Thursday, April 29, 2010

To park or not to park... that is the question

I couldn't help myself with today's blog photo. hehehe... I hope DDOT has a sense of humor. If not, oh well, it's still funny to me. Well we are closer to a resolution regarding parking on Penn Ave SE after the construction is complete. There is a good chance (Miss V crosses fingers) that the parking will remain intact. The project manager is waiting for the necessary approvals, which will hopefully come soon.

I did request that if (and hopefully when) the parking remains in tact, that the parking sign by the Fairfax Village lot be moved at least 5 feet from the curb. It's hard getting out of the lot. Even when you are making a right turn, you can't seen until you are halfway in the street. In my last email to DDOT I did state that if any parking is eliminated, I fully expect DDOT will assist us in finding a solution. Miss V will keep you posted.

Speaking of parking, DPW must really be strapped for cash. Parking enforcement always comes through the Village at 7:00 AM on the weekdays. I could set my alarm to her. Back in March, they started creeping down my street on Saturday mornings. Now, parking enforcement is making several loops during the day. Yesterday, she came through at 3:30, 6:15 and 8:15pm. At least that's when I saw her outside. Today she was creeping through around 2pm. Did I mention that we don't have a parking problem during the day??? Talk about waste of gas. If DPW wants to get paid, then they need to come through after 10 PM any night of the week and the public alley portion of the Fairfax Village lots. Just saying...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not good enough for me

I'm happy to report that the census tract that includes Fairfax Village has a 73% participation rate as of April 23, 2010. That is 3 percentage points above the 2000 Census for this census tract and 1 percentage point above the National average for the 2010 Census.

HOWEVER, last time I checked a 73% is a C. I don't know about you, but I wasn't allowed to bring home a C to my parents. Let's do better Fairfax Village!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

So... when is our meeting?

Miss V received a response from the Public Outreach Coordinator regarding the elimination of parking at the completion of the Pennsylvania Ave Great Streets project. She stated that the parking will be eliminated during construction, but there is no final decision regarding after the project is completed. We can expect a newsletter with more information. Councilmember Alexander stated that she would work with DDOT. ***heavy sigh***

I appreciate the newsletter and the Councilmember's concern, but at what point will the community be involved??? I sent an email back to both of them requesting a meeting between DDOT and at the very least the leadership of Fairfax Village. Although this is a two year project, I think the dialog between DDOT and the community needs to begin now. I haven't heard back yet. I will be following up at the end of the week.

There is no need to be scared of meeting with us. We are educated people who can absorb the information and provide an opinion. In talking with one of my neighbors he actually wouldn't mind eliminating parking on Penn Ave if there was another solution to the parking issue. This is information DDOT could receive if they met with the Fairfax Village community.

For the record, Miss V is not trying to derail the project. I am just pushing for engagement with my community.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Miss Information or Misinformation?

There is confusion going on in the Village and Miss V is trying to get to the bottom of the truth. The Pennsylvania Ave Great Streets project is well under way. Back in November Miss V wrote about her excitement about the project. Since December they have been ripping up the road to lay new piping. It has caused some delays, but I've learned different work-a-rounds during construction times. I'm willing to sacrifice for beauty.

However, this week Miss V and the other residents in Fairfax Village received a letter from a resident stating that during and after the Great Streets Project, on-street parking on the 3900 block of Pennsylvania Ave would be eliminated. *** Makeitsay "WHAT?"*** Now we were prepared to deal with elimination of on-street parking during construction, but after is new information to all of us.

The on-street parking situation in this area is horrible right now. The street is bumper-to-bumper parked cars by 9:00 PM. I just want to point out that there is no mention of existing parking conditions in the Existing Conditions section of the Final Report. My guess is that someone probably drove up the street during the day when parking isn't an issue.

In all the meetings I've attended, I've never heard about this. I went to the DDOT website designated for this project only to be greeted by "Page cannot be found". I looked at the Final Report approved in 2007 and nowhere did I see mention of elimination of on-street parking.

Miss V sent the following email to the Public Outreach Coordinator for the project and Councilmember Alexander:

This week, Fairfax Village received a notice from one of our residents regarding the elimination of parking on Penn Ave at the completion of the project. We were anticipating parking pains during the construction process, but we were not informed that these pains would be permanent. I went to the outreach website specific to this project to learned that is has been deactivated. I reviewed the Final Report approved in 2007 and could not find any reference to the elimination of parking. Please confirm if the elimination of parking on Penn Ave is accurate information.

Regardless if the elimination of parking is accurate or not, I would like to suggest targeted outreach to Fairfax Village and residents who live on the north-side of Penn Ave to provide information on the project and answer questions within the next 60 days. In talking to my neighbors there is understandable concern given the existing lack of on-street parking.

Warmly,

Miss V

I'm anxiously awaiting a response. I will definitely keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sticking to Guns (no pun intended)

Hot off the press... The House has abandoned the DC Voting Bill. The issue: The Gun Amendment, which was added as a result of the lobbying efforts of the NRA. I know it was a hard decision for many of our elected leaders, but it was the right thing to do. The residents of DC should not have to settle. We should not have to give up our right to control local gun laws in order to have the right to have representation. It's funny that the same conservatives that think the Federal government should not meddle in their business have no issue meddling in our business.

We just need to keep fighting. We may have lost this battle, but we haven't lost the war. As Lenny Kravitz said "Darling, it ain't over til it's over."

We need to stick together

It looks like we are heading into Thursday's House vote with division among our elected leaders in DC. Mayor Fenty and Congresswoman Norton support the Bill even with the gun amendment. Chairman Vince Gray was the first to issue a strong statement against the bill that would preclude the local elected officials to legislate gun laws. Chairman Gray has not wavered or waffled from that position. (Ward 7 represent). Now as for the rest of the Council...

According to news sources, Councilmembers Cheh (Ward 3), Harry Thomas Jr (Ward 5), Michael Brown (at-large), and Kwame Brown (at-large) have all issued statements against the gun amendment. The only actual statement I was able to find online was on K. Brown's website: “I’m against passing voting rights if it means abrogating our ability to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia through constitutional gun laws,” said Councilmember Brown. “But we must stand together in the effort to achieve full statehood. Now is the time for voting rights but if it means we have erode our local governing authority, we must wait for a better opportunity to strike.”

Councilmember Alexander has also issued several statements, so I'm not entirely sure where she stands on the issue. On Thursday I received an email from the Councilmember's office stating that she pledged her support to Congresswoman Norton. Today Washington Post reports, "If the [gun] amendment is not removed, Alexander is non-committal as to whether to Congress should approve the voting rights bill."

The remaining Councilmembers have not issued statements to my knowledge. Interestingly enough the discussion among residents also seems to be divided. Some are willing to compromise and accept the gun amendment in order to get voting rights. Others are saying no compromise. You know where Miss V stands. So where does this leave us? A City divided?

Monday, April 19, 2010

We've come too far to compromise now

There so many hot topics this week and it's only Monday. I was in the Wilson Building for the mark-up on the District Facilities Master Plan Bill. It finished early, so I popped into the Public Roundtable on the March 30th shootings in SE. Miss V will write thoughts on that hearing later in the week. In that hearing, Councilmember-at-large Mendelson asked some of the panelist about their thoughts on the repeal of the DC gun laws attached to the DC Vote Bill which is going to the House this week for vote.

No one asked my opinion, so I will take my blog as an opportunity to offer it. I am completely and utterly against the gun law amendment that is attached to it. Violence is already bad enough with the gun laws that we have in place. In some situations, the gun laws allow MPD to get known drugdealers off the streets when they can't get enough evidence to charge them with distribution. It is absurd that we are allowing non-DC residents the power to push this amendment on us.

Furthermore, I'm extremely disappointed in Congresswoman Norton, Mayor Fenty, and President Obama for voicing their support in the Bill as it stands. I know it has been a long fight, but some times you have to say "No Compromise" and keep fighting. I'm for compromise, but getting representation at the expense of safety doesn't seem like a fair trade-off.

Washington Post quoted Congresswoman Norton from a statement she made last year: "There is no choice between a vote for American citizens and a completely unrelated and reckless gun bill . . . . That is an absurd exchange that no one would accept." Today a statement on her website reads: "I have given this fight all that I had. There is nothing left to do but make the hard decision. I believe residents would not want us to pass up this once-in-a-life-time opportunity for the vote they have sought for more than two centuries."

I encourage you to email your views to the Congresswoman. If you don't know what to say, you can thank my neighbor for example language.

Dear Honorable Congresswoman Norton,

My name is [Name], and I am a resident of Ward [x]. I have lived in [neighborhood] for the last [x] years. I am very aware of the "taxation without representation" reality of the District, which is why I am pleased to learn of the DC Voting Rights bill that is currently being endorsed by President Obama. This bill will give DC residents the voice that they are entitled to, and will help the city move forward on local issues. As a taxpayer, I am very excited to see the that the tide is finally changing in the right direction; but as a DC resident, I am very concerned about how the passing of this bill will lead to the decimation of DC's gun laws, per the efforts of Senator John Ensign.

First of all, DC is a federal city, and I don't understand how Congress would want to endorse the repealing of gun laws that help to keep our communities safe. Secondly, many communities east of the Anacostia River, are in the midst of upswing, but the reality is that crime continues to be a major problem. It was not that long ago that nine people were shot on South Capitol Street in Ward 8. The socioeconomic problems in Wards 7 and 8 are being addressed and conditions continue to improve, but we need gun laws to help keep our streets safe...especially for our children. And I am not just speaking on behalf of Ward [x], but rather as a resident of DC. We need safe streets...and that includes all streets in SE, SW, NE and NW.

If our guns laws are eliminated, all of our communities are at risk! I would encourage Senator Ensign to reevaluate his efforts on this bill. I don't believe that DC taxpayers should finally get the voice that they deserve at a cost. Safe streets equals safe communities, which also means future growth with the hopes of increased prosperity. Let's not take one step forward and two steps back!

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
Concerned and Proud Resident of DC

Ben's in Ward 7???


My friend just sent me this article from the Washington Post. I looks like Ben's is mulling over the idea of opening a Ben's Next Door at Penn Branch Shopping Center. Below is the article from Washington Post


Ben's Chili Bowl looking for franchise opportunities

By Jonathan O'Connell
Monday, April 19, 2010; 3

For 51 years, Ben's Chili Bowl has been a family-owned greasy spoon, a U Street fixture that bustled with hungry customers from breakfast to late at night.

Now it is on the verge of becoming a franchise.

Kamal and Nizam Ali, two of chili bowl founder Ben Ali's three sons, are considering extending the Ben's name into a chain that would bring the restaurant's famous chili and half-smokes to new locations locally and maybe around the world.

Even before their father died last October, the family had begun expanding the business, enlarging the original restaurant to accommodate peak crowds and tour buses, then signing a licensing deal to provide chili and half-smokes at Nationals Park. In 2008 the family opened an adjacent restaurant and bar, Ben's Next Door, and this February welcomed a visitors center, complete with a visual history of U Street and a Ben's gift shop.

Kamal Ali said that thanks to visits by Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, he has received franchise inquiries from as far away as Australia and Brazil. "Everything's got to a point where I'm ready to consider the next thing on my plate," he said.

Ali, a father of 9-year-old twins, said the family doesn't have the time or staff to manage new restaurants itself, so he has begun talking with franchisers and consultants about the best way to expand. The family already contracts with a Pennsylvania facility to produce Ben's famous chili; about 60,000 pounds are made there annually for sales at Nationals Park and through the company's mail order business, which makes about 100 shipments a month. The agreement "kind of gave us a model for what we can do in the franchise world," Ali said.

Developers have salivated over bringing Ben's to their buildings for years. Developer Chris Donatelli said interest would run high. "It's unique in that it's destination-oriented fast food. You have people that will travel across the city for their fast food," he said. Tim Chapman, another developer, tried to woo the Ali brothers recently. "The thing about Ben's Chili Bowl is you know what you're getting when you walk in there," he said.

The brothers have begun taking an early look at locations. On April 14, they scouted Penn Branch Shopping Center in Southeast D.C., where developers from ICG Properties plan a restaurant space that could accommodate a Ben's Next Door. "We'll consider it," Ali said.

Any expansion will require more than replicating the food, said Michael Seid, a West Hartford, Conn., franchise adviser who has spoken with the Ali brothers.

"The risk to Ben's is that when it is replicated into a franchise, the franchise has to embody the culture of Ben's as much as it does the product and the delivery of Ben's."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Runaway train

I watched most of the Sinclair Skinner hearing regarding the Department of Parks and Recreation contracts. The hearing can be summed up in two works: "train wreck". I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but Miss V was smelling something fishy coming from the Wilson Building. Mr. Skinner is an unsavory character that I wouldn't trust to watch my garbage. To the laymen, Mr. Skinner may appear knowledgeable about the principles of engineering. But to Miss V, who has a BS and MS in civil engineering, Mr. Skinner's testimony reeked of incompetence.

  • Mr. Skinner stated he has a degree in Mechanical Engineering. How does a mechanical engineer operate a civil engineering business? *raises brow* To the laymen, engineering is all the same. But engineers know that the knowledge gained from mechanical is not entirely (if at all) transferable to civil.
  • Mr. Skinner stated that he is a certified Engineer-in-Training. Newsflash to my laymen, EIT doesn't mean diddly squat. All it means is you passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.
  • Speaking of the FE exam.... I was puzzled that Mr. Skinner couldn't remember when he sat for the exam. I don't know an engineer alive who passed that 8-hour exam and couldn't tell you the month and year they took it. (Miss V took it in April 2001)
  • It is unethical to represent a company as an engineering company when there is no professional engineer (PE) on the payroll. According to Mr. Skinner's testimony, when he initially started his engineering company, his business partner was NOT a registered professional engineer. Miss V and her business partner each have two engineering degrees, but neither one of us are licensed as a PE. Nowhere will you find anything that says we perform engineering services. It would be unethical for us to do that.
  • Mr. Skinner said that LEAD is an engineering company that provides services in civil engineering. However, they subcontracted the engineering work to other firms. **side-eye** Okay, then what does his company do? Push paper?
I hope in the next hearing the Council press Skinner more about his qualifications and ethics as an engineer.

Memorable Council Quotables
  • "Just so you know, Mr. Bowden [Skinner's Attorney], as the Committee Chairman I will have the last word." - Councilmember Thomas (Ward 5)
  • "So even though I'm not an engineer, I can start Yvette Alexander Engineering?" - Councilmember Alexander (Ward7)
  • "The purpose of the CBE program is not to profit at levels that shock the conscience." - Councilmember-at-large Catania
  • "Who is watching DC taxpayer money? Who is watching the ship?" - Councilmember-at-large K. Brown.
  • "No you don't believe so, you know so" - Councilmember Barry (Ward 8).
  • "You talk about your relationship with the mayor. You talk to him all the time. You never talk business with your friend, ever?" - Councilmember-at-large M. Brown

Lunch at Ray's the Steaks East River....

I just had lunch at Ray's the Steaks East River. It was DA-LISH. I had the crabcake sandwich, which had NO filler. It was actual lump crabmeat with a really good tartar sauce. For my sides I had sweet potato french fries and a salad. Then for dessert I had a milk chocolate mousse.

The photos below are the meals of my lunch dates.


Taxation without representation

Miss V is in a mood right now... The more I get involved in different issues in DC, the more I understand how some long-time residents on East of the River can be so jaded about city politics. While the focus is on getting statehood so we can have representation on the national level, I'm just trying to figure out who represents the PEOPLE at the local levels. How did I get into this funk today? It's a cumulative effect of events of this week.

I learned yesterday that the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary will be holding a hearing on the "Crime Bill". I emailed Councilmember-at-large Mendelson requesting the Committee consider community outreach and/or meetings East of the River in light of recent events. This evening, I was informed by one of the staff members that the Committee would be holding a public oversight roundtable on "Community Views on the March 30, 2010 South Capitol Street Shootings" on April 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM to discuss the shootings that took place on South Capitol Street. **drops jaw** Make it say what?

Here's a thought, how about have a public roundtable on the shootings IN THE AFFECTED COMMUNITY at a time when the community can attend.

The Crime Bill is co-sponsored by Jack Evans (Ward - 2), who by the way wants to run for Chairman, and Jim Graham (Ward -1). On Councilmember Evans website is the following quote: “I have heard from numerous residents and civic associations on this issue - people are anxious to see any and all additional measures put in place to help keep our neighborhoods and residents safer.” I feel like I'm a relatively connected person (listservs, blogs, facebook, and such), so IF you had any outreach East of the River, I surely didn't hear about it. Running for Council Chair, are you? **raises brow**

THEN to end my night, a little birdy told me that there is a possibility the provision that requires the Mayor to hold a public hearing in the affected community before disposing of public property may be removed from DC regulations. **side-eye** Translation: The Mayor would be able to sell DC property in your neighborhood without your input.

I know it's not fair to lump everyone together, because there are actually 1 or 2 Councilmembers that show promise of being for the people (K. Brown and H. Thomas). Right now I feel like none of the elected officials are fighting for the people. Where is our representation???

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Money for high schools students


I posted yesterday that the application process is open for students in 3rd through 8th grade for the National Society of Black Engineers' (NSBE) Summer Engineering Experience for Kids. NSBE is also looking for High School students to be mentors in the program.

The High School students would need to commit to a one-week mentor training program in addition to the three-week SEEK camp. Students that complete the four-week mentor program will receive a $1,000 stipend.

Program Requirements:
  • Must submit one letter of recommendation for the position, a resume, and high school transcript to pci@nsbe.org
  • Must be a high school senior and have transportation to and from the school
  • Must be a NSBE member at the time of training (online membership @ www.nsbe.org)
  • Must be available for a phone interview or in person

Dates: July 5-20, 2010
Times: 8:00 AM - 3:30 pm
Location: Friendship Public Charter School, 2959 Carlton Ave NE

For more information on this opportunity, please contact Franklin Moore at (703) 549-2207 x 204.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Free Summer Camp for DC Students

When I was at the University of Maryland in the late-90's, I could count all the blacks students in civil engineering on one hand. As a graduate student in engineering, I was one of two blacks in my program. The engineering field is a very lucrative field that requires high aptitude in math and science. There no need for me to point out how well DC students are doing in those subjects. **side-eye** There are organizations that are trying to expose our young people to the world of engineering. One organization is particular is the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Miss V is proud Lifetime Member #39.

This summer, NSBE will be having their annual Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) July 12-30, 2010. SEEK is a three-week program targeting students in 3rd through 8th grades. This program will introduce students to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The program goals are to:
  • expose youth to STEM fields at an early age
  • provide daily hands-on activities to engage students in engineering design
  • fulfill the mission of NSBE: to increase the number of culturally responsible, black engineers who excel academically, succeed professional, and positively impact the community.
For students currently enrolled in grades 3rd-8th, SEEK will be held at Friendship Public Charter School's Blow Pierce Campus, 725 19th St NE.

Registration is now available, through April 30th or until all classes are filled. To register, visit www.nsbe.org or email pci@nsbe.org for more information. Tell them Lifetime Member #39 sent you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Your voice is your power... be heard

I was looking through the D.C. Council 2010 Hearing Schedule because I was looking for information on the Earth Day Roundtable for by business. During my search I discovered a public hearing scheduled for April 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM on Bill 18-595, Neighborhood and Victims Rights Amendment Act of 2009 (aka the Crime Bill). The Bill was introduced by Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Jim Graham (Ward 1).

From the summary it seems like East of the River has the potential to benefit by some of the provisions in the bill. However, I'm a little disappointed that there hasn't been more outreach regarding this bill in Wards 7 and 8, where we have crime hot spots. I asked a few ANC and civic leaders East of the River if they heard of the Bill and they all said no. **raises brow**.

This morning, I sent the following email to Councilmember-at-large Mendelson, Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary:

Councilmember Mendelson,

I was looking for another public hearing and I happened upon the hearing for Bill 18-595 scheduled for April 19, 2010. In light of the recent shooting events East of the River, in addition to the other challenges that our communities face, I would like to request that the committee host additional public hearings and/or community outreach at convenient times (evenings or weekends) and locations accessible to the community. This is an extremely important Bill that has the potential to impact many neighborhoods East of the River. I think the community should be afforded an opportunity to 1) understand the Bill and it's implications and 2) voice their concerns and opinions. I am aware that public testimony can be submitted May 3, but this an important issue and Bill, which deserve additional dialog and community outreach. I am willing to assist with any public hearings and/or community outreach East of the River.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmly,
Miss V

I'm waiting for his response. I emphasized to his staff that the community outreach could be tagged onto an existing meeting such as MPD District meetings, civic association, or even organization meetings.

At any rate, East of the River needs to be heard. To testify, contact Ms. Heidi Tseu, Committee Clerk or Ms. Deborah Kelly, Legislative Clerk for Councilmember Mendelson at 202-724-7808, by fax at 202-724-6664, or via email at dkelly@dccouncil.us, and provide your name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Thursday, April 15. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. The record will close on at 5pm May 3, 2010.

Snowmageddon brings spring flowers






Close, but no cigar

According to the U.S. Census response tracking map, the tract that includes Fairfax Village has a 63% response as of April 9, 2010. The national average is 65% and DC is 61%. We are on the right track, but we need to do better. The Fairfax Village newsletter came out today and there is an article on the Census 2010. Hopefully, that will help us boost more participation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Report any information to MPD

This morning around 2-2:30 AM, Miss V was woken from a deep sleep by gunshots in the parking lot/alley behind her building. .One of my neighbors said that when she called 9-1-1, several other people had called it in. I never heard sirens or saw flashing lights, but a neighbor told me that when he came home at 3:00 AM, a cop was sitting in the back of the parking lot. I don't have any other information.

If you have any information please contact MPD:
  • Call 3-1-1
  • Text 50411 from your cell phone
  • Call the anonymous tip line (888) 919-CRIME
To stay informed about crime in the neighborhood
  • Join the MPD-6D listserv: groups.yahoo.com/groups/MPD-6D
  • Attend a PSA 606 meeting, 3rd Wed of every month, 6:00 PM at the Lutheran Church on Alabama and Branch
  • Sign up for Alert DC

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good things come to Ward 7

Miss V stood in the heat of the day for the ribbon-cutting for Ray's the Steaks East River. It was one of those days where I couldn't stop smiling. To see the pride in the face of the elders of the community was probably the most touching moment for me. One of the community elders embraced me and said "Child, you don't know how long I waited for this day."

This day brought out the Mayor and Councilmembers Gray, Alexander, and K. Brown. Putting my feelings for Fenty aside, I thought he gave a great speech. He spoke from his heart and meant it. Gray added a little comedy. Alexander, looking flawless as always, seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. K. Brown was... well K. Brown. He is one of the most down-to-earth politicians I know.

Michael Landrum, a man who started as a poor busboy to rise to successful restaurateur, gave the final speech. He is currently employing 18 people from Wards 7 and 8. Eventually through his job training program, he will employ 40 people from Wards 7 and 8. He talked about people from West of the River and West of the Park crossing the bridge to come East of the River. The words "East of the River" never sounded so good.

Fenty giving his speech

Gray talking about a job "Well Done" (pun intended)

K. Brown giving his two cents

Two young high school ladies I recruited on the street to join the festivities.

Smiling at good things to come

K. Brown being K. Brown

Valet... yes that's how we do it in the 7

Inside.... I can't wait for my first meal

More photos




Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Patience is a virtue...

Well... There is good news and bad news. The good news is the ribbon cutting for Ray's the Steaks East River will be tomorrow at 3:30 pm (3905 Dix St NE). The bad news is Slick Willy Fenty will be there... hehe... Okay seriously, the bad news is the officially opening of the restaurant will be next week. Washington City Paper just broke the bad news.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Big Week: Openings and Closings

My bad for being MIA. Miss V has just returned from a conference in Toronto, Canada. I loved Toronto, but I'm glad to be home. This week is a big week for openings and closings.

April 5, 2010
Benning Library (3935 Benning Road NE) will be opening.

The new two-story library will be 22,000 square feet and feature:
  • 80,000 books, DVDs, CDs
  • Separate reading areas for adults, teens and children
  • 32 public access computers, free Wi-Fi
  • Large program room for up to 100 people, and two 12-person conference rooms

April 7, 2010
Ray's the Steaks (3905) Dix St NE

UPDATE: The ribbon cutting will be at 3:30 pm.


April 15, 2010
Francis A. Gregory Library will be closing at 5:30 PM. The interim library will open on Monday, May 10th at 2100 36th Pl SE. The interim library will remain open during the construction of the NEW Francis Gregory Library. The new library will be open in Spring 2011.