Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fairlawn resident featured on People's District

Graylin Presbury, President of the Fairlawn Citizen Association has a great feature on the blog The People's District.  The photo above is from the feature.  Click here to check it out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Video: Barriers to biking

Many of the issues in the video are applicable to Ward 7.  The video was sent to me via Rails to Trails.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Commuting just got easier

Ms V is happier than a pig in slop!!!! The Fairfax Village bikeshare station arrived yesterday!!!  Ms V and a fellow Fairfax Village neighbor took the bikes for a spin yesterday.  Today I made my first official commute from Fairfax Village to my office on MLK Jr Ave.

To drive from Fairfax Village to my office is 10 minutes under normal traffic conditions then another 5 minutes to find parking.  In rush hour the trip can take up to 25 minutes.

By bus during non-rush hour it takes two buses and anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the wait time between buses.  During rush hour I can take the V5 which is still 20-30 minutes.

Well...... this morning I out-biked the M6 and the 39.  I caught up and passed the 36.  The total bike trip took me 14 minutes and 3 seconds.  I could've shaved off more time if the DDOT crossing guard didn't make me wait at one of the intersections.

Before you ask, no I will not be biking up hill.  BUT the great thing about bikeshare is now I have more bus options.  The V5 is the only bus that gets me home.  Now I can take the 92 to the top of the hill, grab a bike at Good Hope Marketplace, and bike the rest of the way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Look what arrived today!!!!

The Fairfax Village Capital Bikeshare Station has arrived!!!!! Thanks to all the residents who sent emails requesting a station. Shout out to Commissioner Robert Jordan (ANC 7B06) for getting DDOT to do a site assessment.

To become a member of Capital Bikeshare, visit their website.

Stay tuned for details on a "ribbon-cutting" for the station.

Career Camp

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Learning Opportunity: How the DC budget works (or doesn't)

Recap: Ward 7 ANC Redistricting Meeting

Ms V arrived to the meeting late, but I didn't miss too much.  First of all, it was hotter in the room than it was outside. *blank stare* I'm glad I was good and hydrated before I got there.  The meeting was located in the small room in Hillcrest.  It was definitely over capacity.  Some people thought the meeting was just for the Task Force, but there were several member of the public in attendance, including yours truly.

Presentation Summary
The meeting started with an complex presentation on the guidelines for redistricting by the Office of Planning.  There wasn't a power point presentation.  The representative ( I missed her name) read from the guide.

After the guide, the Office of Planning representative went through the population and housing changes. There was a question regarding the 400 person discrepancy between the reported new Ward 7 population based on redistricting and the calculated population when you subtract Marbury Plaza and add the DC Jail.  The question was noted.

The meeting got confusing during the discussion of process.  CM Alexander suggested that each ANC meet separately to discuss what they want.  Office of Planning mentioned having everyone together.  The Task Force Chair (Ed Potillo) and Co-Chair (Angela Thompson Murphy) weren't introduced until someone asked were introduced at beginning, but I missed it. *SNARK ALERT #1: Not sure who dropped the ball, but I don't understand why there wasn't a clear process developed before the meeting*.  I think the end result was there will be another meeting with the Task Force members. *shrugs*

A preliminary report will be available on August 1st. *SNARK ALERT #2: Ummmmmmmm what the heck is going to be in the report? *

Discussion Summary
There was an opportunity for people to ask questions or make suggestions.

  • DC Jail: 
    • Will it be its own Single Member District (SMD) or will it be split with non-jail population?
    • How do you represent the DC Jail? CM Alexander stated they have representation now.
    • John Capozzi clarified that DC Jail is a SMD, but there is no ANC Commissioner for the SMD.
  • Precinct Boundaries:
    • Will boundaries be done before or after the primaries?  Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) stated they won't be redrawn until after the primaries.
  • ANC 7A:
    • Requests that the schools have representation from the community included in the ANC
  • ANC 7B:
    • How soon will Maps be available?  CM Alexander stated they are currently available online, but paper copies will be available at the next meeting.
    • 7B is losing 2 commissioners to Ward 8, will 7B have to expand or can it continue forward with 5 commissioners instead of 7?
  • ANC7C:
    • No comment
  • ANC7D: 
    • Would Reservation 13 be a new SMD or would it be split up? Would it be added to 7D01?
    • Suggests the shoe horn of 7D06 go to 7A
  • ANC7E
    • Are the intersections and side streets included in the boundary description? Ed Potillo stated they will try to follow main corridors to the extent possible.
    • Requested at next meeting to put maps on a powerpoint slide.
  • Resident (man, 30s) stated he was very upset at the poor organization of the meeting.  He stated that although maps are available online, paper copies should have been available for people who do not have internet access. *Amen, my brother*


Monday, July 25, 2011

Let's not start this again

Last year between September and November, Fairfax Village received several stolen cars as "gifts".  We are an easy community to dump in, because of our proximity to the Maryland border.  Early this morning, MPD recovered two stolen cars from our lot and as of 8:00AM they were processing a third.

Shout out to Captain Bryant and Lieutenant Hodge for their quick attention to the stolen cars.

Please be vigilant!!!  Report anything that looks suspicious.  Let MPD sort out the situation.

Photos from Congress Heights Bike Repair Clinic

On Saturday the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the Bike House held a free bike repair clinic at the Malcolm X Recreation Center.  Here are some photos for the event.

Redistricting: Ward 7 ANCs

Ward 7 will finally have its first meeting to discuss redistricting of the ANCs. 

Monday, July 25, 2011
6:30 pm at the 
Hillcrest Recreational Center, 
32nd and Denver Sts., SE

Side note: Ward 6 has already had 3 community meetings AND a nifty little website

Friday, July 22, 2011

The more things change... the more things stay the same

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, writes a then and now piece looking at gentrification. He revisits a piece he did on Hillcrest in 1996. Here is an excerpt:
But in Southeast you come upon the Skyland shopping center, a depressed jumble of run-down stores, most of them discount marts hawking gimmicky deals like two-for-one toilet-paper sales. Winos and the homeless panhandle outside a grim Safeway. Other retail nodes near Hillcrest are no better, a mishmash of party stores, check-cashing joints, and more discount marts--just the sort of joints that leach money out of lower-class black communities by offering less for more.

Wait... What? That was 1996 and it describes the scene in 2011. Many long-term residents agree that not much has changed. Here is the link to the full article.

Free Bike Repair and Family Rides

The FREE bike repair services and rides are for residents of Wards 7&8 only.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Summer Summer Time

Bring the family and join Aban this summer at Anacostia Park to roller skate for free, bike, run and receive exciting health and wellness information while enjoying the day with family and friends. Guest DJ and give aways.

All events are free and occur at Anacostia Park Roller Skating Pavilion (National Park Service) located at 1900 Anacostia Drive, SE, Washington, DC 20242 (northend) on Saturdays from 1PM-5 PM. Dates include:

July 23, July 30,
August 6, August 20, and September 10
Annual Wellness Fair on October 1.

For information about partnerships and more contact us: 202-439-6343 or, email:

Anacostia Park Roller Skating Pavilion is the coolest spot in the CITY! See you this Saturday!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DISB One City Insured

Public Meeting: Retail space in DOES

Public Meeting Notice

What: DRES will be holding a public meeting on the lease of retail space within the new Department of Employment Services (DOES) Headquarters. All are welcome to attend.

Where: DOES Community Room (First floor, arrive through main entrance on Minnesota Avenue)
4058 Minnesota Ave, NE

Date: August 4, 2011

Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm

Question: Email or for more information.

ANC 7B Meeting Agenda - 7/21

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7B
District of Columbia Government
3200 S Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20020

July 21, 2011

7:00 Call to Order, Roll Call

7:02 Treasurer’s Report
7:07 Police Reports (PSAs 605, 606, 607) and Neighborhood Watch Reports
7:25 DC Fire Department
7:30 Speaker: Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Property Tax Assessments
8:00 Community Concerns
8:10 Old Business/New Business
8:15 Approval of Minutes–April 21, May 19, and June 16 ANC 7B Meetings
8:20 Commissioners’ Roundtable
8:40 Committee Reports/Standing Reports
-- Skyland Update
-- Pennsylvania Avenue Construction Update
8:55 Announcements
9:00 Adjourn

Monday, July 18, 2011

Congrats to Winners of new bikes!!!!

(photo courtesy of WABA)

The Washington Area Bicycle Association (WABA) gave away FREE bicycles provided by BicycleSPACE and Capital Area bicycle memberships to Wards 7 and 8 residents.  Two of the winners are from Hillcrest.  Sandi Frank lives in Fairfax Village.  Lisa Shaw was the other winner.  She currently out of town, so there is no photo of her available.  Congrats!!!!

5th Annual Celebration of East of the River Arts

Contact: Beth Ferraro
Phone: 202-365-8392

Fifth Annual Celebration of
East of the River Arts

July 14th 2011-- Three art exhibits open concurrently in Historic Anacostia on Friday August 5th, highlighting the multifaceted creative community in the area. Local artists explore and react to the cultural, social, and historical heritage of this neighborhood. The exhibits encompass the voices of a range of emerging to established artists and creative minds.

For the fifth year running, artists rooted in Wards 7 and 8 will be featured in Honfleur Gallery’s juried East of the River exhibition, with an opening reception on August 5th from 7-9pm. The exhibition includes photography and illustration. Artist Jonathan Edwards uses cartoon style illustrations to explore serious themes of contemporary urban African-American experience. Jon Malis’ large scale prints are based on his research in the medical archives of St. Elizabeth’s hospital. Larger-than-life cross sections of brains are a chilling yet alluring reminder of the hospital’s history and impact in Southeast Washington. Lark Catoe-Emerson and Deborah Terry’s explorations in abstract photography range from the intimacy of human skin to the landscape of the urban environment. Marlon Normon, who first learned photography at Ward 8’s ARCH Training Center, engages the natural world on a macro level. Poet and photographer Danielle Scruggs’ studies of self-image in text and image round out the collection. The six artists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges including Renee Stout (renowned DC artist), Stephen Bennett Phillips (Federal Reserve) and Susanna Raab (Smithsonian‘s Anacostia Community Museum). East of the River runs from August 5- Sepetember 9th 2011.

Upstairs at Honfleur Gallery, 61, an installation-based exhibition on mapping of time and place by resident artist Mei Mei Chang, is based on her two-month (sixty-one day) residency in Anacostia. Using traditional artists materials such as ink, paint and paper paired with more nontraditional drawing materials such as colored tape, yarn and packing wrap, Chang expands the concept of drawing from the paper’s surface to the architectural limits of the gallery. Exhibition runs August 5- Sepetember 9th 2011.

(Un)Lock It: the Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket, a collection of photographs taken in Washington, D.C. by poet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis (author of The Maverick Room and Skin, Inc.), opens at The Gallery at Vivid Solutions the same evening with a reception from 6-8pm. Mr. Ellis was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and began taking his camera to area Go-Go’s while he was a percussionist in the Petworth Band in the 80s. Ellis portrays the lives of local legends like Chuck Brown and Little Benny with intimate respect and fascination. (Un)lock it: the Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket will be open to the public from August 5th to October 7th 2011. Gallery hours are 12-5, Tuesdays through Friday and 11-5 on Saturdays.

These exhibits, funded in part by the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, will be on view starting August 5th at three venues in Anacostia and are FREE to the public. The closest metro is Anacostia (green line). Be sure to visit our websites for details: and

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's a Beautiful thing...

On Saturday July 16th, the lovely ladies of Ward 7 hosted a Black Women Bike DC ride and lunch.  Twenty-six women came out for the ride.  There were 10 Ward 7 residents of which 4 of us were from Hillcrest.  The age range of the participants was late 20's to mid 60's.  Experience levels ranged from "I got my bike yesterday" to "I've done triathlons".

Our ride started at Eastern Market metro station plaza.  Randall Meyers from WABA checked tires and brakes before we headed out.  Our 7-mile took us through Potomac Gardens, around the Anacostia River, and stop at YES! Organic Market for lunch.  Our final destination was Fort Dupont Park were we ate and talked.

A great time was had by all!!!

Join our Facebook group:  (Sorry fellas, women only.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things that make me mad

POLITRICKS.... Ms V was up early to head west for a meeting. I see a tweet from Greater Greater Washington that Brown was stripping Wells of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation. I've been away from my computer all day, but here's an email I sent to the Ward 7 Listservs this morning

I happened to see this post tweeted this morning. Brown is removing Tommy Wells from the Committee on Public Works and Transportation. Wells is one of the few (if not the only) Councilmember that regularly uses public transportation, so he understands first hand the frustrations of things like Ghost Buses (buses that never come). In addition, as soon as Wells took over the Committee his first stop was to Ward 7 to listen to our concerns for better bus service. In addition, several of us have had follow up meetings with Wells and his staff. We JUST had a meeting with them on Thursday to discuss the W4 and the need to pre-plan for St Es, Skyland & Capitol View Walmart coming online around the same time.

Wells is the FIRST Councilmember who has invested time and energy to get better alternative modes of transportation in Ward 7 and Ward 8. His staff has been helpful is encouraging DDOT to add more bikeshare stations in Ward 7, specifically in Fairfax Village and the Benning Road Metro Station.

We've had more attention from Wells and his staff in the last 4 months then we ever received from Graham when he was over the committee.

Regardless of whether the post regarding Brown's intentions are true or not, removing a transportation advocate as Chair of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation IS A HUGE MISTAKE!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black Women Bike DC Featured in Wapo

A group started by my two twitter friends ( ) and I a little less than two months ago was featured in the Washington Post today. Here's a great excerpt:

Yet some people pause and look again when they see her gliding along on two wheels. “Mommy, look at the black lady on the bike!” a little girl squealed one day as Davis rode past the Potomac Gardens housing project.

It’s that kind of reaction, Davis says, that makes Black Women Bike DC the perfect name for the group that she and two other women launched after chatting on Twitter about their participation in Bike to Work Day last spring.

“It’s a tongue-in-cheek comment: ‘No, see, we do bike,’ ” Davis said.
For full article CLICK HERE.

Monthly Community Dinner at Thai Orchid

Community Dinner
July 12, 2011, 7-8:30PM
Thai Orchid's Kitchen
2314 Pennsylvania Ave SE

$11/per person for buffet (does NOT include drinks, tax or tip)

Come on out to chat with old neighbors and meet some new ones!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Photos from Palisades Parade

Fort Dupont Concert Series Starts this Saturday

Please partake in the free concerts at Fort Dupont Park. Ms V highly recommends getting there early to claim a spot. I prefer bringing a blanket and setting on the hill to the left of the stage. Be prepared to WALK. The small parking lot off Fort Dupont Drive fills up early. About two hours before the concert, NPS restricts Fort Dupont Drive to pedestrians only. There is parking along Fort Davis Drive and Mass Ave, but if you live in Fairfax Village you might as well just walk from here.

Is PEPCO killing you??

Dramatic title.... I know. Now that I have your attention, you need to be at this meeting. PEPCO is responsible for cleaning up the environmental conditions at their site located next to the Minnesota Ave Metro Station. Ms V attended the first meeting. I was shocked at the number of long time Parkside and Kennilworth residents who have died of cancer. Apparently, no one has every done a study to look at the cancer rates of the community around the plant.

Come out to learn more.

DC Environmental Health Collaborative

Community Meeting To Discuss Cleanup Options and Timing for the PEPCO Benning Road Facility

Location: Department of Employment Services-Conference Room
4058 Minnesota Ave NE

Date: Saturday, July 9, 2011

Time: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Who Should Attend?
Community Members, Parents, Academics, and Advocates - YOU

Representatives from PEPCO and DDOE have been invited so that they can respond to resident’s questions

For more information, please contact Dr, Janet Phoenix , Director, DC Environmental Health Collaborative at 703-868-1701 or

Friday, July 1, 2011


(Photo of Penn-Branch Station taken in September 2010)

DDOT teased us with the Capital Bikeshare station at Penn-Branch Shopping Center. It was one of the original stations installed in September of last year. Ms V purchased her membership, then poof it was gone. It was removed because of the Pennsylvania Ave Great Streets construction project. There were promises of its return. Well, it's finally back!!!!