Thursday, February 28, 2013

16th Street bus changes coming: additional southbound AM buses?

More buses are pretty much always good news. Recently WMATA announced they were going to add a morning bus to 16th Street, headed south. Finding that a lot of congestion happens from Euclid to U Street, they decided to add a new route, tentatively to be called the S3.  Currently, a lot of people in Columbia Heights and to the south are out of luck in the morning with full buses forced to pass them by. (The afternoon buses didn't have as much of a problem, so the plan is just for a morning route.)

There are two possible options: one starts at Euclid and runs south, stopping at every stop, and then turning around at Lafayette Square and heading north without stopping, so that the bus can restart and southbound route quickly. It would run about every 20 minutes. The other option has the same return north, but begins its trip south at U or V Street. That means it will miss most people in Columbia Heights, but because it starts farther south, it would be able to run about every 15 minutes. Each route would only have 2 buses.

It sounds a bit like a band-aid rather than a longer term solution, unless more buses are added, but hey, every little bit helps. I still think you should use We Move DC as well.

It seems like using the bigger, articulated buses like they use on Georgia Ave would be a good solution too, but probably not cheap. (And on that note, I've taken the big Georgia buses sometimes and they never seem very full. Anyone else notice this?) The bus might start running on March 24 if all goes well.

Hat tip to Greater Greater Washington, which has the full story.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Help improve DC's transportation -- Move DC meeting tonight at the Reeves Center

You may have noticed recently that I've been complaining about traffic on 14th Street a lot -- it's frequently backed up in the mornings from Columbia Road sometimes as far up as Spring. Obviously that makes it difficult to get to work in a timely manner if you ride the bus, and it's frustrating.

After some tweeting about it, WMATA's Twitter person suggested the Move DC initiative that we wrote about a few weeks ago. Basically, Move DC's is a program by DDOT to get the public to submit ideas for improving transportation in the city -- traffic, bus, Metro, bike, pedestrians and more.

And tonight is one opportunity to have your voice heard -- there's a Move DC meeting on the second floor of the Reeves Center, 14th and U, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. There's a public comment period, so I hope people make a stink about traffic on 14th Street!

There's a lot more ways to participate on their page, and you can also tweet at them, @movedc, check out their Facebook page, or submit photos to their Flickr account.

Reader question: Where can you buy a record player?

I recently got this question, and it's something I've been trying to figure out too: where can you get a record player? I tried Best Buy, to no avail, and the local record stores like Som, Crooked Beat and Red Onion all in the Adams Morgan/U Street areas didn't have any.

I even tried Mom & Pop Antiques, the cool store at 3534 Georgia Ave NW, and they had one old one, but it didn't work too well. (Side note: make sure to visit them, it's a really cool little store. Lots of interesting stuff there, friendly staff and a bunch of records for sale.)

So after that, I'm pretty much out of ideas, aside from Craigslist. Any other ideas for local spots to pick up a record player? New or old would be fine, but a big old one would be especially cool.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Help expand the Pleasant Plains Workshop, a cool local gallery/art space

The Pleasant Plains Workshop, a cool art gallery and venue, has been open for about about 2 years at 2608 Georgia Avenue NW. Since opening, they've held a lot of neat art exhibits, readings, events, classes, and hosted artists-in-residence. They're also a great place to shop for gifts, like artwork, shirts, and jewelry (or maybe just gifts for yourself.)

Now after 2 years, they're looking to expand into the building next door. The current space is quite small, and more room would mean more space for more classes, events, workshop space for artists, exhibitions, and more.

They have a website where you can help fund the expansion, which is partially tax deductible, and you also get some cool perks for helping out -- t-shirts, prints, classes, and so on. (The idea is similar to Kickstarter, if you're familiar with that site.) See below for some of what they're planning, and check out the site for more specific plans -- they've broken down the costs, so you know exactly what you're helping with.

So read on, view the video below, and donate! They're a great organization and I look forward to seeing them around a lot more. I'm also looking forward to my new "Georgia Ave is for Lovers" t-shirt!


Pleasant Plains Workshop: Version 2.0

Pleasant Plains Workshop is a shared studio space, classroom, gallery and retail outlet for local artists in Washington, DC. It was founded in 2010 by DC-based artist, Kristina Bilonick. In January of 2013, the Workshop took on the building adjacent to its existing location. Over the next few months, they will be building a state-of-the art screen printing studio so that they can provide space for more artists to work, and present more exhibitions and classes to the community. The workshop's current location will become solely the retail and gallery component offering goods created by resident artists and other local artists and artisans.

Since its opening, the space has quickly become a hub of the neighborhood- offering 6 art exhibitions a year, a variety of programs and classes, and wide variety of handmade items by dc artists and artisans. Almost everyone who visits the space goes on to become a regular at PPW gatherings and events.

With the funds raised on this platform, we will be able to take our Workshop to the next level, offering more opportnities for local artists, and more  exhibitions and programs that our community can come by and enjoy!
And thanks to our Fiscal Sposor, Fractured Atlas, your donations are partially Tax Deductible! (minus the cost of the perk)

Documentary about North Korean refugees on Sunday

This sounds like an interesting event. The District Church, a non-denominational church that meets at the Next Step Public Charter School (3047 15th Street NW), is showing a documentary about North Korea: specifically an organization that helps refugees and one particular refugee. Here's a clip, and more info:
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is a grassroots organization devoted to the North Korean human rights and humanitarian crises. LiNK staff are traveling to DC to show the documentary, Danny from North Korea on Sunday, March 3 at 3PM at The District Church.

Every year thousands of North Koreans make the dangerous journey across the border to escape oppression and poverty.

In March of 2005, Danny was one of them. Danny crossed into China and escaped a life of indoctrination, routine public executions, and starvation. As Danny traveled, he saw a world he never knew existed. A world where movement was not monitored by the government, information was readily available, and most importantly at the time, there was enough food to fill his empty belly.

Come hear more about Danny's story and how LiNK is assisting other North Korean refugees.

To RSVP and invite other friends, check out the event's Facebook page.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Debate: Should you feed stray cats?

Recenty the Petworth listserve has been aflutter with a debate about feeding stray cats: some folks from PetMAC, a local pet adoption center, have been feeding a bunch of them in an alley and asked for help, while others say that's bad.

One commenter said they're a public health issue that can transmit rabies and eat local wildlife, and that animal control should be called. Other folks disagreed, saying they aren't rabies threats, and both cited some statistics.

Others said PetMAC's feeding program is a good one, they trap and neuter the cats and works to find homes for them and only feed the cats once they're neutered. There's the worry that feeding cats might encourage more strays to hang around though.

What do you think? Do you feed strays? It does seem like feeding them to be nice isn't a good plan, it's much better to trap, neuter and find homes for them, like PetMAC is doing.

(And my favorite Catillac Cat was always Wordsworth.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Parkwood Place triple shooter convicted: help get him sent away for a long time

This is good news. You may remember the double homicide/triple shooting that happened in the 1400 block of Parkwood Place in July, 2011. The shooting resulted in two deaths and a third man being injured, and was apparently over an early morning craps game. Police arrested a suspect a couple of months later, and now we hear that he's been convicted. Nice to hear that.

You can also be a part of this -- the community is allowed to submit what are called "community impact statements" for sentencing, which basically talk about why and how this crime has impacted our area. It's a way to demonstrate that you think somebody should be punished. If you'd like to know more about the crime and to submit a statement, read on:
Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Irving Harris Johnson was convicted yesterday of killing Dominique Barbour and Jimmie Lee Simmons III and critically wounding Anthony Thomas. Johnson shot the three victims on July 9, 2011 in the 1400-block of Parkwood Place NW.

Links to related news stories and information:

Washington Examiner, Scott McCabe: http://washingtonexaminer.com/d.c.-man-guilty-in-double-homicide/article/2522242
Homicidewatch.org, Laura Amico: http://homicidewatch.org/2013/02/21/irving-harris-johnson-convicted-in-murders-of-domonique-barbour-and-jimmie-lee-simmons/

Links from 2011 with photos of Johnson:
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/US-Marshals-Seek-Suspect-in-Columbia-Heights-Double-Homicide-127561248.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-police-name-suspect-in-double-homicide-in-columbia-heights/2011/08/23/gIQA6QHHaJ_story.html
http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/163886/187/Police-ID-Homicide-Suspect-Want-Your-Help

Community members can now submit community impact statements in this case. Please let me know if I can assist you in doing this, or contact the US Attorney's Office for more information. Sentencing is scheduled for April 23, 2013.

Cecilia Jones
Coordinator, Community Criminal Justice Accountability Initiative (CCJAI)
202-299-7868 (cell)

CCJAI: Protecting the Next Victim is Everyone's Responsibility

Jim Graham responds on the ethics charges

2012 05 30 - 4727 - DC - CM Jim Graham

After my blog post about the ethics charges against Jim Graham, I received an email response from the councilman:
Your recent blog post about me stated that the situation was complex. You are right, it is a bit difficult to understand. But there are three things that r crystal clear: 
There is no allegation of any crime. 
There is no allegation of any illegal financial interest. 
There is no allegation of any law being broken. 
It’s only fair to get this right. Bests Jim
He's right on those as far as I can tell, though I responded that my post didn't make any of those claims, and that I made sure to say that such-and-such newspaper or person "claimed" or "alleged" things.

In any case, the plot thickens: yesterday Graham's attorneys filed an injunction and a restraining order against the ethics board, arguing they didn't follow the proper procedure that was in place, and that he'd be in favor of a special investigation of the issue. Council Chair Phil Mendelson also said he's introducing two resolutions that, in a way, rebuke Graham. One is a reprimand of Graham, while a second one shifts oversight of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration from a committee that Graham chairs to another committee. Kind of a weird, bureaucratic way to punish Graham, especially since none of this involved ABRA, as far as I can tell.

Council candidate David Grosso has jumped on the "reprimand Graham" bandwagon too, along with Patrick Mara, who I mentioned previously.

Photo by thisisbossi

Thursday, February 21, 2013

City Paper's Best of DC is here: vote for Columbia Heights places!


It's that time of the year again, the City Paper is holding their annual Best of DC poll.

Unlike previous years, the categories generally make a lot of sense, unlike 2011, although there are a couple hundred of them. They're all write-in, but of course you don't have to vote for all of them, and they also let you start it and resume later (assuming you aren't at work, I got a weird message about that.)

Some suggestions I'd give would be BloomBars for best arts and culture nonprofit, Lion Liquors or my favorite, CC's for best liquor store, D'Vines for best beer store, The Bike House for best place to get your bike fixed, all the local bars and restaurants, and if you're feeling exceptionally charitable, maybe this one blog for best local blogger.

Check it out, and vote for your favorite neighborhood spots! Got any other suggestions for places you voted for?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Can social media and crowd sourcing help build community?

By the Otis Place correspondent
At the January meeting of the North Columbia Heights Civic Association, someone mentioned that last year’s Halloween parade was organized primarily my email. I loved the idea that a successful community event could be pulled off without endless meetings and committee structures.

A recent Forbes article about "share economy" got me excited about other ways that social media and crowd sourcing are helping people not just make money but also make connections and build community.

My partner and I are already using one of the profiled sites, www.airbnb.com, to rent our guest room to out-of-towners from as far away as Australia, Brazil and Germany, and as close as Boston and Indiana. But we’ve also met locals through the site. Since we started last July, we’ve rented four times to parents and siblings of neighbors who don’t have room in their homes to host out of town guests.

I did some quick research of other sites from the Forbes article and found a few that seem to have potential for building community here in Columbia Heights. (Bear in mind I’ve not used any of these, so this is not a recommendation.) Check them out: 
  • Dogvacay.com offers dog boarding at a neighbor’s home while you’re away 
  • Neighborgoods.net, where you "save money and resources by sharing stuff" like ladders, bikes or lawn mowers with friends and neighbors, seems to have a small but growing presence in the DC area 
  • Lyft.me offers an on-demand ride-sharing app 
  • Taskrabbit.com isn’t in DC yet, but you can sign up to know when they arrive. The site connects those who need help with errands and odd jobs with those who can do them 
At last, social media are no longer just for cat videos.

Jim Graham in hot water for ethics violations (plus Dotti Love Wade)

IMG_8588 Jim Graham, Ward One's councilman, has been in the news a lot lately over some ethics charges. In short, the city's ethics board dinged Graham for allegedly trading a 2008 vote for a company bidding to win the city's lottery contract in exchange for that company not bidding to build on a Metro property. The board said he "abandoned his impartiality and demonstrated inappropriate preferential treatment." However, the board won't punish Graham, claiming they don't have the authority. Graham disagrees with the findings and has a statement on his website.

It's a confusing series of events -- the Post reports that Graham asked a company to drop their bid for the Metro development. The Post and the City Paper speculate the request was made because Graham didn't like the developer, Warren Williams. Williams used to run Club U, the club in the Reeves Center that Graham got shut down after a fatal stabbing, and may have been involved with some negative signs about Graham which claimed he was "Grahamzilla the Black Business Killer" and other nasty and race-baiting things

The City Paper, in an article called "Jim Graham Not So Good At Reporting Possible Illegal Activity" also says a city employee was fired after awarding the lottery contract, and reports city Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi saying that Graham was "on a personal vendetta here" against that employee. They also report that he didn't report another alleged quid pro quo -- that Graham's friend and current ANC 1A11 commissioner Dotti Love Wade implied to Graham that if she got a job at Williams's company bidding for the city's lottery contract, Graham should vote for the company's bid. She apparently also tried to get a company car from the company. Graham said he was "repulsed" by the request and asked her if she was "out of her mind" but didn't report it. Pretty messed up for Wade, who used to work for DC Lottery, to have made that kind of request. She previously told the Post that there wasn't a request, but after Graham's statements came out, didn't respond to Post requests to comment.

The Washington Post has called for Graham's resignation over the affair, while Graham denied wrongdoing has said he won't resign and plans to appeal the board's ruling, while other councilmembers are calling for another investigation. Patrick Mara, a former Ward 1 council candidate who is running for at-large council, said in a statement last week that Graham must apologize.

In short, it's confusing. You may recall that Graham has been dinged in the past too -- his chief of staff was arrested for bribery charges over taxicab issues, which Graham oversaw and frequent commenters on this blog accuse him of shady dealings with developers (though I haven't seen those repeated other places.)

We'll see what happens.

Photo by dbking

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bike thefts on Fairmont Street, beware!

The other day I saw this posted to the Columbia Heights Yahoo group:
At 6:45 AM today, our condo building had 2 bikes stolen. Our security camera did capture an image of a big dude but there isn't a clear face shot (due to a hoodie). The police detective mentioned additional bike thefts between 11th and 13th street NW and I am asking if there are other reports on the crook.
Sounds like if you live around that area to be extra careful with your bike -- make sure to get a good lock or two -- some can be cut fairly easily. Also make sure to get your bike registered by the city, just in case it does get stolen, you may be able to recover it later if somebody buys it or it comes up for sale at a pawn shop. There are bike trackers, like LoJack for bikes, but they're not cheap.

The city also has a recovered bike webpage, if your bike was stolen you can check it out.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Beer brewing supplies now available at Old School Hardware

If you're looking for a new hobby, or just like beer, Old School Hardware at 3219 Mt. Pleasant St NW is now selling beer brewing equipment and supplies. You don't really need a lot of space for it, just a big pot for boiling and some dark area that doesn't change temperatures a lot. Some buddies have long brewed beer and it's pretty fun for them and delicious for to drink. Plus if you make a fair amount of beer, it's cheaper than buying it (assuming you also buy a fair amount.)

Homebrewing is legal (as long as you don't sell it) and it's getting a lot of news lately since Pres. Obama talked about the White House homebrew, White House Honey Porter. Some buddies used the recipe and made it, and it was quite tasty.

Any brewers out there in the neighborhood? What's your favorite type to make?

And here's more on the White House Honey Porter (featuring Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's our suggestions to celebrate or avoid the holiday

Valentine's Day is upon us, and some local establishments are having events for you. Here's some of them, and a couple of other ideas or recommendations for you, both if you have and if you don't have a main squeeze.

The Pinch at 3548 14th Street NW is hosting Burlesque and Belly Laughs, a burlesque show with no cover. Their Facebook invite says "And to top it off, we're giving everything away for free* - FREE SHOWS! FREE IMPROV! FREE BOOBIES! Food never tasted better, drinks were never wetter. Your entire body is alive with passions and cravings that need to be quelled. Come for a night of great food, great drinks, and great entertainment." Might be a fun, non-traditional date.

The Blue Banana at 3632 Georgia Ave NW is hosting "BlackLightLoveBombs," a V-Day party with $4 drinks and beers and a video DJ "spinning sexy music all night long."

Over at The Getaway at 1400 Meridian Pl NW they're holding District Karaoke, which might be a good option for "Love Stinks" or "You've Lost that Loving Feeling" (or some Air Supply -- "You're Every Woman in the World to Me.")

Eatonville at 2121 14th St NW and Chez Billy at 3815 Georgia Ave NW are also good options for a nice date meal.

Some other nice date options I'd suggest would be Room 11 for drinks and dinner (though I bet it'll be crowded) and Mt. Pleasant's Last Exit for drinks. Last Exit especially is dark and intimate, might be a nice place for canoodling over a cocktail.

And if you don't care about this dumb holiday, Wonderland, the Looking Glass Lounge and the Red Derby are probably good options for just a regular night to complain or ignore it altogether and have a few drinks. The Derby especially is a good bah-humbug type place, and Wonderland has chicken and waffles today. Pretty awesome.

Those are my ideas, how about yours?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New food truck, El Farolito, serving tortas at 14th and Irving

Today I noticed a new food truck called Tortas El Farolito stationed on 14th between Irving and Kenyon. The truck serves Mexican tortas (sandwiches) plus tostadas, a type of flat tacos. The man at the counter said they just opened a bit ago and they plan to be there every weekday evening. He said during the day they're usually downtown.

Sandwiches range from $7 to $9 and include a torta milanesa with breaded chicken, refried beans, cheese, guacamole, lettuce and tomato, one called pollo enchilado with pulled chicken and adobo sauce, pulled beef with homemade sauce, and a couple others. The tostadas are with the same ingredients. I asked the guy which one I should get and he recommended the milanesa. I also got a Jarritos soda for $2.

In short, it was pretty tasty. I think eating it soon would be a better idea, as by the time I got home it was a little cold, but it was good. The chicken was tender and the beans and guacamole were nice. It wasn't amazing, but definitely a decent and quick meal. 

Target's pharmacy getting a lot of bad reviews; what's your experience?

The ShermanAve_DC Twitter clued me into something interesting the other day: the pharmacy in the DCUSA Target is getting some really poor reviews on Yelp.

Currently it has an average of 2 stars from 11 reviews, with most being 1 star. People complain about prescriptions not being available when they said they would be, long lines, unhelpful staff, wasting trips by coming to get something that isn't available, not being allowed to speak to the manager, and the like. It's really a litany of bad experiences. Of course, this is the just customers' points of view, but there does seem to be a pattern.

Personally I've never used this one, I mostly use a CVS near my work or the one at 14th and Irving, which has long lines but seems decent. What do you think? Any good pharmacies to recommend, or ones to avoid? There's also the Cardozo Healthmart at 14th and Fairmont, but oddly they don't seem to have a website or a Yelp page, nor are they listed on the Healthmart website. Strange.

Something else I'd suggest is looking up your pharmacist and seeing their licensing status and if they've received any complaints or charges against their license -- click here and go to Online Professional License Search -- although that's more on the medical side than on the customer service side.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mardi Gras party at the Red Derby on Tuesday

If you're looking for a local way to celebrate Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, head over to the Red Derby at 14th and Spring. They're having a Mardi Gras party with beads, Hurricanes (the big drinks with rum and fruit juice), zydeco music and the like. I'm guessing there will be masks as well, and they already serve pretty tasty shrimp po'boys and other seafood.

Sounds like a fun time. The Derb' is always a good spot for festivities, because it's always laid back and never too crowded.

And for good measure, here's a random zydeco jam I found.

ANC 1B readout: Consumer protection organization expanding to DC

by the Otis Place correspondent

ANC meetings are great for getting ahead of neighborhood news.  At the ANC 1B meeting a representative of the National Center for Prevention of Home Improvement or Home Repair Contractor Fraud, whose site is www.ncphif.org, announced the non-profit organization is coming to DC. If I heard correctly, they’re moving into offices on the U Street corridor.

According to their website, Executive Director Phae Howard founded the organization after her grandmother was victimized. “I was shocked at how easy contractor fraud was.  I don’t know how much money my Grandmother lost, but I absolutely remember the pain on her face.”

I too have seen the embarrassment and financial strain of elderly relatives who were ripped off by fraudulent contractors.  Welcome to the neighborhood, NCPHIF.  Now, if I could only figure out how to pronounce your acronym.

Anyone who lives on the southern edge of Columbia Heights may want to attend ANC 1B meetings.  They’re held in the second floor community room of the Reeves Center (14th and U Streets) at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Their site is http://www.anc1b.org/

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eating your way through Columbia Heights: dish recommendations, part 1

by the Otis Place correspondent 

As a creature of habit, I usually find myself ordering the same dish at my favorite restaurants. And when people ask for restaurant recommendations, I take the extra step of suggesting my favorite dish. The folks at Dishcrawl DC have gone one step more, organizing culinary tours of DC neighborhoods, making their way from one local eatery to the next -- we wrote about their Columbia Heights tour a couple of weeks ago.

According to their Twitter account (@DishcrawlDC), their recent tour of Columbia Heights included Acre 121 for barbeque and mac n cheese, Alero for a Mexican sampling, Pho 14 for bahn xeo and vermicelli, and Sticky Fingers for dessert.

 Inspired by the folks at DishcrawlDC, I put together a virtual tour of some of my favorite dishes in and around Columbia Heights. What are yours?

  • Yuca con chicharron at El Rinconcito II (1326 Park Road NW almost across from Giant) 
  • Falafel with saffron basmati rice at Meridian Pint (3400 11th Street NW at Park Road) 
  • Tamales (only on weekends) at Pan Lourdes (3407 14th Street NW at Monroe) 
  • Crispy catfish parched in the wok with chili, garlic and basil at Sala Thai (3716 Georgia Avenue NW at the Petworth Metro stop) 
  • Pozole at El Chucho (3313 11th Street NW at Lamont) 
  • Spicy lemongrass Pho at Pho Viet (3513 14th Street NW at Parkwood) 
  • Cowvin cooke at Sticky Fingers (1370 Park Road NW across from Giant)

We'll have part 2 soon, with Andrew's picks!

Monday, February 4, 2013

If you notice something suspicious or aren't sure, call the police!

The other day I was reading the Petworth listserve and noticed someone complaining about a peeping tom/intruder/lurker type -- somebody seemed to be coming in their gate, sitting on their porch and hanging out while they were away. The person asked what should they do and said they emailed the MPD listserve but didn't get a response, and pretty much everybody said "Call 911!"

It's good advice. Even if someting isn't an emergency, or you aren't sure if you should call, you should call. 911 serves to let police know something is happening, even if they can't or won't be able to stop that particular incident. Another good example is drug dealers or people using drugs in alleys -- often the police won't go arrest them, or they'll be gone by the time police would show up, but as reports build up, they'll start to see patterns and can address those patterns. I've heard many times at meetings with the community and MPD that officers say they started to patrol certain places more frequently based on repeated calls, even though it didn't seem like they were responding immediately.

So please, if you notice something criminal or suspicious, call it in, even if you don't think the police can help.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Proposal to use DCUSA parking garage for churches -- win-win?

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this: the always nearly-empty DCUSA parking garage will have a new use on Sundays: discounted parking for local churches. Church service on Sunday often means a housing crunch in surrounding areas as churchgoers, many from the Maryand 'burbs, come into the area. The idea is to give churchgoers a $2 discount to use the 1,000 space garage, with the discount applying from 7am to 7pm. Local non-profits and community groups will also receive the discount on Sundays. The Northwest Current has more (see page 3.)

To me, this sounds great. There are a number of churches in the area and a lot more cars on Sunday, exacerbating the already crowded atmosphere around the shopping center. The Current reports that there are still a few steps before this takes effect, with a city parking board and the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission needing to agree on it. However, ANC commish Laina Aquiline (who's been busy lately) already supports it.

I sure hope this happens. Nice to see an innovative solution to this underused parking garage, which is still almost empty even on the weekends. I still think turning it into a skating rink would be cool, though.

What do you think?

Learn more about Tubman Elementary: open houses coming up

If you have kids and are looking for a school for them, here's an opportunity to check out Tubman Elementary School at 13th and Kenyon, which looks like it's one of the top-rated in the ward. Here's more from ANC commish Laina Aquiline:
Tubman Elementary School (3101 13th St NW, bt Irving & Kenyon) had a great open house on Jan. 17. This DCPS rising star is an educational gem of Columbia Heights and Ward 1. Under the strong leadership of Principal Harry Hughes, reading and math scores have consistently and solidly risen over the last several years.  GreatSchools has just rated Tubman an impressive 9 out of 10, the best rating of Ward 1 elementary schools, along with Adams Morgan's Marie Reed ES and U St. Corridor's Meridian Hill PCS.

Please attend our open houses to see the school in action and learn more about the promising things going on there.  With the continued investment from community families and stakeholders, Tubman is well on its way to becoming the premier DC elementary school east of Rock Creek Park.  Join us in the effort.

Tu. Feb. 12, 9:30am
Th. Mar. 14, 9:30am
Th. Apr. 11, 9:30am
Th. May 9, 9:30am


Attend our Early Child Education forum with Principal Hughes and PS3/PK4 Tubman teachers to learn about the Tools of the Mind curriculum - a played-based hands-on approach that teaches children self-regulation and more about the neighborhood and world around them:  Wed. Feb. 6, 5:30pm

The DCPS lottery - all preschool (3) and pre-K (4) candidates must enter - opens Mon. Jan. 28 and closes Mon. Feb. 25.

Please contact Principal Harry Hughes harry.hughes@dc.gov (he's very responsive), Vice Principal Maggie Slye margaret.slye@dc.gov, PTA President Matt Aquiline tubmanptapresident@gmail.com; or me 1a04@anc.dc.gov with any questions.

Hope to see you at Tubman!