Tuesday, August 31, 2010

revisiting the topic of neighbors feeding feral cats around Crispus Attucks Park

See this string of Emails, originating from a 1st Street NW resident along Crispus Attucks Park:

From: 1st Street NW resident
To: ``Vigilance, Pierre (DOH)``
Cc: scott@scott-roberts.net; john.salatti@gmail.com; SGiacoppo@washhumane.org;

Good Morning Dr. Vigilance,

As you can see from this message the feral cat and other wildlife is still an ongoing issue here for those who live on the park. I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, but going back several years this has been a growing and unabated problem for me. I have lived with neighbors who choose for whatever reason to feed the wildlife here. It is not just feral cats, it is also raccoons and opossums eating this food that is left standing all day. They are attracted to the park area because there is an ample food supply. Last summer I was virtually afraid to go outside in my rear yard for fear that a raccoon, or cats would be on my deck sitting on my furniture. At least the opossum would leave, but the raccoon and cats with their constant deliveries of feces at my rear basement door is unacceptable and a health hazard. I arrived home one day for lunch and found a feral cat lying in my bed! I had apparently left the door open while going to put trash earlier that morning. Neighbors should NOT be leaving any food out and feeding cats. Not for 10 minutes, not at all. Anyone who continues to suggest that food should be left for a 10 minute feeding (does the feeder really know what amount that is, monitors the feeding and then removes what is left, I don`t think so) therefore is giving a green light to continue this nuisance. This is my position, I have lived on the [Crispus Attucks] park for more than 10 years and I have never experienced the wildlife at this level. Yes, there were more cats present, but they were NOT living in my yard and on my deck. I do not own a cat, nor should I be responsible for cleaning up after them. There needs to be continued inspections and efforts to educate neighbors on the Park from the Dept. of Health about what is acceptable and what is a violation of the law. Continued violations should then receive citations just as those who leave their trash cans out. Again, I would go further to say to the neighbors here on the Park, ``Please Do Not Feed the Cats``. Believe me they will survive.

From: 1st Street NW resident
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 5:35 PM
To: `SGiacoppo@washhumane.org`; Hille, Maria (DOH)
Cc: Vigilance, Pierre (DOH); `john.salatti@gmail.com`;
Subject: RE: Feral cats and wildlife @ First Street, N.W.
Importance: High


This appeared in the Bloomingdale list serve today. However based upon past experiences for the last years, I have strong suspicions about who the culprit might be. Clearly there remains a serious health issue here. Year in and Year out! You must understand, it is NOT just the feral cats here. Other wildlife are continuously attracted to the area because it is source of food, a buffet all you can eat all day long. This is not rocket science. NO ONE SHOULD BE FEEDING THE CATS. Not for 10 minutes. Can anyone determine really how much cats, raccoons, and opossums can eat in 10 minutes!!!. This is beyond ridiculous!! Must I remind you I had opossums and raccoons both on my deck last year, virtually living in my yard along with the cats. Not to mention the feces in my back door. This is unacceptable. What is the next step to resolve this long standing issue. Is the Dept. of Health and the Wash Humane Society going to continue to nicely ask neighbors to ``please stop feeding the cats``, year in and year out!!! I want some action. This is a violation…. It was last year, the year before that and it is today. What are you waiting for now.

Here is what is in today`s Bloomingdale Email:

+ See this 08/29/2010 message from a resident on the unit block of V Street NW: ``Someone has been feeding HUGE aluminum tins of dry cat food to the alley cats in the V/W NW block. It is a very kind and well-intentioned gesture, but it`s also a violation of city law to leave such large amounts of food out. Please, if you feed cats, only leave out enough for them to eat at one sitting, in 10 minutes or less. Thanks!``

From: 1st Street NW resident
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 3:32 PM
To: John T. Salatti
Subject: RE: Follow-up on our conversation

Thanks for your efforts John. However, I remain concerned about the conditions at my home. Feeding cats @ 202x [1st St NW] has been a true nuisance for too many years. Why must I have to endure their presence? I have stated for the last time I will not continue to repeatedly clean up feces on my property. The fences that were discussed on the last visit by Wash Humane Society will be more costly due to the special design features that must be present in an attempt to keep them off my property. Should I also be responsible for incurring the financial burden of this special fence design? I purchased a fence two years ago only to be informed that it would not be effective. I will NOT live with cats and feces on my property. As far as it being her choice, she chooses to feed and for a fact ignores the regulations. The cats and any other wildlife are present and attracted to the area because of self centered choices. I will not continue to live this way. I hope I made my intentions clear in our last conversation.

seeking referrals for A/C unit repair

See this message from a Quincy Place NW:

I have an A/C unit in which the fan has apparently died. If anyone in the neighborhood has an A/C repairman to recommend, I would really appreciate it!

recently renovated WASA facility at 2nd & Bryant: early morning vehicular noise

From a resident on the 100 block of Bryant Street NW:

If folks are curious what development can bring to a neighborhood, I suggest they come for a very early morning stroll at the corner of Bryant and 2nd Street NW. The city rebuilt a previously abandoned warehouse and have put it to use as a staging point for DPW/WASA vehicles. I walk my dogs by there in the morning around 6:30 am and it is very loud, with lots of people talking loudly, loud vehicles coming and going, and I feel badly for the folks who live across the street. I spoke to one of the folks living there and she told me it can start as early as 3:00 in the morning. Yikes. Now, at night, those houses have the benefit of two or three guys sitting out front of the warehouse every day till late watching the street, so that is a benefit. And the building looks better.

Monday, August 30, 2010

next CoVE candidate interviews: With Vincent Gray, Dorothy Douglas, David Schwartzmann and Timothy Day

COalition for Voter Empowerment

As you have undoubtedly read by now, a new Washington Post poll of registered Democrats in the District of Columbia, with just over two weeks left in the campaign, shows the following polls over the last year in the race for Mayor:

Gray Fenty Undecided
Nov 09 Clarus Research Group 41 37 22
Dec 09 Metropolitan Labor Council 43 39 18
Jan 10 Washington Post 35 31 20
Aug 10 BUDPAC 42 34 21
Aug 10 Clarus Research Group 41 36 21
Aug 10 Washington Post 53 36 11

What is clear from this polling is that 11% of likely voters have not decided who their candidate of choice will be.

Don't let the polling pundits decide your candidate for you. You get to say what polling means to you -- everything, something or nothing at all.

This Wednesday, CoVE is offering you yet another opportunity to take a look at a candidate in a new and different way: One-on-one (the candidate and the voters) in a question and answer session.

This week's line-up:

Vince Gray for Mayor
Dorothy Douglas for Chair
David Schwartzmann for At Large Council
Tim Day for Ward Five Council

(To hear what the mayoral candidate has to say, you must arrive on time; Vince Gray is scheduled to participate in another debate scheduled that night.)

Get answers to questions you have and be informed. Your vote is your power.

When: Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Where: Community Academy Public Charter Schools (at the former Armstrong Adult Education Center)1400 First Street, NW (First & P)
Time: 6:15 - 8:30 pm
(Stay tuned for Adrian Fenty`s interview date and time as well as other candidates!)

coalition for voter empowerment

Bloomingdale Civic Association
Bates Area Civic Association
Eckington Civic Association
Edgewood Civic Association
Hanover Civic Association

For more information email: Jim at jamojam@msn.com .

Saturday, August 28, 2010

20.5% drop in Home Sales Volume in Zip 20001 in July

The National Association of REALTORS(r) releases month-to-month housing numbers from across the country. As predicted, due to the acceleration of the markets because of the tax credit deadline in April, the July numbers for volume of sales of existing homes were low. Very low. In fact, historically low.
is the original press release for reference.

Should we all be freaking out?

Honestly, I don't think so. First, consider that real estate is a truly cyclical business. Ask any real estate agent you know and I'll bet they'll back me up on this. Second, everything can be looked at in context.

For clarity, and because real estate markets really are local, I have drilled down the numbers to the 20001 zip code. The volume reflects the total dollar volume of transferred sales. The comparison is to the same month of the previous year.

January 2010:
Sales volume up 16.67%
Average Sold Price up 7.69%

February 2010:
Sales volume down 1.10% (from 2009-$9,649,800 to 2010-$9,543,370)
Average Sold Price up 7.14%

March 2010:
Sales volume up 97.08% (Yes, really. From 2009-$6,940,770. to 2010-$13,678,890.)
Average sold price up 17.02%

April 2010:
Sales volume up 73.49% (2009-$14,958,443. to 2010-$25,950,725.)
Average sold price up 21.74%

May 2010:
Sales volume up 90.56% (2009-$16,481,150.-2010-$31,405,841.)
Average sold price up 11.79%

June 2010:
Sales Volume down 8.16% (Tax Credit deadline for contract ratification was 4/30)
Average sold price up 4.08%

July 2010:
Sales Volume down 20.50%
Average sold price up 24.21%

Best wishes,

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale for 08/29/2010

There are several open houses in and around the neighborhood on Sunday. To see information on specifc listings, scroll over the push pins on the map. Here is the same information in a list format.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thomas St NW resident receives DPW fine for leaving supercan in alley too long after collection

See this message from a Thomas Street NW resident:

I got a $75 fine from the department of public works last week for leaving our supercan out too long. I would have thought a first warning would be fair, but I guess these are revenue-seeking times. May it serve as a reminder for others. ANC Commissioner John Salatti confirms that DPW does issue such fines and that bins need to be in by Thursday morning in this neck of the woods.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mehdi Mansouri: City trying to silence McMillan critics

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Mehdi Mansouri. The McMillan Advisory Group (MAG) meeting referenced occurred earlier this evening.

City Trying to Silence McMillan Critics; Meeting Thursday
Posted by: ``peoplescouncil`` tin@onlineoffice.us peoplescouncil
Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:47 pm (PDT)

My Fellow DC Citizens:

After my previous posting I received the following correction from a fellow community member. Although the contract that was awarded to EYA after EYA made its $55,000 contribution to CM Thomas` ``Ward 5 Business Council`` was not to the McMillan project but rather to St. Paul`s College, nevertheless EYA received the contract after making that contribution and later was selected to become the developer of the McMillan project as well.

``EYA eventually contributed $55,000 to Thomas`s Ward 5 Business Council, which had Vicky Leonard, Thomas`s right hand, as the treasurer, until the Office of Campaign Finance admonished him for that. Also, the vote the following day was not about McMillan but about approving the St. Paul`s College construction project (which breaks ground next week). The College is building homes on its property to raise money; EYA is the developer. The City Council approved the project over the objections of the ANC.``

In addition, here is more information about relations between the City and EYA--behind the scene of the McMillan project:

The manager of the McMillan project at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development of the DC Government is Mr. Clint Jackson*. The VP of EYA is Mr. Aakash Thakkar**. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Thakkar used to work for the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC). They worked on the NCRC approach to getting McMillan developed, which started in 2006. NCRC picked the Vision McMillan Partners (of which EYA is the lead partner) to be the site developer. After Adrian Fenty became Mayor, he dissolved NCRC and McMillan became part of the portfolio of projects of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. At that point, Aakash went to work for EYA and Clint went to the Deputy Mayor`s office.

I hope you will be able to come to the meeting on Thursday and/or let me know that you are interested in being involved in saving the McMillan sand filtration site. We are forming a group to take immediate action. What we don`t have at this time is a huge number of people who have joined us. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to save such a magnificent historic construction, while making a significant impact in helping to improve processes in the DC Government. If you can think of a reason this is not the time to act, please share this with us. Otherwise, please let me know that at least you are willing to add your name to the petition of citizens against demolition of McMillan and against the McMillan project by extension.

Information on the people mentioned above:

[*Clint Jackson Development Manager
Government of the District of Columbia
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 317 Washington, DC 20004
W 202. 538. 1282 F 202. 724. 7171 mcclinton.jackson@dc.gov]

[**Aakash R. Thakkar vice president EYA
D 301- 634- 8617 C 202- 427- 4066 E athakkar@eya.com
4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 300 l Bethesda, MD 20814
T 301- 634- 8600 F 301- 634- 8717 W eya.com]

Mehdi Mansouri
(202)657- 6457

My Fellow DC Citizens:

1. At around 12:20 PM today (Wednesday, August 25, 2010), two DC detectives knocked on my door. I invited them in and we talked for about half an hour. They were here based on a complaint that CM Thomas had filed against me with the DC Police for what I did while he was talking in Gray`s fundraising campaign this past Sunday. (I told him he is a liar and corrupt after he told the audience his Nth lie, deception, meaningless and misleading words, and trying to appeal to people`s emotions even by putting his mom on the stage. I did ask him to let me ask him one question but he didn`t let me.

This issue of officials and politicians being able to say anything that they want but people not being able to ask their questions exactly when they say their lies—so everyone who hears their lies can also hear the other side of the story — is one of the biggest devastating weapons that the politicians and officials have that they are using against people and to their own advantage.

My issue with CM Thomas has to do with his role in the destruction of McMillan sand filtration project. Just a brief history, as you may know, CM Thomas received $50,000 (?) or so for something (I don`t know exactly for what) from

EYA (construction company) and the next day (as I am told) EYA was selected as the main developer of McMillan. Ever since CM Thomas has been one of the solid supporters of the McMillan ``project`` that will result in the demolition of at least 99% of McMillan historic sand filtration, and packing its graveyard with 1200 residential units and massive commercial space, without having done any studies of cost/benefit to people, environment, quality of life, side effects, additional devastation to skyrocketing budget deficit, etc. etc.

And the worst part is that the City, CM Thomas, Mayor Fenty, and everyone else involved in this ``project`` is not showing us (MAG representatives of people—to which, as of January of this year I became a member of) any of the documents and contracts. They are also not answering any of our critical questions. The City, with the help of a number of officials and politicians has pushed this devastating plan forward for the past three years and is now very close to sealing the deal. Most probably if it weren`t for the upcoming elections, they would have sealed the process, which would have been the end of McMillan.

2. One of the strategies of the City for making sure that they can get this project done the way they want (that is only about maximizing profit for the developer at astronomic losses to people), has been to eliminate people`s effective input into the planning process. To that end, they created a group of ``representatives`` called MAG (McMillan Advisory Group), but a) made it completely powerless in any decision making (by giving it just a puppet role), and b) closed the meetings with this group to public attendance. As a result, the City, EYA, CM Thomas, and others used MAG in their speeches countless times stating that people have been involved in the development of the ``EYA Plan`` every step of the way, when in reality, that was just a complete and shameless lie.

After I started looking into who had decided to close MAG meetings to the public, the City blamed it on the MAG itself. When I shared that response with MAG, one of the MAG members wrote the history of the events to show that it was in fact the City and the developer who had established the closed-door strategy. After those discussions the City ``agreed`` to allow public participation in the MAG meetings, with the condition that the public will not be allowed to even speak, let alone ask questions. (Even though it must be the other way around--people must be the decision makers for public projects and not the City--but that is another issue).

3. MAG is meeting with the City and developers of McMillan project this Thursday, August 26, 2010, at 7:00pm at All Nations Church in Bloomingdale (2001 North Capitol Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002-1327 (202) 832- 9591). Agenda is to discuss the two ``study reports`` that the City claims they have done related to McMillan project. These are historical study and fiscal impact reports. I will be happy to send them to you if you send me an email so you can review those reports. These are probably the most critical moments in the life of McMillan sand filtration that will result in its preservation or loss forever.

Please come to this meeting, despite the short notice, to see what the City and developers present, and what their strategy is. We need all this information to do our own analysis and strategizing. Other efforts to save McMillan, our tax monies, environment, and quality of life that depend on this project are happening. But no one has stopped the City from pushing forward. This is our last chance to stop this project. We have several VERY good claims against the City and against this project that can stop this avalanche, but ONLY if we join hands and show huge numbers of people.

I know from experience that one or a few people will be crushed by the City (as they have tried to do to me for the last year—by framing me, lying to others about me, contacting my employer last week to report the only incident of me having used my university email back in May by mistake in a communication with the community and City officials related to McMillan, and now sending detectives to my door).

If you are serious about saving McMillan and helping to clean our DC Government, please come to the meeting Thursday night August 26 and take notes of your questions and observations. Then let us have our own meetings to strategize and win this case. If we win and save McMillan, that would be a major step in starting to change and improve how recklessly the DC Government operates.

Please let me know if you have any questions or even need a ride to come to the meeting Thursday night.

Mehdi Mansouri

Q: have Ward 5 council seat candidates Delano Hunter or Tracey Turner campaigned in Bloomingdale ?

I thought that I would post the results from the Monday evening Ward 5 Democrats straw poll for the Ward 5 Council seat:

Ward 5 Member of the Council

Kenyan McDuffie: 68
Delano Hunter: 239
Harry Tommy Thomas Jr.: 613
Tracey D Turner:

I know that both incumbent councilmember Thomas and candidate Kenyan McDuffie have campaigned here in Bloomingdale.

But have Delano Hunter or Tracey Turner?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

playground/field at new "at-risk" high school on Bryant St NW locked up/closed to the community ...?

See this 08/25/2010 message from a Bloomingdale resident regarding the new high school for at-risk youth on Bryant Street NW:

On Saturday AM, I took my daughter and dog to the baseball field at the old elementary school on Bryant Steet NW (as I and others often do often). All the gates were locked. I spoke with a neighbor this AM who was in the field on Friday when school employees were locking the gates. He spoke to them and they said (this is paraphrased) that with the high school for at-risk youths moving in, they don`t want it to be a ``hang-out`` so they are locking it up. A woman who was there in the playground with her child asked if it would be reopened on weekends (or any other time) and was told no.

I and many neighbors that I have talked to are a bit nervous about the high school and understand the intent of the school to avoid problems. However, I think it is misguided. I have seen this field used by many in the neighborhood over the years and do not think locking it up is a positive development. Not too long ago, I remember many holes in the fences, and I am sure anyone who wants to hang out in there, will not be deterred by a few locks, and the damage will return. Furthermore, this takes a ball field and playground away from the neighborhood. I know there are plans to build a playground just a few blocks away, but I haven`t seen a bit of work on that in months and don`t expect to see its completion anytime soon.

If that I was told is true, it seems a knee-jerk misguided reaction with much more negative impact on the neighborhood than positive.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

C.O.V.E. interview the candidates -- Wednesday, 08/25/2010 -- Clark Ray, Kwame Brown, Kenyan McDuffie

See this message from Pat Mitchell, member of C.O.V.E.:

COalition for Voter Empowerment


Have you heard about the C.O.V.E Candidate Interviews? Who is C.O.V.E., you say? Well, first, C.O.V.E. is a community of neighborhood civic associations who came together to support the idea of having a forum for voters to engage in substantive dialogue with candidates that are running for public office in the District of Columbia.

Over the next several weeks you will have the opportunity to be a part of an interview with many of the leading and not-so-leading candidates for office. This is a critical election year and in today's economy, it's important to be engaged in the process to ensure the city is being governed by competent, committed public servants who understand who they work for.

The COVE interviews are not your typical political debate-style forums -- the gotcha' politics and reporting that is so common today. Instead, C.O.V.E. Candidate Interviews are designed to give the voter an intimate look at the candidate through thoughtful and relevant questions about your neighborhood specifically and the greater Washington community at large.

Already, several candidates have been interviewed and many of the audience members have remarked they have gained new and helpful insights about a candidate which will aid them in their voter decision-making process.

This Wednesday, COVE is offering you another opportunity to meet two front-runner candidates:

Clark Ray, Candidate for At-Large City Council
Kwame Brown, Candidate for Council Chair
Kenyan McDuffie, Candidate for Ward 5 Council.

Come out and check out these two candidates, get answers tob questions you want answered and be informed. Your vote is your power.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Community Academy Public Charter Schools
(at the former Armstrong Adult Education Center)
1400 First Street, NW (First & P)
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

coalition for voter empowerment

Bloomingdale Civic Association
Bates Area Civic Association
Eckington Civic Association
Edgewood Civic Association
Hanover Civic Association

For more information email: Jim@jamojam@msn.com

coffee & cocktails with John Salatti

See this message from Bloomingdale resident and assistant to ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti, Melissa Ortiz:
Alexandra Veitch & Chris Mewett invite you to

Coffee & Cocktails with

John Salatti

Spend an evening with your neighbors while having a chance to express any concern to, or ask any question of, our Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

17 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
(refreshments will be served)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

watch this Comcast/NBC TV commercial filmed in Big Bear Cafe

Did you know that a Comcast/NBC TV commercial was filmed inside of Bloomingdale's Big Bear Cafe?

You can see the video here:
(sorry, not available any longer)

See the beautiful latte they served. It is from Big Bear Cafe's very own Lenora Yerkes


Sorry, the video to this TV commercial has been removed. Sorry!

? want to adopt a 4-month-old female kitten ?

See this message:

I am looking for someone who is interested in adopting a 4mth old black and white female kitten. She's sweetheart and I would love to keep her but I am not able to.

To see pictures of her and to read about her personality, please check her out on craigs list http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/pet/1913355595.html .

If you are interested, please call me at 703- 855- 7296.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale for 08/22/2010

Inventory of available homes for sale in Bloomingdale is the lowest I've seen since I've been tracking Bloomingdale real estate stats for the past 9+ years. There are a couple of open houses scheduled in the general area for Sunday. Perhaps more listings will show up after Labor Day? Here is a map.

You can see all available currently active listings for Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, and Eckington here. To get details on individual listings, scroll over the pushpins on the map. **Note that these homes are not scheduled for open houses unless listed above**

Friday, August 20, 2010

nanny seeks extra work on the weekend

Read this message:

Week-end Housework offered

Our nanny needs extra work at the week-end. If you need someone to clean your house, contact Vernita directly on: 240 676 7336.

She is super reliable and has a great attitude.

seeking French-speaking nanny

See this request:

I`m in search of leads for a French-speaking nanny, particularly one from Haiti. If anyone knows anyone, they can email me at theola_myhouse@yahoo.com or call
202 483 8217.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

fundraiser in Bloomingdale for At-Large Council candidate Clark Ray -- tonight, 08/19/2010

This is not an endorsement for any given candidate.

This is a post for an event being held in Bloomingdale.

See this message from Bloomingdale resident Ski Markoswki:

DC Council at Large Candidiate-Clark Ray in Ward 5
Meet and Greet

hosted by Angela Jones
Thursday, August 19
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
37 Randolph Place NW

RSVP to Angela Jones at 202- 494- 6797 or angela.jones59@gmail.com



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

who has a flooded basement this morning ?

It was great that DPW provided sandbags yesterday in preparation for the overnight heavy rains.

Nevertheless, I am sure that some Bloomingdale basements have been flooded.

Hopefully, there aren't too many tales of flooded basements this morning.... ?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a good review for Beau Thai at New Jersey & R Street NW

From a Providence Condominium resident:

I went to Beau Thai last night for carry out..very good food and pretty inexpensive for what you get!

Monday, August 16, 2010

seeking referrals for computer repair

See this request from a W Street NW resident:

Does anyone know of a reliable, cheap computer repair person to help fix the laptop of a struggling seminary student?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bloomingdale resident & author Natalie Hopkinson interviewed in Australian documentary "In The Chocolate City"

Watch this documentary from the Australian Broadcast Company (abc.net.au) titled ``In the Chocolate City``.

It includes an interview with Bloomingdale resident and author Natalie Hopkinson.

You can see Natalie working in a room in her home. And you can see Natalie stepping out of the front door of her Bloomingdale rowhome and sitting on the front steps.

Here is the link: http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2010/s2959326.htm .

Note that I posted this message over at the Bates Area Civic Association blog as well: http://batesareacivicassociation.org/2010/08/14/bloomingdale-resident-author-natalie-hopkinson-interviewed-in-australian-documentary-on-go-go-music-in-chocolate-city /

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale for 08/15/2010

Interested in checking out what you can buy in and around Bloomingdale? Check out these open houses today. Here is the same information in a map format. For information on the inidividual listings, scroll over the pushpins on the map.

need roof recoating & repair work: seeking recommendations

See this request:

I am looking to get my roof re-coated and to have some repair work done and looking for recommendations for roofers who have reasonable rates. I live on the unit block of U street NW.

Moderator comment:
Of course, be sure to check out the roofing referrals at the Bates Area Civic Association website under the Home Services tab: http://batesareacivicassociation.org/home-services

Saturday, August 14, 2010

damaged (but salvageable) red scooter parked on pad behind 34 V St NW reported

From a V Street NW resident:

Can you do me a favor and say that there is a still red scooter parked on the pad behind 34 V St NW (in Crispus Attucks park)?

While damaged I imagine it's still salvageable.

seeking referrals for interior house painters

From a U Street NW resident:

I was wondering if you could post a note to the list-serve that I am looking for a recommendation for interior house painters. It's not a complicated job (all white), but I'd like to find someone who will be quick and keep things pretty neat.

Friday, August 13, 2010

CM Thomas' emergency community meeting tonight at 6pm regarding flooding

See this 8/13/2010 message crafted by Vicky Leonard and distributed by Bloomingdale Civic Association President Robert Brannum:

Emergency Community Meeting Notice

Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas, Jr. and officials from D.C. Water, formerly D.C. Water and Sewer Authority will conduct a walk-through of Bloomingdale, today, Friday, 13 August 2010, 5:00 pm starting at Second and Thomas Streets, NW. The walk-through will be followed by an emergency community meeting at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 2nd and U Streets, NW, 6:00 pm.


Robert Vinson Brannum
Bloomingdale Civic Association, Inc.

Donna Morris' Xtra Pair of Hands business

See this message from LeDroit Park resident Donna Morris:

Dear clients and friends:

Xtra Pair of Hands DC has a new name, look and attitude! Please take a moment and visit our new website (http://www.xtrapairofhandsdc.com) and twitter account (http://twitter.com/xtrahandsdc) two exciting tools to keep you up to date and share with others all kinds of wonderful ideas and tidbits for entertaining.

Since 2001, you have helped me take my dream of honoring my grandmother, who would let me be her xtra pair of hands in the kitchen, to a level that even she wouldn't believe. Now we have more than two hundred clients, 11 part-time staffers and some of the best clients that a business could ask for!

So much of our success is due in part because we are constantly learning new and creative ways from our clients of how to have a successful party and we thank you so much. Stay tuned for our tips from the website and Twitter!

neighbor spots burglar on S Street NW

See this Thursday, 8/12/2010 mid-afternoon message from a Randolph Place NW resident:

Possibly related to the 1st Street NW break-ins(?), yesterday I called MPD on a guy trying to break into the rear of 120 S St. NW, where renovation work has been occurring but not for the last week. This was about lunchtime, and after @10 minutes of working at the lock, the guy gave up and left. Cop showed @10 minutes later, pistol drawn and all. The guy was a black male, about 50, average height and build, maybe with some gray scruff about the chin/face. He was wearing a black hat with a brim and white band, and white or light grey pants. Also had on a blue shirt -- not a T-shirt, but like a maintenance man's, with tag or insignia or whatever you want to call them on each breast. Had a black and red backpack on him.

Sound familiar to anyone?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

the other side of the Big Bear controversy: it`s simply a quality-of-life issue

From a Bloomingdale resident who lives near the Big Bear Cafe.

I am not asking you to agree, but to simply consider the side of those directly affected on the issue of whether to turn BB into a bar. The individuals who object, as well as those seeking a voluntary agreement, are residents who live within a block or so of BB, and, contrary to current mischaracterizations, are a cross-section of the Bloomingdale neighborhood. We are black, white, Asian; we are young, old and in between; we are single, married, married with children and retired; we are generally well-educated.

Our concerns are:

1. BB is zoned residential because it is in a residential area with houses on two sides and a park across the street - a coffee shop is not inconsistent with the purpose of this zoning, a bar is;

2. BB is an improvement over the former grocery store, but that store did not stay open until 2 or 3 a.m.;

3. As a coffee shop, patrons either walk or park briefly, rather than park and stay to drink;

4. BB has no sound proofing common in bars near residential areas;

5. Litter and trash, which is already a problem, will increase;

6. While not even considered as an issue until raised in a blog, arguably it may increase the property value of homes some blocks away, it will decrease the property value of the immediate neighborhood; and

7. There are 3 other restaurants/bars slated to open shortly in the area, each in a commercially-zoned building with business to either side.

These are my characterizations of the issues, not necessarily of all of those affected, but thank you for allowing this side to be presented. At this point, the matter will be settled by the City and all further action will be taken though that process.

GGW: "Putting a lid on DC's reservoirs"

A W Street NW resident passed along this post from the popular Greater Greater Washington blog regarding the idea of covering the District`s reservoirs.

Want to comment on this topic? You can comment at the GGW blog or here.

Putting a lid on DC`s reservoirs
by David C. • August 11, 2010 11:53 am

Washington, DC has two major open-air reservoirs and several smaller capped ones. Each of these are, however fenced off for security creating dead zones in the city. Instead, D.C. should follow Seattle`s lead and put lids on its reservoirs. This will improve the quality of our water, make our water supply more secure and add acres of public space to the District`s portfolio.

Starting in 2002, Seattle began replacing its uncovered reservoirs with underground facilities that provided greater security and more open space. In addition, covering a reservoir improves water quality.

The program covered or is covering four reservoirs, creating 76 acres of space at a cost of about $150 million. The West Seattle Reservoir, for example, is still undergoing design and the Cal Anderson Park is finished. The cost of these improved reservoirs came out to about $3.25 a month per household.

Washington, DC has three major uncovered reservoirs and at least two of them are perfect for having a lid added.

The 25-acre McMillan Reservoir is located between Howard University and Children`s Hospital in a neighborhood short on green space. Much of what was intended to be the neighborhood`s green space has been walled off inside the Armed Forces Retirement Home. By lidding McMillan Reservoir, the District could add the park space the neighborhood needs. After all, a park where people can gather is a more fitting tribute to James McMillan, the leader of the McMillan plan, than is a fenced off dead zone.

The 40-acre Georgetown Reservoir, while in a neighborhood without the same lack of facilities, presents a unique opportunity based on its location on the escarpment above the Potomac River and the views it would provide.

Dalecarlia Reservoir, being a natural, albeit dammed, basin and straddling the District line is probably not a good candidate for capping.

The District has other, covered reservoirs that are currently fenced off as well, and could be opened up if the water were more securely stored, but the advantages to already covered reservoirs are fewer.

In Seattle, they`ve turned the lids - which won`t support trees - into sports fields and great lawns. They`ve added baseball fields, disc golf courses and soccer fields. The projects included art and water features.

The District could mimic this to help meet the shortage of just about every type of sports and recreation facility you can name. They could build anything from Bocce courts to Volleyball courts. They could add more passive space such as a great lawn with movable, rentable lawn chairs and umbrellas. Small cafe`s could provide constant occupancy to improve security and provide added service.

And of course a buried, lidded reservoir would provided cleaner water, reduce evaporation - requiring fewer reservoirs, and provide more security than the current barbed-wire topped chain link fence.

It`s time DC followed Seattle`s lead and put a lid on it.

? basement flooding in Bloomingdale ?

The following two Emails were received this morning.

From a resident on 1st Street NW near S Street NW:

Our sewer backed up and flooded our basement during the storm, any other reports of flooding?

From a resident on the north side of the 100 block of U Street NW between Flagler & 2nd Street NW:

I just wanted to let you know I experienced some minor drain backups during the intense rains this morning. The outdoor drains at the front and rear of my basement backed up. Also, the laundry wash tub had some backup sediment in it as well.

I find this odd, as in the past when this neighborhood has flooded, the drain backups didn`t occur until the street actually started to flood. Seems like the opposite case this time.

Hope everyone else faired OK and didn`t get heavily flooded.

Flooding update.

While doing some cleanup in the front yard I noticed strange debris patterns on the sidewalk and tree lawn. It is apparent that the sewers at the corner of U St and Flagler NW did indeed get overwhelmed and did backup. It looks like the street started to flood as the water levels did reach the sidewalk in front off my house.

From ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti:

Yes, U and Thomas NW both had significant flood issues; I suspect Rhode Island Avenue did, too. The water was lapping the first step off the sidewalk on U Street in front of many houses and on Thomas, I have heard that most basements took on water. The basement at a house on the 100 block of U Street NW, southside, was inundated and a couple of others took on some water, particularly if the homes did not have backflow preventers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backflow_prevention_device), which prevent water from coming back into the house through the basement toilets and showers. A few cars also took on water. A tree fell on Flagler lightly damaging a car. A couple of manhole covers blew out and one was broken, but WASA had it replaced by 9:00 am.

From a Thomas Street NW resident:
I did get a little bit of flooding this morning as did a number of other homes on Thomas Street NW. WASA came by and cleaned out the storm drains around 9:00 am. They also left a few sandbags for people to pick up. Notwithstanding they are filled with wet sand and weigh at least 10 pounds.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Artful Evening for Clark Ray, Candidate for At-Large Council at Big Bear CafĂ© – Friday, 8/13/2010

See this event announcement from Moulin Desai:

Cheryl Edwards, Christopher Falkenhagen, Sarah Barnett, and Michele Molotsky invite you to an...
artful evening for Clark Ray, DC Council At-Large

Friday, August 13 7:00pm - 9:00pm
big bear cafe,
1700 First Street NW
RSVP to Cheryl Edwards at 202- 309- 4539 or cheryledwards@verizon.net.

This event is free!

Paid for by Clark Ray for Council – 2010, Diane Williams, Treasurer.
A Copy of Our Report is filed with the Director of Campaign Finance


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rosemarie Onwukwe's recent "Images of America: Bloomingdale" booksigning

Bloomingdale resident Rosemarie Onwukwe had a booksigning at the Border's bookstore downtown at 18th & L St NW on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 for her book Images of America: Bloomingdale.

Here is a photo from the booksigning.

Monday, August 09, 2010

? is it time to start a new thread about Big Bear Cafe ?

Okay, here is a comment about Big Bear Cafe from a resident of S Street NW:

As a long time resident of Bloomingdale, I long for the days when Big Bear Market sold beer through a bullet proof carry out window at all hours of the night and loud intoxicated patrons with alcoholic beverages in paper bags loitered in the street for all to see and hear. They were a fine example for our children.

Come on. Let's get real. Do you honestly think the reincarnated Big Bear is going to
go back to the good old days? I think not. Sigh, this neighborhood is loosing its edge.

As for the parking issue, I request reserved parking on Sundays. It's difficult to find parking with all the churches in the neighborhood. As for me, I walk to church.

Comcast-installed wireless network needs upgrading -- seeking references

See this request:

My Comcast-installed wireless network in my house needs upgrading but I don`t want to pay Comcast to come do it again. I just need a geek who knows how to work with Comcast broadband and also knows what to buy to hook up a desktop that is not wireless-capable.

I`m looking references, if anyone in the neighborhood can suggest someone.

seeking contractor referrals to remove slate sidewalk and replace with flagstone

See this request from a Bryant Street NW resident:

I need to find a contractor to tear up a slate-surfaced sidewalk and steps and re-surface with flagstone. It’s about 375 sq ft of surface.

I need some references or local contractors to give an estimate.

Friday, August 06, 2010

North Capitol Main Street's "1st on First" Art + Music Walk -- Saturday, 8-7-2010 -- Rustik Tavern & Child-Care Center joining the line-up

This message is from Jonathan Taylor, Executive Director, North Capitol Main Street:


1) A cool new pizza place is just around the corner. Come out, meet the owner, Diton, and check it out. A sit-down pizza experience on First Street NW? No way!

2) Did you know a Math & Reading Learning Center AND a Child-Care Center will open for business on First Street NW very soon? Moms/Dads, the start of the school year is just weeks away and it's time for kids to get back to learning. (Summer's almost over, whew!) Now's the time to get your child on the right learning track. Drop in, talk to Karen and get information on the program.

A Unique Pub Experience is on the way . . .

DON'T MISS OUT; JOIN US FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL 1st on First-Art + Music Walk

North Capitol Main Street
DATE: Saturday, August 7, 2010
TIME: Noon to 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: First Street NW -- from Florida to Rhode Island Avenue NW

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Here is the text from Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s latest E-newsletter.

August 2010 Thomas Connection Newsletter

August 2010 Volume 4, Issue 8
Building Bridges, Finding Solutions, People First

In This Issue...
Water Coolers Donated to Youth Sports Programs
H Street Shuttle Adds Stop on Bladensburg Road
Thomas Calls for Investigation of Ward 5 Power Outages
New Watha T. Daniel Library Opens

Water Coolers Donated to Youth Sports Programs
Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. joined with District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) General Manager George S. Hawkins to present more than 100 water jugs to area youth sports programs at a press conference on July 29, 2010. Thomas and Hawkins presented the 5-gallon water coolers to four organizations that offer youth football, baseball and basketball: the Washington Wizards Basketball Camps, the Woodridge Warriors Youth Organization, the Pigskin Club, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. Children who take part in sports activities at the recreation center also received gifts from DC Water's Wendy the Water Drop mascot.

"We've had an extraordinarily hot summer," noted Hawkins at the press conference. "DC Water is donating these jugs to young people in the District so they can cool off while staying active. This is just another way to remind the public and our own staff to stay hydrated for good health during hot weather."

"I've played sports all my life, so I know how important it is to stay hydrated and drink water," said Councilmember Thomas. "I want to thank DC Water for reaching out to help keep young people safe and healthy with this donation."

H Street Shuttle Adds Stop on Bladensburg Road
The popular H Street Shuttle, which brings patrons from around the Washington area to H Street, NE, has added a stop on Bladensburg Road, effective Monday July 19, 2010. The stop will connect the businesses on Bladensburg Road to the rapidly expanding H Street Arts and Entertainment District, often referred to as the "Atlas District."

The shuttle runs nightly from 5 pm until the Metro closes, and travels a route along H Street between the Gallery Place/Chinatown and Minnesota Avenue Metro stops. The shuttle brings patrons to and from the developing area for dining, music, theatre, dance and other entertainment activities. Councilmember Thomas played an instrumental role in creating the new stop.

Bladensburg Road, located near H Street, is home to several local businesses, including the Capital City Diner (1050 Bladensburg Rd., NE), Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Hearts Club (1103 Bladensburg Rd., NE), and Sullivan's Seafood (1101 Bladensburg Rd., NE), a small carry-out which many claim serves the best crabcake in town. The addition of this shuttle stop will generate considerably more traffic for these and other businesses, and also highlights how closely and easily connected are the two corridors. The H Street Shuttle will run until the new streetcar system is completed in the summer of 2012.

"Expanding the H Street Shuttle to include Bladensburg Road is a great accomplishment for the businesses and residents of Ward 5," said Thomas. "This was truly a collaborative process with Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells to ensure the Bladensburg Road and Atlas Business Districts continue to thrive and become premier destinations in our city."

Thomas Calls for Investigation of Ward 5 Power Outages
Councilmember Thomas has called for the Office of the People's Counsel to conduct a full investigation into the large number of power outages that occurred in Ward 5 during the first week of July, and PEPCO's slow response in addressing the outages. He also called for the District government to open more neighborhood-based cooling stations during power outages caused by high demand or the result of severe weather.

Heeding Thomas' suggestion, the District government did keep several recreation centers open until midnight during the week-long power outage that followed the July 25, 2010 rain storm, which knocked out power to thousands of District residents, including many Ward 5 households.

Councilmember Thomas conducted regular site visits to the neighborhoods of Ward 5 that suffered power outages. "We have a number of streets that lost electricity during the early July heat wave or as a result of the July 25 rain storm," said Thomas. "I am particularly concerned about the effect of these power outages on our seniors and residents with health issues."

To assist Ward 5 seniors and residents with health conditions during power outages, Councilmember Thomas has made arrangements with an area hotel to provide a deep discount for overnight accommodations, subject to availability. During power outages, Ward 5 seniors and residents with health conditions who are without electricity can contact Victoria Leonard of Councilmember Thomas' staff for more information. Victoria can be reached at 202.403.7866 or vleonard@dccouncil.us .

New Watha T. Daniel Library Opens
The new Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library opened its doors to the public on Monday, August 2, 2010. Built under the close oversight of Councilmember Thomas, Chair of the Council's Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, the new, $15 million library was designed by the architecture firm of Davis Brody Bonds Aedas, one of the United States' leading architectural design practices. The 22,000 square foot library includes three levels and features a flexible design to provide inviting spaces for all. It includes:

· Separate reading areas for adults, teens and children;
· Children's program room;
· 40,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials with space for up to 80,000;
· 32 public access computers with free Wi-Fi Internet access;
· 8 Mac computers in the teen space;
· Comfortable seating for 200 customers;
· Large program room for up to 100 people;
· Two 12-person conference rooms; and a
· Vending area.

The library is expected to receive a LEED Silver certification for incorporating a number of sustainable features, including passive solar design and daylight management, displacement air system and extensive use of recycled or renewable materials. A light sculpture by local artist, Craig Kraft, will be installed outside the library.

"The new Watha T. Daniel Library is sure to become a focal point for the surrounding neighborhood," said Councilmember Thomas. "I applaud DCPL's Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper and her staff for a job well done."