Hill Rag Magazine February 2014

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hillrag.com • February 2014

Est. 1981




4925 7th Street, NW $628,500

653 8th Street, NE 3 Separate Condos

Fern Pannill 240-508-4856

Genie Hutinet 202-413-7661

CAPITOL HILL 1391 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #242


Todd Bissey 202-841-7653 THE BISSEY TEAM



2617 Newton Street, NE $547,500

4640 Blaine Street, NE $387,500

Genie Hutinet 202-413-7661

Fern Pannill 240-508-4856

EARLY SPRING SPECIAL 410 E Street, SE Knock-out renovation w/ 4BR/3.5BA. Situated on a double lot, directly across from Marion Park!


Genie Hutinet 202-413-7661

1359 Underwood Street, NW Pete Frias 202-744-8973 www.PeterFrias.com


CAPITOL HILL 1020 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #405 Todd Bissey 202-841-7653 THE BISSEY TEAM

CAPITOL HILL 523 K Street, NE Pete Frias 202-744-8973 www.PeterFrias.com



249 Florida Ave., NW #23 $359,900 Todd Bissey 202-841-7653 THE BISSEY TEAM


125 C Street, SE $1,700,000 4-1BR Apartments & PKG! Fern Pannill 240-508-4856



$639,500 w/Carriage House

4201 4th Street, NW $749,900

Todd Bissey 202-841-7653 THE BISSEY TEAM

Todd Bissey 202-841-7653 THE BISSEY TEAM

“WHERE WASHINGTON SHOPS FOR A NEW ADDRESS!”® 225 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003

Tel: 202-544-3900 www.johncformant.com

Sales • Rentals • Commercial Leasing • Property Management • Investments

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2014 is off to a busy start for The Grant, Ryall & Andrew Group! Grant, Ryall & Andrew are working with your neighbors everyday to create more real estate success stories JUST LISTED




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Have you had any thoughts of selling? Let’s talk about creating your success story! THE GRANT, RYALL & ANDREW GROUP Grant Griffith 202.741.1685 ggriffith@cbmove.com Ryall Smith 202.741.1781 rsmith@cbmove.com Andrew Glasow 202.741.1654 aglasow@cbmove.com Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Main Office 202.547.3525 Don Denton, VP Broker

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605 Pennsylvania Ave. SE Washington, DC 20003 cbmove.com/grant.ryall.andrew 202.741.1654

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IS A DID YOU KNOW? If you knowingly collect benefits by intentionally providing false or inaccurate information when you filed your claim, you are committing FRAUD. Examples include: • An individual returns to work but continues to collect UI benefits. • An individual works a part-time job but does not report his or her earnings to the state, thereby collecting more benefits than he or she is allowed.

UI Fraud is punishable by law! PENALTIES Can Include: • Criminal prosecution • Penalties and fines • Forfeiting future income tax refunds • Ineligibility to collect UI benefits in the future Don’t make your unemployment problem worse. If you think you may have committed UI Fraud, let us help you address the issue.

• An individual performs temporary work while collecting UI benefits, but does not report the earnings when filing his or her weekly claim. • An individual holds back information or gives false information to the state UI agency.

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1.877.372.8360 Call us today or visit does.dc.gov to read more about UI Fraud.

SBRC’s NonProfit Workshop Featuring

DCRA’s Corporations Division, DC Office of Tax and Revenue & DC Bar Pro Bono Program: What: If you want to learn and or deepen your knowledge about organizational types (i.e. LLC., INC., etc) and basic federal, state and local tax liabilities then you should register for this workshop. Presented By: DCRA’s Corporations Division and DC Office of Tax and Revenue When: Thursday, February 27, 2014 Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

SBRC’s Money Smart for Small Business Program Banking Services and Insurance Workshops What: If you want to learn basic banking services and how to choose the insurance products that are best for your business then these sessions are for you. Presented By: BB&T Bank When: Thursday, February 6, 2014 Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Organizational Types and Tax Planning and Reporting Workshops What: If you want to learn and or deepen your knowledge about organizational types (i.e. LLC., INC., etc) and basic federal, state and local tax liabilities then you should register for this workshop. Presented By: DCRA’s Corporations Division and DC Office of Tax and Revenue

DC Chamber of Commerce’s:

Small Business DC Health Link Enrollment Days What:

When: Thursday, February 6, 2014 Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

If you need help enrolling through the DC Health Link for health coverage for you and your employees, you can schedule an appointment for one-on-one assistance in creating an account and completing the enrollment process. During this session, a certified In-Person Assister (IPA) and insurance broker will work with business owners to navigate the DC Health Link online system and answer questions during the one-on-one meeting. By appointment only. Call 202-624-0614.

Presented By: DC Chamber of Commerce – DC Health Link Program When:

4th Wednesday of each month


10:00 am – 3:00 pm

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All Credit Cards Accepted February 2014 H 11

What’s Inside? celebrating black history

In every issue: 16


Frederick Douglass in Washington


When Black History Turns a Tad Dark

John Muller E. Ethelbert Miller

Go. See. Do.

capitol streets

20 Calendar


The Bulletin Board


The District Beat


The Numbers


A Streetcar To Be Desired?


Park or Parking? Lack of Consensus Leads to


68 Hill Rag Crossword 150 Classified Ads 158 Last Word 162 The Nose




Andrew Lightman

Ed Lazere and Jenny Reed Denise Romano

Denise Romano


Shelonda Tillman Ward 6 Candidate


ANC 6A Report


ANC 6B Report

Emily Clark


ANC 6C Report

Charnice A. Milton


ANC 6D Report

Roberta Weiner


ANC 6E Report

Steve Holton

Elena Burger

Denise Romano

community life 69

Robert Comstock: New Chair of National Capital Bank

Denise Romano


NE Library Branch Reopens


South by West

Emily Haynes

William Rich Elise Bernard


H Street Life


A Year of Growth in Capitol Riverfront


Barracks Row


Where We Live

Sharon Bosworth

Michael Stevens

on the cover:

Anja Van Herle – “In Bloom” Acrylic on Panel, 42X42 Available at JoAnne Artman Gallery 326 N. Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949.510.5481 www.joanneartmangallery.com

113 real estate 81

The Capitol’s Cast Iron Dome


Changing Hands

John Lockwood

Don Denton

arts and dining 93

Gin Joints

Emily Clark Celeste McCall


Dining Notes


Wine Guys

Lilia Coffin


Cafe Berlin

Annette Nielsen


Theater: Take a Walk on The Suburban Side

Barbara Wells


At the Movies


Art and The City


The Literary Hill

Mike Canning Jim Magner Karen Lyon

health and fitness 113

The Alexander Technique

Pattie Cinelli


Common Pet Food Myths


Lovebird Tree Botanicals

Dr. Keith de la Cruz Meghan Markey

kids and family 125

Kids & Family Notebook


School Notes


Spring Training Begins!

Kathleen Donner

Susan Braun Johnson Dave Kletzkin

home and garden 143

MANTS Means Plants


Terrace Confidential


Dear Garden Lady

Cheryl Corson Derek Thomas







Capital Community News, Inc. • 224 7th Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20003 202.543.8300 • www.capitalcommunitynews.com EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Melissa Ashabranner • melissaashabranner@hillrag.com Publisher: Jean-Keith Fagon • fagon@hillrag.com Copyright © 2014 by Capital Community News. All Rights Reserved.

Editorial Staff

BEAUTY, Health & Fitness

M������� E�����: Andrew Lightman • andrew@hillrag.com CFO � A�������� E�����: Maria Carolina Lopez • carolina@hillrag.com S����� N���� E�����: Susan Braun Johnson • schools@hillrag.com K��� � F����� E�����: Kathleen Donner • kathleendonner@gmail.com F��� E�����: Annette Nielsen • annette@hillrag.com

Patricia Cinelli • fitmiss44@aol.com Jazelle Hunt • jazelle.hunt@gmail.com Candace Y.A. Montague • writeoncm@gmail.com


Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Kathleen Donner • kathleendonner@gmail.com Susan Johnson • schools@hillrag.com

A��: D�����:

Society & Events

Jim Magner • jjmagner@aol.com Emily Clark • clapol47@gmail.com Celeste McCall • celeste@us.net Jonathan Bardzik • jonathan.bardzik@gmail.com L���������: Karen Lyon • klyon@folger.edu M�����: Mike Canning • mjcanning@verizon.net M����: Jean-Keith Fagon • fagon@hillrag.com Stephen Monroe • samonroe2004@yahoo.com R����� T������: Marissa Terrell • mterrell@sbclawgroup.com T������: Barbara Wells • barchardwells@aol.com T�� W��� G���: Jon Genderson • jon@cellar.com

Calendar & Bulletin Board C������� E�����: Kathleen Donner • calendar@hillrag.com, bulletinboard@hillrag.com

General Assignment Martin Austermuhle • martin.austermuhle@gmail.com Maggy Baccinelli • mbaccinelli@gmail.com Elise Bernard • elise.bernard@gmail.com Ellen Boomer • emboomer@gmail.com Elena Burger • elena96b@gmail.com Michelle Phipps-Evans • invisiblecolours@yahoo.com Maggie Hall • whitby@aol.com Mark Johnson • mark@hillrag.com Dave Kletzkin • Dave@hillrag.com Stephen Lilienthal - stephen_lilienthal@yahoo.com Pleasant Mann • pmann1995@gmail.com Meghan Markey • meghanmarkey@gmail.com Charnice Milton • charnicem@hotmail.com John H. Muller • jmuller.washingtonsyndicate@gmail.com Jonathan Neeley • neeley87@gmail.com Will Rich • will.janks@gmail.com Heather Schoell • schoell@verizon.net Virginia Avniel Spatz • virginia@hillrag.com Michael G. Stevens • michael@capitolriverfront.org Peter J. Waldron • peter@hillrag.com Roberta Weiner • rweiner_us@yahoo.com Jazzy Wright • wright.jazzy@gmail.com

Mickey Thompson • socialsightings@aol.com

Homes & Gardens Derek Thomas • derek@thomaslandscapes.com Catherine Plume • caplume@yahoo.com

COMMENTARY Ethelbert Miller • emiller698@aol.com T�� N��� • thenose@hillrag.com T�� L��� W��� • editorial@hilllrag.com

Production/Graphic/Web Design A�� D�������: Jason Yen • jay@hillrag.com Graphic Designer: Lee Kyungmin • lee@hillrag.com W�� M�����: Andrew Lightman • andrew@hillrag.com

Advertising & Sales S����� A��� M������: Kira Means, 202.543.8300 X16 • kira@hillrag.com A������ M������: Jennifer Zatkowski, 202.543.8300 X20 • Jenn@hillrag.com A������ M������: Dave Kletzkin, 202.543.8300 X22 • Dave@hillrag.com C��������� A����������: Maria Carolina Lopez, 202.543.8300 X12 • Carolina@hillrag.com

Distribution M������: D�����������: I����������:

Andrew Lightman MediaPoint, LLC distribution@hillrag.com

Deadlines & Contacts A����������: sales@hillrag.com D������ A��: 15th of each month C��������� A��: 10th of each month E��������: 15th of each month; editorial@hilllrag.com B������� B���� � C�������: 15th of each month; calendar@hillrag.com, bulletinboard@hillrag.com

We welcome suggestions for stories. Send queries to andrew@hillrag.com. We are also interested in your views on community issues which are published in the Last Word. Please limit your comments to 250 words. Letters may be edited for space. Please include your name, address and phone number. Send Last Word submissions to lastword@hillrag.com. For employment opportunities email jobs@hillrag.com. 14 H Hillrag.com

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see our website for more events! www.whatsonwashington.com

The Summit: In-Depth Exploration of DC Theater in Three Acts Arena Stage is offering a rare opportunity for DC-area theatergoers to hear groups of distinguished actors, directors, playwrights and artistic directors discuss their work and the myriad challenges facing their art form, in a series of three Monday evening panels entitled The Summit. The three free installments will gather some of the region’s most accomplished theater professionals to talk about everything from their passion for their craft to the problems of trying to lure new audiences to live theater. Tickets are free, but reservations are encouraged. Tickets may be reserved online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 6th St. SW.

Arena’s Molly Smith. Photo: Tony Powell

INTERSECTIONS Festival at the Atlas Imagine: Art that encourages compassionate listening and provocative questioning. The best established, emerging, community and student artists from DC and beyond. Theaters filled with diverse, dynamic audiences. Conversations over a glass of wine in the café with someone new who has just had the same experience as you. Chances to perform, engage, party! All this and more await you at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival over three weekends from Feb. 21-Mar. 8. Many performances are free! Celebrating their fifth anniversary, this unique all-arts festival brings together more than 100 performing groups over eight days to offer intersections of music, theatre, dance, film, opera and spoken word that capture a kaleidoscope of perspectives on our ever-evolving community and world. All five of our performance spaces will be alive with world premieres and innovative collaborations among artists of all ages, races, cultures, communities, and art forms. The Atlas is at 1333 H St. NE. intersectionsdc.org There is an INTERSECTIONS Mutts Gone Nuts Benefit Performance for Atlas Family Programming and animal rescue on Saturday, Feb.22 at 1:30 p.m.

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TAPAS - Spanish Design for Food TAPAS - Spanish Design for Food features more than 200 objects and instruments, videos, photographs, and installations to explore the interaction between design and gastronomy, two creative disciplines enjoying a boom in Spain and currently achieving international acclaim. The exhibition, in the former residence of the Ambassadors of Spain at 2801 16th St. NW, and will be on view through Mar. 23, 2014. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday, 2-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free admission. Dress For Dinner napkin designed by Héctor Serrano, produced by Worldwide

Post-Oil City: The History of the City’s Future More than half of the world’s population is living in cities. “Post-Oil City” is an international planning and landscape architecture exhibit which originated in Germany. Innovative projects in Asia, Africa, and America address urgent questions: How will the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy affect the process of urban planning and the city? How will the use of renewable energies affect urban metabolism and the politics of sustainability and mobility? The exhibition is on view through Mar. 1, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., at the University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW, Architectural Research Institute, Building 32 (2nd floor). Mars Exploration Rover. Photo: Courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Spirit & Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars Fifty stunning Mars images are on display through Sept. 14, 2014 at the National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave. at 6th St. SW. This exhibition celebrates the amazing images and achievements of the two Mars Exploration Rovers on the 10th anniversary of their landings on the Red Planet. The twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity were launched toward Mars in the summer of 2003. airandspace.si.edu

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Multi-Artist Show at Hill Center Galleries

Sandy Barrett Hassan and her “Quilts in Color” decorative wall hangings and Jacquelyn Flowers with her oil and acrylic paintings will be featured artists in the Galleries. In addition, over 20 artists show their work as part of The Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL) Juried Exhibition at Hill Center curated by Nicki Cymrot and Alan Braley. The works of Alan Braley, Eric Celarier, and Betsy Glassie are also included in the show. Hill Center Galleries, 921 Penn. Ave. SE, is open Sat. 10-5; Sun. 12-5 p.m. Mon.- Fri. 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Occasional closings for special events—call 202-549-4172 for confirmation of open hours on a particular day. Purple Rain, 23” x 43” is one of the beautiful quilts by Sandy Barrett Hassan in the current show at Hill Center through March 2.

FEBRUARY CALENDAR BLACK HISTORY MONTH Mount Vernon Celebrates Black History Month. Feb 1-28. In observance of Black History Month, Mount Vernon highlights the lives and contributions of the slaves who built and operated the plantation home of George and Martha Washington. Throughout the month, a daily Slave Life at Mount Vernon tour explores the lives and contributions of the slaves who lived at Mount Vernon. A wreathlaying and presentation occurs daily at the slave memorial site throughout the month of February. Black History Month activities are included in regular Estate admission: adults, $18; children ages 6-11, $9; and children under 5 are admitted free. mountvernon.org Civil Rights Act of 1964 Read-A-Thon. Feb 3, 5:00 PM. Often cited and rarely read, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark legislative work of inestimable importance in American history. You are cordially invited to a Civil Rights Act of 1964 Read-a-Thon. Volunteers will read the text of the Act from beginning to end in 15-minute increments, beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. To serve as a volunteer reader, call the information desk at 202-7244298 to register. Southwest Neighborhood Library, 900 Wesley Pl. SW. 202-724-4752. dclibrary.org/southwest Black History Month Event with Councilmember Wells at Northeast Library. Feb 15, 1:00-3:00 PM. Event features Councilmember Wells reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, performance by Eastern high

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School’s Washington Youth Chorus and spoken word by Ballou High School’s Asheru and a poetry slam. Northeaster Neighborhood Library, 330 7th St. NE. 202-698-3320. dclibrary.org/northeast The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin at Southwest Library. Feb 22, 1:00 PM. You are invited to attend the Southwest Book Discussion featuring The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Copies of the book are available for checkout. Southwest Neighborhood Library, 900 Wesley Pl. SW. 202-724-4752. dclibrary.org/southwest Tour the Frederick Douglass House. Tours are at 9:00 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:15 PM, 3:00 PM and 3:30 PM. Ranger led tours are the only way to see the inside of the Frederick Douglass house. Tours are ticketed, and there are a limited number of tickets available for each tour. Tour tickets are available by reservation or on a first-come, first-served 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 Trace Your DNA with AfricanAncestry.com. Founded in 2003 by Dr. Rick Kittles and Gina Paige, this Washington, DC based company has helped more than 100,000 people connect with their original roots in Africa. African Ancestry is the world leader in tracing maternal and paternal lineages of African descent. With the industry’s

largest and most comprehensive database of more than 32,000 indigenous African DNA samples, African Ancestry determines specific countries of origin-and in most casesethnic groups with a high level of accuracy. For more information, visit africanancestry.com. At the Anacostia Playhouse, Uniontown Bar & Grill, Anacostia Arts Center, Anacostia Library and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site will be events on Saturday, Feb. 8th for the celebration of Frederick Douglass’ birthday. http://www.nps.gov/frdo/birthday-celebration.htm Civil Rights at 50 at Newseum. On display through 2015. “Civil Rights at 50,” a three-year changing exhibit, chronicles milestones in the civil rights movement from 1963, 1964 and 1965 through historic front pages, magazines and news images. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave, NE. 888-639-7386. newseum.org NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom Online Exhibition. The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom exhibition presents a retrospective of the major personalities, events, and achievements that shaped the NAACP’s history during its first 100 years. myloc.gov/Exhibitions/naacp 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 seg-


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regated 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 Leagues most celebrated team, the Washington Homestead Grays. The show also highlights community teams that gave rise to the various amateur, collegiate and semipro black baseball teams and leagues. For special viewing hours and tours, call 202633-4844. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. anacostia.si.edu MLK Memorial. Open to visitors all hours, every day. 1964 Independence Ave. SW. nps.gov/mlkm


Popular Soprano and Pianist Joyce Bouvier at Art & Spirit Coffeehouse. Feb 5, 7:00 PM. Art & Spirit Coffeehouse features soprano and pianist Joyce Bouvier, a longtime southwest resident, and a favorite performer with local audiences who know her from past Art & Spirit Coffeehouse and The Southwest Chamber Players performances. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, she will play “Love Songs from the Great American Song Book.” Contact rector@staugustinesdc. org, 202-554-3222 or visit staugustinesdc.org for more information. St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 600 M St. SW. Woo at the Zoo. Feb 14. Valentines will enjoy a complimentary drink and hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to decorate sweets for your sweetheart. A cash bar will also be available featuring specialty drinks served in the exclusive Woo at the Zoo commemorative glass. All the fun takes place in the Zoo’s Visitor Center. For ages 21 and older. $125 for two. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. nationalzoo.si.edu Sweet “Arts” and Valentines at American Art Museum. Feb 14, 11:30 AM7:00 PM. Make a last-minute card, take themed scavenger hunts through the collection, and snap a picture at their photo booth. Enjoy sweet treats and wine in our café and get your Valentine something special in our museum store. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, 8th and F Sts. NW. 202633-7970. americanart.si.edu Valentine’s Day Comedy Show at THEARC. Feb 14, 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM. Funny Duo Nema Williams and Ed Blaze are on a mission to deliver funniness to all who need a laugh one tour bus stop

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at a time..and Why not? Who doesn’t like to laugh? $30. THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. Ticket information at metroconcert.com/?event=test-comedy-show. Chocolate for Your Valentine Cooking Demonstration. Feb 14, noon-1:30 PM. Demonstration persented by Adrienne Cook, Gardening Specialist and Danielle Cook, Nutritionist. What’s more fitting for Valentine’s Day than plenty of chocolate? Join the Cook Sisters for a delicious menu of dishes that incorporate chocolate. Free. US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. usbg.gov Debra Tidwell’s Love and all its Symptoms. Feb 14, 7:30 PM. Hill Center is thrilled to welcome back Debra Tidwell for a special Valentine’s Day performance. $15/advance, $20 day-of. Register online at hillcenterdc.org. Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Mating Call-The Dating Life of Birds and Bees Concert. Feb 14, 3:00-5:00 PM. This concert program reveals the hidden mating practices of our winged and feathered friends. Along with accessible scientific commentary, vocal artist Nancy Scimone celebrates these convivial courtships with lively bee and bird-themed songs by Mercer, Gershwin, Bizet and more. Free. US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-2258333. usbg.gov LOVE FEST with The Sweater Set @ The Fridge. Feb 14, 7:30-11:30 PM. Live music, chocolate, poetry, paper heart valentines & cake – it’s a LOVE FEST! Award winning duo The Sweater Set teams up with real life. The Fridge, 516 1/2 8th St. SE. thefridgedc.com The Fabulettes at the Corner Store. Feb 14, 8:00 PM. This is their annual “lovefest” dance party. Corner Store, 900 So. Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807. cornerstorearts.org


Folklore Society of Greater Washington Midwinter Folk Festival. Feb 8, noon10:30 PM. Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd., Takoma Park, MD. fsgw.org Washington, DC International Wine and Food Festival. Feb 13–15. Thursday, 8:0011:00 PM; Friday-Saturday, 7:00-10:00 PM. In its 15th year, the Festival returns for DC’s oenophiles and gastronomy enthusiasts to enjoy three days of signa-

ture events, master classes and wine dinners. Guests can look forward to opportunities to sample highly rated wines, artisanal cocktails and craft beer while sharing in the art, culture and fun of food and wine. $120. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. wineandfooddc.com George Washington Birthday Celebration Parade. Feb 17, 1:00-3:00 PM. The nation’s largest George Washington birthday parade marches a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. visitalexandriava.com Volunteer at the Cherry Blossom Festival. By volunteering for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, its events largely free and open to the public, you support an important event in and for our community. You’ll also have the opportunity to make new friends and have fun. Join us in welcoming the many visitors and residents to the Festival! Go to nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/ get-involved.

MUSIC & Dance

The 9 Songwriter Series at Ebenezers. Feb 7, 7:30-10:00 PM. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-5586900. ebenezerscoffeehouse.com Pedrito Martinez at the Atlas. Feb 8, 8:00 PM. World-class percussionist, singer and bandleader Pedrito Martinez dazzles audiences with a sound plated firmly in the Afro-Cuban Rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria. The Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. atlasarts.org James Britton with Joe Maye and Brittany Jean at Ebenezers. Feb 14, 7:30-10:00 PM. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-558-6900. ebenezerscoffeehouse.com Harmonious Wail at Corner Store. Feb 20, 8:00 PM. Corner Store, 900 So. Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807. cornerstorearts.org Music at INTERSECTIONS Festival at the Atlas. Feb 21. 7:30 PM, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, My First Time; 8:00 PM, Capital City Symphony, GoGo Symphony; 9:30 PM, UrbanArias, Opera Like You’ve Never Seen It. Feb 22. 1:30 PM, Charles Williams and The Royal Family Blues Band, Roots of the

Planning to go to the World Cup? Speak Spanish and want a 2nd foreign language? Afro-Brazilian Capoeira for Kids 5-12 Starting on February 4th At Momentum Dance Studio (534 8th St, SE)

Brazilian Gastronomy

From March 1st to March 29th (5 classes) Saturdays from 11 AM to 1 PM At the Hill Center

Learn Portuguese on the Hill! Fun and highly effective small group classes

Winter 2014 classes start on February 3rd.

Contact Valeria Buffo (202)546-5229 brasilonthehill@gmail.com www.brasilonthehill.com Also offering cultural workshops featuring Brazilian music, cinema, culinary and more!

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Saturday, March 8th 6:30pm International Spy Museum 800 F Street, NW Please join BASIS families and friends in celebrating BASIS teachers and a world-class education. All proceeds support the BASIS DC Annual Teacher Fund.

questions volunteer donate contact: bassisstarsgala@gmail.com www.facebook.com/BASISStarsGala

Blues; 4:30 PM, Remembering the Palladium, An Encore and More Production; 4:30 PM, Atlantic Reed Consort, Acoustic Disturbance; 5:30 PM, After the Show, Music Geeks Meet Up; 7:00 PM, SynchroniCity, Classics from an Urban Perspective; 9:30 PM, Christylez Bacon and the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Hip-Hop UnPlugged Album Release Concert; 9:30 PM, Alarke, Shrugging Sounds; 10:30 PM, Open Jazz Jam Session, Presented by The Washington Post. Feb 28. 9:00 PM, Library of Congress Presents Lansiné Kouyaté and David Neerman; 8:30 PM, Before the Show, Ukulele Moment; 9:30 PM, Victoria Vox-Vox Ukulele Cello, Outside the Box. Mar 1. 12:30 PM, Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra Expressions of Youth: New Music for Steel Band; 4:00 PM, Mark Sylvester and Natalie Spehar, New Duets; 7:00 PM, All Points West, DarkCity. Mar 2. 4:00 PM, Not What You Think, We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest; 5:30 PM, UrbanArias, Opera Like You’ve Never Seen It. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. intersectionsdc.org

of ideas and information between professional musicians, students, aficionados and the general public. $8. 1007 H St. NE. 202-253-0044. hr57.org

District Sounds hosted by Chris Richards: Featuring the Indie Dream-Pop Music of Cigarette. Feb 21, 7:00 PM. District Sounds features some of the most intriguing musicians at the forefront of DC’s eclectic music scene. Richards will launch his new series with the dream-pop band Cigarette. Event begins with a 30-minute discussion with the artists, followed by a concert. $10/advance, $15/day-of. Register online at hillcenterdc.org. Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

Dance at INTERSECTIONS Festival at the Atlas. Feb 21. 10:30 PM, Kaution Dance Kru, The Banji Project. Feb 22, 1:00 PM, Before the Show, Unlocking Indian Dance; 2:00 PM, Jayamangala Navgathi, New Directions. Feb 23, 2:30 PM, Dance Dimensions, Reflections; 3:00 PM, Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Heritage Celebration of Praise; 5:00 PM, Tehreema Mitha Dance Company

James Terrell and Michael Coleman with Frank Viele at Ebenezers. Feb 28, 7:30-10:00 PM. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-558-6900. ebenezerscoffeehouse.com The Dirk Quinn Band at Corner Store. Feb 28, 8:00 PM. Corner Store, 900 So. Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807. cornerstorearts.org National Jukebox. The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries. Go to loc.gov/jukebox. HR 57 Weekly Jam Sessions. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 PM-midnight. Since 1993 HR-57 has provided a place where aspiring musicians gather to learn the history and cultures of the genres of jazz and blues. It’s a venue for the exchange

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Church of the Epiphany Weekly Concerts. Every Tuesday, 12:10 PM. Free but free will offering taken. 1317 G ST. NW. 202-3472635. epiphanydc.org Jazz Night (and fish fry) in Southwest. Fridays, 6:00-9:00 PM. Every Friday night. Expect a large, fun and friendly crowd. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW (Fourth and I, south side of intersection). The cover is $5. Children are welcome and free under 16 years old. 202484-7700. westminsterdc.org/jazz Blue Monday Blues. Mondays, 6:00-9:00 PM. Westminster Presbyterian Church. Local musicians perform, and the Southwest Catering Company provides a fish fry from 5:30-8:30 PM. $5/general; free/ children under 16. Modestly priced food. 400 I St. SW. 202-484-7700. westminsterdc.org/blues

BLUE JEANS Classical and Contemporary. 5:30 PM, MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet & Musical Guests, Spark. Feb 28. 7:00 PM, DEVIATED THEATRE, Creatures and Cosmos; 9:30 PM, Taurus Broadhurst Dance, The Underground. Mar 1. 1:00 PM, Dance Performance Group, It’s Us!; 1:30 PM, Dance Dimensions, Reflections; 7:00 PM, B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, The Nayika Project; 9:30 PM, Dissonance Dance Theatre, Watch Me Bounce. Mar 2. 2:00 PM, Xuejuan Dance Ensemble, Two-Way Mirror; 2:00 PM, Jane Franklin Dance & Percussionist Tom Teasley, Blue Moon /Red River. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. intersectionsdc.org

TheaTer & film

The Tallest Tree in the Forest at Arena. Through Feb 16. The incomparable Daniel Beaty (Emergence-See!) brings to life the true story of Paul Robeson, hailed as the ‘best known black man in the world’ for his incomparable singing and acting, brought low by accusations of disloyalty to America. Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. 202-488-3300. arena-stage.org

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country in producing a staged reading of Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:30pm in the Melton Rehearsal Hall at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. The reading, discussion, and activism fair will be co-presented with African Continuum Theatre Company. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW. 202-3933939. woollymammoth.net

Join the hundreds of runners taking to the streets to fundraise for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Photo: Courtesy of Cupid’s Undie Run

Cupids Undie Run Feb 15, noon-4:00 PM. Cupid’s Undie Run is returning for its 5th year in Washington, DC. On Valentine’s Day weekend, come put the hilarity in charity with hundreds of half-naked runners taking to the streets in celebration of their fundraising for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Last year Cupid’s raised over $1.3 Million to end NF and they’re relying on you to join and make this year’s fundraising (and party) the biggest and best yet. Start a team, join a team, or just run solo and make some new friends. The party, at Pour House, Hawk ‘N’ Dove and Capitol Lounge on Capital Hill, starts at noon; run time is 2 p.m.; then back for more fun until 4 p.m. Arrive early and stay late... and feel free to remain pants-less the entire time! Registration (still open) is now $100. cupidsundierun.com

Rorschach Theatre’s Glassheart at the Atlas. Through Feb 16. Beauty never showed up. The Beast and his remaining magical servant have moved into a shabby apartment near a 7-11, hoping for a lower cost of living and better luck with girls. This fairy tale includes a building manager with a taste for gingerbread and children, spells that come with a price, and a relentlessly cheery lamp that discovers what-and who-must be sacrificed for an ordinary life. The Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. atlasarts.org The Best Man at the Keegan. Through Feb 22. A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the

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presidency, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man is set at the national convention where two candidates are vying for their party’s nomination during the primary season. Keegan Theater, 1742 Church St. NW. 703-892-0202. keegantheatre.com Yellow Face at Theater J. Through Feb 23. The lines between truth and fiction blur with hilarious and moving results in David Henry Hwang’s unreliable memoir. Fresh off his Tony Award win for M. Butterfly, Hwang leads a community protest against the casting of a famous white actor as the Eurasian pimp in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon, condemning the practice as “yellowface.” His position soon comes back to haunt him when he mistakes a Caucasian actor for mixed-race, and casts him in the lead Asian role of his own new play. Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. 800 494-8497. washingtondcjcc.org Tribes at Studio. Through Feb 23. Billy, a deaf man whose hearing family has never listened to him, comes to define his identity on his own terms in this sophisticated drama about family, belonging, and the limitations of language. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. 202-332-3300. studiotheatre.org The Importance of Being Earnest at Shakespeare. Through Mar 2. Oscar Wilde’s most perfect of plays is a comedy of class, courtship, and avoiding burdensome social conventions. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. 202547-1122. shakespearetheatre.org Mother Courage and Her Children at Arena. Through Mar 9. Kathleen Turner returns stars as a tough-as-nails matriarch who profits off the very war that steals her children from her one by one. But will the cost of war be higher than she’s prepared to pay? Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. 202-488-3300. arena-stage.org Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege at Woolly. Feb 5, 7:30 PM. In commemoration of the birthday of the late Trayvon Martin, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company will join theatres across the

We Are Proud to Present at Woolly. Feb 10-Mar 9. A rehearsal room descends from collaborative to absurd as a group of idealistic actors-three black and three white-come together to tell the little-known story of a centuries-old conflict in South West Africa. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW. 202-393-3939. woollymammoth.net The Trials of Muhammad Ali: ITVS Film Screening. Feb 11, 7:00 PM. Free. Register online at hillcenterdc.org or call 202-549-4172. Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The Dark Side of Hitchcock Series: Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Feb 21, 7:00 PM. Free. Register online at hillcenterdc. org or call 202-549-4172. Hill Center, 921 Penn Ave. SE.


CHAW presents “Urban Eyes, A Photo Exhibition by the Girl from Nowhere”. Through Feb 25. A photo exhibition by the Girl from Nowhere (Tokyo-born French-American artist/photographer Camille Clifton). Lecture. Feb 4, 7:009:00 PM. The lecture is in conjunction with the CHAW gallery exhibit and is free and open to all. CHAW, 545 7th St. SE. 202-547-6839. chaw.org Common Ground at Honfleur Gallery. Through Feb 28. Opening reception, Jan 10, 6:00-9:00 PM. Common Ground presents the work that arose from a collaboration between painter Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and photographer Michael B. Platt. Artist talk is on Saturday, Feb 1, 2:45 PM. ; Jadallah’s talk begins at 2 p.m., Mann and Platt’s talk will follow at 2:45 p.m. Both exhibits close February 28, 2014. Honfleur Gallery, 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE. 202-365-8392. Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990. Through Mar 10. Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990 traces the city’s transformation into an internationally recognized destination with its own design vocabulary, canonized landmarks, and coveted way of life. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448. nbm.org Shakespeare’s the Thing at the Folger. Through June 15. Explore Shakespeare’s influence on visual art, performance, and scholarship through treasures from the Folger collection hand-picked by Folger staff, including a special look at how fans have celebrated Shakespeare from his time to ours. Marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol SSE. 202-544-4600. folger.edu

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SPORTS, DANCE AND FITNESS Atlas Fitness Nutritional Workshops. Feb 9, 23 and Mar 2, 3:00 PM. Feb 9, Nutrition for Endurance Athletes; Feb 23, The Savvy Shoppers Guide to the Grocery Store; Mar 2, Get Your Green On. $37 each class. Sign up at AtlasFitnessDC.com. The Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. atlasarts.org Canal Park Ice Rink. Open MondayFriday, noon-9:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM; Sunday 10:00 AM-7:00 PM. Adult fee is $8; children, seniors (55+) and military fees are $7. Skate rental is $3. Second and M sts. SE, one block from the Navy Yard Metro (New Jersey Avenue exit). canalparkdc.org


Rock N Roll Marathon Registration Open. Marathon is Mar 15. runrocknroll.competitor.com.


Washington, DC International Wine and Food Festival Market. The Festival Marketplace is a new feature, free and open to the public from noon-8:00 PM on Thursday, Feb 13 and Friday, Feb 14. Come meet over forty artisans that will be showcasing their unique products and offering special Festival discounts and complimentary beverages. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. wineandfooddc.com


AARP, Southwest Waterfront Chapter #4751 Luncheon. Feb 19, noon. $5 for lunch. River Park Mutual Home’s community room, 1311 Delaware Ave. SW. Contact Chapter President Betty Jean Tolbert Jones, bettyjeantolbertjones@yahoo.com or 202-554-0901.

St. Vincent de Paul catholic church South Capitol and M Streets, SE Sunday 8 am and 6:30 pm | M-F 12:10 pm www.stvincentdepauldc.org Closest Church to Nationals Park! StVincentDePaul 28 H Hillrag.com

Ward 6 City Council Candidates Forum. Feb 20, 7:00-9:00 PM. Moderator Kathy Paterson and Ward 6 Candidates Charles Allen, Shelonda Tillman and Darrel Thompson. Forum is at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 4th St. and Independence Ave. SE. Co-Sponsors are Eastern Market Metro Community Association, Capitol Hill Public School Parents Organization, and Capitol Hill Group Ministry. u

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C B el H la eb is c r to k at in ry g Frederick Douglass in Washington

Frederick Douglass in his early fifties. Photo: Library of Congress.


by John Muller

n June 1853 an editorial in the Daily Evening Star, “Handiwork of Abolitionists,” warned that Frederick Douglass, the newspaper publisher and editor from Rochester, New York, was not welcome in the nation’s capital. The powerful oratory of Douglass, in his mid-thirties, before crowds in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as his own editorials condemning the policies of slavery in the United States, made his potential presence an inflammatory threat where slavery was the law of the land, as was the case on the streets the District of Columbia. A decade later, Douglas, the most famous fugitive slave in our country’s history, came to Washington City during the Civil War and met with President Abraham

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Frederick Douglass lived on Capitol Hill at 316-318 A Street NE for five years before moving across the Anacostia to Cedar Hill. Photo: Melissa Ashabranner

Lincoln for the first time. “Any of our citizens who will take the trouble to walk through and around our city, can see what the skinflint abolitionists of the North are doing for us,” wrote the Evening Star. “There was a time when it was possible to preserve order among the negro portion of the population of Washington; but then the great majority of that portion were slaves. - now, since Mrs. Stowe and compatriots, Solomon Northrup and Fred Douglass, have been exciting the free negroes of the North to ‘action.’” Frederick Douglass’ relationship with the United States Capitol was, in fact, curious and lifelong. In his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Douglass revealed he finally came to understand who abolitionists were when, as a young teen, he read in a Baltimore newspaper of their activities in Congress. “In its columns I found, that, on a certain day, a vast number of petitions and memorials had been presented to Congress, praying for abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and for the abolition of the slave trade between the states of the Union.” He would later tell this story throughout the country and across the Atlantic Ocean, adding, “From this time I understood

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the words abolition and abolitionist, and always drew near when that word was spoken, expecting to hear something of importance to myself and fellow-slaves.” From a distance, Douglass knew the nation’s capital city symbolized an inherent hypocrisy in the United States Constitution. In May 1846, while in England, Douglass said, “In the national District of Columbia, over which the star-spangled emblem is constantly waving, where orators are ever holding forth on the subject of American liberty, American democracy, American republicanism, there are two slave prisons.” Through the 1850s, while an editor, writer, orator and activist, Douglass did not waver in his faith that the day of jubilee would be realized, when American slavery would be forever abolished. During the Civil War Douglass met with President Lincoln on two separate occasions and was in Washington City to attend Lincoln’s second inaugural in March 1865. President Andrew Johnson was wholly uninterested in the citizenship claims of the more than four million freed slaves; Douglass and a group of prominent black men met him in February 1866, but were unable to persuade Johnson to change course.

Frederick Douglass Comes to Washington Following the Civil War, Douglass’ three sons - Lewis, Frederick, Jr. and Charles - secured government positions in Washington and began establishing relationships, socializing with leaders of the city’s black community. Businessman George Downing and pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, John Sella Martin, encouraged the elder Douglass and his children to launch a newspaper in Washington that would serve as the black community’s voice in chronicling both local affairs and Reconstruction efforts throughout the former Confederate States. On Thursday, January 13, 1870 the New Era was published as a weekly, making it the only paper of its day published and edited by “colored men.” In September Frederick Douglass purchased all ownership rights and re-christened the paper the New National Era. At the time Douglass was the only black member of the Press Gallery. The paper would later merge with another weekly, but ultimately ceased publication in September 1874. While editing the New National Era, in April 1871 Douglass was appointed by President Grant to serve on the city’s legislative council. This local position would be the apex of Douglass’ legislative career, although others had loftier aspirations on his behalf. The year before, Hiram Revels from Mississippi became the first black American to join the United States Senate. Charles Douglass, Frederick’s youngest son, had a front row seat to the swearing-in. “Many voices in the Galleries were heard by me to say, ‘If it would only have been Fred Douglass,’ and my heart beat rapidly.” Charles urged his father to seize the moment as “the door is open, and I expect to see you pass in.” Never one to aggrandize his own self-importance, Douglass would later write, “I was earnestly urged by many of my respected fellow-citizens both colored and white, and from all sections of the country, to take up my abode in some one of the many districts of the South where there was a large colored vote and get myself elected, as they were sure I easily could do, to a seat in Congress-possibly in the Senate.” Writing in his 3rd autobiography, Douglass

explained, “I had not lived long enough in Washington to have this sentiment sufficiently blunted to make me indifferent to its suggestions.” However, Douglass trusted his instinct and knew his own limitations. He confessed, “I had small faith in my aptitude as a politician, and could not hope to cope with rival aspirants.” While living in the nation’s capital for the last 25 years of his life, Douglass was a prescient voice for local representation. Less than a month before he died, Douglass attended a meeting of the District Suffrage Petition Association where he asked, “[W]hat have the people of the District done that they should be excluded from the privileges of the ballot box?” Known for his principal roles as an abolitionist, suffragette, editor, author, intellectual, and statesman, Douglass was an advocate for the full rights of citizens of the District of Columbia, a cause that remains active today.

Y A L P ! ! ! L BAL

Douglass as a Neighbor After his home in Rochester was destroyed by a fire in the summer of 1872, Douglass permanently moved his family to Washington, buying his first home on Capitol Hill, 316-318 A Street NE, which still stands today. For the five years Douglass lived on Capitol Hill he became a prominent Washingtonian and used his influence to help nurture the next generation of black intellectuals and civil rights activists. He accepted an appointment to serve on the Board of Trustees at the recently founded Howard University, where for more than two decades Douglass

Spring Baseball & Softball Girls and Boys Ages 6-13 (14 for softball)


http://chlldc.org Opening Day April 5 Registration will close February 26 for the Majors division and March 12 for every other division, including softball.

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The front of Cedar Hill, the home of Frederick Douglass from 1877 until 1895. Photo: John Muller.

was a public advocate and private mentor to students at the university, lending a hand in the organization of the first alumni association and helping students secure government positions upon graduation. In March of 1877 Douglass was nominated by President Rutherford B. Hayes to serve as Marshal of the District of Columbia and was confirmed by the Senate. In his lifetime, Frederick Douglass was the American Myth incarnate—once a full-flight fugitive slave, the world’s most famous bondsman, three decades later he was appointed United States marshal of the nation’s capital city by the president. Douglass’s 1845 autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, stands the test of time. At the time of its release, Douglass was an outlaw flaunting the freedom he enjoyed in the North. Traveling and orating on both coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, his clarion voice boomeranged throughout American and British reformist communities making his capture imperative for the antebellum South. Before anyone could capture him, his freedom was purchased while he traveled throughout the British Empire. Upon his return to the United States, Douglass was no less of a risk taker; his Rochester home, just as it had been in Lynn and New Bedford, Massachusetts, was a safe house for runaway slaves seeking the safety of Canada. Often, Douglass would arrive in the early morning to his newspaper offices to find fugitives awaiting him. He recalled, “I had as many as eleven fugitives under my roof at one time.” As marshal of the District of Columbia, Douglass had the responsibility of bringing fugitives to justice, a long way from his days of quartering them. Douglass was in close contact with Washington’s criminal class nearly every day as marshal. He said as much, telling readers in his last autobiography that the marshal’s office “made me the daily witness in the crimi-

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nal court of a side of the District life to me most painful and repulsive.” The irony of Douglass serving as Marshal was captured by the Evening Star in April 1877 when the paper reported, “An ex-constable was in the criminal court at Washington on business the other day, and was asked by one of the bailiffs if he was looking for Marshal Douglass. ‘No sir,’ was the reply, ‘not now; but there was a time, when he was a fugitive slave, when I tried hard to find him.’” No matter the turn of history, his position as Marshal gave Douglass the ability to purchase a larger home to accommodate the bundle of grandchildren he often looked after, the journalists frequently coming to his home to seek comment, and the groups of Howard University students who regularly called upon their mentor. Deeds to Frederick Douglass’s purchase in September 1877 of a mansion and a nine-acre homestead in Uniontown, present-day Anacostia, for $6,700 can be found both in the National Archives and DC Archives. The Douglass home across the Eastern Branch afforded new comforts and privacy. Within weeks of moving his family from Capitol Hill to Uniontown and becoming one of the neighborhood’s most prominent property owners, Marshal Douglass busied himself in the affairs of his community. From participating in recreational readings with the

Neighborhood children spend hours playing at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Anacostia. Photo: John Muller.

Uniontown Shakespeare Club to investing in the local street car, the Anacostia & Potomac River Railway Company, Douglass was a ubiquitous member of his neighborhood.. “Frederick Douglass, in spite of his age, walks about Washington as briskly as a boy,” observed the New York Tribune in early 1884. Approaching seventy years old, Douglass, standing slightly over six feet tall, “weighs more than 200 pounds, his hair is white, and his health is perfect.” Two years earlier, Douglass had told a friend, “I have not felt in better health at any time during the last five years. I now walk every morning from ‘Cedar Hill’ to the City Hall and am less fatigued than when I adopted the practice.” By the late 1870s, Uniontown had begun to see a merchant class develop, with barbers, pharmacists, grocers, carriage builders, coach painters, feed dealers and blacksmiths. These Uniontown business owners were among the many individuals who advocated for a larger police force. Francis Allen was known in the community and thought to be an ideal candidate to join the police force. He was born in Maryland in 1845 but had moved into the District during the war, where he served with the D.C. Volunteers for three years before being honorably discharged. He was thirty-two and employed as a streetcar driver when he filled out his initial application in 1877 to join the force. “I wish to add my good word for Mr. Allen,” Douglass wrote to Major Thomas P. Morgan, superintendent of police, on letterhead from the U.S. Marshal’s Office on September 11, 1878. “I am not very well acquainted with him but I am with those who are. From them I learn that Mr. Allen is a man of excellent character.” Joining Marshal Douglass in an undated letter to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia supporting Allen’s application to join the police force were local postmaster and hotelier Robert F. Martin, real estate investor Henry A. Griswold, druggist Samuel F. Shreve, fancy goods merchant James Grimes, feed dealer Charles Jenkins, clerk William Green and other notable citizens. According to scholar Sandra Schmidt, Allen was finally appointed on March 8, 1879, serving nearly twenty years. Allen was assigned the Uniontown beat. Plans to commemorate the bicentennial of Douglass’s birth in 2018 are just now beginning. Original scholarship is expected that will bring Douglass into greater focus. With the planned opening of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture on the National Mall, more attention by scholars and greater public interest into the life and times of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent Civil Rights leaders in the history of this country, and, in fact, our local history as Washingtonians, will surely emerge. To arrange a tour of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site please call 202-426-5961 or visit http://www.nps.gov/ frdo/index.htm John Muller is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (The History Press, 2012). u

E on DC

When Black History Turns A Tad Dark


by E. Ethelbert Miller

’ve started to forget black history. I can’t remember when my mother or father died. The date and year seems like yesterday, no it was years ago, but how long? I check a bookcase in my home office; there is a place where I keep the funeral programs of family members. I also have a small altar consisting of pictures and items that belonged to those I loved. A small toy monkey with a silly smile on its face was the last thing my mother held in the hospital just before death arrived to comb her hair. Why do we keep things the dead once touched? I am leaving work again. I join the walking dead. A death city (DC) zombie. I head down the street to catch the Green Line. My journey home has become a regular underground tragedy without Shakespeare to take notes. It’s a lesson in tolerance and the search for beauty and small acts of kindness. I’ve read enough black books to know something is happening to my people. We are no longer blues people. Some of us have been kicked off easy street. But easy street was never easy. We are trapped in shadows with pockets filled with discarded lottery tickets. How many of us no longer feel lucky? I want to love my people not in the abstract but in the flesh. I want to feel the warmth of blackness that I once felt on that day the heart’s trumpet blew and a million black men walked these streets. I want our clothes to fit again. My ears demand new spirituals and not the vulgarity of sound. It’s almost time for me to lay my burden down. There comes a point in one’s life when you pick-up a form, an application, or a survey and there is only one more box to check. History is sitting next to you willing to loan you a pen or pencil. So it looks as if soon everything will end and I’ve been 63 years a slave. Outside the Metro there are places where my ancestors were sold. Today the chains are invisible and the subway car I enter makes me feel like Clay the threatened character in the play The Dutchman that a young LeRoi Jones once wrote. I’ve started calling Washington the District. Not the District of Columbia but simply The District – as if it was a zone. A place gone bi-polar and torn suddenly between becoming heaven or hell. Where is my train heading and why are there only two tracks? There is something about the L’Enfant Plaza metro station that annoys me. Is it the sounds of youth or the noise of despair? Is it my imagination that this station is darker than all the others in the system? At times I mistake the station as being some mystical crossroads. A place where one would either sell oneself to the devil or maybe simply hand over a cell phone. I once accidently touched a person and it was a medieval moment. My hand was almost bitten off and I was only saved by my salamander instincts. There is something “wicked strange” happening in our city. I fear a big fog coming in. With all the construction taking place and an economic movement to change the height restrictions for buildings, maybe our Tower of Babel is near. On the trains and buses I already hear many languages being spoken. I also see countless people wearing headphones – listening to what can only be a different world or District. There seems to be a growing darkness, shaping even our nights.

E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several collections of poems. Mr. Miller is the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. www.eethelbertmiller.com u

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{capitol streets}

Bulletin Board

Capitol Hill Community Foundation Announces 2014 Honorees Each spring the Capitol Hill Community Foundation makes three awards in recognition of distinguished service to our neighborhood. This year those awards go to Melissa Ashabranner, Maygene and Steve Daniels and their daughter, Leah, and to Becky and Michael Skinner. Melissa Ashabranner has had a major impact on the community with over thirty years of work as the executive editor and co-owner of the Hill Rag newspaper, founded in 1976 by her husband Jean-Keith Fagon. As a founding member of the CHCF Board, she has worked tirelessly to support all aspects of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s work raising funds and distributing them to a large number of local endeavors through small grants. Maygene, Steve and Leah Daniels have individually each made enormous contributions to our community and, together, they represent the first award to two generations of a family. As the Board’s meticulous treasurer, Steve has done something for the Capitol Hill Community Foundation almost every day for the past fourteen years. Maygene has researched and helped organize information about the rich history of the Hill Center. Their daughter, Leah, grew up on Capitol Hill and now, as the cheerful proprietor of Hill’s Kitchen, gives back through donations and active involvement in the business community. Becky and Michael Skinner are committed to many Hill institutions. They were among the founders of Two Rivers Public Charter School which Becky served through nine years of extraordinary growth as chairman of the Board. Michael is one of the founders of the annual Youth Film Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. And, as parents of two lively sons, the Skinners have coached soccer and baseball through Sports on the Hill and Capitol Hill Little League. The Capitol Hill Community Foundation will give its annual Arnold Keller Jr. award of $10,000 to Capitol Hill Little League, the lead gift in their projected capital campaign. Melissa Ashabranner, Maygene, Steve and Leah Daniels, and

ABOVE: Allison Cortese and Mollie Kaufmann of RIS. Photo: Kathleen Donner

RIS Launches Prepared Foods Stall at Union Market On Jan. 9, Ris Lacoste, Chef/Owner of RIS launched her highly anticipated prepared foods stall at Union Market. RIS at Union Market will operate Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. RIS fans will delight in a menu of Chef Lacoste’s sophisticated cuisine and kitchen staples for the at home chef. Customers can create their very own gourmet masterpieces at home with an assortment of stocks, sauces, and vinaigrettes including veal stock ($8), tomato eggplant sauce ($6), and champagne vinaigrette ($5). In addition to regular menu offerings, the food stall will offer daily “Ris Bowls,” a rotating selection of gourmet soups, hot and cold bowls, and kid’s bowls. risdc.com

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Becky and Michael Skinner, as well as Capitol Hill Little League, will be honored at the annual Capitol Hill Community Foundation fundraising dinner on Apr. 30 in the Great Hall of the Folger Library. For more information about the dinner, call Dee Seward at 202-547-3742.

Overbeck Lecture: Who Was Michael Shiner? On Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m., Leslie Anderson will deliver an Overbeck History Lecture on the remarkable life of Michael Shiner, a freed slave who worked at the Washington Navy Yard, rose to prominence in the Capitol Hill community, and kept a diary from 1813 to 1869. Shiner’s eyewitness accounts are a goldmine of information on neighborhood events, ranging from fires, epidemics and industrial accidents to visits to the Navy Yard by several presidents. He also describes individual families, churches and businesses in his vibrant working-class community. A genealogist and author, Leslie Anderson serves as reference librarian in the special collections branch of the Alexandria Public Library and has conducted extensive research on Shiner and his diary. The lecture is at the Naval Lodge Hall at 330 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Admission is free but a reservation is required due to limited seating. To reserve or to request inclusion on their notification list, email OverbeckLecture@ CapitolHillHistory.org.

ANC 6D02 Vacancy In the wake of Commissioner Ed Kaminski’s resignation, The Board of Elections (BOE) has officially certified the vacancy in 6D02. Petitions are available at BOE. They can be circulated until Feb. 3. Challenges to those petitions allowed through Feb. 12. If more than one person survives the petition process, an election will be held, at the next ANC 6D meeting. If only one candidate qualifies, that person automatically fills the vacancy.

SE Neighborhood Library Closed Until Feb. 18 The Southeast Neighborhood Library is closed through Feb. 18. The water main from Seventh Street to the Library has deteriorated. Water to the library will be shut off until construction of a

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new service line can be completed. The book drop will also be closed during this time and book donations will not be accepted. The Northeast Neighborhood Library, 330 7th St. NE, is scheduled to re-open on Feb. 3. dclibrary.org/southeast

William Penn House Dinner and Silent Auction William Penn set out to create the Peaceable Kingdom. It’s still a work in progress. On Feb. 23, 6-9 p.m., join them for a special evening as they toast a peacemaker in our midst, Mrs. Janie Boyd. Janie Boyd has been a resident of Washington DC for over 60 years. For many of those decades, she has been a passionate activist for food justice and healthy communities. Her activism is simple; let’s not waste resources-material and emotional, let’s work together, and let’s be loving towards all people. Starting with gleaning, and then helping with community gardens that she initiated she has been not only showing us what needs done, but how to do it-with open hearts. The dinner is $60 a person and will be held at Diego, 14th and V Sts. NW. Call 202-543-5560 or visit williampennhouse.org.

Volunteer During Atlas’ INTERSECTIONS Festival (Feb. 21-Mar. 8) INTERSECTIONS is the Atlas’s signature annual festival featuring over 800 artists in more than 120 performances that celebrate the energy and diversity of artists and audiences from DC and beyond. The Atlas provides volunteers a pass for two complimentary tickets upon completing a four-hour volunteer shift. Typical volunteer positions include scanning tickets, distributing programs, directing patrons to seats, light clean-up of theater. They need help in the office in the weeks before INTERSECTIONS with administrative tasks (email eforbes@atlasarts.org for details.). Visit atlasarts.org/get-involved/volunteering for more information.

“Transforming Your Home for Easier Living” at Hill Center On Feb. 21, 10:00-noon, the Housing Committee of Capitol Hill Village will conduct a seminar on “Transforming Your Home for Easier Liv-

ing” at The Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The topics will range from simple changes that can make your home safer and more comfortable to major renovations that will result in functional differences in the layout and use of your home. The speakers will be Tori Goldhammer, an occupational therapist whose consulting business helps homeowners adapt their homes for safety and comfort, and Byron Buck, whose company renovates and modernizes homes, particularly kitchens. Both Tori and Byron live on the Hill, so they really understand the limitations of our row houses and ways to improve them. There will be ample time for questions. The seminar is free and open to all. capitolhillvillage.org

Quaker Dialogue at William Penn House On Sunday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m., you are invited to join them for an evening with Rabbi Kenneth Cohen as he talks about The Vine and Fig Project, his work, and his hopes for future conversations with Peace Congregations. The Vine and Fig Project is an interfaith educational venture founded by Rabbi Cohen. Its mission is to support Christians and Jews to better understand the complexities of the modern Middle East and do so in a religious context. It is an organization that supports Palestinians and the UN Declaration of Human Rights, but is troubled by some of the sentiments expressed towards Israel from the political and social left. The monthly dialogue and potluck is an opportunity for fellowship among Quakers, attenders and fellow seekers. Bring a dish to share; family members, neighbors and friends are always welcome. William Penn House is at 515 E. Capitol St. SE. 202-543-5560. WilliamPennHouse.org

All Politics is Local with Tom Sherwood with Mayoral Candidate Muriel Bowser This is the second in Hill Center’s series of comprehensive, in-depth conversations with viable DC Mayoral candidates that will run throughout 2014 up until the Nov. 4 election. These forums will be civil, thoughtful opportunities for candidates to drill down beneath the surface of sound bites, and thoroughly examine the critical issues and ideas essential to them and residents of the

Additions & Basement Experts BUFFALO COMPANY, LLC www.buffalocompanyusa.com For all your Construction Needs ADDITIONS District of Columbia. It takes place on Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tom Sherwood of NBC 4 will be joined by Mark Segraves for this special All Politics is Local. Register online at hillcenterdc.org or call 202-549-4172 A fifth-generation Washingtonian, Muriel Bowser was first elected Ward 4 Councilmember in a special election in 2007, re-elected in 2008, and again in 2012. She serves as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development that is responsible for matters related to economic, industrial and commercial development. Bowser is also a member of the Committee on Finance and revenue, the Committee on Government Operations, and the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.



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St. Augustine’s Installs Clothing Donations Bin MetroAid program has partnered with the Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington to maintain a clothing bin at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 600 M St. SW for donations of gently used clothing, shoes, purses, bags, belts, stuffed toys and linens. MetroAid will sell the clothes with part of the proceeds going to Samaritan Ministry which supports people who are homeless, unemployed or otherwise in need, and helps them organize their lives to become employed, find housing, and obtain necessary education. Some of the donated clothes and accessories will be delivered to Samaritan

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nizer for Community Solutions’ 100,000 Homes Campaign. She invites communities and states to join the campaign, working with them to determine which homeless individuals in the community are vulnerable, and assist them in developing resources. She has worked in homeless services in DC since the 1980s, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Pathways to Housing DC. The Grounds for Discussion is a community speaker forum offered by the church on the last Sunday of the month from 11:00 a.m.-noon. It focuses on local, national and global issues that challenge us both as citizens and people of faith, according to the Rev. Martha Clark, priest-in-charge. Guest speakers will include writers, educators, and civic and church leaders. Northeast Neighborhood Library nearing completion. Photo: Kathleen Donner

Northeast Library Grand Opening Party To celebrate the re-opening (Feb. 3) of the newly renovated Northeast Neighborhood Library, 330 7th St. NE., on Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., there will be special performances, story time, craft activities, face painting and building tours throughout the day. For more info, visit dclibrary.org/northeast. Ministry’s clothing closets. To obtain a tax receipt/in-kind donation form for clothing deposited into Samaritan Ministry donation bins, visit samaritanministry.org or contact the main office at 202-722-2280.

St. Augustine’s Grounds for Discussion Topic: Poverty and Homelessness “A Working Movement to End Poverty and Homelessness in America” is the topic for the Feb. 23’s Grounds for Discussion led by the Rev. Linda Kaufman. The free event at 11 a.m. in St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 600 M St. SW, includes refreshments and a question and answer session. Earlier in the morning, the Rev. Kaufman will be the guest preacher at St. Augustine’s 9:30 a.m. worship service. Linda Kaufman is the National Field Orga-

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DC Government Winter Weather Safety and Preparedness Tips Property owners are asked to treat their sidewalks with an abrasive such as non-clumping kitty litter, a deicer or rock salt. This snow season, the Snow Team is testing the effectiveness of petsafe deicer on bridges with pedestrian sidewalks. Motorists are asked to clear all snow from the vehicle first then drive cautiously. Assist elderly or disabled neighbors with clearing their sidewalks. Also, for plow drivers’ safety, “Don’t crowd the plow.” Residents are encouraged to go to snow. dc.gov for updates before, during and after winter storms, and for tips to get one’s home and family prepared for inclement weather. Residents also may sign up at alert.dc.gov to receive emergency alerts and notifications.

DDOT Public Meetings for the North-South Corridor Planning Study The District Department of Transportation is continuing a planning study, initiated in November 2013, to examine opportunities for public transportation improvements in the north-south corridor through the District of Columbia and will host the second round of public meetings starting in February. At the second round of public meetings, DDOT seeks to gain more specific feedback from the public about the most feasible route options as well as the on street operation of

high capacity transit. Attendees will be able to see the feedback gained from the first round of public meetings. The same information will be presented at all four meetings. Meetings are Tuesday, Feb. 18, 3:30-8 p.m. (presentation 4-7 p.m.), DCRA, 2nd floor community room, 1100 4th St. SW; Wednesday, Feb. 19, 3:30-8 p.m. (presentation 4-7 p.m.), Banneker Recreation Center, 2500 Georgia Ave. NW; Thursday, Feb. 20, 3:30-8 p.m. (presentation 4-7 p.m.), Emery Recreation Center: 5701 Georgia Ave. NW; Wednesday Feb. 19, 10 a.m.noon, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW The study area is focused on a nine-mile, north-south corridor that connects the Takoma/ Silver Spring area to the Buzzard Point/Southwest Waterfront area. The study area extends east-west from about 16th Street to the west to approximately one-quarter mile east of Georgia Avenue. For more information about this study, visit dcstreetcar.com/ projects/future-lines/northsouth or contact Jamie Henson 202-671-1324 or Jamie.Henson@dc.gov. To join the project distribution list visit, dcstreetcar. com/connect.

DC Nation’s Triathlon Registration Open The only triathlon held in Washington, DC is open for registration. The Events DC Nation’s Triathlon To Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will take place on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Triathletes can register at NationsTri.com, with opportunities to join one of the many races-within-a-raceranging from military to congressional challenges.

Historic Cooking and Baking with Amanda Moniz Food & Freedom-The Lives of Malinda and Abby Fisher is an interactive cooking class that explores how the first two African American cookbook authors used food in their struggles for freedom and equality before, during, and after the Civil War. The class is offered on Feb. 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-noon at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. $40/person. Register online at hillcenterdc.org. Malinda Russell was born free in Tennessee, but struggled for equality. However, she staked out her independence with her own pastry shop.


I AM THE CLUSTER Harassed during the Civil War, she fled to Michigan. In 1866, with the war over, Mrs. Russell published “A Domestic Cook Book” to raise funds to get home. Fifteen years later, ex-slave Abby Fisher published “What Mrs. Fisher Knows about Old Southern Cooking.” The class will sample Mrs. Fisher’s chicken gumbo and Maryland beat biscuits and Mrs. Russell’s lemon-brandy/ spice marble cake.

20,000 People Enrolled Through DC Health Link The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority has released new data showing strong enrollment activity through DCHealthLink.com, the District of Columbia’s new online health insurance marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses. Since the exchange opened for business on Oct. 1, DC Health Link has enrolled 20,290 people. Open enrollment for individuals and families will continue through Mar. 31, 2014 and there is no enrollment deadline for small businesses. Small businesses can establish their own open enrollment periods for their employees whenever they choose throughout the year.

LOC National Book Festival 2014 The Library of Congress National Book Festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, with new and exciting offerings in addition to the familiar author talks, book-signings and family and children’s activities. The Festival has been a well-loved ritual for booklovers since 2001, with attendance by as many as 200,000 visitors in recent

years. The event is free and open to the public. The Festival, first offered indoors at the Library of Congress in 2001, proved so popular that it was relocated to the U.S. Capitol grounds in 2002 and then to the National Mall in 2003, where it was held each year thereafter for a decade.

Buhrman’s Final Season with the Gay Men’s Chorus The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC Artistic Director Jeff Buhrman announced that he will be completing his final season with GMCW, effective July 1, 2014. Buhrman has been involved with GMCW for more than 25 years, serving as director of the select ensemble Potomac Fever, as Assistant Artistic Director of GMCW, and notably as Artistic Director for the past 13+ years. He will complete the current season, culminating in A Gay Man’s Guide to Broadway at the Kennedy Center in May, and will remain Artistic Director Emeritus through the end of 2014.

A Capitol Hill Cluster School graduate of Peabody, Watkins, and Stuart-Hobson, Celena Hensley Dopart is expecting her master’s degree in aerospace engineering from MIT this June. She credits the Cluster School with instilling in her from an early age the concept that the world is her classroom. The Capitol Hill Cluster School is a unique DC public school in the heart of Capitol Hill. Our three campuses, from early childhood (PK3) through 8th grade, serve a diverse community of 1,200 inspired, and lifelong, learners.

Peabody Primary (PK3 – K) Tuesday, Feb. 4 9:30 am & 6:00 pm 425 C St NE 202.698.3277

Come Learn More: Watkins Elementary (1st-5th) Wednesday, Feb. 5 9:30 am & 6:00 pm 420 12th St SE 202.698.3355

Stuart-Hobson Middle School (6th-8th) Thursday Feb. 6, 9:30am Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6:00 pm 410 E Street NE 202.671.6010


Brazilian Gastronomy at Hill Center Explore the culinary diversity of this giant country in five sessions. Brazilian chef Najara Werneck will focus on the different regions of the country. The menu includes five main dishes and desserts and was carefully elaborated based on the availability of Brazilian products in the DC Metro area. Classes will be held every Saturday of March, from 11 AM to 1 PM, at Hill Center. The cost is U$400. For more information and enrollment, contact Brasil on the Hill’s Executive Director, Valeria Buffo, at valerybuffo@yahoo.com or (202) 546-5229. u

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{capitol streets / district beat}

Handicapping The Race


he first real glimpse of the mood of the District electorate appeared in The Washington Post’s January poll of voters conducted by AbtSRBI. There were few surprises. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s support hovered at 27 percent of likely voters. In the next rank, Councilmembers Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), each garnered half Gray’s support in a statistically even split of roughly 36% of the electorate. The other candidates in this crowded field, mired in the single digits, divided 18 percentage points. Another 11 percent of those surveyed had “No Opinion.” This article attempts to handicap the race for the four candidates who received doubledigit approvals. Tempering the poll data with an analysis of historic voting patterns, it will estimate the number of votes for Gray, Evans, Bowser and Wells.

Estimating Voter Turnout One always starts an election analysis by estimating the turnout. In this article, we have chosen to average the percentage of registered Democratic voters who voted in the last three Democratic Primaries in each ward and apply that ratio by ward to the Board of Election’s current tally of 336,779 registered Democrats. This exercise yields an estimate of 105,274 likely votes. As seen in the accompanying table, the two wards with the largest number of votes are Ward 4 (16,029) and Ward 6 (15,495). Wards 5 (14,698) and 7 (14,050) follow. Wards 3 (13,073) and Ward 1 (12,285) are next. Ward 8 and Ward 2 voters contribute the smallest amount (11,313 and 8,151 respectively). Together the city’s eastern wards (4, 5, 7 & 8) contribute 53.37 percent of the estimated vote. The western wards (1, 2 &

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by Andrew Lightman 3) together supply 31.88 percent. Ward 6, at the city’s political center, itself comprises 14.74 percent of the estimated vote. Given that the majority of estimated voters lie in the city’s eastern wards, Gray’s status as a native son should prove strong. As importantly, both Ward 4 and Ward 6 might prove potential springboards if they can be persuaded to back their respective councilmembers. Given its 7.76 percent contribution to the estimated vote, Ward 2 provides a much less secure perch to launch an Evans bid.

Assessing Gray Historically In the 2006 and 2010 Democratic primaries,

Estimated Voter Turnout by Ward for the 2014 Democratic Primary

Mayor Gray averaged 55.30 percent of the vote across all eight wards. However, his performance was geographically skewed to the east. East of the Anacostia, the mayor racked up overwhelming margins (slightly over 82 percent). His average majorities in Ward 4 and Ward 5 ran roughly 60 percent. In Ward 1 and Ward 6, Gray garnered an average in excess of 44 percent. Gray proved weakest in Ward 3 where he only got 23 percent of the vote. In neighboring, vote-poor Ward 2, he amassed a more respectable 32 percent. The continuing federal probe into the 2010 ‘Shadow Campaign’ has certainly negatively impacted Gray’s popularity with the electorate. Thus his historical performance at the ballot box cannot provide sole guidance to his future prospects. So, it is time to add insights offered by polling data.

Trending Positive? In July of 2012, The Washington Post had Abt-SRBI conduct a poll on public impressions of Mayor Gray. It found that 34 percent of all adults had a favorable impression of the Mayor. When asked whether Gray should step down as mayor, 62 percent of whites agreed joined by 48 percent of African-American respondents. A year later, a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners for Candidate Tommy Wells, found only 31 percent of likely voters in the Democratic Primary had a favorable impression of the Mayor. This dismal view of Gray’s stewardship was confirmed by a poll of voters conducted by Hart Research Associates this past September, which found support for the Mayor hovering at 35 percent of District voters. However, this winter Gray’s prospects seem to be trending positive. In the January Washington Post poll, 54 percent of respondents viewed Gray as untrust-

worthy, a 7 point improvement. The proportion that saw him as trustworthy increased to 32 percent. Most importantly, the majority, 59 percent, believed the city to be on the right track. Asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the mayor, respondents split evenly: 41 percent affirmative and 41 percent negative. Interestingly, 18 percent had no opinion.

A City Divided Digging deeper into the Washington Post poll paints a much more nuanced picture. Respondents divided along fault lines involving length of residency, race, class and geography. Length of residency plays a major role in the public’s support for Gray. Only 15 percent of registered Democrats, who have resided in the city for five years or less, plan to vote for the mayor. Conversely, 29 percent of those with 40 or more years in the District plan to cast their vote for Gray. The mayor’s support rises to 30 percent among registered Democrats who have resided in the city for between 20 and 39 years. Support for the mayor is also strongly differentiated by race. Among registered Democrats, six percent of white men and nine percent of white women plan to vote for the mayor. Conversely, 33 percent of black women and 30 percent of black men plan to cast ballots for Gray. Class plays a role as well. 61 percent of wealthy respondents earning above $100,000 disprove of the mayor. Among registered Democrats in this

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{capitol streets / district beat}

Estimating the Gray Vote

demographic 15 percent plan to vote for him. Opinion of those earning under $100,000 but over $50,000 is split with 43 percent disliking the mayor while 40 percent retain a favorable opinion. In this group, 22 percent of registered Democrats say they will cast their ballots for the mayor. Of those earning under $50,000, 50 percent like the mayor, 28 percent dislike him, with 22 percent holding no opinion at all. Yet, 34 percent of its registered Democrats are committing their support to Gray. The last factor that

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seems to play a role in the public’s opinion of the mayor is geography, which in the District often correlates with class and race. 52 percent of all respondents in the poll in Wards 2 and 3 held an unfavorable view of Gray with 18 percent holding no opinion. Across the Anacostia River, 56 percent of those polled liked the mayor with 14 percent holding no opinion. (Due to the grouping of the Washington Post poll data into ward pairs, the situation in Wards 1, 4, 5 and 6 is not clear.) The poll indicates that Gray can expect little support from the city’s wealthy western wards (1, 2 & 3) and on Capitol Hill. Rapidly gentrifying areas full of newer residents such as Bloomingdale, the U Street Corridor, Columbia Heights, Logan Circle, Shaw, The Capitol Riverfront and Petworth are also likely to provide slim support. Fortunately for the mayor, these deficits are more than offset by his strength in the DC’s vote-rich, eastern neighborhoods, which are full of older, long-term, mostly African-American residents, many of whom possess

Predicting the Challengers’ Vote

lower incomes. Estimating the Gray Vote To estimate Gray’s potential vote, this article averages his percentages by ward in the 2006 and 2010 Democratic primaries with Gray’s percentage of support among registered Democrats in the recent Washington Post poll. These percentages are then applied by ward to the earlier estimate of votes. As show in the accompanying table, this mixed model shows Gray taking 42,017 out of an estimated total of 105,274 ballots, roughly 40 percent.

Polling the Challengers Three ward councilmembers, Bowser, Evans and Wells, are Gray’s strongest challengers. As with the mayor, factors of age, race, income and geography shape the pool of their supporters among registered Democrats according to the Post poll. Evans and Wells perform best among white men, 19 and 21 percentage points respectively. Wells pulls ahead of the entire pack with 26 percent of white women, a share double that of any other candidate. Black women favor Bowser with 15 percent compared to 33 percent for Gray. Evans garners 9 percent. Wells falls behind with 3 percent. (Vincent Orange (D-At Large) was supported by 14 percent.) Among black men, Bowser pulls in 12 to the Mayor’s 30 percent. Wells and Evans both earn a respectable 9 percent. Interestingly, Wells, long a proponent of progressive taxation, garners 23 percent of those making over $100,000. He does

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worst, three percent, with those making under $50,000, where the Mayor is strongest. The middle income, $50,000 to $100,000, splits its support evenly among the challengers, while the mayor garners 22 percent. Candidate support also varies strongly by geography. Wells takes 29 percent of a combined Wards 5 and 6, seven points ahead of the mayor. Bowser pulls 17 percent in a combined Wards 1 and 4, a point short of the mayor’s 18 percent. Evans polls at 22 percent in a combined Wards 2 and 3, with Gray hot on his heels at 20 percent. Length of residency most strongly shapes Wells’ constituency. Recent arrivals to the District, give him 19 percentage points. Conversely, only four percent of those who have lived in the city in excess of 40 years plan to vote for him. Most telling was the degree to which the poll respondents remained unaware of the challengers. 56 percent had no opinion of Wells. 52 percent held no opinion of Bowser. 48 percent had no opinion of Evans.

Democrats in the recent Washington Post poll. Outside the challengers’ homewards, the percentages from the poll are solely relied on. These percentages are then applied by ward to the article’s earlier estimate of votes by ward. As show in the accompanying table, this mixed model shows: • 18,814 votes for Bowser or 17.90 percent; • 16,562 votes for Wells or 15.76 percent; • 14,704 votes for Evans or 14 percent. These three together possess 55,014 votes, 12,997 more than estimated for Gray. In addition, if one adds up the estimated votes for the three challengers and Gray and subtracts from the total estimated, 12,957 votes remain unaccounted for. While Bowser leads her two rivals in estimated votes, Wells has proved his ability to run strong in his home ward, which by itself constitutes 14.74 percent of the estimated vote. Ward 2’s weak contribution to District elections seems likely to hamstring Evans.

History Provides a Guide

Breaking Away

Another important consideration is the challengers’ historical performance in ward Democratic primaries. This provides an excellent measure of the strength of their base. Wells had the strongest performance. In his first election in 2006, he received 8,323 votes. In 2010, he garnered 12,862. Bowser received 7,132 in her second election to the Ward 4 seat in 2008. Her reelection effort in 2012 garnered 7,541 votes. Evans won Ward 2 with a paltry 3,175 against a strong challenge. With no opposition, he received 2,947 votes in the 2012 primary. So, of the three, Wells is the proven vote getter historically.

Unless voters change their allegiance, or a new federal indictment surfaces, Gray is clearly the strongest candidate with an estimated 40 percent of the vote. Yet the election is not a shoe-in. In the eastern wards, Gray must fend off challenges by Bowser and Orange in Wards 4 and 5. Bowser, in particular, has the money to mount an effective ground war on her vote-rich home turf. Gray could also lose votes in Ward 6, whose Southwest quadrant proved a key element of his 2010 campaign, if Wells mounts an effective field operation. Given the fault lines of race, geography, residency and class, there also appears to be little opportunity for Gray to grow his share of the vote in the city’s western precincts. And, of course, the threat of future federal indictments hangs over Gray’s head like the sword of Damocles. To beat Gray, the challengers must accomplish a simple set of tasks. First, they must turn out voters in their wards with an

Estimating the Challengers To estimate the potential vote for the three challengers, we averaged their percentage of votes in their home wards in the 2006, 2008 and 2010 Democratic primaries with their percentage of support among registered

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effective GOTV (Get Out The Vote) operation. Wards 4 and 6, which are both voterrich and possess large pools of registered Democrats, can provide the numbers to overcome Gray’s eastern base. Evans is at a severe disadvantage here. Wells, on the other hand, is the only one of the three who has ever received more than 10,000 votes in an election. As importantly, the challengers must convince the electorate of the efficacy of their campaigns. Voters do not like to waste their votes. They will seek to cast them for a likely winner. So, a successful challenger must create the appearance of momentum to pull voters from the camps of their rivals. Remember, it was Gray’s surprise victory in the Ward 4 straw poll during the 2010 campaign that distinguished him in voters’ minds as a viable challenger to former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Publicity and advertising are the keys to creating a sense of momentum. Here, Evans and Bowser retain the edge over Wells with their potent fundraising machines. No doubt, the wealthier campaigns intend to use robo calls and direct mails to acquaint the voters with their candidate. Creating momentum and running effective field operations are the keys to defeating Gray. It remains to be seen if his three prominent challengers can put these pieces together before April Fool’s Day is upon us. u

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{capitol streets / the numbers}

A Review of the DC Tax System Recommendations for Making It Fairer


t’s that time of year when we get the forms needed to file our taxes, which triggers thoughts about how much we contribute to the DC and federal treasuries. It’s an important thing to think about, but it’s hard to get a full picture of why we tax the way we do from our individual perches. So lucky for all of us, there’s been a group of people who just spent 18 months looking at the DC tax system – whether it is fair and easy to follow, whether it supports our ability to attract residents and businesses, and whether it follows sound taxing principles. That was the mission of the DC Tax Revision Commission, of which our own Ed Lazere was a member, which spent more than a year taking a comprehensive look at our tax system. It approved a package of recommendations at the end of 2013 that soon will be considered by the DC Council. The Commission was tasked with addressing issues of fairness, broadness, and competitiveness, and it reached consensus on alterations to personal income, business, and sales taxes. The commission did not feel any major changes were needed to property taxes, yet the Council recently considered two property tax cuts: One bill, which seems to be on a path to be adopted, would lower property taxes for longtime senior homeowners. The other, which was tabled but will be reconsidered this month, would tightly limit how much a homeowner’s property tax bill could grow each year. Both raise red flags about fairness and seem to undo the commission’s goals. It’s important to keep in mind that tax changes don’t occur in a vacuum. There’s a cost to lowering a tax rate that has to be made up either through reduced services, higher taxes for another group of residents or businesses, or growth in tax collections from an expanding economy. Luckily, revenue is projected to be on the upswing for the District given the influx of new residents, so many of these recommendations could be adopted without affecting funding for things like education, health care, or libraries.

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by Ed Lazere and Jenny Reed Making the Income Tax Fairer The Commission heard early on in its deliberations that DC’s tax system was not balanced and that low- and moderate-income DC residents pay more than anyone else in combined sales, property and income taxes, as a share of their income. There were several recommendations to try to level the playing field for individuals. • Expanding the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless workers. The EITC helps boost the wages and take-home pay of low-income workers. Unfortunately, the current benefits are very low for workers without children. A parent with one child qualifies for a maximum credit of $1,300, while a single person with no children can get no more than $190. The commission recommended raising the maximum EITC benefit for childless workers to about $500. • Raising the personal exemption and standard deduction to match the federal levels. DC’s current deductions offer far less relief than the average state. Raising these deductions to federal levels would help reduce taxes for a large share of DC households, particularly low and moderateincome residents. The Commission also proposed phasing out the personal exemption for households with incomes over $150,000, which is similar to federal income tax provisions. • New income tax brackets and rates. Currently, DC’s tax system imposes high marginal tax rates on low-and moderate income residents. The commission proposed lowering rates for households with income between $40,000 and $60,000 (or $40,000 and $80,000 for married couples and heads of household). • Maintaining a top tax rate. Until recently, DC’s top income tax rate was 8.5 percent and started at $40,000 of taxable income. That changed when DC adopted a higher

tax rate of 8.95 percent on income over $350,000. However, that top rate was set to expire at the end of 2015. The Commission recommended maintaining a top tax rate on incomes above $200,000 ($350,000 for married couples and heads of household) but at 8.75 percent. • Broadening the Sales Tax Base The Commission also proposed to make important changes to the sales tax by expanding the base of goods and services that are covered by the sales tax. The Commission examined research that expanding the sales tax to cover services is important because services represent a steadily growing share of personal purchases. The commission proposed to broaden the sales tax base by including the following services, based on expert research: construction contractors, carpentry and other construction related services, storage of household goods, mini-storage, water for consumption at home, barber and beautician services, carpet and upholstery cleaning, health clubs and tanning studios, carwashes, bowling alleys and billiard parlors.

Our Least Favorite Recommendations The commission proposed cutting the income tax rate paid by businesses in DC, in order

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to match Maryland’s tax rate. Yet research presented to the Commission showed that DC has out-performed surrounding jurisdictions in business and job growth in the last decade, despite having a higher corporate income tax rate. The experts who testified before the commission did not endorse a commercial property tax cut. The commission also recommended exempting all estates worth less than $5.25 million from tax. Currently, estates under $1 million are exempt. A number of states phased out their estate taxes in the mid-2000s, yet there is no evidence to suggest residents are leaving DC to find lower estate taxes – our estate tax collections have remained solid. Researches who have studied the impact of residential migration due to estate taxes find the effects are very modest – and not large enough to justify exempting wealthy estates.

Cutting Property Taxes: Not A Top Priority The District has the lowest residential property taxes in the metropolitan Washington region. In fact, most homeowners pay tax on only threefourths of what their home is worth. In addition, the District offers substantial property tax help to seniors and to all lower-income homeowners – through a 50 percent break for seniors with incomes below $125,000 and a property tax credit for any homeowner with income below $50,000 who faces high property taxes. Those are big reasons why the Commission did not recommend changes to the property tax, and the DC Council should heed that decision. However, the Council is currently debating two property tax bills that both give disproportionate

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benefits and raise questions about tax fairness. The Residential Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2013, which was tabled last month but will likely come up this month, proposes to reduce property taxes in a way that will give the biggest benefits to owners of the most valuable homes in the District and will create large disparities in tax bills among owners of similarly valued homes. The legislation proposes to reduce the property assessment cap – which limits the yearly growth in a homeowner’s taxable assessments – from 10 percent to 5 percent. On the surface, it may sound like a good way to help all District homeowners deal with increasing property taxes. But if DC’s property taxes already are on the low end, it doesn’t make sense to put broad-based property tax reductions a priority. Then there’s the Senior Citizen Property Tax Relief Act of 2013, which passed on a first reading last month. DCFPI agrees with the goal of this bill – to provide assistance to DC residents struggling with highhousing costs – but believes it is not the most effective way to target property tax assistance to those who need it the most. Most important, the bill would leave out half of all seniors, who rent their homes and are actually more likely to have housing cost challenges. DCFPI recommends expanding the city’s property tax credit, which has provisions to help renters as well as homeowners, while adopting provisions to provide extra help to lower-income seniors. Instead of creating these inequities, the DC Council should prioritize proposals that provide tax relief to low- and-middle income residents. Enacting the tax commission’s proposals would be a great place to start. u


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February 2014 H 51

{capitol streets / update}

A Streetcar to be Desired?


or the first time in 50 years, there is a streetcar on a corridor of our nation’s capital. After years of preparation and numerous delays, a streetcar, currently parked at the base of the Hopscotch Bridge on H and First Streets, made its first test run seamlessly in mid-December. When will service begin? According to a representative from DC Streetcar, the exact date depends on when the streetcar completes man-

dated safety testing which could be interrupted by weather delays. The streetcar must run on the route for a number of hours without incident. Once those are completed, passenger service can begin after an additional 30 days.

H Street Sounds Off The opinion of residents and businesses

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by Denise Romano along H Street on the streetcars remains mixed. “I think it’s dumb because there’s a lot of homeless in DC. They need clothes, food, housing and they’re going to put something worth $60 million on the streets of Northeast?” said DC native BeeBee, a senior who did not want her last name to be used. “It’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in my life. It don’t make no sense.” But Brisco Odom, who lives on I Street, welcomed the idea. “It’s something different,” he said. “We need something different and the tourists may like it. It will bring in revenue and upgrade the city a bit.” Business owners along H Street also had different takes on the project. Carlos S., manager at clothing store DTLR on the corner of 9th and H Streets, said it will bring more headaches than customers. “There will be nowhere to park and will bring more congestion down here,” he said. But Ryan Gordon, owner of the restaurant Queen Vic, said that “anything new for H Street builds it larger. It makes it a destination, not just for the locals.” He added that he does not see the streetcar taking up parking which “has always been a hassle,” and feels like the overhead cables are “up and out of the way.” However, he noted that there has been an issue with deliveries – the space available for delivery trucks is only eight feet wide, while the

trucks are 10 feet wide. Anwar Saleem, executive director of H Street Main Street (HSMS), said that the city has done a “good job” reaching out to business owners and making sure that things like deliveries are going smoothly and that parking is still accessible. “They are working with organizations and businesses to make sure that they are not losing business,” Saleem said. “They are communicating together…and at the same time promoting the businesses.”

Bridging a Transportation Gap ANC 6A Commissioner Omar Mahmud, who is also chair of the ANC’s Transportation and Public Space Committee, said that he is in favor of having more public transit options. “We have been eagerly anticipating it and the date keeps getting pushed back and that’s frustrating,” Mahmud explained. “But hopefully we will get a good end product.” Monte Edwards, a member of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, as well as the Committee of 100, said that the streetcar is a good idea because it may fill in gaps in the Metro and bring Metro stations together. “It will provide greater continuity between the east and west sides of the Anacostia [River],” he explained. ANC 6A Commissioner David Holmes agreed, “It’s a great thing for H Street. We waited a long time and it’s almost here,” he said. “It will make it easier for people to get there. People usually take cabs back and forth, but the trolley will bring people to the establishments on H Street.”

Wires and Other Worries Edwards noted an important concern with the overhead wires, used to power the streetcar. When Pierre L’Enfant designed the city in 1890, he included a statute that there are to be no overhead wires in the District, which at the time consisted of the city south of Florida Avenue. Edwards explained that there is legislation

giving a temporary exception to allow the overhead wires until the technology matures to the point where no wires will have to be used. He has testified a number of times on behalf of the Committee of 100 against the wires. “If that’s good for L’Enfant’s city, why isn’t it good for the entire city?” Edwards said. Advisory Neighborhood Council 6C Commissioner Tony Goodman addressed concerns with the cars breaking down. “No doubt when a streetcar breaks down on the street it will block up traffic and be a mess… but cars and buses will go around it. One of the beauties of a streetcar versus a bus is that it’s a much simpler system. It will run on a fixed track and won’t be breaking down every day,” Goodman explained. “We are less concerned about streetcars breaking down and causing traffic jams than drivers who haven’t gotten the memo yet and are double parking. It will be an issue but people will get used to it.” Goodman said that he is looking forward to a “much more comfortable, safer and cleaner ride on H Street. It’s a long time coming. It’s going to happen soon, it’s going to be successful and will lead to a much better network throughout the city.” u



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Park or Parking?

encroachment on National Park Service land. A meeting was convened at the Surveyor’s Office of representatives of DDOT, DPR, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to “determine who has ultimate authority over the space and the appropriate process for neighbors who wish to beautify public park space.” Representatives of DDOT defended the issuance of the permit to West, and lifted their stop work order in late July. West was able to complete her landscaping project which consisted of trees, bushes and flowers from her front yard along the perimeter of Parcel 266 with an open area on the property line between the other half of the triangle.

Lack of Community Consensus on Use of Triangle Park Leads to Conflict by Denise Romano


onald Hudson has lived on Capitol Hill for 50 years, but now when he drives around the corner of Tennessee Avenue and 13th Street, he cringes. Thanks to a District Department of Transportation (DDOT) decision, neighbors are at war over Parcel 266, a piece of federal land that also happens to be adjacent to the front and side yards of Joyce West and Mark Kadesh, the owners of 147 Tennessee Avenue. Hudson, who has been a real estate professional and friends with the couple for over 20 years, said that a DDOT decision to classify the land as public parking space has “reared an ugly-headed monster” after West called the cops on him after he refused to relay a message to his sister to not walk on West’s plants. “This land has been in use by this community for hundreds of years. Why did this start happening last year?” Hudson said.

This Land is Your Land…Or Mine? For complex historic reasons (see explanation at http://chrs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/06_ CHRS_PublicSpace.pdf), homeowners on Capitol Hill do not own their front and side yards. This public land is called “parked space.” At the end of the century, Congress explicitly awarded private property owners the right to use this public space as front and side yards to their properties with the requirement that they maintain the property. The “parked” public space surrounding Capitol Hill homes falls under DDOT’s administration. According to DDOT, access to parked space is the same as public space—there should be access to all and “citizens are encouraged to use public space in a

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safe and neighborly manner.” The District of Columbia also controls a multitude of scattered and small parcels of land known as pocket or triangle parks. Many are federally owned reservations or municipal parks. Others are “parked space.” Reservation 266 was among the parcels transferred to the District’s jurisdiction in 1972. The section next to West’s home falls under the purview of DDOT.

Private or Public West and Kadesh have lived in their home since 1991. Since they moved in, they have been maintaining Parcel 266. Last year, West applied to DDOT for a permit to landscape the property. The plan originally included a patio and fence, but those elements were rejected. West resubmitted a plan without these features that was approved in March 2013. However this piece of land has been perceived and used by the community as a public park for decades, an open space where people walked their dogs and children played. It functioned more as a public park than as a private yard. When landscaping commenced, some were disturbed by what seemed the taking of public space for private use. Others were pleased with the beautification efforts. As neighbors began to question the construction, Commissioner Nicholas Alberti (6A04), whose single member district includes Reservation 266, approached DDOT to ascertain the legality of West’s landscaping. Eventually, in response to Alberti’s investigation, a ‘Stop Work’ order was issued until the Public Space Committee could review West’s landscaping project;,and check that there was no issue of

ANC 6A Weighs In With many neighbors still concerned, David Holmes, Chairman of ANC 6A, sent a letter to DDOT asking for further clarification of the matter. DDOT responded on Oct. 25, explaining their decision to grant the permit. “DDOT classified this area as ‘public parking,’ which is the area of public space devoted to open space, greenery, parks or parking that lies between the property line and the edge of the actual or planned sidewalk that is near the property line,” the letter said. “This gives DDOT the authority to authorize the landscaping of Parcel 266 via a public space permit.” However, since all yards on Capitol Hill are considered public parking space, West and Kadesh feel that neighbors should respect the plants, hedges and other greenery they planted as they would in anyone’s yard.

War of the Roses According to West some neighbors, perhaps frustrated by the DDOT decision, have been walking through the hedges and walking on mulched flower beds, potentially damaging the plantings. After a few such incidents, West installed six security cameras outside her home, a suggestion she says came from the police department. West also gave letters to neighbors, asking them to respect her property. “I know you may disagree with the city and the garden design (sorry!), but we would like the flowers to bloom this spring and unfortunately the plants are being irresponsibly harmed by people and dogs trampling on and in the plants,” said one note posted on a door.

Most recently, West got the court to issue Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) to two neighbors who, according to the security film, persisted in walking on the flower beds even when asked not to do so. In fact, according to Derek Thomas, a certified professional horticulturalist and owner of Thomas Landscapes, any traffic across mulched peonies and perennials will damage them, especially during the dormant periods. “The plants have tender shoots just below the surface of the ground and walking on them will break, compact, and shred the tender new shoots. Also animals will have the same impact. Plants that are dormant should not be walked on,” he says. Heather Schoell, a parent at Maury Elementary, located a block away from Parcel 266, questioned West’s actions. “Calling the police to complain that someone is on the public space that is adjacent to your yard is not such a good use of their time,” she told this paper, adding that West also sent a letter to parents of the school, asking that they not walk through the plants. “Taking the court’s time on a bogus restraining order is not a good use of tax dollars. It is infuriating that the police are being manipulated,” Schoell went on. “The letter from DDOT clearly states that this space is for public use, ‘to be used in a safe and neighborly manner.’ Calling the police on neighbors who are in the space is not very neighborly!” However, Kadesh told this paper, “We did all the things that were legally required of us to do to plant this garden. The city’s director of transportation has stated very clearly that the ANC is wrong in its characterization of the space and it is public parking, not a public park,” he said. Kadesh denies that West has ever yelled at anyone, “although she has asked people to pick up their dog refuse and not trample through the plants.”

Solutions While it is clear that West has a proper permit for the landscaping which has been confirmed by DDOT, this does not put to rest the ill-feeling. Commissioner Omar Mahmud, who is chair of ANC 6A’s Transportation and Public Space Committee, said that the real issue is with the way the landscaping was done. “She [West] configured bushes around the parameter so there aren’t any openings on one side,” he said. ”It looks like she is marking it off like it is part of her front yard. But I am concerned about anyone intentionally damaging it. I think that’s wrong.” Hudson said that if West “took out some bushes and put in another entrance it would be a compromise, this way people wouldn’t have to walk through it.”

Letter of the Law or Community Agreement While technically all front and side yards are public space and anyone would have the legal right to access that space, by common agreement the community treats other’s front yards as if they were privately owned. A person does not enter someone’s yard and walk their dogs, or come in and roam about. In this case conflict has resulted because, regardless of the designation of this parcel as public parking, it historically did not function as someone’s yard. The neighbors are not extending the “common agreement” to this piece of land. Suggestions have been made that to avoid this type of conflict in the future, a regulatory requirement should be put in place that a homeowner applying for landscaping in triangle parks go before the ANC with the plans, regardless of whether the land is designated “public parking.” In this way, the public, which has a right to use the land, would have a say in its configuration. u

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February 2014 H 55

{capitol streets / politics}

Shelonda Tillman

Candidate for Ward 6 Councilmember by Elena Burger


rom a young age, Shelonda Tillman had an enterprising spirit. “When I was 10, I would collect aluminum cans and take them to the grocery store for cash. I’d take my cash and purchase and package candy and sell the candy to the neighborhood children for 50 cents,” Tillman recalls. This industriousness followed Tillman, now 37, well into her adult life, driving her to vie for a position as Ward 6 Councilmember.

Tillman At School Tillman developed a taste for politics as a young woman. Amina Abdul-Rahim, a former classmate of Tillman’s at Bennett College for Women, remembers her activism on campus. ”She always had a voice--if there were any issues on campus she was always standing up and speaking out for all of us at school.” At the time, the school was facing a deficit that made it difficult for students to obtain books and equipment for the science labs. “She was very serious about education, so she’d speak out about those issues,” Abdul-Rahim recalls. Tillman graduated from Bennett College with a BA in Biology, and returned to Ward 6 to teach science at Eastern High School. But she recognized the same sorts of problems that she’d encountered in college. “While working as a teacher, I felt that my needs were not being met. I would listen to the views of other educators as low wages, lack of affordable homes, truancy issues, under resourced schools, and teachers leaving the profession became a great concern.”

Pursuing Business Frustrated by her experience as a teacher. Tillman left her position in 2005, that same year earning a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University; and later a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University. Along the way Tillman started a small business, Tillman Management Associates. Should she be elected to the city council, she plans to continue working in her business.

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One of her clients was DC resident Crystal Collins, who asked Tillman to help her start a non-profit to assist female former convicts. Collins was impressed by Tillman’s simple but thorough approach to business planning. “You know those books ‘Computers for Dummies?’ That’s how detailed she was through the marketing plan,” says Collins.

Her Big Plans Part of Tillman’s platform is to start empowerment workshops for minimum-wage earning women. “When viewing the current members of the Council, there are nine men and four women,” notes Tillman. “Gender inequality can show up as a lack of opportunity or as a social, economic or political disparity.” She emphasizes the importance of improving DC’s education system. All four of her children, who range in age from 21 to six, are products of the District’s public and charter schools. Tillman wants to create partnerships between District schools to help improve education in the area. When asked about how to create these links,

Tillman gave the following response: “The faculty of high performing middle schools will work with those in lower performing middle schools to discuss successful educational strategies, academic programs that foster a sense of community.” She has advice for Chancellor Kaya Henderson: implement STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) programs in all schools. As a small business-owner herself, Tillman hopes to create programs to help entrepreneurs. “I want to increase the tax base by providing quality retail options for the diverse families in Ward 6.” She is also fully in favor of the development projects that may soon affect Ward 6 residents. She is a staunch supporter of the Reservation 13 mixed-use project, and says she will partner with DC residents to bring the plan to fruition. She also asks for more transparency going forward with the Hine School Project, the proposed mixed-use project in Eastern Market, “so that accurate financial modeling can take place.” But Tillman doesn’t support all building projects in her jurisdiction. She opposes the DDOT’s plans for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel because she believes it would pose health and safety risks. This aligns Tillman with many residents in her Ward, who aren’t pleased about the noise and loss of street access that the expansion could bring.

Issues Close to Tillman’s Heart Tillman’s family has deep roots in DC: her family lived in Ward 6 for generations, occupying the same D Street NE home. Her husband works at the Children’s National Medical Center. As her grandfather aged she realized that the needs of elderly residents were not being adequately met in the Ward. “Seniors in my community say that they feel they have little or no voice in our government.” Tillman says she will try to make public transportation more accessible for seniors, and improve affordable housing options in the area. In 1997, Tillman’s family suffered a devastating loss: a drive-by shooting claimed the life of her

seven year-old nephew. “I was filled with pain and rage when this occurred,” says Tillman. “There was no hospital in my area and my nephew was transported to Ward 4 where he had succumbed to his injuries.” In response to this, Tillman has partnered with the district attorney’s office and WMATA to help curb gun violence in DC. As a Councilmember, Tillman says she would address this problem more directly. “I will create legislation to increase the number of security cameras not only in Ward 6 but throughout D.C. This would deter some criminal activity.” She also supports community policing, which she says will help address the fact that “the police alone cannot prevent crimes.”

The Rest of the Race Tillman faces some tough competition in the upcoming election: Darrell Thompson, a former employee of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is in the running—as is Charles Allen, who spent eight years working as the Chief of Staff to current Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells (who is leaving the position to run for Mayor). These high-profile candidates could pose a threat to Tillman, who shares many of their campaign platforms. But Tillman, like any true politician, draws on her past to burnish her image. “As a woman, a mom, a business owner, educator, and a lifelong resident of Ward Six, I am ready to tackle these tough issues head on.” For more information on Shelonda Tillman visit www.vote4tillman2014.com. u

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{capitol streets / anc news}



by Denise Romano

n a 5-1 vote, ANC 6A commissioners elected a new board for 2014. Outgoing Chair and newly elected Treasurer David Holmes passed the gavel to Commissioner Nick Alberti, Commissioner Omar Mahmud is Vice Chair and Commissioner Calvin Ward will be Secretary. The commissioners unanimously voted to elect Committee Chairs for 2014. Elizabeth Nelson will remain chair of Community Outreach Committee, Commissioner Jay Williams will still be chair of Alcohol, Beverage and Licensing Committee, Dan Golden will remain chair of the Economic Development and Zoning Committee and Commissioner Mahmud will keep his seat as chair of the Transportation and Public Space Committee. The Commissioners unanimously voted to not nominate a chair for the Public Safety Committee, since public safety issues are not discussed at ANC meetings. There was also 6-0 vote to authorize the Treasurer to write a $25 check to participate in the ANC survey fund.

Minutes Mayhem Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert requested that her Single Member District Report be included in the September minutes. She said that she felt she was being “silenced,” and that residents should not have to look at different websites to see what commissioners are saying.

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Commissioners Holmes and Alberti said that SMD district reports are not included in minutes. Phillips-Gilbert contended that this would require a change in the bylaws. After referring to Robert’s Rules, Commissioner Holmes said that minutes reflect what was done at a meeting, not what members said. In a 4-2-1 vote, the commission decided to add a summary of Commissioner Phillips-Gilbert’s SMD report to September’s minutes.

Lots of noise about Ben’s Chili Bowl Several commissioners attended an ABC hearing regarding the Ben’s Chili Bowl coming to H Street. The ANCs and neighbors are in agreement to have the restaurant open, but are concerned about the proximity of the outdoor space to residences. On the ABC application, it listed that the outdoor space be closed at 3 a.m., which is outside of the norm for similar establishments in ANC 6A. Commissioner Williams presented the case to the ABC on behalf of the community. However, Commissioner Phillips-Gilbert testified on behalf of Ben’s Chili Bowl at the hearing, even though she previously voted against the measure with the ANC. She left the meeting early, so the matter was not able to be discussed.

ANC Recommends Closing Times for Public Space The commissioners unanimously voted to support a recommendation that the ANC not change its current policy regarding the closing times for public space patios and rooftop decks,

which is 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, Chair Alberti, who serves on the ABC Boards, announced that, since he is now ANC Chair, he will recuse himself from all votes regarding matters coming before the ABC Board, if they involve Settlement Agreements negotiated with ANC 6A, since he is a member of the ABC board.

Sahra Lounge’s Sidewalk Café Goes Up in Smoke Commissioners Holmes and Williams attended a meeting with the owners of Sahra Lounge, located at 1200 H Street NE. The hookah bar had been operating an unlicensed sidewalk café, also beyond hours of the settlement agreement. In mediation, the ANC and the owners agreed reached a tentative agreement that one employee must be monitoring the outdoor patio at all times, that the last call for alcohol be 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 p.m. on weekends, that furniture be secured on the patio deck to deter after-hours occupants and that there be no use of promoters to host promoted events. The commissioners unanimously voted to authorize Commissioners Williams and Mahmud to represent the ANC when dealing with Sahra Lounge while negotiating a settlement agreement.

Economic Development and Zoning motions Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that the ANC write a letter to DCRA, suggesting that it issue a notice of violation based on

ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 6A DAVID HOLMES, CHAIR, 202-251-7079 Serving the Near Northeast, North Lincoln Park, Rosedale, and Stanton Park communities

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ANC 6A generally meets the second Thursday of the month, at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE.


Next ANC 6A is 2nd Thursday, February 13 what appears to be a violation of a lot line at 1110 G Street NE, by the construction of a retaining wall at the neighboring property, 1108 G Street NE. It was a 5-0 vote to recommend that the ANC write a letter to HPRB in support of a HPA 14-094, which seeks approval for a planned rear addition and a partial third floor addition at 238 11th Street NE, since it does not impact the look and feel of the community and residents agree. Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that the ANC write a letter to BZA in support of BZA 18703, which seeks a special exception to expand the second floor of a rowhouse, 794 19th St. NE. A special exception is needed, even though lot coverage will not change, since it is already a non-conforming structure., resulting in a lot occupancy of 69 percent. Since the addition is non-conforming, a special exception is needed and neighbors do not object to the construction. Chair Alberti suggested that the commission table a vote concerning a recommendation that the ANC write a letter to BZA in support of BZA 18694 that seeks a variance from the floor-to-floor area ratio (FAR) requirements in connection with planned construction of a sports bar at 1362 H Street NE. The owner was not present at the meeting and commissioners had too many unanswered questions. The ANC voted to request a postponement to further consider the matter. The spot is an existing vacant property that has been in the owner’s family for 25 years. However, the ED&Z committee unanimously had voted for the following stipulations: that all trash must be kept inside the building, all loading must be done at the rear of the property and that there be no am-

plified sound of the roof deck. ANC6A meets on the second Thursday of every month (except August) at Miner Elementary School. The 6A committees meet at the following times: • Alcohol Beverage and Licensing, third Wednesday Tuesday of every month at the Sherwood Recreation Center. • Community Outreach, third Monday of each month, Maury Elementary School. • Economic Development and Zoning, third Wednesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center. • Transportation and Public Space, third Monday of every month, Sherwood Recreation Center.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee 3rd Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7pm • Sherwood Recreation Center Corner of 10th & G Streets, NE • Chair, Jay Williams, 906-0657 Transportation & Public Space Committee Date and location will be announced on the website calendar Chair, Omar Mahmud, 546-1520 Economic Development & Zoning Committee 3rd Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7pm • Sherwood Recreation Center Corner of 10th and G Streets, NE • Chair, Dan Golden, 641-5734 Community Outreach Committee Monday, Feb. 24, 7pm • Maury Elementary School - 13th Street & Constitution Avenue, NE • Chair, Elizabeth Nelson, 543-3512

Please check the Community Calendar on the website for cancellations and changes of venue.

ANC 6B by Emily Clark


he first meeting of the New Year was marked mostly by its brevity, congeniality and calm. All commissioners were present, and nearly every vote was unanimous, beginning with election of officers. Gottlieb Simon, executive director of DC’s Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, explained voting rules and opened the nominating process. But each nominee put forth was the only one for the office, all current officers kept their posts and all were elected by acclamation. New officers are Brian Flahaven, chair; Ivan Frishberg, vice-chair; Nichole Opkins, secretary; Brian Pate, treasurer, and Phil Peisch, par-

February 2014 H 59

{capitol streets / anc news}

liamentarian. During community speakout, Brenda Crowder-Gaines, manager of Unity at DC General, explained the goal of the organization. “We have sites in every ward,” she said, “and we provide health care to the homeless and financially stressed.” Crowder-Gaines noted that providers included general medicine, specialties and dental and that the goal is “to provide a medical home.” Jerry Sroufe announced that there will be a candidates’ forum featuring mayoral and council candidates on February 20, at the Presbyterian Church at 4th and Independence SE. Cheryl Morse, consumer outreach specialist, detailed the work of the DC Office of the People’s Counsel, which offers legal and consumer advocacy services for District utilities customers. She said that OPC helps consumers demystify their bills and also advocates against utilities on behalf of customers. Garrison also noted problems with dead cable wires hanging all over the city, from Verizon and Comcast. Morse responded that cable companies are not regulated by the Public Service Commission, though she was quick to add that her organization is requesting that cable and water providers be put under PSC regulation. The commission moved on to what are frequently contentious applications for construction on the Hill, but surprisingly, all members were on the same page with every application. The owner of a commercial property at 405 8th St. SE requested a variance to allow construction of a rear storage area at the back of the building, citing special exception hardship. Neighbors noted that there had been 25 violations at the property in December alone, though there is allegedly an agreement being worked out to resolve problems. Still, the commission voted unanimously to oppose the application, on the grounds that the owner has not proved a special exception case. “The rationale (for hardship) doesn’t hang together,” Commissioner Frishberg said, and that idea was echoed by Commissioner Garrison, who said, “You need to look for other avenues and give up special exception as a vehicle.” On the other hand, the next two applications were not only approved unanimously, but commissioners went out of their way to praise the appli-

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cants for their efforts. The first application was for a variance at 1247 E St. SE to allow a coffee shop/café with early evening closing hours on the ground floor of the property. The owner, Hatem Hatem, in response to concerns about trash and vermin, said, “My first responsibility is to my tenants in the residential part of the building, and I have no interest in becoming rodent central.” Commissioner Garrison said that the ground floor of this property has always been commercial and that the variance was only for this project, while Commissioner Opkins said, “the general consensus among my constituents is to support this project.” Opkins also praised the applicant for his efforts to work with neighbors. The commission also quickly, and unanimously, approved an application for 419 8th St. SE, for façade alteration and a second story addition, even though there are pending noise citations against the applicant. John Thompson, who is the architect for the proposed addition to the building that houses the Tandoori Grill, noted that this building is the last one-story structure on the block and that the project would bring it in line with the rest of the block. He detailed plans for two restaurants on the premises and noted the owner’s efforts to address neighborhood concerns. There will be a basement for utilities and a mechanical enclosure at the rear to protect neighbors from noise, Thompson said, adding that the owner is also working on a system of scrubbers to help eliminate cooking odors. Trash will be held in a refrigerated enclosure until pickup, he said. Commissioners Frishberg and Peisch praised the project as a welcome improvement on the block. “This is a block that’s been commercially successful but not very attractive,” Frishberg said, while Peisch added, “this block needs help and I appreciate your efforts to make it better.” After the vote to approve the application, Peisch offered another motion, also approved unanimously, to send a letter to the zoning administrator urging strict enforcement of the fast food exception for the 400 block of 8th Street. Finally, the commission unanimously approved the draft of a letter to be sent to DDOT, mostly in opposition to DDOT’s plans for Barney

Circle. Specifically, the commission opposes DDOT’s proposed four-lane Southeast Boulevard, opposes all parking lots, opposes any form of a multi-modal parking facility, and mostly opposes all current plans for the area. Commissioner Frishberg noted DDOT’s “lack of responsiveness” to neighborhood concerns about increased ‘cut through’ traffic and asked that DDOT be urged to work with residents on a new plan. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (except July and August) at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE (the Old Naval Hospital).


by Charnice A. Milton

2014 Election Results In the first meeting of the year, the Commission elected their officers, as well as committee chairs and members. ANC Officers are: Karen Writ (6C02) – Chair; Daniele Schiffman (6C01) – Vice-Chair; Scott Price (6C03) – Treasurer; Tony Goodman (6C06) – Secretary.

Capitol Hill Classic Jason Levin, race director for the Capitol Hill Classic, announced that this year’s event will be held on May 18. The race, which supports the Capitol Hill Cluster School, follows a route that begins and ends at Peabody Primary Campus (located in ANC 6A), passing the Capitol building and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium on the way. Levin said that his team made some changes to the route in order to minimize residents’ confusion over the route. First, the race will leave ANC 6A by traveling along First Street, complying with Capitol Police’s rules for running courses on Capitol grounds. Also, for the second year, the race will travel along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. With a 6-0 vote, the Commission unanimously supported the event.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) For Development Project Management Consulting Services RFP NO. 0004-2014

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY (DCHA) is seeking proposals from interested Professionals to provide Development Project Management Consulting Services for DCHA development and redevelopment projects. SOLICITATION DOCUMENTS will be available at 1133 North Capitol Street, NE, Room 300, Contracts and Procurement Administration, Washington, D.C. 20002 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or on our website at www.dchousing.org beginning Monday, January 13, 2014. SEALED PROPOSALS RESPONSES are due to the Issuing Office by 11:00 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, February 13, 2014. Contact the Issuing Office, Cheryl Moore on (202) 535-1212 or by e-mail on or chmoore@dchousing.org for additional information. February 2014 H 61

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C ANC 6C serves Capitol Hill, Union Station, NoMa as far east as 8th Street N.E. The community is invited to attend/participate. Monthly meetings are generally the second Wednesday of the month, 7 pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E. Call for information: (202) 547-7168. www.anc6c.org Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee Grants Committee Contact 6C05@anc.dc.gov First Tuesday, 7 pm. Contact (202) 997-6662 Transportation and Public Space Committee Planning, Zoning, and First Thursday, 7 pm. Environment Committee Contact (202) 641-4264 First Wednesday, 7 pm. Contact zoning@eckenwiler.org

Joe McCann discussed the Transportation and Public Space Committee’s meeting with the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Lieutenant Ronald Wilkins and one of his officers from the Traffic Safety program. Lt. Wilkins oversees a five-person unit that performs roadside inspections on buses and trucks. Continuing a conversation that began in December, the committee asked about MPD policies in regards to oversized vehicles traveling through neighborhoods. They learned that MPD can only issue citations if the driver fails to follow signs prohibiting oversized vehicles. However, the Commission can request the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) to place signs in problematic areas like Sixth Street.


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Michele Molostky of MPD announced DC Street Safe, a traffic safety campaign using new types of automated traffic safety equipment. For instance, MPD has eight new cameras designed to limit the amount of oversized vehicles in neighborhood areas. Those cameras not only take a picture of the license plate, but the sign the driver ignored or missed. The areas surrounding each camera are designated as enforcement zones. For example, ANC 6C’s enforcement zone surrounds the camera located on the corner of Fourth and L Streets. Another issue Molostky addressed was speeding. The new portable speed cameras videotape drivers violating the speed limit; previously, MPD could only do this with stoplight violations. While some camera locations were based on community suggestions, Commissioner Ecken-

wiler expressed disappointment that MPD did not ask the Commission for its input. For more information, contact Molostky at 202-270-3187 or michele.molotsky2@dc.gov.

Historic District Expansion Commissioner Eckenwiler discussed a proposal for expanding the Capitol Hill Historic District, adding the area bounded by Second, Fourth, F and H Streets. In 2010, EHT Traceries prepared a nomination document for the project. On April 4, 2013, Commissioner Eckenwiler held a community meeting for residents to discuss issues with the Historic Preservation Office; over sixty residents attended and shared strong concerns. However, there was a smaller turn-out for the Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee’s January 2 meeting, with about 20 to 25 people. Commissioner Eckenwiler reported that while the views were more mixed than last year’s meeting, the majority of the committee supports the expansion. However, they will need to vote on an updated nomination document for the project.

Stipulated Licenses While listening to an application for a stipulated liquor license for Admiral on the Bay, a rooftop venue for special events, Commissioner Mark Kazmirczak (6C05) voiced concerns about the process. Stipulated licenses are usually given to establishments to serve alcohol before receiving a liquor license. Since requests for stipulated licenses seemingly increasing (as the Commission supported requests from Giant and TD Burger), Commissioner Kazmirczak, along with Commissioner Price, suggested that the Alcoholic

THRIVE! A health and wellness program for breast cancer survivors The George Washington University Cancer Institute is looking for women who have completed active treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation) for breast cancer and received their breast cancer diagnosis more than 18 months ago who are interested in participating in a 12-week online program aimed at empowering survivors to improve their health and well-being. Women currently taking hormonal medications are eligible to participate.

Beverage Committee establish criteria for future proposals. As for Admiral of the Bay, the Commission voted unanimously to support the application.

Other News •

The Commission voted unanimously to support the Rock n Roll Marathon, which will take place on March 15. There will be a public hearing on Zoning Regulation Review (ZRR) for Wards 5 and 6 on February 8 at 9:00 am. The hearing will be in the Dunbar High School auditorium (101 N Street). Arthur Ringel, co-owner of upcoming restaurant DC Harvest (517 H Street), introduced himself. He hopes to open the Modern American-style restaurant in April. Despite early estimates that Third Street would reopen to traffic this month, Commissioner Eckenwiler announced that it would reopen in February due to DC Streetcar’s safety requirements.

ANC 6D by Roberta Weiner


he ANC began the New Year with the annual ritual of electing new officers for 2014. They are: Chair: Roger Moffatt; Vice Chair: Andy Litsky; Secretary: Sam Marrero; Treasurer: Rachel Reilly Carroll.

Buzzard Point Information Not Forthcoming Commissioner Litsky reported that a promised briefing on the Environmental Study for the DC United Soccer Stadium listed on the agenda would not be happening because the District representatives had not been heard from. He said it has been six months since the project was announced and they have yet to appear before the Commission with any plans. He noted that Pepco, which is moving

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a plant at the site, has been very helpful, and he mentioned several issues the community needs answers to, including how they intend to bring people to and from the site, which is three-quarters of a mile from Metro. He said there would be more to come.

You will receive: · 12 weeks of information and tools regarding nutrition, physical activity, stress relief, and emotional coping– including recipes, video demonstrations, and more · Motivational support from a health coach · A pedometer and nutrition application to track health goals If you complete the 12-week program and surveys, you will also receive a $30 gift card to Amazon.com. Contact Elizabeth Hatcher, RN at 202-994-2215 for details.

Veterinary Hospital Slated for Yards Area Attorneys for Forest City Washington came to request support for a text amendment to the zoning regulations to allow a veterinary hospital in the Southeast Federal Center Overlay District. Lyle Blanchard, the developer’s attorney, pointed out that the Office of Planning, in its preliminary report, stated that it would not be opposed to allowing the use of the property for that purpose. The building will be located at 4th and Tingey Streets SE, a block south of M Street. The building is on the same street as the national security agency building that the federal government gave up several months ago, and has most recently been used as a “canvas” for an art installation. As part of the Tingey Street project, the building will be torn down and replaced with a large, parklike green space and fewer parking spaces than are there now. Eventually, the Commission was told, the park will be replaced by a commercial building. After being assured that there will be no animals outdoors, and that noise and odors will be carefully controlled, the ANC voted unanimously to support the text amendment.

Southwest to Gain New Yoga Studio The M Street Yoga Studio will soon open in a sunny, windowed former apartment in Carrollsburg Square, at 300 M Street SW. According to owner Pamela Fierst, she plans to work with people at all levels of experience, and is working with the Wounded Warriors Project to provide classes for current and former members of the armed services. Ms. Fierst was seeking support for a zoning variance to enable her to change the use of the apartment for a commercial pur-


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February 2014 H 63

{capitol streets / anc news}

pose. The ANC voted unanimously to support the BZA application.

Penthouse Navy Yard Sometime next year, VIDA Fitness is opening a full service gym—hairdresser, café, and spa included, at 4th and M Streets SE (upstairs from the eagerly awaited Harris Teeter). And another one of its amenities will be a private roof-top club, the Penthouse Navy Yard, available only to gym members who will be paying about $160 a month in dues, and featuring a pool, top shelf drinks, and, according to its manager, who presented at the meeting, a “resort experience” for members—and with city views thrown in for good measure. Prior to a vote to support the granting of a liquor license, Commission members asked innumerable questions about music, noise and hours of operation, and received assurances that the tenants of the new apartment building next door to the club will have nothing to worry about because the club will never get rowdy and the music will be carefully curated to avoid loud sounds. He stressed his own 25 years of experience in working with licensed establishments as an expectation that the rules will be followed. And after that, the ANC agreed to support his request.

In Other Activity… •

It was learned that the vacant seat on the Commission has not yet been filled, but there may be a candidate for the seat Commissioner Sam Marrero offered a motion, which was unanimously approved, to send a letter to City Councilmember Jack Evans, who heads the Council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue, supporting the creation of the Southwest BID. The Commission gave its approval to a 5K race on Sunday morning, March 30, being organized by the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County. The race will dip into Southwest at 2nd Street, but will go no further south than E Street.

Next Meeting The next meeting of ANC 6D will be held on Monday, February 10, 2014, at 7:00 PM at the 2nd Floor Conference Room at 1100 4th Street SW.

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ANC 6E by Steve Holton

5th and I Project Update In December it was reported from ANC 6E that the Deputy Mayor’s Office would be awarding a contract to one of four development firms to develop a parcel of land at the corner of 5th and I Street, NW. The land is also on the corner of 5th and Massachusetts and is referred to as the Mt. Vernon Triangle. The Deputy Mayor’s Office informed ANC 6E05 Commissioner Marge Maceda that they are finalizing the pro’s and con’s of the four proposal’s submitted. “It is important for the commissioners to give any comments that we may have and send them to the Deputy Mayors Office. Comments would go out to each of the developers so that they can include the information in their best and final offer to the city,” said Maceda. In the beginning the community wanted the space utilized as a park and playground area for children, dog walkers and the elderly. The Deputy Mayor’s Office noted that this type of project wouldn’t bring any money to the city so the offer was removed from the table and several members of the community want any type of plan to include green space. Comments directed toward the Peebles Corporation proposal: We are not interested in low income housing which could lead to failure. Many are open to the hotel/condo idea but are worried about the possible increase in crime and traffic congestion and there are already five hotels in such a small area. Comments directed toward the JBG Firm’s proposal: The retail you proposed including an organic market and a return of bicycle space is just what the community wants. We appreciate your plan for green space in the proposal but we think a community meeting room should have also been in the plan. Comments directed toward the CSG Urban partners proposal: Your proposal shows that you took the time to meet with the community. Having a day care and dog park in your plan is impressive but having a space for creative artists to work is just what the doctor ordered. Comments directed toward the Akridge Firm proposal: Your proposal showed your dedication toward what the community desires.

The day care, community and retail space that you included is on our wish list and we love the idea of having a weekend market. “The developers really cared about what the community wanted without making it a tourist area”, said Maceda. Also the community wants to know what type of retail will be on the ground floor of any building and what traffic problems that two years of construction will bring. “After speaking with the community, a non-residential project such as an office building is the most attractive with hotels coming in second. Offices add additional foot traffic which is important to local retail. I am also happy to see the area is starved for green and recreational space and are taking the appropriate solutions to make this happen,” said Chairman Alexander Padro. The board motioned to submit a letter with commissioners and community comments to the Deputy Mayor’s Office. “There could potentially be 10,000 area residents walking in and around that area, so whatever goes on that plot of land is significant,” said Maceda.

Ideal Tenant A presentation was given by a representative of the Richard Sandoval Restaurant chain regarding a future restaurant at 7th and Q Street, NW. The company has 25 locations in the U.S. with six of them in the metro DC area. The representative commented that they have not decided on a name but noted that the new location will feature a Mexican rotisserie concept. “We are planning to apply for a patio permit on Q Street and we will have a quick style take-out window for those in a rush. There will also be a bar on the basement level and we are planning to have a D.J.”, said the restaurant representative. Construction will start in late summer and could open by spring of 2015.

Shaw Crime Watch DCPD was on hand to give the board and residents an update on area crime. There was one arrest regarding sexual abuse which led to closure of several burglary cases. After an arrest of a man and woman panhandling, home burglaries have gone way down. Crime remains steady with tourists who leave their bags or jackets on chairs when leaving a table. There was originally a shooting reported by a victim at 5th and K, NW and it was

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later revealed as a stabbing. The victim refused to give authorities any details on the incident. A Radio Shack on 7th Street, NW was robbed and it was reported that over $26,000 in iphones and electronics were taken in this one incident. Commissioner Maceda noted that skate boarders are causing damage on private property and primarily on statues. DCPD urged anyone to report any such incidents and they would dispatch someone to check it out. There have also been issues with people parking on the sidewalk of the K Street Street-scape.

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Other Topics of Note •

New Location: The ANC 6E board will meet at 6:30pm on February 5th at the Northwest One Library which is located at 155 L Street, NW. Support motion approved for a Quick Food Service Permit for Rito Loco Restaurant at 606 Florida Avenue, NW. Support motion approved for parking for the Immaculate Conception Church at the future 8th and O Street, NW, development. Support motion approved for a Stipulated Liquor License (beer and wine) for Le Pain Quotidien at 433 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

Visit www.anc6e.org to view the ANC 6E newsletter. Follow on Twitter, @ANC6E, and Facebook by searching ANC6E. u

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Full -Service Landscape Design & Maintenance Firm February 2014 H 65

{where we live}

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Capitol Place, a 10-story mixed-use complex, rises at 701 2nd St. NE. Photo: Melissa Ashabranner

February 2014 H 67


Crossword Author: Myles Mellor • www.themecrosswords.com • www.mylesmellorconcepts.com

by Myles Mellor and Sally York Across:

1. Span partner 6. “Lawrence of Arabia” director and family 11. Gauchos’ weapons 16. Behind the times 18. Fawned 20. Like the Godhead 21. Buff 22. City in Georgia 23. Ill will 24. Black hole physicist 27. Rani’s wear 28. Arrange 29. 40 winks 30. Eye affliction 31. Native American tribe 34. “The Lord of the Rings” figure 36. Chasers 38. German resort 39. “West Side Story” girl 42. Pincered insect 46. #26 of 26 49. Pulitzer Prize winner 57. ___ Club 58. Display unit 59. Port of ancient Rome 60. Riddle-me-___ 61. Argentine president 62. Kind of cycle 63. Search thoroughly 67. Darn 70. Kitchen meas. 71. Alleviate 72. Architectural projection 74. City named for an Indian tribe 76. Beast of burden 79. Former Portuguese province 80. Tropical tree 83. Vigna sinensis 87. Astronaut 91. “Amen!” 92. Biblical prophet 93. NBC morning show 94. Best guess: Abbr. 97. Piques 100. Chap 103. Bonanza find 104. “Beetle Bailey” creator Walker 106. Dusk, to Donne

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107. “Seinfeld” uncle 110. Accomplishment 113. U.S. Supreme Court justice 121. Afternoon service 122. Imbue 123. Exploit successfully 124. Marx collaborator 125. Speaker part 126. River of Western Bulgaria 127. Editorial directives 128. 8-12-year-old 129. Poetic feet


1. Absorbs, with “up” 2. Conspiracy 3. Inactive 4. Old TV show 5. Buckwheat groats 6. Vuitton 7. American symbol 8. Not for minors 9. Not yet final, at law 10. ___ record 11. Brightly colored and showy 12. Sty utterances 13. See-through sheet 14. Alias 15. Twilled cloths 17. “___ Is,” Box Car Racer’s song 18. Choice marble 19. Curses 20. Circus apparatus 25. Bubkes 26. Controls 31. Pilgrim’s journey 32. ___ about 33. Dwarf refrain 35. Casbah headgear 36. Swiss philosopher 37. Lewd ones 40. Big bang maker 41. Many miles away 43. Basis of some divisions 44. Abbr. after a name 45. Tin foil, e.g. 47. Hydroxyl compound 48. Come to pass 50. Anger 51. Boxer Fields 52. Plummet

Look for this months answers at labyrinthgameshop.com 53. Cognizance 54. Europe’s highest volcano 55. “Buenos ___” 56. Norfolk river 63. Deep sleep 64. Kind of hygiene 65. Popular insulator 66. Skullcap 67. Blue books? 68. Young raptor 69. Deals partner 73. Garage job 74. “___ the glad waters of the dark blue sea”: Byron 75. Voting “no” 76. Big heart? 77. Bribe 78. Belt

81. “___ De-Lovely” 82. Flue residue 84. ___ bono 85. Taro variety 86. Close to closed 88. Postulates 89. Beldam 90. Bar order 94. Overacts 95. Narrow channel in the U.K. 96. Process for sorting patients 98. Green, in a way 99. Bumbling 101. Amateur video subject, maybe 102. Pound sounds 105. Image maker 107. Bank 108. Carry away, in a way

109. Ancient 111. Fine fiddle 112. ___ incognita 114. Congers 115. Colorful salamander 116. Attracted 117. Lyndon Johnson dog 118. Urban renewal target 119. Door part 120. Shag rugs

{community life} Robert F. Comstock Meet the new Chair of National Capital Bank

by Denise Romano


obert Comstock is the new Chair and Chief Executive Officer of National Capital Bank, assuming those positions in the wake of the passing of Richard A, Didden in late 2013. Although he may be an unfamiliar face to some, he is no stranger to the bank. Comstock and George Didden III, who was the Chairman and CEO of National Capital Bank from 1995 to his death in 2007, met at the Catholic University of America’s law school. “George asked me to come aboard here,” the soft-spoken Comstock recalled. “I served on the Board of Directors for 15 years and served as the head of the Audit Committee for a couple of years on and off…for about ten terms.” Comstock said that the world of banking, just like every other industry, has to keep up with the times. “We need to increase the number of customers and borrowers that we have,” he said. “They have done very well, but you always like to grow some. Lots of big banks are selling a lot of their branches,” Comstock went on. “Younger generations are banking with iPhones and computers.” National Capital Bank has two branches, on Capitol Hill and in Friendship Heights. He said that a lot of older residents like the bank “because they get personal attention. They can actually call and talk to somebody. We still keep that relationship.” Comstock, whose office has an open door policy, said that he will continue to support the bank’s relationship with the Capitol Hill Community Foundation. “I started out my life here and would like to be involved in organizations that are a part of the Hill,” he explained. “Some of our officers have served as chairmen and other positions of local entities and often times meetings are held in the bank in the board room.” Comstock is very involved in charitable work. In the 1970’s, he helped form a Community Youth Organization for international track and field. “We received funds from what used to be exhibition games from the Redskins and wanted to do something for the community,” recalled Comstock, who ran track and field during college, as well as playing basketball and baseball. “My partners [at the law firm]. Said ‘Well I’m sure Bob could do it,’ so we brought track stars in from all over the country and some from foreign countries.” The first two track meets were held at the DC Armory, but later were held at the University of Maryland Cole Field House where several world records were set. “Big names” in track and field, such as Steve Prefontaine and Dwight Stones attended. In 1977, Comstock managed the first World Cup in track and field team to Dusseldorf. Comstock was born in Lincoln, Illinois and moved to the capital city of

Robert Comstock takes a break for our camera in his office on Capitol Hill.

Springfield when he was five. Growing up one of seven children during the Depression, times were tough. “When we got to be 18, we went to work or college depending on what we could do,” Comstock explained, adding that he got a full scholarship to Catholic University. “I have been here since 1954,” he said, noting that he majored in politics. “My first job in DC was the summer before my first year of college. I worked as an administrative assistant for Peter Mack, Representative in my home district Comstock recalled. In 1958, Comstock graduated and joined the Air Force, where he served for four years. Then he attended law school at Catholic University. Upon graduation in 1964, Comstock split his day between law and banking: starting work at 5:30 a.m. for the bank, then going back to his practice at in the afternoon. Comstock’s accomplishments are many, including serving as Chair and CEO of the Bank of Baltimore for nearly a year before it was sold. Looking forward, Comstock hopes to help continue National Capital Bank’s stellar reputation. The bank was just given a five star rating by Bauer Financial for the hundredth quarter in a row. “I would like to keep that record going,” Comstock said. Comstock has five children and nine grandchildren and serves on the board of trustees for the National Shrine and for Catholic University for the past 25 years. He is also chair of the fund, “Forward in Faith.” In his downtime, Comstock is all about family. He and his wife like to travel, and are going to Normandy this summer. “I have one son and daughter-in-law that work at the Capitol, so I hope to have time to have lunch with them from time to time,” he said. u

February 2014 H 69

{community life / ne library}

Northeast Library Branch Reopens


The renovated children’s section.

he Northeast Library, located at 330 Seventh St. NE, will reopen on Monday, Feb. 3 after five months of renovation and restoration. Designed by Bell Architects and Vines Architecture, the renovated library will offer a more than 45 percent increase in public space, as well as a number of interior improvements that will help the historic structure better serve its community in a modern age. The $10 million project, funded by the DC government’s Capitol Budget, was focused on three “preservation zones”: restoration, rehabilitation, and renovation. This three-pronged approach was particularly necessary as the Georgian Revival building has been in operation since 1932 and has received few updates since the 1950s. “The hope was that a full renovation would repair the broken parts of the branch but just as importantly preserve some of the beautiful architectural and historic features that make the building so beautiful,” explained Vincent Morris, President of the independent community organization, Friends of the Northeast Library (FONEL).

New Design Features The library’s original woodwork and architectural details required restoration, and outdated electrical and plumbing systems and major leaks in the building’s roof and basement all required replacement and repairs. Additional renovations of the building’s elevators, bathrooms, and flooring were also necessary. The renovation not only modernized the library, but also completely

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by Emily Haynes redesigned the floor layout to provide more public space and to be consistent with the layout of other District library branches. The overhaul has made room for quiet study rooms, a bigger public meeting room, and more space for library programming. Perhaps the most significant change is the relocation of the children’s and teens’ sections of the library. Originally found on the second floor, the children’s room has now been moved to the first floor so that the Teen Space now neighbors the Adult Reading Room on the second floor. According to library officials, this redesign move reflects a “common practice” throughout Distract branches and caters to the desires of both teens and parents of young children. In a response to questions about the move posted on the Northeast Library’s website, officials explained, “This allows the teens to have easy access to the adult collection. It also separates teens from children, which is generally preferred both by the teens, and often the parents of younger children. It also allows customers with strollers to avoid having to use the elevator.” Besides an updated structure and a new layout, library-goers can also expect to find a larger computer lab filled with new computers, and WIFI availability throughout the renovated library. Improvements to the building’s electrical system now allow the library to support a larger electrical load, enabling it to offer expanded computer and Internet access to the community. There will also be some changes to the library’s collection. “New li-

gressed, Morris was asked to join the All are welcome to attend the Grand panel that reviewed Opening of the Northeast Library during the architectural library hours on Saturday, Feb. 8 and enjoy proposals. Through story time, special performances, tours of the public meetings new library, and refreshments. and the work of independent community organizations like FONEL, the braries often have new collections,” architects, contractors, and officials said George Williams, the Media from the DC Public Libraries incorRelations Manager for DC Public porated community needs into the Libraries. Though many of the books renovated library’s design. will remain the same, Williams explained that many books found to Community Response be outdated or in poor condition will As the renovation process be removed from the collection and comes to a close, community memreplaced with new copies, updated bers are hopeful that the newly editions, and recent releases. redesigned Northeast Library will Lastly, the renovated library will become a focal point in neighborsport a variety of new furniture items hood life. that were selected to combine mod“It’s my hope that the newly ern designs with pieces inspired by renovated library will inspire kids the building’s Georgian Revival style. to read more, to provide a safe place Throughout the building’s renofor homework and passing the time vation, the architects and contractors after school and of course will serve kept the library’s architectural history as a useful place for adults to do in mind. The building is known for everything from search for a job or its beautiful archways, dark wood convene book group meetings and moldings, and original windows, so check out DVDs,” Morris said. special attention was paid to preservWard Six Councilmember ing as many of these historic archiTommy Wells also expressed his tectural features as possible. excitement at the completed reno“In some cases, the features vation. were simply old but had no special “I am thrilled that our Northmerit. In other cases, like the sides of east Library will be re-opening,” the old circulation desk and the cabiWells said. “Investing in educational nets in the children’s library section, and cultural gathering places at the the staff carefully protected and precenter of our communities is what served all of that so that it could be makes DC a great place to live, work brought back once the construction and raise a family.” was done,” said Morris. With an updated facility, colMorris and the Friends of the lection, and technology, as well as Northeast Library (FONEL) held more space for public meetings and several public meetings to discuss library programming, the renovated the kinds of changes, improvements, Northeast Library now has the reand restorations that the community sources to provide many more serfelt were needed in the renovated vices to the community. u library. As the design process pro-

Grand Opening Party, Feb. 8

February 2014 H 71

{community life / south by west}

South by West by William Rich

Southwest Neighborhood Plan While more than 250 people attended the Southwest Neighborhood Plan kickoff public meeting in September, turnout for the second meeting on December 11 was much lower. During the meeting, the audience was presented with the results of the Existing Conditions Analysis and detailed demographic data from the market study that is underway for the study area. There were ten themes that emerged from the September meeting from comments made by those who attended: 1. Southwest Culture: Foster an environment that encourages and embraces cultural and economic diversity 2. Neighborhood Character: Preserve the varied scale and green character of the neighborhood 3. Pedestrian / Safety: Designed buildings, connections and sidewalks to improve safety, security and pedestrian circulation 4. Retail: Support, enhance and expand neighborhood retail amenities 5. Parks: Enhance, connect and better utilize parks, both active and passive, as open space 6. Community Amenities: Invest in community and arts uses that serve resident needs 7. Housing: Preserve and develop a range of housing for a mix of income, age and family size and encourage quality design and architecture 8. Transportation: Strengthen multi-modal transportation; improve street connections, parking and safety 9. Historic Preservation: Remember the history and legacy of the Southwest community while looking ahead 10. New Development: Develop a strategy for height, density and open space that enhances, acknowledges and complements the character of the neighborhood

Existing Conditions Analysis Even though Southwest is not currently in a historic district, several buildings have been registered with the Historic Preservation Review Board,

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including Potomac Place, Arena Stage, Waterfront Tower, and others, while Randall Recreation Center and Capitol Park Tower are pending designation. Southwest is unique in the city for its block structure, which is much longer than the typical block length in the city, a result of urban renewal. Several of the streets in Southwest have dead-ends due to the reconfiguration of the neighborhood during urban renewal. Only a few streets connect through the neighborhood to other areas, such as Maine Avenue/M Street, SW

The first phase of Waterfront Station at 4th and M streets, SW opened in 2010. Photo: William Rich

highest potential for change. These sites include Greenleaf, MPD first district headquarters at M Street, SW and Delaware Avenue, SW, the DMV just to the east, the FEMS Maintenance facility, as well as the inspection station and the privately owned lots along South Capitol Street, SW. The Southwest Neighborhood Plan will not make recommendations for changes to existing, established residential areas, but will make suggestions to improve amenities such as parks and open space.

Camden South Capitol apartments was the first rental apartment community to open in SW in decades when it was completed in 2013. Photo: William Rich

(which carries between 17,800 and 26,400 cars per day), I Street, SW (a section of I Street, SE in Near SE is currently under construction), South Capitol Street, SW, and 4th Street, SW. Vehicular access may not be ideal, but the entire planning area is within a 10-minute walk from a Metro station and 20 bus lines serve the area. Capital Bikeshare access is spotty, though. Most of the publicly owned land is on the east side of Southwest and that is where there is the

Market Analysis

The consultants hired by the Office of Planning to conduct a market analysis of the area concluded that there are minimal and limited opportunities for office and retail development, respectively; however, there is strong opportunity for housing development. The market analysis looked at the planning area as well as a larger South of the Freeway submarket including Southwest and Capitol Riverfront. Within the planning area, there are 11,768 people in 6,600 households – population growth in the area has been half of the city-wide rate of 12.5% since 2000. With the projected in-

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The Finest Salvadorian & Mexican Cuisine 23 Years on Capitol Hill flux of new housing to the area, the number of households could increase by 2,000 by the year 2020, a possible increase of 30%. The planning area is a bit older, with fewer children and less affluent, but more educated than the city as a whole. Housing values in the South of the Freeway submarket increased by 3.9% since 2003, which is lower than the 6.3% growth seen citywide. As a result, housing is relatively affordable compared to the city as a whole, both home prices and rents. Part of the reason for the relative affordability is the amount of subsidized housing that is in the planning area. There are seven DCHA developments and 19% of all units in the planning area are subsidized, compared to 13% citywide. Approximately 14% of the planned housing units in the planning area are projected to be subsidized and any public land that is redeveloped will contain a subsidized component, so income diversity will likely be retained. Prior to 2013, there had been no new rental apartment development in the planning area in decades. Physical barriers, the lack of retail and amenities, limited “buzz”, and insufficient return on investment has quelled housing development in the area. With the opening of Camden South Capitol in April 2013 and Sky House in early 2014, that dynamic is starting to change. For-sale housing has been built more recently, including Capitol Square at the Waterfront in the early 2000s, Potomac Place Condos in 2005, and the conversion of Potomac Place Tower and Waterfront Tower later in the decade. The newcomers to the area will most likely be younger and wealthier with more disposable income to spend out at restaurants and other retailers. On the office side of things, the newest office buildings are the ones built on 4th Street, SW in 2010 as a part of Waterfront Station. As of 2010, there were 10,365 jobs in the planning area. Most of the office space in the submarket (including Waterfront Station) is occupied by Federal or City government agencies. Due to the lack of private sector tenants in the area who typically pay higher rents, the average rent paid by office tenants in the South of the Freeway submarket is $44 per SF compared to the

citywide average of $53 per SF. Vacancy is also higher here than in the city as a whole – 15% vs. 10.5%. These factors contribute to a poor opportunity for near- or mid-term office development for the two office pads at 4th and M streets; however, once it is built and occupied, new office space could have an impact on retail. The Wharf development could be a potential competitor to 4th Street, but if that project is successful, there could be positive spillover to 4th Street. Retail in the market area is concentrated on 4th Street, SW and South Capitol Street, SW. In the South of the Freeway submarket, the vacancy rate is elevated – 20% compared to the citywide average of 5%. Rents are also lower – $28 per SF compared to $38 per SF in DC. Over at 4th Street, SW, retail rents are higher than the citywide average, ranging from $35 to $45 per SF. While 4th Street has the appropriate population density, spending power, access, and retail-ready space for neighborhood goods and services retail, other factors are lacking, including sufficient daytime population, a location within a retail destination, “buzz”, a competitive landscape, and sales that cover build-out and operating costs. There are even less conditions in place currently for food and beverage retail to operate successfully and general merchandise retail currently has nearly no chance of success. The Wharf will be a destination and will attract different types of retail than the neighborhood goods and services retail that is on 4th Street, SW; however, the development can draw foot traffic to 4th Street, SW.

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Next Steps The next Southwest Neighborhood Plan meeting will be on Saturday, January 25 from 9am to 12pm at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 I Street, SW). This meeting will focus on a broad vision for development and urban design for the sites in the planning area that have the greatest potential for redevelopment. William Rich is a blogger at Southwest…The Little Quadrant that Could (www.southwestquadrant.blogspot.com) u

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{community life / h street life}

H Street Life by Elise Bernard


he temperatures might be low, but don’t let that stop you from getting out and exploring all that our neighborhood has to offer. It certainly isn’t preventing new local businesses from opening.

District Fishwife to Bring Fresh Sustainable Seafood to Union Market Have you been looking for a new place to buy high quality fresh seafood? Look no further than District Fishwife (1309 5th St. NE, http://www.thedistrictfishwife.com). Opening in only a few weeks, District Fishwife is the dream of owner Fiona Lewis. Lewis is a native of Melbourne, Australia who grew up fishing with her grandfather, and watching her father breed and release rare fish to bolster local populations. She’s been in the restaurant business since age 18, and brings 25 years worth of experience in hospitality, retail sales, and education, to the table. The District Fishwife will be Northeast DC’s first sustainable seafood market. They will also sell prepared foods for take-away, or consumption at Union Market, such as fish & chips, fried calamari, and fish curries. Look for housemade condiments, and packaging chosen to be kind to the earth.

Bidwell Restaurant Now Open at Union Market You are, without a doubt, familiar with the farm to table (fresh & locally sourced ingredients), but roof to table might be a new one for you. It simply means that many of Bidwell’s fruits & vegetable will come from the more than 70 aeroponic planters set up on the roof of Union Market. Bidwell adopts its name from General John Bidwell. In the 1800s he served in the U.S. Army, founded Chico, California, and was even a United States Presidential candidate in 1892. Bidwell was a man of many talents, and diverse interests. One of his passions was agriculture. He was an avid farmer known for developing the Bidwell heirloom melon, producing a gold medal winning flour, and cultivating California’s first commercial raisin crop. The kitchen is helmed by Chef John Mooney (formerly of Red Sage, Raku, & New York City’s Bell, Book, & Candle). At Bidwell, Mooney hopes to show off his unique flair for southern inspired fare. Expect to find dishes like gin & tonic salmon with caramelized cauliflower, crispy deviled eggs with homemade ranch dressing, lobster tacos with avocado toma-

Sahra’s popular patio

tillo salsa, and even suckling pig. Bidwell features seating for 120 patrons, including a chef’s counter where you can enjoy the open kitchen, and additional outdoor seats. Lunch: Tues-Fri 11:30-3:30. Dinner: Tues-Thurs, Sun. 5:30-10:00, & Fri-Sat 5:3011:00. Brunch will be served on Saturday and Sunday 9:30-3:30.

Former St. John Church of God Building Sells for $2.2M 1301 H St. NE (formerly home to the St. John church of God) recently sold to a private investment group for $2.2 million. The property was originally listed for $2.5 million last May. It’s a nice corner lot (L shaped with parking) consisting of 6,100 square feet. The property attracted substantial interest with nine contracts submitted prior to the eventual sale. Although it is unclear whether the façade will be preserved long-term, it is likely to stick around for the time being. A representative from the investment group recently told the Washington City Paper that he expects to lease the existing space in the short-term. It could house a restaurant, a tavern, or an entertainment venue. Eventually, the existing structure will likely be torn down, & replaced with a new mixed-use development. The congregation has relocated to Maryland.

Changes Over at Sahra Lounge You may have noticed that popular hookah spot Sahra Lounge (1200 H St. NE, http:// sahralounge.com) appeared to have closed up shop at the end of last year. The doors were locked, the lights were off, and the sign was covered up. The good news is that I’m told they are simply renovating, and changing the name of the business. In recent days they’ve been doing work inside the space. No word yet on when they intend to reopen.

Increased Service on the X2, 90, 92 Bus Lines The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) recently announced some changes to three bus lines that service the H Street corridor. The changes mean some adjustments to trip times, and increased weekday midday, and Sunday service. The 90 and 92 buses face similar adjustments, and increased service both Saturday, and Sunday.

New Citi Pizza Closes Its Doors New Citi Pizza (504 H St. NE, http:// www.newcitipizzas.com) has been a go-to pizza delivery option for years among many who (continued on pg. 77)

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COUNCIL ELECTION FORUMS Hear the Three Candidates Speak!

Charles Allen

Darrel Thompson

Shelonda Tillman

On Capitol Hill

In Southwest

In Shaw

The Hill Center Friday, February 28th 7 to 9 p.m.

Westminster Presbyterian Church Tuesday, March 4th 7 to 9 p.m.

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library Tuesday, March 11th 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Andrew Lightman, Managing Editor of Capital Community News, will moderate. Questions will be gathered from sponsoring organizations as well as on cards from the audience. These Forums are sponsored by The Hill Rag, MidCity DC, The Ward 6 Democrats, The Hill Center, Westminster Presbyterian Church, ANC 6E, The Near SE/SW CBBC, The Capitol Hill Restoration Society, The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly and Empower DC.

February 2014 H 75

{community life / capitol riverfront}

Year of Growth in the Capitol Riverfront Annual Meeting Outlines more for 2014


50,000 SF Harris • n January 16, 2014 the Teeter opens in 3Q 2014 Capitol Riv• 28,000 SF VIDA erfront BID Fitness opens in 3Q 2014 held its Sixth • Openings of addiAnnual Meeting Luncheon tional restaurants including and State of the Capitol Sweet Green, TaKorean, Riverfront at the PNC Club 100 Montaditos, and more at Nationals Park. Approxithroughout 2014 mately 220 BID members, • Up to three new hoproperty owners and other tels by 2017 stakeholders gathered to cel• One new office ebrate the past year’s accomTammy Shoham and Michael Stevens presenting building projected to break Former DC Mayor Anthony Williams the Public plishments as well as receive ground in 2014 Sector Leadership Award at the Capitol Riverfront BID Annual Meeting. Photos: Jay Corbalis an update on BID activities • Construction on the for 2014. The meeting also 35,000 SF Whole Foods groserved as an opportunity to release the BID’s 2013 cery begins in 2014 Annual Report and to honor our Clean & Safe • The renovation of the Van Ness elementary Team members for their hard work. school for opening in the 2015/16 school year 2013 was an active year in the Capitol Riv“The Capitol Riverfront’s successes in 2013 erfront, including eight restaurant openings; conrest on the foundation set over the last 15-20 years struction of four new residential projects; compleby our public and private partners,” said Stevens. tion of Phase I of the 11th Street Bridges project; As part of the program the Capitol Riverfront BID announcement of the DC United Stadium in also recognized the people whose vision and deBuzzard Point, and planning for two streetcar lines velopment projects have created the foundation that run through the neighborhood. These catafor the neighborhood’s growth. The BID presented lytic projects will help to create a vibrant, mixedits first ever “Foundation Awards” to the following use, multi-modal waterfront neighborhood. The partners: neighborhood foundation is set, and the Capitol • Public Sector Partner Foundation Award – Riverfront is positioned to absorb more residents, former DC Mayor Anthony Williams employees, and retailers. • Private Sector Foundation Award – The neighborhood is one-third built-out to Forest City Washington day, and is projected to reach 50% build-out across • Private Sector Foundation Award – WC Smith most real estate uses by 2017. That was the message Tony Williams was credited for his vision for delivered to the luncheon attendees, including the Anacostia River and the 2003 Anacostia WaFormer Mayor Anthony Williams, Deputy Mayor terfront Initiative (AWI) Framework Plan which Victor Hoskins, and Nationals General Manager laid the foundation for cleaning up the river and Mike Rizzo. This next wave of development activcreating new communities linked by public parks, ity was highlighted by Michael Stevens in his annew bridges, and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail sysnual State of the Capitol Riverfront presentation tem. Forest City Washington and WC Smith were and it includes: recognized for their development projects that in• Four apartment buildings under construction clude retail, grocery stores, housing, office, and the as of 4Q 2013 construction of two new public parks – Yards Park • Five more residential buildings projected to and Canal Park. break ground in 2014 “WC Smith is a long time believer, and inves-

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by Michael Stevens, AICP tor, in the re-emergence of the Capitol Riverfront. From all the activity in the neighborhood over the past year, it is clear that we made the right choice”, said Chris Smith, CEO of WC Smith. Heather Arnold, Director of Research and Analysis for Streetsense, provided the keynote address, Capitol Riverfront’s Mixology: Our Smart Approach to Retail. Arnold noted that the Capitol Riverfront is undersupplied with retail today, and the retail demand of households, employees, and visitors in the Capitol Riverfront and its surrounding neighborhoods can support even more retail activity. “While we will still see demand for additional dining options, we expect the retail mix to broaden as the neighborhood matures, and there are opportunities for more neighborhood-serving retailers such as salons, hardware stores, and dry cleaners,” said Arnold. There are 210,000 SF of retail in the Capitol Riverfront today, and Arnold projects a strong demand for retail for the next five years. However, there is more retail planned for the Capitol Riverfront than can be supported by the market, which means that future development projects might not build all of the planned retail, or could fill ground floor spaces with alternatives uses to traditional retail, such as art studios, daycare facilities, classrooms, live performance space, and even museum spaces. Additionally, retail should cluster strategically to create vibrant streets in the

The members of the Capitol Riverfront BID Clean and Safe Team. Photos: Jay Corbalis

Here Is What My Clients Are Saying... (continued from pg. 75)

areas of the Capitol Riverfront that capture the most pedestrian and vehicular traffic, streets such as New Jersey Avenue, Tingey Street, and Half Street. The BID also took the opportunity to honor the members of its Clean and Safe Team, who provide the essential services like trash collection, snow removal and landscaping that make the Capitol Riverfront an inviting and attractive destination. Andre Tobe, a six-year veteran and original member of the Clean and Safe team, was named Employee of the Year; Gary Williams, who is in his second year on the team, received the award for Outstanding Performance; and Kenneth Ray Williams and Jeffrey Malcom both received a Certificate of Appreciation for their work in 2013. The Clean & Safe Team’s ongoing success was highlighted at the meeting and in the Annual Report where the BID’s 2013 public perceptions survey results were released. The 2013 results showed that 93% of respondents feel that the Capitol Riverfront BID is “clean or very clean” and that 81% of respondents feel that the BID is “safe or very safe”. In 2007 those same survey questions received positive marks of 6%, a dramatic increase in over six years of Clean & Safe Team operations in the Capitol Riverfront. Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins also addressed the audience and participated in the Clean & Safe Team awards recognition ceremony. The Deputy Mayor commented on the various public/private partnerships that have helped facilitate growth in the Capitol Riverfront and establish it as a neighborhood that has not just emerged as a new growth area, but as one that has arrived. Mike Rizzo, President and General Manager of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club addressed the attendees as well and provided his annual Nationals baseball pre-season overview. Commenting that he was disappointed in not making the playoffs last year, he felt that the Nationals had made several strategic moves to bolster the starting pitching line-up, the reliever staff, and the team’s bench. The full 2013 Annual Report & State of the Capitol Riverfront as well as the annual meeting presentation can be viewed on our BID website at www.capitolriverfront.org. At the end of the meeting Stevens expressed thanks on behalf of the BID board, staff, property owners and community stakeholders to the public and private partners who have joined on the journey to build a vibrant, mixed-use community of 36+ million square feet on the Anacostia River. Michael Stevens is the president of the Capitol Riverfront BID. u

live along the H Street NE corridor. Shortly before Christmas, neighbors began to notice that New Citi Pizza would tell callers they couldn’t deliver, and finally the number was disconnected. According to employees, the owned passed away unexpectedly, and no one was in a position to take over the business.

Samurai Training Academy Have you noticed the new dojo on H Street NE? Maybe you have a neighbor who has taken a self defense course at Samurai Training Academy (905 H St. NE, http://www.samuraitrainingacademy.com), or you know someone who studies karate there. Samurai Training Academy offers a range of martial arts, and self defense, classes for both adults and children.

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Cheesesteaks Aren’t Dead at Steak & Ice Right around Christmas white paper covered the windows of Taylor Charles Steak & Ice (1320 H St. NE, http://www. steakandice.com). The Twitter account went silent Dec. 21. Rumors had circulated in recent months that the owners might be planning a change in format, but nothing was publically confirmed. The only statement from a spokesman is that “Cheesesteaks are not dead.” A reporter at the Washington City Paper noticed that the owners have registered a new LLC called Taylor Gourmet Ballpark at the Steak & Ice address. For more on what’s abuzz on and around H Street you can visit my blog http://frozentropics. blogspot.com. You can send me tips, or questions at elise.bernard@ gmail.com. u

February 2014 H 77

{community life / barracks row}

Can It Happen Again? The Burning of the Navy Yard 2014


spokesman at the National Museum of the United States Navy, located in the historic US Navy Yard at 8th and M St. SE confirmed in mid January that they were considering ways to re-enact one of the most dramatic

Shoppers in the snow on Barracks Row- home to businesses since 1801

by Sharon Bosworth events in the history of the Washington DC—the attack by the British on the Federal City in 1814 and the subsequent burning by British troops of the US Capitol and White House. The Navy Yard, begun in the late 1700’s, is roughly a mile from the US Capitol. The historic Latrobe Gate of the Navy Yard, facing north at 8th St. SE creates a focal point at Barracks Row’s southern boundary. In August 1814 John Armstrong, Jr., Secretary of War under President Madison, directed the Navy Yard commander, Admiral Tingey, to burn the facility to prevent it and three new warships still in dry dock from falling into enemy hands. Tingey followed orders and the Navy Yard, which was built under his command, quickly became a spectacular inferno. The British troops moved on, the US won the war, but the Navy has never forgotten.

Help Fund the Fire August 2014 is the 200th Anniversary of the event. There are two ways to recapture the moment: 1) via pyrotechnics—specially designed fires /fireworks which could be located on the banks of the Anacostia River; or (2) the preferred but much more expensive laser method which would cast the image of flames on the actual buildings. Many Navy Yard buildings today are in the exact same alignment they were in 1814. The Near Southeast Community Partners (nscpfoundation@gmail.com), a neighborhood group made up of residents and businesses located south of Interstate 295-395 and east of South Capitol Street, in the immediate vicinity of the Navy Yard, has offered their help to the National Museum of the Unites States Navy to raise funds for the event.

Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza

Medium Rare opened in January.

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But before the burning of Washington there was the creation of Washington in 1791 by that famous client/architect team, President George Washington and Pierre L’Enfant. It was at the corner of 8th St. SE and Pennsylvania Ave that a park was centered. Over the centuries city streets were

cut through the park. By the late 1970’s we began to call the area Eastern Market Metro Plaza but today, rather than finding a park at the site, visitor and residents alike walk through six disconnected parcels, the worse for wear after 200+ years. To repurpose the park’s six segments now positioned on both sides of Pennsylvania Ave, SE between 7th St and 8th St. SE, Barracks Row Main Street is asking for ideas from everyone in the community. A design team, led by Amy Weinstein of Esocoff & Associates has been at work taking direction from a neighborhood task force composed of citizens and community leaders committed to improving the area. The two Master Plans thus far developed have been inspired directly from ideas generated at community input sessions. But more ideas are needed. Take a look at the power point presentation made in December 2013 by going to www.easternmarketmetropark.org. While on the website you can further study Master Plan A and Master Plan B and leave comments directly on the plans or blog. If you like features of both plans tell the design team of how you’d like to see the plans blended. Also on the website is a transportation survey. No changes in the roadbeds are proposed but several modern pedestrian and bike safety concepts might lead to traffic flow adjustments. The public comment period for this phase of the project is officially ends on January 31 but the site will remain open and will be reviewed frequently by the design team and task force. The task force will meet in late February/early March to give the designers further direction. So, pitch in – take a look at the plans and tell the design team what you think are the best ways to make six dilapidated urban segments into a 21st century oasis.

Thirteen in ‘13 Designed to be a business corridor from the beginning, Barracks Row has witnessed start-ups for hundreds of years but the pace of openings in the recent past has been poetic: 11 in ’11; 12 in ’12 and, hard to believe, 13 in ’13. The new businesses opened in 2013 will be welcomed to the neighborhood at the Barracks Row Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 12. Mark your calendar, join us at the celebration and toast our expanding business community. It looks like 2014 is off to a fast start with the

opening on January 20 of Medium Rare at 515 8th St. SE and, soon to follow, the re-opening of the original Szechuan House on the second floor of that building. Another re-opening is planned at Capitol City Subs, 751 8th St. SE where new owners are in the process of a complete renovation of the Marine Corp’s favorite sandwich shop. A spring 2014 opening planned.

Banners for the Seasons Pure Barre, a low-impact exercise franchise inspired by ballet barre techniques (but different), is opening this spring at 407 8th St. SE (above Metro Mutts). District Doughnut is pointing to an April 1 opening of their first bricks and mortar bakeshop at 749 8th St. SE. The Row’s second and third floor suites are great homes for consultants and professionals. A new medical practice, Apex Primary Care (202-293-5001) will be open in the first quarter on the second floor of 411 8th St. SE, with another practice led by Dr. Michelle Chabbott opening on the third floor of 733 8th St. SE above Barracks Row Main Street. The new map/ directory of Barracks Row will be published in the next month – there you can check out the boom in new businesses and renovations on the Row. Watch for the fresh banners along Barracks Row to set the tone for the each new season. Winter banners should be up as you read this, followed in April by spring banners. In the coming months watch this column—we’ll showcase the new banners as they are ready to roll out. For more information about Barracks Row call 202-544-3188 u

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February 2014 H 79

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{real estate}


he gleaming white dome of the U.S. Capitol is probably the most prominent landmark in Washington, D.C., with the possible exception of the Washington Monument. But this is not the original dome; the current one is a Civil War creation. The previous version was a wooden dome, sheathed on the outside by a layer of copper. The wood/copper dome did not last long, however. On December 24, 1851, a fire broke out in the U.S. Library of Congress, then housed in the Capitol. Some three-quarters of the books and papers were destroyed. Only the intervention of the local firefighters, with the help of mechanics

The U.S. Capitol’s Cast Iron Dome by John Lockwood

Photo courtesy Architect of the Capitol.

February 2014 H 81

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82 H Hillrag.com

and Marines from the Navy Yard, saved the dome, and the rest of the building. An obvious fire-trap, the old dome had to go. At the same time House and Senate wings were being extended to hold the everincreasing delegations from new states entering the Union. The old dome would look too small on such a large building. Thomas U. Walter was a Philadelphia architect who had been assigned to the office of the Capitol architect in June 1851 to design the new wings. Also, in June 1851, Mr. Walter gained an assistant, August Schoenborn. Schoenborn continued working at the architectural office until 1902, when his grandson, August Eccard, stepped in and worked there until his retirement in 1953—a family tradition of over a century. In December 1854, Walter came up with his design for a new, much larger dome for the Capitol. Congress agreed so quickly that President Franklin Pierce signed the bill on March 3, 1855. The old dome was removed sometime in 1856. What would the new dome be made of? Cast iron was easily the first choice. Unlike the wooden dome, a cast iron dome would be fire-proof. Also, cast iron was cheaper, lighter, and less timeconsuming to work with, than marble or other stonework. At first, several companies provided the iron, but by February 1860, it was narrowed down to one, i.e., Janes, Fowler, Kirtland and Company, of New York City. Their offer to provide cast iron at 7 cents a pound, doubtless helped. The odd thing is that Janes et al. chiefly made iron garden orna-

ments such as fountains, chairs, vases, and statues, as well as domestic items, such as stairs, roofs, farm tools, furnaces, and bedsteads. The U.S. Capitol would be, by far, their greatest challenge. The work was done at a newly-opened “Manufactory� in a Bronx neighborhood named Morrisania. Due to the outbreak of the Civil War, work stopped on the new House and Senate wings, in May 1861. But the Janes company kept working on the dome. They already had over one million pounds of iron segments lying about the Capitol grounds, and decided to install that much, at least, despite the U.S. government ceasing payments. The company was eventually paid, and kept at its work, as new iron shipments came in. As the December 4, 1862 New York Times phrased it, on page 6, “They have prevented the sound of the hammer from being stopped on the national capital [sic] a single moment during all our civil troubles.� By the time the Times wrote this, the framework and ribs of the dome’s exterior were in place, while the plates would be set into place by the end of the month. This left the installation of assorted decorations, plus the statue of Freedom on top. A supporting inner dome would also soon be ready, supporting the white outer dome with iron bars and beams. There was one difficulty in constructing the outer dome, namely the hiring and retention of workers. The job, after all, required the staff to fit together huge, heavy pieces of iron, at dizzying heights. Fortunately, despite the working conditions, no one was hurt. A much easier job was to

paint the cast iron segments white. This was done not way up in the air, but safely on the Capitol grounds, in warm weather, or inside the Capitol in the winter. The statue of Freedom was finally added on December 2, 1863. By January 1865, all that remained to do was to construct indoor iron stairways for those who wished to climb to the top, and install some 700 gas pipes to light the inside. These were completed by October 1865. The completed structure had required 8,909,200 pounds of cast iron. The distance from the U.S. Capitol’s basement floor to the top of the Freedom statue was 285 feet. The circular portion of the Capitol roof that actually bore the weight of the dome structure, covered some 1500 square feet. Dividing 1500 into 8,909,200 yields approximately 5,939.47 pounds of pressure per square foot. Meanwhile, tests had shown that the Capitol roof material could endure a pressure up to 192,000 pounds per square foot before breaking. In short, there was, and is, seemingly no need to worry about the Capitol supporting the dome’s weight. The U.S. Capitol dome has towered over Washington, D.C. ever since. Presumably, it will continue to do so for some yet, especially with occasional restorations, such as the one Congress. ◆

La Strega Accounting Accounting - Bookkeeping - Tax Preparation

Marina L. Martin, EA, MBA Certified Quickbooks Pro Advisor® (c)





www.lastregaaccounting.com February 2014 H 83

{real estate / changing hands}

Changing Hands Changing hands is a list of most residential sales in the District of Columbia from the previous month. A feature of every issue, this list, based on the MRIS, is provided courtesy of Don Denton, manager of the Coldwell Banker office on Capitol Hill. The list includes address, sales price and number of bedrooms. Neighborhood




$1,395,000 $790,000 $550,000 $365,000











113 5TH ST NE 646 SOUTH CAROLINA AVE SE 908 S CAROLINA AVE SE 135 11TH ST SE 333 11TH ST SE 212 15TH ST NE 337 10TH ST NE 433 7TH ST SE 106 15TH ST SE 1106 5TH ST NE 1414 A ST NE 644 ORLEANS PL NE 921 E ST SE 3 LIBRARY CT SE 627 14TH PL NE 220 14TH PL NE 1029 6TH ST NE

84 H Hillrag.com

10 4 4 3

$936,000 $865,000 $775,000 $709,000

3 3 3 2

$363,000 $275,000 $135,000 $70,000

4 4 2 2

$180,000 $172,000

4 2

$765,000 $716,326

4 3





$520,000 $495,000 $426,500 $425,000 $410,000 $385,000 $380,000 $379,900 $370,000 $295,000

4 4 3 3 4 4 4 3 4 4

$1,000,000 $969,000 $875,000 $870,000 $790,440 $768,500 $740,000 $730,000 $699,950 $680,000 $670,000 $635,000 $605,000 $591,000 $549,900 $503,910 $640,000

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



$1,256,750 $1,200,000 $1,030,000 $925,000 $839,270 $779,000 $725,000 $675,000

5 6 4 4 3 4 3 3






$2,850,000 $1,625,000 $1,309,750 $875,000 $830,000

5 5 5 3 2



$862,500 $674,000

4 4

$914,500 $830,000 $774,000 $675,000 $645,000 $620,000 $606,000 $577,300 $525,000 $425,000 $249,000 $196,000 $140,000 $128,000 $104,000

4 5 4 4 3 4 3 3 3 3 4 5 3 3 3

$750,000 $600,000

4 3

$299,000 $250,000 $240,000 $220,000 $113,000 $111,500 $93,000 $92,500 $90,000 $40,000 $30,000

3 1 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 3

$2,258,000 $2,000,000

8 6

$761,750 $689,900 $500,000

4 4 3




1557 41ST ST SE



$765,000 $988,000

4 4

$3,875,000 $3,400,000 $2,050,000 $1,600,000 $1,395,000 $1,075,000 $980,000 $896,349 $874,000 $765,000 $749,000 $737,000

4 8 5 3 4 3 2 3 3 2 2 2




4832 JAY ST NE 3815 MINNESOTA AVE NE 419 55TH ST NE 422 EASTERN AVE NE 718 55TH ST NE 4254 BROOKS ST NE 832 DIVISION AVE NE 1016 48TH ST NE 853 51ST ST NE 1052 48TH ST NE 1054 48TH ST NE


1918 17TH ST NW 1711 S ST NW






GEORGETOWN 1418 33RD ST NW 3021 Q ST NW 3320 N ST NW 1544 33RD ST NW 3633 WINFIELD LN NW 1413 33RD ST NW 3408 O ST NW 1237 31ST ST NW 3027 CAMBRIDGE PL NW 3271 PROSPECT ST NW 1608 34TH ST NW 2924 N ST NW

$217,000 $155,000

4 2


98 15TH Street, NE 1BR/1BA $379,000


1408 G Street, SE 3BR/1.5BA $675,000

Live like a town house owner in the historic Car Barn condominium community. This immaculate condo features gleaming oak floors, renovated kitchen of SS & granite, wood burning fireplace, washer/dryer in unit. Pool with sundeck for the summer. Just short stroll to Lincoln park, Atlas district, Metro, and the best of Capitol Hill! Garage parking INCLUDED. R T! DE C N A U TR N CO

1361 K Street unit 302, SE 1BR/1BA $255,000

Beautifully renovated and well-maintained end-of-row home with wide open floor plan through living, dining, and kitchen space. Soaring ceilings, skylights, fireplace, bright windows, spacious lower level Guest Suite, and so much more! Bonus: delightful rear deck and brick paved garden!




Thought you could no longer afford Capitol Hill living? Here’s your chance for affordable luxury: Renovated condo home with top floor views, great southern light, bamboo floors, granite and stainless kitchen, marble bath, and smart layout just 2 blocks from groceries, restaurants, and Potomac Ave Metro! Own all this for less than you’ll pay in rent!




702 Kentucky Ave, SE 3BR/3.5BA $770,000 Quest Home Builders have done it AGAIN! COMPLETE renovation of WIDE porch-front facing 2 great Hill streets - no alleys! Unparalleled eye for quality and one-of-a-kind layout - 3 BR 3.5 BA, restored hw flrs, immaculate FP and custom built-ins & case molding, knockout kitchen & baths! Bonus LL den with wide-open flexibility.

1221 Constitution Ave, NE 3BR/1.5BA $844,000 Pristine Victorian bay front lovingly restored and updated - STUNNING architectural detail! HW flrs, pocket doors, trim, mantels, and center stairs. Immaculate kit of solid cherry, granite & steel. 3 Big BR spaces, middle currently opened as den. All-glass additions on South side. HUGE unfinished lower lvl ready for your dream build-out. Private patio, garden, prkg, decks.



In times of market shift, homebuyers and sellers are finding our energy, creativity, and direct experience more vital than ever. For the BEST RESULTS, put us to work today! Call Joel for a free consultation on market values, smart improvements, and more!

February 2014 H 85










Try our Gourmet Cream Style Corn!





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100% All Natural Sweet Corn

No Added Sugar, Additives, Coloring, or Preservatives! AVAILABLE AT THESE LOCATIONS The Silver Spork - 303 7th St. SE., WDC Rodman’s - 5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW., WDC GLUT Food Coop - 4005 34th St., Mt. Rainier, MD Potomac Adventist Book & Health Food Store - 12004 Cherry Hill Rd., Silver Spring, MD

Questions? Email us at info@larrysweetcorn.com

www.larrysweetcorn.com 86 H Hillrag.com





$1,062,500 $875,000 $765,000

6 3 4

$392,500 $319,000 $202,000 $175,000

4 4 3 3

$2,330,000 $1,795,000 $1,200,000

4 4 4

$1,025,000 $885,000

4 4

$1,025,000 $675,000

5 4

$180,000 $117,000 $91,000

2 3 2

$280,000 $195,000 $185,000

3 2 2

$549,900 $494,000

4 3

$810,000 $775,000 $757,500 $641,000

3 3 4 1

$862,000 $787,000 $555,000 $515,000 $502,900 $490,000 $485,000 $465,000 $459,000 $347,500 $310,000 $275,000

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

$1,250,000 $845,000 $775,000 $615,000

6 4 5 2

$689,600 $569,000 $550,000 $550,000 $545,900 $517,500 $477,000 $450,000

4 4 4 4 5 3 4 2





1524 3RD ST NW









$440,000 $425,000 $425,000 $420,000 $390,000 $300,000 $290,000 $247,000

3 3 4 3 4 3 3 3

$299,000 $235,000 $231,000 $203,000 $191,000 $188,500 $185,000 $170,000 $130,000

3 3 4 2 3 3 2 4 3

$497,500 $420,000 $302,500 $300,000 $255,000 $230,000

3 3 4 3 3 3



$595,000 $439,000 $425,000 $380,000

3 3 3 2

$552,900 $500,000 $440,000 $410,000 $355,000 $320,000 $305,000 $295,000 $240,000 $168,310

3 4 3 3 3 3 2 4 3 3







$659,000 $542,995 $515,000 $380,000 $250,000 $247,000

6 4 4 3 6 2




2200 17TH ST NW #205 2038 18TH ST NW #102 2440 16TH ST NW #512

$785,000 $437,500 $359,900

2 2 1



$319,900 $317,500 $314,900 $295,000 $264,000

2 2 2 2 1

$225,500 $104,000

1 1

$483,000 $465,000 $440,000 $355,000

2 2 2 2

$925,000 $640,000 $420,000 $420,000 $345,000

2 2 1 1 1

$1,375,000 $711,000 $422,500

2 2 2

$495,000 $328,000 $295,000 $287,500

2 1 1 1

753 FAIRMONT ST NW #1 $817,000 1421 FLORIDA AVE NW #7 $680,000 1448 HARVARD ST NW #UNIT 4 $560,000 2723 13TH ST NW #2 $545,000 1390 KENYON ST NW #726 $520,000 1438 COLUMBIA RD NW #103 $477,750 1448 HARVARD ST NW #UNIT 3 $475,000 3511 13TH ST NW #302 $472,400 2914 11TH ST NW #101 $465,000 3606 ROCK CREEK CHURCH RD NW #101 $394,900 3511 13TH ST NW #403 $384,900 1354 EUCLID ST NW #B-401 $353,000 1448 HARVARD ST NW #T-1 $349,000 3318 SHERMAN AVE NW #102 $345,000 809 OTIS PL NW #301 $339,900 3511 13TH ST NW #202 $334,900 1401 COLUMBIA RD NW #303 $329,000 811 OTIS PL NW #105 $309,900 1401 COLUMBIA RD NW #106 $295,000 1447 CHAPIN ST NW #102 $260,000

3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1






440 12TH ST NE #101 106 TENNESSEE AVE NE #7 141 12TH ST NE #1 1343-1345 PENNSYLVANIA AVE SE #1




4301 MILITARY RD NW #106 4750 41ST ST NW #201 5402 CONNECTICUT AVE NW #107





200NE 43RD RD NE #303


1615 Q ST NW #404

$75,700 $43,000

3 1





Making Your Real Estate a Success Story!

JUST LISTED! Harbour Square Penthouse N904 $399,500

The GranT, ryall & andrew Group Grant Griffith 202.741.1685 Ryall Smith 202.741.1781 Andrew Glasow 202.741.1654 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 605 Pennsylvania Ave. SE • 202.547. 3525

OUTSTANDING! Joan Carmichael Realtor 202.271.5198 joanvcarmichael@gmail.com Bridgette Cline Realtor 202.271.4196 bcline8041@aol.com for all you real estate needs 1000 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Wash., DC 20003 office #202-546-0055 February 2014 H 87

Location, Location, Location 910-912 PA AVE SE For Lease: $7,500/month Prestigious historic brick bay front office buildings of 3224 SF. Pennsylvania Ave location with US Capitol view & The Hill Center. 3224 square feet on 3 levels incl. 5+ parking spaces at rear. Spacious open floor plan and private offices & full kitchen. CAC. New carpet thru out, heart pine floors, and elegant window treatments. Located at Eastern Market and Metro Plaza, 7TH & 8TH STreets restaurants and retail.

703 D Street SE $995,000 Unique commercial property facing Eastern Market Metro Plaza at 7th & Pa Ave SE across from future Hine development (600,000 SF mixed used project). C2A townhouse with bay front, 6 office suites, historic renovation, gas fireplace, kitchenette, powder room, rear yard with deck, storage shed. On retail block with Kinkos, Starbucks, Hill's Kitchen & Radio shack. Great office and/or retail location

1514 Pennsylvania Ave SE $619,500 SOLD 1 Block to Potomac Avenue metro, Harris Teeter, shops, Jenkins Row condos. New construction built in 1979. Three level townhouse approximately 1970 SF main house with 2 Bedrooms 2.5 Baths, Open layout Dining Room & Living Room with hardwood floors, woodburning fireplace. Rear garden. Parking. First floor efficiency unit w/ fireplace. Zoned C2A. Good layout for small office users,retail business or live work combo. First floor efficiency unit w/ fireplace.

1825 T ST NW #604 1545 18TH ST NW #312 1545 18TH ST NW #703 1820 T ST NW #5 1545 18TH ST NW #816 1816 NEW HAMPSHIRE AVE NW #706


1735 1ST ST NW #UNIT 2 1917 2ND ST NE #301 1831 2ND ST NE #409





2516 Q ST NW #Q-201 3251 PROSPECT ST NW #R-301 1077 30TH ST NW #308 2111 WISCONSIN AVE NW #516


Kitty Kaupp & Tati Kaupp Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 605 Pennsylvania Ave SE 202-255-0952 • 202-255-6913 kkaupp@cbmove.com

www.kittykaupp.com “We are part of Capitol Hill, We don’t just work here... We live here, too. Let our neighborhood experience work for you...”

202.546.3100 210 7th Street, SE. #100. WDC 20003 www.monarchtitle.net

Specializing in all aspects of Real Estate Settlements

We Guarantee Attention to Detail & Personalized Service 650 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Suite 170 Washington, DC 20003-4318 202-544-0800

4100 W ST NW #213


2123 CALIFORNIA ST NW #E9 1822 VERNON ST NW #401 1929 19TH ST NW #4 1954 COLUMBIA RD NW #411 2032 BELMONT RD NW #106 18301830 CALIFORNIA ST NW #7 1811 WYOMING AVE NW #3


2020 FLAGLER PL NW #F204 2201 2ND ST NW #1-33 539 FLORIDA AVE NW #1


1201 N ST NW #C 1515 11TH ST NW #1-1 1109 M ST NW #11 1529 14TH ST NW #402 1125 11TH ST NW #304 1001 L ST NW #710 2020 12TH ST NW #703


MOUNT PLEASANT 1635 IRVING ST NW #3 1654 EUCLID ST NW #303 3220 17TH ST NW #107

MOUNT VERNON 475 K ST NW #820 1117 10TH ST NW #1009

$440,000 $370,000 $347,000 $799,000 $355,000 $280,000

1 1 1 2 1 1

$625,000 $326,000 $226,900

3 2 1

$600,000 $335,000

2 1

$250,000 $209,900

1 1

$1,200,000 $1,030,000 $680,000 $445,000

2 2 2 2



$1,320,000 $985,000 $860,000 $462,500 $399,000 $353,500 $680,000

3 3 2 3 1 1 2

$350,000 $349,900 $295,000

1 1 1

$500,000 $443,500 $800,000 $525,000 $375,000 $437,000 $520,000

2 1 2 1 1 1 1



$663,650 $535,000 $530,000

2 2 2

$422,500 $425,000

1 1






2801 NEW MEXICO AVE NW #519 3051 IDAHO AVE NW #106






$655,000 $230,000

2 1



The Best of Both Worlds: City Loft Living On Country Waterfront!

1132 6TH ST NE #2 612 14TH PL NE #2 1606 ISHERWOOD ST NE #1 409411 17TH ST SE #409 1363 K ST SE #C


1714 SWANN ST NW #2 1300 13TH ST NW #503 1639 MARION ST NW #100 1653 NEW JERSEY AVE NW #1 1300 N ST NW #516 2004 11TH ST NW #136



PENN QUARTER 675 E ST NW #200 912 F ST NW #T-01 915 E ST NW #1014


4226 7th ST N #305 54015407 9TH ST NW #203 608 JEFFERSON ST NW #B-2 5611 5TH ST NW #21 807 VARNUM ST NW #2 738 LONGFELLOW ST NW #402

$394,000 $285,000 $274,000 $230,000 $192,000

2 1 1 1 1

$592,500 $527,500 $525,000 $510,000 $418,000 $380,000

2 2 2 2 1 1

$265,000 $240,000

1 1

$560,000 $399,999 $399,900

1 1 1

$439,000 $264,650 $215,000 $179,000 $172,000 $105,000

2 1 2 1 1 2

RESIDENCES AT CITYCENTER 920 I ST NW #606 925 H NW #606h 920 I ST NW #507


800 4TH ST SW #S-802 355 I ST SW #S-606 355 I ST SW #S-116 700 7TH ST SW #413


14 O ST NW #B

$1,485,000 $862,000 $551,000

2 2 1

$377,500 $360,000 $340,000 $180,000

1 1 1 0




U ST CORRIDOR 2101 11TH ST NW #305 2101 11TH ST NW #306 2238 11TH ST NW #2




2501 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW #PH1B 1111 23RD ST NW #S4A 1177 22ND ST NW #8-C



$370,000 $280,286

2 1

$469,900 $399,900 $742,000

1 1 2



$649,000 $614,000 $277,500 $221,000

2 2 1 0

$2,850,000 $1,814,000 $1,796,000

3 3 2

$840,000 $500,000

2 2

Breathtaking views of the Wicomico River on nearly 8 acres. Old-fashioned post and beam construction combined with contemporary interior open plan design, including a loft second story master suite. One of a kind weekend retreat or year-round home. Amenities include a gourmet kitchen and radiant floor heating. All less than an hour and a half from Capitol Hill - without crossing the Bay Bridge! Potential owner financing for well-qualified buyer.- $889,000

Bonnie Baldus Grier Associate Broker bonniegrier@gmail.com



Dramatic high floor corner unit. 2 BR, 2 BA, walls of windows, gorgeous wood floors, huge gourmet center island kitchen, copious closets, whirlpool tub, garage parking, swimming pool, pet friendly. Shops, restaurants, Convention Center, Verizon Center - all within an easy walk. You can even shop at Safeway without going outside (doesn’t that sound nice right now). 440 L Street, NW. $585,000

Call Hub Krack @ 202-550-2111

Licensed in DC, MD & VA

February 2014 H 89

Your Neighbor On The Hill

“The road to success is not always straight; let me help you through the real estate maze to a happy and successful destination”


Deborah Charlton

Long and Foster Realtors Christie’s Great Estates


(202) 415-2117 (202) 944-8400


2370 CHAMPLAIN ST NW #12 1661 CRESCENT PL NW #102 1789 LANIER PL NW #42 3025 ONTARIO RD NW #405 719 HAMLIN ST NE #4


DC.DC@LongandFoster.com www.yourneighboronthehill.com


2039 NEW HAMPSHIRE AVE NW #201 1701 16TH ST NW #527



Capitol Hill - 1106 5th Street NE: 3BR, 2Bath Great Wide Federal with 2 Car Parking and larger than average rooms recently updated with wood floors, granite counters, huge finished basement, newer HVAC, sep dining room, deep rear yard, replacement windows all situated only 4 blocks from metro, restaurants, grocers. Sold for $680,000

View Our Marketing Online at www.JTPowell.com

1901 WYOMING AVE NW #42 1901 WYOMING AVE NW #67 1852 COLUMBIA RD NW ##104 2700 CALVERT ST NW #318 2700 CALVERT ST NW #518


Watch Osprey, Blue Heron, & Bald Eagles soar from the backyard of this waterfront home in Dunkirk, MD only 30 min from DC!




the lights are much brighter here...

JT Powell – Coldwell Banker 1606 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 202-465-2357 Direct 202-478-0347 Fax info@JTPowell.com 202-387-6180 Broker 90 H Hillrag.com



$315,000 $215,000

1 0

$780,000 $202,500

2 0

$374,500 $347,000

1 1

$545,000 $425,000 $280,000

2 2 1

$625,000 $270,000 $345,000

1 1 1

301.908.2540 www.TeamStueckler.com

Steve Hagedorn Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Search listings at cbmove.com/steve.hagedorn Licensed in DC & MD

Direct: Cell: Office: Fax: Email:

202-741-1707 202-841-1380 202-547-3525 202-547-8462 shagedorn@cbmove.com

$1,450,000 $1,795,000

4 2





1701 16TH ST NW #248 1701 16TH ST NW #526 1436 W ST NW #103


510 N ST SW #N-528 1301 DELAWARE AVE SW #N-808 1311 DELAWARE AVE SW ##630

Patti Stueckler Realtor, Re/Max One Capitol Hill - 644 Orleans Place NE: Fully Renovated! 3BR, 2,5Bath with open floor plan and super large stainless and granite kitchen with amazing counter space. Offering a dual vanity master bath, 2nd floor deck, wood floors throughout and a rear yard with alley access for off-street parking. Only 3 blocks to metro! Sold for $635,000

2 2 2 1


Capitol Hill - 1141 4th Street NE: 3BR, 1.5Bath Federal with 2 CAR GARAGE on deep lot located only 3 blocks from metro, Harris Teeter, coffee shops, and many eats is offering refinished wood floors, finished basement, and a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and beautiful wood cabinets. This is a great walking community! Sold for $645,000









$824,900 $625,000 $569,900 $299,000




3001 VEAZEY TER NW #426


$319,000 $230,000

1 1

$315,000 $315,000 $117,179

1 1 1

$182,500 $96,000 $96,000

0 0 0

$100,100 $92,500

0 0





It’s Easy to Find The Hill Rag! You can find The Hill Rag @ Fine Establishments: Atlas Theater Atlas Vet Bliss Cafe Caper Carrolsburg Apartments Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Capitol Hill Hotel Capitol Supreme Market Carrollsburg Condominiums CityVista Coldwell Banker Capitol Hill Congressional Cleaners Corner Market Cornercopia Cupboard – 1504 E. Capitol CVS – 12th ST CVS – 8th NW CVS – 8th ST SE CVS – Benning RD CVS – New Jersey and M ST SE CVS - NOMA Eastern Market Ebenezers Coffee Fragers @ Eastern Market Frager’s Paint Store Grubbs Pharmacy Box H St Mainstreet Harris Teeter

Hill Center Jacob’s Coffee Jenkins Row Kenny’s BBQ Lincoln Park Cleaners Lustre Cleaners Meridian at Gallery Place Metro Cleaners MLK Library Morton’s Pharmacy Mr. Henry’s National Capital Bank NE Library Neighbors Cleaners New York Pizza P&C Market Park (NAM) Market Peregrine Expresso Potomac Place Tower Prego Cafe Results Gym – Capitol Hill Riverby Books Roland’s Rosedale Library Rosedale Rec Center Safeway – Benning Road Safeway – Capitol Hill

Schneider’s Liquor Sherwood Rec Center Senate Square Sidamo Coffee Sizzling Express – Penn AVE Southeast Library Sova Espresso Bar St. Mark’s Church St. Peter’s Church Stadium Metro Super Care Pharmacy The Axiom The Jefferson The View The View 2 Town Square Towers Washington Sports Club Waterfront Tower Wisdom Yarmouth Property

The Hill Rag is Also Available in Boxes at These Locations: 8th & E ST SE 212 D ST SE 521 8th ST SE 719 8th ST SE

799 8th ST SE 15th ST & Massachusetts AVE SE 1350 Pennsylvania AVE SE 1200 New Jersey AVE SE 300 M ST SE New Jersey and I Street SE 355 1st ST SE – Capitol South Metro 400 1st ST SE 100 I ST SE 709 8th ST SE 301 East Capitol SE 501 East Capitol SE 801 East Capitol SE 201 Pennsylvania AVE SE 237 Pennsylvania AVE SE 336 Pennsylvania AVE SE 600 Pennsylvania AVE SE 621 Pennsylvania AVE SE 666 Pennsylvania AVE SE 801 Pennsylvania AVE SE 8th ST & C ST SE 700 14th ST SE 1027 Independence AVE SE 1801 E ST SE 303 7th ST SE 701 N. Carolina SE 4th ST & I ST NW 6th ST & E ST NE 220 I ST NE

3rd & I ST NE 414 H ST NE 530 H ST NE 801 H ST NE 961 H ST NE 1359 H ST NE 1234 H ST NE 1433 H ST NE 8 ST & H ST NE 410 H ST NE 3rd & F ST NE 200 Florida AVE NE 239 Massachusetts AVE NE 331 Constitution AVE NE 4th and Constitution NE 13th ST & Constitution AVE NE 400 E. Capitol NE 516 A ST NE 732 Maryland AVE NE 1450 Maryland AVE NE 4th and Mass AVE NE 701 7th ST NE 1305 E. Capitol ST NE 1365 H ST NE 600 E. Capitol ST NE 1200 E. Capitol ST NE 6th and I ST SW 401 M ST SW 600 M ST SW

February 2014 H 91

92 H Hillrag.com

{arts & dining}

Gin Joints Back by Popular Demand by Emily Clark


o matter that Rick (Humphrey Bogart) was drinking bourbon when he uttered one of Casablanca’s most quotable lines: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” After all, nobody ever called speakeasy swill “bathtub bourbon.” These days, they dare not call it swill, either. Gin has hit the DC bar scene big time. After decades of wine, micro-beer and flavored vodkas, gin is having a big resurgence as a popular cocktail choice. The gin craze has spawned a new wave of signature cocktails, a rash of gin-centric bars and DC’s first legal gin distillery in more than a century. In an unprepossessing former warehouse in an industrial corner of northeast Washington, New Columbia Distillers churns out 40 cases of premium Green Hat gin weekly. Every Saturday, answering a call put out on social media sites, about a dozen or more volunteers show up to hand-bottle and label Green Hat gin. Although the gin-distilling process takes only a month from grain to glass, the array of equipment is high tech and impressive. Green Hat gin is a local product from start to finish, with a base of red winter wheat grown in the Northern Neck of Virginia. John Uselton, who with his father-in-law Michael

Wisdom’s Erik Holzherr. Photo: Andrew Lightman

February 2014 H 93

{arts and dining / gin joints}

year, including year-round Green Hat and three seasonal versions. A growing customer base now includes 60 liquor stores and more than 150 bars and restaurants in the District, Maryland and Delaware, with plans to expand into Virginia. The distillery is open every Saturday for tours and tastings. “Gin is so versatile,” Uselton says, “And if you look at early cocktail recipe books, they’re mostly gin-based.” He also notes that drinkers are looking for savory, rather than sweet, libations. Green Hat took its name from a book by Garrett Peck about Prohibition in DC. The man in the green hat (also the name of a well-regarded restaurant on Capitol hill in the early 1980’s) was George Cassidy, who returned from World War I to look for a job and ended up as a bootlegger supplying alcohol to lawmakers on Capitol Hill (the same ones who voted for Prohibition). Cassidy, known for his trademark green fedora, set up shop in the basement of Cannon office building, and when he was arrested for bootlegging, he moved his operations to the SenPhoto: Green Hat

Lowe started the distillery less than two years ago, tries to demystify the process with tours and tastings. During a recent tour, he explained the steps taken to produce high-quality, smooth-tasting, botanically-infused gin. First, the wheat is ground to a powder and mixed with water to create a mash. Then comes a week of fermentation, followed by vaporizing, distillation and infusion with a mix of botanicals ranging from lemongrass and caraway to star anise and dill. After two weeks of storage, the mix is chill filtered, removing oils and particles to produce cloudless gin. Green Hat, along with other boutique gins, has been a big hit in the District and its environs. According to Uselton, the first bottle came out in October 2012, and New Columbia now produces nearly 2,000 cases of gin a

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Photo: Green Hat

ate side. After another arrest and a short jail term, Cassidy wrote a series of scathing front-page articles for the Washington Post on the futility of Prohibition. Gin is said to have originated in the Netherlands in the mid-1500s, known then as genever and thought to have medicinal properties. The basic flavoring— and the source of the name—comes from juniper berries. After the Thirty Years War between England and the Netherlands, and with the ascension of William or Orange to the British throne, gin was brought to England, where column distillation turned it into what is now known as London dry gin. British sailors were given a monthly ration of gin, to temper the flavor of limes needed to fend off scurvy. Colonials took gin with them to the tropics, where they mixed it with quininebased tonic to fight malaria. According to two local bar owners, gin’s revival is part of a larger renaissance of cocktail culture, in which creativity, flavor and local sourcing play a large role. Derek Brown owns such Shaw estab-

lishments as Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency and writes about cocktails for a number of magazines. Brown says there’s a growing interest in classic drinks, as well as a rebirth of interest in local spirits. “This is part of the whole foodie movement in general,” Brown says. “People are rediscovering flavor and turning away from bland food and drink.” Brown also notes the “sheer absurdity” of

has been a gin fanatic for more than five years. “I have a ridiculous gin collection,” he says, “and suddenly people are very excited about it.” Holzherr, whose Church & State on H Street is dubbed as “the first all-American cocktail bar” (all its spirits are US-produced), says he will soon have 75 gins on offer at most of the bars. “The best vodka in the world tastes like water,” he claims. “Gin has a range of flavors, and when you mix it well with other ingredients, the

tour of the Blue Coat gin distillery. So from a simple gin and tonic made with small batch local gin (Mockingbird Hill has Green Hat on tap) to a more classic martini to the fancier imaginings of mixologists all around DC, gin is reclaiming its place at the top of the cocktail culture heap.

RECIPES Eminent Domaine (from Erik Holzherr at Wisdom) 1.75 oz of BlueCoat Gin 0.75 oz of Domaine De Canton Ginge Cognac Liqueur 0.25 oz of Luxardo Amaro 0.75 oz of pressed apple juice 0.50 oz of fresh squeezed lemon Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a martini glass Optional garnish: Thinly sliced apple disc

Drink The Martini (from Rob Tinney at Eat the Rich)

Bartender Timothy Burt places ice in a gin and tonic. Photo: Andrew Lightman.

what he calls “kiddie spirits,” such as sweet flavored vodkas. “Adults drink like adults and don’t need all this sweet stuff that treats them as if they were kid drinkers,” he says. “Gin is a mark of sophistication.” Erik Holzherr, who owns Wisdom on Capitol Hill, as well as two other bars on H Street,

botanicals will ‘pop’ and make the drink exciting.” Holzherr is so excited about gin that he is launching a gin club this month. Members will gain points from trying different gins, which can be redeemed for tee shirts, glasses and cocktail shakers. Monthly gin events will offer premium gin at a discount, and top members will be invited on a bus trip to Philadelphia for a private

2 oz Green Hat Gin 1.5 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth 2 dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters Lemon Peel Combine the gin, vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Pour in to a martini glass and add a sprits of lemon oil from a lemon peel. u

February 2014 H 95

{arts and dining / dining notes}

Dining Notes by Celeste McCall


hings are getting cheesey around here. Sona Wine Bar and Creamery, 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, is due to arrive any day now. Conceived last year by Conan and Genevieve O’Sullivan, Sona Creamery and Wine Bar is reportedly Washington’s only onsite creamery. Customers and passersby peer through the window and observe cheese making. Presiding over the process is Katie Carter, a certified cheesemonger. Milk for all that cheese comes from Goose Creek farm in Middleburg, VA. Sona, “happy” in Gaelic, will also hold classes, tastings and other events. Yes, you can purchase victuals besides cheese. Turning out homemade gnocchi, cured duck prosciutto, French onion soup and other delights is chef Frank Paris. Call 202-870-3833 or www.sonacreamery.com.

Rare find Medium Rare, an offshoot of Mark Bucher’s popular Cleveland Park steak-and-frites house, arrived January 20 at 515 Eighth St. SE. Known for prix fixe $19.75 steak dinners, Medium Rare took over the spot formerly occupied by Fusion Grill. At Medium Rare Barracks Row, executive chef Fenton Graham (formerly with the parent restaurant), anoints Mid-western grown culotte steak (the triangular cut at the end of bottom sirloin) with a “secret sauce,” accompanied by “rustic artisan” bread, mixed green salad and hand-cut fries. You may substitute a grilled portabello mushroom with red pepper sauce for the steak. In addition are five dessert choices, Domestic and imported wines, beers and spirits. Medium Rare is open daily (dinner only), plus Sunday brunch. For reservations, call 202-6017136 or www.mediumrarerestaurant.com. Szechuan House, Fusion’s original name, will re-open upstairs later this month, offering take-out and delivery. Call 202-546-5303 or info@SzeHouse.com

In from the cold Cold and hungry fans escaped Washington’s mini-ice age as Ris Lacoste, owner/chef of the upscale West End restaurant, unveiled Ris at Union

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Conan and Gen Sona as they get ready to open Sona Wine Bar and Creamery.

Market January 9. Her food stall offers warming “Ris Bowls” including Jamaican curried goat stew with black beans, rice and spiced peanuts (delicious!); tortilla salad with chili buttermilk dressing, kid’s mac-and-cheese. Daily specials include braised lamb shanks, Canadian beef pot pies; quiches, grilled goat cheese sandwiches. Breakfast burritos arrive Saturday and Sunday. You can also purchase chicken, fish or vegetable stock; steak sauce; and vinaigrettes to take home. Located at 1309 Fifth St. NE, Ris at Union Market is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; SaturdaySunday from 10 to 7. Call 202-320-7802….And, due to arrive at Union Market: Fish Wife, a seafood stall.

New Italian The Silver Spork (formerly Marvelous Market), 303 Seventh St. SE, has changed hands. The new proprietors, Bridget Thibodeau-Sasso and former restaurant chain operator Phil Friedman have

renamed their enterprise Radici, Italian for “roots.” They are stocking it with mostly Italian food and wine. Radici will close briefly for renovation, but will provide a pop-up store outside. Bridget, married to Italian-born Emilo Sasso, has spent 13 years in Italy and knows producers and importers personally.

Speaking of Italian… New on the Hill is Ciao Chow, an Italianthemed delivery service. Inspired by food shops of Italy, Ciao Chow is the collaboration of two Capitol Hill residents and long-time friends: Jessica Lowther, who cooked in Rome for five years and for the Hill’s Well Dunn caterers, and baker Danielle Brasure, formerly with Marvelous Market’s wholesale department. The partners operate out of Union Kitchen, near Union Market. Both women are active on the Hill; their children attend Maury Elementary school. They do cooking demos for kids and participate in the annual Literary Feast

The Best of Capitol Hill Eating From


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Valentines Day Prixe Fixe 3 courses $45 Wine Pairing $24 Full dinner menu also available. 735 8th Street, SE Washington, DC 202.544.7171 • www.zestbistro.com

The bar at Sona Wine Bar and Creamery.

and the Capitol Hill Village Gala. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Ciao Chow creates and delivers a seasonal repast which might showcase salmon with lentils, meatloaf with balsamic glaze, braised shortribs with orange gremolata. Price is $40 for two; $64 for four. You must order a day ahead and may pay online.. Call 202-212-9081 or www. ciaochowdc.com.

Red zone In a recent column, we mentioned Washington’s red-themed restaurants: Red Apron, RedRocks, Red Hook Lobster Pound and finally, Red Hen. Last month, we dined at that Bloomingdale hot spot, operated by partners and long-time friends (chef) Michael Friedman, Michael O’Malley and Sebastian Zutant. Red Hen opened last April. The night we visited; Washington was in the middle of a major (for us) snowstorm. But the bad weather worked in our favor. We’d been un-

able to secure reservations on a Thursday night, so we just showed up early and were seated right away. Red Hen’s rustic interior is warm and cozy, walls are brick-lined, a big red rooster is emblazoned on a wall. Firewood is stacked high above the open, clattering kitchen. A three-sided bar dominates the spacious dining room. We dove into warm homebaked bread with an olive dip. The menu changes daily. Besides the usual parade of bizarre cocktails, we were intrigued with a listing of “orange” wines. Our server explained that these wines get their name from the pale orange hue imparted by contact with grape skin. The process is different from rose production, which involves removing skins from red grapes, leaving the wine pinkish. Italy, Slovenia and other countries make orange wine, and Peter tried one from Slovenia. It tasted sort of like dry sherry. I preferred my fragrant red from Montipulciano (Tuscany).

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Planning to go to the World Cup? Speak Spanish and want a 2nd foreign language? Afro-Brazilian Capoeira for Kids 5-12 Starting on February 4th At Momentum Dance Studio (534 8th St, SE)

Brazilian Gastronomy

From March 1st to March 29th (5 classes) Saturdays from 11 AM to 1 PM At the Hill Center

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Learn Portuguese on the Hill! Fun and highly effective small group classes

Winter 2014 classes start on February 3rd.

Contact Valeria Buffo (202)546-5229 brasilonthehill@gmail.com www.brasilonthehill.com Also offering cultural workshops featuring Brazilian music, cinema, culinary and more!

A pleasantly light squash soup was swirled with sage cream and crunchy with little seeds. We were tempted by our neighboring diners’ short ribs and lamb meatballs with pasta, but I opted for grilled octopus. The slightly chewy cephalopod tentacles were draped around “shell” beans, capers and napped with Romesco sauce. “Since we’re at the Red Hen,” Peter chose an entrée of grilled chicken fra diavolo with kale. The dainty leg quarters and breast tasted like real chicken, not factory raised fowl. Service was swift—almost too swift. All our dishes, including soup, arrived at once shortly after we ordered. Red Hen is moderately priced; dinner for two with a glass of wine apiece was $73.70 before tip. Located at 1822 First St. NW, Red Hen is open Tues.Thurs. from 5- 10 p.m.; FridaySaturday 5 to 11; Sunday 5 to 9:30 p.m., closed Monday. Call 202-525-3021 or www.theredhendc.com.

Gone After some 30 years on Capitol Hill, the L’il Pub, 655 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, has departed; last call was January 5. The venerable watering hole is being taken over by the CVS next door, which needs the space for expansion. The L’il Pub building formerly housed the Little Tavern, part of a burger chain dating to 1927. (See article by Robert Pohl in the December 2013 Hill Rag.)…And, up the street at 613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, the 18th Amendment is also shuttered. u

{arts and dining / wine guys}

Champagne:Celebrate Love!


s Champagne touches your tongue, you get an array of sensations in quick succession: the burst of the tiny bubbles; the silky, mouth-coating softness courtesy of the sur-lie aging; the bright notes of fruit, flowers; a touch of crisp acidity; and a long velvety finish. Good Champagne is delicate yet complex, and goes straight to your head in the most delightful way. What better drink to pour for your love on Valentine’s Day? The French take many painstaking steps to make great Champagne, and it all starts with a fabulous still wine. Champagne is made from one or a blend of three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Most include all three, but Champagnes made from 100% Chardonnay are labeled Blanc de Blanc, and those made from Pinot Noir, (with or without Pinot Meunier) are Blanc de Noirs (or a white wine from red grapes). The chosen blend for the champagne is called a cuvee. Many of the biggest wine producers, like Veuve Clicquot, source their still base wines from other growers. My favorite champagne makers are grower-producers, who don’t skip the step of growing and producing great still wines first and then blending them into distinct cuvees. After the cuvee is blended, the tirage, or a mix of yeast, sugars, and nutrients, is added to the wine and it is bottled in thick glass, strong enough to withstand the gas buildup. It is then topped with a temporary crown cap. The addition of the tirage causes a secondary fermentation creating carbonation. The dead yeast cells impart complex notes and a velvety mouth feel to the wine. Champagnes are often aged with the dead yeast cells, or lees, for up to five years or more, so that they can fully take on the yeast’s qualities. At the end of the aging process, the Champagnes are subject to a process known as “riddling”. The “riddler” (no, he does not thwart Batman) upends and angles every bottle in the cellar and gives them a slight 1/8th turn per day, until the lees have all settled into the neck of the bottle. When this long process is ultimately accomplished, the necks are dropped into an ice bath and the lees freeze. The crown cap is popped and the carbonation in the bottle pushes out the yeast

by Lilia Coffin

all at once, leaving clear Champagne. The gap left in the bottle is replaced with more still wine and, if desired, sugar, to adjust the wine’s sweetness level, a mixture called the dosage. A Champagne can range from Brut Nature (literally, naturally dry, when no sugar is added) to Doux (50+ grams of sugar per liter), but the most popular are simply the Brut (less than 12 g of sugar). For the “jour d’amour” this month, a Brut Rose Champagne would be a crisp, pink delight! Rose Champagnes are made from still wines that were allowed to macerate in the pinot noir grape skins and allowed to take on just a hint of the phenols, tannins, and richer flavor notes, but still maintain the bright acidity and refreshing mouth feel of a Brut champagne. Their distinct notes of dry strawberry and that bright peachy pink color make for juicier, mouth-watering Champagnes which pair perfectly with candlelight and chocolates! While having all this information is helpful and interesting, it is still a difficult task to determine if the Brut Blanc de Blanc Vintage in your hand will be as amazing as the price tag may suggest. Even with the strict and tedious nature of the Champagne-making process, the flavor profile of a bottle can still vary greatly from the one next to it on the shelf. The following, however, are all proven, highly rated wines, that are available, just in time for Valentine’s Day, at fabulous sale prices.

Composed of equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the 2006 vintage achieves a terrific balance between fresh opulent fruit including peaches, apples and pears, and rich, buttery brioche. Great depth and persistence on the palate makes this wine a great accompaniment to richer seafood, poultry and game dishes.

Andre Jacquart Brut Experience 1er Cru Les Mesnil, $59.99 Made by grower producer Andre Jacquart, the Brut Experience Blanc de Blanc is composed of grapes from two of the Cote de Blancs most famous vineyards, the Premier Cru Vertus vineyard and Grand Cru Mesnil-sur-Oger.

Tendil & Lombardi Cuvee Speciale Hymenee, $59.99 Open-knit and creamy, with delicate acidity lending a mouthwatering impression to the flavors of apple tart, lemon zest, grated ginger and a hint of marzipan. Offers a smoky, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2018.

Bertrand Delespierre Brut 1er Cru, $49.99 This lovely Champagne has a ripe, crisp nose of apple and brioche which leads to flavors of apple and pear with a slightly toasty, yeasty character. It’s ripe and creamy with hints of Crème Brule. The finish is long and crisp, with impeccable balance. Bertrand Delespierre Brut Vintage 1er Cru 2006, $59.99 This Champagne is made by grower-producers Didier Bertrand and Chantal Delespierre, from grapes grown on their 24 acres in the Montagne de Reims, located in the heartland of Champagne between Reims and Epernay.

Jacquart Brut Mosaique, Sale: $29.99 Rich, featuring an undertow of smoke and roasted nut mixing with flavors of black currant, lemon meringue pie and ground ginger, with a hint of honeycomb. Refined in texture and framed by well-knit acidity, with a lasting, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. Tendil & Lombardi Blanc de Blanc, $39.99 Smoke and sea salt notes accent hints of quince, green plum, light toast and almond paste, and lemon curd in this minerally Champagne. Firm and well-balanced, with a fresh, lightly creamy finish. Drink now through 2016. Only 1500 cases made.

Jean Laurent Blanc de Noirs, $49.99 A full-bodied, opulent style, this Champagne is also concentrated and smooth. Vanilla and sweet spices add depth to its peach and buttered pastry flavors, as this glides to a lingering finish. For hedonists (which is probably why this one is my favorite!) Jean Laurent Brut Rose, $49.99 Delicious! Firm and intense, like a Pinot Noir with bubbles, this rosé tastes of macerated cherries and berries, with a hint of basil or mint. Drink now. Only 1,000 cases made. Lilia Coffin is a wine consultant at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill u

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{arts and dining / well nourished}

Café Berlin written by Annette Nielsen, photos by Natanya Khashan

Chef Glage’s special selection, and most items he makes in house; Country Pork Terrine, Obatzer (a Bavarian cheese), Bierschinken (a special pork and beef bologna) Schweinskofps Suelze (crisp head Cheese), Westfalian Ham, a hard German Salami and house pickled vegetables and cornichon.


ebruary 17th marks the celebration of the first anniversary of Café Berlin’s new owners, Clytie Roberts-Glage and Rico Glage. Located a few steps from Union Station, this Capitol Hill mainstay of almost 30 years serves classic and modern German cuisine. Clytie Roberts-Glage is a native of Killeen, Texas, a small city with a sizable first-generation German population. While her ethnic background isn’t German, her dad spent his high school years

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in Germany. After college she moved to Washington to live and work on Capitol Hill. In 2007, after being a loyal Café Berlin customer, she went to work at the restaurant, building a relationship with then-owners Irene Khashan and Peggy Reed. Rico Glage grew up in Reinberg, an agrarian community in northeastern Germany. He learned how to cook from his mom, and after high school, he took a culinary apprenticeship that brought him to Sylt, a German resort community likened to the Hamptons. Glage always knew he wanted to travel

and responded to two ads in a restaurant trade magazine. One was for a location in the South Pacific, the other in DC. “Peggy called and we spoke about the restaurant – I was offered a position in the Café Berlin kitchen and moved to DC during October of 2007,” says Glage. Roberts-Glage was immediately impressed with the dedication the chef brought to his job. “He has the most amazing work ethic,” says RobertsGlage. “He’s the hardest working person I know.”

The two started dating and ultimately found a rental together on Capitol Hill. In September 2009, they married in Austin, Texas at the beautiful Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center. “I never planned on staying or marrying,” says Glage, “I thought I would travel and cook my way around the world.” Approximately a year after they married, the couple returned to Roberts-Glage’s Texas roots where Glage was recruited to help open Trace, at the W Hotel in downtown Austin, the highly acclaimed restaurant with Paul Hargrove at the helm, a chef who claims as a mentor, Daniel Boulud. Glage was also given assignments to assist with openings at other Starwood properties, honing important skills for next steps. “Rico was away on a work assignment in Aspen when I received a call from Irene at Café Berlin. She said she was thinking of retiring and wanted to know if we were interested in buying the restaurant,” says Roberts-Glage. Later in 2012 they were planning their move back to Capitol Hill and reopened on February 17, 2013. The duo are now playing a role in educating local culinary talent, too, participating in Project Empowerment (part of the District’s Department of Employment Services), where they take an intern for up to three months, providing those with an interest in culinary arts important on-the-job training.

At this 60-plus seat restaurant (with nearly another 50 seats outside during warm weather), they work their way through 16 pounds of butter each week – all clarified for cooking the menu items, where everything is prepared from scratch. They’ve planted a number of herbs in pots that line the perimeter of their patio and had 40 tomato plants growing at their home in Cheverly, where they now live. “We make the pork terrine, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables and we corn our own corned beef – everything is made here, except for the sausage,” says Glage. “There’s a great sausage maker in Baltimore.” They also prepare traditional desserts like apple strudel, Black Forest cake and cream tortes. “We even purchased a gooseberry bush from Frager’s Hardware at the new location across from Eastern Market last year – we’re hoping to eventually use the berries in our gooseberry crumb cake,” says Roberts-Glage. The bar is a special place, too. Of course, there’s the German beer on tap (rotated seasonally), close to 20 varieties by bottle and a great selection of German wines. “But the compelling reason to sit there,” says Roberts-Glage, “is that there’s always good conversation – people really talk to each other – even those that come in with books or a newspaper talk to their neighbors. It’s a more European sensibility – you can’t zone out

The chef likes to work with fresh fish and you’ll always find a nice selection on the seasonal menu; red snapper served on a bed of root vegetables with a mustard champagne cream sauce.

All of Café Berlin’s desserts are made in house. Here, a pretty poppyseed custard cake with a streusel topping.

Café Berlin’s owners, Rico Glage (left) and Clytie Roberts-Glage at the restaurant’s intimate bar. Glage is from Germany, and Roberts-Glage is from Killeen, Texas, a small city with a significant first-generation German population.

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The best weekly wine tastings on “The Hill”- Sat (3-6pm)

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at Café Berlin.” Café Berlin also has a tradition of long-term staff. “Whether our customers or our staff, we’re so lucky that people are very loyal to this place,” remarks Roberts-Glage. Visit their website for their menus, whether traditional Bavarian dishes, Wild Game Winter Menu, Valentine’s Day specials, Oktoberfest celebration or catering menu. Café Berlin, 322 Massachusetts Ave NE, 202.543.7656, cafeberlindc.com.

Wolfsbarsch mit Fenchel-ApfelGurkin Salat (Sea Bass or Branzino served with Fennel, Apple and Cucumber Salad) Chef Glage always likes to start with a whole fish and suggests asking your fish monger to descale, clean and fillet the fish for you. Serves 2. 2 Branzino (skin on, descaled, cleaned & filleted) 2 cloves garlic 1 sprig rosemary 1 sprig thyme ½ lb fingerling potatoes Salt 1 fennel bulb 1 apple 1 cucumber ½ lemon, juiced Black Pepper White pepper ½ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter Place potatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme and 2 tablespoons of salt in a mediumsized sauce pan and cover with

water and place on high heat. When water comes to a rolling boil, turn down to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are soft (about 25 minutes from the time you turn the heat on). While potatoes are boiling, begin preparing the salad. Cut apple in half and core. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, scrape out seeds with a spoon. Cut root and stalk sides off the fennel bulb. Cut the bulb in half, remove the outside layer on both halves. Slice apple, cucumber and fennel bulb into thin slices (ideally with a mandolin). Place sliced vegetables in a bowl and dress with lemon juice, 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If the salad it is too sour for your taste, add a pinch more salt. Place sautÊ pan on the stove on the highest heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is hot (you can see the top of the oil shimmering) place filets in pan skin side down. When you see a brown edge on the skin side turn the pan down to medium-low for around 4 minutes or until the flesh on top turns white. Remove from pan. When the potatoes are soft, drain and remove herbs from pan. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mash lightly with a fork. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. You can use black pepper if you don’t have white pepper on hand. u

February 2014 H 103

{arts and dining / theater}

Take aWalk on the Suburban Side Maryland’s Musicals Are Worth the Trip


or those who live amid DC’s burgeoning theatre districts, it can be tough to justify a trek beyond our borders to see a show. But this month two openings made me glad I fired up the Prius and ventured not once, but twice, into Maryland.

Miss Nelson Is Missing Adventure Theatre, a little black-box children’s theatre in historic Glen Echo Park, opens 2014 with a rambunctious musical about unruly kids and the teacher who tames them. With a script by Washington’s own Joan Cushing, a renowned playwright once best known for her political satire “Mrs. Foggybottom & Friends,” this witty, edgy show had my six-year-old friend to my left and the middle-aged man to my right both laughing out loud. Based on a children’s book by Harry Allard and James Marshall, the play might founder if it clung too closely to the original plot: Monstrous students overwhelm their teacher, Miss Nelson, who decides to “disappear” and return disguised as Miss Swamp, a borderline dominatrix who makes them beg to have Miss Nelson back. Translating this book to the stage presents the challenge of showing how bad these kids are without subjecting the audience to endless obnoxious behavior, and demonstrating the ability of a cruel

Miss Swamp (Jessica Lauren Ball) torments Adam (Sean McComas). Photo: Bruce Douglas.

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by Barbara Wells teacher to scare her students straight—in a King Arthur (Lawrence B. Munsey) and Patsy (Jeffrey Shankle). Photo: Kirstine Christiansen. way that amuses rather than terrifies children. Cushing’s script succeeds on both counts, but I’ve watched enough YouTube videos of other Miss Nelson productions to know it takes more than that to make this an entertaining show. Under the direction of Jennifer Nelson (a former producing director of the African Continuum Theatre), this production’s formula for success begins with an outstanding cast. As Miss Nelson, veteran leading lady Jessica Lauren Ball is all sweetness and light with a lovely voice to match—until she transforms into the sadistic Miss Swamp. She’s not so much wicked as wickedly funny, strutting about in spike-heeled boots and snapping her ruler on the desks of the hapless students of room 207. As those students, Sean McComas, every sight and sound is exaggerated, as if perceived Rachel Viele, Calvin McCullough and Sherry Berg through the senses of a child. Perhaps that’s because are gifted with priceless reactions to not only Miss young University of Maryland students Ruth Marie Swamp but also their sudden state of persecution itself. Tenorio, Brittany Shemuga and Aryna Petrashenko Instead of conjuring a cloying imitation of children, designed the set, lighting and costumes, through the the four actors manage to channel all the emotions of university’s partnership with Adventure Theatre. The little kids in a thoroughly convincing way—with their stage vibrates with an infusion of brilliant but subtly formerly cocky smirks converted to expressynchronized color. And whimsical props by Andre sions of intense distress. And under the mu“Dre” Moore—from oversized papier-mâché icesical direction of George Fulginiti-Shakar, cream cones to multicolored paper airplanes soaring this class sings with the voices of a choir. above the stage—add still another dimension of fun. Then the foursome breaks the confines With its clever songs, exuberant cast and beguilof the tiny stage with dynamite dancing, ing set, Miss Nelson Is Missing made me wish the choreographed by Michael J. Bobbitt, that show was twice as long. spans the street-jazz moves of West Side Miss Nelson Is Missing, recommended for ages five Story to the gloomy stomp of a chain gang. and up, is playing at Adventure Theatre at Glen Echo By turns as the school custodian, prinPark through March 9. cipal, Inspector McSmogg and Al Catraz— the kids’ menacing tour guide at DC’s Spamalot Crime Museum—Matt Dewberry rounds Monty Python is alive and well, and living at out the cast with another big voice and flair Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia. Toby’s producfor over-the-top humor. Every one of his tion of Spamalot—the Tony Award-winning Broadway roles is another delightful diversion. musical based on the film “Monty Python and the This cast occupies a world where

Holy Grail”—is every bit as irreverent, laughable and just plain goofy as the original, with a cast that’s clearly having as much fun as the audience. Now I know why Toby’s has been racking up Helen Hayes Award nominations for the past 10 years. Director and choreographer Mark Minnick puts his energetic cast through their paces, faithfully recreating the show’s original bits, jigs, gags and full-blown production numbers as King Arthur struggles to rally a gaggle of knights to pursue the holy grail. But let’s be clear: This is no ordinary theatrical experience. Members of the audience are ushered into an enormous hall with tables arranged around wheeled buffet carts laden with salad fixings and all manner of comfort food, from mashed potatoes and creamed spinach to grilled chicken and roast beef. When everyone is fed, the buffet carts roll away. Slowly the dining hall becomes a stage that extends to the tables and beyond—all the way to the edges of the room, where the walls are painted to look like stones and each corner has a faux torch atop the turret of a castle. Then host David Jennings appears in the middle of the theatre, making a pitch for the audience to tell all their friends to come to the show. He proceeds to acknowledge the groups in attendance and the countless guests who are celebrating a birthday or anniversary—drawing obligatory cheers and applause for each one. Minutes later, he will begin assuming and shedding a progression of costumes and accents, as he takes on every big, blustering role in the show, from a “The French Taunter” to Sir Lancelot in his flamboyantly choreographed coming out. I didn’t even recognize Jeffrey Shankle, my table’s amiable server,

once he was transformed into Patsy, King Arthur’s long-suffering manservant. Burdened with an enormous pack and the full weight of his peasant class, he is a master of understated reaction, the perfect foil to Lawrence B. Munsey’s haughty and oblivious Arthur. Shankle skulks, sulks and ponders—and then springs to life, tap-dancing through numbers including the infamous “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Every other performer does double-duty as well. How can anyone serve and bus tables for two hours before spending another three on stage—with a break only to pour more coffee and drinks during intermission? Difficult as it may be, this peculiar and grueling arrangement lends a unique intimacy to the evening. The audience has a personal relationship with the players, as if they’re having dinner at the home of some eccentric friends who suddenly decide to put on a show. Barreling through multiple roles, David James is perhaps the most endearing. As Not Dead Fred, he is about to be loaded on a cart of the deceased until meekly noting, “I’m not dead yet….” In roles ranging from knights to monks, Nick Lehan, Darren McDonnell and Shawn Kettering admirably handle the show’s famous skits and numbers as well, while the entire ensemble seems to never stop dancing and changing clothes. It’s all a slightly exhausting, nonstop hoot—and between the performance and ice cream sundae bar, one that is thoroughly satisfying. Spamalot is playing at Toby’s Dinner Theatre through March 23. Barbara Wells is a writer and editor for Reingold, a social marketing communications firm. She and her husband live on Capitol Hill. u

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{arts and dining / film}

At The Movies

Two Ladies Looking for Love: in today’s Santiago and Dickens’ London by Mike Canning


trate this generation’s unknown planet and see what happened there.” He has done A single woman of a certain age, that, with both intelligence and grace. alone yet eagerly seeking connections, sensibly, patiently looks for new companionship. She thinks she has found it only The Invisible Woman to have her patience tested and her pride Most people know that Charles Dickwounded. Yet she is an adult; she copes. ens was the supreme novelist of the VictoThis is the bald structure of “Gloria,” a rian Era, but contemporary readers—lacknew Chilean film which dares to go where ing audio and video evidence--are much less few current films go, into the psyche of a aware of Dickens as raconteur, dramatist, mature woman beautifully realized on the and spellbinding speaker, a figure of furious screen by Chilean actress Paulina Garcia energy who dominated the literary life of his (the film opens January 31, runs 110 min. time. A glimpse of that very public Dickens and is rated “R”). is vividly evident in the new film “The InvisGloria Cumplido (Garcia) has been ible Woman,” which also portrays a private divorced for 12 years and has two grown maelstrom in the Great Man’s romantic life. Paulina Garcia stars in “Gloria.” Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions. children, Ana (Fabiola Zamora) and PeRalph Fiennes brings Dickens to perfervid dro (Diego Fontecilla), who appear to be life in this film, which he also directed, and abandons her without explanation, leaving Gloria drifting away from her. She lives alone in Felicity Jones supplies a cool yet simmering to contemplate and then carry out some very apa Santiago apartment and has a droning office job, presence as the much younger object of his affecpropriate revenge. but she breaks free by going to local clubs for some tions (already in theaters, the film is rated “R” and Paulina Garcia, appearing in every frame music, dancing, and possible male companionship. runs 111 min.). of this film, embodies a decent, warm character She finds the latter in Rodolfo, a retired naval of“The Invisible Woman” traces the beginwhom you readily root for (she won the Best Acficer in his 60’s, recently divorced, who admires her. nings and progress of a long affair begun in 1857 tress award at the 2013 Berlin Festival). She’s the He’s not smooth or handsome, but he is tender and when Dickens (then 45) fell for the young Ellen cement of her family, she works hard, she is mildly direct. He gains her sympathy by talking of his trou“Nelly” Ternan (Jones), the third daughter of an vain but good company, and she beats out pop bled ex-wife and two difficult daughters for whom tunes in her car—tunes from her own he seems totally responsible. Their dancing leads to generation. It is no surprise that Rodolfo dinners and more; they hit it off in bed and out (and falls for her. Her face is a complex mirror be warned that the sex scenes are surprisingly frank of her moods, from dutiful mom through and graphic, easily earning the “R” rating). charming friend to mature sex-bomb— Though Rodolfo continually fends off Gloand everything in between. Garcia herria’s inquiries about his family, she wants to inself is a playwright and director as well troduce him to hers. A family dinner is arranged, as an esteemed actress in Chile who and Rodolfo enters Gloria’s circle, including her made her name 30 years ago in a longex-husband, now remarried. But the warmth of running Chilean soap opera. The film the family feeling he witnesses closes him out and is a great vehicle for her to be exposed alienates Rodolfo, and he bolts from the dinner more widely. unannounced. Crushed and chagrined, Gloria disThis is director and co-writer Sebastances herself from Rodolfo, but, after her daughtian Lelio’s fourth feature and his most ter leaves for Sweden for work, she reconnects with ambitious. The script gestated for some him. They reconcile and head for a special getaway time, as he thought about the world of to the resort city of Viña del Mar, the potential for women from his mother’s generation. Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens and Felicity Jones as Nelly Ternan in “The Invisible Woman.” Photo by David Appleby, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics romance re-kindled. Yet, here again, he suddenly He has remarked that “I wanted to infil-

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Come Party

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acting family, when she was but 18. Their love affair is told in one long flashback, as the film begins in 1885, where we see Nelly, now a loving wife and mother, musing on her past wearing funereal black on the beach at Margate. Dickens and Nelly meet in an up-country theatrical that he had written with his friend and colleague, novelist Wilkie Collins (Tom Hollander). Dickens at the time is antsy, having spent more than 20 years with his uninspiring wife, Catherine (Joanna Scanlon), who has borne him ten children. The deadness at the center of his domestic life contrasts dramatically with the vitality of the shy, beautiful ingénue who, as it happens, is in love with the man’s writings. Dickens contrives dalliances to be with Nelly, while her wily mother (Kristin Scott-Thomas) warns her of possible consequences. To finally be with Dickens, she must agree to become the “invisible woman,” the companion people will quietly talk about but never publicly acknowledge. She agonizes about her illegitimate fate, at one point achingly asking “What is it we are to become?” Dickens, meanwhile, is more than content to seal off his wife from his real passions, which are legion, and holds on to his semi-reluctant paramour until his death in 1870. Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady”) has crafted a crisp and literate script from the movie’s source, an historical piece of the same name written in 1991 by biographer Claire Tomalin. The glories of the period’s interiors and exteriors are beautifully captured, as is the splendor and heft of the costumes, all at the service of Fiennes’ careful direction. Director Fiennes makes actor Fiennes look good, and he relishes the part, giving his Dickens the sense

of a man of cravings, a man who wants to live the “ferocious” life and express it through his capacious art. His man of appetites is nicely balanced by the reserved but radiant Ms. Jones, a young woman who has fallen in love with a mind and consented to be a hidden consort of a man. It is a sweet and poignant performance.

Awards Season Is Upon Us By the time this column runs, Academy Award nominations will have been announced and sundry other groups and associations will have named their cinematic “bests” of the year. The Washington Area Film Critic’s’ Association (WAFCA), based in the DC area, is one organization that gets its “bests” out early, in this case December 9, 2013 (your columnist is a card-carrying member of WAFCA). This year, the group distinctly favored Steve McQueen’s riveting “12 Years a Slave,” naming it best picture of the year, and awarding it six prizes overall, including best actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), best supporting actress (Lupita Nyong’o), and best adapted screenplay. The stunning space epic “Gravity” notched three wards, including best director for Alfonso Cuaron. Cate Blanchett, in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” was named best actress, and Jared Leto, in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” won for best supporting actor. The refurbished fairy tale “Frozen,” took the best animated film award, and “Blackfish” won for best documentary feature. Most, if not all, of these films will likely be recognized by the Academy in it own listings. Hill resident Mike Canning has written on movies for the Hill Rag since 1993. His reviews and writings on film can be found online at www.mikesflix.com. u

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{arts and dining / art}


o you belong here? It is the question implicit in Robert Freeman’s elegant and often lofty “Black Tie” series. What began as a satire of the African American middle class has become an expression of appreciation of the elegance of the evolving social structure. For him, “it takes maturity to understand those relationships, and a integral knowledge and feel for what to express.” Robert Freeman doesn’t set out to tell a story. He begins each work with “scribble”—large impassioned swirls and slashes. Before long, a narrative begins to emerge. Figures take on personalities and a conversation with the painting begins. The intrigue grows and the work, as a complete whole—composition, color and tonal quality—evolves to tell its own story —on stron-

ger and stronger terms. Robert Freeman grew up in DC and graduated from Howard University. He went on to Boston University for advanced studies in art. There he received a strong foundation in academic drawing, composition and other traditional disciplines. He later studied abstract expressionism with the painter, Philip Guston. You see both influences in his work: the discipline of drawing from observations, especially in his portraits, and the electric pattern of lights and darks throughout each of his landscapes. All of this comes together in his Black Tie paintings and prints. Moving figures emerge from the suggested space in a dance of mysterious energy—a timeless and tireless whirling and spinning—a Jazz composition that becomes the essence of Cool, the “in crowd.” It becomes, at the same time, a universal portrait of the human instinct to share an essential identity—the elegance of belonging. Right here. You can see his signature work this month at Zenith Gallery. (See, At the Galleries.)

Jim Magner’s Thoughts on Art

Along the River, oil on canvas, 62”x 41”

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Bob Freeman (see Artist Profile) told me that he usually has trouble letting go of a painting. Somebody has to say enough, and then take it away. How many artists have the same problem? I just took a knife to a self-portrait because I just couldn’t make it work. There was something wrong with the proportions…or something. No matter how much I worked on it, I couldn’t get it right. Then a day or two later, looking through old image files, I came across the original portrait of eight years ago. Loose and free, the color tones and brush strokes were balanced and convinc-


Artist Portrait: Robert Freeman

by Jim Magner

Golden Necklace II , Oil on canvas with gold leaf, 48" x 36"

ing throughout the whole canvas. It was good, darn it. I should have stopped right there. Last week, I had to send out a jpeg of a landscape I’ve been working on for years. I looked through the same image file and guess what? I sent them a picture of the painting as it looked five years ago because I like it better. The painting as it is now is okay, but I should have stopped way back then and started a new one. It’s an inability to be satisfied, to resist the diabolical temptation to not mess with it…do a little more…and then maybe a little more…and still, not quite right… maybe… It’s common to other artists: writers, musicians, poets and anyone involved with the arts. If you don’t like the changes, you stop and return to the earlier version. Not so with painting. When you keep adding pigment on the same canvas, there’s no going back.

At the Museums

National Gallery of Art, West Bld. 7th and Constitution NW

Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collec-

tions traces the Byzantine visual arts from the fourth to the 15th century—from the pagan world of the Roman Empire to the opulent, yet spiritual world of the Christian Byzantine Empire. Over 170 rare works bring you the exquisite splendor of the Byzantine Empire: sculptures, icons, mosaics, frescoes, manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, glass, embroideries, and ceramics…it’s all there. –Mar. 2. The Dying Gaul: An Ancient Roman Masterpiece from the Capitoline Museum, Rome details the history and worldwide acclaim of this marble sculpture that has touched almost everyone since it was discovered during excavations in Rome in the 1620s. It is believed to be a Roman copy of a Greek bronze original, created in the 3rd century BC. This is a very special work of art. There have been countless other statues and paintings of dying warriors that just don’t strike you the same way. So what makes it so personally affecting? Many opinions are offered of course, but you need to see it yourself. This may be your only opportunity. –Mar. 16. www.nga.gov.

At the Galleries

Robert Freeman – Zenith Gallery 1429 Iris St, NW – March 1, 2014

The title and theme of the show “The Powerful Strokes of Robert Freeman” provide an insight into the work of this nationally known and collected artist. (See, Artist Profile.) His commanding forms in striking contrasts, with warm touches that draw you nearer, and elegant applications of gold leaf, are self-assured and intriguing, but not imperious. In addition to being in the collections of major museums he is a member of a group of African American artists known as the Freedom Place Collection. Open Fri & Sat, 12 - 6:00; or by

appt, Margery Goldberg, 202-7832963 margery@zenithgallery.com. Multi-Artist Show – Hill Center 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE – Mar. 2

This is a must see. Sandy Barrett Hassan exhibits her very expressive “Quilts in Color.” Jacquelyn Flowers’ paintings in oil and acrylic are also about color and texture. Enjoy the exquisite variations of Nancy Freeman’s cabbages. Also, twenty-five artists show their work in The Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL) exhibition juried by Nicky Cymrot and Alan Braley. Honfleur Gallery and The Gallery at Vivid Solutions 1241 Good Hope Rd., Anacostia - Feb. 10

“Common Ground” – Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, painter, and Michael B. Platt, photographer, have combined their visual languages to create a common space. The excellent resulting works show that common ground can serve as a mode of action as well as a space. “Adrift” – Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah’s Morocco and Turkey photographs are created through in-camera multiple exposures. The series reflects her continuing consideration as to what constitutes “home.” Urban Photography – Prince George’s Community College (Largo campus) The Marlboro Gallery – Feb 27. Recep: Thurs, Feb 6, 6-8pm. (Snow Date Feb 13)

If you get a chance, take in the “DC Urban Explorers Photography Exhibition.” Look for a different take on the familiar, and hidden, in the DC metropolitan area, with shots that stand on their own as art. www. pgcc.edu. A Capitol Hill artist and writer, Jim can be reached at Artandthecity05@ aol.com. Jim’s award-winning book, “A Haunting Beauty” can be acquired through www.ahauntingbeauty.com u

Benefit Performance for Atlas Family Programming

Mutts Gone Nuts

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In Partnership With: AtlasVet Metro Mutts DC Actors for Animals Media Sponsor: Capital Community News, Inc. @ the Atlas Performing Arts Center - 1333 H Street NE

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A Compendium of Readers, Writers, Books, & Events

by Karen Lyon

Save the Date!

ther ever acknowledged their affair. In fact, to the end of her life, Dietrich referred to Garbo as “that other woman.” “The Girls” goes well beyond the two primary subjects to include an expansive circle of Hollywood actresses, actors, directors, producers, and writers. Look for everyone from Tallulah Bankhead to John Wayne to turn up in these star-studded pages. McLellan reveals not only who was sleeping with whom, but who was being squired around by a “show beau” and who was part of a “lavender” marriage, a liaison Girls Will Be Girls between a gay man and a lesbian undertaken Who doesn’t like a juicy story? And who betfor the sake of appearances. ter to tell one better than Diana McLellan, the McLellan has done exhaustive research, former gossip columnist known as “The Ear”? combing through archival documents and letWith the re-release of her 2001 book, “The Girls: ters and interviewing those who lived through the Sappho Goes To Hollywood,” McLellan is once glamorous days of early Hollywood. The result is again back in the game. a fascinating study of how sexual mores evolved over the course of a half century— though, sadly, not soon enough for many of the players. Diana McLellan is a Hill author, poet, and Pulitzer Prize nominee who has worked as a reporter, critic, feature writer, editor, and columnist for a variety of local newspapers. Her other books include “Ear on Washington” and “Making Hay,” a book of poems. “The Girls” is available at Riverby Books and on Reason to celebrate: Diana McLellan’s spicy tales of HollyAmazon, where an e-book version is wood’s Sapphic femmes fatales is back in print! also in the works. Meet the writers you’ve been reading about here, at the fourth annual Literary Hill BookFest, Sunday, May 4, 11am to 3pm, in the North Hall of Eastern Market. To help out, e-mail volunteer@literaryhillbookfest.org; if you’re a Hill author with a new book (or know someone who is), e-mail klyon@literaryhillbookfest.org; or to donate, visit our website at www.literaryhillbookfest. org. Check us out on Facebook and Pinterest, too!

Senior Moments Bursting with titillating details, “The Girls” focuses primarily on the parallel careers and personal lives of Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, whom McLellan alleges had a lesbian affair when they worked together on a movie in 1925. Because the “Berlin blabbermouth” kissed and told, mortifying the secretive Swede, McLellan believes that Dietrich was coerced by Garbo’s handlers into denying not only the affair but also the movie and even the fact that the two had ever met. According to McLellan, both actresses subsequently had liaisons with other women, but nei-

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Benjamin Parks is entering middle age as a successful consultant and much-sought-after leader of lively seminars on cross-cultural communication. He’s got a nice house in LeDroit Park, a loving extended family, and an attractive and accomplished wife. But all is not well with Dr. Parks. He frequently experiences memory lapses and, as he watches older family members succumb to dementia, he worries that he’s next. “Forgetful,” a new novel by local author Nick Mann, follows Ben Parks through several years of his life as he confronts the unthinkable, while still maintaining a busy professional

First-time novelist Nick Mann tells the story of a Howard University seminar leader who fears he’s losing his memory.

schedule and dealing with increasing tensions at home. As he relives incidents in his past that have led him to where he is today, he struggles with the ambiguity of his situation and the fears that threaten to overwhelm him. Will he find the courage to deal with whatever the future holds? Can he draw on the wisdom that guides his thought-provoking seminars to forge a new path for himself? Whatever the outcome (and you won’t learn it here!), one thing is certain: spending time with the complex and very human Dr. Parks is an absolute pleasure from start to finish. First-time novelist Nick Mann has worked as an organization development practitioner and serves on the adjunct faculty of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. Meet him at a reading at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4th and I Sts. SW, March 8, at 4pm.

Once Bitten… Cressid’s first stop in Guatemala, where she has fled to escape a blues club shooting, is a onequetzal-a-night room whose walls are crawling with so many spiders it looks like “3-D wallpaper from the set of an arachnophobe’s nightmare.” When she reports the horror to her landlady, she is obligingly handed a broom. And for this, she left Chicago? Next she’s warned to steer clear of the highlands, where a civil war of 25 years continues to claim victims—although she’s assured that she doesn’t need to worry “unless she’s an Indian, a Guatemalan soldier, a CIA or KGB operative, a Marxist guerilla or a drug dealer.” Small comfort.

Happily, things soon start looking up for Cressid, the heroine of Anu Keene’s new e-book, “Bitten.” She settles into a peaceful little village to work on her poetry and learn all she can about her new newly-adopted country. What she finds both distresses her and sets her on a spiritual journey that changes her life forever. Along the way, she meets some remarkable characters—Arachne, the German doctoral student who keeps

Anu Keene was previously profiled in these pages as Anna Kinsman, author of “The Politics of Knowledge: Public Schools in the Nation’s Capital.” This is her first novel.

This Month on the Hill

The Hill Center, the Library of Congress, and the Washington Post introduce the first in their co-sponsored “The Life of a Poet” series, with poet Carl Phillips in a reading moderated by Washington Post book critic and editor Ron Charles, at the Hill Center, Feb. 6, 7pm. Also at the Hill Center, a book signing and conversation with Thomas Bogar, author of The Guatemalan civil war provides the backdrop for one “Backstage at the woman’s spiritual journey in a new e-book by Anu Keene. Lincoln Assassination,” Feb. 19, 7pm. Free. Register online at hillcenterdc.org or call 202-549-4172 popping up to suggest her next destiThe Folger Shakespeare Library nation; Lusedro, the gorgeous waiter presents an exploration of art and powho teaches her to take each day as etry at the Phillips Collection, 1600 it comes; Omma, a charismatic artist 21st St., NW, with Tina Chang and who believes he’s the Antichrist; and Maurice Manning, Feb. 27, 6:30pm. Carlos, the sage with ties to resistance For more, visit www.folger.edu/whatforces who becomes her lover and son or call 202-544-7077. spiritual guide. The Library of Congress presents Rich with interwoven themes of a discussion and book signing with religion, politics, conflict, and loyalty, Eileen Rockefeller, author of “Being “Bitten” is a compelling saga of one a Rockefeller: Becoming Myself, a woman’s epiphany during a dramatic Memoir,” Feb. 12, noon, and a readchapter in our recent past. Whether ing by Hispanic poets Brenda Cardeyou’re a student of Central American nas and Valerie Martinez, “Pintura/Pahistory—or of human behavior—this labra: Poetry Inspired by Art,” Feb. 14, book is an eye-opener that you won’t 2pm. For more, visit www.loc.gov. u soon forget.

The Poetic Hill Karen Lyon


alerie Jablow is a 22-year Hill resident who has “read and written poetry for a long time.” She says that she views poetry as a way of connecting “with ideas, thoughts, and feelings that are often unsaid but no less vital to our humanity.” While she hopes that “Not Like Us” is selfexplanatory, she notes that she wrote it because she “could not help making those connections now, here in DC, spring 2013.”

Not Like Us When I first asked her what the war was like in her native Yugoslavia, my mother said people threw roses in the streets the conquering Nazis clicked along in high-steeping authority, the same streets, strewn with rotten fruit, trolleys, Zastavas, Vespas, I stumbled along as a visiting child, unable to envision a Nazi in color (were they not all grainy and sepia?), much less marching along my grandmother’s streets, she who obsessively ironed my scrubbed jeans and underwear so I would look perfectly arranged, neat and clean and proper. Later, in our stolid New Jersey towns, my mother told of men hanging from lampposts, the disappearing neighbors who did not believe anyone would ever harm them, they who did nothing, nothing at all: “Who would want us?” Her uncle, the judge, who killed himself rather than enforce laws he believed unlawful although legal and real, all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed, the proper authorities notified, the right approvals given, the correct people tracked and found and questioned and dealt with for the sake of safety and security and peace, always peace-On her last visit, after the last war, my mother passed a patch of asphalt between ornate buildings newly cleaned, recalling only the synagogue once there, still unmarked officially-If you would like to have your poem considered for publication, please send it to klyon@literaryhillbookfest.org. (There is no remuneration.) u

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{health & fitness} Alexander Technique

Re-educate Your Body for Better Balance, Less Muscular and Mental Stress and Improved Alignment by Pattie Cinelli


he simple task of cracking a nut became an avenue through which I relearned how to relax my shoulders, breathe and let my head float atop my spine while squeezing the nutcracker. The task was an assignment given by Susan Cohen, to demonstrate how, by being better aware

Susan Cohen guides a client in The Alexander Technique.

of what we do with our bodies; we can bring ease in our everyday lives. Susan, who has been practicing and teaching The Alexander Technique for more than 25 years, gave us an introduction to this century-old discipline in an hour-long class at the Corner Store on New Year’s Day. Nineteen of us had the same idea—to begin 2014 learning something new. We all congregated at the Corner Store for a taste of a method that has helped actors, lawyers, singers, chefs, athletes and countless others who want to alleviate pain, reduce stress and feel healthier. “Whatever you do, you can do it a little better with conscious awareness,” said Susan.

What is The Alexander Technique? The Alexander Technique is not exercise. It is a precursor to movement. It requires awareness of breath and of how we hold our tension. A student learns how to reprogram basic movement patterns such as sitting at a computer, standing, walking, bending, reaching and lifting. Through gentle

hands-on guidance, not fixing or manipulating, as well as verbal coaching, a student can learn how to replace faulty movement patterns that over time have caused compression and tension with patterns that allow more freedom of movement and ease. Susan further explains, “We strive for a balanced life. However, because of our hurried lives

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we lose focus on how we move and function. In the process we forget about the balance for which we strive.” She says The Alexander Technique offers a practical approach to self-care. “By eliminating our poor movement habits we learn how to balance our bodies and take charge of our thoughts and our lives.”

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The Alexander Technique has been shown to be helpful in relieving pain through learning better coordination of the musculoskeletal system. It can improve mobility, posture, performance and alertness and relieve chronic stiffness, tension and stress. Susan first discovered its benefits when she became injured while living in London in the 1980s. Dizziness, headaches and back problems prompted her doctor to recommend surgery. Instead a friend recommended The Alexander Technique. “From my first Alexander lesson I experienced a dynamic sense of lightness. I was unaware of my poor postural habits and had no idea of the downward pressure I was putting on my spine and joints. Slowly I became aware of what I was doing and how to rid myself of these harmful habits. I discovered a new sense of balance and coordination and began enjoying a feeling of effortlessness.” Two years of private lessons gave Susan a desire to help others achieve what she had experienced. She spent 1600 hours learning the technique over three years. When Susan returned to the United States and moved to Capitol Hill she began teaching the technique to students at the Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, Studio Theater, Howard, Catholic and George Mason Universities. She continues

to maintain a private practice from her home studio.

How Alexander Technique Works Susan describes what she does: A lesson consists of gentle hand-on guidance and verbal coaching to improve such basic movements as sitting at a computer, standing, walking, bending, reaching, and lifting. You learn to strip away faulty movement habits and tension patterns and eliminate discomfort by relearning how to balance your body and take charge of your thoughts. “In time you will learn to release unnecessary muscular tension and restore your body’s original coordination. As you address your entire body— not just segments of it—you will improve your overall functioning and enjoy a better state of health. This enables you to move with more ease and poise.” She says The Alexander Technique is not a quick fix. “Think of it as an owner’s manual for the body. It teaches us to use our bodies according to their inherent design.”

History The technique is named after actor Frederick Matthias Alexander, who developed its principles in the 1890s as a personal tool to alleviate breathing problems and hoarseness during public speaking. Alexander was a Shakespearean orator who developed voice loss during his performances. After doctors found no physical cause, Alexander reasoned that he was doing something to himself while speaking to cause his problem. His self-observation in multiple mirrors revealed that he was contracting his whole body prior to vocalization in preparation for all verbal response. He believed

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that this habitual pattern of pulling the head backwards and downwards needlessly disrupted the normal working of the total postural, breathing and vocal mechanisms. Alexander also observed that others commonly tightened the musculature of the upper torso as he had done, in anticipation of activities besides speech. Alexander believed his work could be applied to improve individual health and well being. He wrote four books explaining his theories and also trained teachers to teach his work from 1930 until his death in 1955. Famous people who have studied the Alexander Technique include writers Aldus Huxley and playwright George Bernard Shaw; actors Judi Dench, Hilary Swank, Sir Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Jeremy Irons, William Hurt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Paul Newman, and Robin Williams; and musicians Paul McCartney, Madonna and Sting. Susan Cohen will be offering three classes on The Alexander Technique at the Corner Store this month. They will be held Tuesday evenings February 11, 18 and 25. Space is limited and cost is $50 for all three classes. To register contact: Susan Cohen: susanatdc@aol. com. For more information call Susan at: 202-544-2448 or visit her website at: www.susancohenalextech.com. Pattie Cinelli is a health and fitness professional and write who specializes in working with people who want to feel stronger, look better and move well in their everyday lives. She can be reached at: fitness@pattiecinelli.com. ◆

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{health & fitness / pets}

Common Pet Food Myths


by Dr. Keith de la Cruz

hoosing the right food for our furry friends is an important decision. We all know how important nutrition is, and we all want the best for our pets. Unfortunately, making the right choice can be a challenge. Pet food is a billion-dollar business, with countless different companies and diets out there. Myths and misinformation (especially on the internet) abound. Let’s take a look of some of the most common pet food myths out there.

The Ingredient List Is The Best Way To Choose A Pet Food. I’m afraid not. Pet food companies know that most consumers look to the ingredient list first, and there are ways they can manipulate the diet to make the ingredient list look better. Here are a few examples. First, by law, ingredients must be listed by weight. However, this includes water weight, so ingredients with high water content will be listed before those

with less water. For example, “chicken” contains about 70% water, while “chicken meal” contains only about 10% water. “Chicken” will weigh more and appear higher in the ingredient list than “chicken meal”. However, “chicken meal” actually has higher protein content than “chicken”, so a diet that has “chicken” as the first ingredient may actually have less protein and other nutrients from chicken than a diet made with “chicken meal” listed farther down in the ingredient list. Second, ingredients from the same source can be split into component parts (such as chicken meat, chicken fat, and chicken byproduct meal) to manipulate the ingredient list. Third, sometimes ingredients are added in miniscule amounts so they appear on the ingredient list just to appeal to pet owners. Any ingredient that appears after the vitamins and minerals is present in only miniscule amounts and is not providing substantial nutrients. Finally, the ingredient list gives no indication of quality. Not all “chicken” is of the same quality, depending on where the ingredient is obtained. We must look to the reputation of the pet food manufacturer to help us assess the quality of ingredients used.

Grains Are Bad For Dogs, So A Grain-Free Diet Is A Better Quality Diet. Dogs are very efficient at digesting and utilizing nutrients from grains. Furthermore, whole grains are not “fillers.” They provide valuable nutrients, including

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vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and fiber while helping to keep the fat and calorie content lower than diets that use animal products for those nutrients. Pet food companies know that many consumers mistakenly believe grains are bad for dogs. In their effort to provide the customer with what they want, many of them have introduced grain-free diets that are made with highly refined starches such as potato instead of grains. Unfortunately, these ingredients often provide fewer nutrients and less fiber than whole grains.

“By-Products” Are Waste Products of Meat Processing and Can Contain Hair, Hooves, and Floor Sweepings. Not true. The definition of by-products specifically excludes hair, hooves, horn, hide trimmings, manure, and intestinal contents, as well as anything that is not a part of the animal, such as floor sweepings. By-products are non-meat parts of the animal, such as organs like the heart, liver, and kidney. They often provide more nutrients than muscle meats on a per weight basis.

Dogs Are Like Wolves, So They Should Eat What A Wolf Would Eat. Dogs have thousands of years of evolution separating them from their wolf ancestors. Their digestive tracts are not the same as wolves. No one would argue that humans should eat the same diet as the primates we descended from, so why

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While this is a very contentious topic, there is currently no reliable scientific evidence or studies to back up this claim. There are, however, numerous studies that show raw diets have higher levels of potentially harmful bacteria such as salmonella that can infect pets and people. Raw, uncooked meats can be a danger to people and pets. Furthermore, analysis of many raw diets shows they are not nutritionally balanced and complete.

So How Should I Choose A Good Pet Food? Choose a food by who makes it and how your pet does on it, not by ingredients or labels. You want to find a pet food company with a reputation and history of quality. Does the company have a full time, boardcertified veterinary nutritionist or PhD nutritionist on staff? Do they have their own plants or do they outsource? What specific quality control measures are used to ensure consistency and quality of the food? A good pet food company will be eager to answer these questions! Born in Washington DC, Dr. Keith de la Cruz is currently the Treasurer/Secretary of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and is a Past President of the Northern Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. He is the senior associate veterinarian and Medical Director at AtlasVet (1326 H St NE, 20-5528600) â—†

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{health & fitness}

Lovebird Tree Botanicals

Hill native Alex Bergman launches a 100% natural skincare line.


by Meghan Markey

aging and look their best. If you’re a beauty junkie like me, you have baskets overflowing with serums, emulsions, and masks; and your shower looks like a pharmacy of conditioners, polishes, and fragrant shower gels. While women’s interest in beauty is as formidable as ever, the type of products they desire is changing. There is less of an interest in invasive treatments like Botox and aggressive, expensive creams. More and more women want simple, natural products that are still effective. Alex Bergman, who was raised on Capitol Hill by parents Rob and Lisa Bergman, understands this. Cultivating an appreciation in homeopathic remedies while at Edmund Burke High School, she researched botanicals and their potential benefits for skin. However, it wasn’t Alex Bergman with two of the products in her skincare line -- Lavender & Fir Tree Body Polish and Sea Bath. All her products are available until this past September through www.etsy.com that the 23-year-old middle school teacher of health and humanities at Edmund Burke’s Middle School (yes, she is a teacher at her former school), decided to use this knowledge to create a line of 100% natural skincare and bath products. Adorably named Lovebird Tree Botanicals, all of her products are homemade to order in her parent’s kitchen and sold through the craftoriented website Etsy. The line includes bath salt soaks infused with natural essences ake a look in any woman’s bathroom, and odds are there are lotions, facial washes, moisturizers, and any number of products designed to help women slow down the inevitable signs of

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like bergamot and lavender, clay masks using French green clay, body polish with essential oils, body butters and soaps with colloidal oatmeal and calendula, to name a few. Reading the ingredients that comprise her line is like perusing an exotic apothecary. In her research over the years, Bergman was inspired by the completely natural ingredients that groups around the world have sourced for hundreds of years. “I love to read about different cultures and what they’ve used traditionally, based on what they’ve had access to and the different climates they inhabit,” she enthuses. Since Bergman is dedicated to not using preservatives in her products, she makes each item to order to ensure freshness, and each ingredient has a reason to be there – neem oil for its antiseptic qualities, antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn oil for its moisturizing properties, dried nettle, chamomile and rosemary to soothe skin. Bergman also creates custom scents for many of her products, such as body polish, from an array of essential oils. She assures me that despite the lack of preservatives, most of her items still have a shelf life of up to eight months, but should be kept in a cool temperature, out of direct sunlight. Lovebird Tree Botanicals is truly a one-woman show, as Bergman does everything from extensively researching all of her ingredients, sourcing them from wholesalers, hand-making all of the products, bottling them, and designing and printing the labels. This last piece of the business has caused some frustra-

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tion – “Putting on the labels is really hard. I did not expect that. It’s taken me three tries sometimes to put a label on. It’s been the most complicated part!” She was surprised at how easy it was to find wholesalers for her ingredients, although it didn’t come without some trial and error. While she describes the beeswax she orders is of such high quality, one can actually smell the honey, she also recalls ordering dead sea mud from a company in San Francisco. What arrived was less than desirable. “When I received the package, it was liquid, which they hadn’t mentioned, literally mostly water. I thought, ‘What am I going to do with this?’ I sell my masks in powder form because they keep so much longer. So now I have a giant bag of liquid mud in my room and no idea what to do with it!” Bergman admits that sometimes her attempts at a new product go awry. She describes an idea for bars of soap made with sea salt crystals, the intent being to create a nourishing soap that was also exfoliating. The sea salt melted and left the soap crumbling and unusable. Combining the essential oils has also occasionally yielded interesting results: “Some of oils, like jasmine and lavender, you’d think they’d go well together because both are flowers, but combined they end up smelling like urine. A lot of the oils, when you put them together, have very strong, unpleasant scents. That’s where the most trial and error comes in.” Her family is incredibly supportive and she often consults them for feedback on scents and feel of whatever she makes. Bergman’s father, who does a lot of carpentry,

had dry, cracked hands – so Bergman made a beeswax and essential oil salve with him in mind. When it came to deciding how to vend Lovebird Tree Botanicals, the website Etsy was an obvious choice. Known for being a marketplace for all things craft and homemade, launching her business online allows for an amount of control over the time commitment that is useful for a young woman in her early twenties – with a full time teaching job, in addition to two other part time jobs. Bergman can essentially “close” her online shop if she goes on vacation or otherwise needs to dedicate her time elsewhere. However, she would love to be able to make enough capital from Lovebird Tree Botanicals (all of the overhead comes from her own savings) to scale back on one of her other jobs. She certainly is preparing to grow the line – over the summer, she will set up shop at Eastern Market, setting up a “skincare bar,” where customers can select their ingredients. Bergman will mix them right there, ensuring the quality and freshness that is so important to her. She also is planning to start a skincare blog. One can immediately notice the attention to detail that Bergman brings to her line, from the research she does, to the pretty packaging. Maybe it’s time to go through that bathroom cabinet and ditch the old, half-emptied bottles that have been sitting there for months – and replace them with something fresh, lovingly and locally made, and 100% natural. Lovebird Tree Botanicals can be ordered online at http://www. etsy.com/shop/LovebirdTree u

{kids & family} N O T E B O O K Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum On Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., become an engineer for a day. Every February, the National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation invite you to discover how professional engineers turn an idea into reality. Celebrate National Engineers Week by participating in this free, hands-on, and fun-filled festival. Become a rocket scientist and explore aerodynamics; learn to build a suspension bridge using only basic items; make slime and learn the properties of a “semisolid”; design and construct a structure to help protect from a tsunami; invent a pop-fly lever and see how high it launches a ping pong ball; meet an astronaut alongside Curious George and Cat in the Hat from WETA and PBSKids. Discover Engineering Family Day is a free, drop-in program. $5 donation suggested. Program and activities are most appropriate for children ages 4-12 with adult supervision. Registration is not required. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448. nbm.org

Readers Kid-Friendly Restaurant Suggestions

by Kathleen Donner Finally, Sidamo Coffee, 417 H St NE, is well known for being good with kids So there you have it. This has been a lot of fun so we’ve decided to leave the subject open. Let us know if we’ve missed a good place to take kids for a meal. Email your comments to Kids and Family Notebook Editor Kathleen Donner at kathleendonner@gmail.com.

Perfect Performances for Kids and their Grownup Friends at Atlas’ INTERSECTIONS Festival On Saturday, Feb. 22, noon-4 p.m., join DC Actors for Animals, Atlas Vet, Metro Mutts and more for free family activities in the Kogod Lobby. Boogie Babes’ The Singing Lizard performs at noon. At 1:30 p.m., there will be a Mutts Gone Nuts a benefit performance for Atlas Family Programming. Entertainers Scott and Joan Houghton and their mischievous pound puppies present a hilarious canine thrill show for the whole family for two great causes-the Atlas and animal rescue for ages 2 and older. $15-$12. On Mar. 1 and 8 at 1:30 p.m., Body Wise Dance wants you to meet a gentle character who longs for spring and a friend in a participatory dance-theatre piece and post-show interaction with innovative dance artist Margot Greenlee. For ages 5, up. $8. On Mar. 1 at 10 a.m. and Mar. 8 at 1 p.m., GALA Hispanic Theatre & Wit’s End Puppets Fábulas Mayas offer a bilingual adaptation of traditional Mayan legends and fables featuring puppets, movement, and song from an innovative puppet company and award-winning Hispanic theatre. For ages 5, up. $8. There’s more. Go to intersectionsdc. org. The Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. atlasarts.org

Our readers have spoken! Over 70 Kids and Family Notebook readers responded to our January Hill Rag survey asking for kid-friendly Hill restaurant suggestions. Mr. Henry’s at 600 Pennsylvania Ave. SE was a top favorite with their Family Dining Night. Every Tuesday, 5-8 p.m., night is family dining night upstairs. Kids 8 and younger eat free from the kids’ menu. Our readers also love the “La’s” - La Plaza, 629 PennAt Discover Engineering Family Day 2011, kids learn sylvania Ave. SE; La Lomita, 1330 Pennsylvania about the science of popcorn. Photo: Kevin Allen Ave. SE; La Lomita Dos, 308 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; Las Placitas, 517 8th St. SE; and La Loma, 316 Massachusetts Ave. NE. These restaurants were praised for their warmth Kids’ Gallery Activities at CHAW and welcome of children in addition to the quick arrival of chips and salsa. The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop hosts free kids’ gallery activities with artOne reader said “they don’t mind our baby carrier or our four-year-old who ist/photographer Camille Clifton (aka the Girl from Nowhere) on Saturday, always leaves a mess.” On H Street, readers like Argonuat, 1433 H St. NE, with Feb. 8, beginning at 10 a.m. at CHAW, 545 7th St. SE. The activities are in their kids’ dinner and brunch menus for their “guests under 12.” They also like conjunction with the CHAW gallery exhibit “Urban Eyes, A Photography Exnewly-opened Red Rocks, 1348 H St. NE. The first floor is a bar scene but the hibition by the Girl from Nowhere” and include: Pre-K, 10-10:45 a.m. What second floor is a pizza/pasta paradise for families. Ted’s Bulletin, 505 8th St. do you See & Feel? Kids explore the works on show with tools (flash cards + SE, which proclaims on the front door that it’s a “Family Restaurant” is so popgames) to identify signs, colors, shapes and moods. Grades K-2, 11-11:45 a.m. ular with families that there’s often a wait—which doesn’t work well with kids.

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What do you Find & Discover? Kids discover the works on show by comparing & sharing their thoughts/observations on their findings with tools (critical thinking + games). Grades 3-5, 11:50 a.m.-12:35 p.m. Can you Create & Wonder? Kids examine the works on show to create or re-create from a piece and learn to wonder about how a photograph stimulates the five senses. chaw.org

Presidents’ Family Day at the American Art Museum




Top hats, Lincoln logs, and presidential portraits? Oh my! American Art and the National Portrait Gallery team up again with President Lincoln’s Cottage for their annual Presidents’ Family Day. On Saturday, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., begin your holiday weekend with patriotic craft activities, performances, and special guests! American Art Museum, 8th and F sts. NW. 202-633-1000. americanart.si.edu

African American Pioneers in Aviation Heritage Family Day On Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., celebrate the many accomplishments of African Americans in the fields of aviation and space exploration. National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave. at 6th St. SW. airandspace.si.edu

St. Peter Auction at Nat’s Park - Welcome to the Big Leagues! Mark your calendars for another great St. Peter School Gala & Auction at Nats Park! Step into the BIG LEAGUES for a Grand Slam evening of food fun and friends. The Feb. 8 evening will include a winning roster of auction items, raffle prizes, great food and drink, and lots of team spirit. Join the school community to share a great time and extraordinary access to Nationals Park, including the players’ own batting cages where you can take a swing or two against pitchers. For more information, visit stpeterschooldc.org/auction2014.

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Shake Up Your Saturdays: Shakespeare in Love at the Folger On Feb. 8, 10-11 a.m., explore what many believe is the most beautiful love poetry of all time-along with Shakespeare’s hilarious tales of mistaken identity and absurd antics-all in the name of love. Recommended for ages 6-12. It’s free but reserve your spot. Folger Shakespeare Library, E. Capitol St. SE. 202544-7077. folger.edu

Fundraiser at Nandos to Benefit Jefferson Academy On Tuesday, Feb. 11, bring your appetite to Nando’s, 300 Tingey St. SE (at Yards Park), from 5-10 p.m. and they will donate 40% of the fundraiser sales to Jefferson Academy. Near Southeast Community Partners (NSCP) has a vision to bring together residents, workers and visitors in active relationships that promote the creation of community equity. NSCP members share a vision of the Capitol Riverfront/ Near Southeast community as a great place to live and work. NSCP also supports our local neighborhood DCPS schools. So join them on Feb. 11 for great food and a worthy cause.

Kids’ Music: Rainbow Rock Band at Ebenezers On Feb. 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m., get ready for all the excitement and fun that you get at a Kate Moran Band show, shrunk down to size for your little dudes! The Rainbow Lady (Kate Moran), Princess Fiddlesticks (Lynn Rovelli), Captain Toe Tappin (Kevin de Souza), and Guitarmony Gus (Derek Evry) will entertain your little ones with a combination of classic and original children’s tunes. This duo or trio will keep you bopping in your socks until you just can’t rock anymore! Always on hand, inside the box of fun, tambourines, shakers and more for your little one to join in the fun, and if they are feeling like completing their rock star appearance, how about a nice little temporary Rainbow tattoo, from none other than Pattycake Patty (Patty Moran) or Miss Rockin Rox Anna (Anna Goist)! $6 in advance, $8 at the

Enc Empowouraging e Imaginrment and a Safe ation in an Enviro d Caring For Chnment ild Ages 3 ren -9

From June 23 - August 15, 2014 Younger children will enjoy performances, trips, picnics in the park, water play (ages 3-5). Older ones (ages 6-9) will enjoy science classes, field trips, Labyrinth games, fitness classes, arts, weekly visits to the pool, gardening and cooking classes and more.

Registration Begins February 3 Stop by Maury Elementary School between 3:30-6:00pm and ask for Tina Thomas or Tia Burke to pick up your application. Or download documents at www.politepiggysdaycamp.com and bring to Maury ES. You can also mail applications to PO Box 31215, WDC 20030.

Flexible Scheduling: ages 3-5: ages 6-9:

Weekly $315 $345

Whole Day $60 $69

Half Day $41 $46

Early Bird Discount 5% OFF Sibling Discount - 25% OFF

Drop In $66 $71

(any week of camp paid in full by 5/9/14)

More Info: 240-396-8957 ask for VanNessa politepiggysdaycamp.com politepiggysdaycamp@yahoo.com

“Kids’ Space” Summer Program June 2 - August 15, 2014 Crafts, creative movement, swimming, field trips and more! Children 4 and 5

Where Kids Learn To Love School. Cooperative preschool for 2 to 4 year olds Full and part-time schedules Convenient Location Dynamic staff Play-based curriculum

Open House: 1st Thurs. of Every Month, 10am-11am

Over 40 Years on Capitol Hill 337 North Carolina Ave, SE | 202-543-5372

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door. Everyone over 1 year must have ticket. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-558-6900. ebenezerscoffeehouse.com

Ford’s Theatre Target Oratory Festival More than 250 Washington-area elementary and middle school students will perform a selection of President Abraham Lincoln’s speeches on the Ford’s Theatre stage on Feb. 11 and 18, at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., as part of Ford’s Theatre Society’s sixth-annual Target Oratory Festival. This year’s program, “Through Lincoln’s Words: Target Oratory Residency and Festival,” features students who have benefitted from the integration of historical speeches and letters into History and English classes to help strengthen their understanding of history and improve their public-speaking skills. Third through eighth grade students from DC’s Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School, Janey Elementary School, Mount Rainier Student Group and Watkins Elementary School take to the historic Ford’s Theatre stage on Feb. 11, to present Lincoln’s 1858 House Divided speech, the 1861 Independence Hall speech, Lincoln’s First and Second Inaugural addresses, the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s address to the 166th Ohio Regiment. Seventh and eighth grade students from Maryland’s Hyattsville Middle School and Francis Scott Key Middle School as well as Virginia’s George Washington Middle School will present Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, 1861 Independence Hall speech, House Divided speech and his address to the 166th Ohio Regiment, on the morning of Feb. 18. Tickets are free day-of the festival at the Ford’s Theatre box office, 511 10th St. NW. fords.org

Prenatal Partners Yoga Workshop at Hill Center In this birth partners workshop, you’ll explore the use of yoga during pregnancy and labor. Open to all levels, no yoga experience required; appropriate for any trimester of pregnancy but recommended for women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. This workshop is on Feb. 8, 2-4 p.m., at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. $80/couple. Register online at hillcenterdc.org.

National Symphony Orchestra Family ConcertPeter and the Wolf On Sunday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Prokofiev’s timeless musical tale of boy vs. wolf comes roaring to life with the NSO and a vaudeville-inspired performance by actor Michael Boudewyns from theater ensemble Really Inventive Stuff. For ages 5 and up. Come early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo,” a project of the Women’s Committee for the NSO. Immediately following the 3 p.m. performance, meet concert artists for a free Kids’ Chat. Tickets are from $15. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. 202-416-8000. kennedy-center.org

DC Parks and Recreation Outdoor Explorer Family Adventures Outdoor Explorer: Family Adventures is series of outdoor recreation excursions, designed for families to enjoy the great outdoors together. Excursions are on the 2nd Saturday of each month. The next adventure is snow tubing at Ski Roundtop Resort on Feb. 8, all day, and leaves from Fort Stanton Recreation Center, 1812 Erie St. SE. Registration is required at bit.ly/oefa2014. Other upcoming adventures are Mar. 8, ropes course and zip lining at Go Ape!; Apr. 12, hiking the Capital Crescent Trail; May 10, kayaking Piscataway Creek; June 14, horseback riding at Misty Manor Stables; July 12, white water rafting on the Potomac; Aug. 9, hiking the Anacostia River Walk; and Sept. 13, biking in Rock Creek Park. All adverntures leave from a DC recreation center. dpr.dc.gov

Registration Open for KiDS ROCK D.C. Run On Mar. 16, noon, at RFK Stadium, kids can be part of Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon weekend excitement by participating in KiDS ROCK D.C. KiDS ROCK, is a non-timed, non-competitive event for children in grades K-6. Kids can become marathon finishers on race day by completing a cumulative marathon training program in the weeks leading up to the race. Or, they can simply choose to run the 1-mile course on race day. Registration is $15 through Feb. 15; and $20, Feb. 15-Mar. 9. kidsrock.competitor.com

Saturday Morning at the National Free Performances for Children On Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. there are free live performances for children in the Helen Hayes Gallery. Tickets are required and distributed first comefirst seated. Tickets are distributed 1/2 hour prior to performance. One ticket per person in line. The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. 202-783-3372. On Feb 1, Bright Star Theater-George Washington Carver; Feb. 8, Paul Hadfield-General Foolishness; Feb. 22, Blue Sky Puppet Theatre: The Barker of Seville; Mar. 1, Andres Saklquero-Uno, Dos Tres,con Andres; Mar. 8, Laureen O’Neill James Irish Dance; Mar. 15, Rich Potter, Bert the Nerd; Mar. 22, Bright Star Theatre, Jack’s Adventure; Mar. 29, Tim Marrone, Clowning Around with Shakespeare; and Apr. 5, Curtis Blues, Delta Blues.

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DC Student Transit Passes Can Now Be Purchased through WMATA’s Website DC Student Transit Passes Can Now Be Purchased through WMATA’s Website using a debit or credit card. The WMATA website allows the purchase of a monthly rail/bus pass, 10-trip rail passes and 10-trip bus pass at wmata.com. In order to purchase a transit pass on-line, students must first register their DC One Card at the link and verify their eligibility for the program. Second, students must create a SmarTrip account through the WMATA website at this link. DC Student Rail transit passes will be available for use two business days after the on-line purchase and the discounted 10-trip bus pass will be available for use three business days after the

APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade

Building on our strong foundation as an early childhood program

Information / Open House Sessions on the Following Thursdays, 9:30 am-10:30 am*:

February 20 & 27 March 20 & 27 April 24 May 1 *You must register to attend, limit of 20 people per session. Call (202) 545-0515 to register.

Apply for admissions at: www.myschooldc.org • Application deadline March 3, 2014.

Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Voted Best Preschool in DC, City Paper Readers Poll 2013!

• Before & After Care • Small classroom size and well trained staff • Individual planning for each student • Hands-on and project-based curriculum Free and open to all DC residents. Tuition paid by non-residents.

www.bridgespcs.org 1250 Taylor Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011 p: 202.545.0515 e: info@bridgespcs.org

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purchase on-line. Transit passes may still be purchased at any one of the Metro Sales Offices in the District and other approved retail outlets. For more information on DDOT’s School Transit Subsidy Program, visit ddot.dc.gov/SchoolTransitSubsidy.

and betterment of the lives of young people. During their tenures, the ambassadors appear throughout the country at events with young people, encouraging them to make reading a central part of their lives. loc.gov

American Sign Language Story Hour at SW Library

All-Ages Walk-Inz at ArtJamz

On Feb. 2 at 2 p.m., Deaf Services Librarian Janice Rosen will sign in ASL The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. After the story, enjoy craft activities. ASL/voice interpreters and therapy dogs from People Animals Love will be present. Southwest Neighborhood Library, 900 Wesley Pl. SW. 202724-4752. dclibrary.org/southwest

Orphie and the Book of Heros at the Kennedy Center Spunky and curious Orphie, a young girl in Ancient Greece, sets out to save storyteller Homer and his Book of Heroes in this humorous world premiere musical-a quest that takes her from the heights of Mt. Olympus to the depths of the underworld. For ages 9 and up. Performances on Feb. 8, 9, 16, 23 at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and Feb. 15 and 22 at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. The 11 a.m. performance on Sat., Feb. 22 is sensory-friendly. $20. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. 202-4168000. kennedy-center.org

Kate DiCamillo Named LOC National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2014-2015 Kate DiCamillo, Newbery Medal Award-winner and honoree, has been named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. DiCamillo will serve in the position during 2014 and 2015, succeeding Walter Dean Myers. She has chosen “Stories Connect Us” for her platform. The National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is named by the Librarian of Congress for a two-year term, based on recommendations from a selection committee representing many segments of the book community. The position was created to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development

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Looking for a great family-friendly “funtivity” but can’t schedule anything due to the hectic pace of your family’s ever changing schedule? No problem—just drop into ArtJamz anytime during their All Ages Afternoon Walk-Inz, 5-6 p.m. during the week (except Mondays) and Saturday to Sunday noon-6 p.m. Anyone can come in and paint. Their art-trained Creative Enablers are always on hand to help get you set up and provide tips, guidance and encouragement throughout your session. They also host classes. ArtJamz costs $15 an hour for access to their arty Dupont Studio. That includes unlimited use of water-based acrylic paints and tons of brushes, markers, glitters and various other art materials. Canvases are extra, but you can bring your own canvas and pay a $5 or $10 “corkage fee” per canvas. Are you a parent who doesn’t want to paint? No worries! It’s free to just hang out in their artist’s lounge. They have WIFI, coffee and drinks. ArtJamz Dupont Studio, 1728 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-709-8096. artjamzdc.com

Orchids Workshop for Youth at the Botanic Garden Orchids enchant both artists and scientists. On Sunday, Mar. 2, 2-4 p.m., join them for a hands-on workshop during which kids will dissect orchids, learn of their many mysteries and then, using multiple mediums, will create art inspired by the Botanic Garden Orchid Symphony exhibit. This workshop is intended for ages 7-14. Free, but pre-registration is required. Accompanying adults should be on-site for the duration of the workshop. US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202225-8333. usbg.gov

Celebrate Youth! High School Choir Festival at the National Cathedral On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the National Cathe-

dral Choral Society brings together choirs from DC public, charter, and independent schools with members of the DC Youth Orchestra for the ninth annual Celebrate Youth! high school choir festival. The groups work together in a day of music making that culminates in a grand concert in the nave of the Cathedral. Ben Hutto, festival director. The festival concert is at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. nationalcathedral.org

DC Youth Orchestra to go on International Tour In June 2014, DCYOP’s Youth Orchestra will participate in a residency and side-by-side tour in Colombia with Orquestra Metropolitana Batuta, which is part of the world’s second largest national youth orchestra system, Batuta (or Fundación Batuta). The Youth Orchestra will travel to Colombia between June 24 and July 2, 2014. As part of the residency, DC Youth Orchestra Program students will work with master teachers from Batuta and have combined activities and cultural excursions with their Colombian peer musicians. Following the residency, the combined 120-piece orchestra will hit the road on a bus tour performing two concerts outside the capital, and one in Bogotá.

Afro-Brazilian Capoeira for kids (Winter session) Afro-Brazilian capoeira is a martial art discipline that combines the raw excitement of music, dancing, fighting techniques, and gravity defying acrobatics. A complete and fun workout capoeira focuses on creating a conversation between two players rather than inflicting attacks. The end result is a physical activity that, besides all the benefits for the body, builds discipline, self-esteem, cultural awareness, and a sense of collectivity. Starting on February 4th, Brasil on the Hill will be offering two capoeira courses at Momentum Dance Studio (534 8th St, SE) for kids ranging from 5 to 12 years old. Courses are U$175 and include 8 classes of 1 hour each, from 4 to 5 PM. No previous experience necessary. For more information and enrollment, contact Brasil on the Hill’s Executive Director, Valeria Buffo, at valerybuffo@yahoo.com or (202)546-5229. u

The First Hebrew Language Immersion Public Charter School in DC

Accepting Applications for SY14-15 Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2

ay every Tuesd from ld e h s e s u Open Ho Thursday afternoon d morning an ecember-March D To apply visit: myschooldc.org

*With the new common application, families must rank order their school choices. Each child will only receive one offer of admission in the lottery. If Sela PCS is your family’s first choice, you should rank order Sela PCS FIRST. Application Deadline: March 3, 2014

FREE Before and After School Program Small Class Sizes with 2 teachers in each classroom Student Shuttle available with stops at: Eastern Market, 16th and Q, Ft. Totten Metro

Learn more: SelaPCS.org 6015-17 Chillum Place, NE Washington, DC 20011 202-670-SELA (7352) Follow us: @SelaPCS

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School Notes by Susan Braun Johnson

St. Peter School News Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

ter School Gala & Auction at Nats Park! Step into the Big Leagues for a Grand Slam evening of food fun and friends. The February 8th evening will include a winning roster of auction items, raffle prizes, great food and drink, and lots of team spirit. Visit: www.stpeterschooldc.org/auction2014. See you at the ball park! –Sally Aman. St. Peter School, 422 3rd St SE.

percent of the fundraiser sales will go to Jefferson Academy! The Near Southeast Community Partners (NSCP) has a vision to bring together residents, workers and visitors in active relationships that promote the creation of community equity of the Capitol Riverfront/Near Southeast community as a great place to live and work. Join the next Nando’s fundraiser and let’s make our schools better one bite at a time!

In January, the Near Southeast Community Partners (NSCP) and “community partner” Nando’s Peri Peri in Yards Park hosted happy hour events for the teachers and staff at Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson Academy to show appreciation for the great work that is being done by such dedicated people. The event at Nando’s Peri Peri was a huge success. It was set up as a 2-day event to accommodate all of the teachers and staff at both schools. We took over the entire east end of the restaurant from front to back! Food and drink were flowing and everyone had a blast. Thank you to Principals Gordon and Miller and all of the great teachers and staff at Jefferson and Amidon-Bowen! Nando’s Peri Peri and NSCP will have another fundraiser on February 11, from 5-10 p.m., 40

Get your Game on Reading!

Catholic Schools Week was particularly meaningful for St. Peter School this year. Students and faculty spent the week reflecting on the 145 years St. Peter School has been offering the highestquality Catholic education to Capitol Hill students. The school community not only honored the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Notre Dame, Indiana Amidon-Bowen/Jefferson who founded the school, but celebrated the current Bruce DarCont, Co-Founder/Vice Chair Near faculty who contributed to the school’s assignment Academy News Southeast Community Partners. (NSCP) as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School. The treTeacher Appreciation Events mendously dedicated St. Peter School faculty Capitol Hill Cluster are transformative educators, community buildSchool News ers, and life architects who bring to life a comWinter Wonderland Concerts pelling vision of a bright and informed future. It was that time of year for winter holiDuring Catholic Schools Week, academic rigor day programs. The Peabody Kindergarten and and Catholic identity were recognized during first- graders presented a “Winter Wonderland” the annual science fair competition, the schoolConcert, the Watkins second and third- graders wide geography bee and student participation gave a recorder concert and play called “Elfis in parish Masses. Students also enjoyed the inand the Sleigh Riders” and finally the 4th and augural Taco Tuesday, school color free dress, 5th graders gave a choral concert with the midtrivia time, get-up-and-dance, and ugly sweater dle school students at Stuart-Hobson Middle day. The entire St. Peter School parent commuSchool, which included an art display and was nity thanks the teaching and administrative team followed by cookies and punch for all. who – anchored by a strong Catholic identity – The Near Southeast Community Partners (NSCP) and “community partner” are building on the school’s legacy of learning by Nando’s Peri Peri in Yards Park hosted happy hour events for the teachers and staff at Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson Academy. innovating and inspiring every single day. Be a Good Sport and

Student Talent Shines The annual talent show once again showcased the wide range of talents embraced by our St. Peter School students. More than thirty-five students prepared and rehearsed for the performance which took place in front of a packed house. Attendees enjoyed a host of vocal performances, dance numbers, instrumental medleys and – fan favorite – interpretations of the popular “What Does the Fox Say?” Most impressively, almost $700 was raised during the evening to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Hats off to all of our phenomenal St. Peter School Stars!

Welcome To The Big Leagues! Mark your calendars for another great St. Pe-

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There’s no better time to remind ourselves to read every day than the chilly winter days when we’d all like to snuggle up with a good book! The Cluster’s Winter Reading Program began in December and ends early March The goal is to read one million minutes across the Cluster; 250,000 minutes at Peabody; 450,000 minutes at Watkins and 300,000 minutes at Stuart-Hobson.

Watkins Elementary School First in Math is an online math support program used at all three Cluster campuses. We are pleased to report that our elementary school, Watkins is currently #2 in DCPS! We have reached 401,921 stickers on our way to our 700,000 sticker goal!

On January 16, “Ms. Math” provided Watkins teachers a professional development workshop, and then stayed the next day to teach lessons in our classrooms to our students focusing on conceptual understanding rather than procedural and rote memorization in math. Our teachers loved it and our students did as well. The partnership will continue this spring and summer. For more information, visit: http://www.zoidandcompany.com/Home.html In one of the most beloved and unique annual Cluster traditions, fifth-graders from Watkins Elementary School recited the Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream Speech”, by heart, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Friday January 17. Every year Watkins students honor Dr. King with this event enjoyed by many tourists and passers-by, fellow Watkins students, teachers and parents.

Stuart-Hobson Middle School Stuart-Hobson Students Send Science Experiments Into Space Three eighth-grade students from Stuart-Hobson Middle School sent their science project into space in January. The students, Sarah C., Cameron G., Lillian B. and Lia J., completed the project as 7th-graders under the supervision of the Life Science teacher, Doug Creef. The experiment, “Bacterial Growth on Meat” was flown as cargo on the Orbital-1 cargo resupply mission headed for the International Space Station. The purpose is to understand more about freeze

Kingsbury DS 4thH [CR]

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gan, Carleen McCarley, Richard Mitchell, Vince Morris, and Charles Taylor worked months to create this event for students and pledged to make the DCPS Middle School Math Championship an annual event each January. Beth Dewhurst. Stuart-Hobson Middle School, 410 E St NE; Watkins Elementary School; 420 12th St SE, Peabody Primary School 425 C St NE.

Stuart-Hobson students Sarah C., Cameron G., Lillian B. and Lia J., sent their science project into space. They did the project as 7th graders under the supervision of the Life Science teacher, Doug Creef.

drying food for space. The experiment also seeks to understand bacterial growth in microgravity by salting one strip of meat and leaving one unsalted. Mr. Creef and the students were on hand to watch their experiment go off into space, which was received by the space station Jan. 12. Results of the experiment will be streaming back to earth.

Stuart-Hobson Hosts DCPS Math Quiz Bowl On January 11, Stuart-Hobson students joined their peers from seven other DCPS middle schools in celebrating mathematics. Savvy mathematicians enrolled at Deal MS, Jefferson MS, Columbia Heights EC, Walker Jones EC, Hardy MS, and Brightwood EC competed in math, prealgebra, and algebra contests. First, second, and third place winners in each competition category are listed in the order of their seeding. Math 6: Columbia Heights EC, Walker Jones EC, Stuart-Hobson MS Math7: Columbia Heights EC, Jefferson MS, Stuart-Hobson MS Pre-Algebra: Deal MS, Hardy MS, Columbia Heights EC Algebra: Hardy MS, Stuart-Hobson MS, Brightwood The Math Bowl committee comprised of Tonya Harris, Founder, Courtney Anderson, Theodora Brown, Beth Dewhurst, Deartia Harris, Brandon K. G. Jackson, Maria Jackson Lo-

Tyler Elementary School Kiddie Cabaret & Winter Festival Feb 8 Tyler Elementary has many wonderful partnerships with the surrounding community. Our most recent partnership is the Washington Architectural Foundation’s Architecture in the Schools (AIS) program, a curriculum enrichment program in which professional architects work within the school on an eight-week curriculum of architecture and design. Throughout the fall, two of Tyler’s third-grade classes worked with three AIS architects on a project that demonstrates the creation of a landmark. The students’ work was displayed from January 7-10th at the District Architecture Center in NW DC, and a reception was held on January 10th to showcase the work of the schools involved. Tyler would like to extend a special congratulations go to Amina Ford and Io Ken for representing Tyler at the reception. Tyler also held a very successful Community Night on January 14th, which included tangible tips for improving students’ math, reading, and life skills as well as dinner with Tynika Young, the principal at Eliot-Hine Middle School. Additional events that happened at Tyler this winter includ-

ed a performance by Teatro de la Luna, our first school-wide spelling bee on January 31st, and don’t miss our annual Kiddie Cabaret & Winter Festival on February 8th. Tyler Elementary is located at 1001 G St, SE. For more information, visit TylerElementary.net or contact Colleen Cancio at ccancio@gmail.com.

J.O. Wilson Elementary School News RiverSmart School Grant Congratulations to J.O. Wilson’s garden committee for receiving a RiverSmart School grant from the District Department of the Environment to expand the rainwater capture system and teach students how to grow native plants. A team of teachers and community volunteers will attend trainings this spring to help implement this project. Check out the kitchen garden, cistern and irrigation system when you’re in the neighborhood!

Little Architects Ms. Weathersby’s 5th grade class participated in the Architecture in the Schools 8-week program this year. A team of architects from IA Interior Architects taught students about architecture principles, culminating in a final project, “What would you find in your ideal community?” Each student constructed scale models of their dream community and assembled the pieces to design a skyscraper. Students presented their work at the District Architecture Center.

First in Math Program a Success As of this writing, our students have solved over 400,000 math problems correctly using the First in Math program. Mr. Evans’ class is ranked first among all 3rd graders in the city, while Ms. Dixon’s class is ranked eighth. Mr. Varhall’s 4th graders are ranked third among all 4th graders.

Early Childhood Program focuses on Food J.O. Wilson’s Early Childhood program began a new theme, “Restaurant,” and ventured out into the community. Timothy Dean, owner of TD Burger and former Top Chef Contestant, graTyler students participate in the Washington Architectural Foundation’s Architecture in the Schools program.

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ciously volunteered to host all 117 of JO Wilson’s EC students, providing them with a restaurant experience. Chef Dean not only prepared the meals himself, but took pictures with the children and gave them a gift certificate to return on another day with their family. Upon return to the classroom, the children dramatized working in different kinds of food establishments. Samantha Caruth, J. O. Wilson Elementary School, 660 K St NE, 202-698-4733, www.jowilsonelementary.org.

Ludlow-Taylor Elementary Annual Pancake & Literacy Night On February 7 you’ll know Where the Sidewalk Ends and it will be at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School. And, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! once you enter the Third Annual Pancakes and Literacy Night. Children will receive a “Literacy Passport” based on their age to guide them through an evening of adventures found in books. Need a library card? Feel like going on a scavenger hunt? Or perhaps you want to sit and hear a story set to music? These are all things families will be able to participate in as they navigate through the school getting stamps for the passport. The evening is designed to encourage children and families to read together as well as nurture a love of reading so everything at the event will have a fun literacy component. There will also be raffle tickets available for $1 that will win you some literacy themed items and a silent auction. Don’t forget about the all you can eat hot, buttery, maple syrup drenched pancakes with every topping you can imagine! Whether you favorite book as a child was, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Where the Wild Things Are, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlotte’s Web or Tikki, Tikki, Tembo come discover it again at Pancakes & Literacy Night. If you are interested in being part of the Giving Tree by donating a raffle item, something for the silent auction, want to volunteer or have a question please contact: PancakesforLiteracy@gmail.com. Details: Feb 7 from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Ludlow-Taylor, 659 G St, NE; Cost: $5 per adult; up to three children, aged 12 and under, free with paying adult. –Rebekha Benson-Flannery.

River Park Nursery School News Annual Sock Hop and Silent Auction March 1st River Park Nursery School is thrilled to announce its Ninth Annual Sock Hop and Silent Auction! We hope you can join us on March 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the reception hall at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation (212 East Capitol St. NE). River Park’s Sock Hop has something for the entire family. There will be plenty of activities for the kids, along with food and drink – and an appearance by Mr. Skip! While the kids are dancing to the music of Mr. Skip, Mom and Dad can pay a visit to the silent auction to bid on items donated by businesses from around Capitol Hill. Each ticket is $35 ticket and is good for the entire family. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.riverparknurseryschool.org. All proceeds benefit River Park Nursery School. For over fifty years River Park Nursery School has provided an exceptional environment in which children ages three to five (three by Sept. 1st) can play and learn on Capitol Hill. The program is designed to encourage individual growth and development by fostering a love for learning, creativity, and exploration, and by sharing a sense of values, self-worth and good citizenship. If you are interested in applying to the school, the application deadline is March 3rd and can be found at www.riverparknurseryschool.org – look under the Admissions tab!

Friends Community School Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Friends Community School marked the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day devoted to interdisciplinary study and activity in memory of the prominent civil rights leader. The students held a morning rally for peace and equality in Berwyn Park and in the afternoon turned old shoes into a sculpture representing the many feet participating in the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade. The sculpture is displayed in the school’s Peace Garden. Friends also participated in the

First and second grade students at Friends Community School read Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and then discussed words to live by to make the world a better place.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute at the University of Maryland. The school chorus sang, “I See a Star,” “Path to the Moon,” and “Zum Gali Gali.” The last piece was accompanied by students Jonathan Altman on violin and Danny Urbano on hand drum. The school displayed artwork at the tribute. Third and fourth grade students, for example, made weavings painted in skin tones representing the diversity at the school. Friends Community School is a Quaker school and the Quakers had a close association with Dr. King from the mid-1950s until his death in 1968. Quakers helped arrange the pilgrimage he took to India with his wife Coretta Scott King to visit the people and places associated with the non-violent leader Mahatma Gandhi. The American Friends Service Committee, itself a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, nominated Dr. King for the award, which he received in 1964. Friends Community School is a Kindergarten through 8th grade Quaker school located in College Park, MD that welcomes students of all beliefs. It educates about 220 students including a growing number of children from Capitol Hill, as well as from other parts of the metropolitan area. www. friendscommunityschool.org. - Eric Rosenthal.

Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan Thank you! CHML had a very exciting December and January participating in the wonderful Kid Pan Alley program where students worked with professional songwriters, singers, and musicians to write, compose and perform original songs. Thank you to the National Symphony Orchestra, Patricia

Brent hosted six middle school representatives for its Middle School Information Night.

O’Kelly with the Kennedy Center, and Paul Reisler and Lea Morris of Kid Pan Alley for making it all possible! And a special thank you to the sponsors who made Kid Pan Alley such a success: John Smith and Peter Grimm of The Smith Team, National Capitol Bank, Black Whiskey, The Pug, Phil and Jeanne Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Labyrinth Games Shop, Christopher J. Cox, and Todd and Kristen Ciuba. As CHML’s annual giving campaign continues, they want to thank January’s matching sponsor, Penn Hill Group. And thank you to Sidamo, Giant and Starbucks for donating coffee and hot cocoa during the January annual giving week. As you get organized for the 2014-15 DCPS lottery, learn more about CHML! In addition to the current PS-6th grade offerings, CHML will be adding a 7th grade in 2014-15 (and 8th grade the following year). –Sara Burns. Save the Date: CHML’s Annual Yard Sale is March 29th! Hidden treasures to be found! Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, 215 G St NE, communications@capitolhillmontessorischool.org

School-Within-School at Goding Brrr . . . While the region bundled up last month to fend off the Polar Vortex, Art Atelierista Marla McLean took advantage of the Arctic chill. With

her guidance, SWS students made frozen sun catchers by pouring water into molds over natural materials—leaves, stems, berries, and feathers—and leaving the molds outside to freeze. Until the thaw a few days later, the sun catchers were a bright spot on the school’s front gate.

Sustainable School One of the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to education is the idea of the environment as the third teacher. This year, SWS was chosen as one of eight Sustainable DC Model Schools. DC Greens, the DC Environmental Education Consortium, and the Anacostia Watershed Society selected one school in each of the city’s wards to help plan ways to bring environmental literacy into the classroom. First grade teacher Alysia Scofield will serve as the school’s environmental education coordinator, helping the group create a “road map” to introduce sustainability into schools across the city. All SWS teachers will receive environmental education training. Students will get the chance to put that education into practice: working in and cooking from the SWS garden, figuring out ways to conserve energy at school, and learning about the Anacostia River ecosystem. - by Hannah Schardt

Open Houses If you would like to see SWS’s Reggioinspired classrooms in action, please come to

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{kids & family}

one of our two remaining open houses: Feb 8, 1011:30 a.m., and Feb 19, 9-11 a.m. 920 F St NE; schoolwithinschool.org

Brent Middle School News Information Night a Success On Wednesday, January 8, Brent hosted Middle School Information Night for families. Leadership from six local middle schools, Jefferson Middle School, Eliot-Hine, Stuart Hobson, Two Rivers, BASIS, and Capitol Hill Day School participated in a panel discussion and then allowed for individual parent questions and discussions.

Brent’s Spring Gala: March 29 Save the date for Brent’s incredible Spring Gala to be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014. This annual fundraising gala hosted by the Brent PTA offers superb food and wine, features live music and fabulous auction items such as vacations stays, artwork, dining gift certificates, and creative class baskets. Proceeds support music education, museum & field studies program, and teacher professional development. Come join this event and have a great night with Brent parents and community members. To purchase tickets, visit www. brentelementary.org. Denise Diggs, Brent Elementary, 301 North Carolina Ave SE, www.brentelementary.org.

CHDS 4th graders research Carver’s slave background, using primary resources. Photo Laura Nakatani, CHDS Faculty

Capitol Hill Day School CHDS Celebrates Black History Month Capitol Hill Day School celebrates Black History Month with a school-wide study of notable people (Langston Hughes, Katherine Dunham, Mae Jemison, Martin Luther King, Jr.) and events (50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the issues, music, and people of the Civil Rights Movement). This year, each grade group – Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School – will focus on different African American inventors, including: • Inventor, botanist, and chemist, George Washington Carver; • Native Washingtonian Dr. Shirley Jackson, who developed technological advances including the touch tone phone, caller ID and call waiting; and • Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught free African American scientist, surveyor, astronomer, almanac author, and farmer.

Summer Camp Registration Begins In spite of the winter weather, registration for CHDS Summer Camp 2014 is open! Go to www.chds.org/summercamp and check out our 45 one-week sessions for overnight camping, yoga, basketball, flag football, soccer, sailing, and tennis. We’ve partnered with the Corcoran Museum to offer Cartooning Comes to Life and Fashion Fit to Print, and with Digital Youth to offer Mod Design. Your child can “visit” France and Ireland, create a book or a delicious meal, conduct chemistry experiments, make jewelry, explore the world of Roald Dahl, and so much more! - Jane Angarola, CHDS, 210 South Carolina Ave, SE www.chds.org.

Payne students eaxploring the mobile drone station

Payne Elementary News Engineering Excitement with Drones The next generation of engineers, producers and aircraft pilots is being cultivated at Payne Elementary School! DCTV’s Robert “Mr. Bob” Thomas along with our male teachers and staff have partnered to create an all-male mentoring program for 4th and 5th grade boys. The group meets weekly for focused discussions, well as to plan for an annual culminating project. By the end of last school year, they developed and produced a 20-minute video highlighting the experience that aired daily on DCTV in July. Recently, the group hosted a mobile drone station that visited our campus. Students learned that the drones mounted on the truck were radio controlled airplanes, built from scratch with “open source” materials. The engineers operating the truck had built the drones themselves and explained to the group how that process worked. Students also learned aviation terms related to an aircraft’s movement including yaw (nose left or right about an axis running up and down), pitch (nose up or down about an axis from wing-to-wing) and roll (rotation about an axis from nose to tail) as they used the radio controls to operate the equipment and watch its movement on the computer monitors. With this unforgettable experience, axis is no longer just a vocabulary word learned in class, but one they will likely never forget. As you can imagine, the students have already started brainstorming ideas that they plan to use to make this year’s video project even better than their last. Stay tuned! - LaBone’ Workman, School Social Worker. Payne ES – 1445 C St, SE; Payneelementary.org

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Cesar Chavez PCS For Public Policy Founder named both Innovative Educator and 2013 Washingtonian Of The Year. On December 17th, Chavez Schools CEO and Founder Irasema Salcido was recognized by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) as the HHF Innovative Educator of the Year. Mrs. Salcido accepted the award as part of HHF’s annual Youth Awards. This ceremony marks the beginning of HHF’s “Actionable Leadership” cycle in which Youth Award recipients and other students are connected through the Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) program, which aids their transition from high school to college and grad school, and even into their careers. For 42 years, the Washingtonian magazine has honored local heroes who help make the Washington area a better place to live. Mrs. Salcido was one of twelve honored to receive the recognition for 2013. Chavez Schools are thrilled to have such a forward thinking and dedicated leader at our helm. Mrs. Salcido continues to pioneer in the fields of education and charter schools. These recognitions are a reminder of her invaluable accomplishments and contributions to the lives of students in DC. Read the full Washingtonian story: http:// www.washingtonian.com/packages/politicspersonalities/2013-washingtonians-of-the-year/ -Ashlee Lawson. Cesar Chavez PCS, 709 12th St, SW, www.chavezschools.org

Elsie Whitlow Stokes PCS Pre-K Program Expands Thanks to their new partnership with five other public charter schools to from the D.C. International School, Elsie Whitlow Stokes will be able to expand their Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes. This is possible because when DCI opens in August, the Elsie Whitlow Stokes 6th grade students will move over to the new facility. The space freed up by the move will enable the school to educate more Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students. This will help meet the high demand for the school. Last spring they had over 1,000 applicants for fewer than 35 spaces.

EWS is one of the few public charter schools that feature bilingual immersion. The school teaches its preschool through sixth grade students to speak, write, read, think and learn in two languages, either French and English or Spanish and English. All students will be automatically enrolled in French or Spanish immersion at the new DCI Public Charter School, which will enroll students from the sixth through the twelfth grade when it opens next school year. Stokes School is recognized by the D.C. Public Charter Board as one of 23 ‘Tier One,’ high performing public charter schools in the District. The school’s ranking is determined by such factors as student performance on the city’s standardized reading and math tests, student re-enrollment and student attendance. –Dan Cronin. Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School is located at 3700 Oakview Terrace, NE; www.ewstokes.org.

Friendship Collegiate Academy Student Earns Coveted Full-Ride College Scholarships Friendship Public Charter School is proud to announce that Collegiate Academy senior Brandon Iracks-Edelin has earned a Posse Scholarship. Brandon will attend Sewanee: The University of the South where he plans to study Business and Psychology. He is part of a growing list of Friendship students who have earned scholarships to attend colleges and universities including Columbia, Bucknell, University of Wisconsin and the University of Maryland. Posse recipients receive four-year full-tuition scholarships from colleges that partner with the Posse Foundation. In 2013, the Posse Foundation received over 15,000 nominations for 660 scholarship slots nationally. Since 1989, over 5500 Posse scholars have attended colleges and universities with a college graduation rate significantly higher than the national average. The on-time high school graduation rate at Friendship’s Collegiate Academy, a college preparatory public charter high school, on Minnesota Avenue in Northeast D.C. is 95 percent - 37 percentage points

higher than the graduation rate for D.C. Public Schools. And 100 percent of the graduating class is accepted to college. Friendship students have earned over $50 million in college scholarships. Collegiate Academy specializes in Advanced Placement courses and Early College, whereby students take college-level classes for college credit, often in partnership with the University of Maryland. –Dan Cronin. Friendship Collegiate Academy, 4095 Minnesota Avenue, NE. http://www. friendshipschools.org.

Eliot-Hine School Notes Frontage Vastly Improved Eliot-Hine’s doors and windows were the old opaque versions that we see at schools that have not yet been renovated. It’s a security issue as much as it is aesthetics – the old metal doors do not allow security to see what’s going on outside, or to see who is knocking. With the Navy Yard and other recent gun-related incidents on Capitol Hill, the long wait for replacement doors and windows became an urgent need, and parents were out of patience. At long last, the doors and transoms were replaced over the winter break. Please come for a Tuesday Tour (every Tues. from 9-10:30am and 1-3pm) and see through them for yourself! While there, learn about IB and what is expected (academically and behaviorally!) of an Eliot-Hine student.

CHCF Grants So many thanks for the thousands of dollars granted to Eliot-Hine’s wonderful programs – book club, the uniform bank, and the radio show – from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (chcfdc.

Eliot-Hine’s doors and windows are replaced at long last.

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org). With the funds received, the radio show broadcasts live at live365.com/profiles/tyoung1. They will also launch Eliot-Hine TV with their Jan. 22 interview of Kaya Henderson at 1:30pm. The uniform bank will give a boost to those in need, and the book club will keep readers reading, challenging them with texts outside of the regular curriculum. Please support the Capitol Hill Community Foundation – they in turn support all of us by strengthening the fabric of our neighborhoods. . - EH parent Heather Schoell. Eliot-Hine Middle School, 1830 Constitution Ave., NE. eliothinemiddleschool.org. @EliotHine, facebook.com/EliotHineMS

Maury Elementary News Shake Rattle and Roll Students in Pre-school through 1st grade are exploring all of the ways things move! From rolling to twisting, shaking to falling, all students have varied age-appropriate units to look carefully at the movement all around us. In Kindergarten, children are stretching their thinking about the way their musical instruments move by recording observations using words and pictures. Those in pre-school classes are also creating structures that are stable – or unstable. For more information about our science programs, please visit the Think Tank blog at http://maurythinktank.blogspot.com, where you can view short, stop-action animated videos produced by Maury students.

School Tour and Open House Families with an interest in elementary school options are invited to Maury ES on Wednesday, February 19, from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. They will have an opportunity to meet our energetic principal, experienced teachers and involved parents who work together to make Maury a great school! Learn about our curriculum, before and aftercare programs, extracurricular activities, and community partnerships. Arrive between 9 and 9:15 a.m. to take a guided tour of the school and see classes in action. Tours will conclude at 9:45 for a discussion and Q&A with the Principal until 10:30 a.m. Enter the school through the main doors on the 200 block of 13th Street, NE. No reservations are re-

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quired. - Elizabeth Nelson. Maury Elementary, 1250 Constitution Ave., NE.; mauryelementary. com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Friendship Public Charter School A Model for Urban Education At Friendship Public Charter School’s Chamberlain elementary and middle school campus on Potomac Avenue, in Southeast D.C., we celebrated an important milestone as we closed out last year. Our school was recognized as a Tier 1, high-performing school by D.C.’s Public Charter School Board—one of only 23 such schools to achieve that distinction. What we offer in our tuition-free and open enrollment campus is preparation for the rigor of a college education from the earliest age— preschool—through the eighth grade. In a safe and caring environment, for which the charter board rates us at 100 percent for attendance and 85 percent for re-enrollment, we believe that all of our children—with the right instruction and school culture—can succeed. Many of our students go on to high school at Friendship’s Collegiate Academy on Minnesota Avenue. In total, Collegiate Academy’s students have earned over $50 million in college scholarships, offering a free ride for many students to attend the university of their choice, and positioning them for successful professional careers. The District of Columbia recently agreed to provide funds for a career academy in information technology at Collegiate, and another in engineering at Friendship’s Technology Preparatory Academy, located on Martin Luther King Avenue in Congress Heights. Friendship’s Tech Prep opens in a new state-of-the-art facility next school year, with a $22 million dollar investment in a new campus. The campus will include a high-tech SMART lab, a robotics lab, two chemistry and two biology labs and a greenhouse. The school’s mission is to introduce students to 21st century skills in environmental sciences, engineering and technology, including computer-aided design, 3-D printing and gaming. Morrise Harbour, Principal at Friendship Public Charter School’s Chamberlain campus. u

Spring Training Begins! The Capitol Hill Little League is Gearing Up for Another Great Season


by Dave Kletzkin

t’s that time of year when we start thinking about peanuts and hot dogs, ground balls and home runs. Yes, we know the Nationals will be getting ready for their season down in Florida, but spring baseball is fast approaching for our little ones here in town. Pitchers and catchers report in less than 30 days. The Capitol Hill Little League is gearing up for another season of family friendly, yet competitive baseball and softball in the area. When we think of ‘little league’ we often think of just baseball, but softball has been growing in popularity in recent years. “We want to make it clear that softball is available for our youth,” says CHLL board member Seth Shapiro. The schedules now accommodate girls who want to play both softball and baseball. Capitol Hill Little League provides children from 6-13 years old (baseball) and 9-14 years old (softball) the opportunity to compete and learn the game. CHLL strives first and foremost to teach players not only the rules but to play the “right way” with honesty, sportsmanship, confidence, responsibility, perseverance and good judgment. The

league has also been great for parents as it provides the opportunity to make new friends of their own and to network in the community. Participation has grown from just 75 players to 450 in the last six years. In an effort to accommodate Little Leaguers’ desire to play with their classmates, and to ease the burden on parents, Little League has amended its residency requirements to allow children to play in the local league whose boundaries are either where they live or where they attend school. Registration is open now and will continue until February 26 for the Majors division, and March 12 for every other division including Softball. Divisions are determined by age and are co-ed. For a full list of divisions and requirements, check out the CHLL website at chlldc.org/divisions. Members of the CHLL are focused on getting their numbers up to the critical point where they can isolate age groups that play best together (not having wide ranges on the same team). Another concern is the lack of playing fields. Parents and members of the board of CHLL are renewing their efforts to find local fields for their children to play on and are embarking on a CHLL Capital Campaign, with the immediate goals of cutting new baseball fields and making other capital improvements, to give crucial new practice and playing capacity.

Jump Start & Ages 2 - Late Teens

Jump Start DC

For DC camps, call (202) 470-4185 and for Maryland camps, (301) 493-0023 Now accepting lottery enrollment until March 3, 2014. Apply online at www.chcns.us We are celebrating 35 years of our incredible teacher - Ms. Frances who, along with our co-op parents and guardians, has been growing independent, well-socialized, playful yet respectful, and well-loved 3-year olds for more than 3 decades. Come learn more about CHCNS and the magic of Ms. Frances at our February Open House. Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 from 4:00-5:30pm in our Watkins classroom.

Our school operates within Watkins Elementary School, 420 12th Street SE, Classroom 109.

For more information please visit the CHLL website at chlldc. org u

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{home & garden}

MANTS Means Plants What’s New for 2014 by Cheryl Corson, RLA, ASLA


e shop for plants and pots locally at Frager’s and Ginkgo Gardens, but when buyers from these and other garden centers think spring, they head to MANTS for inspiration. MANTS is the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show held each January in Baltimore. It’s huge – over 1,000 wholesale exhibitors attend. Designers usually bring an empty rolling suitcase to carry all the wholesale catalogs we’ll take home for use throughout the coming year to help select plants for our clients’ gardens. When you wander through the plantfilled booths it’s striking how many plant growers and wholesalers are small, family-run operations. The nursery trade may be the last of the true independent industries, though this is changing with the 1992 launch of the national grower/merchandiser giant, Proven Winners. Still, this work, as any gardener knows, is a labor of love. Most of the plants we buy in DC were not grown too far away, and designers and retailers are on a first name basis with most suppliers. So when we ask them what’s new for 2014, it’s easy to trust what we hear.

Color and Size

Giant boxwoods were trucked from Georgia to MANTS

Proven Winners polls over half a million gardeners, customers, and writers annually about their flower color preferences in marketing efforts worthy of Paris fashion week.

This is important for retailers and interesting for the rest of us. And the winner is…purple, every year for the past five years. Down from 36% in 2009 to 27% last year, purple still is the clear favorite flower color, followed by blue, at 20%. We seem to favor the hot colors a little less, with pink and red weighing in at 15% and 13% respectively. My favorites, yellow, orange, and coral, trail behind at 7%, 5% and 5%. And white brings up the rear with only 2% identifying it as their favorite flower color. However, leaving white out of a flowering perennial bed is a big omission, because white flowers provide contrast needed to make the other colors pop. And with a garden heavy on blues and purples, a little yellow or white goes a long way to bring out the depth of those beloved cool hues. Size matters too, especially for the typical postage stamp sized Capitol Hill garden. There are some plants that only used to come in their natural Extra Large size, that are being bred into ever smaller versions. Of the new diminutive varieties, some of the more interesting are flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), a dense spherical boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) by Proven Winners called North Star, and a new dwarf ninebark ((Physocarpus opulifolius) also by Proven Winners called Tiny Wine that only reaches three or four feet. The quince Double Take promises a maximum height of five feet. If you’re with me on

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loving orange, try Double Take ‘Orange Storm’ (though ‘Pink Storm’ and ‘Scarlet Storm’ are also available). You can look up details on these and other plants at www.provenwinners.com.

We Love Hydrangeas When Proven Winners analyzed the web searching habits of American plant consumers, they found that hydrangeas were the number one mostGoogled plant. One wholesaler at MANTS told me that recently, sales of ‘Endless Summer,’ a re-blooming big leaf hydrangea, made his entire year profitable. Indeed, this fairly new hydrangea development has been revolutionary. If you’re getting the idea that these plants are increasingly patented, trademarked and registered, you are correct. That may be the subject of a future article, but for now, you can read up on reblooming hydrangeas at www. endlesssummerblooms.com. The oakleaf hydrangea ‘Queen of Hearts’ was featured front and center at the United States National Arboretum’s MANTS booth. It is a brand new introduction and you may request it from your retail garden center if they haven’t already gotten on the bandwagon. Here is what our neighbor, the National Arboretum, has to say about it: “’Queen of Hearts’ is from a 1998 hybridization of cultivars ‘Snow Queen’ and ‘Pee Wee’, released by the U.S. National Arboretum’s shrub breeding program in McMinnville, Tennessee in 2013. In early summer, ‘Queen of Hearts’

New introductions like this carex are patented and trademarked.

is covered with 9” long inflorescences [read ‘flowers’] that are held upright above the foliage. Flowers open white and then slowly age to a deep pink color. Flowers open 7-10 days later than standard oakleaf hydrangeas and inflorescences remain attractive after those of other cultivars have faded. Plants grow 6.5’ tall by 9’ wide after ten years.” If this sounds like the plant’s lineage is akin to that of a race horse or show dog, it is. We have come a long way from generations ago when news of a special hydrangea growing in someone’s yard spread by word of mouth, and may or may not have eventually resulted in making it to market. And with field trials lasting fifteen years, it’s understandable that genetic lines would be carefully tracked and guarded. Such is the modern world of plant breeding.

And the Winner Is… The plant community has many organizations that bestow annual awards on plants that are equivalent to the Golden Globes, Oscars, Grammys and Tonys. In the plant world you will find winners of awards from the Royal Horticultural Society, American Academy of Floriculture, National Garden Bureau, and Perennial Plant Association and more. But since many of us are keenly interested in perennials, let’s take a look at the 2014 Perennial Plant of the Year, Panicum virgatum ‘North Wind’. Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ was runner up in 2012, but finally took the prize this year. It is a North American native switchgrass growing 4’-5’ tall, whose key attribute that it stays upright throughout the winter. An

aside, please don’t make the mistake of cutting your grasses down in fall. Winter interest is precisely why people grow grasses. It’s sad to see cropped grasses cut by well-meaning landscape crews in the fall. They look awful plus panicums and other tall grasses provide winter cover for birds. So take a look online at ‘Northwind’ switchgrass, our 2014 all-star.

More than Plants at MANTS Makers of planters, fountains, and garden garb also show at MANTS. I snagged a pair of apple green washable leather gloves by Angela’s Garden that you would hardly know were garden gloves if not for the padded palms. The “Sally” planter on wheels by Marchioro with the built in water reservoir also caught my eye, as well as the outdoor wood fired oven from Capitol Hardscapes named “The Cypress.” The Sally planter comes in two heights and has an optional snap-on trellis that would be perfect for growing herbs and edibles in Capitol Hill gardens. The outdoor oven kit is for the serious cook, and comes with all the bells and whistles. Trying to get through MANTS in a day is like a foreign tourist planning to see the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the Empire State Building in a week, not easy, but fun to try. And if you didn’t see enough, plan an August trip to the Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show - PANTS.


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Cheryl Corson is a local landscape architect who designed her first Capitol Hill garden in 1998. About the only shopping she enjoys is for plants, pots, and rocks. Cheryl Corson Design, LLC: www.cherylcorson.com; 202-494-5054. u

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Terrace Confidential by Derek Thomas


here has been a surge in green roofs in Washington. These roofs are designed to absorb rainwater and provide insulation. While not technically green roofs, the roof top garden is becoming more popular as roofs are being rethought. Roof top decks once stark or only reserved for the grill are receiving irrigation and lush green plants. The garden room is moving up, and these “gardens in the sky” are quickly becoming a logical addition to homes that are challenged to find adequate garden space. Inspiration for your roof top garden may come best from folks who have been working their roof tops for decades and have the craft of roof tops gardens streamlined and perfected. Here we will look to New York.

New York Roof Gardens For many a trip to NYC is one to take in a show, shop, or check out the hundreds of New York attractions. Rarely do you think of lounging in a private garden setting while having lunch or the afternoon tea. Privacy anywhere outdoors in The City is difficult if not impossible. Even the roof top gardens that lucky New Yorkers enjoy are for the most part congested by other build-

ings blocking any hopes of true privacy. This is why I was excited to be invited to see a truly unique New York roof garden. The uniqueness lies in the multi-exposure, wrap-around nature of this fantastic New York terrace.

A Terrace Confidential Since 1986, Kathy and Mike Halloran have called midtown Manhattan home. Their home on East 55th and 1st Ave. has grown since they first moved in. When their next-door neighbor decided to sell, Mike and Kathy jumped at the chance to expand both indoors and out. Kathy says, “The outdoor spaces were a must because I enjoy being with nature and have to have time outdoors. If these spaces were not available, we would have moved to Connecticut a long time ago. In fact while growing up I always had a garden, and I always had to be in it.” This is the heartfelt reason of how their unique wrap-around patio came to be. Though their spaces are three interesting and unique outdoor rooms, there is a sense of the gardens being connected. From every room inside, one feels able to “reach” outside to the gardens. The main terrace is a wonderful area for outdoor dining and entertaining. There is mature maple that provides rich deep red leaves in summer and stark architectural branches in winter. The pear tree produces large, organic pears in late summer and fall, a container vegetable garden provides multiple harvests, while the hydrangeas vie with the window box annuals for prominence in July’s sultry evening sun. Off of the living room is a private garden room for two. The plants here are two elegant boxwoods in large decorative Lush landscapes surround you on the main terrace patio area.

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A quaint dining area for two with a priceless skyline backdrop.

planters. The space is quaint yet vast due to the dramatic skyline in the backdrop. The back patio is accessed through a rear window and is a interesting meditative space. The pair has chosen the multi-patterned leaves of coleus to add color and depth to this quiet garden room. Their gardens provide year round interest and enjoyment. “I find that it gives us 12 months of pleasure. Many friends have thanked us for the gardens. They say it offers them a bit of nature in the craziness we call New York City,” said Kathy. In a garden like theirs there is a constant process of editing and reevaluating though a wonderful garden there is always something that

Mike and Kathy Halloran enjoy their outdoor roof spaces throughout the year.

must be done. “The plants must deliver or out you are,” said Mike. During the depths of January the couple break out the garden catalogues and begin to plan for spring. Kathy says it is a simply a wonderful way to pass the garden year, living in the urban jungle with the spoils of a great terrace garden.

A terrace for you I enjoy going to New York almost as much as I enjoy being a gardener. I am often there to see how people who have less space make their gardens work. On Capitol Hill we have the luxury of land and our roof top terraces are still for

the most part a voluntary endeavor. However, as we build condos, and divide row houses into multi-units, roof top gardens and terraces may become more the norm and we will begin to enjoy with increasing frequency the craft of terrace gardens. Derek Thomas is principal of Thomas Landscapes. His garden designs have been featured on HGTV’s Curb Appeal, and Get It Sold. His weekly garden segment can be seen on WTTG/Fox 5 in Washington. He can be reached at www.thomaslandscapes.com or 301.642.5182. You can find and friend us on Facebook at Facebook/Thomas Landscapes. Follow us on Twitter @ThomasGardenGuy For Great Garden Tips. u

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Dear Garden Problem Lady, by Wendy Blair Is it normal to have daffodils coming up during short thaws in December and January? Mine are up and confused. This winter has been a real challenge for daffodils – but they usually manage somehow. Our witch-hazel is starting to bloom, but it is a bit hidden among shrubs. I do not wish to move the shrubs. Can I do anything to give more of a spotlight to this glorious February bloomer? Witch-hazels are stunning but need to be seen up close. After yours blooms, try to transplant it into a pot. If it dies, buy another. You can move the pot closer to your windows for its close-up. Wondering about crocuses – when to plant which ones – the spring blooming ones and the fall blooming ones. And, while you’re at it, what is the difference between the two other than different bloom times? Both types of crocus look alike and come in many different sizes and colors. But they are quite different. Autumn crocus – colchicum autumnale – belongs to the lily family. Spring crocus belongs to the iris family. Plant autumn crocus in summer, mulched or perhaps among ground cover such as Pachysandra, to help it stand up. Plant spring crocus later, in mid to late fall. The other big difference is that autumn crocus does come up in the spring with wispy foliage but does not bloom then, and soon its leaves disappear. When it comes up to bloom in September it has no leaves at all, only flowers. Hence its folk name, “Naked Lady”.

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My very knowledgeable friend told me that my back yard needs a “borrowed landscape”. I thought it was an insult, and neglected to pursue the topic. Now I wonder – what might he have meant? Your friend was being witty, and perhaps did not mean to be stinging. Asian landscapers try, if they are lucky, to use scenery outside the edges of a garden to “frame” it. The foreground close to your house might consist of your own attractive plantings. The middle ground might consist of a barrier such as a fence or hedge. And the background, or “borrowed landscape”, might be some attractive feature beyond your property – a tree or forest, a distant mountain, or perhaps an ocean view. Luck is needed for this to work, something hardly within your control. Capitol Hill Garden Club meetings are free and open to all, on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Brethren, 4th Street door, corner North Carolina Avenue and 4th Street, SE. Membership details are at 202-544-4261. On Tuesday, February 11 2014 Diana Cull, a prominent expert on the ancient art of Ikebana, will demonstrate and answer questions on this much admired Japanese style of flower arranging. Feeling beset by gardening problems? Send them to the Problem Lady c/o The Capitol Hill Garden Club at andrew@hillrag. com. Your problems might prove instructive to others, and help them feel superior to you. Complete anonymity is assured. u


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This is a special home delivery of The Hill Rag, Capitol Hill’s own community newspaper for the past 37 years. In case you haven’t seen a copy in a while, the paper is full of news about everything going on on Capitol Hill, from real estate to school news, businesses opening to dining reviews, home and garden tips to movie reviews. Published the first week of every month, you can pick it up at any of the locations listed on the back of this flyer. During the month you can catch up on what’s going on by visiting our website at www.hillrag.com. And sign up for daily emails or tweets listing breaking news on the website.

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February 2014 ★ 157

{the last word}

Setting The Record Straight on The Virginia Avenue Tunnel

There are many reasons to have major concerns about the proposed project to rebuild the CSX Rail Virginia Avenue Tunnel: the potential social, economic, and health impacts of a huge construction project at the edge of a swatch of residential neighborhoods, businesses, and recreational areas are numerous. ANC6B voiced its concerns, asked for mitigations, and requested compensating benefits in its letter in response to the NEPA draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released last year. Many other government agencies, organizations, and individuals did the same. Next step in this process: release of a Final EIS in which the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will put forward a “preferred alternative” which could be the one of the 3 proposed build alternatives or the no-build alternative... or a hybrid. Meanwhile, a group is working in opposition on the outside of this formal study process. In promoting a 1/16 community meeting with Mayor Gray, the group raised the following 5 concerns: “presence of 8,000 square feet of asbestos, hazardous materials transport and risk of derailment similar to Willard Ohio and Casselton North Dakota, more than five-fold increase in permanent structural vibration to area buildings, potential for stalled development during the projected 4-6 year construction time frame, and disruptive traffic congestion and closure of area streets and highway ramps.” I respond to all of these claims below. First, the group doesn’t make it clear what their aim is in raising these and other concerns. Is it to: (1) stop the project from going forward, (2) force the adoption of an alternative removed from consideration, or (3) what? And, if they don’t get whatever it is they want, will they file a suit against the FEIS, dragging out this multi-year process for

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a couple of more years? Meanwhile, development in a part of ANC6B--the Lower 8th--continues to languish, awaiting the final decision on the tunnel project. Meanwhile, west of the Lower 8th, where most of the opposition resides, an unabated fast pace of development is predicted by the Capitol Riverfront BID Annual Report 2013, apparently despite the tunnel project. Those stridently opposed to the project have an absolute right to conduct a politicized campaign. It’s quite understandable they want to voice concerns as some live on the “front lines” of this project. But, I don’t have to agree with the way their leadership is using and perpetuating misinformation about the project. What is the implied fear about asbestos all about? This one seems irrelevant given that there are standard protocols these days for removing asbestos to prevent airborne releases. What 5-fold increase in vibration? Turns out the group has hired its own expert who came up with this claim. Where’s the report? It isn’t readily available on their website. Does the DEIS say traffic will be disrupted? Yes. Does the study propose a plan to mitigate that disruption? Yes. Is it perfect? No. But, aside from 2nd Street, all north/south crossings of Virginia Avenue will remain open during construction. Will these streets be closed occasionally and for short periods of time? Yes. Will the I-695 exit ramp at 6th Street and on ramp at 8th Street be closed for the duration? No. Will each have to be closed for a short time while decking is installed at these intersections with Virginia Avenue? Yes. Does the DEIS show special lanes to be set up to provide continuing access for residences and businesses in close proximity to the construction area? Yes. Will those be refined in the final Maintenance of Traffic Plan? Yes.

Clarity on the Proposed Alternatives Another bit of misinformation heard repeated at the 1/16 meeting (and earlier at the Congresswoman Norton meeting in November) is that all proposed build alternatives involve train service running through an open trench during construction. Not (exactly) true. While all 3 involve open trench construction, in 1 of the 3 alternatives, trains would operate along (all but 230 feet of track) in an enclosed tunnel during

construction. Estimated project duration for this alternative is 2.5 to 3.5 years. But, opponents argue against this alternative because of those 230 feet of open trench train operation, which are at a point at which trains today enter and exit through the west portal of the tunnel. ANC6B in its letter on the DEIS did not choose among the alternatives, realizing that all 3 build alternatives involve tradeoffs. We noted the pros and cons of each alternative and asked for a hybrid. The opponents claim that an alternative during which train traffic is rerouted elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region during construction would result in a quicker reconstruction. In a technical document, the DEIS estimates this alternative would take 2.5 years for construction but the start of the project would be delayed for months to set up all the routing agreements so the project would not conclude much earlier than 2 proposed alternatives. The DEIS also details complexities of rerouting freight trains along specific routes and the impacts on other communities that rerouting might cause.

Hazardous Materials Among the concerns of trains running through an open trench, is the issue of hazardous materials transported by CSX. This issue has long predated the discussions about rebuilding the tunnel. And, like many controversies of this nature, I doubt it will or should be settled by this study. Considerable hazardous materials transportation occurs in the open today in the project area by rail and highway vehicles and the tunnel project won’t change that. And, trucks carry unknown quantities of hazardous materials along I-695 (parallel to Virginia Avenue) since it is the designated route for all hazardous materials road transport through DC. Nationally, by the way, trucks carried 53.9 percent of hazardous material shipments by ton in 2007 while rail carried 5.8 percent. The alarms being raised on hazardous materials are diverting attention away from other more probable problems an open trench under 2 of 3 alternatives might cause.

Rail Accidents It is highly unlikely that a “derailment similar to Casselton ND” could occur along Virginia Avenue since CSX does not haul single commodity tank

car trains through this area like the one that caused that accident. Data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) don’t appear to say that CSX is particularly accident prone. In 2012, CSX reported 221 accidents or 10.6 percent of the total number of accidents by all freight and passenger railroads. (That’s a list of 36 railroads plus an “Other” category that had 284 accidents in 2012.) Among the 5 major U.S. freight railroads (as defined by the American Association of Railroads), CSX stacks up as third in number of accidents behind Burlington Northern Santa Fe (428) and Union Pacific (564). Norfolk Southern comes in at (191) and Kansas City Southern (37). But, counts are not good for comparisons. Accident numbers need to be normalized in some way to account for differences in operations. FRA converts the data into ‘accidents/1 million train miles’ for each railroad. Here’s how the 5 line up using that measure: Norfolk Southern (2.02), CSX (2.12), BNSF (2.18), Kansas City (2.99), Union Pacific (3.06). [Caution: Railroad accident statistics can be quite complicated to work with as there are many variables and caveats. None of the data here, for instance, include accidents at highway crossings.]

Accidents Involving Hazardous Materials Two of CSX’s accidents in 2012 resulted in the release of hazardous materials from 2 cars and caused the evacuation of 106 persons. Two comparisons: Norfolk Southern had 2 hazardous materials releasing accidents in 2012; they involved 4 cars and 154 persons were evacuated. The same year, Union Pacific had 6 such accidents involving 9 cars in which 3 persons were evacuated. Between 2005 and 2012, CSX has reported 8 train accidents in DC, none of which involved hazardous materials releases. CSX did have a train derailment in a rail yard near Baltimore in 2013 that involved the release of hazardous materials; 24 persons were evacuated. This project is so complex with any number of interrelated impacts: noise, vibration, air pollution, traffic, and even rats. It can be hard to grasp it all. And, it certainly cannot be explained in sound bites. Read through comments on the DEIS submitted by many agencies and organizations and you will find an amazing overlapping of concerns

and questions. In addition, there are some unique issues being raised, given the varied expertise of commentators. All of these are excellent contributions toward making the FEIS a major improvement over the DEIS. In the end, the FEIS may improve our comfort level about this project but it will never satisfy everyone. It might help alleviate some concerns, though, if DDOT and FHWA more thoroughly explain all the pros and cons of a temporary reroute option that was taken ‘off the table’ in the DEIS.

(accidents/1 million train miles) USDOT, FRA, Office of Safety Analysis, 1.03 Overview Charts by Railroad.

(hazardous materials accidents) USDOT, FRA, Office of Safety Analysis, 1.01 Accident/Incident Overview.

(Accidents in DC) USDOT, FRA, Office of Safety Analysis, 1.05 Accident/Incident Overview Charts by State.

ANC Commission Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04) – kirsten6b04@anc6b.org

(National Hazardous Materials Shipments) USDOT, RITA/Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Special Report: Hazardous Materials Highlights—2007 Commodity Flow Survey.

American Association of Railroads, North American Freight Statistics, April 17, 2013, page 2. Available at https://www.aar.org/StatisticsAndPublications/Documents/AARStats-2013-07-09.pdf

Data References: The “home” of Federal rail statistics is at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Safety Analysis. There you can make hundreds of different queries, slicing data this way and that. I found, however, that different queries for the same bit of data do not always generate the same number. (2012 accident data): U.S. Department of Transportation DOT), FRA, Railroad Safety Statistics, 2012 Preliminary Annual Report, October 24, 2013, Table 5-1. Available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/publicsite/Prelim.aspx

Bomb Trains

People call them bomb trains: highly flammable oil from the Bakken Fields in North Dakota shipped by rail across North America. A spate of derailments and fires on the rails have concerned federal regulators that this particular

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oil is extremely flammable and corrosive to the tank cars used to transport it. On December 30th, just outside Casselton, ND, two trains collided, spilling nearly half a million gallons of crude. But last summer, the residents of Lac-Megantic, Canada were not so lucky, when a train carrying crude oil derailed and laid waste to half the downtown, killing 47 people. An accident of that magnitude in our own Virginia Avenue Tunnel would reach the Capitol Complex. Such incidents, and the potential for “major loss of life,” led the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that highly flammable materials, including crude oil and ethanol, be re-routed away from “populated and other sensitive areas,” something CSX has so far refused to do. In recent community meetings, CSX representatives pushing the expansion of the Virginia Avenue rail tunnel here in the Capitol Hill neighborhood have waved away hazmat concerns, insisting they just bring “household goods” through DC and “don’t anticipate” bringing “unit trains” of crude through our densely populated community less than a mile from the Capitol. While we’ve not seen crude-only (“unit”) trains, CSX admitted, when pressed by residents, that it has shipped crude through DC, the crude it “typically” moves is this more flammable Bakken crude, and there is no limit on the amount they could ship through our community. In January, CEO Michael Ward told his shareholders they plan a 50% increase in crude shipments in 2014 alone. One key east coast destination for all of this crude appears to be a new crude-by-rail terminal at Yorktown, VA, served exclusively by CSX, which could accommodate up to 800 unit trains of crude per year (an average of over 200 tanker cars daily), and according to CSX maps, one route from Bakken to Yorktown runs through DC. The larger Capitol Hill community deserves to know how much crude oil could come through our neighborhood – especially given CSX‘s current proposal to run even more trains than it does now, in an open trench on temporary tracks, during the entire proposed multi-year tunnel expansion phase. Even if CSX intersperses other commodities on trains carrying crude, any burning tanker cars would be devastating to our community. Anya Landau French – anyakarina@icloud.com u

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Thank You

DCSafeRail would like to thank the 400+ OF YOU who attended the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel meeting with Mayor Gray on January 16th. As you know, the citizens of the District deserve better than enduring a 3-5+ year project that endangers our health, safety, and security without providing any benefit to the District in return. We already live with risks. We’re asking Mayor Gray to not allow CSX to exponentially raise those risks. We told the mayor on January 16th and we’ll tell him again here…Mayor Gray, you must direct the District Department of Transportation to choose the ‘NO BUILD’ option. You can learn more about the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion project at www.DCSafeRail. org. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/DCSafeRail. Follow us on Twitter at @DCSafeRail. View video clips of important meetings on our YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/DCSR-YT. Maureen Cohen Harrington DC Safe Rail

Say No To CSX

When someone decides to renovate their business – say, a coffee shop – to improve service, and ultimately to improve their profits over the long term, they expect to underwrite some losses during the renovation period. They typically either need to temporarily close the shop, or relocate to temporary space, sometimes even renting from a competitor with similar infrastructure. But for the proposed Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion project, CSX is proposing the opposite: Not only is CSX proposing not to reduce their capacity or reroute during construction, they are actually proposing to increase their capacity (and their profits) through the construction site right next to homes, offices, senior housing, a community garden, a highway and a children’s playground, while the proposed expansion work is underway. How will they do this? By taking over government land that they do not own adjacent to the construction site, for free. That’s the equivalent of a business, as part of their expansion plan, kicking out the business next door. Or a family kicking the neighbors out

so they can live next door while they’re renovating. Only, in this case, it’s not simply that CSX would be taking over DC taxpayer-owned land to increase their profits. They’re proposing to dramatically increase the risk to the neighborhood, the city, and the heart of the Federal government by running larger, faster trains, through an active construction site, on temporary tracks – which are known to not be built to industry standards for safety. When people talk about getting railroaded, this is what they mean. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our Mayor, City Council, Delegate in Congress, ANC commissioners, and every candidate running for every one of these offices can and will be expected to do their part. We elect our officials to fight for us, not for CSX profits. That means fighting for a real discussion of the need for this expansion and its impacts on the region’s commuter and freight infrastructure. It means fighting for an honest and thorough assessment of the cumulative health, safety, environmental and quality of life impacts and risks. And, if the project is truly worth doing, then our elected officials must demand meaningful and accountable mitigation, including, at a minimum, temporary rerouting of freight during construction. Absent each of these steps, our leaders must stand up for our city and its residents and insist on the “No Build” option. #MayorNoBuild Brandon Parker – Virginia Avenue Resident u

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{the nose}

by Anonymous


ue to the cold snap, The Nose has fled to his hidey-hole where the whiskey is delicious and the takeout soulful. Slightly tipsy late one recent evening, he lay on the couch, his redbone coonhound Dixie warming his feet, pondering the fate of our fair metropolis. Suddenly, much as Paul saw the cross that fateful evening centuries ago, The Nose had an epiphany while staring at the ceiling. The central question of the 2014 mayoral contest is not gentrification, urban growth, unemployment, affordable housing or education. These shibboleths have long ceased to fire the electorate’s limited imagination. Rather, let us take ‘transformative politics’ seriously and ask ourselves, “What would Andy do?” Put on your imagination caps, Dear Readers, and join The Nose in some unspecified future dimension in which Andy “Barrista” Shallal holds dominion over The Wilson Building. Walking in on the first day of a Shallal raj, one notices an array of large photos on the wall. It is a rogue gallery of radicals. Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Angela Davis. They adorn an entryway blessedly free of metal detectors. Rather, a smartly dressed young woman behind the desk asks politely, “Do you and your party wish to be escorted to your destination?” Up the stairs on the right is elegantly appointed cafe. This oasis combines the serving of snacks and lattes with the social mission of training the unemployable. On the top shelf behind the bar to The Nose’s delight are stronger medicinal remedies. Andy shares The Nose’s faith in the efficacy of caffeine and alcohol. After fortifying his constitution with the appropriate poisons, The Nose is escorted upstairs through hallways filled with the soft melodies of Trane and Johnny Hartman. He walks carefully to avoid tripping over the backpacks and power cords of the many new millennial employees of the District government sitting in armchairs, faces lit by the glow of their laptops and iPads, ears plugged into buds.

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Glancing into a conference room, The Nose is regaled by a bureaucrat extolling the advantages of a new municipal app in the dulcet tones of spoken poetry. So, excuse The Nose for not believing “the hype.” With apologies to Public Enemy, here is a rap for the Shallal utopia: Back, caught you voting for the same thing It’s a new thing, check out the lattes I bring Uhh, oh, the roll below the Beltway, cause I’m campaigning low Next to Kojo, (C’mon!), turn up the radio They claiming I’m marginal But now I wonder how, some people never know That voter could be my friend, guardian I’m not a Virginian, I rock District elections and Clear all the crassness, I’m not here to gentrify Number one, never on run, leave Che to the guns, Listening to my opponents I wish I had one The minute they see me, fear me I’m the epitome, a public enemy Enthused, infused when others make you snooze I refuse to blow a fuse Let them see my face on the news Don’t believe the hype, it’s not a sequel As an equal can I get this through to you In the evenings debaters are scared of me Cause I’m mad, plus I’m the enemy Word to Tommy, yo if you can’t swing this Learn the words, you might sing this The meaning of all of that, most media is the wack Some writers I know are damn devils For them I say, don’t believe the hype (Yo Tom, they must be on the pipe, right?) Their pens and pads I’ll snatch cause I’ve had it I’m not a addict fiending for static I’ll see their tape recorder and I grab it No, you can’t have it back, I’m on the ballot I’m going to my media assassin, Chuck -- I gotta ask him Yo Chuck, you were commentator, are we that type? Don’t believe the hype! Can the man who merchandized radicalism to sell lattes really change the face of District politics? Have a comment for The Nose, email thenose@hillrag.com u

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