Friday, January 22, 2010

Ward One Non-profits Seek Self-Help

Ward One nonprofit organizations gathered today on the first floor of the Columbia Heights Recreation Center to begin sharing resources and working together in order to survive stronger in these times of cutbacks and economic hardships.

The event was sponsored by the Shaw Columbia Heights Family Collaborative. It was called, "Strengthening Ward One Together" or SWOT. After a few supportive words from the Ward One council member, the organizing work began with Timothea Howard, who works at Centro Nia.

Everyone broke into smaller groups with an assignment of four relevant questions. 1 What are the current needs of the Ward 1 community? 2. What are the primary assets of the Ward I Community? 3. What could an organiztion of all of us be doing to better address the needs and strengthen the assets described? 4. How could you be involved in the future of the SWOT initiative?

When the groups came back together to the whole gathering, each one had several suggestions for future actions. Creation of a blog and listserv to improve communication arose the most. Improved communications in Spanish and English and other languages as needed. See last image for a detailed list.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kalorama Citizens Association Meeting, Jan. 21, 2010

At the KCA meeting tonight the new Commander of 3rd District was the featured attraction. By 9:15 PM, the commander was a no-show.

The meeting was called to order by Denis James, the President of KCA.

The first order of business was to introduce Vicky Beasley, the mayor's nominee to the position of People's Council. The office has a staff of 33, and its budget is $5 million dollars, which is funded by the consumers of DC utilities.

The KCA voted to protest two licenses, El Tamarindo at 1785 Florida Avenue, and the Grill From Ipanema, 1858-62 Columbia Road.

There was a long discussion about the new parking bill, proposed by Councilmember Jim Graham, called "The Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act of 2009, and it was basically decided that this act does nothing to improve the situation of parking in Adams Morgan, and has the possibility of making it even crazier.

Ann Hargrove brought forth a resolution titled ELIMINATING BILLBOARD BLIGHT, to end the perpetration of humongous billboards in DC. The KCA resolved to urge the Council of the District of Columbia to hold a hearing on the proposed billboard blight "removal" resolution proposed by the Mayor, on a schedule that will allow adfequate time for public response to the proposal but also ensure Council action before expiration of the mandatory period for Council Review of the proposal.

Lisa Duperier announced that Sunday from 6 to 11 a new wine shop in Adams Morgan at 2122 18th Street will be having an opening for the community.

The meeting was attended by three commissioners, two news media people, the executive director of the BID, the president of Adams Morgan Main Street, and a many longtime Adams Morgan residents

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cooke v Lafayette Girls Basketball

HD Cooke has a mean girls basketball team, only a little out of control. First string is Destiny, Taren, Daniela, Thelma and Destiny. Those girls can shoot, but can they pass? Can they deflect? Can they dribble without double dribbling? Why don't you see for yourselves?

All you people running for higher office in DC should come see these girls play basketball. What about you Mayor Fenty, Cooke played your boys' school last week, and where were you?

What about you Jim Graham, Bryan Weaver and Jeff Smith, you're running for City Council in Ward One? Why don't you come see a home game of H.D. Cooke Elementary School, the Amazing Bulls? You can all visit the new school and see how great it is for the students learning in a green and healthy environment.

The schedule for the remaining games at home is:

January 26th Adams at HD Cooke

February 2nd Murch at HD Cooke

Sunday, January 17, 2010

CityPaper's Loose Lips Let Loose

Is Jim Graham Behind an ANC Coup?
Posted by Mike DeBonis on Jan. 20, 2010, at 3:32 pm

ANC1c06 speaks in italics to respond to Mike Debonis' statements in this article.

For three years, Bryan Weaver has been elected chair of the Adams Morgan advisory neighborhood commission.
Comment: Yes, Bryan Weaver ran unopposed and was elected chair of the Adams Morgan Advisory Commission. There was no contest for three years. It was a 'fait acomplit' before the election. This year, we finally got to choose.

That run came to an end on Jan. 6, when he lost his re-election bid by a 4-2 vote of his fellow commissioners.
Now LL doesn't delve too often into such parochial affairs, but this particular internecine feud carries greater significance: Weaver is currently exploring a run against his councilmember, Ward 1's Jim Graham. And replacing him as chair is Wilson Reynolds, whose day job happens to be as Graham's constituent affairs director.

So did Boss Graham execute a ruthless power move to force a key neighborhood critic to the margins?

Correction: Bryan Weaver will never be forced to the margins in Adams Morgan, just like Bill Duggan. When the press needs a good quote, them's who they go to, no matter how much power wield. They have name and face recognition.

If so, he covered his tracks well. Graham's spokesperson, Brian DeBose, says that "no one knew" about the move until the meeting. Reynolds says "absolutely not," and a fellow commissioner, Nancy Shia, says that Graham had "nothing to do" with the ANC vote.
To wit: I asked Wilson Reynolds before the vote if the Councilmember knew about it and Wilson said no. I trust Wilson Reynolds.

Not directly, anyway: "It hurt the commission for the have such a contentious relationship with the councilmember. That happened long before he decided to run," Shia says. "I believe in the Rodney King way of looking at life: Why can't we all just get along?"

Add to that some communications issues, she says: "Why did they think it was OK to win an election without asking anyone to vote for them? ?"
Correction: I actually said, "Who runs for election without asking voters to vote for them? What were they thinking"

Weaver says he may not have actively solicited his colleagues’ votes, but he says none of the members mentioned any dissatisfaction with his continued tenure.
Elaboration: Apparently, mention of dissatisfaction was grounds for dismissing a commissioners pleas for improved working relations.

He admits he charged hard and "was not the easiest of chairs to get along with,” but stands on his record of stepping up the commission’s activism and cleaning up its books (no small feat in ANC-dom).
QUESTION: Isn't it the ANC leadership's responsibility to maintain clean books?.

Not enough for Reynolds, Shia, and two other commissioners (all listed as Graham supporters on his campaign literature), who plotted an ambush. Weaver and his vice chair, Mindy Moretti, found out about their plan to unseat them not more than five minutes before the meeting began.
FYI: Actually ANC1c06 asked the vice chair about 3 weeks before the election to run for chairman of ANC1c, and she declined.

Though Weaver realized he didn't have the votes, he went through with the roll call anyway. "I thought I would give them a certain amount of satisfaction in knocking me off and let them know that I'm not fazed by it," he explains.
Comment: Wow. That's kinda sad and creepy. I would have supported Bryan because I always liked his politics, but this kind of thinking is wrong-headed. It is political paranoia.

This weekend, on her blog, Shia wrote that Weaver and Moretti had un-friended their fellow commissioners from their Facebook accounts. (The post has since been removed.) (It is returned in this article.)
It was removed at the urging of the most leftist commissioner of 1c, and because i did not want to engender additional animosity. Fat chance.

To that, says Weaver, "I am friends with some of them and I am not friends with some of the others."

Friendship among commissioners may not be possible with everyone but it helps. If friendship is not possible, you'd at least expect camaraderie.

Adds Moretti, "Facebook is for my friends."
Implying that the Adams Morgan commissioners are not her friends, obviously.

Loose Lips asked if I'd vote for Weaver. I told him I'm Green, but if I could, I'd vote for Bryan out of respect and loyalty to our commission, besides Jim Graham will win anyway.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Neighborhood Year in Review In Pictures and Video

Sun rises on 18th and Columbia New Year's Day, seen through the window at Starbucks.

Swearing in at the Walter Washington Convention Center took place on January 2nd.

In February, ANC 1c was looking for office space and found this 4th floor walk-up on Columbia Road in SMD 1c06. Only problem is it was zoned commercial. We still don't have office space. WIth all the empty space in the neighborhood, you'd think some landlord would give us a good deal for all the good we try to do. I guess the landlords of the neighborhood don't care about the good we do.

In March
Speaking of landlords of the neighborhood, they are represented by the Adams Morgan Partnership, otherwise known as the BID (Business Improvement District), represented at this meeting by Kristen Barden, the Adams Morgan Partnership. Also in attendance are Ted Loza, the councilman's former chief of staff, and Bryan Weaver, ANC1c's chairman. The BID was trying to run the FIDMI market out of the neighborhood, and Loza and Weaver were there to make sure that didn't happen. In this class struggle between businesses and vendors, the vendors won this round, only to be attacked later by rogue cops entering the market bent on disruption. The same officers creating the disruption have a cozy relationship with certain members of the BID. One particular officer was removed for various alleged acts of aggression especially intimidating to undocumented people. The BID circulated a fraudulent petition to bring the officer back. He's been returned as an RDO (reimbursable detailed officer), paid for by the BID on the weekends, but thankfully not to our community to continue his erratic behavior.

Daniela and I are on lunch break here. In April, I had a date with Superior Court, to face allegations of a certain rogue cop who'd been torturing our community for a long time. His abusive behavior as an RDO was legendary, often written about on the Adams Morgan listserv. He'd accused me of some heinous behavior on 18th Street six months earlier, and continued his lies throughout the misdemeanor trial in Superior Court. I was exonerated of any criminal behavior but found guilty by a judge of "failure to obey". The case is on appeal. What was most amazing was amount of times the cop perjured himself. It was a great lesson in police corruption.

In May, the FIDMI-Mi Tierra Market marked nine months of its existence and held a ceremony of thanks to everyone who helped make it happen. Here are some of the vendors who sell at the market.

In June, the mayor, chief of police and councilman celebrated the installation of a crime camera at the corner of Champlain and Kalorama Streets, and held a press conference under the breezeway just a few feet away from the garbage bins. These public relations events can be strange when you know the real deal behind the politics. The councilman wanted the roadway opened up under the breezeway. The mayor wanted to look like he's hard on crime, but the crime camera was taken from another hotspot and put here. The chief of police wanted to look like she's into community policing, yet commended the very officer who the community complained about as being insensitive and committing unconstitutional acts.

In July, the interim director of DPW came to the ANC meeting to discuss Kalorama Park. THe community was outraged about the use of geoblock.

In August, the long awaited opening of the HD Cooke Elementary School finally came about. With all the fanfare the school deserved, it was opened with a press conference attended by the mayor, the chancellor, the secretary of education and the secretary of health.

In September, hearts sprung up at 18th and Columbia for two weeks. They were gifts from the government of Colombia, to make us believe Colombia has a heart. People protested about the treatment of workers in COlombia.

In October, the ANC basketball tournament went horribly wrong. A member of the crew near Girard and 15th came into the territory of the crew from 17th and Euclid, and all hell broke loose. It was six on one. I stepped in to try to stop it, but backed off immediately. Mindy tried, but was slightly more effective than I was. Others bigger and stronger helped stopped it, and the police came five minutes after it was over.

In December, the City Council traditionally gives the ANC commissioners a party. The Council Members stand in front of the commissioners and thank them for their service. There is no wine, but commissioners are dined with a catered dinner and lots of deserts.