Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Development Protest Scheduled

According to the February 28th issue of the Northwest Current, and organization called the Alliance for Rational Development is planning a protest of the Akridge Real Estate Services proposal to develop a used car lot located at 5220 Wisconsin Avenue.

The protesters claim that the proposal is too big and doesn't factor in the development taking place in Friendship Heights, MD, right across Western Avenue.

There has been some dialogue on the Tenleytown Listserv about elements of the proposal:

An initial posting discusses "hiking trails and parks" and other amenities tied to the City Line (Sears building) project. Where are there hiking trails in Tenleytown? That post also refers to the 5220 proposal as towering 100 feet over the street. According to the website, the proposal is for a 79 foot (at parts) structure. Compared to the 9-13 story buildings on Connecticut Avenue, this seems paltry.

The discussion about parking with respect to these developments, on the Tenleytown listserv is very interesting.

It will be interesting to see the results of the protests.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Armed Robbery in Tenleytown

At least three suspects fled the scene of a robery at the Ace Hardware in Tenleytwon, causing traffic and intense police and helicopter activity in Cleveland Park.

The suspects vehicle crashed their white cadillac into a parked SUV on 29th Street off Ordway, whereupon one suspect was apprehended. A second was tracked on foot by Commander Andy Solberg. The third suspect, a woman, remains at large.

Note that one officer was injured when they slipped on ice.

Please shovel your walks in a timely fashion.

Edit Andy Solberg Commander, Second District
This morning at about 8:40 am, two armed men wearing masks entered the
ACE hardware store in the bottom of 4500 Wisconsin Avenue. The two men entered through the loading dock area and robbed the store. There were no injuries. As officers were responding to the scene, officers spotted the getaway car, a white Cadillac being driven by a young woman, near Wisconsin and Van Ness St. During a short pursuit that began at Wisconsin and Upton St, officers followed the car to the 3400 block of 29th St, NW (the street behind the Uptown Theater directly to the west) where it hit another car.

All three suspects bailed out and fled on foot. One man was apprehended after he jumped a fence and was hiding in the rear of the Uptown Theater. With the help of citizens who alerted us, we maintained a perimeter around the area bounded by 30th St, Connecticut Avenue, and Ordway and Porter Sts. A short time later a second suspect was caught hiding in a shed in the alley inside this perimeter.

The female has not been caught but we believe we will be able to find her.

Evidence was recovered.

The investigation is ongoing, and as we are able to provide more detailed information we will do so.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Changes afoot in Cleveland Park

First Blockbusters and now WhatsaBagel.

That Blockbusters was consolidating their business nationally in response to video-on-demand and Netflix is one thing, but the closure of Whatsa Bagel is a bit of a surprise.

The Bethesda store remains open fueling speculation that the move is due to rent increases at the Park N Shop strip mall.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Wilson Pool details

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation has unveiled preliminary plans for the renovation of the Wilson Pool.

For more information, please see their website,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Marc Fisher Comment on Cheh investigation

Speaking of Cheh: What was up with the Post Metro section and Woodlee yesterday? They reported Cheh was being investigated for campaign finance issues, which is technically true. However, investigations are pro-forma when a complaint is filed, and this complaint was filed by noted crank and looney Jonathan Rees.

Worse yet, they heavily quoted Rees without comment. If you're going to hang your reporting hat primarily on one source, you should probably note he's a looney at some point.

Marc Fisher: I'm with you there--I don't know the backstory on the story, but I do know that any reference to Rees should be accompanied by screaming warnings to readers about who and what he is.

Downtown D.C.: "I'm with you there--I don't know the backstory on the story, but I do know that any reference to Rees should be accompanied by screaming warnings to readers about who and what he is."

Well, who and what IS he?

Marc Fisher: A mysterious figure who ran for D.C. Council in Ward 3 last year and made the lives of many candidates, political activists and media types miserable with his multiple online identities, spamming of comment boards, and other odd behaviors.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wash Post: Cheh Campaign under investigation

The Washington Post reported that the DC Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) has opened an investigation of Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh. According to the report,

The investigation was prompted by a formal complaint made by Jonathan R. Rees, who ran against Cheh in the Democratic primary, campaign finance officials said.

Jonathan Rees captured a handful of votes in the 2006 primary, announced his candidacy in 2010 and filed a complaint with the OCF, which the Post reports without any insight into the insitigator.

Bravo. Eugene Mayer must be very proud today.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Horrid Accident on Wisconsin Avenue

Wisconsin Avenue is reopened after a fatal accident near the Cathedral.

Ward 3 Dems Assemble Education Discussion

Scheduled for February 27th, 7:30 PM

Entitled “Cutting Through The Rhetoric Of School Governance: What’s Really At Stake?,” the panel discussion will focus on a critical issue with significant implications for the future of public education in the city. School governance legislation proposed by Mayor Fenty is now being considered by the DC City Council. The Council is conducting a series of public hearings through February 27 on the issue. The DC Board of Education also is conducting a series of public hearings on an emergency proposal to improve student achievement in the DC public schools.

The Ward 3 Democratic Committee has assembled a distinguished panel of experts to discuss these proposals and help educate our community about this important issue. Confirmed to participate in the panel discussion and public forum are:

Robert Bobb, President of the D.C. Board of Education;
Kathy Patterson, Former Ward Three D.C. Council Member;
Victor Reinoso, Deputy Mayor For Education;
Darlene T. Allen, President, D.C. Congress Of PTA and Member, PTA National Board of Directors;
Mary Levy, Director, Public Education Reform Project, Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; and
Mary Filardo, Founder and Executive Director, The 21st Century School Fund.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Hugh Allen, a long-time and highly respected education activist in the city and a member of the Ward Three Democratic Committee.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sherwood comments on Cheh's Animal Rights Bill

Cheh To The Rescue

And our last box of chocolates, shaped like cats and dogs, goes to new Councilmember Mary Cheh. She introduced legislation that would revamp the city's animal welfare laws.

Provisions would increase penalties for animal cruelty and require better regulations for animal-related businesses and better safety measures to protect against dangerous animals.

But the bill also would require the city to adopt plans for rescuing animals in the event of a natural emergency like the hurricane that struck New Orleans.

But perhaps the most novel aspect of the bill makes a legal connection between animal cruelty and child abuse. Cheh said studies of child abuse victims show perpetrators often abuse animals, too. The bill requires animal welfare officials to report animal abuse to authorities who deal with families and children as a possible tip-off to child abuse.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Progress on the Wilson Pool?

WARD 3 Councilmember Mary M. Cheh & The Department of Parks and Recreation Host a community wide meeting on the
The Wilson Pool Project

Second District Police Station Community Room
3320 Idaho Street NW
For more information please call
(202) 724-8062

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

BZA rules in favor of Woodley Garage.

In a previous blog entry, the specter of ANC3C and other community monies dedicated to fighting an underground garage at the Marriot Wardman complex in Woodley Park was raised. Today, the WPCA announced:

The Board of Zoning Adjustment today denied the appeal of ANC 3C and WPCA concerning the garage construction at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. A written order should be issued in a few weeks and will be available on the WPCA web site.

That was community money well spent.

ANC 3E talks Buick lot again

A recent post on the Tenleytown Listserv mentions the agenda for the updcoming ANC 3E meeting. One of the Agenda items is the fabled Buick lot (5220 Wisconsin Avenue) redevelopment proposal by the Akridge Company.

The ANC simply announces that there will be "a discussion and vote" on this project. However, there is plenty of chatter about where the ANC is going to come down on this project.

From a widely distributed email from the Friendship Neighborhood Association (FNA):

Dear Neighbor:
The Zoning Commission -- which has the final say on whether proposed development projects are built in the District -- will hold a public hearing March 8, 2007 on the massive condominium building that major commercial developer Akridge intends to put up at 5220 Wisconsin Avenue N.W. The Friendship Neighborhood Association requires your immediate support to ensure that the so-called Buick Site is developed in a manner compatible with the residential character of the adjacent neighborhoods.

With chatter based on this tone, why bother to have a discussion? Just phone in the vote and be done with it.

On the other hand, why not really engage in what is good or bad about this proposal. Design? Buffer to residential? The email simply talks about the size/height of the building as it pertains to the lot and "current zoning" (Is the zoning changing based on the adoption of the new Comp Plan?)

For a parcel of land that is virtually on top of the Friendship Heights Metro station, what does this group propose as a viable alternative? Or, should it be a used car lot in perpetuity?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Klingle Bridge reaches second phase

( Washington , DC ) The District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) is pleased to announce it has nearly completed work on the first phase of the Klingle Bridge reconstruction and will begin work on phase two beginning on or about February 6, 2007. The Klingle Bridge sits on Connecticut Avenue just south of Macomb Street in Northwest.

The second phase of construction will involve reconstruction of the southbound lane next to the phase one lane. As in phase one, during morning rush hour three lanes will be maintained southbound utilizing the newly constructed lane and one northbound lane. Three lanes of traffic will be maintained in the northbound direction during the evening rush hour with one lane southbound. All other times, two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction.

Pedestrian access on the west side of the bridge will remain closed. All pedestrian traffic will exist on east of bridge.

The $10 million restoration of the Klingle Bridge uses a combination of federal and local funds. Work on the bridge will include removal of old lead-based paint, cleaning the bridge girders, repairing/replacing components of the under girding and bridge surface and rehabilitation to the sidewalks and road surface.

The project is slated to be completed in January 2008, weather permitting. DDOT will continue to update the public on the progress of the project. Hours of work are Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

DDOT encourages motorists to use extreme caution when passing through the work zone.