Community meetings suck!
Just got out of a baaaad meeting. Heck at lest the ANC 2? meetings in Logan were entertaining with the catty gay men. What made the meeting bad:
1. Snide comments from the peanut gallery
2. A fill in speaker (the one scheduled was on vacation) couldn’t speak on the topic of interest and spent time talking on another topic. Meeting attendees beat the topic speaker couldn’t talk about to death.
3. Peanut gallery did not show up on time missing information that they bitched about later.
4. Every speaker received hostility. Basically making sure that any future returning of said speakers is nil.

Basically tons of negativity.

What is a good meeting.
Well it started as a good meeting.
A speaker, speaking as an individual trying to get tree boxes on Q St from 1st to 3rd St talked about how she was attempting to get grant money from Garden Resources of Washington (GROW). She spoke of iron fencing and pledges she had gotten from neighbors. Then a board member of the Co-Op on Q St said that her group was already in the process for putting iron tree boxes up on her side of Q St.
Good. Informative. Civil.

Then we got on the North Capital Farmers Market (see speaker who didn’t know topic). And downhill we go.

Summary of Bates Area Civic Association Meeting

7PM 8/4/2003

Moderator: Jim Berry

Tree boxes for 100-300 blocks of Q Street. A community citizen is collecting pledges of treasure and talent to get a GROW grant to get treeboxes along Q St. The Co-Op between R & Q Sts will also be improving their tree boxes.

Mr. Berry announced the 5th Annual National Night Out and PSA 312’s involvement. Please see ( http://mpdc.dc.gov/news/news.asp?sid=2235 ) for more information. There will be a gathering around about the park on Florida and 1st (green space not the concrete park).

Fill in speaker for Mr. Matthew Payne, Coordinator for the North Capitol Neighborhood Farmer’s Market spoke of the other projects his group is working on for the youth of the community. Meeting attendees gave comments about the Farmer’s Market and suggestions to make it better. This continued for a while.

Mr. Todd Douglas, the Ward 5 Neighborhood Services Coordinator, spoke of the several projects and concerns of the community.

Meeting continued after 8:59 PM

Drama Mamma
Drama Mamma and I are sort of back on speaking terms. Whatever.

Apparently she’s doing a last harrah with hanging over at the neighbors before they ship out after selling. At the most 30-60 days and she’ll have no excuse to come down the block. The taxes on the yellow house are too high to make it Section 8 (which is probably why the landlord kicked the renters out), the white guy doesn’t talk to anyone, nor does the guy below him; Sandra doesn’t like that crowd; the Hispanic family they are friendly but I don’t see them hanging with DM; the Howard students are a heavy Jesus-loving crowd and … nah, I don’t see them hanging with her either.

MONTHLY Meeting Notice

Invited Guests Include Representatives from the Following:

Third District, Metropolitan Police Department

D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation

D.C. Office of Neighborhood Action

North Capitol Neighborhood Farmer’s Market

Monday, August 4, 2003

Mount Sinai Baptist Church

3rd and Q Streets, N.W.

Rooms 1 and 2

7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

—–

NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATE

<<...OLE_Obj...>>

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT: TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2003

National Night Out (NNO) is an annual event sponsored by the National

Association of Town Watch. NNO is designed to (1) heighten crime and

drug

prevention awareness; (2) generate support for, and participation in,

local

anti-crime programs; (3) strengthen neighborhood spirit and

police-community

partnerships; and (4) send a message to criminals, letting them know

that

our neighborhoods are becoming organized and are taking steps to fight

back.

In Police Service Area 312, the following activities are taking place

on

NNO:

3D Mini -Station:

PSA 312 Lt. Alveta Dennis is locating an “open-air mini station” in the

1700

block of First Street, N.W. at which residents may come to meet and

greet

one another as well as MPD officials; public safety information will

also be

distributed and community concerns can be registered with Lt. Dennis.

(From

6:00 p.m. until ?)

Cook Out:

Bishop Imagene Stewart is sponsoring a “community cook out” in the 200

block of P Street, N.W. and she has asked that I let residents know

that

everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. (Event begins at 6:00

p.m.)

Candle Light Vigil:

For the second consecutive year, the Bates Area Civic Association, Inc.

is

sponsoring a “candle light vigil” at First and Florida Avenue, N.W. –

in

Florida Avenue Park. The purpose of this vigil is to emphasize the

need for

residents to reclaim and protect safe places for our children to play

and

spend their leisure time. As many of you did last year, please come

out and

show our children how much we care about them. The vigil will take

place

from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

“NNO 2002”

Trading Up
I told my neighbor I wouldn’t tell anyone how much she’s selling her house for, so I won’t. But it is a sh*tload of $$. She deserves every single cent of it. She lived in the house for a little under 9 years. She’s going to trade in a townhouse with leaky basement and no parking for a house with a yard and a garage in BFE Maryland. All the cool stuff in the city that is attracting people means nothing to her. She has a car and kids. Metro and clubs don’t mean squat. Good schools and no shooting and no (as my Daddy would put it) dumbas$ n*ggas hanging out, that is what she wants and needs.
At the price the house is going for apparently only whites can afford it, so the demographics of the block will head in a particular direction. Called ET and told her to score one point for her people. Last month a white couple moved in on one end of the block, changing the trend of houses on the north end changing demographically from black renters to white homeowners and renters, so now the Euro-Americans are coming from both ends.
I am so thankful she did not decide to rent the house out to get Section 8 money. I pray to G-d above that Mr. Mesfin will sell his house too. Last I spoke to him he STILL had not decided if he was going to rent or sell. I hope he sells because I can tell he’s cheap and will be a slumlord.

K&S Liquors

Reminder:

The final hearing will be tommorrow (6/30) at 1pm

in the ABC Hearing Room

941 N. Capitol St NW

Washington, DC

I hope that all will attend, your support is needed.

+++++++++++++

K&S Liquor Store, Protest Hearing

7/30/03

Prepared by Brian Gehman

BACKGROUND

You have already heard from others testimony to the indirect effects

that K&S Liquor has had on:

1. the quality of life issues for residents of the neighborhood,

including crime, vagrancy, trash, litter, etc.

2. the drain on Metropolitan Police Department resources, due to

patrolling, apprehensions, and arrests.

Having lived in the neighborhood since 1989, I could provide additional

examples and evidence of the above, including some very recent

examples.

MAIN POINT

However, today I am presenting to you an analysis of the economic

impact K&S Liquors has had on the District of Columbia’s tax revenue. By

the time I am complete, I believe you will agree with my thesis that the

District of Columbia has more to gain financially by not renewing the

license for K&S Liquors.

You have already received reports and testimony to the fact that

patrons of K&S Liquor gather on the corner where the liquor store is located

(between the 300 and 400 blocks of Florida Avenue, NW) and the

adjoining side street (1700 block of 4th Street, NW). You have also heard

reports that most of the patrons don’t live in this immediate neighborhood

(i.e. the surrounding blocks). You have already seen evidence of the

crime, vagrancy, trash and litter resulting from those patrons, and K&S

Liquor’s inability to control such, and fundamentally their lack of

concern towards what occurs outside their bullet-proof glass of their

store, and their lack of initiative to do anything about it (even removing

the advertising and boxes located by the windows inside their store so

they could see what is going on and call the police).

The facts I am bringing to you reflect verifiable impacts of the above

problems. They are the results of the problems already identified –

the crime, vagrancy, trash and litter of the patrons. For each

protestant here today that is optimistic that the neighborhood would improve if

the liquor store is shut down, there is at least one person who has

already voted with their feet that the neighborhood would never change for

the better. Those are the persons who decided to NOT live in the

neighborhood, and have already left.

The facts are clear, and you can verify them yourself. Of the

residential houses (excluding commercial establishments and vacant land without

houses), there is currently a significantly higher rate of vacant

houses immediately surrounding the liquor store than in both (a) the

surrounding neighborhood and (b) within the entire District of Columbia

itself.

Facts:

· 300 block Florida Ave, NW South side (block where the liquor store

is located):

50% vacant

· 400 block Florida Ave, NW South side: 71% vacant

· 1700 block 4th Street, NW East side: 50% vacant

· 1700 block 4th Street, NW West side: 33% vacant

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 274,845 housing units

in the District of Columbia. The same source states that the District

of Columbia has 248,338 occupied housing units. I calculate the occupied

housing units to be 90.36% of the total, or less than 10% housing units

vacant.

Comparable surveys of vacant housing merely one block to the East,

South and West beyond the above-listed blocks plagued by patrons of the

liquor store reveal data in line with the U.S. Census Bureau data for the

entire District of Columbia. In other words, absent the effects of the

liquor store, this neighborhood is pretty average in terms of vacant

housing.

Facts:

· 200 block Florida Ave, NW South side: 9% vacant

· 400 block R Street, NW both sides: 13% vacant

· 300 block R Street, NW both sides: 27% vacant (slightly higher due

to two houses for sale being vacant)

Rationale/assumptions:

· The 500 block of Florida Avenue was not surveyed as this is in a

different neighborhood, and is across the major route of Rhode Island

Ave.

· The North side of Florida Avenue was not considered as many of the

patrons stay on the South side of this busy street, except at times to

cross to the gas station.

· 4th Street takes a jog North of the liquor store, and continues on

the other side of the major intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and

Florida Avenue, which is in a different neighborhood. Consequently, 4th

Street North of the liquor store was not considered.

· 3rd Street just North of the Liquor store has no residential houses

before it crosses Rhode Island Avenue and enters a different

neighborhood.

· The style of houses on R Street is very similar to the style of

houses found on the 1700 block of 4th Street, so two blocks on R Street

(one block south of the liquor store) were used as comparables for the

surrounding neighborhood.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

It is very conceivable that by not renewing the liquor license and

permitting the liquor store to be shut down, the patrons would no longer

have reason to loiter in the neighborhood. Prospective households

considering moving into the District of Columbia would more likely consider

the neighborhood a viable option if the patrons were not present, along

with the crime, vagrancy, etc.

Based on my calculations attached to this report, I estimate that each

household would bring an additional $3,191 in tax revenue to the

District of Columbia, beyond the real property taxes the District of Columbia

is already receiving. There would likely be additional uncalculated

financial benefits to the District of Columbia, because (a) real property

tax assessments would increase if the vacant houses were renovated, or

at a minimum maintained in livable condition, and (b) annual vehicle

registration fees and excise taxes from the purchase of automobiles of

those residents.

The three problem blocks listed total 31 residential houses. If the

vacancies were reduced to merely 10% in these three problem blocks alone,

I estimate it would result in 12 new households, or a minimum $38,292

in additional tax revenue to the District of Columbia. (This is

reflected in year 2000 dollars, not adjusted upward for inflation to reflect

year 2003.)

There would likely be little downside risk to the District of Columbia

in terms of lost revenue because patrons could purchase their liquor at

other venues in this same neighborhood, just blocks away.

MAYOR’S GOAL

Not renewing the liquor license of K&S Liquors so that additional

households would move into the high percentage of vacant houses would be

consistent with the Mayor’s goal of bringing an additional 100,000 new

residents to the District of Columbia.

K&S Liquor, Protest Hearing

7/30/2003

Residential Vacancy Rates for Blocks closest to liquor store

Prepared by Brian Gehman

Address # Street Name Status

300 Block Florida Ave, South Side

300 Florida Ave, NW Vacant – renovation in process

302 Florida Ave, NW

304 Florida Ave, NW Listed as vacant in DC RPT database, no gas meter

306 Florida Ave, NW Vacant-boards on windows

308 Florida Ave, NW

310 Florida Ave, NW

312 Florida Ave, NW Commercial (Kuumba Kollectibles)

322 Florida Ave, NW Commercial (K&S Liquors)

Total residential: 6

Residential vacant: 3

Vacancy rate: 50%

400 Block Florida Ave, South Side

400 Florida Ave, NW Commercial (Ken’s Carry Out)

402 Florida Ave, NW

404 Florida Ave, NW

406 Florida Ave, NW Vacant-door open behind locked gate

408 Florida Ave, NW Vacant-board over lower window

410 Florida Ave, NW Vacant-boards on windows

412 Florida Ave, NW Vacant-renovation in process

414 Florida Ave, NW Vacant-boards on windows

Total residential: 7

Residential vacant: 5

Vacancy rate: 71%

1700 Block 4th Street, East Side

1709 4th Street, NW

1711 4th Street, NW Vacant-for sale

1713 4th Street, NW

1715 4th Street, NW

1717 4th Street, NW VACANT LAND-NO HOUSE

1719 4th Street, NW Vacant-no front door, renovation in process

1721 4th Street, NW Vacant-front door open for several months

Total residential: 6

Residential vacant: 3

Vacancy rate: 50%

1700 Block 4th Street, West Side

1700 4th Street, NW

1702 4th Street, NW

1704 4th Street, NW Vacant for several years-tall weeds

1706 4th Street, NW

1708 4th Street, NW

1710-1712 4th Street, NW

1714 4th Street, NW Vacant for several years-renovation in process

1716 4th Street, NW Vacant for several years

1718 4th Street, NW Vacant for several years-renovation in process

1722 4th Street, NW

1724 4th Street, NW

1726 4th Street, NW

Total residential: 12

Residential vacant: 4

Vacancy rate: 33%

[ Thu Jul 31, 08:09:33 AM | MM Maxwell | edit ]

Chain Reaction & ShawEco Village

July 30, 2003, 8pm

Please come support the Shaw EcoVillage EcoDesign Corps and Chain Reaction Programs. Listen to bluegrass music by the Rock Creek Ramblers and enter a raffle to win prizes from generous businesses like Coppi’s Organic, Cafe Nema Restaurant, the Warehouse Theater and others! Proceeds go to further the efforts of Shaw EcoVillage.

TONIGHT! July 30, 2003, 8pm

Velvet Lounge, 915 U St., NW, 1 block from the U St. Metro (green line)

$5 at the door

21 and over please

—AND—

Chain Reaction Youth Bike Shop Adult Bike Repair Class

Learn to maintain and repair your own bike!

*The class will be a small one, taught by a professional bike mechanic

*$50-$100 sliding scale fee includes a Park Tool School manual

*The seven week course covers the following topics:

1. tire and tube repair

2. The drive train: remove, clean, and reinstall your drive-train

3. Bearing systems: adjust your hubs, headset, and bottom bracket

4. Wheel truing: unravel the mysteries of the spoked wheel

5. Brakes: pad and cable installation and adjustment

6. Derailleurs: cable installation and gear adjustment

7. Make-up session!

*Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:30pm, starting August 5, 2003 (exception- class Weds., September 3)

*Refund policy: if, after the first class, you do not wish to continue, 50% of the class fee will be refunded to you. You may keep the manual and tools.

*Questions? Call Dave at Chain Reaction 202.265.0179

Space is limited, sign up now!

————————-

The Shaw EcoVillage Project trains youth to be creative leaders for sustainable change in our neighborhoods.

In the EcoDesign Corps, high school students participate in internships or fellowships where they apply their critical thinking skills to solve real-life community issues. Participants focus on the following areas: Clean Water, Air and Land; Community Pride & Identity; Health and Wellness; Equitable Development; Public Space; and Transportation.

At Chain Reaction, Youth, ages 9-19, learn how to repair and recycle used bikes so more people in Washington, D.C., can have safe, affordable, and pollution-free transportation.

Shaw EcoVillage is located at 1701 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

For more information please call 202.265.2019 or email sev.noelpetrie@verizon.net

Contributions are accepted and are tax-deductible. Contribute through the Combined Federal Campaign, Designate #7606

Noel F. Petrie

Outreach and Development Coordinator

Shaw EcoVillage

202.265.2019

www.shawecovillage.com

Gentri quote
from http://www.narpac.org/PER.HTM
On PG County….
Furthermore, this issue of declining performance in the public school systems is clearly not one of racial distinctions, but of class distinctions. The last Post article in the series dwells on the divided views of the richest majority-black ZIP Code (20721) in the Washington metro area. Here the average household income of the more than 70% black and minority population has reached $95,700, with 86% home ownership, 75% with two or three vehicles; 45% with college degrees, 61% married and 46% with kids. These upwardly mobile, predominantly young, families are clearly torn between allegiance to their local schools and less fortunate neighbors, and pursuit of the American dream with lower risk to their kids–in private and parochial schools. Many of these are former DC residents, and they are in the main making the same decisions as any other suburbanites faced with the same problems. And the less fortunate class is generally left to fend for itself.

What happens when the middle class comes back?
There is a huge and aging population of Cubans in Miami. They want to go back to Cuba. Well not at this very moment, but after Castro dies or is overthrown. Dies is more like it, as the ex-revolutionary has outlived various US Presidents. Should Castro die any time soon (please be my guest) and his aged brother take over, thousands of aged Cubans will wait or, they will come over in a flotilla to take back their Cuba of old. The Cubans already there will be pissed to see them.
What would happen if the black middle class that left DC in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s came back in droves? The ones who stayed would probably, like the above Cubans, be pissed. The returning population may want to retake their houses, remove current renters. They would might want to fix up deserted houses, bringing in an influx of capital that would bump up the housing prices and taxes. They would definately want parking for their 2.5 cars. They would probably want decent schools, NOW! In other words, they’d be a pain, wanting to change things.

My Dream of Shaw
Taking an idea from my church’s reading group that we are constantly changing the world into what it aught (ms) to be, I began thinking about what I would like Shaw to be in the near future.
I want a diverse neighborhood. Diversity meaning a strange balance between rich and poor; black, white, hispanic and asian; poor, lower income, middle class, upper-middle class, and rich; old and young; gay and straight, all these in numbers where one does not stick out like a sore thumb or overwhelm and dictate the nature of Shaw.
Jesus said the poor shall always be with us. As long as there is public housing in Shaw and Section 8, we will have our poor. Yet, I have been reading that poor can be a temporary situtation. I grew up poor, in a lower class neighborhood. Some of my friends grew up the same, working class, or homeless, but have transcended poverty and wander somewhere in the middle class zone. I hope the same for my neice and nephew who are currently on public assistance, that they too may transcend their current economic standing. In order to transend poverty or at least not have it as a permanent designation for a family, there must be opportunities in the form of education, training and jobs; things lacking in areas of concentrated poverty. In order to de-concentrate you have to bring in the other classes. Bringing in the other classes will result in the displacement of the poor but not all the poor.
To balance the economic groupings of Shaw, the area needs a healthy middle class population to deconcentrate poverty. This middle class should range from contractors, plumbers, teachers, police, civil servants, IT, and retirees who invested well. They should provide the tax base to help fund social services and give to socially minded charities. But realistically, their numbers will displace some, raise prices (rent, real estate taxes), and they will make demands that old timers will find annoying.
In an 2001 Washington City Paper article an author, writing about his U Street neighborhood, mentioned that as soon as the area blacks begin moving into the middle class they move out of DC and into PG County, just over the border. He noted how the houses in his immdediate area were being bought by whites. My point, you can’t force black folks to stay, especially when they aren’t convinced that the crap they put up with (drug dealing, crime, trash, etc) isn’t going to go away soon enough. Why wait 5 years for the area to get better if you can buy in a quieter lower crime area today? If blacks aren’t moving in great numbers to replace the ones moving out, and there are whites/hispanics/asians willing to pay top dollar, then logically the racial demographics of the area will change. There are middle class black buying and staying in Shaw, but not in the numbers to maintain an overwelming majority. We come as singles, working married/gay couples, not so much as families with children. We are putting up with the crime, the trash, and all the other reasons of why those who have moved out, moved out, hoping that in a few years it will improve. I hope more black middle class households move to Shaw to make it the gleaming neighborhood it once was before the riots and to maintain the history of the area. But realistically, non-blacks are attracted to the area, and hopefully their numbers ( I’m specifically thinking of the clutch you purse ever time they see a black person population) will not overwhelm making it uncomfortable for blacks.
As far as businesses go, I dream of fewer liquor stores. A few places where I can walk to in 15-20 minutes from the house and grab a pastry, or sit down and eat, or buy a book. U Street has a lot of that with Cake Love (great cakes!!!) the kazillion Ethopian restaurants, the Islander Restaurant, and the other stores along U and 14th Streets. I would live to see some of that along 7th Street and North Capitol. I dream of places where I want to spend my money because they have something I want.
Shaw should be diverse. It should have services and businesses for everyone. It should be low in crime and as clean as a city can be. It should feel like home.

Professional Neighborhood?
I was listening to L. the neighborhood handyman talk to a new neighbor (whose name I have forgotten, but thats what the DC tax rolls are for) about how the neighborhood is becoming one for professionals, working folks with no kids. I think that became obvious with P&J preparing to sell the house. Face it they’re cashing in for something more child-friendly, like a yard, and maybe schools that don’t suck.