Friday, April 27, 2012

Police arrest a man in connection with recent assaults in Petworth

From Chief Lanier:

Following a series of assaults in the Petworth neighborhood in the past 72 hours, we deployed several teams of undercover officers to the area. Last night at approximately 9:00 PM, members assigned to our Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, Strike Force was patrolling in the 800 block of Gallatin Street Northwest when they heard someone yelling for help. They observed a female on the ground suffering obvious injury to the head. As they approached the victim they observe a subject a short distance away in the alley, holding a dark colored bag. As the officers made eye contact with the subject, he began running and was pursued by the officers. During the pursuit, the officers observe the subject discard the backpack. The pursuit continued to the 4800 block of Illinois Avenue where the suspect was apprehended.

A claw hammer, believed at this time to be the weapon used in the assault was recovered from the back pack discarded by the suspect.

The suspect has been identified as 19 year old Michael Davis of the 900 block of Emerson Street, NW. At this time he has been charged with one count of aggravated assault.

The victim in this case, who is not being identified, is a 19 year old female. She has suffered a serious head injury and remains hospitalized.

At this time, we are continuing to investigate and process evidence to determine if this case may be linked to the prior three cases that occurred in the Petworth neighborhood over the past 72 hours.

It goes without saying, we are extremely proud of the officers and detectives involved in this apprehension. They have certainly demonstrated their commitment to the safety of our community and the mission of the Metropolitan Police Department.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The 6300 block of Piney Branch Road can be yours for $699,000

Images from

Thanks to Housing Complex for pointing out that the large lot in the 6300 block of Piney Branch Road NW is for sale. This is the lot that has been the site of the Brightwood Day community festival for the past few years.

Plans for temporium spaces in the Central 14th Street corridor taking shape

DC's Office of Planning is preparing to launch a series of temporium projects in vacant spaces along the Central 14th Street corridor, which stretches from Spring Road to Longfellow Street NW. The project is funded by a $250,000 grant from ArtPlace, a collaboration between federal agencies and private foundations that seeks to revitalize commercial corridors through arts-based uses. The same grant money helped to fund the Lumen8Anacostia series of events (which had a very successful opening day last weekend).

The Office of Planning is partnering with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the 14th Street Uptown Business Association on the project, which is being referred to as Summer of the Arts. OP has enlisted the assistance of the arts planning collective Rebar to assist with designing the temporary spaces (which is exciting, as Rebar has implemented lots of innovative projects all around the country).

The project was developed in coordination with the recommendations of the Central 14th Street Revitalization Strategy Plan, which calls for creative uses of the commercial spaces along the corridor in order to spur revitalization.

Two events this weekend will kick off planning for the project. Both are free and open to the public:

When: Friday, April 20, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where: Sorg Architects, 918 U St NW
Panel discussion on how commercial corridors like 14th Street can use art to bolster neighborhood vitality.
Moderator: Donald Russell, executive director, Provisions Learning Project/Provisions Library
John Bela, founder, Rebar
Liesel Fenner, public art program manager, Americans for the Arts
Julian Hunt, AIA, Hunt Laudi Studio
Linn Meyers, artist
Suman Sorg, Sorg Architects
Harriet Tregoning, director, DC Office of Planning

When: Saturday, April 21, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: The plaza in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue NW
From the Office of Planning: "Community residents will re-create a temporary art-plaza in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue and 14th Street (in front of the old Colorado Dry Cleaners). This will be a hands-on and fun activity using chalk, stencils and plantings to create a short term art plaza as recommended in the Central 14th Plan. After the mock-up, everyone is invited to join Rebar and business owners for a hands-on discussion on how street furniture will help with revitalization. The discussion will address the following questions: How are sidewalks currently used? Could street furniture support a more active and engaging street? What are the needs of businesses to attract more visitors? This discussion will take place from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at 5538 1/2 Colorado Avenue (Linn Meyer's studio)."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zoning variance extension requested for Beacon Center project at Georgia and Quackenbos

Rendering of the Beacon Center from

DC Mud reports that Emory Beacon of Light has requested a two-year zoning variance for the development of its Beacon Center mixed-use project at Georgia Avenue and Quackenbos Street. Construction has been delayed due to changing architects last year (Torti Gallas and Partners took over the project from PGN Architects), resulting in the need for the extension. According to DC Mud, Emory president Hazel Broadnax hopes to break ground by the end of 2012 and complete construction within 24 months.

The current plans, according to the Beacon Center's website:

We will be simplifying the project and building in two phases. Due to the current economic climate, we haven't been able to secure $3 million for the 2-story gymnasium. That interior space will now be multi-purpose ministry space (sanctuary level) with housing units above it. In addition to the 5,700 square feet of retail space, 10,600 square feet of office, meeting and classroom space and two-levels of garage parking with 96 spaces there will be a variety of housing needs accommodated:

Building A includes
15 Transitional Family Housing Units and 45 Affordable Family Housing Units

Building B includes
32 Permanent Supportive Housing for Veterans and 17 Transitional Housing Units for single men

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Caribbean Carnival organizers: it's not quite over just yet

Posted on the DC Caribbean Carnival's Facebook page:

This morning the DC City Paper wrote an article that states DC Carnival is Cancel(led). This is not true. We attended a meeting last night with the lower Georgia Avenue Business Community to provide an update on DC Carnival 2012. We express(ed) the financial challenges the Carnival is facing with respect to City services and that we are exploring alternatives to Georgia Avenue this year. We never mentioned canceling the Carnival but I guess this makes for bigger and better news. This confirm(s) to us that we are facing an uphill battle to sustain our culture in this ever changing DC community. We no longer can depend on the City to help us. This is a wake up call for us to help oursel(ves). If we do not mobilize as a community and show the City that we are important and we do make a difference then the headlines might prove to be true.

In other words: it might be premature to say that event is cancelled altogether, but if it does happen, it's likely to be very different from the festival we've grown accustomed to.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Caribbean Carnival cancelled this year due to budget issues

At tonight's Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force meeting, DC Caribbean Carnival organizer Roland Barnes announced that the event will go on indefinite hiatus starting this year, reports Housing Complex:

"Unless someone is able to wave a magic wand in the next 24 hours, there will be no parade on Georgia Avenue," Barnes said mournfully. "The reality of the last few years was that donations and sponsorships were in one direction, and costs were in another direction."

The parade is still about $200,000 in debt to the city, Barnes said, and would need at least that much again in order to put on the parade, which had been scheduled for June 23 and 24. While previous mayors have done what it took to make the event happen, this administration isn't interested.

"We have seen a 180-degree turn in terms of support for this event," added the event's executive director, Loughton Sargeant. "It was only a matter of time before the city was going to pull the plug."

The news comes after the release of a study by the Howard University School of Business quantifying the Festival and Parade's impact on local businesses. Researchers estimated last year's attendance at 400,000 attendees—which seems high—and figured they spent $21,637,166 total, generating $1,298,230 in sales taxes. Needless to say, every single one of the 50 businesses surveyed was in favor of continuing the parade, and even extending its route (it had to be cut short on account of finances last year).

Update: DCist reports that the festival itself may happen, just not the parade.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The 14th Street bus lines are being restructured, and the project team wants your opinions on the plans

Two public meetings that will focus on the planned changes to the 52, 53, and 54 bus routes have been announced.

These meetings will be conducted a little differently than most. ("The meetings will be 'open house' style, meaning that participants may arrive any time between 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm. No presentation will be given; instead, participants will be able to speak individually with the project team about options for improvements that are now being evaluated.") Good opportunities to speak directly with the restructuring team about the changes that are in store.

Here's the full announcement from WMATA:

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is pleased to announce the second round of public meetings as part of the Metrobus 14th Street Line Study.

This study is part of the Metrobus Priority Corridor Restructuring Series, and is being conducted in partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT).

The first meeting will take place on:

Thursday, April 12, 2012
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
WMATA Northern Division Community Room
4627 14th Street NW (at Decatur Street)

The second meeting will take place on:

Monday, April 16, 2012
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Columbia Heights Community Center
1480 Girard Street NW

Both meeting locations are on the 14th Street Line and open to all members of the public. No advance registration is required.

The meetings will be “open house” style, meaning that participants may arrive any time between 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm. No presentation will be given; instead, participants will be able to speak individually with the project team about options for improvements that are now being evaluated.

Metro and DDOT are relying on feedback from participants so that the options can be refined and preliminary recommendations can be made later this spring.

A Spanish translator and visual materials in Spanish will be provided for those who prefer them.

These public meetings are the second in a series for the 14th Street Line. At the first public meeting and focus group this winter, participants offered input about recurring problems with service on the 14th Street Line and made suggestions on how to address them.

The 14th Street Line Study will culminate in a set of recommendations that will be presented to the public and the Metro Board for approval in summer 2012.

More information can be obtained at the project website.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The state of Brightwood real estate - April 2012

Here's what's been going on this past month real estate-wise in Brightwood. Thanks to realtor Eric Brooks for compiling this information!

Active properties on the market
24 properties are for sale now (up from 31 last month)
Ranging from $39,900 to $589,900
Two of these are foreclosed homes, one is a short sale

March Active

Properties that went under contract in the past month
24 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 $129,000 to $529,900
3 of these are 'bank owned' homes and 9 are short sales

March Under Contract

Properties that sold in the past month
Four homes sold in the month of March
Ranging from $175,000 to $545,000
All were normal sales - no REOs or short sales

March 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 him to set up an appointment: 301-986-6476 or

Monday, April 2, 2012

Primary election is tomorrow; free rides to polls available for seniors

Don't forget to vote in the primary election tomorrow!

MV Transportation is offering complimentary rides to seniors who vote at the Hattie Holmes Senior Center (Precinct 57). To schedule a ride, seniors can call coordinator Lindsey Fell at (202) 495-0542. MV Transportation will be running accessible vehicles between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Two suspects arrested in connection with shooting at Takoma Recreation Center

From NBC Washington:

Two people have been arrested after a shooting near a D.C. recreation center that briefly suspended early voting Saturday afternoon.

Police were called to the intersection of 3rd and Van Buren Streets outside the Takoma Aquatic Center at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday after the shooting was reported. Officers found the shooting victim and transported him to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Authorities say the victim was "conscious and breathing" and his injury is not life-threatening.

After further investigation, police say the shooting victim was actually a robbery suspect. Investigators say he was one of three masked men who tried to rob four people along the 300 block of Van Buren.

Police say one of the robbers had a gun which went off and hit one of his accomplices. The four robbery victims fled the scene, unharmed. The suspect who was struck and another suspect were arrested and charged with armed robbery, according to investigators. A third suspect is still at large.