There will be a community event this Saturday from 12-3:30 PM, check out the flyer below. Here is message from ANC 5B02 Commissioner Higgins:
Please join Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Gayle Hall Carley 5B01, Ursula Higgins 5B02, Michael Morrison 5B03, the Executive Office of the Mayor, MOCRS, 5th District Police Department, and community members of Brookland, Michigan Park, North Michigan Park, Rhode Island Avenue, Queens Chapel, and Woodridge for our Neighbor’s Day Celebrating Diversity. The occasion will be celebrated on Saturday, August 8, 2015.
Taft Recreation Center (aka: Dwight A. Mosley Sports Complex, Dwight Mosley-Taft Field and Playground) is located at 1800 Perry Street.
The next ANC 5B meeting will be held on May 27, 2015 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held at the Perry Street Preparatory Public Charter School (1800 Perry St NE). The Howard University President will be there, and it is expected he will speak to widespread rumors about development at the Howard Divinity School at 1400 Shepherd St NE. (We haven’t seen any development plans, but we have heard that the Divinity School building will be renovated.) For more info about the meeting, see the flyer below.
San Antonio Bar and Grill opened in 2009, when opening a sit-down restaurant in Brookland was still a risky investment. We recently stopped by and spoke to the owner, Jaime Vargas, about some of the improvements underway. They recently moved the host stand and added an attractive divider with bar stool seating that more clearly separates the eating and waiting areas in the front of the restaurant. Jaime said that other interior improvements are planned like new light fixtures. Outside, the restaurant’s brick facade has been painted a bright white primer in advance of new exterior paint job and the awning will be replaced with a new smaller one.
We asked Jaime if he is going to take another shot at securing an outdoor seating permit and he indicated that he would. After speaking with a few Commissioners, he is optimistic that things will go well, especially given the new ANC 5B leadership in place. (In a vote that baffled many in the community in May 2014, ANC 5B voted to not support San Antonio’s request for outdoor seating in front of the restaurant. Notably, San Antonio has a long track record of no issues with the community, and the ANC Commissioner of their SMD at the time, Janese Jones, polled nearby businesses and residents, none of whom opposed the outdoor seating. We will let you know when they go before ANC 5B again.)
The restaurant is known for reasonably priced, consistently tasty Tex-Mex cuisine and has a very popular daily happy hour from 3-7pm with half price appetizers. But, some may not be aware that they also serve brunch on Sundays from 11:00am-3:00pm with a lot of the standard breakfast items like bottomless mimosas, pancakes and eggs benedict. About a year and a half ago, they also started running an Italian menu on Wednesdays and Saturdays (the veal scaloppine – super yummy-is included in the slide show above). Recently, they have re-launched the Italian menu, here are some examples of the menu items (which all include a side salad and garlic bread):
Salmon in Vodka Sauce with Fettucine ($18.95)
San Francisco’s Cioppino -a fish stew with clams, mussels, and scallops ($22.95)
Penne Pasta with Chicken or Shrimp ($12.95/$14.95)
Bucatini Carbonara ($13.95)
San Antonio Bar & Grill is located at 3908 12th Street NE.
Sorry for the short notice,but unfortunately we just learned about this meeting, which was announced at the last ANC 5B meeting but as far as we know was only published on a Ward 5 Google group. This Google group is only used by a very small group of people and does not reach many ANC 5B residents. It would be helpful if the ANC Commission would take advantage of more social network tools that would assure a much wider readership and outreach. Here is the flyer for tonight’s meeting. Please share this information with your neighbors. The development that will be the only topic of this meeting will occupy a large piece of land north of Rhode Island Ave. and west of Reed Street NE. All who would like to be informed prior to the construction phase, should attend, ask questions, and get an understanding of the details of this project.
The summer is over and the ANC Commissions are picking up their meeting schedule. The ANC 5B Commissioners invite all neighbors to attend the next meeting on Wednesday September 24. See details below.
I encourage all residents who live in the ANC 5B boundaries to attend. As past experiences have taught us, it is important that we are engaged, express our opinion, hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, and to make sure the Commission is acting on behalf of it’s constituency and not to please their own agenda.
The ANC 5B Commission will have to finish 2014 with a vacant seat, since Ms. Carolyn Steptoe has resigned from her post as ANC 5B04 Commissioner.
I am sure there are many Brooklanders who have questions, concerns or suggestions regarding a development that is planned for the corner of 16th and Girard Street. Anybody who would like to get more details about the project, who would like to see rederings and plans, and who would like to be able to ask questions to the developers directly, will have the chance t do so this Saturday. Here is the invitation to the meeting from ANC 5B03 Commissioner Michael Morrison:
Saturday June 21, 11 am – Community Meeting with Menkiti Group / Dantes Partners at 3401 8th Street NE (Menkiti Offices) for Developers to Present 16th & Girard Affordable Housing for Seniors Development Plans and Seek Community Support for Curb Cut Request
Wednesday June 25, 6:30 pm – ANC 5B June Public Meeting at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
Please be advised that there will be a community meeting with developers Menkiti Group and Dantes Partners in regard to their plans to construct an affordable housing for seniors residence on the southwest corner of 16th and Girard Streets NE. The developers have architectural/design plans to present to the community and will be available to discuss community questions and concerns. Likewise, the developers are seeking community support for a request for two curb-cuts on the property — 1) a curb-cut to access the 16th Street parking/delivery/trash pick-up underground garage; and 2) a curb-cut along Girard Street where the developers plan to place the front entrance / pick-up/drop-off area (looping east from the location of the current driveway).
The developers will be presenting at the June 25th ANC 5B Meeting at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center where they will request a letter of support from ANC 5B for their DDOT curb-cut application. The meeting will start at 6:30 pm.
Readers may recall that there was a meeting about the increase in neighborhood crime hosted by Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie recently. At that meeting over 60 neighbors attended as well as a handful of 12th Street business owners. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) for Single Member District (SMD) 5B03, Michael Morrison and 5B05, Janese Jones were present as well.
Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie kicked the meeting off by declaring “I am solutions oriented person” and that he is interested in hearing the communities concerns. Eddie Johnson from the Greater Brookland Business Association (GBBA), a co-host of the meeting, noted that with new developments in the Brookland area, police forces will be stretched.
There were many representatives from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) including Commander Diane Groomes, (Assistant Chief in charge of the Patrol Services and School Security Bureau) new District 5 Commander Diedre Porter , and many other MPD officers from the 5th and 4th Districts.Commander Porter gave an update on recent crimes. The Silvestre’s armed robbery is still open and under investigation. The CVS “smash and grab” is still open, they are working with Maryland peers, and actively investigating. She also addressed the topic of complaints of Luke C Moore Academy students using pot and loitering around 10th and Monroe NE. The Commander met with the school’s principle and increased officer patrols around Turkey Thicket and the 10th Street area. So far there have been no new complaints. The Commander discussed crime statistics in comparison to last year at this same time. Overall crime is up especially along the 12th Street corridor, for example, theft from autos is up from 6 last year at this time to 9 this year. The Commander plans to add foot or bike patrols as resources are available, especially this summer.
The meeting was then turned over to the community for a question and answer session. I tried my best to capture the conversation below. All in all it was a good meeting. I think I speak for the community members present in that we appreciated MPD’s and Councilmember McDuffie’s community engagement. In the end though, I can’t say that we walked away with any kind of “Action Plan” or concrete next steps. Quite frankly, I think it is up to the community to determine what types of steps we would like to see taken and bring them forward. I spoke to ANC Commissioners Jones and Morrison and Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) President Tom Bridge afterward, and all were on board with coming up with a unified set of actions the community would like to see taken. Tom Bridge offered that the BNCA could organize community watch or walks. MPD representatives wanted the community to know that they can send texts to 50411 which is an anonymous tip line, if you see something out of the normal, or call 911. Also, they offered practical advice such as making sure your home’s exterior lights are on, not to leave valuables like purses and laptops in cars and don’t use electronic devices or earplugs when walking.
Q) The CVS And Silvestre’s robberies seem to be professional. A) We don’t know if the thieves are “professional”, but each crime was clearly coordinated.
Q) There was a discussion about the MPD 2011 – 2012 crime report, it appeared that crimes in many categories are going up – what is MPD going to do? A) While there was an overall increase, there was a decrease in violent crime. Theft from robberies and property crime are up. Generally MPD looks at the previous 30 days and year to date statistics and adjusts resources and tactics accordingly.
Q) We need community policing/community involvement and relationships, not just car patrols. A) Commander Porter agreed that we should have more police walking. Also, the police would be happy to walk with organized neighborhood patrols/watches.
Q) There was a discussion of “close rates” of crimes. A) Commissioner Groomes said they do a number of activities to solve crimes for example, note crime trends and deploy plain clothes officers, look at neighboring /PG County trends, cracking down on second hand dealers of stolen goods, and partner with METRO police. DC’s closure rate is higher than most cities.
Q) Is there any news on the shooting at 22nd and Lawrence? A) Actively investigating.
Q) Do you have enough resources? If not how can we push for more? A) Commander Groomes – we have 100 more officers in the Academy. The Academy is full. DC is becoming a 24 hour city so that is an adjustment we are making.
Q) What steps are being to make the Metropolitan Branch Trail more secure? A) We made 8 to 10 arrests on MBT last year. We have a bike patrol.
Q) What is the long-range strategic plan for the area, factoring in the new developments and population increases? A) CM McDuffie said he is working on filling the gap between resources and need. He noted a strategic plan that he requested for the Trinidad neighborhood. Actions like increased patrols were implemented, but we can’t leave everything at foot of MPD. He said he is working with other agencies to try and connect young men with resources. He meets with the Deputy Mayor who is very interested that neighborhoods receive adequate policing for new developments. Also MPD looks at areas with developments and strategically deploys resources.
There was discussion from residents about cleaning up our own neighborhood and getting to know each other. We shouldn’t assume unemployed people are not invested in the community. Let’s take control of our community. No one wants to hire kids with no skills, they need opportunity and skills.
Q) I see kids smoking pot at Turkey Thicket or the gas station at 8:30 – 9:30 every morning and walk toward Luke C Moore. I didn’t know if they are students or not, but if they are, this is a problem because they cannot focus on school. We need plain clothes cops. A) Commissioner Porter promised to re-visit the Luke C Moore issue.
ANC Commissioner Janese Jones noted that she has gotten a lot of feedback from residents that she could share. An ongoing issue is that Turkey Thicket is the 5th District and the Neighborhood across from it is the 4th District. This causes issues when the two districts aren’t coordinated or calls where police don’t respond because of district borders.
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