What’s it take to get a few more police patrols?

I think we now know. NBC4 / MSNBC are reporting that a school bus had shots fired on it by a pellet gun. No one appears to be hurt or injured which, thank god, is the good news in all this.

But… while not one to make light the severity of this, I’m going to. It’s a pellet gun. There are actual gunshots fired in the area along the North Capitol corridor every once in a while. Any coverage of those? Nada.

Anyone want to take a bet that Vincent Orange will be on the news tonight? $5 says he’ll be interviewed at the scene. Any takers?

Move over Contractor Guy there’s Broken Key guy

I did mention this new con on the main site but it does need repeating:

A couple of neighbors have reported to me that a person knocked on their door today, reporting to have broken off his key in his front door lock. Curiously, the individual (a virtual stranger to both neighbors) wanted to “borrow” $80+ dollars to engage the services of a locksmith to fix the problem. Perhaps needless to say, neither of our neighbors complied with the request of the stranger and he went on his merry way.
The Fifth District Police have been notified and, in general, the description of the person is as follows: An light complected, African American male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, bald and clean shaven. He had an aqua (blue-green colored) jacket, dark pants and white sneakers trimmed in black.
Be aware of the possibility of this person knocking on your door to solicit money and, because we are trying to track his whereabouts, let me know if he shows up at your house.
–Jim Berry

Then Jim (our great ANC leader) followed with:

Dear Neighbors,
Yesterday, I wrote you to make you aware of the fact that there is a guy knocking on doors in the neighborhood, claiming to have broken off his key in the lock of his door, who is making requests of residents to “give” or “loan” him money to engage the services of a locksmith to fix his problem. Since I sent the email, a number of you have gotten back to me, indicating that a person of a similar description appeared at doors in the Unit block of Bates Street, in the 200 block of P Street, in the 1600 block of New Jersey Avenue, N.W., in the 1700 block of 4th Street, and elsewhere in the neighborhood with the same story. Fortunately, no one complied with his request for money and, according to each person who gave me feedback, the person left without incident.
As I also indicated to you yesterday, the Fifth District Police are on the lookout for this person. Similar complaints have been reported about a person in Brookland who was perpetrating a similar scam in that community, but from what we have gathered about the person who is roaming our neighborhood, it doesn’t sound like the same guy who was playing this con in Brookland. Much like the guy in Eckington who was doing the “contractor scam,” it is clear that we must be careful about how and to whom we respond when strangers appear at our doors and, perhaps needless to say, an effective way of neutralizing the adverse effects of such a scam is for neighbors to communicate quickly with neighbors, if and when situations like this occur.
At this point, the police have been provided with the name (possibly, a street name or a nick name) of a suspect who was identified by one of our neighbors and we think we have an address in the community with which he might be associated. I will keep you posted on new developments in this situation, as they occur.
–Jim Berry

And stolen off of the Truxton Circle Dispatch’s submission:

I attended the early sessions of the Ward 5 Constituent Services Summit. As advertised in many listservs, MPD Chief Charles Ramsey was present to open the Summit. His first item mentioned with regards to Ward 5 crime and public safety was about the “Broken Key Guy”. He used the exact phrase as community emails and discussions, [personal observation] so it appears that the police DO take notice on our complaints.
The Chief did indicate this is a relatively new type of scam and that we should always be vigilant for ANY type of scam AND that scam sshould be reported like any other crime. [personal observation #2 – perhaps because this is a new type of scam – that is the reason for the dispatchers at 311 being less-than-helpful with some calls.]
I was able to ask the Chief about the problem some neighbors have reported with the unresponsiveness of 311:
1) The Chief indicated they were very interested in catching this guy or any scam artist.
2) The Chief advised that 311 / 911 dispatch is not the MPD. They are their own department. [communication dept I believe]
3) He advised that he has briefed the head of the dispatch/ communications dept of this scam-and that it is to be taken seriously.
Chief Ramsey advised if the guy was at your door, to call 911 to report a “Crime in Progress”. [my best guess for additional details – tell the dispatcher its a *wanted* scam artist – may be helpful to mention Broken Key Guy, OR Contractor Guy if he’s still out there]
IF you’re comfortable and do not feel threatened – tell the guy your you’ll be right there/back – hopefully to keep him at the door – then call 911. If he’s already gone or you want to report more information – call 311, or call the Operations desk at 698-0150.
IF you talk to him or can see him clearly- try to get a good description -physical characteristics that will not change, in addition to what he is wearing.
Chief Ramsey stated that they would like someone that has given money to file a report,[If I understood correctly] then a warrant can be issued and so they can get a description.
If your neighborhood is collecting information, continue or resume calling 311 or 911.
The dispatch response should be better since the police have alerted them to this issue.
As for any crime: If its a crime “In Progress” OR you fell threatened -call 911.
If its after the fact or you have additional information to report – call 311. If your not sure – call 911.
Always try to have the correct address and as many details as you can. 311 and 911 track statistics on the amount of calls, so call them FIRST – then call your “local phone chain”.
–S. Kaufman

‘Cause it’s about shopping

Third Thursday Shopper Special on 14th & U Streets- 03/16
The MidCity Business Association is pleased to support this merchant run event that highlights the retail businesses of 14th Street and U Street.
Come out shop and enjoy! – Please Forward.
Third Thursday Shopper Social on 14th & U Street

March 16, 5-8 pm

Spring brings a renewal in life and in shopping! 14th Street has joined the shopper social which means that shopping on 14th & U Street is twice the fun!

U Street: +
* Moojoo Ken, 15% off all items & 50% off selected items (light fare & refreshments), 1512 U
* Nana, 10% off everything new & an additional 10% off all sale items for savvy shoppers, 1528 U
* Homegrown, 5% off Bodee Candii Jewelry (brownie cake), 1514 U
* Junction, 20% off all vintage and 50% off the rack, 1510 U
* Habitat, sale on select jewelry, 1510 U
* Wild Women Wear Red, a free “DC Flava” tee with any purchase and 50% off most shoes and boots (light fare and refreshments), 1512 U
* Goodwood, 15% off lamps (wine and cheese), 1428 U
* Pink November, 10%-20% off on all new Spring arrivals, 1231 U
* Carbon, Up to 50% off selected merchandise… and new Spring shoes are arriving. 1203 U
* Meeps celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with their Luck O’ the Draw Sale!
Pick your luck! Discounts of 10%-50% off plus free prizes! (refreshments & treats), 1520 U 14th Street: +
* Dragonfly, 20% off all lacquer paintings
* Home Rule, 15% off candles and candle accessories, 1807 14th St
* Candida’s World of Books, 15% off store-wide sale, 1541 14th St
* 100% Mexico, 15% off store-wide sale, 1612 14th St
* Garden District, 60% off on select tools & spring bulbs, 1801 14th
* Pop, 75% off all remaining winter stock and 15% off all new Spring
items, 1803a 14th St
* Pet Essentials, 25% off dog coats and sweaters, 1722 14th St
* Muléh, Take an additional 20% all sale merchandise. Also check out
new men¹s and women¹s spring fashions by 3.1 by Phillip Lim, John Varvatos,Marika Charles, Nicholas K, Nicole Farhi, and Rozae Nichols 1831 14th
Plus there are New and Beautiful things for SPRING! Come Explore . . .

web: www.midcitylive.com

–Scott Pomeroy, Development Officer
MidCity Business Association

A lot of good stuff coming to Eckington

First there was the news of EC-12 the firehouse, slated to become a sit down neighborhood joint. Then there was news of Big Bear. Followed by news of a bakery. 2006 or 2007 is looking really good for the other side of Florida Avenue.
What does TC have? Well, one hoped for project fell through but really. The firehouse and Big Bear are like 100-200 feet away from the Truxton-Eckington border. On the TruxtonCircle.org discussion board someone mentioned a bakery on North Capitol that’s been around forever. The only problem, it just doesn’t look like they want to sell me baked goods. Now I’d buy your baked goods if you really want to sell me your baked goods AND if it like them. But if you don’t want to sell me your baked goods then, oh well. I mean print up possible hours of retail operation, stick it on the door, maybe get one of them orange OPEN signs. Oh, and shoo away the loiterers. Am I asking for too much?

Death in TC

An old fellow across the street from me died of cancer yesterday. Well that’s what I was told when I ran into another neighbor on the street. The doctors only gave him two weeks to live but he stretched it out by a couple of months. Come to think of it, I had not seen him lately. I’d seen his grandkids and other folk visiting the house, but not him. Last I saw him he had a walker, which was unusual because he got around, driving and whatnot without much assistance.
Now I’m figuring out what is the proper course of action. Visiting with a plate of food tends to be the usual thing. I can’t think of anything besides potato salad (everyone cooks potato salad). I might just do flowers.
At the BACA meeting it was mentioned, as well on another neighborhood email list, that Carl Hunter one of the people in the March 2nd crash on New Jersey Ave passed away. Carl and Shirley Hunter, residents of the area, were traveling to work when the accident occurred.