Thursday, May 31, 2012

WCP Loose Lips: "Kenyan McDuffie Officially Joins D.C. Council"

Okay, and here is this morning's Washington City Paper Loose Lips article on yesterday's Kenyan McDuffie swearing-in ceremony.  I included the comments posted so far.

Posted by Sudip Bhattacharya on May. 31, 2012 at 9:40 am

Once the Honorable Erik P. Christian administered the oath of office on Wednesday afternoon, Kenyan McDuffie became Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie of Ward 5.

When McDuffie first appeared in the standing-room-only crowd, the audience stood up and applauded for him. When he started speaking about the support he received from his family and especially from his wife, those seated responded, ``Amen,`` as if the Wilson Building were a church.

Then again, McDuffie for some represents change that`s needed in the District, after the disaster that was Harry Thomas Jr.`s downfall. Which may explain the packed house to watch him be sworn in. McDuffie shook hands with supporters after the ceremony was officially over, then took pictures with everyone in the room who asked, before heading to his new office in room 410.

He shook hands through the hallway and hugged, shook hands and hugged, shook hands and hugged. Food was served in his office as a line formed. Staff carried plates of macaroni, veggies, and chicken wings to their desks and through the growing crowd.

Between taking photos with his family and greeting supporters at his office, McDuffie stopped to chat briefly with Washington City Paper.

``I`m going to reach out to have the most transparent and inclusive office,`` he said.

As for what kind of councilmember the residents of Ward 5 can look forward to?

``Expect a councilmember who will hold himself to the highest personal standards of integrity,`` McDuffie said. ``Expect a councilmember that`s going to be inclusive, who is going to represent every neighborhood in the entire ward and reach out to every person throughout the ward. Expect a councilmember who is going to work to achieve results.``

And with that, it was back to the party.


KeepinItReal May 31st, 2012 10:27 am


Be careful Kenyan. Don`t turn your back on the constituents who put you there and DON`T take your job for granted. You have 2 years, which means you will be back on the campaign trail in 1. There will be a Mayoral election at the time you are up for re-election. Voter turnout in Ward 5 will be high already. Higher if you do an Adrian Fenty on black folks in Ward 5.

Throw The Book May 31st, 2012 11:25 am


Good for ward 5, I just hope that McDuffie works hard so that families can be proud generational washingtonians like he claims. Because if he is with the progressive crew, I can assure you all the native washingtonians will be kicked out of Ward 5.

Barrie Daneker May 31st, 2012 11:27 am


McDuffie is not a progressive he`s a forward thinker who will include everyone in the future of DC!

Ward 5 res May 31st, 2012 11:49 am


Kenyan McDuffie for Mayor!!!!!

Throw The Book May 31st, 2012 12:38 pm


@Barrie sorry to burst your bubble, but this is politics, not singing around a camp fire. Although ``everyone`` seems to love McDuffie, not EVERYONE votes, there is a difference.

I wish the best for McDuffie, but he is only a couple hours into office. Once he settles in and learns the harsh realities of DC politics, his demeanor will change and so will his target party who he must please to get re-elected will change.

Everyone loves, not everyone donates money and votes. Remember that!!

N.E. John May 31st, 2012 2:15 pm


I`m with you my brother from NE!

WaPo: "Kenyan McDuffie sworn in to DC Council"

See this Washington Post article on yesterday afternoon's swearing-in ceremony for new Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.


By Tim Craig
Posted at 06:12 PM ET, 05/30/2012

Kenyan R. McDuffie was sworn in Wednesday as the District`s newest council member, ending a four-month leadership drought for Ward 5 residents who were left without a representative after Harry Thomas Jr. resigned from the body in January.

McDuffie, a lawyer who at 36 became the youngest member on the 13-member body, was joined by his wife, two children, parents and hundreds and friends and supporters for the swearing-ceremony in the council chamber.

After taking the oath from Superior Court Associate Judge Erik P. Christian shortly after 4 p.m., McDuffie said he was ``utterly humbled`` to be in the standing-room only chamber to assume his new responsibilities.

``This moment is not lost on me,`` said McDuffie, who won a landslide victory in the May 15 special election. ``I know where I am today, but I also know how far we have to go … I will roll up my sleeves, right beside my colleagues, right beside the mayor, and do the work of government for the residents of Ward 5 and the residents of the District of Columbia.``

A graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School, McDuffie is a third-generation Washingtonian who was raised in Northeast.

But like several of his colleagues, including Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D), McDuffie represents a new generation of African-American leaders who came of age after the struggle for Home Rule and the divisive Marion Barry-era of District politics when the city was quickly shedding residents.

McDuffie declared during his campaign that he would work to unite a ward that forms the core of the city`s black middle class as well as home to a growing number of new, wealthier, multi-racial residents who are changing the culture in several Northeast neighborhoods.

Supporters also touted McDuffie as the most ``progressive`` candidate in the special election, noting that he was a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage and had refused to accept bundled or corporate contributions. But McDuffie received solid support from every corner of the ward, providing him with a mandate for rehabilitating the image of Ward 5 following Thomas`s conviction for stealing more than $350,000 in city funds.

In his 15-minute address, McDuffie noted how he worked as a mail carrier from 1992 to 1998 after he was forced to abandon his initial attempt to get a college degree from the University of the District of Columbia.

In 2002, after he returned to college, McDuffie earned a bachelors degree in political science from Howard University. He then earned a law degree from the University of Maryland.

After graduating, he went to work in Prince George`s County, first as a law clerk and then as an assistant state`s attorney. From 2008 to 2010, he was a trial attorney for the Justice Department`s civil rights division, according to his resume.

McDuffie has also worked for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large) earlier this decade. Most recently, he served as a public safety adviser to Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D).

Though Gray and Brown stayed neutral in the special election, both have praised McDuffie`s selection and said they expect to have a good working relationship with him.

``I`m excited about McDuffie,`` Brown said Wednesday. ``He has integrity, character and he loves Ward 5.``

McDuffie`s win also represents a political victory for Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who was the only sitting council member to endorse him during the special election.

But McDuffie hopes to quickly carve out an independent role for himself on the council.

``I knew early on I wasn`t motivated by money, but my own success will be defined by my ability to improve the quality of life of people around me,`` said McDuffie, who now turns his attention to hiring a staff.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

article on Sursum Corda residents grappling with impending eviction

See the text of an email that I received below from writer Jazzy Wright.  I have posted both her brief message and her Sursum Corda article below.
Note that Sursum Corda -- located in the Northwest One neighborhood -- one of the New Communities initiative neighborhoods -- is located in Ward 6, across the street from Ward 5.
My name is Jazzy Wright, and I am a D.C. writer. I am particularly interested in your coverage of the Sursum Corda neighborhood (see this story).  I recently wrote an article that investigated recent activities in the Sursum Corda housing complex (see the article below). The article captures the stories of residents who live in the D.C. Sursum Corda housing development, as well as the demographic changes that have occurred in the neighborhood. It is my hope that the attached article can be of use to you.
Thank you for your time.
Jazzy Wright
Longtime Residents Make the Move Out of the City: Sursum Corda Residents Grapple with an Impending Eviction
It's a sunny Saturday afternoon in Northwest Washington and Christopher Williams, a heavyset older black man, is standing at the entrance of his townhouse observing his neighbors come and go, and waving at cars as they pass by.
Williams lives in Sursum Corda, a resident-owned, low-income housing development located less than a mile from Union Station. He enjoys the time he spends outside catching up with friends and speaking to neighbors who pass by his building.
Although Williams has called Sursum Corda home for decades, he knows that his time in the area is limited—Williams, like most of the residents in the housing complex, will have to move soon. The nearly six-acre subsidized housing development will shut down for a reconstruction project most likely within the next two to three years.
These days, development rumors spread quickly among confused Sursum Corda residents. The reconstruction project has not started yet, and residents are not completely sure when they will have to move out of the complex.
"We don't know when we're moving out," Williams said sighing. He shares a unit with his mother and brother.
While many residents believe that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has foreclosed on the property, agency officials said that the development reconstruction is a part of the New Communities Initiative, a program created by former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams to convert the land to more valuable use by bringing both market rate and low-income housing to the area.
“We’re not foreclosing on anybody," said Larry Green, who has been the HUD project manager for the Sursum Corda housing development since 1999. “The only thing that property is undergoing is a complete reconstruction."
Green said that he could not provide additional information on the housing development at this time.
Nearly all of the Sursum Corda residents could be displaced if the current reconstruction plans occur within the next few years. It is not certain yet if the residents will have the option to return to the property once the construction is complete.
Williams believes the reconstruction was inevitable and that residents could have done more to prevent the development takeover.
"We had our run and we didn't do what we needed to do to keep it ̶ and money talks," Williams said, referring to the impending Sursum Corda development reconstruction.
For many black Sursum Corda residents, the reconstruction signifies a larger city-wide gentrification problem. Over the last ten years, U.S. Census Bureau data has revealed that the District's black population has dropped by more than 38,000 residents. Most of the Sursum Corda residents are black.
Now, slightly more than 50 percent of District residents identify themselves as black, which has decreased eleven percent in the last decade. Census data shows that the black population is dropping by approximately 1 percent every year.
"90 percent of the [D.C. population] change is being pushed out," Williams said. "If it was my choice, I'd live here and die here."
For the past 30 years, Williams has learned to understand and appreciate the Sursum Corda community. It is an appreciation that he learned from his parents, who moved to the D.C.-area during the early twentieth century, joining the more than six million African-Americans who migrated from the South to the North during the Great Migration for job opportunities in cities.
His mother was a field hand who moved from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. in search of a better way of life. His father, a school teacher and serviceman, saw the area as a place of opportunity for his family. After living in the Northeast D.C. area for some time, Williams, who has worked in landscaping, moved to the Sursum Corda development for the affordable housing.
Historically, the land rights of the Sursum Corda projects have been an issue for the city government for the past 50 years. The housing development was built by a non-profit Catholic corporation and funded by HUD in 1968 to bring urban renewal to an area plagued by crime, blight and poverty.
Sursum Corda—Latin for "Lift up your hearts"—was one of first large-scale rent-supplement programs in the country.
While the development thrived initially, poor management of the property and the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s transformed the complex into one of the most dangerous areas of the city. The development’s downtown location and maze-like layout structure of enclosed courtyards and dead-end streets allowed drug dealers and gangs to turn the neighborhood into an open air drug market.
By 2004, living conditions fell so steeply that HUD threatened to foreclose Sursum Corda because of chronic health and safety violations. Residents were given some hope in 2005 when residential developer KSI Services agreed to a $25 million deal with the Sursum Corda Cooperative to redevelop the property.
Residents were promised $80,000 per household, half of the redevelopment profits and the opportunity for home ownership once the complex was razed and rebuilt. The deal ended after the D.C. Council voted to allow the city to the power of eminent domain over Sursum Corda in 2006.
The housing development is now managed by Kettler Management, the company that operates KSI Services, according to Stephan Rodiger, the director of management at Kettler.
Today, residents are concerned about where they will be living in the next three years because they cannot afford to relocate. On average, most of the residents earn less than $27,000 annually, and many residents are senior citizens.
Ward 6 Advisor Neighborhood Commissioner Keith Silver believes that affordable housing is a major issue for the Sursum Corda residents, as well as for all low-income families who live in the District.
"When older black residents are being displaced and little is done to bring them back, I have concerns,” Silver said.
“Hopefully, we’ll have the option to come back to the development,” said one resident who is on the cooperative’s resident board and wished to remain anonymous. The resident, who is in her seventies, has lived in the development for the past 40 years. “If God gives me the strength, I'll still be here. I'd live here until the Lord takes me away."
Willliams is also worried about losing his status in the Sursum Corda community after he moves out. He frequently travels up north to go fishing for catfish, and brings back fresh fish for his neighbors. Long nicknamed "The Fishman," Williams enjoys his giving status in the community. He proudly hangs several lifesavers and fishing nets on the fence surrounding his townhouse.
Like most of his neighbors, Williams is beginning his search for a new place to live. Williams said that he plans to move to an area outside the city with affordable housing, such as Prince Georges County, Md. He is considering moving to Laurel, Md., where he has family.
The county has seen a boom in growth in the last decade, specifically in the numbers of African Americans who have migrated to the area. According to the Census Bureau, more than 50,000 blacks have moved to Prince George's County in the last ten years.
So many D.C. residents have moved to the area that D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has nicknamed the area "Ward 9." During the same decade, the population of whites in the county decreased by more than 20 percent.
The declining population of blacks in D.C. falls in line with Census statistics showing the larger, nationwide trend of blacks leaving big cities in the Northeast and the Midwest.
Locally, many Maryland residents have noticed the demographic changes over the years.
Daryl Smith, 43, grew up in the Trinidad neighborhood of D.C. and currently lives in Capitol Heights, Md. He said that he has seen a change in the culture of the county.
"Where I live at, everyone is from Southeast [D.C.] and everyone came over the [state] border," he said. "People are loitering more."
Smith expressed concerns about why so many residents are moving out the city.
"The poor getting pushed out," he said. "If you own a house, nothing will happen to you. If you are on rental assistance or a housing program, I think eventually all those people are going to get pushed out. It's a slow process."
Despite living in Maryland, Smith often comes to the Sursum Corda neighborhood to attend Miles Memorial CME Church. He believes that the city's black institutions will stay intact.
"Nothing will happen to the churches," he said.
Will Watson III, 51, has lived in the D.C. area for over 37 years. While he lives in the Columbia, Md., he frequently comes to D.C. to tend for his father's home which is within walking distance of Sursum Corda in the North Capitol neighborhood. Watson works in real estate and says that the demographic changes have positively affected real estate in the area.
He said that his father, Bill Watson, Jr, bought the house in 1976 for roughly $126,000 when it was partially burned out. He said that the house is worth approximately half a million dollars now.
He has taken note of the population change in his father's neighborhood, which has increased in the numbers of white residents.
"You wouldn't see single white females jogging at night by themselves around here to save your life," he said laughing. "It's amazing how much it cost to live and buy property in D.C now."
Williams believes that the political atmosphere of the city is going to change as more black residents move out of the city.
"I think gradually D.C. is going to become more wealthy, less black, and the leaders will change," he said. "Statehood will probably happen when there's enough wealth in the city."
"The change is going to continue," he said. "Around the world, America is rare in that the cities were places you didn't want to live. The city is the place to be now—America is just returning to that. It's just happening in [D.C.] very quickly."
Back in the Sursum Corda housing development, Williams is not sure whether he should feel excited or grief-stricken about moving to Maryland. He wants to move to Laurel, where he can enjoy the land, but he is also worried about what will happen to the Sursum Corda residents after the neighborhood disperses.
"I hate leaving D.C. with a passion. It's so convenient. I'll miss it," he said, trailing off. "It's just part of life, but what can you do about it? You have to keep living."

here is the summer menu at Big Bear Cafe !

See this message from Big Bear Cafe`s Stu Davenport:

I wanted to let people know that we have a new summer menu at the BBC.

karaoke in the Park at LeDroit - Wednesday, 06-06-2012

From Marc Morgan, President, LeDroit Park Civic Association:

Neighbors, Friends, Enthusiasts...
On Wednesday, June 6th, from 7pm to 9pm the LeDroit Park Civic Association will kick off its Summer Series at the Park with "Karaoke in the Park"
Please join friends, neighbors and family as we search for our next "LeDroit Idol"
This is a family affair, free of charge, with food and snacks for all.
For more information, visit or drop me an e-mail at
- Looking forward to seeing you (and your voice) on Thursday!

Karaoke In the Park
The Park at LeDroit
Wed, June 6th (7pm to 9pm)

Stronghold resident Kenyan McDuffie to be sworn in today

From WTOP:

McDuffie to be sworn into D.C. Council seat

Tuesday- 5/29/2012, 6:29pm ET

WASHINGTON - Kenyan McDuffie is set to become the newest member of the D.C. Council.

McDuffie, a Democrat, will be sworn in Wednesday afternoon as the new councilmember for Ward 5.

He won a special election last month to replace Harry Thomas Jr., who is headed to prison for three years after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 from the city.

McDuffie will serve the remainder of Thomas' term, which runs through 2014. He's a former prosecutor who resigned from a position in Mayor Vincent Gray's administration to run for the council seat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

homegoing service for Bloomingdale resident Carrie Dobbs of 1st St NW

See this 5/29/2012 message from Bloomingdale resident Johanna Dobbs:
My grandmother Carrie Dobbs was a long time member of the Bloomingdale Community. She lived at 1930 First Street NW until 2011 ( for over 30 years). Her homegoing services will be on Thursday morning. See details below. Please share with the Bloomingdale community list. Services will be interpreterd in sign language. Flowers and cards, etc can be sent to Dunn and Sons Funeral home or to the church listed below.
Johanna Dobbs
granddaughter of Carrie Dobbs
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, May 28, 2012 8:26 pm
Subject: Mom and Grandmom notice to the Washington Post..

Hey Family, I wanted you to have this information. We are confirmed for her service. See you all Thursday...
Washington Post Death Notice for Tuesday, May 29 and Wednesday, May 30.

Carrie Bell Dobbs entered into eternal rest on Thursday,
May 24, 2012.She is survived by her children and a host of relatives and friends.Mother Dobbs will lie in state at Bethel Deliverance Outreach Ministries, 10675 Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 on Thursday, May 31, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. until the Homegoing Service at 11:30 a.m. Interment: National Harmony Memorial Park, Largo, MD. Service Entrusted to Dunn & Sons Funeral Service.

charity yard sale at 71 W St NW this Sunday, 06-02-2012 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Mark Stanley:

This Sunday, June 3rd, I`m having a charity yard sale  at 71 W Street NW.

Here is the text from the link above:

Support my race for a good cause -- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society | Team in Training                    
May 29, 2012 by Mark Stanley               
Last year, I was fortunate to race in four triathlons. This year, I`m racing for a good cause.

On June 24, I`m racing in a triathlon on behalf of those with blood cancer. My goal is to train and complete the race, and in the process raise money for a cure.

I would be extremely grateful if you would make a donation.

Thank you

Mark Stanley

PoP: "AroiThai Sushi Bar coming to 1832 1st St NW"

Thanks to Prince of Petworth for this post!


1832 1st St, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending word that a coming soon sign for Aroi Thai Sushi Bar has been posted at 1832 1st St, NW in Bloomingdale. I peeked my head in last week and the space is looking super close to being finished. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 28, 2012

seeking referrals for light yard work and landscaping

See this message from a Q Street NW resident:

Does anyone have a recommendation for a person/company to do light yard work and landscaping? 

I have a small front yard with some plants and a couple rose bushes that is overrun with weeds and such and I have no green thumb (or interest). 

found dog

See this Saturday night, 5/27/2012 message:

We just found a lost dog all black, white chest, black and white paws about 40lbs.  Terrier mix breed.  I have attached pic.  Please call rob if this is your dog 202 then 290 then 1929. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crispus Attucks Park board: The 5-19-2012 yard sale & community event was a spectacular success!

From the Board of Crispus Attucks Park:
Our 9th annual Yard Sale & Community Day fundraiser took place on May 19th, and it’s fair to say it was biggest and best one yet! Not only did we match our highest year ever with the number of vendors, but our support from local businesses and organizations was unmatched. And the first ever "Taste of Bloomingdale" was an enormous success. Some words of thanks are in order.
Thanks to the local restaurants who generously contributed resources and in most cases labor to make the "Taste" happen (along with a reminder of what they "brought to the table"):
  • Beau Thai (N.J. & R)Pad Thai and spring rolls
  • Bistro Bohem (6th& Fla.) Homemade potato chips, Homemade blueberry muffins
  • Boundary Stone (1st& R.I.)Wasabi deviled eggs
  • Mama Chuy (Georgia & Fairmont NW)House made tortilla chips, salsa, Guacamole
  • Old City Green (9th& N NW)(An urban garden center, not a restaurant, but the fresh herb iced tea they contributed is served daily at the shop)
  • Red Toque (6th& R.I.)Chicken kabob, falafel, rice
  • Rustik Tavern (1st& T)Kale salad
  • Shaw`s Tavern (6th& Fla.)Waffles w cayenne honey/ham butter/pimento cheese; Homemade crackerjacks
  • Showtime Lounge (Coming to 1st & R.I.)Grilled corn on the cob
  • Tynan Coffee & Tea (1st & N NE)Iced green tea
  • Windows Café & Market (1st & R.I.)Fresh fruit smoothies
Thanks to our other generous sponsors:
  • Angela Jones, Long & Foster Real Estate
  • Councilmember Phil Mendelson
  • Tails of the City pet care
  • Suzanne DesMarais and the ``10 Square Team`` at Keller Williams Real Estate
  • Samilia Anthony, Mortgage Consultant at Caliber Funding
  • Councilmember Michael Brown
  • Green Paws natural pet supplies, New Reservoir Market, City Cleaners, Field to City organic grocery, Yoga District, Big Bear Café, Safeway, Harris Teeter, and Jak & Co. Hairdressers
Thanks to the following community organizations or groups for partnering with us or contributing: 
  • Bloomingdale-LeDroit Dog Park Association, DC Committee to Restore Public Trust, RiverSmart Homes, Bloomingdale Civic Association, North Capitol Main Street, TD Bank, St. George`s Episcopal Church, St. Martin`s Church, and CADC`s own "Yard Squad"
Thanks to Yxplainit, that amazing band, for showing up on short notice.
And finally, special shouts out to BCA Vice Prez John Salatti (“our angel,” according to CADC board member Tynesia Hand-Smith), and to the Bloomingdale institution known as Scott Roberts.
Overall, CADC netted close to $4,000 from the event. This makes a HUGE dent in the annual cost of park maintenance and our associated youth outreach efforts, which is north of $10,000. As always, CADC is looking for volunteers to help maintain the beautiful gem that is Crispus Attucks Park and its associated programs.
If you would like to attend a meeting or get involved, please e-mail Crispus Attucks Park Secretary Austin Pearl at Or, if you would like to make a donation, you can do so here:
- The Board of Crispus Attucks Park
Photo above courtesy of Bloomingdale resident Jennifer Rag-and-Bones!

Crispus Attucks Development Corporation (CADC) responds to the 5-22-2012 Washington Post article about Crispus Attucks Park

CADC Reponds to Post Article about Crispus Attucks Park

In response to the May 22nd Washington Post article “A feud over a D.C. park pits one man against his neighbors,” the Board of Directors of Crispus Attucks Development Corporation believes it necessary to highlight these facts to clarify the omissions and framing of the story:

  • The CADC board categorically rejects the gentrification narrative overtly present throughout the Post article. We have no doubt that in Marvin Rich’s mind gentrification and race is the issue, and unfortunately the Post took his bait. The truth, however, is much more complex. Of the 14 CADC board members, seven are African American, six are Caucasian, and one is Hispanic. Five board members have been involved with the park for more than 10 years. CADC board members have lived in Bloomingdale for as little as three years and as many as 44. That The Washington Post dumbed down the issue into “old vs. new” and black vs. white is disappointing and disrespectful. The CADC board is a diverse representation of the neighborhood, and should not be pigeonholed into an oversimplified and tired gentrification narrative. (It is also disappointing that the Post published two photographs of Mr. Rich in the park, but none showing the diversity of the CADC board.)
  • Marvin Rich is not a neighbor of any member of the board of Crispus Attucks Park, or even of Crispus Attucks Park itself. Every board member’s home literally overlooks the park. We look out our windows and see the park. Mr. Rich, on the other hand, lives several blocks from the park.
  • The decision to pursue a legal resolution was not made by Mr. Blais alone. Mr. Blais is the elected president of CADC and represents its members. It was the board’s UNANIMOUS decision to take Mr. Rich to court. Mr. Rich was publicly claiming to be the true owner of the property, was attempting to raise money as CADC, and was using bogus documents to undermine CADC’s authority with MPD and other DC officials. Mr. Rich exploited his newfound impunity by flouting the park’s rules and, increasingly, engaging in aggressive and threatening actions toward neighbors and board members. He has repeatedly parked vehicles on the lawn of the park. He has left unattended fires in the park. He has blocked access to the alleys surrounding the park. He has driven around the park blasting loud music and speeches. He has glared threateningly at residents. He has threatened to kill members of the board and other neighbors.
  • Mr. Rich’s confirmatory deed is bogus and does not in any way indicate ownership of the park. Marilyn Lashley, the former CADC president referenced in the Post article, categorically rejects that any transfer ever took place. Mr. Rich has introduced other documents in court that are obviously fraudulent, including one that claims a current board member attended a meeting in 1977, when he was a 14 years old boy growing up in North Carolina.
  • Mr. Rich has not contributed to the park in any way in more than a decade. CADC is an open organization and people who do not live on the park are welcome to participate. In fact, CADC always welcomes active volunteers. Mr. Rich has been aware of the current CADC board for years but has chosen not to attend any meetings or contribute in any positive way.
  • That Crispus Attucks Park exists as it does is today is because board members and neighborhood residents—black and white together—spent years of hard effort making it into a green oasis. Twenty years ago, the space that is now Crispus Attucks Park was an open-air drug and prostitution market littered with abandoned cars and a burned out building. Neighbors united to remove the trash and abandoned vehicles, to pull up asphalt and concrete pavements, to tear down the vacant building, and to plant grass, flowers, trees and shrubs. Mr. Rich, very simply, was not involved in that effort.

This is not—as it was portrayed—a community divided. We are a community united. We want to preserve this safe and unifying property in our part of the city we call home. We hope that everyone enjoys the park—it remains open for public use. All we ask is that people observe our basic rules of conduct. Our website can be found at:

—The diverse, elected members of the board of directors of Crispus Attucks Development Corporation

P.S. Lawyer fees are diverting much of our annual budget away from youth programs and maintenance of the park. If you value and enjoy the park, please consider making a donation. Donations are tax deductable to the extent allowed by law.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In lighter news....Development at RI Row, Union Market

Since there have been so many negative posts about crime, I thought i'd share some interesting development news.

1. Rhode Island Avenue Station got a restaurant.
Rhode Avene Insider reports that Carolina Kitchen will be opening up a restaurant in Rhode Island Row, the development at the RIA Station.

2. Union Market
The redubbed Union Market (aka Florida avenue markets, DC Farmers market, capitol city market) has announced some if its new tenants. Washingtonian Magazine has the details 

Edens president Jodie McLean says that the project is partly inspired by San Francisco's Ferry Building: a multi-purpose community space that joins permanent restaurants and vendors with a rotating lineup of artisans, entertainers, and farmers. Union Market will eventually expand to about 40 vendors, a third of which will be permanent, plus outdoor farmers markets on certain days. 

The list includes: Rappanhannock Oyster Company, Soda Shop by Gina Chersevani, Peregrine Espresso, Oh! Pickles, Takorean, Lyon Bakery, Righteous Cheese, Trickling Springs Creamery, Red Apron Butchery, Dolcezza, DC Empanada, and others. 

Damn, looks fantastic! 

McLean says one of Edens' goals is to use retail to build community. To that end there'll also be classes, demonstrations, and the occasional live performance in the market. The first could be considered a big-ticket Sunday Supper on June 3rd, a James Beard benefit dinner that includes toques like Bryan Voltaggio, Mike Isabella, Fabio Trabocchi,and many others. Check back in with us for coverage of the dinner, and more details on the market. 

And Fancy.
What do you think about these plans?

Burglary at 3rd and P

I received this message today and was asked to pass it on.

"Our home was burglarized on the evening of Sunday, May 20th around 8:45 PM. We live near 3rd and P streets NW. We had two Apple laptops, an iPad, and two road bikes we'd bought that day stolen from the house. If you saw or heard anything suspicious around that time, please let us know. Also, if you see anyone on a road bike (they were silver and black, though I suspect they've been spray-painted since then) that has new Schwalbe wheels, clip-in pedals, and U-lock mounts, please let us know as well. 

Picture of bike:

We can be reached at Thanks, neighbors."

Bloomingdale resident mugged on North Capitol Street

See this message from a Bloomingdale resident:

Last night I was mugged on North Capitol St. Just above Rhode Island Ave (before U st NW) as I was heading north to my apartment from Harris Teeter. Three af-am young man (anywhere from 18-25) grabbed my neck from behind and pulled me down. As a scream and tried to get loose, they grabbed my cell phone and ran off heading east on Rhode Island Ave. I called the police and they came immediately and were very help. I just wanted to pass a warning along. I do not know if there were similar incidents happening lately. I know that there have been some break-ins involving the theft of bikes so I thought I`d pass this along. I am a 24 year old girl and I was talking on the phone and walking alone. I realize that I should have been more aware of the time and my surroundings, but I also hadn`t felt unsafe in the neighborhood before.