Friday, November 30, 2012

Condos coming to alley behind 1018 Irving Street?

A reader sent this in, a company called Seven Five Three Development is planning to build condos behind 1018 Irving Street NW -- that's the block bounded by 11th, Irving, Sherman and Columbia. They're going to add additional stories to the building.

They're having a neighborhood meeting on Saturday at 11:30 am at Bloombars. I'll try to make it, but I encourage others to go.

The person who sent the flyer to me seemed worried about it. Personally I don't think alley dwellings is a bad thing, as long as there is adequate access (mainly cars, if people park) and there is enough light and such to make sure that crime wouldn't be a problem. DC used to have alley dwellings in many blocks, until they were removed starting in the 1900s due to crime and overcrowding. Often the poorer folks would live inside the blocks while the wealthier folks would live on the outer parts of the block.

And then again, I don't have any alley neighbors. What do you think?
1018 Irving Alley Dwellings

The Pinch now hosting karaoke on Tuesdays, trivia on Wednesdays

If you need some stuff to do during the week, bar and restaurant The Pinch at 14th and Parkwood has got some cool options. 

They're now doing karaoke every Tuesday in the basement bar, which sounds like a good time. Here's the Facebook event for the regular karaoke, and they have some funny deals too -- if you spend $50, bartender and owner Dan will sing, and at $75, staff member Cesar will join him in a duet. DJ EJ Bangura from Banana Cafe on Barracks Row runs the show. 

And for trivia types, every Wednesday they're holding bar trivia. The same folks host it every week, which is good (being a bar trivia fan, I've found that makes for more consistent and better questions than when random people sign up to host.) You can have a maximum of 6 people on a team, and the winners and runners-up get a bar tab. The best team name gets a round of shots, and the losing team can choose a category for the next week. Here's the Facebook page for the trivia, which features a clue every week.

Both nights have deals too, $4 PBR tall boys, Yuengling, Miller Lite and Coors Light.

If you haven't been, the Pinch is a pretty fun, laid back place with friendly bartenders and good food. Check it out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Immigration officers stopping nannies in neighborhood parks?

This is odd. Over on the Columbia Heights listserve, some folks are reporting that Hispanic nannies are being stopped by apparent immigration officers as they take kids to local parks, like the Girard Street Park and 11th and Monroe Trolley Park. One nanny was arrested, and another nanny (and the kids she was nannying) was followed a few blocks by an SUV, then questioned. 

MPD and Jim Graham were contacted and neither are aware of these activities, and are both looking to get to the bottom of it. MPD officers said they do not deploy or assist with this kind of effort.
Over the last ~2 mos Homeland Security/ICE have been questioning nannies AT playgrounds in Columbia Heights (Girard St Park 14th / Monroe 11st Park -- "Trolley Park"). There are 2 SUVs that sit near the parks, black Escalade /black Suburban (w/4 African American women seated in the SUVs). In some cases the women in the SUVs get out and question the nannies at the park (IN FRONT of children) -- and in other cases they FOLLOW the nannies home from the park and question them on the street (also in front of children). They question only the minority nannies -- and seem to approach them randomly. 
In one case, a woman began questioning a nanny AT the park on Girard St -- pretending she was interested in securing nanny employment, asking how this nanny secured her job. The nanny explained to her that she got her job via an agency and earnestly offered to help the woman and provide the agency phone number. Later, as the nanny was leaving the park with the two children she was caring for, the same woman, approached the same nanny and showed her badge indicating she was with Homeland Security and demanded her name, address, and other information.
In another example, a nanny left Trolley Park, an SUV followed her for a few blocks. Then pulled in front of her as she was walking down the street with the stroller-- then a woman got out, began calling her ma'am repeatedly trying to get her attention -- then asked her how she got her job. 
In one case, after questioning a nanny, the nanny was arrested (14th and Girard).
Other readers expressed concern, especially since they aren't sure what their rights are. It's a troublesome issue: of course there are immigration laws on the books, but randomly asking nannies in front of the kids, and following them around, seems like a strange way to enforce them to say the least. It's borderline harassment and I'm sure if that was my nanny and my kids, I would not be happy.
Thanks MPD for looking into this. As a mom, a Latina and user of the parks I feel outraged about this harassment. Several of my nanny friends are worried and have asked me about the best way to act if approached. What rights do they have to give or withhold information? Do they HAVE to talk to them? None of them want to get in trouble but some do not speak English and all feel very intimidated. Any help and advice would be appreciated. I think I speak on behalf of the community parents that Columbia Heights celebrates diversity and want to make sure all residents, visitors and our loving caregivers are well protected and respected. 
Pretty weird. What do you think?  

Many Languages, One Voice: photo exhibit for English language students at Bloombars tonight

This sounds really cool! Check it out.

Inline image 1A picture speaks a thousand words—especially when it is the only mode of communication you share with another person. 

Please join Many Languages, One Voice (MLOV) for a private viewing the evening of Thursday, November 29th featuring powerful photographs taken by DC’s English Language Learner (ELL) high school students. This photography exhibit will showcase work that captures local students' experiences as immigrants, ELLs, and young urban organizers. At the private viewing, not only get a chance to view

  the stills before they debut to the general public, but also meet the young artists who participate in MLOV's youth education organizing body, the Student Multiethnic Action Research Team (SMART), and were participants in the Community Media Internship provided in partnership with Critical Exposure. Plus, as you walk through the exhibit at the private viewing, you'll hear the indie pop sounds of Inara Sunset, is a new local band that has already played at Artomatic 2012.

Come early and join us for an exclusive happy hour at Red Rocks Pizzeria.

Communities in Focus: A (Sneak) Peek Through SMART Lens
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tickets: $25 online / $35 at the door

Happy Hour at RedRocks
1036 Park Road, NW
5:30 to 7:30PM

Private Viewing at BloomBars (a community arts space)
3222 11th Street, NW
Doors open at 7:30PM

Please purchase your ticket(s) here:   

For more information, please visit our website:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Columbia Heights Christmas Tree lighting Dec. 1, plus charity happy hour after!

Our neighborhood's annual tree lighting is upon us -- it's Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (the triangle bordered by 14th, Park and Kenyon.) The event is sponsored by the District Church, Giant, local anti-poverty nonprofit Collaborate to Impact, plus Cava and The Coupe. It starts at 6:30 pm. Here's more about  from their Facebook page -- there will also be Christmas carols from local musicians and hot beverages. Sounds like fun.

And if you want to continue the holiday spirit afterwards, a number of local bars and restaurants are holding a charity happy hour afterwards! You can get tickets at the tree lighting, at participating spots, the Latin American Youth Center, or online from Collaborate to Impact. The event benefits the Homeless Playtime Project, the Latin American Youth Center, and the Parkview Kids Zone.

(Click the flyer for more.)

Here's the schedule for the charity happy hour:
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Coffy Café
Holiday Cookie Decorating
• Holiday cookies to decorate
• Mini Crepe Special 
Rudolf Raffle Drawing
8:00pm -8:30pm
Lou’s City Bar
Santa’s Merry Match Game
Holiday Photo Booth
• $2 off Seasonal Beers 
9:00pm- 11:00pm
The Getaway
District Karaoke Caroling
Late Night Dance Party
• Free Holiday Cocktail
• $5 Special:
-Smokin’ Apple Cocktail
-Night Harvest Cabernet
-Night Harvest Chardonnay

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Columbia Heights Metro by the numbers, and a video of all WMATA trips

Lately a lot of data-crunching has come out about Metro ridership -- WMATA makes its data available, meaning people (and nerds) can crunch and explore it, and recently they just did a big data dump from May, 2012 on their PlanItMetro blog -- and here are some results!

The first, and most visually interesting, is this map showing each trip on Metrobus and Metrorail over the course of a day. As time goes on, you can see the city start to fill up, and 16th, 14th, Sherman and Georgia are pretty evident. Pretty fun to watch and gape at a bit. (h/t to DCist for noticing it.)

Now to the more hardcore data-y: the blog Greater Greater Washington did an analysis of which Metro stations are most popular during AM and PM rush hours, and which are popular late night and mid-day. I was a bit surprised Columbia Heights isn't on there for PM rush hour, as it's pretty crowded, but I guess compared to somewhere like Farragut North it's no contest. What's interesting though is that Columbia Heights is the 3rd most busy exit point for the evenings after Dupont and Gallery Place -- evening being the time after PM rush hour to midnight. That's probably due to folks coming to shop after work or going to our various bars and restaurants. Nice to see that.

The City Paper also did some analysis, but on the single-trip basis, mostly. Columbia Heights doesn't appear on the most or least popular trips for the most part, but it turns out that Gallery Place-Columbia Heights is the single most popular late night trip. Woo!

Pretty fun stuff. Anything interesting you notice? Or have you done any analysis on your own of it? If I get a chance, I'll check it out soon!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Need to get a Christmas tree? Here are some local spots to buy them

If you're looking to buy a Christmas tree in the area, you're in luck: both Annie's Ace Hardware and the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace sell them. Annie's, at 1240 Upshur, is a great hardware store in general, and the CHCM will be selling them on Saturdays.

Nice that there are some local options. If you have any others, let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Are you in DC for Thanksgiving? What are you planning to do?

While I'm sure a lot of folks in our area are heading elsewhere for Turkey Time, many are remaining in town. I've mostly gone home, but a few times I've stayed in town, eating with friends or hosting family who came to town. Plus there are folks who are DC natives.

It's kind of fun to be here for the holiday, the city is a lot emptier and there's still some things to do -- I remember going to a very empty but fun Black Cat one Thanksgiving night after eating with friends.

So what are your plans? Let us know in the comments! I'll run a post later with possibilities for things to go.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Local nonprofit Words Beats & Life celebrating 11 years, selling cool shirts and hoodies

Words Beats & Life, a Columbia Heights nonprofit that teaches young people on how hip hop can change lives, is celebrating their 11th anniversary.

To mark it they're selling these really awesome shirts and hoodies! Buy one and you'll look cool and know you're helping a great local group.

Here's more from them:
After a decade of handing down traditions the newest Words Beats & Life design is a throw back. This design was inspired by the artwork from Wild Style the movie. When you purchase, this is your opportunity to stay classic (and warm!) and support an organization you believe in. “Give The Gift Of Hip-Hop” and look fresh while you do it.  It is the support of people like you that makes it possible for WBL to provide after school programming for 200 youth a year. 

New parking rules in Ward One: more parking for residents only

Just saw this posted to some Yahoo groups, some changes to the parking rules. Take a look! 

I don't have a car, but let us know in the comments what you think.
DDOT to Complete Implementation of Enhanced Residential Permit Parking Program in Ward One

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to complete the implementation of the Enhanced Residential Permit Parking (ERPP) program in Ward 1 over the next few weeks. The ERPP program protects parking for neighborhood residents by designating one side of the street resident only parking from 7 am to 8:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

New signage for the ERPP program will be posted on blocks with traditional Residential Permit Parking (RPP) restrictions in ANCs 1A, 1B and 1C (ANC 1D opted out of the ERPP program). One side of the street will have RPP restrictions, and the other side will have enhanced restrictions.

RPP provides residents, with a residential parking permit, the ability to park on streets in their permitted area. Non permit holders may park in these areas for a maximum of two hours. By contrast, only residents may park on a curb with ERPP restrictions during the posted hours of enforcement, and an ERPP violation is a towable offence.

DDOT is implementing legislation sponsored by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and passed by the DC Council earlier this year. Crews will be working on an accelerated schedule to install about 2,500 new signs on approximately 550 neighborhood blocks included in the program. The installation will begin on or about November 17.

Please visit our website for more information about DDOT's Parking Services
Graham added these notes too:
On the notice I issued earlier today, I have received a small but important clarification from the Department of Transportation. Days and hours of RPP enforcement WILL NOT CHANGE from what currently exists on a block with established Zone One parking. The DEFAULT days and hours for residential blocks not otherwise designated (such as recently added residential streets) will be, as stated by DDOT, 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM, Monday through Friday. 

The Enhanced Visitor Parking Pass being mailed to residents will allow your guest to park on both sides of the ERPP street. The Zone One restricted side as well as the opposite side of the residential street.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Contest time! Win free tickets to the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band

Here's a cool opportunity to get some free tickets to DC's Different Drummers! What's your favorite classical music piece? Email newcolumbiaheights(at)gmail(dot)com with your answer, and I'll randomly choose somebody to get 4 tickets! Reply by Friday!

Capitol Pride Symphonic Band and Capitol Pride Winds present American Salute! 

D.C.'s Different Drummers Capitol Pride Symphonic Band (CPSB) has been preparing a fabulous fall concert, American Salute!, which will be held at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 17th

Buy your tickets today at our online store! Children 12 and under are free.

Our conductor, Joe Bello, along with the band, have a truly special evening of music planned for Saturday, November 17th. The concert will be performed at the Columbia Heights Education Campus Auditorium (3101 16th Street NW).

American Salute! will feature pieces by famous American Composers, from Bernstein to Copland, Maslanka and many more. 

We are very happy to host special guest conductor, Travis Cross - Director of Bands at Virginia Tech. In addition, we will feature three incredible guest soloists - two instrumentalists and a bass vocalist, Michael Dane.

Following this performance, the band will prepare for our concert for the Maryland Music Educator's Association Conference in Baltimore Maryland on Saturday, February 23rd, 2013. The performance will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, and our theme will be Citiscapes.

On March 23rd, 2013, at 7:30pm, the band will perform our spring concert, A Space Odyssey at the Columbia Heights Education Campus Auditorium.

Do you have Internet issues? What are some good options?

I've gotten a few different questions recently from friends and readers about Internet service in the neighborhood -- what are your thoughts? Any recommendations, or recommendations of what to avoid? I've heard some good things about Clear, but don't know much about it or other providers.

Here's one of the readers' questions.
I'm new to the area and I have Comcast for internet. The connection is quite poor. Cuts out often, and there are times when I can't even check my email. One of my roommates has a PC and his internet is fine. My other roommate and I have macs and our connections are slow and inconsistent. Anyone else have similar issues?
What are your thoughts and recommendations!? What are some good service providers aside from Comcast?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Movember fundraiser at Lou's City Bar on Tuesday night

If you want to help fight prostate cancer while enjoying some good food and drink deals at Lou's, check this out for tomorrow:
Happy Movember! Join us for a mid-month fundraiser for DC Bocce's Movember Team:

A $10 donation gets you great food & drink specials for the evening, plus we will be holding a raffle with some rather awesome prizes (see below, with more to come)! Come by and check out the best looking Movember team in the DC area, bar none. The first 10 attendees get a free Peroni as part of their generous donation! And if you can't attend, please donate to our team:

$4 Peroni and Blue Moon drafts
$5 rail drinks from the bar
$4 drafts from our private beer tap tables

Lou's juicy new sliders at 2-for-$5 or 4-for-$9 including:
- Turkey Burger Slider
- House-made Veggie Slider
- Portobello Slider
- Classic Hamburger Slider

RAFFLE ITEMS (with more to come!)
- Lou’s City Bar: free party at your own beer tap table
- Rosetta Stone: 1-year subscription for the language of your choosing (2 available)
- Off Road Indoor Cycling: 5-class pass (choose between indoor cycling, boxing, TRX, and power circuit)
- The Pretzel Bakery: coupon for a half dozen free pretzels (4 available)
- DC Brau: growler with unlimited refills in December (limit one per visit)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Owners of Greek Spot opening a new "island-style" bar & restaurant near Sherman & Harvard

This sounds interesting. The folks behind Greek Spot, a great Greek carryout near 11th and U, are looking to open a bar and restaurant near Harvard and Sherman. It's going to be "island-style," however they don't specify which islands -- but not Greek islands or the Caribbean. Interesting. Hawaii? Madagascar? Indonesia? Time will tell.

In any case, I'm looking forward to it because Greek Spot is awesome, and Sherman could definitely use some more businesses and food traffic. They're looking at opening this Spring.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The results are in! Cimino, Grosso and Orange win, Lenwood Johnson, Michael Brown lose

The election results are in, and there are a few surprises. For at-large council, incumbent Michael A. Brown was defeated, while newcomer David Grosso and old-timer Vincent Orange won. Brown had a number of financial issues, including allegations of mismanaging funds in a non-profit and getting $100,000 stolen from his campaign.

In the ANC races, for the most part incumbents won, though Anthony Cimino defeated Lenwood Johnson in ANC 1A10 -- you may recall that Lenwood has been in a lot of trouble, capped off by revelations that he used his government-provided phone to call adult chat lines. I'm happy about this one, Cimino seems like a good guy and Lenwood was a joke.

In other ANCs, Patrick Flynn beat incumbent Bill Brown in ANC 1A06, Zahra Jillani won a close one in ANC 1B12, by a mere 18 votes, and otherwise the incumbents or sole candidates won.

The three charter amendments passed, all related to kicking out elected officials if they are convicted of a felony or engage in "gross misconduct" and won't be able to hold that office again -- all clearly a response to the scandals with Mayor Vince Gray and former Council chair Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown.

In other news, the Libertarian Party gained major party status thanks to getting more than 10,000 votes against Eleanor Holmes Norton in the congressional delegate race, though Holmes Norton won soundly.

Oh, and President Obama won.

Here are the full results for all the races in DC.

In all, it seems like a good night for DC -- the candidates who I think are the best mostly won, and the ballot measures passed easily. But that's my opinion, what do you think?

UPDATE: I titled this post incorrectly -- it said Gallo rather than Grosso. Vickey Wright-Smith beat Alexander Gallo in ANC 1A02. My apologies.

First look at Mad Momos, new restaurant coming to 3605 14th Street NW

A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to visit Mad Momos, the new restaurant coming to 3605 14th Street NW. Wanchuk Topden, the co-owner, showed me around and talked about the vision for the place. I was pretty impressed, and definitely excited for it.

The first thing I noticed was that it's a really nice space. Topden said it was a Wardman building from the 1910s, Harry Wardman being a well-known local architect who built a lot of the houses in the area and elsewhere in the city. There's two stories with a small second-floor front porch and a really big back deck on the second floor, which Topden called the "beer deck."

He said the space was designed to be inside-outside, with big sliding doors and windows, so you can be inside but still feel like the outdoors -- like a sidewalk cafe. There's also an arbor on the front of the building, which he hopes adds some greenery to the sidewalk, and plants and flowers like Carolina jessamine in planters on the interior walls. Topden, who lives a few blocks away, said the idea came because he likes to travel and liked being outdoors. In addition to the plant life, he also said he wanted to reduce, reuse and reclaim items for the inside. The bar tops were in the house originally, for example, and other materials are from Community Forklift, a building materials salvage non-profit, and other similar local spots. There's also going to be rotating art on the walls, with the first installations being some cool wall pieces by Topden's friend Lee Johnson, and other pieces by local artists.

The upstairs is big and open, and Topden hopes it'll have a relaxed vibe, with a small bar and lots of space for tables. He hopes to have a nice selection of beer, with 8 beers on draft, hopefully from local breweries, plus 7 craft bottles and one can too. There's also the big beer deck out back with a wooden wall around it, both to keep the noise level low for the neighbors and to make it a bit more private. That looks like a great place to enjoy some nice weather. There's also the small front porch upstairs, with room for maybe 10 or 12 people, and up to 99 total seats inside on both floors.

So, how about the food and drink? Topden, who is originally from Sikkim, part of India in the Himalayas, says the food will be reasonably-priced New American cuisine with an Asian flair (not a Sikkimese restaurant as I guessed originally.) He said their chef is a young, talented Japanese-American culinary school grad from Rocky Mount, NC, and his dishes will be Asian and Southern-influenced comfort food, like shrimp and grits, scallops with bacon, Cedar Rapids pork and apples, sweet potato fries, and the like. They plan to serve brunch on the weekends, and will also have their namesake momos, which are Himalayan dumplings that sound pretty tasty. Topden said momos and beer are a great combo. I'm looking forward to trying them out.

In all, the place looks and sounds pretty great. They're hoping to open this Fall, and they've gotten all of their licenses, plus support from the local ANC. When I hear more about the date, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ANC Candidates Recap

The election is upon us, and I've done my best to get all the ANC candidates to respond to a questionnaire -- my theory was that ANC commissioners are important folks in the neighborhood, but it's not always easy to know who they are and what they stand for. Over the course of 13 posts, I've published their responses.

Now here's all the responses for each district, broken down (and check out the map at right to figure out which district you're in. The district boundaries go through the middle of the street, so whatever side of the street you're on, that's what you're in.)



And the following ANCs have only one candidate, and that candidate didn't respond to multiple emails over the course of about 2 months: 1A01, 1A05, 1A07, 1A09, 1B02, 1B03, 1B04, 1B06, 1B09, 1B10, and 1B11.

To be honest, if you live in one of those districts I encourage you not to vote for the candidate on the ballot. If they can't be bothered to respond to multiple emails asking them to state their positions so constituents can get educated, they probably aren't worth voting for. Sure, people are busy and don't check email all the time, but at the same time, those are the email addresses they provided to the Board of Elections, and part of an ANC commissioner's job is to be accessible to their constituents. As you can tell, this is frustrating to me.

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1B07

The thirteenth in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1B07, which you can see at right.

ANC 1B07 is currently represented by Juan E. Lopez, who is running again, unopposed. His answers are below. 

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.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a DC native. I was born at Columbia Hospital for Women and spent my early childhood years right near Meridian Hill Park.  After serving in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years, I worked in the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. My partner and I moved back to the Columbia Heights neighborhood six years ago, making it a homecoming of sorts.
2. Why are you running for ANC?
I first ran for ANC in 2008 after realizing our then-commissioner was missing the vast majority of meetings. Because the neighborhood was undergoing such rapid development, I felt it was very important for my neighbors to have a say in the changes occurring across Columbia Heights. I worked very hard to provide the thoughtful representation we needed and was reelected in 2010. Our neighborhood has seen and will continue to see new businesses and residential units and we'll need to continue to balance this growth with the quality of life issues that affect our residents. That's why I'm running for reelection.
3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district? 
The main issues facing ANC1B07 continue to be public safety, litter and garbage collection and engaging the community's youth.
4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
We can always work better to engage neighborhood residents and promote open communication. I'd also like to continue to encourage more citizen involvement in the various committees that help the ANC represent our residents in a more effective manner.
5. What do you think the area needs more of?
ANC1B07 can always benefit from continued cooperation and improved communication with our residents, encouraging a visible and engaged police presence and enhanced youth programs.
6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues? 
The issue of liquor licenses is a major topic that regularly arises in ANC 1B, especially as more restaurants and nightlife establishments move into the neighborhood. I think it is important to take into account residential concerns about noise, litter, hours of operation, etc., when a new business applies, and a balanced, common sense approach should be taken. I encourage new businesses to reach out and build a dialogue with residents and neighborhood associations.  When appropriate, Voluntary Agreements can also help achieve each party's goals.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1B08

The twelfth in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1B08, which you can see at right.

ANC 1B08 is currently represented by James Turner, who is now running for ANC 1B09 (the boundaries changed a bit since last time.) The candidate is Emily Washington, who is running unopposed. Her answers are below.

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.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I've lived in DC for the past four years. Besides Columbia Heights I have lived in Takoma and Glover Park, and I can say that this is my favorite neighborhood in the city. I have been interested in urban policy since working as an intern at the City Planning Department in my hometown. Originally I am from western Colorado and first moved to the mid Atlantic to go to Goucher College outside of Baltimore. I then moved to DC to go to George Mason University for a M.A. in economics where I focused on urban economics. Currently I work in state policy research at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

I write for the blog Market Urbanism. My writing has appeared in USA Today, Economic Affairs, Christian Science Monitor, and The Daily Caller.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
I am running for ANC as a voice supportive of development in the District. I think that greater land use freedom is the best path toward both affordable housing and private sector job growth in the city.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district? 
In District 1B08, safety continues to be a concern. Additionally, a few sites in this neighborhood provide opportunities for new residential development, which could help in a small way to alleviate upward price pressure on our neighborhood's existing homes.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
I think that the ANC can do a better job of recognizing the positive contribution of new housing development as helping to address our affordable housing problem. Additionally, I think that our neighborhood could benefit from innovative parking policies, where street parking is priced according to demand, particularly for those parking in our neighborhood without residential permits.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
Our neighborhood could support more retail and office development. In addition to serving as neighborhood amenities, these uses create jobs for residents and draw others to our neighborhood providing customers for existing restaurants and coffee shops.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues? 
I am not opposed to liquor licenses, but I do think that the restricted availability of liquor licenses in certain parts of the city leads to an overabundance of bars in other neighborhoods or overly crowded bars in underserved neighborhoods. Both of these situations can have negative consequences. One benefit of liquor licenses is that they make it profitable for restaurants to stay open later, providing foot traffic on our neighborhood's streets and improving safety in night hours.

Contact Info: Blog: My twitter is @ebwashington, and my email address is

ANC commish Lenwood Johnson used government-paid phone for adult chat, political campaign

In case you needed another reason not to vote for ANC 1A10 commissioner Lenwood Johnson (aside from his bad behavior, bragging about having a gun, almost being censured, and more) here's the most damning: the Washington Post found that he used his official, government-paid cell phone to call adult chat lines, for a partisan political campaign he worked for (Johnson was treasurer for Pete Ross's shadow senator campaign), and thousands of minutes of other personal calls. The Post reports he called the adult chat lines, D.C. Alibi and D.C. Raven, more than 240 times for a total of 158 hours. The DC Raven chat line's Twitter page (not safe for work!) has a picture of a woman in lingerie on it.

While the report says the calls didn't add much to the bills, the fact that he used the government-paid phone so much for things that clearly aren't helping his constituents or related to his job is ridiculous. And if he used the government-paid phone for political purposes, that would be against DC law.

For his part, Johnson said he didn't know he couldn't use it for personal calls, and that the adult chat lines weren't for sex, he mostly called them when he drove back from Baltimore, where he co-owns a nightclub.

Johnson is running for election this year in ANC 1A10 against Anthony Cimino. Cimino responded to my Better Know Your ANC Candidates questionnaire earlier, which you can see here. Obviously I think you should vote for Cimino.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Better Know Your ANC Candidates: ANC 1B05

The eleventh in our Better Know Your ANC Candidates series is fightin' ANC 1B05, which you can see at right (the southern boundary is V Street and Florida Ave.)

ANC 1B05 is currently represented by Mary M. Streett, who isn't running this time. The lone candidate is Ricardo A. Reinoso. His answers are below.

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.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the son of Peruvian immigrants and was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, moved to Washington, DC in 1996, and have been a long-time member of the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association. I have a passion for the arts and co-founded the Latino-focused, founded Nuvo Music and the Eden Experience, and created and supervised the curriculum for a DJ school called the DJ Lab. In 2008, I worked for the Obama for America campaign in Florida. I was a candidate for the 2010 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year fundraising campaign, and subsequently sat on the campaign’s Leadership Committee. I currently work in an international financial organization and sit on the board of Liberty’s Promise, an immigrant youth-focused non-profit.

2. Why are you running for ANC?
I have been on my block for 14+ years so I feel it is time to take a more active role in doing more for the community I’ve called home for so many years.

3. What are the biggest issues confronting your district? 
Trash collection and crime remain big issues in our district. But everywhere you turn these days there is a construction crane, so with the overwhelming number of projects in the area, sanitation and safety issues increasingly arise that are not always dealt with effectively and immediately.

4. What do you think the ANC can do better?
The ANC can make a more concerted effort to actually go out to meet our residents to hear their concerns and opinions; having them only come to us does not suffice. I would also like the ANC to do a better job of either developing a comprehensive code of ethics for Commissioners or pushing the DC government to enact one for the ANC.

5. What do you think the area needs more of?
Based on my years in the neighborhood, I feel ANC1B needs more MPD foot patrols, more summer job and apprenticeship programs for our kids and our formerly incarcerated residents, more community driven green initiatives (such as community gardens and green roofs, particularly for new development projects), more cycling traffic lights (the number of cyclists has dramatically increased but with that has come more cyclist and pedestrian safety concerns), more hardware stores, more locally developed coffee shops and delis, and more arts-focused projects that help drive the local economy.

6. One of the ANC's jobs is to regulate liquor licenses. What are your thoughts on these issues? 
I am still developing my complete stance on this issue but I personally feel there are probably more than enough liquor licenses in our area. We should focus more on supporting a wider variety of businesses that improve the overall quality of life for our residents.

Campaign website, Facebook, Twitter, email, and contact information: (to be launched soon),,, 202-670-8872

How was Halloween in the neighborhood? Lots of trick-or-treaters? Here's our rundown of folks on Twitter talking about it

How was your Halloween? I heard some good things and some bad things, and saw a fair amount of little ones trick or treating. I also compiled these Twitter posts about it, seems like a wide range. The most interesting one is from Jonathan O'Connell from the Post. There definitely did seem to be more white families than in the past, and a lot more people in general than the past few years -- though last year had a lot as well.

Election night party at The Pinch

Just heard about this, an election night party at The Pinch, the laid back new bar at 3548 14th Street NW. Sounds like fun. Here's the Facebook invite.
Live Music! Prizes! Drawings! Election returns!

Win or Lose, We Booze!!! Join The Pinch and Great Lakes Brewery for an Election Night to remember or forget - just like the candidates, its your choice:

Bands kick off in the downstairs lounge at 8pm

Drawings and prizes

Election returns upstairs, with sound, on HD TVs

Who's Playing:
Each Other (Montreal)

Freak Heat Wave (Victoria, BC)

No cover, its free! (But donations for band appreciation always happily accepted)