for the three nearby Mendelsohn-owned restaurants which neighbors say generate rodent problems.  The Mendelsohn’s licenses come up for renewal next March.

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Hine Partner/SuperPAC Donor Buwa Binitie Travels to China with Bowser

Hine Partner/SuperPAC Donor Buwa Binitie Travels to China with Bowser

Bowsers Hine Affordable Housing Concerns No Deterrent to Housing Agency Appointment

by Larry Janezich

Throughout the government approval process for the Hine Jr. High Development, Councilmember and current Mayor Muriel Bowser maintained that the separation of the development’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units into its own building troubled her and, if given the opportunity to do it all over again, she would change it.

But it evidently it did not trouble her that much.  Buwa Binitie, the developer who engineered the division of the Hine site to provide a separate legal property for the affordable housing portion – which allowed Stanton-EastBanc to fall short of compliance with what LIHTC requirements would be if the property were one parcel – was appointed by Bowser to the DC Housing Finance Agency board that reviews and approves LIHTC applications.

Binitie, the principal of Dantes Partners, who accompanied Bowser on a trip to China in search of foreign investment in the city, was recently identified as a major contributor to the Mayor’s controversial SuperPAC, as described by Aaron Davis in the Washington Post ( ).  The WP reported in October that the treasurer of the SuperPac says the fund will be used to help re-elect councilmembers who support the Mayor and oppose councilmembers who don’t.

As reported earlier on this blog ( ), when “considered as one project – and, in light of the fact that the developer is paying $0 for the North Parcel because he is allowed to deduct its cost from the amount paid for the South Parcel, it probably should be – the DC government has given valuable land away to a developer without receiving its fair share of affordable housing in return.”  As was also subsequently reported on this blog, Binitie and his group submitted what turned out to be a failed bid to develop the Boys and Girls Club property in Hill East ( ).

Recently, appearing before the city council on November 5th, Binitie testified that he “could not recall” who had asked him to contribute $10,000 to the SuperPAC over the course of this past summer.  (See the WAMU story here: ).  As reporter Patrick Madden relates, Binitie contributed the $10,000 a month after Bowser nominated him to serve on the DC Housing Finance Agency board.

Councilmember Mary Cheh’s recent questioning of Binitie can be found at the 1 hour, 07 minute mark of the November 5th Joint Hearing that can be viewed here:

The DC City Council approved Binitie’s nomination and two others to the board of the Housing Finance Agency in mid-August.  The other two were Bryan “Scottie” Irving, Principal and Founder of Blue Skye Development and Construction Company, and Stephen M. Green, Chief Operating Officer of The NHP Foundation.

The Housing Finance Agency was established in 1979 to stimulate and expand homeownership and rental housing opportunities in Washington, D.C.  Their mission is to offer below market rate mortgage loans to lower the homebuyers’ costs of purchasing homes and by issuing mortgage revenue bonds to lower the developers’ costs of acquiring, constructing and rehabilitating rental housing.

The Agency’s Board of Directors is a five member board nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Under the statute establishing the agency, two Board members must be from the mortgage lending or finance industries; two members must be from the home building, real estate, architecture, or planning community; and one member must serve the community or consumer interests.


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The Week Ahead….

Looks like Trader Joe's application for a liquor license for the Hine site outlet will be before the ANC next month.

Looks like Trader Joe’s application for a liquor license for the Hine site outlet will be before the ANC next month.

The Week Ahead….

Monday, November 9

  1. ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, 1104 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor

Among items on the agenda:

Rail Study, including CSX tracks (Ryan Westrom, Senior Transportation Planner/Engineer, DDOT)

Public Service Commission – Comment on updated bid for Pepco

Bardo Big River Application

Virginia Avenue Streetscape Restoration, DDOT

Riverside Baptist Church PUD, hearing date 11/30/15

Case Bridge lights DDOT Public Space Hearing 11/19/15

Lunch Room & Oyster Shucking Shed, 1100 Maine Avenue, HPRB hearing date 11/19/15

82 Eye Street SE, Construction Update (Miller & Long)

1244 South Capitol Street, Public Space Permit

Florida Rock Bulkhead Replacement, 2 S Street, SW, DDOT (Kelly Drewry, Davis Buckley Architects)

1000 South Capitol Street, BZA

1000 South Capitol Street, (related alley closing)

Tuesday, November 10

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

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation Christopher Weaver, Director, DGS (Status of Weekend Flea Market)

Starbucks Coffee, 237 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, new Retailer’s Class “D” Restaurant license

Bullfrog Bagels, 317 7th Street, SE, new Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant license

DOH Certificate of Need (for primary care facility), Community Connections, 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Rock ‘n Roll DC Marathon 2016

Consideration of Amendments to Commission Standing Rules

  1. Police Service Area (PSA) 104 public meeting7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Stuart Hobson Middle School, 410 E Street, NE
  1. Neighborhood Watch Crime Prevention Training 7:00 pm – Friendship Chamberlain Public Charter School, 1345 Potomac Ave SE. Contact: Samantha Nolan at

Wednesday, November 11

Veteran’s Day.   No ANC meetings.

Thursday, November 12

  1. ANC 6A meeting 7:00pm. Miner E.S., 601 15th Street, NE

Among items on the agenda:

The Pursuit Wine Bar (1421 H St NE), change from a Restaurant to a Tavern license.

Ocopa (1324 H St NE) – ANC protest the request for an Entertainment Endorsement until Ocopa is able to present its plans to the ABL Committee and the Committee has no objections to or concerns with those plans:  Include a café zone on the Eighth (8th) Street NE side of the property that will provide six (6) feet of space between the existing bus shelter and the café zone, and that will provide buffer space between neighboring property to the south on Eighth (8th) Street NE; and

Request for a DDOT traffic calming study on the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Constitution Avenue, NE

Support for the Lincoln Park bike lane plans with the exception of the contraflow lane on 100 block of Eleventh (11th) Street, NE

Historic landmark status for the Lexington Apartments building at1114 F Street, NE

  1. ANC6C meets a 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE

Sugar Factory, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, request for extension of hours

XO, 15 K Street NE, application for a tavern license, including entertainment  endorsement and summer garden, seating capacity 320; summer garden, 60.

Capital Bikeshare expansion plan

Proposed regulations for resident-only parking

NoMa Parks update—Stacie West (non-voting item)

Rock n Roll Marathon, March 12, 2016

301 Florida Avenue, NE,  (non-voting item), proposal to raze existing building and replace with a mixed-use building with retail and residential uses.

  1. ANC6B Constituent Services and Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.
  1. CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm, Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE

Notice for Thursday, November 19, 2015

Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) City Wide Action Effort on Jobs, Housing and Homelessness with Mayor Muriel Bowser.

7:00pm – 8:30pm, Covenant Baptist UCC, 3845 South Capitol Street, SE

Sign Up/RSVP REQUIRED . Those interested in attending should contact Pastor Anthony E. Owens, Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Ave., S.E.

Tel. 202.543.7894

Cell 202.531.3198


Washington Interfaith Network is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)

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Rats Present Obstacle to Starbucks’ Liquor License at 3rd and PA Avenue, SE

Starbucks, 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue

Starbucks, 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue

One of the photos the ANC's ABC Committee saw illustrating the trash conditions at the Starbucks outlet.  Starbucks has made efforts to clean up the area which some on the committee deem inadequate.

One of the photos the ANC’s ABC Committee saw illustrating the trash conditions at the Starbucks outlet. Starbucks has made efforts to clean up the area which some on the committee deem inadequate.

Rats Present Obstacle to Starbucks’ Liquor License at 3rd and PA Avenue, SE

by Larry Janezich

Thursday night, ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee considered Starbucks’ request for a liquor license for its outlet at 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Some commissioners want Starbucks to provide indoor trash storage at the location because serving wine and beer with small plates until 11:00pm will increase their volume of rodent-sustaining garbage and trash.  Theses commissioners say the coffee shop can’t handle the refuse they produce now.  Neighbors near the intersection, which is home to five restaurants in close proximity, say the area is plagued with rats fed by garbage and trash from those restaurants.

This blog has recently reported on the issue here:   (That report, primarily concerned the three nearly adjacent restaurants owned by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn.  Since then, there has been no official word from Mendelsohn on how he will deal with the rat infestation which neighbors say his restaurants bring to the neighborhood.  A Mendelsohn representative told an ANC Commissioner who is pushing for more Mendelsohn/neighborhood engagement that the owners have had enough meetings with neighbors.)

So that there would be no mistake about Starbucks concern, the company rolled out some big guns to demonstrate their commitment to cleaning up their act:  a corporate counsel, a regional supervisor, a district manager, a regional physical plant manager, a local physical plant manager, and the manager of the 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue outlet.  This Starbucks is one of the 9 outlets in the city (out of 64) which is applying for an alcohol license.

Starbucks’ counsel, Steve O’Brian, says the company is expanding their menu to target singles by providing a space for them to have a glass of wine and food without the “high pressure atmosphere of a bar.”  Starbucks personnel distributed the anticipated evening food menu, which included “Artichoke and Goat Cheese Flatbread, Chicken Sausage and Mushroom Flatbread, Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Meatballs with Tomato Basil Sauce, and Truffle Mac and Cheese” among other offerings.  None of the food will be prepared on site – it will be trucked in and heated in a microwave.

Committee Chair Chander Jayaraman, at a previous meeting, had shown Starbucks executives photos of the outlet’s filthy trash storage area, with open trash bins piled high with garbage bags and large quantities of rat feces next to the dumpsters.  O’Brian said the trash storage concerns had gone “very high up” in the corporation.  (Capitol Hill Corner reported on the same trash storage conditions in October of 2013 – see here This same post carried an account of the measures the Mendelsohn family pledged to take to control the rat problem associated with their restaurants.  The neighbors say that the Mendelsohns did not live up to their agreement.  The example of that experience is causing consternation among commissioners who heard similar pledges from Starbucks.  Following the 2013 post on Starbucks, instead of improving, the trash situation got worse.)

Confronted with those explicit pictures of the deplorable trash storage conditions at Starbucks, O’Brian expressed profound embarrassment on behalf of the company.  That impact of that embarrassment was undercut by the photos he offered to demonstrate how Starbucks had cleaned up the storage area to a point which they thought would be a model for moving forward.  Some commissioners found the photos more than troubling and the effort inadequate; the photos of the “clean” area showed battered dirty dumpsters, some with open lids revealing plastic bags and one with cardboard refuse piled high in an open bin.  Commissioners clearly felt that the Starbucks team just wasn’t getting it.

The committee then heard from a half dozen neighbors who told story after story of rats overrunning the neighborhood and traveling back and forth across 3rd Street from the trash behind Pret a Manger, Good Stuff Eatery, We The Pizza, La Béarnaise and Starbucks.  Neighbors complained of being unable to use their back yards because of the stench of rat and restaurant waste.  One neighbor has spent more than $20,000 to rat proof his yard.  The occupants of the building next to Starbucks, who say they witness dozens of rat sightings a night from their front porch, complained that the recent power washing of rat feces from Starbucks’ trash storage area, had washed it into their basement.

O’Brian pledged that the storage area would be kept clean, trash pickup would occur seven days a week instead of six, and trash containers would be serviced once a year for cleaning and repairing.  (Regarding the latter condition, questioning revealed that this is already standard operation procedure.)

Commissioners Jayaraman, Hoskins, and Chao scoffed at Starbucks’ claim that it was too costly and problematic to create an indoor trash storage area.  Commissioner Chao told O’Brian that his assertion that indoor trash storage was cost prohibitive “rubbed me the wrong way.  You’re Starbucks.” Commissioner Diane Hoskins said that she was offended at the claim of it being too expensive: “It’s a joke…you’re not a mom and pop store.”  She said that the proposed clean up Starbucks offered as a model was “not what we need to see.”   Chairman Jayaraman said, in support of the push for indoor trash storage, “It doesn’t matter what kind of trash can you use – rats can climb right up the side to get inside.  I’ve seen them.”  Jayaraman asked Starbuck executives to “be courageous and do the right thing.”  He noted that Capitol Hill investor Maurice Kreidler was part owner of the building Starbuck leases.  (Kreidler also who owns the building occupied by Starbucks at the 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue intersection as well as the former XOXO cleaners soon to the home of & Pizza, and the former site of Craze Burger which will soon become Michael Babin’s new Barracks Row restaurant.)  Jayaraman cited Kreidler’s cooperation with the ANC’s instituting best operating practices in the &Pizza location and urged Starbucks to seek Kreidler’s cooperation in pursuing indoor trash storage for the 3rd and Pennsylvania site.

Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk, in whose single member district the Starbucks resides, urged the ANC to give Starbucks the benefit of the doubt, pointing out that the Starbucks’ liquor license – if granted – would be back before the ANC next March, when all liquor licenses in ANC6B come up for renewal and “we can address the situation then if it hasn’t improved.”

In the end, that’s what happened as the ANC agreed to a motion by Samolyk that the Committee forward the request for a license to the full ANC for consideration without a recommendation.  In the meantime, she said, she would organize a meeting between Starbuck representatives and neighbors over the weekend in hopes they could find common ground before the ANC meeting.  The full ANC meets next Tuesday in Hill Center at 7:00pm.

The neighbors who had come tonight were disappointed, clearly hoping for something stronger.  One was heard to say regarding the Committees vote for taking no position and calling for a meeting with neighbors, “It doesn’t mean a thing.”   Another said as they left the room after the vote, “Democracy in action.”


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Editorial: I Was Embarrassed….

Capitol Hill Corner asked for a photo opportunity with the residents who showed up for tonight's PSA meeting with MPD District 1 Lt. Eddie Fowler

Capitol Hill Corner asked for a photo opportunity with the residents who showed up for tonight’s PSA meeting with MPD District 1 Lt. Eddie Fowler

Editorial:  I Was Embarrassed…

by Larry Janezich

I was embarrassed for the Capitol Hill community tonight at the turn out for the PSA 107 meeting.  Today this blog posted on a significant jump in violent crime in PSA 107 during the last 30 days and re-posted the notice of tonight’s PSA 107 meeting.  The resident turnout at tonight’s PSA meeting is seen in the photo above.  Two residents – both regulars – showed up for the PSA meeting with MPD District 1 Lt. Eddie Fowler at 7:00pm in Southeast Library.  This after Councilmember Charles Allen and MPD District 1 officials urged residents to get involved in addressing Capitol Hill crime issues by working though the PSAs and the ANCs.

Where were the representatives of ANC6B and its Constituent Outreach and Community Services Task Force?  (Most were at ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee scheduled at the same conflicting time.)  Where was the much-in-evidence-on-newhilleast-listserve “Citizens for a Safe Capitol Hill”?  Where were, The Hill is Home, The Hill Rag, Barracks Row Mainstreet, EMCAC, MOTH, the PTA’s, the churches, Capitol Hill BID, Community Connections, Barracks Row business stakeholders and residents?  Where were the outraged listserv posters and the op ed writers? Hell, where were the Capitol Hill Restoration Society and the Capitol Hill Garden Club?  Don’t tell me they don’t have a stake in the community.

Community Policing is the most effective way to address crime in our community.  It’s not a situation where you show up at a meeting every couple of months and say, “I’ve done my part.”  This requires a sustained and committed effort.  Police Service Areas (PSAs) are the basis of Community Policing.  Community Policing doesn’t work unless residents and stakeholders show up at PSA meetings.  And if they show up, PSA meetings don’t work unless residents have lots of questions.  Questions demand answers and accountability.  If the answers are not satisfactory, residents have the power to change the MPD official in charge of the PSA.

As Joseph de Maistre said (often misattributed to Alexis de Tocqueville), “Every nation gets the government it deserves.”


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