Wednesday, February 28, 2007
"A bill that would ban the sale of single cans and bottles of beer in parts of Northwest Washington got new life yesterday."
Apparently a federal appellate panel ruled in favor of the DC government against two businesses wishing to sell single beers. The bill was passed by the councilman Fenty in 2004 but never took effect because of the court case, reports Elissa Silverman of the Washington Post.
The ban should affect 73 liquor stores in Ward 4. It is not clear to me when it will be applied. I say the sooner the better!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Now if we could just catch a cab from Petworth...
[Ed. note: disclaimer, I realize not all cab drivers behaved this way, I realize I am generalizing, but for the most part based on my personal experiences it used to be a real pain in the ass catching a cab to Petworth and it is nearly impossible to catch one from Petworth.]
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Mr. Milligan grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and graduated from LSU with a degree in accounting. He worked for Exxon Mobile for over 20 years and was known as "the fix it man." Mr. Milligan is an expert in "process reengineering." He moved to Ward 4 in 1994 and lives in the Shepherd Park neighborhood. He got interested in the race for city council because he said "I'm going to live and die in ward 4 and I love ward 4 and Washington DC." Currently, Artee J. Milligan is Executive Director of Metropolitan/Delta Adult Literacy Council. He has been in this position for the past 4 years and is very proud of his record of graduating 30 students per year. His organization helps students who drop out of the public school system to achieve their GED and if they desire to attend a community or 4 year college.
Mr. Miligan explained that he feels the pulse of ward 4 residents and he will use his record of success and hard work to make sure that "we are making the community better."
Speaking of Domku, Mr. Milligan explained that "these are the kinds of places we want in Ward 4." He continued, "ward 4 is missing the right kind of retail development." He seeks to encourage development whereby everyone benefits. He hopes that this development will keep tax dollars in DC as well as create jobs for its residents. He cited living in a low density environment as one benefit of living in Ward 4. "We need to manage our density to retain our quality of life," he explained. He hopes to guide this development as a representative of Ward 4 by providing "extraordinary customer service." Milligan explained, "I know that residents want clean streets, safe communities and the right kind of development...people won't have to call me to get these things done because I will already be working on them and they will happen automatically."
I recounted a story to Mr Milligan about a car that pulled up in my alley blasting music while its passengers relieved themselves against a garage. I asked him what was the appropriate response. Mr. Milligan suggested that I call 311 because long term data would be compiled that could be used by the police later on. The theme of data collection and analysis was one that emerged throughout our discussion. Mr. Milligan was actually quite passionate in his response, insisting that our alleys are not properly maintained and patrolled at present.
Milligan does not support Mayor Fenty's plan to take over the public school system. He believes that the mayor and council should focus on improving after school programs, improving early childhood development and ensure that test scores and graduation rates improve. Ed. Note: I have to admit, Mr. Milligan cited a number of statistics here to back his claims but quite frankly I couldn't write them down that fast, but his access to these statistics were quite impressive to a layperson like myself. Milligan believes that Dr. Janney and Robert Bobb should be given the chance to succeed before they are judged. He has a lot of faith in those two gentlemen. If they do not succeed then they should of course be held accountable. Finally, Mr. Milligan was adamant that no vote should take place on Fenty's plan before a ward 4 representative is elected. Milligan explained that there is just too much at stake in this matter for ward 4 not to be represented.
Mr. Milligan summed up the solution in one word: jobs. Then another word: opportunity. He cited more statistics here about DC unemployment jumping to 6.3% coinciding with an increase in crime this past January. Quite simply Milligan explained that more jobs equals less crime and more opportunity equals less petty crime. He believes the issue of crime is closely tied to the education system. He explained that the city needs to invest more in technical and vocational training to provide opportunities to its residents. As a councilmember Milligan said he would push for greater funding and explained that "just because a student drops out of the public school system doesn't mean that the city is no longer responsible for that student." He told me that 75% of those folks in prison do not have a high school diploma. He believes if we can give these residents opportunities they will then have something at stake in the community and "those with a stake in the community don't go to jail."
When asked about community policing Milligan said that he would like to see it on a routine basis and not just as "a flavor of the month" like when a murder is committed. He says that community policing is not a panacea rather it will tax a mix of initiatives to reduce crime.
He believes the Mission Shelter should stay where it is on 14th Street. He believes that the Petworth community does not seek this type of development.
Old Soldiers and Sailors Home
Milligan believes that the local ANCs should help design and shape the development that will occur in the old soldier's home. He did, however, emphasize the importance of affordable housing which he explained was a quality of life issue. He would like to see affordable housing for our first responders and teachers. He said the development is a good thing when everyone benefits not just the wealthy. With affordable housing providing living accomodations for cops, firefighters and teachers then they will have a greater stake in their job as well. He explained that there was a big difference when people live and work in the same community rather than working in DC and going home to Virginia or Maryland.
Mr. Milligan was joined by his campaign manager, Devlin Hilman who incidentally was wearing a matching yellow snow cap. Mr. Hilman is a 100% volunteer as is all of his staff. He explained that his volunteer staff is the equivalent of a six figure campaign war chest. However, he explained that this race is all about filling Mayor Fenty's shoes and that he knows he can get the job done. He does not believe that any campaign should be excluded just because they haven't raised a certain number of funds. He was very proud of the committed staff that he had assembled. Having said this, Mr. Devlin reminded Mr. Milligan that today was his 51st birthday. To celebrate his 51st birthday he will gladly accept $51 campaign contributions.
Last great book read: The Four Agreements about life experiences and being able to accomplish anything you want to. Mr. Milligan did say that he also reads lots of statistic based articles. "An article that has a lot of data really gets my blood flowing because inside the data is the way to make our lives better." said Milligan.
Musical taste: He likes everything except heavy metal. Last music he listened to was Prince's new album but he enjoys a wide variety.
Last great movie: Crash
I was extremely impressed with Mr. Milligan. He was sharp and he certainly knew his statistics. I'm sorry I couldn't do justice to all the statistics he cited. Whether we discussed, schools or crime or the homeless shelter, he did not hesitate in responding and provided very clear and consise answers peppered with supporting data. I also liked his comments about development and the importance of not losing our low population density. My only concern is that he came off a little bit like a calculating businessman. He was a little detached from some of the issues where I would have liked to have seen a bit more passion. Nevertheless, even if detached he certainly appeared to know what he was talking about.
To learn more you can visit his website at http://milliganforward4.com/
Location: 5th and Quincy
Duration: 2 1/2 years
Backstory: moved from Hampton Roads but originally from Detroit. His friend had a house in Petworth and moved to NY. As Keith was moving to the area for a job he encouraged him to move in and take care of the house. Keith loves the neighborhood and is now looking to buy a house of his own. Although, he fears it may be too expensive to buy in DC. Nevertheless he is looking in Petworth and Takoma.
Favorite haunt: He just found Domku yesterday in the Washington Post. Although he gets a lot of information from his friend in NY who still keeps up to date with Petworth as well as Petworth News. Outside of Petworth, Keith really enjoys Bohemian Caverns and Busboys and Poets in the U Street area.
Job: A buyer for a defense contractor
Best part about living in Petworth: The people tend to be very nice and friendly.
Note about the shirt: This is a Manchester United jersey but Keith actually supports their arch rival Arsenal. Your secret is safe with us!
Friday, February 23, 2007
This is the brand new Seagrave 2006 recently put into commission by the DCFD. These guys have more Petworth Pride than anyone else I have spoken to by far. These are the unsung heroes who reply to call after call without getting recognized. In fact this vehicle was just returning from a call when I got to the station. They have a badass logo on the side captured in this photo. So thanks to Petworth's Bravest who are always watching our back.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I couldn't agree more about El Limeno, really a fantastic joint. I think everyone knows my feelings on Domku and Temperance. So eat and drink often!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I noticed on Petworth News that Petworth has recieved some beautiful new welcome banners. You can notice one in the top corner of the picture below. Above, is a close up of the banner. They are great! Makes me a little less sad that we don't have our own heritage trail. Petworth established 1899 according to the banners. Dig it the most.
This block of New Hampshire is one block north of the previous post. The difference? 3800 NH Ave has a terrific crew. Every morning I see their people outside cleaning up, in the freezing weather, rain, snow, whatever they are the best. And it shows. If we could have more house/apt management like that, well, the photos speak for themselves.
"This website is non-partisan and unaffiliated with any organization. It is a private effort aimed solely at increasing access to information about the upcoming election."
It has lots of good info on the candidates including upcoming events. I think it is worth checking out.
Monday, February 19, 2007
A friend of mine had a recent tragedy and I had to light out of town quickly. This was shortly after the snow we had and I didn't have time to shovel my walk. I started feeling bad because I know I have been angry when I am forced to walk through unshoveled paths. So my flight was very early in the morning and I figured I'd have to shovel at night when the snow was frozen. But to my surprise and delight when I came home that evening my walkway was already shoveled. And not just the sidewalk but the path all the way up to my house. How beautiful is that? This is a perfect little example of the type of community we have in Petworth. People look out for one another. I have neighbors who watch my house just as I watch other people's houses. And from what I've heard this is very common in Petworth. So I'd like to thank my neighbor for shoveling the walk. It meant so much to me given the situation I was in. Good neighbors and a good community is a beautiful thing.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
"Experts are examining diaries thought to have belonged to World War II era Italian leader
Benito Mussolini. However, a British historian familiar with the writings said they contained
'nothing seriously new that the world needed to know'."
A possible entry can be found below.
May 22, 1943
Gosh, Adolf can be such a jerk!!!! He keeps hounding me. Why can't I beat the Americans? He keeps pushing and pushing me. He can be so mean. I told him I was trying as hard as I could. But no, that just isn't good enough for him. I don't know what he wants from me. I'm trying so hard. I tried growing a moustache like him but he just called me fat. And I've been dieting for three weeks. I can't do anything right. Well I'm going to show him, at least my fellow Italians still respect me...
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I'm happy to announce a new feature on the Prince of Petworth. I will be posting a snapshot of a local Petworth resident every Monday. If you would like to be featured or know someone I should feature please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I am proud to introduce Will Potter. Will was kind enough to let me interupt his scrabble game at Domku Sunday afternoon.
Job: Freelance reporter
Time in Petworth: Over 2 years.
Moved from: Mt. Pleasant
Current Location: 9th and Longfellow, I'm up north
Favorite hangout in Petworth: Domku or Temperance
Favorite aspect of living in Petworth: It has a great feel. My neighbors always say hi when I am doing yard work or working on my bike.
Ms. Bass is a native Washingtonian who has lived in Ward 4 for 16 years. She grew up around the corner from Domku and fondly recalled a great burrito shop she used to go to as a child. She attended Powell elementary school, Macfarlane junior high school, and Notre Dame academy in the district before graduating from Northwestern University. After graduating from Northwestern she worked for a few years at a public relations firm where a whole new world of "civil rights culture and black intelligencia" was opened up to her. After this experience she transitioned to radio journalism eventually becoming news director. Currently she runs her own public relations consultancy firm.
Politically, Ms. Bass consulted on the Marie Johns for Mayor campaign as a communications director. After recovering from some health problems she consulted for Vincent Gray's successful campaign for Chariman of DC City Council. Her experience working for Gray's campaign inspired her to run for city council on her own. She explained that she had worked for many unsuccessful candidates and gives much credit to Mr. Gray because his was her first winning campaign. She explained "I knew how to lose, Vincent showed me how to win."
Ward 4 Vision
Ms. Bass explained the four components of her vision for Ward 4. We discussed her cleaner and safer streets agenda. "What I mean is that it takes a much more holistic approach," she continued "For me cleaner streets requires looking at social, economic and cultural forces in all of our communities." She explained that certain communities in Ward 4 need to accomadate the needs of ex offenders coming back into the community. Further explaining the holistic approach she told me that the approach requires greater communication among the community, civic associations, the governement and the police department. She suggests that we build up the communities "block by block." This method would join the strengths of the older residents with the passion of the newer residents to unite as one force. She believes that "we truly need to unify, that is the way to build a community."
"Neighbors tend to know where the criminal activity is", said Ms. Bass. The police need to work in tandem with social services to establish services for young people in order to give them productive activities to focus on instead of stealing. She supports the ideas of recreation centers to be placed throughout the communities so that the young people will have safe diversions to occupy their time. Furthermore, she explained that it is essential to target the needs of the ex offenders so that they will not revert to their criminal ways. Finally for the 22-32 year old generation she advocates the establishment of a community summit to look at the drug trade and consider ways to curb it. This summit would bring together social scientists, judges and other criminal justice practitioners to get at the root causes of the "dilemma".
The problem with our public schools did not develop overnight and will take some time to correct them, according to Ms. Bass. She believes that some level of takeover is needed at this juncture. However, she does believe that the school board should remain the body that interfaces with parents and that the school board should be held accountable with the executive on resolving these issues. She believes that we have a real opportunity now to fix many of these problems because of the resources that now exist in the District. Finally, she believes that a project management approach should be taken so that the issues can be properly analyzed to determine where the weaknesses exist.
Georgia Avenue Development
Ms. Bass believes that local government has a role to play in this development. We should make sure that the developers address the needs of the community. If you are coming into the community then you need to be part of it and some developers do that but the government can ensure that it always happens, she explained.
When pressed what she personally would like to see she replied "I wish that we had more places like Domku across Georgia Avenue."
Old Soldiers Home Development
We need to preserve green spaces, she said. The need to be very careful about the development in that respect was very important to Ms. Bass. She explained that green spaces give Washington its character and that we need to take a careful look at any changes to ensure that green space is preserved.
Proposed homles shelter move to Georgia Avenue
"I think that homeless shelters should not be concentrated in any one community," said Ms. Bass. She returned to the holistic approach idea for this case. For example, she said that many homeless people have mental health issues and therefore it would make sense to have the shelters in close proximity to those facilities for it to make sense holistically. She believes this issue would need to be carefully analzyed before making a final recommendation.
Last great book read: "The Support Economy" by Shoshana Zuboff.
Last great movie seen: "It has been a while...something about an airplane and Jody Foster..."
Favorite music: "I like Jazz and R & B. My taste is pretty eclectic because my father was a musician, but music is one of my favorite things."
Ms. Bass was a very thoughtful candidate. She carefully thought out all of her responses before replying to my questions. I believe she would be an equally thoughtful councilwoman. She consistently advocated analysis before offering a solution to many questions. I liked the fact that she didn't offer any "silver bullet" solutions but I'm also concerned that her knowledge of certain issues was not extensive. Just my personal feeling.
If you would like to learn more you can visit her Website at www.lisabassforward4.com
Friday, February 09, 2007
Alright nobody loves Christmas more than I do...ok I don't exactly celebrate Christmas but I appreciate its cultural significance. I just want to preface this with the fact that I am not a hater.
Ok, first of all it is a very blurry picture because it was freezing out when I took the picture. Oh yes, that's right this Christmas tree is an outdoor Christmas tree. At any rate it was freezing outside and my hand was shaking a bit, also I have to tell you it is a bit uncomfortable photographing people's houses in the middle of the night walking home from the metro.
Ok, enough of the backstory. I support the celebration of the holiday and I can even understand being so excited that you want to put a tree on your front lawn but what I'm having a bit of difficulty with is the fact that it is still there in February, for Christ's sake. Uh, oh that may have been a poor choice of words, and for that I apologize. I think we have to live in the now. Christmas is over, it was great, we got lots of presents, many of us saw our families but I think it may be time to move on.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
On other Columbia Heights development news, it turns out the Whole Foods won't be coming to 14th St, but I think the Giant on Park is pretty good, so I don't think the news is too crushing, especially if you have seen the lines at the P Street Whole Foods location. Did I mention that Columbia Heights is getting a Dunkin Donuts? Those lucky bastards...
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I often drive by this house and am always blown away. This house is located at 8th and Varnum and is perhaps the coolest looking house I've seen in Petworth. This looks like a house that superheroes may live in, or at the least some very cool cats. Check out the wrap around porch with swinging chair. Also the colors are wicked sweet, not sure if it comes out in the picture or not. If you have seen other cool houses in town let me know at email@example.com so I can capture them too.
"Whatever happened last month, the long list of allegations about Washington's aggressive, in-your-face behavior raises powerful questions about just what he is doing in a position of authority in county government."
That's all I was trying to say. This is a good example of why we need professional journalists. I had the outrage but couldn't express it properly nor did I have time to do the investigative work done by Mr. Fisher. Please check out the link if you are at all interested. Kudos to Mr. Fisher for capturing the concerns that I and many others have towards this case.
After reading all the good buzz on Petworth News I had to check out the new restaurant El Limeno. (Ed. Note: I haven't figured out how to put the cool accent over the N.) El Limeno is located at 2nd and Upshur, NW. I am happy to report that the dinner was perfect. The decor was very cool, lot's of paintings, chandeliers, and other latin style decor. I was happy to see that they were also showing a soccer game on the tv. Also, there was a phenomenal jukebox playing sweet latin tunes. The waitress was fantastic, prompt, kind and good recommendations. They started us off with delicious free chips and salsa which I almost filled up on but thank God I didn't. I took the waitress' recommendation and had the crab enchilada. It was excellent, overflowing with crab. And for those who are itching for a post dinner drink - our very own Hitching Post is right across the street. My only concern is that it is very similiar to El Torogoraz, I hope there is enough demand for two El Salvadorian style restaurants. I know I'll be back.
Friday, February 02, 2007
So this is the house that sold for a ridiculous amount of money on the corner of Upshur and New Hampshire. I think the picture does it justice. It is a real shell, but I've seen tons of workers gutting it, even on the weekends. This is a positive development as it has been a shell for years now. One thing of possible concern is that I saw multiple electrical monitors being installed which leads me to believe it may be turned into condos. Not sure how many more condos this market can handle. But, hopefully it will look pretty sweet when completed. I'll update when there are significant changes.
Now we also learn via dcist That the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is targeting our cities most violent criminals. As DCist noted they come up with the absoutely absurd acronym MVP. The Examiner explains
"Under Operation MVP, which stands for Most Violent Persons, detectives will identify the most dangerous predators in certain areas of the city. Each week, special operations officers and U.S. Marshals will capture the criminals and hand them to investigators before sending them to jail. The investigators will interrogate the offenders to see if they have any information about related crimes."
This is good news but MVP? Doesn't MVP have a positive conotation? C'mon guys. I appreciate the gesture and wish you luck in the endeavor but you almost make it too easy for us to make fun.
In all seriousness I DO believe that these are positive programs and I hope for their success.
I am not a tall person. That is ok. I have come to accept it. Now yesterday I read that Sun Ming Ming a Chinese basketball player for the Maryland Nighthawks is 7 foot 9! Now let me explain the problem. This shatters a dream of mine. I come from a long line of short people. I'd say I'm 5 foot 6 on a very good day. My uncle at one point claims to be 5 foot 8 of which I am extremely jealous. At any rate my father (also 5 foot 5 and a half as he likes to say) had the opportunity to travel to China. He loved the country. The culture, the food- he was quite complimentary. However, a real light shined in his eyes when he discussed one aspect of the trip. What I remember most is that he said, very seriously, that he felt tall there. So I always had this dream to hang on to...I could to travel to China and be tall at least for a few weeks. But now I see Sun Ming Ming. And we all know the great Yao. I am happy that the nation of China has produced such basketball players but I am very fearful that my dream of being tall for a few weeks has been shattered.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
"As part of the fells point first friday art loop, there will be a reception for my solo exhibition at Touchet Gallery in baltimore on friday February second. thats THIS friday! If you haven't already seen my show "Worshippers of the Invented Sun", please try to come out."
Friday February 2. 5-10 PM
536 S. Ann Street (corner of Ann and Fleet, just off broadway)
Baltimore, MD 21231
Speaking of voting I've seen lots more lawn signs out there. I think in a few weeks we are going to have a very colorful neighborhood.