Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
I need an electrician who is familiar with Pepco and their inspection requirements who can relocate my electric meter box from its current location (outside my home) to a new location (outside my home). I'm taking estimates now because the work must be complete.
Please contact Theola at theola_myhouse @ yahoo.com . Thank you.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The most recent Washington Business Journal (Friday, July 23, 2010) includes a cover story about restaurant rooftop decks in the District.
I have copied in the first few paragraphs to whet your appetite. (I can Email you the entire article if you send me an Email requesting it -- scott at scott hyphen roberts dot net.)
Since Bloomingdale may gain a rooftop deck at the firehouse, I thought you might like to read this WBJ article.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Rooftop venues can bring in cash, but also complaints
Washington Business Journal - by Tierney Plumb
While firetrucks blare along U Street NW, a gaggle of well-dressed young professionals slip into the relative quiet of neighborhood hot spot Local 16 and climb the curved, carpeted stairs to reach a plant-lined rooftop oasis.
On the roof, stark-white tablecloths flutter next to large fans that drown out the street noise below, and a new VIP area features funky drawings that seem to grow up the wall. Chatter from conference-goers, co-workers and 20-something friends fills the air.
Just three blocks away, patrons sit in a sleek, but mood-lit, space at Masa 14, a popular Latin-Asian tapas joint catering to a more Logan Circle-centric crowd.
At the center of that wood- and brick-accented space is a wide set of stairs that locals have dubbed the ``Stairs to Nowhere.`` The stairs are expected to eventually lead guests to a partially enclosed roof deck.
Given the relatively small number of D.C. establishments that offer the amenity, rooftop spaces present a prime marketing opportunity for bars and restaurants, accounting for as much as 80 percent of revenue for some proprietors.
``Roof decks are the only real option for outdoor seating, eating, drinking and enjoying one`s self without sitting on a busy, dirty street,`` said Patrick Oberman, a member of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC). They are also perhaps the only way to accommodate patrons who smoke.
It`s not clear exactly how many rooftop restaurants exist or are pending in D.C.— the District`s alcohol board says it is in the process of creating a database to compile the permit numbers — but there are at least 30 already open, according to consumer review website Yelp.com.
There is a cat that appears to be lost who is hanging out at the Dunkin` Donuts at the Hess Gas Station on Rhode Island and New Jersey Avenues. It is a sweet grey and white cat who is clearly not feral. The fur around its neck area has been shaved (a recent surgery making it impossible for it to wear a collar?). If anyone thinks this is their cat, head to the Dunkin` Donuts -- it is there most mornings. Otherwise, does anyone have suggestions on what to do? I hate to see it struggle to survive without alley cat skills, especially near such busy streets. But I don`t want to take it to the shelter only to get put down.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
CM Barry's Gage-Eckington Park Funding Disapproval Resolution has * not * been withdrawn (as of today)
Special thanks to LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale residents for your swift and strong advocacy regarding the Gage-Eckington Park. As of this writing Councilman Barry`s Disapproval Resolution has not been withdrawn.
Requests for Mr. Barry to withdraw the resolution are on going.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Are there any dressmakers in our neighborhood? I just purchased a retro McCall dress pattern. It is a very simple wrap dress, and I wondered if someone could make it into a dress for me. If so, please email: Karen_and_Howard@verizon.net.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
To: Anita Bonds Chairperson of ANC5C
Copied to the Community
TO: Anita Bonds, Chairperson of ANC5C
I am writing you today because my name has been brought into the public venue in writing by Commissioner Gigi Ransom regarding the Bloomingdale Farmers` Market.
Because her unfounded and reckless comments have damaged my reputation in the community, I request three things to rectify this damage. First, Commissioner Ransom must make a public written apology for her statements. Second, her apology and retraction of this statement be publicly posted on every listserv to which Commissioner Ransom posted her statements about me. Third, as Chair of ANC5C, you state publicly that Commissioner Ransom is not the official spokesperson for ANC5C. Many members of the public, including myself, have that impression from her numerous postings of so-called fact findings that she is speaking for the whole of the ANC5C.
What follows is proof that the statements made about the Bloomingdale Farmer's Market are either in whole or in part false, inaccurate, and misleading.
Commissioner Ransom first misrepresented my role in regards to closing R Street. Here is what she has posted:
From: Gigi Ransom
To: Brookland@yahoogrou ps.com
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010
Bloomingdale Farmer's Market (BFM):
Ted McGinn & Stu obtained DDOT`s permission to restricted residential parking and street closure of the 100 block R St NW, and did not take into consideration the immediately impacted residents concerns about their lack of parking, and the BBC did not pursue alternative available temporary street parking on Florida Ave for the vendors trucks and visitor/patron parking, has attributed to these residents being involuntarily inconvenienced for Mr. Davenport`’s personal and financial interests.
I am a employee of Markets and More LLC owned by Robin Shuster. Ms Shuster is the sole owner of record through the LLC of the Bloomingdale Farmers` Market. Because of her role as owner, only Robin has applied and could apply for any permit from DDOT. As an employee, I have never made any such applications. Please read the following from Robin.
From: Robin Shuster
To: Ted McGinn < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Sent: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 6:33 pm
As the owner of the market, I, Robin Shuster, am the one who got the original and follow-up permits for the market, The market is in compliance with all the public space rules to which a farmers' market is subject. We got the required number of signatures from the residents of the 100 block of R Street agreeing to the street closure for the market, including one of the current protesters.
The Big Bear Cafe is not part of the market, does involve itself in any of the legal matters between the market and the city (such as getting permits for the market), and has no financial interests in the market. If anything, it is the market that profits from the existence of the BBC. I do not believe that the market would have been sustainable in that location (at least the first year or two) if the Cafe did not exist. On the other hand, the Cafe exists very nicely without the market 6 days a week and half the year when the market is closed.
To address the parking concerns of a couple of R Street neighbors, the market secured the alternative parking on Florida Avenue, which took us several years to do. But we now have official, permitted parking during the market season for all the residents of the 100 block of R Street from Saturday evening to Sunday at 3 pm when residents can again park on R Street. Please note that Markets and More was required by DDOT to provide all signage and instruments needed to safely close the lane for parking with no cost to the city. To provide this accommodation to R Street residents, the market also pays the city a required permit fee for closing the lane.
Anita, Commissioner Ransom's statements about how parking issues involving the market were handled are wholly false. I did work very hard with Robin to gain approval of parking along North side of Florida Avenue for the residents of the 100 block of R street NW during the market season. Those efforts stemmed out of protests from 3 households along the 100 block of R street NW about parking issues related to the market. The goal was to find nearby special permitted parking that would meet the needs of all the residents on that block including the 3 protesting households.
I started working on the parking issue first with Alice Thompson and later with Richard Norwood, the Ward 5 reps from the Mayor's office. Robin worked with DDOT. All parties including the protesters were working with CM Harry Thomas's office. CM Thomas held a meeting in his office with DDOT Public Space, Robin Shuster and myself. Please note that all of the protesters were invited in writing with follow up phone calls from CM Thomas's office, none of them showed up for the meeting. The outcome of the meeting was the endorsement of creating the parking for the residents with the details to be worked out by DDOT. Robin receive the finial approval the last week of the 2009 market season and the parking started this year. All of the protesting households use the new permitted parking, and I have talked with each of them this spring. All these facts refute the claim that I ``did not take into consideration the immediately impacted residents concerns`` as stated by Commissioner Ransom. Her depiction of my actions regarding the parking issue are false and defamatory.
Second, immediately following the quote above, Commissioner Ransom stated most inaccurately what I have said in public meetings. Here is what she wrote: When I first joined this ANC in 2009, the BFM came before 5C for support for the market and their DDOT request I recall both (Ted McGinn and Stuart Davenport) saying that they had the full support of the immediately impacted residents, they presented a large petition, and we gave support. The Protesters have said they were never contacted, were not aware of the petition, the request, or the item on the 5C agenda. ABC regulations allows for protests based on peace, quiet & order issues, including parking, which the protesters included. If we had known the immediate residents were not allowed to voice their opinions, 5C probably would have delayed the vote until the issue was reconciled as we should to protect eveyone`s interests.
Anita, the public has a real problem when elected officials write or speak in the public venue on the record stating so-called fact from memory. I never said we had the support of every household on the 100 block of R street NW. What I said was that we had met the threshold of support required by DDOT. I have sought the offical minutes from that meeting on the ANC5C Web site, but they and all the minutes going back to Feb of 2008 are not posted. Although a message on the site states that you can email a commissioner to have a copy of the minutes sent to you, in this day and age, residents of ANC5C should have easy access to these public records. Below you will find Micheal Herderson`'s meeting notes that are posted publicly for all to read.
ANC5C Monthly Meeting
Tuesday June 16, 2009
From the desk of Michael J. Henderson
For information purposes only
An excerpt from the meeting note....
Farmer’s Market – Commissioner Davenport – resolution to support the market and street closing of R street; moved that resolution be passed; Commissioner Salatti 2nd; Commissioner Pinkney asked if residents on that block had signed a petition; Ted McGinn said every year we go to the residents to satisfy DDOT, and each of the three years they have met that threshold; Commissioner Davenport said they have around 80% support from the residents on that block; Commissioner Bonds did the math – 12 residences and only 2 dissent; Commissioner Grant asked why the 2 that did opposed it; Commissioner Bonds said MPD is working to make parking on Florida Avenue for vendors and that would open R street to some extent so residents would not feel put upon; market operates May-November; they are trying to bring harmony and togetherness; there are a couple hundred people who come out; but it is right in front of certain people’s doors every Sunday; motion to vote on resolution to support farmer’s market Bloomingdale and let them close 100 block of R street NW for market operations; also for the city to look favorably on them; motion passed unanimously with editorial corrections
What is clear for all to see is that Ms.Ransom's memories do not match the events of that evening. And her memories do not match records that she could easily have checked before making spurious comments that state that I am a liar.
During that meeting,I presented the Commission with two petitions. The first, large petition was made up of names collected at the main market table. It was never represented as a polling of the 100 block of R Street and that was clearly stated on the opening statement that appeared at the top of each petition sheet. The second petition was a DDOT petition that only the residents on the 100 block of R street could sign. Each address along the street may have more then one vote if it is sub-divided into apartments. If an address is a single household, then it get only one vote. If you sign the petition, then you are supporting the Farmer's Market. If you do not sign, then a blank space is left for that address or apartment and that is counted as a "no" vote. There were three protesters this year, and DDOT granted he permits for the Market.
Commissioner Ransom stated that the protesters were not aware of the Market being on the agenda of ANC5C for the June 2009 meeting, and implies therefore that, assuming there is any truth to that statement, I had something to do with that or was in some way responsible for protesters knowing. ANC5C meeting notices that include the agenda for the meeting are posted on numerous listservs, including the Bloomingdale List. The information is also posted on the ANC5C web site. One of the protesters had posted on the Bloomingdale List more than once during that period of time. It is absurd and dishonest to assert that I had any responsibly to notify anyone about a public meeting.
To sum up, I feel that my good name and reputation have suffered harm from Commissioner Ransom's public writings posted on listservs and blogs. Her printed words reflect on the entire membership of ANC5C because, as of this date, ANC5C has taken no action to seperate the body from her actions.
I repeat that I request a public written apology from Commissioner Ransom and an equally public retraction of the statement by Commissioner Ransom be posted on every listserv she posted it to. I further request that as Chair of ANC5C you state publicly that Commissioner Ransom is not the official spokesperson for ANC5C. Many members of the public have that impression from her numerous postings of so-called fact findings that she is speaking for the whole of the ANC5C.
Repectfully yours in public service, Ted McGinn
President of The Eckington Civic Association
Co-Chair of the Emery Education Center LSRT
Senior Market Manager of the
Bloomingdale Farmers' Market
Resident of ANC 5C02
Norton in Your Neighborhood
Co-hosted with ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti / Ward 5
A Community Conversation
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Ward 5 ANC Commissioner John Salatti
Join together to host a community conversation in your neighborhood
What are the best options for securing Voting Rights? What other federal issues are of community interest?
July 29, 2010
St. George`s Episcopal Church
160 U Street, N.W.
For more information please contact my District Office at 202- 783- 5065.
I am seeking suggestions for a tree trimmer/arborist. Last night`s storm brought down one limb from the large tree in our back yard and many others in the future are at risk. The tree itself is in our back yard and alley-accessible, but will require a cherry picker (that can navigate a Bloomingdale alley) to get to the necessary limbs. Anyone with recommendations should please email me at email@example.com.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
LeDroit Park's Jeff Herron responds to Kathryn Pearson-West's questions about CM Barry's Gage-Eckington Park funding disapproval resolution
Former LeDroit Park Civic Association President Jeff Herron provided a swift and comprehensive response yesterday. The top-most Email below is from Kathryn Pearson-West, which she posted on the Ward 5 list.
Thanks for your quick response, Jeff! I want to give credit where credit is due.
++ Also note that Valerie Santos, Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development, sent an Email on 7/24/2010 to Councilmember Barry "urging him to immediately withdraw the disapproval resolution (PR 18-1094) and allow this invaluable community project to move forward.'' Ms. Santos' Email is not provided here.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org On Behalf Of WKPW3@aol.com
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 3:00 PM
Subject: [ward5] Re: [LeDroitPark] Barry/park funding issue
Thank you. I didn't want to make it a federal crime to ask questions but some of us that actually read what is posted on websites and listserves want to know all the details. Thanks for sharing so that the rest of us know what is going on. That was interesting that my name was put on blast, but that is OK. Information is power.
From: Herron, Jeff
Sent: Sat, Jul 24, 2010 2:53 pm
Subject: RE: [LeDroitPark] Ward 5's Kathryn Pearson-West's comment on the Barry/park funding issue
I read your posting of a series of questions about the latest issue with the park in LeDroit Park. While I appreciate your questions, residents who have been engaged in this issue for the past two+ years don’t have questions about the process, the funding or the legitimacy of the project. These questions have been asked and answered for months. Just a few resources that you may want to review that may answer some of your questions.
http://www.ledroitparkdc.org/park.html -this page lists some key developments and milestones on the journey to get this park completed.
http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2010/03/dear-pop-gage-schoolpark-funding-problems / This entry covers information about CM Thomas’ concerns about the funding which were resolved in March. The council actually voted to approve the funding explicitly in this session, making CM Barry’s latest efforts that much more incomprehensible. Perhaps he didn’t recall as it was the same day he was censured and stripped of his committee chairmanship.
As for some questions:
• ANC support: There is large ANC Support for this initiative: Myla Moss in ANC 1-B; John Salatti ANC 5C04
• Council Support: CM Thomas ward 5 and CM Graham ward 1 are on board with this project with Graham leading this from the beginning. Others including Kwame Brown, Catania and Mendelson have been supportive in the past.
• Process: the process is for the contract to be submitted to Council for approval. If the council doesn’t act, it is automatically approved. CM has exercised his right to object, but hasn’t given any reasons. He says the funds aren’t there, but this was settled in March. Unless there is something wrong with the contract, he should let this go forward.
• Barry doesn’t do frivolous stuff: putting aside his actions that led to censure and other run ins with the law, CM Barry has also ‘disapproved several other actions’ recently that also don’t seem to have any merit. He has disapproved the move of DDOT’s offices for one. I’m not sure you want to be defending CM Barry’s actions and I certainly don’t feel he has earned the benefit of the doubt.
• Listserv readers need to do more research: I’d submit that the public record on this project is pretty clean and there are no issues with this park. As the information and the links above show, this park has been down this road before and things were resolved.
Hopefully this helps provide some background on the latest issue and reveals them to be nothing but unethical and brazen attempt at political deal making.
As for the rest of the history, it is long and detailed:
The community organized to protest the closing of Gage Eckington school in early 2008. We demanded a plan for the use of the school. June 2008 the city proposed relocating the District Dept of Environment to this location along with a senior wellness center. Planning continued through fall 2008 to resolve issues of parking, density and funding. Early 2009, these plans fell through when it was determined that the costs to renovate the building were too high. By April 2009 the community and mayor’s office were working on the plan to demolish the school building and place a park in the location. The building was demolished in August 2009. Construction planning was set to begin in Fall 2009 but got held up when all parks and recs contracts were put under review, even though this project wasn’t part of the contracts that were misappropriated or no bid contracted. Design work ultimately began in Spring 2010. Construction was to begin in June 2010 but there were hold ups with CM Thomas’s disapproval in march (ultimately resolved). Throughout, there was massive community involvement including meetings all summer of 2008 and in the fall of 2008 for the DDOE project, spring of 2009, summer of 2009 and again in spring of 2010 for designing the park.
Please let me know if you have other questions as I’d be happy to share what I know about them.
From: LeDroitPark@yahoogroups.com On Behalf Of scot t@ scott-roberts.net
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 1:26 PM
Subject: [LeDroitPark] Ward 5's Kathryn Pearson-West's comment on the Barry/park funding issue
LeDroit Park list members:
The current Email thread about Councilmember Barry's disapproval resolution for the planned Gage-Eckington Park in Ward 1 has been posted at the Ward 5 list at Yahoogroups. There have been many Email posted on this topic on the Ward 5 list.
I have copied in below an Email from Ward 5 resident (non-Bloomingdale) Kathryn Pearson-West, whose Email address is WKPW3@aol.com.
F Y I .
From: ward5 @ yahoogroups.com On Behalf Of WKPW3@aol.com
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 12:18 PM
To: ward5 @ yahoogroups.com
Subject: Barry on Gage-Eckington Park: “I Have the Responsibility to Protect the Taxpayers’ Money” Re: [ward5] Re: TO ARMS! TO ARMS: CM Barry Putting Gage-Eckington Park Funding at Risk -- Contact Him
And the bigger picture. What is really up? What are the real concerns and ramifications? What is the exact process to be followed? Are there any shenanigans going on at all? That should be simple to find out and correct by September. Is a hearing or investigation in order? Some elected officials can do anything they want. Let's take a minute to see what is going on and not dismiss matters simply because there is a resolution presented by a sometimes controversial councilmember.
Maybe there is a good reason CM Barry is following through with this and maybe he should be heard and the matter reviewed. Barry doesn't usually do frivolous stuff, especially when he, like many institutional government workers, may know where the bodies are buried and may be able to help find waste and abuse or prevent something unwise from taking place. How long would the delay be before the park can move forward or will the delay prevent the park from ever becoming a reality? Frankly, I'd like to read more about the plans for the park that are subject to taxpayer money. What were the original objections and concerns and what approval, financial, approval process did the park go through? Or is the problem somewhere else. The readers on the listserv probably need to do some more research to see what this is all about.
What is on record with the ANCs?
On Jul 24, 2010 11:10 AM, WKPW3@aol.com
So, if this is a park and not a life saving entity, can the park wait until a vote in September to make sure the money is there and to ensure that the process is followed correctly?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
last call for artists - for North Capitol Main Street's 2nd Annual "1st on First" Art + Music Walk on Saturday, 8-7-2010
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here http://campaign.constantcontact.com/render?v=001Nk7PNBlHbx0PbOHKsMox876E8rbkUMWDmDkm5DVdqoCCxzIjX1Xat5T4rFsCkQD62ttudNr9fkG8_3xDRa_tsk_EMk97tnz1oEUQbq1-EXw%3D
Last Call for Artists!
Signup by Thursday, July 29th to be included in this year's Art Market.
We have an interesting group of Artists signed up and we still have room for you.
Come out and join your peers in making this year's Art + Music Walk a rewarding experience for all!
This year's Art + Music Walk in Bloomingdale will include an Artist market. We will provide the tables and chairs -- all you need to bring is your locally produced masterpieces!
Last year's popular event attracted nearly 400 people from all over the DC metro area, and this year we are expecting even more!
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
12 Noon to 4 pm
1st St NW between R and Rhode Island Avenue NW
$25.00 for NCMS community artists*
$50.00 for DC area artists
If you are a community artist and would like to sell your art work during the event, please contact Tom Usselman to sign up.
(202) - 670 - 2665
*NCMS community artists live or work in our service area: North Capitol and 1st St NW from New York Ave to Rhode Island Ave NW
North Capitol Main Street
1703 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, D.C., District of Columbia 20002
Is there anyone in the neighborhood who works for the Washington Post? I know awhile back someone responded to the listserve and stated they worked for the Post and was interested in concerns about the Post.
I am so frustrated with my delivery service and lack of responsiveness after numerous complaints to customer service about repeated issues. I have also asked for responses in writing regarding my complaints, that request was ignored. Might someone have the name of person(s) at the Washington Post with whom I can register a detailed complaint -- outside of those who answer the 334-6100 number?
Check it out, local ledroit resident Steuart Martens is now on the NBC's the apprentice.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I just wanted to share that a car followed me home last night from H Street/Trinidad area (I was driving home, by myself around 11pm). I noticed that he was following very close and that he was making the same turns as I was, but only signaling after I did. As I got closer to our neighborhood, I started to loop back towards the 5th District Police Station, rather than lead him right to my house. Eventually, when it became clear that I was driving in a big circle, he gave up. A minute later I flagged down two patrol men and let them know what had happened and what the car looked like, so they went to search nearby. Also, I called my roommate and asked him to come outside so that I would not be getting out of my car on an empty street when I pulled up at home.
Luckily, I was aware that this car had started following me, and didn't just lead him right to my home. However, I wanted to share my experience, as a reminder to all to keep your eyes open and be prepared to respond to situations that just don't sit right, especially women who are by themselves at night.
It would seem that not even flowers are safe from thieves in our neighborhood. At some point between 6 p.m. last night and this morning, two clusters of flowers were stolen from the garden in front of our house. Residents should be on the lookout for an arboreal bandit, it would seem. My girlfriend and I bought them at Home Depot and planted them ourselves a couple of months ago.
I really don't have much in the way of commentary on this. It's a pretty sad day.
CM Barry introduces disapproval resolution for the proposed contract for Gage-Eckington Park in LeDroit Park
This top Emai is from Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham:
This is an outrage, and a totally needless delay in a very worthwhile project. We need this project to go forward, because of the recreational and park benefits it will bring to the entire community, and most definitely including all of the kids at Kelly Miller.
I will speak to him, though I suspect it will be to no avail. Perhaps also Chairman Gray (copied herein) can approach him?
I think LeDroit Park should descend on him en masse. What do you think?
Let me know. Bests Jim
From: Heimsath, Benton (Council) [mailto: bheimsath@DCCOUNCIL.US ]
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:37 PM
To: Jim Graham
Cc: Hernandez, Steven (COUNCIL)
Subject: Gage-Eckington Park Disapproval Filed
This email is to inform you that yesterday CM Barry introduced a disapproval resolution for the proposed contract for Gage-Eckington Park in LeDroit Park. The resolution extends the review period to 45 days.
Committee on Public Works and Transportation
Councilmember Jim Graham, Chair Council of the District of Columbia
CM Graham: www.grahamwone.com
Committee: www.dccouncil. us/publicworksan dtransportation
Note that Robert Brannum, Bloomingdale resident and President, Bloomingdale Civic Association, obtained a copy of the resolution and distributed it. (The PDF is not posted here.)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
FYI, this was a response I sent to a resident Tom Bridge, after he posted comments made by Commissioner Ransom in a local list-serve. Feel free to publish.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: stuart davenport
To: tom @ welovedc.com
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 10:37:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Brookland] Fwd: Big Bear Cafe: Now Including Occupancy Permits- 2006 & 2010
If you have any questions please let me know.
Gigi knows that the ANC missed the July 12th deadline to file a protest, and they therefore have no standing in the BBC application. She was informed of this ABRA requirement in early June/July before the deadline, and then was reminded by ABRA the day of the ANC vote.
The below information supplied by Gigi is incorrect. The application with the Office of Zoning was not for a change of our existing use, but for a map amendment to ``correct the non-conforming status`` of the building. This does not affect the legality of the cafe as it operates now - it affects how the cafe can be treated in the future. It ensures that no-one can take away its commercial status, and it allows the cafe to operate without requirement of special exceptions (BZA, etc.).
The BBC had a certificate of occupancy for 8 seats in 2006, for a grocery/deli. By definition (in 2006), a deli was a place with prepared food, and a restaurant was a place with sit-down seating. Because we were allowed seats we were then able to get a restaurant license when we opened in 2006 and operate as we do now - as a restaurant.
The main problem was that we could only get 8 seats when we opened, and we told the ANC this in 2007 when we asked for support in bringing our cafe into compliance. This is documented in the minutes. During the process, however, I was able to get the increased seating through a zoning/structural/building review through a Certificate of Occupancy building permit and we completed the construction work in 2008. In spite of Gigi`s claim that she does not feel the cafe space is big enough for the increased seating, load calculations were done by the structural review coordinator as well as fire code review coordinator at DCRA. The work was also fully approved by the DCRA zoning administrator, mechanical engineer, electrical and plumbing engineers, etc.. With this approved building permit we then did not need to pay the large fees to file our map amendment case.
I reviewed these issues with Com. Bonds and Gigi, and filed a full detailed report with the ANC when Gigi requested it in June. To this date, she and Barrie Danneker continue to state the facts incorrectly to the ANC, the public, and the press.
My mistake was to not file the final documents for the final C of O after all work was completed and approved with the building permits. In April, 2010 we informed the ANC and ABRA that the documents still needed to be filed and ABRA said it was not a problem in our application. They did require that it be filed before our application could be approved in the preliminary review. This was done April 23, 2010. Around the same time we decided to file the map amendment case with the office of zoning because it was also a requirement in our application, and also because negative statements were being made by Com. Danneker and Com. Ransom to the public through the Washington City Paper website. Our ABRA reviewer had no problem with the fact that the map amendment was not complete and would take time.
As you can see, the process has been complicated.
I have given Gigi multiple reports on all of these facts, but she continues to present the facts incorrectly.
She also filed a complaint with the Office of Campaign Finance and I was told to not participate in the conversation or communicate with the ANC in any deliberation or ongoing discussion. She then documented in the final ANC Resolution protesting the BBC that I was not responding openly to ANC requests.
Also, we passed out fliers door to door before completing our ABRA application, and held a community meeting on May 18th with residents who raised concerns (which contradicts the ANC claim that we did not reach out to concerned residents). I also notified the residents when the placards were posted on May 28th (which was our only legal requirement for public notification). We then presented to numerous civic associations and to the residents at the ANC meeting and we all agreed at the direction of Chair Anita Bonds to a June 2nd deadline for a voluntary agreement. The neighborhood group then did not respond to numerous requests, and the deadline passed. The group then protested the BBC license just before the July 12th petition period deadline.
There are numerous accusations - including not having a private trash service (under contract since 2006), not having an alcohol license for wine tastings (covered under an ABC caterer`s license), not having permits for music (which are not required in DC law), and not having a DDOT permit for outdoor seating (permitted by DDOT, and fully insured during a full sidewalk cafe permit application process).
The facts in the ANC resolution as stated were inaccurate.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns and I will do my best to address them.
You can reach me at email@example.com
On Jul 21, 2010, at 3:22 PM, Gigi Ransom wrote:
There you go deflecting again, instead of facing the facts and truth, and addressing the issue in its proper perspective, trying to continue a controversy that doe not exist. The previous market was ``grandfathered in`` during the 50s when the Zoning system was established. I have provided you w/documented proof:
1) per the Office of Zoning notice that the BBC had just filed on June 1, 2010, for the mapping amendment for the ``change of use`` after being in operations since 10/2006;
2) the Occupancy Permit of 10/2006 shows what the zoning was for the prior business; and,
3) the Occupancy Permit of 4/23/2010 some how shows an increase in occupancy from eight (8) in 2006 to suddenly 49 in 2010, without any renovations, expansion of the cafe.
The section from the zoning application reads:
``The property that is the subject of this application consists of Square 3103, Lot 800 in Northwest Washington, D.C. (Ward 5) at 1700 1st Street, N.W. The property is currently zoned R-4. There is C-2-A-zoned property across from the property on both 1st Street and on Florida Avenue. The Applicant proposes a map amendment to rezone the subject property to C-2-A. According to the Applicant, the building has been residentially- zoned, but used commercially, since 1905. `` Meaning, from 2006, he had not done it to date.
Stu had a responsibility to get the zoning changed once he assumed the building and created the cafe. No excuses.
I must point out that I am disappointed that you did not identify yourself in your original post as a journalist, which Ms. Clark later brought to my attention, that you had a reponsibility to research the issues raised to provide a fair and balanced article on the matter. Even if there was a commerical zoning for the market, the use changed to a cafe, and Stu still had to request the change, period.
There are good, reasaonable people who live in Brookland, many who I know, some I have worked and/or testified with on issues. This attempt to insult their intelligence, the majority who I can say have a far better knowledge and understanding of DC Zoning regulations than you, is demeaning.
From: Tom Bridge
To: ``Brookland @ yahoogroups.com``
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 2:43:02 PM
Subject: [Brookland] Fwd: Big Bear Cafe: Now Including Occupancy Permits- 2006 & 2010 [3 Attachments]
Also sent along at the request of Ms. Ransom. Note that it carries the same operative phrase: used as commercial since 1905.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Gigi Ransom
Date: July 21, 2010 2:37:31 PM EDT
To: Tom Bridge
Subject: Fw: Big Bear Cafe: Now Including Occupancy Permits- 2006 & 2010
Pls. provide the same to Brookland list since cc`d in original post. Thank you. Gigi Ransom
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Gigi Ransom
To: Tom Bridge
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 2:28:13 PM
Subject: Re: Big Bear Cafe
Below and attached. Please share w/Brookland list. Don`t have access from this e-account. Thank you. Gigi
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REGISTER VOL. 57 - NO. 23 JUNE 4 2010
ZONING COMMISSION FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
NOTICE OF FILING
Z.C. Case No. 10-14
(Map Amendment @ Square 3103, Lot 800)
June 1, 2010
On May 27, 2010, the Office of Zoning received an application from Big Bear Café (the ``Applicant``) for approval of map amendment for the above-referenced property.
The property that is the subject of this application consists of Square 3103, Lot 800 in Northwest Washington, D.C. (Ward 5) at 1700 1st Street, N.W. The property is currently zoned R-4. There is C-2-A-zoned property across from the property on both 1st Street and on Florida Avenue. The Applicant proposes a map amendment to rezone the subject property to C-2-A.
According to the Applicant, the building has been residentially- zoned, but used commercially, since 1905. The property currently operates as a commercial deli-style café on the first floor and basement with upper-story housing. The Applicant seeks to retain the upper-story housing and to operate the first-floor and basement commercial use as a commercial restaurant-style café with expanded seating.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REGISTER VOL. 57 - NO. 23 JUNE 4 2010 Pg 04944
From: Tom Bridge
To: Glennette Clark
Cc: Gigi Ransom
Sent: Wed, July 21, 2010 2:14:17 PM
Subject: Re: Big Bear Cafe
I`d love for some evidence to be brought to bear that the business has been in operation for THREE YEARS in violation of DC law.
On Jul 21, 2010, at 2:12 PM, Glennette Clark wrote:
As a journalist and resident of the Bloomingdale community, I am saddened by the lack of professionalism and research in your article about Big Bear Cafe. Had you bothered to take an objective and unbiased approach to your article, you would have presented both sides of the issue.
It was shoddy work, at best. In the future, to enhance your own credibility, I recommend that you do further investigation into an issue before publishing falsehoods and hearsay.
For the record, Bloomingdale welcomes small businesses that create jobs and enhance the quality of life of the neighbourhood. However, we will not stand idly by while anyone tries to operate in our neighbourhood illegally and without regard for the residents.
Glennette @ gmail. com
We Love DC
e. tom @ welovedc.com
Your Life, Beyond the Capitol
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I'm looking for a landscape designer to completely redesign, and plant, my front yard space from scratch. Does anyone have any recommendations? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I was wondering if you or anyone had heard anything about a DPW project on the unit block of Adams Street NW. It looks as if Ms. Utility has come out and marked the street, sidewalk, and front yards on the block.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
A Life Lived with No Regrets
Ann and Ted Jr. Prom night 2008
This past Monday, July 12th my wife Ann slipped away from us at home after a seven month battle with cancer.
Ann just turned 50 this past April and we had never thought that our family would lose our heart and soul. Ann is at peace now and we want to thank all of you for your support and prayers.
Ann and I have two wonderful children, Ted Jr. who will be starting his second year at George Mason University this fall and Clara a sophomore at School Without Walls. These past months, Ann has taught us how we will carry on without her yet always hold her in our hearts. I asked early on when we first found out
what she faced if she had any regrets about all the things we had planned to do in the future, you know; those trips to far away places you plan when the kids are off on there own or the simple joys of getting old together knowing each others thoughts without a word being spoken. Ann smiled and said " no regrets" "we have always made the most of what we've had".
Please join our family and Ann's co-worker from the Nation Science Teachers Association for Memorial Service Celebrating Ann's life. The service will be held Thurday July 29th from 11:00am till 12:30pm. The location is the Friends Meeting House of Washington at 2111 Florida Ave. NW. The service will be followed by a pot-luck reception at the Big Bear Cafe starting at 1:30pm. The Cafe is located at the corner of First St NW and R street NW.
Metro Directions to the Friends Meeting House
Take the Red line from the New york Ave station get off at Dupont Circle: Take the Q Street exit from Metro; Connecticut Ave. is within sight. Walk north (uphill) on Connecticut Ave. approximately two and a half blocks to Florida Avenue; turn left on Florida and walk approximately half a block to the Meeting House on the right. Look for our front garden.
Some of you have asked about flowers or donations. If you feel the need to give please make a donation in Ann's name to City Year DC.
At City Year’s locations across the United States and in South Africa, young people ages 17 to 24 – called “corps members” – serve full time for 10 months. These young leaders put their idealism to work for children and communities through school-based service, youth leadership programs and community transformation:
City Year relies on the involvement and support of dedicated individuals. Donations from individuals help support City Year Washington, DC’s work and the young people who are making a difference through a year of service. There are several different ways to make an individual donation:
Donate Online: Click here to make a secure online donation to City Year Washington, DC.
Donate through the Combined Federal Campaign: CFC #37889.
Donate by Mail: To make a contribution by mail, please send a check, made payable to City Year Washington, DC, to:
Betsy Cotton, Development Manager
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
My Electra Townie cruiser bike was stolen from my garage that faces the alley between R st and Quincy St NW. It is black with a rack and folded side bag.
People can contact me by email at email@example.com or 561- 758- 7394.
Has anyone else had trouble with the mail carrier who covers Quincy Place (and, I assume, nearby streets)? This is a youngish woman who is always making personal phone calls as she delivers the mail. She refuses to deliver to my downstairs neighbor (instead putting her mail in the upstairs box), often won't take my outgoing mail (sometimes dumping it on the ground), and has recently lost two of my packages (one of which had vermicomposting worms in it, which are now almost certainly dead -- the P.O. can't find them at all now). Oh, and those packages? She never left me delivery notices for them. I only know they should have arrived because I had tracking numbers for them.
Both my roommate and I have called to complain several times about our mail carrier, but her behavior has never improved, and no one from USPS has ever gotten back to us. I just wrote a letter to the Inspector General, but I'd love to know if ours is the only household with these difficulties. I'm also happy to keep the blog updated (if anyone is interested) with the progress of my Inspector General complaint.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Next Bloomingdale art walk:
Bloomingdale Art Walk Saturday, August 7, 2010 12 to 4 PM Bloomingdale neighborhood Along 1st Street, NW, DC between Florida Ave. and Rhode Island Ave. Pick up a map at Big Bear Café or Windows Café.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Some burglars broke into our mudroom after 1:00AM early this morning and stole our bicycles.
* Silver Marin Men's Hybrid -- small mounted U-lock.
* Red Schwinn Women's Mountain Bike w/Hybrid tires -- regular mounted U-lock, back bike rack, replacement seat, wheel locks.
Given what I`ve been told about these types of crimes, it seems likely that the burglars knew my husband and I rode bikes, knew where we lived, and knew we stored the bikes in the mudroom. Also they didn`t take anything else or unusually set-off our dogs who were separated from the mudroom by a iron security door (I did hear the dogs bark sometime around 1:30AM, but only for a short period of time).
I was hoping that you could post this on the blog; if anyone sees these bikes around the neighborhood, I`d love to hear from them at the contact information below
147 T St. NW
202- 360- 8174
Saturday, July 10, 2010
If you're up for venturing a few more blocks over to the Logan Circle neighborhood, I am listing a brand new boutique condo building at 1502 10th St NW that is open for the first time this weekend from 2-5pm on Sunday. Brand new construction from the ground up, there are no below grade (basement) units, and it is priced from $414,900. The penthouse, priced at $699,900. is a must see with a private rooftop deck. Listing info and pics are here.
When is the next BCA meeting? I haven't heard a word in months. The last organized meeting was in April, and the May meeting was cancelled last minute, possibly because of the disasterous outcome of the April meeting. Is the BCA still organizing these meetings, does the BCA even still exist?
This leads to a few other questions, I heard elections for the BCA haven't been head in quite sometime. Why is that? Shouldn't elections be held on some sort of annual basis?
It is appearant that the current BCA representatives lack organization and motivation to lead the community. In turn, I fear that residents of the community are:
1) Unaware of the existance of the BCA. Lack of effective communication to the neighborhood (e.g. poorly managed website/lack of posted information).
2) Unaware of funding availability - Missing out on district funds available to benefit the neighborhood for
community enhancement purposes. I believe it was in a February meeting, the "elected" Treasurer was unable to give clear communication on the status of funds available through community grants. When she was reminded of an approximate $ amount, she noted that they were going to expire soon anyway.
Shouldn't the community have access to this sort of information, or at the bare minimum, made aware of the availability of funds to better the community at large. I had no idea the BCA received district grants. Not to mention my BCA Memebership Payment that I paid by check has yet to be cashed 4-5 months later.
3) Unfairly represented - No elections = the community's inability to elect effective leadership that represents the neighborhood and involves all residents.
The BCA doesn't even have to hold "hot topic" conversations to warrant a gathering (i.e. liquor license discussions). It is also a good way to share positive community news, highlight community events, brainstorm initiatives to continue to improve the neighborhood, monitor community grant money, allow a forum for local businesses to meet the community, allow potential investors to meet and greet, allow the various community elected officials an opportunity to address the neighborhood at large, etc...
The purpose of these BCA meetings is for Knowledge Sharing!!! Maybe the BCA can develop a Mission
Statement so that the neighborhood clearly understands its purpose.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Mr. Sandidge's case went all the way to the Supreme Court, although it was ultimately denied for review. Elena Kagan, current Supreme Court nominee, was then clerking to Judge Thurgood Marshall. Her comments on the case have recently surfaced during the confirmation hearings.
Mr. Sandidge's attorney is wondering if anybody remembers Mr. Sandidge or knows his current whereabouts? If so, please contact Elaine Mittleman at her name @ msn dot com.
Bloomingdale family is looking for a babysitter/nanny to watch two children during the day from August 16 through 20. Our son is 2 years old and is well behaved, and our daughter is an infant. Hours would be 8:30 - 6:00, and pay is based upon experience. References requested.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Two weeks ago the fire department broke into my home because someone deliberately reported a fire on my property even though there wasn`t one. My guess is someone was trying to rob me and used that as a way to possibly gain access (ie. wait for fire department to break through the doors and then gain access when they leave- it happened at about 2:45pm in the afternoon on a weekday), but I was fortunate that my tenant was home and he called to let me know what was going on. Anyway- I now have two gouges in my brick next to my front door and I am wondering if anyone on the listserve might have a recommendation for a brick mason who could fix it?
Any help in returning our missing cat, Tiger, would be great appreciated. She is small and thin with light-orange tabby coat, and she's been missing for about two weeks.
Her home is at 2nd and T Streets NW, and we suspect that she has not ventured many blocks away.
Please contact us at tjones at gmail dot com with any information.
If anyone on Randolph Place NW toward the 2nd Street NW end is willing to contribute the water and has a hose, I'll do the actual sweaty work of watering the new trees down that way (including the one across 2nd with the sign on it saying "Please water me."
Best for me is tonight (Thurs.) after 9:00 pm or sometime this weekend.
For that matter, if the logistics could be worked out, I'd help water trees in the neighborhood this weekend.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
I need to rent my house temporarily and am looking for a property manager/management company.
Can anyone recommend one that they have used with success and reasonable rates?
If so, please email me at email@example.com.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
YOU ARE INVITED TO A BOOK SIGNING - AUTHOR - Ms. Rosemarie Onwakwe - A Bloomingdale Resident
Please consider attending a book signing on July 11, 2010 to recognize Ms. Rosemarie Onwakwe who is the author of a book providing Historical Events within the "Bloomingdale" Neighborhood.
The first book signing will occur on Sunday, July 11, 2010 from 4 PM - 5 PM at Dianne Barnes` home.
The second book signing will occur at Big Bear Cafe. No date set at this time for the book signing at Big Bear Cafe.
I'm in the alley between Randolph and R St NW, and there's a stray kitten who'se come around a few times. Can you find out if anyone knows it? If not, I may try and contact animal control/Humane Society because it's young enough that someone might adopt it before it gets too old. See the photo of the kitten to the right.
Also, is anyone on this block involved with the Humane Society's CatNipp program that keeps track of the alley cats?
Bloomingdale residents are looking for someone to reglaze tubs and caulk/grout. Any recommendations?
There are a few of us at the Nebraska who need to have some work done.
Does anyone know anything about an older black male who might be a squatter, thief, or some such, around S Street NW? I and a neighbor have seen him a few times in the last few months going into the backyard of 120 S Street NW, which was overgrown with weeds and abandoned (or nearly so). We're unsure of whether he's gotten into the actual house. The yard at the house was finally tended to this past Friday -- two guys were sent by "the bank" is all one of the guys would tell me (Hispanic, little English ability) , and this past Sunday about 5:00 p.m. I saw the guy in question try the basement rear door then go up the back porch and try the first floor door, to no avail -- maybe the bank also made sure the doors were locked. Anyway, this guy might be about 50, with grey scruff around the chin/face, and every time I see him he's wearing shorts, sneakers, and a powder blue Wizards baseball cap. He sometimes has a 10-speed with him. I'm just a little skittish, as my wife will be staying home with our two babies beginning in a couple weeks and I don't need him coming to my back door trying to get in.
Also, does anyone know the status of 120 S? I traced ownership to a guy in South Carolina, but that Hispanic guy said "the bank" had sent them to do the yard.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Wal-Mart Interested in Opening Store in DC
05 Jul 2010, 6:21 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 05 Jul 2010, 6:20 PM EDT
By MELANIE ALNWICK/myfoxdc
melanie.alnwick @ foxtv.com
Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. is interviewed.
And see this Washington Post article:
Wal-Mart in negotiations to open D.C. store
By Jonathan O'Connell
Monday, July 5, 2010
Here is a Washington Post article about this Bloomingdale fire:
Early Monday morning fire in NW Washington leaves 18 homeless
By Phillip Lucas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 6, 2010; B04
Thankfully, no one was apparently harmed.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Friday, July 02, 2010
WBJ reports that McMillan site developer seeking funding for traffic & historic preservation studies
Friday, July 2, 2010
McMillan moves closer to reality with funds OK’d for studies
Washington Business Journal - by Michael Neibauer
And see this subsequent Housing Complex post from the Washington City Paper:
McMillan Gets Rolling Again With Studies
Posted by Lydia DePillis on Jul. 2, 2010 at 08:18 am
Thursday, July 01, 2010
One of our bikes was recently taken from behind the basement apartment at 88 V St. NW. It is a green Ross hybrid, and by the looks of the green/neon pink color scheme, it was probably manufactured sometime in the mid '90s. It has new tires (which do not match exactly) and a rack over the back wheel. The model name is "Minotaur". It probably doesn't have a high resale value, but it is invaluable to the young professional who needs it to ride to work in the morning, so any help finding it is much appreciated.
If you have seen this bike, please call Stephanie at 734-476-7353. Thank you!
Last year was a huge success---so we`re doing it again! Come by this Saturday from 9am until....... Several neighbors have combined to offer men, women`s, and teens` clothes/shoes, electronics, furniture, jewelry, decorative items, household goods, etc. Location: 2209 Flagler Place NW, DC. You`ll be glad you stopped by!