Renovation 2007: Paint values

You know the values you have when you keep them even when they are at their most inconvenient. That’s what I was thinking when I wandered over to the Home Depot looking getting painting supplies and noticed how much was the cheap paint. Well, the really cheap stuff was around $20 or less, but the higher quality paints were in the mid to high twenties. The eco-friendly low to no VOC paint, $30-$40.
When I was hit with the $40 price tag at Benjamin Moore for their semi-gloss low-VOC paint I started looking elsewhere. Community Forklift carries the American Pride brand of paint, selling between $29-$33 a can, depending on the finish. Cheaper but not as cheap as regular paint.
It would be easier on me if I just went with the regular old paint you find at Home Depot. And I went into the idea of painting the house myself (with the help of friends) to save some money . This paint is not money saving paint, but I guess saving the most money is not my highest value right now….. We’ll see if I can keep it up through this week.

PS– I reserve the right to use whatever paint already my basement from previous paint experiments.
PPS- I want to publicly thank Cerise, Dr. So N Soh, and Elizabeth for helping me paint this weekend.

Crime Initiative

Note: Please continue to be the extra eyes and ears on your block for the Metropolitan Police Department. Call the Office of Unified Communication’ s (OUC) non-emergency hotline (3-1-1) to report suspicious activity and nuisance issues in our neighborhoods, and dial (9-1-1) for emergencies. Remember, neither of these phone lines are answered by police officers, they are answered by the city’s OUC operators, who dispatch calls to either fire or police services.
Around the country, 9-1-1 and 3-1-1 calls are prioritized and responded to, based on life-threatening emergencies. So if it takes a little longer to respond to a non-emergency call, you will know the reason.


This weekend’s crime initiative (which kept more than 3,000 sworn and civilian staff on the city’s streets during 12-hour shifts) was not just about cracking down on crime. It was also about getting to know members of the community and having officers (whose police beats (PSAs) include patrolling their neighborhoods) work in partnership with the people they serve.

This past weekend, MPD engaged in:

– community cookouts,

– open houses at police districts,

– community walks,

– outdoor roll calls,

– vehicle compliance checkpoints (similar to road blocks),

– CSOSA accountability tours (checking on the status and compliance of former inmates who are on probation in our neighborhoods) ,

– conducting search warrants in connection with recent crimes,

– DUI Enforcement,

– youth summits,

– bike registrations,

– joint patrol programs [i.e. Assisted with compliance checks with members of the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)]

– visits with the local Boys & Girls Clubs & Recreation Centers,

– posted materials in the community to promote next week’s Last Day of School/Summer of Safety program,

– border patrol footbeats,

– registering kids for police-run summer camps,

– Asian Liaison seminar in Chinatown

– Intel mediation with local crews (formerly called gangs)

– emergency drills

– police ride-alongs (by community members)

– nuisance abatement with members of the mayor’s Core Teams.

In addition, two Commanders attended local graduations and presented special awards from MPD to teens. These awards coincide with the Chief’s Summer of Safety program, designed to give the city’s youth structured and supervised activities this summer to reduce juvenile delinquency. (4 huge last day of school/summer of safety block parties will be held this Thursday, June 14th around the city, beginning at 12noon) to continue the outreach efforts to youth (details at the bottom of this message.)

The award letters for free summer camp and summer employment with MPD were provided to students who may not ordinarily have these opportunities. The commanders (Commander Joel Maupin & Commander Robert Contee) presented the students with personal letters during their graduation ceremonies. The letters that were written by Chief Lanier and contained introductions stating the following:

Summer Employment

“It is with great pleasure that I offer you a Summer Youth Employment position with the Metropolitan Police Department for the Summer 2007. Your work will include planning events for teens, just like yourself all summer long as part of the department’s Summer of Safety Outreach to Youth program.”… …

Free Summer Camp

“It is with great pleasure that I offer you an opportunity to attend a free summer camp. You can attend a local District camp, during the summer months, beginning June 25, 2007 to August 10, 2007 or you can attend a free one-week get-away as a Camp Brown Camper.”…. .

Info about the four block parties this Thursday (June 14th) & the coordinators are below:

1) Bancroft Elementary School for Districts 2, 3, and 4. (Marco Santiago, 671-6604, Alicia Rucker, 576-7247) Sgt. Gwen Mapp (2D) will assist.

2) Hechinger Mall Parking Lot for Districts 1 and 5 (Fayette Vaughn-Lee, 698-0188)

Sgt. Yvonne Tidline (1D) will assist.

3) #14 Boys and Girls Club for the 6th District, (Benning Rd) (Officer Dixon, 698-0849)

4) Malcolm X Elementary School for the 7th District (Lendia Johnson, 698-1454)







6) AN EXTENSIVE CALENDAR FROM MPD OF OVER 300 ACTIVITIES PLANNED BY LOCAL PSAS AND POLICE PARTNERS (Including exclusive visits to certain hot spots by the Skate Mobile with MPD and DPR.)

7) Summer Curfew Reminders & Info on Next of Kin Meetings.



PURPOSE: All of this (including the award letters to graduating students) will be done to show that MPD is playing a significant role in making sure youth are involved in structured summer events to reduce juvenile delinquency.

Let’s make Summer 2007 the best Summer yet for our city’s youth. Take a child under your wings this summer. We encourage members of the clergy and their congregations to pray for the city’s youth and their safety this summer. We encourage community groups to host activities that are kid-friendly; and we encourage you all to do something positive in the lives of our youth!

Share your community’s kid-friendly activities with us so that we can include them on our Summer Activity Hotline, 202-Im-Bored.

Yvonne Smith, Community Outreach

Executive Office of the Chief of Police


Semi-Lazy Sunday at the Big Bear

Big Bear CafeDisclaimer: I write this owing Stu $4 plus tax.
For a place that had a soft or quiet opening it was plenty busy when I walked in. Saturday I popped by and got an iced tea and ran into some folks I knew from the Alley Cat Allies adventures with feral kittens episode. I came again Sunday morning with a newspaper and a want for hot tea. Like the day before, I ran into three sets of people I knew from the area.
The space is lovely. Even better the little outside seating area where folks with dogs can enjoy their coffee beverage in the sun. Inside, you can sit at a stand alone comfy chair, small tables or the counter. I overhead that some of the art on the wall came by a local neighborhood artist who came by and asked if the Big Bear owners needed art. Maybe this may be the start of a wonderful public art space, who knows?
Now I am not a coffee drinker. I hate the taste of it. So, I cannot judge the coffee. All I know, looking at the boards, was there were several coffee choices. I had tea, there were two black tea choices. I dislike Earl Grey, so for me, one choice of tea. I had an iced tea on my first visit, that was good. Second visit, I had hot tea. My only complaint, was the tea was too hot when I got it. But a lot of restaurants serve tea that’s way too hot in my opinion. I had it with the prosciutto and gruyere croissant, and it was good. I’d have it again. Right now the menu is limited. Hopefully, that will expand.
The hours, if I remember them right, will be 6:30AM to 7:00PM. That may change depending on how things go. After 7, the Bear will be serving as a meeting space for at least one community group, and thus closed for business. The early morning hours will allow morning commuters and early birds to stop by and pick up a cup of joe for that walk to the metro. In the middle of the day at home parents, telecommuters, retirees and you odd people with the odd work hours can hang out there an make use of the wi-fi.
I am quite curious to see how the area develops around the coffee shop. Next Sunday, the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market will be right in front of the Bear from 10AM to 2PM, and I can see how the two can feed off each other. During the week, I wonder if lounging outdoor coffee drinkers will have any impact on the tiny triangular park between Florida and R in how residents and others use the space.

Big Bear Cafe– 1st and R St NW. Sat & Sun 7:30AM-evening, M-F 6:30AM-evening
Stu- I will repay you your money Monday after work.