Monday, December 31, 2007

Homicide in PSA 307

From Seargent Maradiaga of PSA 307 -

On Wednesday, December 26, 2007, members of the department’s Violent Crimes Branch were notified that a man who had been hospitalized for treatment of head trauma since Saturday, December 22, 2007 was pronounced dead at 9:43 Wednesday morning.

The decedent, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin, was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia where an autopsy was performed on Thursday, December 27, 2007. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head and torso.

On Saturday, December 22, 2007, at approximately 8:50 PM, members of the Third District and D.C. Fire Department emergency medical personnel responded to an apartment in the 1200 block of M Street, NW to investigate the trouble. Upon arrival, they found a 29-year-old male suffering from head trauma. He was transported to George Washington Hospital and admitted for treatment.

Detectives assigned to the department’s Violent Crimes Branch (VCB) were notified and responded to the hospital to monitor the victim’s injuries. VCB investigators were informed that the victim would be admitted in critical condition with facial fractures.

At some point, the diagnosis of the victim’s injuries was upgraded and his injuries were believed to be non-life-threatening. Consequently, the Third District Detectives Office became the lead investigative unit. Now that the Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death a homicide, the case has been turned over to detectives assigned to the Violent Crimes Branch.
Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to call 202-727-9099.

The Metropolitan Police Department offers a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hearing on 311/911

One of the biggest complaints around the neighborhood is the often abysmal response citizens receive after calling 311 and/or 911. It's frustrating to be told, "Keep calling until they send somebody." It sort of defeats the purpose.

Here's your chance to let the city know how you feel.

Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, announces a public oversight hearing on the Office of Unified Communications. The hearing will be held on Friday, December 14, 2007, at 12:30 pm, in the 5th Floor Chamber of the John A. Wilson Building located at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the oversight hearing is to hear from the public, providers, and the government on the operations, management, and overall performance of the Office of Unified Communications.

If you'd like to testify, contact Victor Bonett at +1 202.724.4865.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gas Outtages

I mentioned this in the wrap-up from last night's ANC meeting, but it deserves more attention.

The area around 9th Street, 10th Street, Rhode Island Avenue, and Columbia Street are having intermittent gas outages. Washington Gas is looking to identify how widespread the problem is, to determine how much pipeline they'll need to fix. If you know anyone whose heat is going out unexpectedly, please contact Joe Martin as soon as possible!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

ANC 2F Wrap-Up

The ANC 2F meeting tonight may have set a new speed record, finishing some forty minutes early, despite stalling for time to make quorum. Here's the wrap-up:


  • The ANC Commissioners held their retreat between the last meeting and tonight, and are planning on addressing the following items in upcoming months:

    • A revision of the goals statement, which is some four or five years old now;

    • An investigation into the Arts Overlay, which has beguiled everyone with questions as to its scope and enforcement;

    • The crafting of a policy for communications with DDOT over street closures, as many times they just seem to pop up out of nowhere;

    • Creation of a better way of notifying the community of meetings, and distributing agendas; and

    • A survey of problem buildings and properties in the ANC.

  • The 14th Street Transportation and Streetscape study delivered its finding on existing conditions to the ANC.

  • The LCCA Holiday House Tour was this past weekend, and was a great success. Thanks to everyone involved!

Crime Report

Lt. Smith was back from his vacation, and on hand to give us a crime report for PSA 307.

  • PSA 307 is leading all of the Third District in over reduction in crime since the summer. Lt. Smith attributes this to several key arrests of repeat offenders.

  • A registered sex offender is working on 15th Street; his picture was distributed, as per the sex offender registration laws.

Also on hand was U.S. District Attorney Roger Kemp, who was on-hand to answer some questions he had received by email about some cases his office is handling:

  • The infamous Gregory Teal is being held without bond, pending a trial on January 23, 2008. His case is assigned to supervisor Ronda Redwood.

  • Three of the offenders involved in the recent home invasions (from December, 2006, I believe), have been sentenced, or are awaiting sentencing. I think he said one of the got 13 years. (I apologize for the confusion, there was a lot of information flying around, and some conversation.)

Neighborhood Services

Joe Martin and Mark Bjorge were on hand from the Mayor's Office. They discussed several things:

  • The area around 9th Street, 10th Street, Rhode Island Avenue, and Columbia Street where having intermittent gas outages. Washington Gas is looking to identify all reports of these problems in the area, so they can determine how widespread it is, to determine how much pipeline they'll need to fix. If you know anyone whose heat is going out unexpectedly, please contact Joe Martin as soon as possible!

  • The buildings on 14th Street are still being gutted. To answer a question I had last time: It's not entirely clear what's being done on the property, other than tearing out non-load-bearing walls, and possibly putting in some new housing units. A question was asked if the unit would be assessed back taxes for vacant properties, but Mark didn't know. Both buildings are under historic preservation, but the one at 1316 has been referred to the Board of Condemnation - but hopefully just to get some serious problems fixed, not to have it razed.

  • Joe said that the awful bus shelter on the southwest corner of P and 14th is definitely going to be torn out, and not replaced with another shelter.

DDOT Matters

The only item here was 1101 K Street NW, seeking an outdoor sidewalk cafe. They weren't present, so this item was skipped.

ABRA Matters

  • The ANC is going to be doing a revision of its ABC policies, which currently date to 2003, and they are seeking volunteers from the community to help. Drop them a line if you're interested.

  • Ollie's Trolley - Ollie's Trolley is seeking some sort of change to their Voluntary Agreement. I'm not sure what change, but part of it is that they want to have the neighboring properties dropped from the official agreement, because they are unable to be located, or unwilling to negotiate anything at all. The ANC voted to approve the VA with the removed names, and to assert their status as the primary party of interest to ABRA.

  • Liquor License Renewals - The renewal of the licenses for several establishments was on the table. None were protested, except for two.

    • Vegas Lounge - They have no Voluntary Agreement with the ANC, as they've been around for some 34 years. However, neighbors in the new Cooper Lewis building have complained of noise and problems. The ANC will protest the renewal, with the expectation it will be withdrawn pending a successful Voluntary Agreement negotiation. The negotiation will be spearheaded by Charles Reed, in whose SMD they operate.

    • Be Bar - There have been complaints from neighbors about the late closing hours on Sunday night. The ANC will protest the renewal, with the expectation it will be withdrawn pending a successful negotiation of an amendment to their Voluntary Agreement relating to their Sunday hours. The negotiation will be lead by Mike Benardo, in whose SMD they operate.


The Community Development Committee met the week before, and all of their recommendations were approved by the full ANC.

  • Hotel Washington - They are adding some new air handling units to the roof, and the new units do not comply with the setback requirements with respect to the walls facing their interior courtyard. The CDC recommended the ANC support a variance to those requirements.

  • Central Union Mission Condos - The developers were seeking a variance on the lot coverage requirements, since they will be beyond the allowed coverage. However, during their construction, they will actually be reducing the coverage from its present amount. They also sought a variance to allow for two different roof heights on the mechanical penthouses, which is necessary because of the differing roof heights of the development. The CDC recommended that the ANC support both variances.

  • Down-zoning - A group of citizens were working to have an area of NE Dupont and a small contiguous section of our ANC down-zoned, to be more in accordance with the actual property usage. The CDC recommended that the ANC support the request.

Public Art

A guy named Jason Clark was on hand to make a presentation to the ANC about a public art project he's trying to win a grant for. The piece is a metal tree, made from materials recycled from buildings torn down around the neighborhood. The trunk is iron, and will rust into a tree-trunk-ish brown, and the leaves are copper, which will patina into a nice leaf-ish green. Overall, it looks really cool, and he was looking for a letter from the ANC in support of his grant.

The ANC asked him to come back when he had a more specific location in mind, and he promised to do so. He also put out a call to the neighbors for ideas as to a good location. Feel free to put them in the comments - he has my card, so hopefully he'll get in touch with me.

And that's it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

2007 Logan Circle Holiday House Tour

The 2007 Logan Circle Holiday House Tour was a resounding success! Homes, new and old, around the neighborhood were on display, and despite a little bit of drizzle, the turnout was great. The numbers aren't all in yet, but this was one of the most successful tours ever.

Eight different homes were toured, including a unit in the famous #1 Logan Circle, two units in the brand new Cooper Lewis buildling, and the newly renovated sanctuary of Luther Place Memorial Church. The styles and architectures ranged from traditional Victorian to modern loft penthouse. Check out more photos here.

If you couldn't make it this year, make sure to pencil it in for next year! The upcoming season will mark the tour's 30th anniversary, so it's sure to be a great one.

Thanks go to all of the homeowners who so graciously opened their doors to us, and to all the volunteers, without whom this even would never be possible. And an extra special thanks to Tim and Walter, the co-chairs of the House Tour Committee: The excellence of the tour is a direct result of the excellence of your leadership. Thank you so much!

Why Downzoning is a Good Idea

At the most recent CDC meeting (of which I happen to be a member), there was a request for support brought to us regarding a particular chunk of Dupont/Logan where they are looking to down-zone the area to match the homes that are already there. During the discussion, the question was brought up: Why are you doing this? Doesn't the Historic Preservation District already prevent this?

Well, I think we have our answer. Anything done to throw up more walls against that kind of monstrosity can only be a good thing.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Volunteers Needed-LCCA's Annual Holiday House Tour

LCCA is seeking volunteers to serve as hosts for thisyear's Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 2, 2007. We need 50+ volunteers to staff the homes on the tourand the Wassail that concludes the tour at StudioTheatre.

In-home hosts provide a presence for security andtraffic control, and are provided with informationabout highlights of their assigned home to helprespond to questions. Wassail volunteers set uprefreshments, refresh them as necessary, and helpguide traffic from the sidewalk to the appropriateentrance and reception area.

This is a full, fun day. While the tour itself is heldfrom 1 to 5 p.m., the day begins in the morning withbreakfast and a "pre-tour" so all volunteers have theopportunity to see the homes. The reward comes after the tour concludes at 5pm, with details to come later. Trust us, the day will end on a celebratory note youdon't want to miss!

This is LCCA's only annual fundraiser and we need youto help make it a success. Please note that allvolunteers must purchase a ticket for $15. If you're interested in volunteering for this year'sHouse Tour, please contact Anne Marie Don't miss out on a great time!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Logan Circle House Tour - The InTowner

In case you haven't had a chance to pick up your own copy, check out this month's InTowner, which features a front page story on the annual LCCA House Tour. The House Tour will be held on December 2, 2005 from 1-5. For more information or if you are interested in voluneteering, please contact Tim Christensen.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

ANC 2F Wrap-Up

Last night's ANC 2F meeting was a real humdinger! Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but here are the high points for those of you who couldn't make it:

Community Announcements

  • DCCA is trying to have portions of Q Street zoned down, and part of that they want re-zoned extends into our ANC. They dropped off some information for the ANC. I'm guessing we'll be hearing more about this soon.

  • Mr. Barnes, from ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together), Inc., stopped by to let us know that he is holding some monthly meetings on the topic of crime and public safety, and offered to provide monthly reports to the ANC. He was referred to work with the ANC's Committee on Crime and Public Safety.

  • Mark Bjorge mentioned the building on 14th street, that's finally getting cleaned out, does have permits from DDOT to block the street. It was noted, however, that the ANC was never contacted by DDOT for commeent on the Traffic Control Plan.

Crime Report

Lt. Mike Smith gave the crime report. The highlights included:

  • There have been several reports of increased prostitution in the neighborhood. The Prostitution squad was re-assigned back here, and made three arrests. Lt. Smith, though personally on the prowl for Johns and Walkers, hasn't really seen any out there. He (jokingly) attributes it to the word spreading among the girls on the street that he's working midnights again.

  • Robberies were up significantly over this time last year, jumping from five to fourteen!

  • Burglaries are down some 50% compared to this time last year.

  • The MPD will be providing some food to needy families, so please contact him if you know of someone who needs help to make this holiday season special.

  • MPD lost two officers recently.

DDOT Report

Chris Ziemann was there for the monthly DDOT check-in.

  • The 14th Street Transportation and Streetscape Study is on-going. They are just finishing up the report and existing conditions, and expect to have it up on the net next week. The next public meeting will likely be some time in January. (On a related note, your's truly is the LCCA rep on that group, so contact me if you'd like anything addressed.)

  • The draft of a final report on whether to make 15th Street two-way, with the addition of bike lanes, is circulating internally at DDOT, and should surface to the public relatively soon. Regardless, due to budget issues, nothing will likely happen there until 2009.

  • There will be construction starting on 11th St., from L St. to O St., in a couple of months.

  • The bus stop on the northwest corner of 14th St. and P St. continues to be a hot issue. Chairman Reed, and other community members, expressed some anger at being stonewalled by DDOT on this, and there also seems to be some confusion from DDOT on where, actually, the bus stop was originally positioned. There were some promises made to figure everything out over email. On a related note, the bus stop shelter on the south west side of that same intersection, which is owned by WMATA, may be removed entirely, due to its very poor condition.

1402 12th St.

There have been reports and complaints, which have bubbled up to various ANC commissioners, and Chairman Reed in particular, regarding possible illegal use of the house at 1402 12th Street. There have been reports of several issues, including:

  1. Rowdy, late-night parties disturbing the neighbors;

  2. Many people living in the house and paying rent, without the proper permits; and

  3. The owners claiming the DC Homestead deduction, despite not actually residing in the house as a primary residence.

Mr. Steve Silva, the owner of the property, appeared before the ANC to present his side of the issue. He admitted to having a handful of parties over the years, and apologized for any disturbances - especially one particular recent night.

However, he was quite angry over the statements as to the people living in the house and his claim on the homestead deduction. He stated several times that he pays taxes in the city, and has spent considerable time and money in improving the property. While commendable, it really was not apropos to the issues at hand. He stated that "his clothes are there", but seemed to dodge the question as to whether he actually live in the property.

Chairman Reed noted that he had received conflicting statements as to the property in his various conversations with Mr. Silva, which further aroused suspicion. He
moved to refer the matter for investigation to the U.S. Attorney and the Inspector General, which passed 4-1, with one abstention. Commissioner Dyer voted against the motion, objecting to the ANC's involvement in what he thought should be a matter for individuals to take up with the proper authorities on their own volition.

Crime and Public Safety

Helen Kramer gave the report of the Committee on Crime and Public Safety.

  • There have been reports of increases in prostitution and drug dealing in the alleyways around the neighborhood. She is working with some businesses, notably Mr. Wash on 13th Street, to chain off their lots at night to prevent Johns parking there.

  • There are patterns of hot spots of problems around the neighborhood. She mentioned several, but all I had time to note was 9th and O.

  • Ms. Kramer emphasized the importance of being aware of one's surroundings, which means turn off your iPod when walking!

  • When the report ran a little long, Chairman Reed chided Ms. Kramer to finish the report before "his clothes went out of style". Commissioner Dyer asked the Chairman, "What do you mean 'out of style?'"

ABRA Matters

  • Izalco Restaurant, at 1228 11th Street, will be seeking an entertainment endorsement to their liquor license. They have not filed yet, but merely wanted to inform the ANC that they intend on working with them to amend the voluntary agreement to all parties' satisfaction. It was nice to see a business taking such a constructive and proactive approach to dealing with the ANC. Stoney's should take notes.

  • Several months back, Whole Foods had its voluntary agreement amended to allow singles sales of a slightly smaller size (still within the public policies set by the ANC), in conjunction with their newly opening sushi bar. The agreement included a sunset clause, which would allow the agreement to revert if complaints of increases in litter or public drunkenness occurred. Jim Richardson, Commissioner for 2F02, in whose SMD Whole Foods resides, noted that he had received no complaints from any citizens. In light of that, the ANC voted to make the change permanent.

And that's all she wrote!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

LCCA Annoucments

At long last, LCCA has a new edition of its newsletter, which can be viewed at We are very excited about two upcoming events – the Annual LCCA Community Dinner on November 15 and the Annual LCCA House Tour on December 2. More information about each can be found in our newsletter or on our website at

We are pleased to announce that both Mayor Fenty and Councilmember Evans will be dropping by our awards dinner, which will be in our traditional “pot luck” style with neighbors bringing dishes to share. This year, we’ve added a few special twists – first, some of our area restaurants have graciously donated appetizer or other food plates to share, and second – LCCA has entered into a special arrangement for discounted beverages from the Washington Plaza. In addition, each member will receive one complimentary drink ticket.

As is our tradition, we’ll be presenting our annual LCCA awards. This year’s awardees include two of our familiar MPD faces – Lieutenant Stuart Emerman and Sergeant Jeff Carroll, both who have been promoted out of the Third District. In addition to the awards we’ll present them, we will also have a brief opportunity for community members to share a few words of thanks and appreciation for their service and commitment to the Logan Circle Community. We’ll also be recognizing several others who have contributed to our community, including the Washington Plaza Hotel, National City Christian Church, Studio Theatre, Modern Liquors, and Office Catering. We hope you’ll come out to show your support and thank them in person.
Even with the upcoming November elections, we have a few board seats open. If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact Heather Vargas at

We also encourage you to mark your calendar now for this year’s House Tour, which will be held on Sunday, December 2, 2007 from 1 - 5pm and will feature a variety of Victorian homes and extraordinary condominiums. To volunteer, sponsor, advertise, or for general questions, please contact Tim Christensen at Additional information is available on the website and in our November newsletter.

Proprietor of Go Mama Go! Dies

An email to the Logan Circle News list informs us that Noi Chudnoff, owner of the great little shop Go Mama Go!, died yesterday morning.

Chudnoff sustained a brain hemorrhage after falling and hitting her head last night and was kept on life support until her son could arrive in town from New Mexico this morning.

The Blade Blog has the full story.

Our deepest sympathies go out to her friends and family.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Farmers Market Face Painting

If you haven't checked out the U Street Farmers Market yet, tomorrow might be a good time. Though the predictions still show a light drizzle, that's easily offset by fresh food and face painting!

Rain or shine or drizzle, we are open. ( And dry under the tents) Get a Halloween Painted face for yourself or your child -- much more original and fun than a mask! Pumpkins and lots of great food, too.

On the list of great things there are pumpkins, cider, honey, jams, and all the various organic vegetables, meats, and fruit you could want. Since it's finally feeling (sorta) like fall, I'm definitely going to pick up some cider.

Saturday October 27th
14 & U Farmers Market outside the Reeves Center
9am - 1pm

Bike Lanes on 14th Street

One of the items being considered by the Fourteenth Street Transportation and Streetscape Study is the reconfiguration of 14th Street itself. How many bike lanes? One way or two way? Turn lanes? Close the street entirely and turn it into one giant pedestrian walk? If you weren't at the meeting, take a gander at the take-out menu they provided, and the associated posters. You'll not only find out I made up that last option (about closing the street), but you'll get a really solid idea about what options are being tossed around.

One possibility that wasn't on the list, but was sort-of hinted at by a picture at the bottom of the poster, was the reconfiguration of 14th Street bike lanes on the curb side of the parking lanes. I'm fairly enamored with the idea, as I cannot count the number of times I've seen a bicyclist nearly murdered by passing cars. Worse, the bike lanes turn into impromptu parking lanes, forcing the bikes out into the street anyway. I have to imagine a buffer of steel between the bikes and the traffic would be a welcome relief for anyone riding the corridor.

The idea isn't without precedent, either. The New York Times City Room blog reports that New York City is experimenting with this exact idea on 9th Avenue. The picture is great, and there's also a link to a presentation by the New York Department of Transportation on their plans.

Now, I'm not a biker, I'm a walker. So I'd be really curious to hear opinions from the bicyclists in the neighborhood. Would a buffer like this be a good thing, or just a waste? Drop me a note, or post a comment, with your thoughts. I'm the LCCA representative to this study, so I would certainly appreciate the advice.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dalai Lama Vists N Street Village

If you felt a bit more centered on Friday, and were wondering why, then I might have the explanation for you. Mary over at N Street Village let us know that the Dalai Lama paid them a visit this past Friday.

For just over an hour, the Dalai Lama charmed 150 residents and supporters of N Street Village. After meeting meditation program participants in our Wellness Center, the Dalai Lama spoke before an assembly in our Multipurpose Room, commenting on a host of topics related to homelessness and poverty. His Holiness said that he identified with our women, because he was homeless, too, having lost his freedom at the age of 16 and his country at 24. Stressing the universality of humankind, the Dalai Lama told the crowd that only compassion and infinite love can bring internal peace. He emphasized that material wealth does not bring happiness, which elicited a nodding of heads from the first two rows, where our women sat. The Dalai Lama, speaking directly to the women, called them “his gurus” in teaching others about the importance of what matters.

We are just so proud of N Street Village. They've done a great job, especially in recent years, and this honor only adds to their ever-growing list of accomplishments, including winning the 2006 Washington Post Award for Excellence in NonProft Management. Nice job, all!

Here's some links to the Post coverage, the Washingtonian article, and to a Flickr Photo Set of the event, with lots of great pictures!

Veranda Finally Open

I got word that Veranda Restaurant on 11th and P is finally open. Has anybody been yet? How's the food? The atmosphere? I can't wait to go check it out myself...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Housing Downturn Means Higher Taxes?

The New York Time has an article about one of the side effects of the downturn in the housing market. Since flattening property values means flattening tax revenues, some cities are starting to talk of raising taxes to compensate.

It seems almost certain that this problem is eventually going to touch us here in DC, too, and that makes me worry about our city's continuing struggle to improve its services. Nobody disputes that we have a long way to go in a lot of areas, including fixing the public schools, improving and enlarging MPD, and continuing to work on revitalizing our neighborhoods through things like the 14th Street Transportation and Streetscape work; and in some of those areas, we've continued to struggle despite throwing more and more money and resources at the problem.

But if we haven't been able to achieve success in these areas during a time of massively increasing year-over-year revenues for the city, how can we hope to succeed when those revenues inevitably take a dip? Are our leaders prepared for this scenario? Are they ready to make tough choices about efficiency and triage, or will their solution be to hike up the tax rates to make up for budget shortfalls?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bank On It

Cue music.

Begin voice-over by that Movie Trailer Voice-Over Guy:

They're coming. You thought they were limited to suburban sprawl and strip mall stand-alones, but they're not. They've evolved, adapting to thrive in the revitalized urban neighborhoods, consuming blocks at a time with sterile storefronts of glass, proclaiming "The End of Fees", "Totally Free Checking", and "Interest Bearing Checking Accounts". They're coming - you can bank on it.

The continuing economic improvements in our neighborhoods have prompted a proliferation of bank branches in our city, and not everyone is happy about it.

So what's coming to Tenleytown in Northwest Washington and angering neighbors?

Not a liquor store or a nightclub, the usual sources of any community's agita, but a veritable pillar of the economy, one that is commandeering storefronts across the city: a bank branch.

Not unlike the seven branches already open within a half-mile of the Outer Circle theater's former site on Wisconsin Avenue.

Banks are some of our best neighbors, and have supported the neighborhood (particularly the LCCA!) in a myriad of ways. And a bank is certainly better than empty or abandoned storefronts. And who are we to tell a company where they can or cannot open businesses to maximize their profits?

But still, I find myself agreeing with the concerns of the people in article. Really - how many banks do we need in a particular area? Do we need multiple branches of the same bank within blocks of one another? I would imagine that the squeaky-clean, almost scrubbed-and-disinfected, look and feel that might be caused by too many banks in one strip could do as much to ruin a neighborhood commercial district as anything else.

I think the problem is that banks aren't really interactive in the same way as other businesses. You can't window-shop at a bank. You can't just duck inside to try on that fancy suede jacket in the window. You can't wander the block, perusing the menus, until the Chocolate Fudge Death Cake convinces you to grab a table for dessert. It takes intention to go to a bank. You've got to be prepared - ready for a discussion about seriously non-fun things like Accounts and Interest and Fees. If you're not really prepared to talk about things like that, you just ignore it and walk on by.

So while it's great to have them around and easily accessible, especially when you need them, it seems to me that too many banks in a tight area can easily make the neighborhood unapproachable.

What do you think? Would a restriction, like that proposed in Chicago, limiting banks to a radius of 600 feet from one another be a good idea? Something else? Or are we just naively complaining about a good thing?

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Dog Park Regulations

Via the Logan Circle News mailing list, there are new dog park regulations afoot - er, a-paw? - for the city, and they have been published for public comment in the latest DC Register.

A revised version of the final proposed dog park regulations has been published by the DC Office of Documents and Administrative Issuance and will appear in the DC Register on October 12, 2007 for a 30-day public comment period.

Copies may also be obtained from the Customer Service Desk at the Department of Parks and Recreation located at 3149 16th Street, NW, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

All persons wishing to comment on the subject matter of the revised proposed rulemaking shall submit comments, in writing, no later than the thirty (30) days after the date of publication (November 10, 2007) of this notice in the DC Register.

Now, I don't personally own a dog, but there are lots of people in our neighborhood who do. Heck, I'm not even sure where there are any dog parks in our neighborhood. Still, you might want to check them out. Since finding the DC Register online is kind of a pain-in-the-rear, I've saved you the trouble and posted a direct link here. The relevant sections are pages 140 to 146.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Whole Foods Coming to the District?

Not exactly in our neighborhood, but:

Via DCist, it seems that our local neighborhood grocery chain is looking to expand its presence. There are talks in progress with Whole Foods to open a store in Gallery Place. The addition of grocery stores in the city - especially in newly revitalized urban residential centers - is always a good thing. The opening of Whole Foods in Logan Circle is widely regarded as one of the major catalysts that dramatically sped up the ongoing neighborhood turn-around.

Sure, their prices can be a bit high, but an expensive grocery store is better than no grocery store at all. At the very least, it proves to the other major chains in the area that a clean, safe, well-stocked urban grocery store can be quite profitable; maybe prompting them to finally clean up some of their more blighted stores.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Studio Theater Weekend

In case you didn't know, Studio Theater is celebrating their 30th anniversary this weekend. The events started yesterday (more on that in a moment), but continue on today with backstage tours, a live band, open rehearsals for an anniversary production of the first show ever staged by the Studio, and various other things going on.

This is all going on during the run of the magnificent production of My Children! My Africa!, by Athol Fugard. I was privileged to see yesterday's two o'clock matinée showing, and I am compelled to state emphatically that this is one of the best shows I've seen in a long time, Caroline, or Change notwithstanding. The script is powerful and eloquent, and is delivered masterfully by an excellent cast. I highly recommend you take some time to see it.

The production preceded an ceremony held by the Studio Theater, at which I was quite honored to accept an award of recognition on behalf of the Logan Circle Community Association, thanking us for our many years of public service, working to improve the neighborhood. I was privileged to stand alongside so many great people and organizations, including Luther Place Memorial Church, Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, N Street Village, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, ANC 2F, the Mid-City Business Association, and Councilmember Jack Evans.

Additionally, a proclamation from the Mayor was read, declaring September 29th and 30th, 2007 as "Studio Theater Days" in the District of Columbia. Not to be outdone, the Council voted unanimously to declare the entire week "Studio Theater Week".

So many thanks to everyone yesterday, especially to the Janet Dewar, and the entire Studio Theater Board of Trustees; and to Melinda, for making sure I got there on time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fourteenth Street Meeting Follow-Up

The Fourteenth Street Transportation and Streetscape meeting last night, at National City Christian Church was quite a success! It was really less of a meeting, and more of an informal mingling, information bazaar, and feedback generator. It was pulled off quite well, and was exactly the kind of public participation that gives me confidence the project will end up a success.

Upon arrival, I received a sort-of "take-out menu", which was collected in a drop-box at the end of the evening. The menu was divided into sections, according to the type of proposed improvement or change, such as type of tree cover, material for sidewalks, or signage on the street; boxes provided a place to rank my preferences from most desirable to least. Did I prefer my sidewalks brick, London pavers, concrete, or cobblestones? Is the configuration with turning lanes better than that with bicycle lanes? What do I think about public art: permanent, functional, or transient?

You might think I was overwhelmed, but large poster boards surrounding the room offered detailed explanations and diagrams for each of the options; and experts were always hovering nearby, always eager to explain the pros, cons, and facts regarding a particular choice. I found myself asking questions and getting good answers from virtually everyone present.

Hopefully they'll post the menu on their site - and if they don't, I've sent a message to the project leader requesting it so that I can post it here. More input can only be a good thing, and it will help disseminate the plans and options for the future.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fourteenth Street Meeting Tonight

Tonight is the second public meeting for the Fourteenth Street Transportation and Streetscape meeting. This ongoing study is intended to produce a plan for a long-term plan dramatically affecting the length 14th Street, from Thomas Circle up through Florida Avenue. If you are interested in helping guide the future of our neighborhood, this is an extremely rare chance to make a huge direct impact.

2nd Public Meeting
September 25th, 2007
7:00-9:00 PM
National City Christian Church
5 Thomas Circle NW
Washington, DC 20005

Come on out and have your say!

Monday, September 17, 2007

HGTV Looking to Help You Sell Your House

Did video kill the radio star? Who cares?

I got a note from producer Allison Tom at HGTV that they will be in and around the DC area over the next few weeks, filming a new show about the ever-tricky process of pricing your home for sale. And given what seems to be continually glum news from the DC Home and Condo Prices blog, I'm sure there are more than a few people out there who'd love to get some help - and some airtime to boot!

Now, they're only looking for owners of single-family homes; and while I personally think that's a bit short-sighted, I'm sure there are good television-format-reasons for the limitation. I've reproduced part of the email I received below. Please don't mistake the all-caps for E-D spam.

HGTV is producing A new and exciting real estate reality show that WILL HELP YOU EVALUATE the value of your house BEFORE YOU LIST IT. We are looking for homeowners who currently live in A single family home in the WASHINGTON DC, MD (Montgomery County & Prince George County) & VA (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun County & Northern VA) area. You must be ready to sell your house but haven't listed it FOR SALE YET.

Similar to HGTV's popular series House Hunters, YOU'LL go on house tours, but this time YOU'LL be looking at how other homes in YOUR AREA compare WITH YOURS. We'll size up closets, granite counter tops, backyards and find out HOW HOME FEATURES AND IMPROVEMENTS CAN IMPACT THE MARKET VALUE OF A HOME. YOU'LL GET TO See firsthand who your competition is and DETERMINE whether you've priced your house right. YOU'LL BE ABLE TO decide whether YOU need to adjust your price ­ and in the end we¹ll see HOW YOUR HOME FARES ON THE MARKET! Please be sure to include your name, phone number, email address, a recent photo of you and your immediate family along with a photo of the front of your house and a few of the main interior rooms to:

Friday, September 14, 2007

U Street Farmers Market

This summer brought a new farmer's market to the area. Instead of trekking over to Eastern Market, or hiking over to Dupont, you can now head up to the 14 & U Farmer's Market, on the sidewalk outside the Reeve's Center.

14 & U Farmer's Market
Saturdays, 9am - 1pm
Reeves Center Sidewalk

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Great Meeting Last Night

The Logan Circle Community Association had a great meeting at the Studio Theater last night. The agenda included a crime update, a House Tour update, an update on the 14th Street Transportation & Streetscape Study meetings, a backstage tour of the Studio Theater, and some wine, cheese, and snacky cakes.

It was great to see so many friends, new and old; and I was especially glad to see some of the brand-new-to-the-neighborhood faces.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Classic Lt. Smith

Logan Circle's favorite Lieutenant made some print in the City Paper this past week.

A few minutes later, the officers’ boss pulled up. Lt. Michael Smith ran down into the station and jumped through the closing doors of a car with the suspects inside. During the ensuing melee, Smith injured his right pinkie, and the main suspect punched out a Metro car window.

It's stories like these that remind us how valuable he is, not just to our PSA, but to the entire Metropolitan Police Department. He leads by example, and what an example it is! Consider this our official Get Well! for your pinkie finger, Lt. Smith.

Read the rest of the Candy Slapped story over at the City Desk blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Classical Music in the Neighborhood

I received a note from National City Christian Church regarding their classical music agenda coming up for September. The big event is the Second Annual Beethoven Festival and Silent Auction, on September 8.

Washington Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra
2nd Annual Beethoven Festival Concert/Silent Auction Saturday, Sept.8, 8:00p.m.
Jason Love, conductor.
Beethoven program features Leonore Overture No.3 and Eroica Symphony No.3
Silent Auction review at 7:00pm.
Tickets: $10(available at door). Children 18 & under free.
Parking: Washington Plaza Hotel (Thomas Circle) reduced fee parking ($4) for concert guests.

Other upcoming events include their Music at MidDay Lunchtime Concert Series, featuring the church's 7,592 Moeller pipe organ. (That's a lot of pipes!)

Sept.6 - "Battle of 2 Pipe Organs", Charles Miller, organist
Sept.13 - "The Improviser's Art", Stephen Kalnoske, organist
Sept.20 - "The Majesty of the Trumpet", Mary Mozelle, organist;Chuck Seipp,trumpet
Sept.27 - "Terrifically Tantalizing Trio", Grace Cho, pianist, accompanied by String Trio

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bicycle Thief, Car Thief

Here's a great story posted to the MPD-3D mailing list by Officer Andrew Zabavsky. It highlights the difficultly of prosecuting even a criminal caught red-handed stealing a bicycle chained to a sign, and later items from a car.

Some back-story is in order: The suspect mentioned below was caught by Officer Edwards stealing a bike from a street sign to which it had been locked. He removed the sign face from the post, and then was in the process of lifting the bike and lock over the top of the sign! The man was arrested, but that's not the end of the story. Officer Zabavsky picks it up:

Unfortunately Mr. Teals [sic] case was "No-Papered" by the US Attorneys office the following morning. The US Attorney stated that since there was no complainant for the bicycle theft, they would not go forward on that charge, and as for the Destruction of Property charge, the attorney stated that since Mr. Teal carefully unbolted the signs using a wrench and placed the signs down, that they would not go forward with that charge as well and he was released.

On the bright side, I happened to be traveling in the 1200 block of Massachusetts Ave on Friday night and heard a car horn beep several times. As I looked over at the car, I observed an individual leaning through the right rear passenger window of the vehicle. The individual then looked up and observed my police car, exited the window and walked off. I exited my car and approached the parked vehicles window and observed that the window had been smashed and the vehicle was ransacked. I then got back into my car and stopped the individual around the corner on 13Th Street. The individual that was stopped was no other than Mr.Teal. He had stolen several CD's from the vehicle which had New Jersey license plates. After leaving numerous voice mail messages with his family and friends, using phone numbers that were located in the car, the complainant, who was visiting friends, called me back in the morning as I was heading into court and he wants to go forward with the prosecution. The case was "Papered" with the attorneys and Mr. Teal is being held in jail pending a detention hearing on 8/29/07. I also asked for a stay-away order for most of PSA 307.

Most of the Theft from auto suspects target out of state vehicles because it is very difficult for the police to locate the owner before the case has to be papered. In this case, the owner made himself a very easy target by leaving his I-pod, two large CD cases, 2 suits and other assorted items out in plain view inside his vehicle. Please remind your friends when visiting to make sure all items of value are removed from the vehicle or at least placed out of sight and into the trunk.

Major thanks go out to both Officer Edwards and Officer Zabavsky!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Old Convention Center Site

First it was an ugly behemoth, hated by all. Then, it was turned into a giant parking lot, albeit one with fancy environmentally-friendly water control and fun public art. Now, it's scheduled to become Yet Another High-Rise Mixed-Use Development.

That's right! We're talking about the site of the Old Convention Center, and they have a web site all about their plans. While it may be outside our boundaries as a neighborhood, the sheer enormity of this plan will certainly have impacts on us, too.

Construction anticipated to begin: 2008

The project will include the following:

  • Retail: 280,000 square feet

  • Office: 450,000 square feet

  • Housing: 690 units

  • Parking: 1,700 spaces

In addition:

  • Civic/Open Space: Park, Plaza, Pedestrian Alleys

  • 111,000 square feet are reserved for uses to be decided upon by the District

Off the top of my head, all I can say is: Wow. That's big. I hope they make a good chunk of those housing units Offical Affordable Housing. The entire area desperately needs it!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Future of 14th Street

There have already been numerous announcements, postings, and emails about the 14th St. Streetscape Study, but here's one more in case you missed it:

DDOT is performing a study on the 14th Street corridor, ranging from between 13th Street to 15th Street, from Thomas Circle up to Florida Avenue. (See the map here.) A major part of this study is community involvement and comments obtained through public meetings, and the first meeting is scheduled to be held next Wednesday, June 20th.

Share Your Vision for the 14th St. Corridor

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

6:00pm - 8:00pm
Source Theater

1835 14th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009

This is the first of four meetings, and will "outline the project, discuss existing conditions and develop a shared vision for the future of the corridor." The next three meetings have yet to be scheduled.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Logan Circle in the Wall Street Journal

We made some heavy print on Monday! The Wall Street Journal ran an article on urban renewal, with our own neighborhood as the focal point. Unfortunately, the article is only viewable by subscribers, but here are some excerpts:

Drawn by the cheap housing and the beautiful
architecture, a few pioneers braved the high
crime in the 1970s and '80s and decided to go
into the neighborhood as investors. Connie Maffin
was one of them. She and her husband, Bob, bought
a brownstone in 1974. When they would come home
late at night, they would occasionally hear a
prostitute and her client cavorting under the
stairs leading to their front entrance.

Ms. Maffin united with others willing to change
the neighborhood. They spent years working with
local police and took turns standing on the
street corners on weekend nights to deter the
Johns who drove in from northern Virginia.

Slowly, as crime waned, businesses began to take
a look. Today, the neighborhood hosts a number of
successful, locally owned businesses along with
that symbol of yuppie living: a Whole Foods
Market. Houses that sold for less than $500,000
in 1997 are now selling for $1.8 million.


Logan Circle residents had been urging Whole
Foods to open a store there for several years.
Finally, in 1998, Michael Besancon, the company's
regional president at the time, agreed to go in,
believing that violent crime was starting to wane
-- even though drug addicts were passed out in
the former auto dealership building where he
located the store. It became the first major
grocery store to open in the District of Columbia in 20 years.

The article covers several other success stories, too, including New York, Los Angeles's Skid Row, and even Detroit! It's a pretty good read if you can find a copy. Drop me a note if you can't find a copy, and I might be able to help you find one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Graffiti Removal Shindig This Saturday

If you have taken a stroll around the neighborhood, you've certainly noticed the increase in graffiti. It seems like anything that is immobile for more than thirty seconds gets tagged. I was walking my dog last week in Logan Circle, and when he stopped for a break, I turned away - to respect his privacy, of course! Imagine my surprise when I turned around and found him sprayed with "MAGIC" in big, bubble-gum letters.

Well here's your chance to fight back. This Saturday, June 16th at 10:00 AM, the ANC 2F Committee on Crime and Public Safety, lead by the venerable Helen Kramer, is inviting everyone out to Thomas Circle to help clean up some of the grime. Jack Evans will even be along for the fun!

So come on out and help your friends and neighbors clean up Logan Circle!

Disclaimer: I don't really own a dog, nor was my fictitious dog spray-painted. Heck, I wasn't even in town last week!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Logan Circle Community Association Annual Summer Picnic

Sunday June 10, 2007 from 4-8 p.m.
Pepco Park, Corner of 12th & O Streets NWEntrance on 12th Street NW

While burgers and hot dogs will be provided we ask that you bring a dish or beverage to share.

We've scheduled our picnic to be the perfect way to top off a week of Capital Pride celebrations going on city-wide. As the weekend also focuses on public safety, with the Mayor's Total Deployment Days, we'd like to also take this opportunity to honor our MPD PSA 307 Lt. Mike Smith and his dedicated PSA 307 officers who protect us every day.

For questions please contact Desi Deschaine at

P.S. We'll provide tables and chairs.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

LCCA June Events

We wanted to let you know of several great events coming up in June. Please mark your calenders for the following:

June 4
Please join LCCA and DCCA at DCCA's final membership meeting of the season, to be held at Studio Theatre on June 4, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.. The details are below this email, but the meeting will focus on crime and public safety issues. This is a great way to meet and mingle with our neighboring community association and its members and to address broader public safety issues.

June 9 -

As part of the Mayor's Total Deployment Weekend for MPD, LCCA and ANC2F are participating in a community walk-through/fight back to identify public safety issues that need to be addressed in . We hope you can come out with us - we'll meet at Dakota Cowgirl at 9 a.m. and divide into groups to go through our individual SMDs. More information to follow.
DC's annual Capital Pride Parade will be coming through Logan Circle on Saturday evening from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. and will head east on P Street and then south on 14th, ending at Thomas Circle. We hope you'll come out and celebrate with us. For more information, please see:

June 10

Also, please mark your calendars for June 10, 2007 from 4-8 p.m. for LCCA's annual picnic, to be held this year at Pepco Park on the corner of 12th and O. We've scheduled our picnic to be the perfect way to top off a week of Capital Pride celebrations going on city-wide. As the weekend also focuses on public safety, with the Mayor's Total Deployment Days, we'd like to also take this opportunity to honor MPD, and in particular Lt. Smith and our PSA 307 officers who protect us every day. Stay tuned for more information.

Hope to see you soon!

* * * * * *DUPONT CIRCLE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING—JUNE 4TH at 7:30 PMPUBLIC SAFETY AT THE STUDIO THEATRE1501 14th Street, NW (northeast corner of 14th Street, NW)Please join other folks from the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle communities for DCCA's final membership meeting of the season. Take this opportunity to raise your concerns about crime and law enforcement with our public officials. In addition, Rick Busch and Anne Sellin will make a presentation about a project aimed at reducing zoning in an east Dupont neighborhood to align it with present-day use. We will be meeting at The Studio Theatre. Founded in 1978 and led by Founding Artistic Director Joy Zinoman, Studio has built a national reputation for the production of area premieres of bold American and European works, innovative revivals, and arresting performance art and has received nearly 200 Helen Hayes Award nominations for artistic excellence. The Studio Theatre helped pave the way for the revival of the Greater 14th Street Historic District and continues to strengthen its foothold as an economic cornerstone in this neighborhood, which Joy Zinoman describes as "urban and alive and a place where people from all communities of this area come together. And you should see it at night with the lights of the theatre shining!"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Should DC Allow Skyscrapers?

An article in today's Post discusses the argument over the 130 foot building height restriction in the District. This is certainly an issue that greatly affects Logan Circle, as well as the surrounding communities.

On the one hand are those who feel that the city is simply running out of development-worthy land, and that the restriction unfairly limits the density an area can achieve - robbing the city of tax dollars. On the other hand are those who retort that not only is that anathema to the city "plan" by L'Enfant, and that there is plenty of land that could be suitable redeveloped.

Personally, I think I fall into the latter category, if only for the fact that much of the re-birth of the neighborhoods like ours would have been delayed if there had been less pressure to build out instead of up. And there seem to be plenty of half-renovated row houses sitting vacant, just begging to be torn down and replaced.

What do you think?

Monday, April 09, 2007

April LCCA Meeting

Dear Neighbors and Friends:

Please join us on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel for our next LCCA meeting.

As many of you know, April 16 is DC Emancipation Day We are pleased to announce that Kevin Kiger, Communications Director and Logan Circle resident for DC Vote on DC Voting Rights and the upcoming Voting Rights March, will be speaking.

In keeping with our longstanding tradition of our April meeting's environmental focus, we're also excited that representatives from LCCA Business Member, Garden District, will give a presentation on tree box maintenance as well as general tips for planting in the city. We'll discuss what to plant, when to plant, how to maintain your plantings (watering, fertilizing, etc.), tools to make your job easier, and any city requirements that may apply.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday

Friday, April 06, 2007

Walking Tour of Logan Circle

Among the many free walking tours offered later this month by Cultural Tourism DC is one of Logan Circle. On Saturday, April 21st at 11 a.m., professional tour guide Carolyn Crouch will lead a two-hour tour of our "enclave of architectural splendor," departing from McPherson Square Metro station.

Altogether, Cultural Tourism DC has organized more than 60 free walking tours this spring, including several in adjacent neighborhoods like Shaw and U St. Click here for more details and a complete list of tours.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

March 2007 ANC Wrap-Up: Crime Down in PSA;

At last night's ANC 2F meeting, Sgt. Emmerman reported that crime in PSA 307 was way down from January to February. Specifically, there was a 51% reduction in overall crime, with a mere two robberies reported. Furthermore, an astounding 23 arrests were made on prostitution and related offenses, and a similar number of arrests were made in the red-light hot-zone south of L Street. (The exact numbers weren't available because that area is in the First District.)

The Sergeant also showed us a crime map highlighting the occurrences of Theft-from-Auto in our neighborhood. There were blotches of light shading throughout the area, but M Street from 10th to 13th were a disturbing, deep red. That certainly jives with my own personal observations. Good news, though! On February 21st, a thief was apprehended red handed on the 1300 block of Massachusetts Avenue - climbing out of the vehicle! These guys tend to be one-man crime waves, so hopefully we'll see a major down-tick next month. And if you're one of the unlucky car owners, please drop a note to the Committee on Crime and Public Safety. They would love for you to allocute against this guy! The CCPS is also talking about setting up a neighborhood watch in Theft-from-Auto hot zones.

In other business, the clubs on K Street are requesting that DDOT look into removing the parking restrictions. These restrictions were put in place as anti-prostitution measures, back in the mid-90s, and they want the parking for club-goers. There was some minor debate as to whether or not the clubs there are enough of a deterrent against prostitution, but the issue is going to be discussed. Prostitution is a hot topic here in Logan; so if any of you feel strongly, please contact your commissioner with your opinions.

Chris Zeeman from DDOT stopped by to give an update on road work in the neighborhood. He seemed a bit nervous, especially when Helen nailed him on the long-overdue, long-promised stop light at 11th and O. He promised to find out. Hold his feet in the fire, Helen!

Joe Martin, our new Neighborhood Services Coordinator, is asking for help in compiling a report of any problems you have with getting services from the city. Specifically, if you call 727-1000 or put in a service request on the web, and nothing gets done, drop him a line.

In ABRA matters, Whole Foods request for amendment to their voluntary was modified from a complete removal of the ban on singles to a ban on singles of less than or equal to sixteen ounces. This would bring their agreement into accordance with the stated policies of the ANC. Furthermore, it seems that Whole Foods ban is more restrictive than any other agreement in the neighborhood. Finally, talk of a price floor was dismissed outright as classist, which was the original argument against simply lifting the ban.

And then I had to leave. So I missed some of the meeting. If anyone was there for the rest and would like to add on, please do so in the comments.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It Ain't Not Easy Being Green

Can you deal with that double-negative?

If you're interested in decreasing your carbon footprint - and who isn't? - the DC Government will help subsidize the cost of installing renewable energy sources. From an email blast I received today:

The District of Columbia Renewable Energy Demonstration Project (REDP) provides qualified applicants up to 50% of the costs associated with installing a mechanism to produce electricity using a renewable source of fuel. Eligible projects include District residences, hospitals, and commercial or institutional buildings where construction has not begun. Projects may include, but are not limited to, installing photovoltaic arrays, fuel cells, biomass-fired CHP systems, and small wind turbines.

Project proposals must be mailed or delivered to The District Department of the Environment's Energy Division, 2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009. Proposals can also be faxed to 202-673-6725 Attention: LaKeisha Estep. Proposals must be submitted by April 2, 2007.

For more information, call the District Department of the Environment's Energy Hotline at(202) 673-6750, or visit: to obtain project proposal requirements.

So now you have no excuse. Go make Al proud.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Post on Playbill

This particular blogger, his wife, and Jennifer happened to be visiting 1409 Playbill Cafe on one of the evenings Post writer Ellen McCarthy was researching her piece, At Playbill, All the Cafe's a Stage. That's not to say it's either surprising or serendipity; anybody who knows Jennifer, Heather, or me can tell you we are, as they say, regulars. We weren't quoted or anything, not that we had much to offer beyond semi-adolescent gushing about how much we love Sayed's cooking, Sayed's restaurant, and Sayed. Still, it was exciting to know that our favorite neighborhood place was getting some well-deserved print to go with its cred.

Nice job!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Police Service Survey - Input Wanted

From our friends at MPD:

The Metropolitan Police Department is conducting a survey to gauge the community's opinion about police service and solicit suggestions on ways to improve. Information from the survey will be used to help understand the specific needs of the community and determine which programs have been successful and those that may need additional attention. Residents and business owners, visitors, and commuters to the city are welcome to participate. The survey may be completed in several ways:- by completing the printed form available at all DC Public Libraries and police district stations and substations and dropping it in the collection box- by visiting the MPDC website and downloading the PDF version of the form- by filling the survey out online at SurveyMonkey (easiest)

You can learn more about the survey at The survey period closes March 14, 2007. We ask that hard copy forms be mailed by that time and the online survey will close then.If you have questions about the survey, please contact Annie Russell, Director of the Policing for Prevention Division, at (202) 727-1585 or e-mail her at is a link to the survey: (Visitors to the MPDC landing page are directed to this link to complete the survey online).

Thanks for your participation,
Kevin Palmer
Office of Corporate Communications
Metropolitan Police Department
(202) 727-4731 /

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Vigil and Rally at Reeves Center

An email blast to several of the neighborhood lists tips us off to an upcoming rally against violence to be held at the Reeves Center at 14th and U NW this Friday. The event also includes a vigil for Damon Ward, who - if you haven't been paying attention - was an innocent bystander shot on U Street recently. Speakers are to include Mayor Fenty, Chief Lanier, and Councilman Graham.

The event starts at 12:30, so if you're home from work or off on lunch, make sure to stop by!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Logan Circle Community Association Diversity Dinner

LCCA's first membership meeting of the year will be our annual Diversity Dinner on Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 7 PM at the Washington Plaza Hotel. (Please note the date change from or regular schedule.) Most of you will remember our dinner last year, which was a huge success. As with last year, we'll have lots of great food donated from area restaurants, and are honored to have DC Council Chair, Vincent Gray and DC Office of Human Rights Director Gustavo Velasquez as our guest speakers. We look forward to seeing you there, and have attached some additional info to the end of this email for you to help us spread the word. For more information please contact Desi Deschaine at

Diversity Reception:
Celebrating the Lives of Logan Circle

Thursday, February 15, 2007
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Washington Plaza Hotel
10 Thomas Circle, NW

Guests of Honor:

Vincent Gray
Chair, DC Council

Gustavo Velasquez
Director, DC Office of Human Rights

Sponsored by:
Logan Circle Community Association

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Do You Walk In DC?

If you answered "No," then you are probably confined to a wheelchair, and I'm sorry; but read on regardless!

As reported in the Post, the District is crafting its first-ever Pedestrian Master Plan. And they would like our input. On the Pedestrian Master Plan site, you can find a short survey (about ten minutes) about your walking opinions and habits. Hurry, though, it's only online until tomorrow!

Luxury Hotel on 14th Street

I attended the ANC 2F meeting last night. It ran quite long due to an appearance by MPD Chief Lanier. I am crafting a lengthier wrap-up, and I'll post it later. However, as requested, here is some information on the planned luxury hotel on 14th Street.

Viridian HotelThe hotel is located on 14th Street, just north of P Street, primarily in the parking lot adjacent to Viridian. As you can see from the concept drawing, it also extends over the top of the existing restaurant building.

The building was intended for thirty condo units, but (as we all know) the condo market softened greatly during the protracted two-year battle for building permits. The extravagant architecture pushed the cost per square foot beyond what the market could reasonably bear for condominiums, and thus they changed their plans. They are in talks with several national hotel companies, mostly of the boutique variety.

Personally, I love the look of the building. It might be necessary, though, to pressure our ANC to craft a voluntary agreement requiring the Jetsons theme to play on continual loop outside on the sidewalk.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

ANC2F Meeting - Chief Lanier

From Commissioner Reed:

At this month's ANC2F meeting on Feb. 7, Acting Police Chief Lanier is attending to discuss crime and safety issues and to respond to community concerns. Our agenda also includes a number of liquor licensing issues, and a proposed new luxury hotel adjacent to Viridian Restaurant on 14 th Street, and other items.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

New Camera at U Street Metro

From Councilmember Graham:

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to announce a camera is now operational OUTSIDE the U St.Cardozo Shaw African American Civil War Memorial metro station. TheWashington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority installed the camera aspart of a pilot program for which I pressed. Station managers willmonitor the camera. We want to see how this works out. If successful,more cameras will be installed outside metro stations. Crime camerasare but one element of a good publci safety program.This is a great way to assure riders, and people generally, we aredoing all we can to protect their safety.

Bets,Councilmember Graham


All - Another reminder to be vigilant:

At approximately 10:34 p.m. [January 27th] 3rd District officers responded to 1512 7th St. NW, where they found a 29 y.o. male - who had been shot multiple times (he was located in the stairway); This is currently an open case.

At roughly 2:46 a.m., the 3rd District also responded to 1225 11th Street, NW, where a Hispanic Male had been beaten severely with a bat. He later died as a result of those injuries. Arrested in this incident was Herman Melindez (21 years old).

I don't have much more information from homicide about the incidents at this point, but will make this available as soon as it is cleared for release. Anyone with information is encouraged to call our Synchronized Operations Command Center at 202 727-9099.

Inspector Patrick A. Burke
Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department
Third District - Substation
750 Park Rd. NW Washington DC, 20010
Commitment to Excellence!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Burglaries in Logan Circle - Be Careful!

December 31, 2006


The Metropolitan Police Department’s Burglary Task Force is investigating a series of burglaries and robberies that have occurred in occupied premises. The Metropolitan Police Department also seeks the public’s assistance in attempting to locate and identify suspects possibly responsible for these crimes.

At approximately 7:57 p.m. on Wednesday, December 27, 2006, a lone male, armed with a handgun, entered a home, through an unlocked back door, in the 1800 block of 4th Street, N.W. Once inside he robbed the occupants of a camera, jewelry, cell phone, blackberry and a handbag. There were no reported injuries. The suspect in this case is described as a black male, 25 to 35-year-old , 6’2” tall, 180 to 185 pounds with a medium complexion. He was wearing dark clothing and armed with a handbag.

At approximately 9:15 p.m. on Friday, December 29, 2006, two subjects, one armed with a handgun, entered a home, through an unlocked front door, in the 1500 block of Vermont Avenue, N.W. Once inside they tied up the occupant before taking a wallet with cash and credit cards, two cameras, cell phone and keys to a yellow Hummer. The suspects took the Hummer but abandoned it at 12th a and Streets N.W. There were no reported injuries. The first suspect in this case is only described as a male approximately 6’2” tall, wearing a mask, dark clothing and armed with a handgun. The second suspect is only described as possibly being a female, approximately 5’3” tall and wearing a mask and dark clothing.

The cases are under investigation by detectives from the department’s Third District and department’s Burglary Task Force Unit. A nyone with information about this case is asked to cal police at 202-727-9099. The department currently offers a reward of up to TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any robbery committed in the District of Columbia.



There are two additional cases that appear to be similar to those listed in the original release, for which a reward of up to TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS is also being offered.

On Saturday, January 6, 2007, at approximately 7:00 p.m., two suspects, one of whom was armed with a handgun, entered a home in the 1300 block of Q Street,
N.W. They robbed the occupant of a wallet with cash and credit cards and a cell phone. There were no injuries reported. The first suspect
in this case is described only as a tall male, wearing a mask and dark clothing,


armed with a handgun. The second is described only as a black male,
approximately 5’8” tall, wearing a mask and dark clothing.

On Tuesday, January 9, 2007, at approximately 9:04 p.m., a lone male armed with a handgun entered a home in the 1300 block of Riggs Street, N.W. through an unlocked front door. Once inside, he robbed the occupants of assorted items, including a laptop computer, cell phones, credit cards and U.S. currency. There were no reported injuries. The suspect in this case is described as a black male, in his 20’s, approximately 6’3” tall, weighing about 190 pounds. He was wearing blue pants, a camouflage jacket, a black hat and armed with a handgun.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

All Boarded Up and No Place to Go

We all know that the new Mayor Fenty is a diligent reader of the local blogs, right? Well, if not, there are some editorials from various neighborhood associations and organizations in the Post, including one from our own Jennifer Trock.

Logan Circle has undergone a major rebirth over the past few decades. We have new residential buildings, retail spaces, even a burgeoning art community. But crime and public safety are still a top concern. A large part of the problem is the abandoned and neglected properties that continue to make our neighborhood attractive to criminals.

It's good to get some light shed on this subject.