ANC6C Commissioners Raise Issue of Safety Concerns at Union Station

Doug Carr, President and CEO of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation joined last night’s ANC6C meeting to talk about commissioner’s safety concerns.
When CHC visited Union Station Thursday afternoon, there appeared to be a greater law enforcement presence on the portico at the entrance to the station. 

ANC6C Commissioners Raise Issue of Safety Concerns at Union Station

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 15, 2022

Wednesday night, Doug Carr, President and CEO of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC) joined ANC6C’s September virtual meeting to address concerns raised by commissioners about safety and quality of life issues at Union Station – especially those related to the southern portico running the length of the station. 

Commissioner Jay Adelstein spoke on behalf of a constituent, citing reports of various criminal activities and unhoused individuals lingering in Union Station. 

Carr responded that they deal with several quality of life issues on a daily basis and rely on a “fairly robust amount of resources including both contract support and city resources” to deal with homeless issues.  He said that the homeless issue was very important to the station and the community and that the Redevelopment Corporation and its partners invest fairly heavily in outreach and resource support.   

Commissioner Joel Kelty encouraged Carr to focus law enforcement support on the front portico, saying he had been through there several times in the past few weeks and “it is not the beautiful pedestrian experience it once was.  There’s a tremendous amount of loitering, smoking, and food waste all over the sidewalk.”

Commissioner Mark Eckenweiler said that he goes through Union Station on the way to and from work and today, “as often happens, at least one individual was screaming in a very threatening and menacing way” which under any disorderly statute would be impermissible.  He added, “It creates an unwelcoming atmosphere for residents and visitors to the area.  I don’t know who’s supposed to be policing on the portico – Amtrak police and contract security – and at what point MPD takes over – but more needs to be done.” 

Carr said he appreciated the comments and would bring back the observations, adding that the feedback was helpful, allowing them to adjust.  He reiterated that there is significant investment in resources and personnel but acknowledged that this doesn’t mean they get it perfect all hours of the day.  He said that these issues involve the start and finish of passenger experiences so “they are a specific area of focus for us.”  He cited the corporation’s collaboration with and support of outside consultants, noting that “it’s a combination of law enforcement, private security, and homeless specialists specifically trained in crisis de-escalation and mediators trained to manage aggressive behavior.”  He said those efforts have made an impact on the station but that more needs to be done and he would pass that on to the operations team. 

Carr was less reassuring regarding Chair Karen Wirt’s question about where other concerns should be directed. 

Carr replied that it depends on the nature of the concern, citing law enforcement for immediate concerns.  He noted that the USRC has a call number (but did not provide it).  He said the ANC is a valuable opportunity to express concerns.  Given the daily frequency of activity he said that if something is observed, members of the community should feel empowered to seek out law enforcement, private security, or “building personnel who are identifiable.”  He ended by reiterating that it depends on the nature and urgency of the concern.

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The Week Ahead…& A Look Inside Mason & Greens Now Open on Barracks Row

The Week Ahead…& A Look Inside Mason & Greens Now Open on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 11, 2022

The Week Ahead…& A Look Inside Mason & Greens Now Open on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 11, 2022

Mason & Greens Sustainable Dry Goods | Grocer has opened its second outlet on Barracks Row in the former Baskin-Robbins at 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  The company promises plastic free products that are ethically made and sustainably sourced and claims ownership of the title of DC’s largest vegan shop.  The store’s first outlet was in Alexandria. Co-owners Anna and Justin Marino say they were drawn to Capitol Hill because it “has the same feel as Alexandria, but a little more DC” – and to Barracks Row because of its proximity to Eastern Market Metro’s bustling transportation hub.
The store is still being stocked but is currently in the midst of a soft opening, 10am – 3pm daily until their grand opening on Saturday, September 17.  They will be open seven days a week.  Here’s a link to their website:  https://www.masonandgreens.com/

Bulk grains, seeds, vinegars and soap. Here’s a link to their package-free in-store bulk offerings. https://www.masonandgreens.com/pages/in-store-bulk-offerings

Dry goods…

and gluten (and the top seven allergens) free.
Health and beauty products are upstairs.

The Week Ahead……

Monday, September 1

ANC6D will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://www.anc6d.org/virtualmeeting/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • MPD Public Safety Report
  • Developer’s Update on 1301 South Capitol Street
  • Developer’s Update on 807 Maine Avenue
  • Update on Potomac River Tunnel
  • Wharf Ice Rink

                                                                 ***                                           

ANC6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here: https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Purl, 644 H Street, NE.  New license application/transfer of license. 
  • The Boiling Crab, 300 H Street, NE.  Application for liquor license renewal.
  • Taqueria Rosticeria Fresca, 701 H Street, NE.  Application for liquor license renewal.
  • Yotel Washington DC, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW.  Application for liquor license renewal.
  • Hilton Garden Inn-DC/U.S. Capitol, 1225 First Street, NE.  Application for liquor license renewal. 
  • King Street Oyster Bar, 22 M Street, NE.  Application for liquor license renewal. 

Tuesday, September 13

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

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://bit.ly/3xe6UIg

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Presentation on DDOT’s Safe School Streets Event in Ward 6
  • Rose’s at Home, 721 8th Street, SE.  Renewal of liquor license.
  • The Roost, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Renewal of liquor license.
  • National Democratic Club, 30 Ivy Street, SE.  Renewal of liquor license.
  • 1107 10th Street, SE.  Historic Preservation Application.  Concept: new construction of multi unit dwelling.   
  • 1247 E Street, SE.  Modification of Consequence: Extend hours to allow early weekend hours at a hair salon. 
  • 1333 M Street, SE.  Future Zoning Modification of Significance.  Increase residential parking from 174 parking spaces to 306. 
  • Letter to DCRA regarding concerns about heritage tree damage. 
  • Motion to support DDOT School Parking Zone Project.
  • Motion to support Tyler/Brent Elementary “School Parking Zone” Application. 

Wednesday, September 14

ANC6C holds a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Presentation:  Union Station safety concerns—Doug Carr, CEO, Union Station Redevelopment Corporation. 
  • Presentation:  Office of Tenant Advocacy—Alyce McFarland.
  • Purl, 644 H Street NE, new license/transfer of liquor license. 
  • Liquor license renewals for:  The Boiling Crab, 300 H Street, NE; Taqueria Rosticeria Fresca, 701 H Street, NE; Yotel Washington D.C., 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW; Hilton Garden Inn-D.C./U.S. Capitol, 1225 First Street, NE; King Street Oyster Bar, 22 M Street, NE. 
  • The Boiling Crab, request for comments on design of trash disposal area.
  • Discussion of DDOT H Street,  NE, Bus Line Project.
  • Discussion of Boot/tow/VZ hearing October 5.
  • Discussion of Boot/tow for expired tags, deadline for comments, September 28. 
  • Discussion of overhaul of public space regulations, September 12 deadline for comments (request for extension in progress). 
  • Discussion of D.C. Circulator, East Capitol route.
  • Discussion of construction-related legislation, hearing September 30.
  • Discussion of oversight of DCRA successor agency, hearing September 21.

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A Deep Dive into Rumsey Pool’s Turbulent Origins

The map shows the location of former Firehouse No. 8 – now Rumsey Aquatic Center

A Deep Dive into Rumsey Pool’s Turbulent Origins

By Hilary Russell

Posted September 11, 2022

This article is part of a series that looks back on the history of our neighborhood.

The Capitol East Natatorium (now William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center) at 635 North Carolina Avenue, SE, was the first year-round, racially integrated public swimming pool in the District of Columbia.  It opened next to Eastern Market in 1970, after concerted local lobbying for and against a pool at that location.  Three historic Capitol Hill properties were enmeshed in the fierce debate: the struggling DC-owned Eastern Market, which city authorities wanted to close and demolish; DC Transit’s car barn at 1400 East Capitol Street NE, which stopped servicing and storing streetcars in 1962; and timeworn Firehouse Number 8, at 635 North Carolina Avenue SE, whose buildings were used for storage, repairs, and training programs.

In 1964, local organizations and activists were galvanized by the DC Health Commissioner’s declaration that Eastern Market was “a menace to public health” and should give way to “a huge supermarket center with plenty of parking.” They collected more than 4,000 signatures for a two-pronged petition. The first prong vigorously opposed the planned sale of Eastern Market after leases expired.  The second favored replacing Firehouse Number 8 with a swimming pool and playground, reflecting the burgeoning local advocacy for more recreational facilities on the Hill.

Molly Rux, a young mother and member of the local women’s group Circle in the Square reportedly initiated the campaign, stating at a March 1964 public meeting, “We should have 43 acres of recreational space for 43,000 people…and we only have 12…We don’t even have a swimming pool to rebuild.”  Circle in the Square prioritized a new swimming pool because it could be “used by more people of a wider age group in a smaller space than most anything else.” The group acknowledged the myriad challenges ahead: “The diffusion of responsibility on District affairs and our inability to exercise our democratic rights of local self-government make progress more difficult.”  It would take six years and countless letters, meetings, and testimonials before the new pool was opened, in part due to intense local contentions.

The biracial Emergency Recreation Council for Capitol East (ERCCE), formed in the summer of 1964, strongly promoted building a pool on the old firehouse site beside Eastern Market. The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) took the lead in opposing this site.  Instead, it proposed an inexpensive renovation of Firehouse No. 8 buildings as an arts-and-crafts community center and the conversion of the East Capitol Street Car Barn for swimming and other recreational purposes.

Informed by the long and dismal history of segregated swimming in the District, allegations of racism soon surfaced. Supporters of the firehouse site referenced the fact that their opponents included the Capitol Hill Southeast Citizens Association, whose bylaws required members to be “Caucasian persons.”  Local author Sam Smith outlined the controversy in his 1974 book Captive Capital, which quoted an unidentified homeowner’s statement at a public meeting that he didn’t want “all those colored kids running through the market in their swimming suits.”

CHRS’s preference for the car-barn site initially won the favor of the DC Board of Recreation, whose 1968 budget request included $1 million for the DC Transit site and $54,000 for a “planning study” for a pool and playground on the firehouse site.

“Storm Brews Over Recreation Center,” was the headline of a Washington Post report on a “quasi-public hearing” at Eastern High School on the Department’s proposal to buy the car barn and spend an additional $3.5 million to turn it into “a massive recreation center containing everything from swimming pools and roller rinks to woodworking shops and bowling alleys,” along with—potentially—”employment and health centers and nurseries.” The reporter summarized the issue that had “split the Capitol Hill community down the middle” and a bevy of uncharitable denunciations from both sides, but concluded: “What most people on both sides say publicly is that they would be happy to see both projects completed. They just happen to doubt that it is possible to get both.”

The ERCCE and many other Capitol Hill organizations expressed these doubts at congressional appropriation hearings and pleaded for prioritizing a pool at the firehouse site. As the ERCCE put it, “The land is there, already owned by the District Government,” and the need for recreational facilities on the Hill, “at once immense and immediate,” could be met “before the summer of 1968.”

The argument for building a pool next to Eastern Market prevailed, though not within this predicted time frame.  The Post reported in April 1969 that the demolition of the firehouse was near completion.  The Recreation Department had spent the $54,000 in planning money and would spend an additional $769,500 to build the East Capitol Playground and Natatorium.

My next article will focus on the design, construction, and opening of the new pool, a period marked by other controversies.

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle and his wife Eireann Dolan – who recently bought a house on Capitol Hill – helped draw a sold-out crowd to the Atlas Theatre on Monday evening, August 29, for a fund raising reception and art show titled “Art Drives Statehood.” Other sponsors of the event were Pie Shop owner Sandra Basanti, and Chris “Cardi” Clayton of CHRiS CARDi House of Design.  The event, organized by DC Vote and Art Enables, presented for sale art works on DC statehood by artists living with disabilities.  DC Vote is a national grass roots advocacy organization dedicated to self-government and full voting rights for DC. Photo: Hilary Russell.

The fundraiser sold every piece of art – here’s one of the offerings by artist Paul Lewis. Here’s a link to other pieces in the sho. https://art-enables.org/show/art-enables-art-drives-statehood    Photo: Hilary Russell.

Mason & Greens, the Barracks Row Sustainable Dry Goods|Grocer coming to the space formerly occupied by Baskin-Robbins at 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, looks closer to opening.  The company promises plastic free products tethically made and sustainably sourced and claims ownership of the title of DC’s largest vegan shop.  Products contain no toxic chemicals, synthetic fabric, palm oil or anything that can damage people or the planet.  They carry items for the home, kitchen, beauty, kids, and the outdoors, as well as food, snacks, and books.  This will be the company’s second store – there’s a Mason & Greene at 913 King Street in Alexandria.  Here’s a link to their website:  https://www.masonandgreens.com/

This past week, Jim Guckert and Joe Kondrot of Guerrilla Gardeners of Washington DC and Barracks Row Main Street Executive Director Brian Ready (also ANC commissioner 6B03) filled in for DDOT and filled in a pothole in the parking area under the SE Freeway behind Winston Park (8th & I SE).  The sizeable pothole has existed since the area was opened for public parking 15 years ago.  Photo:  Guerrilla Gardeners.  

Last Monday, DDOT’s Urban Forestry Division took down the broken Linden tree outside Southeast Library. Photo: Bob Gelman

Staff at the 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue CVS say it will be another month before the pharmacy reopens. The drug store was closed for much of August owing to water damage.
ICYMI – The Save Mott’s Market Group has signed a contract to purchase Mott’s Market at 233 12th Street, SE, for an undisclosed amount.  The signing took place about a week ago and it is not clear when the sale will go to closing.  A representative of the group said they hope to reopen the market in the first half of 2023.  For details, see Lincoln Park Newsletter here:   https://bit.ly/3RfnZd Photo Hilary Russell

The Week Ahead…

by Larry Janezich

Posted September 5

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, September 6

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

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 1107 10th Street, SE. Historic Preservation Application. Concept: new construction in PDR-1 zone.  The PDR-1 zone is intended to permit moderate-density commercial and production, distribution and repair activities.   
  • 1247 E Street, SE. Zoning adjustment application.  Modification of Consequence: Extend hours to allow early weekend hours at a hair salon. 
  • 1333 M Street, SE. Zoning Application.  Technical Correction to Zoning Commission order.  Owners: Felice Development Group.
  • 1333 M Street, SE. Future Zoning Commission Modification of Significance to reduce retail space and increase residential parking from 174 parking spaces to 306. Owners: Felice Development Group. 
  • Letter to DCRA re 220 14th Street, SE concerning tree damage.

Community Safety Briefing by 1st MPD Advisory Council tomorrow from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.   

This community safety briefing and open dialogue is for residents and businesses in the 1st Police District.

To join by video:

https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/i.php?MTID=m8295cbfc41e8f3f4e9b6f47ba7d7b6a1

To join by phone: Call 202-860-2110 (Tap 101M to join from a mobile device)

Access code: 2309 223 8198.

Agenda:

  • Commander Tasha Bryant and the 1D Team talk all things crime
  • Community Outreach efforts in 1D
  • Meet the newest members of the MPD team for Sectors I and III
  • Open Dialogue

Wednesday, September 7

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

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • DDOT’s Rule on Electric Vehicle curbside charging
  • Tyler/Brent Elementary “School Parking Zone” Applications – Discussion on DDOT Process

Thursday, September 8

ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • Rose’s at Home, 721 8th Street, SE. Renewal of Class “CR” License. 
  • The Roost, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Renewal Class “CR” License. 
  • National Democratic Club, 30 Ivy Street, SE. Renewal of Class “C Club” License. 
  • Mendhelson Cases* Signed Settlement Agreement– Santa Rosa.

ANC6A will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda: 

Presentation

  • Public Safety Meeting: Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict, First District (1D) Commander Tasha Bryant, Fifth District (5D) Commander Ralph McLean, and 1D Captain Tatjana Savoy, Inspector, PSA 104, 107 and 108.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing

  • Bronze DC, 1245 H Street, NE. Application for new restaurant liquor license. 
  • Conscious Café, 1314 H Street, NE. Motion to update the existing Settlement Agreement to reflect the current standard agreement for the ANC.
  • Chupacabra, 822 H Street, NE. Renewal of restaurant liquor license. 

Transportation and Public Space

  • Letter to DDOT requesting that the Traffic Safety Investigation Dashboard include the entire text of the submission, information about work orders, and planned timeline for resolution.
  • Letter to DDOT in support of the Low Impact Development proposals for the intersections of on West Virginia Avenue/8th Street/K Street and West Virginia Avenue/L Street/9th Street, with the provisions that DDOT retain the south crosswalk on West Virginia Avenue and 8th Street NE, or make the crosswalk at 8th and K Streets NE a raised crosswalk to slow traffic coming around the pocket park and onto West Virginia Avenue NE, and add trees to both new green spaces; and ANC 6A send a letter to DOEE requesting that the bio retention areas be regularly maintained and cleaned.

Friday, September 9

  • Friday Night Jazz at Eastern Market Metro Plaza from 5:00pm – 6:30pm features The Love Stations.

Saturday, September 10

  • The Great Zucchini performs his magic for preschool and kindergarten kids on Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00am. This is conjunction with the unveiling of “Found You” – Beth Nybeck’s public art installation at Eastern Market Metro Children’s Playground.  A competition to name each of the three aluminum bunnies which comprise the piece will be announced.   

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Public Safety Meeting Comes in Wake of Early Morning Shooting Near Maury School

Maury Elementary School at 1250 Constitution Avenue, NE. Photo: Google
“Balance” occupies the center of the triangle park across from Maury School. The sculpture is by Marcia Billig, 2002, commissioned by DC Creates Public Art Program. The 200 block of Tennessee is in the background.

Public Safety Meeting Comes in Wake of Early Morning Shooting Outside of Maury School

By Larry Janezich

Posted September 2, 2022

A long-planned portion of ANC6A’s September meeting that will focus on public safety has taken on new urgency in the wake of recent crimes in the area.  The community presentation portion of  the September 8 meeting will feature CM Charles Allen and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) representatives, including Executive Assistant Chief Benedict according to an email distributed by 6A Chair Amber Gove.

Residents will want to know more about a 2:45am shooting last Thursday in the 200 block of Tennessee Avenue, NE,  acrpss the triangle park facing the entrance to Maury Elementary School.  So far, according to Gove, what is known is that a victim of the shooting was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and is expected to recover.  One resident post to a listserv cited officers on the scene who said that roughly 20 shots were fired.  Chair Gove said that indications are that the victim was known to and targeted by the shooter.  A blue sedan was reported to have fled the scene, heading north on 13th Street.  MPD is asking residents to share video from security cameras. 

Gove reported that hours before the shooting took place, she joined CM Allen and MPD along with representatives from the Mayor’s office and business owners for a public safety walk on H Street, which has seen several carjackings and shootings in recent days.  Last Sunday, Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson suffered several gunshot wounds in an attempted robbery around 6pm in the 1000 block of H Street, NE.  Robinson was hospitalized and is recovering.

Strategies to improve public safety and reduce violent crime have been debated and discussed, and some of them implemented.  Despite these efforts, a spate in serious crimes frustrates and unsettles many in the community.   

In mid-July, MPD Assistant Chief Andre Wright briefed ANC6A on MPD efforts to tackle high crime areas, one of which includes H Street, NE.  He said there are three prongs to the campaign against violent crime campaign, one of which is “the Night Life Initiative” – a doubling down on addressing violence in the entertainment and night life areas, such as the H Street Corridor from 3rd Street to Benning Road.  A pilot program this summer emphasized reducing robberies, thefts from autos, ABRA violations, addressing ATVs, and enforcing traffic and parking regulations on weekends.  The two other prongs are:  1) a homicide reduction plan targeting the four most violent districts, including the 6th and 7th Districts where 60% of the homicides occur; and 2) a program focusing specifically on reducing robberies. 

After the walk on Wednesday, MPD indicated additional officers would be deployed to H Street, NE, as well as more overnight units – which sounds like doubling down on the same strategy. 

ANC6A’s September meeting is scheduled for next Thursday at 7:00pm.  The link to join the meeting will be posted to ANC6A.org/agendas the night before the meeting.

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week – Plus Friday Night Jazz Returns

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

By Larry Janezich

Posted August 28, 2022

 

CVS at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, reopened last week after being closed for more than a month owing to water damage. 

Next door at the former Li’l Pub, Triple Candie finished installing their latest “curatorial riddle” – 655 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  For more, go here:  http://www.triplecandie.org/

Continuing:  The Capitol Hill Art League member show, entitled “Labor of Love” runs through October 1 at the Frame of Mine Gallery, located at 545 8th Street, SE, on Barracks Row.  The following artists are featured in the show: Anne Albright, Tara Hamilton, Steve Kunin, Karin Edgett, Carol Williams, Carolyn Rondthaler, Karen Van Allen, Elin Whitney-Smith, and Karen Zens. The Art League invites you to visit the gallery when shopping at Frame of Mine https://www.frameofminedc.com/ as well as viewing it online at the Capitol Hill Art League website at: https://www.caphillartleague.org/laboroflove2022/  The Capitol Hill Art League is a visual arts program of The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.  For more information about the organization, visit the website at www.caphillartleague.org

And speaking of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, CHC is chagrined at not noting before the upgrade to the façade at 545 7th Street, SE.

The week ahead is the last week for Biker Barre, one of the earliest barre studios on Capitol Hill, as the owner pursues other opportunities. 

A close call for SE Library. Friday, the behemoth Linden tree at the corner of 7th and D Street, SE, lost one of its major branches – most of the limb is lying on the grounds of SE Library.  The city’s Ward 8 Arborist, Carlson Klapthor happened by on Sunday afternoon and said the tree had been hollowed out – evidenced by the cavity inside the fallen branch.  He thought the tree would have to be removed.  “The tree was likely killed by sidewalk work,” he said, noting that the adjoining sidewalk was “flat as a pancake,” and alluding to the removal of roots.  Surveying the tree, Klapthor said it had had a history of failure – the top was “blown out” and many dead or diseased branches had been pruned.  The tree’s presumptive and preemptive removal would be in keeping with its fate; construction on the $23 million renovation of SE Library is scheduled to start next year and anticipates the tree’s removal.  For more on DC Urban Forestry, go here:  https://trees.dc.gov/pages/tree-services

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, August 30

ANC6B’s Executive Committee will hold a virtual meeting to set the agenda for the September 13 meeting of the full ANC. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  (TBA)

Friday, September 2

Friday Night Live Jazz at Eastern Market Metro, 5:00pm – 6:30pm.  Artist TBA. 

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Update on Wheel Thieves

Amy Arellano, a GWU doctoral student in occupational therapy with her Toyota Corolla and its new wheels on Friday afternoon. Thieves stole the wheels Wednesday night on the unit block of 7th Street, SE.  She reported the crime to the police and said a detective told her they would do everything they could for her. 

Update on Wheel Thieves

By Larry Janezich

Posted August 26, 2022

A resident of the unit block of 7th Street where the wheels were stolen from a vehicle Wednesday night, alerted CM Charles Allen to the theft and to two other thefts nearby. 

 Allen responded as follows: 

Thanks for sharing with me. Do you know if the owner has reported to MPD? I’m finding frequently, folks haven’t reported these thefts to MPD and they definitely need to know when and where it happens. I was speaking with 1st District leadership about this the other day and they said it’s happening all over DC and the region, but that they have look-outs among officers for what they think are two separate crews doing this. They obviously move very quickly… but MPD … feels like they have a good sense of a few look-outs they’re on the watch for.  In addition, if any neighbors’ security cameras happened to catch video of the thefts, please share that we need that video sent to MPD to help with their investigations.

A visit to the scene on Friday afternoon found Arellano’s vehicle in the final stages wheel replacement.  John Slacum said that he has done three wheel replacements recently – “They come into a neighborhood and get what they’re after and you never see them again.”  He said a set of wheels cost $3,000 from a dealership and the thieves sell them on the street for $500.  They target popular cars like Toyotas and Hondas because demand for wheels is high, rather than more expensive cars.  
Just across East Capitol in the unit block of 7th Street, SE, a second vehicle – this one a Honda Civic – was still unattended while its owner is out of town.  Police had just arrived to begin an investigation.  A neighbor was overheard saying that a resident has security camera videotape of the theft. 

(A reader reports that another vehicle was hit Wednesday night as well – a Lexus RX parked on Constitution in the 1200 or 1300 block.  Another reader reports that four wheels were stolen from a new Honda Pilot on C Street, SE between 11th and 12th.  CHC has not confirmed these thefts independently.) 

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Wheel Thieves Were Busy on Capitol Hill Wednesday Night

by Larry Janezich

Posted August 26, 2022

A resident of the unit block on 7th Street, NE, had all four wheels stolen from their car Wednesday night.  Another resident reported being told that two other cars in the neighborhood near 7th and A Street, SE, and on A Street, NE, also had wheels stolen the same night. It’s not clear if this is a trend, but neighbors should be aware.

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead … & Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted August 21, 2022

Florida Avenue Bike Lanes. ANC6A Transportation Committee, chaired by Maura Dundon, met last Monday.  They heard Will Handsfield, Bicycle Program Specialist at District Department of Transportation give an update on the Florida Avenue, NE, traffic calming and protected bike lanes project.  Hansfield said the contract is ready to be let – the two-year project will reduce space for vehicles and add protected bike lanes to both sides of the corridor between 2nd and 14th Streets, NE.  For more:  https://www.floridaaveproject.com/index

Hill East Burgers. Word is from Eat DC that Hill East Burger – the smoked burger saloon coming to 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – hopes to open next month.  Here’s a peek inside Saturday morning.  I don’t know.  Maybe. 

PA Avenue CVS remains closed. CVS at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, has been closed for several weeks.  Water damage.  Here a photo from a few weeks ago when they were drying out inside.  Early last week, CVS staff said remediation is still ongoing and it could be another couple of weeks before the store reopens.

Eastern Market Flea Vendor. Blind Date With A Book sets you up for a bind date with a newspaper-wrapped mystery volume from “a curation of highly rated, award winning, bestselling books.  We tell you the genre, year published, quote from a stranger on line review.”  Paperbacks are $9 – hardbacks $12. 

Here are the genres.

Eastern Market Vendor. Need a gift?  Here’s an idea from Zach Ammerman of Wild Places Prints.  He has 165+ hand-designed prints of maps including DC neighborhoods, Parks, Campuses, Gayborhoods, Queer Washington DC, DC Wards, Cherry Blossoms, and Farmers Markets.  Some of his best sellers include a map of Capitol Hill and a map of coffee Shops.  Here’s what he Tweeted recently:  “Here it is! 5 months of work drawing every structure, bridge, path, park, museum, rec center, or school (or damn well near it) in DC. Every single object on this map was painstakingly and individually drawn by me using no GIS or automation of any kind.” https://www.wildplacesprints.com/

This is the Wild Places artist – Zach – featured in a selfie at the Eastern Market Flea posted today on Twitter. He says he’ll be at Dupont Circle next Saturday.

The Week Ahead…

The week ahead looks quiet as the city empties of residents and fills with tourists.

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted August 14, 2022

Last Friday Night Live Jazz on Eastern Market Metro Plaza featured Herb Scott.  Here he is early in the performance playing Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me.”  After Friday’s night’s performance, Friday Night Live Jazz at Eastern Market Metro takes a break and returns on Friday, September 2. 
Milesanna White (at left) who works for the National League of Cities engages CM Charles Allen on violence prevention efforts and how programs are integrated into childhood years.  White later said, “It was great hearing about efforts to provide a more integrated approach, especially in our neighborhood.”  Allen held community office hours last Friday morning on the sidewalk in front of The Roost on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Swimmers who frequent Rumsey Pool next to Eastern Market have been frustrated by the closures (plural) of the pool over the last month or so. 

Rumsey, which was closed for a month to repair a ceiling in danger of collapse, reopened for a week and closed again because of an issue with the pool’s HVAC system.  Repairs were scheduled for last week, but didn’t happen and the pool remained closed on Saturday.  Planning and design work for a major renovation of Rumsey is scheduled to begin this fall.
ICYMI – Last week Washingtonian reported that Newland restaurant which opened four months ago in the space formerly occupied by Montmartre, served its last dinner on July 30.  Elliot Williams of the DCist reported rising food costs, labor shortages, and economic uncertainty as among the reasons.  Chef Andrew Market’s Beuchert’s Saloon and Fight Club, around the corner on Pennsylvania Avenue remain open. You can read Markert’s letter announcing the closure on Instagram, here:  https://bit.ly/3C9InYe  

These vintage cars lined up outside of Rumsey Center last Friday were part of a scene for the Netflix film Rustin currently under production in the city.  According to Wiki, “[t]he story revolves around gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington. The film is produced by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground Productions.” Photo: Hilary Russell.

The Week Ahead…

The week ahead remains pretty quiet, with ANC6A being the outlier.

Monday, August, 15

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda: 

  • Public Space Permit Application. Proposed six foot tall security fence at Brown Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church (130 14th Street at North Carolina Avenue, NE).
  • DDOT Notice of Intent to install multimodal safety enhancements along C Street from 11th to 15th Streets, NE.
  • DDOT plans for Low Impact Development (LID) to improve pedestrian safety and incorporate Green Infrastructure Retrofits at several intersections in ANC 6A. Patrice Brooks from DDOT will present on the proposed concepts, which include closing off West Virginia, NE, between 8th Street, NE, and K Street, NE, and installing a bike share station that incorporates community art and green space. Additionally, DDOT is also proposing to close off the northwest side of West Virginia Avenue, NE, to prevent southbound traffic on 9th Street, NE, and eastbound traffic on L Street, NE, from entering the intersection and to reserve unused impervious areas for green space.
  • Update on Florida Avenue, NE, traffic calming and protected bike lanes.

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