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The Bulletin Board District Beat by Jonetta Rose Barras



The Numbers by Claire Zippel


DC Council, DHCD Battle Over Fate of Blighted Homes by Christine Rushton


Introducing Ward 7’s New DCPS Principals by Christine Rushton


HIV Prevention in a Single Dose by Candace Y.A. Montague

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06 What’s on Washington

Exploring the World Beyond DC by Christine Rushton

Loans and Riots, Vigils and Cookouts by Virginia Avniel Spatz

08 Calendar

east WashiNGtoN life

44 The Classified


46 The Crossword

oN the coVer:


National Geographic Earth Explorers. Photo: Carol Woodward National Geographic. See story on pg.6

Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum: The Next 50 Years by Phil Hutinet

Jazz Avenues by Steve Monroe


Life Lessons Through Basketball by Stacy Peterson

real estate

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How to Deal with Mold by Catherine Plume

Changing Hands compiled by Don Denton


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[See Stapled Insert]

Get a jump-start on your resolutions! Take fitness classes* at the AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia (DC) Member Wellness Center. Class times vary and are available during the evenings and weekends. Get the class schedule at or scan the QR code. You can also visit us Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 2027 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020. Available to AmeriHealth Caritas DC members. Free transportation can be provided to all members.



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Capital Community News, Inc. 224 7th Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20003 • 202.543.8300 • Executive Editor: Melissa Ashabranner • Publisher: Jean-Keith Fagon • Copyright © 2016 by Capital Community News. All Rights Reserved.

EDITORIAL STAFF Managing Editor: Andrew Lightman • CFO & Associate Editor: Maria Carolina Lopez • School Notes Editor: Susan Braun Johnson • Kids & Family Editor: Kathleen Donner •

ARTS, DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Art: Jim Magner • Dining: Celeste McCall • Jonathan Bardzik • Literature: Karen Lyon • Movies: Mike Canning • Music: Jean-Keith Fagon • Stephen Monroe • Theater: Barbara Wells • Wine Guys: Jon Genderson •

CALENDAR & BULLETIN BOARD Calendar Editor: Kathleen Donner •,



Hill Rag - 2/4 MidCity DC & East of the River - 2/11 ISSUES WILL FEATURE: Black History Month event calendar

Elise Bernard • Ellen Boomer • Stephanie Deutsch • Michelle Phipps-Evans • Maggie Hall • Stephen Lilienthal - Pleasant Mann • Meghan Markey • John H. Muller • Jonathan Neeley • Will Rich • Heather Schoell • Virginia Avniel Spatz • Michael G. Stevens • Peter J. Waldron • Jazzy Wright •

BEAUTY, HEALTH & FITNESS Patricia Cinelli • Jazelle Hunt • Candace Y.A. Montague •

REAL ESTATE Don Denton •

KIDS & FAMILY Kathleen Donner • Susan Johnson •

HOMES & GARDENS Derek Thomas • Catherine Plume • Cheryl Corson •

COMMENTARY Ethelbert Miller • The Nose • The Last Word •

SOCIETY NEWS Dr. Charles Vincent • “Mickey” Thompson Vincent •

PRODUCTION/GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGN Art Director: Jason Yen • Graphic Design: Lee Kyungmin • Web Master: Andrew Lightman •

ADVERTISING & SALES Account Executive: Kira Means, 202.543.8300 X16 • Account Executive: Laura Vucci, 202.543.8300 X22 • Account Executive & Classified Advertising: Maria Carolina Lopez, 202.543.8300 X12 •

DISTRIBUTION Manager: Andrew Lightman Distributors: MediaPoint, LLC Information:

DEADLINES & CONTACTS Advertising: Display Ads: 15th of each month Classified Ads: 10th of each month Editorial: 15th of each month; Bulletin Board & Calendar: 15th of each month;,

We welcome suggestions for stories. Send queries to We are also interested in your views on community issues which are published in the Last Word. Please limit your comments to 250 words. Letters may be edited for space. Please include your name, address and phone number. Send Last Word submissions to For employment opportunities email

Article in recognition of the history and accomplishments of Black Americans

Capital Community News, Inc. Publishers of:

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WiNter restauraNt Week 2017 The semi-annual area Restaurant Week, Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, features the best restaurants in the region, encouraging locals and visitors alike to dine out, eat up and support local businesses. Restaurants in DC, Maryland and Virginia will serve up three course meals with dinner menus available for $35, lunch menus available for $22 and brunch available for $22. Total of 250 outstanding restaurants are participating. For the first time this year, Restaurant Week diners can dig in to $22 brunch menus from more than 50 restaurants spanning an array of cuisines from Balkan to Japanese to American seafood. Diners can visit neighborhood favorites or explore new restaurants in neighborhoods stretching from South Riding, VA, to Gaithersburg, MD. View menus and reserve a table at

“out of MaNY: oNe” filM aND capitol tour Tours of the Capitol begin with the inspir-

MartiN luther kiNG Jr. DaY of serVice On Jan. 16, the DC Commission on Na-

ing 13-minute orientation film, “Out of Many: One.” This wonderful film describes the beginnings of Congress with the “Great Compromise” that led to our bicameral legislative branch and the ratification of the Constitution. The film calls the Capitol, “The Temple of Liberty,” where Americans find common ground to both solve the country’s problems. Viewers come away with a greater understanding of our nation’s history, the history of Congress and the impact of the laws passed under the Dome and the critical role they play as citizens in the democratic process. The Capitol Visitor Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Inauguration Day. Walk-in or book ahead at

tional and Community Service and Serve DC commemorates the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by supporting and promoting service and civic engagement across the city. Serve DC connects residents with volunteer opportunities and community-based organizations with resources and volunteers. It tracks the number and locations of volunteers and service projects citywide. Looking for MLK Day volunteer opportunities? Visit

Photo: Courtesy of



Photo: Courtesy of the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

National Geographic Earth Explorers National Geographic Earth

Matisse/Diebenkorn at the Baltimore Museum of Art In the

Explorers is an interactive family experience showcasing the work of some of the most innovative and exciting National Geographic explorers. This hands-on exhibition will allow visitors to let imaginations run wild as they embark as world explorers discovering new species, studying animal behavior and learning about the important roles that technology, innovation and ingenuity play in documenting these discoveries. Through interactive and immersive areas, visitors explore six regions of the world. Visit a base camp in a life-sized explorer’s jeep. Take a simulated hot-air-balloon ride. Document the migration of herds across Africa. Board a deep-sea submersible for a virtual dive to survey life at all levels of the water column from abundant coral reefs to deep-sea thermal vents. Earth Explorers is at the National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW, Feb. 10 to Sept. 10, 2017. Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors/students; and $10 for children (3-12).

Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibition, more than 90 paintings and drawings by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), show the French modern master’s enduring influence on one of the greatest post-war American painters. Diebenkorn’s long engagement with Matisse’s work is among the most productive instances of one painter looking at another’s work in the history of 20th Century art. This landmark exhibition brings together a stunning array of works loaned from museums and private collections to follow the trajectory of Diebenkorn’s long and successful career with some of the powerful works by Matisse that the younger artist would have been familiar with. The Baltimore Museum of Art, closed Mondays and Tuesdays, is at 10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore, MD. The exhibition ends on Jan. 29. Tickets are $17.50 for adults; $15, seniors; $10 for students; $7.50 for kids (7-18), and under six are free.

Photo: Carol Woodward National Geographic

Henri Matisse. The Yellow Dress. 1929-31. The Baltimore Museum of Art. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / ARS NY. Richard Diebenkorn. Seated Figure with Hat. 1967. National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

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MLK EVENTS Let Freedom Ring! at the Kennedy Center. Jan. 16, 6 PM. The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University present the Grammy Award winning “Empress of Soul,” Gladys Knight, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir in a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free. A Tribute to Dr. King-Sanctuary, Witness, Covenant. Jan. 16, 2 PM. Dr. King called on faith communities, specifically the church, to be sanctuary for those in need and to demonstrate public witness to injustice. Through song, narrative and reflection, this celebration will explore how faith communities have lived into that call and what sanctuary and witness look like today. Washington National Cathedral.

2017 MLK Holiday DC Parade. Jan. 16, noon to 2 PM. The assembly will be at the R.I.S.E. Center at St. Elizabeth’s, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE. The parade will begin at noon and conclude at 2 PM at Anacostia Park near Good Hope Rd. SE and Anacostia Dr. SE. Opera Carolina’s “I Dream” - A Rhythm and Blues Opera. Feb. 2, 6 PM. This is a one-hour performance of “I Dream: The Story of a Preacher from Atlanta.” Book, music and lyrics by Douglas Tappin. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Visit the MLK Memorial. Open to visitors all hours, every day. 1964 Independence Ave. SW.

JANUARY Mosaic’s charM at the atlas Through Feb. 5. The colorful inner workings of an etiquette class taught by Mama Darleena Andrews, an African-American transgender woman in an LGBTQ organization known as The Center.

AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD Things Get Lost by Michaela Pilar Brown at Honfleur Gallery. Through Jan. 28. In “Things Get Lost,” Brown assembles photography, collage and installation artworks that examine the collecting of heirloom objects as a means of identity construction and the building of personal, familial and community history. Honfleur Gallery, 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE. Tempest by John K. Lawson at Vivid Solutions Gallery. Through Jan. 28. Vivid Solutions Gallery, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. LIZZIE the Musical at Anacostia Playhouse. Through Feb. 5. Four women, a six-piece band, and a spine-chilling tale of murder — LIZZIE is the rowdy recipe for a cold-blooded winter in our nation’s capital. For tickets, visit Film and Director Q&A: Chocolate City. Jan. 28, 2 PM. Chocolate City explores the rapid gentrification of Wash-



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ebration feat. Rare Essence & Friends; Jan. 16, Eric Gales; Jan. 17, The Young Senators Reloaded; Jan. 18, Red Not Chili Peppers; Jan. 21, The Sweet Spot DC and Bomba Party; Jan. 22, Sam Cooke Birthday Brunch and Sevyn Streeter; Jan. 27, Ginuwine; Jan. 28, Morris Day & The Time; Jan. 31, Harlem Gospel Choir Sings Adele; Feb. 1, Black Tiger Sex Machine; Feb. 3, Richard Smallwood; Feb. 5, John Early & Kate Berlant; Feb. 6, The Cannabis Cup Reggae Band; Feb. 9, The Blues Brothers Soundtrack Live; Feb. 10, The Whispers. Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. 202-803-2899.

Water WiZarDs seNior sWiM opeN house Feb. 9, 9 to 11 AM. Over 50 DC resident who wants to learn to swim improve skills or compete in local and national events? Meet the Water Wizards. It’s free. Please wear deck shoes. Rumsey Aquatic Center, 635 North Carolina Ave. SE.

Music at 9:30 Club. Jan. 14, Lotus; Jan. 15, Dark and Twisted; Jan. 18, Wax Tailor; Jan. 19, And Still We Dance: A Dancefloor Journey; Jan. 25, PHOX; Jan. 26, Luke Combs; Jan. 27, The Infamous Stringdusters; Jan. 28, Hot In Herre: 2000s Dance Party; Jan. 29, G. Love & Special Sauce and G. Love’s Pre-Show Pop Off; Feb. 1, White Lies; Feb. 2-4, Greensky Bluegrass; Feb. 7, AFI; Feb. 8, Sampha; Feb. 10, BoomBox; Feb. 11, The Wood Brothers. 815 V St. NW. 877435-9849.

Photo: Rodger McCoy

ington DC through the eyes of a group of local women who are fighting to return to their neighborhood. The post-film discussion will be facilitated by the film’s director Ellie Walton. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. Michael Platt at Honfleur Gallery. Feb. 10 to April 9. Opening reception, Feb. 10, 6 to 9 PM. Honfleur Gallery, 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE. “Urban Lines” and “Pieces of Me” by Chalethiea Loring. Feb. 10 to 12. Loring specializes in collage and figurative painting. Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE. Rare Beauties in Winter at Kenilworth Park. Saturdays and Sundays through April



30, 10 AM and 1 PM. Join them for an overview of exotic plants and a special tour of the greenhouse. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1900 Anacostia Ave. SE. 202-692-6080.

house paint. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820.

Garden Walk at Kenilworth Park. Daily through May 1, 2 PM. Join a National Park Service Ranger and explore the gardens, marshes and woodlands of Kenilworth looking for turtles, butterflies, spiders, birds and more. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1900 Anacostia Ave. SE. 202-692-6080.

Irving Berlin: A Simple Melody. Through Jan. 28. A cabaret-revue evening of hit songs by Irving Berlin. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets at, or 202-204-7763.

From the Regenia Perry Collection: The Backyard of Derek Webster’s Imagination. Through April 23, 2017. Derek Webster (19342009) created sculptures from scraps of wood, trash, and found materials, and adorned them with costume jewelry and brightly colored


Music at Rock and Roll Hotel. Jan. 14, The Shadowboxers; Jan. 20, Steve Gunn/Lee Ranaldo; Jan. 22, Into Another; Jan. 25, Cold Cave; Jan. 27, Staycation: Feb. 3, Leon. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. 202-388-7625. Music at The Howard. Jan. 14, Reggae Fest vs. Soca MLK Weekend; Jan. 15, Harlem Gospel Choir and 3rd Annual MLK Birthday Cel-

Music at Sixth and I. Jan. 14, Piers Faccini; Jan. 18, Kyle Morton (from Typhoon); Jan. 28, Mogwai Play Atomic; Jan. 29, Kennedy Center Chamber Players; Feb. 4, Carlos Henriquez Sextet; Feb. 8, Ute Lemper: Songs for Eternity; Feb. 11, Colin Currie. Sixth and I, 600 I St. NW. Music at the U Street Music Hall. Jan. 14, J. Phlip; Jan. 17, D.R.A.M.; Jan. 18, Plaid; Jan. 19, DJ Sega; Jan. 20, Ben Nicky; Jan. 21, Our DC ft. Eau Claire & Madame Gandhi; Jan. 25, Mobb Deep; Jan. 26, Xilent & Far Too Loud; Jan. 27, Basecamp and Whethan: Savage Tour; Jan. 28, Tim Presley & Cate Le Bon and Claptone; Feb. 1, Moon Hooch; Feb. 2, Isaiah Rashad and Valentino Khan; Feb. 3, Escort and Young Art Sound ft. TOKiMONSTA & CRi; Feb. 4, Bear’s Den and Worthy + option4; Feb. 10, Savoy (live); Feb. 11, Book of Love and Deep Sugar:

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Ultra Naté & Lisa Moody. U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 202-588-1889. Blues Night in Southwest. Every Monday, 6 to 9 PM. Jan. 16, Linwood Taylor Band; Jan. 23, Lil Margie Live!; Feb. 6, Midnight Blue; Feb. 13, Moonshine Society; Feb. 20, Full Power Blues. $5 cover. Children are free under 16 years old. Reasonably priced meals offered. 202-484-7700. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW. Music at Hill Country. Jan. 17, Man About A Horse; Jan. 18, 25 Hill Country Live Band Karaoke; Jan. 19, Hollertown; Jan. 20, Kevin Fowler; Jan. 24, Old Salt Union; Jan. 26, The Plimsouls Re-Souled; Jan. 31, Bobby Thompson; Feb. 3, The Woodshedders and Scott Kurt & Memphis 59; Feb. 10, The Howlin’ Brothers. Hill Country Live, 410 Seventh St. NW. Music at the Lincoln. Jan. 17, Tom Chaplin; Feb. 14, Tinder Live! with Lane Moore. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. 202328-6000. Church of the Epiphany Weekly Concerts. Tuesdays, 12:10 PM. Jan. 17, Jaely Chamberlain, soprano, & Andrew Welch, piano; Jan. 24, Barbara Hollinshead, alto, & Howard Bass, lute; Jan. 31, Naira Babayan, piano; Feb. 7, The Heritage Signature Chorale. 1317 G St. NW. 202-347-2635. Jazz Night in Southwest. Every Friday, 6 to 9 PM. Jan. 20, 18th Jazz Night Anniversary Dick Smith & Friends; Jan. 27, The Wes Biles Quartet Presenting Gail Shipp; Feb. 3, Remembering Maurice Lyles; Feb. 10, Kristine Key Jazz Ensemble. $5 cover. Children are free under 16 years old. Reasonably priced meals offered. 202-484-7700. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW. Music at the LOC. Jan. 23, 8 PM, Pacifica Quartet and Jörg Widmann, clarinet; Jan. 25, Musicians from Marlboro; Jan. 26, 7 PM, The Rhythmic Imagination in African Music (Montpelier Room, James Madison Building); Feb. 3, 7 PM, Toon Tunes with Solomon Haile Selassie (Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building); Feb. 4, 8 PM, Gateway to the East: The Millenarian Venice 7701797. All concerts are free. Unless otherwise noted, concerts are at the Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building.

SPORTS AND FITNESS Washington Wizards Basketball. Jan. 14, 16, 18, 24 and 31; Feb. 2, 4 and 6. Verizon Center. Fort Dupont Ice Arena Public Skating. Public ice skating is on Jan. 14, and 25, 1 to 3 PM; Jan. 15, 22 and 28, 3:30 to 4:40 PM; and Jan. 20, noon to 2 PM. Skate rental: $5 for adults, $4 for 12 and under and $3 for seniors 60 and over. Fort Dupont Ice Arena is at 3779 Ely Pl. SE. 202-584-5007. Washington Capitals Ice Hockey. Jan. 15 and 23; Feb. 1, 5 and 7. Verizon Center. Canal Park Ice Skating. Through Feb. 26; Mondays and Tuesdays, noon to 7 PM; Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 9 PM; Fridays noon to 10 PM; Saturdays, 11 AM to 10 PM; and Sundays, 11 AM to 7 PM. Open all holidays but with different hours. Adults, $9; children, military and seniors, $8; skate rental, $5. Ca-


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nal Park Ice Rink, 200 M St. SE. NGA Ice Rink. Mondays through Fridays, 10 AM to 8 PM; Friday, 10 AM to 11 PM, Saturdays, 11 AM to 11 PM; and Sundays, 11 AM to 9 PM. Skating fees for a two-hour session are $8.50, adults; $7.50, seniors, students with ID and children 12 and under. Skate rental is $3. Washington Harbor Ice Rink. Through mid-March. Mondays through Tuesdays, noon to 7 PM; Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 9 PM; Fridays noon to 10 PM; Saturdays, 10 AM to 10 PM; Sundays, 10 AM to 7 PM. Skating is $9 to $10. Skate rental is $6. Washington Harbor is at 3050 K St. NW. 202-706-7666. Barry Farm Pool. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:30 AM to 8 PM; and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM. Free for DC residents. 1230 Sumner Rd. SE. 202-7300572.

Eastland Gardens Civic Association Meeting. Third Tuesday, 6:30 to 8 PM. Zion Baptist Church of Eastland Gardens, 1234 Kenilworth Ave. NE. Contact Rochelle Frazier-Gray, 202-352-7264 or Anacostia Coordinating Council Meeting. Last Tuesday, noon to 2 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. Historical Anacostia Block Association. Second Thursday, 7 to 9 PM. UPO Anacostia Service Center, 1649 Good Hope Rd. SE. For further details, contact Charles Wilson, 202-834-0600. Anacostia High School Improvement Team Meeting. Fourth Tuesday, 6 PM. Anacostia High School, 16th and R Streets, SE.

Deanwood Pool. Mondays to Fridays 6:30 AM to 8 PM; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 AM to 5 PM. Free for DC residents. 1350 49th St. NE. 202-671-3078.

Fairlawn Citizens Association. Third Tuesday, 7 PM. Ora L. Glover Community Room at the Anacostia Public Library, 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE.

Ferebee Hope Pool. Open weekdays, 10 AM to 6 PM. Closed weekends. Free for DC residents. 3999 Eighth St. SE. 202-6453916.

Ward 7 Education Council Meeting. Fourth Thursday, 6:30 PM. Capitol View Library, 5001 East Capitol St. SE.

MARKETS AND SALES Eastern Market. Daily except Mondays and important holidays. Weekdays, 7 AM to 7 PM; Saturdays, 7 AM to 5 PM; Sundays, 9 AM to 5 PM. Flea market and arts and crafts market open Saturdays and Sundays, 9 AM to 6 PM. Eastern Market is Washington’s last continually operated “old world” market. 200 and 300 blocks of Seventh Street SE. 202-698-5253. Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Sundays, year round, 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM. 20th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW. 202-362-8889. Branch Avenue Pawn Parking Lot Flea Market. Saturdays. Set up after 10 AM. 3128 Branch Ave., Temple Hills, MD. Fresh Tuesdays at Eastern Market. Tuesdays, 3 to 7 PM. Farmers’ line of fresh produce. Eastern Market, 200 block of Seventh Street SE. 202-698-5253. Union Market. Tuesdays to Fridays, 11 AM to 8 PM; Saturdays to Sundays, 8 AM to 8 PM. Union Market is an artisanal, curated, year round food market featuring over 40 local vendors. 1309 Fifth St. NE. 301-652-7400. Georgetown Flea Market. Sundays year around, 8 AM to 4 PM. 1819 35th St. NW.

CIVIC LIFE Congresswoman Norton’s SE District Office. Open weekdays, 9 AM to 6 PM. 2041 MLK Ave. SE, #238. 202-678-8900.

ANC MONTHLY MEETINGS ANC 7B. Third Thursday, 7 PM. Ryland Epworth United Methodist Church, 3200 S St. SE. 202-584-3400. anc7b@pressroom. com. ANC 7C. Second Thursday, 7 PM. Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church, 5109 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE. 202-3985100. ANC 7D. Second Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Dorothy I. Height Neighborhood Library, 3935 Benning Rd. NE. 202-398-5258. 7D06@ ANC 7E. Second Tuesday, 7 PM. Jones Memorial Church, 4625 G St. SE. 202-5826360. ANC 7F. Third Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Washington Tennis and Education Foundation, 200 Stoddert Place, SE. ANC 8A. First Tuesday, 7 PM. Anacostia UPO Service Center, 1649 Good Hope Rd. SE. 202-889-6600. ANC 8B. Third Tuesday, 7 PM. Seventh District Police Station Community Center, Alabama and McGee Streets, SE. 202-6101818. ANC 8C. First Wednesday, 7 PM. 2907 MLK Jr Ave. SE. 202388-2244. ANC 8D. Fourth Thursday, 7 PM. Specialty Hospital of Washington, 4601 MLK Jr. Ave. SW. 202-561-0774.

Have an item for the Calendar? Email it to

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neighborhood news

Annual Family Day: Viva Carnivale! at the ACM

music room, teaching kitchen, two outdoor high school-sized basketball courts and an outdoor NBA-sized basketball court.

On Feb. 11, noon to 4 p.m., in celebration of the exhibition Gateways, enjoy live entertainment, face painting, mask making, storytelling and other activities for the kids at this popular annual museum event. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-6334820.

Ground Broken on Marvin Gaye rec Center On Dec. 21, Mayor Bowser joined Ward 7 Councilmember Alexander (D), Department of General Services Director Gillis and Department of Parks and Recreation Director Anderson to break ground on the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and Trail. The project includes demolishing the existing field house and constructing a new state-of-the-art recreation facility. The new rec center, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017, will be a two-story, 7,200 square-foot facility with a community room, senior room, teen area, computer lab, fitness room,



Anacostia Sewage Tunnel Completed


In the last five years, there have been nearly 100 Shepherd Parkway clean-ups with over 1,500 volunteers. Shepherd Parkway volunteers have removed hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash from the park, leaving it the cleanest it’s been in decades. In 2017, they will continue to hold their signature community clean-ups every second Saturday of the month. The starting time in 2017 is 10:30 a.m., but the end time remains 1 p.m. Mark the calendar: Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Oct. 13, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9. Volunteers meet in the picnic area near the corner of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Avenues SE. Gloves, bags, and light refreshments are provided. Wear boots and clothes you can get dirty. There is an open invitation to colleges, schools, churches, offices and other groups who wish to leave their mark on Shepherd Parkway. Pick the date and time. Contact Nathan at to arrange a group volunteer experience.

On Jan. 5, DC Water pulled “Nannie,” the 1,200 ton tunnel boring machine, from the ground now that she has completed her 12,384-linearfoot journey. The boring machine has been underground since November 2015 digging an enormous tunnel from near RFK Stadium to Poplar Point. The tunnel is part of the larger Clean Rivers Project and connects to a different tunnel dug by ‘Lady Bird’ two years ago. The work is part of DC Water’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality by eliminating most combined sewer overflows in the District of Columbia.

Anacostia river Festival Save the date! The third annual Anacostia River Festival will be on April 9, 2017 in Anacostia Park.

2017 is the Year of Homeownership with DC Open Doors and the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) DC Open Doors is a DCHFA program that offers fully forgivable second trust loans on a buyer’s minimum down payment requirement, in addition to below market interest rates for first trust mortgages for the purchase of homes anywhere in the District of Columbia. DC Open Doors Program Highlights: • Open to first-time and repeat home buyers • Open to all, no D.C. residency requirements • Maximum Income limit $131,040 DC’s MCCs DCHFA’s Mortgage Credit Certificate program provides qualified borrowers the ability to claim a federal tax credit of 20 percent of the mortgage interest paid during a calendar year with the purchase of an MCC. MCC Guidelines: • Borrowers must be first time homebuyers • Maximum borrower income is based upon household income, currently $131,040 (family of two or less) and $152,880 (family of three or more) • Acquisition costs (sales price) may not exceed program limits, currently $589,784 (non-targeted area) and $720,847 (targeted area) • MCCs are valid for Single Family residences, only (no 2-4 unit properties or co-ops) • DC’s MCCs can be purchased in conjunction with a DC Open Doors loan program product or other loan program products not offered through the DC Open Doors loan program Learn more about both programs at the next DC Open Doors Homebuyers’ Informational Session on January 18th 6:30- 8:00 p.m. at DCHFA 815 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Email to register to attend this FREE seminar. DCHFA has FREE parking in the Agency’s garage (V Street entrance) and is a short walk from the U Street Metro Station. Homebuyers’ Informational Sessions are held twice monthly on the first and third Wednesday at DCHFA.

815 FLORIDA AVENUE, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001 • 202.777.1600 • DCHFA.ORG

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neighborhood news / bulletin board

District Selects Development Team for MLK Gateway The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has announced the selection of Menkiti Group and Enlightened, Inc. to lead the development of MLK Gateway, a partnership between DMPED and DHCD at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Avenue and Good Hope Road SE. The proposed development will create a tech incubator; generate 200 jobs; and provide long-awaited retail and amenities to Ward 8. The development team proposed a 100 percent commercial project across three sites at this marquee intersection with a total of over 50,500 square feet of new development. This will include over 28,500 square feet of commercial office space and nearly 22,000 square feet of restaurant, grocery, and retail space. The development is projected to generate 50 new jobs and over $21 million in new tax revenues during its first 15 years of operation. Read more at

Volunteer at Kenilworth Park On Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to noon, join other volunteers picking up trash, working on trails and removing invasive English ivy and honeysuckle. Individuals and groups of all ages welcome! SSL credits can be earned. Register at friendsofkenilworthgardens.eventbrite. com. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is at 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE.

New Pass System at NMAAHC The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has introduced new ways of obtaining passes for entry. The museum will no longer distribute same-day, inperson passes at 9:15 a.m. A limited number of walk-up passes on weekdays will be available starting at 1 p.m. No walk-up passes will be available on weekends. Sameday, online, timed passes will be available only through the museum’s website, sameday, beginning at 6:30 a.m. daily. Non-commercial group visits of 10 or more, including student groups, will now be available for scheduling up to one year in advance by visiting nmaahc. On Jan. 4, NMAAHC started issuing advance timed passes for April. Advance timed passes for May will be available starting Feb. 1, at 9 a.m., by visiting or by calling 866-


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297-4020. The museum will be open on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, but there will be no same-day online passes or any walk-up passes. Passes are required for entrance into the museum and will continue indefinitely. Passes may be printed or displayed on a smartphone. There is no limit on the amount of time visitors spend inside the museum.

Special Olympics Polar Plunge Individuals or teams register at specialolympicsdc. org/event/polar-plunge-2017, set up a Personal Plunge page where their supporters can donate. Then on Feb. 11, noon to 4 p.m., they jump in a giant pool of ice water at Nat’s Park to the delight of hundreds of spectators and fellow plungers. This annual event is one of Special Olympics’ biggest fundraisers and sustains their many programs that provide recreational and lifestyle support to those with disabilities. Visit

DC United Hosts Sporting in Home Opener DC United opens its 2017 MLS Regular Season at home against Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium on March 4 at 7 p.m. Since 1996, DC United has a 9-6-6 record at home.

Free Local Donation Delivery Service Goodwill of Greater Washington has launched a pilot program that allows donors to mail their donations to Goodwill through the US Postal Service for free. Place donations of clothing, shoes and accessories into

any box. Visit to schedule a pick-up through the US Postal Service. Print and affix a mailing label to the box. Place it on the front porch for pick up. Upon receipt, Goodwill will email the donor an IRS compliant donation receipt.

Hypothermia Alerts The District’s Winter Plan for homeless services is in effect. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit between Nov. 1 and March 31, all people who are homeless must be housed. Call the Shelter Hotline to report a person who is homeless and may be impacted by extreme temperatures. The Shelter Hotline is operated by the United Planning Organization at; 202-399-7093; or 211. Families seeking emergency shelter should go to the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (VWFRC), 920 Rhode Island Ave. NE. VWFRC operates between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursdays except for holidays and days on which the District government is closed. After 4 p.m. and on Fridays and weekends, families should call the Shelter Hotline for transportation to the DC General family shelter or other available family shelter.

Annual J.O. Wilson Summer Camp Fair Looking for a summer activity for a school-aged child or something to do over spring break? On Jan. 26, 6 to 8 p.m., J.O. Wilson Elementary School, 660 K St. NE, hosts its annual Summer Camp Fair. There will be more than 30 art, theater, music, sports and overnight

Join Women’s March on Washington The Women’s March on Washington is on Saturday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m. It will proceed from Independence Avenue and Third Street SW. The March was conceived in solidarity and the spirit of democracy; for equality, diversity and inclusion; and to protect women’s rights. For more information, visit To sign up for local updates, visit

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


Daily online. Monthly in print.

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camps for ages three to eighteen represented. Attendees can take advantage of early-bird registration rates and a camp drawing. Admission is free; refreshments available for purchase. For more information, visit or email

ics including how to recognize lottery and student loan scams, how to get incorrect information removed from credit reports and what protections exist for car buyers under the District’s Lemon Law. To access all of these resources, visit

Mayor Signs GPS Monitoring Legislation

DC First-Time Homebuyer Programs Enhanced

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has signed legislation that makes it a criminal offense for persons on probation or parole to tamper with GPS monitoring devices. The legislation, part of the Mayor’s Safer Stronger DC initiative, closes a critical loophole that allowed individuals on supervised release who were ordered to wear electronic monitoring devices to go unpunished after removing, disabling, or tampering with the device. Under the new law, any agency that can order a person on supervised release to wear a GPS monitoring device, such as the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, the Pretrial Services Agency and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, can enforce attempts at tampering with the device. Individuals found guilty of tampering with their GPS monitoring devices can face up to six months in jail.

Enhancements are being made to homebuyer programs administered by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that provide down payment and closing cost assistance. Those programs include the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) which provides assistance to first time homebuyers making up to 110 percent of the area median income (AMI); the Employee Assistance Housing Program (EAHP) which provides assistance of up to $10,000 for eligible District government employees; and the Negotiated Employee Affordable Housing Program (NEAHP) which provides assistance of up to $26,500 for certain unionized District government employees. The enhancements increase the FY2017 budget for the homebuyer programs by almost 50 percent, to $16 million; increase HPAP’s maximum loan amount from $50,000 to $80,000; revise the repayment terms for 70 percent of HPAP borrowers; and add a second HPAP administrator to enable the District to more efficiently and effectively implement these enhancements. For more information, visit

CAAB Launches EITC Campaign Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) has launched the 2017 DC EITC Campaign. This campaign is a citywide, cross-sector initiative that promotes economic security and asset building for low and moderate income individuals and families by providing access to information on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), free tax preparation services and capacity building opportunities throughout DC. The goals of the DC EITC Campaign are to: 1. promote awareness of the Federal and DC Earned Income Tax Credit to ensure that eligible workers know how to claim the credits; 2. educate taxpayers about numerous Federal and DC tax benefits; 3. provide opportunities for free tax preparation for qualified DC residents; connect taxpayers with programs and services to improve financial stability. For more information on the DC EITC Campaign, contact Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz, CAAB’s Associate Director and Manager of the DC EITC Campaign at 202-419-1440 x 102 or

Consumer Protection Library Launched Just in time to help residents learn how to avoid holiday scams such as fake charities and identity theft, the Office of the Attorney General has launched a comprehensive library of consumer-protection resources. The resources are available online as well as in print, and residents and community groups are welcome to download and print their own copies or request a printed version from the Office of the Attorney General Office of Consumer Protection. The new library covers a broad range of top-


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Prepare for Winter Weather In preparation for what forecasters are predicting to be a long, cold winter, Mayor Bowser is urging residents to prepare for the weather. Winter storms can include extreme cold, high winds, freezing rain, sleet and snowfall. Severe winter storms can block roads, down power lines, create power outages, cause transportation accidents and result in loss of life. Residents are encouraged to heed the following suggestions: Make a family emergency plan. Plan how to communicate in the event of power loss. Keep a list of family members’ phone numbers along with other important numbers that may be needed during an emergency. Charge cell phones so they have a full battery. Buy a solar or battery powered phone charger. Have all prescription and other medications in full supply for family members and pets. Stock up on fresh bottled water and food that does not need to be cooked along with a manual can opener. If going outside, dress for the weather. Keep flashlights, extra batteries and a first-aid kit accessible. Ensure that worn out shovels are replaced. Stock up on deicer, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter. Refuel kerosene heaters outside keeping them at least three feet from flammable objects. Keep water faucets open to a slow drip. Remove any dead, broken, or rotting tree branches that could fall during a storm. Keep kitty litter on hand in cars to provide traction when stuck in snow or ice. Keep scrapers, blankets, flashlights and a charged mobile charger inside vehicles.

Arena Stage Power Plays Initiative Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has launched “Power Plays,” an initiative commissioning and developing 25 new plays and musicals from 25 writers over the course of the next ten years. With Power Plays, Arena Stage focuses on DC’s unique theatrical voice on politics and power, amplifying the theater’s role as a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. The massive undertaking features American stories that explore the people, events and ideas that have helped shape our country’s narrative and identity with one story per decade, beginning with 1776 through today. Power Plays features work by both well-established writers as well as those who are in the beginning stages of their careers. Seven commissioned projects are currently in development with playwrights Nathan Alan Davis, Eve Ensler, Rajiv Joseph, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Aaron Posner, Sarah Ruhl and John Strand. They focus on topics including Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street,” Native American sovereignty, John Quincy Adams and Theodore Roosevelt. Inspired by true events, Jacqueline Lawton’s Intelligence, a political thriller, debuts as part of the Power Plays cycle and running from Feb. 24 to April 2, 2017.

DC Foam Ban Update Effective in 2017, District businesses and organizations that sell or serve food or beverages in the District must use only recyclable or compostable food service products. The law applies to any food service products designed for one-time use. These include take-out containers, bowls, plates, trays, cups and other items. The law does not apply to food or beverages filled and sealed in foam containers before an entity receives them; materials used to package raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, fish, poultry and seafood; or foam food service products purchased for home use. Read more at

Perform Among the Blossoms at the Tidal Basin The National Cherry Blossom Festival is seeking applicants to perform on the ANA Performance Stage at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area from March 25 to April 9. Cultural performances during the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrate the friendship symbolized by the gift of flowering cherry trees from Tokyo to DC. The festival is seeking performers who incorporate live music; cultural traditions; historic costuming; wide demographic appeal; and solicit crowd interaction. Applications received prior to Jan. 15, receive first consideration. Applications received after Jan. 15, will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Visit or call 877-44-BLOOM for more information. Have an item for the Bulletin Board? Email bulletinboard@

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Will Mendo’s Council Committee Shuffle Challenge Bowser? The District Beat


he DC Council’s new committee structure could mean Mayor Muriel Bowser’s next two years will be as challenging as the last two – except she won’t have several allies to help soften the blow of an increasingly emboldened legislature filled with deep-blue progressives and antagonists, chiefly her predecessor Vincent C. Gray. “One thing is certain, the mayor is going to have a hard time,” said Greg Rhett, a Ward 7 resident active in local politics and civic affairs. “The [council voting] bloc that’s sprouting up has more muscle than before.” Complicating that is the fact that the mayor and seven legislators are expected to launch reelection bids. Therefore, the committees will morph into campaign platforms replete with posturing and rhetorical flourishes designed to please constituents and raise money. Consider that the council’s Committee on Economic Development has been the consistent foot-stool for politicians looking to advance their careers: Kwame Brown parlayed it to the job of chairman of the council. Bowser used it to ride into the mayoral suite. Even before he was assigned economic development, some observers had suggested Kenyan McDuffie would be a mayoral contender in 2018. That means the field of candidates already is crowded with the prospect of DC Attorney General Karl Racine adding his name. All of this simply means that Council Period 22 will be all politics, all the time. Ed Lazere, head of the nonprofit DC Fiscal Policy Institute, said it’s not in the interest of either the executive or the legislature to be fighting all the time, especially considering the changes caused by the federal government that could hit the city. “If the mayor wants to succeed, “it’s in her interest to build new relationships.”


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by Jonetta Rose Barras

Achieving that goal is more than a notion, however. During Council Period 21, key progressives like Ward 1’s Brianne Nadeau, Ward 6’s Charles Allen, and At-large Elissa Silverman didn’t chair any standing committees. Still, they created headaches for the executive, although they were unable to inflict permanent damage. Bowser often had a six-pack of members who could help drive her agenda. That changed with the November general election. The pro-Bowser force dwindled to three. Now Chair Phil Mendelson has exacerbated the mayor’s wound. (He probably wouldn’t share that assessment.) The progressives are not just at the door; they are in charge of the house and have sway over key areas Bowser may have hoped to deploy as springboards into a second term. Consider that At-large Councilmember Elissa Silverman controls the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. That includes the Department of Employment Services and the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity. Bowser won’t be able to pass around money through contracts and jobs to gain support from residents and businesses. Silverman, considered by many to be expert in workforce development issues, will demand accountability and measurable outcomes. She has challenged the mayor over expansion of the summer job’s program, demanding an evaluation and requiring the executive to ensure full-time employment for a select number of enrollees. Further, Silverman led the fight for universal paid leave, which the Council passed last month. Bowser opposed the bill and pledged not to sign it. Gray has jurisdiction over the Committee on Health. He is expected to advocate, once again, for a public hospital east of the Anacostia River, in Ward 7 or Ward 8. When Bowser was on the Council she opposed a similar proposal offered by then-mayor Gray. Since he continues to believe he was cheated out of

a second mayoral term, Gray is expected to be the proverbial thorn in the side. “Things are going to be very interesting,” said Rhett. “When we go into the budget season that’s when we really will know who’s got the juice.”

Public Frustration

Bowser isn’t the only one expected to catch heat, however. Some business owners, residents, and advocates acknowledge a slight improvement in the committee structure – from eight to 11 standing committees, including the Committee of the Whole. But many I spoke with remain unhappy with the organization Mendelson has crafted for Council Period 22. They complained that some committees are not properly aligned with their mission and the agencies under their purview; some remain too large; and still others lack knowledgeable personnel. Those issues create problems associated with transparency and effective and efficient oversight. “Committees should be in the hands of people who have experience and passion about the area over which they have jurisdiction,” said Alex Padro, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Shaw. “We would be better off if the Council placed a higher priority on oversight and better off if the subject areas were more keenly defined,” said long-time DC-based political consultant Tom Lindenfeld. Dorothy Brizill, head of the good government group DC Watch, agreed but asserted that ultimately the current committees aren’t “set up to do the oversight that is needed.” She cited as problematic the composition of the Committee on the Judiciary, under which Mendelson has placed at least 36 agencies and commissions. She raised questions about whether Business and Economic Development, headed by Ward 5’s Kenyan McDuffie, has staff with the knowledge to conduct dive-deep oversight.

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Mendelson also has permitted some councilmembers to continue chairing committees despite what some characterized as “poor performance.” Consider that several people interviewed for this article rated the chair of the Education Committee, At-large David Grosso, mediocre. “I haven’t been overly impressed,” said Padro, whose Shaw community has been fighting for the modernization and opening of Shaw Middle School. Grosso “has done an okay job. I’d like to see someone more effective. Maybe Phil [Mendelson] was right when he wanted education to be part of the Committee of the Whole.” Then there is the Department of General Services (DGS), a behemoth agency charged with, among other things, managing the city’s real estate holdings and school modernization. As chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, Ward 3’s Mary Cheh had jurisdiction over the DGS. By most assessments her oversight of DGS was inadequate. The agency mismanaged school modernization funds, according to the city auditor. More recently there were allegations two top-level employees changed the procurement scoring system without approval from either the mayor or the Council. “The primary function of the committee is oversight, not creating new legislation,” said Brizill. The emphasis on introducing legislation is not likely to change during an election season, however.

Strapped and Dissatisfied

“The quality of oversight always depends on the quality of the committee,” said Mendelson, during an interview with the District Beat in which he explained and defended his decisions. Interestingly, not only does Mendelson recommend the chair for each committee, he also determines which councilmember sits as a member of which committee. If anyone has control over the quality of a committee it is Mendelson. Adding credence to that observation, he told me that he broke up some of the previously large committees to “allow for better focus.”For example, he split the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, giving McDuffie one half and Silverman the other. Mendelson said creating a separate business development committee could provide relief for businesses. Last month he called for a moratorium on new businessrelated legislation. Mendelson also divided the former Committee on Health and Human Services. Gray got control of health, although technically he is a freshman; Mendelson’s edict has been that freshman legislators don’t get to chair committees. “Everybody got what they wanted,” Mendelson said. Actually, neither Robert White nor Trayon White


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was assigned a committee. “My belief is that a body as small as the District Council with oversight over 100 agencies and commissions needs every member to have a committee so we can reach down into every agency,” said Robert White, adding that he had discussed with Mendelson his “desire to chair a committee” and noting his years of conducting government oversight in previous roles. The failure to assign each of the two Whites a committee means that 40 percent of the black male council members are without chairmanships. Also putting Trayon White on the sidelines translates into more than four years that a representative from Ward 8 would not have chaired a committee. Chairmanships are important commodities. Not only do they provide council members an opportunity to develop a level of expertise, they also provide resources that could be traded to secure better outcomes for their constituents. During the budget process, for example, chairs often move money between their committees to ensure funding of pet projects. Neither Robert White nor Trayon White will wield that political clout and influence. Speaking through his spokesperson, Mendelson reiterated his position that it “takes some time for new council members to get up to speed.” He also argued that “east of the river has a chairmanship with Vincent Gray.” Wards 7 and 8 are both east of the Anacostia River. They are two different communities, with different demographics and needs, however. “Trayon White has thus far been very impressive,” Mendelson continued, “and I will be helpful and responsive to his requests. I will do all I can when he asks.” The problems didn’t stop there, however. Government sources said Ward 6’s Charles Allen had lobbied for the Committee on Health. Instead he was saddled with the Committee on the Judiciary. Initially Mendelson had sought to keep McDuffie as chairman of that committee. Mendelson said he even asked McDuffie to serve “as a favor to me.” McDuffie still refused, choosing business development instead. McDuffie had thought DGS would come along with that committee, but it didn’t. When the Council met last month for its administrative meeting, where the committee assignments were first recommended, McDuffie was visually unhappy. Later, he was given the Committee on Business and Economic Development. While DGS wasn’t part of that configuration, he won control over the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, a broad and lucrative terrain. When reached by telephone earlier this month, McDuffie, said after the initial assignments were made “as is customary there was continuing discussion. Ul-

timately I am pleased with the committee I have.” Allen acknowledged in an interview with District Beat that he hadn’t expected to be assigned judiciary and public safety. “I got my hands around it really fast, [however]. This is a really important committee; it touches people’s lives every single day. The committee has a lot of challenges; it is dealing with some of the toughest stuff in the city.” The Judiciary Committee has under its purview fire and emergency services, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Office of Campaign Finance, among others. Allen has gone from no committee to one of the largest and most significant. Further, as chairman, he now has a bulls-eye on his back for the next two years, particularly since there has been a measurable uptick in crime in his Ward 6. “This committee comes with expectations and I am going to be working hard to meet them,” he continued. Don’t expect him to focus only crime and punishment in the traditional sense. Allen said high on his list of priorities will be preventing government corruption and improving government ethics. “You’re talking to someone who didn’t take a single dime from a corporation in my campaign. No PAC [political action committee and no corporation,” he continued. That experience, he said, makes him the right person to push for campaign finance changes. “It’s something I care a lot about.” He will advocate for strong legislation to prevent pay-to-play, which could mean contractors doing business with the city may not be able to make campaign contributions while they have active contracts. He also said he would push for fair elections, helping to balance the influence of large donors with that of low-dollar donors. The saving grace for Allen’s vault into the chairmanship of such a large and critical committee is that prior to his election he was chief of staff for several years to then-Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chaired the same committee. Grosso also was unhappy with initial assignments. He sought to have Mendelson add the University of the District of Columbia, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and DGS to the Committee on Education. The university is under Mendelson’s Committee of the Whole, and DGS is under Cheh’s committee. The mismatch of agencies under committees was a common complaint during Council Period 21. Residents had a hard time determining which councilmember was responsible for what. “These things have a huge effect and shouldn’t be dismissed. The net result could be a lack of transparency and a lack of effective oversight,” said Lindenfeld Without six other members to join him, there was

no way Grosso could alter Mendelson’s assignments. “When Vince Gray was chairman, everyone had a committee,” said Jack Evans, adding that if he had made the decisions he would have divided DCRA between Robert White and Trayon White. “This is Phil’s world. He is just very stubborn.” Mendelson suggested his motives in the selection process were pure, although he deliberately removed some legislators as members of committees and refused to assign agencies to others, even as he sought their assistance. “The Council is stronger and a better institution than it was two years ago. We are working better and working more collaboratively.”

The ‘Titanic,’ Maybe

Creating the standing committees isn’t some deck chair exercise, however. The assignments are political, providing Mendelson leverage to maintain control of the legislature and rally voters around him as he seeks reelection. “How much of this is being done for good government? How much is being done for the chairman to have improved relations with councilmembers? How much is being done for politics?” asked one political operative. Noted Brizill, “All of the people up for reelection have committees with constituencies that can provide early money, which can preclude anyone from running against them.” Allen, Cheh, Silverman, McDuffie, Nadeau, Mendelson, and At-large member Anita Bonds are expected to position themselves this year for their 2018 reelection. Consider that Bonds was assigned the chairmanship of the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. That includes jurisdiction over public housing, the Housing Production Trust Fund, the Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. Curiously it also includes the Commission on Aging and the Office of Aging. Senior citizens are considered the most dependable voting bloc in the city. Silverman could successfully tap labor unions and city contractors.

Mendelson, as chair of the Committee of the Whole, oversees several critical agencies including the Zoning Commission, the Office of Contracting and Procurement, and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. After the paid leave bill he has to kiss and make up with business leaders who have been strong sources of campaign contributions for candidates in previous elections. One John A. Wilson Building source said Mendelson even made sure that he wouldn’t have Gray snapping at his heels. “[Mendelson] cut a deal with Gray and threw Allen under the bus. The chairman doesn’t want Gray challenging him in two years.” There has been much talk that Gray may run against Mayor Bowser in 2018, as part of his campaign to restore his political influence and clout. He could just as easily run for Council chair, however. Still, the level of dissatisfaction over committee assignments, said one District government insider, and the fact that members running for reelection will want to tout achievements, could create an opportunity for Bowser to rebuild alliances. “I think it plays well for the mayor.” Mendelson has not set up any direct roadblocks for Bowser. In fact he has placed Ward 4’s Brandon Todd, the mayor’s protégé, as head of the Committee on Government Operations. Among other things it has jurisdiction over the Executive Office of the Mayor, the mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel, and the Office of the City Administrator.“There is nothing to be gained by causing trouble for the mayor and nothing lost by giving Brandon oversight of the mayor’s office,” said Mendelson. If you believe that, Mendelson has a bridge to sell you. Freelance writer jonetta rose barras blogs at

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DC’s Housing Crisis Leaves Low-Income Families Without a Foundation The Numbers by Claire Zippel


he District’s affordable housing crisis is threatening the very foundation of thousands of DC families. More and more of the city’s lowest-income residents now spend half or more – even 80 percent – of their income to keep a roof overhead, with damaging ripple effects in their lives. When families are at risk of eviction, or cannot afford to fill the fridge or even bus fare because nearly everything goes to rent, the chances of getting ahead are slim. The disappearance of affordable housing in DC is undercutting the dream of economic mobility. One of five children in our city lives in a family with limited resources and severe housing affordability problems. Children in stressful housing situations are more likely to fall behind in school and drop out. Despite the District’s substantial investments in affordable housing local housing resources are not reaching the DC residents who need them most. While 26,000 DC households have extremely low incomes and very high housing cost burdens, only 2,100 extremely low-income households got help in recent years. DC has the tools to address this crisis, but action is needed to increase investments in affordable housing – and importantly, to direct a greater share of investments to the families most at risk. When families have affordable housing as a strong foundation, their lives become more stable and they are better able to meet their basic needs.

Too Many Households Spend Nearly All for Rent

Rising rents have eliminated nearly all low-cost housing options in DC’s private market over the past de-


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cade, and thousands of subsidized apartments have been lost because their requirement to stay affordable expired. As a result, extremely low-income households (incomes below $32,000

for a family of four) must put an even larger share of the household budget toward rent. Of 43,000 renter households with extremely low incomes, 62 percent now face severe housing hardship, up from 50 percent a decade ago. About one-third can afford rent of no more than $200, yet only nine percent have housing at that price. While few extremely low-income renters can afford to pay more than $800 a month in rent, most do. DC’s extremely low-income families with housing challenges are working moms, people with disabilities relying on fixed incomes, and single adults in low-wage service-sector jobs. Seventy percent of low-income renters who are able to work are engaged in the labor market. Many low-income renters are seniors or have a disability and must rely on low fixed incomes. Social Security benefits average just $15,000 in DC, for example, enough to afford $400 a month in rent. Nearly all of the District’s severely cost burdened, extremely low-income

renters are African-American (and most of the rest are Latino). This reflects the city’s stark racial inequalities, which are getting worse as more college-educated residents – who are mostly white – make DC their home.

Serious Consequences for Families

Struggling to make rent each month often means cutting back on groceries, putting off medical care, living on the brink of eviction, and being under constant stress which makes it hard for children to learn in school and for adults to perform well at work. Families may find themselves moving from place to place, losing belongings, and ending up in a neighborhood with even more challenges than their prior locale. Unaffordable housing has contributed to a rise in homelessness, especially among families with children. For the first time in 15 years there are now more homeless children and parents in DC than homeless single adults. Living in unaffordable housing poses long-term risks to health and well-being. Families without affordable housing spend $150 per month less on food, on average, because “the rent eats first.” Very young children who move frequently do worse than their peers on measures of behavioral school readiness, such as attention and healthy social behavior. They are more likely than others to fall behind and drop out of school. Families who have trouble paying the rent or live doubled-up are more likely to delay medical care or filling needed prescriptions, and are more likely to report being depressed. Having the security of affordable housing, by contrast, provides a strong foundation for families. It reduces instability, improves the ability to meet basic needs, and increases the ability to succeed. Children who grow up in affordable housing earn more as adults, and job programs work better when adults have a stable affordable home. The city’s investments in schools and workforce training will be more effective if they’re matched with

investments in affordable housing.

Reaching Residents Most in Need

Local housing is not well targeted to the households in greatest need. The DC Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that 77 percent of the DC renters in need of affordable homes are extremely low income. Yet since 2010 just 39 percent of affordable housing financed by the city served extremely low-income renters. Only 2,100 extremely low-income households got housing aid over the past six years, while 26,000 need help. At the current pace it will take 75 years just to help the families who need help today. DC has many tools to address housing needs. Mayor Bowser has committed a record sum to the fund to build or renovate housing. A new law requires cityowned land sold for housing purposes to include a substantial affordable setaside, and the city has increased assistance to help low- and moderate-income residents buy their first home. But action is needed to increase investments in affordable housing and to direct a greater share of those investments to the families most in need. Policymakers should direct more of the Housing Production Trust Fund – DC’s tool to produce affordable housing – to the lowest-income households. DC should expand rental assistance through the Local Rent Supplement Program to serve some of the 42,000 families on the DC Housing Authority waitlist. Finally, the city should do more to preserve disappearing low-cost subsidized housing, by implementing the recommendations of Mayor Bowser’s housing preservation strike force. DC’s lowest-income families need the stable foundation of an affordable home, and our entire city benefits when we improve the ability of all residents to succeed. Claire Zippel is a policy associate at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute ( DCFPI promotes budget and policy solutions to reduce poverty and inequality in the District of Columbia, and to increase opportunities for residents to build a better future.

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DC Council, DHCD Battle Over Fate of Blighted Homes

Funds for Developers of the Properties

In its Nov. 29 solicitation for offers (SFO), DHCD called for proposals that develop the four houses and two lots into seven single-family homes suited for “workforce housing” – affordable housing for DC residents like teachers, firefighters, and police officers making about $87,000 or less. DHCD Director Polly Donaldson called the article by Christine Rushton & photos by Twyla Alston agency’s plan an aggressive effort to move forward on the vacant and blighted properties. DC housing agency clashed “We are pleased to show progress in disposing of these with the DC Council again in longstanding vacant properties,” Donaldson wrote in a December over how to handle statement. “The end result will be new, vibrant afforda number of blighted properable homes for District residents making no more than ties in Ward 8’s Historic Ana80 percent of the area median income.” costia. The DC Department of DHCD offered each of the lots for individual sale, Housing and Community Deand said the District can likely support the proposed velopment (DHCD) put out a call on Nov. 29 for projects up to a total of $2.2 million from the Housbids on six District-owned properties in dire coning Production Trust Fund (HPTF). DC Mayor Mudition in Anacostia. This goes against the Council’s riel Bowser has committed $100 million in the annual legislation that allows for four of those properties to city budget to the HPTF. transfer ownership to the L’Enfant Trust for rehaDonaldson stepped up DHCD’s process for rebilitation. The law passed, 13-0, on Dec. 20 with habilitating or disposing of the vacant properties in an amendment to transfer the houses to the Trust 2014, she said. That includes a shortened time for reby Jan. 31, 2017. quests for proposals (from years down to 18 months) The houses at 1518 W St. SE, 1648 U St. SE, and a streamlined application for both HPTF and fed1220 Maple View Place SE, and 1326 Valley Place eral funding. Donaldson acknowledged the Council’s A broken-down District house at 1326 Valley Place SE on SE require complete renovations because the District and Mendelson’s goals but said DHCD plans to move the proposed legislation. Twyla Alston lives near this home. has left them to deteriforward with its application deadline for developers on orate for years. NeighJan. 12, 2017. She wants to “ensure that the developbors complain that the ment process moves expeditiously.” properties draw crime, Council Chair Mendelson said DHCD’s new sodevalue their own licitation is in direct conflict with the Council’s legisproperty, and are not lation and goes against the best interests of the city. “I pleasing to live near. think it’s pretty outrageous how DHCD has handled Council Chair Phil these properties. These properties have been vacant Mendelson and Atfor decades,” he said. “They are dilapidated, they are large Councilmema nuisance, they are a cost to the city. They have a negber Anita Bonds introative value.” duced the legislation Rehabilitation at with the idea of fixing No Cost to Taxpayers the homes at no cost Bill 21-837, “The Historic Preservation of Derelict to the District. But if District Properties Act of 2016,” gives the four DistrictDHCD hands the lots owned properties to L’Enfant Trust, a nonprofit with over to a developer, the experience preserving and revitalizing other buildings renovations could cost and lots in DC’s historic neighborhoods. The bill stipDistrict taxpayers upA blighted District house at 1220 Maple View Place SE on the proposed legislation. ulates the Trust must renovate the properties to singlewards of $2.2 million.

Agency Issues Solicitation for Historic Properties



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family homes and sell them as “workforce housing,” the same stipulation as DHCD. The District would lose out on the sale or rent of the property if the Council’s legislation wins. But Mendelson argued that the cost to renovate and the years of neglecting those sites at the expense of residents far outweigh any benefit of keeping them. “On the one hand, the city has the opportunity to get these houses rehabbed and occupied, free of charge to the city. Or the city could pay $2.2 million to rehab them, maybe to historic District standards.” The battle over how to handle the properties has dismayed Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Charles E. Wilson (8A05). “The legislation that passed is a win-win for the neighborhood, a win-win for the city,” he said. To him the Council’s legislation pro-

vides the best benefit to the residents of Historic Anacostia. L’Enfant Trust has a proven record of rehabilitating historic homes in the area, has the community’s support, and offers a plan that won’t cost the city a dime, he said. He called DHCD’s call for bids “selfish” and “disappointing.” “None of the people who are making those decisions live in the neighborhood, where they have to live next door to a distressed property,” Wilson said. DHCD owns other blighted properties in Historic Anacostia, Wilson said. He doesn’t understand why they don’t leave the four properties in the Council’s legislation to the Trust and focus on the others. The agency has neglected them for years despite “screams” for fixes from neighbors. “It really shows a lack of sincerity,” Wilson said.

A rusted, stained District house at 1648 U St. SE on the proposed legislation to transfer to L’Enfant Trust.

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Introducing Ward 7’s New DCPS Principals by Christine Rushton

Kristie Edwards

of Randle Highlands Elementary School (1650 30th St. SE) Serving the whole student means more than teachi n g l a n g u a ge , math, and science; it means helping students who might need help outside of the classroom or with problems stopping them from succeeding at the highest level. Kristie Edwards, the new interim principal at Randle Highlands Elementary School (1650 30th St. SE), believes that helping students succeed happens both inside and outside of the classroom. Using her background in working as an inclusion teacher and also in special education, Edwards helps her staff reach students wherever needed. “We have the IEP [Individualized Education Program] response and intervention,” she explained. “We use wraparound services, and not just for students who have an IEP, but students who have been in trauma too.” Going into the 2016-17 school year, Edwards focused on improving the school’s performance on the District’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. But she also wants her students to learn the value of setting goals for themselves. The school offers movie nights, basketball nights, and pajama days to encourage engagement with its goals. Classroom observation and lesson-plan reviews give teachers feedback for improving their pedagogy. The school offers teachers two specialized aids in English language arts and math. When not in school, Edwards spends as much time traveling as she can manage – every three months at


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least, she said. “Exposure is a big piece in what allows people to gain more knowledge about self-awareness and cultural competency,” she said. “I think being able to expose myself and the students I work with to global culture is important.” Edwards earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, with emphases in international relations and foreign policy, from Shaw University, and her master’s in school administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix. She served as assistant principal for Columbia Heights Education Campus (3101 16th St. NW) from 2011 to 2016; as an instructional coach and special education teacher at the same school before that; as an English language arts, math, science, and social studies teacher in various positions; and as a special education teacher for the Wake County Public School System in 2000. She is a native of Rocky Mount, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @kedwardsNC.

Terri Fuller

of Plummer Elementary School (4601 Texas Ave. SE) Fourth and fifth graders at Plummer Elementary School (4601 Texas Ave. SE) may get a chance to hit the ski slopes this year. Academics are fundamental to success in school, but children need opportunities to build experiences outside of class, said Plummer’s new interim principal, Terri Fuller. “Many of them have not had these opportunities before, and [I] as well as the other adults in the Plummer community believe in educating the whole child,” Fuller said. “Sometimes that includes providing extracurricular opportunities that they may not otherwise receive.” Although the 2016-17 school year started just over

three months ago, Fuller said it feels like she’s been in the role for 10 years. “Every day is a new day, great day, and you learn more about yourself and the building,” she said. Her goal as she continues in the role is to continue to build relationships with the students and staff in order to set a goal of growing together. She wants to help her staff teach the children how to accept and process feedback for the future. “We know that as an adult responsibility and ownership are critical for success and being reflective,” she said. Outside of school, she admits to an obsession with “A Game of Thrones,” the book and HBO series. She said she’s already perusing the blogs for the new season. Fuller earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bowie State University, and her master’s in organizational management from Trinity Washington University. In 2015 she was resident principal at J.O. Wilson Elementary School and Cleveland Elementary School as a Mary Jane Patterson Fellow. She was previously an instructional coach at Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Johann Lee

of Kimball Elementary School (3375 Minnesota Ave. SE) Kimball Elementary School (3375 Minnesota Ave. SE) wants to certify as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) school and is on target to succeed. With the leadership of its new principal, Johann Lee, the school hopes to earn its certification by 2019 when the staff and students return to a modernized building. A STEAM approach to the Common Core curriculum lets students tinker and process their lessons through trial and error, just like the scientific method. “That speaks to a larger sense of excellence and what we define as excellence – every child, every day, and an ongoing sense or approach to development,” Lee said. “We really, truly believe you have to have a growth mindset in order to connect to the real world these days.” Lee has strong faith in the skills of his staff to implement the STEAM goal. He said he plans to help them embrace the Common Core approach and build upon their expertise to push themselves and the children. He plans to add classes like robotics and coding. Lee brings a background in working with youth who have behavioral problems and may even face criminal charges. He worked with early-release youth at the

Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services to prepare them for the GED, and that experience now helps him speak with parents and the community about how early behaviors may manifest in later life. When it comes to issues of suspension, he wants to help families solve the problem in the best way possible. “It’s walking the fine line between opportunity and accountability,” he said. His approach considers that the students need to take responsibility, but that he and the parents can use the chance to correct the underlying issue. Lee earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Temple University and his master’s in secondary education from George Washington University. He previously worked at Kimball as assistant principal and helped increase the school’s proficiency on the Text Reading and Comprehension assessment (TRC) by 28 percent. He also worked as the social studies and science department chair at KIPP DC Promise Academy (4801 Benning Road SE); and as a social studies teacher at Hardy Middle School (1819 35th St. NW). He earned awards for the 2010 National Archives DC Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year, the 2013 New Leader’s Emerging Leader, and the 2014 New Leader’s Principal Resident.

Courtney Wilkerson

of Sousa Middle School (3650 Ely Place SE) Sousa Middle School’s new principal wants her school to embrace the “A” in the STEAM approach to education – arts. She spent her childhood in ballet, tap, and jazz dance classes, and during her summers she taught at dance theaters in Harlem. Now she wants to bring that to her students at Sousa (3650 Ely Place SE). “I learned how to DJ when I was eight. I used to sneak into the basement and practice on my brother’s turntables,” Wilkerson said. “It was so important to me to bring the arts back to Sousa, which was originally an arts school.” Wilkerson started the 2016-17 school year with a focus on helping her staff dig into the Common Core curriculum and also capitalize on the high quality of their arts teachers. “The primary goal was to increase the quality of every learning experience the students have – core content or exploratory,” she said. Beyond arts, Wilkerson also offers the school an educated approach to handling discipline policies. She once volunteered for a courthouse projects program and learned that a lot of the youth were caught in sys-

temic issues of the area. She decided to continue studying juvenile justice for her master’s degree. Now she applies what she’s learned to her approach at school. The goal of discipline is to resolve conflicts with the help of families and rebuild relationships with the students. “One of the things that was not present here was a restorative justice program and alternatives to suspension,” she said. She wants all students that face discipline to return prepared for success. Wilkerson earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s degree in juvenile justice policy and planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her doctorate of education in organizational leadership, with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction, from Grand Canyon University. She served as a Mary Jane Patterson Fellow in 2015-16 at Columbia Heights Education Campus (3101 16th St. NW) and Burrville Elementary School (801 Division Ave. NE). She was also assistant principal at H.D. Woodson High School and taught math and science before that. She is a native of the District.

Benjamin Williams

of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School (4800 Meade St. NE) He helped plan the District’s first all-male public high school. He set goals for the first class. Now he has the opportunity to lead the Ron Brown Preparatory High School’s students in their first year. Principal Benjamin Williams launched the school with the goal of giving young men the opportunity to succeed both culturally and academically. And with a high expectation standard. “The main goal is to successfully open the school and to build some foundations that we can carry over the next three years of these students’ lives,” Williams said. The Ron Brown school’s model “The Sword of Justice.” Students take ownership of their behavior and their lives, Williams said. Ron Brown’s approach helps young men follow that model by meeting them at their education level and getting them into online programs if needed to raise their skills to the standard. Then they can better prepare for the advanced placement (AP) offerings. This personalized approach also applies to the teachers. “It’s because we have a smaller staff and smaller cohort of students that we are able to personalize our professional development and time.” Williams doesn’t want to just help students get into college. He wants to help them navigate life after they

graduate from college. “If we don’t have high expectations of them, then they won’t have them for themselves,” he said.” In his free time, Williams admitted, he is an adrenaline junky with anything from sky diving to extreme motorcycling. “I don’t think many principals are into that,” he said. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s in teaching, and doctorate in leadership and administration from the University of Virginia. He previously served as the associate principal at School Without Walls at Francis Stevens (2425 N St. NW) and as a social studies teacher and elementary and high school assistant principal in Charlottesville, Va. Follow him on Twitter @BenWilliamsRBHS.

Kiana Williams of Smothers Elementary School (440 Brooks St. NE)

During class this fall, third graders at Smothers Elementary School (440 Brooks St. NE) had weekly visits from special guests – dancers from the Washington Ballet. Thanks to a partnership spearheaded by new school Principal Kiana Williams, the students got a chance to work with professional dancers and attend a performance of “The Nutcracker.” “We’ve partnered with various organizations to make sure our students are exposed to the arts,” Williams said. “We have all these rich experiences right outside our door, living in the District, and exposure is extremely important.” Williams and the staff at Smothers want to bring the District’s offerings to the students, including trips to the National Portrait Gallery, the Marian Koshland Science Museum, the national monuments, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. She wants students to see what careers and opportunities they can pursue, and she wants the teachers to take on leadership roles. “People are happier working in an environment where they can get positive feedback and grow,” Williams said. Outside of school, Williams keeps busy traveling and reading. Also sewing, a hobby she’s had for years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s in administration and supervision from Tennessee State University. She previously worked as assistant principal at Drew Elementary School (5600 Eads St. NE) and as an English-language arts teacher, reading specialist, and instructional coach in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. She participated in the 2012 Educational Leading and Learning Exchange Program (ELLE) in Guangzhou, China.

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HIV Prevention in a Single Dose The Drug That Prevents HIV Transmission Is Here.Why Don’t Black Women Believe It?


he good news is, there is a pill that can prevent the transmission of HIV. It is safe and effective when taken as prescribed. The bad news is, a key high-risk subgroup isn’t getting enough information about it. Truvada, the brand name for the first preexposure prophylaxis pill, is available to the general public. This is not a hoax or an urban myth. Black women carry the burden of having the second highest number of new HIV infections in the District. Yet the marketing surrounding this drug is conspicuously aimed at gay men. Local community activists and the DC Department of Health are working to include black women in the conversation. Will they go for it?

First, Do No Harm

Truvada, also known as PrEP, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration since 2012. It is “as safe as Tylenol.” When used as prescribed, it can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent and from injection-drug use by more than 70 percent. The side effects are very few if any for most users (mild nausea, head-


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by Candace Y.A. Montague

aches). It’s one pill, taken daily, similar to a birth control pill. PrEP acts as a blocker that keeps the HIV virus from duplicating. PrEP is effective in men or receptive anal sex partners after it’s been taken for about seven days. For vaginal sex partners (women), insertive anal sex partners, or injection-drug users PrEP becomes effective after about three weeks. It is covered by most health insurance plans, and some manufacturers offer it at no cost to those who qualify.

Convincing Nonbelievers

Persuading people to believe that they are at risk is the first hurdle in HIV education. HIV doesn’t have a “look,” and many people go on with their lives unaware of their infection. At The Women’s Collective (TWC), a female-focused health and HIV advocacy organization on Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast, the goal has three parts. They are trying to raise awareness about HIV, about the drug, and about how to get the drug. Martha Sichone-Cameron, director of prevention at TWC, says that some DC neighborhoods are more at risk than others. “If you get off the Metro at Anacostia station you are more likely to hook up with someone who is HIV

positive than if you get off at Dupont Circle. How do you communicate that to someone who doesn’t think they are at high risk? Just by your living in some particular areas you might want to protect yourself.” Next is advising women to take advantage of a drug that they’ve never heard of to prevent a virus that they don’t have. Sichone-Cameron explained that black women aren’t so easy to impress. “We pulled together some focus groups. The feedback was quite surprising. These were women of color and their automatic reaction was suspicion. ‘Really? Is it true?’ Then it moved from suspicion to anger: ‘Why are we always the last to know about this?’ We really had to move through those conversations first. We had to tell the health department, ‘Look, people are just hearing about this for the first time.’ Some of them are associating it with an HIV drug so they are worried about side effects. And some of them are generally worried. Lots of questions needed to be answered.” If you think cajoling people to use condoms is hard, try telling them to take a pill daily. Health advocates and physicians alike say that it’s a struggle to get people to take medication for common health problems such as blood pressure or cholesterol. PrEP is a pill that needs to be taken daily in order to be effective. Missing a dose can result in lowering the amount of the drug in a person’s system and possibly allowing an HIV infection.

Why Physicians Won’t Prescribe PrEP

Why wouldn’t a healthcare provider prescribe a medication that could potentially save the lives of patients? Simply put, they aren’t aware of its existence or which patients to prescribe it to. A survey done by the Center for Disease Control in 2015 found that 34 percent of physicians and nurses were not aware of PrEP. Several women have reported to TWC that their doctor told them they don’t need PrEP.

Michael Kharfen, senior deputy director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration, stated in a previous interview that they are working on getting more physicians on board with PrEP. “We’re working even further with women’s health providers, OB/GYN, adolescent health providers for young women to provide more educational opportunities. We’re also going to get more input from the community on how we can get the message out in better ways. In particular, when we’re talking about a health opportunity that is not very well known we have to make that message as authentic and strong as possible. This is also an important part of Mayor Bowser’s plan toward ending the HIV epidemic in the District.” The DC Department of Health has launched one of the first campaigns to educate black women about PrEP. The #PrEPForHer drive has been spotted around the city on billboards, in doctor’s offices, and on Metro.

Two Points to Consider

Although Truvada has been pushed for gay men to use, women stand to benefit generously for two important reasons. First, it removes condom negotiation. If a woman suspects that her partner is unfaithful or misleading about his sexual history, she can discreetly take the pill for protection. It also removes a potential trigger in relationships where domestic violence plays a role. Second, it can help serocouples (one partner is HIV positive and the other is negative) conceive a baby. PrEP is safe enough to be taken while trying to have a baby. More importantly it puts reproductive power back into the hands of the woman. Getting black women on board with PrEP will be an uphill push for a while, requiring sustained collective efforts. For more information about #PrEPForHer visit The Women’s Collective is located at 3230 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Candace Y.A. Montague is the health reporter for Capital Community News.

Exploring the World Beyond DC Global Scholars Fellows Prepare for College Through Cultural Immersion article by Christine Rushton & photos by Marcia Brown

ing with the group next summer to Dubai. The program does put a strain on scheduling around sports and academics, said Mitchell, but it is worth the effort. He has access to help and experiences he wouldn’t otherwise get in high school. “I want to get a sense of what’s going on around the world and a different culture than DC,” he said.

Opening the Global Door

Members of the H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC) launched the first Global Scholars Foundation program, the “China Challenge,” in 2006. The corporation already had students interning in its offices during the summer, and saw an opportunity to expand into a full program. The focus: global enrichment in a language and a culture. Students in the first cohort studied Chinese culture and Mandarin. They also traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Xi’an as a cap to their learning. The other two cohorts between 2006 and 2010 followed the same curriculum. Marcia Brown, who became GSF’s executive director in 2010, decided that the organization should change the program to study other cultures and countries. “We want participants to be well rounded as much as we can help them,” she said. Brown and her staff of six have helped move GSF to nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. They raise funds and work with private funders to keep the program free for all students. The only cost is the price of obtaining a passport.

Dedication to Building a Future

Students commit a significant amount of time and study to the program. Said alumna Jalia Johnson, “It’s extremely valuable. You become part of a family.” Remembering the Christmas dinner invitations the program sends her, she added, “It’s a great network and a great experience.” (continues to pg.33)

GSF fellows at Columbia University. The fellows tour all of the Ivy League colleges and universities as part of the college readiness program.


oshua Mitchell wants to study for a career in photojournalism. He hopes to do so at the University of Wisconsin in Madison but knows it’s a competitive application and admissions process. When the chance came to travel abroad, learn a new language, and get help preparing for college, he jumped. A Ward 7 resident and junior at Richard Wright Public Charter School (770 M St. SE), Mitchell earned a tuition-free, 18-month fellowship in the Global Scholars Foundation (GSF) program for the 2016-17 year. Along with more than a dozen other District students he spent the summer of 2016 touring colleges and building professional job skills in conjunction with the District’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Now he’s studying Arabic two Saturdays a month and continuing college tours, and will finish by travel-

Kimyah Dockery & African dancers: GSF fellow Kimyah Dockery sits with African dancers on one of the fellowships international trips.

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Loans and Riots, Vigils and Cookouts The Long Legacy of Dave Brown Liquors


he place looks like a ghost town now,” Deanwood resident Yvonne Johnson says of Dave Brown Wine & Liquors. “But those few bottles left on the shelves don’t tell the whole story.” Johnson and other neighbors want to ensure that the Brown family legacy is not lost when the property at 4721 Sheriff Road NE is transferred to a new owner. Many in the area are watching closely to see what the turnover of businesses like Dave Brown Liquors will mean for the community.

by Virginia Avniel Spatz

“start the sale process all over” and the store with only a smattering of stock and a skeleton staff.

Cookouts, Riots and Loans

Dave Brown and his wife Geraldine go back a ways in Deanwood, according to long-time resident Beverly Goode. Goode and her husband George have known the Browns since their teen years. The four of them, like all Ward 7 residents before H.D. Woodson was built, had to travel across town for high school. “We all went to Dunbar together.” Later the community was happy to see Dave Brown

Liquors open, Goode says. The store was never a fullfledged grocery, but it was “very helpful for black families in the area, and we very much enjoyed it,” she adds. “The store had a cookout every year – they really went all out, and Geraldine was out there. Dave was a good man and good for the community.” Johnson, a neighbor of the store for 48 years ago, saw it as a source of neighborhood employment and a great place for hotdogs and half-smokes. In addition, she says, Dave Brown made the parking lot available, free of charge, when nearby St. Rose Pentecostal Church needed it. The lot, which has since been sold, was also used for community events, including outdoor prayer vigils and block parties, as well as parking. The store and the neighbors looked out for one another, Johnson says. “If there was an emergency, Dave would cash our checks to help out until payday.” When the riots started in 1968, “George went over and stayed with Dave,” Goode relates. “That warehouse nearby was burned down, but the store was safe.” Despite robberies, Jones notes, Dave Brown Liquors is one of the few stores in the area that never installed plexiglass.

Things Change

“Jobs are so rare now,” Kevin says. “People are not working, and they’re not spending.” The recession, as well as crime concerns, hit businesses in Ward 7 hard, says Jones. In addition, studies show that spend-

‘I’m Done’

Kevin Brown is the third family member to run the Deanwood store, launched by his father Dave in 1964. For decades Kevin worked alongside Dave and brother David “Jim” Brown. But Dave Brown died in 1998 and Jim in 2004. A third brother, Andre, has a separate career and does not work in the store. Now, Kevin says, “after 43 years, seven days a week, I’m done.” Other area businesses face similar situations, according to Deborah Jones, executive director of Ward 7 Business Partnership. “Owners have been there for years and want to retire, and they are looking for someone to buy or take over the business.” Some Sheriff Road businesses have changed owners recently, including A&S Grocery and Tradit’s Barbershop, Jones notes, “and so far, owners are providing the same service as before.” It’s not yet certain if the same will hold for Dave Brown Liquors and others in the area. Dave Brown Liquors found a buyer in 2016, and Kevin expected to be enjoying retirement by Thanksgiving. But the buyer backed out, leaving Kevin to


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Kevin Brown, preparing for retirement, still greets customers at Dave Brown Liquors amid the reduced stock (including that one Dallas hat).

(continues from pg.31)

Great Streets grants have been for Sheriff Road. Leaders need to look at what kind of help they are giving to these businesses.”

What Next?

“It will be sad to see a small, family-owned business leave,” Jones says. “But some of the other small businesses have changed over successfully, and that is hopeful.” Both Johnson and Gaines muse about being able to purchase the property in order to preserve its legacy. The building is zoned for mixed-use commercial development, and Kevin says he has considered selling the property separately from the David “Jim” Brown, who died in 2004, joins a model in advertising business and liquor for the store, still on Sheriff Road NE after 52 years. license. They are still pursuing options, he says. “My wife Helen ing on bar and restaurant drinks has gone helps out a lot – providing encouragement up in recent years while spending on alcoand suggestions.” hol for home consumption has gone down. Whatever happens, Gaines says, “I am A few years ago, nearby Uncle Lee’s received deeply saddened to see the store go. Truly a Class A liquor license. Many DC convea terrible loss for Deanwood.” Johnson connience stores stock beer and wine, and cuscurs: “The family was very close to the comtomers also flock to big box stores. “I would munity for years, and they will be missed.” say, ‘Kevin, don’t leave me!’” remarks Goode, Kevin recalls the cookout/block-party who finally left her Deanwood home two years, which lasted through the 1980s, as years ago to live with a daughter in Bethessome of the store’s most vibrant. He menda. “But he said the competition was hurttions Chuck Brown (no relation) as an ining business.” teresting patron, entertainer, and friend from In 2013 Kimberly Gaines and Seshat earlier days. The Godfather of Go-Go is not Walker, local artists and entrepreneurs, orgathe only one from the old days to have passed nized a “cash mob” to support the store. “We on. But Dave Brown Liquors continues to must work on supporting our own businessserve as a gathering place for neighbors. Keves,” Gaines says, “and in turn our businessin says chatting and laughing with neighbors es have to work on marketing to new neighis what he expects to miss most. bors for support as well.” “Kevin Brown was one of the origiVirginia Spatz regularly contributes to Capital nal businesses in the Ward 7 Partnership,” Community News. She can be found online at vspatz. Jones says. “We did storefront and in person at most meetings of the ments on Sheriff Road,” but “none of the Capitol View Library’s writing group.

Johnson is a Ward 8 resident and graduate of National Collegiate Preparatory (4600 Livingston Road SE). She finished her program in 2015. Her cohort studied Spanish and traveled to Spain and Morocco on their cultural immersion trip. She loves to travel, so the program fit her personality and future interests. “We went to 10 cities in 12 days,” she said. “I got to see so many cities and so many different cultures even though it was all in a different area.” Johnson now studies business marketing at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). She credits the program’s professional development training with helping her make the decision to study at UDC. Whether it was guidance on writing resumes, how to act professionally, or what college best fit her needs, the GSF program had the answers. GSF looks for students willing to give time to the program for the full 18 months, Brown said. For many, it pays off. Several alums have received full academic scholarships to college programs. “You’re in for a really long ride,” Brown said. “We look for the one who is going to be committed and who is going to do something different.” Mitchell – still in his GSF program – agreed that the additional education requires commitment to finish, especially for those in sports and also studying advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses. But he feels more prepared for choosing and applying to college. “It’s a great experience, and you get to learn about yourself, teamwork, and colleges,” he said. “And you get to go out of the country.”

College Tours and Preparation

Each cohort tours both local and national colleges. This includes local institutions like Catholic University of America and the University of the District of Columbia. It also includes a full tour of Ivy League schools – Yale, Columbia, Harvard, and others. The goal is to inspire and show students they can apply to wherever they choose, Brown explained. “When we were on campus at Harvard, the students saw other students like them and said, ‘Hey, they look just like me,’” Brown said. “You start to see there are people in the world that look like you and are doing fantastic things.” Several students have come back and told Brown they received other travel-abroad support in college because the GSF program showed they had global experience and travel maturity, she said. It gives them a leg up in their future endeavors. It starts with the support that GSF offer them. “Our expectation is that you’re going to go to college and finish college,” Brown said. “But we’re going to help you find a way to do both: get into college and pay for college.”

Looking Beyond a Decade

Students interested in applying must be ages 14-17 and enrolled in a District public school or public charter school. There is no minimum grade point average (GPA). Brown hopes to get the funds needed to accept more students, so she and her staff are using the 10th anniversary to encourage donations. They kicked off the celebration at the annual holiday party on Dec. 6 and will continue with a gala event in the summer of 2017. Regardless of size, the program will continue to focus around giving DC students a global perspective. In a final thought Brown recalled a student who ended up crying after a visit to children in South Africa. The girl was upset because she hadn’t realized children like her lived without the opportunities she has in the United States. “These are things you can’t write down in your agenda or be prepared for,” Brown remarked.

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Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum: The Next 50 Years New Exhibitions Examine Latinx Identity, Culture, and Demographic “Hypergrowth” by Phil Hutinet


stablished in 1967 in historic Anacostia, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum has begun its transition from a community institution focused on documenting and interpreting African-American history, art, and culture to its new mission of “ethnic themes” that encompass “broader social and cultural issues that urban communities share,” according to the museum’s public affairs office. The 2012 exhibition “Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement” marked the beginning of the transition to its new mission. In 2017 the museum presents “Gateways/Portales,” a series of dovetailing exhibitions exploring the demography, sociology, and culture of Latinx communities in the United States. Complete with bilingual literature, labelling, and information, the exhibitions represent a pivotal moment in the museum’s history, according to Acting Director Lori Yarrish. “As we seek to represent diverse facets of urban life, I welcome ‘Gateways’ and the

Mural created by Rosalia Torres-Weiner in 2016 for the “Gateways/Portales” exhibition.


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timely subjects it presents,” she has stated. “The powerful themes the exhibition addresses resonate with urban communities across the nation and exemplify our pioneering approach to museum work, which we celebrate as we move into our 50th anniversary.”

Latinx Defined

“Gateways/Portales” introduces audiences to “Latinx,” a term derived from “Latino” where the “x” replaces the “o” to neutralize any reference to gender. The term goes one step further, defining people of Latin American origin living in the United States who may be of African, European, or Native American descent or some combination of the three. As the US Census Bureau grapples with its definition of Latino, Hispanic, or Spanish-sp eaking population-classifications, Latinx offers a comprehensive gender and race-neutral term.

‘Gateways/Portales’ – Entryways

“Gateways/Portales” curator Ariana Curtis of the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum described a gateway as “any opening or passage that can be opened or closed.” The exhibition explores both physical places, specifically cities, and a series of metaphorical concepts. Focusing on Latinx immigration in the Mid-Atlantic and North Carolina, the exhibition draws comparisons to the experiences of new immigrant populations in the Baltimore, Washington, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte metropolitan areas. It also differentiates between the DC area’s steady growth of Latinxs since World War II, the slower growth rate in Baltimore since 1990, and the “hypergrowth” in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, where Latinx populations rose by 1180 percent and 932 percent respectively between 1980 and 2010. Historically, the introduction of new immigrant populations has led to tensions and transformations in the urban fabric. “Gateways/Portales” examines metaphorical gateways by following three perspectives: social justice and civil rights, Latinx media, and festivals as

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community empowerment. Each has its own space in the museum, entered through large gateways or portals. Historic artifacts illustrating the struggles and triumphs of Latinx immigrant communities include the first editions of Spanish-language papers in Washington, DC, and personal effects of immigrants, like boots from a migrant worker who walked to the United States from Central America. To complement the artifacts, photographs illustrate daily scenes of Latinx life, such as Saturday morning in a Dominican salon in Baltimore, juxtaposed with historic images of, for example, the District’s Mount Pleasant riots in 1991. Of particular note, the show combines images and artifacts with artworks, mostly paintings, and a large, site-specific mural at the entrance. The “Gateways/ Portales” mural by Charlotte-based Latinx artist, muralist, and arts educator Rosalia Torres-Weiner visually synthesizes many of the exhibition themes and narratives, from immigration reform to celebrating Latin American culture in the United States.

Belizean Derek Thomas: A Garden and a Dream

In the museum’s art gallery “The Backyard of Derek Webster’s Imagination” presents works by self-taught Latinx artist Derek Webster (1934-2009). The works come from the museum’s Regenia A. Perry Folk Art Collection. Curated by Nada Alaradi, the exhibit provides posthumous biographical information with an emphasis on Webster’s life as an artist, while highlighting works from various periods in his artistic career.

Born in Honduras and raised in British Honduras (now Belize), the Afro-Latino artist spent his 20s and 30s working on merchant ships, then moved to Chicago to live with his sister in 1964. After years of working as a janitor for the Michael Reese Hospital, Webster saved enough money to purchase a home. An avid gardener, Webster sought to keep his dog from unearthing newly planted vegetables and herbs. Webster described how, in a dream, he found a solution to protecting his plants: he would build a fence. He created his work from found objects, like driftwood collected along the shore of Lake Michigan and cans of discarded house paint. After completing his first work – while protecting his garden –Webster began creating a series of large sculptures that he placed around his property, eventually surrounding it. His sculpture garden drew the support and affection of his neighbors, and then much more. A Chicago gallerist happened to take a wrong turn and wound up driving by Webster’s residence. Amazed by what he saw, Paul Waggoner offered the artist a solo exhibition at the Phyllis Kind Gallery in 1982. The success of Webster’s show propelled him into the national spotlight when in 1989-90 the Dallas Museum of Art exhibited his work in “Black Art, Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African-American Art.”

Panamanian Influence in Washington

The museum’s public-program room features “Bridging the Americas: Community and Belonging from

Saturday morning at a Dominican salon in Baltimore. Photo: Alejandro Orengo

Panama to Washington, DC.” Like the Thomas retrospective, it focuses on a single topic, a historical timeline of Panama, beginning with the establishment of the US Canal Zone through the 100th anniversary of the of the Panama Canal in 2014. The exhibition explores the personal stories of Panamanians and “Zonians” – residents of the UScontrolled Canal Zone – through chronologically organized panels. The panels describe life experiences in both the native land and the new home in Washington, DC. Personal narratives come to life in the exhibition through graphically stylized quotes, historical images, and timelines. Content for the exhibition came from community members interviewed for the project, the museum’s archives, and a Smithsonian affiliate, the Museo de Canal Interoceanico de Panama.

Accessing the Museum

Brenda Perez photographed by Andy Fernandez for his documentary “Risers. Photo: Andy Fernandez


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The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum is located at 1901 Fort Place SE, Washington, DC 20020. It is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reach the museum by phone at 202-633-4820, or visit Admission and parking are free. The museum also hosts curator talks, workshops, and other public programs.

by Steve Monroe

Calling All DCJazzPrix Applicants

J.J. Johnson, Birthday Hero

Not too long ago I reached into a stack of CDs and pulled out trombonist J.J. Johnson’s 1998 Verve release “Heroes,” and then couldn’t stop playing it for days, for its poetry and musicality, with Renee Rosnes’ piano one of the highlights along with Johnson’s lyrical lines on tunes like “Blue Train” and “Carolyn.” It is appropriate to remember Johnson, one of our January birthday jazz heroes. As mentioned in “Jazz Portraits” by Len Lyons and Don Perlo, he introduced “a technical virtuosity, tonal purity, and harmonic sophistication to the trombone that advanced the instrument to the front line of bebop.” A veteran of groups led by legends Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and his own groups, Johnson was an Indianapolis native (1924-2001). Heirs to his legacy include area trombonists Reginald Cyntje, Shannon Gunn, and Jen Krupa.

The DC Jazz Festival has announced a call for applications for its national jazz band competition, DCJazzPrix, at Applicants will find guidelines, including eligibility, review criteria, terms, and digital submission requirements for the application, which will close on March 4 at 5 p.m. The entry fee is $49 per band. “The DCJazzPrix is unique in that it recognizes bands over soloists, with the goal of promoting the careers of emerging jazz artists committed to the creative and professional development of their excellent bands,” said Sunny Sumter, DC Jazz Festival’s executive director, in a statement. “The event is designed to help launch and promote the careers of emerging jazz artists …” Also, DC Jazz Festival has announced its 2017 dates: June 9-18, with the prelude Jazz ‘n Families event on June 3-4. For the first time it is offering an early-bird pre-sale. See for complete information.

InReview ... St. John’s Jazz

Continuing into the New Year and beyond are young musicians who assure the music’s rich and growing multidimensional future. The award-winning St. John’s College High School jazz program in Northwest DC, under the direction of Kenneth Hammann, deserves kudos for its December concert at the school by the Competition Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Swing Band, and other groups before a large, appreciative crowd. Highpoints included tenor saxophonist Patrick Castillo’s smooth riffs, trumpeter Victor Chupka’s bright lines, and, maybe stealing the show, the Advanced Percussion Ensemble’s crackling and bopping delivery of “Blues by Five.”

Ja nua ry H i g h l i g h ts : “Bud, Not Buddy”/ with music by Terence Blanchard, Jan. 14-15, Kennedy Center … Stanley Jordan, Jan. 14-15, Blues Alley … Renee Collins Georges, Jan. 15, Jazz and Cultural Society … Chris Barrick, Jan. 15, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Dwayne Adell Trio, Jan. 16, Blues Alley … Peter Fraize CD Release Party, Jan. 17, Blues Alley … Carl Cornwall, Jan. 18, Jazz and Cultural Society … Chris Grasso Vocal Workshop Showcase, Jan. 18, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club … Roy Ayers, Jan. 19-22, Blues Alley … 18th Jazz Night Anniversary, Jan. 20, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Lori Williams Birthday Party and Jam, Jan. 22, Jazz and Cultural Society … Deandre Shaffer, Jan. 25, Jazz and Cultural Society … Thad Wilson, Jan. 22, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Dick Smith & Friends/Wes Biles Quartet Presenting Gail Shipp, Jan. 27, Westminster Presbyterian Church … David Binney Quartet, Jan. 29, Baltimore Museum of Art ... Jason+: Jason and Jyoti/ Muldrow Meets Mingus, Jan. 28, Kennedy Center … Akua Allrich, Jan. 29, Blues Alley … Reginald Cyntje, Jan. 29, Jazz and Cultural Society …. Frank Russo, Jan. 29, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Brad Goode Quintet/Ernie Watts, Jan. 30, Blues Alley

Ja nua ry B i rt h day s : 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 See for more information and to support the school.

Happy New Year’s Wishes

Happy New Year to all, including special wishes as always to our January birthday homeboy, drummer Jimmy Cobb, a living legend National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. More New Year’s wishes to our area masters like Nasar Abadey, Fred Foss, and Buck Hill. Happy happy to our venues like Twins, The Brixton, Blues Alley, Jo Jo’s, The 18th Street Lounge, Columbia Station, Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Jazz & Cultural Society in Northeast, the Atlas, Mr. Henry’s, and many others. And best wishes to George V. Johnson Jr. and his Washington DC Jazz Network, the CapitalBop folks, and of course Charlie Fishman, Sunny Sumter, and Willard Jenkins of the DC Jazz Festival and Paul Carr and company with the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival … and to a new venue, The Alex at The Graham in Georgetown … and to everyone out there keeping it jamming for us!

Sizzling alto sax man Antonio Parker is to play on Jan. 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Photo: Antonio Parker

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ooking for a girl’s youth sporting activity that will allow your youngster to engage in physical activity and also help her learn important life skills? LOG might be the perfect fit. Created three years ago by DC native Lonnie Harrell, a former Georgetown Hoya and streetball legend, LOG empowers young girls to participate in competitive basketball while providing lifelong lessons that encourage personal and athletic development. One Saturday morning in December I headed over to Summerset Prep Charter School to see players of the League of Girls (LOG) compete in a basketball tournament. DC’s only all-girls youth basketball league, LOG engages in three-day tournaments in Southeast DC throughout the winter season. The atmosphere was exploding with good spirits as the players ran, pivoted, and dribbled up and down the court. From layups to three-pointers to defending their opponents, the girls demonstrated great effort in an encouraging yet competitive atmosphere. The coaches were positive and educational while sitting next to the players or standing to provide coaching cues. Coaches and players shared high fives as each girl came off the court. The coaches themselves had once been basketball players and showed an understanding and a passion for the game. I had to opportunity to speak with several of the LOG parents while sitting in the stands and watching the girls compete. Parents had only great things to say

Life Lessons Through Basketball article by Stacy Peterson photos by Larry Vauss of LVJ Studios

about their daughter’s experience and growth at LOG. Steve, a father of 10-year-old Kailyn, said he found a great organization that is physically active and challenging. Kailyn had participated in recreational and county basketball leagues, but she wanted something more. “There wasn’t a sense of good commitment and a team atmosphere that allowed her to grow as a player and as a person. LOG gives my daughter more than just the physical challenge. It gives Kailyn something to do that is positive, while keeping her out of trouble,” explained Steve.

WNBA All Star, Marissa Coleman (bottom center), was honored by members of the League of Girls Basketball League for her contribution to women’s basketball and her commitment to youth sports on Saturday, November 19 in Southeast DC.


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My experience in youth sports for the last 20 years confirms Steve’s view. Having children participate in sports provides life lessons, such as teamwork, communication, and learning about failure and perseverance. But not all sports organizations are the same. The right atmosphere is key! As Steve said so well, “It’s the individuals behind the organization, the parents and other leaders, who make the positive learning atmosphere a great experience for all.” Steve explained, “The skills training is great, being active … being around likeminded people.” I could sense that Steve and Kailyn’s experience was a life changing one. Sylvia, mother of a nine-year-old, has one of the youngest girls in the organization. “She loves playing basketball and has played with boys older than her, but wanted a girls team and female competitors that were around her age,” explained Sylvia. “My daughter absolutely loves it! LOG is a family-oriented organization, which works great for me too.” However, it is not only girls and parents who can benefit from Harrell’s basketball experience and teaching. Patrice, who has a daughter that loves playing with LOG, also has a nine-year-old old son, RJ, who enjoys the conditioning sessions on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year at Largo High School. “I’ve seen a huge improvement in RJ’s basketball skills. And he enjoys it too!” exclaimed Patrice. Teams range from the beginner to the national level. The organization arose to satisfy a need for a basketball league empowering girls with personal development. “A group got together to play, and some of girls wanted

Youth player Brooklynne Smith (12) and League of Girls founder Lonnie Harrell honored WNBA All Star Marissa Coleman on Saturday, November 19 in Southeast DC.

to start a group. The rest started to fall into place,” shared Harrell. On Nov. 5, 2016, the girls met for their initial day of basketball for the 2016-17 winter season. LOG evaluates each player and lists her by grade and ability. Currently LOG has about 50 girls, ages 9-15, who are split into teams, where they train and compete against each other in an organized, friendly, and competitive atmosphere. For more information about LOG visit Stacy Peterson, MS, CSCS, CHHC is a functional nutrition educator, holistic health coach, and strength and conditioning coach practicing whole-foods nutrition and physical training for individuals of all ages and activities on the Hill. She offers an integrative aspect to everyone’s healthcare and performance team. For recipes, nutrition, and exercise tips sign up for the monthly newsletter at For help in achieving your health and/or fitness goals contact Acceleration Sports by emailing or calling 805-704-7193.

Members of League of Girls, the city’s only all girl youth basketball league, play 3-game tournaments on Saturdays in Southeast DC.

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real estate

by Catherine Plume


old. If you’re a homeowner or landlord, it’s not a word you want to hear. Yet in older homes mold can be quite common. Dan Davis, owner/operator of AdvantaClean here in the District, notes, “In DC, and specifically the Hill, most mold issues that I see are in basements. Older homes tend to have leaky foundations. Over time, structures settle, materials degrade, and tree roots push through cracks and enlarge them. Moisture finds its way inside, and wood, drywall, and other organic materials will start to grow mold if they remain damp over time.” Mold can grow on almost any organic material where oxygen, water, and a cozy temperature are present. Davis notes that drywall, which has widely been used in home construction and remodeling over the last 60 years, is an excellent host for mold as the paper surface provides an ideal food while the gypsum core acts like a sponge



and retains water. Uncontrolled mold can degrade walls, furniture, clothing, and almost anything. Mold can also irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of people and their pets, and may cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks.

GeTTiNG riD of MoLD

What do you do if you discover mold? Mold on a nonporous surface such as ceramic tile or counter tops can be removed with a good commercial mold and mildew cleaner. Some staining may remain in grout and caulk, and if it persists it should be professionally cleaned or replaced. While bleach is widely used as a home remedy for eliminating mold, Davis cautions that it isn’t effective. Household bleach is too diluted to penetrate beneath the surface, and while it may look as though the mold has disappeared, it’s likely to return and possibly with a vengeance as the water in the bleach penetrates and provides moist conditions. If you spot mold on wood, drywall, furniture,

clothing, or carpet, call a professional. According to Davis, getting rid of mold has three steps: removal, cleaning, addressing the moisture source, including a backup plan to coat the structure with an antimicrobial infused encapsulant to prevent the mold from spreading. Professional mold remediation involves the removal of wet and damaged nonstructural material. Areas around the structure are cleaned with broad-spectrum antimicrobial solutions to kill any remaining mold. These solutions don’t have a harsh bleach or chemical odor. Some effective products are plant-based oils (mostly thyme) that, while generally more expensive, are more environmentally friendly and more accommodating to those who are highly sensitive to smells, chemicals, or allergens. In some cases ultraviolet lighting may be used to prevent mold growth. For additional tips on controlling mold, the Occupational Safety and Health and Health Administration (OSHA) has a helpful brochure at https://www.osha. gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/ mold_fact.pdf.

DiScoveriNG MoLD

Mold isn’t always visible, and it’s often identified by a whiff of musty, earthy smell when opening a closet or basement door. Mold should also be suspected when residents (including pets) experience a persistent cough, sore throat, headache, or other respiratory symptoms – especially if they lessen or stop when away from home or business. Michael “Max” Grove of the Capitol Hill-based Max Insulation was recently talking with a client who mentioned that she’d never had allergies until she moved into her home.

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The AvantaClean DC Riverfront Team: Eric Kirby, Choutee Kelly, and Dan Davis. Photo: AvantaClean

A quick trip to the basement revealed three basement walls thick with mold. Another Hill resident noticed some mold growing on one of his indoor air vents. He called in a professional service that found a healthy stock of mold growing in the heating ducts. Finding mold under flooring or behind paneled walls can be challenging. Working with a good inspection company is key. They can better pinpoint the location of any mold through moisture and temperature readings and infrared technology. Air samples can detect if there are elevated spore and particulate counts. There is even testing available that detects the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that mold gives off as it grows. Some of these VOCs are the musty odors associated with mold.


You can prevent mold by fixing leaks, removing and replacing molded materials, and frequently cleaning ducts. Mold growth in basements or bathrooms can be avoided through more

frequent cleanings, the use of dehumidifiers, and frequent airing of the space by opening windows. Joan Carmichael is a Capitol Hill-based realtor who’s seen a lot of mold issues in homes over the years. “The worst cases always stem from deferred maintenance,” she notes. “I’ve seen ceilings falling in that are covered with mold. The problem usually begins with a small leak that was not corrected and then became a huge problem down the road. Homeowners are using what used to be storage basements as living spaces. It’s hard to see cracks or seepage when the basement, now the family room, has carpeting on the floor and drywall on the walls.”

New Dc reGuLATioNS

Recognizing the negative impact of mold on human health, in May 2016 DC enacted comprehensive mold regulations that will become operant in 2017. According to Tommy Wells, director of DC’s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), “Mold is

real estate / 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. Neighborhood

Close Price BR


not new to the District of Columbia. We are putting a new focus on the issue, creating the emphasis it deserves, due to its potential negative impact on the health of our residents, young and old.” Here are some key aspects of the new DC regulations: A licensing requirement for mold professionals includes passing a DOEE-approved exam. By law, only licensed professionals may use terms such as licensed, certified, qualified, or professional, and professionals should be willing to show their license. A licensed mold professionals must notify DOEE of all projects and follow performance standards and work practices required by the regulations. While homeowners do not need a license to inspect and/or remove mold in their home, as long as it is not occupied by a tenant, with limited exceptions they must

follow DOEE guidance to remediate any mold issue. In any home occupied by tenants, the assessment and remediation of mold occupying 10 square feet or more must be performed or supervised by a DOEE-licensed mold professional. Find more information on DC’s Mold Regulations at http:// While dealing with mold is not something any homeowner wants to do, ignoring the problem is not a viable option. It will not just go away on its own. Catherine Plume is a lifelong environmentalist, a writer, and a blogger for the DC Recycler: www.DCRecycler.blogspot. com; Twitter @DC_Recycler.

Any mold living up there? Photo: J. Canon


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“Political Starts”

Crossword Author: Myles Mellor • •

by Myles Mellor Across: 1. Scoped out 6. Obliquely 12. Party person and puzzle theme starter 15. Open 17. Hound, in the hunt 18. Stand 20. Closed book 21. In contrast to 22. “City Without Walls” poet 23. Protests 26. Short-tailed lemur 28. Assess 29. Patched 31. Birthright seller 32. Whiner 38. Short coats 41. Character 42. Light rowboat 43. Certain hospitals 45. Northern sky constellation 47. LaBrea goo 48. Big Apple inits. 50. It may be written “on” something 53. They’re all the same 54. Prius’s advantage 56. Record company 58. Chalcedony specimens 63. Deodars 66. In a shape that comes up to a point 67. Union conflicts 71. Christmas tree growing area 72. Cravings 73. “Rain Man” subject 74. Captain Nemo’s creator 75. Peccadillo 76. Blackball 78. Billiard shooter? 79. Anna starters, in a celeb name 81. Canine command 84. Big Dipper’s locale 91. Espresso serving 94. Dessert


95. Creamy salad 99. Wood tar derivative 100. Newborn outfit 101. Whittle 102. Singer, Ant 103. High point 106. Unpaid debt 108. How some countries are run 117. Dull and tasteless 118. Holiday roast 119. Composer, Jean Philippe ______ 120. Etcher’s medium 121. Skin problem 122. Fleet of warships 123. Barely get, with “out” 124. Aegean Sea island 125. Arcade coin

Down: 1. Reminded 2. Diarist heroine 3. “___fan” movie 4. Consequently 5. Angry outburst 6. Capital overlooking the Gulf of Guinea 7. Young hog 8. Light case 9. Italian province or its capital 10. Stepson of Claudius 11. Metamorphosed 12. Tremble 13. Very 14. Unskilled 16. Father figures 18. Deny 19. Bleed 24. Give it a shot 25. Mind reader 27. Supplicate 30. Strangle 32. Welsh valley 33. Fraternity letter 34. Passion 35. Good buddy


Look for this months answers at 36. Sweep 37. Exiter’s exclamation 39. Swallow 40. Homeric H 43. Scale note 44. Inquire 46. Type of CPU (abbr.) 49. Influence 50. Bassoon relatives 51. Belief in a supreme being 52. Days of yore, in days of yore 55. “__ Love You” (Beatles tune) 57. Opposed party 58. Goodbye, in Paris 59. Sort

60. Religious ending 61. “Baked” side dish, slangily 62. Victorian, e.g. 63. Trash bag accessory 64. “Maggie May” singer Stewart 65. Naval rank abbreviation 66. PC element 68. Folk rock’s ___ DiFranco 69. It measures the moisture in soil 70. Without (French) 71. Pipe 75. Pottery fragment 76. Greyhound transport 77. “Diamonds ___ Forever”

(Bond film) 80. What bouncers check 82. ___ a good plan! 83. Chinese ideal 85. Title for Khan 86. Can 87. Took a course? 88. Spout 89. Horse feed 90. Regret 92. Fermented beverage 93. Avoided responsibilities and work 95. Mani/pedi place 96. Feeding stage of insects 97. Fermented Middle East beverage 98. Tearjerker 100. Do-over 104. Thick liqueur 105. Pyramid builders 107. Tutor 109. Lots of 110. Very small pasta 111. Certain investment, for short 112. Golfer’s transport 113. Fire power 114. Make public 115. Put on board 116. Chinese money

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420 34th St , NE 320 40th St , NE 322 40th St , NE 100 42nd St , NE 240 42nd St NE 1300 44th ST NE 123 45th ST NE 1008 45th St NE 1350 49th ST NE 25 53rd St NE 201 58th St , NE 6201 Banks Pl NE 6201 Banks St , NE 2600 Benning Rd , NE 1800 Good Hope Road SE 3935 Benning Rd NE 3939 Benning Rd , NE 4900 Brooks St , NE 719 Division Ave NE 4417 Douglas St NE 5026 E Capitol St NE 350 Eastern Ave , NE 950 Eastern AVE NE 5200 Foote St , NE 3744 ½ Hayes St NE 3917 Minnesota Ave , NE 3924 Minnesota Ave , NE 4720 Minnesota Ave , NE 4401 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE 4800 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE 4600 Sherriff Rd NE 4601 Sheriff Road NE 4721 Sheriff Road Northeast 4721 Sherriff Rd NE 4748 Sheriff Rd NE 4816 Sherriff Rd NE 3200 13th st SE 4275 4th St SE 1400 41st St , SE 3999 8th St , SE 2409 Ainger Place SE 1523 Alabama Ave, SE 1535 Alabama Ave , SE 1571 Alabama Ave , SE 1547 Alabama Ave , SE 1717 Alabama Ave , SE 2435 Alabama Ave

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 William O Lockridge/Bellevue 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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East of the River Magazine January 2017  

News from the Anacostia and Southeast Areas of Washington, DC

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