Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Art Under Pressure - 4807 Georgia Avenue

Art Under Pressure opened up on March 18. I stopped in today, and all I can say is that it encompasses all that is good and right in the world. A retail store and so much more. Sells the wares of local artisans exclusively. Youth- and education-focused; one of the proprietors is Cory Stowers, the artistic director of Words Beats & Life. ("I need to see that 3.0," Stowers was saying to a group of eager young graffiti writers when I was visiting.) Stowers aims to nurture young graffiti writers and help them to develop marketable skills through their artwork. A print shop is being built out in the space's basement, and printmaking classes will be offered beginning this summer. A tattoo studio is planned for the top floor and will open within the next year. The goal is to feature "the lexicon of culture in DC," said Stowers.

The space will have its grand opening celebration April 22-24.

This is a good thing.

Radiohead fans flock to Brightwood Park...mistakenly

Photo: Benjamin R. Freed/Washington City Paper

Well, this is...unusual, especially in an age in which everyone and his mother has access to Google Street View. But these folks are clearly solid Radiohead fans who will do whatever the band says to do, without checking first to see if the band and their people are, um, completely wrong.

Benjamin R. Freed reported in Washington City Paper that about 30 Radiohead fans showed up at the Brightwood Park United Methodist Church after being instructed to go to 784 Jefferson Street NW to retrieve a free, limited-edition souveniry band publication.

I assume the people who set up this promotion aren't too familiar with the lay of the land in DC. I can't imagine what address they really meant to give, though. Jefferson Street NW doesn't even have a 784. And it's not like this is a case of "wrong quadrant"; 784 Jefferson St. NE is in the Queens Chapel neighborhood (no more a haven for rock fans than Brightwood is); 784 Jefferson Street SW doesn't exist, and if it did it would be somewhere around the Air & Space Museum Hirschhorn (which is actually Jefferson Drive). The Air & Space Museum Hirschhorn seems like a more Radiohead-ready environment...could that have been where the band meant to send its fans? It's a mystery, as of now...I'm interested in hearing what Radiohead's people have to say about this geographic blunder. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Apparently the correct location was indeed the Hirschhorn, and some of the fans who went to Brightwood did find their way there and retrieved their Universal Sigh.

Stein Democrats host Ward 4 SBoE forum tonight

Tonight the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club will host an endorsement forum for candidates running for the Ward 4 and Ward 8 State Board of Education seats in the April 26, 2011 special election.

This is an endorsement forum, and Stein Democrats in good standing are eligible to vote. The public is invited to listen and ask questions.

Where: Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Ave., NW
When: 6:30PM, Tuesday, March 29

Don't leave your laptops unattended in public places (duh)

Here's another one from the "it should go without saying" department, from Fourth District Police Commander Kimberly Chisley Missouri:

The March 11 incident at Mayorga was a theft. The laptops were left unattended and two suspects fled with the laptops. This past Saturday, one suspect snatched a laptop from the owner's possession while a second suspect served as a lookout. Both suspects fled the scene on foot in different directions. Patrol units were in the area and quickly set up a perimeter. Both suspects were subsequently located, positively identified, and arrested. The suspects, adult males, were charged with robbery. The robbery case will be reviewed along with the March 11 theft for similarities.

Today, as I passed by Maygora, I noticed a laptop left unattended. I spoke with the manager, Julio, and advised it is imperative to share with the customers the importance of safeguarding their property.

There have been instances of teenagers hanging out near the Takoma Metro Station, in the afternoon following school dismissal. PSA 401 officials are aware of issues at Mayorga and the Metro and are providing special attention to the area. I have also alerted Metro Transit Police for additional presence during dismissal times.

Thanks and feel free to contact me with any additional concerns.

Kimberly Chisley-Missouri
Metropolitan Police Department
Fourth District
6001 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20011

Though it's unfortunate that she has to send out notices for actions that should go without saying, I guess it's also unfortunate that we should have to be so vigilant in the first place. But hey, people steal; they've stolen since the beginning of time, and they certainly aren't about to stop any time soon, so...be vigilant.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Laptop robbery at Mayorga

There have been several laptops swiped from Mayorga patrons recently. The latest one was this morning. From MPD:

At approximately 9:15 AM on today's date in the 300 block of Carroll Street NW, a complainant was approached by one subject while a second subject stood by. The first subject snatched her laptop and fled on foot. The subjects ran in different directions. A look-out was giving for two black males wearing black and/or dark clothing. The first suspect was additionally described as being medium complexion wearing dread locks hair style. While the second subject was also described as medium complexion wearing a gray coat.

Members of the Fourth District got in the area and set up a perimeter. A few minutes later both subjects were located a short distance away at different locations. The victim positively identified both subjects. Both subjects were arrested and charged with Robbery. The victim was not injured in this incident.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wal-Mart/Foulger-Pratt's Large Tract Review application

Here, in its 165-page glory, is the application that Wal-Mart and Foulger-Pratt have submitted for Square 2986 (the Curtis Chevrolet site). According to it, "the project will not have a negative noise, environmental, or traffic impact on the community." The traffic study, which begins on page 44, suggests otherwise, and generally reinforces that the site is less than ideal for the accommodation of a big-box store.

ANC 4B's Large Tract Review committee is busy reviewing the application and preparing to deliver feedback and ideas on mitigating the development's impact on its immediate surroundings. From what I understand we have 30 days to submit our comments to the Office of Planning.

I'll have more to say as I continue to slog through it. In the meantime, try your own hand at slogging:

Ward 4 Walmart

Movement at 6231 Georgia Avenue

Always nice to see a long-vacant space being fixed up. No clue as to who's moving in but it appears to be food-oriented (as evinced by my peeking-between-the-window-coverings photo below).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Audio of Q&A from last night's At-Large Candidate's Forum

Audio from last night's forum, sponsored by the Takoma DC Neighborhood Association, is available here (thanks to the intrepid audiophile Rich Holzsager; due to his valiant efforts pretty much every major community event in 4B gets recorded and posted online).

What's up with Three Stars Brewing?

Yesterday DCist posted about the District's "beer invasion" and mentioned Three Stars Brewing, which reminded me to check in with the owners about the status of the opening of their brewery in Takoma. Unfortunately I've heard no updates since January, and as the DCist post makes no mention of it, I assume it's not yet a done deal. Beer enthusiasts all over the neighborhood (and beyond) are eagerly awaiting news on that front.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Large Tract Review for Curtis Chevrolet site submitted

I just found out that the Large Tract Review for the proposed Wal-Mart on the Curtis Chevrolet site has been submitted to the Office of Planning. Details will follow as I learn them.

At-Large Candidate's Forum in the neighborhood tonight

The Takoma DC Neighborhood Association At-Large Councilmember Candidate's Forum is tonight.

When: Tuesday, March 22, 7:30 PM,
Where: Promised Land Baptist Church (4th & Van Buren Streets NW)

Neighborhood Farm Initiative hosts composting workshop this Saturday @ Mamie Lee Community Garden (by Fort Totten Metro)

Details here.

When: Saturday, March 26, 10am-12pm
Where: Mamie D. Lee Community Garden, 100 Gallatin St. NE

Come one, come all to NFI's annual community compost workshop! We'll start with a discussion about home and community garden composting through an urban lens with Kaitlin Rienzo-Stack, Master Composter and educator through DC DPR's Urban Compost Corps training. So bring the questions you've always wanted answered, and we can set you on the path to turning humble humus into black gold.

Then we have the opportunity to put our skills to use immediately as we tackle the renovation of Mamie D. Lee's community compost piles. Maintaining a working composting system is one of the biggest challenges DC community gardens face, and its success is well worth the effort to close the nutrient loop, conserve topsoil, prevent priceless organic matter from entering the landfill, and (last but certainly not least) provide fertilizer for future crops. We'll bring handouts and resource sheets for you to take home. Please bring a water bottle and gardening gloves. Email neighborhoodfarm@gmail.com with questions.

At-Large DC Councilmember Candidate's Forum touches on Georgia Avenue issues

We have a large chunk of the March 14 At-Large Councilmembers Candidate's Forum sponsored by the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force on film courtesy of the Park View DC blog.

Considering the location, sponsor, and audience, the fact that the candidates answered most Georgia Avenue-specific questions in the affirmative (sure, we'll support the refunding of the Lower Georgia Avenue streetscape project; of course we'll support the expansion of the Circulator bus onto Georgia Aveneue; etc.) is quite unsurprising. (Not to be cynical or anything.)

Visit four26dc.com for a superb roundup of all information pertaining to the upcoming special election on April 26.

Hone your mechanical skills at The Bike House, or just attend a bike-in movie

Image: withmyowntwowheels.org

From The Bike House:

Join The Bike House and BicycleSPACE, our friendly community bike shop (and so much more!), for dinner and a screening of the documentary With My Own Two Wheels at BicycleSPACE.

The film weaves together the stories of five individuals across the globe into a single narrative about the bicycle as a vehicle for change. With on-the-ground stories from Zambia, Ghana, India, Guatemala, and California, the film was produced in collaboration with bicycle-driven development organizations, including World Bike Relief and Santa Barbara’s Bici Centro.

The film crew will be joining us for the screening and dinner (provided by BicycleSPACE), including the Producer, Jacob Siegel-Boettner. Following the film, Jacob will be available for a discussion about the movie, and will provide the opportunity to sponsor a bike for a student in Zambia through World Bike Relief.

Bring something to sit on, or just yourself and some friends! We'll provide the food, film, and atmosphere.

What: Bike-in Movie: With My Own Two Wheels
When: April 4th; Doors at 7:30, Movie at 8:00
Where: BicycleSPACE
459 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC

Cost:$10 suggested donation

Space is limited, and entrance is first-come, first-served, so get there early!


Interested in volunteering with the Bike House? No matter what your level of expertise, Anyone can get involved witha Saturday clinics, the mobile clinic, event organization, and more. We hold volunteer orientations on the first Saturday of every month. You should come!

The Bike House also holds beginner mechanics classes for people who are interested in bikes but haven’t taken the plunge into working on them. The class meets four times, beginning the first Saturday of the month.

Classes cover basic bike maintenance skills that are useful for every rider to know, including inspecting your bike, patching a flat tire, changing brake pads, adjusting derailleurs, and changing a spoke.

Email Sarah at thebikehouse @ gmail.com for more information on volunteering or enrolling in the beginner classes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Takoma Theatre in today's Washington Post

By J. Freedom du Lac, right on the front page.

The ongoing Takoma Theatre saga is no comedy, though. It’s an increasingly tense community drama about whether and how to save a landmark that has failed economically, with a plot that pits development against preservation (subplot: art vs. commerce).

The article mentions a fundraiser to be held this Friday evening at the Washington Ethical Society, which will benefit the Takoma Theatre Conservancy. The performance, Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson, is a co-production of the Washington National Opera (whose rehearsal studios are only a couple blocks from the Takoma Theatre) and the Washington Performing Arts Society.

The Takoma Theatre Conservancy is also hosting a performance of Let Freedom Sing this Thursday night at the Takoma Education Campus - Meyer School (2501 11th Street NW), which will benefit TEC's efforts to recover from its recent devastating fire. Tickets to both events are available on the Conservancy's website.

In addition, there will be two free performances of Let Freedom Sing on Sunday March 27th at 3 and 5 pm in the auditorium of THEARC in Anacostia. Tickets are available on THEARC's website.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yes! Organic's Gary Cha urges for Wal-Mart community benefits agreement in op-ed

The following op-ed piece by Gary Cha, owner of the Yes! Organic grocery stores, appears in the new issue of the Washington Business Journal:

One retailer’s wish for Wal-Mart
Washington Business Journal - by Gary Cha
Date: Friday, March 18, 2011

Bringing locally sourced organic foods to underserved Washington neighborhoods has been my life’s passion, spanning 28 years and seven community markets.

From our first location on Connecticut Avenue to our newest store in Anacostia, our continued expansion has proved that all neighborhoods — regardless of economic status — welcome access to healthy food choices.

We’ve honed our model, spending more time listening than talking. We pride ourselves on giving our customers more of what they want and less of what we think they need. This business model has allowed us to prosper.

Hence, I urge D.C. political leaders to follow a similar course in addressing Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s proposal to build four stores in the District.

In the same way our elected officials listen to Wal-Mart’s lobbyists who are spreading lots of largess around town, I urge that they hear people like me, joined by members of the Think Local First D.C. business alliance who have survived tough economic times and earned our stripes as a vital part of the D.C. community, especially in underserved and low-income areas.

We chose to be part of these communities because the people living there deserve healthy choices. Our Pennsylvania Avenue, Georgia Avenue and 14th Street stores are all part of mixed-use developments, with housing or other retail operations that celebrate neighborhood revitalization.

Like the products we offer, we strive to be an organic part of the community. We’ve stood our ground against national competitors like Whole Foods, settling on a kind of peaceful coexistence that makes all consumers beneficiaries.

No one can argue against a healthy mix of national, small and locally owned businesses. But I question whether Wal-Mart, given its size and habit of crushing competitors, will be willing to coexist.

Look no further than a track record that reaps devastation on competitors, neighbors, employees and local governments. The new jobs Wal-Mart promises should be measured against better-paying jobs that may be lost. According to a recent study, for every two jobs Wal-Mart creates, three jobs are lost.

Another study found that when a Wal-Mart opened in Chicago in 2006, one in four retail businesses within a mile of the store closed within a year.

Locally owned businesses like Yes! Organic Market plow our profits back into the economy. We invest mightily in D.C. with stable jobs and advancement opportunities for employees. We serve on local boards and attend advisory neighborhood commission meetings.

We come to those venues, not with one-time payoffs to win backers — a practice that characterizes Wal-Mart’s lobbying tactics — but with respect for the communities where we live and work.

Our local officials should take a cue from Wal-Mart’s impact in other communities and assure a level playing field for local businesses that have invested capital and sweat equity in D.C.

How can you compete with the biggest retailer on earth? The answer rests here in D.C. Political and community leaders can exert leverage. This company has literally saturated rural and suburban communities in this country. All that remains for Wal-Mart growth are urban centers like D.C.

So, the question is not what we get from Wal-Mart coming. It should be what we demand from the company in the first place and over the long haul that will justify it staying.

An enforceable, measurable plan could chart a new path for Wal-Mart and give our capital city an opportunity to set a standard that others can embrace.

Wal-Mart’s foray here may be part of its urban experiment. But we have lived a rich, urban experience and gained as much as we’ve given along the way.

Unless the D.C. Council demands that Wal-Mart codify its pledges in an enforceable community benefits agreement, the District’s economic future is at risk.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

DC will get all of Walter Reed's Georgia Avenue frontage

Mayor Gray just held a press conference to make the official announcement, and though I couldn't be there, I did the next best thing: I compiled tweets from journalists who attended! Figured this was as good a time as any to introduce The Brightwoodian to the world of Storify. Thanks to Lydia DePillis and Jonathan O'Connell for (unwittingly) being my guinea pigs.

And, since this major change will mostly render the planning process that we went through last spring moot, I suppose we'll have a whole new series of community meetings to look forward to. According to WBJ: "Victor Hoskins, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said DMPED will reengage the community 'to get their input on the new opportunities presented with the boundary shift.'"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Environmental NIMBYism knows no bounds

Ryan Avent's response to the recent NYT piece on liberal NIMBYism contains a mention of Brookland's problem regarding the potential redevelopment of the land currently occupied by Colonel Brooks' Tavern:

Of course, the obstruction of development is offensive for lots of reasons: it makes housing and access to employment unaffordable, it reduces urban job and revenue growth, it tramples on private property rights, and so on. But the environmental hypocrisy is galling, and it’s not limited to New York. My old neighborhood, Brookland, voted overwhelmingly for Obama (about 90-10, as I recall). Many of the locals are vocally supportive of broad, lefty environmental goals. And yet, when a local businessman wants to redevelop his transit-adjacent land into a denser, mixed-use structure, the negative response is overwhelming, and residents fall over themselves to abuse local rules in order to prevent the redevelopment from happening.

I wonder what Avent would say about the Takoma Theatre's situation. Parallels to Colonel Brooks' can be drawn due to the transit accessibility of its location, and its controversy.

The following screed was posted on the Takoma listserv this morning (partial reprint):

I officially am sick of all things related to the Takoma Theatre, the Conservancy, and all things related to it. Here's why:

1) The building may be historic, but it's not beautiful. Who was the architect? FLW? Gehry? Copley? Ugly is ugly.

2) Would you rather put your tax dollars into building a theater that will continue to suck up city resources or get it back on the tax rolls? There is a $400Million deficit in DC that gets fixed one property at at time.

3) I am far more interested in when the city is going to renovate TEC than the Takoma Theatre. There are 300 children who used to use it every day.

4) Given the complaining on the listserve about traffic patterns and noise, the response to having 500 people arriving and departing at one time is predictable. They won't all be using the Metro.

The people in our community waste a whole lot of energy at meetings and hearings on this dump of a building. Guess what - it's not going to get any better. McGinty isn't going to sell it anytime soon to anyone and now we are stuck with a deteriorating eyesore.

Bills introduced that would require Wal-Mart to sign CBA, pay living wages

Yesterday CM Phil Mendelson introduced two bills; one would require Wal-Mart to sign an enforceable community benefits agreement (a subject that has been brought up countless times at community meetings all over the city; Wal-Mart reps generally reply to these concerns anemically), and another would require "large retailers" (any retailer whose floor space is over 75,000 square feet) to pay workers a living wage. Mike DeBonis muses about the possibility of the bills becoming laws.

Mendelson 'large retailer' bill -- CBAs

Mendelson "large retailer" bill -- living wage

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gray: Walter Reed's a big deal

Housing Complex reports that Mayor Gray spoke about prioritizing the Walter Reed development at a symposium sponsored by Bisnow at the Willard Hotel yesterday.

In addition to capturing local investment around the St. Elizabeths project, the other big public project requiring public investment he sees as ready to move is Walter Reed. Gray said he's been meeting with Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and sees the old Army campus as a great "opportunity to link us to the region," especially as the streetcar makes its way north. That may or may not be bad news for the other pieces of land on the District's plate, Hill East/Reservation 13 and McMillan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

At-Large Candidates Forum @ Park View Elementary Tonight

The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force will host a Candidate's Forum tonight (Monday March 14) from 7-9 PM at the Park View Elementary School auditorium, 3560 Warder St. NW.

The following candidates for At-Large Councilmember (who DC residents will vote for in a special election to be held on April 26) are scheduled to attend:

Sekou Biddle
Tom Brown
Dorothy Douglas
Josh Lopez
Patrick Mara
Alan Page
Bryan Weaver

UPDATE: The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club is also hosting a forum tonight for Democratic candidates only. It's safe to assume that many of the candidates will make appearances at both forums (with the exception of Patrick Mara, who is, as you may have heard, a Republican, and is therefore not welcome by the Stein Democrats).

Also, the Takoma DC Neighborhood Association has organized a Candidate's Forum to be held next Tuesday, March 22, 7:30 PM, at Promised Land Baptist Church (4th & Van Buren Streets NW). If you're unable to attend tonight's forum, be sure to put the March 22 forum on your calendar.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three Fourth District officers arrested in internal sting operation

From Commander Kimberly Chisley Missouri:


For Immediate Release Contact: Officer Hugh Carew (202) 727-4383

March 8, 2011

MPD Officers Arrested in Internal Affairs Sting Operation (Washington, DC) —

On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, at approximately 2 p.m., three officers assigned to the Fourth District were arrested as part of an additional sting operation. The three officers were targets of a two month long confidential criminal investigation conducted by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division. This sting operation is unrelated to another Fourth District officer who was arrested yesterday.

The officers have been identified as Officer Sylvestre Bonilla, Officer Dioni Fernandez, and Officer Guillermo Ortiz. They have been charged with attempted receiving stolen property in an internal affairs sting operation, in which they believed they were buying stolen electronic goods. They are expected to be arraigned in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday, March 9, 2011.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal charges. Officer Bonilla has been a member of the Department for six years, Officer Fernandez has been a member of the Department for seven years, and Officer Ortiz has been a member of the Department for eight years.

“We conduct regular integrity checks and officers routinely pass,” said Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “I am confident that there is not wide-spread corruption across the Police Department.”

Somebody believes in us...

Anonymous sign nailed to tree at southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Kennedy Street NW.

Monday, March 7, 2011

M&M Essentials natural grocery/deli coming soon to 624 Kennedy St. NW

Image: M&M Essentials

More Kennedy Street news...M&M Essentials is a shop that offers "all natural products to enhance your skin, hair, body, and environment."

M&M's products have been available at some shops in the area (as well as at the flea market at 9th and U Streets NW) for a while now, but as far as I know this is their first retail store of their own. The space is right next to Tony's Place.

I'll post more details as I learn them.

UPDATE: I spoke to one of the proprietors, Mustafa, today, and it turns out that M&M is going to be larger in scope than I'd originally thought. In addition to hair/skin care products, they'll be selling groceries...organic produce, kosher and halal meat, etc. The space is two stories, and the upstairs will have a seating area and cafe. Very cool! No firm opening date yet (they have some work to do with DC Water first), so stay tuned.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Potential new bike lanes for Ward 4

The WashCycle reports that DDOT issued a list of streets that will potentially be graced with bike lanes; DDOT has scheduled design drawings for this spring. Some are in our area:
  • Upshur St. NW (Rock Creek Church Rd. to Georgia Ave.)
  • Gallatin St. NW (Fort Totten to New Hampshire Ave.)
  • Piney Branch Rd/13th St. NW (Missouri to Georgia Ave.)
TBD conveniently created a map of the locations.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Takoma Theatre's broken windows theory

Photos by Loretta Neumann

In the latest installment of the Takoma Theatre Saga, a window on the second floor was broken on or before February 26, apparently from the inside of the building. The shattered glass from the window was spread all over the sidewalk on Butternut Street.

According to Takoma Theatre Conservancy president Loretta Neumann, a neighbor alerted Milton McGinty, the theatre's owner, about the window and the glass. Four days passed and nothing had been done, so Neumann alerted DCRA.

Carly Skidmore, a liaison from the Office of the Mayor to Ward 4, responded to Neumann's plea for action on the Takoma listserv: "According to our partners at the Department of Public Works, because the glass is primarily on the sidewalk it is the property owners' responsibility. However, we have asked a street sweeper to be dispatched as soon as possible to care for any glass in the street."

This morning, a resident wrote on the listserv: "Last night around 6:30 pm a man with a broom was cleaning glass on the sidewalk near the broken window. The vehicle was a DC government pickup, so I assume the effort was not initiated by the property owner."

CM Bowser then clarified: "The law requires a time period to allow the owner to abate the problem. In this case, DCRA has accelerated the allowable abatement period from 30 days to 7 days. If repairs are not made within that time frame, the city can make the repairs, then charge the owner."

According to Housing Complex, McGinty is planning to appeal the decision that is preventing him from developing the theatre in the way he wants (condos).

I watched Bring the Pain recently. It was filmed at the Takoma Theatre in 1996. The interior of the theatre looks great in the film. It's kind of a total shame.

UPDATE: DCRA director Nicholas Majett has said that DCRA is engaging a private contractor to repair the window.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Klassy Kakes on Kennedy

Coming soon to 705 Kennedy Street NW. And that's all the info I have for now. Stay tuned!

RPUS: DC is screwed...

...because public transportation is becoming less of an economic development priority, and the city isn't going to be able to keep up with the surrounding suburbs as they boom due to strengthened transportation infrastructure, according to Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space. DC's got to focus on transit if it's going to successfully compete in the future.

"The Silver Line might cost $30 billion, but the economic development impact from being able to refashion and redevelop land use there will be 10x, 20x, or 30x that amount--or more!

"Frankly, in terms of maintaining DC's competitiveness as a place to locate business in the region, the discussion by some of the developers on the panel with regard to the repositioning of this part of the region as transit oriented really chilled me.

"It made very clear to me that --as I write often--in terms of maintaining DC's economic competitiveness and various competitive advantages in the context of the regional economy, expansion of the subway system within the city ought to be the city's #1 economic development policy.

1. That means the separated blue line.
2. It probably means the idea of the separated yellow line
3. And even a cross-city connector in upper northwest.

"The fact that the value of transit was minimized by the Vincent Gray Transition Team both in the transportation paper and the economic development paper is equally chilling. Pretty much, the transportation report ignored the value of transit to DC's economy and quality of life."

Rescuing one dog at a time


Neighborhood residents Tammy Belden and her daughter Alicia had an interesting concept for a DIY dog rescue organization which they've christened OneDogAtATime: "Basically we bring in one dog (at a time) from a high-kill rural shelter in West Virginia," said Tammy. "We find that dog a 'forever' home, and then get the next dog."

Sonny, pictured above, is the second dog to be taken under OneDogAtATime's wing since the Beldens started the organization (their first dog, Pickles, found a home within 24 hours...an impressive feat). Sonny is an 8-month-old Pug/Beagle/Chihuahua mix and currently weighs in at about 15 pounds. Belden calls him "a happy little soul." Read more about him on OneDogAtATime's Facebook page.

The Beldens use their network of friends, family and community to find good homes for their dogs. Although Tammy has a long history of working with bigger animal rescue organizations, she finds that concentrating on just "one, tangible effort at a time" is fun, and perhaps most feasible for a home-based rescue. The Beldens and their network help get the word out in numerous ways, from posting flyers at work to bringing the dog to a park for some face time with potential adopters.

There are lots of great dogs in rural shelters, where there unfortunately aren't as many adoptive people as in urban areas like ours. And since DC's shelters are often at capacity, an effort such as this to bring more adoptable dogs to the city is a laudable one. Kudos to the Beldens! And don't forget to visit Sonny on Facebook.