Friday, May 28, 2010

Paying homage

Earlier this month, Miss V competed with three friends in the DC Challenge. We were given 12 clues to solve. Then as a team we had to go to the location of each clue and take a photo as a team. Despite getting in a good workout in a fun way, I learned some new things about DC that I never knew.

One clue led us to the DC War Memorial. It's tucked in the trees immediately south of the reflecting pool. Honestly in all the times I've been to the Lincoln Memorial, I've never noticed it. The Memorial bares the names of the 26,000 Washingtonians that fought in World War I. The base of the Memorial has the names of the 499 Washingtonians that died during the war. The Memorial is unknown to many, but if you find yourself on the Mall this weekend, I encourage you to pay your respects.

To all the service men and women, Miss V thanks you for your service.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

East meets Southeast

I had dinner tonight with my neighbors at the new Thai restaurant that opened earlier this week. Thai Orchid located at 2314 Pennsylvania Ave (where Granny's Kitchen used to be) is the newest addition to our "Places to Eat" East of the River.

During the construction, one of my neighbors informed us the restaurant was coming, however, they were installing plexiglass. After that neighbor asked them to reconsider their decision, they did NOT install the plexiglass. The inside is quaint with a blend of Thai and Western cultures. They could stand to add more tables and chairs, but maybe that will come with time.

The food is EXCELLENT. For appetizers we had Spring Rolls. Be warned, they are temperature hot. I ate Chicken Pad See Eww for my entree. My neighbors had Chicken Pad Thai and Seafood Vegetables. For dessert we shared Fried Bananas with Honey and Mango with Sticky Rice. I had a Thai Tea to drink. It was all DA-LISH.

The downside to Thai Orchid is the location. There is plenty of parking next to Twining Square, however, we had to go across the bridge and come back to go eastbound on Pennsylvania Ave SE. I'm sure there is an easier way, but if so, it's not intuitive.

I'll definitely be back for some good Thai food.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Awww... so I see.

At last night's Ward 7 Townhall/Crime Summit I asked a question about an issue in my neighborhood regarding how many times someone can be rearrested before they are held. Chief Judge Lee Satterfield of DC Superior Court had one of his staff members approach me to get the name of the offender in question. Keeping it real, I didn't think they were going to contact me, but I got a call today from one of his staff.

His staff told me that drug possession with intent to sell is a misdemeanor and not a felony, as I thought. According to DC law they cannot hold someone for a misdemeanor. Even though this person has a rap sheet a few pages long, because he has no prior felonies he still can't be held.

I sincerely appreciate the information, but I it leaves me to ask why isn't drug possession with intent to sell across the street from an elementary school a felony? Why isn't there a threshold for how many times you can be arrested with a misdemeanor before your trial?

At least I learned something

Miss V attended the Ward 7 Townhall/Crime Summit with a small posse of residents from Fairfax Village. Knowing that everyone would have on their suits, Miss V decided dress militant. I had on my "For Freedom Rise Up" t-shirt, jeans, and chuck taylors. I even wore the blown out afro. If I could find my keffiyeh, I would have worn that too. Miss V is ridiculous for no reason, but enough about me.

It must be election season, because the crews were OUT. Councilmember-at-large Brown had his people right at the door. Councilmember Gray had a table manned by several gray-haired people with t-shirts. As a side note, Gray needs to figure out how to get some younger people campaigning for him. Just saying. Councilmember-at-large candidate Clark Ray had his crew their too. No one from the Green Machine, or whatever it's called, was there. **raises brow**

The evening started with everyone giving a four-minute introduction on what their department does and their role in the public safety arena. My big take away is there too many cooks in the kitchen and too many pipes in the pipeline. I "think" after having a personalized explanation that I'm clear on the distinction between the US Attorney's Office and the Office of the Attorney General. In my little opinion, it seems like an offender changes "hands" too many times between the time he/she is brought to the police station and their trial date.

My ears perked up when Susan Shaffer, Director of Pretrial Services Agency, mentioned that typically offenders are released if they are not a flight risk and do not pose a danger to the community. Typically the release agreements include not getting arrested again before trial. **side-eye** Miss V jumped all over that one considering there is a resident of Fairfax Village who has was arrested TWICE in the last two weeks on felony charges and he's probably chilling outside in front of his building now.

After the meeting ended, two judges and a staff person from pretrial services approached me to find out more information. Who knew that I was that interesting? **shrugs**. All-in-all, I'm glad I went.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things that go bump in the night - Part II


I was tipped off by on of my neighbors that Wings to Go was coming to Fairfax Village Shopping Center (3800 block of Pennsylvania Ave SE). There is a sign hanging over the old Seafood Market sign, in addition to a sign draped across the bushes. They magically appeared on Monday morning. I was finally able to get out there today to take photos.

Miss V is indifferent (yes I know, you're shocked I don't have an opinion).... While there are other eateries that I would like to see in the space, Wing to Go would be an upgrade from the nasty Seafood Market that was there. If there wings are any good, it will save me from having to drive to satisfy my wing cravings (which I get often). Perhaps it would encourage Danny's (Chinese Carry-out), the Deli, and the liquor store to upgrade their appearance. I just hope they don't install the plexiglass and they allow for a few tables for people to sit and eat.

Miss V plans to contact the Corporate Office tomorrow to get more information, such as the opening date, whether they will be hiring from the community, and to see if I can get a sneak peek at the proposed interior designs. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Parking Stays!!!!

DDOT has issued the following Fact Sheet for Fairfax Village. One of our residents sent a letter stating that there would be no parking on Pennsylvania Ave once the project finished, which caused some uncertainty regarding our parking future. Miss V is happy to report that the parking on Pennsylvania Ave SE from Fort Davis to Southern Ave WILL be reinstated.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ward 7 Townhall Meeting/Crime Summit

Calling Ward 7.... The Ward 7 Townhall Meeting and Crime Summit is featuring representatives from agencies in DC and not to mention judges. I know Miss V has two burning questions: HOW CAN WE STOP THE REVOLVING DOOR???? HOW CAN WE PREVENT OFFENDERS FROM BEING BACK ON THE STREET HOURS AFTER BEING ARRESTED???

True story from the Village. This past December, a resident of Fairfax Village was arrested for assaulting a teenager during a PCP "trip". She bit his face leaving a laceration that required emergency medical attention. This was on a Wednesday, but by Friday she was back on the street. When her trial came 8-weeks later, she walked out with "NOT GUILTY" all because the victim didn't show up. A GUILTY person is now walking the streets of DC, because of our "justice system" Not to mention that she has a felony criminal past. **She has since moved out of Fairfax Village**

COME OUT AND BE HEARD!!!!!

Ward 7 Townhall Meeting/Crime Summit

Thursday, May 20, 2010

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Kelly Miller Middle School Auditorium

301 49th Street NE, Washington , DC

Featuring

D.C. Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7

At-Large D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chairperson, Committee on

Public Safety & Judiciary

Chief Cathy L. Lanier, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department

Commander Robert Contee, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Sixth District

Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield, D.C. Superior Court

Judge Robert R. Rigsby, Presiding Judge, East of the River Community Court, D.C. Superior Court

Judge Zoe Bush, Deputy Presiding Judge, Family Court , D.C. Superior Court

Magistrate Judge Richard H. Ringell, Presiding Judge, D.C. Misdemeanor & Traffic Community Court, D.C. Superior Court

Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

Susan Shaffer, Director, D.C. Pretrial Services Agency

Jasper Ormond, Associate Director, Community Justice Programs, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia

Peter Krauthamer, Deputy Director , D.C. Public Defender Service

Robert Hildum, Deputy Attorney General, Public Safety Division, D.C. Office of the Attorney General

Marc Schindler, Interim Director, D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

Janice Quintana, Director, D.C. Office of Unified Communications

Linda Jo Smith, Chairperson, Sixth District Citizens Advisory Council

HOT OFF PRESS: Chipotle speaks

One of my neighbors emailed Chipotle about why they declined free rent at The Grays, located East of the River. The response is below.


Thank you for writing us! We’ve been watching this area for about three years now, and we’re really happy to see the area changing. But we feel that the area is still a long way from having the right day parts necessary to support one of our restaurants. We’ll be there at some point but probably not at least for the next 18 months when three more developments come on line. Furthermore, it is the initial density of people and capital cost that weigh most heavily on our bottom line - so even with free rent, unfortunately our numbers just don’t work at this point in time. That said, we are definitely pushing the envelope on new deals and going into trade areas that have challenged or limited day parts in the DC area for the future, so please keep your fingers crossed, and we appreciate your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Joe Stupp
Chipotle

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blue Angels in the Hood

I snapped this on my blackberry, while walking my dogs. The Blue Angels are practicing for the air show. I'd like to think that Fairfax Village got our own special show!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time to mobilize, Soldiers

Miss V got a little emotional yesterday and to be clear, I make no apologies. We are in a state of crisis with our young people. How many more have to die until something is done??? DYRS is a joke. The DC Justice system is a revolving door. MPD is hit or miss (side bar: the officers of PSA 606 are awesome).

Councilmember-at Large Phil Mendelson, Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary, is hosting a Public Safety Community Meeting on June 1st at the Covenant Baptist Church (3845 S. Capitol Street SW... although if you are using google maps its SE) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

We need to have a presence. We need to ask questions, articulate problems, and most important BRING SOLUTIONS.

In recent months some important pieces of legislation have floated through this committee. In addition, last year the "Blueprint for Action" was released. Soldiers, we must read up and prepare ourselves. If there is anything you don't understand in these documents, write down your questions and bring them to the meeting.

Study Materials

Monday, May 10, 2010

When will it end???

Miss V is saddened by the loss of another bright, young child in our community. While I didn't know this young man personally, I did have the pleasure of meeting him. Even if I never met him, he still belongs to us. Yes, as a community he is our child. Family, we have to understand that each and every one of these kids belong to us. We might not be their mama, or grandma or their auntie... We might not be their daddy or their uncle... We might not be a cousin, but they still belong to us.

As much as I love to have a Pollyanna view of the life, I realize we can't save them all. Not right now at least. Some of them have been possessed by thoughts so demonic that they have no respect for any human life. These thoughts were created from the hate that brews in environments they were raised in. Daddy is beating mommy.... mommy is on drugs... they've heard motherfucker and nigga so many times they start to think it's their own name. Maybe all we can do is pray for them.

However, there are kids we can save. The ones living on the cusp. The ones that are living in tough situations, but have the ability to be that rose that grows through the concrete. The kid that if they could find just one person to smile at them... one person to treat them with respect... one person to treat them as a child of God, they can stay on the right path.

Let's start today, community. When you see a young person, smile and say "Good morning" or if you have a little more time ask them about school. You are NOT too busy!

WAKE UP: Groundwork for the Revolution

People have asked me for my opinion of the Mayoral candidates, because I live East of the River, I'm a blogger, and my feelings for Slick Willy Fenty are well-known. Without going into an analysis of the candidates, here is my opinion... **dramatic pause**. It doesn't matter. **gasp**. Yes I said it. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who wins the Mayoral election. Vince Gray, Slick Willy Fenty, Leo Alexander.... doesn't matter.

In my short little revolutionary life I've come to realize that the elected leadership doesn't matter, because the elected leaders cannot save us. There is too much poverty pimping and politicking for the leaders to save us. Sorry... ain't happening.

The people are angry, which makes Wards 7 and 8 ripe for a revolution and real change. However, we need to WAKE UP. We need to understand that we have the power, the knowledge, the resources, and the expertise within our community to rebuild our community with or without the assistance of the elected leaders.

In the words of Che Guevara, "Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mea Culpa

Miss V apologizes for disappearing on you. With so much going in our community, my thoughts were all over the place. I had a step away from it all for a few days to clear my head. Over the next few weeks, be prepared to see Miss V take her analysis of life to a whole new level. I will say some things that will make people uncomfortable, but some times you have to shake things up to get the conversation started.

I have to issue a "mea culpa" to DPW. I made fun of them for wasting gas by constantly circulating my block. Usually there is NO parking after 9pm, not even the illegal space. However, in the last week, I've come home after 11 pm, to find 4-5 parking spaces. I don't know if there is a direct correlation or not, but since DPW has be cruising through the Village, there is more street parking at night. Maybe DPW is keeping the riff-raff away. **shrug**