Monday, January 05, 2009

BACA Meeting 1/5/09

Harry Thomas Jr. took up a good portion of the meeting. He was dressed in a nice dark suit, white or light colored shirt with french cuffs and a lovely crisp black and white or black and gray tie. Kudos to whomever picks out his clothes.
HT started off with a moment of silence for his intern who died in the recent tragic fire on Jackson St SE. There is a fund for her and her family and the local churches and community has been great in coming forward to offer help to defray some of the costs of the funeral expenses.
HT mentioned that he has been to some of the coffee shops in the area, chatting with the citizens, finding out their concerns. The big concern crime in the early morning, when people go to work.
HT talked about the violent crime that has been going on in Ward 5 and a majority of it is between familiars.
HT talked about the year in review. HT's been to 7 of the 12 BACA meetings. Of his accomplishments that I bothered to write down he designed a booklet on how to testify before the council. There is a question mark near that one. I don't remember why I made that note. He's also involved with municipal parking.
On the topic of DC schools being re purposed he reminded the assembly that some DC schools were given to DC by the Federal government and that 'gift' comes with limitations on use. So the schools may be limited to education and recreation.
HT talked about the budget cuts. He praised the leadership of Mr. Gandhi, of building in a reserve from the fat years so that we are not hurting as badly as some of the surrounding municipalities. However, new projects, capital projects and some long term projects are going to suffer.
Apparently there is some problem with Armstrong. Something about loss of green space so a church can park on Sundays. HT is looking into that.
The assembly mentioned that on the unit block of Bates and P St, DDOT employees have been parking illegally. HT will look into that.
HT admitted to getting ticketed for speeding and parking.
There was some chatter about a phone phishing scheme from the Blah Blah Federal Credit Union.
Mary Ann Wilmner spoke and got us to get into groups and talk about the vision for the neighborhood. She got us to figure out what we as civic association can do now. Some of the ideas was to petition to get the Dunbar track open to residents, another was to become a CDC, I didn't write down the other ideas.


Monday, October 01, 2007

BACA Meeting 10/1/07

We had Ofc. Zunnobia Hakir (vc mail 2/727-5427)from the Hate Crimes Unit come and speak about a recent incident that has occurred in the TC. A problem is people are not reporting Hate Crimes or incidents. So even if it is "nothing" consider reporting a hate biased incident (incident- slurs or other speech that is protected by the 1st amendment but may be used to provoke).
One citizen expressed concern that HC can be used against old-timers, kids who have grown up in the neighborhood, who are reacting because of a respect issue where newbies are moving in and talking down to the kids. The example provided was a person who is white and used the N word, not addressing the people on the street but her friend and easily overheard. Discussions on this boiled down to don't be stupid and don't say stupid stuff that can provoke people into striking back. And the official way to deal with stupid people is to report their stupidity as a hate biased incident, so should the consequences of their stupidity result in a retaliatory attack with hints of a hate crime bouquet there is a record of the stupid which would aid the defense.
So, you've reported the hate crime/incident, now what? Well I have something in my notes about a stay away order. The stay away can limit physical and verbal contact. Report each violation of the stay away and the prosecution can build up a case.
And last note when reporting a crime with hate biased undertones call the Hate Crimes Unit in addition to 911 or 311. The Hate Crimes Hotline is 202 727 0500.

Next Commander Lamar Greene of the 5th District MPD spoke. We all talked about drug and other problem crimes in the area. Mentioned that the courthouse has stay away orders that are public, but there is so far no legal way for the police to share that info with the public. And according with the answers of how to get a hold of stay away orders for the area the info seems more semi-public than public as it doesn't seem to be easily accessible.
A citizen at the meeting mentioned how her vehicle was stolen 2 or 3 times in a short amount of time. She did have a theft prevention device on her brakes. Apparently the Club and like devices only slow thieves down. The police at the meeting recommended LoJack and a kill switch. I say it helps to have a stick shift. And the Police Department has some sort of watch your car program.

Now I'm guessing this notation I have reading "MaryAnn-- says we need to work on being neighborly" must have come up during the part about community development and community in general. The boys on the corner all know each other, but do we the law abiding, tax paying citizens know each other as well?

Harry Thomas showed up wearing a lovely suit with green accessories. I'm calling a tie and kerchief accessories. They matched the green/ olive tones in the suit. Whoever picked out what he was going to wear that day did good. But anyway, he talked about legislation and something called a... this is just what my notes say:
legislative call in- find out what the issues are that day. 9AM- 671-8237. You can contact Councilman Harry Thomas at or call 202 439-5103, he's got one of them there Crackberries like the mayor so he is at the beck and call of the people.

Lastly in my notes there is another community building exercise in the park at 1st and Florida on the 13th of October 10AM-6PM. There is a boatload of stuff listed, DC Library Mobile, Old Cars Unlimited, Howard U Dental School, 10 kazillion other things and a moonbounce.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

BACA meeting Aug 6, 2007

The kids
The Youth Services Committee spoke first. A representative for Revs. Miles and Hollowman at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Q St described what the YSC hoped to do. They'd like to have a block party, blocking off the Unit block of Q St. August 18th they will have a cookout at 1st and Florida and the idea is to do something once a month.
A citizen pointed out a weakness in the law regarding dumping. He says though you witness the dumping and confront the dumpers and get their information the city does nothing (but give the run around). Another citizen mentioned a supercan problem of where all the cans are hanging out in the alley together and it gives the sense that here's where you dump crap. Citizen Mary Ann expressed frustration, saying that citizens shouldn't have to do the work of the city.
In this conversation it seems with the Fenty administration the CORE team is no more. The CORE team used to bring together people from various city agencies (DPW, Police, Social Services, etc) to tackle certain neighborhood problems.
It was also expressed that some of the dumping could was being done purposefully to assist criminals. Trashy alleys allow the drug boys to hide things and slow police cruisers.
Property crimes and theft from autos is up. All other crime is down.
Burglary 2 is when they break in via windows, unlocked doors (yes, people are leaving their doors unlocked) and AC unit cavities. Burglary 1 is when the occupant is in the house.
There were 3 arrests. Two were caught in progress and charged with Burglary 1. One was caught walking down the street. They were arrested on the 1700 block of NJ Ave and 200 block of R St.
Once again complaint about non response. Police pointed out that 311 & 911 calls do not go directly to the Police Dept but goes to a communications dept that, at the discretion of the dispatcher, can sit on a request for service, for hours. It was suggested by someone to call the 5th District Police Department directly.
Political Mucky-mucks
A representative from Kwame Brown's office showed up. He confused the 3rd district with the 5th district and said we had a youth problem. .... you lost me when you couldn't differentiate between the different districts.
Councilman Harry Thomas Jr and his blackberry showed up. Honestly I didn't write any notes while he spoke except his phone number 439-5103 (I think). He did talk a lot about parks and recreation. The crowd was good and Vance asked a lot of Vance questions. Mr. Thomas answered the the questions posed by the citizenry. He was willing to answer more but we were going to get kicked out of the building by the Jim because it was getting to be after 9pm.
No notes, but ANC commissioner Anita Bonds, may have spoken. She was at the meeting.

Washington Gas wants to raise rates.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

BACA meeting 6/4/07

I think I'm missing a page of notes....
First person to speak was Susan Hoskins of Landmark Education. As her presentation was not really neighborhood specific, I didn't write anything helpful down.

Ofc. McCollough spoke. Crime is down in our PSA. Citizen emails to commanders, etc have had an impact. Arrests have been made as a result. Theft from autos and stolen autos is up.
There is stuff in the works that the police can not talk about. The 'characters' on the street know police schedules, shifts, and listen in on police radios, etc.
A resident asked the police to give some slack with parking enforcement as she expressed a problem with finding parking.
The number of hanger-outs are increasing because they are getting out of jail and returning to the community.
Jim had a theory that he has mentioned before in meetings, that there is an organized presence in the crime that is going on in the neighborhood. He sensed this organization in the 'managed' level of violence. He mentioned a fellow from way back who was sort of a "Mr. Big" type who controlled some of the criminal activity and Jim is seeing the same sort of dynamics and patterns of activity.
The phone number for the 5th District station is 202 698 0150.
Graffiti- Send Jim Berry pictures of the graffiti you see in the BACA area.

Summer Safety
Call 202- IM BORED. Any parent calling this number can find out about activities in the city.
Also there is going to be a FUN FAIR this Saturday at 1st and Florida. There will be hot dogs and a moon bounce. The police will also play the Dunbar HS team in a game of basketball.

Flower Power-Membership-Health
Giovanni- Flower Power will be the next big activity. Bloomingdale wants to join programs. There are nominating forms. Anyone wanting to volunteer contact Lana.
Walk for your Health- at 6:30-6:45pm citizen walk around the Bates Area twice a week. It is a fun opportunity to fellowship and exercise. They meet at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.
BACA is trying to get a water aerobics class at Dunbar going.

North Capitol Main Streets
Thursday June 21st at Mck. Tech. at 7pm the author of "WalMart Revolution" will speak. Also scheduled to show up is Harry Thomas Jr. and Kwame Brown.

Bertha Holiday- Bloomingdale got a grant. They would like to avoid duplication in neighborhood efforts and try to work together on common issues. She passed out an issues survey which should be on the BACA website.

Next ANC 5C meeting is at 7pm at Dunbar HS on June 19th, the 3rd Tuesday of the month.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BACA meeting on 5/08/07

Disclaimer: I'm typing this 1 week and 1 day and two glasses of $2 buck Chuck after the meeting. Keep your expectations low.
Got there late.
According to the 5D representative there are over 100 adult arrests in the 501 PSA each month. Well, that's what I'm hoping "100 adt adv arrests in PSA 501" in my notes mean. There is also "incommoding- blocking the sidewalk" which must have been the question about loitering laws in the District when there was the discussion about the Drug Free Zones. The Drug Free Zone is a temporary, 90 day, thing that disallows loitering, or something like that. One citizen was concerned that standing on the sidewalk yakking about an NBA game to a friend would get him arrested. The police (captain?) assured him that no, the police go after the known dealers when the Drug Free Zone thing is enforced.
"It is illegal to have a vehicle that isn't tagged and registered, even if it is in your backyard." -- I don't know what is all related to that note.

"Questions about alternatives"-- Okay this came from a woman I don't remember seeing from any other meeting berated the police representative about alternatives to arresting young black men. This went on for a while until other citizens began to personally attack her. Then our great leader Jim stepped in and my notes on that say "Jim- Realities. POV. Organized drug dealing, 'seducing young people'. Summer Safety program. Need for other city agencies to supplement what the police do."
On the personal attack, they questioned her if she had kids. The crowd was restless, understandable when one citizen takes up a significant amount of time. The view of the crowd was you can't put all the responsibility on the police.
Then there was a good amount of discussion on causes of crime, families depending on drug money, and drug dealers pursuing youth far more aggressively than the community.
That discussion took up a lot of the meeting as the rest of my notes are sparse, that or I just got tired of writing. Anyway Art Slater talked about land use and he pointed out the number of gas stations in the neighborhood. The representatives from the membership committee talked about the well attended tribute dinner for Jim Berry and mentioned the name of some of the sponsors. Sponsors like Busboys and Poets, the 4th St Crew (Karl & the gang), there were others....
Then material about North Capitol Main Streets was passed out. Such as a volunteer application form, a 'release' about a survey of N. Cap Street businesses and their 2007 accomplishments and goals. I have written " Tues June 6th NCMS hear public results of forum." I have no clue what that means in fuller terms.
Then the meeting adjourned and Jim tried to kick us out as we talked about what the heck the neighborhood is named.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The BACA meeting where Fenty shows up

These are my notes. They aren't complete, nor are they word for word. Really, you should have dragged your sorry butt to the meeting if you're going to get picky.
Meeting began at 7pm in the lower level of Mt. Sinai Baptist. There was a TV camera there and a lot of people filled up the rear rows.
Jim Berry apologized early about cutting people off when the mayor comes to speak.
First to speak was Cpt. Scott of the 5th District. He reports a 40% decrease in the incidents of violent crime. There are now 29 beat officers and there were about 140 arrests this month. He also had a warning regarding service stations. Women are getting their purses stolen when they leave them in their unlocked cars. Don't do that. Men have a bad habit of leaving their keys in the car. Don't do that either. Then the star of the show arrived, Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Mayor Fenty looked as if he's lost some weight since campaigning. He made us applaud Jim and the police officers. Then he got into the question and answer period.
Q: The Gun Ban
A: The city has until April 9th to file something. For now the ban is still in effect and it is just for homes. [Fenty interprets the 2nd Amendment to mean militias]

Q: How Mayor's office helping the police to make fighting crime a priority? And please pave Richardson Pl.
A: Putting more officers on the street is a clear priority. Police department, compared to other departments in the city, got the most growth. There was a 20% increase in th number of officers.

Q: What programs the district govt. has to help young men to make an honest living?
A: We want to make and increase adult education. Programs for disconnected youth. Juvenile justice program. Best way to save disconnected youth is to make sure they don't get disconnected. [I think there was some mention of vocational programs.]

Q: There is a nursing home shortage. The Beverly just closed. How to increase bed numbers?
A: Use Tobacco settlement dollars. The may not have helped the Beverly, but hopefully will prevent more closures.

Q: We have a few open air drug markets. What can we do to prevent loitering?
A: make the goal to close the drug market. The Police Department needs a plan to close it down. Continued vigilance and engagement. Community to work with the Police Department and Government and pick the worst drug market and target it.

Q: Scholarships
A: [Fenty] is trying to renew ...... Ask for the state education department [for in state tuition]. Gates Foundation money starts with 6 high schools and choose 100 students.

Fenty wants to come back in 3 months to follow up on the crime and dug issue.

Next was Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. At this point I'm tired of taking notes. But I did note that Mr. Thomas had a snazzy tie, a lovely suit and shirt w/ cuff linked cuffs. He encouraged people to go to the PSA meetings so the police won't get spread thin going to all the different civic meetings [so they can spend more time on the beat].

On a personal note, turn off your **&! cell phones people.
My notes. The end.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Feb 5th BACA meeting

Began around 7PM led by are still great (but no longer ANC) leader Jim Berry, I showed up much later.
Oscar Rider of the DC Emergency Management Agency was speaking when I came in so I can't really say much about it.
This is not in the right order, I'm just going based on where I wrote notes on the agenda.
Robert Tack of the Capitol Retail Group was there and he spoke abouthref retail he's hoping to have go in near the ATF building to provide the workers with stores. They are a retail leasing company with a location at 14th and Rhode Island and the location of the matter is at 2nd and FL. They hope to have 4-6 tenants, with about 7-8,000 sq ft total, and at least 2 retail food tenants. Dunkin Donuts, some TechWorld businesses and a bank have expressed interest. There will beDunkintail parking. TechWorlday be occupied by May or June. So they need food options to be available to those new occupants. If you know of a business that would be interested in locating there please contact the retail group at 202 319 2884.
Officer Babcock and Inspector Brooks were presented with certificates of appreciation. Jim B. and Babcockn Wilmner had great things to say about the two and their role in the community. Something aWilmnermeone needing to get a raise.
Membership committee plans to have some sort of event in appreciation for Jim and his leadership on the ANC board and as our former ANC. Watch for an announcement. It is hoped to be in late April or early May. If you want to help out hunt down Mary Ann. Membership is also collecting dues. It was $20 last year, I guess it is the same.
Art Slater, who is in charge of the Land Use, Planning and Economic Development Committee seems to need volunteers. The committee wants to organize and implement a small area planning session within the BACA service area. It can be informal or formal where there is an assessment of businesses, assets, sq. footage, a survey of the community, an economic study to see what the community can support, look at logistics, and basically develop the technical expertise to be able to talk to developers.
Mr. Robert Brannum spoke about the schools. There is a charter that needs to be ratified by the peoplBrannume District of Columbia and he urges people to write the Council about it.
Jim talked about the three liquor stores in the BACA region and attempts at voluntary agreements. Apparently you can't get a VA with the store's landlords to improve (or allow improvements).
There was a discussion about public/ personal safety. It was stated that crime is down in the past two years. However, if you don't feel safe it really doesn't matter what the stats say.
When you call the police to report drug activity, if you see where the dealers have hidden the stash, mention that when you call. Tell them exactly where the stash is (ex. behind 123 BACA St, under the red trash can). Some people have the phone numbers of the beat cops and tell them directly.
Lastly, Jim and others have noticed that this is the first year that they cannot park on their block. Back in the old days he could park in front of his house. Then his street. No longer. Someone else noticed that there are all these cars with out of District tags taking up the spaces. You could call 202 727 1000 after 5pm and report cars that are 30 days overdue from getting District tags.
Meeting ended at 9PM.