DC Health Dept Bails on ANC6B Meeting (Popeyes, Maybe?)

DC Health Department Bails on ANC6B Meeting (Popeyes, Maybe?)

by Larry Janezich

Posted November 10, 2021

The Food Safety and Hygiene Division of the DC Department of Health was scheduled to make a presentation at ANC6B’s virtual monthly meeting last night but failed to show up despite having confirmed their appearance with Chair Brian Ready.

Ready had invited DC DOH to talk to the committee about health inspection procedures and frequency in the wake of the closure of Popeyes on Barracks Row for health code violations.  The closure appears to be permanent after the owner subsequently lost the Popeyes franchise.

Ready told the ANC he was disappointed in DOH’s failure to appear.  “If [the video of rats in the kitchen which had gone viral on Twitter and TikTok] had not come out, would the restaurant still be open?  What’s going on with the other restaurants on the block?  The buildings are old and interconnected.  I wonder how often they are inspected.  I’m disappointed they did not show up.  I have a lot of questions about the safety of restaurants in the city.”

Ready noted the efforts ANC6B had taken to require new or remodeled restaurants on Barracks Row to install cooled indoor trash storage rooms as a means of controlling rodents.  ANC6B had pioneered requiring restaurants to provide indoor trash storage, using the public pressure and the power of the ANC to support liquor license applications as leverage.  New and remodled restaurants on Barracks Row have complied, and & Pizza on the same block as the former Popeyes has one of the best indoor trash storage spaces.  Popeyes trash storage, Ready said, had been grandfathered in.  Neighbors pressured them into enclosing their trash area behind the restaurant, but have complained about its lack of effectiveness.

Ready commended the 7th Street neighbors for being vigilant in monitoring the restaurant rodent problem and for their organized support for indoor trash storage all along Barracks Row.  He said he would work to schedule an appearance by Food Safety and Hygiene in the near future.

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Havana Tobacco “Smoke Shop” Set to Open on 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE 

 

Havana Tobacco “Smoke Shop” Set to Open on 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE 

by Larry Janezich

The former long-time print shop at 607 Pennsylvania Avenue looks like it’s set to become the Havana Tobacco Mart Smoke Shop and begin marketing Cigars, Hookah products, CBD, Kratom, and Delta 8. 

The last two items may raise some resident eyebrows.  Kratom is known and used as a psychostimulant and a pain reliever.  Although Kratom is currently legal in the US, some states consider it a controlled substance.  Kratom is widely available at DC smoke shops. 

Delta-8 THC is extracted from hemp-derived CBD and is legal under federal law, but its sale has been banned in some 14 states.  It’s chemically similar to cannabis and produces a similar effect.  Delta-8 is available in DC, though apparently not as readily as Kratom. 

This comes at a time when the DC Council is taking a hard look at stores and delivery services which skirt the law by giving away cannabis as a gift to accompany purchase of exorbitantly priced retail items such as stickers, pencils, and tee shirts.  Last week, the City Council passed a bill, introduced by Council Chair Mendelsohn, that originally would have allowed  city agencies to take action against retail operations engaging in such gifting activities, including shutting down operations and levying fines.  Those enforcement provisions were removed from the bill at the last minute over objections that it penalized entrepreneurship of DC residents involved in the gifting trade and what passed the Council was an extension through January 2022 for expired medical marijuana cards.  Medical marijuana dispensaries have suffered during the pandemic because of difficulty in renewing medical marijuana cards and patients turned to gifting operations as an alternative.  Mendelsohn said regarding the watered down bill, that the gifting operations would eventually have to be addressed.  There is already at least one of the gifting cannabis shops on the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

DC voters approved the legalizing the possession of cannabis for personal use and home cultivation of small amounts of cannabis in 2014, but it can’t be sold. Medical marijuana outlets have been sanctioned and regulated by the city for patients with doctor-approved medical marijuana cards issued by the DC Department of Health.  Those medical cannabis outlets are licensed by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board after the local ANC weighs in on the application.  The ANC appears to have no voice in the establishment of a smoke shop. 

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The Week Ahead & an 8th Street Popeyes Update… Highlights…Last Week’s Photos

The Week Ahead & an 8th Street Popeyes Update… Highlights…Last Week’s Photos

by Larry Janezich

Highlights:

  • Tuesday: Presentation at ANC6B – Food Safety and Hygiene Division of the DC Department of Health. (Wondering if Popeyes will come up/)
  • Thursday: CM Silverman at ANC6A on redistricting at ANC6A.
  • Saturday: Rock and Roll Half Marathon will close streets in NE Capitol Hill

The Week Ahead…

Monday, November 8

ANC6D will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here: https://www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Public Safety Report.
  • Parcel B at Audi Field – Public Space Application and design review.
  • DDOT Update re Scooters and Locking.
  • Greenleaf FOIA Report update.

Tuesday, November 9

ANC6B will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/event/full-anc-meeting-9/?instance_id=106

Among items on the draft agenda:

Consent Agenda

  • 403 7th Street, SE, Southeast Library. Historic Preservation and Zoning Adjustment Applications for the interior renovation and cellar addition.
  • 1208 D Street, SE. Historic Preservation Application – Concept Review for second story addition to existing one-story garage.
  • 237 8th Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application – Area Variance to construct a new, detached, one-story accessory garage. 
  • Comments on DDOT Daytime School Parking Zones Proposed Rulemaking.
  • Comments on DDOT Fast Tracking Process for Roadway Safety Projects.

Presentation:

  • Food Safety and Hygiene Division of the Department of Health.

Planning and Zoning Committee

  • 316 2nd Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application – Use Variance to convert an existing, three-story, attached, principal dwelling unit and two-story accessory building to a three-unit apartment house.  
  • 1227 E Street SE. Zoning Adjustment Application – Special Exception to construct a rear, two-story addition to an existing, attached, two-story with cellar. 

Wednesday, November 10

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the draft agenda:

Transportation and Public Space Committee

  • Announcements: Dave Thomas Circle; Maryland Ave NE streetscape project.
  • Proposed rulemaking, Daytime School Parking Zones.
  • New DDOT process for traffic safety investigations.
  • 1100 block of 7th Street NE—Traffic safety investigation.
  • 300 block of M Street NE—Safe accommodations concerns.

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee

  • 622 Eye Street NE, Zoning Adjustment Application – Further revisions with special exceptions to convert a residential building into a four-unit apartment.
  • 301 Florida Avenue, NE, planned PUD – Proposed all-affordable project of 115+ housing units at 30% And 50% AMI.
  • 621 A Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application – Expedited review for relief from lot occupancy requirements to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing two-story residence.
  • 103 Fourth Street, NE, Zoning Adjustment Application – Expedited review for relief from lot occupancy requirements to construct a second-story rear addition to a two-story residence.

New Business

  • Council hearing on comprehensive cannabis legalization, regulation, and taxation.
  • Supreme Court expanded security perimeter.

ANC6A will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.  (Moved from Thursday – Veteran’s Day)

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda: 

Presentations:

  • DC Redistricting Process – Councilmember-at-Large Elissa Silverman
  • Department of Parks and Recreation Update – Christopher Dyer, Community Engagement Manager.

Community discussion of 2021 draft of ANC 6A Bylaws

Transportation and Public Space Committee

  • Letter to DDOT expressing the need for expansion of electric vehicle charging throughout the District; urging both public and private solutions to electric vehicle charging for residents without off-street parking, including measures to facilitate extending charging cables from residences to the curb, with all due consideration for safety and ADA compliance.
  • Letter to DDOT supporting Transportation Study Application for the 300 block of 18th Street, NE, including consideration of speed humps and raised crosswalks.
  • Letter to DDOT supporting Transportation Study Applications for the 1500 -1900 blocks of Benning Road, NE, including a full traffic safety investigation; consideration of speed humps, raised crosswalks, signal timing, and all other traffic calming measures; and that DDOT consider extending the planned H Street dedicated bus lanes to this corridor as a traffic calming measure as well as to improve transit.
  • Letter to DDOT requesting that 20 MPH speed limit signs be placed on all collector streets in ANC6A that do not yet have signs.
  • Letter to DDOT requesting the installation of a contraflow bike lane on the 1100 block of F Street NE.
  • Letter to DDOT supporting Transportation Study Application for the intersection of 13th Street, NE, and Wylie Street, NE, including installation of raised crosswalks for the entire intersection.

Economic Development and Zoning

  • Letter of support to BZA for a special exception from the rooftop and upper floor requirements to construct a third story addition to an existing, attached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit with the caveat that the owners make best efforts to get letters of support from nearby neighbors.

New Business

  • Letter to the DC Council Redistricting Committee requesting that the Committee ensure that the current ANC6A boundaries are retained in the Redistricting Process, and that ANC 6A remain a part of Ward 6.

Thursday, November 11, Veteran’s Day Commemoration – The American Legion Kenneth H. Nash Post No 8 will sponsor a Veterans Day Commemoration at 11:00an in Folger Park, 3rd and D Street, SE.

Program: 

  • Performances: The U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps & the DCFD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums
  • WELCOME David Carmichael Commander, Kenneth H. Nash Post 8
  • REMARKS Charles Allen; Councilmember Council of the District of Columbia C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director Service members Legal Defense Network

This year’s program will be streaming live at: https://www.facebook.com/KennethHNashAmericanLegion

Saturday, November 13

Southeast Library Book Sale, 10am until 3:00pm,  7th and D Streets, across from Eastern Market Metro Plaza. 

Rock and Roll Marathon (will affect streets in Capitol Hill NE)

  • The 2021 Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Half Marathon will take place on Saturday, November 13. The race begins at 8:30 am on Constitution Avenue, NW, at 14th Street. The race course takes runners on a tour of DC past many of the Capitol’s monuments and finishes at the RFK Stadium grounds.           

ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION

For course Maps, Road Closures, No Parks and Alternate Access Information go here:  https://www.runrocknroll.com/dc-road-closure

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Proposal to Renovate Southeast Library Advances

Proposal to Renovate Southeast Library Advances

by Larry Janezich

Posted Novemb er 3, 2021.  

Last night, ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee, chaired by Commissioner Corey Holman, held a virtual meeting and voted unanimously to support both the Historic Preservation and the Zoning Adjustment Applications for the renovation of Southeast Library. The applications now move to the full ANC and will be taken up at their November 9th meeting for what will likely be a swift endorsement.  The renovation will expand the existing library from 8,500 sf to 19,925 square feet. 

Prior to the vote, commissioners raised some issues for the design team and DC Public Library personnel.  Commissioner Samolyk sought assurances that the concerns of the Friends of Southeast Library had been resolved.  The Friends group, headed by Neal Gregory, had protested that the renovation would leave them without space to organize for the popular monthly book sales to benefit the library. 

Martha Saccocio, Director of Community Engagement at DCPL, assured the ANC that the DCPL had come to an agreement with the Friends regarding the allocation of additional space and that the Friends had expressed support for the proposal.

Commissioners Jerry Sroufe and Steve Holtzman expressed concern that the proposed emergency exit and staff entrance on D Street would serve as a gathering spot for the habitués who frequent the corner of 7th and D Street.  The design team said they were aware of that potential and would look for ways to address the problem in addition to the security camera which would monitor the entrance/exit. 

With respect to the time line, the renovation process is approaching the midpoint of the design phase which will continue through mid-2022.  Construction will begin in 2022 and reopening is anticipated in 2024

Consideration by the ANC is the first step in agency approval.  The plans for the renovation now move to the Historic Preservation Review Board and the DDOT Public Space Committee on November 18.  Next comes a review by the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment February 22, 2022.  Then reviews by the Commission on Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission in the winter of 2022. 

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Howl’O’Ween Canine Costume Contest – Photo Essay

Howl’O’Ween Canine Costume Contest – Photo Essay

Here are some photos by Peter Rothschild from last Saturday’s annual Halloween event in Lincoln Park.  The event was hosted by Howl To The Chief, 719 8th Street, SE.  

 

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“Words Matter” – a Capitol Hill Art League Juried Art Exhibit, Through December 4

 

“Words Matter” – a Capitol Hill Art League Juried Art Exhibit, Through December 4

The Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL) sponsors a member only Juried Art Exhibit October 23 – December 4, 2021 at the 
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) at 545 7th Street, SE, Washington, DC. 20003.

CHAL members were asked to interpret “Words Matter. Words have the power and energy to excite, deflate, nourish, enrage and everything in between. This exhibit’s theme is an invitation to explore how “words” inform the artist’s work, deepen it, expand expression, and move a narrative realistically, abstractly, or both. The resulting show features nineteen artists who expressed themselves in a variety of media.”

The show opened with a reception at CHAW from 5:30-7:30 pm on Saturday, October 23, where Juror, Ellen Cornett, discussed the art she selected and present awards.

Twenty-six works are on display in the show. The following artists are featured:

Anne Albright, Nancy Arbuthnot, Kenneth Bachman, Julie Byrne, Sally Canzoneri, Karen Cohen, Martin de Alteriis, Tamora Ilasat, Steve Kunin, JoAnn Laboy, Bennett Lowenthal, Jane Mann, Meera Rao, Nan Raphael, Iryna Smitchkova, Rifat Taher, KarenVan Allen, Rosa Ines Vera and Karen Zens.

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop continues to host activities in compliance with the District of Columbia’s Coronavirus directives. The “Words Matter” show may be viewed online at: https://www.caphillartleague.org/2021-words-matter/

The Capitol Hill Art League is a visual arts program of The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW). For more information about the Art League, visit the website at www.caphillartleague.org

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The Week Ahead…Highlights (Redistricting)…Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead…Highlights (Redistricting)…Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Highlights:

  • Tuesday – ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee – HPO and BZA Applications for Renovation of SE Library.
  • Wednesday – Hearing: Subcommittee on RedistrictingWard 6.
  • Friday – Final Hearing: Subcommittee on Redistricting on city-wide redistricting.

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, November 2

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/                 

Among items on the draft agenda: 

  • 237 8th Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application to construct a new, detached, one-story accessory garage. 
  • 1227 E Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application to construct a rear, two-story addition to an existing, attached, two-story with cellar.  (Tentative)
  • 403 7th Street, SE. Southeast Library.  Historic Preservation and Zoning Adjustment Application for interior renovation and cellar addition.
  • 1208 D Street SE. Historic Preservation Application.  Concept Review for second story addition to existing one-story garage. 

Wednesday, November 3

ANC6B Transportation Committee will hold a virtual hearing at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/                   

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • School Zone Parking Regulations
  • DDOT Vision Zero Revised Process
  • B24-0433 – Rightsizing Residential Permit Parking Regulation Amendment Act of 2021–tentative
  • B24-0429 Metro For DC Amendment Act of 2021 (Tentative)
  • Discussion: What to do about SE Blvd

DC City Council Committee of the Whole Subcommittee on Redistricting will hold a virtual hearing on redistricting Ward 6 at 10:00am. 

To watch, go here:  Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/CMElissaSilverman   

ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  http://anc6c.org/hot-topics/                

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 622 Eye Street, NE. Zoning Adjustment Application – Further-revised application of VBS Community Builders LLC, to convert an existing residential building into a four-unit apartment house and special exception from the 10’ limit on extensions past the rear wall of any adjacent principal residential building.
  • 638 East Capitol Street, NE. Zoning Adjustment Application – Revised application to construct a three-story rear addition to an existing attached four-story principal dwelling unit.
  • 621 A Street, NE – Expedited review application for relief from the lot occupancy requirements to construct a two-story rear deck addition to an existing attached two-story principal dwelling.
  • 227-235 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Zoning Adjustment Application of Hillsdale College for special exception relief to construct new penthouses on existing attached mixed-use buildings.
  • 103 4th Street. Zoning Adjustment Application – Expedited review application to construct a second-story rear addition to an existing attached two-story principal dwelling

Thursday, November 4

ANC 6C Transportation and Public Space Committee meets at 7:00 pm. 

To join the meeting, go here:  http://anc6c.org/hot-topics/   

Agenda not available at press time.

Friday, November 5

DC City Council Committee of the Whole Subcommittee on Redistricting will hold a virtual final city-wide hearing on redistricting at 12:00noon.    

To watch, go here:  Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/CMElissaSilverman

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The Week Ahead… and Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead…and Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Monday, October 25

ANC6A Community Outreach Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here: https://bit.ly/3jubHOT

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Listening Session on Redistricting with Samuel Rosen-Amy, Chief of Staff, Councilmember-at-Large Elissa Silverman

Tuesday, October 26

ANC6B Executive Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the meeting, go here:  https://bit.ly/3Bb2l0w

Agenda:

  • Set the agenda for the November meeting of the full ANC.

Wednesday, October 27

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

To join the Zoom meeting go here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86459262422?pwd=VEhQQzl6SVB1N21oSG9MaE9YeVA3UT09

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Special meeting to consider budget recommendations to DGS November 5, 2021
  • Report of the Market Manager
  • Financial Report
  • Implementation of the Strategic Plan
  • Space permits, permit fees and market rules for vending
  • Leases
  • Tenant’s Council Report
  • Eastern Market Main Street Mural project and other news update: Charles McCaffrey

Saturday, October 30

Capitol Hill Restoration Society hosts Our House Expo in Eastern Market North Hall from 10:00 am – 4:00pm.

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Political Discussion Takes Over Capitol Hill Community Crime Meeting

Political Discussion Takes Over Capitol Hill Community Crime Meeting

by Larry Janezich

The politics of how to address the city’s ongoing gun violence dominated last Tuesday night’s ANC6B community crime meeting.  Three top city officials – CM Charles Allen, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldhart – participated in the panel discussion. 

The genesis of the meeting was the occurrence of three mid-October homicides within two weeks on Capitol Hill – two near Watkins School and one at 17th and Independence. 

The only new information about the homicides was the assertion by CM Charles Allen and MPD officials that the two homicides near Watkins were not related.  In addition, Allen said that MPD had very good information and leads and that both were likely to be closed very soon.  With little new information on the homicides, the two and a half hour meeting became a wide ranging discussion on increased policing vs alternatives to addressing crime and gun violence.  More than 20 residents had questions and/or comments for the panel, roughly equally divided between those advocating for more police on the streets and those who said that more police is not the solution.  Some 400 residents participated at some point in the virtual community meeting. Former ANC6B Chair Chander Jayraman moderated the discussion. 

Allen said he supported putting more funding into community based strategies and supported his committee’s and the council’s action in directing MPD funding to programs such as the Violence Interrupters and Family and Survivor Support.  He said, “There is a role for traditional policing but also for other programs.” 

(The FY 2022 budget provides funds for 195 new officers – which is the number MPD Chief Contee said the department could absorb in a budget cycle.  In August of this year, led by Council Chair Phil Mendelsohn and CM Charles Allen, the city council rejected Mayor Bowser’s supplemental budget request for FY 2022 for $11 million to hire an additional 170 new police officers.  The council voted unanimously to cut the funding to $6 million and spend $5 million on violence interruption.  The Mayor’s additional request followed an alarming dinner hour shooting in 14th Street NW’s restaurant district and another shooting outside Nationals Park.)

Racine supported Allen, saying the whole budget process is involved and confusing and lends itself to mischaracterization.  He said a multiplicity of approaches at the same time is necessary.  “I totally understand that the community wants to see more police.  But we need to invest in these programs – not as a replacement but as a complement to the work police do. 

Geldhart endorsed an all-in strategy.  He said additional resources are needed to address poverty, systemic racism, and generational under-investment in communities.  He supported violence interruption and community based policing saying, “It is not either or – not a question of subtracting police and increasing other areas.”  He noted that in 2020 no new officers were hired because there was no budget.  In 2021 the new budget allowed for 200 new officers.  He said, when people are not afraid to use illegal guns they need to be prosecuted, and noted there is a problem with offenders not being papered or waiting to be processed because of backlog in the courts. 

DC Attorney Karl Racine explained that not every case ends up being papered.  He said prosecutors sometimes exercised prosecutorial discretion – choosing not to prosecute because of “infirmity in the process.”  He continued, “Police have a hard job and try to get it right but sometimes there is a Constitutional issue.”  And sometimes three or four people in a car are arrested when an illegal gun is discovered but only one gets charged because there’s not enough evidence to charge all four and sometimes prosecutors are not able to put forward enough evidence to prosecute or to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Top MPD brass did not participate in the meeting, but MPD was represented by Inspector Tasha Bryan and Captain Tatjana Savoy of the 1st District.  Bryant noted that the numbers of MPD are shrinking and that the 200 cadet class for the current year will result in a 20 officer net gain.   (According to MPD, 178 officers had left the force by the beginning of May, 202; 315 left in 2020, and 333 left in 2019.  In May, the current force level was 3,580.)   

The meeting was organized by ANC6B in response to recent violence in the community.  In terms of next steps, Brian Ready, Chair of ANC6B, said he hoped for future meetings which would more specifically address some of the issue raised Tuesday night. 

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Friday Night Live Jazz at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Features Jazz Artist Amy Bormet – 5:00p – 6:30p

Friday Night Live Jazz at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Features Jazz Artist Amy Bormet – 5:00p – 6:30p

by Larry Janezich

Amy Bormet; Jazz artist, pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and advocate for women in jazz.  Bormet, of the Kennedy Center, Bohemian Caverns, and Mr. Henry’s, tours Europe and South America.  To collaborate with and celebrate women musicians, she founded the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in 2011 and remains as director.  Her Los Angeles-based quintet, AmyAna, co-led with Brazilian drummer Ana Barreiro, released their debut album in 2019, and is touring the east coast tour this month. 

In addition to performances and tours, Bormet  conducts outreach masterclasses and workshops, recently at the Thailand International Jazz Conference and Los Angeles City College. She is a teaching artist, collaborating with the Kennedy Center’s newest programming at the REACH, presenting and performing with her all-women trio “the future of jazz is female” for middle school students.  (REACH is the Kennedy Center’s venue which brings artists and the public together for collaboration, experimentation, and exploration.)  Her recordings are available through Strange Woman Records.

 For more, go here:  http://amykbormet.com/about/

The final Friday Night Live Jazz performance will be next Friday, October 29, and feature Imani Grace-Cooper.  Programming for the series of Friday night jazz performances was coordinated by jazz saxophonist and Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation, Herb Scott.  CM Charles Allen provided $150,000 in the current FY’s budget for continued programming for Eastern Market Metro Plaza.

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