Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bike Trails East of the River

Greater Greater Washington has a great analysis on trails East of the River.

Road design, topography, and the arrangement of parkland make biking east of the Anacostia River difficult. However, that parkland also creates an opportunity to add miles of bike trails to stand in for the connectivity that on-street routes are unable to provide.

In fact, there is the potential to add trails east of the Anacostia river that would equal more bike trails than the rest of DC combined. Despite this, the area's history is unfavorable to bike usage.

Most of the infrastructure east of the river was planned after the widespread adoption of the automobile. As a result it is fractured, with a discontinuous street grid which makes for traffic sewers and circuitous routes. Furthermore, the width and scale of the roads were designed around cars, making it difficult for DDOT to add in bike lanes without taking out traffic lanes or parking.

Click here for full post.

Tell DDOT what you want

Ms V in her role as Chair of the Street, Traffic and Transportation Committee went to bat for our little community. I'm a member of the BikeShare and I love the program. I just wish we had a location near the Village. I've been bugging DDOT since before the program started. A week ago I rolled up in their office to lobby for us. On Friday DDOT met with us. Visit the committee's blog for a recap.

*Steps out of committee role and into activist role* The committee and our commissioner, Robert Jordan (ANC 7B06) have spoken on your behalf. Now its your turn.

Community, please email DDOT
ddot.bikeshare@dc.gov to let them know you want a BikeShare station near Fairfax Village, preferably the triangle park at 38th Street, Alabama Ave and Pennsylvania Ave. Please CC: Robert (7B06@anc.dc.gov) and I (vod2@cornell.edu) on the email.

If you need some talking points see bullets below:
  • State if you are a member. If you haven't activated your membership, tell DDOT why you haven't.
  • If you aren't a member, state you will commit to joining if we get a station.
  • Fairfax Village is a working class and middle income neighborhood with bike enthusiasts of all ages
  • Many residents of Fairfax Village do not have own a motor vehicle and we do not have a metro station
  • A bike station in Fairfax Village would connect us to Good Hope Marketplace, Penn-Branch, Fort Dupont Park, Benning Library, Minnesota-Pennsylvania Ave (YES and Thai Orchid)
  • PSA 606 is a low crime area

Vacant Lot: 2250 38th Street

The only property that irks me more than the Fairfax Village Shopping Center is 2250 38th Street SE. It's the vacant lot that on 38th that sits between Suitland Road and W St. Please neighbors, report this property. Call 311 or submit a service request online at http://311.dc.gov/. Here are photos taken on Friday.

The fence is in part of the public space and with the overgrown weeds the sidewalk is impassable.

Woman had to duck to get under the trees

There lies the foundation of the house that was never built

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ward 7 Community Meeting on Redistricting

Looks like Ward 7 will finally have a redistricting meeting convened by our Councilmember. Fresh off the press, well inbox.
Ward 7 Community Meeting: Redistricting
Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Department of Employment Services
Community Room-Ground Level
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20019

Hosted by Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander

Please come out to speak with Councilmember Alexander and share your questions and concerns about redistricting in Ward 7 and throughout the District of Columbia.

Office of Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 400 ~ Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-724-8068 ~ Website: www.yvettealexander.org

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mayor to Walmart: Skyland or else

Hot off twitter is an interesting article by Jonathan O'Connell from Washington Post. The opening paragraph says it all...
D.C. Mayor Vincent D. Gray delivered an ultimatum in a face-to-face meeting with Wal-Mart officials at a real estate convention Monday: If the chain wants to enter the District at all, it had better commit to opening at Skyland Shopping Center, the long-delayed redevelopment project in Gray’s home ward that he considers the most important development project in the city.

For entire article, Click here.

Be Heard..... Take Survey for Interim Uses at Skyland

The Skyland saga continues.... BUT at least something is happening. Demolition could start as early as the Fall of this year with development starting 18-24 months later. The Office of the Deputy Mayor's for Planning and Economic Development is currently requesting community input for how to use the property in the interim period between demolition development.

Ms V took the survey already. I'd like to see things that bring the community together like a farmer's market or an area for movie night. I doubt my idea will go over well, but I put in the comments I'd like to see a fenced in dog play area. Never hurts to ask.

Tell DMPED what YOU want to see. Here is the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Skyland

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CM Mendelson Discusses Redistricting in Ward 7

Thanks to Franklin Garcia from DC Democractic State Committee for taping.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Washington City Paper shows Thai Orchid's Kitchen some love

Chris Shott profiled Thai Orchid's Kitchen in the upcoming edition of the Washington City Paper. We all know how I feel about Thai Orchid's Kitchen.... Kudos for Mr. Shott for a well written piece!!!!! Check out his piece called Thai Me a River.

Here is an excerpt that explain how our community turned lemons into lemonade:

You can probably guess what happened next. One night this past December, three masked gunman entered the eatery and robbed the joint. The perps didn’t get away with much. “Just some money, but that’s nothing,” Bhagirat says, adding that none of the family members who staff his restaurant were hurt during the incident. “We told them, ‘We don’t handle much cash here.’ We don’t get that much traffic. We generate most of our orders online.”

Ironically, the scary stick-up turned out to be the best thing to happen to Bhagirat’s restaurant since it opened. “That’s why we’re getting so popular,” he says.

The very next day, neighbors organized a luncheon at Thai Orchid’s in an attempt to convince the family not to pack up and leave. The event has since morphed into a monthly community buffet, where neighbors are encouraged to sample various Thai dishes many have never tried before. Some newer customers even suggested changes to the menu; fried rice with bits of grilled salmon is one such addition.

For those of you that haven't had their food yet, you are missing out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Redistricting Convo comes to Ward 7

Ward 7 needs to be larger, but how? Ward 6 has already fired the first shot. They made it clear they don't want to come to Ward 7 or 8. Even the part of Ward 7 that is West of the River is trying to move back to Ward 6. There is an option where the Ward 7 part of Fairlawn moves to Ward 8, and then Ward 7 takes part of Ward 5.

All that to say, come out to the Ward 7 Dems meeting this Saturday for a conversation with Councilmember Phil Mendelson about redistricting.

Ward 7 Democrats Monthly Meeting

Saturday, May 21, 2011
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church
5109 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave., NE
(near the intersection of Nannie Helen Burroughs Aves., NE)

Topic: The Redistricting of Ward 7 and the entire District of Columbia

Speaker: Councilmember Phil Mendelson

Come out and listen as Councilmember Phil Mendelson speaks about the 2011 redistri ting process as it relates to WRd 7 and the entire Districtof Columbia.

Refreshments will be served

Ward 7 Democrats
P.O. Box 62401
Washington, DC 20029
(202) 584-8477

Skyland.... the saga continues

Skyland has has so many starts and stops that Ms V has entered a state of cautious optimism. Mayor Gray, Attorney General Irvin Nathan and DMPED Victor Hoskins have all stated that Skyland is a high priority. In Mr. Hoskins confirmation hearing, he so eloquently called Skyland a symbold for what hasn't happened.

At the last ANC meeting DMPED asked the community to begin thinking about some interim uses for the property because demolition would begin soon. Ms V has heard the word "soon" with Skyland so many times that I'm not sure what "soon" means anymore.

Liz Farmer from the Examiner reports:
A spokesman for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development said the District plans to do "some phased demolition this fall on parts that we control" and is now beginning outreach with the community for input on the site.

"Right now, we're trying to get everybody ready for the development in and of itself," Jose Sousa said. "It will take another 18 to 20 months to settle all these cases."

For full article, click here.
After all the false alarms, I guess this is the real deal. Starting thinking about some interim uses you'd like to see on the site.

Briding Communities

Being a community is about the people, the businesses, and the environment. Tonight at the ANC 7B06 focus group potluck we talked about the need to build relationships between the residents and the business owners. Many of the retails business owners in our shopping centers (Skyland, Good Hope, Fairfax Village & Fort Davis) are of Asian decedent. The differences in culture can sometimes lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

I come home and see flyers for two events in my mailbox related to building one neighborhood to celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I encourage residents to attend these events to learn more about the cultures and how we can bridge relationships with the business owners in our community.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Local Celebs

Check out Victoria and Alexandra Chittams from Twining in the latest edition of Union Memorial Hospital magazine.

Monday, May 16, 2011

In other words....

(Image from http://lifeinsurancereferences.net)
DDOT will be closing a segment of Alabama Ave for 5 days. Traffic is going to be horrible. For more information about the travel advisory, visit the HCCA Transportation Blog.

(Map provided by DDOT)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where are you men of courage?

I saw the preview to "Courageous" when I went to see "Jumping the Broom" this weekend. (A little secret about Ms V..... I'm a sap when it comes to movies.) The preview had me choked up. One thing Ward 7 needs more of is men making these babies to step up to be fathers. There are too many kids in our ward with part time or absentee dads.

One great line from the previews - "Where are you men of courage? I believe every father should step up and answer the call"

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

I love my neighborhood. One of my neighbors left a card and a balloon for all the mothers of furbabies!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

18th Annual Hillcrest Garden Tour

It's that time of the year again. Time for the Annual Hillcrest Garden Tour!!!!!

The 18th Annual Hillcrest Garden Tour
June 18th, 2011
10:00 - 12:00 pm
Meeting up at 31st Street SE and W Place SE

For more information: visit www.hillcrestdc.com or the facebook page.

For photos of last year's tour: CLICK HERE

Community Dinner at Thai Orchid

Community Dinner
May 10, 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... $11/per person for buffet (does NOT include drinks, tax or tip)