Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ward 7 Transportation Summit & Listening Tour - Summary Report

The planning committee has officially released the summary report of the Ward 7 Transportation Summit and Listening Tour. Visit the HCCA transportation committee website for the report.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mama Earth Art Opening

Disclaimer: Ms V is a member of the Environmental Art Committee for the Tubman-Mahan Art Gallery.

Mama Earth

Curated by Stephanie Shapiro, Curatorial Assistant
Authentic Contemporary Art/Tubman-Mahan Art Gallery @ The Center for Green Urbanism

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 8, 2011
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
3938 Benning Road NE (across the street from Benning Library)
Live music by

For up to date information on opening: visit the Facebook invite

Exhibition Dates: April 8 – May 6, 2011

Mama Earth is a visual celebration of the beauty of the planet Earth. The show encompasses feng shui (literally meaning wind and water) – the Chinese art of placement to bring balance and harmony to a physical space (e.g. bedroom). Feng Shui is based on having good energy – called chi, and its positive flow.

Throughout the exhibition, viewers will be able to enjoy the pieces from not only an aesthetic perspective, but also of chi and Feng Shui. Mama Earth will allow give viewers a chance to see our world macroscopically – in the big picture where Earth is part of the solar system, as well as microscopically on an elemental level where atoms are the building blocks of earth and what makes up not only us, but everything else.

Artists Participating:

Maria Byrk
Kimberly Gaines
Amy Kincaid
Tina Lassiter
Caitlin Masters
Russ McIntosh
Otis Motley
Christin Nicoll Parson
Heather Schmaedeke
Sydnei SmithJordan
Nancy Wallace

The Center for Green Urbanism is open Monday-Friday, 10 am – 5 pm and on weekends by appointment.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Play the Redistricting Game

Yesterday, the Census Bureau released its detailed population estimates for
the District of Columbia. This process kicks off the decennial debate over
redrawing DC's wards. The boundaries of 2, 7, and 8 will have to shift,
which will likely affect some of the other wards as well.

To encourage more resident input, I've created a web application that lets
you do the redistricting yourself. You can see the populations and
boundaries of each ward and click to move areas between wards until they
balance out.

I will be aggregating all of the maps and recommendations from residents to
create a report for the DC Council. I hope that many of you will take a few
minutes to make your own map, both because it's fun and also to ensure we
have a wide range of resident views for the analysis. You can even share the
map you create with your friends via email, twitter, facebook, and more.

David Alpert, Greater Greater Washington []

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

East of the River Dialog Series

If you're a resident of one of the many East-of-the-River communities, please join George Washington University in collaboration with Peace Fellowship Church, Visions to Peace Project, in a series of five-week community dialogue sessions. The sessions will focus on issues of relevance to our community, and will be an opportunity to voice opinions, share stories, build relationships, reflect, connect, empathize and better understand.

When: Every Saturday from March 26 – April 23, 1:00p – 3:00p (Lunch will be served at 12:30p)

Where: Peace Fellowship Church, 4339 Hunt Place, NE

Travel: Three Blocks from the Minnesota Ave metro and off the U8, U2, V7 and X9 bus lines

Please plan to join us!

Come on get Happy

(Photo Source:

Join the Sierra Club's Transportation Committee for a transit happy hour :

Monday, March 28th

Uniontown Bar and Grill
2200 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

Help keep Ward 7 beautiful on April 9th

Click image to enlarge

Annual Twining/Dupont Park Spring Clean Up
Saturday, April 9 (Earth Day);
Meeting on the corner of 2900 blk Fairlawn Avenue & 2900 blk M Place, SE.

& briefing starts @ 9am

State of the Ward - March 30th

(Click image to enlarge)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Revolution will NOT be Televised

Sharing some information on behalf of my Deanwood neighbors. They have been fighting against Uncle Lee's Seafood petition for a Class A Liquor License since December 2010. Neighbors have met with both store and property owners and attended ABRA hearings, all to no avail. They are now planning a protest rally for April 2, 2011 at Uncle Lee's (intersection of Eastern, Division and Sheriff NE) to bring more attention to the larger Ward 7 community.

As you can see in the photo below, there are already two liquor stores on two corners on the Maryland side of the street.

Ms. V wouldn't be opposed if Uncle Lee's was going to upgrade their store to look more like Cornercopia at 1000 3rd St SE (Near Southeast). Doesn't Cornercopia look like an inviting neighborhood serving market?
(image by Erik Weber posted on

Yet, instead we'll more than likely get something that looks like the liquor store across the street in Maryland.
Which attracts ignorance as displayed in this music video that was recorded at Uncle Lee's with permission of the owner.
We do not need another liquor store in our community! We have too many already. Ms V urges you all come out and support our Deanwood Neighbors...what happens to one part of our Ward, affects us all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Stew: What's Cooking

For over almost 2 years, two properties near Fairfax Village have caused Ms V heartburn. They've allow trash and other debris to collect. They allow shrubbery to grow out of control. If I have learned nothing from my community elders, it's Hillcrest has standards. The Hillcrest community prides itself on it manicure and maintain landscapes. Ms V will worry about tomorrow, when tomorrow comes. Now, I'll enjoy the moment of little victories.

VACANT LOT - 38th Street (2250 38th Street)

FINALLY, Ms V has received a small victory. This property located on 38th Street SE has been discussed ad nauseum on this blog in June 2009, July 2009, August 2009, Wednesday Stews, and March 2011. I even took my grievances to the Washington Post "The Daily Gripe". This morning as I'm walking my dogs, I see a DPW crew out there removing the trash, debris and overgrown brush. My neighbor and I walked over to tell them how thankful we were that this was being addressed. The last night she and I walked by the property there were liquor bottles, car windshields, condoms, and food containers on the property.

While I'm still being bounced back and forth between DCRA and DDOT over the construction fence, this little victory gives me hope.

Fairfax Village Shopping Center
The hedges along Pennsylvania Ave are GONE!!!! *happy dance*. Ms V couldn't stand those stupid hedges. The property manager didn't maintain them so the grew too tall, creating a safety hazard for pedestrians crossing at the exits/entrances of the shopping center. All types of trash and debris collected in them. As part of the Pennsylvania Ave Great Streets construction, they were removed yesterday to make way for a wider sidewalk. I sincerely hope DDOT does NOT put back hedges, since the property owner doesn't know how to maintain them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chili Cook-Off

The Annual Friends of Francis A. Gregory Library Chili Cook-Off will take place:

Saturday March 19, 2011, 12:00-3:00 PM
Hillcrest Recreation Center
2100 Denver Street SE,
Washington, DC 20020.

It is contest to find the best chili for 2011. You are invite to taste the each entry to help find the best chili. Hereis the link for the entry form. Drop it off by March 16, 2011 at the Francis A. Gregory Interim Library, 2100 36th Place SE, Washington, DC 20020. This is also a bake and book sale. Please come!

Ward 7 Transportation Summit Recap

Ms V is happier than a pig in slop. The Ward 7 Transportation Summit & Listening Tour with Councilmembers Wells and Alexander was a success. We had about 40 people show up representing residents, DDOT, and WMATA. We shared challenges and solutions for how transportation can work better for Ward 7 residents. The planning committee for the summit took copious notes that we hope to share via the listservs before the end of the month.

Here are somethings we discussed:
  • Looking at better public transportation connections within the Ward
  • Security concerns on certain bus lines during the evening hours.
  • Potential to relocation some of the Bikeshare to assist with closing connection gaps
  • Lack of bus shelters
  • How to improve reliability of the existing system, including accuracy of NextBus
  • Improving communication when buses are rerouting during snow storms
  • Alleviating overcrowded buses
  • Increasing bikeshare usage in Ward 7
Clearly this does not capture the entire conversation, but I just wanted to wet your appetite.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TRAFFIC ADVISORY - Pennsylvania Ave SE

In other words, it's about to be a rough 90 days for us.

For Immediate Release
Friday, March 11, 2011
Media Contact: John Lisle at (202) 671-2004


Lane Closures and Parking Restrictions Planned for Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Work is Part of Pennsylvania Avenue Great Streets Project

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will be closing the lane on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE between Fort Davis Street and Southern Avenue for approximately 90 days starting on Saturday, March 12, 2011, weather permitting. The lane closure will be required to accommodate the reconstruction of the curb, gutter and sidewalks in this area.

While this lane is closed curbside parking will remain restricted. “No Parking” signs will be in place to provide warning.

The driveway on Pennsylvania Avenue that leads to the Fairfax Village parking lot will be maintained open.

Temporary signs will be in place to alert and guide the traveling public through this area.

The Pennsylvania Avenue Great Streets project covers 2 miles of construction, from 200 ft. west of 27th Street to Southern Avenue. To obtain more information about this project, you may visit the project field office at 2410 Minnesota Avenue, SE, go online at or Contact DDOT’s Project Engineer Luan Tran at 202-671-4649.

Congressional Hockey Challenge

Ms V attended the 3rd Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge last night. The Lawmakers (US Reps & US Senators) versus the Lobbyists hockey game raised over $100,000 for the Fort Dupont Ice Arena and the Fort Dupont Hockey Club. Playing for the lawmakers: Senator John Kerry; Representatives Pat Meehan, Anthony Weiner, Brian Higgins, Mike Quigley, and Larry Bucshon; and Congressional staffers. There had to be well over 500 people in attendance. The final score was Lawmakers 3.... Lobbyist 5.

I really can't explain the feeling at had at the game, but I like lists.... so let me try to break it down.... here we go:

1. This event was at the Verizon Center
My neighbor and I were discussing that this was more than what we expected. The three middle sections of the Verizon Center were packed on one side. They eventually opened the middle section on the other side. There was one concession stand open as well. I'm still impressed at this event being held at the Verizon Center. Ted Leonis, owner, was there the whole game.

2. Senator John Kerry cares about OUR kid
Yes there were other members of Congress there, but Sen. Kerry is the most "famous". Here a former Presidential candidate was taking time out of his day to play a hockey game for our kids. He was actually pretty smooth on the ice.

3. VIPs care about OUR kids
Sure maybe some of them had a hidden agendas. Regardless of why there were there, they were there. In attendance: NHL Commissioner, first black hockey player in the NHL, Stanley Cup winners. Sorry I don't remember their names. Ms V isn't much of a hockey person.

4. This was ALL for OUR Kids.
Clearly, this event was the result of a lot of effort. The uniforms, the programs books, the silent auction items, everything..... it was all for our kids. This event was a big to do and without being there I don't know if I can adequately capture the event.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fundraiser for Fort Dupont Cannons

Come out tomorrow evening and support this great event raise money for the Fort Dupont Cannons. Want to see US lawmakers take on the lobbyist in a head to head Hockey battle?

DATE: Thursday, March 10, 2011
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Verizon Center, Main Entrance on F Street

Greetings Everyone --

For three years, now, I have had the pleasure to be involved with the Congressional Hockey Challenge, a charity ice hockey game pitting members of Congress, congressional staff and executive branch employees against federal lobbyists to raise money for the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, and the Fort Dupont Ice Arena. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and NHL greats Pat Lafontaine, Willie O'Ree, Kevin Weekes and others will be in attendance. Washington Capital Mike Knuble will drop the first puck.

Members playing this year are Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IL), and Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA).

It promises to be a great game -- The Lawmakers won 6-4 in 2009, and the Lobbyists roared back 7-2 in 2010.

See below for information about the charities and the event. Thanks to the generosity of the Washington Capitals and the National Hockey League, this year's Challenge wll be played on Thursday evening, March 10 at 6pm at Verizon Center, home of the Washington Capitals. Doors open at 5:45, and tickets can be purchased for a suggested donation of $10 to the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club.

Please come and bring friends and family -- the Caps will have concession stands open, so you can all drink draft beer and start screaming at us in the third period. I hope to see you there!

Warm Regards
-- Nick Lewis, #66, Left Wing, Lobbyists

For more information, please visit: THE 3rd ANNUAL CONGRESSIONAL HOCKEY CHALLENGE

The Fort DuPont ice Arena is in dire financial condition, and is at risk of closing. All proceeds from the 3rd Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge will go directly to the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club, which will share fifty percent of the proceeds with the Fort DuPont Ice Arena. This will help ensure the Arena remains on stable footing, and that the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club can continue its mission.

Founded in 1978 by Neal Henderson, The Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club is an NHL-sponsored, award-winning 501 (c) (3) charitable organization providing local and inner-city youth with the opportunity to participate in an organized ice hockey program. Participants have a wide range of experience in skating and game play and ages range from 8 to 17. The program provides teaches young people discipline through athletics and coaching, and helps establish self-esteem, a sense of purpose, and offers an incentive to excel academically. The benefits of organized sports extend far beyond the rink: the girls and boys who join the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club learn life skills. As these children grow, they will become better citizens and will learn to give respect and anticipate respect. Children participating in the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club have a 100 percent high school graduation rate, and over 90 percent continue to higher education.

The home rink of the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club, the Fort DuPont Ice Arena is situated on National Park Service land and operated by Friends of Fort DuPont Ice Arena, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. The Arena is the only public indoor ice rink in the city of Washington. Fort DuPont Ice Arena has been named as an America's Promise "Safe Place" - a safe place for young people with structured activities during non-school hours. This designation was awarded to the Arena in December of 2001 by America's Promise, the Alliance for Youth organization founded by General Colin L. Powell. It serves as an anchor in its community and as a place of refuge for children in need by providing skating instruction and classroom activities free of charge, or at highly affordable rates.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For all your special election news

Neighbors are you having trouble keeping up with all the Special Elections happenings? No need to struggle any further. Martin Austermuhle of DCist has created an Special Elections website. Learn about the candidates, keep up with latest news, and see a calendar of events.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Community Dinner at Thai Orchid

Community Dinner
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 7-8:30PM
Thai Orchid's Kitchen
2314 Pennsylvania Ave SE

Bring your kids, bring your wife, and bring your husbands, because we're feeding everybody... $10/per person for buffet (does NOT include drinks, tax or tip)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kinda, Sorta, Maybe

Well.... Ms V is finally getting somewhere with this vacant lot located on 38th Street SE. Since June 2009, I've been trying to get someone to address this issue. I thought I was getting close to a resolution in August 2009. Alas here it is March 2011 and this vacant lot still is the bane of the block.

Quick background.... The developer IDS DC Inc planned to build five single-family homes. They were over priced and out of context with the neighborhood, so they've had trouble selling them. Only four were built. The developer stopped building in late 2008, and left the community with:

an unmaintained vacant lot with a foundation.... and

a construction fence that is in the right of way.... Note: there is no sidewalk on the other side of the street.

One of the biggest issues related to getting assistance is providing a street address. The developer didn't subdivide the lot, so it was associated with 3802 Suitland Road. However, recently the developer must have divided the lot, because now I have an address (2250 38th St SE). This gives Ms V a glimmer of hope.

Unfortunately, I learned from DCRA that the developer can leave just the foundation as long as it isn't deemed dangerous. Le Boo..... On the bright side, I put in a request to DPW to have the tree overgrowth and the debris removed from the lot. As of this weekend there were liquor bottles galore, car windshields, and who knows what else down in the creek. In addition, I requested DDOT to investigate moving the construction fence so pedestrians can comfortably walk down the sidewalk. Ms V is keeping hope alive.