Friday, September 28, 2012

Community Celebration at Faircliff Plaza East this Saturday

Here's an even at the Faircliff Plaza apartments on Saturday:

Transitional Housing Corporation will be hosting a community event this Saturday, September 29th from 1-5 on the grounds of Faircliff Plaza East(1350 Fairmont St N.W.). We would like to post this event on the community website. Attached you will find a flyer regarding the event. If any questions, please contact me at  202-557-1796. Thanks for your support,

Faircliff Plaza East located at 1350 Fairmont St N.W. would like to invite Columbia Heights residents to its Community Celebration on Saturday, September 29th from 1-5 p.m.  The event will include:
-Great Food
-Door Prizes
-Free Facials, Manicures and Haircuts
-Outreach from Community Based Agencies
-Moon bounce
-Live Entertainment
-Spoken Word Poetry
-Positive Hip Hop Artist
-Go-Go Bands
-Puppet Show.
Community Celebration Columbia Heights 9-29-12 (2)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Columbia Heights Day is October 6th! Lots of cool stuff, and volunteers needed

It's almost here! Our annual fest is coming the weekend after next, with all the food, music, events and fun as usual. Volunteers are needed, as well as cupcake eating contestants. If you'd like to volunteer, donating 3 hours of time and getting a free shirt, there are two info sessions at Wonderland: 10/3 @ 6:30 pm and 10/4 @ 7:30 pm.

Here's the info on the fest, and the flyer at right. Click it for a bigger version.

The 6th Annual Columbia Heights Day will take place on Saturday, October 6 from 10 am to 6 pm at Harriet Tubman Elementary Field. More than 12,000 people are expected for this community festival featuring live music, food trucks and more than 60 local businesses and nonprofits. There is also a KidsZone activity area for families with a petting zoo, games, arts and crafts and special performances. 

Below is the schedule for the day and attached are flyers for the festival.

Main Stage:

10 am - QuietMind Yoga workshop

11:30 am - Tara Trinity

12:15 pm - Organized Disruption

1:15 pm - Dyverse City

2 pm - Cupcake eating contest. Sign up to participate online

3 pm - The Chariots

4 pm - Black Masala

KidsZone Stage:

1 pm - Young Women's Drumming Empowerment Project

1:30 pm - DanceEthos Modern Dance Company

2 pm - BloomBars presents, Ella

2:30 pm - DancePlace presents, Youth Step Group

3 pm - School of Rock

All performances are subject to change without prior notice.

What:    6th Annual Columbia Heights Day

When:    Saturday, October 6
    10:00 am to 6:00 pm
    * rain or shine *

Where:    Harriet Tubman Elementary Field
    (Entrance on Kenyon St. NW between 11th and 13th streets)
    Just 3 blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro (Green and Yellow lines)

Cost:    FREE


Columbia Heights Day is presented by the Columbia Heights Day Initiative, a local, independent, grassroots 501(c)(3) organization. Columbia Heights Day is dedicated to celebrating community, diversity and service. For more information,

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1A11

The fifth in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1A11, which you can see at right.

The idea with these posts is that you can learn about who is running for the ANC in your area and if you'd like, be able to learn more about them via their websites or emails. The ANC advises the city council on local issues and also can issue grants, hold events, and approve or deny liquor licenses.

There's a map of all the ANCs here.

ANC 1A11 is currently represented by Dottie Love Wade, the current vice chair, who is running against Miriam Savad. Savad declined to answer these questions, so here are Wade's answers.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a life-long resident of Ward One, having attended Harrison Elementary School, Banneker Junior High and Cardozo High School. My husband and I have lived in our current home on Columbia Road, NW for almost 39 years and raised our two daughters here. Our oldest daughter Andrea, graduated Banneker Junior High School as Salutatorian.

I am a retired public administrator of with service of over 25 years, having worked in both the Federal and District Governments. I am also a former Ward One School Board Member.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
This will be my 6th intermittent term as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 1A-11 (formerly ANC 1B-11). While there has been much positive improvements to our neighborhood, there is still much to be accomplished. I was instrumental in the development and completion of much of the recent development in Columbia Heights, including the DC Public Realm, DCUSA development, the Tivoli tract, and many other project. I endeavor to continue to serve my community.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district?
The biggest issues confronting my district are youth crime and violence, littered streets and alleys graffiti and dwindling affordable housing availability.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
I believe the ANC can do a better job of outreach and communication with neighbors, District Government agencies and public safety providers.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
Our area needs more tutorial and after-school programs for students and young adults, gang-prevention outreach programs, alley clean-up and re-paving, and traffic control officers to make our neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
Regulation of liquor licenses is a key function of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. As representatives for our community, we can more closely monitor the operation of establishments with ABC licenses to ensure compliance with hours of operation, cleanliness of interior and exterior establishments, noise suppression and over-saturation of ABC licenses in a particular area.

Since the ANC's position carries "great weight" in issuing such licenses, businesses are more likely to enter into Voluntary Agreements which protect our residents and businesses.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Black-Eyed Susie vintage store closing on October 13, big sale on now

Some sad news from 14th Street: I got a message from Black-Eyed Susie, the vintage shop at 14th and Meridian: they're closing in October. Here's the note:
Unfortunately, today I am writing to tell you that sadly I will be closing up shop in mid-October. Even with the loss of It's Vintage, Darling this summer and now Black-Eyed Susie I am very hopeful that new, cute, boutique-y small business will try to open up here in Columbia Heights with better success. Until then, everything is heavily discounts until we close our doors.

I had a great time running the store. It was a dream of mine that I am very lucky to have been able to try. Hopefully something awesome will come to the corner.

They opened in about January 2011, and you should definitely pay them a visit before they close. I wish Susie the best of luck and definitely hope for success for more neat little stores in the neighborhood.

Here's their Facebook page with some updates.

Update from the Pinch: NFL games, weekend entertainment, events all week

Just got an update of what's new at The Pinch, the laid-back bar and restaurant at 3548 14th Street NW, from owner Daniel Maceda. Sounds like some good stuff. I've been a couple of times, the bartenders are nice folks and it's a fun spot with a lot of beer and food.
We are now doing a weekly e-newsletter letting folks know about up coming events. To receive a copy please go to our webpage and sign up with your email:

To take a look at this weeks e-newsletter:

If anyone is looking for a place to watch football on Sundays, we now have the Sunday ticket... we have 3 tv's at the main bar available on a 1st come 1st serve basis, and are willing to open up the lounge bar with a big screen TV for groups reserving in advance...

We also now have the downstairs lounge bar up and running with a whole variety of activities- Monday is Improv 8-10pm, Wed is pub trivia 8-10pm, Thurs-Sat we have live entertainment... We are still looking for something for Tuesdays (possibly karaoke, or maybe a comedy night?).

This Week On-Stage at The Pinch:

Burlesque & Belly Laughs
Friday, September 28. 9pm - Midnight
Slip into, or out of, something comfortable this Friday at The Pinch. Back by overwhelming popular demand, host, Rock Tender (Justin Purvis), his lovely assistant Wendy Whiskysour, and the girls of Burlesque & Belly Laughs make a tantalizingly triumphant return for a repeat, but never repeatable, performance.

Uptown Express
Saturday, September 29. 9pm- Midnight
Whether you are in the mood for R&B, Blues, or some old school Rock & Roll, the Uptown Express has some beats and a song for you. Featuring Takoma Dave and Eric Kitner, the Uptown Express rolls into The Pinch this Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC1A08

The fourth in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1A08, which you can see at right. 

The idea with these posts is that you can learn about who is running for the ANC in your area and if you'd like, be able to learn more about them via their websites or emails. The ANC advises the city council on local issues and also can issue grants, hold events, and approve or deny liquor licenses.

There's a map of all the ANCs here.

ANC 1A08 is currently represented by Kent Boese, who is running unopposed. Kent also runs the Park View DC blog, wrote a book about Park View, and is a very involved and passionate commish. I urge you to vote for him! 
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m originally from a small town in northern Illinois. I moved to the Washington Metropolitan area in 1994, and to the Park View neighborhood in the spring of 2007. I’ve served on the board of the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition and was president of the organization prior to being elected to the ANC in 2010. In addition to serving the community, I am a practicing law librarian and have an advanced degree in design history.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
I believe my involvement in the neighborhood helps makes it a better place. Upon moving into the community and getting to know my neighbors, I developed a deep appreciation for the neighborhood. As a result, I’m committed to doing anything I can – and serving in any capacity the community deems appropriate – to ensure that the community is informed, represented, and involved in the decisions that will directly impact Georgia Avenue and Park View.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district?
The biggest issues confronting my Single Member District (in my opinion) are development on Georgia Avenue, supporting current small businesses and attracting new businesses, housing (and its affordability), and general quality of life issues – i.e., good schools, parking, crime, trash, rats, etc.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
We can always do a better job of communicating with and to those we represent. I think the Commission has done a better job of this in the current term, but it can always improve. Communication was one of the issues that initially encouraged me to run, and why I have served as Secretary for the past two years. It is critical to distribute information in as timely a manner as possible. There is also a certain level of professionalism I’d like to see the Commission achieve.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
Speaking with regards to my corner of Ward 1, there needs to be more attention to Georgia Avenue. The Great Streets project south of Otis Place, NW, needs to get back on the city’s radar. We also need more policies in place that support our small businesses – and more diversity in the goods and services available along Georgia Avenue. I would particularly like to see more professional services located on our commercial corridors during the day so that they are lively other than evenings and weekends. Lastly, I think we need more public art and a better understanding and appreciation of the community’s history and culture.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?
Liquor licenses are complicated. I am neither for nor against them. Overall, I do not support additional liquor stores and would prefer to see more restaurants in some areas of the community. Liquor licenses don’t necessarily cause problems, but a poorly managed business with a liquor license can negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood. That is why it is important to consider the type of license being applied for, the location of the license, the density or saturation of alcohol in an area, the types of problems that could arise from the license or location, and any other factors that the license could impact before supporting or opposing the license. It is also why the ANC would consider a voluntary agreement, which when entered into appropriately, can set a level of expectations that safeguards the business as well as the residents.

Kent's blog is and twitter account is @ParkViewDC. His email is 

Photo from People's District

Monday, September 24, 2012

Eat at the Heights today to benefit the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace

Here's a good opportunity to do something for the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, our local farmers market (Saturdays at the Civic Plaza), and their Festibucks program, which doubles WIC, EBT and other food stamp program benefits, meaning more people can get healthy, locally-grown food.
Dine at The Heights this Monday – September 24th – to raise funds for the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace. 
Keep meaning to stop into that restaurant right next door to the market? You know, the one with the fantastic local menu and seasonal specials? If you’ve been waiting for the right moment, Monday night provides the perfect excuse to order that grilled hangar steak with potatoes and greens, or the fish special, or… you know what, it’s all delicious. And The Heights is generously donating 15% of sales from 5 pm to close to the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace. 
So eat well at The Heights on Monday night, and help others eat well via more funds toward our wildly successful Festibucks program.

New coffee shop, Harrar Coffee & Roastery opening in October at 2904 Georgia

This is good news. A buddy walked by Harrar Coffee & Roastery, a new coffee shop coming to 2904 Georgia Ave NW, last week and chatted with the owner. He said they'd be open next month, as in October. Their sign is up too.

I was just thinking the other day how there really aren't any coffee shops to the east, aside from Qualia at 3917 Georgia, which is up a bit. There is Sankofa at Georgia and Fairmont, but they don't seem to have very consistent opening hours -- a lot of times when I walk by it, it's closed, even during mornings.

I don't know many details about Harrar, but considering the name, which is an Ethiopian coffee-growing region, I bet there will be some Ethiopian flair to it. My buddy reports they were planning to have some pastries and things. The place isn't too large, but hey, sometimes you just need a spot with a seat and a cup.

Park View DC and PoP wrote about Harrar a bit previously.

Friday, September 21, 2012

VegFest DC this weekend at Yards Park in SE

COK I know this isn't in Columbia Heights, but there are plenty of vegans and vegetarians in the neighborhood, plus Sticky Fingers on Park Road is involved, with owner Doron Petersan giving a talk and providing free food samples. Enjoy!

The photo at right is from last year, and there are lots more here.

DC VegFest 2012: A Free Vegetarian Celebration in the Nation’s Capital
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sat., Sept. 22, thousands of people will gather at Yards Park to explore – and celebrate – the best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation’s capital at the fourth annual DC VegFest. This FREE outdoor (and dog-friendly) festival features engaging speakers, cooking demonstrations, free food samples, a beer and wine garden, more than 100 exhibitors, a kids’ area, a cupcake eating contest and much more! 
What: DC VegFest, online at
Where: Yards Park, 300 Water St, SE, DC (next to Nationals Stadium)  
Metro: Navy Yard Metro (New Jersey Ave exit) on the green line
When: Sat., Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Co-organized by Compassion Over Killing and the Vegetarian Society of D.C., the DC VegFest highlights the many benefits of choosing vegetarian foods and shows how easy and delicious it is to leave animals off our plates. Attendees will enjoy free food samples from Gardein, Field Roast, The Vegg, Beyond Meat (at the Conscious Corner booth) and more. There will be more than a dozen food vendors, including Amsterdam Falafel, Bread & Brew, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, Dama Ethiopian and Everlasting Life CafĂ©.
There will also be American Sign Language interpreters so everyone can enjoy our special guest speakers:
·      Jane Velez-Mitchell, CNN reporter
·      Rich Roll, vegan ultra-athlete and author of Finding Ultra
·      Doron Petersan, owner of Sticky Fingers Sweet & Eats and Cupcake Wars champion
·      Dr. Michael Greger, Dir. of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the US
·      Bruce Friedrich, Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at Farm Sanctuary
·      Afya Ibomu, author, holistic health counselor, entrepreneur and journalist
·      Terry Hope Romero, cookbook author, chef and speaker
Plus, the first 1,000 attendees will get a free 2012 DC VegFest commemorative bag loaded with veg-friendly products, coupons and more!
"Choosing vegetarian foods is one of the best ways we can help protect our health, the planet and animals," says Erica Meier, Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing. "The DC VegFest has something for everyone, so bring your family and friends to learn why this festival continues to grow every year!” 
"Now, more than ever, people are eating less meat," adds Vegetarian Society of D.C. President Saurabh Dalal. "The DC VegFest shows people how easy it is to find meat-free options."
Press Contact:  
Katie Vann, Communications Coordinator, Compassion Over Killing, or 301-891-2458

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1B01

The third in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1B01, which you can see at right. 

The idea with these posts is that you can learn about who is running for the ANC in your area and if you'd like, be able to learn more about them via their websites or emails. The ANC advises the city council on local issues and also can issue grants, hold events, and approve or deny liquor licenses.

There's a map of all the ANCs here.

ANC 1B01 is currently represented by Myla Moss, who is not running. Marc Morgan is running unopposed. Here are his responses:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.  

(See Bio Here)

2. Why are you running for ANC?

I’m running for ANC to continue the cultural and historic richness of the LeDroit Park community.  I wish to build upon the efforts to reduce crime, encourage stronger partnership between our residents and business community, and serve as an advocate for our neighbors with D.C Government.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district?

Public safety and crime.  Crime in our community has jumped (property crime), as the population has increased.  My focus is to work with MPD, and the community to identify realistic practices that will reduce crime.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?

I think the ANC can do a better job of advocating for the residents we represent.  ANC Commissioners are accountable only to their neighbors, and I feel the ANC can do a better job of being more responsive, and more engaged with what happens in their SMD’s (Single Member Districts).

5. What do you think the area needs more of?

In my area, I think we need more police presence, especially late at night and on the weekends. 

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?

I’ve served on the ANC 1B Alcohol committee, and I think we need more stronger language around Voluntary Agreements. 

Campaign website, Facebook, Twitter, email, phone number and other information: 
Twitter: @marcmorgan_dc

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1A03

The second in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1A03, which you can see at right (the red north-south line is 16th Street). The idea with these posts is that you can learn about who is running for the ANC in your area and if you'd like, be able to learn more about them via their websites or emails. The ANC advises the city council on local issues and also can issue grants, hold events, and approve or deny liquor licenses.

Currently Sheldon Scott is the commissioner of ANC 1A03, and he's not running. The only candidate is Steven Swank. Here's his questions:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. 
 I am a native of the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I graduated from Frostburg State University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice and resided in Columbia Heights since May 2010. I am a licensed Realtor, certified personal trainer and work as a federal government contractor. I am a member of HandsOn Greater DC Cares and have participated in the IONA Senior Services, which provides meals to older adults in D.C. who have difficulty shopping or preparing meals. Additionally, I have volunteered at Loaves and Fishes serving meals to the hungry and homeless in D.C.

2. Why are you running for ANC? 
 I have been active in the political process at the local, state, and federal level. In light of a genuine passion for social change, I believe the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) is a great opportunity to build a local foundation from within my own community. Through representation of nearly 2,000 constituents, I will devote my time and energy towards getting to know the individuals that make up the vibrant Columbia Heights community and the concerns they have regarding needed change in the local area.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district? 
 Door-to-door constituency feedback suggests traffic, parking and development/gentrification to be the primary concerns in our area.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better? 
 Enhanced interaction and communication with their constituents to make them aware of issues that affect their area and be sure their constituent’s voices are heard. Additionally, the ANC needs to provide constituents and local businesses with protocol and a transparent blueprint for achieving resolution to such changes.

5. What do you think the area needs more of? 
I would like to see another Capital Bikeshare located off the Columbia Heights Metro and since the parking garage is underutilized at the DC USA complex, I would like to discuss the possibility of allowing long-term garage rental parking. I have attended a restaurant called New Course ( which trains homeless and unemployed men and women by providing hands-on training. The food not only was fresh and healthy, but it serves as a community-based transition from the street and into the workforce. I believe a local deli with the same mission would be beneficial to the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues? 
 I believe every business has a right to apply for a liquor license and if they meet the qualifications, then they should be granted the license. If they abuse or violate any laws, the ANC should then investigate and determine whether the license shall be revoked.

Feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns!!/SteveSwankForAnc1a03

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Update on Bacon Funeral Home on 14th: fix it or else

At the recent ANC 1A meeting there was a presentation from Bacon Funeral Home. As you may recall, Bacon has been building a new facility next to their existing one at 3447 14th Street NW. The new building has been under construction, if you want to call it that, for I don't know how many years now and nothing has been done to it in forever. It's a cinder block eyesore and to put it charitably, it looks like shit.

So I was glad to see that there was an agenda item at the meeting with an update. I wasn't able to go unfortunately, but ANC 1A05 commish Laina Aquiline provided a summary.

Basically, Deidre Lee, Bacon's office manager, talked about problems they've had with contractor credentials, the city's Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), financing, and the change in ownership/management to a young generation of the family. All have contributed to the delays. 

The DC Building Authority has given them a 60-day stay for them to get their act together or the city will condemn or "remedy" (as in fix up or knock down, I believe) the building. Bacon's plan is to demolish the existing facility (the one that's open) and replace it with a parking lot.

Obviously this doesn't sound like an ideal plan, and we'll see if they can make that 60-day deadline.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1A02

The first in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1A02, which you can see at right. The idea with these posts is that you can learn about who is running for the ANC in your area and if you'd like, be able to learn more about them via their websites or emails. The ANC advises the city council on local issues and also can issue grants, hold events, and approve or deny liquor licenses.

Currently Vickey Wright-Smith is the commissioner of ANC 1A02, and she's running against Alex Gallo. Here's their questions. First is incumbent Vickey-Wright Smith:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Vickey A. Wright-Smith.  I have lived in ANC 1A since 1988 when I came to DC to attend law school at Howard University.  I am married to Alvon Smith a lifelong resident of ANC1A and I have one child a 15 year old daughter, Victoria who attends McKinley Technology High School

2. Why are you running for ANC?

I am running for the ANC to bring a different voice to the commission.  I have a voice with new ideas but it is also one that will not forget about the residents that have been here in DC for a while.  Additionally, I want to make sure that residents and or businesses feel that they are being treated fairly.

 3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district?

The biggest issues confronting my single member district are drug dealing, parking, vacant and abandoned buildings, trash, rats and safety.

 4. What do you think the ANC can do better?

I think the ANC can do a better job of reaching out to the community and finding out what are the concerns of the residents.  Because in my opinion sometimes we push issues that are important to us individually, but are not that much of a concern for the community.

 5. What do you think the area needs more of?

I would like to see this area provide more things for teenagers to do.  This is especially important to me because I have a teenage daughter.  We have a lot of teens in this area that just loiter and sell drugs.  I know we have the recreation center, but I would like to see a little more.  I can’t think of very many things for the teens to do in my single member district.  I know there are some organizations that operate out of St. Stephen’s church, but it still does not seem like enough.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?

 I would like to see more consistency in granting liquor licenses.  Some businesses seem to have no problem at all in getting a license, whereas others have a difficult time.

Campaign website, Facebook, Twitter, email, phone number or other information:
I do have a campaign website it is a Facebook page, VickeyA. Wright-Smith for ANC 1A02

Additionally, I will be having a fundraiser  “Wobble and Gobble with Commissioner Wright-Smith” on October 6, 2012 at Zeba, which is located at 3423 14th Street, NW.  The cost is $10.00.  This will be an opportunity to learn line dances (specifically the “Wobble”) and meet me and let me know what your concerns are for our community.  It should be a very fun time.  There will be refreshments and the event will be from 5pm to 8pm.  If you are interested in purchasing a ticket contact me at or 202-361-6139.

And next is challenger Alex Gallo:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm not what you'd call a typical political candidate here in the District. I'm brutally honest, accessible, transparent, polite and enjoy having fruitful discussions with residents of all stripes. When I see a problem, I strive to fix it- whether it's my job or not.

I have been a District resident for 7 years now. Recently, I've served as president and founder of the Allegro Tenants Association. In this capacity I have been a strong advocate for our tenants' rights during interactions with the property management, as well as representing the tenants in a TOPA action during the property's sale this summer. I bring a proven track record of success dealing with both industry and District agencies.

Prior to my arrival in the District, I was born and raised in New York. I graduated from George Washington University and now work full-time at a think tank.

2. Why are you running for ANC?

It's become obvious to me, and probably to your readers, that we need new faces at all levels of District governance. Obviously the real progress must occur at the mayoral and council level, but let's not forget how much impact the ANCs have on our communities. Is there space for your car on your block? Is your corner liquor store a breeding ground for crime? Are you permitted to install a deck on your home? Is a local business treading water while it waits for ANC approval? The ANC determines all of these things.

As such, I'm running to support our neighborhood's continued improvement. I believe there is no longer a place for vagrants, hooligans or crime dens in our community and I will work tirelessly to make them a thing of the past. I will wholeheartedly support new businesses and help them quickly navigate the city bureaucracy. In short, I welcome progress.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district?

Crime continues to be the most consequential issue facing northern Columbia Heights. Thefts from automobiles are unacceptably common and so are petty muggings. Street harrassment (usually sexual) is a correlated problem and one which has gone unaddressed for far too long. It's time for the community to forcefully address these issues by ensuring appropriate attention from MPD and the judiciary. Letters of community input- signed by the ANCs- can go a long way in sentencing hearings and can prevent the reemergence of repeat offenders in Columbia Heights. The installation of MPD cameras on problematic corners is another solution I intend to pursue, as well as establishing a mechanism to report and identify catcallers.

Parking availability is issue #2. I support additional reasonable restrictions on street parking within ANC 1A, such as the Enhanced RPP program.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?

ANCs across the city are lacking in outreach and engagement. Commissioners spend too much time cowtowing to their small base of supporters and not enough effort engaging voters at large. Here in Columbia Heights, motions sometimes seem to appear out of thin air without notification to most residents. For example, there is now a proposal to prohibit single beer sales. Unfortunately, nobody ever called D'Vines to ask them how such a regulation could crimp their business or their customers' choices.

Here in Columbia Heights, the ANC could better advocate for residents in city-wide processes. For example, hosting a candidate's forum would ensure the voices of ANC 1A residents are heard downtown. Informing residents of District government actions would also be beneficial.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?

1. Families. If the neighborhood can reach the point where residents don't feel the need to move in order to raise a family, we can really say Mission Accomplished. There's nothing wrong with Columbia Heights being a great landing pad for new District residents, but families are what really holds a community together. I see that currently lacking in ANC 1A.

2. Bus routes (quantity and efficiency). There is currently no good way to get from Columbia Heights to Dupont Circle or Georgetown. I will advocate for a new Circulator route to achieve just that.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues?

I take the position that ANC micromanagement of a business is generally not helpful. There are already enough layers of unresponsive bureaucracy in town; entrepreneurs need not bow to yet another. I do however fully support bringing all liquor regulation within the purview of the ANCs for open and fair hearings, thus eliminating the "gang of 5" shenanigans.

At the same time, a liquor license is not a constitutional right. My opponent in this race voted to keep open the DC Fish Carryout, an establishment which was raided for distribution of crack cocaine. Based on the preponderance of evidence (two of the suspects have since plead guilty), I would have voted to revoke their license.

While I would oppose a blanket ban on single sales which reduces consumer choice of craft beef, there are compelling reasons to prohibit the sale of cheap singles to the homeless. Some other jurisdictions use minimum pricing schemes and/or ID restrictions, the feasibility of which I would be interested in exploring. This could help alleviate the alleyway vagrancy problems which exist in Columbia Heights.

Campaign website, Facebook, Twitter, email, phone number or other information:
And I can of course always be reached via email at:

Convoy of Hope this Saturday: free specials from local businesses for those in need

This sounds like a great event. This Saturday at the Columbia Heights Community Center (1480 Girard St NW) the Convoy of Hope will be visiting as part of their US tour. The Convoy is a group that works around the country with local businesses to provide all kinds of free services for the needy: groceries, health services, haircuts, a job fair, a kids zone, family portraits, other community services, plus live entertainment and barbeque.

The event starts at 10 am and is rain or shine.

They're a faith-based nonprofit that started in 1994 and has since worked in 100 countries around the world, according to their website. They're doing a 50-state tour, plus DC.

If you'd like to help, they're also looking for volunteers for the event all the different services they provide. Here's more about what they do.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Who's running for the ANC? Get to know the candidates in our new series of posts

Click the map for a bigger version
As you hopefully already know, this November is elections for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The Advisory Neighborhood Commission is a non-partisan position with multiple members, each representing a few blocks -- those areas are called Single Member Districts (SMDs).

The ANC's job is to advise the City Council on local issues, and also to issue grants and work on local community projects, is up for election this cycle. They also have the power to effectively allow or deny liquor licenses, which is a big deal.

Once the DC Board of Elections and Ethics posted their official roster of who's running, I sent out emails to all the candidates with a few questions. I'll be posting the responses by ANC Single Member District starting tomorrow, plus a little map of the borders of each one so you know who your candidates are. 

And if you haven't already registered, aren't sure you are registered, or need to update your address or information, go here!!! (If you are changing your address or info you have to mail the form back in.)

If you'd like to read more about the ANC, here's all the posts I've written about ANC issues.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Phonebanking for Obama this Tuesday evening at Coffy Cafe

If you're a supporter of the President's reelection campaign, this sounds like an event for you!  It's organized by the Obama for America Ward 1 team.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Friends of the Soldiers Home event this Friday at Chez Billy

On the 4th of July, I had a chance to visit the Old Soldiers Home in Petworth and Park View -- it's a military retirement community with a lot of open land and some interesting history: Abraham Lincoln had a summer cottage there while he was president, for example. 

The 4th of July event, organized by a group of folks including Park View DC blogger and ANC commish Kent Boese, was really cool, with food trucks, music, and more, and I believe it was the first time the home's grounds had been open to the public since 1968. You can see some photos here. It's officially known as the Armed Forces Retirement Home -- here's their Wikipedia page.

If you'd like to do more with the home, or help out with more events, here's a great event!
Meet the Friends of the Soldiers Home!

Friday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
upstairs at the fabulous Chez Billy
3815 Georgia Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20011

Suggested donation: $10 per person

Our July 4th celebration made clear we can’t hold events and meet our goals to serve the Armed Forces Retirement Home and surrounding community without your support  
Friends of the Soldiers Home is changing the dynamic in Petworth/Park View/Pleasant Plains/Bloomingdale/Brookland/Columbia Heights/Fort Totten/Takoma and beyond in community relations with the Armed Forces Retirement Home. After numerous volunteer projects and a great July 4 event, we are getting ready for the next big celebration of Octoberfest on Oct. 7. Please stop by and show your support for this great non-profit, and see some friends and neighbors along the way.

Use the attached flyer to hang on the refrigerator and give to your friends and neighbors.

Thank you so much, and see you Sept. 14th!

John Hughes
Friend of the Home

Like us:
Follow us: twitter: @FriendsSoldiers

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Radius Pizza in MtP is closed: but get a deal from Past Tense Yoga!

If you've been on Mt. Pleasant Street lately, you may have noticed that Radius, the pizza spot next to Tonic, has closed. Too bad, I always liked that place (though I guess I didn't go very often.) They closed abruptly in July with a sign saying they were on vacation -- however, that turned out to be a permanent vacation.

The Post has the story, which it attributes to a lack of customers. Apparently their entire staff turned over recently as well, maybe seeing the writing on the wall.

However, there is something good to come out of the closing: Mt. Pleasant yoga studio Past Tense Yoga Quiet Mind Yoga is holding a deal:
We've been missing our friends at Radius and wondering what to do with our fridge full of magnets. Instead of pizza, how about a little down dog? Now, folks can bring in their Radius magnets and get 10% off a class pass.
Sounds solid! I certainly have a couple of those magnets. And yoga is definitely healthier than pizza.

UPDATE: A reader points out that the City Paper says they will be reopening under new ownership sometime in the future. Shame on me for listening to the Post, I guess!

ANC1A meeting this Wednesday! Bacon Funeral Home, DC Fish, Lenwood Johnson, more!

The next ANC 1A meeting is today (Wednesday) at 7 pm, and there's a lot going on: a report from public safety chair Cecilia Jones, an update on the Bacon Funeral Home, that eyesore at 3447 14th which has been sitting half-built for literally years, and an update on the DC Fish Carryout, the place busted for selling drugs.

There's also a rather strange one: ANC 1A10 commish Lenwood Johnson, whose bad behavior I have written about numerous times in the past, is moving to remove Jones from the Public Safety Committee because she's working on his opponent's campaign (whose name is Anthony Cimino.). As far as I can tell, this makes no sense, as working on a campaign has nothing to do with public safety. To me it seems like he's trying to get back at Jones. So that should be interesting.

Here's the full agenda:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Please join us at the ANC 1A meeting on Wednesday, September 12th starting at 7 PM. I will present this month's Public Safety Committee report (attached). This report and past reports can be found online:

Topics in August's Public Safety Report:
  • Monthly crime statistics
  • Car break-in prevention tips
  • DC Fish Carryout update
  • Request for community impact statements
The ANC 1A Draft Meeting Agenda and the location are below. I hope to see you there! 

Cecilia Jones
President, Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association (NWCHCA)
Public Safety Chair, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A
 202-299-7868 (cell)
Twitter: @nwchca_dc

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” --Mahatma Gandhi

(Note: NWCHCA normally meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, but there will not be a meeting next Tuesday, 9/18. The next meeting NWCHCA meeting date is TBD)


ANC 1A meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm

Next Meeting, Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Harriet Tubman Elementary School
3101 13th Street N.W. (Gymnasium)

Presiding:  Commissioner Thomas Boisvert, Chairperson

Harriet Tubman Elementary School
3101 13th Street N.W. (Gymnasium)
7:00 PM

Meeting Agenda

September 12, 2012

Call to Order
Community Announcements (1 minute per speaker)
Commissioners and Members of the community can use this time to make public announcements, distribute information, or alert the community about issues.

Committee Reports - (Committee reports are done as needed. 5 minutes per report, unless otherwise noted)
        Kent Boese, Report on existing and potential historic landmarks within ANC 1A
        Kent Boese, Report on proposed restrictions on sign sales
        Cecilia Jones, Public Safety Report

ANC Administrative Matters
Roll Call
Approval of Agenda
Approval of the Prior Minutes ( July 2012)
Treasurer's Report

Presentations (5 minutes per speaker, unless otherwise noted)

         Update on Bacon Funeral Home Construction (3447 14th Street, NW)
         Presentation from Taja Development re: Condominium project 1400 b/o Meridian Place

Official Business
Official Business is limited to 5 minutes of presentation (unless extended by the commission) followed by questions from the commission and audience until a motion to close discussion is passed, followed by an official ANC vote.

Presenter Name – Issue (Requested ANC Action)
    Grant request for Project Giveback (Love-Wade)
    Grant request for Park View United Neighborhood Coalition (Boese)
    Consideration of Advertisement in Thrive DC Gala Commemorative Booklet (Wright-Smith)
    Letter of Support for the Picnic in the park at 11th & Monroe (Pair)
    BZA Application for 3615 14th Street, NW (Kralovic)
    BZA Application for 1400 Spring Road, NW (Kralovic)
    Resolution Stating ANC 1A’s Opposition to Hate Crimes (Kralovic)
    Resolution for the Public Safety Chair to Vacate Seat Until After November Election (Johnson)

Adjournment - Goodnight!