Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Unofficial results of tonight's special election: ANC 4B04 commissioner Doug Smith recalled

The results of the special election for the recall of ANC 4B04 commissioner Doug Smith are as follows: 75 votes in favor of the recall, 59 votes against it. Sixteen absentee ballots and eight special ballots still need to be counted; according to the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, a final count will be held on March 9, and certification is scheduled for March 13.

This means that Smith, who also serves as ANC 4B's treasurer, will have to win at least 17 of those 24 outstanding votes in order to keep his seat.

At the Metropolitan Police Department's Fourth District Headquarters, where the special election was held, Smith's supporters clustered together in one circle while supporters of the recall effort, most of whom are members of the civic group Concerned Citizens of Brightwood East, congregated in another. When the results were posted on the door of the police station's community room around 8:20 pm, both groups anxiously converged upon them, and neither group went away with a sense of satisfaction. Nobody wanted to wait ten more days for the official results, but such is the way of extremely close elections.

ANC 4B01 commissioner Sara Green was there to lend her support to Smith. Upon seeing the results, Smith offered to turn in his office key to Green, who is also ANC4B's chairperson, and told her that she should think about her next treasurer. She asked if he would consider running again should the recall become official; he said he would consider it but that he "really wasn't feeling it." A 4B04 resident chimed in with: "Think of it this way...at least you won't have to deal with these nasty people anymore."

For more background on the recall, see Behind the effort to recall ANC 4B04 commissioner Doug Smith.

ANC 4B04 residents: please don't forget to vote in the recall election today

The recall election that will determine the fate of ANC 4B04 commissioner Doug Smith is being held today at the Fourth District Police Headquarters, 6001 Georgia Avenue NW. The polls are open until 8:00 pm. Please stop by the station and cast your vote.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Bike House is moving to Annie's Ace Hardware

From the Bike House:

After three years inhabiting the alley behind Qualia Coffee, the Bike House has found a new home. Beginning March 10th, you will be able to find the Bike Housemates tirelessly teaching classes and cranking their wrenches at Annie's Ace Hardware, just a few blocks northwest of Qualia at 1240 Upshur Street NW. We will be offering the same open clinics and classes as before - be sure to check out our website for additional information about the services we offer.

Come learn how to fix your bike for free!

Ward 4 town hall on affordable housing, Tuesday 2/28, 6:30 pm

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and the Transitional Housing Corporation are co-sponsoring a town hall on Tuesday evening to discuss ways to keep housing affordable in Ward 4.

When: Tuesday, February 28, 6:30-9:00 pm
Where: Christ Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 5101 16th Street NW (corner of 16th and Gallatin)

For further information contact Elizabeth Falcon, 202-745-0902 x205.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thursday: Brightwood Business town hall; Crestwood Neighborhood Assn. candidates' forum; 14th St. bus line study

Two Three events this Thursday, February 23:

Crestwood Neighborhood Association Candidates' Forum
Thursday, February 23, 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Zion Baptist Church, 4850 Blagden Avenue NW (just off 16th Street, south of Colorado Avenue)
Candidates for the Ward 4 Council seat will present their platforms and answer questions. Moderated by Tom Sherwood.

Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance Townhall Meeting
Thursday February 23, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Emory United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 6100 Georgia Ave NW
The Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance convenes the Brightwood business community and other stakeholders. An agenda will be emailed to registrants on Wednesday, February 22. Please register here.

Metrobus 14th Street Line Study Public Meeting
Thursday February 23, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: WMATA Northern Division Community Room, 4627 14th Street NW
The purpose of the meeting is to hear directly from riders of the 14th Street Line about issues with the 52, 53, and 54 routes, and potential improvements that would address them. The meeting is open to all, and no advance registration is required. A rider survey for the 14th Street Line was conducted in January 2012, and about 600 responses have been received so far. The preliminary results of the survey will be discussed. The project website has more information about the 14th Street Line study.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Demolition of Brightwood car barn continues in earnest

Having been stalled for several months due to a historic landmark designation application that was ultimately voted down by the Historic Preservation Review Board, demolition of the Brightwood car barn, on Georgia Avenue between Missouri Avenue and Peabody Street NW, continued today. This is the site of one of the six proposed Walmarts in the District.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can Georgia Avenue get enough liquor?

Looks like the Georgia Avenue Food Barn at 6205 Georgia Avenue got the Class "A" liquor license they applied for, and they're proclaiming that fact with these large "Liquor! Liquor!" banners.

I walked into the store the other night, and a clerk who I speak with regularly said proudly, "Have you seen our new stuff?!" as he pointed me toward the store's new liquor section, and explained that this will make up for the grocery sales which drop every year. I asked him why he thinks grocery sales are dropping; he replied that he's not sure, but that patrons who seem to have no problem putting $50 down on numbers will often recoil in horror when told that, for example, a loaf of Wonder bread is going for $2.59 these days.

Several incredulous emails were sent to the Brightwood listserv when the store applied for its Class "A" license, many of which questioned why yet another liquor license should be granted for a business on Georgia Avenue. From my conversation with the clerk, it sounds like liquor is a necessary product for a bodega to sell, if the bodega is to survive.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A performance space with a lot of history resurrected at 1365 Kennedy Street NW

Image from backalleytheater.tumblr.com/

You may know the basement of 1365 Kennedy Street NW as the site of the two most recent DC Grey Markets, but the residents of the Madison Terrace Cooperative have more plans for creative uses of their space. It's my pleasure to introduce you to Back Alley Theater and its new Tumblr, which contains a list of planned events at the space (mark February 16 on your calendars for an evening of bass performances with Thomas Helton, Brit Powell, and Luke Stewart).

The new blog also contains a really interesting history of the space. Here's a short excerpt:

The Back Alley Theater was born in 1967 in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Naomi Eftis started the theater in the garage in the alley behind her house at 1929 Lamont St., NW. She started it because she wanted to give kids in the neighborhood the experience of theater.

In 1968, the theater moved into St. Stephen’s Church, at 16th and Newton Streets, NW. They then moved briefly into the Church of the Reformation on East Capitol Street on Capitol Hill, before settling in 1969 into permanent quarters in the basement of an apartment building at 1365 Kennedy Street, NW.

In 1981, the tenants who lived in the apartment building that housed the Back Alley Theater joined forces to collectively purchase their building from their landlord, forming the Madison Terrace Cooperative. Thirty years later, in 2011, Madison Terrace Cooperative members began to resurrect the Back Alley Theater for musical performances and community events.

Very exciting to see a new(ish) DIY space dedicated to community performances and events spring up in the neighborhood.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sneak preview of Three Little Pigs, Brightwood Park's new charcuterie

Artist Colette Butfiloski at work on Three Little Pigs' chalk mural. She said she'll return every few months to switch the mural up.

Jason and Carolina, owners of Three Little Pigs, have been busy building out their space at 5111 Georgia Avenue (just north of the corner of Georgia and Gallatin Street) over the past few months, and on Saturday they invited the public in to see their shop.

It's impressive, to say the least. They showed off all of their new equipment and food preparation spaces (from the Koch CookMaster II smoker to the sausage-stuffer to the freezer and aging rooms), and said that their wares will also include marmalades, pies, wine and beer (eventually...they don't have their ABRA license yet, but it's in their future plans), and even a CSA service for vegetables (which was really exciting to hear about, since as far as I know our neighborhood isn't served by any CSAs at this time).

When I asked how they decided to locate their shop in the neighborhood, Carolina told me that her father purchased the building six years ago when he realized Georgia Avenue's development potential. Carolina and Jason, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, took a look at the building's layout and saw that it was the perfect space to fulfill their dream of owning and operating a charcuterie. They're really excited to be a part of the neighborhood and have been actively taking note of things residents might be interested in (after noticing the number of dog owners that walk by the shop with their canines, Carolina and Jason are looking into selling pig ear dog treats).

They intend to open in about four weeks; you can keep up to date on their opening plans by following their Facebook page.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The state of Brightwood real estate - February 2012

Time for a look at the past month's real estate sales in Brightwood, as well as properties that are currently on the market and under contract. Thanks to realtor Eric Brooks for compiling the information!

January Active properties on the market:
23 properties are for sale now (down from 32 in Nov)
Ranging from $52,900 to $549,900
2 of these are foreclosed homes and 5 are short sales (up from 3 last month)

Janurary Sold

Properties that went under contract in January:
19 homes are currently under contract (the average property is in the high $200K's)
These homes should settle over the next 30 days
Ranging from $124,900 to $649,000
2 of these were foreclosed homes and 10 are short sales (up from 9 last month)

January Under Contract

Properties that were sold in January:
7 homes sold through the month
Ranging from $124,900 to $785,000
7 were normal sales; 2 were REOs.

Janurary Sold

Info provided by Eric Brooks, a Long and Foster Real Estate agent who works to deliver exceptional results for his clients in Brightwood and beyond.
Contact to set up an appointment at 301-986-6476 or

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ward 4 candidates forum tonight at Emery Rec Center

The Ward 4 Democrates will host a candidates and endorsement forum tonight at Emery Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Avenue, NW) beginning at 7:00.

Information on tonight's event from Ward 4 Democrats:

At this important meeting, we will conduct a Candidates and Endorsement
forum for Democratic candidates running for the position of Ward 4
representative on the Council of the District of Columbia in the April 3,
2012 Democratic Primary Election.

We will convene promptly at 7 p.m. and address preliminary issues. The
Candidates Forum will begin at 7:30 p.m., and each candidate will be given
the opportunity to make a two minute opening statement. Questions will also
be entertained from the audience. The total time allotted for the Candidates
Forum is 90 minutes.