January 2012 Archives

That's my logical conclusion and the thought just makes me want to cry.

Think about it, she and the United House of Prayer (UHOP) have plopped a bunch of her architectural firm's stuff all over Shaw and she is a female architect, a rarity apparently. And because she is such a rare bird it would make sense that in the future (provided we haven't been overrun by aliens or zombies or blown ourselves up) that the portfolio of her work (ie the crappy looking UHOP buildings) 'must' be protected by some do gooder historic group. Because our present is someone else's past.

I work in a history profession that in it's early days spent a lot of time gathering up old papers. These things proved their worthiness to be preserved and saved by manuscript curators because they lasted so long already. Then in the early-mid* 20th century, it occured to people to appraise the old thing and ask if it worth keeping, even if it is old. But sometimes appraisal isn't really picky. I mention this because I'm convinced that those over in architectural history aren't particularly picky either and because of the gender and prolific nature, those multicolored blocks are sure to wind up on some preservation list.

The CCCA prez mentioned that the Reatig firm is set to design another UHOP structure at 926 N St NW. Let's not forget she has at least 3 other UHOP buildings (600 blk S St, 1700 blk 7th and another one near Mt. Vernon Sq) that have been thrown up in Shaw in the past couple of years with another one on Rhode Island Avenue in the process of getting built. UHOP owns a fair amount of property around Shaw so it can be a matter of time before some more Reatig buildings rise up.

So someone please tell me this conclusion is wrong and why. Explain how some preservationist 50 to 70 years in the future won't be fighting to save those quaint, then "historic" Reatig Shaw buildings? And if someone from that far in the future reads this, knock them down when you can. I don't care if the world leader or a dozen Nobel prize winners were raised there or they represent something you hold dear, bring in the demolition crew.

 

*My copy of The Modern Archives Reader has apparently grown legs and walked off, so I'm stuck with another archival management book that doesn't even touch records appraisal. So I'm unsure of dates and going with what I can remember from my History of Archives and Libraries class I took a decade ago.

Doing a house history

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The DC Humanities council has a video on doing a house history. They also are hosting workshops.

 

There are a few things I thought of when watching the video. One they mention square and lot numbers. Though the square more than likely never changes over time, the lot number can change. When I was trying to map out addresses for my census project I first started trying to make the Square-lot number a key access point for tracing addresses over time. That didn't work as from the 1880s to 1930s lots would get redeveloped and their lot numbers would change. Just be aware. Second, I also discovered the city directory, is not 100% accurate. There was a family I found in the census and confirmed their residency with the sons' draft cards. But in the city directory for that same time period and the surrounding years, another family was listed for that address.

Date Night @ Estadio

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Estadio
estadio-dc.com/
1520 14th St NW
Bus- G2
Cost (with tip)- $86

I would like to do something monthly, which is to go to restaurants in or near Shaw, getting there by public transit (ie the bus) or on foot. The Help and I do go out at least 2 times a month for a date. Unlike premarital dating, we're not trying to impress and the bill gets paid out of the joint checking. So what we're looking for is good food and the ability to hear each other talk.

We went to Estadio early because to reserve on Opentable, your choice is 5:15, 5:30 and 6pm. If we wanted to dine later we'd have to call to make a reservation. We we arrived the place wasn't crowded, and we were seated near a window.

At that point the noise level was at a point where I could hear the waiter give the same similar spleil to the other tables of the day's specials. We ordered anchovies in olive oil, marinated olives, some Pinxos (one bite skewered things), a butternut squash soup, the hangar steak, a fish dish, 1 glass of wine and the chocolate dessert.

I had heard great things about Estadio, but I needed to keep my expectations in check, which was a good thing. We had an enjoyable meal, but if I had come in with great expectations, I don't think I would have enjoyed the meal as much. Since I was the only one having wine (and our waiter picked a red that was just perfect) our meal plus tip (btwn 17%-20%) came to $86. We left the restaurant in good spirits and took the G2 back home.

A wandering Snitcheye?

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Per their facebook page:

The not so good news... negotiations are not looking so great for the property we had in mind and we have started looking at other properties in the case that this one does not work out. We need your input. Where would you like SnitchEye Wine Bar to be located? Do you know of any properties for lease or sale for retail use?

August 16, 1935 Description of 9 1/2 Street NW

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I'm gonna pull something out of the pile. Something, that doesn't require scanning. Something short enough that I can transcribe without straining my wrists. This is from the National Capital Housing Authority (or Agency) regarding Sq. 361, and this can be found somewhere in a box at the National Archives.

August 16, 1935

9 1/2 STREET N.W.

DESCRIPTION: There are eleven alley dwellings in 9 1/2 Street, Ten of these houses have four rooms each; one has six rooms. The six room house is located on the rear of the street lot, the alley house number is 1907. There are no modern improvements, yet the interiors of most of the houses are neat and clean. The general repair of all properties is bad.

RENT: There is a rent range from $10.75 to $15.25 for the four room houses; the six room house rents for $15.50; per room, the rent range is from $2.69 to $3.75.

LENGTH OF TENANCY: Tenants have occupied these houses ranging from a few months to thirty years continuous occupation.

ECONOMIC STATUS: There are only four families, of the 14 families occupying the 11 dwellings, on the relief rolls-- all of the others claim private employment.

NUMBER OF FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS: Altogether there are fourteen families living in the alley. In houses numbered 1907-09-11 there are two families each, the balance contain one family each. Fifty people live in 46 rooms, ranging from 1 person in 1921 to 8 persons in 1915.

Sexual Assault and Robbery on 400 blk of Q NW

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A neighbor alerted me to this ( http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=186972), a sexual assault and robbery 11:30PM on Tuesday . The 400 Q Street is in both the 3rd and 5th Police District, so I don't know which block this happened. But whichever block this was on, my prayers are with the victim.

When it was affordable, it was a dump

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I'm speaking of Silver Spring, MD. I could also mean other parts of the DC metro area, but never Shaw. No when Shaw was more affordable it was a troubled transitional neighborhood with urban challenges, or as some folks want to call it, a ghetto, but never a dump. I  bring this up because of a post at Greater-Greater Washington from a MoCo blogger who wrote about his generation of 20somethings, " my generation may not come to Montgomery County if we can't find affordable housing in an urban setting."
Oh, your generation will keep comin' and paying out the nose, because the Gen X'ers were doing it to attractive hip neighborhoods when we were 20something, and it seems the next generation is doing the same. But I digress.
Mr. Reed points out that places like downtown Silver Spring and Bethesda lacking affordable housing. When the hell was Bethesda ever affordable? And when the Spouse was in his late 20s and he could afford to spend about half his income on renting a Fenton St. 1 bedroom. But then, downtown Silver Spring was kinda dumpy. There was no Whole Foods, no Discovery building, no AFI, nothing cool. There were still ruts in the road and construction when he was priced out in 2001 as the non-luxury plain jane apartment's rent was going to $1000. That was ten years ago.
Back in the mid to late 90s, I lived in Rossyln, when the only thing it had going for it was one grocery store, a Gold's Gym and the metro. There was only 1 good coffee shop, and its hours weren't resident friendly. Even then I was spending 1/2 my take home pay renting a place I shared with a roommate. Down the road, Clarendon and Courthouse were okay, with a few dumpy spots in between.
So let me finish with an angry old woman rant....
When I was your age
We had only one supermarket, a small ratty Giant/Safeway, and we liked it.
There was no decent retail in our neighborhood.
We had to hop on the metro, which shut down before midnight and was crap on weekends, to go to Virginia.
We didn't have no bike lanes neither.
Affordable Shaw (incl. Logan & Truxton) gave you the choice of prostitutes or drug dealers or both hanging around your abode during daytime hours.
Marion Barry was either mayor or hinting that he'd return to DC politics (which he did).
Now you kids get off my lawn.

Howard Theater

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Jimbo has some great photos of what's going on at the Howard Theater and the other development going on. Let's hope the Howard will learn from the whole Lincoln Theater mess.

Observations and miscellany

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I've noticed there is a metal structure on 9th and P, across the street from the O Market construction. I gather the Burmese restaurant is chugging along.

The office? space next to the Phyllis Wheatley YMCA on Rhode Island Ave is also looking nice after about a decade of neglect.

We may see some movement with Kensely Gardens in 2012. Once those buildings are knocked down I'll start calling them Jefferson at Marketplace. [CurbedDC]

There is something going on with Sunset Liquors, something about opening a deli. [Bloomingdale]

Neighbor B.'s thoughts about our street's progressive party. [Bohemian Yankee]

My neighbors are great.

Saturday, some neighbors down the block had their annual Tet (Vietnamese New Year) party. The spring rolls were incredibly yummy, as always and that crispy, cabbaggy, citrusy salad was oh-so good too.

Then Sunday, our street block had a progressive party, which had about little over 30 people, going to four houses. We have small houses, and though the number of 30 doesn't seem like a lot, it is a lot when crowding into the first floor of a house that may be 1000 sq. ft or less in total. Regardless, a good time was had and hopefully we can do this again in the Spring.

The thing I liked about the progressive party (besides checking out the hosts' homes) was the diversity and that we were socializing and getting to know each other as neighbors. I particularly liked the age diversity. The youngest party goer was 18 months old, and everyone loved her, she was a hit. The oldest attendee was a 75 year old Canadian citizen. In between were host 10* and 8* year olds who were filling out name tags and taking coats. There were neighbors of a certain age who have lived on the block 20+ years and their college aged adult children. Also in attendance were renters in their 20s and homeowners spanning the 30 to 60 year old range.

It was wonderful meeting new neighbors and neighbors who have been here a while but we hardly see for one reason or another.

The last house of the night hosted desserts and I made as part of my contribution homemade chocolate pudding with a stripe of vanilla bean pudding. Below is my recipe for the chocolate portion.

Super-fat chocolate pudding

1 cup of milk (full fat, creamline to make it fattier)

1 cup of whipping cream

½ cup of sugar

½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp of cornstarch

¼ tsp of salt

1 tsp of vanilla extract (approx.)

1.    Heat milk and cream in a pot until bubbles begin to form on the side. Turn heat off if needed.

2.    In a bowl mix the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until somewhat uniform looking.

3.    Take 1 cup of warm milk/cream and in ¼ cup portions, pour into bowl. Alternating between pouring and mixing. Avoid lumps.

4.    Pour contents of bowl into pot with heated cream/milk.

5.    Add vanilla.

6.    Heat over medium or low-medium, constantly stirring and scraping bottom with whisk.

7.    Heat for 5 minutes or more until all is thick like pudding (when no longer liquid).

8.    Pour into bowl or casserole dish and cover top of pudding with parchment paper or plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming.

9.    Place in fridge. Enjoy in very small portions when cool.

The recipe is super easy the 2nd time you make it.

 

*Rough estimates

DC tag DU 8900
It's still running (but stopped) on the 1600 block of 4th St., NW.
And the back tire is busted.
And it hit several parked cars.
And some fences in the alley.
And it was stolen by a guy (who to me looked like a really ugly woman) with long dreads heading south on foot.
After about 10-20 minutes the police showed up.

Noon update-
The Jeep has been towed. See video of Jeep @ http://youtu.be/EsXL8PLuh_g

Pictures of the place to be wine bar

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Sorry for the silence, we had a death in the family of my 102 year old great-aunt.

Anyway, I took pictures of the building that we hope will at some point be the Snitcheye wine bar. According to their Facebook page they've submitted their letter of intent to the property owner. Let's hope this all goes wel. Until then, photos!

View inside commerical space 

IMG_0767

Reflections of Fl Ave

 

Commerical Space

Anyone go to the ANC 5C meeting?

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We just finished dinner (I'm so full) and I see I've missed almost all of it.
I got the email for a posse of neighbors to show up kinda late.
So anyone go?

Housing Deals with the Devil

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There's a tool to tell the story about someone with some decent level of talent, maybe a blues guitar player, who comes to a crossroads and meets the Devil. The Devil makes an offer that so far no one else has presented, fame, fortune, the ability to be the best bluesman in the Mississippi Delta, and whatever the mortal wants, in exchange for the person's soul.

I was thinking of that yesterday when reading Courtland Milloy's article in the Post, Affordable-housing zones' rules are an affront to King's dream. The problem are the various programs to help put people into homes, in exchange for what later is their peace of mind. One example in the article is a woman who bought a condo in Columbia Heights with the assistance of an inclusionary zoning program, which she has recently discovered won't let her easily out of the condo now that the condo fees have shot up from $284 to $520 a month and housing is eating up half her take home pay. Legally she can't put it on the market because the city wants her to stay in the home 20 years. So she may lose her home to foreclosure and deal with whatever consequences the bank and city throws at her.

Legally she can't but I say go ahead and sell and get into a more sustainable housing situation. The reason I say this is my own deal with the Devil, that as far as I'm concerned is no longer valid and my 10 years are up. When I got my house, I took out a loan with Countrywide through the DC Housing Finance Agency. Why? They were offering 4% loans when everyone else was doing 6-8% loans. And that plus some tax forebearance thing (which ended around year 3 or 4 for me) were the only things I got from the city related to my moderate-low income. I understood that I was to stay in my home for 10 years or pay a penalty related to the amount of equity if the house was sold. Year 10, I'm done but I get a letter from the city asking me to confirm I'm still in the home and something about a deal I didn't sign up for. I called to try to straighten up the matter and discovered that others have sold their homes and ignored the city's wishes. Also the city is under the false impression that I received down payment assistance, which I did not, but they are going to keep sending me forms every year for the next 5 to 10 years. So they aren't really enforcing the restrictive rules, so condo woman should try to sell anyway.

If these sorts of programs are to fight gentrification by "helping" lower income folks get into homes, these programs should try to figure out how are participants supposed to deal with stuff down the road such as rising condo fees (when do they not rise?), expensive maintenance problems like roofs, furnaces, CAC systems, busted underground pipes, and other things that usually cost several thousand dollars to fix. I guess they think participants will build up a huge savings somewhere, but if they were able to do that, they might not need the government's help to get a house in the first place.

MLK post

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I'm feeling lazy so I'm going re-run a post I did before:
Of course, we all recognize that if we are ultimately to improve psychological and physical conditions for minorities there must be total elimination of ghettoes and the establishment of a truly integrated society. In the meantime, however, all those working for economic and social justice are forced to address themselves to interim programs which, while not totally changing the situation, will nevertheless bring about improvement in the lives of those forced to live in ghettoes. And so, whiel [sic] many of those steps may lead to limited integration, those which do not must clearly be seen as interim steps until the objective situation makes a more fundamental approach.


and later

... Labor, Housing and the Office of Economic Opportunity, ought to work with the people of Shaw in developing, coordinating and concentrating their various programs upon social and economic problems of this area.


-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a March 13, 1967 rally for Shaw as reported by MICCO (Model Inner City Community Organization) News

Martin M updated me and the Shaw Neighborhood listserv about 09-CV-2202 Bakier v Capital City Mortage Corp. Here's my attempt to summarize what he said and what I know.... Ms. Beverly Bakier, (former?) mortgage broker (operator of Valley Trust Mortgage) & owner of 509 O Street N.W. (a vacant and blighted structure) is suing her mortgage company claiming fraud and a bunch of other stuff related to a mortgage that was restructured. Ms. Bakier has not invested much into 509 O Street NW that the DC Government and Capital City Mortgage can see during her years of ownership. To the city she has vaguely mentioned a "federal court case" for her reasons of not to put any money into the property. In 2004 she declared Chapter 11 Bankrupcy. And according to Martin she tried suing other lenders and Capitol City before. And despite her being able to renovate 1-2 other properties, 509 O Street NW has been stuck in limbo and allowed to deteriorate. Limbo will last longer because she is representing herself she has delayed final arguements because she claims she needs the transcripts from the trial thus far. And because of the courts' budget issues such transcripts might not be available till Spring or Summer. 

Justice is slow. Not just in this case but also on the criminal side as well. Homicide Watch noted that with murder trials can be many, many months, if not more from start to finish.

Anyway, let's hope the case with 509 O Street NW ends before the middle of Summer 2012. Maybe Capital City Mortgage can foreclose and allow for conditions for all of us to move on.

Shaw Training & Resource Fair

Jump-start your prospects for a job in 2012 by enrolling in and completing a training program. Come hear from the DC Department of Employment Services and training program operators about free, highquality training available to you.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.
FREE LUNCH
Shiloh Baptist Church
Family Life Center
1510 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
For questions, call (202) 387-5169 or
muminassociates AT aol Dot com
Sponsored by the CityCenterDC
Residential Advisory Committee
Subcommittee on Employment & Training

City Center DC, eh? I'm guessing Hotel and Hospitality training.

I had some errands yesterday anf found myself sitting on the green line heading south back to Shaw/Howard U. Sitting next to me was a woman who as we approached U St took out a wad of cash and began counting a few 10s, gobs of newish 5s and a bunch of 1s. We were both sitting near the door and she was still counting as the train pulled into the station and the doors opened. She was done counting when the doors closed and we pulled off to the next station.

As she was doing this I couldn't but help but think of that classic Kenny Rogers song The Gambler.

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table

They'll be time enough for countin' when the dealings done

Where she was sitting, how she was holding the money, there was opportunity for a quick theif to make off with about $60-$80 in cash. I didn't say anything, because from experience it seems people don't like being told they are engaging in high risk behavior.

But thinking of Kenny Rogers and his song, we are all gamblers taking some risk with our stuff and our safety. In my walk to the metro I risk getting hit by a Maryland driver running a red light, and a bunch of other possiblities that go with living in the city. And with living in the city we've got to make decisions to lessen the risks (like not walking around mesmorized by our little phone gods), as Kenny says:

You gotta know when to hold em

Know when to fold em

Know when to walk away

And know when to run

More of 509 O St NW- the next day

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Okay, I've devoted as much of my credit time as I'm going to give up for this thing. I'll just wait for the transcripts to come out. So I'm done with case 09-cv-2202:  BAKEIR v. CAPITAL CITY MORTGAGE CORPORATION et al. It began yesterday at 2PM and went on for most of this morning and looks like it may go on some more.

Why? The plantiff is a very arguementative woman. If I a dollar for every time the judge had to say something along the lines of, please listen to the question and answer the question, I could buy lunch. Not at the Source but over at Subway, and not just the $5 footlong. You see Ms. Bakier, the plantiff, was representing herself and I'm sure if she had counsel, he or she would have told her on several ocassions to STFU. Judge Walton is very tolerant man and really tried to gently remind her of real court-roomy things, like the defendant lawyer has the right to question her.

Does snark make you feel violated and dirty? Snark is a form of communication in my household, which tends to get met with counter-snark. For Ms. Bakeir it seems to make her feel like a vicitim, when she bothers to listen to it. The defense lawyer was being a wee bit snarky when he pointed out how nice and organized his exhibits were (Ms. Bakeir's was not as organized thus causing some delays yesterday). She said when getting legitimate questions tinged with low level snark about organization, that she felt "violated" and "dirty". She repeated the whole violated thing again later, but the lawyer was being quite professional.

Prior to being cross examined, she submitted into evidence a tape, that I'm going to guess was taped without the knowledge of the other person. Now then why did she get so angry when discovering Martin taping her?The other person on the tape is a Mr. Nash of Capital City Mortgage. Mr. Nash, sadly now is dead, and a lot of what she is suing for relies on dealings between her and Mr. Nash. Anyway on the tape, it is mostly her. Bakier talking, Bakier argueing, and Bakier shouting Mr. Nash down. The poor dead man comparatively doesn't say a whole lot. However he did lose his cool (jeez who wouldn't) and asked if she was calling him a liar.

She was no good at answering questions. I'm guessing her normal arguing style is to talk over the other person, narrate her POV, and go on and on, if the evidence and her performance yesterday, today and back at the BCIB hearing is anything to go by. Oh, and not listen.

Does she have a case? Not really. She doesn't really prove very well where the money went that was loaned to her. And Capital City pretty much were in the right not to loan more money to her when she didn't have anything to show for what was done to 509 O St after the first draw. She blames Capital City for the vacant and blight taxes because she blames them for delaying her because they wouldn't give her more money.

Ms. Bakier probably bit off more than she could chew when taking on 509 O St and there were too many inefficiencies (and possible disorganization) in how she went about it and she got over her head. The best thing for all is probably to force a sale of the 2 unit property and let some more savvy contractor/developer with deep pockets and experience have a go at it.

Wine Bar to come to Truxton (if G-d loves us)

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I have heard the saying, "beer is proof that G-d loves us and wants us to be happy." Well I don't like beer, I like wine and we came in late to the BACA meeting, but just in time to hear of a proposed wine bar to come to 3rd and Florida. There is love in the universe for our little neighborhood. It is the idea of two gals, who are thinking along the lines of an affordable, small wine bar. They are looking for community support and the usual pre-get the liquor license stuff. She kept mentioning the Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/SnitchEye-Wine-Bar/220903951316897 ) . So if everything works perfectly there could be a new wine bar by the end of Spring, or sometime in Summer 2012. So get the concerns and questions out now and don't wait till later to bring them up.

Other stuff  at the BACA meeting-
*The new SMD ANC boundaries are crazy.
* CAPCS wants a bigger curb cut.
* CAPCS is in trouble due to low enrollment and test scores and if such trends continue may have to close as a school.
* CAPCS is renting its building out to a church that should have moved into PG county by now.
* The large brick building at 3rd and Florida (even side) may become a restaurant one day, maybe.
*CAPCS owns the Armstrong school building.
* A lotta people may run for Ward 5. They are gonna need signatures to get on the ballot.
* SMD 5C01 Commissioner Bradley Thomas will not run for Ward 5, he says his last name is wrong.

509 O Street NW- Court is really dull

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I popped into Federal court for about 1.5 hours of my credit leave to see what this federal case 09-cv-2202:  BAKEIR v. CAPITAL CITY MORTGAGE CORPORATION et al was all about. Because Ms. Bakier (owner of 509 O Street NW) was representing herself there were some delays. She had some notes that needed to be copied, and that caused for a break and I left after another break.

From what I could gather, her case is that Capital City Mortgage promised her a construction loan, failed to follow through, and charged her interest on the full amount of money she wanted to borrow but did not receive. If I had bother to stay I'm sure we would have gotten to the part where she was trying to prove the reason why Capital City Mortgage did not fund her was because (she claims) they didn't have the money to lend her.

Now this is just my impression, her voice kept on the verge of cracking. Oh, she's also claiming emotional distress. As I said, this is my impression, and she might be more easily distressed than some. As I said, just my impression. Not a statement of fact, just a feeeeeling.

Anyway, court on TV is interesting. Court in person, when the guards at the door have taken away your cell phone and you didn't bring a book... kinda dull. And slow. So after 3:30 I was out of there.

Tonight, is the 1st BACA meeting of 2012 and part of the Committee Updates is a question about us being all councilpersonless.

See whole agenda below:

Monday, January 9, 2012     Meeting Agenda

7 PM, Mt. Sinai Church 3rd and Q ST NW (Corner entrance on 3rd and Q -
Ring buzzer)

I. Meeting Called to Order
Geovani Bonilla, President

II. Review of Last Meeting Minutes
David Hall, Secretary

III. Treasurer Report
Margaret Stevens

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

IV. Committee Updates

a. Who Represents Ward 5 Without a Council Member?

b. Safety - review of crime statistics and PSA 501 MPD update

c. Friends of the Florida Avenue Park - Jon Hasse

V. Special Guest (s)

a. <https://www.facebook.com/profile. php?id=39701281& ref=pb> Fernanda
Ferrell-Zabala - Neighborhood Wine Bar Business Plan. Ms. Ferrel-Zabala will
discuss her business plan and solicit neighborhood input on the proposed
site for a neighborhood wine bar on the 200 Block of Florida Avenue NW.

b. MPD Captain, Wilfredo Manlapaz, New 5th District and PSA 501
Captain. Captain Manlapaz will introduce himself to the community, address
community concerns and discuss the new boundaries of our Police Service
Area.

c. 5C01 Commissioner Bradley Thomas.

i. Update on the
redistricting of ANC boundaries and effective date of new boundaries.

ii. Update on curb cut
for CAPCS Curb Cut

iii. Update on RFP for
J.F. Cook and Langston Buildings

VI. Community Priorities for 2012 (Committee Chairs/Volunteers
Needed)

a. Economic Development - need a committee chair to organize projects.

b. Neighborhood Beautification - Flower Power, Mulch/compost
Coordination, planting

c. Events and Fund Raisers -

d. Public Safety

e. Other Community Priorities

VII. Standing Invitation (elected officials to be ranked by
Civic Association at election time based on their participation and support
of BACA community)

a. Mayor's Office

b. Council Member's Office (Ward 5 Vacant)

c. Council Member at Large Office

d. ANC

VIII. Announcements

IX. Adjournment

In the meantime- HTJ outser

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Fellow Ward 5 blogger Inked of Frozen Tropics mentioned a Mike DeBonis tweet saying At Large Councilman "Vincent Orange announces he's hosting 'meeting of the leadership in Ward 5' next Monday, 7 p.m. at Israel Baptist Church."

BACA mentions that Kwame Brown is holding a special 5C (the part Vincent Orange tends to forget) meeting to address ongoing legislative activities. Which sounds way more practical that Orange's shin dig. Anyway meeting is on Tuesday Jan. 7th at CAPCS, see the BACA post for more info.

Harry Thomas Jr. Resigns Courtesy of the DC GOP

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I've lost my councilman to the crime of tax evasion, and it may cost the city more money to elect a replacement than what he as alledged to have taken.

Anyway I'd like to remind you how non-aggressive the city government was in dealing with the allegations when they first came to light. Remember back this summer the DC Attorney General sued Mr. Thomas for stealing funds that were intended for youth sports. A civil case, with an expensive slap on the wrist. And remember the one who started this whole line of investigation was Tim Day (who ran against Thomas) and the DC GOP. Their efforts went beyond the usual opposition party griping that is so easy to ignore. They really pushed it and it stuck. I didn't think it would go anywhere, but it stuck, and now I'm councilperson-less.

I blame the one-party nature of DC city politics. I really wish the Statehood Green party was a little more active in holding the controlling Dems in check and accountable. This sort of scrutiny isn't going to come from inside the DC Dems. Remember what happened to Tommy Wells when he tried to hold Kwame Brown accountable? He got demoted in the committee shuffle. No good deed goes unpunished...

Shaw Tavern may open again under new management

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Eater has a pretty good post with the new Shaw Tavern management.

Even since the close of Shaw Tavern, because of the old management's major screw up with ABRA, I noticed they've kept the ceiling fans and the lights on. So there was always hope. Well, I'll be happy when 'soon' arrives, but don't rush the ABC license just for me or anyone else.

Speaking of Shaw Tavern, what's going on with EC-12 in Bloomingdale? Or is that dead? Coma?

Who will replace Harry Thomas Jr.?

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Harry Thomas Jrs new beard
So my Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. will resign because he can't beat the tax charges. Yes, unless you are Marion Barry, don't mess with the IRS.

His staff will need to find new employment in this tough economy and so the question on my mind is what now? Followed by who will replace him? Just cause he f'ed up doesn't mean there isn't stuff in Ward 5 that needs doing.

Well HTJ isn't the only councilmember with problems, just the only one (who isn't Marion Barry) who had federal tax problems, who has to answer for himself. I am hoping that this will lead to a greater examination of the plethora of DC non-profits "that have been on the city dole to [do whatever] have been "stealing our money.""

Portable electric heat and the small house

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Day 2 of staying home sick. I'm running low on sweet citrus (I'm looking at lots of lemons right now) and tissues with the lotion. To add to my low level suffering, last night the furnace died. Again.
Why yes it is in the teens to low 20s outside.
Inside it is ranging from 70 to 64 degrees, all thanks to 3 portable electric heaters.
The last time I had to deal with a dead furnace it was 2007, I was just a handful of months short of the start date for the big house renovation, but I replaced it with a used furnace, which started acting up about a month ago.
Currently, we could get a brand new furnace, but the furnace is in a location we're planning on having some messy renovation work done in the next month or so. Risking damage to the shiny new furnace as 'stuff' happens during the reno. We could also repair the furnace but the estimate on that is a couple of thousand dollars, almost 1/2 to 1//3rd the cost of a new furnace. So we decided to go with portable electric heat as a stopgap.
Five years ago when the furnace died, I used a bunch of portable units to keep the house above freezing. Problem was my electrical system was outdated and could barely take the load. The plus then was that the first floor was several rooms I could block off. Now I have an open floor plan and it is difficult to get the 1st floor about 69F without a lot of effort. Plus side for now, the house is more insulated and the electrical is up to date more so than it was in 2007.
Chatting with my mother, who lives in north central Florida where it was in the 20s yesterday, she reminded me we always used portable electric heaters when growing up. We didn't freeze but it never got toasty. You'd think in the decades since then portable electric heat would have improved, well besides a bunch of safety features.
Anyway, the perk of having a small house is that there is less space to heat. The upstairs rooms can get very toasty with just one little heater fan each. The small kitchen has its own heating source with an electric radiant floor and it's wonderful to walk on in socks when it's on. Which makes me wonder if it would be worth it to look into a portable radiant floor option.

Down with a cold

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I write this through teary eyes. Not for sadness. No. But because the Help gave me his cold. So I'm not going to be writing much right now.
The only locally related thing to this cold is that I did venture over to the Capital Market-Warehousy area over on Florida Avenue NE to get citrus. It's been a while and I went to Sam Wang. Lots of tangerines for about 10 cents each. Good deal and most have been eaten now as I've been stuffing tangerines/clemintines down my mouth nearly non-stop.