EAST of the RIVER MAGAZINE
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 3
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2015 | CAPITALCOMMUNITYNEWS.COM
08......... What’s on Washington 10......... East of the River Calendar
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS 14......... Bulletin Board 20......... The Future of DC General • by Jonathan Neeley 22......... The Future of RFK: Parks, Parking and Politics by Shaun Courtney
24......... The Numbers • by Ed Lazere 26......... Our River: The Anacostia • by Bill Matuszeski 29......... Barry Farm Aquatic Center Opens • by Charnice A. Milton 30......... Should Exelon Be Allowed To Buy PEPCO? • by Jonathan Neeley
32......... Say Hello to the New Ballou • by Charnice A. Milton
EAST WASHINGTON LIFE
34......... The Pink Palace in Congress Heights by Christina Sturdivant
36......... Storytelling with a Twist of Reality by Candace Y.A. Montague
38......... Jazz Avenues • by Steve Monroe
39......... Changing Hands • compiled by Don Denton
KIDS & FAMILY
40......... Kids & Family Notebook • by Kathleen Donner
THE CLASSIFIEDS 44......... The Classifieds
CROSSWORD 46......... The Crossword
34 ON THE COVER:
Skating exibition at last year’s open house. Photo: Courtesy of Fort Dupont Ice Arena. See story on page 12.
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EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 5
Hill Rag • Mid City DC • East Of The River • Fagon Community Guides Capital Community News, Inc. 224 7th Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20003 202.543.8300 capitalcommunitynews.com EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Melissa Ashabranner • firstname.lastname@example.org
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WORKSHOPS FOR EXISTING AND ASPIRING DISTRICT BUSINESSES Money Smart for Small Business: Financial Management and Credit Reporting Date: Thursday, January 8, 2015 Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: 1100 4th Street SW, 4th Floor (E-4302), Washington, D.C. 20024 To Register: http://goo.gl/zb6r6H
Selecting the Most Suitable Legal Structure for Your Business Should You Incorporate? Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am Location: 1100 4th Street SW, 4th Floor (E-4302), Washington, D.C. 20024 To Register: http://goo.gl/Bh370N
Regulatory Process of How to Open a Small Business in DC Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am Location: 1100 4th Street SW, 2nd Floor (E-200), Washington, D.C. 20024 To Register: http://goo.gl/LqvMBH
Money Smart for Small Business Banking Services and Insurance Date: Thursday, January 22, 2015 Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Location: 1100 4th Street SW, 4th Floor (E-4302), Washington, D.C. 20024 To Register: http://goo.gl/zvX6an
SBRC’s Navigating through Business Licensing and Corporations Process Date: Monday through Thursday Time: By Appointment – between 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Location: 1100 4th Street SW, 2nd Floor (E-268), Washington, D.C. 20024 To Register: http://bizdc.ecenterdirect.com
Senior Day Program Date: Thursday, February, 5, 2015 Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am Location: Bernice Elizabeth Fonteneau – 3531 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20011 To Register: http://goo.gl/CRlNrk For further information, please contact: Jacqueline Noisette (202) 442-8170 email@example.com Claudia Herrera (202) 442-8055 firstname.lastname@example.org Joy Douglas (202) 442-8690 email@example.com
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Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park
PlungeFest 2015 on Jan. 24 at Sandy Point State Park is a fun and quirky way to support Maryland Special Olympics. You’ll “plunge” into the icy water of the Chesapeake Bay with just a swim suit on in the middle of January and pay for the privilege. It’s not just an event--it’s an experience that has become a winter-time tradition for thousands of warm-hearted Plungers. It all benefits Maryland’s children and adults with intellectual disabilities, as they enjoy the life-changing benefits of participating in the Special Olympics. Sandy Point State Park is about 40 miles east on route 50 (exit 32), at the base of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. plungemd.com
Photo: Steve Ruark
HOT TO COLD at the National Building Museum
On the heels of its summer indoor maze, which attracted more than 50,000 visitors, the international design firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) returns to the National Building Museum, Jan. 24-Aug. 30, with a behind-thescenes look at its creative process. The exhibition, HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation, takes visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explores how BIG´s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts. More than 60 three-dimensional models will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the Museum’s Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202272-2448. nbm.org
BIG Partners. Photo: Dean Kaufman
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Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence
Italian Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo’s paintings will be at the National Gallery of Art, Feb. 1-May 3. Forty of the artist’s most compelling paintings will be on view, including beguiling mythologies and religious works (some on loan from churches in Italy), as well as one of his greatest works, the Madonna and Child with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, and John the Evangelist with Angels from the Museo degli Innocenti, Florence. Several important paintings will undergo conservation treatment before the exhibition, including the Gallery’s Visitation altarpiece (c. 1489–1490)—one of the artist’s largest extant paintings. The exhibition will be in the West Building, Mail Floor Galleries. nga.gov
Piero di Cosimo, The Visitation with Saint Nicholas and Saint Anthony Abbot, c. 1489/1490, oil on panel, 184.2 x 188.6 cm (72 1/2 x 74 1/4 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection
Newseum Displays News Coverage Artifacts from Ferguson Protests
Following the shooting death of Michael Brown and the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, Newseum collected more than a dozen items from protesters and journalists in Ferguson, Mo. “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement” now includes a press pass and two rubber pellet, a homemade “Police the Police” poster used by protesters and several reporters’ notebooks containing notes about the events. Newseum online managing editor Sharon Shahid traveled to St. Louis to collect the items; read her compelling account of conversations with people on the front lines of the conflict in Ferguson. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-292-6100. newseum.org
Beverly Adams, 63, of University City, Mo., during the “Ferguson October” protest march in St. Louis. Photo: Courtesy of Beverly Adams
Wreath-laying at the MLK Memorial
A wreath-laying ceremony at the MLK Memorial will take place on Monday, Jan. 19, 8-9 a.m. This year’s ceremony is “A Day of Reconciliation and Service…In Remembrance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday.” President and CEO of The MLK Memorial Foundation Harry E. Johnson, Sr. will lay the wreath. He will be joined by political leaders, civil rights and human rights leaders, and members of the public. The ceremony was scheduled early in the morning to allow for all to do a day of community service in honor of Dr. King. The organizers urge all attendees to arrive early and consider using public transportation. thememorialfoundation.org
Photo: Courtesy of the MLK Memorial Foundation
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CALENDAR MLK DAY RELATED EVENTS
consider using public transportation. 1964 Independence Ave. SW. nps.gov/mlkm thememorialfoundation.org
The State of US Race Relations: Improved or Worsened? Jan 14, 6:30 PM. On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech as a part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The speech sought an end to racial injustice in America and called for an integrated society. In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, come out to to hear an enlightening presentation by the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, on the state of race relations in the United States. Capitol View Library, 5001 Central Ave. SE. 202-645-0755. dclibrary.org/capitolview
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Jan 19. Serve DC connects residents with volunteer opportunities and community-based organizations with resources and volunteers. serve.dc.gov Martin Luther King Jr. 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk. Jan 19, 9:00 AM. oceeds beneﬁt United Community Ministries which provides clothing, food, and support to families. Wakeﬁeld Park, 8100 Braddock Rd., Annandale VA. runwashington.com
Smithsonian Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Program. Jan 16, 7:00-9:00 PM. The Smithsonian celebrates King’s life and legacy at the National Museum of the American Indian, Rasmuson Theater, 4th St. and Independence Ave. SW. Call 202-633-4844 to register.
“Remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr.” Jan 20, 7:00 PM. The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and the Anacostia Playhouse present Remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr., a one-hour concert. Free and suitable for all ages. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Pl. NE.
Wreath-Laying at the Lincoln Memorial. Jan 19, 1:00 PM. The National Park Service will place a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial, on the steps where Dr. King gave his 1963 speech. The recitation of the “I Have a Dream” speech will be presented by school students. 202-426-6895. nps.gov/linc
Visit the MLK Memorial. Open to visitors all hours, every day. 1964 Independence Ave. SW. nps.gov/mlkm
Wreath-laying at the MLK Memorial. Jan 19, 8:00-9:00 AM. The organizers urge all attendees to arrive early and
Alexandria’s Watson Reading Room. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Visitors should call in advance for holiday hours. Located next door to the Alexandria Black History Museum, the Watson Reading Room is a non-circulating research repository focusing on issues of African-
American history and culture. Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA. 703-746-4356. alexandriava.gov/historic NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom Online Exhibition. The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom exhibition presents a retrospective of the major personalities, events, and achievements that shaped the NAACP’s history during its ﬁrst 100 years. myloc.gov/Exhibitions/naacp Civil Rights at 50 at Newseum. On display through 2015. “Civil Rights at 50,” a three-year changing exhibit, chronicles milestones in the civil rights movement from 1963, 1964 and 1965 through historic front pages, magazines and news images. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave, NE. 888-639-7386. newseum.org
SPECIAL EVENTS NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo. Jan 10-11. This is a free expo which is a hands-on exposition that offers information on how to maintain a healthly lifelstyle with forums on healthy cooking, exercise, activities for children from games to face painting. Free. Walter E. Washington Concention Center. dcconvention.com Winter Restaurant Week. Jan 19-25. #DineOutandEatUp at over 230 restaurants offering 3-course lunch menus for
MLK Open House at Fort Dupont Ice Arena.
Jan 19, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM (skating exhibition at noon). Free skating, skate rental and skating lessons throughout the open house. Skates available on a first come, first served basis. Fort Dupont Ice Arena, 3779 Ely Pl. SE. 202-584-5007. fdia.org Skating exibition at last year’s open house. Photo: Courtesy of Fort Dupont Ice Arena
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$20.15 and dinner menus for $35.15. Book your table today at ramw.org/ restaurantweek. Washington Auto Show. Jan 23Feb 1. WANADA represents its dealer membership in the state, local and national public policy process and speaks for its part of the auto industry in public and media forums. Walter E. Washington Concention Center. dcconvention.com
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD “The Conspirator” Screening at ACM. Jan 13, 1:00-3:00 PM. Set in postCivil War Washington, director Robert Redford’s critically acclaimed drama examines events occurring in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the president, the vice president, and the secretary of state. A young lawyer agrees to defend the accused before a military tribunal. Discussion with a museum educator follows the screening. Closed captioned. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu Red High Heels at Anacostia Playhouse. Jan 15-24. The Red High Heels Trilogy is a thought provoking series of new plays written by Harrison Murphy and directed by Jim Girardi. Their intent is to offer theater in a new form by combining multiple media and live acting into a new theatrical form. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Pl. SE. Tickets may be purchased at anacostiaplayhouse.com. Rhythm Cafe: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington. Jan 17, 2:004:00 PM. Mikaela Carlton, a graduate of Howard University’s vocal music department gives an overview of jazz legend Dinah Washington, followed by a performance of Washington’s signature songs. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-6334820. anacostia.si.edu Collage Dance Collective Presents RISE. Jan 31, 2:30 Pm and 7:30 PM. Contemporary ballet concert featuring CDC’s professional company, students from the Collage Ballet Conservatory, and students from Jones Haywood School of Dance! $25, advance and $30, day-of. THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org How the Civil War Changed Washington. Feb 2-Oct 18. This exhibition focuses on the social and spatial impacts of the war, such as changes in social mores, the built environment, the population and its ethnic breakEAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 11
CALENDAR down, and new collective uses of wartime elements, including the many Civil War forts constructed around the city were later turned into parks. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu C.R. Gibbs Lectures on African American History and Culture. Feb 2 and 9, 7:00 PM. Feb 2: “Tan Yanks: The District’s Black Doughboys of World War I” and Feb 9: “Unbroken Bonds: The African Origins of Fraternities, Sororities and Other Organizations.” Capitol View Library, 5001 Central Ave. SE. 202-645-0755. dclibrary. org/capitolview Frozen at Anacostia Playhouse. Feb 5-Mar 1. Frozen tells the story of the disappearance of 10-year-old Rhona, and follows her mother and killer over the years that follow. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Pl. SE. Tickets may be purchased at anacostiaplayhouse.com. Discounts available for east of the river residents. Tour the Frederick Douglass House. Tours are at 9:00 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:15 PM, 3:00 PM and 3:30 PM. Ranger led tours are the only way to see the inside of the Frederick Douglass house. Tours are ticketed, and there are a limited number of tickets available for each tour. Tour tickets are available by reservation or on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis. Tours last about 30 minutes. 1411 W St. SE. 202-426-5960. nps.gov/ frdo
SPORTS AND FITNESS Washington Capitals Ice Hockey. Jan 10, 12, 14, 20, 28 and Feb 1 and 3. Verizon Center. capitals.nhl.com Washington Capitals Practice Schedule. Non-game day, 10:30 AM; game day, 10:00 AM; and day after game, 11:00 AM. All practices are at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, 627 No. Glebe Rd., Suite 800, Arlington, VA. They are free and open to the public. kettlercapitalsiceplex.com Washington Wizards Basketball. Jan 11, 13, 16, 19, 24, 31 and Feb 2. Verizon Center. nba.com/wizards Cupid’s Undie Run. Feb 15, noon. This Valentine’s Day weekend, put the hilarity in charity with hundreds of half-naked runners taking to the streets in celebration of their fundraising for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. cupidsundierun.com/city/ washington March for Life 5K. Jan 22, 8:00 AM. This 5K race is $40 per person or $20 per child under 13, ($100 for family of 4 or more) at marchforlife.org/march-for-life-2015/5k. Canal Park Ice Skating. Monday and Tuesday, noon-7:00 PM; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, noon-9:00 PM; Saturday, 11:00 AM-10:00 PM; and Sunday, 11 AM-7:00 PM. $9, adults; $8, children, seniors and military. $4, skate rental. Canal Park Ice Rink is at 202 M St. SE. 202-554-6051. canalparkdc.org
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast.
Jan 19, 9:00 AM (doors open at 8:00 AM). Guest speaker is Reverend Adriane Blair Wise. $35. Purchase tickets through Tayloria Jordan, 301702-0012 or Donna Saffron, 202-251-6610. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 1600 Morris Rd. SE. josephites.org/parish/dc/olph Ministry of Sacred Motion dancers (middle school and high school students) perform at last year’s prayer breakfast. Photo: Lorraine Parker-Miller
Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Through mid-March. Monday–Thursday, 10:00 AM–9:00 PM; Friday-Saturday, 10:00 AM–11:00 PM; Sunday, 11:00 AM-9:00 PM. Two hour sessions begin on the hour. $8, adult; $7 seniors over 50, students with ID and kids, 12 and under. 7th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. 202-2169397. nga.gov Public Ice Skating at Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Fridays, noon-1:50 PM and Saturdays, noon-1:00 PM. $5, adults; kids 2-12 and seniors, $4. Skate Rental, $3. Fort Dupont Ice Arena, 3779 Ely Pl. 202-584-5007. fdia.org Adult Dance and Fitness Classes at THEARC. Mondays, 7:15 PM, Yoga; Tuesdays, 7:30 PM, Zumba; Thursdays, 7:45 PM, Ballet; Saturdays, 9:00 AM, Zumba. Dropin rates are $12. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org Yoga @ the Library. Every Saturday, 10:00 AM. Wear some comfortable clothing and bring a mat, but if you don’t have one, yoga mats are available for use during the class. Free. Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library, 3935 Benning Rd. NE. 202281-2583. dclibrary.org/benning Deanwood (indoor) Pool. Mon-Fri 6:30 AM-8:00 PM; Sat-Sun, 9:00 AM5:00 PM.
Free for DC residents. 1350 49th St. NE. 202-671-3078. dpr.dc.gov
Food Stamps) accepted. 13th and H Sts. NE. freshfarmmarket.org
Ferebee Hope (indoor) Pool. Open weekdays, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Closed weekends. Free for DC residents. 3999 8th St. SE. 202645-3916. dpr.dc.gov
U Street Flea. Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. The market is in the parking lot, next to Nellie’s Sports Bar (three blocks east of U Street Metro), at 912 U St. NW. ustreetﬂea.com
Barry Farm (indoor) pool. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:30 AM-8:00 PM; and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Free for DC residents. 1230 Sumner Rd. SE. 202-7300572. dpr.dc.gov
MARKETS DC Big Flea Market. Jan 10, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM; Jan 11, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM. Over 600 booths featuring a diverse mix of antiques, collectibles, art, jewelry, mid-century, etc. $8 admission, parking free. Dulles Expo Ctr, Chantilly, VA. 757-961-3988. thebigﬂeamarket.com Branch Avenue Pawn Parking Lot Flea Market. Saturdays, year-round (weather permitting). Set up after 10:00 AM. 3128 Branch Ave., Temple Hills, MD H Street FRESHFARM Market. Saturdays, 9 AM-noon, through Dec 20. SNAP (EBT/
Branch Avenue Pawn Parking Lot Flea Market. Saturdays, year-round (weather permitting). Set up after 10:00 AM. 3128 Branch Ave., Temple Hills, MD Fresh Tuesdays at Eastern Market. Every Tuesday, 3:00-7:00 PM. Tuesday afternoon farmers’ line of fresh produce. Eastern Market, 200 block of 7th St. SE. 202-698-5253. easternmarketdc.com Union Market. Tuesday-Friday, 11:00 AM8:00 PM; Saturday-Sunday, 8:00 AM-8:00 PM. Union Market is an artisanal, curated, year round food market featuring over 40 local vendors. 1309 5th St. NE. 301-6527400. unionmarketdc.com Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Sundays (rain or shine), year round, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. 20th St. and Mass. Ave. NW, 1500 block of 20th St. NW (between Mass. Ave. and Q St. in the adjacent parking lot of PNC Bank). 202-362-8889. freshfarmmarket.org
Anacostia Coordinating Council Meeting. Last Tuesday, noon-2:00 PM. Anacostia Museum, 1901 Fort St. SE. For further details, contact Philip Pannell, 202-8894900. Capitol View Civic Association Meeting. Third Monday, 6:30 PM. Hughes Memorial United Methodist, 25 53rd St. NE. capitolviewcivicassoc.org Historical Anacostia Block Association. Second Thursday, 7:00-9:00 PM. UPO Anacostia Service Center, 1649 Good Hope Rd. SE. For further details, contact Charles Wilson, 202-834-0600. Anacostia High School School Improvement Team Meeting. Fourth Tuesday. 6:00 PM. Anacostia High School, 16th and R sts. SE. Fairlawn Citizens Association. Third Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Ora L. Glover Community Room at the Anacostia Public Library, 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE.
ANC MONTHLY MEETINGS ANC 7B. Third Thursday, 7:00 PM. Ryland Epworth United Methodist Church, 3200 S St. SE (Branch Ave and S St. SE). 202-5843400. firstname.lastname@example.org. anc7b.us ANC 7C. Second Thursday, 7:00 PM. Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church, 5109 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE. 202398-5100. email@example.com ANC 7D. Second Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Sixth District Police Station, 100 42nd St. NE. 202-398-5258. 7D06@anc.dc.gov Georgetown Flea Market. Sundays year around (except in the case of very inclement weather), 8:00 AM-4:00 PM. 1819 35th St. NW. georgetownﬂeamarket.com Maine Avenue Fish Market. Open 365 days a year. 7:00 AM-9:00 PM. 1100 Maine Ave. SW. 202-484-2722.
CIVIC LIFE “Talking Transition” Town Meeting. Jan 17, 9:30 AM-3:30 PM. Free lunch and refreshments. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW. Register at TalkingTransitionDC.com. Councilmember Alexander’s Constituent Services Ofﬁce. Open weekdays, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. 2524 Penn. Ave. SE. 202581-1560. Congresswoman Norton’s SE District Ofﬁce. Open weekdays, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM. 2041 MLK Ave. SE, #238. 202-678-8900. norton.house.gov
ANC 7E. Second Tuesday, 7:008:30 PM. Jones Memorial Church, 4625 G St. SE. 202-582-6360. 7E@anc.dc.gov
...because I say no to drugs. I know it’s unhealthy to use drugs. I surround myself with family and friends who are supportive and drug-free. To see the I am healthy series and get tips on ways to stay healthy, visit www.amerihealthdc.com/iamhealthy or scan the QR code with your mobile application. SM
ANC 7F. Third Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Washington Tennis and Education Foundation, 200 Stoddert Place, SE ANC 8A. First Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Anacostia UPO Service Center, 1649 Good Hope Rd. SE. 202-889-6600. anc8adc.org ANC 8B. Third Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Seventh District Police Station Community Center, Alabama and McGee Sts. SE. 202-6101818. anc8b.org ANC 8C. First Wednesday, 7:00 PM. 2907 MLK Jr Ave. SE. 202-388-2244. ANC 8D. Fourth Thursday, 7:00 PM. Specialty Hospital of Washington, 4601 MLK Jr. Ave. SW. 202-561-0774. ◆
Eastland Gardens Civic Association Meeting. Third Tuesday, 6:30-8:00 PM at Kenilworth Elementary School Auditorium, 1300 44th St. NE. Contact Javier Barker, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-450-3155. EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 13
unnel boring machines are typically named for important women, much as boats are in the nautical world. This TBM was DC Water Names named “Nannie” for Nannie Helen New Tunnel Boring Burroughs, a prominent 20th century African-American educator Machine “Nannie” and civil rights activist. A resident of Washington, DC, she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls to provide academic, religious and vocational classes for African American girls and young women. DC Water named its massive tunnel boring machine while Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, provided a blessing to those who will work on it. Soon it will be lowered underground on a mission to tunnel two and a half miles along the Potomac and under the Anacostia River. The machine, with a 26’-diameter cutterhead and measuring more than 350 feet long when assembled, is part of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project to significantly reduce combined sewer overflows in the District for improved water quality. "Nannie" joins "Lady Bird," (DC Water’s first 26’-diameter tunnel boring machine) in tunneling segments that will join together for part of the 13.1 mile-long Anacostia River Tunnel to alleviate combined sewer overflows to the Anacostia River. Photo: Courtesy of DC Water
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Skyland Town Center Walmart Lease Signed
The Walmart lease at the Skyland Town Center at the intersection of Good Hope Rd., Naylor Rd., and Alabama Ave. SE in Ward 7 has been signed. The lease signing secures the nation’s largest retailer to anchor the long-awaited project that also will feature neighborhood retailers, restaurants and residential units.
Barry Farm Indoor Aquatic Center Opens
On Dec. 13, Mayor Gray and other government officials joined the Barry Farm community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new, state-of-the-art indoor aquat-
ic center in Ward 8. Formerly an outdoor aquatic center, the new 8,800-square-foot LEED Silver indoor center boasts a 6-lane, 25 meters fully ADA accessible lap pool; a leisure pool with beach entry; and a water-slide. The new center is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. District residents may participate in open swim for free with valid photo ID. The center will also offer a variety of classes including: Learn to Swim for Seniors, Adults, Youth, Children and Parent/Child; Water Aerobics for Seniors; Lifeguard Training Academy; Swim Skills and more. Class registration is currently open. Some classes may have associated fees. dpr.dc.gov
H y p e r L o c a l | hīpər
. lōk(ə)l |
Hyperlocal connotes information oriented around a well defined community with its primary focus directed toward the concerns of its residents. synonym: eastoftheriverdcnews.com Daily online. Monthly in print.
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 15
BULLETIN BOARD Anacostia Playhouse Launches 2015 Season with Frozen
The Anacostia Playhouse will bring the psychological drama Frozen to audiences this February. Frozen, written by Bryony Lavery, is a brilliant play about our darkest fears in the face of forgiveness, awareness and understanding. Directed by Delia Taylor, the play tells the story of the disappearance of 10-year-old Rhona, and follows her mother and killer over the years that follow. A psychologist studying the brains of serial killers provides the link that intertwines the lives of the three characters through the two powerful themes of emotional paralysis and forgiveness. Frozen will run at the Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Pl. SE, from Feb. 5-Mar. 1; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays (starting Feb. 14) and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Anacostia Playhouse offers a discount for east of the river residents. Tickets may be purchased at anacostiaplayhouse.com.
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Author Talk: Carla Kaplan at Anacostia Community Museum
Noted scholar Dr. Carla Kaplan talks about her book “Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.” Her book focuses on the lives of several white women, collectively called “Miss Anne,” who became Harlem Renaissance insiders--moving seamlessly between the periphery of white patronage and the boundary-testing world of interracial liaisons. Kaplan is the Stanton W. and Elisabeth K. Davis Distinguished Professor in American Literature at Northeastern University, Boston. The book will be available for purchase. This program is on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2-4 p.m. at the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. anacostia. si.edu
Southeast Boulevard Re-Opens
As part of the 11th Street Bridge project, DDOT has re-opened the Southeast Boulevard between 11th St. SE and Pennsylvania Ave. SE
to traffic. This opening provides an alternate direct connection between I-695 (Southeast/Southwest Freeway) and Pennsylvania Ave. SE (Barney Circle) via the newly constructed at-grade intersection at 11th St. SE.
Martin Luther King, Jr Service Event at Kenilworth Park
On Jan. 17, 9 a.m.-noon (rain or shine), join them as they celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr with a day of service. This project will begin at 9 a.m. with on-site registration opening 30 minutes prior to the start of the event. Arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. All volunteers are encouraged to wear long-sleeve shirts and jackets and long pants. Gloves and all equipment will be provided. Granola bars and light snacks provided. Please bring a water bottle. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone, parent or guardian. RSVP recommended to tina@friendsofkenilworthgardens. org. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. friendsofkenilworthgardens.org
Master Developer Chosen for First Phase of St. Elizabeths East Campus
Redbrick LMD-Gragg Cardona are to redevelop the first phase of the historic St. Elizabeths East Campus. The Redbrick LMDGragg Cardona team was selected based on their experience with large-scale projects and the strength of their plan to fulfill the District’s policy goals at St. Elizabeths East. In addition to Redbrick and Gragg Cardona, members of the team are NVR, Inc., one of the District’s leading home builders; JBGR, an affiliate of The JBG Companies; and Perkins Eastman. The St. Elizabeths East Campus spans 183 acres and is located at 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE. The first phase of development covers 1.6 million square feet and is in close proximity to the Congress Heights Metro Station. It offers an opportunity to create a technology-focused, transit-ori-
ented community that includes business, research, higher education and residential uses in a collaborative environment. For more information, visit stelizabethseast.com.
THEARC Partners with Skyland Workforce Center
The Skyland Workforce Center is a joint project of the development and construction team for the Skyland Town Center and Workplace DC, a group of local non-profit organizations that provide employment-related services. The goal of the Center is to co-locate services and programs on-site that connect job seekers with positions and services that can help them to successfully obtain and retain employment with training and referral services. Five nonprofits will be providing services at the Center: LIFT-DC is providing case management; Jubilee Jobs is doing job placement; Southeast Ministry is providing GED tutoring and adult basic education; STRIVE-DC is offering job readiness training; and Byte Back is providing computer literacy training. The Skyland Town Center is a mixed-use project now under development. The site is bordered by Alabama Ave., Naylor Rd. and Good Hope Rd. SE.
Author Talk: James Davis at Anacostia Community Museum
In his book “Music Along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia,” Dr. James Davis examines the role music played in defining the social communities that emerged during the 1863 winter encampment. Music was an essential part of each soldier’s personal identity, and Davis considers how music became a means of controlling the acoustic and social cacophony of war that surrounded every soldier.
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BULLETIN BOARD Black History Invitational Swim Meet Final Day for Applications
The 29th Annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet will be held Feb. 13-15 at the Takoma Aquatic Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW. Completed entry packages must be received on Tuesday, Jan. 27. For more information, or to request an entry package, contact Robert Green, BHISM coordinator, at Robert.Green@dc.gov.
District’s Population Continues to Grow
Sharp Stick Productions Presents “Red High Heels” at Anacostia Playhouse
ewly-formed Sharp Stick Productions will present its first offering of three original one-act plays, Red High Heels, at the Anacostia Playhouse, Jan. 15-24. The Red High Heels Trilogy is a thought-provoking series of new plays written by Harrison Murphy and directed by Jim Girardi. Their intent is to offer theater in a new form by combining multiple media and live acting into a new theatrical form. Anacostia Playhouse is at 2020 Shannon Pl. SE. Tickets are available at anacostiaplayhouse.com.
Cast of Red High Heels at during rehearsal break. Photo: Courtesy of Anacostia Playhouse
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Davis is a professor of musicology in the School of Music at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Limited copies of the book will be available for purchase. This program is on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2-4 p.m. at the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu South Capitol Street Corridor Project Public Hearing The District Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration invite you to a public hearing on the South Capitol Street Corridor Project on Thursday, Jan. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. The purpose of the hearing is to present the South Capitol Street Corridor Project Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, gather public comments and to share the updated project schedule. The South Capi-
tol Street Corridor document is available for public review and comment online at southcapitoleis.com until Feb. 2.
January Watershed Wednesday: Green and White Winter Wonderland
On Wednesday, Jan. 14, 6:309 p.m., join the Anacostia Watershed Society for a winter tour of the Green Infrastructure at Canal Park, near the revitalized Capitol Riverfront. Attendees will be led in a discussion about the importance of green roofs and other environmental amenities and how they keep the water that flows to the Anacostia River clean. Canal Park is at 202 M St. SE (Navy Yard Metro). Afterwards, join them for some ice-skating at the Canal Park Ice Rink, then drinks at a nearby restaurant (details on restaurant tba). RSVP at anacostiaws.org/watershedwednesday-green-and-whitewinter-wonderland.
The District of Columbia continues to be an attractive place to live, as the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau were released showing that 9,782 new residents were added between July 2013 and July 2014, keeping Washington, DC on the list of the top positive growth areas in the country. The District’s total population now stands at 658,893—a figure not seen since the 1970s. The District grew by 1.5 percent over the year. The previous 2013 population estimate of 646,449 has been revised upward to 649,111. This number means that the city has added 57,000 people or grown an average of 1,120 new residents per month between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2014. Based on the revised 2013 population estimate, the District grew by an average of 815 new residents per month between July 2013 and July 2014. For the fourth year in a row, the District remained among the nation’s top five fastestgrowing states. This continued growth trend moves the District closer to its Sustainable DC goal of increasing the city’s population by 250,000 residents between 2010 and 2030.
DDOT Releases Final Circulator Transit Development Plan
The District Department of Transportation has released the 2014 Final DC Circulator Transit Development Plan (TDP). The Final 2014 TDP identifies six new routes and four route extensions for the 10-year growth plan, which will be implemented in three phases: Phase I (FY 2015 – 2017) New Routes: National Mall; National Cathedral-McPherson Square Metro. Extensions: Georgetown-Union
Station Extension to National Cathedral; Union Station-Navy Yard Extension to Southwest Waterfront; Dupont-Georgetown-Rosslyn Extension to U St/Howard University; Potomac Ave Metro-Skyland Extension to Congress Heights. Phase II (FY 2018 – 2020) New Routes: Convention Center-Southwest Waterfront Service; Serving NoMa (corridor pending further study). Phase III (FY 2021 – 2024) New Routes: Dupont-Southwest Waterfront; Columbia Heights-Washington Hospital Center-Brookland-NoMa. For more information, contact Circe Torruellas at email@example.com or call 202-671-2847.
DC United Announces 2015 Home Opener
DC United will begin its 20th regular season on Saturday, Mar. 7, 3 p.m., against the Montreal Impact at RFK Stadium. The remaining MLS schedule will be announced at a later date. Single game tickets go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 27. Visit dcunited.com or call 202-587-5000 for more information.
Report Shows Decline in New HIV Cases in the District
A new interim report shows a decrease in new HIV cases in the District of Columbia during 2013. The report shows there were 497 new HIV cases, a decrease from the 680 cases reported in 2012. Overall, this is a 58% decrease from 1,180 cases in 2008. This latest snapshot of the epidemic indicates the District saw reductions across gender, race/ethnicity, age and mode of transmission. Highlights from the report are that 16,594 persons are living with HIV. There was a decrease in new AIDS cases from 370 in 2012 to 257 in 2013 and the age group with the highest proportion of new cases continued to be 20-29 year olds. The interim report is available at doh.dc.gov/hahsta.
DC Taxicab Commission to Provide District Taxicabs with Electronic Hailing Capability
The DC Taxicab Commission has taken action to allow all District taxicabs to utilize electronic hailing through an app. The app is being developed by the DCTC technical staff and will be given to an industry co-op to manage and market. The app will give public the opportunity to hail rides electronically. The app will offer riders the flexibility to pay by pre-loading their credit card information; to pay by credit card in
the vehicle; or to pay with cash. The authorization to accept street hails would remain exclusively with taxis and still be subject to the metered fare. The Universal DC TaxiApp, which is the first of its kind, will begin testing in March 2015.
Age-Friendly DC Strategic Plan Released
Mayor Gray has released the Age-Friendly DC Strategic Plan. The plan’s release marks a significant step on the District’s journey to become an age-friendly city under the terms of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Environments initiative. In October 2012, Mayor Gray announced that the District would seek the WHO designation as an Age-Friendly City, which indicates that the District is livable and accessible for aging residents and that the services the District delivers take the needs of aging residents into account and that service-delivery agencies and staff demonstrate an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the needs of older residents. The Age-Friendly DC Strategic Plan is at agefriendly.dc.gov.
Hill East Redevelopment Plan Takes Step Forward
Recent passage of legislation regarding the development of Hill East District Waterfront (formerly known as Reservation 13) will allow the District to dispose of the property to the development team of Donatelli Development and Blue Skye Development in order to create a vibrant, mixed-income, mixed-use urban waterfront community. Hill East District Waterfront is comprised of 67 acres located between the eastern edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the western shore of the Anacostia River. It hosted DC General Hospital, now closed, the DC Jail, and other buildings and parking lots, none of which uses invited or made the waterfront accessible to the neighborhood. The District of Columbia plans to redevelop 50 acres of Hill East District to be transformed into a vibrant, mixed-use urban waterfront community in accordance with the Hill East Master Plan approved by the DC Council in October 2002. Subsequently, in April 2009, the DC Zoning Commission approved the newform based zoning codes specific to the future Hill East development. Once built, this new waterfront community will connect the surrounding Hill East neighborhood to the Anacostia waterfront via tree-lined public streets, recreational trails, and accessible waterfront parklands. ◆
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EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 19
eral in its first incarnation. He still wonders why the city closed the hospital in 2003, the first year it was going to turn a profit and right after building a $22 million intensive care unit. What he does know is that while the DC General Emergency Shelter was only supposed to be temporary, it’s been open for a decade, and none of its existence has been pretty. Campbell’s neighbors frequently call him to report shelter residents on the street in the middle of the night, and while there have been few arrests, he doesn’t doubt their claims that people sell drugs just outside the building. He was horrified, but not surprised, at the Post’s expose on the building last summer-- children assaulting one another; hot water not working for weeks on end; scabies and rashes brought on by dirty showers; raccoons in the hallway. And he was as disturbed as anyone when, in March, a shelter employee named Kahlil Tatum abducted Relisha Rudd, an eight-year-old resident. “DC General should not be our city’s answer to addressing homelessness,” ANC 6B chair Brian Flahaven told the DC Council in July. “The city’s goal should be closing DC General and transitioning homeless families and individuals to better housing options.”
Smoke and Mirrors
Former ANC Commissioner and Hill East Resident Francis Campbell. Photo Andrew Lightman.
The Future of DC General District Residents Will Look to New Government to Solve the Problems at DC General by Jonathan Neeley
rancis Campbell can see DC General from his porch on Burke Street SE. The former hospital, now home to the city’s biggest family homeless shelter, looks out at Campbell from the bottom of a hill on Reservation 13, hidden from the Stadium-Armory metro traffic that passes it everyday. Its neighbors are monuments to problems the District wishes it didn’t have: DC’s psychiatric ward, its STD and methadone clinics, a separate women’s shelter, the DC jail, and a building that used to house the morgue. The location itself was no differ-
20 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
ent when DC General was a hospital. But add in the trash, the boarded up windows, and the eerie, empty rooms with dust-covered furniture you’ll see if you peer into a first-floor window, and DC General is more haunted house than government building. “I look at it every day,” says Campbell, “And I think to myself, ‘how pathetic.’” Campbell, who just stepped down after twelve years as an ANC 6B commissioner and who has lived in Southeast nearly all his life, was a respiratory therapist at DC Gen-
What really makes the situation difficult is what we don’t know. In April, twenty policy and advocacy groups published the Helping Families Home Roadmap, guidelines for improving the system that serves homeless families in DC. In early December, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), a think tank that helped write the roadmap and monitors how DC finances affect low-income residents, put out a report card on how well the Department of Human Services, which oversees a $13 million contract with The Community Partnership (TCP) to run the shelter, had done in meeting those goals. Among the goals were more transparency and better case management. Both received a D, which was the lowest grade.
Photo: Andrew Lightman
our housing programs. Because it’s confusing. It’s an alphabet soup of acronyms.”
Photo: Johnathan Neeley
GED training and parenting classes. Nobody wants to live in a homeless shelter, but most need help if they’re going to get out. It’s a problem when the government agency in charge of DC General is unresponsive to that need. “There are definitely things that have been mismanaged,” says Coventry. “Up until this point there have been some very vulnerable families that haven’t gotten the supportive services they need.”
How Could Policy Change for the Better?
DHS doesn’t require TCP to publish data on the average length of stay at DC General, the number of families entering and exiting the shelter, or the exact number of beds it has available for families. There’s also no public information about how the TCP spends the money it gets from the city. “I want to understand how we’re spending those dollars that we give to The Community Partnership,” says Elissa Silverman, a new at-large council member who worked on employment issues and was the communications director at DCFPI until she entered last year’s election and, before that, was a reporter with both the City Paper and the Washington Post. “We just don’t know right now. You can’t understand how to do something better if you don’t understand how you’re doing it now.” Beyond keeping the public in the dark on what’s happening at DC General, DHS has been lacking when it comes to improving conditions at the shelter. Though she never said it explicitly, BB Otero, the former deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, was considered by many to believe that a better shelter environment would encourage residents to stay rather than seek permanent housing. And according to DCFPI’s Kate Coventry, an analyst who focuses on homelessness, DHS has skirted her organization’s suggestion that it accept the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project’s offer to fund renovations of empty rooms in the shelter to create space for non-profit programming like
The New Council and Mayor Can Move the Dial
DC General is actually in better shape now than it was this time last year. A playground for children finally went up despite months of delays, and bed checks are now a nightly occurrence. DHS reports that it has helped nearly 600 families exit shelter in 2014, and that it has kept 900 from entering in the first place. Late this fall, the city leased two New York Avenue hotels at the beginning of hypothermia season rather than renting individual rooms on the fly. And in October, Vincent Gray rolled out the most comprehensive plan for closing DC General that the city has ever had. But these stopgaps are not permanent solutions. Most notably, the city’s solicitation for the smaller shelter sites that will replace DC General is open-ended; there is no set date for moving forward with either the offers in hand or city property. When asked how many offers it has received, DGS will only say “more than two.” The city also has a long way to go to shore up its own housing programs. When these work, they are the surest way to keep families from entering shelter or make sure that once they leave, they don’t need to come back. The city’s rapid rehousing program, for example, has been reported as problematic because it places families in apartments they can’t afford once the city stops providing rental assistance. Coventry’s take is that rapid rehousing needs to be more flexible with families who can’t afford to pay rent after the allotted time period, and that the city should track what happens two and three years after participants enter the program. Silverman adds that the city needs a better handle on how to make its programming work for the broad spectrum of causes of homelessness. She notes there’s a difference between an equitable solution for a person who has job skills but is fleeing domestic violence and one for a single parent who doesn’t have the necessary reading and math skills to get a job. “We need to address the issues of why [people are in shelter],” says Silverman. “We really need to figure out how to leverage and optimize each of
Part of why DC General hasn’t closed is that it’s been mired in a continuous loop of finger pointing and can kicking. The new District government may stengthen the effort to move forward. In Silverman, the Council is getting a numbercrunching analyst combined with a nitpicking journalist-- in other words, someone who will push the envelope. Also, new Ward 6 member Charles Allen is a proven public housing advocate: during his tenure as Tommy Wells’ chief of staff, Ward 6 didn’t lose a single apartment of public housing. At a structural level, Council Chair Phil Mendelson pulled housing out from under economic development, meaning housing will be a priority rather than an afterthought to deals with developers. Mendelson also put the city’s social services and health agencies under one committee, which should eliminate a layer of red tape between bureaucracies. Finally, Muriel Bowser listed closing DC General as a top priority during her campaign, and she’s under considerable pressure to live up to her words. She has long been a proponent of finding housing solutions rather than building more homeless shelters, and her new deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, Brenda Donald, seems more sympathetic to those currently in shelter than her predecessor. Bowser will likely appoint new department heads at DHS and DGS, which should bring fresh takes on how to solve the problem. With performance oversight hearings for the new Council starting this month and Bowser set to release the city’s FY16 budget in March, legislators need to move quickly. DC General, the rooms on New York Avenue, and the city’s other shelters are band aids for the gaping wound that is the District’s homeless problem. At his final ANC 6B meeting late last year, Campbell’s said he is still angry about the debacle on Reservation 13. “My Christmas wish for the site is ‘just get it done,’” he said afterward. “Everybody’s answer is ‘We need to study this. We need to look at it and decide.’ And dammit, it’s been 14 years. How much more studying do you have to do?” His pessimistic take is one that the ongoing situation has, unfortunately, provoked in a lot of Hill residents. “I firmly believe that if I left here and didn’t come back for three years, this would still be the same. That’s how much faith I have in the city officials.” Campbell wouldn’t mind somebody stepping up and proving him wrong. u
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 21
The Future of RFK: Parks, Parking and Politics
Will Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park Prevail Over Big Money Sports
he Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP), a Capitol Hill community group made up of interested neighbors, civic organizations, and local sports leagues, wants to bring four new multi-use playing fields to the banks of the Anacostia River and create a new Eastern Market-like pavilion for the weekend farmers market on the northern section of the parking lots that surround the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (RFK). The admittedly modest proposal faces the challenge of capturing the attention of key decisionmakers and investors: the vision for community athletic playing fields pales in comparison to the promise of a new 100,000-seat NFL stadium or the 2024 Summer Olympic stadium.
The Land and the Lease
There are approximately 80 acres of underdeveloped parking lots on the RFK campus along the western banks of Anacostia River. The land is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, but is currently under a 50 year lease to the District government. In October 1986, the federal government signed into law a lease for RFK Stadium and the surrounding land (in all 190 acres--including the stadium, the non-military portions of the D.C. Armory, open land and the parking lots). The lease restricts the uses for the site to stadium purposes, recreational facilities, open space, public outdoor recreation opportunities and other uses as approved by the National Park Service. Since the lease was first signed several different entities have managed the property under the District government’s authority. D.C. created the Sports and Entertainment Commission in 1994 to operate and manage RFK. Then in 2009 Events D.C. was formed (trade name of Washington Convention and Sports Authority) through the merger of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission into the former Washington Convention Center Authority to manage the site. 22 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
by Shaun Courtney The stadium has served in recent years as the home of the Washington Nationals, DC United, concerts of varying sizes and other sports and entertainment events. The surrounding lots have been used for sporting event parking and tailgating, concerts, race courses for both running and vehicle races and at one point housed 15-20 foot mountains of snow leftover from 2010’s “snowmageddon.” The nature of the lease with NPS prevents The proposed CRYSP site in the context of the RFK campus. Image courtesy of CRYSP. the sort of redevelopment seen along the Navy Yard area of southeast where Yards Park and new residenBig Talk for RFK tial and commercial buildings sit along the banks of The sprawling expanse of parking lots and aging the Anacostia in the shadow of the new Nationals stadium have been the focus of groups angling for Stadium. Condos with ground floor retail do not two major potential uses: the return of the Washexactly fit the recreational requirements of the lease. ington NFL franchise to the District and the To evaluate just what could happen on what 2024 Olympic Games. is increasingly looking like prime riverfront real Several city leaders have been vocal in their calls estate, Events D.C. issued a Request for Expresfor the return of the area’s NFL franchise to the sions of Interest (RFEI) to study the future use city for which it is named. Former Mayor Vincent potential of the RFK campus grounds in NovemGray has repeatedly called for the football team to ber 2013. In October 2014, Events DC officially come back to D.C. once the lease is up for FedEx awarded the RFEI to Brailsford & Dunlavey field in Prince George’s County in Maryland. Sev(B&D) which is now tasked with identifying eral members of the District Council have echoed short-term (8-10 years) and long-term uses for that enthusiasm, notably Ward 2’s Jack Evans and the stadium and its surrounding property. At-large member Vincent Orange. The study area does not include Reservation More recently, Washington 2024, the private 13--District-owned property to the south of the group orchestrating Washington’s bid for the stadium site and its parking lots--for which there 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, already exists a development master plan and has included RFK, its parking lots and Reservawhere at least one mixed-use development will tion 13 among its potential sites for an Olympic soon begin construction. stadium, athlete housing and practice facilities.
A Community-based Vision for RFK
CRYSP evolved from a need for more sports fields for youth (and adult) recreational leagues. Just as political and business leaders saw opportunity in the open space along the river, local sports organizations in need of more green space looked to RFK for its potential. “We got together and we just started looking around the neighborhood, the Hill. Where are there spaces? Vacant lots?” explained Mike Godec, president of CRYSP and a leader at Sports on the Hill. With input from leaders from other sports organizations like Capitol Futbol Club and Capitol Hill Little League and civic groups, the idea for a new sports field complex--modeled after Arlington’s Long Bridge Park built on a former brownfield along the Potomac River--came into being. The proposal calls for four multiuse fields to include a baseball diamond and corresponding bathroom and other necessary facilities built on top of the existing parking lots to ideally avoid environmental hazards that may or may not exist below the asphalt of RFK. The project also calls for green features to help reduce surface runoff into the Anacostia River and a permanent open-air structure for the weekend farmers market that would feature solar panels, which would help power the site. Newly-elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for ANC 7D01 and CRYSP officer Bob Coomber said when CRYSP first started one of its goals was to create a positive vision for the future of a small section of the RFK parking lots that abut Kingman Park, the neighborhood he now represents. Kingman Park residents have a long and vocal history of pushing back against many of the plans for the site--like American Le Mans Series sports car racing--but Coomber said he wanted to take that energy and put it towards advocating for something beneficial. Coomber said the idea was to “introduce a positive vision so that whatever came was not imposed upon us, but instead we got out there and
said ‘This is what we want’.” CRYSP also sees a role for the playing fields to benefit the entire city. Coomber said families in the city want safe places for their kids to run around and play--especially given the negligible backyards that accompany the city’s dense family housing stock. CRYSP estimates construction would run between $25 and $30 million, some of which would need to come from the District government and some of which could come from private entities. “Providing space for kids to play isn’t the responsibility solely of Sports on the Hill or Capitol Hill Little League or the Capitol Futbol Club. It’s the responsibility of government leaders. If you don’t do that these families are going to leave,” said Godec.
Forrester, manager for communications and marketing at Events DC. Another option for CRYSP comes on the heels of the recently approved new D.C. United stadium at Buzzard Point in southwest D.C. The soccer team will still need practice fields and, without access to RFK once its lease is up, locker rooms and other facilities. CRYSP sees an opportunity to secure at least some funding for the new park and playing fields through the upcoming Community Benefits Agreement D.C. United will create with the District government as part of the new stadium deal. What about the return of professional football to a new stadium in D.C.? CRYSP would take away some of the surface parking, but the organization argues there would still be
While powerful interests eye the 80 acres of parking lots and the crumbling Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium for everything from NFL games to the summer Olympics, the nearby community waits (and waits and waits).
Where CRYSP and Everything Else Intersect
“It’s a good idea regardless of what happens,” said Godec about CRYSP in relation to proposals like a new football stadium or the 2024 Olympics. CRYSP has had conversations with the team behind the Olympic bid about how the community park could work with future plans. It is even possible were D.C. to win the Olympic bid that the CRYSP fields could be built for community use well in advance of the games and then utilized during the games as practice fields for Olympic athletes. “Usually when you do the Olympics, the legacy to the community of the Olympics comes after the Olympics are over. Why not have a legacy that comes 10 years before?” suggested Godec. The B&D study currently underway takes into account the Olympic bid, according to Ashley
significant parking remaining and that an urban stadium would draw many attendees via Metro. CRYSP estimates there would be parking sufficient for a stadium or event of 50,000 people--more if the new stadium added structure parking. “There’s nothing that Events D.C. does that they couldn’t still do if CRYSP were there,” said Coomber. CRYSP is ready to co-exist or stand on its own, come what may.
CRYSP is aware of the challenge of convincing city leaders they should support anything other than the status quo at RFK. Coomber said one “major barrier” is to change the mindset of those who think, “What’s the point of spending a lot of money on anything when we’re just trying to get the football team back in 10 years?” Newly-sworn-in Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen said he hopes to “champion” CRYSP as he begins
his time on the District Council. “There’s no question that it is a poor use of space--and that’s being generous,” said Allen about the sea of parking lots at RFK. “Everybody sees that.” The challenge is convincing some of his colleagues and other leaders in the city that the CRYSP proposal can truly co-exist as the group believes it can. “I want to make this a priority of the council, but it’s going to take pushing and pulling from a lot of different directions to make this happen,” said Allen, acknowledging the complicated nature of the District’s lease for the land and other interests in the site.
The winning U.S. Olympic bid could be announced anytime through the end of January. The winning bid for the games would be announced in September 2017. D.C. United will begin playing at its new stadium in 2017, according to current estimates. By then the team will have determined what to do about its current practice fields and where it will be practicing moving forward. Dan Snyder has a lease for his football franchise in Maryland through 2026. Though he has indicated he is already looking for a new home, there’s no telling when that decision will come down. For CRYSP the course is clear: convince city leaders that new playing fields will not hinder whatever may come at RFK--the Olympics or a new football stadium or something else--but would enhance future development and benefit the city as a whole. Shaun Courtney is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of District Source, a D.C. real estate and neighborhood news blog, co-founded and supported by Lindsay Reishman Real Estate. Shaun has been a local reporter in D.C. since 2009 and has called the city home since 2002. She currently lives in Kingman Park. Read more from District Source. u
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 23
In with the New:
Recommendations to Mayor Bowser and the DC Council
by Ed Lazere
ere are two important numbers for Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to focus on: 22,000 and 20 percent. 22,000 is the number of affordable housing units needed for very lowincome DC residents. And 20 percent is the unemployment rate for residents without a college degree. As the excitement of the inauguration fades away and Mayor Bowser and the Council get down to business, addressing these numbers would be a great place to start. The District is in good shape in many ways, but it also faces greater challenges than ever. Prosperity has pushed housing prices beyond affordable in every corner of the city. The rising cost of living makes good-paying jobs even more important, yet jobs and wages are growing solidly only at the top. The District has always been a city of haves and have-nots, but the gaps are stretching close to a breaking point. Many wonder whether the city where Chuck Brown came to fame will survive with a diverse range of incomes and cultures. Candidate Bowser said her number one task is to address income inequality. Well said. Here are some ways to do that.
income on housing. One of four DC households is on the waiting list to get into subsidized housing. The District spends $2 billion annually on education, $1 billion on public safety, and $150 million on housing. It is time to put housing on equal footing with the city’s other major responsibilities. The task is clear if not easy. For one thing, the District needs to preserve the affordable housing that still exists. There are still some neighborhoods where housing costs are reasonable. And there are buildings where subsidized housing restrictions will expire in the near future. There is no plan to preserve this affordable housing, but there should be. The District also needs 22,000 new homes that are affordable for low-income families, according to a 2014 study. The mayor and Council should commit to filling that gap entirely over the next 5 years. And Mayor Bowser should take steps soon to replace the DC General Shelter with a series of smaller shelters throughout the city. The tragedy of hundreds of homeless families crammed into a decrepit facility should not be repeated.
Housing that Works for Everyone
Unemployment for DC residents without a college degree is 20 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2008. Hourly wages for the bottom fifth of working DC residents fell from $13 an hour to $12 an hour in
The statistics on DC’s affordable housing problems are stark. The city lost half of its low-cost housing in a decade. The typical low-income family now spends two-thirds of its 24 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
Better Jobs for DC Residents
the last four years, while top earners have seen wages grow. In short, DC’s economy is not letting all residents succeed. The job challenges are especially great for the 60,000 adults who don’t have a high school degree. There have been some positive developments. The District’s minimum wage will rise to $11.50 in 2016, and all employers in the city must give their workers paid sick leave. The next thing is making sure these become a reality – through public education and enforcement – and taking steps to improving job prospects: Raise the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers: Tipped workers earn just $2.77 an hour before tips and were left out of the recent minimum wage increase. Coordinate Adult Literacy and Job Training: Too often, residents get a GED, but find that it doesn’t help them get a job. Many communities across the country link GED classes directly to job training, and it seems to work. A “career pathways” task force in DC will soon recommend how to do that in DC, and the mayor and Council will need to implement them. Create Paid Family Leave: Many workers lose pay or their job when they take time off to be with a new child or care for an ailing family member. The District can help by creating a program to replace a portion of lost wages for workers who need to take fam-
ily or medical leave, as California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have done.
Next Steps to Better Schools
2014 was a big year for changes in DC education. School boundaries and admission policies were changed for the first time in 40 years. The school funding formula was adjusted to better reflect what students need, including new funds targeted on low-income DC students. The city expanded pre-K and also made investments in early childhood education. Here is what is needed next:
• Support Income Diversity at the School Level. Some of the lesser-noticed changes of the school boundary committee would help lower-income students get into high-performing schools – and should be implemented. One would require each DCPS school and charter school to create an admissions preference for low-income students if fewer than 25 percent of current students are lowincome. For charter schools, this will require new legislation. Another change would let families in low-income income communities get into their neighborhood Pre-Kindergarten classes, rather than having to go into a citywide lottery. And a third would provide free
bus transportation to parents to take their elementary school-aged child to school.
• Monitor resources provided for students in poverty: There are 35,000 “at-risk” low-income students in DC. This year, both DCPS and charter schools got $2,000 more for each of these students, partially implementing a recommendation of a city-funded study. Mayor Bowser and the DC Council should continue to phase this in, while monitoring the use of this money to ensure it is being used well to help low-income students. Right now, neither DCPS nor charter schools has to report on how they use these funds. • Improve Student Supports to Help Close the Achievement Gap. School is an ideal location to deliver services that can alleviate poverty’s impact on student success. Mayor Bowser and the DC Council should make sure every public school offers adequate mental health services, has a full-time nurse, and offers quality afterschool and summer programs. This can be aided by turning more schools into Community Schools, making them neighborhood hubs for a wide array of services to children and adults.
A Healthier DC
The District has been a national leader in providing affordable health care for residents. The rate of uninsured residents in DC is among the lowest in the country. But even with high coverage rates, many residents are in poor health and the city ranks poorly on key health status measures like obesity.
To improve these outcomes, we recommend:
• Increase Oversight of Medicaid Managed Care. The District uses three managed care companies to provide health care to 175,000 residents – almost one-fourth of DC residents – through Medicaid. But there is limited oversight and few performance standards for these companies, who have failed to improve health outcomes or limit emergency room visits or use of unnecessary and costly services. The District could get better health outcomes –without spending more money – through better oversight.
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• Improve Immigrant Access to Health Care: The DC Healthcare Alliance insures 14,500 low-income residents who are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, many of them immigrants. However, the city set up stringent application rules that make it difficult for eligible residents to get in the Alliance and have contributed to a sharp drop in participation. The mayor and Council can remove these barriers, which will help more eligible residents get benefits and reduce uncompensated health care. Lazere is executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, which promotes budget and policy solutions to reduce inequality and increase the opportunity for DC residents to build a better future. Their recommendations to the mayor and DC Council can be found at www.dcfpi.org. u
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 25
Our River: The Anacostia Winter Walks In The Watershed
article and photos by Bill Matuszeski
Pedestrian Overlook â€“ 11th Street Local Bridge.
ith the holidays behind us, itâ€™s recovery time. What better than to rejuvenate with a winter walk? And what better place than right here in our Anacostia watershed, which abounds with trails and special areas to roam. While you probably have your own favorite hikes, here are six places that work especially well for walking in the winter. Some are near, some far; some are surrounded by the city, and others are quite remote. Try them all, and add your own to the list!
1. The Newest Section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
The latest addition to the river trail system 26 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
of the River to Pennsylvania Avenue if you wish, but a lot of that trail is through the RFK Stadium parking lots and not as interesting. Better to park at the skating pavilion and do a round trip.
2. The New Local 11th Street Bridge
If you haven’t walked this one yet, you are missing out! When the freeway bridges were rebuilt, they added a local traffic bridge alongside that connects Anacostia and Capitol Hill. Specifically, it runs from 11th and O SE, near the Navy Yard gate, to Martin Luther King Avenue. It has wide sidewalks and slow traffic, but best of all there are two pedestrian overlooks that stretch out over the River on the south side. Walk along and imagine what it will be like in a few years when the 11th Street Bridge Project extends the walkways downstream for hundreds of feet and fills the space with parks, cafes, community and youth gardens and even performance spaces. But meanwhile enjoy the solitude and capture some of the first stirrings of revival at both ends of the bridge. Latest is the news that “Busboys and Poets” will be opening a branch on MLK Avenue. The Bridge Over the CSX Tracks Anacostia Riverwalk.
here in the City is quite attractive; it is on the east side of the Anacostia between the Skating Pavilion north of the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge and Benning Road. The trail makes a dramatic sweeping curve up a bridge over the CSX rail yard (great for kids to see all the train cars), passes under the East Capitol Street bridge, through nice wooded areas and out into fields along the River.
It stops at Benning Road, where you can see the old power plant being dismantled. You can also see construction for the next stage of the Trail, which will be done in spring of 2016 and will close the final gap from there to the Bladensburg Park and Marina, tying together nearly 70 miles of trails along the River and its major tributaries in Maryland. You can return on the west side
3. The Trail Along Watts Branch in Anacostia
This one is a real urban adventure. Watts Branch is the first of the DC tributaries of the Anacostia to be restored by the City, and they did a beautiful job of it. Park off East Capitol Street at 61st and Banks, NE, and enter Marvin Gaye Park, where the stream comes in from Prince Georges County. There are walkways running along the stream and connecting a series of parks and
playgrounds for twenty blocks, all the way to Minnesota Avenue and the Freeway. You can continue under the train tracks and the Freeway and pick up the stream again in Kenilworth Park, but that is not the most interesting part. The twenty-block segment above Minnesota Avenue weaves through a series of traditional neighborhoods of bungalows and “shotgun houses”, a southern term for a house so long and narrow you can fire a shot clear through it front to back. Elvis was raised in one in Tupelo. You will also pass the spectacular new Woodson High School and its playing fields. If you start to get lost, just look for the stream and stay near it. You won’t forget this walk, guaranteed!
4. Mount Hamilton, the Asia Gardens and Fern Valley in the National Arboretum
There is so much to see and do walking in the National Arboretum that it is difficult to choose. But there are some things that are actually better in the winter. Mount Hamilton clearly falls into this category; it is the second highest point in DC after the roof of the Russian Embassy (which is basically not available these days). The views of the City are spectacular, but at their best when the leaves have fallen. The Capitol and the monuments are clearly visible. A nice uphill walk (turn right at the R St gate and park in the first lot on the left about a quarter mile up the road). Another special place is the Asian Gardens, where there are things in bloom all winter and lots of paths to roam. Look for wintersweet, a fragrant tree filled with yellow blossoms this month, as well as camellias nearby (park near the top, where there are parallel spots).
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | JANuARy 2015 H 27
The Sandy Spring
Asia Garden, National Arboretum
The valley here is broader
away from it all. The trail continues past the Beltway, but is impassible to bicycles and the
Northwest Branch of the Anacostia
Finally, children love Fern Valley, and the paths and bridges are especially attractive in the winter, when they can seem to be everywhere. Remember, the Arboretum is currently closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
5. Northwest Branch Between the Adelphi Mill and the Beltway
If you are looking for a classic stream valley surrounded by woods and hills, this is for you. 28 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
and steeper than just about any part of the watershed, and the woods are thick and mature. The stream is moving quickly and so you have the sound of the water and little else. The best starting point is the Adelphi Mill, an old stone structure that has been restored and serves as a community center; if it is open it is worth a visit. The trail from there north to the Beltway is two miles, with only one road crossing it (New Hampshire Avenue), so it is easy to feel deep in a valley and far
footing is iffy. Park at the Mill on Riggs Road north of University Blvd.
6. The Sandy Spring, Source of the Anacostia
This is an expedition to a favorite spot of the purists, like Jim Foster, head of the Anacostia Watershed Society, and it is surrounded by history. The town of Sandy Spring was settled in 1728 by Quakers; it served as an important station on the Underground Railroad for escap-
ing slaves and became an agricultural locale for freed slaves. There is a large and interesting Sandy Spring Museum in the village, well worth a visit, as well as a Slave Museum open by appointment only. To find the actual spring, turn left at the first light after the Museum as you are heading west on MD 108 on to Meetinghouse Road. Park at the old Quaker Meeting House and cemetery and check out the huge trees, including an ash under which, it is said, the escaping slaves would gather. Then walk down the road a quarter mile, around a yellow turnstile and ahead another quarter mile until the gravel path ends at a grove surrounded by a split rail fence. Inside is the Sandy Spring. The historic marker tells much about the early settlement of the area, but interestingly fails to mention that this is where the Anacostia begins. The surrounding fields and woods are filled with trails and it is all a conservation area that is open daylight hours. Make a day of it! Then come home and tell your neighbors you have been to Our Riverâ€™s birthplace. Let me know your own favorite winter walks in the Anacostia watershed. E-mail me at bmat@ olg.com, and we will add to the list. u
Barry Farm Aquatic Center Opens
A Beautiful Facility that will be a Big Community Asset by Charnice A. Milton
t was a long time needed,” Ward 8 resident Sandi Toatley said of the Barry Farm Aquatic Center. “The pool definitely needed an upgrade. This will be a very good asset to the community.” Toatley was one of many community members who joined Mayor Vincent Gray and other city and neighborhood leaders during the grand opening celebration on December 13. The $28 million project is the first of two phases that some believe is a first step towards the revitalization of the Barry Farm area.
Barry Farm Aquatic Center
Converted from an outdoor pool, the 8,800 squarefoot LEED Silver-certified facility features a sixlane ADA-accessible lap pools, a leisure pool with beach entry, and the city’s second indoor water slide. Classes began on December 15; registration is still available. “At DPR, we like to look at the lifespan of programming,” said DPR Chief of Staff John Stokes. “So, from little kids’ ‘Learn How to Swim’ classes, all the way up to Senior Water Aerobics. We’re going to be offering classes that span the life of our residents.” However, DC residents can participate in open swim for free with a valid ID; nonresidents must pay a fee ($3 for children under six, $4 for youth ages six to 17 and seniors 55 and over, and $7 for adults). “We wanted to provide amenities to the public as soon as possible,” said Tyrell Lashley, director of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) Aquatics Department. “We could’ve waited until the project was completed to open to
the public, but it didn’t make much sense for us to do so when we have one section of the building completed and available.”
Barry Farm Recreation Center
An aerial shot of the water slide and leisure pool section in the Barry Farm Aquatic Center Photo Credit: DPR
The aquatic center is the first phase of the Barry Farm Recreation Center renovation project that began in 2013. When completed, the approximately 32,000 square-foot facility will feature an indoor gymnasium with seating for 250 people, a fitness room, computer lab, kitchen, teen room, senior lounge, and multipurpose rooms. Outside, there will be a multipurpose field for football, baseball, and soccer, a press box, community gardens, and basketball courts, a playground and below grade parking structure. The completed facility is slated to open in March.
The day after she helped cut the ribbon, Rhonda Edwards-Hines, a 27-year Barry Farm resident who was recently elected as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) for single-member district (SMD) 8C06, visited the aquatic center with her grandchildren. “I liked what I saw,” she said. “It’s bigger, so that allows for more activities.” For instance, with the new swim classes, Hines hopes that it would lead to DPR bringing a swim team to the area (there is a DPR-sponsored swim team, DC Wave, which practices at the Rumsey and Takoma Aquatic Centers). “Once the whole rec center opens, I don’t anticipate kids hanging around outside,” Hines said. “They’ll be inside, being active.” Toatley and her daughter, Starr Blakeney, are looking forward to the recreation center’s reopening as well. Blakeney, who attends nearby Excel Academy, attended an after-school program at the old facility, but Swimmers race in the lap pool her mother was concerned about its small side of the Barry Farm Aquatic size. “She liked going to Barry Farm when it Center. Photo Credit: DPR was the old Barry Farm,” Toatley said. “The staff is really good with her and they keep
us updated with what’s going on.” With the new aquatic center and the upcoming recreation center, Toatley hopes that the programming will keep children safe and active. “We have some talented kids out here, but they don’t even know it themselves,” she said. “The staff can help them pull their talent out and keep our young children off the streets.”
A Step Toward Revitalization
The new aquatic center and the upcoming recreation center are two parts of a larger revitalization project through the New Communities Initiative (NCI). The initiative is a city government program that aims to revitalize neighborhoods with distressed subsidized housing into mixed-income income communities. “New Communities is about, not only the physical housing redevelopment, but also nice amenities for the community,” said NCI Director Kimberly Black King. “[Barry Farm is] a vibrant community” said Charles Wilson, president of the Anacostia Block Association. “It’s a very engaged community and something like this could definitely add to the improvement and quality of life, not just for the residents here, but in Ward 8.” Stokes agreed, saying “This just represents the fact that Ward 8 is on the rise; Ward 8 is becoming revitalized and this project is just a part of that.” Hine’s opinion is simple: “I just feel that Ward 8 is worthy of receiving a rec center and I hope that the rest of Ward 8 will see that.” The Barry Farm Aquatic Center is located at 1230 Sumner Road, SE Washington, DC 20020. Current hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To learn more about classes, visit dpr.dc.gov. u
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 29
Should Exelon Be Allowed to Buy Pepco? A Proposed Energy Merger in the District is Controversial for Consumers by Jonathan Neeley
ohn Capozzi, a former DC Shadow Representative to the US House of Representatives, lives in a house in Hillcrest that many point to as the way of the future. Using solar power and geothermal heating and cooling, it’s less reliant on the central grid, which Capozzi says both benefits the environment and brings his energy bills down to 50% of what they would be with conventional power. “My wife and I are concerned about what we’re doing to the planet,” he says. “Plus why not save money?” Right now, according to Anya Schoolman, the executive director of the Community Power Network, less than 1% of the District’s electricity comes from solar power. The goal is to get to 2.5% by 2020. “It’s a teeny tiny percent,” she says, but it’s a start. But a proposed acquisition of Pepco, the District’s current power supplier, by Exelon, a Chicago-based energy giant, has both Capozzi and Schoolman anxious over whether the District will continue in what they say is the right direction. Exelon is offering $6.8 billion for Pepco’s holdings in DC, as well as parts of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. Right now, the merger is waiting for a final yes or no from the DC Public Service Commission. Exelon touts increased service reliability and an addition $14 million for the District in what it’s calling a Customer Investment Fund, which the PSC can allocate however it chooses. But advocates around the District, from environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Food and Water Watch, to economic watchdogs like the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, to neighborhood commissions, say the deal comes with far more costs than benefits.
Opposition to the Merger
“We oppose the merger because we think Exelon’s business model is intrinsically opposed to 30 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
Solar panels line a DC rooftop.
distributed solar and any kind of distributed renewables,” says Schoolman, adding that in November, the DC Office of the People’s Counsel told the PSC that the merger fails to meet any of the seven criteria that the PSC will consider in its final decision. According to Schoolman, Exelon would have a conflict of interest as the District’s electricity distributor because it’s also a power wholesaler, meaning it benefits when prices for its product are high. She and other advocates stress that the nuclear power that makes up most of Exelon’s portfolio (Exelon owns 23 nuclear plants in the US), is expensive to produce and maintain, and they say it’s only logical for the company to look for ways to pass the costs onto consumers while working against the growth of cheaper, more sus-
tainable sources like wind and solar. To prove that their fears are grounded, merger opponents point to Illinois, where in September, Exelon senior vice president Kathleen Barron encouraged Illinois regulators to charge users $6 per megawatt hour (a rate that a Chicago paper says would total $580 million in subsidies) to keep some of the company’s nuclear plants running, as well as New York, where earlier this month Exelon pushed regulators in New York to agree to an $80 million contract—a price that’s well above market energy rates— that will do the same. Locally, Schoolman is concerned that Exelon will fight against the District’s Community Renewable Energy Act, which allows residents who don’t own solar panels to use a process called virtual net metering to buy solar power, because it
vents it from shifting costs that are unrelated to the District onto District ratepayers. Paul Adams, an Exelon media relations manager, points to Constellation, a company that’s one of the largest commercial solar developers in United States and which Exelon bought in 2012, as evidence enough of the company’s interest in solar power; he also adds that the company recently installed solar panels at Dunbar High School.
largesse—the company has funded the American Legislative Exchange Council, for example, a firm that works to discredit solar and wind power and is also backed by the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers— makes him doubt its intentions. “Massive energy companies have a track record of gaming the system and being highly effective at protecting their own interests at the expense of others,” he says. “Exelon’s argument that the bad behavior or financial liabilities that they exhibit in other states is not an issue … has to be taken with more than a grain of salt.” For its part, Exelon says it’s had good reason to oppose the policies that it has, like net metering in Maryland. “Customers who deploy distributed generation rely on a grid,” she says, “and should cover their fair share of the costs for maintaining it. Unfortunately, net metering designs overcompensate distributed generation adopters.” “[Exelon] makes that claim because they don’t recognize the benefits of solar,” counters Schoolman. She says that while utilities could work toward grids that use multiple energy sources, an option that would be more eco-friendly and cheaper in the long run, Exelon is uninterested because nuclear wouldn’t fit into that model. “They only measure costs, not benefits. The difference is whether you look at it from the perspective of ratepayers or the utility. Solar is a net benefit to the grid but it might decrease profitability of the utility.” “If everyone’s generating power, you all the sudden don’t need a big grid,” adds Capozzi. “But Exelon wants a large grid. They want taxpayers to pay for that grid, so that’s an additional long-term expense from companies with this old business model.”
A Matter of Perspective
Community Power Network’s Anya Schoolman (L) and Chris Neidl (R), the director of community solar initiatives at the NYC-based non-profit Solar One, after a rooftop solar installation.
fought a similar bill in Maryland.
Exelon says its policy positions make sense, especially given that nuclear power doesn’t emit carbon. “We support market-based solutions that value all energy sources on equal footing, taking into account the clean energy and aroundthe-clock reliability they provide” says Judy Rader, Exelon’s director of external communications. An Exelon fact sheet on the merger adds that it won’t result in rate increases in DC; instead, it says, prices will likely go down because efficiency will go up. Rader also points out that Exelon couldn’t raise rates in the District even if it wanted to because the PSC sets energy prices. And looking long term, Exelon notes that a safeguard in the merger, known as ring fencing, pre-
Schoolman, however, calls Constellation a “pea in the ocean” compared to Exelon’s nuclear holdings, and she points out that the merger’s ring fencing provision only lasts for five years. Ivan Frishberg, a climate change senior advisor at Organizing for Action and a former ANC 6B commissioner, says Exelon’s political
Even some skeptics of the merger believe that Exelon’s lucrative offer to Pepco, along with the fact that each company’s board as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have already approved it, make it a done deal. Rather than fight, they say, DC should work to get more provisions for ratepayers
beyond the $14 million that Exelon is offering. But Schoolman points to an open Department of Justice investigation of whether the merger would make DC’s energy market less competitive as reason to view the decision window as wide open. “The issue shouldn’t be how many dollars we can get or what kind of bribe money can we take,” she says. “It should be ‘what structural commitments are the utility company going to lay so DC can get the model it wants?’ Community solar? Underground lines to lower rates? It’s about what’s the good of the future.” Councilmember Mary Cheh, who chairs the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, plans to hold a roundtable to discuss how the DC Council can best weigh in. “I do [have a negative impression],” she says. “But it’s not sufficiently grounded yet. I want a forum, and after that I’ll have my own opinion. But I am concerned. I think it’s a major shift, and it can have real consequences. Don’t talk to me about amenities, talk to me about what the consequences are long term for the people of the District.” Tommy Wells, the city’s new Department of the Environment head, added that he needs more information before he voices support or opposition. Capozzi agrees with Schoolman that the District should look to foster a very different conversation as it considers the merger. “Everything’s on the table,” he says. “If [Exelon] wants to make a special rate for seniors, if they wanted to fund solar for every poor person in the city, they could. But they haven’t. There’s a big fund that people apply to for energy assistance, and we could shore that up. There’s plenty they could do to make this palatable, but they haven’t. If some company comes along that wants to do that for us, they can come and buy our utility.” The DC PSC will have two more public hearings, on January 12th and 20th, followed by a week of evidentiary hearings in midFebruary. After that, it will take a side. u
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 31
Say Hello to the New Ballou
article and photos by Charnice A. Milton
he crowd cheered as the Majestic Marching Knights of Frank W. Ballou High School paraded toward the front of the auditorium. As the band played Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop (That Thing),” the cheerleaders roused the audience, made up of residents, alumni, and current students. However, this was not a sports event; the Knights were sharing the stage with Mayor Vincent Gray, Ballou Principal Dr. Yetunde Reeves, Ballou STAY Principal Cara Fuller, DC Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon, DC Public School Chancellor Kaya Henderson, and other distinguished guests for the December 17 ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Ballou High School building.
The New Ballou
The “new Ballou” is a 365,000 square-foot campus built to accommodate 1,400 students, as well as 900 STAY students, in 87 classrooms (the STAY programs is for students 16+ who require an alternative setting from that of a traditional high school). Emulating a collegiate atmosphere, Ballou has a two-story cafeteria/commons area that will function as a community meeting place. The school features 13 science and bio-technology laboratories, a greenhouse, a culinary arts kitchen, an auto-mechanic training shop, a three-tiered theater, as well as specialized spaces for student programs, including a television studio and barbershop and cosmetology areas. Finally, Ballou has “green” design features, including bio-retention gardens, sustainable materials, and solar panels, giving it a LEED Gold certification. Starting January 5, students will attend the “new Ballou” while the old building is demolished to begin Phase II of the project: a football stadium and auxiliary field; this phase should be completed by August.
“We Need a New Ballou”
Ballou’s Director of Resource Development, Ruth Jones, noting that Ballou was the first school built in DC after the Brown v. the Board of Education decision, said, “We knew that it was built with inferior materials and it was built after the decision to desegregate Anacostia,” she addressed the audience, “and I would have to believe that some people knew that the demographics in this community would change.” When Jones first came to the school in 2009, she toured the building with then-principal Rahman Branch. Throughout that tour, he talked about the aging building, a lack of books in the library, and the need for more technology. “I remember after so many of his statements, he kept on saying, ‘We need a new Ballou,’” she stated. “We met with community leaders, students, families, parents, and alumni, to really find out what they wanted to see for the ‘new Ballou,’” Jones explained after the ceremony. “They talked about having high-quality instructional programs that would prepare students for college and careers, but they also wanted a better facility.”
Believing in the Vision
“I think the biggest challenge initially was helping people understand that the vision for a ‘new Ballou’ was possible,” said Jones. “There were a lot of people who I think in some ways were just afraid 32 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
How it Affects Students
The Ballou High School Knight overlooks the internal courtyard at the new school building.
to dream. Once they saw movement in terms of city council commitment and different things happening at the ‘old Ballou,’ then they started to buy into the vision for the ‘new Ballou.’” Ballou Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) President Sharona Robinson also reflected on the opposition the modernization project initially received. “When we started this process two years ago, there were many people who said this building cost too much money, or that we didn’t deserve it,” she said. “Well, I’m here to say today, that not only did we deserve it, but it is long overdue.”
“Doesn’t this look like a college?” Mayor Gray asked the crowd. “It does to me,” he continued. “And we’re going to act like this is a college, because more and more, we’re going to produce Ballou students who will see high school as the beginning of the next stage of their lives.” Dr. Reeves agreed, saying that the project shows students that there is value in their education. “It’s really about what excites the students,” she said. “I want to make sure they’re connected and they believe that the programs meet their interests.” Dr. Reeves refers to the upcoming hospitality academy as an example; under this program, students would participate in paid internships, site visits, and mentorships with hospitality leaders. Fuller hopes that the ‘new Ballou’ would help encourage her STAY students. “Our students are students who may be coming back to school discouraged, because they did not succeed the first time around,” she explained. “So, a building like this reminds them that they are important and
host your next dinner party in
(From left to right) DGS Director Brian Hanlon, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson, Mayor Vincent Gray, DPR Interim Director Dr. Sharia Shanklin and a Ballou STAY student during the Ballou High School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
they can do it.” She also believes that the school will help students connect with their community. “At Ballou STAY, we are looking forward to partnering with the Ballou community and the larger Ward 8 community, which was really the vision of the late Marion Barry,” she told the audience. “We are excited to be able to have all of our programs under one roof and really take on the charge that this building embodies: a charge of excellence.”
A Call of Support
“Recent events remind us why we need a new Ballou Senior High School,” stated Ballou alum Curtis Etherly, Jr., who currently serves as Coca-Cola’s Director of Public Affairs and Communications. As Chair of the Friends of Ballou, Etherly encouraged the audience to be “Ballou and Ward 8 strong” as “...despite [having] a new
building, we still have some old problems... We will continue to need you.” Henderson agreed, comparing the day’s events to a wedding. “...Everybody in your community surrounds you as the couple and commits, not only to watching you ‘jump the broom,’ but commits to supporting you in your new life together,” she explained. “This is our wedding. This is our opportunity to come together and say, ‘We are going to support Ballou together.’ It’s going to take all of us to ensure that these young people have the kind of world-class education they deserve.” Ballou High School is located at 3401 4th Street, SE Washington, DC 20032. For more information, call 202-645-3400 (Ballou HS) or 202-645-3390 (Ballou STAY) or visit balloudc.org or balloustay.com. u
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EAST WASHINGTON LIFE care for her parents. Eventually, she decided to do something miraculous--something that would not only allow her home to be festive during holiday seasons, but all year long. “I had a vision about turning the house into a palace,” she says. Six years ago, she painted the exterior of her home, adding a coat of pink paint. During the summer of 2014, she added arches to the roof to complete the palace. The first renovations to the home, however, happened in its interior nearly a decade ago. She painted the ceiling in her dining room gold-- a process that took about four months to complete. She then added fine china, gold chairs and a life-sized toy knight to create a royal ambiance. Today, she uses the room to entertain guests over tea and sweet treats. “I didn’t know that I was going to end up turning it into a tea room, but as I started working on my design and adding more pieces and seeing how unique it was, I said I’ll call this my tea room--the pink palace tea room,” she says. Next, she turned her traditional living room into a “floor room” that’s populated from wall-to-wall
The pink palace. Home of Elvera Patrick in Congress Heights, DC.
The Pink Palace in Congress Heights Elvera Patrick Dedicates Her Home to Antiques and Community Building
article and photos by Christina Sturdivant
he pink and white house on Brothers Place, SE is hard to miss. It’s guarded by two life-sized toy soldiers and has a festive appearance during every season. “I’m always decorating,” says Elvera Patrick, owner of the home in DC’s Congress Heights neighborhood in Ward 8. “I decorate for every holiday--Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween… I have passerby say they just love watching what I do and it encourages them 34 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
to want to do something and bring some life into the neighborhood.” Patrick grew up in this very home in the 1950’s with her parents and younger sister. She attended Stanton Elementary, Hart Middle School and Ballou High School. She went on to attend Reynold Community College in Richmond, Va. where she earned a degree in early childhood education. Years after college, Patrick returned to her childhood home to
A portion of Elvera Patrick’s doll collection in the pink palace floor room.
Elvera Patrick in her pink palace tea room.
with antique dolls, some of which date back 100 years. Her hallway walls are adorned with memorabilia--portraits of family members, news clippings from significant moments in her life and photos of herself with individuals who visited her home such as the late Mayor Marion Barry. The home’s antique feel has a lot to do with Patrick’s ability to choose rare, collectable items--a skill that was cultivated during her childhood. “My parents taught me how to collect antiques,” she says “I went with my mom shopping for antiques and as I got older that was still instilled in me.” About three times a month, she searches for new items for her palace. Most often, she frequents shops in the DC metro area, but she’s gone as far as Norfolk, Va. to bring home additions to add to one of her many collections. While there isn’t much room to add to her collections, she always seems to find space. While Patrick loves to entertain her own children and grandchildren, her home is most notably known as a place for neighborhood children--who are among her most special guests. As a licensed child care provider, she uses her home to take in children on a daily basis--many of whom are being raised by
their grandparents in the neighborhood. She hosts birthday parties, which are always special for little girls who are able to select a tea set to use to personalize their guests’ experience. Her signature tea parties are for young ladies ages four and up. They play dress up in the floor room before entering the tea room. Personally, Patrick loves to dress up as Princess Tiana. “She’s Disney’s first black princess,” she says. “It’s took a long time, but we finally got our first black princess.” Tea parties are also accompanied by lessons in etiquette that Patrick learned from her mother and personal studies. “I think it helps them when they go out to restaurants,” she says. “They know how to sit properly using their hands; how to hold their cup in the proper way and how to use correct grammar--saying please, thank you, and may I have another cup.” The presence of Patrick’s home and the impact she has made in her community is a gift to all and has become something she is truly proud. “I get so many compliments which is very rewarding to me and I respect everything each individual has to say,” she says. Every morning, she sits in her favorite chair which she designed herself, at her tea room table. “I sit back a lot and look at what I have done,” she says. “I’m just so amazed.” u EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 35
EAST WASHINGTON LIFE
Storytelling with a Twist of Reality
A local author pens her third novel about a young, black female professional with an unconventional private life
elinda Robertson sits at a table adorned with flowers at her first book signing on the lower level of the Dorothy I. Height Library on Benning Road. She is ready to sell and sign her latest novel. “Melinda, what is this book about?” asks a fan. “Girl, this book is about a 33-year-old woman who comes on the scene and changes the game, honey.” [Big laughs] Indeed, her third book Mistaken Identity, has people ready to read and discuss. Robertson’s first book about and for teen mothers sold more than 1,500 copies. Her second one about teen fathers was also a hit. The success of her novels has landed her on nationally syndicated radio shows such as The Russ Parr Morning Show and the Wendy Williams Experience. Local community groups purchased her first two books in bulk, to teach young people about teen pregnancy. So what draws readers into her novels? Robertson, 52, explains the attraction in an interview with East of the River magazine. EOR: Let’s begin with your first book Motherhood…What You Don’t Know! What inspired you to write this one? MR: This book was really written to educate young girls about the responsibilities associated with motherhood because there’s so much that they really don’t know. When I was giving workshops at the DC Public libraries during the summer of 2007 I discovered that many teen mothers actually planned their pregnancies. Having a baby
36 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
by Candace Y.A. Montague
Local author Melinda Robertson writes her third novel about adult relationships.
was like a rite of passage for them. They had no clue what motherhood really entailed and most of them thought that getting pregnant would keep their boyfriends. I told them the quickest way to get rid of a boy was to tell them you’re pregnant. You will see a side of him that you’ve never seen before. Although this book was written to prevent teen pregnancy, I also wanted to encourage teen mothers to keep pursuing their dreams because I was a teen mother. I wanted to be an encouragement to them and make sure they knew the importance of breaking the cycle to ensure that their daughters wouldn’t become teen mothers as well. EOR: And then you followed up with Fatherhood…What You Ought to Know! for teen boys.
What made you feel like you were qualified to give advice to young men? MR: Well, for starters, I have a son. Additionally, society tends to minimize the father’s responsibility. This book was written to inform the boys about the responsibility that they share in preventing teen pregnancy and the obligations they have to the babies they make. It’s not ok for them to walk away from their responsibilities and it wasn’t ok for their fathers to walk away from them. In order to be effective, I believe educating boys is just as important as educating girls. I also addressed other issues that boys these days may be dealing with like the death of a close friend, drugs, sex, etc. The book deals with real life situations that boys can relate to every day.
EOR: What made you want to go the fiction route as opposed to how-to or advice book? MR: It’s hard to hold a young person’s interest and how-to books don’t do that. The characters in my books are believable and teens relate to them. In the motherhood book, the main character is Nicole Washington, a 15-year-old honor roll student who has dreams and believes the world is her oyster. And then BAM!! She gets pregnant. And many things happen as a result of her pregnancy that she didn’t expect. Her pregnancy didn’t just affect her it also affected her parents and threatened their marriage. I received many emails from girls thanking me for writing the book. One girl from New York said she had been trying to get pregnant for three months until she read my book. They would tell me that they would trick their boyfriends, put holes in the condoms, etc. Fatherhood is about two fifteen year old boys growing up in the streets of D.C. without their fathers. One is killed during an altercation on the basketball court. EOR: Tell us about your background. MR: I grew up on Hartford Street SE off of Alabama Avenue. I graduated from Eastern High School in 1980, but had no desire to attend college. Growing up in the hood, our only aspiration after high school was to get a good government job. When I was nineteen, I got pregnant and my world was rocked. I was in love but I had no idea what
I had gotten myself into until I was in labor. Like most teen mothers, I didn’t have a plan. Becoming a teen mother made me grow up quick because my mother made me be a mother to my child, which is what I needed. EOR: So now you have a new book for adults called Mistaken Identity. The main character is Morgan McIntire. What is she like? MR: Morgan McIntire is a thirty-three year old single woman who almost has it all. She has a successful career in corporate America but she has been unsuccessful when it comes to matters of the heart. Morgan doesn’t need a man in terms of finances but she needs the comfort of a man and corporate men don’t turn her on like the boyz from the hood do. Morgan does things her way and is forced to take responsibility for the choices she’s made and ultimately she changes the game.
EOR: This seems to be a familiar narrative: Black women avoiding relationships with “good guys.” Why do think that is so? MR: There are a lot of reasons but I think it’s mainly because some “good guys” aren’t that good in bed. They don’t do the things to please a woman that the thugs will do, however, when you grow up and mature you realize that those things aren’t as important. Melinda draws upon her own personal experiences and encounters from her community to compose her novels. Each book has a lesson to teach. “I wanted to make a difference with my books. I know there are a lot of ‘Morgans’ out there. We all have a story. I just thank God for using me and choosing me to tell the story. And it’s a helluva story.” [Big laugh]
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Local author Melinda Robertson poses for a picture with a fan at her book signing after writing her third novel Mistaken Identity. EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | JANuARy 2015 H 37
EAST WASHINGTON LIFE
jazzAvenues by Steve Monroe
New Year’s Wishes
Happy New Year’s wishes to all, including our masters like Buck Hill, Fred Foss, Larry Willis and D.C. native Jimmy Cobb, and to our venues that they continue to provide great music in 2015 and beyond, venues that include Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, Blues Alley, Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Kennedy Center, An Die Musik, Caton Castle and the others that include jazz performers on many occasions like the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, Strathmore Mansion, THEARC in Southeast and the Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland. Special good wishes to Paul Carr and his Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, preparing for another great festival next month in Rockville, and Charlie Fishman and his D.C. Jazz Festival crew, preparing for another fine event later this year. Speaking of Fishman’s crew, special good wishes and congratulations go to our own Willard Jenkins, the WPFW-FM radio programmer, educator and producer and artistic director for festivals here and elsewhere, and now the new artistic director for the DC Jazz Festival. “Willard Jenkins stood apart from a quality field of candidates with his breadth of knowledge and experience as an arts administrator, focused on jazz,” said Michael Sonnenreich, outgoing Chairman of the DCJF, in a statement. “He is the first Artistic Director we have 38 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
hired for the DC Jazz Festival, and we are confident his incomparable background, his knowledge and his passion for jazz provide the artistic leadership necessary to continue our mission.” Jenkins said, “First and foremost, I greatly admire Charlie Fishman, particularly for his fortitude and perseverance in developing the DC Jazz Festival. It was very much needed in this community, but Charlie is the one who took the initiative and made it happen. I join the ranks of those who will always be grateful to Charlie for having taken that step.” For more information see www. dcjazzfest.org.
InPerson … Ron Sutton Benefit
Veteran master Fred Foss headlined the Ron Sutton Jr. benefit concert Dec. 14 at Bohemian Caverns with some of his vintage riffs on tenor saxophone, with Allyn Johnson on piano, Herman Burney, bass, Antonio Parker, alto saxophone, Michael Thomas, trumpet, Lenny Robinson, drums, Sweet Lou from Atlanta, and Candace on vocals helping out to make the evening a success with more than $1400 reportedly raised to help Sutton with medical expenses.
InPerson … SJC Jazz
Congratulations to director Kenneth Hammann and assistant director Colin Crawford on furthering the heritage with the St. John’s College High School Music Department and the jazz bands in particular at that Northwest D.C.
school. The Competition Jazz Ensemble entertained a good crowd Dec. 16 for the Winter Jazz Concert on “Cuaba” and “Southern Exposure,” with tenor sax man Mark Belmonte and guitarist Carolos DeLeon highlighting their sets. The Jazz Combo, on “Billie’s Bounce” and “Song for My Father and the Jazz Lab Band on “Pentatonic Blues” and The Swing Band on “Undecided” also played well. Go Cadets!
InReview … Branford Marsalis CD
A personal statement on improvisation, horn guru Branford Mar-
salis’ formidable personal talents make “In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral” a noteworthy addition to his immense portfolio of artistry. Since first hearing him live with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in the early 1980s at Blues Alley in D.C., his forthright approach, intensity and range on his instruments have long made him a favorite. And agreeing with widespread opinion that Marsalis, a frequent performer in the D.C. area, is a master of the quartet mode, while many think he is also a master of the duo mode, it is a treat to hear him tackle for the first time the solo sax mode,
Changing hands Changing hands is a list of most residential sales in the District of Columbia from the previous month. A feature of every issue, this list, based on the MRIS, is provided courtesy of Don Denton, manager of the Coldwell Banker office on Capitol Hill. The list includes address, sales price and number of bedrooms.
One of our master pianists, Larry Willis, who credits legendary sax man Jackie McLean as a mentor, is to perform with master bassist Buster Williams January 16-17 at Bohemian Caverns.
this from a 2012 recording at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on the Sony/Okeh label. This much horn work – Marsalis plays soprano, alto and tenor saxophone on the recording -- by itself demands a certain level of pace, interpretation and mood to keep one entertained this long, but Marsalis carries it off well, with highlights including “Who Needs It,” “Improvisation,” “Blues for One” and Stardust.” See www.crossoverme-
dia.net or www.marsalismusic.com for more information. January Highlights: … 16th Jazz Night Anniversary , Jan. 16, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Cyrus Chestnut, Jan. 1518, Blues Alley … Benito Gonzalez, Jan. 16-17, Twins Jazz … Buster Williams, Larry Willis, Jan. 16-17, Bohemian Caverns … Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience, Jan. 23, Kennedy Center … Vince Evans Jazz Ensemble, Jan. 23, Westminster … Vadim Neselovkyi, Jan. 29, Strathmore Mansion … JN Jazz Legends Series/Pepe Gonzalez, Jan. 30, Westminster … Jazz Night at the Movies/Clifford Brown, Jan. 30, Westminster … Yard Byard: The Jaki Byard Project, Jan. 31, Kennedy Center … January Birthdays: Frank Wess 4; Kenny Clarke 9; Max Roach 10; Jay McShann 12; Melba Liston, Joe Pass 13; Gene Krupa 15; Cedar Walton 17; Jimmy Cobb 20; J.J. Johnson 22; Gary Burton 23; Antonio Carlos Jobim 25; Bobby Hutcherson 27; Roy Eldridge 30. Steve Monroe is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jazzavenues. u
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EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 39
KIDS & FAMILY
Kids & Family Notebook by Kathleen Donner
Levine Music “Beginning Orchestra” at THEARC
Starting Wednesday, Feb. 4, kids ages 8-12 can participate in the Beginning Orchestra offered by Levine Music at THEARC. Beginning Orchestra, a new program, will meet Wednesdays in the late afternoon for 90 minutes each week, and is a perfect fit for students who want to learn violin, viola, or cello in a group setting. Tuition is $180. For more information and to inquire about enrollment, contact Paula Fishman at email@example.com; Aron Rider, Strings Department Chair, at 202686-8000 x1110 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Regan Ford, Campus Director, at 202-610-2036 or rford@ levinemusic.org.
J.C. Nalle Elementary School performs at the DC SCORES Poetry Slam! on Dec. 4. Photo: Tina dela Tosa Photography
Ballou Senior High School Ribbon Cut
The ribbon cutting on Dec. 17, for the new Ballou Senior High School in Ward 8 represented the near-completion of Phase 1 of the modernization project. The new Ballou features hightech equipment for student learning including multi-media data projectors, classroom sound-enhancement systems, and digital audio and video labs, along with a television studio, and 2D/3D-digital arts studios. The new high school will also have dedicated dance and drama rooms, a culinary arts demonstration and cooking kitchen, flexible student-focused learning environments, advanced computer and science labs, and a breathtaking performance auditorium. The new Ballou also has community amenities such as a new indoor pool, fitness center, indoor 40 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
DC SCORES Poetry Slam
he 17th annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam!, the largest youth spoken-word competition in the District, showcased original poetry and songs written by students who participate in the award-winning after-school program. December’s two-night event was held at Columbia Heights Education Campus Dec. 3 and H.D. Woodson Senior High School Dec. 4. On the second night of the Poetry Slam!, students representing 21 elementary and middle schools used the spotlight to wow the audience of more than 500 guests with group and individual performances-one tremendous showing after another. The poems were uplifting (we’re going to college; we can
be the best) to the comical (“When I’m President, I’ll be taking lots of phone calls”) and illustrated the freedom of expression poetry offers. Elementary school winners were Aiton (1st); Drew (2nd); and Thomas (3rd). Leron Boyd of Imagine Hope Tolson won the individual Shine Award. Middle school winners were KIPP DC: AIM Academy (1st); Cesar Chavez Public Charter School – Parkside (2nd); and Kelly Miller (3rd). DC SCORES builds teams through afterschool programs for 1,500 low-income DC youth at 47 schools by instilling self-expression, physical ﬁtness, and a sense of community. To learn more, visit DCSCORES.org.
running track, and basketball gymnasium. Ballou Senior High School, set to open for students in January 2015, will also feature “green” energy-eﬃcient systems, and is ADA accessible. balloudc.org
Black History Month Family Story Times at Anacostia Library
Beginning Feb. 5, the Anacostia Neighborhood Library will present special family story times every Thursday, 6 p.m., in February as part of their celebration of Black History Month. Anacostia Neighborhood Library, 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE. 202-715-7707. dclibrary. org/anacostia
“Investigating Where We Live: D.C. Now & Next” Teen Exhibition
This is a five-week summer program at the National Building Museum for teens from the DC area. Participants use digital cameras, creative writing, interviews, and their own observations to explore, document, and interpret the built environment in DC neighborhoods. The exhibition is on display through June 7 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448. nbm.org
Gay Men’s Chorus Announces First LGBTQA Youth Chorus
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW ) has announced the formation of its new GenOUT Chorus, the first LGBTQA Youth Chorus in the area. The GenOUT Chorus seeks singers between the ages of 1221 to join a newly forming youth chorus for LGBTQ youth and their allies. The Chorus will make its premiere onstage at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW, as part of GMCW’s concert titled Born This Way on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. Rehearsals will be held one Saturday a month at the Sitar Arts Center and Atlas Performing Arts Center. No audition or experience necessary. For more information or to sign-up, inter-
ested youth can visit gmcw.org/ outreach/genout.
Mockingbird at the Kennedy Center
Adapted from the 2010 National Book Award–winning novel, this vibrant and moving world premiere play, commissioned by the Kennedy Center and VSA, tells the story of Caitlin, a young girl on the autism spectrum who used to rely on her older brother to help make sense of the world. Now that he’s gone, she must find new ways to navigate school, express herself, and get close to people again in this moving and surprisingly humorous play. For ages 10, up. Performances on Jan. 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 31 and Feb 1. $20. kennedy-center.org
Teen Kick Back at MLK Library
On Wednesday, Jan 14, 4 p.m., come celebrate MLK week in Teen Space. They will be having some fun MLK-themed activities. For ages 13-19. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, 202-727-0321. dclibrary.org/mlk
My School DC Application Process for 2015-16 School Year Opens
The District of Columbia has launched “My School DC,” the common application for DC Public Schools and public charter schools for the 2015-2016 school year. In its second year of operation, My School DC provides a single online application where families can apply for out-of-boundary spots at K-12 schools, all Pre-K programs for 3-year-olds and Pre-K programs for 4-year-olds, selective citywide high schools, and nearly every public charter school program. Approximately 3,000 applications have already been submitted. Families can go to MySchoolDC.org to submit an application to as many as 12 schools. The new DCPS school boundaries and feeder patterns for school year 2015-16, as well as the extensive
Accepting Applications for the 2015-2016 School Year Grades PS/PK-5th Apply for admissions at: www.myschooldc.org Application deadline March 2, 2015
With a French and Spanish immersion program and a dual focus on academic excellence and community service, Stokes School prepares culturally diverse elementary school students to be leaders, scholars, and responsible citizens who are committed to social justice.
2015 Open Houses: 9:30 am – 11:00 am January 29th • February 26th RSVP to Ms. Jo-Anne Hurlston, Parent Coordinator, email@example.com School tours every other on Wednesday from 9:00 am -10:00 am. Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS 3700 Oakview Terrace, NE | Washington, DC 20017 | 202.265.7237 www.ewstokes.org
APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE 2015-2016 SCHOOL YEAR Pre-K to 3rd grade
Building on our strong foundation as an early childhood program
Open Houses on the following Thursdays, 9:30 am-10:30 am*:
January 22 &29 February 19 & 26 March 19 & 26 * You must register to attend. Call (202) 726-1843, limit of 20 people per session.
Apply for admissions at: www.myschooldc.org • Application deadline March 2, 2015.
Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Voted Best Preschool in DC,City Paper Readers Poll 2013! • Before & After Care • Small classroom size and well trained staff • Individual planning for each student • Hands-on and project-based curriculum Free and open to all DC residents.Tuition paid by non-residents.
Bridges PCS is an expanding elementary school growing to serve grades Pre-K–5th by 2017-2018.
www.bridgespcs.org 1250 Taylor Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011 p: 202.726.1843 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.bridgespcs.org EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | JANuARy 2015 H 41
KIDS & FAMILY
phase-in policies, are programmed into the application. The application process is open through Feb. 2 for grades 9-12 and Mar. 2 for grades PK – 8. There is no advantage to applying early. The online application is available in English or Spanish. Families can also call the My School DC hotline 202-888-6336 to complete an application by phone, and live interpretation in other languages is available.
Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program
The Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Intern program offers undergraduate and graduate students insights into the environment, culture and collections of the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of human knowledge. Through the Junior Fellows program, the Library of Congress furthers its mission to provide access to a universal record of knowledge, culture and creativity as exemplified by its collections, while supporting current and fu42 H EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
ture generations of students and scholars. The fellows explore digital initiatives and inventory, catalog, arrange, preserve and research a backlog of special, legal or copyright collections in many different formats. Applications accepted online only at usajobs.gov (keywordJunior Fellows) through midnight, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.
Ground Broken on Duke Ellington School of the Arts Modernization
Duke Ellington School of the Arts is one of the District’s oldest school buildings. The existing 176,000 sq. ft. building will be transformed into a 260,952 sq. ft. facility. In addition to providing traditional core academic classrooms, the modernization project incorporates non-traditional studio theatre classrooms, multiple 2-D and 3-D digital art studios, fully functional dance studios, individual and group practice rooms for instrumental and vocal music instruction, collaborative graphics/ video computer laboratories, and
Grant Supports Citizen Scientist Program Youth to Conduct Watershed Testing
The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum has received a $32,000 State Farm Youth Advisory Board grant to support its Citizens Scientist Program Urban Ecology Engagement Initiative. An outgrowth of the museum’s multiyear, multidisciplinary Urban Waterways Project, CSP engages local middle and high school students to collect environmental data and conduct scientific research to improve understanding of the biology and water quality of the Anacostia River Watershed. The program is implemented in partnership with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Diamond Carter, a student at the National Collegiate Public Charter School, records the water sample data from the Anacostia Watershed at Lower Beaverdam Dam Creek in Cheverly, Md., during a field trip to test the health of the local waterway. Photo: Susana Raab, Anacostia Community Museum
functional art gallery areas. The modernization is set to be completed in 2016.
Kids MLK Extravaganza at MLK Library
On Saturday, Jan 17, join them to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of activities for kids, birth to 12, and their families. There will be a puppet show, reader’s theatre, crafting time, a video, and an opportunity for kids to recite a part of their favorite speech by Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, 202-727-0321. dclibrary.org/mlk
ImaginAsia: Archaeological Adventures at the Sackler
In this workshop, take a selfguided tour of Unearthing Arabia: The Archaeological Adventures of Wendell Phillips. Then, dig into a mini “excavation site” that includes shards found in Yemen and create clay models inspired by works in the exhibition. All ages welcome;
best for children ages 8-14 with adult companions. Saturday, Jan. 17 and Sunday, Jan 18, 2-4 p.m. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. asia.si.edu
District’s Youth Leadership Institute Renamed in Honor of Marion Barry
The Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute (MYLI) has been re-designated as the “Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute” in honor of the late Councilmember and former Mayor Marion S. Barry, Jr., who passed away on Nov. 23. The Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI) is a four-level, year-round leadership training and development program for young people in the District of Columbia, ages 14-19. The training model emphasizes practical hands-on experience and a holistic approach to developing leaders of the 21st century. u
EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | January 2015 H 43
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EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2015 ★ 45
“Catching some Z’s”
Crossword Author: Myles Mellor • www.themecrosswords.com • www.mylesmellorconcepts.com
by Myles Mellor and Sally York Across:
1. Staring 6. Chemical compound 11. Nibble 16. Pickled in salt water 17. Ambitious 18. Pagers 20. See 6-Across 21. Show 22. Stores 23. Napkin’s place 24. Fascist 26. Conduits 28. Hubs 29. Bean products? 32. Unfriendly looks 35. Polar helper 36. Beseech 37. Prize 39. Japanese money 41. Bewildered 43. Liturgical vestment 45. Kennedy Library architect 46. Greek letters 47. Rocket launcher 49. Hideaways 51. Delectable mushroom 54. Didn’t exist 55. Glassworker 57. Infamous Hun 59. Wander 60. Makes more precipitous 62. Welcomer 63. ___-hole 66. George’s brother 67. Intense anger 69. City east of Paris 70. Harvestings of grass 72. Salty treats 77. Featured letter in this puzzle 78. Still 79. Conical homes 80. McCarthy 83. Cabernet, e.g. 84. Lose at an auction 86. August 88. Occam’s ___ 89. Action ﬁlm staple 90. Ornamental cup
91. Organic compounds 93. ___ sister 95. Spirited 98. Modiﬁed leaf 99. Managed 101. Violinmaker Nicolò 103. Flycatcher 105. Fall through the cracks? 106. Goods 108. Confab 110. Place for a plug 111. Carpenter, at times 113. Capital of Mali 116. Earth pigments 119. African wildcats 120. More sere 121. Bungled golf shot 122. Slick 123. Posh 124. Golden-ager
1. Loser of 1588 2. Hobbled 3. “Gimme ___!” (start of an Iowa State cheer) 4. Spiritual path 5. Land west of Nod 6. More chichi 7. Teen’s woe 8. “___ fallen ...” 9. Depression 10. Provide (with) 11. Masterpieces 12. Certain theater, for short 13. Hunks 14. Round numbers 15. Hill and Jong 16. Exotic vacation spot 17. Flabbergast 18. Home remedy 19. Not tacit 25. Smart one 27. Trail ___ 30. Bowl over 31. Cowell 33. Pile of loose stones 34. Allergic reaction 36. Afﬁx conspicuously
46 ★ EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM
Look for this months answers at labyrinthgameshop.com 38. Laugh-a-minute folks 40. 60’s protest 42. Perfume 44. Gung-ho 47. Leave desolate 48. Decked out 50. Alter, in a way 51. “___ Kane” 52. Constituent 53. Monotheistic sect member 54. Male sheep 56. Bounder 58. Driving need 61. Tropical plants 62. Salon supply 64. Wine type, for short
65. Following as a consequence 68. VCR button 71. Very unusual 73. “Concentration” puzzle 74. Fleas, e.g. 75. Ennui 76. Collar 79. Less verbose 81. Open, as a jacket 82. Fliers in V’s 85. Some bills 87. Secret society 88. Get 91. Tropical shrub 92. Risk 94. Sycophant
96. Pluck 97. On an annual basis 98. Head honcho 100. Prevent 102. Marvel Comics superhero 104. European tongue 106. Shoe strengthener 107. It’s a wrap 109. Volcanic rock 112. Day break? 114. Cambridge sch. 115. Woodworker’s tool 117. ___ juice 118. Wetland
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River Terrace Rec Center & Elemantary School CVS - East River Park Safeway – NE 6th District Police Dept - Main Ward Memorial AME Kennilworth Elementary School Unity East of the River Health Center First Baptist Church of Deanwood Deanwood Public Library Hughes Memorial United Methodist Capitol Gateway Senior Apts Marvin Gaye Rec Center Watts Branch Recreation Center Langston Community Library Anacostia Neighborhood Library Benning Branch Library Marshall Heights CDC Kelly Miller Recreation Center Tabernacle baptist Church Randall Memorial Baptist Church East Capital Church of christ Seat Pleasant CARE Pharmacy 7-Eleven Riverside Center Mayfair Mansions Citibank: East River Park Chartered Health Center NE Vending Machines – Deanwood Metro The Minnicks Market Lederer Gardens Suburban Market Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Dave Brown Liquors Dave Brown Liquor A & S Grocery St Rose Pentecostal Church Malcolm X Rec Center St More Catholic Church Fort Davis Recreation Center Ferebee Hope Recreation Center Emanuel Baptist Church IHOP Restauarant Giant Food Store SunTrust Bank Parklands-Turner Community Library Manor Village Apartments Leasing Office Garfield Elementary
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7th District Station 2455 Alabama Ave , SE 6th District Police Dept - Satellite Station 2839 Alabama Ave , SE Service Cleaners 2841 Alabama Ave , SE Safeway – SE 2845 Alabama Ave SE Pizza Hut 2859 Alabama Ave , SE America’s Best Wings 2863 Alabama Ave , SE M&T Bank 2865 Alabama Ave , SE Washington Senior Wellness Center 3001 Alabama Ave , SE St Timothys Episcopal Church 3601 Alabama Ave SE Francis A Gregory Neighborhood Library 3660 Alabama Ave , SE National Capital Parks--EAST 1900 Anacostia Dr , SE Kid smiles 4837 Benning Road SE Pimento Grill 4405 Bowen Rd SE East Washington Heights Baptist Church 2220 Branch Ave ,SE St Johns Baptist Church 5228 Call Place SE Capitol View Branch Library 5001 Central Ave , SE Marie Winston Elementary School 3100 Denver St , SE Subway 4525 East Capitol St Our Lady Queen of Peace Church 3800 Ely Pl , SE Anacostia Museum for African Amer History 1901 Fort Pl SE - Back Door Smithsonian Anacostia Marcia Burris 1901 Fort Place SE - Back Door DC Center for Therapeutic Recreation 3030 G ST SE ARCH 1227 Good Hope Rd , SE Anacostia Pizzeria 1243 Good Hope Rd , SE SunTrust Bank 1340 Good Hope Rd , SE Unity Health Care Inc 1638 Good Hope Rd , SE Bread for the City 1640 Good Hope Rd , SE Marbury Plaza Tenants Assoc 2300 Good Hope Rd , SE Dollar Plus Supermarket 1453 Howard Rd , SE Ascensions Psychological and Community Services 1526 Howard Rd SE Dupont Park SDA Church 3985 Massachusettes Ave SE Orr Elementary School 2200 Minnesota Ave SE Hart Recreation Center 601 Mississippi Ave , SE Southeast Tennis and Learning Center 701 Mississippi Ave , SE The ARC 1901 Mississippi Ave , SE Neighborhood Pharmacy 1932 Martin Luther King Jr , SE PNC Bank 2000 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE Bank of America 2100 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE C Aidan Salon 2100 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE Big Chair Coffee 2122 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE Animal Clinic of Anacostia 2210 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE Max Robinson Center of Whitman-Walker Clinic 2301 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE The United Black Fund 2500 Martin Luther King Ave SE The Pizza Place 2910 Martin Luther King Ave SE Metropol Educational Services, 3rd Floor 3029 Marin Luther King Jr Ave , SE National Children’s Center - Southeast Campus 3400 Martin Luther King Jr , SE Assumption Catholic Church 3401 Martin Luther King Ave SE Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center 3500 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE Congress Heights Health Center 3720 Martin Luther King Jr Ave , SE CVS - Skyland 2646 Naylor Rd , SE Harris Teeter 1350 Pennsylvania Ave SE Thai Orchid Kitchen 2314 Pennsylvania Ave SE St Francis Xavier Church 2800 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Pennsylvania Ave Baptist Church CVS – Penn Branch Congress Heights Recreation Center Johnson Memorial Baptist Church Ridge Recreation Center Savoy Recreation Center PNC Bank Rite Aid United Medical Center Benning Park Community Center Benning Stoddert Recreation Center Union Temple Baptist Church Senior Living at Wayne Place Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library Bald Eagle At Fort Greble Covenant Baptist Church Faith Presbyterian Church Henson Ridge Town Homes Office The Wilson Building CCN office Eastern Market YMCA Capitol View CW Harris Elementary School DC Child & Family Services Agency
3000 Pennsylvania Ave SE 3240 Pennsylvania Ave , SE 100 Randle Pl , SE 800 Ridge Rd SE 800 Ridge Rd , SE 2440 Shannon Pl SE 4100 South Capitol St , SE 4635 South Capitol St , SE 1310 Southern Ave , SE 5100 Southern Ave SE 100 Stoddert Pl , SE 1225 W ST SE 114 Wayne Place SE 115 Atlantic St , SW 100 Joliet St SW 3845 South Capitol St 4161 South Capitol St SW 1804 Stanton Terrace, SE 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW 224 7th ST SE 225 7th St SE 2118 Ridgecrest Court SE 301 53rd Street, SE 200 I Street SE
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Published on Jan 8, 2015