Friday, February 26, 2010

Saving our treasures

"Nadie sabe lo que vale el aqua hasta que falta." I bet you didn't know Ms V was bilingual. I know enough Spanish to be dangerous. The literal translation of that sentence doesn't make sense in English, but in essence it means "you don't know what you have until it's gone". One of the greatest treasures in Ward 7 is the Fort Dupont Ice Arena.

I'm in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program and I've taken my Little Sister and her friend there several times. It is the ONLY indoor ice skating arena inside of the District. When I spent my Saturday mornings working out at Fort Dupont Park, I would chuckle at the irony of Northern Virginia parents (read: white people) having to come to East of the River (read: black neighborhood) so their kids could play hockey (read: traditionally a white sport).

According to the Washington Post, the lack of funding could force the arena to temporarily close its doors. They need to come up with $250,000 by May to keep all the programs running. If they can't come up the money, the worse case scenario is they have to close for the summer. Maybe the Washington Post article will pull at the heart strings of someone with deep pockets and inspire them to donate some money.

I hope everything works out for them. My Little Sister really likes going their and it's a cheap activity (less than $20 for both of us). Plus the programming allows black children to be exposed traditionally non-black sports like ice hockey and figure skating.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The makings of a Tom Clancey Novel

I love Tom Clancey novels. You can always count on a conspiracy, backstabbing, dramatic climax, and a twist at the end. Sometimes when I hear about things going on in DC government, I feel like I'm hearing about a trailer for a new movie based on Clancey novel. One story that has intrigued me is this firing, demoting, and now campaigning of Council-at-large Candidate Clark Ray. This lingering uncertainty was something I couldn't get past, so I called Mr. Ray. Before I go into what he said, let me set the scene....

The Characters
Slick Willy Fenty - the Notorious "Boss" of DC known for his "I don't have to answer that" attitude.
Clark Ray - "The Fall Guy"
Dan Tangherlini - City Administrator aka "The Muscle"
Michael Williams - "The Whistleblower"

The Plot
It was a dark and stormy night... okay let me stay focused. The story starts with Clark Ray as the Director of Parks and Recreation (DPR). A position that was his reward for door-to-door campaigning which helped usher Fenty into the fancy office at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. Fenty enrolls his twin sons into a youth baseball league which is operated by DPR now headed by his friend, Clark. Along comes "The Whistleblower", who raises concerns that the Fenty boys aren't playing in an age appropriate league. No good deed goes unrewarded, so Mr. Williams is fired.

Just when all was quiet on the home front. Fenty announces the desire to privatize child care services currently staff by DC employees at DPR recreation facilities. Parents are outraged calling for the Boss' head on a platter. Then, on a Sunday night "The Fall Guy" is called to 1350 Pennsylvania Ave to meet with "The Muscle". In a manner that would make Donald Trump gasp, "The Muscle" on behalf of the Boss tells Ray... "You're Fired". Oh how does this sorted tale end?

The Conspiracy Theory
One theory floating around town is that Clark did Fenty's bidding by firing Mr. Williams and Fenty fired Clark, so he can be the "martyr". A few eyebrows were raised when Fenty gave him a position at Greater Washington Sport Alliance after he was fired. Then less than a month after the whole debacle, Clark throws his name in the hat as a candidate for the Council. Some say it was all a ploy so Fenty could get his boy on the Council.

The Skinny
I talked with Clark this afternoon. He explain that he and the Mayor bumped heads over childcare under DPR. Clark felt that child care did not aligned with the mission of DPR and recommended it be under the purview of an agency that has education as its mission. The Mayor wanted to privatize. Clark stuck to his guns against Slick Willy Fenty and was fired in a Queen of Hearts "off with his head"-esque style.

Clark said that since his firing he had no contact with the Mayor and has no allegiance to the Mayor.

The END.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leo Alexander gets real

On Saturday, Mayoral Candidate Leo Alexander held a meet and greet with the River East Bloggers and the community at large. Not really having the stomach for politics, I thought this was going to be a stuffy, let's shake hands meet and greet. To my surprise it was a real down home discussion about the issues we face in Wards 7 and 8 and Mr. Alexander's vision for DC.

At the request of the Advoc8te, Mr. Alexander told his story. Despite the fancy suits and low-cut Ceasar with the deep waves, he comes from humble beginnings. His family was on welfare and food stamps. He even said there was a period of time when he was living in a car or a van or a something that wasn't a house. While I don't share that background, I appreciate the connection. It shows that he can relate to some of the issues we live with on a daily basis.

The upstairs room of Big Chair Coffee was packed. I had to leave early to get my dogs out of daycare (yes daycar... whatever... don't judge me). I was intrigued by what Mr. Alexander has to say and i look forward to hearing more (deja vu?). There are people concerned about his lack of experience. However, a political "outsider" is what we need. You can't clean house with a dirty mop.

I wonder if Slick Willy Fenty will have a sit down with the River East bloggers **Kanye shrug**.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The People's Court

Due to Snowmageddon and Snoverkill, I didn't make it to the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary public hearing on Bills 18-549 and 18-556. However, I did submit written testimony for the record. Below is what I submitted.
****************************************
My name is Miss V. I am the President of the Fairfax Village IV Condominium Association and a proud blogger in Ward 7. I will be submitting my testimony as a public witness.

BILL 18-0549 “COMMUNITY IMPACT STATEMENT AMENDMENT ACT OF 2009”
In the last year, the residents of the Fairfax Village Community Association have been vocal and vigilant in reducing crime in our neighborhood. While we are in statistically one of the safest Police Service Areas in the District, our community is still plagued with drugs and prostitution. In working with Councilmember Mendelson’s Office, we learned about the Community Impact Statement. The Community Impact Statement is an important tool for the community to send a message that we do not tolerate crime in our neighborhoods.

I would like to offer three recommendations to strengthen the bill.
1. Inclusion of juvenile cases as many of the offenders in our neighborhood are juveniles.
2. Consistent format and process for the community to submit the Community Impact Statements.
3. Data collection and analysis mechanism to track the effectiveness of Community Impact Statements in the sentencing process.

BILL 18-0556, “LIQUID PCP POSSESSION AMENDMENT ACT OF 2009”
Over a 48-hour period in December 2009, Fairfax Village experienced two separate incidents related to people under the influence of PCP. One person stopped their car in the middle of the street and started undressing. Another person assaulted and bit the nose of a teen. Both incidents happened during the weekday. I fully support this bill and I hope that it will help make strides towards ridding our neighborhood of this dangerous drug.

Thank you for your time.

Meet and Greet with Leo Alexander

*** FOR THE RECORD: The author of Life in the Village has not endorsed any candidate for Mayor at this time. I'm merely providing information***


DC 2010 Mayoral Candidate, Leo Alexander, cordially invites you to attend:

"Leo Alexander's River East Community Meet & Greet"

Saturday, February 20, 2010, from 3:00 - 7:00 PM
Big Chair Coffee (2122 MLK Jr. Ave SE)

Light refreshments will be served compliments of the "Leo Alexander for DC Mayor 2010 Campaign"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20

Despite the fact that this snow isn't going away until summer, it's a good time to reflect on everything that transpired and the lessons learned from the week. I mentioned more times than necessary that I lived in Upstate New York for 2.5 years. Though I braved 2 winters up there, I still learned from Snowmageddon and Snoverkill. Here's what I learned:

  1. Keep cash in the house - I am one of those people that NEVER has cash on me. If I can't use my debit card or my American Express, I'm not interested. I learned that CASH is king in a blizzard. Cash will get a teenager to clean off your car. Cash will get a bobcat to dig out your garage.
  2. Buy a bottle a wine for every 6 inches of snow - It snowed 20 inches which is equivalent to 3.5 bottles of wine. I had 3 bottles. I had to ration the last bottle. NOT COOL.
  3. Forget about toilet paper, stock up on DVDs - After two days of being stuck in the house, the Law & Order Special Victims Unit marathons just wouldn't cut it anymore.
  4. Buy a shovel - I live in a condo, so it is my expectation that our maintenance crew will take care of snow removal. Clearly, I gave them too much credit. We JUST got all the snow removed from our sidewalks this past Monday night. Um... nevermind I'm taking this off this list. See number 1, have cash to pay a teenager.
  5. Always be neighborly - I know a lot of my neighbors because I'm always outside walking my dogs. As a result of my naturally friendly disposition, my neighbors came through for me in a clutch. One loaned me $20 (see number 1), one invited me over to drink wine (see number 2), and one drove me to Negril Eatery so I could get a beef patty with cocobread.
  6. Always keep gifts from your parents no matter how bizarre you think it might be, because deep down they are always concerned about your needs - This is probably the MOST important lesson for me. My dad has always been known to give weird Christmas gifts. One year he gave me ski pants, despite I haven't skied in 10 years. Those pants stayed in the depths of my closet for the last five years. Another year he gave me this really ugly winter coat with a hood. Hated it. He also gave me these really big and bulky winter gloves. Despite that all of the items took up valuable real estate in my little condo, I've kept them all these years. I wore every last one of them last week. I called my dad everyday last week to let him know how much I loved him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

He could have at least said hi


A neighbor (aka Hillcrest Diva... I'm trying to get her to guest blog) just emailed me this link. Slick Willy Fenty slipped into Fairfax Village and didn't tell anyone. He's right at the top of my block. I got an email about every other press conference related to snow, except this one. Smells like a conspiracy... LOL.

Washington Post could have at least given a shout out to Fairfax Village. A little scrolling marquee or something. But maybe I'm asking for too much... Nah. I'm emailing Wapo now.

UPDATE: I emailed Wapo and they told me "Thank you for my email". ***side-eye***

Ms V and Green DMV



On February 3, 2009 I volunteered with Green DMV for their weatherization project at a homeless shelter located in Ward 6. I spent my time painting one of the bedrooms with a eco-friendly AND special insulating paint. This morning Green DMV released their Green Report Newsletter that has video clips from the volunteer event. Above is the full video. I encourage you to watch it. Miss V makes a cameo appearance and drops some knowledge around 4 minutes into the video.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Now that it's over, report cards are due...

Before I give my grade to the DC Government for their handling of Snowmageddon and Snowverkill, allow me to digress and say that I hate snow. I thought after moving out of Ithaca, NY I would never have to experience another snowy winter. I know it snows in DC, but not like this. I need to be standing on the equator right now. I have seriously been considering getting out of dodge when they airports are running at normal operations.... But enough about my issues.

While some of my neighbors may disagree with me, I give the DC government a C- for their handling of the snow this week. I know it seems like a generous grade. My grade is based on two criterion... Effort and Coordination. I give the hardworking men and women of DDOT and DPW an A- for their efforts. Whether or not your block was plowed within a reasonable amount of time, you have to give credit where credit is due. These front line people have been working 12-hour shifts since Friday. While we sit in our homes complaining about our block, many of them where away from their families in hotels to ensure they wouldn't be stuck for their next shift.

Now for coordination between government agencies, I give an F. I'm sure that DC has a snow removal plan. I'm not sure what that plan is, but it needs to be re-evaluated. I always mention Ithaca, NY, because I lived there for 2.5 years and it is in the snow belt of Upstate NY. Ithaca's approach to snow removal is major roads and bus routes FIRST. I lived on a steep hill and we were the bottom of the totem pole for getting our street plowed, but I never complained... WHY? Because they always made sure the buses were running. Even in big snow storms, the public transportation system was always operable.

These snow storms revealed the lack of coordination between DC government and WMATA. In my humble opinion, the bus routes should have been a higher priority for snow removal. Those of us living in Fairfax Village were essentially trapped for 3 days. We had no bus servicing our neighborhood and our streets were impassable.

I hope in the next week or so, all the government agencies have a debrief. The one good thing about extreme situations is they reveal weaknesses in the system that you would not know existed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Laughter is the best medicine

Just when I thought cabin fever was going to consume my whole being.... Just when I was on the brink of losing it.... A friend sends me this... Go to www.erinjackson.net to see more of her comedy.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snoverkill, sNO mas, snoverit, snoverdose, snoverload, sNo way



Stick a fork in my 'cause I'm done. I haven't been more than a one block radius from my house since Friday. Even my dogs who love the snow, roll their eyes at me when I take them out for a walk.

Well... if you haven't heard everything is closed tomorrow... Federal government, schools, WMATA above-ground stations, buses... and get this.... JUST fresh off the blackberry.... ***drumroll please*** DC government is closed. **gasp**. I guess the beloved mayor wants to sleep in. I can't even hate on that.

Volunteers with 4-wheel drive needed

United Medical Center located at 1310 Southern Ave S.E. Washington DC 20032 is currently looking for volunteers with four-wheel drive that may be willing to assist with the transportation of patients here at our facility. If you can volunteer, please call (202) 574-6667.

We are free!!!

THE M6 BUS IS RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are no longer trapped in Fairfax Village.

Want to know when the next bus is comming??? Visit Next Bus on WMATA's website.

Limited Public Transportation Today

Here is the update from WMATA on metrorail and bus service. Unfortunately, we still don't have a bus servicing the Fairfax Village area. Although, I did spot a bus driving up Alabama Ave this morning. I don't know if it was just a figment of my imagination or if WMATA has sent out drivers to inspect the bus routes.

From WMATA
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Metrorail system will open at 5 a.m. with limited service and may close early depending on weather conditions as more snow and below-freezing temperatures are expected. Five stations will remain closed due to heavy snow drifts on the tracks. A combination of six- and eight-car trains will operate at 20-minute intervals and travel at maximum speeds of 35 miles per hour. Limited Metrobus service will begin at 5 a.m.

MetroAccess will operate limited service between 8 a.m. and noon Tuesday for customers whose trips are associated with life-sustaining medical needs such as chemotherapy and dialysis. After noon, MetroAccess will provide return-trips only to help get customers home.

Metrorail service for Tuesday morning (Feb. 9)

• Blue Line Limited Service: Franconia-Springfield to Stadium-Armory
• Red Line Full Service: Shady Grove to Glenmont
• Green Line Full Service: Greenbelt to Branch Avenue
• Orange Line Full Service: Vienna to New Carrollton
• Yellow Line Full Service: Huntington to Fort Totten

Metrorail stations that will remain closed on Tuesday include Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road-Seat Pleasant, Morgan Boulevard and Largo Town Center on the Blue Line due to snow drifts on the tracks of three to six feet.

Approximately 75 percent of Metro parking spaces will be available for parking.


Metrobus service

Metrobus will operate a modified schedule on the following bus routes beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday with service planned for the routes listed below. All bus routes are subject to change depending on road conditions.

Local jurisdictions are responsible for clearing bus stops. Local residents can help their neighbors by shoveling the bus stops along the sidewalks near their homes so that people are not standing in the icy streets while traffic is passing.

District of Columbia
31 (Friendship Heights to Foggy Bottom-GWU)
32 and 36 (Friendship Heights to Potomac Ave)
34 (Archives to Branch Ave)
52 and 54 (From 14th Street and Colorado Ave to L'Enfant Plaza)
64 (Fort Totten to Georgia Ave-Petworth)
70 (Silver Spring to Canal and P Street, SW)
71 (Silver Spring to Archives) will terminate at Canal and P Street, SW
79 (Silver Spring to Archives)
80 (Fort Totten to Gallery Pl-Chinatown)
82 (Rhode Island Ave to Gallery Pl-Chinatown)
P6 (Anacostia to Eckington)
S4 (Silver Spring to Federal Triangle)
U8 (Capitol Heights to Benning Heights)
X2 (Minnesota Ave to Union Station)
V7 line (Deanwood to Potomac Ave)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Neighbors helping neighbors


A new Facebook group has been created: "I live East of the River and need a ride to ..." If you can provide a ride or need a ride go to this page.

Next winter I'm migrating south

This has been probably the second worse winter of my life. The worse was 2002-2003 when I lived in Upstate New York. That winter we got hit with an 8 inch snow every other day (at least that's what it felt like). Although, I'm pretty sure, the DC area won't have it this bad again for a while, I'm not taking any chances. Since I'm self-employed and can work remotely, I've decided I'm migrating south for winter. Maybe Puerto Rico (photo above was taken in PR in 2009) or the Dominican.... who knows. Anywho... enough about my issues.

WINTER STORM WATCH - PART DEAUX
The National Weather Service has issued an updated Winter Storm Watch for another winter storm. The storm is currently forecast to arrive around 2-3PM Tuesday, and will last through Wednesday late afternoon. The updated forecast now calls for at least 8" snow, with over 10" quite possible. The NWS Storm Prediction Center currently shows a 10-40% chance of the storm generating over 12".

The D.C. Metro area is close to the south edge of this storm, so to some degree the storm totals will depend on the exact path of the storm. Temperatures will start near freezing, but will drop into the mid-upper 20's during the storm. Wednesday high is 33-36. Winds will be 15-25 MPH with higher gusts. A Winter Storm Warning is highly likely to be issued later today.

Please get emergency supplies before the storm strikes, as driving will become even more hazardous after the storm begins. Please also secure all loose objects on your property.

UPDATE (3:30 PM): National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for D.C., effective noon tomorrow to 7PM Wednesday. All parts of the forecast that were just sent remain the same, except the projected snow totals HAVE BEEN INCREASED TO 10-20".

It takes a village

The neighborhood was all a buzz today as everyone rushed to dig out their cars before the next storm hits. Despite the fact that my street has been plowed twice, it still looks pretty bad. Several SUVs have been stuck right at this intersection at different points in the day.

My dog, Roxie, playing in the snow.

My other dog, Joanie, with snow all over her face.

My neighbors outside discussing whether we'll be able to move cars anytime soon. The general consensus was NO.

SUV stuck on V St SE. If they got stuck, my poor little Camry doesn't stand a chance.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

DC Public Schools Closed on Monday

All DC Public Schools will be closed Monday February 8, 2010. All administrative offices will open one hour late. I don't understand what took so long to make that determination. ***shaking my head***

Limited Public Transportation Tomorrow

WMATA just released a statement that there will be limited public transportation service tomorrow.

For Monday morning, Feb. 8, commuters should expect limited underground Metrorail service to start at 7 a.m., and very limited Metrobus service from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., as icy conditions on roadways and Metrorail tracks continue to be a barrier to providing safe service. MetroAccess service for Monday will be suspended for the entire day.

Fewer than two dozen Metrobus lines will be in service on Monday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. due to snowy and icy conditions that persist on the region’s roadways. Metrobuses will stick to snow emergency routes to start the day. Customers may want to take advantage of the next bus prediction technology to get an idea when the next bus will be arriving by logging onto Metro’s web site or calling 202-637-7000 and saying, “Next Bus.” Buses are expected to be moving slowly on the roads, which remain slippery.


Limited service will be established tomorrow on the following bus routes in the District of Columbia: the U8 line (Minn. Ave – Capitol Heights), the 64 line (Georgia Ave-Petworth– Fort Totten), the 50 line (14th and Colorado Ave) the 70 line (Silver Spring – Archives), the S4 line (Silver Spring – Federal Triangle) the 30 line (Friendship Heights – Potomac Ave) and the A line (Southern Ave to Anacostia).


These routes are subject to change depending on the conditions of the roads. Bus service operations managers will monitor all of these areas with an eye toward returning service to those lines when road conditions improve and it is deemed safe for buses to drive along those streets.

Even Councilmembers get no love

This is a photo from Councilmember Alexander taken on her block. Even she can't get her street plowed. I just came in from walking my dogs. There are 8-10 cars stuck (and not moving anytime soon) on 38th ST SE. 38th ST SE is a MAJOR commuter bus route (V5, M6, M2). I understand that this is a monumental event, but in my humble little opinion if you are going to declare the government open then all designated snow evacuation routes, major roads, and bus routes should be cleared to the asphalt by now.

Our beloved mayor will only be delaying school 2 hours and City government 1 hour. Councilmember K. Brown issued a statement urging Fenty to close the government. Everyone else seems to get it, but our Mayor. Federal Government - Closed. Arlington County - Closed. City of Alexandria - Closed.

***shaking my head***

Future business men

In the span of 20 minutes, I organized three boys and turned them in the a multi-hundred dollar business enterprise. I grew up in New Jersey. When it's snowed, I couldn't get outside fast enough to walk around the neighborhood to make money. At the tender age of 13, I could easily make $150 in cash.

These kids now and days, lack that entrepreneurial spirit aka the internal hustle. This morning, I was out back helping one of my older neighbors dig out his car, when I saw these three kids walking around looking lost. I asked them why they weren't getting their hustle on. They started giving me excuses. After talking when them, I helped them develop their pricing structure and strategy for getting business. I loaned them a shovel and helped them get started with their first clients.

While I was outside supervising their work, other people in the community asked them if they would dig out their cars. I could have easily complained about why these kids are just standing around playing. However, I motivated them into a mini-business. The one thing it let me know is these young boys are really good kids, who need some guidance and an outlet to keep them occupied.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow in the Village

Fairfax Village didn't make it to the Snowmageddon Snowball fight. It was a little to far for us to walk. We had fund in our little hood. One of my neighbors had to climb out of the window, because she couldn't get the front door open.


And then she fell... LOL.

In Fairfax Village we do our part to help the community. We cleaned off the fire hydrants.


This is one of a little girl in my neighborhood and me making snow angels in the middle of the street.

Snowtorious S.N.O. in the Village

Photos taken at 9 AM, while I was walking my dogs. I spent 2.5 years in Upstate New York for grad school. Not only did I get a quality education from an Ivy League institution, but I also learned how to dress for the weather. Miss V had on ski pants (thanks Dad... sorry I ever laughed at that present), ski coat, and Merrell boots. Photo of me below... I'm smeyezing (Tyra Banks' term for smiling with your eyes)


Man trying to dig out his car on W St. He wants to reduce his workload later. Smart Man. Although, when the snow plow comes through he's going to have a whole new set of issues.
Looking down Fort Davis St. It's so peaceful. Looks like a something you'd see inside a snowdome.
Yes, there is a car under there. What to guess what kind? I'm so glad I have a garage.
Looking up 38th St.
Of course as soon as I get back in the house the maintenance crew show up to shovel us out. Photo taken from my bathroom window.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Come around my way...


Want to feel like a kid again??? Don't want to be stuck in the house for Snowmageddon?? Well then just hobo your way to Ward 7th Heaven for the Fort Dupont Park/Randle Circle snowball fight. It will be Saturday February 6th from noon-2pm (or we get tired, which ever comes first). This is a family friendly community event, so bring the whole family.

More than likely driving is not going to be an option. If WMATA is still running the M6 will get you from Fairfax Village/Hillcrest down to Minnesota Ave SE, then it's just a one block walk. If you are coming from the other side of the River, the M6 will bring you from Potomac Ave Metro station (Orange/Blue line). Push comes to shove, it is a walkable distance from Fairfax Village/Hillcrest.

If you want to RVSP, click here to get to the facebook invite.

Now for some of you this is going to be your first snowball fight in a looooooooooooong time. So here are some tips on "winning" a snowball fight from wiki-how
  1. Cover yourself when necessary. Cover is important so using trees and other barriers is something to consider.
  2. If possible, try to create forts made out of tightly packed snow to hide behind.
  3. Use teamwork! If you're playing with a group try to get an opponent singled out and focus your snowballing efforts. Split up and attack from different directions.
  4. Trick your opponents. Act like you are retreating, but have reinforcements waiting behind a hill or trees, and lead the enemy right to them!
  5. Fight a defensive battle if you are losing, but never an evasive battle. If you keep retreating, your team will be confined to a small area and surrounded. Hold your ground, and have a huge reserve of snowballs.

Hope to meet all of you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All Clear

Animal Control Officers stopped by a few minutes ago to issue my dogs their house arrest papers. They are quarantined for 10-days. The owner surrendered the dog to the Animal Control Officers. He admitted that after two biting incidents he is unable to care for the dog. The Animal Control Officers told me the dog is just a puppy and he was being playful. There was nothing playful about the way that dog snatched up my dog.

More than likely the dog with be euthanized. Despite the fact that I'm delighted the dog is out of the neighborhood, it makes me so angry when a dog is put down because of an owner's negligence.

Terrorist Threat: Code Red

I have no idea what the Department of Homeland Security Terrorist Threat levels mean. After speaking to a specialist from the DC Department of Health, I'm taking it upon myself to issue a Code Red. Yesterday, my dog was attacked by a monster that terrorized the neighborhood for a good portion of the afternoon.

According to the specialist, last month a woman was walking with her service dog, along the 3800 Block of Suitland Road. The monster knocked her down, then nipped her dog's ear. The monster was placed on the POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS list. Yesterday's event will more than likely elevate the status to the DANGEROUS list.

An inspector will be coming to my house this afternoon to inspect both of my dogs and officially place them on a 10-day quarantine. At the end of 10 days they will come back to clear them. Animal Control will attempt to get the dangerous dog this evening. If the owners decline to turn the dog over, they will have to get a warrant.

If you witnessed yesterday's event, please contact Molly Lunaris, specialist at Department of Health, at (202) 535-2508 or via email moll.lunaris@dc.gov.

I did learn something about the breed. It's a Presa Canario. The photo below is similar to the monster. According to information I found online, they can be aggressive and dangerous if they aren't trained properly as puppies. Historically, they were used in dog fighting in Europe. However, if they are trained properly, they are extremely affectionate.


Terrorism in the Village


Let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR.... if you do NOT know how to properly train and care for a dog, do society a favor and DO NOT get a dog. Fairfax Village was effectively on lockdown for 20 minutes.... and who was the terrorist??? A big Kudjoe like dog. My neighbors and I are still debating about the breed. All I know is that monster had the head of a bulldog and the body of rottweiler.

I picked up my 11 year old Little Sister from Big Sister program. My plan was to bring her to my house, walk my dogs, eat dinner, and then head over to THEARC for the ELEW class and performance. My Little Sister and I are walking my two dogs (Roxie and Joanie) along the 3800 block of W St SE... All of a sudden this monster comes flying toward us. There is nowhere for us to go. I'm thinking I need to protect this little girl, I need to protect my dogs, and oh by the way I need to protect myself.

This monster grabs Joanie by the neck and drags her from the sidewalk to the middle of the street. *** Pause the story for a moment. This dog was about 120 lbs and Joanie is 14 lbs... Unpause*** The dog then slams Joanie to the ground. While this is going on, I'm yelling at my Little Sister to run and call 911. Joanie tries to fight back. The dog leaps at her and she was able to take off running down W St. towards 38th.

My Little Sister was hiding in the bushes in front of 3810 W St SE. I pick up Roxie and move slowly towards her. The dog then comes ready to attack Roxie. I was able to prevent the dog from getting to her by sheilding her with my canvas bag, which fortunately was full of books. By the Grace of God my guardian angel open the door to 3810 W St SE and yelled for us to come in right as this dog was getting ready to attack again. Now this dog is pacing outside the door and I still have no idea where my other dog is located.

My guardian angel said that he called animal control and MPD about 30 minutes before he saw me, because the dog had tried to attack his friend. People in Fairfax Village were returning home from work, so my guardian angel was trying to keep the dog near us. The dog apparently went over to the 2000 block of Fort Davis Street and trapped a woman in her car (according to my neighbors on that side).

MPD arrived and tried to get everyone inside; be it a building or a car. Mind you while all this is going on, I'm still in the building on W St. MPD was able to trap the dog. My second guardian angel was Officer LaFrance. Apparently, Joanie ran home and was standing in front of my building. Officer LaFrance picked her up and checked her out. I took my dog to the animal hospital to be checked out.

NEIGHBORS BE WARNED. MPD released the dog to the owner. I issued a bite report with the DC Animal Control. My dogs Joanie (aka the victim) and Roxie are now on a 10-day quarantine, plus Joanie has to get a first-care inspection. DC Animal Control will post a notice to the owner, plus put that dog under a 10-day quarantine. Then the dog will be inspected to see if it needs to be on the dangerous dog list... ***raises brow*** I guess attacking a dog and terrorizing a neighborhood doesn't count as dangerous.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

March 1st can't get here quick enough

Ray's the Steaks East River will be opening it's doors on March 1st. Back in December, I got a sneak peek while it was under construction. Having heard Mr. Landrum's vision, I was inspired not only by his passion for making magic in the kitchen, but also why he chose Ward 7 as the home for his new restaurant.

The Washington Post wrote a "good" article on Mr. Landrum and his Ray's empire. I only say good, because the article has whitewashed Mr. Landrum's story. During the community meeting back in December, Mr. Landrum told his story of humble beginnings as a busboy. He walked us through his struggles and triumphs. Mr. Landrum could have chosen anywhere else in the city for his restaurant, but he CHOSE Ward 7. No one courted him. No one gave him any incentives.

The Washington Post mentions the forty-five new jobs that this restaurant is adding. BUT, they left out, Mr. Landrum has been training Ward 7 residents in his other restaurants for them to then have management positions at the new restaurant. Mr. Landrum told us he was committed to hiring Ward 7 residents to work in his restaurant. In addition, as he told us back in December during the construction process, the construction crews were residents of Ward 7 and 8. But... as we all know Wapo doesn't tell the whole story.

I welcome Mr. Landrum to our Ward and will do all that I can to support this restaurant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Speak Up....

Since I'm self-employed my schedule for the day is whatever I want it to be. This has allowed me more flexibility to be able to speak at DC Council Committee hearings that are usually during the day when 95% of the DC residents are working (I'm being facetious).

On Monday (2/8/2010) I will be providing testimony as a public witness at the Councilmember Mendelson's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary public hearing on the following proposed bills:

The hyperlinks above will take you to the proposed Bills. I fully support BOTH proposed Bills, with some minor recommendations to Bill-549. Once I draft my testimony, I will share it with you. Hope to have something for your critque by Friday.

If you want to testify, contact Ms. Lisa Abrams, Legislative Counsel or Ms. Deborah Kelly, Legislative Clerk, at (202) 724-7808, by fax at (202) 724-6664, or via e-mail at Dkelly@dccouncil.us, and provide your name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business, February 4, 2010.

If you are unable to attend you have some options
  1. Submit written testimony by February 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM. Your testimony WILL be included in the official record
  2. Submit your comments/question in the comment section of my blog or email me at vod2@cornell.edu, I am more than willing to add them to my testimony.

Speak up... let me know your thoughts