Friday, May 18, 2012

Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance Hosts Inaugural Membership Meeting

Last night I attended the inaugural membership meeting of the newly formed Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance which was held at its new meeting place, the Thurgood Marshall Center on 12th Street NW. Council Member Jim Graham was represented by staff person John Detaeye and the meeting room was full of members and interested neighbors.  The board members, headed by Joan Sterling (President), discussed a variety of community issues and concerns, including the proposed moratorium, parking, arts overlay district, and development in the neighborhood.  Refreshments were provided and everyone had a chance to mingle at the end of the evening.  Also attending was Christina Parascandola, President of the Meridian Hill Residents Association.  If you are interested in joining SDCA, please visit their website to learn more about their mission and boundaries.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DC Council Approves Budget with Limited Extended Alcohol Sales Hours

On Tuesday, May 14, the Council members discussed the Budget Supplement Act which contains a number of amendments to the Budget Request Act. The budget request includes a proposal by Council Chair Brown that extends hours of alcohol sales for 19 days (11 Federal holidays that also include 4 three-day-long-weekends). This is a compromise proposal to close a funding/revenue gap of $1.5 million in the District's budget. This was the first reading of the BSA after the Council approved the BRA. Council Member Cheh introduced an amendment that would require reporting on the effectiveness of the extended hours on raising the funds and any impacts on MPD and neighborhoods after a year of operation.

Currently VA's limit operating hours for approximately 25% of licensees in the District and many licensees that will be eligible to be open late will elect to close at their regular closing time. So it is not clear how much revenue will actually be raised by implementing this proposal.

The next Legislative Meeting of the Council is scheduled for June 5. Council Member Graham commented that he hopes the Council can find the $1.5 million to fill the gap without having to extend alcohol sales hours.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Taqueria Nacional and BakeHouse Coming to Old Post Office

As many of you know, there are two new businesses that are coming to our Old Post Office.  I recently met with Johnny Fulchino and his partner Ann at Johnny's Half Shell at 400 North Capitol Street to discuss his plans.  He indicated that he wants to serve lunch and dinner and he will also sell takeout meals.  The new eatery is based on his current operation, Taqueria Nacional, which I toured, located behind his Half Shell restaurant.  He would like the neighbors to support the business by purchasing their homemade tacos and agua frescas as a convenience food in addition to dining in the former post office space.  He hopes to have a moderately-priced menu.  Also coming to our neighborhood is BakeHouse which will be located in the new building that will be constructed in the small lot next door that used to serve as the driveway for the postal delivery trucks.  Owner Niall Cooper tells us that "our menu will consist of house-made baked goods and high quality coffees and teas. We’ll serve updated classics with modern flavor profiles."  We welcome both new businesses!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CM Graham's Committee Rejects Mayor's Proposal to Extend Alcohol Sales Hours

Today CM Graham's Committee on Human Services which oversees ABRA voted 2-3-0 to reject the Mayor's Proposal to Extend Alcohol Sales Hours til 3 and 4 a.m.  Voting in favor were Councilmembers Barry and Alexander.  Joining Graham and Wells in opposition was Councilmember Brown.  The Committee proposed a six cent increase in the excise tax on alcohol which would generate approximately $20 million.  The Mayor's proposal would have raised $3.2 million in revenue.  To view the news media coverage click here.

Bikeshare Rack Moved to T Street Park

This past week we saw the Capital Bikeshare station moved from its current location at the point of the 16th and New Hampshire intersection (on the sidewalk) to the north side of the T Street Park (on the pavement).  When DDOT recently asked us about expanding the rack because it has become the 8th busiest in the region, I recommended and the ANC concurred that this move would reduce the possibility of accidents and  make the station more accessible to subscribers who live mostly to the south of U Street.  And we thought that the park could use more activity, too!