DC Republicans come out and gather


St. George’s Episcopal Church
160 U Street, NW
(Corner of U & 2nd Street, NW)

October 17, 2007 (Wednesday Night)

6:30PM – 7:30PM

WHY: To hear how the DC Republican Committee can better serve you.


Paid for by the DC Republican Committee
Not endorsed by any candidate or candidate committee
1275 K Street, NW Ste 102
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202 289-8005 I Fax: 202 289-2197
Email: info@dcgop.com I www.dcgop.com

Lunchtime Research: Taxes and commerce pt 1

Actually the research started before I headed to work, following up on a thought someone had brought up about people being forced out of the neighborhood because of rising real estate taxes. I’ve already covered the fact that some oldtimers who have kept their eye on the ball with the homestead exemption pay a pittance in RE taxes, so no need to rehash it.
While I was poking around reaffirming that notion, I noticed something about businesses and their RE tax. We’re all familiar with the loss of the Warehouse Theater due to skyrocketing RE tax. Well they are no exception to rising taxable assessments. Over on the block that used to have the non-profit bike shop (I think a non-profit works out of that building) and currently has a Chinese take-away and a used/rent-wreck car lot, Square 476, the assessments have gone up a lot. I have to say ‘a lot’ because I can’t do math, I flunked out of B-School. A lot, as in 1628 6th St NW going from $184,690 (2007) to $444,280 (2008). Not as bad is the beauty shop (well use code says beauty shop) at 508 RI Ave NW going from $179,380 (2007) to $331,260 (2008).
Over in my neck of the woods, in the TC, I just got confused with the tax classes. 1627 1st St NW is in the ‘Residential’ tax class but the use code is a ‘Store’ and it is $99,020 (2007) & $177,470 (2008), while next to it is 1625 1st St NW use code ’49-Commercial-Retail-Misc’ in the residential tax class at $263,020 (2007) & $468,460 (2008).
Down North Capitol the taxable assessments double, except for one guy. 1338 North Cap $241,180 (2007) to $585,670 (2008); 1324 North Cap $160,680 to $324,790; 1304 North Cap $264,680 to $583,170; and Brian Brown’s 1334 N. Cap $437,130 to $954,920 ouch! Strangely, possibly for very explainable reasons Big Ben liquors at 1300 North Capitol’s taxable assessment barely moves at $212,360(2007) to $247,670 (2008).
The thing that makes me wonder is what does it mean for the growth of the commercial corridor? And there is little relief, unlike homeowners who can claim the homestead exemption, businesses have to suck up the rises.

Y’all mean

Because my usual Wednesday activity has been discontinued and because I don’t have a TV I wandered over to the ANC 2C Show. I don’t think my skin is thick enough to deal with a full fledged meeting, ’cause y’all mean. Not to be too Deanna Troi, but Captain, I sense hostility.
I say full fledged because Ms. Brooks appeared ill at the beginning of the meeting and the official meeting was adjourned sometime after the minutes (I believe, I can’t hear that well) were approved. What occurred after she and Mr. Thorpe left was a community meeting facilitated by Misters Chapple and Padro.
I guess one good thing was the leader of the Organization for Training Others in Need, Carole A. Mumin, wife of Ibrahim Mumin, addressed her grievance with Mr. Chapple and his reporting of the DC Auditors report. She stated that she erred in giving the auditor the wrong receipts, which resulted in a damning report. There were apologies, speeches and testimonials about the program.
Moving on.
There was something about a building on New York Ave. MVSQ has concerns. I wonder how realistic is it to move a brick building that isn’t stable. But I’m keeping my thoughts to myself.
Then lastly, there was Parcel 42 and the presentation was for a matter of right proposal. Matter of right, good, as for reasons I’m not entirely free to blog about, PUDs take for-ever. You can get married have kids and send those kids off to college before some PUDs get finished. Not so great, and I’m keeping my thoughts to myself, but the presenters were suggesting 100% affordable housing. Doesn’t the Susan Reitig House of Prayer building that’s up have affordable housing aspects? And then across 7th St there is a post-riot affordable housing building, which across 8th from that building another affordable housing structure, and across R Street from that a public housing. Then across R/Rhode Island from Parcel 42 is senior affordable housing. So short of the 7-11 that intersection would be a concentrated area of affordable housing if this plan was chosen. I’m no city planner, but isn’t this almost like concentrating poverty? And despite being structured to have retail or some commercial space on the first level the building on 7th and R (Lincoln-Westmoreland? Name escapes me now), there is little for profit business that I see. So something is wrong if pre-existing space is underperforming.
I’ll stick with the peace, love and happiness of 5C. I am gaining a greater appreciation for Jim Berry and his legacy of grace and being slow to anger.

The Washington Post finally gets it

Praise be to G-d, they lost the ‘neighborhood change’ template all the reporters keep reusing to describe places like Shaw and Bloomingdale. In today’s Post there is an article by DeNeen L. Brown “Change is Clear” in the Style section, page C1 about change in the Bloomingdale neighborhood centering around the image of Windows Cafe. The old template goes, setting black poor neighborhood, evil wealthy white people come in change things and displace the black people, tsk, tsk, tsk, and throw in the word ‘gentrification’ in a disparaging manner.
This article acknowledges that the changes have been made by both blacks and whites. Even better a black gay (okay I’m assuming gay) couple who restored a house are quoted. The whites in the story, have been in the hood for about 15 years, hard to call them newcomers. One of them, Scott Roberts, 52 year old SPF 10,000 guy, has some of the best quotes, which I may write about later. Really, those quotes are money, gems.
Good job all.

Happy Hour Fund Raiser

SolidarityDC is thrilled to be co-hosting the
Happy Hour to benefit the 7th Street Garden!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

6-9 PM


1214 18th St NW

(Connecticut & 18th St)

$10 donation at the door

plus great drink specials!

Live Music by Evan Bliss & the Welchers

The 7th Street Garden is a highly productive community food garden
wherein participants learn to grow, cook and market produce; the
garden’s produce is given to low-income Shaw residents. The garden
unites diverse communities through the provision of local food
production. Urban gardens not only directly alleviate food insecurity,
but also foster trust and camaraderie amongst program participants.
This relationship ultimately leads to the development of strong

Solidarity DC is a group committed to bringing the DC metropolitan
area’s progressive community together to have fun and achieve justice,
one Happy Hour at a time! We’re now in our second year! To learn more
about the event or Solidarity DC or to get email updates,
contact solidaritydc@gmail.com.

Andalu is giving us a wonderful deal by opening the bar early so we’ll
have it all to ourselves, as well as donating 100% of the cover and
proceeds from drink specials !!!

Michael Artz

House history in the most unlikely places

Okay the disclaimers:
Disclaimer #1- There are people out there who do house history for a living, I’m not one of them. If you’re doing research on your house, I’m not the best resource, so please don’t expect much if you ask a question.

Disclaimer #2- There are some reflections I make regarding archival theory that I just have zero interest in explaining to the layperson. In the end this is a personal blog, so if you find some things disturbing, express it elsewhere.

/end disclaimers

Doing random search for my house and my neighbors’ houses, just to get a sense of the neighborhood, see if anyone else is blogging or what have you, I came across something quite interesting. It seems that a notable person, not exactly in your middle school history book notable, but notable enough to have a place accept her papers, owned my house. Quickly, I need to state that Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, the 1st Black woman to receive a Phd in Mathematics never ever lived in my house. Never. Ever. She might have looked at it from time to time. My house, as well as several other Shaw, Bloomingdale, and general DC houses were in her investment portfolio, which are included in her personal papers, which wound up at Catholic University, which decided at some point to put up the finding aid on the web, which made it possible for me to stumble upon.
Now as someone who has processed personal papers for a university, I wondered if this would be the kind of stuff I’d keep. Because the items that I was looking at fall outside of the topic that makes Dr. Lofton-Haynes’s papers valuable to the institution holding them, makes the accessioning archivist in me wonder. However, areas of income, income production and other aspects that allow the subject to engage in activities because of the freedom that extra money can bring, thus making these off topic files valuable. Yet, this would be the last place I’d even think of looking to find out about my house and neighborhood.
Just glancing over her real estate holdings, and almost all the files about particular houses have sales contracts showing the price she bought and later sold the property for, she did pretty well. Some files have correspondence and bills/invoices about repairs and improvement, which may not reflect all the money she poured into a place, but if those were the big major repairs, she made a decent buck on the sale. She bought a cluster of four houses Truxton Circle for $22,000 in 1945, and sold three of them individually for $8,000 in 1949; $9,500 and $12,000 in 1950. The sales contract also mention how much the houses are to be or were renting for, and the 1940s rents hovered between $40 and $45 dollars a month.
Besides sales contracts, there are title insurance papers, bills, loan receipts, correspondence about repairs, and very mundane things. Of course one property did have a notice from the DC Board of Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings informing Dr. Haynes-Lofton that her property had saggy floors, defective plumbing and electrical, broken door parts and ill fitting windows. Was the good Professor a slum lord? Don’t know, some of the houses she sold the buyers had intended to live in them, so she couldn’t have been that bad. She did upgrade some of the houses, installing gas in the kitchens, replacing roofs, and making repairs.
What I found most interesting was a non-Shaw property that involved her in a legal case with the federal government. One file labeled “Rental property, 1523 M st., lawsuit, speak easy, legal document, 1931” has letters and legal docs about a place she leased/rented that the Feds busted as a speak easy. She, through her lawyer, stated that she knew nothing about the activities of what was going on there. Considering the number of holdings she had all over the city and her professional activities in DC education, it is completely possible she did not know that she had a gin joint in her investment portfolio.

Report Stupid People

Alrighty, the notes for the BACA meeting are up. User name: Thismeeting psw: neverhappened .

In there is a sizable bit about hate crimes. The thing I want to share on this side of the blog is that Law & Order: Hate Crimes Unit, not just for gays. You can report incredibly stupid white people who use the N word, in the presence of Black people. Though being stupid is not a crime and saying stupid stuff is protected by the first amendment, you can report racial slurs (along with anti-homosexual-semitic-latino-etc) as an incident to Hate Crimes.
Because of the diversity of the neighborhood and the tensions along various lines, even straight white middle class guys can be the victim of a hate crime. If the criminals attacking you mistakenly attack because they think you are gay/ latino/ whatever, you may be the victim of a hate crime even if you aren’t gay/latino/whatever.
I’m doing this not because I want to promote victimhood, but I see it as a tool to bring more police attention to our area. We are a diverse area and there are forces that try to use that diversity against us, I see working with Hate Crimes as one way to deal with that which would undermine our unity.

The Hate Crimes Hotline is 202 727 0500.

In comments, be nice or be deleted.