Hurricane Isabel

Government of the District of Columbia

Executive Office of the Mayor

Office of Communications

Tony Bullock, Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2003 – 8 am Update

Contacts:Tony Bullock

202-727-6846

Jo’Ellen Countee (EMA)

202-727-2985, X1137

DC Government Media Information Center for Hurricane Isabel

202-673-2101, x1158

District of Columbia Government

Hurricane Isabel Status Report

General Information: Mayor Williams strongly encourages everyone to use public transportation today as DC is expecting serious traffic problems due to inoperable traffic signals and some blocked lanes on our roads. Concerns remain for flooding over the next several days along the Potomac River and its tributaries. Widespread power outages, downed wires and downed trees have caused severe damage to streets and sidewalks throughout the city. Food distribution centers will be operating throughout the District and will open at 12 noon for lunch and 5 pm for dinner.

Local and Federal Declaration of Emergency: The District’s Declaration of Emergency remains in effect. On Saturday, September 20, President Bush authorized the use of federal disaster funds and emergency resources for the District to help families and business recover from the effects of Isabel.

The declaration covers damage to private property from Isabel beginning on September 18. Affected residents and business owners in the District may begin the disaster application process by calling (800) 621-FEMA or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free numbers will be available beginning Sunday, September 21 from 7 a.m. – midnight seven days a week until further notice.

Government Status: On Monday, the District Government will be open with liberal leave.

School Status: DCPS has announced that schools in DC will not open today, Monday, September 22.

Metro: On Monday, Metrorail will operate on a regular schedule and Metrobus is utilizing snow emergency routes in areas where trees are down. Visit www.wmata.com.

PEPCO: As of 6:00 am, Monday, 56,149 customers were without power in the District and crews remain working. Residents are encouraged to report downed electric wires and power outages at the following numbers:

Number to call for downed wires: (202) 872-3432

Number to call for power outages: (877) PEPCO-62

Mayor Williams is urging residents to take extreme caution when encountering downed power wires. District government work crews are working with PEPCO to make the streets passable and to restore power. It will likely take several days to bring all PEPCO customers back on line.

Utilities: The DC Water and Sewer Authority reports that the pumping station at Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota Avenue, NE is operating but not at full capacity.

Food Distribution: The following facilities will be food distribution sites:

. Drew Elementary School, 5600 Eads St., NE

. Spingarn High School, 2500 Benning Rd., NE

. H.D. Cooke Elementary School, 2525 17th Street, NW

. Brightwood Elementary School, 1300 Nicholson St., NW

. Birney Elementary School, 2501 MLK Ave., SE

. Ron Brown Middle School, 4800 Meade St., SE

. Douglas Junior High School, 2600 Douglas Pl. SE

. Hart Middle School, 601 Mississippi Ave., SE

. Green Elementary School 1500 Mississippi Ave., SE

. Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St., NE

. Sousa Middle School, 3650 Ely Pl., SE

. Nalle Elementary School, 219 50th St., SE

Food distribution will begin at two times, 12 noon for lunch and 5 pm for dinner. Note: If you are picking up certificates or meals for an elderly or homebound neighbor, please bring that resident’s identification with you to the distribution site.

Ice: Beginning again at 9 am, Monday, bulk ice will be available at four locations while supplies last. Residents should bring coolers to:

. DC General, 19th St. and Massachusetts Ave., SE (doctor’s parking lot)

. Backus Junior High School, 5171 South Dakota Ave., NE

. Turner Elementary School, 3264 Stanton Rd., SE

. Murch Elementary School, 4810 36th St., NW

The ice is packaged in 5-pound bags for ease of transport. Residents will be limited to one bag of ice per person. If you are picking up ice for an elderly or homebound neighbor, please bring that resident’s identification with you to the distribution site. More than 466,000 lbs of liquid ice has been distributed to residents.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD): Residents are encouraged to reserve 911 for life threatening or other extremely serious emergencies. Please do not call 911 for non-emergencies.

District Department of Transportation (DDOT): Most major highways, primary and secondary roads have been cleared for traffic. Many roads or portions of roads remain impassable at this time due to downed trees. Residents should call (202) 727-1000 to report road damage.

Approximately 168 traffic lights are reported down. MPD is directing traffic at 47 major intersections and temporary STOP signs have been installed at two dozen other intersections. Residents must use extreme caution at intersections. All intersections with disabled traffic lights should be treated as four-way stops.

Department of Public Works (DPW):

Normal parking enforcement has resumed, including rush hour and metered parking restrictions. Emergency parking restrictions have been lifted.

Trash collection will resume Monday, pending access to the area of collection. Street sweeping will resume pending access to streets. If power lines or trees block a street or alley, trucks will not be able to get to those areas. Bulk collections are suspended. Customers will be contacted to reschedule appointments. Nighttime littercan collection is on schedule. Citizens should call (202) 727-1000 if their cars have been towed.

Residents are asked to rake small debris, like leaves and twigs, and set them out at the regular point of collection. Flood debris and larger limbs and branches should be carried to the curb for collection. Large debris resulting from major tree removal done by District work crews will be picked up as soon as possible.

Food safety is a critical issue for residents who have been without power since the storm, many refrigerated and frozen foods should now be discarded. Food from refrigerators should be emptied into heavy garbage bags, tied and put into trash containers with tight-fitting lids.

Shelters: Johnson Junior High School is open and operating as a shelter.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): All DMV facilities will be open except the Penn Branch Service Center (no power) and C Street (normally closed on Mondays). Penalties resulting from failure to transact business on days that DMV offices close due to weather will be waived. Previously scheduled hearings and road test appointments will be rescheduled. Booted and towed vehicles not retrieved already can be retrieved on Monday, September 22. Vehicles due for inspection or registration renewal will be granted a three-day extension and will not be liable for tickets issued for failure to report for inspection and/or failure to display current license plates during the closure or extension period.

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA): DCRA encourages residents to ensure that contractors performing work at or around their homes are properly licensed in DC. On Monday, call (202) 442-4311.

Department of Mental Health (DMH): Residents needing mental health services to help cope with the effects of the storm can call (888) 7-WE-HELP.

Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR): Free-standing recreation centers in communities with power will operate from 11:30 am – 8 pm.

Volunteers: DC is looking for volunteers to help elderly and homebound residents cope with the storm, and assist in medical transports, etc. If you would like to volunteer, please visit www.dc.gov or call (202) 727-1000.

Additional Information: Additional information can be obtained at www.dc.gov

Clean Up

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Did you seen the Green Team cleaning up 14th & U Streets this past weekend?

This past Friday marked the beginning of a 45 day, seven day a week, demonstration project to clean, maintain and enhance the 14th & U Commercial

District. The program is a partnership between:

> 14th & U Main Street Initiative (14th & U MSI)

> Coalition For the Homeless (CFH)

> University of the District of Columbia-Extension Program (UDC-EP)

The demonstration project will provide 5 full time and 5 part time positions through the end of October. The demonstration project will be managed by the Coalition for the Homeless, located and 13th & Massachusetts, and is

being financed by UDC-EP and by PN Hoffman, which has pledged a five-year annual $10,000 contribution as part of a PUD application before the city for their project on 14th Street between V Street and W Street.

The demonstration project will spend this week focused upon trash and weeds.

Many sidewalks, gutters, alleys and tree boxes along the corridor have not seen any maintenance this year. We are in need of a volunteer or

volunteers to provide support for the team as it works upon clearing the overgrown tree boxes. Many of the tree boxes have been landscaped with

flowers and other plants that should be retained and we could use help in identifying the desired plants and in identifying the removable weeds,

particularly for the lower 14th Street areas. Please contact Scott Pomeroy at 202.550.0769 if you are available. The following week they will begin to focus on removing graffiti and posters from the corridor, working in conjunction with the city to make a visible impact all along the corridor.

The program is designed to supplement existing efforts by DPW, merchants, property owners and residents not to replace those efforts. Merchants and commercial property owners are still legally responsible for the maintenance of the area in front of their businesses from the store front to 18² into the curb. The goal of the demonstration project is to raise awareness for the need of the services being provided and to raise funds to enable the program to expand to a year round program that would hire 24 full-time

workers and would be able to expand services into other neighborhood commercial districts. The expanded program will also include a two-day

hospitality, heritage and ambassador training program conducted by Cultural Tourism DC, a landscaping training program by UDC, and an school-based landscaping and heritage training program.

Learn more about this program and other projects and goals of the 14th & U Main Street Initiative at our 1st Annual Membership Meeting that will occur

on Monday, September 29th at the True Reformer Building at 1200 U Street, NW from 6:00 ­8:30.

PSA 312 Meeting

Sadly only 2 residents showed up. Basically Sgt. Evans went over the crime stats and we 2 citizens mentioned crime hot spots, which if there are any hot spot past 4th St, they weren’t reported because there weren’t any east of 4th St residents there.

The community of PSA 312 has not shown up for meetings in the past quarter in any great number. Sometimes this is the fault of the police who have sometimes failed to send a representative. A lot of time the residents can be faulted for their failure to come to the meetings in numbers greater than 3.

This was a good weekend for the block.

Brian was cleaning the sidewalk and streets.

My new neighbors were tearing apart/rehabbing the house, meeting other neighbors, and playing with the neigborhood kids.

The sun was shining.

Kelly showed me a bullet they had pulled out of the floor as they have been rehabbing the house and liked the info I had on the 1930 version of the neighborhood.

All the neighbors (okay not all we still have the anti-social types) were out talking to each other, exchanging information, it was beautiful.

Gettin’ in touch with my inner Republican

I wonder if some neighborhoods are better because residents take on some problems themselves with out waiting for the city government to take a lead?

This weekend I tackled the problem of illegal dumping in backyards. Well one backyard in particular. The owners, who do not live there, had cleaned out the yard that was filled with wet cardboard boxes, bags of garbage and discarded furniture. Well that lasted a good month before someone dumped a couch and a bedspring in the yard. The problem I saw, was that the yard was open and exposed to anyone coming through the alley and ripe for dumpers as well as prositutes and crack-heads.

What business of is it of mine? Well when I look out my window I see it, and it is ugly. It attracts rats and I don’t want rats getting too comfy close to my house. Same goes for crackheads.

One way is to complain to DCRA. But that may take weeks or months and nothing may happen.

I decided to close up the hole. I took about $17 worth of materials and used what was in the alley to fill the 6 ft wide hole in the fence. So far so good. It is still up. I don’t see trash. I can’t see into the yard.

My inner Republican claims credit. It says that you shouldn’t believe that government can solve your problems. That if you want something done you’ll have to make it a DIY project. Trash, clean it up yourself & hire a guy to take it away. Noise, ask the violator nicely if that doesn’t work, sue them. When I noticed crackheads wandering into neighbors fenced yards I informed them. When that didn’t seem to stop the problem I offered to put locks on the gates. Yes, there are somethings you can’t do yourself but let’s just work on the stuff you can.

DC City Services Form

http://dc.gov/citizen/request.shtm

When it is not a rush, as a reply may come 5 days later.

Kennedy Playground to Open!!!!!!

“After more than a decade of lobbying, planning, construction, and interminable delays, the new Kennedy Recreation Center at the Kennedy Playground will open on Thursday, August 28, 2003, with ceremonies beginning at 6:00PM.

Mayor Williams, Ward 2 Councilmember Evans, and other dignitaries are expected to be on hand. The entrance to the rec center is on the east side of the 1400 block of 7th Street, NW, just south of P Street.

The new center’s facilities include an indoor gymnasium, weight training room, an arts and crafts room, two classrooms, a computer lab, locker rooms and showers, a tennis court, two children’s play areas, and a new outdoor basketball court, in addition to the baseball field and picnic area that existed previously.

The successful completion and opening of this important facility is a milestone for our community. The opening ceremonies are free and open to the public, so please attend if your schedule permits. And be sure to let your neighbors know, especially kids, that the new rec center will begin normal operations the next day. Hours of operation and schedules of activities will be available at the center.

If you can’t attend the opening, please plan on stopping by for a tour of the facility when your schedule permits.”

As picked off the Logan Circle Listserv

As picked off the Logan Circle Listserv

RE: “New Kids On The Block – 14th Street (Travel+Leisure)

Travel + Leisure Magazine

September 2003

New Kids on the Block

http://www.travelandleisure.com/invoke.cfm?ObjectID=5BE8A9F9-DF27-49A4-BB2D85A91D8B5FAE

Before the big developers move in and the name-brand coffee shops muscle onto every corner, T+L takes a tour through three emerging scenes in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Detroit where art meets commerce.

By Lauren Paige Kennedy

[ Excerpt ]

Washington, D.C. | 14th Street

Always a magnet for the pinstripes-and-pearls set, the District is now attracting a fashion-forward faction rather than just the usual Capitol Hill conservatives. Instead of working for the government, they’re opening shops and galleries on the once-shunned stretch of 14th Street that connects U Street to the Logan Circle area. In just two years, 14th has evolved from a dreary no-man’s-land into a destination for independent spirits.

THE BACKSTORY

The 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. ignited a three-day firestorm of destruction on and off U Street, an area once hailed as “Black Broadway” (it was a favorite haunt of Duke Ellington and other jazz greats in the 1910’s). U Street’s 14th Street offshoot is finally bouncing back, fueled by entrepreneurial pioneers undeterred by the occasional empty lot. The only protests they’re staging are aimed at keeping the enclave free of cookie-cutter chain stores.

LOCAL FAUNA

Newly transplanted young families of every ethnicity, a gay community, and young business owners have taken over old storefronts. “Most of the owners live within blocks of their shops-one more reason we’re so committed to seeing this place thrive,” says Eric Kole, co-owner of Vastu (1829 14th St.; 202/234-8344), a shop specializing in custom furniture made of aluminum, cork, and microsuede.

THE EPICENTER

Café Saint-Ex, where young artists with goatees, retro-chic swingers, and stylish gay men all belly up to the bar for late-night cocktails.

Restaurants

HAMBURGER MARY’S

202/232-7010; brunch for two $30. The juiciest, messiest burgers and the greasiest chile-cheese fries in the District. Sunday brunch is a neighborhood tradition.

SPARKY’S ESPRESSO CAFÉ

202/332-9334; lunch for two $15. The café looks like a postcard of a fifties diner (red pleather booths, checkerboard floors). On weekend nights, fledgling rock bands amp up and aspiring poets share their verse; canvases by local artists are always on display.

THAI TANIC

202/588-1795; dinner for two $30. The wall-sized mural of cavorting dolphins and goldfish is so kitschy it’s cool; the rest of the joint is Caribbean turquoise and ship-hull steel. Aromas of Bangkok waft in from the kitchen: coconut-milk curries, minty spring rolls, and spicy-sweet pad thai.

Shopping

GO MAMA GO!

202/299-0850. Noi Chudnoff began selling her collection of Japanese ceramics at Eastern Market, an outdoor bazaar on Capitol Hill. Two years ago, she set up shop on 14th, filling her shelves with eclectic Asian objets d’art, furoshiki (crepe) wall hangings, and Indonesian furniture.

MULÉH

202/667-3440. “Modern Zen” is how owner Christopher Reiter describes his Asian-infused recycled-teak dining tables, solid mahogany benches, and trellis-like screens.

TIMOTHY PAUL CARPETS & TEXTILES

202/319-1100. Featuring custom textiles, unusual lighting fixtures, and hard-to-find carpets such as TriBeCa-based Carini Lang’s pieces and $20,000 antique Turkish Oushak rugs. The owners will happily assist the design-challenged with decorating tips.

PULP

202/462-7857. The serene space is stocked with one-of-a-kind, handcrafted greeting cards that speak to every race, size, shape, and inclination. There’s even a “card bar,” with dictionaries, writing tools, and swivel seats, inviting patrons to spend an afternoon inscribing messages or just hanging out.

Nightlife

CAFÉ SAINT-EX

202/265-7839; dinner for two $64. Owner Mike Benson’s casual American bistro serves simple steaks, risotto, and seared tuna with wasabi sauce, but its yellow walls and dark-wood bar are pure Parisian Latin Quarter. Named for the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Benson’s favorite writer), the restaurant also has a smoky downstairs den with DJ’s spinning Kool & the Gang, Edith Piaf, and Moby seven nights a week.

Artbeat

FUSEBOX

202/299-9220. Since opening in 2001, Fusebox has made itself D.C.’s top gallery for emerging artists. This fall, the space mounts “Sculpture Gardens,” by photographer Vesna Pavlovic (September 13-October 26).

STUDIO THEATRE

1333 P St. (at 14th St.); 202/332-3300. Works by Neil LaBute, Tom Stoppard, and other contemporary playwrights are produced in this popular theater, which is currently undergoing an $11 million expansion. Two new stages, a lobby, and a marquee entrance on 14th Street will be added to the existing building, even as the regular season commences. Catch this month’s staging of Topdog/Underdog, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Suzan-Lori Parks (September 3-October 19).

ON THE SCENE

They may live just blocks from the White House, yet 14th Street residents are anything but right-wing in style. Most common look on the block: downtown denim paired with a vintage item, and a dash of tongue-in-cheek raciness.

Diversity

Soon in a week or a month Brett and Ira will move in. At that point my block will have a gay couple, a white nuclear family, a coupla of white married couples, black families (nuclear and other), Africans (immigrants), a hispanic family, single females (black and white), 1 single black male, roommate situations, senior citizens, and a Howard U student group house. We got professionals, blue collars and section 8s. We are diverse. Tolerating each other almost appears possible. People who don’t like each other aren’t on speaking terms anyway, and since they are not actively going after each other, I’ll call it tolerance.

Drama Mamma is getting tolerable. There is still the large band of kids who congregate in front of her house and bounce the ball up and down the walkway at all hours. But I’m not hearing the loud music at all hours. I’m not hearing the stereo blasting so loud that I can hear it from inside the house. The people coming through her house are less obnoxious now. I don’t foresee any more guests simulating sex acts on cars in front of my house anymore.

The Seventh Day Adventist church on the block is tolerable. They feed the hungry on Sundays and manage it well. The people they serve don’t congregate in large numbers outside. They don’t loiter.

The mosque down the block is tolerable. So far (knock on wood) I have not been woken to the sounds of the 5 something-ish o’clock call to prayer.

The crowds and crackheads from the block up…. well we’re still working on that.

Residents in Shaw Fight for Their Street

Cars Damaged in ‘Retaliation’ Attacks

By Petula Dvorak

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, August 21, 2003; Page DZ03

The first attack came before midnight, and it was loud. A brick shattered the driver’s and passenger-side windows in a blue convertible and thunked off the side of the green car parked in the next space.

Then another brick cracked the windshield of a white car. More bricks and some rocks began hitting the house, thudding against the wall, clanging on the burglar bars.

“It was so clearly an act of retaliation, it was beyond vandalism or destruction of property,” said resident Brian Gehman as he stood in the glow of a street lamp at midnight last week, waiting for police to arrive.

Gehman and his neighbors have been at war this summer with drug dealers, prostitutes and shady customers who do business on the short street they’re trying to call home. On many of the mornings after they’ve summoned police, residents have awakened to scratched vehicles and shattered windows, gunfire and, once, to find that the foam in a car’s headrest had been ripped apart by a bullet.

“This summer is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Jim Norris, who recently repaired several thousand dollars of damage done to his car by bricks and bullets. Norris has lived on the 400 block of Richardson Place NW for two years.

Richardson Place is south of the intersection of Florida, New Jersey and Rhode Island avenues. Twenty steps north of the small street are gas stations and liquor stores where prostitutes stand in the fluorescent glow, waving down customers.

Many nights, Gehman and his neighbors hear arguments and the screech of vehicles in their cobblestone alley. Stolen and abandoned vehicles are dumped there and left for months and, in one case, two years, residents said.

The neighbors record statistics on all vehicles left there and report them to the Department of Public Works for towing.

Late last Monday night, Gehman and Stephen Szibler, who has lived on Richardson Place for three years, circled a car with expired plates that showed up outside their homes.

Two people rounded the corner and told them to stop meddling. The residents went inside to avoid further confrontation and about 30 minutes later, the hail of bricks and rocks began.

Police arrived several hours later. No police were assigned to the local Patrol Service Area (PSA) that night, so officers assigned to other parts of the Third District left their posts to respond.

“We have no consistent policing here,” Szibler said. “We meet a sergeant, he’s around for six months, then he’s gone, and we have to start all over again. Nobody has been able to do anything about the problems on this corner.”

Convinced that the abandoned cars are the magnet for most of the crime there, he wrote a letter this summer to Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) explaining the situation:

“I do not choose to live in a junk car lot. I recently paid $150 to have my old car properly registered and the license updated, not to mention registration fees and repairs, and initial licensing and tax fees. Why can’t the police do their job and ticket and/or have these cars towed? Why can’t they do it on a regular basis? Why do they have to be begged and pleaded with to do their job?”

Lt. Alveta Dennis, the officer in charge of the local PSA, said abandoned cars are not the only magnets for crime in the area. A school playground near Richardson Place remains unlocked all night, despite police efforts to lock it down, she said. The schoolyard is a hangout for drug users and other troublemakers, she said, acknowledging the difficulty she has had with staff turnover in the area. “It’s difficult to keep anyone in place for a while.”

Of the block, Dennis said, “They have problems there. They are not outrageous problems, but they are unacceptable.”