Monthly Archives: November 2019

Residents Ask MPD & City Officials Why It Took Months to Remove Encampment by 7th and PA Ave CVS

Monday night’s community meeting on the removal of the encampment near CVS. Standing, left to right, former ANC6B Commissioner Ivan Frischberg, ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Sroufe, ANC6B Commissioner Brian Ready, Lt. Damian Taylor.

Residents Ask MPD & City Officials Why It Took Months to Remove Encampment by 7th and PA Ave CVS

By Larry Janezich

Last night some residents of the 600 block of D Street, SE, asked why it took MPD and city agencies months to remove an encampment behind the CVS at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, even as resident complaints and evidence of illegal activity at the site mounted.  The occasion was a community meeting hosted by MPD in the aftermath of removal of the encampment which had become a nuisance to residents near SE Library.  The complaints to MPD dated back to early September, but it took police and the city until November 14 to resolve the issue.

There were multiple reasons given for the delay.  Lt. Damion Taylor of MPD’s 1st District cited confusion over who owned the space occupied by the encampment – whether it was public or private.  This appears to be why MPD was initially reluctant to engage residents of the encampment because of the belief the camp was on public space and thus under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In addition, there appeared to be a lack of coordination among city agencies which were involved in trying to get the tent removed and a failure of communication not only between agencies, but between residents and city officials who failed to return phone calls or follow up on complaints.  Finally, a lack of cooperation and concern by CVS corporate officials contributed to the process which ended up tying the city’s hands.

Taylor said that once it was clear to him that drug activity was taking place at the site – thanks to a video supplied by a resident – MPD began an investigation in early October.  At the same time, were complaining about being threatened by occupants of the camp.  Subsequently, Parking Enforcement officials trying to ticket a vehicle associated with the camp were being intimidated by the camp’s residents.

Jessica Smith from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for HHS told the attendees that the process of removing an encampment on public land is a prolonged one involving first a week to 10 day period when the city assesses the needs of the occupants of a camp and tries to enlist them in city programs and provide other services.  If that fails, the department posts a 14 day warning that the site is subject to dismantlement.  If – as what happened in this case  with the city’s attempt to remove the camp on November 5  – the tent dwellers take down the tent before the city does, and then puts it back up, the process has to start over.  Complicating matters, HHS cannot remove an encampment from private property.

It is not clear how or when MPD learned that the tent had been set up on private property.  But once that happened, and when CM Charles Allen pressured MPD for the tent’s removal in an email to Lt. Taylor, MPD visited the site in mid-November, ordered the removal of the tent and began issuing bar notices, barring anyone associated with the tent from CVS property under threat of being charged with unlawful entry.  Taylor told attendees that since then, every MPD shift checks on the encampment site to assure the tent has not gone back up.

Some residents thought the explanations were not sufficient, pressing for answers to why once drug activity was established it still took more than a month for police to act.   Asked for his reaction to last night’s meeting, Adam Belmar, a resident of the 600 block of D Street expressed his frustration and said, “As a business owner and resident, I’m very concerned that the Mayor’s Office and MPD are not coordinating an approach to deal with public safety.” And, as one of the residents whose calls were not returned, former ANC Commissioner Ivan Frischberg said there was “a total lack of coordination, and it comes back to the Mayor’s Task Force [HHS].  I called and never got a call back.  The [standard response] of a call back within 24 hours is a kind of joke.  The city needs to respond – otherwise you get a meeting like this where people are genuinely pissed off, and rightfully so.”

Residents say that drug activity continues around the SE Library and in the alley on the on the 600 block of D Street.  Taylor said MPD’s narcotic squad continues to investigate activity in the area and urged residents to call 911 to report illegal or suspicious activity.  A follow-up meeting will be scheduled – perhaps next month – at which Taylor expects CVS officials to brief the community on measures they have taken to prevent potential use of their property for illegal activity.

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The Week Ahead…MPD Public Meeting Regarding  Recent 7th and PA Ave Encampment on – Monday

Eastern Market, North Hall. Sunday, November 24, circa 3:00pm.

The Week Ahead…MPD Public Meeting Regarding  Recent 7th and PA Ave Encampment  – Monday

by Larry Janezich

Monday, November 25

ANC6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm, Eastern High School, Parent Center, 1700 East Capitol Street, NE. (Enter from East Capitol Street)

Agenda:

Committee business.

Committee Meeting on 7th Street and PA Ave Encampment, 6:30pm, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, 1st Floor Conference Room.

Agenda:

To share information and concerns regarding recent events now-dismantled encampment at the 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, and the potential for continued problems at or near the site.

A representative(s) from the Deputy Mayor’s Office (Health and Human Services encampment protocol engagement personnel) is expected to attend this meeting.  Members of the First District team will also be present to answer questions, discuss concerns from a public safety/law enforcement aspect and share future plans to prevent further disorder at the location.  MPD has also invited United States Attorney’s Office, First District Community Prosecutor Doug Klein; CVS management, home owners, residents, local business leaders and other stakeholders.

Tuesday, November 26

ANC6B Executive Committee Meets at 7:00pm, at Hill Center.

Agenda:

To set the agenda for the next full ANC meeting on December 10/

The PSA 106 (Police Service Area) meets at 6:30pm at the Capper Community Center, 5th and K Streets, SE.   MPD hosts bi-monthly community meetings fo build partnership with the community and to address public safety questions and concerns.

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Eastern Market MainStreet’s Executive Director Odendahl Reflects as She Exits

Madeleine Odendahl, Executive Director of Eastern Market MainStreet – until November 26.

 

Eastern Market MainStreet’s Executive Director Odendahl Reflects as She Exits

By Larry Janezich

Madeleine Odendahl, Executive Director of Eastern Market MainStreet, (EMMS) is leaving because she was made an offer she couldn’t refuse.  Her three year stint as a “resource broker” for the businesses that make up EMMS will end November 26.  Odendahl has accepted an offer to become Operating Director for District Bridges, a community organization that runs five MainStreets elsewhere in the District.

Odendahl says, “When I had to tell MainStreet’s Executive Committee I was leaving they were shocked. I wanted them to know that ‘I’m not trying to leave you – but  I really couldn’t say no.’”  Another factor, she said, is that she is expecting her first child in April which will cut into the 150% commitment that being Executive Director requires.

Capitol Hill Corner asked her to describe her job and the role of EMMS.

She said that EMMS is a neighborhood development and small business efficacy organization: “I am like a mall manager without any of the actual power – no say on leases, decorating or opening hours.  My job is to try to create a vibrant atmosphere to support our businesses and bring them more customers.  I call myself a resource broker – we’re a small organization in a tiny area in DC – a lot of what I try to do is connect businesses with larger resources.  If someone has an issue I can’t solve I put them in touch with the people they should be talking to.”

She said that in the beginning, it was stressful: “I definitely got thrown into the deep end, but that I really enjoyed it.”  What she brought to EMMS was an ability both to develop relationships and also to put together a work plan to address the concerns and needs of the business owners.

One of the things she likes about the job is that no two days are the same.  There are a lot of projects in the air, she said, and each day is measured by how far she is able to push them forward.  There are larger strategic things like the redesign of Metro Park and wayfinding for the neighborhood to smaller projects like getting more bike racks, grant and event programming, and coordinating education workshops.

Asked about her reaction to the failure of the group she was part of to win the DMPED grant for a $300,000 Eastern Market Strategic Study, Odendahl explained that EMMS was part of a larger group which included a DC economic development firm, Project for Public Spaces in NYC (they write marketing strategic plans) and Brand Guild, a marketing and public relations firm which has worked on projects in large cities.  The group was one of the two finalists considered for the contract.

She said that EMMS and CHAMPS were the neighborhood connection, focusing on business engagement, insuring that businesses inside the market and the brick and mortars would be included in the conversation.  Odendahl said, “We knew the players in the neighborhood and could make sure their voices were included.”

As for why her group didn’t win the bid from the city she said, “We really don’t know.  The letter we got from DMPED kind of contradicted itself.  They saw a conflict of interest with us being so close to the community, but then said they didn’t think our proposal included enough about Eastern Market as a whole.  We showed a connection to the community and that we knew about EM history and that we already had ideas about how we wanted to shape the conversation in a certain direction, but then were told that that we were to close.  So that was a little confusing.”

She said she knows little about Architrave, who won the bid, only what she’s been able to see from their website.  They have reached out to EMMS for an initial discussion.  “My concern,” she said, “is that they are not marketing specialists – it looks like they’re architects, which is lovely if you’re designing a building.  I hope I’m proven wrong.  We want the best product – EMMS’ concern is we want the best plan that is useable and can be implemented – and we’ll see if that comes from architecture.”

Capitol Hill Corner asked her what she thought about the viability of Eastern Market as a food market.  She said, “I think it can stay a food market.  I hear concerns ‘we don’t want a Union Market.’  It doesn’t have to become Union Market.  But remaining a fresh food market and staying the same are two different things.  Things are changing in the way we interact with other people and businesses – if you’re just maintaining, you’re declining – because everything else is growing.  Eastern Market has been maintained, and 15 years ago that was fine, but now is not the time for maintaining.  Now is the time for innovation and creativity. There are things that can be done that foster more collaboration between merchants, things like implementing an on line order system or a valet service where purchases could be brought to the car – small things could help move Eastern Market forward like encouraging younger shoppers.  And some signage would be nice.”

Some of the challenges Odendahl sees for EMMS moving forward is how to encourage the workers in the large office buildings including 600 – 605 and 700 Pennsylvania Avenue to see this as their neighborhood – to patronize local businesses rather than coming to work, having lunch at their desk, and going home at the end of the day.  Other concerns include finding ways to get more tour buses to visit the area and using social media and advertising to help draw more people to the neighborhood.  She cited EMMS program “Holly Days” which grew out of “Small Business Saturday” as one of her efforts to encourage local shopping.

Asked about obstacles she faced as she took over the reins of the fledgling EMMS as its first Executive Director, Odendahl said she had encountered issues based on the perception of her age and experience.  “In a neighborhood where there is a lot of longevity in community engagement by people who have been in the trenches for a long time,” she said, “some of them found it hard to welcome someone who was new.  That made it harder to push issues forward and in some cases hard to be taken seriously.  Also, I understood that if I was going to fulfill the mission of what EMMS promised to do, I was going to have to ruffle some feathers.  I tried to do that with sincerity and humility.  I think I unruffled most of the feathers eventually, but that’s something I regularly encountered with someone who just brushed me off.  And I think it wasn’t just me but the youth of the organization – and attitude from some of the residents – not the businesses – of ‘Why do we need you?’

I think the businesses understand what value we bring to the community and we’ve tried to show what value we hold to the residents, but that has been a harder sell.”

Oldendahl’s successor has been announced – he is Charles McCaffrey, former Director of the South Fairfax Small Business Development Center and most recently, Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center.  Odendahl says, she’s confident her successor will “continue what I’ve started and take the organization to a new level.  I’m excited to watch.”

Here’s a link to the EMMS website:  https://www.easternmarketmainstreet.org/

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Violent Crime With Guns in Ward 6 Is Up Over Same Period Last Year

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen at Thursday night’s Public Safety Meeting

More than 100 residents turned out for CM Allen’s Ward 6 Public Safety Meeting. (click to enlarge)

Panelists, left to right.  Rachel Usdan, DC Chapter Leader of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America; Dell McFaddon, Executive Director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement; Jullian Brevard – Acting Chief, Juvenile Section, Office of the Attorney General; Commander Morgan Kane, MPD First District; Eric Weaver, founder, Neighborhood Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens.

Violent Crime With Guns in Ward 6 Is Up Over Same Period Last Year

by Larry Janezich

CM Charles Allen convened a Ward 6 Public Safety Meeting to talk about violent crime Thursday night.  The meeting, at Watkins School, drew more than 100 residents.  Allen told them that to date, there has been an increase in violent crime involving guns over last year: comparing figures as of 11/20/19 with the same period in 2018, violent crime involving guns is up 28% – a 36% increase in assault with a dangerous weapon and a 31% increase in robberies.  Overall, however, violent crime in Ward 6 spiked in 2015, declined in 2016 and 17, and leveled out from 2017 – 2019.  (See chart below.)

When each of the five ANCs making up War 6 is looked at separately, violent crimes of any kind are up in all ANCs except ANC6E.  Homicides are up in ANC6B and ANC6D.  Assaults with a dangerous weapon were up in all ANCs except ANC6A.  Robberies were up in all ANCs except ANC6E.  (See chart below.)

Allen cited his efforts to address the violence, including increasing the penalties for high capacity ammunition magazines and banned bump stocks, writing and seeing passage of the Red Flag law to remove guns in dangerous situations.  (See Safety Meeting Presentation details, see here:  http://bit.ly/2OAcgqq)

Following up, representatives of several agencies and organizations summarized their role in addressing aspects of violent crime.

Commander Morgan Kane, MPD First District said MPD’s role is to preserve and protect, working with other agencies which deal with violent crime. Kane’s top priority is to remove illegal guns; second is to pay particular attention to repeat offenders. “The emphasis is on focusing on the right people,” Kane said, “some people we have to get off the street.”  She noted that currently, “There are a lot of juvenile robbery crews running around.”

Jullian Brevard – Acting Chief, Juvenile Section, Office of the Attorney General, described his agency’s role in prosecuting juveniles 17 years old and younger. (The Office of the US Attorney General prosecutes adults and some juveniles accused of committing more serious crimes that are charged as adults.) Brevard walked attendees through prosecution options and the prosecution process.  He said his office was not only about persecution, but accountability and rehabilitation.

Dell McFaddon, Executive Director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement spoke on the NEAR Act and his office’s efforts to head off violent crime, using violence interrupters in troubled neighborhoods.  In addition, his office administers the Pathways Program, working with 50 high risk individuals who have encountered the criminal justice system through multiple arrests or have been the victims of crime, to help normalize their lives.

Eric Weaver, founder, Neighborhood Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens, is concerned with the problems faced by returning to the community after being incarcerated.  He said, “It’s important how we want them to return and how we treat them when they do return.  Most returning citizens coming home want to do right.  When they are not accepted in the community, they are more likely to return to crime.”

Rachel Usdan, DC Chapter Leader of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” spoke of the efforts of the national organization of volunteers to pass gun safety laws.

After those presentations, the meeting’s format departed from the usual audience back and forth between the attendees and officials.  Instead, Allen asked attendees to participate directly in a conversation in one of three areas.  Allen asked the audience to divide into three groups to discuss: 1. Safe passage to and from school, 2. Violence interruption, and, 3. Returning citizens.

After the audience reassembled and the groups reported on points raised during the discussion, Allen said it was important for the community to sit down and engage in these conversations.  He said what he was hearing was that solutions require hard work and a multifaceted approach – a holistic approach involving pulling a lot of levers (referring to the engagement of numerous agencies simultaneously).  He said we also have to do a better job with coordination and communication – “I often think we have one community which is one, two, or three communities which don’t talk to each other.  The question is how to knit them back together.

Asked for reaction, ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Sroufe told Capitol Hill Corner that he welcomed a meeting which was not sparked by community concerns over a specific incident, as well as the change in format.  He expressed concern about the rise in the statistics showing an increase in violent crime in Ward 6.  And he said he thought that small group discussions were more productive than the usual random Q & A or comments typical of many public safety meetings.

Violent Crime in Ward 6 ANCs (click to enlarge)

Violent Crime in Ward 6

 

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Encampment at 7th and D SE (CVS) Removed After Concerted Effort of City Officials and Community Orgs

Encampment on D Street, SE, behind CVS. November 13.

Encampment at 7th and D SE (CVS) Removed After Concerted Effort of City Officials and Community Orgs

by Larry Janezich

An encampment on the D Street side of the CVS at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, was removed last week after a concerted effort involving CM Charles Allen’s office, MPD, Metro Transit Police, The Deputy Mayor for Human Services and Homeless Outreach, The Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services, ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Sroufe, CHAMPS, Eastern Market Main Street, and Community Connections.  The location is across the street from Southeast Library.

Neighbors had complained for about two months about the tent and its occupants and claimed they had witnessed and videotaped the suspected sale of drugs by those associated with the tent.  Some residents said the encampment grew up after MPD increased policing efforts on the 400 block of Barracks Row, responding to pressure from ANC6B, business owners, and Barracks Row MainStreet.

An initial effort to remove the encampment came on November 5, when city workers arrived to dismantle it, having given the required 24 hour notice, only to find the tent gone.  Within two hours after workers departed, the tent was back up.

Some residents said they felt threatened after being yelled at by tent occupants.  A Parking Enforcement Official – in a service report obtained by residents, appeared to have been intimidated out of issuing a parking violation for the out of state vehicle associated with individuals in the tent.

Thereafter, continued engagement by CM Charles Allen, MPD and Metro Transit Police, and the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services resulted in videotaped confirmation of drug sale activity at the site and the ascertaining that the tent was set up on CVS’ private property.

On November 14, MPD told CM Allen that the encampment had been removed, saying, “We have received enough information and support from the community to see that the occupants in this group are conducting illegal activities, uninterested in governmental aid and social services while posing a continuous nuisance and danger to the community.”

Officer Mazloon, MPD’s Barracks Row Bike Cop – “Officer Maz” – told ANC6B Commissioner Brian Ready’s Barracks Row Working Group last night that “some players have been arrested” and that MPD has been detailed to check the location twice every shift until further notice.  Also, a representative of Community Connections said that nine individuals have been legally barred from the CVS property and that Community Connections continues to do outreach work, though many or the occupants of the tent were not interested in homelessness services.  CHAMPS worked with CVS regarding the installation of cameras to monitor the site.

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The Week Ahead… CM Allen’s Ward 6 Safety Meeting – Watkins School/6:30pm/Thursday

“The moon was a ghostly galleon…”Tuesday, November 12, at Hill Center.

The Week Ahead… CM Allen’s Ward 6 Safety Meeting – Watkins School – 6:30pm – Thursday

By Larry Janezich

Monday, November 18

ANC6B Hill East Task Force meeting on Reservation 13 at St. Coletta tonight has been CANCELLED.

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, 1100 4th Street, SW.

Among items on the draft agenda:

SE 6D05 Special Election Announcement

As announced at the October business meeting, ANC6D will be holding a special election to select the next Commissioner for Single Member District 6D05 during the November Business Meeting at 7pm on November 18th.  The DC Board of Elections has announced there are two candidates that will be listed on the ballot:

Fredrica D. Kramer

Roger Moffatt

Presentation:  DGS on Improvements to Lansburgh Park.

Public Safety Report – First District MPD (PSA 103, PSA 105 & PSA 106) Capt. Mongal, Capt. Dorrough.

Mission, 1221 Van Street, SE #15 – Amendment to Community Agreement to reduce hours and close garage doors.

Pony, 2 I Street, SE – new restaurant liquor license with indoor entertainment endorsement.

Roy Boys, 1025 1st Street, SE [formerly Justin’s Cafe] – Amendment to Community Agreement for change in hours

Walters, 10 N Street, SE – Unspecified Amendment to Community Agreement.

Meridian on First/Paradigm – Alley Closing & Affordable units.

DDOT Notice of Intent on public space – Conversion of 4th Street Bike Lanes to Protected Bike Lanes between Independence & I Street, SW.

300 K Street SW, Unspecified modification of consequence.

Resolution requesting DDOT provide a comprehensive multi-modal transportation plan for 6D

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation of DDOT plans for safety improvements on 15th Street, NE, corridor.  A DDOT representative will be present.

Public space applications, if submitted prior to meeting date.

Tuesday, November 19

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Liquor license renewals for:

Hill Prince at 1337 H Street, NE.

Ocean Lounge at 1220 H Street, NE.

On the Rocks at 1242 H Street, NE.

Twelve DC/Kyss Kyss at 1210-1212 H Street, NE.

Sol Mexican Grill at 1251 H Street, NE.

The Pursuit at 1025 H Street, NE.

Truth DC 78 at 1220 H Street, NE.

Toki Underground at 1234 H Street, NE.

Rock N Roll Hotel at 1353 H Street, NE.

Dangerously Delicious DC at 1339 H Street, NE –  substantial change – request to change license class from Class “C” Restaurant to Class “C” Tavern.

ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

DC Draft Comprehensive Plan Updates: Solicit public input for ANC6A to provide comments and recommendations to the draft Comprehensive Plan update. The Comprehensive Plan establishes a vision and broad goals to help inform decision-making and provide context for residents, officials, and stakeholders and can help guide and inform more fine-grained planning efforts.

803 Maryland Avenue, NE – Zoning Adjustment application to permit construction of a second floor addition to and existing accessory building to accommodate an apartment.

ANC6B’s Barrack’s Row Working Group meets at 6:30pm, at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – First Floor Conference Room.    

This meeting will focus on the 8th Street Holiday Lighting Event.

Wednesday, November 20

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Update on the Strategic/Business Plan, Scott Betz

Report on Finance Briefing Provided by DGS.

Report of the Market Manager

Holiday Plans

Parking

Status of the HVAC system

Lease update

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Preservation Café meets at 6:30pm, at East City Bookshop, 645 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

Restoration Tools and Materials of DC’s Historic Masonry Buildings.  Washington DC has one of the highest concentrations of historic brick buildings in the United States. Gary Barnhart, a Capitol Hill mason, will discuss these materials in addition to some interesting lesser-known ones that local residents may be unfamiliar with.

Thursday, November 21

Charles Allen holds a Ward 6 Safety Meeting at Watkins Elementary School 6:30-8:00 pm.

You can register to attend here: http://www.charlesallenward6.com/ward_6_public_safety_meeting?fbclid=IwAR1Wjq5SgtDVqZu2wIgQfN8o0NR3wXzDkLYZ2a5Oajr2usY99xGz-yyhOqI

Friday, November 22

CM Charles Allen hold Community Office Hours, 8:00am, Pretzel Bakery.

 

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City Meets with Hill East Residents on Plan to Increase Low Income Housing on Res 13

More than 50 Hill Easters turned out for a meeting at Eastern High School to hear about the plan to put additional low income housing on Reservation 13.  Laura Zeilinger, Director of the DC Department of Human Services is at far left.

City Meets with Hill East Residents on Plan to Increase Low Income Housing on Res 13

By Larry Janezich

Laura Zeilinger Director of the Department of Human Services met with more than 50 Hill East residents Wednesday night to discuss the city’s plan for putting additional low income housing on Reservation 13. Also present were reps from the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development and Donatelli Development.  The plan – unveiled on November 1 via tweet by the editor of the real estate blog Curbed DC – caught Hill East residents by surprise.

Hill East residents and ANCs 6B and 7F are calling foul saying the plan to increase the number of low income housing was kept under wraps by the city and the developer and discovered only days before a scheduled November 5th vote in the City Council where the $45 million contract with Donatelli Development had been marked for expedited passage without debate.

Objections by Hill East residents and ANC commissioners prompted CM Charles Allen to pull the bill off the agenda and reschedule it for November 19th.

Donatelli is developing two mixed use buildings on Res 13 near the Stadium Armory Metro in Hill East.  The original plan called for a larger south building (currently under construction) with a 31  affordable units plus 131 market rate units, and a smaller north building with 91 units – 38 for households with 0% to 30% of Area Median Income (deeply affordable), 37 for households of 31% to 60% of AMI (affordable), and 16 market rate units.

That plan has changed under the radar of Hill East and Ward 7 residents (Reservation 13 is actually in Ward 7).  The city has reached an agreement with the developer on a $45 million contract providing for the yet to-be-constructed north building to be 100% “deeply affordable” single bedroom units intended for those with 0 – 30% of Area Median Income.

Zeilinger explained that the 100 ow income unit will be Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units.  PSH provides a rent subsidy and services – 24 hour security, on-site case management, and clinical staff available 24/7.  There is no time limit on residents – it depends on the needs of the person.  The difference between the old plan and the new is 100 units at 0 – 30% Area Median Income vs. 38 unitss at 0 – 30%..  She said PSH is necessary because the city has difficulty placing the homeless using tenant-based vouchers which go directly to the landlord, because potential tenants are competing with better qualified tenants.

Hill East activist Andre Speaks spoke for many Hill Easters when he expressed concern about whether the project would actually be a homeless shelter and cited their resentment that Hill East is continuing to be the go-to site for a place to deal with the city’s problems. He is not against affordable housing, he said, but asked, “why this building and why now?  It won’t be ready at 2022, and there are already buildings in Southwest which could be used now.”

Zeilinger said that the difference between PSH and a homeless shelter is that the leaseholders have a stake in the property – they have their own keys – they agree to rules when they move in – they have sense of control over their environment. In a homeless shelter residents have no choice about who comes and who goes – they face hyper-vigilance and violence – and In their own space, people get well.

She offered to facilitate tours of other PSH buildings in the city so people can judge for themselves.  Operators of the facilities are selected by competitive bid.  One such building and operator is Conway Residences on North Capitol and operator Todd Chapman.  Chapman was on hand to relate his ten years of work in supportive housing and vouch for the success of PSH buildings..  He says he operates Conway like an apartment building, and noted that project received the endorsement of ANC6C.

Aside from the fact of the increase in deeply affordable units, Hill Easters expressed resentment about being blind-sided by the process and being presented with a fait accompli.  Community Activist Maurice Cook said that the community was not consulted and now “we have been presented with a plan that is totally different than the proposed two mixed income project.”

Zeilinger said the city had reached out to ANC commissioners “but had received no response” – a claim that elicited scoffs from the audience.  She acknowledged that “it is clear we need to do some repair work with the community.  The process failed – we can’t change it.  We will move forward and work with you on an informed process.”

ANC6B Commissioner Denise Krepp has requested DC Inspector General Daniel Lucas to investigate the proposed contract for the PSH building on Reservation 13, charging that the awarding of the contract was not consistent with current policies.

And last Tuesday, ANC6B sent two letters to city officials.  The first requested a further delay in Council consideration of the contract until December 3.  The second requested representatives of city agencies to appear at a November 188h Hill East Task Force Meeting hosted by Commissioner Krepp, at 6:30pm at St. Coletta, to discuss the project.

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CM Charles Allen Headlines Veterans Day Ceremony in Folger Park – Photo Essay

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (click to enlarge)

Brigadier General John G. Baker, USMC

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen & Brig. Gen. John G. Baker Headline Veterans Day Celebration

by Larry Janezich

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen commemorated Veterans Day and honored the military veterans who have served our county today, in a ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 8 at 3rd and D Streets, SE.  He told the crowd of 200 in Folger Park that he has reflected what Veterans Day means in his own life.  He recalled that during a recent visit to relatives in Alabama, discussion turned to ancestors who had fought on both sides in the American Civil War.  He cited his great, great, great, great grandfather William Percy Shaw from Pennsylvania, who had fought for the Union, been captured, and survived the Confederate’s Libby Prison and then a prison in Mobile, Alabama.  The lessons he learned from Shaw, passed down through generations, include resilience, service, and sacrifice.  Allen remains committed to providing assistance to veterans and referred to his efforts to provide court services and housing in the District.

Brigadier General John G. Baker, USMC, delivered the Veterans Day Address.  Baker is Chief Defense Counsel for the DOD office which supervises military and civilian defense attorneys for Guantanamo Bay detention camp prisoners.  He was introduced by Master of Ceremonies, Judge Advocate David Sheldon, as an officer who had “demonstrated moral courage that few have ever been asked to give.”  Baker stood for the rule of law when it was discovered that the US government had compromised the lawyer client privilege of detainees and their defense attorneys, was held in contempt and briefly incarcerated before having his contempt conviction overturned in federal court.

Baker told the crowd that Veterans Day is a time for celebration and reflection: “Security doesn’t just happen – it requires effort, sacrifice, courage and commitment.  The nation owes a debt of gratitude to veterans,” and cited in particular legal clinics, help in attaining better medical care, employment, suicide prevention, and housing:  “We need to serve them as they served us.”

 

Jason Seacrest, Commander, Kenneth H. Nash Post 8. The post is across the street from Folger Park at 3rd and D Streets, SE. He reminded that the American Legion is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and for 100 years the Legion has been in a position to make sure promises to veterans are kept.

 

Karlene Bowman, President, American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 8, noted that this year, the formerly all female organization has admitted its first male spouse. She said, “Our obligation is to perpetuate goodness and kindness in our community and challenged those present to ask themselves “what you can do,” quoting John F. Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

 

The commemorative wreath

 

Alexandra Dixon – 15-year-old Prince George’s community college student, rendered an a capella version of America the Beautiful.

 

Veterans in the crowd stand as the USMC Brass Quintet plays their respective services anthems

 

Special guests included: Frederick W. Ambush, Sgt., United States Army. Col. Ned Burr, U.S. Army (retired). Erman T. Clay, Command Sergeant Major, DC National Guard (retired). Above is a photo of Ambush, 98, who served in the U.S. Calvary from 1941 – 1948. He was among the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Ft. Myer, Virginia.

 

Vets

 

Taps

 

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The Week Ahead…Veterans Day Commemoration, Folger Park, 11:00am

With Respect, Honor and Gratitude. Thank you veterans. Photo: National Archives Record Administration.

The Week Ahead…

Monday, November 11

Veterans Day.  DC Government offices will be closed.  No trash or recycling pickup.

Veterans Day Commemoration on Capitol Hill – Monday, Folger Park, 11:00am.

American Legion Post 8 Commander hosts a commemoration of Veterans Day on Capitol Hill.  Please join friends and neighbors at 11 a.m. on Monday, November 11, in Folger Park, across the street from Post 8 at the corner of 3rd and D Streets, S.E.  The hour-long ceremony, honoring all those who have served and sacrificed for our country, will be followed by a light lunch at the Post at which all attendees are welcome.  Our honored guests include Brigadier General John Baker, USMC, and several local WWII veterans.

ANC6B Working Group on the Comprehensive Plan will meet at 7:00pm at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  

Agenda:

To continue review of the proposed revisions to the elements of the Comprehensive Plan relevant to ANC6B.

Tuesday, November 12

ANC6B will meet at 7:00pm, at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  .

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Possible presentation by Deputy City Administrator on proposed relocation of the existing Buzzard Point heliport to the Washington Gas site, at 12th and Water Streets, SE.

Alcoholic Beverage license renewals:

Emilie’s, 1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE; Class “C” Restaurant license.

The Brig, 1007 8th Street, SE; Renewal of Class “C” Tavern license.

Wisdom; 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE; Class “C” Tavern License Renewal.

Tune Inn Restaurant, 331 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE; Class “C” Tavern license Renewal.

Hawk N’ Dove, 329 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE; Class “C” Tavern license.

The Capitol Lounge, 229 Pennsylvania Avenue SE; Class “C” Tavern license.

The Eastern, 360 7th Street, SE; Class “C” Tavern license.

Barrel, 613 Pennsylvania Avenue SE; Class “C” Tavern license.

Cava, 527-529 8th Street, SE; Class “C” Tavern license.

SkillZone, 709 8th Street, SE; Class “D” Tavern license.

Trusty’s Bar, 1420 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE; Renewal of Class “C” Tavern license

716 L St SE; Historic Preservation Application.  Concept: addition/alteration of existing 3-story commercial building to a 4-story plus penthouse multi-family apartment building.

717 Kentucky Ave SE; Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing attached principal dwelling unit

148 11th Street, SE; Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to build a one-story rear addition and a two-story side addition to an attached principal dwelling unit.

Zoning Commission Case 19-11: Text amendment to reduce parking requirements for public and charter schools in RF zones by 50% and to allow mechanical penthouses.

Resolution to authorize a Rezoning Petition for the triangle between 12th Street, Water Street, and M Street, SE to MU-13 (medium density riverfront-adjacent mixed use) and MU-11 (riverfront-adjacent open space). Proposed heliport site.

Emilie’s, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Public Space Application for New Sidewalk Cafe Un-Enclosed; Outdoor sidewalk cafe with 35 seats.

ANC Comments on new HPRB Guidelines for Sustainability including solar panels and other features.

ANC6C Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Capitol Hill Medical Center/Kaiser Permanente, 700 Second St. NE.

Items on the draft agenda:

King Street Oyster Bar, 22 M Street NE.  New application and request for stipulated license.

Renewal applications for discussion: Allure Lounge, Bar Elena, Big Board, Columbus Club, Dubliner, Elevate, Hamilton’s, Irish Times, Laos in Town, Lounge 201, We Work, Red Bear, Solid State Books, Wunder Garten.

Wednesday, November 13

Community Crime Meeting, 7:00pm, at the Harold J. Gordon Building, 124 15th Street, SE. 

Panel discussion about DC justice, with Ward 6 CM Charles Allen, reps from DC MPD, DC Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, the DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, the DC Attorney General, and the US Attorney’s Office.  Moderator:  Water Smith, Executive Director of DC Appleseed.  Sponsored by The Hill Rag and Ward 6 Democrats.

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

King Street Oyster Bar, 22 M Street NE, new alcohol beverage license.

Alcohol beverage license renewals: Allure Lounge; Bar Elena; Big Board; Columbus Club, Dubliner, Elevate, Hamilton’s, Irish Times, Laos in Town, Lounge 21, We Work, Red Bear, Solid State Books, Wunder Garten.

Presentation:  Community outreach from Revel moped service.

Safety improvements at the Kaiser Permanente 700 2nd Street NE parking garage.

Union Station Expansion and Burnham Place Projects.

Petition for installation of speed bumps on the 900 block of 7th Street, NE.

Public school zoning regulations.

Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, work plan for review.

901 H Street NE, Zoning Adjustment Application.  PUD modification of significance to permit veterinary hospital use.

National Park Service: Stanton Park NE; 5th and I Street Park NE.

Ward 6 Comprehensive Plan Community Meeting.  6:00pm to 8:00pm, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 222 M Street, SW.

Elements of the Comprehensive Plan affects development of the SE Boulevard and RFK.  The Office of Planning staff will be on site and available to answer questions. If you would like an opportunity to express your thoughts to the Office of Planning, attend the meeting. Please RSVP Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ward-6-dc-comp-plan-community-meeting-tickets-79388123013

For more info, see here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ward-6-dc-comp-plan-community-meeting-tickets-79388123013

Thursday, November 14

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  DOEE: Gretchen Mikeska, Anacostia Coordinator.

Guerilla Gardeners: Jim Guckert, Executive Director and Pat Startt, Deputy Director.

Grant for $1,000 to the Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School Parent Teachers Organization to support the FreshFarm FoodPrints program at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School for the 2019-2020 school year.

Liquor license renewals for Nomad Hookah Bar, Queen Vic, H Street Country Club, Mythology/Lore/Dirty Water/Beetle House, Biergarten Haus, Ella Grace, Langston Bar & Grille, Dio Wine Bar, The Haymaker, Rose’s Dejavu, Sospeso, Bar Bullfrog/Bullfrog Bagels, The Elroy, Copycat Co., Duffy’s Irish Pub, Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar.

Letter to DDOT in support of a Public Space Application for window projections onto Wylie Street, NE, (808-812 13th St. NE).

Letter to DDOT 1) requesting that DDOT present a full inventory, mapping and disposition of each of the Federal Reservations located in 6A, with special attention to those Federal Reservations that are adjacent to or abut private properties, to eliminate confusion regarding responsibility for their ownership, maintenance, and the right to public access.  Once we have an informed mapping, we can proceed with requesting signage and developing a process for engaging with adjacent homeowners to come to agreement regarding any plantings/modifications that may be hindering public access. 2) requesting release (or reissuance) of a DDOT legal opinion dated May 12, 2015 pertaining to Federal Reservations (this may require a FOIA request).

Letter of support to HPRB Historic Preservation Application for the construction of a two-story rear addition, a new two-story garage, and a new basement entrance at 1355 A Street NE.

 

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Capitol Hill Eateries Coming and Going

Capitol Hill Eateries’ Coming and Goings

by Larry Janezich

A couple of new restaurants are coming to Barracks Row, and Pitango Gelato on 7th Street near Eastern Market is gone.  (Earlier this week, CHC reported on the projected March opening of  a new Japanese restaurant –  YAJU Ramen/Izakaya – a traditional Japanese ramen restaurant and cocktail bar at 525 8th Street, SE, a space formerly occupied Phase 1, DC’s legendary lesbian bar.)

In addition, Mekki NYC is opening at 517 8th Street, in the space formerly occupied by Las Placitas, Brink Lane, and then, for a couple of months, by Marrakech. That iteration closed a few weeks ago and will be replaced by a sister restaurant of the highly touted Mekki NYC in Greenwich Village.  Mekki is the brainchild of New York City restaurateur Mekki Karrakchow.  The menu features Moroccan fusion inspired by Karrakchow’s mother’s authentic Moroccan cuisine recipes.  Here’s a link to the Greenwich Village outlet where you can find that restaurant’s menu. http://mekkinyc.com/ CHC learned that Mekki Barracks Row is expected to open next week.

 

Capitol Hill restaurateur Tom Johnson (Hill Restaurant Group:  Finn’s, Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Lola’s, Orchid, Tortuga, Willie’s, and Ophelia’s Fish House) told ANC6B’s ABC Committee on Tuesday night that the former LBGT venue Orchid at 520 8th Street, will become a high end steak house opening in January.  Earlier, there was speculation that it would become a speakeasy.

 

Finally, last week saw the apparent demise of Pitango Gelato at 328 7th Street, near Eastern Market.  The Italian-style ice cream/espresso/hot chocolate shop closed suddenly last Monday, with no indication it would reopen.  One source says they are looking for another location.  An email to the company seeking details has not yet been answered.

 

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