Wednesday, December 30, 2009

want a tree planted in your yard? it's just $50

Did you know that you can have a tree planted in your yard for only $50? The $50 includes all costs.

Check out the info on the RiverSmart Homes program from the DDOE website.

RiverSmart Homes

Stormwater Pollution and the District of Columbia

Stormwater is simply rainwater that, rather than remaining on the land where it falls, flows off of the site. Rainwater becomes stormwater when rain falls on impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, roads, sidewalks and even lawns. As stormwater moves from our yards to our streams it picks up pollutants such as oil and grease from our roadways and driveways, nutrients from fertilizers on our lawns, and bacteria from pet waste and other animal excrement. Once in the stream, the fast-moving surges of water associated with storms cause erosion and destroys habitat for fish and other wildlife.

Thankfully, new development and large renovations of properties in the City are now required to install items that reduce stormwater pollution. Unfortunately, most of the District was developed before modern methods for controlling and treating stormwater were developed. If your home was built before the 1980s (and chances are it was!), you probably do not have any stormwater controls installed on your property, but there are steps that you can take to reduce stormwater pollution and beautify your yard. RiverSmart Homes can help you.

Learn more about RiverSmart Homes:

Program Overview (,a,1209,q,499719.asp)
Frequently Asked Questions (,a,1209,q,499005.asp)
Application Form (,a,1209,q,499236.asp)
Success Stories (,a,1209,Q,499068,PM,1.asp)

The FAQ section provides the info on the $50 tree-planting program.

If you ARE interested in this program, then you should consider submitting your application now, since the DDOE FAQ indicates that "it could be up to 3-5 months before you are contacted by DDOE, because of the high volume of interest in this program."

And a note to residents of Bloomingdale condos in buildings that were once apartment buildings -- that is, large buildings -- "large property complexes such as apartments, condos, and offices are currently not eligible for the RiverSmart Homes program."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rosemarie Onwukwe: Andre Gore's "Need People You Trust" feed the homeless program

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Rosemarie Onwukwe:

The Power of One….
Rosemarie Onwukwe
Freelance Writer

November 15th 2009

I had been thinking about ways to give back recently and don’t get me wrong. It’s not because things are necessarily going well for me, because it really hasn’t, in fact my struggle will be another story at another time. I have always found that when I’m feeling sorry for myself the best way to tackle that demon is to do something for other people, it helps you see how good you have it.

I happened to make Andre’ Gore’s acquaintance just a few months ago, in fact we had never met, just corresponded via email and on the phone but when he sent me an email about coming out and helping volunteer to serve a meal to the homeless I was intrigued. I thought about my previous activities and didn’t recall working in a soup kitchen or feeding a homeless group but I had always wanted to. Besides my daughter, Nnenna a high school junior needed some volunteer hours. I chatted with a friend Jennifer and we made it happen. We were signed on to feed the homeless.

Gore considers himself as a simple man…but one that has had a dream for many years. Growing up in Washington, DC’s streets, Gore described himself as an ‘at risk’ child. He was exposed to the many dangers living in the city and one day promised himself that he would give back to the community where he lived and struggled.

Well that day finally came, and then some. Gore’s non profit group “Need People You Trust” or N-PUT had their 2nd feed the homeless program in Washington, D.C. on the 7th of November 2009 in a small CVS parking lot on the corner of 7th Street, NW and Florida Avenue.

Gore had a simple of idea. He wanted to provide hot meals for the homeless in Washington, D.C. a few meals during the year, and especially during the colder months. So Gore went to anyone he could find who could cook a good meal…from church members, restaurants, bakers, friends and family he rallied around and as a result had a delicious menu of: macaroni and cheese, seafood rice, stuffed salmon and crab meat, corn on the cob, green beans, chicken salad, fried chicken, baked beans, turkey, spaghetti/meat balls, stuffing, candied yams, cranberry sauce, potato salad, rolls, deserts, bottled water, sodas, bottled juice and a assortment of cakes and snacks.

Gore sounded the trumpet for family, friends and acquaintances and they all showed up. About 31 volunteers ranging from age 9 to 79 came to offer help and support to a just cause and outfitted with long sleeved t-shirts with EAT ALL U TAKE on them they did just that. Some volunteers had remarks like this.”It feels good to come out and show support with time rather than give a donation and never see the results,” and other’s said “It’s nice to have African Americans involved in helping our own and able to give back to our community. However the volunteer program is open to EVERYONE.

November 7th 2009 was a beautiful day a perfect recipe for Gore..with temperatures in the low 70’s bright and sunny. The volunteers came armed with tables, table clothes, heating pans to keep the food warm, and began setting up the pans and trays. By the time the volunteers starting loading up the food with trays..the homeless people had begun to line up at the bus stop. Instructions given were this: people that were not homeless were welcome to line up for the food, but the homeless people would be served first. This was a pleasant twist imagine that. The homeless would be served first for a change. They began to smile and nod in line as the announcement went on over and over again.

The line’s wrapped half way down the block at times, but everyone was fed and the number count of homeless reached 264 people. As the homeless people lined up to get their food they were greeted warmly with smiles and each homeless person said how much they appreciated our being there. The busy line kept everyone moving and the volunteers took out empty trays as food was finished and replaced it with more. I saw many men ranging from age 16 to 70, but also some women and a sadly a few children. I was too busy working my trays though to spend too much time ‘looking’ I had a job to do.

N-PUT’S mission statement is: “to build a structured program for youth and adults in the community that will bring forth change.”

In 2 ½ hours I had to round up my crew of 3 to leave for another meeting, my arms and shoulders ached but it was a good feeling. Yes anyone can write a check or donate money, but to be actually working in the midst of other people handing out food to grateful people with a smile making them feel special and loved… now that was priceless. And now I am ready to sign up again…for the next feed the homeless…time to stop focusing on my problems and help someone else out who has nothing, it just helps make me feel grateful to God for what I have.

Extra Note:
EAT ALL U TAKE feed the homeless program had another session on Saturday December 7th 2009 from 1 p.m. at the small parking lot by CVS on the corner of 7th Street, NW and Florida Avenue.

Next events:
The march will start from DC Superior Court to 7th & Florida Ave, NW and back to the court, where it will end (about 2 ½ 3 miles). Wear comfortable shoes
TIME: 11: 30 am for briefing - March: Begins at 12: 00 Sharp

Next EAT ALL U TAKE feed the homeless program will on February 6th 2010.

For more information please contact Andre’ Gore at or call (202) 489-1733.
Tax deductible donations are warmly received by: N-PUT, 122 Seaton Place, NW Washington, D.C. 20001. Tax Exempt ID: 52-2290844.

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 12/27/2009

At the moment, it looks like one Open House showing up for the last weekend of 2009.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Chuck Donalies, winner of the North Capitol Main Street 4th Annual Winter Blues & Silent Auction contest

Read this message from Garry Clark, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street, Inc.

Congratulations, Charles Donalies . . . Winner

North Capitol Main Street’s 4th Annual Winter Blues & Silent Auction Contest

Charles Donalies

The Winner of 2 Reskins/Dallas Tickets

Thank you for your support,
North Capitol Main Street, Inc.

Garry Clark
1703 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, D.C., 20002

Thursday, December 24, 2009

special Redskins tickets offer from North Capitol Main Street

See this 12/24/2009 message from North Capitol Main Street, Inc. Board Chair Pat Mitchell:

Redskins Fans?
NCMS Winter Blues & Silent Auction is back!

Did you know you can purchase your ticket(s) online today to NCMS' 4th Annual Winter Blues & Silent Auction and be automatically entered to win 2 tickets to the Redskins/Dallas Game, this Sun, December 27th ($128 value) ?

Odds are really, really, really good... it could be you!

Click here to order your tickets online: .

Save 20% when you buy 2+ tickets


Offer Expires: December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

suspicious man at Flagler & V St NW

See this 12/23/2009 message from a resident of Flagler Place NW:
Just wanted you to know that I noticed a suspicious man standing on the west side of Flagler, on the corner of V, this morning. He was just standing there and watching me as I left for work this morning. The way he was staring just struck me as odd. So, I waited a bit in my car before pulling off. But, before I did I stepped out of the car and asked if he needed some help (he was a fair distance away, so I could have made a
quick get away). He said that he was just waiting for someone. I circled back around the block in my car and he was still standing there several minutes later. I guess if he were up to no good, he would have gone away since it was clear he was "noticed". Who knows and I am not sure that this made any difference in the scheme of anything. Hopefully, he was really just waiting on a ride or someone and I just looked like a super paranoid person. I'll take that title if it plays a part in the our neighborhood watch.

Monday, December 21, 2009

seeking an eviction attorney or service

A resident of 1st Street NW has this request:
Looking for a great eviction attorney and/or service. Can someone provide a referral?

snow removal in Bloomingdale & LeDroit Park

See this comment from a Flagler Place NW resident:

It is imperative that we send the mayor letters indicating our displeasure in the way the snow removal in our neighborhood was handled this weekend. For an entire week or more, the City knew of the coming snow storm and to me, failed to prepare. Today, I watched as my neighbors took about 4 hours to dig out their car and then attempt to drive down Flagler; only to get stuck in the snow. It took them another 45 minutes to clear the snow from under the car and get it moving. I joined them in a ride to the supermarket and through a few other neighborhoods. Not surprising, the side streets of DuPont and Georgetown were cleared! This is unacceptable. We in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park pay taxes too!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

North Capitol Main Street Winter Blues & Silent Auction is back!

See this announcement from Garry Clark, Executire Director, North Capitol Main Street, Inc.

Having trouble viewing this email? Here is the link:

North Capitol Main Street
--Save The Date--
Saturday, February 27, 2010
7pm to 10pm
The Winter Blues Party
and Silent Auction is Back!

Join friends and neighbors in closing out the cold month of February in style!

The Winter-Blues Party and Silent Auction activities include:

Live Jazz Band
Wine & Hors D'Oeuvres
Fabulous Auction Items
Great Door Prizes

Courtyard Marriot Hotel
Next to the New York Avenue Metrostation 1325 2nd Street Northeast
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Purchase your tickets online by December 24th and be automatically entered to win 2 tickets to the Redskins/Dallas Game, Sunday, Dec 27th! ($128 value, winner announced 12/25/09)

$30 (At the door, single)
$25 (Online Price, single)
$40 (Online price for 2)

Event Sponsors

District of Columbia Main Streets
DC Department of Small & Local Business Development

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Open Houses?

There are a couple of Open Houses scheduled for the 20th, but not sure if they will happen with the snow. Just in case, though, here is what is scheduled.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NanBon is taking order for bread pudding, brownies, buttermilk pecan pies and dee-licious sweet potato pies

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Aisha Bond:

NanBon is happy to take orders for bread pudding, brownies, buttermilk pecan pies and sweet potato pies! We are excited to features festive packaging for gift orders that include a box of brownies or a box of a dozen tartlets and more. Feel free to review desserts, prices and place orders threw the website at or call 202- 409- 6485.

And as always, have a happy holiday season.

Aisha Bond

Sunday, December 13, 2009

at Rene Albacete's home: Christmas cocktails with Aurora Bath & Friends

See this brief event announcement passed along by Bloomingdale residente Rene Albacete:

You are cordially invited to join us for
with Aurora Bath & Friends

Friday, December 18th
from 6:30 to 9:30 pm
at the home of René
77 S Street, NW
(Near First & Rhode Island Ave. NW)
202- 423- 7607

featuring the work of
our super-talented artsy friends:

• Handcrafted Aromatherapy
Soaps & Candles, Scarves, Headbands & Eclectic, In-Vogue Jewelry from Aurora Bath & Jewels
• Photographer Extraordinaire! Prints and Photo Tote Bags by Valerie Brown
• Whimsically Classic Animal Paintings and Landscapes by Dan Kessler
• Hip Fun Obama T-shirts by John Klaja
• Unique Handcrafted Jewelry by Janette Rodrigues

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

drug supply demand management

From a resident on the unit block of W Street NW:

I see lots of email traffic about arresting drug dealers…interrupting drug supply…. and I’m fine with that, but we need to understand that drugs is like any other market, as long as demand exists there will always be someone there to respond to that demand. Once demand for drugs is curbed in our community, then the drug dealers will no longer find the place interesting for business and they’ll move on. Once the hassle of doing business in Bloomingdale exceeds the profit, they won’t care about sticking around…it’s an opportunity cost …they could be making more money elsewhere.

I think that demand inside our neighborhood is probably waning among the general population. I may be wrong, but I think there is lower demand for drugs (at least the hard core drugs) than in the past. But two sources of demand remain…one is traffic that is coming in from outside our community via North Capitol-- the users from the burbs who make quick trips into the city’s open air markets to make rapid purchases from their cars and then use North Capitol to make a quick exit. The other is the nearby Universities (Catholic, Howard, Trinity)….there will always be some low level of demand rom young people at these Universities who live in our areas that will continue to fuel the drug trade here. We need to figure out what to do about two significant sources of demand…as well as addressing the local demand among our general population. As long as there is money to be made and market to be had, there will remain drug dealers in our centrally located community to service that market. That’s just the simple economics of it.


And let’s review what the rules are for posting comments:

1) Identify yourself. A full name would be best, but at least include a first name.

2) Identify your neighborhood.

3) Totally anonymous posts will not be allowed and be deleted, regardless of the content of the comment.

BOTH name and neighborhood name are required! Thanks for honoring the rules

Monday, December 07, 2009

stray cat around the unit block of R St NW

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Nathaniel James:

There is a large gray and white male cat who ranges in the alley between 1st & North Capitol and R and Randolph NW who has been getting pretty familiar with me for the last few months. I believe he is pretty young (not a kitten, but not older than 3 years) and apparently in good health. If he's a stray, he's quite friendly, and I think others on the block are feeding him.

Last night, he ran into my house and didn't want to go back out for a while until I lured him out with food. As the cold weather settles in, I am beginning to consider fostering or adoption.

A couple of questions:

1) Is anyone familiar with this particular cat and its story? Does he belong to anyone? Is he getting regular shelter?

2) In general, does anyone know how the alley cats in the neighborhood fare over winter? Has anyone placed outdoor shelters for them, etc? Do the local groups (like Metro Ferals /) know about them?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale scheduled for 12/06/2009

Inventory remains low but there are a few new listings to check out (to see entire list of active listings in the area, join the Bloomingdale listserv).

Here's what is open on Sunday.

maybe Bloomingdale could become "Swampoodle North" ...?

See this message passed along by a resident of S Street NW.

I make no claim to historic authenticity or accuracy.

The working-class Irish neighborhood called Swampoodle extended along North Capitol from the area of Union Station up to about L Street and was named from the marshy land around Tiber creek. It evoked strong feelings, as the poetry below witnesses. I'll keep an eye open for poetry about your neighborhood, though I assume that the general character of Swampoodle was also found near 1st and S NW.

National Republican, Nov. 7, 1881
How sweet it is at eventide,
When closed is all our daily strife,
To wander forth and closely view
The ragged edge of city life.

To leave the city’s grateful shade,
Long rows of mansions, grand and fine,
The clean-swept streets, the grassy lawns
And grope amid Swampoodle’s swine.

Near where the tawny Tiber rolled,
Amid the valley once so fair,
Now slimy pools pollute the spot,
And gabbling geese are gathered there.

The lop-eared, lean and lowing kine
Drag lazily their limbs along,
While bare-legged boys and girls loud shout
And swell the sweet Swampoodler’s song.

The slop-man and the spavined horse
Hold revel through the live-long day,
While leaping lovingly about
The fragrant goat is seen at play.

The weird and wanton Thomas-cat
Doth murder sleep with cries most foul;
While playful purps evade the tax
And join the midnight Bacchnal’s howl.

Such scenes as these suggest a change,
Some sense of moral wrong to bring;
Else few, I fear, will ever hear
The fluttering of an angel’s wing.
– Andy Gleason

Friday, December 04, 2009

help with clogged gutters

From a resident of S Street NW and a household on 1st Street NW between O and P Street NW:

Our gutter above our front door seems to be clogged. Do you have any recommendations of someone we could hire to clean it out? I'd even be happy to do it myself if someone had a ladder long enough to get to the top of the second story.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Stanley Mayes: UPO to close its methadone clinic

I attended this evening's joint LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale crime meeting held at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

There was one newsy announcement made that I will pass along here.

One of the meeting attendees was Stanley Mayes, who currently serves as the chair of the Third District (3D) CAC.

He is also chairman of the board of the United Planning Organization (

Stanley mentioned that UPO would be closing its methadone clinic -- which I believe is on the unit block of N Street NE.

No other information was provided.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

? Christmas trees for sale within walking distance of Bloomingdale ?

See this request received:
Is there any place locally (within walking distance of 2nd & V NW) that sells Christmas trees?

Friday, November 27, 2009

? the new visitor parking permits program -- ripe for abuse?

Recall this recent item from ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti?


Some months ago, we discussed on the listserv problems some neighbors have had with having visitors over, but then their visitors getting ticketed for being in the zone parking for more than two hours. As one way to address that problem, I raised the idea of each household getting one permanent visitor parking permit, which is being done already in Ward 4. Many neighbors were very enthusiastic about having such a permit. So I brought the issue to the attention of DDOT and wrote and got passed a resolution from ANC 5C in support of such a program. Well, between that effort and the need for more flexible parking options throughout the city, the Visitor Parking Permit Program is about to expand from its pilot phase. Starting in January 2010, all households will receive a mailing from DDOT describing the program. Permits themselves are to be distributed starting in February.

This is great news for all of us. Although this one change will not solve our parking problems in Bloomingdale, it will help.

See this response from a W Street NW resident:

Parking problems and unregistered cars

DC requires that all residents register their car within 30 days of moving into the district.

I see too many cars parked on the street with out of state license tags and I know that the owners live here. I presume that these residents will be able to use the new visitor street parking pass to avoid getting a $100 ticket for not registering their car….?

How does this visitor parking permits program described by John Salatti help alleviate the parking problem, especially for those of us who paid to register our cars in DC? This program is ripe for abuse.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

seeking cat sitter referrals

From a household on R Street NW:

"We have a cat and would like to find someone who can feed him while we are gone."

Who has some referrals for these neighbors ?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

North Capitol Main Street Clean & Safe Sentinels Kick-Off Today

See this message from Garry Clark, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street, Inc.:

North Capitol Main Street


On Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 11:00 am, 1703 North Capitol Street, NE, North Capitol Main Street will launch the first of its kind in the North Capitol Community -- its inaugural Clean & Safe Sentinels Program. The NCMS Clean & Safe Sentinels will be responsible for keeping the business corridors that surround Bloomingdale, Eckington and East Shaw/Truxton Circle
neighborhoods clean and safe for businesses, resident-customers and visitors to the area.

Services will be provided by Ready, Willing & Working (RWW), which provides work opportunities and supportive services to homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. The program's holistic approach empowers men and women to break the cycles of homelessness, welfare dependency and criminal recidivism to achieve permanent self-sufficiency -- through gainful employment and life-skills training.

NCMS sought the services of RWW because of its excellent track record in providing maintenance, cleaning and landscaping services to Capitol Hill Business Improvement District as well as to Barracks Row Main Street.

RWW President Patty Brosmer says "With an emphasis on enjoying what we do and a philosophy that we are serving the public, we are looking forward to making a big difference for those who live, work and do business in the NCMS area."

"Once the program is up and running, we are urging residents to help NCMS make this program a complete success by sharing your comments and making suggestions on how we can improve in any area, says Pat Mitchell, President of NCMS." "It's going to take a united effort -- coordination with businesses, police, social services and residents -- to make the program a model of success and each resident can do his or her part by being invested in the idea of a clean and safe community."

Garry Clark, Executive Director
202- 905- 6039

Monday, November 23, 2009

? not happy about having a tattoo parlor in Bloomingdale ... ?

A Florida Avenue NW resident commented on what appears to be a new tattoo parlor on the unit block of Florida Avenue NW, north side:
I was wondering if anyone else has noticed the new tattoo parlor business on the unit block of Florida Avenue NW on the north side of the street. At first, it missed my attention because it opened up around Halloween and I thought the large signage was a Halloween decoration (a massive skull). For those residents who will soon be going to sea and require body identification in case they fall overboard and wash up on some distant shore, this maybe a good thing. For the rest of us, this may be a harbinger of things to come for our neighborhood. I would expect that the next business to open in that block will be a strip bar, like the ones Charlene Drew Jarvis used to allow in Ward 4 along Georgia Avenue NW (there are good political contributions involved). Perhaps these types of operations will appease those who oppose the Bloomingdale Farmers’ Market on R St. For the rest of us, who are trying to uplift and improve the neighborhood, this is yet another slap in the face."

Here is feedback from a W Street NW resident:

In reference to the tattoo parlor neighbor...when are we gonna stop bitchin about little things..we don't have a grocery store cause someone complained. We don't have a police substation cause some one complained. The reservoir site is collecting dust cause we couldn't get it together. The bandits and drug houses are flourishing in our neighborhoods and we don't complain together or enough. There are people who like tattoos and are not stuffy and realize that a neighborhood consist of different likes and dislikes that have to work together...get over hasn't been bad for U st and the Strip joint hasn't done M and 18 bad either...looking at the messes we are in now, I would take Drew Jarvis over Fenty anyday..Focus boo...fix up your property and home and pay for that space ...then work with your neighborhood. Florida Ave is full of other things that need to be folks that need when an opportunity opens let it open it is just ink on the skin..not blood on the sidewalk or a gun in your face.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 11/22/2009

Well, ok, more around than in Bloomingdale this weekend, but here they are.

seeking referrals for minor exterior brick work

See this request from a neighbor on the unit block of R Street NW:

I need some recommendations for some brick re-pointing work.

Our entire house does not need work, but many bricks on the corners are visibly in need of repair.

Friday, November 20, 2009

North Capitol Main Street "Clean Team Sentinels" kickoff

See this message from Garry Clark, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street, Inc.:

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here:

Press Release
For Immediate Release

North Capitol Main Street, Inc. Announces Launch of the NCMS Clean Team Sentinels

Kickoff Event - Tuesday, November 24th 11A.M.

NCMS Headquarters - 1703 North Capitol Street NE

Washington, D.C. -November 18, 2009 - NCMS is pleased to annouce the launch of its first BID Liter Clean Team for the NCMS corridor. NCMS, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, designated by D.C. Main Streets and funded by the Department of Small and Local Business Development. NCMS focuses on the commercial neighborhood revitalization of the NCMS corridor. NCMS recently received the grant approval from the Department of Small and Local Business Development. The grant will completely fund the 1st year of operations. NCMS will utilize the services of Capitol Hill BID - Ready, Willing, and Working during this first year. The NCMS Clean team will work five days a week from 10AM to 6PM.

The clean team effort will encompass the following NCMS boundary:
Rhode Island Avenue between Second Street, NW and North Capitol Street, NE
(northern boundary); North Capitol Street between Rhode Island Avenue, NE and New York Avenue, NE (eastern boundary); New York Avenue between Second Street, NW and North Capitol Street, NE (southern boundary); and First Street, NW between New York Avenue, NW and Rhode Island Avenue, NW (western boundary)

Background on the Clean Team Vendor

"Ready, Willing & Working" (RWW) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation that provides work opportunities and supportive services to homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. The program's holistic approach empowers men to break the cycles of homelessness, welfare dependency and criminal recidivism and achieve permanent self-sufficiency. Most of the participants in the program will never see a shelter or be incarcerated again. RWW also provides maintenance, cleaning and landscaping serves the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District and Barracks Row Main Street. RWW President Patty Brosmer says "The NCMS Team is trained and ready to go to work making the area cleaner and more beautiful. With an emphasis on enjoying what we do and a philosophy that we are "serving the public," we are looking forward making a big difference for those who live, work and do business in the NCMS area." You'll see them out in force Tuesday through Saturday, sweeping, weeding, mowing overgrown areas, mulching tree boxes and installing light pole baskets and commercial planters with seasonal plantings.

Be sure to attend the NCMS Clean Team Sentinels - Kickoff Event:

Date: Tuesday.November 24, 2009
Time: 11A.M.
Location: NCMS Office
1703 North Capitol Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Garry Clark
Executive Director
Phone 202- 905- 6039
Fax:202- 269- 0014
Email:gclark @

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thanksgiving Basket Give Away to needy families -- Saturday, 11/21/2009 -- seeking donations

See this message from Dr. JoAnn Perkins of Bloomingdale's World Missions for Christ Extension Center:

We are in the process of preparing for our November 21st Thanksgiving Basket Give Away to Needy Families.

Would you please post this information on the website, for we are looking for persons and organizations to donate Thanksgiving Baskets for the families in our community?

And should they like to make a donation that would allow us to purchase a basket for a family, we could give them a tax deductible receipt for whatever they decide to give.

And we are also looking for volunteers, persons who might want to come out and help with the give away. Please see information below for details regarding the November 21st Thanksgiving Basket GiveAway.


joAnn Perkins

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Friend,

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we need your help BIG TIME!!! in being able to provide baskets to inner-city families needing food to feed their families a Thanksgiving meal.

With so many people needing food for their Thanksgiving meal, we ask that you consider partnering with us by making a tax deductible donation that will help us provide food to the families asking for our HELP!!!

For a donation of $25.00 you can help feed a family of four.

The Community Thanksgiving Basket Give Away


Saturday, November 21st
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
315 Rhode Island Ave., NW

Come join us as we give Thanksgiving baskets to those in need!

Mission Statement:

As a community-based organization, the EXTENSION Center’s mission is to provide educational training services that positively impact lives of children, youth and adults living in inner-city neighborhoods.

To accomplish our mission we sponsor 7 rallies, 6 educational training programs and Good Samaritan Emergency Compassion Relief Projects for people needing help
getting back on their feet.

Contact Us
Extension Center
1720 1st St. NW.
Washington, DC 20001
202. 387. 3082
Extensioncenter @

Friday, November 06, 2009

interviewing neighborhood elders

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Melanie St. Ours:

Dear Neighbors,

I'm writing to enlist your help with my latest community-based performance endeavor! The piece we're working to create will be an original play that explores and builds connections between elders and young adults, weaving together elements of oral history and remembrance, and sharing vital wisdom that will help the younger generations build a sustainable future. We're very early in the process, but the topic is already starting to catch fire and ignite some wonderful conversations. I'd really love for the seniors among you to consider my invitation to be interviewed, and for the younger folks, it would be wonderful if you could talk with the seniors in your life to see if they'd be interested in contributing an interview to the project. Of course, I am happy to answer any questions that you may have before you make a decision.

Right now, my collaborator and I are conducting interviews with senior citizens, particularly those of the World War II generation, as part of our script-building process. This generation has seen such amazing things, from World War II and the Great Depression to the Civil Rights and Women's Movements, all of which have relevance to our current struggles. In addition to their memories of the "big events" that are recorded in other histories, they also hold a wealth of experiences, beliefs, strategies, lessons, and strengths that history books can never capture. It is from the richness of their ideas, memories, advice, and dreams that we're beginning to create this theater project.

My partner and I will conduct interviews one-on-one, or in a group, depending on what each participant prefers. Each interview will be recorded in a digital audio format, and will be used to build the script of the play. Additionally, the voice recordings may be played during the performances. Interviews can be scheduled in the afternoon, evening, or during the weekend, and will be conducted at the location of the interviewee's choosing. (We will travel to you.) The interviews are informal, and feel like comfortable conversations over a cup of tea. So far, they've been fun and enriching for everyone involved.

If you're an elder in our community with a story to tell, this is your chance!

It's also possible, for those of you who are interested in having these interviews as part of your own family history, to arrange to conduct an interview yourself. You'll need your own digital audio recorder and we'll provide you with a few simple guidelines to help make your interview a success. This is a really wonderful activity for after Thanksgiving dinner....

Please feel free to be in touch with me via email or telephone (443.812.9407) if you have any questions at all, or if you're interested in starting the process.

Thank-you, Bloomingdale, for all of your support!

Very best,

Melanie St. Ours

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

excited about Bloomingdale

See this comment by a Rhode Island Avenue NW resident:

I'm a Bloomingdalian who is excited to be in the neighborhood during what will in hindsight be known as the great resurgence... I was at a party and people actually knew Bloomingdale - some said they were actively looking to be in our neighborhood because of its proximity to downtown and because of all the development happening around us. These were folks who are actively looking to relocate from Adams Morgan and parts of Columbia Heights because of parking problems, increasing crime and proximity to downtown.

I was astounded - three years ago when I mentioned Bloomingdale folks looked at me like I was talking about a department store - no not Bloomingdale's... dummy, BloomingDALE, over by LeDroit Park...

With all the activity going on, continued development including the condos right across NJ Ave, and what's slated for the sand filtration plant I, for one, am not going any place.

If you've got a foothold here, you should think twice before uprooting and rolling out. This is actually a place that I love to be.

seeking referrals for radiator maintenance

A resident on the unit block of Seaton Place NW has this request:

Does anyone still use radiators for heat and have a company they use that they are happy with? I love my radiators and do not want to give them up, but am having a hard time finding people who still work on them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

HU is updating its campus plan -- care to take the campus plan survey ?

See this request from Maybelle Taylor Bennett, Director, Howard University Community Association:

I would appreciate it if you could circulate this message on your listservs and to your various networks.

As many of our neighbors are aware, Howard University is updating its campus plan in accordance with the Zoning Commission's requirement that such an update take place once every ten years. Part of this plan includes the development of the Howard Town Center, a project described in some detail in the DUKE Plan, enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia on June 21, 2005, which had a great deal of stakeholder input. Following the most recent selection of a developer for the Town Center, a series of meetings took place in August, September and October, where a number of neighbors became more familiar with the most current plans for the project. The Pleasant Plains Civic Association hosted the first meeting on August 31st. Commissioner Gail Holness of Single Member District 1B11, where the project is located, hosted a second presentation on September 14th. The LeDroit Park Civic Association included this presentation on their agenda on September 22nd, and ANC 1B included the presentation of this project at their October 4th meeting. Questions about the project were entertained and suggestions for the enrichment of the plan were received.

Howard University is continuing the data collection phase of its campus planning process, and as part of that process, we are engaging our neighbors in a more comprehensive way than we have in the past. This includes:

• participation in quarterly Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings, which have taken place continuously since 1998, and includes area residents, civic association leaders, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, church, business and community organization representatives in the area;

• participation in individual interviews of community members from these same groups, which were conducted in September, 2009;

• participation on campus plan working groups which will be organized once the campus plan team has collected and analyzed enough data to report back for review and discussion; and

• participation in a community-wide survey that is distributed on-line and in hard copy for those without computers.

With this communication, we are inviting our neighbors to fill out the survey attached in the l
ink below:

Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback on this survey. As the draft campus plan begins to come together, we will be making presentations at area ANC and civic association meetings, so that we can receive your feedback at that point as well.

We look forward to your participation, and if there are any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Maybelle Taylor Bennett
Howard University Community Association
2731 Georgia Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
Ph: (202) 806 - 4771
Fx: (202) 667 - 5964

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 11/01/2009

Two pieces of legislation that can have a significant affect on the property values in our neighborhood are in process this week. Congress has passed an extension of the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac higher loan limits through 2010. The President is expected to sign off on this quickly. This helps there to be affordable mortgage money available for the purchase of homes in the price ranges found in DC. The other very important legislation that has had much debate recently is the extension of the Federal Tax Credit for Home Buyers. The current proposed legislation extends the credit into next Spring. It also expands the people that it serves by increasing income limits and by allowing some current property owners to access the credit. Hopefully, a vote will be scheduled for next week.

And here are open houses for Sunday.

feedback on 1st St NW home that broken into and the resident who was "bound with wire and tape"

First, see this message from Bloomingdale resident Joe Levesque regarding this recent crime reported on the MPD-5D list:


FIRST STREET NW, 1700 block, 1:25 p.m. Oct. 16.
A man entered a residence and assaulted a person. The person was then bound with wire and tape. The assailant fled with property.

I can't believe that someone in Bloomingdale had to endure being bound with wire and held hostage while a thief steals their belongings. That person must have been deathly frightened not knowing if they would be killed in their own home. Note that this happened around noon time! This same awful scene happened a few years ago on the 2100 block of First St NW. A home owner, a strong 30 yr old male, went into the alley at 8 PM to empty the trash. He was abducted at gun point by 2 men lurking in the alley, taken into his house, and bound and gagged in the kitchen. He had two dogs, one ran upstairs, the other was shot. The assailants started to haul items out the rear door as the owner sat tied on the kitchen floor, wondering if he also would be killed. Neighbors noticed this activity and called 911. Police arrested the scumbags. The two owners said screw this, sold their house and moved to Washington state. They didn't feel safe in their own home anymore. Keep your doors locked at all times and call police if something seems odd.

Now read this feedback from a resident on the unit block of S Street NW:

Just wanted to make a follow-up comment in addition to Mr. Levesque's on the home invasion/robbery. I was shocked that I first read about this in the Bloomingdale email! We get the MPD updates and didn't hear anything - being from a smaller community, an event like this would have been front-page news, followed up with tips on what happened, what the risk factors were, what citizens should be looking out for (suspect, description - where are the "wanted" posters with the suspect's description?), and what you can do to protect yourself - in your own home - at lunch time no less. I'm always shocked these crimes are taking place right next door to us in broad daylight or even at 9 PM when all of our neighbors are home. I realize it's hard to hear through the brick rowhouses and hard to look out if you only have windows in the back, but please take a moment to look out your window if you hear shouting and take a moment to call 911 if you see something suspicious! I sometimes feel I'm completely alone walking down the deserted sidewalk at night, yet I know I'm surrounded by people inside their homes and since everyone's decks and yards are out back, the main streets are devoid of neighborhood "eyes". I'd also like to get more information as soon as possible from our police force on this home invasion, what the risk factors were for this individual and what we need to be looking out for!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the drug dealers are back in Bloomingdale

See this 10/27/2009 message from Bloomingdale resident Todd Crosby:

Was it my imagination, but I had thought that the street hoodlums that hang out on the corners had abandoned Bloomingdale last spring... until just the past few weeks. It was such a nice spring and summer: no bullets flying, no loitering drug dealers on the corners -- a great community. I thought that we had turned a corner and that those guys had given up on the drug markets in this community and had moved on.

However, in the past, literally, 3 weeks they've all returned.

Drug dealers hanging out in the old haunts, shootings in the same places...the's all back. What happened? Anyone know what the word on the street is? Did the police release a bunch back of the crew back into the community? Did some gangs just decide to retake the corners? It's like night and day.

It was a nice preview of what Bloomingdale can look without these street thugs plying their trade here. I'm a bit disappointed to see them back.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bloomingdale resident Peter Frampton's letter to CM Thomas on Chancellor Michelle Rhee

Bloomingdale resident Peter Frampton asked me to post his Email to Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. and the subsequent reply.

So here you go.

From: "Thomas, Harry (COUNCIL)"
Date: October 27,
2009 7:40:13 PM CDT
To: Peter Frampton
Cc: Carole Frampton,
"Rodgers, Neil (COUNCIL)", "Pittman, James (COUNCIL)", "Nix, Susan (COUNCIL)"
Subject: RE: We support DC School Reform

thanks for your email and sharing your concerns.

From: Peter Frampton Sent:
October 27, 2009 8:05 PMTo: Thomas, Harry (COUNCIL)Cc: Carole Frampton

Subject: We support DC School Reform

Dear Mr Thomas,

as residents of Thomas St NW, Ward 5, with two girls in the DC Public School system, we support Michelle Rhee in her efforts to reform the school system. Change was never going to be easy nor painless, but it is really making a difference in the lives of the children who are most dependent upon the school system to achieve their dreams in life.

Please support Michelle Rhee's efforts. She's doing it for the children.

Many thanks for your services to the city and in our Ward.

With kind regards,
Peter Frampton,
father of Chloe 7 and Lydia 5, who attend Ross Elementary.

Peter Frampton
Thomas St NW
Washington DC
20001 USA

Care to commment?

Let us review, once again, what the rules are for posting comments:

1) Identify yourself. A full name would be best, but at least include a first name.

2) Identify your neighborhood.

3) Totally anonymous posts will not be allowed and be deleted, regardless of the content of the comment. BOTH name and neighborhood name are required!

Thanks for honoring the rules.

"how can we get the police to focus on our area more?"

See this 10/26/2009 message from Bloomingdale resident Alexandra:

I feel like crime, especially dangerous/violent crime, has escalated in this neighborhood over the last few months. I don't dare walk my dog at night anymore. It also concerns me that I do not see many police cars patrolling the area, despite all the recent events. And I don't know what needs to be done at this point. Though a gated community is not the solution, perhaps something like private neighborhood security patrols or more video cameras should be considered.

What else can/should be done?

How can we get the police to focus on our area more? Please don't respond by telling me to leave the neighborhood - I live in Bloomingdale because I love it, but also don't want to feel like I can't leave my house in the evening (or the morning, for that matter considering that many horrible events have occurred during daylight) without a high chance of getting mugged or worse. My thoughts go out to all who have had to experience these ordeals firsthand.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New York Pizza's bullet-proof glass -- support or oppose?

The KFC at 2 Florida Avenue NE recently re-opened as a New York Pizza restaurant.

The interior is more or less the same as the KFC -- there is bullet-proof glass greeting the customer.

Some residents support the presence of the bullet-proof glass; others oppose it.

Here are some recent comments:

I was wondering --- Have any of those persons commenting negatively about these precautions ever had to work in one of these establishments and deal on a daily basis with all the different types of persons that come in to do business. Have they ever been the only attendant in one of these establishments. Until our neighborhood changes even more than it has, I applaud the business owners for taking precautions to take care of the safety of themselves and their employees.

Walk a mile in the shoes of the workers. Try to support these businesses so that we can have more establishments to service our needs locally.

-- Long time resident of 4th Street, Northwest

I would like to thank the posters who will not visit stores with glass, you are part of the reason that Luciano's on P and N. Cap is no longer in business. Before they closed, a few windows were broken and an ATM was ripped from the wall. In that environment, glass is a matter of personal safety. Comparing Big Bear which only has daylight hours to a place which is open until 1am on the weekends is a bit of a stretch. Five Guys is also in a bit of a better situation as there isn't a large population of vagrants camping outside. I would invite you to open up a minimally staffed restaurant without glass and see how safe that intersection is.

-- 1500 block of 1st Street NW resident.

What do YOU think?

And let’s review, once again, what the rules are for posting comments:

1) Identify yourself. A full name would be best, but at least include a first name.

2) Identify your neighborhood.

3) Totally anonymous posts will not be allowed and be deleted, regardless of the content of the comment.

BOTH name and neighborhood name are required! Thanks for honoring the rules

Friday, October 23, 2009

Now Sunday! Bloomingdale House Tour shuffled from Saturday to Sunday

****Date Change****

Due to 80% chance of rain tomorrow, the Bloomingdale House Tour has been moved to Sunday, October 25. You still have time to purchase tickets! Details below...

The Bloomingdale Civic Association Presents "Victorian Secrets"
A Fund Raising House Tour

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1-5:00 PM

This tour features 8 private homes in the Bloomingdale neighborhood - from a home that once housed nuns, to a home with an incredible garden oasis, to a North Capitol Main Street board member's lovely abode, to the best rooftop view in DC! Afterwards, join the end-of-the-tour party at the Anna J Cooper house and enjoy fantastic food & the smooth sounds of jazz artist, and Bloomingdale resident, Maurice Lyles.

This is a fund raiser to benefit the Bloomingdale Civic Association's cooperative work and commitment to the citizens of this community.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of the tour (children 7-12 ½ price, under 7 free) and can be purchased at Bloomingdale Wine & Spirits, 1st and Rhode Island Ave., NW, Mon-Fri and at Big Bear Cafe on the day of the event.

You may also contact J.C. Blount, 202/986- 2772, J.C. Bond, 202/328- 3068 or Laurie Choice, 202/797- 7407 for additional information or to volunteer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

North Capitol Main Street Meet and Greet Fundraiser

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here:

North Capitol Main Street, Inc. Fall Meet and Greet Fundraiser
6:30pm -8:30pm

You are Cordially Invited to the North Capitol Main Street, Inc. Fall Fundraising Drive. Thursday, October 22nd from 6:30PM to 8:30PM.

Come and enjoy this NCMS Happy Hour opportunity to help support NCMS' efforts in Eckington, Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle neighborhoods.

This is an open networking event for all local residents, business owners and professionals to network and make contacts. Please forward this invitation to friends and co-workers. Drinks and snacks will be available. Donations are appreciated!

Where: Parker Flats Condo's 2035 2nd St NW Washington, DC 20001

When: Thursday, October 22, 2009
6:30PM to 8:30PM

Hosts: North Capitol Main Street,Inc.
Parker Flats' Condo Association

Please Note: Donations will be appreciated!

Interested in joining the North Capitol Main Street Effort? What are we looking for? We need your help in obtaining project volunteers, new excited members, and potential board members.

Ready to start right away? Contact Garry Clark @ or call 202-905-6039

Get involved and help lead the way to neighborhood revitalization today! Garry ClarkNorth Capitol Main Street, Inc.

North Capitol Main Street is funded by the Department of Small and Local Business Development and D.C. Main Streets

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sean Hennessey & Rania Hassan Art Events Newsletter Fall Edition

Hello friends, If you’ve been following us via twitter, blog, or facebook, you’ll know we’ve been quite busy in the art and craft world.We want to thank you all for visiting us at Crafty Bastards, Arts on Foot, and the Common Elements show. We really appreciate the support. Below is a list of current and upcoming events. We hope to see you soon!

Thanks,Sean Hennessey & Rania Hassan.

. News .

Rania was profiled in the cover story of the Washington Post Weekend on October 2 in an article titled Crafts With an Edge. Click here to read.

. Gallery Neptune .

Opening tomorrow night, Rania’s exhibit at Gallery Neptune will feature new directions in her Knit Together series in a two-person show with metal sculptor Joyce Zipperer.

The show opens tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, 7-9pm, and will run through November 14. According to
dcist, and Daily Candy, you'll really want to see this show. Gallery Neptune5001 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814 [2nd Floor]
A few blocks from Bethesda Metro Station [Red Line]
here for map

Gallery Hours:
Thursday–Saturday, 12-5 pm, also by appointmentPlease see
web site for details and additional event information.

. James Renwick Alliance Day .
Rania and Sean are both participating in this James Renwick Alliance Craft Artist Exhibit and Sale.

From the web site:
JRA Day is sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance, an independent national nonprofit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA was founded in 1982 and is the exclusive support group for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, our nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft.JRA Day
The Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase7931 Connecticut Ave NW, Chevy Chase, MDSaturday, 11am-5pm
map and directions

Admission:$5 for James Renwick Alliance members$7 for non-members
Free Parkingplease visit
web site for details

. Artwork Online .
Our smaller pieces can be purchased online anytime and shipped anywhere around the world.

Rania's illustrated Moleskine and knit paintings are at:

Sean's experimental pieces in glass and concrete can be found at

. Follow Us .

Looking for more details about what we're up to? There are many ways to keep track of us, here are some of our links!
:: Sean Hennessey ::Email: art@wheresmycoffee.comTel: 202.550.4634Blog: :
wheresmycoffee.comArt portfolio: dcsean.comTwitter:

:: Rania Hassan ::Email: darnknit@gmail.comTel: 202.320.9300Blog:
goshdarnknit.comArt portfolio: raniahassan.comNotebook Portfolio:

Please be sure to visit event links posted above to make sure dates haven't changed since sending this out. Thanks for reading down this far, we hope to see you sometime soon at one of our events!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

North Capitol Main Street Fall meet-and-greet fundraiser at Parker Flats

See this message from Garry Clark, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street, Inc.

North Capitol Main Street, Inc. Fall Meet and Greet Fundraiser
6:30pm -8:30pm

You are Cordially Invited to the North Capitol Main Street, Inc. Fall Fundraising Drive. Thursday, October 22nd from 6:30PM to 8:30PM.

Come and enjoy this NCMS Happy Hour opportunity to help support NCMS' efforts in Eckington, Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle neighborhoods.

This is an open networking event for all local residents, business owners and professionals to network and make contacts. Please forward this invitation to friends and co-workers. Drinks and snacks will be available. A $25.00 donation is requested.

Where: Parker Flats at Gage School Condos

2035 2nd St NW Washington, DC 20001

When: Thursday, October 22, 2009
6:30PM to 8:30PM

Hosts: North Capitol Main Street,Inc.
Parker Flats' Condo Association

Please Note: a $25.00 donation is requested.

Interested in joining the North Capitol Main Street Effort? What are we looking for? We need your help in obtaining project volunteers, new excited members, and potential board members.

Ready to start right away?

Contact Garry Clark at or call 202-905-6039

Get involved and help lead the way to neighborhood revitalization today!

Garry ClarkNorth Capitol
Main Street, Inc.

North Capitol Main Street is funded by the Department of Small and Local Business Development and D.C. Main Streets.

Stu Davenport's development company saves the day in WCP's Housing Complex

Have your ever read Ruth Samuelson's Housing Complex column in the Washington City Paper?

This week's Housing Complex column centers upon a Florida Avenue NW rowhouse renovation nightmare.

Who helped the hapless homeowner with some renovations when his original contractor failed to do so?

None other than Stu Davenport and his development company.

Go here:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From a R St NW resident who despises the Bloomingdale Farmers' Market

Recent commment about the Bloomingdale Farmers' Market by Bloomingdale resident Joe Levesque:

I love the urban mix at our farmers market here in Bloomingdale:

Old fashion live fiddle music,

Ultra chique menu items with fab ingredients

FREE Bicycle repairs and tune-up

No wonder Bloomingdale Farmers market is the 7th favorite small market in the entire USA!!!

And here is some follow-up statements from a Bloomingdale resident on the 100 block of R Street NW, who has made unfavorable remarks about the Bloomingdale Farmers' Market in the past:

I resent the hijacking of our very small block for the privileged few who pay exorbitant prices to vendors who do not even live in our neighborhood or DC.

The tacky and illegal pcv/metal pipe and other homemade sign posts that litter our beautiful tree boxes so as to promote this dreadful market (these must be removed immediately as they are against city ordinance).

The arrogance of a few (including our ANC rep and owner of Big Bear) who does what's best for (his)business and NOT the the citizens of the 100 block of R Street NW. I am hoping someone will run against him during the next election.

What is the source document for claiming 7th in the USA?

I suspect the original poster meant chic and NOT chique. For many of the old time neighbors, however, BFM fiddle music and menu items are from chic!


And let’s review, once again, what the rules are for posting comments:

1) Identify yourself. A full name would be best, but at least include a first name.

2) Identify your neighborhood.

3) Totally anonymous posts will not be allowed and be deleted, regardless of the content of the comment.

BOTH name and neighborhood name are required! Thanks for honoring the rules.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

care to comment on the proposed revised regulations for neighborhood historic designation ??

See the message below from Capitol Hill resident Nancy Metzger and head of the DC Historic Districts Coalition.

The Thursday, October 22, 2009 Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) meeting agenda includes "taking comments" on the proposed revised regulations for historic district designation.

There has been heated and lively commentary on neighborhood lists regarding the topic of having neighborhoods historically designated.

If you feel passionate on this topic -- in opposition or support -- you are invited to participate in the discussion. One opportunity is the upcoming HPRB meeting.


A final draft of new regulations for designating historic districts and historic landmarks has been published and the Historic Preservation Review Board will be taking comments at the October 22 meeting. These regulations have changed in important ways since the public participation issue was discussed last year at the Cheh-Bowser Bill legislative hearing.

At the Council hearing, many Historic Districts Coalition members and others in the preservation community testified about the importance of public participation in the process, but also suggested changes in the legislation that would have impacted the designation procedure. The complete regulations, showing corrections, can be accessed through the HPO web site.

Comments on the proposed regulation should be submitted, in writing, to Tersh Boasberg, Chairman, Historic Preservation Review Board, 2000 14th Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009.

Several key points:

· All property owners will be notified of pending designation and owners have the right to submit a statement to the Board before the hearing stating their objections or their support. (It appears that an earlier mail-back ballot idea has been dropped.)

· It would require a majority of owners expressing their opposition in written form to block the nomination. They could testify at a hearing but the staff would tally the written comments. If the Board feels that there is not broad community support, particularly as indicated by the written comments, then there’s a waiting period of 12 months before a nomination can be reconsidered. (The regs explicitly say the applicant doesn’t have to demonstrate universal support or support from those declining to register an opinion. This waiting period is a change from the much longer waiting periods suggested by the Cheh-Bowser bill but is in line with the federal regulations.)

· Although the regulations say listings in the DC Inventory can be amended or revoked, it also says properties may be removed only if they no longer meet the criteria for designation. ( So there does not seem to be a method to remove properties if they just become unpopular or inconvenient somehow.)

· There is a section that requires draft historic district guidelines for each individual historic district that must be distributed before a determination is made by the Board. (The guidelines would be revised later, taking into account comments from the Board and public, after the nomination is acted on. This follows the Foxhall Village adoption scenario.)

· In addition, there is a section that states the Board, Mayor’s Agent, and staff may use the Comprehensive Plan and the Historic Preservation Plan for “additional guidance on the listing of properties in the DC Inventory and on the review of construction affecting historic landmarks and historic districts.”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

BACA votes to oppose LAYC at Cook School

I attended last night's Bates Area Civic Association (BACA) meeting held at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.

I took some notes.

Here are some of my notes, which should be classified as non-comprehensive and non- exhaustive.

The focus of the BACA meeting was the use of the JF Cook School on the unit block of P Street NW by the Latin American Youth Council (LAYC).

The local Truxton Circle / Bates area community in attendance overwhelmingly expressed opposition to the LAYC moving into the Cook School. The primary item of opposition appears to be the residential component of the school, which was not disclosed when LAYC came before the community on five occasions.

President Jim Berry said that the LAYC school will push back neighborhood retail development 30 years.

He invited the Mayor, who was in attendance, to look at the bigger picture – the methadone clinics, SOME, etc. “Your team didn’t look at the big picture. LAYC will have an adverse, disruptive presence.”

ANC 5C Chair Anita Bonds asked how we can support LAYC. “We are home to the Rayful Edmonds gang. We don’t want another gang in the neighborhood.” “If this is a done deal, you will have to help us determine how best this will work. We were hoping for retail.”

Bloomingdale resident Pat Mitchell commented that there is continued suppressing of retail opportunities. “There is not enough support to mitigate the offset of the social services.”

A number of students from LAYC (and parents? faculty? staff?) attended as well.

Residents challenged the RFP process used, which the Mayor defended.

Resident MaryAnn Wilmer asked why LAC couldn’t co-locate with the Phelps Vocational School. She stated that she strongly opposes LAYC coming in.

ANC 5C Commissioner Sylvia Pickney remarked that the school offers no benefit to the community.

Some guy in the rear of the room asked the Mayor what he would do to encourage economic development in the community.

The Mayor replied that the presence of social services does not hamper economic development.

The Mayor said that he would have his staff walk through the community in the next 30 days to address the issues raised at the meeting, such as the homeless, the intoxicated and the drug dealers hanging out the parks at 1st & Florida NW and 1st & New York Avenue NW.

The Mayor briefly described the Youth Build programs in Petworth and on Park Road NW. Both sites are near successful housing & retail developments. “I see this as a jar half full, not half empty. This doesn’t have to be either or.”

A female resident unknown to me commented that it was news that the school would have housing on the site – that was announced after-the-fact. Housing increases the scope of the project. She then described how buses drop off people from all over the city early in the morning in the neighborhood for breakfast at SOME and then hang out all day, etc., etc.

A 23-year-old student at LAYC spoke passionately about the school and how it has helped turned her life around for the better.

BACA President Jim Berry remarked that he would prefer to have the school available for economic development.

After the general discussion wrapped up – when the Mayor needed to depart – a number of meeting attendees, including most of the people associated with the charter school, also departed.

A woman who identified herself as someone with the school (principal? vice principal?) began describing the schools programs and benefits, but left the room upset and crying. She was clearly not happy that the school was not being welcomed into the community.

Then there was a reading of a resolution by BACA to oppose LAYC at the Cook School. The resolution was quite long, but I jotted down “saturation of social services.” The resolution asked the District to rescind the decision. The resolution passed. Similar resolutions were passed from the Hanover Civic Association and the Dunbar-Shaw Homeowner’s Association (which I have never heard of before). Only one resident at the meeting explicitly expressed support for the project.

It was noted that there was an interest in having an ANC 5C vote to support/oppose LAYC. Ostensibly, the vote was put on hold for a future meeting. So ANC 5C has not taken an official position (yet).

And I still don't understand the relationship of LAYC and Youth Build.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Open Houses scheduled in and around Bloomingdale for 10/04/2009

Here's hoping for another nice crisp Fall day to visit the scheduled open houses. Enjoy!

Sean & Rania at today's Crafty Bastards

See this 10/02/2009 message from Bloomingdale resident and Scenic Artisan Sean Hennessey:

There was an article including [wife] Rania [Hassan] in today’s Washington Post weekend section in their Crafty Bastards coverage. It mentions that we live in Bloomingdale. [Yahh for Bloomingdale!]

We'll both be at Crafty Bastards on Saturday.

pictures of Rania are only in the print edition.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

another McMillan meeting -- this one, by Ward 5 Councilmember Thomas

See this message from the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.

ROOM 107


TEL: 202- 724- 8028
FAX: 202- 724- 8076


Chaired by
Harry “ Tommy” Thomas, Jr., Ward 5 Councilmember


1 Open House 6:30pm to 7:00pm

2 Introductory Remarks 7:00 pm to 7:15 pm

• Harry “ Tommy” Thomas, Jr., Ward 5 Councilmember
• Clint Jackson, Project Manager, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
• Barrie Danneker, ANC 5C07 Commissioner and MAG Member
• Kenyan McDuffie, MAG Spokesperson
• Aakash Thakkar, Vice President, EYA
• Jair Lynch, President, JLDP

3 Discussion Overviews (7-10 minutes each) 7:15 pm to 7:40 pm

• Traffic Information, Nicole White,Symmetra Design
• Historic Information, Emily Eig, EHT Traceries
• Stormwater Management , Mark Stires, Bowman Consulting Group
• Fiscal and Market Analysis, Marisa Gaither, Green Door Advisors

4 Next Steps 7:40 pm to 7:45 pm

• Clint Jackson, DMPED
• Aakash Thakkar, EYA

5 Break Out Sessions and Q & A 7:45 pm to 8:25 pm

6 Closing Remarks 8:25 pm to 8:30 pm

Harry “ Tommy” Thomas, Jr., Ward 5 Councilmember