Dang it, it’s cold

My face froze.
That’s what it felt like walking to the metro this morning. According to WAMU the weather with the wind chills feels like the teens or single digits.
In other weather related tales, from the Eckington Listserv:

The District of Columbia wants to help residents whose heat has been shut off, but it’s having trouble finding them. That’s because consumer protection laws prohibit utilities from turning over their addresses.

Without that key information, the city has been trying to pinpoint zip codes with a history of disconnections. Mayor Adrian Fenty has directed his staff to begin door-to-door visits of homes in those areas to let people know about utility assistance that’s available from the government.

Terry Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, says utilities told him that between 700 and 800 customers are likely without gas heat. Lynch made his inquiries after the death this month of 65-year-old Bessie Sanders. Her home caught fire because she had been burning candles after her utilities were shut off.

Information from: The (Washington) Examiner: http://www.dcexaminer.com

I don’t have heat. Okay that’s a lie. However, my furnace is still (after nearly a month) non-operational because of that blocked chimney thing. Don’t worry, I discovered my basement maintains a temperature of about 50F no matter what I do. The “new” kitchen has electric radiant heat in the floor. When I’m home I just heat the room that I happen to be in, and not the whole house.

Usually when it gets cold I see the hotline number for the shelters for the homeless. I’m not seeing it but when it gets below freezing call the Hypothermia Hotline at 1-800-535-7252 so those sleeping on the street will be offered a warmer alternative.

What I did for the love of compost: @ the office

I just asked my boss to throw her apple core in my little compost pail.
There are enough coffee drinkers in the office that justified bringing in my compost pail from home and just leaving it at work. I introduced the idea to my office mates who were fine with throwing the coffee grounds into the pail and not the trash. The problem was the cleaning staff. They kept throwing my collection in their trash until I got them to understand that I wanted the coffee grounds and the tea bags. What’s ‘compost’ in Spanish?
But now it is all good. Every other week I take my pail home, dump it in the compost bin. I’m happy. The worms are happy. It’s all good.

Mari’s pyscho theory

I haven’t been reporting on the shootings over in Ward 2, as other bloggers and the listservs have covered it and I would just be repeating the same thing. In other words I have nothing constructive to add.
You know that ‘Plan’, the one drawn up by ‘The Man’ that is supposed to put Black folk down? Well there must be a paragraph or two in it for black eradication program where we are supposed to go around killing each other. It’s black on black violence and it’s the stuff that makes subrubanites feel better about living way out, far from the big bad city. As plans go it is brilliant. Get blacks to sell poison to other black people so it destroys family life and makes them unable to be a strong people. Then encourage them to constantly refer to each other as n*g**rs to sow seeds to worthlessness. Then shoot at each other, whereby you can get other black people shot in the crossfire because they were in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.
Face it the city isn’t going to stop it until a certain type of human sacrifice is made. And you’d hope that the city reacts correctly, as banning under aged people from music venues doesn’t address the problem of gun violence. I’d rather not have the city wait till an anglo citizen is shot to crack down because that just comes across as black lives not being as worthy.
As the title suggests I know this isn’t making sense, so allow and forgive this rant. All I need right now is a good cuppa tea and I’ll be my calm, non-pyscho theory spouting self.

Can DC workers make a suggestion?

I regret that I’m going to have to be vague because I really don’t want to get this person in any more trouble than they already are, so bare with me. Say person X, let’s call ’em Bob, works for a DC agency. Bob is a trained professional, and I belive certified to do what he does. Over time Bob discovers fraud. Not on the part of the DC govt or any of its workers but on the side of the people that he serves. Because of some loop holes in the rules and guidelines, non-DC citizens are getting benifits that are supposed to go to DC citizens. The agency and thus the city is failing to confirm that the people are DC residents.
I don’t know if Bob suggested closing up the loophole to his superiors, which he should have done in the first place. What I do know is that Bob made mention of it in the Mayor’s suggestion box. Then the poop hit the fan.


It has been brought to my attention that my State of the Blog post left out several people. Those mentioned were not the only ones who put their time and effort in the electronic arena (in the non-electronic arena there are many more). I left out the listservs, the people covering the U Street and Logan Circle areas. My failure to mention was never intended as a purposeful slight. I ask for forgiveness and hope that my apology is acceptable.

Tax Assessments

I noticed something when I took a look at the DC Real Estate Tax Assessment database. It is pretty much a given that the city will assess properties to be worth more than they were last year, so that, I expected. Yet when I took a look at the “Preliminary Assessment Roll” which breaks down the property values into land, improvements, and the total value I noticed a big change from the current value and the proposed value. DC has decided to pump up the land value.

Sample Assessment:

What is assessed Current Value Proposed New Value (2007)
Land $88,150 $259,920
Improvements $105,910 $122,200
Total Value $194,060 $382,120
Taxable Assessment: $194,060 $382,120

The above table I swiped from the database to show how the land value was increased. So the 2007 assessment will make the fact that one house is a rehabbed jewel and the crack house next door irrelevant because the land (provided they are similar plots) is worth the same.

State of the Blog

Usually when that televised drinking game, the State of the Union Address, comes on I am inspired to review the state of my own blog, so in 3 points (unless I make a part two) the state of the blog:

Changing the landscape
I can’t take credit for the political change in our little corner of the city. But I believe those of us who have blogged about the local politics and characters in Wards 2 and 5 brought light and attention to issues and things that get ignored by the larger information outlets. The past election year brought the politicians to Truxton Circle and Bloomingdale, who 4 years ago wouldn’t have bothered. The demographics have changed, the way people get information has changed and if I can help alert people to what is going on, help them get more out of their residency, then I have served my fellow citizen.
I could have done better. I’ll acknowledge that. I could have shown up at more meetings, gatherings and events. Thankfully, there are other bloggers who have filled in those gaps. Fifth and O has covered the elections and the meetings over in ANC 2C, informing the citizens and providing a space and a voice for those shouted down and intimidated by the old guard. Life in Mount Vernon Sq., superinformative on the latest in development, crime, and other living issues. Le Slum Historique (keep the name pleeeaaaase)and Off Seventh do more of the 7th and 9th Street corridor, which has more commercial news (openings and development). Rob Goodspeed mashes local data in a way you can use. New Kid on the Eckington Block, Kris Hammond, and Bloomingdale Blog, cover the area north of Florida.

Limited but what do you want for free?
There are somethings I can’t do because of how the blog is set up and my own laziness. It cost me about $65-$75 dollars to run this site a year, easily recouped in EBay sales. Blogger is free and it has its glitches. The site Inshaw.com is on my host’s cheapest package, which means I can’t do funky things with SQL or databases, and I lack some IT know how, so making good use of the DC.Gov data that is now available is not possible here. I suspect Truxtonian has better IT skills than I, I have yet to bug him about that (as well as other things).

What’s in store?
Well I’m going to be involved in some construction this year. I have my general plans and just heard back from the eco-design guys, so it all depends on when I can get a contractor. Whenever I do start construction posting may be irregular. For one, I plan to move out of my house and put all my earthly belongings in storage during construction. I hope to find temporary housing in the TC or the Shaw area, while it’s being renovated. If not, that sort of limits what I can write, as well as possibly having the computer in a box somewhere.

To sum up, the blog is okay.
G’d bless and G’d bless the Shaw/ Bloomingdale area.

BAA meeting

| Blagden Alley Association |
| Monthly Meeting |
| |
| THURSDAY, January 25, 2007 |
| 7:30-9:00 pm |
| Sherri and Bob’s |
| 945 O Street, NW |

The newsletter is at


1. The West Side of the 1200 block of Ninth Street…More upgrades?
2. Naylor Court. Graffitti.
3. District Liquors. Get your block’s petition.
4. 916 N Street, NW. The lawsuit. A resolution (to be voted on.)
4. Police.
5. More.

Body and Spirit

This weekend I got B and IT (and later BL) to join me at the Florida Ave Market (or Capitol City Market). The plan was to hit three or four stores to show them what was there. I forgot my shopping bag, so I didn’t buy anything at the places I normally shop. B was in one of his smart-alec moods pointing out what would not appeal to yuppies. No prices on things, no clear lines, etc. He also suggested that if we wanted to save the market the historic preservation people should be brought in. I think I may have actually growled at him.
While the HP people are good at protecting the body, that is the buildings and the structures, I don’t think they can preserve the spirit. The market for me is not a collection of warehouse buildings, instead they are a Hodge podge of businesses, a mix of wholesale and retail banded together, the spirit. What they are housed in to me seems fairly irrelevant. The 19th century structures that are there have attached to them squat ugly cinder block, cinder block that seems to distract the eye from the brick.
The spirit is that thing that is when you have these warehouse businesses all together in one place, some providing retail services, selling goods at a low price, in a central DC location. It is my inner libertarian screaming that if the government places some extra burden on the businesses there, be they HP regs or a ‘temporary’ move or rules to make residential possible, those businesses may fold, leave permanently or pass the expense on to consumers in a way that makes the market less attractive to those consumers.
Even in theological discussions with friends I have trouble defining and describing the spirit. It is a fuzzy thing that I sense and feel. I sense the energy radiating from the people working, pushing handcarts, yelling in a variety of languages. The consumers give off an international, down to business (as the market does service restaurants and other businesses), utilitarian vibe that I feel. And you have the two interacting with each other in a central DC location. If you change the type of business, you screw with the spirit. Change the type of consumers, you change the vibe. Change the location, same thing.
My fear of the city coming in and changing the area is that it will kill the spirit. New businesses would replace the old ones and those new businesses would appeal to a different type of consumer (or a different side of some consumers who do use the market).
At the end of the shopping, at Litteri’s we noticed a petition on the counter. So if you’d like, stop in, by a sub or some pasta or wine and sign the petition to preserve the spirit of the market.