Monday, June 15, 2015

Saint Ex facade suffers damage

Saint Ex suffers facade damage and crews are currently trying to repair the fallen brick section. Sidewalk cafe customers must now enter from the T Street side of the building through the newly created doorway. Repairs should be completed in a few weeks. We believe that the chunk of bricks fell out because of the heavy traffic on 14th Street passing over broken pavement due to recent work by the utilities. Soon after the hole in the building was reported the city repaved the intersection of 14th and T and now there is less shaking goin' on. We look forward to a restored facade at one of our most popular eating and drinking establishments!

Mayor Bowser's First State of the District Address at Lincoln Theatre

Just a reminder that we are a few days away from Mayor Bowser’s first State of the District Address. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for the March 31st event. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration does not guarantee entry. Overflow seating will be available at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center. No large bags or outside food in the venue. No signs or campaign material will be allowed inside the venue. Street parking is limited. Off-street parking will be available at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center located at 2000 14th St., NW on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please consider using U Street-Cardozo Metro station to attend the event. For special accommodations (translation services, wheelchair accessibility, etc.), contact Danielle Douglas

Streetsweeping begins March 16 due to snow

Due to the recent snowfall, the Dept. of Public Works has delayed the start of street sweeping until Monday , March 16. Fines are $45.00 for those who do not move their vehicles so please plan ahead!

What happened to these 2 establishments? New Town and Art Soiree

I have received several inquiries about New Town Kitchen and Lounge and Art Soiree. The former was located at 1336 U Street and went out of business when the owner did not pay rent and was evicted. Neighbors had been complaining about the late night noise and amplified music that was disturbing them. ABRA had cited the establishment several times for noise violations. The latter was a proposed business that was to be located on the second and third floors of the space above Floors on !4th next to Room and Board. The deal fell apart when the partnership didn't make the necessary improvements to the space in a timely that space is now for lease.

Our McD's Is Now McChic!

The final touches have been made to the renovation and makeover of our local McDonald's at the corner of 14th and U. The new facade treatment updates the exterior (along with a new coat of paint to match the Louis) and the interior has been reconfigured. We welcome the changes and continue to enjoy the option of having choices for fast food in our neighborhood that has been overtaken by more expensive eating establishments. We miss KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Yum's which were pushed out of our neighborhood due to the high rents that redevelopment projects brought to our corner of the world..

ESTRADA Named Outstanding Citizen Activist

At its annual Holiday luncheon held last month, the Federation of Citizens Associations named Ramon Estrada as the Outstanding Citizen Activist for 2014. They cited his role in cleaning up the crime in the 14th and U neighborhood back in the 1980's when the area was known for drug dealing and was considered "dangerous and unsafe." They also recognized his 10 years as an ANC Commissioner representing SMD 2B09 promoting the redevelopment of the neighborhood. He also served on the Alcohol Omnibus Bill Task Force helping to reform ABRA regulations. He is currenlty serving his second term as President of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association. The Dupont Current newspaper acknowledged his work and contributions and praised his efforts to transform his community into a "model neighborhood."

Council Votes Approvess Stadium Deal without Reeves Center

On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Council voted to remove the Reeves Center from the soccer stadium deal. Advocates of the removal of the municipal building were pleased with the decision. A second vote on the revised bill will take place on Dec. 16, the last legislative session of the year. Still to be determined is how the stadium deal would actually be financed. I understand that the Council members are working with the Mayor's office to work out the financial details of the new proposed funding plan for the stadium. The Council will vote on those plans at their Dec. 16 legislative session.

NEW Retail Shops Open at 14th and S

This past weekend I attended the Open House at Logan Hardware's new location near the corner of 14th and S Streets NW. It is a larger space with more items for sale than their previous location on P Street. We welcome the convenient location and very helpful staff. Also newly opened is the West Elm store next door and the chic Salt and Sundry around the corner on S Street. Happy Shopping!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What I learned at last night's ANC 2B Forum

1. We have a new group of residents who want to weigh in on the moratoriums. Several are wanting to phase them out in order to bring in new restaurants. I have heard this argument before but this is NOT the way to do it. Naive! 2. Several newbies want to encourage development and density in order to get more 1 and 2 bedroom units in our neighborhood to encourage families to live here but we all know developers will do what they can to make money in the marketplace. I don't think the demand is there. 3. They didn't display enough familiarity with our Dupont Circle history since many of them are new residents in our neighborhood. I wonder how the turnover in the ANC will affect past decisions and the respect for previous Commissioners who worked hard on these issues. 4. None of them stated how they would reach out to their constituents to get to know what they want and how they would represent them at ANC meetings. This is critical I believe! 5. "Balance" was a word that many candidates used to describe how they would juggle various goals for the neighborhood. 6. In the contested races, the choices were clearly defined last night. For example, Jagoda wants to let the moratorium go while Nichols still sees some usefulness in having one. Padgett agrees with Nichols while his opponent, Michael Warwick, seems to think the ANC has signaled that it wants to phase out the moratorium (?). Not in attendance: Justine Underhill, Stephanie Maltz, Nicole Mann, Noah Smith and Ed Hanlon. Those of us in 2B09 had no candidates in a contested race to hear from last night. All in all, it's a young and largely uninformed group of candidates with a couple of exceptions. The burden is now on the two senior Commissioners, Silverstein and Feldstein, to train the newbies. I think they need to be asked what their training plans are going to be...

'Tis the season...for ANC Candidate Forums

It's that time again...campaigning for local ANC elections. The Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance is partnering with the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association to sponsor a candidates forum on Thursday, October 16, at 7 p.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Center on 12th Street NW. Invited to particpate are the following candidates (listed by their Single Member Districts): Matt Abbruzzese 1B12 John Green 1B12 Ed Hanlon 2B09 Noah Smith 2B09 Katherine Gordon 2F01 (Invited) The forum will be moderated by renowned blogger David McAuley of the ShortArticlesAboutLongMeetings blog. See you there!

At-Large Candidates Weigh in on Proposed Soccer Stadium Deal

At last night's forum hosted by the Black Cat and The City Paper, the large field of candidates discussed everything from the pending soccer stadium deal to education to affordable housing. The evening was full of a lot of going back and forth between the candidates, the press (who asked the questions), the moderator and the audience. Elissa Silvermann was the object of many attacks as she is perceived by many to be the front runner. Outstanding performances were given by Puryear and Snowden (pictured above). Hart seemed upset with the audience when he stated that he favored the stadium deal which includes moving the Reeves Center to Anacostia and the audience "booed" him much so he asked if he could finish his statement... Most of the candidates stated that they were concerned about deal details and some didn't like that the Reeves Center is being sold to a developer. Several candidates stated that they would prefer to see the District government spend the $150 million that is proposed for building the soccer stadium on building affordable housing and providing services to the homeless.

Soccer Stadium Deal Evaluation Report Delayed

According to CM Bowser the report from the consultants evaluating the deal to swap the Reeves Center for land at Buzzard's Point will be delayed a few more weeks until mid-October. Read more...

Bowser asks for Detailed Transportation and Community Plans for Stadium Deal

The hearing room at DCRA was standing room only. For the second night in a row impacted citizens testified before the Committee on Economic Development. They cited issues related to the lack of a transportation plan let alone any planning for the SW neighborhood that would be home to the DC United Stadium. Fears of losing low and moderate income housing in the neighborhood were aired as well as concerns about future development that might displace residents who have lived there for generations. At the end of the session, CM Bowser asked the Mayor and his team to develop and present to the Committee a Transportation Management Plan as well as a Small Area Plan that would address the community-wide issues highlighted by residents. During the hearing the Committee learned that even if the deal does not go through (because DC United may back out), the Reeves Center building would have already been sold to Akridge (once the Council approves the deal) and they would own the land and develop it. No stadium and we lose the Reeves Center.

Dog Days are Here Again...Aug 2-3

This weekend marks the 15th anniversary of the MidCity Dog Days in our neighborhood. Please join your friends and neighbors in visiting the various shops and restaurants and spend some money to support our local businesses. Maybe along the way you will see some wonderful bargains and meet some new friends. Welcome to all our visitors, too!

Bowser's Committee Hears Testimony on Impacts of Redeveloping the Reeves Center

The Committee on Economic Development listened to testimony from citizens, civic associations and businesses that stressed the importance of daytime traffic being generated by employees and visitors to the Reeves Center. They also spoke of the impact on the Farmers Market, Post Office, DC Center, and parking in the building which visitors to the 14th and U neighborhood use during the evenings and on weekends. CM Graham attended the hearing since the building is located in his ward and he commented that he continues to be opposed to including the Reeves Center in the soccer stadium deal. He asked for more affordable housing and office space if the building is to be demolished. He and CM Bowser still remain skeptical that a DC-owned building should be redeveloped without proper review by the Council. In that regard, the Council has hired a consulting group to evaluate the deal in detail

Hearing on Disposition of REEVES Center 7/23

CM Muriel Bowser is holding a hearing as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development in order to listen to the community impacts of disposing the Reeves Center as part of the soccer stadium bill before the Council. Please attend to learn more about the project and how our community will be impacted by proposed plans for the Reeves Center. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23, at 6 p.m. in the second floor Community Room in the Reeves Center.