Friday, December 31, 2010

State of MLK Street: January 13

View the documentary State of MLK Street (NR) that examines the many avenues, boulevards and thoroughfares named after the slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Eight young filmmakers traveled to 13 cities across the country to document and discuss what they saw about
Dr. King’s legacy of social justice. Discussion follows with the producers. View the documentary trailer.

State of MLK Street
Thursday, January 13, 2011, 7:00 PM
Anacostia Neighborhood Library
1800 Good Hope Rd SE

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ward 7 Shows Love to Thai Orchid

This afternoon about 20 people came out to show support for Thai Orchid's Kitchen. Not too shabby considering it was the middle of a workday and we only announced the event late last night via listservs, Twitter, and Facebook. We took the lemons of an armed robbery and turned it into community lemonade.

The message to Thai Orchid was loud and clear. We want you in our community. We pledged to work with MPD to increase patrols in that area to prevent this from happening again.

The following Ward 7 communities were represented: Fairfax Village/Hillcrest, Hillcrest proper, Benning Heights, Marshall Heights, Dupont Park, Twining, and Deanwood. We also had friends from Ward 6 and Ward 8 come by to show One City love.

Thanks to Maceo Thomas who started the ball rolling on this event. Thanks to all those who came out. Let's keep this momentum up!!! #Spreadlove

Show support for Thai Orchid 12/29 @1pm

It is no secret that I'm a fan of Thai Orchid's Kitchen located at 2314 Pennsylvania Ave SE. No, I really like them.

This evening Thai Orchid's Kitchen was robbed. Everyone is okay and they WILL be open tomorrow. For those of you that can, please join us tomorrow 12/29 at 1:00 PM for a neighborhood lunch at Thai Orchid's. If you are working from home, please feel free to bring your laptops and work from Thai Orchid. Let's show community support for our Ward 7 local business that is owned by a Ward 7 resident.

Conceptual Renderings for Ward 7 Walmart

At the Ward 7 Leadership Council held on December 18th, Walmart provided conceptual renderings to the community. The Ward 7 site is located at East Capitol Street and 58th Street NE. The building is slated to be 118,000 square feet, which will include a fresh produce and other groceries.

Some of the concerns/suggestions mentioned at the Leadership Council were:
  • Contract with local professional services, such as architectural/engineering and environmental firms
  • Create a pedestrian connection to the Capitol Heights Metro Station in Maryland
  • Developing a long-range plan to continue to hire within Ward 7 and DC
  • Work with re-entry programs to provide job opportunities to ex-offenders
  • Ensure public transportation access to reduce motor vehicle trips
  • Minimize the building and other impervious surface footprint to protect the tributary that runs along the rear of the property from run-off
  • Provide living wages
  • Create opportunity for employees to progress into management positions
By no means are these all the concerns. These are just the ones I remembered. There is a community meeting tomorrow night (12/29) to continue the discussion of community concerns and develop a community vision.

(photo provided by Walmart at Ward 7 Leadership Council)

(photo provided by Walmart at Ward 7 Leadership Council)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Press Release from YMCA

For Immediate Release


YMCA of Metropolitan Washington to teach families and children that it is fun, easy and free to lead a healthy lifestyle in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C., December 21, 2010 – As the nation scours for ways to reverse and hinder childhood obesity, it is increasingly evident that after-school exercise alone will not resolve this issue. With the recent signing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, we are becoming aware that a more holistic approach to healthy living must be taken in order to truly have an impact. The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington and the MEND Foundation (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition… Do it!) are fighting this battle in Washington, DC by providing a structured program that offers fitness, nutrition education and support to the whole family.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has been at the forefront of the battle against childhood obesity, especially with the nationally renowned PHD program. Starting in January 2011, they will be partnering with the MEND Foundation and Children’s Hospital to offer the MEND 7-13 program, a fun and interactive course for families and children aged 7-13 who are above their ideal weight. This ten week workshop will inspire everyone in the family to exercise more, enjoy preparing and eating healthy food, read food labels and shop for healthy foods on a budget. This program, available for the first time in the United States, has proven immediate and long-term success the world over.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 percent of DC’s children do not meet recommended levels of physical activity with one out of four being either overweight or obese. The physical effects, such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma are more apparent, but the psychological effects can be just as devastating. Not only will the region’s youth discover easy practices to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but they will experience higher self-esteem, less anxiety and stress, and deeper bonds within their family.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington is committed to combating these staggering statistics regardless of inability to pay. This program is being offered free of charge so that all of our region’s at-risk families and youth have an opportunity to get healthy and have fun. These two-hour sessions, being held twice a week at the Capital View YMCA (2118 Ridgecrest Ct., SE, Washington, DC), will include a one-hour interactive workshop for children and parents followed by one hour of exercise for the children while the parents meet for support.

For more information or to take part in this program, please contact Patricia Taylor at (240)464-1080 or at It is never too early for your child to take charge of their health. Come experience how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle!

Contact: Jackie Dilworth
Director of Communications
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington
(202) 384-6818;

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vote for me

Washington Post is running DC's Top Tweeps for 2010....

I'm in the running for:

Favorite Small Business: @NspiregreenLLC
Favorite Local Blogger: @Dizzyluv25

Voting is open until December 31, 2010 at 11:59. Please Vote for me!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Community Meeting: Walmart coming to Ward 7

A Community Meeting hosted by the Capitol View Civic Association is scheduled for:

Wednesday December 29, 2010
6:30 to 8:00 PM
Maya Angelou Charter School (Evans Campus)
East Capitol St NE

For those that can't attend you may submit questions, concerns, and ideas to the special e-mail address set up for this:

HCCA Living Legends

(Photo from

The Humanities Council of Washington, DC has great series of videos on some of the living legends of the Hillcrest Community Civic Association. In addition, Michelle Phipps-Evans prepared a great oral history "report" on the HCCA entitled "What makes a Strong DC Neighborhood?"

I've added the videos from the Humanities Council here, but please take time to browse their Digitial Museum. Also take time to read on how you can support their efforts to ensure that programs like this continue.

Rev. Franklin G. Singer III

Current HCCA President - Ms. Karen Williams

The Hammonds (Mr. Phil and Ms. Mary)

The Logans (Dennis and Gloria)

Mr. Miles Spencer III

Ms. Carrie Thornhill

Ms. Doris A.M. Thomas

The Burkes (Rev. Kenneth and Ms Alice)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Inauguration Tickets!!!

After seeing a tweet from a friend that tickets were available today, I hobo'd my way to the Convention Center. Ms V will be in the house on Sunday January 2, 2011.

Information on how to get your ticket to join Ms V at the inauguration of our new Mayor (yes it's all about me... okay not really):

Tickets Available: December 22, 28, 29, 30, 2010 - 10am – 2pm
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center - Room 145
Two (2) tickets per person (Must show ID)

Save the Date - Blank Space SE Open House Jan 5th

Blank Space SE, a new permanent creative pop-up space in Anacostia, will be hosting its first ever Open House event since its inception in October. The Open House will be held Wednesday, January 5, 2011 from 11am-7pm with a performance portion from 5-7pm.

The event will include a special performance by Urban Artistry, a non-profit collective of dancers, artists, historians, musicians, folklorists and documentary filmmakers on a mission to preserve and continue the practice of urban dance, music and arts culture. As well as a one-day only, special photo exhibition by Critical Exposure, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 that teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change.

Blank Space SE welcomes all professional, experimental, visionary, original artists and organizations to use the space as their own temporary creative home, as it is meant to be the ideal rental venue for all forms of creative projects and outlets. Community members are invited as well as local organizations and schools. This event is free and open to the public.
Blank Space SE, located at 1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, is available for many different projects, including (but not limited to): the production of your own art exhibit, a dance or theatre event, a workshop or classroom, a short term studio, a think tank, a creative crucible, a pop up boutique, or business.

Blank Space SE is a project of the ARCH Development Corporation (, a twenty year old not for profit dedicated to the creative revitalization of the Historic Anacostia community in Washington, D.C.

For further inquiries, please contact Lisa Bacon at Be sure to visit the Blank Space SE website for details:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PA Ave Project Updates

(photo from

I know I've used this sign before, but it still makes me laugh. This past Saturday I was greeted to my sidewalks being closed with no warning. DDOT has promised to be better at communicating. In keeping with their promise, I received the following email today regarding parking on Pennsylvania Ave SE.
I have received an updated utility and storm drainage schedule for the next two weeks. Fort Myer Construction Company (FMCC) is scheduled to continue the storm drainage and electrical utility work from Alabama Avenue to Fort Davis the remainder of this week and into the first week of January 2011. The storm drainage work and electrical work will start from Fort Davis to Southern Avenue the last week of December into late January.

Beginning the last week of December, Omni Construction, FMCC subcontractor, will begin water main installation at Alabama Avenue and will continue to Southern Avenue. This work will be on the Fairfax Village side (south side) of Pennsylvania Avenue and will restrict parking on your side of the roadway from Fort Davis to Southern Avenue starting the first week of January 2011. This work will continue for approximately two months.

Both sides of the roadway will be impacted with parking restrictions depending on which portion of the storm drainage system and the utilities FMCC will be installing. The roadway restrictions will start at 9:30a and end at 3:30p and will comply with the “no temporary lane closures during rush hours” rule. When the utilities and storm drainage work is complete in this area, reconstruction will begin including the sidewalk, curb/gutter and roadway reconstruction will begin. The roadway reconstruction on the Fairfax Village side of Pennsylvania Avenue work will begin sometime in the spring and permanent lane closures will be set up to protect the motorists and the workers.

All work is contingent upon weather.

Feel free to contact us with any questions/concerns as we proceed with construction.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Just received word that the ANC 7B meeting has been canceled due to weather conditions

Working on her fitness

(Photo from Pure Fitness spa)

I got the following email today:
Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander will begin a health fitness challenge in conjunction with Yes! Organic Market and Chapman Development LLC on Monday, December 20. The kick-off event will take place at 3 p.m. at the Yes! Organic store located at 2323 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E. Councilmember Alexander will begin an exercise and healthy eating regimen that will showcase her working out in several athletic facilities throughout the ward. Her personal goal will be to lose weight while encouraging Ward 7 residents to join her in the crusade to promote a healthier lifestyle. As a part of this effort a trainer will host free group sessions for one month at a Ward 7 recreation center.

“I think the effort to have a more balanced and healthier diet plus frequent exercise leads to better health overall. This is why I have teamed up with Yes! Organic to start and stay with a healthy eating and exercise regimen for myself and to promote a healthy diet to all,” said Alexander. “Not only am I challenging myself but I am also putting the call out to residents of Ward 7 and the District of Columbia to join me on this journey.”

Councilmember Alexander, who will be training with personal trainers, will post her exercise schedule at the various locations in Ward 7 so residents can join the challenge.
Kudos to Alexander for taking on this challenge. Ms V began her health journey as a New Year's Resolution in 2006. I went from a size 6 to a size 2. Granted I've never been overweight, but I was still unhealthy and dangerously approaching the borderline for Type II diabetes. One of the challenges of living in Ward 7 is access to healthy food options. On a selfish note, I hope this doesn't mean Alexander will get rid of the fried salmon cakes from her monthly Leadership breakfast. They are half of the reason why I go.

Anywho... Best of luck CM!!! Hit me up when you want to go on a bike ride or walk/run.

ANC 7B Meeting tonight

So far the meeting is still on. I'll let you know if that changes.



DECEMBER 16, 2010

7:00 Call to Order, Roll Call

7:03 Treasurer's Report

7:06 Police Reports (PSAs 605, 606, 607) and Neighborhood Watch Reports

7:12 DC Fire Department

7:15 Community Concerns

7:25 Old Business/New Business

7:30 Approval of Minutes–October 21, 2010 and November 18, 2010 Meetings

7:35 Commissioners' Roundtable

7:55 Committee Reports/Standing Reports

-- Skyland Update
-- Pennsylvania Avenue Construction Update

8:00 Announcements

8:05 Plaques Presentation

8:30 Adjourn/Holiday Celebration

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ward 7 Neighborhood Holiday Party

(image from

Come celebrate the holidays and help a neighbor family in need!

On December 19th join your neighbors in celebration of the holidays at Langston Bar & Grille. Proceeds will go to support a family designated by East River Family Strengthening Collaborative (ERFSC) for the holidays. Feel free to extend the invitation to YOUR neighbors. The more people we invite, the merrier our holiday and the better the holiday for a family in need. All drinks and hors d'Ĺ“uvres are half price for guests.


WHEN: Sunday, December 19, 2010 WHERE: Langston Bar & Grille 1831 Benning Road NE Washington, DC 20002 TIME: 5:00pm-8:00pm COST: $10 (includes one drink)

Deann Ayer ~ Sylvia Brown ~ Kia Chatmon ~ Sa'id Chestnut ~ Donna Coley-Trice ~ Amani Dakar ~ Veronica Davis ~ Eliza Hugee ~ Russell Klein ~ Sherrie Lawson ~ Ajia Meux ~ Kimberly Morton ~ Kevin McIntosh and Takeyah Young ~ Cindy Mutombo ~Aminata Ndir~ Nakeisha Neal ~ Rebecca Renard ~ Irwin Royster ~ Rasul Sha'ir ~ Joann Smith ~ Autumn Saxton-Ross ~ Nzinga Tull ~ Carl and Seshat Walker ~ Martine Shorter ~ Maceo Thomas ~ Yao Tyus

R.E.E.L. Holiday Party.

Fairfax Village IV Parking Lot RE-OPENED

Unfortunately we were unable to repave the Fairfax Village IV Parking Lot (located off Pennsylvania Ave SE) due to weather conditions. The temperatures this December have been unseasonably low. The repaving will be rescheduled. We will notify you at least two weeks prior.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reminder: Groundbreaking tomorrow

The DC Public Library invites you to join your friends and neighbors as we break the ground to build the new Francis A. Gregory Library.

Where: Francis A. Gregory Library

3660 Alabama Avenue, SE

When: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:45am – 11:30am

Please feel free to contact Archie Williams,, or telephone (202) 727-1437, if you have any questions regarding this event.

Previous Post

Friday, December 10, 2010

Newest member of Def Comedy Jam

(photo from Essence Community online)

Apparently CM Yvette Alexander has been moonlighting as a comedian. In today's Washington City Paper, Alan Suderman interviewed Alexander about the Barry Reality TV Show. I got caught up in watching all three episodes yesterday. The first episode seems to focus on the overly dramatic Andre Johnson, who is (for now), Alexander's Director of Communication. From the Washington City Paper article, it is crystal clear that Alexander was not pleased.
Alexander says she declined Johnson's request to because she wants no part of the show, which she called "cheesy." Well, maybe she'll agree to one small role: “If he wants me to be part of the show, he can film me firing him," she says. Ouch.
HAHAHAHAHAHA..... Ms V is dying laughing.... Then regarding appearances by CMs Harry Thomas (Ward 5), Michael Brown (at-Large) and Kwame Brown (at-large and Chair-elect), Alexander says:
"Please stick to the council. Hollywood is not in the stars for you."
Ms V is wiping the tears... Side note: in the scene with the Browns (K and M), K. Brown looks super short talking to M. Brown. Then the article ends with:
“I just found it very distasteful," she says. "I think reality TV ... seems to be for people who hit rock bottom."
Ms V can't handle it.... Needless to say, I got a good old fashion belly laugh today. Click here if you want to read the whole article.

Putting Fairfax Village on the Map!!!

TBD has a great promo with people introducing their neighborhoods. Check out Ms V's cameo at 0:16 representing Fairfax Village in SE. There is also a cameo by Dave Garber from And Now, Anacostia

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Conversation with a Traffic Engineer

Hi neighbors!!! How about a little chuckle? Does this sound familiar?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Far Southest Livability Study Meeting #2

The District Department of Transportation's plans for several major streets in Southeast could improve livability and mobility in several East of the River neighborhoods.

As a part of the Far Southeast Livability Study, DDOT has identified 6 corridors for further study. They held the second of 3 public meetings on Monday.

DDOT chose the six corridors to increase connectivity, accessibility, mode choice and build upon existing plans. These are the corridors:

  1. Good Hope Road and Naylor Road between Minnesota and Southern Avenues
  2. Branch Avenue between Southern and Pennsylvania Avenues
  3. Naylor Road between Southern and Fairlawn Avenues
  4. Alabama Avenue between Pennsylvania and Branch Avenues
  5. Minnesota Avenue between Good Hope Road and Massachusetts Avenue
  6. Southern Avenue between Pennsylvania and Branch Avenues. Additionally, the study looks at extending the street to Naylor Road.

The proposed improvements ranged from new streetscape and sidewalks to creation of new bike lanes.

DDOT presented typical sections along Good Hope Road and Naylor Road for both commercial areas and residential areas. The agency also recommended implementing Safe Routes to School improvements west of Minnesota Avenue where there are a cluster of public and charter schools.

During the feedback session, members of the community brought up a number of concerns:

  • Extend the Alabama Ave study to Naylor Road: The section between Branch Ave SE and Naylor Road SE was the site of two pedestrian crashes this summer. Part of the problem is that Alabama Ave widens to two lanes in each direction. The stretch of roadway between Branch Ave SE and 29th Street SE is unsignalized, which leads to speeding in this section. There are crosswalks, but it is a difficult road to cross.
  • Include bus routes in the analysis: The community wants to make sure that residents have sidewalks to be able to access the bus routes. For example, there are bus stops along Branch Ave SE where there are no sidewalks. People step off the bus into the grass.
  • Find streets where bike lanes makes sense: Residents who do not have a preference for bike lanes expressed concern that DDOT wants to add bike lanes when most residents use public transportation and/or walk. They were very clear that they did not want to sacrifice on-street parking for bike lanes.

    Bike lane supporters stated there are people in the Ward 7 community that rely on bicycle as the primary mode of transportation, so bike infrastructure such as lanes and racks are needed. Both sides were able to agree that major roadways, such as Good Hope Road SE, may not appropriate for bike lanes, however. They recommended DDOT find alternative routes and solutions.

  • Add access through the parks: One solution proposed by a resident was creating more access through the parks owned by the National Park Service. There is currently an underutilized hiker-bike trail running through these parks. Residents suggested considering a paved path and lighting to provide a higher level of comfort and security which can encourage travel through the park.
  • Enforcement is part of livability: Several residents spoke of pedestrians along Good Hope Road SE who do not obey traffic signals. This summer there were incidents where pedestrians were hit. While there are some unsignalized intersections, many pedestrians cross against the light at signalized intersections.
  • Find new routes for commuter buses from Maryland: Good Hope Road SE is a main corridor for commuter motor coaches from Maryland. DDOT is exploring alternative routes like Suitland Parkway.

Much of the discussion at the meeting covered topics from the numerous previous studies already conducted in some of the neighborhoods. For example, Branch Ave between Pennsylvania Avenue and the District line was studied in 2003. The community is still waiting for DDOT to implement some of the recommendations from that report.

At the next meeting in late January, DDOT will present the draft report to the community.

Cross-posted at GGW and HCCA Transportation Committee

Monday, December 6, 2010

My company is moving to The HIVE

My company, Nspiregreen LLC, will be moving to THE HIVE (2027 MLK Jr Ave SE) located in Historic Anacostia neighborhood of Southeast, DC. Come check out our new digs at the Grand Opening on 12/14. Click here for more information.

Fairfax Village IV Parking Lot CLOSED 12/13-12/16

The Fairfax Village IV Parking Lot (large lot located off Pennsylvania Ave SE by the Condo Office), will be CLOSED December 13-16, 2010 for repaving. During this time NO vehicles will be allowed to park in the parking lot, including in the alleys and in front of the garages. There will be access for garage owners. Any vehicles found parked in the lot during this period will be ticketed, towed, and fined for any damage to the pavement.

ALL vehicles will need to be removed from the lot by 7:00 AM on December 13th.

We recognize this is going to be a pain, however, this is only a 3-day inconvenience and we won't have to do this again for several years. We have been coordinating with DC Department of Transportation to ensure that the street parking on Pennsylvania Ave will be available while the lot is closed.

We are working to get flyers out to all homeowners in Villages I-VII, however, please help us spread the word.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Southeast Kids on the Farm

Kindergartners from Anne Beers Elementary School located in Hillcrest visted the Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center located in Accokeek, Maryland.

Click Here to visit the Hard Bargain Farm and see more photos of the kids.

Far Southest Livability Study Meeting

The D.C. Department of Transportation is ready to hold its second public meeting for the Far Southeast II Livability Study. At the first meeting, many of you expressed your concerns related to safety, traffic, and other transportation issues, and identified specific problem areas. This second meeting will be your opportunity to comment on various alternative solutions to address your concerns.

Please save the following date and time:
When: Monday, December 6
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church,
3000 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. (In the Chapel)

For additional information about the plan, please go to .