Recently in BACA-Bates Area Civic Association Category

Flower Power

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Herbal boquet

BACA will have it's Flower Power walk on June 23rd. They are currently seeking gardens for nominations. Nominations need to be in by June 16th.

There is a BACA meeting tonight

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Meeting Agenda

7 PM, Mt. Sinai Church 3rd and Q ST NW


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.               Special Presentation - Carl Thomas, Mayor's Office will provide:

a.      Overview of 2013 Budget that will be submitted to City Council

b.      Explanation of 2012 Surplus

c.      Explanation of 2013 Deficit


V.                 March BACA Initiatives


a.      March 31 Neighborhood Planting and Clean Up - Volunteers Needed to

                                                   i.      Coordinate mulch delivery from DPW

                                                 ii.      Coordinate DPW tool and trash bag distributions

                                                iii.      Block captains to organize block clean ups

                                               iv.      Help pick up trash at the Florida Avenue Park


b.      Economic Development Committee - Volunteers Needed to

                                                   i.      Initiate Contact with All Local Businesses - Introduction to BACA

                                                 ii.      Create a Neighborhood Business Directory/Map

                                                iii.      Develop a Community Merchant Survey (assessment of merchandise existing businesses should carry)

                                               iv.      Summary survey results

                                                v.      Provide existing businesses with survey results

                                               vi.      Work with local business in developing neighborhood outreach campaign

                                             vii.      Develop Business Advisory Council

                                            viii.      Work with Office of Planning and Deputy Mayor of Planning Economic Development            


VI.               Committee Updates and Projects

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

b.      Economic Development - Geovani A. Bonilla

c.      Youth Services - Miles Holloman

d.      Public Relations - Caryn Nesmith

e.      Friends of the Park  - Jon Hasse


VII.             Standing Invitations

a.      Mayor's Office

b.      Metropolitan Police Department

c.      Council Member at Large Office

d.      ANC           


VIII.           Announcements

 IX.              Adjournment

Have a safe and sane Christmas weekend

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Even if you don't celebrate, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of the general expectation that you'll take off anyway. And should you take off BACA president Geovani Bonilla has some pointers if you are heading out of town.

The Bates Area Civic Association Wishes you and your love ones a very safe, happy and joyous holiday season and new year.

As some may be preparing to go away for the holidays, we wish to remind you to take the following safety precautions:

1. Stop newspaper deliveries. Newspapers piled up on your front door make your home a target for break ins.

2. Stop mail delivery. You don't want mail overflowing or the magazines and sales ads letting people know you're out of town.

3. Set your external lights on a timer. Leaving your external lights continuously indicates you're not home during the day to turn them off.

4. Ask a neighbor to hold any UPS/FedEx packages left at your door. Also to remove any flyers or menus left at your door.

5. If it is too late to takes steps 1 - 3, ask your neighbor to do these things for you.

6. Email MPD and let them know you'll be away. You may notify the following [this is for 5D, y'all on the other side of NJ are in 3D]

a. Commander Andy Solberg at Andrew.solberg AT

b. Lt. Ronald Wright at Ronald.Wright AT

7. Let your alarm company you're away and who the contact person is.

The basic precautions can help your return to a safe home after a lovely time with family.


The Help and I will be hanging around here this weekend spending time with the local relatives. This will be the first Christmas where the Help is not in the home state of his youth with his west coast relatives. So the stress of the Christmas holiday, with the travel and stuff is zero. Also I did most of my Christmas shopping online with Etsy, Bed Bath and Beyond, a soap maker, a Texas purveyor of British goods, and in person at the market in Penn Quarter and some other small businesses between Penn Quarter and U Street, so I skipped the hassle of big box stores and mall crowds. I made some gifts that were in the hopper long before Thanksgiving, such as the lemoncello, the cherry liquor, the drunken cherries leftover from making the cherry liquor, and some other fruit sitting in vodka combos that just need bottling and giving.

Need a quick idea for a Christmas, under $20 to give your boss, or grab from the kitchen shelf idea? Simple syrup. Take water, take sugar, put them together in pot. Disolve the sugar. Cool. Bottle. Give.

You can use a clean empty twist top wine bottle, just remove the lables with hot soapy water and replace with your own. I've handdrawn mine. You can get fancy by adding flavors to the syrup such as peppermint extract, vanilla, lemon, etc. Also throw in a little vodka to help with the preservation, but it is best if it is stored in the fridge.

No BACA meeting today

No BACA meeting due to the Ward 5 redistricting special meeting.

That is all.

Monday's BACA mtg

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I have notes from Monday's BACA mtg, however, not with me. So I'm going by memory.
* Ward 5 redistricting- As far as SMDs go, the folks in the unit block parts of the TC may wind up in a different SMD. 
* Crime- Robberies on N Cap involve 2 or more jumping a victim. And don't leave stuff in your car for even 15 minutes, as one guy experienced. These are crimes of opportunity. 
Also related to crime the problems that were in the park have moved to nearby blocks. Residents be aware and call 911, even if it is a bunch of 13 year olds playing craps. Or adults playing craps, apparently there was a shooting over a craps game.
* There was a vote for a BACA secretary. His name is in the notes.
* Weatherization- there was a woman who presented and left literature.

Hot Button Topic Rescheduled?

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I'm not sure I'm reading BACA president, Geovani Bonilla's, email correct but it looks like Mr. David Guard, of VentureForth LLC, which wants to put a pot dispensary on North Capitol, has been resceduled. I think.

Heck I'll show up to the BACA meeting anyway.

There will be something about the Ward 5 redistricting. And something about weatherization.

Starring Chief Cathy Lanier tonight w/ Food

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Special guest at tonight's BACA meeting, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier. The meeting, always is the 1st Monday of the month, as long as it doesn't hit or come too close to a holiday. Always at 7pm and almost always in the basement cafeteria of Mt. Sinai Baptist church.

Also there will be a chicken and rice dinner. Suggested donation $5. I take it that it is Geovani's chicken and rice, which is quite tasty. Unfortunately, I gave up meat for Lent, so none for me.

Just taking a quick look over the agenda, there is something about a neighborhood yard sale later this month, a neighborhood clean up this coming weekend, and someone from Mayor Gray's office will come to be yelled at by angry citizens. Something you like or love is gettin' cut

Busy Weekend

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A lot is happening around this end of the hood this Saturday.

First there is the 1st on First, which last year the title was dead on, so more accurately it is the 7th on First this year, but 1st on First sounds better. Anyway, last year's 1st on First was fun, 1st St NW from Florida Avenue to Rhode Island Avenue with artists and a few businesses opening their doors and letting folks get to know them. Well this year there is  Rustik Tavern and a Child`s Development Center. That's two separate places but a Tavern /Child Development Center would be an awesome and possibly tragic combination, but mostly awesome. I'm sure that Rustik's open house will be the big to do.

Also along 1st St and 3rd and Bates and several other streets in the TC is the 1st of 2 community yard sales that Saturday. It is sponsored by the Bates Area Civic Association and will take place in various yards.

In the mid-Shaw are there is an Arts Festival this and next weekend.

Oh and there's stuff supposed to be happening on the other end of Shaw on 14th St. Dog Days of Summer I believe it is called from August 7th to 8th.

I've only been here in the Shaw neighborhood for 10 years, so here are a few observations that I think the changes in the neighborhood has brought that is an improvement due to the demographic changes sometimes known as gentrification.

For one, the drug dealers are not a regular presence at the corner I turn at to come home from work. Almost every friggin day, there they would be, leaning on a fence, littering up the treebox, hanging around. You know how depressing and anxiety producing that is to have to walk by that every single day? The only good thing about it was if you left them alone, they'd leave you alone. And the block up from me was ugly, unfriendly and just had a bad feeling about it. I wouldn't even walk down that block in the daytime. It also had dealers. Older residents had been fighting the good fight but had figured to pick their battles, what was needed was new blood that wasn't burned out.

Second, gunfire is no longer a nightly sound. Okay, maybe where you are, but in my section it is no longer every single night. A couple of years ago a guy was shot in the butt in a drive by that then continued to shoot my street (thankfully shooting the asphalt) as they speeded off. Fewer (though none would be nice) incidences and gun shots is an improvement for the better.

A reduction in crime and gun shots may relate to the area being more politically active. One of the reasons why I dislike Vincent Orange so much is that I remember him not really caring that much for our area. When he was running for Mayor the last time, in 2006, he didn't seem grass roots at all, and didn't seem all that particularly interested in us over here in the TC. Now, if we were Brookland, different story. With the 2006 election we flexed some muscle, then candidate Fenty came to a fundraiser at a Richardson Pl home, the candidates for Ward 5 were falling all over themselves to be a part of BACA garden walks, clean ups, what-have you. Other positive in 2006 2C ANC Leroy Thorpe was ousted, sorta. With politicians discovering we existed and voted and not ignoring us we got more attention with city services. Cars get ticketed now. No longer do I have to deal with more-than-likely stolen/ obviously abandoned cars sitting on my street for weeks on end.

Yes, and some improvements to my quality of life came from some neighbors leaving, and here the 'better' gets dicey. The neighbors who will not be missed are the crackheads. Which crackheads you may ask as we had several. Not Velveeta (yes, that was her name), but the ones who left their friend for dead bleeding on the sidewalk outside their house. I suspect down in the southern tip of the TC (unit blocks from Bates to N) do not miss the clusters of subsidized housing that housed loud, drugged out if not drunk poor excuses for parents and their feral children. Not to say everything is rosy now, there still is the odd halfway house and the people who cluster around S.O.M.E. Yet the poor, including crackheads and people who can't keep it together need housing too. 

Flower Power Nominees and Winners

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Note- I'm leaving off backyards and the winners are in bold. If you have a chance walk by these properties when you're out walking the dog or the baby or both.

Large yards
Though most yardspace in the northern half of Truxton is small, there are corner lots and the large front yards of New Jersey Avenue.
401 R St
1705 New Jersey Ave
1725 New Jersey Ave

Medium Yards
Whats the difference between medium and small? One looks a tad bigger. Also in this category are two neighbors who joined their yard to create something lovely.
314 P St
1612 3rd St
1419/1421 3rd St
1618 4th St
1533 3rd St (write-in)

Small Yards
112 Q St (previous year's winner)
1532 1st St
1542 1st St

Postage Stamp Yards
These are yards so tiny there are area rugs bigger than the amount of dirt that sits outside the door. Note they are all on Bates.
64 Bates
72 Bates
74 Bates

94 Bates

100 block of P St
1500 Block of 1st
1500 Block of 3rd

There were plenty of fine yards not nominated so these are the best of the 'hood. Please take a look at them and steal some ideas.