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Interested in Preserving and Celebrating Brookland History? Consider This New BNCA Committee

An Early Drawing Of Brookland Subdivisions Courtesy Of The DC Almanac (http://prorev.com/dcfactshist1.htm)
An Early Drawing Of Brookland Subdivisions Courtesy Of The DC Almanac (http://prorev.com/dcfactshist1.htm)

The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) is forming a new history committee. For those of you looking to learn more about our neighborhood’s history, have information to share or just want to see that we preserve what we can, this is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor and shape the future of this group.

Ideas for the committee that have been floated so far include:

  • Working with Walking Town DC to develop tours, train tour guides, and develop a permanent walking tour with historic markers
  • Offer history programs to share information on Brookland, Invite historians and archivists to share information with the community, collect and share oral histories
  • Develop strategies for preserving Brookland’s historical resources – act a historical society, landmark nominations, preserve records and photos, look at historic district options
  • Act as a resource for the community on general Brookland History

For more information contact John Feeley at 202 526 8754 or contact the BNCA through their website (www.brooklandcivic.org) or attend the next BNCA meeting on Tuesday February 19th, 7:00 pm at the Howard Divinity School, 1400 Sheperd Street, NE.

MPD Addressed Brookland Crime Concerns At BNCA Meeting Last Night

Lieutenant Edward Bernat, Captain Morgan Kaine  and Captain Andre Wright. at the BNCA Meeting
Lieutenant Edward Bernat, Captain Morgan Kaine and Captain Andre Wright at the BNCA Meeting

Recently Brookland area crimes have been in the news and the topic of discussion among neighbors and on listservs. Commander of MPD’s 5th district, Andy  Solberg, addressed these concerns at last night’s Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) meeting; along with officers Bernat, Kaine and Wright of Patrol Service Area 504. There were roughly 45 residents in attendance and overall, we were informed that crime is actually down in the 5th District over the last 30, 60, and 90 days. Although assaults with dangerous weapons and sexual assaults are slightly up, all other crime categories down. Other good news is that there have been no recent incidents on the Met Branch Trail. Nonetheless, three types of crime seem to be of most concern to Brooklanders:

  1. Shotgun robberies –  Between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, there were 5 armed robberies where the victims were threatened with a shotgun. The suspect is a tall (about 6’1), thin, African-American male. Sometimes the suspect acted alone and other times with accomplices. These crimes were alarming since usually smaller hand guns are used in robberies and guns are not normally pointed directly at victims, as was the case in these robberies. Commander Solberg explained that his response was to deploy evening area officers in the areas where the crimes occurred  in addition to 15 undercover officers patrolling the area. In the 16 days since the last shotgun robbery, no similar crime has occurred and they have not made any arrests related to these robberies. No similar crime has happened recently in DC or in Prince George’s County either.
  2. Robberies – On Friday there was an attempted robbery and a robbery at 9th  and 7th and Monroe Streets. On Saturday there was an attempted robbery at 10th and Evarts Streets. Tuesday morning there was a robbery near the Brookland Metro. These crimes may be related.
  3. Home Burglaries – For example, a recent one on Jackson Street at 3 am.

The officers offered up tips to avoid being a crime victim, including:

Commander Solberg and BNCA President Caroline Petti
Commander Solberg and BNCA President Caroline Petti
  • Don’t walk while using a gadget like a smart phone. This sends the message to criminals that you have something of value and you not paying attention to your surroundings.
  • Walk home with someone else. People walking alone, especially women, are targeted most.
  • Walk like you have a purpose and try to stay in well-lit areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, criminals are looking for an easy target.
  • At home, close your blinds, and lock doors.

Lieutenant Bernat described the steps being taken to prevent crime around the neighborhood. For example:

  • Constant patrols on 10th and 12th Streets NE, and the Brookland Metro.
  • Midnight and 1:00 am patrols of  parks (18th and Otis Street park, Langdon Park) where loitering and drinking occur.
  • Increased presence on 10th Street NE near Turkey Thicket.
  • Engaging with business owners.
  • Cracking down on college parties. There is a new “noise at night” law that prohibits unreasonable noise from 10 pm – 7 am. On the first offence, student names are reported to CUA’s Dean.  On the second strike the student must pay a fine or their grades are withheld.
Lieutenant Bernat speaking to residents
Lieutenant Bernat speaking to residents

Lastly, the officers shared advice if you are a victim of a crime or suspect a crime is occurring:

  • If you have a smart phone, enable the tracking feature. This way if it is stolen officers can locate it, and hopefully the thief, if the phone hasn’t been turned off.
  • Call 911 if you see anything suspicious or feel uncomfortable about a situation. Do not worry that it is a bother for the police to respond. By calling, it creates a record, when they see a spike in related calls, they can allocate resources there. Also, you don’t have to give your name.

Residents are encouraged to contact Lieutenant Bernat if you have any questions or concerns, he can be reached at (202) 359-4240 or Edward(dot)Bernat(at)dc(dot)gov. Many thanks to the BNCA for putting together an informative meeting and to the 5th District officers for answering the community’s questions.

Upcoming BNCA Meeting Will Address Recent Spike In Brookland Crime And More

The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association’s (BNCA) first meeting of 2013 will take place on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The topics to be covered are as follows:
  • There seems to be an uptick in crime around the neighborhood recently, from home burglaries to the well publicized shotgun robberies. DC Metropolitan Police Department officers from Brookland’s Fifth District will be on hand to provide information about these crimes, provide tips for staying safe, and answer questions and concerns.
  • Brookland’s newly-elected and sworn-in Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners – Carolyn Steptoe, Adrian Jordan, Ursula Higgins, Tiffany Bridge, and Jenese Jones have been invited to meet and greet their constituents.
  • Turkey Thicket playground overhaul update
  • DC Statehood committee update
  • Other Brookland news and activities
  • Annual membership sign-up and renewal
The meeting will be held at the Howard University School of Divinity at 1400 Shepherd Street, N.E.

Membership Drive Time – Consider Joining The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association

Brookland Neighborhood NE Washington DC
BNCA – FoRIA Neighbrhood Clean Up Event

When I first moved to Brookland I started attending Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association meetings. Soon, I found myself taking an active role as treasurer and helping out with the website. Though I am no longer an officer, I still try to keep up with the BNCA’s activities and attend meetings when I can. I have found my membership to be rewarding for multiple reasons – I have met a lot of  great neighbors, gotten involved in community events and stayed abreast of neighborhood developments, not bad for $10 a year! BNCA memberships are based on the calendar year, so now is the time to renew or begin your membership. You can find the membership form here.

From a BNCA announcement, here are some of their activities:
* Constructive and productive engagement in important neighborhood issues
* Community clean-ups and beautification
* The annual Great Brookland Yard Sale
* BNCA DC Statehood Committee
* Educational programs in celebration of Brookland’ s rich history
* Social events including picnics and potlucks
* Met Branch Trail bicycle rides for fun and fitness
* Crime updates with MPD Officers
* Protecting and improving Brookland’ s recreation center, parks, and green spaces
* Sharing news and information through their website and Twitter account (@BrooklandCivic)

The BNCA has identified areas it plans to get involved with in 2013, for example, the Noyes Field overhaul, improvements at Turkey Thicket playground, the Brookland Green, Fort Bunker Hill Park, the Met Branch Trail, improving neighborhood safety, and organizing fun and educational events.

Brookland To Get Another Capital Bikeshare Station! Read How Astrid Made It Happen

Capitol Bikeshare Station in Brookland near CVS at 12th and Newton Streets NE. Photo courtesy of Elvert Barnes via Flikr.

About a year ago, Astrid, one of our bloggers here at the Brookland  Bridge started the application process to get a Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) station installed in Brookland at the corner of 12th and Irving NE. It seemed like a great location, being just across the street from Casey Trees, where over 30 people work daily and volunteers come and go. Plus, she thought it was important to bring a bikeshare station deeper into our neighborhood. We finally got word today that all her hard work paid off, as CaBi announced 12th and Irving as part of their next wave of new stations. Way to go Astrid! I sat down with her and asked her some questions about how she got it done.  New stations are also coming to the Chancellor’s Row development/St. Paul’s campus.

Why did you initiate the request for the bike share station at 12th and Irving?

I had been intrigued by the Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) system for quite some time. It is a wonderful alternative to other forms of transportation. It is environmentally friendly, fun, easily accessible, and an amenity that benefits local businesses and residents alike. I noticed that NE DC had very few stations and is not well-connected to the CaBi network yet. When I started the application process, the only NE CaBi stations were at Catholic University, the Brookland Metro, and the CVS on 12th Street. The station at 4th and Rhode Island was about to be installed as an amenity for the Mint condominium building. But the gap between these stations the rest of the network was quite big. I think it is important to have more stations installed in Brookland and NE in general, so many more DC residents have access to the Bikeshare system.

How did you go about getting the application together?

First I identified the department and team at DDOT that handles all matters related to CaBi. My primary contact was Chris Holben, who has been extremely supportive and helpful during the entire process. Once I knew where to submit my request, I started the ground work. I created a flyer which explained the CaBi program and membership, the benefits it would bring to our neighborhood, as well as a section for the  name and contact information of potential supporters. I went house to house in a 3 block radius around 12th and Irving. I made sure neighbors understood that I am not with CaBi, but just a neighbor who thinks that it is a great program. In the address field I added an option where supporters could identify themselves as being interested in becoming CaBi members, if a station would be installed in their immediate neighborhood. This added additional weight to my application. I also reached out to local businesses and asked them to write a letter supporting the new CaBi location. Many thanks to Casey Trees, First Time Computers, The Menkiti Group, Abbott Klar Realtor Group, as well as the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA)  for their immediate response to my request. I completed my application package with pictures of the proposed location and I hand delivered it to Mr. Holben at his office.

How long did the process take?

I submitted my application on January 31, 2012. All location suggestions go through a lengthy selection process including a site visit of a DDOT team or representative. I learned that CaBi experienced a back-order situation for some of the equipment, and therefore had to delay the installation for a several months. According to the announcement, we should have the new station by March 2013.

Anything else you would like the readers to know?

Spread the word about the Capital Bike Share system, become a member if you think you will benefit from it, because the more demand we can show for it in NE DC, the more stations will be added in the future.

BNCA Meeting Saturday- DC Zoning Changes And Updates On Noyes, Turkey Thicket Renovations

 The November Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) meeting will have two special guests:

  • Dan Emerine, DC Office of Planning – discussing chnages to DC’s zoning regulations, such as land use, development, building heights, parking, sustainability, neighborhood character and preservation, and the role of community groups and residents in development decisions.  Learn about how these changes are likely to affect Brookland.
  • Jackie Stanley, DC Department of General Services with an update on Noyes Park and Turkey Thicket Playground Renovations

Meeting Info:

Date:     Saturday, November 10, 2012
Time:     10:00 AM
Location:     Howard University School of Divinity, 1400 Shepherd Street, NE

Many Thanks To BNCA And FoRIA For Cleaning Up Around Brookland!


The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) and Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE (FoRIA) teamed up for a cleanup effort this Saturday. They focused on the area between 12th Street and the Red Line tracks on RIA. They cleaned up a lot of debris as well as did some gardening around the Brookland sign at the corner of 12th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NE. A BIG THANKS to these organizations for making a difference in our community!

Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) Meeting Next Week

The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) will be holding its monthly meeting next Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at the Howard University School of Divinity, 1400 Shepherd Street, NE. The meeting time is 7:00 PM.

The main topic will be a discussion with Brother John Sebastian about recent Franciscan Monastery plans and activities, as well as other neighborhood news and information. For more information, contact the BNCA at BrooklandCivic@yahoo.com or go to www.BrooklandCivic.org.

A Call To Action – BNCA And FoRIA Fall Cleanup

Brookland Sign 12th and Rhode Island Ave NE Washington DC
The Brookland Sign And Surroundings Need Help. YOUR Help.

The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association and Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE are teaming up for a cleanup effort. They will focus on the area between 12th Street and the Red Line tracks on RIA. I am excited because they plan on doing some cleanup and gardening around the Brookland sign at the corner of 12th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NE. Come on out and make a difference in the community and meet some neighbors.

WHEN: October 13, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Meet at the NE corner of 12th and RIA

WHAT: General trash pick-up and some light gardening

They will have a limited amount of tools and bags so bring work gloves, and wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes. If you have any questions contact: info@friendsofria.org   More info at www.friendsofria.org

Brookland’s 125th Anniversary Celebration Brings The Community Together

Yesterdays celebration of Brookland’s 125th birthday was a glorious day in more ways than one. The perfect fall weather set the backdrop for a day filled with community spirit and home-town pride. The festivities included a parade, community picnic, tree tour and walking tour.  Many thanks to the following folks for making the day a great one for all: