Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bloomingdale Small Business Association meeting -- Monday, 08-05-2013 at 11:00 am

See this 07-31-2013 message from Michael Fine: 
Bloomingdale Small Business Association Meeting
Calling all Small Business owners and self employed professionals.  The BSBA has been pulling things together and we are holding one of our first open meetings this coming Monday the 5th of August at 11am.  
If you are free and want to come, learn more about the BSBA, meet other local business owners and hear about/take part in what we are doing here in Bloomingdale for the business community and the public at large, please email for more information and to see if the association is a good fit for you and your small business.
Warm Regards,
Mike Fine
Bloomingdale Small Business Association

Gareth Croke: "extremely disappointed in Pepco's lack of communication"

See this Email thread originating with Pepco's Donna Cooper, Boundary Stone's Gareth Croke and then John Salatti.

From: John T. Salatti <>
To: Gareth Croke <
Cc:; Bacio Pizzeria, Boundary Stone Public House; Diton Pashaj; Grassroots Gourmet; Yoga District, Rajwinder P. Signh Nara (Bloomingdale Wine and Spirits); Red Hen, Matt Croke;; Michael Fine; Maurice Smith <>; Scott Roberts <>; VCG; "McDuffie, Kenyan (Council)" <>; Wanda Foster <
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:43 AM
Subject: Re: Bloomingdale Business District

Thank you, Gareth, for plainly stating what your experience has been like.  I only hope that as of today all the power problems are at an end.  But that said, let me add two other thoughts.

First, I concur with Gareth about filing claims with Pepco's claims department.  Indeed, I would suggest you all work together and include any businesses not on this e-mail chain that have been affected (perhaps the Bloomingdale Small Business Association can coordinate this effort).  Staying together gives you more clout and allows you to work toward a common goal.  Also, copies of any claims that you submit should be sent--as a group--to your elected reps (noted in the following paragraph and including Wanda Foster, your ANC) to enlist their help in getting your claims approved.  As we learned last year with DC Water, if the utility deals with you individually and without powerful support, it will often deny claims without a second thought.  Only after real pressure was brought to bear on DC Water did it reconsider how it would process claims.

Second, I note that this e-mail chain has grown to include a representative of the Public Service Commission, which oversees Pepco; our Councilmember, Kenyan McDuffie; and the Mayor himself.  I reach out to them and ask them to weigh in on this matter.  Although Pepco is a private company (albeit subject to the rules and regulations of the PSC) and not directly accountable to the District government, nevertheless, our elected officials have considerable influence over the workings of any utility.  So I look forward to their thoughts, insights, and interventions on behalf of our business community.

As ever, please keep me posted and let me know if I can assist you further.

John T. Salatti
(202) 986-2592
"Together, Building a Better Bloomingdale"

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM, Gareth Croke <> wrote:
Hello Donna, on behalf of one the businesses most affected by Pepco's recent outages, I'd like to say I'm extremely disappointed in the lack of communication or attempt to appease us during this time.  There was absolutely no discussion with me on when the best time was for my business to shut down until after I was hand delivered a notice last Thursday TELLING me WHEN you were shutting us down.  The delivery person handed the notice over and had me sign a sheet as if I were being served a subpoena.  Well played Pepco!  As you may or may not care about, we have lost thousands of dollars in product and tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue over the past week and a half.  Thankfully, I assumed Pepco would do absolutely nothing proactive in helping us out today, so I ordered my own dry ice.  It amazes me that the powers that be over there didn't recognize this as an ideal opportunity to (really inexpensively) offer some good will to the businesses that they have been killing for the past week and a half.  Thank you for the information about filing a claim.  I for one will be doing so and I hope my fellow business owners will do the same.  My fingers are crossed that your company does it right this time and we don't have to lose business for a sixth night.  

Gareth Croke
Co-Owner/General Manager
Boundary Stone Public House
116 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20001

On Jul 29, 2013, at 1:15 PM, wrote:


On behalf of Pepco, I would like to express our commitment to resolving the reliability issues that customers have experienced in the Bloomingdale community. We understand our customers' frustrations and have developed a plan to prevent these occurrences.

As you know, as part of that plan, select customers will experience an outage from 10 p.m. tonight through 6 a.m. Tuesday morning to allow us to upgrade facilities in this area. In planning and preparing for this required work, we engaged in discussions with the local business community to identify the least disruptive time for this planned outage, while also understanding that any disruption negatively impacts our customers.

You inquired as to whether or not we would be able to provide dry ice or alternative refrigerated cooling for impacted business customers. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to provide this type of service. Should a customer be of the opinion that they have sustained a loss that is the responsibility of Pepco, they may file a claim by calling 202-872-2452. Claims Assistants are available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We regret the inconvenience and appreciate the community's understanding as we work to upgrade the facilities and improve reliability in your area.



CM McDuffie: Great Streets community info session for North Capitol St NE/NW -- Friday, 08-02-2013

This info is from CM McDuffie's website:

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development invites you to learn more about the newly launched Great Streets Small Business Capital Improvement Grant for funding up to $85,000. Learn about the program and the application process at one of their information sessions from 6:30PM-8PM.
MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013
Woodridge Neighborhood Library
1801 Hamlin Street, NE
Bladensburg Police Station
1805 Bladensburg Road NE
Kennedy Recreation Center
1401 7th St NW
Additional information can be found here.

DC Water dropshaft projects at 1st & V NW and 1st & Thomas NW to begin in November 2013

Curious about the status of the three DC Water dropshaft projects in Bloomingdale at 1st & V St NW, 1st & Thomas St NW and Flagler & Adams St NW?

I asked resident Alicia Gersen for an update, since I wasn't paying that close of attention to the project timeline.  Here is her update:

Page 14 of this May 7, 2013 DC Water presentation for Flagler Place NW residents shows the timeframe.   
  • September or October 2013:  Contractor award.
  • October 2013:  Work starts at Channing/McMillan (and my guess is that they'll need to build those parking lots right away too).
  • November 2013:  Work starts at V & Thomas NW
  • January 2014:  Work starts at Flagler/Adams NW (not sure if this is still the case given revised 18-month timeframe, but I think so)

Canopy Keeper care instructions attached to newly planted treebox tree

Looks like DDOT Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) is out planting treebox trees in the neighborhood.  

See this just-planted sweet gum rotundaloba tree planted on the northwest corner of Flagler and V Street NW.

And note the Canopy Keeper sign attached to the wires that are attached to the posts holding up the young tree.

Nice to see explicit instructions provided on caring for the tree.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Urban Turf: "home price watch - rising 15% a year in Bloomingdale and LeDroit"

Thanks again to Shilpi Paul.

Home Price Watch: Rising 15 Percent a Year in Bloomingdale and LeDroit

July 30, 2013

by Shilpi Paul

A home that recently sold on 3rd Street NW.
Readers may remember Home Price Watch, a semi-regular feature from 2012 where we analyzed the housing market in various zip codes around the DC area. Now that we are eight months into the year, we have enough zip code real estate data to compare 2013 to previous years.
First up is 20001, the zip code that encompasses much of Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, Shaw and Mount Vernon Square (the area east of 11th Street, west of North Capitol Street and roughly between Columbia Road and Massachusetts Avenue NW). Last year, when we looked at the neighborhood at around this time, we noted the jump in median sale prices over the past decade and the increasing number of condo sales.
Since last year, the two trends that we noted have only amplified. Year-to-date, 2013 has seen a large increase in the number of condo sales, and a notable jump up in the price of townhouses.
In 2012, 169 condos had sold by this time. This year, that statistic leapt to 223. A very telling metric of how the area’s housing stock has changed in the past decade can be found in the number of condos sold in 2002 during the first eight months: 15.
Townhouses are the property type that have led the way in terms of price increases this year. In 2012, the median sales price in the townhouse category was $515,000; this year, the median price has risen to about $594,000, a 15 percent increase over 2012.
This article is based on data from RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), a developer of real estate technology and information in the DC area.

Jeep Cherokee Sport stolen from Thomas St NW Sunday evening, 07-28-2013

On Sunday night [07-28-2013], my Jeep Cherokee Sport (boxy shape, 2001 model, color: forest green, Maryland tags, with a large 'G' and Fordham University decal on the rear window, and another 'H' sticker on the bumper) was parked on Thomas Street, NW near the intersection of 1st Street, NW. I just finished moving into my rowhouse over the weekend and remember locking the car on Sunday night at 10 p.m.

The next morning, as I headed out the door to work, the Jeep was missing from the parking spot. I immediately called MPD, and an officer responded to the scene 30 minutes later. He determined that the car was likely stolen. The vehicle is still missing. Apparently the Jeep make and model is a popular one for theft.

MPD also determined that it had not been towed or moved by the city. I also checked the tow lot on West Virginia Ave, NE and there was no record of my car there.

A picture of the car is attached. Please be on the lookout and feel free to contact me by email if you think you see I have been searching throughout the neighborhood and checking the DC ticketing adjudication site, just in case it was left abandoned on a street.

Bloomingdale quiz question: how is 138 V Street NW zoned?

138 V Street NW is located on the southeast corner of V and Flagler Place NW.

Question:  how is it zoned?

If you guess R-4, you would be incorrect.

review of "Ladyparts" at 87Florida in Bloomingdale

From the Washington City Paper Arts & Entertainment:

“Ladyparts”At 87Florida to July 26

Rachelle Beaudoin, “Upskirt Defense System”
I don’t love disrobing in front of other people even under the best of circumstances, so it was with some trepidation that I participated in Rachel Hrbek’s performance at “Ladyparts,” a group show on view at the 87Florida Artist Collective. For the opening-night performance, Hrbek asked viewers to become the viewed. One at a time, viewers could enter the bedroom where Hrbek was sitting, in her underwear, but only by stripping down to their skivvies first.
As vulnerable as I felt, exposed during a two-minute conversation with a stranger, this intimacy power-play left me feeling chafed afterward. Perhaps work in a show called “Ladyparts” was bound to weaponize sex. But Hrbek’s performance, and other works aiming for the confrontational, arrived at the transactional.
Curated by visiting San Francisco artist Alexandra “Rex” Delafkaran with Aether Art Projects’ Eames Armstrong, “Ladyparts” squeezes the work of 11 women and three men into the Bloomingdale apartment gallery. Do-it-yourself house shows aren’t museum exhibitions, granted, but this was just too tight a fit. The space worked to the advantage of Ziad Nagy, whose performance at the opening involved dancing around erratically, but it was nearly impossible to avoid the nuisance.
In the same living-room space, Sterling Poole placed three photographic depictions of a vulva high up on a wall, with a step-ladder providing the only way to view the works closely—at the cost of opening the viewer to scrutiny for wanting to look. Linda Hesh’s portraits conflate sex and sin by joining attractive, less-than-dressed models with apples inscribed with the word “Evil.” There isn’t much room for subtlety. Carly J. Bale’s performance had her in a bathtub, stapling her hair to a board before finally cutting much of it off.
Works that work include a suite of abstract paintings by Kyrae Cowan, representing washboards and installed with clothespins along a line, and a sculptural installation by Elle Brand featuring ceramic egg shells—both potent metaphors for women’s labor. The most topical piece was the one that suffered the most from its display: Rachelle Beaudoin’s “Upskirt Defense System,” a reflective panty-liner attached to a pair of women’s underwear. That’s a funny retort to the so-called predditors who post upskirt pics of unknowing women on Reddit and elsewhere, but the piece—the single artifact plus two photos of a woman wearing them—was so haphazardly displayed that it seemed like an afterthought. “Ladyparts” is a hazy collection of ideas about the body, all of which deserve a more careful exhibit.

Bloomingdale has a few new transformers from Pepco

See Bloomingdame's tweets from last night's planned and announced Pepco power outage around 1st and Rhode Island Avenue NW in downtown Bloomingdale.

Lights seem to be on & has croissants. seems to be done but still lots of trucks     

  1. And in with the new. Hope everyone has power early in the morning. Nite nite.
  2. . is drawing the late night crowd. Better than tv- wait, no power, no tv.
  3. old transformers are being pulled out.Another place they are soldering big cables- have an actual fire heating it Pretty cool.
  4. Diton was the only whose power went out at first. They have now turned off the rest. Just teasing you guys.
  5. lost power but no one else. What say you ? :)
  6. They are putzing with the transformers on the sidewalk. Looks like it could be a while.
  7. Everybody got their phones charged? Turn off (and unplug, if possible) electronics. Have your ironed clothes laid out 4 work

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bloomingdale Community Walk -- Tuesday, 07-30-2013

See this community walk announcement from Bloomingdale resident Jennifer McCann:

DC Water: storm that exceeds 15-year storm, long-term plan

From: Emanuel D. Briggs <>
Date: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 9:51 AM
Subject: RE: Question re storm that exceeds 15-year storm, long-term plan
To: Alicia Hunt Gersen, Beth Weaver >
Cc: Mark Mueller <>, "Mandel, Jon (Council)" <>, John Salatti <>, Andrea Williams <>, Jill McClanahan <>, William Levy <>, John Cassidy <>, "Justin R. Carl" <>, Justin Donnelly <>
Greetings Mrs. Gersen:
Please see a response to your inquiry below.
DC Water’s design standard for storm and combined sewers is to size facilities to accommodate a 15-year 24-hour storm.  Consistent with this, the new Northeast Boundary facilities are being designed such that the system will have a 15 year storm capacity when the complete system is operation in 2022.  If we get a storm larger than the 15-year storm, the new tunnel facilities will still function to relieve flooding.  However, there may be some residual flooding in the system since the storm is beyond the design capacity of the system.  With the new tunnel facilities in place,  the impact of storms beyond a 15-year storm will be greatly mitigated by the tunnel. 
This approach is consistent with how the rest of the sewer system works in the District and in cities across the country.  Storm sewer systems are designed for a particular magnitude of storm, and there is a potential for some degree of flooding if nature delivers a storm of a greater magnitude.
The diversion chambers constructed as part of the First Street Tunnel Project will remain in service when the larger Northeast Boundary Tunnel is constructed in 2022.  The diversions perform the same function when the First St Tunnel is in service by itself (2016), and when both the First St and Northeast Boundary Tunnels are in service together (2022) – to divert excess flows from the sewer system to the tunnels to mitigate flooding and combined sewer overflows.
Thanks much.
Emanuel D. Briggs | Manager, Community Outreach, External Affairs | District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority | emanuel.briggs@
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW | Washington, DC 20032 | (202) 787-2003 | (202) 787-4122 (fax)
From:  Alicia Hunt Gersen  
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 7:36 PM
To: Emanuel D. Briggs; Beth Weaver
Cc: Mark Mueller; Mandel, Jon (Council); John Salatti
Subject: Question re storm that exceeds 15-year storm, long-term plan

Hi Emanuel:
I am writing to follow up on the following question.  I have read in the 2008 Facility Plan that the diversion chambers are designed for a 15 year storm. Could you explain what DC Water's modeling shows will happen under the long-term plan to be completed in 2022 if the storm exceeds a 15-year storm? Will the diversion chambers become moot once the larger tunnels are in, or will they still serve the same purpose? If they serve the same purpose, are overflows projected if the storm exceeds a 15-year storm?
Specifically, I would like further explanation in laymen's terms of the following found on page 5-13 of the 2008 Facility Plan:  "During extreme flood events beyond the 15-year design storm, it is possible that the existing combined sewer will be surcharged.  To prevent excessive diversions to the tunnel, the top slab is depressed over the diversion weir so that the weir acts like an orifice during surcharged conditions."
Hopefully we won't face such a storm anytime soon, but I'm trying to understand DC Water's long-term plan.