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EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2012 | CAPITALCOMMUNITYNEWS.COM

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS 10.............Go See Do

12.............East of the River Calendar 18.............2012 ACC Anacostia Boat Ride 20.............The Bulletin Board 24.............District Beat • by Martin Austermuhle 26.............The Numbers • by Wes Rivers 28.............E on DC • by E. Ethelbert Miller 30.............The Man from Anacostia • by Charles Wilson

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32.............Ward 7 School Board Race • by Charnice A. Milton 34.............Ward 8 School Board Race • by Charnice A. Milton 36.............Park 7 Update • by Charnice A. Milton 38.............Demolition of Skyland Begins • by Michelle B. Phipps-Evans 40.............DC Streetcar Looks East • by Dana C. Bell 42.............Starting A New Benning Terrace • by Stephen Lilienthal 44.............No Traveling Trash In Deanwood • by Everette Bradford

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46.............ANC Reports (7C & 7E) • by Mariessa Terrell

EAST WASHINGTON LIFE

48.............Restoring Anacostia Pride • by Candance Y.A. Montague 50.............The Newly Renamed Anacostia Playhouse • by Annette Nielsen

52.............Former Candidate Battles Breast Cancer • by Candance Y.A. Montague

KIDS & FAMILY

54.............Kids and Family Notebook • by Kathleen Donner 56.............Eagle Academy • by Ellen Boomer 58.............Design Plans for “New Ballou” • by John Muller

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HOMES & GARDENS

59.............Changing Hands • compiled by Don Denton 60.............The Classifieds 62.............The Nose • by Anonymous

ON THE COVER:

A rendering of the Park 7 project.


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GO.SEE.DO. NoMa Fall Festival and Market

The NoMa Farmers Market has been re-invented as the NoMa Fall Festival and Market! Join them on Wednesdays, October 17 and 24, 3:00-7:00 p.m., for a fall festival and harvest farmers market. They’ll have pumpkin carving and face painting for children, plus workshops and specialty food vendors for the adults. Dip your apple in caramel and join them at Second and N Streets, NE, at the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metro entrance. nomabid.org/farmersmarket

stop by the noMa fall festival and Market for fun, artisanal food, samples, giveaways, face painting, and to reserve your thanksgiving turkey from local farmer groff’s Content.

Hilloween at Eastern Market

The Capitol Hill tradition Hilloween continues this year on Wednesday, October 31, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Eastern Market on Seventh Street, SE. There will be hay rides, moon bounces, carousel rides, toys, balloons and candy. This muchanticipated, free Halloween event is sponsored by the Von Schlegel Realty Team and Tunnicliff’s Tavern. Afterward don’t miss the spiders, coffins, ghosts, skeletons and witches on East Capitol Street between Third Street and 11th Street. Find more Halloween events and adventures in town and in the region in our Calendar section.


City Council At-Large Candidates Debate

Photo: Anna Bailey

Gospel Brunch at Howard Theater

Every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (doors open at noon) hear The Harlem Gospel Choir in the glorious setting of the newly restored Howard Theater. The choir brings its experience of the Black Church to the U Street District in a foot-stomping, hand-clapping show for fans from around the world. The home-style “all-you-can-eat” southern buffet is guaranteed to fill the hole in your soul, and the gospel performances will have you dancing on the stage. All-inclusive tickets are $35 in advance and $45 day-of. Most people arrive early to eat and then listen to the music. The Howard Theatre, 620 T Street, NW. 202-803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com

On Saturday, Oct 20, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Mary Brooks Beatty, Michael Brown, David Grosso and Vincent Orange will answer probing questions from Mark Segraves, WTOP’s lead investigative reporter and Mark DeBonis, local politics reporter for The Washington Post at a debate sponsored by Ward 5 Heartbeat, the League of Women Voters of DC, WTOP, The Washington Post, and Catholic University. The debate will take place in the Great Room of the Pryzbyla (pronounced “Priz-BULL-a” or “the Priz”) Center at Catholic University. There is seating for 450. From Michigan Ave NE, enter at the Basilica and bear right, keeping the Basilica on your left. Past the Basilica, bear right into the large parking lot. Plenty of free parking is available. The Pryzbyla Center is just a few steps away from the parking lot. Closest Metro is Brookland/CUA on the Red line. Questions? Call 202-255-2065 or go to ward5heartbeat.org.

Ghost Story Tour of Washington, DC

Meet the ghosts of Lafayette Square. For over two hundred years, Washingtonians have been encountering strange things in their historic homes. Historic Strolls brings you the tales of Lafayette Square, long said to be the most haunted of all the City’s squares. The tour includes local ghost lore and more recent eyewitness accounts of hauntings. Fridays and Saturdays in October (rain or shine) at 8:00 p.m. The tour meets at 1400 I St. NW, the intersection of Vermont Ave and I (eye) St. NW which is the exit for the McPherson Square Metro Station on Vermont Avenue NW. $12 adults, $6 under 16, recommended for ages 8 and up. 301-588-9255. historicstrolls.com On October 21, 5:00 p.m., there is a Childrens Ghost Story Tour. This tour includes a scavenger hunt (which may lead to a National Treasure!) and is for all ages. Civil War tour guide ghosts Elise Webb and June Schmitz. Photo: Courtesy of Historic Strolls EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 11


CALENDAR

“Untitled.” 20 in x 16 in. Inkjet Print. 2012. Photo: Carolina Mayorga

Divine Revelations: Passages from the Life of Our Lady

Opens Nov. 2, 6:00 PM. Exhibit dates Nov. 2-Dec. 21. Carolina Mayorga will be exhibiting a Fotoweek exhibition at Blank Space SE, 1922 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SE (the temporary satellite gallery of The Gallery at Vivid Solutions while the gallery is under construction). Gallery hours: TuesdayFriday, noon-5:00 PM; Saturday, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM. Or by appointment, arts@archdc.org and 202-365-8392. vividsolutionsdc.com HALLOWEEN Boo! Run for Life 10K and 2 Mile Fun Walk. Oct. 14, 8:00 AM. The Halloween-themed Boo! Run for Life 10K is a seasonal favorite of many runners. Run the 10K in costume or enjoy a scenic 2-mile walk around the Tidal Basin. West Potomac Park, Washington, DC. $29-$32. 703-786-8581. boorunforlife.com Mid-Day Tour in the Garden of Good and Evil – Medicinal and Poison Plants at the USBG. Oct. 15, noon-1:00 PM. Many important medicines are derived from plants, but too much of a good thing can be dangerous. During a walking tour of the Conservatory, Beth Burrous will feature poisonous and medicinal plants growing at the USBG. She will talk about famous, interesting and sometimes fatal cases of poisoning by plants. You will also see and

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learn about plants used to make life-saving medicines. Free. No pre-registration required. US Botanic Garden, 245 1st St. SW. usbg.gov Capitol Hill Haunts at Ebenezers. Oct. 17, 6:30-7:15 PM at Ebenezers Coffee House (2nd and F streets NE), local author Tim Krepp will read from his recently published book “Capitol Hill Haunts,” a “true” history of ghosts and hauntings on Capitol Hill. The event is free and handicapped-accessible, and the public is encouraged to attend. The Preservation Cafe series is a forum with topics of interest to the greater Capitol Hill community. chrs.org Boo at the Zoo. Oct. 26, 27 and 28, 5:308:30 PM. Enjoy tasty candy, delicious snack foods and other special treats from more than 40 treat stations. This family-friendly event offers animal encounters, keeper talks and | OCTOBER 2012

festive decorations. Proceeds support animal care, conservation science, education and sustainability at the National Zoo. $30. nationalzoo.si.edu Congressional Cemetery Ghosts and Goblets Soiree. Oct. 27, 6:00-8:00 PM. Billed as a gruesome benefit for Historic Congressional Cemetery and featuring torchlight graveyard tours, organ music, hauntings and visits from some of their 55,000 residents. $75. Costume or casual attire. 1801 E St. SE. 202-543-0539. congressionalcemetery.org Halloween Party at Labyrinth. Oct. 27, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM. A day full of great board games and role-playing games with scary themes. Win a prize for best costume. Kids can stop by for a Halloween treat. Labyrinth Games & Puzzles, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-5441059. labyrinthgameshop.com

Air and Scare at Udvar-Hazy Center. Oct. 27, 2:00-8:00 PM. The annual Halloween event, Air & Scare, features the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center. People arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-ortreating and participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments and other Halloween-themed activities. The tiniest visitors check out the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. They can even pose for a photo with their favorite “Star Wars” character. Free. $15 to park. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located a few miles south of Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, VA. airandspace.si.edu Capitol Hill Haunts. Oct. 30, 7:00 PM. From the Demon Cat that stalks the Washington crypt to the restless spirit of John Quincy Ad-


ams in Statuary Hall, it is no wonder that in 1898 the “Philadelphia Press” declared the US Capitol to be the most thoroughly haunted building in the world. Free. Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-549-4172. hillcenterdc.org Drag Queen High Heel Race. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 9:00 PM. Always fun, always outrageous and always held on the Tuesday before Halloween, this annual event features elaborately costumed drag queens racing down 17th St. NW from R to Church streets. Large crowds cheer them on, so don’t expect to park in the area. The race begins at 9:00 PM but come early because the real fun begins beforehand. An informal block party follows. Double Nickels Theatre Halloween Party. Oct. 31, 2:00 PM. Join Double Nickels Theatre for a costume party with spooky stories, prizes and an afternoon of dancing. Enjoy free food and drink and even some witches brew! Free and open to the public. You must be in a costume. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org Ghost Story Tour of Lafayette Park. Oct. 31, 7:30 PM. The tour meets at 1400 I (Eye) St. NW, the intersection of Vermont Ave. and I (Eye) St., which is the exit for the McPherson Square Metro station. Adults $12, $6 under 16, recommended for ages 8 and up. 301-588-9255. historicstrolls.com National Building Museum Halloween Ghost Tour. Oct. 31, 8:00-9:00 PM. Explore the haunted past of the National Building Museum. See a different side of the Museum on this lantern-light tour led by the ghost of Mary Surratt. Who are the irritable rider on horseback and the footless figure? Why are mysterious faces swirling in the 75-foot Corinthian columns? Why do these ghosts (and more!) call the National Building Museum their home? All will be revealed. $20. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448. nbm.org Hilloween. Oct. 31, 5:30-7:30 PM, at Eastern Market on 7th St. SE. There will be hay rides, moon bounces, carousel rides, toys, balloons and candy. This much-anticipated, free Halloween event is sponsored by the Von Schlegel Realty Team and Tunnicliff’s Tavern. Campbell Family Haunted House. Enjoy their haunted front porch and yard on Halloween evening, starting at dark. 1800 Burke St. SE. [CHECK. Could find nothing in Google, WZ] Walter Street at Halloween. Walter Street, between 12th and 13th streets SE (south of Lincoln Park), is a one-block street that hosts hundreds of kids every year. Vehicular traffic is temporarily banned from the street. East Capitol Street at Halloween. Between 3rd St. and 11th St. is the place to be on Halloween night. Where to Get Halloween Costumes. Backstage, 545 8th St. SE, is DC’s theatrical superstore, with costumes and accessories for all ages. 202-544-5744. backstagecostumes. com

Find Pumpkin Patches in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Also find hayrides, pony rides, corn mazes and more. pumpkinpatchesandmore.org

SPECIAL EVENTS To the Brink – JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Through Nov. 11. The Cuban Missile Crisis,13 days in October 1962, when the world teetered on the edge of thermonuclear war, is the subject of this new exhibition on the 50th anniversary of that historic time. National Archives, Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW. nara.gov Surplus Koi Sale at Arboretum. Oct. 13, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Preview at 8:00-9:00 AM. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to purchase the National Arboretum’s koi. Most of them must be sold so that the pool may be drained and renovated. Cash or check with ID (no credit cards); all sales final. Purchasers should be sure they know how to care for these outdoor fish. For more information go to usna.usda.gov or call 202-2454521. 3501 New York Ave NE. First-Ever Community Day at the Corcoran. Oct. 20, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. The Corcoran is dedicated to art, and they want you to be, too. Come gather, create and be inspired at this daylong celebration of art and creativity. Try your hand at printmaking and bookbinding during art-making workshops, handcraft a ceramic bowl to be donated to SOME (So Others Might Eat), participate in hands-on pottery-wheel and papermaking demonstrations, and shop at their Community Art Fair featuring fine arts and crafts made by DC-area artists. Free. Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. 202-639-1700. corcoran.org George Washington’s Copy of the Constitution Unveiled. Through Feb. 18. On the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, Mount Vernon unveils George Washington’s annotated copy of the Acts of Congress. This rare volume garnered worldwide attention this summer when it was offered for sale and broke auction world records for an American historical document. The remarkably well-preserved book includes Washington’s copy of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other legislation passed by the first session of Congress, complete with his personal annotations. This significant piece of American history will be on view in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center through the national observance of George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 18, 2013. MountVernon.org Washington International Horse Show. Oct 23-28. An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show. Each October more than 500 of the top national and international horses and riders, including Olympic veterans, convene to compete in six days of thrilling competition. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. wihs.org

NOW AT TWO LOCATIONS! THEARC, Front parking lot – 1901 Mississippi Ave., SE Saturdays: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm St. Elizabeths Chapel Gate – 2700 Market Luther King, Jr. Ave. Saturdays: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Fresh produce from local farmers, plants, art, food-preparation workshops, children activities, nutrition and more...

Fresh Fruit, Vegetables, Bread and Meat.

We DOUBLE your EBT,WIC and Seniors Coupon dollars!! (as long as funds last) Ward8FM@gmail.com • www.Ward8FarmersMarket.com

Last Day for The FREE Ward 8 Farmers Market Circulator Shuttle Bus Sat. October 13, 9:30am – 1:15pm. BUS ROUTE

Market will Continue

Ward 8 Farmers’ Market / THEARC (1901 Mississippi) Salvation Army / Spirit Health Center (2300 MLK Ave.) Big Chair (stop in front of Chair) Birney Elementary / Barry Farms / Matthews Memorial (Stop in front of Birney E.S.) Ward 8 Farmers’ Market / St. E’s (Friendship Academy, 645 Milwaukee Pl. SE) (MLK across from St. E’s Chapel Gate) Washington Gas Bldg. (3101 MLK) - across from Historic Old Congress Heights School Assumption Catholic Church / National Capital Children’s Center Secrets of Nature (3923 South Capitol St. SW) Simon Elementary (Mississippi Ave & 4th St SE) Southeast Tennis Center (701 Mississippi Ave. SE) Alabama Ave. & 11th Place SE (1000 Alabama Ave. SE) IHOP / Giant (1523 Alabama Ave. SE) (stop in front of IHOP) Thank you to our Ward 8 Circulator Sponsors: Anacostia Coordinating Council • Congress Heights Citizens Association Secrets of Nature – Natural Foods Store • DC Government • Georgetown University • SHIRE

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CALENDAR Join in the audience participation and learn about the origins of this genre. Recommended for middle-school and above. To schedule this program for your class or center, be the first to call, 202633-4844. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. anacostia.si.edu History of Rock and Roll. Oct. 21, 2:004:00 PM. Derek McKeith will educate and entertain you as you learn the history of rock-and-roll. Beginning in the late 1940s this musical genre was formed from a combination of expressions and community influences. This is an enjoyable afternoon program for the whole family. Space is limited. For more information, call 202-633-4844. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. anacostia.si.edu

EXHIBITIONS Mandelbaum’s Love & Rage at Honfleur Gallery (downstairs). Through Oct. 26. Love & Rage puts forth Mandelbaum’s latest series of mixed media works on paper. Produced during a six-week residency in Anacostia, the 13 large-scale artworks depict scenes the artist observed in the neighborhood during his stay and were created with his signature medley of tempera and mixed media on paper or canvas. 1241 Good Hope Road SE. 202-365-8392. honfleurgallery.com Mann’s Unquiet Kingdom at Honfleur Gallery (upstairs). Through Oct. 26. Upstairs, Mann’s Unquiet Kingdom crawls up and hangs from the ceilings. These new site-specific paintings, in Sumi ink and acrylic on paper, mimic their own imagery of contained chaos through their placement in the gallery. 1241 Good Hope Road SE. 202-3658392. honfleurgallery.com

Cantare “Fiesta”. Photo: Courtesy of the Washington Performing Arts Society

Washington Performing Arts Society Fall Arts Fair

Oct. 21, 11:00 AM-4:00 PM. The Washington Performing Arts Society presents “Arts Are Everywhere,” a fall arts fair featuring more than 20 local performing arts groups including the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers, Cantare Fiesta!, Ziva’s Spanish Dance Ensemble and the WPAS Gospel Choir. Children and families can listen to music from all over the world, enjoy educational activities, try out musical instruments, watch live dance performances, and enjoy face painting and much more. Free. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-8895901. thearcdc.org MUSIC AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD Excellence in Christian Music Awards. Oct. 13, 8:00 PM. The Excellence in Christian Music Academy presents “The Excellence in Christian

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Music Awards Concert: Tribute to Excellence in Music Diversity,” which will feature Phillip Carter, Angela Donadio, Blaze, Benaiah, Duncan and Rachelle, William Stevens and Jubilant Nation, Kimise Lee, Temeka Thompson, Darnell Moore and Company and many other great artists. $25. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi | OCTOBER 2012

Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org About Rock and Roll. Oct. 17, 10:00 AMnoon. Derek McKeith will engage students in the history of rock-and-roll as it was created in the late 1940s from African-American blues, country, jazz and gospel music styles.

Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia. On view indefinitely. From Reconstruction to the second half of the 20th century, baseball, the great American pastime, was played in Washington, DC, on segregated fields. “Separate and Unequaled” looks at the phenomenal popularity and community draw of this sport when played by African Americans. Featured are such personalities as Josh Gibson and “Buck” Leonard, star players of the Negro League’s most celebrated team, the Washington Homestead Grays. The show also highlights community teams that gave rise to the various amateur, collegiate and semi-pro black baseball teams and leagues. For special viewing hours and tours call 202-633-4844. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. anacostia.si.edu What’s Blooming at the US Arboretum in October? Fall foliage, firethorn in fruit, hibiscus, autumn crocuses, water-lilies, crapemyrtles, viburnums in fruit, conifer foliage and cones, dogwoods in fruit, boxwood, herbs, annuals, ornamental grasses, native witch-hazels, fall blooming camellias, toadlilies and chrysanthemums. Free. There are two


entrances: one at 3501 New York Ave. NE, and another at 24th and R streets NE, off Bladensburg Road. 202-2454521. usna.usda.gov

TOURS AND TALKS On Freedom’s Trail, Part 1. Oct. 20, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM. A unique historical experience tracing the path from fetters to freedom in the nation’s capital. Join historian C.R. Gibbs in an energetic bus tour of sites of past and present significance in the majestic trek from slavery to emancipation in the District of Columbia. You will see or visit places where slaves were sold, freedom seekers escaped, soldiers trained, and laws were written that culminated in and secured what Frederick Douglass called that “priceless and unspeakable blessing” and “the first great step towards that righteousness which exalts a nation,” the abolition of slavery in Washington, DC. The bus will depart from and return to the Anacostia Community Museum. Recommended for ages 16 to adult. For reservations call 202-633-4844. Water Bottle Art. Oct. 28, 2:00-4:00 PM. Many forms of plastic bottles find their way into our rivers and pollute our waters. Join artist Jay Coleman and help save the environment by bringing in drink bottles to create a work of art. Markers, paint, colored papers and other art materials will be supplied. For reservations call 202-633-4844. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. anacostia.si.edu Tour Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. Open daily, 7:00 AM-4:00 PM. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is about 700 acres and is part of Anacostia Park. The park includes the gardens, Kenilworth Marsh, ballfields and recreational facilities. It is the only National Park Service site devoted to the propagation and display of aquatic plants. Stop by the visitor’s center and ask if a Ranger is free to show you around. You can also borrow a guidebook and binoculars if you leave a driver’s license. Free. 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. 202-4266905. www.nps.gov/kepa Tour the Frederick Douglass House. Tours are at 9:00 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:15 PM, 3:00 PM and 3:30 PM. Ranger-led tours are the only way to see the inside of the Frederick Douglass house. Tours are ticketed, and the number of tickets per tour is limited. Get your tickets by reservation or on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis. Visitors are strongly encouraged to make a reservation to guarantee their place on the tour. Tours last approximately 30 minutes. 1411 W St. SE. 202-426-5960. nps.gov/frdo A Self-Reliant People: Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail. Discover, or see with new eyes, this traditionally African-American enclave in far Northeast EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 15


CALENDAR when you follow A Self-Reliant People: Greater Deanwood Heritage Trail. Fifteen poster-sized street signs combine storytelling with historic photographs and maps to transport you back to the days before Deanwood was Deanwood. To pick up the trail go to Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. and Division Ave. NE. Walk one block south to Foote St, at the edge of Marvin Gaye Park. The 90-minute, self-guided tour will bring you along Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave., up 49th St and along Sheriff Road back to Minnesota Ave. and the Metro station. Walk the trail at your own pace and take time to enjoy this small town in the city. Don’t forget to pick up a free trail guide from businesses along the way. 202-661-7581. culturaltourismdc.org

MARKETS DC CHEW Farmers’ Market. Saturdays, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. At the intersection of Good Hope Road, Naylor Road and Alabama Ave. SE at Skyland Shopping Center. DC CHEW is a project of the Office of the Deputy Mayor and sponsored by the Mayor and the District of Columbia. dcchew.com Ward 8 Farmers Market. Saturdays, through Thanksgiving, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and meat. The market will now double the value of your SNAP, EBT, WIC or senior food vouchers for produce. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. ward8farmersmarket.com Ward 8 Farmers’ Market at St. E’s. Saturdays through Oct. 27, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. Chapel East Gate, 2800 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SE. 202-841-0394. ward8farmersmarket.com H Street FRESHFARM Market at New Location. Saturdays, 9 AM-noon. 1300 H St. NE. The market is a producers-only outdoor market offering fruit, vegetables, meats, baked goods, cheese, flowers and more for sale. freshfarmmarket.org NOMA Farmers Market. Wednesdays, through Oct. 31, 3:00-7:00 PM. 1200 1st St. NE. nomabid.org Fresh Tuesdays at Eastern Market. Every Tuesday, 3:00-7:00 PM. Tuesday afternoon farmers’ line of fresh produce. Eastern Market, 200 block of 7th St. SE. 202-698-5253. easternmarket-dc.com Eastern Market. Daily except Mondays and important holidays. Weekdays, 7:00 AM-7:00 PM; Saturdays, 7:00 AM-5:00 PM; Sundays, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Flea market and arts and crafts market open Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM. Eastern Market is Washington’s last continually operated “Old World” market. On weekends the market area comes alive with farmers bringing in fresh produce, craft and flower vendors, artists, a flea market and street musicians. 200 block of 7th St. SE. 202-698-5253. easternmarket-dc.com 9th and U Flea Market. Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. 9th and U streets NW. Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Sundays year-round (rain or shine), 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. The “Wall Street Journal” and “The Financial Times” of London named the market one of

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the top farmers’ markets in the country. During the peak season more than 30 farmers offer fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit pies, breads, fresh pasta, cut flowers, potted plants, soaps and herbal products. 20th St and Massachusetts Ave. NW, 1500 block of 20th St. NW (between Massachusetts Ave. and Q S.t in the adjacent parking lot of PNC Bank). 202-362-8889. freshfarmmarket.org 14th and U Farmers Market. Saturdays, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, until Thanksgiving. Producersonly market. 14th and U streets NW, in front of the Reeves Building. marketsandmore.net Georgetown Flea Market. Sundays year-round (except in very inclement weather), 8:00 AM4:00 PM. The crowd is as diverse as the items for sale: antiques, collectibles, art, furniture, rugs, pottery, china, jewelry, silver, stained glass, books and photographs, among other things. 1819 35th St. NW. 202-775-3532. or georgetownfleamarket.com

SPORTS, DANCE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS Washington Wizards Preseason. Oct. 11 vs. Charlotte; Nov. 3 vs. Boston. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. 202-628-3200. nba.com/wizards Washington Capitals Ice Hockey. Oct. 12, 15, 17, 19, 31 and Nov. 2; 7:00 PM. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. 202-628-3200. capitals. nhl.com Law Enforcement Run to Remember 5K. Oct. 14, 5:00 PM. Starting and finishing at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in downtown DC, the Run to Remember 5K is a fun, community-oriented athletic event designed to honor the contribution and sacrifice law enforcement officers make every day and encourage community support for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. 4th and F streets NW. support.nleomf.org DC United Soccer Home Matches. Oct. 20, 7:30 PM. vs. Columbus. $23-$52. RFK Stadium. 202-587-5000. dcunited.com Audi Best Buddies Challenge. Oct. 20, 8:00 AM. Support Best Buddies and help create one-to-one friendships between volunteers and people with intellectual disabilities. Select from a 20- or 62-mile bike ride, or join a 5K run/walk led by Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis. After the challenge, grab your gift bag, refuel with a luncheon/pizza party and enjoy incredible musical performances. 1-800-7183536. runwashington.com Stepping Out for the Homeless 5K. Oct. 27 (rain or shine), 7:00-9:30 AM. Walk to prevent and end homelessness for individuals and families with children. All participants will receive a Help the Homeless t-shirt. To get your shirt for the event your registration must be received by Oct. 19; after this date, you can pick-up your shirt at the Coalition’s main office. Register at hthwalks.org or call Sheila Baker at 202-347-8870 ext 314. Rock Creek Park, Picnic Grove # 24 near the Carter Barron Amphitheater on 16th St. and Colorado Ave. dccfh.org | OCTOBER 2012

AIDS Walk/5K Run. Oct. 27, 8:30 AM. AIDS Walk Washington is a fundraising walk and 5K timed run benefiting and produced by Whitman-Walker Health, a nonprofit community-based health organization which provides dependable, high-quality, comprehensive and accessible health care to those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Freedom Plaza. 202332-9255. aidswalkwashington.org Marine Corps Marathon. Sunday, Oc.t 28. Registration is closed but you can watch along the course. marinemarathon.com MCM 10K Run. Oct. 28, 8:00 AM. Part of the Marine Corps Marathon Race Series, the 10K run begins on the National Mall and finishes at the iconic Marine Corps War Memorial. National Mall, 12th St. and Jefferson St SW. 800786-8762. marinemarathon.com Public Skating at Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Fridays, noon-1:50 PM; Saturdays, 11:15 AM12:15 PM. Dress for warmth and safety. Clothes should be easy to move in, and pants must not fall below the heel of the skate (sweatpants or leggings are a good choice). Wear gloves or mittens and one pair of thin, long socks or tights that fit snugly (no ankle socks). A helmet or knit hat is strongly recommended (loaner helmets are available). $5, $4 for kids and seniors; $3 for skate rental. Fort Dupont Ice Arena, 3779 Ely Place NE. 202-584-5007. fdia.org Adult Dance Classes. Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 PM, jazz; Wednesdays, 7:00-8:15 PM, ballet; Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 AM, Zumba. The Washington Ballet @ THEARC offers three adult classes this year. Classes are $12 each or you may purchase a $100 class card for 12 classes. Classes are only $5 for Ward 8 residents. The class card for Ward 8 residents is $50. (Valid ID required.) THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org Free Exercise Classes at Kenilworth Elementary School. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 6:00-7:00 PM. Bring your own mat, water and towel. 1300 44th St. NE. For more information email peppypromotions@gmail. com or call 301-395-1013. Free Yoga Classes at Anacostia Neighborhood Library. Every Thursday, 7:00-8:00 PM. Yoga is a great way to relax, unwind and get grounded. Even if you’ve never done yoga before, this class is for you. Open to people of all abilities, ages and body types. All you need to bring is yourself, comfortable clothing and an open mind. Judgment-free zone: having a great time is encouraged! Register in person at Anacostia Neighborhood Library or call 202-715-7707. 1800 Good Hope Road. SE. dclibrary.org/anacostia Roller Skating at Anacostia Park. Skate sunrise to sunset. This is a covered, outdoor skating pavilion. Free. One-hour free skate rental has started but sizes and supplies are limited. Open daily during summer months. Go east on Pennsylvania Avenue across the Anacostia River and make the first right turn onto Fairlawn Ave. and another right onto Nicholson and then into the park. 202-472-3873. Free public tennis courts in Wards 7 and 8. Fort Davis Community Center, 1400 41st St.

SE; Hillcrest Recreation Center, 3100 Denver St SE; Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center, 4300 Anacostia Ave. NE; Randle Highlands Tennis Courts, 31st St. and Pennsylvania Ave. SE; Anacostia Park, 1900 Anacostia Drive SE; Bald Eagle Recreation Center, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. and Joliet St. SW; Congress Heights Recreation Center, Alabama Ave. and Randle Place SE; Fort Stanton Community Center, 1812 Erie St. SE. All courts are open daily, dawn to dusk. Some are lighted for extended evening play. Courts are available on a firstcome, first-served basis for one-hour intervals; extended use of tennis courts requires a permit. Proper shoes and attire are required. 202-671-0314. dpr.dc.gov Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. Open daily, Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM-9:00 PM; Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM. Four indoor courts. Six outdoor courts. Summer hourly fees at $6 to $10 for adults. Kids 17 and under play for free. 701 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202645-6242. dpr.dc.gov Deanwood (indoor) Pool. Monday-Friday, 6:30 AM-8:00 PM; Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 AM5:00 PM. Free for DC residents. 1350 49th St. NE. 202-671-3078. dpr.dc.gov Ferebee Hope (indoor) Pool. Open weekdays, 10:00-6:00 PM. Closed weekends. Free for DC residents. 3999 8th St. SE. 202-645-3916. dpr.dc.gov

CIVIC LIFE Big Chair Breakfast Bunch. Saturday, Oct. 13, 10:00 AM-noon. Big Chair Coffee n’ Grill (upstairs). All are welcome to attend and discuss what’s happening East of the River. 2122 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SE. 202525-4287. City of Parks Town Hall Meeting. Oct. 25, 6:30-8:30 PM. The National Park Service, owner of most of this city’s parks, is chronically underfunded, but even without new money there is much that can be done, with imagination and consultation with neighbors, to enliven our parks and adapt them to meet the needs of each of our neighborhoods. Be Part of the Solution. Join Congresswoman Norton at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room 412. Congresswoman Norton’s SE District Office. Open weekdays, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM. 2041 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SE, #238. 202-6788900. norton.house.gov. Councilmember Alexander’s Constituent Services Office. Open weekdays, 10:00 AM6:00 PM. 2524 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-5811560. Councilmember Barry’s Constituent Services Office. Open weekdays, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SE, #307. 202-698-2185. Anacostia Coordinating Council Meeting. Last Tuesday, noon-2:00 PM. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. For further details, contact Philip Pannell, 202-8894900.


Capitol View Civic Association Meeting. Third Monday, 6:30 PM. Hughes Memorial United Methodist, 25 53rd St. NE. capitolviewcivicassoc.org Historical Anacostia Block Association. Second Thursday, 7:00-9:00 PM. UPO-Anacostia Service Center, 1649 Good Hope Road SE. For further details contact Charles Wilson, 202-834-0600. Anacostia High School School Improvement Team Meeting. Fourth Tuesday. 6:00 PM. Anacostia High School, 16th and R streets SE. Deanwood Citizens Association General Body Meeting. Fourth Monday, except Aug. and Dec., 6:30 PM. 1350 49th St. NE. Eastland Gardens Civic Association Meeting. Third Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 PM. Kenilworth Elementary School (auditorium), 1300 44th St. NE. Greg Rhett jrhett3009@aol.com or 202-388-1532. Fairlawn Citizens Association. Third Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Ora L. Glover Community Room at the Anacostia Public Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE. ANC 7A. Second Tuesday, 7:30 PM. Benning-Stoddard Recreation Center, 100 Stoddard Place SE. 202-727-1000. 7A@anc.dc.gov. anc7a.org ANC 7B. Third Thursday, 7:00 PM. Ryland Epworth United Methodist Church, 3200 S St. SE (Branch Ave. and S St SE). 202-584-3400. anc7b@pressroom.com. anc7b.us ANC 7C. Second Thursday, 7:00 PM. Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church, 5109 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE. 202-398-5100. anc7c@verizon.net ANC 7D. Second Tuesday, 6:30 PM. Sixth District Police Station, 100 42nd St. NE. 202-398-5258. 7D06@anc.dc.gov ANC 7E. Second Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM. Jones Memorial Church, 4625 G St. SE. 202-582-6360. 7E@anc.dc.gov ANC 8A. First Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Anacostia UPO Service Center, 1649 Good Hope Road SE. 202-889-6600. anc8adc. org ANC 8B. Third Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Seventh District Police Station Community Center, Alabama and McGee streets SE. 202-610-1818. anc8b.org ANC 8C. First Wednesday, 6:30 PM. 2907 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SE. 202-388-2244. ANC 8D. Fourth Thursday, 7:00 PM. Specialty Hospital of Washington, 4601 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. SW. 202 561-0774. ANC 8E. Third Tuesday, 7:00 PM. SE Tennis and Learning Center, 701 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-561-6616. 8e02@ anc.dc.gov l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 17


ANACOSTIA

BOAT RIDE The weather was glorious, the crew energetic and the passengers ebullient when the Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC) celebrated its 29th anniversary aboard the Nina’s Dandy on Saturday, September 29, 2012. This was the 17th annual cruise for the nonproďŹ t organization, which engages in information-gathering and -sharing, networking, advocacy and community organizing. Arrington Dixon is its chairman and Philip Pannell the executive director. The ACC boat ride is one of the stellar annual events sponsored by an east-of-the-river group. It is always a sell-out, and reservations are now being accepted for the September 28, 2013, cruise. Call 202-889-4900 for information.

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Photos Courtesy of wAnacostia Coordinating Council

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BULLETIN BOARD Frederick Douglass Statue headed to the Capitol Visitor’s Center. Photo: Courtesy of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Frederick Douglass Statue Headed to the Capitol Visitor’s Center

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce that plans are underway to place the statue of famed Abolitionist and Writer Frederick Douglass’ Statue in the United States Capitol’s Visitor Center’s Statuary Hall, thanks to the signing of a Bill (H.R. 4021) by President Barack Obama on Sept. 20, 2012. The Douglass statue has been temporarily housed at DC’s Judiciary Square Building since 2007. It was originally commissioned by DC Arts Commission in 2006.

Community Improvement Day at Congress Heights

The great weather and warm sun brought more than 700 volunteers to Congress Heights on Saturday, Sept. 20. Let by The DC Building Industry Association (DCBIA), they gathered to completely renovate the Congress Heights Recreation Center. This renovation was the 20th DCBIA project for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. It was the result of a six-month combined effort between professionals from the real estate development and construction industries and the community leaders. Together, they planed, designed, raised funds, secured donated equipment, and organized volunteers. The result was a $500,000 renovation involving more than 700 volunteers.

Live Well DC! at Feet in the Street

Live Well DC! led residents in a number of exciting activities at the Live Well stage during the National Park Service’s 4th Annual “Feet in the Street” in Fort DuPont Park. Attendees of the event enjoyed Zumba and Yoga classes, as well as a live concert featuring Secret Society. Radio One on-air personalities were on site to participate in the day’s festivities. Live Well DC! is an initiative of the DC Department of Health that encourages residents to live longer, more productive lives by making healthy lifestyle choices. The cam20 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012


Feet in the Street participants enjoy a Live Well DC! yoga class. Photo: Courtesy of Live Well DC

paign is led by eleven local residents known as Live Well coaches; and features a series of healthy events and activities throughout the fall. Visit MyLiveWellDC.com for more information.

and founding director of Prince George’s County African American Museum and Cultural Center. He leaves behind many friends and colleagues who deeply mourn his passing.

Steven Cameron Newsome

“We are Anacostia” Campaign Launched

Steven Cameron Newsome, former director of Anacostia Museum for twelve years, has died. Newsome leaves behind a considerable legacy of cultural activism and achievement, and a strong network of artists, cultural professionals, colleagues, and friends. Under his leadership, a new award-winning museum facility was also designed and construction completed. He served on many boards of cultural organizations in the Washington DC area. He also served a term as President of the Mid-Atlantic Museums Association. Before coming to the Museum, Newsome served as director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum; and also served as director of the Maryland Commission on African American history. After leaving the Anacostia Museum, he became Executive Director of Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council,

Residents of Historic Anacostia have launched a “We Are Anacostia” Campaign. On a recent Sunday afternoon an email went out on the neighborhood listserv to meet up on MLK Ave next to the Old Furniture Warehouse for a photo shoot. The purpose was to launch a campaign to encourage Busboys & Poets to open their fifth location in downtown Anacostia. The effort also seeks to present the neighborhood as a great place to live, raise a family, and to open a business.

East of the River Health Fair

On Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a health fair at the East of the River Health Center, 123 45th St. NE. Exhibitors and vendors will distribute health information. Screenings for blood pressure, diabetes and other health assessments are EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 21


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS of Omar ibn Sayyid.” Kids can enjoy face painting and henna. There will also be vendors. On Oct. 14 from 2 to 5 p.m., there will be a screening of the movie, “New-Muslim-Cool,” followed by a panel discussion. On Oct. 27 from noon to 5 p.m., there is a talk entitled, “DC’s Islamic Sites and History.” All programs will be held at America’s Islamic Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, 2315 MLK Ave. SE. For more information, call 202610-0586.

Ward 8 Farmers Market Needs Funds

Hundreds of volunteers pitched in for the Congress Heights Rec Center renovation. Photo: Courtesy: DC Building Industry Association

available. There will also be activities for kids including a moon bounce, a cotton candy machine, and games with prizes. There will also be a truck touch with a fire engine.

SOS: Steps of Success to Wellness at THEARC

The SOS: Steps of Success to Wellness is a free six session training series taught by experienced medical practitioners. Participants attending all six sessions receive a $100 gift card. Participants must be at least 18 to qualify for the gift card. All attendees will receive a certificate of completion. Sessions take place the third Thursday of every month from 5 to 7 p.m. A light meal will be provided. To register, contact Ellen Wiggins at 202436-3076. The program is located at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. Call 202-889-5901 or visit thearcdc. org for more information.

DDOT Receives Enthusiastic Response to Streetcar RFI

The District Department of Transportation received 20 responses to its June 26th request for industry feedback on the development of a local transportation system. In an effort to explore a public-private partnership, DDOT sought input on the design, construction, finance, maintenance and operations of a 2222 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

mile priority streetcar system and the operations of local bus service within the District. Responders hailed from the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, China, and Japan; and included some of the world’s leading engineering, rail construction, vehicle manufacturing, transit operating and project finance companies. DDOT review teams will evaluate the submissions over the next sixty days. For more information about the DC Streetcar, visit dcstreetcar.com.

to Nov. 2. There is an Artist’s Talk and Coffee schedules for Oct. 21 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The mission of the Center for Green Urbanism is to create a business-friendly environment that provides start-ups with affordable office space and services in a sustainable and energy-efficient green demonstration facility. The Tubman-Mahan Gallery is located at 3938 Benning Rd. NE. Call 202-506-3867 or visit centerforgreenurbanism.com for more information.

Green Lessons Community Forum

October Service Day at Kenilworth Park

The Green Lessons Community Forum on Oct. 16th at 7 p.m. offers practical advice, including lessons learned from landscape architects, and gardeners in the Anacostia watershed. Space is limited. For more information, call 202-633-4844. The forum will be held at the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place, SE. Call 202-633-4820 or visit anacostia. si.edu for more information.

Tubman-Mahan Gallery Celebrates with ReCreate 3

Join The Center for Green Urbanism Tubman-Mahan Gallery for ReCreate 3. The exhibition, not only marks the Center’s third anniversary, but also pays tribute its artists. Featured artists are Zandra Chestnut, Sandra D. Davis, Timothy DeVenney and David Allen Harris. The exhibition runs from Oct. 1 | OCTOBER 2012

Please consider a donation to the Ward 8 Farmers Market. All gifts go toward the organization’s bonus dollars fund for food assistance recipients. The Ward 8 Farmers Market is located at Saint Elizabeth’s at 2800 MLK Ave. SE is open Saturdays until Oct. 27., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ward 8 Farmers Market at THEARC at 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE is open Saturdays until November 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To find out more, call 202841-0394, or visit ward8farmersmarket.com

r.e.e.l. Elections

Every two years, r.e.e.l seeks East of the River residents for leadership positions. Consider joining the organization’s Board of Directors. All positions are restricted to members. Those interested may visit reeldc.org. Elections are scheduled for November.

The weather’s cool and there’s a nice feeling in getting the park ready for winter. Bring work gloves, and wear closed toe shoes to help get the gardens ready for fall. For more details, call the park staff at 202-4266905. The workday is Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. to noon at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens located at 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. For more information, visit nps.gov/keaq

DDOT is adding bus stops on the Potomac Ave. SE to Skyland route. The new stops will operate in both directions in the route at Good Hope Rd. SE and Marbury Plaza. They will be operational on Oct. 1. More information about the routes and schedules is available at dccirculator.com.

Islamic Heritage Month Celebration

Ranger talk: American Civil War at Fort Dupont

The Islamic Heritage Festival will be held on Oct. 13 from noon to 6 p.m. The event features Violinist Bliss Ananda. There will be an 18th century dramatic historical slave reenactment entitled, “The Life & Times

DC Circulator Adding Stops on EOR Route

Join a Ranger for a talk on the American Civil War at Fort Dupont Park’s Activity Center. Visitors are ask to Contact Ranger Kenya Finely at 202-426-7723 for more information on the specific program themes.


Oct. 19 and 26; Nov. 1 and 16 at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Fort Dupont Park, 3600 F St. SE. nps.gov/fodu

The Nutcracker at THEARC (save the date)

Septime Webre’s critically acclaimed The Nutcracker transports theatergoers back in time to historic Washington, DC. Starring George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, the production is full of swirling snowflakes, magnificent sets and costumes, and, of course, Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. Save the dates: Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. The production takes place at the THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. For tickets, call 202-889-5901 or visit thearcdc.org

Listen for the Music at Kenilworth Park

Join Ranger Kate for a half hour or more of gentle exercise, relaxation techniques and focus on the music of nature. No special equipment is needed. Free. Appropriate for older teens and up. Classes will be held on Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 1 at 8:00-8:45 a.m. Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. nps.gov/keaq

DDOT Seeks Public Input on the Pennsylvania & Minnesota Avenues

DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the National Park Service are proposing improvements to the intersection at Pennsylvania Ave. and Minnesota Ave. SE. This project is part of the Great Streets Initiative. Prior to moving the project through final design, an Environmental Assessment is being prepared. Additionally, the effects of the project to historic and cultural resources will also be evaluated. Comments may be submitted by Oct. 15, 2012 to Pennsylvania/Minnesota Avenues Improvement Project, Attn: Austina Casey, Project Manager, Project Development & Environment Division, Infrastructure Project Management Administration (IPMA), District Department of Transportation, 55 M St. SE, Suite

400, Washington, DC 20003. For more information, please visit ddot. dc.gov/PennMinnAvesProject and National Park Service at parkplanning.nps.gov/twiningsquare.

“Fly” at Ford’s Theatre

Project, “Fly” is based on the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The play follows four courageous heroes hailing from Chicago, Harlem, rural Iowa and the Caribbean as they train to fly combat aircraft. In spite of the overt racism they encounter, the men form a lasting brotherhood and fly with distinction. The production combines live action, video footage and the inspirational “Tap Griot,” a dancing storyteller. Performances will be held through Oct. 21. Tickets start at $15. Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than 35. Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 10 St. NW. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org for more information.

Strategic Plan to Ensure the District Becomes an ‘Age-Friendly’ City

The DC Senior Needs Assessment and a Strategic Plan for Community Living in an Age-Friendly City has been released. The multiyear plan highlights four main goals and strategies for serving seniors that DCOA and other District agencies will implement through 2017. For more information or to get a copy of the Senior Needs Assessment or Strategic Plan for Community Living in an AgeFriendly City, visit dcoa.dc.gov or call 202-724-5622.

DCRA Accepting Applications to Vend During 2013 Inauguration

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is now accepting applications for the 2013 Inauguration. Vendors need only do three things to qualify for the December Inaugural Lottery: register with the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR); obtain Clean Hands from OTR; and submit a completed application by 5 p.m., Oct. 26. Details can be found at dcra.dc.gov. l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 23


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Issues and Issues

A

article by Martin Austermuhle | photos by Andrew Lightman tition signatures and poor management of campaign finances is no exception,” said Beatty in a statement. She didn’t stop there—the GOP contender asked Brown to drop out of the race and launched a website listing five reasons why he should do so. To Grosso and Beatty, that Brown has had trouble paying his taxes, settling his traffic citations and even managing his own campaign account is a larger indictment of his capabilities as a legislator and steward of the public’s money. If he’s able to lose $113,000 of his own money, they’re hinting, what’s to stop him from losing a bunch of yours?

t a press conference outside the Wilson Building in early September, Councilmember Michael Brown (I-At Large) laid down a challenge to his opponents in the November 6 race. “Now it’s time to talk about issues,” he said. “For folks that have been playing around in the sandbox, it’s time to step up and grow up. I look forward to talking about issues that matter in the District of Columbia that residents really care about.” It was clear that he was talking about substantive issues like affordable housing, economic development, crime, and education. Who could blame him? Brown is reliably progressive, and voters want to know where the candidates stand on the issues, especially in one of the races that’s shaping up to be surprisingly competitive. But despite his pleas, Brown’s primary challengers—independent David Grosso and Republican Mary Brooks Beatty—haven’t been willing to indulge the troubled incumbent. (Independents A.J. Cooper and Leon Swain and Statehood Green Anne Wilcox are also running.) To them, after all, the issues defining the At-Large race are Brown’s issues themselves. And who could blame them? Given the troubles faced by some of the city’s most famous legacy politicians over the last year, making Brown’s personal problems the focus of the campaign is both good strategy and fair game. Separating the political from the personal simply isn’t something that D.C. incumbents can be afforded any longer.

Brown has helped make the case against his own re-election. First he came close to getting knocked out of the race altogether when the D.C. Board of Elections voided 1,500 of the 4,700 signatures he handed in, leaving him within 200 signatures of the minimum. Next, he announced that a former staffer had allegedly stolen money from his election account—$113,000 worth, all told. Then came a Washington Post revelation that Brown’s drivers license had been repeatedly suspended over the last decade for unpaid traffic citations, and a more recent report that staffers from his 2008 campaign broke with him over his inability to manage his run for council that year. Added to past stories of unpaid taxes and late mortgage payments, the revelations painted Brown as not

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Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells endorses Independent At-Large candidate David Grosso. They were joined by Grosso Campaign Chair, former Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose at a Grosso fundraiser at Cafe 8 on Capitol Hill.

Brown’s Troubles

only bad with details, but spectacular bad—and repeatedly so. Maybe he just had a tough few weeks, right? Maybe, but when everything is added together, it becomes hard for Brown to separate his issues from the issues. And while he’s wanted to pretend that his issues aren’t weighing on his campaign and his candidacy, his opponents have wanted voters to think just the opposite. “No one should be surprised by the disclosures of money being mismanaged by Michael Brown,” intoned Grosso. “He has been plagued with fiscal mismanagement issues during his entire career.” “Throughout his time in office, Councilmember Brown has demonstrated a loose commitment to professional ethics and accountability. This week’s news on his voided pe-

Brown’s Troubled Future

But will any of this matter come Election Day? Brown is an incumbent, and he won’t have to fight to get people to the polls—it is a presidential election, after all. Brown has also nailed down the support of nine local unions, which ensures that he’ll have at least some organized support come November 6. His name and family history still carries some weight, too—many people fondly remember his father, Ron Brown, so much so that Shadow Senator Michael Brown has regularly tried trading on the fact that some people think he’s the other Michael Brown. Still, his persistent troubles and the theft of his campaign funds are certain to hurt him. His staff is small, his re-election website devoid of content and there’s much less visual evidence around town that he’s actually running. While Grosso’s staff says it has printed and hung some 4,000 campaign signs and Beatty’s staff can


CALENDAR

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SPECIAL EXHIBIT

lawrence f. o’brien gallery

account for 300 of its own, Brown’s have seemed almost nonexistent. Additionally, unions don’t necessarily decide elections: a number of unions backed Tom Brown against Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), only to see her win in April’s Democratic primary. Additionally, Brown has lost support—and what support he has is much less willing to go to bat for him the way they might have under other circumstances. Former Brown supporter and council alumnus Bill Lightfoot has jumped

for it,” he said. Given Brown’s weaknesses, Grosso has a good chance to take this one. He’s been campaigning for a year, has a strong base among the progressive voters in his home base of Ward 5 and will perform strongly in Ward 6, especially with Wells’ endorsement and the fact that his campaign is chaired by former Ward 6 councilmember Sharon Ambrose. Many Ward 4 voters could have soured on Brown over his support for the disastrous online gambling proposal, and they could see Lightfoot’s switch as a sign that Brown’s local political career should be brought to an end. Wards 2 and 3—which regularly see the highest turnout—could well be swayed by whomever the Washington Post decides to endorse. Given its criticism of the online gambling bill and his recent financial troubles, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be Brown. And while Grosso still runs the risk of losing votes to Beatty—it wouldn’t be the first time that two well-meaning challengers split support and let a troubled incumbent back into office—he still benefits by how the At-Large Incumbent Michael Brown (I-At Large) November 6 ballot will be structured. Given that the to Grosso’s side, and Councilmem- two top vote-getters will win the ber Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) available At-Large seats, Grosso may have given the most tepid en- has been able to sell himself as a dorsement when he said, “Michael challenger to both CouncilmemBrown is not that popular, but he is ber Vincent Orange (D-At Large) not unpopular either.” and Brown, both of whom have Grosso, on the other hand, is faced ethical and political troubles backed by former Ward 3 council- in recent months. member Kathy Patterson, former An important milestone will be council candidate Bryan Weaver the October 10 campaign finance and activist Marie Drissel. He has report, which will determine both also picked up a key endorsement how much people are willing to from Councilmember Tommy open their wallets for the troubled Wells (D-Ward 6), who touted incumbent—and whether he’ll be Grosso’s ability to help clean up the able to run an effective get-out-thecity’s government. vote operation on Election Day. “We have a crisis of ethics in our elected government. I have no Martin Austermuhle is the Editordoubt David will bring integrity in-Chief of DCist.com and a freelance and honesty to the Council. To get writer. He lives in Columbia Heights. good government, we have to vote l

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dams Morgan Main Street hosted the 34th annual Adams Morgan Day Festival on Sept 9, 2012 with more than 25 different cultures represented in art, food, music, and dance.

“Adams Morgan Day is known for its live music, cultural, and dance performances, Kid’s Fair and popular “Arts on Belmont,” noted Janet Lugo-Tafur, “Janet has done an outstanding job for 7 years and brought innovations such as the Health and Green Pavilions, and expanding the Kid’s Fair to be one of the best of any Festival,” said Duperier. “She organizes 100 plus volunteers, the logistics, vendors, a myriad of details, all while being the sole full-time employee of Adams Morgan Main Street year round.” Janet has also worked with media partners generally and Capital Community News in particular. Lisa Duperier, as the head of Adams Morgan Main Street, has organized the Festival for nine years since 2004. “It’s time for others to continue this notable city tradition ongoing since 1978,” said Janet who thanked Lisa for her overall dedication, and long hours put in on overall organization, fundraising, DC government liaison. Both Lisa and Janet are making the successful 2012 Adams Morgan Day their last one. Jesus Aguirre, Director of Parks and Recreation, lauded them saying, “DPR and its staff has enjoyed working with this professional duo on the Festival and other Main Street activities.”

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Key Steps Ahead

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by Wes Rivers

ealth care reform is not a new thing for the District. For more than a decade, our city has been in the forefront of innovative health care policies. The city provides health insurance to a broad range of families with children, and it created the DC Healthcare Alliance to offer locally funded health care coverage for our low-income neighbors who don’t qualify for programs such as Medicaid. Now DC officials are using the same proactive approach to tackle national health reform – the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.” Full implementation begins in 2014, but the District is facing a few big decisions this fall that will determine how health reform will play out here. Compared to many other states, the District starts in a strong place. DC has a low rate of uninsured residents and a high proportion of employers providing health benefits, due to the large presence of the federal and local governments. But these statistics don’t tell how well insurance plans are actually meeting the needs of residents or of small businesses trying to provide benefits for employees. For many, full and affordable access to essential services does not easily happen even if they have health coverage. The District is weighing three major pieces of federal health reform: the “health insurance exchange, which is the regulated market individuals and small businesses will use to shop for insurance; the package of what will be considered “essential health care benefits,” the minimum floor of services that plans must offer in the market; and the way in which low-income residents can access coverage.

Making the Exchange

One of the biggest tasks the District must complete is to set up a health exchange. According to the DC’s proposal, any insurer that wants to operate in the District would have to do so through the exchange starting in 2014. Products offered on the exchange 26 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

would have to meet minimum quality standards set by the exchange’s governing board – such as an adequate number of physicians in the area and offering plans that meet higher levels of need. This will improve the quality of health insurance plans and help consumers, since currently it is hard to compare insurance plans when the costs don’t necessarily correlate with the quality of services received. The District has already appointed an executive board to govern the exchange, which will be tasked with making many of the decisions about exchange design and operation. Recently, DC was one of a handful of states to receive an advanced exchange-establishment grant, a sign that the District is already making a lot of progress. The District will also take steps to standardize costs across health plans, which should make them more affordable. Premium costs will not vary based on pre-existing conditions, demographic characteristics, or whether it is an individual or a small business that is purchasing the plan. Instead, the pricing of plans in the exchange will only change based on the age of the consumer and the scope and depth of services provided. The exchange also will improve affordability through significant subsidies for individuals and small businesses that meet certain income requirements. Some small businesses are concerned about the impact of health reform on their bottom line, but the law actually has several provisions to help small businesses with the transition. The so-called “employer mandate” will result in fees for businesses that do not offer minimal health coverage for their employees, but businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be exempt. The District’s implementation plans will likely lead to a small increase — about 3 percent — in the premiums small businesses pay, but for the first couple of years, most small businesses with less than 25 employees can apply for tax credits in the exchange that cover up to 50 percent of premium costs.


And while some small businesses are afraid that they will have to abandon the trusted health plan they have been using — and be forced to pick a new plan from the exchange — the law allows small businesses to keep their current plan, if it was purchased before March 2010 and does not change drastically. And in fact, it is expected that many small businesses will opt for a new plan in the exchange, because they will get a better deal.

Deciding What’s Essential

The District is in the midst of deciding how it will define the minimum floor of services that will be required of nearly all plans sold to individuals and small businesses. The federal law allows DC to select a typical employer plan already sold in the District as a model, but it must cover 10 essential categories of service. The District has already chosen a plan — one offered by CareFirst — and it will go to the health exchange board in the following weeks for a decision. There will be many things to consider and revise before the list of essential benefits is finalized. Consumer groups will likely point out gaps in the services covered by the benchmark plan — it doesn’t cover hearing aids, for example — and mental health advocates will scrutinize it closely to ensure there is parity with physical health services. Another concern is that the benchmark plan includes limits on duration for certain services – such as caps on the number of visits and the ages at which some services are available. In sum, the District will need to add on to the current benchmark to make sure that the minimal benefits offered in DC provide adequate health coverage.

Filling The Affordability Gap

The District is very committed to providing insurance for low and moderate-income families. The Affordable Care Act expands eligibility for Medicaid—the health insurance program for low-income residents jointly paid by federal and local governments—to all residents with incomes up to a level just above the poverty line. Taking the proactive approach, the District

expanded eligibility four years before it was required and increased eligibility even further – covering everyone under 200 percent of the poverty line. This action saved the District money, because federal dollars helped pay for people that the District was already covering through local dollars. Beginning in 2014, the District will have to scale back eligibility, which means some residents receiving Medicaid today will no longer be eligible. However, DC officials have made it clear that they plan to continue aiding these residents. One option is to use local funds with a program that looks a lot like DC’s Healthcare Alliance program which has operated for more than a decade. But this option will be costly. Instead, the Affordable Care Act allows DC to design a “Basic Health Plan” offering similar coverage but using federal funding to partially offset the costs. For low and moderate income residents who do not qualify for Medicaid or the Basic Health Plan, the exchange will offer subsidies for both premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Families below 400 percent of the federal poverty line will have a cap on premiums they are required to pay. Subsidies will be provided using tax credits or upfront payments that go directly to the insurance company. Residents will use the exchange to claim these subsidies or to apply and enroll in Medicaid if they are eligible. The District will release a final blueprint for the exchange in November, and the floor for essential health benefits could be decided within weeks. Compared to other states, DC is making considerable progress toward achieving some of the goals of health reform. The commitment to getting it right and quickly is largely thanks to the Districts officials and community leaders that have made the health of residents and access to essential care and services a priority. Wes Rivers is a policy analyst at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (www.dcfpi.org), which conducts research on tax and budget issues that affect low- and moderate-income DC residents. l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 27


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Talking About Faith and The Wizards by E. Ethelbert Miller

S

everal weeks ago before summer decided to close its door, I paid a visit to Dr. Bernard Richardson, Dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University. I was not in need of prayer or counsel, but instead I was seeking a better understanding of what I could expect from the Washington Wizards this season. Should I look up or down? There have only been three other people who have held the position that Richardson does today. One was the great Howard Thurman, a mystic and a major influence on many black ministers. Thurman was appointed dean in 1931. Richardson often quotes Thurman, but he’s also quick to talk about hoops. I wonder at times if our friendship revolves around the bible or the ball. It was still warm outside as I sat listening to the Dean talking about how the Wizards were going to be much better this year. Better than the Miami Heat? I doubt it. What can we expect from this team? Playoffs? I have no idea. I came to basketball late. In my neighborhood in the South Bronx, the kids who had basketballs spent their time shooting through the space of pulled down fire escape ladders. They perfected their dribbling on narrow sidewalks. It wasn’t until I was blessed with having a son that I became aware of the beauty of the game. Many of the “Father Joy” moments in my life were spent watching my son play in Pierce Park in Adams Morgan, Fort Stevens Recreation Center in Brightwood, and those great games when he was on the varsity at Gonzaga. Today my son lives in Philadelphia and is a men’s head basketball coach at a community college in New Jersey. So I’m home alone – with the Wizards. Dean Richardson often invites me to attend a game with him at the Verizon Center. I did once – going to see Golden State, so I could see Stephen Curry play. Have you ever gone to a game with a man of God? I admire Richardson for his deep faith. But how many prayers can one say for the Wizards year after year? When we are not talking about the Wizards, Richardson will talk about the Lakers. Too often this is what many of us do in this city. We talk about other teams. We wait for distant heroes to arrive. Should we change the name of our basketball team? Reload with the Washington Bullets? When conversations and

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discussions turn to a team’s name or uniforms, that’s a strong indication that the numbers are big in the loss column. What might change things here in the District of Columbia? For starters, three future hall of famers would do just fine. Look at the Wizard’s current roster and ask yourself one question – who on this squad will have a legacy? Who might a young kid imitate on the playground? Do we need more “walls” in this city? We’ve already been going in circles. When John Wall was chosen by the Wizards in 2010, it was like electing and expecting President Obama to fix the economy overnight. How much can you expect one player to do? You can’t solve the world economy by yourself or win a basketball championship with just a point guard. Saviors don’t come every day and maybe we should accept that hell is hot. I want to be a believer, and somewhere the words of the poet Margaret Walker keep dancing in my head: Where are our gods that they leave us asleep? Surely the priests and the preachers and the powers will hear. Surely now that our hands are empty and our hearts too full to pray they will understand. Surely the sires of the people will send us a sign. Do you believe in Wizards? The novelist Charles Johnson nicknamed me “Wizard” after I was able to place him and eleven other African American writers on postage stamps coming out of Uganda and Ghana. I didn’t find this to be too difficult. I simply had to push the idea down the court. I had people who thought it was a good idea and so the project soon came together and the entire thing seemed magical. Maybe the Washington Wizards just need to find the wand and the magic. Maybe we need to first embrace the “idea” of winning and hug it close to our flesh. Months from now a team of basketball players will clutch the NBA trophy and raise it above their heads. Some will kiss it like a lover. Can you imagine that ceremony taking place in Washington? Now is the time for storytellers to step forward. We need hoop dreams. Once in Chicago, people knew a man could fly. Is it not asking too much for this city by the Potomac to discover someone with wings? The next time I see Dean Richardson I’m going to ask him if God is praying for us. l


EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 29


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Is Anacostia the Next H Street? by Charles Wilson

s Anacostia the next H Street? I have heard the reference to H Street a couple of times and it makes me ask the question, What is the vision for the greater Anacostia community? What does the future hold? There are a lot of opinions but no consensus. To be clear, there is no right answer to the question. There will always be different perspectives from the residents, developers, business owners and the government. There will be differences in opinions from residents who view Anacostia as home versus those who see it as an investment. We need to have a thoughtful conversation among the current stakeholders to ensure there is a shared vision on how to move forward. Why do I keep hearing talk about H Street? Is it the restaurants, streetcars, streetscape or the demographics that create the envy? Are we not happy with being Anacostia? Don’t get me wrong. I like going to eat and hang out on H Street, but there are some things that I appreciate about living in Anacostia. We have much more to offer and should capitalize on what makes us unique: the historic character of the neighborhood, great views, proximity to the Anacostia River and quick access to I-295/395. What really sets us apart is the people. If we capitalize on the talent of residents and have a conversation asking for their ideas and energy, we can surpass other neighborhoods of the city. I do not sense that our residents have a true appreciation and faith to move us forward. I wonder if that is the reason why there has not been a candid conversation about how we see the future of our community. When I heard of my neighbors getting together to promote our “We Are Anacostia” neighborhood campaign, I immediately jumped on board. A significant part of the campaign is to encourage Busboys & Poets to open its fifth location in Anacostia. But it means so much more than that. It is saying that being in Anacostia is okay and there is

no need to compare ourselves or want to be like another neighborhood. It means we are a unique community with a ton of talent. We should plan everything in a way that focuses on families, strengthening families and creating an environment where residents want to raise their families. That means cleaner neighborhoods, community safety, addressing blighted property, refurbishing our parks, planting trees and being able to walk your kids down to the neighborhood school and knowing they are going to receive a quality education. If you forced me to pick a neighborhood, I would pick Old Town Alexandria as a model. Unfortunately, when DC focuses on building neighborhoods, they focus on the young 20-something’s, who enjoy the late night bar and party scene. Old Town Alexandria is mostly free of bars but provides a family-friendly restaurant and retail environment along its commercial corridor. Even the homes in Anacostia and Alexandria provide a more suburban environment than living in the city. People who have lived here for some time and those who have recently moved here tell me that the main reason they are here and choose to stay is because of the feel of the neighborhood. That is why it so important for residents help lead the discussion on where we go. If the feel of the neighborhood changes, the people who make this neighborhood so special may choose to move. Let us have this important conversation. We may find that we all want the same things, although differing on how to get there, but we will realize it is in our best interest. Charles Wilson is a neighborhood activist in Historic Anacostia, located in Ward 8. He is also the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Single Member District 8A04. Be sure to check out his blog, The ART of WARd8 at http://artofward8.blogspot.com/. He can be reached at charleswilsonhu@gmail.com or on Twitter at CharlesWilsonDC. l


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NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

A Crowded Race for Ward 7 Representative for DC State Board of Education by Charnice A. Milton

E

stablished in 2007, the DC State Board of Education has considerably less power than the defunct DC Board of Education. Instead of having complete control over DC Public Schools (DCPS), its policies and the budget, the board can only approve state standards as recommended by the superintendent. Despite the lack of power, each representative can be seen as an ombudsman, bringing the concerns of his or her ward to the government’s attention. Next month, voters will choose a new representative from four wards (plus an at-large representative) for the State Board of Education. The most crowded, with four candidates, is the Ward 7 race.

Dorothy Douglas

“I always felt that I have been called towards the youth,” says Dorothy Douglas, the Ward 7 representative for the DC State Board of Education since 2008, and the first African-American woman to hold the position. Douglas formerly

served as a teacher in the DC Public School System (DCPS) for 12 years, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) for 7C and 7D, and the director of Deanwood Youth Services for five years. She also assisted former Mayor Adrian Fenty with the Passport to Work Program, which helped provide summer jobs for teens. Douglas is a grandmother, aunt and former foster parent. Her passion for Ward 7 children’s education shows in her work with the State Board. Missing only 8 out of 17 State Board meetings, Douglas worked on committees that helped enact policies such as the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, win grants through the Race to the Top District competition, and modernize DCPS. She also voiced her opposition to potential school closings. “According to DC law, parents and the community at large should have input about these things,” Douglas said, adding that she will participate in any upcoming meetings addressing the issue. She also suggests that the DC government should look at alternatives such as combining under-enrolled schools, and welcomes a collaboration between traditional and charter public schools, having helped bring charters such as KIPP DC, Educare, and Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy to Ward 7.

Villareal Johnson

Dorothy Douglas

Villareal “VJ” Johnson, who serves as chairman of ANC 7A, is one of the youngest candidate in this race. A native of Hillsdale in Ward 8, Johnson calls himself a

32 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

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schools, the traditional schools have become under-populated and the city loses money as a result. Therefore, Johnson believes that the city doesn’t need more charter schools. “Charter schools give a good option for parents because they promise quality education,” he says, adding, “I just don’t like the fact that anyone can open one.” If elected, Johnson will support evaluations for existing and upcoming charter schools to see which will deliver the promise of quality education.

Karen Williams

Villareal Johnson

“modern-day graduate of DCPS.” He is also a former teacher who worked at Anacostia Senior High, a public school, and Friendship-Edison Collegiate Academy, a charter school. Johnson has served as an ANC Commissioner since 2006 and became chair in 2011, bringing a sense of advocacy to both roles. “I see the state board seat as I do the ANC,” Johnson said. “It is an advisory role with great influence to effectuate change.” Running under the campaign theme “Building Bridges and Connecting People,” Johnson builds his platform on communication and advocacy. If elected, he plans to help the board create a “one city” platform for DCPS, as well as an outreach and engagement committee to increase family and community involvement. He also plans to lobby the City Council to increase the state board’s operations in order to increase staffing. Although Johnson opposes possible school closures in Ward 7, he understands the reasoning: with 41 percent of children going to public charter

Unlike Johnson and Douglas, Karen Williams has a limited political background, serving as the president of the Hillcrest Community Civic Association for the last 6 years. She does, however, bring experience as a special education teacher in DCPS, as well as 8 years as the director for Big Momma’s Children Center. Under her leadership, Big Momma’s received and has maintained accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 2006. A Ballou Senior High School graduate, Williams believes that she had a strong foundation in DCPS and is concerned with potential school closures. “Many schools are the hub of the community,” she explained. “If schools are being closed because of low student population, I would like to see some of those buildings being converted

Karen Williams


Robert Matthews

into multi-use facilities,” meaning that former school buildings could be used for a wide range of activities from adult education classes to ANC meetings. Williams believes that having a strong foundation with early childhood education will prepare students for future education endeavors. “If a child is prepared to go to school, they will be successful,” she explains. “If the child is successful, then we’ll be successful.” She believes her experience as an early childhood administrator would be an asset if she is elected. “I graduated from a DC public school,” Williams said. “I worked in DC public schools. I know what it’s capable of.” Williams would support policies establishing consistent guidelines for creating and maintaining what she calls “high reliability schools” throughout all wards. Her platform lists strategies such as having a clear school mission, fostering high expectations for success, frequent monitoring of student progress (“That doesn’t necessarily mean standardized testing,” Williams stated), and effective collaboration among schools, community and parents (www. karenwilliamsforward7sboe.com).

Robert Matthews

“I’m really not a political person,” said Robert Matthews, a DC resident since 1969. “However,”

he continued, “I do consider myself a child advocate.” Matthews has a lengthy history with DCPS, working as a teacher (for 15 years), counselor (for 14 years) and basketball coach before retiring in 2011. He also participated in an assistant principle internship, but didn’t complete it due to staff reduction. Although he served Ward 7 politically as an ANC Commissioner for 7E, he continued his support for DCPS. For instance, he initially wanted to run for City Council chairperson, but later bowed out the race, feeling that the state board was a better fit for him and his experience. If elected, Matthews says that he will “make teaching and learning the first priority for the children in Ward 7.” His platform promises support for initiatives that help reduce bullying, increase parental involvement and improve school safety. It remains to be seen how he would make it happen. Like his fellow candidates, he is against possible school closings, remarking that “Ward 7 is suffering from previous school closings.” referring to the 23 that were closed under former Chancellor Michelle Rhee. He also plans to attend any upcoming meetings on the issue, “because fiscal, financial, and factual reasons need to accompany any public school closing” (sites.google.com/site/ electrlmatthews/).

Call to the Community

All the contenders in this, one of the wards with the lowest education attainment, are calling for more community involvement. A study by the Justice Policy Institute argues that “investing in education can help increase public safety and promote positive social outcomes for DC youth,” including increased access to employment and safer environments. Voting for the best representative is the first step to better schools and a better Ward 7. l

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NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Ward 8’s Two-Man Race for State Board of Education Representative by Charnice A. Milton

Incumbent Trayon White, Sr., and challenger Phillip Pannell both ran for the Ward 8 State Board of Education position vacated by the late William Lockridge last year. White won the position with 32.79 percent of the vote.

T

he DC Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007 is known, among other things, for dissolving the DC Board of Education and creating the DC State Board of Education. According to Title IV, the DC State Board of Education has “no policy making authority” except for approving state standards as recommended by the superintendent and the state accountability plan in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Members of the state board, despite having considerably less power than their predecessors, are still seen as ombudsmen: leaders responsible for bringing their constituents’ grievances to the forefront. Next month, 5 of the 9 seats are up for election, including Ward 8’s. This contest has only two candidates, incumbent Trayon White, Sr., and challenger Phillip Pannell.

The Candidates

Philip Pannell, a long-time activist in Ward 8, noted that the contest so far could be considered a study of con34 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

trasts. “What’s the difference between me and Trayon?” Pannell asked, referring to his challenger, incumbent Trayon White, Sr. “Well, he’s young; I’m the president of the Ward 8 chapter of the AARP,” he chuckled. Age isn’t the only the only thing Pannell has over Trayon; he also has a longer political career as an active member of the Democratic Party, a former president of the Ward 8 Democrats and a member of the DC Democratic State Committee. He serves as a member of the Ballou Senior High School Improvement Team and is a former treasurer for its Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA). This will be his second run for State Board representative (votepannell.com). White doesn’t just have the advantage of being the incumbent. A Ward 8 native and a Ballou graduate, he sees his young age as an asset, allowing him better to understand students’ issues. Even before he ran for the state board seat last year (replacing the late William Lockridge), White was an advocate for Ward 8 students as a Little League football coach for the Boys | OCTOBER 2012

and Girls Club and the founder and executive director of Helping Inner City Kids Succeed, Inc. (HICKS, Inc.), a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving underprivileged children. As representative, he has been active in community events such as back-toschool nights and the recent reopening of Anacostia High School. Despite this, he attended only 9 out of 17 State Board meetings in the last school year. If elected, this will be White’s first full term (trayonwhiteforward8.com).

School Closings and the Rise of Charter Schools

Before residents go to the booth next month, they will have a chance to voice their opinions on what could be a sore topic in the Ward 8 community: public school closures. According to a study by Illinois Facilities Fund, communities located east of the Anacostia River have some of the highest concentrations of “Tier 4,” or low-performing, traditional and charter public schools. The study also recommends that DCPS officials undertake a cost/bene-

fit analysis to determine which schools need a turnaround and which should be closed and possibly replaced with charter schools. DC officials are holding community meetings throughout this process so that residents can make a case for their schools. Considering that many of the 23 schools closed under former chancellor Michelle Rhee were located in Ward 8, residents should plan to attend those meetings. White, who is against the closures, has already made his plans. “If Americans can have enough money to fight wars and send people to space,” he said, “then we should have enough to educate our children, especially here in the nation’s capital.” Even if he doesn’t win the election, White said that he plans to continue the conversation. If he does win a second term, he would hope to collaborate with charter schools in Ward 8. “We’re working towards the same goal,” he says, “We both want to give the best education for our kids.” Pannell also expressed his opposition to closures, but understands that schools could be shut down because of under-enrollment: “Because Ward 8 has the highest percentage of residents under the age of 18, Ward 8 should not be affected as much as other wards.” If elected, Pannell said that he will support programs that would make some Ward 8 schools desirable for students from other wards, a challenge due to Ward 8’s reputation for high-crime and blight. As an advocate, he has worked to change that paradigm. As for charter schools, Pannell said that parents should have that option for their children and that DCPS should (and probably will) collaborate with them, “because economics will dictate that.” He added, “as DCPS adopts some of the changes that are characteristic of charter schools, there will most likely be a stabilization of enrollment.”

The Call for More Involvement

Of course, things can’t be done without community and parental involvement. “This community is becoming more apathetic,” Pannell said. “People here are numb to the negative issues surrounding this ward.” As the school board representative he would seek to inspire more community involvement in Ward 8 schools. “You can still be involved without being a teacher, student or parent,” he said. On


the parental side, Pannell wants to launch an organizational audit into the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) chapters in each school in order to see what each organization needs to do in order to encourage more parent and guardian participation. Since taking office, White has been working on the problem of low-parental involvement, especially because he is a father himself. His platform promises to encourage parents and guardian to take an active role in their child’s education from the beginning; this will include promoting quality pre-school programs to equip each child with the skills needed for entering kindergarten, as well as instituting more parent’s nights. As a community leader, he is always looking for potentially successful collaboration to enhance schools. An example of this is White’s work with the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc.; as the Ward 8 school board representative, he helped institute Family Support Services in all three middle schools, giving students access to programs such as Men & Boys, Youth Aftercare, Ward 8 Drug-Free Coalition and Digital Connectors.

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Compare and Contrast

With only two people running for Ward 8 State Board Representative, voters will have the opportunity to compare and contrast two different styles of leadership and advocacy. White, the young, passionate incumbent, stresses quality improvement through compassion. “Every child deserves to have the very best regardless of ethnicity, education background, poverty, income level, they should have the opportunity to succeed,” he said during a state board meeting this July. Pannell, White’s older, more politically inclined challenger, stresses change through collaboration. “We may be the poorest ward, but imagine what happens when we bring together our resources,” Pannell said. Only time will tell which style will be better suited for Ward 8 schools. l

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EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 35


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Park 7 Update Better Late than Never

by Charnice A. Milton

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fter years of financial and community issues, construction for Park 7 is finally underway. On Sept. 10 the city held the official groundbreaking ceremony for Park 7, a mixed-use property located on the corner of Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue NE. “My administration is committed to creating a place that provides residents access to quality retail, restaurant, residential and transportation options while also enhancing the neighborhood experience for everyone involved,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a Ward 7 resident

himself, said in a press release. As Mayor Gray, with Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, along with other DC government officials and representatives from the development partnership team, dug their shovels at the site, it was a happy end to a long and frustrating process between conception and execution.

Park 7

Park 7 is a $65 million development that, when completed, will be the District’s largest affordable housing project. The development will boast 376 affordable residential units

for residents with 60 percent areamedian income. It will also have over 20,000 sq.ft of retail space, including 5,000 sq. ft for a sit-down restaurant and 4,000 sq. ft for emerging businesses, plus 255 parking spaces. Park 7 is the second phase of a project that hopes to revitalize Ward 7; the first phase included the construction of the Department of Employment Services (DOES) headquarters and a parking garage for the nearby Minnesota Avenue Metro station. Although Park 7 won’t be completed until fall 2014, it was originally supposed to open in 2011.

Winning Partnerships

In 2008 the District issued a solicitation for a project known as “Phase 2.” Out of the four bids they received, the city chose the part36 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

nership between Donatelli Development and Blue Skye Development and Construction. The partnership was a good match. Jose Sousa, director of communications for the Office of the Deputy Mayor, said “the joint team has a proven track record of delivering high quality development.” For instance, Donatelli has worked on properties close to Metro stations, such as Park Place and Highland Apartments, as well as contributions to the U Street Corridor and Columbia Heights. Blue Skye is well known for its work east of the river such as 4427 Hayes Street, a mixed-use housing development in Ward 7, and the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Neighborhood Library in Ward 8, as well as a reputation for hiring district residents for its projects. The partnership got a boost from Eric Colbert and Associates, a wellknown architecture firm in the DC area. Aubrey Grant, a member of the firm who is close to the project, was pleased with the location. When he visited the site, the first thing he noted was the size. “It’s huge!” he said


with a laugh. Designed by JB Lallement, Park 7 will have a contemporary look that will brighten the section without overpowering it. Because it covers more than 5 acres of land, the main challenge was to scale the design so that the development would be more appealing to potential residents. Grant is hoping that Park 7 will help anchor the Benning-Minnesota intersection, giving residents a recognizable point of reference.

Benefits for Ward 7

On paper, Park 7 seems to be a welcome addition to Ward 7. Larry Clark, Donatelli’s vice president, noted that the “retail and residential units will give new and existing Ward 7 residents a great new option to call home.” He also adds that Park 7 is close to recreational areas such as Kingman Island, Langston Golf Course and Fort Mahan. President Chris Donatelli agreed in a : “Washington Post” article: “People are looking for a lifestyle. They’re looking for a new building. They’re looking for amenities.” Bryan Irving, founder and president of Blue Skye, looks forward to the affordable housing the development will provide, and also the jobs. “Over 400 jobs could be created in the maintenance and hospitality sectors,” he has stated. This means that Park 7 could create over 250 construction jobs and about 150 retail and property management positions.

Financial Problems

Despite the perceived benefits, the project stalled, mostly due to the economic downturn. As a result, financing became difficult. “At the time the tax credit market had dried up,” explained Irving. “As a result, we had trouble getting loans for the project.” Last July, Alexander introduced “The Park 7 at Minnesota-Benning Tax Abatement Act of 2011.” If enacted, the bill would add an amendment to Chapter 46 of Title 47 of the District Official Code, giving Park 7 a 30year property tax waiver and a four-year sales tax waiver. The bill was withdrawn, due to falling interesting rates and a long legislative process. A year later, Park 7 finally caught a financial break. “Thankfully, the rebounding market allowed for financing to be closed on at the beginning of the summer of 2012 and the project was able to move forward,” said Sousa. That financial package included private equity from Bank of America, federal low-income housing credits and DC Housing Finance Agency bonds.

Community Frustration

While Donatelli was looking for financial backing, community members were looking for answers. “As a commission, we felt like we didn’t know what was going on,” recalled Willette Seaward, the ANC Chairperson for 7D, Park 7’s former location (redistricting has now put it in 7F). Therefore, ANC 7D, along with other concerned citizens, created the Minnesota-Benning Task Force to keep an eye on the project. One of their concerns was whether there was too much affordable housing at too low of a threshold. “Affordable housing is needed in Ward 7,” said Seaward, “however, it needs to be spread out throughout DC, not concentrated in one place.” They asked for a change in scope to include school space for the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDCCC). Although the scope was ultimately changed, the task force was afraid that they wouldn’t receive needed amenities, aside from the sit-down restaurant, as well as space for small, local and disadvantaged companies. The task force also negotiated with Donatelli for a Community Benefit Agreement (CBA), with a promise to employ Ward 7 residents during the construction process. Seaward said that she doesn’t know where the CBA stands, despite the fact that an initial one was approved by then City Council Chairman Kwame Brown three years ago.

The Next Steps and New Challenges

Now that the groundbreaking ceremony is complete and construction is underway, Grant hopes that Park 7 will be completed on time. “Construction doesn’t always follow a linear plan,” he said. “Things will arise, even with the best planning.” With the project already years behind schedule, Irving believes that the biggest challenge now is to manage expectations while sticking to the current 18-24 month timeline. However, once construction is finished, the developers have to face another challenge: finding local businesses and restaurants to fill the retail spaces, as well as people to fill the residential units. Donatelli may ask restaurant chains from his other properties, such as Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Chipotle, to move into Park 7. Despite financial issues and community concerns, the development team is looking forward to Park 7’s completion, knowing that the benefits will outweigh the challenges. “We have to recognize that people are moving here,” said Donatelli. “When they come, we need to be ready.” l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 37


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Demolition of Skyland Begins by Michelle B. Phipps-Evans

Mayor Vincent C. Gray talks about Skyland’s phased demolition on Sept. 26.

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bout Time, Say Residents. Not So Fast, Say Others. Ron and Cherise Cole and their two daughters live on Ft. Baker Drive in Ward 7’s Hillcrest neighborhood. The Coles moved into their contemporary home in 2006 after pumping more than $50,000 in underpinnings to ensure it would not slide into a ravine that sits behind it. The ravine runs between them and the Skyland Shopping Center, an18acre site at the intersections of Alabama Avenue and Good Hope and Naylor roads SE. “I don’t think we should be placed in a position of uncertainty,” said Cole, an executive at Wells Fargo Bank, about the impact on his home once Skyland’s demolition begins in 2013, paving the way for 315,000 sq. ft of 38 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

space with national-brand retailers such as Wal-Mart, neighborhood shops and restaurants, and 468 units of housing. “My neighbors and I agree we’re for economic development, but the scale needs to be appropriate.” Cole lives in one of four homes abutting Skyland. Homeowners said they will be severely impacted once drilling starts, and they have suggested that developers buy them out. “If they buy the homes and they’re destroyed, at least we can purchase elsewhere,” said Joanne Harris, a 20year resident. “Our home structures are already so fragile they cannot guarantee they will not be destroyed.” The site will be conveyed to the Skyland development team, | OCTOBER 2012

led by The Rappaport Companies and William C. Smith & Company. “We’re not going to do anything that will affect anyone’s home,” said Rappaport’s president, Henry Fonvielle, who explained that because taller buildings will be in front, with a step-down style, and townhouses at the back, there will be “a buffer zone.” “We’re well aware of the homeowners’ issues and are looking for ways to mitigate the impact,” said Brad Fennell, Smith & Company’s senior vice president. The developers joined Mayor Vincent C. Gray, government officials and the community to begin a phased demolition of Skyland on Sept 26. It was about time, in the view of Hillcrest residents involved for 23 years in the Skyland Revitalization Task Force of the Hillcrest Community Civic Association(HCCA). “This is so exciting,” said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 7B Robin Marlin. “With its long history, I wish Pastor Senger was here to see.” Franklin Senger, the former Lutheran Church minister and HCCA president, worked with the task force since 1989, but has since moved. “Dennis is watching from above, and he is happy,” said Gloria Logan about her husband, also a task force member, who passed away March. “The end of the wait, and the be-

The claw of the backhoe crunches into the old Shoe City building on Sept. 26.


ginning of the anticipation,” said HCCA president Karen Williams, who is running for Ward 7 State Board of Education. “I’ve been involved for the last 10 years and the community really needs a place to shop.”The crowd cheered as the claw of the backhoe hit the Shoe City building and it began to crumble. “Today marks great progress in Ward 7,” said Councilmember Yvette Alexander. “We’ve accomplished more in one year than in the last 20 years in Skyland’s development.” Mayor Gray credits Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins and Attorney General Irvin Nathan for accelerating the project. “When I came into office 21 months ago, I made a promise we would move the redevelopment of Skyland forward as quickly as possible, and today is further evidence we’re keeping faith with that commitment,” said the Mayor, a Hillcrest resident. Much of the 23-year delay was due to legal actions by tenants losing businesses through eminent domain. In 2011, seven cases were related to Skyland. Today, the District waits on one decision from the DC Court of Appeals. “I’m looking beyond the demolition,” said former HCCA president and task force member Paul Savage. “What I want to know is what will be the construct. I want to see the design and further detail to see if this is what we want to live with.” As Skyland becomes a “reality,” Cole said he has talked to everyone, and has testified before the Zoning Board. He said he received “lip service” from Ward 7’s leadership. “I have little tolerance for people who’re ill-equipped for certain positions,” said Cole, adding that litigation against the city and developers is very much on the table. “I’m not convinced I have the appropriate people in place to protect my interests.” l

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NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

DC Streetcar Looks East

T

he DC streetcar still has about a year before it is up and running along H Street, but the streetcar team is starting to look into the feasibility of expansion across the river. Eventually, DC will have a city-wide system, and the next stops could be across the river along Benning Road. Earlier this month, the DC Streetcar team held a meeting in

by Dana C. Bell

DC Streetcar team are now entering into a more formal phase where they will be publishing a feasibility study on the potential installation tracks to the Minnesota Avenue Metro station or the Benning Road Metro Station. The meeting consisted of a presentation, breakout sessions, and productive discussions that, according to Dara Ward, a consultant for the DC Streetcar Com-

are answered, the streetcar offers the potential of economic development and a supplement to transit-oriented development already being considered.

For nearly one hundred years, from 1862 to 1962, a streetcar ran through the vibrant Benning Road corridor, connecting the main street

Plan for different areas of Ward 7, including the Benning Road Corridor. According to the plan, at the turn of the century “increased connectivity to other areas within and around DC, via railroad and cable car lines, made this area a natural magnet for residential development.” The Small Area Plan aims to reinvigorate that residential development and create a more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.

to the rest of the city. But like the rest of DC, the 1968 riots and the economic depression that followed destabilized the neighborhoods. In 2008, the DC Office of Planning published a Small Area

The extension of this line across the river could link the two parts of Ward 7 previously separated by the river, the historic Langston golf course, and Kingman Island. These could be great attractions

Streetcars along Benning Road Corridor

The Potential Path to Minnesota Avenue or Benning Road. Photo credit: DDOT

Ward 7 to discuss the extension of the H Street/Benning Road streetcar line across the river. Although the possibility of this line has always been a part of the planned citywide system, DDOT and the

munications Team, “went exactly the way we hope public meetings go.” Like its H Street counterpart, concerns about traffic, noise, and overhead wires came up at the meeting. But once those questions

40 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012


for the rest of the city were they more easily accessible—and the streetcar could facilitate that. According to their presentation, the streetcar also offers a way “to connect Ward 7 with employment and activity centers” as well as to “support neighborhood plans for activity centers at the Minnesota Avenue/Benning Road intersection and elsewhere on corridor.” By facilitating a more direct exchange with the neighboring H Street, Union Station, and (eventually) the rest of the city, the streetcar system can encourage economic growth. The study notes that the area has many of the same advantages as H Street.

Building a Streetcar

The segment of the streetcar line that should be up-andrunning by late 2013, according to DDOT, runs from Hopscotch Bridge at 1st and H Streets to Benning Road and Oklahoma Avenue. The line terminates at Spingarn High School, which is also the future site of the car barn and

training center. Bringing the streetcar across the river raises certain technical questions that will be addressed in the upcoming feasibility study. For example, could the bridge over Kingman Lake and the bridge over the Anacostia River hold the increased weight from a street car? How would the on-street parking be affected? According to Ward, the study will answer some of these questions. “The team will look at the technical feasibility for going to either, and from an engineering standpoint what the road will look like, what bridge structures can be used, and the geometry of the streets,” she said. Attendees at the meeting were concerned with many of the complications that come with a streetcar, such as the overhead catenary wires, parking, and the right-of-way. Like the H Street line, the extension will use overhead wires, and would require an examination of how to maintain on-street parking. The feasibility study would also consider whether to go to Minnesota Avenue Metro or Benning Road Metro. “If it goes to Minnesota Avenue it’s a much shorter line,” Ward said. “Going to Benning Road would provide more stops.” The study will be completed later this fall. l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 41


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Starting A New at Benning Terrace Participants in Women Embracing and Loving Life Find Positive Thinking Leads to Better Choices by Stephen Lilienthal

The W.E.L.L. program was developed by Treona Kelty to promote positive thinking and healthier living among women. It has made its initial effort at Benning Terrace, a District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) development. Sandra Morris, for one, credits the W.E.L.L. program with helping her start to see that “I’ve got willpower.”

Beautiful U Yes U

Benning Terrace participants in the Women Embracing and Loving Life program with Treona Kelty, far left, at their graduation ceremony in August. Councilwoman Yvette Alexander (Ward 7), wearing a white dress, is toward the center of the group.

T

he late Robert Kennedy used to say, “Some men see things as they are and say, Why? I dream things that never were and say, Why not?” Some women living in Benning Terrace’s apartments are mirroring Kennedy’s thinking, thanks to Women Embracing and Loving Life (W.E.L.L.). But on the night of W.E.L.L.’s Thursday, September 13, meeting in Benning Terrace’s community center, a caveat is sounded quite emphatically. Sandra Morris asks Sandra Wims, a visiting health coach invited by W.E.L.L., if she really starts her day with a nutritious drink of pineapple, kale, and strawberries. “And I can see through the Maybelline,” declares Morris, meaning she sees past false talk. Wims quickly assures her that she makes such drinks to jump-start her mornings. 42 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

Treona Kelty was raised in a dysfunctional family. Once heavily overweight and in abusive relationships, she had to struggle to develop her own sense of self-worth. She did it by writing “self-affirmations to myself ” on a mirror. “At first, I didn’t believe it, but then I did,” she recalls. Those messages helped inspire her to lose weight and to start Beautiful U Yes U. Beautiful U Yes U is a nonprofit organization that seeks to boost the sense of self-worth among young girls, GLBT youth, and now the women at Benning Terrace. The mothers of the daughters she was working with asked Kelty to consider implementing a similar program for adult women. Eventually, she hooked up with DCHA. Tia Newman, president of the resident council of Benning Terrace, was impressed enough to have Kelty implement W.E.L.L. after hearing a presentation. The first meeting promoting W.E.L.L. drew only two people. Undeterred, Kelty and Newman tried again, promising a belly dancing lesson. Thirty women showed up. Promising belly dancing was more than a tease, declares Kelty. “Many women are ashamed of their bodies, and belly dancing can help you to love yourself for who you are now.” “The women have very different backgrounds,” says Kelty. Some are victims of abuse, physical or verbal. Others have experienced drug or alcohol problems, or are just struggling to get by. One woman’s son is incarcerated due to involvement with gangs. Another woman hopes to regain a driver’s license lost for excessive tickets. They are of all ages. Younger women sometimes turn to older ones for advice.


“If you can help the women to believe in themselves, they can come together like a puzzle because they all fit somewhere,” explains Kelty. But she had to get women involved.

A New Start

W.E.L.L.’s first phase involves getting women to discuss who they are, going beyond “Black woman, age 36” to their true self-images, often quite negative at first, and then to identify hidden strengths and develop an understanding of “Who do you want to become?” One of the exercises, called Mirror, Mirror, involves pairing women opposite in age or sense of self. One woman might define herself using negative words as she looks in the mirror. The other might point out the strengths she sees, replacing the negative words with positive ones. Another exercise involves creating personal Vision Boards. Group members critique their own lives, past and present, and develop a vision of their future, explaining their hopes through cut-out pictures and words. Kelty notes that one woman had felt so insecure about her hair that she wore a wig for three decades. Now, she wears her hair naturally. Another woman, who expressed a desire on the Vision Board to receive a high school diploma, is now taking night school classes. Women who went through the program had a graduation ceremony in August, attended by Councilwoman Yvette Alexander and DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman.

Change in Small Steps

Kelty urges implementing change in “baby steps.” She was able to lose 115 pounds, but over time. “It’s important to take things one day at a time. Get through the day, then work on tomorrow.” It’s useful advice. Many W.E.L.L. participants continue to confront the temptation of the negative choices they are now struggling to surmount. “The temptations will be there. How do you handle it?” asks Kelty, who views faith as a powerful starting point, so much so that each W.E.L.L. session begins with prayer. The sessions allow women to express their concerns and to accept advice and support from the group’s members and Kelty. It’s not always easy within the group, but the women have hung together. “I’ve had calls from 2 until 6 in the morning,” remarks Kelty, “from participants struggling to avoid negative choices.”

The Women Speak

Sandra Morris, 48, a 16-year Benning Terrace resident, has struggled with significant problems throughout her life. She considers W.E.L.L. to be effective because Treona Kelty has been through problems similar to those experienced by many of the women in the group. “That makes a difference,” insists Morris. Plus, while there is instruction, women are free to express themselves and rely on one another in trying to solve problems. Another partiicpant, Dannielle Hamilton, credits W.E.L.L. and the Vision Board with helping her set goals such as re-entering the workforce after raising a small child and eventually owning her own home. Now, she is looking for work and also credits W.E.L.L. with helping her to deal better with her family and manage her health. Underlying those changes is increased trust in others. Michelle Wall, second oldest member in the group, came for belly dancing but credits the group with helping her to develop more trusting relationships with women because “everyone respects the next person when speaking.” As an older member, she has exerted a “positive impact on other women.” She found the belly dancing fun and now looks forward to trying to lose 50 pounds. She has made the nutritous smoothies demonstrated by Wims and hopes to get her middle school grandson to eat better too.

The Future

Treona Kelty hopes to move W.E.L.L. to other DCHA developments throughout the city. Then the women at Benning Terrace may take on greater leadership roles in their own groups. Currently the women are involved in a weight loss challenge to promote better health and fitness. Eating more healthful food and getting more exercise, particulaly walking, will be important parts of the program. Asked what the future would hold for the women, Kelty replies, that is the wrong way to think. If you do not start, then you do not get to finish, period. Kelty stressess, “It’s a start, that’s what’s important. “ Stephen Lilienthal is a freelance writer who lives in the District of Columbia. To reach Treona Kelty, president of Beautiful U Yes U, call 202-413-4083 or email beautifuluyesu@ gmail.com. l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 43


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

No More Traveling Trash In Deanwood Students Take the Lead to Clean the Streets by Everette Bradford

Students from five schools in the Deanwood and greater Deanwood neighborhoods are ensuring their neighborhoods are a place of sustained improvement by participating in the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Trash Free Schools Project.

I

n the last three years the Deanwood neighborhood has received much needed revitalization, ranging from the new and improved recreation center to the current housing renovations. Deanwood has also been bitten by the environmental bug, with renovations to the Fishing School, where builders constructed a zero-energy facility, including an insulated concrete form foundation, triple-layer insulated windows, and hybrid electric water heaters; and the newly built Empowerhouse, which is a net zero-energy home. As these buildings begin to provide services for residents, they will address one common need: sustainability for both the people of the Deanwood community and the local environment. When members of a community take care of their local environment, it becomes easier to sustain other aspects of community life. One item that is currently plaguing the Deanwood community and environment is the pervasiveness of trash littering the neighborhood streets. “As litter builds up in a community, the general health and safety of the community decreases. There is research that shows that high rates of littering are associated with increased crime and decreased property values.” said Laura Chamberlin, Program Manager for the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. Noting this connection, residents and organizations in the Deanwood neighborhood began to work with the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s (AFF) Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative, on the Trash Free Deanwood Project, funded by the District Department of the Environment. “The

Project facilitates community action, giving residents the inspiration, tools, and support to make change happen,” said Chamberlin. The project, informed community members about the harmful nature of litter to their health and community through posters, banners and presentations at the Deanwood Recreation Center. As the Trash Free Deanwood Project evolved, it began to collaborate with neighborhood schools through AFF’s Trash Free Schools Project. The project aims to reduce school waste, educate students, and encourage environmentally responsible behavior and waste management through student-led action projects. Houston Elementary, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Burrville Elementary, Kimball Elementary, and Anne Beers Elementary schools all became Trash Free Schools as part of this collaboration. During the 2011-12 school year Green Teams were formed in each of the participating schools as the students, faculty and staff prepared special projects to reduce waste. Students received environmental experiences and induction into the project, as they participated in class environmental presentations, a trip to the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center, and schoolyard cleanup projects, also funded by the DC Department of the Environment. “These environmental projects are therapeutic for the students and are essential to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” explained Anne Byrnes, the social worker and Green Team Leader of Kimball Elementary School. Byrnes used the cleanup opportunity to work in the neighborhood and clean up a

44 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

Students at Nannie Helen Burroughs School

Mrs. Candice Crump and 5th grade students at Houston Elementary School

Ms. Anne Byrnes and Green Team members at Kimball Elementary School


trash hotspot that the students named “the hill.” Residents applauded the effort and helped to dispose of batteries and scrap metals collected by the students. “Teamwork is a key piece to the trash free puzzle” said Candice Crump, Green Team Leader at Houston Elementary. “The more hands we get on the ground, the easier the cleanup effort and the ability to raise awareness about the litter issue in the community.” During their cleanup in April, students at Houston Elementary learned about the harmful effects of trash on their local environment and how they can help take control of their trash. Other schoolyard cleanups were held by the five participating schools this past spring, with more than 120 students removing 550 pounds of trash and recyclables from their schoolyards and neighborhoods. Though the litter problem can sometimes seem insurmountable, these students recognize that it is solvable and must be tackled to have sustained improvement of their community. The schools in Deanwood are dedicated to solving the litter problem. Students have taken the lead on sustaining the Trash Free Deanwood Project through their volunteer efforts, but in order for their efforts to be successful the community as a whole must also be involved. To ensure that an active, trash-smart culture is successful, Deanwood needs more residents to make incremental changes, which can be as simple as walking an extra few steps to a trash bin or volunteering at community events. Help sustain the Deanwood community and be part of the Trash Free Deanwood Project. For more information on the Trash Free Deanwood Project and to learn how you can share this message throughout the District of Columbia, contact Everette Bradford, Community Outreach Liaison, ebradford@ fergusonfoundation.org. l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 45


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

ANC 7C Report by Mariessa Terrell

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our Commissioners were present at the ANC 7C meeting held on September 13, 2012: Sylvia Browne, Mary Gaffney, Patricia Malloy and Catherine Woods. The Community Conversation on Education held on August 11 at Kelly Miller School was discussed in earnest. Many, including Commissioners and meeting attendees, complained vehemently about recommendations in the Illinois Facility Fund (IFF) study that proposed school closings in Ward 7. The IFF report is “an analysis of the geography of school quality in the District of Columbia.” After listening to the comments from residents, Ronnie Streff, second vice president for the Capitol View Civic Association, changed the tenor of the room by asking a pointed question. He inquired whether we can “really complain about the school closings when we have demanded to be allowed to send our students to [public and charter] schools outside the ward.” When asked whether ANC 7C will pass a resolution to place a moratorium on school closings in Ward 7, Commissioner Sylvia Brown asked for time to gather additional information. Specifically, Brown requested that research be conducted to see how Ward 7 schools operate in comparison to charter schools in the ward. The goal would be to create a baseline to better articulate the school policies and practices before ANC 7C agrees to support or oppose closures. Participants and Commissioners agreed to invite Dorothy Douglas,Ward 7 State Board representative, to attend the next meeting. Douglas will be asked to provide detailed information about student population, curriculum, school schedules, teacher/student ratios, number of students living in Ward 7 (by ZIP code), and the number of students attending charter schools and public schools in Ward 7.

Other Community Concerns

Local resident Ann Myers inquired

46 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

about the need for a fence to be erected (as promised) around Kelly Miller School. Apparently a fence was erected around the field but not around the school. Commissioner Woods agreed to investigate. Capitol View Market, located at 4920 Central Ave., has just opened. The owner plans to put offices on the second floor and retail shops on the ground floor. A number of very large potholes require immediate attention. Commissioner Patricia Malloy will investigate. Six hundred Georgetown University students recently traveled to Ward 7 as part of a community service project to clean up neighborhoods. The Rock and Roll Marathon will be held on April 17, 2013. Ward 7 residents should expect road closures, new traffic patterns and delays. A representative from the Mayor’s Office informed residents about recent efforts by Pepco to install underground powerlines. Several community meetings will be held to discuss the feasibility of the construction. The next ANC 7C meeting will be held on October 11, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church, 5109 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE. l

ANC 7E Report by Mariessa Terrell

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he ANC 7E meeting held on the second Tuesday of the month began on a somber note. This was not surprising because the meeting was held on the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. After Commissioner George Browne offered a prayer, the meeting began in earnest.

Good Fiscal News

Chair Mary Jackson called the meeting to order with some very good news. Apparently, 7E has regained full fiscal authority and no longer is required to present a detailed list of expenditures to the DC Auditor every quarter! | OCTOBER 2012

Walmart Construction Delayed

Chair Jackson reported on a civic association meeting she attended on Sept. 10, 2012. At the civic meeting it was announced that the construction of the Walmart located at 58th St. and East Capitol St. would be delayed until 2014. Walmart failed to file the correct zoning documents. Upon completion, the East Capitol Walmart site will contain a full service Walmart and also house a community Wellness Center along with new restaurants. Residents are asked to specify the type of wellness facility needed. Thus far, the community has requested a facility with a rehabilitation pool.

10 Ward 7 Schools May Be Closed

A document that listed reading and math test scores for 29 Ward 7 Public School was distributed during the meeting. In a brief discussion Commissioners and residents opined that Walmart itself is indirectly responsible for citywide school closings. A few 7E constituents who attended the Community Conversation on Education hosted by ANC 7A on Aug. 11 mentioned that the Illinois Facility Fund (IFF) study recommended citywide school closures. The IFF report is “an analysis of the geography of school quality in the District of Columbia.” During the 7E meeting it was suggested that the IFF study was actually funded by Walmart. In response to the possible threat of school closures, ANC 7E drafted a Resolution Letter that was executed by 7E commissioners. The letter was read by Commissioner Linda Green during the meeting. It provided in part that ANC 7E “will not support the closing of any schools in Ward 7.” The letter went on to stress that “low test scores can be resolved with tutoring conducted within [Ward 7] schools.” The letter also ended with a statement that “public schools are essential to the quality of life in [Ward 7].” Commissioner George Browne made a motion to accept the letter. Commissioner Green seconded the motion.

Riggs Road Rec Center Project Begins

The Riggs Road Recreation Center project is underway, thanks in large part to the $13 million set aside by Mayor Vincent C. Gray to fund the project. The local community has sig-

naled its approval and has provided a “wish list” detailing the exact types of facilities sought. Specifically, the community has requested a gym, meeting room, singing room, photo lab, computer room, senior activity room and indoor pool.

Community Queries

Vanessa Brooks, an ANC 7E resident and candidate running against Commissioner Linda Green, inquired whether it was the ANC’s job to investigate what happens to vacant and blighted buildings in the ward. Commissioner Browne responded by stating that typically tenants living in buildings slated to be demolished or rehabilitated have the authority to create civic associations to retain ownership. Virgil Lofty, a Ward 7 resident, inquired about Certified Business Enterprises (CBE) projects in Ward 7. He asked if CBE projects require the owners to set up training and apprenticeship programs for residents. Commissioner Green responded by stating that some of the larger construction companies, such as Clark, Smith, Turner and Smoot, have entered into a memorandum of understanding with DC government requiring them to establish apprenticeship programs on construction job sites. Additionally, the Department of Employment Services has instituted apprenticeship mechanical programs. There are also heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and electrical programs offered at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. Brittney Etheridge, a recent Howard University graduate and Ward 7 resident who works at Living Classrooms, provided additional information about the Clark Construction projects. Living Classrooms is a nonprofit organization that works with youths aged 18-26. According to Etheridge, construction apprenticeship programs exist, and the problem is how to get the youth interested in participating in and completing the programs. Successful candidates “have to want to do better,” she said. The next ANC 7E meeting will be held on Oct. 9, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at Jones Memorial Church, 4625 G St. SE, Washington, DC 20019. l


EAST WASHINGTON LIFE

Restoring Anacostia Pride

An Anacostia High School alum returns to his alma mater to bring victory on and off the field.

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nacostia High School is becoming synonymous with restoration. It was once considered one of the worst high schools in the District. Crime, poor academic performance, poverty and poor family and school partnerships made it difficult for students to achieve success. In 2009 the Friendship Collegiate Public Charter High School restructured the school, now called The Academies at Anacos48 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

by Candace Y.A. Montague tia. In 2012 Anacostia had a 79 percent graduation rate compared to just over half in 2009. The class of 2012 received more than $3 million in college scholarships. Clearly, something is different about Anacostia. The football program at Anacostia is also under renewal. Coach Cato June, Anacostia alum and former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker, was named athletic administrator in January after Coach Terry Dixon | OCTOBER 2012

stepped down. What is his method for restoring the pride to the Indians? Win. Just win.

Who is Cato June?

Before he was “Coach,” Cato June was an everyday African-American boy. Born in California, he moved to Oklahoma where he completed middle school. After his parents divorced, Cato’s mother and brother moved to

Anacostia, where Cato joined them in 1996. He enrolled in Anacostia High School as a sophomore and joined the football, basketball and track teams. He loved sports and physical activity. “Growing up it’s what you did. You didn’t just sit around the house. You did something,” he said. “We had a different mindset. We had Nintendo and Sega, but it just didn’t glue us to the house. I played baseball in the summer. I ran track and played basketball.”


This energy helped him to be a part of the 1997 All-Met high school team and defensive player of the year. Cato entered the University of Michigan where he played safety for the Wolverines. But college football was more than his passport to higher education; it was his entry into the world outside of Anacostia. “If you go to college and have never seen different races, it puts you behind the eight ball because you don’t know how to handle it,” he recalled. “When I got to school I was like,‘Why is everyone getting so hyped because it’s St. Patrick’s Day? You wear green or you get pinched.’ I didn’t know it was a national drinking holiday. A Jewish guy to me was a white dude. I didn’t know a lot of this until I went to college.”

A Winning Outlook

Anacostia’s record in the DC IAA Eastern Division hasn’t been stellar over the years. Since 2004 the Indians have had 15 wins and 63 losses overall. Last year they finished last in the DC IAA with an 0-8 record. The football program this year will be about winning without excuses. Coach June carries high expectations for his players on and off the field. He expects the team to practice for every game like it’s the final championship, because good preparation yields winning scores. “We’re gonna win games because of the mold that I’ve put together. It comes from all the coaches I’ve been under. It works. I’ve never been on a losing team in my life. I’m not saying that you’re going to win every game or every championship, but you’re going to win.” Teamwork is highly stressed at the practices, held Monday through Saturday for two and a half hours. Coach June believes that pride is what makes Anacostia the great school that it is. Restoring that pride improves team spirit. “We used to have pride in Anacostia. We had a lot of success in the 90s. We may not have had any facilities,” he remarked, ” we may not have had any extra anything, but we were Anacostia and it meant something to the community when we won.

Some of the staff members are not from DC. They didn’t go here. They don’t have the appreciation like I do. They get it but they won’t get it like Joe Clark or Roscoe Thomas [defensive coordinator 14 years]. When you carry a ball for Anacostia you’re carrying it for the teachers, the students, and the community. It’s not just for you. When they [the players] buy in to that they learn that no one man is above the team.”

Coaching Men Not Just Players

Coach June doesn’t just prepare students for playing on the field but also for being productive men in life. Obstacles interfere with getting the message across at times, but he continues to press on. Lack of parental involvement can be frustrating, and he cites the importance of changing the student’s mindset when it comes to life outside of Anacostia. “We try to take them a lot of places and introduce them to new things, but it’s tough. One, you can only do so much. And two, you can only teach them certain things. Just taking them somewhere isn’t enough. Their thought process is, ‘New Balances are cool everywhere.’ No, they’re not! They don’t get that right away. You have to take the blinders off first.” While Coach June can empathize with what his players are going through, he cannot excuse them from their basic responsibility of getting an education. “One of our biggest problems is that they don’t come to school. They’ve got this problem and that problem at home. I tell them, the world doesn’t care about your problems. We all have issues. I’m trying to train young men here. Being soft just doesn’t work. I tell them it’s your job to come to school and get your education.” Restoring Anacostia’s pride means changing the mindset of the team, the coaches and the community. For Coach June that change begins with one expectation. “Winning changes everything, just like losing does,” he said. “We expect to win.” Candace Y.A Montague is a freelance writer in Washington, DC. l

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EAST WASHINGTON LIFE

What’s in a Name?

After Its Move, H Street Playhouse Will Morph Into Anacostia Playhouse

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by Annette Nielsen

ust as the H Street Playhouse name emerged as the most simple, straightforward and honest name to represent the community where it lived, so, too did the name for the Anacostia Playhouse,” says Adele Robey, owner of H Street Playhouse, the new, soon-to-be opened Anacostia Playhouse. The change in name and relocation to Anacostia from H Street will happen over the next few months – as the lease for H Street Playhouse with Century Associates wraps up in January 2013, and the recently signed lease for the space in Anacostia with Curtis Properties begins. In early October, the permit process for 2020 Shannon Place in Anacostia will trig-

ger demolition with removal of some temporary interior walls, bringing the building down to four walls, a ceiling and a floor. Once empty, construction will begin on the approximately 2,000 square foot theater space that will include flexible seating. Architectural designer, Sean Pichon, of DC based PGN Architects, has the drawings nearly finished. Two floors at the back of the building will house dressing rooms, green room, production booth and theater offices and in the front of the building, planned rehearsal space, classrooms, reception and meeting spaces will provide the bookends to the performance space. The building’s front will also sport a new entrance with lobby, and audi-

50 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

ence services such as coat check and box office. Phil Hutinet, Chief Operating Officer of Anacostia-based community partner, ARCH Development Corporation (ADC) states that since their July press conference announcing the Playhouse’s move to Historic Anacostia, he’s experienced a definite uptick in queries about potential retail projects – from a bicycle shop, and yoga studio to many restaurant concepts. “Based on the multiple inquiries we’ve had since the announcement of the Playhouse moving here, I would anticipate the spaces filling quickly as we see regular performances taking place and an increase in the number of people coming into the neighborhood each

night.” Easily accessible, the Anacostia Playhouse location is an easy walk from the Anacostia Metro stop or Capital Bikeshare station, the Circulator transports riders from Barracks Row to Anacostia in approximately five minutes, and if starting from Frager’s Hardware on Capitol Hill, you could stroll there in about 20 minutes. Hutinet says that there has been a really nice collaborative effort with other soon-to-be Anacostia neighbors. “There is plenty of on-street parking, but the Curtis Properties parking lot adjacent to the Anacostia Playhouse is being made available during performances, and a block away on MLK, Jr. Avenue, PNC Bank has of-


fered the use of its parking lot for evening theatergoers.” Hutinet also mentioned that there are so many opportunities for businesses looking to have an Anacostia presence. “We’re located in a Federal Small Business Administration HUB Zone and ADC has also been awarded a Housing and Community Development grant for storefront improvements – for up to $27,000 in building façade work for qualifying businesses. Grants are available for 80% of the façade project cost, while ADC offers very low business loans (at 3% to 5 %) for the remaining 20% of the façade renovation.” Historic Anacostia has witnessed increased economic growth as evidenced by the HIVE incubator – a creative and shared workspace for freelancers and small businesses, another project of ADC. Hutinet states that with the opening of HIVE II in October (a larger space to keep up with the demand for more offices and meeting rooms located at 1231 Good Hope Road, SE), HIVE I may see more music and theater focused tenants who would benefit from the proximity to the Anacostia Playhouse and a growing creative community – literally in their backyard. Robey says that the Anacostia Playhouse upcoming season is likely to have a mix of booked-in productions where different theater companies rent the space for the show’s run, and events and other productions produced directly by the Anacostia Playhouse. “We’re a work in progress,” says Robey, and states that they’re hopeful for an opening date in March with an event similar to how they opened the H Street Playhouse – a ‘Raise the Roof ’ party – and continues, “We had a fun evening of song and performance, all donated by local theater and music professionals ranging from gospel to blues, show

tunes to rock and roll – plus lots of great food.” Robey says that it will be key to also showcase friends who have supported H Street Playhouse over the last decade, as much as the new friends they’re making as they settle into their new neighborhood. The last show at the H Street Playhouse will be Theater Alliance’s “Wonderful Life” running with the late-night “Night Before Christmas.” Performances will end this year on December 31. January of the new year will be spent transitioning across quadrants, overseen by Managing Director Julia Robey Christian (Adele Robey’s daughter). In the interim, the Anacostia Playhouse leadership has submitted an application for IRS approval for status as a not-for-profit under the name of DC Theater Arts Collaborative. This designation will offer the opportunity for them to have a fundraising arm under which to raise money to support youth programming, provide an after-school arts curriculum, offset rental costs for emerging artists and more. Hutinet states that working with the Anacostia Playhouse has been truly collaborative, “We believe that the arts and the creative economy can be employed as part of a comprehensive approach to community revitalization. Adele and Julia have been tremendous partners for ADC and for further economic development in Anacostia. They bring a vibrancy to the project, and continue to engage people, bringing these important resources to the table to ensure its success.” “We’re most excited about the fact we’re being welcomed so warmly and that there are so many offers of help and creative ideas being thrown our way,” says Robey, and adds that the new name truly reflects the idea to “honor the community which has been so welcoming to us and to have the name make that statement.” l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 51


EAST WASHINGTON LIFE

Former Ward 8 Council Candidate Battles Breast Cancer by Candace Y.A. Montague

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atalie Williams is no stranger to distress. She was Marion Barry’s spokeswoman in 2009, when he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor stalking. She ran unsuccessfully for president of the Ward 8 Democrats. And she lost the race for Ward 8 Councilmember against her former boss, who praised then slammed her in the media. Now this entrepreneur and single mother is fighting a deadly contender. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is a pressing health threat, and women in Wards 7 and 8 are still fighting it with less than sufficient support. Earlier this year, Williams noticed that her breasts were changing in shape, but she attributed it to getting older. She didn’t feel any lumps and had no family history of breast cancer, so she moved on with scheduling her regular annual check up. However, because she was turning 41 and her mother was pressing her to get a mammogram, she added it to the list. “I was pretty nervous about getting my first mammogram because I didn’t know what they were going to do. So I had some anxiety there.” The results were abnormal and she was called back into the doctor’s office to have her left breast checked again. She went through an ultrasound and a total of three biopsies before it was determined that she had breast cancer. Williams opted for a double mastectomy to avoid future concerns. Her faith has carried her this far, and she isn’t worried. “Everything happens for a reason. I try my best to be very positive about this. Before you lead anyone you’ve got to have a testimony.” Why are black women being diagnosed at higher rates than other females? Some experts say

it’s a matter of misinformation and underestimating the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Rachel Brem, director of Breast Imaging at George Washington University, adds that it is a combination of biology and access. “There are studies that show that African-American women are more prone to being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Unfortunately, some of our targeted therapies such as tamoxifen don’t respond well to that type of cancer.” Several programs around the city focus on increasing awareness and helping women get screenings, including the Mobile Campaign in Anacostia for Breast Health, from George Washington University Cancer Institute, and Project WISH at Howard University, which is funded by the DC Department of Health. The obstacle is connecting the dots to be sure that every woman who needs care receives it. The District has been disproportionately affected by cancer. In fact, Wards 7 and 8 have high rates of breast and prostate cancer. The DC Cancer Consortium is an advocacy organization devoted to bringing resources together to reduce the cancer rates in the city. YaVonne Vaughan, executive director of the Consortium, says that the District isn’t doing enough to help underserved populations. “The District has one of the nation’s highest breast cancer rates, especially among African-American women,” she says, “but, surprisingly, DC government devotes inadequate resources for erasing those gaps – or for cancer prevention and control at all.” She notes that “in a city this affluent, it is a major health equity issue that’s being swept under the rug. That is why the Consortium will continue to fight for a dedicated Cancer Control Fund in the District to save lives, especially

52 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

Natalie Williams was once a candidate running for the Ward 8 Councilmember seat. Now she is engaged in a race for her life. among populations where cancer diagnoses and mortality are disproportionately high.” After the debates about funding and resources one question lingers: Who takes care of the woman who helps everyone else? For Natalie Williams the answer isn’t so simple. “As a single mother you have increased responsibilities and your stress level is through the roof when you’re trying to create a family with you and your child,” she says. “I’ve got a daughter that I’m trying to raise. I’m trying to maintain good health insurance. I have to go back and forth to the doc-

tor. I run my own public relations firm. It’s ironic that I am a crisis communications person and I handle everybody else’s stress. Now I need someone to do that for me,” she chuckles. Breast cancer is not a death sentence. However, in many cases the lack of knowledge and late diagnosis can cripple efforts to fight it. Fortunately, Williams got the message in time. “I am much more than my breast, and if having this surgery is going to save my life then I can lose the breast.” Candace Y.A. Montague is a freelance writer in Washington, DC. l


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KIDS & FAMILY

Kids & Family Notebook by Kathleen Donner

Mayor Gray Cuts Ribbon for Phase II of Anacostia High School Modernization Project

The Voting Hand at JC Nalle

Students at J.C. Nalle Elementary School are learning about statehood and voting rights for DC residents. In their art class they collaborated with Albus Cavus, who produced the “Give Me a Vote” sculpture, to create a voting hand reminding residents in Ward 7 that this is an election year, so GET OUT AND VOTE!

Slickfish at the Anacostia Community Museum

Explore the links among urban waterways as they connect us to the world. Students will discuss water conservation and green living and interact with a live marine organism. Educator Jay Coleman uses saltwater fish tanks, project-based learning and art to educate general education students and children with autism, ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome. This workshop demonstrates the connections local children have with the rest of the world through water. Oct.. 16, Dec 11 and Jan. 15, 10:00-11:00 AM. Recommended for grades 3-12. Program limited to 20 participants. To schedule this program for your class, be the first to call 202-633-4844. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. anacostia.si.edu

Frederick Douglass Annual Oratorical Contest Deadline Approaches

The goal of the Oratorical Contest is for students to experience the same transformative power of language that Frederick Douglass did as a young man. The contest is open to all students in grades 1-12 and is hosted in early December. Students memorize and present a portion of a Douglass speech from a stage at his home, Cedar Hill. Application deadline is Nov. 11, 4:00 PM. New this year are four movies, each of which analyzes a different aspect of great oratory. Thembi Duncan (a master from Ford’s Theatre) and students at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School take you through physical, verbal and mental skills, as well as how to practice with others. Go to nps.gov/frdo/forkids/oratorical-contest to view the movies online. For more information call Braden Paynter at 202-426-5961. nps.gov/frdo 54 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

On Sept. 14, Mayor Vincent C. Gray celebrated the final phase of the renaissance of the historic Anacostia High School, which now features state-of-the-art learning technology and community spaces. Mayor Gray was joined by Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, and Department of General Services Director Brian J. Hanlon in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Ward 8 school. Phase II of the $62 million project completes the modernization of the 247,000 sq.ft facility, which consists of an original building that was constructed in 1935 and three subsequent additions built in the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s. The project also features the modernization of classrooms and the addition of energy-efficient mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. A special feature is the cafeteria renovation, which adds both floor space and ceiling height along with new skylights, a decorative stairwell open to the floor above, and a mobile by artist Roberto Delgado (made possible through a grant from DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities D.C. Creates Public Art Program). The technology upgrades include state-of-the-art communications and informationtechnology systems to enhance the learning environment throughout the school as well as increased natural light, improved acoustics, interactive whiteboards and computer labs. The high school is completely ADA-accessible and will be able to accommodate up to 1,200 students.

Theatre for the Very Young: Mouse on the Move

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice, ready to explore the world beyond their little mousehole. They decide to go to the moon, since it is reportedly made of delicious, mouth-watering cheese. There are many opportunities for audience participation in this highly interactive play. Oct. 17-22. Ages 1-5. $8. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202399-7993. atlasarts.org

Sleepy Time Frog at Kenilworth Park

Ever wonder where frogs go for the winter? Walk with Ranger Lee to discuss how frogs prepare for hibernation. For all ages. Nov. 4, 1:00-1:45 PM. Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. nps.gov/keaq

2012 National Trademark Expo

| OCTOBER 2012

The United States Patent and Trademark Of-

fice (USPTO) will host the 2012 National Trademark Expo on Friday, Oct. 19, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Saturday, Oct. 20, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. This free family-friendly event is designed to educate the public about trademarks and their importance in the global marketplace. Last year’s Trademark Expo attracted over 15,000 visitors of all ages. Visitors will learn about trademarks through exhibits, seminars, children’s activities and more. The Trademark Expo is held at the USPTO’s headquarters in the Madison Building at 600 Dulany St., Alexandria, VA. The nearest Metro station is King Street on the Blue and Yellow lines. The station is about a 10-minute walk from the event. Meter and garage parking are also available. For more information, including a list of exhibitors and seminar titles and times, visit uspto. gov/TMExpo.

Mayor’s Scholars Fund Launched

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley Jones, Trinity Washington University President McGuire, Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau, Georgetown University President and D.C. Consortium of Universities President John J. DeGioia and DC college students announce the creation of the Mayor’s Scholars Fund, a 100-percent-need-based grant program to provide financial support for low-income District students 18-24 years old currently attending DC colleges and universities. For the first time, students attending the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the UDC Community College (UDCCC) will also be eligible to receive funding. Mayor Gray placed $1.59 million in the District’s fiscal year 2013 budget to support resident students attending DC colleges and universities. Approximately 185 students will receive financial assistance this fall, ranging from up to $3,000 at UDCCC, up to $7,000 at UDC and up to $10,000 for students attending private schools in the District. Mayor’s Scholars were selected based on current undergraduate enrollment in a DC college or university, good academic and disciplinary standing, established District residency and verified financial need, defined as being Pell Grant-eligible with an expected family contribution toward their education of $0. The new funds for students in private DC institutions are in addition to existing DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) awards they may also be receiving. Previously, resident students attending private institutions in the District were eligible to receive up to $2,500 in DCTAG funds, with UDC/CCDC students ineligible for DCTAG support.

Mayor Gray Proclaims Sept. 19 “No Text on


Volunteers planting THEARC spring garden. Photo: Courtesy of THEARC

Fall Harvest Fest at THEARC

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, 3:00-6:00 PM, join THEARC and its partners for an afternoon of fun gardening projects to winterize THEARC Organic Community Garden. Family-friendly activities include a Zumba class, dance and music performances, pony rides, horseshoe pitching., and a moon bounce for kids. Food and drink served. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org

Board” Pledge Day

Mayor Vincent C. Gray issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 19 “No Text on Board Pledge Day” in the District of Columbia. The proclamation is part of a nationwide effort by officials to encourage teenagers to refrain from the dangerous practice of sending text messages while driving. “While text messaging is a convenient form of communication highly popular among teenagers, safety experts know that texting and driving do not mix,” Mayor Gray said. “Today’s proclamation notes that texting takes one’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds and that those who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident than those who do not text while driving – sometimes with tragic results. I encourage all young people in the District to pledge to avoid this dangerous practice.”

New Ballou Senior High School Design Unveiled

The reconstruction and modernization of Ballou will follow a monumental design that will rank it among the best academic facilities in the

United States. The design features green, energy-efficient systems throughout, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, photovoltaic panels to generate electricity and low-VOC materials. Technology features include stateof-the-art multimedia data projectors, classroom sound enhancement systems and flexible, student-focused learning environments with advanced computer and science labs. The new Ballou will be ADA-accessible and is designed, at a minimum, to achieve a LEED for Schools Silver rating. It will be constructed to 21st century DC Public Schools (DCPS) standards for 1,400 daytime students and up to 900 part-time evening students.

DCPS Wins Over $62 Million in Federal Grant to Reward and Retain Great Teachers

District of Columbia Public Schools will receive more than $62 million over five years to help reward and retain teachers and principals and provide them with more professional development opportunities, through a grant from the US Department of Education. The Teacher Incentive Fund Grant, or TIF, will provide significant funds to help ensure that by the end of the 2016-17 school year at least 90 percent of DCPS teachers and principals will be Highly Effective or Effective, as determined through the IMPACT evaluation system. Funds from the TIF grant will support rigorous, ongoing leadership development training for teacher leaders and principals. They will also support the creation of additional leadership roles for teachers aimed at school turnaround and expansion of performancebased compensation, including the creation of a new salary structure based on effectiveness for principals and assistant principals. The $62 million award

over five years is larger than that for any of the 34 other grantees.

DCPS Students Soar on Advanced Placement Exams

Students in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) made tremendous progress both in participation and performance on advanced placement (AP) exams, according to a new report released today by The College Board. From 2010–11 to 2011–12, the number of students taking AP exams increased by nearly 15 percent, from 1,998 to 2,291, compared to a 6.4 percent increase nationwide. Over the past five years, the number of DCPS AP test-takers has increased by over 25 percent.

Congressional Art Competition Entries Receive More Recognition

The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announces that the exhibit of works of art by DC students entered in the 2012 Congressional Art Competition, on display at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport since June, will remain there through Oct. 15, by popular demand. The artwork is in terminals B and C, baggage claim area. norton. house.gov

Pumpkin Panache Family Festival at Brookside Gardens

The whole family will enjoy this event, which includes a pumpkinpainting craft in the Visitors Center, an illuminated stroll to the conservatory featuring the Brookside Gardens Fall Chrysanthemum and Harvest Display, an apple cider press and the chance to taste a few pumpkin treats! Participate in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the Conservatory to learn about different pumpkins and gourds. Register (required) children ages 2 and up at parkpass.org. $8. Parents are free. Friday, Oct., 5:00-8:00 PM. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, MD. For more information call 301-962-1400 or visit brooksidegardens.org.

Today in History

Go to memory.loc.gov/ammem/ today to find out what happened today in American history. For instance, we

learn that on the October “Hill Rag” publication date, Oct 6, in 1866, thieves boarded an eastbound Ohio & Mississippi Railroad passenger train near Seymour, IN, and entered an Adams Express Company car. Pointing guns at employee Elem Miller, the masked bandits demanded keys to the safes. Miller held keys for the local safe only, so the robbers emptied that safe and tossed the other off the train intending to open them later. Signaling the engineer to stop the train, the robbers, later identified as the infamous Reno brothers, made an easy getaway. Unaware of what had happened, the engineer sped off into the night while the thieves congratulated themselves on a job well done.

District-Wide Initiative to Aid Student Victims of Violence and Sexual Assault Launched

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Victim Services have joined student leaders, experts in sexual assault prevention, law-enforcement officials and administrators from universities throughout the District for the official launch of “University Assault Services Knowledge, Washington, DC” (U ASK DC), a new District-wide initiative to promote services for college students in the aftermath of victimization. U ASK DC features a mobile application and website that, for the first time, compiles resources for victims of campus-based crime, including sexual assault and dating violence, from all 8 District universities and 19 DC community organizations, into one easily accessible tool. It includes contact information for immediate medical attention and law enforcement, answers to key questions on what to expect during a hospital examination and police reporting, and information on sexual assault support services within the community and specific to each campus. The U ASK DC app is available for free download and is compatible with iOS and Android OS devices. Visit U ASK DC online at uaskdc.org or learn more about Men Can Stop Rape at mencanstoprape.org. For more information on the Office of Victim Services, visit ovs.dc.gov. l

EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 55


KIDS & FAMILY STEAM program at Eagle Academy, has taught this class how to rewrite the lyrics of a song to reinforce a math lesson. Through “modeling, team-teaching and passing the torch” to classroom teachers, she hopes to give “every teacher one to five strategies for teaching math and science” by using the arts as a vehicle for those lessons. She hopes teachers “will feel comfortable with these strategies,” and plans “to visit every classroom at least four times this school year.”

The School’s Mission

A student works with a Promethean or SmartBoard; these interactive whiteboards allow students and teachers to save their work.

Eagle Academy Soaring to New Heights by Ellen Boomer

T

o get the attention of Ms. Zapatka’s third graders at Eagle Academy Public Charter School, instructor Nancy Meyers asks the students, “If I call out, ‘Ago,’ how would you respond?” The students reply with a lively chorus of “Ame!” To begin an integrated STEAM lesson, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, Meyers uses a call and response familiar to the students. Of course, the students don’t realize they’re starting a math lesson; they’re just excited Meyers has given them permission to shout. By the end of the 20-minute lesson, Meyers, a master artist from Wolf Trap and the director of the

Eagle First Day of School Cassandra S. Pinkney, M.Ed., Founder and Executive Director of Eagle Academy PCS, inspects students on the first day of school.

56 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

Eagle Academy’s journey began in 2003, when Cassandra Pinkney founded the district’s first exclusively early childhood public charter school. Over the past nine years, the school has expanded from 110 students, ages 3 through 5, to its current enrollment of 740 students from pre-kindergarten to third grade. The school now occupies two campuses: the newly built main campus in Ward 8 and a satellite campus in Ward 6. Ronald Hasty, principal of Eagle Academy for past seven years, feels that “everything the school does is focused on fulfilling the school’s mission,” which emphasizes children’s “cognitive, social and emotional growth,” to help them become “productive citizens.”

Using Technology to Differentiate Learning

To foster students’ growth, Eagle Academy has Promethean or SmartBoards in every classroom; these interactive whiteboards allow students and teachers to save their work. This technology, as well as video cameras in each classroom, also enables teachers to share ideas with their colleagues and to review their work with the school’s instructional coaches; therefore, teachers can provide individualized lessons based on each student’s needs. Kathy McKeon, director of instruction and curriculum, works with five instructional coaches to provide teachers with, “meaningful, purposeful training that is a direct correlation to student learning.” While Principal Hasty “does a walk-through of each classroom two times per week,” and reviews each teacher’s performance before renewing their yearly contract, the instructional coaches do not evaluate the teachers. Instead, McKeon and her team offer another perspec-


tive with a goal to “provide teachers with the resources that make it possible for teachers to do their job and for children to have opportunities to explore their curiosity and to develop a joyful disposition toward learning.” The prevalence of technology in each classroom, including iPads for each kindergartener and third grader, means Eagle Academy students have access to computer programs such as Lexia, which “will level to where each student’s learning point is” and “track how much time each student has spent on each task and at each level,” according to McKeon. With programs such as Lexia, “teachers can differentiate learning by grouping students according to their individual skill level and can track students’ progress,” she said. This individualized instruction enables Eagle Academy to have a strong special education program. In order to “make sure students get what they need, the school serves its own students,” by having support personnel on staff, including an occupational therapist, a speech pathologists, and a psychologist, according to Principal Hasty.

Building a Strong Community

The STEAM program is so critical because it can be a vehicle that enables students to build a bright future. Programs such as “Let’s Go STEM,” and partnerships with corporations, including Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, are enabling schools such as Eagle Academy to create age-appropriate experiments, capitalize on children’s love of hands-on learning, and engage in science-related programs like robotics. At last year’s science fair, for example, engineers from the Navy Yard judged students’ “going green” projects, which encouraged them to “figure out how to recycle things like newspapers and old toys” and then “make connections [using these lessons] when they go home,” according to McKeon. Part of the school’s vision is to become “a community center, used 24 hours per day,” according to Principal Hasty, who mentioned that in the coming years the school will add a pool, a gymnasium and a medical center to “bring the community together” and in an effort “to be good neighbors to the community.” Once the swimming pool is built, the school will teach every student how to swim, an important skill that unfortunately many African-Americans lack. In addition to bringing the community together by offering services, the school hopes to welcome area teachers to attend workshops, and to serve the city as a professional development school.

Getting Parents Involved

A critical part of any school community is

Students learn active listening skills. Photo: Eagle Academy

for Education of Young Children, “regular updates on children’s growth can encourage families to engage in more learning-related activities at home.” In fact, parental involvement is mandatory at Eagle. All parents must “attend two events and put in 20 hours of volunteer time doing things such as listening to kids read in the classroom,” which, according to McKeon, allows parents to “see how their children spend their days and build trust with the school.” Bonita Ward, President of Eagle’s PTO, loves the school’s “supportive environment,” which makes her children “feel safe and secure.” She praised the school’s “holistic approach to teaching” which has helped both of her children “develop self-esteem.” Eagle Academy is committed to supporting the parent group and to fostering a cooperative relationship with parents. To that end, it plans to include a parent center that will make “technology available to the parents,” will “provide a network of support, including a social worker and a counselor,” and will offer various classes, according to McKeon. Joe Smith, Eagle’s CFO, knows that with “more engaged parents and a more engaged community, more kids will improve and perform academically.” If Eagle can be a resource for the community, Smith believes “DC can lead the country in birth to age three research through collaboration with the various graduate schools” in the metro area.

Looking Ahead

Nancy Meyers asks the students, ìIf I call out, ëAgo,í how would you respond?î The students reply with a lively chorus of ìAme!î Photo: Eagle Academy

the parent body, and Eagle Academy’s program fosters parental involvement. Parents are expected to drop off and to pick up their children daily at school and talk with their child’s teacher. According to a study from the National Association

With two campuses in two different wards, Eagle is faced with the challenge of staying true to its roots. Principal Hasty noted that “the school started small” and hopes to maintain “the homey atmosphere for parents, teachers and staff.” Because both campuses include pre-kindergarten through third grade classrooms, the faculty and staff will need to “make sure communication is effective,” though McKeon feels confident that “technology will support that endeavor.” Another challenge is maintaining consistent parental involvement, either because of child-care issues or even disinterest. To combat these issues, knowing that parental involvement is key to any child’s success, Ward would like to create a “parent mentoring” program and to have “a parent liaison for each class.” If parents respond to this call to action as enthusiastically as their children do, Eagle Academy will certainly soar. Ellen Boomer is an Eastern Market resident, former teacher, current tutor, and aspiring freelance writer. She enjoys traveling, cooking and playing a competitive game of bocce in Yards Park. She can be reached at emboomer@gmail.com. l EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 57


KIDS & FAMILY

Rendering of the planned courtyard at the new Ballou High School. Courtesy of Department of General Services.

Plans for “New Ballou” bring excitement to “forgotten area” of the city by John Muller

W

ABOVE: New entrance to Ballou High School planned to open in August of 2014. Courtesy of Department of General Services. BELOW: Curent entrance to Ballou High School on 4th Street SE. Photo by John Muller.

58 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012

ith the Mayor standing behind her, Ballou High School sophomore Tamia Small stepped up to the podium to welcome hundreds of her fellow classmates, teachers, parents, alumni, neighbors, and school officials gathered in the cafeteria for a presentation detailing plans for a $120 million campus for the “New Ballou” high school on 4th Street SE in the Congress Heights neighborhood. “When this school is complete the landscape of southeast will be forever changed,” Small said to applause. “This is a community that has historically been forgotten – not anymore.” Mayor Gray said, catching the spirit of the evening. While the mayor rattled off descriptions of the planned design and amenities – green roofs, a new library, performance space, access to new technology – alumni of Ballou took a more personal view. “Do something proud with your life,” said Trayon White, Ward 8 Representative on the State Board of Education and Ballou graduate. “There’s an ‘extra’ in extraordinary for a reason.” Following White’s message of self-

study and self-improvement, the president of Ballou’s alumni association was blunt, “This will be your own. Don’t desecrate it.” For Honor Roll sophomore Sade Burrell – Class of 2015, the first class to graduate after construction of a new school – that is the farthest thing from her mind. “I take pride in being a Ballou Knight because everyone thinks Ballou is a bad school and nobody learns anything. But when you graduate and get scholarships, it shows everyone that just because you come from a place with not a lot of money doesn’t mean you can’t be smart.” With emotions of both anxiety and excitement running high, the “lion of the [City] council” was lauded even in his absence. Ambitions for a modernized and state-of-the-art learning complex were always in the heart of Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, said Rahman Branch, principal of Ballou. Nearly a decade ago when an initial conversation for a new school began it was about “new windows and paint,” Branch said. Along with his students and faculty, he has been there through the hard days of the past, the challenging days of the present, all to see the promises of tomorrow. “The walk to school my students make is a walk not many can make,” Branch said as he held back his emotions. Expressing a vote of confidence in his students to exceed in the face of adversity, Branch shared, “My kids are the toughest and strongest in the city.”

Features of the “New Ballou”

The new Ballou will open in August 2014 as “the most modern school in the city,” said Mayor Gray. In recent years, Anacostia High School has been modernized, and a brand new H.D. Woodson high school on 55th Street NE, off Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, has opened. Students will remain in the existing building, opened in the early 1960s on the 3400 block of 4th Street, until June 2014 while the new Ballou is constructed from the ground up where the current track is, close to the intersection of 4th Street and Mississippi Avenue SE. Students will sit for classes in the new building in August 2014. The old school will then be demolished, and a sports field constructed in its place. Some key design features of the new “energy-efficient” Ballou will be


HOMES & GARDENS a cutting edge gymnasium complemented by an indoor running track, fitness center, and 25-yard swimming pool, as well as dedicated performance arts space, rehearsal rooms for the nationally renowned Ballou Marching Band, and a greenhouse. Science and bio-technology labs, specialized education classrooms, and an auto-tech lab will help to enhance and expand curriculum options. A Parent Resource Center, Childcare Center and a Health/ Dental Center are planned to serve students and their families. When completed the new Ballou will serve 1,400 daytime students, and up to 900 parttime evening students enrolled in Ballou S.T.A.Y, according to city officials.

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.

Will construction benefit the community?

With recent coverage by the Washington City Paper exposing loopholes in the awarding of city construction contracts to Certified Business Enterprises, Ward 8 plumbers, electricians, painters, and brick masons were among the hundreds of people gathered for the unveiling of plans for the new Ballou. “With the new construction projects in Ward 8, out-ofwork electricians in the District of Columbia were not working and electricians from other states like Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were able to come in and get work,” said John Harper, an organizer with the District of Columbia Electrical Association, an affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 26. “That’s what motivated us to take ownership of not only our communities, but getting back on these job sites that are right in our neighborhood.” On site at Saint Elizabeths during the day, Harper is a regular presence at meetings throughout the ward. “This looks like a great project for the students and the teachers. When construction starts we’re hoping it also benefits the qualified men and women who are ready to work.” l

Neighborhood

2926 M ST SE $211,000 Close Price BR 3437 MASSACHUSETTS AVE SE $215,000 717 CROISSANT PL SE $270,000 1329 29TH ST SE $310,000 FEE SIMPLE 3725 S ST SE $324,413 3236 O ST SE $338,530 ANACOSTIA 1334 DEXTER TER SE $130,000 2 HILLANDALE/GEORGETOWN 1322 MAPLE VIEW PL SE $164,000 4 3933 IVY TERRACE CT NW $1,230,000 1347 TALBERT TER SE $169,950 2 4031 MANSION DR NW $1,299,000 1510 W ST SE $305,000 3

BARRY FARMS 2331 14TH PL SE

$185,000

RANDLE HEIGHTS 3

CHILLUM 122 LONGFELLOW ST NW 7 LONGFELLOW ST NE

$294,500 $326,000

DEANWOOD 5429 HUNT PL NE 4510 EADS PL NE 4920 MINNESOTA AVE NE 4710 CENTRAL AVE NE 4209 BENNING RD NE 1004 48TH ST NE 230-232 56TH PL NE 5003 AMES ST NE

$42,000 $95,000 $110,000 $160,000 $215,000 $215,000 $265,000 $285,000

FORT DUPONT PARK 4327 BARKER ST SE 4638 HANNA PL SE 1815 41ST PL SE 4616 REED TER SE 3216 ELY PL SE 4015 MASSACHUSETTS AVE SE

$110,000 $165,250 $195,000 $274,500 $315,000 $460,000

HILL CREST 2509 FAIRLAWN AVE SE 1708 29TH ST SE 1424 34TH ST SE

$72,000 $135,099 $210,000

4 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 5 3 2 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 3

1905 T PL SE 1907 SAVANNAH PL SE 2004 SAVANNAH PL SE 3438 21ST ST SE 2252 S ST SE 1805 18TH ST SE

$145,000 $147,000 $196,650 $217,000 $259,900 $280,000

3 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 4 2 4 3

CONDO CONGRESS HEIGHTS 3423 5TH ST SE #12

$55,000

FORT DUPONT PARK 1221 42ND ST SE #32

$100,000

HILL CREST 2017 37TH ST SE #102 3812 W ST SE #102 3930 SOUTHERN AVE SE #B 3817 W ST SE #B 3907 PENNSYLVANIA AVE SE #302

$35,000 $44,000 $83,000 $84,000 $102,000

MARSHALL HEIGHTS 300 50TH ST SE #202 5210 F ST SE #2

$74,500 $155,000

SHERIDAN STATION 2500 SAYLES PL SE #11 l

$299,900

2 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 3

EASTOFTHERIVERDCNEWS.COM H 59


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THE NOSE

How to Succeed in Politics Without Really Trying

P

by Anonymous

olitics is not a very difficult game, in the Nose’s sage opinion. Raise a little money. Schmooze a few voters and donors. Kiss a couple of babies. Grease a few palms on election day. Pet the odd cute dog, and you’re in like Flynn. Being the scion of a distinguished Democratic operator, of course, does not dim one’s prospects. Councilmembers do have their crosses to bear. Anyone who has attended one of those endless hearings can only wonder at their seemingly limitless ability to endure the drone of whining lobbyists. However, on the bright side, none of that prevents our legislators from earning the odd buck consulting on the side, or throwing the occasional elaborate birthday party for fawning donors. So, why is it so difficult be Michael A. Brown? Most members of the public, such as The Nose, spend their lives focused on the difficult details of daily drama. We put the rent in the mail, or work hard to make sure the mortgage gets paid. We balance our checkbook. (Now much easier in the world of electronic banking.) We pull our hair out filling out federal and state tax forms. If we are smart, we hire an accountant. In any event, Uncle Sam always gets his cut. For Brown the Younger, these life details are seemingly so unimportant. Miss a few mortgage payments. Neglect to file returns on a six-figure income. Why even pay the landlord on time? No one really minds the occasional rubber check. Life is too hectic to sweat this small stuff. So, Michael, straight from the mouths of the muppets, here is a tune for you:* It’s not that easy bein’ Brown Having to spend each day the color of chocolate When I think it could be nicer being Gray or Orange Or something much more Democratic like that It’s not easy bein’ Brown Life is so expensive Running for every office is so complicated Can’t keep my checkbooks straight That’s why my rent is always late. And the press dogs me cause of my high-end suits They question my foundational aspirations And complain that I don’t pay taxes like the little people. Neither Mendo’s old car Nor Wells’s two pedaled machine Will fit my lanky frame So, I drive an SUV But Brown’s the color of leather and cigars smoked in dimly lit rooms where my luckiest deals are made by fellow lawyers in thousand dollar suits who work for K Street firms. When Brown is all there is to be It could make you wonder why But why wonder, why wonder? I am Brown and I’m stay’in in the game The voters remember my dad! After all, it’s all in a name! As Mark Twain sagely observed, “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.” Have a comment for The Nose, email thenose@hillrag.com. *Listen to Kermit signing the original at: http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=DbCI68eSNsA l

62 H EAST OF THE RIVER MAGAZINE

| OCTOBER 2012



East-of-the-River-Magazine-October-2012